Banking and finance focus: Back to the future

Banking and finance focus: Back to the future

‘The truth is no-one’s got the faintest idea what finance practices will look like in the future,’ shrugs Tony Bugg, Linklaters’ head of banking, when asked to describe a top City finance practice in 2030. Of the dozens of London finance chiefs and partners to whom Legal Business posed the question, Bugg’s take is at least one of the more candid.

If the last decade is any guide, the finance world will be girding itself for more wrenching change. The post-banking crisis environment has seen a dramatic increase in regulation and oversight of banks and helped encourage the growth of institutions filling the void as senior lenders retrench. Continue reading “Banking and finance focus: Back to the future”

‘No blueprint’: Looking back at Lehman’s wind-up

‘No blueprint’: Looking back at Lehman’s wind-up

Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (LBIE)’s 5,500 employees left the London office at 25 Bank Street on Friday 12 September 2008 expecting to return on Monday morning to their weekly routine. As did their colleagues in the rest of the world.

Not that life had been easy up to that point. Global financial turmoil had been going for around a year and Lehman had just posted a $3.9bn third-quarter loss amid the subprime mortgage crisis. Yet, the sense was that the bank founded in 1850 would be bought out by either Barclays or Bank of America, despite the US government’s resistance to bailing it out. Continue reading “‘No blueprint’: Looking back at Lehman’s wind-up”

Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head

Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head

Marco Cillario sizes up the pros and cons for legal advisers of the current ICO boom

‘We are in an odd position: we feel we need to be closely involved in this, but there is a reputational risk because there is a lot of fraud.’ Understandably, the partner expressing this view does not want himself or his firm identified. But such words still sum up many securities lawyers’ feelings on the hottest topic in their field for years. Continue reading “Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head”

Eversheds Sutherland settles £100m Northern Rock negligence case

Eversheds Sutherland settles £100m Northern Rock negligence case

A £100m claim brought against Eversheds Sutherland by Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) has been settled.

NRAM’s claim, which came to light in late 2016, alleged professional negligence in relation to advice the legacy Eversheds firm provided following a review of two annual statements for a ‘together loan’ – a combination of a secured mortgage and an unsecured loan at a single interest rate with one combined monthly payment. Continue reading “Eversheds Sutherland settles £100m Northern Rock negligence case”

‘Incredibly strong’ – debt counsel gear up for another boom year in leveraged finance

‘Incredibly strong’ – debt counsel gear up for another boom year in leveraged finance

Nathalie Tidman finds lawyers bemused by crazy pricing and a wall of debt

‘Short of Trump nuking North Korea, I can’t see any immediate problems on the horizon,’ reflects Latham & Watkins partner Christopher Kandel. It is safe to say finance advisers believe the recent bonanza of European leveraged finance activity will continue through 2018 on the back of another record year for the European market. Continue reading “‘Incredibly strong’ – debt counsel gear up for another boom year in leveraged finance”

‘A no-brainer’: Milbank hires four-partner Cadwalader team to upgrade City restructuring business

‘A no-brainer’: Milbank hires four-partner Cadwalader team to upgrade City restructuring business

It has long been a prestigious New York shop without ever quite gaining critical mass in London, but Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy looks to be widening its ambitions after securing a four-partner restructuring team from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

The move greatly expands Milbank’s City finance team, and includes Cadwaladers’ global financial restructuring co-chair Yushan Ng. He will be joined by partners Jacqueline Ingram, Karen McMaster and Sinjini Saha. Clients of the team include brand name sponsors Oaktree, KKR, Centerbridge Capital Partners and Blackstone. Continue reading “‘A no-brainer’: Milbank hires four-partner Cadwalader team to upgrade City restructuring business”

Waiting for Carney – hard times and hard choices for restructuring counsel

Waiting for Carney – hard times and hard choices for restructuring counsel

‘Restructuring types will tell you the market’s just about to take off. It’s all going to hell in a handcart – catastrophe just around the corner,’ says Peter Baldwin, partner and co-head of Ropes & Gray’s special situations practice. Baldwin’s comments, of course, carry more than a hint of irony as hardened insolvency practitioners have been confidently – and wrongly – predicting an explosion of demand for their services since the banking crisis, only to be frustrated by the New Normal of permanently low interest rates.

But while restructuring counsel have cut increasingly forlorn figures in recent years, like Beckett characters forever hoping for the arrival of their Godot – or at least a decent rate rise from Mark Carney – nearly ten years on from the global financial crisis, they wait still. Continue reading “Waiting for Carney – hard times and hard choices for restructuring counsel”

High-stakes: White-collar crime teams ready as SFO hits Barclays with landmark prosecution

High-stakes: White-collar crime teams ready as SFO hits Barclays with landmark prosecution

White collar specialists scramble in landmark prosecution

White-collar crime specialists have scrambled across the City as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) last month charged Barclays and four former executives with conspiracy to commit fraud, false representation and unlawful financial assistance in arranging a £7.3bn Qatar funding deal at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Continue reading “High-stakes: White-collar crime teams ready as SFO hits Barclays with landmark prosecution”