Trevor (Ted) Swett is a member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C. office. He was elected to membership in 1989, having joined the firm as an associate in 1985. Mr. Swett has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, and Benchmark Litigation for his work in Bankruptcy/Restructuring.
ServicesMr. Swett's practice emphasizes bankruptcy litigation related to corporate reorganizations and the prosecution and defense of civil cases involving allegations of financial misconduct. He has focused on the issues characteristic of complex asbestos-related bankruptcies and on asset recovery litigation involving theories of fraudulent conveyance, successor liability, and piercing the corporate veil. He also has substantial experience representing financial institutions in commercial litigation and taxpayers in litigation against the Internal Revenue Service.
- Mr. Swett is lead litigation counsel for the Asbestos Claimants Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina. The Committee asserts that Garlock is insolvent by reason of its total liability for present and future asbestos personal injury and wrongful death claims. Mr. Swett recently led the Committee's team in a three-week bench trial for estimating the overall value of present and future mesothelioma claims against Garlock. A decision in that matter is expected in early 2014. "Clawback" actions against certain affiliates of Garlock remain to be litigated.
- He represented the Asbestos Claimants Committee in the bankruptcy liquidation of Motors Liquidation Company (formerly, General Motors). A contested proceeding for estimating the debtor's asbestos liability was settled, and a trust for General Motors' asbestos claimants has been established and funded under a confirmed plan of liquidation.
- Mr. Swett served as counsel to an official committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of Durabla Manufacturing Company and affiliates. Asbestos claimants were the major creditor body in the case. The case concluded in a confirmed plan of reorganization involving domestic and foreign affiliates, under which a trust was created for the benefit of asbestos claimants.
- Mr. Swett served as lead litigation counsel for the Asbestos Claimants Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of G-I Holdings and related adversary proceedings for fraudulent transfer and successor liability. G-I and its principals agreed to a settlement under which they have funded a $775 million trust for our client's constituency.
- He represented the Unsecured Creditors Committee of Raytech Corporation in a successful suit for fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty against insiders.
- In the Chapter 11 reorganization of Hillsborough Holdings Corporation, he acted for tort victims in litigation to impose liability on the parent of the Celotex Corporation under a theory of piercing the corporate veil.
- He represented a leading financial institution in disputes arising out of the subprime mortgage crisis, including the bankruptcy of a large mortgage loan originator and a controversy between banks concerning alleged mis-selling of a collateralized debt obligation.
- As a business litigator, Mr. Swett has acted for plaintiffs and defendants in suits involving allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and accounting malpractice, and has represented financial professionals in federal enforcement proceedings.
- As a tax litigator, he has tried Tax Court cases concerning the allocation of purchase price for a professional sports team and a spouse's claim for relief from her husband's tax liabilities. He has litigated a "whipsaw" dispute in which two major corporations vied against one another and the IRS for a large tax benefit. He has also conducted tax refund litigation in federal District Court.
Professional ActivitiesMr. Swett has made speeches and presentations on a variety of litigation issues, including challenges to LBOs as fraudulent conveyances, hedge fund redemptions, piercing the corporate veil, limited shareholder liability, corporate governance and conflict of interest, liability in tort for aiding and abetting, and legal and ethical constraints on cross-examination.
Awards & Honors
- Recognized as a top lawyer in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: Bankruptcy/Restructuring
- Ranked as a leading lawyer in the 2010-2013 editions of The Legal 500
- Ranked as a leading lawyer in the 2010-2013 editions of Benchmark Litigation
- Awarded the highest peer-review rating ("AV") by Martindale-Hubbell, the national legal directory.