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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 the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Derivatives (including commodities) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Derivatives (including commodities)
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The derivatives and structured finance practice at Allen & Overy LLP is active in transactional matters in every asset class, including commodities, and has the deepest bench of talent of any firm in the City. Widely regarded as a thought leader in the derivatives market, the firm has continued to innovate with the launch of Margin Xchange - a system that consolidates and codifies the firm's extensive expertise in initial margin negotiations within industry leading technology to create a market utility to enable all institutions to implement their initial margin requirements. The firm's work includes complex financing structures for illiquid assets, portfolio transfers, advice on the changing regulatory framework, and more traditional derivatives and structured finance transactions. Among the many standout partners in Tony Drake-Brockman's team are Parya Badie in the structured equity group who is a market leader and expert in hedging documentation and intercreditor issues; Guy Antrobus who has been heavily involved in ISDA’s work on Initial Margin Credit Support documentation; head of global international capital markets David Benton; regulatory specialist Paul Cluley; leading adviser to ISDA Emma Dwyer; David Wainer and David Wakeling , who led the development of MarginMatrix. Up-and-coming partner Tom Roberts is a founding partner of the firm's Market Innovations Group.

Practice head(s):Tony Drake-Brockman

Other key lawyers:Parya Badie; Guy Antrobus; David Benton; Paul Cluley; Emma Dwyer; Franz Ranero; Daniel Shurman; Andrew Sulston; Richard Tredgett; David Wainer; David Wakeling; Tom Roberts

Testimonials

"Tony Drake-Brockman is the standout partner for his combination of in-depth knowledge of derivative payoffs and structures, and a deep understanding of securities issuance programmes."

"Parya Badie is excellent for close-outs and general derivatives advice."

"David Benton is the market expert on credit derivatives."

Key Clients

Goldman Sachs

Société Générale

VTB

Macquarie Group Limited

BNP Paribas

International Swaps and Derivatives Association

Nomura

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Work highlights

  • Co-ordinating all workstreams in relation to the Initial Margin repapering effort of a major global dealer in response to the Uncleared Margin Working Group on Margining Requirements rules.
  • Advise major financial institutions, buy-side participants, market infrastructure providers (clearinghouses, trade repositories and trade associations) on all aspects of European Market Infrastructure Regulation and its interpretation, including counterparty and transaction scope issues, availability of exemptions or transitionals, intragroup exemption applications, equivalence determinations and market practice.
  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch  (BAML) and Morgan Stanley (MS) in connection with the finance and structuring of the acquisition by Chinese carmaker Geely of a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG, which was structured by way of equity total return swap transactions provided by both banks and a funded equity collar transaction, with complex acquisition and hedging arrangements between BAML and MS.
  • Acted for Société Générale on the purchase of Commerzbank’s Equity, Markets and Commodities business, most significantly, the equity derivatives trading, market-making and structured product business in Germany.
  • Advised MLI as hedge execution bank in relation to the syndicated hedging programme entered into in connection with the acquisition of Aluminium Dunkerque by Liberty House Group.

Clifford Chance LLP has a strong bench of practitioners, many of whom are recognised as leaders in the field. Among them are co-heads of the London derivatives and structured products group Andrew Coats and Paget Dare Bryan, whose broad practices cover repackaging programmes, derivatives, structured securities, retail-targeted securities offerings, credit derivatives and margin lending, structured repo and securities lending, derivatives related disposals and fund or asset management related derivatives projects. Among the others are veteran practitioner Habib Motani and Jessica Littlewood , who handles ISDA-based OTC derivative transactions, including interest and currency hedging for securitisation, covered bond and secured financing transactions, as well as repos and securities lending transactions. Timothy Cleary who is 'great, very thorough and hands-on, especially in synthetic reg cap trades'and Anne Drakeford ,whose practice covers a full range of financial market products and transactional securities, including OTC fixed income and equity based derivatives, are also well-regarded. The firm's combined expertise spans the complete spectrum of asset classes involving structured finance, securitisation and derivatives, as well as innovative area such as fintech.

Practice head(s):Andrew Coats; Paget Dare Bryan

Other key lawyers:Habib Motani; Jessica Littlewood; Timothy Cleary; Anne Drakeford; Will WInterton

Key Clients

Prudential Plc

Credit Suisse

Close Brothers

Investec

HSBC

Blackstone Group

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

'At the very top of the market', remarks a client of Linklaters LLP who adds that 'on our most complicated trades we find their cross-border ability very useful and they are excellent at keeping on top of new regulations'. The firm is regarded as one of the leaders in derivatives clearing and related regulatory advice, margin requirements for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives, complex CLOs, synthetic securitisations, ESMA-compliant balance sheet securitised derivatives, bespoke repackagings, longevity derivatives, fund-linked derivatives, complex equity derivatives and commodity title transfer financings. ' Industry leader' Deepak Sitlani, who is a key adviser to ISDA, leads the derivatives and structured products practice, in which standout partners include leading securitised and OTC derivatives expert Vinay Samani; Simon Firth who 'literally wrote the book on derivatives'; Paul Lewis , who has a particular focus on margin implementation for non-cleared derivatives; global head of capital markets Michael Voisin; and up-and-coming partner Mark Drury , whose broad practice covers exchange-traded and OTC derivatives, repackaged notes, hedge and mutual fund-linked products, cash and synthetic CLOs/CDOs and fund derivatives.

Practice head(s):Deepak Sitlani

Other key lawyers:Vinay Samani; Simon Firth; Paul Lewis; Michael Voisin; Mark Brown; Matthew Monahan; Toby Gray; David Phillips

Testimonials

"Linklaters is the best firm for Repackaged Note issuance because it essentially created the market standard and continues to provide leading advice and support."

"Toby Gray is an exceptional lawyer with  outstanding legal skills and the ability to balance the legal and commercial elements of each transaction. He is personable, approachable and valued by the bank's clients."

"Vinay Samani is a substantial asset, adept at dealing with complex matters . He is an outstanding lawyer with a deep understanding of the market and his clients' needs. He adopts a calm, constructive approach and backs this up with deep technical knowledge.

"Managing associate Michael Solaimani can be relied on as if he were a partner. He is exceptionally clever, precise and hardworking."

"Deepak Sitlani is the industry leader, far above all other partners at all other law firms. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of derivatives markets and ISDA documentation. He is also very talented from a relationship management side."

"Simon Firth is an industry leader, who literally wrote the book on derivatives."

"Paul Lewis is particularly good  in tech and smart contracts. He is a pleasure to work with."

"Phoebe Coutts is a rising star on the associate side - super-smart and efficient, giving great practical advice."

"The firm has deep and extensive technical knowledge of the repack and structured market, and an impressive ability to think through commercial issues and leverage experience."

"We use the firm on our most complicated, technical trades. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly at partner and counsel level, which differentiates the practice from the rest of the market."

"Mark Drury is a future leader. An excellent negotiator with a broad range of experience and expertise ranging from cleared derivatives and futures through to fund-linked products and fund financing."

"Leanne Banfield, recently promoted to counsel, is excellent with clients and is really starting to make a name for herself in the industry."

:Structured commodity funding transactions require unique knowledge and the lawyers at Linklaters are far and away the experts in this space. You always want to engage Linklaters before your clients do."

"Michael Voisin is innovative in the derivatives space, developing new legal analysis in the clearing area that has transformed  English legal opinion."

"Mark Brown is incredibly intelligent, a huge resource."

"Paul Lewis is an innovator in the legal technology area and has helped us navigate some emerging legal issues related to smart contracts."

"Deepak Sitlani brings the whole thing together - he is a 'go-to' lawyer for all things derivatives. He is detailed and intelligent, has great sense of judgment and knows what is important to clients."

Key Clients

International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc.

RBS

Citi

Lloyds

Deutsche Bank

Nomura

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Barclays

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Advising ISDA as global counsel in connection with the industry consultation and drafting of the “next generation” of ISDA initial margin (IM) collateral documentation.
  • Advising ISDA on interest rate reform and, in particular, new fallbacks in derivatives for key interbank offered rates, such as LIBOR, which is expected to be discontinued after the end of 2021.
  • Acted for ISDA on the ISDA Benchmarks Supplement, which provides market participants with the ability to enhance contractual robustness for certain derivatives which reference interest rate, equity, fx and commodities benchmarks.
  • Advised the dealers - including BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan - on all new issuances of the first single-issuer, multi-dealer, repackaging programme and with the ongoing operation of the platform.

Simmons & Simmons has a large team of experts and senior partners advising across the full range of commodities and derivatives transactions, and it continues to expand its range of expertise. The firm stands out for having great depth of expertise on both the buy-side and the sell-side of the derivatives market. It is a key adviser to the hedge fund and institutional asset manager community, as well as acting for numerous international investment banks across the full range of asset classes including credit, equity, commodity, rates and FX, and funding wrappers including OTC, cleared and exchange-traded derivatives. Head of derivatives Allan Yip acts primarily for buy-side firms and advises asset managers on all aspects of their trading relationships with market counterparties. Sean Bulmer handles securitised and OTC derivatives transactions as well as SPV structured finance transactions. Matthew Hebburn joined from Allen & Overy LLP to spearhead the firm's sell-side OTC derivatives practice. Regulatory expert Rosali Pretorius has more than 20 years’ experience in advising on broker-dealer, asset management and bank regulation as well as derivatives and funds. Associate Oliver West is a rising star. On the commodity derivatives side, Jonathan Melrose leads the practice and specialises in UK and European regulation. Counsel Joanna Williams is also recommended, while managing associate Marcin Perzanowski joined from Mayer Brown International LLP.

Practice head(s):Allan Yip; Jonathan Melrose

Other key lawyers:Sean Bulmer; Matthew Hebburn; Rosali Pretorius; James Grand; Joanna Williams; Oliver West; Marcin Perzanowski

Testimonials

'Practical and technical from a buy-side perspective."

"Provides consistent, high-quality advice across a range of topics and agreements. The efficiency of the team enables them to meet the evolving deadlines and demands of our business."

"Allan Yip is responsive, knowledgeable and provides exceptional coverage to our firm."

"Responsive and pragmatic, with a good spread of coverage between partners and associates."

Key Clients

Brevan Howard

Capula

Work highlights

  • Acted for Brevan Howard in respect of all its counterparty relationships and documentation, negotiating key documentation against all the significant investment banks in the market.
  • Advising a number of leading multinational investment banks on the ongoing development of the first initiative to standardise repackaging documentation.

Ashurst has one of the leading derivatives practices in London thanks to its deep bench of recognised specialists in key asset classes. Its broad portfolio of work includes advice on regulatory reform and clearing, hedging transactions, credit derivatives, strategic equity derivatives, repos, securities lending and structured funding, as well as Islamic derivatives, commodity derivatives, prime brokerage and margin loans. Practice head Michael Logie's group handles transactional and advisory work on all major OTC derivative product types affected by new margin rules, and has significant experience assisting clients with regulations such as European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and Dodd-Frank. James Coiley is known for his expertise in credit derivatives, repackaging of financial assets, total return swaps and other collateralised funding structures. Jonathan Haines is a leading OTC derivatives specialist acting for major dealers in the market. Newly promoted partners James Knight, who advises banks on the structuring and documentation of complex financing transactions, and Kerion Ball, who has a particular focus on commodity and corporate equity derivatives and bespoke commodity and equity-linked financings, are highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Michael Logie

Other key lawyers:James Coiley; Jonathan Haines; James Knight; Kerion Ball

Testimonials

"They stick to the brief and provide on-point advice."

"Kerion Ball is an excellent structured credit lawyer."

Key Clients

Andbank

Aviva Investors

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

BBVA

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Cheyne Capital

Crédit Agricole

Credit Suisse

DE Shaw

Deutsche Bank

Frontier Clearing Corporation BV

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

JP Morgan

Lloyds Bank

Morgan Stanley

National Australia Bank

Natixis

NatWest Markets

Nomura

Norges Bank

Oaktree Capital

Royal Bank of Scotland

Societé Générale

UBS

Insight Investment Management

Dar Group

Chorus Capital Management

Pacific Alliance Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse as platform counsel in relation to its pan-European Structured Products Programme.
  • Advised an investment bank on the provision of financing to a distressed credit fund to permit the advance of a loan to an underlying borrower
  • Advised an international banking group as funding provider on the provision of financing to an investment bank.
  • Advising a financial markets development institution on the establishment of a clearing facility for a country-specific derivatives market.
  • Advised a major British bank on its ring-fencing project involving the due diligence of, among other things, its portfolio of non-English law governed derivatives master agreements and novations thereof to its wholesale and investment banking affiliate.

The capital markets and derivatives practice at CMS is adept in a broad range of products. It acts for leading global investment banks in the retail structured products market, handles proprietary indices and compliance with the IOSCO principles and EU Benchmark Regulation, and has in-depth knowledge of credit derivatives including credit-linked notes. In the equity derivatives market, it acts for both sell-side and buy-side clients in complex financings such as collars and margin loans. The firm is also a leading adviser on regulatory matters, notably EMIR and new ISDA documentation for variation and initial margin. Another key pillar of the practice is advising major investment banks on structured repos, stock lending, margin loans and other types of lending secured on loans or securities. The team, led by Will Dibble and featuring leading light Jason Harding 'has first-class industry and sector knowledge and takes the time to really understand the client's pressure points, offering practical and operationally viable solutions'.

Practice head(s):Will Dibble

Other key lawyers:Jason Harding; Jason Brooks; Neil Hamilton

Testimonials

"The team truly works in partnership with clients and is adept at project managing large scale transactions efficiently and with both a practical mindset and full cost transparency. Partner-level commitment is excellent, delivering consistent quality."

"Will Dibble is my 'go-to' partner for all derivatives related instructions. He has excellent depth of knowledge and, crucially, is well attuned to the operational and practical needs of clients. Unlike some peer firms, partner-level engagement and commitment is exceptional."

"Will Dibble is the 'go-to' partner for benchmark indices and for proprietary indices generally. For general derivatives matters, he offers swift, practical and value for money advice."

Key Clients

Aareal Bank

Barclays Bank

BrokerCreditService

Citco

Citigroup

Commerzbank

Deutsche Bank

JP Morgan

Legal & General

Lloyds Banking Group

Mashreqbank

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Setting up an Irish Stock Exchange listed structured MTN programme and several structured Note Issuances (mainly bespoke credit linked notes).
  • Ongoing advice to the Deutsche Bank rates and structured credit teams on loan hedging, M&A deal contingent swaps, structured repo and stocklending transactions.
  • Advising JPMorgan in  London, New York, Hong Kong and Australia in relation to its retail structured product issues (including notes, warrants and certificates linked to various asset classes), on its complex (“exotic”) and hybrid structured products and credit-linked note issuances.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses on high-end, complex and multi-jurisdictional transactions for both buy-side and sell-side clients across a wide variety of underlying structures and jurisdictions. The practice covers rates and FX, equities, commodities and credit derivatives for financial institutions, funds and corporates, as well as structured finance transactions and transactions undertaken to achieve regulatory benefits that include the use of derivatives. The firm also runs advice on derivatives regulatory reform, including clearing and margining under European Market Infrastructure Regulation.  Margin lending transactions in the form of equity derivatives, repos, total return swaps and loans utilising derivatives techniques for both banks and end users feature prominently in its work. Michael Poulton runs the international securitisation and structured finance practice, with the firm also having a strong  focus on derivatives in the context of transactions for insurance companies, and extensive commodity derivatives expertise.The newly promoted Nick May, who is head of the derivatives practice, is a standout partner. Clients praise the 'very good team work and 'can-do' attitude from very commercial lawyers'.

Practice head(s):Michael Poulton

Other key lawyers:Jake Jackaman; Nick May; Joy Amis

Key Clients

Tideway

Virgin Atlantic

JPMorgan

Natixis

Société Générale

Fidelity

Deutsche Bank

Scotiabank

BNP Paribas

Agricultural Bank of China

Morgan Stanley

Citi

Scottish Widows

Sberbank

VTB Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Fidelity on a broad range of derivatives matters, including clearing under EMIR, exchange-traded derivatives, prime brokerage, bespoke and standard variation margin structures (including a bespoke security arrangement under New York law), derivative trading arrangements for new fund structures and EMIR compliance

Hogan Lovells International LLP is known for handling a broad mix of innovative,  first-of-kind and high-value matters in the derivatives and structured finance market. It is one of the few firms with a dedicated trustee practice and, alongside traditional asset classes, it also handles shari'ah-compliant derivatives. It also advises  banks, insurance companies, pension schemes and asset managers on amendments to their derivatives documentation as part of the implementation of new derivatives regulations in Europe. 'The team is able to advise on any derivatives matter and its knowledge is incredibly wide and detailed', remarks a client. Global head of the international debt capital markets practice James Doyle focuses on sophisticated financial products including synthetic products, securitised and OTC derivatives, structured repo and securities lending arrangements and repackagings. David Hudd advises on all types of debt capital markets and structured finance transactions, including derivatives and securitizations. Jennifer O’Connell , who joined from Crédit Agricole CIB, also specialises in structured products and derivatives. On the corporate trustee side, Kit Johnson is the key contact.

Practice head(s):James Doyle

Other key lawyers:David Hudd; Jennifer O’Connell; Kit Johnson

Testimonials

"James Doyle is not only an excellent solicitor, but he is also a pleasure to work with, particularly given the complexity of the matters on which he advises."

"I would recommend James Doyle and his team to any institution requiring high quality derivatives advice."

"I am always impressed with the breadth of knowledge and  I enjoy working with such a high-quality team of engaged and pleasant people."

"The firm has the ability to fuse derivatives advice with sector specific regulatory advice."

"Jennifer O'Connell is very responsive and pragmatic."

"I like the exceptional availability of partners, very high-quality advice always delivered in a timely manner, and very good value for money."

"James Doyle has a top-class work ethic, leadership and product knowledge - he is a great guy to have on your side! Counsel Neil Kurzon is technically excellent, calm and patient."

Work highlights

  • Advised long standing client Crédit Agricole CIB (who worked in partnership with International Finance Corporation) on an innovative transaction that will allow the Bank to expand its trade finance activities, and lend an additional $510 million to support health, education and other key services, as well as infrastructure projects, in emerging markets.

The structured finance, securitisation and derivatives practice at Latham & Watkins has a core derivatives team that handles structured equity, credit and emerging markets transactions for major financial institutions and corporate and fund clients. It has in-depth knowledge of swaps, options, forwards, repos, stock loans, securitised derivatives and structured notes across all asset classes. In structured equity, the firm acts for major international investment banks, corporates and funds in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and Asia. Its recent work include advising two global investment banks on the use of equity derivatives to facilitate two high-profile acquisitions of stakes in listed companies in Europe and Asia. It was also involved in developing market standard collateral structures for use in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Global practice chair Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya handles OTC and exchange-traded derivatives as part of his broad finance practice. Key partner Dean Naumowicz has extensive experience advising on a wide range of derivatives and structured products including credit, equity, and commodity transactions. Up-and-coming partner Shatha Ali and counsel Simeon Rudin also play central roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya; Dean Naumowicz

Other key lawyers:Shatha Ali; Jeremy Green; Thomas Cochran; Simeon Rudin

Key Clients

Ares Management LLC

Aviva PLC

AXA Investment Managers

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Black Diamond Capital Management LLC

BNP Paribas

Citibank Global Markets Inc.

Deutsche Bank

Fortress Investment Group

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

Magnetar Capital

Mizuho Securities Company Ltd

Natixis

Nordea Bank

Och-Ziff Capital Managemenet

SoftBank Group Corporation

NEX Group

UBS AG

Banque Saudi Fransi

Mayer Brown International LLP's derivatives, structured products and securitisation group is home to recognised derivatives specialists, among whom is global practice head Edmund "Ed" Parker. Parker has been involved in key market innovations, including OTC weather and catastrophe derivatives, and has advised leading banks and custodians on uncleared derivatives initial margin custody arrangements arising from the new margin rules under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Key partner Chris Arnold is currently advising ISDA’s newly-formed Sanctions Working Group and is leading on ISDA’s International Financial Institutions Opinions initiative. The practice is at the cutting edge of the derivatives market and it has an impressive buy-side client base advising hedge funds, asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies and multinationals. The firm's combination of US and English law capability in London enables it to handle cross-border transaction work and advise key market players on changes in US and European regulatory markets, including the Dodd-Frank Act.

Practice head(s):Edmund Parker

Other key lawyers:Chris Arnold; Nanak Keswani

Key Clients

ISDA

Work highlights

  • European counsel for ISDA, the New York-based trade organisation of participants in the market for over-the-counter derivatives, in the recently-formed, ISDA Sanctions Working Group.

Part of the broader capital markets group, the derivatives and structured products practice at Norton Rose Fulbright handles a broad portfolio of transactional work across numerous asset classes, including commodities, and is a leading practice for regulatory advice. Leading light Daniel Franks is 'outstanding - technically excellent but also commercial and pragmatic'. He specialises in assisting investment banks including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan with derivatives, repos, stock lending, collateral, netting, structured products and regulatory capital and funding transactions. Key partner Nigel Dickinson focuses on OTC derivatives, structured products and structured finance transactions for investment banks. Jonathan Herbst and Hannah Meakin are highly recommended for advice on derivatives regulation. In the structured trade and commodity finance market, which requires significant expertise in commodity derivatives, the firm advises banks, development finance institutions, traders, producers and exporters. The firm's capacity for complex and innovative transactions was evidenced in 2018 by its work for HSBC, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank AG in a $3.8bn syndicated repurchase transaction with the Central Bank of Egypt.

Practice head(s):Andrew Carmichael; Daniel Franks; Nigel Dickinson

Other key lawyers: Jonathan Herbst; Hannah Meakin

Testimonials

"A very knowledgeable and capable team that is technically excellent and very easy to deal with. It has the ability to present technical legal issues in a way that makes it easy for non-lawyers to understand."

"Daniel Franks talks in plain English and is very client-friendly. He is a nice guy to boot! "

"Norton Rose Fulbright is materially superior. Hannah Meakin has encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and, crucially, good knowledge of regulator and peer attitudes. She is also quick to respond to enquiries."

Key Clients

AIG

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of Ireland

BNP Paribas

Commerzbank

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

Natixis

Piraeus Bank

Royal Bank of Canada

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Represented HSBC Bank plc, Credit Suisse AG, London branch and Deutsche Bank AG, London branch on a multibillion-dollar financing for Egypt using syndicated repos.
  • Advised Merrill Lynch International in relation to a complex credit-linked repackaging transaction.
  • Advised JP Morgan in relation to asset swap facilities for Blackrock European CLO VI DAC.
  • Advised a global investment bank on its participation in the ENABLE Guarantee programme of the British Business Bank and The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of Her Majesty’s Government.
  • Advising a cryptocurrency / technology start-up in relation to the establishment of a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Reed Smith LLP provides advice to a diverse range of market participants on all derivative asset classes, with the London practice working closely with finance teams in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. The firm handles equity derivatives, structured credit, complex treasury management products and complex regulatory capital matters, as well as advising on new regulation. It also has a niche in social impact derivatives, acting for sovereigns and supranationals in large scale financings. Tamara Box, Claude Brown, Nick Stainthorpe and James Fisher are among the key derivatives partners in London. Brown has more than 30 years’ experience as both a lawyer and a banker. A key pillar of the practice is its leading position in the commodity derivatives market, in which it has leading practitioners Chris Borg and Brett Hillis. The firm is known for its expertise in both exchange-traded derivatives, and for its advice to exchanges and derivatives trading platforms. Prajakt Samant leads the firm’s relationship with a leading exchange. Senior associate Simone Goligorsky is a rising star.

Practice head(s):Tamara Box

Other key lawyers:Claude Brown; Chris Borg; Brett Hillis; Prajakt Samant; James Fisher; Nick Stainthorpe; Trish O’Donnell; Simone Goligorsky

Testimonials

"An enthusiastic team in which the lawyers have good knowledge of their areas. They are very client-focused and think through client needs very well."

"The firm has a great platform that is very integrated and provides full coverage, with expertise across all areas. It is a world leader in all areas of commodities. I find the lawyers to be straight shooters who communicate well and don't play games."

"Prajakt Samant is a very smart cookie with an excellent bedside manner. He is very knowledgeable and commercial, a pleasure to deal with."

Shearman & Sterling LLP is a key adviser to market infrastructure entities such as exchanges and clearinghouses and is a leading player in the commodity derivatives market. The firm assists the biggest exchange clearing group for commodities with new products, disputes, rulebooks, collateral issues and much more. In the broader derivatives market, the firm benefits from offering both English and New York law advice from London. It also has niche expertise acting for lenders and borrowers in equity financing transactions involving equity derivatives and margin loans. Among the firm's standout practitioners are head of the financial institutions advisory and financial regulatory practice Barney Reynolds; derivatives and structured products group head Patrick Clancy; derivatives and structured products  specialist James Duncan; and the highly experienced Thomas Donegan who assists banks, hedge funds, clearinghouses, exchanges and corporates on UK and EU financial regulatory matters. Counsel Leona McManus and associate Sara Couling also play central roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):Barney Reynolds; Patrick Clancy

Other key lawyers:James Duncan; Thomas Donegan; Leona McManus; Sara Couling

Testimonials

"We were really impressed with 'out of the box' solutions the firm provided. The advice was very practical."

"Thomas Donegan is an exceptional lawyer, very pragmatic."

Key Clients

ICE Clear Europe Limited and ICE Futures Europe

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Dow

ICE Futures U.S.

ICE Clear Netherlands

Ardagh Group S.A.

Italo Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori S.P.A.

Cyrus Capital Partners, LLC

Cyprus Co-operative Bank

ICE Benchmark Administration

Work highlights

  • Following ICE's acquisition of the Holland Clearing House, the firm advised ICE on drafting their new rulebook.
  • Advising a major UK headquartered bank on its Brexit analysis and strategy, which involves advising on the correct legal, regulatory and options strategies for lobbying and  developing strategies, structures and options for contingency planning.
  • Advising a global financial group on UK on-shoring of EU legislation, which includes reviewing all published statutory instruments, FCA papers and PRA papers concerning the on-shoring of EU legislation.
  • Advising an investment bank on the update of terms of use for an online portal used by the its clients, and updating trading practices for its FX business.

Baker McKenzie's structured capital markets group has a strong reputation in complex cross-border transactions in the areas of securitisation, structured finance and derivatives. It is also a leading adviser on corporate trust matters in securitisation and other structured transactions. Its diverse client base includes international financial institutions and multinational corporates seeking to fund assets originated in multiple jurisdictions, as well as individual counterparties, among which are leading buy-side market participants. Its derivatives work includes highly complex transactions and esoteric and bespoke structured deals. Corporate trust partner Simon Porter leads the group but leading light Matthew Dening, who joined in 2018 from Sidley Austin LLP, is global chair of the firm's derivatives practice. Dening focuses his practice primarily on the structuring and regulation of cross-border structured finance transactions involving derivatives, repos and securities lending. Phung Pham , who sits on the firm's global derivatives steering committee, handles a broad range of transactional and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):Simon Porter

Other key lawyers:Matthew Dening; Jeremy Levy; Michael Doran; Phung Pham; Sarah Porter; Iolie Calochristos; James Tanner

Testimonials

'The team delivers a very quick turnaround with excellent communication between team members, practical advice and a focus on keeping the costs down.'

'Matthew Dening and associate Iolie Calochristos are hands on in the service they provide. They have an exceptional level of knowledge and the suggestions they provide are truly very commercially-oriented.'

Key Clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BNP Paribas

Bondholders

Citi

Deutsche Trustee Company Limited

Finalbion

First Rand

GLAS

HSBC

ING

Intertrust

Law Debenture

Link Asset Services

Lucid

Natixis

Natwest Markets

The Bank of New York Mellon

The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi

TMF

US Bank

Work highlights

  • The derivatives and project teams in the Energy, Mining and Infrastructure (EMI) sector assisted Ellomay Capital Limited with the development of a tradeable derivative instrument to hedge the expected price for electricity to be generated by a proposed solar power development in Spain.
  • Advising Link Asset Services (UK) Limited in connection with the default of the Debussy CMBS structure following the collapse of Toys'R'Us.
  • Advising BNP Paribas (BNP) and Citigroup (Citi) as transaction counsel in connection with the issue of £402.8m notes by Turbo Finance 8 PLC.
  • Advised Homeloan Management Ltd as Back-up Servicer for a warehouse transaction.
  • Advising the Finalbion Group in connection with the issue of notes by  Finalbion S.V. S.A., which are backed by factoring receivables, reverse factoring / supply chain finance receivables and loan receivables originated by the Originator or group entities.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP handles derivatives in futures, OTC, cleared and securitised format. It also advises on stock-lending and repo transactions. Its experience covers the full range of asset classes, including interest rate, equity, credit, FX, commodities and longevity. Practice head Tariq Rasheed leads 'a relatively small but highly cohesive and efficient team covering OTC derivatives', and has become a key adviser to Goldman Sachs on both flow derivatives and complex matters such as deal-contingent hedging and initial margin negotiations. Rising star senior associate Iman Roy specialises in structured finance, derivatives and debt capital markets, advising investment banks, trustees and corporates. He is qualified in India and also has experience in Hong Kong. Another key pillar of the practice is its experience in the hedging aspects of complex securitisations and restructurings.

Practice head(s):Tariq Rasheed

Other key lawyers:Iman Roy; Shahd Bessisso

Testimonials

"Efforts are not duplicated and all levels of legal advice and transactional work are appropriately delegated to the right level of expertise with an excellent level of responsiveness. The firm provides timely and thoughtful legal advice with value for money."

"Tariq Rasheed is very knowledgeable, highly responsive and provides efficient quality control over his team, combined with a thorough involvement in the detail."

"Iman Roy is a skilled negotiator with a deep understanding of ISDA documentation and OTC derivative regulation, with the ability to develop and maintain excellent client relationships."

Key Clients

Goldman Sachs

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Deutsche Bank

United Bank of Israel

Bank Hapoalim

Norinchukin Bank

Peninsula Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Assisting Goldman Sachs with negotiating a broad range of derivatives agreements (including ISDA Master Agreements, Cleared Derivatives Execution Agreements, and initial and variation margin collateral documentation).
  • Assisting the Singapore and Hong Kong branches of Deutsche Bank AG with negotiating its prime brokerage documentation.
  • Advising the treasury departments of The Norinchukin Bank's London and New Branches in respect of its repo transactions.
  • Assisting major Israeli banks United Bank of Israel and Bank Hapoalim B.M. in derivatives negotiations and regulatory queries.
  • Advising OCBC and UOB, two of the biggest Singaporean banks and their respective London branches, on derivatives transactions and key regulatory matters, particularly MiFID II, SFTR, benchmark reform and FCA permissions.

The derivatives, commodities, trade and upstream finance group at Dentons has extended its capability with the addition of two new partners.  Yusuf Battiwala, who is is a recognised expert in derivatives, joined from Allen & Overy LLP. He handles OTC derivatives, repos and securities lending. Luke Whitmore, previously at Fieldfisher, has a similar practice but with a particular focus on the prime brokerage and futures market. The practice group led by Matthew Sapte handles all aspects of derivatives across the full range of asset classes, including interest rate, FX, credit, equity and commodity derivatives. Its work includes master documentation negotiations, clearing, hedging on financings and securitisations, and a range of highly structured derivatives transactions. It also assists clients with innovative funding structures utilising derivatives and has a prominent role in emerging market derivatives transactions.

Practice head(s):Matthew Sapte

Other key lawyers:Yusuf Battiwala; Luke Whitmore

Testimonials

"Matthew Sapte and Yusuf Battiwala are very knowledgeable and helpful."

Key Clients

Emirates NBD

Emirates Islamic Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank

Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Emirates NBD Capital

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Noor Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Emirates NBD on around 10 shari'ah-compliant derivatives transactions.
  • Advising Emirates Islamic Bank on 4 shari'ah-compliant derivatives transactions.

The capital markets and structured investment group at DLA Piper has 'deep expertise in structured finance transactions and a particular capability in derivatives transactions', according to one client. The firm is best known for  assisting multinational banks and financial investors in growth securitisation markets and for advising on structured finance and derivatives products internationally. Primarily a securitisation specialist, Vincent Keaveny also advises banks and end-users of derivatives products, repos and stock lending in hedging and balance sheet management transactions. Martin Bartlam has more than 25 years' experience in international structured deals involving securitisations, capital markets products and derivatives. Ronan Mellon predominantly handles CLOs for issuers, arrangers, investment managers and investors, but has in-depth knowledge of credit derivatives and hedging arrangements. Mark Dwyer's recent work includes advising Merlin Entertainments on the repapering of its ISDA Agreements and parent company guarantees.

Practice head(s):Martin Bartlam; Vincent Keaveny; Mark Dwyer

Other key lawyers:Ronan Mellon

Testimonials

"Martin Bartlam has commercial savvy and is great in a crisis. At senior associate level Marcus Lovatt is a steady pair of hands and is unflappable."

Key Clients

Ares Management LLC

StormHarbour Securities

Mount Street

Aspect Capital Limited

Accunia Fondsmaeglerselskab A/S

Frontera Capital B.V.

Banca IMI S.p.A.

Merlin Entertainments Plc

Saar Capital Limited

Mosel Capital Limited

Green Deal Finance Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Merlin on repapering its ISDA Agreements and parent company guarantees - prepared templates and negotiated the contracts with 10 banking counterparties.

Fieldfisher handles work in all asset classes for a broad range of market participants. Its work in derivatives, repos, stock lending and structured products transactions has earned it a reputation as a leading adviser to both the institutional asset manager sector and the UK prime brokerage market. The firm's Condor ALS offering is an alternative legal solutions platform that offers clients a range of customisable and low-cost services for large derivatives and financial markets documentation projects. Guy Usher leads the finance group and has more than 25 years' experience in the derivatives market. The firm is 'growing in leaps and bounds'. It recruited partners Matthew Williams, who focuses on energy trading, and Lis Blunsdon, who handles trade and regulatory matters, from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP to boost its capability in commodity derivatives.

Practice head(s):Guy Usher

Macfarlanes LLP has 'a practice built to service the hedge fund and prime brokerage industry - they know all the market standards, all the innovation and have seen every negotiating position going'. The firm has one of the City's most prominent buy-side practices, due in part to the fact that most of its team has significant in-house experience. Practice head William Sykes advises investment and hedge funds, banks,and  high-net-worth clients on derivatives and structured products. He has experience in trading, custody, brokerage and clearing agreements for both derivative products and physical commodities and advises sell-side and buy-side clients across a range of asset classes. He leads a group of 'technical partners who are execution-focused'. One such partner is Christopher Acton, who is purely focused on the buy-side and acts for hedge funds, managed account platforms and proprietary trading houses, on prime brokerage, derivatives and regulatory matters in Europe.

Practice head(s):Will Sykes

Other key lawyers:Chris Acton; Rob Daniell

Testimonials

" Strong market knowledge, user-friendly, commercial and cost-efficient."

"Chris Acton is a problem-solver. He is not afraid to ask difficult questions of the other side but efficiently gets the job done."

"Will Sykes and his team are excellent at guiding clients through the maze of regulation and commercial considerations. He is able to explain matters in a way that even the most unfamiliar clients can understand."

"Highly responsive, pragmatic and accurate with advice and output. They bring to the table a deep understanding of the market and deep reserves of direct in-house sell-side and buy-side experience. This allows us to target our efforts and progress negotiations fast.They really understand what is important to you - and to your counterparties."

"Will Sykes and Rob Daniell are standout buy-side derivatives and trading documentation advisers, with years of experience on both sides of the fence."

"Mike Harwood-Smith is an up-coming star. He is smart, commercial and responsive."

Key Clients

Epiris Managers LLP

Marshall Wace

Winton

USS

Capula

Argentiere Capital

Sucden Financial

Systematica Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised a $75bn Swiss asset manager on updating its funds’ trading relationships with banks and brokers as a result of structural issues due to Brexit.
  • Advised an Epiris vehicle in relation to the acquisition of the UK magazine division of Time Inc.

Milbank has a full-service transactional derivatives practice that acts for a range of issuers, dealers and end-users in repos, stock loans, structured notes and finance-linked hedging, as well as advising on the evolving regulatory environment. A key focus areas for the London group is loan portfolio financing structures used by investors to create customised leverage and gain exposure to economic risk in relation to a portfolio of loans without having to purchase those loans. The team also handles bespoke funding and regulatory capital transactions involving the transfer of portfolio credit risk to one or more investors. James Warbey is head of the firm’s alternative investments group and has an exceptional track record in structured finance and derivatives. Partner John Goldfinch frequently handles credit-linked notes, credit default swaps and loan portfolio total return swap financings. Rising star senior associate Jennifer Ellis also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):James Warbey

Other key lawyers:John Goldfinch; Jennifer Ellis

Key Clients

Bain Credit

BlueMountain

Cairn Loan Investments

Commerzbank AG

KKR

PGIM (formerly Pramerica)

AXA Investment Managers, INC

Rockford Tower

Deutsche Bank

Bardon Hill (formerly Halcyon)

Investcorp Credit Management EU Limited

Athens International Airport S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised PGIM in its capacity as Collateral Manager in relation to the perfect asset swaps to be entered into in connection with a new Sterling CLO issued by Dryden 63 CLO B.V..
  • Advised KKR Credit Advisors (Ireland) Unlimited Company as Investment Manager in relation to asset swaps  entered into in connection with a new European CLO issuance by Avoca CLO XIX DAC.
  • Advised Athens International Airport S.A. as issuer of up to $665.6m bond loans connected with a 20-year extension of the original concession granted to manage and operate Athens International Airport.
  • Advised Investcorp Credit Management EU Limited as Portfolio Manager in relation to perfect asset swaps to be entered into in connection with a European CLO issued by Harvest CLO XV DAC.
  • Advised Cairn Loan Investments LLP as Investment Manager in relation to perfect asset swaps to be entered into in connection with a European CLO issued by Cairn CLO X B.V..

Slaughter and May has a multi-specialist finance practice in which lawyers handle more than one type of work, though derivatives and structured finance are key pillars of the practice. The firm is well known for advising the treasury departments of corporate clients, notably on equity derivatives and structured finance transactions involving derivatives, as well as having significant experience in relation to dispute resolution and regulatory investigations. Its work for corporate clients encompasses all aspects of hedging and regulatory advice. Its extensive M&A work frequently involves equity derivatives such as portfolio total return swaps to transfer benefit and risk, or equity-backed collar financings, on which it increasingly advises banks. Lead partners Oliver Wicker and Ed Fife act for financial services providers, investment funds and corporates.

Practice head(s):Oliver Wicker

Other key lawyers:Ed Fife; Azadeh Nassiri; Andrew McClean; Christopher McCabe; David Thomas

Testimonials

"The team is very attentive to the client's needs and acts as a true trusted adviser with a client's best interest in mind."

"Ed Fife provides outside the box thinking and pushes the envelope to get the best possible outcome. He went above and beyond what was expected."

"Their experience allows them to advise on where a compromise will work and where it will be a challenge. As a client, we might still want to challenge but at least we negotiate from a position of having sound market knowledge."

"Christopher McCabe's guidance makes it easy as a client to form a view as to what is essential and what is 'nice to have', which makes the negotiation of contracts much easier."

 

Key Clients

The Central Bank of Egypt

Next plc

CEVA Logistics A.G.

Oesterreichische Kontrollbank A.G.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Central Bank of Egypt on a repurchase transaction with a consortium of international banks in order to increase liquidity and the size of its international reserves.
  • Represented Next plc in relation to a substitution of issuer under Next’s existing bonds and credit facilities.
  • Represented CEVA Logistics AG in relation to its hedging arrangements (including an initial “hedge auction”) as part of CEVA’s comprehensive $1.4bn refinancing
  • Advised Oesterreichische Kontrollbank A.G. on the negotiation of a significant number of ISDA Master Agreements and Credit Support Annexes, and advised it in relation to a clearing addendum with an international bank.

'Commercial, fast, accurate - best-in-class', says a client of Travers Smith LLP, which advises investment managers, private equity funds, challenger and foreign-headquartered banks, blue-chip pension schemes, funds, corporates and financial institutions on derivatives, repo, securities lending and investment products, and associated regulation. Head of derivatives and structured products Jonathan Gilmour is 'a terrific attorney - responsive, commercial and efficient'. He handles transactional and advisory work and is regarded as a key adviser to buy-side clients. Sebastian Reger is an expert in longevity transactions, with which he assists insurance companies, pension schemes and collateral managers. Peter Hughes handles investment and structured products, focusing on the derivatives aspects, as well as collateral and credit support and bespoke transactions to hedge exposures. Vanessa Kalijnikoff Battaglia and the 'very personable' Joseph Wren are rising star senior associates.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Gilmour; Matthew Ayre

Other key lawyers:Sebastian Reger; Peter Hughes; Vanessa Kalijnikoff Battaglia; Joseph Wren

Testimonials

"There is extensive experience across the whole team. They always seem to be able to bring in a specialist team member to cover the issues that arise."

"Joseph Wren is a stand-out senior associate who supports us, but the whole team are strong. They are always responsive, always meet deadlines and advice is always clear."

"Their technical skills are excellent and their approach to the job is always driven by a problem-solving attitude and an understanding of the commercial aspects. Our first choice of English counsel for this types of transactions."

"We have greatly enjoyed working with Jonathan Gilmour and Vanessa Kalijnikoff  Battaglia. The fact that they are pleasant people helped a lot in developing our relationship and creating a positive working environment."

"They have an unwavering dedication to this area and to understanding the way in which different areas of the derivatives industry is impacted by incoming legislation and regulatory change. Whilst new relative to other firms, they have the clear commitment to perform at the highest levels."

"Jonathan Gilmour has worked tirelessly to create this department and has managed to train a number of skilled and highly talented associates. He is very personable and considerate and a pleasure to work with."

"Joseph Wren has great charm and ambition. He is conscientious, committed and will continue to be a fundamental part of this growing team."

Key Clients

Micro Focus International PLC

Allianz Global Investors GmbH

Brown Brothers Harriman

Bridgepoint Advisers Limited

Pay.UK

British Steel Pension Scheme

3i PLC

Microsoft Corporation

Generation Investment Management LLP

Vodafone Group Pension Scheme

Montagu Private Equity LLP

Aberdeen Asset Managers

Investec

London Metal Exchange

Ares Management Limited

Work highlights

  • The high-profile separation of the British Steel Pension Scheme from the Tata Steel business.
  • The implementation of the Allianz Global Investors securities lending platform.
  • Advising The Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan on a £2.4bn buy-out transaction entered into with Legal and General Assurance Society.
  • Working with Italian Legal Services to advise DBRS on a number of Italian securitisation transactions involving banks including JP Morgan, Santander and BNP Paribas.
  • Advising Bridgepoint on fund structuring for its flagship Europe funds, as well as its domestically-focussed Development Capital funds.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP is particularly highly regarded for its dominant position in the CLO market and, in 2018, it was the leading firm in the European CLO market for the third year in a row, acting for asset collateral managers. In the derivatives market, the firm not only provides advice on the structuring of CLOs, but also assists clients with the use of derivatives in M&A transactions, and provides currency and interest rate hedging for structured finance vehicles, corporates and banks. It also handles repo funding structures and credit default swaps, and has a specialist team to service the derivatives needs of private equity and corporate clients. In the practice led by Jacky Kelly, newly promoted partner Alexander Martin handles dervatives in the context of CLOs and associate Andrew Lauder, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP, advises on a broad range of OTC derivatives and structured capital markets transactions.

Practice head(s):Jacky Kelly

Other key lawyers:Alexander Martin; Andrew Lauder

Key Clients

Barclays

Blackstone / GSO

Carlyle Group

Deutsche Bank

Hertz Europe

Apollo Management International / Redding Ridge

Guggenheim

BlackRock

Lloyds Banking Group

KKR

Investcorp

BlueBay

Deutsche Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advising on derivatives aspects of VINCI Airports SAS (France) (an indirect subsidiary of VINCI SA) in its £2.9bn ($3.7bn) acquisition of a majority stake in Gatwick Airport Limited (VINCI’s high-profile investment into Gatwick airport).
  • Advising on swap transactions entered into by structured finance vehicles in relation to CLOs and securitisations.
  • Advice to numerous clients including Brookfield, Ellerman and Estee Lauder on bank resolution regulation and European Market Infrastructure Regulations (EMIR) aspects of swap documents.
  • Advising major international pension funds and investment funds with regards to hedging matters on significant acquisitions in 2018.
  • Advising major investment funds on the repo financing of the retention notes held in their respective CLO transactions.

White & Case LLP has a strong CLO practice, for which its structured finance team provides extensive advice on derivatives. This includes its role in the innovative area of sustainable CLOs, with which the firm assisted the G20 Sustainable Finance Study Group. The broader derivatives practice is led by  Ingrid York and it advises on derivatives for both investment and hedging purposes. Its work covers interest rate, credit, equity, currency and commodity derivatives, as well as regulatory capital transactions, repurchase agreements, securities lending, synthetic investments, credit enhancers and Islamic derivatives. Its team of regulatory specialists, coupled with its ability to provide both US and English law advice from London, put the firm in a prominent position to advise clients on matters of compliance. Richard Blackburn frequently advises banks, funds and corporates in relation to OTC derivatives, including shari'ah-compliant instruments. Associate Nathaniel Crowley  also plays a central role in the firm's derivatives work.

Practice head(s):Ingrid York

Other key lawyers:Chris McGarry; Tom Falkus; Debashis Dey; Claudio Medeossi; Richard Blackburn; James Jirtle; Nathaniel Crowley

Key Clients

Alpha Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Credit Suisse

Eurobank

European Investment Fund

G20 Sustainable Finance Study Group (SFSG)

GreensLedge

HSBC

JPMorgan

Morgan Stanley

National Bank of Greece

Piraeus Bank

Societe Generale

Trafigura

Work highlights

  • Represented, as sole legal counsel, BNP Paribas in respect of its European perfect asset swap business.
  • Represented BNP Paribas as initial purchaser and sole arranger of the €321.30 million reset of Contego CLO III for Five Arrows Managers (a Rothschild & Co. Group company), and separately acted for BNP Paribas in its capacity as hedge counterparty.
  • Representation of JPMorgan Securities plc as placement agent and settlement agent on the redemption and refinancing of the existing rated notes.
  • Acting for Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc as Arranger, Initial Purchaser and Placement Agent on the redemption of the existing rated notes.
  • Represented BNP Paribas as initial purchaser and sole arranger of the €411.7 million Jubilee CLO 2018-XX for Alcentra and separately acted for BNP Paribas in its capacity as hedge counterparty.

Burges Salmon LLP in Bristol has an impressive client base that includes FTSE100 corporates and global brands. The firm's derivatives practice is best known for advising blue-chip clients on the borrower side on highly complex matters, including bespoke ISDA agreements. It also acts for investment funds and pension fund trustees that use derivatives to manage their risk. Many of its clients are based in the UK but the firm has substantially increased its portfolio of work for overseas clients in structured equity derivatives for retail funds, the negotiation of ISDA Master Agreements, clearing agreements and regulatory advice. Lead partner Graham Soar handles corporate banking, project finance, derivatives, securitisation and debt capital markets work. He has particular expertise in energy-related finance and real estate financing.

Practice head(s):Graham Soar

Other key lawyers:Alistair Rattray

Key Clients

FirstGroup plc

National Express Group plc

Emirates Group

Julian Hodge Bank

Premier Fund Managers

Villa Plus Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising FirstGroup on a large number of transactions which include a range of derivatives matters, including negotiation of ISDA master agreements and related credit support arrangements and advising on commodities derivatives transactions and arrangements.
  • Advising National Express on a significant number of ISDAs and ISDA Master Agreements.
  • Advising new client Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on a transaction involving a significant investment facility, including embedded derivatives, to an SPV backed by a multinational asset manager for the acquisition of a BVI company owning 11 Pilgrim Street, Ludgate, London
  • Advising on various CSA amendment agreements to existing ISDA master agreements, to include both the legal and commercial investment strategy aspects.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP's capital markets (securitization and asset-based finance) group focuses predominantly on securitisation and structured products, but it is also home to significant specialist expertise in derivatives. Nick Shiren focuses primarily on derivatives, CLOs and other loan funding structures. He is qualified in the UK, the US and in Australia, and his work includes in-depth advice on changing regulation in both Europe and the US. Though mainly focused on CLOs, David Quirolo is recognised as a leading adviser on regulatory developments across Europe, and he frequently represents the Loan Markets Association (LMA).

Practice head(s):Suzanne Bell; Robert Cannon; Stephen Day; Claire Puddicombe; David Quirolo; Nick Shiren; Daniel Tobias

Key Clients

Swisscard AECS

AMAG

Deutsche Bank AG

Funding Circle

Insight Investment

Dechert LLP has a core team of professionals within its financial services group who advise on the full range of matters relating to derivatives and structured products transactions. Its lawyers combine derivatives work with fund formation and regulatory advice, giving the firm a uniquely buy-side perspective. The practice is led by Gus Black, who is co-head of the global financial services practice, and lead London derivatives and funds partner Abigail Bell, who handles brokerage, custody and other trading and financing arrangements and structures including ISDAs, exchange-traded and clearing arrangements, repos, securities lending, and committed and uncommitted credit facilities. Bell's clients range from hedge fund start-ups to global asset managers, private equity funds and retail funds domiciled world-wide. Rising star associate Karen Stretch focuses exclusively on derivatives. The firm also advises on regulatory developments, including the impact of EMIR, SFTR, MiFID II, MiFIR and AIFMD.

Practice head(s):Gus Black; Abigail Bell

Other key lawyers:Karen Stretch

Testimonials

"Dechert provides professional advices specifically tailored for client needs. The team we worked with has extensive experiences and was able to provide advice in complicated situations."

"The team has always been on hand to assist with our legal requirements and has been very diligent in providing us the top quality advice."

"The combination of funds and derivatives knowledge is useful for our practice."

"Karen Stretch is very responsive and knowledgeable."

The derivatives and structured products team in Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP's London office advises on all types of derivatives, as well as repo transactions and securities lending, from vanilla products to complex standalone transactions. Among these are high-profile strategic equity derivatives and structured credit derivatives transactions, as well as structured repo and reverse repo transactions, refinancing structured notes. The practice acts for global investment banks, fund managers and corporates in the UK, France and numerous emerging markets. Head of banking and finance Dimitrios Logizidis and head of the derivatives sub-practice group Karine Imbrosciano are the key partners. Imbrosciano, who specialises in OTC derivatives and structured products, is qualified both as an English solicitor and French Avocat à la Cour and advises on both English- and French-law transactions.

Practice head(s):Dimitrios Logizidis; Karine Imbrosciano

Other key lawyers:Emilie Guieu

Key Clients

BNP Paribas

Europcar

JPMorgan

SNCF Group

Work highlights

  • Advised SNCF Réseau in relation to the impact of various structures contemplated for the restructuring of the financial debt on the derivatives transactions currently in place.
  • Advised Europcar Mobility Group on the renewal, extension and restructuring of Europcar's  €1.7bn car fleet securitisation transaction.

The London office of Katten is part of the firm's transatlantic practice, which advises on regulatory, compliance, transactional, documentation and structural matters. The firm is adept at futures, cleared and uncleared swaps, including their use in structured products. Among its clients are investment firms, including broker-dealers; end users such as proprietary trading groups, hedge funds, commodity pools, pension  plans, corporations and municipalities; clearinghouses, exchanges, multilateral trading facilities and swap execution facilities. It also works with intermediaries; clearing firms; alternative investment fund managers; and swap dealers in the US and EU. Regulatory expert John Ahern joined from Jones Day in early 2018 to lead the financial services practice.  Carolyn Jackson provides US financial regulatory legal advice to commercial banks, investment banks, trade associations and OTC derivatives service providers. Nathaniel Lalone and Neil Robson are also recommended for regulatory and compliance advice.

Practice head(s):John Ahern

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong transactional practice that works closely with the firm's banking, regulatory, ERISA, tax and capital markets teams to assist clients with ongoing regulatory change in the market. Its key strengths lie in equity derivatives as part of large cross-border capital markets and M&A transactions; regulatory advice; and risk mitigation for non-cleared derivative products. Vladimir Maly  leads the derivatives group and handles a wide range of derivatives and structured products in the context of corporate finance, capital markets and M&A activity. Partner Jeremy Jennings-Mares  has a transactional practice focused on securities, structured products, derivatives and structured financings. His areas of specialism include credit-linked, fund-linked and equity-linked OTC derivatives. Senior of counsel Peter Green focuses primarily on structured credit, structured products and derivatives transactions, often for investment banks and corporate issuers.

Practice head(s):Vladimir Maly

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Jennings-Mares; Peter Green

Key Clients

Adara GmbH

Ally Bridge

Arrowgrass

AXA

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Blackrock

CIBC

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

CVC Capital Partners

Deutsche Bank

Farallon Capital

Fortress

Goldman Sachs

ING

HSBC

JPMorgan

Lending Club

Moonshot Capital

Morgan Stanley

MUFG

Natixis

Nomura

Oxygen

PIMCO

Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Scotland

RWE

Tiberius Asset Management

Toronto Dominion

UBS

Work highlights

  • Advising a number of investment banks on derivatives matters relating to financial regulatory reform, including MiFID 2/MiFIR and Basel III.
  • Advising Oxygen on its regulatory set up and obtaining all required licences, as well as their compliance programme.
  • Representing Adara GmBH, a security and utility token exchange, in connection with obtaining various regulatory licences required in connection with the launch of a trading platform allowing for trading of various assets.

The energy sector is a core focus for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP, which is adept in energy-related commodities and derivatives work, and also has a presence in the metals trading market. Practice head Edward Humphries is not only an expert in trading, structured trading, financing, regulation and M&A in the energy sector, but is also active in other commodities markets. He is the relationship partner for some of the firm's key energy clients including ENGIE Global Markets, JPMorgan, Mercuria and Trailstone UK Limited. James Atkin, who works in both London and Tokyo, recently joined from Vinson & Elkins RLLP to help expand the firm's oil and gas and commodities presence in Asia, with a focus on Japanese trading houses. Managing associate Matthew Stott also plays a central role in the London practice.

Practice head(s):Edward Humphries

Other key lawyers:James Atkin; James Hargrove; Mark Beeley; Joanna Kay; Matthew Stott

Testimonials

"Our experience has been good, without exception. A strengths is its network, so that the right partners for a particular task are contacted quickly."

"We have had nothing but courteous, knowledgeable and fair dealings with the firm."

"Edward Humphries has gone the extra mile for us on a number of deals and has been a pleasure to work with."

Key Clients

Axpo Trading AG

Castleton Commodities Inc.

SOCAR Trading SA

ENGIE Global Markets

JP Morgan

BB Energy

Trailstone UK Limited

Microsoft

Petroineos Trading

Litasco

IPM Energy Trading Limited

EnergieKontor

Mitsui Bussan Commodities Ltd

Mercuria

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackrock in the drafting and negotiation of a 197.4 MW 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Alcoa, the Norwegian aluminium producer.
  • Advising Axpo Trading on multiple LNG purchase and sale arrangements, gas sales agreements and LNG charter parties with various confidential counterparties.
  • Advised IPM Energy on a full re-negotiation of the trading and hedging service arrangements with Energy Capital Partners as the latter sought to refinance its Saltend thermal power plant.
  • Continues to advise ENGIE Global Markets (EGM) as lead external counsel on the negotiation of all power, gas and carbon trading agreements.
  • Advising Storengy on matters associated with its Stublach underground gas storage facility, including the development of physical storage services contract terms and gas transfer arrangements relating to product repurchase agreements.

Ropes & Gray LLP has one partner who advises asset managers, alternative credit providers, hedge fund managers and private equity firms. Among these clients are Altice and Western Asset Management. The practice is also growing its portfolio of work for major investment banks. In 2018, Anna Lawry advised on innovative structures including credit enhancement for an emerging market NPL portfolio financing through a rolling FX hedging programme, and a bespoke scheme for interest rate hedging. The firm is also known for its advice on regulatory matters, particularly in regard to issues affecting asset managers. Lawry has more than 15 years' experience in derivatives in all the major asset classes, both OTC or on-exchange, and associated ISDA, collateral, brokerage, clearing and custody arrangements.

Practice head(s):Anna Lawry

Testimonials

"Excellent cross-border co-ordination, with the ability to work incredibly well with asset managers that have global footprints and address derivatives regulatory issues across different fund ranges and types."

"Anna Lawry shows an impressive ability to distil difficult legal analysis into practical everyday guidance."

"A strong team that is very knowledgable and commercially-oriented."

"Anna Lawry stands out with vast knowledge and great attention to detail."

Key Clients

Nordnet

Western Asset Management

SIFMA Asset Management Group

Altice USA

Work highlights

  • Adviding Altice on hedging for $6.75bn refinancing in connection with the combination of Altice USA’s Suddenlink and Optimum businesses under a single credit silo.
  • Advising on the establishment of an agency stock lending program, and related custody arrangements.
  • Advising a global fixed income asset manager on derivatives and securities financing matters.
  • Advising a global alternative investment manager on establishing bespoke OTC derivatives collateral documentation for use by a UK UCITS segregated account and ultimately other clients.
  • Advising a PE investment firm on a number of FX and interest rate hedging transactions for their funds, and special purpose vehicles entering into “NAV” financings in respect of their portfolio investments.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP focuses predominantly on representing buy-side clients and it is a leading adviser to authorised funds complying with new regulations affecting the derivatives market. Among its clients are numerous investment funds and pension schemes, which it assists with trading and hedging matters. The practice also acts for banks and building societies in balance sheet management. Jonathan Master leads the UK derivatives practice and his recent work includes advising hedge funds on ISDA agreements and other related derivatives documentation. Key partner Richard Batchelor, principal associate Jamie Dunlop and senior associate Paul Denham, who advises banks, building societies, asset managers and corporate buy-side entities on derivatives and securities finance transactions, play key roles in the practice.

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

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    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

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