Geoffrey Wynne is head of Sullivan’s Trade & Export Finance Group and the firm's London office.

He has extensive experience in banking and finance, specifically in corporate and international finance, trade, structured trade and commodity finance, electronic banking and digitizing trade finance, structured finance, asset and project finance, syndicated lending, equipment leasing, workouts and financing restructuring and general commercial matters.

Recognised as one of the leading trade finance lawyers globally, Geoff advises many of the major trade finance banks and financial institutions around the world on trade and commodity transactions in virtually every emerging market including in the CIS, Asia, India, Africa and Latin America. He has worked on many structured trade transactions covering such diverse commodities as oil, nickel, steel, tobacco, cocoa and coffee.

Geoff also acts extensively for industry bodies including BAFT (the Bankers Association for Finance & Trade), ITFA (the International Trade and Forfaiting Association) and the ICC (the International Chamber of Commerce) on documentation and rules promulgated by them in trade finance.

He has recently been involved with issues including the ITFA White Paper on electronic Payment Undertakings (ePUs), the ICC Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT) and ITFA’s Uniform Rules for Transferable Electronic Payment Obligations (URTEPO). He worked with the Law Commission on the Electronic Trade Documents Bill which will help with the move towards digitizing trade documents.

The team which Geoff leads has won numerous awards and recognition for its work in the Trade and Export Finance industry. In 2022, Sullivan was named ‘Best Trade or Supply Chain Finance Law Firm’ at the Global Trade Review (GTR) Leaders in Trade Awards, 2022 and ‘Best Trade Finance Law Firm’ by Trade Finance Global (TFG) in its International Trade Awards, 2022.

Geoffrey is ranked in Chambers UK, 2023 in Tier 1 as a Leading Individual for Commodities: Trade Finance, is included in the ‘Hall of Fame’ for Trade Finance by The Legal 500 UK, 2023 and is recognised as a Leading Lawyer – Highly Regarded in the United Kingdom by the IFLR1000, for banking and finance.

 

Representative Client Work

  • Lloyds Bank on the template structure for what is described as the UK’s first digital ‘promissory note’ purchase, structured in this specific way. It represents the first transaction to use ITFA’s Digital Negotiable Instrument initiative (DNI) issued using Enigio’s solution trace; original.
  • Marco Polo Network, the world's first blockchain-enabled, distributed network of trade finance and payment solutions to produce two rulebooks for its Marco Polo platforms under English law and the equivalents under New York law.
  • BAFT in updating its English law and New York law Master Participation Agreements (MPA) and associated usage guidelines, in particular to reflect the cessation of the use of LIBOR. The suite of MPAs are industry standard documents used by banks and their counterparties around the globe to facilitate the buying and selling of country and bank trade-related assets.
  • The ITFA Board in connection with various market-led insurance related matters. In September 2021, ITFA and Sullivan issued joint guidance to ITFA members on the use of compounded Risk-Free Reference Term Rates in Trade and Export Finance as a replacement for LIBOR.
  • ITFA’s Insurance Committee on its move towards the development of a Basel III trade credit insurance policy form. The result of three years of work and negotiations, it was released in October 2021. This new form covers receivables policies and is also a platform for devising compliant policies for other situations and products to encourage banks, insurance companies, law firms and brokers to move in the same direction to grow the overall industry.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Solicitor, Senior Courts of England and Wales

Professional Qualifications

  • Solicitor, Senior Courts of England and Wales, 1975 

Education

  • The College of Law
  • Christ Church, Oxford University, BA (Jurisprudence)

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom, Commodities (2009-2023)
  • Chambers UK, Commodities: Trade Finance (UK-wide) (2013-2023)
  • The Legal 500 UK - "Hall of Fame" (2018, 2020-2023)
  • The Legal 500 UK, Trade Finance - London - "Leading Individual" (2014-2023)
  • IFLR1000, Highly-Regarded, Bank Lending: Lender Side (2017-2022)
  • Lexology "Client Choice" — Banking (2019, 2021)
  • Trade & Forfaiting Review Awards, Fellowship Award (2017)

Seminars & Presentations

Practices

Industries

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