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Mills & Reeve LLP

1ST JAMES COURT, WHITEFRIARS, NORWICH, NR3 1RU, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0344 880 2666
DX:
5210 NORWICH
Web:
www.mills-reeve.com

Zak Virgin

Tel:
Work 01603 693244
Email:
Mills & Reeve LLP

Work Department

Banking and finance.

Position

Partner in the finance team specialising in asset-based lending, acquisition finance and non-contentious restructuring and insolvency work. Zak recently led the team acting for PNC Business Credit on substantial asset-based lending facilities for the MBI of the cakes division of McCambridge Group Holdings plc backed by NBGI private equity. He led the teams advising the administrators of the Cardale group, the Brilliant Media group, Silver Spring Soft Drinks and Axminster Carpets on the sales of the businesses and assets issues relating to the administrators’ appointment, duties and distributions to creditors.

Career

Trained Mills & Reeve; qualified 2001; partner 2010 to date. Trainee solicitor, Mills & Reeve 1999-2001; solicitor 2001-03; senior solicitor 2003-06; associate 2006-10. Current directorships: governor, Norwich City College of Further and Higher Education 2006 to date.

Education

Caister High School, Caister, Norfolk; East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Gorleston, Norfolk; University of Nottingham (1997 LLB).

Leisure

Golf, football, cricket (playing and spectating).


East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Mills & Reeve LLP attracts praise for its β€˜focus on clients’ requirements, ability to work to tight deadlines and for its commercial advice, which goes over and above the legal aspects’. The firm has the only national banking and finance practice in the region and is particularly well known for its specialist real estate finance team; according to one client it β€˜rightly has an unrivalled reputation in the region’, and singles out its β€˜balanced approach and good value for money’. Team head William Roles and asset-based landing expert Zak Virgin are recommended for their β€˜industry knowledge, commercial approach and for being readily at clients’ disposal for ad-hoc advice’. Sarah Seed is recommended for not-for-profit finance and Laura Holdaway for real estate finance. Holdaway advised AgFe UK Real Estate and ReAssure Limited as senior lenders on a Β£124m refinancing of property portfolios. Seed acted for Cardiff University in a Β£300m public bond issue. Other clients include HSBC and ABN AMRO Commercial Finance.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery

Within: Insolvency and corporate recovery

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜one of the best for insolvency; the service and the value for money are excellent, and response times are fast’. Jamie Wheatley leads the team and regularly advises corporates and IPs, bringing particular knowledge of special administration regimes for energy supply and network companies and insolvencies in the technology sector. According to clients he is β€˜responsive, thorough and provides extremely practical advice, adding value at every stage of the process’. Among the firm’s β€˜excellent strategists’ is β€˜thorough and hardworking’ principal associate Lino Di Lorenzo, who acts in cross-border insolvency matters and complex asset recovery actions and β€˜has a good grasp of how a case may pan out; like in a chess game, he plans several moves ahead’. Laura Holdaway excels in real estate insolvencies and Zak Virgin often advises asset-based lenders and agricultural sector lenders. Wheatley advised the administrators of family-owned farming business S Morgan & Sons in a case that involved complex security arrangements and disputes between creditors. IPs McTear Williams & Wood and Griffins are among the firm’s clients.

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London: Finance

Asset-based lending

Within: Asset-based lending

Mills & Reeve LLP’s β€˜responsive and approachable’ two-partner East Anglia-based team has a β€˜high level of ABL knowledge’ and is thereby well-placed to advise both lenders and borrowers engaged in both commoditised and more structured transactions in the sector. The β€˜commercially minded’ Zak Virgin regularly handles ABL-related work in an acquisition finance context, including advising PNC on the English law aspects of the acquisition finance and working capital facilities put in place for the acquisition and funding of DG3 Group by Resilience Capital Partners. The β€˜commercial and accessible’ William Roles regularly handles ABL work as part of his broader banking and finance expertise; he advised PNC on the provision of receivables finance, inventory and cashflow facilities to a private equity-owned garden centre business to refinance acquisition debt and provide ongoing working capital facilities. Although the team is better-known for its representation of independent lenders, it is also picking up more mandates for bank ABL divisions, including RBS Invoice Finance.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech

Within: Fintech

The β€˜highly competent’ team at Mills & Reeve LLP provides β€˜exceptionally good service, making every effort to keep clients abreast of progress, and warning of likely costs well in advance’. Primarily Cambridge-based, the practice is led by senior associate Simon Warburton, who specialises in fintech. Corporate, commercial and investment matters are the team’s calling cards. Corporate finance expert Stephen Hamilton, who is an equity capital markets expert, has numerous well-established fintech clients: he acted for AIM-listed secure payment-products provider Eckoh on its Β£8m purchase of Klick2Contact EU, and assisted mobile payments company Bango with its $4m acquisition of BilltoMobile. β€˜Indefatigable, unflappable and very reliable’ Norwich-based partner James Hunter is also recommended for corporate matters. IT and data protection expert Peter Wainman advised innovation foundation Nesta on its administration of a bank consortium-supported prize process to encourage the development of a technological solution for SMEs to compare banking products. He also acted for commodity-trading software business Brady on customer contracts and reseller arrangements. The FCA continues to instruct Wainman on IT matters; in 2016 he advised the body on the procurement of a contract to develop and implement a system for processing financial market data. Scorpeo and Crowdsurfer are additional fintech clients. Norwich-based Zak Virgin’s corporate banking capabilities are β€˜very good’.

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