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Slaughter and May

Living Wage
Work 020 7600 1200
Fax 020 7090 5000
Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, London

Robert Byk

Work 020 7600 1200
Slaughter and May

Work Department

Corporate and commercial, financing.


Partner specialising in corporate and financing work, including acquisition and bid finance, structured finance, debt and equity capital markets and general banking and corporate transactions.


Trained Slaughter and May; qualified 2000; partner 2007.


Italian, German, Russian.


Winchester College; University of Bristol.

London: Finance

Acquisition finance

Within: Acquisition finance

Fed a steady pipeline of work from the its roster of FTSE 100 and 250 corporate clients, unsurprisingly,¬†Slaughter and May¬†is best-known for its borrower-side financing work. Recent highlights include advising DS Smith plc on the debt financing aspects of its $920m acquisition of Interstate Resources and representing Cineworld Group plc on the UK law aspects of the funding to secure its $3.6bn acquisition of US company Regal. A corollary of the firm's market-leading M&A practice, the firm has developed a particular niche in relation to ‚Äúcertain funds‚ÄĚ public bid finance work and in this regard¬†Ed Fife¬†and¬†Matthew Tobin¬†are advising Compagnie Financi√®re Richemont on a proposed voluntary public tender offer (to be made by a newly formed wholly-owned Italian subsidiary of Richemont) to acquire all of the ordinary shares of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.¬†Caroline Phillips' broad-ranging financing capabilities encompass debt financing work for private equity sponsors Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital Partners, including advising the latter on the financing to fund the¬†acquisition of a majority stake in Sweden-based Happy Socks.¬†Philip Snell¬†and¬†Robert Byk¬†are also recommended.

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Asset finance and leasing

Within: Asset finance and leasing

Although it lacks a discrete asset finance offering, numerous practitioners within¬†Slaughter and May's banking and finance team handle financing work in the transportation sector.¬†Robert Byk¬†regularly advises Orient Overseas (one of the world's largest integrated international container transportation and logistics companies) on its ship financing arrangements ‚Äď these include frequent financings for significant container vessels and also structured finance relating to leasing and other arrangements.¬†Andrew Johnson¬†is also recommended and regularly handles finance and leasing work for British Airways, First Reserve and Rolls-Royce.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans

Within: Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans

'The market-leading borrower side practice',¬†Slaughter and May¬†provides an 'exceptionally high-quality service' to a stellar roster of blue-chip corporates including Costain Group plc, First Group, Ocado Group and Tata Steel, across the gamut of financing work including for acquisition finance, as well as general corporate and working capital purposes. The team's pre-eminent borrower side reputation is further underscored by the firm's role for the Association of Corporate Treasurers in relation to LMA documentation; notably the firm recently updated the Borrower's Guide to¬†LMA Loan Documentation for Investment Grade Borrowers‚Äô to reflect the¬†ongoing reforms to LIBOR, Euribor and other benchmarks.¬†Matthew Tobin¬†recently advised Dufry on its¬†‚ā¨2.4bn new facilities¬†(for refinancing and general corporate purposes)¬†which included Euro and US dollar term loan facilities and a multi-currency revolving facility. As well as new money financings, the team has also handled numerous refinancing mandates for corporate clients including¬†Robert Byk¬†'s representation of ISS on the refinancing of its existing credit facility with a new ‚ā¨1bn revolving credit facility. Other recommended partners include¬†Ed Fife,¬†Philip Snell¬†and¬†Andrew McClean.

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Debt capital markets

Within: Debt capital markets

Slaughter and May¬†provides 'excellent service with very prompt responses, and the partners are definitely across the issues'. The firm is best known for¬†advising corporate issuers on equity-linked, hybrid capital and subordinated debt transactions. It has a client roster that includes many FTSE 100 companies and it recently handled a global bond liability management exercise for BHP Billiton, which included a $2.5bn debt repurchase plan.¬†The practice handles a broad range of work including regular debt issuances, such as the ‚ā¨550m offering of senior secured notes for INEOS Finance;¬†first-time issuances such as the $920m offering by corrugated packaging company DS Smith; and issuances in key industry sectors such as aviation, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. Its work for financial institutions and insurance companies also stands out. It handled an ¬£895m issuance for RSA Insurance Group, as well as a ¬£500m offering for Santander UK Group.¬†Matthew Tobin¬†leads the team, which brings together partners with skills across a wide range of debt, equity, loan and structured finance matters. He led the team that advised SEGRO plc on the cash tender for the buyback of sterling bonds and the subsequent issue of ¬£750m in new debt. The 'commercially astute'¬†Guy O‚ÄôKeefe, the 'technically very gifted'¬†Caroline Phillips,¬†Oliver Storey¬†and¬†Oliver Wicker¬†are 'exceptional - their ability to work to challenging timelines is second-to-none'. The 'creative and solution-driven'¬†Robert Byk¬†is also recommended.

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High yield

Within: High yield

Slaughter and May is increasingly called on the English law aspects of high yield deals in partnership with its US relationship firms. Between mid-2016 and mid-2017, the firm advised on eight high yield issuances, in each case acting for the issuer. 'The work is exceptional; the lawyers' ability to work to challenging timelines is second-to-none and they have excellent control of complex and multi-faceted projects'. Guy O'Keefe is 'commercially astute and can be relied on for pragmatic and clear advice'; he acted alongside Caroline Phillips for Drax Group on a £550m notes offering. Ed Fife and Robert Byk are also recommended.

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