UK-wide - Asset Finance: Rail Finance Lawyers & Law Firms - UK - Chambers and Partners
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UK Guide

Asset Finance: Rail Finance — UK-wide


Allen & Overy LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Market-leading asset finance practice with outstanding capability across aviation, shipping and rail finance matters. Advises clients on sophisticated structures including EETCs, JOLCOs and ECA-backed bonds. Regularly works with banks and corporates on industry-leading deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Allen & Overy are always aware of our needs and have assisted us with success in our most important deals. They are very aware of the financial structures and they understand the rationale of the market."

"We always feel in very safe hands on every single deal, they work relentlessly hard for us and are always available to provide advice, no matter how urgent."

Work highlights Worked with UKEF on the first ECA-supported sukuk issuance of USD913 million for the purchase of four Airbus A380-800 aircraft to be leased to the operator, Emirates.

Acted for Turkish Airlines on its first EETC financing secured against three new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Notable practitioners

Harry Upcott enjoys "a reputation for being excellent," according to impressed sources. He has experience in a range of aviation financing structures including ECA-supported bonds, purchase agreements and warehouse facilities.

Dylan Potter has significant experience in a wide variety of asset finance structures for aviation clients. He can offer expert advice on ECA-supported deals and on aircraft acquisition and leasing.

Mario Jacovides is an asset finance specialist who regularly works with clients in the aviation and shipping industries. He enjoys an outstanding reputation in the market, being described by commentators as "the cleverest, the best and the brightest" and an "exceptionally top-quality lawyer."

Paul Nelson is commended by interviewees, who say: "He is absolutely committed to you as a client, to getting things done on time and to making sure everyone is on standby and ready to go." He has significant expertise in aviation asset financing, particularly in EETCs, JOLCOs and ECA transactions.

Jonathan Bevan "has a strong background and a balanced commercial view," reports a client. He has strong capability in rail financing matters, with experience of large national and cross-border deals.

David Smith is an expert in shipping finance who regularly works with large international clients on leasing and debt-based transactions. A source reports that he is "extremely thorough."

Significant clients ECGD, Euler Hermes, IAG, Lloyds, J.P. Morgan.

Department profile by Allen & Overy LLP

Our award-winning, international asset finance practice holds a pre-eminent position in the market. We are know for our extensive experience across all sectors of the asset finance​ industry, with specialists in the aviation, shipping and offshore markets.Our client base includes banks, financiers, funds, owners, airlines, lessors, manufacturers, captive finance companies, operators, borrowers, lessees, export credit agencies and government organisations.

We have a strong track record of advising on market first and award winning transactions and are ranked Tier 1 by all the leading, global directories cementing our position as a leader in the market.

Our work highlights include:

  • ​The lenders on a USD1.2b Islamic ijara lease financing to International Airfinance Corporation;
  • Floreat Aviation Fund in relation to setting up its fund and securitisation programme focused on
    the aviation sector;
  • UKEF on the $913m ECA supported Sukuk financing for Emirates representing the largest capital
     markets ECA supported financing in the aviation space;

  • Yamal LNG on the shipping aspects of the shipping the project to transport LNG from its plant in
    Sabetta on the Yamal peninsula in Arctic Russia to Asia and Europe; and

  • The lenders, SACE and Bpifrance/Coface in connection with CHC Helicopter's Chapter 11 process,
    including advising on the leasing and insurance arrangements, repossessions advice, enforcements against and sale of helicopters which were rejected as part of the Chapter 11 process.













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Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Strong rail finance practice with specialist expertise in rolling stock financing deals for ROSCOs. Also has experience advising clients including banks, manufacturers and airlines on a full range of aviation finance matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A team of talented asset finance and capital markets lawyers who have the breadth and depth of experience that we need as a company."

"The team are professional and diligent; they really know everything from a legal perspective and a commercial perspective."

Work highlights Advised Angel Trains on the re-leasing of fleets of trains owned by it and operated under various franchises, including the Northern, East Midlands and ScotRail franchises.

Notable practitioners

Russell Clifford "is a pleasure to work with and understands what matters to us," says a client. His practice includes a broad range of asset finance work for clients in the rail sector, particularly ROSCOs. He has capability in portfolio transactions, structured debt facilities and off-balance sheet financing.

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke is valued by clients, who report that "he is extremely capable and has co-ordinated several documentation-intensive projects for us." He regularly works for banks, lessors and manufacturers.

Significant clients Beacon Rail Leasing, Bombardier, Deutsche Bank, Investec Bank, Vibrac.

Department profile by Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Burges Salmon LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Bristol

What the team is known for Bristol-based practice with experience working alongside train operating companies and financiers on a variety of rolling stock finance issues. Noted for its work on operating leases and rolling stock acquisition.

Work highlights Worked with Abellio Greater Anglia on rolling stock leasing matters including lease amendments, an operating hire agreement and sub-lease arrangements.

Acted for First Greater Western on the extension of all rolling stock leases, a fleet transfer and new fleet procurement and financings.

Notable practitioners

Brioney Thomas has experience working with significant rail operators on rolling stock financing deals including maintenance arrangements, operating leases and fleet procurements. She also advises clients on regulatory matters.

Significant clients Department for Transport, RBS, Northern Rail, Mersey Rail, PF Solar.

Department profile by Burges Salmon LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Burges Salmon LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Clifford Chance LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 36 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Go-to practice for aviation finance matters, with additional capability on rail and shipping-related transactions. Works with global aviation clients in complex ECA-supported financings, portfolio transfers and bank financings. Shipping clients include charterers, shipowners and financial institutions, while the rail team works with government agencies, manufacturers and operators on large rolling stock and infrastructure deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is very strong, they are responsive, work hard and are reliable in the advice they provide."

Work highlights Worked with BOC Aviation on an USD807 million notes offering backed by a 24-aircraft portfolio sold to Shenton Aircraft Investment.

Acted for CA-CIB and CBA on USD817 million of new credit facilities for the financing of aircraft acquisitions for AerCap.

Notable practitioners

William Glaister is lauded by a client for his "highly impressive technical skills and competence alongside a very detailed industry knowledge. He is incredibly quick to understand the client's objectives and to respond to them."

Paul Carrington is "very good and bright, someone who negotiates hard, knows when to fight and when to give," according to a source. He has capability in a range of financing, leasing and restructuring matters.

Gavin Teague has expertise in rail financing matters, regularly acting for financiers, ROSCOs, operators and consortiums. He has expertise financing rolling stock and infrastructure using capital markets structures, debt finance and PFI.

Rob Burley is described by a client as "thorough in approach, thoughtful and diligent." He has experience in ECA-backed financing, portfolio acquisitions and aircraft sale and purchase.

Significant clients GE Capital Aviation Services, Investec, SMBC Aviation Capital, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas.

Department profile by Clifford Chance LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Clifford Chance LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Prominent rail finance practice with extensive experience in complex high-profile rolling stock financing and sophisticated transactions for lessors, manufacturers and financiers. Offers additional expertise in aviation finance transactions for leasing companies, airlines and capital providers.

Work highlights Worked for the lenders to the Cross London Trains consortium on the £1.6 billion refinancing of the Thameslink rolling stock project.

Advised AerCap on the USD135 million portfolio refinancing of 11 aircraft.

Notable practitioners

Simon Johnson is head of global finance.

Significant clients Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Avolon, Ryanair, South African Airways, HKAC.

Since publication, Robert Murphy has moved in-house.

Department profile by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Please visit the Freshfields website for more details about our work in this category: http://www.freshfields.com/en-gb/what-we-do/services/financing-and-capital-markets/asset-finance/

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Hogan Lovells - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Recognised for its ability in aviation financing matters, as well as its work with rail industry groups. Clients include ECAs, equipment manufacturers, air carriers and financial institutions. Areas of expertise include ECA-backed financings, portfolio transactions, tax-based financings and securitisations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are helpful, responsive and do a great job."

Work highlights Acted for Norwegian Air on the debt financing of six new Boeing 737-800 aircraft via a private placement of related loan notes to US institutional investors.

Worked with Vietnam Airlines on its debut US Ex-Im Bank financing for four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Notable practitioners

Robert Fugard has notable experience in ECA-supported financing and portfolio acquisitions, as well as in Islamic financing structures. He advises aviation sector clients including operators, lessors and banks.

Simon Gwynne is "very commercially aware, very attentive and looks after his clients very well," according to sources. He is a leading expert in asset finance matters with extensive expertise in rolling stock financing. He regularly works with rail industry clients on large structured deals.

Significant clients African Export-Import Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Natixis, Babcock Mission Critical Services.

Since publication, Robin Hallam has joined Bird & Bird

Department profile by Hogan Lovells

Department profile not yet provided by Hogan Lovells. Please see their firm profile.

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Norton Rose Fulbright - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Houses a deep bench of practitioners who provide leading expertise in shipping and aviation finance and significant ability in rail financing matters. Regularly acts for clients including banks, financial institutions, shipowners, airlines and ROSCOs on complex cross-border deals including EETCs, JOLCOs and portfolio transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their strengths include hands-on knowledge and experience, availability and being driven towards deal closure. They understand client needs and commercial positions exceptionally well."

"It is a very strong team that can handle sizeable, complex projects in a very professional and tactful manner."

Work highlights Worked with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, and a syndicate of banks, in setting up a USD624 million JOLCO facility for the financing of six Boeing 787-9 aircraft for British Airways.

Acted for Saga Cruises on the acquisition of a new 236-metre luxury cruise vessel and the associated ECA facility provided by HSBC and KfW.

Notable practitioners

Giles Brand is valued by clients, who report that he "combines technical excellence and knowledge with practicality and a wide industry knowledge." He works with clients on a variety of cross-border financings including ECA-backed facilities.

Simon Chamberlain undertakes work on a range of financing matters and has considerable regulatory expertise. A client says: "He has vast knowledge and experience in the aviation sector. He is very detailed and thorough in his analysis and understands the client's needs exceptionally well."

Owen Mulholland is well regarded by the market, with one source reporting that he is "very commercial and client-focused." He has experience in aviation asset finance matters including ECA-backed financing, cross-border structured deals and aircraft sale and leasebacks.

Duncan Batchelor is described by a client as an "extremely strong, professional and responsive partner, able to provide a clear, balanced view on complex subjects." He acts for clients including airlines and banks on syndicated loans, pre-delivery payment financings and complex leasing structures.

Clients say James Collins "shows solid technical skills and excellent transaction leadership." Widely praised by clients, he has experience of a variety of asset finance matters.

Tom Johnson "is a very good negotiator, very strong and massively experienced," according to a source. His clients include financiers, rolling stock operating companies and manufacturers. He regularly acts on rail asset finance transactions.

Simon Hartley is commended by a client who says he "is always extremely calm when negotiations are at tricky points, and he is always focused." He works on ECA-backed financings, capital raisings and leasing structures for shipping companies, banks and financial institutions.

Harry Theochari is a leading figure in the shipping finance market with extensive experience of vessel and offshore asset financing. A client says: "I find Harry to be one of the best shipping lawyers around and he knows most of the people worth knowing in the industry. He is not only technically good as a lawyer, he has always had a commercial view on matters that proves very helpful."

Simon Lew is described by sources as "a very commercial and straightforward lawyer to deal with." He works with clients in the offshore and shipping industries on cross-border leasing, secured debt financings and portfolio sale and purchase.

Sources say Eleanor Martin "is an extremely knowledgeable lawyer; she is sharp, pragmatic and thinks outside of the box," and "she is a great negotiator and very good in managing relationships with the other side." She has expertise in financing offshore assets including FPSOs, drilling rigs and support vessels.

Catherine Johnson is valued by clients because "she delivers very high-quality work." She handles syndicated debt facilities, chartering transactions and vessel sale and purchase.

Significant clients easyJet, Monarch, Bombardier, S7 Group, Gulf Energy Maritime.

Department profile by Norton Rose Fulbright

Department profile not yet provided by Norton Rose Fulbright. Please see their firm profile.

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Osborne Clarke LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: London, Bristol

What the team is known for Well-known rail finance practice with experience acting for clients on rolling stock financings, acquisitions and operating leases. Works with ROSCOs, operators and manufacturers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their depth of knowledge and experience in the subject area is significant."

Work highlights Acted for Eversholt in the £490 million financing, acquisition and leasing of two new fleets of UK rolling stock comprising 98 new trains to be manufactured by CAF for the Northern franchise operated by Arriva.

Notable practitioners

Clive Smith "demonstrated very deep and clear understanding and experience in the contract types being negotiated. He had a very balanced approach to all aspects and proposed innovative solutions to difficult and conflicting issues," reports a client. He has significant expertise advising large clients on rolling stock financing issues.

Significant clients Siemens, Investec, Eurostar, Chiltern Railways, Grand Central Trains.

Department profile by Osborne Clarke LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Osborne Clarke LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Stephenson Harwood LLP - Asset Finance

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Commentary from the Chambers UK guide

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: London

What the team is known for Impressive asset finance practice with ability across shipping, rail and aviation matters. Notable rail finance practice advises on rolling stock procurement and leasing structures. Strong shipping finance work with international banks and shipowners on tax leasing, restructurings and ship sale and purchase. Experience in aviation deals includes financing for commercial aircraft and corporate jets.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A strong, knowledgeable team. They are hands-on, precise and resourceful."

"They are able to remain flexible, they produce good-quality documents and they are calm and pleasant to work with."

Work highlights Worked with Nordea in relation to a syndicated loan to finance 36 tankers for Teekay.

Advised Rock Infrastructure on its bids to provide financing for each of the East Anglia, Moorgate, Northern and TPE rolling stock procurement competitions.

Notable practitioners

Richard Parsons is "very diligent and focused with huge breadth of experience and knowledge," according to clients. He advises on aviation financing matters covering debt structures, acquisitions and disposals for both lenders and borrowers.

Graeme McLellan "is very pragmatic and knows his way around projects and transactions," according to sources. He has significant expertise in asset finance, particularly in rail finance for rolling stock.

Lisa Marks has experience in a variety of rail financing matters and regularly works for new market entrants. A client says: "We enjoy working with Lisa; her strong technical skills allied to a calm demeanour makes her a trusted business partner."

Mark Russell is praised for his commerciality and experience, with sources noting that he is a "very strong name in the market." He is a shipping finance expert with extensive experience working for large banks and shipowners on a variety of structures including debt finance, sale and leasebacks and LNG financings.

According to clients, Ian Mace "helps to find solutions when negotiations stagger; he is very helpful in finding different routes to reach common goals." He works with banks and shipowners in debt finance and ECA-backed transactions.

Dean Norton joined Stephenson Harwood from Clyde & Co in May 2017. He advises on shipping finance matters including syndicated loan financings, bonds and ECA-backed structures. He represents owners, operators and offshore clients. Sources describe him as "a good technical lawyer."

Significant clients DVB Bank, ABN AMRO, Guggenheim Aviation Partners, Macquarie European Rail, SQN Asset Finance Income Fund.

Department profile by Stephenson Harwood LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Stephenson Harwood LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Band 1

Hogan Lovells

From the Chambers UK guide

Simon Gwynne is "very commercially aware, very attentive and looks after his clients very well," according to sources. He is a leading expert in asset finance matters with extensive expertise in rolling stock financing. He regularly works with rail industry clients on large structured deals.

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Band 2

Allen & Overy LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Jonathan Bevan "has a strong background and a balanced commercial view," reports a client. He has strong capability in rail financing matters, with experience of large national and cross-border deals.

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Band 2

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Russell Clifford "is a pleasure to work with and understands what matters to us," says a client. His practice includes a broad range of asset finance work for clients in the rail sector, particularly ROSCOs. He has capability in portfolio transactions, structured debt facilities and off-balance sheet financing.

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Band 2

Norton Rose Fulbright

From the Chambers UK guide

Tom Johnson "is a very good negotiator, very strong and massively experienced," according to a source. His clients include financiers, rolling stock operating companies and manufacturers. He regularly acts on rail asset finance transactions.

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Band 2

Shoosmiths LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Chris McClure of Shoosmiths is a rolling stock financing expert who works on supply and financing matters. He is highly regarded in the market and respected for his ability to fight hard for his clients.

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Band 2

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Graeme McLellan "is very pragmatic and knows his way around projects and transactions," according to sources. He has significant expertise in asset finance, particularly in rail finance for rolling stock.

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Band 2

Osborne Clarke LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Clive Smith "demonstrated very deep and clear understanding and experience in the contract types being negotiated. He had a very balanced approach to all aspects and proposed innovative solutions to difficult and conflicting issues," reports a client. He has significant expertise advising large clients on rolling stock financing issues.

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Band 2

Clifford Chance LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Gavin Teague has expertise in rail financing matters, regularly acting for financiers, ROSCOs, operators and consortiums. He has expertise financing rolling stock and infrastructure using capital markets structures, debt finance and PFI.

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Band 3

Stephenson Harwood LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Lisa Marks has experience in a variety of rail financing matters and regularly works for new market entrants. A client says: "We enjoy working with Lisa; her strong technical skills allied to a calm demeanour makes her a trusted business partner."

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Band 3

Burges Salmon LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Brioney Thomas has experience working with significant rail operators on rolling stock financing deals including maintenance arrangements, operating leases and fleet procurements. She also advises clients on regulatory matters.

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Band 3

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke is valued by clients, who report that "he is extremely capable and has co-ordinated several documentation-intensive projects for us." He regularly works for banks, lessors and manufacturers.

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