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Gardere Financial Crisis Recovery Team Responds to Turbulent Financial Market
October 1, 2008

DALLAS/HOUSTON - The Financial Crisis Recovery Team of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP is taking action on behalf of local businesses as the impact of the current global financial crisis begins to affect the Texas market. As unemployment rates increase and credit becomes difficult to obtain, the firm's team of seasoned legal experts is once again fully prepared to bring its broad expertise in complex litigation, government and corporate affairs, bankruptcy and creditor's rights, and white collar criminal representation, to limit damage and exposure from the worsening economic conditions. The team, comprised of senior attorneys from across the firm's offices in Austin, Dallas and Houston, is also experienced in investigations and crisis management, including the collection, evaluation and production of electronic information.

"Our Recovery Team is composed of lawyers from many disciplines, and it's important that they all be available as a palate of resources to address the many facets of this complex crisis," says Richard O. Faulk, chair of Gardere's Litigation Department. "The recent large bank failures and tightness in the credit market point to conditions similar to those of the 1980s which resulted from the savings and loan debacle. In the words of Yogi Berra, ‘this is déjà vu all over again' as related to the S&L crisis we worked through in the ‘80s. Because of the experience and perspective we developed from that crisis, it wasn't necessary to develop any new expertise to handle these issues, but coordination is vital to facilitate the delivery of the right services as expeditiously and efficiently as possible."

The Financial Crisis Recovery Team, led by one of Gardere's senior commercial litigators Craig Florence, includes Gardere lawyers who provided legal assistance to companies and government agencies during the savings and loan crisis, and in the last recession in 2001. Members of the team also represented creditors, including major financial institutions, of Enron and LJM2, represented the LJM2 Liquidating Trust, and defended former Enron employees and officers in various civil and criminal action.

The consequences of the financial meltdown on Wall Street are impacting many businesses across the country. A recent government report states that orders to U.S. factories plunged by the largest amount in nearly two years as the credit strains hit manufacturers, making it tough for small and large business alike to finance operations and payroll. Any bail-out solution may create new problems for some businesses like the proposed freeze on tax deductions for oil and gas companies that may hinder new oil and gas production.

Business owners and executives are seeking answers, counseling and tools to recover severe and sudden losses resulting from the crisis.

"These issues meet at the intersection of business and litigation practices," says Cliff Risman, Chair of Gardere's Business Department, which encompasses a full range of corporate services, including transactional, taxation, and bankruptcy. "With an organized approach we can assess the client's problems quickly, provide meaningful advice, and devise real and practical solutions. This is more than a financial crisis - it poses fundamental challenges to the foundations and integrity of business operations."

Steve Good, Gardere's managing partner, stresses that "Gardere's lawyers have assisted clients in navigating financial difficulties for almost 100 years. In tough times, our history of success, with a proven track record of results, is the best measure of our reliability in the present crisis."

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm, was founded in 1909 and is one of the Southwest's largest full-service law firms. With offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Mexico City, Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of energy, litigation, corporate, tax, environmental, labor and employment, intellectual property and financial services.

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Financial Crisis Recovery Team

Practice Emphasis

Gardere's Financial Crisis Recovery Team is comprised of attorneys from many of the firm's disciplines. The team brings a broad range of expertise in complex litigation, government and corporate affairs, bankruptcy and creditor's rights, and white-collar criminal representation to bear on matters arising from the current instability in the financial markets. Attorneys in the group will work together to provide legal counsel to clients on the complex issues resulting from the global financial crisis, including the tightening credit markets, delivering experience and creative solutions.

Attorneys will work with companies and offer cost-effective interim and longer term solutions to the most immediate problems they face.

  • Dealing with problem loans, business reorganizations, workouts, and private and public debt restructuring, chapter 11 reorganizations, asset purchases from bankruptcy estates and creditor representation.

  • Litigation arising from allegations regarding inadequate disclosures, insurance coverage, officer and director or entities liability, and securities violations.

  • White-collar criminal defense of individuals accused of illegal conduct, and investigations into allegations of such misconduct on behalf of persons responsible for oversight.

  • Federal and state taxation issues as they relate to individuals and businesses affected by the economic instability or loss.

  • Assisting in the development of opportunities and the identification of liabilities associated with the crisis.

  • Assistance in preventing any erroneous reporting resulting from losses or business disruption.

  • Examination of existing agreements and advice on maximizing credit opportunities.

  • Negotiation of contracts with the government or other governmental entities.

  • Counsel on employment law and personnel related (human resources) matters for present and future employees, and how to safely address the concerns caused by lost business.

  • Advice concerning ramifications of a risk that someone later claims you breached contracts resulting from interruption of raw material flow, fuel and other business or services due to credit issues.

  • Assist clients in defining issues, assessing problems and addressing government inquiries and concerns, including those commenced by state attorneys general, legislature and local law enforcement officials.

  • The Financial Crisis Recovery Team is also experienced in investigations and crisis management, including the collection, evaluation and production of electronic information.

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