Index of tables
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Addleshaw Goddard LLP
- Baker & McKenzie LLP
- Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Mayer Brown International LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
- Bird & Bird
- DLA Piper UK LLP
- McGuireWoods London LLP
Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP
- Trevor Borthwick - Allen & Overy LLP
- Mark Campbell - Clifford Chance
- Michael Duncan - Allen & Overy LLP
- Edward Evans - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Isaac Felberbaum - SNR Denton
- Stephen Kensell - Allen & Overy LLP
- Jeremy Stokeld - Linklaters LLP
- Malcolm Sweeting - Clifford Chance
- John Tucker - Linklaters LLP
Allen & Overy LLP remains a dominant force in the investment grade debt and equity financing markets, and has a strong track record on the major syndicated loans in the EMEA region. Michael Duncan chairs the global banking practice, which has 30 London-based banking and finance partners acting for borrowers, sponsors and lenders including HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Deutsche Bank. Leading the way in ‘super-jumbo’ investment grade financing, Nicholas Clark advised BHP Billiton on the $7.5bn acquisition facility to support the tender offer to acquire Petrohawk Energy Corporation. Trevor Borthwick acted for Marks & Spencer on its £1.3bn revolving credit facility; and Michael Castle assisted the joint bookrunners on the €3.4bn credit facility for transportation manufacturer Bombardier. Stephen Kensell, George Link, Sanjeev Dhuna and Cathy Bell-Walker are also recommended.
Clifford Chance handles a raft of investment grade transactions alongside its pre-eminent leveraged finance work. The ‘outstanding’ team provides ‘invaluable support, beyond just technical advice’ to big-ticket clients such as Barclays, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan. A global team of lawyers acted for the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on the high-profile $12.5bn financing for the acquisition of Fosters by SAB Miller. Nicola Wherity advised Citigroup in relation to a €4.5bn facility for Nestlé; and Michael Bates led advice to Commerzbank and Moto Investments. The ‘calm’ and ‘proactive’ Charles Cochrane provides ‘creative solutions’, and is widely recommended. Mark Campbell, Karen Hodson, Alan Inglis, Malcolm Sweeting and Jim MacHale are other key players.
The ‘extremely good’ banking practice at Linklaters LLP draws on the firm’s expertise in restructuring, capital markets and corporate/M&A, and enjoys strong relationships with a host of major banks and financial institutions. It acted for BNP Paribas in relation to a €6bn revolving credit facility for BMW, and advised a group of ten banks in connection with a £800m debut syndicated financing for Jaguar Land Rover. On the borrower side, syndicated loans clients include Rio Tinto, Vodafone and Travis Perkins. Gideon Moore was promoted to global head of banking in September 2011, and the highly recommended Philip Spittal co-heads the mainstream banking practice with Stuart Thomas. John Tucker, Jeremy Stokeld and leveraged finance co-heads Nick Syson and Brian Gray are also integral to the team.
The ‘first-rate’ team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘very knowledgeable and efficient’, with lawyers who give ‘prompt and clear commercial advice’ to a host of blue-chip corporate clients. Practice head David Trott acted for Associated British Ports and its holding company in relation to the establishment of a 25-year £5bn secured bank/bond financing platform; Edward Evans advised the Xstrata Group on the refinancing of its existing bank facilities into a new $6bn five-year syndicated revolving credit facility; and Martin Hutchings advised Zurich Insurance on a new €2.5bn revolving credit facility.
Herbert Smith LLP has a balanced practice acting for lenders and borrowers, and has standout expertise in energy sector financings. Will Nevin led the advice to longstanding client G4S on the multi-currency term and revolving credit facilities of £5bn related to its bid for Danish company ISS. Ewen Fergusson leads the general banking group, which secured panel appointments with banks including for Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse. Clive Barnard is ‘able to look at the bigger picture and brings in his years of experience to deal with tricky deal-related issues’. Energy expert Jason Fox recently assisted First Hydrocarbon Nigeria.
Clients of the team at Slaughter and May are satisfied with its ‘rapid response times’ and ‘accurate, well-informed’ advice. Led by the ‘diplomatic and cool-headed’ Matthew Tobin, the team acted for Old Mutual on a five-year £1.2bn syndicated revolving credit facility. It also advised UK housebuilding group Barratt Developments on the agreement of a complete debt refinancing package. Paul Stacey heads the department, and loan finance partner Philip Snell has ‘a deep understanding of the legal issues and excellent commercial insight’. Robert Byk is ‘dedicated’ and ‘creative’, and ‘always goes the extra mile’.
Drawing on an impressive international network with a strong emerging markets practice, White & Case LLP’s team is ‘very highly regarded in the market’. Led by the ‘commercially sensitive and client-focused’ Magdalene Bayim-Adomako, it has developed both its leveraged and non-leveraged bank finance capability, and it acts for a raft of lending institutions as well as Gazprombank and Nordic Capital (as borrowers). Christopher Czarnocki advised Deutsche Bank in its $1bn pre-export financing to MetInvest; and acted for Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, ING and Natixis in relation to a $1bn commodity financing for Kazakhstan’s KMG. Lee Cullinane and Jacqueline Evans joined in early 2011 from Mayer Brown International LLP.
Advising both banks and borrowers, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP focuses on debt finance and high-profile financial restructurings, and has leveraged and property financing expertise. The team acted for the arrangers of a six-bank syndicate in connection with the £230m financing of leading defence industry manufacturing group Chemring. Deutsche Bank AG and Lloyds Banking Group are among its other key clients. The team includes practice head William Meredith, and Alex Patience, who is able to find ‘commercial and innovative solutions to difficult issues’.
Hogan Lovells International LLP has strong client relationships with major banks including Barclays, HSBC and Citibank, and works on bilateral and syndicated facilities for major industrial and energy sector clients. Penny Angell led the advice to SABMiller in relation to its £12.5bn committed facility to be used for the acquisition of Fosters, and Colin Craik acted in two multi-currency revolving facility agreements for a borrower client. Matthew Cottis heads the team, and Chris McLaughlin was promoted to partner in 2011.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s team draws on the firm’s extensive global banking capability as well as its capital markets expertise to advise investment banks, other financial institutions, corporate borrowers and private equity firms on complex financings around the globe. It has wide-ranging experience in investment grade and syndicated loans, as well as ABL structures and leveraged and multi-currency financings. Christopher Kandel has been involved in a number of landmark transactions, and is highly rated by peers.
Michael Ings leads the corporate loans group at Norton Rose LLP, which acts for financial institutions and borrowers in the media and telecoms sectors. Alexandra Triptree led the advice to key client Saudi Oger on the first stage of its financing for the development of security headquarters for the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia. Michael Black joined from SNR Denton, with experience in cross-border syndicated lending, principally for lenders. Other clients include Standard Bank, RBS and Santander.
The syndicated lending team at SNR Denton, headed by Isaac Felberbaum, undertakes a range of general purpose and leveraged finance syndicated loans work with an emphasis on growth markets, and work alongside a strong debt capital markets practice. It has recently advised The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Bank of America, and acted for WestLB and a syndicate of nearly 50 international banks on a syndicated term loan facility agreement. Edward Hickman, Matthew Sapte and David Cohen are other key figures.
Addleshaw Goddard LLP continues to attract a good flow of mid-market instructions from lenders including Barclays Bank, HSBC and Macquarie Capital. John Cutler’s team advised a syndicate of lenders in respect of separate bilateral facilities to auction house Christie’s. Mike Davison is noted for his ABL transactional expertise.
Bernard Sharp at Baker & McKenzie LLP now heads the firm’s global as well as London banking practice, and recently led the advice to Carlsberg in the negotiation of a revolving facility agreement. Nick Tostivin acted for Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank. Marc Fèvre joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in August 2011.
Matthew Kellett heads the finance and banking and capital markets practice groups at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, which counts Tesco, Merrill Lynch and RAC among its clients. Marc Palley has abundant experience advising corporates and banks on syndicated and bilateral loans.
The three-partner team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP combines ‘expertise and professionalism’, and acts for corporate clients including Telenet, ArcelorMittal and Goodyear.
Mayer Brown International LLP has standout ABL capability, and experience acting for lenders on high-value syndicated loans. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are notable clients of the ‘incredibly responsive and efficient’ team, which is led by Dominic Griffiths (‘an expert in all cross-border matters’). John Clark and Graham Wedlake are also recommended.
Pinsent Masons LLP is winning increasingly high-quality instructions including cross-border event-driven financings in the syndicated loans market. Chris Tart recently advised an international group of lenders as mandated lead arrangers on $550m of facilities for Spectris for its acquisition of a US business. HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Clydesdale Bank are clients.
SJ Berwin LLP combines its leading expertise in funds finance with broader corporate lending experience, and acts for a raft of heavyweight lender clients such as Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and Macquarie. Department head Jeremy Cross has acted for CPC Group and Westfield on the borrower side. Robert Andrews has ‘very good technical knowledge and excellent commerciality for understanding both sides of a situation’.
Clifford Atkins’s team at Shearman & Sterling LLP offers a multi-product finance capability to support a broad client base that includes Labco SAS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Liverpool FC. It recently acted for Towergate Finance as the borrower on a complex reorganisation structure involving syndicated senior term and revolving credit facilities, at a total value of £974m. Peter Hayes was recently promoted to partner.
James Bresslaw heads the team at Simmons & Simmons LLP, which is ‘respected and well liked’, and delivers ‘considered advice and commercially minded solutions’. It undertakes bank lending and borrowing mandates for the likes of HMV, Thomas Cook and BlueCrest as well as a gamut of prestigious banks and other financial institutions. 2011 saw John Hayward, Richard Hughes, Simon Kildahl, Bob Jones and Mark Waghorn join from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.
Acting predominantly on the borrower side, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises under both UK and US law on a range of sophisticated European financings. Ian Barratt assisted Apax Partners in connection with a €850m senior secured debt financing. Stephen Short and Euan Gorrie are well regarded.
Robert Aulsebrook and Fred Heller co-head the international finance group at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, which interacts with clients ‘like a boutique commercial firm, but with full-service and excellent back-up from other offices’. Russian telecoms operator OJSC VimpelCommunications and OAO LUKOIL are major clients.
Trystan Tether heads a ‘very responsive and reliable’ group at Bird & Bird, which shows ‘great capacity to be creative’ in the face of particularly challenging financial instruments.
Martha Collins Rolle’s banking group at Bryan Cave acts for Scotiabank Europe and Scotiabank (Ireland), and has expertise in investment fund financing.
DLA Piper UK LLP’s Charles Morrison acts for banks, arrangers, lenders and corporates in an extensive range of national and cross-border deals.
US firm McGuireWoods London LLP has gained traction in the London market since R Malloy McKeithen transferred from the Charlotte office. It has substantial bilateral and syndicated loan experience, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and GE Capital among its clients.
The highly recommended Daniel Leventhal and his team at Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP combine ‘sound practical advice’ with ‘a pragmatic attitude’, and recently acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in relation to a high-value cross-border financing.
At Reed Smith, ‘very professional and knowledgeable’ team head Phillip Slater is relationship partner for Barclays Bank, and Leon Stephenson is notable for his emerging markets expertise.
Salans acts for both lenders and borrowers, with particular capability in the CEE markets.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP is noted for its focus on complex and multi-jurisdictional matters, and has a borrower-oriented client base. Mark Darley is ‘fully committed’, and combines ‘enthusiasm and good humour’.
Taylor Wessing LLP’s group acts for banks, other financial institutions and corporates on complex cross-border arrangements including in Europe and the Middle East. Elisabeth Gaunt recently joined from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.