Holland & Knight LLP
31 West 52nd Street
10019, New York, USA
Warren Gluck is a respected name in the US asset recovery market and is recognised by peers as “a subject matter expert”.
Warren E. Gluck is a New York litigation attorney, trial lawyer and co-chair of Holland & Knight's asset recovery team as well as a member of the firm's litigation and dispute resolution practice. Mr Gluck focuses his practice on litigation, fraud investigation, insolvency, asset recovery and judgment enforcement, as well as admiralty law. He has experience in all aspects of the litigation process and routinely acts as lead counsel on litigation, judgment enforcement, fraud, cross-border insolvency, crypto, asset tracing and shipping matters. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of international judgment enforcement and cross-border insolvency, and has also pioneered new asset tracing methods.
Describe your career to date.
I began my career at Holland & Knight as an intern, then summer associate, then associate. And I’ve called the firm “home” my entire professional career. I started working on asset recovery matters at the outset of my legal career, which coincided with the 2008 crash and downturn. Everything became a fraud or asset recovery case and I raised my hand, eager to try each one. Eventually I helped develop various techniques including intermediary bank discovery and developed a practice. Quickly, I became lead counsel in a variety of matters and launched a practice, which ultimately became HK Asset Recovery.
What is the most challenging aspect about working on transnational asset recovery and fraud cases?
Convincing folks that the juice is worth the squeeze. There is a tendency to over-abide by the maxim not to throw good money after bad. However, in a significant number of cases, it is plain and obvious that there is both a path and a profitable path to recovery.
What new technologies are assisting asset recovery efforts?
Social media is a very useful tool to build a profile and determine a strategy. “Is that a private jet in the background of that picture?” Crypto is a fascinating area as well. On the one hand it offers pseudo-anonymity; on the other – unlike cash – there is an indelible digital paper trail that can be followed as long as necessary.
How have frauds become more sophisticated over the past five years, and how do you think they could evolve in the near future?
We have seen the transition to crypto and debt-based fraud. In particular, the unregulated crypto industry is vulnerable to the sort of smash and grab, pump and dump and other basic scams prevalent just before 1929. On the ponzi side, the smart players have figured out that if you loan money into a standard ponzi scheme, you will always come out on top. Proving intent is more difficult in the loan scenario because even distressed and criminal actors are allowed to borrow.
To what extent do you see a need to reform current laws for them to be in pace with the growing sophistication of cybercrime?
There needs to be a supernational body dictating rules on cybercrime and crypto fraud – it is the only path forward.
If you could introduce a legal reform to aid asset recovery, what would it be and why?
A global asset and debt registry – this would allow for the realisation of hundreds of millions if not billions of assets into the hands of their rightful owners and away from those that pilfer and evade.
As co-chair of the firm's litigation and dispute resolution practice, what are your goals for the practice's development over the next few years?
Our goal is strategic growth and the institutionalisation of alternative billing models.
What do you wish you had known before starting out in asset recovery?
People don’t forget – ever – that is the pillar of Asset Recovery.