Philbin Law brings together a depth and breadth of experience from its attorneys' experience in corporate law, IP law, appellate law and general litigation.
False Claims Act Investigations
Maersk Favorably Settles DOJ Investigation, Scarbrough International, 6 November 2014
Led by Jim Philbin, Maersk settled a three-year DOJ investigation into the alleged forgery of delivery documents for thousands of cargo containers missing and likely stolen in Afghanistan. Jim Philbin successfully avoided penalties and damages by settling the case as a civil matter outside of the False Claims Act.
Shipping Companies Resolve False Records Investigation, US Department of Justice, S.D. of Illinois, 10 March 2016
Farrell Lines, Inc. and DAMCO USA, Inc. settled for $3.7 million in penalties under the False Claims Act for submission of “recreated” supporting documentation to invoices submitted to the US Transportation Command. The companies were permitted by the DOJ to conduct an internal investigation into the matter and present findings. Jim Philbin successfully navigated an outcome whereby the subject companies avoided paying any damages and were cited for cooperation.
Export Control Cases (OFAC)
Maersk Line, Limited Settles Sudanese Sanctions and Iranian Transactions Regulations, Enforcement Information, Department of Treasury, 28 July 2010
The Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of Treasury, conducted a three-year investigation into the alleged unlicensed transportation of over 4000 shipments into Sudan and Iran. After an initial base penalty assessment of $62 million, Jim Philbin was instrumental in negotiating a $3.1 million settlement due to cooperation and mitigation.
Qui Tam Lawsuits under False Claims Act
Maersk Settles Eight-Year DOJ Investigation, Virginia Pilot, 4 January 2012
Whistleblower lawsuit originally filed against a competitor and later amended to include Maersk Line alleging inaccurate and fraudulent billing of the US military for services rendered during war-time conditions in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Jim Philbin successfully settled the case with the DOJ after an eight-year investigation and voluntary disclosures.
Corruption, FCPA and UK Bribery Act
Corruption Scandal at Petrobras Threatens Brazil’s Economy, The New York Times, 11 February 2015
The bribery scandal in Brazil involving the national oil company, Petrobras, is the largest corruption case in the world with allegations of over $3 billion in bribes paid to company executives, political parties and politicians. Led by Jim Philbin, a team of lawyers from multiple jurisdictions conducted an international investigation into allegations that his client had paid millions of dollars of bribes.
Crisis Management and Corporate Campaigns
Somali Pirate Sentenced to Nearly 34 Years, The New York Times, 16 February 2011
In April 2009, four Somali pirates hijacked the Maersk Alabama cargo vessel en route to Kenya carrying food aid on behalf of the U.S. Government. The hijacking and subsequent four-day hostage crisis became the storyline for the movie, “Captain Phillips.” With Jim Philbin's assistance as Maersk general counsel, the surviving pirate, Abduwali Muse later was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York.
Danish Shipping Firm Denies Violating U.S. Sanctions Against Iran, Fox News, 2 August 2010
In the summer of 2010, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a non-profit, advocacy group launched a corporate campaign against the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group for its then-ongoing business activities in Iran alleging violations of U.S. sanctions. The campaign included communications to Congress and the Departments of Defense, State and Treasury; television coverage; and, picketing and billboard campaigns at several U.S. ports. The campaign coincided with an ongoing DOJ investigation of Maersk under the False Claims Act.
Secretary of Labor v Universal Maritime Service Corp., OSHRC Docket No. 03-0399, 11 March 2004
Representing the respondent Universal Maritime Service Corp., Jim Philbin successfully defended at trial two serious violations citations issued by OSHA related to workplace fatality at marine terminal. Both citations were vacated.
Transactions & Restructuring
Moller-Maersk Acquires P&O Nedlloyd, UPI, 16 May 2005
As Maersk general counsel, Jim Philbin facilitated the acquisition of Dutch container line, P&O Nedlloyd making Maersk the largest container shipping line in history with over 500 ships. The merger of the two entities created significant challenges over the ensuing years in the consolidation and restructuring of business and subsidiary entities, management teams, workforce, real estate and office holdings and IT systems.
Maersk Sells Drayage Company, American Shipper, 7 August 2013
As Maersk general counsel, Jim Philbin completed an asset sale of its largest US marine trucking company subsidiary, Bridge Terminal Transport (BTT), to private equity firm Platinum Equity.
Maersk Sells Chassis Business, American Shipper, 3 February 2012
As Maersk general counsel, Jim Philbin completed the sale of an innovative, nationwide chassis leasing company, DCLI, with ownership of over 65,000 marine container chassis to private equity firm, Littlejohn & Co.
CIVIL LITIGATION MOTIONS AND APPEALS
Appeal of $8.9 Jury Verdict Vacated. The New York appellate court vacated the $8.9 million verdict in a negligence action on the grounds that trial court should have allowed the testimony of a biomechanical engineer that was probative on the issue of whether an automobile accident was severe enough to have caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Subsequently cited in New York Evidence Handbook: Rules, Theories and Practice, Aspen Publishers 2002 and relied upon in New York and other jurisdictions including Arizona and New Jersey. Leslie K. Arfine for defendant-appellant.
Federal Civil Rights Claims and Pendent State Law Claims Dismissed Against Municipality. In action against the Village and Village police officers for malicious prosecution, false arrest and conspiracy, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment with respect to plaintiff’s federal 42 USC §1983 civil rights and pendent state claims. Leslie K. Arfine for defendant Village of Ossining.
Denial of Defendant's Summary Judgment Motion Reversed on Appeal. Defendant landlord moved for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s complaint alleging lead paint poisoning. The Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s order denying defendant’s motion on the grounds that constructive notice cannot be imputed based on evidence of the widespread media reports addressing the prevalence of lead paint in older dwellings. Plaintiff’s complaint was dismissed in its entirety. Leslie K. Arfine for defendant-appellant.
United States Supreme Court Appeals
Cunningham v. United States, No. 08-1149 – Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Counsel of Record)
14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett, No. 07-581 – Br. of Chamber of Commerce of U.S. as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners (Counsel of Record)
McSwain v. Warren, No. 08-917 - Petition for Writ of Certiorari and Reply Br.(Counsel of Record)
Dong v. United States Attorney General, No. 07-639 – Petition for Writ of Certiorari and Reply Br. (Counsel of Record)
Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) (Nos. 02-241 & 02-516) –Br. of the Cato Institute as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners (Counsel of Record)
Locke v. Davey, (No. 02-1315) – Br. of Black Alliance for Educational Options as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent (Counsel of Record)
Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 542 U.S. 129 (2004) (No. 01-3512) – Br. Amicus Curiae of the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. in Support of Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Counsel of Record)
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, (Nos. 00-1751, -1777 & -1779) – Br. of Black Alliance for Educational Options as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners (Counsel of Record)
Phillip Morris Inc. v. Engle, (No. 99-1277) – Br. Amicus Curiae of Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. in Support of Petition for Writ of Certiorari (Counsel of Record)