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Recognised for its ‘strong market knowledge’, Mayer Brown International LLP is well placed to advise lenders (including Citi and Deutsche Bank) on complex, cross-border mandates. ‘Pragmatic’ team head Alex Dell displays ‘sound commercial judgement’ and has successfully leveraged his strong relationships with UK banks (including HSBC) to ensure a significant flow of domestic and pan-European financings. The firm’s sweet spot, however, remains in handling transatlantic, quasi-structured finance work, as demonstrated by Graham Wedlake’s work for CF Lending, as administrative agent, on the refinancing of an existing English law €125m securitisation-lite receivables finance facility provided to the International Automotive Components Group. Other recommended practitioners include Simon Fisher and Dominic Griffiths.

Now headed by Richard Usher following Alex Dell’s departure in April 2015 to Mayer Brown International LLP, DLA Piper remains a credible presence in the domestic market, where it acts for clearing banks including RBS and Lloyds, as well as alternative finance providers and corporate clients. Usher recently advised RBS on a $4m invoice discounting facility to NP Group. The firm also has a strong reputation on the recoveries side, where the ‘commercial and pragmatic’ Simon Boon and the ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ Lorinda Peasland are recommended. Other key figures include Leeds-based Sarah Day and Manchester-based Joseph Frew.

Headed by Andrew Watson, Irwin Mitchell provides ‘an exceptional and cost-effective service’ to traditional and challenger banks including HSBC, Metro Bank and Shawbrook Bank. Jon Bew (who is ‘excellent at picking out the commercial imperatives’) acted for HSBC alongside Birmingham-based associate Natalie Barnes on a £24m pan-European ABL facility to ADM Promotions.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, the ‘extremely knowledgeableMichael Black represents lenders including Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance and Wells Fargo on a range of ABL financings. Black (who is noted for his ‘in-depth market knowledge as well as solid understanding of the credit and administrative concerns of ABL lenders’) advised Bank of America as arranger on a $150m cross-border ABL facility for the Panavision group.

Led by the ‘hands-on and commercialPaula Laird and the ‘very knowledgeableAndrew Knight, Squire Patton Boggs acts for a mix of bank-owned ABL participants and independent market participants, including PNC Bank and GE Capital, and is ‘well placed to handle cross-border transactions’ as a result of its broad network of offices across Europe and the US. On the recoveries side, ABL litigator Gareth Timms is, according to one client, ‘someone you want in the trenches with you if there’s a problem’.

Led by the ‘knowledgeable and sensibleSimon Prendergast in Manchester and Mike Davison in London, Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s ‘cost-effective’ practice acts for lenders and borrowers including GE Capital, Barclays, HSBC Invoice Finance and Denby Pottery. Recent highlights include advising US lender PNC Bank on a full suite of ABL facilities for Meridian Metals Trading including receivables finance, revolving collateral inventory facilities and real estate finance. Leeds-based partners Ben Lowans and Sally Butt round out the team on the litigation and recoveries front.

The ‘fantastic’ Georgia Quenby leads Reed Smith LLP’s practice, which provides ‘proactive, timely and commercial’ advice on a range of ABL mandates, often involving a complex inter-creditor arrangement and/or a multi-jurisdictional element. Quenby is ‘a real expert in the field’ who is ‘always abreast of market conditions and regulatory developments’.

Jones Day’s practice is led by Andrew Rotenberg and has practitioners across Europe, US and Asia, enabling it to handle cross-border mandates for lenders and borrowers. Rotenberg advised ESO Capital on the €356m refinancing of Moventas Gears in a deal which involved creating a hybrid asset-based lending/leveraged finance transaction structure and financing documentation across multiple jurisdictions.

Pinsent Masons LLP has strong ties with the UK clearing banks and provides ‘cost-effective and highly professional advice’ on deals involving discrete ABL facilities or where the ABL portion sits alongside more traditional bank debt. Birmingham-based Edward Sunderland (who is praised for his ability to foster ‘collaborative relationships’ with banks) acted alongside ‘excellent’ senior associate Victoria Baker for Simpsons Malt on the refinancing of its £90m ABL facility. On the recoveries front, Manchester-based James Cameron is a key contact, as is Amy Flavell, who joined the Birmingham office from Squire Patton Boggs.

Liverpool and Manchester-based firm Bermans has ‘very longstanding experience’ in the area, where it predominantly handles domestic invoice financing mandates. Alex Chapman and David Gledhill are the main practitioners on the transactional front, while Jonathan Berkson handles ABL litigation.

At Gowling WLG, Kirsty Barnes handles ABL mandates as part of her broad financing practice, and ‘hardworking and pragmatic’ Birmingham-based Greg Standing handles litigation in the sector.

At Michelmores LLP, the ‘commercial’ Chris Willison is noted for his ‘wealth of invoice discounting experience’, as well as for his receivables financing expertise.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, Norwich-based Zak Virgin is well regarded for invoice discounting.

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