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
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Ipswich, Norwich

What the team is known for An increasingly strong reputation for high-quality banking and finance work. Remains lender-focused with a noted expertise in agricultural finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional standing: "I would rate them amongst the best. Good value for money."

Client service: "Friendly, approachable and professional."  

Work highlights Acted for Handelsbanken on a £500,000 secured loan.

Advised National Westminster Bank on matters connected with a £560,000 secured loan facility. 

Notable practitioners

Head of department Ron Clare is praised by peers and clients alike. He specialises in property finance, advising a medley of corporate and private lenders on commercial property investment and secured loan facilities.

Significant clients Handelsbanken, HSBC, National Westminster Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich

What the team is known for Provides quality banking and finance services across the region in a variety of matters. Noted for expertise in agricultural finance; particularly strong in acquisition finance.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "A well-organised firm with sufficient resources to be able to cover a transaction. They are proactive so would not let a transaction hang around without action being taken to progress it."

Level of service: "Very positive - more cost-competitive than other national players, yet the same level of expertise."

Responsiveness: "They are always available and lead the transactions. If I need them to work over the weekend or the team to be available all hours, then they will do that."

What's new? The team has welcomed two new partners: James Allen, formerly head of banking at Taylor Vinters, and Helen Bolton, a structured finance specialist from Mills & Reeve.

Work highlights Acted for Lloyds TSB on the refinancing of Wilson James Group, including due diligence and completion of the refinancing from RBS.

Notable practitioners

Richard Payne advises a wide range of lenders on acquisition finance matters and refinancing arrangements.

New addition James Allen is a vastly experienced and highly respected banking practitioner. He is lauded by market observers for his industry expertise and strong commitment to client service.

Mark Henry heads the firm's region-wide team from the Ipswich office. He deals with a broad range of matters, from corporate and property finance to asset-based lending.

Chris Schwer is the head of the firm's property team. He is particularly adept at commercial property and highly active in any property finance matters. 

Significant clients Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Handelsbanken, Lloyds TSB, Ipswich Building Society.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Representation of corporate and private lenders in financial transactions. Strong focus on property finance matters.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They have good expertise in all areas we require of them and the lawyers have always been professional and easy to deal with."

Work highlights Acted for Lloyds TSB to take security over a £3 million commercial premises in London.

Advised National Westminster Bank in relation to a £1 million secured facility, taking security over a care home.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Colman continues to impress clients, who describe him as "extremely pragmatic, diligent, yet commercial in approach." He has been active advising a number of top corporate lenders on commercial development loans and secured finance matters.

Head of department Tessa Haskey is a highly regarded practitioner specialising in banking, finance and commercial property. One client remarks that she is "very organised, very efficient, always available and has a very good property knowledge base." 

Significant clients Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB,  Clydesdale Bank, RQ Capital, Santander.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Norwich

What the team is known for Fields one of the strongest dedicated banking and finance teams in the region, including an integrated real estate finance practice. Advises clients on a broad range of areas, from corporate and asset-based lending to real estate and non-profit finance.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: “A very strong, impressive organisation which is increasingly acting on the more complex transactions in the region.”

Client service: “They are very professional and accessible and at times patient where required. We have also found them very useful for ad hoc advice on particular issues."

Level of service: “Price-wise they are good value for money, giving top, top quality 'City advice' from an out-of-town based firm.” 

Work highlights Advised the University of Cambridge on a £350 million bond issuance.

Advised Telford Homes on the £100 million financing of the Stratford Plaza development.

Advised Barclays in connection with a £5.6 million facility to King's School Canterbury.

Notable practitioners

Head of department William Roles is praised for his “impressive knowledge and experience.” He continues to lead the team on complex corporate and asset-based financing.

Leading the Norwich team, Zak Virgin continues to impress clients with his asset-based lending and restructuring expertise. Clients report: “He is approachable and well versed in our market, always willing to go the extra yards to understand the transactions we are putting together so that he can give us the best advice.”

Laura Holdaway is an expert in real estate finance matters. She is admired by sources for her specialist knowledge, expertise and professional approach.

Sarah Seed is lauded for her “very pragmatic and commercial” approach, and for her understanding of what is important to the client. She has technical expertise advising non-profit organisations in the education sector, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Northampton and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Sarah Falvey is a highly regarded associate who specialises in real estate finance. She is currently working on a £32 million term and rolling credit facility for the development of a new learning centre.

Matthew Howling is an associate in the Cambridge office who specialises in non-profit finance. He has been actively involved in work for Barclays Bank and the University of Northampton, and sources find him to be “knowledgeable and easy to work with.”

Emma Keen receives praise for her great client relationship and negotiation skills and she regularly takes a lead role in complex restructuring matters.

Significant clients HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Lloyds TSB, University of Cambridge, Norwich FC. 

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for Strong corporate and property finance capabilities with specialist expertise in the education, leisure, student accommodation and healthcare sectors.

What's new? The new Cambridge office opened in 2012. 

Helen Drayton, a banking and finance specialist, joined the firm from Hewitsons to establish and run the Cambridge banking and finance team. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Helen Drayton is an experienced banking lawyer. She works with a variety of lenders and borrowers, including well-known major banks on complex multimillion-pound facilities.

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

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Ipswich

What the team is known for Advises a range of regional, national and international lenders over a broad spectrum of banking matters, including property development and investment facilities, asset finance and acquisition finance.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Waine heads the department.

Significant clients Santander, RBS, Lloyds TSB, The Co-operative Bank.

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.