In 2011, an investment advisory firm focused on delivering diversified multi-manager solutions using a variety of investment strategies and investment vehicles for institutional and high net worth clients asked Maslon to represent them as lead counsel in numerous state and federal claims, brought as putative class actions, multiple plaintiff cases and single plaintiff cases, relating to its high net worth clients’ investments in what have commonly been referred to as Bernard Madoff's feeder funds. Claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and violations of various securities and consumer protection acts were asserted.
Maslon attorneys Bill Pentelovich, Anna Petosky, and David Suchar, successfully obtained dismissal of the class action allegations on behalf of the client in 2012, as precluded under the Federal Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78(b)(5)(B). Other claims were resolved by dispositive motions or confidential settlement agreements for amounts far less than the claimed damages.
Given the interrelated nature of many of the investments and parties involved, the lawyers needed to understand and navigate related and parallel claims to resolve the matters and achieve its client’s litigation and business goals. For example, the lawyers negotiated with broker-dealers who were involved in parallel FINRA proceedings and they closely followed the Madoff bankruptcy proceedings, related Department of Justice forfeiture actions, and class action proceedings against the feeder funds so as to optimally position itself within the context of the entire Madoff litigation landscape.
Maslon attorneys continue to lead current litigation matters on behalf of numerous entities for the client, with support from attorneys Marty Fallon, Stephanie Bitterman, and Jesse Mondry. These matters include representing the client and its principals before state and federal courts, FINRA, and JAMS involving various private equity funds established and managed by the investment advisory firm. Maslon also continues to represent the client in litigation involving claims for indemnity and contribution stemming from the Madoff Ponzi scheme. In addition, Paul Chestovitch, partner in Maslon’s Business & Securities Group, has assisted with analysis of Private Placement Memoranda and other documents relating to the underlying investments and has provided corporate legal services with respect to the potential formation of additional funds.