Ashurst has an extensive offering across the fund finance space, combining a regular subscription and capital call practice with innovative work covering facilities such as NAVs, hybrids, ESG financing and pre-capital-call bridge loans. The team is led by Lee Doyle, who advises many of the firm's key lender clients on European and Asian fund financing transactions. Robert Andrews is noted for his expertise across a wide range of 'complex, innovative' facilities, advising financial institutions and funds, while Nick Wong has standout expertise in syndicated loan arrangements and insurance-led financings. Navdeep Benning was promoted to partner in late 2020, and specialises in innovative asset-backed and unsecured structures, GP and co-investment lending, and ESG facilities. The team was further bolstered by the late 2020 arrival of Doug Murning from DLA Piper, which brought significant fund-side expertise and client connections.
Fund finance in London
Other key lawyers:
Robert Andrew; Navdeep Benning; Nick Wong; Doug Murning; Briony Holcombe
‘Long established team and relationship with ourselves. Intimate and commercial knowledge of the fund finance market. Always responsive, and when negotiating, very commercial. They can cope with multiple parallel financings – a key thing for us – and maintain quality.‘
‘Navdeep Benning leads the function, with a good balance of control and delegation, and with the obvious thought leadership. Very visible, proactive and commercial. Clearly understands our needs in this market.‘
‘Robert Andrews loves a complex, innovative structure! It allows him to flex his intellectual muscle, whilst preserving commercial principles and keeping the solution real for the client.‘
‘Robert Andrews – extremely bright and focused on risk mitigation. He comes into his own when considering complex, innovative structures and calls upon Ashurst’s expensive network to support solutions across multiple jurisdictions, particularly Germany.’
‘Briony Holcombe – up and coming, highly competent senior associate – one to watch.‘
Silicon Valley Bank
- Advised Citibank on a $600m (with an accordion based on final fund size) subscription credit facility to a leading infrastructure fund.
- Advised a syndicate of leading global financial institutions, including BNP Paribas and SEB acting as Sustainability Coordinators and BNP Paribas as Agent and Sustainability Agent on the subscription credit facility for EQT Fund IX, EQT’s flagship private equity fund.
- Advised a major UK bank as agent/arranger and a syndicate of 13 lenders on multicurrency capital call facilities of approximately $3bn, which were provided to a major infrastructure fund.
Clifford Chance LLP operates across the fund finance market, advising high-profile sponsor and lender clients on a wide array of financing transactions, including subscription and capital call facilities, NAV and hybrid arrangements, and innovative ESG-focused financings. Clients include buyout funds and institutional asset managers, international investment banks, and other financial institutions. Andrew Husdan is sought after by sponsors and lenders, handling traditional and innovative loan facilities, including debt financing and insurance/pension fund matters. He co-heads the practice with Nicola Wherity, who has strong expertise in lending and securitisation, alongside a consistent ESG financing practice. In addition, she has a strong profile in regulatory issues, including LIBOR replacement.
Andrew Husdan; Nicola Wherity
‘Very knowledgeable and innovative in seeking client-friendly solutions.‘
‘Nicola Wherity was outstanding. An expert in her field, yet makes the issues seem straightforward and manageable. Very responsive, fast and efficient. The client’s attention is directed to wards the key issues. When dealing with the other side she is calm and considerate yet stands her ground and is a force to be reckoned with.‘
‘Ability to provide advice and deal execution on bespoke complex transactions with good adherence to budget and delivery timescales. Very strong knowledge of the sector/market and able to draw on that experience to tailor solutions to problems.‘
‘Very reliable execution partner for financing transactions with good communication throughout and ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions. Background knowledge of lender’s requirements plus wider market experience means they can quickly deal with most curve balls and any referrals for decisions are always well thought-through.‘
Rothschild & Co
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP maintains its strong track record in sponsor-side fund financing, working with a variety of major buyout, venture capital and alternative credit funds. It has also expanded its share of lender-side work, advising international banks and financial institutions. The 'exemplary' practice advises on the full range of facilities, including subscription and capital call, NAV, and hybrid lending. Thomas Smith has market-leading expertise in ESG-contingent loans. Another key individual is Alan Davies, who regularly handles European work for major fund managers. Smith and Davies co-head the practice with Pierre Maugüé, who has notable expertise in insurance-leveraged deals, alongside other complex arrangements, such as GP asset financing.
Alan Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith
Other key lawyers:
‘The Debevoise team was outstanding with their knowledge in this very complex transaction. The structured finance team led the transaction but they also brought together their tax and secondaries team. For any type of structured deal like this, Debevoise is the clear leader and I would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them to any clients that want to replicate this structure.’
‘I would like to specifically call out: Pierre Maugue, Partner – Pierre led the transaction for the Debevoise team and is outstanding. He is very sharp and worked through complex issues with us and always made sure we negotiated the best outcome. In addition, his positive and personable attitude makes him an absolute pleasure. Pierre was in London and we were working New York hours but I never felt like I couldn’t reach him.‘
‘Thomas Smith – I think he is the best in the business when it comes to Fund related facilities. Tom also kept me in the know on fees at regular intervals, especially where they were running over pre-agreed budgeted numbers.‘
‘Great team – personal and informal whilst still being highly professional. Always seeking to improve and get the best results for the client.‘
‘Tom Smith is a stand out lawyer and really tries to get the best results as possible for his clients. Sharp and to the point.‘
‘The D&P team were exemplary in all areas. I was fortunate to work together with Tom Smith and Almas Daud on two recent projects and was particularly impressed by their depth of knowledge and ability to simply get things done.’
‘Strong reputation in the market and a highly collegiate and collaborative culture. A pleasure to work with the team.‘
Oaktree Capital Management
Baring Private Equity
Blue Water Energy
- Advised EQT on two subscription line facilities which incorporated innovative environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) mechanics.
- Advised EQT (and subsequently Bridgepoint) on the financing aspects related to the sale of EQT’s Credit Fund to Bridgepoint Advisers.
- Advised borrowers and lenders on multiple concentrated PE NAV fund level financings.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP maintains a leading lender-side practice, advising key banks and other financial institutions on high-value and complex international financings, encompassing traditional subscription and capital call lending, NAV and hybrid facilities, and innovative facilities such as portfolio company lending. The team’s share of the European market is notable, alongside its work with US, African, and Middle East-based clients. The team is led by the ‘innovative‘ Bronwen Jones and Leon Stephenson, vastly experienced practitioners who enjoy productive relationships with key lenders and some leading borrowers. Colin Baker advises lenders and borrowers on subscription line and GP co-investment financings, while Kevin-Paul Deveau has notable expertise in bespoke credit solutions. Senior associate Kyrstin Streeter plays a key role on fund financing and loan restructuring mandates, while Chu Ting Ng works with a number of the firm’s key clients.
Leon Stephenson; Bronwen Jones
Other key lawyers:
Colin Baker; Kevin-Paul Deveau; Kyrstin Streeter; Chu Ting Ng
‘Reed Smith is a growing firm. They have had a lot of people join their finance team in the last two to three years. They are hungry, and it shows in how they deliver and in the investment they put into client relationships.‘
‘My main point of contact at Reed Smith is Kevin-Paul Deveau. He is a partner in the banking team, and he has broad experience across a range of product categories, making him a key point in all of our work with Reed Smith. He is also an excellent negotiator, knowing when to step up the pressure on the other side and when to act as the voice of reason in the room.‘
‘Bronwen Jones brings significant market experience, innovative thought and patience to complex deals – there aren’t many structures or issues that she doesn’t have experience with.’
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP advises a wide range of major international banks and credit providers, including credit funds, as well as institutional fund managers, on an array of complex fund financing matters. The team handles subscription, capital call, NAV, and hybrid facilities, and offers significant expertise in multi-jurisdictional arrangements, SMA and joint venture financing, and ESG-focused facilities. The team is led by the ‘innovative‘ and ‘persuasive‘ Samantha Hutchinson, who has been active in the fund finance space since its inception, and regularly handles complex cross-border financings and loan structuring matters, and Nathan Parker, who advises financial institutions and market managers. Associate Mathan Navaratnam is noted for his role in market-leading European financings, and broader role promoting diversity within the firm.
Samantha Hutchinson; Nathan Parker
Other key lawyers:
‘Comprehensive practice, available to advise on all matters within fund finance including new-to-market innovative structures.‘
‘Sam Hutchinson has exceptional awareness of the market and its participants. Able to give clear advise on complex structuring issues pertinent to funds/GPs/etc.‘
‘Nathan Parker has worked on multiple deals with us. Always keen to find a pragmatic solution to issues, and very good to have on more complex deals given his ability and obvious very high level of experience. Very conscious of costs and sticking to it.‘
‘The fund finance team at CWT is a market leader in providing all variants of fund finance solutions. Samantha Hutchinson and her team are our go to adviser of choice for complex, bespoke transactions.‘
‘Samantha Hutchinson – always available, sharp, innovative, persuasive and a pleasure to partner with.‘
Standard Chartered PLC
Silicon Valley Bank
- Advised Standard Chartered PLC on its partnership with one of the largest private-markets investment managers to complete one of the world’s first sustainable use of proceeds subscription finance facility.
- Advised OakNorth Bank on its first subscription facility provided to consumer- focused private equity firm, BlueGem Capital Partners.
DLA Piper, which undertakes lender and borrower-side work, acts for clients such as fund managers, investment banks, investors and alternative credit providers. The team is led by Bryony Widdup, who has expertise in structured and non-structured lending, including hybrid, capital call and NAV facilities, as well as securitisation, structured note products and equity commitments. Paul Gray focuses on structured finance and real estate transactions, as well as leveraged loan restructuring. Associate Mariel Luna focuses on borrower-side advice, particularly cross-border syndicated and bilateral NAV facilities, hybrid lending and co-investment deals.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Gray; Mariel Luna
‘The DLA team has a good understanding of the fund finance product and investment fund structuring which assists with negotiations and commercial terms.’
The fund finance team led by Bryony Widdup are excellent. They always look after their clients’ best interests whilst taking a pragmatic approach to transactions. Their legal and commercial expertise are outstanding. ‘
‘Bryony Widdup is exceptional as a partner together with her associate Mariel Luna. Their expertise is top level and dedication to clients second to none.’
Macfarlanes LLP advises fund managers on financing for a variety of fund structures, with particular strength in credit funds and private equity. The team advises on GP support, capital call, subscription and equity commitment facilities. Also notable is that it has a growing profile in international lending arrangements. The team is jointly led by Andrew Perkins and Richard Fletcher, who are both strong performers in the credit fund space and advise on a number of complex mandates. Senior associate Alex Pickett advises on ESG and sustainability-focused financings, and has in-house expertise from a secondment, as does Valery Nformba.
Andrew Perkins; Richard Fletcher
Other key lawyers:
Alchemy Special Opportunities Funds
- Advised Montagu on their €600m revolving credit facility to support the sixth Montagu investment vehicle.
Mayer Brown International LLP has standout capabilities in lender-side work; it advises a number of major international financial institutions and investment banks on complex fund financing matters, with strong expertise in hybrid and asset-backed facilities. The firm also has a strong profile among fund sponsors, for whom it handles formation mandates and financing for secondary transactions. The team also advises on fund leverage matters, including GP, umbrella and fund of funds facilities, and it offers cross-border expertise across key fund jurisdictions. Paul Tannenbaum regularly works with GPs on a diverse range of financing matters. He co-heads the practice with Aimee Sharman, who maintains a strong profile within the industry, and advises lenders and borrowers on complex financing transactions.
Paul Tannenbaum; Aimee Sharman
Other key lawyers:
Ed Saunders; Matt Lilley
‘Excellent client service; knowledgeable and approachable.‘
‘Mayer Brown’s UK fund finance practice is unique in the coverage and inter-link the practice has on a global basis. Our experience with Mayer Brown has been of the same high quality across different jurisdictions and they go above the minimum requirements to ensure client needs are met.‘
‘Paul Tannenbaum has been a great partner in this space, with attention to detail and him being particularly quick to point out various structuring and negotiating points.‘
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons advises borrowers and lenders on the full range of fund financing transactions, including traditional capital call and subscription facilities, as well as NAV, hybrid and ESG financings. Its work relates to funds that cover various strategies, such as infrastructure, real estate, debt and credit. The team is closely integrated with the fund formation practice, and has strong multijurisdictional capabilities, working with the firm's Luxembourg, French and Italian offices. The team is led by Jen Yee Chan , who advises sponsors and lenders on fund level/holdco leverage and managed account lending, alongside traditional facilities. John Sayers focuses on debt financing and structured lending. Supervising associate Tom Armstrong joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in early 2020, bolstering the firm's syndicated and bilateral lending capabilities.
Jen Yee Chan
Other key lawyers:
John Sayers; Tom Armstrong
Addleshaw Goddard advises banks, institutional lenders and fund managers on an array of cross-border financing transactions in Europe and the United States. Its team's experience includes sustainability-linked financings, sub-participations and distributions. The group is supported by the firm's wider international banking and finance practice, and was bolstered in mid-2021 by the arrival of specialist fund finance practitioner Jeremy Cross from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Finance head Steve Mackie and fund finance-focused partner Angus Gill co-head the team, which advises lenders and borrowers on NAV, capital call and GP financings. Zoe Connor, who is also an active member of the team, primarily advises banks.
Steve Mackie; Angus Gill
Other key lawyers:
Jeremy Cross; Zoe Connor; Ben Rayner
‘Zoe Connor is a very experienced partner, with excellent client relationship. Her team is great at coordinating deals with local counsel. Feedback and instructions are accurate and timely.‘
‘Zoe Connor is a very skilled lawyer, with a strong commercial and pragmatic approach with strong leadership skills. The team is easy to work with, very responsive and always available when instructions or guidelines are needed. Particular mention is given to Ben Rayner for his responsiveness, dedication and hard work.‘
‘We have worked with Zoe Connor and her team on a number of fund finance transactions and very much enjoy working with them. They are focused, very commercial, and manage transactions and local counsel very well in their role as lead counsel. They have great market knowledge and negotiate well for their clients without over-lawyering.‘
‘Friendly, focused and sharp. The AG team has handled multiple transactions for us simultaneously and has always delivered excellent work on time and on budget.‘
‘The AG team are very cohesive. At partner level, Zoe and Angus have been very engaged in our recent transactions and have been quick to apply their significant knowledge and expertise to resolve issues in a timely manner and keep our deals on track.‘
Amber MEEF 2 LLP
- Advised North American and Japanese banks on a €300m capital call financing to a European private equity fund, with French and Luxembourg fund vehicles.
- Advised a global alternative investment fund manager on seven fund financings, including a complex cross-border $150m facility arranged by a French bank.
- Advised UK and international banks on more than €600m of fund financings to sustainable and clean energy funds.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP primarily undertakes sponsor-side work, advising major institutional asset managers and mid-market players on a diverse range of fund financing transactions. The team collaborates with its New York office and wider global asset management, tax and corporate departments; this makes it well-placed to handle complex cross-border mandates involving specific areas, such as funds of one and BDCs. The group is jointly led by Kathryn Cecil and Jons Lehmann, whose expertise spans traditional and specialised facilities. Senior associate Graham Greenwood is another key individual.
Kathryn Cecil; Jons Lehmann
Other key lawyers:
‘They have their fingers on the pulse of innovation in ESG finance, and Kathryn Cecil knows how to deliver it under pressure.’
‘The team is very knowledgeable, commercial and up to date with recent developments but at the same time is happy to call on expertise from other departments.’
‘Always prepared to assist with any questions or queries and will make time to discuss on a call.’
Palatine Private Equity
CVC Credit Partners
Arcmont Asset Management
Cambridge Innovation Capital
- Advising Goldman Sachs on a variety of cross-border fund financing matters for debt, equity and infrastructure-focused funds.
- Advising on fund financing matters for funds sponsored by BlackRock, including asset- based leveraged and revolving credit facilities.
- Advising on fund financing matters to funds sponsored by CVC Credit Partners, including subscription and revolving credit facilities.
With a strong portfolio of leading private equity sponsor clients, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is active in the fund financing space, advising exclusively on borrower-side mandates. Its varied workload includes high-value international financing transactions for buyout, healthcare, infrastructure, real estate and debt funds. The practice is led by European fund finance head Susannah Amini, who has expertise in capital call, subscription and NAV facilities, as well as advising on innovative ESG facilities and GP financing for secondary transactions, co-investments and restructurings. Fund formation practitioner Andy Shore is also active, with him advising on sponsor-level financings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Key strengths are its people, who are able to combine extensive technical knowledge with the ability to relay that in a succinct but commercially relevant manner.’
‘Excellent knowledge of the fund finance landscape, market trends, innovations and readily available.’
‘Susannah Amini – excellent coordination on a number of complex fund finance projects over a number of years, even more so during the initial UK lockdown period.’
‘The ability to coordinate a number of overlapping projects, accelerating rapidly to conclusion when circumstances require it, in combination with consistent first class commercial insight is a highly valued commodity within the fund finance space.’
IK Investment Partners
Montagu Private Equity
Pollen Street Capital
- Advised HgCapital on the £425m NAV financing of the portfolio of Hg Genesis 8.
- Advised Investindustrial on a €600m ESG-linked subscription facility for Investindustrial Fund VII.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP advises funds and financial institutions on a broad range of financing matters, including subscription and capital call, NAV and hybrid facilities, master-feeder structures and GP financing. The team also has notable expertise in fund leverage, including mezzanine financing and leverage for direct lending funds. The team is led by Cameron Saylor, structured finance specialist Diala Minott, Sierra Taylor and Christian Parker, who is noted for his work on complex credit funds matters.
Diala Minott; Christian Parker; Cameron Saylor; Sierra Taylor
‘Very efficient and focused on the key commercial points.‘
Credit Suisse AG, London Branch
Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd.
Raiffeisen Bank International
MacKay Shields Europe Investment Management
Ostrum Asset Management
Northwoods European CLO Management (an Angelo Gordon vehicle)
Morgan Stanley & Co.
MML Capital Partners LLP
Pantheon Ventures (UK) LLP
MVM Partners LLP
Melford Capital LLP
Blackrock Real Assets
Fieldfisher has continued to develop its fund finance practice, advising fund managers on capital call and NAV facilities, as well as handling complex multijurisdictional regulatory issues. Names to note in the team are practice head Philip Abbott and George Murphy. The group works closely with fund formation partner James Tinworth.
Other key lawyers:
James Tinworth; George Murphy
Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP has a strong focus on lender-side fund finance mandates, advising major international financial institutions on the full range of products, including capital call, NAV and hybrid facilities, co-investment strategies, GP investments and management fee lines. The team, which is led by experienced practitioner Emma Russell, also has notable capabilities in ESG financing.
‘The female-led fund finance team at Haynes & Boone is excellent. They are responsive and commercial, and available around the clock for their clients. Emma Russell leads the team and she is also the co-chair of Women in Fund Finance, taking a stand for diversity and female excellence in the sector.‘
‘Emma Russell knows her stuff! But better still, she is client-focused and is like an extension of her clients’ internal legal team.‘
‘Deep sector expertise.‘
Led by special finance counsel Cameron Roper, the team at Proskauer Rose LLP advises funds, sponsors, financial institutions and alternative lenders on secured and unsecured subscription and capital call facilities, NAV and hybrid products, and GP and management-led funding transactions. The group in London works closely with its US offices on complex cross-border financings.
‘Reactive, nice to work with, technically sound, anticipate issues.‘
‘Cameron Roper – easy to work with, engaging, practical, pragmatic without compromising risk.‘
‘Very well integrated team, liaising smoothly with lots of different parts of the firm. Associates are of high quality and capable of leading deals making their advice very good value for a top tier firm. They bring a good knowledge of lending, and of funds issues, combining both well. Team culture is very client oriented and commercial, working all hours.‘
‘Cameron Roper is a rising star. He provides partner-level advice and creativity while working the hours (and charging the rates) that are more appropriate for an associate. He brings a wealth of credit risk understanding, addressing the issues rather than just churning out forms.‘
‘In-depth knowledge of latest trends in fund documentation. Strong integration of tax and legal team advice. Great knowledge of fund finance providers, providing a one-stop shop for fund formation, tax and finance negotiation services.‘
‘The work and advice we have received is consistently delivered promptly and to a high standard.‘
Tenzing Private Equity