Daily News: April 8, 2014

Morrison & Foerster Partner Named Dealmaker of the Year

Gary Lee, a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s New York office, was named one of The American Lawyer’s Dealmakers of the Year for guiding Residential Capital through bankruptcy.

Lee, co-chair of the Global Business Restructuring & Insolvency Group and Finance Department, was credited by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn, who approved the terms of the ResCap’s Chapter 11 plan, with shepherding all sides through to a settlement that reflected creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Judge Glenn called the ResCap case the most complex that he has seen in his many years on the bench and in private practice.

ResCap was the nation’s fifth-largest mortgage servicer before its Chapter 11 filing, which was largest case filed in 2012. The MoFo team was able to keep ResCap’s core businesses of originating and servicing mortgages to continue operating while the company was in bankruptcy. This was the first time that a financial services company was ever able to remain in business through Chapter 11 and be sold as a going concern.

Adopting a novel strategy based on a smaller and little-known bankruptcy case as precedent, the MoFo team worked with investors in ResCap’s residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to let the judge bifurcate ResCap’s mortgage holdings, which resulted in the sales process that yielded $4.5 billion.

ResCap’s chief business officer, Tammy Hamzehpour, praised Lee’s creativity in keeping the process moving through an intense period of regulatory pressures, complex negotiations, court orders and more than two dozen written opinions. He always had this ability to think steps ahead in the case, she said.

Larren Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster, said, Gary is an outstanding lawyer who once again proved his creativity and brilliance in one of the most complex bankruptcy cases in history. Clients know that when they turn to him they have counsel who not only knows the law but knows how to deal with all the parties in a restructuring — a peerless trait when creditors are all scrambling to try to recover what they can. Gary’s handling of ResCap earned kudos from Judge Glenn and most of the other parties involved in the case for creating a framework for and causing the parties to reach fair settlement. We’re proud of his work.