- Yale University (B.A. in philosophy, 1986)
- University of Washington (J.D. with high honors, 1998)
Clerked for Judge John C. Coughenour, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
I cannot say enough about Edgar’s skill at trial, from his presentation to his insight and anticipation of the opposition’s thoughts he is the complete trial lawyer. Indeed one rarely experiences the intelligence that Susman Godfrey’s trial lawyers possess. If I find myself at trial in a bankruptcy case or any other high stakes litigation, Edgar and Susman Godfrey will be at the top of the list.
--Michael Willingham, Chair of Washington Mutual Equity Committee
Sargent represents clients in complex, high-stakes lawsuits in courts throughout the United States. He served as litigation counsel to the estate or to major claimants in a number of the largest bankruptcies in the country over the past ten years. In addition to his bankruptcy-related work, Sargent has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of commercial disputes, from patent infringement to breach of contract and business torts. Sargent has been with Susman Godfrey since 2000 and has been a partner since 2005. He was named a “SuperLawyer” by Washington Law and Politics in 2014.
Sargent brought one of the first significant lawsuits in the United States involving the digital currency Bitcoin when he was hired by the Seattle company CoinLab to sue the Japanese exchange MtGox. In the suit, CoinLab seeks to enforce a $50 million liquidated damages clause in a contract it entered into with MtGox. Under the contract, CoinLab was to serve as the exclusive exchange agent for MtGox in the United States and Canada. The dispute is ongoing.
In 2014, the City of Seattle retained Sargent to defend the City’s new minimum wage law from a Constitutional challenge. The case was filed by former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement on behalf of a franchise trade organization and several franchise businesses. In the Complaint, these businesses allege that Seattle’s minimum wage law violates the Equal Protection Clause, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and several other provisions of the United States and Washington State Constitutions. The suit is currently pending in Federal Court in Seattle.
Bankruptcies in which Sargent has represented significant parties include Washington Mutual (representing the Equity Committee), Hostess (the baker’s union), Tom Petters’ Ponzi scheme (major creditors), Chrysler (the estate), Lehman Brothers (Lehman’s European brokerage), Metropolitan Mortgage/Summit Securities (the estate), and Boston Chicken (D&O insurer).
Sargent’s successful representation of Washington Mutual’s Equity Committee was widely reported in the press, including Reuters, Blooomberg, and the Wall Street Journal. In two multi-week plan-confirmation hearings, Sargent served as co-lead trial counsel, opposing plans that would have wiped out shareholders. Although both plans were supported by the debtor and by all major creditors, the Court rejected both plans after the trials. Sargent then negotiated terms of a new plan that distributed over $100 million in value to shareholders, including 90% ownership of the reorganized debtor.
Sargent has represented bankruptcy estates in litigating audit malpractice, fraudulent conveyance, officer and director liability, and breach of contract claims. He has led investigations by estates into potential claims in each of these areas as well as securities violations and other causes of action. He has litigated matters in bankruptcy courts across the United States, including Arizona, Washington State, Delaware, and the Southern District of New York.
Sargent is based in Seattle but he represents clients in courts across the United States. A more complete list of Sargent’s cases is available below.