Debt capital markets in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP is 'the best firm in the market, definitely in a league of its own over other Magic Circle firms'. Whether under English or US law, the firm is a leader in all aspects of the DCM space, from regulatory capital deals to hybrid bonds. Practice head Jonathan Melton leads 'a very strong team in breadth and depth, with some exceptional partners and associates'. Among them are Theo Trayhurn (who is 'an excellent sparring partner and is very good at drafting technical provisions') for regulatory capital issuance by financial institutions and high-profile blue chip corporate bond issues; Jamie Durham, who excels in equity-linked transactions and liability management; standout US securities partner Sachin Davé; key advisers to lead managers and issuers Tom Grant and Peter Crossan; head of the international capital markets knowhow and training team Amanda Thomas; and Daniel Fletcher, who focuses on raising and restructuring regulatory capital for banks, mutuals and insurance companies. Grant recently led a team advising BNP Paribas on the €4.75bn and £1.25bn dual-tranche issuance of hybrid bonds by BP plc.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Melton

Other key lawyers:

Theo Trayhurn; Jamie Durham; Sachin Davé; Tom Grant; Peter Crossan; Daniel Fletcher; Amanda Thomas

Testimonials

‘Allen & Overy is the best firm in the market for debt capital markets, definitely in a league of its own over other Magic Circle firms. The team are consistently strong across all product areas from US securities laws, liability management, bank capital and straight debt. They are a law firm that I trust 100% to do a good job on any transaction and it is always a pleasure to work with them. Outside of deal work they are very strong on know how as well as diversity.’

‘The standout individuals are as follows: Sachin Davé – US securities partner – Sach is very commercially minded as well as practical and responsive. He is my go-to partner for US law advice, particularly on emerging markets 144A deals. I have worked with Sach for over a decade and trust him and his team 100% to deliver a high-quality work product on time. Jonathan Melton – a very reliable and consistent UK partner who is not afraid to pick up the phone and give candid advice which is always appreciated. He has an excellent team including Tom Wilson and Stephanie Dee (both counsel, and both excellent lawyers) and he would be my first choice for any debt capital markets deal governed by English law. Jonathan is also very hands-on and unlike other partners is does not delegate and disappear.’

‘A&O still remains the number 1 DCM team. A very strong team in breadth and depth, with some exceptional partners and associates. Their professional support team is also worth highlighting for their participation in and driving forward of market standards.’

‘Tom Grant, Theo Trayhurn and Jamie Durham are all partners worthy of special mention. Amanda Thomas provides exceptional legal advice and market knowledge. All of them are go-to lawyers who are also a pleasure to work with.’

‘The pre-eminent of the UK Magic Circle firms when it comes to capital markets. Excellent team of partners who make a point of staying involved in their deals, very ably assisted by quality assistants who are clearly well trained. I always feel I am getting the best advice when I have instructed A&O.’

‘Jonathan Melton and his entire team of associates/consultants for investment grade ad EMK transactions and in particular liability management. Tom Grant and Dan Fletcher for bank capital and hybrid capital issues. Jamie Durham on EMK deals. All provide a sterling service.’

‘The team we work with is incredibly professional, knowledgeable, agile, pragmatic and solution driven. They strive to find a solution satisfactory to all parties in a timely manner. They understand the business and have a fantastic helicopter view of the market, able to tell us what financial institutions are doing in geographically comparable markets as well as across Europe, as the breadth of their business is amazing. The team works incredibly well together, making transition from one associate to the other virtually seamless. We have worked with many (if not all) of the other Magic Circle law firms, and A&O consistently comes out on top with the quality of the partner and overview, down to the senior associate, junior associate and trainee.’

‘Theo Trayhurn is our main partner contact, and he is amazing. He is always available if we need him, otherwise he is very good at delegating to members of his exceptional team. Theo is an excellent sparring partner and is very good at drafting technical provisions.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Nationwide Building Society

International Investment Bank (IIB)

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP handles the full spectrum of debt capital markets, including convertible and exchangeable bonds, regulatory capital issues, liability management transactions, sovereign issuance and Eurobonds. Simon Sinclair leads the practice, which has a wealth of partner talent. Clare Burgess is a standout partner for private placements and loans, with a particular focus on the infrastructure sector. She has advised on numerous project bonds and recently acted for Citigroup and HSBC in the $4bn debt offering by ADNOC's gas pipeline stakeholder Galaxy Pipeline Assets Bidco, though her work also spans green bonds. The 'incredibly knowledgeable, super-efficient' Paul Deakins handles a broad range of work including advising issuers and underwriters on convertible bonds and corporate hybrid securities. Veteran partner David Dunnigan has significant experience in the Nordic, CEE and Baltic regions, and in numerous emerging markets. Kate Vyvyan has been part of the firm's team advising HM Treasury on all aspects of its Gilt issuance programme since 2018, including the issuance of over £400bn of issuance since April 2020. The 'knowledgeable, smart, creative and seasoned' Deborah Zandstra leads the sovereign debt advisory practice. Former London managing partner David Bickerton was a key member of the practice for many years but has now retired from the firm to take up a senior role at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Practice head(s):

Simon Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

Clare Burgess; Paul Deakins; David Dunnigan; Kate Vyvyan; Deborah Zandstra; Matthew Fairclough

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive and have a wealth of knowledge, particularly in relation to capital raising. There is a strong link between the DCM practice and regulatory team which is invaluable in terms of whole view advice of issues that arise.’

‘Andrew Coats is very hands on and provides practical advice, he is extremely competent at handling difficult negotiations with counterparties and finding a workable and commercial solution. His background and knowledge in relation to structured products is also invaluable in terms of navigating the changes to be implemented due to the move to risk free rates.’

‘Deborah Zandstra is the single best sovereign lawyer I have worked with in around 16 years in the industry. She is knowledgeable, smart, creative, and seasoned. She has a strong team and is our go-to-person for anything complex. Their work with MLAs/Supras is outstanding.’

‘Deborah Zandstra is an institution for anything sovereign, MLA, ESG. She has done the most complex and creative deals. She is outstanding!’

‘Paul Deakins is outstanding. Paul and his team provide the highest quality service in DCM. They properly and proactively advise their clients, something we don’t always see in others. Paul is incredibly knowledgeable, super-efficient, he unravels the complex and is very commercial. He is calm, measured and a joy to work with. We always come away feeling completely reassured.’

‘I have an incredibly strong and positive impression of CC, not only the DCM team in London but also the broader capital markets team across the various international offices. The standard is universally high. The team are well co-ordinated, bright and forward thinking. I find them consistently responsive and always looking to add value in their approach. Their commercial focus and ability to solve innovative issues is not something many firms can offer.’

‘Paul Deakins – my go to contact at CC. A fantastic partner and a very safe pair of hands. Runs transactions with efficiency and commercial insight with an extremely deep knowledge base and versatility. Able to distil the most complex of issues into digestible and solvable solutions. Always willing to go the extra mile for clients and adds value across every deal. Someone you want to have on speed dial.’

‘Simon Sinclair – a force to be reckoned with in the regulatory capital arena. Always knows more than the next person in the room. I value his advice and wisdom greatly. Strong leadership on extremely complex matters and offers commercially sound technical expertise. Well respected and regarded by the market and for good reason.’

‘Matt Fairclough – newly returned from the HK office and certainly a great asset to see back in the European arena. Extremely intelligent with a calm and logical nature. Makes the impossible look effortless and someone you always want on your side.’

‘David Dunnigan is always on top of his game, superior service. Kate Vyvyan is also superb, client-focused and reactive. Paul Deakins has superb technical knowledge but also excellent client management.’

Key clients

Centrus

RBC Capital Markets

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

HSBC Bank plc

Danske Bank

Credit Agricole CIB

DZ Bank

SEB

Energias de Portugal, S.A

Société Générale

ING

BNP Paribas

UniCredit

Santander

BBVA

SBB

Hitachi Capital

Barclays Bank PLC

UK Government (HM Treasury)

Goldman Sachs International

BofA Securities

Argentina Creditor Committee

Heimstaden Bostad AB

Work highlights

  • Supported European primary placement facility (eppf) S.A. and Centrus with the design and delivery of the new financing structure, which offers local authorities a ready-made debt issuance platform offered by a Luxembourg regulated and supervised entity and allows borrowers speed of access to international capital markets and a solution to historical issues faced when accessing the capital markets.
  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets Limited and HSBC Bank plc as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners as part of a syndicate of 17 underwriting banks on ADNOC’s gas pipeline stakeholder Galaxy Pipeline Assets Bidco Limited’s issuance of $1.1bn 1.750% secured senior bonds due 2027, $1.5bn 2.625% senior secured bonds due 2036 and $1.3bn 3.250% senior secured bonds due 2040 (Dublin listed) to partially refinancing a bridge loan for purchasing 47.7% interest in ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets LLC and its gas pipeline assets.
  • Advised Barclays on its consent solicitations to implement the transition away from Sterling and US-dollar LIBOR in respect of 12 series of their Securities comprising of floating rate and reset rate additional tier one and legacy instruments.

Linklaters LLP

At Linklaters LLP, 'the DCM team is exceptional, it is strong in breadth and depth and is at the forefront of legal developments in the sector'. Whether it is investment grade debt offerings, liability management transactions, equity-linked instruments, hybrid capital, regulatory capital, green and sustainability bonds, emerging markets or sovereign debt, the firm is highly adept in advising both issuers and investment banks. Its recent work includes advising large corporates, among them Greggs plc, on commercial paper programmes to access the Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility. Practice head Elaine Keats has a broad-ranging practice but has particular expertise in liability management. Richard Levy works across the spectrum of investment and sub-investment grade debt offerings, regulatory capital instruments, liability management and restructurings. Carson Welsh has particular experience of acting for issuers and underwriters on major bank recapitalisations, while Ben Dulieu stands out for convertible and exchangeable bonds. Cecil Quillen leads the firm’s global US securities practice, while Richard O’Callaghan is known for transactions in the MENA region. Newly promoted partners Arjun Muddu and Yaroslav Alekseyev also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Keats

Other key lawyers:

Richard Levy; Carson Welsh; Ben Dulieu; Cecil Quillen; Richard O’Callaghan; Arjun Muddu; Yaroslav Alekseyev; Sirae Chen

Testimonials

‘The Linklaters DCM team is exceptional. They are strong in breadth and depth and a pleasure to work with. They are at the forefront of legal developments in the sector and a go-to firm on all DCM products.’

‘Richard Levy, Elaine Keats, Richard O’Callaghan and Ben Dulieu are all exceptional. They are at the top of their field and always provide the best advice. On the establishment of CCFF programmes, Richard Levy in particular stands out. His advice and engagement were exceptional. At a difficult and busy time, his support was unparalleled. We couldn’t have done what we did without him – he was proactive and market leading.’

‘The team provides a consistently excellent service. They have an in-depth knowledge of the sector and provide advice that is commercial.’

‘Richard O’Callaghan is excellent, he is easy to work with, extremely knowledgeable and provides commercial, well thought out advice.’

‘Linklaters has a top-quality DCM practice, but specifically when it comes to the equity-linked product, they are the unquestionable number one player in this market in nearly all major European markets. They know everything there is to know about the product, and have built their expertise and precedent knowledge over a very long period of time.’

‘Ben Dulieu is now clearly the most experienced individual in this market. He is the first point of call for any questions. He is also easy to work with, and puts forward a friendly and easy to work with face for Linklaters. Richard O’Callaghan is also very good, with a growing practice.’

‘A really great bunch of people. Easy to get along with and fun to work with. Very precise and considered in their drafting of documents. They always understand the brief.’

‘Sirae Chen – meticulous attention to detail, responsive at all times. Cool, calm and collected, a great person to deal with. Arjun Muddu – so enthusiastic about every transaction, incredibly knowledgeable in his field, responsive at all times, a thorough pleasure to deal with. Richard Levy – it’s like tapping into a huge wealth of top-quality experience in his field. Capable of seeing things from all sides, totally committed and an absolute pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

NatWest Markets

Citi

UBS

Lloyds

HSBC

BNP Paribas

European Investment Bank

Anglo American

Experian

Unilever

Vodafone

Centrica

SEE

British American Tobacco

Yorkshire Building Society

Greggs

Greene King

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Hikma Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Advising Unilever on the implications of unification for its debt issuance programmes and outstanding bonds, including a successful consent solicitation exercise in respect of 21 series of outstanding Eurobonds issued by Unilever PLC and Unilever NV totalling around €13bn in principal amount outstanding.
  • Advising the lead managers on the issue of €1,850,000,000 0.000% sustainability-linked notes due 2028 by Novartis, the first sustainability-linked bond to incorporate social rather than environmental targets and the first offering of sustainability-linked bonds in the healthcare sector.
  • Advising HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. as lead underwriter on HSBC Holdings plc’s issue of Additional Tier 1 callable securities.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is perhaps best known for its work on emerging markets and sovereign debt issuance, though the London capital markets group is increasingly involved in European and US debt issuance for both underwriting banks and corporate issuers. The firm has the deepest bench of US and English law partners in London, many of whom are involved in complex and innovative cross-border transactions, including inaugural bond offerings. It is also involved in emerging areas of the markets, notably green and sustainability-linked bonds. It also has one of the busiest convertible bond practice in the City. Melissa Butler and Stuart Matty are 'very hands-on partners who always find a satisfactory solution for all stakeholders'. They lead the practice along with Richard Pogrel, who recently advised Co-operative Bank Finance plc on its £200m debut senior MREL offering. In 2020, US securities partner Ian Clark advised on  numerous sovereign debt restructuring transactions, including the Republic of Argentina restructuring of $64bn of external debt. 'Capable, proactive, reliable and efficient' senior associate Anna Soroka is increasingly involved in key mandates.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Butler; Stuart Matty; Richard Pogrel

Other key lawyers:

Anna Soroka; Neha Saran

Testimonials

‘Always very professional and high standard of work. Also available any time and going the extra mile to help.’

‘W&C has great people and solid institutional knowledge. Having led many of the relevant transactions in EM Capital Markets, W&C are well positioned to hand-hold clients and hep them successfully navigate market access attempts.’

‘Stuart Matty and Mellissa Butler are very hands-on partners who always find a satisfactory solution for all stakeholders. They are also very swift to turn around docs to support opportunistic market timing for clients.’

‘We have used W&C for a long time and they know us and our company very well, we do not need to explain procedures or our reasoning, they understand and anticipate our needs. We find that the team has a lot of respect for us and each other which shows in their work and in how they approach problems that come up. Their billing system has evolved over the last couple of years and it has been very helpful to see the break down of costs in projects etc. During the pandemic we have not once felt that they have been less professional or on top of new projects. We are all in all very happy with the set-up we have with W&C, both in London, NY and the support we sometimes receive from Stockholm.’

‘Since a couple of years back our main point of contact has been Richard Pogrel, he has been a great asset in our work and takes on all aspects of our business in a very professional manner. Richard has a very good understanding of our business and have the ability to anticipate our needs, which is greatly appreciated. Senior associate Neha Saran has been assisting Richard and been a great asset to the W&C team and in helping us with our programme updates as well as more complicated projects.’

‘The staff are very professional and on top of their knowledge level. They also engaged the sovereign and supported capacity building of our institutions.’

‘Stuart Matty is my best Individual professional who not only gives great legal service, but also provide recommendations on related areas and in what I call early warning recommendations. Very creative and innovative support.’

‘I lead our DCM advisory practice and worked with Anna Soroka earlier this year. I found her to be very capable, proactive, reliable and efficient and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

The Bank of England

The Co-operative Bank

Citi

Credit Suisse

CTP B.V.

E.ON

Ipoteka Bank

Jefferies

JP Morgan

Metso Outotec Oyj

Morgan Stanley

Ukraine

Republic of Ghana

Republic of Serbia

Republic of Suriname

Republic of Uzbekistan

Republic of Zambia

Saudi Aramco

Svenska Handelsbanken

The State of Israel

The State of Qatar

Work highlights

  • Advised The Bank of England on the update of its Debt Issuance Programme and issuance thereunder of $2bn 0.250%. Notes due 2024 pursuant to Regulation S and Rule 144A.
  • Advised the Ad Hoc Argentine Bondholder Group, the largest group of the Republic of Argentina bondholders, on the successful restructuring of the country’s $64bn of external debt.
  • Advised Saudi Aramco as issuer on its $8bn five-tranche offering of global notes.

Ashurst

'Although a smaller team than some, the team definitely punches above its weight and has exceptional legal and market knowledge', says a client of Ashurst. The firm frequently advises corporate issuers on Eurobond and equity-linked bonds, and its recent work on hybrid bonds includes assisting BP plc with a $12bn offering. The firm also assists global financial institutions, among them Barclays and Citibank, as underwriters or on their own treasury and funding activities. Anna Delgado, who is 'thoughtful but tenacious in getting the best for her clients', leads the five-partner practice. Alexander Biles, who provides 'thoughtful and clear advice that is always a few steps ahead' and led the BP deal, is a key adviser on a vast array of DCM transactions. Senior consultant Francis Kucera is a renowned name in sovereign bond issuance, much of his work involving emerging markets issuance. Malcolm Charles is the key specialist for trustee and agent market participants.

Practice head(s):

Anna Delgado

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Biles; Francis Kucera; Malcolm Charles; Alexandra Eastwell

Testimonials

‘The team is well experienced in corporate trust deals and approaches each transaction with detail and commercial rationales in mind.’

‘Although a smaller team than some, the Ashurst DCM team definitely punches above its weight. Exceptional legal and market knowledge provided by personable and approachable lawyers. There is a real sense that we work in partnership with this team on any transactions that they advise us upon.’

‘Anna Delgado is always the first person to turn to. Thoughtful but tenacious in getting the best for her clients. Great legal knowledge – and complete focused on the important points. I don’t think anything is too difficult for Anna.’

‘Alex Biles is excellent all around. Very responsive. Thoughtful and clear advice that is always a few steps ahead.’

‘The team is uniquely commercial, down-to-earth and approachable, which is rather rare in the industry. It is always possible to have a frank and relaxed conversation, where the legal jargon is broken down and made accessible to the client.’

‘Alex Biles is an expert in his field, whilst being very approachable and down-to-earth with his clients. It is always possible to have a quick and frank discussion about any legal topic, without feeling intimidated or unsure about the legal concepts raised during the discussion, which is a frequent issue with senior legal advisers.’

‘Having worked with the team on a number of projects over the past few years I feel 100% confident in their work, support and advice. There is always the feeling that they are completely on top of all of the key issues, and keeping me informed but not overloading me unnecessarily – so that when we do have issues to discuss I know what is key. When we are facing anything new, whether a new transaction or just a technical issue, they draw upon their experience elsewhere in the market to guide us.’

‘From a personal point of view alone I have built up a good relationship and rapport with key members of the team – and in the midst of a heavy workload, deadlines and sometimes technical issues, it is nice to have a friendly face or voice at the end of the phone. It makes the process so much easier and I have learnt a lot from the team. As my main partner and associate contacts, Anna Delgado and Alexandra Eastwell are excellent and I know I can rely on their guidance as well as their calm, methodical approach when things get busy or close to a deadline.’

Key clients

ALD

ANZ

Barclays

BP plc

Citibank

Credit Suisse

Dexia Credit Local

HSBC

Intermediate Capital Group

Lloyds Bank plc

National Express

NatWest Markets

Nomura

Renewi plc

Santander

Shawbrook Group plc

Swedbank

Tritax

WM Morrison Supermarkets plc

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

'The team consists of unparalleled experts, who are yet very approachable and flexible', remarks a client of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Focused on high-end, innovative capital markets work, the firm handles bond offerings under US law and has a strong presence in sovereign debt issuance. Its recent work includes offerings by the Republic of Armenia and the Hellenic Republic. US-qualified Sebastian Sperber focuses on international capital markets and M&A transactions, as does David Gottlieb, who is 'intelligent, available and able to cut through to the crux of a matter'. Polina Lyadnova, who is dual-qualified, Russia and England, has a broad practice that encompasses bank lending, debt restructuring, and debt capital markets. Counsel Sarah Lewis, who 'always thinks around many corners and far ahead', advises on US securities laws and their application to offerings by non-US companies in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Other key lawyers:

Sebastian Sperber; David Gottlieb; Polina Lyadnova; Sarah Lewis

Testimonials

‘The team consists of unparalleled experts, who are yet very approachable and flexible. Their knowledge of our business and any laws that may be relevant to it is consistent and impressive – they go out of their way to understand our manner of working and business concerns and apply legal developments accordingly.’

‘Sarah Lewis has a “wow” factor in this industry, and it is a pleasure and privilege to have her on our side – she is extremely knowledgeable, approachable and commercial. Her technical knowledge is exceptional, she always thinks around many corners and far ahead, and her keen interest and joy in her area of expertise is noticeable and appreciated.’

‘David Gottlieb – intelligent, available and able to cut through to the crux of a matter.’

‘Excellent skills and expertise. Focused on goals and results. Taking up new challenges. Commitment to quality. Managing work and time. Teamwork. Reputation.’

‘Communication and negotiation skills. The ability to work under pressure. Research, analysis and attention to detail. Competent, hardworking, highly qualified professionals.’

Key clients

BP (Underwriters)

Pershing Square Holdings (Initial Purchasers)

Russian Railways JSC

Falck Renewables S.p.A.

Kakao Corp

GlaxoSmithKline plc

GlaxoSmithKline plc and GlaxoSmithKline Capital plc

América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V.

Doosan Infracore Co., Ltd. and The Korea Development Bank

Bank Debt

Barclays plc

Credit Suisse Group AG / Credit Suisse AG

Santander UK Group

HSBC Holdings plc

Bank Leumi Le-Israel (Initial Purchasers)

Industrial Bank of Korea (Underwriters)

NongHyup Bank (Underwriters)

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (“KEXIM”) (Underwriters)

The Republic of Armenia

The Hellenic Republic (Greece)

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Capital markets is a core practice for Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's London office and the firm is a frequent adviser to many of the world's largest corporate issuers as well as dealer managers and bookrunners. Lead partner Reuven Young is well versed in public and private cross-border investment-grade and high-yield debt offerings. He recently acted for Rolls-Royce Holdings plc in its £2bn debt offering. He also acted for the joint bookrunners and dealer managers on SEC-registered issuances totalling $6.25bn by B.A.T Capital Corporation and B.A.T. International Finance plc, subsidiaries of British American Tobacco. Up-and-coming partner Leo Borchardt, who is particularly active in European deals for large corporations, boards of directors, special committees and investment banks, and counsel Radoslaw Michalak, who excels in liability management space and has been involved in complex and cutting-edge tender offers, exchange offers and consent solicitations, play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Reuven Young

Other key lawyers:

Leo Borchardt; Radoslaw Michalak

Key clients

AstraZeneca

Ferguson

Ocado

eDreams ODIGEO

NatWest

J.P. Morgan

Signature Aviation

Citi

A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S

Smith & Nephew

Rolls-Royce

Delek Drilling

Delek Overriding Royalty Leviathan

Crédit Agricole

Work highlights

  • Advised the sole dealer manager and exchange agent on the exchange offer by Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation (FFCB) in respect of 13 series of its existing floating-rate notes. The transaction was the first-ever public exchange offer undertaken to swap securities using LIBOR as a benchmark with new notes using ARRC fallback language, gaining much attention in the market.
  • Advised the joint bookrunners on concurrent SEC-registered issuances of $6.25bn aggregate principal amount of senior notes by B.A.T Capital Corporation and B.A.T. International Finance p.l.c., subsidiaries of British American Tobacco.
  • Advised Rolls-Royce Holdings plc in connection with its £2bn equivalent Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of (i) $1bn aggregate principal amount of 5.750% notes due 2027, (ii) €750m aggregate principal amount of 4.625% notes due 2026, and (iii) £545m aggregate principal amount of 5.750% notes due 2027, each listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has 'a fantastic team that really goes the extra mile to look after its clients, and partner engagement is second to none'. The firm has a strong track record in both issuer and manager-side work, whether for standalone bonds, regulatory capital instruments, MTN programmes, CP programmes, private placements or equity-linked transactions and liability management transactions, and it has particular skill in emerging markets transactions. Practice head Amy Geddes, who leads a 'proactive, flexible and incredibly knowledgeable' group, acted as issuer’s counsel in the update of Airbus’s EMTN programme and the subsequent issuance of six series of notes, and advised dealers on the update of DNB Bank ASA's $10bn MTN programme. Dinesh Banani , who is a leading adviser on US securities offerings in European and emerging markets, head of US securities Tom O’Neill and veteran DCM partner Jake Jackaman all play central roles in the practice. US finance partner Gabrielle Wong advises a broad client base of PE firms, corporates and banks, and senior associate and 'very knowledgeable lawyer and negotiator' Omar Shafi is respected by both corporate and investment banks.

Practice head(s):

Amy Geddes

Other key lawyers:

Gabrielle Wong; Omar Shafi; Dinesh Banani; Tom O’Neill; Jake Jackaman

Testimonials

‘A fantastic team that really goes the extra mile to look after both us as its client and our clients. Partner engagement is second to none, so when issues do arise – they are fully informed and hit the ground running on finding solutions. Competitively priced, particularly given level of day-to-day partner engagement.’

‘Quick onboard and assistance. The team was up to date on the latest finance trends and developments and could advise us on the marked practices, also during Covid times. Partner Amy Geddes was involved in the strategy making, but thereafter we were very happy to work as cost efficiently as possible with her team members and her in the background.’

‘Omar Shafi is a very knowledgeable lawyer and negotiator. He kept us updated on legal developments during the process. His emails and notes were very clear and he was available when needed by phone which was helpful during Covid.’

‘The HSF team stand out by their expectational client management focus, deep understanding of the nuances associated with EM transactions, commercial awareness that shines through in their legal advice. They are the best firm to help debut issuers access the markets.’

‘Amy Geddes and Gabrielle Wong are patient with clients and explain their deep legal knowhow in easy to understand language to clients. They always quickly grasp the commercial and strategic rationale of clients and swiftly deliver structured legal solutions that satisfy all stakeholders.’

‘The DCM practice of Herbert Smith Freehills is absolutely superb in what they do compared to others. First and foremost, they really try to understand client’s perspective and put a lot of energy into that. Their client-oriented approach is definitely on top of the market. They are also very proactive, flexible and, of course, incredibly knowledgeable. The communication with their team is very easy-going not only with respect to the actual legal work but also when it comes to administrative matters and purely bureaucratic requests of the client.’

‘Amy Geddes is the partner responsible for their perfect performance. She is incredibly reliable and reachable. Certainly the person to go to with DCM work. Senior associate Omar Shafi provides excellent case management and is also super knowledgeable.’

‘Very knowledgeable about the product, and market standards. Very committed to client’s needs with unmatched responsiveness. Diverse team with deep pool of knowledge in each vertical we’ve used including DCM, financings, derivatives, general corporate law.’

Key clients

Abengoa

Airbus

ALCB Fund

Anglian Water

Bevco

Brookfield Asset Management

Northern Powergrid

Safran

Severn Trent

Latham & Watkins

The DCM practice at Latham & Watkins is 'commercial and pragmatic, looking to find solutions with great availability and work ethic'. The firm is best known for its work on US securities, particularly in emerging markets debt, in which it is among the market leaders. It is also a frequent adviser on sovereign debt issuance, having recently advised on transactions in Egypt, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. Another key part of its practice is work on the private placement of bonds. Lene Malthasen drives the development of the debt capital markets practice and has extensive experience in 144A issuances and liability management transactions, particularly in emerging markets. She recently assisted VEON with the establishment of its $6.5bn MTN programme. David Stewart, who is based in both London and Moscow, is best known for bond issuance in Russia and the CIS. Manoj Tulsiani, who joined from Linklaters LLP in late 2020, has a wealth of experience in advising corporates, governments, and financial institutions on regulatory capital, corporate hybrid, and convertible/exchangeable bond offerings. He recently advised Bank of Montreal on $500m in floating rate notes.

Practice head(s):

Lene Malthasen; David Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Manoj Tulsiani

Testimonials

‘Very hands on and constructive team members. Looking for commercial solutions, work hard to meet deadlines.’

‘Commercial and pragmatic, looking to find solutions. Great availability and work ethic.’

Key clients

Alfa Bank

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Deutsche Bank

DTEK Renewables

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

ING

J.P. Morgan

MUFG

Norsk Hydro

Severstal

Tinkoff Bank

UBS

VEON

Western Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • Advised VEON on the establishment of its $6.5bn Medium Term Note Programme and subsequent drawdowns.
  • Advised JP Morgan as solicitation agent on the solicitation of consents relating to (a) Shortline plc $500,000,000 9.875% Loan Participation Notes due 2021; and Rail Capital Markets plc $594,902,000 8.25% Loan Participation Notes due 2024 issued by Shortline plc (Ukrainian Railways) to amend certain covenants in light of the impact of COVID 19.
  • Advised dealers Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas and Citi on $500m SOFR Floating Rate Notes due 15 April 2026 issued by AIIB off their GMTN programme. This was the inaugural SOFR deal issued by AIIB and issued in Reg S/144A format.

Norton Rose Fulbright

'The team is very professional with great knowledge of the subject matter', remarks a client of Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm has a recognised market presence in its core areas of both investment grade and emerging market debt, sovereign and supranational issuance, debt restructuring, corporate trust issues, Islamic Finance and Canadian capital markets. Head of DCM Peter Young focuses on cross-border capital market transactions under English and New York law, and he recently advised Coca-Cola HBC on a $1bn euro commercial paper programme. EMEA chair and head of Islamic finance Farmida Bi is renowned for advice on corporate trustee matters, sovereign debt, project bonds and restructurings. Peter Noble is a recognised expert in deals for Canadian issuers, though he also advises foreign issuers and their dealers in the Canadian capital markets. In 2020, he advised Canadian banks and their international dealers on more than $15bn of offerings. Newly promoted partner Kirstin Russell frequently acts for corporate trustees and agents in the UK, US and Asia. Counsels Vishal Mawkin and Jacqueline Heng also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Peter Young

Other key lawyers:

Farmida Bi; Peter Noble; Kirstin Russell; Vishal Mawkin

Testimonials

‘Strong and co-operative cross-discipline team from trustee to litigation. Added bonus of merger with Fulbright adds excellent NY law capability and experience.’

‘Kirstin Russell is an excellent communicator whose extensive experience means she sees and deals with problems and issues before they arise.’

‘The team is very professional with great knowledge of both the subject and the corporate engaged.’

‘Quick responses, and professional service.’

‘The NRF team had unique technology which enabled efficient contract review. The project team was able to provide daily management information which was very useful.’

‘The practice requires a balancing between the client’s business objectives and the market/regulatory realities. Norton Rose does it well. Their flexible approach to billing is noteworthy as well.’

‘Peter Young and Vishal Mawkin are both are very tuned in to the requirements of the client and provide pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Canadian financial institutions

Telenor ASA

Bank of Nova Scotia

Citi

Canadian Sovereign issuers

Intertrust

Citicorp

Coca-Cola HBC

Schlumberger

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP advises issuers, underwriters and sponsors on the full spectrum of debt capital markets transactions, both public and private, including equity-linked notes, investment-grade offerings, liability management transactions, and programme establishments for notes, commercial paper and other debt instruments. Trevor Ingram  leads the European capital markets practice and specialises in both high-yield and investment-grade bonds, particularly in emerging markets. He acted for South African company Sasol Limited in its offering of $1bn in notes. Marwa Elborai mainly handles high-yield offerings but, as part of her broader DCM practice, handles issuance for large corporates such as Anglo American. Pawel Szaja handles both equity and debt capital markets transactions, with recent work including advised on Rule 144a/Reg S MTN programmes. Sam Brodie, who joined from Akin Gump LLP, advises on complex financial restructurings and workouts of distressed bonds and private placement notes. David Dixter joined Milbank.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Ingram

Other key lawyers:

Marwa Elborai; Pawel Szaja; Sam Brodie

Key clients

Anglo American Capital plc

BNP PARIBAS, Credit Agricole CIB, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan, Societe

Generale , BBVA, BofA Securities, COMMERZBANK, HSBC, ING, Mizuho International plc, Natixis, UniCredit

BBVA, Citigroup, HSBC, Mizuho Securities, Natixis

Sasol Limited

BNP PARIBAS, Credit Agricole CIB, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan, Societe Generale, BBVA, BofA Securities, COMMERZBANK, HSBC, ING, Mizuho International plc, Natixis, UniCredit

A variety of financial institutions

Work highlights

  • Advised Anglo American Capital plc in connection with multiple offerings including both of their $1.5bn senior notes offerings and their $1bn senior notes offering.
  • Advised ArcelorMittal on multiple offerings including their $2bn ordinary shares and convertible notes offerings and their $250m cash tender offer.
  • Represented Sasol Limited in connection with the offering of $650m 4.375% notes due 2026 and $850m 5.500% notes due 2031 issued by its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Sasol Financing USA LLC and guaranteed by Sasol Limited.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP 's debt capital markets group has 'a clear technical legal edge combined with an ability to clearly understand the commercial aspirations of the client'. The firm is adept in UK, European and US debt offerings on behalf of issuers, underwriters and an array of other market participants. The vast majority of its work is cross-border in nature, and the practice handles debt Eurobonds, convertibles, sovereign bonds, green bonds and regulatory capital trades across Europe, the CIS, the Middle East and numerous emerging markets. Danny Tricot, who assisted Pfizer with the establishment of a new $15bn euro commercial paper programme, leads the European capital markets practice, in which head of the London office Pranav Trivedi is a key partners. James McDonald, who handles both investment-grade and high-yield offerings, and counsels Riley Graebner and Maria Protopapa, who work on cross-border issuance and restructurings, play pivotal roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Danny Tricot

Other key lawyers:

Pranav Trivedi; James McDonald; Riley Graebner; Maria Protopapa

Testimonials

‘A clear technical legal edge combined with an ability to clearly understand the commercial aspirations of the client.’

‘Danny Tricot has always been a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Pfizer Inc

Barclays Bank PLC, BofA Securities Europe SA and Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE

Barclays PLC, Credit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan, QNB Capital, Standard Chartered PLC and UBS

Telegram

Banco BTG Pactual

Ashtead Group plc

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc

Stevanato Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Pfizer Inc, the global biopharmaceutical company, on the establishment of a new $15bn euro commercial paper programme, with Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch acting as dealers.
  • Advised Barclays PLC, Credit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan, QNB Capital, Standard Chartered PLC and UBS as underwriters in a $10bn sovereign bond offering by the State of Qatar in three tranches: $2bn of five-year bonds, $3bn of 10-year bonds and $5bn of 30-year bonds.
  • Advised Barclays Bank PLC, BofA Securities Europe SA and Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE as lead underwriters in the Republic of Italy’s offering of $3bn in fixed-rate global notes with maturity of five years registered under Schedule B of the US Securities Act.

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May has 'depth and breadth of knowledge coupled with commercial outlook and ability to simplify the detailed complexities'. The firm is known mainly for its issuer-side practice, though it increasingly acts for underwriters on large mandates. In 2020, the firm assisted HM Treasury with the  Covid Corporate Financing Facility which was introduced to provide liquidity to investment-grade corporates making a material contribution to the UK economy. Lead partner Matthew Tobin advised Burberry Group plc on its inaugural £300m sustainability bond. Guy O’Keefe is known for his work on liability management transactions for issuers, borrowers, lenders and other counterparties. Caroline Phillips has a broad-ranging finance and in 2020 advised on numerous regulatory capital transactions, including Just Group plc on its £250m bond offering. Robert Byk and Ed Fife also handle high-value DCM mandates as part of their broad finance practices.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Tobin

Other key lawyers:

Guy O’Keefe; Caroline Phillips; Robert Byk; Ed Fife; Jennifer Sadek

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and hardworking.’

‘Depth and breadth of knowledge coupled with commercial outlook and ability to simplify the detailed complexities.’

‘Guy O’Keefe leads a very affable and capable team. Jen Sadek in particular is a rising star in our opinion and technically excellent.’

‘Responsive, knowledgeable and hardworking.’

Key clients

Burberry

GlaxoSmithKline

Just Group

Legal & General

Ocado

Rolls-Royce

Shell

Standard Chartered

United Utilities

Westpac

Work highlights

  • Advised Burberry Group plc in relation to its inaugural issuance of £300,000,000 1.125% guaranteed Sustainability notes due 2025. The Sustainability Bond is listed on both the Main Market and the Sustainability Bond Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Working as an integrated team with Treasury Legal Advisers, advised H.M. Treasury on the Covid Corporate Financing Facility which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17 March 2020.
  • Advising Westpac on numerous DCM transactions including issuances of bonds, covered bonds and the annual update of its EMTN programme.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLPpunches above its weight’ and has a strong track record in novel transactions, drawing on its extensive UK and US securities law capability and its worldwide network of offices. The firm is frequently involved in multi-jurisdictional offerings, predominantly for issuer clients. A key example is its work for Anheuser-Busch InBev on its $6bn SEC-registered public debt offering. US securities partner John Horsfield-Bradbury led that deal, as well as numerous high-value ECM transactions. Key partner Vanessa Blackmore , who handles debt, equity and hybrid deals, acted for Cineworld on its restructuring, which includes both new debt facilities and warrants issuance. Chris Beatty worked with Blackmore to assist CNH Industrial on capital raising due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which include a €750m EMTN offering. Evan Simpson, who acts for blue-chip clients such as Diageo, worked with Kathryn Campbell on the underwriters to European Investment Bank on a $1bn sustainability awareness bond. European counsel Oderisio de Vito Piscicelli is a key name in Italian deals.

Practice head(s):

Chris Beatty; Vanessa Blackmore; John Horsfield-Bradbury; Evan Simpson; Oderisio de Vito Piscicelli; Kathryn Campbell 

Akin Gump LLP

Akin Gump LLP is known for 'concise, clear, and solidly based advice presented in a commercial context'. The firm has a market-leading cross-border private placements practice that frequently assists institutional investors, among them US and UK insurance companies, on which head of the finance group Tom O’Connor takes the lead. Emerging markets specialist Robert Aulsebrook, who recently advised key client Lukoil on its issuance of $1.5bn in Eurobonds, is also a key partner, as is Barry Russell, co-head of the financial restructuring group, who frequently acts for noteholders, bondholders and other creditor groups on cross-border workouts of European companies. Beyond private placements, the firm also assists issuers, sponsors and underwriters with public debt offerings, including Eurobonds, LPNs and high-yield bonds listed on the US, UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Singapore and other stock exchanges. Michael Gustafson, who advises non-bank lender clients, and Mark Mansell, who advises insurance companies, also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Tom O’Connor; Robert Aulsebrook

Other key lawyers:

Barry Russell; Michael Gustafson; Mark Mansell

Testimonials

‘Concise, clear, and solidly based advice presented in a commercial context. A specialist lender counsel.’

‘Barry Russell – years of success in the restructuring market mean that he has a well-deserved reputation of being able to deliver on behalf of his clients. But, also a rational and constructive foil for borrowers to face off against.’

Key clients

PJSC LUKOIL

Fernando Parent Limited

LUKOIL Securities B.V.

Various institutional investors

Work highlights

  • Representation of Institutional Investors in connection with their purchase of the US-dollar equivalent of $380,000,000 in Senior Unsecured Notes of Dyson Finance Limited denominated in Euro and Yen. The Notes were guaranteed by Dyson Finance’s parent company, Dyson Holdings PTE LTD, a Singapore holding company.
  • Represented various institutional investors in a private placement of $550,000,000 of various series of senior unsecured notes issued by Smith & Nephew plc, a public limited company organised under the laws of England and Wales.
  • Advised PJSC LUKOIL on the successful completion of its issuance of $1.5bn Eurobonds listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. The offering consisted of 10-year 144A/Reg S notes with a coupon of 3.875% per annum. The notes were issued by LUKOIL Securities B.V. and guaranteed by PJSC LUKOIL with the transaction completing on May 6, 2020.

Baker McKenzie

'The team is very professional and client-oriented, with commercially minded people providing great legal service', says a client of Baker McKenzie. The firm is prominent in the high-yield market but also has a broad DCM practice that handles high-profile bond offerings, frequently in innovative areas. A prime example is its work for Georgia Global Utilities JSC on the first green bond to be issued in Georgia. Dual-qualified in English and US law, Adam Farlow leads the practice and focuses largely on high-yield deals, but Roy Pearce, who one client describes as 'the best emerging markets/CIS client relationships partner we've ever worked with', is a key adviser to investment banks and issuers on debt and equity capital markets transactions and debt restructurings. US-qualified corporate finance partner Megan Schellinger, who assisted Rio Tinto with the establishment of a $4bn US commercial paper programme, is 'a superstar, extremely hands on but also highly commercial'.

Practice head(s):

Adam Farlow

Other key lawyers:

Roy Pearce; Megan Schellinger

Testimonials

‘Baker & McKenzie has recently hired a team of top-quality partners from Magic Circle firms to significantly bolster their debt capital markets practice, which was previously relatively unknown. In recent years, they have advised on a number of high-profile deals in emerging markets and high yield and done as good a job if not better than a Magic Circle firm. They are also competitive on fees which is much appreciated in a highly competitive market. I would highly recommend them as they are not only competitive on fees but also deliver an outstanding quality work product compared to their Magic Circle peers.’

‘Megan Schellinger – US securities partner – joined Baker & McKenzie from Linklaters and she is a superstar in the team. Extremely hands on but also highly commercial, Megan has consistently done a top job on all the transactions we have worked on with her, which have included high-profile debut emerging markets debt issuances. Megan works extremely hard and is very responsive. I trust her 100% to deliver for us as the client and to give us pragmatic advice. She deserves to be recognised in the market as being a top ranked individual partner in DCM.’

‘The team is very professional and client-oriented, overall very commercially minded people with great legal service.’

‘Roy Pearce is the best emerging markets/CIS client relationships partner we’ve ever worked with.’

‘Great professionals and very adequate people.’

‘A high degree of engagement at the partner level.’

Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Bank of America

Citigroup

HSBC

Renaissance Capital

BNP Paribas

Rio Tinto

Brake Bros Limited

Georgia Global Utilities

Akbank

Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc.

PJSC KOKS

Rönesans

Ooredoo Group

BPER

Basilea Pharmaceutica

Firmenich SA

Zur Rose Group

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas

Deutsche Trustee Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Rio Tinto America Inc., Rio Tinto Finance (USA) Inc., Rio Tinto Finance (USA) plc and Rio Tinto (Commercial Paper) Limited, as issuers, in the establishment of a $4bn US Commercial Paper programme, guaranteed by Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited.
  • Representation of Brake Bros Limited in connection with the establishment of a commercial paper programme and an offering (pursuant to Regulation S) of £600m commercial paper for the purpose of the Joint HM Treasury and Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
  • Advised Georgia Global Utilities JSC, a portfolio company of Georgia Capital, on the issuance of $250m 7.75% covenanted guaranteed green bonds, due in 2025.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP represents corporate issuers, investment banks and financial sponsors across a range of offerings, including investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds, sovereign and supranational debt offerings, privatisations, real estate financings and asset-backed securities, whether global or targeted specifically at US investors. It is particularly well known for its work on Yankee bonds for UK and European issuers. Philip Boeckman leads the capital markets practice, George Stephanakis is co-head of the EMEA capital markets practice and he recently advised Richemont on its $600m in private convertible notes issued by Farfetch. Alyssa Caples is a key adviser to corporate clients such as British American Tobacco, notably on its recent $6.25bn registered notes offering. The firm's other recent work includes advising European Investment Bank on a $1.5bn offering of a Climate Awareness Bond.

Practice head(s):

Philip Boeckman

Other key lawyers:

George Stephanakis; Alyssa Caples

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the subject matter, practical experience and feeling for assessing circumstances accurately; availability of the team even in Covid times was excellent.’

Key clients

AngloGold Ashanti

BAE Systems

British American Tobacco

Cineworld

The European Investment Bank

Fugro

HEMA

INEOS

Lagfin

RELX

Richemont

Work highlights

  • Since March 2020, the firm has represented the European Investment Bank in eight registered notes offerings totalling $24.5bn, including its $1bn registered notes offering of a Sustainability Awareness Bond (SAB) and its US$1.5 billion registered notes offering of a Climate Awareness Bond (Green Bond).
  • Represented B.A.T Capital Corporation and B.A.T. International Finance p.l.c. in its $6.25bn registered notes offering, and the Firm represented B.A.T Capital in its $2.4bn registered notes offering.
  • Representing Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, as U.S. counsel, in connection with its global strategic partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Limited and Farfetch Limited. As part of the global partnership, Alibaba and Richemont will invest $600m in private convertible notes (PIPE) issued by Farfetch. Alibaba and Richemont will also invest $500m in Farfetch China, taking a combined 25% stake in a new joint venture.

Dechert LLP

The London capital markets group at Dechert LLP is highly regarded for its work in emerging markets, which has seen it handle debt offerings in Albania, Bahrain, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and many other jurisdictions during the last two years. Many of these deals were sovereign debt transactions, including an update to the Arab Republic of Egypt's $30bn GMTN programme, which included issuance of $1.25bn in notes due 2024. Practice head Patrick Lyons led that transaction and also assisted Kazakhstan Temir Zholy on a tender offer for its $1.1bn guaranteed notes. Its work on innovative deals includes the first green bond from the MENA region, the first US-dollar green bond in Africa, and the first sustainability bond in Africa. Key partner Jennifer Rees is highly active in the MENA region and the FSU, and associate Amy Rees is a key adviser on sovereign bonds.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Lyons

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Rees; Amy Rees

Key clients

Republic of Albania

The Kingdom of Bahrain

Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement

JSC Development Bank of Kazakhstan

Arab Republic of Egypt

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

JSC “National Company “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy”

Manila Water Company

Sultanate of Oman

Dentons

Dentons is known best for its emerging markets DCM practice, which relies on the firm's global network of offices. The London office is a key hub for international bond issues across Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, CEE, Russia and the CIS, though it also handles domestic and European deals. For instance, Nick Hayday advised Ryanair on its €850m issuance, which was the first bond issuance by a European airline since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 'They know and understand the market and are innovative, endlessly patient and supportive', remarks one client. David Cohen leads the practice and is a highly regarded partner for public, listed eurobonds, commercial paper, private placements and liability management transactions. US securities partner Cameron Half and corporate trustee specialist Catriona Lloyd also play key roles in the practice. Associate Moeen Qayum and senior associate Victoria Wyer  are emerging as a key advisers to both issuers and managers.

Practice head(s):

David Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hayday; Cameron Half; Catriona Lloyd; Moeen Qayum; Victoria Wyer

Testimonials

‘Dentons DCM practice is full of experts who apply the law practically and persuasively. They know and understand the market and are innovative and problem solving. Endlessly patient and supportive.’

‘Partners worthy of mention are David Cohen and Nick Hayday. Working with David is a genuinely enjoyable experience, safe in the knowledge that you are in the hands of an expert. New senior associate Victoria Wyer is a major asset to the team. Her knowledge and expertise on ECP documentation and conventions were invaluable when working on the CCFF at the height of last year’s crisis.’

‘Dentons’ capital markets capabilities has broadened in recent years, with hires in the DCM, securitisation and bond trustee areas. It’s always great to work with the team and this gives us greater scope to do so.’

‘David Cohen is an experienced, highly knowledgeable partner. He provides commercially driven, reliable advice. He is also a pleasure to work with. Victoria Wyer is a dedicated, details-focused senior associate who is a safe pair of hands across a variety of types of transactions.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and readily available. Happy to think outside the box.’

‘Great lawyers giving great advice, but fun to work with too.’

Kitty Lloyd is a trusted adviser who is always willing to go the extra mile. Always available, even on holiday! Has a pragmatic and commercial approach too. David Cohen – always on hand and available to deal with queries, inspires confidence and is a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Nick Hayday and Victoria Wyer in particular are very commercial, technically strong and able to communicate clearly and effectively with all parties. David Ferris an excellent addition as a PSL, producing some really useful material.’

Key clients

Ryanair

Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

Coventry Building Society

CPI Property Group

Commercial Bank of Dubai

The Republic of Lithuania

Faurecia

Avia Solutions Group

UAB Ignitis grupė

Domodedovo Airport Group

O1 Properties

Eurochem Group

BNY Mellon

Deutsche Bank

Law Debenture

Montepio

airBaltic

Work highlights

  • Advising the Arrangers and Dealers on the establishment of Wizz Air Finance Company B.V.’s €3bn Euro Medium Term Note Programme and subsequently advising the Joint Lead Managers in respect of Wizz Air’s €500m 1.350% Fixed Rate Guaranteed Notes due 2024 debut drawdown under the programme.
  • Advising Ryanair on an €850m bond with an annual yield of 3%, maturing in 2025. This was the first bond issuance by a European airline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited on the issue of $200m million green bonds due 2030.

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, 'the legal advice is always timely, commercially sensitive and reflects up-to-date market practice'. The firm, which is best known for emerging markets debt issuance, is active in many innovative deals, including commercial paper programmes for accessing the Covid Corporate Finance Facility, deals involving fintech-related assets, social and green investment bonds and Masala Bonds. Structured finance specialist Martin Bartlam is international group head of finance, projects and restructuring, and oversees the DCM practice along with UK head of capital markets and structured investments Tony Lopez and global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer. Dwyer, who has more than 25 years' experience in debt offerings and liability management, and Lopez recently assisted Ukrainian mobile operator Neqsol with a $500m Reg S/Rule 144 offering of loan participation notes listed on Euronext Dublin. Joywin Mathew frequently represents international banks, funds and corporates on complex, multi-jurisdictional finance transactions, inclduing equity-linked debt offerings and private placements.

Practice head(s):

Martin Bartlam; Tony Lopez; Mark Dwyer

Other key lawyers:

Joywin Mathew; Mei Mei Wong

Testimonials

‘The DLA team are outstanding. Their legal advice is always timely, commercially sensitive and reflects up-to-date market practice. In addition they are just a wonderful and friendly team to work with.’

‘Our primary contacts are Mark Dwyer and legal director Mei Mei Wong. Both are accessible and very intelligent and capable lawyers. In addition, they comprehensively understand our company group, which means that we can always rely on them to not only deliver strategic advice on the matter at hand, but also to consider with us the wider implications for the corporate group.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley & Co. International PLC

NatWest Markets

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.

Axis Bank Limited, Singapore Branch, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG Securities

Fingrid Oyj

SThree plc

Keller Group plc

Magyar Fejlesztési Bank Zrt. (Hungarian Development Bank)

VEON Limited

Azerconnect

GuarantCo

Corral Petroleum Holdings

Hogan Lovells International LLP

From London, Hogan Lovells International LLP is active in capital markets across the world, and emerging markets transactions form a key pillar of its DCM work. Its recent work has focused increasingly on impact investment transactions, many involving ESG factors, such as social and development bonds, and green bonds, as well as large EMTN programmes. James Doyle, who leads the firm's corporate and finance group, and Andrew Carey, who is co-head of the impact financing and investing practice, oversee the DCM practice, with Carey playing an active role in international debt offerings, including securities programmes, corporate, and sovereign bonds. In the firm's dedicated trustee practice, Kit Johnson is the lead partner and he advises corporate trustees across the full spectrum of capital markets transactions, including new issuance and post-issuance matters, distressed debt situations and inter-creditor disputes. Raj Panasar left the firm to start a new venture promoting access to pro bono legal advice.

Practice head(s):

James Doyle; Andrew Carey

Other key lawyers:

Kit Johnson

Key clients

Autoliv Inc.

Citibank, N.A., London Branch

Swissport Group S.à r.l.

Affinity Water

HPS Investment Partners

Mediobanca International (Luxembourg) S.A

M&G

Bank of New York Mellon

Brookfield Capital LLP

African Export-Import Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Africa Finance Corporation on a private placement of $200m of equity-linked instruments.
  • Advising Deutsche Trustee Company Limited as Retail Bond Trustee on a Scheme of Arrangement with respect to the restructuring of Premier Oil plc’s existing debt pursuant to the acquisition by Premier Oil of Chrysaor Holdings Limited.
  • Advising Autoliv on the update of its €3,000,000,000 Guaranteed Euro Medium Term Note Programme.

Mayer Brown International LLP

'The team is highly skilled, creative, innovative and quick to find novel solutions', says a client of Mayer Brown International LLP. The firm acts for issuers and underwriters on a wide range of debt capital markets transactions from commercial paper programmes and MTN programmes, regulatory and hybrid capital issues, equity-linked securities, high-yield bonds and project bonds. Its US law capability capability is key to cross-border transactions, as well as the firm's growing caseload of emerging markets transactions. James Taylor's broad practice includes a growing amount of sustainability-linked bonds alongside European debt and equity-linked transactions. The 'highly skilled, extremely precise' Bernd Bohr handles predominantly high-yield issuance, but also investment-grade and SEC-registered bonds. 'I rely on his experience to resolve complicated cross-border issues', says a client of Robert Flanigan, who mainly handles European transactions.

Practice head(s):

James Taylor; Bernd Bohr; Robert Flanigan

Testimonials

‘In our experience, the Mayer Brown capital markets practice for Spanish matters in Europe is exclusively associated with and handled by Robert Flanigan. He has a deep understanding of the Spanish market and a real appreciation of Spanish law issues. I rely on his experience to resolve complicated cross-border issues. He is my first choice for US and English advice on capital markets deals. In addition, he is fluent in Spanish unlike some other US peers, which Spanish clients really appreciate.’

‘They know the business very well, not only the legal part, but also the financial product, the market rules and the way the system works, therefore the service they provided is an important factor of our programme’s success.’

‘They truly care about our business, put themselves in the position of the programme owner to think and to act.’

‘We have most recently worked with Mayer Brown as issuer’s counsel for the first-ever Social-linked Sustainability KPI-linked Bond. The team at Mayer Brown is highly skilled, creative, innovative and quick to find novel solutions. The team’s work is very integrated with our in-house team’s, sharing the same passion for quality, challenging the status quo and for diversity.’

‘We have recently worked with partners Bernd Bohr and James Taylor. Bernd is a highly skilled, extremely precise lawyer with great attention to detail. He is very client focused and always reachable, as is the whole team.’

Key clients

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Barclays Bank

Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec

Novartis AG

Novartis Capital Corporation

Novartis Finance S.A.

Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O.

Fincantieri S.p.A.

China International Marine Containers (Hong Kong) Limited

Westbourne Credit Management Limited

Wepa Hygieneprodukte GmbH

Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş. (Isbank)

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

The team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is 'extremely responsible, proactive, friendly and open-minded'. The firm advises on UK, US and EU securities laws and regulations, focusing on complex and innovative bond transactions rather than high-volume commoditised work. In 2020, it handled investment grade programmes and offerings by FTSE 100 UK plcs, debut bond transactions by emerging markets issuers, debt private placements, convertible bonds, high-yield notes and a range of structured DCM transactions. Head of debt capital markets Carter Brod and head of international finance Bruce Johnston are the key partners. Brod acted for Yandex, one of Europe's largest internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia, on a $1.25bn convertible bond offering and assisted London-based financial service group Prudential plc on the issuance of $1bn in notes.

Practice head(s):

Carter Brod; Bruce Johnston

Testimonials

‘The M&L team is always proactive, they do not just answer your precise and specified questions but try to look further to prevent potential negative consequences, to find an optimal and the shortest way, to avoid delays and excessive costs.’

‘Extremely responsible, proactive, friendly and open-minded.’

Key clients

Yandex NV

Prudential plc

Frigorífico Concepción

M&G plc

WE Soda plc

Republic of Suriname

Calik Holding

Financial Guaranty UK

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT)

Work highlights

  • Represented Yandex N.V., one of Europe’s largest internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia, in its offering of $1.25bn in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2025.
  • Represented Prudential plc, a London-based international financial services group with stock exchange listings in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York, in an offering of $1bn aggregate principal amount of 3.125% notes due 2030.
  • Advised Paraguayan beef processing company Frigorífico Concepción on an offering of $161m in aggregate principal amount of senior secured bonds, which were issued in three separate tranches.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP exhibits 'a tremendous amount of knowledge, competency and diligence on every transaction'. In the debt space, the firm focuses predominantly on private placements, though it also advises on MTN and commercial paper programmes. It has deep experience in key sectors such as consumer products, energy and cleantech, financial institutions, life sciences, retail, technology, and telecommunications, and the firm is known for its bank regulatory capabilities across the globe. Brian Bates, Scott Ashton and Jeremy Jennings-Mares are the key partners in London, all of them handling debt, equity, lending and leveraged finance transactions. Ashton recently acted for Radius Housing Association on its issuance of £105m in Senior Secured Notes, which was the first cross-border private placement by a Northern Irish housing association.

Other key lawyers:

Brian Bates; Scott Ashton; Jeremy Jennings-Mares

Testimonials

‘The Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) team display a tremendous amount of knowledge, competency and diligence on every transaction, and they worked seamlessly with bankers to get a transaction executed for our issuers in the smoothest possible way. Their legal advice is second to none and they have a well resourced team able to turn around documents in short order. What’s great about the MoFo team is that they really do have an edge in knowing what are the latest developments and acceptable market terms, just given the sheer amount of deal flow they consistently see come through the PP market.’

‘I’ve worked extensively with Scott Ashton and Brian Bates over the last few years on cross border USPP transactions. They are truly the go-to PP counsel for corporate issuers in Europe and have an excellent reputation in the market, so much so that repeat issuers never hesitate to re-hire them. Their strong commitment to clients is apparent on every deal, whether it be in quickly turning around legal documents or being available at very short notice. Both Scott and Brian are very approachable, and their unrivalled credentials and deal experience make them a natural and easy choice for debut issuers.’

‘We have worked closely for a number of years with Brian Bates and now with Scott Ashton on matters related to the US private placement market. They have an excellent handle on issues related to the private placement market and what issuers and investors want to see. Scott in particular is very hands on and responsive and provides pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Radius Housing Association Limited

Britvic plc

JPMorgan American Investment Trust plc

Tate & Lyle International Finance PLC

Vesuvius Holdings Limited

Stonewater Funding Plc

Birmingham Airport plc

bpha Limited

Iput Plc

Irish Residential Properties REIT PLC, IRES Residential Properties Limited

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC

SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Blackrock Smaller Companies Trust PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised on the first cross-border private placement by Northern Irish housing association Radius Housing Association Limited in connection with its issuance of £105,000,000 Senior Secured Notes. It is reported that Radius Housing Association has 13,000 homes under management, and that the new funds would allow it to continue to expand and play a significant role in its plans to build new social and affordable housing across Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Irish Residential Properties REIT PLC and IRES Residential Properties Limited, a group engaged in the business of real estate investment, in their €130m and $75m respective private placements of Senior Secured Notes. The listed property group reported that the private placement was heavily oversubscribed and also attracted new institutional investors and life insurance investors from the US.
  • Advised Tate & Lyle International Finance PLC, a food and beverage solutions company, in its $200m private placement. When coronavirus hit, Tate & Lyle like so many of its peers, had to undertake a number of emergency actions to offset the economic uncertainties created by the pandemic.

Sidley Austin LLP

At Sidley Austin LLP, 'the service offered is comprehensive, combined with the highest level of technical advice and a pragmatic and commercial approach to problem-solving'. The firm's European capital markets group is known for its work for issuers based in the US and the Asia-Pacific region accessing European markets, and for European issuers accessing the US market. The firm handles a significant volume of investment-grade issuance for banks, among them Barclays and BNP Paribas, as well as major corporates such as GlaxoSmithKline. 'They truly care for the client and they understand their needs', say clients of the group led by David Howe (who is 'very collaborative, both on and off deal, and a really safe pair of hands') and key adviser to US corporates Mark Walsh. Walsh and Nigel Wilson represented the underwriters in a $1bn SEC-registered offering by Smith & Nephew plc. US counsel Vivian Root also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

David Howe; Mark Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Wilson; Vivian Root

Testimonials

‘I work opposite David Howe at Sidley relatively frequently and it is always a pleasurable experience. He is always very collaborative, both on and off deal, and a really safe pair of hands.’

‘My experience of the practice has been consistent in that every individual is clear on their focus, that the client comes first, the services of the practice being there to provide an optimum result for the client. It is not only that the service offered is comprehensive, but combined with the highest level of technical advice, a pragmatic and commercial approach to problem-solving and an ability to bring external resources and contacts to the table, make this practice unique.’

‘Very client-focused – building long-term relationships and providing a true global breadth between partners in the US and UK in particular.’

‘The people and their personal interaction with the client and the quality of service provided.’

‘They truly care for the client and they understand their needs. They provide excellent quality of work.’

‘The are good at defining what is a legal decision and what is a commercial decision.’

Key clients

Travelex

BofA Securities, JP Morgan Securities

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

BofA Securities

Barclays

BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and RBC

Morgan Stanley

Citigroup, JP Morgan, and HSBC

BofA, Citibank, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley

Mueller

Bank of Cyprus

Caterpillar

Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, and MUFG

McDonald’s Corporation

BNP Paribas

Goldman Sachs

Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, and Société Generale

BofA Securities, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho and Santander

Work highlights

  • Represented the underwriters in a $1bn billion SEC-registered offering by Smith & Nephew plc.
  • Assisted GlaxoSmithKline with the refinancing of core revolving credit facilities consisting of $2.5bn of 364-day facilities and £1.9bn of multi-currency three-year facilities.
  • Represented the underwriters in BBVA’s $2bn offering of SEC-registered and New York Stock Exchange-listed debt securities.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons excels in investment-grade debt offerings, particularly EMTN and commercial paper programmes, as well as convertible and exchangeable bonds. It acts for large investment banks and FTSE100 companies such as Pearson and Rentokil Initial. 'His engagement was exceptional and impressive', says a client of practice head Piers Summerfield, who has notable experience in equity-linked transactions. Key partner Charles Hawes is dual-qualified in English and New York law, and he frequently advises investment banks and issuers on complex and high-value DCM and ECM transactions, in particular on Rule 144A offerings. Managing associate Leon Yap has more than ten years' experience in DCM transactions, particular in cross-border deals and euro commercial paper programmes, including for major UK corporates accessing the Bank of England Covid Corporate Finance Facility. Jonathan Mellor retired.

Practice head(s):

Piers Summerfield

Other key lawyers:

Charles Hawes; Leon Yap

Testimonials

‘Piers Summerfield engagement was exceptional and impressive.’

‘A good team who understand our needs and the structures we use.’

Key clients

MUFG Securities EMEA plc

Swisscom AG

Eni S.p.A

Rentokil Initial plc

Pearson plc

ING Bank N.V.

Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC

The British Land Company PLC

Peel Hunt LLP

New South Wales Treasury Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised FTSE 100 education company Pearson on the issuance of the company’s inaugural £350m education-linked social bond.
  • Advised Swisscom on its debut green bond.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard handles both public and private placed bond issuance as part of a broad practice that is active in debt capital markets, structured finance and securitisation. On bond issuance, it acts for managers such as HSBC and issuers such as Sainsbury's Bank. A key focus is social housing finance, though it handles a much broader array of corporate issuance and liability management. Lead partner Beth Collett has 'exceptional knowledge of her specialism and provides very clear and cogent explanations'. Rachel Kelly, who joined from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in 2020, focuses on both structured finance and bond issuance. Managing associate Daniel Foong is also recommended for standalone bond issues, MTN programmes and privately placed notes.

Practice head(s):

Beth Collett

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Kelly; Daniel Foong

Testimonials

‘Beth Collett has exceptional knowledge of her specialism. Very clear and cogent explanations and arguments. She is a problem-solver.’

‘Very good on details and able to work to (often tight) deadlines with strong industry knowhow.’

‘Beth Collett and Daniel Foong have been consistently good in documenting our issues and managing our programme updates and they represent a key counterparty in our trades.’

Key clients

ASI

Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited

BAE

Banco Santander S.A.

Barclays Bank PLC

Barings

BNP Paribas

HSBC Bank plc

Law Debenture

LGIM

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc

M&G

Macquarie

MUFG

National Australia Bank

NatWest Markets Plc

Sainsbury’s Bank

Prudential Trustee Company Limited

Rothesay Life Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sainsbury’s Bank as originator of its inaugural £725,000,000 consumer loan securitisation.
  • Advised Barclays Bank PLC, HSBC Bank plc and NatWest Markets plc as joint bookrunners and Prudential Trustee Company Limited as bond trustee and security trustee in respect of the issue by Hyde Housing Association Limited of its £400,000,000 1.75% Secured Bonds due 2055.
  • Advised NatWest Markets plc as Solicitation Agent in respect of a consent solicitation by LiveWest Capital plc to substitute the issuer and amend the terms of its in respect of its £100,000,000 5.5058% (Step Up) Secured Bonds due 2048.

Alston & Bird LLP

'The team is very practical in their approach and the advice is more useful than if it was just based on the legal position', remarks a client of Alston & Bird LLP, which has extended its renowned corporate trust, agency and asset servicing practice from the US to London with the hire of James Fisher from Reed Smith LLP in 2020. Fisher focuses on advising corporate trust and issuer clients, among them  on cross-border and domestic transactions. Among the clients on the firm's expanding roster are Sole Source Capital and Fortress Investment Group.

Practice head(s):

James Fisher

Testimonials

‘The team is very practical in their approach which is much appreciated as advice is more useful than if it was just based on the legal position. They are easy to work with and mindful of wider context.’

‘They are very easy to talk to and respectful in every interaction. Good levels of knowledge as would be expected but also a very practical approach which adds extra value than simply legal advice.’

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter has an outstanding track record in sovereign bond issuance, frequently advising issuers on international debt offerings. It has assisted on complex inaugural bond issuance for, among others, the Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Recently, Jeremy Willcocks worked with the firm's partners in Washington DC to advise the Republic of Panama on its $2.5bn bond issuance, which was the first emerging market sovereign bond issuance since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Willcocks

Key clients

The Charles Schwab Corporation

Republic of Panama

Work highlights

  • Advised the Charles Schwab Corporation in its $2.5bn preferred stock offering.
  • Advised Republic of Panama on $2.5bn bond Issuance. This was the first emerging market sovereign bond issuance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP specialises in structured capital markets transactions, as opposed to vanilla Eurobonds, meaning that it is mainly active in project bonds, housing association secured bonds and secured high-yield issuance. The firm continues to be involved in some high-value transactions, a prime example being its work for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the establishment of the Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme 2020 to guarantee up to £3bn in bonds for the housing development. Head of structured finance Prashanth Satyadeva led that transaction and also advised Greensleeves Homes Trust on the launch of a £25m retail charity bond. Peter Knust is a key adviser to trustees, agents and issuers on both DCM and securitisation transactions.

Practice head(s):

Prashanth Satyadeva

Other key lawyers:

Peter Knust

Key clients

Emerson Electric Co.

Greensleeves Homes Trust

Playtech plc

TAURON Polska Energia S.A.

Energizer

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on the establishment of the Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme 2020 to guarantee up to £3bn in bonds for the development of affordable housing, with the potential for a further £3bn in bonds.
  • Advised Greensleeves Homes Trust on the launch of a £25m bond offering, the tenth Retail Charity Bond to be launched by Allia’s established retail charity bond platform. We have previously advised Greensleeves Homes Trust in 2017 on its initial £50m financing under Allia’s retail charity bond platform.

CMS

The London office of CMS works with lawyers across its global network on capital markets matters with complex cross-border elements. The firm is particularly active in the CEE region and the Middle East, though it also advises European clients on their treasury and funding requirements. Michael Cavers leads the debt capital markets group, while derivatives specialist Will Dibble is the overall head of capital markets. Cavers acted for Ei Group on matters relating to its outstanding secured and high-yield bonds. Key partner Jason Harding recently acted for Statnett on its EMTN programme updates and assisted HSBC as bond lead manager on its £327m offering of index-linked guaranteed secured bonds. Up-and-coming partner Chris Clark and associate Kirsty Templar are building strong reputations.

Practice head(s):

Michael Cavers; Will Dibble

Other key lawyers:

Jason Harding; Chris Clark; Kirsty Templar

Testimonials

‘We really appreciate how friendly, approachable and diverse this team is. They provide excellent support, attention to detail and availability. Their advice is concise, prompt and easily digestible, which is particularly helpful for an infrequent issuer. ‘

‘Michael Cavers and Unesu Moyo were stellar on a recent transaction. In particular Michael impressed the team with his easily digestible explanations of complex points.’

Key clients

Statnett SF

HSBC

Ei Group

United Trust Bank

UK Power Networks

BrokerCreditServices

Work highlights

  • Advising longstanding client Ei Group on the debt repayment arrangements in connection with its takeover by Stonegate Pub Company.
  • Acting for HSBC as lead arranger (as well as Assured Guaranty as the monoline guarantor) in connection with an wrapped index-linked bond issuance in connection with the Portsmouth Hospitals refinancing.
  • Advising longstanding client UK Power Networks in relation to its MTN programme and other treasury matters.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has a broad-ranging capital markets practice that handles both debt and equity transactions, including high-yield and investment-grade bonds. The firm has a small practice that acts as a high-end boutique, handling novel transactions rather than volume work for both issuers and underwriters. Clients describe head of EMEA transactions Ashar Qureshi as 'one of the very smartest, most innovative and all around best lawyers in London'. He acted for Goldman Sachs BDC in its recent offering of $500m in notes. John Satory is respected for his work in the Nordics and Benelux, though he also advises on US and European issuance, a recent example of which is a $1.1bn senior notes offering by Humana Inc. Special counsel Taylor Souter is highly recommended by clients for representing issuers and underwriters in both equity and debt capital markets transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ashar Qureshi

Other key lawyers:

John Satory; Taylor Souter

Testimonials

‘Ashar Qureshi makes the practice unique – he is simply one of the very smartest, most innovative and all around best lawyers in London.’

‘I just think Ash Qureshi is an amazing lawyer and dealmaker. I love working with him and recommend him as often as I can.’

‘Taylor Souter is an exceptional lawyer. His US background combined with his European understanding of transactions makes him ideal for any European company entering the US capital markets. Considering his location in the UK he is available to meet both European and American time zone needs.’

Key clients

Merck & Co

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Humana

Catalent

Barclays

Liquid Telecommunications

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation

Novelis Inc.

Bank of America

Citi Group

RBC Capital Markets

Wells Fargo Securities

KeyBanc Capital markets

Just Eat Takeaway.com

AkzoNobel

Work highlights

  • Advised Goldman Sachs BDC on its registered offering of $500m aggregate principal amount of 2.875% notes due 2026.
  • Advised Humana Inc. on its public offering of $1.1bn senior notes.
  • Advised Catalent Inc. on its issuance of €825m aggregate principal amount of 2.375% senior notes due 2028.

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP has a small DCM practice that, despite its size, handles complex and first-of-kind transactions. Among these was its work for Castle Trust Capital on an innovative form of scheme of arrangement, which converted more than 20,000 bonds into balances in new accounts when the company converted to a bank. Practice head Richard Fletcher continues to advise Venn Partners on its £3.5bn bond programme established by PRS Finance plc in connection with the Private Rented Housing Guarantee Scheme, which asset manager Venn was appointed to establish and manage by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Practice head(s):

Richard Fletcher

Key clients

Beechbrook Capital

Ben Oldman Partners

Castle Trust

Venn Partners LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Castle Trust on an innovative form of scheme of arrangement.
  • Advised Ara Venn on its appointment by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to operate, manage and deliver the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme and in relation to the establishment of the £3,000,000,000 bond programme which will fund the loans to be made under the Scheme.

O'Melveny

'Working on transactions with them gives me great confidence in both the process and outcome', says a client of O'Melveny. The firm is principally focused on advising issuers on US private placements, with clients in a broad range of industries including real estate, consumer goods, manufacturing, utilities, aviation, technology and energy. In 2020, the firm advised on debt private placement deals totalling more than $2bn, both for debut and repeat issuers. Practice head Andrew Weiler is 'easily one of the best partners to represent borrowers in private placement transactions' and clients remark upon his 'intelligence, insight, experience, patience and effectiveness in helping the client arrive at the optimal outcome'. Sevda Staykova is recommended for both new issuance and complex amendments.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Weiler

Other key lawyers:

Sevda Staykova

Testimonials

‘O’Melveny & Myers’ strength is its people, who are as smart as or smarter than the attorneys with whom I’ve worked. And it is more than smarts: they take the time and care to make sure that all aspects of the documentation is scoped out, choices clearly understood and tradeoffs weighed, both individually and collectively. Working on transactions with OMM gives me great confidence in both the process and outcome.’

‘Andrew Weiler has to be easily one of the best partners to represent borrowers in private placement transactions. He has decades of experience and brings that wisdom to bear for his clients in a very effective way. I am so happy to have recently worked with him again. His intelligence, insight, experience, patience and effectiveness in helping the client arrive at the optimal outcome cannot be overstated.’

‘OMM was recommended to us as being a top form for issuers of US PP notes – and we have been very impressed right from our first transaction.’

‘Andrew Weiler is excellent; technically strong, very personable, very flexible and more than holds his own with his counterparts. However for me there are a few things that set him apart from other lawyers I have worked with: 1) you get to deal with him – he doesn’t just appear on day one and reappear for the closing. 2) he adopts a true partnership approach both with the in-house legal team and any other external debt lawyers/advisers. He recognises that each of those groups has something to bring to the discussion and as a result deals are well though through strategically and technically. 3) he will always make himself available where he can – and will be there in the trenches with you working US hours and weekends to get deals done. 4) he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of our various documents and history.’

‘A market leader in advising corporates on USPP issuance and covenant amendments. Their knowledge is over and above any other law firm in this market place.’

‘Andrew Weiler, is the standout partner and a requirement for any deal!’

Key clients

SSP Group plc

C&C Group Plc

National Express Group PLC

Hibernia REIT plc

Montea N.V.

Air Greenland A/S

Segro PLC

Great Portland Estates PLC

Capco Covent Garden Group

Howard De Walden Estates Limited

Johnson Matthey PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Montea NV, a Belgian-listed REIT, in its debut US private placement of €235m of “green” senior notes.
  • Advising C&C Group Plc on a new US private placement of approximately $150m of senior notes in EUR and GBP, and subsequent amendments and waivers due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Advising Air Greenland A/S on their debut US private placement of approximately DKK1.1bn of amortising senior notes.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP advises on the full spectrum of debt capital markets work including standalone bonds, EMTN programmes, euro commercial paper programmes and equity-linked securities, though its most active area is bond finance for projects, education and social housing clients. The firm has an active private placement practice for institutional investors, which advised on 15 transactions in 2020, though it increasingly handles publicly listed bonds. Its recent work includes advising 13 issuers on borrowing from the CCFF. Head of structured finance Edward Sunderland leads the DCM practice, in which Michael Watson and energy and infrastructure specialist Stephen Tobin handle project bonds, while legal director Alexis Hayworth frequently acts for UK investment banks on a secured EMTN programmes and consent solicitation exercises.

Practice head(s):

Edward Sunderland

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Tobin; Alexis Hayworth; Michael Watson; Sophie Al-Mahdawie

Testimonials

‘Debt capital markets knowledge and exceptional service.’

‘Alexis Hayworth has excellent knowledge and provides exceptional service. Sophie Al-Mahdawie also provides excellent service.’

Key clients

Allia C&C

HSBC Bank plc

Legal & General

MUFG

NatWest Markets Plc

Newbridge Advisors LLP

Pension Insurance Corporation plc

Prudential Trustee Company Limited

Santander

Work highlights

  • Advising two UK investment banks as joint lead managers on the issue of a £250,000,000 fixed rate sustainability bond by Aster Treasury plc under its £1,000,000,000 Euro Medium Term Note Programme. Aster was only the second issuer of a sustainability bond in its sector.
  • Advised Allia C&C and Prudential Trustee Company Limited in respect of a liability management exercise by Aster Treasury plc.
  • Advised a car manufacturer in relation to the establishment of a commercial paper programme to borrow funds from the Bank of England and HM Treasury’s joint Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP has 'unrivalled experience and perspective across insurance-linked financings' and clients remark that the firm has 'a winning team for any difficult, time-sensitive, important debt issue'. Its capital markets practice in London frequently advises private equity sponsors, corporate issuers and financial institutions on the full spectrum of capital markets transactions in the UK, Europe and the US. Led by dual-qualified partner Jennifer Tait, who works closely with lead corporate insurance capital markets partner Joseph Ferraro, the practice handles insurance-linked securities, investment grade bond issuance and innovative transactions, notably sustainability-linked notes. Tait and Ferraro worked together to assist Willis Securities, Inc. as sole structuring agent and bookrunner, with Windmill II Re DAC’s issuance of €100m issuance of principal at-risk variable rate notes.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Tait; Joseph Ferraro

Testimonials

‘Jennifer Tait and her team at Wilkie took ownership of a complex process and ensured the many stakeholders and inputting parties were held to timetable – they really quarterbacked the thing and didn’t just “stay in lane”. It was a complex transatlantic deal (combining our UK-headquartered asset with the much larger US-headquartered target) that required a lot of transatlantic collaboration and Wilkie were seamless in facilitating this collaboration and being a single joined up team. These guys put in the late nights/all-nighters and held the hand particularly of a target management team which was unfamiliar with the process of bond issuance.’

‘They helped find creative and pragmatic solutions to various problems that cropped up along the way due to the idiosyncrasies of the deal. It wasn’t the first time we worked with these guys, but it was certainly the most intense project we worked together on so far out of our London office, and I am sure it won’t be our last.’

‘Unrivalled experience and perspective across insurance-linked financings. A go-to team for new and innovative structures within the sector. The highest level of professionalism, commerciality and congeniality.’

‘As a first in our long history, we did a lot of debt work over this last extraordinary year.  Willkie, who are our go-to firm on many subjects, but whose debt team we were obviously less familiar with, did an outstanding job for us both with our more standard credit facilities as well as with our very innovative, sustainability-linked notes that we issued at the Luxembourg stock exchange.’

‘I would like to express how fantastic the Willkie team is.  Jennifer Tait and her team work like real extensions of our team, are a pleasure to work with, efficient, good at negotiating win-win situations with opposing counsel and just generally have deep exercise in the sector and are super-reactive. A winning team I would go to for any difficult, time-sensitive, important debt issue anytime.’

Key clients

Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited

Willis Towers Watson Securities

MS Amlin

Herbie Re Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Fidelis on its inaugural offering of $330m aggregate principal amount of 4.875% Senior Notes due 2030. The Notes were structured to receive Tier 3 capital treatment under the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s Group Supervision Rules, and similar capital credit under the models of the rating agencies.
  • Advised Willis Securities, Inc. as sole structuring agent and bookrunner in connection with Windmill II Re DAC’s issuance of €100m aggregate principal amount of principal at-risk variable rate notes.
  • Represented Phoenix 1 Re Pte. Ltd. and MS Amlin Asia Pacific as deal counsel in connection with the issuance of $42,135,000 aggregate principal amount of participating notes issued under the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s ILS initiative.