The two sides of a $214 million malpractice lawsuit brought by billionaire Ira Rennert’s investment company against Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer have formally moved to dismiss the case from New York state court after reaching a preliminary settlement last month.
The law firm and The Renco Group Inc., an investment business controlled by Rennert, filed a stipulation of discontinuance on Monday, looking to officially end their dispute. The stipulated end of the case follows a letter in June to the judge in which a lawyer for one of the parties said an agreement in principle had been reached on a potential settlement.
No terms were made publicly available in court documents, but with the discontinuance motion on Monday, the settlement appears to now be finalized.
A lawyer representing Renco, Steven Kaufman of Kaufman & Company, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. A press representative for Arnold & Porter was not immediately available for comment.
As ALM has previously reported, Renco lodged the malpractice lawsuit in January, making allegations that arose from Kaye Scholer’s past defense work for Renco. The firm, now part of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer after a 2016 merger, represented Renco in litigation brought by the bankruptcy trustee for Magnesium Corp. of America, a company that Rennert controlled for several years before it went bankrupt in 2001.
The underlying case accused Rennert of siphoning more than $118 million from MagCorp and using at least some of the money to fund construction on a palatial beachfront estate in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island. A federal jury sided with the MagCorp trustee and a combined jury verdict and interest led to a final judgment of about $214 million against the billionaire.
Rennert has denied looting MagCorp. Renco’s malpractice complaint alleged that Kaye Scholer made several missteps during the looting case that led to what Renco considers an “inexplicably inconsistent” verdict. The malpractice action sought to put the law firm on the hook for the $214 million.
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer tapped defense lawyers from Williams & Connolly, led by John Villa and Joseph Hage Aaronson, to represent it against Renco’s malpractice claims. Peter Haveles Jr., a former Kaye Scholer partner who Rennert named as a co-defendant in the malpractice action, was represented by Mark Zauderer of Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer.