Celia Goldwag Barenholtz is a partner in the Litigation Department at Cooley, and is resident in the Firm's New York office. She joined Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman in 1989, which was merged into Cooley Godward Kronish LLP in 2006.
Ms. Barenholtz handles a wide range of complex commercial, media and intellectual property litigations and arbitrations for both plaintiffs and defendants. Her practice includes the representation of lawyers and law firms in cases alleging malpractice and fraud, as well as the representation of institutions and individuals involved in criminal, regulatory and internal investigations. She has extensive trial and appellate experience.
Ms. Barenholtz is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has been listed among the industry's leading practitioners in the legal guides Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation Legal Guide and SuperLawyers, which named her one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in New York. In recent editions of Chambers USA, Ms. Barenholtz was praised by her clients as being "thoughtful, thorough, precise and careful litigator" and was described as being "very effective at marshalling a large litigation team" and a "highly effective advocate."
Ms. Barenholtz's noteworthy representations include:
- The representation of New York University in an Article 78 proceeding challenging NYU's plan to expand its facilities at its Washington Square core by approximately 1.9 million square feet.
- The representation of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. and Michael Lewis in a defamation action concerning the best selling book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.
- The representation of Clifford Chance in a putative securities fraud class action stemming from the collapse of the firm's former client Diagnostic Ventures, Inc.
- The representation of HSBC Business Credit (USA), Inc. in an antitrust action alleging the unlawful sharing of credit information.
- The representation of Hypo Real Estate Capital Corporation in a series of cases concerning a $520 million credit facility.
- The defense of Travelers Casualty & Surety Company and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company in a suit concerning $1 billion surety bonds issued with respect to Enron oil and gas transactions.
- The defense of WhenU.com, Inc. in a series of cases brought around the country in which website owners asserted that WhenU's advertising infringed their copyrights and trademarks.
- The representation of XM Satellite Radio in copyright infringement actions commenced by the major record labels and music publishers.
- The representation of HSBC Bank USA in a series of lawsuits asserting fraud and RICO claims arising out of a bank customer's Ponzi scheme.
- The defense of Wilhelmina International, Ltd. and Wilhelmina Artist Management, LLC in a three-week jury trial concerning the departure of the plaintiff's president and various clients to a competitor.
- A suit against the State of Utah to enjoin a state anti-spyware statute from taking effect on the ground that it violated the U.S. Constitution.
- The representation of Sumitomo Corporation in an antitrust MDL relating to an unauthorized scheme of derivatives trading and the representation of Sumitomo in connection with its RICO action against Chase Manhattan Bank arising out of the same scheme.
- The representation of Cablevision Systems Corporation in a putative class action concerning federal cable television rate requirements.
- The representation of Republic National Bank of New York at trial in a negotiable instruments case brought by a Venezuelan museum.
- The representation of Videotron U.S.A., Inc. in cases in Delaware seeking the appointment of a custodian for a corporation.
Prior to joining Kronish Lieb, Ms. Barenholtz served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1983 to 1989, where she tried white-collar criminal cases and served as Chief Appellate Attorney for the Criminal Division.
Ms. Barenholtz earned a JD in 1979 from Columbia University School of Law, where she served as a Notes & Comments Editor of the Columbia Law Review. She received her BA, also in 1979, with honors from Grinnell College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Following her graduation from law school, Ms. Barenholtz clerked for the Hon. Eugene H. Nickerson, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Ms. Barenholtz has served on a number of bar association ethics committees and is a member of the Committee on Grievances Panels of Attorneys for the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
She is an adjunct lecturer in law at Columbia University School of Law, where she teaches a course on litigation and legal ethics.
Ms. Barenholtz serves on the Board of Directors of Safe Horizon, the nation's leading victim assistance organization.
She is admitted to practice in New York.
- Columbia University School of Law
- Grinnell College
BA, 1979, With honors, Phi Beta Kappa
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- American College of Trial Lawyers