Friedman Kaplan Helps Freedom House Modify Restrictions on Fund

July 24, 2020

Friedman Kaplan partners Eric Corngold and Anne E. Beaumont represented Freedom House, a nonprofit organization, in obtaining access to a fund that had been restricted pursuant to a 2006 court order.

Established in 1941 during World War II, Freedom House has a long and distinguished history of supporting democracy and freedom on a nonpartisan basis in the United States and globally.  Among other things, Freedom House publishes an annual survey, Freedom in the World, which assesses the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world and is the most widely read and cited report of its kind.

The fund at issue had been established in connection with Freedom House’s 1986 sale of its headquarters building.  Pursuant to the 2006 court order, the fund could not be touched and its income could be used only for specific purposes which had become obsolete, and the fund therefore was no longer serving a meaningful purpose.  In light of the changed circumstances, as well as Freedom House’s own funding challenges, Friedman Kaplan made a motion to the Supreme Court of the State of New York seeking modifications to the 2006 court order.  The Charities Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office filed an Affirmation of No Objection to the motion, which promptly was granted by Justice David B. Cohen. 

“We are thrilled to be able to help Freedom House gain access to funds that will help it advance its incredibly important mission,” said Corngold, adding, “Freedom House’s work is more essential now than ever, and we are grateful for its many significant contributions in the U.S. and globally.”

Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz offered his appreciation, stating “The restrictions placed on our funds in 2006 were well-intentioned but had run their course of usefulness. We are grateful to Eric and Anne for providing guidance on the removal of these restrictions, and also to the Charities Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office.”

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