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Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard's 'hardworking and pragmatic' team 'always delivers' and is active across asset-based lending, asset finance, corporate banking, leveraged finance, project finance and real estate finance for both borrower and lender clients. The team advised The Hut Group on the amendment and restatement of its £515m term and revolving facilities provided by a banking syndicate comprising of Barclays Bank, RBS, HSBC Bank and others; advised Tosca Debt Capital LLP on a £10.2m second lien term loan to Verna Group Bidco in connection with the purchase of the business and assets of Synergy Health and the redemption of existing facilities with RBS; and advised Radius Payment Solutions on £255m term and revolving facilities and £50m accordion facilities in connection with the minority acquisition of Radius Payment Solutions by Inflexion Equity Partners LLP. RBS Invoice Finance, Investec Asset Finance, Speedy Hire, Dechra Pharmaceuticals and Radius Payment Solutions are also clients. The six-partner team is headed by Martin O’Shea, who is an 'excellent communicator'. Andrew Maskill, who is noted for his 'commercial approach' and heads the asset finance practice with Rebecca Williams, which includes managing associate Louise Jones. Also recommended are Simon Prendergast, who specialises in asset-based lending and trade finance work; the 'exceptional' Richard Oman, who focuses on corporate lending and leveraged acquisition finance; Katie Ridehalgh, who leads the real estate finance practice; legal directors Richard Chandler  and 'strong negotiator' Caroline Gray, who was promoted in 2017; and managing associate Ben Edwards.

The team at DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘well-resourced, has a good depth of quality and has excellent market awareness’ and is renowned for its experience across debt finance and asset-based lending in addition to alternative and complex debt structures, benefitting from its international network of offices in cross-border mandates. Headline work included advising McBride on its €175m syndicated refinancing, advising LGT European Capital on its unitranche funding for the acquisition of IT hosting business, The Bunker, and advising HSBC Bank on all aspects of the acquisition of Brand Addition by Elysian Capital. Booths Supermarkets and Conviviality are also clients. Department head Matthew Christmas has a ‘clear ability to structure his advice with a view to legal issues and commercial considerations’; he is experienced in debt finance, private equity buyouts and alternative credit structures. Other key figures include Joseph Frew, who leads on asset-based lending transactions for lenders and borrowers; recently promoted senior associate Charles Weems, who ‘takes the time to understand the client’ and is experienced in alternative debt structures; and associate Alastair Carruthers.  

The ‘first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of transactions spanning syndicated lending, real estate finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, asset-based lending, securitisations and debt capital markets work. Clients include lenders as well as public sector bodies. Headline work includes advising a group of seven lenders to Radius Payment Solutions in relation to the acquisition of a minority stake in the company by Inflexion, and advising a group of ten lenders on the financing of The Hut Group. The team also advised HSBC Bank in connection with the refinancing of Vernacare, to support the acquisition of HCS. Select Property Group, P J Livesey Group, Investec Bank and Tyman are also clients. Department head Matthew Morgan is an ‘excellent technical lawyer’ and is experienced across real estate finance, corporate financings and acquisition finance. Samantha Rollason regularly advises on the restructuring of real estate transactions and real estate funds and is also active on public sector and education finance-related mandates. 'Brilliant' senior associate Tim Fearn  specialises in corporate financing, acquisition finance and asset-based lending.

Hill Dickinson LLP is active across a range of corporate and real estate finance transactions, and asset-based lending and private equity are key areas of activity for the department. It  acted for Soda Software Labs on its transformative debt package from Clydesdale Bank and on the accompanying equity investment made by NVM Private Equity; advised Hyde Park Finance on a £16m facility made available to Ivy League Devco Birmingham to fund the cost of a student residence in Birmingham; and advised Halewood International on its £50m refinance from Lloyds to RBS Invoice Finance. Advising Downing, on the funding of its £439m student accommodation joint venture with European Property Investors Special Opportunities, was another key highlight. HSBC Bank, RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Bibby Financial Services are also clients. In Liverpool, the ‘fantastic’ Richard Capper heads the firm’s banking and finance team, where legal director Deepak Purushothaman, who joined in 2017 from Riverview Law, legal director Helen Penfold and associates Rebecca Layton and Emma Howard are also based. Alasdair Mackinnon heads the Manchester-based team, which includes real estate finance specialist Chris Johnston. Beverley Bentley left the firm in 2017 for an in-house role.

Squire Patton Boggs is praised for its ‘outstanding industry knowledge’. The team handles a range of financing transactions, with expertise spanning asset-based lending, real estate finance and acquisition finance, and the team often advises on cross-border mandates. It advised NFFC Group Holdings and Fawaz Al-Hasawi on the sale of Nottingham Forest Football Club to NF Football Investments and advised RBS on the funding and intercreditor arrangements for the development of a residential tower block with commercial units in Salford, Greater Manchester. The team also advised new client Allied Irish Banks which, along with H2 Private Equity, funded the acquisition of Northern Ireland-based company, BA Kitchen Components.  Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and Clydesdale Bank are also clients. The ‘very personable’ Claire Shepherd is active across property finance, asset-based lending, acquisition finance, project finance, restructuring and general corporate lending work, while real estate finance expert Debra Cooper is ‘always responsive’ and ‘works phenomenally hard’ for the client, and Matthew Ingram is active across acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, asset-based lending, restructuring and refinancing transactions, and often handles cross-border work. Director Graham Ball is also noted.

Brabners LLP's expertise spans acquisition finance, property investment and development finance, as well as bridging and mezzanine finance mandates, and the team is particularly active across housing finance and sports finance transactions. Svenska Handelsbanken instructed the team on the provision of new facilities to Chargepoint Technology, as part of the secondary buyout of Chargepoint Technology by LDC and Arbuthnot Latham & Co instructed the team on a £11.5m loan to fund the acquisition of an investment property from a pension fund. The team also advised Liverpool Mutual Homes on the provision of new loan facilities to it by The Housing Finance Corporation, acted for Marlowe on the increase in its loan facilities from Lloyds Bank to £17.5m and advised acted Restore on the increase in its syndicated facilities from Barclays Bank and RBS to £114.5m. In Manchester, department head Tony Harper, and recently promoted partner Russel Forward, who also operates from the Liverpool office and is noted for property finance and restructuring transactions, are recommended. In Liverpool, the ‘experienced’ Andrew O’Mahony is the key contact. Charlotte Round has joined Fieldfisher.

DWF is experienced across corporate banking and public sector finance mandates, with an emphasis on asset-based lending, acquisition finance, property finance, project finance, structured finance and restructurings. It advised NatWest on the amendment and restatement of the £40m revolving credit facility with £10m accordion to GA Pet Food Partners and advised Greater Manchester Housing Fund on a £10.3m development finance facility for the funding of a 91-unit residential apartment building in Manchester city centre. The team also advises the Homes and Communities Agency on a range of transactions, and acts for Warrington Borough Council, North East Combined Authority, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Santander UK. The ‘brilliant’ Helen Corner handles asset-based lending, corporate lending, real estate finance, development and investment, restructurings and secured lending. James Szerdy acts for banks and other financial institutions, as well as borrowers, on secured and unsecured lending including structured finance, acquisition finance and real estate investment and development finance. Paul Brown represents lenders and borrower clients on public and private sector funding. Associates Katherine Tyas and Charlotte Walden, who was recently promoted, are also noted. Former national head of corporate banking Jonathan Edwards recently joined Browne Jacobson LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a strong following among corporate borrowers in the region and is noted for its experience across real estate finance, corporate banking work and private equity transactions. The education and renewables sectors are also key areas of focus for the team. Highlights included advising Morses Club on the amendment and restatement of a £40m facility agreement made between Morses Club and Santander Bank; acting for Footasylum on its proposed listing and associated pre-transaction refinancing; and assisting Barchester Finco 2017 with £280m facilities provided by Citigroup Global Markets and Laser International for the refinancing of existing care homes. The team also acted for Renold and its English subsidiaries on the exercise of its accordion facility and amendment of its facility agreement, which included an amendment and restatement to the underlying facility agreement, to increase the facility to £61.5m. Jason Wurzal heads the ‘first-rate’ department, which includes Taslima Salam, who heads the real estate finance team and ‘speaks without using jargon in an easy to understand and friendly manner’, and the ‘experienced’ Richard Cowan, who recently joined from Gateley Plc as a principal associate.

Gateley Plc regularly acts for borrower and lender clients and is active across real estate finance, private equity, acquisition finance, structured finance, secured finance and investment work. Highlights included advising Beechbrook Capital on the acquisition and refinance of mezzanine facilities provided to Brand Addition and advising Praetura Asset Finance which borrowed facilities from RM Secured Direct Lending to allow a partial refinance of the British Business Banks facilities and the growth of Praetura Asset Finance. It also advised Beechbrook UK SME Credit on a term loan to enable ICP Nurseries to acquire two companies and to fund further acquisitions. Welbeck Capital Partners is also a client. The ‘fantastic’ Richard Sealy heads the team. Richard Cowan recently joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

gunnercooke LLP handles a range of corporate banking, real estate finance, leveraged finance and asset-based lending transactions for leading financial institutions and corporate clients. The team acted for Bluemantle and its associated companies  on the amendment and restatement of its senior and mezzanine debt facilities with HSBC Bank and ICG-Longbow, and acted as English legal counsel for Grupo Tradebe Medio Ambiente and its English subsidiaries in relation to syndicated term loan facilities of €265m provided to the group. The team also advised Principality Building Society in relation to the annual update of its £1bn medium term loan programme, and on the subsequent issuance of £300m senior loan notes; and acted for Skipton Building Society in its capacity as issuer regarding the annual update of its £2bn euro medium term loan programme and on the subsequent issuance of £350m senior loan notes. Rob Fawke is ‘highly regarded’ and leads the team with Georgina Tripp . Real estate finance lawyer Jill Parker is also recommended.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP is ‘always proactive' and provides 'commercial and proportionate’ advice across a range of banking and real estate finance transactions, with notable expertise in recoveries, restructuring and business lending mandates. The team advised Broadoak Private Finance on the £6m provision of purchase and development funding for the redevelopment of Manchester Hall in Manchester city centre and advised Broadoak Private Finance on the £4m provision of development funding for the redevelopment of a printing hall in Wigan into a Holiday Inn Express hotel. The team also acted for Allied Irish Bank on the provision of funds for Just Childcare. Bank of Scotland, Cambridge & Counties Bank and Atom Bank are also clients. David Marlor ‘consistently offers appropriate, sensible advice and practical solutions’ and advises banks and other lenders in connection with property backed lending. Also recommended are Alison Kellett, who acts for lenders on the acquisition or remortgage of property; and recently promoted senior associate Meave O’Neill, who specialises in investment and development finance. George Macmillan heads the banking and real estate finance team.

Shoosmiths LLP ‘delivers a very good service’ and is active across real estate finance, acquisition finance and general corporate lending mandates, acting for lender and borrower clients in instructions across the healthcare, marine, retail, energy and leisure sectors. Demonstrating its real estate finance expertise, the team advised Vita Edinburgh 1 on a loan facility to fund the development of student accommodation, advised Affinity Living Riverside Holdco a loan facility to fund the development of high-end residential and commercial property, and advised Allied London Quay Street Two on a significant mezzanine loan facility from Pramerica Real Estate Capital to fund the acquisition of Astley House and Byrom House in Manchester, and also advised on subsequent significant senior funding from Aimco in order to finance the development of the property. Mint Bridging, Greater Manchester Housing Fund, Park Lane Properties and Lesmoir Gordon Boyle are also clients. Team head Liz Sweeney is ‘brilliant on real estate finance transactions’. Tim McNamara and Barbara Rollin are also recommended.

The ‘highly-rated’ team at Irwin Mitchell is active across commercial and corporate banking matters, with expertise in asset-based lending, leveraged finance, structured finance, acquisition finance, property and development finance, restructuring and private equity funding. The team advised the Arora Group on its purchase of the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick Airport with financing from RBS and advised Edge Real Estate Property Investments (EREPIL) in relation to a term loan facility provided by ICG Longbow Debt Investments No4 to assist it with the purchase of 15 properties in the UK. It was also instructed by Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance on a new asset-based finance facility made available to several Lancashire based manufacturing companies. Team head Dean Gormley has a ‘strong reputation’. Recently promoted senior associate Vanessa Rickard heads the real estate finance team.

TLT provides a ‘very good service’, delivers in a ‘timely and helpful manner’ and ‘goes the extra mile to solve problems’. The practice focuses on real estate and housing finance in addition to corporate lending mandates. Clients include Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken, RBS, Santander UK and The Co-operative Bank. Team head Paul Crighton is ‘always on hand when needed with commercial advice’.

The ‘well organised’ team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP handles a range of real estate finance transactions, advising on property investment finance, development finance, bridging finance, and finance from institutional investors. It is also noted for its housing finance expertise. The team advised Thor Properties on the funding aspects of the acquisition of the Stadium Plaza, a leisure complex adjacent to the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, which involved advising on a £10.3m facility agreement with Lloyds Bank. It also acted as UK counsel on the ForViva Group's debut private placement, and on the refinancing of the group's existing bank facilities and acted on the funding aspects of a merger between two housing associations: Mosscare Housing and St Vincent's Housing Association. Recently promoted partner Eleanor James is ‘technically excellent, a tough negotiator, is commercial in terms of what she does for her clients and is very hands on in relation to transactions’. Neil Waller heads the team.

Weightmans LLP is highly regarded for its experience in public sector funding mandates and highlights included providing funding advice to Blue Sky Corporate Finance in connection with the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and advising FRP Advisory on the restructuring of investments from a subfund of the European NWF Fund. The team also advised AIB Bank on the £5m financing of two hotels in the North West and acted for Progressive Living on all aspects of funding for its development of a key site at Angel Square Manchester. Liverpool-based Patricia Grinyer heads the firm’s finance team and is noted for her experience in the establishment of European Funds and advises banks and borrowers on bilateral and syndicated facilities.

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