John Kicken


John specializes in high yield bonds and leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition financings, recapitalizations, restructurings and liability management.

He has extensive experience advising corporate issuers, financial sponsors, investment banks and private credit funds on high yield covenants and US securities law matters.

John is highly regarded in European high yield (Chambers) and recognized as a Leading Lawyer – Highly Regarded (IFLR1000) and a Leading Individual (Legal 500). Clients describe him as "a standout and among the best", "a trusted sounding board for all things high yield", "a go-to for dissecting the most complex high yield covenant issues", "extremely knowledgeable" and "very engaged and commercial" (Chambers and Legal 500).

John led the team that won High Yield Team of the Year at the IFLR Europe Awards in 2022. His deals have been shortlisted for, and awarded, High Yield Deal and Loan Deal of the Year on several occasions, including Altice France, Boparan, Douglas, Empark, Flora Food Group, Hunkemöller, IHO Holding, KCA Deutag, Norgine, Theramex and Titan.


Representative matters

The initial purchasers on EUR8.1 billion of high yield bond issuances, EUR3.0 billion of high yield bond exchanges and EUR6.9 billion of loan refinancings for Altice France.

Parcom, Opportunity Partners and other co-investors on the EUR390 million financing for the acquisition of Hunkemöller from Carlyle, as well as the subsequent EUR272.5 million debut high yield bond issuance.

The initial purchasers on the EUR2.4 billion loan and debut high yield bond refinancing for Partners Group-owned Emeria (formerly Foncia), as well as the subsequent EUR400 million follow-on high yield bond issuance.

KCA Deutag on USD2.3 billion of high yield bond issuances and a USD2 billion high yield restructuring.

John is a standout and among the best.
Chambers 2022
John is highly regarded in European high yield.
Chambers 2022



Admitted to the bar of the State of New York, 2007


LLM, Harvard Law School, 2007 Fulbright Scholar

LLM, Leiden Law School, 2006 Valedictorian

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A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.