Capital Markets 2016: Analysis

The 2016 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Capital Markets includes over 800 listings across 56 jurisdictions in the areas of debt and equity, Islamic finance, and structured finance.

Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy lead the research this year. Both firms have over 25 listings, and demonstrate the depth and breadth of their offerings across all three areas, particularly in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Fellow Magic Circle firm Linklaters also performs strongly. 

The leading US firms include Sidley Austin, Baker & McKenzie, Latham & Watkins, and Sullivan & Cromwell.

The most highly regarded individuals in the debt and equity, structured finance, and Islamic finance chapters are also recognised in this edition.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Debt & Equity
Julian Kleindorfer Latham & Watkins, Los Angeles
Waldo Jones, Jr Sullivan & Cromwell, Sydney
Cormac Kissane Arthur Cox, Dublin
Robert Buckholz Jr Sullivan & Cromwell, New York
Richard Truesdell Jr Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York
Islamic Finance
Atif Hanif Allen & Overy, London
Farmida Bi Norton Rose Fulbright, London
Rahail Ali Hogan Lovells, Dubai
Structured Finance
Richard Schetman Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, New York
John McGrath Sidley Austin, London
Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya Slaughter & May, London
Clinton Van Loggerenberg ENSafrica, Cape Town
Carlos Osório de Castro Morais Leităo Galvăo Teles Soares da Silva & Associados, Porto

Clifford Chance maintains a leading position this year with an impressive 30 listings. It boasts a strong debt and equity offering, particularly in London, where regional managing partner David Bickerton is considered “a leading light in the field”. Alongside him, David Dunnigan delivers “first-rate and astute counsel” to clients, who include major corporations and financial institutions. In Belgium, the “highly intelligent” Lounia Czupper advises both borrowers and lenders on syndicated loans, restructurings and leveraged and acquisition finance. Hong Kong-based Connie Heng heads the firm’s Asia-Pacific capital markets group. She gains recognition for her “resolute focus” and “forensic approach”.

Qudeer Latif heads the firm’s global Islamic finance practice, and is highly regarded in the sector for his “market-leading expertise”. He is joined in the Dubai office by Stuart Ure, who is “highly sought after” for his “remarkable understanding of the region”. In London, the “esteemed” Habib Motani is “extremely well-respected in the field” as global head of the derivatives practice.

The firm’s structured finance group has a strong presence, particularly across Europe. In London, Kevin Ingram “is one of the best regarding structured repackagings”. The “terrifically talented” Andrew Coats advises financial institutions and issuers on a wide range of structured finance products including structured securities and repackaging programmes. In Madrid, José Manuel Cuenca wins praise for his “calm and measured approach”. Michael Weller represents the Frankfurt office, and is known for his “expert handling of complex cases”.

Allen & Overy also achieves 30 listings this year. On the debt and equity side, Sydney-based Tony Sparks is “a seasoned expert” when it comes to corporate and fund raising transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and capital raisings. In Hong Kong, John Lee’s “distinguished practice” encompasses a range of capital market transactions including corporate hybrid securities, dim sum bonds and IPOs. Co-managing partner of the firm’s Johannesburg office, Lionel Shawe is admired for his “strong commercial awareness” dealing with mining, aircraft and acquisition and leveraged financing.

In London, the “accomplished” Stephen Miller is “a firm favourite among clients”. Alongside him, Geoff Fuller demonstrates “incredibly strong expertise”, particularly regarding debt issuances. In Antwerp, Sylvia Kierszenbaum is “a superb lawyer” whose practice covers financial instruments, securitisations and covered bonds.

The firm’s Islamic finance team is represented by the “sensational” Atif Hanif. As head of the European practice area group, he “is head and shoulders above the rest” when it comes to Islamic finance transactions. In Dubai, Anzal Mohammed is “a fantastic practitioner”. He heads the capital markets practice in the Middle East, as well as the firm’s global Islamic finance practice.

The firm’s structured finance team also performs well this year. Salim Nathoo manages the firm’s global securitisation group and is well known in the field for his “intricate knowledge of auto finance transactions”. He is joined by David Wainer whose background in New York and Asia wins him praise for his “invaluable international experience”. Angela Clist is “a top-tier practitioner”. She works on both public and private securitisations.

In Luxembourg, managing partner Henri Wagner is regarded as “a real specialist in the field of structured finance”. Sydney-based Karolina Popic runs “a truly global practice” and delivers “innovative counsel to clients”.

Sidley Austin fields a “world class team” of capital markets specialists receiving 24 nominations, 16 of which relate to their debt and equity practice. In New York, Edward Petrosky co-heads the firm’s capital markets group. Considered "a naturally gifted lawyer", he wins praise for his "technically outstanding work". He is joined by Gerard Cummins whose “exceptional technical abilities" make him "a true asset" to clients. Known for "his strong expertise when it comes to debt and equity offerings", Norman Slonaker is considered "a truly remarkable practitioner". Samir Gandhi is "a commercially astute and dedicated adviser", while Joseph McLaughlin is "in high demand" for his "phenomenal understanding of US capital markets law".

Craig Chapman is "an extremely smart, sophisticated and astute practitioner" and leads the securities practice at the firm. Robert Robinson is “a first-class lawyer” and achieves listings for his “exceptional work” dealing with debt and equity as well as structured finance matters. In the San Francisco office, Eric Haueter “provides clients with strategic and practical counsel". He is regarded as "an immensely talented individual".

The firm’s debt and equity team also possesses a strong Asia-Pacific offering. Managing partner of the Sydney office Robert Meyers "is as smart as they come" and is known for his "world-class capital markets practice". Alongside him, Bruce Dailey is admired for his "strong eye for detail" and "measured approach". Mimma Barila "produces work of the highest quality" and possesses "expert analytical skills". The "utterly brilliant" Matthew Sheridan is based in Singapore. He "is one of the best" when it comes to Asian capital markets law.

Sidley’s structured finance team also performs well. Managing partner of the London office, Matthew Dening, runs "a top-tier practice" and "is an essential resource regarding European capital markets matters". “Standout lawyer" John McGrath "certainly knows his stuff when it comes to structured finance law". John Woodhall "is a true expert in structured finance law". He possesses "extensive experience in the field".

In New York, the "sensational" Carlos Rodriguez is "a firm favourite" when it comes to asset-backed securities and derivatives while Cathy Kaplan is considered "a truly exceptional lawyer" among peers and clients alike. Her practice encompasses structured insurance products, cross-border transactions and structured notes. Renwick Martin is a “terrific structured finance lawyer" whose "expertise in the field knows no bounds". In Hong Kong, managing partner of the Asia-Pacific region, Thomas Albrecht, wins praise for his "encyclopaedic knowledge of the Asian legal market".

Linklaters achieves 23 listings with a vast presence, most notably across Europe. On the debt and equity side António Soares heads the corporate finance practice in Lisbon and has “a strong grasp of technical capital markets issues”. Managing partner of the Stockholm office, Fredrik Lindqvist is “well versed in corporate and securities matters”, while in London, Lachlan Burn regularly advises clients on debt securities, convertible bonds and repackagings.

The structured finance practice also performs well this year. Global head of capital markets, Michael Voisin is “a prominent practitioner in the market” and is described by peers as the “go-to lawyer when it comes to complex financial repackagings and derivatives”. Alongside him, the “remarkable” Vinay Samani provides “practical and considered advice to clients” who include investment banks, asset managers and corporates. Belgium-based David Ballegeer is recognised for his “outstanding” debt and equity as well as structured finance work.

In the Hong Kong office, head of capital markets Andrew Malcolm’s “extensive transactional experience” makes him “a favourite among clients”. The “fantastic” Mary Matson is commended for “her solutions-oriented approach” and “excellent capital markets practice”.

With an impressive 20 listings, Baker & McKenzie demonstrates the strength and depth of its capital markets expertise. Andrew Reilly heads the firm’s US capital markets practice in Australia, and focuses on US securities, private placements and public offers of debt and equity securities. Alongside him, Craig Andrade has over 20 years of experience in the field. His “extensive legal experience”, encompassing New York, South Africa, London and Australia, has led many to praise “his invaluable global expertise”. As managing partner of the Johannesburg office Wildu du Plessis represents both international and domestic financial institutions, corporate and private equity groups.

In Europe, Serhiy Chorny is considered “one of the best capital markets lawyers in Ukraine”, while Brussels-based Koen Vanhaerents is admired for “his hands-on approach and client friendly practice”. In London, the “technically gifted” Jonathan Walsh leads the firm’s structured capital markets team and co-heads the global securitisation practice group.

Latham & Watkins achieves 17 listings this year. In Los Angeles, Julian Kleindorfer is “a top-tier practitioner” who possesses “phenomenal understanding and knowledge of the REIT space”. The “superb” Casey Fleck regularly deals with both public and private capital market transactions. Vice chair of the firm’s global corporate department Michael Sturrock represents both issuers and underwriters, who describe him as “a cut above the rest” when it comes to dealing with Asian capital markets. Alongside him in the Singapore office, Rajiv Gupta “continues to impress” both clients and peers alike.

The firm’s “brilliant” structured finance team in London is represented by Lene Malthasen who is regarded as “a star in the field”. Mark Nicolaides possesses particular expertise in structuring and documenting investment vehicles and asset-backed securities.

At Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Adam Givertz "is a first-rate practitioner whose knowledge of the market is second to none". Clients "would not hesitate to recommend" Christopher Cummings for his "impressive depth of expertise". In New York, Greg Ezring "always goes the extra mile for clients" who commend him for his "strong commercial approach". He co-heads the firm’s North American capital markets and securities group with the "accomplished" John Kennedy, who is praised for "his strong grasp of complex financial issues". Tong Yu is "a leading capital markets lawyer in Japan" and is considered "a true expert in the field".

Two lawyers at Sullivan & Cromwell feature in our section of most highly regarded practitioners for their leading debt and equity practices. In Sydney, Waldo Jones “is one of the very best in the world” according to clients, who include corporations, broker-dealers and non-US governments. Co-ordinator of the firm’s corporate and finance group in New York, Robert Buckholz is “a fantastic operator” and applies “his wealth of knowledge” to debt and equity-related financings.

At Arthur Cox, head of the capital markets group Cormac Kissane is “in a league of his own”. He is “a heavyweight in the market”, particularly with regards to the establishment of covered bond programmes. Richard Truesdell Jr at Davis Polk & Wardwell “is one of the greats” in capital markets. His “impressive roster of clients” includes giants of the financial world such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse. At SZA Schilling Zutt & Anschütz Rechtsanwalts, Markus Pfüller "never fails to deliver intuitive and insightful counsel to clients" on issuances and securities trading.

Farmida Bi at Norton Rose is “a very prominent name in the UK market” when it comes to Islamic finance. She heads the firm’s European Islamic finance group, and is considered “a real authority on Islamic finance and securitisations”. In Dubai, Rahail Ali is global head of Islamic finance at Hogan Lovells. He possesses an “acute awareness of clients’ needs”, and is the “first port of call regarding inaugural sukuk issuances”.

At Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Richard Schetman is “an absolutely superb structured finance lawyer”. With over 20 years of experience in the field, his practice covers asset repackagings, funded derivatives and securitisation structures. Slaughter and May’s Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya regularly acts for leading financial institutions and investment funds, and boasts “a stellar reputation in the market”. Cape Town-based Clinton Van Loggerenberg is admired by clients for “his ability to apply practical knowledge to a transaction” and “provide bespoke feedback”. At Morais Leităo Galvăo Teles Soares da Silva & Associados, Carlos Osório de Castro is “a great strategist” and “reassuring adviser” according to clients. Hailed as "the go-to lawyer for substantial derivatives and hybrid instruments", Marina Anselmo Schneider at Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados is described as "a Brazilian capital markets specialist". At Bonn Steichen & Partners, Laurent Lazard "provides bespoke and tailored advice" to clients, and is noted for "his first-class capabilities". 

At his own firm, Yozua Makes is a “highly accomplished practitioner” and impresses with his “meticulous handling” of cross-border capital markets transactions.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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