$8.5 Billion Countrywide RMBS Settlement with Bank of America
With lead partner Kathy Patrick, prosecuting Countrywide residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) representation and warrant claims on behalf of our institutional investor clients.
In 2010, Gibbs & Bruns was engaged by 22 of the largest institutional investors, including financial giants PIMCO, BlackRock, MetLife and others, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), to assert claims against Countrywide and its corporate parent Bank of America relating to representation and warranty violations (“put-backs”) and mortgage servicing claims at issue in 530 Countrywide residential mortgage securitization trusts. Our clients engaged us to enforce their rights, through the governing agreements, to compel the repurchase of ineligible mortgages that do not conform to the representations and warranties concerning the collateral in the RMBS trusts.
On June 29, 2011 we announced that the firm, on behalf of its clients, had reached an $8.5 billion settlement with Bank of America resolving all mortgage put-back and servicing claims relating to the 530 trusts. The settlement provides not only the $8.5 billion cash payment to the trusts, but also requires Bank of America to make mortgage servicing improvements that will streamline the servicing of the 770,000 mortgages at issue in the trusts, improvements that various market sources suggest provide as much as several billion dollars of additional value to the trusts. The settlement also requires Bank of America to cure certain mortgage document issues, and provides the 530 trusts (and consequently the investors in those trusts, including our clients), with a full indemnity for any value lost in connection with mortgages in the trusts as a result of certain mortgage documentation deficiencies.
The settlement received worldwide top billing in the financial press. On June 29, 2011, The New York Times reported it as “likely to be the single biggest settlement tied to the subprime mortgage boom and the subsequent financial crisis of 2008.” The Wall Street Journal labeled the deal a “mammoth settlement” by a group of “high-profile investors” and as the “turning point in Wall Street’s epic struggle with the fallout from the financial crisis.” An analyst for Credit Agricole, quoted in The New York Times, stated that the settlement is “the most significant step since the financial crisis that helps” in “improving the economy.”
Gibbs & Bruns is currently prosecuting the court approval of the settlement.
In re National Century Financial Enterprises, Inc.
Prosecuted $1.6 billion in securities fraud claims on behalf of 26 groups of institutional investors against accountants, trustees, and investment banks involved in the issuance of the debt securities of National Century Financial Enterprises. See In re National Century Financial Enterprises Litigation, 541 F. Supp. 2d 986 (S.D. Ohio 2007) and In re National Century Financial Enterprises Litigation, 846 F.Supp.2d 828 (S.D. Ohio 2012). The firm secured $1 billion in total recoveries for its clients during the tenure of the NCFE-related litigation.
Carnegie Mellon University, et al. v. Westridge Capital Management, Inc., et al.
Successful prosecution of claims by Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and New York federal courts to recover losses arising out of the University’s investment in Westridge Capital Management and its affiliates. The University has received over $40 million in Receivership distributions as a result and expects additional distributions. The Second Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling adopting the receivership distribution plan recommended by the firm. Quoting from Scott Humphries’ trial court oral argument, the Second Circuit concluded that the district court was well within its discretion to reject the several independent attacks on Carnegie Mellon’s proffered distribution plan. The decision confirms Carnegie Mellon’s beneficial interest in the Westridge Capital receivership’s initial $815 million distribution to investors, and provides the University a favorable interest in the future distributions expected from the receivership. See CFTC v. 3M Employee Welfare Benefit Association Trust I, et al., 2013 WL 1324054 (2d Cir. April 3, 2013).
Pacific Investment Management Company v. Residential Accredit Loans, Inc., et al.
Represented over 200 funds and clients of PIMCO in negotiations and a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs & Co. and UBS Securities involving $500 million of RALI mortgage-backed notes in which the prospectus contained an erroneous description of the credit support and principal payment sequence for the notes.
In re Houston Area Water Corporation Northeast Plant
Lead counsel for the Houston Area Water Corporation in successful defense of a $70 million arbitration claim by a contractor involving the HAWC’s northeast water plant.
Appaloosa Investments L.P. I, et al. v. J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc., et al.
Prosecuted claims by mutual fund and hedge fund institutional investors in New Jersey state court against brokerage firms arising out of the collapse of Indonesian gold company Bre-X Minerals. See, e.g., Appaloosa Investment L.P. I v. J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc., 2008 WL 1819438 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2008).
Represented a pre-eminent AmLaw 100 law firm in a significant contract dispute both before the London Court of International Arbitration and in collateral litigation in federal and state courts in Houston. See Waiguh Siag v. King & Spalding LLP, 2010 WL 2671580 (S.D. Tex. June 30, 2010).
In re Westar Energy Inc. Securities Litigation
Lead counsel in successful defense of the outside directors of Kansas’s largest utility, Westar Energy, in its special committee investigation and related securities class actions. See Epstein v. Wittig, 2005 WL 3276390 (D. Kan. 2005).
PG&E Energy Trading-Power, L.P. v. Southaven Power, LLC
Represented PG&E Energy Trading, L.P. in a seven-week arbitration of two $500 million claims arising out of two natural gas power contracts.
In re Fleming Companies, Inc. Securities & Derivative Litigation
Prosecuted claims by the Fleming Post-Confirmation Trust in the Eastern District of Texas against third parties involved in the collapse of grocery conglomerate Fleming Companies.
Methodist Hospital v. Baylor College of Medicine
Represented Baylor College of Medicine in its dispute with Methodist Hospital regarding the scope of their authorized roles within the Texas Medical Center.
St. Luke’s Hospital v. Baylor College of Medicine
Represented Baylor College of Medicine in its dispute with St. Luke’s Hospital arising out of the parties’ affiliation agreement.
Couturie, et al. v. Saipem America
Lead counsel for subsea development company Saipem America’s contractual earn-out dispute with former partners.