Feb 24, 2009
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, one of the world’s leading international law firms, was short-listed by IFLR for two of its Americas Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 25, 2009.
Cadwalader was nominated for Restructuring Law Firm of the Year, and a matter on which the firm acted as counsel for CIFG Holding Ltd. was short-listed for Deal of the Year.
In the nominated transaction, Cadwalader represented CIFG, the holding company for CIFG’s financial guaranty subsidiaries, along with its principal shareholders, Banque Populaire Group and Caisse d’Epargne Group, in reaching a final settlement with credit default swap counterparties and bondholders holding 98 percent of its gross par outstanding of ABS CDO exposures and certain specified CRE CDO exposures. The agreement successfully commutes approximately $12 billion in notional ABS CDO and CRE CDO exposures in exchange for a cash payment and equity consideration. The deal closed on January 22, 2009.
The firm’s work on the transaction helped CIFG, which was faced with problematic credits, develop strategic alternatives to help improve its capital position. The firm had to overcome the challenge of structuring and negotiating a cash-and-equity solution acceptable to a broad range of counterparties who expected virtually unanimous participation, while satisfying the highly public missions of three primary insurance regulators (New York, France and Bermuda). The transaction demonstrated the willingness of policyholders to release their claims in exchange for a share in the potential upside that their release would enable, and it will serve as a model for future monoline insurer restructurings. The work on this matter required the contributions of a broad cross-section of the Cadwalader's interdisciplinary practice groups.
The firm’s Restructuring Law Firm of the Year nod came in recognition of work not only on the CIFG transaction but on several other matters, including the representation of JPMorgan Chase as the administrative agent of certain loans in the Centro Properties Group cross-border debt restructuring.
“It is gratifying that IFLR has recognized the work of our dedicated and talented Financial Restructuring Department,” said Chris White, Cadwalader’s Chairman. “The group does an outstanding job of serving the business and legal needs of exceptional clients like CIFG, and the nominations are well-deserved.”
These highly-regarded awards are based on detailed research from IFLR’s team of journalists in consultation with private practice lawyers, in-house counsel and financing specialists at investment banks around the world.
Scott Cammarn, Mark Chorazak
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