A former “top gun” fighter pilot who flew fighter jet missions in Southeast Asia in the early 1970’s for the Air Force, Robert (Bob) Lowe, Jr., is now fighting for the RTC in litigation, professional liability and transactional matters.
Lowe is founder of Lowe & Associates, P.C., and Olde Town Alexandria, Virginia, minority-owned law firm that RTC officials consider to be a prime example of the successful ventures that have participated in the Joint Referrals and Representations Program offered by the RTC’s Division of Legal Services in conduction with the Department of Legal Programs (DLP) of the Division of Minority and Women’s Programs (DMWP).and his firm first began representing the RTC in 1990, having been introduced to the RTC through a joint-counsel arrangement with the Washington, D.C., offices of Morrison & Hecker, a non-minority firm with offices in Kansas City and Washington, D.C. “Our initial assignments involved multi-million dollar adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court and complex litigation involving local area RTC conservatorship assets,” Lowe said. “But, our work was just beginning.”
Lowe recounts that while his firm was relatively small when it first began to work with the RTC, the firm had already represented a number of Fortune 500 clients. Today, Lowe & Associates has nearly doubled and will soon expand its existing waterfront offices and add two more attorneys.
“Lowe & Associates is a successful, growing firm because they provide excellent service and counsel to their clients. It’s that simple,” said Mary A. Terrell, RTC Senior Counsel/Director, DLP. “They started out with the outstanding reputation of Bob Lowe with his top-gun fighter approach to winning lawsuits and his experience as a trial lawyer with two of Virginia’s oldest law firms.”
Moreover, both Terrell and Lowe agree that the success Lowe & Associates has had in its work with the RTC has been a catalyst for opening other doors to this talented law firm.
“The RTC’s Joint Referrals Program is the most effective such program I have ever seen, whether we’re talking national or local, governmental or non-governmental,” Lowe said. “A lot of the credit belongs to the RTC staff and Mary Terrell for their aggressive commitment to making this program work.”
In January of 1992, Lowe & Associates and Morrison & Hecker became the first joint-counsel firms to be assigned to the closing and litigation review of an RTC receiver-controlled thrift. The mass of the work involved required them to maintain a staggered, on-site presence at the thrift for three months. Terrell said that after that assignment, many senior RTC attorneys who worked with Lowe & Associates noted that this firm required little or no assistance from non-minority firms in handling the complex litigation and due diligence matters that were a major part of RTC work. “When we put this program int oplace, we knew the minority and women-owned firms could handle this work, but because this kind of work had always fallen to non-minority firms in the past, we needed a program that allowed minority and women-owned firms to showcase their expertise and talent,” Terrell said. “Lowe & Associates is a textbook example of what we knew was out there.”
Since then, Lowe & Associates has performed work for the RTC independent of, and in partnership with non-minority firms. Their reputation has continued to build, as well.
“Our work with Lowe & Associates on professional liability matters has been a pleasure; they have top notch attorneys and are incredibly well-organized and responsive,” said Robert (Rob) Steinberg, managing partner of the Washington office of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, one of the RTC’s busiest outside majority firms. “I have truly enjoyed working with the Lowe firm on RTC matters, and look forward to working with Bob Lowe and his attorneys on our joint-venture matters for private sector clients.”
In recalling the initial contact with RTC, Lowe points out that he has always remembered hearing Mary Terrell say that her only job was getting substantive financial institutions work immediately to minority and women-owned law firms.
“I know that the sophistication of the financial institution work that we have handled for the RTC was undoubtedly the catalyst to Lowe & Associates’ rapidly developing international practice,” Lowe said.
In October 1994, the Lowe firm was competitively selected by Booz, Allen & Hamilton as its subcontractor and the Porter, Wright firm as subcontractor to Lowe, for the provision of capital markets, financial, regulatory and privatization legal services to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The Lowe and Porter Wright firms began preliminary work in this U.S. AID program in November 1994. The Morrison firm may also provide support functions in this work.
Late last year, RTC’s Atlanta office again selected the Lowe and Porter Wright firms to perform a professional liability investigation. Based on preliminary estimates, the firms’ split of substantive legal work will be fifty-fifty.
Today, the Lowe firm continues to handle both governmental and private sector clients, including the FDIC, U.S. AID, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Inc., Mooring Financial Services and the Welshire Credit Corporation. Lowe & Associates also represents other corporate clients that in the past relied almost exclusively upon the “large” law firms for complex legal service requirements.