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Growing the team: Mayer Brown hires DLA Piper’s head of structured trade finance

Mayer Brown, as it eyes an increase in cross-border asset-based lending (ABL) throughout Europe, has boosted its City banking and finance team with the hire of Alex Dell, DLA Piper’s structured trade and receivables finance head.

The senior ABL partner Dell will join Mayer Brown’s 50-lawyer banking group as it boosts its City loan offering. Dell particularly focuses on large, highly structured receivables financing and ABL transactions with a cross-border element. His client base covers banks, financial institutions, sponsors and corporates, and includes HSBC, Barclays and GE Capital.

Some of Dell’s key work includes acting for Barclays on the $1.5bn commodity and receivables financing arrangements provided to Essar Oil Limited; and representing an international borrowing group on the $1.5bn syndicated ABL facilities led by JP Morgan Chase in favour of Office Depot group.

Dominic Griffiths, who was appointed co-global head of Mayer Brown’s banking and finance team last September, said that Dell was the perfect fit having acted for sponsors and private equity funds, as the firm increasingly works with clients outside of the traditional ABL space like Grovepoint Capital. ‘The advent of alternative credit providers and funds moving into asset based lending has increased the opportunities for advisers like Mayer Brown,’ he added.

Both DLA Piper and Mayer Brown are ranked tier one in The Legal 500 for ABL, while Dell was previously named a leading individual for his work within trade finance. ‘We already have a substantial structured finance team, and built up the capital markets team last year, so building our loans practice was the next thing to build a stronger offering for our clients,’ said Griffiths.

Dell leaves DLA Piper after eight years, during which he also headed the ABL team London, and is expected to join Mayer Brown within the next three months. His addition will take the number of ABL partners to six, within the wider 20-partner banking team.

Griffiths said: ‘We work a lot on large loan facilities with our Paris and Frankfurt offices, but also across the region and in Asia. US lenders are showing a particular interest in expanding their reach across Europe and Asia and the established European banks are looking at consolidation of trade finance, receivables and asset based lending to provide an expanded offering to their corporate customers.

‘I have known Alex for a number of years. He has a strong and impressive practice, which mirrors our own focus on providing the best legal advice to financial institutions and companies in their European and global strategies.’