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Case of the Day: Hilt Construction v. Permanent Mission of Chad

The case of the day is Hilt Construction & Management Corp. v. Permanent Mission of Chad to the United Nations (S.D.N.Y. 2016). The claim was that Hilt had a contract with Chad’s mission to the United Nations and its ambassador, Cherif Mahamat, for the renovation of the ambassador’s official residence in New Rochelle. Hilt claimed it was not paid for part of its work and it sued for breach of contract and on a quantum meruit theory. The mission and the ambassador moved to dismiss.
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Case of the Day: Probulk Carriers v. Marvel International

The case of the day is Probulk Carriers Ltd. v. Marvel International Management and Transportation (S.D.N.Y. 2016). The underlying case was for breach of a charter party. Arbitration in London yielded an award in favor of Probulk, and the court in New York had entered a default judgment recognizing and enforcing the award and providing for damages of more than $12 million. Marvel was a Turkish firm; one of its principals was the father of Tolga Karacelik, a Turkish citizen who lived in Turkey.
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Case of the Day: Redeemer Committee v. Highland Capital Management

The case of the day is Redeemer Committee of Highland Credit Strategies Funds v. Highland Capital Management, LP (S.D.N.Y. 2016). Highland Capital Management was the manager of Highland Credit Strategies Master Fund, LP, a Bermuda mutual fund company. The Master Fund invested money received from two feeder funds, Highland Credit Strategies Fund, LP and Highland Credit Strategies Fund, Ltd. When the feeder funds decided to liquidate in 2008, Highland Capital Management and the investors agreed on a plan for distributing the assets of the Master Fund, to be overseen by a Redeemer Committee. They agreed to arbitration of any disputes that arose, to be held in New York and administered by the AAA. According to Highland Capital Management, the plan of distribution was “implemented in Bermuda in relation to Highland Credit Strategies Fund, Ltd. (a Bermuda company) by way of a scheme of arrangement under the Bermuda Companies Act 1981.” The plan of distribution had confidentiality provisions that were incorporated into the scheme of arrangement. The scheme of arrangement was approved by the Bermuda court and could not be changed without court approval.

A dispute arose, and the parties arbitrated in New York. The arbitration resulted in an award, which the Redeemer Committee moved to confirm. As required by the confidentiality provisions of the plan, the Redeemer Committee sought and received leave to file its petition for confirmation under seal. For its part, Highland Capital Management moved to vacate the award. Later, the parties agreed that the petition itself need not be sealed, but Highland Capital Management insisted that the award itself, and other materials, should remain under seal. The main argument was that Bermuda law applied and required sealing, and that therefore considerations of comity overrode the usual policy favoring public access to judicial records and proceedings.
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