Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Banking and finance in North

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP’s banking and restructuring team assists an array of clients with with banking, finance, and fundraising advice. The team in Newcastle is led by the ‘outstandingLouise Duffy, who provides 'excellent sector knowledge, sound commercial judgement and exceptional client service’. The recent arrival of Andrew Coddington, a specialist in project finance, trade and acquisition finance, as well as energy finance, adds a dimension to the practice. Associate Zoe Ditch supports on both lender and borrower projects. The team regularly collaborate with the real estate finance team, co-led by Gail Bennett and Claire Naughten, for property finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Louise Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Coddington; Zoe Ditch; Gail Bennett; Claire Naughten


‘Muckle has a relatively small team, but they are top class. They take the time to understand complex issues and to fund pragmatic solutions. In terms of Real Estate Finance, the integration with property and construction teams is seamless’

‘Louise Duffy and Zoe Ditch are excellent lawyers. Very easy to work with.’

‘The team at Muckle LLP are very proactive in the local market and have a very good reputation. Within their Banking team, they have a broad range of experienced individuals with specialisms in a number of different sectors.’

‘I find all of the individuals within the Banking team very easy to work with. They all have a can-do attitude and are willing to share ideas & solutions to get the best outcomes for clients. A lot of my interaction tends to be with Louise Duffy who is very approachable.’

‘Excellent interaction with their professional partners, good levels of support and guidance through a transaction.’

‘Louise Duffy is outstanding. She has excellent sector knowledge, sound commercial judgement and provides exceptional client service.’

‘Andrew Coddington is reassuringly responsive and provides great technical support on complex deals.’

‘The whole team is excellent. Everyone gives a quick & practical answer as well as making sure transitions are on track and managed. The team are always proactive, approachable and professional. Louise Duffy has been exceptional, and we would not have achieved completion on land acquisition and bridge funding without her attention to detail, commitment to driving the projects forward along with her expertise and knowledge.’

Key clients

Kitwave Group plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Santander UK Bank plc

Hampshire Trust Bank plc

The Lakes Distillery Company plc

Vertu Motors PLC

The English Sports Council

Wilton Engineering Services Limited

National Westminster Bank plc

Vertu Motors plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Vertu Motors plc on its acquisition of Helston Garages Group Limited, including all associated funding requirements.
  • Assisted Kitwave Group plc with two acquisitions (M J Baker Foodservice Limited and West Country Food Holdings Limited) as well as the funding and diligence associated with those.
  • Supported the Lakes Distillery Company plc on a refinance with Beechbrook Capital, redemption of bank facilities, conversion of future fund investment and purchase of freehold property.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Noted as a ‘down to earth team’ which has ‘excellent knowledge of lending requirements’, Ward Hadaway LLP’s Newcastle-based banking and finance team advises a range of clients, including institutional lenders, fund managers, public sector lenders, private individuals and charities, on corporate and leveraged lending structures, asset backed lending and real estate finance. The firm also assists non-bank lenders and debt funds with development and growth capital investment. Team head Imogen Holland is a key contact for private equity and venture capital-backed borrowers, who seek advice on private equity transactions and structuring priorities; he also works on acquisition and real estate finance mandates. High street banks and funders call upon Simon Errington for support on property finance, development finance and investment portfolios. Associate Rosemary Moore is a key support in the team.

Practice head(s):

Imogen Holland

Other key lawyers:

Simon Errington; Rosemary Moore


‘Down to earth team that is very well connected with excellent knowledge of lending requirements of banking and finance houses locally which makes for a swifter negotiation on terms.’

‘Imogen Holland is a highly experienced, pragmatic partner who leads negotiations exceptionally well. She is always prepared to go the extra mile for clients, often working to tight deadlines.’

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Develop North PLC

Tier One Capital Limited

GB Bank Limited

Clydesdale Bank plc trading as Yorkshire Bank

Virgin Money

North East LEP

OakNorth Bank plc

Inn Collection Group


Work highlights

  • Advised National Westminster Bank plc on the site development of Newton Hall (Northumberland) limited by preparing loan and security documentation, as well as undertaking diligence on the property and working to satisfy the conditions precedent.
  • Advised OakNorth Bank plc on its facilities to Europa Wools Limited which were provided to allow a shareholder to take 100% control of the borrower and the exit of another shareholder.
  • Advised National Westminster Bank plc on security structures, guarantee arrangements and companies act compliance in relation to facilities for Doxford Barns Limited and R J Shell Limited.


Hailed for its ‘excellent speed of response and depth of knowledge of the bank’s requirements‘, Burnetts provides a range of lenders advice in real estate, agriculture and healthcare banking matters. The team, based in Newcastle, is led by Sarah Willshire, who is experienced in assisting lenders in property finance and banking mandates; she works alongside recently promoted legal director, Caroline Swift, on funding work in the healthcare space for banks. Legal director Rebecca Joy and recent promotion to partner level in April 2023 Nicola Nutley are key contacts for lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Willshire

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Nutley; Rebecca Joy; Caroline Swift


‘Banking team is very efficient, approachable and proactive.’

‘They are happy to have a no fee chat pre-instruction to ensure that everyone understands the scope of work and requirements. My main contact being Sarah Willshire.’

‘The team is differentiated from others in my experience by the excellent speed of response and depth of knowledge of the bank’s requirements. The team also provide competitive fixed fee quotes and stick to them.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Virgin Money

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc

Cumberland Building Society


National Westminster Bank plc

Atom Bank plc

Oxbury Bank plc

Warrendale Group

Work highlights

  • Oversaw Lloyds Bank lending £1.3m on a dental acquisition and hive up involving multiple share purchase agreements and a complex security structure.
  • Advised a longstanding agricultural client on a £34m finance involving security over farms and renewables equipment.
  • Acted for a large accountancy group on a £2.9m development loan to fund the construction of new head office premises.

Sintons LLP

‘Exceptional lawyer’ Jane Meikle, based in Newcastle heads Sintons LLP’s banking practice. With the support of corporate and real estate team members, namely property finance specialist David Ferguson, Meikle advises borrowers, such as property holders in the real estate and hospitality space, on refinancing premises. The finance team also takes on acquisition finance mandates to support management buyouts, and refinances following client restructurings. A key feature of the practice is the funding advice it provides within the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

Jane Meikle

Other key lawyers:

David Ferguson


‘Extremely approachable. Friendly in manner and very knowledgeable. Inspires confidence.’

‘Jane Meikle is an exceptional lawyer, who invests time to ensure that the client is clear on developments. Very approachable and nothing seems too much.’

‘I have always found the team at Sintons extremely good, they have always helped our businesses through the endless task of dealing with banks.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Atom Bank plc

AIB Group (UK) p.l.c.

Handelsbanken plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Work highlights

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

Newcastle-based Mincoffs Solicitors LLP leverages the expertise of the head of the corporate team, Paul Hughes, and experienced corporate practitioner, Luke Philpott, in order to advise clients on institutional debt and equity raises. The firm advises regional, national and offshore investors on investments in the UK, and routinely sits on panels of private equity, venture capital and asset management firms.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Luke Philpott


‘Mincoff’s efforts so far on client delivery have been great – the corporate team has done a good job on several projects, firstly to act as a pragmatic lawyer in certain negotiations and also to manage an efficient process across other parts of the process including legal documentation turnaround.’

‘The team operate a fair and transparent billing process and the team operate collaboratively.’

‘Luke Philpott is highly recommended, and I have consistently passed on good recommendations to our investee businesses. The differentiating factor is Luke and his team operate to provide long-standing relationships rather than a transactional deal.’

Key clients

Mercia Fund Management

Pembroke VCT

Anticus Partners

Foresight Group

The Capital Partnership

Enterprise Ventures

Oak North Bank

Reward Finance Group

Singha Estate

Gort Holdings

Arbatel Capital

The Inn Collection Group


Cairn Hotel Group

Northern Bear PLC

ART Health Solutions

The Station Hotel  Limited


Lugano Group

Danieli Group


Lixir Drinks

Work highlights

  • Advised Singha Estate on the refinance and restructure of its £106m secured debt facilities relating to its UK-based Jupiter Hotels portfolio.
  • Advised Mercia Fund Management on its investment into Sen Corporation Limited.
  • Advised The Capital Partnership on its investment into Plexaa Limited.