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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Finance > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard's predominantly lender-focused department sits on the panels for all UK clearing banks and is recognised for its expertise in corporate banking, real estate finance, leveraged finance and unitranche work, as well as social housing financings. Clients praise the team, which is led by  David Handy, for 'knowing the sector inside out'. The firm added the 'really practical' Andrew Fordham from Squire Patton Boggs in 2018, and also fields social housing finance expert Lee Shankland, managing associate Geoffrey McGinley, and real estate finance specialist Jenny Cromack, who is a consultant.

Practice head(s):David Handy

Other key lawyers:Lee Shankland, Andrew Fordham, Jenny Cromack, Nick Barlow

Testimonials

'The practice knows the sector inside out and clients trust it to be ahead of the game as the legal and banking environments evolve'.

'The ability of the social housing finance team to support the completion of multiple transactions in a timely and efficient manner is very impressive'.

'The group provides appropriate support and advice and has a clear track record in successfully supporting the entire sector'.

'Nick Barlow is prompt, attentive and attuned to what banking clients in the region want and expect'.

Key Clients

Barclays Bank

HSBC Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

AIB Group UK

Santander UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Aviva Investors on facilities to MedicX Group.
  • Advised HSBC UK Bank on the provision of debt facilities for the buyout of Platinum Stair Lifts by its management and North Edge Capital.
  • Assisting HSBC UK Bank with £65m facilities for Renew Holdings to finance its acquisition of QTS Group.
  • Acting for Ribston UK Industrial Property on an investment facility from Barclays Bank.
  • Advised Barclays Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Santander UK on the restructuring of existing loan facilities to Devon and Cornwall Treasury and Knightstone Housing Association through restated facility agreements, totalling £525m.

The team at DLA Piper UK LLP's Leeds office handles debt finance, real estate finance, project finance and asset-based lending work with clients praising its 'vast relevant industry knowledge'. It is able to leverage the firm's national and international network to assist with cross-border transactions, with clients appreciating the combination of its local strength and global depth. Noteworthy individuals include real estate finance expert Kirstie Allerton, debt finance specialist and UK head of finance and markets Sarah Day, Anna Robson, who focuses on debt finance and asset-based lending; and legal director Laura Gordon, who has key expertise in renewable energy sector financings.

Practice head(s):Kirstie Allerton; Sarah Day; Anna Robson

Other key lawyers:Laura Gordon

Testimonials

'With excellent partner involvement on transactions, DLA Piper has vast relevant industry knowledge on the latest positions and trends and has an absolute attention to detail'.

'A very good team with good cover and experience across all disciplines. It provides a fantastic service and competitive pricing with very good client and bank experience'.

'The strength in depth of a global firm but with a strong regional presence'.

'Anna Robson is one of the region's leading banking partners and will often advise on the largest and most complex financing deals that are taking place'.

Key Clients

Aviva

Bank J Safra (Gibraltar)

ICG-Longbow

Sun Capital

Emerald Publishing

Henry Boot

Town Centre Securities

Santander UK

Microgen

Nord

Severfield

Safestyle UK

VetPartners Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a club of five lenders on the refinancing of South Yorkshire-based Polypipe Group.
  • Advised Lloyds TSB Bank as agent for Lloyds, HSBC Equipment Finance and NIBC Bank on the £100m financing of a portfolio of gas-fired power plants owned by the Green Frog Power group.
  • Assisting Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners and E.ON as sponsors with their investment in the Nysäter wind farm project in Sweden.
  • Acting for National Westminster Bank on a £20m senior term loan acquisition financing.
  • Assisting SDL with the part-financing of a multi-jurisdictional acquisition and a simultaneous share placement.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  handles a broad range of banking work from Leeds, with the team working at a regional, national and international level. The firm sits on the panels of all national clearing banks. Kathryn Walters heads the team and has a particular strength in leveraged and structured finance work, as well as real estate investments. Paul Castle is also a key name for corporate lending, real estate finance and education finance mandates.

Practice head(s):Kathryn Walters

Other key lawyers:Paul Castle

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Santander UK

HSBC Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

National Westminster Bank

Clydesdale Bank

Yorkshire Bank

Harworth Group

CPP Group

DFS Furniture

Cranswick

Work highlights

  • Advising Anchor Carehomes on the lender consents and revised funding arrangements relating to its merger with Hanover Housing Association.
  • Assisting H2 Equity Partners with the debt funding and corporate working capital facilities for its purchase of Aquilant medical supplies group and subsequent investment in its merger with Primacy Healthcare.
  • Acting for Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank on the senior debt funding of Perwyn Equity's investment in Fresh Cut Foods Group.
  • Advising a three bank club including Royal Bank of Scotland on additional facilities to be made available to Hansteen Holdings.
  • Assisting Santander UK with the provision of revolving credit and other facilities to Clipper Logistics and its subsidiaries.

Pinsent Masons LLP handles some of the region's largest corporate, real estate and acquisition finance transactions for lender and borrower clients, and also assists with securitisation and capital markets work. Team head Philip Scott is 'always good to deal with' and focuses on M&A funding and property finance work; newly promoted partner Matthew Clayton-Stead and legal director Sean Houlihan are also key names to note.

Practice head(s):Philip Scott

Other key lawyers:Matthew Clayton-Stead; Sean Houlihan

Testimonials

'The practice at Pinsent Masons is one of the best in the regional market right now'.

'The team is reliable, giving first-class advice and taking a collegiate approach across offices nationally, which many firms of this size do not do'.

'Philip Scott has a relaxed but assured approach, enabling clients to get the right result with a minimum of fuss or grandstanding'.

Key Clients

Extentia Group

Beechbrook Capital

Mayfair Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised on the private securitisation of a portfolio of unsecured consumer debt obligations, totalling £255m.
  • Assisted a syndicate of banks with the €165m refinancing of Low & Bonar.
  • Advising a UK clearing bank on the refinancing of the Belmarsh West prison project through a bond issuance.
  • Advising Beechbrook Capital as lead secured creditor on the trading administration and break up of the group of companies which owned and distributed Bench clothing.
  • Acting for a bank on a £100m revolving credit facility.

Walker Morris LLP's broad banking expertise encompasses unitranche fundings, leveraged buyouts, real estate finance work and debt fund matters. The practice, rated for its 'down-to-earth approach and strong technical proficiency', has also grown its wholesale funding expertise for consumer finance and SME finance businesses. 'Excellent' team head Michael Taylor handles all elements of corporate banking and acquisition finance work, Peter Considine is noted for his cross-border expertise, while Ian Akitt is described as 'brilliant'.

Practice head(s):Michael Taylor

Other key lawyers:Ian Akitt; Peter Considine

Testimonials

'Walker Morris is unique in that it combines strong technical proficiency with a down-to-earth approach and provides professional, timely and efficient support'.

'Michael Taylor is a clear leader in the local market'.

'Peter Considine is technically very competent and adept at providing advice on complex issues that non-subject-matter experts can understand. He goes above and beyond the standard levels of service'.

'The team is always available, turns around documents efficiently and has top-class advice'.

Key Clients

Santander

Yorkshire Bank

Strata Homes

Servelec Group

Proactis Holdings

Moolmoor Investments

Augean

Hargreaves Services

Moorgarth Retail

Endless

Evans Property Group

Evo Business Supplies

Work highlights

  • Advised Evo Business Supplies on new £90m syndicated asset-based lending facilities with PNC Business Finance and ABN Amro Commercial Finance.
  • Assisted Evans Property Group with the amendment and restatement of facilities with Barclays Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland valued at £175m to facilitate a group re-organisation.
  • Acted for Crosslane Property Group on the funding of its £100m joint venture arrangements with Harrison Street Real Estate.
  • Advised Renew Holdings on £65m acquisition finance facilities for its acquisition of QTS Rail.
  • Advised Hargreaves Services on its £65m group facilities.

Clarion is a key name in the Leeds market for SME clients, particularly in the manufacturing, engineering, recruitment, healthcare, sport and leisure sectors, and has notable expertise in asset-based lending work and bridging finance matters. The group acts for a variety of clearing banks and has also expanded its instructions from secondary lenders. Marie Pugh leads the team and Ben Slack handles asset-based lending work.

Practice head(s):Marie Pugh

Other key lawyers:Ben Slack

Testimonials

'Clarion fields a quick and efficient team that has cemented its position in the market'.

Key Clients

Reward Finance Group (Reward Capital and Reward Invoice Finance)

Secure Trust Bank

HSBC Bank

Ultimate Finance

Aldermore Bank

Reparo Finance

Shawbrook Bank

Skipton Business Finance

Hampshire Trust Bank

RBS Invoice Finance

Fresh Thinking Capital

Abltrate Assets

TFG Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Ultimate Finance on the provision of real estate, receivables and inventory facilities utilised to fund a corporate acquisition
  • Advised Ablrate Assets on a £6m revolving facility secured on a property portfolio.
  • Assisted Access Commercial Finance with the preparation of bespoke facilities for the acquisition of a chain of pubs and bars.
  • Advised Shawbrook Bank on the provision of loan facilities for the acquisition of furniture business, Eyres of Chesterfield.
  • Acted for One Stop Business Finance on the provision of development finance facilities to fund a residential development.

With notable expertise in real estate finance work, Irwin Mitchell also advises on corporate banking, cross-border matters, mezzanine and leveraged finance work, and private equity funding issues. The group's client base encompasses lenders and borrowers at a local and national level. The 'no-nonsense' Paddy Sturman and Dean Gormley head up the teams in Leeds and Sheffield respectively; Gormley focuses on banking and debt finance transactions.

Practice head(s):Paddy Sturman; Dean Gormley

Testimonials

'Strong experience and expertise combined with effective technical abilities and personable employees'.

'Paddy Sturman is approachable, thorough and highly diligent'.

'Paddy Sturman's practical and no-nonsense approach gets the job done and makes him a standout name'.

 

Key Clients

ICG-Longbow

Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Gibraltar), London Branch

Octopus Property

Santander UK

HSBC Bank and HSBC Invoice Finance

Lloyds Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

National Westminster Bank

Rothschild & Co.

ABN AMRO Commercial Finance

Close Brothers

New Era Development (UK)

Work highlights

  • Advised New Era Development (UK) on funding provided by Barclays Bank for the development of New Era Square, Sheffield.
  • Assisted National Westminster Bank with the provision of development funding to Citu (Low Fold).
  • Acted for HSBC UK Bank on its additional funding to Moorgarth Living.
  • Advised HSBC UK Bank on its funding of the management buyout of Atlas Leisure Homes.
  • Acting for Octopus Property on its development funding of a residential development in Isleworth.

Squire Patton Boggs stands out for its acquisition finance strength, which benefits from the firm's global network. Other key areas of expertise include real estate finance, asset-based lending, derivatives and corporate lending. Practice head Tom Telford was recently joined by Nick Bell, who was recruited from an in-house position at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Jeremy Ladyman is also a key name for investment management, derivatives and financial services work. Andrew Fordham left for Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):Tom Telford

Other key lawyers:Nick Bell; Jeremy Ladyman

Testimonials

'Tom Telford is a very good and technical practitioner'.

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank (trading as Yorkshire Bank)

Redhall Group

ECI Partners

The Royal Bank of Scotland

National Westminster Bank

Endless

Inflexion Private Equity

Wesleyan Bank

Send for Help

RBS Invoice Finance

Lloyds Development Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting for Send for Help on unitranche debt facilities from Crescent Capital.
  • Advising PNC Bank as lead bank on a syndicated $250m revolving credit facility to Ferroglobe, a materials innovation group.
  • Assisting Go Plant with a £14m asset-backed lending refinance with Secure Trust Bank.
  • Advising Wesleyan Bank on the submission of collateral loans relating to its participation in the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme.
  • Acting for Clear Insurance Group on a unitranche financing deal.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Leeds banking practice excels in the manufacturing, real estate, consumer debt and education sectors, acting for both borrower and lender clients. The practice also benefits from the firm's transatlantic capabilities following its international merger in 2017, particularly in real estate finance, fintech and energy finance work. It is led by the 'hands-on' John Connor .

Practice head(s):John Connor

Other key lawyers:Mark Casey

Testimonials

'Womble Bond Dickinson provides an efficient service at an excellent cost point across the finance work it handles'.

'John Connor is a hands-on partner who is commercial and responsive'.

Key Clients

Santander UK

HSBC Bank

Clydesdale Bank

Yorkshire Bank

Lloyds Bank

Cairngorm Capital

Wykeland Group

NorthEdge Capital

PRAC Financial

Grainger

Customade Group

Venator

Department for Education

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty

LDC

Europa Capital

British Engines

Kennelpak

National Westminster Bank

Allied Irish Bank (UK)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Department for Education on the finance elements of multiple college mergers and restructurings.
  • Assisted British Engines with the negotiation and agreement of three bilateral parallel revolving credit agreements.
  • Advised Customade Group on a recapitalisation and new debt facilities with Clydesdale Bank and MidCap Financial (Ireland).
  • Acting for Europa UK Debt (Lux) on a loan to Brighton Developments to refinance existing debt and fund redevelopment plans.
  • Assisting NorthEdge Capital with the funding aspects of its acquisition of Cutwel, including the structuring of the investor finance.

As the key firm in East Yorkshire for finance work, Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is recognised for its corporate and real estate finance expertise with additional specialisms in agricultural lending and ship financings. The primarily lender-focused practice is led by Nick Scott, who took over the role from Andrew Funnell; Andrew Oliver focuses on shipping finance work while consultant Mark Davies is the key contact in the firm's York office.

Practice head(s):Nick Scott

Other key lawyers:Andrew Oliver; Mark Davies; Helen Mellors; Paul Barker

Testimonials

'Andrew Jackson has invested heavily in its banking and finance team and has expanded its reach beyond its traditional Hull base to great effect'.

'The team has expertise across all commercial activities and is keen to work with banks to ensure communication channels are kept open. It is one of the more progressive and forward-thinking firms in the region and its key partners have a strong awareness of what banks have an appetite for'.

'Nick Scott is extremely efficient at managing multi-jurisdictional transactions. He is easy to deal with and goes into a great degree of detail when required'.

'Mark Davies has considerable experience across a multitude of transactions at varying sizes and complexities. He is well supported and offers a quick turnaround with pragmatic guidance, and is very patient when it comes to handling more complex requests'.

Work highlights

  • Acted for an engineering client on a refinancing deal, including handling intercreditor agreements and property security issues.

Still relatively new to the Leeds market, Gateley Plc's banking department is headed up by Richard Morton and has recently been active on private equity acquisition finance transactions and real estate finance work. The practice has a national focus, leveraging the firm's wider network, with a substantial lender client base.

Practice head(s):Richard Morton

Testimonials

'Clients receive a good service from Gateley with particular strengths being its commercial approach and sector knowledge'.

'Richard Morton has exceptional business acumen and accessibility'.

At Ward Hadaway, practice head Mark Smith is highly regarded for his advice to peer-to-peer lending platforms. Alongside its real estate, acquisition and development finance knowledge, the department also assists property investment funds and has developed expertise in security structures and acting for new types of debt funder clients such as crowdfunders. Lucinda Peters is recommended for the property elements of secured lending transactions, particularly in the health and care sectors.

Practice head(s):Mark Smith

Other key lawyers:Lucinda Peters

Testimonials

'The entire team is friendly and approachable and understands those occasions when a light touch is required and when to stand firm'.

'Mark Smith is very supportive'.

'Lucinda Peters seeks out new business rather than waiting for it to come to the firm, which is unusual for the legal profession. This really makes a client feel valued'.

Key Clients

Assetz SME Capital

Santander UK

Royal Bank of Scotland

Barclays Bank

Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank

Greater Manchester Housing Fund

Oakapple Group

Lloyds Bank

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Relendex Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Assetz Development Capital on a secured development loan facility to an Isle of Man-based nursing home developer for a new nursing home in the North West of England.
  • Advising Assetz Development on peer-to-peer development funding for the development of a student accommodation scheme in Nottingham.

CMS' 'forward-thinking' Sheffield-based practice excels in real estate and corporate finance work, advising a variety of lender and borrower clients at a local and national level. The group also benefits from the firm's global network to act for notable international clients. Of counsel David Stanbridge heads up the department and regularly handles structuring issues.

Practice head(s):David Stanbridge

Testimonials

'CMS demonstrates high levels of professionalism and commitment, is punctual and delivers above expectations every time'.

'The group's service is efficient, forward thinking and removes any unnecessary points'.

'The team is extremely user friendly, commercial and understands the client's needs to make sure they take a priority'.

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank

HSBC Bank

Santander UK

Titan Property Developments

Palace Capital

United Trust Bank

Westminster City Council

Barclays Bank

Marcus Worthington Group

ADIB UK

FQ Developments

Work highlights

  • Acting for Costcutter on the restructuring of its intra-group debt.
  • Advised Bank of London and The Middle East and fellow investors on its first property investment in Glasgow, including its acquisition of office real estate.
  • Assisting NG Bailey Group with the finance elements of its acquisition of the Freedom Group of companies.
  • Handling multiple transactions for ADIB (UK) involving the provision of Islamic finance to its clients for property acquisitions.
  • Acting for United Trust Bank on the provision of financing to several of its clients for the  acquisition of development properties across England.

The corporate and finance department at Keebles excels in local mid-market transactions with substantial experience in refinancings, investment work and real estate finance mandates. Group head Matt Ainsworth's expertise encompasses private equity transactions, fundraisings, refinancings and institutional lending; while Paul Trudgill and Michael Hall focus on corporate finance work. Roger Dyson retired.

Practice head(s):Matt Ainsworth

Other key lawyers:Paul Trudgill; Michael Hall

Testimonials

'Keebles fields a strong team with a good reputation for providing strong commercial advice in a timely manner'.

'The team at Keebles is very experienced with approachable individuals who provide practical advice'.

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank

Santander UK

HSBC Invoice Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC UK Bank on its £15m funding of Coppergreen Development and related capital investment by the Business Growth Fund, for multiple site developments.
  • Assisting Independent Forgings and Alloys (IFA) with a debt and equity funded investor buy-in by the Business Growth Fund.
  • Acting for Endcliffe Holdings on its unitranche leveraged buyout of Senior Architectural Systems.
  • Handling HSBC UK Bank's provision of £25m in loans and working capital facilities to Red Industries for its acquisition of Environmental Resource Group.

For the department at Rollits LLP, the renewables, education, agriculture and food sectors remain key alongside expertise in charity related work, a niche area of specialism in the region. The group's client roster spans secured lenders and regional borrower clients, with team leader Richard Field focusing on family-owned business and property expert David Hextall handling secured lending work, particularly relating to development finance and charity issues.

Practice head(s):Richard Field

Other key lawyers:David Hextall; Chris Crystal

Key Clients

The Charity Bank

Yorkshire Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland

National Westminster Bank

Santander

Barclays

Lloyds

HSBC

With one of the largest banking and finance teams in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region, Wake Smith Solicitors Limited focuses on mid-market transactional work for bank clients and also assists with the drafting of standard and bespoke facility documents and security requirement issues. Group head Duncan Shepherd excels in corporate refinancings, Neil Salter is the key name for secured lending matters and real estate-related issues, and John Baddeley handles transactional mandates and facility documentation.

Practice head(s):Duncan Shepherd

Other key lawyers:Neil Salter; John Baddeley; Paul Gibbon; Rebecca Robinson

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank

Santander

Yorkshire Bank

Lloyds Banking Group

Work highlights

  • Advising HSBC UK Bank on the funding of a £2m acquisition of a commercial motor vehicle business.
  • Assisting HSBC UK Bank with the funding of a management buyout.
  • Advising Yorkshire Bank on the funding of a commercial property purchase.
  • Handling London and Associated Properties' refinancing of a portfolio of properties with Metro Bank.
  • Acting for Santander on the £2.4m acquisition funding for a multi-let industrial estate.

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