Firm, Madoff Team Earn Prestigious Award for Significant Litigation

News / June 25, 2019

On June 15, in yet another note of high praise related to the unprecedented success of the Madoff Recovery Initiative, the firm beat 12 other matters to win the award for “Most Significant Restructuring or Insolvency-Related Litigation” from Global Restructuring Review, an international information service that provides cross-border insolvency and restructuring news, features and events for professional lawyers and restructuring advisers. The honor, announced at the 3rd Annual GRR Awards Ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, recognized the firm's involvement in the litigation that led to the noteworthy extraterritoriality decision allowing for the recovery of international transfers for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS). The decision was issued in February by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

“The sheer number of amicus briefs and the far-reaching impacts of the decision, way beyond the U.S., made this a clear – if not controversial – winner worthy of recognition,” wrote Kyriaki Karadelis, Editor of GRR, in a congratulatory email to Partner Irving H. Picard, the court-appointed trustee under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) for the liquidation of BLMIS. Partners David Sheehan, Seanna Brown, Torello Calvani, Tracy Cole, Oren Warshavsky and Catherine Woltering, counsel to Picard, worked on the award-winning matter.

The team provided a short video for the audience at the ceremony, as well as a statement:

“The BLMIS Trustee and his team are immensely pleased the Court agreed with the Trustee and held that neither the presumption against extraterritoriality nor international comity limits the Trustee’s ability to recover transfers around the world for the benefit of Madoff’s victims. In holding that the focus of the Bankruptcy Code’s recovery provision is on the fraudulent transfer made by Madoff in New York, the Court closed a loophole that threatened the Trustee’s ability to recover funds stolen in New York and subsequently transferred overseas. Moreover, by finding that the United States has a compelling interest in applying U.S. law to recover property fraudulently transferred by a U.S. debtor, the Court’s ruling adds clarity to the current state of the law and provides a safeguard to protect creditors of a U.S. debtor in bankruptcy. This decision will have far-reaching effects for many years to come for all cross-border insolvency professionals. The Trustee is thankful for the opportunity to work with all of the talented amici who submitted briefs in support of his position, as well as to his counsel, BakerHostetler and Robbins Russell LLP. We are honored to accept this award.”