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Dechert LLP

Work +1 212 698 3500
Fax +1 212 698 3599

Laura Swihart

Work +1 212 698 3644
Dechert LLP

Work Department

Finance and Real Estate


Laura Swihart focuses her practice on commercial real estate finance and securitization matters. Ms. Swihart regularly represents issuers, underwriters, mortgage loan sellers and subordinate bond buyers in connection with commercial mortgage backed securitization transactions. She has represented joint ventures and entities in connection with the creation of commercial mortgage loan origination platforms.


Member, New York State Bar Association


University of Connecticut, B.A., 1994, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa; New York University School of Law, J.D., 1997

United States

Real estate

Within: Real estate

Dechert LLP’s prominence in the debt finance field is exemplified by its work for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, for which New York-based Laura Swihart acted on a plethora of matters, including the securitization of $1.18bn of mortgage loans secured by multifamily properties. Other significant lender clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and Starwood Property Trust, and in another example of work, practice chair Richard Jones, who divides his time between New York and Philadelphia, advised Progress Residential on the origination and securitization of an $875m loan secured by over 8,000 single-family rental properties. Aside from residential, the team was active across a range of other product types and, in one highlight, Philadelphia-based David Forti and Justin Gdula acted for Citigroup Global Markets Realty regarding loans secured by a mix of life science campuses, offices and biomedical research and development facilities relating to Blackstone Group’s take private of BioMed Realty Trust. Forti also represented Rubin Schron in a multi-borrower, multi-property refinancing of three separate nursing home portfolios into a single $1.05bn mortgage/mezzanine financing. Other names to note among the ‘deep bench’ are Hartford-based Laura Ciabarra, San Francisco-based Kahlil Yearwood and Charlotte-based Stewart McQueen.

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United States: Finance

Structured finance

Within: Structured finance

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.

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