BCR Journal

From June through early September 2020, our offices will be gutted, expanded and rebuilt. Personal meetings are limited. Throughout our office building, masks and other COVID precautions are required.

Practically speaking, your attorney can guide you on virtual meetings and other arrangements. We have been working successfully despite the COVID limitations and the ongoing construction.

June 9, 2020
Laina Lopez:
Success in Sovereign Immunity Litigation

BCR recently represented several amici--including Mexico, Cyprus, and Italy--in the appeal of Barnet v. Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic (Greece), a case involving an ownership dispute of an ancient horse figurine and Greece's sovereign immunity. BCR's amicus brief focused on the patrimony laws of foreign countries and the impact of those laws on the sovereign immunity question. The plaintiffs had argued that Greece was not immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. court because Greece acted as a commercial actor when it sent a demand letter to have the figurine withdrawn from auction.

On June 9, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision agreeing with Greece and the amici. The Court found Greece immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. court because Greece's demand letter was not commercial activity but was instead an attempt to enforce its patrimony laws.

If you have questions about the matter, please contact Laina Lopez (LCL@BCR-DC.COM), who regularly represents foreign states in U.S. courts nationwide.


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