BLP launches standalone derivatives practice with partner hire

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) announced today (21 January 2010) that James Duncan will join the firm as a partner. His appointment builds on the existing derivatives experience across the firm and launches a single dedicated practice area of excellence. The team is expected to grow in size and capability in the coming year.James, who has been at Linklaters since 1997, is a specialist in the derivatives and structured products team. He has recently advised PwC on the administration of Lehman Brothers and has worked with other leading corporates and investment banks on a range of both securitised and OTC derivative products.This recent senior hire complements the other recent appointments within BLP’s finance team, 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. It also complements the establishment of BLP’s successful structured finance team following the recruitment of Paul Severs, Tamara Box, and Tom Church in 2006 and Nick Butler in 2007. 

BLP already has a wealth of experience in structured products and derivatives across the firm from banking and capital finance to tax and real estate. For example, BLP has recently acted 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.

The creation of a core derivatives team will further enhance the breadth of service available to existing and new clients.

Simon Allan, BLP’s head of finance, said: “James’s appointment signals a new chapter for the finance team at BLP as we grow and develop to meet the needs of our clients. Notwithstanding the current economic environment, we believe derivatives will continue to be an integral and established feature of financial markets. As a senior structured  finance specialist with a wealth of experience, James is well placed to build upon the existing expertise within the firm and create a new centre of excellence. We expect to expand the team in the coming year to include more partners and associates.”

James said: “I am pleased to be part of this exciting initiative at BLP.  The creation of a standalone derivatives practice is an excellent opportunity for the firm to increase its offering to clients in this area. BLP is known for its collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit, and has a very strong track record of helping new teams establish themselves and quickly gain leading positions in their markets. This means I have a lot of confidence that we can achieve success in the derivatives market as well.”

If you would like further information, please contact Simon Allan at


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