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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Ireland > Capital markets > Debt > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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A&L Goodbody’s ‘knowledgeable’ team handles bonds, securitisations and aviation transactions. Recent highlights include practice head Peter Walker advising Morgan Stanley as arranger on a €630m residential loan securitisation, and Gearoid Stanley acting for the initial purchasers on the issue of a high-yield bond by Virgin Media. Jack Sheehy is a key name for special purpose vehicle (SPV) repackaging transactions. Peter Walker is also recommended.

Arthur Cox was highly active for issuers and arrangers in the residential mortgage-backed securitisation space; practice head Cormac Kissane advised JP Morgan Securities on an approximately €1.1bn residential mortgage-backed securitisation transaction for KBC Bank Ireland. The team also has specialist expertise in acting for Russian issuers, with Glenn Buttreally knowing the market and the issues’.

Matheson provides ‘a precise and well-articulated service’ on SPV repacks, with Christian Donagh and Richard Kelly, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2019, particularly singled out for this work. The team also handled a high volume of loan securitisations for issuers and arrangers; Turlough Galvin and Patrick Molloy acted for Deutsche Bank on the €158m asset-backed securities issued by Citizen Irish Auto Receivables Trust.

McCann FitzGerald’s ‘experienced team’ has a strong reputation for aviation-related debt issuance work; the highly regarded Fergus Gillen acted for SMBC Aviation Capital on its $500m issue of Eurobonds. In other highlights Adrian Farrell acted as Irish counsel to the initial purchasers of secured notes worth €500m issued by Smurfit Kappa Acquisitions. Roy Parker heads the practice.

Walkers has some ‘good niche strengths’ including insurance-linked security transactions; ‘really bright and clued up’ practice head Garry Ferguson acted for Assicurazioni Generali on the $85m issuance of three tranches of principal at-risk variable rate notes. The team also handles collateralised loan obligations (CLOs), distressed asset investment and commercial mortgage-backed securities. Noeleen Ruddy provides ‘succinct and decisive advice’.

William Fry’s ‘impressive’ team covers a full range of public and private debt issuances and is led by David Maughan, who has ‘a positive, can-do approach’. Other key figures are Elaine Hanly, who assisted Ardagh Group with the approximately $2.9bn issuance of a bond, and Niamh Dennehy-Maher, who has ‘very good client service skills’.

Dillon Eustace was active on a range of issuer mandates including practice head Conor Houlihan, who is ‘very strong technically and an excellent negotiator’, acting for N&W Global Vending on the issuance of €300m senior secured notes and €100m second lien notes. Conor Keaveny advised DFC Global on an exchange offer relating to senior secured notes.

Maples and Calder is ‘excellent’ on ‘non-vanilla transactions and developing practical solutions to issues that arise’. The team handled a high volume of CLO instructions including ‘structured finance and fund finance market-leaderStephen McLoughlin advising CVC Credit Partners Group on the issue of €415m of tranched CLO notes. The ‘very personableNollaig Murphy leads the team.

At ByrneWallace, practice head Joseph Gavin ‘has an excellent perspective on what can be achieved in different jurisdictions’. Gavin and Paul McGennis advised Synergis Technologies on the admission to listing of a €1bn structured loan note programme.

LK Shields Solicitors specialises in advising issuers and investors on securitisations for asset classes such as life settlement portfolios, loan receivables and asset-backed securities. Practice head David Williamscommunicates real-world solutions in advancement of a client’s business objectives’.

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