Fund finance in London
Ashurst's dedicated fund finance team has considerable experience across all aspects of the space thanks to longstanding relationships with major funds and institutional lenders alike; the group also has expertise in all forms of loan facilities, from standard subscription and capital calls to NAV facilities, hybrid facilities and GP-backed lending. The team also benefits from close relationships with the firm's fund formation and capital markets teams, alongside notable cross-jurisdictional capabilities relating to key fund domiciles such as Luxembourg and matters involving new lenders in Europe and the US. The team is led by the highly experienced Lee Doyle, who has been active in fund finance since its inception; he is supported by Robert Andrews, who advises borrowers and lenders on the full spectrum of global loan facilities. Also of note is the recently promoted Navdeep Benning, who has a particular specialism in emerging facilities including NAV facilities and loans to SPVs.
‘The team at Ashurst are extremely knowledgeable, and are clearly all subject matter experts in the field of fund finance.’
‘Lee Doyle has been at the forefront of the industry for many years, instructive on latest market practice, consistent performer and great team player.’
‘In-depth industry expertise makes the Ashurst team among the most technically proficient legal service teams in the UK and EMEA.’
‘Robert Andrews: One of the most technically proficient and most experienced counsels in the capital call finance space.’
‘Depth of experience; legal rigour with the ability to craft commercially appropriate solutions to legal risks.’
‘Robert Andrews has tremendous gravitas, along with the depth and breadth of experience that really inspires confidence.’
‘Excellent interpersonal skills underpinned by deep knowledge of the products and industry. Critical in the managing the multi jurisdictional deals that we commonly execute. They build trust and are very responsive. They are proactive and often solve issues ahead of calls such that the client role is more decision than problem solving.’
‘Navdeep Benning is key in setting the tone and culture – both in terms of professionalism, trust and in the way they conduct business…they are an engaging team and a pleasure to work with knowing the deal will get done in pragmatic timely way.’
Silicon Valley Bank
- Advised Wells Fargo Bank as agent and a syndicate of 8 lenders on a €2bn subscription facility agreement provided to a private equity fund.
- Advised a syndicate of lenders led by Morgan Stanley in relation to one of the largest subscription facilities in the market, being able to be increased (via exercise of accordions) to €2.5bn, provided to the flagship credit fund of a global investment manager headquartered in the UK.
- Advised a major UK bank as agent and arranger and a syndicate of 14 lenders on a €3.5bn capital call facility provided to a large private equity fund with fund commitments of over €10bn.
With an extensive portfolio of major funds clients, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP focuses on borrower-side fund financings, working on a number of high-value loan facilities for a roster of clients, which includes Blackstone, ING and EQT Partners. These include standard capital-call, NAV and hybrid loan facilities, alongside a number of innovative financing structures, which allow for capital raises from non-bank lenders. The practice has a global reach and is active in the UK, US, Europe, and Asia. Group head Alan Davies advises on acquisition and asset financing matters as well as GP facilities, Pierre Maugüé is a dual-qualified UK and US lawyer who has worked on several of the firm's headline new financing structures, and Thomas Smith, who is highly active in the fund financing market, acts for several major private equity, credit, infrastructure and alternative investment funds.
All Seas Capital
Apera Asset Management
Baring Private Equity Asia
Development Partners International
Exponent Private Equity
GHO Capital Partners
ING & SMBC
Morgan Stanley Europe
Navis Capital Partners Limited
Park Square Capital
Tishman Speyer Properties, Inc.
- Advised EQT Partners on numerous large and small fund financings with complex structures. The work involved sourcing potential lenders and negotiating with large clubs of lenders.
- Assisted Blackstone with the creation of a novel structured finance product which raised capital from various investors in the form of notes rated respectively as A and BBB by KBRA and equity with the proceeds to be deployed among a diversified portfolio of Blackstone funds.
- Advised Glendower Capital on a bespoke NAV facility at SPV level providing term debt and secured hedging.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's dedicated fund finance practice advises a considerable number of lender-side clients, including established suppliers of finance and new entrants to the market, particularly international banks and financial institutions. The team is led by Leon Stephenson and Bronwen Jones, who have been active in the space since its inception and have notable experience across the full variety of fund financing arrangements, including bridging, NAV and hybrid facilities. Of particular note is Stephenson's work on green fund financings and other socially responsible investment vehicles, and Jones' advice to lending syndicates. The practice was further bolstered by the arrival of Colin Baker, who had previously established and led the funds finance practice at Goodwin.
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely efficient and professional service. Detailed knowledge of fund finance stemming from many years of experience.’
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP's dedicated City fund finance team handles a full range of products, including capital call and subscription facilities, NAVs and hybrid lending, and innovative products such as portfolio backed facilities and GP lines. Clients include private equity funds, investment managers, and financial institutions. Key team members include Samantha Hutchinson, a specialist fund finance practitioner with strong fund and lender-side relationships; bank lending and loan finance expert Jeremy Cross ; and Nathan Parker, who advises private equity clients on financing joint ventures, restructurings, and acquisitions.
‘An excellent, large and well-established practice in the US which shares both clients and documentary practice/technology with the London practice, to their significant benefit’
‘Samantha Hutchinson is noted for funds finance work’
- Advised Silicon Valley bank and Investec Bank on a ground-breaking portfolio- backed liquidity facility to Draper Esprit plc – one of the first NAV-backed venture fund financings in the market.
- Advised Investec Bank plc on the first back-levered preferred equity transaction in the UK market, providing liquidity to allow Pomona to provide a preferred equity solution to Palamon.
DLA Piper advises clients on the full spectrum of fund financing transactions, including standard and less common loan facilities from capital calls to hybrid facilities. The team is particularly capable in non-bank lending work, such as fund-to-fund lending and co-investments. Clients are primarily on the sponsor side, and include funds and managers across key domiciles, notably the Cayman Islands and Singapore. The team is jointly led by Bryony Widdup, who has expertise in all aspects of fund finance work, particularly alternative credit structures and offshore fund formation and management issues; and Douglas Murning, who has notable expertise in Asian jurisdictions, acting for a combination of lenders and borrowers.
‘I was very impressed with the entire team, from the partner (Bryony Widdup) to the associates. The team was always swift to respond and jumped on many last minute calls – always ready! I was impressed with their level of knowledge and ability to provide us with answers in a short time.’
‘I was particularly impressed with the team and have confidence that there was appropriate partner supervision and the deal was staffed with lawyers who were very capable.’
‘I enjoyed working with Bryony Widdup; she clearly has a strong understanding of our matter and commercial and market issues in the fund financing space. She leads her strong team of associates, all of whom were very capable.’
Hayfin Capital Management LLP
Aviva Investors Global Services
CVC Credit Partners Investment Management
Proprium Capital Partners
- Advising Hayfin Capital Management on its entire fund financing portfolio as borrower counsel on an ongoing basis, including advising on the borrowing of in excess of €500m facilities via capital commitment backed, hybrid and asset based arrangements.
- Advising Proprium Real Estate Special Situations Funds on its €120m net asset value based financing provided by Blackstone, which was a dynamic portfolio backed whole fund financing.
- Advising Aviva Investors Infrastructure Income Unit Trust on the refinancing of its £150m syndicated revolving credit facility.
Macfarlanes LLP is active in fund financing across a wide range of asset classes, including private equity, credit, infrastructure, and hedge funds. The team has experience in an array of products and issues, such as capital calls, NAV facilities, co-investments, and tax structuring. The firm acts for a number of major banks and financial institutions as both lenders and investors, as well as investment fund sponsors and managers. 'First-class' practice head Andrew Perkins is a highly experienced fund finance practitioner, with extensive lender-side relationships and broad expertise across the space. Richard Fletcher acts for financial institutions and corporates, with a particular specialism in securitisation.
‘First-class knowledge of the sector and proactive, concise advice delivered by both Alex Pickett and Andrew Perkins. Strong and regular visibility from Andrew Perkins.‘
‘Alex Pickett and Andrew Perkins have the sector expertise to identify in advance, allowing them to deliver their advice alongside the issue.‘
‘They have demonstrated, on several occasions, that they have our best interests at heart. They work efficiently, diligently, and communicate well with all parties involved. We are very pleased to have found this practice that has thus far offered us the best combination of commercial acumen, technical skills, and communication ability. As a client, we are under the impression that there is a good internal dynamic from partners to trainees, whereby each works hard but doing so respectfully of others.‘
‘Richard Fletcher is the soft but strong hand at the helm that allows others within the team to contribute to clients right away, whilst also growing into the next generation of senior solicitors.’
Montagu Private Equity
- Advised Montagu Private Equity on their €850m revolving credit facility for their sixth fund.
- Advised Quilam on the implementation of a new joint venture with WAFRA Capital Partners and Hay Wain.
- Advised Muzinich & Co on a leverage facility for its first European Long-Term Investment Fund, Muzinich Firstlight Middle Market ELTIF.
Mayer Brown International LLP advises clients on a variety of fund structures and financing arrangements, including asset-backed financings and subscription and hybrid facilities. The team works with a number of major international fund sponsors, managers, lead agents and institutional investors, with integrated regulatory support contributing to its advisory capabilities. The team is jointly led by Paul Tannenbaum, who works with a number of fund classes, secondary parties and lenders on acquisition and leveraged finance matters and subscription facilities; and Aimee Sharman, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in late 2019 and has an excellent track record in acting for lenders and borrowers in complex fund financing matters, including mandates involving cross-border arrangements and alternative funding structures.
‘Aimee Sharman is always a pleasure to deal with, and her level of experience and expertise makes her a trusted adviser.’
‘Mayer Brown’s Fund Finance practice is a leading practice on the market, with a global knowledge, a long track record and a depth of fund finance partners.’
‘Paul Tannenbaum in particular was very helpful, being available all along the process, leading the negotiation with other parties ensuring efficiency.’
‘Excellent breadth of knowledge about all forms of fund finance. Deep understanding of the market and its constituents.’
‘Paul Tannenbaum and Aimee Sharman are excellent lawyers, with a well-founded knowledge of fund finance. Their network enables them to cut through to the heart of the matter and help deliver a great mutual result for all parties. Not only this but both are a pleasure to work with.’
‘Great connection and team-work between different Mayer Brown practice locations, whether that is in the US, UK, or Asia. As a client, we value interconnectivity between geographies and Mayer Brown aligns to that efficiently.’
‘Paul Tannenbaum as Partner in the UK practice has been exceptional in helping us build out our UK business under English Law. We’ve worked with Paul for a while and the attention to detail and advice from a legal standpoint are highly valued within the organisation and we look forward to continue building our business further with Paul and the team.’
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons advises on a variety of fund financing matters, including capital call, NAV, hybrid and GP-backed facilities. The practice sits within the banking team, and works equally on the borrower and lender side mandates, benefiting from existing relationships with established fund managers and institutional lenders. Also of note is the team's international regulatory expertise, encompassing all key fund domiciles, as well as a strong Nordic finance capabilities. The practice is co-led by Jen Yee Chan, who advises on the full spectrum of loan facilities for lenders and borrowers including major funds and banks; and John Sayers, who specialises in debt financing matters for funds in a variety of sectors including the sports, media, energy and infrastructure industries.
- Advised Nurture Landscapes on an amendment to existing facilities provided by HSBC to increase the facilities available to Nurture to further support its growth and expansion plans.
Dechert LLP advises a number of major funds, institutional lenders and asset managers on fund financing issues, including fund formations, primary and secondary capital raisings, and financing transactions. The team draws upon the firm's global financing expertise to act on a number of loan and bond facilities, including capital call, NAV, hybrid and intra-fund financing structures. Key names in the team include Phillip Butler, who advises clients on a range of debt products; Thiha Tun, who is a private fund-focused partner with experience in formational capital raisings, fund investments, and secondary transactions; and Sarah Smith, who is a specialist in complex financial products and transactional financing work.
- Advised UBS Asset Management in relation to negotiating a credit facility for its new fund, Archmore International Infrastructure Fund III.
Fieldfisher launched its fund finance practice in 2020, drawing on expertise from its banking team and established funds practice. The group works with funds and lender-side clients on a variety of matters, including capital call and NAV facilities, due diligence issues and structuring work. The team is particularly experienced in advising Luxembourg-domiciled funds on multi-jurisdictional financing; assisted by the firm's Luxembourg office, the team can access a wealth of experience in handling various local law issues. Practice head Philip Abbott is a dedicated fund finance lawyer with a particular strength in hedge fund financings; he is supported by James Tinworth, who advises a variety of fund structures, and associate George Murphy, who is an expert in complex fund financing matters.
‘George Murphy is one to watch – he is a very good lawyer combining strong technical expertise with very helpful commercial acumen and is an enjoyable person to work with.’
Paul Hastings LLP advises lenders and sponsors on a range of fund financing and leveraging matters, including subscription, NAV and hybrid loan facilities; the group also handles leveraged loans and other financing structures for funds in a range of asset classes and domiciles. The team acts for fund sponsors, institutional lenders and investors, collaborating with its US funds practice as well as regulatory and funds teams. The practice is jointly led by Cameron Saylor, who specialises in structured credit and risk retention in the UK, EU, and US; Diala Minott, who works with debt and credit funds on financing and regulatory issues; Justin Jowitt, who is a real estate finance specialist with experience in a number of structured loan facilities; and Christian Parker, who advises on structured bond and fund products for credit fund managers.
Other key lawyers:
The PH team is strong across the board – true one-stop shop for fund formation, fund finance, asset finance and tax practices.’
‘Highly responsive and demonstrates good commercial understanding.’
‘Justin Jowitt and Sierra Taylor are my go to counsel for financing secured by fund assets.’
‘I have only had positive feedback internally and externally when we have appointed PH. Their background knowledge and connected history of a niche offering such as financing alternatives is essential and I’m not sure the partners/associates have come across a structure they did not know how to opine and make workable from all angles. Their attention to detail and follow-up, keeping momentum from all parties, being able to engage counsel opposite of them directly, and most of all to get the trade across the line is where they shine.’
Credit Suisse AG, London Branch
Raiffeisen Bank International
MacKay Shields Europe Investment Management
Ostrum Asset Management
Northwoods European CLO Management
Morgan Stanley & Co.
MML Capital Partners
Blackrock Real Assets