Firms To Watch: Debt capital markets

Duane Morris LLP is starting to make its presence felt in capital markets work in London, where the vastly experienced Drew Salvest advises European, Central Asian, Middle Eastern and North African sovereign, corporate and financial institution issuers and their lenders on a broad range of debt securities, including commercial paper programmes, Eurobond offerings and private placements.
The London office of Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP is increasingly visible in the DCM space and lead partner Martin Pugsley, who joined from DWF  in late 2021, counts Link Lease Equipment Rental LLC, ZigZag Management Ltd and Convexity Capital Partners among his key clients. 

Debt capital markets in London

Allen & Overy LLP

At Allen & Overy LLP, 'the team is incredibly professional, knowledgeable, agile, pragmatic and solution-driven', with one client remarking that 'they strive to find a solution satisfactory to all parties, have a fantastic helicopter view of the market, and the breadth of their business is amazing'. The firm has an outstanding track record in all aspects of debt capital markets work. Jonathan Melton leads the practice, and he excels in EMTN programmes, straight debt and equity-linked issues, and statutory covered bonds. Theo Trayhurn frequently advises on regulatory capital issuance by financial institutions and high-profile blue chip corporate bond issues. Jamie Durham's works spans regulatory capital, emerging markets, Islamic finance and equity-linked and liability management transactions. US-qualified partner Sachin Davé specialises in advising foreign governments, issuers and investment banks in connection with equity and debt offerings, including Rule 144A, Regulation S and other private placement transactions as well as U.S. SEC- registered offerings. Tom Grant has a particular emphasis on the raising of regulatory capital, while Peter Crossan's work includes green bonds, corporate debt restructurings and liability management. Daniel Fletcher and head of international capital markets Amanda Thomas also excel in the DCM space.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Melton

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘Excellent capital markets team with consistently strong partners and assistants. The firm we would go to through choice.’

‘Jonathan Melton, Theo Trayhurn, Dan Fletcher, Tom Grant – all excellent. Technically excellent and commercial as necessary.’

‘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.’

‘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.’

‘The team works incredibly well together, making transition from one associate to the other virtually seamless (which is important to us as we often have numerous projects going on at the same time). 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.’

‘The depth and breadth of expertise of Amanda Thomas and her team is exceptional. Amanda and her team are always on top of the detail but also able to see the bigger picture. They are very responsive and approachable, and also fun to work with.’

‘The team has an exceptional depth and breadth of expertise across DCM and works on some of the most innovative transactions.’

‘Outstanding partners: Daniel Fletcher and Tom Grant for regulatory capital deals, Theo Trayhurn – my go-to for corporate DCM and Jonathan Melton for liability management. We have more choice of partner at A&O so we tend spread our deals around depending on type.’

‘Luke Thorne is a bright star – intelligent, diligent and thorough. He gives me a great deal of confidence that my deals are in safe hands with his military precision on the legal/documentation process as well as managing the deal timetable to our exacting standards. First-class.’

Key clients

The Sage Group PLC

TP ICAP Group PLC

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP has 'a top-quality DCM team with an excellent set of hands-on partners'. The firm is a trusted adviser to many of the world's leading financial institutions, corporates, governments, supranational organisations and multilaterals on high-value and high-profile deals, among them many market firsts. Simon Sinclair, who leads the practice, and key partner Kate Vyvyan are 'good technically and they stay involved in their deals'. Vyvyan and Michael Dakin advised CBRE Global Investors' on its issue of €500 million of bonds. Vyvyan also acted for the UK government on its inaugural green gilt issue of £10bn. Paul Deakins, who frequently acts for both underwriters and issuers, is 'the partner of reference in liability management and his excellent technical knowledge and expertise are second to none'. Deborah Zandstra, who leads the firm's sovereign debt advisory practice, is 'superbly creative, smart, and responsive'. Clare Burgess, who handles a wide range of infrastructure transactions including project bonds, private placements, corporate bonds and multi-source financings, and Andrew Coats, who handles  both privately placed and listed or publicly offered securities, are key figures in the practice. Long-serving partner David Dunnigan retired in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Simon Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

Kate Vyvyan; Paul Deakins; Azam Taiyeb; Deborah Zandstra; Clare Burgess; Andrew Coats; Michael Dakin

Testimonials

‘Top-quality DCM team with an excellent set of hands on partners.’

‘Simon Sinclair, Paul Deakins, Kate Vyvyan – all excellent. Good technically and they stay involved in their deals.’

‘Paul Deakins is the partner of reference in liability management. His excellent technical knowledge and expertise are second to none, which means he is always the person to pick up the phone to with any doubts or questions.’

‘Deborah Zandstra and senior associate Azam Taiyeb are some of the best lawyers to think about sovereign DCM/issuances and also to think through derivative transactions. They are our # 1, go to counsel for anything that is more complex or structured. Superbly creative, smart, and responsive.

Key clients

Goldman Sachs International

ABN AMRO Bank N.V

ING Bank N.V.

Bank of America

BNP Paribas

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

J.P. Morgan

SMBC Nikko Capital Markets Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

Citi

Paragon Banking Group plc

Provident Financial plc

The UK Government (HM Treasury and the United Kingdom Debt Management Office)

University College London

Arçelik A.Ş.

EasyJet

HSBC Bank plc

Barclays Bank PLC

Mizuho International plc

NatWest Markets Plc

Deutsche Bank

Access Bank plc

Basic-Fit N.V

Banco Santander

Morgan Stanley

Erste Group

Raiffeisen Bank

EDP – Energias De Portugal

The Ad Hoc Bondholder Group with respect to the debt restructuring of 6.75% Notes due 2021 by YPF Sociedad Anónima (Matter 20).

Work highlights

  • Advised the UK Government (HM Treasury and the United Kingdom Debt Management Office) on its inaugural green gilt issuance of £10 billion due 2033.
  • Advised University College London (UCL) on its issue of £300m 1.625% Sustainability Bonds due 2061.
  • Advised Arçelik A.Ş. on its issue of €350 million 3.0% Green Bonds due 2026.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is 'at the cutting edge of DCM, providing strong technical advice in tune with legal and market developments, and smooth transaction management', according to one client. 'Having been there at the inception of the debt capital markets decades ago, they have always had a leading position and a high level of expertise', remarks another. The 'level-headed, technically spot on' Ben Dulieu leads the practice. Cecil Quillen is 'a top US partner with so much experience, he has seen everything'. Elaine Keats, who handles both ECM and DCM transactions, is 'extremely experienced and knowledgeable, as well as super responsive'. Senior capital markets partner Richard Levy and his team of associates 'really care about the relationship and always try to make sure the client is comfortable'. The 'tenacious and thoroughRichard O’Callaghan is highly recommended for equity-linked transactions. Carson Welsh is a key partner in the practice. The firm has a strong team of emerging partner talent, among them Arjun Muddu, and managing associates including the 'meticulous' Andrew Chaplin.

Practice head(s):

Ben Dulieu

Other key lawyers:

Cecil Quillen; Richard Levy; Amelia Rice; Vidhu Gupta; Richard O’Callaghan; Carson Welsh; Arjun Muddu; Andrew Chaplin

Testimonials

‘Excellent debt capital markets team with some strong partners and assistants. Having been there at the inception of the debt capital markets decades ago, they have always had a leading position and a high level of expertise.’

‘Ben Dulieu is excellent. Level-headed, technically spot on. Very available and responsive and he clearly supports his assistants. Cecil Quillen a top US partner with so much experience. He has seen everything.’

‘Elaine Keats is my go-to partner for DCM. Extremely experienced and knowledgeable as well as super responsive. She’s generous with her time and visible during transactions.’

‘We have worked very closely with Richard Levy and managing associates Amelia Rice and Vidhu Gupta. Their teamwork is exceptional and they are always a pleasure to work with, as well as being approachable and readily available when needed. They really care about the relationship and always try to make sure we are comfortable with how things are working overall including legal spend/fees. Richard, as partner, is always aware of what’s going on, even at those times when we are working pretty much exclusively with the associates.’

‘Equity-linked work is among the most complex of the capital markets products but Linklaters know their stuff, are highly commercial and “speak the language” of market participants in a way that few other law firms can do. They spot issues and, along with us, collate views from the market.’

‘Richard O’Callaghan is a newer face but steadily gaining a reputation as an equity-linked practitioner too – he excels in emerging market deals in particular and worked on the SASA transaction. He is tenacious and thorough – he just keeps going.’

‘Andrew Chaplin is an outstanding senior associate. He is my go-to senior associate for regulatory capital transactions. He is meticulous and is able to communicate complicated matters in a clear and succinct manner. Top-class.’

‘Linklaters, with Richard Levy and his team, are exceptionally knowledgeable in their field and always up to date on developments in the sector. They deliver on time and go the extra mile where required. Linklaters are professional, reliable, efficient and highly adept in their advice. Richard and his team have a nice and friendly attitude and are always easy to work with.’

Key clients

NatWest Markets

Citi

UBS

HSBC

BNP Paribas

European Investment Bank

Anglo American

Experian

Unilever

Vodafone

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised the arranger, dealers and bookrunners on the £10bn establishment of a Global Medium-Term Note Programme by London Stock Exchange Group plc. This was an innovative bond offering that made use of the LSEG Flow technology platform for capital markets transactions, powered by Nivaura.
  • Acted for Adecco International Financial Services B.V. as issuer and Adecco Group AG as guarantor as English and Dutch legal advisers on three concurrent issues of securities with a combined value of €1.5bn, consisting of an inaugural issuance of hybrid securities and two senior drawdowns under Adecco’s €3.5 billion EMTN programme in order to finance an acquisition.
  • Advised joint bookrunners and ESG structuring agents in respect of the debut bond issuance of US$825m Guaranteed Green and Sustainability-Linked Notes by Ukrenergo, guaranteed by Ukraine. The notes were the inaugural bond issuance of the issuer and one of the first combined “green” use of proceeds and sustainability-linked deals ever globally.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has 'hardworking partners and associates who make a very experienced and solution-driven team'. The firm is a leading player in emerging markets debt issuances, and also has a market-leading sovereign debt practice. Its combination of US and English law capability in London has helped it to extend the scope of its work in recent years, giving it a strong presence in key areas including regulatory capital trades, green and ESG-related bonds, inaugural investment grade debt issues, and liability management transactions. The standout practitioners are Melissa Butler, whose recent work includes $3.25bn of issuance by the Republic of Ghana under its GMTN programme; Ian Clark, who assisted Qatar Energy with a $12.5bn offering of notes, which was the largest emerging markets debt transaction of 2021; Stuart Matty, who is 'a fine operator' and who advised Ukrenergo on its $825m sustainability-linked bond; Richard Pogrel (who has 'a pragmatic approach to solving any issues arising and a wealth of experience in complex situations') and newly promoted partner Neha Saran. Associate Anna Soroka also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Butler; Ian Clark; Stuart Matty; Richard Pogrel; Neha Saran

Other key lawyers:

Anna Soroka

Testimonials

‘Very experienced team – hardworking partners along with associates who make a very experienced and solution-driven team.’

‘Richard Pogrel – very hardworking and has a pragmatic approach to solving any issues arising. A wealth of experience in complex situations. Very client-friendly.’

Key clients

Bank Hapoalim

Barclays

Citi Group

Danske Bank

Eskom

Jefferies

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Qatar Energy (previously Qatar Petroleum)

Republic of Ghana

Republic of Nigeria

Republic of Rwanda

Republic of Serbia

Republic of Zambia

Republik of Srpska

Svenska Handelsbanken

UBS

Ukraine

Ukravtodor

Ukrenergo

United Bank for Africa

Uzbekneftegaz

Work highlights

  • Represented the Sole Bookrunner on the offering by Mondelez International of €300m Guaranteed Zero Coupon Exchangeable Bonds.
  • Represented Sweihan PV Power Company PJSC, the owner and operator of the Noor Abu Dhabi solar PV plant, in connection with the refinancing in full of the Noor Abu Dhabi project through the issuance of US$700.8 million 3.625% green senior secured green bonds due January 31, 2049.
  • Advised Ukrenergo in connection with its offering of US$ 825 million Guaranteed Sustainability-Linked Green notes issue.

Ashurst

At Ashurst, ‘the team is strong at all levels from the partner at the top to the trainees, and the work is done with the correct gearing at all times‘. Another client remarks that the firm is ‘the most responsive external legal team I have ever worked with and they quickly deliver well reasoned, clear and commercially savvy advice at all times‘. The firm has strong institutional relationships with the likes of BP, ANZ and HSBC, and also acts for numerous clients in the infrastructure sector. It is highly regarded for both new bond issuance and debt restructurings. Head of capital markets Anna Delgado ‘has all the attributes which from a client perspective one would expect in a partner providing complex legal services – experience, legal skills, diligence, competence and a calm manner‘. Key partner Alexander Biles acted for Santander UK plc in the update of its  $10bn Euro Commercial Paper Programme and its $30bn US Commercial Paper Programme. Helen Jones , who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, brings extensive expertise in infrastructure and project finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Anna Delgado

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Biles; Helen Jones

Testimonials

‘Anna Delgado’s team – Attention to detail, knowledge of constant changing rules and regulations are impressive and reassuring. Better than some Magic Circle firm hands down.’

‘I have worked with Anna Delgado off and on (more on than off) for the last 20 years on DCM matters. Anna picks up complex factual and legal analysis quickly and always tries to find solutions, both commercial and legal, to any problem that may arise. Her communications are prompt, she is collaborative with her clients, approachable and responsive. Her interpersonal skills are amazing – second-to-none.’

‘Anna Delgado has all the attributes which from a client perspective one would expect in a partner providing complex legal services. Her experience, legal skills, diligence, competence and calm manner is highly reassuring when working on a transaction.’

‘Alex Biles and his team at Ashurst handled possibly the most complex debt capital markets transaction in our company’s history. Their expertise, professionalism and responsiveness ensured this transaction was delivered to an incredibly high standard.’

‘They are the most responsive external legal team I have ever worked with. They quickly deliver well reasoned, clear and commercially savvy legal advice at all times. They constantly go the extra mile to deliver.’

‘The team is strong at all levels from the partner at the top to the trainees, and the work is done with the correct “gearing” at all times.’

‘They are a very diverse and inclusive group which aligns very well with the values we hold as a company.’

‘All individuals in the team have outstanding technical legal knowledge, but they are also excellent at understanding commercial drivers and giving commercially astute legal advice.’

Key clients

Andbank

ANZ

Arjun Infrastructure Partners

Barclays

bp

Citi

Credit Suisse

Cynergy Bank

Dexia Crédit Local

HM Treasury and Cabinet Office

HSBC

Intermediate Capital Group

Landshypotek Bank

Lloyds Bank

National Express

NatWest Markets

Nomura

Renewi

Santander UK

Shawbrook Bank

Swedbank

Tritax Big Box REIT

WM Morrison Supermarkets

Work highlights

  • Advised BP on its US$40 billion Debt Issuance Programme and a number of market-leading bond tenders as part of its strategic deleveraging programme.
  • Advised Intermediate Capital Group PLC on its Euro 500,000,000 sustainability-linked bond, maturing in 2030 listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs International, Citigroup, HSBC, Mizuho Securities, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank Securities, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Santander and Standard Chartered Bank, as joint bookrunners and initial purchasers, in connection with the issuance by two finance vehicles of GlaxoSmithKline plc (“GSK”) of $8.75 billion of Notes guaranteed by GSK and Haleon plc (“Haleon”) as part of GSK’s demerger of its consumer health business to Haleon.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

The capital markets practice lies at the heard of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP‘s London office, which acts for many of the world’s leading corporate issuers. In London, the firm has both English and US-qualified lawyers, who work across the DCM and ECM markets. Lead partner Reuven Young acted for NatWest Group plc and NatWest Markets Plc in a string of deals, among them an update of its $10bn Rule 144A medium-term notes programme and its offering of $1.25bn in senior notes. He advises on a wide range of public and private cross-border investment grade and high yield debt offerings and equity offerings for international companies, particularly those in the metals and mining, financial services and technology sectors. Up-and-coming partner Leo Borchardt acted for the underwriters of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank Aktiengesellschaft’s two SEC-registered global notes offerings with a combined value of $3.25bn. Borchardt and counsel Connie Milonakis also acted for Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited in a $4bn Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering.

Practice head(s):

Reuven Young

Other key lawyers:

Leo Borchardt; Connie Milonakis

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has an active issuer and manager side DCM practice advising on the full spectrum of products. Its work spans standalone bonds, regulatory capital instruments, MTN programmes, private placements, equity-linked transactions and liability management deals, whether on a conventional or ESG basis. Global head of debt capital markets Amy Geddes is active on many of the firm's key mandates. Recent examples include a €250m secured exchangeable bonds issue for Glanbia Co-operative Society Limited for the purpose of acquisition funding. Senior associate Omar Shafi also played a key role. US securities partner Dinesh Banani handles Rule 144A securities offerings of both equity and debt and worked with Gabrielle Wong to advise mining technology company Weir Group on its debut issuance of $800m in sustainability-linked notes - the first bond issue in the company's 150-year history. Jake Jackaman, who also handled ESG-related bond issues in 2021, and US-qualified Tom O’Neill also play pivotal roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Amy Geddes

Other key lawyers:

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

Key clients

Glanbia Co-operative Society Limited

Orange

Severn Trent

Airbus

Brookfield

Bevco Lux

Jet2

Hammerson

Weir Group

G4S

WH Smith

Iberdrola

Treasury Corporation of Victoria

Work highlights

  • Advised the dealers/managers on the update by the Republic of Ghana of its GMTN programme and its issuances thereunder, and the Dealer Managers on the concurrent Tender Offers by the Republic of Ghana of its outstanding US$1 billion Notes.
  • Advised the managers in connection with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated’s issue of US$350 million Fixed Rate Reset Tier 2 Sustainability Basel III-compliant notes.
  • Advising Severn Trent, one of the UK’s largest utilities companies, on its debt capital markets activities including the update and maintenance of its £6 billion Guaranteed EMTN programme and its issues of £50 million CPIH-linked Notes and private placement of £50 million Notes thereunder. The firm also advised Severn Trent on its £1 billion sustainability-linked RCF.

Latham & Watkins

Renowned for its market-leading high yield debt practice, Latham & Watkins has an increasingly broad debt capital markets offering in London. It is particularly active in debt issuance in emerging markets, and is also highly regarded for its work on liability management transactions. Its work includes a number of market firsts, one recent example being its advice to EQT on a €500m offering that represented the first sustainability-linked bond issued by a private equity firm. Key partner Jennifer Engelhardt led that transaction and also worked with up-and-coming Manoj Tulsiani to assist Goldman Sachs with the establishment of a £400m EMTN programme for Annington Funding. Tulsani leads the practice with the vastly experienced David Stewart, who frequently works from the Moscow office and is a key adviser on deals in Russia and the CIS, as well as the broader CEMEA region. He acted for JP Morgan Chase in a $1.25bn sovereign debt offering by Ukraine. Lene Malthasen retired.

Practice head(s):

Manoj Tulsiani; David Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Engelhardt

Key clients

Alfa Bank

Barclays

BNP Paribas

Citigroup

Deutsche Bank

DTEK Renewables

EQT

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

ING

J.P. Morgan

Morgan Stanley

MUFG

Norsk Hydro

Severstal

Tinkoff Bank

UBS

VEON

Western Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • Advising EQT on EUR500 million 0.875% Sustainability-Linked Notes due 2031, the first sustainability linked bond issued by a private equity firm.
  • Advising Morgan Stanley and JPM on EUR 400 million 1.75% Notes due 2026 and associated tender offer by Lar España Real Estate SOCIMI to purchase for cash any and all of its US$140,000,000 2.9% Notes due 2022.
  • Advising Barclays, Citi, JPM and Rencap in connection with the USD75 million Perpetual Subordinated Callable AT1 Capital Notes issued by JSC TBC Bank.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The debt capital markets practice at Norton Rose Fulbright is 'up-to-date with market trends and practices' with one client remarking that the practice is 'highly organised, professional and responsive'. The firm has a broad practice that encompasses investment grade and emerging markets debt, transactions for sovereign and supranational issuers, project bonds, debt restructuring, corporate trust matters, Islamic finance and a niche Canadian debt issuance practice. Practice head Peter Young handles debt offerings under both English and New York law. Farmida Bi is now global chair of the firm, and focuses on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. In the DCM space, her work is predominantly concerned with corporate trustee advice, sovereign debt, project bonds and restructurings. Peter Noble is best known for advising Canadian issuers and their dealers in the international debt markets, though he has a broader European DCM practice. Emerging partner talent Kirstin Russell acts for corporate trustees and agents in the UK, US and Asia on a wide range of debt instruments.

Practice head(s):

Peter Young

Other key lawyers:

Farmida Bi; Peter Noble; Kirstin Russell; Vishal Mawkin; Miguel Torres; Alison Hutchings

Testimonials

‘The Norton Rose London team were excellent advisers. They are up-to-date with market trends and practices and were able to advise us excellently. We very very happy with their services. Vishal Mawkin and Peter Young and Miguel Torres stand out.’

‘The team has a deep understanding of the market and of the needs and processes of the issuer clients we work with. They are highly organised, professional and responsive.’

‘Peter Noble does a great job, especially when working on trades involving some of our more demanding issuers. He is highly knowledgeable, responsive and very helpful when we have queries. Alison Hutchings is highly capable and always a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team is set up with a number of professionals that can make the right decisions and are very good discussion partners on the DCM side. Efficient people that know the corporate they work for.’

Key clients

Republic of Angola – Ministry of Finance

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated

Citi

Piraeus Bank

Eurobank

Deutsche Bank

Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance

Telenor ASA

Royal Bank of Canada

Unicredit

MUFG Securities

US Bank

Republic of Kazakhstan

Schlumberger

BNP Paribas

Law Debenture

BNY Mellon

Intertrust

JP Morgan

HSBC Bank PLC

Bank of China

The Development bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

Bank of Nova Scotia

Work highlights

  • Acted for ETI on the first Tier 2 sustainability bond to be issued by a financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa, and the first to have a Basel III-compliant 10-year no-call 5 structure of South Africa.
  • Acted for the Development Bank of Southern Africa on its issuance of ZAR3 billion fixed rate green bonds due 2024, representing the first transaction under the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Goal Seven (SDG7) Programme to fund green energy in Africa.
  • Advised the Government of Pakistan on a US$2.5 billion bond issue. The Notes will be issued across three tranches under the Global Medium Term Note Programme: US$1 billion 6 per cent Notes due in 2026, US$1 billion 7.375 per cent Notes due in 2031 and US$500 million 8.875% Notes due in 2051.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP has 'an extremely experienced debt capital markets team'. The firm assists issuers, underwriters and sponsors with the full spectrum of debt capital markets transactions, both public and private, including equity-linked notes, investment grade offerings and liability management transactions. Trevor Ingram is the firm's EMEA capital markets team leader, and he focuses on international transactions including US federal law securities. He specialises in high yield and investment grade issuances and frequently works for clients in emerging markets including the Middle East and South Africa. Leveraged finance and capital markets specialists Marwa Elborai and Pawel Szaja are 'exceptional partners with excellent sector knowledge, skills and commercial acumen'.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Ingram

Other key lawyers:

Pawel Szaja; Marwa Elborai

Testimonials

‘Worked closely with Pawel Szaja and Marwa Elborai’s team on a variety of matters across capital markets in EM financing for infrastructure and power projects (refinancing of RAWEC on behalf of ACWA power, ongoing Indian hydro refinancing project and various pretious matters). Exceptional partners and team with excellent sector knowledge, skills and commercial acumen – would recommend to act on behalf of lenders without hesitation within the sector and region.’

‘An extremely experienced debt capital markets team. Trevor Ingram stands out.’

Key clients

Citigroup Global Markets Limited, J.P. Morgan Securities plc and Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Anglo American

Commercial Lenders, Note Purchasers, Working Capital Facility Lender and various Agents and Account Banks

Sasol Limited

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Work highlights

  • Advised Coca-Cola European Partners plc, now named Coca-Cola Europacific Partners plc, in connection with its international senior notes offerings to fund the acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil Limited.
  • Advised note purchasers, lenders and various agents and account banks on a tiered refinancing comprising a project financing to Shuaibah Two Water Development Project Company (STPC) and a private placement notes issuance by a DIFC issuer at a different level in the corporate structure.
  • Advised note purchasers, lenders and various agents and account banks on a tiered refinancing comprising a project financing to Shuaibah Two Water Development Project Company (STPC) and a private placement notes issuance by a DIFC issuer at a different level in the corporate structure.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP is viewed by one client as 'the standout UK debt capital markets practice — seamlessly integrating US and UK issues'. Another remarks that the firm is 'exceptional in terms of understanding the client's needs'. The European capital markets group is best known for its work with US and Asia-Pacific issuers accessing European markets, as well as European issuers accessing US markets. It handles a strong flow of investment grade debt issuance, as well as liability management deals and debt restructuring. David Howe, who 'has a keen eye for assessing legal risk, deep technical experience, market knowledge and the ability to come up with highly innovative solutions', leads the practice along with Mark Walsh, who leads the US law practice in London. Howe and counsel Benedetta Pacifico acted for joint bookrunners and joint lead managers, among them Citigroup Global Markets Singapore and Deutsche Bank, in the $850m issuance of green subordinated perpetual non-call 5-year securities by global investment manager GLP Pte, proceeds from which will refinance eligible green projects.

Practice head(s):

David Howe; Mark Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Benedetta Pacifico

Testimonials

‘Team has excellent knowledge of the debt capital markets, they take the time to understand the client needs and provide in depth analysis.’

‘The Sidley team is exceptional in terms of understanding the client’s needs and providing the most appropriate and comprehensive solutions and support. David Howe and Benedetta Pacifico are associates we can trust and rely on.’

‘They are the standout UK debt capital markets practice — seamlessly integrating US and UK issues. They are extremely proactive, measured and thoughtful. They never over-lawyer, and always focus on the core commercial points to come up with sensible workable solutions.’

‘They wear their deep technical understanding and depth of market experience lightly so as to focus on solutions and be hugely user-friendly. They have always impressed us with their blend of market knowledge and ability to innovate and not be bound by convention.

‘David Howe is an outstanding lawyer. He makes the most complex issues understandable to clients, has a keen eye for assessing legal risk and combines a rare mix of deep technical experience, market knowledge and ability to come up with highly innovative and groundbreaking solutions.’

Key clients

Atento S.A.

Inspired Entertainment, Inc

Citigroup Global Markets Singapore Pte. Ltd.

DBS Bank Ltd.

Deutsche Bank AG

Singapore Branch, Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte.

Mizuho Securities Asia Limited

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

ABN AMRO Securities (USA) LLC

BofA Securities, Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

RBC Capital Markets, LLC

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

Standard Chartered Bank AG

Worley Group

Bank of Cyprus Holding Public Limited Company (Bank of Cyprus)

McDonald’s Corporation

Lucid Agency and Trustee Services Limited

Argo Blockchain plc

BNP Paribas

Mueller

Caterpillar

Atento S.A.

Inspired Entertainment, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Australia-headquartered engineering consultancy Worley on the establishment of its US$2 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme and its debut issue of a EUR 500 million five-year sustainability-linked bond (SLB).
  • Represented London-headquartered Argo Blockchain plc (LSE: ARB) (NASDAQ: ARBK), a global leader in cryptocurrency mining, with its SEC-registered public offering of 8.75% Senior Notes due 2026.
  • Represented ABN AMRO Securities (USA) LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Standard Chartered Bank AG, as initial purchasers, as to matters of U.S. law in connection with ABN AMRO Bank N.V.’s debut issue of U.S.$750 million aggregate principal amount of 1.542% Senior Non-Preferred Callable Fixed-to-Fixed Rate Reset Notes due 2027 issued pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933.

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

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, clients appreciate ‘the expertise, business approach and availability‘ of partners. The DCM practice is active in the UK, European and US debt markets on behalf of issuers, underwriters and other market participants. The majority of its work is cross-border and from London it is active in debt deals in the greater European region, the CIS and  the Middle East, as well as offering a wealth of experience in many emerging markets. Its focus is on Eurobonds, sovereign debt, convertible bonds, regulatory capital trades, EMTN and other debt programmes, as well green and sustainability-linked bonds. European head of capital markets Danny Tricot ‘provides excellent service and strong engagement‘, while head of the London office Pranav Trivedi is a key adviser on corporate finance transactions. Tricot acted for Citigroup, JPMorgan and other lenders in a $12.5bn Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of bonds by Qatar Petroleum, the state energy company of Qatar, which is now known as Qatar Energy. US capital markets partner James McDonald handles corporate finance transactions, focusing on international offerings of securities. Associate Andrew Hurwitzhas very good technical skills, is very responsive to queries and pushes matters forward‘.

Practice head(s):

Danny Tricot

Other key lawyers:

James McDonald; James Michelson; Pranav Trivedi

Testimonials

‘Expertise, business approach and availability are particularly appreciated.’

‘Danny Tricot provides excellent service and strong engagement.’

‘They are very proactive in pushing the project forward and look ahead to spot upcoming gating items in advance. Drafting is high quality and we’ve seen the team do an extra step of good research into factual matters.’

‘Danny Tricot is very hands on and actively engages with the other parties. James Michelson has produced high quality first draft documents.’

‘Very good technical knowledge of debt capital markets products.’

‘Danny Tricot has excellent technical skills (especially on US securities law related matters) and has a very hands-on approach to his transactions (he is on every all parties’ conference call, for example). Andrew Hurwitz also has very good technical skills and is very responsive to queries and pushing matters forward.’

Key clients

Antares Vision S.p.A

Ashtead Group plc

Bank of America

Citigroup Global Markets Europe

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

J.P. Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Nokia Corporation

Stanley Black & Decker, Inc

Telegram Group Inc.

UBS AG

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of nine banks, led by Citigroup and J.P. Morgan, on a $12.5 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of bonds by Qatar Petroleum, the state energy company of Qatar (now known as Qatar Energy).
  • Advised Telegram Group Inc. on its $1.75 billion issuance of pre-IPO convertible bonds.
  • Advised Nokia Corporation on an update of its €5 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme.

Slaughter and May

The team is responsive, and knowledgeable’, say clients of Slaughter and May.   Another notes that the firm has 'an extreme breath of knowledge across all debt capital market transactions, providing useful insight that helps the client with important decision-making'. The firm is a key adviser on UK public company debt issuance, though it is also increasingly active for underwriters. Lead partner Matthew Tobin who is 'able to provide solutions to unexpected challenges and is very responsive to queries',  acted for AerCap Holdings N.V., the world's largest aircraft leasing company, in the establishment of a new EMTN programme that is now listed on the GEM market of Euronext Dublin. Key partner Edward Fife assisted online fashion retailer ASOS with the issuance of £500m in unsecured convertible bonds. Guy O’Keefe and newly promoted partner Kevin Howes advised Cineworld Group plc on an issuance of $213m of convertible bonds that were privately placed with a select group of leading institutional investors. Caroline Phillips also plays a key role in DCM transactions and handled a €500m bond issue by INEOS Quattro Finance.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Tobin

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Howes; Peaches Stanforth; Edward Fife; Guy O’Keefe; Caroline Phillips

Testimonials

‘The team is responsive, and knowledgeable.’

‘Slaughter and May have an extreme breath of knowledge across all debt capital market transactions, providing useful insight that helps the client with important decision-making. They are thorough and efficient with their work, and always add value to our transaction. Resourcing has never been an issue, and they are always able to meet even the tightest of deadlines, delivering the highest quality of service every time.’

‘I have been working with Matthew Tobin at Slaughter and May for over ten years. His knowledge of the transactions, our sector, but also our specific business is incredible. It means Matthew is able to add value and challenge in the most efficient ways.’

‘Slaughter and May has done an excellent job of providing legal services to and on behalf of the English entity, representing the entity to the Board of Directors, and otherwise providing high-level legal advice and professionally managing an atypical lawyer-client relationship.’

‘Peaches Stanforth has provided exceptional quality for an associate of her level. She is a thoughtful, responsive, respectful, professional associate who has managed various workstreams to a high level of professionalism and responsiveness.’

‘The Slaughter and May team under Matthew Tobin advised us on both our unsecured bond and convertible bond issuance in 2021. The team held the pen on the listing prospectus and key transaction documents, helped us maintain position on key legal points, and managed the process well which ensured the bonds were executed as planned.’

‘Matthew Tobin is very knowledgeable and experienced, he was able to provide us solutions to unexpected challenges, and was very responsive to queries.’

Key clients

AerCap

Aviva

Diageo

GlaxoSmithKline

Just Group

Legal & General

Standard Chartered

Unicef/World Bank

Welsh Water

Westpac

AerCap

Aviva

Diageo

GlaxoSmithKline

Just Group

Legal & General

Standard Chartered

Unicef/World Bank

Welsh Water

Westpac

Work highlights

  • Advised Derwent London plc, a leading London focused real estate investment trust and FTSE 250 constituent, on its inaugural green bond on the Main Market and the Sustainability Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Just Group plc on its recent tender offer for its existing 9.375% Reset Perpetual Restricted Tier 1 Contingent Convertible Notes for cash, and the issuance of new £325m 5.000% Reset Perpetual Restricted Tier 1 Contingent Convertible Notes. This was an innovative transaction for the European insurance market, with the issuance breaking new ground as the first sustainable Restricted Tier 1 bond by a European insurer.
  • Advised UNICEF and the World Bank on the issuance by IBRD of an innovative US$100m bond and related arrangements between IBRD and UNICEF as well as advised on all aspects of the issuance, including the first-of-its kind issuance structure.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a strong track record in novel and high-profile debt capital markets transactions, whether under English or US law, and its London office is a key hub in a global network that enables it to act for both issuers and underwriters in business-critical bond offerings. Vanessa Blackmore leads the practice and frequently assists clients with international debt, equity and equity-linked financings, debt advisory matters and liability management. Evan Simpson represents a range of European corporate clients in connection with both SEC-registered and exempt offerings to US investors. He advised Bank of Ireland Group on its $1bn issuance of notes, the bank’s first offering to US investors in four years. Key partner Chris Beatty has a broad finance practice, as part of which he handles distressed debt transactions and secured and unsecured debt finance transactions. John Horsfield-Bradbury acted for BP Capital Markets America Inc. on its $1.5bn SEC-registered offering of guaranteed notes. 

Practice head(s):

Vanessa Blackmore; Evan Simpson; Chris Beatty; John Horsfield-Bradbury

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard climbs the ranking having expanded the scope of its DCM work beyond its core area of social housing finance. The firm has also recruited to bolster its skillset. Carl Posern, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, brings extensive experience advising on European covered bond transactions. Jacqueline Heng, formerly of Norton Rose Fulbright, frequently advises dealers and issuers on international transactions, among them EMTN programmes, standalone bonds, ECP and CD programmes, convertible bonds, structured notes and private placements. They join practice head Beth Collett, who is 'a class above' and works closely with key partner Steve Mackie on social housing finance. Collett acted for BNP Paribas, HSBC Bank plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc in a £350m issuance by Onward Homes Ltd. One client sees the firm as 'the market -leading franchise in debt capital markets issuance for the social housing sector - dependable, clear and reliable'.

Practice head(s):

Beth Collett

Other key lawyers:

Carl Posern; Jacqueline Heng; Steve Mackie; Jennie Chilton; Kristi Green; Beth Lindsey

Testimonials

‘Always great to work with!’

‘Beth Collett remains an outstanding partner to have along side us in any social housing transaction. A class above.’

‘Highly experienced and knowledgeable in the area of social housing bonds and the social housing sector. The AG team is my No.1 team for social housing bonds. Transaction management is highly organised and efficient and this is extremely important since we have to coordinate a number of parties and work-streams (including property and security) which need to come together prior to launch and execution. Competitive quotes and very good value for money. Super responsive’

‘Beth Collett is the best legal mind in the City and a renowned expert with regard to social housing bonds. This makes her my first choice for these types of transactions and her flourishing practice speaks for itself. Beth consistently looks beneath the surface and matters which might have caused issues down the line are dealt with at an early stage (even before issuer counsel has even realised there is an issue). She is well-respected by our clients for this reason. Her meticulous attention to detail is unrivalled.

‘Jennie Chilton is the safest pair of hands on the property side of transactions and has very decent associates to support the security workstream.’

‘The market-leading franchise in debt capital markets issuance for the social housing sector – dependable, clear and reliable. Pragmatic, and collaborative.’

‘Beth Collet is always available, commercial, pragmatic and reliable – really drives capital markets processes. Jennie Chilton really drives valuation processes and always finds a solution to challenging issues and tight timeframes. Kristi Green – managing associate – is very efficient and always on hand to drive forward processes Beth Lindsey – associate – very pragmatic and efficient in terms of resolving issues.’

Key clients

Assura PLC

Banco Santander, S.A.

Barclays Bank PLC

BNP Paribas

Co-operative Group Limited

HSBC Bank plc

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc

M&G Trustee Company Limited

MUFG Securities EMEA Limited

National Australia Bank Limited

National Bank of Canada

NatWest Markets Plc

RBC Europe Limited

SMBC Nikko Capital Markets Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Assura in relation to the issue of £300,000,000 1.625% Guaranteed Sustainability Bonds due 2033. This was the first issuance under its Sustainable Finance Framework.
  • Advising Barclays Bank PLC, BNP Paribas, HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc, National Australia Bank Limited and NatWest Markets Plc as Dealers and The Law Debenture Trust Corporation p.l.c. as Note Trustee and Security Trustee in connection with Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited’s £2,000,000,000 Note Programme.
  • Advising National Bank of Canada on its structured note issuances (including advising on the development of new structured products for the issuer and advisory work on issued structured products.

Akin Gump LLP

Akin Gump LLP has 'a deep bench of knowledgeable partners and associates that understand the debt product very well, specifically the private debt product' with one client noting that it is 'easily the go-to firm for private debt and restructurings'. The firm's key areas of focus are the representation of institutional investors in new issuances of debt in cross-border private placements and acting for issuers in emerging markets transactions. Robert Aulsebrook leads the issuer and emerging markets side of the practice, while Tom O’Connor is head of the newly reorganised London finance group and leads on cross-border private placements. O'Connor acted for PGIM on the purchase of €40m in unsecured notes issued by Antares Vision.  Key partners Barry Russell and Michael Gustafson are 'excellent and great to work with - reliable, available and super on-point'.

Practice head(s):

Thomas (Tom) O’Connor; Robert Aulsebrook

Other key lawyers:

Barry Russell; Michael Gustafson

Testimonials

‘Akin are a team we consistently rely on in the private placement and infrastructure space. What sets them apart is their responsiveness and ability to key into the specific needs of the our business and the industry. We rely on the team heavily for their expertise and keeping us apprised of developing market trends. They remain one of our business team’s preferred legal services providers.’

‘Tom O’Connor is approachable and knowledgeable. He is always responsive and provides us with advice we can trust. Michael Gustafson is also appreciated for his commercial acumen and keen market knowledge.’

‘Akin Gump has extensive knowledge across all private capital products, spanning lending activity across the balance sheet from senior debt through to structured equity. They combine this superior knowledge with a pragmatism and commercialism which is appreciated by their clients and the borrowing entities.’

‘Their partners are always available and combine extreme intelligence with the ability to communicate with all stakeholders in a down-to-earth manner. Their advice comes from a place of total knowledge, but is combined with commercial realism.’

‘A deep bench of knowledgeable partners and associates that understand the debt product very well, specifically the private debt product. Easily the go-to firm for private debt and restructurings. They partner with the buy-side well and know exactly what our key issues are and what we should be focused on.’

‘Tom O’Connor, Barry Russell and Mike Gustafson are excellent and great to work with. Reliable, available and super on-point. I will recommend to anyone.’

Key clients

PGIM Private Capital and its affiliates (“PGIM”)

Various institutional investors

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has 'a very good team with many years of experience in the capital markets'. In the sovereign and emerging markets debt space, the firm frequently handles high-profile and complex transactions, among them the $500m issuance by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority under its green bond framework. Key partner Roy Pearce, who 'has extensive experience in the emerging markets, great understanding of the clients, clients' needs, culture and potential requirements of local laws', handled that deal along with private placements expert Megan Schellinger. He also worked with Schellinger to assist the Ministry of Finance of Georgia with a $550m offering of debt. Adam Farlow, who is qualified in both New York and English law, leads the practice and, though he is primarily focused on high yield transactions, has a broad DCM practice. He worked with Schellinger on the $75m issuance of Tier 1 capital by JSC TBC Bank in Georgia. Senior associate Maxim Khrapov is also a key adviser on standalone Eurobonds, debt programmes, liability management and restructuring transactions.

Practice head(s):

Adam Farlow

Other key lawyers:

Roy Pearce; Megan Schellinger; Maxim Khrapov

Testimonials

‘A very good team, many years of experience in the capital markets.’

‘Roy Pearce – has got extensive experience in the Emerging Markets, great understanding of the clients, clients needs, culture and potential requirements of local laws.’

‘Knowledge of our region : South Caucasus, knowledge of our business. Roy Pearce and Maxim Khrapov stand out.’

Key clients

J.P. Morgan

Bank of America

Goldman Sachs

Citigroup

HSBC

Renaissance Capital

BNP Paribas

WAPDA

Trans-Oil

Georgia Capital

Akbank

TBC Bank

Georgia

Ooredoo Group

BPER

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas

Deutsche Trustee Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised banks in connection with Pegasus Airlines’ debut Regulation S / 144A issuance of USD 375 million senior unsecured notes due 2026.
  • Advised Georgia, acting through the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, on an offering of USD 500 million 2.75% notes due 2026, which is the lowest interest rate achieved for an issuance of notes in Georgian history.
  • Advised the joint lead managers on an offering of USD 750 million 3.6% notes due 2031 by the Republic of Armenia.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

The team providing legal advice is very responsive', say clients of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, adding that 'the approach taken is to develop practical solutions following the question'. Co-head of the EMEA capital markets practice Philip Boeckman has a broad ECM and DCM practice. Counsel Lawrence Verhelst acts for corporate and sovereign issuers and financial institutions in US and international capital markets transactions, including high yield and investment grade debt. Both are 'very knowledgable and they listen and develop legal solutions that are practical'. In 2021, Boeckman represented the European Investment Bank in four registered notes offerings with a total value of $15bn. George Stephanakis  , who co-leads the EMEA finance practice, acted for AngloGold Ashanti in a $750m registered notes offering, and assisted Casino Group with a cash tender offer for its 2025 and 2026 EMTN notes.

Practice head(s):

Philip Boeckman

Other key lawyers:

Lawrence Verhelst; George Stephanakis

Testimonials

‘The team providing legal advice is very responsive. The approach taken is to develop practical solutions following the question. The knowledge of the area of law in question and the market practice related thereto is very high.’

‘Philip Boeckman and Lawrence Verhelst are the main contacts. They are very knowledgeable. They respond to question in a very short time. They listen and develop legal solutions that are practical.’

‘Excellent and practical technical knowledge.’

‘Ability to communicate difficult or technical concepts and understand corporate priorities.’

‘Very “on market “; no messing; support execution.’

‘Philip Boeckman is excellent.’

Key clients

AngloGold Ashanti

British American Tobacco

Casino Group

Cineworld

The European Investment Bank

J.P. Morgan

Prosus

Work highlights

  • Since March 2021, the firm has represented the European Investment Bank in five registered notes offerings totaling $16.5 billion, including its $1.5 billion offering of a Climate Awareness Bond (Green Bond).
  • Represented Prosus in its $3.25billion senior notes offering and its concurrent €1.75billion senior notes offering under its $12billion global medium-term note programme.
  • Represented AngloGold Ashanti in its $750million registered notes offering.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP 'shows extended knowledge of capital markets and provides timely and competent advice with a view to client's needs and intentions'. The firm is best known for emerging markets sovereign debt offerings. In 2021, it handled issuances by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of Albania, among others. Head of international capital markets Patrick Lyons is a key adviser to banks, sovereigns and quasi-sovereign issuers. He acted for Arab Republic of Egypt in combined issuance of $3.75bn in notes, including $1bn under its GMTN programme. Key partner Jennifer Rees handles cross-border transactions involving emerging market issuers. She handled a $500m notes offering for JSC Georgian Railway. Lyons and senior associate Amy Rees are 'extremely diligent, professional and hardworking, and they anticipate potential problems before they actually develop'.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Lyons

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Rees; Amy Rees

Testimonials

‘Dechert always provides with the professional answers and work.’

‘The firm shows extended knowledge of capital markets and provides timely and competent advice with a view to client’s needs and intentions.’

‘ We value highly our work with partner Jennifer Rees.’

‘The team from Dechert has been at the forefront of all capital market issuances from Oman in the recent years. Having worked with a number of magic circle and top tier firms, I can safely say that Dechert is one of, if not THE, best of the lot. They have in-depth knowledge of the clients and the market in the Middle East (especially Oman) and have therefore been the international counsel of choice for clients looking to undertake DCM transactions.’

‘The team, led by Patrick Lyons, and supported by Amy Rees, is extremely diligent, professional and hardworking. They anticipate potential problems and address matters before they actually develop into issues.’

 

Key clients

Arab Republic of Egypt

JSC Development Bank of Kazakhstan

Government of the Sultanate of Oman and Oman Sovereign Sukuk SAOC

JSC Georgian Railway

JSC Ukrainian Railways

Abivax

Kingdom of Bahrain

Republic of Albania

Eurohold

Byblos Bank

Dentons

Dentons provides 'timely deliverables and good visibility of the process', with one client remarking that the firm 'always comes up with required solutions and is very professional in dealing with other parties'. The firm is best known for its emerging markets debt practice, and lead partner David Cohen assisted Republic of Kenya with its offering of $1bn in amortising notes to institutional investors in the US. Nick Hayday, who is 'very client-oriented and has excellent relationship skills', has a diverse practice that sees him act for underwriters and issuers in connection with eurobonds, private placements, MTN programmes, and loan participation notes, as well as Islamic finance securities. Hayday and Cameron Half, who leads the US Securities practice in EMEA, acted for Georgian telecommunications company JSC Silknet in its $300m debut Rule 144A/Reg S bond issue. Catriona ’Kitty’ Lloyd is a key adviser to corporate trustees and security agents. Senior associate Victoria Wyer is 'great at coordinating different work flows'.

Practice head(s):

David Cohen

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hayday; Cameron Half; Catriona ‘Kitty’ Lloyd; Victoria Wyer

Testimonials

‘As a client you get a dedicated team and we have never had complaints about reaction time or inability to provide advice. Eager to help, ready to offer assistance and take control where needed.’

‘Nick Hayday (partner) is very client-oriented, excellent relationship skills. Victoria Wyer (senior associate) is great at coordinating different work flows.’

‘Very close and no-nonsense cooperation with clients. Availability of senior partners, together with the competence and expertise of associates. Timely deliverables and good visibility of the process. Always came up with required solutions and were very professional in dealing with other parties, even when disagreements arose. It is a joy to work with them.’

‘Nick Hayday is a wonderful lawyer that instils confidence in a client. When you discuss an issue with him, a clear way towards a solution is almost immediately charted. it is also very pleasant to work with Nick on a personal level.’

‘Cameron Half  is highly competent and his involvement in an issue is always welcome, contributing from his vast expertise and driving towards pragmatic solutions. Niharika Khimji’s work ethic, attention to detail and general competence are exemplary. Victoria Wyer is super knowledgeable yet pragmatic She’s also very good at dealing with other law firms and driving towards sensible agreements.’

Work highlights

  • Advising JSC Silknet on its debut Rule 144A/Reg S bond issue of US$300 million 8.375% bonds due in 2027, together with a concurrent consent solicitation and tender offer in relation to its senior unsecured notes maturing in 2024.
  • Advising the lead managers, including HSBC and Santander, on the £400 million sustainability bond issued by the Isle of Man Treasury.
  • Advising on the Republic of Uzbekistan’s Rule 144A/Reg S issuance of US$635 million 3.90% notes due 2031 and UZS2.5 trillion (approximately US$235 million) 14.00% sustainable notes due 2024.

DLA Piper

The capital markets group at DLA Piper in London works closely with the firm’s corporate, restructuring and projects practices to handle DCM transactions across the UK, Europe, APAC and North America. It acts for both issuers and investment banks in debt securities offerings, among which are eurobonds, commercial paper and MTN programmes, social and green investment bonds and Masala bonds. UK head of capital markets and structured investments Tony Lopez and global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer are the lead practitioners. Dwyer assisted Neqsol Holding and VF Ukraine with a consent solicitation for $500m in notes. Lopez acted for London-listed aircraft leasing company Avation PLC in negotiations to secure a maturity extension for its $350m in senior notes. Joywin Mathew frequently assists international banks, funds and corporates with complex, multi-jurisdictional finance transactions, including equity-linked debt offerings and private placements. Ronan Mellon is recommended for project bonds.

Practice head(s):

Tony Lopez; Mark Dwyer

Other key lawyers:

Joywin Mathew; Ronan Mellon

Key clients

Alsea S.A.B. de C.V.

Luxfer Holdings PLC

Avation PLC

Neqsol Holdings

VF Ukraine

AIG Holdings Europe Limited

KOIS

Grupo Antolin Irausa S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising VF Ukraine on a consent solicitation exercise to the holders of its outstanding $500,000,000 notes issued by VFU Funding PLC to obtain additional flexibility to make restricted payments subject to a leverage test.
  • Advised Avation PLC (LSE: AVAP) (Avation), the London-listed commercial passenger aircraft leasing company, on its discussions with noteholders, their lawyers and financial advisers to achieve a successful maturity extension on its USD350 million 6.5% senior notes by more than five years from May 2021 to October 2026.
  • Acted as English and U.S. counsel to Luxfer Holdings PLC (NYSE: LXFR) in connection with the amendment and restatement of two series of existing USPP notes and entry into a new USD50 million Note Purchase and Private Shelf Agreement.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

The London office of Hogan Lovells International LLP works closely with other offices in the firm's international network to handle cross-border matters, drawing on expertise in both English and US law. It has niche expertise in advising bondholders on distressed debt situations, and it is one of the few firms to have a dedicated trust and agency practice. Practice head Kit Johnson is a vastly experienced partner who acts for corporate trustees on the full spectrum of capital markets transactions, both new issuances and in regard to post-issuance issues. He is particularly recommended for advice on distressed debt situations and inter-creditor disputes. Andrew Carey frequently handles international debt offerings, including securities programmes, corporate issuance and sovereign bonds. He also acts for trustees and other stakeholders in bond restructurings, and is co-head of the firm's sustainable finance and investment practice group.

Practice head(s):

Kit Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Carey

Key clients

Autoliv Inc.

Citibank, N.A., London Branch

Taulia Inc.

Affinity Water

National Air Traffic Services

Equita SIM S.p.A.

Deutsche Bank

BNP Paribas

Monument RE

African Export-Import Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Citibank, N.A. as Trustee and Principal Paying Agent on the issuance of Faurecia’s €1.2 billion 2.75% sustainability-linked senior notes due 2027, which completed on 10 November 2021.
  • Advised Affinity Water, the UK’s largest water only utility, on its first green bond issuance, a Class A £130 million 0.01 per cent CPI Linked private placement due September 2038.
  • Advised National Air Traffic Services, an air traffic control provider in the UK and North Atlantic, on the launch a £750m bond issue as part of £1.6bn combined ongoing bond and bank refinancing.

Mayer Brown International LLP

The practice at Mayer Brown International LLP is 'technically very good, extremely reliable, and truly focuses on their clients' best interests'. The firm continues to broaden the scope of its DCM work, which spans commercial paper and MTN programmes, regulatory and hybrid capital issues, equity-linked securities, high yield bonds, and project bonds. Peter Pears, who joined from Clifford Chance LLP, brings considerable experience advising issuers and underwriters on complex domestic and international debt capital market offerings, including a emerging markets issuance. 'He is always responsive and happy to talk through any query, offering clear and pragmatic solutions to often complex issues', notes one client. He joins experienced partner James Taylor, Bernd BohrRob Flanigan and emerging markets specialist Jim Patti.

Practice head(s):

James Taylor; Bernd Bohr; Rob Flanigan

Other key lawyers:

Peter Pears; Jim Patti

Testimonials

‘The team around partner Bernd Bohr is technically very good, extremely reliable, and truly focuses on their clients’ best interests.’

‘Bernd Bohr – Extremely precise and technically very good capital markets lawyer; very accessible and quick to answer; very customer focused’

‘Peter Pears is new to the partnership and has made a huge effort to build client relationships. He is always responsive and happy to talk through any query, offering clear and pragmatic solutions to often complex issues. He is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Responsive and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Barclays Bank

Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec

Islandsbanki

HSBC Bank

CIBC World Markets

Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O.

Bank of Nova Scotia

China International Marine Containers (Hong Kong)

Banco Santander

Wepa Hygieneprodukte

Türkiye İş Bankası (Isbank)

HLD Italy Due

Bank of Montreal, London Branch

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is ‘highly professional, very responsive to the client’s needs and has real experts in this field‘. The firm does not target commoditised capital markets work but instead handles innovative and complex deals. Its recent work includes investment grade programmes, debt offerings by FTSE 100 UK plcs, debut bond transactions by emerging markets issuers, private placements, convertible bonds, liability management transactions and a range of structured DCM deals. Head of debt capital markets Carter Brod , who is ‘extremely patient and gives exceptional advice‘ and head of international finance Bruce Johnston are the lead partners in London. Both acted for Turkish bank Aktif Bank on the update of its €390m note issuance programme and an initial offering of $148.5m in notes.  Tim Corbett has ‘a great breadth and depth of US corporate law for both equity and debt transactions, so you feel you’re in safe hands'.

Practice head(s):

Carter Brod; Bruce Johnston

Other key lawyers:

Tim Corbett

Testimonials

‘Tim Corbett and Ben Stein have a great breadth and depth of US corporate law experience (for both equity and debt transactions) so you feel you’re in safe hands. They are equally very calm under pressure.’

‘Potential clients would like to know that this team is highly professional, very responsive to the client’s needs and real experts in this field.’

‘Carter Brod is an exceptional attorney in this field. He was always of great assistance to us navigating through this complex area of legal practice. At every turn, he gave exceptional advice, and always gave thoughtful and conscientious consideration to feedback from his client. He was consistently the voice of reason in a turbulent environment. It also helped that he was extremely patient with clients who wanted everything to be explained and wanted to understand all the available options.’

 

Key clients

Prudential plc

Frigorífico Concepción

Black Diamond Capital Management

Aktif Bank

Financial Guaranty UK

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT)

Oppenheimer & Co.

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to the co-issuers, SCIL IV LLC and SCIL USA Holdings LLC,  acquisition companies established by Black Diamond Capital Management, in a EUR 1.305 billion offering of a high yield notes pursuant to Rule 144A and Regulation S. The proceeds of the offering were used to fund the purchase of the equity interest in the Polynt-Reichhold group that was held by Investindustrial.
  • Advised Aktif Bank, Turkey’s largest privately owned investment bank, on the update of its 390 million euro ($476.1 million) note issuance program and on an initial $148.5 million offering of 6.5% notes due 2026 under the updated program.
  • Advised Financial Guaranty UK Ltd. (FGUK), a UK monoline insurer controlled by GoldenTree Asset Management, on a consent solicitation in respect of bonds issued by Northern Gas Networks, a British gas distribution company, in an aggregate principal amount of £255 million, with the objective of cancelling FGUK’s guarantee of those bonds.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons acts for major investment banks, global corporates and institutional investors in capital markets transactions. Though the practice does not handle a large volume of transactions, it is capable of handling the most complex, cross-border deals. Practice head Piers Summerfield, who has notable expertise in equity-linked transactions, and key partner Charles Hawes, who is dual-qualified in New York and English law, are the principal practitioners. Summerfield acted for global entertainment company Eros STX Global Corporation in a consent solicitation for £50m in UK-listed retail bonds. Managing associate Leon Yap, who has extensive experience in European commercial paper programmes for major UK corporates, assisted with that transaction.

Practice head(s):

Piers Summerfield

Other key lawyers:

Charles Hawes; Leon Yap

Key clients

Eros STX Global Corporation

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited

Fiserv, Inc.

British Land

Rentokil Initial

Peel Hunt LLP

Eni S.p.A

ING Bank N.V.

Pearson plc

Recipharm AB (publ)

Work highlights

  • Advised Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited on a tender offer for Hurricane Energy plc’s convertible bonds.
  • Advised British Land on a consent solicitation in respect of British Land’s Meadowhall securitisation.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan in relation to the flagship EMTN funding program of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP climbs the rankings on the strength of its presence in key market niches. The practice acts for private equity sponsors, corporate issuers and financial institutions on the full spectrum of capital markets transactions in the UK, Europe and the US, but it is particularly strong in Rule 144A and Regulation S debt transactions, liability management transactions and insurance-linked debt instruments. The firm's deep knowledge of regulatory and rating agency capital adequacy criteria and capital markets structures and processes make it a prominent adviser on complex insurance industry capital raisings involving Solvency II and BMA Tier 1, 2, and 3 regulatory capital requirements. London head of capital markets Jennifer Tait and head of corporate insurance capital markets Joseph Ferraro are the key practitioners. They acted for Lancashire Holdings Limited in its $450m offering of notes listed on the London Stock Exchange. Associate David Griffiths in the insurance transactional and regulatory practice is a key adviser on insurance-linked securities.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Tait; Joseph Ferraro

Other key lawyers:

David Griffiths

Key clients

Platinum Equity / Solenis

GLAS

Arkema

Lancashire Holdings Limited

MS Amlin and Phoenix 2

Fidelis and Herbie Re

Socium

Kinesis

Viribus

SCOR

Conduit Holdings Limited

Dragon SPAC

GoldenTree Asset Management LP

Peel Hunt

Select Equity

Work highlights

  • Provided debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity in its acquisition of UK parent company Solenis, a global producer of specialty chemicals used in water-intensive industries.
  • Represented GLAS Trust Company LLC in Constellation Automotive Financing PLC’s offering of £695,000,000 4.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2027.
  • Advised Arkema S.A in the sale of its polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA) and activated methyl methacrylates (MMA) business, known as the Mallarmé business, to Trinseo S.A., a Luxembourg public limited liability company (société anonyme)

Alston & Bird LLP

Alston & Bird LLP stands out for its work on corporate trust and agency matters, which is now a firmly established practice in London. The firm advises clients across the US, UK and Europe on a broad range of cross-border and domestic transactions, among them investment grade bonds, solar bonds, MTN programmes, sovereign debt and high yield bond issuances. The key partner in London is James Fisher, who counts The Bank of New York Mellon, US Bank and Wilmington Trust among his key clients. Fisher is also an integral part of the ESG advisory group, which helps clients understand the growing prominence of ESG investing, as well as environmental and social risk and compliance. He advises corporate trustee clients on the development of their own ESG policies, as well as helping clients develop ESG-related products and services. 

Practice head(s):

James Fisher

Key clients

The Bank of New York Mellon

Elavon Financial Services

Intertrust Group

Apex Group

Wilmington Trust

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter is a leading adviser on sovereign debt issuance, and it continues to build on its extensive track record with a string of deals for governments in both emerging and developed markets. Lead partner Jeremy Willcocks leads the London practice, working closely with Whitney Debevoise, who works in both Washington DC and London and frequently handles deals in Latin America. Willcocks advised the Republic of Turkey on several offering in 2021, including the issuance of $2.25bn in lease certificates and $1.75bn in bonds. Associate Kardia Leung plays an increasingly important role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Willcocks

Other key lawyers:

Whitney Debevoise; Kardia Leung

Key clients

Republic of Hungary

Republic of Turkey

Republic of Nigeria

Republic of Kenya

Republic of Azerbaijan

Federative of Republic of Brazil

Republic of Colombia

Republic of Costa Rica

Republic of Panama

Republic of Honduras

Republic of El Salvador

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Republic of Tunisia

Ukraine

State of Israel

Work highlights

  • Advised Republic of Hungary on the issuance of US$2.25 billion Notes due 2031, US$2 billion Notes due 2051 and EUR 1 billion notes due 2028 governed by English law and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the Republic of Turkey in connection with its issuance of $2.5 billion 5.125% lease certificates governed by English law and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the Republic of Turkey in connection with its issuance of $3 billion 7.25% lease certificates governed by English law and listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

The DCM practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is ‘very friendly and knowledgeable, and it has great knowledge of the Nordic markets'. The firm frequently advises sponsors, issuers, advisers, underwriters, investors and shareholders, thanks to its London-based team of US, UK and internationally qualified lawyers. The team focuses predominantly on more sophisticated and complex deals across all levels of the capital structure, rather than handling a large volume of transactions. Head of EMEA transactions Ashar Qureshi and John Satory, who has significant experience in the Nordics, Benelux and the UK, are the key partners.  Special counsel Aseet Dalvi, who joined from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, handles investment-grade and sub-investment grade debt capital markets transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ashar Qureshi

Other key lawyers:

John Satory; Aseet Dalvi

Testimonials

‘Great knowledge of the Nordic markets! Very friendly and knowledgeable. Ash Qureshi and John Satory are the key partners.’

Key clients

Merck & Co

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

Liquid Telecommunications

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation

Bank of America

Citi Group

RBC Capital Markets

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Novelis Inc., the world’s largest recycler of aluminium, as issuer counsel on its debut green notes issuance of €500m
  • Counsel to the underwriters (Barclays, BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan, Mizuho Securities and Standard Chartered Bank) in a multi-tranche U.S. dollar denominated hybrid bond offering by Vodafone Group plc.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP joins the ranking this year having become more active in debt capital markets transactions. Andrew Caunt leads the securities practice, which covers both ECM and DCM transactions. Dorothee Fischer-Appelt, who is dual-qualified in English and US law, is a key adviser on DCM transactions. The firm has an active debt private placement practice and is also a key adviser on social housing bonds. Helena Nathanson, who focuses predominantly on structured finance, is a key adviser on trustee matters in the DCM space.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Caunt

Other key lawyers:

Dorothee Fischer-Appelt; Helena Nathanson

Key clients

UBS

Numis Securities Limited

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG

Peel Hunt

EverArc Holdings

Nomad Foods Limited

Citigroup Global Markets

Goldman Sachs

Jefferies GmbH and Jefferies International Limited

EarlyBird Capital, Inc.

ABN AMRO

HSBC

mBank

Erste Group Bank AG and Erste Securities Polska S.A.,

HORNBACH Holding AG & Co. KGaA

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster has a market-leading practice for US private placements, for which practice head Scott Ashton is 'one of the best lawyers on the street'. Ashton acted for Eastlight Community Homes Ltd in a £120m private placement funding deal with four North American investors. He also leads the firm's Nordic desk, which continues to generate DCM work. For example, Matthew Dunlap acted for a syndicate of 15 banks, among them BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, in the inaugural $2bn offering of senior notes by Lundin Energy Finance. Brian Bates, who is 'fantastic with clients and incredibly knowledgeable', also plays a pivotal role in the practice and acted for Bellway Homes Ltd in a £130m USPP.

Practice head(s):

Scott Ashton

Other key lawyers:

Brian Bates; Matthew Dunlap

Testimonials

‘I was once told by a market participant:”if Morrison Foerster is not busy, then the US private placement market is not busy!”. They by far have the largest market share of cross-border private placement issuers in Europe, and therefore see a significant part of the deal flow which gives them a very competitive edge in advising clients.’

‘Scott Ashton is one of the best lawyers on the street for US private placements. He always exceeds expectations. He is available when needed and extremely detail oriented. He will not hesitate to go the extra mile for clients and will ensure the legal work is delivered on time. Scott is also very technical and his expertise a greatly sought after by the market.

‘Brian Bates is fantastic with clients and has been instrumental in building out the Morrison Foerster Private placement practice. He is incredibly knowledgeable on the market, and is therefore able to provide the best advice to clients. Brian has decades of experience in the PP market and that is quite evident on every transaction I have worked on with him. He is also very reliable and will go over and beyond to meet the needs of issuers.’

‘Morrison Foerster have advised us on repeat US private placement issuances over many years. The team have deep knowledge of the market and we greatly appreciate their support.’

‘We appreciate the support we receive at all levels on the team and value the continuity within the team.’

Key clients

Breedon Group plc

TT Electronics plc

Corbion N.V.

Medios AG

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust plc

Beach Point Capital Management

Bardin Hill Investment Partners

SoftBank Vision Fund

Eastlight Community Homes Ltd

City of London Investment Trust PLC

Bellway Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Led Breedon Group’s £250 million equivalent debut issuance in the private placement market, which allowed Breedon to move from a secured funding structure to an unsecured structure with diversified funding sources.
  • Represented Scottish Mortgage in its highly successful £200 million and $400 million private placement financings.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in connection with the inaugural US$2 billion senior notes offering by Lundin Energy Finance B.V.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is known for 'very efficient transaction management and excellent collaboration with all stakeholders'. The firm frequently advises UK clearing banks, among them HSBC Bank, Banco Santander and NatWest Markets, but is rapidly developing its issuer-side practice. Head of banking and restructuring Edward Sunderland, who is 'pragmatic and reliable', focuses predominantly on private bonds or asset-backed structures. Newly promoted partner Alexis Hayworth has a broad practice includes public bond issuance, commercial paper finance and liability management. Both are active in the social housing bond market and also handle issues in the education sector. Hayworth acted for King's College London in the private placement of a £125m sustainability bond. Sunderland assisted Pension Insurance Corporation plc with a £67m private placement for the London Borough of Bromley, which will be used to purchase up to 300 affordable homes.

Practice head(s):

Edward Sunderland

Other key lawyers:

Alexis Hayworth; Aoife Martin

Testimonials

‘Reliable capital markets franchise across multiple sectors in debt capital markets ranging from Social Housing to Education and Real Estate – detailed, dependable, clear and reliable. Pragmatic and collaborative’

‘Ed Sunderland – pragmatic and reliable; Alexis Hayworth – detailed driven, provides clear recommendations to clients, commercial, pragmatic and reliable; Aoife Martin – very efficient – vocal, visible, responsive and demonstrated total control and command of a recent transaction we worked together on’

‘Appropriate DCM knowledge and expertise – very efficient transaction management and excellent collaboration with all stakeholders – exceptional value for money’

‘Alexis Hayworth has provided further capital markets expertise to Pinsent particularly in the areas of social housing bonds and university finance. He possesses the requisite knowledge and expertise as well as the diligent attention to detail we need on these types of complex transactions. He is a very strong contender for mandates’

Key clients

HSBC Bank plc

Banco Santander, S.A.

NatWest Markets Plc

MUFG

University College London

King’s College London

M&G Trustee Company Limited

Allia C&C

Pension Insurance Corporation plc

Legal & General

Newbridge Advisors LLP

HSBC Bank plc

Banco Santander, S.A.

NatWest Markets Plc

MUFG

University College London

King’s College London

M&G Trustee Company Limited

Allia C&C

Pension Insurance Corporation plc

Legal & General

Newbridge Advisors LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised debut issuer, UCL, on the higher education sector’s first public listed sustainability bond, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised King’s College London on a private placement of unlisted bonds, which was the higher education sector’s first fund raising under a sustainability finance framework.
  • Advised the Joint Bookrunners on the issue of a £350,000,000 secured sustainability bonds by debut issuer, Paradigm Homes Charitable Housing Association Limited.