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Orrick launches legal portal for U.S. direct lenders

Am Law 50 law firm Orrick has launched the first known legal portal for the U.S. corporate direct lending community, which is comprised of companies that are not banks but write commercial loans.

Am Law 50 law firm Orrick has launched the first known legal portal for the growing U.S. corporate direct lending community, which is comprised of companies that are not banks but write commercial loans.

DirectLending includes a tool for automatically generating draft legal term sheets and engagement letters for new deals, as well as an app for determining the level of credit support any affiliate of a U.S. borrower can provide without triggering a “deemed dividend.”

The portal, which is free and is intended to remain free to users, also provides a list, with hyperlinks, of more than 100 of the country’s direct lenders and an interactive checklist for getting through the most important parts of any credit agreement in an hour or less.

The initiative was spearheaded by B.J. Rosen, an Orrick partner and global co-head of the firm’s direct and specialty lending practice, working together with director of IT operations, Justin Graham.

Unlike the startup market, where Orrick has long had a dedicated web offering, including a startup forms library, direct lending has not historically been technology focused.

Rosen, who is based in New York, told Legal IT Insider: “When loans to U.S.-based companies are made by large commercial banks they have a lot of resource but a new market is growing rapidly – direct lending. Asset management businesses and development companies – non-banks who write loans – typically don’t have the infrastructure of large commercial banks, so resources like these are much more welcome by them.

“The market for direct lending has been growing explosively and we see a lot of that work at Orrick,” he added.