Sullivan & Worcester LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Sullivan & Worcester LLP
TOWER 42
25 OLD BROAD STREET
LONDON
EC2N 1HQ
England

Finance > Trade finance Tier 1

Sullivan & Worcester LLP is ‘world-class in terms of its expertise and experience in the trade finance sector‘. Regarded by some as the leading trade finance firm, it has the largest specialist practice in London and is led by Geoffrey Wynne, who is head of trade and export finance, along with the vastly experienced Simon Cook and Mark Norris. Marian Boyle and the newly promoted Sam Fowler-Holmes round out a five-partner team that has the support of a strong junior team, among them managing associate Hannah Fearn. Working closely with the firm’s US practitioners, the London team provides seamless advice across trade, export and commodity finance transactions for major trade finance banks, funds, corporate borrowers, agents and trustees, and national and international organisations. It recently assisted the UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, with its largest ever UK Government direct loan into Africa, providing more than £620m for critical infrastructure projects in Ghana, Zambia, Gabon and Uganda.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Wynne; Simon Cook; Mark Norris

Testimonials

‘The Sullivan team are world-class in terms of its expertise and experience in the trade finance sector. Their valuable input has helped us to structure our business from the bottom up and allowed us to take advantage in many of our jurisdictions. The key team members are extremely professional and methodical in their explanation of complex matters which helps as a lot of my team don’t come from a finance background. Where possible the team is easily reachable and make themselves available whenever needed. We look to work together for many years to come.’

‘A very experienced team that maintains a very active presence in the trade finance market.’

‘Firstly, its knowledge and insight into trade finance. Secondly, its working towards a solution rather then being told the problem which a lot of advisors have the habit of telling clients leaving them at times in a difficult spot. Third would be their flexibility with billing especially for the smaller deals or clients. Finally, they are very well connected with international associations so knowledge is shared with the community at large.’

‘Well renowned and recognised for their knowledge and experience in the trade finance market, through Sullivan and previous firms.’

‘Sam Fowler-Holmes has been a powerhouse and really impressed our team with his valuable input on term sheet and investor-focused discussions. Using both direct experience on other similar deals and bringing in insight from other Sullivan team members has helped us to navigate tricky waters. Sam is very easy to get on with and it makes it really easy to work with when trying to decipher difficult subjects. Standout partners include Geoffrey Wynne who also has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in SPV and trade finance matters is always welcomed by the team.’

‘Geoff Wynne particularly is very experienced and this permeates to his team throughout. Sullivan maintains a very high profile within the trade finance market and is very up to date and engaged with all new developments and initiatives.’

‘We work mainly with both Geoff Wynne and Sam Fowler-Holmes. I would say that I have always valued the promptness in getting quotes and the excellent customer service. Both Geoff and Sam are very helpful. However I would say that Geoff stands out above his competitors as he is very business-minded as well. He’s well aware what the client needs and works with client in finding solutions. He is not hesitant to argue points when needed and of course works in striking that famous balance.’

‘Simon Cook is commercially aware, but also very experienced and able to give good advice whilst understanding and listening to key deal specifics. Flexible and supportive.’

Key clients

Citibank

Deutsche Bank

Nordea

Crown Agents Bank

International Trade and Forfaiting Association (“ITFA”)

J.P. Morgan

Santander

Rabobank

AMC Trade Finance

Satoshi Systems UK

Scipion Capital

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Bank

Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (“BAFT”)

UK Export Finance (UKEF)

Nedbank CIB

Contracta UK

Work highlights

  • Advised the UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), in relation to its largest ever UK Government direct loan into Africa. Coinciding with the UK Government’s UK-Africa Investment Summit, UKEF announced financial support worth over £620 million for critical infrastructure projects in Ghana, Zambia, Gabon and Uganda.
  • Acted as English law legal advisers to renowned trade finance institutions including Commerzbank, LBBW, SMBC, IsBank, Crédit Agricole, BNPP, S-Servicepartner and Intesa, coordinated by TradeIX and facilitated by the International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA), in the design and release of the first rulebook for Marco Polo’s Payment Commitment Trade Finance solution.
  • Advised the client in relation to its financing of various soft commodity producers/exporters across West and southern Africa.

United States > Industry focus > Environment: transactional Tier 4

Chaired by Jeffrey Karp  in Washington DC, the environment, energy and natural resources at Sullivan & Worcester LLP stands out in particular for its expertise in land use, zoning and environmental permitting work on real estate development projects and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) transactions. The well-established team has notable strength advising on pesticide and agricultural chemical transactions, and continues to expand its already extensive client base with new clients in the renewable energy sector, which is a growing area of focus for the department. Victor Baltera , who works out of Boston, is frequently engaged in permitting matters and environmental due diligence for acquisitions and financings of industrial and commercial properties throughout the United States.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Karp

Other key lawyers:

Victor Baltera

Key clients

Cronin Holdings LP

Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (Nasdaq: ILPT)

Manulife US Reit (SGX: BTOU)

FoxRock Properties

Work highlights

  • Represents FoxRock Properties concerning environmental issues related to its pursuit to redevelop a 2.3 acre parcel formerly owned by the City of Quincy into a three-building campus featuring a life sciences/medical office building, hotel, and housing component.

Sullivan’s award-winning London office is multi-disciplinary, advising clients in relation to trade and trade finance, commodity and export finance, banking and securitisation, securities, project finance, insurance, tax, compliance and regulatory issues, as well as all aspects of dispute resolution.

The team advises banks, financial institutions and funds in all aspects of their business. The firm also counts the key industry bodies in trade finance as its clients, including BAFT (the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade), ITFA (the International Trade and Forfaiting Association) and the ICC (the International Chamber of Commerce).

With London being the international centre for trade and commodities finance, a large proportion of the firm’s trade and export finance work is handled there. However, the team advises clients in relation to their activities throughout the world, with a particular emphasis on emerging markets including in Africa, Asia, the CIS and Latin America.

In addition to trade, export and commodities finance and related activity, the firm works hand in hand with the firm’s U.S. practice, advising on transactions involving English law and New York law and supporting the needs of clients worldwide.

Sullivan was named ‘Best Trade or Supply Chain Finance Law Firm’ at Global Trade Review’s ‘GTR Leaders in Trade Awards’ in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 and ‘Best Trade Finance Law Firm’ at Trade Finance Global ‘TFG International Trade Awards’ in 2022 and 2019.

The team’s core experience in London includes:

  • Commodity financing: large syndicated pre-export financings, prepayment transactions, borrowing base, reserve base lending, inventory financings and commodity repos.
  • Receivables financing: multi-jurisdictional supply chain finance programs, invoice discounting, factoring and forfaiting transactions.
  • Structured financing: asset acquisitions, distribution, securitisations, hedges, credit derivatives and synthetic securitisations.
  • Project finance: including infrastructure projects and energy projects.
  • Trade services: the use of trade finance instruments and the application of uniform rules of practice.
  • Export credit agency (ECA) finance: short, medium and long-term export credit agency and multi-source finance.
  • Digitalisation of trade finance, fintech and electronic banking: legal issues relation to fintech, blockchain, electronic banking, digitalisation of trade finance and electronic payment undertakings (ePU).
  • Insurance: advising insureds, banks and financial institutions, insurance brokers, and investment funds on commercial insurance arrangements including those which support structured trade, commodity and pre-export financing, from policy wording negotiations to contested claims.
  • Trade disputes: representing clients in risk mitigation and dispute resolution including arbitration, expert determination, court and all forms of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Compliance & regulation: advising on regulatory (Basel III), bribery and corruption issues, sanctions matters, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism issues, particularly in connection with trade and export finance.

For more information, please visit: www.sullivanlaw.com

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Trade & Export Finance Geoffrey Wynnegwynne@sullivanlaw.com020 7448 1001
Trade & Export Finance Simon Cookscook@sullivanlaw.com020 7448 1002
Trade & Export Finance Mark Norrismnorris@sullivanlaw.com020 7448 1003
Dispute Resolution and Insurance Marian Boylemboyle@sullivanlaw.com020 7448 1004
Trade & Export Finance Sam Fowler-Holmessfowlerholmes@sullivanlaw.com020 7448 1006
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Marian Boyle photo Marian BoyleMarian Boyle heads Sullivan’s UK insurance and disputes practices working closely with…
Simon Cook photo Simon CookSimon Cook has experience in a wide variety of banking and finance…
Hannah Fearn photo Hannah FearnHannah Fearn is a managing associate in the Trade & Export Finance…
Sam Fowler-Holmes photo Sam Fowler-HolmesSam Fowler-Holmes specialises in structured and unstructured trade, commodity and export finance,…
Mark Norris photo Mark NorrisMark’s practice covers cross border inward investment, syndicated lending, structured export credit…
Geoffrey Wynne photo Geoffrey WynneGeoffrey Wynne is head of the Trade & Export Finance Group and…
Number of UK Partners : 5
Number of UK Associates : 5
BAFT (Bankers Association for Finance and Trade)
ITFA (International Trade and Forfaiting Association)
The ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)
The LMA (Loan Market Association)