The Work

January 5, 2010 2:27 PM

TPM Shines Spotlight on Allen Stanford's Lawyers

Posted by Brian Baxter

R. Allen Stanford's principal in-house and outside lawyers are once again under the glare of the media, this time from Talking Points Memo. The blog looked at the work done by former Greenberg Traurig lawyers Yolanda Suarez and Carlos Loumiet for the disgraced financier. Loumiet left Greenberg for Hunton & Williams in 2001, and Suarez served as Stanford's legal counsel and chief of staff after working at Greenberg as an associate in the early 1980s.

TPM reports that Loumiet and Suarez played integral roles in shielding Stanford from regulatory scrutiny and forging close ties between the Texas-based businessman and members of Congress. (Federal law enforcement officials are probing Stanford's congressional ties, according to a recent report by the Miami Herald.)

TPM singled out Loumiet's work drafting anti-money-laundering legislation for Antigua, the Caribbean island nation where Stanford based his offshore operations. (We reported on Greenberg's work for Stanford in October, picking up on another report from the Herald.) Loumiet touts the work on his current Hunton bio and TPM references an interview the lawyer gave to The Washington Post in 1999 defending Stanford, who also holds Antiguan citizenship.

When Loumiet left Greenberg for Hunton in 2001, he took Stanford's business with him. (Loumiet referred TPM's requests for comment to a Hunton spokeswoman, who declined to comment.)

As we noted late last year, the Stanford matter isn't Loumiet's first brush with scandal. At Greenberg, where Loumiet served as head of the firm's international banking practice, he became ensnared in the collapse of Hamilton Bank in 2002.

In June 2008, a federal judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence linking Loumiet to a fraud that caused his client to go under. Unlike his former firm and another partner, who paid almost $1 million in fines without admitting guilt, Loumiet refused to settle with a banking regulator.

But Loumiet and Suarez aren't the only lawyers to be tarred by their Stanford affiliations. Both Proskauer Rose and Chadbourne & Parke have been sued in a class action filed by a group of Stanford clients. Also named in the class action suit was former Stanford general counsel P. Mauricio Alvarado, a Vinson & Elkins alum whose abrupt resignation shortly before the SEC filed charges had some securities lawyers warning in-house counsel to be vigilant.

Ex-Proskauer partner Thomas Sjoblom, a former SEC attorney and longtime outside counsel to Stanford, resigned from the firm in October. Sjoblom and Proskauer were also sued by a senior Stanford executive early last year.

Stanford, who is reportedly battling demons of his own while he remains incarcerated, is set to go on trial in January 2011.

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