New York Court Upholds Separate Entity Rule, Quashes Non-Party Subpoenas Seeking Information on Overseas Bank Accounts

In Ayyash v. Koleilat, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, upheld and arguably extended the New York “separate entity” rule, which provides that each branch of a bank is treated as a separate entity, in no way concerned with accounts maintained by depositors in other branches or at a home office. Under this rule, a New York branch cannot be compelled to turn over assets maintained at another branch of the same bank. The Court’s decision appears to extend this rule to hold that — at least in circumstances where international comity considerations support broad application of the separate entity rule — a New York branch cannot be compelled to provide information or discovery concerning assets maintained at a foreign branch.