M. Shams Billah helps lenders and borrowers negotiate and close complex U.S. loan agreements and indentures for loans and bonds ranging between $1 million to over $10 billion. Clients value his responsiveness, no-frills commercial approach on deals, and ability to navigate and resolve complicated finance issues.
Shams is the leader of Barnes & Thornburg’s Private Credit team where he works alongside the Private Funds and Asset Management practice based in New York. He has deep and versatile experience advising credit funds and other global asset managers on a wide variety of corporate and finance matters, as well as advising private equity firms and their portfolio companies in a range of traditional middle-market acquisition and financing transactions. His work has earned him significant honors, including being named to Bloomberg Law’s 40 Under 40 for Banking & Finance and being featured as a rising star corporate attorney by The Deal and Global Restructuring Review.
Shams leverages his broad market expertise in both buy and hold credit strategies and syndicated finance and bond transactions to guide clients on a variety of deals across a range of industries, including healthcare, media, software, technology, restaurants and other franchised business models, aviation and manufacturing. He advises clients on senior, mezzanine and subordinated loans; unitranche facilities; first lien/second lien facilities; cash flow, ABL and other working capital facilities; and indentures and convertible notes. He also negotiates complex intercreditor and subordination arrangements; supports clients on various debt restructurings and bankruptcies, including negotiating debtor-in-possession and exit facilities; and advises clients in connection with sharia compliance and Islamic finance matters, where he is a preeminent thought leader having published and lectured across the United States on the topic.
Shams comes to Barnes & Thornburg as a partner from an international law firm’s New York office. He began his career not in law, but in investment banking at Lehman Brothers, where he developed his deep understanding of how banks and alternative lenders work and where he honed his commercial and business-minded approach to deal making and closings. Over his career, Shams has advised on well over $250 billion in transactions for lenders and corporate borrowers globally.
Professional and Community Involvement
Board of Directors, Brooklyn Debate League
Member, Muslim Urban Professionals (Muppies)
Member, Muslim Economic Forum (McKinsey)
Member, Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)
Correspondent, Islamic Finance News
Advisor, Lexis Practical Guidance