Lovells has closed its first securitisation deal for Para-gon Finance after beating a raft of City rivals to the deal.
The City firm, led by partner Brian Carne, advised on Paragon's £450m securitisation of loans spanning four asset classes. The deal is unusual for the UK market as it involves the securitisation of four different asset classes simultaneously: unsecured personal loans, retail credit loans, car finance contracts and secured loans.
As a matter of course, Paragon throws all securitisation mandates out to tender to its informal panel of firms. On the issuer side, it selects from Clifford Chance, Lovells, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood and Slaughter and May, while on the lead manager side it selects from Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith and Simmons & Simmons.
Lovells first became acquainted with Paragon in 2003 after it acquired buy-to-let mortgage provider Britannic Money, which was subsequently renamed Mortgage Trust. The firm had previously advised Britannic/Mortgage Trust on securitisation matters and acted for Paragon on a number of post-acquisition corporate reorganisation matters, but until now it had never landed a securitisation instruction from Paragon.
Paragon insists on keeping control of deal documentation, so that lawyers advising on the issuer side tend to dominate the drafting in Paragon securitisations, leaving lead manager lawyers in a review role.
Herbert Smith, led by partner Jane Burrows, advised Barclays Capital and HSBC as the lead managers on the deal following a recommendation from Paragon.