Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has launched a transatlantic covered bond practice group in response to the developing covered bond market in the US.
The team, which incorporates 12 partners across the firm's London, New York and Charlotte offices, will take advantage of the new market in the US, which is expected to be an alternative method of financing assets in the capital markets.
Partners Jordan Schwartz and Anna Glick are spearheading the group from New York while London partner Conor Downey will coordinate the team in the UK.
Team member Michael Gambro, who is based in New York, said: "There is not much investor activity at all at the moment but we see this opportunity in the covered bond market as an opportunity for the firm to be ahead of the curve."
Largely a European mortgage phenomenon, covered bonds are expected to become increasingly attractive in the current market due to the appeal of a more secure investment and certainty in the event of default. The debt instruments effectively operate as corporate bonds but have recourse to a pool of assets in the event of the issuer becoming insolvent.
London-based Downey said: "This is one of the few developments in mortgage finance that has travelled over to the US from Europe. We feel we are well placed to advise on these kind of transactions because of our expertise and also our knowledge of covered bonds in the European market."
The group incorporates a two partner team in the London office, with Charles Roberts working alongside Downey.