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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP is ‘one of the very top firms for knowledge, experience and service’ and it has ‘a deep bench that is a tier above nearly all of its competitors’. Clients remark that the team is ‘plugged into central banks, regulators and all market movements’. The firm is known for its innovative structured finance work and the ability to ‘basically lead the global market from London’ on key issues such as regulation. A prime example is its work on the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Working Group on Margin Requirements (WGMR) project, which addresses new margin rules for uncleared trades. The firm led that group and is now advising many clients on the implementation of the new rules using its MarginMatrix digital derivatives compliance system. Emma Dwyer, David Wakeling, Guy Antrobus and newly promoted partner Tom Roberts played key roles in the project. There are thirteen derivatives and structured finance partners in the London team, which is led by Tony Drake-Brockman whose practice encompasses all types of structured products and funded derivatives, including credit-linked, equity-linked and commodity-linked securities. Parya Badie plays a key role in the firm’s strategic equity group and advises on structured credit and equity derivatives, insurance capital markets cross-over products such as longevity transactions, and regulatory capital trades; David Benton is ‘excellent, truly one of a kind’, particularly in the credit derivatives space; Paul Cluley advises on structured repo and securities lending, as well as contentious derivatives matters; Richard Tredgett is ‘pragmatic, imaginative and very earthy in his approach’ to regulatory matters; Franz Ranero is active in the CLO market, where the firm has had ‘significant success’; Andrew Sulston advises on equity-linked, fund-linked, credit-linked and forex products for both institutional and retail markets; Daniel Shurman specializes in equity financings and advised Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan on Vodafone’s £1.88bn convertible bond issue; and David Wainer is known for innovative repackaging structures.

The team at Clifford Chance LLP is ‘very responsive, has a good overview of the market and produces excellent documentation, which comes with good value for money and high quality of service’. One clients remarks that it is ‘one of the leading firms for bespoke transactions, thought leadership and document remediation in light of new regulations’. The practice advises on all types of transactional derivatives across multiple asset classes including commodity, equity, credit and interest rates, and collateral and financing structures. It also advises major financial institutions on structured product issuance programmes, including listings and prospectus approvals in all markets. On the retail side, it covers the full range of structured notes, warrants, certificates, funds, market access products, repackagings, OTC derivatives, proprietary indices, insurance products and structured deposits. The firm continues to act as European regulatory counsel for ISDA. Retail and insurance product expert Andrew Coats and Asia-Pacific specialist Paget Dare Bryan are co-heads of the London practice, while the vastly experienced Habib Motani leads the global team. The firm is ‘by far the dominant player in the niche market of balance sheet CLOs, the best firm in this space’ thanks to the ‘clear-thinking, commercial and pragmatic’ Jessica Littlewood and newly promoted Timothy Cleary. Anne Drakeford advises on a broad range of products including OTC fixed income and equity-based derivatives, asset-backed securities, credit and equity-linked notes and synthetic CDOs. Emerging markets and structured credit expert Matthew Grigg, Jeremy Walter and senior associate William Winterton, who advises buy-side and sell-side clients on OTC and exchange-traded derivatives, are also recommended. The team advised arranging banks on the Project Orion €186m synthetic securitisation of a portfolio of corporate loans for an Irish bank. Its clients include HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Linklaters LLP has ‘the best practice in the market and provides the highest level of service’, according to one client who sees the firm as ‘the first port of call for complex, innovative and cross-border deals’. The firm provides ‘the highest possible level of service, fast response times and best-in-class industry knowledge, and has the best business acumen and industry knowledge in the market’. Head of the dervatives team Vinay Samani is ‘one of the most trusted and reliable lawyers in the City; he understands how the market works and what his clients need’, says a client who praises his ‘relaxed and sensible manner’. Also recommended are global head of capital markets Michael Voisin; Deepak Sitlani who is ‘the very best in a very strong team’ and has ‘commercial savvy and deep legal analytical skills’; Paul Lewis who is ‘one of the very best in the market – very bright, very commercial and certainly a person to reach out to on the most complicated and innovative deals’; derivatives specialist Simon Firth; Matthew Monahan who ‘goes above and beyond to make himself available, has a phenomenal work rate and will close a deal even when the odds are stacked against him’; longevity swap expert and ‘universally respected market leaderDavid Phillips; key adviser to leading investment banks Toby Gray; and Mark Brown who is ‘a lawyer’s lawyer, hugely experienced and has broad knowledge and attention to detail that make him ideally suited to work on the practical implications of regulatory reform’. Newly promoted Mark Drury is ‘a young partner doing well to find his niche – highly commercial, responsive and flexible’. The team acted for Credit Suisse International in the establishment of the first single-issuer, multi-dealer repackaging programme, and advised ISDA on the industry-wide implementation of initial margin requirements.

Simmons & Simmonshas a strong pool of knowledge in the repack business’, says one client who notes that the ‘responsive, commercial and incredibly competitive team gives due thought and attention to all aspects of a new project’. Clients also note that the firm has the ‘breadth and depth to be considered among the market leaders’ and is ‘a clear winner on its combination of experience, quality and costs’. The firm has outstanding depth and breadth in its team, which allows it to have a significant role in market-leading developments such as the establishment of a market standard multi-dealer repackaging platform, on which it advised leading banks including Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley; Sean Bulmer, who ‘provides strong direction and co-ordination on projects, which proceed surprisingly smoothly’, led on the project. Head of capital markets David Roylance is highly regarded for his knowledge of credit derivatives and structured credit products, and advises both arrangers and investors on repackagings, structured notes, synthetic securitisations, total return swaps, repos and securities lending. Craig Bisson is ‘practical and helpful and makes a real effort to get to know his clients’, and is a key adviser to asset managers on derivatives, securities financing and regulation. Paul Browne excels in structured equity-linked and structured fund-linked transactions and is ‘making a huge effort – and succeeding – to get market share’. Clients ‘highly recommendAlan Davies and ‘very friendly, pragmatic’ rising star David Toole, who was promoted to partner in 2016. Davies advised Credit Suisse on structured finance components of the $800m notes offering by Demeter Investments. John Davies advises numerous issuers and trustees, Allan Yip is a recognised derivatives specialist, and Michael Dodson relocated to the Bristol office to lead the capital markets team there. Rosali Pretorius, who joined from Dentons, has outstanding experience in financial markets regulation which includes a strong focus on derivatives markets.

Ashurst has ‘partners with strong technical knowledge who are present on deals, which is not the case with every firm’. The firm is a leading provider of advice on structured products platforms and it has a quality client base that includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. The firm also has a prominent asset repackaging practice, recognised strength in all derivatives asset classes, and an in-depth understanding of the changing regulatory environment for derivatives and structured products. Michael Logie leads the team and is ‘strong on structured products’, and recently advised global investment banks on the Consumer Rights Act and its impact on contract terms under their structured products and repackaging programmes. James Coiley and Jonathan Haines, who focuses on OTC derivatives and advises the leading dealers in the market, are ‘key partners in the structured finance space’. Derivatives specialist Adair Gordon-Orr ‘has a very calm approach but good knowledge across a range of transactions and a commercial approach that ensures negotiations do not become too protracted’. Gordon-Orr is a key adviser to major banks o complex asset finance transactions and bespoke credit and market risk transfer matters. Partner Jasmine Tiw, counsel Kerion Ball and senior associate James Knight are also recommended. Haines, Ball and Knight played lead roles in a large team that advised Deutsche Bank on the global implementation of margin rules for uncleared OTC derivatives.

CMS has a diverse practice that acts for an impressive client base across the full range of derivatives and structured products. In the longevity risk market, it acts for clients such as Abbey Life Insurance, Deutsche Bank and Swiss Re. In the retail products space, the practice is advising the likes of Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan on retail structured products including notes, warrants and certificates, and advises those same banks on credit derivatives and is also a preferred choice for buy-side and sell-side clients for advice on equity derivatives. Will Dibble acts for investment and retail banks and corporates on derivatives and structured products including wholesale and retail structured product offerings such as credit, equity, fund, commodity and forex-linked products. Jason Brooks advises on credit derivatives and equity derivatives, as well as structured financial products including repos and securities lending transactions. Michael Cavers is an expert on retail products, equity and fund-linked derivative transactions, loan-linked hedging and credit-linked notes. Jason Harding and insurance sector specialist James Parker are also recommended. Mike Munro who is co-head of the firm’s life, pensions and longevity risk team, along with Parker, advised Pension Insurance Company on a £1.1bn longevity swap. The recent merger with Olswang brought in a team that is ‘excellent and really knows its stuff’. Charles Kerrigan is ‘on the ball’ and specialises in real estate and technology sector deals for domestic and international lenders, investors and funds. Ruth Markencombines technical legal expertise with robust commercial understanding’ and acts for lenders, large corporates and funds on technology finance and derivatives. Anne Chitan is also recommended.

Fieldfisher is ‘superb, the partner-led responses are Magic Circle quality without Magic Circle pricing’. The firm has a solid reputation for advising institutional asset managers and is a leading player in the UK prime brokerage market. It has also become a key adviser to long-established hedge funds. Along with its expertise in securities financing transactions and its activity in emerging markets these qualities have made it ‘a well-kept secret in the London derivatives market’. In 2016, it took made a highly innovative move with the launch of Condor ALS, which is designed specifically for the financial services market and offers low-cost solutions for large derivatives and financial markets documentation projects, fixed-price trading documentation negotiation, and data extraction and analytics services. Group head Guy Usher and Luke Whitmore (who is ‘a fantastic lawyer – commercial, pragmatic and responsive’) developed Condor and Chris Georgiou, formerly a partner at Ashurst, came out of retirement to become its CEO. Another key addition to the financial markets and products group was Stephen Moller from K&L Gates LLP, who specialises in structured finance, supply chain finance and securitisation. Dougall Molson, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, added further derivatives and structured finance expertise. Edward Miller, Emma Spiers and regulatory specialist Azad Ali are also key members of the team. The firm’s highlights included advising Citibank on the restructuring and novation of finance-linked swaps with a total notional value of £580m as part of a refinancing of London Gateway Port's debt.

At Hogan Lovells International LLPthe service is excellent on complex deals that need specialised expertise and legal opinion’. The firm is sought after for its understanding of transactional matters and its knowledge of the changing regulatory environment. Its diverse client base includes leading investment banks such as BNP Paribas and Société Générale as well as development finance institutions such as African Export–Import Bank. The ‘diligent, konwledgeable and tenaciousJames Doyle leads the nine-partner international debt capital markets team and is ‘a great man to have on your side - technically excellent, commercial and reactive’. Structured finance veteran and deputy CEO of the firm David Hudd is ‘incredibly responsive and you always feel that he really cares about the client’. Kit Johnson is a specialist adviser to corporate finance trustees across the full range of capital markets and structured finance products. Clients also praise counsel Neil Kurzon who is ‘always available and knows clients’ securities programmes as well as they do’. The firm’s highlight deals included Doyle’s advice to Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank on its structured €50bn EMTN and certificates programme, as well as the establishment of a new warrants programme. He also handled the derivatives aspects of Merkur Offshore’s financing of a €1.6bn offshore wind farm. For BNP Paribas, Hudd acted in the annual update of its €20bn secured structured products programme SecurAsset, under which he also advised on substantial drawdowns.

Mayer Brown International LLPhas an excellent team and the quality of its work is consistently good’ says one client, who notes that ‘the firm has not only significant scale and genuine cross-discipline expertise, but also a mindset that builds relationships and a commitment to giving high-quality advice’. Another client views the firm as ‘the very best at what they do if you are willing to look outside the Magic Circle’. Its London team works closely with the firm’s offices in New York, Europe and Hong Kong, which have strong derivatives capability, to provide a global service to clients. The firm has a strong buy-side client base that includes hedge funds, asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies and multinational corporations, and it regularly acts for industry body ISDA. A highlight from 2016 was its work as advocate for banks including BNP Paribas, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase in an external review process by members of ISDA’s credit derivatives determinations committee. On the transactional side, it acted for Turkiye Vakiflar Bankasi in novel hedging arrangements for a €500m covered bond issue. Global head of derivatives and structured products and head of banking and finance in London Ed Parker is ‘professional and incredibly knowledgeable in derivatives and regulatory services, as well as pragmatic, approachable and very straightforward’. Clients also recommend US and English-qualified Chris Arnold who regularly advises the world’s leading investment banks on complex derivatives matters and high-profile industry initiatives. Counsels Marcin Perzanowski and Nanak Keswani are also recommended for their in-depth knowledge of structured finance.

Norton Rose Fulbright is known for ‘good response times, a good understanding of the products and reasonable pricing’. It is ‘clearly one of the top firms for derivatives in the UK’, according to one client. It has a broad-based structured finance practice that acts for the world’s leading investment banks on cross-border deals, often with an emerging markets element. Derivatives and structured finance expert Daniel Frankshas excellent technical skills and very good product knowledge’. He regularly acts for investment banks such as HSBC and Commerzbank in relation to derivatives, repos, stock lending, collateral, set-off, netting, structured products and regulatory capital transactions. The highly experienced Nigel Dickinson focuses on OTC derivatives, structured products and structured finance transactions for clients such as Citibank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Jonathan Herbst and Hannah Meakin provide market-leading support on regulatory matters. Sandrine Sauvel and David Shearer focus predominantly on securitisation but also handle a broader palette of structured finance matters. A key deal saw Dickinson and Franks advise a large group of global investment banks on a syndicated repurchase transaction that involved a $2bn loan to the Central Bank of Egypt, which then transferred $4bn of collateral to the banks in the form of sovereign bonds issued by the Arab Republic of Egypt in a landmark repo trade for the country. Another significant repo transaction saw the team advised Merrill Lynch International on a €200m notes issuance by an Irish SPV and a reverse repurchase between the two parties. The team also acted for the asset swap trading desk of a leading investment bank on the provision of swaps to Arbour CLO IV Designated Activity Company.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is known for having a partner-led approach to providing English and New York law advice on complex and bespoke structured finance products from its London office. Its client base includes many FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies and it has notable expertise in equity financing transactions involving equity derivatives and margin loans for both lenders and borrowers. Patrick Clancy is head of the firm’s UK derivatives group and James Duncan is a key partner in the practice. Both focus on a broad range of derivatives and structured finance matters. Leona McManus was promoted to counsel but Ian Harvey-Samuel retired from the firm and subsequently started his own consultancy business. A key deal for the team saw it act for main creditor ABSA Bank and a further group of creditors including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs on the capital restructuring of South Africa non-food retailer Edcon, which involved a debt for equity swap for existing term lenders and noteholders and a conversion of English and South African law governed debt to New York law senior secured holdco bonds. Duncan also advised the providers of hedging including K-Sure and Natixis on the debt financing of the Bahrain LNG regasification terminal project, which involved negotiating new and bespoke hedging provisions in the senior finance documents to cater for both ECA and bank lender involvement. The firm also counts Ardagh Packaging, ICE Clear Europe and UBS among its clients.

Sidley Austin LLP is ‘consistently outstanding compared to the rest of the industry’, according to one client, and ‘is very experienced in dealing with other law firms and ensuring that its clients’ points are considered’. ‘The advice is invariably spot on and the firm has some of the top experts in derivatives and structured products who are extremely prompt in their responses and are able to offer solutions that are outside the box’, says another. Matthew Dening (who is ‘a true expert in this area of law, a pleasant person who can explain very difficult matters clearly’) and John McGrath are ‘both outstanding, always providing technically sound but pragmatic advice that looks beyond the black letter of the law, and tenacious in unravelling complex legacy transactions’. Clients also describe CLO specialist Rupert Wall as ‘a valued adviser who, as well as being hugely bright and intellectual, combines this quite uniquely with an ability to listen carefully to often complex commercial dynamics’. Versatile partners Jason Richardson and Nick Brittain are also recommended. The firm advised Cairn Capital on estsablishing a commercial mortgage debt repackaging programme and on the repackaging of €27.9m in Class A notes. For Fondazione Enasarco the firm advised on matters arising from a defaulted €780m structured product arranged by Lehman Brothers, and for Zenith and its private equity owner Hg Capital the team handled a £400m structured financing as part of the sale of Zenith to Bridgepoint.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has ‘a practice that is firmly focused on client relationships and is a prominent player in the CLO space’. In the European CLO market, it is the leading counsel to asset managers and is sole counsel to the two biggest global managers Blackstone/GSO and Carlyle. Its structured finance practice extends beyond CLOs and the London team has also been busy with structured regulatory capital investments trades for banks. On the derivatives side, it also handles total return swap structures; currency and interest rate hedging for structured finance vehicles, corporates and banks; and the restructuring of large investment instruments. The team advised Barclays as the lead swap counterparty on the complex £2bn GHG securitisation restructuring, in which the swaps restructuring helped the client to avoid a £635m mark-to-market hedge liability. Jacky Kelly leads the team in London and is best known for her securitisation work, but she has 20 years’ experience across a range of derivatives and structured finance work. She advised Blackstone/GSO on three new CLOs in 2016 with a combined total value of €1.77bn. Brian Maher acted for Apollo Management International as collateral manager on a refinancing of the €337m ALME Loan Funding II CLO. Kelly and counsel Thomas Falkus are advising the US Lehman Brothers Estate on the realisation of its multibillion-dollar international portfolio of structured products and derivatives transactions. Consultant Steven Ong assisted corporate and fund clients including Estée Lauder and Maple Holdings, as well as structured finance clients Hertz and Blackstone/GSO, with managing the impact of new regulatory regimes such as EMIR.

White & Case LLP is ‘always on hand with thoughtful advice’. ‘Not only are the lawyers up to speed on industry knowledge and market standards, but they are also proactive in alerting business and legal teams to industry initiatives and trends’, says one client. ‘Very impressive and thoughtful’ head of structured finance Ingrid York, who focuses principally on derivatives, ‘has superb technical skills and is a robust negotiator’ and is ‘definitely the person you want on your side; she pre-empts any questions clients might have’. The firm has a prominent CLO practice, which acts for arrangers and collateral managers such as BNP Paribas, JPMorgan and Aberdeen Asset Management. The derivatives team handles the structuring, development, negotiation, documentation and restructuring of a broad spectrum of complex derivative products for both investment and hedging purposes. Gavin McLean, who was recently promoted to co-general counsel of the firm globally, remains a strong force in guiding the practice. He has acted as arranger counsel on numerous European CLO transactions and has ‘excellent understanding of that market and the changing regulatory environment in which it operates’. The CLO practice was further strengthened with the arrival of partner Chris McGarry from Ropes & Gray LLP. Richard Pogrel has notable expertise in structured bonds. David Barwise, who advises on deals in Asia, and Debashis Dey, who is active in deals in the Middle East, split their time between London and, respectively, Singapore and Dubai. Associate Richard Blackburn, who advises on OTC derivatives and structured products, is ‘responsive and helpful’. The team acted for Crédit Agricole CIB as arranger and stand-by swap provider for a €720m notes issue by Cars Alliance Auto Loans.

Baker McKenzie’s team has ‘a lot of traction in the market and is building a stronger team’. The breadth of the practice’s scope is shown by recent deals that included advising oncomplex hedging arrangements for large, cross-border securitisations and syndicated debt financings; handling esoteric and bespoke structured derivatives deals that included first-of-a kind structures; and helping clients to implement new regulations in areas such as clearing and margin for uncleared derivatives. The team acts for a diverse client base that includes international financial institutions, multinational corporates, pension fund trustees and clearinghouses. Simon Porter leads the structured capital markets practice, but within that team new hire Phung Pham from Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP leads on derivatives and structured products. Pham’s workload ranges from bespoke structured equity swaps or repo financings to hedging strategies in asset financings, and he works extensively on emerging markets transactions. Chris Hogan works between the London and Johannesburg offices and leads the firm’s African finance practice. He regularly advises clients in the mining, energy and financial services sectors. The firm advised ING on derivatives aspects of the £400m of Salesforce Tower in London.

At Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, ‘all lawyers respond very quickly and show a high level of knowledge’, says a client who highlights derivatives and structured products team head Tariq Rasheed. The firm is a standout advisor on regulatory reforms including EMIR, CRDIV, SFTR and MiFID II. ‘The partners are very hands-on and very adept at implementation on the regulatory side’ remarks another client. Rasheed regularly advises investment banks, funds and corporates on securitised and OTC derivatives. Clients of the practice include Bank Hapoalim, United Bank of Israel and Bank of East Asia. A key highlight was the provision of advice to Goldman Sachs International’s futures business on the reworking of internal and counterparty documentation to reflect changes in regulation, and the negotiation of derivatives clearing give-up agreements and variation margin support annexes. For Deutsche Bank, Rasheed and associates Iman Roy and Mikhail Kleptsov assisted with complex ISDA and FIA client cleared derivatives documentation and clearing agreements with key buy-side clients.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is ‘one of the real leaders in the CLO market’ and is ‘one of the firms to go to for new and bespoke deals’. It is the leading counsel to CLO arrangers. The firm acted for a leading bank on the €362m Cairn VII CLO, and is advising CVC on two new CLO management entities structured for compliance with US and European risk retention rules. Its structured finance team has ‘real depth of experience across many asset classes’ and is playing an increasingly large role in new areas of the market such as peer-to-peer lending and alternative finance. CLO specialist David Quirolo is ‘a huge figure in the market’. CLO and derivatives specialist Nick Shiren is a key partner in the practice and his workload included the Bosphorus CLO. Shiren is qualified in the UK, the US and in Australia, and he works closely with regulators and industry bodies such as ISDA. Daniel Tobias frequently acts for arrangers, collateral managers and warehouse finance providers in connection with European CLO 2.0 transactions and loan warehouse facilities. Special counsel Robert Cannon has a broad structured finance and securitisation practice acting for arrangers, originators and asset managers. He also has extensive regulatory experience and significant expertise in insurance-linked securities. Special counsel Claire Puddicombe handles many CLO and repackaging transactions.

Dentons has become a more prominent force in the London structured finance market having invested heavily in building out its capability. Working closely with the firm’s strong structured finance practices in New York, Europe and Asia, the London team acts as a key hub for advising rating agencies, banks and corporates including Investec, Credit Suisse, Hyundai Capital and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Its diverse workload includes acting for emerging markets buy-side financial institution and corporate clients on structured equity and credit transactions. Matthew Sapte regularly advises banks and corporates on derivatives and structured finance matters including credit and equity-linked trades and Islamic finance instruments. Edward Hickman, who is co-head of the team, is recommended for structured products, and Mark Cheney for transactions in the energy, infrastrucrure and project finance space. Peter Voisey, who joined in early 2016 from Clifford Chance LLP focuses largely on securitisation but has a broad structured finance practice. Voisey was joined last year by the former head of Clifford Chance LLP’s CLO practice Martin Sharkey, who ‘has industry-leading product knowledge’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘an approachable team that always makes itself available to discuss critical issues’. The practice focuses on bespoke, complex and multi-jurisdictional deals for both buy-side and sell-side clients. It also has a reputation for innovation in the structured finance space, an example of which is its development of structures to provide leverage to hedge funds and to facilitate the buy-back of distressed debt, alongside interest rate, forex, equity, and commodity and credit derivatives transactions for financial institutions, funds and corporates. Highly experienced structured finance partner Dina Albagli leads the derivatives practice, in which Jake Jackaman handles a broad range of transactions including repackagings, cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. Newly promoted derivatives partner Nick May is ‘an excellent adviser – concise, timely, adaptive and commercial; he consistently delivers reliable, well thought out advice’. In a flagship transaction, Jackaman advised Tideway on the development and financing of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which included the issuance of structured bonds. He also advised arranger Cohen & Company Financial Limited on amendments to a €500m receivables-backed funding programme.

The team at Latham & Watkinsalways answers fast and has a very good understanding of the structuring of transactions, which means it can always propose valuable solutions’. Clients praise the firm’s ‘seamless, comprehensive global service and the high quality of its finance practice’. The firm has an impressive client base for structured finance that includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, as well as some of the world’s largest private equity houses. Its work includes highly complex and innovative deals such as the €8bn forex forward derivatives hedging transaction that for Air Liquide; corporate partner Thomas Vogel, who works between London and Paris and is ‘business-oriented and can easily discuss with lawyers and finance people to find a solution’, led the deal. The key lawyers in London are Dean Naumowicz, who is widely regarded as a leading light in his field and who last year handled complex margin loan deals for a European bank last year, and new hire Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya, who joined from Slaughter and May as co-chair of the global structured finance and securitisation practice. He advises buy-side clients and banks on global deals involving OTC and exchange-traded derivatives. Counsel Shatha Ali is recommended for advice on transactional and regulatory advice relating to derivatives.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s London-based structured finance, securitisation and derivatives team has one of the leading practice for CLOs, on which it advises managers including PGIM, BlueMountain, KKR and Bain Credit. The firm also has a strong derivatives and hedging practice that handles large and complex transactions in areas such as credit derivatives for some of the world’s leading investment banks. Practice head James Warbey is widely regarded as a leader in the European CLO market and he frequently advises on market-leading and first-of-a-kind CLO transactions. Warbey acted for credit manager KKR Credit Advisors in a large CLO, and for PGIM he advised on a €450m European CLO issued from its Dryden platform. A key highlight for the team was its work for BlueMountain Fuji Management in its capacity as collateral manager and retention note holder on the structuring of a new global CLO issuance platform, which is one of the first to comply with both US and European risk retention rules. John Goldfinch took the lead on that transaction and acted for Bain Credit on also €400m Newhaven II CLO, which was the first euro-denominated CLO to close in 2016; he also acted for Cairn Loan Investments on a €351m CLO.

Reed Smith LLPprovides a personalised approach and is willing to find solutions to any problem’. The firm handles significant transactional work for clients such as Investec and Deutsche Bank, and is also a good source of advice on regulatory matters both in Europe and the US. It is also a lead advisor to many trustees on major deals. Tamara Box, who is the firm’s managing partner for Europe & Middle East, leads the structured finance team and has more than 20 years’ experience in derivatives and structured finance. Nick Stainthorpe ‘has huge experience in structured finance and is able to find effective solutions’. He advises on a broad range of derivatives including interest rate and forex hedging for corporates and funds, credit derivatives, equity derivatives, total return swaps, credit-linked notes and other structured securities. Claude Brown has more than 30 years’ experience as a lawyer and banker, and his experience includes credit, forex, equity and commodity derivatives, and structured finance. James Fisher regularly advises corporate trustees on complex derivative transactions. A highlight was Stainthorpe’s work for Carlyle Investment Management LLC on the €500m long-term foreign exchange hedging of a private equity fund. He also advised Deutsche Bank as issuer of credit-linked notes.

Slaughter and May’s team advises on standalone derivatives transactions including the full range of interest rate, forex, equity, bond, index-linked, inflation, energy, commodity and longevity products as well as total return swaps, repos and stock loans. Many of its deals involve equity derivatives, including total return swaps in relation to equity securities. The majority of its work, however, is in the context of large securitisations. Senior structured finance partner Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya joined Latham & Watkins, so the key partner in the team is now Guy O’Keefe, who mainly handles securitisation but whose practice includes a broader palette of structured finance matters. Newly promoted Oliver Wicker who is ‘extremely bright and easy to work with’, plays a key role in advising clients on derivatives and structured finance transactions, many of which are driven by the deleveraging of banks in Europe. Ed Fife handles secured lending and derivatives transactions for leading investment banks and blue-chip corporate clients. Also recommended are Richard Jones and Azadeh Nassiri who, like all partners in the firm’s finance practice, cover a wide range of capital markets and structured finance transactions. The firm is best known for its buy-side practice advising corporates such as Marks &Spencer and United Utilities, but it is also active for banks including Nordea Bank and insurance companies such as Swiss Re.

Travers Smith LLP is ‘an excellent firm that impresses with its ability to concentrate on what is important and not allow deals to be sidetracked’. The firm focuses on buy-side clients including investment managers, pensions schemes, funds, private equity houses, challenger banks and corporates. Clients praise the ‘hard work and dedication’ of Peter Hughes and Jonathan Gilmour who ‘show great attention to detail and have the ability to explain complex issues in a very clear way to the layperson’. Gilmour and consultant David St. Clare Nelson, who specialises in secondary markets trading documents and general banking matters, advised Brown Brothers Harrison on a project to put in place new securities lending arrangements for its $54bn assets under management with 17 banks including Barclays, BNP Paribas and Citigroup. The firm’s other highlights included advising the trustees of Guilbert UK Retirement Benefits Plan on an innovative finance structure and security package as part of the sale of its European operations by Office Depot to Aurelius; and acting for Associated British Foods Pension Scheme in the implementation of a new equity derivatives overlay mandate with BlackRock.

DLA Piper has a team of experienced partners with broad finance practices that include specialist expertise in structured finance. Martin Bartlam is international group head of finance and projects, in which sits the financial markets team that Mark Dwyer leads. Bartlam, who has in-house experience from his time as head of structured products at Calyon in London, advises on international structured deals for arrangers, issuers, investors, sponsors, originators, monolines, credit rating agencies, trustees and servicers. Bartlam recently advised a UK-based multinational bank on the rollout of a bespoke hedging service for its external customers. Dwyer has more than 20 years’ experience in the structured finance and debt capital markets space, and he regularly advises clients from a range of sectors including banking and financial services, private equity, real estate, retail, food and pharmaceuticals. His recent work includes advising an Asian insurance company on cross-border swaps, and a Chinese clothing company on various derivatives matters. Vincent Keaveny is international co-chair of the financial services sector group and has advised banks, financial institutions and corporate clients in the UK and overseas on derivatives, structured finance, securitisation and debt capital markets transactions for more than 20 years. He recently advised a European bank on the annual update of its structured note programme. John Delamere is also recommended.

At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, ‘the overall service is good, timely and very knowledgeable’. The firm is best known for its representation of buy-side clients, though it has continued to expand its sell-side client relationships. Head of the UK derivatives practice Jonathan Master advises numerous asset managers, banks and corporates on derivatives transactions and regulatory compliance. The ‘incredibly helpfulRichard Batchelor works closely with new hire Hugo Laing, who joined as a partner from Clifford Chance LLP and who acts for insurers on corporate transactional matters such as longevity transactions that include derivatives and collateral matters relating to pension scheme liabilities. Associate Paul Denham is ‘extremely helpful’ and played a key role in helping the Co-operative Bank with an assessment of the enforceability of netting and collateral arrangements in relation to its multi-jurisdictional derivatives portfolio. The firm acted for acted for a range of clients including Sainsbury’s Pension Scheme, Nomura and Liverpool Victoria on updates to trading documentation to ensure compliance with the new rules on variation margin under EMIR.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a reputation for innovative structured finance deals. The team is smaller since Simeon Rudin retired and Dougall Molson joined Fieldfisher, but the firm still has a strong bench of structured finance experts. James Grand focuses on derivatives and structured products including pre-contentious issues relating to large-scale closeouts of derivative, loan and securities portfolios and restructurings of structured products. He advised international alternative investment manager Investcorp Credit Management EU Limited on European CLO 2.0 deals, including one offering that was upsized to €413m due to investor demand. The deal exemplifies the strength of the firm’s fully integrated CLO and funds offering in London and New York. Grand also advises numerous financial institutions on bespoke structured credit transactions, including CVA hedging, balance sheet risk transfers and CLOs. Richard Hart has a broad practice that encompasses derivatives, structured products and commodities. He acts for financial institutions, corporates and investors, investment managers and sovereign entities on complex structured equity transactions.

The quality and level of service is oustanding’ says a long-standing client of the team at Jones Day. The practice represents a broad range of clients in bespoke and complex structured financings including securitisations and the full range of derivatives products. Edward Nalbantian, whose practice includes both debt capital markets financings and OTC derivatives trades, is ‘extremely good, a fast thinking lawyer who anticipates clients thoughts and intentions faster than his peers’. One client remarks that ‘he has the internal authority to put together a committed team very quickly across the firm’s network’. He assisted Société Générale with the preparation of English law margin collateral security documentation, and also advised Veolia Environnement as vendor loan creditor in the restructuring of Harkland shipping group, which included the termination of structured hedging arrangements. Amy Kho, who regularly acts for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has significant experience in structured finance and OTC derivatives trades including CLOs. Neil Hamilton has a strong CLO practice and also advises arrangers, originators, derivative counterparties, credit support providers, and rating agencies on structured finance transactions. Drew Salvest’s international capital markets practice includes structured finance deals alongside securitisations and debt capital markets offerings.

Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP provides ‘good value for money and timely advice that enables clients to meet internal and regulatory deadlines’. The strength of the firm’s presence in the US gives it a strong transatlantic offering for advice on regulatory compliance, transactions and documentation for futures, cleared and uncleared swaps and structured products. The firm has a highly diverse client base that encompasses broker-dealers, hedge funds, proprietary traders, pension funds, clearinghouses, exchanges, alternative investment managers and CFTC-regulatred swaps dealers. Buy-side adviser David Brennand leads the practice in which Carolyn Jackson has ‘outstanding technical knowledge and can communicate complex concepts in a clear, concise and effective manner to an audience with diverse knowledge and experience’. Nathaniel Lalone and Neil Robson are recommended for their advice on regulatory matters. The Futures Industry Association retained Lalone to advise on cross-border initiatives including legal due diligence to help US futures commission merchants to meet new indirect clearing requirements under MiFIR. The firm also counts LCH.Clearnet, Nasdaq and Karya Capital Management among its clients.

Macfarlanes LLPhas an excellent team’ and clients praise Christopher Acton who advises buy-side clients including hedge funds, managed account platforms and proprietary trading houses on prime brokerage, derivatives and regulation in Europe. He advised Hayfin Capital Management LLP on a €110m sale of a portfolio of Spanish loans to Santander. The firm is regarded as a leading buy-side boutique that provides high-quality advice to fund clients on prime brokerage, derivatives, repos, clearing and debt trading. The small structured finance team advises on sophisticated and complex transactions, many of which involve fund-based structures. Will Sykes acts for investment and hedge funds, banks, high-net-worth individuals and corporates in a wide range of derivatives and structured products transactions. Richard Fletcher provides structured finance advice to financial institutions, corporates, fund managers, investors, servicers and trustees.

At Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP, ‘the level of responsiveness is extremely high and the team works diligently, often going above and beyond the call of duty to provide thoughtful and thorough advice’. The practice handles all aspects of the sale and trading of derivatives and commodities and regularly acts in public and private offerings of equity, commodity and credit-linked products. The firm is also a prominent adviser on the use of derivatives as principal protection products in fund-of-funds transactions. Its client base includes the derivatives, commodities and structured products groups at investment and commercial banks, commodity dealers and producers, insurance companies, mutual funds, hedge funds and public corporations. Peter Green focuses on structured credit, structured products and derivatives transactions for banks, issuers and investors. Jeremy Jennings-Mares is ‘knowledgeable and responsive, especially on EU regulatory matters’ and he has notable expertise in OTC derivatives, structured securities and CLOs. The firm’s clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bank of Nova Scotia.

Senior associate Karen Stretch leads on derivatives in the London office of Paul Hastings LLP. The firm represent a wide range of clients including investment managers, corporates and banks on all types of derivatives matters ranging from stand-alone ISDA schedules and exotic bespoke transactions to structured finance and credit agreement set-ups. Michael Smith, who joined from Ashurst with Diala Minott and Cameron Saylor, has a broad practice that encompasses structured finance, securitisation, capital markets, credit funds and derivatives. All three have significantly boosted the firm’s presence in the CLO market. Their recently closed deals include Euro-Galaxy V BV, in which they acted for manager Pinebridge, and Jubilee CLO 2014-XII BV, on which they advised Morgan Stanley as arranger. Christian Parker specialises in non-real estate structured finance, including the repackaging of financial assets, equity- and fund-linked products. Lorenza Talpo’s practice focuses mainly on securitisation, but she has notable expertise in derivatives that includes the structuring and restructuring of total return swaps and interest rate swaps.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is ‘a small firm playing at the top table’, according to one client who describes ‘an extremely high level of service’. ‘Sophisticated and responsive’ structured finance and securitisation specialist Stuart Axford is highly regarded and forms a pivotal part of the firm’s extended team in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Frankfurt, which represents financial institutions in large and complex matters including restructuring deals, portfolio sales, SIV formation and liquidation. The firm advised UBS on its global bailout, which included novating and restructuring more than $16bn in derivatives. Axford and investment management partner Simon Firth advised start-up prime services provider PrimeXtend on regulatory matters and the drafting of counterparty prime brokerge documents.

Bryan Cave’s structured finance and corporate trust group was a new initiative for the firm in 2015, and it has continued to build on the expertise of Rachel Kelly and Helena Nathanson. Kelly leads the group and has nearly 25 years’ experience in structured finance, securitisation and CLOs. Nathanson leads on corporate trust matters and has more than 15 years’ experience. The firm has solid lawyers in senior associate Kerry Pettigrew and corporate trust associate Lukasz Napieraj. Counsels Marty Rolle, Ed Marlow and Gohar Lputian provide support in receivables financing and structured finance. The firm counts US Bank Global Trustees, Wilmington Trust, Deutsche Trustee Company, and Bank of New York Mellon Corporate Trustee Services among its clients.

Burges Salmon LLP is a Bristol-based firm that has a strong client base for derivatives and structured product matters. It advises FTSE100 corporates, global brands, investment funds and pension fund trustees on complex transactions ranging from structured equity derivatives for retail funds to the negotiation of ISDA Master Agreements, clearing agreements and regulatory advice. The firm is known for providing a cost-efficient alternative to larger London firms in the structured finance space. Graham Soar is highly regarded as a derivatives specialist, though his practice also incorporates debt capital markets and securitisation, and advised FirstGroup plc on a range of derivatives matters including ISDA agreements, credit support arrangements and regulatory matters. He also acted for the trustees of a national charity in the negotiation of investment management documentation, ISDA trading agreements and derivatives clearing arrangements with a series of relationship banks.

Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP splits its banking and finance group, in which the derivatives and structured products team sits, between London and Paris with partners collaborating closely between the two offices. Together they advise on a broad range of deals including repo transactions, securities lending, structured credit derivatives and asset-backed securities. The firm’s advice covers hedging, regulatory compliance, netting and collateralisation, and its client base includes investment banks, corporates, local authorities and national and international industry bodies. Karine Imbrosciano leads the London team and specialises in OTC trades. She has significant expertise in strategic equity derivatives and the hedging of structured finance transactions. Imbrosciano acted for Europcar Group in the restructuring of €1.3bn of notional hedging transactions in the context of the company’s car fleet securitisation. Another highlight was her work for Natixis on the hedging of interest rate risk in relation to the financing of Henderson Park’s acquisition of Hotel Méridien. Dimitrios Logizidis, who is head of the London banking and finance team, is also recommended.

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