Mortgage Banking & Whole Loan Trading
Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities
Securitization & Asset Based Finance
DePaul University, College of Law - J.D., with highest honors
University of Iowa - B.A.
Widely recognized as an active and innovative attorney in structured finance, Chris Gavin represents issuers, borrowers, sellers, buyers, lenders, official lenders, hedge funds, private equity funds and other investors in U.S. and international structured finance transactions.
The footprint and complexity of his financings span North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Africa, and individual securitizations reaching more than $20 billion. Chris represents and advises clients in a range of cross-border transactions and structured solutions involving:
- Residential mortgage transactions, including whole loan sales, servicing transfers, repurchase and other warehouse facilities, and term securitizations for newly originated, seasoned and nonperforming loans
- Advising trustees, servicers and other parties regarding their rights and obligations in legacy residential mortgage transactions
- Asset-backed securitization and financing transactions
- Cross-border covered bonds
- Collateralized commercial paper programs
- Structured distressed portfolio joint ventures and other solutions
- The purchase and sale of residential mortgage and other financial services companies, including in developing structured solutions to protect purchasers from certain exposures of the acquired companies
- Structuring investment vehicles that issue extendable commercial paper, including the working out and resolution of such transactions
In his counsel to a major industry group, Chris represented them on a significant comment letter on the reproposed risk retention rules. Highlights of his vast experience with novel structured financings also include: establishing the first collateralized commercial paper program for a major global financial institution, structuring the first cross-border covered bond in Latin America, creating one of the first aggregator residential mortgage securitization programs since the recent financial crisis, and developing a microfinance lending facility for fund activities in Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan.
Additionally, Chris has significant experience securitizing and financing many other forms of assets and projects. These include auto loans and leases, marketplace lending assets, commercial mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, franchise loans, life insurance policy loans, mortgage servicing rights, toll road projects, forward sale commodity contracts, lower and middle income residential projects and payroll deduction loans.
Chris has earned repeated recognition in the Financial Times’ annual “Innovative Lawyers” feature and consistently appears in the IFLR1000 rankings as a Leading Lawyer for his work in Structured Finance/Securitization and Capital Markets. In the 2018 and 2019 IFLR1000, Chris received a “Highly Regarded” rating based on exemplary peer reviews and client feedback. The guide has described Chris as being “among the best mortgage industry attorneys for structured finance” and notes that he is “creative at problem solving and an excellent negotiator.” Chris is frequently called upon by leading industry publications for his perspective, including Asset-Backed Alert, the Financial Times and IFLR Magazine, with whom he discussed trends that could impact banking regulations in 2017.
Chris received his J.D from DePaul University College of Law, Order of the Coif, with highest honors, and served on the editorial board of the DePaul University Law Review. He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa. Chris is admitted to practice in New York and Illinois.
- Represented Barclays Bank PLC and Barclays Capital Inc. in establishing what is believed to be the first collateralized commercial paper program.
- Represented Banco Popular de Puerto Rico in the sale of a portfolio of distressed construction and commercial real estate loans to a newly created joint venture that is majority owned by a limited liability company created by Goldman Sachs and Caribbean Property Group and financed in part by seller financing.
- Represented Banco Popular North America in connection with the sale of a portfolio of nonperforming mortgage loans, including in setting the bid process and negotiating the sale and purchase agreement and the interim servicing arrangements.
- Advised BRAC, a not-for-profit microfinance and developmental organization in Bangladesh, on a syndicated credit facility. $63 million was raised from several international lending groups, including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), to develop microfinance lending operations in Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan.
- Represented a major U.S.-based monoline insurance company in its purchase of one of its competitors. The transaction included a series of protection arrangements provided by the seller that were structured as swap agreements to protect the client from exposure to the purchased monoline's guaranteed investment contact business. The seller's obligations under these protection arrangements were guaranteed in part by the two major European governments.
- Represented the arrangers and initial purchasers in the resecuritization of approximately $4.7 billion of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) for a major U.S. financial institution. The underlying collateral consisted of approximately 350 US RMBS from 350 different underlying transactions. The deal assisted the financial institution to further strengthen its balance sheet by significantly reducing its remaining exposure to the US residential real estate market.
- Represented a Panamanian issuer in connection with what is believed to be the first Latin American cross-border covered bond, which was supported by residential mortgage loans. Named 2012 “Structured Financing Deal of the Year” by LatinFinance.
- Represented Popular, Inc. in an agreement to sell $1.2 billion in loan and servicing assets of its U.S. mortgage subsidiary, Popular Financial Holdings, to various affiliates of a leading financial services firm.
- Represented a potential hedge fund investor in the creation of a novel structure for a distressed financial institution that would have included a joint venture for the purchase of distressed residential mortgage loans and REO and a significant Tier I investment and warrants in the institution.
- Represented the initial purchaser in two Peso 1 billion+ securitizations of construction loans for low- and middle-income residential properties in Mexico, originated by two different Mexican finance companies.
- Represented the arranger in structuring a US$330 million variable funded note warehouse facility with a partial credit guarantee from OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation).
- Represented a lender in connection with a significant loan secured by forward sales of crude oil by a national oil company in northern Africa.
- Represented the purchaser of US$194 million of CRPAOs (payment obligations of the Government of Peru) issued to the concessionaire for the Tramo 1 section of the IIRSA Sur toll road project in Peru.
- Structured and negotiated multiple residential mortgage and home equity loan securitization transactions issuing both public and private securities, including REMIC, non-REMIC and Re-REMIC structures.
- Structured and negotiated several cross border mortgage loan securitization transactions, including transactions issuing publicly registered asset-backed securities.
- Structured and negotiated numerous novel warehouse financing vehicles for mortgage loan originators.
- Represented significant industry group in connection with its comment letter on the recently re-proposed risk retention rules.
*Note: certain representations occurred prior to Chris’s association with Cadwalader.