Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: City firms expand finance and restructuring teams

RPC has added partner James Channo to its London corporate practice to provide clients with advice on IPOs, secondary fundraisings, cross-border M&A and joint ventures. Channo joins RPC from Ince, where he headed up the corporate practice, before which he was the London managing partner and head of corporate at Locke Lord.

Examples of Channo’s prior transactional experience includes the listings of Supergroup, Adriatic Metals, SolGold, BSF Enterprise and Roquefort Theraputics, as well as advising Derriston Capital on the reverse takeover of S4 Capital.

‘This is an important and strategic appointment for RPC,’ noted the firm’s head of commercial, Jeremy Drew. ‘It’s also an opportunity to support clients of the wider commercial group across our key sectors: retail, consumer, insurance, technology and media.’

Meanwhile, DLA Piper has bolstered its London finance, projects and restructuring practice with the acquisition of new corporate finance partner Charlotte Lewis-Williams from Pricoa Private Capital. Lewis-Williams brings to the firm expertise in corporate and leveraged and acquisition finance, with experience handling mid-market transactions and work in the private credit industry.

Lewis-Williams outlined the firm’s ambitions for the practice: ‘The idea is to grow the bench and make it more diverse, dynamic and able to take on more work for both existing clients and new clients in the finance, banking and private credit sectors.’

Asked about the kind of work she has in the pipeline, Lewis-Williams explained: ‘Direct lending is going to continue to be important– those are the sorts of deals that are quite high profile and can bring a fair amount of work in. They tend to be quite fast paced and come up quickly.

‘From a sector perspective, the larger projects and restructuring team in London is continuing to do a lot of work in the sports sector, which I want to feed into. Several other sectors are moving now, and companies are looking to find the right lender for the current economic climate – private credit is good for that.’

Elsewhere, Pinsent Masons revealed that it has hired Harjeet Lall as a new partner in its finance and restructuring team. Focusing primarily on structured finance and securitisation, Lall joins the firm from Mayer Brown, where she was co-chair of its India practice. Her clientele is made up of investment banks, asset managers and corporates, which she advises on a plethora of securitisation, asset-backed securitisation transactions, and private and public structured finance.

She boasts experience handling big-ticket deals, including advising Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank in a CMBS transaction backed by a portfolio of logistics properties owned by Blackstone. Lall is the sixth partner to join the Pinsent Masons’ financial services team in 2023 after Benoît Rose and Jan Saalfrank in Luxembourg, Andy Wright and Tom McHugh in Leeds, and Lisa Carty in Dublin.

In conversation with Legal Business, head of Pinsent’s structured finance team, Edward Sunderland, said: ‘We are looking to expand our finance practice, but not in all areas, as we are already quite big in sectors such as real estate and corporate lending.

‘We are having further discussions at a very senior level to bring in a couple of people. Hopefully we will get someone in the next month or two and another by the end of the year.’

Up north, Irwin Mitchell announced that it has expanded its private client services team in Manchester with the addition of new partner Stephanie Kerr. Kerr joins from Brabners, where she was a legal director in the litigation and regulatory team. Specialising in contentious probate, inheritance disputes and trust litigation, Kerr is also a full member of the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists and a member of ConTra.

In New York, Kirkland has lost partner Kate Vera to McDermott, where she will head up the employee benefits and executive compensation practice. Her clientele consists of private equity firms and their portfolio companies, which she advises on the executive compensation components of mergers and acquisitions, restructuring plans and IPOs.

Vera has experience assisting on significant corporate transactions, including representing Bristol Myers Squibb in its $13.1bn purchase of MyoKardia, a biopharmaceutical company in 2020.