Orrick Achieves Important Victory Before the Marshall Islands Supreme Court

September.19.2019

In a major appellate win, the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Marshall Islands recently affirmed the dismissal of a $74 million fraudulent conveyance complaint brought against Orrick’s clients. The Plaintiffs/Appellants were former creditors of Ocean Rig UDW, Inc. (UDW), an off-shore drilling company that Orrick had guided through a successful $3.7 billion Cayman Islands restructuring in 2017.

The RMI Action was brought by Highland Capital Management (Highland), a former creditor of UDW, on the eve of a Cayman Court’s approval of the UDW restructuring. The case was part of a sprawling fight with Highland, with proceedings in the Cayman Islands, in the Southern District of New York and finally in the Marshall Islands.

Orrick’s clients (Marshall Islands registered companies and certain of their officers and directors) moved to dismiss in the Marshall Islands trial court and prevailed. Orrick and our co-counsel advanced several independent arguments, and the trial court adopted all of the major positions that we advanced, dismissing the case with prejudice. The trial court victory gave our clients a strong position on appeal by creating several independent bases on which the dismissal could be affirmed. The Supreme Court of the Republic of the Marshall Islands unanimously affirmed, bringing this complex, multi-year, multi-jurisdictional battle to a close.

A team of Orrick lawyers from our finance, corporate, bankruptcy and litigation practices collaborated on this result for this major energy sector client. The team was led by Orrick partner Bill Haft, who collaborated closely with former Orrick partner Steve Fink (now at the Law Offices of Steven J. Fink), and also included Emmanuel Fua, David Litterine-Kaufman, Evan Hollander, Daniel Rubens and Peter Coll.