Jenner & Block


Mr. Ascher’s current and recent representations include:

  • Defending American Express in a class action arising out of the non-renewal of its co-branding relationship with Costco.  The plaintiffs’ complaint was dismissed on motion, and Mr. Ascher is currently handling the appeal. 
  • Prosecuting a billion-dollar theft of trade secrets claim on behalf of a biotech company against a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company.
  • Brookfield Asset Management in prosecuting claims against AIG relating to interest rate swaps.  This case presented important issues relating to swaps and insolvency.  Brookfield resolved it for a reported $500 million gain.
  • Investors and special servicers in numerous disputes relating to CMBS transactions. 
  • Chesapeake Energy in a well-publicized trial against a trustee concerning the timeliness of a redemption of a $1.3 billion bond offering.
  • A hedge fund manager in a trial against marketers who claimed an interest in his fund.  The case settled favorably after Mr. Ascher’s opening statement.
  • A television network prosecuting claims against a large satellite distributor.
  • A major US investment bank in several disputes with other large financial institutions concerning billions of dollars of CDOs.  Our client recovered more than $100 million in those disputes.
  • A foreign institutional investor with respect to claims against various banks relating to billions of dollars of structured finance investments.  Our client has recovered more than $200 million so far.
  • Several leading real estate firms in matters relating to the origination, sale, securitization, and servicing of commercial and residential mortgages.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Ascher represented institutions in other civil litigation arising out of front-page financial scandals, including:

  • A Big Four accounting firm in two dozen cases alleging malpractice and fraud in connection with tax motivated transactions;
  • Four of the underwriters in the historic WorldCom class action;
  • Various insurance companies in billion-dollar claims involving commodity derivative transactions and credit default swaps relating to Enron and Parmalat;
  • A Japanese trading company defending antitrust claims and, separately, prosecuting fraud claims against several major investment banks;
  • An Irish bank prosecuting fraud claims against two major US financial institutions.

Mr. Ascher also regularly counsels and defends institutions and individuals in SEC and other enforcement and white-collar criminal defense matters, including:

  • The CEO of a major mutual fund in the first trial of SEC charges alleging fraudulent market timing;
  • Individuals in several recent SEC enforcement actions concerning marketing and structuring of CDOs;
  • Traders, hedge fund executives and others in matters involving insider trading, bribery, tax fraud and otherwise.
  • An individual in a seven-week trial in federal court concerning a multi-million dollar insurance fraud.