AS REPORTED IN NUMEROUS MAJOR MEDIA OUTLETS
Firm Represents International Developer in $1.2B Suit Over Tanked Project
On February 27, 2018, Barclay Damon commenced an action in federal court in Chicago seeking recovery of $1.2 billion on behalf Shelbourne North Water Street Corporation, the frustrated developer of the Chicago Spire, against National Asset Management Agency and National Asset Loan Management, both statutory bodies of the Republic of Ireland. The verified complaint asserts claims for breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, breaches of statutory and common law duties to preserve confidential information, and spoilation of evidence.
Shelbourne has demanded a jury trial. This will be the first jury trial the defendants have faced since their creation in 2009 as a consequence of the Irish/World Financial Crisis. Shelbourne is owned by Garrett Kelleher, a well-known Irish international real estate developer, who either personally or through one of his companies is currently engaged in litigation with the defendants in Brussels, Ireland, and now the United States.
Shelbourne has not abandoned hope of completing the Spire—a project in which it has already invested over $300 million. If constructed, the Spire, designed by world-renowned Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor, and painter Santiago Calatrava, will be at 2,000 feet the tallest residential building in North America and be located facing Lakeshore Drive on the last major undeveloped site in downtown Chicago.
The well-seasoned Barclay Damon team is led by J. Joseph Bainton. Chicago counsel is Freeborn & Peters LLP. The case has attracted considerable attention in both the Irish and US press, including the following publications:
A copy of the verified complaint, jury demand, and notice of reliance on foreign law can be obtained by clicking here.
NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL
Managing partner John Langan Shares Firm Growth, Vision in Q&A
The New York Law Journal published “Barclay Damon: Am Law 50 Firms Fighting Hard to Regain Lost Market Share,” a Q&A article with managing partner John P. Langan. Learn more about Barclay Damon’s progress and Langan’s thoughts on topics including the evolution of midsize firms, alternative fee arrangements, millennial lawyers, technology, and more in the full article here.
National Law Journal
"Barclay Damon jumped onto several of our top charts"
In an article accompanying its 2016 list of the country’s 500 largest law firms, the National Law Journal says, “Barclay Damon jumped onto several of our top charts, including largest gains in total attorneys, size of the partnership, and associate ranks.”
The article notes attorney numbers at the firm were level from 2008 until last year, and quotes John P. Langan, managing partner: "When there is no growth, it's weird in the group dynamics [of a firm]. Things can get stale or intractable."
But with growth came excitement, the article says, explaining that “the chart-topping happened because of the combination between Hiscock & Barclay, a NLJ 350 firm last year with more than 200 attorneys, and the 90-lawyer Damon Morey.”
"There's dust in the air, and noise and coffee cups with cigarettes in them,” Langan says in the article, “but when you're done, you're so happy you did it."
Barclay Damon is the 157th largest law firm on the NLJ 2016 list.
New Deputy Managing Partner
Barclay Damon Elects M. Cornelia Cahill
October 4, 2017—Barclay Damon announces the election of M. Cornelia (Connie) Cahill to the newly created position of deputy managing partner, effective January 1, 2018. Connie will work closely with John P. Langan, the firm’s managing partner, to guide the firm and ensure its continued success. At Barclay Damon and many other law firms, the managing partner operates as chief executive officer of the enterprise.
Connie has been a member of Barclay Damon’s Management Committee for nine years and is its longest-standing member. As the Albany representative on the Management Committee, her responsibilities include oversight of the Albany, Boston, and Washington DC offices. During Connie’s tenure, the Albany office has doubled in size to roughly 40 attorneys and is now ranked in the Capital District as the second-largest law firm office.
As a public finance attorney and chair of that practice, Connie has more than 25 years of experience serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, institution counsel, and bank counsel in a wide range of transactions. During her career, Connie has trained and led teams of public finance professionals that serve clients located throughout New York State, from Long Island to Buffalo. These clients include the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, New York State Housing Finance Agency, New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, numerous industrial development agencies and local development corporations, more than 100 municipalities and school districts, and all of the major investment bank underwriting firms active in the state. Under Connie’s leadership, the firm’s Public Finance Practice Area is one of the highest performing groups at the firm.
Connie was instrumental in forming the firm’s Women’s Forum, an affinity group that encourages, mentors, and champions women attorneys to enhance and promote their professional and personal success. In addition to internal activities, the Women’s Forum hosts events throughout New York State for women clients and friends of the firm to share information, experiences, strategies, and problem-solving ideas in an open, trusting, and supportive environment.
Connie received her undergraduate degree from Siena College, her Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School, her LLM in Tax from New York University, and started her career at Millbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in New York City.
“We are honored to welcome Connie to this important new role,” John Langan said, “and I join my partners in their excitement for her expanded leadership role. Connie’s accomplishments as a partner and leader of the firm have been second to none, and I look forward to the successes that are in store for the firm with her involvement at the helm. Our valued clients, our 275 attorneys, and our roughly 425 members of the Barclay Damon family are indeed fortunate to have Connie’s leadership and vision.”
Connie added, “I am grateful to work with so many talented and hard-working professionals and to take on new challenges and opportunities involved in helping lead this extraordinary, progressive firm. Under John’s leadership, the firm has embraced excellence, change, growth, and diversity and inclusion, making these cornerstones of everything we do. The firm’s support and advancement of the Women’s Forum, our award-winning pro bono and shadowing programs, and our culture of inclusiveness make me proud to be part of Barclay Damon. I look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our clients while working with our management team as deputy managing partner to help guide the firm to even greater heights.”
In addition to creating the deputy position, Barclay Damon has also established a chair position that remains unoccupied at this time. The position is available to serve the managing partner on select assignments by former managing partners transitioning from their position. As John Langan has served with distinction as managing partner for almost 18 years, the chair position is designed to allow the firm to access his expertise after his eventual transition.
As noted by Langan, “The managing partner of Barclay Damon historically has been resident in the Syracuse office, but consistent with our multi-office platform and our “no home office” structure, we were pleased to see another first—that the partners elected Connie as an Albany office resident. Connie’s election to the deputy managing partner position creates shared executive leadership to ensure that the firm remains strong and forward-looking for the benefit of our clients and employees.”
Barclay Damon LLP, listed as a “Top 250 Firm” by The National Law Journal, is a full-service law firm with offices throughout the major cities of New York State and in Toronto, Boston, Washington, DC, and Newark. At 275 lawyers, Barclay Damon is the largest law firm in the Northeastern United States that is not centered in a major market. Barclay Damon provides comprehensive legal and business counsel to a diverse client base in 33 practice areas.
Inside the Final DOL Regulations on Disability Claims
Partner Arthur A. Marrapese III’s article “Inside the Final DOL Regulations on Disability Claims” published by Law360.
Partner Arthur A. Marrapese III’s article “Inside the Final DOL Regulations on Disability Claims” has been published by Law360. The full article can be located below.
The US Department of Labor has announced that April 1, 2018, will be the effective date of regulations detailing the new federal standards that apply to an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan’s administrative process for resolving disputes involving disability benefits. The new rule applies to disability claims filed after April 1, 2018. The new standards will likely require amendments to most ERISA-governed disability plans, and other ERISA-governed benefit arrangements that confer benefits based on a participant’s (or beneficiary’s) disability.
The new rules apply to any ERISA-covered plan under which the claims fiduciary has discretionary authority to determine whether a participant or beneficiary is disabled. When a plan provides a benefit, the availability of which is conditioned on a finding of disability made by a party other than the plan, (e.g., the Social Security Administration or the employer’s long-term disability plan), then a claim for benefits is not treated as a disability claim for purposes of the new rule.
Read the full article outlining the key requirements for the new rules here.
Barclay Damon LLP, listed as a “Top 250 Firm” by The National Law Journal, is a full-service law firm with offices throughout the major cities of New York State and in Toronto, Boston, Washington DC, and Newark. At 275 lawyers, Barclay Damon is the largest law firm in the Northeastern United States that is not centered in a major market. Barclay Damon provides comprehensive legal and business counsel to a diverse client base in 33 practice areas. For more information, visit barclaydamon.com.
Transportation Annual Year in Review: 2018
Barclay Damon's Transportation Team Reviews 2017
Barclay Damon’s transportation team again looks back at the past year’s important cases in transportation law. Our review of 2017 follows and includes links to decisions for the cases discussed.
1. Insurance Coverage Litigation
Always looking for additional deep pockets, plaintiffs’ lawyers sometimes look to the owners and insurers of trailers to contribute to judgments secured against the motor carriers that have possession of those trailers. Sentry Select Insurance Co. v. Lopez, 241 F. Supp. 3d 777 (W.D. Tex.) is among the latest in a series of decisions relating to trailer coverage, stemming from a one-vehicle accident that resulted in the death of the two men who had shared driving duties for the rig. The accident has led to many litigations, some of which we have described in past years. Goal Transports, insured by Sentry, had leased the trailer at issue and had hired Trans Front to move its freight on an ongoing basis between Texas and Mexico. At the end of the day, though, it was Moore Transportation, with drivers Munoz and Franceware, who were hauling the Goal trailer with cargo unrelated to Goal’s business and far from the international border. The two men were injured in a one-vehicle collision. Goal was unfamiliar with Moore and had not been in touch directly with Moore or the drivers. Could the Moore drivers, nonetheless, be deemed permissive users of the Goal trailer.
Click to read more.
Gilberti Combo Earns Media Praise
Articles cite growth of firm, energy practice
Barclay Damon’s addition of 11 attorneys and all staff from the energy-environmental firm Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, announced November 1, 2017, received coverage from numerous high-profile media outlets.
- In New York Law Journal, “Gobbling Smaller Firms, Barclay Damon Sets Sights on Growth,” author Christine Simmons quotes John Langan, Barclay Damon’s managing partner, saying the deal with Gilberti will qualify the firm for AmLaw 200 ranking. Simmons also notes the firm “is in serious talks now with two smaller firms for mergers that could close next year.”
- In Law360, “Barclay Damon Picks Up NY Enviro, Energy Boutique,” author Adam Lidgett quotes Langan saying that bringing on attorneys from Gilberti is part of the larger growth of Barclay Damon’s energy practice. “The firm recently completed a deal to add four attorneys from the Massachusetts-based McCauley Lyman LLC to its renewable energy team,” Lidgett notes.
Other notable articles include:
- Syracuse.com, “Powerful Syracuse Law Firm Barclay Damon Brings Another Local Firm Into Its Fold”
- Central New York Business Journal, “Barclay Damon Combines With Gilberti Law Firm”
- Buffalo Law Journal, “Syracuse-Based Law Firm Acquired by Barclay Damon”
Law360 Publishes IP Litigators’ Expert Analysis
Vogel and Satra Author “Proactive Brand Strategies for Pharma Innovators”
Law360 published an expert analysis article by Laura Vogel and Bella Satra, attorneys in Barclay Damon’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Area who have extensive experience representing pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies. “Proactive Brand Strategies for Pharma Innovators” focuses on a dynamic and innovative approach to Hatch-Waxman Act pre-litigation counseling.
Read more here.
Barclay Damon Expands Higher Education Offerings
Barclay Damon has experience representing dozens of colleges and universities across the Northeast. The firm’s higher education services include: day-to-day academic, business and corporate matters; labor and employment; student discipline and affairs; NCAA compliance; tax matters (including tax-exempt issues); real estate, financing and construction; employee benefits; litigation; higher education regulatory issues; and health care.
Cyber Security Services
New cyber security services launched.
Barclay Damon is pleased to offer clients newly enhanced legal services in the critical area of cyber security.
There is no question that data is a strategic asset for any company, and commitments relating to its use, sharing, acquisition, and storage can have long-term impact on a company’s business. At Barclay Damon, we are focused on protecting businesses in a digital world. Our attorneys represent clients in investigations, crisis responses to data breach incidents, litigation, government relations, and transactions, providing sound counsel on the full range of legal issues concerning cyber security, privacy and data protection.
Barclay Damon offers clients practical guidance across the spectrum of cyber risks, drawing on the deep experience of many lawyers whose backgrounds allow the firm to help clients keep up with fast-changing data protection laws. In addition, we assist clients in addressing complex workplace privacy issues, including employee data breach response, employee surveillance, data privacy policies, privacy issues arising from the use of technology, and unique data transfer issues for employees.
Through cyber protection planning, data breach coaching, and the defense of clients’ interests in court, our objective is to assist clients in preparing for and reducing data and security related risks.
Clients of many of the firm’s practice areas take advantage our attorneys’ multidisciplinary cyber security expertise. These practice areas include Commercial Litigation, Corporate, Insurance Coverage & Regulation, Labor & Employment, White Collar, and more.
State Supreme Court Decision
Barclay Damon Succeeds in Getting Cellino and Barnes Court Docs Unsealed
A Barclay Damon team led by Karim A. Abdulla and Joseph M. Finnerty succeeded in its request to have court documents in the legal fight between law partners Ross M. Cellino Jr. and Stephen E. Barnes unsealed. The ruling was made June 26 by State Supreme Court Judge Deborah Chimes.
The complaint filed last month by Cellino seeking to break up the prominent law firm had previously been sealed by Judge Chimes due to undue anxiety she believed disclosure of its contents would cause the firm’s clients and employees. Barclay Damon’s request to have it unsealed was made on behalf of the Buffalo News, New York Daily News, and New York Post.
The high-profile decision has been widely covered by media, including extensive quotes from Abdulla, who is cited in the Buffalo News saying, “Open courts help to ensure that the legal process remains fair and transparent.”
Abdulla and Finnerty are members of the firm’s Media & First Amendment Law Practice Area. Finnerty serves as the practice’s chair.
Renewable Energy Expands
Barclay Damon Expands Its Renewable Energy Team
Barclay Damon is expanding its renewable energy practice with the addition of four attorneys from the New England-based firm McCauley Lyman. The new lawyers—Don McCauley, Frank Lyman, Jill D. Winans, and Michael J. Blasik—will join Barclay Damon as of counsel, while remaining partners of their firm. This strategic alliance will provide additional bench strength to Barclay Damon’s already substantial renewable energy practice by adding four lawyers with 30 years of experience in the areas of solar and wind energy development.
Barclay Damon’s renewable energy practice, led by Richard R. Capozza and Brenda D. Colella, represents clients across the renewable energy sector, including in hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass. McCauley Lyman has national experience in renewable energy project development, siting, and finance, with an emphasis on solar energy projects. The strategic alliance of the firms will expand the scope of each firm in terms of energy expertise and geographic reach.
John P. Langan, Barclay Damon’s managing partner, said, “The deal presents an opportunity for our firm to enhance the services we already provide nationally to the renewable energy sector, increasing our capabilities in particular on the east and west coasts and in the southwest. With a team of attorneys that is well aligned with us, the combination of McCauley Lyman attorneys with Barclay Damon will allow us to deliver even stronger energy capabilities to our clients while providing McCauley Lyman clients with additional services in a wide range of areas our firm is known for, such as regulatory, environmental, tax, and mergers and acquisitions.”
Don McCauley noted, “We look forward to providing expanded services to existing and new clients through Barclay Damon’s breadth and depth of practice expertise. The added practices and resources of this full-service firm combined with its established reputation as a key provider to the renewable energy industry will enable us to offer more comprehensive solutions.”
Barclay Damon LLP, listed as a “Top 250 Firm” by The National Law Journal, is a full-service law firm with offices throughout the major cities of New York State and in Toronto, Boston, Washington, DC, and Newark. At 275 lawyers, Barclay Damon is the largest law firm in the Northeastern United States that is not centered in a major market. Barclay Damon provides comprehensive legal and business counsel to a diverse client base in 33 practice areas regionally and nationally.
Major Jury Verdict!
Major competitor found to willfully infringe innovator’s patent.
In a federal district court patent infringement suit, Barclay Damon represented the top innovator in the broadband cable industry and successfully obtained a jury verdict of willful infringement against a major competitor.
Barclay Damon sued on behalf of the innovator, won favorable claim construction rulings in district court, and defended the validity of the patents at issue in reexamination proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Supreme Court Decision
Supreme Court Provides Murky Guidance on Standard For Implied False Claims Liability
On June 16, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in University Health Services Inc. v. Escobar on the issue of implied certification as a basis for False Claims Act liability. The case squarely presented the unsettled question of where the line of materiality should be drawn where there has been no obvious departure from established conditions of payment, but liability was based upon a lack of technical compliance with applicable laws and regulations rendering a government claim technically improper.
The Court held that the “implied false certification theory” is a valid means of imposing liability on health care providers under the False Claims Act, identifying two conditions that must be met for the implied certification theory to apply: (1) the request for payment must make specific representations about the goods or services provided; and (2) the failure to disclose noncompliance with material statutory, regulatory or contractual requirements makes those representations “misleading half-truths.” According to the Court, a provider’s request for payment constitutes the provider’s implied certification of compliance with all material statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements for the provision of the service. Moreover, if a provider fails to disclose (or omits) its noncompliance with these requirements, then the provider is misrepresenting the claim and the claim is “false or fraudulent” under the False Claims Act based on the Court’s decision.