Gonzalo S. Zeballos

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4656
F +1.212.589.4201

Overview

With a depth of experience in managing and coordinating complex cross-border litigation, Gonzalo Zeballos brings a global perspective to solving his clients’ problems. Gonzalo has been involved in litigation and recovery efforts in dozens of jurisdictions around the world, and he is a frequent speaker on the subject. His experience spans civil and common law jurisdictions as well as commercial and criminal proceedings and investigations.  

Since 2009, Gonzalo has been responsible for the overall leadership and management of international investigations and foreign recovery efforts as a lead attorney on the BakerHostetler legal team serving as court-appointed counsel to the SIPA trustee for the liquidation of the decades-long Madoff Ponzi scheme – the largest of its kind in U.S. history. Through the efforts of Gonzalo and the BakerHostetler asset-recovery team, more than $11 billion have been recovered to date.

Select Experience

  • Lead attorney since 2009 on the BakerHostetler team that serves as court-appointed counsel to the SIPA trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, working on the global investigation of the Madoff Ponzi scheme – the largest financial fraud in history – and related litigations seeking recoveries for the BLMIS Customer Fund. Responsible for overall coordination and oversight of international investigations and legal proceedings occurring in multiple jurisdictions worldwide.
  • Represented an Alaskan fisheries industry client before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, successfully reversing a grant of summary judgment based on third-party collateral estoppel arising from a foreign arbitral award.
  • Part of the team representing the court-appointed receiver of international investment adviser Michael Kenwood Group, LLC, during investigation and recovery of investor funds’ assets that were misappropriated from international hedge funds created and run by the Michael Kenwood Group. Advises the team and the receiver on international issues at play in the management and liquidation of assets of the receivership estate.
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Experience

  • Lead attorney since 2009 on the BakerHostetler team that serves as court-appointed counsel to the SIPA trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, working on the global investigation of the Madoff Ponzi scheme – the largest financial fraud in history – and related litigations seeking recoveries for the BLMIS Customer Fund. Responsible for overall coordination and oversight of international investigations and legal proceedings occurring in multiple jurisdictions worldwide.
  • Represented an Alaskan fisheries industry client before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, successfully reversing a grant of summary judgment based on third-party collateral estoppel arising from a foreign arbitral award.
  • Part of the team representing the court-appointed receiver of international investment adviser Michael Kenwood Group, LLC, during investigation and recovery of investor funds’ assets that were misappropriated from international hedge funds created and run by the Michael Kenwood Group. Advises the team and the receiver on international issues at play in the management and liquidation of assets of the receivership estate.
  • Advised a Middle Eastern bank during a multinational contract dispute arising from the mortgage-backed securities crisis.
  • Advising a hedge fund client during a breach of contract dispute arising under English law.
  • Former assistant general counsel for American International Group, Inc. Managed international litigation and arbitration for the parent company and its subsidiaries, and coordinated global e-discovery policies.
  • Represented Zaha Hadid, one of the world’s leading female architects, in an action for defamation and trade libel. Ms. Hadid was selected to design one of the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Al-Wakrah stadium in Qatar. In June 2014, the New York Review of Books published an article by Martin Filler claiming that Ms. Hadid was indifferent to thousands of worker deaths at the construction of the Al-Wakrah Stadium she designed. At the time the article was written, construction had not yet even begun on the Al-Wakrah Stadium. In response, Ms. Hadid brought an action for defamation and trade libel in the New York State Supreme Court. The New York Review of Books and Mr. Filler printed a retraction, admitting that the claim was inaccurate and apologizing for the error. The case was settled, and the settlement payment was donated to an undisclosed charity.
  • Coordinating cross-border recovery efforts for a victim of illegal expropriation by a foreign government.
  • Led an internal investigation for a major European corporation.
  • Advised a hedge fund client during a breach of contract dispute arising under English law.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Legal 500 United States (2017)
    • Recommended in International litigation
  • Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery (2017)
  • New York Metro “Super Lawyer” (2011, 2013 to 2017)
  • New York State Bar Association: Empire State Counsel Award

Memberships

  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Departmental Disciplinary Committee, New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division First Judicial Department: Appointed Member (2012)

News

News

Community

  • SUNY Center for Latin American Studies: Former Advisory Board Member

Pro Bono

  • Involved in the New York office’s collaboration with inMotion, an organization providing free legal services to underprivileged women in New York City.
  • Has worked on cases on behalf of political asylum applicants, and has represented asylum applicants hailing from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Prior Positions

  • American International Group, Inc.: Assistant General Counsel

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2001
  • New York, 2001

Education

  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 2000; Senior Editor, Columbia Law Review; Class of 1912 Prize for Contracts; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar; Certificate of Achievement, The Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 1997, History
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 1994, Latin American Studies, FLAS Fellowship
  • B.A., College of the Holy Cross, 1992, English, College Honors Program

Languages

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish