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Who Represents Who

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DLA Piper UK LLP’s practice head Kirstie Allerton specialises in real estate finance, investment and development finance, and complex structural lending deals involving mezzanine finance. Her recent highlights include advising Threesixty Developments, the student accommodation arm of Oaktree Capital, on the sale of a portfolio of 15 student accommodation and two private rented sector assets to Global Student Accommodation and GIC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund. The ‘very experienced and highly regardedSarah Dayis good at managing deal tension’ and has expertise in structured lending; she advised RBS Invoice Finance on structuring and documenting a facility for a new company to enable it to fund solicitors’ practices, and assisted LSL Property Services with its £100m syndicated revolving credit facility. Anna Robson, who provides ‘an excellent level of partner interaction, and has very strong knowledge of what is important to a lender’, specialises in debt finance and asset based lending. Robson assisted Emerald Group on its £27.5m refinancing and advised Barrett Steel on its £80m refinancing.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s group ‘works well as a team’. Practice head Kathryn Walters focuses on advising senior lenders on funding transactions involving offshore SPVs and other tax structuring. Newly promoted partner Paul Castle specialises in corporate, leveraged and real estate finance and heads up the national education finance team, acting for banks, universities and further education colleges. Associates Susan Ledger and David Parry act for banks and corporate borrowers and also have expertise in real estate finance. The team advised HSBC on the provision of sterling term facilities to Coppergreen Developments relating to acquisitions of Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort and Blacklaw Estates. Walters also advised Yorkshire Bank on the provision of sterling term and revolving facilities to Project Republica Bidco, an SPV set up to acquire Sumo Digital Holdings, and assisted Santander with refinancing and acquisition financing provided to Southerns Office Interiors. Castle assisted Cranswick with refinancing its facilities, the financing amounted to £160m with a further accordion option of up to £40m. Jason Wurzal is now based in Manchester.

Pinsent Masons LLP advises corporate borrowers, banks and other financial institutions on M&A funding, property finance transactions and general corporate financings. Team head Philip Scott acts for senior and mezzanine lenders and private equity houses on acquisition transactions; legal director Stephen Woods, who heads the derivatives practice, advises on debt capital markets, structured finance and securitisation transactions; and legal director Sean Houlihan handles real estate finance. The team recently advised SIG on the refinancing of its £350m revolving credit facility with Lloyds, Barclays, Commerzbank, HSBC and RBS and also handled the English, German and French elements of the refinance of the client’s £130m US private placement notes. Other highlights include advising Beechbrook Capital on its mezzanine financing of the CBPE Capital-assisted MBO of ABI Group.

Addleshaw Goddard’s practice is known for its strengths in debt portfolio acquisitions, unitranche transactions and corporate banking issues. The team is advising HSBC as lender to Adare Group on a cross-border matter involving Ireland; assisted a consortium of banks on the restructuring of loans to the Network Housing Group (now Network Homes); and is advising RBS, Santander, Barclays, Dexia and Lloyds on the refinancing of £303m in loans and associated ISDA documentation concerning the rationalisation of Together Housing Group, which involves the merger of four former standalone housing associations into a new registered provider. Leveraged finance expert David Handyan undoubtable heavyweight’ in the local market. Ruth Snell retired. Rosalind Mason is now a consultant. Karen Sewell moved in-house with WSP and Chris Drabble joined Devonshires Solicitors LLP.

Squire Patton Boggs’s practice head Andrew Fordham advises on acquisition, private equity and real estate finance, and general corporate banking in the UK and overseas. Paul Anderson covers financial services and regulatory matters, and newly promoted partner Jeremy Ladyman focuses on derivatives and investment management. Fordham advised Santander on the provision of a senior term loan and revolving facility loan to the Barber of Sheffield, and advised Lloyds on a series of affordable housing development transactions in conjunction with the Greater London Authority, which involved the restatement and amendment of an existing facility to permit an increase and creation of a new SPV to acquire an additional property outside of the Lloyds’ security net.

Walker Morris LLP has ‘an experienced team that understands clients’. Practice head Michael Taylor has expertise in bilateral and syndicated transactions, including acquisitions, property finance, development funding, debt restructurings and refinancing companies in distress. He assisted Santander with a £50m trade finance line to provide capital to British Steel following its acquisition by Greybull Capital from Tata Steel. Other highlights include advising Strata Homes on the provision of a £60m facility, and assisting Desford Acquisition with a £55m fundraising by way of guaranteed senior secured floating rate notes secured on a property owned by SPL, a Delaware company, for the purposes of funding the logistics business of Neovia Logistics.Ian Akitt, who handles leveraged finance, asset-based lending, the funding of corporate transactions and complex group financings ,and Peter Considine, who has strengths in leveraged finance, trade finance and restructuring transactions, are the other names to note.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s practice stands out for its ‘prompt responses, good banking and commercial knowledge, and an ability to analyse and come up with practical commercial solutions to tricky issues’. The team is known for handling a broad range of work, including acquisition finance, property finance, corporate finance, debt restructuring and asset-based lending. Practice head John Connor is well-regarded and managing associate Mark Casey advises on financial transactions in the education, real estate, education, hospitality and chemical sectors. Recent highlights include assisting the Department for Education on the financing elements of its £900m, three-year restructuring project for the entire further education and sixth-form college sector, and handling the refinancing of HSBC’s banking group, which involves negotiating a multi-currency revolving and engagements facility agreement for a property developer.

The ‘solid’ practice at Irwin Mitchell is recommended for matters concerning the financing of acquisitions and buy-outs, and largescale refinancing work. The ‘commercial and supportive’ Patrick Sturman is ‘an experienced and very capable lawyer, he has a good breadth of capability, is quick to respond, offers clear advice’ and provides ‘value for money’; he jointly heads the practice with Dean Gormley, who has expertise in syndicated and club financings, and advising on complex structures, such as senior notes and super senior facilities, conduit and securitised loans. John Flathers focuses on property finance and Martyn Holland is also noted. Recent highlights include advising HSBC and HSBC Invoice Finance on the provision of a funding package to Home Decor for the acquisition, by way of shares, of Optiplan Kitchens and the simultaneous refinancing of the Home Decor Group.

Andrew Funnell leads Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s practice, which is known for its strengths in corporate and real estate finance and a niche focus on ship finance, which Andrew Oliver handles. Nicholas Scott and Philip Ashworth focus on corporate financing with particular expertise in M&A matters. Geoff Phillips, Adrian West and Paul Barker focus on property finance. Ashworth recently advised Kexgill on the provision of loan facilities from ICG-Longbow relating to the purchase of 87 student houses from the University of Hull, and also advised Pickering & Ferens Homes on a £10m secured loan agreement with Affordable Housing Finance. Scott assisted HSBC with the financing terms of a management buy-out of Coachman Caravans.

DWF’s practice is led by Chris Ramage, who advises lenders and borrowers on a range of domestic and international debt-related transactions. The team also includes real estate lending specialist John Fox, who advises lenders and borrowers on domestic and European property financings and acts for clients including clearing banks and non-bank lenders; Lucinda Peters, who advises banks, lenders and buildings societies and has expertise in secured lending, and housing, development and investment funding; and Simon Elphick, who specialises in property finance.

Ward Hadaway Mark Smith’s acts for clients including UK and overseas banks, building societies and insurance companies, and has notable expertise acting for lenders and investors involved in student accommodation developments. Highlights included advising a Yorkshire-based property company on the £17m refinancing of a term-loan facility from HSBC relating to an industrial investment property in Sheffield, and assisting a UK lending bank with a £7m revolving credit facility to a quoted property group to be used to part fund a major development. Other work includes advising a Leeds-based regeneration developer, as the borrower, on a term loan development facility from Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund for a residential regeneration project, and assisting Assetz Capital with a loan for a residential property in Cheshire.

Managing associate David Stanbridge leads CMS’ practice, which has strengths in acting for borrowers, lenders and investors on facility agreements, development financing and corporate acquisitions. Recent highlights include advising Lloyds on a three-year £50m revolving credit facility and ancillary facilities provided to Strata Homes to refinance its existing debt with RBS; assisting HSBC with its Libor term loan to Amtrans Properties, which included taking property security as part of an intra-group property restructuring and taking security over subordinated debt; and advising Titan and its SPVs on facility agreements and security documents relating to various short-term property acquisition and development facilities provided by Titlestone Real Estate, Amicus Finance and Ingenious Real Estate Finance. Other clients include Palace Capital, Lendinvest and Broadway Malyan.

Clarion’s team is ‘very commercial in its approach and a pleasure to deal with’. Co-heads Ben Slack and Marie Pugh ‘are very professional, always available and understand clients’ business’. Slack is an insolvency specialist, who acts for clearing banks, asset-based lenders, stakeholders, creditors and accountants, and Pugh specialises in real estate and development finance, as well as handling bridging loans and debt restructuring assignments. The team recently advised Reward Invoice Finance, as a lender, on funding a debt restructuring deal with the borrower’s existing bank, which involved a complex structure of three facilities across its corporate group. It also assisted a retail bank with the provision of £15m of cash-flow finance facilities to an insurance group.

HLW Keeble Hawson’s team ‘provides efficient, effective and affordable solutions and cost-effective and realistic advice; partner accessibility is a strong point and industry knowledge is high’. Practice head Roger Dyson advises lenders and borrowers on a range of matters, including loans, development funding, corporate transactions, and invoice discounting and equity investments. ‘Affable and approachable’ Nick Goulding ‘has good technical knowledge and his advice is down-to-earth and readily understandable’. Managing partner Paul Trudgill focuses on mainstream refinancing work and general banking matters and Richard Smith handles property finance. Recent highlights include assisting Hill Care Group with its £26m refinancing loan from Barclays and advising HSBC as lender to the management team on the £3m MBO of Acorn Web Offset.

Richard Field leads Rollits LLP’s practice and has expertise in development finance, negotiating grant arrangements, and refinancing, particularly in the care home sector. David Hextall is another key partner; he has strengths in property finance and loans pertaining provided to charities. Recent highlights include advising a developer on PRS funding relating to the refinancing of a significant apartment block in West Yorkshire; assisting a property investment group with a syndicated loan facility provided to a group of investors; and advising a care home group on refinancing several of its properties.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is best known for handling high-value transactional work for national banks and drafting bespoke facility agreements and security documents. Practice head Duncan Shepherd handles general banking facilities work and corporate refinancing, Neil Salter focuses on retail investments and regeneration finance and John Baddeley advises on property refinancing work. Recent highlights include advising a property investor on a £1.6m distressed property portfolio refinancing; assisting a lending back with £4.5m of development funding for a mixed-use, Sheffield-based development; and advising Yorkshire Bank on a new £1.6m funding package to expand a chain of dental practices.


Insolvency and corporate recovery

Index of tables

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

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Insolvency and corporate recovery clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

DLA Piper UK LLP’s team is ‘as strong as they come’ and has ‘good technical and market knowledge’. ‘Pro-active and experiencedRichard Obank jointly heads the team with Duncan Mosley; the duo have expertise in handling financially distressed situations for stakeholders, and assisting with administrations and liquidations, investigations, contingency planning, litigation, trading issues concerning insolvency and the strategic planning associated with restructurings. Barney Smedley handles debt restructuring matters, Colin Ashford focuses on contentious restructuring and insolvency issues and UK-wide restructuring head Mark Jacksonis exceptional at dealing with challenging matters and intransigent people on the other side’. Obank recently advised PwC as administrators of Polestar; Ashford advised Duff & Phelps on the administration of BHS; and Jackson assisted the non-executive directors of Petroceltic with negotiations with its lenders and major shareholders regarding the sale of debt. Other highlights include handling two pre-packaged disposals for Ernst & Young as administrators of Green North East Trading; advising Hewden Stuart on contingency planning relating to a distressed M&A process; and acting for the joint administrators of Whittlebury Hall and the subsequent multi-million pound sale of the hotel and spa.

Walker Morris LLP’s ‘highly rated’ team stands, according to one client, ‘above its peers’. It advises lenders, insolvency practitioners, directors and other stakeholders on all aspects of restructuring and insolvency matters. Practice head Simon Clark focuses on non-contentious corporate recovery and turnaround matters, and acts for banks, insolvency practitioners, companies and directors. The ‘urbane and polishedDuncan Lolereally cuts through and drives a case or deal home’; ‘seasoned professionalJohn Roche’s ‘quality of work and understanding of a matter is without exception’; recently promoted partner Gawain Mooreis very experienced, calm and a good tactical thinker’; senior associate Olivia Robinson ‘is persuasive, hard-working and has a brilliant intuition’; and senior associate Sarah MacAuley ‘works extremely hard and has a very sound understanding of the field’. Recent highlights include issuing possession and sale proceedings on behalf of Mazars on the property of a bankrupt, which was defended by the bankrupt’s spouse as a litigant in person and is currently on appeal. Philip Mudd retired in May 2016.

Addleshaw Goddard’s team is known for its strengths in acting on the corporate side of distressed situations, representing turnaround investors on transactions and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency matters. Recent highlights include advising Andrew Page, as the distressed party, and PwC, as the administrator, on the £16m sale of the majority of the business to Euro Car Parts. Andy Bates advised BDO on the £1.5m sale of the business and assets of GB Energy Supply, and also assisted Endless with its acquisition of Dutch manufacturer Brabant Alucast group. Graham Briggs and managing associates Jonathan Jackson and Emma Collins are also noted; Jackson has a broad based practice with a bank and insolvency practitioner focus and Collins handles large corporate transactions, particularly accelerated M&A and prepack insolvency sales. Richard Smith joined Shoosmiths LLP and Andrew Smith moved in-house.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s team has ‘a strong mix of legal and commercial viewpoints; the advice is always well considered, and is solution rather than problem focused – they repeatedly provide the best value for money’. Practice head Paul Duttonquickly gets to the core of the problem and moves the discussion forward with pragmatic and practical points’, Lemi McAuleyprovides strong support’ and fellow senior associate Victoria Procteris technically proficient and has a commercial edge when required’. Dutton recently advised Joseph Rhodes on a restructuring process; acted for Grant Thornton, as administrators of St John’s on the Hill School, in a pre-packaged administration sale; and also assisted Baker Tilly Creditor Services, the joint trustees in bankruptcy, with a large forensic investigation concerning a tax avoidance scheme conducted by the bankrupt.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team provides ‘quick response times’. ‘Nothing is too much trouble’ for practice head Richard Tripp and ‘his knowledge is endless’; he focuses on corporate recovery and restructuring work for banks, financial institutions and various corporate personnel. Legal director Dawn Allen focuses on non-contentious restructuring matters. Recent highlights include acting for KPMG as administrators of Halco Rock Tools which involved handling the pre-pack sale of the business; advising AlixPartners, as administrators of St Andrews Care Group, on the pre-pack administration sale of 11 care homes; and assisting Quantuma, as administrators, with the pre-pack sale of the business and assets of Linder Myers which saved 65 solicitors’ jobs. Other clients include Deloitte, Begbies Traynor, BDO, Grant Thornton and EY.

Squire Patton Boggs’ practice is led by John Alderton, who focuses on complex restructuring and disposal work, as well as handling insolvency litigation. The team is known for its strengths in transport-related insolvencies, mining-related liquidations and restructurings in the chemical and retail sectors. Laura Crawford specialises in turnarounds in the retail, manufacturing and property development fields. Recent examples of its contentious work include defending a £96m claim for the judicial factor of a £35m estate, which involved handling complex insolvency issues, and representing a property entrepreneur faced with creditor claims of almost £200m, which included dismissing a bankruptcy petition. Other highlights include advising a plant hire company on acquiring several divisions of another plant hire company from its administrators.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s team ‘is very quick to spot opportunities and is very active in the market, and never lets clients down’. ‘One of the best restructuring lawyers in town’, practice head Andy Stirkis well connected, commercial and technically excellent’. Managing associate Sam Dixon is ‘one to watch for the future, he has all the right qualities and skills’. The group advised KPMG, as administrators to Raithwaite Hall hotel, on the provisional administration of its connected companies. Other work includes assisting the administrators of construction industry supplier Realstone and its holdings board with the co-dependent disposals of the business and assets of Realstone and the sale of the board’s shares in national quarry chain Blockstone.

Clarion’s team ‘can always be relied on to provide great advice’. Practice head Ryan Millmore, who ‘always provides the support needed’, focuses on corporate insolvencies including administrations, receiverships, liquidations and turnarounds. He assisted Kingsbridge Corporate Solutions with the onward sale of the business and assets of RBK Mechanical to Bellrock Property and Facilities Management, and acted for Armstrong Watson on the implementation of a company voluntary arrangement for Omnia-Chem. Roger Hutton, who primarily handles pre-insolvency matters, advised Begbies Traynor as administrators of Alatas Engineering, which involved handling a company reorganisation and the onward sale of the business and assets. Alice Pratt handles corporate insolvencies, and Ben Slack acts for clearing banks, asset-based lenders, stakeholders, creditors and accountants on the full spectrum of solvent and insolvent restructuring work.

Gordons LLP is particularly recommended for its strength in contentious insolvency and arbitration matters. Wayne Parker, who heads the team, ‘is a skilled negotiator and has in-depth knowledge of contentious and investigative insolvency work’; he focuses on the construction, manufacturing, retail, motor and travel industries. The team acted for Grant Thornton as administrators of Dent Company; advised Begbies Traynor as administrators of McFadden Construction, which involved representing the client in an adjudication that resulted in a substantial payment for the creditors; and assisted Deloitte as LPA receiver with the sale of the group property assets. Other clients include Bank of Ireland, BDO, Molson Coors Brewing, PwC and KPMG.

Irwin Mitchell’s practice is led by national head Andrew Walker, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters. Doug Robertson, who handles property-related insolvencies, and Tom Paton, who focuses on personal insolvencies, are the other key names. The team assisted Begbies Traynor with the administration of William Anelay, which involved selling the company’s book debts, retentions and property and dealing with the assignment of existing supplier contracts. The group also acted for KPMG as the administrators of Williams Brothers and Williams Fasteners, which included the sale of both businesses and assets which had a combined turnover of £7m, and also advised ABN Amro on providing the financing for the acquisition of the business and assets of Kiveton Park Steel in administration.

James Richardson leads Lupton Fawcett LLP’s practice, which is known for acting for distressed and insolvent legal practices and handling the sale of the property portfolios of insolvent property groups. It also handles insolvency matters involving companies from a range of other industry sectors, including construction, leisure, healthcare, manufacturing, licensed trade and retail. Nigel Whitfield has expertise in personal insolvency matters; David Smyllie is a key name for debtor-led advice and defending director disqualifications; and Tom Whiteside handles distressed refinancing for banks and other lenders. Recent highlights include acting for BWC Business Solutions as administrators of Whitkirk Motors, which involved assisting with issues of secured creditors rights, directors duties, opposed access to company premises and environmental and DVLA licensing issues. Other work included advising KPMG on the administration of Steel Founder Noel Village.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s practice has strengths in handling investigations, misfeasance and wrongful trading claims, pursuing antecedent transactions, assisting directors with disqualification proceedings, advising on restructuring and providing pre-insolvency advice. Chris Grocock and Chris Garwood jointly head the team. Recent highlights include acting as liquidators of a company involved in a business rates avoidance scheme, which involved £1.6m in creditors (local authorities and HMRC) claims. Other work includes advising a trustee in bankruptcy on his ability to apply for relief from forfeiture, and acting as liquidator in respect of six group companies seeking recovery of misappropriated proceeds of sale, following the disposal of a football club. Clients include KPMG, Grant Thornton and Baker Tilly Creditor Services.

Matthew Brown leads DWF’s team, which has strengths in restructuring, turnaround and insolvency work including property-based insolvencies. Associate Ashley Jaques handles non-contentious matters. The team advised GVA Bilfinger and UK Asset Resolution on the receivership sale of the Merseyway Shopping Centre, and assisted Close Invoice Finance with the £4m refinance and restructure of the A-Belco group, which involved security and inter-creditor issues. Other work includes advising Deloitte, as the receivers, on a large commercial retail development in Nottingham, and assisting RSM as joint administrators of Sheffield-based construction management business Management Cubed with negotiating contractual agreements with debtors and creditors. Other clients include Lloyds, RBS, PwC, KPMG and EY.

Gateley Plc’s practice handles business restructurings, refinancing, rescues and turnarounds. Team head William Ballmann handles high-profile restructurings and insolvencies, and Rob Payne acts for financial institutions on various contentious matters, including defending claims arising from account conduct, product sales and realisation of security, and complex recoveries claims. The team also handles cross-border insolvency litigation.

Gosschalks’ practice head Steve Dillon handles ancillary shareholder and director litigation and acts for liquidators, administrators, supervisors of voluntary arrangements, trustees in bankruptcy, LPA receivers and banks enforcing securities. Nigel Beckwith and Simon Lunt are the other key team members. Recent work includes acting for PwC as the administrators of Acepoint; representing a company in liquidation in a dispute with its insurers; and handling a bankruptcy appeal for a trustee in bankruptcy.

HLW Keeble Hawson is known for its expertise handling largescale bankruptcy investigations and liquidations. Leeds-based practice head Natalie Nattress focuses on investigations and is supported by a team in the Sheffield office that is recognised for its contentious strengths. Recent highlights include advising an insolvency practitioner on the administration of an insolvent estate and acting for the joint liquidators in bringing a claim against the directors of a company to recover monies procured before the company’s liquidation. The team is also handling various matters for the liquidators of a property development company, including advising on various matters pertaining to property transfers, overage agreements, novation agreements, disclaimers, and FCA authorisation. Ron Whitlam retired in 2016.

Schofield Sweeney’s three-partner team includes Bradford-based Amar Rashid, who handles banking and shareholder disputes and insolvencies, insolvency specialist David Arundel and corporate restructuring expert Richard Fergusson. Associate Zoe Oates joined in 2016 from HLW Keeble Hawson and has expertise in contentious and personal insolvency matters. The team recently handled a restructuring process for Oughtred & Harrison and assisted C4X Discovery with the acquisition of assets from Molplex which is in administration. Other work included acting for the joint administrators of Conexion Media Group on a range of matters, including handling lender security issues, claims from US creditors, disputes regarding catalogue ownership, and asset realisations.

Gillian Kaufman is the key contact at Ward Hadaway, and has notable expertise handling administrations, liquidations, bankruptcies, and corporate and personal voluntary arrangements. Consultant Steven Frieze handles international debt recovery work for export credit insurers and also acts for commercial debt collection agencies and creditors. The team has further strengths advising on complex restructuring and funding arrangements, and handling shareholder disputes concerning insolvent companies.


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