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Robert W. Ludwig

Managing Member
Washington, D.C.

T: 202-289-7603
O: 202-289-1800
F: 202-289-1804

  • Washington and Lee
  • University School of Law
  • J.D., 1981

  • Colgate University
  • B.A., 1977
  • District of Columbia, 1982
  • Maryland, 1987

  • United States Supreme Court

  • United States Courts of Appeals:
  • District of Columbia, Second,
  • Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and
  • Federal Circuits

  • United States District Courts:
  • District of Columbia, District of
  • Maryland, District of Colorado

  • United States Patent and
  • Trademark Office,
  • Trademark Trial and Appeal
  • Board
  • German

Mr. Ludwig represents U.S. and foreign clients in commercial and regulatory litigation and counseling, as well as corporate matters. He has been lead counsel in trial and appellate courts across the country in a wide range of insurance, banking, accounting, intellectual property, and international law cases.

Mr. Ludwig has broad experience in complex litigation and international arbitration. He has represented U.S., German, Brazilian, Chinese, Kuwaiti, Russian, South African and other foreign companies and individuals in domestic and cross-border commercial disputes for thirty years. He also advises and represents clients in other international and regulatory matters, including intellectual property, international trade, export and foreign asset controls, foreign sovereign immunity, aviation and transportation.

Mr. Ludwig also serves as local, national and international counsel in insurance and financial disputes. He represents insurers, banks and other clients in cases involving loan losses, lender liability, negotiable instruments, wire and electronic funds transfers, letters of credit, malware and cybercrime, as well as coverage and subrogation under fidelity, surety and financial institution bonds, corporate and financial fraud, directors and officers liability, and auditor liability.

Representative Cases

  • Local counsel for Malaysian airline in multi-district proceedings:In re: Air Crash over the Southern Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014 (D.D.C. 2016)

  • Represented Kenyan bank auditor turned whistleblower in appeals before D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, which asked the U.S. Solicitor General’s views on L&R’s cert. petition that unravels the long-hidden meaning at the heart of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: Odhiambo v. Republic of Kenya, 764 F.3d 31 (D.C. Cir. 2014), directing Solicitor Gen’l briefing, 136 S. Ct. 290 (2015), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 2504(2016).

  • Representing insurer in subrogation against Big-4 and regional accounting firms for breach of contract, malpractice, and fraud in government-related audits of national non-profit: Hanover Ins. Co. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, et al. (Pa. 2015)

  • Argued appeal and summary judgment below in favor of PNC Bank, dismissing $5m case arising from wire and account activity related to distressed real estate investment scheme: Ivanhoe Investment Partners, LP, et al, v. PNC Bank, N.A., et al. (Md. App. 2015)

  • Representing American University of Kuwait in ongoing trademark infringement matters

  • Phillips Realty Management, LLC v. PNC Bank, N.A. (D. Md. 2013): represented PNC in obtaining early dismissal of $1.5m UCC check fraud suit

  • Represented Egyptian-American biotech firm in obtaining settlement of trade secret and patent litigation against Chinese manufacturer and related U.S. entities: BiotechPharma, LLC v. W.H.P.M., Inc., et al. (E.D. Va. 2012)

  • Represented Northern Trust in suit to recover $16 million loan loss:  Northern Trust Bank, FSB v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (E.D. Va. 2011)

  • Represented insurer in subrogation against Big-4 accounting firms for malpractice in broker-dealer/asset management firm audits: Vigilant Ins. Co. v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP, and Vigilant Ins. Co. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and (Conn. 2011)

  • Defended Travelers in complex $18 million loan loss investigations and multidistrict coverage litigation under financial institution bond: United Bankshares, Inc., et al. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. (S.D. W.Va.);  St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. v. United Bank (E.D. Va. 2010)

  • Represented South African investors in action to recover license fees paid to U.S. tech company for data compression software:  Hentiq 3343 (Pty) Ltd. et al. v. Qbit,LLC,, et al. (D.C. 2009)   

  • Represented U.S. mining company and Chinese joint venture in suit under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act for improper funds transfers: Orient Mineral Co., et al. v. Bank of China, 506 F.3d 980 (10th Cir. 2007)

  • Substituted in for AIG and reinstituted $6 million suit against depositary over fraudulent account and drafts, settled in discovery:  Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. (Pa. 2007)

  • Substituted in for Chinese scientist in reinstituted suit against bank and Chinese conspirators, recovering loss from unauthorized international wires: Zhang v. NationsBank, et al., (D.D.C. 2007)

  • Represented German manufacturer in renegotiating contracts with U.S. supplier for the purchase of solar cell equipment

  • Represented Halifax Corp. in actions to recover $15 million check fraud loss, settled with lender/drawee and then Big-5 accounting firm in arbitration, and in related suit against depositary: Halifax Corp. v. Wachovia Bank, 604 S.E. 2d 403 (Va. 2004)

  • Represented servicemen in predatory lending class action for violation of Truth in Lending Act and other laws: Robinson, et al. v. Loans 4 Military, et al. (D.D.C. 2004)

  • Represented AIG in action to recover for publicized oil spill, obtaining complete jury verdict, upheld on appeal: M. Pierre Equip. Co. v. Griffith Consumers Co., 831 A.2d 1036 (D.C. 2003)

  • Represented buyer of privatized Hungarian steel plant in $5 million fraud suit against engineering firm for misrepresenting qualifications to perform due diligence, settled on eve of trial: MK Technology Trading, Inc. v. Belcan Engineering Group, Inc. (E.D. Ky. 2002)     

  • Obtained jury award including punitive damages for directors’ and officers’ fraud and breach of fiduciary duty: Airlines Reporting Corp. v. Int’l Tvl Corp. (D.C. 2001)

  • Obtained summary judgment for breach of fiduciary duty against Florida directors and officers, affirmed on appeal: Airlines Reporting Corp. v. Menicocci, 12 Fed. Appx. 106 (4th Cir. 2001)

  • Represented Travelers in audit malpractice suit, obtaining complete jury verdict against primary audit firm and settlements with others:  Travelers Cas. & Surety Co. v. Bertz & Co., et al. (E.D. Pa. 2001)

  • Represented AIG in settlement of cross-border claim against German depositary for large altered check stolen by Nigerian theft ring: Evergreen Bank v. Nassauische Sparkasse (Germany 2000)

  • Represented estate of Brazilian teenager killed in drunk-driving crash of diplomat in world-publicized wrongful death case under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, settled in discovery: Knab v. Republic of Georgia, et al., 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8820 (D.D.C.)

  • Represented Hartford in landmark Maryland decision under Uniform Commercial Code, recognizing direct drawer action against depositary: Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Maryland Nat’l Bank, 671 A.2d 22 (1996)

  • Represented Airlines Reporting Corp. in establishing surety bond coverage, upholding travel agent bond program: Airlines Reporting Corp. v. Massachusetts Bay Ins. Co. (D.C. 1994)

Prior Related Experience

  • Participated in first commercial arbitration resolved under International Air Transport Association rules in Geneva
  • Assisted arbitrations of complex commercial and construction disputes before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague

  • Aviation
  • Developed governing law theory under the Death on the High Seas Act later applied by the U.S. Supreme Court to the downing of KAL Flight 007 over the Sea of Japan, in Zicherman v. Korean Air Lines Co., 516 U.S. 217 (1995), and Dooley v. Korean Air Lines Co., 524 U.S. 116 (1998)

  • Defended numerous air carriers and insurers under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Warsaw Convention, e.g.: Unidyne Corp. v. Aerolineas Argentinas, 590 F. Supp. 391 (E.D. Va. 1984)

  • Prepared appeals in product liability suit against aircraft engine manufacturer before the Second Circuit and Supreme Court:  Datskow v. Teledyne, Inc., 899 F.2d 1298 (2d Cir. 1990)

  • Represented and counseled clients in government contract and whistleblower (qui tam) matters

  • Assisted clients in FAA regulatory and enforcement matters, including in foreign air carrier permit proceedings and actions for judicial review before the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court   

  • Assisted clients in NTSB and military accident investigations, including petition that reopened Army investigation for Spanish aircraft manufacturer and London insurer

  • Assisted defense of Lockheed in multidistrict actions, in nine trials and appeals before the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court arising out of the crash of an Air Force C-5A in Vietnam, and in similar actions arising out of an L-1011 disaster in Saudi Arabia

  • Banking
  • Represented Kuwait Airways in leading District of Columbia case under the Uniform Commercial Code: Kuwait Airways v. American Security Bank, et al., 890 F.2d 456 (D.C. Cir. 1990)

  • Assisted buyer of loans for sale-leaseback transaction in enforcing take-back agreements, developing core of summary judgment argument later upheld at trial: Royal Bank of Canada v. Beneficial Finance Leasing Corp., 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6105 (S.D.N.Y.)

  • Insurance
  • Defended domestic and foreign insurers in product liability, personal injury and toxic tort claims arising out of mass air disasters and other aviation and general manufacturing matters  

  • Defended broker against claim for malpractice in issuing fidelity policy: Three Garden Village Ltd. v. USF&G, et al. (Md. 1992)

  • International Trade
  • Obtained export licenses from the Departments of Commerce and State, brought administrative appeals, and provided export counseling  

  • Defended enforcement action by Commerce Department for alleged unauthorized re-exports, and Customs enforcement actions

  • Secured release of Kuwaiti assets commingled by Iraq during Gulf War before Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Controls; advised clients on controls as to Cuba and Iran

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

American Bar Association

American Society of International Law

Defense Research Institute

Federal Circuit Bar Association

International Bar Association

President, German American Law Association, Capital Chapter,1993-95

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Legal Subcommittee on Orbital Debris

Supreme Court Historical Society

Presidents’ Club Chair, Colgate University

Co-Chair, 2015 Annual Conference, Fidelity Law Association

Selected Publications and Presentations

Mr. Ludwig regularly writes and speaks on a variety of related topics, including:

  • The Historic Legal Blunder that Enabled Our Gun Epidemic (Law360 Apr. 25, 2018)

  • The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: ‘Bedlam’ Redux (Law360 Sept. 22, 2017)

  • Heller Sequels And 2nd Amendment, Still Undecided: Part 3 (Law360 Aug. 24, 2017)

  • Heller Sequels And 2nd Amendment, Still Undecided: Part 2 (Law360 Aug. 3, 2017)

  • Heller Sequels And 2nd Amendment, Still Undecided: Part 1(Law360 Jul. 20, 2017)

  • Court Nominee, Guns, and Constitutional Illiteracy (Law360 Mar. 15, 2016)

  • 2nd Amendment Still Undecided, Hiding in Plain View (Law360 Jan. 11, 2016)

  • Contracting out of the Uniform Commercial Code: Reducing Bank Liability by Shortening the One-Year Notice for Reporting Check Fraud,33 Banking & Fin. Services Pol’y Rep. 15 (Nov. 2014)

  • “Surging, Swift and Liable? Cybercrime and Electronic Payments Fraud Involving Commercial Bank Accounts: Who Bears the Loss?” 16 J. Internet L. 3 (Apr. 2013)

  • Cybercrime and Online Banking Fraud: An Overview of the Rules for Allocating Commercial Account Losses, ABA Business Law Section, Commercial Law Newsletter (Fall 2012)

  • Malware and Fraudulent Electronic Funds Transfers: Who Bears the Loss?, 16 Fidelity L.J. 101 (2010)

  • In-house client seminars on the Uniform Commercial Code (Articles 3, 4, and 4A) and Cyber Crime, and Financial Institution and Fidelity Bond Coverage

  • Editor, Litigation & Regulatory Report, 1998-present

  • Check Fraud: Defending the Financial Institution Coverage Claim, or Minimizing the Covered Exposure, presented at ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Winter Meeting, 2005

  • Editorial Advisor, German American Law Journal, 1991-1997

  • Moderator, Counseling Commercial Space Ventures, ABA Forum on Air and Space Law, 1992

  • Neue Exportkontrolle für Computer, Technologie und Software in den Vereinigten Staaten, Computer und Recht (Dec. 1992).

  • International Trade Law: Removing Strict Liability for Inadvertent Civil Export Violations, 2 German Am. L.J. 2 (Mar. 1992)

  • Commercial Agency and Distributorship under EC Law, 1 German Am. L.J. 7 (Dec. 1991)