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Quarles & Brady Obtains Dismissal of $1.2 Billion Lawsuit Over Failed Chicago Spire Project

Chicago — The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that the firm successfully represented the National Asset Loan Management (NALM) and parent company National Asset Management Agency (together with NALM, "NAMA") -- both Irish sovereign entities -- in obtaining the dismissal of a $1.2 billion lawsuit stemming from the failed Chicago Spire Project and loans made to the developer by Anglo Irish Bank. NAMA took over the loans made by Anglo Irish Bank Corp. to the Chicago Spire developer for construction of a skyscraper that reportedly would have been the second-tallest building in the world.

The developer alleged that it suffered $1.2 billion in damages resulting from NAMA's actions which allegedly prevented it from redeeming the loans and developing the property. NAMA argued that the suit should be dismissed for failure of jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act ("FSIA"). The developer alleged that certain exceptions under the FSIA allowed the court to take jurisdiction over the case.

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois agreed that NAMA was immune from the suit under the FSIA. U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood said the developer failed to show that NAMA engaged in enough commercial activity in the United States to fall under jurisdiction of American courts. Judge Wood also found that NAMA had not waived its immunity under the 1950 Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Ireland and the U.S

Representation of NAMA was led by Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors' Rights partner Faye Feinstein with assistance of Lauren Beslow, Travis Eliason, Charles Harper, Hunter DeKoninck, and King Poor.