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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 > High yield > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. High yield
  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

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP¬†has¬†a large practice in London that handles high yield bonds and other financing structures, and it is consistently one of the leading firms acting as underwriter's counsel in the European market. The firm has 'great partners' in practice co-heads¬†Philip Boeckman¬†and¬†George Stephanakis, and key partner¬†Alyssa Caples. The firm's client base is well balanced between representing issuers and underwriters, and it has notable expertise in complex, cross-border high yield bond issuance in multiple currencies. Its role in complex and novel deal structures is exemplified by its role, acting for initial purchasers, in¬†the high yield financing of the novel public-to-private (P2P) takeover of Recordati, which included the issuance of¬†‚ā¨1.3bn in 144A/Reg. S high yield fixed and floating rate senior secured notes by Luxembourg-based debt vehicle¬†Rossini. Boeckman led that transaction.¬† Stephanakis, who handles M&A and capital markets work, acted in the $300m and ‚ā¨280m notes offering of CGG. Caples acted for energy company Drax in a¬†$300m offering.

Practice head(s):Philip Boeckman; George Stephanakis

Other key lawyers:Alyssa Caples; Margaret Rallings

Key Clients

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Drax

Goldman Sachs International

HSBC

Jefferies

JP Morgan Chase

KKR

NatWest Markets

Picard

Premier Foods

Yell

Work highlights

  • Represented the initial purchasers in the €530m and SEK1.28bn high yield notes offering of Garfunkelux Holdco 3 S.A.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the €1.3bn high yield notes offering of Rossini S.à r.l.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the €600m and €400m  high yield notes offerings of Smurfit Kappa Acquisitions Unlimited Company.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the $300m and €280m high yield notes offering of CGG Holding (U.S.) Inc.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the €350m and £225m high yield notes offering of La Financière ATALIAN S.A.S.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP¬†is the leading player on the sponsor side of the high yield market and the firm has one of the largest US capital markets teams in London. The practice focuses exclusively on US high yield bonds and liability management transactions. Its work for issuers in 2018 accounted for 17 bond offerings.¬†Practice head William Burke¬†and partner Matthew Merkle¬†frequently lead on¬†lead on some of the most ground-breaking and complex high-yield transactions in Europe for sponsors and issuers, which last year included a ‚ā¨2.2bn offering by Bain Capital portfolio company Nexi Capital. The 'super-smart' Cedric Van den Borren¬†is among the few high yield specialists in London who focuses on deals in the French market, where he acts for¬†sponsors and portfolio companies including Partners Group. Up and coming partner Tim Volkheimer¬†handled deals for major private equity sponsors and credit funds active in Europe including Bain Capital.

Practice head(s):William Burke

Other key lawyers:Matthew Merkle; Cedric Van den Borren; Tim Volkheimer

Testimonials

"The team is very business-oriented, very educational for first-time issuers. They know very well the market and the best practices."

"Cedric Van den Borren is pragmatic and very involved."

"Cedric Van den Borren's team is super-responsive, very quick to respond to any question no matter the time of day. It is very client focused - with the primary aim of always negotiating the best possible deal for their clients."

"Cedric Van den Borren is a very focused, highly attentive and an astute high yield lawyer. He always aims to find a solution to complex issues and problems which has allowed a deal to proceed to the finish line which in other circumstances would not have got done."

Key Clients

Advent International

Bain Capital

HgCapital

Bain Capital Private Equity

Houlihan Lokey

TDR Capital

Golden Tree Asset Management

Techem

Partners Group

KKR Credit

Work highlights

  • Advising Nexi Capital S.p.A., a portfolio company of Advent International, Bain Capital and Clessidra, in an offering of €2.2bn of high yield bonds and the private placement of an additional €400m of bonds.
  • Advising Parts Europe S.A. (formerly Autodis S.A.), a Bain Capital portfolio company, in connection with its offering of €175m senior secured floating rate notes due 2022.
  • Advising Smurfit Kappa Group in connection with its offering of €400m 2.875% Senior Notes due 2026.
  • Advised on the capital markets aspects of the restructuring of Noble Group Limited, the largest commodity trader in Asia.
  • Advising Algeco Scotsman Global S.à r.l., a portfolio company of TDR Capital, in connection with the offering by Algeco Scotsman Global Finance plc of €125m of its Senior Secured Notes.

'Consistently at the top of the market', says a client of Latham & Watkins, which has the largest group of high yield specialists of any firm in London. The firm remains a leader in the market and two promotions, Matthew Schneider  and Fritz Ernemann, bring the number of partners in Brett Cassidy's London group to nine. They handle the full range of high yield debt products in Europe, as well as calling on the firm's extensive banking, industry, regulatory and compliance practices to support investment banks, private equity sponsors and corporates. In 2018, the firm had a role in 99 high yield transactions that closed, with an aggregate deal value in excess of $105.9bn. Jocelyn Seitzman frequently handles  sponsor-side work for private equity houses; Scott Colwell and Francesco Lione act for major banks and corporates; and Jennifer Engelhardt handles deals for oil and gas industry players. Tracy Edmonson moved to the Hong Kong office with James Burnett coming the other way to join the London group.

Practice head(s):Brett Cassidy

Other key lawyers:Scott Colwell; Jocelyn Seitzman; Jennifer Engelhardt; Francesco Lione; James Burnett; Matthew Schneider; Fritz Ernemann

Testimonials

"I have not had a bad experience ever with the firm. It has creative and thorough partners who provide sound advice."

Key Clients

Credit Suisse

CVC Capital Partners

Deutsche Bank

EQT

Goldman Sachs

J.P. Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Owens-Illinois

Permira Advisers

PAI Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Deutsche Bank, as Initial Purchaser’s counsel, on the $ 2.52bn new issuance by SoftBank Group.
  • Advised PAI Partners, as Issuer and Sponsor’s Counsel, on a $445m senior bond offering, alongside term loans and a revolving credit facility in connection with PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation's acquisition of Refresco Group.
  • Advised DXT Technology Company, as issuer’s counsel, on its €650m issuance of 1.75% Senior Notes due 2026.
  • Advised Morgan Stanley, as Initial Purchaser’s counsel, on Matalan’s issuance of £350,000,000 of 6.75% First Lien Secured Notes due 2023 and £130,000,000 of 9.5% Second Lien Secured Notes due 2024.
  • Advised BAML, as Initial Purchaser’s Counsel, on the bond offering by Algeco Scotsman, comprising €600,000,000 of 6.5% Senior Secured Fixed Rate Notes due 2023, $520,000,000 of 8% Senior Secured Fixed Rate Notes due 2023,  €150,000,000 Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2023, and US$ 305,000,000 of 10% Senior Notes due 2023.

Milbank¬†is a growing force in the high yield market and climbs the ranking this year. Practice head Apostolos Gkoutzinis¬†is 'highly commercial and a trusted adviser,¬† providing clear, sensible and straightforward advice' and one client notes that he has 'a strong reputation and an icon in the world of high yield bonds'. He joined the firm in early 2018 from¬†Shearman & Sterling LLP, along with Rebecca Marques¬†, who is 'technically excellent, a "hands on" partner'. They joined experienced high yield partner Tim Peterson¬†to create a practice with both experience and depth, with special counsels Trevor Truman, Randy Nahl√©¬†and the¬†'highly responsive and technically excellent'¬†Ana Grbec¬†all playing key roles. Since its expansion, the practice has grown the number of¬†large financial institutions and high-profile issuers for which it acts, while it continues to act for the likes of Barclays, BNP Paribas, KKR and Jaguar Land Rover. Its work encompasses some of the largest and most complex deals in the market, which included¬†leading the offering by Fire of ‚ā¨410m of senior secured floating rates notes¬†role for Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Cr√©dit Agricole.

Practice head(s):Apostolos Gkoutzinis

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Marques; Tim Peterson; Trevor Truman; Randy Nahlé; Ana Grbec

Testimonials

"The team brings an excellent combination of commercial astuteness, reputation, high yield knowledge and great client management, including responsiveness and interaction."

"The team works very well as a unit and we have the ability to pick up the phone to anyone of them. We have a strong trusted relationship with the team, which knows our business and personalities very well."

"We have worked with Apostolos Gkoutzinis and Trevor Truman, who have strong coordinating, analytical and communications skills, and in-depth knowledge of legal issues."

"Overall impression of the firm is that it is well organised with highly professional personnel."

"Rebecca Marques shows strong client engagement and responsiveness."

"Rebecca Marques has been building her own standalone profile recently - she is hugely dedicated and committed to her role."

"Ana Grbec has always had the ability to form strong client relationships at all levels, even when she was at an early stage of her career, as well as the ability to explain complex concepts in layman terms."

"Milbank is one of the firms in London that combines quality high yield and loan advice, and this key in a market where both products are converging."

"Rebeccas Marques demonstrates detailed knowledge and is extremely prompt in addressing requests."

Key Clients

Together/Bracken Midco1

Goldman Sachs International

BNP Paribas

Citigroup Global Markets

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive

KAEFER

KKR

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

HSBC

Entertainment One

Work highlights

  • Represented Together/Bracken Midco1, the leading UK-based specialist finance provider, in its £350m offering of senior PIK toggle notes due 2023.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, and Crédit Agricole in their role as initial purchasers in connection with the offering by Italian special purpose vehicle Fire of €410m of senior secured floating rates notes due 2024.
  • Represented Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, the holding company of Jaguar Land Rover Limited, as issuer in connection with its offering of €500m senior notes due 2026.
  • Advised KAEFER, the leading Germany-based global provider of insulation, access solutions, surface protection and passive fire protection services, on a new, comprehensive group financing, comprising a high yield bond of €250m, and a super senior revolving credit and multi-currency revolving letter of guarantee facility of €480m.
  • Represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Goldman Sachs International as initial purchasers of US$235m senior secured notes issued by Ardonagh Midco 3 plc, a subsidiary of The Ardonagh Group Limited.

Since January 2010, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has represented issuers and initial purchasers in more than 140 high yield bond deals in Europe, with a total value in excess of $70bn. The practice, which has three experienced partners in Nicholas Shaw, Gil Strauss and Carol Daniel, remains a key player in London and frequently acts for the portfolio companies of sponsors such as Apax Partners, The Blackstone Group and KKR. 'The team is lean and responsive, and the partners are very knowledgeable about the law, market practice, and current market activity', remarks a client. Shaw acts primarily for private equity sponsors; so, too, do Strauss and Daniel, who also advise publicly held and privately held companies and underwriters on high yield bond offerings, restructurings, initial public offerings and other corporate finance transactions. Counsel Uma Sud also acts for sponsors, though her work includes high yield issuance for corporate issuers including Aston Martin and Travelex.

Practice head(s):Carol Daniel; Nicholas Shaw; Gil Strauss

Other key lawyers:Uma Sud

Testimonials

"They anticipate our needs and wants and propose solutions that help us both manage risks and take advantage of opportunities."

"Gil Strauss achieves the highest standards of professional excellence and helpfulness."

"The firm has high-quality and hardworking advisors who have seen it all and done it all. It is partner-led and pragmatic, but also the team shows tenacity and drive to deliver in difficult situations."

Key Clients

Apax Partners

Aston Martin

The Blackstone Group

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

KfW

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR)

TDR Capital

Travelex

Work highlights

  • Representation of Blackstone on a high yield bond offering to finance a portion of the acquisition price of Cirsa Gaming Corporation S.A. LHMC Finco S.à r.l., a Blackstone special purpose vehicle, has completed a Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of €1.5bn (equivalent) of euro-denominated and dollar-denominated Senior Secured Notes.
  • Representation of Intertrust N.V. in connection with a Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of €500m 3.375% Senior Notes due 2025 by its subsidiary and entry into a new facilities agreement.
  • Representation of United Group B.V. in its solicitation of consents from the holders of United Group’s 4.375% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 to waive and approve an amendment to certain provisions contained in the Notes.
  • Representation of United Group B.V. in its solicitation of consents from the holders of United Group’s 4.375% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 to waive and approve an amendment to certain provisions contained in the Notes.
  • Representation of Platin 1426. GmbH, a Blackstone portfolio company and the direct parent of Schenck Process, in connection with its Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of €125m million in aggregate principal amount of 6.875% Senior Secured Notes.

Of the Magic Circle firms,¬†Allen & Overy LLP¬†has made the biggest inroads into the high yield market and clients remark that is has 'a very well organised team with exceptional market insight that is capable of delivering creative yet executable solutions'. Practice head Kevin Muzilla¬†leads a five-partner team, making it one of the deepest benches in London,¬† and it works closely with the firm's market-leading practices in banking, leveraged finance and debt capital markets, corporate and restructuring. Its client base encompasses¬†underwriters, sponsors and issuers including Metinvest and¬†Iceland Foods. Jeanette Cruz¬†handled new issuance for Metinvest.¬†Matthias Baudisch¬†and John Kicken¬†handled a¬†‚ā¨3.5bn bank/bond merger financing; Jake Keaveny¬†focuses on work for underwriters.

Practice head(s):Kevin Muzilla

Other key lawyers:Jeanette Cruz; Matthias Baudisch; Jake Keaveny; John Kicken

Testimonials

'Very well organized team with exceptional market insight - capable of delivering creative yet executable solutions.'

Key Clients

Intralot

PAI Partners

Metinvest

KCA Deutag

Perstorp Holding AB

Arqiva

IHO Holding

Iceland Foods

Schaeffler

Balta

Triton

Davidson Kempner Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised the underwriters on the offering by Flora Food Group, the spreads business sold by Unilever, of $525 m and €685m senior notes due 2026 in support of the acquisition by KKR.
  • Advised KCA Deutag on its offering of $400m 9.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2023 and high yield bond consent solicitation in connection with KCA Deutag’s acquisition of Dalma Energy LLC.  
  • Advised the underwriters on the offering by Techem of €465m 6% senior notes due 2026 in relation to the €3.1bn bank/bond financing of the Partners Group’s acquisition of Techem.
  • Advised Metinvest, the Ukraine’s largest mining and steel company, on its over $2.3bn financing, comprising the issuance of $1,592,176,000 high yield bonds and amended and restated $765,000,000 pre-export financing bank debt.
  • Advised a global financial institution and other initial purchasers on the £150m debut high yield bond issuance of Enterprise Inns in connection with the company’s successful tender offer for its outstanding convertible bonds.

The high yield practice at Baker McKenzie underwent a transformation in 2018 and early 2019, significantly boosting its capability with a number of key hires. Lead partner Adam Farlow now works with partners Rob Mathews and David Becker, who both joined from White & Case LLP along with senior associate Ben Bierwirth, Haden Henderson from Ropes & Gray LLP, and Megan Schellinger from Linklaters LLP. The firm, which climbs the ranking, has integrated US and UK capital markets capability, enabling it to advise on European high yield debt offerings, whether English law Eurobonds or New York law bonds, for underwriters, private equity funds and issuers. Its work encompasses debut issuance, follow-on issuances, taps, on-going covenant compliance, reporting, liability management and restructuring. The firm's vast international network, which includes offices in many emerging markets, is a boon to the practice as private equity sponsors look to expand their coverage into into new and developing jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):Adam Farlow

Other key lawyers:Rob Matthews; David Becker; Haden Henderson; Ben Bierwirth; Megan Schellinger;

Testimonials

"Ther are very exciting developments at the firm with the arrival of Rob Mathews, David Becker and Ben Bierwirth. It should be the start of a great platform for high yield bonds and we look forward to seeing them make inroads into the market."

"The standout partner for me is Rob Mathews, who brings a wealth of experience and approaches issues with a commercial and balanced perspective."

"Ben Bierwirth is definitely one to watch - a very capable, client-focused and knowledgeable lawyer."

"The high yield team has high-calibre attorneys who are very experienced in the leveraged finance space. They are commercial, yet show the required attention to detail that is required for complex cross-border securities offerings."

"The lawyers are approachable, willing to answer any question no matter the complexity or time of day or night, and give answers in an efficient, easy to digest format. I would highly recommend the team."

"Rob Mathews is an excellent attorney with many years of experience in the European high yield market. He understands the complexities of the European market and is able to easily navigate around local issues when and if they arose on a cross-border transaction."

"Rob Mathews is always available and is very client-focused. His advice is of an excellent quality - always to the point, efficient and precise."

"Ben Bierwirth is a great associate - very client-focused, he always delivers an excellent service and gets to grips with complex issues in a very efficient and meticulous manner. He has also had excellent in-house experience at a leading bank in the European market, so understands what is important to clients."

"David Becker is an excellent attorney. He is able to work on many diverse and complex transactions, no matter the format. He is an excellent negotiator, always getting the best deal for his clients."

Key Clients

SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH AG

Deutsche Trustee Company Limited

The Law Debenture Trust Corporation p.l.c.

Bondholders, S.L.

JSC Georgia Capital

Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş.

Work highlights

  • Advised Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. on its Rule 144A offering of $500m 6.875 per cent Notes due 2025.
  • Advised the SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH AG group on the issuance of its €150m (as a tap of its immediately prior €200m) high yield bond, under German law, to the fund the acquisition of material French assets as the initial step in the consolidation of the European specialty steel business.
  • Representing Deutsche Bank as trustee in connection with the consent and exchange offer by the SoftBank Group relating to several series of its EUR and USD Notes due 2022, 2025 and 2027, the amendment of its 2015 indenture, and the early redemption of its senior notes due 2020.
  • Representing Deutsche Bank as trustee in connection with the redemption by eDreams ODIGEO of its Senior Secured Notes due 2021 and the issuance of new €425m Senior Secured Notes due 2023.
  • Representing Law Debenture as trustee in connection with the issuance by Puma Energy of its $750m Senior Notes due 2026, the redemption of its Senior Notes due 2021, and the subsequent consent solicitation amending the terms of its €200m 4.5 per cent Senior Notes due 2022.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP has 'a great team with deep insights into the market for, mechanics in, and interplay between loan and bond agreements'. A client remarks that the practice led by James Robinson and Anthony Tama is 'always available, result-oriented and proactive, and has excellent bond expertise'. The firm has a small team but vast experience in representing banks in high yield transactions and syndicated loans, particularly in connection with non-sponsor deals. It has one of the most well-established high yield practices in London and frequently represents both issuers and managers, and it recently had lead roles in complex cross-border bond issuances including the competitive bid by Comcast for Sky plc, in which it acted for underwriters, and LKQ Corp’s acquisition of Stahlgruber GmbH, acting for the initial purchasers.

Practice head(s):James Robinson; Anthony Tama

Testimonials

"The firm has very good knowledge of market practice and seems to be involved in many deals. The practice seems to retain many talents."

"Antony Tama is a very good partner to work with. He is very much involved, always makes himself available for discussion and is 'hands-on'."

"As a pure-play underwriter side law firm, Cahill is entirely focused on its business and has developed deep expertise in the European high yield market. Jim Robinson and Anthony Tama are first class practitioners and really know their stuff."

"Jim Robinson is one of the most experienced practitioners in the European market. He is unflappable and has the knowledge and experience to solve any issue."

"Anthony Tama is an energetic partner who goes the extra mile to get the job done; he is practical and user friendly, a real delight to work with."

Key Clients

BNP Paribas

Banca IMI S.p.A.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

Matalan Finance plc

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated

Work highlights

  • Cahill Represents Initial Purchasers in a $750m Secured Notes Offering for International Game Technology PLC.
  • Cahill Represents Initial Purchasers in €425m Notes Offering for eDreams ODIGEO S.A.
  • Cahill Represents Initial Purchasers in €500m Notes Offering for International Game Technology PLC
  • Cahill Represents Initial Purchasers in €250m Notes Offering for Piaggio & C. S.p.A.
  • Cahill Represents Initial Purchasers in €250m Notes Offering for Grupo Antolín-Irausa, S.A.

Clients of the 'committed, hardworking and knowledgeable' high yield practice at Clifford Chance LLP praise its 'expertise, level of commitment and professionalism - the team is always available and has a deep knowledge of the market'. Sadly, key partner Fabio Diminich passed away in late 2018. Practice head and high yield specialist Michael Dakin, who has extensive experience advising private equity sponsors, issuers and underwriters on high yield debt and leveraged finance transactions in Europe, the United States and Asia, now works alongside new promoted partner Andrew Kelly, who has practiced in London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai, and frequently acts for sponsors, corporates and underwriters. The practice is known for handling innovative and complex transactions, which in 2018 included one of the largest and most successful public-to-private (P2P) transactions financed with high yield notes, and the largest ever Euro issuance by a debut issuer.

Practice head(s):Michael Dakin

Other key lawyers:Andrew Kelly

Testimonials

"The team provides consistent performance from Upbeat problem solvers who offer good advice and knowledge on structures and timetables."

"Michael Daikin has strong communication and networking skills. He brings people together."

"The team is attentive, knowledgeable, client-focused, pro-active and detail-oriented. In other words, everything that one would expect of a law firm and the perfect sort of adviser to have alongside oneself or across the table."

"Michael Dakin is not only a pleasure to work with, he is exceptionally strong at the simple stuff, the complicated stuff, and everything in between."

"The firm has an international platform with deep market knowledge."

 

"Each of the members of the team has given the appropriate advice and guidance that allow the decision takers have more visibility on the strategy to follow during roadshows and placement. The experience and knowledge of the market is definitely a differentiation factor."

"Michael Dakin is a strong leader and an excellent lawyer, having critical commercial thinking and understanding of legal intricacies."

"Great market knowledge with the ability to convert knowledge to benefit of our company."

"An experienced and dedicated team focused on delivery and the quality of the final output."

Key Clients

TDC

OCI N.V.

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

BNP Paribas

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank

Merrill Lynch International

EQT

Maxima Grupe UAB

Work highlights

  • Advised the consortium comprised of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Danish pension funds that acquired TDC, the Danish telecommunications incumbent, in connection with the acquisition financing consisting of €1.4bn equivalent Senior Notes due 2023 in both Euro and dollar tranches.
  • Advised OCI, a leading global producer and distributor of natural gas-based fertilizers and industrial chemicals, on its $1.15bn senior secured bond issuance and $1.1bn Senior Secured Credit Facilities.
  • Advised on the issuance by Logicor, the largest direct owner of logistics property in Europe, of three tranches of senior unsecured guaranteed notes in aggregate value of €1.8bn.
  • Acted as counsel to the initial purchasers in connection with the issuance by Getlink SE, a key player in mobility infrastructures and international transport and a leader in eco-responsible transport that, among other things, is the holding company of the manager and operator of the Channel Tunnel between UK and France, of €550m of its 3.625% senior secured notes.
  • Advised on the debut bond issuance by Blackstone Property Partners Europe of €600m guaranteed notes under its newly established €5bn EMTN programme, as counsel to the underwriters, Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc and Merrill Lynch International.

'The firm has a small, but very strong team, led by two experienced, creative and "hands-on" partners', says a client of Linklaters LLP. The high yield practice is integrated with the firm's market-leading banking group and it acts for underwriters, financial sponsors and corporate issuers on new money high yield bond offerings and high yield bridge commitments and loans. In 2018, it handled a number of leveraged buyout (LBO) transactions including the Cerberus LBO of WFS, the Jacobs LBO of Cognita, and the Blackstone LBO of Cirsa Gaming. Practice heads Alexander Naidenov and Mark Hageman focus on high yield and acquisition finance, and both are involved in the firm's high yield restructuring practice. They also handled key bank/bond refinancings in 2018, including Naidenov's work for initial purchasers in the refinancing of El Corte Ingles.

Practice head(s):Alexander Naidenov; Mark Hageman

Testimonials

"Mark Hageman is a very experienced, available and 'hands-on' partner, who is always making extra effort to make sure his clients get the best solution."

"Alexander Naidenov is an experienced, creative and outspoken partner, who is always available and helpful, and is excellent at maintaining relationships."

Key Clients

WFS

Cognita

El Corte Ingles

Cirsa Gaming

SALT

United Group

Refresco

Guala Closures/Space

Hertz

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cerberus on the financing of its acquisition of Worldwide Flight Services from funds managed by Platinum Equity.
  • Advising Jacobs Holding AG on the financing of its acquisition of Cognita Topco Limited.
  • Advising the initial purchasers led by BAML and Goldman Sachs in a €600m high yield bond refinancing by El Corte Inglés.
  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers in connection with the financing of the Blackstone LBO of Cirsa Gaming, a leading gaming company in Spain, Italy and Latin America.
  • Advising the initial purchasers led by Credit Suisse in a CHF2.085m high yield bond refinancing by SALT/Matterhorn Telecom.

'The team has a firm grasp of finance and the markets which makes overlaying the legal structuring on deals a much less painful process, and it is also very straight forward to interact with', says a client of Paul Hastings LLP. Another notes that the firm is 'technically very strong but, more importantly, very commercial'. The practice led by Peter Schwartz handles complex cross-border deals for major investment banks and issuers, as well as private credit funds, throughout the EMEA region. An example of the large mandates it handled in 2018 was the work it did on exchange offers and consent solicitations by Altice subsidiaries related to more than $5.5bn of notes in connection with the combination by Altice of its Suddenlink and Optimum businesses under a single credit silo, in which it acted for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

Practice head(s):Peter Schwartz

Other key lawyers:Edward Holmes

Testimonials

"The Paul Hastings high yield team is creative and highly engaged. It is a 'go-to' team for high yield transactions that involve unusual jurisdiction or are otherwise challenging."

"The team demonstrates a strong ability to craft solutions that keep difficult transactions on track."

"Peter Schwartz is a strong advocate who stays on top of every transaction detail. He is always available and can call on his extensive experience to find solutions to almost any issue."

Edward Holmes is creative and calm under pressure. He provides solid, common sense advice and practical solutions, and has an excellent understanding of both EMEA and US high yield practices.

Carlos Ruiz is attentive and knowledgeable, and does a great job keeping clients informed and in-the-loop.

The Paul Hastings team is experienced in the Capital Markets business. Due to their different jurisdictions, they are very flexible in international transactions. Their team in different jurisdictions work closely together, which makes them able to provide great advice. They are closely involved and interested in transactions from the beginning to the end. They actively think and act in the needs of their clients.

We have been doing a lot of business with Edward Holmes (London office) and Etienne Mathey (Paris office). They were very helpful and experienced. They did a great job with assisting us in several transactions and are very capable in thinking out of the box. In addition, they were very involved in our transactions and tried to assist in all kinds of ways, including providing us with information they obtained from the markets. They are highly appreciated advisors.

Great team with extensive experience, involvement very easy to approach, pragmatic, always ready to rock!

Edward Holmes - flexible, proactive and responsive. Communicates very well and is very much on top of things.

Ed Holmes, a recent partner in the practise, is a very practical and commercial individual whose work is high quality. He finds workable and pragmatic solutions to issues as they arise and is willing to give his opinion on likelihood to occurrence etc. rather than stating black and white legal facts. He makes himself very available to clients and is straightforward to deal with.

Peter Schwartz. Good bond expertise. Negotiating strength

Key Clients

Starwood West

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

New Look Retailers Limited

Credit Suisse

Barclays

Royal Bank of Canada

Boparan Holdings Limited

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

TD Securities

BNP Paribas

Eircom

Reliance Communications Limited

Gulf Keystone

Global Cloud Exchange

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Bank

Brait SE

Toronto Dominion

Work highlights

  • Advising Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs as joint dealer managers and solicitation agents in connection with the exchange offers and consent solicitations by Altice subsidiaries related to over $5.5bn of notes in connection with the combination by Altice of its Suddenlink (Cequel) and Optimum (Cablevision) businesses under a single credit silo.
  • Advising the initial purchasers in connection with the $1.05bn high yield bond issuance by Cequel Communications Holdings I, LLC and Cequel Capital Corporation, the holdco issuers of one of Altice’s credit silos.
  • Advising Starwood West Limited as Issuer in connection with the offering of $264m offering of 5.7% Bonds listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
  • Acting for Goldman Sachs and GIC as sole purchasers and investors in relation to the private placement of €750m floating rate PIK notes issued by an Italian payment institution and portfolio company of top tier sponsors.
  • Advising New Look on the consent solicitation to highly modify the negative covenants of its Senior Notes and Senior Secured Notes.

'It is one the law firms that combines loan and bond capabilities in Europe, which is really key in the current convergence of the two products', remarks a client of Ropes & Gray LLP whole another notes that 'the firm clearly differentiates itself through its team approach and connectivity with the bank they are working with - it feels like one big team working together and they always go the extra mile'. Practice head Michael Kazakevich and key partner Jane Rogers are leading lights in the market, while up-and coming partners Robert Haak ('superb') and newly promoted Aditya Khanna are highly recommended. In 2018, the firm advised on several large and complex high yield financings for corporate entities, notably in the telecoms sector, and the firm is steadily expanding its portfolio of work for underwriters.

Practice head(s):Michael Kazakevich

Other key lawyers:Jane Rogers; Robert Haak; Aditya Khanna

Testimonials

"They go above and beyond and anticipate your requests before you request the information. They are very helpful and proactive!"

"Everyone loves working with Jane Rogers - she is practical, smart and always willing to go the extra mile."

"Robert Haak has a depth of knowledge that is second to none."

"Michael Kazakevich's team provided with very detailed explanations and benchmarks during documentation analysis and negotiation."

"It is a fantastic firm that know what it is doing."

"Aditya Khanna is a fantastic lawyer; he raises key commercial and legal points with the banker, runs a very smooth process, and is able to accelerate the transaction if needed."

Key Clients

Altice (and its subsidiaries: SFR, Altice International and affiliates Altice USA)

Liberty Latin America (including, among others, Cable & Wireless and VTR)

Goldman Sachs

Hellman & Friedman

Liberty Global (and its subsidiaries and joint ventures: Virgin Media, Telenet, UPC, Unitymedia and VodafoneZiggo)

TPG

JP Morgan

Samsonite International

Bain Capital

ICG

Work highlights

  • Advised Altice France in connection with obtaining financing commitments and the subsequent entry into credit facilities to finance the deployment of fibre-to-the-home infrastructure by SFR FTTH.
  • Advised Altice USA on the structuring; financing and corporate aspects of the combination of its Suddenlink (Cequel) and Optimum (Cablevision) businesses.
  • Advised Samsonite on its first ever European high yield offering, involving the issuance of €350m 3.5% Senior Notes due 2026.
  • Advised Cable and Wireless in a complex bond financing which provides for multiple reorganisations to streamline and simplify the capital structure of the Cable & Wireless group including numerous inter-creditor arrangements.
  • Ropes & Gray Advises Altice USA on a $1.5bn bond offering and $2.56bn refinancing of revolving credit facilities.

Shearman & Sterling LLP handles high yield transactions for investment banks, corporates and private equity sponsors across Europe and the emerging markets. Among its bank clients are JPMorgan, HSBC, Crédit Agricole and Citigroup. The firm is 'attentive and communicative, stays on top of transactions and gives quality advice'. The firm has a blend of experience with seasoned practitioners Ward McKimm, who is head of global leveraged finance, and Jacques McChesney, as well as younger partners Marwa Elborai and Trevor Ingram, who is described as 'a young but very experienced partner who is going places'. The firm has a new internal structure built around an integrated lenders-side leveraged finance practice, which brings together its bank/bond capability in US bonds, and both English and New York law finance. Rising star senior associate Gordon Houseman, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, focuses much of his leveraged finance practice on the high yield bond market.

Practice head(s):David Dixter

Other key lawyers:Ward McKimm; Jacques McChesney; Marwa Elborai; Trevor Ingram

Testimonials

"The practice provides very commercial and hands-on advice and has an excellent substantive grasp of issues."

"The high yield team is puts in extra work to make issues and solutions clear."

"Marwa Elborai is extremely involved and 'hands-on'. She is easy to get in contact with and provides solid, trusted advice."

"Kalliope Kefallinos does an excellent job managing transactions and keeping the in-house team up-to-date on deal developments. She provides excellent analysis and solutions in addition to flagging issues quickly."

Key Clients

El Corte Inglés, S.A.

Groupe Ecore

Silversea Cruise Holding Ltd.

HSBC

JPMorgan

Citigroup

Credit Suisse

Barclays

ABN AMRO

Crédit Agricole

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC, BofA Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and US Bancorp as joint book-running managers on James Hardie’s inaugural euro-denominated offering of €400m 3.625% senior notes due 2026.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities plc as sole bookrunner on Radisson’s offering of €250m 6.875% senior secured notes due 2023.
  • Acted as U.S. counsel to El Corte Inglés and the guarantors in connection with its €600m inaugural high yield bond offering.
  • Advised Merrill Lynch International as global coordinator and ABN AMRO, Barclays, Citigroup and Crédit Agricole as joint bookrunners on InterXion's offering of €1,000,000,000 4.75% senior notes due 2025.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs International as private placement agent in connection with a Reg S offering of senior secured floating rate notes due 2023 issued by TVL Finance.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a reputation for innovation, as well as a high profile in the European high yield market. It pioneered, and remains active in, the private high yield tap product, which increases speed to market for issuances of additional bonds under existing indentures. The firm acts for sponsors, issuers, underwriters and investors, and its practice works closely with the banking and US capital markets groups to ensure that it has expertise in both the bank and bond aspects of leveraged financings. It is also one of few firms to have a specialised European high yield restructuring practice. Leading light Patrick Bright helped the firm to build on its work for underwrites in 2018, with high-profile matters for clients such as Goldman Sachs. Up-and-coming partner Nitin Konchady is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Patrick Bright; Nitin Konchady

Key Clients

Advent International (sponsor)

Bain Capital (sponsor)

Ellerman Investments (sponsor)

Goldman Sachs (underwriter)

Groupe Paprec (issuer)

Infopro Digital (issuer)

Morgan Stanley (underwriter)

Novalpina Capital (sponsor)

Shop Direct (issuer)

TowerBrook Capital Partners (sponsor)

Work highlights

  • Represented Odyssey Europe, a portfolio company of Novalpina Capital LLP on the high yield bridge and bond financing for the take-private of Olympic Entertainment Group, an Estonian gaming company listed on the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs International and the other initial purchasers on the issuance of €750m of senior secured notes, as well as its entry into a €90m super senior revolving credit facility and related intercreditor arrangements.
  • Advised the ad hoc committee of Dana Gas sukuk certificate holders in relation to a consensual restructuring of the company’s $700m shari’ah-compliant bond via an exchange offer.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill Lynch, Nomura and the other initial purchasers on Verisure’s issuance of €300m of senior secured notes and €100m of senior notes, as well as the company’s entry into an additional €712m tranche under its existing term loan agreement.
  • Represented Paprec Group on the issuance of €800m of senior secured notes, as well as its entry into a €200m super senior revolving credit facility and related intercreditor arrangements.

The high yield practice at White & Case LLP 'provides truly exceptional service and comes up with smart solutions to difficult problems, executing flawlessly under tight timelines'. The firm houses both US and English law capital markets capability in London and has a strong bank/bond offering. US-qualified partner and practice head Jill Concannon has spent her entire career in the European high yield market. The firm lost key partner Rob Mathews to Baker McKenzie, but clients highly recommend 'superb' up-and-coming partner James Greene, who is 'able to understand and navigate highly complex situations and legal issues'. Newly promoted partner and 'outstanding advisor' Monica Holden has extensive experience advising issuers, sponsors and underwriters on corporate high yield bond transactions, and the 'hardworking and consistent'  Gilles Teerlinck, who joined from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, has a strong track record in sponsor-led buyouts.

Practice head(s):Jill Concannon

Other key lawyers:James Greene; Monica Holden; Gilles Teerlinck

Testimonials

"The firm has highly available partners, wide-ranging expertise and a real willingness to manage transactions, anticipating and resolving any practical issues that arise."

"James Greene has technical expertise combined with a highly practical approach and a real problem-solving attitude. I am always confident that the process and problems will be sensibly and prudently managed with James as our counsel. He is second to none in this area."

"Monica Holden has been a real partner to our business over the past several years, advising us through a series of complicated transactions. She is commercial, hardworking, responsive and has taken the time to gain a deep understanding of our business, building connections across our legal, finance and business teams."

"James Greene is exceptionally smart and responsive. He has a great understanding of the market and has clever solutions to complicated issues."

"The team has many years of experience in the European leverage finance market. It is well resourced with several partners and a team of great associates that support the practice. It has a network of excellent offices all over the world which make it a great firm for complex cross-border transactions. It are highly efficient and are always available, very client-focused and gives excellent advice."

"James Greene is an excellent lawyer. He gives consistent advice of a very high quality that can always be relied upon. He is my go-to lawyer for all difficult and complex questions."

"Jill Concannon is an excellent US securities partner. She is always calm and consistently delivers an excellent work product."

"Gilles Teerlinck is an excellent attorney, very client-focused and efficient, and able to navigate complex issues."

"Monica Holden is an excellent securities lawyer. She is efficient, always positive and calm and is able to help with complex legal issues which often arise on the deals."

"The firm is highly capable in managing complex matters, bringing a wealth of market experience, business sense and excellent project management skills."

"James Greene is highly analytical and able to translate complex principles to business people, and equally capable of reflecting business drivers into transactional terms."

Key Clients

Barclays

Credit Suisse

Citi

JPMorgan

BNP Paribas

Consolidated Energy Finance

International Game Technology

Cabot Credit Management

CVC Capital Partners

Noble Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Barclays Bank, Jefferies, RBC, Credit Suisse and ING on the issuance of £360m 6.375% senior secured notes due 2025 by Pinnacle Bidco plc to facilitate the acquisition of UK fitness chain PureGym.
  • Represented the consortium of banks led by Credit Suisse on in connection with the offering by one of Lone Star Funds’ affiliates of €515m Senior Secured Notes due 2024 to finance the acquisition by Lone Star of the Stark Group.
  • Represented Citi, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered on the issuance of US$350m 9.25% senior high yield notes due 2023 by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc issued pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S under the Securities Act.
  • Represented the consortium of banks led by JPMorgan, HSBC and Barclays on the Rule 144A/Regulation S debut offering of the equivalent of $1.15bn senior secured notes due 2023 by OCI N.V.

  • Represented the consortium of banks led by J.P. Morgan and BNP Paribas on the offering of €600 million Senior Notes by France-based leading global engineering services company Novafives.

Ashurst joins the ranking having established its high yield practice with practice head Anna-Marie Slot now headquartered in London, while also working through the firm's Hong Kong office. The practice handles the full range of high yield transactions from new issuance stage through to liability management and refinancings, as well as leveraged transactions including bridge to bond facilities and Term Loan B deals. The focus is on supporting its clients in the EMEA region, particularly in key sectors such as oil and gas or renewable energy, and works closely with the firm's corporate and restructuring groups. It acts for financial institutions including Barclays, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, as well as corporate and private-equity entities such as EnQuest and Johnstone Press. Tamer Bahgat and  leveraged finance specialist Natalia Sokolova are also driving the development of the practice.

Practice head(s):Anna-Marie Slot

Other key lawyers:Tamer Bahgat; Natalia Sokolova

Key Clients

Barclays

JP Morgan

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Nomura

Deutsche Bank

BNP

Johnston Press

Interserve

EnQuest

Aurum

Work highlights

  • Advised the sole bookrunner on the debut high yield offering of €255m of senior secured floating rate notes due 2023 by Groupe Ecore, one of the leading players in France in the metal recycling market.
  • Acted for Johnston Press PLC and its subsidiaries in relation to its strategic review culminating in a pre-packaged administration sale of the entire business and assets of the group to a new company owned and controlled by the group's bondholders.
  • Advising Interserve on its group refinancing; pursuant to the deal agreed with Interserve's lenders, bond providers and the trustee of its pension scheme, new financing arrangements providing cash facilities of £196.6m plus bonding facilities of up to £94.5m will be put in place.
  • Advised affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC on the financing of its acquisition of Aurum Holdings, the largest prestige and luxury jewellery retailer in the United Kingdom which includes the Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths brands within its portfolio.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton operates an integrated finance practice across jurisdictions and its high yield group works closely with the firm's banking, leveraged finance, liability management, restructuring, M&A and other capital markets practices. Lead partner Pierre-Marie Boury has more than 20 years of experience as a US-qualified capital markets lawyer, advising investment banks and sovereigns on debt capital and equity capital markets matters, in developing markets as well as established markets, with particular expertise in high yield transactions for both underwriters and issuers. In 2018, the firm promoted to counsel Aseet Dalvi, who is both US- and English-qualified. The firm is strong in emerging markets and in 2018 acted in landmark deals in the CEE region. Best known for assisting debut issuers with their inaugural bonds, the firm is growing its presence on the underwriter side.

Practice head(s):Pierre-Marie Boury

Other key lawyers:Aseet Dalvi

Key Clients

BofA Merrill Lynch

Citigroup

CMA CGM S.A.

Credit Suisse

La Financière Atalian

J.P. Morgan

Puma Energy

Société Générale

Rexel

Vallourec S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising Citigroup Global Markets Limited as global coordinator and physical bookrunner in a high yield bond issuance by Digi Communications of €200m 5.0% senior secured notes due 2023, guaranteed by its key Romanian and Hungarian subsidiaries.
  • Advising La Financière Atalian in an offering of €350m senior notes and £225m senior notes, the related €594m bridge-to-bond facility, and its acquisition of 100% of Servest Limited (Servest UK), a leading provider of facility management services in the United Kingdom, and its subsidiaries.
  • Advising Puma Energy in connection with the restructuring of its outstanding €200m 4.50% Euro-denominated senior notes due 2022 that were privately placed in 2014.
  • Advising Vallourec S.A. in connection with its offering of €400m 6.375% senior notes due 2023.
  • Advising the initial purchasers, led by Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and HSBC, in concurrent high yield notes offerings by finance subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a small high yield practice that continues to be involved in innovative matters. In 2018, it handled the first rule 144a high yield bond offering in the hotel industry in Scandinavia, complex financings for Chinese investors across Europe and the US, and a number of significant high yield restructurings. Leading light Sylvain Dhennin frequently advises companies, private equity funds and banks on innovative leveraged finance transactions in Europe involving high yield bond offerings. He acts for both issuers, among which are Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, and underwriting banks including HSBC and BNP Paribas. His work includes new bond issuance, liability managements and restructurings, as well as distressed debt.

Practice head(s):James Doyle

Other key lawyers:Sylvain Dhennin

Key Clients

Radisson Hospitality AB

Faurecia

HSBC

CACIB

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc

Agrokor

Mryia

Swissport

Frigoglass

Work highlights

  • Advising Radisson Hospitality AB, a leading international hotel management company operating a portfolio of over 370 hotels across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, on the issuance of €250m of 6.875 percent senior secured notes.
  • Advised automotive equipment supplier Faurecia on the redemption of its existing €700,000,000 3.125% Senior Notes.
  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC Bank plc and Société Générale (as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Lead Bookrunners) in relation to the issuance, delivery, settlement and the listing of Rexel's €500,000,000 2.125% senior notes on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc on its €500,000,000 4.500% Senior Notes due 2026, which will be guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by Jaguar Land Rover Limited and Jaguar Land Rover Holdings Limited.
  • Acted for an ad hoc committee of bondholders, and providers of a c€1bn super senior DIP facility to the Agrokor Group.

The high yield practice at¬†Mayer Brown International LLP¬†focuses on high yield deals in the¬†German market, bringing to bear the¬†English, US and German law expertise housed in its London office. In 2018, the firm's work included¬†advising debut issuers, which included acting for Raffinerie Heide on its inaugural offering of ‚ā¨250m high yield senior secured notes. It also advised repeat issuers including¬†Germany-based Progroup, for which it handled deals including its offering of ‚ā¨450m senior secured high yield notes. Practice head Bernd Bohr¬†and his team are 'very technical, detail-oriented, diligent, fast and pleasant to work with'. Bohr has a¬†long-standing reputation for his work on innovative deals, including market-first high yield transactions in Germany.

Practice head(s):Bernd Bohr

Testimonials

"We deal with Mayer Brown mainly through Bernd Bohr for german High Yield transactions and he is highly knowledgeable for US-law related matters and always extremely professional and available."

"The firm has a strong focus upon delivery and time to market, and provides state-of-the-art documentation and high-quality German law advice."

"The high yield practice offers an unrivalled ability to complete deals in demanding timetables and responds quickly to changing circumstances."

"Bernd Bohr was extremely proficient at guiding us through the process as a first-time issuer. He provided the right level of follow up both before, during and after the issue, and he brings a great deal of industry expertise."

Key Clients

Klesch Group

Raffinerie Heide

Progroup

JH-Holding

Wepa Hygieneprodukte

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel to the Klesch Group and its portfolio company Raffinerie Heide GmbH on the inaugural offering of €250m of (high yield) senior secured notes due 2022.
  • Advised Progroup, the leading European producer and supplier of corrugated sheet board and containerboard, on its offering of €450m of senior secured high yield notes due 2026 to refinance Progroup’s €345m senior secured fixed rate notes due 2022 and the remaining €81m-plus principal amount outstanding of PIK Toggle Notes due 2022 of JH-Holding Finance.
  • Advised Deutsche Trustee Company Limited as notes trustee, Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch as security agent and paying agent, and Deutsche Bank Luxembourg S.A. as registrar and transfer agent, in connection with a high yield notes offering by Garret Motion Inc. of €350,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 5.125% senior notes due 2026 as part of the financing for the proposed spin-off of Garrett Motion Inc. from Honeywell International Inc.

'The high yield team in London stands out for its quality of service and expertise and we regularly work with the firm on some of the largest transactions in Europe', says a client of Proskauer Rose LLP. The firm has an integrated high yield debt practice in London and the US, and it advises leading issuers, underwriters and global financial institutions on some of the biggest deals in the market. In 2018, this included one of the largest high yield bonds by a Spanish issuer. 'Top-class lawyer' Maximillian Kirchner leads the firm's European high yield practice and clients remark that he is 'very commercial and efficiently manages complex and innovative deals on tight timelines'.

Practice head(s):Maximilian Kirchner

Testimonials

"We have built a long-standing and trusted relationship with the team, which is very commercial and business-oriented and, compared to larger firms in London, is a true partner. It provides dedicated partner involvement on every transaction."

"Maximilian Kirchner is highly experienced, has outstanding technical skills and an excellent understanding of the market. He provides invaluable strategic advice and always ensures that we obtain the best outcome on a deal."

"Proskauer has a premier practice in London advising asset managers on European, US and Asian high yield transactions, and it has significant experience with complex deals involving multiple jurisdictions."

"Proskauer's London office has a top-notch team with significant industry expertise, in particular based on the firm's strength around US-style high yield bond execution."

"In contrast to other firms, Proskauer has a boutique approach with partners that are 'hands-on' and very involved in the transaction from kick-off to closing of the deal. In the high-yield space, it provides the best value for money."

"Maximilian Kirchner has a very deep understanding of the high yield product and is exceptionally hardworking and responsive. The quality of his work is outstanding, and he is very efficient when it comes to cost control."

"In addition to his excellent skillset in executing complex high yield bond deals, Maximilian Kirchner has the ability to provide top-notch guidance during the structuring and execution of deals."

"Extremely hard working, always available and very responsive. The firm has deep capital markets knowledge and insight that is helpful in negotiations because the lawyers know the details of previous deals in the market, which ensures negotiations move along quickly and on the best terms available."

"The London team provides top-quality service for a reasonable price. It is one of our favourite law firms to work with on complex cross-border capital markets or high yield matters, and we have built a long-standing relationship and trust with them."

"We have found the Proskauer team, in addition to merely being competent, to be both exceptionally creative and commercial when it comes to approaching deals, and willing to work constructively to overcome challenges."

"Max Kirchner is the partner with whom we have worked most closely. He is a resourceful lawyer with a strong commercial sense, and has been a valuable source of counsel to us in thinking about deal structuring. He has an excellent command of high yield debt and other leveraged finance products."

Key Clients

Grifols

Deutsche Bank

Jefferies

Guitar Center

William Blair & Company

Work highlights

  • Represented private equity sponsor, Ares and its portfolio company, Guitar Center, Inc. in a series of transactions designed to extend the maturities of various debt instruments.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP has a broad capital markets practice that handles a diverse range of transactions including initial public offerings, rights offerings, high yield financings and regulatory capital offerings, as well as a hybrid securities and other global equity and debt products. As part of this, the firm has strong high yield capability in London, which acts for its stellar client base of corporate issuers. Dedicated high yield specialist James McDonald leads the practice, which counted among its highlights of 2018 the representation of Brunswick Rail in the the final redemption of the $600m of guaranteed notes, and its work for new client Atlantica Yield on the issuance of $300m in senior notes.

Practice head(s):James McDonald

The London office of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has a deep structured capital markets practice, which handles bespoke project bonds, housing association secured bonds, secured high-yield bonds and more. Head of the structured debt and capital markets group Prashanth Satyadeva advises arrangers and corporates on bond financings with a particular focus on the banking, real estate, infrastructure, renewables and insurance sectors. Peter Knust specialises in acting for trustees, agents and issuers across the whole spectrum of DCM and securitisation transactions, and frequently has a role in high yield transactions.

Practice head(s):Prashanth Satyadeva

Other key lawyers:Peter Knust

Work highlights

  • Advised Playtech plc, a leading technology company in the gambling and financial trading industries on its inaugural high yield debt issue.

Tony Lopez leads the capital markets and structured investments practice at DLA Piper. He focuses on high yield bonds and leveraged finance, as well as debt capital markets and special situations. The firm is best known for acting on behalf of corporate issuers in large UK and international high yield transactions. The firm is also active in the restructuring market. Steven Krivinskas also handles high yield debt alongside structured finance, securitisation and other debt capital markets transactions.

Practice head(s):Tony Lopez

The London office of Reed Smith LLP is the key hub of its global capital markets practice and the Financial Industry Group frequently advises on both public and private domestic and cross-border transactions. The practice is most often involved in high yield transactions for trustees, and it works closely with the firm's corporate and funds groups to cover all aspects of complex leveraged finance and high yield transactions, particularly in emerging markets. Its work encompasses senior, second-lien, mezzanine and PIK debt, bridge-to-bond financings, bank/bond financings, securitisation take-outs, debt buy-backs and restructurings. Structured finance partner and head of the firm's India group Ranajoy Basu and managing partner Tamara Box are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):Ed Estrada

Other key lawyers:Ranajoy Basu; Tamara Box; Priya Taneja

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's high yield debt practice covers acquisition finance, refinance acquisition-related debt, liability management transactions, and distressed situations. The firm frequently acts for both US and non-US issuers and underwriters. European Counsel Christoph Vonlanthen is among the practitioners with broad-ranging practices that cover public and private offerings of equity securities, investment grade and high yield bonds, M&A and private equity matters, including leveraged acquisitions.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP joins the ranking this year having added to its corporate practice lawyers with expertise in high yield debt transactions. The firm is a major player in high yield issuance in the energy sector, and co-head of the corporate department Jeffrey Eldredge, newly promoted corporate finance specialist Federico Fruhbeck, and new hire Noel Hughes from Sidley Austin LLP are the key practitioners. In 2018, the practice acted for a range of issuers including Helios Towers Africa, First Quantum Minerals and Petra Diamonds, as well as advising underwriters and private equity sponsors on new issuance by energy companies. The firm is now actively broadening the scope of its practice in London to attract work in a broader range of industry sectors.

Practice head(s):Jeff Eldredge

Other key lawyers:Noel Hughes; Federico Fruhbeck

Testimonials

"The firm has exceptional market contacts and knowledge, which greatly adds value to its excellent technical abilities. The team has a great balance across the experience levels, offering excellent leverage and value for money."

"Noel Hughes is genuinely a lawyer who actually does more than help a transaction along, he is often at the vanguard of progressing the deal and ensuring it happens. He provides sound and calm judgement in what can often be fast paced work and choppy market waters."

"Noel Hughes is well connected in the market and on current trajectory I expect him to be at the epicenter of the high yield market in London for years to come."

"Christianne Williams has excellent technical skills and experience. She is extremely responsive, and has a very useful habit of only raising problems to which she already has solutions!"

Key Clients

J.P. Morgan

Bank of America, N.A.

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank

Citi

ING

Lloyd’s

First Quantum Minerals Ltd

Petra Diamonds Limited

Helios Towers Africa

Vistra Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising JPMorgan Securities, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and others as the initial purchasers on the issuance by Neptune Energy Bondco plc,  an exploration and production company, of $550m of senior notes due 2025.
  • Advising Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Barclays Capital Inc., Nordea Bank AB and others. as the initial purchasers on the issuance by Aker BP ASA, a Norwegian oil and gas company, of $500m of senior notes due 2025.
  • Advising JPMorgan Securities LLC, Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Standard Chartered Bank etc. as the initial purchasers on the issuance by Tullow Oil Plc, an oil and gas exploration and production company, of $800m of senior notes due 2025.
  • Advising First Quantum Minerals Ltd., a Toronto Stock Exchange listed metals and mining company with assets in Africa, Australia, Europe and South America, on its issuance of $1.85bn Senior Notes Due 2024 and 2026.
  • Advising Vistra Energy Corp., a Texas-based power retail and generation company listed on the NYSE, on its issuance of $1bn principal amount of 5.500% Senior Notes due 2026 and the related $1.7bn cash tender offers for certain of its existing notes.

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Legal Developments in London for High yield

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  • 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?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    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.

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