Los Angeles Jury Finds in Favor of Herbalife Founder’s Trust in Tax Deal

(Los Angeles) On May 3, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Los Angeles partners Edward Woods and Susan Leader convinced a local jury not to prejudge their client, the Mark Hughes Family Trust, based on its wealth and the fact that it was able to save $167 million in estate taxes through its dealings with the plaintiff.

The four-week trial focused on whether the Trust had breached its promissory note and security agreement with a private third-party company that was used as a conduit to transfer funds to pay Hughes’ estate tax after his death, thereby enabling the Trust to deduct interest and save the estate $167 million in taxes. The plaintiff in the case—the lender—argued that the Trust had breached the terms of the two sides’ agreement and was demanding immediate payment of the $343 million note and other damages totaling just under $400 million.

The case before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Victor Chavez was Zacadia Financial Limited Partnership v. Conrad Lee Klein, Jack Reynolds, Christopher Pair as Trustees of Mark Hughes Family Trust.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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