Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans in London
Benefiting from deeply entrenched banking ties, and also picking up a sizeable amount of work for investment grade corporates, Allen & Overy LLP has 'deep market insight' across the spectrum of big-ticket syndicated loan mandates for the purposes of general corporate lending, working capital facilities, refinancings and to facilitate M&A transactions. The global corporate lending team is effectively 'able to gather insight from the firm's broader knowledgebase', enabling it to advise on more esoteric/bespoke matters, including deals incorporating Islamic finance facilities and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) considerations. David Campbell has deep knowledge of the syndicated loans market for borrowers and lenders, and is at the forefront of market developments, including as it relates to ESG-related mandates and lending facilities in the aftermath of LIBOR as the interest rate benchmark. Melissa Samuel excels in Nordic-related transactions and is a key member of the team that also includes Simon Roberts . Former head of corporate lending Trevor Borthwick joined Mayer Brown International LLP in April 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Saudi Electric Company
Imperial Brands Plc
Man Group Plc
Manchester City Football Club
Pennon Group Plc
Gym Group Plc
- Advising Pennon Group Plc on a £500m revolving credit facility agreement. Also acted for Pennon on a variety of bilateral matters, including one of the first Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) based loans.
- Advising Saudi Electricity Company on a SAR15.2bn (approximately $4.05bn) syndicated murabaha facility.
- Advising Neste Oyj on its €1.2bn revolving credit facility. There was an ESG element to this facility where part of the financing was linked to achieving renewable energy targets in the form of bio fuels rather than oil.
Benefiting from a large and experienced team based in London and also able to leverage the expertise of lawyers spread throughout the firm's global network, Clifford Chance LLP is well-positioned to represent lenders and large corporate clients on syndicated cross-border lending transactions, both in terms of pan-European deals, as well as in the context of European borrowers syndicating in the US. The firm's panel relationship with the London Market Association (LMA) ensures that it is 'really on top of new and upcoming issues in syndicated lending' and is thereby able to advise on best practice in light of changes to market conditions. The firm has, for example, been at the vanguard of the rapidly developing ESG market; the 'smart and pragmatic' Nicola Wherity recently advised the co-ordinating banks on a high-profile jumbo sustainability linked €1.5bn revolving facility for a major global telecommunications and technology group. As part of her broad-ranging finance practice, the 'extremely driven and thoughtful' Emma Folds regularly handles investment grade-related syndicated finance mandates. The 'vastly experienced' Charles Cochrane has strong lender side credentials and is a key member of the team that also includes a number of 'very impressive' junior partners, including David Robson and Nick Kinnersley, whose broad-ranging workflow includes general corporate lending and public bid financings.
‘Strong team, very experienced, on LMA panel so really on top of new/upcoming issues in syndicated lending.’
‘Nicola Wherity – smart, pragmatic, extensive knowledge. Emma Folds – extremely driven, excellent attention to detail, thinks about everything. Bettina Steinhauer and Barbara Mayer-Trautmann as leaders in German market. Giuseppe de Palma and Charles Adams as leaders in Italian market.’
‘Excellent market knowledge, understanding of us as a client and drafting ability.’
‘Excellent client management and provision of services across a wide range of practice areas and jurisdictions. Nicola Wherity gives excellent service as our main partner contact, as well as having in depth knowledge of our product area and our own business. Toby Mann and Deborah Neale are both excellent drafting lawyers.’
Jaguar Land Rover
- Advising the mandated lead arrangers on the £1.4bn senior and second lien facilities which (together with an equity preference share fund raising) supported TDR Capital’s £2bn take private of car auctioneer BCA Marketplace.
- Advised Partners Group on the acquisition of CapeOmega, a leading offshore infrastructure platform in Norway, including the NOK10.37bn ($1.2bn) term, revolving and capex facilities supporting the acquisition.
- Advised the Coordinators on a high-profile jumbo sustainability linked €1.5bn revolving facility for a major global telecommunications and technology group.
With 34 banking partners based in London and also able to draw from the expertise of lawyers spread throughout the firm’s international network, Linklaters LLP is comfortably able to resource a tremendous volume of cross-border syndicated lending transactions, ranging from general corporate lending mandates, through to those implementing sophisticated capital structures for corporate-led acquisition finance deals. Philip Spittal leads the global loans team that remains best-known for its ‘top-notch’ lender side offering and sees it receiving huge market flow and visibility as a result of longstanding and robust relationships with a raft of leading commercial/investment banks, including Barclays and JP Morgan. ‘The very approachable, knowledgeable and commercial’ Oliver Edwards is well-liked by lenders in the market, which appreciate his ‘unparalleled client dedication’ and his expertise across a range of financing mandates, including in relation to margin lending. Toby Grimstone advises lenders and borrowers on general corporate lending and corporate acquisition finance mandates, often with a nexus to emerging markets, including mining-related transactions in Africa. Ian Callaghan advises an eclectic mix of stakeholders, including corporates, banks and alternative credit providers, on public and private acquisition financings and cross-border syndicated lending. Managing associate Caroline Courtney is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Reliable and knowledgeable, generally they are in our top three pick for margin loan situations.’
‘Oliver Edwards is outstanding and his dedication to clients unparalleled. Very approachable, precise, knowledgeable and commercial.’
Bank of America
- Advised National Westminster Bank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas in connection with a post IPO financing for The Watches of Switzerland Group.
- Advised ConvaTec Group Plc, and various of its subsidiaries, which entered into new $1.7bn term and revolving credit facilities.
- Advised the global co-ordinators, mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners that includes J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, on a revolving credit facility, senior secured notes and covenant lite Term Loan B for the global French food retailer, the Casino Group.
Slaughter and May
Leveraging its blue riband roster of institutional investment grade corporate relationships, Slaughter and May’s ‘depth of borrower expertise is unique in the market’. The firm’s pre-eminent borrower practice is reflected not only through its transactional work but also in the advice it provides to the leading corporate trade body, the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), on LMA documentation relevant to investment grade corporates (this was most recently updated to reflect ongoing reforms to LIBOR, Euribor and other benchmarks). The ‘fantastically commercial’ Matthew Tobin is well-versed at handling a broad array of financing mandates for investment grade corporates, including his recent work for a UK REIT on a revolving credit facility which incorporated a 'green' tranche of debt. Philip Snell advises the treasury departments of a number of large multinational corporations on their financing transactions and the corporate aspects of these.
Other key lawyers:
‘Richard Jones is absolutely excellent.’
INEOS Group Ltd
Premier Oil plc
Derwent London plc
Watches of Switzerland plc
Tata Steel Netherlands Holdings BV
Impala Terminals Group S.à.r.l.
Lonza Group AG
Signature Aviation plc
Equiniti Group plc
Vodafone Group plc
CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V.
McKay Securities PLC
- Advised INEOS Finance Plc on the raising of approximately €141m by way of a secured Schuldschein assignable loan.
- Advised Premier Oil on the implementation strategy for proposed UK North Sea acquisitions, underwritten funding arrangements (including a $500m placing and rights issue) and the proposed extension of Premier Oil’s existing debt facilities.
- Advised Prudential Plc and M&G Plc on the complex financing matters which arose as part of the demerger of M&G from Prudential.
Co-headed by the ‘thoughtful and considered’ Tim Rennie and the ‘calm and pragmatic’ Nicholas Moore, the corporate lending team at Ashurst provides a ‘very commercial service’ to a balanced roster of lenders and borrowers. As well as providing ‘a very cost-effective service’ on relatively standardised lending facilities for, inter alia, working capital and general corporate purposes, the team is also at the vanguard of recent trends in the market, including advice on facilities based on the SONIA benchmark and in relation to debt products incorporating Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) considerations. ‘Outstanding’ senior associate Briony Holcombe is a key member of the investment grade practice and as well as her pivotal work on ESG-related mandates, has also been a central figure within the team’s ‘market-leading’ LIBOR transition practice. Senior associate Darren Phelan specialises in investment grade syndicated and bilateral loan financing transactions, including event-driven financings.
‘The Ashurst team are proactive and enthusiastic about their work – they are happy to get into the detail quickly and give a commercial view as well as a legal one.’
‘Tim Rennie is thoughtful, considered and has a calm temperament on complex issues.’
‘Briony Holcombe – outstanding senior associate who understands the client’s processes and procedures as well as the transaction.’
‘Longstanding relationship which has seen continuous evolution of the business and our funding needs/structure. Advice always constructive and commercial, with very strong link to current market conditions. Responsive and efficient.’
‘Nick Moore is lead partner for us. Has clear understanding of the business and how our funding needs evolve. Understands and guides us through the links of bank debt to all other financing we have. Good to work with. All the team personable and committed.’
‘Tim Rennie – very good knowledge of loan markets and facilities. Tim provides very clear guidance on what can/cannot be achieved under the facilities being negotiated.’
‘I deal mainly with partner Nick Moore and associate Sarah Winter. Both are very responsive and customer focused. I feel as though they understand the challenges that we are facing as a lender and strike the right balance between protecting our interests and reaching a commercial agreement which is acceptable to our clients.’
‘The combination of Nick Moore and Darren Phelan works seamlessly. As a client I feel supported and that I have access to the team whenever I need them. Calls are returned swiftly, deadlines are met and the quality of output is consistently high.’
AVEVA Group Plc
Tritax Big Box REIT
Tritax EuroBox Plc
- Advised BP on a $10bn two-year syndicated multicurrency revolving credit facility, put in place to provide additional liquidity headroom in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and disruption in the oil market.
- Advised NatWest on its inaugural SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average) loan to National Express Group PLC.
- Advised Lazard & Co., Limited in relation to Berkeley Bidco Limited (a newly incorporated company formed on behalf of KIRKBI Invest A/S , Blackstone Core Equity Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (together the ‘Consortium’))’s £4.77bn recommended cash offer for Merlin Entertainments Plc
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's corporate debt team is regularly engaged in syndicated and bilateral lending transactions for investment grade rated entities. Team head Kristen Roberts is very well-connected to the treasury teams at numerous FTSE corporates, enabling him to gain an excellent perspective of market trends. In addition to his transactional practice, Roberts is appreciated for his thought leadership in the corporate debt market and continues to work with the ACT to compile an annual corporate debt and treasury report (highlighting key trends in the market). On the lender front, the firm has particular niches in the energy sector – where it is a market leader in advising banks on reserve-based lending facilities – as well as with regard to multi-sourced financings in the emerging markets. Senior associate Elliot Beard regularly advises FTSE 250 clients on their general corporate financings in the banking and US private placement markets.
Other key lawyers:
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken
Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS)
National Westminster Bank
Bazalgette Tunnel Limited
Corporate Travel Management Limited
- Advising G4S Plc on numerous financings, including on a new $350m term loan facility and on the amendment and extension of its existing revolving credit facility to create a £700m multi-currency revolving facility.
- Advised a syndicate of banks on the amendment and extension of Coca-Cola’s €800m revolving credit facility. The amendments included a new ESG reporting regime.
- Advising Corporate Travel Management Limited on the cross-border refinancing of the group’s existing syndicate and facilities.
Headed by the ‘responsive and accessible’ Nick Tostivin, the ‘very knowledgeable and friendly’ banking and finance team at Baker McKenzie combines ‘great legal expertise with commercial sense’, to effectively represent borrowers (including investment grade corporates) and lenders. Benefiting from ‘fantastic expertise in all forms of ECA finance and related funding solutions’, the team is particularly well-versed at handling multi-sourced emerging markets mandates, including in sub-Saharan Africa.
‘Very knowledgeable and friendly lawyers who are easy to approach and are also fun to work with and they can listen. Great legal expertise combined with commercial sense. Broad experience and quick to adapt to culture of their client. Always solution driven, aware to deliver cost-efficiently for their client. Fantastic expertise in all forms of ECA finance and related funding solutions with a very broad global network of lawyers/firms.’
‘Luka Lightfood, Oliver Socher and Kathrin Marchardt are all excellent lawyers, very broad knowledge base, German language skills, and do understand the ECA business very well. Very quick to understand new legal situations, and always provide great guidance. Very calm and professional approach to borrowers while advising lenders. All three would always be first choice!’
‘Focused team with deep knowledge of documentation issues for banking transactions.’
‘Nick Tostivin is responsive, accessible, able to see the bigger relationship picture with us as his client. Bespoke advice informed by our own priorities and key concerns on individual transactions.’
Standard Chartered Bank
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
UK Export Finance
Bank of Ireland
Impala Platinum Holdings
The Royal Bank of Scotland
- Advising Standard Chartered Bank as the global coordinator and structuring bank, a mandated lead arranger, a bookrunner, lender and agent and the other lenders (including development finance institutions) and export credit agencies on a multi-source financing for the Tanzanian Light Rail Project.
- Advised Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG Bank, Natixis, Société Générale and UK Export Finance on three separate dual tranched and commercial financings for the design, construction and development of three hospitals in Oman.
- Acted for the lenders on a multi-facility waste to energy project in Istanbul, Turkey.
Dentons is well-versed at handling cross-border syndicated lending transactions, governed by UK law, for borrowers (including investment grade corporates) and commercial banks, where it is also aided by practitioner spread across the firm’s huge international network of offices. Isaac Felberbaum heads up the syndicated loans team and excels at representing lending syndicates providing liquidity to other financial institutions in the emerging markets. The team was strengthened by the arrival in August 2019 of the ‘exceptional’ Simon Middleton from Simmons & Simmons, particularly in light of his ‘broad-ranging banking prowess’ and niche Nordic expertise.
RBS / NatWest
Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD)
Republic of Kenya
Duferco SA and Duferco International Trading Holdings SA (DITH)
- Advising Ryanair on a low cost unsecured €750m syndicated facility.
- Advising the Ghana Cocoa Board on a $600m syndicated receivables-backed loan.
- Advising the Republic of Kenya on a $1bn dual currency loan facility agreement.
Although recently perhaps slightly overshadowed by the firm’s market-leading mid to upper-mid market credit funds-centred leveraged finance practice, Hogan Lovells International LLP remains a popular choice among commercial banks for corporate lending activity, in particular. The team has deep engagement in market developments, and as well as its involvement in a growing number of impact financing mandates, has also established a well-received tool-kit to enable clients to deal with the discontinuation of LIBOR. The firm excels at handling financings within highly regulated sectors, including insurance, an area in which the ‘knowledgeable and creative’ Penny Angell is particularly well-versed. Global head of finance Matthew Cottis regularly handles general syndicated lending work for both lenders and investment grade corporates.
‘Strengths are a high level of expertise, professionalism, patience, work very hard and meet deadlines despite impossible situations.’
‘Penny Angel is a leader in the field of acquisition finance for life companies. Her skills, her patience, her knowledge, her flexibility, her creativity and adaptability are top of this field.’
‘Simon Thrower is very good at his job.’
‘Commercial. Timely interventions to get things moving/done. Clarity of advice. Availability of partners.’
Lloyds Banking Group
Standard Chartered Bank
- Advised the Luxembourg company Swissport Group S.à r.l. and its subsidiaries, on the launch of a €1.63bn debt package to refinance a part of its outstanding debt.
- Acting for the syndicate of lenders on the refinancing of unsecured revolving credit facilities provided to the Phoenix Group.
- Advising Citibank on a $1.6bn syndicated borrowing base financing for Preem AB, the largest fuel company in Sweden.
Headed by Chris Brown, the 'very strong' team at Norton Rose Fulbright has an excellent reputation for handling multi-jurisdictional financings for banks and borrowers in core firm-wide sector specialisms, including infrastructure, technology and mining commodities. Recent work has included several large syndicated borrowing base facilities within the energy/commodities sector, mandates which required significant co-ordination across the firm's international network of offices. As well as the firm's work for commercial banks, it also has experience advising on ECA-backed financings and on behalf of development finance institutions, particularly on deals with an African nexus. The firm also benefits from access to ancillary areas of expertise, including asset-based lending (ABL) and Islamic finance, ensuring that it is able to handle the more bespoke transactions in the market.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have always used Michael Ings and his team. Michael is hugely knowledgeable in this area with extensive experience of banking documentation. He has also attracted around him a very strong team.’
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
JP Morgan Chase
Bank of China
Islamic Bank of Asia
Western Alliance bank
TCW Asset Management
Standard Chartered Bank
- Advised Coca-Cola HBC, one of the world’s largest bottlers of the Coca-Cola Company’s brands, on the amendment, extension and increase of its existing multi-currency revolving credit facility to €800m.
- Advised Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank on a $600m facility to Veon Holdings.
- Advised the lenders on the provision of $1.85bn facilities for Sasol Limited.
While a significant proportion of White & Case LLP's banking and finance workload falls squarely within the leveraged finance space - driven by its strong private credit fund and banking ties, in particular - the team's versatility and strength across the capital structure (from both a UK and US-governed law perspective) also ensures it picks up a fairly large share of broader corporate-led acquisition finance and investment grade corporate lending work. Head of EMEA bank lending, Jeremy Duffy has excellent ties with numerous major investment banks which he regularly advises on corporate lending work, in addition to leveraged finance mandates. Christopher Czarnocki has an excellent reputation in relation to emerging markets matters for corporates, lenders and sovereign borrowers.
Other key lawyers:
‘The W&C team combines strong technical knowledge and responsiveness with good commercial sense. What I think differentiates them from the rest is that they are also aware of what are the key considerations of their clients and what they are willing to adapt to the market. Having that focus on providing a tailored offering is what I believe sets them apart from their peers.’
GSO Capital Partners
Goldman Sachs PIA
- Advised Goldman Sachs (and others) on a €360m term loan and €80m RCF to GHD Verwaltung GesundHeits GmbH Deutschland to refinance the Group’s existing debt and finance/refinance the Group’s working capital requirements.
- Representation of Goldman Sachs Bank USA as mandated lead arranger, Lucid Agency Services Limited as agent and Lucid Trustee Services Limited as security trustee, in connection with $1.66bn equivalent senior secured term loan facilities to We Soda, the world’s largest soda ash producer, with operations in Turkey and the United States, wholly owned by the Ciner Group.
Led from London by Steve Mackie and also able to tap into the expertise of lawyers throughout its regional offices, including Manchester and Leeds, Addleshaw Goddard is 'very easy to deal with' and provides a strong service to clearing banks on mid-market bilateral, club and syndicated mandates. Under the guidance of the 'approachable and practical' Mike Davison, the firm is also able to provide corporate lending expertise utilising the increasingly popular ABL product. The arrival in June 2019 of Zoe Connor from Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP also broadens the scope of the firm's finance capabilities, in light of her speciality finance and funds finance expertise.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very easy to deal with, keep things simple.’
‘Focus on building a long-term relationship with me.’
Bluebay (now renamed Arcmont)
- Acted for Close Brothers Premium Finance in relation to its provision of £100m acquisition and revolving collateral working capital Facilities to the Ardonagh Group in connection with its £165m acquisition of Swinton Insurance.
- Advised the club of lenders on the recapitalisation of the Horizon Private Equity owned DMC – Canotec Group.
- Advising the club of lenders on the recapitalisation of the Pollen Street Capital owned Miles Smith insurance brokerage business.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Leveraging strong lender relationships, with clearing banks in particular, and also instructed by a significant roster of publicly-listed corporates, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's 'very responsive, efficient and commercial' bank lending team has an excellent grounding in relation to handling syndicated, club and bilateral investment grade financings. The 'exceptional' Derek Hrydziuszko provides 'high-quality advice' to lenders and investment grade corporates across a range of debt finance mandates. Emma Howdle-Fuller heads the team.
‘Outstanding team, virtual extension of the bank, incredibly responsive and helpful in all circumstances. A key part of our own success.’
‘Responsiveness and very open approach – very easy to work with and open to non-expert questions and queries from our business and its clients.’
‘Very responsive, efficient and commercial. Excellent advice.’
‘Derek Hrydziuszko acted for us and was excellent, as always. His advice was high quality, turnaround time exceptional, and he was very commercial.’
‘Pragmatism and a one team ethos to get the job done!’
‘Daisy Reeves is simply excellent.’
True Talent Inc
Gardner Denver Inc
Sage Publications Inc
ServerFarm Global Holdings Limited
Laboratorio Dr. Larrasa S.L.U
Colne Bridge Investments Limited
Wells Fargo Bank International Unlimited Company
- Advised Gett on the restructuring of its $130m financing from Sberbank and related equity raise of circa $100m.
- Advised Redde Plc on the amendment and restatement of its revolving credit facility agreement into a £55m financing with HSBC UK Bank.
- Advised Playtech Plc in connection with its existing seven bank €297m syndicated facility agreement.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Although Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's relatively small finance team lacks the critical mass to handle a significant volume of mandates, its ability to leverage an impressive roster of institutional corporate relationships with the likes of Arcelor Mittal and UC Rusal ensures that it is frequently engaged in big-ticket debt financing mandates. Dual-qualified UK and Russian partner Polina Lyadnova has an excellent reputation advising borrowers in emerging markets mandates across the capital structure; she recently advised UC Rusal on its $1.085bn financing which was the first-ever sustainability-linked syndicated facility in Russia. The firm is also noted for its pre-eminent sovereign debt capability.
Belron (parent company of Autoglass)
Eurasian Resources Group
Government of Barbados
Republic of Senegal
The Hellenic Republic (Greece)
- Represented UC Rusal in its $1.085bn sustainability-linked aluminum pre-export finance term facility.
- Advised the Government of Barbados in the $774m restructuring of their outstanding US dollar-denominated external bonds, loans and domestic bonds.
- Advised ArcelorMittal on the $7bn syndicated bridge loan for the acquisition, by way of a joint venture with Nippon Steel Corporation, of Essar Steel India Limited out of Indian bankruptcy proceedings
CMS has strong relationships with the UK clearing banks, ensuring that it picks up a significant volume of bilateral and syndicated lending mandates in the context of event-driven financings, as well as general corporate lending for many FTSE 250 clients. As part of his broad-ranging finance practice, Alex Patience has a strong track record advising banking syndicates for UK-listed corporates. Sector strengths include energy, healthcare and hotels/leisure.
Other key lawyers:
The 'highly skilled and technically excellent' team at DLA Piper has 'broad knowledge and deep experience', enabling it to advise lenders and borrowers across the full range and lifecycle of domestic and international lending transactions. The firm's strong clearing bank relationships leads to significant corporate lending deal flow, which it is able to cost-effectively resource utilising London-based lawyers as well as those in key regional centres including Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. The 'exceptional' Mark Dwyer is regularly instructed on investment grade debt finance mandates, a corollary of his superb overarching borrower side practice.
‘Brilliant partner in charge (Andy Kolacki) and great, responsive team generally. Commercial understanding, work ethics, pragmatic approach and extremely skilled people are some aspects that come to mind. As a GC, it is generally a joy to be working with them.’
‘Fantastic, highly skilled and technically excellent team. They have broad experience and deep knowledge which has made negotiations smooth and efficient.’
‘Mark Dwyer is exceptional. Mei Mei Wong is excellent.’
INEOS Enterprises Holdings Limited
Neqsol Holdings Limited
Motion Acquisition Limited
Apollo Global Management
Symphony Technology Group
- Advised Biffa Plc on a £350m multicurrency revolving facility from a syndicate of ten banks, with Barclays Bank as agent.
- Acted for INEOS Enterprises Holdings Limited (alongside Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP) on its circa $1.5bn TLA/TLB refinancing under a New York law credit agreement, acting as English counsel and coordinating counsel.
- Acting for LivaNova Plc on a $350m credit facility.
Co-headed by Mohamed Nurmohamed and Sam Hamilton, the 'very strong' finance team at Latham & Watkins has 'impressive breadth and depth' for lenders and borrowers on deals implementing debt from throughout the capital structure and spanning UK and US loan and capital markets products. Although the firm has built its name in London as a result of its market-leading leveraged finance offering, its strong investment banking relationships also ensure that it regularly picks up its fair share of syndicated loans work and investment grade M&A financings. Recently appointed as managing partner of the firm, Stephen Kensell maintains an active creditor-side finance practice which includes investment grade M&A and IPO-related finance.
The Carlyle Group
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Advised on the refinancing of Soho House.
- Advised on the increasing of Intrum AB’s revolving credit facility, from €1.37bn to €1.8bn.
- Advised on the amendment and extension to term loans and revolving credit facilities for EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C., a provider of petrochemical products primarily in Kuwait.
Led by Andrew Perkins, the 'strong and responsive' banking and finance team at Macfarlanes LLP has 'in-depth knowledge' across the spectrum of debt finance products for a borrower-focused client roster, that in addition to its core private equity sponsor clientele, also includes numerous listed companies. 'A great lawyer to have on your side', Kirstie Hutchinson provides 'practical and pragmatic advice' and is a key member of the team that was recently bolstered by the arrival in August 2020 of Malcolm Hitching from Ropes & Gray LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Seamless service. The Macs team is always joined up and pulling in same direction.’
‘Kirstie Hutchison is our relationship partner. Kirstie takes the time to understand our businesses (not always easy, across a diverse portfolio of 20 companies) and also our operating style, in order to tailor engagements. Services have been delivered across bank lending, fund structuring, litigation, tax and compliance. Kirstie sources the right team and ensures a joined up delivery. In terms of professional approach, I find Kirstie easy going, pragmatic and very commercial.’
‘The team has remained consistent over the past two and a half years so they know our business very well. They are extremely well informed with current affairs which means they can pass on excellent advice and advise accordingly. The client facing team have an outstanding support team working in the background who are also very engaging and responsive when needed.’
‘Both the partner, Kirstie Hutchinson, and senior solicitor, George Silber, were faultless. They were always available and pro-active with their engagement, and delivered most if not all work in the time expected even under immense time pressure. In negotiations, they clearly have the best interest of the client in mind whilst trying to strike an amicable balance with the vendor.’
‘What makes them stand out is their personal approach to client management; at times it felt they were not a third-party law firm but rather our in-house lawyers. This makes engaging them second nature and all helps with achieving the common goal.’
‘Kirstie Hutchinson is a tour de force and her skill and expertise (both technical and general commercial) is unparalleled in her practice area. Her attention to detail is exemplary and her advice is at the forefront of legal practice. We feel incredibly lucky to have her as our advising counsel.’
‘George Silber is a senior solicitor at the top of his game and with huge potential. I expect to see him come to the fore in leading roles in the not-too-distant future.’
‘Andrew Perkins, Sarah Ward, Richard Fletcher and team have extensive coverage of the Funds market and are alive to the latest trends and developments in both borrower and lender side requirements. I think they are involved in a broad variety of transactions across the Funds finance space and have a deep bench of associates who can be relied upon.’
Anglian Windows Limited (Anglian)
Alchemy Special Opportunities LLP (Alchemy)
Argus Media Limited
Cumberland Farms Inc
Hyve Group Plc
J D Wetherspoon Plc
Smith & Williamson Holdings Limited
Stonehage Fleming & Family Partners Limited
- Advised Smith & Williamson Holdings Limited on the agreed combination with the Tilney Group (effected by way of a scheme of arrangement) which will create the UK’s leading integrated wealth management and professional services group with over £45bn assets under management and £500m of revenues.
- Advised Hyve Group Plc on its refinancing in conjunction with its acquisition of Shoptalk Commerce LLC and Groceryshop LLC.
- Advised Anglian, a British home improvements firm specialising in double glazing and conservatories, on an asset-based lending agreement with Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited which was used to refinance a complex set of secured loan facilities.
Co-headed by Dominic Griffiths and Alex Dell, who are both known for their ABL and structured finance expertise, in particular, Mayer Brown International LLP's banking and finance team provides flexible debt solutions to lenders and borrowers across a range of syndicated and bilateral new money mandates and refinancings. Aided by a comprehensive international network, which includes practitioners based in other key global financial centres including Hong Kong and New York, much of the team's work is of a multi-jurisdictional nature and often includes UK and US-governed debt products. The arrival in April 2020 of Allen & Overy LLP's former global head of corporate lending Trevor Borthwick is a real statement of intent from the firm and adds significant gravitas to the team in light of his superb credentials in the market.
‘The capital markets team at Mayer Brown is very client focused, accessible and combines the right skills to deliver exactly what a client needs. The team members are very skilled lawyers, going the extra mile for their clients.’
‘Bernd Bohr – Extremely precise and technically very good capital markets lawyer; very accessible and quick to answer; very customer focused.’
‘James Taylor – Technically very skilled lawyer with a very high client focus.’
- Advised BayernLB and IKB in connection with a subsidised, amortising term loan facility for FTSE 100 company DS Smith.
- Advised Alcon and several of its subsidiaries in connection with a $3.8bn and €350m multi-currency, multi-borrower syndicated facilities agreement arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS.
- Advised Novartis and Novartis Finance Corporation on a $7bn short-term (bridge) credit agreement to fund a portion of the purchase price for the proposed acquisition of NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company The Medicines Company for $9.7bn.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Led from London by Martin Bishop and aided by a strong regional offering, Pinsent Masons LLP is a compelling proposition for UK clearing banks and a viable alternative to Magic Circle firms on smaller UK-based corporate finance mandates for investment grade corporates. Liam Terry has excellent visibility in the UK investment grade lending market, as a result of his work for UK clearing banks on bilateral, club and syndicated loans.
‘Pinsent Masons is experienced in different areas.’
Santander UK Plc
Aareal Bank AG
Banco Santander, S.A., London Branch
- Advised the bank syndicate in relation to £180m of facilities for a listed British luxury clothing retail company.
- Advised a UK clearing bank in relation to $700m of facilities for a leading provider of automotive finance services.
- Advised the bank syndicate in relation to $259m of facilities for the world’s largest media service company.
Well-versed across both UK and US-law governed debt products, including high-yield bonds and Term Loan B, Ropes & Gray LLP's three-partner team has a strong reputation advising large multinational corporates on event-driven financings, general corporate lending activity and refinancings. The telecoms sector remains a particular area of focus, as a result of the firm's regular flow of big-ticket financings for Altice and Liberty Global. Michael Kazakevich heads the three-partner team.
Baring Private Equity Asia
TSG Consumer Partners
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
Intermediate Capital Group Plc
Fortress Investment Corporation
Therium Capital Management
Liberty Latin America
- Advised BidFair Limited and its affiliates in connection with the financing aspects of the $3.7bn acquisition of Sotheby’s.
- Advised Goldman Sachs in connection with the bridge and revolving financing supporting the SEK13bn public takeover offer by the Af Jochnick family in respect of Oriflame Holding, an international beauty company.
- Advised Intermediate Capital Group Plc and Bain Capital Credit as lenders on the financing of the £1.3bn acquisition of Study Group, a leading provider of international education in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.
Benefiting from practitioners on the ground in London with dual-US and UK qualifications, Shearman & Sterling LLP is well-positioned to exploit the continued use of US technologies in the UK/European markets. As well as receiving a significant flow of leveraged and corporate lending mandates on the back of the firm's strong ties with numerous investment banks, the team also picks up a considerable volume of work for investment grade corporates on their financing requirements. The firm recently advised Coca-Cola European Partners in connection with the amendment and extension of its existing syndicated multi-currency revolving credit facility (RCF) incorporating sustainability pricing mechanism linking the margin of the RCF to sustainability targets. EMEA finance team leader Peter Hayes and Mei Lian both recently left to join Paul Hastings LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good legal firm for our complex financial transactions.’
Bank of Nova Scotia
Ardagh Packaging Holdings Ltd
Coca-Cola European Partners Plc
Marlin Equity Partners
AlbaCore Capital Group
- Advised the lead arranging bank in connection with SYNLAB’s €920m Term Loan B financing.
- Represented Coca-Cola European Partners Plc in connection with the amendment and extension of its existing syndicated multi-currency revolving credit facility.
- Advised Ardagh Packaging Holdings Ltd in connection with matters relating to the European receivable refinancing of certain of its trade receivables and the formation of Trivium Packaging.
Simmons & Simmons
Although Simon Middleton 's departure to Dentons in September 2019 impacted Simmons & Simmons’ financing capabilities, particularly in relation to its ability to service Nordic-related work, the arrival shortly thereafter of Gowling WLG's former head of UK banking, Kirsty Barnes , adds fresh impetus to the practice, in light of her strong domestic banking ties. Led by Helen Hagan , the newly configured team is appreciated for its ability to provide 'clear and concise legal opinions which are based in the real, commercial context'. In addition to handling a steady diet of general corporate lending, acquisition financing and refinancing mandates, under the guidance of the 'knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking' Jen Yee Chan , the team is also well regarded for its funds finance capability.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking. They provided us with quick turnaround times on reviewing and commenting on amendments to the documentation and helpful insight when things needed additional explanation. I would welcome working with them again in the future.’
‘Jen Yee Chan is a fantastic source of support and knowledge. My experience of working with her extends back beyond her time at Simmons & Simmons and she has always been someone whose views and opinions I value and respect.’
‘Understands the market, and is forthcoming with ideas/trouble shooting.’
‘Helpful in coming up with structural ideas, and keeping track of market information.’
‘S&S provide clients with two important capabilities: clear, concise legal opinions which are based in the real, commercial context. Both are critical and valued. They’re an accessible, practical, team too.’
‘I’ve worked with a number of partners over the years where I now deal with Cara Sykes. She has the attributes above: pragmatism, strong legal view, commercial acumen, strong focus on delivery.’
‘A friendly team who provide good advice and guidance to take you through the process. Would definitely use Simmons & Simmons in the future.’
‘The team show a sensible approach to issues and provide workable solutions. They understand our business and what is important.’
- Advised private equity-owned company Nurture Landscapes on a £40m financing mandate.
- Advised Endava Plc on a new £200m multi-currency revolving credit facility.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Led by Mark Darley, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's three-partner team is well-versed at handling complex new money financings and refinancings for a borrower-focused client base. Deriving standalone mandates, as well as being fed a significant pipeline of work from investment grade borrowers generated by the firm's market-leading US corporate practice, the team excels at structuring deals utilising complex layers of debt and often involving a combination of US and European finance techniques.
CTH Invest & other investment vehicles of the Ferrero Family office
DH Private Equity Partners
Arrow Capital Management
Sophos Group Plc
Affidea Intermediate Group
Ares Life Sciences
Ashtead Group Plc
- Represented Ball Corporation on the refinancing of its debt facilities (originally incurred in connection with its acquisition of Rexam Plc).
- Represented UCB SA, a Belgian listed pharma company, on the certain funds financing of its bid for US-listed pharma company Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Represented CTH Invest S.A. (a Ferrero affiliate) in connection with the financing of Kelsen Group A.S., from Campbell Soup Company.
Praised for its 'incredible work ethic and helpfulness', Travers Smith LLP's ten-partner finance team's reputation is growing in areas beyond its core sponsor driven mid-market heartland. Under the guidance of Matthew Ayre , it has continued to develop its lender practice, both in relation to core acquisition and corporate lending work, as well as in niche areas including funds finance. On the borrower front, the firm regularly assists portfolio companies in new money financings/refinancings and also advises a significant number of listed corporates.
‘Responsiveness has been a key attribute.’
‘Incredible work ethic and helpfulness.’
Royal Bank of Scotland International
Silicon Valley Bank
National Westminster Bank
Benchmark Holdings Plc
- Advised Safestore Holdings Plc and its French business Une Pièce En Plus on its c. £595m refinancing. The transaction involved a new US private placement of notes of £65m and €70m in addition to Safestore’s existing banking facilities from multiple bank lenders.
- Advised Shawbrook Bank on its third and largest unitranche deal to date as part of the bank’s new offering in this space.
- Advised one of the most active fund finance lenders in the European market on the provision of €200m subscription line facility to a PERE, following a current trend in the market, where funds that have previously had facilities documented on a bilateral basis, are now moving to full LMA syndicated documents for the first time.
Winston & Strawn LLP's 'commercial and practical' team excels in advising lenders and corporates on complex/bespoke cross-border financings, which require a partner-led service and knowledge across a wide variety of debt products, including more abstruse structured financing techniques. Praised for her 'wide breadth of experience' and 'tireless commitment to results', corporate and finance head Zoë Ashcroft has developed a particularly strong track record advising borrowers on the UK-law governed financing associated with emerging markets-related work (including in relation to sub-Saharan African deals).
‘Partner level involvement and attention throughout. Cross-border financings, often coordinating input and advice from local counsel in multiple jurisdictions. Responsive and results oriented. Commercial, practical, client solutions focused. Highly collaborative, personal approach: Winston & Strawn get the results and make working with them an enjoyable experience.’
‘Winston & Strawn stand out for their efficiency, delivering top-flight advice without padding the team, and without sacrificing quality.’
‘We’ve worked closely with Ian Borman and Daniela Cohen. They both know their financing documents inside and out. Ian’s ability to think on his feet and muster the right arguments in a fast-moving negotiation is truly remarkable. You want Ian and Daniela on your side of the table.’
Bank of Ireland
Corrum Capital Management LLC
General American Capital Partners
Argand Partners, LLC
- Represented BNP Paribas on $330m senior secured credit facilities in support of the acquisition by First Reserve of the Flow Control Division of Weir Group.
- Represented Capdesia Group Limited on its combined debt and junior equity investment in Wasabi restaurants.
- Advised PetIQ on entering into a debt financing in order to acquire a division of Perrigo.
Praised for its 'proactive approach to problem solving', Akin Gump LLP has two crucial limbs to its London finance practice. One is the borrower-focused finance offering, that under the guidance of Robert Aulsebrook excels at handling emerging markets-related matters for the likes of Lukoil, the Russian oil company that he continues to advise across myriad different financings (including as it relates to syndicated and club loans, pre-export finance and acquisition finance). The other is the institutional private placement sub group, which continues to thrive under the guidance of US-qualified partner Thomas O’Connor and leads on both new money opportunities (including as it relates to investment-grade unsecured note placements) and work in a restructuring context.
‘Deep knowledge of the client’s requirements and ability to consistently stick to them in the documentation.’
‘Proactive approach to problem solving.’
‘Full dedication to client, excellent timing of processing client’s requests, thorough knowledge of the client’s business practices and internal procedures.’
LUKOIL Overseas Uzbekistan Ltd.
Lukinter Finance BV
CEVA Group Plc
Pricoa Private Capital
- Represented the institutional investors including Pricoa and Cigna in a financing provided to Giddings Fruit S.A. in line with a New York law-governed Note Purchase and Guarantee Agreement through which $90m of senior secured private placement notes were issued.
- Advising the lenders on a £125m loan to the City of London Corporation.
- Advised PJSC LUKOIL (Russia) as guarantor and LUKOIL Overseas Uzbekistan Limited (Cyprus) as borrower on a $660m financing to fund the construction of a gas processing complex in Uzbekistan in connection with the development of the Kandym gas fields.
More limited in scope than many of the other ranked firms, Bracewell (UK) LLP's four-partner London finance team is focused exclusively on advising lenders and borrowers in the energy sector. Under the leadership of the 'superb' Jason Fox, the team is particularly accomplished within the upstream oil and gas space and 'knows the reserve based lending market inside out'.
‘The team has worked in almost all the RBL transactions in the EMEA market, either on borrowers’ side or lenders’ side. They know the RBL market in and out.’
‘Jason Fox is the King of the RBL, and he is a really hands-on managing partner. Eimear Murphy is a very dedicated partner, with deep knowledge of the oil and gas industry in general and RBL market in particular.’
‘Sound and timely advice, always reliable and excellent industry knowledge.’
‘Oliver Irwin is the lead partner working on our case. He is able to guide its client through difficult and sometimes deadlock situations without disrupting the overall negotiation process.’
‘In-depth knowledge of the oil and gas sector, especially with regards to the North Sea and sub-investment grade bracket. Bracewell’s competence with RBLs and syndicated loans is second to none.’
‘Team is always available, is quick to turnaround documents and projects, has the right industry knowledge and is proactive. Communication is clear as is project management.’
‘Bracewell combines excellent energy sector knowledge and structured finance expertise that is a unique service. It is particularly strong in oil and gas with a growing renewables reach.’
‘Oliver Irwin is a brilliant finance lawyer; knowledgeable, adaptable, well-connected and with a strategic and commercial approach.’
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV)
Amni International Petroleum Development Co. Ltd.
Citibank N.A., London Branch
Nedbank Limited, London Branch
The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited
Eland Oil and Gas Plc
- Advised Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, in connection with the amendment and restatement of its existing revolving credit facility agreement to increase the total commitments to $350m to partly fund the acquisition of Eland Oil and Gas Plc.
- Advised the lenders in connection with a $40m secured reserve based facility for National Petroleum Company South Abu Zeneima Ltd as borrower supported by the interests of the borrower and NPC West Esh El Mallaha Ltd in the SAZ concession and the WEEM Concession in Egypt, respectively.
- Representing Premier Oil in connection with the project financing of the $2.4bn development of phase one of the Sea Lion development, which is estimated to contain around 220 million barrels of oil.
Bolstered by a number of strategic hires in recent years, including Neil Caddy's arrival from Milbank in February 2019, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is an increasingly viable option to lenders and borrowers seeking sophisticated financing expertise which utilises UK and US-governed debt products throughout the capital structure. Caddy recently teamed up with 'detail-oriented' Jons Lehmann to advise Spain-based telecoms company, MÁSMÓVIL, in connection with the launch of a €1.7bn cov-lite term loan B - a deal which also involved the novel use of ESG criteria into its accompanying revolving credit facility.
‘Extremely efficient, detailed and responsive.’
‘Jons has a keen eye for detail and really goes above and beyond.’
Bank of America
- Advised Spain-based telecoms company MÁSMÓVIL in connection with the launch of a €1.7bn cov-lite term loan B. Notably the mandate included a novel revolving credit facility which incorporated ESG criteria into its pricing.
- Advised US-based software development company, Informatica, as borrower in connection with an amendment to its existing credit facility, adding $125m of incremental term loans.
- Advised the lead arrangers of the recap financing in connection with SK Partners’ investment in Ascend Performance Materials.
Led by Emma Menzies, Greenberg Traurig, LLP's five-partner banking and finance team has broad-ranging bandwidth on behalf of both lenders and corporates, either acting on its own or in collaboration with lawyers from across the firm's network of offices on multi-jurisdictional mandates. The team continues to develop a particular niche relating to digital music financings and recently advised the mandated lead arranger on a £65m syndicated senior secured revolving term facility granted to a music publishing group.
Bracco Imaging S.p.A
Transom Capital Group
- Represented JP Morgan as lead arranger in a £65m syndicated senior secured revolving term facility granted to music publishing group, Hipgnosis Songs Fund.
- Acting for SunTrust Bank in relation to $200m facilities made available to an international music publishing group, including Reservoir/Reverb Music Limited and Chrysalis Records Limited.
- Representing DRC Capital as lender and Mount Street as security agent and agent in a £30m refinancing granted to the Northern & Midlands Group to fund the development of Laser House on Goswell Road, London.
Considerably strengthened by the arrival of Lee Cullinane from White & Case LLP in September 2019, McGuireWoods London LLP's London debt finance team is increasingly visible in the market. Now led by Cullinane, the team is better-positioned to handle big-ticket syndicated finance deals throughout EMEA, in light of his connections with many large investment banks and expertise at structuring deals implementing both UK and US-governed financing techniques. The 'highly commercial and practical' Marc Isaacs is a key member of the team and has developed niche expertise advising lenders on sports-related financings.
‘Jennifer Kafcas makes this firm unique. The calibre of her own work as well as the excellent standard of her hires (particularly Alvino van Schalwyk and Lauren Blaber) is the best on the Street by far. Always timely, proactive, insightful and commercial.’
‘Jennifer Kafcas is the best external counsel I have had the privilege of working with over the course of my 20 years in banking.’
‘Excellent client service’
‘Marc Isaacs is a highly responsive, trusted adviser and provides highly commercial and practical advice to enable the transaction to be completed efficiently and to all parties’ satisfaction.’
Goldman Sachs International
Investec Bank Plc
Bank of America
Wells Fargo Bank
Bank of Montreal
Instituto de Credito Oficial
Drake & Morgan
Allied Irish Bank
Fifth Third Bank
Enstar Group Limited
- Acting for Bank of America as agent and lender in respect of the amendment and restatement of a £125m revolving credit facility and a $225m term loan facility for Manchester United Football Club Limited.
- Acting for Bank of America as agent and lender on the £687m refinancing of the construction facilities for Tottenham Hotspur’s new 62,000-seat stadium.
Morrison & Foerster LLP has made quite a stir in the market - primarily within the leveraged finance space - by virtue of a number of high-profile hires over recent years, including Christopher Kandel 's arrival in February 2019 from Latham & Watkins. The range of finance work is broader than that, however, and includes a significant number of deals for investment grade corporates, which are appreciative of the firm's newly enhanced capabilities and ability to provide a holistic offering across US and UK-governed debt products and to seamlessly work with colleagues throughout the international network.
Pemberton Asset Management and GoldPoint Partners
Tate & Lyle Plc
DNB Bank ASA
Hellman & Friedman
SoftBank Group Corp.
Barings Private Credit
- Advised Tate & Lyle Plc on the refinancing and extension of its global corporate financing and swingline facility made available by a syndicate of bank lenders.
- Advised a portfolio company of a major global private equity investor in relation to a unique hybrid corporate credit risk/receivables financing facility secured on future receivables accruing to the portfolio company’s group.
- Advised a major global private equity sponsor on the provision of a $2.5bn eurobond listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange for the purpose of its ongoing group financing arrangements.
Reed Smith LLP
The versatile banking and finance team at Reed Smith LLP advises lenders and a growing number of FTSE-listed companies across a wide range of mandates, including as it relates to real estate, project finance, general corporate lending and acquisition finance. The team is also well-placed to advise on multi-jurisdictional mandates by dint of its extensive global network, particularly in financings within core sector strengths of the firm, including financial services, energy and transport. Leon Stephenson is a key member of the team, as a result not only of his lender-side funds finance offering but also his versatility across other areas, including syndicated secured leveraged, project, infrastructure and emerging markets financings.
‘Reed Smith is a growing firm. They have had a lot of people join their finance team in the last two years. I like the fact that they have a young partnership.’
‘Kevin-Paul manages all aspects of our relationship and ensures a single point of service across all of our work products with Reed Smith.’
‘Nicholas Williams proved to be technically savvy with a great approach to client service. He understood the challenges and the relative understanding of debt with new members of the management team and coached and advised as much as he executed. Very much appreciated.’
‘They are extremely responsive and efficient and work extremely hard.’
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Headed by Ian Barratt, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's five-partner banking and credit team has a 'fantastic borrower-side reputation' for a loyal roster of leading private equity sponsors, including KKR and Apax. Although clearly leveraged finance is the focus of the work handled by the team, its knowledge and use of sophisticated UK and US law governed financing techniques ensures that it is also able to work across other areas, including syndicated corporate borrowing, recapitalisations and property finance. In addition, the firm also regularly handles financing activity for portfolio companies owned by the sponsors.
Aldesa Financial Services S.A.
Apax Partners and its portfolio companies
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Blackstone Group and its portfolio companies
Blackstone Real Estate Partners
Emerald Investment Partners
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and its portfolio companies
Melrose Industries PLC
Pets at Home
Silver Lake Partners and certain of its portfolio companies
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Sun Capital Partners Limited
- Advised KKR in connection with the financing related to its voluntary public tender offer for the shares of Axel Springer SE (Axel Springer) for €63 per share in cash. The voluntary public tender offer valued Axel Springer at €6.8bn.
- Advised Stonegate Pub Company, a TDR Capital portfolio company, in connection with the financing of its £3bn public bid for Ei Group Plc.
- Advised KKR and BlackRock in connection with the financing related to their pipeline infrastructure deal with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for approximately $4bn.
Led by Trystan Tether, Bird & Bird LLP's banking and finance team provides 'very commercial and technically proficient' advice to borrowers and lenders engaged in investment grade, acquisition finance and multi-currency syndicated cross-border lending. Niche areas of focus include sports finance, as well as work for development banks within the emerging markets.
‘Working with Andrew Hallgarth is a great experience. He is very knowledgeable, a great drafts persons and will ensure that all documents are done to perfection. He will take responsibility on the project and its progress.’
‘Bird & Bird advised on a complex syndicated loan that we processed last year involving taking hard currency floating rate funds from participants and converting to a fixed rate local currency loan.’
‘Andrew Hallgarth is very hands on and knowledgeable. Very responsive.’
‘Very commercial whilst at the same time technically proficient.’
‘Complex matters described in plain English with solutions provided to all problems.’
‘Simon Fielder – stand out performer – excellent client service and superb technical knowledge.’
‘Excellent (Sports Finance) sector specific knowledge. Good at not just outlining options but also providing a recommendation. Very relationship led.’
‘Joss Hargrave and Claire Barker – relationship management, honest opinions and sector knowledge.’
Macquarie Bank Group
Booking Holdings Group
Hannover Re (Bermuda) Ltd
CCB Aviation Corporation Limited
Telford Offshore Holdings Limited
POLSKIE LINIE LOTNICZE LOT S.A
777 MSN Group
WestJet, an Alberta Partnership
Thought Machine Group Limited
Post Road Administrative LLC
Kreos Capital Group
Bank of London and Middle East Plc
CCB Leasing (International) Corporation
- Acting for Gulf Islamic Investments, as investment adviser and the Jersey obligors in relation to the acquisition of the units in a Jersey Unit Trust which owns the multi-let office property at Priory Court and The Lewis Building, Birmingham from Legal & General.
- Advising Macquarie and Santander as joint lenders to Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in relation to a multi-facility loan agreement secured over the club’s Premier League media rights monies.
- Acting on the $15bn RCF facility by Santander UK to SGO Corporation Limited (trading as Smartmatic).
Praised for its 'proactive and commercial approach', Bristol-based heavyweight Burges Salmon LLP 'stands out among its peers in the South West' and is able to hold its own against London-based firms, as a result of its strong track record advising clearing banks and large listed corporates across a range of financings. As well as a significant flow of general corporate lending instructions, the team also has niche expertise advising on financings across the real estate and energy/infrastructure sectors.
HSBC UK Bank Plc
Lloyds Banking Group
Westminster City Council
CJ Clark & Sons (Clarks Shoes)
ICG Longbow Senior Debt SA
NIBC Bank N.V.
Bridges Fund Management
Coutts & Co
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Advised longstanding client, National Express, on an inaugural and ground-breaking SONIA loan from NatWest.
- A multi-disciplinary team provided a wide range of legal advice to the financial sponsor of the landmark Eden Geothermal Project.
- Advised MetLife as lender on an investment real estate refinance facility agreement in respect of Jersey property assets totalling £131m.
Led by James Linforth, Stephenson Harwood's five-partner team advises borrowers and lenders across a wide spectrum of work, ranging from public and private acquisition finance, through to funds finance and corporate lending matters. The firm's shipping and international trade/commodities expertise also leads to a significant amount of financing work, from both a new money and refinancing perspective.
Other key lawyers:
‘Transparency in work performed and billable hours. Great customer relationship with the appropriate legal support in every project so far, whatever the size of the project.’
‘Easy to work with and skilled resources. Appreciate in particular the pedagogy of partner/associates I worked with: James Linforth / Bertie Chilton.’
- Advised The Diverse Income Trust Plc on the £20m multi-currency revolving credit facility made available to it by The Royal Bank of Scotland.
- Advising Bowmark Capital on the financing aspects of its acquisition of shares in Tax Systems Plc a B2B software provider.
- Advising TPG Speciality Lending on the English law aspects of the $100m financing to food technology company, AFS Technologies.