We handle international and domestic litigation and alternative dispute resolution, representing foreign and domestic companies in matters involving complex legal, regulatory, and technical issues in state and federal courts around the U.S. We also counsel international clients on commercial and business-related issues such as product liability and risk management.
The international work involves issues relating to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, application of various treaties, jurisdictional challenges, the doctrine of forum non conveniens and enforcement of foreign judgments. We counsel clients globally in all of these areas and more generally, on matters involving cross-border litigation and the application of law from both civil and common law jurisdictions.
The Axelrod Firm Partner Lisa Savitt’s foreign legal experience spans work in many jurisdictions including in Austria, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ethiopia, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Peru, Poland, Taiwan, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United Kingdom.
Ms. Savitt is qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales and worked in London for three years. She is a former Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law and currently serves on the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Council for Africa. She is the former Chair of the International Committee of DirectWomen, the only national non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of women lawyers on major corporate boards. Ms. Savitt is also Chair of the Board of the non-profit organization A Child for All (www.acfacorp.org), which helps vulnerable children in Mali. She is a founder and former President of the International Aviation Women’s Association and is a frequent speaker on topics involving international litigation issues.
Ms. Axelrod is fluent in Spanish and Mr. Souffrant is a native French speaker.
The attorneys in The Axelrod Firm have handled the following representative matters:
- Acted as expert in international arbitration regarding breach of contract claim seeking to invalidate exculpatory clauses in international sales contract for major international company arising out of allegations of product defect.
- Counseled major international aircraft component manufacturer in breach of contract claims and mitigation of damages in matter where alleged damages were $13 million.
- Successfully represented major international insurance company in arbitration to resolve coverage dispute.
- Defended French bearing manufacturer in wrongful death action in state court in Cook County, Illinois arising out of helicopter crash including challenge to jurisdiction of Illinois courts resulting in dismissal of lawsuit by trial court; maintained challenge after plaintiff’s successful appeal through to Illinois Supreme Court to unsuccessful petition for certiorari to the U. S. Supreme Court; continued defense against allegations including strict products liability, negligence and breach of warranty; case involved multiple experts including metallurgist, accident reconstruction expert, pilot expert, economist, biomechanics forensic expert and maintenance expert; following mediation, case settled on favorable terms two weeks before trial.
- Counseled French engine manufacturer and worked with Mexican counsel regarding possible claim by Mexican distributor of engines and victims of airplane crash in Mexico.
- Represented airport authority Aéroports de Paris and its insurers in wrongful death and personal injury claims in United States and overseas arising out of collapse of terminal at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris; claims included allegations of negligence related to construction and architectural defects; after several mediation sessions, wrongful death case filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York arising out of accident resulted in favorable settlement.
- Successfully converted $24 million foreign judgment of shipping company against Yugoslavian bank into U.S. judgment and represented shipping company in enforcement of judgment including dealing with OFAC provisions and attempts by Yugoslavian bank to transfer assets from the United States in U.S. Bankruptcy Court ancillary proceeding.