(L-R) Allen & Overy’s Alex Moezi, Philip Wood, Fraser Macdonald and Esther Lemmon with David Saunderson, chief executive of Cantab Asset Management
Finalists: Clifford Chance; Dechert; Linklaters (highly commended); Paul Hastings; Slaughter and May; Sullivan & Cromwell; White & Case (highly commended).
Allen & Overy took the award for Banking and Finance Team of the Year, sponsored by Cantab Asset Management, for advising Blackstone and Goldman Sachs on the acquisition and securitisation of a portfolio of buy-to-let mortgage loans being offloaded by the UK Asset Resolution, a government agency set up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to manage the mortgage portfolios of distressed and rescued banks.
The Blackstone and Goldman deal centred around £10.3bn of loans originated by Bradford & Bingley and Mortgage Express, making it the largest securitisation of its kind since the crisis. The transaction was complex because the acquisition of the loans was being funded by the concurrent securitisation, which had to comply with new US and EU risk-retention rules (which meant Goldman had to keep a portion of the securitisation on its own books).
Allen & Overy also needed to carry out a comprehensive due diligence of the loan portfolio and put in place new loan servicing arrangements before the sale date. And because the Blackstone entity purchasing the loans was set up in Luxembourg and the securitisation was being offered to investors in the US, the firm also had to address certain cross-border issues.
“A complex, novel deal and an easy winner,” a judge enthused.