Cravath, Davis Polk acting on $70bn cash lifeline

Cravath, Davis Polk acting on $70bn cash lifelineCravath Swaine & Moore and Davis Polk & Wardwell have won places advising on the creation of the $70bn (£39.6bn) liquidity facility set up by leading investment banks in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.

Cravath is representing JP Morgan Chase as administrative agent and collateral agent for the facility, which will be made available to bail out troubled financial institutions.

Davis Polk is advising Citibank on its participation in the scheme, as well as representing the 10-bank consortium as document counsel. Insolvency head Donald Bernstein is being assisted by partners Lawrence Wieman, Laureen Bedell and Bjorn Bjerke.

The Cravath team was led by New York corporate partner Rob Kiessling and finance partner Tatiana Lapushchik.

Each of the 10 banks participating in the scheme has provided £7bn for the fund. The other contributors are Bank of America, Citigroup, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Cravath is also involved in the $50bn (£28bn) takeover of Merrill Lynch, advising the banks’ independent board on the offer from Bank of America. Other law firms instructed in the deal include Shearman & Sterling for Merrill Lynch, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz for Bank of America.

Cravath has been advising Merrill’s board since October last year, when chief executive E. Stanley O’Neal stepped down after the bank lost more than $45bn on mortgage investments.

Davis Polk declined to comment.