Nick Syson > Linklaters LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Linklaters LLP

Work Department

Banking, Private Equity, Leveraged Finance


Nick is a market-leading specialist in leveraged finance. He helped set up the firm’s leveraged finance practice in 2001 and was co-head of the leveraged finance practice until early 2016. Within his practice, he advises arranging banks on financial sponsor-backed leveraged finance transactions and coordinating bank and steering committees on debt restructurings. He also advises on bank/bond financings.

Nick has been involved in a number of pioneering developments in the leveraged finance sector, including “Opco/Propco” financings (in which the finance is divided between operating companies and property-owning businesses), regulatory life insurance arbitrage transactions, deals involving hedging uneven cashflows, and, more recently, on the growing use of covenant-lite loans.

Nick was based in Singapore for two years where he focused on, and developed his knowledge of regional debt restructuring.

Work highlights:

Nick has led on many prominent leveraged finance deals. These include advising the lenders on:

  • the £8bn facilities for the leveraged buyout (LBO) of Alliance Boots in 2007, the largest ever European LBO
  • the €2.4bn facilities for Hugo Boss to acquire Valentino Fashion Group, the first time under English law that financial sponsors required arranging banks to underwrite the issuance equity, as well as the debt 
  • many acquisitions by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company (KKR), including the €640m facilities to acquire Webhelp (the call centre group), the £315m facilities to acquire LGC (the life sciences testing company) and the £955m acquisition of Pets at Home (the UK’s largest pet supplies retailer)
  • the £1.8bn acquisition of United Biscuits 
  • the NOL11bn facility for Apax Partners to acquire Evry, a Norwegian technology company
  • the Opco/Propco financing for Gala, the betting and gaming company and the £2.3m acquisition of Coral Eurobet, a debt restructuring and subsequent bond refinancing
  • the restructuring of Paroc, the Finland-based insulation manufacturer, which was notable for being subject to lender led pre-purchased insolvency using non-cash consideration


2001 – Partner, Linklaters London; 2000 – 2001 Partner, Linklaters Singapore; 1994 – 2000 Partner, Wilde Sapte, London; 1985 – 1987 Articles, Flint Bishop & Barnett (Derby).




  • Elected for consecutive terms to the Linklaters supervisory board
  • Elected for consecutive terms to the Wilde Sapte executive board.


Nick studied law at the University of Southampton.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Finance > Acquisition finance

(Hall of Fame)

Nick SysonLinklaters LLP

With 31 banking partners based in London – many of whom have a significant focus on acquisition finance matters – as well as being able to leverage the firm’s broad-ranging international footprint, Linklaters LLP has the critical mass and geographical diversity to handle a significant volume of mandates for a balanced array of banks, private equity sponsors, credit funds and corporates. ‘At the vanguard of market evolution’, the team is trusted by market participants to advise on the largest leveraged loans in Europe implementing covenant-lite terms, and has also been active on a spate of deals which have tapped into the European Term Loan B market. As well as work for private equity sponsors, the team regularly advises corporates on the financings to facilitate M&A transactions, including for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company on its acquisition bridge facility in connection with the acquisition of Shire Plc. The ‘very strong‘ Adam Freeman heads up the leveraged finance sub-group and is a key member of the team that also includes Nick Syson and Annette Kurdian, who both regularly advise large investment banks on big-ticket cross-border leveraged deals, and in the case of Kurdian has successfully built up a significant roster of alternative credit providers.