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Simpson Thacher Wins Lead Role on Treasury's $700 Billion Bailout PlanThe U.S. Treasury Department has chosen Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as its lead legal adviser on the $700 billion bailout plan, Interim Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari said in a speech Monday. Six law firms were asked to consider taking the job. As of Monday, the department was refusing to name the other firms it had approached, but sources say two of the firms that did not take up the offer are Davis, Polk & Wardell and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
The American Lawyer2008-10-14 12:00:00 AM
The U.S. Treasury Department has chosen Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as its lead legal adviser on the $700 billion bailout plan from among a group of six law firms that were asked to consider taking the job, Interim Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari said in a speech Monday.
The department contacted the six firms Thursday to advise on the equity program's structuring. Only two of the firms responded.
By Friday, Simpson Thacher had been tapped, Kashkari said. The firm began work immediately.
Partners at Simpson and a spokeswoman for the firm did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Treasury spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking information about the other firms approached by the agency.
In fact, Treasury so far has refused to release the names of the other firms contacted or say whether the department sent out any requests for proposals -- which may be considered public documents. However, a source with direct knowledge at Davis, Polk & Wardwell says Treasury asked the the firm to apply for the role, but that conflicts made it impossible. And a spokeswoman for Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz confirms Treasury also approached Wachtell about playing a general advisory role, but that the firm turned Treasury down. No reason was given.
Simpson has played a key role in advising various parties on matters relating to the global financial crisis. The firm is a longtime advisor to Washington Mutual, which collapsed last month before being scooped up by JPMorgan Chase. Simpson has also advised longtime client Lehman Brothers in the sell-off of some of the failed bank's most important assets, and has represented AIG's board of directors in bailout talks with the feds.
This article first appeared on The Am Law Daily blog on AmericanLawyer.com.