Derivatives and structured products in London

A&O Shearman

A&O Shearman is 'at the top of technical expertise across the derivatives space, and has a very deep team of technically excellent senior lawyers'. Active across the entire suite of products and asset classes, the firm remains a key source of innovation and thought leadership. The practice led by Emma Dwyer, who frequently works with industry bodies including with ISDA, FIA Europe and SiFMA on OTC derivatives regulatory initiatives, is ' great at guiding their clients through complex legal issues and providing different practical solutions'. Guy Antrobus 'helps clients focus on making key difficult commercial decisions'. The 'amazing' Parya Badie recently acted for fund manager Glennmont Partners in a €1bn structured finance deal backed by sustainable infrastructure projects in Europe and the UK. Securitised derivatives specialist Andrew Sulston and newly promoted Tanya O'Hagan are 'technically excellent, responsive and commercially minded, and proactively think of innovative solutions'. Daniel Shurman, who has expertise in equity financings, margin loans, and repo and stock lending transactions, technology and resourcing solutions developer Tom Roberts, and head of the Markets Innovation Group David Wakeling are key drivers of innovation in the market. Ross Stewart returned to London from Hong Kong, bringing his long experience in equity financing (in margin loan and derivatives format), structured finance and repackaging transactions. Up-and-coming partner Paul Allan is 'one of the key credit derivatives lawyers in the market and combines impeccable technical skills with a commercial approach to transactions'. Paul Cluley, Tony Drake-Brockman and Richard Tredgett all retired in 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Emma Dwyer


Autres avocats clés:

Guy Antrobus; Parya Badie; Andrew Sulston; Daniel Shurman; Tom Roberts; David Wakeling; Ross Stewart; Paul Allan; Teresa Khoo


Les références

‘A&O is at the top of technical expertise across the derivatives space, and has a very deep team of technically excellent senior lawyers.’

‘Guy Antrobus is a key partner for acting as a sounding board and working collaboratively in designing complex products and solutions.’

‘Paul Allan has rapidly carved out a position as one of the key credit derivatives lawyers in the market, and combines impeccable technical skills with a commercial approach to transactions. He stands out for client service and the ability to deliver products on time timescales without compromising technical excellence and accuracy.’

Principaux clients

Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee


Glennmont Partners


Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC)


LCH SwapAgent


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised the Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee on the settlement of credit derivative transactions (CDS) referencing the Russian Federation.
  • Advised Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest fund managers belonging to Nuveen group and focusing on green and sustainable investments, acting as protection seller, on an on-balance sheet securitisation in respect of a EUR1bn loan portfolio owned by a major EU bank relating to sustainable infrastructure projects in Europe and the UK.
  • Prior to the publication by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association of standardised documentation for trading verified (voluntary) carbon credits, the firm helped a major financial institution develop template documentation for trading voluntary carbon credits under an ISDA Master Agreement. The documentation allowed for physically-settled spot and forward trading of voluntary carbon credits, was designed for use with a range of market counterparties and was agnostic as which registry the underlying voluntary carbon credits were registered on.

Ashurst

Ashurst is highly regarded for both its derivatives and structured products expertise, and clients praise the depth of its bench in London, which includes eight transactional partners and five regulatory specialists. The combination of skills enables the firm to provide end-to-end advice on structured finance matters, as well as taking on huge projects, such as Santander's entire bank LIBOR transition programme. The firm counts top-tier investment banks as clients, among them BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley, and it has one of the busiest repackaging practices in the City. Head of global markets Michael Logie, who one client believes is 'the pre-eminent structured products lawyer in London', oversees the work of the derivatives and structured products teams. He is a key adviser to Goldman Sachs on its global structured products business under English law. Standout partner James Coiley is 'highly pragmatic, very client-focused, and willing to think outside the box to provide solutions for complex issues'. Structured finance expert Daniel Franks assisted the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) with amendments to its Global Master Securities Lending Agreement for use with digital assets. Jonathan Haines, who advises financial institutions on securities financing and derivatives, 'has distinct expertise and knowledge in respect to prime brokerage services and his ability to find solutions to technical legal issues is invaluable'. Structured products expert Jasmine Tiw, OTC fixed income derivatives specialist James Knight, and commodity and corporate equity derivatives partner Kerion Ball are all leaders in their fields.

Responsables de la pratique:

Michael Logie


Autres avocats clés:

James Coiley; Daniel Franks; Jasmine Tiw; James Knight; Kerion Ball; Jeffrey Yow; Jonathan Haines


Les références

‘Jonathan Haines has distinct expertise and knowledge in respect to prime brokerage services and equity derivative transaction matters. His vast experience and ability to find solutions to technical legal issues has been invaluable.’

‘Jeffrey Yow is the standout senior associate – a true rising star.’

‘Michael Logie is the pre-eminent structured products lawyer in London.’

Principaux clients

Barclays


BNP Paribas


Citigroup Inc.


Credit Suisse


Goldman Sachs


JPMorgan


Santander


Morgan Stanley


ISLA


Equitix


Nomura


Principaux dossiers


  • The transition from LIBOR to alternative reference rates is one of the most complex challenges for global financial markets in recent times. The firm’s successful delivery of a large-scale project for Santander to achieve this transition has been recognised with the award for ‘Innovation in Multi-disciplinary Teams’ at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards Europe 2022.
  • Advising multiple players in the digital finance space including ISLA on its strategy and approach to amending the Global Master Securities Lending Agreement for use with digital assets and advising several investment banks on their participation in the HQLAx fintech platform.
  • Advisers to Goldman Sachs’ and Barclays (and other banks) in relation to their global structured products businesses. We play a prominent role with these clients in light of the size and importance of these businesses to Goldman Sachs and Barclays, and taking into account the highly regulated nature of the structured products industry.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP has 'outstanding lawyers who never overpromise and underdeliver', and clients remark that 'in addition to their legal expertise, they are also quick to point out the impact that specific regulatory or legal developments may have'. The firm handles the full spectrum of instruments and asset classes, but it particularly well known for its knowledge of the synthetic securitisation market, and its understanding of regulatory matters. The 'incredibly constructive' Timothy Cleary leads the practice, which is known for 'strong market knowledge, regulatory expertise and commercial awareness'. Jessica Littlewood is a market-leading expert on synthetic CLOs. Andrew Coats handles repackaging programmes, derivatives, structured securities and retail-targeted securities offerings. Paget Dare Bryan  leads the derivatives group and is known for his knowledge of repackagings, credit and equity derivatives, total return swaps, and structured repo and securities lending. Anne Drakeford's work encompasses OTC fixed income, credit and equity based derivatives. Key partners Faizal Khan and Will Winterton frequently advise on bespoke equity-linked financing structures using derivatives, repo, securities lending and loan documentation frameworks. Up-and-coming partner Jeremy Walter is 'outstanding, a clear thinker who is able to think outside the box'.

Responsables de la pratique:

Timothy Cleary


Autres avocats clés:

Paget Dare Bryan; Andrew Coats; Jessica Littlewood; Andrew Coats; Anne Drakeford; Faizal Khan; Will Winterton; Jeremy Walter; Michael Brown; Clemens-Emanuel Gutwenger


Les références

‘Clifford Chance have outstanding lawyers who never overpromise and underdeliver. In addition to their legal expertise, they are also quick to point out the impact that specific regulatory or legal developments may have on business.’

‘In the last few years, Clifford Chance invested quite a lot in improving their project management capabilities. Their team in Newcastle has proven to be a reliable and helpful resource in complex, multi-jurisdictional projects.’

‘Our key contact at Clifford Chance has been Jeremy Walter, a partner in the derivatives practice. He is extremely knowledgeable and experienced both about financial services regulation, as well as recent market trends. He is approachable and well-connected with markets participants in the area of derivatives, which is an advantage.’

Principaux dossiers


  • Worked with the Society of Lloyd’s and the Prudential Regulatory Authority to add flexibility to Lloyd’s existing insurance linked securities platform through the addition of a second ILS vehicle and creation market standard template documentation with scope to accommodate various forms of investment (Notes or Preference Shares) and investment models to expand participation to a much broader range of capital markets investors.
  • Advising HQLAᵡ on their collaboration with Fnality to complete an innovative delivery-versus-payment (DvP) repo settlement proof of concept that promises to deliver efficiencies to the industry and move it closer to intraday settlement through the use of DLT.
  • Advising real estate fund groups on the creation of innovative contractual and structural frameworks allowing for the flexible and efficient FX hedging arrangements which optimise collateral requirements whilst still maintaining the segregation required between individual funds and investors.

Linklaters LLP

The derivatives and structured products group at Linklaters LLP has ‘deep technical knowledge allied to commercial understanding and acumen‘. The firm has deep experience across the board, but is a market-leader in key aspects of the market, among them synthetic securitisations and strategic equity derivatives. The firm is also a primary adviser to key industry body ISDA. ‘Whenever you speak with them, they give you their full attention and never give the impression that they’re pushed for time‘, say clients of the group led by Deepak Sitlani. That group contains some of the leading names in the market, among them Matthew Monahan, Toby Gray and David Phillips, who handle OTC and securitised derivatives, and provide ‘ensure timely and high-quality service‘; Doug Shaw focuses on OTC derivatives and regulatory change; derivatives specialists Simon Firth and Pauline Ashall, who are key advisers to ISDA; and Mark Brown, who previously worked in the Tokyo office and led the Asian structured finance practice, now leads the Firm’s Islamic derivatives practice from London, advising on murabaha, mudaraba and wakala structures. The firm has some of the most experienced partners in their respective fields, including Vinay Samani, who has ‘supreme experience of repack capability‘, and Michael Voisin, who is is widely acknowledged to be an authority on financial markets law and practice. Mark Drury left the team in 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Deepak Sitlani


Autres avocats clés:

Matthew Monahan; David Phillips; Doug Shaw; Simon Firth; Pauline Ashall; Mark Brown; Vinay Samani; Toby Gray; Michael Voisin; Leanne Banfield; Richard Hay; James Joseph; Michael Solaimani; Ruhi Patil; Phoebe Coutts; Suzanna Brunton


Les références

‘The team led by Vinay Samani has deep technical knowledge allied to commercial understanding and acumen.’

‘Vinay Samani – supreme experience of repack capability.’

‘They have a huge depth of knowledge and experience and provide sensible, commercial advice. The team are incredibly responsive and always make themselves available at short notice.’

Principaux clients

International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc. (ISDA)


The International Securities Lending Association (ISLA)


Principaux dossiers


  • Drafting and finalising the new 2022 Verified Carbon Credit Transactions Definitions and related template confirmations for physically settled spot, forward and options contracts for ISDA.
  • Advised the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) on the drafting of their The Future of the Securities Lending Market: On the Cusp of Transformation White Paper, the third in the series. This paper considered how technological change, in the form of digitalisation and common data representations, may provide an opportunity and framework to standardise and streamline inefficiencies in legacy pro-cesses and practices.

Dentons

The derivatives practice at Dentons 'punches above its weight', and clients note that 'the team goes out of its way to really understand the business and operational mechanics behind transactions to really allow the contractual terms to match the commercial reality'. The firm climbs the ranking this year due to the strength of its work for major banks, though it is also a key adviser to corporates and funds. Practice head Matthew Sapte is adept in all derivatives asset classes, including ESG-related instruments and Islamic finance. He recently acted for Absolute Collateral in establishing a conventional and Sharia-compliant repo trading platform. Standout partner Luke Whitmore is 'a fantastic sounding board for new ideas and structures and has a real thirst for the new and innovative ideas'. He has extensive experience in the prime brokerage and futures markets, and is a key adviser to leading investment banks on matters such as rates and foreign exchange swap transactions with private equity funds and other structured funds. His recent work also includes advising sell-side clients on the impact of Russian sanctions on derivative positions and the ability to terminate.

Responsables de la pratique:

Matthew Sapte


Autres avocats clés:

Luke Whitmore


Les références

‘Dentons’ derivatives practice continues to bat above its weight. They are quick to provide answers and example language to give you a sense of what you may be looking for, and their globality enables consistency across provision of opinions and jurisdictional surveys, with the London team taking the lead on coordination. The team go out of their way to really understand the business and operational mechanics behind transactions before putting pen to paper to really allow the contractual terms to match the commercial reality.’

‘Luke Whitmore is a standout partner. His ability to engage with all manner of business functions from legal to operations to risk and to break down and explain complex legal issues is superb. He has great market practice and really becomes part of your in-house team when you engage him. He’s a fantastic sounding board for new ideas and structures and has a real thirst for the new and innovative ideas we throw at him, particularly in the digital asset space.’

‘The Dentons team punches above its weight. The practice is solid across the derivatives/structured products area, with great expertise in the developing/emerging markets area, which not all firms possess. The team’s knowledge of the repo/securities lending space is also commendable. Their advice in that realm is good and reflects an actual knowledge of market trends and practice that is hard to find. The prime brokerage and clearing market experience is also an asset. It’s a specialised area that most firms don’t cover well; the team is expert advising on the documentation issues.’

Principaux clients

Absolute Collateral


Citibank


First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)


Emirates NBD


MUFG


Société Générale


Invesco Asset Management Limited


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank


National Bank of Bahrain


Deutsche Bank


SMBC


Bank of Montreal


Benteler Training


Macquarie Bank Limited


Leonteq Securities AG


Ebury


Frasers Group


Sev.en Energy


Northern Trust


ABSA Bank Limited


NBC Global Finance Limited


Principaux dossiers


  • Acting for Leonteq in establishing a Sharia compliant structured Trust Certificate issuance programme (with multiple structured product functionality).
  • Acting for Absolute Collateral to establish a conventional and Sharia compliant repo trading platform.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher has ‘broad experience in the derivatives space and good mixture of young talent and experience‘. The firm acts for both buy-side and sell-side clients, among them global investment banks, smaller regional banks and broker/dealers, hedge funds, and traditional asset managers. It has market-leading expertise in repo, securities lending and structured derivative transactions, a strong presence in emerging markets transactions, and has pushed innovative legal technology solutions such as its Condor alternative legal services platform. Practice head Guy Usher has ‘masses of experience developed over many financial and world crises, and an understanding of how to lead the industry‘. He recently worked with key partner Edward Miller, who ‘can lead tough negotiations on complex issues in a very efficient manner‘, to assist Bank of America Securities with documenting a structural change in its US prime brokerage platform with respect to cash and securities lending ahead of a proposed merger. Emma Spiers has extensive experience of deal-contingent derivatives transactions and finance-linked hedging arrangements. Up-and-coming partner Jenny Warren  ‘will run with a matter to completion with minimal interaction with the client, so time is never wasted‘. The firm hired Sebastian Reger from Travers Smith LLP in 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Guy Usher


Autres avocats clés:

Emma Spiers; Edward Miller; Jenny Warren; Sebastian Reger


Les références

‘Partner-led; highly responsive and practical advice.’

‘Jenny Warren looks after all our derivatives work. She has a deep understanding of our business and hence can adapt advice accordingly without instructions. Technical knowledge is also excellent and, most helpfully, Jenny will run with a matter to completion with minimal interaction with us so time is never wasted.’

‘Broad experience in the derivatives space and good mixture of young talent and experience. New billing methods were adapted without any issues.’

Principaux clients

Baillie Gifford


Bank of America


Nomura


Citigroup


Commerzbank


UniCredit


Goldman Sachs International


ICBC Standard Bank Plc


Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A


Jefferies International Limited


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised a global investment bank on the entry into a deal-contingent hedging transaction in connection with certain licenses being granted in the context of the acquisition of Tom Ford by Estée Lauder.
  • Appointed to undertake a significant proportion of the Bank of America group’s ‘Phase 6’ regulatory initial margin documentation exercise.
  • Advised Citi (a major investment bank) in its capacity as hedge provider in relation to the financing aspects of a EUR 750 million acquisition.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP has 'a very capable and experienced team with good knowledge of the market and regulation'. The firm handles the full range of derivatives transactions, though it is particularly strong in structured finance and structured finance-related derivatives, having established and updated many securitisation and repackaging programs containing swaps and repos. It also stands out for its regulatory expertise, as well as its capability in commodity derivatives. Global head of corporate and finance James Doyle leads the practice and is adept in securitised derivatives, repackagings, funding structures, and regulatory issues. Jennifer O’Connell is 'an experienced derivatives and structured finance partner, who is hands-on and effective'. She recently advised Teneo and the Special Administrators of Sova Capital on derivatives, securities lending, repo issues arising from its administration. The firm is one of the few to have a dedicated trustee practice, and Kit Johnson is a highly regarded practitioner. Bryony Widdup, who joined from DLA Piper at the end of 2022, brings significant expertise in digital assets including token structuring and issuance.

Responsables de la pratique:

James Doyle


Autres avocats clés:

Jennifer O’Connell; Kit Johnson; Nicholas Watmough; Bryony Widdup


Les références

‘A very capable and experienced team with good knowledge of the market and regulation.’

‘Jennifer O’Connell has excellent organisational skills and is good at getting to the heart of a matter quickly.’

‘Jennifer O’Connell is an experienced derivatives and structured finance partner, who is hands-on and effective.’

Principaux clients

African-Export Import Bank


Bank of New York Mellon


BNP Paribas


Credit Agricole


Goldman Sachs


Jaguar Land Rover


Natixis


Societe Generale


RiverRock European Capital Partners


Teneo Financial Advisory


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Teneo and the special administrators of investment bank Sova Capital Ltd (the Company), pursuant to the Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations 2011.
  • Advising on the annual update of Goldman Sachs International Guaranteed Senior Secured Notes Programme and management of supplements and issuance off the programme
  • Advising BNPP on the annual update of their ground breaking programme for secured structured products through a Luxembourg securitisation company, SecurAsset S.A., and in relation to numerous structured product drawdowns under the SecurAsset programme.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP is regarded as having one of the leading derivatives practices in London, and it has a stellar client roster. The firm is a key adviser to Bank of America on derivatives and repo financing transactions,  and continues to assist global banks with LIBOR transition matters. Acknowledged derivatives expert Edmund Parker is head of a four-partner group following the recruitment of Musonda Kapotwe  from Barclays, who joins the vastly experienced Chris Arnold and the newly promoted Nanak Keswani. Kapotwe has significant transactional experience advising on the impact of UK financial services regulation on banking, capital markets and derivative transactions. A key strand of Arnold's work is acting as counsel to ISDA, which has recently included advice on issues arising in the derivatives market as a result of the global imposition of sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He also acted for regular client BNP Paribas on on a first-to-market ESG-linked repo transaction with Italian lender Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A.

Responsables de la pratique:

Edmund Parker


Autres avocats clés:

Chris Arnold; Nanak Keswani; Musonda Kapotwe


Principaux clients

Banco Nacional de Mexico (BANAMEX)


Barclays Bank plc


BNP Paribas


HSBC


Bank of America


JP Morgan


Standard Chartered Bank


Northern Trust


International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)


Societe Generale


Leonteq


Credit Suisse


Japan International Cooperation Agency


Nordea Bank


Australia and New Zealand Banking Group


Hiltermann Lease


Landesbank Baden-Württemberg


Unicredit


Macquarie


Principaux dossiers


  • Acted as ISDA’s counsel in respect of all issues arising in the derivatives market as a result of the global imposition of sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Advised regular client BNP Paribas on a first-to-market ESG-linked repo transaction with Italian lender Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (“CDP”).

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright 'has built a strong derivatives and structured finance practice, drawing top talent away from the Magic Circle'. The firm undertakes both transactional and advisory work across a wide variety of asset classes, though it is best known for its work on repackaging transactions. Nigel Dickinson and up-and-coming partner Yusuf Battiwala are the standout practitioners. Dickinson 'occupies a league of his own in the market for complex asset repackaging, with unparalleled product and market knowledge'.  He assisted JP Morgan with hedging transactions related to a static RMBS transaction backed by buy-to-let mortgage loans secured on UK properties. Battiwala recently acted for Goldman Sachs in multiple market access total return swap transactions that transactions provide counterparties with the ability to synthetically access local currency bonds in emerging market jurisdictions. Global head of financial services and regulation Jonathan Herbst, market infrastructure, derivatives and fintech specialist Hannah Mean, covered bond and structured finance partner David Shearer, and Peter Noble, who frequently acts for Canadian issuers in establishing structured securities programmes, are also central to the practice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nigel Dickinson; Yusuf Battiwala


Autres avocats clés:

Peter Young; David Shearer; Hannah Meakin; Jonathan Herbst; James Kent


Les références

‘Nigel Dickinson has built a strong derivatives and structured finance practice at NRF. I am impressed at how Nigel has developed and retained a deep bench of individuals: most of his associates have been with him for most if not all of their careers. In an increasingly talent-tight environment, this indicates the esteem in which Nigel is held in the market and what he is like to work with.’

‘We like how seamlessly Nigel Dickinson’s DSF team are able to leverage expertise from elsewhere in the firm when needed – e.g. we recently repackaged a complex loan for which Nigel involved an excellent banking partner: the level of teamwork was outstanding and was critical to our deal execution.’

‘Nigel Dickinson occupies a league of his own in the market for complex asset repackaging: unparalleled product and market knowledge, economically very sophisticated, and a master at running complicated and difficult transactions. Nigel is particularly available and responsive for a partner who heads up a large practice group, and this is invaluable when instructing NRF on complex document-heavy transactions with several parties.’

Principaux clients

JP Morgan


MUFG


Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Bank of Ireland


BNP Paribas


First Abu Dhabi Bank


Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group


Natixis


Piraeus Bank


Prime Capital


Citigroup


Macquarie Bank


Goldman Sachs International


Standard Chartered Bank


Morgan Stanley


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets Ltd (CGML) on its participation in the inaugural financing transaction with the United Nations’ Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF) announced on Saturday 12 November 2022 at COP27.
  • Advised a group of international banks – Citigroup, NATIXIS and Macquarie – in relation to the hedging of a complex mining project-financing transaction including (i) secured commodity hedging (pre-close) entered into with Sandfire Resources (ES), S.L., which was then novated into Minas De Aguas Tenidas S.A. (“MATSA”) when the related acquisition completed and following this (ii) secured commodity, interest rate and FX hedging entered into with MATSA.
  • Advising Goldman Sachs on all of its Islamic repo to maturity transactions with various GCC and Turkish counterparties. The transactions are innovative whereby the repo to maturity features are packaged within a Sharia-compliant wrapper.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP has a strong practice across the full spectrum of complex structured finance work, with a market-leading footprint in commodity derivatives work. The firm frequently handles the counterparty negotiations for some of the world’s leading investment banks, as well as advising on innovative debt programmes, securities lending arrangements, and convertible bonds. The practice led by EMEA managing partner Tamara Box also works closely with leading industry associations on regulatory reforms and implementation. Commodities derivatives partner Prajakt Samant, Claude Brown and Brett Hillis, regulatory specialist Chris Borg, and structured finance expert Nick Stainthorpe are all highly regarded in the market. Daniel Birch, who handles structured trade and commodity financing, and up-and-coming partner Sarah Caldwell also play central roles in the practice. Derivatives partner Tariq Rasheed, who advises on clearing, prime brokerage arrangements and structured products, and senior associate Iman Roy, who handles derivatives regulatory matters, joined from from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Tamara Box


Autres avocats clés:

Prajakt Samant; Chris Borg; Claude Brown; Brett Hillis; Nick Stainthorpe; Daniel Birch; Jennifer Ellis; Sarah Caldwell; Tariq Rasheed; Iman Roy; Mark Drury


Simmons & Simmons

At Simmons & Simmons, ‘the focus on client service is strong with a responsive approach on all matters no matter how big or small‘. The firm has a broad derivatives practice that spans flow hedging work as well as innovative areas such as ESG-linked instruments. It has a thriving synthetic securitisation practice and is also known for the strength of its repack team. Paul Browne, who focuses on structured products, leads the team which ‘goes beyond normal service and thinks outside of a box to find solutions‘. Browne led a team that advised Global X, Management Company, LLC on on the successful establishment and listing of an exchange-traded product programme linked to cryptoassets. The firm has a deep bench of specialists, among them Eucharia Bragg, who handle collateral arrangements, repos and securities lending; Sean Bulmer, who deals with repackaging transactions; Alan Davies, of whom clients remark ‘there is nothing he has not seen or can take a view on‘; and David Toole, who is a key adviser on synthetic securitisation and risk transfer products. Up-and-coming partner Oliver West ‘offers first-class client service‘ on facility and securitisation hedging. Newly promoted partner Marcin Perzanowski is praised for his knowledge of OTC and structured derivatives. Allan Yip retired in 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Paul Browne


Autres avocats clés:

Michael Lorraine; Sean Bulmer; David Toole; Eucharia Bragg; Oliver West; Marcin Perzanowski; Alan Davies; Thomas Shen


Les références

‘They understand structured and repacked transactions very well. If you are looking for a law firm to assist you to establish your Loan/Notes Repack programme look nowhere else – go to Simmons & Simmons.’

‘Solution-driven approach, industry knowledge and insight makes them different. Alan Davies and his team are highly professional. They understand their job and know exactly what to do to resolve complex problems. In summary, they are highly business oriented and solution providers for complex issues.’

‘Strong team with some excellent individuals. Focus on client service is strong with a responsive approach on all matters no matter how big or small. Excellent value for money for legal product.’

Principaux clients

European Investment Fund


PGGM (Swedish pension fund) and Alecta (Swedish pension fund)


Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Nomura, BBVA, Mediobanca


PGGM (Dutch pension fund) and Alecta (Swedish pension fund)


The Bank of New York Mellon


Cirdan Capital Management Limited


Putnam Advisory Company, LLC


Sancus Credit Advisors LP


Intertrust


African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank)


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising PGGM on investing in notes linked to performance of the €2.5 billion credit portfolio originated by Nordea.
  • Advising Global X Management Company, LLC on the successful establishment and listing of an exchange traded product (ETP) programme linked to cryptoassets.
  • Advising BNYM as Custodian and Collateral Manager in respect the structuring of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF) and the inaugural transaction concluded under it. The LSF was designed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as part of its Sustainable Development Goals agenda, and its establishment was announced at COP 27.

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP has 'highly intelligent, incredibly responsive, client-focused, outcomes-driven and dedicated lawyers'. The firm is principally focused on derivatives matters for buy-side clients, though it is also a leading adviser on financial services regulatory issues.  More recently, the firm has become taken a more prominent role in advising on fintech and ESG-related matters in the context of derivatives. Practice head Jonathan Gilmour brings 'excellent technical skills, practical and clear advice' to client matters. Gilmour and emerging partner talent Joseph Wren (whose 'straightforward approach provides comfort to trustees') assisted a leading asset manager with various derivatives and structured products matters, both at fund level and at the level of its portfolio companies, in particular in relation to European Market Infrastructure Regulation, Securities Financing Transactions Regulation, and the Central Securities Depositories Regulation. Peter Hughes, who focuses o pension funding and covenant mandates, and senior counsel Cindy Smith (whose 'attention to detail is exceptional'), play key roles in the practice. Sebastian Reger joined Fieldfisher in 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jonathan Gilmour


Autres avocats clés:

Joseph Wren; Pater Hughes; Cindy Smith; Nicholas Baines; Sana Dossa


Les références

‘Very deep understanding and experience of derivative regulations as it applies to fund managers in the UK.’

‘Jonathan Gilmour – excellent technical skills, practical and clear advice in a complicated area of regulation and law.’

‘The Travers Smith derivatives/structured products consists of highly intelligent, incredibly responsive, client-focused, outcomes-driven and dedicated lawyers. If you are looking for UK finance law advice, lawyers that are responsive and switched-on, and a team that seems to genuinely care about your business and solving your problems, look no further.’

Principaux clients

Inflexion


DiscoverIE


BAE Systems


AXA UK Pension Trustees Limited


Bittrex Global


Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme


Montagu Private Equity LLP


Cinven


Livingbridge


Mabanaft Limited


Silicon Valley Bank Limited


Oakbrook Capital Limited


Pay.UK


Associated British Foods Pension Scheme


Oaktree Capital Management


IBM


London Stock Exchange


NEST Corporation


Pemberton Capital Advisors LLP


Bridgepoint Advisers


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised British Steel in connection with the transfer of the management of a portfolio of £9.9bn of assets, including interest rate, inflation, equity, credit, FX derivatives and repo transactions.
  • Advised Cinven on the establishment of their fund-level FX hedging platform for fund VII and contractual derivatives arrangements with a panel of FX counterparts.
  • Advised Bittrex’s Liechtenstein-based digital currency exchange on the development of their template documentation to allow for the lending of digital assets on their platform.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is 'technically excellent, and always provides timely and commercial advice'. One clients praises the group's  'constant commitment to providing maximum possible value and exhaustive attention to detail'. The firm handles the full suite of derivatives work, encompassing interest rate, credit, equity, currency and commodity derivatives, regulatory capital transactions, repurchase agreements, securities lending, synthetic investments and Islamic derivatives. The practice led by Ingrid York, who is 'calm and incisive, and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of derivatives', also excels in repackaging and structured note transactions. York and regulatory partner Jonathan Rogers advised the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility Designated Activity Company (LSF) on its inaugural $100m repo transaction with Afreximbank and Citi to provide liquidity to African sovereign Eurobonds. York is supported by a strong partner group and a growing team of associates. Anthony Colegrave is dual-qualified in England & Wales and South Africa, and focuses primarily on equity derivatives and hedging solutions. Debashis Dey advises banks, corporates and governments on structured finance and Tom Falkus has a broad practice that includes secured loan transactions. Associate Phillan Amin is highly recommended for OTC derivatives, structured finance, repurchase transactions, and hedging issues.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ingrid York


Autres avocats clés:

Anthony Colegrave; Phillan Amin; Debashis Dey; Tom Falkus; Jonathan Rogers


Les références

‘I have found the team to be incredibly proactive and knowledgeable, both in terms of the core legal and commercial issues at play.’

‘Ingrid York is an excellent lawyer, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of derivatives. She is calm and incisive and we enjoy working with her.’

‘Go-to firm. Technically excellent. Always provides timely and commercial advice.’

Principaux clients

Alpha Bank


Bank of America Merrill Lynch


BNP Paribas


Citibank


Centerbridge


Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank


Credit Suisse


Deutsche Bank


Elliott Advisors


Eurobank


European Investment Fund


Investec


Liquidity and Sustainability Facility DAC (the “LSF”)


National Bank of Greece


Piraeus Bank


Qatar National Bank


Societe Generale


United Arab Emirates Central Bank


Principaux dossiers


  • Provided pro bono advice to the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility DAC (LSF) on its inaugural US$100 million repo transaction with Afreximbank and Citi, which was announced at COP27 and aims to bring liquidity to a diversified basket of African sovereign Eurobonds.
  • Advised The Hertz Corporation in connection with the extension of their European securitisation platform to finance their Italian rental fleet and increase the facility to €1.1 billion.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has 'a client-focused team that is always responsive and up to date on legal developments', and clients note that the lawyers 'value long-term relationships way above what a particular mandate means in terms of fees'. 'Their advice is efficient, on-point and targeted to our needs', say clients of global chair of banking and finance Matthew Dening , who also leads the derivatives group, and 'accurate and efficient' of counsel Iolie Calochristos. Head of structured capital markets Simon Porter also oversees the firm's structured finance activity. Dening, whose 'approach is always to add value and be helpful', recently assisted MKM Building Supplies with interest rate caps entered into with two leading derivatives dealers in connection with a £260m revolving facility agreement. Structured finance and derivatives partner Jeremy Levy also plays a key role in the practice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Matthew Dening; Simon Porter


Autres avocats clés:

Adam Gardener; Iolie Calochristos; Jeremy Levy


Les références

‘They are client-focused and a relationship team. Always responsive and up to date on legal developments.’

‘They value a long-term relationships way above what the particular mandate means in terms of fees.’

‘Very commercial and efficient.’

Principaux clients

AIG


Allied Irish Banks/AIB


Banca IMI


Banco do Brasil


Bank of China (UK) Limited


Bank of Cyprus


Bank One Ltd


BP Plc


Citibank N.A.


DNB Bank ASA


Fifth Third Capital Markets


Gulf International Bank


Hitachi Ltd


HSBC Bank plc


Industrial and Commercial Bank of China


ING


LBBW


Morgan Stanley


MUFG


Natixis


Novator Capital Ltd


The Olayan Group


Santander


Standard Chartered Bank


Societe Generale


Sony Europe


UBS


Wells Fargo Bank N.A


Western Union


African Export-Import Bank


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising Afreximbank as the first lender under a loan/repurchase programme established for The Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF) Designated Activity Company, an orphan vehicle established under the auspices of the United Nations to facilitate the improvement of the liquidity of sovereign bonds issued by African nations.
  • Advising on Salary Finance’s inaugural securitisation which may also be the first securitisation involving consumer receivables granted through a salary sacrifice scheme.
  • Advising on MKM Building Supplies (a Bain portfolio company) in relation to interest rate caps entered into with two leading derivatives dealers in connection with a revolving facility agreement.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is recommended for its 'understanding of the market, clients' business and their investors', and clients note that the lawyers provide 'strong support, availability and thinking outside of the box'. Among the many parties involved in structured finance, Robert Cannon stands out for work on CDOs, CLOs, mortgage securitisations and commercial paper conduits. He recently acted for GC Securities in a £100m catastrophe bond transaction. David Quirolo is an expert on CLOs, CFOs, securitisation, asset finance and repackaging transactions. Sabah Nawaz advises banks, private equity funds, pension funds and corporate borrowers on cross-border structured finance transactions. Nick Shiren is a recognised derivatives expert, especially in credit default swaps, credit-linked notes, and total return swaps. Claire PuddicombeDaniel Tobias and newly promoted partner Alex Collins are also have key roles in the practice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Robert Cannon; Sabah Nawaz; Claire Puddicombe; David Quirolo; Nick Shiren; Daniel Tobias


Autres avocats clés:

Alex Collins


Les références

‘Understanding of the market, clients’ business and their investors.’

‘Strong support, availability and thinking outside of the box.’

Principaux clients

Premium Credit Limited


Santander Consumer Oy Finance


Emil Frey


Belmont Green Finance Limited


GC Securities


Natixis


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised a wide range of investment banks, as arrangers and sponsors, investment managers and investors on 40 CLO transactions at a value in excess of €16 Billion, earning Cadwalader Creditflux’s Top European Arranger Counsel.

CMS

The structured finance practice at CMS is 'very responsive and works very hard delivering the best results for the client'. The firm is active across retail structured products, proprietary indices, credit derivatives and regulatory matters. Practice head Chris Clark ' is not only knowledgeable but also provides excellent advice'. He advised Goldman Sachs on Benchmark Regulation implementation, third-party allocator agreements and the drafting new index methodologies across multiple asset classes. Will Dibble is the standout partner and clients describe him as 'a market leader in indices and credit products, always giving excellent service'. He frequently assists JP Morgan with retail structured products issuance, and complex hybrid structured products. Jason Harding, who is a key adviser to Legal and General Investment Management, Michael Cavers, who frequently acts for Morgan Stanley, and James Parker, who focuses on risk transfer in the pensions and longevity risk area, all play key roles in the practice. Jason Brooks moved to Paul Hastings LLP.

Responsables de la pratique:

Chris Clark


Autres avocats clés:

Will Dibble; Jason Harding; James Parker; Thomas Lockley; Michael Cavers; David McCallum


Les références

‘Great responsiveness, always willing to go the extra mile. Good bank of associates. Excellent, market leading expertise.’

‘Will Dibble – a market leader in indices and credit products, Will is a real partner to our business, always giving excellent service.’

‘David McCallum is a technically excellent counsel who is able to deal with the most complex matters.’

Principaux clients

J.P Morgan Securities plc (and LLC in NY, (Asia Pacific) in Hong Kong and Tokyo)


Goldman Sachs International


Deutsche Bank


Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc


Citigroup


HSBC


BNP Paribas


Pension Insurance Corporation


BA Pensions


Church Commissioners for England


Northumbrian Water


Legal and General Investment Management


Universities Superannuation Scheme


Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund


Banco Sabadell


Statnett


Wellcome Trust


National Grid


Railpen


Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP is a prominent adviser to fund managers on derivatives, though it also acts for investment banks, commercial banks, private equity funds and credit funds on transactional matters, brokerage and regulatory matters. Gus Black, co-chair of the firm's global financial services group and a fund formation specialist, oversees the derivatives group in London, in which John McGrath and Karen Stretch are the standout partners. Stretch, whose work encompasses transactional derivatives and advice on regulatory compliance, 'has a unique capability to synthesise complex issues into salient solutions'. McGrath, whose work spans both transactional matters and advice on disputes concerning derivatives, continues to advise Fondazione Enasarco on the closeout of derivatives positions following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Senior associate Richard Chapman, who joined from AB Derivatives Advisors Limited, handles prime brokerage, derivatives, trading documentation and associated regulatory issues.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gus Black


Autres avocats clés:

John McGrath; Karen Stretch; Richard Chapman


Les références

‘Dechert has always been a collaborative firm which is quite refreshing. Partners in London seek input from their colleagues in New York, Washington, DC and Singapore as needed to respond to the complex set of questions posed to them to answer. This is an invaluable service that provides a comprehensive set of legal responses that assist the client in executing their complex business models.’

‘Karen Stretch is by far the best attorney I have worked with in my career. She is efficient with you use of time and understands specifically what her client needs. She has a unique capability to synthesise complex issues into salient solutions for her clients. Her ability to think broadly around concepts her clients have not considered is highly valued. Karen is a delight to work with and has delivered high-quality analysis and work product over many years. She exceeds the level of service of her peers with an extraordinary emotional intelligence that connects deeply with her clients. I am very happy with her service and will continue to use her for all our derivatives work.

‘Dechert’s derivatives team provide the perfect balance of current legal and regulatory knowledge combined with understanding of commercial impact on asset management business. This combination makes Dechert a go-to firm for us on all aspects of derivatives and related regulation, from day-to-day queries, to periodic regulatory updates and project work.’

Principaux clients

Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP


Principaux dossiers


  • Continue to advise Fondazione Enasarco on its long-running dispute with Lehman Brothers Finance SA concerning the close out of a derivative transaction within one of the most complex structured products to be considered by the English courts.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has ‘a great commercial overlay with high-class associates and partners able to tackle an immense range of challenges in a timely manner‘. The firm advises multinational banks, corporates, insurance companies and large funds on a broad range of derivatives and structured products, including total return swaps, pre-hedging solutions, ISDA documentation and regulatory matters. Global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer oversees the practice, in which up-and-coming partner Marcus Lovatt is highly regarded for his ‘wise head, steady hand, and constructive approach‘. He acted for NatWest Markets  as swap counterparty as part of a platform for €500m in public Dutch RMBS transactions. Associate Patrick Lightbown, who is praised for his ‘impressive composure, diligence, and skill‘, also played a key role in that matter. Steven Krivinskas, who has broad experience in structured finance and debt capital markets, also plays a key role in the practice. Finance, projects and restructuring partner Martin Bartlam left for an in-house position in late 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Mark Dwyer


Autres avocats clés:

Steven Krivinskas; Patrick Lightbown; Marcus Lovatt


Les références

‘We have worked with the DLA team extensively over several years. They take the time and care to understand the key drivers of our business and the legal positions that matter to us.’

‘Marcus Lovatt has a wise head, a steady hand, and a constructive approach that has supported transactions through many tricky moments. A class act.’

‘Patrick Lightbown is a talented associate making a great name for himself. Often pulled in multiple directions on a number of transactions but reacts with impressive composure, diligence, and skill.’

Principaux clients

NatWest Markets


ISDA


Morgan Stanley & Co


Lanvin Group Holdings Limited / Fosun International


Aareal Bank


Principaux dossiers


  • Acting for ISDA in producing an update of an English law legal entity opinion for Nordic Investment Bank.
  • Acted for Morgan Stanley as dealer in relation to annual updates to the Alphabeta Access Products Ltd Certificate Programme and Weser Capital Limited Certificate Programme and issuances off those programmes. The programmes are listed on the regulated market of Euronext Dublin.
  • Advising NatWest Markets N.V., as swap counterparty, in providing a balance guaranteed swap to Dutch Property Finance 2022-2 B.V. over its Automated Treasury Solutions platform as part of a circa EUR 500 million public Dutch RMBS transaction rated by DBRS and S&P.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP joins the ranking this year having continued to invest in the expansion of its derivatives and structured products group. In a major coup for a firm refocusing on its finance capability, it hired James Duncan from Shearman & Sterling LLP in mid-2023, thus adding market-leading experience in cross-border transactions, including buy-side and sell-side, strategic equity solutions and equity financings. Lead partner Richard Hart has a particular focus on structured equity transactions, including strategic margin lending and OTC derivatives based transactions, as well as prime brokerage, structured stock-lending and repo transactions, and a broad range of hedging matters. He recently advised BT on setting up a programme facing three different investment banks to hedge the risk on the BT share price faced by BT’s employee benefit trust. Structured finance partner Flora McLean frequently handles bespoke transactions with a regulatory capital or tax angle.

Responsables de la pratique:

Richard Hart


Autres avocats clés:

James Duncan; Flora McLean


Principaux clients

HSBC Bank plc


Barclays Bank plc


Bank of America NA


JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.


Republic of Estonia


London Stock Exchange plc


BT plc


Neptune Energy Group Holdings Limited


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised BT on its employee share option scheme hedging programme, facing 3 counterparty banks.
  • Advising HSBC as lender on a USD500m term basket margin loan facility.
  • Advised Neptune Energy on their full range of derivatives and trading arrangements, including with respect to emissions trading.

Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP

Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP has a strong derivatives practice in both Paris and London, the latter being home to both practice head Karine Imbrosciano and lead banking and finance partner Dimitrios Logizidis. The firm handles structuring, documentation, collateralisation and regulatory issues arising from derivatives and structured products transactions across a diverse range of asset classes, among them equity, credit, fixed income, fund, commodity, energy, inflation, weather, and property derivatives, repos and securities lending deals. Its clients are investment banks, financial sponsors and corporates, among them Citigroup and Natixis. Imbrosciano and Logizidis recently assisted Europcar Mobility Group with a €450m securitisation programme, which involved the negotiation of complex hedging arrangements.

Responsables de la pratique:

Karine Imbrosciano; Dimitrios Logizidis


Principaux clients

Citigroup


Europcar


Goldman Sachs International


J.P. Morgan


KGHM Polska Miedz


Meridiam


Natixis


Société Générale


Tikehau Investment Management


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Europcar Mobility Group in the setting-up and structuration of the securitisation program of Europcar Group UK.
  • Assisted global investor and asset manager, Meridiam, as Sponsor, and Asonha Energie, the operator in charge of the development of project as Borrower, on the hedging aspects of the financing in relation to the public-private partnership project for the generation of energy via the new hydroelectric dam of Kinguélé Aval in Gabon.
  • Advised Europcar Mobility Group in the setting-up and structuration of the securitisation program of Fox Rent A Car in the United States.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses on complex year derivatives transactions for high-profile clients, among them Deutsche Bank. The team led by standout partner Nick May also acts for corporates, funds and insurance companies in matters concerning a wide variety of underlying products and jurisdictions, including emerging markets. Its work includes strategy equity transactions involving derivatives technology, as well as margin loans, credit-based pre-payment triggers and collateralisation terms. May and of counsel Nick Rutter recently advised Deutsche Bank on a landmark €1bn financing to Turkish energy company Botas, which involved complex complex financing techniques such as credit-based LTV margin pre-payment triggers. May also advised Phoenix Group on a major collateral optimisation project, which involved repapering ISDA/CSA arrangements across 15 or more counterparties.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nick May


Autres avocats clés:

Nick Rutter


Principaux clients

Deutsche Bank


Phoenix Life Limited


Morgan Stanley


Citigroup


Project financings (various clients including the NeuConnect Interconnector project)


Fidelity Investment Management Limited


Securitisations (various clients including Pepper Mortgages and LendInvest)


Scotiabank


Societe Generale


MBK Partners


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Deutsche Bank on a landmark €1 billion financing to Botas, a Turkish energy company.
  • Advised Phoenix Group on a high-value collateral optimisation project.
  • Advised a consortium of 15 hedging banks on the £3 billion NeuConnect interconnector project financing.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins climbs the ranking due its continuing role in complex and bespoke transactions, particularly in the strategic equity space. The firm also stands out for its work on credit derivatives in corporate debt restructurings and M&A transactions. It advises clients, among them some the world’s largest investment banks, on the full range of OTC and exchange-traded derivatives, and regulatory matters, as well as complex investigations and litigation matters involving derivatives. Jeremy Green, who handles corporate equity derivatives and structured equity financing, and Dean Naumowicz, who works on credit, equity, and commodity transactions, are the key practitioners. Naumowicz, who is ‘one of the best lawyers, spot on, technically excellent, able to exactly understand clients’ needs‘, acted for EIG, a leading institutional investor to the global energy and infrastructure sectors, on hedging and finance arrangements for its definitive agreement to acquire a 25% stake in Repsol Upstream, a newly-formed global exploration and production company.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jeremy Green; Dean Naumowicz


Les références

‘The team is very technical yet also commercially minded. If there is a deadline they will meet it – their response time far exceeds most other firms we work with. In relation to billing, they were willing to listen to our requirements and came up with a solution that works for both the firm and the client.’

‘Dean Naumowicz is an excellent professional in the derivatives and margin loan field, one of the best lawyers I’ve ever seen. Spot on, technically excellent, able to exactly understand client needs both in terms of analysis and structuring and, very importantly, a very good negotiator!’

‘A fantastic team, they have a long standing expertise in complex strategic equity transactions and they are committed to assist their clients no matter the time and day.’

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP provides 'strong technical expertise, commercially pragmatic advice, and great value for money'. The firm has one of the most prominent buy-side practices in the London market, and its work spans prime brokerage, derivatives, repos, clearing, and debt trading. Will Sykes (who has 'a deep and unparalleled understanding of prime brokerage and financing documentation') and Chris Acton (who is 'able to cut through the technical rules to give pragmatic and commercial advice') lead the practice. Acton and senior counsel Rob Daniell assisted Spanish defence and technology company SAPA Placencia Holding with an equity collar confirmation entered into with ING Group in order to partially finance the acquisition of shares of Spanish IT and defence systems company Indra Sistemas .Richard Fletcher, who advises numerous financial institutions, corporates, fund managers, investors, servicers and trustees, and hedge fund adviser Christine Long also play central roles in the practice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Will Sykes; Chris Acton


Autres avocats clés:

Richard Fletcher; Rob Daniell; Christine Long; Alex Coyne


Les références

‘Strong technical expertise and provide commercially pragmatic advice. Great value for money.’

‘We have worked with Macfarlanes on a number of different projects over the years and they are consistently excellent.’

‘A deep bench of talented associates led by a very hands-on and experienced partner in Will Sykes.’

Principaux clients

BT Pension Scheme Trustees Limited


Man Group plc


Goldman Sachs


Tesco Pension Investments


Hayfin


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising SAPA Placencia Holding, S.L. on an equity collar confirmation entered into with ING Group in order to partially finance the acquisition of 5,200,000 shares of Spanish information technology and defence systems company Indra Sistemas, S.A.

Milbank

At Milbank, 'the team is very knowledgeable and very willing to help find the best solutions in a complex financing'. Clients praise the firm's 'in-depth knowledge of the derivatives framework, efficient communication, and problem solving'. Lead partner James Warbey is an acknowledged derivatives expert and he recently worked with associate Adrian Kwok to assist Athens International Airport S.A. with its issuance of more than €1.1bn in bond loans, which required extensive hedging arrangements. Key partner Claire Bridcut handles bespoke structured lending deals, together with portfolio total return and credit default swaps. For National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank, special counsel Robert Wyse-Jackson assisted Warbey with complex hedging arrangements in connection with the €680m financing for the development and expansion of the Skouries gold minimum project in Greece.

Responsables de la pratique:

James Warbey


Autres avocats clés:

Claire Bridcut; Robert Wyse Jackson; Adrian Kwok


Les références

‘The team has shown themselves to be very knowledgeable and very willing to help find the best solutions in a complex financing.’

‘Very good knowledge of the required documents, understanding on customers needs and proposals are focusing on satisfaction of customer, quick response to customers’ queries and generally efficient communication with customer and counterparties.’

‘In-depth knowledge of derivative framework and particular issues, efficient communication, problem solving.’

Principaux clients

Athens International Airport S.A.


Fibre Networks Ireland Limited


Green Investment Group (Macquarie Asset Management) and Norsk Hydro ASA


National Bank of Greece S.A. and Piraeus Bank S.A.


PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tengarra


NBC Capital and Dara Aviation Finance Limited


JBIC, KEXIM, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV, Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and SCB


Pimco


Citibank N.A.


DBS Bank, Bank Mandiri, CIMB Bank, ANZ Bank


Standard Chartered, Japan Bank for International Corporation, NEXI, The International Finance Corporation, Egyptian commercial banks, the International Finance Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsu Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited (London Branch) and Gulf International Bank


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised a consortium of lenders and hedge providers in connection with a US$800 million finance package to support the construction and operation of the 505MW Amunet wind farm– the largest wind farm in Egypt, which will help reduce Egypt’s carbon footprint by 1.7 million tons of greenhouse gases annually.
  • Advised Athens International Airport S.A. in relation to the derivatives aspects of its issuance of over €1.1 billion bond loans made available to it for the management and operation of Athens International Airport.
  • Advised Pimco in connection with its exposure to Russian CDS contracts in relation to the default by the Russian Federation of interest payments under its sovereign bonds.

Paul Hastings LLP

Although it is best known for its CLO practice, Paul Hastings LLP climbs the ranking this year having invested in its team and broadened the scope of its work across the derivatives and structured products space. Jason Brooks joined the team from CMS in June 2022 to lead the structured credit practice, bringing extensive experience as an adviser to investment and retail banks, financial institutions, and corporates, particularly on derivative-linked and asset-based securities matters. Clients note that he is 'one of the best partners in the market, able to deal with our most complex structures'. Brooks joins Christian Parker, who specialises in structured bond and fund products and generally acting for credit fund managers, and CLO and risk retention specialist Cameron Saylor. Brooks recently advised UniCredit AG on a new Irish main market listing of UniCredit’s key TransAlp repackaging programme and trades thereunder.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jason Brooks


Autres avocats clés:

Christian Parker; Cameron Saylor; Diala Minott


Les références

‘Fantastic responsiveness, nothing is too much trouble – this is a standout team. Technically excellent and capable of dealing with our most complex matters.’

‘Jason Brooks is a market leading partner with a wealth of experience. He is one of the best partners in the market in the DSF space – able to deal with our most complex structures.’

Principaux clients

BNPP


UniCredit


Morgan Stanley


Six Point Capital


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising BNPP on a regular flow of securitisation linked hedging transactions.
  • Updated a new Irish main market listing of UniCredit’s key TransAlp repackaging programme and trades thereunder.
  • Repackaging transactions and programme modifications and updates under the Alphabeta and Memel repackaging programmes, including listing, for Morgan Stanley.

A&O Shearman

At Shearman & Sterling LLP, the derivatives and structured products practice has gone through some changes of late, with former practice head James Duncan moving to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and key partner Leona McManus joining Squire Patton Boggs. The firm nevertheless retains significant expertise thanks to of counsel Patrick Clancy, who is a widely acknowledged expert in both English law derivatives and complex and bespoke structured finance products, and counsel Sara Couling, who is 'delightful to work with and a great problem solver'. Couling was a key member of the team that advised Ardagh Group's treasury team on hedging matters arising from its recent issuance of high yield green notes, as well as many other parts of the company's complex multibillion-euro financing structure. Clancy recent assisted IFC with derivatives aspects of the $652.3m financing of the Central Termica de Temane power project in Mozambique.

Responsables de la pratique:

Patrick Clancy


Autres avocats clés:

Sara Couling


Les références

‘Sara Couling is delightful to work with and a great problem solver.’

‘We have been using Shearman to review, advise, and negotiate multiple ISDAs and related documents. We highly value their expertise in this area and ability to point out any terms and conditions that are inconsistent with previously negotiated documents.’

‘Despite the time zone differences, the team will respond to any questions/requests we have quite quickly. We also appreciate their patience in explaining legal items to individuals without legal backgrounds.’

Principaux clients

Ardagh


International Finance Corporation (IFC)


BBVA


Abu Dhabi Global Market


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising Liberty Global on its acquisition of 1,335 million shares in Vodafone Group representing 4.92% of the outstanding share capital.
  • Preparation of and/or updating and extending netting and collateral opinions for ISDA and its members on the law of the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
  • Advising BBVA in connection with the update of its EUR 6,000,000,000 structured medium term securities programme.

Sidley Austin LLP

At Sidley Austin LLP, ‘the service provided is excellent, extremely responsive and proactive‘. ‘A crucial factor is their ability to handle complex and sophisticated matters, their pragmatic approach to getting the job done, and commercial awareness‘, says a client of the practice led by structured products partner Rupert Wall. He recently acted for Bank of America in two separate structured financings involving underlying middle market/direct-lending loans held within two separate and complicated fund structures. The deals had a cumulative value in excess of £1bn. Senior counsel Nick Brittain is a recognised derivatives specialist and senior associate Netanya Clixby is a key adviser to both buy-side and sell-side clients on derivatives and trading documentation.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rupert Wall


Autres avocats clés:

Nick Brittain; Netanya Clixby; Ellina Zinatullina


Les références

‘We predominantly work with Rupert Wall and Ellina Zinatullina at Sidley on our structured products. The service provided is excellent, extremely responsive and proactive, leading with the way on our behalf with our counterparty’s counsel.  A crucial factor is their ability to handle complex and sophisticated matters, their pragmatic approach to getting the job done, and commercial awareness, singles them out as a top-tier firm in this space.’

‘We have worked with Netanya Clixby to execute a series of ISDAs and master schedules over multiple rounds of financing and I have her to be professional, well versed in the substance and technical details, and very responsive.  Netanya was quite adept at working with multiple parties on a tight timeline to execute the necessary documents required.’

Principaux clients

Bank of America


Deutsche Bank


HIG Capital


Jaja Finance


Intermediate Capital Group


Investec Bank PLC


Zenith


Permira


Spire Management / Spire Partners


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising Bank of America (“BofA”) on structured products relating to middle market / direct-lending loans managed by a large global asset manager with funds provided by very large global sovereign wealth funds.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank as sole transaction and structuring counsel on a series of structured repack transactions involving the issuance of structured notes repackaging long-dated inflation linked CRE leases (so called triple-net leases).
  • Advising Spire Partners on all of its fund-related derivatives and repos.

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May has 'very broad experience of transactions in the market giving the ability to advise on latest developments'. Oliver Wicker and Guy O’Keefe are the key partners in the derivatives and structured products work, and client praise their 'commercial and pragmatic approach with the ability to focus on and resolve key issues quickly'. The firm is a key adviser to high-profile corporate treasury clients on regulatory activities and derivatives matters. Ed Fife advises corporates, governmental entities and financial institutions, among them the Central Bank of Egypt and TreasurySpring Management, on secured lending and derivatives transactions, while Richard Jones (who has 'a good business understanding and is good at driving processes forward') handles derivative and servicing arrangements relating to securitisations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Oliver Wicker; Guy O’Keefe


Autres avocats clés:

Ed Fife; Jansy Man; Richard Jones


Les références

‘The team was appropriately staffed by senior individuals who were dedicated to my matter and provided the perfect level of reactivity. They offered very good value for money and left me entirely satisfied with their services.’

‘Very broad experience of transactions in the market giving the ability to advise on latest developments.’

‘Commercial and pragmatic approach with the ability to focus on and resolve key issues quickly. Approachable and easy to deal with.’

Principaux clients

NewDay


Lendco


Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs joins the ranking this year having made an astute hire in Leona McManus from Shearman & Sterling LLP in 2022. Clients note that she 'provides timely, concise and practical advice, and is someone who works collaboratively with other teams'. They go on to remark that the firm's 'wealth of experience and the extensive network in the field of derivatives and structured products means they can come up with practical and innovative solutions to every problem'. McManus works closely with the firm's growing commodities, shipping and project finance teams, and she is playing a key role in the firm's push into the private equity and structured finance space. The practice acts for all types of end users and dealers of derivatives, and assists with the structuring and negotiation of complex and bespoke financing arrangements under the ISDA, GMRA, GMSLA or LMA framework documentation.

Responsables de la pratique:

Leona McManus


Les références

‘Leona McManus is a great lawyer and a pleasure to work with. She provides timely, concise and practical advice on the matters we have worked together on. She is also an approachable person and someone who works collaboratively with other teams. I look forward to working with her again.’

‘Leona McManus has worked with us for many years and we value her expertise and diligence.’

‘The wealth of experience and the extensive network in the field of derivatives and structured products means they can come up with practical and innovative solutions to every problem.’

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP is known for being 'very accessible, and finding a good balance between simply recapping points of negotiation, and providing a view on importance and relevance'. Jacky Kelly leads the structured finance practice and, though best known for her work on CLOs, also handles repo and TRS funding for some of the practice's anchor clients. Counsel Andrew Lauder has a broad derivatives practice that sees him advise on OTC transactions and structured capital markets deals. Clients note that he is 'always  on hand to give good advice, and has a good grounding in the product detail, rather than just legal detail'. Both Kelly and Lauder are key advisers to swap counterparties, including global banks, and originators such as Guggenheim Partners and M&G on swap transactions entered into by structured finance vehicles in relation to securitisations and CLOs.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jacky Kelly


Autres avocats clés:

Andrew Lauder


Les références

‘The team have always been very accessible, and find a good balance between simply recapping points of negotiation, and providing a view on importance and relevance.’

‘Andrew Lauder has always been on hand to give good advice, and has a good grounding in the product detail, rather than just legal detail, which enables him to give a balanced view on which elements of a negotiation are key to focus on.’

‘I really enjoy working with this team – Jacky Kelly is very responsive, knowledgeable and commercial in her advice. I rely on her advice and counsel on many different matters. I am always confident that she will get the deal done.  I know that I am in safe hands with the Weil team as the whole team is excellent.’

Principaux clients

Montagu Private Equity


CVC Capital Partners


Advent International


Bain Capital


Brookfield


Antin Infrastructure Partners


Ontario Teachers


Apollo / Redding Ridge


M&G


Guggenheim Partners


Lloyds


Santander


Principaux dossiers


  • Acting for the lenders and hedge counterparties in connection with a refinancing of debt incurred by Island Energy Group (the leading natural gas and LPG distribution and supply business located in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man) owned by Ancala Partners LLP.
  • Acting for a private fund on a repo facility with a European bank to finance a portfolio of EU CLO investments, and a separate Master TRS Facility with another European bank to finance a portfolio of loans and bonds.
  • Acting for CVC on hedging arrangements in connection with the financing of its acquisitions of a stake in the French Football league.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is ‘quick to respond, focuses on the aims of the client and finds positive solutions to obtain that aim, rather than a robotic, generic legal service‘. The firm is known for its strength in real estate finance, particularly securitisation, but its structured finance expertise extends to ISDA and EMIR issues, bespoke hedging transactions, netting matters, and securitised derivatives. Lead partner Rachel Kelly is ‘considered in her approach and listens to clients requirements not trying to fit into a box‘. Kelly and Carl Posern acted for Virgin Money and other borrowers in the update of loans and derivatives to new post-LIBOR reference rates. Legal directors Paul Denham, who is a buy-side derivatives specialist and is ‘at the top of his game and understands future potential challenges‘, and the ‘very diligent and reliable‘ Carl Baker also play central roles in the practice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rachel Kelly


Autres avocats clés:

Carl Baker; Carl Posern; Paul Denham


Les références

‘Friendly approach for non-expert audiences.’

‘Sophisticated legal advisors in complex financial products, extending to market-leading and innovative crypto/blockchain-based structures.’

‘Rachel Kelly is a standout advisor in the structured finance space who has carved out experience in the crypto/blockchain/fintech sectors, advising on market-leading structures.’

Principaux dossiers


  • Acted as lead counsel to Virgin Money to provide an innovative automated solution, transitioning hundreds of its customers to RFRs.

Alston & Bird LLP

Alston & Bird LLP continues to build its presence in London for structured and warehouse finance transactions, and clients remark that the practice is 'hands-on and joined up, and it works extremely well'. James Fisher is the key partner in London and he works closely with colleagues in the US to advise corporate trust clients on structured finance transactions. Clients note that he is 'hugely responsive, and possesses that rare mix of being both incredibly commercial and technical at the same time', and they rely heavily on his 'deep, long-standing experience, exceptional market intel and very strong market expertise'.

Responsables de la pratique:

James Fisher


Les références

‘We look for counsel we can really partner with and depend on in the long term. I have met more partners at Alston than any other law firm in the last two years, which demonstrates just how hands on and joined up the practice areas are. As a global service provider, the fit with Alston as a global law firm works extremely well.’

‘James Fisher is hugely responsive, and possesses that rare mix of being both incredibly commercial and technical at the same time. He offers the us deep long standing experience, exceptional market intel and very strong market expertise. He is always willing to think outside of the box. He very much understands the pitfalls and nuisances of being a service provider which in turn puts us at ease when transacting on particularly complex deals.’

Principaux clients

Wilmington Trust


Intertrust Group


Apex Group


CSC


Burges Salmon LLP

The structured finance practice at Burges Salmon LLP is ‘proficient, with great attention to detail, and gets the job done‘. Clients note that ‘the team is highly knowledgeable and work around the client’s needs‘. The firm is a key adviser on derivatives matters for numerous high-profile clients such as Lloyds Bank, Investec Bank, and Barratt Homes. Experienced partner Graham Soar leads the practice and is frequently called upon to advise on the negotiation of ISDA master agreements and related credit support agreements. He recently worked with director Alistair Rattray to assist Investec with £30m senior secured term loan facilities made available to SWEN Impact Fund for Transition (SWIFT) for the purpose of financing its investment in a portfolio of anaerobic digestion (AD) assets in the UK. The loan featured a loan-linked swap and required advice on a suite of ISDA, intercreditor and facility documentation to implement the hedging policy.

Responsables de la pratique:

Graham Soar


Autres avocats clés:

Alistair Rattray


Les références

‘We’ve worked with Burges Salmon for a number of years –  they are proficient, display great attention to detail and get the job done.’

‘The team is highly knowledgeable and work around the client’s needs. They’re engaging and always available for support. We’ve found them to be useful counsel for various pieces of advice.’

Principaux clients

Investec Bank plc


Lloyds Bank Plc


Julian Hodge Bank


Barratt Homes


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Investec Bank on the senior secured term loan facilities made available to SWEN Impact Fund for Transition (SWIFT) for the purpose of financing its investment in a portfolio of anaerobic digestion (AD) assets in the UK.

Crowell & Moring

Crowell & Moring joins the ranking having built its presence in the structured finance space since hiring a team from McGuireWoods London LLP in 2021. Partners Jennifer Kafcas and Charles Wakiwaka have become key advisers to investment banks, commercial banks, alternative capital providers, corporates, and private equity funds on a range of instruments, among them deal-contingent transactions, finance-linked swaps, and private equity fund and holdco structured hedging transactions. Since arriving at the firm, they have handled more than 225 structured derivatives products for clients, among them Goldman Sachs and Citibank, in an aggregate notional amount of approximately £12bn.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jennifer Kafcas; Charles Wakiwaka


Principaux clients

Banco Santander S.A.


Bank of America


Citibank


Goldman Sachs


Investec Bank plc


JS Capital LLC


MUFG Bank


Nomura International Plc


Principaux dossiers


  • Handled over 225 structured derivatives products for Banco Santander S.A., Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Investec Bank plc, JS Capital LLC, MUFG Bank, Nomura International Plc in with an aggregate notional amount of approximately £12 billion.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is known for 'excellent relationship management and expertise across all finance areas in multiple jurisdictions', and clients praise its 'strong technical and market knowledge'. Focused on advising buy-side clients, the firm frequently acts for investment funds and their managers, insurance companies, corporates and pension schemes. Head of financial services Michaela Walker oversees the work of the derivatives group, in which Jonathan Master and Richard Batchelor are the standout practitioners. Batchelor recently provided JB Drax Honoré with regulatory advice on its global derivatives activities, covering the implementation of UK EMIR, reverse solicitation issues, and compliance with DFSA regulation. Clients also praise Jamie Dunlop for his availability and responsiveness.

Responsables de la pratique:

Michaela Walker


Autres avocats clés:

Jonathan Master; Richard Batchelor; Jamie Dunlop


Les références

‘Excellent relationship management and expertise across all finance areas in multiple jurisdictions’

‘Strong technical and market knowledge.’

‘Jamie Dunlop – good availability and responsive.’

Principaux clients

American Express


Chetwood Financial


HSBC Global Asset Management


JB Drax Honoré


Nomura Asset Management UK


Phoenix


Sonnedix UK Services Limited


Northern Trust Management Services Limited


Tesco Pension Scheme


The Prudential Assurance Company Limited


Katten

Katten is known for its 'deep knowledge of the international regulatory environment coupled with a strong understanding and appreciation of clients' commercial objectives', and clients praise the 'responsiveness and effectiveness of advice'. The firm is well versed in both exchange-traded and OTC derivatives transactions, on which it advises both sell-side and buy-side clients. The firm is also a key adviser on regulatory matters affecting the derivatives market, including MiFIR, Dodd-Frank and EMIR. Carolyn Jackson, who is a former manager of the New York trading desk of several investment banks and the former executive director of ISDA, Nathaniel Lalone (who has 'unique knowledge of US, UK and European regulation') and Neil Robson are the key financial markets regulatory partners in London.

Autres avocats clés:

Carolyn Jackson; Nathaniel Lalone; Neil Robson; Christopher Collins


Les références

‘Deep knowledge of the international regulatory environment coupled with a strong understanding and appreciation of clients’ commercial objectives.’

‘Responsiveness and effectiveness of advice.’

‘Katten has a small team but delivers like a large team. They have excellent technical expertise and broad market knowledge.’

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster is ‘creative, commercial and solutions-driven‘ and provides ‘in-depth advice on complex issues‘, and displays strength in advising on transatlantic transactional and regulatory matters. Derivatives and commodities partners Polly Ehrman and former senior adviser at the Bank of England  Sam Riley also play key roles in the practice. Clients remark that ‘they have in-depth knowledge of a large variety of derivatives and margin loan structures and their advice combines top-quality legal analysis with market knowledge and commercial understanding‘. Vladimir Maly left for McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in July 2023.

Autres avocats clés:

Polly Ehrman; Sam Riley


Les références

‘What makes the practice unique is that it is my go-to place for advice on complex issues related to crypto in general, trading issues, multi-jurisdictional regulatory analysis, structuring of liquidity solutions. They are creative, commercial and solutions-driven. The starting point is in-depth advice on complex issues, and any related question or challenge can be solved across the available skills in the team.’

‘Expertise, expertise, expertise!’

‘Amazing team to work with – friendly and very helpful.’

Principaux clients

AXA Investment Managers


Bank of Montreal and BMO Capital Markets


CIBC


ING


Santander


SoftBank Group


Royal Bank of Canada and RBC Capital Markets


Tiberius Asset Management


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising various middle-market banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Advising a number of investment banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including MiFID 2/MiFIR and Basel III.

Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray is a popular choice among asset managers, alternative credit providers, hedge fund managers and private equity firms, for which it handles high-value and innovative derivatives matters. Clients of lead partner Anna Lawry  remark that 'her knowledge, ability to issue spot issues, and ability to add value are second to none'. Lawry focuses exclusively on derivatives, in particular the regulatory regime governing the market, and has a strong track record in advising on transactions across all major asset classes, both OTC and exchange-traded. She also assist clients with ISDA, collateral, brokerage, clearing and custody issues. The London team also works closely with colleagues in the US to advise on cross-border matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Anna Lawry


Les références

‘We work mainly with Anna Lawry, and her knowledge, ability to issue-spot, and ability to add value is second to none.’