The case of the day is Ivey v. Lynch (M.D.N.C. 2018). In 2012, a German court appointed Dr. Christian Willmer as the insolvency administrator for the assets of Ingolf Boex, who resided in Germany. The German court enjoined Boex from transferring his property and granted the power to dispose of Boex’s property to Willmer. Willmer hired Andrew Lynch, a Washington D.C. lawyer, to represent him concerning Boex’s property in the United States. Willmer executed documents appointing Lynch as an officer of the Carolinas Golf Development Company (apparently Boex had been the controlling shareholder) for the limited purpose of conveying a golf course to 71st Partners, LLC. Lynch, on Willmer’s instructions, executed and delivered a deed conveying the property. (It’s not critical to the outcome, but it’s curious to note that there were no ancillary proceedings under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code instituted in the United States with regard to Boex).
Meanwhile, an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding was begun against the Carolinas Golf Development Co. in North Carolina, and Charles Ivey was appointed trustee. Ivey sued Lynch for unjust enrichment, fraudulent transfer, and, in the alternative, breach of fiduciary duty on account of the sale. Lynch moved to dismiss on the basis of foreign official immunity.