Jenner & Block

Firm Secures Settlement in Long-Running Dispute with Bank of New York Mellon

Jenner & Block represented the trustee of defunct investment firm Sentinel Management Group Inc. in a settlement that will resolve a long-running dispute with Bank of New York Mellon.  Sentinel filed for bankruptcy in 2007.  Before Sentinel’s collapse, BNY Mellon was the firm’s lender and securities clearing bank. At issue in the dispute was who would ultimately recover $312 million in principal and millions of dollars in interest.  The settlement is expected to boost the recoveries of Sentinel’s customers and unsecured creditors in Sentinel’s bankruptcy, which followed the exposure of massive fraud.  Under the deal, BNY Mellon will get a general unsecured claim for the $312 million in principal but no interest. By not having a secured claim, the bank stands on equal footing with Sentinel unsecured creditors and customers.  Partner Vincent E. Lazar represented the Sentinel trustee, Frederick Grede.  News of the settlement was reported in several media outlets including Reuters and the Wall Street Journal Pro (subscription required).  Mr. Lazar is quoted as saying that the trustee is “pleased to settle this dispute on fair terms, and to avoid the expense and delay associated with further litigation.  The settlement will permit the trustee to make substantial additional distributions to customers harmed by Sentinel’s fraud.”  In addition to Mr. Lazar, members of the team included Partners Catherine L. Steege, J. Kevin McCall and Angela M. Allen.