Cadwalader Wins Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe 2021 Award for ‘Innovation in Sustainable Finance’

October 15, 2021

Cadwalader has been named the “Innovation in Sustainable Finance” winner as part of the Financial Times (FT) Innovative Lawyers Europe 2021 awards. The firm was also recognized for its additional innovative work in the “Moving the market forward” category, and London-based Fund Finance partner Samantha Hutchinson was named as one of 10 “forward-looking legal practitioners.”

Cadwalader received the top sustainable finance award for having advised MUFG Securities EMEA plc in its North Westerly VI B.V. (North Westerly VI) European cash flow CLO transaction, the first CLO to consider ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors across all its investments.

As the FT explains, the Cadwalader team “created a framework to test the ESG compliance of the assets regularly throughout the deal lifetime. The firm also worked closely with collateral manager NIBC Bank in helping asset owners improve their ESG score and reporting regularly to investors on ESG performance.”

The transatlantic team was led by partners David Quirolo and Claire Puddicombe and included partners Adam Blakemore, James Frazier, Gregg Jubin, and Jason Schwartz; special counsel Alex Collins, Catherine Richardson, and Adam Risell; associates Hugo Chan, Matthew Lefkowitz and Cassandra Nelson-Williams; and paralegal Ilinca Vasiliu.

Cadwalader attorneys were also acknowledged across additional FT “Innovative Lawyers: Europe” awards categories:

  • In “Case studies: Moving the market forward,” a Cadwalader team was featured for having advised Investec on a €1bn secured note program backed by subscription credit facilities with one of the UK’s largest insurers, representing one of the first transactions in this new product area for the London market.

As the FT explained: “By agreeing with the rating agency Moody’s to give the notes a capital rating, lawyers enabled investing insurers to access returns of around 1.5-2 per cent — higher than they could access before. By using an Irish special purpose vehicle, insurers can access this credit exposure without compromising on the matching adjustment they are required to demonstrate to regulators.”

The Cadwalader team was led by partners David Quirolo and Samantha Hutchinson and included Sabah Nawaz, Adam Blakemore, Catherine Richardson, Jason Schwartz, Assia Damianova, Michael Sholem, Jeff Effah and Alissa Kalinowski, and the Investec team was led by Neno Raic and Helen Griffiths.

  • In the spotlight on “forward-looking legal practitioners,” Cadwalader Fund Finance partner Samantha Hutchinson was one of just 10 attorneys profiled who are “recognized for having helped clients by thinking about the future as well as the challenges of the present.” The FT credits Hutchinson as a “pioneer of fund finance” whose London-based team in the past 12 months has worked on more than 50 transactions totaling £18bn in value.

FT Innovative Lawyers is a unique program that assesses lawyers on their innovation for clients and in their own businesses. The program consists of rankings and awards, based on independent research from RSG Consulting and robust journalism from the FT. The Europe 2021 results were announced at a virtual awards event on October 14, and the rankings were published in an FT special report.