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Editorial

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.

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