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Weekly moves 6 May 2014

Jeff Longhurst is new head of ABFA

The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) has announced the appointment of Jeff Longhurst as its new chief executive. Jeff replaces Kate Sharp who stood down last month.

The ABFA says Longhurst is a well-known figure in the asset based finance sector. His career has included posts within Lloyds banking group, as managing director of Credit Agricole Commercial Finance and chief executive of Independent Growth Finance.

He is currently a director of Gener8 Finance.

Longhurst has been closely involved with the Asset Based Finance Association for many years, being both head of education and, when it was known as the Factors and Discounters Association, its chairman.

Commenting on his appointment, Longhurst said: “Coming back to head up the ABFA is a real honour and I can’t wait to get started.

“While the industry is currently growing strongly, providing over £18bn in funding to 43,000 British and Irish firms, we need to ensure this message is communicated as widely as can be.

“Equally we need to make sure that the industry’s standards are as high as possible and that we utilise the benefits of new products and technologies wherever we can. It’s an exciting time for the sector.”

Walkers expands London restructuring practice

International law firm Walkers has appointed senior counsel John O’Driscoll to the Firm’s London office.

The firm says the move is intended to drive the ongoing expansion of its global insolvency and corporate recovery practice.
Walkers has tasked O’Driscoll with expanding the global restructuring offering in London, working closely with the core restructuring teams in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Dublin on both contentious and non-contentious legal matters.

Prior to moving to London, O’Driscoll spent 18 months in Walkers’ offices in the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands as member of the global insolvency and corporate recovery group.

Before joining Walkers, he spent six years at a big five law firm in Dublin followed by five years at international law firms Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Proskauer in London.

Walkers says this further expansion of its London offering builds on the significant growth in the office over the past 12 months.

Recent developments include Jack Boldarin’s move to the London office as managing partner, bringing expertise in cross-border multi-jurisdictional financing work from his past practice in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Jersey (Channel Islands).

Additionally, Walkers says the relocation of finance partner David Collins from the firm’s Singapore office will adding banking and structured finance expertise. Also, senior associate in finance Neil MacDonald has moved to the London office from Jersey and investment funds specialists Jasmine Amaria and Hughie Wong have each been promoted to partner.

Jack Boldarin, managing partner, London, said: “John’s presence in London further enhances our global restructuring offering and our ability to service our European clients’ restructuring needs.

“The London office is the ideal location to grow this area of expertise, as it provides greater proximity to the firm’s European client base and enables Walkers to provide time zone sensitive advice to European-based clients.”

McGuireWoods adds restructuring partner in London

Simon Neilson-Clark has joined McGuireWoods London LLP as a partner in the firm’s restructuring and insolvency department, where he will focus on representing stakeholders in UK and international financial restructuring, insolvency and dispute resolution.

Neilson-Clark is a solicitor of the senior courts of England and Wales.

McGuireWoods says Neilson-Clark, who previously was a partner at DLA UK LLP, brings 25 years of experience in advising a range of constituents in restructurings and insolvencies in the UK and Europe.

He also represents borrowers, lenders, and insolvency practitioners/office holders in connection with distressed situations involving international structures, as well as debt and equity investors in cross-border, leveraged and group structures.

He regularly advises stakeholders in complex commercial disputes, including administration and fixed charge receiverships.

Dion Hayes, chair of the McGuireWoods restructuring and insolvency department, said: “We’re very pleased Simon is joining our insolvency group in London. He has a tremendous amount of experience in large UK and cross-border restructurings and will greatly expand our capabilities in those areas.”



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