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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 > Wales > Finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Banking and finance

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  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 Banking and finance clients in Wales 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


The ‚Äėcommercial and responsive‚Äė seven-strong team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP¬†has the ‚Äėstrength-in-depth‚Äė to provide a ‚Äėproactive service‚Äė to an impressive roster of lender clients across the gamut of real estate, corporate and education financing transactions.¬† ‚ÄėExtremely commercial‚Äė¬†team¬†head Joanne Canning¬†is recognised in the market as a ‚Äėreal deal doer‚Äė and has an ‚Äėuncanny ability to be able¬†to distil complex advice into language a layperson can understand‚Äė. A¬†‚Äėreal leader in the field‚Äė for real estate finance, Canning leads the firm‚Äôs deeply entrenched relationship with local lender Hodge Bank and recently advised it on¬†the development finance funding of a high-profile nine storey residential development (comprising of 102 apartments and ground floor retail space) located in Cardiff city centre. As well as leading locally the firm‚Äôs clearing bank relationships with clients including Lloyds and RBS, Canning has also developed strong ties with challenger banks including Metro, which she recently acted for on a¬†¬£20m property investment loan to a high-profile real estate investment company. In addition to leading the office‚Äôs corporate finance team alongside Canning, principal associate¬†Lowri Gwyn¬†has a strong reputation in the education finance space and has recently handled numerous university refinancings.¬†‚ÄėCommercial and responsive‚Äė associate¬†Melissa Hellio¬†is also recommended.

The ‚Äėextremely practical and commercial'¬†two-partner team at Hugh James¬†provides a ‚Äėfantastic service'¬†to an impressive roster of banks and borrowers across a diverse array of lending including in relation to real estate, corporate and energy matters. Team head Dominic Marshall¬†has a ‚Äėstrong reputation'¬†and regularly leads on behalf a primarily lender-focused client base that includes both local entities, including Hodge Bank and Development Bank of Wales, as well as national lenders including Metro Bank and HSBC. The ‚Äėvery intelligent and proactive‚Äė Robert Morgan¬†has more of a borrower-focused bent to his practice and as well as handling the banking and finance work on behalf of the Welsh Rugby Union, also has a particular niche advising registered social lenders on their financing requirements. Senior associate Rowena Downie¬†is also recommended.

Acuity Legal Limited represents a balanced mix of lender and borrower clients across the gamut of mandates ranging from acquisition financing to securing financing for working capital purposes. Given the firm’s excellence within the commercial property arena, it is perhaps unsurprising that a significant proportion of work handled by the team relates to real estate finance matters. Recent highlights in this space include Jonathan Geen and Gareth Baker’s work for marquee developer client Rightacres on the £400m financing by Legal and General of the Central Square development in Cardiff. Damien Cann also has significant market visibility within the real estate sector and has a particular expertise advising on innovative financing solutions to clients within the affordable housing sector. Beverley Jones has broad-ranging finance expertise and is regularly at the forefront of the most significant non-real estate-related financings handled by the firm including advising Cambrian Pet Foods on its refinancing from Santander to HSBC and representing Newport Wafer Fab on the funding arrangements associated with the buy-out from Infineon. Other clients include Warwick Capital Partners, Principality Building Society, Hodge Bank and Mears Group.

The 'first-class' team at Blake Morgan LLP displays an 'excellent level of knowledge' and provides a 'responsive service' to an impressive roster of predominantly lender-side clients, including HSBC and Santander, across the spectrum of new money financings, refinancings and regulatory issues. Despite the recent retirement of leading practitioner Meryl Morgan, the team is still imbued with a significant amount of talent including legal director Reshma Jogia and senior associate Paul Duggan, the latter who joined the team in September 2017 from Hugh James . Recent highlights include Duggan's work for Lloyds Bank on the provision of a £4m loan to a further education body to fund development of student accommodation and sports facilities and Jogia's representation of behalf of Julian Hodge Bank on a £3.65m development facility loan to a Gibraltar registered company.

Led by Christopher Agius, Capital Law Limited Cardiff's banking team is particularly accomplished at handling property and development finance matters for lenders including Hodge Bank, HSBC and Santander. The team continues to handle a significant volume of matters for M5 Associates (a fund set up to provide development finance), including recently advising it on the provision of financing to facilitate the acquisition of development land in Luton, with planning permission for three residential tower blocks. Agius has also handled numerous matters for Handelsbanken, including advising it on a £5.3m loan to a Cardiff-based property company with an extensive portfolio of commercially let properties in and around south Wales. Associate Christopher Lewis  also has a focus on banking matters and regularly assists Agius on his matters. The team is also regularly aided by corporate partner Tom Kelleher , who has experience in corporate finance matters, and commercial property expert Leanne O’Brien, who regularly provides input on property finance matters.

Leveraging its strong reputation in the public sector and also well-versed at handling property finance matters in the private sector, Geldards LLP¬†‚Äės well-hedged practice handles new money mandates and refinancing matters for a diverse array of lenders and borrowers including Lloyds Bank, Hodge Bank and the Welsh government. Team head Karl Baranski¬†‚Äės varied finance practice encompasses new money financings, restructurings/insolvencies and fund formation work, where he continues to represent the Development Bank of Wales on fund formation matters. On the transactional front, Baranski recently advised¬†Lloyds Bank on an ¬£8.3m capital expenditure facility to FEI Foods accompanied by a separate ¬£11.2m hire purchase facility.

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency and corporate recovery clients in Wales 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


The 'best firm in the region' for insolvency matters, Blake Morgan LLP  Cardiff 's three-strong team handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters for insolvency practitioners (IPs), banks, asset based lenders and debtors. Team head Paul Caldicott displays 'clear technical knowledge, coupled with a strong commercial acumen'. Caldicott is leading on a number of contentious insolvency matters including multiple misfeasance claims relating to tax avoidance schemes and defending a claim challenging the validity of a legal charge secured over a bankrupt's property worth in excess £500,000. Senior solicitor Sophia Farmer is also recommended.

Able to provide a fully integrated service to a wide variety of stakeholders including debtors, creditors and IPs, by virtue of a strong litigation offering (which is able to leverage the firm's innovative litigation fund) and a debt recovery facility by dint of the firm's "Capital Collect" debt service,  Capital Law Limited  has broad coverage across the panoply of contentious and non-contentious mandates and provides a 'sophisticated understanding of the insolvency and restructuring market'. Praised for his 'very practical and down-to-earth approach to litigation', Philip Jones  is regularly involved in contentious insolvency matters including fraud cases and directors’ duties claims; Jones recently advised the liquidator of London Welsh Rugby Football, work which included advice on several asset disposals. Senior associate Maria Coggins regularly advises IPs and corporates on insolvency and restructuring matters, while associate Guto Llewelyn leads on the debt recovery front.

'A beacon of competence and real expertise', Darwin Gray LLP Cardiff has a 'strong reputation in the region', particularly in relation to contentious matters. 'Highly experienced' team head Ian Herbert displays 'excellent litigation judgement' and has a strong reputation advising on directors' duties matters, recently garnering significant attention as a result of his representation for the joint liquidators of PV Solar in the recently reported case Re PV Solar Limited (in liquidation) [2018]. 'Balanced and objective' commercial litigator Kempton Rees is also regularly involved in contentious insolvency matters.

'One of the best firms in this practice area in Wales', JCP Solicitors  Swansea provides 'clear and practical advice'to a range of stakeholders across both contentious and non-contentious matters. 'A rising star in insolvency litigation', team head Andrew Murphy  'has a thorough grasp of the law in this area', and regularly acts for insolvent companies in disputes with office holders, as well as acting for institutional lenders and fixed-charge receivers on security issues.  On the transactional front, co-head of the corporate team Michael Williams has experience handling distressed M&A mandates, as well corporate reorganisations. The 'efficient and thorough' Sophie Thomas heads up the firm's commercial lending recoveries group, a role which includes representing lenders on appropriate recovery avenues via insolvency processes, and acting for receivers on all aspects of appointments and security.

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