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Axinn Obtains Civil Contempt Order Over Foreign Lawyers and Litigation Funders
July 22, 2016

A team of attorneys from Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider has successfully obtained an order in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania holding foreign lawyers and litigation funders in civil contempt of an anti-suit injunction. This contempt litigation, brought on behalf of Cigna Worldwide Insurance Company, began in 2008 and has involved an interlocutory appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as related litigations in both the Chancery Court of Delaware and the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

While the identity of some of the Respondents was initially unknown, Axinn overcame Respondents’ efforts to remain anonymous, identifying Samuel Lohman (a U.S. attorney who lives in Switzerland), Martin Kenney (an attorney practicing in the British Virgin Islands), and Garrett Kelleher (a prominent Irish real estate developer) as the individuals behind the contempt. Axinn then successfully argued that the Respondents’ primary defenses of sovereign immunity and lack of personal jurisdiction were meritless. The Court found that “Respondents’ outrageous behavior is an affront to the Courts of the United States.”

The Axinn team was led by partner Donald Hawthorne, and associates Felix Gilman, Evan Lee, Maggie Spencer, and Shawndra Jones.