Leading Structured Products and Derivatives Partner Joins Latham & Watkins in Germany

Prominent financial institutions partner with deep product expertise strongly complements firm’s transactional and regulatory practices.

April 19, 2013

Frankfurt....Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Okko Behrends will join the firm’s Frankfurt office as a partner in the Financial Institutions Group. His practice focuses on international capital markets transactions, including covered bonds, structured debt instruments and OTC derivatives.

Behrends has a distinguished track record representing global and domestic banks on a wide range of transactions, as well as regulatory matters and bank-related litigation. He is one of the foremost practitioners in Germany in the derivatives, structured notes and covered bond markets. Behrends’ broad client base spans the financial services sector, including financial institutions, insurance companies, stock exchanges, payment systems, securities clearing and trading system providers, and central counterparties, as well as institutional investors and corporates.

He has particularly deep experience advising on structured notes with embedded derivatives and product-driven financial regulatory matters. He has a formidable reputation advising on German covered bonds (Pfandbriefe), which are a significant funding source for German banks. His derivatives practice includes credit derivatives as well as equity derivatives which are used in complex M&A transactions.

Behrends’ practice has strong synergies with Latham’s market-leading high yield bond, capital markets, financial regulatory, and financial product liability and securities litigation capabilities in Germany and Europe. He will further strengthen the firm’s German law practice in a number of growth areas, including debt capital markets and derivatives.

Dirk Oberbracht, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Frankfurt, said: "Okko is a great addition to our team and he will be a strong contributor to the practice. He is highly regarded in the financial community and his market reputation is testament to his legal acumen advising on sophisticated products and his deep institutional knowledge. Okko’s expertise and client base is very complementary to our German practice, and he will integrate well with our preeminent banking, capital markets, M&A, and bank regulatory and litigation teams."

"Financial institutions face a complex web of regulatory issues wrought by the myriad proposed changes under the bank regulatory framework of the Basel III regime, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and other EU regulatory initiatives. Adding a partner with Okko’s stature, market reputation and deep specialization in the derivatives and structured debt capital markets areas is a significant development for our practice in Germany and Europe. He will play a major role in helping build our European capability which includes strong practices in the financial centers of London, Frankfurt and Paris,” added partner Uwe Eyles, a member of Latham & Watkins’ Financial Institutions Group.

“The opportunity to join Latham & Watkins at this time is very exciting. The firm’s growth in Europe speaks volumes for its vision for the region and it’s a compelling proposition to be part of its future success. Latham has a rich history advising on complex, cutting-edge capital markets transactions, financial regulatory and compliance matters, and bank litigation assignments. This broad experience and deep intellectual knowledge of the industry place Latham at the vanguard of the practice,” said Behrends.

Behrends joins Latham & Watkins from Allen & Overy in Frankfurt. He studied law in Göttingen and Munich and passed his German bar exam in 1995. He has been a lecturer at the Institute for Law and Finance of Frankfurt University for over 10 years and is co-author of a German handbook on derivatives, a commentary on the German securities clearing law (Depotgesetz); he has published numerous articles and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

About Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,000 attorneys in 31 offices, including Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at www.lw.com.

Notes to Editors
1Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi. 

Dirk Oberbracht, Office Managing Partner, Frankfurt +49.69.6062.6621

Uwe Eyles, Partner, Financial Institutions Group, Frankfurt +49.69.6062.6503

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