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What they never taught you in law school

If you ever forget - or never knew - what being a banking lawyer is all about, there's a book that will make it all horribly clear, says Christopher Stoakes


This is the end of a millennium, the season of giving. It coincides with my final column. I would like to mark it by heaping praise on another writer on financial law, one whose book would make a handy present for clients (especially in-house lawyers) and that casts a light on the development of the Euromarkets.

Philip R Wood of Allen & Overy is rightly hailed as the doyen of capital markets lawyers for his seminal six-volume work Law and practice of international finance(Sweet & Maxwell, 1995). Alongside it on the bookshelf, though, I would slip a volume of no more than 180 pages, How to negotiate Eurocurrency loan agreements (Euromoney, 1995), a second edition of which is due out early next year. The author is well known to these pages, being Lee C Buchheit, doyen of lawyers dealing with sovereign debt restructuring and a partner in Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.

The book stands out because of the way Buchheit captures the madness of the Euromarkets. In parts it is funnier than a Marx Brothers script. In essence it is a simple clause-by-clause manual to a syndicated loan agreement.

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