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Benjamin S. Kaminetzky

As a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, Mr. Kaminetzky divides his time between bankruptcy litigation and complex commercial litigation. He has represented financial institutions and large corporations, such as Morgan Stanley, in commercial litigation, and major lenders and creditors, such as Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Bank Leumi in some of their most complex bankruptcies and reorganizations.

As one of the most experienced and accomplished bankruptcy litigators in the country, Mr. Kaminetzky has been at the forefront of some of the most important complex bankruptcy trials around the country involving leveraged buyouts, labor and pension disputes, fraudulent transfers and preferences. He was the lead litigator in multi-week bankruptcy trials alleging fraudulent transfers in the LBO context in Chapter 11 proceedings of LyondellBasell and Tribune, and in contentious litigations and trials for Debtors Patriot Coal, Frontier Airlines and Delta Air Lines and in a $2 billion contractual dispute relating to the Peabody Coal bankruptcy in St. Louis.

In his commercial practice, Mr. Kaminetzky has represented both foreign and domestic entities in federal and state cases around the country as well as ICC, AAA and FINRA arbitrations. He recently achieved complete dismissal (affirmed on appeal) for Morgan Stanley related to a Latin American telecommunications consortium in a case seeking over $1 billion in damages. He also publishes on litigation involving complex valuation and insolvency issues.

Work Highlights

Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Citibank in a contractual dispute in bankruptcy court in St. Louis related to debtor Peabody Coal
  • The investment banking division of a multinational bank in an action by the trustee for a bankrupt REIT alleging breach of contract and breach of covenants of good faith and fair dealing in connection with margin calls issued during the financial crisis of 2007

  • A major financial institution in actions filed in both federal and state courts by the creditor trustee of a geothermal-energy developer alleging fraudulent transfer and other claims under the Bankruptcy Code and Delaware law relating to a series of securities transactions in March 2008

  • Leading banks in multibillion-dollar fraudulent conveyance matters related to the Lyondell, Tribune and Extended Stay leveraged buyouts

  • Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines and Patriot Coal in numerous trials related to collective bargaining agreements, pension termination and/or retiree health care

  • Forex trading firm, Gain Capital, in a fraudulent conveyance action asserted by the trustee of Ponzi scheme debtor

  • A major financial institution and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in various complex preference and fraudulent conveyance litigations

  • Major lenders and creditors, including JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bank Leumi, Emerson, Ford, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Bertelsmann, in numerous bankruptcies and restructurings, including Lehman, Delphi, Lyondell, Tribune, Capmark, Conseco, Polaroid, Enron, Cedar Chemical, Level 3 Communications, Pameco, Key3Media, Bridge Information Systems and Napster

Complex Commercial Litigation
  • A Korean broker-dealer in an arbitration with a Chinese broker-dealer relating to the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition
  • Bank Leumi in a derivative and double derivative suit filed in New York Supreme Court alleging breaches of fiduciary duties by the directors and officers of the bank for failure to prevent widespread evasion of U.S. taxes by its customers
  • Morgan Stanley in a billion-dollar dispute related to a Latin American submarine cable network; won dismissal of claims in New York Court of Appeals
  • Online travel site in dispute with industry participants
  • A newspaper in a preliminary injunction hearing in Minnesota State Court related to non-compete agreements and the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets
  • A power company in an international (ICC) arbitration related to the engineering and construction of a power plant in the Netherlands
  • JPMorgan Chase in an NASD arbitration relating to the emerging markets downturn; won dismissal of all claims
  • Morgan Stanley in a trial related to an M&A transaction in the telecommunications industry
  • An International commercial explosives manufacturer in antitrust MDL class actions and attendant Department of Justice investigation relating to the pricing of commercial explosives


Mr. Kaminetzky has been recognized for his work by various industry publications:

  • Benchmark Litigation 
  • IFLR1000
  • Legal 500 U.S. 
  • Turnaround & Workouts

Of Note

  • Member, Judiciary Committee, New York City Bar
  • Member, Committee on Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization, New York City Bar
  • Member, Board of Directors, Yeshiva College (Academic Affairs Committee); Board of Trustees, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University
Pro Bono
  • Special Counsel, Federal Monitor for the International Longshoremen’s Association in connection with disciplinary proceedings related to organized crime
  • Special Assistant District Attorney, Queens and Kings Counties
  • Legal Advisor, Beth Din of America

Professional History

  • Partner, 2003-present
  • Associate, 1995-2003
  • Law Clerk, Hon. David A. Nelson, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1994-1995


  • 450 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY
    P: +1 212 450 4259
    F: +1 212 701 5259

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • State of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York


  • B.A., Yeshiva University, 1991
    • summa cum laude
  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1994
    • cum laude
    • Senior Articles Editor and Writing Competition Chairman, Annual Survey of American Law


  • Hebrew