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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Structured finance
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Who Represents Who

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All lawyers in this section are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

With extensive regulatory experience and an active transactional practice, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is highly regarded in every major area of structured finance. As a testimony to the firm’s regulatory expertise, Jeffrey Robins, Lary Stromfeld and Steve Lofchie are assisting the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) with the development of new templates and amendments to ISDA master agreements and credit support documentation to accommodate legislative changes governing the regulation of the OTC derivatives market and security-based swaps. Ivan Loncar helps lead a team that is acting for Assured Guaranty Corp and Assured Guaranty Municipal Corps regarding a structure aimed to defease certain legacy bonds issued by Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority through a new issuance by a special purpose issuer, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Revitalization Corporation; the new securitization will cover $7bn of legacy debt. On the securitization side, Stuart Goldstein and Charlotte-based David Burkholder assisted Wells Fargo with Wells Fargo Commercial Mortgage Trust 2016-BNK1, which was the first risk-retention-compliant CMBS transaction under Dodd-Frank. Additionally, Neil Weidner advised BNP Paribas on note repackaging and CLO transactions, accounting for EU risk retention rules. Richard Schetman, Michael Gambro, Ray Shirazi and Brian Foster are also key contacts.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s structured finance and derivatives group exhibits ‘significant business acumen and industry knowledge’, and is renowned for its work in equity and credit derivatives, its CLO experience and an overall understanding of Dodd-Frank implementation. Regarding securitization, the team has been focusing on esoteric assets, and Washington DC-based Paul St. Lawrence was counsel to Verizon Communications in the structuring of receivables generated by installment sales contracts; this transaction included four follow-on transactions, and required compliance with EU risk retention rules. The team also assisted Merrill Lynch as initial purchaser of Trust Preferred Insurance Note Securitization 2016-1, which was the first securitization of insurance company debt since the financial crisis. On the regulatory side, Seth Grosshandler advises the Futures Industry Association (FIA) and ISDA, as well as several US and international investment banks, on their commercial and insolvency law rights relating to cleared derivatives positions. The firm also has extremely active CLO specialists including Robin Bergen and Michael Mazzuchi in the Washington DC office, who acted for financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays and CVC Credit Partners in the structuring and offering of over $33.7bn of CLOs in 2015 and 2016. Edward Rosen and Michael Dayan are key derivatives contacts, and Colin Lloyd was promoted to partner in 2016.

Working out of the firm’s New York and Chicago offices, Mayer Brown’s highly regarded structured finance team prides itself on its cross-border securitization capabilities, and is especially strong in handling CLO transactions. In a particularly noteworthy example of the team’s securitization work, Barbara Goodstein acted for YUM! Brands in relation to its whole-business securitization, whereby a wholly owned special purpose subsidiary issued $2.3bn of fixed-rate senior secured term notes, which were backed by nearly all US franchise agreements and US-registered intellectual property of the Taco Bell Division. Stuart Litwin and Louis Shansky assisted Volkswagen Operating Lease Transaction LLC VW Credit as depositor, sponsor and borrower with a $9bn warehouse loan facility backed by vehicle leases and retail installment contracts. On the lender and underwriter side, Amanda Baker and Angela Ulum were underwriter’s counsel for Citigroup Global Markets, Lloyds Securities and RBC Capital Markets concerning Toyota Auto Receivables 2016-B Owner Trust - a $1.6bn auto-loan-backed notes issuance. The team also advised multiple issuers and underwriters on Reg AB II shelf registrations. The sizable practice group also includes Jon Van Gorp, Jason Kravitt and Paul Forrester.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is applauded for its ‘broad industry knowledge and good depth’, fielding nearly 20 US partners focusing on structured finance. The team handles a variety of traditional and esoteric assets, including auto loans and leases, mortgage-backed securities, student loans, patent and trademark royalties, and cell phone contracts. In the Washington DC office, John Arnholz and newly promoted partner Claudine Chen-Young acted as underwriter’s counsel to Synchrony Bank in a $750m public offering of ABS through SYNCT 2016-1, backed by private label and co-branded credit card receivables. Practice head Reed Auerbach was depositor and servicer counsel to Verizon Communications during the private placement of over $1bn of securities backed by a revolving pool of wireless device payment plan contracts. As issuer’s counsel, Washington DC-based Jeffrey Johnson advised CarVal Investors in its inaugural deal as an issuer of RMBS, Mill City Towd Point Mortgage Trust 2015-1, which made use of a REMIC structure, allowing for various interest rate configurations of the bonds. An example of the department’s regulatory aptitude, Chicago-based Michael Philipp helped Bitfinex settle a Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement action, alleging that the bitcoin exchange platform had operated in a way that required CFTC registration. Philip Russell also made partner in 2016.

Sidley Austin LLP’s global finance team is jointly led by Kevin Blauch and Myles Pollin and is particularly strong in securitization, with an emphasis on CLO, CMBS and RMBS work. Blauch is advising Deutsche Bank Securities on a $1.2bn securitization of a commercial mortgage loan backed by a newly constructed Class-A office tower in New York. RJ Carlson acted for JPMorgan Chase in relation to Chase Mortgage Trust 2016-1 and 2016-2, totaling nearly $2.5bn, which were the bank’s first house-transactions backed entirely by its own mortgages since the financial crisis. The team served as loan seller counsel to Morgan Stanley in the first CMBS transaction compliant with the newly enacted risk retention rules, pursuant to Dodd-Frank. In an example of the group’s work with esoteric assets, Chicago-based Gary Stern advised Bank of America in relation to a $33m term loan made to Weinstein Television; the loan is based on the cash flow from future seasons of certain TV shows. San Francisco partner Dale Lum handles motor vehicle lease securitizations, and Chicago-based TJ Gordon has experience working for a variety of financial institutions regarding asset securitization and secured lending.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is known for its innovative structured products practice and regulatory expertise. The department is extremely active in structured product offerings and works for over half of the ten most active issuers in the market, including JP Morgan and Société Générale. Practice co-head Christopher Schell advised a major Asian financial institution on a series of OTC swap transactions, which utilized a variety of investment methodologies and spanned asset classes such as foreign currencies and volatility funds. Ray Ibrahim acts for Natixis on an ongoing basis in relation to its retail structured products program. On the regulatory side, John Brandow and Warren Motley advise numerous major financial institutions on the impact of the evolving US and EU regulatory regimes. Other key clients include Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. Yan Zhang was made partner in 2016, and John Crowley joined the structured products group from the firm’s debt and equity capital markets department.

The structured finance team at Dechert LLP is deeply experienced in the ABS and CMBS spaces, has an active CLO practice, and also aids clients in the development of risk-retention-compliant structures. The team receives a continuous flow of work from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), with Laura Swihart and Devin Swaney advising the client on approximately $30bn of issuances in 2016. Practice chair Richard Jones acted for Wells Fargo in what was the largest commercial real estate transaction since the financial crisis - an agreement to purchase $9bn of CRE loans in the US, the UK and Canada from GE Capital Real Estate. Working as underwriters’ counsel, Malcolm Dorris advised Citigroup Global Markets and a consortium of other banks on a $1.3bn sub-prime auto loan securitization, serviced by AmeriCredit Financial Services. Sean Solis and Charlotte-based John Timperio advised Apollo on unique structures to accommodate both US and EU risk retention requirements, and also negotiated an innovative CLO reset transaction for Apollo Credit Management, subsequently transforming the three-year-old deal into a new transaction with all new debt investors.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is known for its work as a prominent issuer counsel, but is ‘excellent in all regards’ and acts for a variety of market participants in the RMBS, automotive and equipment finance sectors. Stephen Esko, Chris DiAngelo and Washington DC-based Anna-Liza Harris are all highly recommended, and have carried out a variety of work for Fannie Mae, having served as outside counsel on the non-tax aspects of the client’s CAS program, which seeks to transfer retained credit risk to capital markets investors. The team also counsels Fannie Mae on its monthly guaranteed single and multi-family REMIC issuances. Highly regarded for his ‘knowledge of the contracting process in public and private transactions’, Howard Schickler regularly acts for Fortress Investment Group regarding debt financing and equity capital, participation facilities and portfolio acquisitions. Joseph Topolski and John Keiserman advised Ford Motor Credit Company and GM Financial, respectively, on securitization programs and regulatory compliance. In recent personnel developments, Joshua Yablonski joined the firm’s Charlotte office from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Washington DC-based Brandon Hadley made partner in 2016.

In the firm’s New York office, Latham & Watkins LLP provides innovative structuring and securitization advice, and also has an active Los Angeles-based CLO practice. In a noteworthy example of the team’s securitization work, Kevin Fingeret and Graeme Smyth acted for SoftBank Group Corp during a sale-leaseback securitization financing of over 2.5 million iPhone handsets. The New York team has also advised Guggenheim Partners as initial purchaser and book-running manager on securitizations involving wireless tower assets and retail installment contracts. Additionally, Loren Finegold helped lead a team that served as sponsor and manager counsel to Landmark Infrastructure Partners regarding its inaugural securitization of cell tower sites, including ground leases and easements. The Los Angeles-based team, which includes Dominic Yoong, Vicki Marmorstein and newly promoted partner Douglas Burnaford have completed numerous EU and US risk-retention-compliant CLO transactions for clients such as Black Diamond Capital management, Onex Credit Partners, LCM Asset Management and Ares Management. Kenneth Askin was promoted to counsel in 2016.

Recommended for its ‘human approach and good client coverage’, the team at Morrison & Foerster LLP provides clients with ‘direct and easy access to partners, who are knowledgeable and helpful’. Headed by James Tanenbaum, the specialized department exhibits strengths in regulatory and transactional matters, spanning the gamut of structured finance work. Anna Pinedo, Jay Baris and Ze’-ev Eiger are assisting Artivest Advisors with the SEC registration of shares in an exchange-traded commodity pool, seeking to invest in futures and foreign currency forward contracts. James Schwartz and Washington DC-based Julian Hammar have advised many of the group’s structured products clients on concerns arising from the Dodd-Frank Act, specifically those issues presented by the Volcker Rule. The team has been especially active for Canadian clients, in which context, the ‘accessible and cooperative’ Jerry Marlatt has assisted The Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal with a litany of covered bond issuances. Individuals are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

The ‘excellent’ team at Shearman & Sterling LLP has particular expertise in structuring derivatives and providing US and EU regulatory advice to buy-side and sell-side clients. Focusing on commodities derivatives and structuring, Donna Parisi assisted seven South American, US and European banks with the negotiation of a structured repurchase transaction with Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA), whereby the consortium of buyers purchased $5bn of Bonar bonds from BCRA. The department has also carved out a niche in acting for market infrastructure providers, and in an example of regulatory strength, Geoffrey Goldman is advising IntercontinentalExchange and its global subsidiaries on the development of their swaps and futures clearinghouses, resolution and recovery planning, and various other issues arising from the EMIR and Dodd-Frank regulations. Azam Aziz specializes in acting for hedge funds, asset managers and other financial institutions regarding note hedges, total return swaps, equity collars and prepaid forward transactions. Notable buy-side clients include Oaktree Capital and Och-Ziff Capital Management.

Acting for issuers and underwriters, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s structured finance group has experience in structuring and restructuring derivative exposure and has been an innovative player in the securitization market, handling a wide range of asset classes. Based in the firm’s New York office, department head Richard Kadlick’s practice covers a variety of public offerings and private placement transactions, working for clients including heavyweight financial services companies and investment banks. Andrew Faulkner advised Chase Bank USA National Association as sponsor of Chase Issuance Trust on a series of six issuances of credit card asset-backed notes, totaling $7.2bn. James Stringfellow acted for asset managers such as Och-Ziff Loan Management and Allstate Investment Management Company as collateral managers in relation to a series of note offerings. Additionally, David Midvidy advised Hooters of America on multiple note issuances, including one of senior secured notes from a whole-business securitization program.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP exhibits ‘top-rate industry knowledge’ and provides ‘proactive advice’ to issuers and underwriters regarding innovative securitization transactions across a range of asset classes. In a particularly noteworthy highlight, Ariel Kronman acted for Guggenheim Partners in the structuring of Cork Street CLO Designated Activity Company, and subsequently advised Guggenheim Partners Europe on the structure of a repackaging and risk retention holding vehicle for the CLO notes issued by Cork Street. Although the group has been increasingly active working for underwriters, practice head Frank Nocco assisted Lendmark Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Blackstone Group, as sponsor and issuer in the client’s first two rated term securitizations of personal loans, totaling over $400m. ‘Exceptionally helpful and informed’, Jason Smith acted for The Hertz Corporation and various subsidiaries in multiple ABS offerings in 2016. Senior associate Shawn Kodes is also highly recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP has partners specializing in a range of structured products, equity derivatives and securitizations covering some esoteric asset classes, but with particular activity in auto loans and leases and credit card receivables. John Hwang advises a number of Canadian banks, including The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, on matters such as Canadian covered bonds programs and credit card receivables-backed programs. The team also acted for a large automotive issuer in connection with a series of issuances of auto loan and lease ABS. David Lucking’s practice focuses on derivative transactions and related regulatory compliance, and in 2016, the department head advised Deutsche Bank on a structured total return swap concerning a portfolio of loans in the energy sector. Deborah North completed several cross-border matters in 2015-2016, having worked with Morgan Stanley on a repackaging of Brazilian corporate bonds through a total return swap and pass-through note structure. The structured finance group was strengthened by the addition of Justin Cooke from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and David Flechner from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; both partners specialize in international securities and corporate governance.

Clifford Chance is an ‘excellent resource’ for structured product transactions, and has been increasingly active in the resurgent CRE market. Joint practice head Steven Kolyer acted for Medley during the structuring and formation of a private investment fund for the purpose of third-party risk retention equity capital to new CLOs and fund sponsors. Robert Villani, who co-heads the group and focuses on novel and traditional structuring, advised Credit Suisse Asset Management as portfolio manager on a series of CLO issuances totaling $814m and made up of floating rate notes, subordinated notes and combination securities. The team is also particularly active in the CMBS and RMBS markets, and assisted ReadyCap Commercial as originator and issuer with the issuance of commercial mortgage pass-through certificates by Ready Capital Mortgage Trust 2015-2. Other notable clients include Hunt Mortgage Group, Bayview Asset Management and Jefferies.

The capital markets team at Dentons remains heavily involved in the mortgage and real estate finance sectors, having completed a number of novel structures for heavyweight financial institutions in 2016. Department co-head Stephen Kudenholdt advised Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co as placement agents during the first-ever securitization of single-family rental properties that are subject to tenant purchase options. In one of the group’s most notable highlights, Scott Swerdloff served as initial purchaser’s counsel to Credit Suisse Securities concerning three securitizations backed by a portfolio of performing loans and totaling $5bn. Sponsored by a private equity fund, these transactions made use of a novel horizontal structure to meet the required risk retention standards pursuant to Dodd-Frank. Shujaat Ali, San Francisco-based Jason Ross and Mansi Desai, a loan and securities financing practitioner in the Dallas office, were all made partners, and Andi Mandell joined the firm in 2016, having previously served as executive vice president and chief tax counsel at Carrington Cos.

Deeply informed and highly pragmatic’, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handles the gamut of structured finance transactions and also provides regulatory advice regarding EMIR and Dodd-Frank. In 2016, the team was active in the CLO market and also handled securitizations involving some particularly novel asset classes. The ‘strongly recommendedJerome Ranawake advised Isramco and a wholly owned SPV, Tamar Royalties, on the securitization of royalty interests in the Tamar gas field in Israel. The three-partner team serves as external counsel to Citigroup in relation to its CLO work, and newly promoted partner Ryan Suda advised Citigroup Global Markets as initial purchaser and also acted as deal counsel in a $401.5m CLO transaction managed by Guggenheim Partners Investment Management. Focusing on cross-border transactions and regulatory compliance, Brian Rance heads the department and has also been involved in a number of CLO transactions for Citigroup. Other key clients include Inter-American Development Bank, Deutsche Bank, Scotia Bank and Société Générale.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has extensive experience in futures and derivatives transactions spanning all major asset classes, and joint department heads Robert McLaughlin and David Mitchell handle complex structured transactions and regulatory issues arising from the flurry of newly implemented CFTC and SEC rules. The group works for a variety of investment banks and asset managers, such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, BlueCrest Capital Management and Brookfield Asset Management, in addition to multiple well-known private equity clients. Highlights in 2016 included a mix of regulatory work, forwards and swaps transactions, the creation of a platform for purchase and sale of distressed loans, and involvement in a company acquisition by an investment group. Washington DC-based William Breslin is also recommended.

Hunton & Williams LLP’s ‘extremely responsive’ structured finance group spans the firm’s Charlotte, Richmond and New York offices and is deeply involved in the MBS space, acting for numerous private and government issuers. Melinda Beres and Kevin Buckley are recommended partners in the team, which exhibits ‘stellar business acumen’ and ‘extensive knowledge’ of mortgage loan securitization and mortgage servicing finance. Among 2015 and 2016 work highlights, Amy Williams served as program counsel to Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association) during 111 multi-class securities transactions, accounting for the issuance of $49bn of government-guaranteed REMIC securities. Brent Lewis acted for Wells Fargo Securities as structuring agent and lead manager in Freddie Mac’s inaugural multi-family structured credit risk debt notes transaction, totaling $52m. Additionally, Edward Douma and counsel Jonathan Kim acted for Aalto Invest in a $100m primary bond financing, which established a MBS financing structure, in a first-of-its-kind offering in the US residential buy, refurbish and sell sector. Mike Nedzbala and Tom Hiner jointly head the team out of Charlotte and New York, respectively.

Routinely delivering an excellent service’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP displays ‘second-to-none’ thought leadership and industry knowledge, especially in automotive finance and securitization matters. In the Chicago office, James Antonopoulos led a team that acted for CarMax Business Services in four public offerings of notes totaling $4.87bn and backed by pools of motor vehicle retail installment contracts. The ‘insightful’ Chicago-based Jeffrey O’Connor advised Deere & Company in relation to John Deere Owner Trust 2016-B; a $755m trust holding an amortizing pool of equipment retail installment sale and loan contracts. In addition to the group’s work with equipment and auto-related assets, Scott Gordon acted for Wyndham Worldwide Corporation during three securitization offerings of timeshare loan receivables, the first of which was among the first securitization transactions to use a horizontal retention structure to comply with new US risk retention requirements. Janette McMahan assisted Ally Bank with its Regulation AB II compliant registration for its AART auto-lease platform.

Headed by Al Sawyers, the structured finance and structured products team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP comprises ‘knowledgeable, innovative, responsive and particularly capable problem solvers’. The department is active for both issuers and underwriters and works across a variety of asset classes, including credit cards, CMBS, RMBS, automotive and esoteric assets such as renewable energy assets. Leah Sanzari advises Banc of America Securities on all of its GSE agency platforms, having closed around 39 transactions totaling $16.7bn in a 12 month period from November 2015 to 2016. In the auto-lease market, Alan Knoll has advised numerous heavyweight underwriters, such as Barclays, HSBC, and Société Générale on Nissan’s auto lease, auto loan and dealer floorplan securitization programs. The department has been actively advising a variety of market participants on the evolving US regulatory regime, including some unique international aspects of entrance into the derivatives market. Nikiforos Matthews, who focuses on derivatives and swap transactions, and senior counsel Katharine Crost are also recommended.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s structured finance and securitization department specializes in securitizing novel asset classes including IP and energy assets, and is especially known for its work involving whole-business securitizations. Jordan Yarett advised Roark Capital Group, an affiliate of Arby’s Restaurant Group, on the $635m whole-business securitization of Arby’s restaurants in the US, Canada and other international jurisdictions. The team also continues to act for The Wendy’s Company regarding its $2.28bn whole-business securitization. In a unique transaction in the energy sector, Lawrence Wee helped lead a team that acted for Guggenheim Securities and RBC as lead underwriters in a $1.29bn nuclear asset-recovery bonds issuance by Duke Energy Florida Project Finance, citing one of the lowest rates ever on rate reduction bonds, for the purpose of covering retirement at one of the client’s nuclear plants. In the slightly less esoteric ABS space, the team advised Deutsche Bank Securities on the issuance of $321m of Secured Tower Revenue Notes, Series 2016-1, which were backed by over 1,500 tower sites in the US. Robert Zochowski is another active member of the department, which has also completed transactions involving media revenues and TV-distribution receivables. MidCap Financial, SBA Communication Corporation and Major League Baseball Trust are other key clients.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s structured finance group has been involved in a range of matters including CLOs, marketplace lending and esoteric asset securitization. The team has a particular focus on property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing and securitization, and Los Angeles-based Daniel Passage acted for Deutsche Bank Securities during the sale of preferred shares of HERO Funding II 2016-3B relating to HERO 2016-3 securitization of PACE bonds. The ‘extremely efficient, creative and brightJeffrey Stern advised Orchard Platform on the structuring and documentation of the first fully electronic loan trading platform for the purchase and sale of pools of marketplace loans. Additionally, Peter Morgan acted for Credit Suisse Securities, Guggenheim Securities and Wells Fargo Securities as underwriters during a $342.5m issuance of equipment contract backed notes for one of the largest small ticket equipment leasing companies in the US. Other notable clients include THL Credit, Prosper Funding, Neuberger Berman and OppenheimerFunds. David Galainena jointly heads the department from the firm’s Chicago office.

The securitization department at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is known for its work involving unique asset classes and can lay legitimate claim to a position at the forefront of clean energy and PACE bond securitizations. Acting for BB&T Capital Markets as underwriters, Gilbert Liu worked on asset classes such as auto loans, timeshare loans and equipment contracts. Liu also served as issuer’s counsel to Oxford Finance regarding a $324m securitization of loans made to life sciences and healthcare services companies. In an example of work in the clean energy sector, Laurence Pettit advised Renovate America as issuer in two ABS issuances totaling over $500m and a $202m 144A offering. The team also acted for TIAA-CREF and Babson Capital Management as the sole investors in a novel securitization of utility-scale solar and wind real estate assets. The New York-based group is also immensely active in the timeshare loan market, and in 2016, it advised Deutsche Bank as structuring agent, in addition to several other global investment banks in their roles as bookrunners and managers, on a $425m securitization of timeshare loans originated by affiliates of Wyndham Worldwide.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has a very active securitization practice, which focuses on ABS and CDO matters, and is also involved in the RMBS and CMBS markets. In an example of the group’s CLO work, Daniel Oshinsky acted for affiliates of Fortress Investment Group in the structuring and negotiation of a $425.4m CLO transaction secured by US syndicated commercial loans. Paul Watterson was manager’s counsel to Steele Creek Investment Management during a $360m CLO, and also advised a private fund established by the manager for the purpose of investing in the subordinated notes issued by the CLO. Craig Stein jointly heads the structured finance and derivatives group and handles transactional and regulatory aspects of swaps and derivative products. The team handled a range of derivative-related regulatory matters for hedge funds and other investment groups in 2016. Clients also include Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, Blackstone Real Estate Income Advisors and Barclays Capital.

At Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Laura Palma specializes in securitization and structured products, while Joyce Xu leads the firm’s derivatives group. Acting primarily for issuers and purchasing groups, the securitization team advised special purpose entities of Vertical Bridge Holdings as issuer’s counsel during multiple offerings of notes secured by wireless communication tower assets. The group also acted for a consortium of banks as initial purchasers regarding issuance of rental car asset-backed notes by Avis Budget Rental Car Funding. On the derivatives side, the firm has been engaged in a multitude of rate-hedging transactions, and also advised clients such as Silver Lake on margin loans with various lenders, and acted for Goldman Sachs in registered variable-share forward hedging transactions. Jonathan Lindabury, who focuses on structuring and negotiating derivatives transactions, was made partner in 2016, and John Schueller was promoted to senior counsel.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s derivatives group focuses on commodities such as energy and metals, and also handles complex financial derivatives. Mark Rae assisted Merrill Lynch Commodities with the development and closing of a novel hybrid intermediation facility with US Oil & Refining Co, enabling the client to better monetize and source hydrocarbons. Department head Marvin Goldstein acted for Freepoint Commodities in the refinancing of a syndicated secured credit facility totaling $1.45bn and secured by accounts receivables, contract rights, inventory and cash. In the aftermath of Dodd-Frank implementation, Conrad Bahlke has been advising various clients, such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, on cleared derivatives agreements and swap-dealer guidelines. Bahlke has also been representing clients before regulatory agencies. Scott LeBouef is also recommended for derivatives work.

The structured finance and securitization department at DLA Piper LLP (US) is ‘excellent across the board’, handling a range of asset classes, such as solar assets and student loans. The firm also has a robust CLO practice, and Richard Reilly served as primary deal counsel to Goldman Sachs in several CLO transactions totaling approximately $2.5bn in 2016. In other work highlights, the team acted for Ares Capital Management as collateral manager in a string of CLOs valued at $2.1bn. A testament to the department’s work with varied assets, ‘there is no better attorney for tobacco escrows’ than Boston partner Ronald Borod, who is also involved in a unique deal regarding Biomedical Funding LLC 2016-1 concerning the securitization and rating of early-stage biomedical assets even before they are producing cash flow through licensing or sale transactions. David Luce and Washington DC-based Richard Davis are also key contacts; the latter served as arranger’s counsel to MUFG Union Bank in a $75m revolving warehouse line secured by commercial loans to an SPV of Hercules Capital.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has ‘excellent capabilities’ specifically in swaps and derivative transactions. ‘Providing creative solutions to meet clients’ needs’, Sylvie Durham acted for Jarden Corporation concerning derivatives hedging of new stock acquired in the sale of Jarden Corporation to Newell Corporation. Durham also advises Effex Capital on its registration as a swap dealer for cross-border FX derivative products. Mark Michigan, who specializes in securitized financing transactions, has handled deals involving assets such as credit card receivables, timeshare loans and trade receivables in 2016. Todd Miller, who splits his time between Orlando and Tampa, is another key member of the practice.Other notable clients include National Bank of Australia, Platform Specialty Products Corporation, CIBC and Banca Intesa.

Jones Day’s structured finance and derivatives group displays ‘exceptional depth of knowledge and clarity in drafting transactions.’ New York-based Dickson Chin leads the practice group and focuses on energy commodity derivatives and related regulatory matters. In 2016, he advised Acciona on a wind-energy swap transaction and intercreditor matters with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the 93 MW San Roman Wind Farm in Texas. The group has completed a number of transactions for Sprint Corporation; in one example, Ron Gross and Glenn Arden acted for the client during the private issuance by three SPVs of $3.5bn of senior secured notes, which were backed by a portfolio of FCC licenses and third-party leased license agreements. On the regulatory side, Stephen Obie advised Overstock.com and Medici on the regulatory issues associated with the implementation of a blockchain venture designed to help organizations obtain loans and issue shares transparently.

King & Spalding LLP’s structured finance and securitization department was strengthened in 2016 with several new additions to the team, including Terry Novetsky, who was previously at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Focusing on secured lending, debt capital markets and global trade finance, he acted for MidCap Financial Trust in a $60m bankruptcy exit financing of SPV entities formed by Relativity Media. Practice head Michael Urschel has been involved in multiple matters involving whole-business securitizations, having represented the joint lead managers in the sale of $2.3bn of fixed-rate notes and $100m in variable-rate notes backed by the whole-business securitization of Taco Bell’s franchise assets. Urschel also advised a global investment bank on the sale of $685m of whole-business-backed notes issued by Arby’s Funding. Through the new additions to the team, the department picked up a number of new clients, including Citibank, RBC Capital Markets and InSite Wireless Group. Counsel Anthony Mechcatie is also recommended.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s structured finance group is split into an alternative investment practice and a CLO team. Los Angeles-based Deborah Festa continues to advise KKR Credit Advisors’ US and Ireland affiliates on all of their US and European CLO transactions, totaling around $2bn in 2016. In another work highlight, Jay Grushkin and Eric Moser assisted Natixis Securities Americas and its affiliates, in their roles as arranger, placement agent and revolving note investor, with the structuring and issuance of multiple CLO transactions, all of which were structured to comply with EU risk retention standards. In an example of the firm’s derivatives work, John Williams is acting for a leading financial institution in the structuring and execution of a dual-lender credit default swap-linked credit facility. Williams also advised the Futures Industry Association on a CCP Rulebook Review project through the umbrella organization, FIA Global, a leading global trade association for exchange-traded derivatives.

The team at White & Case LLP has ‘strong expertise’ in specialized, cross-border derivatives work and also handles securitizations and CLOs. As head of the derivatives group, the ‘available and strategic’ Ian Cuillerier advised a number of global investment banks and utilities companies on swaps and other derivatives transactions involving wind energy assets, electricity infrastructure and interest rates. The derivatives team worked alongside project finance lawyers to negotiate interest rate swap documentation for Concesionaria Vial Sierra Norte, in relation to the financing and construction of a Peruvian toll-road. On the securitization side, David Thatch acted for Guggenheim Securities as lead initial purchaser, sole structuring adviser and bookrunner regarding the issuance of a series of fixed-rate notes under the existing whole-business securitization of Sonic Corp, secured by, among other assets, IP, franchise agreements and real property.

Headed by Henry Morriello, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s structured finance department produces ‘excellent’ results in securitization and other structured transactions. Lawton Camp is highly regarded for providing ‘great legal and business advice’; he acted for National Bank of Canada as dealer’s counsel during a £1bn covered bond issuance and a $750m covered bond issuance, both under the bank’s $7bn covered bond program. Howard Goldwasser, who recently joined the firm from K&L Gates, advised CreekSource as sponsor and collateral manager of a $302.5m CLO of broadly syndicated corporate loans; the team also structured the client as a capitalized management vehicle, enabling all of its CLOs to be compliant with EU and US risk retention requirements. Los Angeles-based Skanthan Vivekananda also arrived from K&L Gates and Terry Novetsky left for King & Spalding LLP.

Ashurst LLP strengthened its CLO practice with the additions of Larry Berkovich from Mayer Brown and Scott Pierpont from Jones Day. The derivatives team was also bolstered by the arrival of Washington DC-based Lee Ann Anderson from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, who also handles private securities offerings. The structured finance group works primarily for investment banks and other financial institutions. Bill Gray and Patrick Quill focus on structured products and derivatives, and also handle CLO work.

Headed by Alan Rafte, Bracewell LLP’s Houston-based structured finance and derivatives group handles commodity derivatives transactions involving power and energy assets and infrastructure. The team works for a variety of market participants, including power and energy developers on the borrower side and private equity funds on the investor side. Another notable contact, Jessica Adkins has completed a number of structured commodity and hedging transactions. Clients have included Noble Americas Energy Group, Pattern Energy Group, Deutsche Bank and Citibank.

Focusing primarily on emerging markets, Hogan Lovells US LLP has ‘unmatched knowledge of debt securitizations and future flow securitizations’. As head of the firm’s debt capital markets team for the Americas, Emil Arca acted for Banco Industrial and Industrial DPR Funding in a number of issuances of floating-rate and fixed-rate notes totaling $350m and backed by rights and interests in the diversified payment rights and related assets. The team also assisted Persistent Energy Capital as structuring agent in the world’s first off-grid solar securitization structure, which enabled alternative and affordable financing for the investment in installment sales of solar panels in Kenyan villages. Evan Koster, who leads the derivatives practice, has advised various global financial institutions and issuers on issues such as swap regulations and equity derivative positions.

Seward & Kissel LLP’s structured finance group specializes in developing bespoke structured products for global investment banks and other financial institutions. Kalyan Das, who leads the firm’s global bank and institutional finance and restructuring department, acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and Mizuho Bank in various transactions with Sprint totaling $7bn. In another work highlight, Edward Horton and Marlon Paz we part of a large team that assisted Madison Commercial Real Estate Services with the establishment of a joint venture with an Israeli corporation for the purpose of raising capital and subsequently investing in real estate projects in the US. The team is active in the securitization space, having acted for financial institutions such as US Bank National Association in a cross-border auto loan securitization.

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