BLP builds structured finance capabilities with hire of Matthew Kellett

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) announced today (22 March 2010) that Matthew Kellett will join the firm as a partner.  The appointment adds strength and depth to BLP’s structured finance and tax capabilities and follows the complementary hire of derivatives partner James Duncan earlier this year.

Matthew has an exemplary reputation in the market having held senior positions in private practice and banking. As a banking partner at Linklaters, Matthew led the financial structuring practice, before joining AIG Financial Products. More recently Matthew was at RBS for four years. As UK Head of Financial Structuring, he had primary responsibility, for the capital, tax efficient investment and fund-raising business of RBS.

BLP established its successful structured finance team following the recruitment of Paul Severs, Tamara Box, and Tom Church in 2006 and Nick Butler in 2007.  The team has developed quickly and has proven experience in structured products backed by leading real estate and tax capabilities.  The team has recently advised on several new securitisations, including the market opening CMBS for Tesco and is engaged in the high profile restructurings of more than 40 Lehman Brothers affected securitisations totalling more than $25bn and a significant number of liability management proposals.  Matthew’s role at BLP will be to focus on capital and tax efficient structured funding arrangements for the banking and financial services sectors. 

This senior hire adds to other recent finance appointments, including leveraged finance expert Andrew Bamber, banking and capital markets specialist Richard Hughes, and Jayne Black and Eleanor Hunwicks (both of whom are leaders in the advising of servicers of commercial mortgage loans/securitisations). Matthew will work closely with head of tax Michael Wistow and corporate tax experts John Overs and Neal Todd, amongst others. The tax team, which won “Best Tax Team in a Law Firm 2009” at the LexisNexis Taxation Awards, has, like the BLP structured finance team, been growing rapidly in size, capability and profile since Michael Wistow was appointed head of tax in 2007. Last month the team announced the hire of financial services VAT expert Linda Adelson as partner.

Simon Allan, BLP’s head of finance, said: “Matthew’s appointment is a significant step for us. We have spent recent years developing the structured finance team and have made a number of strategic hires to build a strong platform from which to grow. Matthew has an excellent reputation and his experience across financial and tax related structured products both in-house and in private practice will allow us to provide a more holistic service to our clients.”

Matthew said: “I am very excited by this move. My new role will provide me with a great platform to apply my structured finance experience to that which already exists at BLP and work with talented teams across the firm.”

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