Think it’s safe to ignore a foreign lawsuit? Think again…

In the past, some of our international corporate clients have asked a similar question, “Why should I worry about an American-based lawsuit against my company in Europe? What if I just ignore it?”

While it is easy to see the significant consequences of a foreign judgment in a criminal case (just ask Roman Polanski), there can be major consequences for foreign judgments in CIVIL matters, too.

Earlier this week, exclusive selections of masterpieces from the Art Basel Galleries of Basel, Switzerland were to be displayed at the Miami Convention Center to thousands of VIPs, celebrities and invited guests. But just before the celebrity crowd could catch a “sneak peek” at some of the rare artwork, several U.S. Marshalls swooped in to the Convention Center and quietly seized 4 paintings worth nearly $6 million USD, including works by Joan Miro and Edgar Degas.

The owner of the 4 seized paintings, Swiss exhibitor Galerie Gmurzynska, had been sued for over $700,000 USD in debts stemming from a 2007 incident by a New York art gallery named Edelman Arts. Gmurzynska ignored the lawsuit, and Edelman Arts won a default judgment in October.

When Gmurzynska still refused to pay the debt, Edelman Arts (and the U.S. Marshalls) kept a watchful eye for the appearance of Gmurzynska’s valuable property in the United States. This seizure was the first of its kind for the Art Basel Miami Beach event, now in its eighth year. Gmurzynska reportedly settled the debts with Edelman immediately, and the paintings are expected to be back on the walls this weekend.

For the full story, please click on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s website:,0,1623570.story

For more information on how a foreign-based lawsuit can impact your business, please contact us at

Best regards
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs