Time For An International Financial Court

At a time when so many people are reacting to market conditions it is nice to see a story where a group in the legal industry is being proactive and looking to create solutions to the financial mess we are now in….

This particular group are the lawyers who are counsel to chief Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos and they believe it is time to start submitting proposals to create an international financial court that will have the authority to work on transnational financial fraud cases.

Some estimates reckon that a court could be up and running in a matter of months. We won’t hold our breath but we will try to follow all developments on this

Here’s the AmericanLawyer report…

Madoff Lawyers’ Alliance Pushes for International Financial Court
The American Lawyer
March 10, 2009

At a gathering in a 27th floor conference room in McCarter & English’s midtown Manhattan offices on Monday, a group of lawyers leading a global alliance of law firms representing clients caught up in the Bernard Madoff scandal called for the establishment of an International Financial Court.

Led by McCarter & English international practice group chair Gaytri Kachroo, counsel to chief Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos, and Javier Cremades of Madrid’s Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, the group intends to submit a proposal for the creation of an IFC at a G-20 meeting scheduled for next month in London.

The proposal calls for the IFC to be organized in conjunction with the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Cremades said that with the requisite political will the court can be up and running within seven months. The Madoff Lawyers’ Alliance already has met with professor Rafael Illescas, chairman of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and, according to Cremades, Illescas supports the establishment of an IFC. Illescas plans to raise the idea at UNCITRAL’s next meeting in New York.

"Right now this is a political issue," Cremades said, adding that the international scope of the Madoff matter poses unique challenges that will require "joint responsibility" by law enforcement bodies worldwide. Scant details were offered regarding how precisely to structure the IFC. The court’s mandate should be tightly focused on financial fraud, he said, and prospective parties must consent to taking part in any proceedings.

Sovereignty rules likely would require that all national remedies be exhausted before moving for an IFC hearing, Kachroo said. As national legal initiatives begin to meet their limits, Kachroo said that the construction of an international framework of financial regulation for the capital markets would be a natural forum for the IFC.

Both Cremades and Kachroo went out of their way to note that members of the Madoff Lawyers’ Alliance calling for the creation of the IFC were "just sharing and centralizing" ideas rather than acting on behalf of their myriad clients, which include banks, hedge funds, public institutions and individuals on an array of issues — bankruptcy, breach of contract, tax and torts to name a few.

Read the full story at  http://www.law.com/jsp/law/international/LawArticleIntl.jsp?id=1202428937034