CC creates first standardised leveraged document with LMA

Clifford Chance

has affirmed its relationship with the Loan Market Association (LMA) with the launch of the association’s new leveraged finance standard document last week. The firm is also set to advise on a new standard document on distressed debt over the coming year.

The leveraged finance documentation, drafted by a working party led by Clifford Chance global banking head Mark Campbell, is the first attempt at standardisation in the leveraged sector. The working party had representatives from a number of banks and City law firms, including Allen & Overy.

The leveraged project has been launched five years after the primary documentation in the investment grade market, which was again led by Clifford Chance.

The new document is understood to have been considerably simpler to put together than the primary investment grade document. “This is to make sure that lawyers concentrate on the important parts of the deal,” said Campbell, who added that the document tidied up such issues as mandatory pre-payment provisions and carve-outs.

He said: “I’ve already had three requests from clients for copies [of the document], which shows some hunger on their part.”

The LMA working party on a standard document for distressed debt transactions is due to be put together this year, with Clifford Chance partner Steve Curtis providing some of the legal input.