NEW YORK, NY, June 27 -- McKool Smith, one of America’s leading trial firms, is announcing that securities litigator Robert W. Scheef has joined the firm as a principal in its New York office. Mr. Scheef focuses on complex business litigation, with a particular emphasis on disputes involving complex financial products, corporate governance, securities law, and consumer law.  

“For many years, McKool Smith has maintained the position of representing trustees and investors, including hedge funds and private equity firms, in complex financial litigation. This has created a conflict-free environment, which has allowed the firm to represent clients in disputes against banks and other responsible parties,” explained Mike McKool, co-Founder and Chairman of McKool Smith. “Rob’s track record in financial and investment litigation makes him a perfect addition to our commercial litigation practice, and more specifically, our deep bench of trial lawyers who handle disputes involving mortgage-backed securities.”

“McKool Smith has earned tremendous respect for both its courtroom achievements and its roster of accomplished trial lawyers,” said Mr. Scheef. “The firm has significant bench strength in securities and investment litigation, which provides an ideal fit for my practice. I look forward to joining the group.” 

Mr. Scheef has represented numerous hedge funds and institutional investors in investigating and prosecuting fraud and securities law claims against the banks that structured and underwrote mortgage-backed securities, and contractual breach of representation and warranty claims against the banks that originated and sold mortgages for securitization.  Prior to joining McKool Smith, he served as counsel in a $10 billion dispute against Bank of America concerning fraud in connection with the purchase of mortgage-backed securities.  Mr. Scheef also represented investors with respect to litigation against Countrywide seeking the repurchase of nearly $2 billion in mortgages due to breaches of representations and warranties.  He earned his J.D. cum laude from Fordham University School of Law where he was an editor of the law review and named to the Order of the Coif. He served as a clerk to both the Hon. Allyson K. Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the late Hon. Fred I. Parker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mr. Scheef is joined by senior associate Courtney B. Statfeld who focuses on commercial litigation, specifically matters involving mortgage-backed securities and other structured finance products. Ms. Statfeld earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law. 

Mr. Scheef and Ms. Statfeld will add additional bench strength to McKool Smith’s New York office and the firm’s national commercial and securities litigation practice, which includes representation of significant holders of mortgage-backed securities in their efforts to maximize recoveries on their investments.  The practice was bolstered in September 2011 with the joining of 35 trial lawyers from Hennigan Dorman, a Los Angeles-based trial firm that specialized in high-stakes financial litigation and intellectual property disputes. The firm’s notable representations include successfully pursuing securities actions against many of the world’s largest investment and commercial banks on behalf of leading hedge funds and institutional investors, including Aegon, Allstate, John Hancock, Oaktree Capital, PIMCO, Principal, and Prudential, among others. The firm is also one of only a few to successfully secure a jury verdict for securities fraud based on an investment fund’s secondary-market securities purchases after an issuer announced poor financial results.     

With more than 170 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC, McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. The firm has won more National Law Journal and VerdictSearch “Top 100 Verdicts” over the last five years than any other law firm. McKool Smith represents leading clients across a broad range of practice areas, including complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense.