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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 > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Leveraging the firm's deeply entrenched commercial and investment bank relationships with clients including RBS, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, and also able to effectively resource multi-jurisdictional deals by virtue of its huge international network of offices, Allen & Overy LLP remains a market leader for syndicated deals throughout EMEA. With more than 100 practitioners in the banking team, the firm has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume of mandates ranging from relatively commoditised revolving credit facilities for general working capital purposes, to jumbo investment grade acquisition financings. Trevor Borthwick recently advised the lenders on the origination and syndication of a $2.75bn facility to support John Wood Group’s acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler plc. Although the firm handles a greater proportion of its work flow on the lender side it also generates a significant amount of investment grade borrower work including advising on the establishment of Euro Medium Term-Note programmes (EMTN) and other treasury facilities. Praised for her 'friendly nature but tough negotiating style', the 'outstanding' Melissa Samuel represented Syngenta on the amendment and restatement of a $5bn target facilities agreement and $1.5bn revolving credit facility in connection with ChemChina's acquisition of Syngenta. Other recommended partners include Simon Roberts, Darren Hanwell, Philip Bowden and Greg Brown.

With a 'top-notch roster of partners' at its disposal, as well as being able to utilise 'high-quality junior resources', Clifford Chance LLP provides an 'excellent level of service' to an impressive list of banking clients including Deutsche Bank, Lloyds and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, across the spectrum of financing work including on general corporate lending matters and complex cross-border M&A financings, as well as on more esoteric structures relating to Islamic finance and margin finance. The 'vastly experienced and well respected' Jim MacHale recently advised the lead arrangers on the $20bn acquisition facilities and £1bn revolving credit facilities for Reckitt Benckiser Group plc on its $17.9bn acquisition of Mead Johnson. Newly promoted partner David Robson was also involved in the aforementioned transaction and has quickly garnered a strong reputation among lenders for corporate event driven and investment grade financings where he 'brings an air of calm to even the most complex negotiations'. Nicola Wherity has an established reputation among banks for high-value investment grade financings and recently represented Citibank as co-ordinating bank and facility agent on a short-term multi-currency revolving credit facility for Nestlé. On the borrower side, Michael Bates advised Informa plc on the financing arrangements to facilitate its £3.9bn acquisition of UBM plc. Other recommended practitioners include Emma Folds, Charles Cochrane, James Boswell, Peter Dahlen, Matthew Dunn and James Butters.

Benefiting from 'top-tier analytical and intellectual ability',¬†Linklaters LLP¬†provides a 'very responsive service'¬†to banks and corporates across a myriad of financing work, including as it relates to general corporate lending, investment grade acquisition financing, margin lending and refiancings.¬†Head of the firm's global loans practice,¬†Philip Spittal¬†has deep expertise at handling¬†syndicated lending and event-driven acquisition finance for investment grade, crossover and leveraged credits; Spittal recently represented ING Bank as global co-ordinator on term and revolving credit facilities and a ‚ā¨600m short-term facility for¬†Dufry, and advised BNP Paribas in its capacity as co-ordinator on an amendment and restatement of its existing ¬£1.88bn revolving facility agreement for¬†Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc, involving a syndicate of 30 lenders. As well as handling a raft of general corporate lending work and investment grade acquisition financing matters,¬†Oliver Edwards¬†has also developed a market leading margin lending practice and recently¬†advised a syndicate of international banks on the refinancings of a margin loan secured over shares in¬†Steinhoff¬†for a borrower ultimately owned by Christo Wiese. Recently promoted partner¬†Ian Callaghan¬†'is destined to become a leader in the area'; he recently acted for JP Morgan on the¬†‚ā¨150m¬†bridge term loan facility to¬†Neinor Homes, for the purpose of financing the acquisition of certain plots of land located in Spain. Other recommended practitioners include¬†James Martin,¬†Toby Grimstone¬†and 'very sharp and enthusiastic' managing associate¬†Caroline Courtney. Other clients include Glencore, Credit Suisse,¬†Reckitt Benckiser plc and Credit Suisse.

'The market-leading borrower side practice',¬†Slaughter and May¬†provides an 'exceptionally high-quality service' to a stellar roster of blue-chip corporates including Costain Group plc, First Group, Ocado Group and Tata Steel, across the gamut of financing work including for acquisition finance, as well as general corporate and working capital purposes. The team's pre-eminent borrower side reputation is further underscored by the firm's role for the Association of Corporate Treasurers in relation to LMA documentation; notably the firm recently updated the Borrower's Guide to¬†LMA Loan Documentation for Investment Grade Borrowers‚Äô to reflect the¬†ongoing reforms to LIBOR, Euribor and other benchmarks.¬†Matthew Tobin¬†recently advised Dufry on its¬†‚ā¨2.4bn new facilities¬†(for refinancing and general corporate purposes)¬†which included Euro and US dollar term loan facilities and a multi-currency revolving facility. As well as new money financings, the team has also handled numerous refinancing mandates for corporate clients including¬†Robert Byk¬†'s representation of ISS on the refinancing of its existing credit facility with a new ‚ā¨1bn revolving credit facility. Other recommended partners include¬†Ed Fife,¬†Philip Snell¬†and¬†Andrew McClean.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP regularly handles financing work on behalf of the firm's extensive roster of investment grade corporates. Alex Mitchell recently provided finance input to Jimmy Choo plc in relation to its £896m takeover by Michael Kors. David Trott regularly handles investment grade acquisition finance work as well as corporate treasury matters and is a key member of the team that also includes Simon Johnson, whose broad finance practice regularly encompasses acquisition finance and general corporate lending work as well as lender side real estate finance work. Sean Pierce recently retired.

Leveraging its impressive roster of FTSE 250/100 corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides an 'excellent service' across the gamut of borrower-side financing requirements including on general corporate lending, event-driven and acquisition financings. Team head Kristen Roberts delivers 'high-quality' financing advice to many of the firm's blue-chip corporates including Coats Group plc which he advised in relation to its debt diversification programme through a $350m bank multi-currency revolving credit facility and debut $225m US private placement of notes. Although the firm is undoubtedly better known for its borrower side prowess, Will Nevin has successfully expanded its lender side work both on the leveraged and corporate acquisition finance front on behalf of lender clients including Citi and HSBC. A more established lender practice also continues to flourish in the energy sector where the firm regularly acts for banks in relation to reserve-based funding structures. Thomas Bethel has a strong reputation in this space and regularly handles work for large bank syndicates; he recently acted for the lenders to Ophir Energy on an up to $350m reserve-based lending facility. Other recommended practitioners include Ian Yeo, for emerging markets mandates; William Breeze, for structured commodity trade finance; and Martin Kavanagh, for energy and infrastructure finance.

'Up-to-date on best market practice', Ashurst provides 'commercial, practical and responsive' advice to a balanced array of lenders and borrowers including RBS, HSBC and AVEVA Group plc. The 'calm and client-focused' Nicholas Moore regularly handles cross-border investment grade syndicated and bilateral loan financings; he recently advised RBS, as co-ordinator, on two syndicated loan facilities provided to Hilton Food Group, in part to finance its acquisition of Icelandic Group UK. Alongside debt capital markets partner Anna Delgado, Moore also recently acted forTritax Big Box REIT plc on a £350m unsecured revolving credit facility and a debut £1.5bn EMTN programme to refinance existing £550m secured facilities and for working capital purposes. Tim Rennie has particular expertise in arranging the financing of public takeovers, and alongside Mark Vickers recently advised Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as financial advisers to Vantiv in connection with its £8bn merger with Worldpay Group plc. Other recommended practitioners include Lee Doyle and Robert Andrews, for fund finance work; Nick Wong, who acts for lenders and borrowers on the financing of acquisitions within the insurance sector; senior associate Darren Phelan;   and Martyn Rogers.

Headed by Nick Tostivin, Baker McKenzie 's seven-partner team in London works on a standalone basis and often in conjunction with other finance practitioners from across the firm's network of offices, to provide a 'responsive and value-for-money service' to lenders and corporates across a broad array of financings, ranging from short-term unsecured loans to global facilities involving multi-jurisdictional collateral, bilateral loans, syndicated loans and participations. Working closely with practitioners from the firm's Luxembourg office, Lynn Rosell Rowley advised Macquarie Atlas Roads on the financing for its acquisition of a minority stake in Autoroutes-Rhin-Rhone. Sebastian Marcelin-Rice has 'very wide experience in cross-border lending' and is also recommended.

Led by Alex Patience, CMS' seven-partner banking team receives a significant flow of syndicated lending work by dint of its strong UK clearing bank relationships, in addition to a growing number of international/investment banks including Rabobank and JP Morgan. Particularly strong in sector areas of focus for the firm as a whole, including energy, real estate and technology; Patience advised a banking syndicate including HSBC Bank, BNP Paribas and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the financing to facilitate Britain's largest technology company, Sage Group, on its $850m acquisition of US cloud-based financial software company Intacct. The firm also regularly advises major listed corporates on their financing requirements across the treasury spectrum, including Galliford Try plc which Patrick Donegan recently advised on the amendment and extension of its £450m credit facility agreement and its simultaneous £100m private placement. Ted Harrison, Mark Moseling and Neil James are also recommended.

Leveraging its extensive network of international offices,¬†Dentons¬†regularly appears on the bank side on syndicated loan transactions in the EMEA region. Team head¬†Isaac Felberbaum¬†is regularly involved in the most significant deals handled by the team and is particularly noted for his representation of lending syndicates providing liquidity to other financial institutions in the emerging markets. For example, he recently represented Standard Chartered Bank, as documentary agent, and a syndicate of lenders, on the¬†$1bn syndicated term loan facility for The Standard Bank of South Africa for general corporate purposes. Felberbaum also recently advised a syndicate of 33 banks on a $1.1bn dual tranche, dual currency term loan facility for prominent Turkish financial institution¬†T√ľrkiye ńįŇü BankasńĪ. The 'knowledgeable and responsive'¬†Lee Federman¬†handles borrower and lender side mandates and recently acted for¬†Virgin Atlantic Airways on its three-year, $150m secured syndicated revolving credit facility.¬†Catherine Astruc¬†is also recommended. Other clients include Commerzbank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Wells Fargo.

Although it remains best-known for its pre-eminent mid/upper-mid market leveraged finance brand as a result of its close ties with a wide range of financial institutions including UK clearers, investment banks and direct lenders, Hogan Lovells International LLP also regularly handles broader financing work including investment grade corporate lending and syndicated lending to facilitate corporate facing acquisition finance mandates. Matthew Cottis has a particular niche handling the financing related to insurance M&A and recently acted for the consortium of banks including RBS, HSBC and ABN Amro, on the financing to facilitate Phoenix's purchase of Standard Life Assurance Limited from Standard Life Aberdeen plc. Other highlights included Jo Robinson's representation of the lenders (including HSBC and Lloyds) on the amendment and restatement of ZPG plc’s existing revolving credit facilities agreement to add an additional £75m term loan facility. Penny Angell is also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides an 'extremely professional service' to a balanced roster of lenders and investment grade corporates across a broad spectrum of syndicated and bilateral lending work, particularly in relation to transactions which occur within sector areas of focus for the firm. For example, the team regularly handles telecommunications financing matters within the emerging markets and is able to add value by dint of its vast international network, which includes offices in jurisdictions including Turkey. 'Diligent and persuasive' senior associate Alex Zekkos also has significant telecoms financing expertise and has worked with Triptree on much of the work for Turk Telekom including in relation to a $100m term loan facility made available to it by Bank of America. The firm also has a very strong reputation for handling oil and gas financings and led by Neha Khosla recently advised longstanding client Tullow Oil plc on the refinancing of its existing senior secured reserve based lending facilities with new $2.5bn facilities comprising of a senior bank facility and a separate tranche lent by IFC. Other recommended partners include Michael Ings, for telecoms and media financing work throughout Africa; James Dunnett, for oil and gas-related financings in the emerging markets; and Michael Black, for asset based lending work.

Able to tap into a 'very strong bench at both partner and associate level' and also well-placed to handle major cross-border syndicated mandates by virtue of the firm's international network of offices and expertise across the capital structure (including bank and New York-law governed high yield financings), White & Case LLP handles work for an impressive roster of corporates and lenders including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs,  and Iris Software. Christopher Czarnocki has an excellent track record on behalf of corporates and lenders in relation to emerging markets financings; he recently acted for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation on the financing to facilitate a landmark liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification project located in Ghana. The 'pragmatic and commercial' Jeremy Duffy 'can be relied upon to navigate complex transactions'; although best known for his cross-border leveraged finance prowess, also handles general banking and corporate lending work, including his recent representation of Paysafe Group plc on the provision of a $380m TLB financing (to be syndicated in the European and US markets) in support of the acquisition of certain assets of Delta Card Services. Lee Cullinane and Jacqueline Evans are also recommended, while next generation lawyer Sudhir Nair  joined as a partner from Baker McKenzie in late 2018.

Leveraging deeply entrenched ties with UK clearing banks and also regularly servicing corporate clients of the firm on their financing requirements, Addleshaw Goddard has a strong reputation for handling mid-market financing matters where it is able to provide value by dint of its expertise, not only on conventional debt products but also more niche areas including asset based lending techniques. Laurie Keel has developed particular expertise advising corporates on M&A financings including his recent work for Innovative Bites on the £107.5m term loan and £15m super senior revolving credit facility to fund its acquisition of Hancocks from H2 Equity Partners. Amanda Gray handles work for a balanced array of lenders and borrowers including her recent advice to Scapa Group plc on the £70m multicurrency revolving credit facility (with £30m accordion option) provided to it by a banking club including Lloyds, Santander and HSBC. Mike Davison is noted for his asset based lending expertise.

Benefiting from strong ties with the UK clearing banks and global banks including Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, as well as many major corporate clients including Tesco and Playtech, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP receives a significant flow of financing work across the full array of corporate lending and company-led acquisition financings. The recent merger with US firm Bryan Cave has not only broadened the scope of the firm's international offering but also enhanced its financing offering in London, particularly in light of it's specialism in funds finance work. Derek Hrydziuszko acted for BCA Marketplace plc on amendments to its previous £375m syndicated financing, loosening the terms and the covenants and increasing the facility to £500m (with an accordion capability of up to £200m more). Hrydziuszko also regularly acts for Goldman Sachs on margin lending work to high and ultra-high net worth individuals. Daisy Reeves also regularly handles corporate lending work and recently acted for Gett on its $100m financing from Russian bank Sberbank. The arrival in August 2017 of Shanan Dunstan from Ashurst strengthens the finance offering, particularly in relation to asset based lending work. Team head Emma Howdle-Fuller is noted for her 'clear and unequivocal advice' on behalf of banks and corporates engaged in investment grade and syndicated lending.

Able to tap into strong institutional banking relationships with clearing banks including HSBC and Lloyds, as well as picking up a significant amount of direct lending work for alternative capital providers including Ares and BlueBay, DLA Piper is 'very good across a range of financing work'. Although it is best-known for its mid-market leveraged finance prowess, the firm regularly handles general corporate lending work for lenders and borrowers, including Heineken, which Mark Dwyer recently advised on the £340m of certain funds facilities to enable its public takeover of Punch Taverns plc. Dwyer also recently acted for Workspace Group plc on an extension of its financing facilities, including a new £100m revolving credit facility utilising its accordion option and the provision of a £50m bridge facility, as a bridge to its £200m issue of private placement notes. Julie Romer is also recommended.

While it is undoubtedly best-known for its market-leading leveraged finance offering,¬†Latham & Watkins' strong ties with major investment banks including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank also ensures that it regularly picks up more general syndicated loans work and investment grade M&A financings. 'Very savvy about the latest terms and market precedents', the team's ability to advise across the spectrum of European and US debt products including New York-law governed high yield bonds ensures that it can handle some of the biggest-ticket and most sophisticated cross-border mandates in the market. 'Combining outstanding technical skills with best in class negotiation capabilities',¬†the 'outstanding'¬†Stephen Kensell¬†is 'able to support his client in the most efficient manner on challenging deals', including his recent role for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and HSBC¬†(as global co-ordinators) on the¬† ‚ā¨10bn¬†syndicated loan provided to Wind Tre, the largest mobile operator in Italy. Other highlights included Ross Anderson¬†and Mohamed Nurmohamed's work for the lenders (including HSBC and UBS) on the lending facilities provided to Switzerland-based chemical manufacturing company, Archroma, for the purposes of refinancing its existing debt.'¬†Extremely impressive' UK and US-qualified partner¬†Christopher Kandel¬†is also recommended.

Benefiting from 'good market knowledge and experience across a broad range of financing transactions', including more niche areas such as asset based lending, Mayer Brown International LLP provides an 'excellent level of service' to corporates and banks, particularly in relation to complex cross-border mandates. Although the firm is active across a broad array of sectors, it does have a particularly strong brand for handling bilateral and syndicated financing work within the real estate space; Nigel White recently advised St Modwen Properties plc on a £475m syndicated facility for refinancing and ongoing operational purposes. The 'very commercial and creative' David O’Connor has a 'solid background across a number of different areas', although he is best-known for his real estate-related structured finance prowess. Dominic Griffiths and Alex Dell are the principal partners responsible for handling cross-border asset based lending matters and regularly utilise this product on its own or in conjunction with other debt products to provide general corporate lending assistance or for acquisition finance purposes. Clients include Barclays, Citibank and Wells Fargo.

With four partners based out of London and also able to tap into the expertise of a strong regional offering in Manchester and Leeds, in particular,¬†Pinsent Masons LLP¬†provides a 'cost-effective and commercial service' to UK clearing banks and UK-listed borrowers across a raft of new money and refinancing-related corporate lending work. 'Excellent' team head¬†Martin Bishop¬†handles a significant amount of work for HSBC, including advising it as co-underwriter on the¬†‚ā¨176m term loan facilities to fund Victoria plc's¬†‚ā¨274m acquisition of Keraben Group.Vanessa Heap¬†and¬†Liam Terry¬†are also recommended for corporate lending work.

In addition to handling a significant amount of general corporate lending work,¬†Reed Smith LLP¬†also has niche experience in numerous more specialised areas including funds finance and real estate finance.¬†Leon Stephenson¬†is recommended for fund finance and general bank lending and is a key member of the team that also includes¬†Monica Barton¬†and¬†Francisca Sep√ļlveda. Asset based lending expert¬†Georgia Quenby¬†joined¬†Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP¬†in January 2018.

Benefiting from a flexible and wide-ranging finance capability which includes prowess on both the bank and New York-law governed high yield debt piece,  Ropes & Gray LLP is particularly accomplished at handling big-ticket financings for multinationals in the TMT space, including Liberty Global and Altice.  Alex Robb and Jane Rogers handle a significant amount of work for Liberty Global including recently advising it on the refinancing of certain of the existing US dollar and Euro-denominated term loans of the Ziggo Group. Michael Kazakevich is also recommended and regularly handles financing work for Altice. Benoit Lavigne joined Morrison & Foerster LLP in July 2018.

Well positioned to exploit the continued trend of European borrowers accessing the US high yield market to fund deals alongside bank debt,¬†Shearman & Sterling LLP¬†provides a 'very strong service' to lenders and corporates on complex cross-border new money mandates and refinancings. On the borrower side, the team handles a significant of work for investment grade corporates including Ardagh and Nokia, the latter with which¬†Mei Lian¬†represented¬†(alongside the New York office) in relation to the¬†drafting of English and New York law governed framework agreements to be used with certain financial institutions for financings based on the sale of certain customer receivables.¬†Korey Fevzi¬†handles a diverse array of bilateral and syndicated financing work for banks and direct lenders as well as for borrowers; he recently represented SPG Prints on the¬†‚ā¨250m refinancing by way of amendments to existing senior facilities.¬†¬†Peter Hayes,¬†Iain Goalen, Ronan Wicks¬†(who splits his time between the London and New York offices) and newly promoted partner¬†Philip Stopford are also recommended.

The 'strong and well-resourced' team at¬†Simmons & Simmons¬†provides 'responsive and accurate advice' to banks and corporates across a range of financings including general corporate lending, and acquisition financing and refinancing mandates. The team has a number of niche strengths including its Nordic finance practice which, led by¬†Simon Middleton,¬†regularly acts for the leading lenders and arrangers in the region on significant investment grade syndicated financings. Middleton recently acted for Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and the other mandated lead arrangers on the ‚ā¨490m and ‚ā¨500m multicurrency revolving credit facilities to Getinge and Arjo, respectively. Praised for his 'business acumen and very apt advice',¬†Alistair Hill¬†has recently handled several high-profile borrower mandates including for Group plc on the financing for its acquisition of The Global Voucher Group. The firm is also known for its fund finance offering, where¬†Jen Yee Chan¬†and managing associate¬†Cameron Roper¬†are praised for their 'commercial approach and problem solving skills'.

Recognised for its 'collegiate and co-operative ethos',¬†Winston & Strawn London LLP¬†'s nine-partner finance practice specialises in handling complex cross-border mandates¬†(often involving syndicated lender structuring) where it is able to add value to clients by virtue of its ability to provide seamless UK and US law advice on bigger ticket mandates.¬†Rebecca Finn¬†regularly provides the English law input on emerging markets financings on behalf of lenders and borrowers; she recently advised Cathay United Bank on a¬†$35m syndicated loan to the Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia. The 'client friendly and pragmatic'¬†Zo√ę Ashcroft¬†is recommended in particular for her work on behalf of borrowers in Sub-Saharan African financings. Although he is primarily focused on sponsor-led leveraged deals,¬†Ian Borman¬†also handles corporate lending work and corporate acquisition financings.

Akin Gump LLP excels at advising borrowers on the financing (involving bilateral, club and syndicates of banks) of cross-border emerging markets transactions. Leveraging the firm's sector strength across the energy industry, the team is able to add value as a result of having a real understanding of the underlying subject matter. Praised for his 'responsiveness and business acumen', Russian speaker Robert Aulsebrook excels in energy-related financing work for corporates with a Russian nexus and regularly handles work for the country's second largest oil and gas company, Lukoil, including recently advising it on the $500m financing to fund the development of the Gissar gas fields, an onshore gas exploration and production project in Uzbekistan. Other clients include CEVA Group plc, VEON and Affinion Group Holdings.

Led by Jason Fox, the very niche practice at Bracewell (UK) LLP excels at handling financing for upstream oil and gas companies in developed and emerging markets. Fox recently advised Neptune Energy on the debt financing aspects of the $3.9bn acquisition of a majority stake in ENGIE E&P International. Olivia Caddy is also recommended and recently advised Sumitomo Mitsui Corporation Europe as sole underwriter on a $120m reserve based facility to Trident Energy to facilitate (alongside Kosmos Energy) the acquisition of Hess’ upstream assets in offshore Equatorial Guinea.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton¬†provides 'timely and responsive advice' and a comprehensive financing capability which includes expertise across the capital structure¬†(including on UK and US-law governed debt) to major multinational corporates of the firm. The 'outstanding'¬†Andrew Shutter¬†'quickly gets to grips with the core issues at stake'; he regularly acts for ArcelorMittal on its ongoing financing requirements, including acting for a Ukranian subsidiary of the company on a $350m loan facility¬†arranged by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Russian and English law qualified¬†Polina Lyadnova¬†recently acted for¬†United Company Rusal plc on its $2bn aluminium pre-export finance term facility. Splitting his time between the firm's London and Milan offices, Italian and US-qualified partner¬†Carlo de Vito Piscicelli¬†excels at acting for borrowers on complex cross-border financings often involving very sophisticated financing techniques. In a deal which blended features of a US-style intercreditor agreement with a European style intercreditor agreement, he recently advised Belron in a new senior secured financing consisting of a $1.02bn TLB, a ‚ā¨425m TLB and a ‚ā¨280m multi-currency revolving credit facility.

Leading mandates out of London and also regularly supporting on the English law aspects of deals handled out of the US,¬†Greenberg Traurig, LLP's two-partner team excels in complex cross-border financing work.¬†Emma Menzies¬†handles general syndicated lending as part of her broad-ranging finance offering which also includes asset based lending expertise. In a matter which illustrates the team's ability to handle deals involving both bank debt and high yield notes, Menzies and¬†Gary Bellingham¬†recently worked alongside lawyers out of the US on NYSE-listed company Nomad Foods'¬†‚ā¨1.5bn refinancing. Other clients include Quantum Power, HSBC and Schlumberger.

Praised for its ability to 'provide the right blend of commerciality and legal expertise', Macfarlanes LLP provides 'detail oriented and strategic advice' to investment grade and sub-investment grade borrowers as well as for its core base of mid-market focused private equity sponsors. The 'calm and unflappable' Kirstie Hutchinson recently provided the UK law advice for NASDAQ-listed company Cimpress on its $1.04bn refinancing with a syndicate of banks including JP Morgan. 'Excellent banking lawyer' Christopher Lawrence is also recommended.

Increasingly visible in the market as a result of a number of new hires, including most recently the 'knowledgeable and experienced' Lorraine Vaz from King & Wood Mallesons in July 2017, McGuireWoods London LLP advises a predominantly lender side client base on leveraged finance mandates, as well as on cross-border syndicated lending and public takeover financings. The 'very responsive' Marc Isaacs heads the team.

Strengthened by the arrival of Caroline Jury from Clifford Chance LLP and Benoit Lavigne from Ropes & Gray LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP handles a range of financing work for a growing number of European corporates, in addition to the firm’s established roster of US and Asian corporates. Team head Phillip Slater regularly acts for Aozora Bank on its European real estate debt finance matters, and also continues to represent Just Eat plc on its ongoing financing requirements - including recently advising it on all aspects of the amendment and restatement of its revolving credit facility in order to support its proposed acquisitions of Hungry House and Skip the Dishes Canada. Other clients include Standard Chartered, State Street Bank and Fyber.

Although Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is best-known for its market-leading sponsor side leveraged finance practice, it also regularly handles major cross-border M&A financing for investment grade corporates, which benefit from the firm's ability to advise on UK and US debt products including New York-governed high yield. Led by Sinead O’Shea on the banking front and by Nicholas Shaw on the capital markets side, the firm recently advised Melrose Industries plc on the financing associated with its unilateral offer to acquire GKN plc. O'Shea also acted for China National Chemical Corporation on the financing for its $43bn acquisition of the Swiss agrochemical and seeds company Syngenta. Other clients include Credit Suisse, Auto Trader Group plc, and Ascential plc.

Well placed (given its US heritage) to structure deals implementing combined US and European finance techniques, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's broad-ranging three-partner finance team has particular strength advising on complex cross-border acquisition finance or refinancing mandates. Although the London team does generate a significant amount of its own work, it is able to leverage the firm’s pre-eminent M&A reputation in the US and consequently is regularly involved on the financing aspects of major global mandates for US corporates. Acting alongside colleagues in the US, Mark Darley recently advised Cineworld Group plc on the financing of its $5.9bn acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group and advised Moody's Corporation on a $1.5bn bridge facility in connection with its $3.3bn acquisition of Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing. Clive Wells and Pete Coulton are also recommended.

Often working in tandem with lawyers from the firm's New York headquarters and also including numerous dual-qualified UK and US lawyers based out of London,¬†Sullivan & Cromwell LLP¬†excels at handling big-ticket, bespoke cross-border financings, both on the creditor and debtor side.¬†Presley Warner¬†recently advised¬†Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on a ‚ā¨6.25bn syndicated revolving credit facility. Warner also acted for JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas, as arrangers and original lenders, on the ‚ā¨1.25bn senior facility agreement for TeleColumbus. The fluid financing team also regularly handles restructuring work and in this regard adds value by virtue of its intimate knowledge of New York-law governed high yield documents.¬†Christopher J Howard¬†is also recommended for both new money deals and refinancings/restructurings.

In addition to the firm's tremendous flow of mid-market leveraged finance mandates for an impressive roster of private equity sponsors, Travers Smith LLP also handles a significant amount of corporate lending and corporate acquisition finance matters. Matthew Ayre and Danny Peel acted for ZPG plc on two upsizes to their existing facilities to fund two bolt-on acquisitions (of and On the lender side, Peel and Charles Bischoff spearhead the firm's accomplished fund finance offering. Bischoff recently acted for Investec Bank in relation to term and revolving facilities made available to affiliates of PIB Group to assist them in, amongst other things, making certain acquisitions permitted under the terms of the facilities agreement. Other clients include RBS, Silicon Valley Bank, Peel Group and Pret a Manger.

The 'responsive and knowledgeable' team at Bird & Bird LLP provides 'business-oriented and creative solutions' to conventional commercial banks and development banks on emerging markets financing. The 'incredibly sharp and knowledgeable' Andrew Hallgarth has a 'wealth of experience' advising multilaterals and development banks engaged in acquisition, asset, project and general financing transactions in emerging markets.

Leveraging strong ties with UK clearing banks including HSBC and Lloyds, and also regularly advising blue-chip corporate clients of the firm (including National Express Group plc and First Group plc), Bristol-based Burges Salmon LLP handles a significant volume of finance work relating to inter alia, corporate lending and acquisition finance. Team head Richard Leeming recently advised HSBC on a £80m revolving credit facility to a joint venture between Kier Living and a housing association for the acquisition and development of various residential property sites. On the borrower side, Leeming regularly handles financing work for National Express Group plc, recently advising it on two $30m general corporate finance bilateral facilities with both Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The 'calm and sensible' Rachael Ruane is also recommended.

Closely integrated alongside the firm’s derivatives and structured finance practice, and also able to tap into the expertise of lawyers with technology, media and life sciences sectoral knowledge, the 'friendly and approachable' team at Fieldfisher provides 'commercial, pragmatic and innovative solutions' to borrowers and lenders across a broad swathe of financing work including general corporate lending, real estate financing and acquisition finance. Team head Robin Spender is recommended. Clients include GlobalData plc, BBC Worldwide, RCB Bank and Silicon Valley Bank.

The 'exceptionally responsive and pragmatic' team at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provides an 'excellent service' to lenders and borrowers including HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Luxfer Holdings plc. The 'responsive and thoughtful' Jons Lehmann has a broad ranging practice which includes corporate lending, fund financing and acquisition finance. He recently advised Navios South American Logistics on its new $100m TLB facility. Former team head Stuart Brinkworth  joined Mayer Brown International LLP in June 2018.

At Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, newly promoted partner Amy Kennedy regularly handles investment grade and corporate lending work as part of her broad-ranging finance practice. She recently advised online gaming and sports betting company, Kindred Group plc, on the financing for its recommended public offer for 32Red plc. Team head Thomas Budd is also recommended.

Jones Day is well-equipped to handle deals implementing both European and US-style financings, for a fairly balanced roster of borrower and lender clients. Edwin Borrini regularly handles real estate finance matters and emerging markets transactions as part of his broad-ranging practice. Dual UK and US-qualified Andrew Rotenberg has expertise across a range of debt products including in relation to asset based lending which he regularly implements on behalf of corporates for general corporate lending, working capital or acquisition finance purposes. Paul Simcock joined  Vinson & Elkins RLLP in January 2018.

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP, Bruce Johnston regularly acts for lenders on emerging markets-related financing mandates. The firm's overall finance offering was strengthened by the arrival in January 2018 from Reed Smith LLP of asset based lending expert Georgia Quenby. Able to tap into the firm's strong finance heritage in the US, Quenby has already been able to leverage her strong ties with major US asset based lending providers including Wells Fargo which she has represented in both new money and restructuring contexts.

Stephenson Harwood¬†'s five-partner team covers a diverse array of work, ranging from public and private acquisition finance through to funds finance and corporate lending matters.¬†Jonathan Proctor¬†handles new money and restructuring mandates for borrowers and lenders; he recently represented ICICI Bank on the provision of a ¬£15m secured corporate lending facility to India-based consultancy and engineering company Enzen Global. The firm also has a significant track record for handling emerging market financing matters for banks and corporates, particularly in relation to deals with a nexus to Francophone African countries. In this regard,¬†David Lacey¬†recently acted for British Arab Commercial Bank on a¬†‚ā¨10m loan to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority for the purposes of funding loans to SME businesses in Cote d'Ivoire. Team head¬†James Linforth¬†is also recommended.

Led by the 'very professional' Hilary Platt, Wedlake Bell LLP 's 'well-balanced' two partner team provides a 'responsive service' to lenders and corporate borrowers across a wide range of syndicated and bilateral financings. Platt has recently handled numerous large refinancing deals for Day Lewis plc including in relation to the addition of a new tranche of debt to the group's main club facility. Chris Vause is also recommended. Other clients include HSBC, Honest Burgers and Bank of Ireland.

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Legal Developments in London for Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans

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