George R. Calhoun

MEMBER

"I love grappling with tough legal issues, but finding a business solution that works for my clients is often more rewarding."

Overview

A business counselor at heart, George R. Calhoun V is a litigator who knows how to win in a courtroom, at the settlement table, or in arbitration. By putting his clients’ goals and objectives first, he is adept at devising case strategies that achieve his clients’ definition of success. George is chair of Ifrah’s Financial Services practice.

George’s practice primarily focuses on the litigation of complex disputes for clients in a broad array of disciplines, including contracts, cryptocurrency, securities, bankruptcy, fraud, RICO and other business claims. He has an extensive background in dispute resolution, having appeared before numerous state and federal courts on behalf of clients including large multi-national corporations, insurers, and individuals.

George regularly represents parties in connection with complex debtor/creditor and insolvency issues, and is one of the nation’s leading practitioners in addressing mass tort insolvencies.  George has represented major insurers in asbestos, abuse, and environmental bankruptcies for over 20 years, including Babcock & Wilcox, Horizon Natural Resources, The Diocese of Wilmington, Quigley, Combustion Engineering, Congoleum, Duro Dyne, and more.  In addition, George represents a major U.S. company in collecting a multi-billion judgment, having assisted in the recovery of over $1.2 billion through a determined international effort spanning over a dozen countries.

Teaming with other Ifrah attorneys in niche areas like digital media, millennial marketing, e-commerce, health care, and iGaming, George is called upon to review compliance programs, contracts, and advertising materials through the lens of a litigator, helping to mitigate possible litigation claims or enforcement actions. He is able to apply nearly two decades of traditional business litigation experience to Ifrah’s payment processing and emerging internet and technology company clients; he anticipates and addresses possible regulatory compliance issues and potential contractual or investment disputes.

Prior to joining Ifrah, George practiced at an Am Law 100 firm where he focused on complex litigation and business disputes. At Ifrah, George embraces the “hands on” approach that is part of the firm’s culture and enjoys working closely with clients on their most important matters. Through a combination of lean staffing, early case assessment strategies, and a keen understanding of both legal and business goals, George leverages the best of a boutique law practice while drawing on his “big law” experience to provide efficient and effective counsel.

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Credentials

Education
  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, Order of the Coif, with honors, 1997
  • B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1994

Admitted to Practice
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Courts for the District of Maryland, Eastern District of Michigan, and the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)

Professional Community
  • American Bar Association, Member; Vice Chair (former) of Corporate Counseling and Litigation Subcommittee / Business and Corporate Litigation Committee
  • Board Member, iDevelopment and Economic Association (iDEA)

George's Insights

The FTC Kills Noncompetes
FTC Beat |
Apr 30, 2024

The FTC Kills Noncompetes

By: George Calhoun
ABA Updates Guidance on Witness Prep
White-Collar Crimes |
Dec 29, 2023

ABA Updates Guidance on Witness Prep

By: George Calhoun
Major Developments on the Horizon for Bankruptcy Law
Nov 16, 2023

Major Developments on the Horizon for Bankruptcy Law

By: George Calhoun
Terraform Labs Ruling Reels Back Ripple Enthusiasm
Ifrah on iGaming |
Aug 4, 2023

Terraform Labs Ruling Reels Back Ripple Enthusiasm

By: George Calhoun

Case Studies

Ifrah Law Achieves Swift Removal of Payment Processing Client from OFAC List in Highly Unusual Government Action

In September 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it had designated Ifrah Law’s client, a legitimate international business, as a transnational criminal organization. Our client had conducted its business for decades without incident, providing payment processing solutions for direct mail, eCommerce, gaming, charitable, and other customers.

The OFAC designation of a legitimate business was the first of its kind, having been previously limited to terrorist and organized crime entities, such as the Yakuza, MS-13, and Saddam Hussein. The designation indicated that OFAC was expanding its authority under its legal mandate. Given the novelty of this designation, the company contacted Ifrah Law based on our background and extensive experience representing payment processors: understanding their business was critical to our ability to combat the Government’s misperceptions about the payment processing business.

First, we began an internal investigation. As the OFAC designation was a surprise to the company, and the Treasury Department had no obligation to explain the basis for the designation, we needed to determine why our client had been targeted.

We also needed to address the reverberating effects of the designation on our client. An OFAC designation results in the prohibition of U.S.-based businesses including banks from working with a designee. Our client lost the ability to pay employees, vendors, and general expenses and eventually was forced to close its operations.

Ifrah Law achieved some of the swiftest ever removals from OFAC’s SDN list, including all of the 12 individuals named. One year after the initial listing, OFAC finally signed an agreement to remove our client’s companies, officers and employees from the SDN List. We continue to represent this client in actions concerning the financial situation of the now defunct company, and to ameliorate the damage caused by the listing on both individual and corporate reputations. Our work on this case was featured in The American Lawyer.

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Ifrah Law Negotiates Complete Withdrawal of All Counts of Possible Class Action Suit

A former contractor for a long standing firm client filed a class action suit in the Eastern District of Virginia (the famed “Rocket Docket”) based upon alleged tax and Fair Labor Standard Act infringement claims in connection with contract services purportedly provided by the plaintiff to our client in connection with a government contract for security services at an overseas military base.

Ifrah’s team, led by partner George Calhoun, first succeeded in attaining a swift dismissal of the class action tax claims based on the inapplicability of the tax statute at issue to purported employee misclassification.  The plaintiff also was forced to amend its complaint to eliminate its employment law claims because the FLSA does not apply to contractors or employees based overseas. The client was thus relieved of the initial threat of a large scale and costly class action suit.

The plaintiff nonetheless continued to pursue the suit against our client based on an individual breach of contract claim. Through the effective discovery conducted by Ifrah’s litigation group, we were able to limit any possible claims by the plaintiff.  Most tellingly, we established that the plaintiff had made – and was making – inconsistent claims in his discovery responses and in a lawsuit brought against a third party.

Based on these facts, Mr. Calhoun persuaded opposing counsel to dismiss all claims, ultimately relieving our client from any financial or legal liability.

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Collecting Judgments in International Jurisdictions

Ifrah Law secured a multibillion-dollar victory for Motorola Solutions Credit Company LLC when companies in foreign jurisdictions sought to defraud our client and avoid collection by hiding assets in far-flung jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jordan.

Navigating disparate foreign legal systems, our lawyers first obtained a favorable decision from the court; then, when the debtors attempted to sell off assets to avoid collection, we secured an injunction and had receivers appointed to halt the attempted transfer. Ultimately, the defendant’s primary asset was sold, and our client was made whole with a payment of over $50 million.

In this case, Ifrah Law leveraged a strong network of relationships with international lawyers, regulators, and organizations, as well as litigation savvy in domestic and overseas jurisdictions to deliver both judicial success and financial satisfaction to our client.

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