Kobre & Kim LLP Wins Precedent-Setting International Asset Forfeiture Case In D.C. Circuit

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On July 16, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of Kobre & Kim LLP client Tiger Eye Investments Ltd. and released all of the funds that had been frozen by the U.S. Government at the request of the Brazilian Government. The case was In re Any and All Funds or Other Assets, in Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Account #8870792 In The Name of Tiger Eye Investments Ltd., et al. (No. 09-5065, 5164, 5190) (D.C. Cir.).

On July 16, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of Kobre & Kim LLP client Tiger Eye Investments Ltd. and released all of the funds that had been frozen by the U.S. Government at the request of the Brazilian Government. The case was In re Any and All Funds or Other Assets, in Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Account #8870792 In The Name of Tiger Eye Investments Ltd., et al. (No. 09-5065, 5164, 5190) (D.C. Cir.).

According to the Court’s decision, the U.S. Government had frozen the assets of Tiger Eye Investments Ltd. pursuant to a request from the Brazilian Government, which had stated that it is conducting a money laundering investigation that might result in the forfeiture of such assets. The U.S. Government took the position that it has the power to freeze assets under such circumstances. Kobre & Kim LLP, representing Tiger Eye Investments Ltd., argued that the U.S. Congress had not conferred such powers on the U.S. Government, and that any asset freeze could only occur under the relevant laws after a foreign court had entered a final judgment of forfeiture.

Clarifying this complex area of law in a precedent-setting decision, the D.C. Circuit found that – under the legal provisions at issue – the U.S. Government may not freeze assets until after a foreign court has entered its final forfeiture judgment.

Kobre & Kim LLP is a litigation firm with offices in New York, London, Washington DC, and Miami. The Firm, which is compromised of an integrated team of English barristers and solicitors and U.S. lawyers (many of whom are former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors) has a significant practice focusing on international asset recovery and forfeiture and offshore trust litigation.

Kobre & Kim LLP is planning to open an office in Hong Kong in September to focus on similar cases in Asia.

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Pallas Knight
Kobre & Kim LLP
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