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05 October 2020

Seasoned Linklaters duo set up international finance boutique

Practice to focus on emerging markets and commodity trade finance

By Ben Rigby

Longstanding Linklaters finance partners Mirthe van Kesteren and Michael Bott have left the firm to set up their own practice, Bott Van Kesteren Partners.

The London-based firm will specialise in deals and advisory mandates for commodities-backed and other international financing transactions with offices in London and Moscow.

Bott, a US-qualified lawyer, was a partner at Linklaters’ Moscow office for nearly 20 years where he led the Russian banking team, having previously worked for Allen & Overy in London and Milbank in New York. He will manage the firm’s Moscow office. 

Van Kesteren led Linklaters’ London-based emerging markets banking and structured commodity trade finance practices, while also co-leading the firm’s CIS and Ukraine desks, which boast more than 20 lawyers. 

She trained and qualified at Clifford Chance in 1999, spending six years there before joining Linklaters fifteen years ago, making partner in 2007. 

On their website, the duo say they have “worked on just about every type of financing along the credit spectrum” with a particular focus on Europe, but also, given their experience, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, as well as the Middle East and Africa. 

Bott is expected to focus on complex finance work in Russia, including pandemic-related restructurings for corporates and investment agencies.  

Van Kesteren’s client base includes banks, financial institutions, government agencies and multi-lateral organisations. She has worked on deals involving ING Bank, Glencore, Essar Oil and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Following their departure, Toby Grimstone has taken over sole charge of Linklaters’ emerging markets finance team.

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