REPRESENTATIVE LIST OF COMMERCIAL CASES, ARBITRATIONS AND RELATED COMMERCIAL MATTERS
TQP Capital v. PHF II Stamford
Superior Court at Stamford, CT, FST-CV-21-6051389-S, 2021
In 2021, we represented a group of real estate investors who tendered a deposit for the purchase and then renovation/conversion of the Hilton Hotel in Stamford, CT. The Buyers exercised their right to cancel the agreement during the due diligence phase, but the Seller refused to return the deposit, claiming that the Buyers had breached the contract by not seeking to enter into a new franchise agreement with the hotel franchisor. As the Buyers were planing on a conversion, there was no obligation to seek a new franchsie agreement.
We brought suit on behalf of the Buyers, filed a Lis Pendens and moved for a TRO. The case settled on a confidential basis on the eve of the TRO hearing, to the full satisfaction of our clients.
Armstrong v. Blank Rome, LLP, et al.
Supreme Court for the State of New York, New York County, Index No. 651881/2013, 2013-2019, Appellate Division First Department, State of New York
In 2013, we were retained to represent Kristina (“Kicki”) Armstrong, in a legal malpractice action against her former matrimonial firm, Blank Rome, LLP and the lawyers who mishandled her case. Ms. Armstrong had hired Blank Rome to represent her in her divorce from her former husband, who was arguably the No. 3 person at the financial powerhouse, Morgan Stanley.The case involved claims that the Blank Rome defendants suffered from a “debilitating conflict of interest” as they failed to disclose to Ms. Armstrong that they simultaneously represented Morgan Stanley and had been doing so for years.The Complaint further claimed that because of (i) the conflict of interest and (ii) separately, as a result of the malpractice, Blank Rome deceived Ms. Armstrong into waving her rights to value her ex-husband’s security licenses as part of the martial estate, which had a value of between $12 million and $16 million.In addition to actual damages, we also sought treble damages and attorneys’ fees under N.Y. Jud. Law. sec. 487, for a total of approx. $33 million.
The case was heavily litigated over a six-year period, including an appeal by the Defendants, which was denied and was routinely followed in the legal press, as well as reported on in the New York Post. (See Press Section on this Website.) Just prior to trial, the parties went to a second mediation where the case settled amicably and under seal, to the extreme satisfaction of our client. This case is probably one of the most important Sec. 487 cases in recent years.See Armstrong v. Blank Rome LLP, 2 N.Y.S.3d 346 (1st Dept. 2015).
Dinneen v. Gwozdz
Superior Court at Stamford, CT, FST-CV-6027455-S, 2016-2019
In 2016, we were retained by first time potential home purchasers to recover a $500,000 down payment placed on a $5,000,000 house in Riverside, Connecticut. The owners refused to return the deposit even though the buyers were unable to obtain a mortgage commitment.The case was heavily litigated and included taking out-of-state depositions of the head of the bank underwriting department and the bank’s loan officers.The case was heavily litigated with a tremendous amount of motion practice.After an eight-day trial and voluminous post-trial briefing, we prevailed and the clients were awarded the full return of their deposit in full, $400,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, pre-judgment interest and additional Offer of Compromise Interest at 8%.
In re Arbitration between Entity X and Person Y
AAA Arbitration, S.D.N.Y and Supreme Court at Westchester, 2017-2019
In 2017, we were retained to represent and defend an entity and its principal against alleged claims by an individual who owned a mansion in Greenwich, CT, that the entity and principal committed massive fraud and deception in rendering interior design services in modernizing the home. In response we filed a large counterclaim for services owed.Person Y is an internet millionaire who has successfully sold a number of businesses, some believed to be in excess of $300,000,000 and essentially had an “unlimited litigation budget.”Related actions were also brought in the United Stated District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Supreme Court of New York for Westchester County and the Superior Court at Stamford, Connecticut. At the end of the day, and after eight days of arbitration hearings, the Arbitrator found on three causes of action for our client and three causes of action for Person Y, resulting essentially in a wash.
Silver v. Silver and Exusia, Inc.
Stamford Superior Court, FST-X08-CV-18-6034752-S, 2018-2019
In 2018, we were retained to represent Amy Silver in her shareholder’s rights action against Trevor Silver and Exusia, Inc., a company that she co-founded in 2012, which went from $164,000 in revenues to $24 million in 2017, and is on Crain’s 50th fastest growing companies in New York City. That case is still pending.The case was reported in the New York Post on January 29, 2018. (See Press Section on this Website.)
Hyman v. General Electric Corporation and Sabic Innovative Plastics US, LLC, et al.
Superior Court at Stamford, Connecticut.
We were retained to represent the liquidation Estate of a major chemical distriubtor in an action against General Electric and the Saudi Arabian Basics Industry Corporation, wherein we are seeking $30,000,000 for breach of a partnership agreement relating to a large Phenol Plant in Indiana and breach of an agreement to market Acetone throughout the United States. This case has related proceedings in both Connecticut and Florida.
Structured Portfolio Management LLC v. Kong, CV -11-6007779-S
Superior Court at Stamford, Connecticut
We were retained to represent Jeffrey Kong, the single most successful mortgage trader in 2009, in his $75,000,000.00 action for compensation against Structured Portfolio Management, LLC, the No. 1 rated hedge fund in the country at time in terms of performance. We were responsible for obtaining a very favorable (confidential) settlement for Mr. Kong. This case was closely followed in the financial press.
In re Liquified Bulk Petrochemical Shipping Cases
District of Connecticut/Arbitration
We acted as co-chair of the discovery committee in one of the largest class action suits pending in the U.S., arising out of the conspiracy between a number of international shipping companies to fix prices and carve out trading lanes for the purpose of ocean carriage of liquified petrochemicals in bulk. Two of the four defendants have pleaded guilty to various complaints brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. We are also special counsel to the co-lead counsel in the Court-ordered arbitration related to this case.
Xplore Technologies Corp. v. Killion and DRS Technologies, Inc.
CV-10-5013459-S, Superior Court at Stamford, Connecticut
We sucessfully represented Xplore Technologies, a pubically traded company, in its action against billion dollar defense contractor, DRS Technologies, in a declaratory judgment action whereby we were able to enforce a Non-Compete/Non-disclosure agreement, which then allowed Xplore to successfully obtain a contract for rugged tablet computers from AT&T, valued in excess of $20,000,000.
Ashland Management, Inc. v. The Boston Company (a Mellon subsidiary)
Federal Court, Southern District of New York
We were retained by Ashland Management, a high net worth manager specializing in large cap equities, who in 2002 sold its wrap-fee business to Lighthouse Growth Advisors, an affiliate of the Dreyfus Companies and a Mellon subsidiary. This action involves Ashland’s Complaint to recover $5.5 million as part of a contingent payment based on a threshold related to the Assets Under Management that were transferred as part of the transaction. We are in the discovery phase of the litigation. Lighthouse is represented by Reed Smith.
Marshall Heaven v. Timber Hill/Interactive Brokers and Pickwick Plaza
Superior and Appellate Courts, Connecticut
We were were successful in first prevailing in a multi-day trial and then on appeal (where the defendant was represented by Day, Berry & Howard) on claims brought by a Greenwich based commercial real estate broker against both a tenant (one of the largest privately held financial firms in the U.S.) and the owner of Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, for space leased in one of the most valuable commercial complexes in Greenwich. (We settled with the building owner after the appeal was filed.) In the midst of the lower court proceedings we prevailed on the filing of a lis pendens on the complex, which held up the closing of the sale to a new owner for $122,000,000 until our client’s claim was bonded out. We also managed to have interest awarded against the tenant on the principal claim at the rate of 22% per annum.
Stotlhaven Terminals v. JLM International, Inc.
AAA Arbitration, New York
This multimillion dollar arbitration involved a subsidiary of Stolt Shipping, Inc. which operates a terminal and tank facility in New Jersey. We represented the user who terminated a complex through-put contract, when it purchased the assets of a division of Louis Dreyfus, who had the original contract with Stolt.
RubyMonte Maritime v. Browning Chemical
U.S. District Court, SDNY
We were retained by the purchaser of the assets of Browning Chemical Co. to defend an action in the amount of $2,500,000 brought by RubyMonte Maritime arising out of the decomposition of a container of thiourea dioxide carried on board M/V WEALTHY RIVER from China to the U.S. Our clients have claim over against the Browning shareholders for breach of the representations and warranties in the asset/purchase agreement for what we see as the failure to disclose this liability. The case is in its initial stages.
Enron Clean Energy v. JLM International, Inc.
U.S. District Court, SDNY/N.Y. Supreme Court, New York/Texas State Court
We represented the purchaser of bulk methanol under a year’s supply contract against claims by the supplier in excess of $1,750,000, when the market price of methanol dropped drastically in 1998. The case was litigated simultaneously in New York and Texas. The case settled under seal on terms favorable to our client, when the client was given authorization to force Enron to disclose its profit margins and cost structures.
Lane v. Credit Research & Trading LLC
American Arbitration Association, Connecticut; NASD Arbitration, New York
We tried a major case against a local securities broker/dealer who was represented by the New York office of Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts. The case was litigated over three months and involved mainly partnership and shareholder issues as they relate to B/D’s and the NASD. SEC and NASD rules and regulations were also involved. The case resulted in the early recovery/recapture in full of our client’s capital account and an additional 6 figure award, which was recently collected in full with interest. We also prevailed in defeating counterclaims of $1,800,000.
Dale Construction v. Nelson Peltz
American Arbitration Association, Westchester, NY
We tried an arbitration against Nelson Peltz, who is on the Forbes 400, relating to the construction of a $2.9 million pool house and a $1 million ice rink at his estate in Bedford, NY. The case settled in the 6 figure range under seal after the first day of arbitration, immediately after we convinced the Arbitration Panel they had the authority to award punitive damages.
Swiss Bank v. Chemical Trading, Inc.
Reported at 1995 WL 517183, 1995 WL 354847
United Stated District Court, Southern District of New York, 1995
We obtained summary judgment against Swiss Bank who sued our client for return of monies it alleged were wrongly paid under a letter of credit. The case involved the sale and shipment of chemicals in bulk from the U.S. to Morocco and the law regarding the obligations of Banque Marroicane, the opening/issuing bank in Morocco, Swiss Bank as the confirming bank in New York and our client, as Swiss Bank’s client. This case was intensely litigated with depositions of Swiss Bank employees in New York and of our client in Florida.
William Foxley v. Sotheby’s, Inc.
United Stated District Court, Southern District of New York
We represented one of the country’s largest collectors of Western art (and owner of at what was at one time the country’s largest cattle company) in a suit against Sotheby’s arising out of the fraudulent sale of art in an amount in excess of $650,000. The case was heavily litigated for two years and was also closely followed in the art and auction publications. We understand the case is reported in the most recent edition of Ralph Lerner’s Art and the Law. The case settled under seal but we can report the settlement favored our client.
Atlantique Mode, Inc. v. DJ, Industries, a subsidiary of VF Industries
American Arbitration Association, New York
Litigation in the United Stated District Court, Southern District of New York
We tried a three-month arbitration before the American Arbitration Association in New York, where we represented a French group that held certain license rights to an internationally known fashion line against the U.S. manufacturer, VF Industries, a publicly traded company that is best known for manufacturing Wrangler and Lee jeans. The claims involved breach of the license agreement, business destruction and commercial fraud in excess of $3,000,000. Simultaneously litigation was proceeding in the Southern District of New York. VF was represented by both the New York and Philadelphia offices of Deckert Price & Rhodes. After the final briefs were submitted, the case settled under seal in our client’s favor.
Olefins Trading, Corp. v. Han Yang Petrochemical Corp.
United Stated District Court, District of New Jersey;
United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Reported at 9 F.3d 282 (3d Cir. 1993)
We won a jury verdict against a billion dollar Korean petrochemical company represented by Kelly Drye & Warren, arising out of a multimillion dollar chemical trading contract. The trial judge reversed the jury and on appeal, we had the Judge reversed 3-0 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Olefins is now an important and often cited case in the areas of oral modifications to a UCC contract and the interplay of the common law and UCC 2-207. After the decision of the Third Circuit, the then managing partner of Kelly Drye retained us to handle all of his personal clients’ litigation. That relationship still exists today.
Isbrandtsen Marine Corp. v. Warren George and MPT Shipping
United Stated District Court, District of Connecticut
We commenced an action on behalf of a local tug boat operator against a number of parties to seek recovery of major towing and fuel bills. Opposing counsel were Robinson & Cole, Cummings & Lockwood and a major New York admiralty firm. We obtained a judgment for 100% of the claims, plus attorneys’ fees, which were fully collected.
Hobbs v. Florida DOT
Superior Court, Miami, Florida
We obtained a settlement for a surety in Florida (who bonded out a bankrupt contractor) from the Florida DOT in excess of $4 million. At that time, it was the fourth largest settlement in the Florida DOT’s history and arose out of a highly publicized bridge project leading into the Ft. Lauderdale Airport, which at one point during construction was seized by M-16 toting Florida State Troopers.
In re Boca Del Mar Shopping Center, Boca Raton, Florida
We represented sponsors of a syndicated limited partnership in breach of contract action with vendor (owner of the improvements) and ground owner/lessor of $14 million shopping center for failure to close and fraudulent presentment of ownership and closing documentation.
Hodges v. 40 Old Farm Road, LLC
Superior Court, Stamford, CT
We represented the seller and holder of the second mortgage in a number of actions relating to foreclosing on the mortgage and recovering on personal guaranties for the sale and financing of a waterfront lot in Darien, Connecticut.
Commercial Property, Staten Island, New York
Represented owner/landlord in successful eviction of tenant and subtenant of large commercial grocery store in third year of long term lease.