Negotiating the right Comfort Letter

Negotiating the right Comfort Letter

In the second part of this two-part video series, Kate continues the discussion around comfort letters. Kate begins by talking about engagement letters, another way underwriters can potentially protect themselves against liability. Then she discusses certain issues with comfort letters, such as what happens when there is no comfort letter provided, and key things to watch out for when requesting a comfort letter.
Overview

Comfort letters are challenging and can be tricky to negotiate. While there are steps you can take to try to smooth the process, you should also be aware that this will not always be possible. Auditors are skilful at cherry-picking the elements that they like from different markets – always striving to reduce their perceived liability.

Key learning objectives:

  • What is an engagement letter?

  • What due diligence procedures can underwriters carry out to address limited comfort or any issues flagged in the comfort letter?

  • What are some key things to watch out for to ensure the process goes smoothly?

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Summary
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Expert
Kate Craven

Kate Craven

Kate is a senior member of ICMA and consults on various projects including the recent update of the Primary Market Handbook. Kate previously served as Director at Barclays Plc in the Legal Department. She was responsible for the team specialising in debt capital markets. Prior to joining Barclays, she served as Director at Merrill Lynch. Kate had started in the Transaction Management Group at Merrill Lynch International in 1993 before spending two years in Tokyo with Merrill Lynch Japan Securities. She later headed the team responsible for the documentation of syndicated Eurobonds and EMTN programmes. Kate became chair of the Legal & Documentation Committee of the ICMA in 2001 and was listed as one of the 8 top in-house lawyers in the 2001 edition of Chambers and Partners Index to Leading Lawyers.

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