Anderson Kill Forms Foreign Investment Recovery Group

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 16:16

Anderson Kill has announced formation of the Foreign Investment Recovery Group. In addition to representing clients in a full spectrum of corporate, securities and bankruptcy litigation worldwide, the new practice group will help asset managers and other investors deploy innovative litigation strategies to monetize distressed debt and equity investments, non-performing commercial paper, and unpaid judgment debts.

These strategies have been pioneered by group chair David Graff, who joined Anderson Kill in June 2013, along with Shveta Kakar, a seasoned commercial and securities litigator who has represented Fortune 500 companies and high-ranking public officials. At 31, Mr. Graff is Anderson Kill’s youngest shareholder and youngest practice group chair. Mr. Graff’s investment recovery strategies have been proven to win favorable results in an exceptionally short time-frame, particularly when compared to traditional legal processes.

One such strategy addresses the trend among valuable and operational publicly listed companies in the U.S to suddenly stop reporting and making requisite financial disclosures with the SEC. After raising millions of dollars on the U.S. capital markets, some of these companies have "gone dark" with the apparent intention of depressing the value of their stock to facilitate an eventual, insider-led privatization transaction - or, more disturbingly, simply abscond with investor funds.

The Graff team approach has enabled investors to exit their position in such companies at fair market value - which often exceeds the current trading price for the particular security, as well as the cost basis of the investment. Results have ranged from settlements with the company to taking control of an entity and selling significant assets, including the operating subsidiaries of the company.

Group members have successfully obtained extraordinary relief from state and federal courts, including ex parte seizure orders. This relief mimics search and seizures previously employed in criminal contexts. Such relief is atypical and cuts through expensive and time consuming traditional discovery methods (e.g., subpoenas, document requests, interrogatories and depositions) by seizing assets and/or information leading to the location of assets from recalcitrant companies and individuals, immediately, directly and without notice.

Another method developed by Mr. Graff and his team has been obtaining court appointment of a receivership for a solvent, non-bankrupt enterprise or debtor. The appointment of a receiver has been an enormously effective mechanism to enforce court orders and judgments against the defendant. Group members have succeeded not only in having their choice of receiver appointed, but also in obtaining receiver order(s) that provide the broadest powers for the receiver (including the power to deal and dispose of all the assets of the defendant as if the receiver were the defendant).

In their representation of receivers, creditors and investors, group members have pioneered strategies to gather information and seize assets from off-shore branches and affiliates of United States’ banking institutions, accounting firms, investor liaison firms and auditors. In so doing, they have successfully overcome the often invoked argument that such foreign affiliates constitute separate entities from the United States entity and are not subject to the United States’ jurisdiction.

Group members have also successfully registered, domesticated, confirmed and enforced foreign judgments and arbitration awards within the United States. Once domesticated, they invoke these novel strategies to successfully monetize the unpaid foreign judgment debt and/or arbitration award. Cases in which the group’s strategies have been employed successfully have been widely reported in major business media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Reuters and others.

Attorneys joining the Foreign Investment Recovery Group include shareholders Jeffrey E. Glen, a veteran litigator with an extensive international practice; Jerry Goldman, an international litigator whose clients include the lead plaintiff in O’Neill v. Al Rahji Bank, the class action suit filed by the families of 9/11 victims against a wide array of individuals and institutions alleged to have materially supported al Qaeda; and Dennis J. Nolan, a shareholder who concentrates his practice in bankruptcy and has been involved in Madoff litigation. Also joining the group are attorneys, Rachel Kierych, Matthew F. Putorti and Kerry A. Sheehan.

Clients of attorneys in the group include alternative investment managers and other asset managers, investment banks, commercial and retail banks, registered investment advisers, debt servicers, judgment creditors and high net worth individuals.

"Investors need effective remedies to recover the fair value of their investment." Mr. Graff commented. "We have had success developing such remedies and have obtained unique and novel outcomes for investors who have been searching for a results oriented, cost-effective strategy in the shortest possible time frame."