Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Securitisation & Derivatives: UK
Global head of international capital markets David Krischer acted on the Northern Rock public securitisation, and has a wealth of capital markets experience, having advised upon some of the most significant CMBS and RMBS transactions across Europe in recent years.
Market sources reserve some of their most enthusiastic praise for derivatives expert and head of practice David Benton, who has had "a wonderful year," according to interviewees. He has been "a stabilising influence" and "incredibly impressive," leading the team representing the International Swaps & Derivatives Association (ISDA) against challenges to its Master Agreement and advising on credit derivatives issues in general. He excels at guiding clients through "contentious and difficult decisions."
Angela Clist has substantial experience in the covered bonds area and has acted for numerous high-profile banking clients.
Derivatives expert Edward Murray remains a key figure in the team acting on behalf of ISDA, and currently represents the organisation in the UK Treasury's banking liaison panel. He is described by sources as a "top lawyer" in this sphere.
Global head of securitisation Salim Nathoo recently advised three financial institutions as arrangers and lead managers on a buy-to-let RMBS originated by Paragon, representing the first transaction of its kind since the economic crash.
Richard Tredgett has a solid reputation in the market, with one observer noting that "people rate him highly." Of late he has been advising extensively on the hedging of covered bond issues and securitisations.
Franz Ranero is acknowledged by sources as "technically very good." "He develops very close relationships with businesspeople," adds one impressed interviewee. Ranero's practice concentrates largely on structured finance and products.
Anthony Drake-Brockman maintains an active practice in the retail structured products area, advising numerous banking clients on sophisticated pan-European and tax-efficient structures.
Vanessa Hardman recently advised Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland on the restructuring of their master trust programmes. She has an excellent reputation in covered bonds and RMBS and is an experienced partner in the securitisation team.
Christian Lambie is lauded by sources as "one of the great and the good" in this sphere. He regularly works on secured funding transactions for clients drawn from the energy and infrastructure sectors.
Deborah North, who recently moved to New York from the London office, has an excellent understanding of derivatives clearing rules in Europe and the USA and often advises on the development of document standardisation. Recently, this has included advising ISDA on the creation of a market-wide set-off agreement by way of comment letters regarding rules proposed for cleared and uncleared swaps by US regulators. "She is diligent, responsive and good at spotting issues," according to clients.
New York partner David Lucking is an active speaker on issues relating to central clearing and Dodd-Frank and is additionally qualified to practise in the UK.
Habib Motani possesses a broad skill set in the area of derivatives and structured products and has recently advised numerous banks, including Citi, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, on a series of equity derivatives transactions. He has also spearheaded the team's advice to ISDA on Islamic profit rate swaps under the Shari'a-compliant Master Agreement.
Kevin Ingram is known as "one of the most experienced securitisation lawyers in the market. He is setting the standard in the industry." Clients rely on him to construct "complicated, sophisticated legal solutions."
Simon Gleeson supports clients on regulatory matters related to derivatives, including clearing and settlement.
Securitisation specialist Peter Voisey is "excellent and provides a very good service. He can translate legal documentation into practical language and deal with things in a commercial way."
Steve Curtis has cultivated a strong reputation in the securitisation space and was recently mandated by Barclays to advise on the GBP2.36 billion Associated British Ports refinancing. He is renowned as an authority on structured debt transactions.
The highly experienced Claude Brown is regarded in the market as an "excellent derivatives lawyer." He is able to expertly guide clients through methods of mitigating credit risk.
Sources appreciate Andrew Coats's "reassuring presence in meetings and difficult negotiations." He is further praised for his consistency in providing a stellar service to his clients. Deutsche Bank recently engaged him to act on a longevity swap involving up to GBP3 billion of pension fund liabilities.
Paris-based partner Jonathan Lewis is an expert on UK-related matters. He attracts warm praise for his work in derivatives and structured finance: "He offers high-level technical advice on complex transactions. He's very impressive."
Jim Rice is held in high esteem by his peers and continues to lead the global capital markets group at Linklaters. He specialises in securitisation work.
Sources identify Simon Firth as a "spectacular lawyer" who demonstrates prowess on both the "technical and academic side of things." He concentrates his practice on derivatives and has been a valuable source of counsel to financial institutions on the implications of the credit crisis.
Michael Voisin is particularly visible in this space, with experience in a range of derivative types including credit, equity and longevity derivatives.
Long-standing derivatives partner Pauline Ashall is able to advise clients on OTC and securitised derivatives and has excellent knowledge of collateral, repo and prime brokerage products.
Michael Canby receives glowing endorsements from market sources, with one interviewee labelling him "absolutely fantastic." He has developed an admirably broad capital markets practice with extensive expertise on a wide range of financial products, and a particular focus on securitised and OTC derivatives.
Founder and formerly global head of the structured finance group at Linklaters, Julian Davies attracts recognition for his extensive experience in this sphere and his specialist expertise in structured project financing.
James Harbach is well liked by clients, who have been "very impressed by him." He continues in his role as head of the structured finance group, and is particularly well regarded for his securitisation work.
Anne Hoe was mandated by Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland to act on the GBP1.6 billion securitisation of PFI loans, a cutting-edge CLO in the UK.
Paul Lewis is identified by sources as an "outstanding derivatives lawyer." He concentrates his practice on structured credit products, repackaged notes and mutual and hedge fund-linked products.
Vinay Samani is a strong presence in the structured finance sphere, with a great depth of knowledge in securitised fund derivatives and exchange-traded products.
Deepak Sitlani has handled a significant volume of transactions relating to OTC derivatives of all varieties of late.
Marcus Mackenzie is regarded as a "leader" in securitisation. He led the team advising on the Associated British Ports refinancing, and has attracted positive commentary from market sources: "He is extremely knowledgeable and can recall all the relevant cases and benchmarks."
Head of department Simeon Rudin is frequently engaged on complex, multi-jurisdictional work covering the full spectrum of structured finance and derivatives products.
In the firm's Hong Kong office, Andrew Heathcote is a key contact for finance matters, including those with a UK aspect.
Amsterdam-based partner Mandeep Lotay is praised by clients for the added value he brings to deals as a UK-qualified lawyer. Sources describe him as "quick, knowledgeable and commercial."
Dougall Molson heads the firm's finance group in Paris, and is considered to be an expert on UK-related matters. He has a well-recognised practice, covering debt capital markets, structured finance, derivatives and securitisation.
Also in Paris, Antonin Besse is qualified to practise in the UK and spent nine years working in Freshfields' London office. He advises on UK and French law with a focus on capital markets.
Matthew Dening is gifted with "an ability to explain things clearly," which has proved popular with his client base. He recently led the team handling a GBP3 billion reinsurance longevity swap involving the Rolls-Royce pension scheme.
Graham Penn is lauded as an oracle of CMBS restructuring, having "carved a very good and important niche" in the area. He was the lead partner on transactions for GRAND and Eurohypo.
Securitisation specialist John Woodhall is "responsive and commercial and works well with all the team. He leads the co-ordination and makes sure everyone knows what's going on."
David Roylance was recently mandated by an arranger to act on numerous managed collateralised swap obligations, a transaction type rarely seen since the economic crash. He has also worked on total swap returns facilities over the course of the year.
Market sources note the skills and knowledge of structured finance head Jonathan Hammond.
For his clients, Simon Schiff exemplifies the positive features that attracted them to the firm, namely pragmatism, responsiveness and commerciality. BlueCrest instructed him on its refinancing and he has also recently advised Deutsche Bank on a new structure for financing mortgage portfolios.
Ian Sideris is noted for the commerciality of his advice. He has also acted for Deutsche Bank on an exchange-traded commodities programme.
Alan Davies enjoys a wide-ranging structured finance and derivatives practice and has acted on numerous cross-border transactions involving OTC derivatives and securitisation.
David Quirolo receives copious amounts of positive feedback this year: "He knows everything, has done everything and knows everyone in the market," enthuses one client. He is further praised for his expertise in CLOs: "His ability to hold our hand, help us get to the right outcome and give us that institutional knowledge was crucial."
James Coiley led the team advising Crédit Agricole CIB on the construction of a mirror portfolio, and related prime brokerage documentation, in order to facilitate the disposal of credit-correlated market risk. This involved co-ordinating with lawyers from the New York, Paris, Luxembourg and Frankfurt offices of the firm, as well as across multiple disciplines.
Finance partner Mike Logie has a broad practice covering structured finance and derivatives and is recognised for his knowledge of structured products. An investment banking client of the firm recently instructed him to advise on the setting up of a retail structured products programme in Singapore.
Christopher Georgiou is highly active in the repo area and also counsels clients on credit derivatives, OTC derivatives and stocklending.
Chris Whiteley is based in the firm's Hong Kong office, where he advises on a range of finance matters, including those with a UK aspect.
Head of department David Hudd's practice is impressively broad, covering structured finance transactions, derivatives and securitisations.
Paris-based senior partner Philip Boys is qualified in France and the UK. He is a highly regarded name on the Paris market, with vast experience acting on multi-jurisdictional offerings.
Also in Paris is firm global head of international debt capital markets Sharon Lewis. She is highly recommended by clients and is prevalent on many of the team's most significant UK matters.
Bruce Bloomingdale is regarded as "very user-friendly and massively knowledgeable. His client service is also impeccable. He has great respect in the market and is well known as one of the best securitisation lawyers around."
Kevin Hawken, highly commended for his regulatory expertise, has a wide-ranging structured finance and securitisation practice. He excels whether operating on a domestic or cross-border basis.
Sources enthuse over Edmund Parker's "encyclopaedic knowledge of all things ISDA. Whatever the transaction throws at him, he knows the technical points inside out."
Dominic Griffiths is a "hugely experienced structured finance lawyer with great strengths in multi-jurisdiction work, particularly trade receivables deals," one interviewee says. Griffiths continues in his role as head of banking and finance at the firm. He is noted for his particular expertise in Italy-related matters.
Dean Naumowicz impresses sources with a combination of "innovation" and "deep insight" into his clients' businesses and requirements. He is "prepared to test the client's idea and talk to him about things from different angles." He recently advised BNP Paribas on numerous derivatives transactions as it took over the role of hedging provider to an existing securitisation structure.
Securitisation specialist Farmida Bi was mandated alongside colleagues in Hong Kong and Singapore to act for the Republic of Indonesia on an international, USD1 billion sukuk issue. Alongside her experience in Islamic finance she is also considered an expert in matters concerning the USA.
Also a key contact for securitisation matters, Sandrine Sauvel receives praise from sources for her committed and approachable style: "It is always a pleasure talking to her and you really do feel like she will do whatever she can to help you. She comes up with innovative solutions when things get difficult."
The "super-sharp" Patrick Clancy is highly regarded for his derivatives practice and heads the derivatives group at Shearman & Sterling. He is also a key contact for Merrill Lynch, advising the bank on UK and US issues related to the implications of ratings downgrades.
Structured finance and derivatives expert Ian Harvey-Samuel worked alongside Clancy in the firm's advice to Merrill Lynch. He is favoured by clients for his ability to "deal with obscure technical issues. He is very knowledgeable, very responsive and we get lots of attention."
Julian Tucker spearheaded the firm's representation of Arion Bank as issuer in the restructuring of the ISK200 billion Kaupthing covered bond programme. He is a well-known name in the securitisation market.
Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya is highlighted by sources as "truly an amazing lawyer. His key strength is his ability to combine technically strong advice with an informal and user-friendly manner." He assisted Nordea with its cash tender offer for Midgaard's outstanding EUR155 million of secured floating-rate notes.
Gavin McLean is lauded for his "massive integrity as an individual and as a lawyer." He has been active on UniCredit's asset-backed commercial paper programme and has maintained the firm's close relationship with key client BNP Paribas.
Securitisation specialist Paul-Michael Rebus
of Eversheds LLP demonstrates a "clear intention to form a long-term relationship and to provide value-for-money advice. He is knowledgeable in subject matter and able to articulate complicated legal language in a clear and concise manner.
Securitisation specialist and head of the structured capital markets group at Baker & McKenzie, Vincent Keaveny
receives a steady flow of work derived from his excellent relationship with Portuguese banking institutions such as Banco Santander Totta. Sources note that he is "very precise, thoughtful and extremely trustworthy
Clients are keen to emphasise the exemplary qualities of Bruce Somer
, also of Baker & McKenzie: "He has an in-depth understanding of the complexities of derivatives and couples it with a very good commercial understanding
." He handles a diverse structured finance and derivatives workload.
of Baker & McKenzie is highly visible in the securitisation market and leads the firm's global securitisation group. He focuses on conduit transactions and has assisted numerous institutions with their restructuring requirements.
of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is noted as an important figure in the securitisation arena. His practice covers the full spectrum of asset classes and he is also adept at advising on whole business securitisations.
Ex-Sidley Austin partner Sarah Smith
has returned to a successful career in capital markets, joining a compact but vibrant team at Bingham McCutchen (London) LLP. She focuses her practice on securitised products, including sophisticated and intricate structurings and restructurings.
of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has been acting for structuring agents of catastrophe bonds, with notable clients including Aon Benfield Securities.
Head of structured finance and derivatives Will Dibble
of CMS "is completely dedicated to his clients as well as being a top-class lawyer
," according to impressed interviewees. He continues to concentrate his practice on OTC and securitised derivatives.
Also at CMS, Jason Harding
is frequently the recipient of OTC derivatives-related work from key client Allied Irish Banks.
of Dechert LLP has a wealth of knowledge in securitisation and structured finance and he is particularly acknowledged for buy-side transactional banking work as well as his restructuring experience.
of Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP has cultivated a strong reputation in the securitisation market, handling a range of work from CDOs to credit-linked notes and repackagings.
of Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP has had an excellent year, attracting positive commentary from peers and clients. He is "really capable, thorough and hard-working – value for money as well
." He has recently acted on derivatives transactions for the Lehman estate.
of Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP is showered with praise by enthusiastic sources: "He sets a very high benchmark, and is very knowledgeable and well connected. He gives very good pragmatic advice."
He is regularly sought to help solve seemingly "intractable"
of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP was recently engaged by key client Goldman Sachs to advise on its role as hedging counterparty on several pan-European financings.
, also of Herbert Smith Freehills, recently advised Jefferies International on a USD430 million acquisition, including funding and derivatives aspects of the transaction.
of Herbert Smith Freehills is "very impressive
" when advising clients on complex structured products and he frequently acts for investment banks and issuers.
Renowned for his "in-depth knowledge
" of securitisation, Michael Poulton
of Herbert Smith Freehills continues to impress market sources. "His personal strength is accessibility – he's always responsive to me as the client, at any time of the day or night, which I find invaluable
," explains one interviewee.
of Latham & Watkins LLP has both transactional and regulatory expertise and enjoys a stellar reputation in the market.
of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is "'the best-kept secret' in transactional derivatives and structured products work in the City,"
according to one satisfied source.
Also at Paul Hastings, Conor Downey
is a talented finance partner with considerable experience in real estate and real estate debt restructuring, financing and securitisation.
recently moved to Paul Hastings from Clifford Chance. He continues to concentrate his practice on both structured products and securitisation.
of Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP is well respected in the market and has been involved in several high-profile CMBS transactions over the past year. He enjoys a diverse client base including servicers and lenders and those on the buy or sell sides of loan portfolio acquisitions.
Identified by sources as an impressive presence in the field, Jacky Kelly
has led the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges on a number of high-value and significant transactions, including the Barclays Gracechurch Mortgage Funding RMBS matter.
of Bedell Cristin is also a specialist in matters concerning Jersey, and is qualified in Jersey and Scotland. He is especially highly regarded for his structured finance work.
of DLA Piper UK LLP is highly acclaimed for his ability to handle matters concerning Kazakhstan.
German-qualified Martin Geiger
is a key contact for capital markets work in the London office of German firm Hengeler Mueller. He has recently handled a number of securitisation matters for key clients of the firm.
is managing partner in the London office of Mourant Ozannes. He specialises in structured finance and securitisation matters, and is adept at handling Jersey-related work. Clients say that he provides them with "good, timely advice.
of Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP is an expert in Italian securitisation matters, and her recent workload has included acting for DBRS on its rating of a number of Italian securitisations.
heads up the finance and corporate group in Walkers' London office and is adept at handling capital markets work. She is admitted to practice in Jersey, and has previously worked in the Jersey offices of major law firms.
Foreign Experts (Based Abroad)
of Chiomenti Studio Legale is a Milan-based structured finance and securitisation expert who can draw on considerable international experience thanks to his former role at the firm's London office.
of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP is described as "very hard-working
" and "thoughtful, diligent and detailed
" by sources. She acts as lead counsel for the European DataWarehouse.
of Kromann Reumert is based in Denmark and has considerable experience in UK-related capital markets transactions. Focusing predominantly on debt capital markets work, he has extensive international experience and possesses “an insight that is second to none
Lisbon-based Gustavo Ordonhas Oliveira
of SRS Advogados is qualified in Portugal and the UK. In addition to capital markets, he advises on structured finance.
Also in SRS Advogados' office in Lisbon, clients praise Gonçalo Reis Martins
for his expertise, commitment and availability. He is qualified to practise in Portugal and the UK.
is also based in SRS Advogados' Lisbon office. He is qualified in the UK as well as Portugal. Clients report that "he is highly responsive and knowledgeable. He meets all the deadlines and routinely responds to e-mails straight away