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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 > North > Finance > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Muckle LLP provides the spectrum of services to banks, financial institutions, corporates and individuals, as borrowers and lenders, seeking banking, finance and fundraising advice. Key areas of expertise for the team include refinancing, acquisition finance, turnarounds and debt restructuring. The 'reliable' Louise Duffy leads the team, which includes senior associate Nicola Nutley, who is developing a niche in healthcare funding and funding into the registered provider and education sectors.

Practice head(s):Louise Duffy

Other key lawyers:Kevin Maloney; Gail Bennett; Nicola Nutley

Testimonials

'Louise Duffy is an excellent role model for the team and has a great level of experience'

'Nicola Nutley is a technical expert who can always be relied on to do an excellent job'

'The team is very practical, helpful and always provides excellent client service'

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc/Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Home Group

Newcastle Building Society

Work highlights

  • Advised mid-market private equity investor LDC, with the banking aspects of a £20m private equity investment into Mandata Group.
  • Advised HSBC on its funding of Cowell’s Garden Centre Limited.
  • Advised on the banking aspects on the sale of Northumbrian Fine Foods to Biscuit International (a French company) from CriSeren Foods.

Ward Hadaway's practice, which sits on the national panels for Barclays Bank and Lloyds Bank, provides a full service for funding and securities matters. The team draws on expertise from the firm's other department to provide sector-specific expertise in areas such as construction finance, corporate tax and state aid. The group is led by Julie Harrison, whose clients include lenders, debt funders, private equity houses and public sector funders.

Practice head(s):Julie Harrison

Other key lawyers:Imogen Holland; Simon Errington

Testimonials

'The team has a broad level of experience and cross-border transactions'

Key Clients

Barclays Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Royal Bank of Scotland plc/NatWest Bank plc

Allied Irish Bank

FW Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Inn Collection Group on the refinancing of its debt facility.
  • Acting for the North East Fund in relation to a £60m loan from the European Investment Bank as part of the £145m Investment Fund.
  • Acting for North East Property Fund in relation to a £1m loan facility to Homes by Carlton (Chilton). The work included the preparation of facility and security documentation, as well as due diligence on property and construction matters.

Real estate finance is a real area of expertise for the team at Sintons LLP, which is instructed by a wide variety of banking sector lenders and borrowers, including commercial landlords. The group is also noted for its work in the healthcare and education sectors, acting for GPs and dentists as borrowers. Practice head  Jane Meikle has significant experience in real estate finance borrower work, but also often handles work for lenders. David Ferguson was promoted to partner in February 2019.

Practice head(s):Jane Meikle

Other key lawyers:David Ferguson; Alok Loomba

Testimonials

'Jane Meikle and David Ferguson are first class'

'The firm has excellent knowledge of the healthcare sector, particularly dentists and GPs - it is considered one of the most knowledgeable firms in this sector in the North East'

'The team is always available, helpful and supportive'

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank plc

AIB Group (UK) plc

Valens Medical Partnership

Santander UK plc

Gainford Hotel Group

Work highlights

  • Advised on an agreement which saw  AIB Group UK's facilities made available to nine companies within the control of common shareholders of the Danieli Group. The facilities were used to fund and develop Newcastle's first shipping container village comprising approximately 60 shipping containers.
  • Advised Lloyds on a term loan facility to SIPP trustees to fund the acquisition by The Office Company (North) of a property to be used as fully serviced office accommodation.
  • Advised AIB Group UK on the management buyout of Clavis IDS, including negotiating an intercreditor deed regulating the seller's deferred consideration position.

Watson Burton LLP's practice advises borrowers and lenders, investors and investee companies, with expertise in a variety of financings, including asset-backed lending, acquisition finance, venture capital and private equity funding. The group is led by private equity specialist Duncan Reid, while Naren Deen leads on real estate finance.

Practice head(s):Duncan Reid

Other key lawyers:Paul Wigham; Naren Deen

Key Clients

Everflow Group

LOK Developments

Wear Inns

BGF Plc

Northstar Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised Accelerated Digital Ventures on a significant number of investments in scale-up technology businesses, totalling over £50.5m on investments in PushDR, Snap 40, Healthera, UK Settled, Perlego, Lingumi, Move GB, Chargifi,  and Tradeteq.
  • Advised Northstar Ventures on a number of investment deals in 2018 equating to around £1.5m worth of funding (both debt and equity based) for high growth North-East tech businesses.
  • Advised on a £3m refinance for ITPS Holdings Limited and IT Professional Services Limited, including a revolving credit facility with HSBC.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles work for a variety of regional private equity and banking clients (as borrowers, lenders, investors and investees), with expertise spanning the manufacturing, consumer debt, real estate and education sectors. John Ralph specialises in property finance and co-heads the team alongside secured lending expert John Connor.

Practice head(s):John Ralph; John Connor

Key Clients

Santander UK plc

HSBC Bank plc

Cairngorm Capital

NorthEdge Capital

Department for Education

Work highlights

  • Advised the Department of Education as sole adviser on 13 college mergers and restructurings over the course of a year.
  • Advised British Engines on the negotiation and agreement of three bilateral parallel revolving credit agreements between a number of banks and certain other subsidiaries of the parent, together with a complex security trust arrangement and related intercreditor issues.
  • Acted for Europa Debt Lux, a debt fund managed by Europa Capital, in relation to a loan made availability to Brighton Developments.

The practice at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP, which sits within the firm's corporate and commercial property department, has a particular focus on borrower and investee mandates. The group is instructed on a variety of banking and finance transactions by both domestic and international clients. Paul Hughes leads the team while also advising on secured and unsecured facilities, asset finance, structured debt and leveraged finance deals.

Practice head(s):Paul Hughes

Other key lawyers:John Nicholson; Ryan Bannon; Peter Robinson; Paul Hughes

Testimonials

'Good availability and partner involvement'

'Paul Hughes is excellent at explaining the finer, technical points on facility agreements and other banking documents'

'Clients are not gradually pushed down the pecking order as a transaction progresses as so often happens with larger firms'

Key Clients

Cairn Hotel Group

Lugano Group

Danieli Group

Woodbury Equity Holdings

High Street Group

Work highlights

  • Secured a refinance of the Danieli Group's facilities with AIB Group UK
  • Advised Woodbury Equity Holdings on debt and equity investments into Global Icle Test and Snowonly.
  • Advised High Street Group in connection with facilities to be used in connection with two high-profile, mixed use development projects in the North West, Holloways Heads in Birmingham and Middlewood Plaza in Salford.

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