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Jonathan Sablone



Jon is known for being a tough adversary who keeps his sense of humor in the most challenging of cases. Clients value the business-focused nature of his advice. As chair of the firm’s Private Fund Disputes team, he represents offshore liquidators, managers, limited partners and institutional investors in disputes related to hedge, private equity, venture, tax credit and real estate funds, and investment vehicles consisting of any alternative asset classes such as residential and commercial mortgage backed securities, credit default swaps, corporate trusts and collateralized debt obligations.

What do you focus on?

I take a business-focused approach to the resolution of disputes in two primary areas.

Private Fund Disputes

Long before fund disputes were in vogue, I founded our Private Fund Disputes team because I foresaw the exposure of alternative investment funds to market and regulatory forces. Such forethought, detailed in numerous thought leadership articles and speaking engagements, was prescient as the credit crises exposed the risks inherent in such investment vehicles and asset classes. I was fortunate that clients put their trust in my skillset, and today represent a cross-section of the fund industry, including offshore liquidators. As one prominent client noted, “Jon’s qualities and offshore pedigree mean that we consider him a ‘go-to’ counselor for handling complex offshore fund disputes.”

eDiscovery & Digital Evidence

E-discovery has become one of the most onerous and expensive burdens facing large corporations. As chair of the firm’s electronic discovery and digital evidence practice, I created a ground-breaking approach to electronic discovery before the amendments to the federal rules at a time when the business community had never heard of e-discovery. Due to this vision, companies in the technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and financial services sectors have all retained my team to provide them with the most up-to-date, cost-effective and successful strategies.

What do you see on the horizon?

I see a confluence of the regulatory forces in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Asia and offshore jurisdictions resulting in global pressure on private investment funds ultimately leading to novel litigation associated with compliance and regulatory issues.

Representative Experience

Jonathan has achieved numerous successful litigation results in high-profile cases, including:

  • Representing a concrete manufacturer in defense of $100 million alleged breach of contract, breach of warranty, misrepresentation and Chapter 93A claims brought by commuter railroad.
  • Representing an international financial services company and its executives in a number of multi billion dollar complex commercial litigation matters involving residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS).
  • Representing a British Virgin Island hedge fund in $50 million preference and clawback action brought by the Madoff trustee.
  • Representing a British Virgin Island hedge fund with respect to a $400 Million SIPA claim relating to the Madoff Estate.
  • Representing a Cayman island liquidator in an onshore litigation matters relating to redemption rights in a Special Purpose Vehicle.
  • Representing Cayman island liquidator of hedge fund of funds with respect to claims arising out of disputes with underlying hedge funds relating to valuation and proper calculation of net asset value.
  • Representing joint defense group consisting of institutional investors with respect to millions of dollars of preference and clawback claims brought by bankruptcy trustee.
  • Representing a New York-based technology company as eDiscovery counsel in a government investigation.
  • Successfully representing a financial services company and the largest owner of residential apartment complexes in the United States in a number of limited partnership disputes relating to the rights of investment limited partners.
  • Obtained a precedent-setting decision from the First Circuit Court of Appeals for Corning in an “undertaking” matter against a former director who was found civilly liable for insider trading in a case brought by the SEC.
  • Obtained a precedent-setting decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of corporate taxpayers, among others, in a first-of-its-kind claim alleging violation of substantive due process rights against the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
  • Obtained a Supreme Judicial Court ruling recognizing the tax-exempt status of New Habitat Inc., a non-profit organization for persons with acquired brain injuries. Pro bono case.
  • Representing a large multi-national corporation in various post-acquisition dispute matters in New York and Massachusetts.
  • Successfully defending a large multi-national corporation in a post-acquisition dispute against a French conglomerate, as well as numerous claims brought against various companies within the corporate family structure.
  • Obtained a first-in-the-nation judgment for a wireless carrier in a consumer class action relating to “rounding” of airtime minutes.
  • Obtained a significant jury verdict and judgment for a corrugated box manufacturer in a post-acquisition dispute.

Publications

Private Fund Disputes

  • “Offshore Hedge Fund Disputers: We’re Not in New York Anymore,” Bloomberg Law Reports—Securities Law, November 8, 2010
  • “Lessons from Lehman: Hedge Funds and Redemption Risk,” Nixon Peabody Alternative Investment Litigation Alert, October 10, 2008
  • “Problems and Opportunities in the Credit Default Swap (CDS) Market,” Nixon Peabody Alternative Investment Litigation Alert, September 17, 2008
  • “Sub-prime pain burns on a ‘slow fuse,’” Hedge Funds Review, February 2008
  • “Insider Trading and Credit Derivatives: A New Take on an Old Crime,” Financier Worldwide, April 2007
  • “Hedge Fund Risk: The Intersection of Valuation and Redemption,” High Yield Report; Bank Loan Report, March 2007
  • “The Inevitability of Hedge Fund Regulation in the US,” Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, February 2007
  • “Hedge Fund Due Diligence: A US Litigator’s Perspective,” International Investment & Securities Review 2007
  • “Hedge Funds: Five Issues for Institutional Investors to Consider,” Financier Worldwide, October 2006

Electronic Discovery & Digital Evidence

  • “Manifest Destiny—Using U.S. Discovery Tools to Win Foreign Litigation,” Financier Worldwide, October, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Bring Your Own Dilemmas—‘Custody’ in the Digital Age,” Financier Worldwide, April, 2017 (co-author)
  • “U.S. Restrictions On Commercial Social Networking,” Financier Worldwide, November, 2012 (co-author)
  • LexisNexis® Practice Guide Massachusetts e-Discovery and Evidence, 2012 Edition
  • “The Duty to Preserve Electronic Evidence: You Got to Know When to Hold ’Em,” Mealey’s Litigation Report: Discovery, June 2007
  • “Not Your Father’s Keeper Deposition—Choosing a Witness for the E-Discovery Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition,” The Discovery Standard, May 2007.

Speeches and Presentations

Private Fund Disputes

  • “How Offshore Practitioners Can Use The U.S. Legal System To Their Benefit In Hedge Fund Disputes,” Offshore Alert Conference, Miami, FL, April 17, 2018
  • “The Yin and Yang of the U.S. Legal System: Civil Benefits and Criminal Challenges for Offshore Funds,” Offshore Alert Conference, Miami, FL, May 1–2, 2017
  • “Third Party Subpoenas,” National eDiscovery Leadership Institute Conference, Kansas City, MO, October 2016 (Moderator)
  • “Big Data, Big Headaches,” 14th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference North America, South Beach/Miami Beach, FL, May 2016
  • “Credit Default Swaps Under Fire—Guiding Financial Institutions and Investors Through The Credit Derivatives Crisis,” Strafford Publications Audio Conference, October 21, 2008
  • “Repricing Risk: The Role Hedge Funds in the Ongoing Credit Crisis,” The Boston Security Analysts Society (BSAS), Boston, MA, September 11, 2008
  • “Trustee Duties and the Alternative Investment Marketplace,” National Association of Securities Professionals’ 19th Annual Pension and Financial Services Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 23, 2008
  • “Repricing Risk: The Role of Hedge Funds in the Credit Crisis,” Suffolk University Law School, The Fallout from the Subprime Lending Crisis, Boston, MA, May 19, 2008
  • “Mitigating Leverage and Credit Risk by Effectively Using and Knowing the Responsibility of Counterparties,” Institute for International Research, Third Annual GAIM Cayman, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, April 14, 2008
  • Opal Financial Group’s Alternative Investing Summit, Laguna Niguel, CA, December 2, 2007
  • Joint Seminar with Kinetic Partners: Stress, Distress, Redress, Mayfair, London, October 2, 2007
  • Opal Financial Group’s Endowment and Foundation Forum, Boston, MA, October 10, 2007
  • “Hedge Fund Manager Selection,” Opal Financial Group’s Family Office/Private Wealth Management Forum, Newport, RI, July 11, 2007
  • “Hotel California Investors Can Check Out Any Time They Like, But They Can Never Leave,” Infovest21 Institutional Investor Conference, New York, NY, April 16, 2007
  • “Hedge Fund Manager Selection and Management Issues,” Opal Financial Group’s Public Funds Summit, Scottsdale, AZ, January 10, 2007
  • “Disputes Between and Among Investors, Managers and Government Regulators,” Opal Financial Group’s European Alternative and Institutional Investing Summit, Monte Carlo, Monaco, October 25, 2006

Electronic Discovery & Digital Evidence

  • “Predictive Coding and E-Discovery: Save Time, Save Money and Win,” Social Law Library Webinar, April 28, 2015
  • “The Rambus Decisions: New Case Law for Document Preservation”, Law Seminars International, Telebriefing, June 21, 2011.
  • “Providing Updates on Recent Rulings and Examining the General State of the E-Discovery Landscape,” The International Quality and Productivity Center, Las Vegas, NV, May 6, 2008
  • “E-Discovery in Arbitration,” The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, Boston, MA, October 26, 2007
  • “The Practitioners to Watch,” LexisNexis Applied Discovery Series Featuring the Experts: Trial, Case Law & Practitioners Webinar, July 24, 2007
  • “Building Effective Litigation Support Teams & Processes,” ALM LegalTech West Coast Conference, Los Angeles, CA, June 21, 2007
  • “Developing an Effective E-Discovery Action Plan,” ALM LegalTech West Coast Conference, Los Angeles, CA, June 20, 2007
  • “Managing Costs in E-Discovery for Securities Litigation,” IQPC Securities Litigation Conference, New York, NY, May 18, 2007
  • “Document Management and E-Discovery in International Transactions,” American Conference Institute’s E-Discovery & Litigation Readiness for Life Sciences, New York, NY, February 28, 2007
  • “Technology Revolution for On-Boarding New Associates,” ALM LegalTech New York Conference, New York, NY, January 30, 2007
  • “Understanding the E-Discovery Federal Rules,” Nixon Peabody Annual California Continuing Legal Education Seminar: San Francisco, CA, January 25, 2007
  • “E-Discovery New Law Alert,” Infocrossing E-Discovery Conference, Webinar, December 13, 2006
  • “Legal Education in a Networked World,” Harvard Law School and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Cambridge, MA, December 7, 2006
  • “Forming an E-Discovery Committee,” LexisNexis Applied Discovery E-Discovery Issues for Corporate Counsel, New York, NY, November 9, 2006
  • “Pre-Trial Litigation, the Litigation Associate and the E-Discovery Process,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Boston, MA, October 5, 2006
  • “E-Discovery Best Practices,” Association of Corporate Counsel New to In-House Committee, Webinar, August 16, 2006
  • “Developing an E-Discovery Action Plan,” LexisNexis Applied Discovery Best Practices Conference, New York, NY, June 15, 2006
  • “Rule 30(b)(6) Technology Depositions,” LexisNexis Applied Discovery Advanced E-Discovery Conference, Boston, MA, May 16, 2006
  • “Managing the Risk of Using E-Mail, E-Mail Retention Policies and E-Mail Discovery Issues,” Mealey’s E-Mail Discovery and Retention Policies Conference, New York, NY, March 20, 2006
  • “E-Discovery Best Practices and Ethical Considerations,” LexisNexis Applied Discovery Best Practices Conference, Washington, DC, March 16, 2006

Media Mentions

Private Fund Disputes

  • “Hedge Funds: Liability & Defense”, Bloomberg Law Reports, October 11, 2010
  • “Local Firms Preparing for New Round of Madoff Suits, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, August 23, 2010
  • “Insurance Coverage Eyed in Madoff Claims”, National Law Journal, February 09, 2009
  • “Did You Invest in Madoff? Here’s What You Need to Know…”, Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2008
  • “Paulson Calls for More Hedge Fund Oversight”, New York Times Deal Book Blog, November 21, 2008
  • “Banks, Raters Face Subprime Lawsuits, New Rules”, Reuters News, November 20, 2008
  • “Crisis for Credit Default Swaps”, Financier Worldwide, October 1, 2008
  • “Swaps market could be steamrolled by regs,” Financial Week, September 28, 2008
  • “Systemic Risk Haunts Credit-Default Swaps,” CFO, September 18, 2008
  • “State Supreme Judicial Court rules city can’t tax home” Cambridge Chronicle, July 8, 2008
  • “A Big Fat Mess: When Hedge Funds Fail” The Deal, August 31, 2007
  • “Fraud? What Fraud?” The Deal, August 31, 2007
  • “Hedge Funds Brace for Tough Day” The Deal.com, August 16, 2007
  • “Investors Mull How to Get Out of Hedge Funds” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2007
  • “Subprime Mess May Spur Regulation” The Deal.com, August 3, 2007
  • “Balestra Capital: When Subprime is a Win” HedgeWorld, August 3, 2007
  • “Loan Data, Hedge Fund Fallout Keep Derivative Index” Dow Jones Newswires, June 26, 2007
  • “SJC Ruling Opens Door For Bigger Excise Tax Refund,” Boston Business Journal, March 16, 2007
  • “Stats on Opinion Output by USDC Judges Has Some Crying Foul,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, February 12, 2007
  • “Corning NetOptix Wins Legal Fee Fight,” InsideCounsel, January 1, 2007
  • “Recouping Exec’s Legal Fees Is Easier,” National Law Journal; law.com, November 2006
  • “Do Firms Pay Legal Tab For Officers In Trouble? Depends,” Boston Globe, November 8, 2006
  • “Corning Win,” trial.com, November 8, 2006
  • “Hedge-Fund Litigation Set To Rise As Regulators Probe,” Dow Jones Newswires, May 2, 2006
  • “Director Must Reimburse Company For Legal Fees,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 19, 2005

Electronic Discovery & Digital Evidence

  • “Document Review Leads Trend of Outsourcing”, The Daily Record, March 17, 2011
  • “Sanctions for E-Discovery Violations at “Historic” High, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, February 14, 2011
  • “Expanding Turf”, Law Technology News, August 17, 2010
  • “E-discovery Ruling Draws Bar’s Attention”, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, August 03, 2009
  • “Online Dating: Your profile’s long, scary shelf life”, Computerworld, February 13, 2009
  • “New discovery rule to curb accidental privilege waivers,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, September 29, 2008
  • “New Skills, New Learning: Legal Education and the Promise of Technology,” White Paper, The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, March 2007
  • “The Age of e-discovery,” OpRisk & Compliance magazine, February 1, 2007
  • “E-discovery Rules Signal New Era in Federal Practice,” Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, January 22, 2007
  • “E-discovery Rules Signal New Era in Federal Practice,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 11, 2006

Criticism mounts on Madoff compensation fund

The Wall Street Journal | June 16, 2017

Boston partner and commercial litigation co-leader Jon Sablone provides third party commentary in this article about criticism around how the Justice Department is handling the payout of the Madoff’s Victim Fund.

Kochs and other Madoff investors are winners in fight over profits held abroad

The New York Times | November 22, 2016

Boston partner and co-leader of the commercial litigation practice Jon Sablone is quoted in this article about a recent ruling in federal bankruptcy court in favor of Madoff fund investors.

Cayman Court Clarifies Investor Rights in Liquidation

Law360 | August 12, 2016

Boston commercial litigation partner Jonathan Sablone and associate Kathleen Ceglarski Burns wrote this article about a recent decision in the Cayman Islands Court of Appeals confirming that shareholders who have redeemed their shares, but who have not received the redemption proceeds, have claims against the liquidating company as creditors, ranking behind ordinary unsecured creditors but ahead of continuing shareholders.

Madoff Investors' Defense Arguments Get New Life

Law360 | March 22, 2016

Boston partner and co-leader of the commercial litigation practice Jon Sablone and New York City commercial litigation associate Danielle McLaughlin co-authored this column discussing the impact of a New York bankruptcy court decision on investors who still face claims by trustee Irving Picard. Their commentary focuses on a reevaluation of the litigation strategy for a more aggressive approach.

3 Spoliation Cases You Should Know

Law360 | March 11, 2016

Partner and co-leader of the commercial litigation practice Jon Sablone is quoted in this feature article discussing three high-profile spoliation disputes featuring lost, destroyed or hidden electronic data and what these cases mean moving forward.

Cayman Eviscerates Liquidation Option for Fund Investors

Law360 | October 06, 2015

Partner and co-leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice Jon Sablone and New York City Commercial Litigation associate Danielle McLaughlin authored this column discussing how the insertion of boilerplate language can now obviate an important and powerful tool of the Cayman Islands Companies Law and invest even more power in offshore funds.

The Citco Settlement and What Lies Ahead for PwC

Law360 | August 17, 2015

Partner and co-leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice Jon Sablone and New York City Commercial Litigation associate Danielle McLaughlin discuss Citco Group Ltd.’s recent $125 million settlement in Anwar et al. v. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd. and it’s implications on PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC in a class action the company is facing.

Contact

Jonathan Sablone

Partner
Practice Group Co-Leader, Commercial Litigation
Chair, eDiscovery & Digital Evidence
Chair, Private Fund Disputes

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1342

New York

Phone: 212-224-6395


Fax: 866-947-1729

Boston College Law School, J.D.

Harvard College, A.B., cum laude

Massachusetts

New York

U.S. Supreme Court

Jon was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 in the field of Commercial Litigation.

Jon has been recognized for exceptional standing in the national legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017 for Litigation: General Commercial (Massachusetts). He has also been recognized in Chambers in previous years. Other recognitions include: Martindale Hubbell “AV” rated trial attorney; “Super Lawyer,” Boston magazine, 2008-2011; and Boston Business Journal's “40 Under 40,” 2008

Jonathan volunteers his time as a faculty member at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, where he teaches courses related to discovery and deposition practice. He is also a past board member and secretary of the Starlight Children’s Foundation of New England, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of seriously and terminally ill children. Jonathan also serves as a volunteer alumnus interviewer for the Harvard and Radcliffe college admissions committees. He also sits on the advisory board of the New England Legal Foundation.

Jonathan is a member of the Massachusetts, New York State, Boston, and American bar associations. He also sits on the Civil Advisory Board for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and serves as a Board Member of the New England Legal Foundation. Additionally, Jonathan is on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA).

As part of a commitment to give back to the community, Jonathan has dedicated substantial time to pro bono matters, including the representation of a home for brain damaged individuals in a tax dispute against a municipality.

Jon Sablone presents on the use of predictive coding in the practice of e-discovery.

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