Banking & Financial Services


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Sanford L. Michelman
Co-Founding Partner
[email protected]


We know finance, and our team of talented transactional attorneys and litigators provide tactical advice and counsel to commercial and investment banks; finance, trust and insurance companies; credit unions; venture capital and securities firms; mortgage brokers; asset managers; hedge funds and associated holding companies and affiliates.

On behalf of entities like these, the banking & financial services specialists at M&R handle transactions involving trade finance facilities, commercial paper, asset-based financing, leasing, loans (including problem loan identification and review), buyouts, workout strategies, compliance, licensing revocations and investigations and entity formation. We also represent lenders in connection with loan documentation, participation agreements and the sale of loan portfolios, among many other things. Of interest to many of clients is our particular sub-specialty connected to the acquisition of non-performing and sub-performing loans—deals that typically necessitate arduous negotiations with borrowers and debt restructuring.

In servicing those in the banking & financial services sector, we regularly draw on cross-practice resources to the extent client issues touch upon bankruptcy, construction, employment, environmental, hospitality, insurance, intellectual property, privacy, real estate or white-collar law issues. M&R’s team of powerhouse commercial litigators are also on hand when lawsuits naming our banking & financial services clients are inevitably filed.

As a testament to M&R’s reach within the banking & financial services space, our co-founder, Sanford Michelman, sits on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In that role, he contributes to the formulation of U.S. monetary policy. Other M&R lawyers are also actively engaged in the industry, participating in organizations like the California Bankers Association, California Independent Bankers, California Mortgage Bankers Association, Risk Management Association, Special Assets Management Association, the Investment Company Institute and the Independent Directors Council. We hold prominent positions in several of these associations, are frequently called upon to speak or serve as guest panelists commenting on the banking & financial services sector, and regularly publish on-topic articles.

For more information, please contact Sanford Michelman at 310.299.5500 or via email.

Areas of Expertise

Asset-Based Loans
Banking Litigation
Banking Regulation
Bankruptcy & Reorganization
Commercial Lending
Foreclosure Law
Investment Grade Loans
Lender Liability
Loan Workouts & Restructuring
Mortgage Banking

Representative Matters

Obtained a reversal on appeal of a trial court ruling as against our client, a bank, rescinding another bank’s participation agreement that had resulted in an adverse $2 million restitution award plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Successfully represented a leading lender in a case alleging breach of promissory note and breach of guaranty and obtained an award on behalf of our client in the amount of $23 million.

Successfully represented a bank against a claim that it had failed to properly preserve personal property collateral valued in excess of $12 million.

Represented mezzanine lender in negotiating and documenting a $14.4 million conveyance-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction, transferring to lender pledged membership interests in a multi-family residential development in Arizona.

Represented lender in negotiation and documentation of $100 million deed-in-lieu transaction of luxury condominium resort property. Coordinated, negotiated and documented (1) settlement agreements with borrower, guarantors, contractors and adjoining landowner, (2) DRE compliance, title coverage issues regarding mechanics’ lien coverage and stop notice claims, (3) amended and restated easement agreements, (4) assignment of loan to affiliate and foreclosure by affiliated lender, and (5) sales and marketing management agreement, brokerage agreements and termination of various service agreements.

Successfully represented a bank in a dispute over a $13 million real property loan made to a limited partnership in which a guarantor argued that our client caused over $50 million in losses by wrongly defaulting the partnership. Following arbitration, the court found in favor of our client, awarding the full amount sought in damages.

Represented a participant lender in a $105 million construction loan on a multi-family development in Newport Beach. The expedited loan was closed less than one week after the participants were identified and committed to the transaction.

After our client, a large regional bank, financed a sizeable hotel and condominium project in Northern California, the borrower failed to satisfy its loan obligations and filed for bankruptcy, along with other related entities and individuals. Those parties then pursued lender liability claims against the bank. On its behalf, we successfully prosecuted claims against the borrower and other defendants, foreclosed and liquidated the real property that secured the loan, and settled all outstanding claims.

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