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Crowell & Moring's Financial Services Group Gains Three Attorneys In New York

Partner Michael V. Blumenthal Among New Hires

Washington, D.C. – July 17, 2008: Crowell & Moring LLP's booming New York office has gained three financial services and bankruptcy attorneys. Led by partner Michael V. Blumenthal, the former national chair of the Business Reorganization and Creditors' Rights Group at Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP, the additions deepen the firm's ability to handle the full range of debt restructuring and corporate reorganization matters. The new hires include counsels Bruce J. Zabarauskas, who also joins from Thelen, as well as Steven Eichel, who joins from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

The move of three attorneys to Crowell & Moring's Financial Services Group points to the significant growth in the practice, which is among the fastest growing in the firm. In recent months, Crowell & Moring has been involved in some of the nation's leading bankruptcy and restructuring cases. In what has been reported as the largest bankruptcy settlement in U.S. history, Crowell & Moring represented The Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. in its litigation against two global financial institutions, and it has been involved in concerns involving the collapse of hedge fund giant Amaranth. Blumenthal, who serves as national bankruptcy counsel for NBC/Universal, brings to the team more than 25 years of experience in handling cases involving Sharon Steel, Frontier Airlines, K-Mart, Adelphia, and many others on behalf of creditors and committees.

"The number of nationwide bankruptcy corporate filings doubled from May to June. The credit crisis means that our clients will have an increased need for sophisticated restructuring counsel over the next several years. Our new bankruptcy attorneys enhance our ability to meet the full range of client needs on the most complex matters," said William M. O'Connor, chair of Crowell & Moring's Financial Services Group.

As a bankruptcy lawyer, Blumenthal primarily represents creditors and committees with a special focus in handling large-scale, national cases. He has extensive experience negotiating and litigating the issues pertinent to financially troubled corporations, portfolios, and assets, and is routinely involved in restructurings, divestitures, and acquisitions. He has worked on matters involving the telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, and information technology industries, and has extensive experience in real estate finance and representing institutions and an array of real estate entrepreneurs. Blumenthal has led clients through the full range of workout and reorganization strategies, including discounted payoffs, foreclosures, bankruptcies, dispositions, mortgage loans, ownership interests, and loan participations. He received his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.

"I have worked across the table from Crowell & Moring attorneys for more than 15 years, and I have seen first-hand that their client work is driven by a commitment to excellence and innovation. Perhaps most compelling for me is the firm's culture of teamwork and collaboration. The spirit of partnership is an ideal closely held here, and I believe both the attorneys and clients benefit from that approach as it plays out every day," said Blumenthal.

Zabarauskas' practice focuses on creditor's rights, business reorganizations, commercial litigation, professional sports litigation, and commercial real estate foreclosures on behalf of institutional clients. His experience extends from bankruptcy and foreclosures to a variety of commercial litigation in the professional sports, retail, manufacturing, advertising, printing, transportation, and information technology industries. Zabarauskas' specific litigation experience includes professional sports management disputes, collection, fraudulent conveyance, successor liability, contract, defamation, First Amendment, and election law actions. He also has extensive experience representing a diversity of interests in bankruptcy proceedings. Zabarauskas received his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Eichel focuses his practice on corporate restructuring matters and received his J.D. cum laude from Boston University School of Law. He continues to maintain close relationships with his former team at Skadden, where he gained significant experience in corporate restructuring representing large corporate debtors in bankruptcy cases.

Crowell & Moring's Financial Services Group offers an extensive scope of services in a variety of areas, including commercial lending, structured finance, real estate finance, bankruptcy and creditors' rights, and financial institutions litigation. The practice spans a broad range of business sectors, including aviation, banking, construction, communications, environmental, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities, and not-for-profit corporations. The team works closely with the firm's bankruptcy team, led by Mark D. Plevin.

Since opening in September 2006, the firm's New York office has grown to 47 lawyers.

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 400 lawyers practicing in litigation, antitrust, government contracts, corporate, intellectual property and more than 40 other practice areas. More than two-thirds of the firm's lawyers regularly litigate disputes on behalf of domestic and international corporations, start-up businesses, and individuals. Crowell & Moring's extensive client work ranges from advising on one of the world's largest telecommunications mergers to representing governments and corporations on international arbitration matters. Based in Washington, D.C., the firm also has offices in California, London, and Brussels.

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Phill McGowan
Director of PR, Media and Communication
+1 202.508.8835

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