Christopher Heck is a Partner in the Litigation Department.
Mr. Heck focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, insurance recovery, corporate governance/fiduciary liability disputes, and trust and estate litigation. His clients have run the gamut from a large Wall Street bank, to energy and alternative energy companies, to garment industry manufacturers, importers and distributors, to smaller concerns in the real estate, entertainment and new media industries. He also represents high net worth individuals in commercial contracts, corporate dissolution, and trusts and estate disputes. In addition to courtroom advocacy, Mr. Heck counsels clients on litigation avoidance and on business and transactional issues. He has vast courtroom and trial experience in state and federal courts and in arbitration, has served as lead trial counsel on numerous civil litigation and probate litigation matters, and has also instructed junior lawyers on civil practice and trial practice techniques, including legal writing and witness preparation and examination.
- Won a complete defense victory in a bench trial on behalf of an elderly couple and their family trust where plaintiff was seeking a $8.3 million in damages and a 50% interest in residential real property.
- In representing a defendant and beneficiary in related and long-lasting civil and trust litigations, obtained court orders preventing trustee-beneficiary from using trust assets to pursue claims against beneficiary, removing trustee for malfeasance, and compelling trustee to account. Then persuaded successor trustee to dismiss civil case brought by former trustee against client with prejudice. Matters settled with former trustee agreeing to surcharge of nearly 50% of her previous beneficial interest.
- Won $1.8 million judgment for a plaintiff who was suing her former business partner for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty over a failed deal to lease and purchase horse stable property in Malibu, California.
- Successfully represented beneficiaries in years-long estate and trust litigation involving real property assets worth in excess of $60 million. Obtained favorable settlement against former executor and fellow beneficiary of estate that imposed large surcharges due to executor’s misconduct. Then prevailed in subsequent disputes in probate division concerning attempts by opposing beneficiary to evade settlement agreement and reallocate capital gains taxes from sales of trust real property and on two separate appeals arising from those subsequent disputes.
- Defeated summary judgment motions by property insurer who sought to avoid or minimize coverage for massive vandalism at vacant auto dealership property and won a motion to remand thwarting insurer’s 11th hour effort to remove case to federal court. Case settled on eve of trial for an amount in excess of the unpaid covered property loss and for all attorney fees and costs incurred by insured client.
- Represented Estate of Paul Walker IV in estate and trust proceedings, in survivorship action against auto manufacturer and in conversion claims against individuals who wrongfully took possession of the late actor’s auto collection. All matters settled on favorable terms.
- Won a complete defense victory in arbitration proceeding brought by former co-owner of office suites business who claimed breach of fiduciary duty, embezzlement, and fraud.
- Obtained summary judgment in arbitration proceeding against claims of specific performance brought by would-be purchaser of large residential real property in Beverly Hills, California.
- Rodde v. Bonta, 357 F.3d 988 (9th Cir. 2004)
- Blech v. Blech, 25 Cal. App. 5th 989 (2018)
- Blech v. Blech, 38 Cal. App. 5th 941 (2019)
Honors & Affiliations
Honors & Recognitions
Southern California Super Lawyers (2020-2024)
Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2004-2007)
Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services
Community & Professional
American Bar Association — Antitrust Section
State Bar of California — Litigation and Business Law Sections
Los Angeles County Bar Association — Litigation Section
Disability Rights Legal Center — Board Member (2004 to present), Treasurer (2006-2010), Vice President
Los Angeles County Bar Foundation (2007-2013) – Chair of Grants Committee (2012-2013)
Media & Events
Contributing Author, Market Definition in Antitrust: Theory and Case Studies, (American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, 2012).
Author, Columbia Iron and Steel Seeks Certiorari on Ambiguous Verdict. American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, Antitrust Trial Practice (Winter 2009).
Author, Concerted Action and the Preemption of State Fair Trade Provisions After Leegin, 2009 Columbia Bus. Law Rev. 853
Author, Horizontal Collusion is Necessary for Antitrust Preemption: The Seventh Circuit’s Decision in Flying J, Inc. v. Van Hollen. American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, Business Torts and RICO News: Vol. 6, Issue 4 (Fall 2010).
J.D., Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC
B.A., Columbia University, New York, cum laude
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana