(LONDON) Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP announced today that Kumar Tewari and John C. Ahern have joined the firm to head up and lead its Banking and Financial Services practices, respectively, in London. The move signifies Katten's commitment to expand two of the firm's core practice areas— financial services and banking transactions (in particular, real estate finance)—and strategically grow its London office.

"Some of our most important expansion priorities in London are focused on deepening our banking and real estate finance practices and extending our international presence in financial services, where our specialized experience allows us to operate at a higher level of quality than most of our peers," said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey. "Kumar and John are the right people to lead and continue to strengthen these practices for us in the UK to serve our growing international client base."

As head of Katten's London Banking group, Tewari concentrates his practice on complex banking and finance matters, including commercial real estate finance (investment/development), leveraged/acquisition finance, funds finance, general banking, structured trade and commodity finance, and regulatory compliance and governance matters. He joined Katten from Lloyds Banking Group, where he most recently served as a director and senior lawyer. In that role, he led the Commercial Real Estate legal team and a group of specialist lawyers that managed a circa £40bn secured UK real estate asset portfolio. He also supported the general Corporate lending desk. Prior to Lloyds Bank, Tewari worked at Europe Arab Bank plc and at Clifford Chance in the leveraged finance team in London.

Well-known in the UK lender market for CRE matters, Tewari is a member and contributor to thought leadership with the Loan Market Association (LMA) and CREFC. He is a frequent speaker on issues regarding the lending market for UK Commercial Real Estate and, in particular, complex intercreditor arrangements.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Katten as head of the Banking group in London and contributing to the growth in a strategically important business area for the firm, especially in connection with the potential opportunities for greater international growth in the lending market generally, as well as for UK commercial real estate," said Tewari.

He added, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Lloyds Bank over the last seven years, where as a senior in-house lawyer and director, I gained outstanding leadership experience and formed some incredible relationships, and which I now want to put to use for clients at Katten. The firm is incredibly entrepreneurial and driven by a desire to achieve strong commercial and legal solutions for its clients, which resonate strongly with my broader commercial experience on the buy-side."

Ahern, who will lead the firm's London Financial Services group, focuses his practice on banking, financial services, UK and European financial markets, and related regulations. He advises multilateral trading facilities, broker-dealers and banks on investment services regulation, in particular in regards to trading, clearing and settlement, as well as custody of securities—both physical and dematerialized.

Ahern also counsels asset managers and investment advisors on the regulation of alternative funds in Europe. He has a particular focus on bank regulatory capital, and advises a number of banks and other authorized firms on the requirements and implications of the prudential regime. A frequent speaker at seminars and conferences, Ahern has written a number of articles for well-respected publications on financial services regulations.

"Our London team has historically had a strong pan-US/European lender and international finance focus, especially for clients within the commercial real estate and acquisition finance sectors, and Kumar is a perfect fit to lead and develop our practice, as well as provide our clients with strong support and expertise for complex banking and regulatory issues," said Peter Sugden, managing partner of Katten UK.

"Similarly, John's global investment banking experience, both in private practice and as in-house counsel, provides him with a unique perspective on the regulatory issues facing the wholesale and private banking sectors. We welcome them both to Katten and to the London leadership team."

Ahern concluded, "Katten has already built a solid foundation with its Financial Services practice in London. I'm looking forward to expanding its international platform to offer seamless financial services coverage to the firm's global clients."