James Butters

Partner
Corporate & Commercial

James is a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial team based in London.

He previously worked as a partner in the finance group at Clifford Chance and was based in Clifford Chance’s Paris office as a partner for three years. He has also practised as a commercial barrister at Fountain Court Chambers in London.

James specialises in corporate debt financing, leveraged buy-outs, M&A financing, restructurings and real estate financing, working for a variety of leading corporates, financial institutions and private equity investors.

He has led transactions in most European jurisdictions, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Nordic region, Poland and Benelux and regularly works on transactions with a US element. He has extensive experience of complex structured debt and security arrangements involving financiers and counterparties located in different jurisdictions.

James is fluent in French and Italian.

Leveraged and corporate financing

  • Advising the underwriters providing the leveraged finance package to the European investment vehicle of Russian investors upon their acquisition of a major UK and European retail operator.
  • Advising leading European private equity house on the high yield bond and revolving credit facility financing for the acquisition and integration of a European laboratories testing businesses and advising on the group’s incremental facilities and refinancing (integrated in the capital structure with the existing bonds and credit facilities).
  • Acting for a leading UK private equity house in connection with the financing raised for the acquisition of a UK based equipment and servicing group. The financing comprised an innovative debt structure of a super-senior revolving credit facility in conjunction with first and second lien term facilities.
  • Advising the Co-ordinating Mandated Lead Arrangers on the large-cap leveraged acquisition loan and bond financing supporting the acquisition of a French-based manufacturing business and the subsequent incremental facilities, PIK capital markets issuance and repricings.
  • Advising a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund on the revolving credit facility and high yield bonds for the acquisition of the majority shareholding in a major sports car manufacturer.
  • Acting for a French-based global drinks business on the refinancing and subsequent amend and extend of its multicurrency revolving credit facility.

Real Estate financing

  • Advising a major international hotel operator on the unwinding of the sale and leaseback of a portfolio of German and Dutch hotels in order to implement its revised corporate strategy to bring the assets back on balance sheet, involving complex JV and shareholder agreements and the refinancing of the portfolio’s debt.
  • Acting for the lenders on the senior secured financing for the acquisition by a US private equity fund of a significant European hotel portfolio.

Restructuring and distressed debt

  • Advising the special situations arm of a private credit provider on the structure and legal risks of implementing a “loan to own” strategy in relation to the distressed leveraged debt of a significant private equity investee company.
  • Advising the Senior Secured Co-Ordination Committee in relation to the insolvency and restructuring of a major manufacturer in the renewables energy sector.
  • Advising the Private Placement Noteholders in relation to the restructuring of a UK-based consumer credit business.
  • Advising a global chemical manufacturing business in relation to the European cross-border aspects of the group’s Chapter 11 restructuring.
  • Acquisition and leveraged finance
  • Corporate and syndicated lending/borrowing
  • Real estate finance
  • Restructuring
  • Shareholder and intra-group financing
  • Cross-border financing and structuring

Career

  • Partner, Capital Law Limited (Jun 2021 – present)
  • Partner Clifford Chance, London (May 2005 – Oct 2020)
  • Partner Clifford Chance, Paris (Oct 2011 – Jul 2014)
  • Senior Associate, Clifford Chance (Aug 1999 – Apr 2005)
  • Barrister, Fountain Court Chambers (Sep 1994 – Jul 1999)

Education

  • Cambridge University, LLM Commercial Law (1993-1994)
  • European University Institute, Florence, LLM European Law (1990-1991)
  • College of Law, York, Law Society Finals (1989-1990)
  • Oxford University, BA Law (Hons) (1986-1989)

Memberships / Trustee positions

  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Loan Market Association

Languages

  • Fluent French
  • Fluent Italian