John Keker has been hired by Standard and Poor’s to help the company fight a $5 billion lawsuit filed against it by the United States government, according to Reuters. Keker did not comment on the matter and a spokeswoman for his firm, Keker & Van Nest, said that Keker and Elliot Peters did take the case.
Keker represented Lance Armstrong last year in an effort to fend off an investigation from the United States Justice Department regarding doping. Earlier this year, Armstrong admitted to doping and it has yet to be determined if the investigation would reopen.
Brian Stoker, a former Citigroup banker, was also represented by Keker in a case filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Stoker was allegedly involved in a mortgage bond deal that fell through and was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“They are the entities that had their hands on precisely what went into these CDOs because they were the ones that made the choices,” Floyd Abrams said. Abrams is part of the team representing S&P. He recommended that Keker be hired. “The notion that rating agencies are somehow to be held liable for their losses is an unlikely one.”
“The government’s got a heavy burden here and I don’t think they can come close to meeting it,” Abrams said. “And they certainly can’t meet it by that sort of anecdotal, wise-cracking evidence.”