Bruce Clark and Sharon Nelles Named Litigators of the Week by The American Lawyer

October 30, 2014

On October 30, Mr. Clark and Ms. Nelles were named Litigators of the Week by The American Lawyer for their representation of Standard Chartered Bank in its landmark win in the New York Court of Appeals, which affirmed that New York's “separate entity” rule, which protects foreign bank branches from restraining notices served on their branches in New York, remains a valid rule of law. The action arose in the context of Motorola Credit Corp.'s decade-long attempt to collect funds from Turkey's Uzan family, held by Standard Chartered, for defrauding Motorola in a business transaction. AmLaw reports on the ruling, “The decision immediately sets back Motorola's bid for $30 million deposited with Standard Chartered in the Persian Gulf. More importantly, it means other judgment creditors can't look to New York as a shortcut to seize funds held by banks overseas.” Mr. Clark told the court in September, “We're talking about whether service by a lawyer on a New York branch. . . can create a situation where a foreign branch has to violate the laws in that country and be exposed to double liability, [a]nd it's not a matter of analyzing country by country whether there's a problem. It's a problem in every country.” Ms. Nelles commended the court for its decision, which “underscores the importance of the separate entity rule to facilitate international banking, and underscores New York's pre-eminence in global financial affairs.”