B. Braun of America, Inc., and B. Braun Medical Inc., have secured an important victory in a dispute with Ivax Corporation regarding some $80 million in contingent payments allegedly owed as a result of Braun's purchase of McGaw, Inc., a pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer.
On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed an earlier district court determination that Braun had waived its right to arbitrate its dispute with Ivax, and committed the dispute to binding arbitration. Writing for a unanimous court, Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat concluded that Braun did not waive its right to arbitrate by bring a separate suit against Ivax's accountant, Arthur Andersen, and further concluded that Braun asserted its right to arbitrate in a timely manner.
Kirkland & Ellis represented Braun in the appeal. The Kirkland team was led by former Solicitor General Kenneth W. Starr, who argued on Braun's behalf. Other members of the Kirkland team were Daniel F. Attridge, a partner in Kirkland's Litigation group; and Daryl Joseffer and Kannon K. Shanmugam of Kirkland's Appellate Litigation group.
"We are thrilled with the Eleventh Circuit's decision," Starr said. "The complex dispute between Braun and Ivax belongs in arbitration, and we look forward to a speedy resolution there."
In a rarity, oral arguments in the case pitted two former United States Court of Appeals judges against each other: Starr, who served as a Judge on the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989, and Joseph W. Hatchett, who argued for Ivax and served as a Judge on the Fifth and then the Eleventh Circuits from 1979 to 1999.
Ivax was also represented by the Chicago office of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.