Haig V. Kalbian, a co-founder of the Firm, has over 35 years of experience representing the interests of domestic and global commercial entities and individuals in complex litigation and arbitration in the United States and the Middle East.
Haig’s clients have included foreign governments, large financial institutions, multi-national corporations, high net-worth individuals, family offices and members of several Gulf ruling families.
His practice concentrates on a wide range of commercial disputes involving millions of dollars, including business torts that include unfair trade practices, competition, and contract issues, RICO, securities, arbitrations, partnership, real estate, construction claims, derivative claims, workplace discrimination, employment, and technology-related litigation
Haig litigates cases throughout the United States in both federal and state courts. Haig’s understanding of his clients’ real needs enables him to achieve their goals in hourly, fixed fee, and partial-contingent litigation matters. Haig inspires confidence and has a history of working successfully with national and local counsel efficiently and seamlessly.
Haig’s litigation and negotiation skills combined with an intimate knowledge of different cultures, enable him to achieve outstanding results for his clients consistently.
Haig has developed a reputation for being a “take charge” trial lawyer who is appreciated by his Western and Middle Eastern clients for the thoughtfulness and tact he brings to solving problems by bridging cultural gaps. His litigation and negotiation skills; intimate knowledge of different cultures; and ability to deliver prompt, cost-effective, and favorable results are hallmarks of his practice.
Haig’s notable experience and range of significant representations include:
- His representation, since 2006, as special litigation counsel for a large and prominent foreign bank facing a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit in federal court. The litigation, brought by thousands of plaintiffs under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act, was among the largest and most complicated matters pending in the US courts.
- His work in Los Angeles probate court to recover monies owed by the pop star from the Michael Jackson Estate on behalf of several aggrieved Gulf parties.
- Being hand-picked by a national group of trial lawyers to lead the entire Mid-Atlantic litigation effort against a major pharmaceutical colonoscopy preparation manufacturer. Haig won a substantial settlement for his clients and was pivotal in seeing through the removal of the product from the market; and
- Successfully defending foreign sovereigns targeted for US litigation in various federal courts.
In addition to these matters, Haig’s significant high stakes litigation successes include:
- Forced dismissal of a $9 billion civil bank fraud and conspiracy case brought by a large Saudi merchant family against US citizen client in federal court in Los Angeles alleging multiple causes of action under both US and foreign law. After two years of fierce litigation, the case was successfully settled with Haig’s US client not having to pay anything to the plaintiff.
- Served as lead defense counsel on a $50 million ICC construction arbitration case seated in Abu Dhabi on behalf of one of the largest general contractors in the Gulf. Haig led the effort to defend the claims vigorously and file a counterclaim. After a six-day evidentiary hearing, a three-person ICC Arbitral Tribunal found for Haig’s client on both the underlying claim and the client’s counterclaim.
- Represented and defended a prominent member of a Gulf ruling family in complex US litigation. The matter proceeded to a full AAA arbitration hearing before a three-person tribunal in Seattle, Washington, and resulted in an outcome that saved the client over $15 million.
- Obtained summary dismissal in New York Supreme Court of a multi-million-dollar claim filed against a Texas-based national real estate developer arising from the development of a Manhattan office tower.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for a multi-purpose Saudi-based company owned by a member of the royal family in litigation initiated in the Southern District of New York involving distribution rights of products in the energy sector.
- Negotiated a “nuisance value” settlement on behalf of a member of a Gulf ruling family in a multi-million-dollar complex commercial action filed in the Southern District of New York arising from a major hotel development in Dubai.
- Led the legal defense team that secured a favorable settlement on behalf of a major Saudi Arabian real estate venture in a dispute with its partners involving the development of the Boston Navy Yard.
- Obtained substantial award for a major Saudi Arabian company in a commercial dispute with a US corporation based in Texas. In formulating an aggressive litigation strategy, Haig was able to secure the award and prove several large Wall Street firms wrong after they passed on the engagement.
- Prevented the eviction of a Gulf country’s United Nations Mission in New York City in the months following 9/11 through uncompromising litigation tactics in the Southern District of New York.
- Served as lead counsel for a large US-based full-service engineering and construction management firm. Haig brought an ICC Construction arbitration claim seated in Dubai against multiple parties for various breaches of contract arising from a large airport project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Haig secured a favorable settlement for his client after nearly a year of hotly contested litigation.
- Successfully represented a group of 18 Muslim workers in a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court in Nashville, TN, against a large US-based manufacturer. The claims arose from the right to pray on the job. After the jury trial of one of the 18 plaintiffs, Haig negotiated a substantial settlement of all claims for all of his clients foreclosing the need to proceed to individual trials for each of the remaining 17 plaintiffs.
- Obtained a multi-million-dollar settlement in wrongful death action filed in Florida on behalf of a Saudi family whose son was killed in a severe automobile accident. Unsatisfied with just recovering the insurance policy limits from the company whose driver caused the fatal crash, Haig sued a major rental car company for renting an unsafe luxury automobile to the decedent. After many months of discovery and motions, the matter was resolved in meditation with a favorable result for the Estate.
- Represented a Middle Eastern Central Bank and convinced a Manhattan trial judge, after a full evidentiary hearing in New York Supreme Court to “unfreeze” $30 million wrongfully attached by judgment creditors.
- Aggressively defended a multi-million-dollar civil RICO class-action suit in Miami, Florida and successfully negotiated a settlement of less than $30,000. While this matter took several years, Haig chipped away at the plaintiffs’ case and forced them to accept a “nuisance value” settlement on the eve of trial.
- Led the legal team that obtained a multi-million-dollar verdict in the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of I.T. Company on the grounds of civil conspiracy and trade secret infringement.