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.
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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Co-headed from London by David Campbell and Simon Roberts and also able to effectively lean into multi-jurisdictional transactions, by virtue of the vast international resources spread throughout its network of offices, Allen & Overy LLP remains at the pinnacle of the syndicated global loans market for the majority of major commercial and investment banks, as well as a sizeable roster of corporates. This balanced offering ensures that the team is well-equipped to provide ‘very straightforward and clear advice appropriate to the context‘ to both creditors and debtors across a mix of fairly commoditised but high-value investment grade lending, as well as a significant amount of challenging cutting-edge work. Greg Brown and senior associate Dominique Crowley remain at the forefront of the firm’s work for clients transitioning from LIBOR to risk-free rates. The firm has also been at the vanguard of ESG-related financings and have helped to shape market standard in what has now become a fairly mainstream product. Jane Glancy has been one of the most active practitioners in this space, recently advising numerous lenders and borrowers on sustainability-linked revolving credit facilities. Melissa Samuel is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Simon Roberts; Philip Bowden

Other key lawyers:

Greg Brown; David Campbell; Melissa Samuel; Kathleen Wong; Fiona Cumming; Jane Glancy; Oleg Khomenko; Catherine Lang-Anderson; Dominique Crowley

Testimonials

They provide valuable advice all along the process; always straight to the point and relevant.’

Sufficiently confident and experienced to be able to advise pragmatically with an eye to the commercial realities and market precedents.’

The responsive team provides very straightforward and clear advice appropriate to the context.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers, and a syndicate of other lenders on a  €20.15bn bridge loan to finance Vonovia SE’s successful acquisition of Deutsche Wohnen.  
  • Advising Mizuho, MUFG and SMBC International Plc as joint active bookrunners & mandated lead arrangers, and a syndicate of 11 additional Asian investors, in connection with an English law governed JPY27bn TONA-linked term loan credit agreement for Gunvor Group.
  • Advising the lenders on a sustainability-linked refinancing of Rio Tinto’s existing $7.5bn facilities agreement.

Clifford Chance LLP

Utilising ‘a good mix between senior and junior staffing when needed’, Clifford Chance LLP‘s relationship-driven practice is well-positioned to advise banks and corporates across a mix of repeat corporate lending/syndicated work, as well as cutting-edge mandates, which benefit from the team’s ‘creative and solutions-focused’ approach. As well as her transactional work, which includes funds and investment grade financing, Nicola Wherity‘s role as counsel to the Loan Market Association (LMA) has seen her active at the forefront of changes to standard documentation ushered in by the LIBOR transition. Wherity is also one of many partners within the group that is incorporating ESG-related factors into financing documentation, including a considerable amount of sustainability-linked financings in relation to investment grade loans. Emma Foldsknows the market very well’ and is a popular choice advising on new money loans for investment grade corporates, as well as in a refinancing context. David Robson regularly advises banks as arrangers/underwriters on investment grade corporate lending and corporate event driven financing, including in relation to UK public bid financing. Nick Kinnersley and the ‘extraordinary’ Peter Dahlen also handle bid financings, as well as general corporate lending matters for both lenders and borrowers. Charles Cochrane is also recommended and heads up the overarching banking and financing 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

Testimonials

They have the ability to liaise across multiple practice areas/jurisdictions to meet our needs.’

They are proactive, creative and solutions-focused.’

‘Nicola Wherity has a great depth of understanding of us as a client and takes huge care to flag any issues which should be of concern to us.’

Emma Folds knows the markets incredibly well.’

‘Peter Dahlen is extraordinary and added a lot of value to our latest large acquisition financing.’

Key clients

Cinven

HSBC

Jaguar Land Rover

Apera Capital

Macquarie

BAML

Morgan Stanley

NatWest

EQT

Telefonica

Work highlights

  • Advising Unsere Grune Glasfaser, a 50/50 joint venture between the Telefonica Group and the private equity arm of Allianz, in connection with its jumbo €1.65bn financing of the rollout of a new fiber optic network in Germany.
  • Advising SYNLAB on its €1.23bn IPO financing, raising term and revolving facilities made available to the company following its listing in Frankfurt.
  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers on a €3bn syndicated sustainability-linked multicurrency facility for Holcim, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building materials.

Linklaters LLP

Drawing upon strong product knowledge at both the front end of a deal, as well as in a refinancing/restructuring context, Linklaters LLP‘s ‘knowledgeable’ banking team is a popular choice among banks and investment grade corporates (including a high proportion of FTSE 100-listed clients). As well as regularly picking up a strong pipeline of syndicated lending work the firm also handles a disproportionately large proportion of corporate M&A financings. The team has also been very active advising borrowers on sustainability-linked financings, including Ian Callaghan‘s recent advice to Balfour Beatty Plc on the conversion of their £375m revolving credit facility to the largest sustainability linked loan in the UK construction sector to date. Toby Grimstone‘s practice consists of syndicated and secured bank financings and although he is active across a range of sectors, he is particularly well-versed at advising on mining/energy financings, including those with an emerging markets nexus (invariably export credit backed). Oliver Edwards co-heads the corporate and structured lending team alongside Grimstone and has a broad creditor practice that encompasses niche expertise in margin lending, as well as liquidity financings to other financial institutions. Philip Spittal often handles syndicated lending work in his role as global co-head of banking and is a key member of the team that also includes Caroline Courtney, who is well-versed across a range of products, including as it relates to syndicated lending and asset finance.

Practice head(s):

Philip Spittal; Oliver Edwards; Toby Grimstone

Other key lawyers:

James Martin; Ian Callaghan; William Evans; Caroline Courtney; Sam Mahboubian; Atish Shah

Testimonials

The excellent team is knowledgeable, very committed to the timetable and responsive.’

‘Very nice, friendly team, arranging for the best coverage.’

‘Strong team and specific Sappi institutional knowledge, very committed to timetable, excellent and fast communication.’

Key clients

Rio Tinto Plc

Mitie Group Plc

Viterra Finance B.V.

Holcim Limited

Aristocrat Leisure Limited

Petrofac Limited

MOL Group

Balfour Beatty Plc

Endeavour Mining Plc

Caffè Nero

Work highlights

  • Advised Balfour Beatty Plc on the conversion of its £375m revolving credit facility to the largest sustainability linked loan in the UK construction sector to date.
  • Advised Rio Tinto Plc on the drafting and execution of a significant refinancing and renegotiation of their existing revolving credit facilities in the form of a new $7.5bn multi-currency revolving credit facility with a broad syndicate of banks.
  • Advised Holcim Ltd in relation to a €3bn multicurrency revolving facility agreement with 24 lenders.

Slaughter and May

Lauded for its ‘excellent market knowledge and appreciation for their clients’ commercial position’ Slaughter and May provides a ‘service that is second-to-none’ on behalf of the firm’s market-leading borrower focused client base, that include a huge proportion of FTSE 100/250 coporates. The scope of the work is broad and includes advice on general corporate lending, acquisition finance and refinancings, with a significant amount of recent transactions including pricing ratchets conditional on meeting various ESG-related key performance indicators (KPI). Many of the practitioners within the team have had experience of advising on such transactions, including team head Philip Snell who recently advised South32 on a $1.4bn sustainability-linked credit facility, in what was one of the first of such loans in the mining industry. Recognised as a ‘sound advisor through complex transactions in a very challenging environment’, Matthew Tobin is regularly engaged by major corporates on highly strategic mandates, including his export credit-backed £2bn loan provided to British Airways to ease its liquidity problems in the aftermath of the pandemic. Caroline Philips is also a key member of the team and really understands the commercial and legal implications for treasury teams across a range of financings.

Practice head(s):

Philip Snell; Matthew Tobin; Simon Hall

Other key lawyers:

Robert Byk; Ed Fife; Guy O’Keefe; Caroline Phillips; Richard Jones; Azadeh Nassiri; Susan Hughes; Samay Shah; Claire Cooke; Charlie McGarel-Groves

Testimonials

‘The service was second to none – the advice was on point, commercial and responsive.’

‘The team has high levels of professionalism, excellent market knowledge and appreciation for clients’ commercial position in addition to legal perspective.’

Depth and breadth of knowledge right across the discipline with the ability to leverage the wide range of transactions undertaken to deliver on market commercial transactions.’

Pragmatic and commercial with the ability to articulate complex legal points in a way non-legal people can understand.’

Philip Snell provides helpful, frank and effective advice that allows us to progress issues.’

‘Caroline Phillips’ industry knowledge, including upcoming developments really sets her apart. She also understood the practical implications for our Treasury team.’

Matthew Tobin – excellent management of the broader team, links commercial and legal objectives, and is a sound advisor through complex transactions in a very challenging environment.’

Key clients

Athora

British Airways

Electrolux

FirstGroup

ITV

John Lewis

Rolls-Royce

South32

Work highlights

  • Advised British Airways on a £2bn facility agreement with 80% UKEF guarantee; and a £1bn five year facility agreement.
  • Advised Electrolux on a €1bn sustainability-linked multicurrency revolving credit facility.
  • Advised South32 on a $1.4bn sustainability-linked credit facility.

Ashurst

Established over ten years ago by the ‘solutions-oriented’ Tim Rennie and ‘outstanding’ Nicholas Moore, who still head the group, Ashurst‘s standalone corporate lending practice advises a balanced mix of banks and borrowers in the context of big-ticket syndicated corporate lending transactions, as well as event-driven financings. The team’s familiarity with products throughout capital structure, and its ability to loop in specialists across the firm, should the need arise, ensures that it is well-positioned ‘to adapt to the transactional situation’. Indeed, the firm’s deep expertise and knowledge of the markets was truly brought to the fore during the pandemic, when in the teeth of a financial market meltdown, it was able to raise numerous liquidity facilities for borrowers. The team has also been at the forefront of developments in the market, most significantly in relation to LIBOR transition and ESG-linked financings, with Rennie viewed as a thought leader in regard to the move to Risk Free Rates (he has subsequently advised numerous corporates adapting their credit facilities to SONIA loans). The team has also developed a niche acting for financial advisers in relation to the cash confirmation element necessary in relation to UK Plc takeovers. The ‘very impressive’ Briony Holcombe was recently promoted to partner, and alongside ‘hardworking and diligent’ counsel Darren Phelan is a key member of the firm’s global loans offering.

Practice head(s):

Tim Rennie; Nicholas Moore

Other key lawyers:

Briony Holcombe; Darren Phelan

Testimonials

The team is considerably experienced at both a partner and associate level across a wide range of transaction and borrower types.’

‘This experience means they are able to adapt to the transactional situation exceptionally, enabling us as their client to service our client in the best way possible.’

The individuals are hardworking, diligent and experts in their field. They are able to distill often complex legal issues into language that is easy to interpret, understand and make informed judgements off the back of.’

Tim Rennie is solutions oriented.’

Nick Moore is outstanding. He delivers the perfect mix of legal knowledge, responsiveness and advocacy informed by solid commercial acumen at excellent value.’

Nick Moore is an excellent commercial lawyer who is responsive and provides clear advice.’

Briony Holcombe is very impressive.’

Darren Phelan is hardworking and diligent.’ 

Key clients

ABN AMRO

ANZ

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of England

BlackRock

Citibank

Deutsche bank

Evercore

Glenhawk

HayFin

HSBC

ING

Investec

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

MT Finance

NatWest

Park Capital

Pemberton

Permira

Proportunity

RBSI

Rothschild

Royal Bank of Canada

Santander

Shawbrook

Silicon Valley Bank

Société Générale

Standard Chartered Bank

The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advising Evercore on the financing in relation to the £6.2bn merger of Avast plc with NortonLifeLock Inc.
  • Advising McLaren on the negotiation of an up to £110m revolving credit facility as part of the McLaren group’s wider refinancing.
  • Advised the syndicate of 21 lenders co-ordinated by HSBC in relation to a £930m Term and Revolving Facilities for Frasers Group plc.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‘technically strong’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘clear and concise’ advice to an impressive roster of FTSE listed clients across the full spectrum of their borrowing requirements, including for working capital purposes and acquisition finance mandates. Kristen Robertshelps to bring innovation to debt facilities’ and is at the cutting-edge of corporate debt trends, including as it relates to sustainability-linked loans (this is enhanced by his involvement, along with the Association of Corporate Treasurers, on the production of a well-received survey detailing trends in the banking, finance and risk management segments). Will Nevin continues to grow the lender practice, which is particularly effective at handling multi-sourced financings in the energy, infrastructure and commodities sector within the emerging markets. Elliot Beard joined Simmons & Simmons in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Gary Hommel; Gabrielle Wong; William Breeze

Other key lawyers:

Heather Culshaw; Kristen Roberts; Thomas Bethel; Martin Kavanagh; David Wyles; Stacey Pang

Testimonials

‘The strong syndicated debt team provides clear and concise advice.’

‘The team is technically strong, helping to bring innovation to debt facilities.’

‘They kept us very well informed throughout our recent transaction and helped deliver a good result in line with our timetable.’

‘Kristen Roberts is an excellent partner who helps to bring innovation to debt facilities. Unusually for legal partners he manages the relationship between transactions.’

‘For several years Kristen Roberts has run a survey of Corporate Treasurers and their views of trends in the banking, finance and risk management segments.’

Key clients

Associated British Foods

Severn Trent plc

Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc

Johnson Matthey

Weir Group

Marel

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited

Safran SA

Virgin Group

Gardner Group

Tideway

Trident Energy

Tryg A/S

Tikehau Capital

Jet2.com and Jet2 Holidays

Smiths News

G4S

National Grid plc

Prime Oil and Gas

Synthomer plc

Cabot Square Capital

SCA Investments

Third Point Investors Limited

Victorian Funds Management Corporation

Citibank

Deutsche Bank

ING Bank

The lenders – Arcmont Asset Management Limited, The Governor and Company of The Bank of Ireland, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., Caixabank, S.A., Banco de Sabadell, S.A. and Siemens Bank Gmbh

Bank of America

JPMorgan

HSBC

Credit Agricole CIB

BNP Paribas

DNB (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised National Grid Plc on the bridge financing for its  acquisition of Western Power Distribution, which is the UK’s largest electricity distribution business.
  • Advised The English Football League on the creation of a unique £117.5m funding package to help Championship clubs meet PAYE liabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Advised Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited on its up to $650m NAV-based, secured, New York law-governed revolving credit facility from JPMorgan Chase Bank.

White & Case LLP

The ‘hardworking and knowledgeable’ team at White & Case LLP is a popular choice among investment/commercial banks and investment grade borrowers across a range of corporate lending, refinancing and corporate-led acquisition financing transactions. The team is well-versed at structuring transactions utilising products throughout the capital structure, governed by both UK law and New York law, and therefore offers a degree of flexibility which is particularly appealing. Head of banking across the EMEA region, Jeremy Duffy is frequently at the forefront of the most significant lender-side mandates, including advice on super senior revolving credit and bridge facilities, as well as event-driven financings. Christopher Czarnocki has a particular focus on emerging markets mandates, including work for borrowers and lenders on work with an Africa nexus. The arrival of Monica Barton from Winston & Strawn LLP in May 2022 strengthens the team, in light of her wide-ranging cross-border financing expertise across both bank loan and private credit matters.

Practice head(s):

Colin Harley; Jeremy Duffy; Gareth Eagles; Martin Forbes

Other key lawyers:

Chris Czarnocki; Monica Barton; Emma Foster; Fergus Wheeler; Richard Lloyd; Shane McDonald; Nicola Chapman; James Hardy; Man Hay Yip; Catherine West; Oliver Trotman

Testimonials

The team stands out compared to other firms that we have engaged with due to big picture thinking and an understanding of customer needs.’

The lawyers are hardworking and knowledgeable.’

‘Very quick to determine the issues and propose practical solutions in a clear way.’

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

Afreximbank

ASK Chemicals Group

Ali Group

Bridgepoint Credit

Credit Suisse

CVC Credit

Deutsche Bank

DNB Bank ASA

Goldman Sachs

Jefferies

JP Morgan

Nordea Bank

Puma Energy International

Royal Bank of Canada

Santander

SEB

Societe Generale

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Natixis

UBS

N+P Beheer B.V.

Ocorian Limited

Triton Investment Management Limited

The Carlyle Group

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

CVC Capital Partners

Puma Energy

Oaktree Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Triton Investment Management Limited on the financing aspects of its £1.2bn recommended takeover offer for Clinigen Group Plc.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers on the loan and bond financing for the acquisition by EQT and PSP Investments of Cerba HealthCare and the subsequent acquisition of Lifebrain by Cerba HealthCare.
  • Advised Ali Group on its $4.8bn acquisition of Welbilt, Inc., a US public company.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is effective at advising its lender-focused client base on multi-jurisdictional financings, where it is able to deploy the full range of finance products, including a combination of UK and US-governed debt. The team, which is led by Nick Tostivin, adds particular value on trade finance and ECA-backed transactions in the emerging markets, where its ability to draw upon the expertise of lawyers in situ in many high growth markets enables it to provide a one-stop-shop service and help clients navigate the often uncertain regulatory environments, volatile markets and social and political risks inherent with work of this kind.

Practice head(s):

Nick Tostivin

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cox; Ben Wilkinson; Nick O’Grady; Luka Lightfoot

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

Barclays Bank plc

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Citigroup

Société Générale

BNP Paribas

Investec

ING Bank

HSBC UK Bank

National Westminster Bank

MKM Building Supplies

Inter Pipeline Ltd

Silentnight Limited

Bidcorp Foodservice (Europe) Limited

Readly International

GGE a.s.

Impala Platinum Holdings

Bain Capital

H.I.G. Capital

Infracapital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of ten banks on a revolving credit facility provided to VEON Holdings.
  • Advising Impala on a new syndicated revolving facility agreement.
  • Advising Bain Capital in connection with the refinancing of iits portfolio company’s (MKM) existing debt.

CMS

As well as its long-established reputation for banks in the UK corporate syndicated lending market, CMSbrings a strength-in-depth and breadth of resource’ across its vast international network, ensuring that it is also well-placed to provide a ‘solutions focused’ service on multi-jurisdictional mandates. Alex Patience is one of the main contacts for corporate lending, work which has recently included sustainability-linked financings and a considerable amount of SONIA-based transition mandates. The ‘fantastic’ Charles Kerriganprovides outstanding expertise in arranging financing for tech and media companies’. Patrick Donegan is practice head.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Donegan

Other key lawyers:

Charles Kerrigan; Alex Patience; Mark Moseling; Anne Chitan; Tom Siggers; Tom Hughes; Kerry Langton

Testimonials

‘The team provides a highly tailored, solutions focused, innovative and highly commercial service.’

Excellent security advice, particularly technology related include security over IP.’

‘Across its international reach, the team brings a strength in depth and breadth of resource.’

‘It consistently provides comprehensive, well reasoned and clear advice and a highly commercial, problem solving approach.’

Charles Kerrigan is a fantastic lawyer;  ahead in crypto and fintech legal space by miles.’

Charles Kerrigan provides outstanding expertise in arranging financing for tech and media companies.’

Anne Chitan: always accessible, proactive, and aware of the issues. Also, able to deliver outcomes on difficult and complex deals within short deadlines.’

Key clients

Santander

Kano Computing

Big Yellow Group plc

Royal Bank of Scotland

Bank of Ireland

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Legal & General Investment Management Limited

Silicon Valley Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Big Yellow Group in negotiating a secured and sustainability-linked loan agreement with Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva Plc.
  • Advised Santander on the English law aspects on the repackaging of partner loan facilities originated by Banco Santander, S.A., London Branch, that are guaranteed by St. James’s Place Plc and St. James’s Place Partnership Services Limited which were then used to secure a note issuance by CiMA Finance DAC, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Ireland as a platform for the issuance of repacked debt obligations.
  • Advised The Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Ireland on their term and revolving facility loans to The Leisure Fund Limited Partnership, a leisure fund managed by Legal & General Plc.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Despite having effectively broadened the scope of its creditor side client base in recent years to include a large amount of work for credit funds in the mid-market leveraged finance space, Hogan Lovells International LLP‘s longstanding traditional banking relationships remain and account for a significant amount of syndicated work in the corporate lending market. Matthew Cottis handles creditor and debtor work within the syndicated lending market and is well-versed in advising on the financing of regulated insurance companies, an area that ‘knowledgeable, action oriented and commercial’ Penny Angell is also particularly adept. Paul Mullen leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mullen

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

The team is action and deal-oriented.’

‘The lawyers are able to make the complex sound simple.’

Penny Angell is knowledgeable, action oriented and commercial.’

Matthew Cottis understood our needs and the market norms and was able to help translate a complicated English Law/NY law TLB into commercially understandable terms.’

Key clients

Marex International

Claranet Group Limited

DBAY Advisors

Electra Private Equity

ING Bank N.V.

HSBC

Standard Chartered

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised ING Bank (as sole bookrunner, co-ordinator and documentation agent) and a group of international banks on a $500m sustainability-linked senior secured borrowing base financing to Geneva-based coffee trader Sucafina group.

Mayer Brown International LLP

The ‘very experienced and well balanced’ team at Mayer Brown International LLP provides ‘solutions-oriented and commercial’ advice to a bank-focused client base across a range of syndicated and bilateral new money mandates and refinancings. The firm’s versatility across a range of products (including asset based lending and structured finance) and jurisdictions is a key strength, ensuring that it provides ‘very clear/strong transaction leadership and advice through complex situations’. Appreciated for his ability to ‘balance different stakeholders’ needs‘, Trevor Borthwick is an excellent resource to both creditors and debtors on new money corporate lending transactions, as well as in a restructuring/distressed scenario. Asset-based lending experts Alex Dell and Dominic Griffiths co-head the overarching banking and finance team that also includes the ‘dynamic’ Ash McDermott, who provides ‘brilliant structuring advice’ to lenders on large international syndicated finance transactions, including on transactions within the emerging markets.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Griffiths; Alex Dell

Other key lawyers:

Trevor Borthwick; Stuart Brinkworth; Andy Kolacki; Charles Malpass; Ash McDermott; Aimee Sharman; Paul Tannenbaum; Bernd Bohr

Testimonials

The team is attentive, very experienced, solutions-oriented and commercial.’

The team is very experienced and well balanced.’

They are very competent managers of complex corporate/syndicated facilities.’

‘Very deep bench experts across regions and specialties. They provide very clear/strong transaction leadership and advice through complex situations.’

‘Charles Malpass – very experienced and commercial.’

Trevor Borthwick has always anticipated and dealt with diffucult and complex situations in a commercial way. The ability to balance different stakeholders needs is crucial.’

The outstanding Ashley McDermott is a dynamic lawyer who provides brilliant structuring advice.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank

ING Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America

Standard Chartered Bank

Francisco Partners

BN AMRO Bank

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Cooperative Rabobank

Société Générale

Alcon

KBR

Progroup Board

3i Infrastructure

Norton Rose Fulbright

Benefitting from well-established banking relationships, as well as a growing corporate client base, Norton Rose Fulbright has an excellent perspective of the commercial and legal needs of both lenders and borrowers, particularly in the context of multi-jurisdictional syndicated lending transactions. In this context, the team is particularly well-suited to advising on emerging markets matters (in Africa and Latin America – where it has resources in several key offices) often involving both commercial and export credit-backed debt. Much of this work takes place within the energy sector, an area that Neha Khosla has developed a particular strength, including on behalf of lenders providing financing to oil and gas companies and on reserves based lending facilities in the upstream space. Team head Michael Black is also very adept at advising lenders on cross-border corporate lending, particularly where ABL facilities are also utilised.

Practice head(s):

Michael Black

Other key lawyers:

Madhavi Gosavi; Neha Khosla; Michael Ings; James Dunnett; Davide Barzilai; Alex Zekkos; Grace Carpenter; Shivani Patel

Testimonials

‘Michael Black has such in-depth knowledge of ABL and cross-border lending that exceeds his peers.’

James Dunnett is very approachable and friendly – I always liaise with him when I have queries and want to renew facilities.’

Key clients

M&G Investment Management

Gemcorp Capital LLP

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc/Natwest Banking Group

HSBC Bank plc

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Macquarie Capital

Raffeissen Bank International AG

ING Bank NV

MUFG

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.

ABSA

Bank of China

Mashreq Bank

Nedbank

Rand Merchant Bank/FirstRand Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Bank of South Africa

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation/SMBC Bank International plc

Barclays Bank plc

Bayerische Landesbank

Citigroup

Afriquia Gaz S.A.

European Investment Bank

National Westminster Bank Plc

Shell Trading International Limited/ Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited/ STASCO

Bank of Ireland

Mizuho

Ares Commercial Finance

UKEF

Bow Street LLC

Double Helix Pte Ltd

DNB Bank ASA/DNB Group Agencia en Chile

Canaccord

Rothschild

Investec

Goldman Sachs

Jefferies

UBS

Canterbury Christ Church University

Dominos Pizza Group Plc

ED&F Man

Global Fashion Group

IMI Group

JTC Plc

Kupishoes OOO

Lendlease Europe Finance

Petrofac

Reach Plc

Shalina Resources Limited

Volution Group Plc

Utilico Emerging Markets Trust plc / UIL Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the senior lenders on the first-ever reserves based development finance facility in Mexico for an offshore O&G project.
  • Advised a syndicate of lenders on a $400m syndicated financing for Africa Finance Corporation.
  • Advised Reach Plc pursuant to which the size of Reach Plc’s existing revolving credit facility was increased from £65m to £120m with an accordion facility of a further £72.5m..

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has strong market visibility on behalf of lenders (including clearing banks and international commercial banks) engaged in syndicated lending matters, where its expertise includes plain vanilla facilities for working capital purposes, as well as advice on event-driven acquisition finance matters and sustainability-linked financings. Vanessa Heap and Liam Terry are the main corporate lending contacts, particularly in light of former team head Martin Bishop‘s recent relocation to the firm’s Singapore office.

Practice head(s):

Martin Bishop

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Heap; Liam Terry; Kate Hardwidge; Mhairi Morrison; Meherzad Bilimoria

Key clients

Banco Santander

Bank of China

HSBC

ICBC Bank

MUFG

Santander UK

Simmons & Simmons

Praised for its ability 'to take a commercial view', which is contextualised by its strong 'collaborative approach to work with all parties', Simmons & Simmons advises both lenders and borrowers engaged in general corporate lending, as well as in the context of corporate-led acquisition finance. Kirsty Barnes is 'commercial, experienced and pragmatic' and is one of the key members of the team that also includes Elliot Beard and the 'very commercial' Jen Yee Chan who 'provides deep analysis in a timely manner'.

Testimonials

An experienced team with wide resources, enabling it to execute transactions at pace.’

‘Able to take a commercial view and operate with a collaborative approach to work with all parties to complete a deal.’

‘Kirsty Barnes is commercial, experienced and pragmatic.’

The very commercial Jen Yee Chan provides deep analysis in a timely manner.’

‘The people are very skilled and efficient.’

‘They have a superb grasp of our proposition and therefore how we legally document our structures.’

‘Their pricing is suitable for the market within which we operate.’

‘Kirsty Barnes is a very flexible, available and helpful partner who always makes sure she is fully aware of our transactions.’

Addleshaw Goddard

Led from London by Steve Mackie and also able to draw upon significant resources throughout its phalynx of regional offices, Addleshaw Goddard has a strong reputation among lender clients providing financing to corporates in bilateral, club and syndicated contexts. The firm’s clearing bank relationships continue to inform much of the corporate lending work, particularly in the mid-market space, however, it has also continued to gain traction among commercial/international banks, which are attracted to the firm’s ability to advise on transactions incorporating a range of financing techniques, including ABL and structured finance. Amanda Gray heads up the firm’s financial services sector group and has vast experience advising lenders and borrowers across a range of financing transactions particularly in the mid-cap space; she has been at the forefront of the firm’s ESG efforts and has advised on numerous sustainability-linked loans.

Practice head(s):

Steve Mackie

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Gray; Alex Dumphy; Peter Crichton; Ewen Scott; Lequn Su; Natalie Hewitt; Sarah Stokes; Cerys Poolis

Testimonials

‘It is a strong team that is easy to work with and provides regular partner level advice and partner-led negotiations.’

Key clients

Aareal Bank AG

AgFe

AIB Group UK plc

Al Rayan

Aviva

Bank of Communications

Bank of Ireland

Bank of London & The Middle East plc

Bayerische Landesbank

British Arab Commercial Bank

Canada Life Investments

China CITIC Bank

China Merchants Bank

CIMB (London, Singapore and Malaysia)

Clydesdale Bank plc (part of Virgin Money)

Coutts & Co

Criterion Capital

Deutsche Hypothekenbank

Emirates NBD Bank, London Branch

Europa Capital Debt Investment

First Abu Dhabi Bank, London Branch

Fortwell Capital

Gaw Capital Group

GR Properties

Haitong Bank

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Handelsbanken plc / Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ)

HB Reavis

Hengli Group (owner of Lloyds Bank HQ)

Hillview Real Estate

ICBC, Luxembourg Branch

ICICI

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, London Branch

Investec Bank plc

KAMCO Investment Company K.S.C.P.

Kasamar Holdings

KTB Asset Management

Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen GZ (Helaba)

Lembaga Tabung Haji

McLaren Property

MiddleCap Real Estate

Mount Anvil

Nationwide Building Society

Nord/LB, Hanover

OakNorth Bank plc

Peel

Public Bank Berhad

Public Islamic Bank Berhad

Puma Investments

Qatar National Bank, London Branch

RBC Europe Limited

Rocket Properties

Santander

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

Standard Chartered Bank, India Branch

Tellon Capital

Tribeca

United Overseas Bank Limited

University Partnership Programme (UPP)

Venn Partners LLP (trading as ARA Venn)

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

‘Extremely knowledgeable while also being very practical and commercially minded’, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is a popular choice among a balanced roster of lender and borrower clients (including many PLC clients) across a range of financing transactions, from small business loans to large cross-border syndicated credit facilities. As well as transactional finance work, including a considerable amount within the real estate sector, Emma Howdle-Fuller, who heads up the firm’s EMEA commercial lending practice, has also recently handled a number of major IBOR transition projects for some key lender clients. The ‘technically excellent’ Derek Hrydziuszko has a strong reputation among lenders and borrowers and is appreciated for his ability to provide ‘efficient, pragmatic and bespoke advice’. 

Practice head(s):

Emma Howdle-Fuller

Other key lawyers:

Derek Hrydziuszko; Kyle Johnson

Testimonials

The team is extremely knowledgeable while also being very practical and commercially minded.’

Exemplary market knowledge and team bench strength means we are always covered no matter how busy it gets.’

‘The team is great at providing not only technically brilliant but also commercial advice tailored specifically to our business.’ 

Emma Howdle-Fuller has a good understanding of our business and financing requirements.’

‘Derek Hrydziuszko is a technically excellent lawyer who also provides efficient, pragmatic and bespoke advice required for our business. He goes above and beyond to deliver and is one of our most trusted advisers.’

Key clients

Bank of China

Barclays Bank PLC

Constellation Automotive Group

Factofrance

Flybe Limited

Gardner Denver Inc

GettTaxi

Hardinge Inc

HSBC Bank plc

Kape Technologies PLC

Kids2, Inc.

Knight Dragon

Long Harbour

Macquarie Capital

Malin + Goetz

Mount Street

MUFG Bank, Ltd., London Branch

NatWest

Norddeutsche Landesbank

PCF Bank Limited

Playtech plc

Rabobank

Redde plc

Romulus

Sage Publications Inc

Scotiabank

ServerFarm Global Holdings Limited

Social and Sustainable Capital

TC Global Finance UK

Tesco

True Talent Inc

Uniqmind

Voneus

Wells Fargo Bank International Unlimited Company

Wireless Telecommunications Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Scotiabank on multiple multicurrency and cross-border finance transactions in the investment trust space.
  • Advised Constellation Automotive Group Limited on credit facilities totalling in excess of £1.3bn and a bond issue on The International Stock Exchange (Channel Islands) of up to £900m.
  • Advised Bank of China in transitioning the UK loan book from LIBOR to new risk-free rates.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

The ‘passionate and hardworking‘ team of finance lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton provides a very versatile and holistic service to the firm’s impressive roster of borrower clients, which includes investment grade corporates, as well as sovereign governments. Polina Lyadnova is a key contact and is noted for her ‘solutions-oriented’ advice in relation to emerging markets mandates.

Other key lawyers:

Polina Lyadnova

Testimonials

The team has a very good understanding of customer needs.’

‘Always available to support and offer solutions in the best interest of the client however long or difficult the outcome may be.’

The lawyers are honest, passionate and hard working.’

Responsiveness and thoughtfulness are very high.’

‘Everyone is very pleasant and easy to work with.’

Polina Lyadnova is solutions-oriented.’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has established a particularly strong borrower finance offering, work which includes advising investment grade/listed corporates, assisting them across their capital structure on all of their financing and corporate treasury needs. Global co-chair of financial services, Mark Dwyer is pivotal to work in this area across a range of industry sectors, including the telecoms sector; he also has niche expertise advising on certain funds facilities pursuant to UK public takeovers of listed companies. He co-leads the team with Toby Barker and Matt Christmas. On the lender front, the firm has handled numerous LIBOR remediation projects for banks across their loan portfolios, as well as considerable volume of ESG-related work. Mei Mei Wong is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Dwyer; Toby Barker; Matt Christmas

Other key lawyers:

Neil Campbell; Richard Normington; Mei Mei Wong

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Apollo Global Management Inc. in relation to the refinancing of its loan to Gannett with a new credit facility arranged by Apollo and Citi.
  • Advising on the Co-operative Bank on its LIBOR remediation programme including amendments to 66 bilateral facility agreements (involving 61 different borrower connections), 14 syndicated facility agreements where the bank acts as agent and almost 40 related swap and cap arrangements.

Latham & Watkins

The ‘extremely responsive, commercial and client-focused’ banking team at Latham & Watkinsknow the market inside out’ and is adept at advising both creditors and debtors across the gamut of their financing needs, from bank and bond structures, through to bespoke finance solutions. While the bulk of the work relates to leveraged finance mandates, the team continues to pick up market share in the broader investment grade/syndicated loans. Stephen Kensell is integral to this work and regularly advises banks providing the financing to facilitate investment grade M&A, IPO-related finance and for working capital facilities.

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Kensell

Testimonials

Extremely responsive, commercial and client focused.’

‘They know the market inside out, which gave us the protection to negotiate and context to prioritize what really mattered to us from a risk-reward perspective.’

The strength in depth they have created in their team is outstanding.’

Macfarlanes LLP

Although it remains best known for its mid-market leveraged finance offering, Macfarlanes LLP also ‘has demonstrable expertise in investment grade and syndicated financings’ for a borrower focused client base. In this regard, the ‘very knowledgeable and commercial’ Kirstie Hutchinson has considerable experience advising public limited companies on their corporate lending requirements. Head of the banking and finance team, Andrew Perkins ‘is a highly skilled lawyer with a wealth of experience’, including in relation to fund finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Perkins

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Hutchinson; Malcolm Hitching; Adam Caines

Testimonials

The team consistently delivers such a high standard of work and their commercial approach and industry knowledge are first class.’ 

They have excellent technical knowledge and are always a pleasure to work with.’

The team has demonstrable expertise in investment grade and syndicated financings.’

‘The lawyers are very responsive, provide concise and commercial advice and consistently deliver to expectations; they are a very reliable and highly skilled set of lawyers.’

‘The lawyers are very friendly, down to earth and empathetic.’

Andrew Perkins is a highly skilled lawyer with a wealth of experience. He takes a pro-active role on deals, is responsive and provides clear, commercial advice.’

‘Kirstie Hutchinson is able to deal with complex financings with ease and has excellent technical knowledge.’

‘Kirstie Hutchinson is very knowledgeable and commercial.’

Key clients

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Travelport Limited

XPS Pensions Group PLC

Peel Hunt

The William Pears Group

Hyve Group Plc

Stonehage Fleming & Family Partners Limited

Redde Northgate PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the Jazz Pharmaceuticals group on its $3.6bn and €625m credit facility and its $1.5bn issuance of senior secured notes, entered into to finance the group’s $7.2bn takeover of GW Pharmaceuticals plc, an English plc publicly listed in the US.
  • Advised Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited on its role as financial adviser to Tosca IOM Limited on its £1.1bn offer for Talktalk Telecom Group plc.
  • Advised Travelport Limited in connection with the English law aspects debt restructuring, involving a new priority lien facility and an amendment to an existing first lien facility made available to the Travelport Group.

McGuireWoods London LLP

Under the guidance of Lee Cullinane, McGuireWoods London LLP‘s London-based EMEA finance group continues to grow its lender side offering within the leveraged space as well as in relation to more general syndicated/bilateral facilities, where it draws upon knowledge across a range of European and US style financing products. The ‘terrific’ Marc Naidoo has ‘a knack for simplifying knotty issues and finding practical solutions’ for lenders funding emerging markets borrowers, including in relation to sustainable finance matters. In this context, Naidoo not only handles work for commercial banks but also multilateral finance institutions, including the African Development Bank.

Practice head(s):

Lee Cullinane

Other key lawyers:

Linn Mayhew; Marc Naidoo

Testimonials

The team is simply awesome! They know their onions.’

Marc Naidoo is a terrific lawyer with a knack for simplifying knotty issues and finding practical solutions.’

Key clients

Investec Bank Plc

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.
  • Advised African Development Bank on a $4m partial credit guarantee with OCP Africa, which was a first-of-its-kind deal in Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Ropes & Gray

Led by Michael Kazakevich, Ropes & Gray LLP‘s eight-partner finance team provides a versatile offering to borrowers and lenders utilising a range of finance products throughout the capital structure, including unitranche facilities, TLB large-cap loans and New York law-governed high yield bonds. The team continues to receive a considerable volume of work from Liberty Global and Altice – two of the biggest issuers of bonds and loans in the European market. The ‘highly intelligent’ Jane Rogers and Alex Robb are key members of the team, both of whom ‘thoroughly understand their products/markets and are able to advise on complex, cross-border financing structures’. 

Practice head(s):

Michael Kazakevich

Other key lawyers:

Alex Robb; Alexandru Mocanu; Ana Biloglav; Jane Rogers

Testimonials

The solutions-focused Alex Robb is technically excellent and commercially astute.’

‘Jane Rogers and Alex Robb are highly intelligent and thoroughly understand their products/markets and are able to advise on complex, cross-border financing structures.’ 

Key clients

Virgin Media O2

Liberty Global

New Altice Europe B.V. (formerly Altice Europe N.V.)

Baring PE Asia

Bain Capital Credit

Vision Healthcare Group (Avista Capital Partners)

GHO Capital Partners

Permira Credit

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken

Shearman & Sterling LLP

The arrival of Sanjeev Dhuna (who now heads the global finance team) from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2021 was the latest of many recent strategic hires which have galvanised Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s lender focused finance practice. While this has been most starkly felt on work within the leveraged finance space, the firm also maintains strong investment/commercial banking ties, which it advises on less commoditised, bespoke financial structuring for corporate borrowers, often involving a loan and high yield bond component.

Practice head(s):

Sanjeev Dhuna

Other key lawyers:

Rahul Chatterji; Gary Hamp; Korey Fevzi; Philip Stopford; Chantelle Dovey; Jackson Lam; Ben Burton; Lauren Winter; Tim Waterson; Andrew Cook; Woo Suk Hong; Camilla Hunter; Anna Shelton; Shameer Shah

Testimonials

Strong team with deep market knowledge and an incredible work ethic.’

Korey Fevzi – very diligent, commercial and really a rising star in the industry. The perfect example of a trusted and reliable advisor.’

Key clients

Bank of America

AlbaCore Capital Group (AlbaCore)

HSBC Bank Plc

Barclays Bank Plc

Carlyle Credit

Société Générale

Natexis Banques Populairs SA

Marlin Equity Partners

DBay Advisors

I Squared Capital

Ardagh Metal Packaging Finance Plc

Via Outlets

Globalfoundries Inc

ADNOC Global Trading

Work highlights

  • Advised Barclays Bank as the Sole Global Co-ordinator and Bookrunner in connection with the David Lloyd’s €300m offering of floating rate senior secured notes and £645m 5.50% senior secured notes.
  • Advised BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Natixis, Nordea Bank Abp and Société Générale as initial purchasers in connection with Consolis Group S.A.S.’s €300m bond offering.  

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

Although it is smaller than many of the ranked firms, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP‘s ‘incredibly strong‘ two-partner banking team has ‘a great knowledge of financing documents’ throughout the capital structure (including in relation to New York-law governed high yield), enabling it to punch above its weight for an impressive borrower-focused client base. While a considerable amount of these are derived from the firm’s market-leading US M&A practice, the London team, under the leadership of Clive Wells and Pete Coulton, has also built up a strong pipeline of instructions independent of the firm’s corporate offering. As well as bespoke and complex corporate lending-related work, the team also regularly handles corporate-led M&A financings, including in the context of public takeover financing.

Practice head(s):

Clive Wells; Pete Coulton

Other key lawyers:

Rui Qi; Zoe Cooper Sutton

Testimonials

‘I was very impressed with their ability to provide a clear and simple presentation of a complex deal’s gaps and their ability to bridge them while keeping our interests.’

‘It is an incredibly strong team with a great knowledge of financing documents and how to apply them to non-traditional borrowers.’

‘Pete Coulton and Zoe Cooper Sutton are excellent to work with. They are very smart and approachable, grasp situations quickly and are excellent negotiators. ’

Key clients

Acrisure LLC

Adevinta ASA

Alfidea B.V.

Arrow Global Limited

Ashtead Group plc

Bending Spoons S.p.A.

BillerudKorsnäs AB

Blackrock Financial Management, Inc.

Castik Capital S.A.R.L.

Central Group

CTH Invest S.A. (Ferrero family office)

DH Private Equity Partners LLP

eToro Group Limited

Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A.

Farview Equity Partners

Fortiana Holdings Limited

Fortress Investment Group

Gazit-Globe Group

H.I.G. Capital, LLC

Hg Capital LLP

Iceland Foods Ltd

IPI Partners

JAB Holdings B.V.

Janus Henderson Group plc

JDE Peet’s N.V

Joyson Safety Systems

Kone Corporation

Markel Corporation

MJ Gleeson plc

NCR Corporation

Nokia Corporation

Odyssey Investment Partners

Outokumpu Oyj

Permira Advisers LLC

Royal Caribbean Group

Sampo plc

SCP Group Holdings

SIGNA Holding GmbH

Silver Lake Partners

The Central Group

UCB SA

WABCO Holdings Inc.

Waypoint GP Limited

Wise plc

Wrigley Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Silver Lake Partners in connection with the financing of its acquisition of Grupo BC.
  • Advising a consortium comprising Central Group and SIGNA Holding GmbH on the financing of their c.£4bn acquisition of Selfridges & Co. Limited from the Weston Family.
  • Advised H.I.G. Capital on its financing of its £325m acquisition of the plumbing and heating division of Travis Perkins plc.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP regularly advises international lenders and corporates on bespoke multi-jurisdictional financings. ‘Class act’ Ian Borman is appreciated by banks and non-bank lenders for his ability to provide innovative solutions, rooted in his experience across a range of debt products, including asset backed, structured and super senior financings. Zoë Ashcroft co-heads the five-partner finance team alongside Borman and is noted for her niche specialism advising sub-Saharan corporate borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Zoë Ashcroft; Ian Borman

Other key lawyers:

Daniela Cohen

Testimonials

The first-class team handles projects really well and we have been thoroughly impressed with them.’

‘Ian Borman is a class act.’

Rising star Daniela Cohen is excellent.’

Key clients

Apollo Capital Management

Ardian Private Debt

Bank of Ireland

Barings Finance LLC

BMO Harris Bank, N.A.

BNP Paribas

JPMorgan Chase

Kartesia Management and Kass Unlevered Sarl

Mizuho Bank Limited

Upper90 Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised JPMorgan Chase Bank, Barings and Apollo in connection with a senior secured multi-draw term loan and a private placement of senior secured notes to be used to finance the construction and operation of the Co-op Live entertainment arena in Manchester, UK by Oak View Group.
  • Continued to represent Bank of Ireland, acting as super senior revolving facility lender, in connection with its financing for Solvias AG, a global pharmaceutical laboratory services company based in Switzerland, which is owned by Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners.
  • Advised Mizuho Bank, Ltd. in relation to a revolving loan facility made available to ETC Group, a Dubai-based agricultural conglomerate with operations across Africa and Asia.

Akin Gump LLP

Akin Gump LLP‘s eight-partner multi-disciplinary finance team has established significant traction among non-bank lenders, including institutional investors, both in relation to new money financings and special situations mandates. US-qualified team head Tom O’Connor has been at the forefront of the cross-border institutional private placement market for a number of years, work which has included an increasing volume of green and sustainability-linked matters of late. Robert Aulsebrook has a focus on emerging markets work.

Practice head(s):

Thomas O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

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

Key clients

PGIM Private Capital

Bracewell (UK) LLP

Exclusively focused on handling energy-related financings, including in an M&A and projects perspective, Bracewell (UK) LLP is ‘able to leverage deep market knowledge to guide the commercial decisions and provide bespoke solutions’ to lenders and borrowers relating to transactions in developed and emerging markets. Under the leadership of Jason Fox, the firm remains best-known for its oil and gas financing expertise, including advice on upstream reserve based financing transactions. However, it has successfully pivoted to reflect its clients’ needs to handle a considerable amount of renewables mandates. Well-versed at advising on multi-sourced project financings, Oliver Irwin provides ‘very sound and reliable advice’ to lenders and sponsors on complex and often first-of-kind financings in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Jason Fox

Other key lawyers:

Olivia Caddy; Oliver Irwin; Eimear Murphy; Ronen Lazarovitch

Testimonials

‘They specialize in natural resources and have deep knowledge of the mining sector.’

‘They have experience, are responsive, flexible and find ways to support us in a very complex mining financing transaction.’

‘The team is devoted to the satisfaction of the client’s needs and can leverage a deep knowledge of the market to guide the commercial decisions and provide bespoke solutions.’

‘Oliver Irwin has provided a decisive contribution in very complex groundbreaking transactions. He has an unparalleled ability to understand the client’s needs and to provide very sound and reliable advice to fulfill them.’

Ro Lazarovitch is probably the best external counsel I’ve worked with. He has great experience, is extremely responsive and always to the point, he understands the client needs and provides advice that best fits the project.’

Key clients

Energean

Citibank

The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd

Petraco Oil Company Limited

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Beacon Offshore Energy Development L.L.C and Navitas Petroleum (Navitas)

BP Exploration Operating Company Limited and Eni S.p.A

Seplat Energy Plc / Eland Oil and Gas Limited

Africa Oil Corp.

NEO Energy Group Limited

Noreco Oil Denmark A/S

Marubeni Corporation and Al Jomaih Energy and Water Company

SDX Energy plc

Egyptian Refining Company

Work highlights

  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers and the lenders on the reserved based financing to Energean PLC, a London Premium Listed FTSE 250 and Tel Aviv 35 Listed gas-focused E&P company in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Advised Beacon and Navitas on the financing of the development and operation of the Shenandoah field in the US Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advised The Mauritius Commercial Bank with respect to a $39m receivables purchase financing relating to an $84m prepayment facility between the borrower as supplier and a buyer supporting a contract pertaining to sale and purchase of commodities in India.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Drawing upon the firm’s longstanding pedigree within the asset management industry, unsurprisingly perhaps, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has developed a particularly strong presence advising funds as borrowers and lenders in the leveraged finance space. Nevertheless, the team’s nimble and flexible approach across finance products, including covenant lite syndicated, second lien and high yield debt, ensure that it also picks up its fair share of work for lenders and borrowers in the investment grade space. The ‘exceptional’ Neil Caddy ‘really knows his stuff’ and is a popular choice among investment banks and direct lenders.

Other key lawyers:

Neil Caddy; Jons Lehmann; Kathryn Cecil; Graham Greenwood

Testimonials

‘The team has an impressive depth and breadth of expertise.’

Neil Caddy is exceptional, responsive and really knows his stuff.’

Key clients

LumiraDx

Work highlights

  • Advised LumiraDx, a next generation point-of-care diagnostics company, on its merger with CA Healthcare Acquisition Corp., a blank-check special acquisition company.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Led by the ‘responsive, straight talking and commercialEmma Menzies, Greenberg Traurig, LLP has earned the status of ‘very trusted advisers‘ to many borrower clients, including investment grade corporates. In this context, the team is adept at advising on cross-border mandates, where it can leverage its international network of offices. Gary Bellingham handles corporate lending work as part of his broad financing offering that also includes real estate-related fundings.

Practice head(s):

Emma Menzies

Other key lawyers:

Gary Bellingham; Samantha DeSouza

Testimonials

Top tier blue chip – superb and very trusted advisers.’

Responsive, forward thinking in innovative circumstances and commercial.’

‘The vastly experienced Emma Menzies is phenomenal.’

‘Emma Menzies is responsive, straight-talking and commercial.’

Key clients

Nomad Foods Limited

APi

SBA Communications

Oxford Technology Park

Northumbrian Water

Truist Bank

Oxford Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising the Nomad Foods Group in connection with the refinancing of its senior secured facilities and issuance of €750m senior secured notes.
  • Advising APi Group on the $3.1bn acquisition of Chubb Fire & Safety, creating the world’s leading life safety services provider.
  • Advising SBA Communications on the financing for $175m acquisition, through a joint venture, of 1.4k communication towers from Airtel Tanzania.

Morrison Foerster

Although Morrison Foerster has gained most prominence in recent years within the leveraged finance space, particularly following the arrival of Christopher Kandel from Latham & Watkins, it has also gained a not insignificant amount of broader corporate lending and syndicated financing work for banks, non-bank lenders and a growing number of corporate borrowers. In this context, the team’s nimble approach to financing and conversance with UK and US-governed debt products ensures that is ‘particularly strong in complex structuring and execution of transactions that may need to shift mid deal’.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Kandel

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Dunlap; John Burge; Ian Chin; Amber Pledge; Rebecca DeLong

Testimonials

The team is particularly strong in complex structuring and execution of transactions that may need to shift mid deal to accommodate their super demanding clientelle.’

‘They are responsive and go the extra mile.’

Chris Kandel is a standout.’

Ian Chin is particularly astute and able to distil incredibly complex issues.’

Key clients

Fortress Investment Group

Initial purchasers for Lundin Energy bond offering (Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Wells Fargo, ING Bank, SEB)

Lenders to Entain PLC (A syndicate of 15 banks led by BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, ING, SEB, Wells Fargo)

Lead Arrangers to Entain PLC (Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley)

Eurohold Bulgaria

Owl Rock Capital Corporation and Vista Capital Partners

Beach Point Capital Management and Bardin Hill Investment Partners

Crescent Capital

Ares Management Limited

Norgine

SoftBank Group Corp.

Blackrock

Ernst & Young

Nets

Tate & Lyle

Work highlights

  • Advised a 15-bank syndicate as initial purchasers on the inaugural $2bn senior notes offering by Lundin Energy Finance B.V.
  • Advised the underwriting banks on a $590m revolving credit facility to Entain Plc, and subsequent $1.125bn term loan B facilities.
  • Advised Norgine B.V. on a £250m corporate revolving credit facility agreement.

Paul Hastings LLP

Although it remains better known for leveraged finance, Paul Hastings LLP‘s growing London team is also picking up its fair share of more general syndicated banking mandates, where it is noted for its knowledge across a range of financing techniques, including on integrated UK and New York law loan and bond products. The ‘excellent’ Mei Lian is a welcome addition to the team following her arrival from Shearman & Sterling LLP in May 2020, and adds expertise in both new money and distressed contexts in light of her adaptability and knowledge of bank debt and capital markets instruments.

Other key lawyers:

Mei Lian

Testimonials

A great team – trust them to handover the work and they get the job done.’

Mei Lian is an excellent lawyer, always available and responsive, extremely diligent and capable to effectively take into account foreign law requirements. As a lead partner, she is distinguished by her hands-on approach and her willingness to help clients to understand the issues.’ 

Reed Smith LLP

Headed from London by Panos Katsambas, and also able to leverage the expertise of its international network, Reed Smith LLP‘s versatile finance group acts for lenders and publicly-listed companies across a 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 acts for traditional banks and speciality fund lenders and is a key member of the team that also includes Leon Stephenson, whose eclectic offering includes funds finance expertise, as well as work on syndicated secured leveraged, project, infrastructure and emerging markets financings.   

Practice head(s):

Panos Katsambas

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Williams; Kevin-Paul Deveau; Bronwen Jones; Leon Stephenson; Colin Baker; Maccailein Campbell

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Although Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is best-known for its sponsor-focused leveraged finance offering, the same financing techniques which include integrated bank and bond expertise, are readily transferrable to work on syndicated corporate borrowing, recapitalizations, property finance and other credit transactions. Led by Ian Barratt, the team also handles financing and refinancing work for portfolio companies owned by key private equity clients.

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

Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

H.I.G. Capital

Intertrust

J.P. Morgan

KKR and its portfolio companies

Limerston Capital

MasMovil

Melrose Industries PLC

Silver Lake Partners and certain of its portfolio companies

TDR Capital and its portfolio companies

Trainline

Work highlights

  • Representation of funds advised by Apax Partners LLP, together with Warburg Pincus LLC, on their acquisition financing relating to the €5.1bn acquisition of T-Mobile Netherlands Holding B.V. from Deutsche Telekom AG and Tele2 AB.
  • Representation of BlackRock in connection with its announced lease-and-leaseback deal for Saudi Aramco’s gas pipeline network with Saudi Aramco for approximately $15.5bn.
  • Representation of CSL Limited in its $11.7bn acquisition of Vifor Pharma.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLPhas outstanding knowledge of complex debt products and syndicated loans’, ensuring that it receives a significant volume of work for lenders across a range of multi-jurisdictional mandates. Central to much of this work is the ‘incredibly sharp’ Andrew Hallgarth, who is a ‘safe pair of hands’ for development banks and multilaterals engaged in emerging markets financings. Joss Hargrave is another key member of the broader finance and financial regulation group which is headed by Trystan Tether, and excels at advising on restructuring matters, as well as for lenders on sports-related financings.

Practice head(s):

Trystan Tether

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hallgarth; Joss Hargrave; Gavin Punia; Claire Barker

Testimonials

The quality of services is of high standard and reasonably priced.’

The team has outstanding knowledge of complex debt products and syndicated loans.’

The excellent Andrew Hallgarth is incredibly sharp, with a vast knowledge and experience (debt & equity), is business oriented and able to find innovative way outs of deadlocks when stuck in negotiations.’

Andrew Hallgarth is a safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Santander

KSL Capital Partners

Aareal Bank AG

Jobandtalent

Cork Gully

Macquarie Bank

Media Finance matters

A large bank in the Middle East

Work highlights

  • Advised Aareal Bank on a £69m green financing agreement with an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management and real estate investment company Highgate to refinance the purchase of the Dorsett City Hotel.
  • Advised Jobandtalent on its €100m financing from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, via its Series D funding round, as well as an €83m debt facility from BlackRock.
  • Assisted the bank in relation to the negotiation of a £20m+, long term Master Services Agreement to govern the call-off of outsourced IT services provided across multiple jurisdictions including Europe and the Middle East.

Burges Salmon LLP

Bristol-based firm Burges Salmon LLP has a strong track record for lenders and borrowers across a range of financings, including bilateral and syndicated loans, particularly in overarching areas of sector focus for the firm as a whole, such as energy and real estate. Restructuring and insolvency partner Andrew Eaton heads up the overarching banking and finance team that includes Graham Soar, who recently advised Clarks on the cross-border refinancing and restructuring of its secured syndicated revolving credit and private placement facilities.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Eaton

Other key lawyers:

Richard Leeming; Graham Soar; Rachael Ruane; Stuart McMillan; Katie Allen; Victoria Allsopp; Alistair Rattray; Chris Roberts

Testimonials

‘Very much a team approach from Burges Salmon. Easy to talk to and very personable – best in the industry for approachability. Capable of understanding complex legal situations and communicating effective resolutions quickly.’

‘Burges Salmon are quality lawyers – excellent value for smaller deals, but they are more than capable of handling large transactions too. ‘

‘Richard Leeming and Katie Allen are standout individuals who are always there to assist and deal with situations, often before they arise. They have a solid understanding of real estate finance, ensuring a satisfactory outcome is achieve in an efficient manner.’

‘Graham Soar is very experienced and very personable. He knows the market well and has always a collaborative approach to getting a deal done.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank

Bio Capital Limited

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

EDFI Management Company & Renewable Energy Performance Platform

ICG Alternative Investment Limited

Investec Bank

Kreos Capital No

Lloyds Bank

C&J Clark Limited (Clarks Shoes)

Santander UK

Bank Leumi

Folk2Folk

Work highlights

  • Advised C&J Clark Limited – Clarks – on the refinancing of its debt facilities, undertaken alongside the acquisition by LionRock of a majority equity stake in the group.
  • Acted for HSBC UK Bank as lender on a green loan SONIA development facility made to Kidbrooke Partnership LLP, a joint venture between Notting Hill Genesis and Transport for London (TfL) for the development of Kidbrooke Station Square.
  • Acting EDFI MC SA & Renewable Energy Performance Platform as lead counsel for the LSL 107m syndicated financing of a portfolio of solar mini-grids in Lesotho, and equity investment.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

Although it is undoubtedly more geared up to service its private equity and credit fund clients on leveraged finance mandates, McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP‘s knowledge across a wide array of finance products, including as it relates to TLB, revenue-based lending, direct lending and special situations work, ensures that has the flexibility and overarching financing capability to also advise on more general new money and distressed work. Team head Aymen Mahmoudis savvy, knowledgeable, always available and always on the ball’. 

Practice head(s):

Aymen Mahmoud

Other key lawyers:

Mark Fine; Giulia Venanzoni

Testimonials

Strong team with good bench of associates.’

A safe pair of hands, Aymen Mahmoud is savvy, knowledgeable, always available and always on the ball.’

Key clients

Ares Management Limited

Mercuria Energy Trading Pte Ltd

Alcentra Limited

FQX

GLAS Specialist Services Limited

Caura Ltd

OpenGate Capital Management Europe Sarl (and itsportfolio companies Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems and EverZinc)

Parent Cloud Limited

Sirius Petroleum Plc

Orbus Group

CVC Credit

Excellence Logging Limited

Alter Domus

Sona Asset Management

Cairn Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares Management on a £425m refinancing of the Charles Taylor Group (and its affiliates), as lender, arranger, agent and security agent, through a unitranche facility.
  • Advised Sirius Petroleum Plc, an Africa-focused oil and gas production and development company, in relation to obtaining a senior loan facility from Trafigura Pte Ltd of up to $200m.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP

Led by Sushila Nayak, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP multi-disciplinary team provides creditor and debtor-side financing expertise, including on syndicated transactions, within particular underlying sector areas of strength for the firm as a whole, including energy and tech. In the tech space, some of this is generated as a result of the firm’s market-leading investee-side venture capital offering, including the provision of debt financing for companies as they scale up, as well as in the context of pre-IPO funding.

Practice head(s):

Sushila Nayak

Other key lawyers:

Richard Hanson; Anthony Kay; Scott Morrison; Adam Smith

Key clients

Morgan Stanley

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Société Générale

Shawbrook Bank Limited

RoundShield Partners

Gulf Islamic Investments

GuarantCo

Global Loan Agency Services Limited

Giano Capital

Kreos Capital

Azito Energie S.A.

Emirates Aluminium Company Limited PJSC

Millicom International Cellular S.A.

Off-Grid Electric

SAROS INVESTMENTS LIMITED

Work highlights

  • Advised a lending syndicate on SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc’s £145m secured multicurrency revolving credit facility.
  • Advising the lenders and hedge providers on the first majority Taiwanese bank non-recourse financing ($1.6bn) of an offshore wind farm in Taiwan and the most “localised” project financing to date.
  • Advising various lenders and export credit agencies in relation to the Changfang and Xidao (CFXD) offshore wind project – the largest ever renewables financing in Asia Pacific ($3bn).

Stephenson Harwood

Headed by James Linforth, Stephenson Harwood continues to gain momentum for lenders, financial sponsors and corporates across a range of financing mandates. The arrival in February 2021 of the ‘very knowledgeable and technical’ Julie Romer from DLA Piper bolsters the team, not only by virtue of her mid-market leveraged finance capabilities, but also with regard to general corporate lending matters. George Vaughton is also a key member of the team; he recently advised the Hotel Chocolat Group on its £30m revolving credit facilities provided by Lloyds Bank.

Practice head(s):

James Linforth

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Margolis; Julie Romer; George Vaughton; Don Brown; Rubin Weston; Bertie Chilton; Chrissy Vassiliou; David Harris

Testimonials

Julie Romer is very knowledgeable and technical, highly efficient, commercial and pragmatic.’

Key clients

AVI Japan Opportunity Trust Plc

Hotel Chocolat Group Plc

Bowmark Capital

Elysian Capital LLP

FPE

Agathos Management LLP

Bestport Private Equity

Apposite Capital LLP

Pelican Capital

Substantial Bidco Limited

Aurelius Finance Company

SUEK Limited

Hill Holdings Limited

Lowland Investment Company plc

Netromnia Group

Investec Bank PLC

Gordon Brothers

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

Africa Finance Corporation

Shell Western Supply and Trading

Work highlights

  • Advised the Hotel Chocolat Group on its £30m revolving credit facilities provided by Lloyds Bank plc, replacing the £25m CLBILs revolving credit facility they agreed with Lloyds the previous year.
  • Advised Lowland Investment Company plc on its £40m (+£20 accordion) unsecured revolving credit facility provided by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
  • Advised the Hill Group in connection with its £220m sustainability-linked RCF provided by a club of  four banks (NatWest, Lloyds, HSBC and Santander).