ZEK has substantial experience in documentary and standby letter of credit litigation.

Documentary credits, typically used in international trade, produce three contracts among the parties which make up each letter of credit transaction. ZEK has had experience in litigations in which it has represented the issuing, confirming, and/or an advising bank when payment under the credit is denied because the bank claims that the documents do not conform to the terms of the credit. The firm also represents bank clients in instances when an injunction is sought by one of the parties, typically the credit applicant, claiming fraud in the underlying commercial transaction. Similarly, ZEK represents banks in the defense of applicant claims that payment of drafts are improper pursuant to the terms of the relevant credit. The Firm is well familiar with the ICC Rules to which govern most credits, ICC commentaries and also with Article 5 of the Uniform Commercial Code, including state-specific variations that can provide a mechanism for recovery of legal expenses in defending claims, that together fill the gaps not covered by the ICC rules.

ZEK is also familiar with and has litigated standby letter of credit matters. Standbys typically function as guarantees for certain transactions, such as a substitute for a security deposit in connection with a real estate lease or deductible insurance or reinsurance. Litigations around standby letters of credit typically concern whether there has been a breach of the related agreement underlying the standby letter of credit and/or whether the drawing under the credit was appropriate in view of the credit terms. Here also, ZEK has substantial experience in such matters representing holders of letters of credit in bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy proceedings.

ZEK also frequently provides transactional advice to holders of letters of credit about the structure and wording of agreements to provide letters of credit and, in particular, to protect against bankruptcy avoiding powers.