Traci Rollins and Jason Joffe
Squire Patton Boggs
A Squire Patton Boggs team led by Florida regional managing partner Traci Rollins is representing British American Insurance Co., known as BAICO, an insolvent Caribbean-based insurance company with policyholders in the U.S.
The liquidation proceeding is venued in the Bahamas, but Rollins utilized Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for cross-border proceedings to have the foreign proceeding recognized by U.S. courts to pursue assets for BAICO’s estate.
The assets included tort claims alleging BAICO directors and officers led BAICO into an imprudent real estate transaction. A Green Island Holdings LLC development plan for a 6,000-acre Osceola County cattle ranch failed and was the cause of BAICO’s financial collapse.
At the direction of the judicial manager for BAICO, Rollins and West Palm Beach partner Jason Joffe filed adversary actions in West Palm Beach bankruptcy court in 2011 against BAICO directors and officers blamed for its insolvency under a claim of breach of fiduciary duty.
In August, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Erik P. Kimball ordered a director, Fort Lauderdale millionaire Lawrence Duprey, to pay a judgment of $123 million. Collection attempts are now underway, and recovered funds will become part of the bankruptcy estate for the benefit of BAICO’s policyholders.
The judge rejected arguments that a default judgment should be stricken against Duprey, who challenged service and cited his age.
Kimball noted Duprey was personally served in 2012. In a 2015 proposed order, the judge rejected any age-related issues, noting Duprey at 81 offered no evidence of diminished capacity.
“His age alone would not cause the court to reach this conclusion,” Kimball wrote in a footnote. “Indeed, Mr. Duprey is younger than one member of this court.”