The Phantom Menace

Apologies for the cringe-inducing Star Wars prequel reference. Hopefully your PTSD meds are within reach because that movie SUUUUUUUCKED...

That said, we can't help but to think that the concept of a "phantom menace" applies to Puerto Rico. See, on January 11th, the Puerto Rico government - now led by governor Ricky Rossello - announced the winner of the legal sweepstakes that played out down in the Commonwealth. Some big guns were, at one point or another, in the mix for the juicy and lucrative mandate representing the government in the restructuring of its debt-laden morass (and replacing Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP). This includes the likes of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP, among others.

Given those heavy hitters, many seemed surprised by the Dentons US sleeper victory. This is not to take away from what is a fine firm and, by all accounts, a fine lawyer leading the project, Sam Alberts.  The team also includes Claude Montgomery, Jonathan Ballan and Michael Zolandz. The team brings some serious bona fides to the table with experience representing the retirees in Detroit, work with, among other clients, the PBGC and the FDIC. The team seems well-rounded to handle the various legal disciplines that will be called into play - public private partnerships, litigation, securities, securitization, contracting, healthcare, tax, and Puerto Rican law. The government also noted that the Dentons team is "notable" for its "vast experience in the areas of government finance and public policy." 

What absolutely NONE of the public announcements note is what sources tell PETITION is a major consideration that factored in Dentons favor. And that is the presence of none other than "Senior Advisor" Newt Gingrich, who is alleged to be a critical piece to this puzzle. See, back in 2015, Newt joined Dentons "Public Policy" practice. If only the PR government highlighted the importance of public poli...oh wait. Hmm.  

With the Trump administration taking root and a complex restructuring required, it stands to reason that an ambassador with deep ties to the administration could be helpful towards driving a resolution. But this seems very swamp-y. Just like Puerto Rico