DALLAS (LAWFUEL) – In a time when credit market turmoil could result in losses reaching as high as $1 trillion, Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers are addressing the needs of financial institutions, brokerage firms, title companies, corporate directors and officers, and public accounting firms through the firm’s recently formalized Financial Crisis Advisory and Litigation Services Practice Group.
A team of lawyers from disciplines across the firm will work proactively to guide clients through the vast array of emerging issues, including financial transactions, corporate, litigation, internal and governmental investigations, and bankruptcy matters. The group will also help clients by examining their internal policies and practices.
Said David Harper, a Haynes and Boone Litigation Section Chair: “We will work as a coordinated unit, drawing on lawyers primarily from our hedge fund, finance, bankruptcy, broker dealer and litigation practices to analyze, advise and help clients establish contingency plans during this economic crisis and respond efficiently and effectively to specific legal challenges that arise during these extremely fluid situations in our financial markets. Of course, we will also consult with lawyers in our structured finance, securities, tax and derivatives practices, recognizing that a range of clients in the transactional, regulatory and litigation arenas are affected by these complex issues.”
Lawyers working within Haynes and Boone’s securities and complex commercial litigation, bankruptcy, white collar defense and government investigations groups have long handled matters that involve the issues that have emerged as the global subprime crisis unfolded.
“In serving a significant client base of financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity firms, and other market participants, we have developed a multi-disciplined approach to assist our clients. We possess unique experience with the legal issues facing our clients during this economic downturn,” said Craig Unterberg, a partner in the Finance Section.
Added Bob Albergotti, partner in the Bankruptcy Section of the firm: “Many of these issues we now face are similar to those of the late 1980s when many of our lawyers were handling litigation involving the failed savings and loan industry. This is an area where we can offer our clients the advice and experience they need to successfully deal with the subprime and Wall Street collapses.”
Seven partners from various disciplines and offices within the firm have been designated to steer the practice group:
Bob Albergotti (Bankruptcy)
Taylor Wilson (Hedge Funds and Corporate)
David Harper (Business Litigation )
Ron Breaux (White Collar Litigation)
Craig Unterberg (Margin Lending and Finance)
James Waters (Structured Products and Derivatives)
Eden Rohrer (Broker Dealer Regulations)
“Given our experience and international platform, we are uniquely positioned to work with clients in tackling the complex issues related to subprime matters,” said New York partner Eden Rohrer. “We are witness to the transformation of our markets and regulatory systems.”
The ongoing investigations into the collapse of credit and subprime lending markets have also expanded into the auction rate securities market, which are long-term debt instruments where the interest rates are determined through weekly or monthly auctions. In light of the current credit crisis and its effect on bond insurers, auction-rate securities, which were once treated as cash equivalents, suddenly became difficult to trade, given there were not enough purchasers for all the shares being sold. That resulted in failed auctions.
“Our knowledge of markets worldwide combined with our experience with complex litigation, government and corporate investigations, public finance, and bankruptcy puts us in a position to assist our clients through the evolving issues some face as the subprime collapse continues to unfold,” said Ron Breaux, who chairs the firm’s White Collar Litigation Practice, including the firm’s Securities Litigation Practice. “We’re doing what we have always done to serve our clients as this new surge of litigation takes root. We expect subprime litigation will be something we will help clients work through for a number of years to come.”