SNR Denton hires Freddie Mac GC as global funds head

SNR Denton has appointed Robert Bostrom, formerly general counsel of scandal-rocked American corporation Freddie Mac, as the new co-head of its global financial institutions and funds sector.

Robert Bostrom
Robert Bostrom

He is expected to join the firm in mid-August and will be replaced at Freddie Mac by principal deputy general counsel John Dye, who will step up as interim general counsel until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Bostrom is a prominent banking lawyer in the US, and is recognised for his experience in risk management and compliance, regulatory affairs, litigation and internal and government investigations.

Bostrom joined Freddie Mac, officially known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, in February 2006 after a series of scandals involving violations of securities and campaign contribution laws, and was widely seen as a steadying influence on the stockholder-owned corporation.

He is also recognised to have guided Freddie Mac’s legal strategy through the financial crisis and recovery, navigating it into a federal conservatorship in 2008.

The corporation has since been under fire in the US Congress where Republicans have called for its closure along with larger sister company Fannie Mae.

In a statement, SNR Denton global chief executive Elliott Portnoy said Bostrom’s arrival marked a ‘milestone’ for the firm and its new global strategy following last year’s merger of US-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and UK-based Denton Wilde Sapte.

“Bob has worked at the highest levels of leadership in the banking sector, in private legal practice and inside a government-sponsored corporation during a period that gave rise to unprecedented business, legal and reputational challenges,” he said.

“Bob is among an elite group of general counsel who have played a pivotal role in navigating a gauntlet of investigations, enforcement actions and litigation during the financial crisis.”

Bostrum previously worked as executive vice president for legal, compliance and regulatory affairs at National Westminster Bancorp and helped structure NatWest’s sale to Fleet Financial Group in 1996 for $3.6bn.

Prior to Freddie Mac, Bostrom also spent nine years as head of Winston & Strawn’s financial institutions practice, where he also served as managing partner of the New York office and a member of its executive committee.

“I am very proud of what we accomplised at Freddie Mac, but felt this was a good time to transition back into private practice and client service, which remain great passions,” Bostrum said. “(SNR Denton) is operating right at the nexus where financial markets meet regulation and enforcement, making it a perfect spot for me to provide counsel.”

Bostrum will share leadership of the global financial institutions and funds sector with partner Jana Cohen Barbe and will also contribute to the firm’s financial regulatory reform special situations team.