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Browne Jacobson LLP’s ‘attentive’ team handles LMA syndicated facilities and international transactions in healthcare, social housing and residential property sectors, among other matters. Emma Hinton, who splits her time between Nottingham and Birmingham, led a team advising Clydesdale Bank on providing a £10.5m revolving credit facility – based on a bilateralised LMA agreement – to Horizon Care & Education. Together with Paul Ray, who is ‘exceptionally helpful in complex situations’, Hinton assisted Local Space Housing Association with its £250m funding needed to refinance existing facilities and to acquire 800 new homes. Ray also acted for the Fogarty Group on raising £9.9m of funding from Close Brothers and assisted RBS with the provision of an £8.2m loan for the acquisition of three hotels to Fico Corporation and Singha Estate. Shaun McCabe rejoined the team from Shoosmiths LLP. HSBC, Business Growth Fund and HCAI are also clients.

Freeths LLP’s group includes acquisition finance specialist John Heaphy, property finance expert Chris Freeston, and Phil Baigent, who specialises in the healthcare sector transactions. The firm is also known for project finance as well as handling distressed finance transactions. It acts predominantly for borrowers but also receives instructions from major banks. Work highlights have included acting for a fund manager on the eight-figure investment in a real estate portfolio of over 50 properties and pursuing a mezzanine loan to fund a major development project.

Gateley Plc’s team utilises a ‘great deal of industry knowledge and relevant experience’ to deliver ‘consistently high-quality’ advice to lenders, developers and investors. Banking head Anna Mayfield’s ‘wealth of experience in the healthcare sector’ is combined with a ‘great ability to assess the deal and protect the client’s position’. The group is strong on the private equity and acquisition finance side, and also has an extensive property finance practice led by Andy Matthews. Mayfield advised National Westminster Bank on the funding of retail development projects in the UK and assisted Lloyds Bank with lending facilities provided to a charity. Other highlights included handling the amendment of a senior facilities agreement for a syndicate of banks and advising a bank on a base term loan provided for a management buyout. Svenska Handelsbanken, HSBC, Allied Irish Bank, Santander Group and Leumi ABL are also clients.

Geldards LLP’s group has an ‘extensive professional and sector knowledge’ as well as a ‘commercial approach’. It assists local authorities with public sector financing and also acts for lenders in a range of matters. ‘Thorough, commercial and proactive’ practice head Jenny Chatten led a team advising Russell Building Products on new priority arrangements between new and continuing lenders as part of the refinancing of a revolving credit facility, and assisting Coleman Investments with the £3m refinancing of a Santander facility. David Watson advised HSBC on a £2m loan for the refinancing of Downtown Garden Centre, which involved the bank taking charge of Oldrids & Co. The team also advised Santander on the provision of a £7.5m term loan for the refinancing of Fort Halstead Estates and Marlborough Estates; assisted JJH Enterprises with a six-figure loan to finance the purchase of Microsoft licenses; and secured a loan from ICSA Development Finance for Holmewood Homes.

Hewitsons’ ‘responsive’ and ‘experienced’ team is led by the ‘highly regarded, proactive and knowledgeableNeil Harpham. The workload spans the banking and finance spectrum but the firm is particularly recommended for matters with a commercial property angle. The group is appointed to panels of Santander, Lloyds Bank, Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, Svenska Handelsbanken and Home & Communities Agency. Perrys Group is also a client.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited acts for lenders and borrowers in a range of transactions including refinancings, syndicated and bilateral financing, and property funding. On the lender side, the client base includes RBS, Bank of Ireland, Nottingham Building Society, Bradgate Business Finance, Yorkshire Bank and Cambridge & Counties Bank; Simon Trees advised the latter on the appointment of a fixed-charge receiver. On the borrower side, David Kaplan assisted PKF Cooper Parry with its funding arrangements with National Westminster Bank pertaining to the company’s merger with Clement Keys. Highlights also included refinancing an eight-figure loan facility for a longstanding corporate client and handling assignment and novation of loans for the trustees of an international trust. Michael Lodge is also recommended.


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