Alexia Russell



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Alexia Russell>


Alexia Russell

Summary Open

Alexia is a Partner in the Finance group in the Paris office of Watson Farley & Williams.

She specialises in asset finance, leasing and project finance and acts mainly for banks and financial institutions, equity investors, export credit agencies, other lenders and lessors. Her asset finance and leasing practice focuses on transactions in the aviation, shipping and rail sectors while with regard to project finance, she has developed a strong expertise in the energy sector, in particular, in renewable energy. She has experience in structuring, documenting and negotiating acquisitions, financing and leasing transactions and has been involved in numerous complex restructurings in the last few years.

Alexia qualified in 2005 into the London-based structured and asset finance team of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. During her time with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, she was notably seconded to their Paris office, where she did a mix of asset and acquisition finance work, and also to Babcock & Brown’s rail team, where she did finance and leasing work. She then spent two years with Stephenson Harwood in Paris doing asset finance (in particular aviation, rail and shipping work) before joining the firm as a Senior Associate in 2011.

Experience Open


    • Assisting Natixis in connection with a complex restructuring involving the sale to a new Greek owner and charterback of two ferries to a major Greek shipowner, Anek Lines, and a further charter to Attica Group, and intricate financing arrangements.
    • Advising BNP Paribas as lender and facility agent for a large syndicate of banks on two ECA-backed loan facilities in connection with the US$3 billion global restructuring of ZIM Integrated Shipping Solutions Ltd.
    • Advising a leading French bank on the restructuring of a French tax lease financing originally made available in respect of the purchase of a Ro-Ro vessel to a French company which became insolvent, restructuring which involved the sale of the vessel to a Maltese owner, complex new financing arrangements and a new bareboat charter to a Danish operator.
    • Assisting a leading German bank on a Sinosure-backed pre-and post-delivery financing of a container vessel for a large shipowner.
    • Advising a leading French bank regarding the financing and delivery of two livestock vessels currently being built in China and to be owned by two Singaporean entities.


    • Advising two German banks regarding various defaults, the consensual repossession of three B747 freighter aircraft from a Chinese airline and the claim in the insolvency of the airline. Also advised the banks on the complex lease and refinancing arrangements in respect of two of the aircraft.
    • Advising BRED Banque Populaire on the financing of Singapore-based lessor Avation PLC’s purchase of one ATR 72 aircraft and the leasing of the aircraft to Fiji Airways and sub-leasing to Fiji Link.
    • Advising a variety of banks as to English and French law on JOLCOs relating to certain Air France aircraft.


    • Assisting CIT/Nacco and Ascendos Rail Leasing on a day-to-day basis in respect of their leasing and financing operations as well as potential tenders for concessions.
    • Acting for CIT/Nacco from start to finish on a competitive bid, which CIT/Nacco won, for the acquisition of a fleet of 920 freight wagons belonging to Eversholt Rail Group, including advice on the sale and purchase agreement and novation agreements.


    • Advising HSH Nordbank on the €272.7m financing for the construction, development and operation of various solar projects in France with a total capacity of 175.6 MW developed by Solairedirect and sponsored by, respectively, BlackRock, 123Venture, Union Investment, Capital Stage and Goodyields.
    • Advising Deutsche Bank and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in relation to a Coface-supported loan facility of US$73 million for Axion Energy Argentina SRL in order to finance a turn-key extraction and sulfur processing unit project in Argentina.
    • Advising a French bank in relation to an ECA-backed loan facility for a Spanish owner in order to finance the supply of equipment for installation of power lines in Brasil.

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • “It’s the start of the railroading towards the Luxembourg Protocol” (co-author), “Leasing Life”, March 2016
  • Alexia is recommended in Chambers and Partners (2015 edition) for its shipping finance practice: “Alexia Russell provides legal advice on financial transactions taking place in both the shipping and aviation industries. Clients note: ‘I would recommend her due to her tenacity in negotiations and approach to solving legal issues’.”
  • Alexia was also shortlisted in the Rising star Finance category at the Euromoney LMG Europe Women in Business Law Awards in 2013 and 2014.


Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • The Rail Working Group

Publications Open

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