Helen B. Kim
Law Firm: Katten Muchin Rosenman
Practice Area: Litigation
Years in Practice: 22
Law School: Yale Law School
For the past five years, Helen Kim has been fending off an avalanche of litigation related to the 2005 failure of what was once the largest commodities broker, Refco Co. In defending the company’s former general counsel, Kim has fought back securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and other claims fi led against her client. In April, she achieved two key victories that are likely to ensure that her client sleeps a little better at night. First, she persuaded a judge to dismiss claims that a group of former Refco customers and creditors brought against her client and other former Refco executives alleging breach of fi duciary duty and seeking millions of dollars in damages. Kim also beat back a summary judgment motion in which Refco’s insurance company tried to extricate itself from any further liability. Given that her client still faces several ongoing multi-million dollar lawsuits, it was a significant victory when the judge denied the insurer’s motion. “The insurance company tried to cut us off and they did not succeed,” Kim explained. In the next year, she’ll continue to defend her client against the Refco litigation, though it is winding down now.
Pretrial Ritual: “I’m generally on the defense side in the securities litigation, so my ritual, nay, my job is to ensure we never get to trial.”
Biggest Career Break: “Anytime you get a client that’s a career break because you never know where it will take you. You’re always looking for your next biggest case. I can’t say there’s one person either — I’ve had the benefit of many mentors in my career.”