East Anglia

Banking & Finance

Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Banking & Finance - East Anglia


Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich

What the team is known for Establishing itself as a well thought-of player in the regional banking and finance market. Has a particularly strong offering in the agribusiness finance sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I've always found them to be professional, approachable and commercially minded."

"They're absolutely excellent. Good communication and they are willing to be proactive in finding a solution."

Notable practitioners  

Ron Clare specialises in the commercial side of property finance, and wins praise for being "prompt, knowledgeable and easy to talk to." Sources also find him "very professional and experienced," noting that "he understands what we need and appreciates the urgency of timings."

Interviewees appreciate that Genie Barham always makes sure clients are protected in transactions, and describe her as "pleasant, helpful and contactable." She has experience across a wide range of commercial property transactions.

Significant clients Handelsbanken, NatWest, HSBC, Cambridge Building Society, Clydesdale Bank.

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich

What the team is known for Highly respected group known for its experience in corporate funding and refinancing. Other areas of expertise include property, construction and agriculture-based finance.

Work highlights Acted for both Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Commercial Finance in connection with the £42 million refinancing of a chemicals manufacturing business.

Advised AOC UK in relation to its substantial cross-border refinancing by Bank of America.

Notable practitioners  

Cambridge-based James Allen specialises in corporate finance. He is also qualified in California, and often advises on transactions with cross-border aspects. He is well regarded in the local market and clients describe him as pragmatic.

Greg Allan is a standout senior banking associate based in the Norwich office. He has impressed clients with his responsiveness.

Senior associate Nick Burt works out of the Cambridge office and has a focus on corporate finance. Clients are impressed with his ability to stand his ground in negotiations.

Head of the department Mark Henry is based in Ipswich and is well thought of by peers. He has experience in a wide array of lender-focused banking matters, including property finance and asset-based lending. 

Chris Schwer is a part of the team in Ipswich and offers significant expertise in commercial property finance. Peers note his attention to detail.

Essex-based Richard Payne is a client favourite who is well regarded for his knowledge of corporate and acquisition finance.

Significant clients Barclays, Cambridge & Counties Bank, Clydesdale Bank, The Co-operative Bank, HSBC.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Maintains a depth of experience advising on loan transactions that involve property as security. Acts for a mix of private and institutional lenders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We rely upon them for communication and to unblock delays. They act of their own accord to speed things up." 

"They manage the process very well, which makes it easier for us."

Notable practitioners  

Robert Colman possesses a breadth of experience that covers a range of banking transactions, including debt and acquisition finance. Sources describe him as a "great communicator and a personable individual," adding that "he's very much on the ball; a very good professional."

Tessa Haskey receives plaudits for her practical approach, and the way that she "desires to be as helpful as possible and helps overcome barriers with solutions and with good advice." She has significant experience of advising both banks and private lenders in relation to property-related transactions.

Significant clients R Q Capital, Lloyds Banking Group, Handelsbanken, Santander, Bank of Scotland.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Norwich

What the team is known for Remains a standout banking and finance team in the region, with a deep bench of practitioners covering a broad range of specialisms. Particular areas of focus include real estate finance and asset-based lending.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide an excellent all-round service. They are very knowledgeable and commercial."

"They stand out. They have a large team and a well-established reputation."

"They are always proactive and flexible. In the areas of banking where we deal with them we see them as subject matter experts who hold their own comfortably with the big City firms."

Work highlights Acted for Telford Homes in connection with £130 million of financing used to acquire a site in Stratford, adjacent to the Olympic Park.

Advised PNC Financial Services in relation to the extension of asset-based lending facilities utilised to aid a partial MBO of Quattro Plant group. 

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Seed advises both banks and borrowers on a range of matters, with a specific focus on the non-profit sector, including education and charity-based work. According to clients, she is "excellent in giving informed, practical advice." 

William Roles heads up the banking and finance team from Cambridge. Peers agree that "he runs an exceptionally good team that has a centre of excellence in Cambridge." Clients find him to be "experienced, knowledgeable, commercial and pragmatic."

Zak Virgin specialises in lender-focused acquisition finance, asset-based lending and funding for reconstructions. Clients highlight that he finds "creative solutions and takes a pragmatic, sensible approach to potential hurdles."

Laura Holdaway leads the real estate finance section of the wider banking team. She is adept at advising on all aspects of property-related transactions.

Matthew Howling is an associate based in the Cambridge office. He is experienced in property, development and acquisition matters, with a particular focus on non-profit finance.

Associate Emma Keen has made a good impression on interviewees, who find her "excellent." She works out of the Norwich office and is especially experienced in asset-based lending.

Significant clients Barclays, HSBC, Aviva Public Private Finance, RBS, Trinity College Cambridge.

Basic facts about the department

- 14 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for Continues to grow, and is increasingly being instructed on big-ticket transactions within the region. Regularly acts for a client base of major lenders and high-profile borrowers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were efficient, communicative and collaborative; it all ran really smoothly."

"They're open, honest and black and white, which is appreciated. They take ownership of the deals they do."

Notable practitioners  

Helen Drayton acts for both borrowers and lenders, and her broad experience includes advising on financing for acquisitions and MBOs. One client notes: "She is my favourite partner. She's the best to work with as an individual."

Significant clients Santander, Clydesdale Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, The Co-operative Bank, Bank of Ireland.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Ipswich

What the team is known for A lender-side practice that offers capability across all elements of banking law. Property finance remains a key area of expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"When we use them we know we're being looked after." 

Notable practitioners

Ian Waine is head of the banking team.

Significant clients Santander, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, BNP Paribas Fortis.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.