Dean C. Waldt

Senior Counsel
Tel 602.798.5480
Fax 602.798.5595

Dean C. Waldt practices in the areas of commercial litigation, business reorganization, and corporate finance. He represents banks, institutional lenders, private equity and debt funds, and special servicers, as well as retail, manufacturing, technology, transportation, and health care companies, in distressed asset and bankruptcy related matters.

Dean handles all aspects of bankruptcy, insolvency, and creditor-rights litigation, including foreclosures, strategic and financial acquisitions in insolvency proceedings, and negotiations in corporate loan restructurings. He represents franchisors in franchise recovery and termination matters, including the management of a failed franchise recovery program for a large national franchisor. His litigation experience includes fraudulent conveyance and lender liability litigation, oppressed and/or dissenting shareholder actions, litigation involving all classes of distressed real estate assets, and all aspects of bankruptcy litigation. Dean also handles Lanham Act, RICO, and ERISA litigation in an insolvency related context.

Representative Experience

  • Represented Senior Lender secured by nationally flagged convention hotel and golf resort in litigation against borrower and multiple related entities. Obtained $193 million judgment against borrower and related non-borrower entities under alter ego theory, as well as $185 million judgment against the guarantor. Also obtained equitable relief in favor of Lender, including reformation of deed of trust and implied easements.
  • Represented Senior Lender secured by Class A office complex in chapter 11 case. Reversed confirmation of two chapter 11 plans on appeal, defeated debtor's attempt to re-characterize related party debt as equity distribution, prevailed on seven appeals of Bankruptcy Court decisions throughout the case, defeated debtor's attempts to sell the property and limit Lender's credit bid and obtained relief from the automatic stay and proceeded to recover the asset through foreclosure.
  • Represented Senior Lender secured by industrial and warehouse facilities in complex chapter 11 case. Defeated attempted confirmation of chapter 11 plan, obtained relief from the automatic stay and recovered collateral through receivership and foreclosure.
  • Represented numerous stalking horse bidders for asset acquisitions is chapter 11 cases in chapter 11 cases involving retail, real estate, transportation, health care, and manufacturing assets.
  • Represented national franchisor is numerous cases involving chapter 11 cases filed by multi-unit franchisees. In all cases, successfully terminated franchise agreements and transferred franchise operations to other system approved franchisees.
  • Represented institutional Senior Lender secured by marina resort facility. Successfully displaced borrower with chapter 11 Trustee and facilitated marketing and auction of collateral to obtain full recovery for lender.
  • Represented servicer of student loan portfolios in complex federal court litigation with third party liquidity facility providers who were required to repurchase put bonds upon insolvency of national bond insurer in state insurance insolvency proceeding. Successful global settlement negotiated just before trial in the case.
  • Represented national investment banking firm in real estate Ponzi scheme litigation, resulting in sharing of liquidation proceeds by victims of fraudulent mortgage investment scheme.
  • Pro-bono representation of active duty military personnel in cases involving home foreclosure and HOA assessments while serving in forward active duty stations.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association Business Bankruptcy Committee

New Jersey Bar Association, Bankruptcy Law Section and Banking Law Section

New Jersey Supreme Court Fee Arbitration Committee, District IV, past Chair (1999)

Arizona Bar Association

American Bankruptcy Institute

International Council of Shopping Centers

Turnaround Management Association

Commercial Real Estate Finance Council/ Amicus Task Force Member/ Conference Moderator and Panelist

Trigild Lender Conference/ Moderator and Panelist

Battleship New Jersey Memorial and Museum/Board of Directors, 2006-2011

Knights of Columbus

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, 2013-2021

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Named among "New Jersey’s Top-Rated Lawyers,", 2013

Consistently ranked by The Deal as one of the busiest U.S. bankruptcy lawyers by number of new matters

Also ranked by The Deal in 2009 as one of the top U.S. bankruptcy lawyers by number of active assignments

Speaking Engagements

Panel Moderator, "Legal Strategies for Deals, Disputes and Workouts: A Practical Approach," Trigild Lender Conference, Dallas, April 2014

Advanced Seminar Leader, "Leasing to a Franchise Tenant," International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conference, San Diego, October 2013

"Current Issues Impacting Special Servicers," Trigild Annual Lender Conference, San Diego, October 2012

Advanced Workshop Leader, "Opening a Franchise: American Dream and Landlord's Nightmare," International Council of Shopping Centers Annual Law Conference, Orlando, October 2012

"Negotiating Default Protections in Franchise Leases," International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conference, 2011

"Franchising in an Uncertain Economy: Devising a Game Plan for Dealing with Financially Challenged Franchisees," Franchise Business Network Quarterly Meeting, Denver, October 2010

"Intellectual Property Rights in Bankruptcy," Third Circuit Judicial Conference, May 2009

"Managing Change in Franchise Systems," International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 2009

"Insolvency Laws Around the World," International Franchise Association/International Bar Association Symposium, May 2009

"Ethics Issues in Business Chapter 11 Cases," New Jersey State Bar Association Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference, April 2009

"Handling Financially Distressed Multi-Unit Franchisees," International Franchise Association Annual Meeting, February 2009

"The Rising Influence of Private Equity Firms in Franchising," International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 13, 2008

"Shareholder Injunctions and Proxy Fights in Chapter 11 Cases," New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) Annual Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference, May 2, 2008

"Executory Contracts Under the Revised Bankruptcy Code," New Jersey Bankruptcy Inn of Court, April 7, 2008

"Developments in Chapter 11 Litigation in 2007," NJICLE, January 2008

Moderator, "Planning For A Complex Chapter 11 Case," New Jersey State Bar Association, April 13, 2007

"Expansion of Franchise Systems In New Geographic Markets," International Franchise Association, February 26-28, 2007

Villanova University School of Law (J.D. 1985, cum laude)
Member, Order of the Coif

Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div. 1979, cum laude)

Grove City College (B.A. 1976, summa cum laude)


New Jersey