RCT Lawyers Named to Best Lawyers in America
Bill Reid and Eric Madden were recently selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for 2016. Selection to this group is based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
This recognition follows other professional accolades that RCT has received this year, including being named as a “Litigation Department of the Year Finalist” by Texas Lawyer.
RCT Named a Finalist for Small Firm Litigation Department of the Year
Texas Lawyer just announced that RCT has been selected as a Finalist in the 2015 Small Firm Litigation Department of the Year.
RCT OBTAINS RECOGNITION FOR ONE OF THE LARGEST CHAPTER 15 CASES
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On July 17, 2015, in one of the largest Chapter 15 cases, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York recognized Saad Investments Co. Ltd.’s insolvency proceeding in the Cayman Islands as a foreign main proceeding. SICL is the main holding company of a group of Saad entities controlled by Maan Al-Sanea, a Saudi Arabian billionaire once ranked by Forbes magazine as the world’s 62nd richest person.
RCT Secures $110 Million Judgment on Appeal over AJW Notes
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On behalf of the Joint Official Liquidators of the AJW Funds, New York’s Appellate Division, Second Department, ruled that the Liquidators can collect more than $110 million owed under promissory notes and personal guaranties. Former management of the AJW Funds sold convertible debentures to Bronson’s companies in return for the notes, which were never repaid. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s finding that there were factual issues concerning the amount of damages owed.
RCT wins $366 million judgment against ChinaCast’s former Directors and Officers
The Delaware Chancery Court awarded RCT’s client, ChinaCast Education Corporation, $366 million on its claims for breaches of fiduciary duty and other wrongdoing.
Tibanne, Parent of Bitcoin Company MtGox Granted Recognition of Its Japanese Proceeding
On April 2, 2015, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York granted foreign main recognition under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code of the Tibanne Co., Ltd bankruptcy proceeding pending in Tokyo, Japan. RCT represented Taro Awataguchi, the Trustee of Tibanne in his effort to obtain recognition. Tibanne is the parent company of MtGox, a company that reportedly lost over 750,000 customer bitcoins worth in excess of $400 million.
State of Tennessee Intervenes in $140 Million Qui Tam Suit and Retains RCT
On February 6, 2015, the State of Tennessee’s Consolidated Retirement System formally intervened in a $140 million suit filed by RCT on behalf of relator, Integra REC LLC, against numerous investment banks, including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Credit Suisse, for financial fraud in connection with knowingly misrepresented residential mortgage-backed securities purchased by the state’s retirement system. In connection with its intervention, the state has retained RCT to prosecute the case.
RCT Brings Class Action Against Pyramid Scheme
MXI is a company that sells supposed “healthy” chocolate products, including chocolate skin care products, through the brand Xocai (pronounced “sho-sigh”). RCT has filed a class action alleging that MXI is a scam that operates as an illegal pyramid scheme by focusing not on selling chocolate products to retail customers, but on endlessly recruiting participants to commit to purchasing MXI chocolate at wholesale prices on an ongoing basis in exchange for the right to receive compensation for recruiting other participants to do the same. The lawsuit alleges that MXI entices people to participate in the scheme with the prospect of large financial rewards when, in fact, hardly any participants make money and the vast majority lose their investments. MXI, of course, fails to inform its participants that they are almost certain to lose money.
RCT wins $40 Million jury verdict for fraud against Credit Suisse
On December 17, 2014, a Texas jury awarded a Highland Capital Management LP-managed entity $40 million, finding the Dallas-based hedge fund was defrauded by Credit Suisse AG units about the value of Las Vegas real estate underlying a $540 million refinancing loan.
Thelen Partners Found Liable for Claw-Back Payments
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In accordance with a Memorandum Opinion issued in November 2014, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of RCT’s client on claw-back actions commenced against former partners of Thelen LLP. The ruling found that former partners are liable for excess draw payments. Yann Geron, the chapter 7 trustee of Thelen LLP tapped RCT to handle 76 of the former partner actions, representing those partners who were hold outs and refused to participate in an earlier settlement. RCT settled most of the actions and proceeded to litigate to judgment against the remaining group.
D&O Action in Empire Broker-Dealer Case Settled
RCT obtained approval of a settlement on behalf of Deborah Piazza, the chapter 7 trustee of Empire Financial Group, Inc. resolving actions against former directors and officers. Empire was a broker dealer and a former subsidiary of Jesup & LaMont Inc. Both Empire and Jesup had cases pending in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York where the settlement was approved.
RCT WINS TENTH CIRCUIT APPEAL
On November 13, 2014, RCT prevailed against an international insurance company in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit concerning a $112 million abusive tax shelter. RCT convinced the court that the insurance company’s attempt to use federal interpleader was—as the court concluded—a “thinly veiled attempt to cap its potential liability” to RCT’s clients. In obtaining this favorable ruling, RCT successfully distinguished two prior Tenth Circuit cases involving similar facts that have been binding precedent for almost 60 years. See Aviva Life and Annuity Company v. White (In re Millennium Multiple Employer Welfare Benefit Plan), — F.3d —, 2014 WL 6056941 (10th Cir. 2014).
RCT CLIENT SETTLES CLAWBACK ACTION FOR $32.2 MILLION
On October 15, 2014, RCT client Sheila M. Gowan, Post-confirmation Plan Administrator for Dreier LLP, settled her clawback action against the Westford family of hedge funds for $32.2 million. The settlement, which is still subject to Bankruptcy Court approval, ends the last in a series of litigations Ms. Gowan brought against hedge funds that had invested in a massive Ponzi scheme operated by disgraced former attorney, Marc S. Dreier.
Virginia intervenes in $1.15 billion RMBS lawsuit filed by RCT
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On September 16, 2014, the Commonwealth of Virginia formally intervened in a $1.15 billion suit filed by RCT on behalf of the relator, Integra REC LLC, against numerous investment banks, including J.P. Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley, which knowingly misrepresented residential mortgage-backed securities purchased by the Virginia Retirement System.
RCT FILES $200 MILLION CLAIM AGAINST CHINACAST EDUCATION CORPORATION’S FORMER OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
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On August 25, 2014, RCT filed claims seeking over $200 million in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against five of ChinaCast’s former officers and directors on behalf of the Company for breaches of their fiduciary duties. As alleged in the lawsuit, ChinaCast’s former officers and directors breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, looting millions in cash and assets from the Company and its subsidiaries over the course of several years.
RCT Files Malpractice Claims Against Nixon Peabody and Mintz Levin
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On July 22, 2014, RCT filed a lawsuit in New York federal court against Mintz Levin, Nixon Peabody, and former insiders of Neogenix Oncology, a publicly reporting biotechnology company. As alleged in the complaint, the company’s former CFO, with the knowledge and consent of the company’s outside counsel, paid finder fees for sales of Neogenix stock, regardless of whether the “finders” were licensed to sell securities. This practice violated securities laws, triggered an SEC inquiry, and caused the company’s bankruptcy.
RCT Files $25 Million Claim Against Marcum
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On July 22, 2014, RCT filed a $25 million claim in New York Supreme Court against Marcum LLP on behalf of the Joint Official Liquidators of the AJW Offshore Funds. As alleged in the lawsuit, Marcum provided negligent audit reports that allowed the manager of the funds, The N.I.R. Group, LLC and its principal, Corey Ribotsky, to receive improper management and performance fees.
RCT Wins Jury Verdict
In April 2014, following a two-week jury trial in Texas state court, RCT obtained a judgment in favor of its client, Petroleum Wholesale, LP, a full-service gasoline distributor with operations in nine western states. RCT prevailed on its client’s breach-of-contract claims and successfully defended against counterclaims that its client breached a fuel supply agreement. The court awarded $740,000 to RCT’s client and nothing to the defendants on their $10 million counterclaim. RCT tried the case against Chris Bell, a former U.S. Congressman and Texas gubernatorial candidate.
RCT FILES $64 MILLION RMBS CLAIM AGAINST INVESTMENT BANKS
On April 2, 2014, RCT filed a $64 million petition in Travis County District Court on behalf of The Texas County and District Retirement System against numerous investment banks, including J.P. Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley, which knowingly misrepresented residential mortgage-backed securities. The Texas County and District Retirement System is a multibillion-dollar governmental entity created by the Texas Legislature that serves more than 655 Texas county and district employers, ranging from sheriff’s offices to water and hospital districts.
RCT WINS REVERSAL IN THE SECOND CIRCUIT
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On March 24, 2014, the Second Circuit reversed the trial court’s summary judgment ruling in an interpleader action, United States v. Barry Fischer Law Firm, LLC, et al., holding that the long-standing penal law rule barred Federative Republic of Brazil from asserting rights arising from a Brazilian criminal judgment. RCT represents the Joint Official Liquidators of Trade and Commerce Bank, a claimant in the interpleader action seeking the approximately $7 million in interpleaded funds.
RCT FILES $50 MILLION CLAIM AGAINST BUDDY FLETCHER AND OTHERS
On March 31, 2014, RCT filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher, Fletcher Asset Management, and others related to their alleged mismanagement of various offshore funds whose claims were pooled pursuant to a confirmed plan of reorganization that was approved by the bankruptcy court on March 27, 2014.
RCT FILES $80 MILLION CLAIM AGAINST DLA PIPER
In December 2013, RCT filed a lawsuit in New York state court against DLA Piper alleging that the law firm assisted an investment manager in defrauding two Cayman hedge funds. As alleged in the lawsuit, DLA Piper helped the investment manager misappropriate tens of millions of dollars from the Cayman hedge funds to make margin payments on behalf of a CDO that the investment manager also managed.
RCT obtains Approval of Settlement in Suit against Directors and Officers of Securities Firm
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RCT, special counsel to Yann Geron as Chapter 7 Trustee of Pali Holdings and Pali Capital, a defunct securities firm, obtained court permission to settle a suit commenced against 13 former officers and directors of Pali as well as one company. The settlement provides for an overall recovery in excess of $5.7 million. The settlement also provides other benefits to the Pali estates, including the disallowance of various related claims filed against the Pali companies.
RCT Settles Claims Against Partners and Former Partners of Thelen
RCT, as special counsel to the Trustee of Thelen LLP, settled overcompensation, fraudulent transfer, and other claims against 44 Thelen partners and former partners. RCT commenced 11 new actions against partners and former partners based on similar claims. Pending actions are subject to a motion to consolidate that will be heard next month.
Reid Collins & Tsai LLP Announces Addition Of New Partners And Opening Of Dallas Office
On August 26, 2013, RCT announced that trial lawyers Eric D. Madden and J. Benjamin King have joined the firm as partners. They will launch the firm’s new office in Dallas.
RCT Files $600 Million In Claims Against Credit Suisse
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On July 16, 2013, RCT filed two lawsuits against Credit Suisse seeking damages in excess of $600 million related to failed “dividend recapitalization loans” syndicated by Credit Suisse from 2005 to 2007. As alleged in the lawsuits, Credit Suisse marketed and sold the loans based on false appraisals, which grossly overvalued the real estate that collateralized the loans. Eventually, every deal soured, and the borrowers ended up in bankruptcy.
RCT Wins Arbitration Against KeyCorp
An Ohio arbitrator has ruled in favor of RCT’s client, a former KeyCorp employee, in an arbitration against KeyCorp. The arbitrator held that the employee’s separation agreement, in which he purported to waive all claims against KeyCorp, was void for lack of consideration. As a result of the arbitration victory, RCT is now proceeding with a multimillion-dollar breach-of-contract claim against KeyCorp in Texas federal court.
Hong Kong Court Authorizes JLA Asia to Appoint RCT
The Hong Kong High Court appointed RCT to assist JLA Asia, the Hong Kong liquidators of Smart Union Mining, in pursuing claims arising from the judgment against a NY resident who was party to a mining contract. The claims arise from the default on an obligation to acquire a mining company incorporated in the BVI. RCT has commenced a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court to enforce the multi-million Hong Kong judgment.
RCT Obtains Chapter 15 Recognition for ICP Funds
Judge Robert E. Gerber of the Bankruptcy Court for the S.D.N.Y. granted foreign main recognition to the Joint Official Liquidators of two ICP Strategic Credit Income Funds. The ICP Funds are Cayman Islands exempted limited liability entities that invested in the RMBS market. In addition to recognition, the Court granted several forms of additional relief to assist the Liquidators in commencing potential actions in the U.S.
Cayman Grand Court Authorizes the ICP/SCIF JOLs to Retain RCT
On July 22, 2013, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands authorized the JOLs of two offshore ICP Funds to hire RCT to pursue third-party litigation claims against a U.S. law firm and a European Bank, as well as to investigate claims against insiders and other third-party service providers.
RCT Settles $250 Million Lake Las Vegas Lawsuit Against CBRE
RCT has settled on confidential terms a lawsuit in Dallas state court against CBRE, Inc. The lawsuit alleged that CBRE issued a fraudulent or negligent appraisal that caused a group of funds to invest and lose more than $250 million in a $540 million refinancing loan made to the developers of the Lake Las Vegas master-planned residential and resort community in Nevada.
RCT Sues Former Managers of the AJW Funds
RCT filed suit against Corey Ribotsky and The NIR Group, LLC in New York Supreme Court on behalf of the Joint Official Liquidators of the AJW family of funds alleging fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty against the former managers of the AJW funds. The lawsuit alleges defendants artificially inflated the value of the AJW funds, which once reported assets under management of $800 million, for the purpose of collecting tens of millions of dollars in unjustified management and performance fees.
RCT Sues Bronson Over AJW Notes
On behalf of the Joint Official Liquidators of the AJW Funds, RCT has sued Edward Bronson and several of his companies to collect more than $85 million owed under promissory notes and personal guaranties. Former management of the AJW Funds sold convertible debentures to Bronson’s companies in return for the notes, which were never repaid. RCT moved for immediate summary judgment on the notes and guaranties in New York Supreme Court.
RCT Files Lawsuit against Astrotech
RCT has filed suit against T. Boone Pickens III, CEO of Austin-based Astrotech Corporation, and the company’s board of directors. The derivative lawsuit alleges that Astrotech’s staggering 89 percent decline in share value is attributable to Pickens’s mismanagement and self-dealing, and seeks to hold Pickens and his hand-picked board personally responsible.
RCT Retained by Chapter 7 Trustee in Securities Firm Suit
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RCT and its co-counsel, Fox Rothschild have filed a lawsuit in the S.D.N.Y. on behalf of Yann Geron, as chapter 7 trustee of Pali Capital and Pali Holdings. Prior to its liquidation, Pali Capital was known as a highly profitable securities firm. The suit seeks damages from Pali’s former directors and officers for breaches of fiduciary duty leading to the ultimate demise of the company as well as recovery of fraudulent conveyances and on a note.
RCT Obtains Chapter 15 Recognition for AJW Funds
Judge Alan Trust of the E.D.N.Y. granted foreign main recognition to the Joint Official Liquidators of the AJW family of funds. The AJW funds were Cayman Islands exempted limited liability funds that invested in PIPES. The Court found that the center of main interest of the funds was in the Cayman Islands and that the Official Liquidators should be recognized so that they could commence actions in the U.S.
RCT’s representation of Agape Trustee draws praise from Court
RCT sued MF Global, Inc. for fraudulent transfers of $27 million in the Agape bankruptcy. After MF Global, Inc. sought bankruptcy protection, Agape’s lawsuit was eventually transformed into a $15 million proof of claim, which the Agape Trustee auctioned for $13.5M. EDNY District Judge Eisenberg granted RCT’s subsequent fee application, saying that RCT had “done an excellent job” and could “be proud of the work you’ve done.”
Cayman Grand Court Authorizes the AJW JOls to Retain RCT
On December 24th, the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands authorized the JOLs of four offshore AJW Funds to hire RCT to pursue third-party litigation claims. Separately, the JOLs also act as liquidators for 6 onshore funds. The AJW funds were a failed PIPE investment fund that once had a NAV in excess of $800 million that has turned out to be almost entirely worthless. RCT is investigating claims against insiders and third-party service providers.
RCT Settles $95 Million Lawsuit Against Orrick
RCT has settled on confidential terms a legal malpractice lawsuit brought by a group of funds against Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. The lawsuit sought damages of $95 million for Orrick’s failure to advise the funds that their extension agreements with Royal Bank of Scotland, PLC allowed the bank to unilaterally terminate a proposed $400 million CLO transaction.
RCT Wins Important LSTA Ruling in the Fifth Circuit
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RCT obtained a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that reversed a federal district court’s dismissal of a breach of contract claim brought by Highland Capital Management, LP against Bank of America, NA. The central issue is whether the parties’ oral agreement to trade bank debtwas binding under the Loan Syndications and Trading Association Standard Terms and Conditions.
RCT Files Breach of Contract Lawsuit Against KeyCorp
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RCT has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas against KeyCorp on behalf of a former employee for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The lawsuit alleges KeyCorp failed to pay the employee a multi-million dollar bonus contractually owed in connection with the sale of the former asset manager, Austin Capital Management.
RCT Wins Important California Trust Fund Doctrine Ruling
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied a motion by former directors and officers of Asyst Technologies to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by RCT’s client, the trustee of the Asyst Technologies Liquidation Trust. In a matter of first impression under California law, the court ruled that directors and officers can be held liable for a breach of fiduciary duty for authorizing a payment by an insolvent company on an existing contract. Preferential payments can give rise to D&O liability in California.
RCT Settles Fraudulent Transfer Claim
RCT has settled several fraudulent transfer claims it is pursuing on behalf of FTI Consulting, Inc., trustee to the Centaur LLC Litigation Trust. Centaur LLC and its subsidiaries, some of the country’s leading horse racing, off-track betting, and casino operators, filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and 2010. The lawsuits seek to recover fraudulent transfers totaling over $40 million that were made in connection with the development of a race track and casino in Pennsylvania. RCT recently resolved one such claim, brought in the Delaware bankruptcy court, for $3.7 million.