Next Generation Partners

Banking and finance in North

Muckle LLP

With ‘a very proactive and personal approach’, Muckle LLP is a go-to name in the region for banks, private equity houses, funds and alternative funders and is also highly active in handling work for borrower clients on refinancing mandates and acquisition and project financings. The practice also works in close collaboration with the firm’s wider restructuring and insolvency practice and real estate finance team to provide the full spectrum of financing support. Team head Louise Duffy leads the firm’s client relationships with a variety of regional and national banks, while Gail Bennett focuses on real estate finance work and associate Zoe Ditch regularly handles healthcare funding matters. Kevin Maloney left the profession in mid-2021.

Practice head(s):

Louise Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Gail Bennett; Zoe Ditch


‘A very good team which is well led. Effective levels of communication. Delivers within agreed timescales.’

‘Very knowledgeable. Very easy to work with. High levels and effective communication.’

‘Excellent professional legal firm who provide practical help and guidance to me and also the remainder of the team.’

‘All team members are technically strong, able to react quickly and explain things to non-lawyers in a concise and clear way. Always willing to work extremely hard to make sure that deadlines are met and remain calm and professional throughout very challenging negotiations.’

‘The whole team takes a very proactive and personal approach. stand out members were Louise Duffy and Gail Bennett.’

Key clients

Kitwave Group plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Santander UK plc

John Nixon Limited

The University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Hampshire Trust Bank plc

Wilton Engineering Services Limited

The Lakes Distillery plc

Great North Air Ambulance Service

Mandata Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Kitwave Group plc on its admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised John Nixon Limited on an investment by Pricoa Capital.
  • Advised HSBC UK Bank plc on a large refinance for £15m with Heatherfield Alpha Limited and Prestwick Care Limited which operate in the care home sector.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Under the leadership of ‘highly skilled banking lawyerImogen Holland, Ward Hadaway LLP’s ‘approachable, commercially focused and collaborative’ department advises on the full spectrum of funding and security issues. Clients span national and international banks, funds and fund managers, public sector lenders, crowd funding platforms, charities and private individuals; key lender examples include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Lloyds Bank. Holland is also singled out for her private equity expertise, while Simon Errington regularly advises funders on secured lending transactions.

Practice head(s):

Imogen Holland

Other key lawyers:

Simon Errington


‘Approachable, commercially focused, partner led and collaborative. The banking and finance team are a high quality team.’

‘Imogen Holland is a highly skilled banking lawyer with a broad knowledge of the market and a pragmatic approach. She provides excellent advice to progress matters to a conclusion efficiently often working to tight deadlines.’

‘A regional law firm with an embedded footprint across the North, the Ward Hadaway team are always extremely approachable and supportive with queries outside of work that they have been or expect to be formally engaged on.’

‘They provide a consistently strong performance when engaged that has seen them retain their position as one of my go-to firms for queries/support. Having a strong relationship of this nature is extremely valuable and where others have failed to meet expectations the same cannot be said for Ward Hadaway.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland plc/National Westminster Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Lloyds Bank plc

AIB Group (UK) plc

FW Capital Limited/Development Bank of Wales plc

The Council of the City Of Newcastle

North East LEP

OakNorth Bank plc

Inn Collection Group

Bank of China (UK) Limited

BGF Investment LP

TOC Property Backed Lending Trust PLC and Tier One Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for TOC Property Banked Lending Trust PLC on its recent funding arrangements with Shawbrook Bank and also advised on one of the loans made available to a borrower from the lender.
  • Advised Inn Collection Group on the refinancing of its existing facilities and a new £42m facility from OakNorth Bank plc.
  • Advised Springfield Healthcare Beverley Limited on its funding for the development of a new care facility from OakNorth Bank plc.

Sintons LLP

Sintons LLP is noted regionally for its real estate finance work and expertise in corporate refinancing transactions, and has excelled throughout the pandemic in advising clients on CBILS and RLS facilities, repayment holidays and emergency overdraft facilities. The team also has key sector focuses across the healthcare, charity and agriculture industries. Jane Meikle leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Jane Meikle


‘Jane Meikle is exceptionally hardworking, dedicated and consistently goes the “extra mile” to deliver an excellent service. She has detailed knowledge of our business and funding requirements and is always proactive in raising pertinent issues. Jane is a solutions driven lawyer with an excellent grasp of the detail who I highly recommend.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Atom Bank plc

AIB Group (UK) p.l.c.

Ladhar Group

Handelsbanken plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Royal Bank of Scotland plc


Weightmans counts clearing banks, building societies, asset financiers, venture capitalists, private equity companies and borrowers on its client roster, and takes a cross-departmental approach to financing work. The team assists with a broad range of issues including financing transactions, crowd funding issues and restructurings, and also benefits from the finance expertise in the firm’s property group. Corporate lead Duncan Reid heads up the group, and Paul Wigham advises on venture capital mandates.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Reid

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wigham

Key clients



Lloyds Bank

Development Bank of Wales

Lok Developments

Northstar Ventures

Maven Capital Partners

BGF plc

The Morton Group

DSW Ventures

Work highlights

  • Acted for Oak Engage Limited on a significant investment from Maven Capital Partners and Northstar Ventures.
  • Acted for Perwyn on its investment into LRG Online, trading as Secret Sales.
  • Acted for Hicomply on a significant investment from BGF plc.


With a notable lender client base, Burnetts focuses its efforts primarily on the real estate, agriculture and healthcare sectors and also regularly handles issues relating to banking documents. Sarah Willshire sits at the helm of the practice, which recently benefitted from the recruitment of legal director Nicola Nutley  from Muckle LLP and also leverages the property finance expertise of senior associate Rebecca Joy.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Willshire

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Nutley; Rebecca Joy


‘The partners and associates all work as a team to ensure the best possible journey for the bank and the bank’s client where appropriate. The team has gone the extra mile to understand the bank’s processes and procedures to ensure the correct level of detail is provided at the most realistic cost. The key attribute is the accessibility of the team and individuals with first class response times.’

‘The key difference that makes the individuals in this firm stand out is their focus on getting the job done quickly and efficiently for the benefit of all parties to a transaction. I get outstanding service from Sarah Willshire and Nicola Nutley on banking and corporate issues as well as outstanding service from all of the individuals in the property team.’

‘A very helpful and conscientious team – always ready to take on work at short notice and a great asset to our panel.’

‘Sarah Wilshere – highly responsive and efficient.’

‘Highly responsive practice, multi disciplinary, friendly people.’

‘Main contact is Sarah Willshire, who I have found to be collaborative, commercial, and proactive in dealings.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Virgin Money (UK) plc

Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc

Cumberland Building Society


National Westminster Bank plc

HSBC Bank plc

Warrendale Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lloyds Bank plc on a £6m development lend for a new build mixed use development in London.
  • Completed new charges over a portfolio of 31 residential properties for a lender client within a week of receipt of the title information.
  • Advised a high street lender funding the acquisition of a large cosmetic and orthodontic dental practice via a share purchase.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

As part of the firm’s wider corporate and commercial real estate practice, the banking team at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP handles a range of financing transactions for lenders and borrowers. Paul Hughes heads up the practice, which recently added private equity expertise through the recruitment of Luke Philpott from Square One Law.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Luke Philpott


‘I particularly like the commerciality of the team. Mincoffs help you to weigh up your options practically speaking so that you can make an informed recommendation to the board.’

‘Despite having many much larger clients we are treated as if we were one of their highest billing clients. Main strengths include advising in digestible terms. As individuals from a corporate and not legal background this is something we really value. Furthermore we are always swiftly introduced to the appropriate departments if our initial conversation is with someone who does not specialise in that particular area. There is always someone on hand to advise us even at short notice which as a fast moving start-up has been invaluable.’

Key clients

Cairn Hotel Group

Northern Bear PLC

Art Health

The Station Hotel (Newcastle) Limited



Danielli Holdings

Gort Holdings


Lixir Tonics

Work highlights

  • Advised Lugano Group on a £22m refinancing of its group wide funding requirements with new secured term facilities from NatWest Bank.
  • Advised the Station Hotel (Newcastle) Limited and its group on an amendment and restatement of its £201m finance arrangements with HSBC.
  • Advised Art Health Solutions and its management team on its £800,000 seed round investment from North East Venture Fund managed by Enterprise Ventures Limited (Mercia Asset Management).