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Simmons & Simmons

Work +44 20 7628 2020
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John Sayers

Work 020 7825 3618
Simmons & Simmons


John is a finance lawyer specialising in transactional banking, structured finance and corporate trust work. His experience includes UK and cross-border investment grade and leveraged banking transactions, structured trade and commodities finance, ECA supported financings and emerging markets lending. John has acted for a variety of financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland.


Joined Simmons & Simmons 1999; qualified 2001; partner 2011.


Oxford, Balliol College (M Biochem Cellular and molecular biochemistry).

London: Finance

Emerging markets

Within: Leading individuals

John Sayers - Simmons & Simmons

Within: Emerging markets

Simmons & Simmons' presence in emerging markets deals is due in part to its sector focus, which sees it act for asset managers, investment funds, financial institutions and companies in the TMT and life sciences industries. It has a long track record of complex and high-value project finance transactions, notably in the power, LNG, mining and pipeline sectors. For lenders International Finance Corporation, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Commercial International Bank (Egypt), the practice handled the project financing of a bulk liquids terminal at Sokhna Port in Egypt. Another highlight saw it act for the government of Kenya in the commercialisation of oil reserves in the Lokichar basin, which involved two projects with a combined value of $5bn. Leading light John Sayers 'is able to advise lenders on a number of different financing aspects and share insight into international best practices', says a client who comments that 'I have worked with a fair number of London-based lawyers and John stands out as one of the most talented amongst them'. Other key lawyers are banking partner Omar Al-Ali; energy and infrastructure partner Adam Cooper; Adrian Nizzola, who has 33 years’ experience in the energy and infrastructure sector; LNG projects partner Andrew Petry; emerging markets funds finance specialists Jen Yee Chan and Cindy Valentine; structured capital markets specialist David Toole; and Iain Duncan for equity and debt financings. Managing associate Simon Kenolty, who handles energy, water and mining projects, is a rising star.

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Trade finance

Within: Leading individuals

John Sayers - Simmons & Simmons

Within: Trade finance

Simmons & Simmons has 'strong experience and a deep level of knowledge across the firm that is invaluable'. The London office has a full-service offering in this practice area and its work includes structured trade and commodity finance, accounts receivables and supply chain finance, ECA finance, regulatory matters and Islamic finance structures. Its ability to handle groundbreaking transactions was highlighted in 2017 by its work for Greensill Capital, which included the establishment of a $20bn secured note programme. This bespoke platform serves to facilitate the repackaging of financial assets and receivables. Securitisation partner Michael Lorraine and banking partner Omar Al-Ali led the transaction and acted for Castleton Commodities in a $3.6bn borrowing base facility. Practice head John Sayers  'has sound market knowledge and is recognised as a leader in trade and structured trade finance'; he advises on a broad range of bilateral, syndicated and structured lending in both developed and developing markets. Mainstream Renewable Power is among his clients.

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Legal Developments by:
Simmons & Simmons

  • Failure to counter financial crime: Norwich Union Life

    In December 2007, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a fine of £1.26m on Norwich Union Life (part of the Aviva Group), one of the largest life insurance businesses in the UK with around seven million customers. The fine related to failures to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of financial crime. The fine is the latest confirmation of the emphasis being placed on protecting clients and customers from the threat of financial crime.
    - Simmons & Simmons

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