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Social Finance

Mayer Brown has a long-standing commitment to promoting microfinance and financial access for the global poor. We work for banks, funds and other organizations that create opportunities for the disadvantaged.

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Our Social Finance group includes lawyers across offices in the Americas, Asia and Europe. The group aims to leverage our strengths in finance, mergers and acquisitions, private investment funds, regulatory and corporate law, together with our global resources, to assist in complex transactional work related to social finance.

Our clients include banks, funds, governments, donor groups and impact-oriented organizations working on such issues as microfinance and microinsurance, water and sanitation, education, healthcare, energy and other basic products and services.

Our lawyers are also active in teaching microfinance classes in leading academic programs, speaking on panels and seminars in the social finance sector, writing handbooks and counseling senior management of leading microfinance and social finance organizations.

Mayer Brown has been recognized by the Financial Times for its market leading accomplishments in social finance.

Key Areas of Practice
Our key areas of focus within the social finance space include:

Mergers & Acquisitions 
Mayer Brown’s M&A practice is among the largest and most sophisticated in the world, with extensive experience advising clients on a variety of complex, cross-border and high-profile strategic transactions. We offer an integrated global team poised to support the international needs of our clients. We have more than 300 Corporate/M&A lawyers across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Many of our M&A lawyers’ practices involve providing cross-border advice on regional or global transactions—they are as comfortable advising on cross-border deals as they are on single-jurisdiction transactions. Our broad geographic coverage enables us to manage many of our M&A engagements (including local due diligence support) with lawyers from our offices around the globe.

Investment Funds 
We have an extensive global Funds & Asset Management practice involving more than 100 lawyers from across the firm’s worldwide practice areas. Our lawyers’ broad market experience enables fund sponsor, adviser and investor clients to structure funds and investments creatively and efficiently to maximize fund-raising flexibility and opportunities. Our lawyers advise fund sponsors in connection with the structuring, marketing, regulation and operation of public and private investment funds in a range of jurisdictions worldwide, including emerging markets such as China, India, Central Asia and Africa. 

Private Equity and Venture Capital
Social finance funding is increasingly moving towards commercial venture capital and private equity sources while retaining respect for the “multiple bottom line.” We have developed with CGAP the leading forms used to structure and document private equity investments in microfinance organizations. We have advised on some of the most successful private equity investments in microfinance, and we are a leading adviser to private equity funds, management teams, and portfolio companies. Our depth of experience with private equity transactions in the Americas, Asia and Europe sets the firm apart, and we able to draw from an array of practice areas to structure, negotiate and close complex private equity transactions.

Structured Finance
We recognize that securitization and structured-vehicle financing offer the social finance industry a very promising source of sophisticated market funding. We are widely acknowledged to have one of the premier securitization and structured finance practices in the world, which, with more than 100 lawyers, is also one of the largest. Mayer Brown has been at the leading edge of securitization from its early days, having been involved with virtually every asset type. Our experience ranges across asset classes, vehicles and markets to deliver creative, practical, business-oriented solutions. We are a market leader in securitizations and other structured finance transactions in the emerging markets and regularly advise banks and borrowers in structuring and implementing sophisticated derivative and structured finance transactions including assisting in the structuring of local issuances.

Leveraged Finance and Debt Capital Markets
Social enterprises are seeking sophisticated debt funding, and with the right guidance can arrange debt capital through multi-jurisdiction syndicated and structured commercial bank or debt capital market solutions. We have structured and documented some of the largest structured debt vehicles for microfinance organizations. Mayer Brown has significant experience devising and supporting these debt solutions. We are one of the most active global law firms in this area, representing lenders, sponsors and borrowers in a wide range of leveraged finance transactions across all parts of the capital structure. Utilizing our international offices and network, we have handled numerous complex cross-border trans-actions both in established and emerging markets.

Financial Services Regulatory
As the scale and complexity of their industry grows, social finance organizations are facing more complicated regulatory environments. In turn, this demands more sophisticated financial regulatory advice. Our global financial services regulatory and enforcement practice provides thoughtful solutions to complex challenges relating to establishment of new regulated entities, M&A, stock/asset acquisitions or disposi-tions, capital or corporate structures and cross-border regulatory compliance.

Microinsurance products covering life, health, property, and other interests are increasingly needed by customers at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid. Our insurance practice assists with developing microinsurance products, structuring reinsurance and other risk-sharing approaches, pursuing innova¬tive financing solutions, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and managing outsourcing of administration functions. Our experience includes working on negotiating and structuring microinsurance transactions. In addition, our team has worked extensively on catastrophe bonds, weather derivatives and similarly innovative products for transferring and sharing risk.

As social enterprises advance into more commercial and complex enterprises, experienced corporate counsel is needed to navigate governance and organi¬zational issues while retaining a healthy understanding of and respect for the organization’s mission. We provide a full range of corporate legal services to clients, including corporate structuring, tax, employment, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, environmental and more. 

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