Complex Commercial Litigation

Overview

Since Friedman Kaplan was founded in 1986, complex commercial litigation has been one of the cornerstones of the firm’s practice. The firm litigates cases of national and international significance on behalf of major institutions in a variety of industries and has become the go-to firm for high-stakes, high-profile, and complex disputes. We have represented clients in some of the most prominent commercial disputes of the last decade, particularly during the financial crisis. While each of these matters has been unique, they all have involved novel legal issues and unprecedented factual scenarios for which there is no "playbook" to fall back on – circumstances under which our attorneys particularly shine. We bring to such situations a unique combination of commercial sophistication, legal insight, and creativity to help our clients achieve their goals, even – and especially – in the most challenging situations.

During the financial crisis, we convinced an appellate court – virtually overnight – to vacate a TRO blocking Wells Fargo & Co.'s acquisition of Wachovia, and then used a newly passed statute that had never been addressed by any court to successfully argue that the plaintiff – Citigroup – could not enforce an exclusivity agreement with Wachovia. Following the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001, we successfully resolved a series of highly complex contract, tort, and insurance disputes on behalf of the building’s owner, including the grant of summary judgment in favor of our client in a long-running lawsuit by Con Edison concerning the design and construction of the building, which was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The common thread of our work is simple: in the most complicated, high-pressure, high-stakes situations, we leverage our exceptional insight, experience, and creativity to give our clients a critical edge.

Events

Selected Experience

  • We represented Caesars Entertainment in defense of federal and chancery court lawsuits brought by various creditor groups alleging that certain transactions violated the terms of bond issuances and the Trust Indenture Act.
  • We represented Wells Fargo & Co. and Wachovia in connection with a multibillion-dollar dispute with Citigroup arising out of the acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo during the financial crisis.
  • Over the course of nearly a decade, we represented two hedge funds pursuing claims against the Republic of Argentina to recover on defaulted bonds.  Our clients recently finalized a settlement with the Republic in which they recovered approximately $1.3 billion. The litigation involved novel issues of contract, creditor and judgment enforcement law, and their intersection with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. 
  • We are representing the Tribune Company Litigation Trust and indenture trustees for Tribune’s pre-LBO bondholders in prosecuting claims for intentional and constructive fraudulent transfer, aiding and abetting, breach of fiduciary duty, and professional malpractice, among others, against Tribune's former shareholders and financial advisors arising out of Tribune’s 2007 leveraged buyout.
  • We represented Sony Electronics Inc. in defense against $200 million in claims by the trustee of the Circuit City Liquidating Trust alleging preferential transfer, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other claims. This matter reached a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
  • We represented entities sponsored by two major private equity firms as acquirers in litigation concerning the funding banks’ alleged breach of a contract to finance the $18 billion leveraged buyout of Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
  • We represented Silverstein Properties and 7 World Trade Company in a series of insurance, contract, and tort disputes arising out of the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001.
  • We represented a major media and merchandising company in defense of claims of breach of a licensing agreement with Macy’s in a two-year litigation that included multiple preliminary injunction motions and a six-week bench trial in the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court.
  • We represented a litigation trust formed in the Marvel Entertainment Group bankruptcy to prosecute claims for breach of fiduciary duty against Marvel's former controlling shareholder and affiliated directors in Delaware federal court as well as a successful appeal to the Third Circuit.

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Case Studies

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