McGuireWoods Continues Expansion of San Francisco Office With Addition of Four Top Lawyers

Firm Enhances Nationally Recognized Debt Finance, Restructuring Teams

March 6, 2017

McGuireWoods continues its San Francisco expansion with the addition of four top lawyers who deepen the firm’s capabilities and enhance its market-leading reputation for serving financial institutions coast to coast.

Partners Peter Szurley, Gregory Clore and Jeffrey Browning join the firm’s Debt Finance Department, and partner Todd Dressel joins the Restructuring and Insolvency Department — both nationally recognized practices. All four come to McGuireWoods from the San Francisco office of Chapman and Cutler.

Since it opened last year, McGuireWoods’ San Francisco office — its third in California, joining downtown Los Angeles and Century City — has grown to 20 lawyers and recently relocated to space at Two Embarcadero Center in the city’s Financial District.

“These exceptional lawyers have stellar reputations in the Bay Area and beyond, and their arrival at McGuireWoods is an important step in advancing our strategy to broaden our transactional and litigation capabilities for the benefit of our many leading financial institution clients,” said David Powell, managing partner of the San Francisco office. “We are delighted to welcome them.”

“This is an outstanding group of lawyers whose reputations precede them. Their impressive experience in complex corporate financing transactions and restructurings will be a tremendous asset for our clients,” said Raj Natarajan, chair of McGuireWoods’ Debt Finance Department, which consistently ranks among the top 10 legal advisers for U.S. syndicated debt financings.

Noreen Kelly, head of the firm’s Financial Institutions Industry Team, said the new San Francisco group continues an ambitious expansion of the firm’s service to industry clients nationwide. “Our clients in the financial industry have responded favorably to our drive to deliver comprehensive, integrated services, including top-tier capabilities in emerging sectors such as FinTech,” she said.

Szurley, who led Chapman and Cutler’s San Francisco office, handles commercial financings, including syndicated and single-bank lending transactions, leasing, securitizations and structured finance. He co-chairs the Opinions Committee of the California State Bar’s Business Law Section.

Clore focuses on middle market and syndicated lending transactions for financial institutions and has significant experience handling deals in the agribusiness sector. He represents borrowers in working capital and commercial equipment financing deals, as well as lenders, inside and outside of bankruptcy, in credit restructurings.

Browning represents financial institutions in secured and unsecured lending transactions, including single-bank and syndicated transactions, and has significant experience handling deals in the agribusiness and healthcare sectors. Before attending law school, he was a vice president in Wells Fargo’s residential mortgage group.

Dressel handles corporate and municipal bankruptcy and restructuring matters for financial institutions, hedge funds, indenture trustees, institutional investors and other stakeholders. He has considerable experience in various types of litigation in the debtor-creditor area, including commercial foreclosure actions, Uniform Commercial Code enforcement actions, lender liability, fraudulent transfers, and breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims.

“Todd Dressel’s experience handling bankruptcy and restructuring matters in a range of industries will deepen our bench and broaden the offering we can give our clients in this area, especially on the West Coast,” said Dion Hayes, chair of the firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency Department.

McGuireWoods placed fifth in deal count and seventh in dollar volume in Thomson Reuters Loan Pricing Corp.’s 2016 U.S. Lender Legal Advisor rankings. The American Lawyer honored the firm last year in its prestigious Global Legal Awards for advising Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in the financing of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s acquisition of SABMiller Plc. McGuireWoods also was recognized as “Law Firm of the Year” for Banking and Finance Law and received a national Tier 1 ranking for Insolvency and Reorganization Law in 2017’s U.S. News–Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

San Francisco attorney search consultant Avis Caravello assisted McGuireWoods in the four partners’ recruitment.