Clifford Chance has added two partners to its London and New York teams.
Oliver Hipperson, based in London, will join the partnership on 1 May and Emily DiStefano will join in New York.
DiStefano is highly respected for her aircraft finance knowledge, encompassing secured lending, leasing, private equity investments and restructurings. She regularly advises major US airlines on public and private Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs) – a popular financing product used by many large carriers. DiStefano also brings significant leveraged finance expertise, having represented corporate borrowers and private equity funds in connection with large leveraged acquisitions, high-yield debt offerings, term loans, ABL and revolving credit facilities, and credit facilities secured by capital calls.
“We are pleased to welcome Emily to our New York-based Asset Finance team, led by partners John Howitt, Zarrar Sehgal and Geoffrey White,” said Evan Cohen, Clifford Chance’s Americas Regional Managing Partner. “Her in-depth aviation and leveraged finance expertise bolsters our leading global aircraft finance practice.”
“Clifford Chance has been at the forefront of advising on some of the most innovative aircraft financing techniques developed following the financial crisis,” said Sehgal, global head of Clifford Chance’s Transport & Logistics sector. “Emily’s recognized expertise in EETCs – a capital markets financing product heavily relied upon by major US airlines – deepens our client offering and sector coverage.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining one of the world’s premier law firms and a pre-eminent global aircraft finance practice,” said DiStefano. She joins Clifford Chance from Debevoise & Plimpton, where she was a counsel in the Corporate department. She earned her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law after graduating from Dartmouth College, cum laude, and is admitted to the bar in the State of New York.
On the other side of the pond, Oliver Hipperson will make up the six-strong team of dedicated London asset finance partners. Hipperson specialises in big ticket leasing and financing, particularly aircraft and maritime assets. Recent selected experience includes advising on large sales and acquisitions of shipping and aircraft loan portfolios for major banks, as financial institutions have responded to regulatory and business changes in the wake of the credit crunch. Hipperson has also worked in the investment banking division of a major financial institution in a commercial role, giving him a unique insight into the requirements of global lending entities.
“We are delighted to announce Oliver’s partnership,” said William Glaister, Head of the Global Asset Finance Group. “He will help us to strengthen and grow our global asset finance practice, which has been fortunate to enjoy significant activity across the network, even in the turbulent market conditions since the onset of the financial crisis. The depth and breadth of Oliver’s sector experience, including his particular expertise in loan trading and complex portfolio restructurings, are crucial parts of our client offering.”