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Practice Overview
Practices

Litigation

Favorable results at trial and through settlement

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With a strong dedication to client advocacy, the litigation attorneys at Olshan are regularly called upon to handle clients’ most difficult and challenging litigation law issues.

Our litigation attorneys are nationally recognized by client and peer-reviewed rating groups such as Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for their abilities and effectiveness in litigation. The firm's Litigation practice has been acknowledged by the prestigious client and peer-reviewed directory Chambers USA for General Commercial Litigation: Highly Regarded (New York) and recognized as "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News-Best Lawyers in New York City Metropolitan. Chambers comments include, "If I needed a litigator, they'd be at the top of my list."

We represent publicly held companies, privately held entities and individuals in a wide range of commercial litigation matters before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, self-regulatory organizations, and in arbitration.

Litigation Trial Preparation

Our New York litigation attorneys take a significant number of matters to trial each year. As such we are highly skilled and efficient in conducting the strategic and tactical preparations that can make or break a case. In fact, in a recent federal decision where the losing party challenged our fee application, the Court stated that “there is no basis whatever for any reduction in the proposed fee award for the services of Olshan. This case was litigated efficiently and at far less cost than I might have expected. The Olshan fee request is entirely reasonable.”

Our litigation attorneys first perform extensive early case analysis to identify the case’s strengths and weaknesses and determine the most effective means of achieving a favorable resolution, including if litigation can or should be avoided or settlement is advisable. We understand our clients’ businesses, and know how to prioritize litigation within the overall scope of their business operations. We staff based on the needs of each individual case, and have the ability to draw from a deep pool of veteran litigators when stakes are high. We also leverage the latest litigation support technology to reduce client costs and improve efficiency.

Trial Experience

Our leading litigation partners have over 60 winning verdicts tried to either jury or judge. The department as a whole has had similarly successful results in arbitration before FINRA, AAA, JAMS and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) forums.

We believe our success rate at trial and in ADR is exceptional.  The fact is the overwhelming majority of litigation is resolved either through motion practice and/or settlement.  Our trial preparation and confidence helps us file sharper motions and obtain more favorable settlements on behalf of our clients.

Many of the cases our litigation attorneys handle are in the news. In fact, a significant portion of our commercial litigation work is on behalf of publicly traded companies and funds with significant holdings in public companies. As a result, our litigation attorneys have extensive experience handling a wide range of business disputes. We are particularly skilled in corporate and securities matters, including those involving securities fraud allegations, broker-dealer disputes, contests for corporate control, and shareholder disputes. We also handle high stakes contract, D&O, employment, unfair competition, Lanham Act, intellectual property, bankruptcy and real estate litigation, as well as legal matters related to the art world. Several of our litigation attorneys are former prosecutors with substantial experience in white-collar criminal proceedings, so we litigate a number of those cases as well.

Litigation Counsel

The Litigation Group is routinely called upon to advise public and private companies and boards of directors in a variety of areas ranging from control and corporate governance issues to shareholder matters. Our attorneys have conducted internal investigations of both public and private entities, including retentions by independent board members of publicly held companies.

Litigation Referrals

Many of our litigation cases are referred from other firms, from Am Law 50 law firms to solo practices. A typical referral arises from a conflict, the need for co-counsel or when a dispute occurs within a partnership or joint venture. Often, the referring firm has litigated with or against us previously and respects the quality of our work on behalf of clients. We accept these limited engagements with a mutual respect and appreciation for the referring firms’ ongoing client relationships.

Noteworthy

Chambers USA 2021

  • Prevailed Before the Second Circuit in Major Short Swing Profit Ruling
    Prevailed before the Second Circuit in a significant case involving the application of Section 16’s short swing profit rule to hedge funds. The District Court ruled that the hedge fund was liable under Section 16 for $5 million in short swing profits on the theory that its delegation of investment authority over its portfolio to its registered investment advisor was ineffective. The District Court had cited the overlap in executive personnel between the fund and the advisor as one reason for the ineffectiveness of the delegation as well Second Circuit case law holding internal delegations within a limited partnership ineffective. The Second Circuit vacated the District Court’s ruling and made clear the delegation from the hedge fund to its investment would be effective so long as the fund and advisor were not under the common control of a single person or entity.
  • Achieved Trial Victory in New York’s Commercial Part
    Obtained a complete victory at trial on behalf of a long standing real estate client. The plaintiffs had invested with the client in a project that went into foreclosure after the markets crashed in 2008. The plaintiffs alleged a series of oral side deals, and also claimed that due to their lack of sophistication, the client owed them a fiduciary duty. They sought over $9 million after a three day bench trial, the court found for defendant, ruling that the plaintiffs' testimony was not credible. The successful outcome was the direct result of extensive cross examination of plaintiffs which exposed the many contradictions and gaps in their claims. The trial was conducted before Justice Schechter in the New York County Commercial Part.
  • Matter of People Care Incorporated v. The City of New York Human Resources Administration
    Successfully convinced the First Department that the City of New York Human Resources Administration (HRA) has no authority to recoup funds provided to client People Care, Inc. by the New York State Department of Health pursuant to the Health Care Reform Act.  The First Department, in an important 3-2 decision involving complex issues of statutory and regulatory interpretation, upheld the decision of the New York State Supreme Court, New York County granting People Care’s Article 78 petition and annulling HRA’s demand to recoup approximately $7 million from People Care.  The decision came after a decade of litigation with the City and represented a rare appellate victory against the City in regulatory affairs.
  • Obtain Injunction Blocking Proposed Three-Way Merger
    Represented FrontFour Capital Group LLC and FrontFour Master Fund, Ltd. on claims that the Board of Directors of Medley Capital Corporation (“MCC”) breached their fiduciary duty in approving a merger transaction with MCC’s affiliates, Medley Management, Inc. (“MDLY”) and Sierra Income Corporation (“SIC”), in expedited proceedings filed one month ago.
  • Multi-Million Dollar Jury Award to Olshan Client IDX Capital
    Represented IDX Capital LLC in a six-week jury trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan after which the jury awarded IDX, and two of its former principals, $8.25 million, including punitive damages, against two former business associates whose actions doomed a potential $25 million buyout of the firm by Knight Capital Group Inc.
  • Achieve Delaware Litigation Victory for Client Stilwell Value
    Represented Stilwell Value in connection with a complaint against HopFed Bancorp Inc. and awarded over $600k in legal fees.
  • Olshan Blocks Hilton from Terminating Top Performing Franchise
    Won a temporary restraining order in New York state court to block the imminent termination of a $50 million hotel franchise and prevent default on a $35 million mortgage.
  • JFK Hotel’s Lawsuit Against Hilton and CIBX
    Represented the Vista Group, owners of the JFK DoubleTree, in the re-branding of the hotel to a new flag after partially settling a lawsuit against the trustee holding the hotel’s mortgage which had alleged a loan default.
  • Recovery of Client’s Advance to Contractor
    Recovered a $700,000 advance made by an affiliate of client Forest City Ratner to an electrical contractor, who later withdrew when the parties could not come to terms on a final contract. Olshan persuaded the Judge that the work could not be substantiated, and the Court awarded a judgment for virtually all of the amount advanced. The award provides protection for developers when wayward subcontractors do not return funds that are advanced.
  • First Department Victory for Client Laurent Imbert
    Successfully convinced the First Department to grant summary judgment in favor of client Laurent Imbert on a claim brought by plaintiffs LCM Holdings GP, LLC and LCM Interest Holding, LLC, which sought to compel Imbert to forfeit his one-third membership interest in those entities. Imbert, a founder and former manager of LCM, had sought summary judgment in the New York Supreme Court on LCM’s claim, on the grounds that neither Delaware law nor the governing operating agreements permitted such forfeiture. The First Department agreed, reversing the Supreme Court’s denial of Imbert’s motion, and declaring that Imbert continues to own his shares in the subject companies and is not required to sell those shares to plaintiffs.
  • Successful Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants for Florida Client
    Represented Point Blank Enterprises, an international leader in the design and manufacture of body armor, in obtaining a broad injunction enjoining former Point Blank employees from starting up a competing body armor business. A Florida judge agreed with Olshan and Florida counsel, Berger Singerman LLP, that the ex-employees had misappropriated Point Blank’s confidential information and breached their non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and should be sidelined for 4½ months. The court further held that the former employees would be prohibited from soliciting Point Blank’s customers and employees for 16½ months.
  • NYS Supreme Court, Commercial Division, Rules in Favor of Accipiter Capital
    New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, ruled in favor of Olshan clients, including Accipiter Capital Management, LLC, stating that a lack of damages and the Delaware business judgment rule blocked an investor's claims of grossly negligent management of her hedge fund interests.
  • Trial Victory for Digirad Corporation
    Delaware Chancery Court ruled after a trial that a contested election to replace Digirad Corporation’s Board of Directors was valid. This was a significant decision on the conduct of proxy solicitations, leading to a victory for Olshan client Digirad. The litigation involved investors, the Red Oak Fund, which had challenged Digirad’s contested election for several director seats this past spring. Red Oak ran a slate of directors to oppose Digirad’s nominees in the 2013 election. Red Oak challenged the integrity of the election process via litigation. After several weeks of intense discovery and multiple depositions in a very short period of time, Olshan tried the case in Delaware. The decision validated the election process and thus the election of Digirad’s director nominees.
  • Close Purchase of Bankrupt Property for Bonjour Capital
    Represented Bonjour Capital and its principal Charles Dayan in connection with its taking of the title to 333 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn, New York from two bitterly fighting debtors. Originally, Olshan represented Banco Popular in a mortgage foreclosure action against the debtors. After achieving summary judgment, Banco sold the mortgage to a third party. Olshan represented Bonjour in the purchase of the mortgage from that third party, then moved to lift the stay. After negotiating with the debtors, Bonjour took title through a plan of reorganization. The deal will allow the new owner to proceed with the 57-unit rental project, which has been on hold for six years.
  • Delaware Appraisal Rights Proceeding
    Represented a group of mutual funds in a Delaware appraisal rights proceeding in which a settlement was reached on the eve of trial under which our clients received a 50% premium to the original merger consideration.
  • Dispute Under a Municipal Leasing Agreement
    Received a judgment, after trial, in favor of a national banking institution against a municipality related to a dispute under a municipal leasing agreement.
  • Enforcement and Anti-Counterfeiting Litigation
    Represented numerous holders of trademarks and other intellectual property rights in various enforcement and anti-counterfeiting litigation.
  • NASD arbitrations
    Recovered in excess of $10,000,000 in NASD arbitrations for several foreign investors who purchased complex derivative securities from a major financial institution.
  • NASD Enforcement Action
    Represented a hedge fund and its principals in an NASD enforcement action alleging fraud, in which, after a full hearing on the merits, the claims brought by the NASD were dismissed in their entirety.
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals Reversal of $70 Million Judgment
    Obtained a reversal from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of a lower court decision overturning a $70 million judgment in our client's favor against the government of Russia. The appeal involved the interpretation and recognition of foreign arbitral awards.
  • Six-Day Jury Trial
    Represented a publicly-held company and its subsidiary involved in the internet auction business in a six-day jury trial in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court in which the client received a jury award on all of its claims, including breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition, against a former high-level officer and his newly-formed entity.
  • Southern District Bankruptcy Court Securities Fraud Matter
    Received summary judgment for our client, an investment vehicle that purchased securities in a bankruptcy sale of a broker-dealer, in a matter before the Southern District Bankruptcy Court that involved claims of securities fraud.
  • Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act
    Obtained summary judgment for a financial institution, dismissing multiple claims by a former employee alleging employment discrimination in violation of Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.

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