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Bond Dickinson LLP is recognised for its energy and property finance expertise, and acts for a range of banks and specialist funders on restructuring and refinancing transactions. The ‘strong’ team, led by ‘first-class banking lawyerJulian Kinsey, counts HSBC Bank, Lloyds Bank, Santander and Banks Renewables as its clients. The ‘experienced and pragmaticPhilip Withey is noted for his track record assisting financial institution clients with capital markets and derivatives transactions.

Burges Salmon LLP’s highly regarded team had a prolific year acting on big-ticket transactions in the renewables and real estate sectors; highlights included advising Gravis Capital Partners on the £96m recapitalisation of Agrivert. Richard Leeming, Graham Soar and Rachael Ruane are ‘exceptional communicators’.

Osborne Clarke is the ‘go-to’ firm for syndicated lending transactions. Highly regarded practice head Omar Al-Nuaimi acted for Barclays, RBS, Lloyds and HSBC – on a £250m loan to St James’s Place. The team also has expertise in acquisition, leveraged, corporate and project finance. Tom Bussy is another name to note and is highly praised for his ‘extremely professional approach and depth of knowledge’.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is noted for its advice to specialist lenders on public takeover related loan and security transactions. The practice also has particular expertise on swaps and other associated lending products, where it acts for both lenders and borrowers. Richard Norton leads the practice and regularly handles banking transactions across the Middle East.

Foot Anstey stands out for its ability to ‘consistently deliver excellent quality of service’. The team is active in contentious and transactional banking and finance matters and is ‘a trusted adviser when managing complex cases involving claims by or against the bank’. Litigator Robin Brown ‘delivers excellent outcomes by pursuing pragmatic logical strategies which minimise exposure to risks’. Paul Clark focuses on real estate finance, both conventional and Islamic. Acquisition financing specialist Will Whitt is also recommended.

TLT is ‘extremely responsive to the needs of its clients’. The team is particularly active in project finance; a recent highlight included advising Fengate Capital on its acquisition and debt financing of two UK solar PV projects. Gary Roscoe handled a number of real estate developments, social housing finance facilities and renewable energy transactions. In another highlight, Jon Stewart acted for Dyson on its investment grade global finance facilities, involving eight banks and seven jurisdictions.

Ashfords LLPliaises closely with clients throughout the life of a transaction’. Its five-partner team includes two property finance specialists and features the ‘technically solid and reliable’ Rebecca Dury, who advised Santander UK on its refinancing of Seasalt and its associated companies, and assisted Exeter Finance with its loans to a number of borrowers.

Clarke Willmott LLP is a popular choice among social housing, renewable energy and farm clients, for which it advises on real estate and construction financings. Clare Titchener assisted Secure Trust Bank with two loan facilities to refinance and redevelop a factory site, and advised the same client on a number of acquisition and development facilities for office to residential conversions. Practice head Roger Seaton is also recommended.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s strong property and development finance practice acts for both lenders and borrowers. Simon Pickett and recently promoted partner Michael Pearce are the key names to note for property finance. Representative clients include Puma Investment Management, John Laing Group and Santander UK.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is noted for its ‘excellent acumen’. Practice head Tim Littler has experience in real estate finance, acquisition finance, project finance and restructuring of distressed real estate facilities. Also recommended are Tim Walker, who acts on complex cross-border transactions for both lenders and borrowers; and Adam Finch, who specialises in financial services and banking litigation.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards acts for lenders and borrowers with a particular focus on the education, charities and healthcare sectors. Steven McGuigan has experience advising banks on complex real estate loans. Ben Willis and Robert Collier are ‘thorough and approachable’.

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Legal Developments in South West for Banking and finance

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

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