Firm Forms Subprime Mortgage Practice Team
NEW YORK, NY – July 31, 2007 – Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP announces the formation of an interdisciplinary Subprime Mortgage Practice Team focused on assisting clients with the significant fallout from recent events in that market. The team works with clients to analyze and evaluate the risks and potential liabilities in today’s market and to develop and implement appropriate responses and approaches to these issues, including litigation when appropriate.
The firm is currently representing stakeholders in the mortgage-backed securities market in investigations of anomalous losses in a number of transactions in which these participants hold interests. In one case, the irregularities appear to be servicing-related. In another, the quality of the collateral is at issue, potentially giving rise to loan repurchase obligations for breach of representations and warranties contained in the transaction documents. In these cases, the team is assisting clients with an assessment of potential claims that can be made against issuers and/or servicers in these deals, in the hopes of recouping actual and anticipated losses. In a previous, similar matter, the firm obtained a very sizable negotiated settlement for a client who had exposure to several hundred million dollars in a number of poorly performing subprime deals. That matter involved claims relating to both origination and servicing of the loan pools.
If there are allegations of wrongdoing, the firm’s white collar defense and investigations team, which is uniquely qualified to handle attorney general investigations and other matters, provides counsel. The firm’s group includes Peter Harvey, the former New Jersey Attorney General, and Michael B. Mukasey, the former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The team is headed by Paul Gardephe, the former chief appellate attorney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, who also served as chief investigator during the Department of Justice’s major reviews of the FBI’s performance in detecting the espionage of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. Paul also previously served as the former Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Time, Inc. He works closely with Daniel Ruzumna, the former acting Chief of the Major Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. The group also includes Steve Younger, an experienced litigator of financial disputes who is also active in Alternate Dispute Resolution and is a member of the New York State Chief Judge's ADR Task Force. Team members have extensive experience representing clients in investigations conducted by the New York Attorney General’s office.
Patterson Belknap attorneys have deep experience in complex matters involving financial instruments ranging from securities, commodities and derivatives to proprietary instruments and indexes developed by industry leaders. We are singularly skilled in a broad range of these disputes spanning straightforward contract law, mortgage lending practices, fraud, bankruptcy, restructuring and other issues.
Combining the skills of the firm’s litigation, bankruptcy, real estate and corporate practices, the new cross-practice team brings all essential areas of experience to our clients. With all team attorneys collaborating in the firm’s New York office, we provide a seamless and efficient approach to these matters.