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MONFRINI BITTON KLEIN

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MBK is an internationally recognised conflict-free Geneva-based litigation boutique focusing on asset recovery, business crime and cross-border litigation, in particular contentious insolvency and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards.
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Firm profile for Europe 2022

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Europe 2022
Europe

This firm is also ranked in:

Litigation Support 2022

About

This content is provided by MONFRINI BITTON KLEIN.

Founder: Enrico Monfrini (of counsel)
Senior Partners: Yves Klein, David Bitton
Number of partners: 5
Number of lawyers: 11
Languages: English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Firm Overview:
Founded in 1978 by Enrico Monfrini, the firm became renown in international business law, complex litigation and arbitration. Since the end of the 1990s, Monfrini and Yves Klein developed the asset recovery practice of the firm by representing foreign governments in grand corruption cases, shareholders involved in class actions, bankrupt estates, victims of Ponzi schemes, and defrauded companies and individuals. With the arrival of David Bitton in 2015, the firm strengthened its white-collar crime and high-stakes divorces practices. In 2017, the firm changed its name and became a litigation-only practice in order to offer conflictfree services to its clients, focusing on asset recovery and white-collar crime proceedings. As the representative for Switzerland of ICC FraudNet, the leading global network of fraud and asset recovery lawyers, the firm benefits from correspondents in more than 70 jurisdictions and litigation support professionals, such as forensic accountants, insolvency practitioners, investigators and litigation funders. The asset-tracing skills and connections of the firm are also at the disposal of individual and corporate clients seeking to enforce commercial, matrimonial or estate claims, judgments and arbitral awards, in Switzerland or elsewhere.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Asset Recovery:
The firm is best known for being a global leader in conducting worldwide high-value recovery proceedings on behalf of foreign governments, victims of grand corruption and liquidators of insolvent banks. Over its history, the firm has developed innovative asset-recovery techniques, using a unique combination of criminal, mutual assistance, bankruptcy and civil proceedings to obtain compensation for its clients.

Contact: Yves Klein
Email: [email protected]

Recent Cases: 

Saad Investments Company Ltd, in official liquidation, Cayman Islands:
The Saad Group is believed to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history, involving a fraud against 100 Saudi and international banks, with claims exceeding US$ 22 billion. MBK has been retained to bring proceedings for a US$70 million claim against a Geneva bank.

Lead Partner: Yves Klein

Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, New York:
MBK represents in Switzerland Irving H. Picard, as Trustee for the Substantively Consolidated SIPA Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and the Estate of Bernard L. Madoff, one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history, with claims exceeding US$19 billion.

Lead Partner: Yves Klein

Stanford International Bank Ltd (in liquidation), Antigua & Barbuda:
Stanford International Bank Ltd (SIB) was an Antiguan bank owned and controlled by a US citizen, Robert Allen Stanford, who is responsible for operating the second largest Ponzi scheme in world’s history, leaving 25,000 creditors/investors with claims totalling in excess of US$7 billion. The Antiguan insolvency proceedings were recognised in Switzerland, and the firm was retained to represent SIB as the plaintiff in the Swiss criminal proceedings for fraud and money laundering that were pending before the Attorney General of Switzerland. It was also retained to bring torts claims against banks liable for money laundering before Swiss civil courts. In 2014, US$10 million were recovered through a criminal forfeiture order. Claims, including claw-back claims, in excess of US$400 million are being litigated in Switzerland before bankruptcy courts.

Lead Partner: Yves Klein

Banca Turco Romana SA, in liquidation, Romania:
Banca Turco Romana SA (BTR) became insolvent in 2002 following acts of fraud and embezzlement by its directors and shareholders. In 2014, the firm obtained recognition of the Romanian bankruptcy judgment by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA and was authorised to lodge a criminal complaint for money laundering against BTR’s past owners, to bring torts claims against the Swiss banks that facilitated the crimes, and to seek recognition in Switzerland of a US$190 million damages judgment. In 2017, the proceedings were expanded, leading to recognition, freeze or disclosure orders in ten jurisdictions.

Lead Partner: Yves Klein

White-Collar Crime:
The firm represents domestic and foreign clients in complex, trans-national litigation involving civil, criminal and mutual assistance proceedings.

Contact: David Bitton
Email: [email protected]

Recent Cases:  

Yves Bouvier v Dmitry Rybolovlev & al:
The firm coordinates the worldwide civil and criminal defence of Yves Bouvier, a prominent art dealer and the owner of the world’s largest art shipping and storage business, in the context of criminal and civil proceedings brought against him in 2015 by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev in connection with 37 works of art purchased for more than US$2 billion over 10 years. Civil and criminal proceedings initiated against each other by Bouvier and Rybolovlev are underway in a number of jurisdictions.

Lead Partners: David Bitton and Yves Klein

Key Clients:  

■ Federal Republic of Nigeria
■ Republic of Angola
■ Republic of Guinea
■ Stanford International Bank Ltd, in liquidation (Antigua and Barbuda)
■ Banca Turco Romana SA, in liquidation (Romania)
■ Banco Santos SA, in liquidation (Brazil)
■ Bilta (UK) Limited, in liquidation (England)
■ Saad Investments Company Limited – In Official Liquidation (Cayman Islands)
■ Yves Bouvier

Europe

This firm is also ranked in:

Litigation Support 2022

Contributions

Total 3 contributions

Ranked Departments

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Switzerland

White-Collar Crime
Band 3

Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Switzerland

White-Collar Crime


David Bitton
Band 3

Top Ranked Lawyers

Band 2
Yves KleinWhite-Collar Crime
Band 3
David BittonWhite-Collar Crime

Ranked Offices

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

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Head Office

firm
Head Office

3 place du Molard

Geneva

Geneva

Switzerland

1204

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