Banking and finance in Guernsey

Carey Olsen (Guernsey) LLP

Carey Olsen handles a range of finance work, with a strong presence in top-tier investment fund finance and cross-border real estate finance deals. In fund finance, the firm handles large deals for well-known banks dealing with elite fund managers and the reverse, with some of the team having practices crossing over with fund formation. Andrew Boyce advises leading banks and heavyweight private equity managers in this space, with Ben Morgan's highlights including real estate finance transactions - Annette Alexander's practice covers both streams. Tom Carey's workload also includes advising leading private equity houses on fund finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Boyce; Ben Morgan

Other key lawyers:

David Crosland; Tom Carey; Andrew Boyce; Ben Morgan

Key clients

Blue Diamond

Heitman LLC

Quadrant Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Blue Diamond on the financing of its purchase of eight branches of Wyvale Garden Centres from Terra Firma Capital Partners.
  • Advised Quadrant Real Estate on a £36.9m mezzanine term loan for the redevelopment of retail parks in Bristol and Kirkcaldy.

Mourant

Mourant has expertise in fund finance, acting for both managers and banks, as well as real estate finance, including structured deals and work for non-bank lenders. M&A acquisition finance and shipping finance are more niche areas in which the firm has handled deals. Caroline Chan has a track record of handling sensitive restructurings as well as real estate finance, while Darren Bacon and John Lewis are active in fund financing transactions for well-known borrowers. Helen Wyatt focuses on banking sector transactions against highly complex regulatory backdrops. Frances Watson also acts for borrowers and lenders, including non-bank lenders, with John Rochester particularly active in UK real estate deals. Dylan Latimer, previously a counsel at the firm, is now a partner at Bedell Cristin.

Practice head(s):

John Lewis

Testimonials

‘I found the team really helpful; they were happy to turn things at the last minute and followed up with us on the transaction to make sure they were available when needed.’

‘The team have been particularly helpful with their detailed knowledge of local practice.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a FTSE 250-listed fund on borrowing £150m, £50m of which in an accordion tranche.

Appleby

Appleby's finance practice, led by Jeremy Berchem, covers a mix of work ranging from fund finance through to real estate deals and corporate lending, as well as regulatory matters. Below partner level, counsel Chet Pohl and senior associate Nicole Sorbie have track records of working with the firm's partners on large fund finance facilities. Kate Storey is now at WALKERS.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Berchem

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Harding; Chet Pohl; Nicole Sorbie

Testimonials

The team provides commercial, solutions-driven perspective and workable recommendations as to how to proceed, making it a match for any other firm in Guernsey, notwithstanding its relatively small size.’

What really sets Appleby apart is its commercial understanding of the market – as well as being technically on the money, its assistance in bringing deals to a commercially agreeable position is invaluable.’

Jeremy Berchem has fantastic knowledge of the market and is always on hand to help with complex points of Guernsey law.’

Nicole Sorbie’s experience and efficiency are second-to-none.’

Key clients

Bank Julius Baer

BMO Real Estate Partners

Butterfield Bank

Citibank

Credit Suisse

HSBC

Investec

Lloyds Banking Group

Royal Bank of Scotland

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised three banks led by Lloyds Corporate Capital Markets on a revolving loan to Bridgepoint Europe IV.
  • Advised ReAssure on a loan to refinance a portfolio of nineteen real estate assets in the UK.
  • Advised Investec on a revolving loan to Zenprop Group, involving security over a number of on-island assets.
  • Advised PraxisIFM on borrowing multi-currency term and revolving facilities from Royal Bank of Scotland International, partially secured over shares in Guernsey Financial Services Commission-regulated companies.
  • Advised National Asset Management on a loan taking security over the units of a Guernsey LLP, a structure not legally permitted at the time the Security Interests Law was enacted.

Bedell Cristin

At Bedell Cristin, Kate Ovenden and senior associate Ann Halliday handle a range of lending, with a key strength being real estate finance work. The team also has strong capabilities in complex restructurings and distressed lending as well as work for non-bank lenders. Dylan Latimer joined in September 2019 from Mourant.

Practice head(s):

Kate Ovenden

Other key lawyers:

Ann Halliday; Dylan Latimer

Collas Crill

At Collas Crill, alongside fund finance work and real estate matters, group partner Paul Wilkes also has a strong track record in local finance deals. Sean Cheong, who heads the team, handles a broad range of work, including advising lenders on fund financing work, while senior associate Tristan Ozanne advises bank and non-bank lenders.

Practice head(s):

Sean Cheong

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wilkes; Tristan Ozanne

Testimonials

‘Sean Cheong is very good technically, hard-working and crucially highly responsive. This attitude and approach is also then set as the standard for the junior lawyers in the team to follow and they do so to a high level.’

‘Sean Cheong – I trust her experience and judgement. My top choice in Guernsey, particularly on complex matters.’

‘Ben Le Page is a magician and a gentleman. Works hard and effectively.  Great to have on the team.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland

Northern Trust

Butterfield Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

Kleinwort Habros

Rothschild Bank

Investec

Work highlights

  • Advised RBS International on a revolving facility lent to Guernsey Electricity.
  • Advised RBS International on a £45m loan to Blue Diamond used to purchase eight branches of Wyevale Garden Centres from Terra Firma Capital Partners.
  • Advised TH Real Estate on arranging a structured £155m loan to the developers of 80 Fenchurch Street in London.

Ferbrache & Farrell LLP

Gavin Farrell and associate Natalie Le Cras are key names at Ferbrache & Farrell LLP, which handles a range of cross-border lending work including private fund finance; frequently representing borrowers. Restructuring is another area of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Farrell

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Le Cras

Key clients

Ardmuir

Guernsey Investment Fund

HitechVision Asset Solutions

Lakestar Advisors

Next Generation Holdings

Norvestor

Ravenscroft

Ogier

Ogier's Marcus Leese handles M&A acquisition finance and restructuring work, as well as fund and corporate finance deals. Christopher Jones is also active in fund finance and real estate finance, and is also involved in asset finance work. Managing associate Paul Chanter works with both partners on a broad range of finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Marcus Leese

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Jones; Bryon Rees; Paul Chanter

Testimonials

Very reliable, hardworking and knowledgable.’

‘Marcus Leese is well-known in finance circles.’

Christopher Jones is very effective and personable – technically very good and keen to deliver a quality service.’

Key clients

ABN AMRO

Ahli United Bank

Credit Suisse

Erste Bank

HSBC

Nomura

Royal Bank of Canada

Sberbank

Caledonia Investments

Tristan Capital Partners

WALKERS

WALKERS has expertise across the finance space, and is particularly well-connected in Asia with strong relationships with the Singapore branches of several investment banks. Sam Shires has a track record of handling acquisition  and real estate finance, as well as handling vessel finance - an area in which Matt Sanders is also active. Kim Paiva is a key counsel - she has particular expertise in aviation finance. Senior counsel Zoe Hallam relocated from the firm's Cayman office, bringing with her fund finance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Sam Shires; Matt Sanders

Other key lawyers:

Kim Paiva; Zoe Hallam

Testimonials

The team is always happy to go the extra mile to assist, and all its work is very timely and accurate.’

The team is very friendly and approachable at all levels.’

Kim Paiva is very pleasant do deals with, very professional and always personable – she keeps clients informed as to developments relevant to them and takes a practical approach to transactions.’

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Bank of Nova Scotia

Nordic Aviation Capital

Credit Suisse

Standard Chartered

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advise Credit Suisse’s Singapore Branch on financing of Raksha Energy Holdings, a Guernsey company, and its purchase of another, AIM-listed, Guernsey company, Myrtah Energy; the deal was in effect the take-over of a listed company by its key shareholder, which owned its shares via a Jersey trust.
  • Advised Standard Chartered on financing Ascendas REIT’s purchase of a British commercial real estate portfolio held through separate Guernsey SPVs.
  • Acted as Guernsey counsel to Bank of Communications Financial Leasing on leasing two container ships.
  • Advised BNP Paribas on a $35m loan to Advent Fund Group, the borrowing company being a Maltese entity owned by a Guernsey PCC.
  • Advised Strawberry Star Real Estate on borrowing £83m to finance Urban Exposure to redevelop Napier Gateway in Luton.