Asset finance expert Keith Wilson to join BLP’s Asset Finance Team

Keith Wilson has been appointed as a partner in the asset finance team of law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).  The hire, announced today (14 April 2011), is a boost for the existing team headed by rail specialist Russell Clifford.

Keith, who was previously head of finance at Paul Hastings in London, has over 20 years’ international experience in both London and Hong Kong as a finance lawyer, during which time he also worked for Lovells where he was made a partner in 1998.

An aviation and upstream oil and gas specialist, Keith is described by legal directories as having ‘great technical expertise’ and being a ‘key figure’ in the sector. He has undertaken a wide range of large scale transactions including: working with a core investor on the $1.3bn equity launch investment in Air Lease Corporation;  working with Addax Petroleum Services Corporation on a US$1.6bn oil reserves based financing; and he has acted regularly for Texaco/Chevron, Xerox and Austrian bank Erste Group Bank for over a decade. 

Keith’s hire complements that of fellow aviation practitioner Tom Budgett, who has extensive experience in all major cross-border leasing products, export credit, secured lending and asset securitisation. Tom is currently acting managing partner of BLP’s Singapore office in advance of corporate finance expert Alistair Duffield joining in May. 

The Finance department has been growing under the new direction of Matthew Kellett and now includes 120 fee earners who serve all the major clearing banks and a number of investment banks on a broad range of products, as well as numerous other debt providers and market participants.  Since his appointment in 2010, Matthew has refocused the team and has brought in an number of experts including banking and capital markets specialist Lucy Oddy, who joined from Clifford Chance in November 2010.

At a firmwide level BLP has made a number of other recent partner appointments including: private client expert Rupert Ticehurst; Daren Allen, former head of Financial Services at DLA Piper; Funds and Financial Services specialist Jacob Ghanty; Lisa Mayhew and Marian Bloodworth, who recently joined the firm’s Employment team.

Commenting on the news BLP’s head of finance Matthew Kellett said: “Our existing expertise gives us a commanding position in the market as we look at shaping the strategy for the department going forward. Our people are a key resource and securing Keith is a big boost to the finance group and more specifically the asset finance team who already have a growing client list across the transport sector.  Keith’s global perspective is an added benefit as we will continue to invest in our international finance offering, particularly in emerging markets.”

Keith Wilson said: “I am enthused about joining BLP. Matthew’s ambition is contagious and I am looking forward to working with asset finance team both in the UK and internationally. At BLP, I will also be able to call on leading experts in private equity, funds, financial services regulation, tax and real estate, which will greatly assist clients.”

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