Throughout his nearly 50-year legal career, Irving Picard has focused his practice on the complexities of bankruptcy, restructuring and creditors’ rights, and he is a leader in the field of trusteeships and receiverships.
Picard currently serves as court-appointed trustee under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS), an unprecedented global recovery effort stemming from one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history.
As SIPA Trustee, Picard’s mandate is to recover the principal stolen by Madoff to return to BLMIS customers with allowed claims. As of November 2016, with the help of his BakerHostetler legal team, he has recovered or entered into agreements to recover more than $11.5 billion, all of which will be returned to defrauded BLMIS customers. To date, Picard has overseen the return of nearly $9.5 billion to BLMIS customers, which includes approximately $836 million in cash advances from SIPC. (For more information on the liquidation, visit www.madofftrustee.com.)
In addition to serving as a court-appointed trustee for securities brokerage house liquidations under SIPA more than 10 times, Picard has also served as counsel to trustees under SIPA, counsel for Chapter 11 creditors' committees, SEC receiver in a Ponzi scheme case, and disbursing agent. In 1979, Picard was appointed as the Department of Justice's first United States Trustee for the Southern District of New York, a position he held for nearly three years. From 1976 through 1979, he served as Assistant General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Picard is ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, where he has been described as "extremely intelligent, a great analytical thinker" (Chambers USA 2014), and he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.
The Madoff liquidation continues to be a topic of global interest. Picard has been tapped by leading news organizations to discuss the groundbreaking – and heartbreaking – case and to shed light on what the world can learn from it. With this Trusteeship, Picard and the case have come into an international spotlight, and have been widely reported on by major media including CBS’ 60 minutes, ABC Nightly News, Bloomberg TV, NPR, CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Financial Times, Reuters, USA Today, Forbes and many others.