Simmons builds buy-side CLO capability

14 Nov 2018

Former Freshfields structured products partner, James Grand has joined the structured finance & derivatives practice at international law firm, Simmons & Simmons, to lead its CLO offering.

James has spent over 20 years at Freshfields and specialises in advising both the sell side and the buy side on CLOs, as well as contentious and non-contentious derivatives work, structured credit, tax structured products, regulatory capital and prime brokerage. He is also an industry recognised authority on legal issues relating to the Euro, Brexit and the insolvency of banks and investment firms.

James will complement the firm’s already market leading team (which has been very recently ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500 for structured products and derivatives for 2018) and add further partner bench strength in the structured finance space.

The structured credit markets have seen significant expansion in 2018; CLOs in the EU are heading for record issuance of around €20bn, there has also been an influx of first-time managers into the CLO market and an increasing interest among US debt managers to establish an EU presence. This trend could eventually lead to consolidation among managers, opportunistic asset sales and M&A.

Paul Browne, head of Simmons & Simmons’ Structured Finance and Derivatives group said: “Brexit concerns have not noticeably slowed the expansion of the London CLO market and investor demand for CLOs remains robust. James’ arrival is a very exciting development for the firm and underlines our commitment to continue to expand our Tier 1 ranked structured finance team. We are thrilled to have someone of the calibre of James on-board, and I and the rest of the team look forward to working with him.”

James Grand also commented: “The Tier 1 Simmons & Simmons practice on both the sell side and the buy side, is the perfect platform for me to develop a substantial CLO practice, as well as to help further expand their market leading general structured finance offering. I have been immensely impressed with the strength in depth and quality of the team, and I cannot wait to get started.”

The Structured Finance and Derivatives team sit within Simmons & Simmons Financial Markets practice group. In the past 18 months the FM practice has grown with 14 new partners across the Firm’s 22 offices, including Amer Siddiqui (Asset-Backed Finance & Securitisation, UK) Matthew Hebburn (Structured Finance and Derivatives, UK), Simon Ovenden (Debt Capital Markets, UK), and Lee Irvine (Debt Capital Markets, Dubai), as well as making a number of internal partner promotions, such as Eucharia Bragg (Structured Finance and Derivatives, UK).

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