Willkie Obtains Victory in Icahn Case

October 20, 2011

Firm obtains successful jury verdict for Harry Macklowe and his company WH Rome in lawsuit brought by Carl Icahn.

At the end of  a two-week jury trial in New York Sate Supreme Court, Willkie on October 19 defeated a claim by Carl Icahn seeking $60 million in damages from real estate developer Harry Macklowe.  The case arose from Icahn and Macklowe’s joint effort in 2006 to acquire multi-billion dollar REIT Reckson Associates Realty Group via a topping bid, following Reckson’s announcement that it would be acquired by S.L. Green.

Through his company Meadow Star, Icahn had entered into a partnership with Macklowe’s company WH Rome in order to pursue the topping bid.  After Reckson consummated its deal with S.L Green, Icahn sued his partner and claimed that WH Rome had breached their agreement, supposedly by not making a capital contribution Icahn claimed was due.

Both Macklowe and Icahn were examined at length in the course of the trial.  After two hours of deliberations, a Manhattan jury returned a verdict rejecting Icahn’s claims in their entirety, and finding that Macklowe had honored his obligations.

The case was handled by of counsel Stephen Greiner, partner Roger Netzer and associates Brian Faerstein, Jeanna Composti, Jeremy Cline and Doug Mishkin.