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Cross-Border Bond Enforcement Litigation

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Produced on March 08, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Banking Litigation

Course Description

Cross-border bond enforcement litigation is a complex and rapidly evolving area of the law. This course will cover key issues and recent developments affecting bondholders and issuers under U.S. and English law, which are the dominant governing law choices. This interplay between U.S. and English law and procedure is important in cross border insolvency situations that touch both jurisdictions.

Among other things, this course will include a discussion of Hon. Mr. Justice Snowden’s landmark decision on the limits of English schemes of arrangement in the matter of Indah Kiat International Finance Company, B.V., and the recent decisions interpreting the scope of the prohibition against impairment of creditors’ rights under the U.S. Trust Indenture Act, including in Marblegate Asset Management, LLC v. Education Management Corp. This discussion will identify the implications for future cross border insolvency matters of these recent rulings.

This course will be presented by senior litigators at Dechert, LLP: Dennis Hranitzky, a litigation partner widely recognized as a leading litigator in this area; Gary Mennitt, co-leader of the Complex Commercial Litigation group at the firm, and Debra Gorman, counsel in the same group.   

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the interplay between U.S. and English law governing debt securities
  2. Articulate the limits of permissible restructuring under U.S. and English law
  3. Identify recent decisions interpreting the scope of the “ no action clause” in U.S. law indentures
  4. Recognize best practices on drafting jurisdiction clauses and arbitration agreements in bond documents
  5. Describe bond trustee directions and indemnification
  6. Examine trustee resignation and replacement
  7. Inspect fraudulent conveyance, receivership, and bankruptcy
  8. Identify bond issuer counterclaims against activist holders 

Credit Information

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Gary Mennitt

Dechert LLP

Gary J. Mennitt is co-leader of the complex commercial litigation practice of Dechert LLP. He represents clients in state and federal trials and appeals throughout the United States in cases involving bondholder litigation, securities fraud, hedge fund disputes and insolvency. Mr. Mennitt has extensive first chair trial experience and has tried more than twenty-five cases. He has been selected for many years by the publishers of Corporate CounselThe New York Law Journal and The American Lawyer as one of New York’s top rated lawyers.

Mr. Mennitt was awarded the 2013 President’s Medal of the New York County Lawyers’ Association for his work as an author of Commercial Litigation In New York State Courts (West 3d ed. 2014). Mr. Mennitt frequently writes and lectures on the topics of trial practice, complex commercial litigation, and securities litigation. He has written dozens of published articles and book chapters, including the litigation chapters of Hedge Funds and the Law (Sweet & Maxwell 2010).

Dennis Hranitzky

Dechert LLP

Dennis H. Hranitzky concentrates on complex litigation matters with an international dimension, including disputes with sovereign states and instrumentalities, multinational debtor/creditor litigation and cross-border bankruptcy matters. 

A recognized authority on disputes with sovereign states, Mr. Hranitzky also has deep experience in creditors’ rights litigation and the multinational enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards – having managed enforcement matters spanning more than fifteen countries on four continents. He has also handled a broad variety of commercial litigation matters, and has experience in domestic bankruptcy litigation, investment arbitration, securities, environmental, product liability, patent, and civil rights litigation. In 2016 Mr. Hranitzky was rated by Legal 500 one (and the youngest) of only six “Leading Lawyers” in International Litigation. 

Mr. Hranitzky was a leading member of the Dechert litigation team recognized as part of the Financial Times’ 2013 Top U.S. Innovative Law Firms for their “standout” work as lead counsel for creditors in the cross-border insolvency of Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. This precedent-setting case marked the first time that U.S. courts clarified the standards and requirements for global businesses that file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. Mr. Hranitzky headed the multinational enforcement litigation efforts, managed the interplay between the proceedings in Mexico and the U.S., and played a key role in all three U.S. bankruptcy trials held in those proceedings. 

Mr. Hranitzky was also co-lead of the team “highly commended” by the Financial Times’ Top 40 North American Innovative Law Firms for 2014 for Dechert’s representation of Argentina’s largest creditor – with claims for over US$3 billion – in multi-national litigation and judgment enforcement proceedings. Together with Robert Cohen, he was also awarded the Grand Prize for Global Dispute of the year (2016) by The American Lawyer for the Argentina debt default litigation and settlement. In a matter marked by “firsts”, Mr. Hranitzky and the Dechert team obtained the first ruling from a U.S. court that a central bank is the alter ego of its parent state, the first attachment of assets at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel Switzerland, the arrest of the Argentine Naval frigate ARA Libertad in Ghana, an injunction prohibiting Argentina from making payments on its restricted bonds without making ratable payments to holders of its defaulted bonds, and an order piercing the corporate veil between the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca (of Panama Papers fame) and its Nevada affiliate. 

Mr. Hranitzky frequently writes and lectures on sovereign litigation, international litigation and cross-border bankruptcy, and has been a visiting lecturer on sovereign litigation and insolvency at Stanford Law School and Georgetown University Law School. He is proficient in both Spanish and Portuguese. 

Debra O'Gorman

Dechert LLP

Debra D. O’Gorman counsels clients in product liability and mass tort litigation, particularly in product liability actions involving over-the-counter and prescription drugs. She has extensive experience in expert and fact witness development, as well as expert and fact depositions and the preparation of defense witnesses for testimony. 

Ms. O’Gorman was an active member of several trial teams in cases around the country alleging injury from Tylenol use, as well as the trial team that successfully challenged a Mexican company’s attempt to have its foreign bankruptcy plan approved in the United States. She has also played a key role in cases involving claims against sovereign debtors, as well as the defense of a foreign bank. Ms. O’Gorman has successfully managed document discovery in a broad range of cases and has helped to utilize technology to bring efficiencies to the process. 

Ms. O’Gorman also participated in the briefing of a summary judgment motion, the success of which was hailed as one of the most significant products liability rulings of 2010. In that case, the court ruled that plaintiff’s experts failed to pass the Frye test and dismissed plaintiff’s claims.

Ms. O'Gorman was a member of the Dechert litigation team recognized as part of the Financial Times’ 2013 Top U.S. Innovative Law Firms for their “standout” work acting as lead counsel for an ad hoc group of creditors in connection with the highly contested cross-border restructuring of approximately $1.6 billion in defaulted senior notes issued by Mexico's largest glass manufacturer, Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. This precedent-setting case marked the first time that U.S. courts clarified the standards and requirements for global businesses that file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. In 2014, she was also a member of the team “highly commended” by the Financial Times’ Top 40 North American Innovative Law Firms for their representation of Argentina’s two largest creditors – with combined claims for over US$3.5 billion – in multi-national litigation and judgment enforcement proceedings. The matter concluded in a victory before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. O'Gorman presented the sole witness in a trial that resulted in an $85 million judgment on behalf of creditors of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a lawsuit to recover on defaulted sovereign debt and in the fall of 2014 she acted as the primary trial attorney for a creditor/objector in the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceeding. 

Ms. O'Gorman is also actively committed to pro bono initiatives. She heads the firm’s involvement in a program to provide legal advice to litigants in family court throughout New York City and has received pro bono awards from several organizations.


Michael B.

Thank you.

George F.

Complex subject matter explained well

Lourdes C.

My first time on this topic and yet it was easy to follow the speakers. They did a great job collectively and individually presenting on the overarching differences between US and UK

Leonard G.

Really excellent presentation!

Edward J.

Excellent for a very complicated area of the law.

Lawrence E.

pretty good

Simon Z.

Very good course focused on a narrow topic.

Michael B.

good program

Steven M.

Very obscure but interesting area.

Steven P.

very impressive

Susan M. B.

Multi-presenter format worked well with detailed information.

Mark C.


Harold L.

Good presentation.

Steven K.

Somewhat interesting, but an area in which I'll never practice.

Agnes M.

Faculty was excellent - great presentation!

Sabrina Z.


Rosa L.

The three person. (panel) presentation was sufficiently clear for a novice in this area of the law.

Julie A. B.

Good teamwork.

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