This "absolutely fantastic" team has a market-leading position in this sector, and is frequently the recipient of high-value and complex instructions from key financial players including Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland. The lawyers are visible across the full spectrum of asset classes, and the London office utilises the firm's impressive global footprint to offer joined-up advice to clients from Frankfurt to Tokyo. As traditional banks attempt to de-leverage their balance sheets, Linklaters is sought after to act on covered bond issues for private equity and infrastructure funds looking to make acquisitions using securitisation financing. On the derivatives side, pension fund clients benefit from the team's extensive experience in longevity swaps, an increasingly popular method of hedging risk. Demonstrating its acumen in the area, the team recently advised Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland as originators on a £1.6 billion PFI loan securitisation. This was a first-of-its-kind CLO in this asset class, designed to fund infrastructure projects in the UK. "They are efficient and handle multiparty transactions well," enthuses one interviewee.
KEY INDIVIDUALS 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 £1.6 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.
Mark Brown is able to advise clients on an impressive range of products, including commodity, equity and FX-linked products.
Charles Clark is a long-standing partner at the firm with a wealth of experience in securities and derivatives transactions, including many with an international aspect.
A rising star in the securitisation group, Mark Nuttall maintains a strong practice, covering transactional activity for a range of financial markets clients. He is particularly well known for his work in the area of structured retail debt.