Banking and finance in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP has an impressive client portfolio comprising regional, national and international banks, financial institutions, corporates and funds. Core areas of expertise are real estate, and energy and finance but the team also advises in the healthcare and private equity space. Richard Leeming also regularly deals with securitisations; he leads the team, which also includes Graham Soar, who is 'always on top of issues.' Rachael Ruane has corporate finance know-how.

Practice head(s):

Richard Leeming

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Ruane; Graham Soar; Katie Allen; Victoria Allsopp


‘The finance team has a great knowledge of the energy industry and, having worked with us for a long time, has a full understanding of our business and was able to negotiate financing agreements with very little instructions and supervision.’

‘Graham Soar – he is only involved when appropriate, hence making sure there was no uneccessary time billed by a partner. He is however alway on top of issues and able to argue and negotiate the client’s corners.’

‘Victoria Allsopp is very familiar with the client and able to negotiate with little supervision.’

‘Multi-discipline firm with excellent collaboration between partners to ensure, as funder, we are able to deliver best possible service to our clients. Excellent partner engagement with strong and experienced associate support.’

‘Have worked closely with partner Richard Leeming in both the finance and property teams – provide open communication and regular dialogue on all matters through a transaction, where principal contact open to engaging others in team as necessary. Very strong on advice and guidance at all times.’


Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Banking Group

UK Fund Manager and Eden Geothermal Limited

EDFI Management Company NV

Santander UK plc

ICG Longbow Senior Debt SA

Kreos Capital VI (Expert Fund) L.P.

Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited

Bluefield Solar

National Express Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Provided English law support to the U.S. Bank National Association as collateral agent acting on behalf of the secured noteholders providing liquidity to Carnival Corporate & plc.
  • Advised Bluefield Solar on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 15 operational solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with a total installed capacity of 64.2 megawatt peak (MWp).
  • Assisting Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited with its development of a £120m mainline train station between Cardiff and Newport.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke's team covers the full gamut of banking and finance work, such as syndicated lending, acquisition financing and private equity transactions. It has experience acting for borrowers and lenders, be it large banks, challengers or various funds. Team head Tom Bussy is an expert in acquisition finance and corporate finance, while Omar Al-Nuaimi is an established advisor in structured acquisitions and project finance. Caroline Saul has special expertise in the energy space. Associate director Tom Berisford also has know-how in corporate lending.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bussy

Other key lawyers:

Omar Al-Nuaimi; Caroline Saul; Tom Berisford


‘Highly commercial approach to transactions, always seeking to find solutions and quick to respond during negotiations. Importantly, they don’t deviate from quotes given and are flexible on late changes to scope that occur during the transaction.’

‘Tom Bussy – technically very sound and highly commercial approach is refreshing. Tom is a pleasure to work with and I have no hesitation in recommending him.’

‘Pragmatic, responsive, open, knowledgeable, reasonable, pleasure to work with.’


Key clients

Regulatory Finance Solutions Limited


Aberdeen Standard Life

TradeRisks Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Silicon Valley Bank

Liberis Limited

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)

Arlington Advisors


Santander UK

Foresight Solar Fund

Nord LD Bank

NewCold Limited

Synova Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised NatWest and a club of 5 other lenders on the $200m refinancing of Avon Rubber plc.
  • Advised Ansco Arena Limited, the owner of The O2 Arena, in relation to all aspects of its establishment of a commercial paper programme as part of its participation in the Covid Corporate Finance Facility.
  • Advised BayernLB on a new debt facility, which enabled the Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP) to complete a £86m long-term refinancing for a 32MW portfolio of onshore wind assets.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s core areas of expertise are real estate finance, corporate finance, structured finance and public sector finance. Mainly on the lender side, the team’s portfolio includes banks, debt funds, private equity investors, and local and national government bodies. It also advises corporate clients on banking matters. In Bristol, Philip Withey is active for clients from the energy and financial institutions sectors, while Tom Caplen advises institutional lenders and corporate borrowers. The national banking team is led from Leeds by John Connor.

Practice head(s):

John Connor

Other key lawyers:

Philip Withey; Tom Caplen


‘Super responsive, efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide solutions to often difficult/challenging situations and clients. Each of the team are approachable and collaborate with professionalism.’

‘Speed and knowledge of a variety of areas in law for real estate and leverage in particular. Having individual solicitors that you can reach in a moments notice is invaluable.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Piper Private Equity

Quilter plc


Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance Limited


Union Bancaire Privee, UBP SA

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation PLC

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Advising Lloyds Bank plc on the provision of invoice finance facilities to Devon based Gregory Distribution.
  • Advising British Business Investments Limited on its provision of a block discounting facility to Compass Business Finance Limited enabling an increased flow of asset finance products into UK-based smaller businesses in the print, packaging and manufacturing sectors.
  • Advised Union Bancaire Privée, UBP S.A. on its provision of a development finance facility to West End Enterprise Assets Limited and Tedberry Limited.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has considerable experience in advising banks, government agencies and corporate clients acting as lenders in an array of finance transactions. Its offering includes property and development finance; commercial banking; and trade and project finance. Practice head Rebecca Dury is also well versed in cross-border matters. Ed Hobbs has know-how in energy and infrastructure finance.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Dury

Other key lawyers:

James Heath; Clare Brewer; Ed Hobbs


‘Ashfords adapted quickly and seamlessly to working remotely . The banking team have completed multiple deals for Exeter Finance during a very difficult year. Team fully committed to meeting tight timescales . Clear billing and documentation very accurate.’

‘Ashfords are building a strong Banking Team led by Rebecca Dury. Rebecca is always readily available to discuss a particular file.’

Key clients


Lloyds Bank plc

Santander UK plc

National Westminster Bank PLC

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Brunswick Limited and Sackville Limited

Exeter Finance Limited

Homes England

Albatross Capital

Fox Funding LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lloyds Bank plc on its loans to a number of companies across a range of sectors as part of the CLBILS scheme.
  • Acted for a European infrastructure company on the English law aspects of its c. £90m facility with a European bank.
  • Acted for a FTSE 100 company in respect of its c. £340m revolving credit facility, to bring a new lender into the banking syndicate.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides a 'mixture of reliability, depth of support and willingness to take commercial and practical decisions at the right times.'  The team advises banks, private equity funds and hedge funds on a variety of transactions, and also assists its clients in regulatory obligations and investigations. Practice head Richard Norton focuses on loan facilities and security.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Other key lawyers:

Manoj Vaghela


‘They are easy to deal with and can involve others in the team very quickly.’

‘The firm has people with experience who have dealt with similar issues so the job gets done quickly.

‘Mixture of reliability, depth of support and willingness to take commercial and practical decisions at the right times. Whilst a strong regional player, the partners also have extensive UK and international expertise which brings a wealth of related contacts.’

‘Richard Norton is outstanding. Brings a depth of both UK and international expertise to support corporate transactions. Richard’s attention to detail is impressive. Takes time to understand the detail and provide first class practical support often during unsociable hours. ’


Key clients

Awal Bank B.S.C

Trifast plc

Bank of Cyprus

Credit Suisse

Royal Bank of Canada

EFG Private Bank Limited

National Bank of Kuwait

Clydesdale Bank

Ahli United Bank

Cynergy Bank

Work highlights

  • Assisted Telecom Development Company Afghanistan with a complex restructuring from IFC (World Bank).
  • Advised Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development on loans to one of their investee companies in Afghanistan.
  • Advised Trifast on amendments to their £80m loan facility with HSBC, NatWest and Citibank to allow for a Jersey Cashbox Placing.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP is praised for its 'flexibility, versatility and dependability.' It has considerable strength in debt finance transactions, predominantly on the borrower side; practice head Chris Wall is an expert in these areas. It further supports clients in receivables finance, growth capital, and the firm's core capabilities - real estate finance and a public sector focus.

Practice head(s):

Chris Wall

Other key lawyers:

Toby Hewitt


‘Commercial nous. DAC are lawyers that clearly understand commercial reality and not just focus on theoretical legal advice. This mentality has led to far more efficient negotiations on our deals as they will explain the legal risks but more importantly context it with commercial impact. They were quick to embrace technology and support electronic signatures, which dramatically streamlines the completion process. ’

‘Toby Hewitt and Chris Wall have extensive knowledge around debt and security law but are always able to advise us with commercial reality at the forefront. Highly responsive and very quick turn arounds. We have not had a deal delayed due to slow responses from our lawyers.’

‘Very commercial – have the experience so can add value above and beyond just legal terms.’

‘Christopher Wall is extremely commercial – has in-depth experience so can add value above and beyond just discussion of legal terms. A true advisor.’

‘Main strengths are flexibility, versatility and dependability.’

‘When I have a legal query Michael Pearce and the Bristol team are my ‘go to’ team as I know they always do a great job.’

‘Very efficient team that are approachable and efficient with completion of the deals always within the required timescales. Charges are reflective of the services provided and are not inflated with very few instances of increased fees during a transaction.’

‘Approachable, easy to deal with and provide good, solid advice.’

Key clients

Viaro Energy Limited

Stronghold Partners SL

Tower Street Capital

Global Growth Capital SarL

NQ Minerals PLC


TC Group

Santander UK plc

Gamesys Group plc

St James’s Place plc

Prefcap Limited

Boost & Co

Puma Property Finance


Deeley Freed Estates

Backhouse Housing

Work highlights

  • Acted for Viaro Energy Limited on a £250m Takeover Code compliant financing for the acquisition of LSE listed entity, Rockrose Energy PLC.
  • Advising Stronghold Partners on a significant receivables backed revolving credit facility and related equity linked investment from Goldman Sachs International.
  • Advising NQ Minerals PLC on its solvent balance sheet restructuring, refinancing and offshore project financing of an Australian mining project.

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey is able to assist in the full gamut of banking and finance transactions, which includes corporate lending, real estate investment, acquisition finance and growth capital finance. The team acts for FTSE and challenger banks as well as corporate clients. Katie-Jane Rees now leads the team after Will Whitt left for Temple Bright LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Katie-Jane Rees

Other key lawyers:

Chris White


‘Broad range of expertise with experience across the team which makes me confident when introducing my clients.’

‘Professional client-focused approach based on understanding perspectives across both sides of the desk. Open, frank and honest.’

‘Foot Anstey have worked well with our other advisors to complete projects in which they are involved and have been proactive in progressing and resolving issues to get to a conclusion.’

‘Chris White has given strong and well-balanced advice in a number of cases with good appreciation of the sensitivities around the issues not just the bare legal facts.’

‘Amazing practice with expert advise at the fraction of a cost. Very professional with a can do attitude. Definitely lower in cost compared to the larger firms. Billing is maintained to a agreed level. ’

‘My contact at Foot Anstey LLP is Katie-Jane Rees. Katie is very professional and knowledgeable and always gives attention to detail. Always offers an alternative in order to complete a transaction with zero risk to the client. Able to work on complex transactions and meet tight timelines.’


Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group




Handelsbanken Plc

WElink Energy Group

Bank of London and The Middle East

Alter Domus

Work highlights

  • Advised the borrower Eden Geothermal Limited on the financing of its deep-well geothermal project in Cornwall.
  • Advised Mole Valley Farmers on £50m term and revolving facilities.
  • Advised WElink on its E72,500,000 syndicated financing of a 220MW solar project in Portugal, Europe’s largest unsubsidized solar project.


TLT has notable experience in the full range of banking and finance transactions. Its offering includes supporting clients in acquisition and leveraged finance; trade finance; corporate banking; securitisations; and in particular renewable energy financing. The group is led by Gary Roscoe, who is a key contact for financial institutions and sponsors, and corporate lending specialist Jon Stewart.

Practice head(s):

Gary Roscoe; Jon Stewart


‘The TLT team is always flexible and adaptive. Having completed many transactions with them, we work very efficiently together and the service is friendly. As we transition to new sectors and grow our team, it is great to work with a law firm that can help develop our legal documentation and processes. All in all, the TLT team is highly knowledgeable and our interests are always looked after.’

‘I have worked with the team on numerous occasions and have always found their expertise to be first class. Their counsel has helped us structure and negotiate difficult transactions. ’

‘Jon Stewart stands out by his ability to quickly give clear, to the point advice. He has deep experience and sound judgement. Highly recommended. ’

‘The Banking team are very commercial and good at helping you get work done when there are tight deadlines.’

‘Jon Stewart is a first class lawyer.’


Key clients

WH Smith

Boohoo Group plc

BGL Group Limited (comparethemarket)

AIB Group (UK) P.l.c.

Avon Rubber p.l.c.

Innova Energy

Thrive Renewables

Santander UK

Low Carbon


HSBC UK Bank Plc

Abundance Investment Ltd


Macquarie Capital Principal Finance

Work highlights

  • Acted for WH Smith in relation to one of the first Covid-19 corporate finance facility (CCFF) transactions to receive approval from the Bank of England.
  • Supported Innova Energy with a £30m refinancing of its 57MW portfolio of UK rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV projects.
  • Advised Boohoo Group plc in respect of a £200m multicurrency revolving credit facility permitting Boohoo to draw on the facility for the purpose of future acquisitions.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP's banking and finance practice works closely with the firm's other teams; hence it is often involved in real estate portfolio financings, the funding of farm purchases and development finance. Roger Seaton leads the group and is well versed in advising clearing and private banks.

Practice head(s):

Roger Seaton

Other key lawyers:

Fraser MacRae


There is a very close working relationship between the Banking and Finance and Property teams at Clarke Willmott Cardiff and Bristol office. All to the benefit of the client. They communicate very well and far better than other firms than we use. ’

‘From a Banking and Finance perspective Fraser MacRae is an outstanding individual. Responsive, articulate and professional.’


Key clients

Lloyds 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 Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited in restating various facilities made available to a group of Oxford investment companies into a consolidated LMA agreement also covering additional secured borrowing £20m.
  • Instructed by Secure Trust Bank in funding a multi-phase deal for mixed-use development of a former RAF base in Oxfordshire £65m.
  • Acting for HSBC Bank plc in funding acquisition of holiday park through share purchase of spv.

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is praised for 'always going above and beyond' for its clients.  The team has know-how in instructions relating to renewable energy, impact investments, property finance, healthcare and education. It advises on a range of financing transactions and is led by Sacha PickeringKaren Williams is well versed in debt products, and senior associate Anna Thompson's 'technical skills shine through.' Charles Maunder left for Pinsent Masons LLP in July 2020.

Practice head(s):

Sacha Pickering

Other key lawyers:

Karen Williams; Anna Thompson


‘Strong presence in the south west across both junior and senior team members.’

‘Friendly and non-stuffy, take the effort and time to work in a way that fits wiht our culture ather than imposing their own.’

‘Michelmores have a unique ability to cut through the legal language and explain the likely commercial and practical impact of what documents say in practical terms. Having worked with Michelmores for a number of years they have made a real effort to understand our business and how we operate. With this knowledge, they can take a very pragmatic look at the documentation and, in turn, only spend their time that we pay for negotiating on the terms that are going to have a direct impact on our ability to run the business. We have found Michelmores to be excellent at dealing with lender’s rigid processes of refinancing and requirements (which we can find particularly frustrating at times), they are always happy to bear the brunt of negotiations and ensure that we get the best value from their advice.’

‘We have always felt Michelmores go above and beyond when working with us.’

‘Anna Thompson throughout the duration of the transaction worked tirelessly with our team and other external advisers leading as if working directly for us in-house. Anna’s technical skills, commitment to achieving our goals, and ability to negotiate have shone through, having proved excellent value for money she is highly regarded by our company and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Social and Sustainable Capital LLP

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries

The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation

Triodos Bank

Cavanna Group Limited

Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership

St Austell Brewery Company Limited

Elephant Design Limited (Emma Bridgewater)

Oxbury FS Plc

Social and Sustainable Housing LP

Work highlights

  • Advised DFI’s Norfund and Finnfund as co-lenders in connection with a $20m impact secured facility to a Ghanaian and Nigerian borrowers in respect of energy projects.
  • Advising on £8m equity investment by Business Growth Fund and £2.5m revolving credit facility from HSBC.
  • Advised St Austell Brewery in connection with the refinance of its £77.5m revolving credit facilities with three lenders and £25m additional funds by way of a CLBILS loan from two lenders.

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP has a 'strong and detailed knowledge'  in the banking and finance space. Instructed by lenders and borrowers, it acts in particular for challenger banks and institutional investors. Mike Tomlin, who heads the practice, is well versed in layered debt, linked debt and equity. The team has special experience in the telecommunication sector.

Practice head(s):

Mike Tomlin


‘My experience has been a clear, proactive service. Billing is clear and informative.’

‘The team works with professionalism, empathy and answers any problems swiftly.’

‘From the moment we contacted Thrings we had excellent service. professional and understanding. Nothing too much trouble’

‘Commerciality of advice given.’

‘Broad range of skill sets and highly personable partners. Strong value for money and a particular talent in complex areas of law and legal restructurings.’

‘A strong and detailed knowledge of their subject area, and innovative use of technology allow the team to best offer advice to clients.’

‘Great team and a good range of experience.’

‘Clearly personable individuals very professional and very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Santander UK plc

Metro Bank

National Westminster Bank plc

HSBC Bank plc


Royal Bank of Scotland

Arbuthnot Latham


AIB Group (UK) plc.

OakNorth Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Wildanet Limited on part-equity, part-debt investment of up to £50m from Gresham House.
  • Advised OakNorth Bank plc in respect of a circa £4.6m development facility.
  • Advised National Westminster Bank PLC in respect of a circa £5.8m real estate acquisition finance facility.

Trethowans LLP

The team at Trethowans LLP handles acquisition finance, property and development financings, and rural affairs and agricultural finance matters. It also advises borrowers on refinancing.  Based in Southampton, Nick Gent and property finance specialist Paul Longman lead the practice, which also includes Emma Earp who handles LMA grade work.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gent; Paul Longman

Other key lawyers:

Emma Earp

Key clients

Santander UK plc

HSBC Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

National Westminster Bank plc

CT Automotive Group Limited

Mark Allen Holdings Limited

Rowanmoor Trustees Limited

Just Develop It Limited (trading as Onyx Finance)

The MCG Group Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Santander UK plc on the refinancing of a well known luxury hotel group. This involved the preparation and settlement of a new facilities agreement and intercreditor documentation.
  • Advised Coutts & Co on preparing  the facility and security documents required for a loan to a HNW for the purpose of a refinance of an SPV property development company.
  • Acted for Just Develop It Limited (trading as Onyx Asset Finance and Onyx Development Finance) as lender, on funding arrangements in an aggregate amount in excess of £21m, mainly focussing on development finance.