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Global law firm Ropes & Gray today announced that Evan Berman has joined the firm as counsel, based in the firm’s 500-lawyer New York office. Evan brings extensive securitization finance experience and will help build out the firm’s market-leading whole-business securitization platform.
Evan has counseled prominent franchisors including Dunkin’, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Arby’s, Wingstop and Jimmy John’s, their private equity sponsors, and investment banks in over $10 billion of whole-business securitizations. Evan has extensive experience in many other types of securitizations as well. For instance, he represented (i) the initial purchasers in connection with the issuance of $500 million of securitized notes backed by revenues from the Miramax film library, in the first film securitization closed since the financial crisis, (ii) the US Treasury as note purchaser in a $1.5 billion retail installment contract securitization for Chrysler as part of TARP, (iii) SBA Communications, one of the largest wireless cell tower operators in the Western hemisphere, in a $1.165 billion securitization of cell towers and (iv) the California Public Utilities Commission in connection with the financing order for PG&E’s $7.5 billion securitization of wildfire recovery costs. Prior to rejoining private practice, Evan was the Chief Legal Officer (Americas) at StormHarbour Securities, a structured finance focused global investment bank, where he was named to The Legal 500 GC Powerlist in 2019.
“Whole-business securitizations have become an attractive source of financing, and the team at Ropes & Gray sees this as a key moment to grow our offerings,” said Stefanie Birkmann, co-head of the firm’s global finance practice group. “Evan is a strong and experienced advisor to clients that are operating across industries. He is well positioned to help those market-leading clients capitalize on securitization and other bespoke financing opportunities.”
“Ropes & Gray helped pioneer the whole-business securitization industry a decade and a half ago. Since then, its practice has been at the forefront of the most complex and consequential work being done in the space” Evan said. “I am excited to be joining this industry-leading securitization team and look forward to helping our world class clients execute their transactions at the highest level.”
Evan’s arrival comes on the heels of another whole-business securitization expert joining the firm in March. Chris Poggia finance partner, was hired to co-lead the firm’s securitization practice alongside existing finance partner Patricia Lynchand both Chris and Patricia will work closely with Evan.
Ropes & Gray’s finance practice is consistently ranked among the world’s best and recently received practice-wide and individual lawyer recognition in Chambers USA, The Legal 500, and US News. The firm’s recognition as a leader in securitization stems from groundbreaking work on the 2006 Dunkin’ whole-business securitization and is exemplified through repeat work in this space with clients such as Domino’s Pizza, Planet Fitness and Servpro Industries. The practice also covers transactions outside of whole-business securitizations, including media and entertainment securitizations, stranded cost securitizations, CLOs, and other financings backed by esoteric assets.