Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed partner Kristen Roberts as the firm's new Joint Managing Partner for its global Finance practice and the UK/US and EMEA Regional Head of Practice effective from 1 April 2023.
Kristen succeeds partner Gary Hommel who returns to full-time practice in London, focusing on real estate finance.
Kristen has more than two decades of experience in corporate debt and acquisition finance as well as in general treasury advice to clients. A homegrown talent, he joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 1997 as a trainee and became a partner in 2008.
Ranked as a Leading Individual by Legal 500, Kristen was previously the head of the corporate and leveraged finance group within the London Finance practice for several years. He currently leads the London corporate debt team, which Legal 500 notes is "best known for its aptitude at assisting the firm's impressive roster and other international corporates, raising debt through the loans and private placed notes markets."
In addition, as the corporate debt team head, Legal 500 notes that Kristen "is at the cutting-edge of corporate debt trends, including as it relates to sustainability-linked notes, in part due to his impressive deal flow but also by dint of the well-received research he compiles every year alongside the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) which provides a forensic analysis of corporate debt trends in the market."
Led by Kristen, the research with ACT is compiled to produce the firm's annual Corporate Debt & Treasury Report which captures trends and outlook for corporate debt and is viewed as a barometer of finance and treasury professionals' views around debt raising. Now in its 10th year, this year's report is scheduled to be launched in May 2023.
Ian Cox, Executive Partner, Practices at Herbert Smith Freehills, comments:
"Kristen is no stranger to leadership roles. Having previously been a group head within the Finance practice and as the current corporate debt team head, he is well-placed to take on the leadership of the global Finance practice with fellow Joint Managing Partner Andrew Booth. Both Kristen and Andrew's experience, energy and insight will bring huge value to the leadership team and to the firm and enable us to continue delivering on our Ambition 2025 strategy."
Commenting on his appointment, Kristen says:
"I am honoured to have this opportunity to co-lead our global practice and am excited to work alongside colleagues who are incredibly talented and widely known for their expertise. As businesses grapple with a multitude of economic, environmental and political challenges, I look forward to leading a team that anticipates and guides our clients through the legal issues in their financing deals and to deliver solutions that meet their needs."