Proskauer Represents U.S. Green Building Council In False Advertising Victory

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 01:00

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed in its entirety a false advertising lawsuit against Proskauer client U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the developer of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for environmentally sustainable commercial and residential buildings. The suit was brought by a group of environmental engineering and design industry professionals who alleged that USGBC's advertising contained false statements regarding the energy and money-saving aspects of LEED ratings.

The court held that none of the plaintiffs in the action had alleged or could allege any legal interest to be protected by their lawsuit, and dismissed the federal Lanham Act false advertising claims with prejudice in addition to simultaneously dismissing the plaintiffs' state law false advertising claims.

Proskauer successfully argued the motion to dismiss the original complaint, which also alleged RICO and antitrust claims. The firm's team was led by Lawrence I. Weinstein, partner and co-head of the False Advertising & Trademark Group, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution partner Claire P. Gutekunst. It also included Anne C. Reddy, an associate in the False Advertising & Trademark Group; Mark D. Harris, Partner and co-head of the firm's Appellate Group; Colin Kass, a partner in the Antitrust Group; and associates Kevin S. Blum, Daniel P. Hughes, Matthew J. Morris and Stuart A. Youngs.

Proskauer announced the expansion of its global Private Investment Funds Group and London office with the addition of Nigel van Zyl, Kate Simpson and Oliver Rochman as partners.

Mr. van Zyl and Mr. Rochman will join the firm from SJ Berwin, and Ms. Simpson will join from Kirkland & Ellis. They bring deep experience in the full range of matters related to the establishment and operation of private investment funds, and related investments and transactions.

Mr. van Zyl, Ms. Simpson and Mr. Rochman advise fund managers on the structuring of private equity investment funds, infrastructure funds, deal specific co-investment vehicles, carried interest arrangements and co-investment plans, and a broad range of transactions related to the restructuring of investment funds, structuring of special purpose vehicles for investment into private equity, and the structuring of fund managers. They also represent institutional and other investors in their investments into private equity funds, and buyers and sponsors in all forms of secondary transactions.