Firms To Watch: Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans

Fladgate LLP has several interesting angles to its finance offering; the firm is known for real estate finance but this capability has expanded to include more corporate lending. In addition, the firm handles lending secured against more esoteric assets, for example, for football clubs, as well as in relation to art and music financing (back catalogue financing).
The arrival in May 2020 of both Mark Fine and Aymen Mahmoud from Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP was a big boost for the finance practice of McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, particularly in light of their strong ties with US asset managers as lenders in the mid-market. The firm also handles borrower-side work and has the capability to provide integrated US and UK-governed debt products.
The multi-disciplinary offering at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP has been strengthened over the last couple of years by some decent hires, including Richard Hanson from Ropes & Gray LLP (who has a focus on structured finance) and Anthony Kay from Latham & Watkins in January 2020 (who has a leveraged finance focus).

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Co-headed from London by Simon Roberts and Philip Bowden, and also 'well placed to cater for all cross-border transactions' by dint of the firm's extensive international network of offices, Allen & Overy LLP's corporate lending team continues to be at the apex of the syndicated global loans market on behalf of the majority of major commercial and investment banks. Although the firm is well-placed to effectively resource much of the more commoditised investment grade lending work, in part due to the huge ranks of very capable and well-trained associates, clients also benefit from the reassurance that the 'clever and personable' team is also at the very cutting-edge of changes in the loans market. As well as the firm's work structuring some very complex and innovative ESG-related financings, this has also manifested itself in relation to the firm's work helping clients transition from LIBOR to new risk free rates. Greg Brown and senior associate Dominique Crowley have been central to the firm's work in this area and as well as effectively educating the market on this complex and dynamic subject, they have also been very active handling deals in the market and have advised on many of the first risk free rate syndicated loan transactions. Balancing 'superb technical skills with a high degree of practicality', David Campbell remains a favourite among banks lending to investment grade corporates due to his vast knowledge of the syndicated loan market, including on deals within the Nordic region. Melissa Samuel and newly promoted partner Jane Glancy are also recommended and 'help get deals over the line by seeing issues from both sides and coming up with solutions.'

Practice head(s):

Simon Roberts; Philip Bowden

Other key lawyers:

Greg Brown; David Campbell; Melissa Samuel; Jane Glancy; Oleg Khomenko; Catherine Lang-Anderson; Rebecca Noble; Dominique Crowley

Testimonials

The team is extremely client-friendly and easy to deal with. They are very responsive, clever and personable.’

‘The firm has an international spectrum of offices and is well placed to cater for all cross-border transactions. I am always impressed with the continuity of quality between offices that Allen & Overy manages to achieve.’

David Campbell is great. I really enjoy working with him. He has a great balance between having superb technical skills and being practical in his approach.’

‘Melissa Samuel and Jane Glancy show leadership on transactions… help get deals over the line by seeing issues from both sides and coming up with solutions.’

Dominique Crowley and Greg Brown were very much the first lawyers to get to grips with LIBOR discontinuation in the context of live transactions, advising upon and documenting many of the first risk free rate syndicated loan transactions. Dominique and Greg became the early experts on this complex and dynamic subject and their involvement in transactions was and remains invaluable.’

Clifford Chance LLP

Able to draw from a huge pool of talent based out of London, as well as across its international network of offices, Clifford Chance LLP is well-positioned to advise 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 benefits from a 'good knowledge of the market and of latest market developments', enabling it to effectively advise clients on LIBOR transitioning and ESG financings, as well as to address the liquidity needs of corporates impacted by Covid-19. As well as her regular involvement for lenders on jumbo loan financings, the 'strong and pragmatic' Nicola Wherity, in her role as counsel to the Loan Market Association (LMA), has also been at the forefront of developments regarding the replacement of LIBOR. The 'extremely sharp' Emma Folds is a 'brilliant finance lawyer' whose broad finance practice includes a considerable amount of lender side investment grade syndicated financing work. Other recommended partners include David Robson, Nick Kinnersley and Charles Cochrane, who co-heads the firm's overarching banking and finance team alongside Taner Hassan.

Practice head(s):

Charles Cochrane; Taner Hassan

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Wherity; Emma Folds; David Robson; Peter Dahlen; Nick Kinnersley; Thomas Critchley; Alexandra Dimsdale-Gill; Julia House

Testimonials

I was extremely impressed at the depth of quality and expertise that the firm has.’

The work ethic of the team and ability to maintain good humour during difficult times makes it enjoyable to work with them.’

‘The firm has a good knowledge of the market and of latest market developments.’

Not necessarily unique, but in high pressured situations with tight timescales, Clifford Chance get the job done. Their reputation also helps in tough negotiations. Sometimes you pay for what you get!’

The firm has excellent technical knowledge, especially on Libor transition.’

Emma Folds is extremely sharp and in complete command of all of the detail and commercial considerations of complex legal considerations. She engenders trust very quickly and speaks with authority. Her marshalling and negotiation of the documentation is exceptional.’

Emma Folds is a brilliant finance lawyer – clarity of advice, clarity of thinking and clarity of execution. She is always approachable and always available to assist.’

‘The strong and pragmatic Nicola Wherity is a leading expert.’

Key clients

Cinven

Macquarie

HSBC

Maersk

Apera Capital

BAML

Morgan Stanley

NatWest

EQT

Telefonica

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners in connection with a sustainability-linked loan €550m term loan facility and a €300m revolving credit facility for SIG Combibloc, the Swiss packaging group, as part of a €1.55bn debt refinancing.
  • Advised Danish integrated logistics company A.P. Moller Maersk on a sustainability linked revolving credit facility of $5bn, linked to its CO2 performance.
  • Advised the lenders in relation to the financing for the £6.8bn acquisition of Asda Group Limited, the supermarket retailer, by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital.

Linklaters LLP

Advising a balanced mix of investment grade corporates (including numerous FTSE 100 entities) and banking clients, Linklaters LLP has an excellent perspective of market practice and relevant precedents, from both a creditor and a debtor perspective. This versatility also manifests itself in relation to the financing techniques which the firm is able to deploy, including margin loans and structured finance. Appreciated for his ‘creative thinking’, ‘vast experience‘ and knowledge of ‘what’s happening in the market‘, Toby Grimstone advises lenders and borrowers on general corporate lending and corporate acquisition finance mandates, often with a nexus to emerging markets. Oliver Edwards co-heads the corporate and structured lending team alongside Grimstone and is well-positioned to advise lender clients, in particular, in part due to his previous secondment roles, as well as by virtue of his experience in private practice across a myriad of secured and unsecured syndicated banking facilities. Philip Spittal regularly handles syndicated lending work in his role as global co-head of banking and is a key member of the team that also includes Ian Callaghan and newly promoted partner Caroline Courtney.

Practice head(s):

Philip Spittal (Global Co-head of Banking); Oliver Edwards (Co-head of Corporate and Structured Lending); Toby Grimstone (Co-head of Corporate and Structured Lending)

Other key lawyers:

James Martin; Ian Callaghan; William Evans; Sam Mahboubian; James Godfrey; Caroline Courtney

Testimonials

Linklaters is always available and, despite our being so, never make us feel like a small client. We consistently get their swift attention which makes such a difference as the nature of the work we engage them on is urgent and immediate.’

The team is always available and providing efficient advice, letting the client know about the market practice and relevant precedents.’

Toby Grimstone: the Innovator. Toby provides us with the strategic considerations to aid our own thinking. His vast experience is invaluable, with reference to what’s happening in the market, as well as his own creative-thinking, we know that Toby will back us for our big deals to ensure we get positive results.’

Key clients

Barclays

Bank of America

Citibank, N.A.

Deutsche Bank

Credit Agricole

Goldman Sachs

HSBC Bank plc

J.P. Morgan

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Nomura

Rio Tinto plc

Mitie Group plc

Glencore

LafargeHolcim Ltd

Greggs plc

Petrofac

Rothesay Life plc

Sappi Limited

IG Group

Vantage Towers AG

Work highlights

  • Advised IG Group Holdings plc, as English legal advisers, in connection with a multicurrency acquisition term facility to partly fund the cash component of the consideration for its proposed acquisition of tastytrade, Inc.
  • Advised Mitie Group plc on the financing aspects of its £201m fully underwritten rights issue, its proposed acquisition of Interserve Facilities Management for approximately £271m, the amendment and extension of its £250m revolving credit facility and the amendment of its USPP notes.
  • Advised BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, J.P. Morgan and Société Générale, as underwriters, global co-ordinators and bookrunners, in connection with an underwritten USD equivalent 3bn syndicated term loan for ArcelorMittal.

Slaughter and May

The 'highly professional and service-minded' team at Slaughter and May has a 'fantastic reputation' on behalf of the pre-eminent roster of institutional investment grade corporate borrowers that the firm has nurtured over the years. Although event-driven syndicated financing work has been significantly impacted by the market uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the team has been very active helping many of the firm's FTSE 100/250 clients seek to stabilise their financing arrangements, including accessing government support packages, as well as dealing with facility extensions and advising on covenant waivers. 'Excellent' finance head Philip Snell has been pivotal to much of the Covid-related work and also remains a trusted advisor to the Association of Corporate Treasurers across a range of matters, including on the LMA loan recommended documentation and LIBOR transition. Matthew Tobin is also recommended and has been heavily involved assisting corporates on their liquidity and financing needs in sectors hugely impacted by the pandemic, including retail, travel and leisure.

Practice head(s):

Philip Snell

Other key lawyers:

Robert Byk; Ed Fife; Matthew Tobin; Guy O’Keefe; Caroline Phillips; Richard Jones; Azadeh Nassiri; Susan Hughes; Samay Shah

Testimonials

The top drawer team has a fantastic reputation.’

The team is highly professional and service minded. Their knowledge on all aspects of bank lending is exceptional and they often present innovative solutions to issues at hand.’

Philip Snell is excellent.’

Key clients

Asos

Deutsche Bank

Diageo

Halfords

MarkerStudy

Palamon

Rolls-Royce plc

Varde

Vodafone

The States of Guernsey

Work highlights

  • Advising Seadrill (and various of its group companies) on their various complex banking and finance arrangements and the potential restructuring of them. This includes Seadrill’s 12 secured credit facilities totalling more than $5.7bn of debt, its senior secured notes issuance initially of $880m and various ancillary arrangements and their related intercreditor arrangements.
  • Advising on CEMEX’s amendment of, and extension of loans under, its existing facilities agreement.
  • Assisting Whitbread Group Plc on various mitigating actions as a result of the pandemic, including: (i) establishing a commercial paper programme through which Whitbread could access the UK Government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility; (ii) obtaining waivers in respect of Whitbread’s temporary cessation of business under its revolving credit facility and various US private placement notes; and (iii) obtaining a covenant holiday in respect of the financial covenants contained in Whitbread’s revolving credit facility, US private placement notes and pension fund arrangements.

Ashurst

Benefiting from 'an excellent understanding of the bank market', Ashurst is well-placed to provide 'strong technical yet commercial advice' in the context of big-ticket syndicated corporate lending transactions, as well as event-driven financings. Nicholas Moore is 'very switched on regarding market developments' and has been a vital member of the firm's LIBOR transition team, as well as being very active for borrowers and lenders on sustainability-linked loans. Tim Rennie co-heads the investment grade lending practice alongside Moore and is a vital member of the team that also includes many 'well-trained, knowledgeable and proactive associates', including Briony Holcombe and Darren Phelan.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Moore; Tim Rennie

Other key lawyers:

Briony Holcombe; Darren Phelan

Testimonials

The firm has an excellent understanding of the bank market and interaction between lenders, providing exceptional experience and knowledge in managing the complex situations that arise from time to time.’

The team provides strong technical yet commercial advice.’

The quality in the partnership is also reflected in the well-trained, knowledgeable and proactive associates, who are able to solve issues.’

When our company was faced with the pandemic and financial markets went into meltdown, we needed a law firm we could rely on to be there for us at short notice, who could adapt quickly and produce complex documentation whilst looking for ways to speed up the negotiation process to complete the deal.’

Nicholas Moore is very switched on regarding market developments, and a pleasure to work with.’

Nicholas Moore together with his senior associate Briony Holcombe were very impressive, reacting quickly, helping us to understand points raised by the other side whilst offering solutions.’ 

Key clients

NatWest

HSBC

Santander

Lundin Energy

Lazard

McLaren

ICG

AVEVA Group plc

Tritax Big Box REIT

Tritax EuroBox plc

Work highlights

  • Advising AVEVA on its acquisition debt financing in respect of its $5bn acquisition of OSIsoft, LLC.
  • Advising Barclays in relation to the takeover of RSA Insurance Group plc, announced by Intact Financial Corporation and Tryg A/S.
  • Acting for Lundin on the refinancing of its existing secured $4.75bn reserve based lending facility and other corporate facilities into new $5bn corporate facilities.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's corporate debt team is best-known for its aptitude at assisting the firm's impressive roster of FTSE and other international corporates, raising debt through the loans and private placed notes markets. Team head Kristen Roberts is at the cutting-edge of corporate debt trends, including as it relates to sustainability-linked notes, in part due to his impressive deal flow but also by dint of the well-received research he compiles every year alongside the Association of Corporate Treasurers which provides a forensic analysis of corporate debt 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. Of counsel Elliot Beard regularly advises FTSE 250 clients on their general corporate financings in the banking and US private placement markets.

Practice head(s):

Kristen Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Gary Hommel; Martin Kavanagh; Will Nevin; Heather Culshaw; Thomas Bethel; William Breeze; Gabrielle Wong; David Wyle; Elliot Beards;

Testimonials

The team is very helpful and responsive.’

Very well organised teams with partner support as needed but senior associates managing complex transactions with juniors doing the heavy lifting.’

Heather Culshaw has a very cool head and approachable manner.’

The exceptional William Breeze is able to provide innovative solutions on complex matters.’

Key clients

Associated British Foods Plc

Severn Trent Plc

Euromoney Institituional Investor Plc

Johnson Matthey

Weir Group

Marel

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited

Safran SA

Virgin Group

Gardner Group

Tideway

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

JPMorgan

HSBC

Credit Agricole CIB

Trident Energy

Tryg A/S

Baker McKenzie

Led by Nick Tostivin, Baker McKenzie's banking and finance team has an excellent perspective for banks and borrowers across a range of finance products, from fairly conventional syndicated term loans and revolving credit facilities, through to more bespoke arrangements, including as it relates to hybrid bank/bond financings. The team also has a particular sweet-spot  advising on ECA-backed transactions in the emerging markets and is effectively able to project manage these deals out of London utilising UK law governed documentation and either drawing upon experts in situ in the relevant geographical location or teaming up with external local lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Nick Tostivin

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cox; Matthew Smith; Nick O’Grady; Luka Lightfoot; Nick Cusack

Testimonials

‘Excellent communication, timely responses and updating of documents and strong knowledge of subject matter. ‘

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

Barclays Bank

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citigroup

Société Générale

BNP Paribas

Investec

ING Bank N.V.

HSBC UK Bank

National Westminster Bank

MKM Building Supplies

Inter Pipeline Ltd

Silentnight Limited

Bidcorp Foodservice (Europe) Limited

Readly International AB

GGE a.s.

Impala Platinum Holdings

Bain Capital

H.I.G. Capital

Infracapital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders on a combined bank and bond financing provided to Encore Capital Group, the US-based international speciality finance company.
  • Advised a club of lenders including HSBC and Barclays Bank on the refinancing of the Ocean Outdoor Group, a multi-media group of companies specialising in large format out-of-home screens.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank and the other lenders and export credit agencies on the largest railway infrastructure project in Africa for the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

CMS

Led by the 'brilliant' Patrick Donegan, CMS provides a 'commercial and client-focused approach' on corporate lending matters and continues to pick up very significant deal flow in the UK corporate syndicated lending market by virtue of its well-established panel relationships with the main banks in the sector. The 'friendly and pragmaticMark Moseling has a niche specialism advising lenders on financing activity in the healthcare space and also regularly advises borrowers, including numerous listed companies, on their corporate lending activity. Under the guidance of Charles Kerrigan, the firm also has a market-leading media and entertainment finance offering.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Donegan

Other key lawyers:

Charles Kerrigan; Alex Patience; Mark Moseling; Ruth Marken; John Dawson; Anne Chitan; Tom Siggers; Tom Hughes; Kerry Langton

Testimonials

They are a cut above others. Strategic thinkers, but always to the point. Very responsive, communicative and collaborative.’

Professional, diverse employees make for a good and well-rounded legal team.’

The excellent banking finance team has wide experience and displays a commercial and client-focused approach.’

‘The outstanding Patrick Donegan is a brilliant lawyer with pragmatic views.’

Mark Moseling is friendly and pragmatic, we can throw around ideas together to find a workable solution.’

Key clients

HSBC

Cooperatieve Rabobank

National Westminster Bank

Foresight Group

French Connection Group Plc

White Stuff Limited

Prime Focus World N.V.

Barclays

Work highlights

  • Advising a syndicate of lenders to the Kape Technologies Plc group in connection with the refinance of its acquisition of Private Internet Access, Inc.
  • Advised a large syndicate of lenders on setting up a £400m sustainability linked loan facility for Britvic Plc.
  • Advised a syndicate of lenders on a £170m term loan facility to BBC Commercial Holdings.

Dentons

Dentons is adept 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 practitioners spread across the firm’s extensive international network of offices. The 'commercial and enthusiastic' Isaac Felberbaum heads up the syndicated loans team and has a particular niche advising banking syndicates on the provision of loan facilities for other emerging markets-based financial institutions, particularly those based out of Turkey and Africa. Simon Middleton  is a 'safe pair of hands' and has 'many years of experience advising bank syndicates and borrowers in loan financing matters', particularly with a nexus to the Scandinavian market. The arrival in January 2021 of Will Turner  from Linklaters LLP also bolsters the team, by dint of his expertise advising global banks on financings for investment grade and cross-over credits within Europe and the emerging markets.

Practice head(s):

Isaac Felberbaum

Other key lawyers:

Simon Middleton; Catherine Astruc; Will Turner; James Ingham

Testimonials

Not only is the team highly skilled and experienced but their client service focus makes them extremely easy to work with and the quality of their work makes the whole process more efficient, resulting in more positive experiences for both borrowers and lenders.’

Key strength of the team is the partner attention given to transactions rather than leaving the whole process to associates.’

Superb team – very well staffed and incredibly focused.’

Isaac Felberbaum and James Ingham. Absolute top lawyers: commercial, engaged, enthusiastic and willing to go above and beyond for clients.’

I cannot speak highly enough of Simon Middleton. Simon has many years of experience advising bank syndicates and borrowers in loan financing matters and his expertise and approach sets him apart from other private practice lawyers. Rarely have I come across a lawyer able to balance both the legal and commercial needs of his client in the context of a transaction so well.’

Simon Middleton puts equal focus on quality advice and technical drafting as he does on client experience and transaction focus. He is a safe pair of hands with transactions of any level of complexity, and gives the same level of attention and professionalism to both the most complex structured financing as to the simplest amendment.’

Key clients

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB)

CPI Property Group

Ryanair

ICBC

Nordea Bank

SMBC

Mizuho Bank

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Emirates NBD Bank

Leonteq Securities AG

JP Morgan

Credit Suisse

Handelsbanken

Standard Bank

Fidelity Bank

Bank Hapoalim

Bank Leumi

Work highlights

  • Acting for Nordea, SEB and a leading European bank on a €750m facility to Atlas Copco, a Swedish manufacturing company, with a €250m accordion option.
  • Advising CPI Property Group on its new five-year term €700m revolving credit facility with ten international banks.
  • Advising ICBC (London) Plc and a syndicate of lenders on a $520m loan facility for The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (SBSA).

Hogan Lovells International LLP

While on the leveraged finance front Hogan Lovells International LLP has pivoted away from its traditional lending client base to focus more on the credit funds that are increasingly dominating the mid-market, the firm's core deeply-rooted commercial bank relationships continue to inform a considerable volume of corporate lending work. Although she is now also balancing her duties as newly appointed UK managing partner, the 'proactive' Penny Angell remains very visible in the syndicated lending market, with both lenders and borrowers appreciative of her ability to structure mandates utilising the most effective financing product. Angell is also noted for her niche expertise advising on insurance-related financings. Matthew Cottis is also particuarly well-versed at handling corporate syndicated lending mandates for both creditors and debtors, work which he combines with his broader acquisition finance and niche fund finance offering.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mullen

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cottis; Penny Angell; Jo Robinson; Francis Booth; Katie Gill

Testimonials

The team is pragmatic, gets deals done and has excellent deal experience/management.’

Penny Angell is the stand out; she is proactive, whilst also managing risk.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC

Natixis

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Standard Chartered Bank

ING Bank

Deutsche Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising ING Bank and a group of international banks on a €600m revolving credit facility agreement with NLMK, a global steel producer headquartered in Lipetsk, Russia.
  • Advising Barclays as senior lender under the revolving credit facility made available to support the IPO of FRP Advisory Group plc on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advising Bally Group on the refinancing of their existing facilities with a multicurrency revolving credit facility provided by Bank of America, CIC Bank and SEB.

Latham & Watkins

Headed by Mohamed Nurmohamed, Latham & Watkins' 16-partner banking team displays 'great deal awareness', as a result of its balanced lender and borrower client base and visibility in many of the most significant and sophisticated big-ticket finance deals in the market. Many of these mandates are within the leveraged finance space and are a direct result of the firm's 'market-leading integrated loans and high yield bond offering'; nevertheless, the team continues to pick up market share in the broader investment grade/syndicated loans space. The 'superb' Stephen Kensell is pivotal to work in the space, including as it relates to investment grade M&A and general corporate lending activity.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Nurmohamed

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Kensell

Mayer Brown International LLP

Co-headed by Dominic Griffiths and Alex Dell, who are both noted for their structured finance and ABL expertise in particular, Mayer Brown International LLP provides 'creative, innovative and novel solutions' to a lender-focused client base across a range of syndicated and bilateral new money mandates and refinancings. Trevor Borthwick has galvanised the firm's capabilities on the corporate lending front following his arrival from Allen & Overy LLP in April 2020 and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'knowledgeable' Ash McDermott, who is particularly adept at advising on emerging markets ECA-backed syndicated cross-border financings.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Griffiths; Alex Dell

Other key lawyers:

Trevor Borthwick; Bernd Bohr; Ash McDermott; Charles Malpass

Testimonials

The team is responsive, creative and pro-active.’

We have always benefited from their deep market knowledge as well as their experienced and dedicated team.’

The team at Mayer Brown is highly skilled, creative, innovative and quick to find novel solutions.’

Mayer Brown has a dedicated team of specialists that are familiar with ECA-backed financing and the industry.’

The very client-focused Bernd Bohr is a highly skilled, extremely precise lawyer with great attention to detail.’

Ash McDermott is a very reputable and knowledgeable lawyer with extensive experience.’

Alex Dell has a good level of pragmatism as to what is valuable to explore and what is not.’

Norton Rose Fulbright

Led by Chris Brown, the 'incredibly attentive and cohesive' team at Norton Rose Fulbright provides 'high-quality' advice to banks and borrowers on multi-jurisdictional financings in core areas of sector strength for the firm as a whole, including infrastructure, energy and transport. As well as its work for major commercial banks, the team is also skilled at advising on emerging markets-related (particularly across the African continent) multi-sourced financings involving ECAs and DFIs. Neha Khosla is 'perceptive, robust and tenacious', particularly in her work for lenders and borrowers engaged in energy-related emerging markets deals (including in oil mandates utilising reserve based lending facilities). 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.

Practice head(s):

Chris Brown

Other key lawyers:

Michael Black; Daniel Metcalfe; Michael Ings; Neha Khosla; Alex Zekkos; Tom Meredith

Testimonials

The team was incredibly attentive and cohesive. They provided consistently great service throughout.’

Experience and communication with clients and advisers is very high quality. Always available and commercially minded.’

Neha Khosla is perceptive, robust and tenacious. She communicates complex issues with absolute clarity and leaves no stone unturned.’

Key clients

Bank of America

Goldman Sachs

SMBC

HSBC

ABN Amro

Stanbic Bank

SBSA

DNB Bank

Deutsche Bank

JP Morgan

Rabobank

Work highlights

  • Advising SMBC in relation to a $750m reserve-based lending facility.
  • Advising Volution Group plc in relation to the refinancing of its existing £120m revolving credit facilities.
  • Advising private equity investor Gemcorp Capital in relation to its facilities to Net1 International Holdings, the media and mobile phone company based in Indonesia.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Led by Martin Bishop, Pinsent Masons LLP's banking and finance team is very well-versed at advising its core roster of UK clearing banks on domestic investment grade and syndicated lending matters. As well as continuing to handle 'business as usual work', the team has also had a pivotal role advising many UK lenders on novel issues associated with the various government-backed financial support schemes. Liam Terry is adept at advising lenders across syndicated, bilateral and club deals for acquisition and corporate lending purposes (including a niche specialism in lending to law firms).

Practice head(s):

Martin Bishop

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Heap; Liam Terry; Meherzad Bilimoria; Kate Hardwidge

Key clients

Banco Santander

Bank of China

HSBC

ICBC Bank

MUFG

Santander UK plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Mears Group Plc in relation to amendments to its £192.7m revolving credit facility in connection with the sale of TerraQuest Solutions.
  • Advised a club of banks providing £100m of facilities for The Gym Group PLC.
  • Advised HSBC in relation to £50m of post-IPO facilities for Bytes Technology Group plc.

Simmons & Simmons

Instructed by a fairly balanced mix of lenders and corporate clients, the 'proactive and pragmatic' team at Simmons & Simmons has 'deep insights into the market' and the ability to 'take a commercial view' across a range of financing mandates incorporating debt throughout the capital structure. The arrival in May 2021 of Elliot Beard  from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP strengthens the team's capabilities in the investment grade lending market, in light of his work for many FTSE 250 corporates on their general corporate financings in the banking and US private placement markets. The 'very commercial and knowledgeable' Kirsty Barnes  handles a significant amount of corporate lending work in addition to her core acquisition finance focus and is a key member of the overarching banking team that also boasts a very strong funds finance specialism which is spearheaded by Jen Yee Chan.

Practice head(s):

Helen Hagan

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Barnes; Elliot Beard; Jen Yee Chan; John Sayers; James Taylor; Cara Sykes; Tom Armstrong; Emmie Spring-manek

Testimonials

Great market knowledge and presence in the ESG and knowledge-management/thought leadership space.’

They take a commercial view and collaborate with all parties in a positive manner in order to reach the right outcome. They are experienced and knowledgeable about market conditions/benchmarks.’

The team has deep insights into the market as well as what would be considered market standard.’

An experienced team that is proactive and pragmatic.’

Kirsty Barnes is very commercial and knowledgeable.’

Jen Yee Chan is very good and appreciative of clients’ business needs.’

Emmie Spring-manek is our key relationship point and provides excellent coverage of our firm, together with first-class legal advice.’

Key clients

Investec Bank

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Santander UK

Work highlights

  • Advising Investec Bank on the funding into KryoTrans Holdings Limited, the holding company of Tower Cold Chain Solutions.
  • Advising Investec Bank in connection with the acquisition financing to facilitate the buy out of the TFS Healthcare group and its associated companies.
  • Advising Santander in connection with the senior and growth capital term facilities provided in connection with the acquisition of the IP Integration group of companies.  At the same time as providing acquisition financing facilities, Santander also provided a separate funding line under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

White & Case LLP

Although leveraged finance continues to inform a considerable volume of  White & Case LLP's banking and finance workload - driven principally by its lender side ties with traditional commercial/investment banks and credit funds - 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 significant volume of broader corporate-led acquisition finance and investment grade corporate lending work. Head of bank lending across EMEA, Jeremy Duffy has an excellent perspective of 'what is market' throughout the region, including in the context of ESG-related provisions, both in an acquisition as well as general corporate lending context. Christopher Czarnocki has a market-leading reputation for emerging markets-related financing work for a diverse creditor and debtor client base that includes commercial banks, corporates and sovereign governments.

Practice head(s):

Colin Harley (EMEA Head of Banking); Jeremy Duffy (EMEA Head of Bank Lending); Gareth Eagles (Global Head of Direct Lending)

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Czarnocki; Martin Forbes; Fergus Wheeler; Emma Foster; Richard Lloyd; Shane McDonald; Shameer Shah; James Hardy; Nicola Chapman; Man Hay Yip

Testimonials

Very proactive. Good market awareness and development alerts. Strong team performances across deals with good partner engagement and input.’

Jeremy Duffy is extremely responsive and knows the market inside out.’

 

 

Key clients

Ahlstrom-Munksjo Oyj

Alvogen

Apollo

Barclays Bank

BC Partners

Blackstone Alternative Credit Advisors LP (formerly known as GSO Capital Partners)

Blue Water Energy LLP

BNP Paribas

Bridgepoint

Cabot Credit Management

Castik Capital

Credit Suisse

CVC

Deutsche Bank

Diaverum

Encore Capital

Fat Face

Goldman Sachs

HPS

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Jefferies

JPMorgan

Mehiläinen Oy

Natixis

Nordea Bank

Oatly

Play

Royal Bank of Canada

SEB

Société Générale

Swissport

Work highlights

  • Advised Encore Capital Group, Inc. on its new $1.5bn global funding structure.
  • Advised Oatly, a Swedish vegan food brand, in connection with its SEK1.92bn sustainability-linked financing provided by a club consisting of several banks and other credit providers
  • Advised Afreximbank and Credit Suisse as co-ordinators, Afreximbank, Credit Suisse, FirstRand Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Africa Finance Corporation as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, and The Export-Import Bank of China as mandated lead arranger, on a $1bn term loan facility.

Addleshaw Goddard

Led out of London by Steve Mackie and also able to draw upon a very cohesive and experienced offering from its regional offices, the 'well resourced' team at Addleshaw Goddard provides a 'very commercial service' to clearing banks on mid-market bilateral, club and syndicated mandates. Under the guidance of the 'constructive and commercial' Mike Davison, the firm is also able to provide corporate lending expertise utilising the increasingly popular ABL product.

Practice head(s):

Steve Mackie

Other key lawyers:

Mike Davison; Sarah Stokes

Testimonials

Their market knowledge is excellent and they are very commercial’.

Proactive engagement, the team goes the extra mile to support and structure loans rather than simply executing them.’

The firm is well resourced and brings an appropriately experienced team to any transaction.’

Mike Davison is constructive and commercial.’

Sarah Stokes stands out as an exemplary individual relative to other firms we work with. She is professional, always goes the extra mile and brings good advice/recommendations to address potential challenges. A pleasure to work with.’

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Benefiting from a longstanding and established presence in the UK market and increasingly well-positioned to advise on multi-jurisdictional mandates as a result of the merger in 2018, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP handles a significant volume of syndicated, club and bilateral investment grade financings for a fairly balanced roster of borrowers (including numerous publicly listed corporates) and lenders (including global commercial banks and clearers). The 'excellent' Derek Hrydziuszko advises lenders and investment grade corporates across a range of debt finance mandates, from a new money and refinancing perspective, including a considerable amount of recent advice on amendments and covenant waivers as a result of liquidity pressures caused by the pandemic. Emma Howdle-Fuller heads up the firm's EMEA banking group that is also noted for its 'extremely efficient and flexible' fund finance offering.

Practice head(s):

Emma Howdle-Fuller

Other key lawyers:

Derek Hrydziuszko

Testimonials

Very strong on project management, and thinking of things the client might not have thought of.’

Responsive, very commercial and great to deal with.’

The team is responsive and hard working.’

The fund finance team is extremely efficient, flexible around processing multiple deals at once, competitively priced, always turn around requests quickly and provide helpful advice and training for the team to support the overall relationship.’

Derek Hrydziuszko is excellent.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank

BCA Marketplace Plc

Colne Bridge Investments Limited

Emery Oleochemicals GmbH

Factofrance

Flybe Limited

Gardner Denver Inc

Gett

Hardinge Inc

HSBC Bank

Kape Technologies Plc

Kids2, Inc.

Knight Dragon

Macquarie Capital

Malin + Goetz

Mount Street

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

NatWest

Norddeutsche Landesbank

PCF Bank Limited

Petropavlovsk Plc

Playtech plc

Redde plc

Romulus

Sage Publications Inc

Scotiabank

ServerFarm Global Holdings Limited

TC Global Finance UK

Tesco

True Talent Inc

Uniqmind

Wells Fargo Bank

Wireless Telecommunications Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Scotiabank Europe, Scotiabank Ireland and Bank of Nova Scotia on multiple multicurrency and cross-border finance transactions.
  • Advised Tesco in relation to refinancing senior syndicated facilities led by Lloyds Banking Group as agent to three Jersey borrowers within a Jersey property unit trust structure.
  • Advised Playtech in connection with a complex corporate reorganisation exercise and the consents required under Playtech’s €317m syndicated revolving credit facility agreement, including a complex consent letter, supporting documentation and then overseeing the successful completion of the required steps required across multiple jurisdictions in a short space of time.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

The 'knowledgeable and practical' four-partner team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has a 'great depth of knowledge of the available financing vehicles' necessary to ensure that the the firm's impressive roster of borrower clients, which includes investment grade corporates, as well as sovereign governments, are effectively represented across their financing needs. The 'efficient and knowledgeable' Polina Lyadnova excels at advising on emerging markets debt financing transactions, particularly those with a CIS nexus, where she is able to add value by dint of her dual UK and Russian qualifications. David Billington is also a key member of the team and continues to advise global steel giant ArcelorMittal across a myriad of its financing needs, including in the context of its M&A activity and in relation to its general corporate lending needs.

Other key lawyers:

David Billington; Carlo de Vito Piscicelli; Polina Lyadnova; Sui-Jim Ho

Testimonials

They are knowledgeable and practical, with a focus on getting high quality work done.’

The team has a great depth of knowledge of the available financing vehicles, as well as their use in the current market.’

‘It is a pro-active and very skilled team. They have a very good understanding of business requirements and the team communicates very well.’

The efficient and knowledgeable Polina Lyadnova is an excellent professional who is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Carlo de Vito Piscicelli is very responsive and knowledgeable, and able to advise with clarity and deep understanding, as well as negotiate our requirements effectively.’

Key clients

ArcelorMittal

LivaNova Plc

PNM Investments Ltd

América Móvil

Eurasian Resources Group

MDC Partners Inc.

The Hellenic Republic (Greece)

Government of Barbados

The Republic of Argentina

Work highlights

  • Advised ArcelorMittal on the negotiation and drafting of a  $5.14bn ten-year term loan agreement entered into with various international financial institutions.
  • Represented LivaNova Plc in two financings that replaced its existing credit arrangements – a $450m senior secured credit agreement with funds managed by affiliates of Ares Management Corporation and a concurrent $250m private offering of senior notes.
  • Represented PNM Investments Ltd (Belize) in a €120m margin financing provided by Sberbank for the acquisition of iShares EUR High Yield Corporate Bond UCITS ETF.

DLA Piper

Benefiting from 'strength at all levels, from partners to juniors' and also able to resource matters utilising practitioners from across its regional network of offices, should the need arise, DLA Piper is able to provide 'a very cost-effective' service to blue-chip corporates and lenders across the full range and lifecycle of domestic and international lending transactions. Praised for his  'sensible and measured advice', global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer is a trusted advisor to numerous blue-chip corporates across the gamut of their financing requirements. 'Thoughtful and commercial' legal director Mei Mei Wong regularly works alongside Dwyer on corporate lending transactions for borrower clients, as well as regularly advising commercial banking clients on syndicated finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Dwyer; Toby Barker; Matt Christmas

Other key lawyers:

Andy Kolacki; Bryony Widdup; Neil Campbell; Mei Mei Wong; Richard Normington

Testimonials

Very hands on team with great partner engagement. Strength in all levels from partners to juniors. Very cost effective.’

The DLA team is outstanding and wonderful and friendly to work with.’

‘The extremely analytical Mark Dwyer seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge on almost any type of financing that a financial services firm may encounter as well as the market colour on any given issue encountered. He explains the background and perspectives of both borrower and lender succinctly and with ease and his advice is commercial and pragmatic.’

Mark Dwyer is focused on finding solutions and achieving the best for his client and always provides sensible and measured advice.’

Mei Mei Wong is a pleasure to deal with – very approachable and extremely good from a technical perspective. Mei Mei has excellent analytical skills, is extremely detail orientated and always provides sound advice which is credible, thoughtful and commercial.’

Key clients

Discovery Communications LLC

Heineken UK

VEON Holdings BV

LivaNova plc

Workspace Group plc

Preem AB

Keller Group plc

Biffa plc

Neqsol Holdings Limited

Hayfin Capital Management Limited

John Menzies plc

PrJSC VF Ukraine (Vodafone Ukraine)

PrJSC Kyivstar

Concord

Together Financial Services Limited

SThree plc

NMC Health plc

InfraRed Capital Partners Limited

HICL Infrastructure plc

Banglalink Telecom

Compre Holdings Limited

Mothercare plc

Duke Street

Sun European Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising VEON Holdings B.V. in respect of its entry into three separate bilateral facilities during 2020.
  • Represented Concord, a leading independent music company, in a $600m term loan B debt offering and $450m revolving credit facility.
  • Advised NMC Health Plc in respect of its entry into a $25m interim funding facility agreement provided by Triton Partners.

Macfarlanes LLP

Overseen by Andrew Perkins, the 'commercial and pragmatic' banking and finance team at Macfarlanes LLP displays 'excellent industry knowledge', enabling it to deliver 'excellent legal work' for a borrower-focused client roster that, as well as its core private equity sponsor clientele, also includes numerous listed companies. Praised for her ability to provide 'practical and no-nonsense advice', Kirstie Hutchinson works closely with the firm's corporate and public M&A practice and is a cornerstone of the firm's mid-and upper-market corporate lending practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Perkins

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Hutchinson; Malcolm Hitching; Adam Caines; Alex Pickett

Testimonials

The firm is very technical and displays excellent industry knowledge.’

The firm delivers excellent legal work backed by a strong commercial understanding.’

Commercial and pragmatic in their approach while being extremely detail oriented.’

Kirstie Hutchinson – fantastic service, knowledge, approach and communication.’

Kirstie Hutchinson provides practical and no-nonsense advice.’

Malcolm Hitching is a stand out – he is technically strong with excellent client skills and thinks about his clients’ businesses and how he can help them.’

Key clients

Alliance One

Centerbridge Capital Partners

Cimpress Plc

Expedia

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc

Pyxus International, Inc.

Quilam Capital Limited

Redde Northgate Plc

Smith & Williamson Holdings Limited

Travelport

VTB Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Jazz Pharmaceuticals on its $7.2bn acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals.
  • Advised VTB Capital in respect of £3bn take-private of KAZ Minerals Plc by Nova Resources.

Ropes & Gray

Although it is smaller than some of its higher-ranked peers, Ropes & Gray punches above its weight and is particularly well-suited to advising its borrower-focused client base on often very complex debt structures, including combined loan and bond products. This manifests itself in the firm's regular financing work for global telecoms giants Liberty Global and Altice, both in terms of general corporate lending, as well as in the context of event-driven financings. Michael Kazakevich heads the six-partner finance team that also includes the 'first-class' Jane Rogers, who regular advises corporates on syndicated credit facilities, and 'rock star attorney' Carol Van der Vorst, who is appreciated by clients for her ability to 'transition across multiple types of deals and clients'. 

Practice head(s):

Michael Kazakevich

Other key lawyers:

Carol Van der Vorst; Jane Rogers; Robert Haak; Alex Robb; Aditya Khanna; Alexandru Mocanu

Testimonials

Strong, nimble team with very good senior partners providing hands on advice on complex structuring.’

Carol Van der Vorst is very pragmatic and solution oriented, which is highly appreciated and valuable in fast paced matters.’

Carol Van der Vorst is a rock star attorney who is able to transition across multiple types of deals and clients.’

‘Jane Rogers is a first-class lawyer, stays calm at all times, is an excellent negotiator and finds solutions to complex legal/structuring issues.’

Key clients

Virgin Media

O2

Liberty Global

Goldman Sachs

Altice Europe

Baring Private Equity Asia

Altice USA

3i Investments plc

Liberty Latin America

Altice France

GHO Capital Partners LLP

Avista Capital Partners

Arsenal Capital Partners

Alcentra

Medtronic plc

Northwestern Mutual

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Led by capital markets partner Ward McKimm, Shearman & Sterling LLP's seven-partner London-based finance team provides a 'very commercial and solutions-led' service to a bank-focused client base, including on mandates where an integrated English and New York law bank and bond structure is necessary. While the leveraged finance market accounts for much of this work, the team also picks up its fair share of creditor-side investment grade mandates, as well as from corporate clients of the firm.

Practice head(s):

Ward McKimm

Other key lawyers:

Gary Hamp; Korey Fevzi; Philip Stopford; Jackson Lam; Maria Cornilsen

Testimonials

Very commercial and solutions led.’

The team benefits from an unparralleled work ethic.’

‘Korey Fevzi – outstanding partner, very client focused and very detail orientated ensuring the best interests of its clients.’

‘Jackson Lam – very good solicitor , always available, very detailed oriented.’

Philip Stopford is a consummate professional who provides good, clear, reliable, actionable advice. He is a true trusted advisor with a great delivery and a sense of humour that makes him a great communicator.’

Philip Stopford is detail oriented, very commercial, and will always make himself available.’

Key clients

Carlson Travel, Inc

Coca Cola European Partners

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Mubadala Capital

Credit Suisse, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Lloyds Bank and Santander

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Advising Mubadala Capital, the financial investment arm of Mubadala Investment Company, in connection with the establishment of an evergreen origination platform with Barings, one of the world’s leading financial services firms.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers in connection with the raising of new financing by INEOS Finance plc and INEOS US Finance LLC comprising a €375m incremental senior secured facility to its existing cross-border multicurrency credit agreement and the issuance of €325m senior secured notes.
  • Advised Natixis in relation to SYNLAB’s bond to TLB exchange offer including advice in relation to the extension/refinancing of SYNLAB’s TLB and Revolving Credit Facility.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Adept at handling transactions implementing financing techniques across all tiers of the capital structure, including traditional senior/second lien financings, combined high yield/loan financings and cov-lite TLB facilities, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP provides 'exceptional advice' on complex cross-border transactions for the firm's impressive roster of blue-chip corporates. As well as involvement in corporate lending activity, Clive Wells and Pete Coulton also regularly handle investment grade acquisition financing mandates, a corollary of the firm's impressive public M&A offering.

Practice head(s):

Clive Wells; Pete Coulton

Other key lawyers:

Paul Yin

Testimonials

The firm provides exceptional advice on complex cross-border transactions.’

The team has a unique way of incorporating legal aspects alongside commercial considerations.’

The responsive Pete Coulton is great – an excellent and creative lawyer.’

Key clients

Adevinta ASA

Sampo plc

Fortiana Holdings Limited

UCB SA

Bending Spoons S.p.A.

F.I.L.A. – Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A.

WABCO Holdings Inc.

Ashtead Group

JDE Peet’s N.V

MJ Gleeson plc

Iceland Foods

Hudson River Trading

A global biopharmaceutical company

Silver Lake Partners

DH Private Equity Partners

Castik Capital

LetterOne

SCP Group

JAB Holdings

Arrow Global

CTH Invest (Ferrero family office)

Colony Capital

Pamplona Capital

Waypoint

Jane Street Holding

Blackrock

Work highlights

  • Advised Adevinta ASA in connection with the financing of its €9.2bn acquisition of eBay’s classifieds business.
  • Advised Silver Lake Partners, a global technology investment firm, on its €300m Term Loan B and Revolving Credit Facilities in connection with its acquisition of Silae SAS, a cloud-based payroll and HR software specialist.
  • Advised Fortiana Holdings Limited on a €1.15bn debt financing from VTB Bank, pursuant to a secured senior facilities agreement, in connection with Fortiana’s acquisition of a minority interest in Highland Gold Mining Limited.

Travers Smith LLP

Although it remains best known for its mid-market leveraged finance offering, under the leadership of Matthew Ayre, Travers Smith LLP has continued to effectively develop its lender practice, both in relation to core acquisition and corporate lending work, as well as in niche areas including funds finance.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Ayre

Winston & Strawn LLP

Although it is less active than many higher ranked peer firms in relation to either the global loans or UK-based investment grade syndicated loans markets, Winston & Strawn LLP adds value to international lenders and corporates on complex/bespoke multi-jurisdictional financings, which require a partner-led service and a practical understanding across a variety of debt products. Appreciated by clients for his 'work ethic and willingness to go the extra mile', Ian Borman has worked tirelessly for numerous UK-based corporates of late on restructuring and refinancing efforts exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Borman co-heads the five-partner finance team alongside Zoë Ashcroft, who is noted for her niche specialism advising sub-Saharan corporate borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Zoë Ashcroft; Ian Borman

Other key lawyers:

Monica Barton; Daniela Cohen

Testimonials

All the individuals with whom we have worked have all been of a high calibre and integrity.’

Besides being an exceptionally experienced and smart corporate finance lawyer, what sets Ian Borman apart is his business acumen, work ethic and willingness to go the extra mile to accommodate his clients.’

Key clients

Bank of Ireland

Hudson Hill Capital

Brintons Carpets

Cycle Pharmaceuticals Limited

Wasabi Restaurants

Beck & Pollitzer Engineering

Leon Restaurants

Hiscox Plc

Work highlights

  • Represented Cycle Pharmaceuticals in connection with a pre-IPO financing by Deutsche Bank, including the issue of warrants.
  • Represented Hudson Hill Capital, a New York based private investment firm, in the acquisition of a majority stake in InXpress Holdings Ltd. (“InXpress”), in partnership with the company’s senior management team.
  • Represented Wasabi Sushi Bento and their sponsor, Capdesia, in connection with the financing aspects of their financial restructuring of Wasabi in connection with the challenges brought on by Covid-19.

Akin Gump LLP

Acting in relation to a range of often highly structured, partner-led new money financings and also regularly working alongside the firm's market-leading bondholder-focused restructuring team, Akin Gump LLP's fluid borrower-focused practice is particularly visible in core sector strengths of the firm as a whole, including energy. Regularly working alongside the firm's Moscow office, fluent Russian speaker Robert Aulsebrook continues to advise leading Russian and emerging market companies, including Lukoil, on their ongoing financing needs. Tom O’Connor co-heads the team alongside Aulsebrook and has a specific focus on institutional private placement matters, work which sees him active on the front end of deals as well as in a restructuring context.

Practice head(s):

Robert Aulsebrook; Thomas O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Peppiatt; Michael Gustafson; Mark Mansell; Amy Kennedy; Inderveer Hothi

Key clients

PJSC LUKOIL

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders intu Metrocentre Finance Plc

PIK Lenders Swissport

Astrobank

BioPharma Credit Plc

Intermediate Capital Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advised PJSC LUKOIL on its issuance of $1.5bn Eurobonds listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the payment-in-kind (PIK) loan lenders in relation to the $1.9bn financial restructuring of Swissport, including a debt-for-equity swap, a new long-term debt facility and an additional interim finance facility.
  • Advising the creditors in connection with the senior secured financing provided to JD Wetherspoon plc, including the amendment of the existing intercreditor arrangements, which did not contemplate additional senior debt.

Bracewell (UK) LLP

'Very knowledgeable and well-connected' in the energy sector, Bracewell (UK) LLP's six-partner finance team regularly handles syndicated lending work, primarily in the context of its representation of oil and gas companies. Although the firm has also become increasingly active in the renewables space, in part reflecting the changing focus of traditional oil and gas companies, it remains undoubtedly best-known for its work advising on complex cross-border deals in the upstream oil and gas space. Within this context, team head Jason Fox has forged a particularly strong reputation for lenders providing reserve based lending facilities to upstream exploration and production companies.

Practice head(s):

Jason Fox

Other key lawyers:

Olivia Caddy; Oliver Irwin; Eimear Murphy

Testimonials

‘It is a world-class energy practice. The go-to team for complex cross-border deals in upstream oil and gas.’

A core focus on energy means that they are very knowledgeable and well connected in this area.’

They have a unique expertise in reserve based lending financings. They are the best in the market and are therefore able to provide the best advice in a limited amount of time and therefore optimized cost.’

Bracewell is our first port of call for all oil and gas financings in EMEA, thanks to its superlative expertise across a full range of oil and gas financings, ranging from reserve based lending, syndicated lending and project financing transactions.’

Jason Fox is the King of RBL.’

Jason Fox is excellent at deconstructing commercial challenges and building an appropriate legal framework around them.’

The Bracewell team, in particular, Jason Fox and Eimear Murphy have an excellent reputation for lenders and borrowers alike across a range of energy financing products. In addition to their wealth of product knowledge, they have always demonstrated sound judgement.’

Oliver Irwin – brings excellent midstream and infrastructure project finance experience to the table.’

Key clients

SierraCol Energy Limited (a member of The Carlyle Group)

NEO Energy Group Limited (a member of the HitecVision)

Neptune Energy Group Holdings Limited (a member of The Carlyle Group)

Petrogas E&P LLC

Norwegian Energy Company ASA

SDX Energy plc

Etablissements Maurel & Prom

Marubeni and Total Solar

Marubeni Corporation and Al Jomaih Energy and Water Company

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures

Utico

Anglo Tunisian Oil & Gas Limited

ING Bank N.V.

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Natixis

BNP Paribas

Nedbank Limited, London Branch

The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised SierraCol Energy Limited, a member of global investment firm the Carlyle Group, on the debt financing to part fund the acquisition of Occidental’s entire onshore portfolio in Colombia for a total consideration of approximately $825m, with $700m payable upfront.
  • Advised NEO Energy (which is backed by HitecVision) on the financing arrangements to fund the acquisition of a portfolio of operated and non-operated assets in the UK North Sea from Total.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers and the lenders on the reserved based financing to Energean Plc for the acquisition of Edison Exploration & Production S.p.A. from Edison S.p.A., as a result of which Energean acquired upstream oil and gas assets in Italy, Egypt, Greece, the UK and Croatia.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP's 'responsive and knowledgeable' partner-led team is particularly accomplished at advising lenders and borrowers engaged in often highly bespoke financing mandates, including those utilising UK and US-governed debt products throughout the capital structure. The 'practical and innovative' Jons Lehmann regularly handles investment grade finance transactions as part of his eclectic finance offering.

Other key lawyers:

Neil Caddy; Jons Lehmann; Graham Greenwood

Testimonials

They always provide top quality advice, with a high degree of partner attention. They are extremely responsive and knowledgeable on all matters that they advise us on.’

The individual members of the team are all knowledgeable in their field and bring market experience to the project or negotiations.’

The Fried Frank team takes a practical stance, which makes the advice and support more relevant and useful to the client.’

Neil Caddy is brilliant. He is commercial, direct and hands on.’

Jons Lehmann offers practical advice and brings innovative legal solutions and market experience to their work.’

Key clients

Ares Management

Golub Capital

Citi

Bank of America

KeyBank

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares Management as agent, initial lender and lead arranger and Golub Capital as initial lender and lead arranger in connection with Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division’s C$1.13bn acquisition of People Corporation (with the intent to take private).

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Led by Emma Menzies, Greenberg Traurig, LLP's 'exceptionally commercial and hardworking' seven-partner banking and finance team provides a 'very supportive and friendly' service to a borrower-focused client base, including on transactions implementing UK and US debt capital markets debt. As well as some general corporate lending work, including advice on term and revolving facilities for listed companies, the firm also excels in advising on complex real estate financing mandates. Much of the work is of a multi-jurisdictional nature and regularly requires a collaborative approach with lawyers from across the firm's extensive European, Asian and US-based network of offices.  

Practice head(s):

Emma Menzies

Other key lawyers:

Gary Bellingham; Dorothee Fischer-Appelt

Testimonials

The exceptionally commercial and hardworking team is very supportive and friendly.’

Key clients

Ocean Outdoor Limited

Nomad Foods Limited

Institutional investors

Rentas Hay

Black Dragon Capital Investment Management LLC

William Davis

Oxford Technology Park

Scape

Crosstree Real Estate Partners

Zenprop

Work highlights

  • Representing Ocean Outdoor, a BVI company listed on the London Stock Exchange, on a number of banking and capital markets mandates.
  • Representation of Stars REI in connection with the financing in respect of 103 Mount Street which was also being acquired by Stars REI.
  • Representation of Zenprop in connection with an £87.5m facility agreement provided by OakNorth Bank plc.

McGuireWoods London LLP

Led by Lee Cullinane, who is particularly adept at structuring deals combining European bank finance with high yield and US institutional debt, McGuireWoods London LLP‘s growing London-based finance team is carving out a strong reputation in the market for its ability to advise both corporates and banks on cross-border mandates. The ‘technically strong‘ Marc Naidoo is ‘able to come up with innovative solutions’, including in the context of  sustainable financing matters in Africa.

Practice head(s):

Lee Cullinane

Other key lawyers:

Linn Mayhew; Marc Naidoo

Testimonials

This practice is very close-knit with a good blend of very knowledgeable associates and extremely competent partners.’

They have a very good understanding of the commercial space and are very proactive.’

‘Marc Naidoo is a thoroughbred professional. He is very patient and smart, as well as being technically strong and able to come up with innovative solutions to issues all the time.’

Key clients

Investec Bank

Bank of America

Wells Fargo Bank

African Development Bank

Barings Finance

Bank of Montreal

Instituto de Crédito Oficial

Drake & Morgan

PNC Bank

Allied Irish Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken

Enstar Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised African Development Bank on a  €100m term facility to a major Kenyan bank – a liquidity injection into the borrower for onward lending to regional subsidiaries which was crucial for the Kenyan market at the time.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Although it has had more of an impact in the leveraged finance arena, Morrison & Foerster LLP's London-based finance team, which has rapidly grown from a standing start in 2018 to now include a core team of four partners, also picks up its fair share of corporate lending and investment grade acquisition finance work, for both lenders and borrowers. Vastly experienced partner Christopher Kandel is a 'market leader in finance' and is a pivotal member of the team that is particularly well-placed to advise on complex multi-jurisdictional mandates involving US and UK-governed debt products. Benoit Lavigne  joined King & Spalding LLP in June 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Kandel; Caroline Jury; Matthew Dunlap; John Burge; Amber Pledge; Ian Chin

Testimonials

Matthew Dunlap’s patience, coupled with his ability to simply explain complex issues to the broader deal team, made his contributions invaluable.’

Chris Kandel is a veteran and market leader in finance and someone who I want on the team when doing complex bank finance and debt capital markets deals.’

Key clients

EQT Credit (recently acquired by Bridgepoint Credit)

Pemberton Asset Management and GoldPoint Partners

Tate & Lyle PLC

DNB Bank ASA

Hellman & Friedman

SoftBank Group Corp.

Macquarie Capital

Barings Private Credit

Swedbank

Ares Management Limited

Electrocomponents

Work highlights

  • Advised Tate & Lyle on a refinancing of their corporate revolving credit facility incorporating ESG criteria.

Paul Hastings LLP

Under the guidance of the 'exceptional' Luke McDougall, Paul Hastings LLP has made great strides in the banking market in recent years and continues to grow its lender side client base that includes a compelling mix of commercial/investment banks and credit funds. Although much of this work relates to leveraged finance transactions, the firm's ability to provide 'creative, proactive and thorough' structuring, often utilising integrated UK and New York law loan and bond products, is also regulary utilised in more general syndicated banking mandates. The recruitment of Peter Hayes in August 2020 from Shearman & Sterling LLP strengthens the firm's ability to advise on more general corporate lending mandates and he rejoins former colleague Mei Lian, whose own arrival in May 2020 also enhances the firm's credentials, particularly in light of her 'outstanding' credentials for alternative credit providers on bespoke financing transactions and distressed and restructuring investment opportunities.

Practice head(s):

Luke McDougall; Peter Schwartz

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hayes; Richard Kitchen; Mei Lian; Alon Blitz

Testimonials

Excellent across the board. Effective, creative, proactive and thorough.’

Luke McDougall is exceptional.’

Mei Lian is outstanding. The best transaction lawyer I have worked with.’

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley

HSBC

Barclays

RBC

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Mizuho

Natwest

Nomura

Citibank

Boparan Group

TPG Specialty Lending

Abry Partners

NJJ

Oakley

Albacore

MV Credit

Credit Agricole

KKR

Brookfield Asset Management

SilverTree Equity

EQT Credit

Abry Senior Equity Fund

JP Morgan

ETIHAD airline group financing vehicle

Ares

Investcorp

Work highlights

  • Represented a banking syndicate, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, on a $1.58bn equivalent financing package to facilitate Nordic Capital’s acquisition of ADVANZ PHARMA Corp.
  • Paul Hastings represented BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan, Standard Bank, ABSA, Barclays, Jefferies and Renaissance Capital as initial purchasers for $750m senior notes issued by HTA Group, in connection with the refinancing of its existing senior notes and existing term loan.
  • Paul Hastings acted for BNP and RBC providing a £100m ABL facility (as part of a £500m debt package) in connection with CD&R’s acquisition of UK building supplies business Wolseley.

Reed Smith LLP

Led from London by Panos Katsambas and also able to draw upon the expertise of lawyers spread across its international network, Reed Smith LLP's versatile finance offering advises lenders and publicly listed companies across a wide range of domestic and cross-border mandates, including as it relates to real estate, project finance, general corporate lending and acquisition finance. Kevin-Paul Deveau 'has broad experience across a range of product categories' and excels in advising on often highly bespoke finance transctions, including within the emerging markets. Leon Stephenson is also a key member of the team by dint not only of his funds finance expertise but also his versatility across other areas, including syndicated secured leveraged, project, infrastructure and emerging markets financings.

Practice head(s):

Panos Katsambas

Other key lawyers:

Nick Williams; Kevin-Paul Deveau; Leon Stephenson; Bronwen Jones; Colin Baker

Testimonials

They are hungry, and it shows in how they deliver and in the investment they put into client relationships.’

Kevin-Paul Deveau has broad experience across a range of product categories, making him a key point in all of our work with Reed Smith.’

‘Kevin-Paul Deveau is relentlessly focused on delivering deals on time and on budget. And he is a technical lawyer who knows what matters, what does not and why.’

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Although Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is best-known for its pre-eminent sponsor-focused leveraged finance practice, many of the UK and US financing techniques it implements in this context are also regularly transfered to broader financing work, including for syndicated corporate borrowing, recapitalisations, property finance and other credit transactions. Ian Barratt heads up the firm's banking and credit team that also includes UK and US qualified partner Sinead O’Shea, whose versatility throughout the capital structure sees her regularly instructed by private equity portfolio companies on their corporate lending requirements, as well as work for investment grade corporates on their acquisition finance needs.

Practice head(s):

Ian Barratt

Other key lawyers:

Sinead O’Shea; Shahpur Kabraji

Key clients

Apax Partners and its portfolio companies.

Aston Martin

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Blackstone Group

Blackstone Real Estate Partners

Bruin Sports Capital

Cinven

Cirsa Gaming

Credit Suisse

EQT

Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

Intertrust

J.P. Morgan

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and its portfolio companies.

Limerston Capital

MasMovil

Melrose Industries Plc

Silver Lake Partners and certain of its portfolio companies.

TDP Capital and its portfolio companies.

Trainline

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR on the financing for its $4.3bn acquisition of Coty Professional Beauty.
  • Advised a consortium of Cinven, KKR and Providence on the financing for its public takeover of Spanish telecommunications operator MasMovil Ibercom.
  • Advised KKR Infrastructure on the financing for its acquisition of Viridor Limited from Pennon Group plc for an enterprise value of £4.2bn

Bird & Bird LLP

Although Bird & Bird LLP is less visible in either the core UK-based syndicated loans or the global loans space, it is a leading player in some specific niches for a lender-focused client base. One such specialism is within the emerging markets space, an area in which the 'truly exceptional' Andrew Hallgarth has particular expertise, primarily as a result of his regular work for numerous development banks/multilaterals. Joss Hargrave co-heads the overarching finance and finance regulation team alongside Trystan Tether and is noted for his 'very personable, responsive and knowledgeable approach to work within the sports finance sector.'

Practice head(s):

Trystan Tether; Joss Hargrave

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hallgarth; Gavin Punia; Claire Barker

Testimonials

The quality of advice and services is to a very high standard and reasonably priced.’

Amazing service, top quality of legal advice together with excellent commercial understanding while working within legal budget constraints.’

Andrew Hallgarth is a truly exceptional lawyer with utter dedication to his clients and their interests/needs.’

Andrew Hallgarth is really an incredible lawyer, always available, business oriented and always able to find pragmatic and innovative solutions to difficult situations.’

Joss Hargrave has a very personable, responsive and knowledgeable approach to work within the sports finance sector.’

Key clients

Santander

Bank of Montreal

Macquarie Bank

Arbuthnot Latham

Work highlights

  • Advised Macquarie Bank on amending and extending a loan facility for a significant sum of money to Leicester City FC secured against the club’s media rights monies due from the Premier League for multiple seasons
  • Advised Deutsche Bank in relation to the financing of Deposit Solutions GmbH, an operator of an open banking platform which operates arrangements to enable retail depositors to obtain information regarding deposit interest rates offered by deposit-taking banks and subscribe for deposit products using fiduciary services of another bank participating in the platform arrangements.
  • Advised an international financial institution (IFI) on its original investment in the creation of a Moroccan company to hold and develop commercial property (starting with the co-investor’s supermarket/shopping mall) portfolio in 2015 (which investment was structured to give the IFI a risk profile equivalent to unsecured debt).

Burges Salmon LLP

'More than capable of dealing with the City giants', Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon LLP has a strong track record advising clearing banks and large listed corporates across a range of financings and is appreciated for the 'knowledge and attention to detail in respect of complicated group banking arrangements'. As well as regularly advising banking clients, team head Richard Leeming also continues to pick up work for corporate clients of the firm, including National Express Plc, for which he has been particularly active of late advising with regard to various amendments to its revolving credit and bilateral facilities.

Practice head(s):

Richard Leeming

Other key lawyers:

Graham Soar; Rachael Ruane; Katie Allen; Victoria Allsopp

Testimonials

Although the team operates out of Bristol they are more than capable of dealing with the City giants.’

Knowledge and attention to detail in respect of complicated group banking arrangements.’

‘Provide excellent level of advice on guidance on the structuring of deals and the associated security package. Work collaboratively with lender and borrower/borrower’s counsel to ensure all parties fully understanding and accepting of agreed positions.’

Key clients

HSBC

Lloyds Banking Group

UK Fund Manager and Eden Geothermal Limited

EDFI Management Company NV

Santander UK plc

ICG Longbow Senior Debt SA

Kreos Capital VI (Expert Fund) L.P.

Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited

Bluefield Solar

National Express Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Provided English law support to US Bank National Association, as collateral agent, acting on behalf of the secured noteholders providing liquidity to Carnival Corporate & plc.
  • Advised longstanding client Bluefield Solar on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 15 operational solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with a total installed capacity of 64.2 megawatt peak.
  • Assisting Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited with its development of a £120m mainline train station between Cardiff and Newport.

Stephenson Harwood

Benefiting from 'a deep appreciation of both the lender's and borrower's perspective', by virtue of its work for a balanced roster of banking and corporate clients, Stephenson Harwood displays a 'pragmatic' approach across a range of work, including public and private acquisition finance, through to funds finance and corporate lending matters. Team head James Linforth 'takes a fair, measured and calm approach to find solutions which are mutually acceptable to all parties.'

Practice head(s):

James Linforth

Testimonials

Stephenson Harwood LLP is one of the firms to approach if one wants to get finance or real estate or corporate transactions done efficiently and with all parties working together on good terms.’

The strengths of Stephenson Harwood’s bank lending investment grade team are that they have a deep appreciation of both the lender’s and borrower’s perspective as they are experienced in acting for lenders as well as acting for borrowers.’

The firm has longstanding relationships with the main bank players in the market and understands the particular drivers and requirements of the relevant bank lender. The team’s ability to see both perspectives means that the team members are pragmatic and will not pursue a point for sake of argument, which wastes time.’

‘James Linforth takes a fair, measured and calm approach to find solutions which are mutually acceptable to all parties. His extensive experience and deep technical knowledge help to cut through complex issues.’