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Emily DiStefano joins Clifford Chance as Asset Finance partner

NEW YORK, May 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading international law firm Clifford Chance today announced that Emily DiStefano has joined the firm as an Asset Finance partner in New York, further bolstering one of the world's leading aviation finance practices.

DiStefano is highly respected for her experience in all aspects of aircraft finance, including secured lending, leasing, private equity investments and restructuring of transactions. She regularly advises major US airlines on public and private Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETC) – a popular financing product used by many large carriers. DiStefano also brings significant leveraged finance expertise, having represented corporate borrowers and private equity funds in connection with large leveraged acquisitions, high-yield debt offerings, term loan, ABL and revolving credit facilities, and credit facilities secured by capital calls.

"We are pleased to welcome Emily to our New York-based Asset Finance team, led by partners John Howitt, Zarrar Sehgal and Geoffrey White," said Evan Cohen, Clifford Chance's Americas Regional Managing Partner. "Adding Emily's in-depth aviation and leveraged finance expertise further bolsters our global aircraft finance practice, giving us an exceptional combination of client offerings and experience in the aviation sector."

"Clifford Chance has been at the forefront of advising on some of the most innovative aircraft financing techniques developed following the financial crisis," said Sehgal, global head of Clifford Chance's Transport & Logistics sector. "Emily's recognized expertise in EETC – a capital markets product heavily relied upon by major US airlines for a significant amount of their financings – further deepens our client offerings. We couldn't be more pleased to welcome her aboard."

In 2012, Clifford Chance's global aviation finance team advised on 10 Airfinance Journal Deal of the Year transactions – twice the number of any other law firm. Clifford Chance also won three aircraft finance-related awards from Jane's Transport Finance during the same period. The firm has been ranked Tier 1 in Asset Finance for nine consecutive years by Chambers Global, one of the leading independent guides to the legal profession.

"I'm thrilled to be joining one of the world's premier law firms and a preeminent global aircraft finance practice," said DiStefano, who was selected as a rising star in Airfinance Journal's 2010 Lawyers Guide and is ranked in Chambers USA for Transportation: Aviation Finance. "I couldn't ask for a stronger platform to grow my practice, and I look forward to working alongside a great team of lawyers in New York and across the Clifford Chance network."

DiStefano joins Clifford Chance from Debevoise & Plimpton, where she was a counsel in the Corporate department. She earned her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law after graduating from Dartmouth College, cum laude, and is admitted to the bar in the State of New York.

Clifford Chance is one of the world's leading law firms, helping clients achieve their goals by combining the highest global standards with local expertise. The Firm has unrivalled scale and depth of legal resources across the five major regions of Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, and focuses on the core areas of commercial activity: capital markets; corporate and M &A; finance and banking; real estate; tax, pensions and employment; litigation and dispute resolution. Clifford Chance has 35 offices in 25 countries with some 3,400 legal advisers. The Firm also operates a co-operation agreement with Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm in Saudi Arabia.

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CONTACT: In New York: Nicole Sharp Clifford Chance + 1 212-878-4942 nicole.sharp@cliffordchance.comSource:Clifford Chance LLP