Hendrik G. Milne is a top international advocate with over 35 years of experience in courts and arbitrations around the world. He is an English barrister and a Florida attorney, admitted to the bar of multiple federal courts across the U.S.A., including the U.S. Supreme Court, and has dozens of reported cases to his credit, many of them creating new law. He is peer-reviewed as “AV” by the USA’s premier rating organization, Martindale-Hubbel, denoting the highest possible level of skill and ethics.
Hendrik (“Henk”) Milne was born in Calcutta, India, in 1953. He attended Queen Elizabeth’s School in North London, England through “A” and “S” levels, and gained his first law degree, a Bachelor of Laws, with honors, from the University of Manchester in 1975. After further legal studies at The College of Law, London, he was admitted to practice as a Barrister of England and Wales in 1977, completing his pupillage in Lincoln’s Inn (taxation and trusts) and The Middle Temple (torts and crime), of which he is a member.
In 1978, Mr. Milne and his wife, Pippa, moved to Miami, and he was awarded a Juris Doctor degree with honors by the University of Miami, School of Law in 1980. An article on the expansion of Florida tort liability that he co-authored in his first year of American law school was published by the Florida Bar in 1979 and later cited with approval by the Florida Supreme Court. See Urich & Milne, Abstracter’s Liability — And Beyond, 53 Fla. B.J. 210, 212 (1979) cited in First American Title Ins. Co. v. First Title Service Co., 457 So. 2d 467, 473 (Fla. 1984).
During law school in Miami, and after admission to the Florida Bar in 1981, Mr. Milne learned American jury trial techniques at one of Miami’s premier litigation boutiques, Anderson & Moss. In 1983, he joined the Miami office of the international law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) where his practice focused on complex commercial, and particularly international, litigation. In 1990, Mr. Milne became a partner in the firm and thereafter head of Squire’s International Litigation & Arbitration Section, worldwide.
Squire’s international practice at the time was focused primarily on Eastern Europe, then opening up after the collapse of the U.S.S.R., while the natural focus of international practice in Miami was Latin America and Western Europe. In 1993, Mr. Milne left Squire and, and together with Arturo Aballí, who was then the head of the firm’s Latin American practice area, and Craig Kalil, a member of the firm’s international litigation section, and others, formed AMK, as a legal boutique focusing on international transactions, international taxation, trusts, and international dispute resolution. The transition was extremely friendly, with Squire essentially helping set AMK up in business.
Mr. Milne’s particular focus is on advocacy in an extremely wide range of substantive legal areas, with a heavy emphasis on multi-state (intra-U.S.A.) and international disputes. Over his career he has arbitrated matters, tried cases to judges and juries, and briefed and argued appeals in many state and federal courts and tribunals across the United States, and abroad. He has strong academic skills and is a very quick study.
Just some of the many substantive areas in which Mr. Milne has had substantial experience are: domestic and international contract litigation; domestic and international trust litigation; domestic and international fraud, RICO, and civil theft litigation; all forms of domestic and international business litigation; a very wide range of property disputes (including international intellectual property rights and international marital property rights); all kinds of insurance disputes including “bad faith” actions; international franchise and distributorship disputes; non-competition disputes; maritime disputes and vessel arrests; Mareva injunctions and pre-judgment asset freezes; civil forfeiture cases; 28 USC § 1782 applications (for obtaining evidence for use abroad); and otherwise the gamut of commercial cases.
Hendrik G. Milne routinely works with lawyers from all over the world in disputes involving the laws of multiple jurisdictions, often supervising parallel or complementary proceedings taking place in multiple countries, simultaneously. He speaks and reads French, German, Dutch and Spanish with varying levels of proficiency, and has been retained as an expert witness on English law in American proceedings and on American laws in connection with proceedings in the U.K. In common with his partners, Mr. Milne has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for his professional skills and his ethics: “AV.”
AUC Companies 2003-2015
Mr. Milne was lead counsel in the AMK trial team for the American University of the Caribbean Companies through protracted litigation in courts around the world, even reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, that resulted in “wins” in all courts; the defeat of all opposing claims; a recovery of $100 million; an award of $3.4 million in attorneys’ fees as sanctions for fraud on the court against the prime opposing party; a treble damage recovery against the opposing parties for sums taken; and a successful sale of the AUC business for $235 million. Legal issues turned on the laws of Florida, Delaware, the U.S., the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Nevis, St. Maarten, and Taiwan. See, e.g.: Wachovia Bank, etc., 534 F. Supp. 2d 1267 (S.D. Fla. 2007); American University of the Caribbean, etc., 2010 Fla.App. LEXIS 32 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2010); Wachovia Bank, etc., 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 26089 (11th Cir. Dec. 22, 2010); American University of the Caribbean, 26 So. 3d 56, (Fla. 3d DCA 2010); Wachovia Bank, N.A., etc., 534 F. Supp. 2d, 1267 (S.D. Fla. 2007); Wachovia Bank, N.A., etc., 406 Fed. App’x. 411 (11th Cir. 2010); American University of the Caribbean, etc., 26 So. 3d 56 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010); Wachovia Bank, N.A., etc., 2014 WL 7399064 (11th Cir. Dec. 31, 2014).
Zublin/Forsyth/Totalbank Litigation 2008-2013
AMK’s clients were Chilean and Peruvian affiliates in a German construction and mining conglomerate. Suit was filed against Peruvian outside general counsel and various company executives, alleging that they had, together, embezzled some $11 million from company accounts in Peru and routed the funds through a defendant Miami bank, to accounts in various secrecy jurisdictions in the Caribbean and Europe. Most of the funds stolen were frozen through Mareva injunctions and eventually recovered in various countries through the efforts of AMK’s co-counsel. After initial discovery, AMK prevailed at the trial court and on appeal in preventing severance of the Florida civil theft, treble damage claims, as against the Miami defendants and the foreign defendants, and prevented the dismissal of claims against the foreign defendants in favor of the Peruvian forum. Legal issues turned on the laws of Florida, the U.S., Chile and Peru. See, Solari v. Zublin Chile Ingenieria y Construcciones, 987 So. 2d 161 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008).
Inverpan Litigation 2007-2009
AMK’s clients were individuals resident in Aruba who were alleged to have defrauded opposing parties in Aruba of $11 million in Miami bank accounts by undue influence. After jurisdictional discovery in Aruba, AMK established that Miami was an inconvenient forum for the litigation and secured a dismissal of the proceedings in favor of the Aruban forum. No further proceedings were filed in Aruba. Legal issues turned on the laws of the U.S., Florida, Panama, Aruba, and Venezuela. See, Inverpan, S.A. v. Britten, 646 F. Supp. 2d 1354 (S.D. Fla. 2009).
Nemesis Veritas Litigation 1998-2002
AMK client, Bill Toto, a successful, retired, Ohio businessman, was sued for $90 million for alleged tortious interference with contractual relations. After several years of bitter litigation, with discovery in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and California, Mr. Milne won the case on a renewed summary judgment at a hearing immediately before he was due to pick a jury for a federal trial in Palm Beach. The District Court awarded AMK’s client fees under the Florida offer of judgment rule. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on the denial of liability but reversed the fees award, and then on an emergency petition in light of new Florida Supreme Court authority, re-instated the fee award. Legal issues turned on the laws of Florida, the U.S., Virginia, New York and Massachusetts. See, McMahan v. Toto, 256 F.3d 1120, 1130-35 (11th Cir. 2001). McMahan v. Toto, 311 F.3d 1077 (11th Cir. 2002).
Triton v. CAVN 1994 – 1996
AMK client, Triton Container International, arrested the “Cerro Bolivar,” the flagship vessel of CAVN, the Venezuelan merchant marine, in Guam, en route to Venezuela, where it was to be sold in bankruptcy to satisfy creditors. The vessel was sold at auction and the proceeds escrowed in the bankruptcy court in Miami pending trial over the issue of whether the funds should be remitted to Venezuela for foreign bankruptcy administration – where Triton would have shared ratably with all creditors, for cents on the dollar – or whether Triton had a prior lien on the vessel and was entitled to be paid first, in full, ahead of all other creditors. During the Miami proceedings, AMK also arrested the CAVN headquarters in Miami under a federal maritime arrest warrant, minutes ahead of their being mortgaged. The Venezuelan government eventually conceded the case on first morning of trial, rather than publicly try the issue of fairness of the foreign proceedings, and the total proceeds were divided between Triton and other prime lienors, through settlement on confidential terms. Legal issues turned on the laws of the U.S. and Venezuela. See, In Re. Saleh, 175 B.R. 422 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1994).
Fremont Indemnity Litigation 1993-2001
Mr. Milne was coverage counsel to Fremont Indemnity in Miami construction litigation where bad faith failure to settle by prior trial counsel had exposed the insurer to $40 million in claims above its $2 million policy limits. He appointed and supervised successor trial counsel and formulated the strategy which confined the eventual settlement to policy limits, and then pursued subsequent recoupment actions for the enormous expense caused by many years of unnecessary litigation against the entities creating the exposure. In doing so he established the rule in Florida that the 2-year statute of limitations is tolled in litigation malpractice cases until the underlying action is concluded. The series of decisions on the latter point began in the U.S. District Court, was appealed to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, certified as a question of public importance to the Florida Supreme Court, returned to the 11th Circuit, and remanded back to the District Court for application. See, Fremont Indem. Co. v. Carey Dwyer Eckhart Mason & Spring, P.A., 197 F.3d 1053 (11th Cir. 1999); Fremont Indem. Co. v. Carey Dwyer Eckhart Mason & Spring, P.A., 271 F.3d 1272 (11th Cir. 2001); Fremont Indem. Co. v. Carey Dwyer, Eckhart Mason & Spring, P.A., 796 So. 2d 504 (Fla. 2001).
Beydoun v. Cardoen/Swissco Global Litigation 1990 – 1995
Mr. Milne and Craig Kalil represented Nasser Beydoun, an international arms broker, in a suit for $30 million in unpaid commissions on the sale of $467 million of cluster bombs from Industrias Cardoen, Ltda. in Chile, to Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. After settlement talks in Chile proved unavailing, AMK further counseled Mr. Beydoun, who had himself broken no laws, in the negotiation of an assistance agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department under U.S. moiety laws. Mr. Beydoun provided the U.S. government with information that bomb-making machinery was being re-tooled in Miami as washing machine parts; that zirconium, the incendiary component in the bombs, was being shipped by the defense contractor, Teledyne, from the U.S. to Chile, falsely designated as mining supplies; and helped the U.S. trace many tens of millions of dollars in profits from cluster bomb sales into Miami real estate investments.
The government indicted the principal of the Chilean bomb-maker, Carlos Cardoen, prosecuted the Teledyne executives involved, with the assistance of Mr. Beydoun’s testimony, and made the largest seizure of land under the forfeiture laws ($30 million) then to date. The U.S. paid Mr. Beydoun a multi-million dollar sum for his assistance under the U.S. moiety law, but he was sadly murdered shortly thereafter, execution style, by persons unknown, in Brazil, in 1995. See, U.S. v. Cardoen, et al., 898 F. Supp. 1563 (S.D. Fla. 1995).
Hawaiian U.S. v. All Monies Cases 1989-1993
Mr. Milne represented a group of Peruvian businessmen on “innocent ownership” claims in the six largest forfeiture cases resulting from one of the federal government’s earliest “sting” operation against money-launderers. These and many other cases were filed in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu, Hawaii. The cases involved bank accounts implicated in drug-money laundering through the currency exchanges in the parallel markets of Peru.
After many hearings in Hawaii and discovery in Peru, Mr. Milne won two of the six cases on summary judgment, and succeeded in procuring the denial of “reasonable cause” certificates, which would otherwise have shielded the involved DEA agents from liability on wrongful seizure claims. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an award of fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act against the U.S. government for lack of substantial justification for the seizures. The “wins” and potential additional attorney fee exposure allowed for negotiated settlements of the remaining cases. Legal issues turned on the laws of the U.S. and Peru. See, U.S. v. All Monies in Acct. No. 29-0101-62, in name of Abusada, 746 F. Supp. 1432 (D. Hawaii 1990); U.S. v. All Monies in Acct. No. 29-0101-62, etc., 746 F. Supp.1441 (D. Hawaii 1991); U.S. v. All Monies ($572,426.63) in Acct. No. 2785800-1, in name of Wadi Kahhat 77 F.2d 591 (U.S. 9th Cir. 1992). U.S. v. All Monies in Acct. No. 29-0101-62, in name of Abusada, 746 F. Supp. 1432 (D. Hawaii 1990); U.S. v. All Monies in Acct. No. 29-0101-62, etc., 746 F. Supp.1441 (D. Hawaii 1991).
Windward Traders Litigation 1985-1988
An individual under criminal investigation in the U.S., allegedly converted assets into cash and bought a commercial vessel which he sent across the Atlantic, intending to turn it back into cash, on its arrival. However, it sank at anchor off Portugal and all insurers denied coverage. The ship owner sued all tiers of coverage plus the broker for the London underwriters, Kininmonth, on the theory that it was liable as an agent for undisclosed principals. After discovery in England, Mr. Milne won judgment for Kininmonth at trial in the federal court in Miami, which was affirmed on appeal. Legal issues turned on the laws of Florida, the U.S., and England. Windward Traders, Ltd. v. Fred S. James & Co., 855 F.2d 814 (11th Cir. 1988).
ARAMCO Racketeering Claims 1984 – 1988
Mr. Milne represented a Greek ARAMCO agent accused in a treble-damage RICO action of having accepted bribes on multi-million dollar Saudi Arabian public works contracts. After discovery in Greece, Mr. Milne won the client’s exoneration at summary jury trial in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida, and negotiated the subsequent voluntary dismissal of claims by ARAMCO. The co-defendants went on to full jury trial and judgment of liability for over $10 million and $1 million in fees and costs. See, Arabian American Oil Co. v. Scarfone, et al., 939 F.2d 1472 (11th Cir. 1991).
Wrisco/Hinely Litigation, Atlanta, Georgia 1988-1991
Managers of the Atlanta, Georgia, branch of Wrisco Industries, a major aluminum distributor, set up a competing business with material stolen from Wrisco. A civil suit was filed against the ex-management in the federal court in Atlanta for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, conspiracy, wrongful appropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference. Alongside the civil action, Mr. Milne filed a criminal complaint with the State prosecutor and testified before a Georgia grand jury, summarizing the collected evidence of theft, which resulted in criminal indictments against ex-management.
The opposition attempt to disqualify Mr. Milne as counsel, and secure access to the grand jury evidence, failed. The U.S. District judge held that Mr. Milne had not become, as argued, a “material witness,” and therefore unable to act further as counsel. The court further held that there had been no waiver of any privilege by Mr. Milne’s grand jury testimony, in that the work-product privilege, protecting against disclosure of evidence in civil suits, dovetailed into the grand jury privilege, protecting against disclosure of evidence laid before the grand jury in criminal cases. Legal issues turned on the laws of the U.S. and Georgia. See, Wrisco Industries, Inc. v. Hinely, 733 F. Supp. 106 (D. Ga. 1990).
RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:
- 2014 International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, Miami, Florida, International Law Section, Florida Bar. Panelist: “Key Issues in Managing International Business Controversies.”
- 2013 International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, Miami, Florida, International Law Section, Florida Bar. Panel Moderator: “Recent Developments in Ethical Restrictions on International Practice: Where are We and Where Should We Go?”
- 2012 International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, Miami, Florida, International Law Section, Florida Bar. Panelist: “Your Client Has been Sued in the United States – Now What?”
Mr. Milne is married with two sons and has a wide range of interests, including traditional wooden boat-building and sail-making, reading history and linguistics, learning foreign languages, writing and playing folk and rock music, and writing music history. He has published numerous articles on Latin American wines as the wine critic for the Euromoney publication, Latin Finance Magazine. As the songwriter and front-man of the Celtic rock band, The Three Jacks, Mr. Milne has performed at numerous large concert venues in Florida, Nicaragua and Peru, to raise funds for medical, educational, and children’s charities, and has several CDs of music out on itunes.com. He is a board member of The Learning Experience School, a school for children with mild to moderate learning disabilities (www.thelearningexperience school.org).