S&C Critical Insights – Supreme Court Business Review: Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp

August 3, 2021

In the third episode of S&C’s Supreme Court Business Review series, hosts Judd Littleton and Julia Malkina are joined by Sharon Cohen Levin, former head of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, to discuss the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp.
The case considered whether an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act allowed the heirs of a group of Jewish art dealers to bring a lawsuit against Germany in U.S. federal court based on the Nazi regime’s expropriation of German medieval relics. The Court held that the heirs’ claim did not fall within the FSIA’s expropriation exception and therefore was barred by sovereign immunity.
Sharon shares the implications of this decision for future FSIA litigants, including heirs of Holocaust victims and victims of other genocides seeking to recover property taken by foreign governments.

S&C’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice
Led by former Acting Solicitor General of the United States Jeff Wall—who has argued more than 30 times before the U.S. Supreme Court—and drawing on the experience of 13 former U.S. Supreme Court clerks and more than 75 former federal circuit court clerks, S&C’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice adeptly handles challenging and high-profile appeals around the country. Our Supreme Court and Appellate lawyers collectively have significant experience before the Supreme Court and scores of other federal and state courts of appeals.
S&C’s Litigation Practice
Our Litigation Group draws upon S&C’s deep experience in corporate, financial and transactional law, forming integrated teams that handle any related or follow-on matters that arise. We manage issues through every stage of the litigation life cycle, before any court, arbitration panel or regulatory agency.