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Editorial

Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals

Bruce Stephen’s ‘highly responsive’ team at Brodies LLP handles a diverse range of financing transactions, including infrastructure, real estate and asset finance. It recently handled Wheatley Housing Group’s £350m bond issue and refinancing. Elsewhere, Stephen assisted Royal Bank of Scotland with its corporate financing of James Donaldson & Sons. Also recommended are Michael Stoneham, Aberdeen-based partner Neal Richardson, and the ‘client-focusedPeter Kelly. In 2015, the firm expanded at associate level, and Marion MacInnes made partner.

Burness Paull LLP has a first-rate reputation in funds finance, as well as real estate finance, debt sales, leveraged finance, and oil and gas sector matters. John Kennedy advised Stewart Milne Group on complex financing related to the proposed development of 3,000 homes at Countesswells, Aberdeen. Jonathan Heaney assisted Bank of Scotland with the £30m financing to a consortium of investors for the acquisition of Tulloch Homes. Gaenor Cassell made partner.

In 2015, CMSStephen Phillips, who has ‘exemplary knowledge’, acted for John Wood Group in the $940m refinancing of its bilateral facilities with seven banks. On the lender side, Caryn Penley and Darren Craig acted for HSBC and Bank of Scotland as lead arrangers in a £210m financing to Miller Homes and certain subsidiaries. Other key clients include Santander, Lloyds Bank and Clydesdale Bank. Dawn Reoch is based in Aberdeen.

Dickson Minto WS has three specialist partners in Edinburgh: Colin McHale, Allan Fraser and Alasdair Proudfoot. Although it primarily acts for borrowers, it has seen an uptick in lender-side mandates. Recent highlights include advising Bank of Scotland on refinancing the Rocco Forte group of companies, and assisting UK Commercial Property Trust with refinancing £300m of debt facilities. In addition to negotiating general corporate facilities for large corporates, the firm deals with acquisition finance and project finance transactions.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s varied workload includes complex loan book acquisitions, and high-value renewable energy and infrastructure finance. Stuart Fitzsimmons advised Dalmore Infrastructure Investments on financing the bid for the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel project as part of the Bazalgette consortium. Susan Kelly’s team also includes Chris Dun, who has expertise in real estate development and investment finance, and financing transactions in the education sector.

Pinsent Masons LLP has particular strengths in real estate finance, leveraged finance and infrastructure finance, as well as more specialist areas such as derivatives and debt trading. It also acts for lead managers and bond issuers in the debt capital markets arena. John Maciver and Stacey Bairner dealt with a significant number of loan sales and purchases in 2015. Iain Macauley and Gillian Frew act for lenders and borrowers in the oil and gas sector. Aberdeen-based Richard Scott is also recommended.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s workload spans corporate banking, project finance, asset finance, securitisations and cross-border debt capital markets transactions, among other areas. Consultant Graham Burnside advises on Islamic finance matters from a Scottish law standpoint. In 2015, Clare Foster acted for UK Green Investment Bank in its £8.2m financing of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s street lighting replacement programme. Fiona Buchanan’s group includes Andrew Kinnes and Hamish Patrick.

In 2015, HBJ Gateley’s Euan Cluness assisted Clydesdale Bank with funding H&H Group’s £8.2m public to private acquisition of John Swan & Sons. Practice head Tom Speirs is experienced in healthcare and real estate finance transactions, as well as acquisition and portfolio finance. Alex Innes and Catriona Smith are other key partners, as is recent hire John Blackwood, who joined from McClure Naismith LLP.

Harper Macleod LLP handles the full spectrum of banking transactions for borrowers and lenders across a wide range of sectors, such as renewable energy, healthcare and real estate. Sophie Coffey, who joined from Brodies LLP in 2015, worked with Tony Cameron on acquisition finance transactions for Clydesdale Bank, including a facility to Nevis Capital for its purchase of Astec Precision. Property finance expert Jacqui Fraser handles transactions ranging from SME-sector mandates to large cross-border matters.

Noted for its strong property finance practice, MacRoberts LLP also handles corporate and project finance transactions as well as loan book sales. Notable clients include Barclays, HSBC, Peel Ports Group and Santander. Andrew Orr*, John Crawford and Roddy MacLennan are key partners in Norman Martin’s team. *Following publication, Andrew Orr has left the firm.

Morton Fraser’s diverse practice spans asset and invoice finance, consumer/regulated finance, corporate debt and Scottish law advice on cross-border deals. Practice head Andrew Meakin provided Scottish law advice to Ulster Bank on its Project Rathlin and Project Finn asset sales. Bruce Wood and John Lunn are recommended. In recent developments, Susan Younger retired from private practice and Brian Cameron was appointed as a sheriff. Property finance expert Paul Kenneth joined from McClure Naismith LLP.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP acts for borrowers and lenders in project finance transactions, and Stuart McMillan acted for The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi as senior lender on the £200m Irish Courts PPP project. McMillan also handles real estate finance transactions and asset-based lending matters. David Morton undertakes a wide range of financing transactions, including leveraged finance, real estate development and investment finance, and growth finance.

In addition to general corporate banking matters, Grant Docherty’s team at DWF is experienced in real estate finance, which includes loan mortgage portfolio acquisitions and sales, and advising non-Scottish real estate funds on financing their investments in the Scottish real estate sector. Renewable energy financing mandates are also on the increase. Docherty and Alan Glen acted for Royal Bank of Scotland on its £8.4m of financing to Globus (Shetland) to fund the acquisition of Alpha Solway. Chris McLauchlan* and Geoff Stansfield are also recommended. *Since publication Chris McLauchlan has joined Eversheds Sutherland.

David Lindgren’s team at Lindsays advises lenders and borrowers on matters involving asset-backed finance, renewable energy finance and property finance, among other areas. The firm advised Clydesdale Bank on the provision of £12.5m of agri-finance facilities to a Scottish estate. Gregory Stachura is ‘technically good and practical’.

Blackwood Partners LLP has a particular focus on the oil and gas sector, where it acts for banks, corporates and sponsors. It acted for Clydesdale Bank and Wells Fargo on the refinancing of ATR Group. Scott Swankie is ‘able to negotiate the most appropriate deal’.

Jody Mitchell and Fiona Neilson head Ledingham Chalmers LLP’s practice, which advises lenders and borrowers active in the North East Scotland market. Noted for its experience in multi-jurisdictional matters, the firm is particularly active in oil and gas sector financing transactions as well as those in the marine sector. Clients include DNB Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken, Atlantic Offshore and Tendeka.

Stronachs LLP has a strong presence in the north of Scotland market, with sector expertise spanning areas such as oil and gas, fishing, agriculture and renewables. Aberdeen-based Mark Brady, who joined from Bond Dickinson LLP in 2015, acted for Royal Bank of Scotland in financing McMaster & Orr’s acquisition of the Loch Ness Country House Hotel.


Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Brodies LLP provides a full service to insolvency practitioners, funds, banks and public sector clients. Its expertise includes corporate and personal insolvencies, debt and equity restructurings, securities portfolio transactions, and insolvency litigation. Rachel Grant, who has more than 25 years’ experience, works with Colin McIntosh, who ‘truly understands the role of the insolvency practitioner’. David Whyte has retired.

Cool, calm and effective’ Gary Moffat leads the team at Burness Paull, which has a strong track record undertaking some of the most complex and high-value insolvency litigation in Scotland. Moffat and his group advise The Insolvency Service on public interest windings up, investigations into insolvent companies and directors’ disqualifications. Alasdair Freeman is recommended for oil and gas sector restructurings and insolvencies.

Pinsent Masons LLP advises a wide range of stakeholders in distressed businesses, including clearing banks, directors and distressed investors. Claire Massie and Ainslie Benzie acted for Clydesdale Bank as a secured lender to Specialist Subsea Services, and assisted KPMG with the company’s administration. In a separate matter, the pair provided restructuring advice to Fletcher Shipping. The group is also experienced in distressed loan portfolio transactions and high-value insolvency litigation.

Following its expansion in 2014, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s practice was further strengthened in 2016 through the hires of Yvonne Brady, Fiona McKerrell and John Gallacher from HBJ Gateley. Brady heads the team, which handles debt restructurings, workouts, large-scale loan portfolio transactions, litigation and formal insolvencies. Gillian Carty and Paul Hally are other names to note in the team. Notable clients include Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte.

Anderson Strathern acts for banks, insolvency practitioners and government agencies. Its work for the latter is particularly noted; HMRC and The Accountant in Bankruptcy are key clients. Katrina Lumsdaine’s team is acting for Baker Tilly in the administration of Pihl UK Ltd.

CMS handles all aspects of corporate recovery, insolvency and restructuring for major clearing banks, corporates and insolvency practitioners. The firm’s wide-ranging sector expertise includes oil and gas, renewables, hotels and leisure, and financial services. In 2015, Siân Aitken advised Wind Energy (Newfield)’s board of directors on its duties regarding the company’s insolvency and, ultimately, assisted it with the company’s liquidation. Grant Thornton, BDO, Deloitte and Finsbury Food Group are among its other clients.

HBJ Gateley undertakes restructuring and recovery work for clients such as banks, insolvency practitioners and funds. Other strengths of the practice include cross-border insolvencies and workouts following acquisitions of non-performing loans. Yvonne Brady, Fiona McKerrell and John Gallacher joined Shepherd and Wedderburn. Jamie McIntosh, who succeeded Brady as practice head, is recommended along with Tim Cooper. Recently promoted partner Addi Shamash relocated to the Aberdeen office.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team advises secured lenders on restructurings, turnarounds, debt portfolio transactions, formal insolvencies and managed exits. Other clients of the practice include insolvency practitioners, boards of directors and purchasers of distressed companies. Michael Hughes and Shirley Li-Ting acted for DNB Bank and FRP Advisory on the multi-jurisdictional administration of the X-Subsea group of companies.

Morton Fraser draws upon its strengths in areas such as real estate, litigation and corporate finance to deal with contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring matters. Its ‘user-friendly’ team, includes litigator Joel Conn and Iain Young, who is experienced in corporate restructurings. Richard McMeeken advises on a wide range of corporate recovery and personal insolvency issues. Begbies Traynor, RSM and Johnston Carmichael are among its clients.

Restructuring and insolvency boutique BBM Solicitors has a focus on acting for insolvency practitioners. Eric Baijal’s team handles contentious and non-contentious issues in personal and corporate insolvencies, pure restructuring work and distressed property disposals made by insolvency practitioners. Cross-border matters are a particular area of strength.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s Graeme Henry heads the team in Scotland, which undertakes complex and high-value non-contentious restructuring and formal insolvency work. The firm has a particularly strong reputation for acting for banks including HSBC, Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. A particular strength of the practice is in relation to large-scale loan portfolio transactions. Legal director Emma Widdowson relocated to Edinburgh from the Leeds office in 2015.

Harper Macleod LLP deals with contentious and non-contentious issues for banks and financial institutions, administrators, liquidators and distressed companies, among other clients. Gordon Hollerin successfully defended a petition in the Court of Session for the administrators of Playfair Investments to be replaced by alternative insolvency practitioners. The practice is particularly strong in sports-related mandates.

MacRoberts LLP’s Alan Meek provides corporate insolvency advice to insolvency practitioners, lenders and directors of distressed companies. Leon Breakey is recommended for commercial and personal insolvency disputes.


Unit trusts, OEICs and investment trusts

Andrew Akintewe’s team at Brodies LLP recently recruited Karen Fountain from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Fountain’s expertise includes fund structuring, co-investment and managed account arrangements, and fund management start-ups and spin-outs. Regulatory expert Frank Doran is experienced in the formation and operation of a wide range of vehicles, including non-UCITS retail funds, unit trusts and regulated OEICs. The firm’s recent work for FIM Services included the structuring, formation and fundraising of FIM Timberland LP. Paul McLaughlin was promoted to managing associate in 2015.

Burness Paull LLP’s Alan Soppitt is an expert in the use of Scottish limited partnerships in private equity funds and other fund structures; he assisted Ardian with forming its seventh secondary fund. Other clients include BlackRock, KKR and international law firms. Soppitt’s other strengths include fund finance and asset-backed funding for pension schemes. Paula Kennedy heads the firm’s investor-side practice and is experienced advising in relation to private equity and alternative funds.

CMS’ expertise covers listed vehicles, regulated vehicles and unregulated vehicles such as venture capital trusts and limited partnerships. Karagh Gilliatt, who ‘always makes herself available for client queries’, acted for Standard Life Investments in a highly complex business integration with Ignis Asset Management. Colin Lawrie primarily handles the formation of real estate and private equity buyout funds for clients including Clyde Blowers Capital, but he is also experienced in limited partner investments and sales of secondary interests.

Bruce Minto and Douglas Armstrong jointly head Dickson Minto WS’ practice, which has a strong track record acting for leading Scottish fund managers, such as Aberdeen Asset Management, Baillie Gifford and Standard Life Investments. The firm has seen an uptick in OEIC-related instructions, and recently advised Valu-Trac on the launch of nine new OEICs or sub-funds of OEICs.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team is experienced in dealing with a wide range of issues connected with open-ended, closed-end listed and alternative investment funds. In addition to forming and launching investment vehicles, the group handles associated corporate deals, fund lending work and regulatory issues (including those involving FATCA and AIFMD). Guy Norfolk’s group includes David Young and Michael Livingston; all three split their time between London and Edinburgh.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s practice focuses on closed-end listed funds for clients such as Alliance Trust PLC, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and European Assets Trust. The firm also handles mandates from asset managers, including F&C Asset Management, Baillie Gifford and Blackstone. Paul Hally, Gordon Downie and Patrick Bell are names to note. Former practice head Michael Wylie joined Baillie Gifford in 2015.


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