Firm Profile > Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP > London, England

Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP

Trade finance Tier 1

During the five years since the firm opened its London office, Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP has built up the largest dedicated trade finance practice in the City. The primary focus of the office is trade and export finance, and it has six specialist partners including seasoned practitioners Geoffrey WynneSimon Cook and Mark Norris, who 'stand out from the rest of the market for their in-depth capabilities and specialisation in trade finance'. Clients also remark that the firm has 'genuine interest in trade and export finance and is keen to contribute to the industry dialogue' and is 'highly responsive and thought-provoking, with a very commercial approach'. The firm counts major trade finance banks and other financial institutions, funds, corporate borrowers, agents and trustees, and national and international corporations among its clients. Marian Boyle leads the firms' UK insurance and disputes practices, making her the main point of contact for trade finance litigation. Managing associate Hannah Fearn, who frequently acts for leading banks in syndicated and bilateral pre-export commodity financings, and senior associate Sam Fowler-Holmes, whose experience includes structured and unstructured trade finance Europe, the CIS, Africa and Asia, also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Wynne; Simon Cook; Mark Norris; Marian Boyle

Other key lawyers:


“The firm is a leader in the field of trade finance legal services, with key contributors to critical industry-wide initiatives, therefore setting the pace for all market participants.’

“The firm presents what is possibly the best value in the industry as due to their intrinsic knowledge of the way in which their clients operate.”

“Geoffrey Wynne, Simon Cook and Marian Boyle are opinion leaders in different areas of trade finance and between them combine an impressive number of years of relevant experience. Their level of integrity is paramount and they truly act in partnership with their clients.”

“Because of the knowledge of the partners, they are able to express themselves in a way that is accessible to all market participants and correct, taking their clients’ interests to heart.”

“The firm has strong knowledge in and experience of the trade and commodity finance, project finance and insurance sectors.”

“The team provides direct access to the partners for advice and solutions, and delivers a friendly and professional service combined with an in-depth knowledge of the products and markets.”

“The practice is proactive, knowledgable and willing to work in the pre-contract stage.”

“Mark Norris is knowledgeable, engaged and always willing to go the extra mile.”

“The firm has outstanding trade finance capability married with market leading Insurance expertise.”

“The firm has specialist knowledge of trade and export finance, particularly in the emerging markets.”

“Mark Norris is knowledgeable, calm and flexible.”

Key clients


Deutsche Bank


Crown Agents Bank

International Trade and Forfaiting Association (“ITFA”)

J.P. Morgan




Wyelands Bank plc

Macquarie Bank Limited

Nordea Bank AB

Scipion Capital Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Bank

Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (“BAFT”)

Commercial litigation Tier 8

Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP is 'a niche practice that adopts a partner-led approach on cases rather than using a large team'. It has expanded its London capabilities beyond its traditional trade and export finance expertise to include banking, finance and insurance disputes. Insurance and dispute resolution partner Marian Boyle's practice also includes cross-border disputes.

Practice head(s):

Marian Boyle


The team’s management of cases is impressive‘.

Marian Boyle is truly a force to be reckoned with – she is intelligent, tough and responsive to clients’ needs‘.

Key clients


The firm’s market-leading London and New York-based trade and export finance group advises clients on transactions in a wide range of jurisdictions, with a special emphasis on emerging markets, including Africa, Asia, CIS and Latin America.

The firm: The firm advises financial institutions, funds, corporates, and national and supranational sovereign/quasi-sovereign organisations. The practice has received a number of accolades: Global Trade Review named Sullivan & Worcester ‘Best Trade Finance Law Firm’ in the GTR Leaders in Trade Awards 2015; Trade & Forfaiting Review (TFR) named Sullivan & Worcester ‘Best Law Firm in Trade Finance’ in its 2016, 2015 and 2014 TFR Excellence Awards; The Legal 500 UK 2016 ranked the firm in Tier 1 for trade finance; IFLR1000 2016, The Guide to the World’s leading Financial Law Firms, recognised Sullivan & Worcester as a notable firm in the category of ‘Financial and Corporate – Bank Leading: Lender side.’

Types of work undertaken: The practice is multi-disciplinary, involving attorneys and solicitors who are focused on trade and export finance, project finance, asset finance, securitisation, securities law, insurance, tax, compliance issues and dispute resolution. The firm has advised on deals involving all types of commodities, including softs, metals, oil and gas.

The firm has experience in a wide range of matters including:

Commodity financing: large syndicated pre-export financings, prepayment transactions, borrowing base and inventory financings, and commodity repos.

Receivables financing: multi-jurisdictional supply chain finance programmes, invoice discounting, factoring and forfaiting transactions.

Structured financing: asset acquisitions, distribution, securitisations, hedges, credit derivatives and synthetic securitisations.

Trade services: advising on trade finance instruments and the application of uniform rules of practice.

Export credit agency finance: short, medium and long-term export credit agency and multi-source finance.

Trade disputes: representing trade finance clients in disputes in fora through the world, including the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, American Arbitration Association and ad hoc arbitrations, as well as traditional courtroom proceedings.

In addition, the firm’s partners regularly advise on regulatory (Basel III) bribery and corruption issues in connection with trade and export finance.

Other offices: Boston, New York, Tel Aviv, Washington DC

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner (firmwide, located in Boston) Joel R Carpenter
Partner Geoffrey L Wynne
Photo Name Position Profile
 Hannah Fearn  photo Hannah Fearn
Number of UK partners : 4
Number of other UK fee-earners : 5