25 Nov 2022

Allen & Overy boosts leveraged finance bench with partner hire from Shearman & Sterling

US-qualified high yield specialist Marwa Elborai joins in London after more than 15 years at US rival

Marwa Elborai Image courtesy of Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy has added a high yield partner to its leveraged finance practice in London from Shearman & Sterling. 

Marwa Elborai represents issuers and banks, credit funds and other lenders on complex corporate financings and has advised on cross-border transactions across the EMEA region. She has a particular focus on high yield debt offerings, US federal securities laws, leveraged finance, project bond offerings, general debt capital markets transactions and debt restructurings. 

“High yield expertise is a critical part of the offering in delivering a market leading leveraged finance franchise for our clients,” Denise Gibson, A&O’s co-head of global leveraged finance, said. “Given the current economic cycle, we also expect Marwa’s extensive restructuring experience will prove very useful to the clients we service in this space.”

Elborai is US-qualified and has been a partner at Shearman since 2016, having joined the firm a decade earlier. Her experience includes advising the initial purchasers in connection with T-Mobile Netherlands' €1.35bn bond financing and the underwriters in connection with Thomas Cook's €750m high yield bond offering.

Elborai’s arrival is the latest in a string of partner additions over the past few years to to A&O’s global leveraged finance and high yield practice, clients of which include Bridgepoint, Exponent and Parcom. The team houses more than 250 lawyers across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific, including 22 partners and more than 60 associates in London. 

New arrivals in London include leveraged finance partners Annette Kurdian and Robert Burt, who joined from magic circle rival Linklaters in 2021 shortly before high yield partner Brad Weyland moved over from Latham & Watkins, where he was counsel. 

Last year the firm also added Jake Mincemoyer from White & Case as head of US leveraged finance in New York and later added another pair of leveraged finance partner from White & Case – Gordon Mak and Stan Kostov. Globally the firm has also internally promoted nine lawyers within the team to partner since the start of last year. 

Allen & Overy is not the only magic circle firm to boost its leveraged finance offering lately, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer having added partner Carol Van der Vorst from Ropes & Gray in August in response to demand from financial sponsor clients for complex financing solutions. 

And in March Linklaters made its largest team hire in its hometown in recent years when it added a trio of leveraged finance partners from Vinson & Elkins that included the US firm’s London head of finance and M&A-capital markets, Noel Hughes. 

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