Law firms square off over Argentine debt deal

US law firm heavy hitters are in the front line in negotiations over Argentina's national debt, triggering questions about the role of American finance's involvement in foreign affairs.
Buenos Aires: debt debate

Buenos Aires Shutterstock

David Boies of New York-based Boies Schiller & Flexner is representing the holders of Argentine bonds, who have approved two restructuring deals, reports Reuters. And Theodore Olson of Los Angeles-based Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is representing the investors that refused to approve or participate in the restructurings.

Escrow account

A US district judge demanded last week that the Argentine government pay $1.3 billion into an escrow account for the ‘holdout’ investors. The investors represented by Mr Boies will not be paid until that sum has been satisfied, and he warned that it could lead to Argentina defaulting.
The Argentine government is appealing the decision alongside Mr Boies and will be represented by Jonathan Blackman and Carmine Boccuzzi of New York white shoe firm Cleary Gottleib.
‘Telling a sovereign country what it does in its own nation raises a lot of issues that I think in the long run are not productive for the United States remaining a commercial financial centre,’ commented Mr Boies earlier this week.

Gore v Bush

Mr Olson and Mr Boies have squared off previously, most notably in the seminal Supreme Court case involving former US President George W Bush and his 2000 challenger Al Gore; Mr Boies represented Mr Gore and Mr Olson represented the president.
More recently, the pair has teamed up to represent gay and lesbian couples challenging the California same-sex marriage ban.

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