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Representative Matters
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In his fourth decade of practice in New York City, Edward (Ed) Lenci concentrates on the litigation and arbitration of national and international business disputes, especially those involving insurance, reinsurance disputes, and financial services, and the defense of businesses sued in class action lawsuits. He has considerable appellate experience, including a number of appellate victories involving arbitration and a class action defense victory in the U.S. Supreme Court involving a class action waiver in a student loan. Drawing on his extensive experience with national and international arbitration, Ed drafts arbitral provisions tailored to each client’s unique needs and has co-authored the ARIAS-U.S. International Arbitration Form. Ed is chair of the Reinsurance Section of Hinshaw's global Insurance Services Practice Group.

Prior to joining Hinshaw, Ed had his own firm, Wilker & Lenci, LLP, a highly-regarded New York City boutique firm that focused on reinsurance disputes and international arbitration. Before that, he was a partner in the New York office of a large international law firm. Ed began his legal career at "Big Four" Mori, Hamada & Matsumoto (then Hamada & Matsumoto) in Tokyo.

Professional Affiliations

  • Arbitration Ireland
    • International Advisory Board
    • New York Branch, Founding Member
  • ARIAS-U.S.
    • International Committee, Co-Chair
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • FINRA, Certified Arbitrator
  • Law360 International Arbitration, Editorial Advisory Board, 2017 – 2019
  • New York State Bar Association
    • International Section, Chair
    • Ukraine Task Force, Founder and Co-Chair
    • Insurance and Reinsurance Committee, Co-Chair, 2010 – 2017
  • Reinsurance & Arbitration (Harris Martin)
    • Editorial Board, Charter Member

Honors & Awards

  • Academic
    • Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia University School of Law
      • "Recognition of the Achievement with Honors" in International and Comparative Law

Representative Matters

Commercial Litigations and Arbitrations, Class Action Defense, Appeals, and Reinsurance

While at Hinshaw, Ed has achieved the following notable defense victories in class action lawsuits:

  • An order of the U.S. Supreme Court that vacated and remanded a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and instructed that the class action waiver in the student loan's arbitration provisions was enforceable.
  • In a federal case involving the use of the words "Pure" and "100% Pure" on the labels of a food product, a decision granting summary judgment because there was no proof that the labels were misleading.
  • A decision permitting a loan servicer, under the doctrine of estoppel, to invoke a class action waiver in a loan's arbitration provisions even though the servicer was not itself a party to the promissory note.
  • Decisions transferring the venue of purported class actions.
  • Decisions denying class certification and interlocutory appeal under Rule 23(f), Fed. R. Civ. Pr. Additionally, Ed's early interventions on behalf of several of the firm's clients have prevented the filing of class action lawsuits against them.

Ed is well-known for his appellate advocacy and victories include:

  • Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. v. Fensterstock, 564 U.S. 1001 (U.S. 2011): Class action waiver in a student loan's arbitration provisions was enforceable, and this victory was a front-page story in The New York Law Journal on June 14, 2011.
  • AiNET Corp. v. Xerox State & Local Sols., Inc., 739 Fed. App'x. 68, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28611 (2d Cir. Oct. 18, 2018): Denied plaintiff's appeal of the district court's decision that the defendant properly terminated its co-location subcontract with plaintiff.
  • Breitman v. Xerox Educ. Servs., 2d Cir. Docket No. 15-185 (2d Cir. Mar. 24, 2015): Denied plaintiff's appeal under Rule 23(f), Fed. R. Civ. Pr., from the lower court's decision not to certify the purported class.
  • Mutual Marine Offices, Inc., et al. v. Banco de Seguros del Estado, 344 F.3d 255 (2d Cir. 2003): Convinced the court that an insurer owned by Uruguay’s government had waived sovereign immunity and this decision was regarded as a key authority in the area of sovereign immunity.
  • Gerling Global Reinsurance Corporation – U.S. Branch v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Co., 42 Fed. Appx. 522, 2002 WL 1770725, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 15571 (2d Cir. 2002): Demonstrated that a reinsurer was not required to arbitrate its rescission claim because the arbitration agreement did not encompass such a claim.
  • Intertec Contracting, A/S, et al. v. Turner Steiner East Asia Ltd., et al., 6 Fed. Appx. 61, 2001 WL 266997, 2001 U.S. App. Lexis 4156 (2d Cir. 2001): Showed that an arbitration clause in a construction contract requiring arbitration in Sri Lanka was not incorporated by reference into a subcontract.
  • Trepel v. Prof. G. Hodgins, The Arizona Board of Regents, et al., 121 N.Y.S.3d 605 (N.Y. App. 2020): Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, an agency of the State of Arizona and its employee could not be sued in a New York State court.
  • Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company, et al. v. GLOBAL Reinsurance Corporation of America, 927 N.E.2d 740 (Ill. App. 2010): Won vacatur of an arbitral award by proving that the arbitrators exceeded their authority and committed a "gross error of law" and this victory was the lead story in the Chicago Daily Law Journal on March 16, 2010.
  • Intertec Contracting, A/S, et al. v. Turner Steiner International S.A., et al., 774 N.Y.S.2d 14 (N.Y. App. 2004): Won reversal of the trial court's decision that had dismissed a transnational construction claim on the grounds of forum non conveniens and this victory was the "Decision of the Day" in The New York Law Journal on March 22, 2004.
  • Curiale v. AIG Multi-Line Syndicate, Inc., et al., 640 N.Y.S.2d 18 (N.Y. App. 1996): Convinced a New York state appellate court that a reinsurer was entitled to rescission.

Reinsurance Disputes

Ed is the Chair of the Reinsurance Section of the firm's global Insurance Services Practice Group. His experience in the area of reinsurance dispute resolution is extensive and highly regarded. He "scored a hat trick" by winning the rare remedy of rescission of a reinsurance contract on three separate occasions – once in a jury trial, once in an arbitration, and once from the bench – and has also successfully defended against claims of rescission. He has also collected many millions of dollars from reinsurers located in Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

In addition to several of the appellate victories listed above, Ed's representative reinsurance successes include:

  • Skandia America Reinsurance Corp. v. Caja Nacional de Ahorro y Seguro, 1997 WL 278054 (S.D.N.Y. 1997): In a federal proceeding to confirm an arbitral award, persuaded the court that a reinsurer owned by the government of Argentina was not immune from posting pre-answer security because the New York Convention, which permits such security, trumped the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and this decision is regarded as a key authority in this area.
  • National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa v. Clearwater Insurance Company, 2007 WL 2106098, S.D.N.Y. July 21, 2007 (No. 04-CV-5032): Demonstrated to a federal court that the doctrine of "follow the fortunes" did not require the reinsurer to cover ECO.
  • Gerling Global Reinsurance Corporation – U.S. Branch v. ACE Property & Casualty Company, (S.D.N.Y. 2003): Won the first jury verdict in the United States rescinding a reinsurance agreement.
  • Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company: Demonstrated to a New Hampshire tribunal that The Home was not the reinsurer of the firm's client, a foreign insurer, thus paving the way for collection of payment in full from its true reinsurer.
  • GLOBAL Reinsurance Corporation – U.S. Branch v. Sompo Japan Insurance, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37969 (S.D.N.Y. 2005): Showed an arbitration panel and then a federal district court, that a Japanese reinsurer must post a $7.5 million LOC in favor of its cedent based solely on the latter's annual statement.

Intellectual Property and Restrictive Covenants

Ed has litigated a variety of disputes involving intellectual property rights and restrictive covenants. His successes in this area include:

  • Oona Tropeano Expressions, Inc. v. Studio Chevalier, Ltd., et al., 04 CV 8887 (S.D.N.Y. 2007): Dismissal of a copyright infringement claim that a U.S. designer brought against a Canadian custom printing company. Followed up this victory and recouped most of the attorneys' fees client expended.
  • Ernest Rossi, et al. v. Irvington Publishers, 04 CV 7191 (S.D.N.Y.): Represented Dr. Ernest Rossi, the collaborator of the late Dr. Milton H. Erickson, a pioneer in the field of medical hypnotherapy. As a result, Dr. Erickson's classic works are once again available to the field.
  • The Health Consultants Group v. Dailey, 2004 U.S. Dist. Lexis 23718 (S.D.N.Y. 2004): Tried a case in federal court resulting in the issuance of an injunction against a former employee of a Connecticut-based health insurance broker, enforcing the terms of a restrictive covenant. Skillful cross-examination of the former employee resulted in the trial judge's observations that the testimony was "contradictory," "evasive," and "confused, tortured and generally less than credible."

Ed's other noteworthy cases include:

  • Successfully pursued multimillion-dollar claims under CERCLA and an indemnity agreement on behalf of a Chilean conglomerate and its U.S. subsidiary after five industrial sites they acquired from a Fortune 100 company in the 1990s became the subject of environmental actions and investigations by federal and state authorities.
  • In the bankruptcy case of Pali Capital, a once prominent investment bank, secured an order that stayed the New York adversary proceeding in favor of arbitration in Los Angeles.

Presentations

  • Co-Moderator, "Current and Future Issues and Challenges in Arbitration and Mediation in Europe and the Americas: A Discussion with Representatives of Leading International Arbitral Institutions – A View from the Inside," New York State Bar Association's International Section Spring Meeting, Madrid, Spain, April 29, 2022
  • Opening Remarks, "Debunking Diversity Myths In International Arbitration: Why More Needs To Be Done," New York State Bar Association, March 16, 2022
  • Lecturer, "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Practice of Law and Dispute Resolution," ICU Rotary International Peace Center (Tokyo), Virtual Event, January 20, 2022
  • Signatory, Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, December 16, 2021
  • Panelist, "Arbitration of Insurance Disputes," Australia Chapter of the New York State Bar Association International Section, Virtual Event, November 23, 2021 (New York) and November 24, 2021 (Australia)
  • Moderator, "Diversity and Inclusion in International Arbitration," Dublin International Arbitration Day, Dublin, Ireland, November 19, 2021
  • Opening Remarks, "The Yazidi Genocide: Aftermath For The Yazidi Women," Syracuse University School of Law and the New York State Bar Association International Section, Virtual Event, November 15, 2021
  • Opening Remarks, "Human Trafficking In Asia: Modern-Day Forms Of Slavery," Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), and the New York State Bar Association International Section, Virtual Event, October 16, 2021
  • Signatory, Memorandum of Understanding between the Georgia Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, September 16, 2021
  • Opening Remarks, "Love and Let Love: Breaking Down the Barriers to LGBTQ Equality," NYSBA's International Section, Virtual Event, June 24, 2021 (New York City), June 25, 2021 (Tokyo)
  • Signatory, Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, June 17, 2021
  • Signatory, Memorandum of Friendship between the Osaka Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, June 4, 2021
  • "International Arbitrations: Updates From Europe, Bermuda, The Cayman Islands, and the U.S.," ARIAS-U.S. 2021 Spring Conference, Virtual Event, May 6, 2021
  • "Judicially-Aided Discovery and Provisional Relief In International Arbitration: UK & US," New York State Bar Association International Section, Virtual Event, April 16, 2021
  • Moderator, "Ireland for Law: Ireland and International Arbitration," Ireland for Law Series Presented by the New York State Bar Association's International Section, Virtual Event, March 11, 2021
  • "Arbitrations Against States and State-Owned Entities," ILI – African Centre for Excellence and the New York State Bar Association's International Section, Virtual Event, December 7, 2020
  • Opening and Closing Remarks, "Ireland for Law: Corporate Restructuring, Intellectual Property and Data Privacy, and Derivatives," Ireland for Law and the New York State Bar Association's International Section, November 19, 2020
  • Opening Remarks, "Nuclear Weapons and International Law," New York State Bar Association's International Section, Virtual November 12, 2020
  • Panelist, "Careers Landscape After 2020," CIArb Virtual Congress Conference 2020, Virtual Event, November 11, 2020
  • Conference Co-Chair, "A World of Many Voices, United in Our Diversity," New York State Bar Association's International Section 2019 Global Conference, Tokyo, Japan, November 2019
  • Panelist representing Arbitration Ireland, "The A-Team: We Love It When Your Arbitration Comes Together," New York State Bar Association's International Section 2019 Global Conference, Tokyo, Japan, November 2019
  • "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Arbitral Forum: The Latest on the Use of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses in the US," Dublin International Arbitration Day, Dublin, Ireland, November 2017
  • "The Latest on Class Action/Arbitration Waivers and Class Arbitration in the US," New York State Bar Association's International Section meeting, Antigua, Guatemala, September 2017
  • "Dispute Resolution Involving U.S./Latin America Reinsurance Relationships," ARIAS-U.S. Spring Conference, Naples, Florida, May 2017
  • Co-Chair, New York State Bar Association International Section European meeting, Dublin, Ireland, April 2017

Publications

Media Mentions

Personal

Ed lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife, artist Monica Lenci. He has been a leader in community affairs for two decades.

Ed had the honor of dining with the Benchers, including the Chief Justice of Ireland at the Honorable Society of King's Inns in Dublin in November 2017.

Ed was a member of a group of attorneys who visited Havana, Cuba, in early December 2014, as part of a program sponsored by the New York State Bar Association. Two weeks later, the U.S. and Cuban governments announced the normalization of relations after over five decades in what became known in Cuba as el Deshielo Cubano (the Cuban thaw). While in Havana, the group met with a number of Cuban lawyers, and Ed was proud to sponsor one of them for admission to the New York State bar sometime later. Ed and Monica also visited Caritas Cubana, part of Caritas Internationalis, a network of Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations worldwide.

Community/Civic Activities

  • Greenwich Hills Association Conservancy Trust and Greenwich Hills Association, Greenwich, CT
  • The Mimes and Mummers (theater) at Fordham University, Alumnus and Benefactor

Industries

J.D., honors awarded, Columbia University School of Law, 1990

ICU, Tokyo, Japan, 1986

B.A., summa cum laude, Fordham University, 1985