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Clifford Chance

Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan Lewis

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Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan Lewis specialises in securitisation, structured finance, banking, derivatives and real estate finance.

Since 2010, Jonathan has had a strategic role in advising EFSF / ESM in relation to the resolution of the euro area sovereign debt crisis.

Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • Christ's College, Cambridge (BA Law) 1983
  • Worcester College, Oxford (BCL) 1984
  • Harvard Law School (LLM) 1985
  • Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York 1986
  • Called to the English Bar 1986
  • Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 1989
  • Secondment to Banking Supervision Division of Bank of England 1991-1993
  • Joined Clifford Chance 1995
  • Partner since 1999
  • Admitted as an avocat in Paris 2009

Awards and citations

  • Clifford Chance handles the full range of structured finance, including securitisation, repackaging, derivatives and alternative market financing products, and possesses French, English and US law expertise. Jonathan Lewis heads the practice jointly with newly promoted partner Julien Rocherieux; Lewis assisted the European Investment Fund with multiple matters, including the provision of guarantees to the ENABLE funding programme of the British Business Bank and the provision of guarantees to securitisations in Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK in the context of the European Commission and EIB Group's SME Initiative. Other work came from Elior, XPO Logistics and Crédit Foncier. Olivier Plessis made counsel.
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Derivatives, Structured Finance and Securitisation, 2019
  • "Clifford Chance provides French, US and English law expertise, acting for French and international banks as well as for issuers, including corporates, financial institutions and public sector clients such as municipalities. Alex Bafi, Cédric Burford and Jonathan Lewis are the names to note, with counsel Auriane Bijon and newly promoted counsel Olivier Plessis providing key support. Recent highlights include advising the banks, including BNP Paribas, Société Générale and UniCredit Bank, on Sanofi's €8bn bond issuance, assisting Unibail-Rodamco with its €2bn dual tranche hybrid bond issuance and advising the government of the Sultanate of Oman on the English and US law issues regarding its potential Rule 144A offering of debt securities and simultaneous sukuk offering. Natixis instructed the group to assist with Foncière de Région's cash tender offer on existing bonds and new issue of bonds. Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Morgan Stanley and Carrefour also count among the team's clients."
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Capital Markets: Debt, 2019
  • France, US and UK-qualified, Jonathan Lewis has long-standing experience in structured finance and derivatives topics. One client comments: "He is available, he has excellent listening skills and an extensive knowledge of structured products, which allows him to assist us in very complex transactions." He speaks English and French.
    Chambers Europe, France, Capital Markets: Derivatives, 2019
    Chambers Europe, France, Capital Markets: Structured Finance, 2019
  • "Clifford Chance assists financial institutions, corporates, insurers, asset managers, private equity funds and public entities such as European institutions with a broad variety of matters, with expertise spanning repackaging and factoring alongside more classic securitisation, derivatives and structured finance matters. Alternative market financing products are another key strength. The group, led by Jonathan Lewis and Frédérick Lacroix, undertakes domestic and cross-border work, with its capabilities in English, French and US law a major asset. Recent highlights include acting for GE Money Bank on refinancing a loan portfolio, which involved assisting with three sets of public RMBS securitisations by SapphireOne Mortgages with a total value exceeding €2bn. Together with the firm’s wider capital markets team, the department advised Carrefour on a non-dilutive cash-settled synthetic convertible bond issue and the corresponding equity options to hedge Carrefour’s risk exposure. Other work includes advising the European Investment Bank on the purchase of Class B1 and B2 notes issued by SC Poland Consumer 16-1. Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and the European Stability Mechanism are other clients. Counsel Julien Rocherieux is also noted."
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Derivatives, Structured Finance and Securitisation, 2018
  • "Jonathan Lewis is qualified in France and the UK and is referred to as one of the best names in Paris for his structured finance and derivatives practice. Sources further describe him as extremely versatile and knowledgeable. His client portfolio primarily comprises financial institutions and investment funds."
    Chambers Europe, France, Capital Markets, 2018
    Chambers Global, France, Capital Markets, 2018
  • "Clifford Chance provides ‘high-quality support thanks to a very professional and experienced team’. The firm runs a very prominent securitisation practice acting for arrangers and issuers; recent work includes advising on publicly listed securitisations of financial assets and on project and infrastructure loan refinancing through securitisation. Highlights included assisting GE Money Bank with the issuance by Sapphire One Mortgages FCT-2016-1 of debt securities – the first public securitisation of debt consolidation mortgage loans in France. It also assisted Natixis with the refinancing of intra-group loans via a French securitisation company issuing BMTN – the first listing of securities by a French securitisation company. The team also advises on derivatives. Jonathan Lewis and Frédérick Lacroix are the key names in the practice; counsel Julien Rocherieux is recommended for his ‘listening skills and attention to clients’ needs’."
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Derivatives, Structured Finance and Securitisation, 2017
  • Jonathan Lewis is a renowned expert in structured finance matters and is French, UK and US law-qualified. One client describes him as "the brain of securitisation," while another enthuses: "He always stays calm, even under pressure; I've never seen him lose his temper." He led the team in advising Crédit Foncier de France on the securitisation of significant French home loans.
    Chambers Global, France, Capital Markets, 2017 
    Chambers Europe, France, Capital Markets, 2017
  • Jonathan Lewis co-leads the Paris structured finance team and is qualified in French, New York and English law. He advises financial institutions, private equity funds and corporations in structured finance and derivatives transactions. His clear explanations are a help to clients, who say: "He doesn't hesitate to take the time to explain and re-explain if need be."
    Chambers Europe, France, Capital Markets, 2016
  • "Clifford Chance demonstrates ‘a very high level of expertise in complex subjects and gives result-oriented advice’. The ‘totally available’ 50-lawyer team fields one of the market’s most complete practices and has leading expertise in acquisition finance, corporate loans and project finance; regulatory work and structured finance are other areas of top expertise. The team acts for international and French banks, large corporations and investment funds. Recent highlights include advising the lenders on the financing of Apollo Management International’s buyout of Verallia. Key figures in the practice include the highly experienced Thierry Arachtingi and Daniel Zerbib. Benjamin de Blegiers is also recommended, while Jonathan Lewis and Frédérick Lacroix are key names for regulatory work".
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Banking and Finance, 2016
  • "Clifford Chance provides the ‘highest level of service’ on securitisation programmes and also handles derivatives. ‘Advice is always highly detailed and focuses on the key points’. The practice also has a rare and ‘very good mix of knowledge of securitisation vehicles and project finance structuring’. It advised Axione Infrastructures and its shareholders on the structuring and refinancing of existing indebtedness through a securitised loan. The firm also assisted Natixis Financement with a €550m credit card securitisation. The structured finance team is headed by Jonathan Lewis, who has ‘terrific in-depth expertise’, and Frédérick Lacroix. Counsel Julien Rocherieux has ‘strong experience, both in securitisation vehicles and in project finance, which is quite rare".
    Legal 500 EMEA, France, Derivatives and Structured Finance, 2016
  • Jonathan Lewis co-leads the Paris structured finance team and is qualified in French, New York and English law. He advises financial institutions, private equity funds and corporations in structured finance and derivatives transactions. His clear explanations are a help to clients, who say: "He doesn't hesitate to take the time to explain and re-explain if need be."
    Chambers Global, France, Capital Markets, 2016
  • Member of the UK Bar and also qualified in France and the USA, Jonathan Lewis is active in structured finance and securitisations. One source notes: "He is technically sharp and a smooth negotiator who always finds solutions. I would go to him for any complex transaction. We appreciate his ability to juggle a number of difficult financial matters and his familiarity with EU regulations."
    Chambers Global, France, Capital Markets: Derivatives and Structured Finance, 2015
  • Jonathan Lewis leads the firm's structured finance practice. He is well placed to handle international structured finance and securitisation matters thanks to being qualified in France, England and the USA. Clients appreciate his availability: "He works all the time - night and day - and is always available."
    Chambers Europe, Capital Markets: Derivatives/Structured Finance, 2014
  • Paris-based Jonathan Lewis leads the firm's structured finance practice. He is qualified in France, England & Wales, and the USA, and is well placed to handle international structured finance and securitisation matters. Clients appreciate his availability: "He works all the time - night and day - so he's easy to get hold of."
    Chambers Global, Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Securitisation & Derivatives Foreign Expert Based in France, 2014
  • "Clifford Chance’s 60-lawyer practice advises on a comprehensive range of products and impresses clients with its ability ‘to explore new structuring routes’. It has continued to play an instrumental role alongside the European Financial Stability Facility fund to help stabilise the eurozone. The team also attracted major debt refinancing instructions such as assisting the French government with the bail-out of Crédit Immobilier de France. It also advised on major acquisition, LBO and unitranche financings, notably including assisting a consortium including EDF with the financing of Total Infrastructure Gaz de France. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Thierry Arachtingi ‘defends banks very well’. He is recommended along with James Butters, Daniel Zerbib and Jonathan Lewis, who has ‘a major ability to address complex situations’."
    Legal 500, Banking and Finance, 2014
  • "Jonathan Lewis attracts warm praise for his work in derivatives and structured finance: He offers high-level technical advice on complex transactions. He's very impressive. His recent achievements include assisting OSEO with setting up its EUR4 billion EMTN programme".
    Chambers Europe, Capital Markets, 2013
  • "Jonathan Lewis led the team’s advice to the European Financial Stability Facility on the restructuring of Greece’s sovereign debt and the refinancing of Greek, Irish and Portuguese debts. Clients include Société Générale, Barclays Capital, and other financial institutions and corporations".
    Legal 500, Banking & Finance, 2013
  • "He [Jonathan Lewis] has a knack for translating financial and economic ideas into comprehensible legal language. He also gets to the most important issues immediately and has a straightforward style".
    Chambers Global 2012, Capital Markets, 2012
  • "Clifford Chance maintains its position across the board and is pushing the Firm's in higher tiers for structured finance and securitisation partly on the back of its star lawyer in the field Jonathan Lewis. The office moves up in banking thanks to a consensus from market commentators and a strong deal record".
    IFLR 2013, Capital markets - Structured Finance and Securitisation
  • "Jonathan [Lewis] and Cédric [Burford] are very good, we're very satisfied with what they're doing for us and [satisfied with their] legal knowledge. We consider them very good”.
    IFLR 2012, Capital Markets - Structured Finance and Securitisation
  • The American Lawyer Awards 2013 - Global Finance Deal of the Year, Strategic Advice to European Stability Mechanism in the context of the Euro zone debt crises.
  • The American Lawyer Awards 2013 - Global Finance Deal of the Year, Public Restructuring, for the Restructuring of Greek sovereign debt.
  • IFLR Awards 2013 – Inaugural winner of Financial Regulation Team of the Year (for Strategic work in relation to resolving the European sovereign debt crisis)
    "A stalwart in financial services league table for many years, the post-crisis period has seen Clifford Chance perform at the top of its game. Over the past year the magic circle firm has completed numerous transactions of strategic importance to the survival of the Eurozone, including advice to the European Financial Stability Facility, European Stability Mechanism and the European sovereign bond protection facility launched last year. The region's biggest financial institutions consistently rank Clifford Chance among their most trusted advisers".
  • IFLR Awards 2013 – Debt and Equity-Linked Team of the Year (for work including the Greek PSI Transaction)
  • IFLR Awards 2013 – Deal of the Year (Greek PSI Transaction)
  • "EFSF- An innovative way to achieve financial stability"
    The Lawyer Awards 2011 – European Banking and Finance Team of the Year