Cadwalader Once Again Dominates Securitization Market in Active 2021

January 28, 2022

Cadwalader was once again the leading law firm advising across securitization markets, including ABS, CLOs, CMBS, RMBS and GSE multifamily MBS, in 2021.

Based on 2021 industry league tables*, Cadwalader advised issuers and underwriters on the largest number of transactions – 256 transactions as issuers’ counsel, valued at approximately $186 billion, and 471 transactions as underwriters’ counsel, valued at approximately $270 billion.

In the U.S. commercial mortgage securitization space, for example, in 2021 Cadwalader earned the coveted status as top-ranked issuer counsel in all three segments of the market: non-agency CMBS, agency deals and CRE CLOs. The firm has now been ranked first in the CMBS issuer counsel category for 22 consecutive years.

Additional wins in 2021 include being the top advisor on European CLOs, based on aggregate deal count and volume for manager and arranger counsel, and the most active underwriter counsel in the U.S. CRE CLO and Agency CMBS markets. The firm also advised on a growing list of RMBS and esoteric transactions.

“We are extremely pleased and proud to have once again led all law firms in total securitization transactions,” said Michael Gambro, co-chair of Cadwalader’s Capital Markets Group. “Our deep bench in both the U.S. and the UK is our greatest strength, and enables us to work on groundbreaking transactions such as the recent headline-grabbing landmark European CRE CLO on which we acted as drafting counsel.”  

In 2021, Cadwalader’s Capital Markets team hired more than 40 attorneys to provide expert guidance on the high volume of transactions in the structured finance/securitization space.

“In a year of tremendous volume, we take great pride in the fact that we were able to execute in a timely fashion for our clients on many of the most novel transactions across asset classes,” said Stuart Goldstein, co-chair of Cadwalader’s Capital Markets Group. “We are very grateful for the ongoing trust that our clients place in us and look forward to continued high transaction activity and ever-expanding client relationships.”

Following is a sample of Cadwalader’s 2021 transaction highlights and industry recognition:

  • Cadwalader advised Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs as co-lenders in a $3 billion single-asset/single-borrower securitized refinancing of the newly developed One Vanderbilt skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, the second-tallest building in New York and a Class A, LEED Gold and Platinum office tower, for a partnership led by SL Green Realty. The transaction is the largest-ever fixed rate CMBS financing secured by a single asset as well as the first U.S. private-label CMBS issuance that meets certain ESG guidelines.
  • Cadwalader advised Investec on a €1bn secured note program backed by subscription credit facilities with one of the UK’s largest insurers. The transaction was one of the first in this new product area for the London market.
  • Cadwalader advised Deutsche Bank as arranger of the €400 million North Westerly VII ESG CLO transaction, which complies with ESG investing best practices. The assets securing the transaction consist of a portfolio of corporate loan and bond assets managed by NIBC Bank N.V.
  • Cadwalader advised Credit Suisse, as arranger and placement agent, on the first CRE CLO in Europe since the credit crisis. The dual currency notes are backed by a pool of 9 loans originated by Starz Real Estate and secured on 17 properties in the UK, Spain, The Netherlands, and Ireland, spanning a broad range of sectors.
  • Cadwalader advised HealthCare Royalty Partners on a revenue financing agreement for up to $125 million for Spero Therapeutics, Inc, a multi-asset clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing, and commercializing treatments in high unmet need areas involving multi-drug resistant bacterial infections and rare diseases.
  • Cadwalader advised on the CMBS securitization of the $950 million refinancing of the 1290 Avenue of the Americas skyscraper in Manhattan.
  • Cadwalader represented UNIFY Financial Credit Union as sponsor in its $300 million inaugural auto loan securitization, UNIFY Auto Receivables Trust 2021-1, collateralized by a pool of indirect, prime auto loans originated by UNIFY. The transaction represents only the second time a federal credit union has used securitization as a funding source.
  • Cadwalader represented Rocket Mortgage in connection with restarting its private-label residential mortgage-backed securitization program following a COVID-19 related hiatus and assisted the country’s largest residential mortgage lender in becoming a top 5 issuer of private label RMBS in 2021.
  • Cadwalader earned top scores in Creditflux’s CLO Census 2021.
  • Cadwalader was named among the Law360 2021 “Practice Groups of the Year” in the Structured Finance category.

Cadwalader’s Capital Markets practice, including attorneys in New York, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., and London, is recognized as a premier global legal advisor in securitization and structured finance.

* Industry tables include Creditflux, Asset-Backed Alert, Commercial Mortgage Alert dba Green Street