Effective, diplomatic and resolute, Warren Usatine is co-managing shareholder of the firm, co-chair of the firm’s Litigation department and a respected member in the Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring department.
Described by clients as “brilliant” and “an excellent trial lawyer and strategist with excellent insight into winning arguments,” Warren’s practice ventures where few legal practices go – the seamless blend of commercial litigation and restructuring prowess (Chambers USA). Supported by over 25 years of experience, Warren’s practice includes all aspects of complex commercial litigation as well as bankruptcy and restructuring matters across state and federal court systems. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
His litigation practice includes extensive experience in chancery court stakeholder disputes, financial services, real estate disputes and valuation litigation in state and federal courts. His bankruptcy practice focuses on the representation of both chapter 11 debtors and creditors’ committees, as well as other significant parties in substantial restructuring matters. And, where these two practices intersect – matters involving bankruptcy litigation – is an area where Warren has developed a national reputation of achieving outstanding results.
Warren has played a prominent role in many of the firm’s most notable litigation and restructuring engagements, including:
- Represented a shareholder in litigation over the ownership and control of a substantial national logistics company, with multiple trials in the New Jersey chancery court and appeals spanning over a decade on oppressed shareholder and related valuation issues.
- Represented a regional beverage distributor in an arbitration against a supplier of meal replacement beverages and related products. After a five-day arbitration hearing, the client defeated each of the adversary’s counter claims while all affirmative claims made by the client were upheld. A final order required the adversary to pay our client’s attorneys’ fees and arbitration costs.
- Represented Care One, LLC, a network of acute nursing and assisted living facilities located throughout New Jersey and Massachusetts, in a membership dispute arising out of the removal of two minority members of a Delaware limited liability company. This matter involved novel issues under Delaware law, including: (i) the propriety of the removal of the minority members, and (ii) the compensation, if any, to be paid to the removed minority members.
- Chapter 11 co-counsel to WeWork, a multi-billion-dollar provider of coworking spaces with more than 700 locations in 39 countries worldwide, in its chapter 11 proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.
- Chapter 11 co-counsel to Rite Aid Corporation and 119 of its affiliates in their prearranged chapter 11 cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. One of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States with 45,000 employees, 2,100 retail pharmacy locations (across 17 states) and a pharmacy benefit management business that manages pharmacy benefits for more than one million members. Rite Aid entered chapter 11 with access to approximately $3.45 billion in committed post-petition DIP financing.
- Chapter 11 co-counsel to BlockFi, Inc., a cryptocurrency company.
- Represented Congoleum Corporation, one of North America’s largest manufacturers of resilient flooring, in connection with its chapter 11 proceeding. This representation included advising and assisting Congoleum in obtaining access to post-petition financing so that it had sufficient liquidity to operate in chapter 11 and conduct a value maximizing sale process; as well as successfully obtaining approval of the sale of the assets to the stalking horse bidder pursuant to a credit bid. Following extensive negotiations with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and pre-petition lender/stalking horse purchaser, Cole Schotz confirmed a chapter 11 plan of liquidation that created a liquidation trust for the benefit of unsecured creditors.
- Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 proceedings of Revel AC, Inc. and its affiliates. Revel AC was a 1,400 room, 47-story casino hotel resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 proceedings of Kara Homes and more than fifty of its affiliated entities, formerly one of the largest New Jersey-based developers of residential real estate. As counsel for the committee, Warren represented the unsecured creditors’ interests in negotiations that ultimately concluded in the confirmation of a plan of reorganization and a recovery for unsecured creditors.
- Counsel for the German Insolvency Administrator over the estate of Qimonda AG in its chapter 15 proceeding and acting as lead trial counsel in a multi-day evidentiary hearing concerning the applicability in the chapter 15 proceeding of section 365(n) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
- Counsel to the SunEdison Litigation Trust in a complaint against General Electric Company seeking to avoid, recover and preserve transfers totalling $35.7 million as constructively fraudulent transfers and recover from GE amounts by which it was unjustly enriched by those transfers. After ongoing months of discovery, producing hundreds of thousands of documents and deposing more than 10 people, the parties reached a confidential settlement.
- Represented Metrogate, LLC in connection with seeking the dismissal of an involuntary chapter 11 petition filed against it by four investment funds managed by TP Management LLC. After expedited discovery and a 3-day trial, the Bankruptcy Court, in a written opinion, dismissed the involuntary bankruptcy case finding, among other things, that the bankruptcy filing constituted a bad faith litigation tactic of forum shopping. The Bankruptcy Court retained jurisdiction to determine whether Metrogate was entitled to legal fees and compensatory and punitive damages. The parties, however, ultimately settled the request for damages as well as pending New York state court litigation.
NETWORKS & AFFILIATIONS
Dedicated to the practice of law and deeply engaged with the bankruptcy community, Warren was welcomed as a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is also a Trustee of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, sits on the Advisory Board of the New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyers Foundation, and is a member of both the New Jersey State Bar Association and New York County Lawyers Association.
Warren frequently serves as a panelist and speaker on various aspects of litigation and bankruptcy law. Recently, Warren spoke at the New Jersey State Bar Association’s annual meeting and convention where he discussed the New Jersey Chancery Court alongside three Chancery judges during the seminar “Business Litigation: The Good, The Bad and The Equity.” Warren has also served as a panelist at the annual William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & BELONGING
As a member of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, Warren is passionate about creating a law firm culture that presents opportunities to all of its attorneys and workforce at large. While incredibly active on these efforts internally, Warren also participates in conversations relating to DE&I outside of the firm as well. He recently spoke at the Essex County Bar Foundation’s seminar “Promoting Women: Really Making It Happen,” a two-hour discussion on diversity, inclusion and what actions law firms can take to eliminate bias.
Additionally, Warren regularly attends and has spoken at the Jewish Law Symposium. Most recently, Warren participated on the panel “Balancing Professional & Personal Life: Ethical Lessons from a Year like No Other,” where he spoke alongside the Honorable Rachel Freier, a renowned and trailblazing New York judge.
Honors & Awards
For the past decade, Warren has been awarded a band ranking by the prestigious and rigorous Chambers USA for his bankruptcy and restructuring practice. In connection with the submission process, clients and contacts have described Warren as:
“absolutely fantastic in the courtroom”
“always thinking about how to come to a resolution”
“driven and a pleasure to deal with”
“clients praise him for his very good street sense”
A long-standing leader of the firm and cultivator of young talent, Warren’s contributions were recognized at the New Jersey Legal Awards where he was an honoree under the Best Mentor category. The event was hosted by the New Jersey Law Journal.
Warren is also the recipient of the Hugh Leonard Award distributed by the New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyers Foundation, an award presented annually to an attorney who has demonstrated a high level of commitment to the bankruptcy community.
In addition, Warren is regularly selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers list for New Jersey and has also been featured in Benchmark Litigation.
No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.