Law360 | June.18.2013
This article authored by partner Jonathan Guy and of counsel Doug Mintz discusses the implications of a recent safe harbor ruling on nondebtor transferees in financial transactions. An excerpt from the article is included below.
On June 11, 2013, Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the complaint of the trustee for the SemGroup estate seeking to avoid a novation made to Barclays pre-bankruptcy under a swap agreement. The court held that the pre-bankruptcy transaction constituted a safe harbored transfer made in connection with a swap agreement and thus could not be avoided by the estate.
The court held further that the safe harbor applied to actions brought under state law fraudulent transfer theories, not just those brought under federal law. Judge Rakoff stated that to permit the trustee to proceed under state law would allow estates to evade the safe harbor by delaying litigation until post-bankruptcy. Whyte v. Barclays Bank PLC, 12 Civ. 5318 (JSR), (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 2013).