Dechert Sued For Civil RICO Violation For Alleged Misconduct Of A Partner
According to a report from the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal, Dechert LLP —a large global law firm with a main office in Philadelphia, PA—is facing a civil RICO lawsuit. The law firm is being sued for allegedly being “willfully blind” to alleged unethical professional conduct by one of its London-based partners. Here, our Miami RICO claims lawyers offer a more detailed explanation of the civil RICO lawsuit.
Allegations: Dechert Partner Conspired to Hack Opponents Emails, Firm Turned Blind Eye
On October 13th, 2022, a civil racketeering lawsuit was filed against Dechert LLP in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The legal complaint was filed by Farhad Azima and four companies that he controls. According to the civil RICO lawsuit, Dechert LLP partner Neil Gerrard (now retired) engaged in an unethical campaign to hack his emails and otherwise tarnish his reputation. He alleges that the campaign was initiated because he is an opponent of a man named Ras Al Khaimah, a high dollar Dechert LLP client.
Notably, Mr. Azima contends that Dechert LLP and its leadership were “willfully blind” and/or “indifferent” to the alleged improper professional conduct of London-based partner Neil Gerrard. The lawsuit also alleges that Dechert LLP’s conduct constitutes a civil RICO violation. The claim states that Dechert attempted to conceal criminal conduct through a pattern of racketeering activity as part of an enterprise. For its part, the global law firm straightforwardly denies any wrongdoing. A spokesperson told the ABA Journal that “the claim against the firm is denied and will be defended.”
A High Bar to Prove a Civil RICO Violation
For parties damaged by illicit racketeering activity, a civil RICO claim is a valuable tool for justice. A key element of a civil RICO lawsuit is that a plaintiff can recover treble damages if they successfully prove liability. In other words, a successful civil racketeering lawsuit allows a plaintiff to recover compensation from the defendant worth three times their actual damages.
However, it is not easy to prove a civil RICO violation. Proving “fraud” or general “misconduct” is not sufficient. Federal and state courts have consistently ruled that there is a high bar that plaintiffs need to satisfy to prove a civil racketeering violation. A plaintiff must prove that the defendant(s) committed a pattern of predicate acts (racketeering activity) as part of an enterprise.
Any party considering filing a civil racketeering lawsuit under federal law or Florida law should seek professional legal representation
Contact Our Miami, FL Civil RICO Claims Attorney for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are a solutions-driven commercial litigation law firm. With the experience needed to effectively represent plaintiffs and defendants in civil racketeering cases, our attorneys are standing by, ready to protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to schedule a completely confidential case evaluation. With legal offices located in Miami, Wellington, and West Palm Beach, we provide civil RICO representation throughout Southeastern Florida.