Charles O. Monk, II

Charlie Monk handles complex, high-stakes litigation primarily for companies facing crises or involved in transactions that will reshape their business. During his 40 years as a trial lawyer, clients ranging from securities and financial services companies to energy providers and developers have relied on his legal counsel to help them deal with insolvency, multi-district securities and RICO claims and mergers where billions of dollars were at stake.

Charlie’s skill as a trial lawyer was built on a foundation of work in the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, where he served as Chief of the Antitrust Division and, later, Deputy Attorney General. During his tenure there, Charlie led the criminal prosecution team in cases arising out of the Maryland Savings and Loan crisis. Untangling the facts to win convictions against high-profile defendants in those cases required a deep understanding of the sophisticated financial practices used in the business world. Charlie brings this same skill-set to his private practice for clients who need legal solutions that reflect the practical needs of their business.

Antitrust and securities litigation

Charlie represents businesses facing litigation involving securities fraud claims and shareholder derivative claims, including shareholder demand responses and special committee issues.  He has represented clients confronting complex commercial, finance and trade regulation matters in many different industries. He regularly handles cases that involve simultaneous claims in multiple states and courts across the country and has won dismissals and negotiated highly favorable settlements for a number of clients.

Select representations include:

  • Served as lead counsel for a nutrition and weight loss company and its officers in a securities class action (10(b)(5) and shareholder derivative action arising from a stock drop coming after second restatement of financials in two years. Won dismissal of the securities claim and the plaintiffs subsequently agreed to a stipulated dismissal of the shareholder derivative action.
  • Served as lead counsel for the CEO of a real estate asset management company involved in consolidated securities class actions and companion derivative cases – including a Delaware Chancery Court phase – arising out of financial statement restatement for a formerly NYSE public company.
  • Represented major investment banks and securities brokerage firms in multi-district litigation involving the firms underwriting of multiple issues of taxable municipal bonds marketed with a now infamous junk bond house. Worked with co-counsel to devise a strategy to defend and successfully litigate policyholder priority, over the objection of a state insurance commissioner, for the guaranteed investment contracts underlying the bonds which contracts were issued by a defunct life insurance company. The strategy paid off and the initial claim against the firm’s underwriter clients of $1.85 billion was resolved.

Bankruptcy litigation

A substantial portion of Charlie’s practice involves representing parties in bankruptcy litigation. Charlie provides legal counsel to clients who are reorganizing or restructuring to help them emerge successfully.

Select representations include:

  • Served as litigation and antitrust counsel for the Equity Committee in the Chapter 11 case of one of the largest mall owners and operators in the United States. The company successfully emerged from bankruptcy with a $5.5 billion recovery for equity.
  • Served as lead bankruptcy litigation counsel for a fiberglass manufacturer in one of the largest asbestos-related bankruptcy filings ever. The case involved numerous complex inter-creditor issues, including the valuation of present and future asbestos liabilities, substantive consolidation law, and fraudulent conveyance litigation. The client emerged from bankruptcy as an investment grade company trading on the NYSE.
  • Served as lead counsel for the underwriting syndicates involved in a state court life insurance company insolvency in California.
  • Served as counsel to the Examiner in the bankruptcy of a major newspaper company.

Energy, utilities and infrastructure development

Charlie also regularly represents energy and utility companies and developers who provide the infrastructure to support these enterprises in substantial business deals.

Select representations include:

  • Co-chaired the litigation team that obtained approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission for the $7.5 billion merger of utility giants Constellation Energy Group and Exelon Corporation. The merger created 6,000 jobs in the state and benefited Maryland, the city of Baltimore and Baltimore Gas & Electric customers.
  • Won regulatory approvals in Maryland for an energy provider to build what would have been the first nuclear power plant constructed in 30 years had the company decided to proceed with the project.

Municipal representations

Charlie’s background as a former state government lawyer and prosecutor helps him provide clients with insight on government operations that may affect their legal cases. He has a depth of experience handling matters that involve government at the local, state and federal level.
Select representations include:

  • Led the litigation team that represents the fire and police unions in litigation with a major U.S. city government to resolve a $1.2 billion funding gap in the Fire and Police Employees' Retirement System. In what has been a complex and politically charged effort to ensure the city fulfills its contractual pension obligations, Charlie’s team persuaded the federal court to declare unconstitutional the key provision of the mayor's high-profile plan to make substantial changes to the police officers' and firefighters' pension plan. The case continues on appeal in the Fourth Circuit.
  • Served as lead counsel for a major vendor providing transportation security services in the resolution of a contract dispute with the government of a major U.S. city.

In addition to his legal work for clients, Charlie has served as managing partner for Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Baltimore office and the firm it merged with for more than 20 years. He is passionate about mentoring and community involvement and strongly encourages attorneys and staff to become civic leaders as a way of giving back to the state of Maryland and his native city of Baltimore and broadening the perspective they bring to their work for clients.

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