Lehman trader not entitled to bulk of $83m benefit, court guidelines

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The choice by the appeals court over Jonathan Hoffman’s claim concludes a decade-long legal fight

A federal appeals court chose not to let an ex-Lehman Brothers bond trader gather the bulk of an $83m “double dip” for bonus offers he declared he was owed in the defunct broker-dealer’s liquidation, MarketWatch reports.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday verified a bankruptcy court’s judgment that previous leading trader Jonathan Hoffman’s claim for $75.3 m in payment from Lehman was snuffed out when he was paid that quantity by Barclays, where he went to work following Lehman’s 2008 collapse.

Lehman’s responsibility to pay that quantity was moved, or “handed over”, to Barclays under its offer to purchase the brokerage at the peak of the monetary crisis, according to the appeals court. The choice promoted a bankruptcy court’s 2015 judgment and concludes almost a years of legal wrangling in Hoffman’s mission to gather from the residues of Lehman.

Barclays had accepted pay Hoffman $83m and to copy other essential regards to his employment agreement with Lehman. Since 2009, Hoffman has argued the cash he got from Barclays was totally for his success after Lehman closed, and Lehman maintained its own different responsibility to pay him.

Hoffman never ever rejected the payment from Barclays but argued it was simply an unique bonus offer to draw a star who would go on to produce $1.25 bn in earnings for his brand-new company.

In a deposition, a Barclays handling director remembered believing Hoffman was a “tricky bastard” for looking for payment from the Lehman estate but later on yielded that Barclays chose to make its payments and “we were under no responsibility that I know to do that”.

Thursday’s choice likewise approved Hoffman a $7.7 m claim surrounding an unsettled part of his perk from 2007. But the appeals court mainly agreed Lehman’s liquidation trustee, who stated he was happy “the most substantial part of this tried double recovery has been rejected”.

The trustee, James Giddens, stated the judgment was “constant with the law and supports fairness to all consumers and lenders”.

Douglas Baumstein, a lawyer for Hoffman, stated, “It’s not whatever we were searching for, but it’s definitely a partial vindication.”

Hoffman’s $7.7 m permitted claim will now be paid, but just in part. He will be paid on an equal basis with other Lehman unsecured financial institutions, who have gotten 39 cents on the dollar, or roughly $9bn, up until now. More than $115bn overall has been returned by the bankruptcy estate, consisting of complete payment for consumers, protected lenders and administrative costs.

The brokerage is being unwinded independently from its parent, Lehman Brothers Holdings. Giddens is leading the procedures, which are governed by the Securities Investor Protection Act instead of United States bankruptcy law.

The Second Circuit judgment increases the quantity readily available for other unsecured financial institutions because the trustee can now launch $75.3 m that had been reserved in case Hoffman dominated completely. The trustee preserved Hoffman must not be paid two times for the exact same benefit since both he and Barclays comprehended the payments would be Barclays’ duty.

Of more than 15,000 general lender claims, Giddens has solved all but roughly 400.

Hoffman took a job at Lehman in 1994 after delaying a quote to obtain his MBA at Penn’s Wharton School. At Lehman he ended up being a star, specialising in federal government bonds in its Miami workplace. Hoffman made almost $550m in revenues for Lehman throughout 2008, and his trading represented 10% of the bank’s overall revenue in 2007. He got $100m in payment for his trading at Barclays from 2008 to 2010, in addition to the $83m he got on account of his Lehman reward.