Legal Eagles Seek Clients For Bear Suits

Aug 16 2007 | 11:40am ET

Among hedge funds, there are subprime winners and losers. Among law firms? Only winners.

A quartet of law firms from around the country are teaming up to set up one-stop shopping for investors in Bear Stearns’ two failed hedge funds who are interested in making Bear suffer for its alleged sins. They’ve even set up a Web site, www.bearstearnshedgefundlitigation.com, to troll for potential clients.

“Bear Stearns told its clients that the fund were back by fixed-income securities of which 90% of the portfolio were AAA to AA- rated by Standard & Poor’s,” said Mark Maddox of Indianapolis-based law firm Maddox Hargett & Caruso. “The collapse of the Bear Stearns funds over the last couple of months is stunning.”

Maddox told FINalternatives that the firms have already lined up “a couple of clients,” and are preparing complaints that should be filed within the next 30 days. He added that the clients were of the smaller institutional variety.

Maddox said that the firms plan to file individual lawsuits and arbitration claims, rather than class actions. Bear already faces one of each aimed at one of the two funds, the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund. New York-based Navigator Partners last week sued the fund and firm, while an unidentified elderly insurance salesman from Wisconsin has chosen to take the National Association of Securities Dealers arbitration route.

Both the Credit Strategies fund and its somewhat-riskier sibling, the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, collapsed in June due to subprime mortgage woes. The funds have filed for bankruptcy and are seeking to liquidate in the Cayman Islands. Last month, Bear told investors that the funds have “very little value left” and “effectively no value left,” respectively.

In addition to Maddox Hargett, the participating firms are Beverly Hill, Calif.-based Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari, Columbus, Ohio-based David P. Meyer & Associates, and Atlanta-based Boyd Page.


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