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Clifford Chance welcomes two veteran Structured Finance partners

June 14, 2019

Clifford Chance welcomes two veteran Structured Finance partners

Clifford Chance today announced that James Cotins and Matthew Lyons have joined the Firm's Structured Finance practice as partners in New York. They join from Alston & Bird and bring extensive experience in all aspects of the securitization of loans and securities backed by commercial real estate.

Cotins and Lyons routinely advise all main participants in commercial real estate-related securitizations, including commercial mortgage-backed securitizations, resecuritizations and CRE CLOs, as well as net-lease and single-family rental securitizations. They also represent sponsors, issuers, underwriters, collateral managers, loan sellers and rating agencies in public and private financing transactions, as well as lenders and investors in the acquisition, disposition and financing of commercial real estate-related assets.

Clifford Chance's US Structured Finance team is led by partners Lee Askenazi and Robert Villani, both of whom have worked with Cotins and Lyons for many years. "Lee and I are very excited to bring Jim and Matt into the team," said Villani. "Their qualifications and experience are a valuable expansion of our capabilities in serving a sophisticated client base, both in the US and worldwide. But most importantly, Jim and Matt are the type of exceptional lawyers and colleagues that we and our clients require, and we look forward to fully integrating them into our practice and client relationships."

"With Jim and Matt coming onboard, we now have four structured finance partners with extensive experience in CRE CLOs 1.0 and 2.0 – more than any firm in the US," said Americas Capital Markets practice area leader Jon Zonis. "Combining this additional depth with our leading funds, REIT, real estate and tax departments further enables us to deliver market-leading capabilities to CRE companies, from structuring and formation to capital raising, financing and securitization."

"Clifford Chance's Structured Finance practice is one of the best in the country," said Cotins. "Matt and I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Lee and Robert, who are not only outstanding lawyers but longtime colleagues and friends."

"We were very impressed with the Firm's multidisciplinary approach and the breadth of its sector practice," said Lyons. "Clifford Chance's integrated, full-service global platform and collaborative culture are unique in the market and truly serve the needs of our clients doing business in the US and around the world."

Clifford Chance's global Derivatives and Structured Finance group serves clients from all major financial centers and is among the largest worldwide, with more than 150 lawyers. The Firm's US Structured Finance group was named "RMBS Law Firm of the Year" by GlobalCapital and is part of a broader Real Estate sector practice, which comprises nearly 70 lawyers and is ranked the third largest in New York by The Real Deal. The sector practice combines expertise in real estate, funds, capital markets, investments and joint ventures, M&A, finance, securitization, tax and regulatory.