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Author: Don Obrien

Litigation Department of the Year, Finance: Kasowitz Benson Torres


What are some of the department’s most satisfying successes of the past year and why? We obtained several significant wins—including two in the span of a week—on behalf of leading investment managers holding over $1.4 billion in notes issued by the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts in groundbreaking litigations concerning the management and control of the Trusts. In these cases, that we lead, the Trusts’ owners have attempted to seize control of the Trusts in violation of the Trust Documents. Our successful rulings established protections that will help ensure the stability of the $10 trillion securitization market for investors. Among other victories, on August 19, we prevailed on a key appeal when the Third Circuit, issued a precedent-setting opinion, in favor of our clients, by invalidating an attempt by the Trusts’ owners to install their own affiliate to service and sell the Trusts’ loans. And, then on August 27, the Delaware Chancery Court issued a groundbreaking decision clarifying that the Trusts’ owners owed fiduciary duties to our clients and other investors when fulfilling any obligations concerning the student loan collateral.

Our $600 million win for MBIA, led by our partners Marc Kasowitz and Kenneth David, after 10 years of litigation capped by a two-week trial, in a put-back action against Credit Suisse, was also a tremendous achievement. The court found that MBIA had convincingly proved that Credit Suisse breached its representations and warranties, and that Credit Suisse was liable for over $600 million in damages, one of the very few such actions to go to trial. Following the victory, Credit Suisse paid $600 million to MBIA to resolve the matter.



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