Amid the onslaught, the firm announced Tuesday that it would acquire Luskin, Stern & Eisler, a bankruptcy, creditors' rights and finance boutique. Partners Nathan Eisler, Michael Luskin, and Richard Stern, and counsel Patrick Gartland, will join Hughes Hubbard (along with four associates).
Stern will co-chair the firm's bankruptcy and restructuring practice. Luskin will also tap his experience as co-chair of the creditors' rights and banking litigation committees of the New York City Bar Association and The American Bankruptcy Institute.
"Now we'll have an expanded restructuring practice when the time is clearly right," managing partner Chuck Scherer said in a statement.
The additions to the firm's bankruptcy group come right after the firm scored extra work from last week's Lehman Brothers meltdown. On Sept. 19, Hughes Hubbard corporate reorganization Chair James Giddens was named trustee in the liquidation of Lehman's brokerage business.
Giddens has served as trustee or personal counsel in six other major Securities Investor Protection Corporation liquidations. The firm will be vested with the responsibility for recovering funds for customers of the brokerage, newly purchased by Barclays PLC.
The bankruptcy group recently has had its hands full representing the largest individual creditor of Refco Capital Markets Ltd., and a major equity holder and subordinated secured lender in Lillian Vernon's Chapter 11 filing.
Hughes Hubbard says it is merely a coincidence that the deal was finalized after a week of heavy financial turmoil.
"We had wanted to do this for a while," James Modlin, co-chair of the firm's lateral hiring committee, tells The Am Law Daily. "Starting last summer, we realized the time was right to bolster our bankruptcy practice. Bankruptcy goes in cycles, and we were thinking this might be a boom time."
The firm says it will likely continue to grow the practice in the future, if market conditions hold.