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Editorial

Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals

The ‘professional, technically able, and commercial’ team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP is headed by the ‘formidableMartin O’Shea. It advised a syndicate of banks on a facility to Euro Garages to refinance its existing debt and acquire 172 petrol stations from Esso and Shell. It also advised the lenders on the financing of Lookers’ acquisition of Benfield Motors Group. Katie Ridehalgh is ‘excellent in terms of client care, commerciality and technical advice’ and is recommended for real estate finance. The ‘brilliantAndrew Maskill heads the asset finance team, which includes the ‘very professional, thorough and utterly reliableRebecca Williams. Simon Prendergast is ‘first-rate’ and specialises in asset based lending and receivables financing. Richard Oman is also recommended.

DLA Piper UK LLP attracts praise for its ‘depth of experience and ability to make processes run extremely smoothly’. Highlights included advising Conviviality Retail on the £200m acquisition of Matthew Clarke, which involved acquisition financing, refinancing and revolving credit facilities; and acting for Grovepoint on the financing for the acquisition of the business and assets of Fletcher Shipping, which involved restructuring and ship finance issues. Team head and debt financing expert Matthew Christmas is ‘extremely professional and balances strong technical skills with relationship building’. Joseph Frew was promoted to partner in May 2015 and leads the asset based lending practice. John Delamere is recommended for structured finance and derivatives work.

Pinsent Masons LLP is experienced across real estate finance, corporate lending and leveraged finance, and has a growing practice in asset based lending. It advised a club of four banks on the £500m refinancing of 19 warehouse and distribution centres for Tritax Big Box REIT. RBS, HSBC, Barclays Bank, The Co-operative Bank and M&G Investments are also clients. Team head Matthew Morganenjoys a fantastic reputation’ and is ‘very astute’, and Samantha Rollason is ‘extremely hardworking’. Debra Cooper joined Squire Patton Boggs in January 2016.

The ‘dedicated’ and ‘very experienced’ team at DWF is headed by the ‘brilliantJonathan Edwards. It acted for Innospec on its $250m refinancing, advised Tata Chemicals Europe on £140m of syndicated term and revolving credit facilities, and advised Pure Leisure Group on its £36m refinancing with HSBC Bank. Also recommended are the ‘excellent’ Paul Brown, Helen Corner, who has ‘a wealth of expertise’, the ‘first-classHelen Johnston, and James Szerdy.

At Hill Dickinson LLP, Liverpool-based team head Richard Capper (who is a ‘fantastic individual’) led the advice to Lloyds Bank Structured Finance on the £14m refinancing of Elitetelecom Holdings, and led for Santander Corporate Bank on Empiric Student Property’s acquisition of a portfolio of six student accommodation blocks in Liverpool. Beverley Bentley is ‘great with clients’ and advised HSBC on a £24m funding for Neptune Bank and Promenade Parla Living. Chris Johnston in Manchester is noted for real estate finance work.

The ‘very professional’ team at Squire Patton Boggs has a strong borrower client base; highlights included advising Polypipe Group on a £300m revolving credit facility, and assisting Findel with the refinancing of its existing senior secured debt facilities with a new £120m revolving credit facility, as well as with its £145m securitisation programme. The highly regarded Claire Shepherd heads the department, which was strengthened by the arrival of real estate finance expert Debra Cooper from Pinsent Masons LLP. Matthew Ingram is also recommended.

Highlights for Brabners LLP’s ‘astute’ and ‘practical’ team included acting for Restore on its £80m financing for the acquisition of Wincanton Records Management, and advising Promenade Parla Living on loan facilities provided by HSBC. Key figures include the ‘very ableCharlotte Round in Manchester and Liverpool-based Andrew O’Mahony, who is ‘fantastic to work with’.

Gateley Plc’s team acts for lenders and borrowers including AIB Group (UK), Beechbrook Capital, Palatine Private Equity and NM Rothschild & Sons. Department head Richard Sealy is recommended. Senior associate Richard Cowan joined from Pannone Corporate LLP in 2016.

George Macmillan heads Kuit Steinart Levy LLP’s banking and real estate finance team, which stands out for its ‘top-quality advice’ and ‘excellent turnaround times’. The team acts for Allied Irish Bank Group (UK), Aldermore Bank, Begbies Traynor and Investec Bank. Also recommended are David Marlor, Steve Eccleston and senior associate Alison Kellett.

Shoosmiths LLP is commended for its ‘client-focused’ approach and ‘in-depth knowledge’. It advised Truworths International on a £100m term and revolving facilities relating to its acquisition of a retail chain. The ‘very experienced’ and ‘user-friendlyLiz Sweeney heads the team, which includes Graham Hall and ‘first-class’ associate Ruth Evans.

Eversheds LLP’s team lost former department head Nigel Dale to specialist lender Together. Newly promoted partner Taslima Salamreally knows her stuff’, is ‘very user friendly’ and is recommended for real estate finance.

The ‘professional’ Dean Gormley heads the team at Irwin Mitchell, which delivers ‘a very high level of service’ to a lender client base that includes HSBC, Santander UK and Lloyds Bank plc.

Weightmans LLP is particularly noted for its ‘strong knowledge’ of public-sector funding. It advised Enterprise Ventures on the establishment of a £40m SME loan fund. Structured finance head Patricia Grinyer is ‘open, proactive, solutions-focused and very easy to deal with’.


Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Addleshaw Goddard LLP advises on complex restructurings, insolvency cases and distressed real estate matters. It advised BDO on the restructuring of the Maccess Group, which involved a sale of part of the group through an administration; and acted for Alix Partners as administrators of a care home group on the sale of three care homes based in North Wales. Ged Barnes heads the team, which includes Andy Bates.

Clients of DLA Piper UK LLP’s restructuring team highlight its ‘combination of technical answers with commercial awareness’. Highlights included advising Duff & Phelps on its appointment as administrators of Powerhouse Golf by Sports Direct Retail. Team head Martin Keates is ‘a top-level practitioner who works to reach a commercial solution for all parties’, and Robert Russell ‘ensures that his advice fully meets the needs of the client’. Senior associate Christopher Roberts is also noted.

Eversheds LLP has a strong lender-side restructuring practice. David Gray heads the department, which is particularly praised for its expertise in real estate restructuring. Senior associate Sarah Duignan is also recommended.

The ‘excellent’ team at Gateley Plc advised Intertain on its restructuring and the successful implementation of a company voluntary arrangement of the trading subsidiary. Key figures include the ‘exceptionalAndrew Buchanan, legal director Gavin Clarke, and senior associate Danielle Haston, who delivers ‘robust advice’.

Led by recently promoted partner James Cameron, the team at Pinsent Masons LLP provides ‘sound, commercial advice’. It advised William Sinclair Holdings on the pre-pack sale of its horticulture business to Westland Horticulture for £13.5m, and continued to advise Deloitte as administrators to Bank Fashion. Senior associate Louise Kappes is also noted. Jamie White recently retired.

The ‘very professional’ team at Squire Patton Boggs acted for Bright Blue Foods and Gellaw 444 on the sale of Gellaw’s shares in Bright Blue Foods, and advised Eddisons on the sale of H&L Property’s property portfolio. The ‘exceptionalSusan Kelly heads the firm’s UK and Europe practice. Senior associate Mark Prior is praised for his ‘thoroughness’.

Headline work for the team at DWF included advising the official receiver on the compulsory liquidation of Redcar Steelworks. Key figures include national practice head Gavin Jones (who is ‘exceptional’), the ‘fantasticKatharine Lawrenson, who heads the national personal insolvency team, and Sean McGrath, who splits his time between Birmingham and Manchester. Andrew Gregory joined Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group as in-house legal counsel in January 2016, and Elizabeth Boyes joined Future Williams & Glyn in December 2015.

The ‘very knowledgeable’ team at Turner Parkinson LLP is led by the ‘insightful’ Mark Lund. It advised the joint administrators on the sale of J E Wilson to Creative Confectionery. Also recommended are David Higgins and Will Jones. Mark Davies joined Aaron & Partners LLP in February 2016.

Weightmans LLP is ‘strong’ on both personal and corporate insolvency work, and is particularly active in the property and construction sectors. Key clients include Begbies Traynor, RSM, Smith & Williamson and BDO. The ‘excellent’ Dominic Vincent is recommended.

Aaron & Partners LLP’s ‘prompt’ and ‘efficient’ team was strengthened by the arrival of personal insolvency specialist Mark Davies from Turner Parkinson LLP in February 2016. The firm is also noted for its track record in contentious matters. The team, which stands out for its ‘focus on the needs of the client’, is led by the ‘first-rate’ Nick Clarke and includes Simon Edwards, who has ‘real depth of experience’.

Phil Farrelly heads the team at Bermans, which advised Begbies Traynor as administrators of Averies Recycling in relation to the sale of its waste management facility.

Brabners LLP advised Begbies Traynor on the acquisition of the business and assets of P & A Partnership from its administrators. Robert Turner has ‘in-depth expertise’, and Paul Lunt specialises in contentious matters. *Denise Walker is also recommended, and Adrian Rogers was recently promoted to partner. *Following publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Denise Walker has left the firm to establish Claus Walker & Partners.

Gorvins Solicitors acts for a range of banks, receivers and directors. Mark Deverell heads the team. Consultant Paul Lupton is also noted, and David Guest joined from HLW Keeble Hawson in December 2015.

Hill Dickinson LLP is valued for its ‘exceptional knowledge and understanding’. Highlights included advising the administrators of Lancashire Meat Company, and acting for the joint administrators of SCC. Department head Paul Spence is ‘always on hand to advise’ and is ‘very experienced’ in property-related insolvencies. Senior associate Richard Palmer is also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell is praised for its ‘speedy turnaround times’, which it applies on lender-side transactional insolvencies and high-value, complex restructuring work. Team head John Vickery is recommended.

JMW Solicitors LLP advised Your Health Holdings on a pre-packaged purchase of business and assets. Richard Wolff heads the team and is praised for his ‘high level of experience’. Christopher Love also attracts praise.

The ‘experiencedHelen Fyles leads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP, which acts for clients including The Professional Footballers’ Association. Mark Hovell is also recommended. Hannah Leese recently joined SAS Daniels LLP.

TLT’s Alastair Lomax has ‘excellent project managing and technical skills’ and ‘leads a knowledgeable team’ that includes Martin March, who joined from Hill Dickinson LLP in April 2015. March led the advice to Leonard Curtis as administrators of Henry Smith on the sale of the business and assets to a management-backed purchaser.

Clients of Freeths praise its ‘high level of service’ and single out national team head Joey Byrne, who has ‘a wealth of knowledge and experience’. The team is experienced on contentious, and non-contentious insolvency matters. Kevin Pinkerton and senior associate Chris Ali are also recommended.

At Hillyer McKeown, Paul Marsh ‘is excellent in the area of personal bankruptcy’ and ‘has good technical expertise backed up by years of experience’. Senior associate Jennifer Lockhart is ‘a safe pair of hands’. Grant Thornton and KPMG are clients.

Nexus Solicitors Limited continues to advise Blue Gate Capital on the failure and liquidation of Connaught Investment Fund Series 1. Andrew Tonge is ‘technically able and commercial’ and is a ‘talented, proactive and diligent lawyer who achieves results for his clients’.

Paul Formby at SAS Daniels LLP has ‘outstanding technical knowledge and experience beyond his years’. Hannah Leese joined from Mills & Reeve LLP in March 2016.

Clients of Shoosmiths LLP include Santander UK, BDO, Duff & Phelps and Five Arrows Business Finance. Sarah Teal is recommended.

Andrew Livesey, James Haigh, Peter Crewe, Grahame Love are the key figures of Taylors’ team, which is noted for its ‘commercial approach’.


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