London (Firms)

Banking & Finance

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

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)


Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Principally active on lender-side mandates across a wide range of asset classes and sectors. Expanded bench of banking specialists in London and long-standing relationships with key financial institutions.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "Direct and full involvement at partner level, technical knowledge and advice. They took the time to fully understand their clients' needs at the outset." 

Bench strength: "Highly commercial, with strong lawyers."

What's new? The team was reappointed to the Barclays legal panel.

Work highlights Acted for Bank of Ireland and Lloyds TSB Bank on the provision of £80 million of funding for Local World to acquire two local newspaper businesses.

Notable practitioners 

Experienced practitioner John Cutler is commended for his "direct and full involvement" in transactions, as well as the high quality of his "technical knowledge and advice." 

Head of department Amanda Gray is identified by market sources as a "class act." She is well known for her strong and enduring relationships with key lender clients, and has a wealth of experience in corporate and acquisition finance.  

Significant clients Barclays, HSBC, Macquarie Capital, Investec Bank, The Co-operative Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Performs consistently well on cross-border matters, with a high volume of work originating in Russia. Weighted towards the representation of corporate borrower clients.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "They have a deep understanding of our business and a clear appreciation of what we are trying to achieve transactionally." 

Strategic planning: "I think they are very strong, they fight their client's corner and they know how far you can go without crossing the line."

Responsiveness: "Very responsive and very proactive. We like to use them because they can run the transaction."

What's new? The team gained new clients E.ON Masdar Integrated Carbon (EMIC) and CIT Group.

Work highlights Advised ABN AMRO on a loan facility of USD100 million provided to LUKOIL Finance, a transaction requiring close co-ordination with the firm's corporate group in Moscow.  

Acted for VimpelCom on a USD500 million loan supplied by China Development Bank.  

Notable practitioners 

The "outstanding" Frederick Heller is highly regarded for his "encyclopaedic knowledge" of the banking and finance market as well as his "sheer strength in getting good results." He spearheads many of the team's significant transactions on behalf of key client VimpelCom.

Lisa Leiman Hearn is a new entrant into the rankings, having received enthusiastic praise from a number of sources. One interviewee describes her as a "very talented young lawyer" who is "highly intelligent and extremely diligent."

Significant clients OAO LUKOIL, Nordea Bank, Max Petroleum, CIT Group, Orascom Telecom.

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 75 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Excellent track record in acting for lenders, borrowers and sponsors on some of the most prominent transactions in the market. Also well regarded for its strong Islamic finance practice, having acted on numerous significant Shari'a-compliant financings of late.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "Strong understanding of market and current documentation issues. Strong presence and relationship in financial markets."

Client service: "Very impressed - they delivered a Rolls-Royce service."

Visibility: "We see them opposite us all the time. There is deep bench strength there."

Work highlights Acted for Barclays as mandated lead arranger on an amendment to an existing EUR6 billion revolving credit facility for Telecom Italia. The new revolving credit forward start facility was worth EUR4 billion.

Advised WPP as borrower on a revolving credit facility provided by seven banks. The facility totalled £500 million and required co-ordination between the firms's London and New York offices.   

Notable practitioners 

Roger Wedderburn-Day is a well-known figure in Islamic finance, having acted on numerous sukuk issuances. His expertise and experience extend across the spectrum of debt capital markets work.

Islamic finance specialist Atif Hanif is lauded for his ability to manage complex transactions, with one source commenting: "He understands the culture very well - when there is a large consortium he guides it along and makes the bankers' and the borrowers' views meet." 

Michael Duncan is a long-standing and prominent figure in this sphere, offering expert advice to banks and borrowers across the full spectrum of financing activity. He continues to head the firm's global banking group.

Stephen Kensell is recognised for his highly active practice and continues to impress both clients and peers. He advised Barclays as mandated lead arranger on Telecom Italia's EUR4 billion revolving credit forward start facility.

The "pragmatic" Timothy Polglase is praised for his "negotiation skills and intellectual horsepower." His leveraged finance expertise makes him a top choice for clients looking to undertake LBOs on a domestic or cross-border basis.

Clients find that Simon Roberts' "experience is a strength" when it comes to handling complex transactions. He is a trusted adviser to financial institutions and borrowers alike, and recently acted on WPP's revolving credit facility.

Robin Harvey is described by one interviewee as a "brilliant" practitioner and attracts further acclaim for his blend of technical acumen and creativity. Key mandates of late have included advising Charterhouse Partners as sponsor and PHS Holdings as borrower on the amendment and extension of a £955 million credit facility.

George Link advised key client DS Smith on a EUR700 million loan provided by four banks to part-fund its acquisition of Svenska Cellulosa. He maintains a solid reputation among the key players in the market.  

Trevor Borthwick's "extensive knowledge of facility documentation, strength in negotiations and ability to assist in company strategy" mark him out as a go-to practitioner for bank and borrower clients alike.

David Campbell is "a very strong lawyer and good to work with," say interviewees. He has an excellent track record in leveraged, acquisition and investment grade finance, and has cultivated niche expertise in matters concerning the Nordic region.  

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Citibank, DS Smith, Saudi Electric Company, Charterhouse Partners LLP.

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 33 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Increasing presence in the vibrant credit funds market and active on the development of unitranche facilities. Strong relationships with key corporate lender and sponsor clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "They just have such strong experience of the current market. Whenever I asked what the precedent was for various terms they could tell me instantly, they're so knowledgeable about current trends."

Bench strength: "I like their depth of bench; you can contact anyone and know you'll get speed of service and technical knowledge."

International capability: "It has a strong international presence and track record, so has the ability to undertake multi-jurisdictional work to a high standard."

What's new? Tim Rennie was promoted to partner.

The team was appointed to Wells Fargo's UK panel and gained State Street, JPMorgan and National Australia Bank as new clients.

Work highlights Advised Nomura International on the £1.1 billion recapitalisation of Wood Mackenzie, acting as lead arranger, bookrunner and underwriter of senior and mezzanine debt facilities.   

Represented Lloyds, HSBC, Mizhuo and Jefferies in the £501 million LBO of Mercury Pharma.

Notable practitioners 

Abradat Kamalpour is known as a "go-to guy" in the Islamic finance space. "He is very commercial about the way he approaches legal issues - he gives different options that you can take," explains one satisfied client. Kamalpour continues to advise sukuk holders on the defaulted USD650 million Goldenbelt listed sukuk.

Mark Vickers maintains an impressive reputation as a leveraged finance expert, with one client enthusing: "He is just one of the wisest heads in the market. His experience adds a lot of value."

Nigel Ward is highlighted for offering a "gold-plated service" to his clients, who identify him as "without doubt amongst the best guys in London at this." He was one of the lead partners acting on Nomura's provision of senior and mezzanine debt facilities for the recapitalisation of Wood Mackenzie.

With deep experience in leveraged and acquisition finance, Helen Burton remains "a highly respected name" in the field.

The "excellent" Tim Rennie represented William Hill in its proposed bid for Sporting Bet for an undisclosed sum, co-ordinating with Australian and Spanish colleagues on the funding arrangements. He is highlighted as a trusted adviser by client, who single him out as being "highly technical."

Significant clients RBS, Barclays, Haymarket Financial, Sankaty, Gala Coral.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 42 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Demonstrates strength in multi-jurisdictional transactions, drawing on impressive international resources. Frequently engaged by sponsor clients on high-profile, high-value mandates.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Market standing: "They have good clients and are very active in the market." 

Work highlights Represented EQT throughout its EUR1.8 billion financing of Montagu Private Equity's purchase of BSN Medical.

Acted for the arranger, VTB Capital, on the provision of a term loan facility to Transfin-M.

Notable practitioners 

Bernard Sharp is praised for his strong negotiation skills and ability to cultivate relationships with sponsors. He advised EQT Fund V on the EUR115 million refinancing of HTL Strefa.

Peers identify Nick Tostivin as a top pick to refer to if they were conflicted on a transaction. 

Significant clients Standard Chartered Bank, Carlsberg, HSBC, BTA Bank, AXA Private Equity.

Basic facts about the department
- 18 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Successfully caters to corporate borrowers, lenders and sponsors. Noted for its aptitude on transactions requiring co-ordination with other departments such as real estate, capital markets and private equity.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "The lawyers are knowledgeable, technically excellent, good communicators, good negotiators and pleasant to deal with."

Professionalism: "A very professional and experienced team - they had a very constructive working relationship with the management team, who responded well to them."

What's new? The team gained Intermediate Capital Group and Metric as new clients.

Work highlights Advised Intermediate Capital Group on the £125 million secondary buyout of food manufacturer Symington's from Bridgepoint Capital.  

Acted on a group refinancing for Hellenic Petroleum, involving EUR830 million facilities provided by five banks in England and Greece.  

Notable practitioners 

Long-standing partner Marc Palley is widely respected in the market and is able to advise on an impressive variety of banking transactions.

Emma Howdle-Fuller receives enthusiastic praise, with sources noting her "very practical and very pragmatic" approach. Key mandates have come from Tesco and Private and Commercial Finance Group (PCF) of late, allowing her to demonstrate her strong "negotiation skills and commercial outlook."

Significant clients Tesco, Thames Water, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-respected presence in the market, acting for a notable roster of lender clients. It has sectoral strength in energy, aviation and aerospace, and particular geographical expertise centred in Central and Eastern Europe.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Problem solving: "Responsive and sensible, they recognise risks and problems but focus on solutions."

Client service: "High quality of service, responsiveness and reasonable pricing."

Market standing: "We see them as a strong competitor firm in this market." 

Notable practitioners 

According to sources, Andrew Hallgarth can turn his hand to a "broad spectrum of transactions," including equity, debt and funds-related matters. "He provides top advice and support, and is very attentive to details and business-oriented. He always find solutions in tricky situations and I am always impressed by his versatility," explains one keen client.

Trystan Tether "is great in the sense that he knows everything inside out in terms of what he does," say sources. He acts as co-head of the firm's international finance group.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Monarch Airlines, Macquarie Bank, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Bluefield Partners.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Benefits from a strong international presence and long-established relationships with global corporate players. Continues to make strides on the borrower side, working on marquee deals for clients drawn from the mining, manufacturing and oil and gas industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Efficiency: "They're very accurate and extremely responsive at all levels. It's a close-knit team - everyone knows exactly what is going on."

Bench strength: "The juniors provide a good support network. Very good firm culture."

Visibility: "We would definitely see them as very active on the borrower side."

What's new? Polina Lyadnova was made up to partner and Carlo de Vito Piscicelli transferred from the firm's New York office to divide his time between London and Milan.

Work highlights Advised Greece on EUR150 billion debt facilities provided to the country by the European Financial Stability Facility, a special purpose vehicle financed by Eurozone member states.

Acted on an acquisition financing for Rosneft to acquire a 50% stake in TNK-BP, whereby USD16.8 billion of facilities was provided by 15 international banks.  

Notable practitioners 

Highly rated partner Andrew Shutter is "extremely capable and very strong on advising borrower clients." In a recent highlight, he advised the Greek government on the finance aspects of its loan from the EFSF.

Glen Scarcliffe has worked on mandates from US Rusal and Iberian Minerals of late and is widely acknowledged as a talented banking and capital markets practitioner.

David Billington earns a range of compliments from market sources, one of whom comments: "It's difficult to fault him - he's responsive, available and technically very competent. He knows his stuff inside out, knows what's going on in the market and is good at managing negotiations." Billington assisted African Minerals with a USD767.7 million finance package.

Significant clients Fiat, Iberian Minerals, ArcelorMittal, TPG, African Minerals.

Basic facts about the department
-55 partners
-49 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Continues to perform at the highest level across the board on leveraged finance, investment grade and emerging markets transactions. Dominant presence on both the borrower and lender sides due to the scale and experience of the team.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "Pragmatic, hard-working and knowledgeable, with a good spread of experience and a large talent pool." 

Problem solving: "They have a depth of legal resources and skills available, and a commercial approach to problem solving." 

Market standing: "They have an elevated view of the market and a depth of experience; they don't waste time."

Work highlights Represented a syndicate of lenders, made up of more than 90 banking institutions, on the USD12.47 billion revolving credit facilities provided to Glencore International and Glencore Singapore.

Advised on a dual currency financing provided to borrower client Türk Telekomünikasyon. The three-year term loan facility was made up of a USD285.12 million tranche loan and a EUR239.4 million tranche loan.   

Notable practitioners 

Habib Motani maintains a very highly regarded Islamic finance practice and has been working closely with ISDA and IIFM of late on the preparation of cross-currency swap and profit rate swap confirmation templates.

Michael Bates earns plaudits for his high-profile banking practice, recently acting for a nine-bank club providing EUR3.2 billion of funding for Macquarie's acquisition of Opengrid Europe. He is known as a strong, hands-on practitioner who "will challenge his own clients if he thinks they are not being flexible enough, and he has a strong reputation which helps to get things done."

Mark Campbell maintains a stellar reputation in the market, and recently advised the eight co-ordinating banks on the refinancing of CEMEX's debt, a transaction worth over USD7 billion. He consistently attracts positive commentary, with one source noting: "He has a very broad understanding of transactions and the market; he's down to earth and keen to get to the right answers."

Charles Cochrane recently acted on a complex amendment and restatement of existing facilities on behalf of BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, adding a further £260 million senior term loan facility. He is lauded for his "ability to bring complex concepts down to an understandable level," and is further described as "very commercial, hard-working and able to juggle numerous things all at once."

Distinguished partner Alan Inglis has been busy of late with mandates from BNP Paribas, SA Surcursal en Espana and Crédit Agricole, working on amendment and restatement and amend-to-extend transactions respectively. He is highlighted as "one of the big players" in the field.

James Johnson receives glowing reviews from market commentators, who describe him as "very impressive," "very commercial" and "very effective at getting things done." He is an extremely effective lender's counsel, acting recently for Lloyds and Citibank, amongst others.

Jim MacHale has the full confidence of his clients, who mark him out as being "exceptionally experienced," with one source adding: "He has a good balance of being commercial, but when it comes to belt-and-braces stuff he is on the ball constantly." MacHale recently represented a syndicate of six lenders in the provision of an acquisition facility worth £125 million.

Nicola Wherity has advised on an impressive number of matters of late, including an USD8.5 billion revolving credit facility extended to Nestlé by client Citigroup Global Markets. She is "practical, very clear in getting her thoughts across, very commercial and market-aware, and hard-working," according to impressed sources. 

Emma Folds has a thriving practice focusing on European acquisition finance transactions. A recent highlight saw her advising mandated lead arrangers Citibank, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, Rabobank and Deutsche Bank on EUR131 million of financing for the acquisition of Kobusch. She is identified as a "commercially effective negotiator."

Roderick McGillivray is a highly visible partner in this space, regularly acting on some of the most high-profile transactions in the market. He was mandated to act on behalf of Anheuser-Busch InBev in connection with USD14 billion financing for the acquisition of Grupo Modelo SAB.

Hard-working partner Karen Hodson receives favourable reviews from peers, who describe her as "one of the easiest lawyers to deal with, and very good as well." She has been active on the acquisition finance side of late, advising the lenders on senior and mezzanine financing for Cinven's purchase of CPA Global.

Highly regarded partner Robert Lee acts for lenders on both a domestic and cross-border basis, as well as advising borrower clients such as venture capital houses.

Malcolm Sweeting remains a standout name among peers and is admired for his experience and collaborative style. He recently oversaw AB Volvo's multicurrency revolving facility, worth EUR1.2 billion.

Peers emphasise Taner Hassan's ability and activity levels. He led the team advising borrower client Türk Telekomünikasyon on its dual-currency financing.

Significant clients Qatar Islamic Bank, HSBC, Credit Suisse, AB Volvo, Anheuser-Busch InBev.  

Basic facts about the department
- 23 partners
- 53 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Attracts a healthy volume of work from clearing banks, corporate borrowers and private equity houses. Maintains a prominent European presence and a clear focus on specific sectors such as TMT, hotels and leisure, and healthcare.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Market standing: "CMS' key strength is its strong position in the lower mid-market. The firm is respected and utilised by most of the banks in the market, simplifying club transactions that require a firm to be on multiple bank panels." 

Industry knowledge: "A well-known team in the marketplace, with knowledge of market developments and who is doing what."

Efficiency: "Proactive and responsive approach; ability to integrate across disciplines where required."  

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Reappointed to the panels of RBS, Clydesdale, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Barclays and The Co-Operative Group.

Work highlights Assisted National Australia Bank throughout the transfer of approximately £6 billion of Clydesdale's corporate real estate portfolio assets.

Represented Enterprise Inns as borrower on £220 million worth of forward start facilities arranged by a syndicate of eight lenders.

Notable practitioners 

Peter Crichton is highlighted for his "thorough, proactive and collaborative approach" to transactions. He is well connected and well known in the market, and is frequently engaged on complex leveraged finance transactions.

Will Meredith has a strong reputation in the market, particularly for his commitment to client service. His established relationships with key lender clients see him regularly mandated on some of the team's most significant deals.

Talented partner Alex Patience is "very down to earth, approachable and, above all, commercial," according to admiring interviewees. A syndicate including Bank of Scotland engaged him to assist on the provision of EUR250 million worth of loan facilities to C&C Group.

Significant clients RBS, Banco Santander, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Bank.

Since publication, John Naccarato has retired from this practice.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Ability to leverage off an established US practice to attract mandates from US lenders entering the market. Substantive expertise in structured finance, funds and cross-border transactions.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Efficiency: "They are very proactive, they turn things around quickly and efficiently, and they don't need to be hunted and chased."

Technical ability: "Common sense and timely advice." 

Client service: "They have been absolutely attentive to our needs."

What's new? The team has gained a raft of new clients in the past year, including Investec, Apollo Management International and Vela Partners.

Work highlights Advised Pricoa Mortgage Capital as non-bank lender on the provision of £70 million financing to O&H Group for its commercial property portfolio, plus a subsequent £17 million add-on financing.  

Represented France Telecom in its significant tender offer for Egyptian company ECMS, with involvement from the firm's New York, Paris, Luxembourg and Brussels offices.

Notable practitioners  

Charles Malpass is a key contact here.

Significant clients Apollo Management International, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Vela Partners, SMP Partners, Investec.

What the team is known for Advises a sophisticated lender client base on Islamic finance, bilateral and syndicated transactions, trade finance and restructurings. Large team in London proficient in cross-border co-ordination with overseas colleagues.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Technical ability: "They were very good at converting what we were trying to do into documents that reflected the legal nuances and commercial reality of the position and the complexities of the structure."

Client service: "They are good at understanding what you want and getting it done. If I have missed something or misunderstood, they will tell me."  

Work highlights Acted for HSBC on its provision of £88 million acquisition and development funding for the Intercontinental Hotel in Westminster.

Advised Qatar International Islamic Bank on its first sukuk issue of £700 million.  

Notable practitioners 

Matthew Sapte maintains a stellar reputation in Islamic finance matters, recently taking the lead on QIIB's premier sukuk issuance and seamlessly co-ordinating with colleagues in Doha. He is commended as "simply one of the best finance lawyers in the City - he is unfazed by any structure and the breadth of his expertise is a very rare thing."

Head of Islamic finance Richard de Belder is "a great lawyer" with a wealth of knowledge in Shari'a-compliant transactions of all kinds. He is a mainstay of the Islamic finance market and is recognised for his contribution to evolutions in the field.

The "very experienced" Isaac Felberbaum heads up the syndicated loans team and is appreciated for his "very commercial" approach. His practice caters to financial institutions, corporate borrowers and sovereign, international organisations.

Catherine Astruc continues to enjoy an impressively broad practice and is reportedly "very good at getting things done and getting them in place."

Significant clients JPMorgan, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly mandated on complex mid-market transactions by a range of lender, borrower and sponsor clients. Sizeable debt finance team with the capacity to advise on syndicated and bilateral financings, including acquisitions, buyouts and buyins.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "They have an idea of what our hot points are on commercial terms and because of that they have developed strong commercial awareness. Technically strong as well."

International capability: "So international - we have a central contact and they can put us in touch with lawyers around the world. We are impressed with the service."

Responsiveness: "Very experienced, very well connected in the marketplace and very flexible and timely in their responses."

Work highlights Acted for RBS, Lloyds and HSBC on the provision of more than £200 million facilities for the refinancing and subsequent acquisition by AEA of the NES Group.

Advised HSBC and Lloyds on the refinancing of Hyperion Insurance Group through the provision of senior debt facilities.  

Notable practitioners 

Sources are keen to highlight Philip Butler's strong client focus, describing him as "very relationship driven." He is also "very strong technically and commercially," making him an attractive prospect for corporate banking transactions of all types.

Alexander Griffith advises private equity houses on the provision of debt finance, leading one source to identify him as "the fount of all knowledge for non-bank lending at the moment."

Market commentators recognise Daniel Hendon as a "rising star" in the practice, noting that he is a "highly competent young lawyer" and a "motivated professional with a strong client focus."

Head of debt finance in London, David Miles is one of the team's most visible lawyers, with sources highlighting his impressive deal flow: "His name comes up on a lot of transactions - clients know his name."

Significant clients Alcentra, Babson Capital, Carlyle Group, Rabobank, Siemens.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A popular choice for syndicated and club deals due to its experience and position on numerous bank panels. Increasing volume of activity on behalf of corporate borrowers as well as a steady flow of work in the clean energy space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "It's a very strong, commercial law firm, and by that I mean technical and commercial; they have a real ability to help get deals done."

Technical ability: "They are doing high-calibre work."

Visibility: "We see an awful lot of them and I have a high opinion of the team there." 

What's new? The team was appointed to the Standard Chartered panel and the HSBC trade finance panel.

Work highlights Advised Jerrold Holdings on its £395 million conduit securitisation.

Acted for Catalyst European Property Fund on financing arrangements for its purchase of a portfolio of 30 German retail properties.   

Notable practitioners 

David Boyd has impressed market observers of late and has been highly active in the market, most notably taking the lead on the conduit securitisation arrangements for Jerrold Holdings.

Several interviewees rate Nick Swiss "very highly" in this space. He has particular experience in syndicated lending and acquisition finance.

Significant clients HSBC, Greene King, Santander, Dairy Crest, East Africa Development Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a robust lender-focused practice, advising principally on private banking and in the technology and life sciences sector. Enjoys stable relationships with key clients in the sector, including several debt funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Partner involvement: "A reasonably priced, high-quality, partner-led offering."

Breadth of services: "They have a nice practice and a good spread of work there." 

Work highlights Acted for Silicon Valley Bank on its provision of USD85 million revolving loan and term loan facilities to a US and an Irish borrower.

Advised Mizrahi Tefahot Bank on its provision of EUR10 million as part of the £8 billion of secured syndicated facilities extended to Alliance Boots.

Notable practitioners 

Head of department Andrew Evans is considered "a class act," and clients appreciate his international outlook. He recently acted for JPMorgan's Brussels branch on a secured term facility of more than USD44 million.

Significant clients AIB Bank, Oxford Finance, JPMorgan Chase, Avocet Mining, London Irish Holdings.

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 51 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Premier destination for high-end borrower-side work, and recognised for its impressive sponsor and lender mandates. It is at the forefront of market developments in bank/bond financing, infrastructure finance and debt restructuring.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "High-quality advice with a good understanding of the client's business and perspective. They are commercial – a firm you turn to for something complex."

Bench strength: "I like the whole team – they have a very deep bench and good quality of lawyers, from associates right the way through to partner."

Client service: "They stand out as providing a good service to borrowers."

What's new? Michael Steele and Geoff O'Dea were promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acted for CVC Capital Partners on the all-senior debt financing portion of its USD1.8 billion acquisition of Ahlsell.  

Advised Techem Energy Services, a German portfolio company of Macquarie, on its EUR1.3 billion refinancing of existing debt. 

Notable practitioners 

Sean Pierce offers "high-quality advice with a good understanding of the client's business and perspective." He is recognised for his work on behalf of sponsor clients, recently leading the team on the financing of CVC's purchase of Ahlsell.

Alex Mitchell receives extensive praise, with one source commenting: "He is probably the most commercial lawyer I've worked with." Mitchell has recently worked on a debt restructuring for Haymarket Financial, ING Bank and M&G Investments, and has been described as a "very diligent, detailed lawyer who is very thorough and cognisant of pressure points."

Peter Hall's recent work includes advising on a syndicated multicurrency revolving loan facility of EUR1 billion for Japan Tobacco International. He is well known for his experience in handling matters involving the regulated industries.

Experienced practitioner Martin Hutchings has had a busy year acting on a revolving credit facility of USD1.2 billion for client Petrofac, which involved a syndicate of 14 banks and close co-ordination with the firm's Dubai office.

Michael Steele receives glowing praise for his performance, with sources highlighting his "tremendous amount of energy," "fantastic service" and willingness to "do whatever it takes to get a deal across the finish line." He has recently worked on major mandates from Cinven and a group of lenders including Goldman Sachs, Rabobank and Jefferies Group.

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, Prudential M&G, Cinven, Morgan Stanley, HSBC.

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 34 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for High-end practice balanced between borrower and lender-side work. Experienced bench of lawyers with expertise in Islamic finance, acquisition, project and infrastructure finance.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Initiative: "The main strength is that they take a proactive approach to providing advice and making suggestions; they don't wait to be asked."

Client service: "They build good relationships at an individual level."

Breadth of services: "They have substantive finance and cross-border practices."

What's new? Appointed to the panels for Sberbank and Credit Suisse. Reappointed to the panels of Standard Chartered, Lloyds, RBS and Bank of Ireland.

Work highlights Acted for a 27-bank syndicate extending a USD3.5 billion reserves-based credit facility to Tullow Oil.

Advised a group of 25 lenders on a secured loan and letter of credit facility for Lundin Petroleum, worth USD2.5 billion in total.   

Notable practitioners 

Malcolm Hitching has an excellent reputation in the finance sphere, and continues to serve a wide range of clients on corporate financing, LBOs and restructurings.

Highly rated partner Ewen Fergusson's recent highlights include advising Petroceltic International on a USD300 million senior secured revolving facility. His practice has a particular slant towards acting for public companies.

Ian Yeo acted for Credit Suisse International as arranger on the provision of an unsecured USD145 million facility to the International Bank of Azerbaijan. He is a well-established player in the market and is recognised for his work in emerging markets financing.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Severn Trent, Weir Group, Credit Suisse, RBS.

Basic facts about the department
- 21 partners
- 65 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A key player at the top end of mid-market acquisition and leveraged finance, and also handles marquee mandates in funds lending, trade, project and asset finance. At the cutting edge of the development of unitranche in leveraged finance.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Technical ability: "Staffed by some of the brightest, most dynamic and technically sound lawyers."

Efficiency: "They are extremely aware of the time pressures and therefore will operate very efficiently. They are prepared to roll up their sleeves behind the scenes."

International capability: "Cutting-edge, full-service firm with a global reach, which makes it very effective in cross-border and international transactions."

What's new? On the Islamic finance side, MIGA (World Bank Group), the government of Dubai and Ghanim Bin Saad Al-Saad & Sons Holdings are all new clients.

Work highlights Advised Natixis as the co-ordinating agent of a ten-bank group financing Groupe Ludendo's acquisition of Hamleys.

Represented Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays and RBS in the refinancing of Graff Diamonds, a multi-jurisdictional transaction worth USD450 million.  

Notable practitioners 

Matthew Cottis frequently takes the lead on some of the team's most complex transactions, such as advising senior lenders HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, GE and Bank of Ireland on financing arrangements for Montagu Private Equity's acquisition of CAP. Clients are keen to emphasise his responsiveness, noting that they are "just able to pick up the phone and get a good answer and a speedy response."

The "highly commercial" Stuart Brinkworth earns strong praise for his leveraged finance practice, with sources remarking that he is "really good at focusing on the key points." "He has built a wide network and is very knowledgeable in the market in general," adds one interviewee. Brinkworth advised the banks on the financing for the acquisition of a majority stake in Parabis Law, a first-of-its kind leveraged buyout of a law firm.

Penny Angell "is a brilliant lawyer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, documents and market practice," enthuses one source, adding: "She has a fantastic awareness of which issues are essential to a lender and which are only peripheral. This contributes greatly towards closing transactions efficiently."

Paul Mullen recently advised a six-lender club on the refinancing of Mayborn International. He is well liked by his clients, who note that "you can pick up the phone for expert guidance on issues and he is always happy to help."

Colin Craik regularly handles high-profile international transactions, and is equally comfortable representing borrowers and lenders.  

Significant clients Citibank, Deutsche Bank, GE Capital, Ares Capital Europe, Crédit Agricole.

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Displays notable strength in the emerging markets, recently building up its client roster in the commodities, mining and energy sectors. The team gives equal focus to borrower and lender-side representation.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "Very good – the partner we deal with is good and the associates are excellent."

What's new? Lloyds and BNP Paribas are new panel wins for the team.

Work highlights Acted for Sovco Capital Partners as borrower, with regard to USD60 million mezzanine facilities extended to it by Volga River Growth Fund.

Advised Wells Fargo as facility agent on the £55 million revolving facility agreement for Clinton Cards. 

Notable practitioners 

Edwin Borrini is commended for his broad finance practice and is particularly picked out by clients as showing "a lot of promise on the lending side." He has good depth of experience in emerging markets transactions and counts a number of high-profile financial institutions among his clients.   

Significant clients Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, M&G, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Macquarie Bank, Goldman Sachs International.  

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A mainstay of the European finance market, the team has increased its visibility on both lender and borrower sides with key hires in London. Established expertise in funds finance, alternative lending and traditional bank-side activity.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "We like their ability to adapt to our style of work and to give advice rather than just read the proverbial rule book to us."

Client service: "They are very organised, very thorough and personable."

Breadth of services: "A very strong funds finance practice."  

What's new? The team gained Credit Suisse as a new client and was appointed to the RBS and Lloyds panels.

Work highlights Advised Macquarie Bank on the £62.5 million senior and junior facilities extended to the Towry Group for refinancing purposes.

Acted for a bank syndicate comprising RBS, Santander, Lloyds and Allied Irish Bank in connection with Caretech Holdings' £147.4 million refinancing.

Notable practitioners 

Christopher Fanner is frequently seen acting on sophisticated acquisition finance deals and has developed significant expertise in the telecommunications sector. He is highly valued by clients and described as "impressive" by peers.

Ian Borman builds upon his solid reputation in the market, with sources calling him "fantastic," and "experienced and technically strong." He acted for Haymarket Financial on the senior debt financing of a £42.5 million term and revolving facilities agreement for the acquisition of Novus Leisure by Hutton Collins Partners and LGV Capital.   

Significant clients Bank of Montreal, European Investment Bank, Credit Suisse, Haymarket Financial, Investec Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as a go-to practice for private equity sponsors. Regularly engaged on the most high-profile restructurings, debt portfolio purchases and LBOs in the market.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Problem solving: "They are a very hard-working creative team and they think about smart ways of making things work." 

Commercial awareness: "They are very commercial, very efficient and very connected, and they know their market."

Visibility: "Highly active and prominent clients."

Work highlights Advised Vista Equity Partners on the financing of its acquisition of Misys for £1.27 billion.

Represented Bain Capital throughout its EUR1 billion acquisition of Atento from Telefonica. The transaction involved the co-ordination of several ring fence financings in Brazil, Spain and Mexico.   

Notable practitioners 

The universally popular Stephen Gillespie "is incredibly well established and carries a lot of weight in discussions." He recently advised Park Square Capital Partners on the mezzanine financing for the take-private of Douglas Holdings. He is described as "tremendous in organisation and a very accomplished finance lawyer. He rallies the troops and brings it all together so well."

Clients appreciate debt finance partner Philip Crump's "clear, concise explanations." CVC recently engaged him to act on its purchase of Italian business credit information provider Cerved Group.

John Markland is a standout name for peers and clients alike. He leads the firm's relationship with valuable client Mid Europa Partners and has been occupied on several of its significant mandates of late. He is noted as "a very good lawyer with good attention to detail. He's very commercial and has seen a lot of deals in the market."

Neel Sachdev attracts praise from market sources, one of whom describes him as "a phenomenal lawyer." He is highlighted for his ability to act on "complicated sponsor side financings." He has recently acted on a remarkable volume of deals for key clients such as Bain and Sun Capital.

Glowing comments from peers and clients serve to confirm Stephen Lucas's place at the top of the market this year. One source highlights his "searing intelligence with an excellent manner," as well as his "encyclopaedic knowledge of the most arcane but often relevant facts in the trench warfare that is mid-market leveraged finance."

Significant clients Mid Europa, Park Square, Sun Capital Partners, Apollo Management, Sankaty Partners.

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 37 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A standout practice for leveraged finance, with a particularly impressive hybrid bank/bond practice and multi-jurisdictional acquisition financing ability. It has an enviable client base of household names on the sponsor, borrower and lender sides.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "Tons of in-depth, current market knowledge. They have the know-how to get stuff done and banks trust their view as well - they know how to negotiate."

Breadth of services: "One of their great strengths is their combined leveraged finance offering. A very strong team across both bank finance and high-yield bond areas - a lot of depth to the bench."

Market standing: "Latham are a force. I have no hesitation saying they know what they're doing and do it well."

What's new? Ross Anderson and Mohamed Nurmohamed were both promoted to partner.

Work highlights Represented Advent International in its USD1.9 billion public-to-private acquisition of German retailer Douglas Holding.  

Advised senior arrangers JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank on EQT's EUR1.8 billion acquisition of medical supplies manufacturer BSN Medical.

Notable practitioners 

London and Dubai-based Craig Nethercott wins admiration for his strong Islamic finance practice, with sources identifying him as an "outstanding and solution-oriented lawyer." He co-chairs the firm's global Islamic finance practice and has developed sector specialisms in the oil and gas, mining and infrastructure fields.

Christopher Kandel is acknowledged as "one of the brightest and most effective bank finance lending lawyers in the market." He has taken the reins on some major mandates in the past year, such as representing JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs in Perstorp Holdings' USD1.1 billion refinancing, and advising a five-bank group on the refinancing of the Viridian Group.

James Chesterman is highly recommended by several market sources. He spearheaded the team representing the arrangers in the highly publicised BSN Medical acquisition, and maintains close relationships with some of the most important lenders in the market.

The "very strong" Dominic Newcomb is considered an "excellent" practitioner by peers. His recent highlights include leading on Advent International's acquisition of Douglas Holdings, and advising Rose Holdco on the refinancing of IMO Carwash Group.

One impressed market commentator marks out Jayanthi Sadanandan as "a real star." Goldman Sachs and Barclays recently engaged her to advise on the £825 million LBO finance package for the acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care by Terra Firma.

Ross Pooley's recent work highlights include advising mandated lead arrangers Citi, DZ Bank, UBS, Unicredit and ING on financing for Providence Equity's acquisition of HSE 24. He is described as "very good and very easy to work with."

"Exceptional lawyer" Sam Hamilton "has broad experience and is not only strong technically but also an effective negotiator." He has been involved in a significant volume of deals of late, including matters for Convatec, Yucaipa Companies, Goldman Sachs and SEB.

Significant clients Hellman & Friedman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Jeffries.  

What the team is known for Remains a key fixture at the top end of the market, focusing primarily on lenders but with a firmly established reputation on the borrower side. Huge strength in depth across banking and complementary departments.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "The service culture is excellent; they are very responsive and have a very strong group of associates supporting their partners."

Responsiveness: "They were easy to reach and always available, they managed expectations about when they would be contactable and they responded quickly all the time. Just a very reliable performance all round."

Visibility: "Definitely one of the firms we see the most and have the most respect for."

What's new? Alcentra, Lloyds and Deutsche Bank are all new client wins.

Work highlights Advised Glencore International on financings totalling approximately USD30 billion, in connection with its USD70 billion merger with Xstrata.  

Acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as mandated lead arranger on USD16.8 billion loan facilities for Rosneft, provided to fund its acquisition of a 50% shareholding in TNK-BP.

Notable practitioners 

Global head of banking Gideon Moore is "far and away one of the best lawyers in terms of client relationships. He is extremely good at managing people and difficult situations," according to satisfied sources.

Clients appreciate Nick Syson's knowledge and commercial acumen, identifying him as a go-to figure "in a situation where you need a smart, good lawyer who knows all the deals you've just done. He will get you there in a way that works for everyone." He advised Deutsche Bank and Unicredit Bank as arrangers on the amend and extend of Alliance Boots' senior syndicated loan facilities, totalling £8.27 billion.

Adam Freeman is widely praised by market observers. His practice covers leveraged and acquisition finance transactions of all kinds, and he is particularly notable for his work on behalf of financial sponsors.

Brian Gray's collaborative style wins approval from sources, who single him out as being "very, very able as a consensus builder and very collected – he can really construct a solution when there's a chasm between the parties. That's how he's able to deliver value for all sides." He has recently been advising the banks extending approximately £1.5 billion syndicated term and revolving debt facilities to Melrose.

David Ereira is widely regarded as a "standout individual" in the acquisition finance and restructuring spheres.

Sources describe Philip Spittal as an "innovative and dynamic lawyer who tries to find alternative approaches to challenges." He acted for Lloyds on a EUR700 million term loan facility provided to DS Smith for the acquisition of SCA Group's packaging division.

Jeremy Stokeld is an experienced partner who maintains a broad practice encompassing structured and secured financing and syndicated lending. He operates on both a cross-border and domestic basis.

Key client Lloyds recently mandated Stuart Thomas to advise on amendments to USD700 million loan facilities extended to Lonmin. He is "highly diligent and dedicated, providing consistent and focused advice and support throughout transactions," according to one impressed interviewee.

Annette Kurdian is well known for her work on behalf of private equity sponsors and financial arrangers. Her experience on acquisition financings is extensive, and she continues to be involved in some of the team's largest transactions.

Up-and-coming partner Toby Grimstone is reportedly "on top of the technical detail and a pleasure to deal with." One peer further identifies him as "strong, very sensible and very pragmatic." His practice has an international flavour, with a particular focus on Africa and other emerging markets.

Significant clients RBS, JPMorgan, Citibank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Houses a renowned core practice acting for lenders and sponsors on mid-market LBOs. Specialist expertise in fund finance, secondary transactions and asset-backed finance.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "The lawyers are experts in our sector, very commercial and pragmatic. They understand what is important to us and the partners are always very accessible."

Client service: "Excellent quality of advice and excellent client service."

Responsiveness: "Very direct, very credible. You get service in an hour that might otherwise take three or four hours."

What's new? The team was appointed to the Lloyds panel and gained new client Metric Capital.

Work highlights Acted on behalf of the Firth Rixson Group as borrower and Oak Hill Capital as sponsor on the USD1.325 billion refinancing of its senior facilities.

Advised Ares Capital Europe on unitranche and super senior revolving credit facilities provided for the acquisition of Star by Claranet.  

Notable practitioners 

Firm managing partner Julian Howard maintains an excellent reputation in the field as well as close relationships with numerous significant banking clients. His experience covers corporate acquisitions and LBOs, among other transactions.

The "very strong" Bronwen Jones "understands what is important to us and is always very accessible," notes one client. Jones recently represented Alcentra and Metric Capital Partners in mezzanine and debt facilities provided for the MBO of Kedleston UK.

Andrew Perkins led the team advising Ares Capital Europe on the provision of facilities for Claranet's purchase of Star. He is described as "an expert in our sector, very commercial and pragmatic."

Significant clients Montagu Private Equity, Darwin Private Equity, Investec, Citibank, Syntaxis Capital.

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 34 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Noted for its strength in cross-border transactions, and has a strong track record in acting on leveraged loan facility restructurings. Also highly visible on asset-based lending, particularly in conjunction with high-yield bonds.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 International capability: "They have a large international practice, which is very strong." 

Visibility: "We see them frequently and compete against them often."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Lloyds with regard to a £53 million loan for the construction of an office building at Chiswick Park.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Dominic Griffiths is a key contact here.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, HSBC.

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Identified as a force for high-end bank side work, particularly in changeable market conditions where bank, mezzanine and bond transactions frequently interrelate. Experience and integration with the US practice is a further attractive feature for clients.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Technical ability: "I think that they are very technically able. They are more bespoke and I would definitely think of them in sophisticated situations."

Commercial awareness: "Professional and commercial. I think they were focused to make sure we got to the right conclusion on every point."

Breadth of services: "A strong player; they also have the high-yield element. I would see them as a competitor."  

Work highlights Acted for Goldman Sachs on the £220 million staple financing and subsequent bank/bond financing of the acquisition of Arrow Global.

Advised JPMorgan as underwriter on an international EUR350 million refinancing.    

Notable practitioners 

Islamic finance practice head John Dewar has a strong reputation for projects-based work across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He is highlighted as "an extremely strong and solution-oriented lawyer."

The "intelligent and capable" Suhrud Mehta is "supportive and capable of bringing the deal to conclusion." He has acted on numerous matters for key client Goldman Sachs of late, and it is noted that his "understanding of the inter-creditor dynamics between senior and mezzanine is at a very high level."

Timothy Peterson has handled several deals for JPMorgan recently. He is identified as having "a good understanding - not just of the law but also of commercial issues generally and his clients specifically."

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Porterbrook Rail Finance, Virgin Media, Highbridge Capital Management, HSBC.

Basic facts about the department
- 56 partners
- 148 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Retains an excellent market share across its specialist sectors, which include energy, infrastructure, mining, commodities and financial institutions. International prominence attracts numerous multi-jurisdictional mandates on the borrower and lender sides.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Efficiency: "An extremely good firm -  they are good at producing results and are very good value."

Bench strength: "The calibre of associates is very high."

Market standing: "They always come across as being particularly competent, with a wide range of services and a wide footprint." 

Work highlights Advised Saudi Oger as borrower on two secured term loan facilities, valued at EUR40 million and EUR60 million.  

Acted on behalf of Tullow Oil with regard to the USD3.5 billion reserves-based credit facility extended to it by a 27-bank consortium.

Notable practitioners 

Farmida Bi is a well-established presence in the field of Islamic finance. Her broad practice covers capital markets transactional work and she recently advised Gatehouse Bank on a £6.9 million real estate-based sukuk.

Michael Ings acted on behalf of Trinity Mirror as borrower on a forward start revolving credit facility of £110 million provided by a syndicate of banks. He is well regarded for his telecoms and media sectoral expertise.

Asset-based lending specialist Michael Black is commended for his handling of cross-border transactions, with one client noting that he "managed the foreign lawyers fantastically" and "made life as easy as possible."

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Citibank, Société Générale, ING Bank, Barclays.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-established niche expertise in the media, technology and telecoms sectors. Recognised as a vibrant lender-side practice, acting on behalf of banks and non-traditional lenders.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Problem solving: "Excellent organisation - they are very in control of all aspects of the project. They have experience in similar situations and therefore the ability to negotiate and spot issues which may arise."

Communication: "We have a very good open dialogue with them. You can just ask advice and don't always feel like you're on the clock."

Work highlights Acted for Sportech on its £75 million refinancing in the form of syndicated loan facilities offered by a club of banks.  

Advised Capital & Regional and Oaktree Capital Management on financing arrangements for the £130 million acquisition of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.

Notable practitioners 

Moni Mannings has great depth of experience across a wide range of financing transactions. Her workload encompasses leveraged buyouts and buyins, acquisition finance and public-to-private transactions.

Charles Kerrigan spearheaded the recent refinancing of Sportech and is widely appreciated by clients for his communication skills.

Significant clients Chamonix Private Equity, Allied Irish Banks, Nationwide Building Society, Clydesdale Bank, Bank of Ireland.

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highlighted as a solid player on the lender side with a good profile in syndicated lending. Increasingly engaged on cross-border mandates and transactions involving the US private placement market.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "Very effective, first-class communication with the client."

Commercial awareness: "They've been very good, very commercial – they do what we ask them to."

Work highlights Acted for HSBC as mandated lead arranger on secured syndicated loan facilities provided to Safestore Holdings.

Advised Clydesdale Bank on the provision of £34 million towards the construction of the Kent Institute of Medicine & Surgery.  

Notable practitioners 

Christopher Tart has cultivated close relationships with many significant UK lenders, including HSBC, for which he acted on the provision of Safestore Holdings' loan facilities. He is recognised for his "commerciality and user-friendliness."

Practice head Martin Bishop is "not a point-winner – he's commercial and appropriate for the transaction," according to satisfied sources. His practice covers a broad spectrum of finance activity, including leveraged and acquisition finance.

Significant clients Caretech Holdings, Aereal Bank, Redefine International, Halfords Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Attracts a range of mandates from its diverse client base, comprising corporates, banks, funds, private equity houses and financial institutions. Draws upon its experience in private equity and its large global footprint to boost its London practice.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "They go out of their way to help us. They are always available to just talk, to run something by them."

Commercial awareness: "I think the people there are very approachable and they have command of the commercial aspects that go into the documents in any shape or form."  

Work highlights Worked with The Co-Operative Group on its £1 billion corporate refinancing, advising on the financial, regulatory and tax aspects of the transaction.

Advised Telecity Group on a debt facility increase, involving subsidiaries in the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Germany and Ireland, and drawing upon the expertise of the firm's Paris and Munich offices.  

Notable practitioners 

Leon Stephenson has niche expertise in the financing of private equity and other funds in addition to his broad corporate banking and finance experience. He is commended for his depth of knowledge and relationship management skills: "He has been able to provide high-quality advice on short notice."

Significant clients Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Santander, HSBC, CBPE.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Consolidates its position as a leading practice on the sponsor side, consistently handling the largest and most sophisticated mezzanine finance deals in the market. Maintains an impressive stable of marquee clients.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Responsiveness: "They are excellent lawyers who demonstrate responsiveness and teamwork on a level I have never witnessed in private practice."

Strategic planning: "They are very commercial people who know what it takes to take complex transactions over the line and have a good understanding of what it takes to get a deal done."

Market standing: "They do fantastically well for their clients; they do great transactions and all credit to them for those deals."

Work highlights Represented Highbridge, MezzVest, Partners Group, JPMorgan and KKR as mezzanine lenders in EQT's USD1.82 billion acquisition of BSN Medical. 

Acted for a syndicate headed up by Sankaty Advisers, which provided EUR170 million of mezzanine debt to Hellman & Friedman for the acquisition of Wood Mackenzie.  

Notable practitioners 

"Super-smart" Maurice Allen continues to be a top-rated name in the field, with one enthusiastic client explaining: "The commercial application of his experience and knowledge of the market has been key to the success of our financings." Allen is a go-to practitioner for lenders, sponsors and corporate borrowers alike.

Michael Goetz took the lead advising Altice on complex financing arrangements for the reorganisation of Israeli company HOT Telecommunications Systems. Market sources laud him as being "exceptionally dedicated," noting that he provides "smart strategic advice."

Matthew Cox is highlighted as a "superstar of the future" by one admiring source. "He is very technical, very personable with clients and he's good in the way he understands the deal and looks at it quite commercially." 

Significant clients Liberty Global, Altice, KKR, VTB Capital, CVC.

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Continues to impress observers with its blend of sponsor, lender and borrower-side representation. Enduring relationships with some of the most significant players on both sides of the market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Breadth of services: "They're multidisciplinary, with an amazing grasp of the law. They are commercial, user-friendly and reactive. They are the go-to people for me."

Client service: "They have been extremely helpful, always approachable and have always made themselves available. They explain things in exactly the right way and manage clients well."

Market standing: "It's a top-end finance practice." 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of mandated lead arrangers Barclays and JPMorgan Securities regarding a term loan B financing extended to chemical manufacturer INEOS.

Advised Investcorp on its financing arrangements for the purchase of Esmalglass, including a unitranche facility and a revolving credit facility.  

Notable practitioners 

Anthony Ward is extremely popular among market sources, who refer to him as a "driving force" in the market and "very much a top-tier player." He has been advising Barclays, JP Morgan and Investcorp on complex financing arrangements of late. "He's a very cool lawyer to work with - nothing fazes him," notes one interviewee.

Clients describe structured finance expert Clifford Atkins as "an absolute guru." He is further praised for the breadth of his practice: "He knows capital markets, banking and leveraged finance - across the spectrum he is brilliant and extremely well connected."

Caroline Leeds Ruby is identified as an "impressive" practitioner. Borrower client Indian Hotels mandated to her to act on its bid for Orient-Express Hotels, a sophisticated cross-border financing involving elements in Bermuda, Singapore, the UK, the USA and India.

"Very thoughtful and commercial," Peter Hayes has racked up an impressive deal list of late, advising on major mandates for Standard Chartered Bank, The Standard Bank of South Africa and Investcorp.

Iain Goalen recently returned to London from the firm's office in the United Arab Emirates. He is a highly experienced and well-regarded finance partner with significant experience across the board.

Significant clients Advent International, Credit Suisse, Oberthur Technologies, Standard Chartered Bank, Ardagh Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Increasingly called upon to act on emerging markets transactions as well as attracting a steady flow of traditional domestic lender work. Continues to grow the practice organically and through strategic lateral hires.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Efficiency: "Good access to partners. The team has a strong work ethic and we get timely responses." 

Work highlights Advised Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Bank on financing for the acquisition of machinery by a Tanzanian corporate.

Represented SEB in connection with Aktiebolaget SKF's EUR500 million revolving credit facility.  

Notable practitioners

Head of banking James Bresslaw is a key contact here.

Significant clients The Bank of New York Mellon, Danske Bank, Schroders, Bluecrest Capital Management.  

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Dominant force on the sponsor side, acting on numerous headline-grabbing deals of late. Close integration with the firm's capital markets team enables seamless handling of transactions involving high-yield bonds.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "They have deep knowledge of their subject area, expertise through having significant experience in the sector, and a strong reputation."

Client service: "The service they provided has been first-class."

Market standing: "We see them as top of the range in this area."

Work highlights Acted for Blackstone on the financing for its acquisition of Intertrust Group from Waterland Private Equity Investments.  

Advised Alliance Boots on the extension of approximately £5 billion of debt in an amend-and-extend transaction of its senior secured loan facilities.

Notable practitioners 

Nicholas Shaw stands out as a strong player in the space and has been highly active of late, advising NXP Semiconductors on two senior secured term loan facilities and a secured revolving credit agreement. He is described as "extremely bright and energetic."

Market sources view Ian Barratt as an "exceptionally talented individual." His recent clients include KKR, Alliance Boots and Apax Partners.

Euan Gorrie is a valuable member of the team who is seen as being "very prominent" in the market. He handled the financing aspects of Melrose's acquisition of Elster Group for approximately USD2.3 billion.

Stephen Short is "very involved and client-oriented," say interviewees. He recently advised Algeco Scotsman on a complex acquisition financing and a refinancing, which involved close liaison with the firm's New York office.

Significant clients Apax Partners, KKR, NXP Semiconductors, Stork Technical Services, JPMorgan.  

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Continues to make strides on the borrower side with a highly active corporate borrower client base. Also has significant aptitude on leveraged financings and refinancings, and is able to draw on the strength of the firm's US practice where required.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Breadth of services: "Very knowledgeable, good depth of resources, able to provide multi-jurisdictional advice."

Client service: "Responsive and willing to tailor their service to our requirements."

Industry knowledge: "Such a great borrower firm in terms of corporate finance work in general and lending work in tandem."

Work highlights Represented Upsher-Smith Laboratories with regard to financing arrangements for the USD550 million purchase of Proximagen Group.

Acted for the Alpha-Access-Renova (AAR) consortium on the financing aspects of the high-profile sale of its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft.

Notable practitioners 

Clive Wells is considered to be "very knowledgeable and practical at the same time." Bank of America engaged him to act on the UK aspects of its provision of a USD1.2 billion senior secured asset-based loan facility to subsidiaries of Algeco Scotsman.

The "constructive and practical" Mark Darley advised Outokumpu Oyj on the financing for its EUR2.8 billion acquisition of the Inoxum business from ThyssenKrupp. He is praised for being "easy to get on with." 

Pete Coulton is an "extremely experienced and very strong negotiator," according to sources. He has handled a number of matters for Doughty Hanson of late, as well as spearheading the banking aspects of TMF's high-yield offering. 

Significant clients Doughty Hanson & Co, Esselte, Bank of America, Vue Entertainment, Ares Life Sciences.

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as a leading practice for corporate borrower clients. It has knowledge and experience of a variety of sectors, including travel, telecoms and energy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "A fantastic, formidable firm. Their client service is second to none - it's exactly what you pay for."

Reliability: "Very professional - they are trusted advisers and partners."

Technical ability: "They are all very impressive, as you would expect from Slaughters. They are very bright people who learn quickly as they go on."

What's new? Edward Fife was promoted to partner.  

Work highlights Represented Terra Firma in the financing of its £825 million acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care.  

Acted for Global Infrastructure Partners on the financing arrangements for its acquisition of Edinburgh Airport from BAA for £807.2 million.

Notable practitioners 

Practice head Philip Snell was the lead partner on the financing for the acquisition of Edinburgh Airport by Global Infrastructure Partners. He maintains an impressively broad practice advising financial institutions, corporates and sponsors.

Robert Byk has been busy on the lender side of late, advising on two major refinancings for Premier Foods and CEMEX, in matters valued at £1.4 billion and USD6.7 billion respectively.

Miranda Leung recently advised borrower client AER Solar Energy Group on its new EUR20 million revolving loan facility. Her practice covers structured finance, acquisition finance and general bank lending transactions on behalf of both borrowers and lenders.

Edward Fife took the lead on the USD100 million refinancing provided by Deutsche Bank to Gunvor Raffinerie Ingolstadt and Gunvor Deutschland in connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Petroplus Raffinerie Ingoldstadt. One client describes him as "absolutely fantastic."

Matthew Tobin has racked up an impressive deal sheet of late, acting on mandates for Dufry, PT Borneo, Terra Firma and Ocado. He has broad-ranging banking and finance experience, encompassing capital markets and securitisation expertise.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Nimax, Tata Communications, United Energy, Dufry.

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Adept across the full spectrum of lender-side mandates, including bilateral and syndicated lending. Increasingly handling work on acquisition finance, invoice discounting and corporate lending.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "They have good knowledge of the law and are aware of the commercial factors of the deal."

Efficiency: "I found Stephenson Harwood to be knowledgeable and commercially focused, allowing a pragmatic approach to resolve issues and achieve our desired objectives within a relatively short timeframe."

Work highlights Acted for Mannington Mills on the financing of its USD170 million purchase of the Amtico by way of a senior asset-based lending debt facility and a mezzanine term facility.  

Advised Archirodon Group on the refinancing of its USD225 million syndicated unsecured revolving credit facility.  

Notable practitioners

David Lacey is a key contact in the department.

Significant clients Lavendon Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A well-established player on the lender side, with considerable experience in Islamic finance. Highly integrated with the firm's wider banking industry group, offering a full service to lender clients in all related areas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "The firm seems to have a strong selection of junior level lawyers who come onto deals and work hard."

Efficiency: "If I ask for something to be delivered by a certain point in time they always follow through."   

Work highlights Acted for Hyperion Insurance in connection with secured loan facilities provided by HSBC and Lloyds.

Represented Notemachine in £63 million of secured syndicated loan facilities provided by Barclays, European Capital and GE.  

Notable practitioners 

Hamid Yunis has an excellent reputation in Islamic finance, frequently working on sophisticated and high-profile corporate and infrastructure transactions.

Ross Caldwell recently represented IGEFI Grupo, trading as Multifonds, in its multi-jurisdictional group refinancing, which involved aspects in Switzerland, the USA, Luxembourg, India and France.

Martin Yells is lauded as being "excellent and very diligent in his approach." He is also reportedly "good at bringing other parties to a consensus and does not waste time on minor points of no value."

Significant clients Deutsche Postbank, Rutland Partners, Infinity, Canada Life Investments, HSH Nordbank.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An energetic team with recognised capacity acting for borrowers and sponsors. Active on complex acquisition and leveraged financings, and experiencing an increase in borrower-side distressed and non-distressed refinancings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "They are very heavy-hitting lawyers for the mid-market; very bright and able partners as well as non-partners."

Commercial awareness: "Strong presence in private equity, which has given us insight into the sponsors we're working with on the transactions and what we can expect."

Client service: "Incredibly efficient and responsive; service level is incredibly high."

What's new? Charles Bischoff was made up to partner.

The team was appointed to the RBS Transactional Panel.

Work highlights Acted for Silverfleet Capital on financing arrangements for its acquisition of A/S Cimbria.

Advised ICG as sponsor on the acquisition of ATPI, which included drafting the senior and mezzanine facilities agreements.   

Notable practitioners 

Matthew Ayre is a highly active and well-regarded partner who is noted as being "incredibly good at negotiating points that clients think are important and getting them won." He recently advised Silicon Valley bank on debt facilities it extended to Francisco Partners in connection with the take-private of Kewill.

Department head Jeremy Walsh is a skilled acquisition finance and debt restructuring practitioner. He recently spearheaded the team's work on financing arrangements for Silverfleet Capital's purchase of A/S Cimbria.

Clients highlight Andrew Gregson as being "really good to work with and very commercially minded." He acted for Jake Acquisitions on the refinancing of Mayborn Group, and for Phoenix Equity Partners as sponsor on financing for the purchase of Gall Thomson Environmental. He is described as "very calm and considered."

Significant clients Bridgepoint, Carlyle, Silicon Valley Bank, Exponent, RBS.  

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Commended for its close-knit banking and high-yield team. Its excellent reputation and relationships on the sponsor side continue to generate considerable deal flow. The team is building up a presence on the lender side, with key connections made of late.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "Tenacious, hyper-bright and unrelentingly hard-working, with an almost unlimited capacity for work, an easy charm and excellent communication with clients."  

Commercial awareness: "They know the market, the trends and new issues, and also the documentation inside out. They are really good at assessing and guiding on risk and being confident enough to tell clients when to drop points that don’t really matter."

Visibility: "Very active in this space of late." 

What's new? A raft of new client wins, including Morgan Stanley, Vitruvian Partners and Bridgepoint Capital.  

Work highlights Advised Silver Lake Partners on the financing for its £801 million acquisition of Swiss company Global Blue from Equistone Partners Europe.

Acted for Cinema City on its £250 million club style financing, which involved the co-ordination of the firm's London and Warsaw offices.

Notable practitioners 

Star associate Tom Richards receives ringing endorsements, with sources describing him as "technical and commercial" and "good fun to work with." Of late he has assisted on several matters for key client Advent International.

Significant clients Advent International, Lion Capital, OMERS, Oaktree Capital, Barclays Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 43 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Proficient across a wide range of financing transactions, including those involving the sale of debt into US loan and capital markets. Strong presence in the evolving alternative lender space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "I was impressed at how quickly they got to grips with a very critical situation and how straightforward they were to deal with. When things were promised they were delivered, with very commercial advice."

Technical ability: "Attention to detail and working as a team - the advice was not written in legalese but was nevertheless top quality."

Breadth of services: "Depth of resources, solid credible loan leveraged finance capabilities and growing high-yield capabilities; good geographic coverage."

Work highlights Represented BNP Paribas in the amendment and extension of Fat Face World Borrowing's £210 million senior facilities agreement.

Advised GSO Capital Partners on its £696 million investment into house-building company The Miller Group.

Notable practitioners 

Associate Sajjad Khoshroo focuses on complex financings related to energy and infrastructure, and regularly lends his Islamic finance expertise to transactions on an international basis.

Jacqueline Evans is renowned as an "exceptional lawyer and very strong technically." She was engaged by BNP Paribas to act on the amend-and-extend of Fat Face's senior facilities agreement. According to one client, she has very good "insight into the market." 

Christopher Czarnocki "is always on hand to provide advice and he has a commercially minded clarity of analysis, an ability to keep clients' end objectives in clear focus and a dedication to timely delivering of a consistently high-quality work product," according to one impressed interviewee.

Sources agree that Lee Cullinane is "very experienced" in the field and possesses "good commercial sense, solid skills, relevant experience and a dedication to the client." He leads the practice at White & Case and recently acted for Deutsche Bank on a renewables bridge loan extended to Viridian. 

Jeremy Duffy is praised as being "very pragmatic and very quick to respond," as well as hard-working. Deutsche Bank recently engaged him to act on a senior secured term loan facility of EUR170 million provided to ALMC hf.

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Mid Europa Partners, Cinven, Weather Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised as a significant presence in the lender-side mid-market space, with a raft of new panel appointments under its belt. Developing a strong sector focus in the hotels and leisure and healthcare areas.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "We like their diligence and willingness to take a commercial view on certain aspects when required." 

Efficiency: "Their opinions are thorough and provided quickly."

Technical ability: "They are practically minded and exercise good commercial judgement."

What's new? The team has been placed on the panels of HSBC, Santander UK, Bank of Ireland, RBS and Coutts, and has gained new clients Mizrahi and Banco Sabadell.

Work highlights Acted for HSBC on providing financing to the Jamie Oliver group of companies, including cross-border elements in the USA, Australia and Germany.

Represented Slater & Gordon as borrower in connection with senior secured credit facilities extended to it for the acquisition of Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors.  

Notable practitioners Nick Turner is a key contact.

Significant clients ICG Longbow, Handelsbanken, Bank of Ireland, Europe Arab Bank, Santander.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Nicholas Benham of Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP has had a highly successful year, most notably acting as co-lead partner on Nomura's USD1.1 billion recapitalisation of Wood Mackenzie. He is "easy to deal with, on top of the technical detail and a pleasure to deal with," said one interviewee.

Iain Shurwood of DWF LLP has an excellent reputation as "a most capable and commercially minded lawyer who exercises balanced views in a straightforward style." He joined the team from Lawrence Graham in 2014, where he advised on State Bank of India on a sizeable term loan facility.

Emma Menzies heads the department at Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP and is highlighted for her "excellent legal skills," "commercial approach" and "good response times." She acted for the MonuRent Group on a USD45 million equipment finance facilities agreement in West Africa.

William Young of Vinson & Elkins RLLP is lauded for his "relaxed, non-confrontational" approach to transactions and his ability to "get to the heart of the debate and find a sensible middle ground."

Since publication, William Young has moved in-house.

Jonathan Lawrence of K&L Gates is a finance partner with established expertise in the Islamic finance arena. Clients admire his "in-depth knowledge" of his subject matter.

Stephen Hans Moller of K&L Gates advised Sustainable Communities for Leeds on a senior credit facility provided to fund a social housing project worth a total of £180 million. He is praised by sources as being "very, very good indeed."

Sukh Ahark of joined RPC LLP from Davenport Lyons in 2013. Interviewees say he is "professional, driven and customer-focused." He recently advised a subsidiary of Harrison Varma on funding arrangements for a residential development in London, with the total loan facilities coming to £145 million.

Michael Rainey of King & Spalding International LLP has significant experience in acting for banks and borrowers on Shari'a-compliant financing transactions. He advised Saudi Arabian company Mohamed & Abdullah I. Al Subeaei Company (MASIC) on the £150 million financing for the development of Kings Reach Tower in London, working in close conjunction with the firm's real estate team.

The "pragmatic and technically excellent" Colin Harley of Maclay Murray & Spens LLP is "very personable and very professional," say sources, with one adding: "The thing that strikes me most is the speed at which he works - it's phenomenal!"

Associate Michaela Schmiederova of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP recently assisted on EUR900 million worth of multi-jurisdictional financing arrangements on behalf of VTB for the development of a residential, commercial and sports development complex in Moscow.

"Smart and well connected," Phillip Slater of Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP was engaged by Dick's Sporting Goods to advise on a convertible loan stock investment into JJB Sports of up to £40 million. He is praised for offering "high-level advice."

Seen by observers as "calm and unflappable," Michael Crosby of Proskauer Rose LLP has built up a solid reputation in the market. He recently acted for key client Hg Capital on a £60 million senior secured facilities agreement.

Presley Warner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is lauded by one market commentator as "very proactive and incredibly good for his clients." He advises private equity sponsors and lenders on a variety of cross-border financing transactions.

Mark Norris recently joined Sullivan & Worcester from Squire Sanders. He consistently demonstrates "commercial effectiveness, a willingness to be flexible and significant experience and understanding of export credit agency finance," according to one pleased client.

Co-head of the Islamic finance group at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Nicholas Edmondes is well regarded for his depth of knowledge and experience in the field. He is also recommended for providing an "unparalleled personal service" to his clients.

Zoë Ashcroft is a highly experienced partner at Winston & Strawn. She receives positive reviews from clients who are "delighted with her service and skill level," and impressed with the breadth of her practice. She recently handled a pre-export finance facility of over USD500 million for a Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company. She is further commended for her "very practical and attentive" style.

Denis Petkovic of Withers LLP is highlighted as a "very experienced, good leader with quick reaction and adjustment to the situation." His wide-ranging practice incorporates structured, acquisition and project finance.

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.