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Pinsent Masons grows its Financial Services offering in Dubai

Multinational law firm, Pinsent Masons, has appointed Banking & Finance partner Matthew Escritt to lead the firm’s Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East, based in Dubai.

Matthew joins from Norton Rose Fulbright, where he has been for the past 19 years, with the past eight spent as partner in the banking and finance team. During this time he has worked in London, Moscow, Bahrain, Singapore and Dubai.

Matthew is a banking and finance specialist, advising on all areas of structured cross border finance, including syndicated lending acquisition, development finance, asset finance, vendor finance, and structured trade and commodity finance. He is familiar with both conventional and Islamic finance funding structures. He also advises on financial restructuring and insolvency mandates. Based in Dubai, he will be leading the Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East (within the Finance & Projects group) and will focus primarily on clients in the Financial Services sector.

Commenting on Matthew’s appointment, Michael Watson, head of the Finance & Projects group at Pinsent Masons said: “Matthew’s reputation precedes him and we look forward to welcoming him as head of our banking and finance practice in Dubai. His experience and expertise will greatly strengthen the practice, enabling them to deepen relationships with existing clients as well as developing new ones. His appointment is another fantastic addition to our growing international capabilities.”

Alexis Roberts, head of the Financial Services sector at Pinsent Masons added: “Matthew’s appointment is a pivotal one in increasing our financing bench strength and will enable us to better support our clients within the Financial Services sector. His breadth of experience and the clients that he’s worked with will allow us to grow our offering across the sector. We greatly look forward to him joining the team.”

Matthew Escritt, head of Banking and Finance in the Middle East added: “I am excited to have been given the opportunity to lead Pinsent Masons’ Banking & Finance practice in the region and to be part of an international team tasked with growing a strategically important practice area to complement the firm’s existing strengths. It will also ensure that we are able to provide vital, full-service support to our clients as they navigate today’s challenging business environment. Given the diverse talents of the individuals involved and the well-known strengths of the existing practice I am confident that we are well placed to achieve our goals.”

Adding to the growing multinational Finance & Projects group, Matthew’s appointment follows that of Anthony Morton in Frankfurt, James Harris in Asia, Jim Hunwick in Sydney and Eran Chivka in Paris.

DLA Piper advises VEON Holdings B.V. on its RUB100bn refinancing

DLA Piper has advised VEON Holdings B.V., a member of the multinational telecommunications VEON group, on the RUB100 billion (approximately USD1.5 billion) refinancing of its facilities with Sberbank of Russia.

The new term loan facility entered into with Sberbank on 3 June 2020 will be used to refinance and extend the maturity of the existing loan between Sberbank and VEON Holdings, as well as to provide additional funds for VEON Holdings’ general corporate purposes.

DLA Piper’s partner Mark Dwyer, who led the team advising on the transaction, said: “The refinancing forms part of VEON’s continued objective to improve its global capital structure, and is a another transaction which strengthens the relationship between DLA Piper, utilising its cross-border capabilities, and a key global client.”

The DLA Piper Finance team was led by London-based partner Mark Dwyer, legal director Mei Mei Wong and associate Elvis Dangol. They were assisted by Amsterdam-based partner Gerard Kneppers and advocaat Jocelyn van Moergastel, as well as Moscow-based partner Karen Young and legal director Alexei Kolesnikov.