Lawyers in gold rush to defend companies caught in foreclosure crisis
The foreclosure crisis has been bad for banks and bad for the federal government (which is in the awkward position of having to explain why some of the companies it bailed out have found themselves in another mess). But it's been a boon to one group: lawyers.
Take this press release from Nixon Peabody that was released on Monday. The firm is expanding its mortgage finance and foreclosure section. With about 700 attorneys, it's one of the largest law firms in the world and represents such major corporations as JetBlue, Corning and Gannett.
As of Monday, it's also promoting itself as a foreclosure specialist.
Nixon Peabody says it has been involved in foreclosures for many years, but foreclosure work was never something a marquee corporate firm would promote until the recent uproar over foreclosure paperwork.
"With the risks that the new mortgage foreclosure crisis poses to the broader economy, our team can help clients navigate the changing and increasing demands from federal regulators and state governments and litigation resulting from the practices now being questioned," the company said.
Alison McClain, a spokeswoman for the firm, elaborated in an email that the "the focus of our interest is in preserving and protecting the interests of clients in assets and we have substantial experience in the securitization, financing, servicing and real estate businesses."
At BuckleySander, which specializes in work for the financial industry, attorney Andrew Sandler said 70 lawyers of the District-based firm are working on foreclosure matters. "That's more lawyers than we've ever had working on a single issue," Sandler told the National Law Journal.
In California, Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps has created a specialized National Foreclosure Litigation and Investigation practice of 20 attorneys that will represent companies named in civil suits and federal and state investigations related to the recent foreclosure freezes. "The National Foreclosure Litigation & Investigation practice will proactively work with clients to limit or eliminate potential civil or criminal liability prior to the commencement of civil litigation or a civil or criminal investigation," the company promised.
Ariana Eunjung Cha
| October 26, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
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