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Linklaters bolsters leveraged finance practice with triple partner hire in London

by jcp
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

Linklaters has expanded its Leveraged Finance practice with the appointment of three partners, Noel Hughes, Giacomo Reali and Christianne Williams, who join the group in London as market-leading high yield lawyers. This also marks the largest London-based team hire for the firm in recent years.

The leading team of high yield attorneys join from Vinson & Elkins and bolster Linklaters’ already strong leveraged finance capability. This enhances the Leveraged Finance group’s ability to execute market-leading leveraged finance transactions seamlessly across Europe, advancing the firm’s strategy of representing leading financial institutions and financial sponsors on their most complex leveraged financing transactions. The three new partners join London-based US qualified high yield partners Alek Naidenov, Mark Hageman and Colin Chang, working alongside a team of nine English law leveraged finance partners covering both lender-side and sponsor-side mandates for a range of financial institutions, credit funds and private equity firms.

Noel Hughes, who was Vinson & Elkins’ Head of Finance and M&A-Capital Markets in London, is a highly regarded practitioner in the leveraged finance market. Noel focuses on high yield bond financings and leveraged buyouts in a broad range of industries, both in the European and US markets. Noel has extensive experience guiding sponsors, issuers and investment banks through high-profile financings, including high-yield debt offerings, acquisition financings, debt liability management transactions and restructurings.

Giacomo Reali, who is fluent in six languages, will primarily focus on the Italian market, working alongside Linklaters’ team in Milan, as well as supporting the firm’s Spanish and French Banking and Capital Markets teams with his high yield capability. Giacomo represents financial institutions, private equity sponsors, asset managers, and corporations in cross-border financing transactions, focusing on high-yield debt offerings, acquisition and bridge financings and preferred equity investments.

Christianne Williams, who was counsel at Vinson & Elkins, focuses on international capital markets and cross-border leveraged finance transactions, with a particular emphasis on high-yield debt offerings. She has significant experience in high-yield financings for companies across Europe and emerging markets, with a particular expertise in the oil and gas, oilfield services, mining and natural resources sectors. Christianne also regularly advises on debt liability management transactions and restructurings.

Noel, Giacomo and Christianne’s combined skills complement the strength and depth of the Linklaters’ Leveraged Finance, Restructuring & Insolvency, Private Equity and Energy & Infrastructure practices, as well as the firm’s financial institution and financial investor relationships, a number of which the new partners have existing, strong connections with.

Noel, Giacomo and Christianne will join the firm at the end of this month.

Andy Vickery, Global Head of Finance, commented:

“We are pleased to welcome Noel, Giacomo and Christianne, whose combined expertise and dynamic skillsets will greatly strengthen a targeted area of growth for our Banking practice. They bring experience that strongly complements that of our High Yield and Leveraged Finance teams, and we look forward to working closely with them on our enhanced service offering to a global client base.”

Linklaters’ Banking team advises banks and other financial institutions, companies and governments on domestic and international bank financing transactions across every industry, commercial, financial and governmental sector.

The firm’s High Yield group is fully integrated into its Banking and Private Equity practices and comprises lawyers with leading high yield and restructuring expertise, while its Leveraged Finance group is at the cutting edge of the market and continues to advise on some of the biggest, most complex and innovative global deals.

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