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Justin M. Ellis

Justin Ellis litigates high-stakes business disputes from the filing of a complaint through appeal. He tries cases and argues appeals in federal and state courts, often on complex commercial and financial subjects. He has litigated in every level of the judicial system from state trial courts to the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Ellis has particular experience in bankruptcy, distressed debt, and structured finance litigation, with clients including corporations, hedge funds and asset managers, indenture trustees, family offices, and high net worth individuals.

MoloLamken routinely handles cases with dozens of witnesses, massive document productions, and cutting-edge legal questions. Clients turn to Mr. Ellis to push these cases through to resolution. And they depend on him to help distill technical, sprawling records into a clear—and compelling—story for trial. Mr. Ellis regularly works with a wide range of experts, graphics and jury consultants, and lawyers from multiple firms to create a unified and efficient fighting force for the client. Together with the MoloLamken team, he has helped recover over $2 billion in settlements and judgments for clients over the last five years.

Legal 500 describes Mr. Ellis as having “an unsurpassed encyclopedic knowledge of the law and all of its intricacies.” Chambers & Partners describes him as “incredibly knowledgeable and skilled and understand[ing] the issues, dynamics, complex contracts and legal concerns involved in cases.” Lawdragon has named him as one of the country's top litigators and plaintiff's financial litigators, as well as one of the top bankruptcy and restructuring attorneys in the United States. He has also been named repeatedly as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and is on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 and Under Hot List.”

Prior to joining MoloLamken, Mr. Ellis was an associate in the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and as a research assistant to the Honorable Richard A. Posner and Professor William Landes.

Representative Matters

  • International consumer products company in its Chapter 11 reorganization, obtaining dismissal of $880 million adversary claims over the company’s refinancing
  • Investment advisor which obtained over $700 million in judgments against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its state-owned oil company over defaulted debt
  • Indenture trustees and investors which obtained over $1.4 billion in recoveries in RMBS ”putback” suits against mortgage originators and securitization sponsors in state and federal courts
  • Ad hoc group of investors bringing $150 million fraud claims against the directors and officers of a multinational technology company prior to its Chapter 11 restructuring
  • Ad hoc group of convertible noteholders investigating wrongdoing by the directors and officers of a multinational biotechnology company in its Chapter 11 reorganization
  • International asset manager and direct lender, as well as an indenture trustee, in a trial over fraudulent-conveyance and tort claims and breaches of an intercreditor agreement in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, as well as parallel litigation in New York Supreme Court, over a $250 million secured financing transaction
  • Investment manager in bankruptcy litigation and appeals over the reconsideration of secured DIP financing
  • Investment manager, investment fund, and portfolio company in bankruptcy litigation over the foreclosure of a secured DIP facility
  • A specialty chemical company in defending suits from two bondholder groups alleging breaches of credit agreements relating to the company’s secured refinancing
  • International asset manager and its agent in a Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceeding for an international natural-resources company
  • Certificateholders of RMBS trusts in multiple trust instruction proceedings over the distributions of settlement payments and the handling of trust funds, including obtaining award for investor in dispute over distribution of the $8.5 billion Bank of America / Countrywide global settlement
  • Developer of electric power plants that obtained and successfully defended on appeal $30 million lost-profits judgment in a damages trial in New York Supreme Court concerning theft of trade secrets
  • International asset manager and direct lender in successfully defending multiple fraudulent-conveyance claims over its equity investment in parking-garage operator
  • Investors pursuing class-action antitrust claims against a major medical-device manufacturer, distributors, and group purchasing organizations
  • International construction conglomerate in dispute over the construction of a distressed renewable-energy project
  • A global financial institution facing multiple regulatory investigations and civil litigation in connection with the LIBOR price-fixing scandal
  • Investor that obtained at arbitration an order to refund client’s entire investment in a feature-length film project based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Interpreter of Maladies
  • The former Speaker of the New York Assembly in a federal public-corruption criminal jury trial
  • An investment advisor under indictment for obstruction of justice and perjury in the Southern District of New York
  • Diplomatic security agent under investigation by the Department of Justice regarding alleged misconduct abroad
  • A CDO manager under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding alleged securities-law violations
  • Amici at the certiorari and merits stages before the United States Supreme Court regarding the requirements for diversity jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act
  • A foreign central bank in a successful petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court regarding the Article III prohibition on “rules of decision”
  • A software company in a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court and in follow-on proceedings regarding the recognition of foreign judgments
  • Amici before the New York Court of Appeals regarding New York’s statutes of limitations
  • Criminal defendant who obtained reversal of criminal contempt conviction through briefing and argument before the en banc Virginia Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court
  • Civil committee who obtained reversal of summary judgment on his civil-rights claims through briefing and argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • A state prisoner in a Fourth Amendment excessive-force jury trial before the Southern District of New York
  • A state prisoner who obtained a successful settlement of First Amendment free-exercise claims in the Southern District of New York
  • Pre-trial detainee who defeated summary judgment and obtained successful settlement for pre-trial detainee subject to excessive force at Riker’s Island
  • Pre-trial detainee who obtained a successful settlement of claims arising out of unlawful solitary confinement at Riker’s Island while a juvenile



  • Law clerk to the Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Honors & Awards

500 Leading Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2020, 2022, 2023

500 Leading Plaintiff's Financial Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2022-2023

500 Leading Litigators, Lawdragon, 2022

40 and Under Hot List, Benchmark Litigation, 2019-2023

New York Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2015-2023


The University of Chicago Law School, J.D.

Articles Editor, University of Chicago Law Review

The University of Chicago Committee on International Relations, A.M.

The University of Chicago, A.B.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • Washington
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, Central District of Illinois, and the Northern District of Indiana

Professional Affiliations

Federal Bar Council Pro Bono Advisory Council

New York State Bar Association CPLR Committee

New York City Bar Securities Litigation Committee

Turnaround Management Association

American Bankruptcy Institute, Bankruptcy Litigation Committee

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