"Dealing with Parallel Actions," Securities Investigations, (Mayer Brown LLP, ed., 2010) (with Steve Wolowitz)
"Techniques for Streamlining and Expediting Litigation," Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, (Robert Haig, ed., 3d ed. 2010) (with Steve Wolowitz)
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Chris Houpt is a member of Mayer Brown’s Banking and Finance Litigation group, specializing in banking and finance matters, particularly cases involving cross-border issues; securitization, structured finance, and derivatives; and asset turnover. He has represented banks from numerous foreign countries in connection with U.S. litigation or third-party discovery and is experienced in coordinating litigations in multiple forums. In the arena of financial products, Chris has extensive experience representing securitization trustees and investors, including in bankruptcy. Chris has also been involved in negotiating and seeking court approval of several highly complex securitization settlements.
Chris is also a member of Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. His appellate experience includes briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal Courts of Appeals, and various state appellate courts, as well as three oral arguments in the New York Appellate Division.
Chris joined Mayer Brown in 2005, after serving as a foreign law clerk for the Honorable Aharon Barak, President of the Supreme Court of Israel. During law school, Chris was an editor on the Harvard Law Review and a Teaching Fellow for the Harvard Economics Department. Previously, he worked in portfolio management at the D. E. Shaw Group and as a manager in the finance department of Covad Communications. Chris passed the National Futures Association’s Series 3 exam in 2000 and has completed the first two levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst® program.
Notable Engagements—Cross-Border Litigation and Asset Turnover
- Briefed motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction or forum non conveniens (or both) for financial-industry clients from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Hungary, The Bahamas, and Lebanon.
- Represents Hungarian and German banks in litigation regarding Holocaust-era claims.
- Represented Lebanese bank in successful defense of Anti-Terrorism Act and Alien Tort Claims Act claim.
- Filed amicus brief for Institute of International Bankers in case in which plaintiff sought to apply New York’s Koehler doctrine to obtain turnover of assets from a non-U.S. subsidiary of the defendant garnishee.
- Filed amicus brief for American Bankers Association supporting indenture trustee in Argentine sovereign debt litigation.
- Represents garnishee banks in cases in which judgment creditors of Iran and Cuba seek turnover of OFAC-blocked accounts under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
- Represented European bank in Hague Convention production of documents from France and U.K., also involving U.S. bank examination privilege.
Notable Engagements—Securitization and Derivatives
- Represents RMBS trustees in proceeding for approval of $8.5 billion settlement of mortgage-loan origination and servicing claims and in numerous investor lawsuits involving trust administration, under state law and the Trust Indenture Act.
- Represents holders of super-senior securities in Lehman Brothers-related litigation relating to the interpretation and enforceability in bankruptcy of CDO contracts, including “waterfall flip” terms.
- Represented CDO trustee in successful defense of its interpretation of waterfall and subordination terms of indenture.
- Filed amicus briefs for ISDA and SIFMA in cases addressing the bankruptcy safe harbors for derivatives and other financial contracts.
- Advises CDO investors on litigation issues arising from decisions to accelerate notes or direct trustees.
- Represents Lehman Brothers derivatives counterparties, including from Japan, France, Belgium, and Canada, in disputes over ISDA close-out calculations following bankruptcy.
- Argued appeal in New York’s First Department, winning affirmance of dismissal of claims against collateral and administrative agent and secured lender in dispute over the interpretation of a loan agreement. Also briefed the successful motion to dismiss at the trial level.
- Argued civil appeal in New York’s Second Department, winning reversal of summary judgment and new trial based on evidentiary errors.
- Argued criminal appeal in First Department, involving search and seizure and jury instruction issues.
- Briefed successful Second Circuit appeal on the “securities exception” to federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
- Briefed successful First Circuit appeal, winning reversal of forum non conveniens dismissal and affirmance of finding of personal jurisdiction in international contract dispute with Israeli national. Also briefed successful post-trial appeal, resulting in affirmance of bench verdict.
- Represented military contractor in successful Second Circuit defense and cert denial in Agent Orange product liability cases involving the government contractor defense and federal officer removal.
- Other appellate briefs available here.
New York City Bar Association, Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction
American Society for Legal History
Harvard Law School, cum laude, 2005; Harvard Law Review
Dartmouth College (Economics, Japanese majors; Applied Math minor), magna cum laude, 1998; Phi Beta Kappa
- New York
- Second Circuit Court of Appeals
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York
- Western District of New York