Gibson Dunn Launches Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group

October 27, 2020

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has launched a new practice, the Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group, which will offer clients innovative enforcement strategies and deliver creative solutions.  Building on a number of successful enforcement actions, the practice brings together the talents and experience of lawyers throughout Gibson Dunn, collectively possessing highly effective worldwide enforcement experience.  The new Practice Group is led by co-chairs Robert Weigel and Matthew D. McGill.

“Increasingly, creditors and debtors alike are facing novel hurdles when pursuing global judgment and award enforcement actions, often where there is no template.  Gibson Dunn has substantial experience in developing successful bespoke enforcement strategies, giving us a competitive advantage as a market leader in this growing field,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “The strength in our Group is its proven track record and wide breadth of talent, with enforcement lawyers spanning the United States, London, Paris, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong.”

“Our lawyers have been at the forefront of major cases that have shaped judgment and arbitral award enforcement law in the United States and around the world, and we’re excited to formalize our experience through the creation of a new Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group,” said Weigel.  “This experience is particularly important because every enforcement action is different: different debtors, with different assets in different jurisdictions.”

About Gibson Dunn’s Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group

Gibson Dunn’s Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group offers top-tier international arbitral award and judgment enforcement strategies and solutions, deep expertise in cross-border litigation and international arbitration, and best-in-class advocacy that not only applies the law, but, time and again, has also crafted and shaped new law to achieve our clients’ objectives.

The Practice Group provides integrated litigation strategies that run from start to finish, beginning from the inception of the dispute process, not just once an award or judgment has been issued.  Through the use of all the available tools, including, among others, prejudgment attachments, fraudulent transfer actions, and 28 U.S.C. § 1782 discovery petitions, the firm has successfully positioned its clients ahead of other creditors, resulting in the actual collection of billions of dollars in judgment and arbitral awards that others have deemed unrecoverable.

The firm has won important victories in some of the most high-profile enforcement actions in the world.  For example, Weigel represented client Crystallex’s success in one of the largest enforcement victories to date against a sovereign debtor, helping Crystallex become the first (and, to date, only) judgment creditor of Venezuela (or PDVSA) to obtain judicial authorization to attach key United States-based assets.  Weigel also successfully represented Yukos apital in collecting hundreds of millions of dollars on its arbitral awards against Russian oil company Rosneft and its subsidiaries.

McGill has made headlines spearheading judgment-enforcement efforts on behalf of victims of terrorism.  In 2016, he prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court to collect $1.75 billion from the government of Iran for victims of the 1983 Beirut Marine Corps Barracks Bombing.  And following up on his May 2020 Supreme Court win in Opati v. Republic of Sudan, McGill forged the just-announced $335 million settlement of claims of victims of the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombing against the government of Sudan. Previously, McGill represented NML Capital in its 10-year litigation against the Republic of Argentina in what the Financial Times called “the trial of the century in sovereign debt restructuring.”  In that case, McGill won an important victory before the Supreme Court that confirmed the availability of discovery in aid of enforcement of money judgments against foreign sovereigns, helping set the stage for NML’s multi-billion-dollar settlement of its claims.