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Axinn Obtains Victory for CWW and Chubb in Long-Running Contempt Proceeding
March 22, 2019

On March 22, after successfully defeating a claim in excess of $180 million against ACE in the Cayman Islands that was brought in violation of an anti-suit injunction, Axinn turned the tables and pursued the parties who had prosecuted and financed that litigation. In July 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found those parties in civil contempt, stating that their “outrageous behavior is an affront to the Courts of the United States.” The funder of the Cayman litigation filed a panoply of motions to undo the Pennsylvania court’s contempt ruling, and avoid his responsibility for over $15 million in compensatory sanctions to Axinn’s client. In response, the court ordered the parties to engage in significant additional discovery. On March 22, 2019, after multiple rounds of briefing concerning the impact of that discovery on the record of the funder’s contempt, the court accepted the Axinn team’s arguments that the funder’s attempt to set aside the contempt ruling was legally irrelevant and baseless. Relying on the record the Axinn team developed, the court held that the evidence overwhelmingly discredited the litigation funder’s arguments, which the court repeatedly characterized as “excuses” and “nonsense.” The Axinn team was led by partner Don Hawthorne, assisted by associates Felix Gilman, Dan-Feng Mei and Craig Reiser.