Banking and finance in North

Muckle LLP

Praised by clients for being ‘fantastic, business-minded and practical’, Muckle LLP’s department is known for its strong, full-service banking and finance offering. The team has recently been increasingly active in advising borrower clients on completing refinancing projects and obtaining finance for strategic acquisitions. The department is under the leadership of Louise Duffy, who stands out for the breadth of her practice, acting for a mix of banks, other financial institutions and corporate clients. Senior associate Nicola Nutley is increasingly active in financing matters in the education, healthcare and registered provider sectors.

Practice head(s):

Louise Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Maloney; Nicola Nutley


Great-working teams – open, honest, transparent

An extremely personable team which makes it very approachable. The lawyers invest time to ensure my team understands all related implications and risks accordingly. They also certainly display a level of accountability which some peers do not.

Kevin Maloney, Philip Clare and Louise Duffy are all standout individuals.

The banking team led by Louise Duffy is a trusted partner; it is fantastic, business-minded and practical.

Key clients


Lloyds Bank / Bank of Scotland

Santander UK

The Lakes Distillery

North East Venture Fund (Mercia)

Hampshire Trust Bank

Atom Bank

LDC (Managers)

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Kitwave Group

Work highlights

  • Advised The Lakes Distillery Company on a convertible bond issue completed in a short period and liaising with other investors and debt providers to the business.  
  • Advised Santander UK on a new loan and revolving credit facilities to a large corporate group.
  • Assisted Kitwave Group with two share acquisitions of strategic importance for the business; work involved completing amendments and security arrangements with senior and mezzanine lenders.

Ward Hadaway

Acting on the side of both lenders and borrowers, Ward Hadaway handles the full scope of funding and security issues. It assists banks, regional funding bodies and local authorities, as well as funds and private equity and venture capital firms, with particular expertise in managing investments and structuring transactions. The team also has the ability to draw on the expertise of the firm’s real estate, agriculture, tax, state aid and competition departments. Department head Imogen Holland is adept at handling the debt elements of private equity transactions, among other issues. Julie Harrison is noted for her wide-ranging career spanning over three decades, placing a particular recent emphasis on advising registered providers and social enterprises.

Practice head(s):

Imogen Holland

Other key lawyers:

Julie Harrison; Simon Errington


The support and the close relationship that we have formed with Ward Hadaway’s team over the years have underpinned their retention as our firm of choice in this particular field. The vested interest into our company means that the team has a full understanding of our desire and ability to grow; this is only possible through developing a working relationship that goes above and beyond the normal understanding of a working relationship.

Ward Hadaway’s offering and services are first-class, with no weaknesses.

I have worked with Ward Hadaway for more than 20 years. The firm is well-established across Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester. All partners and lawyers I deal with are first-rate and incredibly proactive; I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the work that they carry out for me, and I also value highly their input and advice.

Our experience of working with Simon Errington, Julie Harrison and Imogen Holland is always extremely positive.

Imogen Holland and her team have worked with our company for over ten years and have always delivered what was expected, whilst at the same time managing our own expectations both in terms of timescale and realistic goals.

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland / National Westminster Bank

Santander UK

Cynergy Bank


FW Capital

Lloyds Bank

BGF Investment Management

Inn Collection Group

The Council of the City of Newcastle

Work highlights

  • Assisting National Westminster Bank with an amendment and restatement of facilities to a property group.  
  • Acted for Cynergy Bank in relation to overdraft facilities made available to Marantomark to refinance existing borrowing, repay inter-company debt and assist with refinancing costs.
  • Assisted Santander UK with its funding to Aspire Healthcare in respect of Aspire Healthcare’s acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Applegarth Healthcare.

Sintons LLP

At Sintons LLP, the ‘patient, knowledgeable and drivenJane Meikle sits at the helm of the department, where recently promoted partner David Ferguson is a key contact for real estate finance work. In addition to its expertise in the real estate finance space, the team is well known for its strength in corporate refinancing matters. The practice also works alongside the firm’s corporate department on refinancing instructions following corporate restructurings, as well as on acquisition finance issues arising during management buyouts.

Practice head(s):

Jane Meikle

Other key lawyers:

David Ferguson


Jane Meikle is exceptional and feels very much like a part of our own banking team. Jane is patient, knowledgeable and driven. Likewise, David Ferguson is also a terrific lawyer.

Key clients

Converse Pharma

Vaulkhard Leisure

Barclays Bank

Watertight Developments

Lloyds Bank

AIB Group (UK)


Royal Bank of Scotland

National Westminster Bank

Atom Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Converse Pharma on a finance facility provided by RBS Invoice Finance and Secure Trust Bank on a syndicated basis to the parent and eight of its trading subsidiaries.  
  • Assisted Vaulkhard Leisure with negotiating a £6m facility agreement.
  • Advised Watertight Developments Limited with a term loan facility provided by The North East Growth Fund.


Weightmans’ has notable experience in all types of funding arrangements. The team’s capabilities are additionally bolstered by its regular cross-practice cooperation with the property team on matters involving property-backed lending, a space in which Naren Deen stands out. The team is also frequently instructed by lenders. Department head Duncan Reid has specialist expertise in the private equity sphere, and Paul Wigham is also a go-to contact for venture capital work.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Reid

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wigham; Naren Deen

Key clients

Lok Developments

Northstar Ventures

FW Capital

Camerons Brewery


Accelerated Digital Ventures

Maven Capital Partners


NVM Private Equity

Kappex Construction

Broadband Satellite Services

Clearly Drinks

Hedgehog Labs


Engenera Renewables

Work highlights

  • Assisted Lucion Services with its private equity-backed management buyout.
  • Advised Accelerated Digital Ventures on a significant number of investments in scale-up technology businesses totalling over £30m.
  • Acted for Lok Developments JV2, a subsidary of the Morton Group, in relation to the funding of a joint venture for the acquisition of a prominent former Newcastle hospital site with a new housing scheme.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s team in the North is jointly led by property finance specialist John Ralph and Leeds-based secured lending adviser John Connor. It operates within the firm's wider national banking and finance group, and regularly acts on multi-disciplinary mandates requiring cooperation between the Leeds and Newcastle offices. The team acts for both borrowers and lenders and has extensive experience handling financial transactions, benefitting from its appointment to the panels of clearing banks.

Practice head(s):

John Ralph

Key clients

Santander UK


Clydesdale Bank / Yorkshire Bank

Lloyds Bank

Cairngorm Capital

Wykeland Group

NorthEdge Capital

PRAC Financial


Customade Group


Department for Education

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty


Europa Capital

British Engines


National Westminster Bank

Homes England

Work highlights

  • Acted for Newcastle City Council on its £35.8m refinance of Stephenson Hotel, the owner of the Newcastle Crowne Plaza Hotel.  
  • Assisted waste management company Augean with the negotiation, related agreements and completion of its renewed and upgraded banking facilities with HSBC UK Bank.
  • Acted for Homes England in connection with the provision of a £150m development facility to assist with the development of 660 new homes, 18,000 sq ft of commercial space, and a new 11,000-seater stadium on the site of the former Wimbledon dog track in Plough Lane.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

Sitting within the wider corporate and commercial property group, Mincoffs Solicitors LLP's finance team has particular strength in development capital investments. The practice is led by homegrown talent Paul Hughes, whose recent wide-ranging experience includes a notable instruction involving Islamic finance issues.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hughes

Other key lawyers:

John Nicholson; Ryan Bannon


Mincoffs Solicitors remains relatively small but often performs and compares favourably against larger opponents. In my experience, Mincoffs uses smaller teams and better understands your business and your commercial goal.

Key clients

Cairn Hotel Group

Lugano Group

Danieli Group

High Street Group

Razorblue Group


Intelligence Fusion

i2 Media

Steamforged Games

Work highlights

  • Advised Cairn Group on a £201m refinance and secure debt funding.
  • Advised Steamforged Games on its £5m VCT-led investment from Foresight Group.
  • Advised Amplyfi on its £3.4m Series A financing.