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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Work 020 7374 8000
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Michael Poulton

Work +44 20 7466 2777
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Work Department

  • Michael leads the firm's award-winning Securitisation and Structured Finance practice


  • Michael focuses on all types of securitisation and structured finance work. He brings a deep commercial understanding to transactions, advising arrangers, lead managers, originators, issuers, private equity, hedge funds, trustees, rating agencies and other market participants, often on complex and first-of-a-kind financings. Since 2009 Michael has been consistently recognised for his expertise and is currently ranked highly in all of the major legal directories.


  • Michael joined the firm as a partner in 2008 from Citigroup, where he was an investment banker in their European Securitisation Group. Prior to that he practiced for many years in the structured debt group at Clifford Chance.

London: Finance

Derivatives and structured products

Within: Derivatives and structured products

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'offers an exceptional level of service - the documents are always turned around quickly and deadlines are respected, but, most importantly, the team’s commercial acumen and knowledge of the markets in which it operates is first-class'. The derivatives practice focuses on high-end, complex and multi-jurisdictional transactions in interest rate, forex, equity, commodity and credit derivatives for financial institutions, funds and corporates. It is also a key adviser on regulatory reform, including clearing and margining rules under EMIR. The practice also handles innovative matters including the development of structures to provide leverage to hedge funds and to facilitate the buy-back of distressed debt. The firm acted for a Russian bank in an equity upside arrangement, which was structured as an equity derivative option under an ISDA master agreement. Dina Albagli leads the derivatives practice and was the lead lawyer on that transaction. She advises buy-side and sell-side clients on transactional matters and also assists financial institutions with regulatory capital and liquidity issues. Nick May 'explains complex issues in a way non-specialists can understand'. Jake Jackaman's practice includes repackagings, cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. He is 'a very smart guy but practical'. Michael Poulton, whose main focus is on securitisation but who has a broader structured finance practice, 'draws on an a great reservoir of experience and responds calmly and rationally under pressure'.

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Within: Leading individuals

Michael Poulton - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Within: Securitisation

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'very responsive and always delivers; the advice is to-the-point and pragmatic, and the team’s commercial acumen and knowledge of the markets in which it operates is first-class'. The practice continued to act for Tideway in its issuance of bonds under its whole-business securitisation programme. Jake Jackaman led that deal and has a broad practice that encompasses repackagings, cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. Michael Poulton leads the firm's securitisation and structured finance practices and has worked in the market as a lawyer and an investment banker for nearly 20 years. He is 'able to draw on a great reservoir of experience in his field and combines this with commercial acumen and ability to respond calmly and rationally under pressure'. Poulton recently acted for LendInvest as borrower under a securitisation warehouse financing that provides funding for its new buy-to-let lending business in the UK. Newly promoted partner Nick May, who 'explains complex issues in a way non-specialists can understand', and senior associate Joy Amis are rising stars.

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