James is a highly experienced Structured Finance and Derivatives lawyer specialising in CLOs, contingent FX and interest rate hedging, cash and synthetic portfolio acquisitions, repo and other collateralised trading structures, risk sharing and balance sheet funding structures. His practice focusses on providing transactional, regulatory and semi-contentious advice to institutional investors and to CLO and debt portfolio managers in relation to CLOs, fund and debt portfolio financings and regulatory capital trades as well as providing transactional, semi-contentious and insolvency related advice to banks and investment firms on large scale risk sharing and balance sheet funding structures, third party collateralised funding and prime brokerage, close-outs of derivatives and trading portfolios and CDS. He is a noted industry expert on the Euro and the impact of Brexit on the UK’s financial services and markets.
- Recent Work
- advising Investcorp Credit Management EU as portfolio manager on Harvest CLOs VII to XVII, including warehousing, term issuance, refinancings and resets
- advising a major US investment bank on the updating, remodelling and the renegotiation of its global custody arrangements with 15 providers across 57 jurisdictions
- advising Barclays on establishing the £3bn Griffon Funding balance sheet securitisation programme for commercial real estate loans using a UK securitisation company with a single equity investor
- advising Mariner Capital and Pacific Alliance Group on bilateral investments in first loss positions referencing portfolios of SME, CRE and infrastructure loans held by Italian, German and French banks
- advising a major French bank on contingent FX and interest rate hedging in the context of acquisitions and sales of businesses in the US, the EU and Japan
- advising a major US investment bank on bondholder CDS exposures in the context of a restructuring
James joined Simmons & Simmons as a partner in the Structured Finance and Derivatives team in November 2018.
James trained at a leading international law firm and qualified into the Finance Department in 1997, specialising in derivatives, securitisation and structured products. After working as an associate in Paris and Milan, he returned to London in 2003 and built up a substantial CDO, CLO and derivatives practice, becoming a partner in 2007. During the Financial Crisis he was a key adviser to US and UK investment banks on exposures to the Icelandic banks, Lehman Brothers and other financial counterparties, in one case, coordinating the world-wide close-out of derivatives positions against the Lehman Group and restructuring the prime brokerage platform of a major US investment bank. From 2008 to 2013 he served on the Financial Markets Law Committee established by the Bank of England. James was Co-head of his firm’s Eurocrisis Group advising the Bank of England, the ECB and VISA on aspects of Grexit and the Cyprus banking crisis. He subsequently became Co-head of his firm’s Brexit Group with responsibility for coordinating all client and internal work on Brexit within the firm. He co-authored TheCityUK’s 2017 report on the Impact of Brexit on the UK’s Financial Services.
James is qualified as a solicitor is England and Wales. Before becoming a lawyer he served in The Parachute Regiment.