As the global slowdown in the market for mortgage-backed securities threatens a core practice area of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, the New York law firm is also wrestling with a $70 million legal malpractice suit brought by a major issuer of such securities.

Cadwalader is one of the nation’s top law firms when it comes to securitizations, and its large practice in the area has helped catapult the firm to the top of the profitability charts over the past few years. Such transactions involve the creation and issuance of tradeable securities tied to fixed assets or revenue streams, most commonly residential or commercial mortgages.