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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
News and awards

News and awards

Clifford Chance announces new senior leadership in London

8 December 2017

Clifford Chance announces new senior leadership in London

Clifford Chance has appointed Michael Bates to lead the firm's London office and Emma Matebalavu to head the London Finance Practice. Both begin four-year terms 1 January 2018. Michael succeeds David Bickerton, who will return to fee-earning full-time, while Emma picks up the reins in Finance from Michael Bates who has held the regional Practice Area Leader position for the past seven years. Simon Sinclair has also been re-appointed as Practice Area Leader for Capital Markets in London, after serving a successful first term.

Michael has been a Partner at Clifford Chance since 2001. He specialises in banking and capital markets work including, structured finance, syndicated lending, acquisition and leveraged financings, primarily in the infrastructure sector, and restructuring. Clients include corporates, financial sponsors and lenders.

David, who has been in the role since 2009, was previously the head of the London capital markets practice. He joined Clifford Chance in 1987 as a trainee, making partner in 1997.

Commenting on his appointment to Regional Managing Partner, London, Michael said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on this role. Our London office has a fantastic team and is in a very strong position, doing our best ever client work. I look forward to collaborating with clients and colleagues as we further enhance our position in the UK market, and as part of the firm's incredibly powerful global platform."

Emma has been a Partner since 2008. She specialises in real estate finance, loan portfolio acquisition financings and all types of structured debt. Clients include banks, insurance companies and fund investors.

Simon has been a Partner since 2004 and head of the London Capital Markets practice since 2013. He has a broad debt capital markets practice, with particular focus on regulatory capital, hybrids and equity-linked products.

Clifford Chance Managing Partner Matthew Layton comments: "We have an excellent platform in London, and a team with a demonstrable ability to adapt: addressing shifts in the economic and regulatory landscape and positioning the firm at the forefront of emerging market trends. While I do not expect that pace of change to slow, Michael's extensive leadership experience and his strong connections with some of our largest clients in London mean he is well placed to work with the partners and our wider team to help us grasp the opportunities this change presents – whether as a result the UK's exit from the EU or the fast-evolving role of technology. I am delighted also to welcome Emma into the finance leadership role. Emma brings us fresh insights and perspectives that will additionally strengthen the firm's agility and resilience as we chart our course for the period ahead."

Matthew adds: "I would also like to thank David for his leadership. During David's tenure, the London office has built on its impressive track-record and contributed greatly to the success of the firm. I know his clients will be delighted that he can now dedicate more of his time to working with them."

Recent client work highlights from the firm's London team include:

  • Appointment to the UK Government's new finance and complex legal services panel, which David led;
  • Advising Danish pension funds PFA and PKA on the £2bn acquisition of world's largest wind farm;
  • Advising Imagination Technologies on its GBP 550m sale to Canyon Bridge;
  • Advising French utilities business ENGIE on the sale of its upstream and midstream LNG activities, liquefaction, shipping and international LNG trading, for an aggregate value of US$2.04 billion, including an earn-out of up to US$550 million;
  • Advising News Group Newspapers on litigation relating to phone-hacking at the News of the World;
  • Advising the lenders on the GBP 1.15bn purchase of The Leadenhall Building (or "Cheesegrater").