Commercial Litigator Stan Lane Retires

After a 41-year career practicing commercial litigation at Otterbourg, Stanley L. Lane, Jr. retired from the New York law firm at the end of December 2021.

Although much more active as a bankruptcy and general commercial litigator in recent years than in trade finance matters as he was earlier in his career, Stan was involved in one of the seminal standby letter of credit cases of the 1990s which influenced the future of standby practice.

As Stan recalled for DCW: “I first met Jim Byrne when we retained his services as our expert witness in the [1995] Hellenic Republic case in which Standard Chartered Bank was accused of intentionally delaying consideration of a last minute LC draw by the Republic of Greece so that the LC would expire and SCB could avoid payment. While intent on the part of SCB was never established at trial, SCB was ultimately found liable for wrongful dishonor even though the LC expired within a day or so following the draw’s submission and before SCB could complete its review. Although the LC was discrepant, the Court held that SCB had effectively denied the Greek Government the opportunity to cure by not accelerating its standard review process. The unfortunate outcome of the case was a motivating event ultimately leading to the promulgation of ISP98.”

Despite being less active in the area of trade finance law as his career evolved, Stan continued to keep current with LC-related matters. He explained: “letter of credit and payment guarantee issues would occasionally come up and I was usually the ‘go to’ person in the office to answer questions. More often than not these issues involved the adequacy of specific LC terms and language to protect one of our bank or commercial factors who would be a potential beneficiary of an LC given to backstop a commercial loan.”

Even as he steps into retired life and enjoys leisure travel with his wife, Stan said he intends to continue receiving DCW and looks forward to attending future LC Law Summits in New York.

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