Sidley’s Global Finance practice is comprised of lawyers who have pioneered the development of financial instruments for the world’s financial markets. Our team provides a comprehensive range of syndicated and leveraged finance, asset-based debt finance and structured finance legal services for clients and around the world. These transactions have involved issues unique to a broad range of industries and asset types, including energy, entertainment, healthcare, insurance, real estate, media, lottery awards and structured settlements.
Our team is highly attuned to the ever-changing international landscape, providing our clients with critical, real-time advice on transactions and issues arising out of the global financial market upheaval and the related governmental responses. The firm is consistently recognized as having one of the world’s leading finance practices by such well regarded publications as Chambers Global and Chambers USA. Sidley also ranks among the top U.S. capital markets firms in the Thomson Reuters league tables, both by deal value and by number of deals, with strong showings as both issuer and underwriter counsel in several major categories, including overall debt and equity, straight debt, asset-backed securities, investment-grade corporate debt and follow-on stock offerings.
Sidley’s reputation for innovation in the area of finance extends to Europe and the Asia Pacific region, with professionals qualified in U.S., Hong Kong, English, German and Japanese law. Our team advises originators, issuers, arrangers, trustees and agents in the key financial centers including, London, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney, as well as multinational clients from around the world. We also devote a significant amount of time and resources to understanding the impact of regulatory developments and the compliance hurdles imposed by new legislation and related regulations in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
Structured Finance and Securitization
Lawyers in Sidley’s Global Finance group were at forefront of the creation of many structured finance products: mortgage-backed securities in the 1970s; asset-backed securities and commercial paper conduits in the 1980s; commercial mortgage-backed securities conduits in the 1990s; and collateralized debt obligations and structured investment vehicles after that. Our team works on matters across the spectrum of structured finance transactions, including repurchase agreements and other asset-based lending arrangements, term asset-backed and mortgage-backed securitizations, conduit transactions, covered bond transactions and synthetic securitizations. We have experience with every major asset class, and many esoteric asset classes, and represent clients throughout the creation, management, restructuring and termination of structured finance transactions.
As shelf counsel or designated underwriter counsel for many publicly registered securities transactions, we have substantial experience with the issues that may arise, from compliance with the applicable legal requirements, to accounting and tax law considerations. Our lawyers represent issuers and underwriters in navigating disclosure, transaction and reporting requirements, including those recently adopted or currently contemplated by Congress, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. We also advise clients engaged in private placements and other transactions exempt from registration.
Syndicated and Leveraged Finance
Sidley’s syndicated and leveraged finance practice is ranked nationally as one of the leading syndicated lending practices representing agents, arrangers, lenders and borrowers. The finance transactions in which we assist clients involve a wide range of industries and have significant structural diversity. The firm advises on both secured and unsecured financings, with a particular emphasis on secured financings, multi-jurisdiction and cross-border secured financings, financings secured by unusual types of collateral, intercreditor, debt and lien subordination, collateral agency and collateral trust negotiations, and equity enhancements of debt financings. We also represent creditors and debtors involved in restructurings of troubled credits, debtor-in-possession financings, debt-for-equity exchange transactions, bankruptcy buy-outs and post-confirmation exit financings.
Structured Trade Finance
Our lawyers have represented financial institutions and other lenders on a range of structured trade finance transactions over the years, especially with respect to the financing of commodities. These secured, tailored structures are typically cross-border with multi-jurisdictional collateral issues to address, arising in both developed and emerging economies. The format might be one among several, including pre-export finance, the financing of receivables or payables, extensions of credit linked to repurchase obligations, warehouse finance, borrowing base facilities, and the financing of production facilities. Our experience with these forms of global supply chain financing has covered an array of natural resources: energy, metals, gold, agriculture, livestock, and recently even aquaculture. Given the competitive nature of this sector, we have also negotiated intercreditor and subordination agreements particular to structured trade financings.
Related Practice Areas
Few other firms can provide the comprehensive legal advice we offer in structured finance, leveraged finance, regulatory matters, derivatives and bankruptcy. Our financial services regulatory practice represents a broad range of financial institutions and related businesses in the U.S., the UK, Europe, Latin America and Asia. We are particularly well positioned to keep our clients informed about breaking legal developments because lawyers in our structured finance group represent various industry organizations, including SIFMA and ASF, in crafting their responses to legislative and regulatory reform proposals.
The firm also has one of the world’s largest restructuring practices, with extensive experience and resources in the U.S., the UK, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Both our transactional and litigation practices are among the world’s largest and most successful. This combined experience makes us well-suited to handle matters related to distressed assets, distressed structured vehicles and distressed credit and liquidity providers. Additionally, our strong securities and commercial litigation practice allows us to complement traditional transactional advice with forward-looking practical advice to minimize future disputes and manage risk. We are able to anticipate legal events and issues, formulate effective strategies and execute/litigate to implement those strategies. As financial markets and participants undergo dramatic change, we are able to provide our clients with the experience, technical knowledge and flexibility needed to operate in the new market.