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Adams, Blair
Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7615, Direct Fax: +1 212-849-7100
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Blair Adams is a partner in Quinn Emanuel’s New York office.  He joined the firm in 2013.  His practice focuses on structured finance, derivatives, and other commercial litigation.  Blair has extensive expertise and experience in cases involving complex financial products, including collateralized debt obligations, residential and commercial mortgage backed securities, credit default swaps, and other exotic swaps and derivative instruments.  He has obtained trial victories for clients in multiple structured finance matters, including a two-week bench trial concerning disputed ownership of certain CLO assets, a bench trial seeking reformation of an RMBS indenture, and three-week arbitration concerning allegations of fraud in the sale of CDO notes.  He has also represented clients in connection with antitrust and appellate matters.  Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, he graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

  • Acis Capital Management
  • Bayview Asset Management
  • Centerbridge Partners
  • Davidson Kempner
  • DW Partners
  • Erste Abwicklungsanstadlt
  • Hildene Capital Management
  • MBIA Insurance Corporation
  • National Australia Bank
  • Marfrig Global Foods, S.A.
  • Sculptor Capital Management
  • Shrewsbury River Capital
  • Syncora Guarantee Inc.
  • Zions Bancorporation
  • Zohar CDO Funds
  • Representing CRE CDO fund CWCapital Cobalt Vr Ltd. (“Cobalt”) in lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Cobalt’s collateral manager and certain of its affiliates for breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties related to collateral manager’s failure to monetize Cobalt’s controlling class investments in CMBS trusts, abuse of fair-value purchase options controlled by Cobalt through its CMBS investments, improper use of affiliated brokers to sell CMBS assets held by Cobalt-controlled trusts, and settlement of litigation related to Stuy Town in a manner that dramatically reduced returns on certain of Cobalt’s CMBS investments.  All substantive claims survived motion to dismiss and discovery is ongoing.
  • Representing RMBS investor in trust instruction proceeding concerning the proper approach to calculating the call price for certain RMBS trusts, with more than $100 million in dispute.  Resolution of the proceeding will have implications for tens of billions of dollars of legacy RMBS trusts where call rights are presently or imminently maturing.
  • Represented three “Zohar” CLO funds and their collateral manager, Alvarez & Marsal Zohar Management, in multiple litigations against the funds’ creators and prior managers, Patriarch Partners and Lynn Tilton. Succeeded in obtaining trial judgments finding Patriarch in breach of obligations to turn over books and records and determining that the Zohar Funds are rightful owners of certain portfolio companies against competing claims to ownership made by Patriarch.
  • Represented MBIA in two week jury trial defending against fraud claims brought by Lynn Tilton seeking over $100 million in damages.
  • Lead counsel for Shrewsbury River Capital in successfully defending against litigation brought by controlling class investor in CMBS trust seeking to shift priority of payments to increase payouts to subordinated certificates, to the detriment of client’s senior certificates.
  • Lead counsel to Alvarez & Marsal, in its capacity as collateral manager to the Zohar Funds, in obtaining dismissal of claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty brought by the Zohar Funds’ former collateral manager, who held investments across all three Zohar Funds.
  • Represented Solus Asset Management in litigation brought to prevent manufactured CDS credit event by Hovnanian Enterprises that would trigger several hundred million dollar in credit protection payment obligations.
  • Lead counsel to CMBS investor in successfully challenging efforts by controlling class certificateholder to direct interested-party sales of CMBS assets to affiliates.  Achieved confidential, seven figure settlement for client.
  • Represented investor seeking to prevent manipulation of CDS auction for Sears Roebuck Acceptance Corporation.
  • Represented National Australia Bank against Goldman Sachs & Co. in FINRA arbitration alleging fraud and unjust enrichment arising from the sale of collateralized debt obligations.  Following a three-week hearing, the FINRA panel awarded National Australia Bank over $100 million, including the full $80 million it had invested in the Goldman CDOs at issue in the arbitration hearing along with interest over an eight-year period.  This award constituted one of the largest amounts ever awarded by a FINRA panel and drew widespread press coverage, including a Wall Street Journal article under the banner “Goldman Punished.”
  • Represented RMBS investor, Sceptre LLC, in landmark case on question of first impression in New York regarding whether an RMBS indenture can be reformed nine years after execution to correct a scrivener’s error that reversed the priority of two classes of notes.  Following a three-day bench trial, the New York federal court issued a ruling in favor of Sceptre, LLC on all claims and ordered the reformation of the RMBS indenture to instate the intended seniority of notes held by Sceptre LLC.  This trial victory represented the first reported case of an indenture being reformed in a disputed proceeding in New York.
  • Represented South Tryon in suit against Triaxx Asset Management that successfully obtained judgment requiring that over $500 million in defaulted RMBS be sold from Triaxx Prime CDO 2006-1 Ltd. portfolio. Summary judgment was obtained requiring the sale of defaulted RMBS notwithstanding arguments that CDO manager possessed the discretion to delay sales until such time as recoveries could be maximized. Successfully argued appeal to the Second Circuit which agreed with district court in rejecting manager’s arguments.
  • Represented House of Europe Funding I and Erste Abwicklungsandstadt in suit seeking over $200 million in damages against Wells Fargo, as CDO trustee, and Collineo Asset Management,  as collateral manager, for breaching investment concentration limits under CDO agreements.
  • Represented Syncora Guarantee Inc. in suit alleging fraud against Macquarie Bank in connection with the procurement of insurance on infrastructure bonds backed by toll road revenues.
  • Harvard Law School
    (J.D., cum laude, 2013)
  • Duke University
    (B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, 2010)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • The State Bar of New York
  • United States District Court:
    • Southern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • Second Circuit 
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Litigation - Banking and Finance, 2024
  • Recognized by Lawdragon 500 “Next Generation” Financial Litigation, 2023
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Commercial Litigation, 2021-2024