Troubled times and troubled loans have led MNC Financial Inc. to hire two longtime Baltimore attorneys to help the banking company restructure a mounting pile of problem loans and sell off property the company has obtained through foreclosure.
MNC, parent of Maryland National Bank and American Security Bank in Washington, has hired Duncan W. Keir, a partner at the Baltimore law firm Miles & Stockbridge, as the head of a team of lawyers the company will hire to restructure problem loans.
A spokesman for MNC, Daniel G. Finney, also confirmed Friday that the banking company had hired Lewis A. Kann, 58, to serve as counsel to a subsidiary formed to sell MNC's growing list of repossessed properties.
Mr. Keir, 44, will join MNC Jan. 28 as senior counsel and begin hiring five additional attorneys to work in the newly formed unit, he said. He said he expects to fill the positions with lawyers specializing in real estate and bankruptcy law.
"It's a challenge," Mr. Keir said Friday in explaining his move. It is "an opportunity to, I think, assist a client that needs what I can provide at this point."
Mr. Kann, a partner specializing in real estate law at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander, will join MNC as counsel to South Charles Realty, a unit created within recent months to dispose of real estate that the banking company is carrying on its books. Mr. Kann, through his secretary, declined to comment. It could not be determined last week when Mr. Kann is scheduled to assume his new post at MNC.
For MNC, the additional lawyers will result in an unknown amount of savings by reducing the legal fees that MNC pays to outside firms. Joseph R. Crouse, senior vice president and general counsel at MNC, estimated that the company's attorneys could cut legal costs by 40 percent for some cases handled in house, The Daily Record reported last week.
Mr. Keir said that part of his responsibility will be to determine which cases are handled by MNC attorneys and which are given to outside firms.
Both attorneys come to MNC from firms with long-standing relationships with the banking company.
Mr. Kann, a Baltimore native, who joined Gordon, Feinblatt more than 30 years ago, has handled a number of particularly difficult real estate projects through the years on behalf of Equitable Bancorporation, said Barry F. Rosen, chairman and chief executive of Gordon, Feinblatt. Equitable merged into MNC at the start of this year.
Mr. Kann, who has worked in various areas of real estate law, acted as counsel on Baltimore projects including the Hyatt Hotel, Equitable Bank Center and St. Paul Plaza office building.
Mr. Keir, who has been with Miles & Stockbridge for nearly 16 years, has also been involved in a number of MNC cases.
He acted as local counsel to a group of banks -- including Maryland National -- during the restructuring of Jiffy Lube International Inc. that helped set up the transfer of control of Jiffy Lube to Pennzoil Co.