Southern District Judge Thomas Griesa (See Profile) has appointed a special master to assist negotiations between Argentina and purchasers of distressed debt from that country.
Griesa on Monday named veteran litigator Daniel Pollack, a partner in McCarter & English as special master in Argentina v. NML Capital, 08-cv-6978. Pollack, the founder of the boutique law firm Pollack & Kaminsky, which combined with the now 400-lawyer McCarter & English in 2009, was named the firm’s New York office’s managing partner in 2012.
The judge said in his order that Pollack will have “no responsibility for or power to make any rulings of any kind in this litigation.” His fees will be shared equally by both sides.
The appointment comes after a hearing Wednesday in which the lead attorney for NML, Robert Cohen, a partner with Dechert, said Argentina was prepared to defy Griesa’s orders and pay off creditors willing to accept a swap of securities in Argentina at the expense of NML and other debtors who declined the swap. (NYLJ June 19).
Argentina is scheduled to make a $900 million payment on June 30. Under the judge’s orders, the next time one of the “exchange” debtors is to receive a payment, the country must pay NML and other “pari passu” plaintiffs about $1.5 billion.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Carmine Boccuzzi, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton appearing for Argentina, assured the court that Argentina is willing to sit down this week to negotiate its debt burden despite recent negative statements by Argentinian President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner and another official about the pari passu plaintiffs.