The American Lawyer has awarded Goodwin the grand prize in the Global Dispute of the Year category at its 2016 Global Legal Awards. The firm was recognized for its work on the Argentine bonds litigation settlement, a case involving the South American nation’s default on bonds worth billions of dollars. Goodwin also received first prize in the Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Litigation (Finance) category for the same matter. Goodwin and other firms representing the largest creditors of Argentina were honored at the American Lawyer’s Global Legal Awards ceremony on September 26 in New York City.
Since 2005, a team of Goodwin litigators, led by partners Robert Carroll, Stephen Poss and Willy Jay, represented funds with holdings of Argentine debt that collectively made up the second-largest group of creditors in this multi-billion dollar litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Republic of Argentina, seeking damages for the country’s default on its international bonds.
The Goodwin team, along with counsel for other creditors, secured injunctions based on the pari passu (equal treatment) clauses in the defaulted bonds, which enjoin Argentina from paying bondholders who restructured their defaulted bonds unless Argentina also makes a ratable payment to Goodwin’s clients and others. The injunctions were twice affirmed by the Second Circuit, and the Goodwin team and other creditors’ counsel successfully opposed a total of three petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, after 11 years of litigation, a settlement was negotiated with the new administration in the Republic of Argentina in 2016.