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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Chadborne Pays $35M in Stanford Ponzi Suit; Proskauer Faces New Class Action

Two months after a federal appeals court rejected their case, investors who lost billions in a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by R. Allen Stanford have filed a brand-new class action against the company’s former outside counsel at Proskauer Rose.

The move comes as Chadbourne & Parke, which also once counted Antigua-based Stanford Group as a client, has agreed to pay $35 million to resolve parallel investor claims. (The settlement was first reported in February, but the size of the deal was not known.) If the settlement is approved, the funds, minus a contingency fee, will be distributed among investors who bought bogus Stanford CDs.

The new case against , meanwhile, landed Friday in federal district court in Dallas, claiming $5 billion in damages. Once again, the plaintiffs are looking to hold Proskauer responsible for the actions of its former partner, Thomas Sjoblom, who allegedly helped Stanford conceal his Ponzi scheme from regulators.

Sjoblom, who joined Proskauer from Chadbourne in 2006 and represented Stanford’s company while at both firms, is also named as a defendant.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed the original case against Proskauer on March 10, following six years of litigation and two trips through the appeals courts. The panel found that, under Texas law, an attorney is shielded from liability if the alleged wrongdoing occurred while he was defending a client.

But according to Friday’s complaint, the Fifth Circuit’s decision also left open a narrow window for the plaintiffs to sue again under Texas’ Securities Act. Their 99-page complaint, filed by Edward Snyder of San Antonio-based Castillo Snyder and cocounsel Strasburger Price on behalf of a putative class of 21,000 Stanford investors, hopes to take advantage of that window..................

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