Mark Norris has joined Geoff Wynne and Simon Cook at Sullivan and Worcester’s London office.

Norris joins the firm from Squire Sanders and will be a partner focusing on structured export credit finance, structured trade and commodity finance in emerging markets, and acquisition finance.

“We’re delighted that Mark has come and joined us because it widens our offering. It takes us into more finance, more international finance, and more trade and export finance – which remains the cornerstone of what we do,” Geoff Wynne, the head of S&W’s trade and commodities finance group tells GTR.

Before joining Squire Sanders, Norris spent 11 years at Simmons and Simmons and nine years at Clifford Chance. He has worked on several large export credit and acquisition finances throughout Africa and Europe.

This, combined with the trade and project finance experience gives S&W a great advantage, Norris tells GTR: “Lots of firms can say that they have project finance capabilities, and they probably do, but very few firms can say they have trade, commodity and export finance capability and genuinely do.”

Norris has also worked with UK Export Finance, the UK export credit agency (ECA), with the development of some of its new programmes aimed at SMEs.

Some of these schemes have had a very low take-up, he points out, but, with pressure from the government, the ECA will continue to push itself into the SME sphere, which it has not been deeply involved with since the short term insurance team was closed in the 1990s. Norris, and S&W, will continue to advise on these.

The S&W office in London was announced a year ago but officially opened in October 2013. “This is a team that is up and running… It is a strong team, all experts in this area and all ready to do anything that is allied to it in international finance,” Wynne comments.