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For many, Birketts LLP’s practice is ‘better value and higher quality than most of its competitors’, and is rated for its ‘smooth delivery in lending scenarios’. Ipswich-based department head Mark Henry advised Muntons on a £53.4m asset-based finance facility. In Cambridge James Allen and ‘responsive and client-focused’ associate Nick Burt are recommended.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s banking and finance practice acts for national and international institutions including LV Commercial Mortgage, HSBC Bank and Barclays Bank. William Roles’ team includes the ‘very professionalSarah Seed, who advised Kingston Higher Education Corporation on a £77.7m term loan. Real estate finance specialist Laura Holdaway and ABL expert Zak Virgin are also recommended.

Ron Clare’s team at Ashtons Legal provides ‘excellent, pragmatic legal advice and punches above its weight’. Secured lending expert Genie Barham (who is noted for her ‘exceptional service’) advised Unit Art Glass and HSBC Bank on financing for the acquisition of a new site. Other clients include Handelsbanken, Santander and Clydesdale Bank.

Hewitsons’ clients rate its banking practice for its ‘responsiveness and strength in depth’. James Lawrence and James Simpson are the key figures in the ‘approachable and commercial’ Cambridge team, which advises corporate borrowers and lenders including UK banks and multinationals. Jason Williams advised a property company on a £14m loan.

Howes Percival LLP is ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ and ‘a very good bank panel firm’. Adam Kudryl, once a senior associate at Birketts LLP before starting his own business, joined to lead on banking and finance in Cambridge. Joanna Nicholls takes the lead in Norwich, where Tessa Haskey is also recommended. Nicholls advised a bank on a £8m loan to the developer of a care home.

Penningtons Manches LLP stands out for its ‘professional acumen, efficient delivery and diligent approach’. Helen Drayton’s clients rate her ability to ‘always see the transaction from their perspective’. Sarah Coates is recommended for real estate finance. Clients include Santander UK and Handelsbanken.

Prettys’ team is known for its ‘excellent engagement and really good response times’. Standout figures include the ‘diligent and practicalJon Bloor, corporate partner Ian Waine, who advised a borrower on a £40m revolving credit facility, and Ross Wiltshire, who ‘takes the stress out of the situation’ and is known for secured lending and development finance.

Greene & Greene’s corporate partners advise many large regional businesses and local SMEs on finance matters. Neil Walmsley acted for a borrower in a £30m fundraising, and Chris Thomson handled a £3.4m technology sector financing.

Greenwoods Solicitors LLP’s Alastair Gunn advised a major UK lender on multimillion-pound commercial lending transactions. Samantha East is noted for her real estate finance expertise. Corporate partner Duncan Walker is also recommended.

Steeles Law’s Nigel Lubbock and associate Lindsey Crockett advised a borrower on a complex debenture arrangement governing funds exceeding £20m. They also assisted English and Swiss clients on the renegotiation of an investment arrangement with an Asian entity.

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