NEW YORK – Freeborn & Peters LLP today announced that a New York appellate court has affirmed an eight-figure victory on behalf of its client, National General Management, by vindicating an arbitration award challenged by Kramer-Wilson Company Inc. The New York Appellate Division put an end to Kramer-Wilson’s long-running and repeated attempts to challenge the arbitration award – ruling unanimously that Kramer-Wilson cannot collaterally attack the arbitration award that it has continuously attempted to overturn since 2019.
The dispute arose out of a true-up calculation of the purchase price in an agreement by which National General acquired an insurance company owned by Kramer-Wilson in 2016. Kramer-Wilson disagreed with the calculation and initiated arbitration. Following a final award issued by the arbitrators in 2019, Kramer-Wilson launched a series of attacks on the award in trial and appellate courts in California and New York. Freeborn & Peters attorneys, led by partner Sean T. Keely, successfully fought off six attempts by various lawyers representing Kramer-Wilson seeking to disregard the award and recover $26 million from Freeborn’s client.
“This is an important decision under New York law, affirming the finality of arbitration awards. Parties like our client enter into arbitration agreements to have decisions on complex disputes decided efficiently and finally by industry professionals.” said Keely, lead counsel for National General. “Over the course of this matter, our team faced a series of shifting arguments to discredit the arbitration award and was unflappable in defeating everything that came our way. I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team met this challenge. We are thrilled to see National General emerge victorious after it endured several years defending the parties’ agreement to arbitrate.”
In addition to Keely, the Freeborn & Peters arbitration team included partner Andrew J. Costigan, senior counsel John P. McConnell, and paralegal Melissa Gaspari.