Willkie Adds Real Estate Finance Partner Christine Murphy in New York

New York, NY (January 6, 2022) --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced the addition of Christine M. Murphy, who has joined as a partner in the Firm's Real Estate Department. She is based in Willkie’s New York office. Christine was previously a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

“We are thrilled to welcome Christine to our growing real estate finance team,” said Thomas Henry, Co-Chair of the Firm's Real Estate Department. “Christine’s broad range of experience will help bolster our full service real estate platform, which provides top-notch legal services to both domestic and international clients.”

Krystyna Blakeslee, partner and chair of Willkie’s Real Estate Finance group commented: “Christine is a talented practitioner with a reputation for excellence. Her substantial expertise on complex real estate financing matters will further enhance our leading real estate practice.”

Christine’s practice is focused on commercial real estate finance and investments. She represents commercial banks, investment banks, institutional lenders, insurance companies, private equity investors, funds and other investors on transactions such as balance sheet financings, permanent and bridge loan originations, construction loans, mezzanine and other subordinate financings, loan participations and syndications and workouts and restructurings. Christine advises on transactions involving all types of commercial real property, including office, retail, hotels, resorts, multi-family projects, assisted living/nursing facilities, data centers, ground leased property and other commercial properties. She also has additional experience in real estate development, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing and joint venture transactions.

Christine commented: “Willkie’s reputation and market-leading transactional capabilities offer an ideal platform for my practice. I am excited to join the talented real estate team at Willkie and look forward to contributing to the group’s capabilities to further continued success for our clients.”

Willkie represents a diverse group of U.S. and non-U.S. clients in real estate transactions throughout the United States and internationally. We are actively involved in numerous complex real estate transactions involving high-profile projects for a broad range of clients, including developers, public and private real estate companies, institutional investors, money-center banks, private equity sponsors and hedge funds. The team regularly advises large institutional clients on multibillion-dollar transactions, organizes public and private REITs, and advises on operating company/property company transactions, REIT mergers and acquisitions, equity offerings and securitized financings, as well as other transactions involving public and private capital markets.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 1,000 attorneys with offices in Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. Tel: 212.728.8000.

Willkie Expands UK Insurance Sector Platform with Addition of Melanie James and Tim Baumgartner in London

New York, NY (January 10, 2022) --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced the addition of partners Melanie James and Tim Baumgartner, who have joined the Firm’s Insurance Transactional and Regulatory Practice. Melanie and Tim are based in Willkie’s London office. They were previously partners at an international law firm, where Melanie also served as Global Co-Chair, Insurance Sector.

“Melanie and Tim are well-established leaders in the market and we are delighted to welcome them to Willkie,” said London Corporate Partner Joseph Ferraro. “With significant experience in complex global insurance matters, they will deepen our insurance and regulatory capabilities, core strengths of the firm, and add to the strength of our prominent London transactional team on UK, EU and international insurance sector matters.”

Prakash (PK) Paran, partner in Willkie’s Insurance Transactional and Regulatory Practice commented: “I’ve practiced alongside Melanie and Tim for many years and I’m thrilled to be working with them again. They are not only extremely talented lawyers, but they are both a pleasure to work with. Their additions will further solidify Willkie’s reputation as having the preeminent global insurance platform in the market and our clients benefit from having access to a seamless transatlantic team of the highest quality that now has even greater breadth and depth.”

Melanie James has over 20 years of experience handling insurance and reinsurance transactional and regulatory matters, both in-house and in private practice. She is an insurance sector leader and advises on all aspects of non-contentious insurance transactions including cross-border M&A, joint ventures, reorganizations, portfolio transfers and reinsurance transactions, as well as structuring, formation and licensing of (re)insurance platforms across Europe and PRA, FCA and Lloyd's regulation.

Tim Baumgartner focuses his practice on corporate transactions in particular in the insurance industry, including international and domestic M&A, joint ventures and long-term strategic partnerships, intra-group restructurings and general corporate advisory work. He also advises on the full spectrum of corporate insurance transactions, which in addition to the above include transactions within the Lloyd’s market, portfolio transfers and reinsurance transactions for both life and non-life businesses.
Melanie commented: “We are excited to join Willkie’s world-class global insurance practice, which has longstanding relationships with key U.S., Bermudan, European and UK insurers and brokers, and look forward to playing a significant part in the firm’s continued growth and success in London.”

The arrival of Melanie and Tim to Willkie’s Insurance Transactional and Regulatory Practice follows the additions in 2021 of New York-based partner PK Paran and counsel Gabriel Gershowitz in October, and partners Kara Baysinger, Stephanie Duchene, Matthew Gaul and David Heales, who joined the team in California and New York in April.
Willkie’s Insurance Transactional and Regulatory Practice is described as the “preeminent transactional practice” with “standout experience,” in Chambers USA (2021) and “commercially pragmatic” with “depth of knowledge and efficiency” in Chambers UK (2021). The group represents insurance companies, reinsurers, insurance intermediaries, insurtechs, investment banks, private equity sponsors and other financial institutions in M&A, capital markets, ILS and regulatory matters in the United States, London, Europe, Asia and Bermuda. Our multidisciplinary team, ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA 2021, Legal 500 US 2021 and Legal 500 UK 2022, comprises over 40 partners and is among the largest in both the United States and in London.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 1,000 attorneys with offices in Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue.

Willkie Adds Finance Partner Sarah Gelb in New York

New York, NY (January 4, 2022) --- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP today announced the addition of Sarah B. Gelb, who has joined the Firm as a partner in the Finance Practice. She is based in Willkie’s New York office. Sarah was previously a partner at Dechert LLP.

“Sarah is highly-regarded with significant experience advising on complex financing transactions, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the Firm,” said Viktor Okasmaa, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Finance Practice Group. “Her sophisticated market knowledge and versatility will be great complements to our transactional practices. We look forward to working with Sarah to help support her clients and further expand her client relationships, and we believe they will find our platform to be a great fit.”

Sarah’s practice focuses on a wide range of domestic and cross-border financing transactions, including secured financing and loan transactions, acquisition financing, recapitalizations, debt restructurings and debt offerings in private and public markets. She has a diverse and expansive client base, regularly advising public and private companies, private equity and other financial sponsors and their portfolio companies, as well as financial institutions, business development companies, private debt funds and other providers of senior, mezzanine and subordinated capital.

Sarah commented: “Willkie’s elite corporate platform is a great fit for my practice. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to provide our clients with the best legal advice and client service.”

Willkie’s global finance department complements the Firm’s private equity, M&A, restructuring, capital markets, structured finance, real estate and tax groups to provide clients with the complete array of tools needed to achieve their goals. We advise borrowers, direct lenders, lending institutions and other traditional and non-traditional capital providers in a wide variety of transactions, including private equity and acquisition (LBO) financings; bridge financings; cross-border financings; unitranche, second lien and mezzanine financings; term and revolving credit facilities; DIP and bankruptcy exit loans; restructurings; high yield, investment grade and convertible notes; institutional private placements; real estate financings; and project financings. Our finance team is recognized by a number of leading third-party organizations in the United States and Europe, including Chambers, Legal 500 and IFLR1000.

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Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is an international law firm of approximately 1,000 attorneys with offices in Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington. The Firm is headquartered in New York City at 787 Seventh Avenue. Tel: 212.728.8000.