New York City Water Board Bill Credit Lawsuit

Herrick litigators successfully represented the Rent Stabilization Association and building owners Prometheus Realty, Portofino Realty and Tuscan Realty in a complete New York State Supreme Court victory against the New York City Water Board, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for illegally sidestepping the State's Public Authorities Law.

On June 6, 2016, Herrick won a temporary restraining order, stopping the Water Board from raising rates by 2.1% and granting a $183 bill credit for 1-3 family homeowners, which excluded larger multi-family dwellings. On June 20, Justice Carol R. Edmead of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled that the actions of the water board were “an abuse of discretion” and exceeded the board’s authority. Herrick government relations co-chair Kevin Fullington, litigation partner Michael Berengarten and associate Jared D. Newman represented the plaintiffs.


Dispute with Former Property Manager – Allegations of Fraud and Self-Dealing

Represented the property owner of four valuable Manhattan buildings in an action filed in New York state court against our client's former property manager with damage claims in excess of $5 million. The dispute, which involved allegations of fraudulent and bad-faith conduct that included self-dealing, comingling of funds, and the misrepresentation of material information, was resolved favorably for the client following Herrick's successful opposition to motions to dismiss, strike allegations in the complaint, and for summary judgment.

Life Settlement Investment Firm – Advice and Litigation

Representation of a German investment firm with respect to its investment portfolio of U.S. life insurance policies. In addition to providing advice concerning life settlement laws and regulations in various jurisdictions, Herrick has also represented the company in litigation on its disputed claims in multiple jurisdictions. In 2012, Herrick procured a multi-million dollar settlement for the client, almost 90 percent of the policy value, in New Jersey federal litigation in which the carrier contested the claim as a likely STOLI ("stranger originated life insurance") policy. More recently, in 2013, Herrick settled a large claim filed in Pennsylvania federal court in which our client received approximately 70 percent of the policy value in a case where the age of the insured, a former Syrian national, was disputed. Herrick will continue to represent the client on U.S. claims going forward.

Real Estate Partnership Dispute Resolved Favorably Following Pre-trial Dismissal of Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Corporate Waste and an Accounting

Herrick negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a managing agent and its principals, resolving contentious litigation in New York state court between partners in a venture to develop and lease a medical office building. Prior to reaching the settlement, Herrick secured a number of advantageous rulings - including pre-trial dismissal of claims for breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste and an accounting - which positioned our clients well in the negotiations that ultimately led to the partnership’s sale of its leasehold interest in the property on favorable terms, a transaction on which Herrick also advised.

Motions for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction Denied in Ongoing Shareholder Derivative Action

Successfully opposed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on behalf of the manager and managing agent of five limited liabilities companies that control multi-unit residential properties in New York City. Herrick continues to defend the client in ongoing shareholder derivative litigation in New York state court, alleging commercial torts and seeking, among other things, a dissolution of the LLCs and the appointment of a temporary receiver.

Global Manufacturer – Vendor Contract Dispute

Representation of a global manufacturer in resolving breach of contract claims filed in New York state court by a travel services consortium in connection with an agreement to provide global travel management services.

International Real Estate Investment Firm – Real Estate Brokerage Dispute

Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of the North American arm of an international real estate investment and finance company to resolve litigation over a brokerage commission in connection with the client’s acquisition of an iconic Los Angeles building.

Real Estate Firm – Motion for Summary Judgment Granted in Commercial Leasing Dispute

Successful defense of a real estate firm in litigation with a restaurant tenant plaintiff attempting to broaden the scope of a narrowly tailored restriction in a commercial lease for space located in a New York shopping center. Claiming our clients had breached the lease agreement by leasing space in the shopping center to a restaurant chain, the plaintiff filed suit to recover damages it allegedly suffered as a result. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction preventing our clients from constructing additional commercial space for use by the new restaurant tenant, and granted our motion for summary judgment, dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims including those for breach of the commercial lease and tortious interference of contract.

Commercial Bank – Pre-Trial Dismissal of Negligence Claims

Obtained pre-trial dismissal of negligence claims against a commercial bank in connection with a former employee's misappropriation and embezzlement of plaintiff's assets.

Global Manufacturer – Favorable Settlement in Legal Malpractice Litigation

Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a Fortune 500 manufacturer to resolve a legal malpractice action brought against the client’s former counsel, a national law firm, in connection with the firm’s representation of the client in a multi-million dollar product liability litigation. The settlement was reached on the day of jury selection following a ruling granting our client summary judgment on the issue of the defendant’s malpractice.

National Drug Retailers – Litigation to Recover Property Tax Overcharges

Represented national drug retailers in lawsuits alleging that property managers over billed them millions of dollars for their share of property taxes - successfully opposing the property managers’ motions to dismiss in the trial court and on appeal before the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division.

National Drugstore Chain – Dismissal of Purported Class Action

Successfully argued summary judgment motion obtaining dismissal of all claims against a national drug retailer targeted in a proposed class action lawsuit asserting claims for fraud and violations of the NY General Business Law.

National Retail Chain – Pre-Trial Dismissal of Claims Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and The Fair Labor Standards Act

Obtained pre-trial dismissal of claims against a national retailer brought by a former employee under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and The Fair Labor Standards Act, and attendant state law claims for malicious prosecution, negligence, punitive damages, false arrest and abuse of process.

Significant Settlement for Former Willowbrook Class Member

Secured a $562,000 settlement on behalf of a pro bono client with profound developmental disabilities to resolve actions filed in the Southern District of New York and New York Court of Claims asserting Section 1983, constitutional and negligence claims against government employees who abused the client or allowed her to be abused. Prior to reaching the settlement agreement, Michael successfully opposed motions for summary judgment filed by high-ranking officials named as defendants. (Prior Firm Experience)