The Life

September 24, 2010 3:41 PM

Latham Lawyers Advise on 'Wall Street' Sequel

Posted by Brian Baxter

Oliver Stone's new movie on greed, love, and loss in the financial sector, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, hits the big screen Friday and two lawyers from Latham & Watkins have the distinction of appearing in the film's credits.

Alexander Cohen, a former deputy chief of staff at the SEC and current cochair of Latham's capital markets practice, is listed as a technical advisor on the film as is senior advisor Brian Cartwright, an ex-SEC general counsel and former global chair of the firm's public company representation practice. The American Lawyer wrote about Cohen and Cartwright's movie roles in the September issue of the magazine.

The lawyers' experience at the SEC was key in winning the assignment to advise Stone, who devoted the past two years to developing the long-awaited sequel to his 1987 classic, Wall Street. (The movie has received mixed reviews, though some critics are praising the performance of Michael Douglas as Wall Street power broker Gordon Gekko.)

Cohen and Cartwright spoke with Bloomberg BusinessWeek about their experience advising Stone on the movie, describing how the director attempted to capture the magnitude of the financial collapse of late 2008. The two painted as detailed a portrait as possible for Stone of present-day Wall Street.

For example, in recounting the emergency bailout meetings of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers that he took part in, Cohen addressed specific questions in recreating certain moments for the director, including one that played out around a wooden conference room table at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York--"Did they drink out of paper cups? How many people were sitting at the table? How heated did the conversations get? How tense was the environment?," he told BusinessWeek.

At one point during production, BusinessWeek reports, Stone paused the shoot and asked Cartwright and Cohen to explain the magnitude of the moment being recreated to the actors on set.

"It drove home to me how skilled these actors are," Cohen told the magazine. "This was not their world, but when you see them on the screen, you can really feel the emotion of what was going on."

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