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Allen & Overy LLP is ‘the market leader, with highly capable partners and tremendous market insight’. Key figures include Sally Onions, who handled a £1.5bn RMBS for banks including Morgan Stanley, and Salim Nathoo, who is ‘smart, honest, solution-oriented and eager’. Angela Clist acted for BNP Paribas in establishing an $8bn covered bond programme for United Overseas Bank. ‘Fantastic market leader’ Lucy Oddy, who joined from Latham & Watkins, advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the €317m Taurus Kingfisher CMBS. Also recommended are Franz Ranero, who is ‘one of the top partners in the European securitisation space’; CMBS specialist Christian Lambie; and Tim Conduit, who acted for Credit Agricole on the €1.25bn Alpha Trains structured financing.

Clifford Chance LLP is noted for its ‘leading regulatory and market knowledge’. Kevin Ingram’s highlights included advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch on a €271m credit card receivables deal. Stephen Curtis (‘very bright and easy to work with’) acted for Citibank and Morgan Stanley on the £2.3bn financing of Lone Star’s acquisition of a portfolio from Aviva. Andrew Forryan advised Warwick Finance Residential Mortgages on issuances totalling £2bn, and Simeon Radcliff assisted sellers and issuers with the securitisation of residential mortgages originated by Co-operative Bank subsidiaries. The ‘superb’ Christopher Walsh assisted the arrangers of a $10bn covered bond programme for DBS Bank, and Maggie Zhao, who heads the China desk, advised British Business Bank on an aggregator asset-backed funding programme for SMEs.

Linklaters LLP has ‘a very broad and nimble practice with experience at both partner and associate level’. Andrew Vickery now leads the team, which includes newly promoted partner Alex Shopov, who advised DBS Bank on its $10bn global covered bond programme. In other highlights, Adam Fogarty and counsel Reza Taylor acted for Cerberus Capital Management on its purchase of a £13bn portfolio of Northern Rock loans and mortgages, which involved the unravelling of securitised mortgages; and Mark Nuttall advised Thames Water Utilities on the £4.7bn flagship Thames Tideway Tunnel financing. Julian Davies is recommended for structured utility bonds and whole-business securitisations (WBS), and James Harbach excels in WBS and mortgage-backed deals.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLPhas an excellent reputation as a top law firm, especially in CLOs and European risk retention matters’. Stephen Day acted in a highly innovative fleet lease securitisation, and acted alongside Jeremiah Wagner on the first European warehouse securitisation of consumer loans originated through peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa. CLO specialist David Quirolo’s highlights included acting for Credit Suisse Securities on the $402m Cairn CLO III, which involved the first full refinancing of a European CLO. The ‘responsive and accessible’ Nick Shiren is also recommended for CLOs. Bruce Bloomingdale relocated to the New York office but is closely involved with the London team.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLPadds value in complex transactions’. Marcus Mackenzie’s highlights included advising Center Parcs on issuances totalling more than £1bn from its secured financing platform. Christopher Barratt acted for Virgin Money on the £1.2bn Gosforth 2016-1 RMBS, and Ian Falconer handled the £1.39bn Gosforth 2015-1 deal for Citibank. Dougall Molson (who transferred from the Paris office) is recommended for trade receivables deals, and senior associates Helen Jones and Jenny McIvor stand out for WBS deals.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘partners go the extra mile, and the team has tremendous depth’. The ‘invaluable’ Michael Poulton and his ‘magnificent’ team are ‘ahead of the game and highly knowledgeable in all areas of securitisation’. Poulton advised Virgin Atlantic on the £220m securitisation of its portfolio of slots at London Heathrow airport, and acted alongside Jake Jackaman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays on TSB Bank’s £2bn securitisation of residential mortgages. Recommended associates include Francesca Segurini, who is a rising star, and Gauri Rao and Joy Amis, who are ‘robust negotiators with a no-nonsense approach’.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is ‘an excellent firm with a great reputation’. The much-respected Julian Craughan advised Volkswagen Financial Services on its £10bn securitisation programme and the £350m Driver UK deal. Tauhid Ijaz’s highlights included a €150m Irish residential property financing for Deutsche Bank. US-qualified partner Dennis Dillon (who is ‘a first-class securitisation lawyer with strong legal and commercial awareness’) acted for banks in the £600m securitisation of Bibby’s factoring book. Also recommended are Kit Johnson, who counts US Bank Trustees among his clients, and of counsel Marc Mouton, who is ‘commercially and technically brilliant’.

Dominic Griffiths’s team at Mayer Brown International LLP is ‘highly capable and nimble enough to provide good insight and advice’. Richard Todd is a standout lawyer for asset-backed commercial paper conduit-financed securitisations. ‘Strong, commercial partnerDavid O’Connor is ‘great at driving deals forward and can manage complex transactions with a quick timeline’. He advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch as arranger on the €145m Taurus pan-European CMBS. Deal lawyer and regulatory expert Kevin Hawken is also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s team is ‘always responsive and executes in a pleasant, constructive and cost-efficient manner’. Securitisation specialist Sandrine Sauvel advised Bibby Financial Services on the £600m securitisation of its factoring business, which is the first rated private sector securitisation deal by a non-bank asset lender. She also advised Natixis on a receivables-backed deal for Falcon Trade Finance. David Shearer and of counsel Simon Thompson are ‘willing to take the initiative for the benefit of the client’, and the ‘invaluableFarmida Bi is ‘incredibly good in a crisis’.

The ‘very commercial and technically able’ practice at Simmons & Simmons attracts praise for its ‘impressive market knowledge’. The ‘extremely client-focusedMichael Lorraine advised Macquarie Bank on a £250m RMBS by Bluestone Mortgages, and assisted European Investment Fund with its synthetic securitisation programme. ‘Persistent, precise and robust’ associate Will Trotman and ‘thoughtful, superb’ regulatory partner Penny Miller are also recommended. Ian Sideris retired and Simon Schiff joined Baker McKenzie LLP.

Slaughter and May is ‘absolutely superb; quick and responsive, with great strength in depth’. Key figures include Guy O’Keefe (who is ‘a fantastic ideas man’), Richard Jones (who is ‘a good lateral thinker’) and associate Andrew Williams. O’Keefe advised UK Asset Resolution on the sale of Northern Rock’s £13bn portfolio to Cerberus Management, and handled an auto-loan deal for originator Santander Consumer. Jones acted for NewDay Cards on its second securitisation of credit card receivables. Ed Fife and Azadeh Nassiri are also recommended. Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya joined Latham & Watkins.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges exhibits ‘excellent service levels, strong knowledge of the market and a commercial approach’. Jacky Kelly and Brian Maher are ‘incredibly easy to work with, showing strong technical knowledge and getting fully involved with the transactions’. A leading CLO practice, it also plays a significant role in securitisation restructuring and auto fleet deals. Kelly and Maher advised Barclays on restructuring two CMBS deals originated by General Healthcare Group totalling £2bn. The firm also act as sole European CLO counsel to Blackstone.

Ashurst is ‘a quality firm that provides excellent service and dedicated expertise’ in the CLO and credit funds space. Michael Smith and newly promoted partner Cameron Saylor ‘have a lot of respect in the market’. Smith advised BNP Asset Management on its inaugural €308m CLO 2.0 transaction, and credit hedge fund manager PineBridge on a £335m CLO. Saylor and Diala Minott handled a €516m CLO for arranger Morgan Stanley.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s Jonathan Walsh is ‘one of the most experienced and savvy lawyers in the European securitisation sector’. He advised PrimeRevenue on establishing a supply chain finance programme, and acted alongside Sarah Porter (who is ‘smart, pragmatic, and a delight to work with’) for FirstRand Bank on UK auto-loan securitisations totalling £394m. For some, Simon Porter is ‘the best in town when it comes to trustee consent issues’. Vincent Keaveny joined DLA Piper.

CMS strengthened its asset-backed securities expertise with the recruitment of Jason Brooks from Clifford Chance LLP. He joins a team that includes Michael Cavers and Jason Harding, who advised Enterprise Inns on the impact of new legislation on its £1.1bn securitisation portfolio. Harding also advised Santander Consumer and Crédit Agricole on amendments to documentation to enable the sale of issued notes.

Dechert LLP is noted for its ‘real depth of knowledge and seamless management of difficult regulatory and commercial issues’. Charles Malpass acted for Apollo Management International in private securitisations in Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK with an aggregate value in excess of $3bn. The ‘unflappableJames Waddington (who ‘thinks outside the box and goes the extra mile to achieve the commercial objective’) advised an investment manager on a $1bn securitisation investment vehicle. Jeremy Trinder is also recommended.

Dentons has ‘an up-and-coming securitisation practice’, which was strengthened by the recruitment of market veteran Peter Voisey from Clifford Chance LLP. He handles covered bonds, RMBS and portfolio acquisitions, and acted for Skipton Building Society on a £525m issuance under the Darrowby RMBS programme. Versatile structured finance partner Edward Hickman advised the sponsor of a £233m RMBS by Thrones 2015-1 plc, and also handled an auto-loan deal for Hyundai Capital and a $150m trade receivables transaction for PNC Bank.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP provides ‘outstanding legal advice delivered by well-known and respected partners’. The London office ‘has some seriously capable and commercial lawyers’, including partners Paul Matthews, Matthew Duncan and Theresa Kradjian, who joined from K&L Gates LLP; and Lisa Cargill, who joined from Sidley Austin LLP and ‘cuts through to the important issues and adds value to transactions’. Clients see her as ‘one of the best’ for European trade receivables deals. Kradjian advised arrangers including Citigroup on Clydesdale’s £300m and €280m UK RMBS issuance.

For some, Paul Hastings LLPhas a best-in-class CMBS team’, and extended its reach into RMBS with the recruitment of Paul Severs from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Conor Downey is ‘a well-honed CMBS expert with unrivalled experience’. Charles Roberts advised Capita Asset Services on the restructuring of the Theatre Hospitals CMBS. Miles Flynn acted for Deutsche Bank on the €316m DECO-2015 Charlemagne CMBS.

At Reed Smith LLP, Tamara Box acted for Wilmington Trust on the restructuring of a $750m RMBS, and newly promoted partner Angelina Soon advised Situs Asset Management on the €316m DECO Charlemagne CMBS. Other key names include Nick Stainthorpe and the ‘attentive and exceptionally hardworking’ Ranajoy Basu, who played key roles in privately placed deals, and senior associate Simon Hugo, who is ‘a responsive and technically able rising star’.

Ropes & Gray LLP’s recruitment of Chris McGarry from Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Partha Pal from Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP has significantly enhanced its structured finance and securitisation practice, which include Counsel Anna Lawry and ‘thorough, practical’ associate Richard Hanson. Hanson advised Sun Capital Partners on a €1.3bn CMBS backed by lease payments from Santander.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘quality of service and responsiveness is exemplary’. Rupert Wall is a standout lawyer for ABS and CLO deals, and Graham Penn is a leading light for real estate backed deals. The ‘approachable, clear and extremely knowledgeable’ Nick Brittain is also recommended, as is Jason Richardson, who acted for Commerzbank on the restructuring of General Healthcare Group’s €1.5bn CMBS transactions, and senior counsel John Woodhall. Lisa Cargill joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP and Matthew Cahill left the practice.

White & Case LLP has a ‘broad and flexible finance practice’ that is active in CLOs and securitisation transactions across a range of asset classes including CMBS, RMBS and auto loans. Gavin McLean and Joshua Parbhu advised Goldman Sachs on the issuance of multiple CLOs by Tikehau CLO. Parbhu also acted for a European bank on four CLO redemptions.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s small but focused team has ‘a sophisticated approach to complex matters’. Sarah Smith (‘a very good and knowledgeable lawyer’) advises Fitch ratings on the review of securitisation structures, principally UK RMBS. Smith and counsel Sam Brodie acted for institutional investors in two private placements by North West Electricity Networks totalling £500m.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP provides ‘practical and targeted advice’. Nick Butler advised sponsor and issuing group on various UK RMBS deals including the £513m securitisation of buy-to-let and owner-occupied residential mortgages by Residential Mortgage Securities No. 28 plc. Prashanth Satyadeva and Jayne Black are also recommended. Paul Severs joined Paul Hastings LLP.

Bryan Cave’s new structured finance and corporate trust group ‘provides good service in the ABS space’. Experienced partners Rachel Kelly, who joined from Macfarlanes LLP, and Helena Nathanson, who joined from Reed Smith LLP, have established a strong foothold acting for clients including Wilmington Trust, Citibank and US Bank Global Trustees.

Martin Bartlam’s structured finance team at DLA Piper continued to strengthen its bench with the hire of respected securitisation veteran Vincent Keaveny from Baker McKenzie LLP. Bartlam advised arranger Raiffeisen Bank on the securitisation of leasing receivables, and RCI Financial Services on a £993m auto-loan deal. He also handled significant matters for Santander Consumer Bank and Future Finance Loan Corporation.

Fieldfisher has ‘a very experienced team that builds strong client relationships’. Alex Campbell and Gonzalo Fernandez advise corporate service providers, trustees and originators, and are providing advice to issuers and corporate service providers on the impact of ratings downgrades on RMBS deals with a value in excess of £10bn. Other highlights included advising a building society on the pre-securitisation warehousing of a £300m portfolio.

Gide Loyrette Nouel LLPalways gives fast and precise answers, and provides great industry and technical knowledge’, with a proven track record of handling pan-European trade receivables deals combining English and French law. Dimitrios Logizidis advised senior noteholder Crédit Industriel et Commercial on the €335m EURO-GALAXY IV CLO.

K&L Gates LLPprovides excellent service and is extremely responsive’. Paul Matthews, Matthew Duncan and Theresa Kradjian moved to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP, while the firm retained Andrew Petersen, who is ‘very strong on structured real estate deals’, and Sean Crosky (‘top tier for trustee work’), who advised US bank trustees on CLOs and warehousing deals.

Kaye Scholer LLP has ‘great industry and product knowledge’, and clients pick out Stuart Axford for his ‘astute capital markets expertise and deep knowledge of securitisation’. He advised Capita Trust Company on a warehousing facility for a start-up specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender.

At King & Wood Mallesons, Andrew Bliss is recognised for his experience in the CMBS market. In 2015, he advised AA plc on the issuance of £735m in Class B notes under its WBS as part of a broader refinancing package. Vanessa Docherty is also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s Edward Sunderland and senior associate Grace Hui are ‘a really good team, and fun to work with’. They advised trustees such as Wilmington Trust on CMBS and RMBS deals, and advised the arranger of an ABCP conduit securitisation of vehicle lease receivables.

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