Orrick Launches Legal Portal for Direct Lending

Sep 14 2016 | 8:04pm ET

Global law firm Orrick has jumped into the rapidly-growing world of private credit with the creation of what it describes as the first legal portal for the corporate direct lending community. 

The site breaks new ground by offering fast, simple solutions to a wide variety of common issues that arise in direct lending transactions, Orrick said in a statement. 

The portal offers a number of key features, including an efficient tool for automatically generating draft legal term sheets and/or engagement letters, an app for determining the level of credit support any affiliate of a U.S. borrower can provide without triggering a “deemed dividend”, a list, with hyperlinks, of more than 100 of the country’s direct lenders, and an interactive checklist for getting through the most important parts of any credit agreement in an hour or less.

“We are proud to launch this tool for the U.S. corporate lending community,” said B.J. Rosen, an Orrick partner and global co-head of the firm’s direct and specialty lending practice. “We believe this type of innovation is overdue in the market and will be valuable to clients, particularly in the middle market segment.”

Direct lending is among the fastest-growing alternative asset strategies as institutional investors flock to the asset class as a potential source of above-average, uncorrelated returns amid an extremely low-yielding traded credit environment. Assets dedicated to private debt and alternative lending funds have grown from $23 billion the year before the financial crisis to $75 billion in 2014, and had surpassed more than $73 billion by mid-2016, according to Preqin.

Orrick was founded more than 150 years ago in San Francisco. The firm is known for being innovative and concentrates heavily on the technology, energy & infrastructure and finance sectors.

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