Irving Picard

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Irving Picard
Irving H. Picard

(1941-06-26) 26 June 1941 (age 79)
Alma materNew York University School of Law
Known forRecovery of funds from the Madoff investment scandal

Irving H. Picard (born June 26, 1941)[1] is a partner in the law firm BakerHostetler. He is known for his recovery of funds from the Madoff investment scandal from investors, Bernie Madoff and his family, and their spouses and estates.

Early life[edit]

Picard was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, and is Jewish.[2][3] His parents were Julius Picard (a doctor born in Lauterbourg, France) and Claire Dreyfuss (born in Kaiserslautern, Germany).[4] In August 1938, Julius and Claire Picard immigrated with their children from Mainz in Nazi Germany to the United States.[4][3] They settled in Fall River, where their third son, Irving, was born.[4] Irving's uncle Moritz Cahn was a lawyer in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, who with his wife committed suicide in 1941 to escape incarceration in concentration camps.[4]

Education and legal career[edit]

Picard graduated from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in Economics (1963), from Boston University School of Law with a J.D. degree (1966), and from the New York University School of Law with an LL.M. degree (1967).[5][6] In the 1970s, he was variously Assistant General Counsel, Acting Chief Counsel, and Trial Attorney in the Division of Corporate Regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission.[6] He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1982, and has been in private practice since then.[5][7] He joined the law firm of BakerHostetler as a partner in 2008.[2]

Recovery of funds from Madoff scandal[edit]

In 2008, U.S. District Judge of the Southern District of New York Lawrence McKenna appointed Picard trustee of assets seized by the court from Bernard Madoff. Since then, Picard has led the recovery of funds from the Madoff investment scandal.[8] He and his team have been overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff's firm in bankruptcy court, and have so far recovered over $13 billion—about 76 percent of approved claims—by suing those who profited from the scheme, whether they knew of the scheme or not.[9][10] Kathy Bazoian Phelps, a lawyer at Diamond McCarthy, said "That kind of recovery is extraordinary and atypical,” as clawbacks in such schemes range from 5 percent to 30 percent, and many victims don't get anything.[9] Picard has successfully pursued not only investors, but also spouses and estates of those who profited, such as the wife of Bernard Madoff (Ruth Madoff), the widow and estate of the deceased Stanley Chais, and the widow and estate of the deceased Jeffry Picower, with whom he reached a $7.2 billion settlement (the largest civil forfeiture payment in US history).[9][11][12] “You don’t take this job if you’re thin-skinned,” Picard said.[2]


  1. ^ "BirthDatabase"
  2. ^ a b c "Meet Irving Picard, the lawyer with the toughest task in the world," Financial News.
  3. ^ a b "Meet Madoff?s match," Detroit Legal News.
  4. ^ a b c d "Guide to the Julius Picard Family Collection, 1732-1991 AR 3586 / MF 1114"
  5. ^ a b "New York State Unified Court System Attorney Directory". Retrieved May 31, 2009.
  6. ^ a b United States Congress. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on the Constitution. "Balancing the Budget: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, First Session, on S.J. Res. 58, Phoenix, Ariz., May 29, 1981."
  7. ^ "Madoff money in the hands of Durfee grad", The Herald News.
  8. ^ Rich, Frank (February 12, 2011). "At Last, Bernie Madoff Gives Back [OpEd]". New York Times.
  9. ^ a b c "Madoff’s Victims Are Close to Getting Their $19 Billion Back," Bloomberg.
  10. ^ "Madoff customer payout tops $12 billion," Reuters.
  11. ^ "Record-Setting Madoff Settlement Announced with Picower Estate," The Am Law Daily.
  12. ^ "$7.2 Billion Picower Settlement: Payday for Madoff Victims," The Daily Beast.


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