March 26, 2018

On March 16, The Am Law Litigation Daily named Willkie partner Todd Cosenza "Litigator of the Week" for his successful representation of the Plan Administrator of Lehman Brothers Holdings during a 23-day bench trial concerning multibillion dollar residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) claims asserted against Lehman Brothers. On March 8, the Court issued its decision estimating claims brought by several financial institutions serving as trustees to more than 230 RMBS trusts against Lehman Brothers at $2.38 billion—the amount requested by Willkie on behalf of the Plan Administrator for Lehman Brothers. The RMBS Trustees had sought damages in excess of $11.4 billion. Read Willkie’s March 16 announcement.

The article describes how the Court sided with Mr. Cosenza and his team, who had argued that $2.38 billion was a fair and reasonable payout for all creditors, “after slogging through a grueling, 23-day estimation trial spread over three months, in which the parties pored over thousands of loan files underlying residential mortgage-backed securities.” The article notes that “Cosenza was able to cut a deal in the trial that he saw as crucial to his team’s ultimate victory: he would agree to an expedited schedule for discovery if he would be allowed to submit expert economic testimony on the value of other settlements,” which the Court cited to support its conclusion that $2.38 was a fair and reasonable result for all creditors.

The article also notes that Mr. Cosenza credited his success to his stellar team and the client support he received throughout the litigation. In addition to Mr. Cosenza, the Willkie team was led by partners Joseph G. Davis and Benjamin P. McCallen, as well as Thomas French and Paul Shalhoub.

Read "Litigator of the Week: When a $2.38B Payout Is a Win," The Am Law Litigation Daily