Practice Areas Practice Areas

Trade Finance Litigation

ZEK routinely handles complex, multinational litigation involving international trade transactions, including disputes arising from letters of credit, forfaiting, back to back financings, sales of corporate receivables,  and other methods of financing. We have represented not only foreign and domestic financial institutions in such disputes, but also beneficiaries of letters of credit as well as international merchants and traders, and an account receivables trading platform. Forming one of the Firm’s core practice areas, ZEK is proud of the trade finance litigation expertise; and equally proud of the favorable results ZEK has achieved for its clients in this area.

ZEK regularly appears on behalf of its clients litigating such cases in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate level. ZEK also has counseled clients in trade finance disputes in arbitration and mediation proceedings and in other alternate dispute resolution environments.

For example, ZEK successfully represented a foreign government whose Embassy was a beneficiary of a letter of credit, in an action against the issuer. The case was tried in the Commercial Part of the New York State Supreme Court before a jury and the jury’s verdict was upheld in its entirety on appeal.

ZEK also represented a major financial institution in an action involving a $7.5 million dispute against a bank arising from a forfaiting transaction. In the action against the bank, we obtained a pre-judgment writ of attachment and levied upon approximately $4.5 million. In a display of ZEK’s versatility, when the bank was placed into insolvency proceedings in the Kingdom of Jordan, and the Jordanian Liquidator brought ancillary bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to stay all U.S. litigation, ZEK obtained summary judgment dismissing the Bankruptcy Code Section 304 petition, a rarely achieved result in this area of the law.

We also recently prevailed on behalf of an African bank in a letter of credit dispute in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which involved the international trade of Ethiopian coffee beans.

The Appellate Division, First Department recently upheld a summary judgment award in favor of our bank client, holding that the bank had properly dishonored a drawing under its letter of credit.

ZEK also successfully represented an Accounts Receivable trading platform in federal court litigation challenging its business model and seeking $10+ million for and alleged breach of contract.