Christopher Harris

  • Partner
  • Echristopher.harris@lw.com
  • 885 Third Avenue
  • New York, NY 10022-4834
  • USA
  • T +1.212.906.1880
  •  
 

Profile

Christopher Harris is Global Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins' Complex Commercial Litigation Practice and head of the firm’s Creditor Rights & Bankruptcy Litigation Practice.

Mr. Harris focuses his practice on two main areas: insolvency litigation, and securities and other accounting-related litigation. His extensive insolvency litigation experience includes providing counsel to:

  • Debtors
  • Agents for consortiums of lenders
  • Trustees and creditors’ committees
  • Individual creditors
  • Service providers

Mr. Harris has represented most of the major banks and accounting firms in a wide range of civil, regulatory, and criminal matters. He has also represented issuers in multiple-billion dollar securities litigations, securities firms and individuals in SEC investigations, and issuers and outside directors of investment banks in securities class actions and derivative suits.

Mr. Harris is a frequent speaker and writer on litigation and trial practice topics, including the use of expert witnesses. He has presented at the ABA National Conference, the American Corporate Counsel Association and before numerous other venues, and also served as a faculty member for the Federal Judiciary Center, instructing new federal bankruptcy judges about discovery issues. Mr. Harris also has extensive First Amendment and technology-related litigation experience.

Among other leadership roles within the firm, Mr. Harris formerly served as Co-Chair of the Litigation & Trial Department in Latham's New York office and as Global Chair of the LGBTQ Affinity Group.

Experience

In insolvency litigation, Mr. Harris has served as lead trial counsel in many of the major bankruptcies nationwide, representing debtors, creditors, and committees.

In the oil and gas sector, he has served as lead trial counsel for clients in the following bankruptcies:

  • Chaparral
  • Cobalt
  • Enduro
  • Energy XX1
  • Northstar
  • Penn Virginia
  • Quicksilver
  • Sabine
  • Stone

In the power generation sector, he has likewise served as lead trial counsel for clients in the following bankruptcies:

  • A123
  • Abengoa
  • Bosque
  • Boston Generating
  • First Energy
  • Illinois Power Generating
  • Panda Power
  • Sun Edison

He has also served as lead trial counsel for clients in many other major bankruptcies, including:

  • Advanta
  • American Airlines
  • Caesars
  • Cumulus
  • Fibrant
  • iHeart Media
  • OnCure
  • The Weinstein Companies

He also has extensive experience in defending against fraudulent conveyance and recharacterization claims (many in the multi-billion dollar range), including:

  • Caesars Acquistion Corp in the Caesars bankruptcy
  • ABN Amro and KAS in multi-billion dollar claims related to the Madoff Ponzi scheme
  • ABN Amro in claims related to the Petters Ponzi scheme
  • Southcross in the Sherwin bankruptcy
  • Clients in the Tribune bankruptcy
  • Clients in the Sapphire bankruptcy
  • DLJ in defeating claims brought by trustee of debtor PCD to recharacterize loans and claw back proceeds

Mr. Harris’s securities and accounting-related cases include:

  • Deloitte – defended multiple claims related to failed lending institution TBW
  • Repsol S.A. – brought multiple securities and contractual lawsuits regarding Argentina’s 2012 expropriation of YPF S.A.
  • Omnicom Group, Inc. – secured summary judgment in a US$3 billion securities fraud class action lawsuit
  • Oxford Healthcare – obtained dismissal of all securities fraud and derivative claims secured against certain officers and directors
  • Andersen LLP and former Andersen partners and employees – successful defense in multiple civil and regulatory proceedings arising out of Enron's collapse
  • KPMG – secured dismissal of multiple securities and state-law lawsuits relating to bankruptcy of auto parts manufacturer Collins & Aikman
  • Ernst & Young LLP – secured dismissal of multiple fraud-related lawsuits stemming from the Refco fraud
  • Ernst & Young LLP – secured summary judgment in a US$2 billion securities fraud class action lawsuit concerning Williams Communications Group
  • Ernst & Young Global – obtained voluntary dismissal of securities fraud lawsuit regarding Sino-Forest
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu – won dismissal of securities fraud lawsuit regarding China Media

Mr. Harris’s fraud practice also includes substantial experience in investigating and litigating allegations of international fraud and related issues. Recent examples include:

  • Representing a Middle Eastern company in advising on global venue decisions for lawsuits and arbitrations concerning the funding and acquisition of a Middle Eastern telecom, including injunctive, jurisdictional, and immunity issues
  • Advising an East European sovereign wealth fund on potential defamation claims
  • Advising a Gulf sovereign wealth fund on a global and US fraud investigation and litigation strategy
  • Advising an East European manufacturer on US securities and fraud risks related to restructuring plans
  • Advising an African investor on a fraud investigation and litigation strategy regarding mining investments
  • Advising the former spouse of a high net worth East European individual to devise a global investigation and litigation strategy regarding to asset location and distribution issues, including the analysis of multiple jurisdictions to identify a most favorable forum and coordination with specialist local counsel
  • Representing Repsol in bringing lawsuits against the Republic of Argentina, as noted above
  • Representing ABN AMRO in coordinated global litigation to challenge lawsuits brought by Madoff feeder funds, involving litigation in US, UK, BVI, and Cayman courts, as noted above
  • Representing KPMG as liquidator to Montvale in a global litigation and asset recovery effort

Thought Leadership

  • Second Circuit Backs Foreign Clawback Claims in Madoff Bankruptcy Action -  March 06, 2019
  • No Premium Recovery Guarantees for 5th Circ. Lenders -  February 11, 2019
  • Legal Privilege Pitfalls and Perils in Bankruptcy -  September 24, 2018
  • Supreme Court’s Merit Management Ruling Highlights Potential Alternative Path to Safe Harbor -  April 12, 2018
  • Safe Harbor After 'Merit Management' -  April 05, 2018
  • Commercial Division Rules Poised for Additional Business-Oriented Changes -  December 20, 2017
  • Opt-Out Cases in Securities Class Action Settlements  -  October 06, 2016
  • Madoff Bankruptcy Decision Offers Protection for Foreign Investors -  July 14, 2014
  • Legal Privilege and Related Issues in Insolvency and Restructuring Matters -  March 30, 2014
  • Report: Opt-Out Cases in Securities Class Action Settlements -  November 19, 2013
  • Practice Pointers for Working with Expert Witnesses in Bankruptcy Court -  June 12, 2012
  • Taking the Long View: Play to Win at Trial, But Set the Stage for Appeal -  August 22, 2011
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Limits Statutory Immunity of Web site Operators for User-generated Content -  April 14, 2008
  • New York’s Continuous Representation Doctrine does not Apply to Separate and Discrete Audit Services -  June 26, 2007
  • US Federal Court Decision on Internet Regulation to Have Broad Impact on Commercial Speakers on the Internet -  May 15, 2007
  • Securities Litigation and Professional Liability Practice, Issue 13 -  First Quarter 2006

Presentations

  • Using Expert Witnesses in Business and IP Valuation Cases -  August 15, 2013
  • Valuing Businesses -  August 08, 2012
  • Proving or Contesting Debtor Insolvency Under the Balance Sheet Test -  May 10, 2012
  • How to Find and Use an Expert Without Breaking the Bank -  April 19, 2012
Named a Recognised Practitioner in Litigation: General Commercial in New York.Chambers USA 2019
Bar Qualification
  • California
  • New York
Education
  • JD, Stanford University Law School, 1995
    cum laude; Order of the Coif; Editor-in-Chief, Stanford Journal of International Law; Associate Editor, Stanford Law Review
  • BA, Harvard University, 1992
    summa cum laude
Industries
  • Financial Institutions
Practices
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Restructuring & Special Situations
  • Creditors Rights & Bankruptcy Litigation