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Orrick Adds Top CLO Team to Structured Finance Practice

February 11, 2019, 08:00 AM

Orrick announced that Howard Goldwasser and Skanthan Vivekananda, leading authorities on collateralized loan obligations and other structured products, have joined the firm as partners in our Structured Finance Group. Howard and Skanthan join from Arnold & Porter and will be based in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

This marks a return to Orrick for Howard, who practiced with the firm from 1993 to 2006, and as a partner from 1999 to 2006. Howard and Skanthan have been working together as a team for the last eight years and have emerged as market leaders and innovators in the post-crisis CLO market.

“Adding Howard and Skanthan to our team greatly advances our strategy to remain one of the top destination structured finance practices for the most innovative and complex transactions. Howard and Skanthan have been leaders in the development and transformation of the CLO market, and we’re thrilled to welcome Howard back and to welcome a rising star like Skanthan,” said Alan Knoll, leader of Orrick’s Structured Finance Group.

“Orrick was among the pioneers in CLOs, and structured finance generally and, to this day, is one of the top players in the market. I’m thrilled to be rejoining the Orrick platform, which is better than ever, and to be partnering again with friends and colleagues whom I have known and respected for decades. I am especially thrilled to be sharing this experience with Skanthan,” said Howard. “We’re excited to join a firm with such a strong focus on innovation, collaboration and technology,” added Skanthan.

Orrick’s Structured Finance team is consistently ranked among the top issuers’ and underwriters’ counsel by Asset-Backed Alert (2010-2018) and Commercial Mortgage Alert (2014-2018). In 2018, the team counseled clients on over 130 securitization transactions, with an aggregate value of nearly $90 billion. The firm has been named the most innovative law firm in North America for the past three years by Financial Times and was recognized in each of those years for innovative structured finance and/or other novel financial products.

Howard Goldwasser

Recognized for his leadership by Legal 500, Howard has concentrated his practice on CLOs and other aspects of structured finance and securitization since the early 1990s. Howard’s clients are, and historically have been, the full array of participants in this industry: arrangers and underwriters, asset managers, banks and non-bank lenders like hedge funds and private equity funds, other institutional investors, and asset originators. Howard’s practice has always been concentrated on CLOs, but he has also worked, and still works, across a broad range of asset classes, including credit card and other consumer assets like marketplace loans; trade receivables, including telecom service receivables; residential and commercial mortgages; collateralized fund obligations (or CFOs); repo-backed note programs, and electronic funds transfers and other future flows. 

Skanthan Vivekananda

Skanthan’s practice focuses on structured finance, derivatives and investment management. A significant portion of Skanthan’s structured finance practice involves the representation of banks and asset managers in connection with the formation and structuring of cash and synthetic CLOs, CFOs and other securitization vehicles as well as other types of credit-focused investment funds. Skanthan is also a derivatives specialist with expertise advising clients with respect to a wide variety of over-the-counter and centrally cleared derivatives and structured products. His practice focuses on a wide range of issues relating to derivatives, including transaction structuring, counterparty exposure analysis and regulatory and compliance obligations arising under U.S. securities laws. Skanthan also advises registered and private investment funds with respect to margin lending facilities, prime brokerage facilities and related regulatory issues.

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