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Maclay Murray & Spens LLP

Work 0330 222 0050
Fax 0330 222 0052
Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London

Susan Kelly

Work 0330 222 1817
Maclay Murray & Spens LLP

Work Department

Banking and Finance


Partner specialising in banking and finance with a UK and international remit. Advises a wide range of lenders and borrowers on corporate banking, acquisition finance, property finance and restructuring work. Recent deals include acting for John Menzies plc in relation to funding its acquisition of the fuelling division of BBA; acting for Baxters Food Group in relation to its recent refinancing and US private placement; and advising Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows in relation to the provision of a £65m facility to LAR Housing Trust.


Trained Maclay Murray & Spens; qualified 1993; assistant solicitor Maclay Murray & Spens 1993-96; Bank of Scotland, six-month secondment to legal services department 1994; associate 1996-98; partner Maclay Murray & Spens 1998 to date; member of court, Strathclyde University 2014 to date.




Strathclyde University (1990 LLB; 1991 diploma).


Opera; theatre; antiques; skiing.

London: Real estate

Social housing: finance

Within: Social housing: finance

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s ‘response times, accuracy of work and quality of advice are excellent and of a high level’. The group, which acts for a mix of lender and borrower clients, is led by Wendy Wilks, whose ‘strong sector knowledge is paired with an ability and willingness to drive a solutions-based approach’. Wilks recently advised a Cambridge-based property company on the development financing of a site acquisition. Other clients include Family Mosaic, Thames Valley Housing Association, The Housing Finance Corporation and Affordable Housing Finance. The group also has substantial experience in its Scottish offices; Susan Kelly in Edinburgh and Gillian Downie in Glasgow are recommended.

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Scotland: Finance

Banking and finance

Within: Leading individuals

Susan Kelly - Maclay Murray & Spens LLP

Within: Banking and finance

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP has ‘a good depth of knowledge and talent across a variety of products, including leveraged finance, energy-related finance and real estate finance’. Other areas of strength include financing relating to oil and gas, funds and investment trusts, and general corporate debt. In 2016, Susan Kelly and director James Wilson acted as the lead counsel to The Edrington Group and The 1887 Group in the combined £530m refinancing of their syndicated facilities. In another highlight, the ‘approachable and commercialStuart Fitzsimmons and senior solicitor Anna Crosby acted as the lead UK counsel to Norwegian defence and maritime company Kongsberg Gruppen ASA in its entry into a $290m facility with a lending syndicate to fund its investment into state-owned Finnish defence company Patria Oyj; Fitzsimmons and Crosby ‘take a pragmatic approach in negotiations with other firms’. Reflecting the strength of the practice, the firm was recently reappointed to the panels of Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays Bank. Other clients include Dalmore Capital, Santander UK Plc and the Royal Bank of Canada. Director Ainsley Reid is experienced in corporate refinancing, as well as real estate investment and development finance. Associates Johanne Lewin and Mark Meiklejohn are highly regarded. Chris Dun moved to Brodies LLP.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery

Within: Insolvency and corporate recovery

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s team utilises its knowledge of contentious and non-contentious issues to cover all aspects of restructurings, turnarounds and insolvencies (formal and informal). Practice head Michael Hughes, whose experience in this space dates back 15 years, is ‘technically sound, highly commercial and straightforward to deal with’. Hughes was the lead adviser to BDO LLP in the winding-up of Aquamarine Power Limited, a matter which involved commercial contract reviews, employment issues and the sale of intellectual property assets. In another matter, Hughes worked with Douglas Blyth and Craig Kennedy to represent Hooley Limited and its administrators in the landmark Court of Session case Hooley Limited v The Victoria Jute Company, in which it was held that the principle of modified universalism should be recognised by Scottish law, and that foreign insolvencies are ancillary to Scottish administration proceedings. Stuart Fitzsimmons, Susan Kelly, Tim Edward and Derek McCombe are other key contacts.

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