In its inaugural “Texas Powerhouses” feature, Gibbs & Bruns was selected on the shortlist of firms highlighting “regional power players and nationally recognized brands that have established themselves as forces to be reckoned with in Texas as firms compete for work in one of the nation’s hottest legal markets.”  Gibbs & Bruns was one of the three boutiques featured.

Many of the firms on the list have deep Texas roots and storied histories that for some firms, stretch back to the 1800s, when Texas was in its infancy. Yet it’s no surprise that in a state founded by rebellious upstarts, there’s room at the top for innovation, including three litigation boutiques.  Among the boutiques…Gibbs & Bruns LLP, which helped negotiate the largest private legal settlement in Wall Street’s history in an $8.5 billion agreement with Bank of America Corp.

Texas Powerhouse: Gibbs & Bruns

Law 360 highlights Founding Partner Robin Gibbs’ vision for a boutique firm concept and notes:

The firm has recovered billions of dollars for its clients, staved off bet-the-company litigation and helped reform the lending industry with a series of record-breaking settlements resolving residential mortgage-backed securities claims, earning it a spot on Law360’s list of Texas Powerhouses.

Gibbs & Bruns commands both sides of the docket for clients hailing from the full spectrum of Texas’ major industries: Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Baylor College of Medicine, BHP Billiton Petroleum LLC, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Huntsman Corp., Invesco Ltd., Kinder Morgan Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Talisman Energy Inc., Texas Children’s Hospital, the John O’Quinn Foundation and Zachry Construction Corp., among many others.

Managing Partner Scott Humphries shares about the firm’s highly-selective recruiting process, “the firm prefers new law school graduates to laterals to develop ‘homegrown’ lawyers.”  Law 360 notes that, “the payoff for Gibbs & Bruns’ clients has been remarkable.”

In April, the firm hammered out a $1 billion settlement with Citigroup Inc. for 18 institutional investors who sought to have the bank repurchase mortgage loans sold into residential mortgage-backed securities trusts. Under the $1.13 billion deal, Citigroup will make a binding offer to the trustees of 68 Citigroup-sponsored trusts that issued a total of $59.4 billion in RMBS.

Gibbs & Bruns teamed with Ropes & Gray LLP to strike a $7 billion deal with defunct Residential Capital LLC on behalf of 17 institutional investors. In December 2013, a New York bankruptcy judge signed off on ResCap’s liquidation plan, allowing settlement distributions to begin flowing.

In November, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reached a $4.5 billion settlement with 21 institutional investors represented by Gibbs & Bruns, with the bank agreeing to make a binding offer to the trustees of 330 RMBS trusts issued by JPMorgan and the Bear Stearns Cos. Inc., to settle mortgage repurchase and servicing claims.

And in 2011 the firm scored a record settlement with Bank of America Corp., which agreed to pay $8.5 billion to resolve mortgage put-back and servicing claims relating to 530 Countrywide residential mortgage securitization trusts. New York Supreme Court Judge Barbara R. Kapnick approved the deal in January.

Partner Kathy Patrick shares about the above successes:

It’s particularly rewarding work because until our clients came along and started bringing these settlements to bear, it really was the case that investors were looking at billions in losses that were going unremedied. These are market-reforming settlements.

On the energy side, the firm continues its long tenure of client wins.  Partner Barrett Reasoner on the firm’s energy niche:

We’ve been at this for a long time now. We have just been interested in doing what we do very well. Over time, people see that and are willing to come back to us.

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