SAN FRANCISCO – September 15, 2016 – Howard Holderness, a shareholder with the global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and Mort Hartwell of the international firm Vinson & Elkins, LLP, led a multi-firm team that recently secured confirmation of a final judgment in excess of $72 million for clients Wuxi Luoshe Printing and Dyeing Co., Ltd. and Zhize Huang. The confirmation of the judgment followed the conclusion of a complex breach of fiduciary duty trial in San Mateo Superior Court against Standard Fiber, Inc. (SFI), now known as TA Home, Inc. (TA), and Anshan Li (Li).
The case concluded before the trial court on September 1, 2016, when the trial court denied Defendants’ requests for a new trial and for a stay of execution of the judgment. The award ranks among the largest ever won by a Chinese national in the U.S. courts.
The case involved the alleged misappropriation and theft of tens of millions of dollars related to the ownership and management of SFI, a distributor in the United States and Canada of textile and bedding products manufactured by Wuxi Luoshe, a Chinese company. The two shareholders of SFI were plaintiff Huang, who also owned a minority interest, and defendant Li.
Huang alleged that SFI’s success was directly tied to that of Wuxi Luoshe. Li cashed in on this success by allegedly pocketing profits that should have been shared and eventually selling SFI without informing Huang. In doing so, Li breached fiduciary and contractual duties in order to fraudulently conceal the sale and collect the payout, Huang alleged. Li subsequently sold the company to Standard Fiber, LLC (SFL).
Because SFI was a California corporation, the Court held that a majority shareholder, Li, owed fiduciary duties to the minority shareholder, Huang, and that those duties were breached. Following a bench trial, the Court awarded Wuxi Luoshe and Huang a judgment, recently confirmed, of more than $72 million.
“This was an extremely complex and challenging trial with international implications. It is extremely gratifying to assist foreign clients with little knowledge of the American court system and provide them the justice they deserve,” Hartwell said.
“We are very pleased with the outcome in securing the rightful restitution for Mr. Huang. This verdict is years in the making and is one of the largest ever victories for a Chinese national in U.S. court,” Holderness added.
Holderness focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation matters on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Hartwell focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, corporate governance disputes, complex products liability, toxic tort, catastrophic incident, environmental, and class action cases. Both previously worked together at another international law firm and continue to do so, on behalf of this client in their new roles.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.