Trade finance in London

A&O Shearman

A&O Shearman‘s trade and commodity finance practice is ‘commercial, innovative and always responsive‘. The firm is active in some of the most high-profile transactions in the market, particularly those with structured finance elements, thanks to its combination of derivatives, commodities and trade expertise. ‘Wonderful leader and adviser‘ Catherine Lang-Anderson leads the practice along with structured finance partner Daniel Shurman. Anderson recently acted for the co-ordinating committee of creditors ED&F Man on the the restructuring of $1bn indebtedness, which included borrowing base and revolving credit facilities, and the provision of $300m in new money facilities. Banking partners Greg Brown and Oleg Khomenko are keenly involved in the practice, advising lenders and borrowers on a broad range of complex cross-border financing transactions, including trade finance structures. Head of the ECA practice Lorraine Bayliss acted for lenders and UK Export Finance in the financing of the construction of a new £140m subsea power cable manufacturing and R&D facility in Cambois near Blyth, Northumberland. As well as trading houses and financial institutions, the firm increasingly acts for corporate borrowers using utilise trade  and receivables finance to maximise working capital.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Lang-Anderson; Daniel Shurman

Other key lawyers:

Greg Brown; Daniel Shurman; Lorraine Bayliss; Niamh Dehenny-Maher; Oleg Khomenko


‘We worked with a a strong, female-led team on a complicated financing. Throughout, the team was commercial, innovative and always responsive.’

‘Catherine Lang-Anderson – a wonderful leader and adviser.’

‘Niamh Dehenny-Maher was detail oriented and had a great grasp of a complicated transaction.’

Key clients


Metinvest B.V.




Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Gunvor Group

Polestar AB



Work highlights

  • Advised the co-ordinating committee of creditors representing creditors with over USD1bn of debt claims and the agent in relation to the restructuring of the financial indebtedness of the ED&F Man Group and the provision of USD300m new money facilities.
  • Advising a Swedish electric performance car maker, on a EUR350m uncommitted green trade finance facility with a syndicate of banks, to support the import of electric vehicles (EVs) into Europe and North America.
  • Advised Brookfield-backed Modulaire Group, Europe and Asia Pacific’s leading business services company specialising in modular services and infrastructure, on the financings in relation to Modulaire’s acquisition of Mobile Mini UK Holdings Limited from a subsidiary of WillScot Mobile Mini Holdings Corp..

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a trade and export finance practice that excels in transactional matters, including letters of credit, bills of exchange, bills of lading, and demand guarantees, and also provides an advisory service based on in-depth knowledge of underlying assets and emerging markets. Particularly noted for its expertise in receivables finance, the firm has 'an excellent balance of expertise and judgement'. David Leggott, who 'consistently provides excellent advice and service, and handles negotiations with a pragmatic touch', and banking partner Andrew Taylor lead 'one of the most skilled and professional teams in the market'. Leggott advised international agri-business AMS Ameropa on a $1.1bn multi-currency revolving borrowing base facility with a syndicate of more than 20 banks.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Taylor; David Leggott


‘The team has deep knowledge of our business and requirements on transactions through deal-doing and value-add activities like preparing templates and delivering training. We work with a small team who work with us regularly which helps deepen that knowledge. Recently, we have also collaborated with the firm with its diversity and inclusion initiatives, which were impressive in their broad reach.’

‘David Leggott has consistently provided excellent advice and service over the last four years or so that we have been working together. Unflappable, he handles negotiations with others with a pragmatic touch, working for solutions which work for us and for our counterparts.’

‘Hogan Lovells have always been one of the most skilled and professional teams in the market. Wealth of expertise of UK market and cross border transaction across multitude of jurisdictions and corridors.’

‘Excellent balance of expertise and balanced judgement which is so critical when you want advice but practical support in risk based approach to negotiations and security.’

Key clients

AMS Ameropa Markeeting and Sales AG

African Export-Import Bank

Taulia Inc.

UK Export Finance

Deutsche Bank



Credit Agricole Leasing & Finance

ING Bank


International Finance Corporation (IFC)


Société Générale


European Commission



Work highlights

  • Acting for international agri-business AMS Ameropa Marketing and Sales AG in relation to an English law-governed USD and EUR multicurrency revolving borrowing base facility with a syndicate of over 20 banks, to refinance an existing Swiss law facility.
  • Advising Taulia Inc. on setting up its innovative supply chain financing platform using an Luxembourg securitisation vehicle where securities are issued to purchase receivables supported by irrevocable payment undertakings issued by buyers.
  • Advising Afreximbank in relation to the documentation and negotiation of a secured term loan facility to Titan Trust Bank Limited, Nigeria to finance the acquisition of a controlling stake in Union Bank of Nigeria plc.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has a broad practice that covers a range of financing transactions, including big-ticket borrowing base facilities, though it also works in innovative areas such as the development of electronic trade platforms, carbon credit financing deals, and ESG-related matters. Global head of trade finance Nicholas Grandage and senior associate Richard Wilkes recently acted for Standard Chartered Bank in a €350m green trade finance syndicated uncommitted invoice-based facility to support Polestar Group’s import of electric vehicles into Europe and North America. 'Astute negotiatorAndrew Wood advises financiers (including banks, alternative financiers, DFIs, ECAs, corporate borrowers, fintechs, trading companies and suppliers/producers on cross-border structured trade finance transactions. With counsels Mark Brighouse and Tudor Plapcianu, Wood advised ED&F Man Group on the $629m structuring and refinancing its world-wide borrowing base, reference borrowing base, margin line, trade instruments and revolving credit facility across 29 jurisdictions.  The arrival of highly regarded structured finance partner Yusuf Battiwala from Dentons boosts the firm's capacity to handle large structured note and receivables programmes.

Practice head(s):

Nick Grandage

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Wood; Tudor Plapcianu; Richard Wilkes; Mark Brighouse; Yusuf Battiwala


‘Andrew Wood is an exceptional partner, bringing a wealth of expertise in trade finance structures, particularly within emerging markets. With extensive knowledge and experience, he provides invaluable insights to clients navigating complex financial landscapes.’

‘Richard Wilkes is an exceptional lawyer known for his unwavering dedication to clients. Diligent and hard-working, he consistently goes above and beyond, delivering top-notch, tailored legal advice. His commitment to client satisfaction and meticulous approach establish him as a trusted advisor in the field of trade finance.’

‘Tudor Plapcianu – organized, knowledgeable, highly proactive and very responsive to queries and concerns. Excellent at anticipating what a client may require and checking before actioning. Deep trade knowledge.

‘Nick Grandage – a real pleasure to work with. Incredible trade expertise, both from a legal and commercial perspective.’

‘It is a great team, great diversity, great service provided in close collaboration with the client. Always on the ball and with very good service all around. It is a great trade finance team.’

‘Andy Wood is great, always there when needed. Richard Wilkes is a great sidekick to Andy and managing the more tricky issues with others assisting.’

‘Loads of market experience, very pragmatic and subject knowledge experts.’

‘Andy Wood is very knowledgeable, a very astute negotiator and good fun to work with too.’

Key clients

Africa Finance Corporation



BNP Paribas



Coal India Limited (CIL)

Commodities Markets Council


Erste Group Bank AG

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Eurasian Resources Group

Cobra Group

ED&F Man Group



JP Morgan

Louis Dreyfus

Lloyds Bank








Societe Generale

Standard Chartered Bank


TD Securities

ICBC Standard Bank

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Mizuho Bank, Ltd


UK Export Finance

Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

Brightfield Trading




Work highlights

  • Advised ED&F Man Group ED&F Man group on the refinancing of their commodity finance facilities – including a US$300m injection of new money – across 30 jurisdictions, in connection with the US$1.5bn restructuring.
  • Advised SCB as agent on a EUR350m green trade finance syndicated uncommitted invoice-based facility (together with an accordion facility of up to EUR250m) with Polestar Performance AB (Polestar), Swedish premium electric performance car maker and an affiliate to Volvo Cars and Geely Holding Group.
  • Advised EBRD in relation to its award-winning Trade Facilitation Programme, which involves documentation with numerous banks in EBRD’s countries of operation.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP is widely regarded as a key player in the commodities and trade finance markets, taking a prominent role in sophisticated transactions in the hard and soft commodities markets. The vastly experienced Jonathan Solomon oversees the practice, in which trade finance specialists Daniel Birch and Patrick Sutton handle the bulk of transactional work, supported by senior associate Elizabeth Stroud. Working frequently in emerging markets, the practice handles some of the most sophisticated and innovative matters in the market, among recent examples being large finance restructurings, fuel and other commodity collateralisation transactions, and specialist sports finance deals. Its client base comprises multinational banks, export credit agencies, commodity houses, borrowers, exporters, and many other market participants. Birch not only has experience in major physical commodities transactions, but also has significant expertise in structured notes, while Sutton is highly regarded for his knowledge of receivables financing.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Solomon; Patrick Sutton; Daniel Birch

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Stroud

Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Sullivan & Worcester LLP has 'a dedicated team with depth of knowledge and they are great people to work with'. The firm is not only a key adviser to financial institutions, funds, corporate borrowers, agents and trustees, international and industry bodies on the full range of traditional trade finance instruments, but it is also a leading player in the development of digital banking in trade finance platforms. Geoffrey Wynne (who is 'the most experienced trade finance lawyer in the market'), the 'hugely knowledgeable, commercially aware' Simon Cook (who is 'super-attentive to clients, and commercial when needed'), Sam Fowler-Holmes (who is 'super-attentive to clients, and commercial when needed'), and Mark Norris  (who 'seeks to find solutions and understands that cost management is particularly important') are the lead partners. Managing associate Hannah Fearn and head of the UK insurance and disputes practices Marian Boyle are also key to the practice. Wynne recently assisted Lloyds Bank with the template structure for the UK’s first digital ‘promissory note’ purchase under the International Trade and Forfaiting Association’s (ITFA) Digital Negotiable Instrument initiative (DNI).

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Wynne; Simon Cook; Mark Norris; Sam Fowler-Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Fearn; Marian Boyle; Daniela Barrdear


‘Mark Norris seeks to find solutions and understands that cost management is particularly important in the emerging markets.’

‘Dedicated team with depth of knowledge and great people to work with.’

‘Sam Fowler-Holmes – pays super attention to clients, and commercial when needed.’

‘Geoffrey Wynne and his team are very experienced in trade finance facilities, including receivables finance, supply chain finance, trade loans an inventory finance. Their fees are very competitive.’

‘Geoffrey Wynne is the most experienced trade finance lawyer in the market, with cutting-edge expertise in all kinds of working capital finance facilities. He is well supported by Sam Fowler-Homes an Hannah Fearn. Marian Boyle also provides great advice on insurance matters related to trade finance.’

‘Simon Cook – hugely knowledgeable, commercially aware and able to give out good advice based on vast experience.’

‘Very deep knowledge of trade finance products and the secondary market for trade finance.’

‘Extremely commercially-minded and able to find pragmatic solutions to issues.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank


Deutsche Bank

Crown Agents Bank

J.P. Morgan



Bank of America

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB

International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA)

Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT)

Africa Global Trade Finance

Standard Bank

UK Export Finance (UKEF)

Nedbank CIB

Contracta UK

Iroko Securities Limited

Muse Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Lloyds Bank on the template structure for what is described as the UK’s first digital ‘promissory note’ purchase, structured in this specific way. It represents the first transaction to use the International Trade and Forfaiting Association’s (ITFA) Digital Negotiable Instrument initiative (DNI) issued using Enigio’s solution trace; original.
  • Advised ITFA (the International Trade and Forfaiting Association), through its drafting committee, on the development and launch of the new Uniform Rules for Transferable Electronic Payment Obligations (URTEPO).
  • Advised BAFT and ITFA in relation to the publication of new Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) opinions on the English and New York law Master Participation Agreements (MPAs) – for both the 2008 and 2019 English law versions of the MPAs as well as the New York 2019 version as updated for the recent LIBOR transition.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has deep roots in emerging markets finance work, which includes high-end structured trade and commodity finance transactions. Acting for bank creditors, traders/offtakers, exporters, sellers; sovereigns and state-owned owned entities such as national oil companies, the firm has a presence across the full spectrum of transaction structures. Debt finance partners Christopher Czarnocki and James Hardy lead the group. Emerging markets specialist Hardy advised borrowers AGP Worldwide Operations GmbH and AGP Group on a $250 million secured loan financing. Czarnocki  acted for Ghana's Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Energy in the $750m monetisation of royalties payable to the state by companies operating in the gold commodity sector, achieved through the assignment of rights to such royalties to special purpose vehicles which will be listed on the Accra and London stock exchanges.

Practice head(s):

Chris Czarnocki; James Hardy

Key clients

AGP Glass Worldwide Operations GmbH

Helios Investment Partners

Ministry of Finance (Ghana), Ministry of Energy (Ghana)

Deutsche Bank

Puma Energy


Ministry of Finance Ukraine

Africa Finance Corporation


Ghana National Petroleum Corporation

Oi S.A.

A.P. Møller Holding A/S

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ministries of Finance and Energy of Ghana in connection with the monetisation of royalties payable to the state by companies operating in the gold commodity sector.
  • Advised Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, on the US$1.283 billion to US$1.583 billion acquisition of the entire offshore shallow water business of Exxon Mobil Corporation in Nigeria.
  • Advised the lenders in connection with a US$1.4 billion loan to Chevron and Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to help monetise reserves, increase production and support the energy transition through the production of gas for domestic supplies.

Baker McKenzie

The trade and export finance practice at Baker McKenzie handles high-value, cross-border or complex transactions, particularly in emerging markets. Its work spans credit agency finance, pre-export finance, pre-payment finance, borrowing base finance, structured receivables finance, factoring and supply chain finance for financial institutions, corporates and government entities across EMEA and CIS Regions, as well as Latin America, with a particular sector emphasis on commodities, oil and gas and infrastructure. Luka Lightfoot, who assisted Afrexim with the $380m financing of Somoil, and Nick Tostivin are the lead partners. Structured finance partner Jeremy Levy increasingly focuses on trade receivables financing, including factoring transactions. He advised Finalbion on a €220m warehouse securitisation backed by factoring receivables, reverse factoring and loan receivables.

Work highlights


Dentons has a commodities, trade and upstream finance practice that has 'business acumen, a pragmatic approach and an awareness of the customer's need and this makes a real difference'. Ian Clements, who handles syndicated and bilateral borrowing base, pre-export and structured prepayment financings as well as bilateral transactionally secured trade finance facilities, leads the practice following the departure of Tim Pipe  to Clyde & Co . Clements acted for the Ghana Cocoa Board in the pre-export financing of Ghana's 2022/23 cocoa crop with a potential value of $1.3bn. He also assisted ING Bank with the €365m refinancing of a secured uncommitted borrowing base facility based on Green Loan Principles. Key partner Simon Prendergast is an asset-based lending expert with significant experience in advising both lenders and corporate borrowers on cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ian Clements

Other key lawyers:

Simon Prendergast


‘Ian Clements and his team have a vast expertise on Trade Finance matters and trade finance bank products.’

‘The team is good, approachable and they have business acumen, a pragmatic approach and an awareness of the customer’s need and this makes a real difference.’

‘Ian Clements: in addition to his experience and expertise in the trade finance field, Ian is very approachable and reliable and a real facilitator in complex transactions and negotiations with customers.’

Key clients

ING Bank N.V.

Ghana Cocoa Board

Coöoperative Rabobank U.A

E D & F Man Group


UK Export Finance


FBNQuest Merchant Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Ghana Cocoa Board in relation to its annual syndicated receivables-backed pre-export financing facility. The up to USD1.3 billion facility will enable COCOBOD to finance the 2022/23 season cocoa crop for the benefit of Ghanaian cocoa producers.
  • Advising Société Générale on its entry into a letter of credit issuing facility agreement with Maryland InvestCo Limited in respect of the issuance of a £260mn letter of credit in favour of The Crown Estate in connection with the development of the Outer Dowsing Offshore Windfarm Project.
  • Advising a bank in relation to a EUR45 million (plus EUR25 million accordion) asset-based lending (ABL) facility to Spirit of Waterford Distillery, an international whiskey distillery business based in Ireland, to refinance the company’s existing banking facilities and provide ongoing working capital.


Fieldfisher‘s financial markets and products group, in which the trade finance team sits, 'combines a wide range of expertise across different disciplines, which helps clients to reach agreements that will stand the test of time'. The firm handles trade finance arrangements not only in relation to commodities, but also other sectors and asset classes, and its work spans prepayment finance, documentary and standby letters of credit, export and pre-export facilities, reserve base lending, borrowing base, inventory finance and receivables finance. Practice head Oliver Abel Smith focuses on trade and commodity finance and asset finance, particularly in the energy and natural resources sector. Structured finance partner Dougall Molson, who assisted Invesco with the update of its precious metals-backed exchange traded certificates programme. and debt finance specialist Stephen Moller are closely involved with the practice.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Abel Smith

Other key lawyers:

Dougall Molson; Stephen Moller


‘The team is very easy to deal with and have excellent standards for communication in a timely fashion. Their strengths are most definitely quick turnaround of highly complex documentation. No request is too much. They very much have an open-door approach which is very useful when you need to sound out a legal query with them.’

‘What I also have found stands out is their ability to think around an issue and come up with suitable alternatives particularly when counter legal firms are trying to overcomplicate a legal document. Collaboration within their department is well carried out and at all times you get first class communication.’

‘They are very approachable, and always respond in a timely fashion whereas some law firms you may be waiting several hours for a response. Over the years I have built strong relationships with all the partners in the team and once they know how a particular lender likes to operate, they adapt.’

‘I would always recommend their services. Cool, calm and collected and highly knowledgeable, particularly when dealing with a banking product that is not the norm. Easy to deal with, timely communication and clear and concise in their work.’

‘The Fieldfisher team combines a wide range of expertise across different disciplines. This helps give us a broad service that highlights issues to consider wider than the immediate task in hand. This has helped us reach agreements that will stand the test of time as we go, and not just solve today’s problem.’

Key clients

Banque Misr

Banco do Brasil

Europe Arab Bank plc

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Habib Bank AG

ICBC Standard Bank


Silicon Valley Bank

Shawbrook Bank

Trafigura Pte Limited

Traxys Europe SA

Work highlights

  • Advised Invesco in relation to its Invesco Physical Markets precious metals-backed exchange traded certificates programme, one of the largest gold-backed products in Europe.
  • Advised an alternative lender focussed on trade finance on a borrowing base facility secured against Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates and UK Emissions Allowances.
  • Advised a North African commercial bank on a $130 million facility with African Development Bank for the purpose of funding SMEs, technology based businesses and agribusinesses in country, specifically targeted at businesses run by or benefitting women.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP climbs the ranking this year having continued to build out its practice with key hires. Counsel Ildar Bagautdinov joined from Reed Smith LLP in 2022 to add specialist expertise in structured trade and commodities finance. He worked with key partner Toby Grimstone to advise key client Glencore on its principal RCFs, which have a total value in excess of $6.5bn. Jeremy Gewirtz and Chris Staples  are co-heads of the firm’s global commodities group, and they each have extensive expertise in advising corporates, banks, funds and governments on commodities, trade and receivables financings. Gewirtz recently assisted Macquarie Bank Limited with  an SEK1,191,930,824 (approx. £97.6m) inventory monetisation for the Nynäshamn refinery in Sweden, which is owned by Nynas AB. A recent highlight for Staples was his work for Base Carbon Inc. on a structured tri- party carbon finance transaction.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Gewirtz; Chris Staples

Other key lawyers:

Toby Grimstone; Ildar Bagautdinov

Key clients

Macquarie Bank Limited

Citigroup Global Markets Limited


Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Base Carbon

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Advising Base Carbon Inc on a structured and complex tri- party carbon finance transaction in connection with the development of cookstove and water purifier carbon reduction projects in Vietnam.
  • Advising Glencore on numerous trade commodities and receivable transactions and limited recourse prepayment financings.
  • Advising ING Bank N.V. on a US$2.91bn borrowing base and ancillary guarantee facilities for Varo Energy.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP advises banks, funds, corporates and fintech companies in relation to the full range of complex, cross-border trade finance transactions. The work spans traditional trade finance instruments, structured trade and commodity finance, inventory monetisation, receivables finance, payables and supply chain finance, export finance and risk distribution matters. Head of banking and finance Alex Dell is a key adviser to banks, private credit funds, sponsors and corporates on cross-border transactions. He and up-and-coming partner Charles Thain advised HSBC on the extension and uplift of back-to-back receivables finance facilities for members of the Bibby group of companies. Key partner Ashley McDermott specialises in export finance and structured trade and commodity finance. He assisted ING with the the amendment and restatement of up to €1.23bn in syndicated secured revolving credit facilities. Senior associate David Fraher also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Alex Dell

Other key lawyers:

Ashley McDermott; Charles Thain; Ravi Amin; David Fraher


‘Ravi Amin is truly outstanding. A prototype of lawyer you absolutely want to work with – very pragmatic and commercially focused.’

Key clients

Banco Santander

Barclays Bank

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank



Citizens Bank

City National Bank

Cooperative Rabobank

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Goldman Sachs



JPMorgan Chase Bank NA


Natixis New York Branch

Pemberton Capital Advisors

PB Factoring


Raistone Capital

Raiffeisen Bank International


Société Générale




Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC UK Bank PLC as Receivables Financier, in connection with the extension and uplift of its back-to-back receivables finance facilities agreement made available to certain members of the Bibby group of companies in the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Singapore and Slovakia.
  • Advised the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and other lenders on a syndicated, secured $600 million landmark facility for Trafigura, which related to underlying facilities between Trafigura and Chemaf Resources Ltd and Chemaf SA (a leading vertically integrated copper and cobalt producer in the Democratic Republic of Congo).
  • Advised ING, as co-ordinator, and security and facility agent on behalf of a syndicate of banks on the amendment and restatement of the up to €1.23 billion syndicated secured revolving credit facilities made available to MET Holding AG and its subsidiaries, under which various forms of trade instruments can be issued.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs hired a trade finance team from Clyde & Co in 2021 and that has since been making waves in the market. The practice is built around 'strong and experienced individuals well recognised as experts in their field', particularly Robert Parson, who is 'one of the most knowledgeable and experienced practitioners in the industry'. Parson is particularly adept in advising banks and non-bank financiers, funds, large and medium-sized commodity traders, producers, credit insurers and other market participants on structured trade and inventory finance transactions. His 'knowledgeable, practical, cost-efficient and responsive' team includes  senior associates Geraldine Butac and Jennifer Greengrass, who have extensive experience in advising banks, specialist financial institutions and corporates on cross-border financings.

Practice head(s):

Robert Parson

Other key lawyers:

Geraldine Butac; Jennifer Greengrass


‘Strong and experienced individuals well recognized as experts in their field’

‘Robert Parsons one of the most knowledgeable and experienced practitioners in the industry’

‘Knowledgeable, practical, cost-efficient and responsive.’

‘Robert Parson, a real partner, always available and advice always accurate and practical.’

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood climbs the ranking this year having continued to build a strong practice around its practice heads Philip Prowse and Jameel Tarmohamed, who are ‘experienced commodities trade finance partners, who understand the issues faced by commodity traders and provide valued support‘. The firm counts among its clients some of the world’s leading commodity trading houses, as well as banks and large corporates. As well as handling traditional commodities trade finance practice, the team is involved in new areas such as the digitalisation of trade finance, and advises on trading platforms and blockchain systems. Associate Andrew Green plays a central role in the practice, advising banks, investors, and corporates with a focus predominantly on work for traders.

Practice head(s):

Philip Prowse; Jameel Tarmohamed

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Green


‘Philip Prowse and Jameel Tarmohamed are experienced commodities trade finance partners. They understand the issues faced by commodity traders and provide valued support.’

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's growing trade finance practice works closely with the firm's regional focus groups, particularly the Africa Group, and also its sector focus areas, notably retail and consumer, to handle an increasing volume of domestic and cross-border transactions. Lead partner Mike Davison, who calls on a team of trade finance litigators and transactional lawyers in Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds, recently acted for Jubilant Pharma in a $400m structured trade finance deal with Standard Chartered. Managing associate Batsho Nthoi, who joined the London office from Standard Chartered, brings extensive expertise in international trade finance transactions, particularly the distribution of receivables under large syndicated offerings.

Practice head(s):

Mike Davison

Other key lawyers:

Batsho Nthoi

Key clients

PNC Bank and PNC Business Credit

BNP Paribas & BNP Paribas Commercial Finance Ltd

Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance

HSBC Bank PLC & HSBC Invoice Finance Limited

FGI Worldwide LLC

Breal Zeta Commercial Finance

Bank Leumi & Leumi ABL Limited

ABN Amro Asset Based FInance

Close Brothers Group Plc & Close Brothers Invoice Finance Ltd

Omniveta DK Holdings ApS (and Group Companies)

Advance Global Capital

AIB Commercial Finance

Metro Bank

Blazehill Capital

gunnercooke LLP

'The team seems to be very strong in the area of financial legislation', say clients of gunnercooke LLP which continues to build up its trade finance practice. The firm already has significant experience in commodities and finance partners Marc Weisberger and Veronika Koroleva, whose work spans structured commodity finance, trade and supply chain finance, receivables finance, and reserve-based lending. The arrival of Matthew Harvey from Gowling WLG adds expertise in lending transactions, for both lenders and borrowers, in asset and receivables finance. Weisberger recently acted for Torq Commodities AG in the financing of its expansion programme. 'They gave me a good feeling of being in control of the legislation, but at the same time offered possible scenarios where appropriate', remarks a client.

Other key lawyers:

Marc Weisberger; Veronika Koroleva; Matthew Harvey


‘The team is very strong in the area of financial legislation.’

‘They gave me a good feeling of being in control, but at the same time offered possible scenarios where appropriate.’

Key clients

SOCAR Trading SA

Green Biofuels Limited

Cabipa Nigeria Limited, Nigeria and Eterna plc, Nigeria

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Limited, London Branch

Torq Commodities AG

Barens CT SA

Shard Credit Partners Ltd

Korea Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Green Biofuels, a UK-based international trader of biofuels, on its trade finance, supply and equity investment with bp plc.
  • Advising Torq, an international group trading in soft and agricultural commodities, on its expansion programme, worth between $5–20m.
  • Advising Shard Credit Partners Ltd on the structuring and implementation of a new trade finance vehicle using sale and repurchase funding techniques, worth up to $50m.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The finance practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'very strong and has an excellent level of knowledge of the market and recent developments'. The trade finance team is part of the broader energy and natural resources practice, and it acts for both lenders and borrowers in commodity-related financings, particularly in the energy sector. It has notable expertise in reserve-based lending transactions. Oil and gas finance expert Thomas Bethel , who has 'a wealth of knowledge', and energy and project finance specialist William Breeze are the lead partners. Bethel advised senior lenders on the $500m refinancing of a secured loan and letter of credit borrowing base facility to EnQuest.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Bethel; William Breeze


‘The team is very strong and they have an excellent level of knowledge about the market and recent developments.’

‘Thomas Bethel has a wealth of knowledge.’

Key clients

The senior lenders to the Enquest group

A syndicate of lenders – Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DNB Bank ASA, Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski S.A, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Bank Handlowy W Warzawie S.A., SMBC Bank EU AG, BNP Paribas, ING Belgium NV/SA, Societe Generale

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CACIB), Credit Agricole Leasing & Factoring and Ester Finance Technologies


Black Sea Oil & Gas

Dana Petroleum


Work highlights

  • Advised the senior lenders on the refinancing of a secured loan and letter of credit borrowing base facility to the EnQuest group (USD 500 million).
  • Acted for a syndicate of lenders in relation to the amendment of an existing reserve-based lending facility agreement between the lenders and PGNiG Upstream Norway to inter alia, increase the facility amount by US$500 million, make provision for subsequent ESG provisions and transition the interest rate from US LIBOR to Compounded SOFR.
  • Advised Mercuria Energy Trading SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercuria Energy Group Limited, in connection with the increase of Jervois Suomi (Holding) Oy and Jervois Finland Oy’s secured working capital facility from US$75 million to US$150 million.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Clients praise Hill Dickinson LLP for its 'intimate knowledge of the legal issues together with a commercial approach and knowledge of the market.' The practice led by Mark Aspinall, who is 'highly regarded in the oil market for related finance structures', advises both lenders and borrowers on trade finance transactions and related litigation. Associate Olga Newman is 'knowledgeable and reliable way beyond her current associate title'. Their work spans pre-finance agreements, stock and inventory finance, repo financing structures, and borrowing base finance, as well as many types of supply chain financing instrument. The practice counts Czarnikow Group and Banque Cantonale de Geneve among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Mark Aspinall

Other key lawyers:

Olga Newman


‘Hands-on, with a strong command of shipping and workout restructurings.’

‘Mark Aspinall is a longtime advisor of our international business line. His depth of knowledge, pragmatic approach and market knowledge is appreciated.’

‘The strengths of Hill Dickinson include: an intimate knowledge of the legal issues together with a commercial approach and knowledge of the market; incredibly responsive, quick to deliver and very cost-efficient; advanced knowledge of hot topics like CRR and trade finance fraud; personable, friendly and a great pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Czarnikow Group Limited

Banque Cantonale de Geneve

ADES International Holdings PLC

MOK Petroenergy FZC

Zakher Marine International Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Zakher with the re-financing of its fleet of 39 oil tankers and advised on the discharge of security packages in favour of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and the registration of new mortgages in favour of Mashreqbank PSC as collateral; security agent to a syndicated Shariah law compliant loan facility.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a 'knowledgeable and approachable practice that is always frank and concise with honest and straightforward comments'. The practice, which counts among its clients Bank of China, Ghana International Bank, and National Bank of Greece, is frequently involved in financing transactions in Africa and Brazil, and it is called upon to advise on the implications of Russian sanctions. Head of financial services Grant Eldred, who is 'always very hands on and directly to the point, ' has particular expertise in advising the London branches of overseas banks on a broad range of their operational, regulatory and transactional requirements. Trade finance litigation specialist Mark Sachs plays a key role in the practice, and banking and finance associate Ellis van der Vos is recommended for bilateral and syndicated lending, and international trade finance.

Practice head(s):

Grant Eldred: Mark Sachs

Other key lawyers:

Ellis van der Vos


‘Strong and extensive expertise in the products we require. Knowledgeable and approachable practice with an ability to respond within the time frame we need.’

‘Always frank and concise with honest and straightforward comments. Grant Eldred has always given sensible and practical advice.’

‘Excellent level of engagement’

‘Grant Eldred is very reactive, well listens to and understands the needs – he is brief and clear in his advice and has strategic thinking.’

‘Penningtons provided trade finance legal advice to us. Despite it being a sizeable transaction, the team under the guidance of Grant Eldred supported us in a timely, competent and professional way.’

‘Grant Eldred – who was always very hands on and directly to the point – and Ellis van der Vos managed our position in the negotiations very well and we achieved what we wanted. Both did fast returns of the documents and gave good summaries of what our position was and what we could achieve.’

Key clients

Bank of China

Agricultural Bank of China

National Bank of Greece

Bank ABC

Banque Cantonale Vaudoise

Bank of Beirut (UK) Ltd

Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited

Bank of Communications (UK) Limited

Ghana International Bank plc

Zenith Bank

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has 'an excellent team that manages to achieve the rare combination of excellent technical legal skills, strong market knowledge and contacts, and a personable and human approach'. The firm's long-standing commitment to the commodities sector, combined with experience in complex finance structures, make it a prominent adviser on commodity and upstream finance transactions. Lead partner Joe Levin and senior associate Jordan Joannides assisted FBN Bank (UK) Ltd with commodities mandates with a total value of $185m, including trade finance and working capital facilities. Levin also advised BW Energy Holdings on a new $300m reserve-based lending facility to finance the development of the Dussafu offshore oilfield in Gabon. Head of the mining and commodities group Jan Mellmann and head of the global oil and gas practice Chris Kilburn are closely involved in the financing of major projects across the globe.

Practice head(s):

Joe Levin

Other key lawyers:

Jan Mellmann; Jordan Joannides; Chris Kilburn; Philip Beswick


‘An excellent team who manage to achieve the rare combination of excellent technical legal skills, strong market knowledge and contacts and a personable and human approach to their work.’

‘Joe Levin is excellent.’

‘Very knowledgeable group and involved in numerous financings matters, particularly on the shipping side.’

‘As a group, they are practical and thoughtful and have excellent industry knowledge.’

‘WFW has the capabilities of a larger firm and the flexibility of a smaller firm.’

‘Jan Mellmann is a committed and commercially minded partner and a trusted advisor.’

Key clients

Republic of Guinea

FBN Bank (UK) Ltd

BW Energy Holdings Pte. Ltd

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

Trafigura Pte Ltd

African Export and Import Bank (“Afrexim”)

Coastline Exploration

JE Energy

Altamin Limited

Teichmann Company Limited

United Oil & Gas plc

Tenaz Energy Corp.

CalEnergy Resources (UK) Ltd

Celsius Resources Limited

Beacon Energy plc

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising BW Energy on an up to US$300m new international RBL (“reserve-based lending”) facility. The facility will be used initially to further finance and develop the Dussafu license offshore Gabon.
  • Advising Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (“BSTDB”) regarding an up to €90.5m loan granted to Energean Oil & Gas S.A. (“Energean”), as well an associated guarantee to be provided by the Greek State for up to 90% of the total committed investment, to develop the Prinos Basin offshore of Greece.
  • Advising Trafigura on an up to US$150,000,000 facility agreement for Gran Tierra Energy with two Swiss entities from the Gran Tierra group acting as the borrowers.