Banking and finance in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP has 'exceptional communication skills’ and handles financing transactions on a UK and cross-jurisdictional basis, acting primarily for banks, building societies, financial institutions and PLCs. The firm's work runs the gamut of banking and finance matters, from asset-backed lending, debt capital markets and securitisations to derivatives, leveraged finance and regulatory advice. Richard Leeming leads the team, which includes Rachael Ruane, who is ‘very easy to communicate with and a pleasure to work with'; Stuart McMillan, who has experience in project and development finance, real estate finance and asset-based lending matters; and Katie Allen, who has particular expertise in the hotel and student accommodation sectors.

Practice head(s):

Richard Leeming

Testimonials

‘A professional, accurate and friendly firm of solicitors’

‘I always find the team are happy to discuss matters, regardless of time or size of query’

‘I have enjoyed working with Rachael Ruane, who I find pragmatic in terms of the commercial options and solutions that she is able to assist us with. She is also readily available to quickly discuss any queries that I’ve had’

‘It is a highly experienced and stable team, with the same individuals and partners around for many years’

‘Paul Browne and Richard Leeming continue to be available to discuss matters or put us in touch with the relevant colleagues with specific expertise’

Key clients

National Express

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Banking Group

Westminster City Council

CJ Clark & Sons (Clarks Shoes)

ICG Longbow Senior Debt SA

NIBC Bank N.V.

Alcentra Limited

Capital Dynamics

Bridges Fund Management

Work highlights

  • Advised National Express on a Sterling Overnight Index Average (Sonia) loan from NatWest, the first of its kind for the UK banking sector.
  • Advised the financial sponsor of the Eden geothermal project on matters including structuring and negotiating bespoke arrangements with the government to unlock the public funding for the project.
  • Advised MetLife, as the lender, on an investment real estate refinance facility agreement in respect of Jersey property assets totalling £131m.

Osborne Clarke

Acting for borrowers and lenders, Osborne Clarke specialises in multi-bank transactions and acquisition finance. The firm has a strong sector focus, including in media, energy, financial services, real estate and infrastructure. Omar Al-Nuaimi leads the team and has expertise in structured acquisition and corporate finance. Also notable are Tom Bussy, who advises banks, private equity funds and corporates on a range of matters; associate director Caroline Saul, who focuses on project finance; and senior associate Tom Berisford, who advises banks, private equity funds and large companies.

Practice head(s):

Omar Al-Nuaimi

Key clients

Regulatory Finance Solutions Limited

NatWest

Aberdeen Standard Life

TradeRisks Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Silicon Valley Bank

Liberis Limited

Oxford Capital Partners

Arlington Advisors

RBS

Santander UK

Foresight Solar Fund

Nord LD Bank

NewCold Limited

Synova Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Foresight Solar Fund Limited on its £245m long-term debt financing of a portfolio of 28 solar farms.
  • Advised Nord/LB on its €125m financing of the Irish Social Housing Bundle 2 PPP transaction in Dublin.
  • Advised LDC (the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group) in relation to the buy-out of the Plimsoll Productions TV business.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The 'friendly, approachable and commercialWomble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is ‘brilliant to work with’ and provides transatlantic capability in the area. The practice is known for its specialisms in the real estate and energy sectors and in restructuring matters, acting for financial institutions, banks and public sector clients. Julian Kinsey leads the team and has expertise in debt finance work for banks and institutional lenders, as well as advising on borrower issues. Also notable is managing associate Tom Caplan, who has particular experience in real estate investment and development finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Julian Kinsey

Other key lawyers:

Tom Caplan; Philip Withey

Testimonials

‘Not only do they identify key risks, but they put forward suggestions to mitigate them in plain and straightforward language’

‘Julian Kinsey is always available and happy to discuss any queries, no matter the size or complexity. His early engagement and proactive discussions on transactions ensure that any potential issues are identified early, so that solutions can easily be discussed’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Piper Private Equity

Quilter plc

Santander

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance Limited

LV=

Union Bancaire Privee, UBP SA

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation PLC

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advising private equity firm Dunedin LLP in relation to the senior debt funding provided by HSBC in connection with the management buyout of Acquis Insurance Management.
  • Advising Ashfield Land Limited, as the borrower, in relation to a term loan facility agreement.
  • Advising the National Trust on the implementation of the amendments to its investment strategy necessary in order to enable it to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP focuses on banking transactional work, with experience acting on lending matters and financing transactions for banks, government agencies and corporates. The firm is particularly active in property investment and development finance, and marine, energy and public sector work. Practice head Rebecca Dury acts for lenders and borrowers on a range of domestic and cross-border banking transactions.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Dury

Other key lawyers:

James Heath; Clare Brewer; Ed Hobbs

Testimonials

‘Ashfords are a solid local banking team’

‘They deliver a great service’

‘The speed of response is excellent and the quality of advice is very good’

‘Not many other firms in the South West have their capability’

‘Transparent invoicing’

‘Jonathan Hyde is a very competent banking solicitor. Quick, efficient and courteous’

‘Rebecca Dury is always on hand for advice as necessary’

Key clients

Exeter Finance Limited

Homes England

Paragon Bank Plc

Paragon Development Finance Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc

HSBC UK Bank Plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc / National Westminster Bank Plc

Santander UK Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Lloyds on the refinancing of a housebuilding company group, replacing an existing facility with a new £20m revolving credit facility.
  • Advising Lloyds on a £16m loan to an education provider.
  • Advising a panel member for Homes England, the government’s national housing agency, on a number of development finance transactions.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The broad practice of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides multi-jurisdictional experience and a 'great balance between technical legal expertise and commercial practicality'. The firm specialises in aircraft security and renewables financing, with a particular borrower focus. Richard Norton is a ‘pleasure to work with', with notable strength in advising on facilities and security for listed companies and hedge funds.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Testimonials

‘They show attention to detail and focus on providing excellent client support’

‘The team stands out for its breadth of services and national footprint, whilst retaining a commitment to supporting local communities’

‘Richard Norton always takes time to really understand the background to any given situation and makes himself available, notwithstanding a busy work schedule’

‘Richard Norton offers practical, value-for-money support and is able to focus on the key matters, which ensures efficient use of time’

‘Richard Norton focuses on what is really important’

‘Excellent risk management and negotiation skills’

‘Superior team work and internal referral system’

Key clients

Awal Bank B.S.C.

Trifast plc

Bank of Cyprus

Argo Group

A Tsokkos Public Limited

EFG Private Bank Limited

National Bank of Kuwait

Ahli United Bank

Cynergy Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Trifast plc on a new £80m banking facility with a consortium of banks, comprising HSBC UK Bank PLC, Citibank N.A. and National Westminster Bank PLC.
  • Advising A Tsokkos Hotels Public Limited in relation to the amendment and restatement of a loan facility of over €220m with Bank of Cyprus, in order to allow for the construction of new hotels.
  • Advised Evelyn Business Services Limited in relation to a shareholder loan facility and related security, including aircraft mortgages and debentures.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP specialises in debt financing and syndicated lending, as well as providing expertise in real estate and acquisition finance. Practice head Chris Wall arrived from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2019 and brings experience in a broad range of financing transactions, including acquisition, real estate and asset-backed structured loan finance.

Practice head(s):

Chris Wall

Testimonials

The team is very responsive and uses good judgement when advising. Demonstrates a strong expert knowledge on topics discussed.’

Chris Wall is an outstanding lawyer and always provides top level service and insight.’

Approachable and prepared to give an opinion. Always make themselves available.’

Always have time for me when we discuss cases. Professional and personable and very reliable.’

 

Key clients

Santander UK plc

Gamesys Group plc (formerly known as JPJ Group plc)

Cynergy Bank

Prefcap Limited

Boost & Co

Puma Property Finance (part of the Shore Capital Group)

Ultraleap

Deeley Freed Estates

Backhouse Housing

Bank of Ireland

Work highlights

  • Advising JPJ Group plc on the €190m incremental term loan B financing of its £490m acquisition of the non-sports book and content business of Gamesys (Holdings) Limited.
  • Advising Boost & Co on a secured debt investment into Podsystem.
  • Advising Sequoia Living on the £25m refinancing and related development financing of two retirement living schemes in the south of England.

Foot Anstey

Acting for bank and non-bank lenders, corporates, sponsors and borrowers, Foot Anstey has experience in a range of banking and finance transactions. Areas of specialism for the firm include corporate lending, real estate investment, and development, acquisition and supply chain finance. Will Whitt leads the team and focuses on UK and cross-border corporate banking facilities, and leveraged and real estate finance.

Practice head(s):

Will Whitt

Testimonials

Foot Anstey combine a market leading team of lawyers, who not only have a solid and up to date knowledge of the law but possess a strong ability to apply this knowledge to provide quality, practical and commercial advice. The team react quickly, provide a first rate service to their clients and are a pleasure to work with.’

Personable and approachable on all technical legal matters.’

Strong grasp and communication of the key matters and involvement from senior level on the transactions.’

Long standing working relationship with one of the partners has fostered a good, solid partnership between our firms and they remain a valued member of our legal DD panel. They are reliable and dependable and importantly accessible. They do not appear to be governed by the “clock”, so generally fee quotes resemble the final invoice unless there is a departure from the terms of reference.’

I have worked with Will Whitt for a number of years now which has given rise to a deep sense of professional respect and trust. We are not a large business nor are our transactions overly complex but I always feel that appropriate time and resource are allocated to my cases. Occasionally, we need to rely on their professional judgement to advise the bank and it is reassuring that FA not only identify the relevant risks but also the necessary remedies or wise counsel given to qualify and quantify risk.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Santander

HSBC

NatWest

Handelsbanken Plc

Greentown Housing (UK) Limited

TSB

WElink Energy Group

Bank of London and The Middle East

Work highlights

  • Advising Future plc on the drafting and negotiating of a multi-currency revolving credit facility agreement with three major banks.
  • Advised Handelsbanken in respect of a £20m facility made available to Urban Creation Management Limited.
  • Advised Eden Geothermal Limited on the structuring and private and public sector funding of its deep geothermal project.

TLT

TLT is active in the corporate banking space, particularly in the financial services, leisure, retail and real estate sectors. The firm also has particular experience in the financing of large renewable energy projects. The practice provides a loan portfolio services practice and has expertise in assisting clients with preparing for the transition away from Libor. Jon Stewart specialises in corporate lending, acquisition finance and real estate finance. He co-leads the team with Gary Roscoe, who acts for financial institutions and sponsors in a range of domestic and cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jon Stewart; Gary Roscoe

Testimonials

‘They are a very knowledgeable and refreshingly practical banking team’

‘They work well with clients and take a good problem-solving approach to issues’

‘Gary Roscoe is hands-on and involved in the detail of the transaction’

Key clients

HSBC Bank plc

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

WH Smith PLC

Dyson Finance Limited

Avon Rubber plc

AIB Group (UK) plc

Thatchers Cider

Triodos

Santander PLC

Macquarie Capital Principal Finance

Work highlights

  • Advising WH Smith on its $400m acquisition of the Marshall Retail Group.
  • Advised Avon Rubber on the acquisition finance facilities it entered into to fund its acquisition of 3M’s ballistic-protection business in the US and acquiring the rights to the Ceradyne brand.
  • Advised Triodos Bank NV and its new UK subsidiary, Triodos Bank UK Limited, on obtaining a court order sanctioning an FSMA Part VII banking business transfer scheme in response to Brexit.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP acts on a range of banking matters and is recommended for its 'speed of response, diligence and attention to detail'. The firm has particular expertise in agricultural finance, notably funding farm purchases. Roger Seaton leads the team and is experienced in real estate finance, with a specialism in managing the refinancing of large property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Roger Seaton

Other key lawyers:

Irene Richardson; Ewen Cairns

Testimonials

‘The team is very accessible and attentive’

‘They always give 100% to the deal we are working on’

‘Irene Richardson and Ewen Cairns are particularly good’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank PLC

HSBC Bank PLC

Secure Trust Bank PLC

Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited

Santander UK PLC

Handelsbanken plc

Cambridge and Counties Bank Limited

Charterbank Capital Limited

Wellesley Finance PLC

Triodos Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Lloyds Bank PLC on providing finance for the development of further phases of a large-scale development in Newquay.
  • Advising Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited on providing finance for the acquisition of eight new-build apartments in Manchester and six new-build apartments in London with a total market value of over £3.5m.
  • Advising Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited on the financing of the acquisition of a new-build buy-to-let apartment in a high-quality development in central London.

Michelmores LLP

Particularly well regarded in the renewable energy, healthcare and education sectors, Michelmores LLP advises on a range of financing transactions. The firm’s experience includes structuring and executing new lending, restructuring existing lending, and acquisition and international finance in emerging markets. Charles Maunder leads the team and specialises in banking, restructuring and corporate insolvency.

Practice head(s):

Charles Maunder

Testimonials

Strong presence in the South West with non-London based partners.’

Easy to do business with and straightforward.’

In Exeter, it appears to me that Michelmores is the only law firm with any real finance capability.’

Responsive and pragmatic advice.’

 

Key clients

Social and Sustainable Capital LLP

Triodos Bank

Cavanna Group Limited

Seasalt Holdings Limited

Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership

The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation

Grace Lake Partners Limited

FWS Carter & Sons Limited

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries

Oxbury FS plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Grace Lake Partners Limited in connection with its $1.6m secured term loan facility from TLG Credit Opportunities Fund and Medical Credit Fund.
  • Advised Berry Properties Limited in connection with the refinancing of its £22m secured real estate finance term loan facility.
  • Advised a social impact fund in connection with the refinancing of a £5.8m mezzanine secured term loan facility in respect of the largest portfolio of community-owned solar assets.

Thrings LLP

Primarily acting for lenders, Thrings LLP has particular experience in acquisition finance and secured lending. The firm also provides expertise in equity investment and due diligence advice. Practice head Mike Tomlin specialises in transactions involving layered debt, linked debt and equity, and cross-group security arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Mike Tomlin

Key clients

Santander UK plc

Metro Bank

National Westminster Bank plc

HSBC Bank plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Royal Bank of Scotland

Arbuthnot Latham

Handelsbanken

AIB Group (UK) plc.

TrueSpeed Communications Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Stonewood Partnerships Limited on funding for a new housing development.
  • Advised HSBC Bank plc in relation to the £12.5m rolling credit facility of a retail customer.
  • Advised AIB Group in respect of structured acquisition finance facilities for a new-to-bank customer.

Trethowans LLP

Dorset-based Trethowans LLP acts for lenders and borrowers on a range of matters, including corporate borrowing and refinancing, acquisition finance and agricultural finance. The firm is also a member of the Loan Market Association (LMA). Corporate law specialist Nick Gent co-leads the team with Emma Earp, who arrived from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2019 and brings strong finance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gent; Emma Earp

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Royal Bank of Scotland plc/National Westminster Bank plc

HSBC Bank plc

CT Automotive Group Limited

Wessex Care Limited

Just Develop It Limited

Rowanmoor Trustees Limited

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Limited

R&M Electrical Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised CT Automotive Group Limited on its $20m refinancing with HSBC Bank plc.
  • Advised Mark Allen Holdings Limited on £18m working capital and acquisition facilities provided by HSBC UK Bank plc.
  • Advised Lloyds Bank plc in relation to the group reorganisation of a large healthcare, logistics and contracting group and the subsequent sale of the healthcare business to Cairngorm Capital.