Pillsbury launches English law asset finance team with five-lawyer hire from DLA Piper

US firm Pillsbury has bolstered its English law capability with the hire of a five-lawyer transportation finance team from the London office of DLA Piper including partners Graham Tyler, the former head of the asset finance practice, and Debra Erni.

The move is particularly notable in that it adds significant depth in English law capability to Pillsbury’s London offering and launches an English law asset finance team to its international group.

“Aviation capital knows few boundaries,” said Mark Lessard, the co-leader of Pillsbury’s transportation finance team, who added the firm’s clients had been, “asking us to put a team into London for some time”.

Pillsbury chair Jim Rishwain said: “To best position Pillsbury to serve our clients in transportation finance at a superior level, enhanced English law capabilities are a must. Graham, Debra and their team fit squarely into our strategy of expanding our market-leading finance offerings to meet the needs of our clients worldwide.”

Tyler has more than 20 years of experience in structured asset financing and leasing acting for a range of clients including banks, export credit agencies and investors on transactions involving a variety of assets.

Last year Tyler led on the finance aspects of Etihad Airways $600m investment in Jet Airways.

Erni, who joined DLA Piper in 2011 from White & Case where she was a senior associate in the asset finance team, specialises in international asset finance and leasing with a particular focus on clients in the aviation industry.

She is fluent in both written and spoken Japanese and spent almost a decade in Japan as an associate at both the Tokyo office of Clifford Chance and at Abe Ikubo & Katayama.

The team is set to join Pillsbury at the beginning of May.