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
- 5 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Prominent players in the mid-market leveraged finance sphere, characterised by their lender-based offering. Possesses a wealth of expertise advising on finance matters relating to the housing, renewable and communications fields. Asset-based lending is similarly an important facet of the firm's banking platform.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I admire them for their sector product knowledge. They seem to have a huge depth of resources to assist with all the connected issues we might have."
"A solid mid-market offering."

"Advice is pitched at the right level and at a sensible and competitive price." 

Work highlights Advised a syndicate comprising RBS, Santander and Royal Bank of Canada on the provision of £100 million worth of funding to listed renewable company Foresight Solar Fund for the purposes of acquiring various UK-based solar farms.

Assisted Lloyds with its contribution of £18 million to help fund Bridgepoint in its £42 million acquisition of Phlexglobal from Inflexion Private Equity.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Amanda Gray retains a loyal following of lender clients who regularly turn to her for advice on leveraged and real estate finance matters. She is particularly skilled in handling transactions within the healthcare and educational sectors.  

John Cutler possesses considerable strengths in undertaking mid-market leveraged and acquisition financings for both lenders and borrowers. His respectable client base includes FTSE-listed client Chime Communications and retail banks such as HSBC and RBS.

Significant clients Investec, GE Capital, Macquarie, Bank of Ireland, Britvic.

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

What the team is known for Attracts an enviable borrower clientele seeking advice on transactions involving developing markets and the oil and gas industry. Known for providing expert guidance in restructurings and hedging transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Advice is very practical and tailor-made to meet clients' financing and operational needs."

"We have a very friendly and productive relationship with them. They basically function as part of our in-house team."

What's new? The team has broadened its finance practice following the firm's merger with Bingham McCutchen in September 2014.

Work highlights Advised VimpelCom in connection with the negotiation of a USD1.8 billion revolving credit facility provided by a syndicate of 11 banks.

Counselled Orascom Telecom Algérie SpA and Optimum Telecom Algérie SpA in relation to two facility agreements, worth approximately DZD82 billion (USD1 billion), financed by a group of public and private banks.  

Notable practitioners  

Frederick Heller strikes corporate borrowers as a highly seasoned operator who "has a good sense of how to handle the relationships with the banks," is "strategic in his approach to negotiations," and proactively considers his clients' interests. He is joint head of the firm's international finance practice and is especially noted for his capabilities in emerging markets financings.

Significant clients O1 Properties Limited, Global Telecom Holding SAE, Pharmekon Advisors, Max Petroleum, CEVA Group.  

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

What the team is known for An undisputed phenomenon in the leveraged finance market, the firm advises a substantial portion of investment banks and corporate borrowers on high-value and market-leading mandates in EMEA. Consistently lauded for the strength of its London-based Islamic finance platform. Equally at home assisting elite financial sponsors with large-scale acquisition financings.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a limitless resource pool. Someone's always available to lead on a transaction, dispense advice or find a solution."

"My view is they're still the best loan practice around. Where we can use them, we're never disappointed." 

"Technical excellence, market knowledge, responsiveness and quality of service are the hallmarks of the banking and finance group."

Work highlights Represented borrower GDF SUEZ on a EUR5 billion refinancing of its syndicated facilities.

Acted for J.P. Morgan, the lead arrangers, on the first and second lien financing of the acquisition of All3 Media by Liberty Global and Discovery. The first lien was valued at £320 million and the second valued at EUR100 million.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the European Islamic finance practice Atif Hanif recently counselled sovereign wealth fund Qatari Diar and real estate investment company Delancey in connection with the Shari'a-compliant £350 million acquisition of the East Village development. He retains a healthy financier and borrower client following.  

The highly reputable Stephen Kensell is consistently lauded by sources for the depth of his finance expertise, in addition to his leadership skills. Recent achievements include leading a club of arrangers and underwriters on the financing of EQT's EUR860 million acquisition of Siemens Audiology Solutions.

Sources concur that Timothy Polglase has been a "phenomenal" asset to the firm, not least because of his wide-ranging knowledge of structured finance transactions and his expert representation of sponsor clients. One source opines: "He is absolutely priceless. He understands finance so well across Europe, which means he can always be helpful on international deals."

Simon Roberts is highlighted as a "very pragmatic" practitioner who "knows the market inside out" and has a "very good understanding of banks' commercial needs." His considerable experience includes acting for both borrowers and financial institutions on transactions ranging from cross-border acquisition financings to structured finance products. 

Global head of the general lending practice Trevor Borthwick is recognised as a "very good and widely experienced lawyer" by commentators. He has led a host of significant structured finance and restructuring deals during his career, including counselling GDF SUEZ on its EUR5 billion refinancing.

Robin Harvey is chiefly known for his domestic and cross-border acquisition finance expertise which includes work for borrowers, sponsors and lenders. He is also regularly instructed to advise on complex restructurings.

George Link has led the team on a host of multibillion-dollar acquisition financings for the likes of Cobham and Imperial Tobacco. His impressive borrower-side practice is augmented by considerable experience advising financial institutions on syndicated loans and leveraged financings.

Sources appreciate that David Campbell "looks to get the deal done but never loses sight of his client in the process." Another commentator describes him as "someone who manages to deliver for the banks and the borrowers in the same breath." His broad practice comprises acquisition finance, investment grade and leveraged finance and distressed refinancings.

Jonathan Brownson is hailed as a "very technical, very market-driven" practitioner whose capabilities in leveraged and investment grade acquisition financings are widely praised. He is also highly adept at handling restructuring matters for his broad lender and borrower client base.

Significant clients IHS Africa, Amtek Global Technologies, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, IDC Salud. 

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

What the team is known for Dedicated team of banking experts who assist clients with transactions across the deal spectrum, from mid-market infrastructure acquisition financings to multibillion-pound IPOs. Sought out by both lenders and borrowers to advise on corporate lending transactions. Stands out for its sterling reputation in the credit funds space. Retains numerous panel appointments with prestigious sponsors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Ashurst has that combination of quality personnel, reasonable costs and a good international footprint." 

"Consistently top-notch. They have the spread of expertise that we need." 

Work highlights Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Guggenheim Partners and J.P. Morgan with regard to the cash confirmation aspects of Pfizer's £69 billion bid to take over AstraZeneca.

Acted on behalf of Apollo in the acquisition of a hotel portfolio that spanned several European jurisdictions, advising on both the debt and equity aspects of the transaction. 

Notable practitioners  

Leading financial institutions such as RBS and HSBC benefit from Mark Vickers's tremendous experience and industry knowledge. He continues to be regarded as "one of the most respected lawyers in the market" for acquisition and leveraged finance deals. As one source puts it: "He's done so many transactions and been in the City for such a long time, he's seen it all and doesn't get flustered, no matter the circumstance. You know he'll be robust in defending your position." 

Nigel Ward is highly endorsed by his prestigious clientele who seek him out for advice on a range of bespoke financings. "He's technically brilliant and has a real capacity to create a transaction structure," attests one interviewee. Ward receives particular acclaim for his infrastructure finance expertise.  

Sources praise Helen Burton for the "honest and direct manner" she adopts during negotiations which "people respect and listen to." Her experience includes work for bank, sponsor and corporate clients in a variety of finance contexts.  

One source remarks that it is "incredibly valuable" to have Abradat Kamalpour on transactions because he "understands the Islamic finance market and products." He is incredibly well versed in structuring Islamic-compliant securitisation and capital market deals, as evidenced by his recent work for Goldman Sachs in connection with the issuance of a USD500 million sukuk.

Lee Doyle offers clients a wealth of commercial knowledge gained from his former position as head of RBS's UK corporate legal team. Sources say that he is "firm but fair and polite in delivering hard messages to people."

Significant clients RBS, Hayfin, Charterhouse, Davidson Kempner, Wells Fargo.

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

What the team is known for An ideal option for lenders, borrowers and sponsors seeking advice on complex multi-jurisdictional mandates due to the firm's massive global network. Specialises in financings centred around the Sub-Saharan and South African markets. Well equipped to handle leveraged acquisition, syndicated lending and project finance transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I find the fact that they have someone based in the UK overseeing matters, even on deals that predominantly relate to another jurisdiction, to be a real value-add."  

"They move mountains for their clients so that you get what you need quickly."

Work highlights Advised Europa Capital Partners in connection with a £31.5 million facility agreement to fund the acquisition of a commercial and residential property portfolio.  

Continues its counsel to Korea Electric Power on the financing aspects related to the development of a USD30 billion 5,600MW nuclear power plant in the UAE.

Notable practitioners  

Bernard Sharp acts for an array of prominent market players such as EQT. A client says: "He was very much focused on the detail of what was going on, was ever present and incredibly diligent - all signs of a really high-end City lawyer."

Significant clients Macquarie, HSBC, Investec, Colony Capital.

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

What the team is known for Harnesses strengths in other sectors, such as healthcare, real estate and hospitality, to provide incisive advice on financings for a diverse collection of UK and international corporate and financial institutions. Well regarded for its effectiveness in structured finance, insolvency and derivatives matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I felt like they really did want to get to know the business. In that way, they were providing a bespoke service and were more than just a banking firm. They focused on adding value to our business." 

"What I appreciate most is their balanced and commercial approach to situations. They come up with solutions rather than telling you what you can't do."

Work highlights Advised a JV vehicle, made up of Tesco and British Land, on the refinancing of a £325 million credit facility secured by various English and Northern Irish shopping centres.

Acted on behalf of Barclays in several matters, including the provision of facilities to Restore and Camden Ventures to fund two acquisitions. The aggregate value of the transactions exceeded £150 million.

Notable practitioners  

Emma Howdle-Fuller garners favourable reviews from clients who praise her proactivity and general organisation of the banking team's resources. Representing banks and corporate borrowers, she has extensive experience advising on syndicated lending deals, public and private acquisitions, as well as real estate financings.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Investec Bank, Lloyds, Mount Street, Thames Water.

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

What the team is known for Well-rounded command of transactional banking matters that runs the full gamut from syndicated lending to recapitalisations and high-yield financings. An enviable roster of corporate borrower clients is complemented by a growing sponsor base. Engaged in a high volume of mandates that involve public M&A financing and emerging markets. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"A phenomenal firm on all fronts. Whatever they touch is perfection." 

"Their lawyers are all highly competent, experienced and very reliable."

Work highlights Continues to act on behalf of Investindustrial, advising on the financing arrangements involved in its counter-takeover bid for Club Méditerranée. The matter represents France's longest-running public takeover bidding war to date.

Advised TPG, one of the purchasers, in the USD1.1 billion acquisition of global property services company DTZ.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Shutter is singled out for his strong grasp of financing issues and his demonstrable strengths on the sovereign debt side. His advisory work for issuers, borrowers and financial institutions touches on everything from syndicated lending to securitisation and hybrid bank and bond transactions. He is the key relationship partner for many of the firm's sponsor clients.

Glen Scarcliffe recently advised Iberian Minerals on the USD100 million refinancing of its revolving credit facility. His varied finance practice combines strengths in LBOs, cross-border acquisition financings and high-yield debt matters. 

Significant clients CVC Capital Partners, Warburg Pincus, Fiat, Lenta, UC RUSAL.

Basic facts about the department
- 57 partners
- 215 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Hailed as an industry heavyweight for its representation of high-calibre corporates, financial institutions and private equity sponsors in the syndicated loan and investment grade markets. Possesses a deep familiarity with the full range of financial instruments, from European covenant-lite structures to term loan B facilities. Clients benefit from the firm's proximity to and involvement in significant acquisition and leveraged financings, as well as its large arsenal of practitioners. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Without a doubt, one of the top debt firms in the UK by a mile."

"As a leading loan house it's important to us to have their take and expertise on industry-wide issues. They're always extremely good at giving impartial advice."

Work highlights Advised a bidder consortium comprising CEO Matt Riley and private equity sponsors Pental Capital and Toscafund on the public and take-private bid of Daisy Group. The acquisition was financed through a £225 million senior term loan facility and £40 million revolving credit facility.

Acted for the mandated lead arrangers, BNP Paribas, RBS and Santander, in connection with Imperial Tobacco Group's USD7.1 billion acquisition of various assets from Reynolds American.

Notable practitioners  

Financial sponsors say that Jim MacHale is their "preferred banking lawyer" because of ability to "really drive large transactions forward" when representing syndicates of banks on the other side. His expertise spans cross-border leveraged financings, acquisition finance and public bids.  

Practice head Michael Bates is widely regarded as one of the "top financing lawyers" operating in the City, particularly with regard to large-scale infrastructure and corporate financings. Sources praise his ability to represent groups of banks while navigating intricate transactions, such as his recent representation of a syndicate of lenders in the EUR2.5 billion acquisition of the Spanish electricity business E.ON.

Numerous sources recognise the "exceptional" Mark Campbell as "one of the best lawyers in the leveraged finance market." He is experienced in navigating banks and borrowers through intricate leveraged and structured finance deals and is also regularly involved in challenging restructurings.

Habib Motani is a distinguished leader in the Islamic finance derivatives space who is highly regarded for his comprehensive knowledge of hedging and structured products. Sources concur that he is an ideal person to advise on securitised and capital markets transactions.

Charles Cochrane has considerable experience representing lenders and borrowers on leveraged and investment grade financings. Clients say: "He is able to think one step ahead at all times, making the most efficient use of time available, and is extremely good at putting issues into pragmatic and commercial terms."

James Johnson is consistently highlighted as a particularly strong player within the firm's finance group. Lauded for his commercial skills, he advises lenders across a range of acquisition and leveraged financings, restructurings and workouts. 

Nicola Wherity enhances the team's offering with her acute insight into European private placements and investment grade financings. One peer relays: "You know it will be a sensible deal if she's opposite you. I really rate her."

Emma Folds impresses clients and peers alike with her capable handling of corporate lendings, acquisition financings and restructurings. Her representation of bank syndicates is well known and varied and includes advising on a recent £1.5 billion investment grade loan for BT.

Clients note that Karen Hodson is a "fantastic lawyer" whose "combination of technical expertise, experience and manner" adds significant value to transactions. Her vast experience in the finance sphere includes Nordic financings, investment grade transactions and public bid financings.  

Roderick McGillivray has a successful track record advising borrower and sponsor clients on a wide range of cross-border financings. He was recently instructed by Cinven and Amdipharm to advise on the latter's £950 million refinancing. 

Taner Hassan maintains a versatile finance practice which includes work for borrowers, sponsors and lenders. Hailed as a "brilliant, technical lawyer" by one source, he particularly excels at European and emerging markets leveraged finance deals.  

Robert Lee acts as the firm's global head of financial markets and is a very well-known and reputable City practitioner. One source says that Lee "gets the deal done and is a very pragmatic, client-friendly lawyer." He has an excellent track record acting for borrowers, lenders and sponsors on portfolio disposals.

Malcolm Sweeting remains an integral point of contact for many of the firm's illustrious clients because of his vast industry knowledge and transactional experience. His input was recently sought by Babcock International in connection with its £1.3 billion acquisition of Avincis.

Significant clients Barclays, Bluebay, CVC, Goldman Sachs, Citi.

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

What the team is known for Celebrated team of banking practitioners that accumulates a plethora of mandates from prominent domestic clearing banks. A solid lender-side offering is complemented by a flourishing borrower practice which caters to corporates, real estate funds and hotel investors. Continues to cultivate its asset finance capabilities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Unlike most firms, they're equally comfortable acting for private equity houses and banks."

Work highlights Advised a syndicate comprising RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Santander on the provision of debt facilities to finance Caledonia Investment's £172 million buyout of Park Holidays Group from Graphite.

Advised Nuffield in relation to the £330 million refinancing of its debt and hedging facilities. 

Notable practitioners  

Peter Crichton "knows all the issues, but remains commercially minded, constructive and pragmatic," reports a client. He remains a critical player in the firm's leveraged and structured finance offering with his capable representation of financial sponsors, lenders and borrowers.

Will Meredith's recent transactional work includes heading an acquisition finance deal for Value Retail Dublin and Kildare Retail Services. In addition to advising on leveraged and property finance matters he manages the firm's relationship with key lender Lloyds.

Alex Patience receives instructions from banks, borrowers and sponsors on matters spanning leveraged finance and asset-backed lending. He has advised several lenders on notable transactions this year, including a syndicate of banks' provision of approximately £93.3 million to WHSmith.

Significant clients National Australia Group, Oaktree Capital, OSX Leasing, Allied Irish Banks.

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

What the team is known for Recognised for an enduring commitment to the banking and finance industry and an active acquisition finance arm. Receives a high volume of Islamic finance and funds finance instructions. Counts prominent clearing banks and private equity houses among its clientele.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"In our opinion, Dentons is the leading firm in terms of its services and efficiency. We can mention few other legal firms who are also that good at their job."

Work highlights Counselled Lloyds on the provision of a EUR500 million bridging facility to French fund PAI Europe VI.

Advised the National Bank of Oman on its debut issue of USD500 million in bonds under its newly created Euro Medium Term Note programme.

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Sapte is noted for his superb handling of Shari'a-compliant bond financings, as evidenced in his representation of a syndicate of 11 banks in connection with a billion-dollar listed sukuk matter. His practice also includes receivables financings and asset-backed securities.

Head of the global Islamic finance practice Richard de Belder is widely respected for his considerable experience advising on Shari'a-compliant structures. He is equally praised for his wealth of information regarding core Middle Eastern markets with many sources acknowledging their indebtedness to his many contributions to the field. 

Catherine Astruc is valued by many clients for her "responsive, commercial and hard-working" approach to difficult transactional work. She specialises in a variety of cross-border financings, including emerging markets, leveraged finance deals and transactions involving natural resources. 

Isaac Felberbaum strikes interviewees as a "very resourceful individual" who "understands the key commercial terms." He is particularly well known for his syndicated lending prowess, counselling financial institutions on both secured and unsecured loans.

Significant clients Bank of London and the Middle East, PwC, Silicon Valley Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, RBS.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 legal director
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Prominent participant within the UK mid-market, acting for lenders on a large volume of acquisition and leveraged financings. Gaining greater visibility advising borrowers and sponsors with respect to alternative capital structures. Capable of undertaking all aspects of MBOs financed by debt.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are one of the leading leveraged finance law firms in the mid-market."

"They can provide industry insight across a variety of different structures. Plus, I like the fact that you always get senior involvement."

"Very technically capable. They know the market extremely well and are consistently strong in terms of their knowledge of documentation. There are very few situations that they haven't encountered before."

Work highlights Counselled Ares and GE on the finance elements related to the £114 million bifurcated unitranche debt used in the refinancing of Hillarys Blinds.

Advised a syndicate of lenders, including Santander, Barclays and RBS, on the provision of £200 million post-IPO facilities to the Cambian Group. 

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Philip Butler advises syndicates and alternative lenders on the implementation of all manner of elaborate debt structures, including the recent provision by Hayfin Capital Management and Lloyds of EUR112 million of unitranche and super senior facilities to Chiltern International.

David Miles is regarded as a strong player in the debt market with noted strengths in leveraged finance, MBOs and transactions utilising alternative debt products. One source says he is "one of the most technically adept lawyers I know," adding he is "able to step back and see the wider picture." 

Alexander Griffith impresses clients with his "availability, commitment, approachability and attention to detail." He is particularly distinguished for his skills in unitranche financings and his active borrower-side practice.

Significant clients Alcentra, HSBC, ING, Investec, B2 Holdings, Carlyle.

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

What the team is known for Receives a steady stream of instructions in the syndicated lending and corporate finance spaces due to its enduring panel appointments with major financial institutions and loyal borrower following. Undeniable strengths in handling real estate and project financings.

Work highlights Advised Perpetual Income and Growth Investment Trust on structuring the English law documentation pertaining to a US private placement of £60 million in senior secured notes.

Assisted Amromco Energy SRL with structuring a USD100 million senior reserve based lending revolving facility agreement.  

Notable practitioners  

David Boyd serves as a primary relationship contact for many of the firm's distinguished finance clients. His years of market experience serve lenders and borrowers well in syndicated lending, refinancing and other financing contexts.  

Nick Swiss has a comprehensive banking practice which encompasses bilateral and syndicated deals, restructurings and acquisition financings. His clientele includes prominent lenders and borrowers.

Significant clients HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Santander, Greene King.

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

What the team is known for Superb finance practice marked by its notable corporate treasury platform, which includes impressive work for household names and blue-chip companies. Regularly acts for high-end private equity houses in European and transatlantic financing and lending contexts. At the forefront of multi-source funding initiatives. Remains a key player in the infrastructure finance market. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They attract phenomenal talent and manage to retain it. I like the fact that if I can't get a partner, their senior associates are sufficiently well equipped to deal with most situations."

"They work hard, are practical and commercial but without overstepping the mark."  

"They are professional, highly reliable and dependable, creative in their advice and just very good counsel."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Carphone Warehouse regarding its £3.9 billion merger with Dixon Retail via the client's acquisition of the latter's issued shares.

Advised Blackstone and TPG in connection with its acquisition of UK residential mortgage lender Kensington from Investec. The team addressed a number of issues related to this highly complex acquisition structure, including debt refinancings, share and asset purchases, and European and Asian regulatory and anti-trust concerns.

Notable practitioners  

Revered banking partner Sean Pierce is chiefly recognised for his representation of prominent European sponsors. Sources say he is "extremely commercial, a very good lawyer and a good manager of his team and resources." He has deep experience advising on acquisition and leveraged financings, as well as restructurings.

Alex Mitchell has quickly gained a reputation for being a skilled negotiator and legal technician: "He plans the tactics of achieving the objective well and is good at anticipating what we need to do. He also defends our position pretty vigorously." His practice comprises a variety of core banking areas, including acquisition finance, syndicated lending, restructuring and infrastructure finance.

Peter Hall is an invaluable member of the firm's infrastructure finance offering and general banking platform. He has a noteworthy track record advising lenders and borrowers across a variety of transactions, most recently counselling GIC on its refinancing of the RAC group of companies as part of its larger investment strategy.  

Martin Hutchings was at the centre of a number of the firm's most high-profile corporate finance mandates this year, including advising Compass in connection with a £1 billion bridge loan facility used to return cash to the company's shareholders. His advisory work for lenders and borrowers spans a broad spectrum of corporate treasury transactions, such as IPO facilities and acquisition financings.  

Sean Lacey is consistently lauded for his banking and restructuring expertise, which includes transactional work for financial institutions, corporate borrowers and investment funds. Clients list his commercial acumen and ability to quickly familiarise himself with challenging documentation as key strengths. 

Significant clients RBS, CVC, Cinven, Tesco, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.

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

What the team is known for Routinely engaged in premium cross-border financings for its international client base of blue-chip borrowers and institutional lenders. In-depth sector expertise informs the calibre of advice dispensed in real estate, corporate and project financings. Notable bench of emerging market experts with strong credentials advising on transactions in Russia, India and Africa.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"With Herbert Smith Freehills the credibility and knowledge of the markets is taken as a given. They also have a strong support team, which you don't always see with other firms, but the partners are still directly accessible."

"They're a very commercial team. They approach debt negotiations fully understanding how we work, are structured and operate so you never feel like you're pulling them along." 

Work highlights Represented hibu during its negotiations with a 100-lender-strong creditor group regarding the refinancing and restructuring of hibu's £2.3 billion debt burden.

Advised Deutsche Bank and the other mandated lead arrangers in the provision of a USD2 billion structured prepayment financing arrangement between BP and the producer, Rosneft.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees hail Malcolm Hitching as a "good leader" and "positive influence" for the wider UK and EMEA finance group because of his sensible approach to client management and commercial mindset. One client adds: "He's very easy to deal with and has a good demeanour and way of dealing with people. He doesn't annoy the banks and other counterparties. He just gets things done." He has an exhaustive knowledge of financings across a variety of sectors.

Ewen Fergusson is consistently noted for being a "charming, pleasant and practical" lawyer. He acts for both borrowers and banks on acquisition and leveraged finance deals, and receives particular acclaim for his expert handling of energy and natural resources financings.

Ian Yeo "gives a good balanced view of the legal issues," according to market commentators. His practice is primarily concentrated around advising lenders on leveraged financings.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Standard Bank, Credit Suisse, Virgin Group, Northgate.

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

What the team is known for Admired for the all-encompassing quality of its finance practice, which touches on syndicated lending and other general banking matters, as well as acquisition and asset-based deals. The firm is a leading authority on unitranche debt transactions for alternative lenders, and is well regarded for its execution of borrower-side mandates.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They know the terms and know what's important. The senior mezzanine market is complicated and Lovells really appreciate that."

Work highlights Assisted Commerzbank and other mandated lead arrangers with their provision of facilities for the £900 million refinancing of Phoenix Group Holdings.

Advised Bestway Holdings on the financing elements related to its £725 million acquisition of the Co-op Pharmacy. 

Notable practitioners  

Global head of banking Matthew Cottis maintains a highly respectable practice in the LBO space advising both lenders and borrowers. Sources say that he "never ceases to do an excellent job" for his clients. He is also praised for his syndicated loan expertise, which includes work for funds acting as alternative lenders.

Penny Angell is rated by clients as "one of the City's best technical banking lawyers." In addition to her superlative skills in acquisition and leveraged finance transactions, she is also lauded for her knowledge of unitranche and alternative financial products. One source contributes: "What I like about her is that she's calm under fire. She quietly gets on with it and seems to run a tight ship beneath her." 

Paul Mullen is gaining significant traction in the alternative lending space, representing numerous debt funds in domestic and multi-jurisdictional leveraged acquisitions. One interviewee opines that Mullen is among the individuals "that most lenders would be happy to have represent them." 

Colin Craik is best known for his skilled representation of corporate borrowers in secured and unsecured financing contexts. One commentator recalls: "He brought a strong understanding of secured financing transactions to the table and was a very capable negotiator with the bank's counsel."

Significant clients Lloyds, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Ares Management, GE Capital.  

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

What the team is known for Caters to borrowers in particular because of its acquisition finance expertise in the energy, telecommunications and real estate sectors. Counsels leading financial institutions, facility agents and funds in domestic and European leveraged finance matters. Accentuated by its structured commodity finance expertise in the emerging markets.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide a seamless service."  

Work highlights Advised ENRC on the USD1 billion refinancing of several of its commodity investments located in the UK, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg. 

Advised DV4 in connection with a £100 million facility that will finance a mixed-use development in South East London.

Notable practitioners  

Edwin Borrini "is a consummate professional," effuses one client, adding that "when he steps up to bat, he can really push a point and negotiate on our behalf very well." His diverse expertise includes syndicated, acquisition and structured financings for lenders and borrowers. 

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, RBS, Trafigura, Blackstone.

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

What the team is known for Impressive banking department which includes capabilities in funds finance transactions, as well as cross-border leveraged finance deals. Able to access a wide reservoir of resources from its Asian, European and Australian offices. Equally adept at counselling major UK banks, real estate borrowers and private equity sponsors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I think they have a clear expertise in the sector representing both borrowers and lenders. They come across as an extremely competent and quality outfit."

Work highlights Assisted Barclays on a series of funds financings with aggregate facilities in excess of £1 billion.

Advised Bowmark Capital and Five Arrows Principal Investments on the financing aspects of their acquisition of Autodata.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Fanner possesses an impressive track record advising across all manner of financings from leveraged acquisitions to infrastructure and emerging markets. He has been involved in a number of impressive mandates of late, including advising Hillarys Blinds and European Capital on the £113.5 million refinancing of the former via an innovative multi-creditor unitranche structure.

Ian Borman has recently led on a host of domestic and cross-border debt finance transactions for lender and sponsor clients. One commentator describes him as "extremely technically proficient with a good commercial mind." He is singled out for his reputation in the real estate finance arena.

Significant clients RBS, Lloyds, Hayfin, Metric Capital, Lion Capital.

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

What the team is known for Houses a standout bench of market-leading financial sponsor and private equity specialists whose expertise encompasses the full gamut of European and US financing products. Identified for its deft handling of bank and bond financed LBOs and refinancings. Ably assists clients on distressed matters spanning portfolio acquisitions and rescue financings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Incredibly sponsor-focused, technically very strong, highly efficient and the service never lacks that client touch. In summary, I highly recommend."

"They are market leaders in what they do. They have the resources to handle multi-jurisdictional deals and offer a very good balance of advice on the credit and sponsor sides."

Work highlights Represented a consortium of private equity sponsors, including Advent International, ATP and Bain Capital, in the DKK17 billion (USD3.14 billion) acquisition of a Nordic card-payment company from a club of 186 Scandinavian banks. This landmark transaction is currently the largest private equity acquisition in the Nordic region.

Advised Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan on its highly publicised £365 million acquisition of UK manufacturer Bridon from Melrose. The transaction presented its own unique challenges as it involved structuring and syndicating US term B loans in a European energy context. 

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Lucas has made an undeniable impression during his first year within the firm's banking practice, further reinforcing his status as a heavyweight legal adviser in the sponsor finance space. One source describes him as a "very clever person with bundles of enthusiasm and commitment." He has led the charge on a number of significant mandates of late, including Advent International's acquisition of Corialis.

Neel Sachdev enjoys a high profile in the market for his sponsor finance practice, which includes work for a stable of top-tier clients. Clients say he is "worth his weight in gold" because of his perfect blend of legal and commercial appreciation of transactions.

Founding partner of the European debt practice John Markland is a key point of contact for many of the firm's prestigious private equity clients whom he advises across a broad spectrum of finance transactions. Recent work includes advising Palamon Capital on financing its acquisition of a majority interest in Simplify Group.

Significant clients Sankaty Advisors, TowerBrook Capital, KKR Asset Management, CVC Capital Partners, Oaktree.  

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 1 counsel
- 60 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly sophisticated banking practice that is considered a first port of call by leading institutional lenders and sponsors for multi-jurisdictional transactions requiring the implementation of cutting-edge financial products. Enjoys a successful reputation among borrower clients, particularly for its post-IPO financing expertise. Noted for its representation of a number of active debt funds participating in the European leveraged finance market.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are just the experts in their field. It's a complete no-brainer for us to document our loan deals with Latham. They're very good at dealing with the quirks of the European side of the legal issues."

"They are an effective machine and capture a lot of the market share whether acting for banks, sponsors or borrowers."

Work highlights Advised Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan as mandated lead arrangers and underwriters on the provision of up to EUR8 billion of debt financing to match EUR12.06 billion of bond debt to facilitate Altice's acquisition of SFR, the second largest French telecom services provider, from Vivendi SA.

Represented Nordic Capital in financing its USD3.2 billion acquisition of Lindorff Group AB. This transaction was reportedly one of the largest LBOs in the European market of 2014.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Kandel is one of the most highly rated practitioners within the firm's lender-side practice. Sources consistently praise his substantive experience, stating that he's "a sensible guy who has seen it all before and just wants to execute deals in the best way possible." Kandel continues to lead the group on a host of market-leading transactions.

Craig Nethercott co-chairs the firm's global Islamic finance practice and is widely recognised for his transactional work which spans the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. His Islamic finance expertise is complemented by considerable strengths in the project finance arena.

Dominic Newcomb receives accolades from clients and peers alike with many identifying him as "one of the leading names within the firm's sponsor practice." One commentator notes: "He's entirely well versed in US and European finance products and is one of the best educated lawyers in the market. He's got a brain the size of a planet but still remains very personable." He has recently handled several mandates for sponsor EQT. 

Sources agree that James Chesterman is "one of the most experienced lawyers in combining high-yield and European loan structures." His skills are in high demand by institutional banks, private equity funds and corporate clients who need to navigate demanding transactions with a multi-jurisdictional component. 

Newly appointed managing partner of the London office Jayanthi Sadanandan continues to impress clients with her "supremely diligent" and personable approach, as well as her technical skills. She is also highlighted for her deft handling of complex transactions involving numerous parties.  

Sam Hamilton stands out in particular for his Nordic-focused finance practice, leading on a number of significant mandates within the region, including Nordic Capital's recent acquisition of Lindorff Group. His practice runs the full gamut of finance capital structures, from senior debt to unitranche debt and high-yield bonds. 

Ross Pooley acts for a diverse collection of financial institutions, corporates and private equity investors on transactions spanning leveraged financings and buyouts, restructurings and asset-based financings. He has been involved in a number of significant deals of late, including advising Goldman Sachs in connection with the USD1.5 billion refinancing of oil and gas exploration company Expro Finservices.  

Christopher Hall recently advised a syndicate of lenders, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and RBS, on the financing elements involved in Triton's EUR1.5 billion acquisition of GEA Heat Exchangers. His diversified practice includes cross-border financing work for sponsors, lenders and corporate borrowers.  

Mohamed Nurmohamed is known for his "client-friendly approach, great ability to relate to other transactions and confidence in handling difficult situations." Commentators similarly praise him for his market knowledge and the breadth of his banking law expertise.

Significant clients Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Carlyle, Permira.

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

What the team is known for Top-drawer advisers to a wide array of financial institutions, corporates and sponsors who value the firm's broad multi-jurisdictional coverage. Adept at handling transactions featuring European loan and US high-yield components. Also noted for its strong regulatory offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"It's been helpful to have a firm with their depth and weight of quality to advise on difficult and high-profile banking and finance transactions."

"They're extremely pragmatic to deal with, are able to boil down complex legal concepts into layman's terms and are extremely hard-working."

"Linklaters have a phenomenal banking practice." 

Work highlights Advised the largest Turkish food and beverage corporate, Yildiz Holding, on the financing aspects of its £2.1 billion acquisition of United Biscuits from Blackstone and PAI Partners.

Acted on behalf of the lending and underwriting banks in the provision of a senior term and revolving credit facility worth EUR3.05 billion to refinance Tata Steel UK Holdings and Tata Steel Netherlands Holdings BV. The transaction marked the largest refinancing involving an Indian group in 2014. 

Notable practitioners  

Global banking head Gideon Moore shares his wealth of expertise in the corporate finance and lending arenas with the firm's pre-eminent clientele. He is principally known for his lender-side work.

Nick Syson is praised by clients for being "focused on the outcomes." He typically finds himself at the helm of leveraged finance transactions representing the mandated lead arrangers. He co-heads the firm's leveraged finance practice.

Adam Freeman comes highly recommended for his sponsor-side transactional expertise, particularly in the area of LBOs. His practice also comprises advisory work for arrangers and borrowers on major debt financings and restructurings.

Key banking partner Brian Gray also co-heads the leveraged finance practice. His considerable expertise encompasses a comprehensive spectrum of restructuring and leveraged and acquisition finance matters, including event-driven investment grade work and LBOs.

Philip Spittal has deep experience of a wide range of syndicated lending and acquisition, and leveraged finance transactions. He has led on a number of significant lender-side mandates of late, including advising Citibank as the sole underwriter of a USD3.5 billion bridge loan facility to finance Publicis Groupe SA's acquisition of Sapient. Clients assert: "It's always reassuring when we know we have Phil on our side."  

Stuart Thomas acted for Vodafone in connection with its EUR3.86 billion refinancing, one of the firm's recent standout corporate borrower mandates. This co-head of the firm's general banking practice is noted for his broad-based expertise which covers a range of loans, facilities and structured financial products.  

Oliver Edwards is frequently lauded for his "very commercial, client-friendly and easy-going" approach. Commentators add that they would "recommend him for bank-side counsel."

Jeremy Stokeld is a vital partner within the firm's finance practice with a long-established reputation in the London and international finance communities. He brings his considerable knowledge of the market to bear on the secured lending, and secured and structured financings he assists his lender and borrower clientele with. 

Toby Grimstone is proficient across a range of syndicated lending and structured finance transactions and particularly inspires confidence with his deft handling of financings within emerging markets. One client relates: "He is extremely capable, responsive, technical yet also practical. I often find myself impressed by Toby's phenomenal recall of past detail."

Edward Aldred is rated by interviewees for his leveraged finance and bond expertise, as well as his impressive track record acting on deals in the UK, Middle Eastern and Asian markets. He also boasts considerable strengths in event-driven financings.

Significant clients J.P. Morgan, Alcentra, Lloyds, Carlyle, Glencore.

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

What the team is known for Quality bench of banking practitioners with notable strengths in handling complex and bespoke mid-market deals. Advice to borrowers, lenders and private equity sponsors covers the full scope of financing matters, from structured finance to project finance and specialty finance. Brings unique expertise in the area of fund finance.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"If you asked me who I would rather work alongside, I'd choose Macfarlanes every time. They are technically outstanding. The strength of the team they have is excellent, such that you don't mind who you get on the deal because they're all fantastic."

"They are incredibly responsive. We've had turnaround times of a week or two and they've always stepped up to the plate." 

Work highlights Assisted Paroc with a EUR60 million revolving credit facility and EUR430 million high-yield bond issue as part of the insulation manufacturer's refinancing.

Advised Graphite on the debt fund package used to finance its £90 million MBO of Human Capital Investment Group.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the firm's finance and investment fund finance divisions Bronwen Jones maintains a stellar reputation and caters to a diverse assortment of borrowers, financial sponsors and lenders. One commentator declares that she is "absolutely the best banking lawyer in the market. She is incredibly technically gifted, completely calm and unflappable in any situation. You couldn't work with a lawyer who gives you more confidence in their abilities."

Andrew Perkins is a highly capable, "proactive and user-friendly" finance practitioner whose broad experience includes LBOs, restructuring exercises and fund financings. He has made a name for himself in the alternative lending space where he has counselled major debt funds, such as Hayfin and Ares. 

Significant clients Investec Bank, RBS, Lloyds, JD Wetherspoon, Schroders.

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

What the team is known for Strong performers in the asset-based lending and leveraged finance arenas who principally act on behalf of US banks with European franchises. Deep expertise of real estate, trade and fund finance matters. Growing reputation for its representation of corporate borrowers on the acquisition finance front.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"What I particularly liked was that Mayer Brown provided us with a small, closely knit team of senior professionals who were very effective, rather than flooding the deal with juniors."

"They understand the concepts we're trying to achieve commercially and marry that up very well with the legal piece."

Work highlights Advised Budapest Airport on the refinancing of its EUR1.3 billion acquisition facilities and corresponding interest rate swaps.

Assisted Wells Fargo with the EUR1 billion financing of Hewlett-Packard's European subsidiaries.

Notable practitioners  

Commentators agree that John Clark has extensive knowledge of the commercial demands of financings and restructurings. One source adds: "He is creative in his approach and nimble in approaching multi-jurisdictional issues from an English law perspective." He particularly specialises in the restructuring of acquisition finance facilities.

Significant clients Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, EBRD. 

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

What the team is known for Devises creative structures and financial solutions for top-tier financial institutions and corporates alike across a range of high-value transactions. The practice is well versed in hybrid bank and bond financings, as well as Shari'a-compliance issues. Frequent involvement in cross-border deals is a testament to the firm's deep pool of global resources. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"When you instruct any one of their practitioners, you get a pretty uniform level of high quality."

"Extremely professional and knowledgeable with the ability to progress through work swiftly and ahead of deadlines."

Work highlights Advised Goldman Sachs in the provision of financing to Onex for the latter's USD4.7 billion acquisition of SIG, a global drink carton manufacturer.

Acted on behalf of the lead arrangers, including Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, to provide EUR1.2 billion financing for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice's bid to acquire German industrial company Mauser Group. 

Notable practitioners  

Suhrud Mehta receives consistently superlative feedback from clients and peers who identify his "commercial judgement," "high-quality work product" and "deep expertise in restructuring" as key strengths. He is often instructed to act on bespoke, market-leading deals, including his representation of Goldman Sachs and Nomura in providing a EUR1.3 billion cov-lite first and second lien financing to facilitate Montagu's and Astorg's acquisition of Sebia from Cinven. 

John Dewar predominantly acts for clients on Islamic finance matters within the energy and infrastructure sectors. A recent highlight includes assisting Shari'a-compliant private equity house Arcapita with a major restructuring that involved an uncommonly used Islamic debtor-in-possession financing.  

Timothy Peterson is noted for providing "effective, high-level advice," particularly in the high-yield space. He also provides valuable insight to his lender and borrower clientele on leveraged and mezzanine financings, as well as leveraged acquisitions.

Neil Caddy has had occasion to advise on a number of the firm's impressive mandates recently, including KKR's provision of EUR235 million worth of debt to refinance Amtek Global Technologies. His practice also entails work for prestigious financial institutions and corporate borrowers.

Significant clients Barclays, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Porterbrook Rail Finance, Qatar Solar Technologies.

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

What the team is known for Hailed in particular for its lender-side practice which covers a diverse scope of financing work for a multitude of domestic commercial banks. In a privileged position to advise borrowers from the energy, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors. Islamic finance remains a core focus.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The level of partner involvement you get is greater than I have typically experienced with other firms. In transactions, it is more noticeable certainly and really does help the process when you need a partner on the front line." 

"Extremely professional and diligent. They follow up on everything. Really a pleasure to work with."

Work highlights Advised Société Générale and ING Bank as the global co-ordinators of a consortium of lenders in relation to the PLN3 billion facilities provided to Cyfrowy Polsat to finance its acquisition of Polkomtel.

Represented Tullow Oil in the USD750 million refinancing of its secured, syndicated corporate revolving credit facility.    

Notable practitioners  

European head of Islamic finance Farmida Bi remains very much entrenched within the industry leading on numerous salient transactions, including the government of Pakistani's recent issuance of a USD1 billion sukuk. She is also well known in the capital markets space.

Michael Black is regarded as an "exceptional" and "versatile lawyer" who provides deep transactional experience and expertise. One source notes: "Michael's tendency to home in on key points and cut through complex issues in a way you can understand helps to make the processes run efficiently." 

Michael Ings regularly advises clients in the telecommunications sector on leveraged finance and corporate lending issues. Clients view his "gravitas" and "clear line of thought" as beneficial to completing successful transactions.

Significant clients Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Saudi Oger.

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

What the team is known for Accomplished banking group that assists UK clearing banks in an array of financing contexts, including multi-bank cross-border matters and domestic acquisition financings. Clients benefit from the firm's pool of resources in other major UK cities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're definitely one of the leading firms for mid-market finance transactions. They have a market-facing focus, which is definitely appreciated by my organisation and other banks in the sector."

"They've got good practitioners in every location so you get a real consistency of service."

Work highlights Advised ICBC and Bank of China on facilities used to partially finance Nanjing Cenbest's £480 million acquisition of House of Fraser.  

Advised Europcar Group in connection with a multi-funder financing of assets with facilities totalling £615 million.

Notable practitioners  

Martin Bishop heads the department and maintains a solid reputation in the leveraged finance sphere. He has been at the forefront of many of the firm's significant mandates of late, representing major clearing banks such as Barclays and RBS on a host of issues.

Significant clients HSBC, CareTech Holdings, Clydesdale Bank, Santander, LGIM. 

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

What the team is known for A strong presence in the European leveraged finance market thanks to its acute understanding of high-yield issues and masterful handling of high-value UK and US hybrid transactions. Increasingly leading on substantial acquisition financings and refinancings for financial institutions. Well deserving of its reputation for corporate borrower and alternative capital provider work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"What makes them stand out is they're commercial, realistic and practical. There are certain individuals that are absolute geniuses but when it comes to actually applying the law, they find it difficult. But these guys get it. They know my commercial goal and how to reach it."

"We value their advice as something we can trust. It's the calibre of people there that keeps us coming back."

What's new? Fergus Wheeler was recently promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Liberty Global in connection with the bank and bond financing elements of its EUR10 billion acquisition of Dutch-listed cable operator Ziggo N.V.

Represented a syndicate of lenders, including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, in the provision of EUR1.45 billion worth of financing to facilitate Nordic Capital's acquisition of a majority stake in Lindorff Group.

Notable practitioners  

London managing partner Michael Goetz has long been considered a reputable and innovative expert in the high-yield space. One commentator describes him as a "very talented individual with a big brain who can spot flaws in a 500-page document from the other side of the street." He is instructed by corporate giants and dominant private equity sponsors on transactions that span leveraged lending and acquisition financings. 

Matthew Cox leaves clients with a favourable impression time and again because of his "great market knowledge" and his ability to manage and negotiate with lender-side counsel. He specialises in UK and international leveraged and acquisition finance matters.

Lenders, borrowers and financial sponsors benefit from Mark Wesseldine's wide experience of cross-border LBOs and a host of other financings. He particularly excels at advising on intricate transactions that involve multi-tranche, unitranche and junior capital financing elements. 

Senior partner Maurice Allen is a deeply respected figure in the investment grade and leveraged finance sphere who manages a number of the firm's key debtor and creditor relationships. One interviewee asserts that he does "a good job of turning legal language into an actionable perspective and steering us to the right decision." 

Tania Bedi chiefly advises financial institutions across a wide spectrum of transactional work, which includes mezzanine and acquisition finance, complex restructuring exercises and telecom finance.

Fergus Wheeler receives support from clients and peers who hail him as a "dynamic, practical and commercial" lawyer. One commentator reports: "He's one to watch for sure. He's very smart and equipped with the full set of skills that he will need to be a leading figure in acquisition finance in the City."

Significant clients Altice, CVC, J.P. Morgan Mezzanine, KKR, TPG.  

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

What the team is known for Provides strategic counsel to a swathe of prominent banks, borrowers and sponsors on a host of demanding cross-border transactions. Clients benefit from the firm's integrated London and New York capabilities in the finance sphere.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"An incredibly capable group who know what's happening in the market and always go the extra mile to provide smart advice."

"They really do deliver on their work. They always put the right resources on the deal, and remove them, as appropriate. They're just generally very client-focused." 

Work highlights Advised Barclays and Jefferies Finance on the provision of £155 million worth of facilities to fund Papa BidCo's acquisition of the entirety of the issued share capital of listed company Prezzo.

Acted on behalf of Bridgepoint during its £212 million acquisition of Moneycorp from RBS Special Opportunities Fund.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Ward is recommended for complex investment grade, acquisition and leveraged financings. One source opines: "He is superb technically and a very good negotiator. He doesn't single-mindedly go about business but has a balanced approach that takes other parties into account." He continues to lead on a number of significant matters, including advising Print I BV on the financing of its EUR185 million acquisition of SPGPrints Group.

Co-head of the global finance department Clifford Atkins is regarded as a "very impressive technical and versatile lawyer." He is predominantly noted for his strengths in structured finance, as evidenced in his recent representation of a syndicate of lenders in the provision of £400 million in notes to Care UK Health & Social Care.

Iain Goalen "is someone we recommend to advise the banks" because he is "very commercial and easy-going," explains one source. His extensive work for lenders has recently included representing a syndicate, including Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and RBS, in connection with the EUR880 million refinancing of Hema BV. His practice also entails work for corporate borrowers.

Caroline Leeds Ruby maintains an estimable, broad-focused finance practice, which includes everything from senior secured and subordinated leveraged and acquisition financings to restructurings and receivables finance. She has a commendable track record advising on cross-border financings. 

Peter Hayes led the charge on the Ziggo Group's recent EUR3.95 billion refinancing in preparation for the company's acquisition by Liberty Global. His dual US and UK qualifications make him an invaluable adviser to lenders, borrowers and financial sponsors with a global footprint.

Associate Philip Stopford continues to develop his expertise by assisting prominent lenders and borrowers with intricate investment grade and leveraged finance deals. He also boasts experience advising on project finance and capital markets transactions.

Significant clients Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Investcorp, Morgan Stanley. 

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

What the team is known for Comprehensive leveraged finance offering is formed off the back of the firm's well-established private equity group. Represents a wide assortment of retail and investment banks and global financial institutions on everything from LBOs to MBOs and financings of corporate acquisitions. Mandated by private equity, sovereign wealth, hedge and credit funds on the borrower side.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"When we instruct them on our deals, I breathe a huge sigh of relief. I feel like they have our best interests at heart but are commercial at the same time, which is important for negotiations." 

"They were very responsive, helpful and keen on maintaining our interests throughout the transaction."

Work highlights Advised Kentz Group on a USD560 million facility used in its acquisition of Valerus Field Solutions. 

Notable practitioners  

James Bresslaw is a key contact in the finance department.

Significant clients Bank of New York Mellon, Citi, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Santander. 

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

What the team is known for One of the premier banking and finance practices in the City. Predominantly represents financial sponsors in significant acquisitions, refinancings and leveraged finance deals. Displays versatility across the full spectrum of English and US financing products. Possesses substantive expertise in transactions centred around syndicated corporate borrowing, real estate financing and credit. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are the best sponsor shop in town, in terms of quality of documents and use of commercial leverage." 

"They're extremely technically proficient because they do this all the time, all day, every day. They work extremely hard and they are pretty user-friendly, which is important for us given that these transactions typically involve a lot of long hours."

Work highlights Advised Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Koch Equity Development on the financing of their acquisition of EUR2.2 billion enterprise Flint Group.

Represented TDR Capital in the financing of its acquisition of IMO Car Wash by way of EUR240 million senior secured notes, a £190 million bridge facility and a £20 million revolving credit facility. 

Notable practitioners  

Ian Barratt is unanimously declared a "top sponsor lawyer" by interviewees. One source notes: "He's an exceptional lawyer who plays a strong hand very well. You don't get the work he does without being really good." He has led on a number of high-profile mandates recently, including the post-IPO refinancing of Pets at Home's senior debt facilities.

Interviewees attest to Nicholas Shaw's dominance in the high-yield space, stating that his insight into capital market issues adds supplementary value to banking transactions. He acts for an enviable list of leading private equity clients, including KKR, Blackstone and Apax.

Stephen Short regularly leads the team on demanding transactions, the £425 million refinancing of Stonegate Pub Company being a prime example. He is particularly distinguished for his finance work in the real estate sector where he assists prominent clients with financing large acquisitions. Sources praise him for being "extremely hands-on and commercial." 

Commentators report that Euan Gorrie is "a very good technical lawyer." A seasoned partner at the firm, he has built a comprehensive finance practice which includes all manner of property, acquisition and leveraged finance transactions. He notably advised AbbVie on the financing aspects of its proposed and ultimately unsuccessful £32 billion acquisition of Shire.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, HgCapital, Sun Capital Partners, Terra Firma, New Look.

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

What the team is known for Established reputation acting on behalf of elite private equity sponsors and corporate giants in the European and American markets. The firm has a deep familiarity with high-yield products, and is called upon to advise on a wide range of uniquely tailored financings, from multibillion investment grade acquisitions to leveraged financings in the real estate sector. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide a seamless service between the New York and London offices. It doesn't matter who you talk to, they always know what's going on."

"Their general approach and commerciality are excellent. A great team across the spectrum."  

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Joh. A Benckiser GmbH in securing the equivalent of USD11 billion to combine the coffee businesses of DE Master Blenders and Mondelez. 

Advised J.P. Morgan regarding the financing of Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE's public takeover offer for all of GAGFAH's outstanding shares.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Darley is "a really good operator in the market, very focused and not someone who messes around." He has built up considerable experience in a variety of financing deals, leading on numerous high-profile transactions, including advising Pfizer on the financing aspects of its proposed USD115 billion acquisition of UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Clive Wells has experience acting on all manner of banking transactions, from structured finance to investment grade acquisition and real estate finance. A client notes: "I don't have an issue putting him on the phone with business professionals, as I do with some lawyers. He keeps the end goal in sight and acts calmly."

Pete Coulton possesses a wealth of expertise in the finance arena, which includes acquisition and leveraged finance and high-yield bond issues. Recent mandates include multimillion-pound refinancings for property portfolio companies KP1 and LM Group Holding.

Significant clients Outokumpu, BlackRock, Doughty Hanson, Esselte AB, HCP. 

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- 68 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Revered for its borrower-side practice, which includes work for countless FTSE 100 and 250 corporates. Has gained a notable reputation for its insight into hybrid loan structures that combine unitranche and term loan B products. Provides strategic guidance in real estate, public takeover and project finance transactions. Increasingly advising non-bank lenders on debt financings which utilise alternative sources of capital.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Slaughters have a standout borrower practice. They are head and shoulders above the rest."

"That team have a lot of experience on complex financing structures - full stop. They're extremely responsive and incredibly client-focused. They agree on deadlines and make sure they deliver to those deadlines."

Work highlights Advised AB Electrolux in connection with a committed bridge facility arranged by Deutsche Bank and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken to finance its USD3.3 billion acquisition of General Electric's appliances business.

Assisted BHP Billiton with entering into a new credit facilities agreement containing a revolving facility and USD and EUR swingline facilities. The total facilities were valued at USD6 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Philip Snell offers expertise in a myriad of financing contexts, from acquisition and leveraged finance to debt capital market deals and restructurings. Although chiefly known for his corporate borrower work, he also receives instructions from sponsors and financial institutions.

Edward Fife advises corporate borrowers and lenders on matters spanning acquisition finance to non-bank lending. Sources say: "He's very commercial, very hands-on and happy to get his hands dirty, which is exactly what you want when you're doing something that's not a straightforward transaction." A recent highlight includes the restructuring of £2.3 billion worth of debt for Punch Taverns.

Miranda Leung "is one of the most technically brilliant lawyers I've ever come across," says a client, adding: "She looks over every single piece of work that comes our way and very rarely is there anything wrong." In addition to her strengths in acquisition and general bank finance, she also specialises in Spanish finance transactions.

Robert Byk has led on a number of significant borrower mandates of late, including advising facility services company ISS on a EUR2.85 billion refinancing immediately following its IPO of ordinary shares. According to one client, "he really takes ownership of your problem and your cases. He can take on project management responsibilities but can also do the legal piece as well."

Matthew Tobin is praised for his "unbelievably sharp mind" in addition to his solid banking practice, which comprises acquisition, real estate and bid financing work. One source describes him as "a very strong lawyer who is reasonable to deal with, as you'd expect from a Slaughter lawyer." 

Significant clients Fortress, INEOS, Premier Foods, SAV, Barclays.

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

What the team is known for Garners a high volume of instructions to act on big-ticket real estate financings for significant borrowers and lenders. Also sought out for its broad-based expertise on acquisition finance, trade and receivables and fund finance issues. Houses several Islamic finance experts in its London office.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very strong, professional practice with excellent coverage of multiple disciplines which are required for cross-border lendings."

"They're excellent, very commercial and proactive. I know that I can just let them get on with it." 

Work highlights Advised Rutland Partners on the financing aspects of its £85 million acquisition of Maplin Electronics.

Assisted NoteMachine with the debt funding of its £120 million acquisition of Eurochange.

Notable practitioners  

Hamid Yunis handles an abundance of domestic and international corporate and project financings for public and private companies. He is also widely respected for his insight into Islamic finance matters.

Martin Yells is rated very highly by numerous commentators. His practice comprises work for lenders and borrowers, although he is probably best known for his representation of the latter in leveraged acquisitions.

Ross Caldwell is instructed by a wide assortment of finance clients, from banks to borrowers and financial sponsors. He has cultivated notable expertise advising on financings in the real estate and oil and gas sectors, and issues involved with funds financings.

Significant clients Metropolitan Life Insurance, Cain Hoy Finance, RBS, Pramerica Real Estate, Deutsche Bank.

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

What the team is known for Indisputable strengths in private equity earn the team a high volume of instructions from sponsors seeking advice on noteworthy mid-market financings. Work undertaken for borrowers and lenders spans an array of sectors, including financial services, education and retail. Continues to expand its lender-side platform with work for leading clearing banks and alternative lenders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"A very intelligent and astute team who are leaders in their field, especially when it comes to borrower-side work." 

"I think their depth of relevant experience on similar transactions stands out, as does the tenacity they apply in order to negotiate deals efficiently and in short spaces of time."

Work highlights Counselled Fat Face Group regarding the £210 million refinancing of its bank debt and the return of capital to its investors.

Advised Macquarie Bank on the unitranche financing related to its joint purchase with Montreux Healthcare Fund of Regard Holdings for approximately £119.5 million.

Notable practitioners  

New head of the banking practice Matthew Ayre is praised for being "very in tune with the market." He is noted for his deft handling of a wide range of transactional matters, including buyouts, debt restructurings and acquisition and leveraged financings.  

Andrew Gregson advises private equity sponsors and borrowers across the finance spectrum, displaying particular capabilities in acquisition financings. His recent work has included a challenging refinancing for corporate, Gaucho, and advising on the financing elements related to ICG's acquisition of Education Personnel.

Sponsors benefit from Jeremy Walsh's in-depth insolvency expertise, in addition to his capabilities in acquisition financings, LBOs and debt restructurings. He has appeared in a number of significant transactions of late, including Bridgepoint's acquisition of ASK Italian and Zizzi restaurants.

Commentators report that Charles Bischoff "does a good job for his clients," assisting them with a variety of leveraged finance facilities. He chiefly acts for financial institutions and other alternative capital providers.

Significant clients RBS, HSBC, Silicon Valley Bank, Shawbrook Bank, Silverfleet.

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

What the team is known for Characterised by its concentration on a diverse range of sponsor-side mandates, including cross-border acquisition financings and leveraged financings involving portfolio companies of prestigious private equity houses. Excels at facilitating transactions that utilise hybrid US and European capital structures. Gaining greater visibility for its representation of financial institutions, appearing in a number of quality, high-value financings and LBOs. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"If there is one thing that sets Weil apart, it's their client care. It pervades the entire firm. Clients really remember that kind of service. Just first-rate."

"The team are very solid. They are involved in a lot of transactions so they have a very good overview of what's happening in the market."

What's new? Tom Richards was promoted to partner in November 2014.

Work highlights Advised Advent International on several noteworthy mandates, including its USD3.1 billion and EUR2 billion bids for Nets and Pioneer respectively.

Advised the mandated lead arrangers, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and ING, in the provision of USD1.1 billion first and second lien senior multicurrency credit facilities for EQT's acquisition of Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing from Charterhouse Capital Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the banking practice Mark Donald is a "very smart and technically able" practitioner known for his "really good rapport with sponsors and lenders" and his deft handling of large-scale multi-jurisdictional financings. He receives regular instructions from sponsor giants like Carlyle, EQT and Advent, as well as prominent investment banks.

Tom Richards is praised for his technical skills and personable approach. One source states: "He's one of our absolute go-tos. He has the ability to be constructive, build consensus, and has good common sense and judgement." His practice encompasses leveraged financings, debt lending and unitranche transactions.

Significant clients Montagu Private Equity, Oaktree Capital Management, TowerBrook Capital Partners, J.P. Morgan, Ares Capital Europe.

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

What the team is known for Identified for a robust banking and finance offering which attracts domestic and international banks, borrowers and alternative capital providers. Enjoys a burgeoning sponsor-side practice. The firm is rated in particular for its considerable emerging markets expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"An important player with a very strong, compelling offering." 

"The whole series of practitioners there are excellent. They're always available and always work very hard to keep us happy. We get an extremely good service from them."

Work highlights Advised DX Group in connection with the £200 million refinancing of existing debt via a new working capital facility in order to successfully price the company's IPO.

Advised a club of lenders - Rabobank, UBS and Jefferies - on the provision of EUR485 million for Advent's successful bid to acquire Corialis.

Notable practitioners  

Jacqueline Evans strikes sources as a "very competent" and "constructive" lawyer who "delivers great technical advice." She is widely known for her capable handling of sizeable LBOs that span multiple jurisdictions, work that she undertakes on behalf of private equity houses, borrowers and banks.  

Lee Cullinane is recognised as an impressive figure in the leveraged finance space, particularly for his representation of lenders. Sources say he "knows the points which are important to his achieving the end results for his clients." He continues to be at the centre of the firm's most significant mandates, including advising J.P. Morgan and Nomura in connection with Bestway's £725 million acquisition of the Co-op Pharmacy.

Christopher Czarnocki is particularly distinguished for his emerging markets finance expertise, which includes transactional work in Africa, CEE and Russia. He retains a similarly impressive track record for his representation of a diverse array of financial institutions and borrowers on structured and commodities financings.  

Colin Harley is predominantly known for his sponsor-focused practice, which sees him advising private equity houses and alternative capital providers across a range of international financings. Recently he assisted Castik Capital with its £125 million take-private acquisition of Waterlogic.

Significant clients Lloyds, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Play, EQT.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Andrew Hallgarth of Bird & Bird chiefly represents lenders in structured and acquisition financings within the emerging markets. One commentator praises him for being "very hands-on" and providing "good value for money." 

One interviewee notes that Trystan Tether of Bird & Bird is "knowledgeable, calm and very personable in dealing with counterparties." He heads the international finance department and addresses a wide assortment of issues for his borrower and lender clientele, including project finance and general lending.

Interviewees are highly complimentary of Nicholas Benham of Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP, hailing him as a "good technical lawyer who is very conscious and thorough." Sponsor-side counsel are keen to point out his skills on the other side: "He is particularly good at being fair and acknowledging both sides of the position. There are very few bank-side lawyers I know who I'd put in that category. I'd put him absolutely at the top of my list of lawyers to recommend." 

Iain Shurwood joined DWF LLP from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, bolstering the team with his strong grasp of financing matters and lender-side experience. He especially excels in the area of acquisition finance.  

Andrew Evans of Fieldfisher specialises in finance transactions that span a variety of sectors, including technology and real estate. He offers high net worth individuals unique insight into the asset finance sphere. He also possesses an impressive roster of commercial bank clients. 

Stuart Brinkworth of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is a highly active player in the London finance space. Apart from his credentials in the unitranche debt market, his expertise also extends to leveraged financings, private equity sponsored LBOs and bid financings. His varied clientele includes credit and debt funds, major clearing banks and financial sponsors.

Philip Crump of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP comes highly recommended by sponsors and creditors for the insight he brings to a host of financing transactions, cross-border European LBOs in particular. Sources praise his "excellent technical skills on the debt side" and commerciality, remarking that he "never loses sight of the bigger picture."

Stephen Gillespie of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has long been considered a prominent figure in the London finance market. He has deep experience acting on demanding leveraged, investment grade and event-driven financings.

Emma Menzies of Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP retains a healthy reputation for her finance practice which covers leveraged, real estate and project finance. Clients say: "She's good at dealing with challenges that less sophisticated lawyers would throw their hands up at." 

Jonathan Lawrence of K&L Gates is co-head of the firm's global Islamic finance practice. One client describes him as a "real breath of fresh air," saying: "What has impressed me the most is his ability to act very quickly when required, with a real sense of urgency and commercial awareness often lacking in other firms."

Stephen Hans Moller of K&L Gates displays capabilities in an array of financing contexts while acting for lenders and borrowers. He also enjoys an active practice in the capital markets arena, advising on securitisations, derivatives and receivables financings.

Michael Rainey of King & Spalding International LLP is quickly becoming a prominent name in the Islamic finance world. He is consistently lauded for his performance in Shari'a-compliant real estate financings.

Phillip Slater of Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP is held in the highest regard by sources, who say: "He knows the pitfalls of things you can't immediately see and makes sure that he keeps all the bases covered. A very good commercial thinker on behalf of his clients." 

Charles Kerrigan of Olswang is particularly well received for his sponsor-side practice, which entails a multitude of financings in the TMT and real estate sectors. One source admires the "rigorous, analytical and intellectual approach" he exhibits.   

Akmal Ghauri of Osborne Clarke is a highly active practitioner within the real estate and debt markets, assisting banks, borrowers and funds with the financing elements of complex transactions. Commentators also extol his corporate lending practice.

Dominic Ross of Osborne Clarke is "an absolutely delightful person to engage and work with," says one source, who adds: "He is always available and never shies away from difficult conversations with the other side." He recently advised Santander on the financing aspects related to the development of Imperial College.

Presley Warner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP garners high praise from one client in particular who identifies him as a "world-class professional," "deal maker" and "great tactician." He has counselled clients on an array of high-value matters of late, including advising a consortium on its USD4.4 billion acquisition of TDF's non-German activities. 

Nicholas Edmondes of Trowers & Hamlins LLP maintains a strong offering on the Islamic finance front, working on behalf of a range of Middle Eastern and Asian financial institutions who are keen to invest in the UK. He is frequently instructed to provide guidance on real estate financings.  

Zoë Ashcroft of Winston & Strawn is described by one source as a "first-class problem solver and team leader." She is head of the corporate and finance department at the firm and continues to engage in a variety of cross-border transactional work for banks and borrowers.  

Denis Petkovic of Withers LLP possesses clear strengths in the emerging markets finance arena, particularly in a project finance context. His devoted clientele includes the EBRD and CIT Capital.

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.