The Russian practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner
(BLP), an award-winning international law firm
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Banks & Financial Institutions

The Global team of Banking & Finance practice advises many of the world’s leading financial institutions in relation to the full range of international and domestic financial markets products. We are growing rapidly and currently comprise over 200 lawyers globally the majority being based in London and Moscow and others based in our Abu-Dhabi, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore offices.

We focus on all aspects of finance, including structured products and derivatives, securitisation, leveraged finance (including public and private acquisition finance), asset finance, project finance, real estate finance, capital markets, tax-based structured finance, venture capital lending, trade finance, workouts, restructuring and insolvency.

We offer an integrated service providing transactional and regulatory advice to a broad range of clients including domestic and international banks and borrowers, other financial institutions and intermediaries and corporates, acting on many complex transactions both in Russia and internationally. We focus on providing clients with business sensitive solutions to complex problems.

In particular, and in response to the current economic climate and resulting market conditions, we offer debt restructuring capabilities our experts in which possess extensive cross-border experience on restructuring and workouts of all forms of debt, structured credit and securitised assets, consistently working on demanding and innovative deals. This experience enables us to anticipate and mitigate the likely concerns of all parties, so even the most challenging transactions proceed smoothly.

Specific expertise includes:

Asset Finance
Our asset finance team provides a full range of legal advice to financiers, finance arrangers, owners and operators, in the private and public sectors, in connection with medium and big-ticket asset finance. Our particular areas of expertise include the financing and operation of shipping and other maritime assets, offshore installations including FPSOs, aircraft, railway rolling stock, containers, commercial vehicles and trailers, medical and computer equipment as well as other plant and machinery.

Acquisition finance
We provide expert advise to banks and financial institutions, including private equity houses and funds, to help finance leveraged transactions through a mixture of both senior debt and mezzanine finance funding; to support management and institutionally led buy-outs and corporate acquisitions ranging from £10m to £300m. We advise on total debt solutions across a wide range of areas, including management buyouts / buy-ins, public to private transactions, recapitalisations, share buy-backs, corporate acquisitions, syndicated finance and secondary buy-outs. Our proactive measure, the acquisition finance group keeps close to its banking clients, ensuring that it is always aware of key market players and can identify opportunities to co-ordinate lenders for joint financing projects.

Banking
Our banking team provides transactional and regulatory advice to a broad range of clients including many different types of lenders and borrowers, including banks and other finance houses, listed and unlisted companies, both domestic and foreign.

We have technically skilled lawyers with specialities including bank and corporate lending and borrowing, both unsecured and secured; derivatives; public and private acquisition and leveraged finance; receivables financing; project and PFI finance; real estate finance; rescheduling and restructuring; servicing and special servicing; tax-driven and other structured finance; and trade finance.

Capital Markets
Our debt capital markets team provides both transactional and regulatory advice to a broad range of clients on a wide variety of capital markets products internationally. We assist arrangers, issuers, trustees, consent solicitation agents, rating agencies, investors and other market participants in relation to, plain vanilla bond issues, fixed and floating rate note issues, EMTN programmes, GDRs, convertible bonds and repackagings as well as securitisations and other structured capital markets products in a variety of jurisdictions.

Our securitisation team draws upon the combined, securitisation-focused resources and experience of our tax, real estate, real estate finance, corporate, projects and capital markets practices. We have advised the whole range of participants including, arrangers, swap counterparties, rating agencies and trustees in connection with the securitisation of a full range of assets. In particular, we have significant experience of advising on all aspects of commercial real estate securitisations (including B Note transactions) in conjunction with our top-ranked Real Estate Finance team. We have worked with assets in Russia and all of the major Western European jurisdictions, as well as with assets in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the United States.

Bank Debt Restructuring
Our banking team have experience in helping companies facing financial difficulties, lenders to and investors in them, company doctors and turnaround specialists. Responding to the current financial market conditions, there has been an increasing emphasis in the Finance practice on helping our clients actively plan ahead, to identify effective solutions, to take advantage of opportunities and stay on top of major risks.

We advise on refinancing, debt for equity swaps, the use of various restructuring techniques, strategic advice relating to the acquisition or disposal of distressed debt, security reviews, dealing with counterparty risks (including the options available to the non-defaulting party in the case of insolvent counterparties, difficulties of interpretation of derivative contracts arising in insolvency and restructuring cases, and all aspects of the termination of, and quantification of claims under, defaulted derivatives contracts) and a wide range of other corporate and financial issues arising from the current market conditions.

Islamic Finance
Our Islamic finance team has a detailed understanding of the conventional and Shari'a principles governing Islamic finance and financing techniques. We represent both Islamic and non-Islamic banks and financial institutions in relation to the full spectrum of commercial Islamic finance products. Our client base includes a number of major Islamic banks and financial institutions internationally.

The transactions on which we have acted include shipping finance, aviation finance, general asset finance, real estate finance, trade finance, receivables purchases using Ijara structures, credit sale agreements and project and infrastructure finance. Together with our market-leading tax practice, we also advise on alternative finance arrangements.

Project Finance
Our Project Finance team advise on major international project financings. We advise sponsors, lenders and procuring authorities across sectors as diverse as roads, hospitals, schools, social housing, police and fire services accommodation, oil and gas and energy (both conventional and renewable). Our team also has a strong emphasis on financing infrastructure for the energy industries. Alongside conventional power projects, we also have extensive experience of financing renewables projects.

Real Estate Finance
Our dynamic real estate finance team is a market-leading specialist team. Focussed on the funding of domestic and international real estate in all its forms, we act for the leading financial institutions, investors, developers and funds. We are active in all sectors of the global real estate finance market including investment, development and structured financings, originations for CMBS and principal financing. We work closely with senior lenders and mezzanine financiers and we have one of the leading syndication, sell down and A/B practices in the market.

Structured Finance and Derivatives
Our structured finance and derivatives team is a dynamic, market-leading group, with expertise in developing highly innovative structures across the full spectrum of structured finance and derivatives products. We have unparalleled experience acting on a large number of CMBS and CDO issues acting for issuers and investors and have considerable experience acting for both banks and corporates in negotiating hedging for specific loan interest liabilities and RPI receivables. We are also pre-eminent in property derivatives and freight futures agreements.

For more details about our international experience in Banking & Finance, please click here.


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Oleg Khokhlov
Partner, Banking and Finance, Moscow Israeli Desk
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