Baker McKenzie’s recent victory in the United States Supreme Court in Yegiazarian v. Smagin, 143 S. Ct., 1900 (22 June 2023), opens the door for non-US plaintiffs to pursue RICO claims when seeking to enforce a judgment or assert claims against U.S . parties or assets. Although the plaintiff in this case was the holder of a foreign arbitration award, the Court’s holding suggests that any foreign plaintiff asserting a claim against or seeking to recover U.S. property will have legal standing to pursue civil claims under federal RICO statutes, and potentially recover treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
Nick Kennedy is a trial lawyer. Unlike many others at large law firms, Nick regularly tries high stakes cases—at least one per year, and often more. These cases have regularly had tens of millions, hundreds of millions, and in one case more than a billion in dispute. Nick has been first chair in 4 arbitrations with more than USD 100 million in controversy. On the offensive side, his clients have recovered at trial or arbitration nearly a billion dollars in cases he has handled. On the defensive side, he has helped clients avoid claims for many hundred millions more through successful defense verdicts or arbitration awards. While Nick thrives at trial, he also has a successful pre-and post-trial practice with scores of successful dispositive and expert motions, along with appeals all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Nick’s practices crosses industry and borders. He focuses heavily on the software, technology franchise, and consumer goods industries. Nick uses his ability to make complex technologies simple for jurors and arbitrators to represent technology owners in disputes about trade secrets, software performance, and contractual issues. He adeptly handles complicated financial concepts to represent business owners and partners in complex valuation, investment fraud, and fiduciary duty disputes. Nick regularly handles the damages portion of all types of complex cases, working closely with experts to do so. Nick also has a strong background with trade secrets and non-competes across industries, allowing him to help his clients protect their own IP and employees and defend against claims of misuse by others. Nick routinely represents foreign clients in US disputes, or US clients in foreign disputes. He has arbitrated cases with all major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, ICDR, ICSID, UNCITRAL, JAMS, SCC, AAA, and LCIA. He has acted on behalf of investors against states in investor-state disputes under ICSID, UNCITRAL, LCIA, and SCC Arbitration Rules and in related enforcement proceedings. He has handled disputes in or related to several dozen countries. This diverse experience helps Nick to advise clients on how to craft appropriate dispute resolution clauses when drafting contracts, and how to maximize their benefits when a dispute arises. Finally, Nick’s international experience includes a strong track record of enforcing foreign judgments or arbitration awards in the US and abroad, including identifying and collecting upon assets of uncooperative debtors. Nick graduated from Harvard University and the UCLA School of Law, where he was a member of the UCLA Law Review and was awarded Order of the Coif. He also externed for the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He maintains an active pro bono practice that has included serving as first chair in a trial to restore mental health benefits for a developmentally delayed toddler and contributing to an amicus brief at the US Supreme Court in a seminal marriage equality case. Nick is also a member of Baker McKenzie’s cross-disciplinary trade secret practice group.