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Derivatives & Structured Finance

Our Derivatives & Structured Finance team regularly advises all types of end users and dealers of derivative instruments across the complete range of derivative instruments and asset classes and in relation to structuring and negotiating complex and bespoke financing arrangements, including under the ISDA, GMRA, GMSLA and LMA framework documentation.

Our derivatives experience goes beyond merely negotiating ISDA documentation and reviewing confirmations. We provide a comprehensive service to our clients, advising them on the structural, legal, regulatory, documentation and practical considerations that arise in derivatives and structured finance transactions.

We have in-depth experience with derivatives in the context of structured finance, public finance, energy trading and supply, corporate treasury, regulatory, tax, bankruptcy and litigation. Our team also has notable expertise and extensive experience in the derivatives and structured finance aspects of project finance, infrastructure, leveraged finance, acquisition financings, asset-based finance and capital markets. We have a wealth of experience in equity financing transactions involving equity derivatives and margin loans, and our lawyers have regularly acted for both lenders and borrowers in such transactions.

We are recognized for global asset-based lending (ABL), with our lawyers having a depth of expertise in the most complex structured ABL and asset finance transactions, including in new markets and/or asset classes. Our ABL practice is among the most active in the world, and we routinely advise clients on cross-border transactions and on industry-specific financings involving regulatory issues (e.g., automotive, aviation, energy, healthcare and insurance).

Our team advises on US, UK, European, Middle Eastern and Asian transactions (including cross-border and involving Islamic finance derivative products) under English and New York law, acting for international and regional banks, building societies, hedge and private equity funds, pension trustees, asset managers, alternative credit lenders, corporations, multinationals and investors. Our combined English and New York law strength gives us a global reach in derivatives and structured finance and is another key market differentiator.

We ensure that our clients are kept up to date on the important and increasingly complex and evolving financial, transactional and regulatory framework. We pride ourselves in delivering the highest-quality legal and practical advice, tailored to our clients’ needs.

Why Choose Us

  • We value the relationship – We are relationship-driven and committed to developing long-term relationships with our clients.
  • Commitment – We invest in our relationships with clients in order to develop a deep understanding of their businesses, the challenges they face and the opportunities they wish to take. We spend time getting to know each client, their people, the way they work and how they want us to work with them.
  • We have a dedicated and efficient team – Hands-on and partner-led at all times, we have significant experience and a proven track record.
  • Straightforward, practical, commercial advice – Our advice is focused on closing transactions efficiently and with minimal hassle and not over-lawyering points. 
  • We will deliver – We have a depth of resources to ensure seamless support and can be nimble in providing whatever is needed. We are driven by achieving results for our clients. 
  • Cross-border specialization – We have both English law and New York law derivatives and structured finance capabilities supporting transactions globally. 
  • Sector expertise – We have dedicated corporate, regulatory, energy, commodities, maritime, aviation, healthcare, insurance, shipping and tax sector specialists, so we, as trusted advisers, can work seamlessly with our clients and their teams to ensure the right result.

Our team’s recent experience includes the following:

  • Major shipping and global energy and logistics solutions providers in the Asia Pacific region – Advising the buy side from a derivatives perspective, on the negotiation of financing documents related to shipping finance transactions with a view to providing client(s) with greater protections and flexibility. 
  • Sector-focused providers of specialist infrastructure services in the UK – Advising on their first derivative transaction, including negotiating ISDA agreements and providing regulatory advice. 
  • Various groups of lenders and hedge banks, as well as sponsor groups – Advising in connection with the interest rate and foreign exchange hedging transactions for several project finance and shipping finance transactions in Asia, the Middle East and South America, as well as infrastructure finance transactions in Europe and including Islamic hedging instruments. 
  • UK pension trustee – Advising in connection with the entry into ISDA and GMRA trading relationships. 
  • US leading global energy company – Advising in respect of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and the determination of its status under EMIR. 
  • Syndicate of major international financial institutions – Advising on a syndicated margin loan financing referencing UK-listed shares, including specialist advice with respect to financial collateral arrangements and enforcement. 
  • US financial services company serving the middle market with creative and flexible capital solutions – Advising in connection with a repurchase facility referencing equities in various jurisdictions. 
  • Major Saudi Arabian banks and institutions – Advising in relation to various derivative trading transactions (including Islamic derivatives products), with leading global banks worldwide as counterparties. 
  • Leading European direct lender and credit asset manager – Advising on a strategically important and complex cross-group financing arrangement to be used for the basis of a major note issuance program across Europe, including the structuring and negotiation of true sale arrangements. 
  • Various asset managers – Advising in connection with the negotiation of ISDA master agreement and credit support annex documentation, prime brokerage documentation and interest rate hedging documentation. 
  • Multinational telecommunications company – Advising with respect to its strategically important hedging arrangements in connection with the financing for a joint venture between a cable network and a mobile phone network, creating the leading fixed-mobile provider in the UK. 
  • Sovereign wealth fund – Advising on a third-party securitization financing for its evergreen origination platform with a leading financial services firm, with the purpose of meeting growing corporate demand for flexible capital solutions in Europe. 
  • London-based international financial institution – Advising in relation to the structuring and negotiation of a structured finance transaction for the purpose of providing the counterparty with access to liquid assets to be able to comply with liquidity requirements. 
  • Multinational semi-conductor producer – Structuring and negotiating an ISDA arrangement to satisfy obligations to cover the cost of CO2 certificates required by energy suppliers. 
  • Various corporates and international investment banks – Advising on numerous syndicated and bilateral margin loan financings referencing shares listed in a variety of jurisdictions, including Canada, Germany, India, the US, the UK and the Middle East. 
  • Corporates and investment banks – Advising corporates and investment banks in relation to equity collar financings. 
  • Major financial institution – Advising on the implementation of margining requirements for its non-centrally cleared derivatives. 
  • Financial institutions and sponsors and borrowers on a global basis – Advising and negotiating on LIBOR transition with respect to loans, bonds and swaps. 
  • Various corporate clients – Negotiating covered call transactions in connection with a Euro convertible bond. 
  • Major swap dealers – Negotiating ISDA agreements with major swap dealers on both a standalone and group basis in connection with financings and refinancings. 
  • Various corporate clients – Analysis of forward agreements under the US Bankruptcy Code. 
  • Leading investment fund – Advising on negotiating and completing a transaction in relation to the acquisition of a large portfolio of distressed debt from two leading European banks.

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Legal Directories

  • Newly ranked in Tier 3 for Derivatives and Structured Products – The Legal 500 UK 2024


  • “The practice is largely new but shows a lot of promise with Leona McManus at the helm.”
  • “The wealth of experience and the extensive network in the field of derivatives and structured products means they can come up with practical and innovative solutions to every problem.”
  • Depth of knowledge, grasp of complexity and high standard of deliverability.
  • Ranked in Tier 2 for Asset Based Lending – The Legal 500 UK 2024


  • “The team is very experienced and highly knowledgeable in the cross-border ABL space.”
  • “They have good understanding of ABL structures and practices, including innovative approaches that can be taken when putting together a multijurisdictional deal.”
  • “The team is very commercial and displays excellent attention to detail, additionally it works very well with its regional and international offices.”
  • Leona McManus is ranked as a Leading Individual in the Derivatives and Structured Products category – The Legal 500 UK 2024


  • “Leona McManus is a great lawyer and a pleasure to work with. She provides timely, concise and practical advice on the matters we have worked together on. She is also an approachable person and someone who works collaboratively with other teams. I look forward to working with her again.”
  • “Leona McManus has worked with us for many years and we value her expertise and diligence.”
  • “Leona McManus demands recognition for her focus, commitment and drive to provide the best result.”
  • “Leona McManus provides precise and pragmatic advice. She is also resourceful and great on client care.”
  • “I have worked with Leona McManus whilst she was with her previous firm. She went over and above to get a difficult deal closed and was highly knowledgeable of the subject matter.”
  • Paula Laird is ranked as a Leading Individual in the Asset Based Lending category – The Legal 500 UK 2024


  • “The exceptional Paula Laird is very experienced and knowledgeable.”
  • “Paula Laird is one the key figures of ABL in the London market.”
  • Tom Dell’Avvocato is ranked as a Rising Star in the Asset Based Lending category – The Legal 500 UK 2024
  • Leona McManus is ranked as Up and Coming in Capital Markets: Derivatives – Chambers UK 2022, 2023 and 2024
  • The asset based lending practice is ranked as Band 2 Banking & Finance: Lenders: Lower Mid-Market – London (Firms) – Chambers UK 2023

Derivatives Associated Women’s Network (DAWN)

DAWN is an initiative that is focused on bringing senior women across the derivatives and structured finance industry together, primarily for the purposes of:

  • Building their networks
  • Meeting others in the industry to:
    • Discuss the current trends and transactions in the market
    • Share knowledge and reflect on ideas and thoughts related to transactions
  • The general navigation of their careers

DAWN’s aim is to work together to build a strong network that helps develop the participants as individuals on their journey to being female leaders in the financial industry. DAWN was initiated with a recognition of the importance of having a strong network within the field of one’s industry and expertise and the value that comes with knowing (and keeping in touch with) people with an understanding of the industry and the challenges and opportunities faced in daily lives, on a professional and personal basis.

Past DAWN Events

  • 13 July 2023 – Champagne and Cocktails at Aqua Shard
  • 27 September 2023 – Wine Tasting Evening