Steven B. Malech

Biography

As a Partner in the firm’s Litigation Department and Chair of the Probate Litigation Practice Group, Steve primarily focuses on trust and estates disputes, providing business-based advocacy that meets his clients’ personal, practical, and financial needs.

Steve is a relationship-builder and trusted adviser. He is often representing trust and estate litigation clients in connection with a wide range of their business and personal matters.

Steve typically represents beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and creditors in disputes involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty; disputed accountings; will contests; and alleged violations of the Prudent Investor Act and its predecessors. Over the past few years, Steve has managed cutting-edge probate litigation matters involving trusts and estates with assets in the hundreds of millions of dollars and frequently crossing international borders. Steve also represents businesses and individuals in a variety of litigation and regulatory matters involving contract, consumer protection, employment, non-compete, and other regulatory disputes.

For example, Steve successfully represented

  • Trust beneficiaries questioning the management of family trusts worth more than $200 million.
  • Fiduciaries and/or heirs in trust-and-estate disputes involving assets located in different countries, including Israel and parts of Europe.
  • Fiduciaries accused of mismanaging trusts with assets in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • The nominated executor of a will challenged on alleged grounds of undue influence, fraud, and the decedent's lack of capacity, as well as the related disposition of the decedent's multimillion-dollar estate.
  • A trustee seeking to protect financial information from disclosure during the divorce of a potential beneficiary.

Steve co-founded Wiggin and Dana’s Israel practice group. In that role, he represents a broad range of Israel-based businesses and individuals, collaborates with Israeli attorneys and intellectual property firms, and travels to the country regularly on business.

For the past three years, Steve has been listed in Super Lawyers as a top-rated estate and trust litigation attorney in New York City. His numerous presentations about strategies for avoiding disputed accounting proceedings have been delivered to leading trust companies and financial institutions, as well as at The Heckerling Institute. He has also given presentations on will contests, dispute resolution, fiduciary litigation, trust assets in divorce, and conservatorship and other litigation issues.

He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he served as an associate editor at the Insurance Law Journal. Steve received his B.A. with special honors in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He is admitted to practice in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and New York.

Education

  • University of Connecticut School of Law  (J.D., 1995)
    • with honors
  • University of Texas at Austin  (B.A., 1988)
    • Special Honors in Psychology

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • State of Connecticut
  • State of New York
  • US District Court (District of Connecticut)
  • US District Court (Southern District of New York)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Real Property, Trust and Estate Section
  • Bar Association of the City of New York
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Trusts and Estates Law Section
  • Former board member and/or officer of several community organizations, including the Community Relations Council of the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation and the Young Israel of West Hartford
  • 1997 participant on Governor Rowland's Trade Mission to Israel