Winston & Strawn LLP lost its bid to force developer Mid-Atlantic Arena LLC to cover the cost of legal fees for a failed sports arena project Monday when a federal court in New York dismissed breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims.
The law firm represented
Virginia Beach ultimately didn’t approve the loan documents, and the development project fell through. The Virginia Supreme Court tossed a breach of contract suit filed against the city by Mid-Atlantic.
Winston & Strawn sued Mid-Atlantic in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking $833,790 for nearly one-thousand hours of legal services.
The firm wasn’t a party to the credit agreement, and wasn’t an intended beneficiary, Judge Colleen McMahon wrote for the court. And there’s no indication in the agreement that Winston could receive payment directly from Mid-Atlantic, or that it had any right to sue Mid-Atlantic for payment.
An unjust enrichment claim must also be dismissed, McMahon said, because Winston & Strawn failed to allege the firm conferred any benefit on Mid-Atlantic. It wasn’t counsel to them, and didn’t provide any legal services except those that benefited JPMorgan, McMahon said.
McMahon also dismissed a claim for tortious interference with contract against ESG Enterprises, Inc. Mid-Atlantic’s parent company. There was nothing between Winston & Strawn and Mid Atlantic in which ESG could interfere, McMahon wrote.
Pierce McCoy PLLC and Wolcott Rivers Gates represent Mid Atlantic and ESG.
The case is Winston Strawn LLP v. Mid-Atlantic Arena LLC, 2021 BL 270114, S.D.N.Y., No. 18-CV-11430, 7/19/21.