Gowling WLG advises corporate trustees on $860 million global settlement

13 January 2020

Gowling WLG has defended claims against two corporate trustees which arose out of the notorious Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme - bringing to an end 11 years of litigation.

The trustees were defending competing claims for more than $300 million from two separate parties in England, New York and Bermuda. The claims were connected to the Kingate Funds, which were two of the largest so-called feeder funds, which together invested $1.7 billion in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence for his crimes.

Working with counsel in New York, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Gowling WLG helped its clients defend the claims by coordinating the proceedings worldwide and making several applications to the BVI court in connection with the trustees' costs.

In a significant development, the firm advised its clients on a global settlement that returned $860 million to investors who had been defrauded by Madoff.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but brought to an end complex and long-running litigation spanning three jurisdictions. The proceedings in New York were the last to be dismissed at the end of November 2019.

Catherine Naylor, commercial litigation partner at Gowling WLG, said: "We are thrilled to have helped our clients to reach a positive conclusion to this litigation, which has been running for several years.

"The settlement enables all sides to save potentially significant legal costs. The outcome is testament to the hard work of our team as well as counsel in New York, Bermuda, BVI and, of course, in London."

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Pete Squires Senior Corporate Communications Manager Birmingham