Bruce Matson, former lawyer for LeClairRyan struck off bar, pays more money to LandAmerica bankruptcy estate

Bruce Matson paid LandAmerica’s bankruptcy estate $ 577,000 in March. (BizSense File)

Six months after losing his lawyer’s license for inappropriately pocketing seven-figure funds from LandAmerica’s long-dormant bankruptcy estate, Bruce Matson cut another large check related to the case.

The veteran Richmond lawyer and longtime general counsel for the now bankrupt law firm LeClairRyan paid an additional $ 577,000 to the LandAmerica estate in March, according to Federal Court records.

This is in addition to the $ 2.8 million he paid back to a successor trustee in the case last year after it was revealed that the funds had been withdrawn from the LandAmerica liquidation account and deposited into the personal accounts of Matson and an associate.

Although court records do not explicitly name Matson in relation to the last payment, they do state: “A check was received from the former trustee of the LFG Liquidation Trust in the amount of $ 577,610.00 and deposited into the SunTrust account on March 2, 2021.

Matson, who spent much of his 40-year legal career as a bankruptcy trustee, oversaw the complex LandAmerica case from the collapse of the Henrico-based title insurance giant in 2008 until its conclusion. apparently successful in 2015.

But in August 2019, it came to the attention of the bankruptcy court that LandAmerica’s $ 2.8 million liquidation fund had been emptied. These funds were not to be disbursed until the end of the liquidation period in 2021.

Matson eventually admitted that the funds were transferred to his account and that of an associate, before returning them. Matson was later removed from his role as a director of LandAmerica, over his objections, and then struck off the Virginia State Bar in November due to his handling of the funds.

Matson conceded to the VSB that the allegations are true and that he was unable to successfully defend them. He eventually consented to the revocation of his license to practice in Virginia.

Veteran Richmond lawyer Benjamin Ackerly, who is retired from Hunton Andrews Kurth, has been appointed to replace Matson as administrator in the LandAmerica case. The Ackerly camp continues to investigate the Matson case.

A lawyer representing Ackerly has not commented on the recent payment of $ 577,000.

Matson has not commented on the matter.

LeClairRyan’s desk is padlocked in this archive photo. (BizSense File)

Matson has also freed himself in recent weeks from some of the tentacles of LeClairRyan’s ongoing bankruptcy case.

A brief court record in the case this month shows Matson reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with LCR administrator Lynn Tavenner. The settlement was reached after a two-day mediation session held on March 26 and 27.

Matson was represented in the mediation by McGuireWoods attorney Dion Hayes.

Tavenner has entered into negotiations with dozens of former LCR lawyers in an attempt to recover the funds they received from the company before it went bankrupt.

They each received letters of formal notice from the trustee to initiate discussions and possible mediation. As is generally the case in such bankruptcies, if a resolution cannot be reached through mediation, the trustee may choose to formally file a complaint against the lawyer concerned.

LCR’s estate also continues its legal battle with legal services giant UnitedLex, which has formed a controversial joint venture with the law firm leading to its dissolution.

Tavenner sued for damages last year, claiming $ 128 million in damages, claiming UnitedLex kept the law firm alive longer than it should in order to “extract unduly and unfairly millions of dollars from the estate, to the detriment of LeClairRyan’s creditors “.

UnitedLex fought back in the case, arguing that the bulk of the case should be dismissed or at the very least transferred to another court where it could have the opportunity to present its case to a jury.

The case continues in Federal Bankruptcy Court.

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