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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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Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking and finance clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


By some clients‚Äô reckoning, Burges Salmon LLP‚Äôs banking department ‚Äėhas proved itself able to stand toe-to-toe with top London firms‚Äô. In addition to its core mid-market lending work, the team is highly recommended for senior financing and US private placement transactions and is also instructed by a number of blue-chip borrowers. Department head Richard Leeming¬†advised HSBC Bank on the refinancing of Harbour Hotels by way of a ¬£112m term loan with a ¬£50m accordion option. Similarly, Rachael Ruane¬†acted for RBS on the refinancing of a residential property developer‚Äôs revolving credit facilities. On the borrower-side, Leeming assisted National Express Group with two separate $30m bilateral facilities, one with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and the other with Bank of America Merrill Lynch International. The group is increasingly instructed by alternative lenders. Indeed, acting across from two Magic Cricle firms, Nathan Curtis¬†acted for a UK asset manager, as mezzanine lender, on a high-value mortgage-backed warehouse facility. Further, the ‚Äėpragmatic‚Äô Graham Soar¬†advised Aerium Finance on the financing associated with the client‚Äôs acquisition of units in a Jersey property unit trust; the financing was provided by an ultra-high-net-worth Middle Eastern shari‚Äôah investor. Andrew Eaton¬†is another key contact and senior associates Ed Hobbs¬†and Katie Allen¬†are recommended.

With strengths in borrower and lender-side instructions, Osborne Clarke¬†provides ‚Äėexcellent all-round service‚Äô and has developed particular expertise in private equity-related transactions, including leveraged M&A and MBOs. The team has preferred relationships with four of the five most significant banks active in the South West, including RBS, Barclays and Santander. Tom Bussy¬†acted for HSBC Bank on the buyout financing for Lloyds Development Capital‚Äôs investment in Vista, which saw the company‚Äôs previous backers, WestBridge Capital and Octopus Investments, exit their investment. Bussy has also been involved in high-value syndicated acquisition finance transactions and cross-border refinancing. Moreover, the department has considerable experience in energy-related finance and investment transactions. Associate director Caroline Saul¬†advised Oxford Capital Partners on the ¬£78.8m refinancing of a large portfolio of ground-mounted and rooftop solar assets. Similarly, the ‚Äėcommercially minded‚Äô department head Omar Al-Nuaimi¬†assisted Foresight Group, as borrower, with a ¬£100m debt financing transaction with RBS regarding a portfolio of 26 solar farms. Additional borrower clients include XP Power, HH Global, Standard Life Aberdeen and multiple FTSE 100 companies.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP¬†has ‚Äėan excellent local reputation‚Äô, in addition to being involved in high-profile international assignments on a regular basis. Department head Richard Norton¬†stands out in particular for his ‚Äėexpert knowledge, commercial approach and outstanding client service‚Äô. Norton‚Äôs strong relationships in the Middle East and Cyprus have garnered a prolific roster of international lender and borrower clients; in 2017 he advised Tsokkos Hotels on a ‚ā¨200m secured loan facility with Bank of Cyprus, while on the lender side he acted for National Bank of Kuwait in connection with the provision of an ¬£8m shari‚Äôah facility secured over London property. The team has experience of aviation finance and recently assisted Gulfair with a $200m loan facility secured over international air transport association accounts. Further, the group is increasingly involved in the business-to-business lending space, and acted for Actis in relation to the provision of shareholder loans from a Mauritian holding company to Indian subsidiaries. Naomi Nettleton¬†specialises in real estate finance and was promoted to partner in 2017.

The banking team at Foot Anstey specialises in real estate investment and development financing in the residential property and renewable energy sectors. Further, the team regularly supports the firm’s corporate group in debt-financed corporate transactions private equity-backed M&A. Department head Will Whitt acted for Oxshott Property Holdings, as borrower, in connection with a £15.5m term and revolving facilities agreement with Investec Bank. Whitt also advised Amlak Holding on the acquisition financing of the entire issued share capital of Wazzan Real Estate Company and Broader Company. Imam Qazi specialises in Islamic finance and assisted Greenridge Investment Management on the financing of its £35.5m acquisition from administration of a commercial site in Sheffield; the funding included a shari’ah compliant structure with an offshore element. The department also receives regular lender-side instructions from Santander and Julian Hodge Bank. Legal director Chris White has been involved in a number of high-value refinancing transactions in 2017.

TLT¬†is ‚Äėa first-rate firm for corporates looking to undertake a debt financing project‚Äô and is ‚Äėamong the leading finance teams for mid-market renewable energy deals‚Äô. The department has an enviable investment-grade borrower practice led by the highly recommended Jon Stewart, who advised Dyson Finance on the ¬£180m expansion of its borrowing facilities with lenders based in the UK, Australia, Singapore and Japan. On the lender side, Stewart counselled AIB Group on the provision of refinance facilities regarding a private equity-backed portfolio of marina assets. Gary Roscoe¬†runs an ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô renewables lending practice, which was recently involved in a debt funding mandate of market-wide significance. In other highlights, Roscoe advised Santander on the provision of a ¬£28.5m facility to Battery Energy Storage Solutions for the development of UK‚Äôs first-ever debt-financed battery storage projects, and advised a UK borrower on high-value term loan and revolving credit facilities with a major domestic bank.¬†Roscoe also acts for Tridos Bank in renewables-related transactions.¬†Peter Carney¬†has particular experience of non-contentious insolvency, property finance and loan portfolio transactions.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's¬†‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô banking and financial services practice specialising in energy and real estate finance, restructuring and financial services regulation. Julian Kinsey¬†has ‚Äėa first-class reputation in the South West‚Äô and advised a notable regional borrower on a significant equity and debt restructure. On the lender side, Kinsey acted as UK advisor to Union Bancaire Privee in connection with its ¬£90m secured loan to a German real estate fund. In addition to handling a number of cross-border borrowing transactions, Philip Withey¬†advised Lloyds Bank on a ¬£39.2m ABL facility for the secondary management buyout of Taylor Maxwell. Following the firm‚Äôs formal tie-up with its long-time US partner-firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, the banking team has been an attractive option for clients with funding issues requiring US legal opinions and transatlantic regulatory expertise. Managing associate Tom Caplen¬†is another key figure in the department. Additional lender clients include RBS, HSBC and Santander.

Providing ‚Äėtimely, practical and partner-led advice‚Äô, Ashfords LLP¬†is instructed by regional borrowers and household-name lenders in real estate development and acquisition finance transactions. The ‚Äėhighly experienced‚Äô Rebecca Dury¬†leads the banking group and acts for Exeter Finance in connection with its loan provisions to various borrowers, primarily for the purpose of property acquisitions and development. Dury also assisted a regional house builder with a refinancing exercise with a well-known domestic bank. ‚ÄėAn engaging and proactive communicator‚Äô, James Heath¬†advised Lloyds Bank on the multimillion-pound facilities for the purchase of two commercial sites in Oxford and Banbury by a prominent investment company. Additional lender clients include HSBC Bank, Santander and RBS, which the team advised on the provision of various acquisition finance and refinance facilities in 2017. Solicitor Jonathan Hyde¬†is also recommended.

Acting for high-street lenders and private banking clients, the team at Clarke Willmott LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent in the context of real estate finance‚Äô transactions. Indeed, the team advised Secure Trust Bank with the provision of a ¬£19m loan for the development of residential apartments in Slough and also assisted Lloyds Bank with the provision of a housing development facility. The ‚Äėbalanced and accessible‚Äô Philip Brown¬†advised HSBC on the refinancing of two redevelopment sites. Roger Seaton¬†heads the firm‚Äôs banking group from the Taunton office and acted for a private domestic bank in connection with numerous multimillion-pound property portfolio refinancings. The department also has experience in the agricultural finance sector and advises on the funding aspects of farm purchases. Clare Day¬†joined Harrison Clark Rickerbys¬†in 2018.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s finance team is best known for advising high-street banks and domestic lenders on real estate and development finance transactions. Giles Taylor and Michael Pearce jointly head the banking department, which is regularly instructed by Santander in relation to real estate finance transactions. Additionally, Pearce has advised peer-to-peer funder Lendy on the provision of multiple short-term bridging and development loans. The department has also acted for borrowers in the hotel, housing and healthcare sectors in connection with bilateral acquisition and development finance and refinance facilities. Pearce’s team has also advised a tax-efficient investment manager on a number of multimillion-pound asset-backed financing transactions. Legal director Simon Pickett has extensive experience of property finance and is another key figure in the team. Additional clients include Bank of Ireland and Puma Investments.

Noted for its ‚Äėknowledgeable and commercial approach‚Äô, Harrison Clark Rickerbys‚Äô banking team is regularly instructed by UK challenger banks and prominent crowd funders in relation to domestic lending transactions. The firm has also invested heavily in its digital finance generator product, which provides assistance to borrower clients on various finance and equity issues. Department head Harry Bengough¬†advised HSBC on the provision of a large banking package for a series of acquisitions by GI Solutions. On the borrower‚Äôs side, Bengough acted for Gelpack Excelsior in connection with its ¬£10m refinancing with Bibby Financial Services. Tim Littler¬†is another contact in the transactional team and has experience of leveraged and real estate financing. Moreover, Adam Finch¬†and Fiona Hayles¬†are contacts in the firm‚Äôs specialist banking litigation practice, which specialises in mis-selling claims, consumer credit disputes and retail banking litigation. Clare Day¬†joined from Clarke Willmott LLP¬†in 2018.

Acting for borrower and lender-side clients, Michelmores LLP has expertise in cross-border project finance and bilateral and syndicated lending transactions. Asheesh Das splits his time between the firm’s London and Bristol offices and advised Finnfund on the project financing for the construction of a $40m gas-fired power station in Argentina. Department head Charles Maunder counselled a high-street lender on its participation in a lending syndicate regarding the provision of a working capital loan for a well-known UK borrower. Further, Maunder and associate Anna Thompson acted for a borrower in the hospitality and leisure sector in relation to an unsecured revolving credit facility. Sally Rice heads the secured lending practice and has advised high-street banks and local authorities on various lending arrangements. St Austell Brewery Company and Rowe Estates and among the team’s key clients.

Providing ‚Äėa standard of service that exceeds many of its regional competitors‚Äô, Thrings LLP¬†has secured a number of bank panel appointments and also has a significant borrower-side practice. Mike Tomlin¬†is ‚Äėa lawyer whose opinion clients can thoroughly trust‚Äô. On the lender side, Tomlin is regularly instructed by clients such as Santander and AIB Group (UK), while borrower-side instructions have included advising TrueSpeed Communications, as target company, on ¬£75m of combined debt and equity investments by an alternative lender. Legal director Robert Barnes¬†has experience acting for borrowers and lenders in development finance transactions and recently advised National Westminster Bank on the provision of a ¬£20m development finance revolving credit facility. The Bristol team also assisted a borrower with a high-value refinancing of existing senior and mezzanine facilities in relation to a property portfolio. Additional key figures include the Swindon-based John Davies.

VWV has considerable experience of bilateral and business-to-business finance transactions in the education, healthcare and charity sectors. Group head Robert Collier advised Epping College on the refinancing of a £16m term loan with Lloyds Bank. On the lender side, the team advised a high-street bank on the provision of two facilities for a borrower in the healthcare sector. In the business-to-business space, the team assisted a prominent London-based property developer with the provision of a multimillion-pound loan to replace an existing high-street loan. Property partner Steven McGuigan focuses on secured lending work and has advised domestic and international banks on the provision of property development loans.

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency and corporate recovery clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Burges Salmon LLP‚Äôs corporate restructuring and insolvency team is ‚Äėdefinitely a market leader outside of London‚Äô and ‚Äėcan compete alongside most City firms‚Äô. Headed by the ‚Äėresponsive and knowledgeable‚Äô Andrew Eaton, the department regularly handles international debt restructurings and is often involved in US-facing matters by way of its transatlantic restructuring and insolvency group. Eaton acted for Agent Provocateur and 17 of its international subsidiaries on the global bankruptcy and restructuring of its international business; this involved multiple wind-downs and a Chapter 11 process in the US. Eaton also advised a government department in relation to a distressed statutory service provider. Patrick Cook¬†is providing English law advice to an Italian law firm in relation to the insolvency of an Italian client with an English subsidiary. Colin Ligman¬†and James Sutherland¬†are key figures in the real estate restructuring group. Senior associate Emily Scaife¬†is noted as ‚Äėa great up-and-coming restructuring lawyer‚Äô. Additional clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO, and Nationwide Building Society.

Foot Anstey¬†established its South West insolvency practice with multiple lateral hires from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, and is now recognised as a team that ‚Äėpunches significantly above its weight‚Äô in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. Department head Joanne Rumley, who is ‚Äėperhaps the leading insolvency practitioner in the South West‚Äô, is advising the joint special administrators of Strand Capital on what is the first special administration under the revised Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations 2011. The team also acts for creditors, and recently counselled a significant creditor of energy company Wind Prospect Group on the approval of its company voluntary arrangements. Additionally, Rumley is acting for the joint liquidators of Wessex Metal Stock in a dispute with the company‚Äôs directors concerning monies owed to the insolvent company. Additional contacts include associate¬†Lydia Lloyd¬†and legal director Tim Pritchard, who has extensive experience advising banks and lenders on lending and security issues in distressed situations.

Michelmores LLP¬†fields a ‚Äėvery strong‚Äô insolvency practice which is regularly instructed in national, international, and regional restructuring and insolvency matters. Department head Charles Maunder¬†is acting for York Global Finance BDH in relation to an application for distribution by the administrators of Lehmans UK, which has reached the Court of Appeal. In an illustration of the firm's track record in high-value personal bankruptcy, the ‚Äėhighly approachable‚Äô Sacha Pickering¬†is advising the joint trustees in the bankruptcy of former Rangers FC owner Craig Whyte. The team, which includes ‚Äėcommercially robust‚Äô senior associate Karen Dunstone, also has expertise in the energy sector, and assisted the administrators of RAME Group with a ¬£2.1m share transaction as part of an international restructure. Moreover, the group has acted in major restructurings and insolvency procedures involving distressed or insolvent legal firms. Anna Thompson¬†is an active associate in the department. KPMG, Wilkins Kennedy and Begbies Traynor are additional clients.

Leveraging its ability to ‚Äėpull together specialist multidisciplinary teams‚Äô, Osborne Clarke¬†is regularly engaged by company administrators in large restructuring and insolvency mandates. The Bristol team is led by Nigel Boobier, who is ‚Äėone of the leading insolvency lawyers in the South West‚Äô. Boobier is acting for the administrators of Agent Provocateur in relation to the pre-packaged sale of the insolvent‚Äôs UK business and assets, and also handled the post-appointment sale of the company‚Äôs European properties and other certain business assets. In the public sector, Boobier assisted a local authority with an application for administration for a public organisation against HMRC‚Äôs application for winding-up. Claire Bundy¬†co-leads a team that is advising KPMG, as the administrators of Pulse Flexible Packaging, in relation to the company‚Äôs ongoing operation. Moreover, the team has experience acting for distressed companies in multimillion-pound debt restructurings, and is also instructed by banks and various investors in enforcement and recovery procedures.

TLT¬†demonstrates ‚Äėreal expertise across the gamut of restructuring and insolvency contingency planning‚Äô. The practice handles work emanating from¬†administrators and liquidators, investors and lenders, and distressed asset purchasers. Department head James Forsyth¬†has acted for the Official Receiver in numerous matters, including the liquidation of Keeping Kids Company. On the contentious side, Forsyth successfully defended a high-net-worth individual in a claim brought by the trustees in her husband‚Äôs bankruptcy regarding a ¬£20m residential property in Hampstead. The team also represented the joint administrators of Global Hospitality Services in High Court proceedings to appoint new administrators to facilitate a particular transaction.¬†Peter Carney¬†is advising a senior lender and shareholder on restructuring matters in connection with the high-profile failure of an airline. Abigail Hadfield¬†is noted for her ‚Äėclear and transparent client communication‚Äô, and legal director Richard Clark¬†is also recommended. Additional clients include RBS, Deloitte and FRP Advisory.

‚ÄėPunching well above its weight‚Äô, Ashfords LLP‚Äôs financial assurance team advises on SRA and professional services regulations in relation to company and personal insolvencies, and has particular experience in legal firm insolvency mandates. Samantha Palmer¬† (now no longer with Ashfords) acted for the administrators of QSP Residual Recoveries on the professional risk and regulatory issues relating to the administration of King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin. Practice head¬†David Pomeroy¬†advised the administrators of Almond Solicitors on the sale of the distressed firm to Aticus Law. Further, Alan Bennett¬†assisted the liquidator of PKF Francis Clark with a world-wide freezing order and summary judgment. Pomeroy also has experience defending individuals in statutory demand proceedings, and Bennett assisted an engineering company with a winding-up petition. Legal director Katie Farmer¬†is another key contact.

Clarke Willmott LLP¬†is ‚Äėa major player in regional insolvency litigation‚Äô. The practice has a particularly strong following among government bodies; it is the sole national adviser to The Insolvency Service for Insolvency Act, and is regularly involved in disputes in which HMRC is the principal creditor. Department head Martin Askew¬†specialises in insolvency and fraud litigation and is ‚Äėthe driving force in the team‚Äô. Of note, Askew is engaged by a company liquidator in relation to a large-scale fraud perpetrated by directors of the insolvent company. On the non-contentious side, Ken MacLennan¬†is advising a company and, once appointed, its administrators/liquidators, in relation to the strategic management of its pre- and post-insolvency actions. MacLennan was also instructed by the joint trustees in a deceased individual‚Äôs bankruptcy. Associate Lisa Cooke¬†is also recommended.

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP¬†provides ‚Äėexceptional service‚Äô and ‚Äėprecise, constructive advice‚Äô in relation to cross-border restructurings and large regional insolvencies. Department head Giles Hindle¬†is advising a US automotive company on its European group restructuring through a reduction in share capital. Hindle is also advising company‚Äôs administrators on certain tax liabilities arising in Chile and inter-company liabilities concerning a Guernsey-registered company. The practice also acted for a group of company administrators on the sale of Additional contacts include Kevin Hawthorn, who is ‚Äėeasily approachable‚Äô and has ‚Äėconsiderable knowledge‚Äô of contentious and non-contentious corporate and personal insolvency; and senior associate Christopher Stoate, who is regularly instructed by banks and other lenders and fixed-charge receivers in corporate recovery matters.

VWV handles a range of corporate and personal insolvency matters, but has particular expertise in charity restructuring, energy-sector supply chain insolvencies and insolvency litigation. Department head Ed Husband, who has experience in insolvency litigation, acted for the liquidators of Officeserve Technologies in various claims arising out of the company’s compulsory liquidation, including misfeasance and breach of duty claims against a former company director. Similary, Husband advised the trustees in a personal bankruptcy on claims against various individuals related to the bankrupt individual. In the non-contentious space, Husband advised the directors and proposed administrators of Resourceful Earth on its pre-administration actions, and continues to assist the administrators with a variety of post-administration issues. Senior associate Nick Martindale also has experience in contentious insolvencies.

The insolvency team at Stephens Scown LLP¬†provides ‚Äėvery high-quality service‚Äô in contentious and non-contentious regional insolvency mandates. Department head Andrew Knox¬†(who is rated as ‚Äėa particularly effective insolvency lawyer‚Äô) acted for the administrators of The Sunday Independent on the pre-packaged sale out of administration of the company‚Äôs publishing business. On the contentious side, Knox is advising the liquidators of Severnside Provisions on various claims and potential claims against the directors of the insolvent company. Toby Claridge¬†is advising a shareholder in two companies on a petition to have the companies wound-up. The team has also assisted creditors with recovery and enforcement procedures. Solicitor Sean Jenner¬†joined the team from Everys.

Thrings LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô in regional bankruptcy and liquidation work and ‚Äėcompares favourably to most of the South West competition‚Äô. Headed by Mark Cullingford, the team is instructed by a variety of lenders, insolvency practitioners and directors and shareholders in insolvent companies. Cullingford is representing the directors of an insolvent construction company in an investigation by The Insolvency Service concerning the company‚Äôs failure to maintain appropriate records of commercial contracts. Melissa George¬†advised the administrators of an internet trading and promotions business on a debt restructuring, which involved a business and asset sale to an associated company of the secured lender. Further, Cullingford and George are representing a non-UK supplier of retail goods in claims against its UK distributor, in relation to the distributor‚Äôs possible insolvency.

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