CHICAGO and LONDON – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP today announced the expansion of its London presence to include a Real Estate Finance Practice which focuses on the structured financing of commercial real estate in Europe. The Firm established its London affiliate, Katten Muchin Rosenman Cornish LLP, in June of 2005 to accommodate the dynamic global needs of its extensive domestic and international financial services clients.

"In expanding our Financial Services Practice to London last year, we were able to quickly establish ourselves as a key advisor to the European marketplace, and we are now ideally positioned for the same type of success in Real Estate Finance as well," said Vincent A.F. Sergi, Katten’s national managing partner.

The international expansion of Katten’s Real Estate Finance Practice includes the additions of English law-qualified partner Jayne Black and senior associate Eleanor Hunwicks to the Firm’s London affiliate. Edward Zughaib, an existing U.S. partner who practices from Katten’s

Washington office, will also be a member of the London team and oversee its full integration with Katten’s U.S. Real Estate Finance Practice.

"We already have a comprehensive U.S. real estate practice and growing demand from our increasingly global client base dictated this expansion into Europe," said Nina B. Matis, national chair of Katten’s Real Estate Practice. "The legal skill and dedication to client service that Jayne and Eleanor possess make them valuable additions to our Firm and I look forward to working with them to strategically grow the London Real Estate Finance Practice."

All members of the London Real Estate Finance Practice have extensive experience advising a wide range of participants in the commercial real estate market, particularly in representing master, primary and special servicers of conduit loans, both in the U.S. and Europe. European commercial mortgage-backed securities issuance doubled in 2005 from the previous year, with Katten’s clients acting as the servicer or special servicer in a significant number of the outstanding transactions. The combined experience of Katten’s attorneys in the U.S. and European real estate and CMBS markets gives them a deep and broad understanding of the increasingly complex real estate, financing and capital markets-related issues that servicers face. In addition to negotiating servicing agreements and other securitization-related documentation on behalf of their clients, the Practice advises servicers on a wide range of asset-related matters, ranging from routine loan administration, borrower requests for consent, and loan modifications, to more complex issues including restructurings and workout strategy and enforcement action.

Prior to joining Katten, both Ms. Black and Ms. Hunwicks practiced in the London office of Sidley Austin LLP, where they advised originators, issuers, lead managers, servicers, investors, rating agencies and trustees in connection with real estate financings, including securitizations, throughout Europe. Ms. Black received her B.A. from Trinity Hall, Cambridge University and attended Chester College of Law. Ms. Hunwicks received her B.A. from St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge University and attended York College of Law. Both are admitted as Solicitors of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Mr. Zughaib’s practice includes advising clients in connection with loans, workouts, foreclosures, purchase and sales of real property, leasing and securitization. He is admitted to practice in New York, Virginia and the District of Columbia and is registered to practice as a foreign lawyer in England and Wales.

Katten’s domestic Real Estate Practice is comprised of more than 100 real estate attorneys in offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Palo Alto and Irving, Texas. It serves domestic and international clients, including servicers, investors, syndicators, sponsors, real estate funds, owners, tenants, residential and commercial developers, and construction and permanent lenders. Members of the practice regularly provide counsel in connection with some of the largest and most sophisticated transactions in the real estate industry. The group provides experienced, comprehensive services in areas including financing, fund formation and investing, capital markets, acquisitions and sales, development, leasing and construction.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP ( is a national, full-service law firm with offices in the nation's largest centers of business, government, finance and technology and an associated entity in London. The Firm’s 600 attorneys in more than 40 practice areas provide timely and cost-effective counsel to clients in numerous industries. They serve as business advisors and advocates for a wide range of public and private companies - from entrepreneurial, emerging-growth, and middle market firms to global Fortune 100 corporations - as well as government entities, non-profits, and charitable and cultural organizations.