CLIFFORD CHANCE

Comment: A firm highly recommended for debt issues, and one of the leading firms for structured finance. The team around Maerker proved its ability as an advisor to issuers once again with the advice on the billion-euro bonds of VW, Siemens and EnBW. It was also active at the side of banks, esp. for HSBC on a hybrid bond for Porr. Together with Hengeler Mueller, the structured finance practice continues to be a market leader for complex securitizations. This is evident in the work for Santander as originator on a securitization of German consumer loans worth €750m, which stood out for its innovative structuring of the tranches. In the spring, the highly renowned Dr. Arne Klüwer left for Dentons. His departure represents a turning point for the practice, even if CC, as one competitor commented, is “absolutely established in this field” and need not immediately fear for its market position. The practice now lies completely in the hands of the equally respected Kronat. In addition to true sales, ABCP programs, synthetic securitization and NPL transactions, he also covers fintech and alternative investments, and he is also well connected with the ?investment funds practice.
Strengths: Broad-based practice with a wide mix of assets, close ties between the strong securitization and derivatives practices, outstanding ?real estate expertise.
Development potential: The loss of Klüwer opens up new prospects for the ambitious younger generation, which until now could count on few chances for positions of responsibility due to the presence of two relatively young partners.
Recommended: Sebastian Maerker (“very constructive cooperation”, client; “I respect him very much”, competitor), Dr. Gregor Evenkamp (“does a very good job”, client), Dr. Oliver Kronat (“very prominent”, “a leader in securitization”, “excellent expertise and very pleasant to deal with”, competitors), Dr. Marc Benzler.
Practice: Debt issues: broad practice with ongoing program work (updates) and new EMTN and ECP programs. Advice on stand-alones, equity-linked transactions and certificates (index certificates and debt buybacks). Derivatives practice: OTC and exchange-traded products, lots of stock derivatives work. Structured finance: advice on the entire securitization spectrum. (6 partners, 2 counsel, 11 associates)
Clients: ?? BofA on purchase of commercial property portfolio from HSH Nordbank; NIBC Bank, Delta Lloyd on whole-business transaction to refinance a solar plant lease model of MEP Werke; EIB/EIF on investments in diverse securitizations of receivables from leasing and lease-purchase transactions; Santander on securitization of German consumer loans worth €750m; BMW Bank on two securitization transactions of auto loan portfolios each worth €1bn.
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