Overview

Anna Sankaran is a Houston litigation attorney who focuses her practice on a variety of commercial litigation matters, with an emphasis on bankruptcy and bankruptcy litigation. Ms. Sankaran represents institutional and individual clients in all stages of business disputes. She has trial and appellate experience before federal and state courts, and represents clients in mediation and arbitration.

Ms. Sankaran has significant experience with class actions and other complex litigation. She advises clients on matters relating to issues arising under the anti-bribery and record-keeping provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including with respect to the development and implementation of internal compliance programs.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Sankaran was a litigation attorney in the Houston office of an international law firm.

While in law school, Ms. Sankaran was a law clerk for the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, and a law clerk for the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General in the Government Bureau's Administrative Law Division.

Experience

  • Represented a product certification company in litigation concerning authorized use of trademark and business disparagement
  • Represented a Las Vegas corporation in a Special Appearance proceeding in a litigation alleging fraudulent transfer; Christus Spohn Hospital System Corporation d/b/a Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi–Memorial v. AWH Ventures, Inc., et al.
  • Represented a fund and administrative and collateral agent in litigation brought by an investment banker seeking to hold fund and agent liable for debts owed by borrower through trial and favorably on appeal; River Capital Advisors of North Carolina, Inc. v. FCS Advisors, Inc. et al., 551 Fed.Appx. 187, 2014 WL 60169 (5th Cir. 2014)
  • Represented various lenders in state and federal court with respect to claims brought by mortgage holders
  • Represented a Las Vegas individual in a Special Appearance proceeding in a litigation alleging fraudulent transfer in trial court and on appeal; Christus Spohn Hospital System Corporation d/b/a Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi–Memorial v. Canarelli, 2013 WL 1800267 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi April 15, 2013)
  • Represented a lender in litigation by a borrower regarding alleged improper foreclosure; Hammond v. JPMC Specialty Mortgage LLC, 2011 WL 1463632 (D. Mass. April 15, 2011)
  • Represented a manufacturer of plush animals with virtual component in multidistrict antitrust class action
  • Represented an owner of indoor snowmaking technology through trial in dispute regarding scope and duration of license
  • Represented defendants in numerous indirect purchaser antitrust class actions under Massachusetts consumer protection statute, including Thomas Sarris v. Akzo Nobel Car Refinishers, et al., Essex County Superior Court Civil Action No. 05-0248, Frank Grimaldi v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals International B.V., et al., Middlesex Superior Court Civil Action No. 04-1052, Dennis Audette v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts Civil Action No. 05- 05-12224 JLT, and Valerie L. Ciardi et al v. F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd., et al., Middlesex Superior Court Consolidated Civil Action Nos. 99-4656D and 99-3244D
  • Represented an owner of tolling plant in a contract dispute against a customer regarding specifications of adhesive, trade secret theft, payments for capital improvements and other disputes
  • Represented a former bank president and his daughter in multidistrict fraudulent transfer dispute regarding an alleged $55 million misappropriated from a Dominican bank
  • Represented a national retailer in federal litigation against its spokesperson regarding termination of the spokesperson agreement, cancellation of television program, trademark violations, and alleged payments and bonuses due under various agreements
  • Represented a national retailer in real estate litigation against a landlord and prospective tenant concerning lease breaches caused by changes in shopping mall configuration required by new tenant
  • Represented Herbalife International of America, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in litigation by a distributor claiming certain commissions and royalties; See Okmyansky v. Herbalife International of America, Inc., 415 F.3d 145 (1st Cir. 2005)
  • Represented an employment placement firm in a national origin discrimination matter in the District of Connecticut; the District Court awarded summary judgment which was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Represented a national retailer in Massachusetts consumer class action regarding sales tax regulations relating to manufacturers' coupons

  • Upheld a dismissal in the Ninth Circuit by U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada confirming proper foreclosure of property by lender
  • Reversed a Maryland District Court and obtained dismissal of trustee's $2.1 million preference claim against managing general agent of insurer because it was a mere conduit of insurance proceeds from the debtors in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; In re Railworks (Guttman v. Construction Program Group), --- F.3d ----, 2014 WL 3703635 (4th  Cir. 2014)
  • Reversed and rendered a $10 million judgment against a fund and administrative and collateral agent in litigation brought by an investment banker seeking to hold fund and agent liable for debts owed by borrower; River Capital Advisors of North Carolina, Inc. v. FCS Advisors, Inc. et al., --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2014 WL 60169 (5th Cir. 2014)
  • Upheld a dismissal of a Las Vegas individual in a Special Appearance proceeding in $10 million fraudulent transfer litigation; Christus Spohn Hospital System Corporation d/b/a Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi–Memorial v. Canarelli, 2013 WL 1800267 (Tex.App.-Corpus Christi April 15, 2013)
  • Represented Avnet, Inc., a Fortune 500 national distributor of electronic components, on appeal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, seeking affirmance of dismissal of Chapter 7 Trustee's $5.4 million preference claim; See In re Managed Storage International, Inc. (Burtch v. Avnet), 2012 WL 5921723 (Bankr. D. Del. November 26, 2012)
  • Represented Avnet, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, in affirming judgment on appeal to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire in $4.4 million preference litigation; In re Amherst Technologies LLC (Bogdanov v. Avnet, Inc.), 2011 WL 4625698 (D. N.H. September 30, 2011)
  • Obtained a dismissal of appeal challenging confirmation of $4 million arbitration award in an international construction litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; In re Kaiser Group International, Inc. v. Arcelormittal Steel Ostrava, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Appeal Nos. 09-1565-66 (March 3, 2010)
  • Obtained a reversal in subordination action through representation as amici curiae of defendant class in the Arthur D. Little Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding; In re Merrimac Paper Company, Inc., 420 F.3d 53 (1st Cir. 2005); see also In re Dehon, Inc., 298 BR 206 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2003)
  • Represented a former bank president and his daughter in Massachusetts Single Justice Appeal seeking non conveniens dismissal in $55 million fraudulent transfer litigation
  • Upheld a summary judgment in favor of Herbalife International of America, Inc., of all claims for commissions and royalties brought by distributor; Okmyansky v. Herbalife International of America, Inc., 415 F.3d 145 (1st Cir. 2005)

  • Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in In re CJ Holdings et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Case No. 16-35590-DRJ
  • Represented a creditor in preference action in In re SRC Liquidation, LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Case No. 15-10541
  • Represented debtors' employer in divorce trial in In re Juan Carlos Castillo, Chapter 7, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Case No. 15-31471
  • Represented an administrative claimant through trial in In re Finco, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Case No. 14-30383
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company, one of the world's largest industrial distributors of electronic parts, enterprise computing and storage products and embedded subsystems, in bankruptcy matters nationwide, including as a secured and unsecured creditor, large preference actions, and other bankruptcy-related litigation
  • Represented a managing general agent of insurer in reversing Maryland District Court and obtaining dismissal of trustee's $2.1 million preference claim in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; In re Railworks (Guttman v. Construction Program Group), --- F.3d ----, 2014 WL 3703635 (4th  Cir. 2014)
  • Represented a Fortune 500 national electronics parts distributor, securing dismissal of a $5.4 million preference claim, the largest preference claim in the case, based on release obtained settling dispute concerning sale proceeds; See In re Managed Storage International, Inc. et al. (Burtch v. Avnet, Inc.), 2012 WL 5921723 (Bankr. D. Del. November 26, 2012)
  • Represented a landlord through trial in In re Hekofay Deal Enterprises Incorporated, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Case No. 11-36867
  • Represented a Fortune 500 national distributor of electronic components through trial and appeal in preference litigation before the U.S. Bankruptcy and District Courts for the District of New Hampshire, decreasing liability from $7 million to approximately $500,000; See In re Amherst Technologies LLC (Bogdanov v. Avnet, Inc.), 2011 WL 4625698 (D. N.H. September 30, 2011); In re Amherst Technologies LLC (Bogdanov v. Avnet, Inc.), 2010 WL 3517066 (Bankr. D. N. H. September 3, 2010)
  • Represented various lenders in Texas and Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court as special counsel in Chapter 7 and 13 cases relating to alleged sanctions or other lending violations
  • Represented a liquidating trust in administrative claims litigation in In Re Syntax-Brillian Corp. et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Case No. 08-11407
  • Represented one of the largest American insurance premium financing companies in bankruptcy matters nationwide as a secured creditor
  • Represented Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in lender investigation in In re Renew Energy LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Chapter 11, Case No. 09-10491
  • Represented Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in In re Primus Telecommunications Group, Incorporated, et al., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case No. 09-10867 (KG)
  • Represented a defendant class in subordination action in the Arthur D. Little Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in the District of Massachusetts; representation includes favorable result on behalf of clients as amici curiae in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on issue of equitable subordination of ERISA claims; See In re Merrimac Paper Company, Inc., 420 F.3d 53 (1st Cir. 2005); See also In re Dehon, Inc., 298 BR 206 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2003)
  • Represented a professional administrator and seller of warranty programs and service contracts offered in connection with the sale of consumer products in various retail bankruptcies
  • Represented a creditor in preference action in In re Felt Manufacturing, Co., Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire, Chapter 11, Adv. Pro. No. 07-1178
  • Represented a debtor in a bankruptcy appeal regarding fee dispute with indenture trustee in the Northwestern Corporation bankruptcy proceeding pending in the District of Delaware
  • Represented a buyer in various contested matters in In re Complete Retreats, LLC. et al., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut, Chapter 11, Bankr. Case No. 06-50245 (AHWS)
  • Represented a secured lender in In re C.R. Stone Concrete Contractors, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, Chapter 11, Case No. 05-11119-WCH, as well as in related litigation against guarantor of loan
  • Represented a secured creditor in In re U. S. Specialty Packaging, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, Chapter 11, Case No. 03-46614-HJB
  • Represented the debtor in In re Seitel, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case No. 03-12227 in contested valuation and confirmation
  • Represented debtors in adversary proceeding involving ERISA claims relating to qualified and nonqualified plans maintained by the debtor in In re Northwestern Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Adversary Proceeding No. 04-53349
  • Represented a debtor in claims litigation through trial against insurer regarding coverage in In re Waste Systems, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case Nos. 01-0099 through 01-0129
  • Represented a debtor in claims litigation through summary judgment regarding land fill contracts in In re Waste Systems, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case Nos. 01-0099 through 01-0129
  • Represented Unsecured Creditors Committee in various contested matters including key employee retention plan and exclusivity extensions in In re Factory 2U, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case No. 04-10111 (PJW)
  • Represented a debtor in claims litigation regarding contract disputes in In re Darwin Networks, Inc. and Darwin Networks Acquisition Corp., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case Nos. 01-0095 and 01-0096 (LK)
  • Represented a debtor as special counsel with respect to motions for relief from automatic stay for debtor and commencing adversary proceeding for non-debtor entities regarding patent litigation in In re MJ Research Incorporated, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, Chapter 11, Docket No. 04-50861 GWZ
  • Represented the Official Committee of Non-Union Retirees in In re SHC, Inc., Chapter 11, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Case No. 03-12002 (MFW), in matters regarding the termination of welfare benefits
  • Represented the Official Committee of Retirees in In re Polaroid Corporation et al., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case No. 01-10864 (PJW), regarding the termination of welfare benefits

  • Advised a Fortune 50 company in major Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) internal compliance review and program enhancement
  • Assisted a team in coordinating the development and implementation of enhanced financial controls for global anti-corruption compliance program; liaised with forensic and audit consultants to provide legal support for design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of enhanced financial controls in 11 global markets; handled substantial project management and oversaw global financial controls legal team
  • Conducted an assessment of FCPA risks for India location of Fortune 50 company

  • Represented a national retailer in patent infringement suit regarding network authorization technology
  • Represented a national retailer with respect to alleged patent infringement claims relating to Ethernet technology
  • Represented an owner of indoor snowmaking technology through trial in dispute regarding scope and duration of license
  • Represented a plaintiff, holder of patent covering spray plume analysis technology at trial; verdict included a finding of infringement of nine of 11 claims and injunctive relief
  • Represented a national retailer and promotional product vendor in a design patent dispute
  • Represented a toy manufacturer in trade dress and design patent dispute regarding packaging of musical instruments
  • Represented a semi-conductor manufacturer in multidistrict counterfeiting and trademark dispute

  • Represented defendant class in subordination action in the Arthur D. Little Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in the District of Massachusetts; representation includes favorable result on in behalf of clients as amici curiae in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on issue of equitable subordination of ERISA claims; See In re Merrimac Paper Company, Inc., 420 F.3d 53 (1st Cir. 2005)
  • Represented debtors in adversary proceeding involving ERISA relating to qualified and nonqualified plans maintained by the debtor in In re Northwestern Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Adversary Proceeding No. 04-53349
  • Represented the Official Committee of Non-Union Retirees in In re SHC, Inc., Chapter 11, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Case No. 03-12002 (MFW), in matters regarding the termination of welfare benefits
  • Represented the Official Committee of Retirees in In re Polaroid Corporation et al., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Chapter 11, Case No. 01-10864 (PJW), regarding the termination of welfare benefits
  • Provided consultation to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the liability of an employer and jurisdictional issues under The Bipartisan Patient Protection Act of 2001, including preparation of memoranda and a model complaint for presentation on the Congressional Floor
  • Represented a health insurer in ERISA class action

Credentials

Education
  • Boston University School of Law, J.D.
  • Boston University, B.A., Political Science, cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Massachusetts
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
Memberships
  • State Bar of Texas, Texas Minority Counsel Program, Steering Committee, 2011-2016
  • Professional Women's Group, Dress for Success Houston Mentor Program
  • State Bar of Texas, Minority Director, 2014-2016
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow; Nominating Committee, 2014
  • South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA), National Advisory Council Member
  • South Asian Bar Association of Houston
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Probate Law Journal, Boston University School of Law, Case and Note Editor
  • Edward C. Stone Appellate Moot Court Competition, Boston University School of Law
Honors & Awards
  • Silver Shingle Award for Service to the Profession, Boston University School of Law, 2017
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Houston, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2017
  • Women Worth Watching, Diversity Journal, 2016
  • Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2018
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Houston, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2016
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2016
  • Rising Star, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, 2011-2013
  • Champion of Diversity Award, State Bar of Texas, Asian Pacific Interest Section, 2015
  • Trailblazer Outside Counsel of the Year Award Finalist, State Bar of Texas, Texas Minority Counsel Program, 2013
  • South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Cornerstone Award, June 2013
  • 40 Under 40, Houston Business Journal, March 2012
  • State Bar of Texas, Leadership Class, 2011-2012
  • 40 Under 40, Boston Business Journal, August 2009
  • Rosoff Mentor Award, Boston Ad Club, 2009
  • Commitment to Diversity Citation from Commonwealth of Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick, 2009
  • The Annapoorni R. Sankaran Award for Excellence in Leadership and Service, South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, 2008
  • Woman of the Year Finalist, India New England News, 2007
  • Up & Coming Lawyer, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2005
  • G. Joseph Tauro Scholar, Boston University School of Law, 1993

Speaking Engagements

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