Lehman Trustee Asks Court To Reconsider Barclays Ruling

By Mani
Updated on

The trustee unwinding Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Plan Trust (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ) on Tuesday asked a U.S. court to reconsider its ruling affirming Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC)’s right to billions of dollars in disputed assets.

A lawyer for the trustee, James W. Giddens, said the decision enhances Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC)’s gain from its purchase of Lehman’s brokerage in a 2008 bankruptcy court sale.

Barclays entitled to contested assets

As reported, earlier this month a federal appeals court affirmed Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC)’s right to billions in assets when it speedily purchased Lehman Brothers following its collapse in 2008. At issue between the two firms following the sale was $1.9 billion in securities and about $4 billion held to secure the brokerage’s exchange-traded derivatives.

A three-judge panel ruled that while “ambiguities and loose ends were inevitable” in the speedy sale of Lehman’s brokerage in 2008, documents associated with the deal entitled Barclays to the disputed assets.

Lehman sued Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) in 2009 saying the British bank negotiated a secret discount when it bought Lehman’s brokerage. The original bankruptcy judge, Judge Peck, concluded that Lehman’s brokerage unit was entitled to the approximately $4 billion in so-called margin assets, and that Barclays should get the $1.9 billion in so-called clearance box assets.

However, upon both sides appealing, the district court ruled that Barclays was entitled to both groups of assets.

Lehman trustee’s appeal for reconsideration

Following the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Barclays, Giddens on Tuesday asked for a new hearing before the entire bench of judges rather than a three-judge panel.

The lawyers for the trustee said: “But as important as the dollars are, equally if not more important is the manner in which the transfer purportedly was accomplished and its effect on the future integrity of the Section 363 sale process in this Circuit”. Moreover, the lawyers highlighted that allowing a post-hearing language change to alter the approved sale terms would create a dangerous precedent in the Court.

On a related note, earlier this week, it was reported that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Plan Trust (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ)’s unsecured general creditors are set to receive an initial payout of $4.6 billion as soon as next month from the trustee overseeing the firm’s liquidation.

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