Philip R. Forlenza - Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
No Photo Available

Philip R. Forlenza

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007
Phone: 212-336-2140

Philip Forlenza is a senior litigator and member of the firm's Structured Finance Litigation Team, which comprises more than 60 lawyers.  Mr. Forlenza has extensive experience representing clients in high-stakes disputes over complex financial instruments, including residential backed mortgage securities, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps and other derivatives.

He currently oversees over 50 litigators working on fourteen active law suits on behalf of financial guaranty insurers against major financial institutions involving several billion dollars in claims relating to residential mortgage-backed securities transactions.

Mr. Forlenza is also former Chair of the firm's nationally-recognized Law Firm Defense Group.  For over 25 years, he has represented law firms in cases alleging malpractice, conflict of interest, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.  He also represents law firms and law firm partners in compensation disputes.  He has been highly successful with dispositive motions, obtaining dismissal of claims against clients at an early stage in many cases.

Mr. Forlenza has extensive trial and arbitration experience and has argued appeals before the United States Supreme Court, Second Circuit Court of Appeals and New York Court of Appeals.  He has conducted numerous investigations of sensitive corporate matters for Fortune 500 and major foreign companies.  He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law, Banking & Finance, and Commercial Litigation and recognized as a "Litigation Star" for New York by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC’s Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys.

Additional Information

Representative Matters

Financial Litigation
Lead trial counsel representing financial guaranty insurers asserting billions of dollars of claims against major financial institutions relating to losses on mortgage-backed securities transactions.

Represented five financial guaranty insurers in industry-wide dispute regarding credit derivative swaps.

Law Firm Defense
Defending major international law firm against accusations that it committed malpractice in drafting the waterfall provisions for three CDO transactions and caused the client to lose more than $80 million.

Obtained defense jury verdict in $46 million suit in one of the few cases the FDIC took to trial following the S&L crash.

Represented national law firm in suit by former hedge fund client seeking $420 million in damages based on alleged malpractice, conflict of interest and fraud.

In a case of first impression nationwide, obtained a summary judgment ruling (seven weeks after suit was commenced) declaring unenforceable per se a “no hire” provision in an agreement between two law firms contemplating merger.

Mounted a vigorous defense that led to the voluntary dismissal of a $100 million malpractice and RICO suit against an AmLaw 100 firm over a complex international financing transaction.

Represented several law firms in malpractice actions relating to patents and patent prosecution.

Retained as lead trial counsel on the eve of trial in two complex malpractice cases.

Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Wagner CollegeBA Fordham University School of Law, Editor-in-Chief,J.D.
Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Judicial DepartmentNew York Supreme Court, Appellate DivisionAssociation of the Bar of the City of New YorkAmerican Bar Association

Office Location

1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
United States

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
Litigation - Banking and Finance