Financial Institutions

Sector Focus

Simmons & Simmons is embedded in the international financial and regulatory community. We understand the products our Financial Institutions clients deal with, the time constraints they experience and the regulatory pressures they are under and use this to provide clients with tailored, commercial and cost-effective advice. We work with our longstanding clients across the full range of legal specialties including complex structured finance work, cross-jurisdictional regulatory projects, highly sensitive employment issues and valuable disputes matters.

The Financial Institutions sector is the largest sector of the firm and the work we do for clients in this area is at the core of our business. We are recognised for our track record of innovation and the adoption of new technologies to continually improve the way we deliver our services. Our clients choose us to help them navigate the ever changing legal and regulatory landscape.

Some of our key strength highlights include:

  • 33 of the world’s top 50 banks have trusted us with instructions in the last year
  • Winner of the Silver Award for European Law Firm of the Year at the International Legal Alliance Awards 2012 
  • Best Specialised Financial Litigation Team 2012 in the 12th edition of the Décideurs Trophées du Droit European Tax awards 2013 
  • European Financial Services Tax team of the year – International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards 2013 
  • Employment Law Firm of the Year – Macallan ALB Hong Kong Awards 2013
  • Shortlisted for the IFLR European Awards 2013 for Structured Finance and Securitisation Deal of the Year and Financial Regulation Team of the Year
  • Highly commended amongst the Most Innovative Firms for Corporate Law and Client Service and Commended for Value Resourcing and Dispute Resolution in the FT Innovative Lawyers Report 2013 
  • Winner of the Acquisition International 2012 legal award for UK Competition Law Firm of the Year
  • Shortlisted for Finance Team of the Year for the Legal Business Awards 2013


We advise many leading financial institutions. The following highlights illustrate some of our experience.

A major investment bank

  • advising on the €155m AshOak synthetic CDO, comprising the issuance of a combination of five tranches of notes and swap obligations
  • advising on the Elm B.V. Crossbow Notes of static semi-public series of five single tranche CDOs of ABS and CDOs which used contingent cross subordination techniques.

A major investment bank

  • advising a major investment bank on its Cheyne Correlation CDO, the first managed CDO of single tranche CDOs where the reference entities of the single tranche CDOs can be hedged on an individual basis
  • acting for a major investment bank in successfully defending a UK Commercial Court action brought by Crédit Agricole Indosuez for monies allegedly due under a Letter of Credit. This was the first case of its kind and has become an authority on one aspect of Letters of Credit.

Bank of America

  • advising Bank of America in relation to the United Multi-Sector CDO, the first managed multi-sector synthetic CDO transaction for investors in Asia, and the United Global CDO12 III, both managed by UOB Asset Management
  • acting for Bank of America as arranger on the establishment of the Anchor CDO programme and seven synthetic CDOs of ABS and corporate portfolios issued under it.


  • advising Barclays Bank plc on the restructuring of an £18m loan facility in respect of a leveraged transaction. The bank was awarded Turnaround Finance Team of the Year 2004 by the Society of Turnaround Practitioners for its work
  • acting for Barclays Bank plc on the reorganisation of its existing range of Irish UCITS funds into an Irish domiciled multi-manager fund complex
  • advising Barclays Capital on its Vantage, Grafton and Umbria CDO transactions under the ARLO note issuance platform. These were synthetic CDOs of portfolios of ABS and baskets of corporate names
  • advising Barclays Bank plc on a £2bn synthetic collateralised loan obligation in respect of its portfolio of loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. This is the first public synthetic securitisation of an SME portfolio by a UK bank.


  • acting for Citibank as indenture trustee in connection with the restructuring of €4.5bn bonds issued by United Pan-European Communications (UPC)
  • advising Citibank as lead bank, on the insolvency of KPNQwest, a major pan- European telecoms company
  • advising Citigroup on the first ever private debt placement into the US by a Portuguese company, for Cimpor, the largest Portuguese cement manufacturer, valued at US$404m.

Deutsche Bank

  • advising a consortium of investors, including Deutsche Bank, Collins Stewart and Ecofin, in connection with the acquisition of Northumbrian Water Group plc for £2.2bn of new facilities. The structure used was ground breaking for an acquisition financing winning a number of awards including Corporate Finance European M&A Deal of the Year Award. Simmons & Simmons won the M&A/Private Equity Team of the Year Award at the 2004 Legal Business and The Lawyer awards for this transaction
  • advising Deutsche Bank as arranger on a number of cash CDOs backed by Genußchein, Schuldschein and German corporate debt.

JP Morgan

  • advising JP Morgan as arranger on the establishment of its Corsair platform and multiple managed and static CDOs issued under it
  • advising JP Morgan in relation to issuance of more than 15 separate issues of managed synthetic CDOs by Saphir CDO (Ireland) plc and Quartz CDO (Ireland) plc.

Merrill Lynch

  • advising Merrill Lynch as arranger and HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Ltd as trustee on a series of Japanese consumer loans. The overall transaction is valued at US$3.2bn and is the largest ever asset securitisation transaction in Japan
  • acting for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers Ltd in relation to the claim brought against it by the Unilever PLC pension fund.


  • advising WestLB on litigation and related issues arising out of a complex and innovative US$1.3bn securitisation of the cashflows of the UK’s leading television rentals business
  • advising WestLB in relation to its debt in Odeon Cinemas during an auction of the Odeon Group and its subsequent sale to Terra Firma Capital for £400m.