Lee D. Unterman

Financial Partner and New York Managing Partner
437 Madison Avenue, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone:  212-867-9500
Fax:  212-599-1759
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Practice Areas:
Corporate and Securities, Family Office, Financial Services, Investment Management, Real Estate
Admitted to Practice:
New York, U.S. Supreme Court
New York, NY
Law School:
University of Virginia School of Law
Undergraduate School:
Colgate University

Lee D. Unterman is the firm's Financial Partner and Managing Partner of the firm's New York office. Prior to joining Montgomery McCracken, Lee served as the Managing Partner of the law firm Kurzman, Karelsen & Frank, LLP since 2000. Lee's practice focuses on corporate transactions, compliance and other regulatory matters, complex corporate, securities and real estate litigations (usually arising out of or in connection with corporate transactions), as well as negotiation and strategic planning. He has extensive corporate, securities and real estate experience including the negotiation and structuring of joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions (and related financing arrangements), stock or asset purchase and sale agreements and commercial leases.

Lee brings a unique perspective to issues in the financial services industry since, among other things, during his tenure with Kurzman Karelsen & Frank, LLP, he served as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Compliance Officer/General Counsel for David J. Greene & Co., LLC, a multibillion dollar dually registered investment advisor and broker dealer, from 2004 to 2008. During that time, he held Series 7 and 24 licenses.

Lee has served as general outside corporate counsel to, or special litigation counsel for, a number of small and large businesses with special emphasis on registered and unregistered funds, investment advisors and broker/dealers (has regularly done all SEC and state filings). He has formed new mutual funds (including equity and high-yield bond funds) and hedge funds (most recently including real estate related funds and a fund that trades in the virtual electricity market), investment advisors and broker/dealers; and handled all necessary SEC and Blue Sky filings. He served as general outside corporate counsel to, or special litigation counsel for, several mid-sized brokerage firms, a well-known mutual fund complex, and as general outside corporate counsel to, or as special litigation counsel for, a number of specialist firms on both the NYSE and AMEX.

For several years Lee acted as personal counsel to several directors of the NYSE in their capacities as directors and a number of Vice-Chairmen of the NYSE. He acted as special counsel to the Board of Directors of several publicly-held corporations, including in connection with determination of fair value in regard to a proposed merger and with respect to an internal investigation into possible insider trading.

Earlier in his career, Lee had the honor of being nominated by a former Commissioner of the SEC and a former Secretary of the Navy to become head of the New York Regional Office of the SEC. He has handled numerous corporate and securities related litigations, arbitrations, investigations and disciplinary proceedings, with claims ranging in magnitude from a few thousand dollars to over a billion dollars.

Lee has extensive experience with federal and state courts in New York, Connecticut, California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida; NYSE, AMEX, FINRA and AAA arbitrations; SEC, CFTC, FINRA, NYSE, and AMEX investigations and disciplinary proceedings.

Selected Representations

While Lee now concentrates on strategic planning and negotiation in both transactional and litigation matters, he had a long history of representing clients in significant and complex litigations and regulatory proceedings, before he took on the added responsibilities of also running a duly registered investment advisor and broker-dealer.  Examples include:

  • Cedarwoods Cre Cdo II, Ltd. v. Galante Holdings, Inc., 2012 WL 10088362 (N.Y.Sup 2012).  (CMO/Bond Dispute)
  • NYSE Hearing Panel Decision in the matter of David Finnerty 04-127 (Aug. 11, 2004)
  • AB Chance v. Marine Bulkheading (EDNY Oct. 2003). (Property Rights/Patent Infringement)
  • SAI Systems Intl. v. Satyam Computer, (S.D.N.Y. Jan 16, 2001). (Complex Contract Dispute)
  • Urban Telecomm. v. Communications, (S.D.N.Y. Aug 18, 1999). (Labor/Management Relations)
  • Loeb, et al v. Intrag, Inc., et al, (S.D.N.Y. Apr 14, 1998). (Contract Dispute)
  • Croce v. Marisi, 234 A.D.2d 333 651 N.Y.S.2d 867 95-10501 (Appellate Division, Second Department, New York. Dec 09, 1996). (Breach of Contract)
  • Reed v. Cohen 876, F.Supp. 25 1995 WL 75036 94-CV-1047 (JS) (E.D.N.Y. Feb 21, 1995). (Defense of suit brought against limited partners)
  • Cohen v. Reed, 868 F.Supp. 489 1994 WL 668312 90-CV-2795 (JS), 94-CV-241 (JS) (E.D.N.Y. Nov 18, 1994). (RICO and fiduciary duty)
  • Zucker v. Katz, 836 F.Supp. 137 87 Civ.7595 (SWK) (S.D.N.Y. Nov 1, 1993). (Partnership Dispute/Fraud)
  • SEC v. Brumfield, et al, (S.D.N.Y. Oct 31, 1995). (Securities/Insider Trading)
  • Borders, Inc. v. Millennium Partners, et al, (S.D.N.Y. Jan 24, 1994). (Contract/Commercial Lease Dispute)
  • Interpublic Group of Companies v. Lesser, 775 F.Supp. 697 1991 WL 219121 89 CIV 6660 (LJF) (S.D.N.Y. Oct 18, 1991). (Contract Dispute)
  • Fahnestock & Co., Inc. v. Waltman, 935 F.2d 512 1991 WL 96691 927, 928, 90-7867, 90-7869 (United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. Jun 10, 1991). (Broker-Dealer/Punitive Damages)
  • Seitzman v. Hudson Riv. Assoc., Supreme Court, 126 A.D.2d 211 513 N.Y.S.2d 148 29103N, M-151 (Appellate Division, First Department, New York Mar 24, 1987).
  • Kashi v. Gratsos, 790 F.2d 1050 1 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 768 8, 37, 85-7163, 85-7165 (United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. May 15, 1986). (Contract/Fraud)
  • Abbott Installations v Carl Schenck, AG., 110 A.D.2d 673 488 N.Y.S.2d 10 1E (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York April 08, 1985). (Breach of Contract)

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "A Primer in Coping with the Changing Regulatory Landscape," Private Wealth Management Summit, December 2010
  • Speaker, "Due Diligence and Compliance: A Primer in Coping with the Changing Regulatory Landscape," Private Wealth Management Summit, June 2010
  • Presenter, "Solutions to Tackle the Most Demanding Compliance Situation" IA Week's 9th Annual IA Compliance Fall Conference, September 2009
  • Speaker, "The U.S. Economic Crisis and the SEC's Role," Colgate University, October 2008
  • Presenter, "CCO BEST PRACTICES II - Tips from Your Compliance Peers," 10th Annual IA Compliance Best Practices Summit 2008 and the Investment Adviser Association, March 2008, Washington, D.C.

Honors and Awards

  • Martindale Hubbell AV rated for more than 25 years

Academic Achievements

Lee received a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1975 and B.A. degree, cum laude, from Colgate University in 1972.