- Boston University School of Law, J.D.
- Boston College, A.B.
Rob has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.
Rob is a member of the Boston Bar Association and the American Bar Association, where he chairs the Structured Finance Sub-Committee of the Trust Indentures and Indenture Trustees Committee and is a member of the Committee on Securitization and Derivatives. He is also a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, where he formerly chaired the Corporate Trust Concerns panel of the annual Bond Attorney’s workshop (2008–2010).
ROBERT J. COUGHLIN
Rob Coughlin represents corporate trustee banks in complex debt securities and securitization transactions. He advises clients in deal origination, resolution of distressed and defaulted transactions, including portfolio liquidation and litigation, and navigation of other problem situations in corporate, municipal and structured finance, including related questions of regulatory compliance and risk management.
What do you focus on?
Since the financial crisis of 2008, I have mostly focused on helping trustees navigate the unprecedented and unexpected challenges faced in their securitization transactions.
For example, early on I represented two major trustees in different aspects of the federal bailout and sale of Bear Stearns. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers I have been involved in a variety of CDOs requiring the resolution of Lehman swaps. I have spent much time resolving a variety of CLO/CDO tranche disputes, including complex issues of indenture interpretation, some requiring litigation (such as one of the first trustee-initiated interpleaders), and guiding clients through numerous CDO and CLO defaults and portfolio liquidations. I also regularly advise trustees in a variety of redemption and amendment situations.
More recently, I have been focused on advising RMBS-trustee clients involved in different stages of mortgage loan repurchase obligation enforcement, including guidance with investor relations and communications, loan file forensics, PSA analysis and related enforcement litigation.
I continue to represent trustees in new originations, including new CLOs, corporate debt (public and private, secured and unsecured) and municipal debt (including industrial development/project bonds, housing bonds, utility bonds and a variety of higher education and hospital/health care bond programs). A more normal structured finance market would include RMBS, CMBS and other ABS.
I also advise on regulatory questions particular to corporate trust operations and administration and in the development of internal best-practices and risk-management procedures.
What do you see on the horizon?
I follow current litigation, regulatory and other market developments daily, to inform my advice to clients. While trustees face the challenge ahead of a more complex and demanding financial market, I am working on strategies to help them grow their business while managing their risk.
- Speaker,“Update on Bankruptcy Issues and Litigation in the Structured Finance Market.” American Bankers Association Telephone Briefing, Corporate Trust Update: Municipal Bankruptcy Developments and Municipal and Structured Finance Litigation. December 13, 2012.
- Panelist, “Litigation Affecting Trustees: Cases, Trends and Business Lessons.” Corporate Trust 2011 Forum (Turmoil = Opportunities), American Bankers Association, October 16-17, 2011, Washington, DC.
- Speaker, "The Most Likely Litigation Risk in Today's Market: Action Steps Corporate Trustees Can Take to Mitigate Litigation Risk." American Bankers Association Telephone Briefing Series, November 3, 2010.
- Panel Chairperson, "Corporate Trust Concerns." 35th Annual Bond Attorney's Workshop, National Association of Bond Lawyers, October 27-29, 2010, San Antonio, Texas.
- Panelist, General Session, "Peace Talks: Workouts Outside the Box", 2010 American Bankers Association Capital Markets Forum for Corporate Trust Professional, April 18-20, 2010, St. Petersburg, Florida.
- Panelist, “Litigation, Bankruptcy and Trustees,” New Developments in Securitization 2009, Practising Law Institute, December 3-4, 2009, New York, NY.
- Panel Chairperson, “Corporate Trust Concerns,” 34th Annual Bond Attorney’s Workshop, National Association of Bond Lawyers, October 28-30, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona
- Panelist, General Session, American Bankers Association Capital Markets Forum for Corporate Trust Professionals, April 26-28, 2009, Tampa Bay, Florida.
- Moderator, “Trustee Roundtable,” American Securitization Forum, ASF 2009, February 11, 2009, Las Vegas, NV.
- Panelist, “Litigation, Bankruptcy and Trustees,” New Developments in Securitization 2008, Practising Law Institute, December 5, 2008, New York, NY.
- Panel Chairperson, “Corporate Trust Concerns,” 33rd Annual Bond Attorney’s Workshop, National Association of Bond Lawyers, September 17-19, 2008, Chicago, Illinois
- Panelist, “One-Hour Briefing: CDO Tranche Warfare,” Practising Law Institute, June 12, 2008
- Panelist, “Impact of the Subprime Mortgage Market Crisis,” American Bankers Association, Capital Markets Forum for Corporate Trust Professionals, April 13-15, 2008, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
- Panelist, “Corporate Trust Concerns,” National Association of Bond Lawyers, 32nd Annual Bond Attorney’s Workshop, September 26-28, 2007, Chicago, IL
- “The Future of the Corporate Trust Industry,” American Bankers Association Capital Markets Seminar for Corporate Trust Professionals, April 22-24, 2007
- “Structured Finance: Highlights from 2006 and What’s Ahead in 2007 for Corporate Trustees,” Fiduciary and Investment Risk Management Association Corporate Trust Senior Managers Forum, February 26-28, 2007, Ponte Vedra, Florida
- Panelist, “Recent Trustee Developments: Challenges and Opportunities in an Expanding Role,” American Bankers Association, Capital Markets Forum, April 23–25, 2006, Miami, FL
- Panelist, “Corporate Trust Concerns,” National Association of Bond Lawyers, 31st Annual Bond Attorney’s Workshop, October 4–6, 2006, Chicago, IL
- Speaker, “Structured Finance: The Landscape for Corporate Trustees,” Fiduciary Investment Risk Management Association, Inc., Corporate Trust Senior Managers Forum, January 18–20, 2006, Ponte Vedra, FL
- Panelist, “The Role of Corporate Trustee: Perspectives of the Trustee and Investors on Trustee Duties—Role, Impact and Otherwise” American Bankers Association, Capital Markets Forum, April 10–12, 2005, St. Petersburg, FL
- Panelist, “The Role of the Corporate Trustee: Recent Developments and Their Impact on Trustee Responsibilities and Potential Liabilities,” American Bankers Association, Capital Markets Forum, April 19, 2004, Miami, FL
- Speaker, “Revised UCC Article 9: A Look Back Over The First Seven Months,” American Bankers Association, Capital Markets Forum, February 26, 2002, San Diego, CA
- Speaker, “Revised UCC Article 9: What it Means for Trustees and Secured Lenders,” American Bankers Association Telephone Briefing, January 11, 2001
- "Survival Skills Amid the Rubble: Life as a Trustee in a Market Collapse." Journal of Structured Finance, Volume 16, No. 2 (Summer 2010). Co-author.
- Caught in the Cross-Fire: Securitization Trustees and Litigation During the Sub-Prime Crisis,” appearing in the course book for New Developments in Securitization 2009 published by the Practising Law Institute (2009).
- “Rule 22 to Resolve A Catch-22: Defensive Maneuvers For Corporate Trustees Faced with Conflicting Claims,” co-authored with Stephen M. LaRose and Dennis A. Murphy, appearing in the course book for New Developments in Securitization 2008 published by the Practising Law Institute (2008).