Business & Commercial Disputes

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Overview

Recognized by Chambers USA as one of the nation’s leading commercial litigation groups, RK&O’s Business & Commercial Disputes group has over 25 years’ experience representing clients at the forefront of the financial services industry in disputes involving the most sophisticated products, practices, and issues, including:

  • Breach of complex commercial contracts and investment agreements, including agreements for the transfer of distressed credits
  • Breach of fiduciary duty and derivative claims
  • Inter-shareholder and inter-creditor disputes
  • Common law and securities fraud
  • Business torts
  • Breach of non-compete agreements

Our clients include many of the world’s largest investment banks, hedge funds and private equity firms. Our expertise extends as well to matters involving corporate governance, competition, executive compensation and creditors’ rights. more +

In addition to our financial services work, we represent portfolio companies and other clients across multiple industries, from manufacturing to media and software. Regardless of the industry, our clients choose us to represent them in the most complex and high-stakes engagements.

Our litigators are analytical, pragmatic and nimble. We have the expertise and experience to identify our clients’ best commercial outcome in each case and the focus to aggressively pursue that result.

Experience

  • Black Diamond Capital Management, a hedge fund manager, and its affiliates in various litigations including:
    • A lawsuit in New York State court against Oppenheimer entities and Eaton Vance seeking specific performance of an agreement to sell ownership interests in a limited liability corporation. Control over that company hinges on the outcome. The case was tried to a judge over nine trial days.
    • Lawsuits against Barclays Bank PLC in New York and Connecticut state courts relating to the termination of a $1.5 billion total return swap.
    • A $100 million inter-creditor dispute in New York Supreme Court related to the disposition of assets of GSC Group, Inc., an investment management firm that filed for bankruptcy. The minority lenders sued for breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. RK&O successfully opposed efforts by minority lenders to impose various provisional remedies.
  • A major law firm in a derivative lawsuit seeking rescission of two Stock Purchase Agreements on the grounds that they were induced by fraud.
  • An investment fund in a breach of contract action brought against the Republic of Argentina for failure to pay millions of dollars owed on GDP-linked warrants that were issued as part of a restructuring of Argentina’s debt.
  • An affiliate of Versa Capital Management that is the senior secured lender to and holder of priority rights to a borrower’s assets. Plaintiff obtained a $10 million judgment against the borrower and commenced proceedings to collect its judgment from assets that constitute the security for our client’s loan. We intervened in the underlying action and engaged in extensive motion practice to protect those assets from Plaintiff’s collection efforts.
  • Inter-American Development Bank in litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to enforce guarantees on a loan issued to a Latin American alternative energy company. We obtained summary judgment in the amount of $169 million against the guarantors and then enforced the judgment in the United States and abroad.
  • Oracle Partners and an affiliate in breach of contract and fraud litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The dispute arose out of an investment made by the plaintiff which relates to real estate holdings in Florida. We successfully obtained both a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the defendants requiring the transfer of the real estate at issue to our client during the pendency of the litigation.
  • Credit Suisse, Appaloosa Management and numerous other clients in litigations arising out of distressed loan, debt or bond transactions that collapsed after disputes arose over the corresponding obligations of the parties. We have been on the forefront of the development of New York law concerning damages available in the context of broken trades of distressed loans, as well as the obligations of parties to trade confirms and during the post-trade settlement period. Our expertise in this area recently permitted the firm to deploy damages precedents from a representation involving the termination of an agreement to purchase a distressed loan in a later dispute over the transfer of LLC units in order to attack the plaintiffs’ damages and achieve an early, favorable settlement for our client.
  • Vestis Investments II, LLC as plaintiff in a breach of contract action against Sportsdirect.com Retail Ltd. seeking more than $7 million due from the sale of Vestis’s secured debt in Eastern Outfitters, LLC. The parties reached a settlement on terms highly favorable to our client.
  • Boeing Company in all of Boeing’s 9/11-related wrongful death and property damage litigation. We played a lead role in defending against plaintiffs’ damages theories and property claims, which together exceeded $15 billion. We obtained a grant of summary judgment capping claims against Boeing and other defendants at $2.8 billion. After a bench trial in July 2013, the Court held that the $2.8 billion claim was completely offset by $4.1 billion of insurance recoveries and dismissed all claims against Boeing. Plaintiffs dismissed their claims against Boeing while the appeal was pending.
  • Financial Guaranty Insurance Company ("FGIC") as national litigation counsel for a monoline bond insurer whose credit rating was downgraded as a result of the mortgage crisis. We represented FGIC in class actions and other litigations in New York, Alabama, California, Louisiana and Arizona. The litigations raised complex antitrust and fraud issues related to the subprime mortgage crisis, structured finance, municipal finance and the system of dual credit ratings for municipalities and private corporations.
  • AMI Semiconductor as co-trial counsel in the defense of a federal court action brought by a company alleging breach of a non-disclosure agreement covering design features for application-specific integrated circuits. The action settled on terms favorable to our client at the close of the plaintiff’s case at trial.

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