FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Owen C. Pell

White & Case LLP

New York, NY, USA


Owen Pell's areas of practice include complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, litigation involving foreign sovereigns and their state-owned entities, and litigation involving issues of public international law. Mr. Pell also has extensive experience representing financial institutions and companies in connection with investigations by the SEC, the DOJ and state banking regulators, and litigation that may arise from those investigations. He has conducted internal investigations with regard to the FCPA, fraud, lender liability, and historical reparation issues.

Mr. Pell represented Deutsche Bank and UBS in class action, securities and bankruptcy litigation relating to the collapse of Enron. He also has represented corporations and sovereigns with regard to transnational claims, including successfully representing TNK-BP, the third-largest oil company in Russia, in a RICO action that tested the territorial limits of the RICO statute. That case recently was dismissed by the Second Circuit in the first decision to apply the Supreme Court's decision in Morrison v. Nat'l Australia Bank to limit the extraterritorial reach of the US RICO statute.

Mr. Pell has handled important cases in the area of corporate social responsibility, including by representing Citigroup in class actions relating to the bank's activities in South Africa during the former apartheid regime, and JP Morgan Chase in class actions relating to a predecessor bank's alleged connections to African slavery in the United States. Mr. Pell also represented The Chase Manhattan Bank and Crédit Commercial de France in class actions arising from the activities of the banks in France during World War II, and participated in the successful negotiations between the United States and France to resolve those cases. More recently, he successfully represented Poland and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in World War II-related cases, and is now representing the Hungarian National Railway in similar litigation. Mr. Pell also recently completed a case for the Republic of Peru that resulted in an agreement by Yale University to return to Peru artifacts from Machu Picchu.

Mr. Pell was invited to lecture at the SEC on "The Exploding Fiduciary: Can Integrated Financial Institutions Really Manage Fiduciary Risk." The presentation explored the expansion of financial institution exposure to liability based on the complex array of competing roles and duties inherent in their businesses, and the shift in the identity of investors in today's public markets.

Mr. Pell formulated a proposal for creating a title-clearing and dispute resolution entity to address claims relating to works of art looted from individuals during the Holocaust. The proposal received attention because it did not require a treaty for implementation. Hearings were held in the European Parliament, and in 2003 the European Parliament adopted 487-10 a resolution supporting further study of Mr. Pell's proposal. More recently, Mr. Pell was invited to be the only private lawyer on the US delegation to the June 2009 Prague Conference on Holocaust Era Assets, which culminated in the signing of the Terezin Declaration by 46 nations.

Mr. Pell has published on the subject of Holocaust-looted art, including in the DePaul Journal of Art and Entertainment Law and the papers of the Permanent Court of International Arbitration. Mr. Pell also was invited to present a public lecture to the New York State Court of Appeals relating to Holocaust-looted art claims.

Bars and Courts
  • New York State Bar
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Education
  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, Member of the Virginia Journal of International Law, 1983
  • BA, State University of New York at Binghamton, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1980

Awards and Recognition
  • 2003 Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
  • Listed in "The Best Lawyers in America," 2008 edition
  • The National Law Journal names White & Case to "Defense Hot List"
  • Litigation Partner Owen Pell Wins Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
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