Ichter Thomas Developer Clients Achieve Resolution of Huge Claims by Bank

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As recently reported in the Atlanta Business Journal, Ichter Thomas’ (“IT”) clients, highly respected and successful Cobb County real estate developer John Williams, Gwinnett County real estate developer, Wayne Mason, and their company, Hampton Island, LLC., have reached a settlement with First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. resolving more than $45,000,000 of claims filed against them by the Bank in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia arising out of their investment in a proposed luxury resort on the Georgia coast known as “Hampton Island Reserve.”

As recently reported in the Atlanta Business Journal, Ichter Thomas’ (“IT”) clients, highly respected and successful Cobb County real estate developer John Williams, Gwinnett County real estate developer, Wayne Mason, and their company, Hampton Island, LLC., have reached a settlement with First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. resolving more than $45,000,000 of claims filed against them by the Bank in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia arising out of their investment in a proposed luxury resort on the Georgia coast known as “Hampton Island Reserve.”

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but the basic facts and allegations of the lawsuit are a matter of public record. First Citizens alleged in its Complaint that it is the successor to Georgian Bank, which holds promissory notes and guaranties from IT’s clients pursuant to which over $45,000,000 is owed to First Citizens. IT’s clients counterclaimed that Georgian Bank operated as an investment bank, rather than a typical lending bank, structured the Hampton Island project as an investment in which Georgian Bank was a participant through an undisclosed agent, and induced IT’s clients to invest in Hampton Island by false and misleading representations, along with other innovative theories.

The lawsuit was filed on October 24, 2009, and almost exactly one year later, October 29, 2010, IT’s clients and First Citizens reached a settlement that IT’s clients consider extremely favorable to them while fair to the First Citizens given the facts and circumstances.

IT is handing many disputes between real estate developers, borrowers, guarantors, on the one hand, and financial institutions, on the other hand. IT continues to represent its clients in these types of disputes involving tens of millions of dollars. In those matters, the lawyers of IT develop creative theories and solutions that are designed to assist their clients in resolving and/or restructuring their issues with financial institutions that have asserted claims against them. For more information, call Cary Ichter, Jim Thomas or Renee Huskey at (404) 869-7600.

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