Finance Sector

For over a century, we’ve acted for leading financial institutions at the forefront of innovation – from creating new financial products to resolving high-stakes litigation and compliance matters.

Fifteen of the Global 20 banks, funds and a wide range of other lenders call on our teams for advice on complex transactions, litigation, and compliance and regulatory matters. Drawing on our long history of leadership in the public finance and structured finance markets, today we are recognized for excellence in areas from project finance to restructuring in markets worldwide. And, where needed, we combine that market knowledge with a deep bench of leading trial, appellate and compliance lawyers to help financial institutions navigate complex litigation and enforcement matters.

Public Finance

Dating back more than a century to our financing of California’s Golden Gate Bridge, we have dominated the U.S. public finance markets, including an average of 13 percent of the market share nationally over the past decade. We act for virtually all the leading underwriters and are consistently ranked among the top underwriters’ counsel in the United States by Thomson Reuters. Today, we are working on some of the most interesting P3 transactions, while also pioneering areas like charter school and tribal finance.

Securitization and Structured Finance

Our Structured Finance team is consistently ranked among the top issuers’ and underwriters’ counsel in the U.S., ABS, CMBS and RMBS markets. Our European practice likewise is a market leader, led by Chambers 2017 Band 1-ranked practitioners in France and Italy.

We act as counsel for major issuers and underwriters in the structured finance market, and we have a leading presence in CMBS, RMBS and CLO transactions; marketplace lending, credit cards, auto loan/lease and dealer floorplan transactions; and tender option bonds. In 2016 we worked on over 80 CMBS and RMBS deals with a total value of more than $45 billion. We also regularly represent clients globally on derivatives transactions across asset classes, including interest rate, foreign exchange, credit, commodity and equity products; on futures and swap clearing arrangements; and on regulatory matters, including those relating to Dodd-Frank legislation.

Project Finance

With 150 dedicated project finance practitioners worldwide, we are one of the few firms with a strategic commitment to covering the full breadth of the evolving energy markets. And we are a pioneer in the infrastructure and P3 market in the United States and globally. Our practices and teams are recognized globally as leaders in the sector. Chambers & Partners 2017 rates our teams across 24 energy and infrastructure categories in markets worldwide, including the United States, Africa, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea and the UK. Our experience spans 95 countries and all 50 U.S. states, including groundbreaking projects across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. We bring distinctive local market knowledge to our emerging markets projects. We serve the Latin American market principally from our Houston office, where we have experience in oil and gas, power, and renewables projects throughout the region. In Africa, we are playing a role in virtually every major project underway today. We serve the continent from our affiliated office in Abidjan – the only such team in Africa affiliated with an international firm – as well as dedicated teams in Paris, London, New York, Washington, D.C., and Hong Kong. And we serve Asia from Tokyo and Hong Kong, where we advise the most active participants in the pan-Asian infrastructure/PPP, energy, renewables, and oil and gas markets.

Bank Lending

About our Banking & Finance team, clients report to Chambers that we "understand what it's like to run a business and are able to give advice that isn't just theoretical." In 2016, we provided counsel on leveraged and specialty finance transactions totaling $10 billion. You can see our innovation at play in the establishment of the Italian minibond market, which is making it easier for small and medium-size enterprises to tap into the debt capital markets. We collaborated with key market participants, including issuers, investors, regulators, banking industry groups and the Borsa Italiana, to create the market and its regulatory framework. Likewise, we are helping our clients pioneer the burgeoning marketplace lending space. We launched the first legal portal for the corporate direct lending community, which offers self-service tools for direct lenders and mid-market borrowers, as well as solutions to a wide variety of common issues that arise in direct lending transactions. And we worked with the French government and French legal and finance community to pass a law that allows foreign and alternative capital providers to make loans in France for the first time, including direct lenders.

Our work has earned us recognition worldwide. IFLR1000 ranks us as a leading firm for Banking & Finance in the U.S., France, Italy and Russia. Our UK team counsels mezzanine and unitranche lenders throughout the U.K. and Europe. Décideurs ranks us as a leader in Banking & Finance in France, and Chambers Europe 2017 says, of our banking team, that "the team does not hesitate to delve for new solutions." About our Africa focus, Chambers Global 2017 notes our “strong reputation for expertise in Africa," as our Africa team has provided counsel on the most significant debt financings across the continent.

Capital Markets

We counsel issuers and underwriters on capital markets transactions globally, including transactions governed by the laws of China, France, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and the United States, and we have deep familiarity and connections with regulators in these markets. We’ve acted for all of the leading investment banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets and UBS, among others.

Chambers USA 2017 commends our experienced team, which is "regularly sought after for its strengths in all manner of public equity and debt offerings," while a client notes our "enormous bench" and our ability "to give practical advice."

Restructuring

Chambers recognizes our restructuring team for leadership in the United States, France and Italy, while clients tell Chambers USA 2017 that we have "expertise that you can’t find elsewhere." Creditors such as The Royal Bank of Scotland, Wells Fargo, Citi, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole and Barclays Bank rely on our team to navigate high-profile, multibillion-dollar restructuring and bankruptcy cases. We represented advised on restructuring over $100 billion of debt in the last 18 months. We also regularly represent investment funds and their managers, such as our work with IFM Investors in its $6 billion debt restructuring of the Indiana Toll Road.

We represent a range of clients in the purchase and sale of distressed products, and our lawyers are well-versed in LSTA, LMA and ISDA standard trade documentation. We’re equally skilled in crafting documents tailored to suit the individual needs of our clients and their investments.

Real Estate

Our Real Estate team has closed more than $30 billion in deals since 2015. Our practice has a strong focus on sophisticated real estate private equity transactions, and covers everything from asset acquisitions/dispositions, joint ventures and financings to development, distressed debt investments and commercial leasing. We represent one-third of the top 30 private equity real estate investors, and have counseled on some of the most remarkable and challenging real estate deals for longtime clients like Westbrook Partners, Walton Street Capital, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, Tokyu Land Corporation, Colony Capital, LaSalle Investment Management and Fortress Investment Group.

With teams in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Milan, Paris, Düsseldorf and Tokyo, we combine worldwide coverage with on-the-ground support and market knowledge. As one client told Chambers USA: "They are deal makers, not deal breakers. They make sure you make the right decisions."

Financial Institution Litigation and Regulatory Compliance

Our Litigation and Appellate teams have achieved outstanding results for the world’s major financial institutions in their most complex disputes and enforcement matters. We’re equally focused on providing compliance counseling to avoid litigation altogether. Named a top five "Litigation Powerhouse" by Law360 in 2016, our Litigation department has established a winning record across a variety of forums for financial institution clients.

Our practice spans most of the world’s key financial centers, handling sophisticated matters for international banks and funds both home and abroad as well as helping U.S. clients navigate the unfamiliar terrain of foreign tribunals and regulatory schemes. We persuaded a federal appeals court to overturn the government’s signature prosecution arising from the financial crisis in the Countrywide "Hustle" case. We also obtained what The American Lawyer dubbed a "mega win" in a dispute known as "l’affaire Tapie," representing Consortium de Realisation, the government-controlled entity liquidating the assets of the bank Crédit Lyonnais, in one of the longest-running and most closely watched financial institution disputes in France’s history.

Fintech

Our fintech team strives to provide innovative legal solutions to help fintech companies of all sizes achieve their commercial and growth objectives. We also work with investment banks and other financial institutions on the financings that fund fintech companies and their activities. We were named a "Top Law Firm" at LendIt’s 2017 Industry Awards, designed to celebrate innovation and achievement throughout the fintech space.

Innovation in Finance

Financial Times named us the Most Innovative Law Firm in 2016, in part because of our innovations for the finance sector. We led a strategy to improve the ratings and reduce the borrowing costs for California's school districts by drafting California Senate Bill 222, which clarified for the first time in California that school districts should be rated based on property taxes rather than the overall financial condition of the district. We also helped the city of Richmond, California to issue social impact bonds to fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of dilapidated and vacant homes in the city for sale to first-time homebuyers.