November 05, 2008

National law firm Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, based in Houston, has formed a Troubled Asset Relief Program Group, or TARP Group.

The TARP Group is comprised of more than 100 experienced attorneys from offices around the country who practice in a variety of areas such as banking, insurance, securities, corporate finance, bankruptcy, real estate, litigation and tax. As key developments occur under TARP, the role of Locke Lord's TARP Group will be to advise boards of directors and executives of financial institutions, sellers and purchasers of assets, asset managers, program managers and insurance companies on the many issues arising in connection with the TARP and analyze the impact to their businesses from their participation or non-participation in the programs authorized by the TARP.

"Locke Lord's TARP Group has been formed to interpret the nuts and bolts of the government program, give businesses a clear understanding of how the program will take shape in the weeks and months ahead, and answer any questions they may have so that they can maximize the opportunities and minimize the legal and financial risks under TARP," said Douglas P. Faucette, Co-Head of Locke Lord's TARP Group and Chair of the Firm's Bank Regulatory and Transactional Practice Group, who played a significant role in matters relating to the resolution of the savings and loan crisis during the 1990s. "For bank holding companies and banks, the threshold issues for a board to resolve are its fiduciary duties and the legal consequences of its participation under TARP and the recently announced Capital Purchase Program (CPP). We are committed to advising our clients on these duties and consequences in these challenging times."

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA), which was passed by Congress and was quickly signed into law by President Bush on October 3, authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury to establish TARP, which will be managed by a newly-created Office of Financial Stability. The measure authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to use the funds available under EESA to purchase residential and commercial mortgage loans, credit card securitizations, auto loans, securities and other financial instruments backed by mortgage loans, and other financial assets for which there is no current market. Most recently, the Treasury instituted the CPP which provides $250 billion of capital for banks.