March 12, 2010

Venable Team Secures $36 Million Jury Verdict for The Penrose Group

2 min

WASHINGTON, DC (March 12, 2010) Venable LLP announced today that a six-person jury in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County unanimously awarded the firm’s client, The Penrose Group, in excess of $36 million for breach of contract claims arising out of the development of a two-tower, high rise luxury apartment complex in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Penrose Group had the right to develop, build, operate and own the luxury apartment complex pursuant to two ground leases it entered into with the defendants, entities owned by the Camalier and Davis families. The jury found that the defendants breached the ground leases, and in so doing, interfered with the more than $115 million of construction financing and equity that Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company had committed to invest in the deal, monies which Penrose needed to complete construction.

“The jury's verdict recognizes the substantial harm that Penrose suffered as the direct consequence of defendants' conscious business decisions to renege on the contractual commitments they made. It is personally and professionally gratifying to see that the Penrose Group is one step closer to being made whole after more than three years of litigation,” said Venable partner Brian Schwalb, who led the trial team.

The jury’s unanimous verdict allows Venable’s client to recover almost $23 million incurred in project costs, as well as more than $13 million in lost profits.

In addition to Schwalb, Venable’s trial team included, partners Samantha M. Williams and Gregory B. Hauptman, associates Michael P. Bracken and Lauren D. Eade, and paralegal Jana Gibson.

Note:  An American Lawyer top 100 law firm, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.