US Securitization Awards 2024: ABS Law Firm of the Year — Mayer Brown
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US Securitization Awards 2024: ABS Law Firm of the Year — Mayer Brown

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Distinguished by the size of its practice, the breadth of its expertise, the sophistication of its work and its unrivalled position on the front line of industry advocacy, Mayer Brown stands alone. Last year saw the firm once again involved in many of the year’s most high-profile deals, as they exceled across multiple market segments to take home GlobalCapital’s award for ABS Law Firm of the Year.

The firm’s reach spans the Americas, Asia and Europe. From agriculture to aircraft, and solar loans to synthetics, the firm is not only active but a leading force in virtually every securitization market. “The firm sees so many deals across such a wide variety of asset classes and that gives us a huge advantage,” says Ger Patrick O’Donnell, a partner at the firm and co-lead of Mayer Brown’s structured finance practice. By both the value and number of ABS/MBS transactions in 2023, Mayer Brown was the top ranked issuer counsel.

It is not hard to see why Mayer Brown’s deal flow is so impressive. The firm has more than 150 structured finance lawyers across 11 offices. Their expert regulatory team has helped attract clients in FinTech and newly evolving markets like home equity investment contracts. A world-class insurance team has made the firm the go-to partner for structuring capital-efficient ABS investments for insurance companies. Amid the rapid build out of green projects, Mayer Brown’s energy practice has opened the door to a wave of successful solar transactions. The firm’s Chambers Band One ranked consumer finance compliance team provides a one-stop shop for the most sophisticated and complex consumer finance transactions.

This breadth is one reason clients turn to Mayer Brown cutting-edge deals and also makes the firm incredibly adaptable to shifts in the securitization market. In 2023, markets were less open to personal loan securitizations, whereas home equity-based investments) (HEIs) took off. Mayer Brown seamlessly transitioned to HEIs, HELOCs, HELOC-based credit cards and other innovative products that took advantage of the increase in home equity.

“It’s a real strength for Mayer Brown that we’re not dependent on any one area,” says Julie A. Gillespie, a partner at the firm and co-lead of Mayer Brown’s structured finance practice. “We have a practice that spans the whole universe of asset classes and that makes it easy to pivot when the market changes.”

Nowhere was this clearer in 2023 than the solar market, where Mayer Brown has quickly become one of the leading law firms. This is in part a function of its world-class regulatory team. Navigating the complex regulatory landscape for solar and home improvement transactions across multiple states requires experts able to provide advice on licensing and compliance in different jurisdictions.

Innovation is a natural extension of Mayer Brown’s insight and experience across the entire securitization market. “Being involved in so many transactions allows us to use that knowledge to design more efficient structures for existing products,” says O’Donnell. “It also allows us to take elements from one area of the market to another and create new cutting edge products.”

Not only does the firm’s peerless knowledge of structuring make it a market-leader in transaction design, it has helped put Mayer Brown at the forefront of industry advocacy. No other law firm has worked as hard to communicate issues of concern to the securitization market. The firm’s leadership in key areas including the Basel III Endgame and Securities Act Rule 192 were on full display in 2023. Mayer Brown’s Michelle Stasny is co-chair of the Structured Finance Association’s SEC Conflicts of Interest Task Force, and Chris Horn and Stu Litwin advised SIFMA on its letters of comment regarding the rule.

“With regard to Basel III, we helped clients draft numerous comment letters and hosted more than 50 briefings to discuss how the proposal would affect our clients,” says Gillespie, who briefed the Delaware Bankers Association on the implications for local banks.

Securitization is a vital tool that helps provide loans and financing to major sections of the economy. There is no practice more dedicated to structuring first-class transactions or supporting the industry that generates them, and there is no firm more worthy of the ABS Law Firm of the Year award than Mayer Brown.

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