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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 > West Midlands > 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

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

The 'strong' banking and finance practice at DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its cross-border reach, as evidenced by work on syndicated corporate finance, leveraged finance, real estate finance and other multi-jurisdictional deals for banks and large corporates. Led by Stephen Bottley, the team also features real estate finance expert Brian Woolcock. Senior associate Ben Tumelty left to join Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in November 2018.

Practice head(s):Stephen Bottley

Other key lawyers:Brian Woolcock; Gemma Lawrence

Testimonials

'Excellent invoice finance and asset-based lending sector knowledge'

'Very knowledgeable team who apply stringent due diligence when dealing with matters for the bank.'

'The team always take extra care to ensure the bank is fully protected and that we understand the specific issues and risks within a transaction.'

'Brian Woolcock has helped resolve many issues with complex property transactions.'

'Good geographical capability. Fair pricing. Broad expertise.'

'Stephen Bottley provides excellent service. He is readily available and offers sensible advice based on his broad experience.'

Key Clients

HSBC Bank

Clydesdale Bank

AIB Group (UK)

Clinigen Group

Ares Capital

Kreos Capital

Extracare Charitable Trust

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Dignity

S&U

AVIVA

RBS Invoice Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising Clinigen Group on the provision of £380m senior term and revolving credit facilities to fund the acquisition of CSM Parent.
  • Advising National Westminster Bank and HSBC UK Bank on a £20m senior facilities agreement and a revolving facility agreement of £10m to enable the acquisition of the Neilson Active Holidays group.
  • Advising a group of five lenders including Barclays and HSBC in relation to the renewal and increase of corporate funding to Hill & Smith.
  • Advising the international group of Stantec/MWH in relation to its $1.2bn funding arranged by CIBC.
  • Advising the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in relation to providing cross-border cash pooling arrangements for Muller Dairies.

With excellent strength in depth and international capabilities, the practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is led by the'strong' Patrick Davis and was recently strengthened by the arrival of legal director Ben Tumelty from DLA Piper UK LLP in November 2018 and two associates from Gowling WLG in August 2018. The firm's client roster includes lenders, private equity companies and a range of other large companies, which the team advises on leveraged finance transactions, equity finance matters, refinancing and M&A financing. Former partner Richard Davies left to join Handelsbanken Capital Markets in June 2018.

Practice head(s):Patrick Davis

Other key lawyers:Ben Tumelty

Key Clients

HSBC Bank

Lloyds Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Bloor Homes / Triumph Motorcycles

Eurocell

Global Reach Group

Norman Hay

Livingbridge

CBPE

Lloyds Development Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising HSBC Bank on all aspects of the management buy-out of Precision Micro, in particular the negotiation of debt facilities to fund the acquisition.
  • Advising Eurocell Group on a multi-bank refinancing transaction.
  • Advising Global Reach Group on the amendment and restatement of its debt facilities.
  • Advising Norman Hay on its cross-border refinancing.
  • Advising a syndicate of three banks on the refinancing of Dunelm Group.

Gowling WLG acts for lenders and borrowers on acquisition finance, asset finance, corporate finance, project finance and securitisation matters across a wide range of sectors, including automotive, food and franchising, real estate, social housing and energy. Chris Brierley has particular expertise in balance sheet corporate lending and off balance sheet project financing, while director Navin Prabhakar leads on general corporate finance transactions.

Practice head(s):Chris Brierley

Other key lawyers:Navin Prabhakar; Richard Crawley

Testimonials

'Gowling WLG consistently delivers across multiple sectors and a wide variety of debt facility types. The firm works fast and effectively and will always work hard to meet client deadlines.

'The team has a deep understanding of our group at multiple levels of the organisation, which enables them to quickly grasp often complex project issues'

'Chris Brierley allocates the right level of expertise to projects'

'Principal associate Angela Rawlins is knowledgeable, hard working, diligent and reliable. She is client focused and will put in the time required to deliver projects on time.'

Key Clients

State Bank of India

BNP Paribas

CBPE Capital

Universities Superannuation Fund

Pension Corporation plc

CBRE/The North West Evergreen Fund

Deutsche Bank

Greenbank Partnerships

HSBC Bank plc

Primrose Solar

Work highlights

  • Advising a special purpose vehicle subsidiary of REIT, Norland Estates, in connection with its senior debt financing of a portfolio of social housing supported living assets worth around £170m.
  • Acting for PassivSystems on the securitisation of solar portal income contracts.

Pinsent Masons LLP provides 'consistently excellent service' with regards to corporate lending, syndicated lending, real estate finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, social housing finance, securitisation and debt capital markets work. The practice is also noted for its expertise in asset-based lending transactions. David Doogan leads the practice, while legal director Esther Parkes is also well-regarded.

Practice head(s):David Doogan

Other key lawyers:Esther Parkes; Victoria Baker; Oliver Morgan

Testimonials

'The team is efficient, proactive and commercial in negotiations, which provides the support we need to execute transactions quickly and without getting drawn into unnecessary arguments'

'The team is highly responsive, takes initiative where appropriate and provides sensible commercial advice as well as efficient and effective project management for transactions'

'David Doogan and Oliver Morgan have provided us with outstanding service on numerous transactions'

'David Doogan is a highly capable and commercial banking partner'

'Oliver Morgan is a solid team player'

'Victoria Baker is a pleasure to work with - she is highly professional and knowledgeable but also very commercial'

Key Clients

HSBC Bank

Barclays Bank

National Westminster Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank

Police Mutual Assurance Society

Orders of St John Care Trust

RBS Invoice Finance Limited

Specialist Motor Finance Limited

Allied Irish Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Barclays Bank PLC as co-ordinating bank in relation to a £500m term and revolving credit facilities for the Breedon Group to finance its £455m acquisition of Belfast-based Lagan Group.
  • Acted for HSBC as agent and a two-lender club in relation to a new facility to food company Samworth Brothers.
  • Acted for the Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank in relation to the senior funding of the buyout of CET Group Holdings.
  • Acting for Midshires Care Holdings on the acquisition by LivingBridge of a minority shareholding in the group.
  • Advising RBS Invoice Finance in connection with a new-to-bank £15m asset-based lending facility provided to Butcher's Pet Care.

The banking and finance team at Gateley Plc has an active practice involving acquisition finance, refinancing, asset finance and real estate finance matters. 'Very effective' practice head Andrew Madden has particular expertise in leverage and corporate finance deals, while Carol Betts specialises in real estate finance and asset-based lending transactions. The firm's clients include most of the major banks operating in the Midlands, and it has recently secured a number of new panel appointments.

Practice head(s):Andrew Madden

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Sherwin; Carol Betts

Testimonials

'Excellent team, visible and great communication skills. Always happy to support and invest time in our relationship.'

'A great team at all levels. Andrew Madden and Anna Mayfield are very effective; they are always happy to help and provide sensible and commercial advice to support our clients and make deals happen.'

Key Clients

KBC Bank N.V., London Branch

BGF Investments

Lloyds Development Capital

Shard Credit Partners

Maven Debt Finance

Leumi ABL Limited

Urban Exposure

Work highlights

  • Prepared and agreed a new term loan to Santander’s existing customer, ALP IOM Limited, to assist it to refinance and restructure its portfolio of nine properties by acquiring four properties from four British Virgin Islands sister SPVs and four properties from a Guernsey sister SPV.
  • Advised Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank on the provision of term loan and working capital facilities to Orbis Protect in connection with  the acquisition of Orbis Protect by NorthEdge.
  • Advised Shard Credit Partners on the refinancing and acquisition finance facilities provided to SKS Business Services.
  • Advised Maven Debt Finance in preparing the documentation for the £250m Midlands Engine Investment Finance debt fund.
  • Advised Lloyds Bank in connection with an increase to term loan facilities to Parentpay in order to fund the acquisition of Egengroup Holdings.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP offers comprehensive advice on corporate banking and real estate finance matters, handling a range of work in the education, property development and pensions sectors among others. Naomi Tudor jointly heads up the banking and financial services sector group with Vicki Simpson, while  Islamic finance is another strong focus of the practice under the leadership of Mohammed Saqub, who advises clients such as Al Rayan Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Gatehouse Bank.

Practice head(s):Naomi Tudor; Vicki Simpson

Other key lawyers:Helen Readett; Mohammed Saqub; Christopher Gayle

Testimonials

'A highly respected banking and finance practice with a powerful niche in representing Islamic finance lenders, which puts them head and shoulders above any other firm outside of London.'

'Approachable and knowledgeable.'

Always available to discuss cases.'

'Very proactive and supportive - they want to get the deal done'

'Mohammed Saqub is the dominant Islamic finance lawyer outside of London. He has close relationships with leading Gulf and eastern banks - clients rely on him for good practical advice on complex matters.

'Vicki Simpson provides sound advice and guidance on transactional requirements.'

'Associate Meriel O'Loughlin is helpful and proactive and takes a commercial view'

'Eddie Flanagan provides tailored help and guidance on some difficult debt recovery cases - he is always approachable and practical with his advice'

'Stephen Lane is very supportive and proactive - he always wants to help and gets deals done.'

Key Clients

A.I.B Group (UK) Plc

Santander UK Plc

The Charity Bank Limited

Al Rayan Bank Plc

Habib Bank AG Zurich

Handelsbanken

Leumi ABL

United Trust Bank Plc

Aldermore Bank Plc

Gatehouse Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Carver Group on a term loan from HSBC to be used in relation to the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Cool-Therm.
  • Advised Al Rayan, United Bank, Gatehouse Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank on close to £500m worth of retail Islamic mortgage during the year.
  • Acted for Aldermore Bank in connection with the funding of a development that included the demolition of an existing dwelling and the erection of seven self-contained flats with associated amenity space, parking, and bike/bin storage.
  • Acted for Code Students in relation to a £30m development facility from HSBC.
  • Acted for Roehampton University in relation to a £3m term loan from the London Energy Efficiency Fund to be used in relation to the development of the university’s media centre.

The banking and finance practice at Squire Patton Boggs handles a range of corporate banking matters, in particular acting for banks and borrowers on acquisition finance and refinancings, as well as general bank lending transactions including amending and restructuring existing facilities. Practice head Roy Grist has particular expertise in the real estate sector.

Practice head(s):Roy Grist

Other key lawyers:Paula Laird

Testimonials

'Although they are a global and sizeable business, it is never difficult to get a professional response on an urgent matter.'

'They can add a new and alternative perspective to problems and business issues in a pragmatic and helpful way'

'Strong communications and a pragmatic approach to problems.'

'Extremely responsive to our objectives - the firm takes a pragmatic, commercial approach to the potential risks rather than a pure point by point legalistic approach.'

'Exceptional amount of partner input and interaction'

'Roy Grist took the time to fully understand our objectives for the transaction and then was extremely hands-on and proactive in managing the execution of the transaction. By bringing his extensive practical experience to bear we were able to focus upon the key issues and complete the transaction in a timely and efficient manner. The amount of time, care and input Roy brought to the transaction was exceptional.

'Misbah Ganny was particularly helpful in coordinating the work required in overseas jurisdictions and took a proactive role in resolving issues with the other parties when the availability of documentation was sometimes limited or constrained.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

The Midcounties Co-Operative Limited

Finance Birmingham

Leumi ABL Limited

Gordon Brothers

Handelsbanken

The PNC Financial Services Group Inc

Barclays Bank PLC

Bank Leumi (UK) plc

Aston Villa Football Club

ABN Amro

Work highlights

  • Advised on ABN AMRO’s €160m pan-European financing of the Staples Group.
  • Advised Barclays on financing of the acquisition of EWS Manufacturing by Hadley Industries.
  • Advising Miss Group Holdings on a cross-border facility with HSBC UK Bank.
  • Advising Aurelius on the provision of a second lien facility for the financing of Hawk Plant Hire.
  • Advising One Healthcare Partners in connection with the amendment and restatement of existing facilities with Fern Trading.

The growing banking and finance team at Browne Jacobson LLP recently welcomed Paul Hill, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP in March 2019. The practice is led by Paul Ray, who is known for his work for funders such as Homes England, and is frequently involved in private equity, healthcare and residential housing transactions.

Practice head(s):Paul Ray

Other key lawyers:Emma Hinton; Paul Hill

Testimonials

'Very easy team to work with. Very personable, hands-on partners, very high levels of communication'

'Paul Ray is always on top of everything - he has excellent knowledge and gives excellent advice'

'Emma Hinton is a delight to work with: she's a good listener, offers good advice and marshals transactions well'

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank Plc

National Westminster Bank Plc

Homes England

Investec Bank Plc

Clydesdale Bank Plc

Northedge Capital

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Belvoir Lettings Plc

Shepherd Direct

Foresight LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Santander on its funding of the acquisition by Peach Technologies of Taylor Made Computer Solutions, to enable Peach to expand its existing IT business.
  • Advised NorthEdge Capital on its investment into Orbis Protect and the corresponding loan facility and priority arrangements with the existing funder, Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank.
  • Acting for Clydesdale Bank on its refinancing and development facilities to the Cupio Healthcare Group.
  • Acting for Investec Bank on providing a debt funding package to the Pet Family group.

At Freeths LLP, the banking and finance team has a strong focus in acquisition finance, and also assists banks and borrowers with refinancing and corporate lending. The department, which is led by the 'exceptional and highly regarded' James Dyson recently boosted its offering with the arrival of Islamic finance and asset-based lending expert Renata Rai, who joined as a director from Al Tamimi & Company in November 2018.

Practice head(s):James Dyson

Other key lawyers:Renata Rai

Testimonials

'Pragmatic, forward thinking and driven - the team gives an exceptional quality of advice, commercial insight and support.'

'Always very helpful in discussing proposed complex corporate and property structures. The firm keeps you informed of the process and is very commercially minded in getting deals through.'

'James Dyson is exceptional and highly regarded in the market; he is fair, commercial and technical at the same time, and provides the highest level of service.'

'James Dyson is highly knowledgeable and able to explain complex legal jargon in layman's terms. He is very commercially minded and can work to very tight deadlines even when unexpected issues arise.'

'Commercially minded in getting deals through.'

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank

Lloyds Bank

Allied Irish Bank

Santander UK

Cambridge & Counties Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Frontier Development Capital

Lloyds Development Capital

Finance Birmingham

Business Growth Fund

Leumi ABL

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Represented Clydesdale Bank on the provision of senior term loan and working capital facilities to WHCO9 to support the management buy-out of recruitment services business Siamo Azzuri.
  • Represented Project Chicago Newco on the banking and finance aspects of its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of vehicle management and logistics support specialist SMH Fleet Solutions.
  • Represented Allied Irish Bank on the provision of senior term loan facilities to Flamerite Fires Group to support its acquisition of Flamerite Holdings.
  • Represented Leumi ABL on the £10.5m provision of asset based lending facilities to manufacturer and distributor of health and beauty products D.D.D.
  • Represented Clydesdale Bank on its refinancing of Penso Group.

Irwin Mitchell is well-known for its asset-based lending expertise, and also advises on receivables finance, inventory lending, property lending and cashflow lending, among other matters. The highly regarded Jon Bew is the key member of the practice and advises funders such as banks, invoice finance providers and working capital solutions providers.

Practice head(s):Jon Bew

Other key lawyers:Natalie Barnes

Testimonials

'First class legal advice and customer service at sensible prices.'

'Jon Bew and Natalie Barnes clearly understand our requirements and are important partners to our business.'

'Extremely approachable and will take as much time than is needed to explain to a non-legal mind.'

'Extremely accessible, very knowledgeable and always on hand to lend support.'

Key Clients

Hitachi Capital (UK) Plc

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited

ABN AMRO Commercial Finance PLC

Bibby Financial Services

Close Invoice Finance Limited

HSBC Bank Plc

IGF Business Credit

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Investec Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Close Brothers on the acquisition finance aspects of Trust Tech Inc's acquisition of GAP Personnel and assisted with the £20m funding facility.
  • Represented Shawbrook on an asset based lending package to Webster & Horsfall.
  • Advising Arbuthnot on a £5m asset based lending facility to Morris Angel & Son.
  • Advising ABN on a £16m receivables finance facility with Affinity Workforce.
  • Advising Arbuthnot on a £6.5m ABL facility being made available to the Fluorocarbon group.

Led by structured and corporate finance specialist David Varnham, the banking and finance team at Mills & Reeve LLP handles refinancing, project financing, and acquisition finance matters on both the lender and borrower side. Sector specialisms include education, manufacturing, agriculture, and property development.

Practice head(s):David Varnham

Other key lawyers:Amardeep Bahia

Key Clients

Wells Fargo

Malayan Banking Berhad, Singapore Branch

HSBC UK Bank plc

Nicklin Transport Packaging Limited

Kajima Partnerships Limited

Durham University

Bridgeman Art Library Limited

MI Glass Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC Birmingham on a multimillion-pound refinancing loan facility to Carver Group to acquire UK-based Cool-Therm and its subsidiaries.
  • Advised a consortium on its financing from Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale to fund the development of a £40m health centre in Lisburn.
  • Advised HSBC Birmingham on a revolving credit facility to bus operator Rotala to fund future acquisitions.
  • Advising MI Glass TopCo on a term loan facility from Clydesdale Bank to fund the acquisition of an independent glass processor and manufacturer.
  • Advised Millgate Developments in relation to its loan facility from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, allowing the development of a retail park.

The banking and finance team at Shoosmiths LLP was bolstered in June 2018 by the arrival of project finance specialist Nick Iliff, who joined from Gowling WLG's London office. His expertise added to the firm's existing offering in acquisition finance, syndicated finance, real estate finance and refinancing, regularly advising on the lender's side.

Practice head(s):David Adams; Nick Iliff

Key Clients

Mondottica Limited

Central Engal co-operative

Lombard Finance

Close Invoice Finance

Handelsbanken

Leumi ABL Limited

Gethar Ventures

Lingfield Group plc

Mercedes Benz UK

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mondottica on the refinancing of their existing facilities with Santander Bank.
  • Advised Independent Growth Finance Limited and Spring Ventures on the provision of new facilities by a new club of banks.

Wright Hassall LLP is well-known for its real estate development funding expertise, and boosted its capabilities in that area with the hire of real estate finance specialist Judith Gershon from Gowling WLG in January 2018. The practice, which is led by Christopher Jones, is prominent in bank and non-bank lending work. Lucie Byron is also well-regarded by clients.

Practice head(s):Christopher Jones; Keith Ainsworth

Other key lawyers:Judith Gershon; Lucie Byron

Testimonials

'A consistent, professional and high level service provided across all individuals within the team'

'The team takes a commercial view, reacting quickly to turn around documents and move things forward'

'A very personable service and available to chat on potential cases, always able to offer advice in a very professional manner'

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank plc

HSBC Bank plc

Hadrian’s Wall Capital

ThinCats

Paragon Bank plc & Paragon Development Finance Limited

OakNorth Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Merchant Money Limited

Clydesdale Bank plc

The University of Warwick

Work highlights

  • Advised Hadrian’s Wall Capital on a term warehouse loan arrangement and servicing agreement with Breal Zeta CF.
  • Acted for St Philips on the refinance of its acquisition of a property at Belbroughton and on the advance by West One Development Finance of a facility to fund a development of nine new build residential houses.
  • Represented OakNorth on the provision of a development finance facility for the development of a nursing home in Willenhall.
  • Acting for ThinCats in relation to the provision of a working capital facility to Revolve Performance.
  • Advised Paragon Bank on a short term facility for the acquisition of a former private school in a Dorset village.

Hugh Strickland is the main contact at Shrewsbury-based Aaron & Partners LLP, which regularly acting for lenders and borrowers on corporate banking transactions, including acquisition finance and refinancing, as well as on property secured lending transactions.

Practice head(s):Hugh Strickland

Testimonials

'Hugh Strickland delivers first-class advice in a way which is easy to understand.'

'The team has a pragmatic and straightforward approach, and deals with all matters efficiently and professionally.'

Key Clients

Santander UK PLC

Fullbrook Thorpe Investments LLP

HSBC Bank PLC

Yee Group Limited

North Wales Hydro Power Ltd

Knights of Old Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for North Wales Hydro Power as part of a reorganisation and refinancing with NatWest.
  • Advising Knights of Old on its refinancing.
  • Acted for Yee Group on the funding of the acquisition of Cool Services by Santander UK.
  • Advised Santander UK on the funding to Secret Potions for pharmacy acquisitions.

The 'pragmatic' team at DWF has a strong focus on real estate finance and advises lenders and borrowers on the refinancing of portfolios, the acquisition of properties and the funding of developments. Practice head Richard Holmes was promoted to partner in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Richard Holmes

Other key lawyers:Alice Broadfield

Testimonials

' Offers patient support and advice through difficult transactions.'

Key Clients

LendInvest

ICICI Bank UK

Unity Trust Bank

Rothschild & Co

Ashall Projects

George Green LLP stands out for its expertise in bridging finance and short-term lending. Other active areas of the practice include real estate finance, acquisition finance, and corporate banking, including advising on the provision of working capital facilities and secured loan facilities.

Practice head(s):Philip Round

Key Clients

Ortus Secured Finance

OakNorth Bank plc

Stondon Capital Limited

CapitalRise Finance Limited

Frontier Development Capital

Work highlights

  • Represented Ortus Secured Finance in its provision of a secured bridging facility to an SPV to acquire a prominent landmark former retail space in Liverpool for conversion into a hotel.
  • Represented Stondon Capital on the provision of a working capital facility for a UK packaging manufacturer.
  • Represented OakNorth Bank on the extension of a secured loan facility to a chain of historic coffee shops.
  • Represented Frontier Development Capital on the provision of funding for a management buyout of the Bowman Stor Group.
  • Acted for Ortus Secured Finance in connection with a bridging facility to a company incorporated in the Netherlands.

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