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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Asset based lending > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Asset based lending
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

Leveraging a strong international brand, the 'very technical and knowledgeable' team at Mayer Brown International LLP excels in handling highly structured big-ticket multi-jurisdictional asset based lending (ABL) mandates for funds, banks, sponsors and corporates. Its expertise on complex deals mirrors the growing sophistication of the ABL product in the European market, which is increasingly being used in the context of large syndicated facilities, as well as forming a part of the debt package to fund M&A transactions. The ‘excellent’ Dominic Griffiths excels at handling commercial and investment bank ABL and structured finance, and is a key part of the team, which also includes the ‘fantastic’ Alex Dell. Dell has generated strong relationships with European banks and alternative credit providers and frequently leads on the most significant domestic and international ABL deals handled by the firm. Senior associate Ravi Amin is noted for his ‘very nifty and effective advice’ for banks, sponsors and corporates.

Practice head(s):Dominic Griffiths; Alex Dell

Other key lawyers:Simon Fisher; Charles Thain; Ravi Amin; Lynette Edwin

Testimonials

'The team's technical expertise and industry knowledge is very strong'.

'Given the size of the team, it has the ability to deliver on larger projects and on projects with tight timeframes'.

'The very experienced Alex Dell is a leading lawyer in the industry'.

'The extremely knowledgeable Simon Fisher focuses on US transactions'.

'Charles Thain and Ravi Amin are senior associates who have great technical knowledge and the ability to run transactions on their own'.

With practitioners spread across its national network of offices, Addleshaw Goddard has an ‘excellent reputation’ in the market for handling UK-originated ABL deals on behalf of clearing and challenger banks, as well as independents and corporates. Appreciated for its ability to provide ‘high-quality advice with a commercial edge’, the firm provides a “cradle-to-grave” service enabling it to provide holistic advice on new money transactions, in addition to any pursuant restructurings or litigation arising from any given deal. Described by one client as ‘Mr ABL’, practice head Mike Davison not only regularly leads on the most challenging deals handled by the team but is also noted for his ability to develop new products for clients in the market. Manchester-based managing associate Lauren Priest-Stephens is recognised as a ‘very effective operator’; she regularly advises both bank and non-bank clients.

Practice head(s):Mike Davison; Simon Prendergast

Other key lawyers:Harold Brako; James Tarleton; Lauren Priest-Stephens

Testimonials

'The team has a strong knowledgebase, as well as the ability to find innovative solutions and adopt a commercial and pragmatic approach to getting the deal done'.

'Mike Davison is the "go to" man in the sector and has a diverse client base which trusts his opinion as well as his ability to deliver solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner'.

Key Clients

HSBC Invoice Finance

Clydesdale Bank

PNC Business Credit

Secure Trust Bank

BNP Paribas Commercial Finance

Leumi ABL Limited

Shawbrook Bank

Advance Global Capital

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Secure Trust Bank

ABN Amro Commercial Finance

Metro Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Close Brothers Premium Finance on the provision of £100m specialist financing facilities to the Ardonagh Group.
  • Advised Homebase (UK&I) Holdings Limited in relation to £70m receivables and inventory finance facilities by Wells Fargo Capital Finance (UK) Limited.
  • Acted for HSBC Bank on its strategic re-banking of Albert Bartlett & Sons Limited, the leading Scottish potato manufacturer. The funding package included cashflow finance, ABL and equipment finance lines, which maximised the asset base of the group to provide it with suitable funding.
  • Advised on the launch of a specialist ABL offering for Wyelands Bank (formerly part of Tungsten Bank and now part of the Liberty House Group of Companies).
  • Advised PNC on the ABL facilities for the turnaround and rescue of Hornby Hobbies (brands include Hornby model trains, Scalextric, Corgi and Airfix).

Co-headed out of Leeds and Manchester by the ‘highly commercial and practical’ Sarah Day and Joseph Frew, respectively, DLA Piper is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable about the ABL market’, both at the front end of deals and in the event of distress. Leveraging strong ties with the ABL arms of clearing banks, independents and alternative credit providers, the firm’s lender-side profile ensures that it is exposed to a wide range of deals, from relatively commoditised ones (involving supply chain finance), through to more challenging structured mandates, from both a domestic and international perspective. Frew is appreciated by clients for his ‘experience across more bespoke ABL transactions’ and is also regularly instructed by funders to draft and develop template documentation for ABL facilities.

Practice head(s):Sarah Day; Joseph Frew; Steven Geerlings

Other key lawyers:Stephen Bottley; Chris Roberts; Neil Riley; Richard Usher; Alastair Carruthers; Rob Lyons; Peter Manley

Testimonials

'The team never tries to score points on the other side of deals and remains practical in its approach'.

'The firm has strong experience executing a wide range of transactions, particularly bespoke structures that are not typical in the ABL market'.

'It has strong ABL legal expertise, with well-resourced teams providing national coverage'.

'Joseph Frew understands a lender's requirements well and knows how the ABL product operates in practice, which greatly aids speeding up a negotiation'.

'Sarah Day is a key advocate and senior lawyer of her firm'.

Key Clients

ABN Amro Commercial Finance

Aldermore Invoice Finance

BNP Paribas Commercial Finance

Lloyds

Clydesdale Bank Invoice Finance

RBS Invoice Finance

Deutsche Bank

HSBC Invoice Finance

Shawbrook Bank Business Credit

Siemens Financial Services

ING Commercial Finance

Sonovate

Bibby Financial Services

Coöperatieve Rabobank

Work highlights

  • Acted for private equity-owned Ardent Hire Solutions on the refinancing of the company's existing indebtedness.
  • Acting for RBS Invoice Finance and HSBC on the provision of a £90m receivables finance facilities agreement for the Harvey Nash group of companies.
  • Advising BDO as administrators of Float Glass Industries and its parent company on its restructuring. The administration involved a £5m invoice discounting facility.
  • Acting for Duff & Phelps as administrators of Calvetron Brands group. Notably, this work involved the restructuring of an ABL facility providing receivables and stock financing.

Leveraging the firm’s established ABL brand in the US, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s 'highly intelligent and technically strong' nascent offering in London has thrived in the market - particularly in relation to cross-border mandates - since Georgia Quenby established the team at the beginning of 2018. Able to ‘understand the nuances of both the UK and US markets’, the dual-qualified Quenby excels at handling deals involving complex intercreditor arrangements and is also appreciated for her knowledge of the ABL product in a distressed context. Recently promoted partner Victoria Thompson demonstrates ‘outstanding commercial and legal insights’ to banks and funds on new money ABL financings and restructurings.

Practice head(s): Georgia Quenby 

Other key lawyers:Victoria Thompson; Meryem Hassan

Testimonials

'The team has a deep track record in executing ABL facilities, from simple domestic ones through to complex cross-border multi-country deals'.

'The team is a leader in ABL legal structuring, where few peers can offer comparable experience'.

'The lawyers are good at thinking ahead about possible consequences and scenarios given the extensive experience within the banking team of both restructuring and insolvency across UK and US'.

'Georgia Quenby is a lawyer you want on your side'.

'The very knowledgeable Victoria Thompson is a strong communicator and has a big future in banking law'.

Key Clients

Alopex Gold

Bank of America Business Capital

Cyrus Capital Partners

FBC Mining (BA) Limited

EXL Service

Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc

Wells Fargo Capital Finance (UK) Limited

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., London Branch

Westcon Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Wells Fargo, as senior lender, in relation to the administration of L.K. Bennett.

Led by the ‘superbMichael Black out of London and also able to tap into the firm’s vast international network, Norton Rose Fulbright’s seven-strong team’s particular sweet-spot is in advising lender clients on big-ticket, cross-border financings involving the ABL product, either on its own or sitting alongside other more conventional financing. The firm has strong ties with Wells Fargo and regularly advises it on some very significant ABL mandates, including in its role as one of a syndicate of banks on a $250m revolving ABL facility to Masonite International Corporation. Although it is perhaps best known for its work on mandates with a transatlantic nexus, the group continues to establish stronger ties with domestic and European entrants in the market and picks up a significant amount of more commoditised work, including on deals utilising the ABL product for domestic working capital facilities purposes.

Practice head(s):Michael Black

Other key lawyers:Alex Dunn; Helen Masri

Key Clients

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

RBS Invoice Finance

Lloyds bank Commercial Finance

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Sun Trust Bank

Credit Suisse

DG3 Group

Bank of Montreal

JP Morgan Chase Bank

HSBC Invoice Finance

Pathlight Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised JPMorgan Chase as lead arranger on the international aspects of a $1.1bn ABL facility for Sotheby’s.
  • Advised Wells Fargo as arranger of a £160m ABL facility for Celsa.
  • Advised Wells Fargo as arranger of a £95m ABL facility for Homebase.
  • Advised Wells Fargo on a finance facility to Charlesbank Equity Fund, including an $85m senior secured revolving ABL facility, to facilitate the acquisition of Rockport Group out of Chapter 11.
  • Advised Wells Fargo, as arranger, on the restructuring of a syndicated ABL facility of £73m to Hawk Plant.

Led by the ‘exceptional' Jon Bew out of the firm’s Birmingham office, Irwin Mitchell’s three-partner team has strong ties with the ABL arms of commercial and clearing banks, as well as independent providers of finance, which it advises on new money transactions, the development of new products, litigation and restructuring. Although it is active on cross-border mandates, the firm has a strong presence in the domestic market, particularly on bilateral deals arising from invoice discounting transactions. Recently promoted to partner, the 'excellentNatalie Barnes is gaining a strong reputation in the domestic market and has recently handled a significant number of deals for new market entrant Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending. The firm is also well versed in handling restructuring and insolvency matters where the ABL product formed a central part of the original financing; Stephen George is particularly noted for work in this area.

Practice head(s):Jon Bew

Other key lawyers:Stephen George; Andrew Watson; Natalie Barnes; Amy Keogh

Testimonials

'The team understands the ABL products and market deeply and provides sound advice'.

'Jon Bew is an exceptional individual with a great reputation'.

'Natalie Barnes has rightly been promoted to partnership'.

Key Clients

Hitachi Capital

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending

ABN AMRO Commercial Finance

Bibby Financial Services

Close Invoice Finance

HSBC Bank Plc

IGF Business Credit

Shawbrook Bank

Investec Bank

Woodsford Tradebridge

Work highlights

  • Advising the administrators and senior lenders on the sale of the business and assets of Cardinal Security Limited, in an extremely tight timescale, in order to maximise realisations and ensure the continuation of the business.
  • Advising IGF Business Credit on the receivables and inventory facility made available to Penta Foods Limited.
  • Advising Arbuthnot on a £5m ABL facility to Morris Angel & Son Limited. The transaction was unusual as it constituted a term and a revolving loan facility on the same class of assets.
  • Advising ABN Amro on a £16m receivables finance facility with Affinity Workforce.
  • Advising Arbuthnot on a £6.5m ABL facility being made available to the Fluorocarbon group.

Headed by Edward Sunderland and aided by practitioners throughout the firm’s national network of offices, Pinsent Masons LLP provides a ‘commercial and pragmatic service’ to funders and corporates across the spectrum of primarily domestic deals. Leveraging strong institutional ties with many of the clearing banks, the team has exposure to a vast range of work, running the gamut from complex securitisation-style mandates through to receivables financings and invoice discounting. As well as acting on the front end of deals, the team also has a strong reputation on the restructuring front, where ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ senior associate Gemma Kaplan has a thriving reputation in the market.

Practice head(s): Edward Sunderland 

Other key lawyers:Ian Falconer; Amy Flavell; James Cameron; Tim Fearn; Victoria Baker; Gemma Kaplan

Testimonials

'The team provides an excellent and consistent performance'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a UK clearing bank as arranger and lender on the warehouse financing of a hire purchase portfolio.
  • Represented an auto loan provider on a trade receivables warehouse finance facility.
  • Represented a commercial finance provider on the implementation of a back-to-back warehouse finance facility for the purposes of financing certain loan receivables.

Although the team recently witnessed a number of departures, including Andrew Knight to Crowell & MoringSquire Patton Boggs remains active in the space and is appreciated by both bank-owned asset-based lenders as well as independents for its ‘strong track record in large, syndicated, multi-jurisdictional ABL facilities’. The ‘highly commercial and knowledgeable’ Paula Laird heads the team, which includes senior associate Tom Dell’Avvocato, who regularly works alongside Laird on many of the department's most significant domestic and cross-border ABL mandates.

Practice head(s):Paula Laird

Other key lawyers:Tom Telford; Tom Dell’Avvocato

Testimonials

'The team is client focused and always able to provide support on short notice'.

'Paula Laird's particular strengths are her industry knowledge, commercial approach and ability to coordinate cross-jurisdictional matters'.

Key Clients

Barclays Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Bank Leumi (UK)

Leumi ABL

HSBC

ABN AMRO

The PNC Financial Services Group

Gordon Brothers

Apollo Global Management

Aurelius

Work highlights

  • Advised on ABN AMRO’s pan-European €160m financing of The Staples Group.
  • Acting for Go Plant Limited (backed by Endless) on a £13.5m ABL refinance with Secure Trust Bank.

The arrival of four partners from Squire Patton Boggs in the first quarter of 2019 - including the ‘very knowledgeable and experiencedAndrew Knight - has afforded US firm Crowell & Moring a hitherto untapped presence in the London ABL market. The team’s strong lender ties with numerous US banks and independent UK market participants has already led to a significant flow of work, both on the new money front as well as restructuring and enforcement, where the 'excellentCathryn Williams has a strong reputation (particularly in relation to formal insolvency procedures).

Practice head(s):Andrew Knight

Other key lawyers:Cathryn Williams; Paul Muscutt; Robert Weekes

Key Clients

PNC Bank

PNC Business Credit

FGI Finance

Secure Trust Bank

Leumi ABL/Bank Leumi

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong reputation in the domestic market, particularly among independent funders, but also for a growing roster of borrower clients and the ABL divisions of banking clients. Norwich-based team head Zak Virgin is recommended.

Practice head(s):Zak Virgin

Benefiting from an ‘exceptional knowledge of the sector’ as a result of many years’ activity in the space, North West-based firm Bermans’ four-partner team has the strength-in-depth to handle a tremendous volume of SME-focused domestic invoice finance and receivables finance mandates, both from a transactional and litigation perspective. Liverpool-based team head Alex Chapman has a ‘comprehensive knowledge of the market’ and close ties with many domestic invoice finance providers.

Practice head(s):Alex Chapman

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Berkson; David Gledhill; Ian Munford; Andrew Henderson; Alissa Marsh

Testimonials

'The team has a pragmatic and commercial approach'.

'It is a cohesive team that cares about the customer relationship - the lawyers are all willing to go the extra mile to ensure any request is dealt with quickly and accurately, and all dealings are priced fairly'.

'David Gledhill and Alex Chapman are diligent and always produce quality workmanship'.

Horsham-based firm PDT Solicitors has a long-established presence in the sector, and is particularly noted for the ‘commercial and cost-effective advice’ it is able to provide lenders in the domestic invoice finance and factoring space. Noel Ruddy ‘really knows his stuff’ and frequently takes the lead on new money financings and refinancings implementing receivables financing and ABL products. The four-partner team also includes practitioners with ABL-related litigation expertise, of benefit to clients on debt recovery matters, fraud claims and the enforcement of guarantees.

Practice head(s):Noel Ruddy

Other key lawyers:Dawn Shadwell; William Angas; Nigel Davidson; Ian Lindley; Justin McConville; Ben Ashworth

Key Clients

ABN AMRO Commercial Finance

Nucleus Commercial Finance

BNP Paribas Commercial Finance

Pulse Cashflow Finance

Catalyst Business Finance

Advantedge Commercial Finance

Breal Zeta CF Limited

Calverton Finance

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

FSE Group

Gener8 Finance

Hitachi Invoice Finance

IGF Invoice Finance

Innovation Finance

Investec Capital Solutions

Optimum SME Finance

Paragon Bank Plc

Ultimate Finance Limited

TradeRiver Finance

Work highlights

  • Acted for Pulse Cashflow Finance in successfully obtaining a summary judgment of £185,000 against three personal guarantors of its factoring facility.
  • Continuing to act for ABN AMRO Commercial Finance in debt recovery matters, which includes the drafting of letters before action, issuing proceedings, obtaining judgment and taking enforcement action.
  • Continuing to advise BNP Commercial Finance in transactional financing matters, which includes drafting receivable purchase agreements, debentures, multilateral guarantees, cross collateralisation agreements and charges over bank accounts.
  • Acted for ABN AMRO Commercial Finance in making a full recovery of the liabilities secured by two personal guarantors of its facility with a transport company.

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