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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Leveraging the firm’s deeply entrenched banking relationships, the ‘very impressive’ 31-partner team at Allen & Overy LLPdisplays vast expertise and knowledge’ of investment grade acquisition finance, corporate lending for working capital purposes, and syndicated and structured lending. Able to deploy significant resources, not just out of London but also across the firm’s network of offices worldwide, the practice has the critical mass and benefits from a geographical diversity that ensures it is able to handle a large volume of big-ticket mandates. The ‘excellent’ Trevor Borthwick is global head of the firm’s corporate lending practice; his recent highlights include acting for the agent bank on the £1.35bn multi-currency facilities used to support Ladbrokes’ £2.7bn merger with Gala Coral. ‘The smart and practical’ George Link acted for Cooperative Rabobank and Credit Agricole, as arrangers, on the $600m term loan and revolving credit facilities provided to Dutch company OCI. In a mandate which involved significant input from the firm’s New York and Dutch offices, Greg Brown recently advised the lead banks, including Deutsche Bank and HSBC, on a $25bn syndicated facility to enable British American Tobacco to acquire the remaining 57% stake in Reynolds American not already owned by the client. Praised for her ‘excellent judgement’, Melissa Samuel is active across a range of financings including syndicated and structured lending; she recently acted for RBS on a £1.7bn term loan and revolving credit facility for AMEC Foster Wheeler. Michael Castle and Darren Hanwell are noted in particular for their expertise within the margin lending space. Other recommended partners include Nicholas Clark and Simon Roberts. Stephen Kensell joined Latham & Watkins in July 2016.

The ‘knowledgeable and experienced’ team at Clifford Chance LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ to lenders and borrowers on corporate lending mandates ranging from working capital facilities to big-ticket acquisition financings. Praised for her ‘strong technical skills’, Emma Folds has significant expertise in the investment grade space and recently advised Commerzbank on the $750m facilities provided to RPC Group in connection with its acquisition of US plastics manufacturer Letica. The ‘very experienced and well-respected’ Michael Bates heads the firm’s London finance team; in addition to his market-leading expertise for infrastructure financing, he is also regularly involved in general corporate lending matters. Alongside Matthew Dunn, he recently advised J Sainsbury on the amendment and restatement of its £1.15bn revolving credit facility used in part to finance its takeover bid for Home Retail Group. ‘Able to handle a variety of different transactions’, the ‘very clever’ Charles Cochrane regularly advises on corporate loans; he acted for Barclays Bank on the £630m syndicated revolving credit facility provided to ITV. Other recommended partners include the ‘calm and experienced’ Nicola Wherity, the ‘experienced and commercial’ James Boswell, Jim MacHale, and Peter Dahlen, who ‘has a very good understanding of the Nordic financial markets’. Other clients include HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Jaguar Land Rover.

Benefiting from the expertise of 36 partners in London, in addition to vast international resources, Linklaters LLP’s clients value its ‘extensive deal experience’ and ‘good overall view of the market’. Particularly active on the lender side on behalf of banking clients including HSBC, Lloyds and UBS, the ‘hardworking and responsive’ team is able to leverage the expertise of practitioners on the ground in a vast array of jurisdictions to handle a large volume of syndicated lending mandates. The ‘exceptional’ and ‘knowledgeablePhilip Spittal heads the firm’s global loans team and is regarded as ‘one of the best in the market’. He recently advised a syndicate of banks on the post-IPO financing for Philips Lighting, the lighting division of Philips. Stuart Thomas advised BNP Paribas and other facilitating banks on the amendment and extension of the $5.5bn revolving credit facility for Arcelor Mittal. On the corporate side, the ‘outstandingToby Grimstone and Ian Callaghan recently advised Glencore on the financing necessary to facilitate its acquisition of a minority stake in Russia’s state-owned oil and gas company Rosneft alongside the Qatar Investment Authority. The ‘smart and practicalOliver Edwards and James Martin are also recommended.

Leveraging its impressive roster of firm-wide investment grade corporate clients, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s primary strength lies in its ‘high-quality’ corporate treasury offering, which enables it to act for an impressive array of FTSE 100 and 250 corporates. David Trott advised CDS (Superstores International) on its £115m multi-currency term and revolving facilities, arranged by HSBC, for general corporate and working capital facilities, and to assist with future growth plans.Sean Pierce recently advised Ahlsell on the related refinancing of banking facilities pursuant to its IPO and listing on Nasdaq Stockholm. Although it is more dominant on the borrower side, the team does handle bank-side mandates as illustrated by Simon Johnson’s recent work for a consortium of banks, including RBS, on the financing provided to Informa plc to facilitate its acquisition of Penton Information Services.

Receiving a regular flow of work on behalf of the firm’s impressive roster of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides a ‘high-quality, commercial and responsive service’ to borrowers. Team head Kristen Roberts is praised for his ‘first-class technical skills and insightful advice’; he recently advised Provident Financial on its £450m multi-currency revolving facility agreement. Praised for his excellent ‘general market knowledge’, Will Nevin regularly handles corporate acquisition finance mandates; his recent highlights include acting for British American Tobacco on the $25bn facility to enable the funding of part of the $49.4bn acquisition of the remaining stake in Reynolds American. The energy sector remains a highly fertile ground for financing activity and in this space the team regularly acts for lenders on the provision of facilities on a reserve-based funding basis. Thomas Bethel acted for a syndicate of lenders on the refinancing of Lundin Petroleum’s $4bn reserve based lending facility. Ewen Fergusson is also a key member if the team and recently advised new client Amcor on its €750m debut European syndicated financing.

Drawing on the firm’s extensive roster of FTSE 100 corporate clients, including Whitbread, Shire and Rolls Royce, Slaughter and May provides ‘responsive, thoughtful and sensible advice’ across the spectrum of financings including for acquisition finance, as well as general corporate and working capital purposes. The team’s reputation in the space is also underscored by its continued work with the Association of Corporate Treasurers on LMA documentation. The ‘extremely bright, hardworking and practicalEd Fife advised Hibu Group on its successful refinancing and reorganisation of Hibu’s capital structure. Other highlights included Caroline Phillips’ work, alongside a high-profile US firm, on behalf of INOVYN ChlorVinyls on the raising of €775m of term loans and its offering of €300m senior secured notes. Stephen Powell, Andrew McClean and Richard Jones are also recommended.

Ashurst provides a ‘responsive and commercial’ service to a balanced array of corporates and lenders including Aveva plc, Amey, HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. James Collis’s renewed focus on fee-earning work, following several years as the firm’s managing partner, and the arrival of the vastly experienced Dave Rome from RBS (where he headed its EMEA loan markets division), has enhanced the firm’s profile in this are. The ‘excellent’ Nicholas Moore advised RPC Group on the £770m revolving credit facility, used to part finance the takeover of British Polythene Industries. Moore also advised a syndicate of five banks co-ordinated by MUFG, on a £200m bridge term loan facility for the Go-Ahead Group. Working alongside the firm’s corporate/M&A group, the banking team has an excellent reputation advising investment banks on the debt aspects of cash confirmations for listed company acquisitions. The ‘excellent’ Tim Rennie advised Deutsche Bank as financial adviser to Twenty-First Century Fox in relation to the proposed acquisition by Twenty-First Century Fox, of the shares of Sky plc that it does not already own. Senior associate Darren Phelan specialises in cross-border investment grade/corporate lending matters for both borrowers and lenders; his expertise within the investment grade space was recently enhanced by his secondment with MUFG in its EMEA syndications and origination team. Nick Wong is noted for his work on behalf of lenders and borrowers on the financing of acquisitions within the insurance sector. Lee Doyle, Martyn Rogers and Mark Vickers are also recommended.

Headed by Nick Tostivin out of London and also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners on the ground across Europe, US, Asia and the Middle East, Baker McKenzie provides ‘excellent service levels’ to lenders and corporates across a broad range of financings, ranging from short-term unsecured loans to global facilities involving multi-jurisdictional collateral, bilateral loans, syndicated loans and participations. ‘Standout partner’ Sebastian Marcelin-Rice ‘has very wide experience in cross-border lending’ and is a key member of the team, which includes ‘very client-oriented’ senior associate Sudhir Nair and the ‘very brightIan Jack, who has a particular focus on CEE-related transactions. Clients include Macquarie, ING and SARquavitae. Infrastructure and real estate finance expert Paul Hibbert recently joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP.

Recently enhanced by the combination with Olswang and Nabarro, CMS has strength in depth out of London, the regions and internationally, enabling it to act for a balanced spread of corporates and lenders, which in addition to the firm’s staple core of clearing banks also includes a growing number of investment banks. Working in conjunction with a number of the firm’s international offices including Brazil and Mexico, Alex Patience advised new client Rabobank and a syndicate of lenders on the provision of cross-border, multi-base currency facilities for Genus. Patience also advised HSBC and Lloyds on the £70m financing of BGL Group to support the group’s securitisation. Ted Harrison, Patrick Donegan, Mark Moseling and Neil James are also recommended.

Leveraging its growing international network, Dentons has a strong reputation among banks for syndicated loans work, particularly in the emerging markets. ‘Excellent’ team head Isaac Felberbaum is noted for his work on behalf of banking syndicates providing liquidity to other financial institutions in the emerging markets. Felbarbaum is particularly experienced at handling work emanating out of Turkey and recently advised UniCredit Bank, as facility agent, on the $1.2bn syndicated dual currency loan facility agreement for Turkish financial institution Akbank Türk Anonìm Şìrketì. Lee Federman regularly handles cross-border syndicated financings amnd acted for BNP Paribas and Erste Group Bank, as arrangers, on the €615m syndicated revolving credit facilities with MOL, the Hungarian integrated international oil and gas company. Other clients include Commerzbank, Mizuho Bank and BNP Paribas.

Although it is better known for its leveraged finance practice, Hogan Lovells International LLP also regularly handles corporate lending mandates for a primarily lender-facing client base that includes commercial banks and direct lenders including Lloyds, Citibank and Ares Management. The insurance market remains a fertile ground for financing work for the team and adds value to clients as a result of its ability to leverage the firm’s broader corporate and regulatory expertise within the sector. Matthew Cottis has been involved in numerous insurance lending mandates, including advising lenders on the provision of financing to assist Phoenix Group fund its £935m acquisition of the Abbey Life insurance business from Deutsche Bank. Working alongside colleagues in the firm’s Moscow and Amsterdam offices, Andrew Taylor advised a syndicate of banks on a $1.2bn pre-export facility to PJSC Uralkali – the largest Russian syndicated loan transaction of 2016. Penny Angell and Jo Robinson are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s extensive international network, as well as the firm’s industry knowledge in key areas including energy, transport and telecommunications, are key features of the finance team, which is able to provide ‘commercial and focused advice’ to banks and corporates. James Dunnett has a particular focus on the oil and gas sector; he recently advised Tullow Oil on the upsizing of their contingent resources and quasi-reserves based facility to $1bn. Alexandra Triptree has a focus on media and telecoms financings in the emerging markets and has recently handled numerous financings for the Turk Telecom group of companies, including on $150m-worth of term loan facilities made available to it by ING Capital and Mizuho Bank for the purpose of financing the acquisition by the company and its subsidiaries of equipment and services from Alcatel and Cisco. Team head Michael Ings also handles media and telecoms financings, as well as Africa-related financings (he is a trusted adviser to The Standard Bank of South Africa). The ‘user-friendlyMichael Black regularly handles asset based financing provisions.

White & Case LLP provides a ‘very commercial’ and ‘cost-effective’ service to both lenders and corporates including Aliaxis Group, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Led on the banking side by the ‘solutions-oriented, commercial and proactiveJeremy Duffy, the team recently advised Cabot Financial on a £250m revolving credit facility and £350m issuance of New York law-governed senior secured notes. As part of his broad-ranging banking practice, Christopher Czarnocki has particular expertise handling emerging markets work and recently advised Puma Energy on its $800m revolving credit facilities. Gareth Eagles has close ties with GSO Capital Partners; he recently advised it on a $205m refinancing facility to Luminator Technology. Robert Bennett, Lee Cullinane and Jacqueline Evans are also recommended.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP provides a ‘responsive, commercial and cost-effective service’ to a balanced mix of lenders and borrowers across a range of corporate lending matters. Praised for its ability to provide ‘deep technical knowledge’ as well as the ability ‘to pull together specialists throughout the firm, to support where necessary’, the four-partner team has the capacity to handle a variety of commoditised and highly bespoke mandates (where it often works closely with colleagues in the structured finance group). The practice continues to receive a regular flow of corporate lending work for longstanding borrower clients including Tesco, and is expanding its client base, recently handling work for rapidly growing corporate Gett in relation to a $100m financing from Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank. The ‘commercialDaisy Reeves acted on the aforementioned matter and also advised Hippodrome Casino on a £18m facility with Barclays. As part of his broad-ranging finance practice, Derek Hrydziuszko handles less conventional work including margin loan financing, and recently advised Goldman Sachs on the provision of such facilities to high-net-worth and ultra-high net-worth individuals. ‘Helpful and knowledgeable’ team head Emma Howdle-Fuller is also recommended. Other clients include Lloyds, HSBC, RBS and Mount Street.

Despite the departure of well-regarded leveraged and corporate lending partners David Miles and Philip Butler to Dechert LLP towards the end of 2016, DLA Piper maintains a significant presence in the market where it is praised for its ‘high service levels on the more complex or esoteric structures’. The ‘incredibly hardworking and pragmatic’ Mark Dwyer – who joined at the end of 2015 from Slaughter and May – has been instrumental in building up the firm’s borrower-side credentials. Dwyer advised Discovery Communications on its $2bn refinancing and acted for Heineken on its £340m financing of its public takeover of Punch Taverns. ‘First-rate’ team head Julie Romer recently advised numerous banks including Barclays on the £200m amendment and restatement of facilities for Just Eat to fund its acquisition of Hungry House. Other clients include Workspace Group, HSBC and Ares Capital.

Mayer Brown International LLP is particularly strong within the asset based lending space and is able to leverage strong banking relationships to service corporates raising money solely through this product as well as in conjunction with other debt products. Able to tap into the firm’s broad-ranging international network, the team is regularly engaged in cross-border mandates; Alex Dell and Dominic Griffiths acted alongside practitioners in Paris and Frankfurt, for HSBC Bank and ABN AMRO Commercial Finance on a €80m invoice discounting facility provided to STIGA/Global Garden Products (GGP), one of Europe's largest makers and sellers of powered garden equipment for residential and commercial use. Other recommended partners include Liz Soutter, for funds finance, and the ‘detailed and commercially oriented’ Trevor Wood, who has significant experience handling Turkish-based transactions.

Leveraging its strong clearing bank relationships, as well as servicing the firm’s roster of London-listed corporates, Pinsent Masons LLP is a very visible presence in the UK corporate lending market. Liam Terry leads the firm’s HSBC relationship and recently advised it on a $70m term and revolving credit facility for Telit Communications. Vanessa Heap acted for Motorpoint Group on its post-IPO facility with Santander. Team head Martin Bishop has recently handled numerous matters for L&G including on its £175m refinancing of the Sofitel Hotel situated in Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport. Other clients include RBS, Barclays Bank and Redefine International plc.

In addition to handling a significant amount of general corporate lending work, Reed Smith LLP also has niche expertise in more specialised areas including funds finance and asset based lending. Monica Barton advised Santander and HSBC on the £36.2m term and revolving facilities provided to Southern Communications Group. ‘Proactive and commercial’ asset based lending expert Georgia Quenby handles a significant amount of work for Wells Fargo and recently advised it as incoming lender on a new asset based lending facility for First Milk, one of the UK’s leading dairy co-operatives. Leon Stephenson is recommended for fund finance and general bank lending.

Although its core focus lies in acting for private equity funds on leveraged finance deals, Ropes & Gray LLP handles a significant amount of corporate lending and event-driven financing work, in particular, for marquee clients Altice and Liberty Global, and is able to advise on UK and US finance products (including New York law-governed high yield). Jane Rogers advised Liberty Global on the financing arrangements to facilitate its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications. Benoit Lavigne joined Morrison & Foerster LLP in 2018.

Well positioned to exploit the continued trend of European borrowers accessing the US high yield market to fund deals alongside bank debt, Shearman & Sterling LLP provides a ‘very commercial service’ to banks and corporates on cross-border new money and refinancing transactions. Korey Fevzi recently advised Interoute Finco on a €350m combined term loan and revolving credit facility (in a transaction which implemented US high yield bond style covenants). Fevzi also recently advised Indian corporate Aditya Birla on a $925m refinancing of existing facilities of certain of its subsidiaries (despite being governed by UK law, the deal implemented New York style covenants). New York law-qualified partner Ronan Wicks heads the European finance group and has strong credibility amongst the investment bank community; he recently advised Bank of America and HSBC on a $200m US and Euro incremental financing for Archroma to finance a dividend and working capital. Caroline Leeds Ruby and dual US and UK-qualified partner Peter Hayes are also recommended.

Simmons & Simmons has a multi-disciplinary finance team that regularly handles new money corporate lending mandates for banks and borrowers. The Nordic region remains a fertile area for the firm and regularly assists lenders with syndicated transactions in the region. Simon Middleton advised Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and the other mandated lead arrangers on a €200m multi-currency revolving credit facility for Valmet Corporation. Middleton also represented Citigroup Global Markets and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, as co-ordinating mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, on a €1bn multicurrency revolving credit facility for Electrolux AB. The ‘helpful and responsive’ Alistair Hill is ‘detail oriented but does not lose sight of the bigger picture’. Other clients include Bank of New York Mellon, British Land, Morgan Stanley and HSBC.

Able to leverage the firm’s international network of offices including a strong presence in the US, Winston & Strawn London LLP regularly acts for lenders and corporates on cross-border mandates. Rebecca Finn acts for a range of conventional lenders, as well as multilateral and development financial institutions; she recently acted for Taiwanese bank, Cathay United Bank, on a $350m syndicated loan to the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam. ‘Personable’ team head Zoe Ashcroft has an excellent reputation for advising borrowers in African financings. The team was bolstered by the arrival of Ian Borman from King & Wood Mallesons in January 2017.

In addition to servicing the firm’s corporate client base, Addleshaw Goddard has a strong following among both clearing banks and alternative lenders, for which it handles an array of financings including investment grade and sub-investment grade corporate lending. Emblematic of the firm’s growing presence in big-ticket deals, Laurie Keel recently advised GVC Holdings on the debt financing on its £1.12bn acquisition of digital entertainment. Subsequent to this, Keel advised GVC on the committed €250m refinancing provided by Nomura International. Amanda Gray and Angus Gill are also recommended. Other clients include Alcentra Debt Funds and Morris Group.

Leveraging its broad-ranging international network of offices, which includes a market-leading Moscow office, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is noted for its strength advising on emerging and developing markets deals, particularly involving energy-related financings. Robert Aulsebrook (one of the ‘best in the City for Russian deals’, according to clients) recently advised LUKOIL on a $500m financing to fund the development of the Gissar gas fields, an onshore gas exploration and production project in Uzbekistan. Lisa Hearn also handles cross-border financings, recently advising VimpelCom on a $200m Swedish export credit backed equipment financing facility, with ING Bank and AB SEK as lenders.

Bracewell (UK) LLP provides an ‘outstanding service’ to lenders and corporates on reserve-based lending transactions. The ‘sharp and commercialJason Fox (who is ‘one of the most experienced oil and gas finance lawyers in the EMEA region’) recently advised Petrogas on a $280m reserve based facility to develop its upstream assets in Oman. Fox is also advising Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration on their $1.75bn development financings for the development of the Leviathan gas field, offshore Israel, arranged and underwritten by JPMorgan and HSBC. Praised for her ‘strong execution capability and commercial understanding’, Olivia Caddy was involved in the aforementioned deal alongside senior associate Suchita Woodward, who is praised for her ‘methodical and detailed approach’. Other clients include Seplat Petroleum, Natixis, Citibank and DNB Bank.

Less siloed than many practices in the ranking, the ‘eclectic’ five-partner banking practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is regularly engaged in high-profile cross-border mandates for a predominantly borrower-side client base including investment grade corporates ArcelorMittal and Continental Foods. Working alongside colleagues in the firm’s New York office, David Billington advised Codere on a US bond issue and an English law super senior revolving credit facility. Polina Lyadnova is noted for her cross-border expertise, particularly on financings related to Russian businesses; she recently acted for Qatar Investment Authority on the financing of its €10.2bn acquisition (alongside Glencore) of a minority stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft.

Praised for its ‘excellent service levels’, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s seven-partner global finance group is picking up an increased number of mandates for investment grade borrowers on their financings. Although best known for his leveraged finance expertise, the ‘excellentStephen Gillespie has handled numerous matters for William Hill, including the financing of its failed merger with Canadian online gambling company, Amaya, and on its investment and related financing in NYX Gaming, a digital gaming supplier, as part of a consortium to acquire OpenBet. Gillespie also acted for satellite services company, SES, on the equity and debt financing of its $710m acquisition of the remaining stake in O3b Networks it did not already own. Thomas Budd is praised for his ‘supreme dedication to client service’.

The ‘responsive and practical’ two-partner team at Greenberg Traurig, LLP handles a range of domestic and cross-border finance work including general corporate lending. A ‘technical wizard’, Emma Menzies recently acted for the mandated lead arrangers on a revolving credit facility provided to Goshawk Aviation. As well as acting on new money mandates, Menzies also regularly handles restructuring work; she recently advised new client DRC Capital on the €48m refinancing of a German property portfolio. Gary Bellingham is the ‘personification of calmness’ and assisted Menzies on her representation of Empyrean as the lender of a bridge facility provided to Ethika Investments and related security and put-option agreements. Other clients include Rentokil, MonuRent Holdings and William Davis Limited.

Well versed across the spectrum of European and US-style financings, Jones Day’s London banking and finance team handles work for an increasingly balanced roster of borrower and lender clients. In addition to the team’s leveraged finance capability, it is also regularly involved in general corporate lending and corporate-led acquisition finance work. Paul Simcock acted for Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and National Car Parks (NCP), in connection with the £160m refinancing of NCP's debt facilities. Simcock also advised Stallergenes Greer on the multi-currency revolving credit facility provided by UBS. Edwin Borrini has expertise across a broad spectrum of financings including energy and infrastructure-related emerging markets mandates.

Although banking and bond powerhouse Latham & Watkins is best known for its market-leading leveraged finance practice, it also receives a considerable and growing amount of corporate lending and corporate-based acquisition finance mandates. The arrival of the ‘excellentStephen Kensell from Allen & Overy LLP in September 2016 brought ‘strong credentials’ in the investment grade debt and syndicated loan market. Kensell advised numerous banks, including Danske Bank, on the SEK10bn combined term loan and revolving credit facility provided to Ahlsell following its recent IPO. Christopher Kandel has very strong credentials among the investment bank community and recently advised the lead arrangers (including Goldman Sachs, HSBC and UniCredit Bank) on TMF Group’s €750m covenant-lite Term Loan B facility and revolving credit facility, to refinance existing senior secured and senior unsecured notes in the institutional loan market.

Regularly working on deals in collaboration with its US colleagues, McGuireWoods London LLP’s increasingly active three-partner London practice has broad ranging expertise, for a predominantly lender side client base, including on cross-border syndicated lending and public takeover financings. Team head Marc Isaacs recently worked alongside colleagues from the firm’s Charlotte office to provide advice on the English law aspects of Bank of America’s revolving credit facility provided to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In another matter that involved significant input from practitioners from the firm’s US offices, Isaacs also acted for Fifth Third on its role as lender and arranger under the amendment and restatement by a five-bank club of the £125m multi-currency facility agreement with Vitec Group. The arrival in February 2017 of Jennifer Kafcas from O'Melveny enhances the team’s capability advising lenders and borrowers in complex structured and cross-border transactions in Europe and the US. Other clients include Wells Fargo Bank, Goldman Sachs and Enstar Group.

Praised for its knowledge of current market trends’, Macfarlanes LLP provides a ‘responsive’ and ‘high-quality service’. Although it is best known for its mid-market private equity-focused leveraged finance work, it also regularly handles bilateral lending and syndicated lending work for investment grade and sub-investment grade borrowers. Team head Christopher Lawrence advised Famar on the refinancing of existing facilities agreements and the granting of a new money facility. Kirstie Hutchinson is ‘very good on black letter law as well as taking into commercial considerations’. Appreciated by clients for her ‘can-do attitude to problem solving’, Bronwen Jones has a ‘high level of technical expertise on fund finance matters’. As well as work for alternative capital providers, the ‘excellentAndrew Perkins is also well regarded for his fund finance expertise. Clients include BNP Paribas, Cimpress Group, Deutsche Bank, Hayfin Capital Management and Encore Group.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP’s debt finance offering in London handles a range of financing work for a growing number of European corporates, in addition to the firm’s established roster of US and Asian corporates. The ‘outstanding’ Phillip Slater recently provided English law input on the debt financing provided to Japanese multinational telecoms company SoftBank on its high-profile £24bn acquisition of ARM Holdings plc. Slater also regularly acts for Just Eat on its ongoing financing requirements, including the amendment and restatement of its credit facilities.

While Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s finance team primarily focuses on servicing its top-notch roster of private equity clients on their leveraged finance transactions, it does also handle some mandates for investment grade corporates. Antti Pesonen recently assisted French electronics retailer, Groupe Fnac, with its €950m term and bridge loan facilities and its €400m revolving credit facility to facilitate its acquisition of Darty plc. Sinead O’Shea and Nicholas Shaw also advised Melrose Industries on the financing for its acquisition of Nortek, a leading diversified global manufacturer of innovative air management, security, home automation and ergonomic and productivity solutions. Other clients include Auto Trader Group, New Look, Pets at Home and Sophos Group.

Leveraging the firm’s pre-eminent M&A reputation in the US, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s London team is regularly involved on the financing aspects of major global mandates for US corporates. Clive Wells recently worked alongside colleagues in the US on the financing for Ball Corporation (including a $3.3bn multi-currency revolving credit facility and a £3.3bn bridge term loan facility) to enable its acquisition of Rexam plc. Pete Coulton has a strong appreciation of various financing techniques and recently advised Reichhold on a €625m unitranche facility for the financing of its merger with Polynt Group. Mark Darley has handled a number of transactions for Jacobs Douwe Egberts including on the financing of its acquisition of Super Group. Counsel Andrew Brown is also recommended.

With numerous dual-qualified New York and UK law practitioners based out of London and also able to tap into the expertise of the firm’s pre-eminent transatlantic reputation, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP regularly acts for corporate borrowers on complex international financings – often involving dual English and New York law financing structures. Presley Warner recently advised Ferrari on the financing of its inaugural €500m notes offering and the establishment of its inaugural €1.5 billion revolving bank credit facility. Presley is also regularly involved, alongside Chris Beatty, on CNH Industrial’s revolving credit bank facility and US capital markets financings.

Although the firm is best known for its mid-market sponsor side offering, Travers Smith LLP also handles a significant amount of financing work for corporate borrowers, in addition to more niche areas including funds financing and financial institution lending. Charles Bischoff has strong credentials among banking clients, with a particular niche in lending to other non-bank financial institutions; he recently represented a syndicate of banks including RBS, Shawbrook Bank and Secure Trust Bank, on the provision of a £85m senior term and revolving credit facility to Non-Standard Finance to facilitate its acquisition of Everyday Loans Holdings. Daniel Peel has a well-established lender side funds finance practice and recently advised on a subscription facility to Europa Fund V.

Praised for its ‘very high standard of service and cost-effective approach’, Bird & Bird LLP has a particularly strong reputation advising conventional commercial banks and development banks on emerging markets financings. The ‘responsive, patient and innovative’ Andrew Hallgarth has ‘vast experience across sectors, jurisdictions and financing instruments’. Recommended for her borrower side emerging markets work, Isabel Evans recently advised The Greater Amman Municipality in Jordan on an innovative €102m infrastructure-related loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Team head Trystan Tether handles a mix of both lender and borrower side work.

Bryan Cave is best known for its lender-side funds finance practice. The firm continues to handle a raft of work for Scotiabank; Gohar Lputian recently advised the client on a €60m revolving facility agreement to JP Morgan American Investment Trust, as well as in relation to a JPY3bn multi-currency revolving facility to JPMorgan Japan Smaller Companies Trust. Ed Marlow and of counsel Martha Collins Rolle are also recommended.

Based out of London and Bristol, Burges Salmon LLP’s six-partner team provides a ‘responsive, knowledgeable and practical’ service to lenders and borrowers (including investment grade corporates) on mid-market transactions, particularly within the energy, transport and real estate sectors. Noted for his expertise in renewables-related financing transactions, Graham Soarwill go the extra mile to get a transaction over the line’; he recently advised Bluefield SIF Investments on the £217m refinancing of its portfolio of solar parks onto a long-term whole-business style debt platform. Team head Richard Leeming acted for longstanding client National Express Group on the provision of a combined £450m financing including a £350m bridge facility (to pay off an existing bond) and a £100m facility for general corporate purposes. Other clients include Lloyds, HSBC and Santander.

Closely integrated with the firm’s derivatives and structured finance offering, Fieldfisher’s banking team provides a ‘commercial and client-oriented service’ to banks and corporates across a range of mid-market transactions, including financings relating to general corporate lending and corporate-led acquisition finance. The ‘very commercial and well-liked’ Robin Spender is regularly involved in acquisition finance mandates in the TMT sector; he recently advised GlobalData on its £100m debt financing. Spender also acted for Conservatory Outlet Group on its senior, mezzanine, invoice discounting and overdraft facilities made available by AIB Group (UK) for the purpose of two staged acquisitions. Philip Abbott is also recommended.

Praised for its ‘excellent industry knowledge and response times’, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP’s two-partner team continues to develop its relationships with debt advisors and corporate clients and is visible in numerous financings, particularly where there is a complex structure, for example, involving both New York law-governed high yield and bank debt (which the firm is particularly well suited to given its US heritage). The ‘responsive’ Johns Lehmann provides ‘sound business advice’ and recently acted for Credit Suisse (as arranger), alongside the firm’s New York and Frankfurt offices, on the $1.55bn term loan and $175m revolving loan facility to finance Onex Corporation and Baring Private Equity’s acquisition of Thomson Reuter’s Intellectual Property & Science business. Stuart Brinkworth is also recommended.

Led by the ‘responsive’ Kirsty Barnes out of London and also including practitioners based in Birmingham, Gowling WLG is particularly well regarded for its mid-market work, where it advises on multi-currency secured and unsecured domestic and cross-border matters. The ‘pragmatic and efficientChris Brierley recently advised Hill Smith Holdings on the amendment and restatement of its banking facilities with a syndicate of banks (including HSBC and Lloyds). ‘Responsive and client-focused’ director Ed Hall is also recommended and handles a range of work for banks and borrowers including corporate banking and real estate finance matters.

Regularly working alongside practitioners from the firm’s US, Moscow and Middle East offices, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s London finance team excels at handling international financing work for a mix of borrowers and lenders. Working alongside several of the firm’s US offices, team head Bruce Johnston advised Sumitomo Corporation on the financing to facilitate the €751m takeover of Fyffes. Thomas O’Connor is recommended for his private placement work for US institutional investors.

Stephenson Harwood’s ten-partner bank lending practice handles a mix of work for lenders and borrowers including syndicated and bilateral corporate lending, corporate-led acquisition financing, funds finance and restructuring. Team head James Linforth recently advised easyHotel on its £12m bank financing provided by Santander, which sat alongside a recent equity raising, to fund its hotel expansion strategy. Senior associate Daniel Margolis supported Linforth on the aforementioned deal and also acted for Insight Investment Management on the term loan to Oakem, a UK-based microfiber fintech challenger, under a £30m facility entered into with RBS.

At Wedlake Bell LLP, team head Hilary Platt has significant experience advising both lenders and corporates across a range of syndicated and bilateral financings, often involving a cross-border component. Platt recently advised longstanding client Day Lewis on the addition of a £5m property facility alongside an existing £160m club financing (previously put in place to refinance the group’s existing debt and to fund further corporate acquisitions). Other clients include Bank of Ireland, Coutts & Co, Honest Burgers and Care UK.

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