Asset-backed securities law firm Kilpatrick Stockton last week announced the hire of three attorneys each specializing in securitization, a move that will dramatically increase the firm's deal volume each year, said Robert Hahn, partner in the finance practice group and head of the securitization team.

Though both will work with asset-backeds, Keith Dunsmore and Rex Veal have joined the law firm with a primary focus on the commercial mortgage-backed securities businesses, and have one of the largest servicing practices in that sector, as well as an expanding investor representation practice, Hahn said. Thomas Biafore, meanwhile, specializes in structured finance and servicing matters related to ABS and CMBS.

"I would say based on this year and the year before, we would work on deals with aggregate dollar amounts in upwards of $5 billion," said Hahn. "That's the current practice. That's without adding Keith and Rex and their practice, which I think would easily double that amount."

Kilpatrick Stockton handles transactions ranging in size from $30 million to $2 billion, though averages somewhere between $100 million and $200 million, said Hahn, "with a fair amount in the $500 million range."

In the public market, Kilpatrick Stockton has primarily worked on home-equity deals, which is slim pickings compared with the firm's active arm in the private market.

"On the private side, we've done just about any kind of transaction you can think of," said Hahn, naming as examples tax liens, collateralized loan and bond obligations, equipment leases, trade receivables, and commercial paper conduit deals.

The firm has also worked on shipping container and intellectual property securitizations, both fairly recent innovations in the ABS market.

Shipping containers are "tractor-trailer" sized and filled with exports to be shipped from one country to another. The transaction is backed by the leasing fees associated with the containers.

"It's almost like a trade receivables deal, but of the short-term nature," said Hahn. "It becomes a revolving type of deal."

In the intellectual property sector, the firm has worked on many deals, including one of the music-royalty transactions that came within the last six months, Hahn said.

"[The tobacco settlement sector] is one area where we have a desire to move into," Hahn added. "That will be one of the more interesting things within the next year."

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