EX-5.1 3 tm243330d5_ex5-1.htm EXHIBIT 5.1


Exhibit 5.1


  355 South Grand Avenue, Suite 100 
  Los Angeles, California 90071-1560 
  Tel: +1.213.485.1234 Fax: +1.213.891.8763 


Austin Milan 
Beijing Munich 
Boston New York 
  Brussels Orange County 
  Century City Paris 
January 22, 2024 Chicago Riyadh 
  Dubai San Diego 
  Düsseldorf San Francisco 
Redwood Trust, Inc. Frankfurt Seoul 
One Belvedere Place Hamburg Silicon Valley 
Suite 300 Hong Kong Singapore 
Mill Valley, California 94941 Houston Tel Aviv 
  London Tokyo 
  Los Angeles Washington, D.C. 


As Representatives of the several Underwriters


Re:Registration Statement on Form S-3 and Prospectus Supplement; $60,000,000 Aggregate Principal Amount of Redwood Trust, Inc.’s 9.125% Senior Notes Due 2029


To the addressee set forth above:


We have acted as special counsel to Redwood Trust, Inc., a Maryland corporation (the “Company”), in connection with the issuance of $60,000,000 (2,400,000 units, each unit representing $25) aggregate principal amount of 9.125% Senior Notes due 2029 (the “Notes”) under an indenture dated as of March 6, 2013 (the “Base Indenture”) between the Company and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as trustee (the “Trustee”), in the form most recently filed as an exhibit to the Registration Statement (as herein defined), as supplemented by the Fourth Supplemental Indenture, dated as of the date hereof, between the Company and the Trustee (the “Supplemental Indenture” and, together with the Base Indenture, the “Indenture”), and pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Act”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) on March 4, 2022 (Registration No. 333-263301) (the “Registration Statement”), a base prospectus dated March 4, 2022 (the “Base Prospectus”) and a prospectus supplement dated January 17, 2024 (together with the Base Prospectus, the “Prospectus”), and an underwriting agreement dated January 17, 2024 (the “Underwriting Agreement”) among the Company and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., as representatives of the several underwriters named therein. This opinion is being furnished in connection with the requirements of Item 601(b)(5) of Regulation S-K under the Act, and no opinion is expressed herein as to any matter pertaining to the contents of the Registration Statement or Prospectus, other than as expressly stated herein with respect to the issuance of the Notes.


As such counsel, we have examined such matters of fact and questions of law as we have considered appropriate for purposes of this letter. With your consent, we have relied upon certificates and other assurances of officers of the Company and others as to factual matters without having independently verified such factual matters. We are opining herein as to the internal laws of the State of New York, and we express no opinion with respect to the applicability thereto, or the effect thereon, of the laws of any other jurisdiction or as to any matters of municipal law or the laws of any local agencies within any state. Various issues concerning Maryland law are addressed in the opinion of Venable LLP, which has been separately provided to you. We express no opinion with respect to those matters herein, and to the extent elements of those opinions are necessary to the conclusions expressed herein, we have, with your consent, assumed such matters.





January 22, 2024
Page 2



Subject to the foregoing and the other matters set forth herein, it is our opinion that, as of the date hereof, when the Notes have been duly authorized, executed, issued, and authenticated in accordance with the terms of the Indenture and delivered against payment therefor in the circumstances contemplated by the Underwriting Agreement, the Notes will be legally valid and binding obligations of the Company enforceable against the Company in accordance with their respective terms.


Our opinion is subject to: (i) the effect of bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, preference, fraudulent transfer, moratorium or other similar laws relating to or affecting the rights and remedies of creditors; (ii) the effect of general principles of equity, whether considered in a proceeding in equity or at law (including the possible unavailability of specific performance or injunctive relief), concepts of materiality, reasonableness, good faith and fair dealing, and the discretion of the court before which a proceeding is brought; and (iii) the invalidity under certain circumstances under law or court decisions of provisions providing for the indemnification of or contribution to a party with respect to a liability where such indemnification or contribution is contrary to public policy. We express no opinion as to (a) any provision for liquidated damages, default interest, late charges, monetary penalties, make-whole premiums or other economic remedies to the extent such provisions are deemed to constitute a penalty, (b) consents to, or restrictions upon, governing law, jurisdiction, venue, arbitration, remedies, or judicial relief; (c) the waiver of rights or defenses contained in Section 4.04 of the Base Indenture; (d) any provision requiring the payment of attorney’s fees, where such payment is contrary to law or public policy, (e) any provision permitting, upon acceleration of the Notes, collection of that portion of the stated principal amount thereof which might be determined to constitute unearned interest thereon; (f) any provision to the extent it requires that a claim with respect to the Notes (or a judgment in respect of such a claim) be converted into U.S. dollars at a rate of exchange at a particular date, to the extent applicable law otherwise provides; (g) provisions for liquidated damages, default interest, late charges, monetary penalties, prepayment or make-whole premiums or other economic remedies to the extent such provisions are deemed to constitute a penalty; (i) advance waivers of claims, defenses, rights granted by law, or notice, opportunity for hearing, evidentiary requirements, statutes of limitation, trial by jury or at law, or other procedural rights; (j) waivers of broadly or vaguely stated rights; (k) covenants not to compete; (l) provisions for exclusivity, election or cumulation of rights or remedies; (m) provisions authorizing or validating conclusive or discretionary determinations; (n) grants of setoff rights; (o) proxies, powers and trusts; (p) provisions prohibiting, restricting, or requiring consent to assignment or transfer of any right or property; and (q) the severability, if invalid, of provisions to the foregoing effect. With your consent, we have assumed (a) that the Indenture and the Notes (collectively, the “Documents”) have been duly authorized, executed and delivered by the parties thereto, (b) that the Documents constitute legally valid and binding obligations of the parties thereto, enforceable against each of them in accordance with their respective terms, and (c) that the status of the Documents as legally valid and binding obligations of the parties is not affected by any (i) breaches of, or defaults under, agreements or instruments, (ii) violations of statutes, rules, regulations or court or governmental orders, or (iii) failures to obtain required consents, approvals or authorizations from, or make required registrations, declarations or filings with, governmental authorities.





January 22, 2024
Page 3



This opinion is for your benefit in connection with the Registration Statement and may be relied upon by you and by persons entitled to rely upon it pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Act. We consent to your filing this opinion as an exhibit to the Company’s Form 8-K dated January 22, 2024 and to the reference to our firm contained in the Prospectus under the heading “Legal Matters.” In giving such consent, we do not thereby admit that we are in the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the Act or the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder.