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Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP is led by Bruce Lightbody, who took on the role following Michael Reevey’s retirement in April 2016. Other key individuals include Lucy Sturrock, who splits her time between Leeds and London and specialises in landlord and tenant work, and Ian Smith, who is advising Muse Developments as developer on the £250m redevelopment of Rolls-Royce’s Hucknall production facility. Sturrock is advising Travelodge Hotels on several acquisitions, and Lightbody is assisting British Land, a new client for the department, with the refurbishment of Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Andrew Williamson and Anna Heaton were promoted to partner in 2015.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s global footprint gives the practice’s workload a substantial international element in addition to its national work. Recent examples include Andrew Clarke’s advice to Aviva on the sale of a portfolio of loans and properties, and assisting Renesola with the acquisition, development and sale of four solar farms. Tim Field leads the department and acted for RBS in the £130m disposal of Aldgate Union. Also recommended are Mark Lynch, who stands out for property disposals, and Valerie Mather, who heads the national real estate retail practice.

Eversheds LLP’s team is ‘passionate, proactive and innovative’ and ‘always inspires confidence’. The department is now the main adviser to Morrisons and also gained Harworth Estates and the Kering Group as new clients. George Bacon leads the four-partner team and is advising Hammerson on the pre-lets for the Victoria Gate scheme in Leeds. Other key names include Stephen Felstead, who is strong in real estate investments; Sue Buckworth, who focuses on international mandates; and retail specialist Susan Samuel.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is noted for its ‘good, commercial understanding combined with informative and focused advice’. Investment and development specialist Jonathan Brocklehurst leads the department, which has considerable expertise in developing funding structures. Also recommended are Victoria Goddard, who leads in the universities sector, and Andrew Quinlan, who is strong in property investment mandates. Highlights included advising Lime Property Fund on the acquisition of the first phase of the redevelopment of the Television Centre in London, and assisting Aviva Investors with the acquisition of seven Premier Inn Hotels.

Walker Morris LLP is ‘a regional leader’ that stands out for its ‘consistently high-quality work’. Nick Cannon leads the practice and has substantial strength in student accommodation matters. Highlights included acting for Far East Orchard on the acquisition of a large development site in Newcastle, which will be used for student accommodation, and assisting Moorgarth Group with its acquisition of the Broad Street Mall Shopping Centre in Reading. Jeremy Moore, Austin Judson and the ‘truly excellent’ Jacqueline Seddon are also recommended.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, practice head Mark Owen and Paula Dillon specialise in developments across the public and private sectors. Owen is acting for Leeds City Council on the development of Victoria Gate, and Dillon is advising Wykeland Beal on the redevelopment of Hull’s Fruit Market. David Stone is recommended for out-of-town retail and house builder developments. Julia Dacre Field joined from Shulmans.

Andrew Flounders leads the 11-partner team at DWF, and recently advised the Caddick Group on the pre-let and forward funding of a logistics hub for TK Maxx in Wakefield. Jim Speed assisted Custodian REIT with its acquisition of the Indigo portfolio. The department has experience across several niche areas including hotels, car parks and arena developments. The highly regarded Nic Crocker is also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs fields a ‘highly commercial and professional’ team that ‘makes everything easy for clients’ and ‘cannot be faulted in the property field’. The ‘straight-talkingMatthew Dalzell leads the department, which includes the ‘client-friendlyAndrew Sprake, who leads the firm’s real estate finance practice, and Karen French and Prew Lumley, who are praised for their ‘excellent service’. The firm has been advising Leeds City Council on the proposed relocation of Burberry’s manufacturing operation, and assisted Calderdale Borough Council with the Sowerby Bridge Copley Valley regeneration scheme. Lindsay Texel joined Clarion.

Clarion has seen a significant amount of development work, particularly in the residential arena, and is particularly active in the manufacturing and leisure sectors. Highlights for department head Martin Grange included advising Jabe Foods on its £3.8m acquisition of a commercial unit. Lindsay Texel joined the firm from Squire Patton Boggs.

Key team members at DAC Beachcroft LLP include Morag Joyce, who acts for telecoms companies and residential developers, and also leads the firm’s asset management department; Eve Gregory, who has experienced substantial growth in work for public sector clients, particularly in the health sector; and Lesley Hughes, who specialises in landlord and tenant disputes.

The ‘very knowledgeableJohn Flathers leads Irwin Mitchell’s ‘proactive, trusted and client-focused’ team. Flathers is strong in development transactions and property finance, and led advice to Henry Boot Developments on a lease of a distribution warehouse and a related funding agreement to Great Bear Distribution. Clients single out associate James Knowles for his ‘detailed approach’.

Schofield Sweeney’s ‘strong legal team’ is led by Darren Birkinshaw, who has experience with landlord and tenant matters. The department advises clients across a wide range of sectors including retail, healthcare, education and renewables. Clients include Trafford Shopping Centre, Santander and Thomas the Baker.

Shulmans has substantial experience in the housebuilding sector, and also has notable expertise in property finance and development matters. Head of residential development Rosemary Edwards advised Barratt Homes on a land acquisition. Other clients include Avant Homes and Andrew Page. Simon Jackson leads the commercial property team.

Ward Hadaway’s team is led by Kevin Weston and includes investment and development specialist Judy Fawcett, Jonathan Dickson, who has experience in landlord and tenant work, and Andrew Pliener, who focuses on residential developments. Clients include the Canal & River Trust and Allied London, which the department is advising on the sale of several retail properties.

The ‘always reliable’ Nicholas Dyson leads the ‘excellent’ practice at ‘good local firmBlacks Solicitors LLP, which has extensive experience involving leisure, holiday and park homes, and residential sectors. Other key names include Glen Salt and Chris Waddingham, who is ‘very thorough and can be relied upon’.

Gordons LLP acts for a strong retail client base including B&M Retail, Iceland and Pure Gym. Paul Young leads the practice, and Joanne Fearnley is recommended for retail acquisitions. Barbara Rollin joined Shoosmiths LLP in Manchester, Ian Errington joined Walker Morris LLP and Philip Gregory joined Gateley Plc.

Lupton Fawcett Denison Till’s ‘excellent and highly involved’ team is praised for its ‘exceptional response times, pragmatism and knowledgeable service’. David Whitaker leads the team, which includes the ‘commercialDavid Coleman, who recently assisted the Jack Lunn Group with its acquisition of two Farm Foods supermarkets. Other key names include Russell Davidson in Leeds, and head of residential property Ann Laverty and Jonathan Moore, who are both based in York. Chris Waterhouse moved to Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP.

Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Nigel Howard leads the five-partner practice at DLA Piper UK LLP, which is active at a local, national and international level. The department has a strong reputation in real estate finance matters, and also has substantial development experience. Howard recently advised Urbo Regeneration on the £450m development of the West Bar in Sheffield, and is also assisting Chesterfield Waterside with a £350m development on the edge of Chesterfield town centre. Student accommodation and urban regeneration specialist Stephen Blacksell advised Threesixty Developments (formerly known as Knightsbridge Student Housing) on the investment sale of 13 student accommodation properties. Vikki McKay made partner in 2015.

Irwin Mitchell’s ‘proactive, client-focused and commercial’ team acts for a range of clients including house builders and developers, institutional lenders, retailers, funds and local authorities. Thomas Hall, who specialises in strategic land matters, advised Hallam Land Management on a £50m land sale to Bovis Homes and Linden Homes, while Steven Richardson assisted Strata Homes Yorkshire with its £5m acquisition of residential development land. Paul Firth leads the national practice, and ‘outstanding partner’ Julie Morrissy is head of the ‘exceptionally strong’ Sheffield department. Kevin Docherty is recommended for mixed-use development schemes.

The ‘commercially aware’ team at Nabarro LLP includes mining and minerals specialist Niall Logan; the ‘absolutely brilliant’ Chris Chambers and Sarah Meldrum, who focus on the retail sector; Rebecca Kitchingham, who specialises in multi-let properties; and Tanya Holt, who has significant healthcare sector experience. Highlights included advising Brockton Capital and Dunedin Property on the purchase of a light industrial property portfolio, and assisting Tarmac with the sale of its headquarters in Wolverhampton.

Commercial property: Hull and East Yorkshire

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP acts for regional and national clients, with notable strength in the retail, energy and residential sectors. The ‘technically very strong’ Bill Fisher led advice to Watergate Developments on the regeneration of part of Hull’s Fruit Market including the letting of the new C4Di building; and is also acting with department co-head Richard Mays for Associated British Ports on the redevelopment of Green Port Hull and the letting of Alexandra Dock to Siemens. On a more national scale, Mays continues to advise Kensington and Edinburgh Estates on the redevelopment of a property in Islington and the subsequent disposal of units. Fellow joint head Paul Barker is also recommended. Chris Waterhouse joined the team from Lupton Fawcett Denison Till.

Gosschalks provides ‘sound, pragmatic advice’ to a broad range of clients, with particular expertise in the licensed, leisure and retail sectors. Clients include Enterprise Inns, Wellington Pub Company and William Hill, which the firm advises on a number of new site acquisitions and estate management issues. Mark Teal leads the ‘excellent, reliable and cost-effective’ team, which includes licensing specialist Andrew Bell.

Rollits LLP’s ‘very professional and established’ practice has a strong focus on the education, retail, and charity sectors where it acts for clients including Bishop Burton College, Reckitt Benckiser and Hull College. Chris Crystal specialises in secured lending and leads the ‘formidable team’, which includes Neil Franklin, who advises clients in the renewable and food sectors, and the ‘highly knowledgeable’ David Hextall.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

One of the best out there’, Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s team is lauded for its ‘commercially astute approach’ and ‘can always be relied upon for sound advice’. David Shaw leads the practice and advised Scotia Gas Networks on the construction of new gas infrastructure in Northern Ireland. The ‘approachableJames Reynolds assisted Peel Energy with several wind farm projects, and continues to advise Muse Developments on multiple national residential and industrial schemes. Joe Wilkinson and John Emerton focus on contentious matters.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘outstanding’ seven-partner team is ‘by far the most experienced in energy matters’, according to one client. Stacey Collins (whose ‘commitment is unparalleled’) advised Drax Power on the conversion of three power units to run on sustainable biomass. Practice head Simon Plunkett specialises in infrastructure issues, and also has experience in adjudications and mediations. John Williams has notable expertise in the rail, power and highway sectors.

The ‘impressive and knowledgeableZakir Mulla leads the practice at Squire Patton Boggs, which was joined by Matthew Mulqueen from Bracewell (UK) LLP; he splits his time between Leeds and London and focuses on energy projects with a substantial international element. Highlights included advising Vestas Eastern Africa on several wind turbines installations. James Duckworth joined from Nabarro LLP and assisted the Wykeland Group with the development of the C4DI building in Hull. The department is also recognised for its public sector work.

Walker Morris LLP has ‘some of the best legal advisers in the field’ and its team is ‘friendly and sensible, with in-depth and practical knowledge’. Litigator Martin Scott leads the four-partner team, which is strong in the energy, food and education sectors. Clients include Arla Foods, Starbucks and Unite Group. Tom Peel is singled out for his ‘ability to cut straight to the real issues’; he recently advised Far East Orchard on the construction aspects of its acquisition of a development site in Newcastle. Jules Harbage is ‘very approachable and gives practical solutions’. Simon Anderson retired.

Ian Doig (‘a trusted adviser who is ahead of the pack’) leads the ‘excellent and responsive’ department at DLA Piper UK LLP, which has significant experience in EPC contracts. Recent highlights include assisting Threesixty Developments on several national student accommodation schemes. Other clients include Unilever, Sellafield, British Airways and National Grid.

Eversheds LLP specialises in the energy, education and infrastructure sectors, and regularly handles projects at a national and international level. Jo Hatton-Jones leads the department and specialises in non-contentious mandates. Mary Anne Roff is recommended for contentious issues. David Moss joined DLA Piper UK LLP in Manchester.

Richard Piper leads the department at Gordons LLP, which recruited Patrick Kemp in 2015 from Watson Burton LLP. The team advises on contentious and non-contentious matters for a client list that includes contractors, developers and sub-contractors. Anjon Mallik is recommended for construction disputes.

Construction boutique Hawkswell Kilvington Limited provides ‘a fantastic niche service’. Jonathan Hawkswell leads the practice and specialises in contentious matters, while the ‘client-centric’ David Kilvington focuses on the non-contentious side. Daniel Silberstein is praised for being ‘easy to work with, professional and hardworking’.

Nabarro LLP’s team is made up of some ‘truly excellent lawyers’ including the well-regarded Martin McKervey and Fraser Askham, who is recognised for his contentious expertise. McKervey represented Biffa Waste Services in several disputes against a contractor arising from a new waste energy plant. Other clients include Amey, Tarmac and Henry Boot. James Duckworth moved to Squire Patton Boggs.

At DAC Beachcroft LLP, Andrew Marsh and Simon Arnold are recommended for construction disputes on a national and international scale. Clients include engineers, contractors, surveyors and project managers. Associate Christine Burrows specialises in non-contentious issues.

DWF has a strong focus on energy and infrastructure mandates; recent examples include advising South Staffordshire Water on an infrastructure procurement. Other clients include Scottish Power, Babcock International Group and Aecom. Andrew Symms leads the department, which includes director Shaun Hill who joined from Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield-based team has ‘a balanced approach and sound knowledge of the practice area’. Led by the ‘pragmatic and commercially aware’ Julie Morrissy, the team includes ‘highly strategic’ litigator Steven Bate, who is based in Leeds. Morrissy advised Sheffield Hallam University on the construction of a faculty building.


Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘top-drawer’ team is ‘one of the best in the country’. Department head Teresa Hitchcock (who is ‘excellent across the board’) has substantial experience in contaminated land issues, nuisance disputes and regeneration projects, and is continuing to represent Tata Steel UK in litigation challenging a decision by the European Commission on the allocation of free allowances under the EU ETS. Stuart Ponting is recommended for contentious matters.

Nabarro LLP’s practice is noted for its ‘good strength in depth, detailed knowledge and excellent judgement’. The practice is led by Christopher Bowes and Lukas Rootman, who is also head of the firm’s litigation team. Bowes is advising Whitemoss Landfill on its applications for a Development Consent Order for a hazardous waste landfill site. Clients single out senior associate Rebecca Roffe as ‘very hardworking and easy to work with’.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice stands out for its ‘excellent level of industry knowledge and commerciality as well as its relevant, clear and succinct advice’. The ‘consistently excellent’ Helen Peters leads the department, which is particularly strong in the energy and manufacturing sectors. Clients include the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, NuGeneration and United Utilities, which the team is defending in a claim against Manchester Ship Canal Company relating to the discharge of water and treated sewage into the Manchester Ship Canal.

Following the merger with Simpson & Marwick Solicitors LLP in 2016, Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘highly committed’ team is led by ‘fearless advocateKirsty Gomersal, who ‘always goes the extra mile’ and specialises in regulatory compliance. Clients include Tata Chemicals Europe, DB Schenker Rail UK and Nexus Tyne and Wear.

Environmental law specialist Penny Simpson leads the team at Freeths; she led advice to Redrow Homes on the environmental aspects of a multi-purpose development in Essex, and advised Radleigh Group on obtaining a protected species licence from Natural England.

Shulmans has ‘a strong regulatory practice’ that ‘punches above its weight in the region’. Led by Lyn Dario (who ‘has a strong personal commitment to the client’ and made partner in 2016) the department has a strong focus on the manufacturing and property management sectors. Commercial lawyer Mark Lumley is also recommended.


At DLA Piper UK LLP, ‘commercially astute’ legal director Andrew Batterton leads the team in Leeds following Glenn Sharpe’s move to DWF, while legal director Ian Green heads the practice in Sheffield. The department has considerable experience in energy and infrastructure matters as well as handling development and regeneration work. Highlights included advising National Grid Electricity Transmission on the North West Connections project, and assisting Tata Steel UK with its objection to the promotion of the York Potash Harbour Facilities Order.

The ‘knowledgeable, personable and efficientJonathan Riley leads the ‘excellent’ department at Pinsent Masons LLP; Riley, who is recognised for his national infrastructure and energy experience, led advice to South Gloucestershire Council on its delivery of new homes and office space on the former BAE airfield at Filton. He is also advising six councils on the National Grid’s application for new electricity lines in their jurisdictions.

Squire Patton Boggs’ practice is headed by Richard Glover, who is ‘an expert in the energy field’. Glover acted for Yorkshire Water Services in a planning appeal and a High Court challenge relating to the Butterley Spillway, and represented RES in an appeal following the Secretary of State’s refusal to grant planning consent for a wind farm. Also recommended are David Hardy, who joined the team from Eversheds LLP, and consultant David Goodman, who is ‘a superb advocate’.

The ‘absolutely first-rate’ team at Walker Morris LLP is ‘well respected for its attention to detail and client care’. Key practice members include Andrew Williamson and the ‘commercially strong’ Richard Sagar, who ‘goes the extra mile to make sure no stone is unturned’. Sagar acted for Persimmon Homes in an appeal against a refused planning application for a residential development. The ‘experienced’ Chris Slater is recommended for compulsory purchase work.

The ‘great, experienced’ team at Bond Dickinson LLP is headed by Claire Brook, who is ‘knowledgeable and respected in the planning world’, and advised Hydrodec Re-Refining (UK) on its application for a development consent order (DCO). Legal director Jocelyn Denton, who regularly assists local authorities with development schemes, advised the London Borough of Lewisham on the £1bn redevelopment of Convoys Wharf.

Peter Nesbit now leads the practice at Eversheds LLP following David Hardy’s departure to Squire Patton Boggs. The department has strong retail sector credentials, and carries out all planning work for new client Morrisons. Renewable energy and minerals also continue to be strong areas for the team, which acts for clients including Tarmac and EDF Energy Renewables. ‘Highly committed’ principal associate Roddy Macdonald specialises in the housing sector.

At Nabarro LLP, department head Christopher Bowes has ‘sound knowledge of the area, is thorough and gives pragmatic advice’ across a broad range of sectors including minerals, waste, infrastructure and commercial developments. The practice, which has ‘exceptional strength in depth’, recently advised the North York Moors National Park Authority on a planning agreement for a deep mine proposal, and assisted Whitemoss Landfill with a DCO for a new hazardous waste site.

Rollits LLP is active across the residential, care home, education and affordable housing sectors for clients including Colton Care, East Riding College and Kingswood Parks Development Company. Practice head Mark Dixon advised Yorkshire Housing on a planning agreement for an affordable housing development.

The ‘professional, efficient and always positive’ team at Shulmans has ‘a growing reputation in the local market’, and focuses on residential sector work for a client list that includes Barratt/David Wilson Homes, Harron Homes and Jones Homes. The ‘excellent and well-respected’ Amanda Beresford leads the practice.

Property litigation

Index of tables

  1. Property litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Addleshaw Goddard LLP fields ‘an excellent, proactive and pragmatic’ practice, which is singled out for its ‘friendly, can-do attitude’. Department head Julie Middlemassmakes a real effort to understand her clients’ business’. Clients of the practice include investors such as Threadneedle Property Investments and British Land, as well as Sainsbury’s, Travelodge Hotels and GVA. Legal director Richard Symonds is recommended and clients single out associate Elizabeth Cape, who is ‘friendly, approachable and knowledgeable’.

The ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP is headed by Petra Billing in Sheffield, and Matthew Lonergan and ‘clear communicator’ John Kittle in Leeds. Billing led advice to Hibernia Networks in litigation relating to the new Hibernia Express submarine cable system. Kittle is acting for Heineken UK on all contentious matters concerning its portfolio of 1000 pubs. Other clients include Arcadia Group, Telereal Trillium and British Airways.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘top-drawer’ team was significantly strengthened in 2015 following the recruitment of Andrew Todd from Gordons LLP. Todd is praised as being a ‘tactically very astute litigator’ with a ‘strong commercial sensibility and the ability to get stuck in’, and has substantial experience in portfolio management issues. The ‘hardworking and friendlyDamian Hyndman leads the practice, which includes the ‘calm and experiencedAlison Oldfield, who specialises in property-related judicial review challenges, and James Batham, who leads the firm’s retail sector. Clients include Morrisons, Network Rail and Arqiva.

Strong in all regards’, Nabarro LLP’s ‘seasoned and knowledgeable’ team is led by Stephen Scott and includes Jane Turley, who ‘provides good, proactive and professional advice in a very efficient way’. The department is highly regarded for its development and site assembly work and also asset management mandates; Turley advised Capital & Regional as landlords in all contentious asset management issues for the Luton and Camberley shopping centres.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘among the top ranks’ and its ‘substantial presence in Yorkshire combines strength with depth’. Practice head Matthew Bakerhas a real skill in bringing the right team together for a case, and perfectly understands the clients’ objectives’. Legal director Michael Smith is also recommended for his ‘sound legal judgement’. The department recently represented Milton (Peterborough) Estates Company in a complex planning dispute. Other clients include United Utilities Water and Amber Homeloans.

At Walker Morris LLP, department head Andrew Beck is acting for Gladman Developments in challenging a decision by the Registration Authority to register a proposed residential development site as a town and village green. Other key team members include the ‘very impressive’ Martin McKeague, who has ‘a good understanding of clients’ needs’; and Malcolm Simpson, who focuses on advising developer clients and is ‘a determined litigator’.

The ‘clear, concise and practicalDanny Revitt leads Irwin Mitchell’s team from Sheffield, which has considerable experience in portfolio management and landlord and tenants issues. The department recently acted for a national property investor in recovering vacant possession of an industrial premises. Clients include Max Industrial, Thorntons, Sheffield Hallam University, and new client Orkney UKCO. Associate Lisa Stratford is noted for her ‘pragmatic and easy-to-understand solutions’.

Patrick Walker leads the three-partner team at Squire Patton Boggs, which specialises in land compensation cases with a notable strength in airport-related matters; Walker recently advised Stanstead Airport in a land compensation matter. Other clients include Manchester Airport, Trinity Mirror Group and Marshall Group. Senior associate David Holland is also recommended.

Social housing

Anne Bowden leads the practice at Pinsent Masons LLP, which counts the Homes and Communities Agency as a key client, and is strong across housing regeneration schemes, renewal schemes and advice to local authorities. Highlights included assisting the London Borough of Wandsworth with an estate renewal scheme. Kate Orviss is recommended for PFI housing project work.

Chris Woodthorpe leads the department at Walker Morris LLP, which provides ‘an excellent service and high-quality advice’. The practice acts for a substantial number of housing associations and registered providers including Anchor, Hyde Housing Association and Broadacres Housing Association. Also recommended are housing litigator Karl Anders and Elizabeth Wood, who is experienced in procurement matters.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s practice regularly acts for lenders including AIB Group, Abbey National Treasury Services and Barclays. Finance experts Lee Shankland and Ruth Snell are the key names.

Bevan Brittan LLP is a new entrant to the Leeds market in 2015, and has had a strong start in the social housing arena, recruiting Richard Stirk, housing finance specialist Hugo Stephens and Julie Cowan-Clark from DWF. Clients include Places for People, Home Group, and Chevin Housing Association, which the firm is advising on a £15m loan and bond from Lloyds Bank.

Rollits LLP’s team primarily assists social housing clients with site acquisitions, options, conditional contracts and site assembly work. Douglas Oliver leads the department and recently advised the Hull Churches Housing Association on its acquisition of affordable units in a larger development. The firm also has notable charity sector strength.

Bradford-based Andrew Hurst leads the practice at Schofield Sweeney, and regularly acts for registered social landlords and funders such as QSH, Leeds Federated Housing Association and Horton Housing. Simon Petchey is strong in refinancing matters.

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