The law of enforcement of judgments is very much in flux in
New York. The New York Court of Appeals decision Koehler v.
Bank of Bermuda provides judgment creditors with
significant ammunition to go after assets located outside the
US, and the New York branches of the foreign banks clearly are
in the crosshairs.
But a number of arguments can be and have been raised in
response to Koehler that have persuasive value, both
practically and intellectually.
In the summer of 2009, New York's highest court issued a
decision that sent shockwaves through the entire banking
community, especially foreign banks with branches or affiliates
in New York.
In Koehler, a sharply divided New York Court of Appeals
stated that the New York statute governing the enforcement of
money judgments contained no express territorial limitation
barring the entry of a turnover order that "requires a
garnishee to transfer money or property...