MBIA is suing Merrill Lynch over four CDS written on super-senior CDO tranches. MBIA is alleging, inter alia, fraudulent inducement and breach of contract, and is seeking rescission of the CDS contracts as well as compensatory and punitive damages. MBIA has retained Quinn Emanuel, a prominent litigation firm. I assume Merrill will retain Skadden Arps, its usual outside counsel. Now, in suits over complex financial contracts where the defendant is a major investment bank, usually the investment bank's lawyers have considerably more experience with the contracts at issue than the plaintiff's lawyers. The major Wall Street law firms have the advantage of having experienced capital markets lawyers available to help out their litigation departments. Quinn Emanuel is no slouch, but they specialize in litigation, not transactional work. However, Quinn Emanuel recently announced that it was hiring derivatives and structured finance expert Dan Cunningham, currently an Allen & Overy partner, and before that a longtime partner at Cravath. Cunningham is one of the world's leading experts on CDS and CDO contracts (seeing as he was one of the primary authors of the standard ISDA contracts). Quinn Emanuel lost in court against Merrill last time—the case was Merrill Lynch v. XL Capital—but when Cunningham joins the firm, they'll be able to throw some serious heat in these suits.