Denton Wilde Sapte's property practice is suffering a massive blow as two senior partners leave for Sidley Austin Brown & Wood
Mark Menhennet and Debbie Carslaw are to join Sidley's international finance group where they will specialise in property finance. The move will leave a significant gap in Dentons' property finance group and could affect the practice's relationships with Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley, given the strong links both partners have with the banks. At Sidley, Menhennet and Carslaw will advise banks and other lenders and will focus on the origination of loans that are increasingly being structured for the final purpose of securitisation. Sidley currently has just one property partner. Co-head of international finance Graham Penn said that the hires would take the practice to another level. Penn highlighted a trend in the US where banks instruct the same firm for origination work and for securitisation. This trend is now moving to the UK so it is worth noting that Sidley also has a strong relationship with Morgan Stanley. On the back of the recruitment, Sidley will now be able to do the origination work for large commercial mortgage-backed properties. "This rounds out our London practice in terms of increasing our ability to undertake the origination work where the exit strategy is securitisation. It will also give us greater capacity to support the corporate and insolvency practices," said Penn. Securitisation is increasingly used as an alternative means of property financing, as the assets are stable instruments. Penn said: "These transactions lend themselves to capital markets transactions because people want long-term commitments that are safe."