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Michael Poulton


Michael is the head of our international securitisation and structured finance practice. 



Michael focuses on all types of securitisation and structured finance work. He brings a deep commercial understanding to transactions having joined the firm as a partner in 2008 from Citigroup, where he was an investment banker in their European Securitisation Group.  Prior to that he practiced for many years in the structured debt group at Clifford Chance.

Michael advises arrangers, lead managers, originators, issuers, private equity, hedge funds, trustees, rating agencies and other market participants, often on complex and first-of-a-kind financings. 

Since 2009 Michael has been consistently recognised for his expertise and is currently ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK 2016, as a leading individual in Legal 500 UK 2016 and a leading lawyer in IFLR 1000 2016.

He recently led the team which won Legal Business Finance Team of the Year 2016 and The Lawyer Finance Team of the Year 2016 for its work for Virgin Atlantic's innovative and ground breaking securitisation of its London Heathrow landing slots.

  • "His technical knowledge is superb, and he's very commercial as he understands what the issuer is there to do"."
    Chambers UK 2015
  • "brings a robust, clear and independent view" to matters."
    Chambers UK 2014
  • "Outstanding practitioner" Michael Poulton is "clever, creative and rigorous, with unparalleled knowledge - he quickly gets to the heart of the matter"
    Legal 500 2013
  • "knows the documentation inside out and often trumps lawyers on the other side with his deeper and better knowledge"."
    Legal 500 UK 2012

Michael's experience includes advising:

  • Virgin Atlantic on its multi-award winning securitisation of its Heathrow airport landing slots – the first transaction of its kind in Europe.
  • BAML and Barclays and Citigroup as arrangers and joint-lead managers on TSB Bank's inaugural Duncan Funding 2015-1 RMBS transaction and the subsequent inaugural 144A Duncan Funding 2016-1 RMBS transaction
  • The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the UK Government's sale of a £900m portfolio of mortgage-style student loans to the private sector
  • A steering committee of senior bondholders on the restructuring of the €2 billion Fleet Street II (Karstadt) German CMBS – the first European CMBS restructuring that included an extension of the maturity of the notes
  • Goldman Sachs as arranger of a €5.1 billion securitisation by National Bank of Greece of cashflows under a long term interest-rate swap with the Hellenic Republic
  • Cabot Square and its portfolio companies on numerous securitisation funding facilities.



He leads Herbert Smith Freehills’ structured finance and debt capital markets practices, and joined Herbert Smith Freehills as a partner from Citigroup in 2008, where he was an investment banker in their European Securitisation Group.