Firm / Organisation

MONFRINI BITTON KLEIN

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This content is provided by MONFRINI BITTON KLEIN.

Number of employees: 20
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish

Overview & History:
Founded in 1978 by Enrico Monfrini, the firm became renowed in international business law, complex litigation and arbitration. The asset recovery practice started at the end of the 1990s with the representation of foreign governments, companies, individuals and liquidators of bankruptcies victims of fraud and Ponzi schemes. In 2017, the firm changed its name to MONFRINI BITTON KLEIN and became a litigation-only practice in order to offer conflict-free services to its clients, focusing on asset recovery, business crime, cross-border bankruptcy proceedings, and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. MBK is the representative for Switzerland of ICC FraudNet, the leading global network of fraud and asset recovery lawyers, and has access around the world to hundreds of specialised correspondent lawyers, private investigators, forensic accountants, insolvency practitioners and litigation funders.

Services:
Asset Recovery:

The firm is best known for being a global leader in conducting worldwide high-value recovery proceedings. MBK has developed innovative asset-recovery techniques, using a unique combination of criminal, mutual assistance, bankruptcy and civil tools to obtain compensation for its clients.
Contact: Yves Klein
Email: [email protected]

Recent Cases:

Grand Corruption
Republic of Angola v Dos Santos & al.: Since 2019, MBK has been instructed by the Republic of Angola to litigate and coordinate recovery proceedings against former public officials for a value estimated to be in excess of US$100 billion.
Lead Partners: Enrico Monfrini and James Bouzaglo

Federal Republic of Nigeria v Abacha & al.: Since 1999, MBK has been litigating and coordinating the ground breaking case of Nigeria v Abacha, where US$2 billion worth of bribes and diverted public funds have been recovered in 10 jurisdictions and US$500 million are still frozen.
Lead Partners: Enrico Monfrini and Yves Klein

Ponzi Schemes
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 by Robert Allen Stanford, who is responsible for operating one of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, with claims in excess of US$7 billion. MBK was retained to represent SIB as plaintiff in Swiss criminal proceedings for fraud and money laundering, and to bring claims against banks exceeding US$800 million before Swiss civil and bankruptcy courts.
Lead Partner: Yves Klein

Fraud & Bankruptcy
Banca Turco Romana SA, in liquidation, Romania: Banca Turco Romana SA (BTR), a Romanian bank, became insolvent following acts of fraud and embezzlement by its directors and shareholders. MBK obtained the recognition of the Romanian bankruptcy in Switzerland, brought a criminal complaint for money laundering against BTR, and obtained the recognition of a US$190 million damages judgment in Switzerland. MBK also coordinates BTR’s worldwide recovery proceedings.
Lead Partner: Yves Klein

Bilta (UK) Limited, in liquidation, England: Bilta (UK) Limited was an English company that was created by international fraudsters to commit a multi-million carbon credits VAT fraud. MBK obtained the recognition of Bilta’s bankruptcy in Switzerland and the recognition of a GBP39 million English judgment against Jetivia SA and its shareholder.
Lead Partner: Yves Klein

Art
Yves Bouvier: MBK represents and coordinates the worldwide representation of Yves Bouvier, a prominent Swiss art dealer, in the context of criminal and civil proceedings brought against him in 2015 by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev in connection with the purchase of artworks for more than US$2 billion. 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:
■ Republic of Angola
■ Federal Republic of Nigeria
■ Saad Investments Company Ltd, in liquidation
■ Irving H. Picard (Bernard Madoff liquidation)
■ Stanford International Bank Ltd, in liquidation
■ Banca Turco Romana SA, in liquidation
■ Bilta (UK) Ltd, in liquidation
■ Yves Bouvier