Corporate trustees play a key role in financial markets, but their duties are often misunderstood, and in the volatile markets and complex transactions of recent years they have found themselves increasingly under attack and at risk. With securitization in disarray, investor activism and litigation widespread, and broad regulatory changes underway, trustees face challenges unlike any they have seen before. They need legal counsel with a broad array of skills and experience to match.
Nixon Peabody’s Corporate Trust team has been on the forefront in advising leading U.S. corporate trustees for more than 25 years. Specialized and deep, we are experienced in successfully counseling our trustee clients in all aspects of their business and operations, across the variety of products and services they offer, and through all types of market conditions. We provide comprehensive services through the lifecycle of their transactions, from deal origination and closing, to issues that may arise in ongoing account administration, to default and distressed situations and, where necessary, litigation.
Nixon Peabody stands out in its ability to counsel clients in unexpected and high-risk situations. In recent years, trustee attention has shifted in large measure from deal origination to management of market disruptions and related developments, and our attorneys have successfully guided our clients in addressing these challenges, including litigation; investor demands and disputes; governmental investigations; defaulted, distressed or dysfunctional transactions; restructurings and liquidations; and similar matters—including, in each case, management of related reputational risk, press, and public relations and, in some cases, political pressures. The breadth and depth of our experience in handling problem situations for corporate trustees, over many years and across a variety of situations, gives our attorneys an arsenal of knowledge that informs and facilitates creative problem-solving and successful navigation of risk. And where litigation is unavoidable, we defend our clients in courts across the country, knowledgeable in the special issues and strategies attendant to representing a corporate trustee.
A corporate trustee proves its mettle in bankruptcy and workout; our clients rely on us for knowledgeable advice and guidance, whether involving a local project default or major corporate bankruptcy. We are involved in bankruptcy proceedings in courts around the country. We also guide our MBS and ABS trustee clients through the variety of default scenarios that can arise in securitization, such as mortgage servicer bankruptcies and other mortgage or asset servicing developments, repurchase (put back) litigation, CDO portfolio liquidations, tranche disputes, and interpretive challenges, including those requiring court proceedings.
Nixon Peabody counsels its clients in their domestic U.S. business and certain aspects of their international business globally, not only on a transactional level, but also in regulatory matters, development of operational and administrative controls and policies, new product development, and acquisition and divestiture, all with an understanding of the products they administer, the different constituencies they serve, and the pressures they face. In particular, we understand the cost and pricing pressures, competitive issues, and unforgiving time constraints that corporate trustees routinely encounter; we know what it takes for a corporate trustee to be successful. Whether involving a new and complex structured financing or a more traditional escrow, corporate or municipal engagement, whether facing a market disruption, an attack in the courts or in the press, investigation, or a new regulatory or legislative development, we know how to safely guide our clients and move quickly to identify and implement appropriate solutions.
In brief, our experience includes:
- Structured finance and securitization, including RMBS, CMBS, ABS, CDO/CLO, and SIV
- Covered bonds
- Domestic and international project finance
- Corporate debt, including convertibles, both public and privately placed
- Municipal debt of all types, both taxable and tax exempt
- Leveraged-lease and Delaware owner trust
- Reinsurance trusts
- Custody, collateral agency, collateral administration, and escrow engagements
- Default administration and bankruptcy, whether involving corporate bonds, municipal debt, leveraged finance, structured finance, or securitization
- Litigation, including enforcement or exercise of rights and remedies, defense of claims, interpleader, declaratory judgment, and court instruction
- Regulatory compliance
- Risk management and policy
- Portfolio acquisition or sale