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

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Brodies LLP's banking and finance team has recently undergone significant growth at the non-partner level, expanding on the existing strength of the highly regarded partner group, which is led by Bruce Stephen. The practice is noted for its infrastructure, renewable energy and oil and gas finance work, real estate finance issues and corporate and acquisition finance matters. Also key is its strength in the marine finance space, where it acts on numerous new construction and vessel acquisition financings at a global level; this expertise is led by Neal Richardson and is particularly strong in the pelagic fishing, cargo vessel, emergency response and rescue vessel, and passenger ferry markets. Other key practitioners include Michael Stoneham, who leads the energy and infrastructure practice; and real estate finance specialist Chris Dun.

Practice head(s):Bruce Stephen

Other key lawyers:Michael Stoneham; Peter Kelly; Alan Knowles; Neal Richardson; Chris Dun; Marion MacInnes

Testimonials

'Brodies has good levels of experience across the team.'

'The finance team at Brodies is efficient, known for its quick turnaround times, reasonable pricing and good client relationship skills.'

'The banking group is made up of approachable, sensible and smart lawyers. They take a business-focused approach to the advice they provide and are quick to anticipate issues and suggest options.'

'Neal Richardson is worthy of special mention. He is very efficient and always turns work around quickly to a good standard and reasonable price.'

'Bruce Stephen stands out for his quick responses. He identifies the issues and focuses on solutions and options. His counsel is always sensible and clear.'

'Housing sector expert Chris Dun is personally very hands-on in both the drafting of loan agreements and the project management stage. He takes a project from cradle to grave.'

'Alan Knowles is very quick to respond and always remains calm and good-humoured.'

'Kimberley Ryder-Forman, an associate in the team, provides high levels of service.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group/Bank of Scotland PLC

The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC

HSBC BankPLC

UniCredit BankAG

Shawbrook Bank

Whyte & Mackay

DNB Bank

Goldman Sachs & Co LLC

Toscafund

CBRE Loan Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the asset management team of a German investment bank on a multi-jurisdictional real estate finance negotiation relating to the acquisition of an investment property in Glasgow's business district.
  • Assisted The European Investment Bank with a £185m debt facility to the Wheatley Housing Group.
  • Acted for Brickability Enterprises Investments on a syndicated acquisition financing transaction.
  • Instructed by a renewable energy developer as borrower on senior and mezzanine finance facilities for three English gas peaking projects.
  • Advising a challenger bank focused on international trade and development on its £150m financing of the acquisition of a portfolio of hydropower plants.

Alan Soppitt leads the banking team at Burness Paull LLP, which handles the full spectrum of financing transactions including structured finance and securitisation work, fund finance, leveraged finance and real estate finance. Jonathan Heaney is the key contact for corporate lending and real estate finance work, John Kennedy is experienced in the oil and gas sector, and Gaenor Cassell focuses on real estate and leveraged financings, restructurings and securitisation work. The group recently gained a number of high-profile appointments in the renewable energy space and counts several major UK clearing banks as clients. Allan Leal made partner in 2018.

Practice head(s):Alan Soppitt

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Heaney; John Kennedy; Gaenor Cassell; Allan Leal

Testimonials

'Burness Paull fields a very commercially aware team of knowledgeable individuals, who are always keen to help and proficient in doing so.'

'At Burness Paull, the finance lawyers are competent and give good advice.'

'Sophie Coffey has an excellent understanding of the energy industry and is able to combine this with her banking and finance expertise to provide solid, well-considered advice.'

'Jonathan Heaney and Gemma Young are both competent and have a good knowledge of market practice in the asset management sector.'

Key Clients

BlueGem Capital Partners

Stewart Milne Group

Tailwind Energy Limited

NatWest Markets Plc

Tuscola Group Limited

Santander UK plc

Maven Regional Buyout Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising Incremental Group Holdings on its acquisition of GAP Consulting, supported by a facility from Clydesdale Bank and a venture capital investment from Maven Capital and Scottish Investment Bank.
  • Acted for new client Tailwind Energy on the amendment and restatement of its existing facilities and the provision of new mezzanine facilities by Mercuria Energy Trading.
  • Advising Esson Properties on the amendment and restatement of an existing facility agreement.
  • Assisting Tuscola Group with the Islamic financing of a number of significant real estate assets by Gatehouse Bank.
  • Advising the Royal Bank of Scotland as sole underwriter and arranger of a £12.2m senior development and investment facility for the acquisition and development of mixed-use assets at Torwood Street, Torquay.

CMS fields a broad debt finance practice, which is led by Gordon Hay and covers corporate and organisation finance, real estate finance, all areas of project finance, fund finance, asset finance and shipping work, and also has a growing aircraft finance team. The firm's global footprint bolsters the team's international capabilities and its ability to manage energy and power cross-border deals in multiple jurisdictions. Former practice head Caryn Penley is highly regarded in the field; other key practitioners include Stephen Phillips, leveraged and acquisition finance expert Alan Fulton, Aberdeen-based Dawn Reoch and energy finance specialist Jenny Allan.

Practice head(s):Gordon Hay

Other key lawyers:Caryn Penley; Stephen Phillips; Alan Fulton; Dawn Reoch; Jenny Allan

Testimonials

'CMS' partners are able to explain complex legal risks to non-legal individuals, allowing clients to understand and manage the key risk items appropriately.'

'CMS always goes above and beyond in delivering the work.'

'Jenny Allan is knowledgeable, thorough and personable. She is able to step into transactions when required to, and is clearly very aware of where the transaction is and what is still needed to be done.'

Key Clients

Barclays Bank

Lloyds Bank

RBS

Investec

Clyde Blowers Limited

Close Brothers

Clydesdale Bank

John Wood Group

ISDA

Santander

Work highlights

  • Acting for a syndicate of lenders led by RBS on the provision of acquisition finance facilities to px Group to finance its acquisition of Saltend Chemical Park from BP.
  • Acting for Lonsdale Capital Partners and its portfolio companies on a number of separate acquisition finance transactions.
  • Acted for Close Leasing on the financing of a 12 turbine wind farm in East Lothian, Scotland.
  • Advised the noteholders and lenders on the Scottish law elements of a private placing and funding by KCA Deutag Group and the taking of security over the group's Scottish assets and entities for its acquisition of the Omani and Saudi Arabian business of Dalma Energy.
  • Instructed by RBS to oversee the banking and property aspects of the staged intra-group hive up and refinance of 19 commercial properties owned by a Jersey fund and located throughout the UK.

Dickson Minto WS advises on all aspects of debt finance work and has recently handled a substantial number of transactions involving private equity elements, financial services issues and real estate finance work. The firm fields three specialist banking partners based in Edinburgh, who also jointly lead the group; Colin McHale, Allan Fraser and Alasdair Proudfoot.

Practice head(s):Colin McHale; Allan Fraser; Alasdair Proudfoot

Work highlights

  • Acted for Target Healthcare REIT on the amendment, restatement and increase of debt facilities provided by HSBC.
  • Advised Lomond Capital on the refinancing of its debt facilities by Clydesdale and Toscafund.
  • Advised Growth Capital Partners and Arrow Business Communications on the provision of term and acquisition facilities by Lloyds Bank and Santander.

Pinsent Masons LLP covers the full gamut of finance work and also has specialist expertise in bank structural reforms, ring-fencings, loan sales and purchases, loan-on-loan financings, derivatives, ship finance work, asset-based lending and oil & gas reserve-based lending. The department, led by John MacIver, fields a specialist reserve-based lending sub-team and also has capabilities in debt capital markets. Michael Watson focuses on project finance work, Iain Macaulay handles project finance matters and Gillian Frew is a specialist in energy and infrastructure finance. Richard Scott is the main Aberdeen contact and was recently promoted to office head.

Practice head(s):John Maciver

Other key lawyers:Michael Watson; Iain Macauley; Richard Scott; Gillian Frew

Testimonials

'The banking and finance team is highly knowledgeable and experienced. It is extremely responsive, especially when dealing with anything that requires an urgent turnaround, and adopts a pragmatic approach to problems and challenges.'

'At Pinsent Masons, the knowledge of the market and expertise in executing transactions means the banking team exceeds its peers.'

'Pinsent's finance experts work hard to deliver a joint support and to maintain a healthy dialogue on pertinent issues.'

'It is a team built on in-depth corporate banking knowledge, which is applied in a careful and commercial manner to ensure a transaction can be completed successfully within the required timescales.'

'Richard Scott is a skilled and knowledgeable banking lawyer. When discussing new instructions, Richard takes the time to really understand the commercial aspects of the transaction and, as a result, always identifies the optimum legal solution.'

'John Maciver provides excellent leadership to the team and a deep understanding of the range of issues that need to be managed when delivering a complex lending transaction.'

Key Clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland

HSBC Bank

Santander UK

Clydesdale Bank

Homes England

Wheatley Housing Group Limited

Deutsche Bank

Faroe Petroleum

Cairn Energy

Verus Petroleum UK Limited

Bricks Capital

Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited

Dana Petroleum Limited

Zennor Petroleum Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ithaca Energy (UK) with its refinancing of a $400m reserve-based lending facility and new $300m term loan.
  • Advised Cairn Energy on the amendment and restatement of its reserve-based facility.
  • Advised Verus Petroleum on its first reserve-based facility and the subsequent amendment and restatement of the facility.
  • Acted for Wheatley Group on its £185m new funding from EIB to build and improve affordable homes.
  • Acting for Solarplicity on its banking facilities from NatWest to fund its smart meter rollout.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has a strong track record in financing transactions, demonstrated by its broad client roster of commercial and investment banks, corporate borrowers, sponsors and developers. The group also has varied sector expertise, acting across the energy and natural resources, real estate and infrastructure, food and drink, healthcare, hotels and leisure sectors. Fiona Buchanan heads up the group, which also fields consultant Graham Burnside, Andrew Kinnes, who specialises in banking, asset-based lending and securitisation work; and Clare Foster, who leads the firm's clean energy practice and project finance team. Hamish Patrick heads up the firm's financial sector group and has substantial expertise in the securitisation space.

Practice head(s):Fiona Buchanan

Other key lawyers:Graham Burnside; Andrew Kinnes; Hamish Patrick; Patrick Bell; Clare Foster; Rob MacLeod; Iain Wishart

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC Bank

Scottish Enterprise

Santander UK

Nord LB

Amber Infrastructure

Green Investment Group

Yorkshire Building Society

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Acted for HSBC as agent to a syndicate of lending banks including Bank of Montreal, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING and Lloyds Bank, on all Scottish law aspects of a significant increase to a reserve-base loan facility provided to Ineos UK E&P Holding and its subsidiaries following the acquisition of the Forties pipeline system in the North Sea from BP.
  • Acted as Scottish counsel for BNP Paribas and J.P. Morgan Securities as lead managers on the issuances by Durham Mortgages A and Durham Mortgages B of £2.8bn and £2.4bn in residential mortgage-backed notes respectively.
  • Advised Davidson Kempner Capital Management on the purchase, legal title transfer and residential mortgage-backed securities relating to a portfolio of residential mortgages.
  • Assisted Interplex with its establishment of a $500m medium-term note programme to be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
  • Advising JP Morgan Asset Management on a £680m portfolio financing package.

Addleshaw Goddard's finance and banking team is highly active in asset-based lending matters, social housing financings and debt capital markets issuances. The group's client base includes many of the major UK banks, alternative lenders and a variety of borrowers. The practice is led by energy sector acquisition finance expert Alan Shanks, and fields Tom Speirs, who specialises in financings in the healthcare and social housing sectors; Catriona Smith in the Aberdeen office, who focuses on the onshore and offshore renewable energy sectors and shipping work, and Euan Cluness who has a strong track record in asset-based lending, corporate lending and acquisition finance mandates.

Practice head(s):Alan Shanks

Other key lawyers:Euan Cluness; Tom Speirs; Catriona Smith

Testimonials

'The banking lawyers at Addleshaw Goddard are hardworking, pragmatic and always deliver. They're very good at filtering out the issues that they can deal with themselves and escalating the key issues that their clients need to focus on.'

'What sets the finance team apart is the fact that it isn't just highly skilled but also has got a huge amount of strength in depth compared to its peers.'

'The firm nurtures good client relations while providing a broad number of legal services.'

'Euan Cluness is a real go-to for transactional banking work and wins the lion's share of that work.'

'Legal director Ann Frances Cooney truly understands the industry and what her clients need. Her advice is sound, concise and easy to follow.'

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland

HSBC Bank

Santander (UK)

Lloyds Banking Group

Barclays Bank

Business Growth Fund

Route Finance

Cairngorm Capital

Gravis Capital Partners

Robertson Group

Topaz Energy & Marine

Red Rock Power Limited

Triodos Bank NV

Bank of China

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for HSBC on its strategic re-banking of Albert Bartlett & Sons.
  • Assisted Cairngorm Capital Partners with the financing of Thornbridge Timber's acquisition of Rembrand Timber.
  • Acting for RBS on the provision of debt funding to support LDC's investment into Duncan & Todd Holdings, the leading optical provider in Scotland.
  • Assisted Aldermore Bank with providing development funding to Queensberry Properties, which will purchase and develop a residential block in a mixed-use development at New Waverley, near the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The Aberdeen-based Blackwood Partners LLP has niche expertise in banking and finance work in the oil and gas sector with substantial experience in oil and gas acquisition finance matters, a key area of focus for practice head Scott Swankie. Swankie also handles corporate banking, aviation finance, shipping finance and property finance issues.

Practice head(s):Scott Swankie

Other key lawyers:Andrew Lyndon

Testimonials

'Scott Swankie is at the top of his game and has a great team beneath him.'

'The team is responsive, knowledgeable, accurate, dilligent and fast.'

'Scott Swankie is a very experienced solicitor, who guides clients through transactions with ease. He is very good at taking care of the small points and providing guidance on the major points.'

Key Clients

Ardyne Holdings Limited

Ashtead Technology Limited

Bank of Scotland/LBG

Balmoral Group

Bluewater Energy

Buckthorn Partners

Business Growth Fund

Centurion Group

Clydesdale Bank

Consilium Group

CoretraxTechnology Limited

DNB Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for a club of banks including the Bank of Scotland, DNB Bank and HSBC on the provision of additional growth facilities to EnerMech Group.
  • Appointed by Ashtead to advise on the financing aspects of its acquisition of Welaptega.
  • Acted for LDC on the financing aspects of its acquisition of Duncan & Todd.

Dentons' work is spread between its borrower and lender client base, which includes clients at a national and international level and spans a variety of sectors; the team has also recently focused on growing its lender side work. The practice covers all aspects of banking and finance mandates including fund financings, securitisations, loan portfolio transfers and corporate borrowing. Susan Kelly heads up the UK banking and finance group and Stuart Fitzsimmons leads the Glasgow and Aberdeen practices. James Wilson specialises in property, fund and corporate finance mandates.

Practice head(s):Susan Kelly; Stuart Fitzsimmons

Other key lawyers:James Wilson

Testimonials

'Susan Kelly has a fantastic reputation in the sector. Her level of experience and expertise is second to none. She is someone who remains calm and is not prone to grandstanding.'

'One of the key things at Dentons is the efficiency of the service provided. The heavy lifting is taken on by the banking team, not the client.'

Key Clients

Devro

Card Factory

Rothesay Life

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Bank of Scotland

Close Leasing Limited

Atom Bank

Edrington Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Card Factory on the £200m refinancing of its banking facilities with a syndicate of banks.
  • Instructed by Rothesay Life to handle the Scottish aspects of its acquisition of a £860m portfolio of loans owned by UK Asset Resolution.
  • Advising Tenaga Nasional Berhad on the refinancing of a portfolio of 53 UK wind farms across Scotland and England.
  • Assisting Magi No4 Jersey Unit Trust with the financing of the acquisition of 122 Waterloo Street, Glasgow.

In addition to advising key domestic clients including Clydesdale Bank and HSBC, DLA Piper Scotland LLP's banking team regularly receives mandates from international clients providing inward investment to Scottish assets. The group also recently expanded its high-profile client base with the addition of ICICI Bank and ABN AMRO to its client roster, and enhanced its work on the early-stage funding of technology companies. Scotland finance head David Morton, legal director Michael Urquhart and senior associate William Reid are among the key names in the team

Other key lawyers:David Morton; Michael Urquhart; William Reid

Testimonials

'The practice at DLA Piper is responsive, pro-active and commercially minded, and is willing and eager to find solutions as well as highlighting risks. It is also pragmatic in dealing with other legal teams.'

'DLA Piper has an extensive network that allows it access to different markets and jurisdictions. This provides a significant advantage when dealing with cross-border or multi-national transactions.'

'David Morton has a calm, clear and considered manner, with a strong appreciation of commercial pressures as well as technical legal considerations. He is proactive in making progress in transactions.'

'David Morton is a highly experienced individual, who brings a very pragmatic approach to any transaction.'

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland

RBS Invoice Finance Ltd

ICICI Bank

ABN AMRO

Santander

HSBC

Vespa Capital

MAS REI

Harrison Street

Tosca Debt Capital Fund

Energy Ventures

Investec

Work highlights

  • Acted for Clydesdale Bank on its £15m acquisition funding of Laing Glasgow Holdings.
  • Acted for HSBC Bank on its £17m acquisition funding of Herbert Group.
  • Instructed by new client ICICI Bank to handle its £13m financing of the Easy Hotel, Edinburgh.
  • Advising Harrison Street on its £19m development funding for student accommodation in Glasgow.

Anderson Strathern acts for primarily lenders across an array of banking and finance matters, with a substantial track record in real estate finance, renewables and energy finance, corporate and structured finance, agri-finance, private banking and charity and third-sector finance. The team also has a notable borrower client base and has cross-border capabilities, particularly in the financial services space. Gillian Anderson heads up the group, which also includes senior associate Gregory Stachura.

Practice head(s):Gillian Anderson

Other key lawyers:Gregory Stachura; Nicholas Howie

Testimonials

'Anderson Strathern provides guidance and advice on a level clients can understand.'

'Gregory Strachura and Kate Bond provide great assistance for a good fee.'

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank plc

RBS Group

Adam & Co

Ineos

Buccleuch Group

Allied Irish Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken

Apex Hotels Group

Crown Estate Scotland

Hampden & Co

Rangers International Football Club plc/The Rangers Football Club Limited

The Roxburghe Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised The Crown Estate Scotland on the finance documentation relating to its £10m investment in the MeyGen Tidal Energy Project in the Pentland Firth.
  • Acted for Teague Homes (UK) on a £40m loan for part of its flagship waterfront development in Edinburgh.

DWF regularly acts on both the borrower and lender sides of corporate banking mandates; its client roster includes major banks including Santander, RBS and Lloyds Bank. With an established presence in the real estate finance space, the team has also recently expanded its work in the renewable energy sector, where it has advised funders and developers, particularly on onshore wind and biomass projects. Director Alan Glen leads the team following the departure of Grant Docherty to Rooney Nimmo.

Practice head(s):Alan Glen

Other key lawyers:Mikela Rochford

Key Clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Santander UK

Unity Trust Bank

Squarestone Growth LLP

Bladnoch Distillery Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising RBS on its funding of the acquisition of a mixed-used office block in Aberdeen.
  • Acted for Squarestone Growth LLP on its refinancing of existing term loan facilities and several real estate acquisitions.

Harper Macleod LLP is particularly active in the Scottish SME lending market, but advises across the full market for lenders and borrowers including entrepreneurial companies, start-ups, SMEs and large corporates. The team has a substantial network across five Scottish offices including Inverness and Shetland bases. Recently, the firm has continued to expand its expertise in the corporate banking and transactional space in Edinburgh and the East of Scotland. Tony Cameron heads up the group, which also fields Jacqui Fraser, who leads the property finance team; and John Pringle, who counts several fintech lenders as clients. Limor Wolfe made partner in 2018.

Practice head(s):Tony Cameron

Other key lawyers:Jacqui Fraser; John Pringle; Limor Wolfe

Testimonials

'Harper Macleod's team has excellent knowledge of securities law.'

'Jacqui Fraser is always on hand to give her opinion and advice, even if not through formal instruction.'

'The team is very hands on with transactions, and fields very strong communicators who are great at offering advice on various elements transactions. It is extremely knowledgeable and very efficient.'

'Tony Cameron, John Pringle and Paula Skinner all deserve a mention as clearly impressive individuals.'

'The group is very efficient, friendly, easy to contact and practical in its approach. Jacqui Fraser is very efficient and practical and nice to deal with.'

Key Clients

Bank of Scotlandplc/Lloyds Banking Group

Allied Irish Bank

Clydesdale Bank

Santander

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Atom Bank

Thincats

Handelsbanken

Abundance Investments Limited

HSBC

Work highlights

  • Advised Aberdeen Standard Investments' infrastructure debt team on its private debt facility of £43m to finance six operational hydro-electric schemes, all of which are situated on rivers in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Advised Balmer Care Homes Group on the sale of Rosepark Care Home and Croftbank House, together with the associated properties.
  • Appointed by Goldcrest Communities to advise on an investment from Scottish private equity house, Maven Capital.
  • Advised Clydesdale Bank on the provision of term loan facilities to support the MBO of Glasgow-based independent financial planning company, Intelligent Capital.

MacRoberts LLP has strong expertise across the main financing markets in Scotland including corporate banking, real estate finance and project finance. The team fields a dedicated property finance specialists group and is recognised for its knowledge of the healthcare sector; senior associate Fiona Armour, who is based in Glasgow, leads the healthcare expertise. Also noted is practice head Norman Martin's knowledge of the whisky industries and the expertise of John Crawford in the agriculture space; Martin sits in Edinburgh while Crawford is based in Glasgow. Roddy Maclennan retired from the partnership but remains with the firm as a consultant.

Practice head(s):Norman Martin

Other key lawyers:John Crawford; Fiona Armour

Testimonials

'Norman Martin and Fiona Armour provide a great service with regular ongoing dialogue throughout a transaction.'

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Bank of Scotland plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Handelsbanken plc

Moneything Capital Limited

Legal & General Pensions Limited

Colony Capital LLC

Formation Capital LLC

Peel Ports Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Scottish Ministers on the provision of partially convertible facilities to Burntisland Fabrications to assist with the implementation of its obligations under various fabrication contracts, and to support a long-term future for the BiFab yards.
  • Providing Scottish law banking and finance advice to Chapman & Cutler and The 1887 Company on the note purchase agreement and related documentation to be entered into by The 1887 Company Limited and the other Scottish registered companies in its group.

Morton Fraser handles all aspects of financing matters and loan portfolio transactions, and Clydesdale Bank, Barclays, AIB Group and Close Leasing are notable clients in the firm's roster. The team's real estate finance expertise was recently bolstered by a series of arrivals; the group also has substantial experience in banking litigation and the fintech space. Group head Andrew Meakin specialises in corporate debt financing and general bank advisory work, while John Lunn heads the retail banking space.

Practice head(s):Andrew Meakin

Other key lawyers:John Lunn

The banking team at Gillespie Macandrew LLP has particular expertise in peer-to-peer debt funding and acts for a significant number of the peer-to-peer agents and lenders operating in Scotland. Also notable is the firm's substantial track record in the agriculture and estates, real estate and energy sectors, and in the SME bridging market, where the practice continues to handle a significant volume of deals. The group is jointly led by Kenneth Irons, Christopher Smith and Gregor Peebles; Irons and Peebles handle property finance work.

Practice head(s):Kenneth Irons; Christopher Smith; Gregor Peebles

Other key lawyers:Ross MacRae

Testimonials

'Known for its excellent client service, the banking team at Gillespie Macandrew is very responsive and easy to deal with.'

'Clients go to Gillespie Macandrew for its prompt, efficient service delivery, ability to keep advice simple and its commercial sense. The team is very supportive and makes itself available.'

'The finance practice is personable, responsive, technically excellent and focused on the advice and end point of getting the deal done.'

Key Clients

Assetz SME Capital Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland

Gresham House Forestry Limited (formerly Aitchesse Limited)

Avant Homes Group

Majestic (Belford) Ltd

Clydesdale Bank

Repro Finance

Ledingham Chalmers LLP's Aberdeen office specialises in acting for lenders in the oil and gas sector, particularly on financing transactions. The firm also regularly acts in the marine industry and its Inverness office fields significant expertise in the public sector. The main names to note are Jody Mitchell, John Mitchell and Tim Thomas, who are all based in Aberdeen.

Lindsays' banking practice handles a wide range of transactions for lenders and borrowers, and notably excels in the real estate finance space. The group's real estate-focused work consists of increasingly high-value, cross-border transactions. The team also draws from the expertise in the commercial property and construction groups. Gavin Buchan leads the practice.

Practice head(s):Gavin Buchan

Other key lawyers:Thomas Horton

Testimonials

'The banking experts at Lindsays are quick, efficient & responsive and clients should have no concerns about their commercial awareness with practical recommendations made throughout the lending process.'

'The team is always very helpful in dealing with cross-border transactions, particularly in terms of assisting with commentary on Scottish law.'

'Gavin Buchan and Thomas Horton are both knowledgeable, approachable and flexible. Ann Clark works tirelessly and likes to think outside the box to get results in very tight deadlines.'

'Gavin Buchan is knowledgeable and always available to turn requests round quickly.'

Key Clients

Maslow Capital

Octopus Property

OakNorth Bank plc

Assetz Capital

National Westminster Bank plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Hampden Bank plc

Redwood Bank Limited

Glenisla Developments Limited

FundingSecure

Work highlights

  • Provided Scottish law advice to Maslow Capital as senior lender on a development finance facility.
  • Acted for a UK challenger bank specialising in property finance on the Scottish aspects of a bridging finance transaction  regarding the purchase of a large site in Glasgow city centre.
  • Acted for OakNorth Bank on the Scottish aspects of a portfolio refinance relating to 161 public houses located throughout the UK.

The team at Shoosmiths acts for a number of UK clearing banks and also counts challenger banks, peer-to-peer and other alternative lenders and corporate borrowers as key clients. Recent highlights include complex structured real estate finance work across a wide range of sectors, leveraged and acquisition finance mandates, and cross-border opinion and security work. Legal director Stuart Murray leads the group, which includes associate Sheelagh Cooley, who heads up the real estate finance group; and senior associate Liana Di Ciacca, who recently joined from CMS.

Practice head(s):Stuart Murray; Sheelagh Cooley

Other key lawyers:Liana Di Ciacca

Testimonials

'The banking experts at Shoosmiths are straightforward to work with and provide a practical, efficient, and pragmatic service.'

'The team is always up to date with every issue, which makes clients feel very appreciated.'

'The team at Shoosmiths is always available to assist and advise whenever needed with a partner-led commercial mind.'

'Senior associate Sheelagh Cooley and Liana Di Ciacca always provide advice from a commercial viewpoint, which is a key quality on most corporate transactions. They are both very personable and professional individuals who are always a pleasure to deal with.'

'Liana Di Ciacca is exceptionally efficient and provides clear, practical, strategic advice that is simple to understand.'

Key Clients

Origin Homes Manchester 1 Limited (part of the Select Property Group (Holdings) Limited group)

Origin Homes Manchester 2 Limited (part of the Select Property Group (Holdings) Limited group)

Santander UK plc

Santander Consumer UK plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Svenska Handelsbanken publ

Sancus

Amicus Finance plc

Assetz Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sancus on its funding of one of the largest mixed-use developments in central Scotland.
  • Advised Select’s new brand Origin Homes on two separate facilities from challenger bank OakNorth Bank to fund its flagship purchase and development in Manchester.
  • Advised Svenska Handelsbanken, a leading Swedish bank, on its multi-million loan to Thistle Property Group to acquire two office buildings, Forth House and Playfair House in Edinburgh.
  • Acted for Assetz Capital on a complex refinancing of assets owned by an individual and his pension fund involving complex title and access issues.

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Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

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