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January 18, 2019  

New Team Leads Mayer's Securitization Unit

Jon Van Gorp has stepped down as co-head of Mayer Brown’s securitization practice.

Van Gorp, who had led the group since 2012 alongside Stuart Litwin, remains a partner at Mayer and a member of the management committee overseeing the entire firm. Litwin, who is based in Chicago, will continue overseeing the team along with newly named co-heads Julie Gillespie and David O’Connor. The management changes took effect this month.

“This is part of our continuing legacy of bringing in new leadership,” said Van Gorp, who has worked at the firm since 1997. “I replaced Jason Kravitt in 2012, and now it’s time to bring in younger partners. We have really good generational expertise from top to bottom.”

Mayer consistently finishes at or near the top of Asset-Backed Alert’s league tables for law firms advising issuers and underwriters of asset-backed securities, mortgage bonds and collateralized loan obligations. For 2018, Mayer leads the issuer-counsel ranking by a wide margin.

Gillespie, a Chicago-based partner who joined Mayer in 1996 right out of law school, primarily advises issuers and underwriters of credit-card securities. The firm last year had a hand in roughly one-third of all U.S. card-bond transactions.

O’Connor is a mortgage specialist stationed in London. He joined Mayer in 2013 from Allen & Overy, and before that spent time as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank.

O’Connor is tasked with expanding Mayer’s structured-product business in London, with a focus on mortgage bonds, collateralized loan obligations and deals backed by trade receivables. To that end, Mayer recently hired several attorneys including CLO specialist Dasha Sobornova, who joined this week as a partner, jumping from Paul Hastings.

After stepping down as co-head of the securitization group in 2012, Kravitt remained on board as a partner even as he announced his retirement on several occasions. But now it’s official: Kravitt’s status has switched to “of senior counsel,” and he’s no longer involved on a day-to-day basis.