Washington, DC. International law firm Nixon Peabody LLP successfully challenged the United States government’s use of the USA PATRIOT Act to restrain assets held by The Opportunity Fund, an offshore fund client.
The United States initially obtained, ex parte, restraining orders against the fund at the request of the Brazilian government as part of an investigation in that country. On July 16, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously ruled, in a case of first impression, that the USA PATRIOT Act did not authorize federal courts to restrain assets based on a foreign official’s allegation of a violation of the laws of a foreign country. The decision in In re Any and All Funds or other Assets in Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Account # 8870792 upholds District Judge John Bates’ prior rulings, in which he twice dissolved ex parte restraining orders after concluding that they had been improperly entered as a matter of law.
Nixon Peabody Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Kelly Kramer argued the case on behalf of The Opportunity Fund in the Court of Appeals. Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partners Anjali Chaturvedi and David Feldman were on the briefs.