UK

South West

Banking & Finance


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

Banking & Finance - South West

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Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for High-quality representation of major lenders and corporate borrowers with respect to a wide range of financings, including asset-based lending, acquisition finance and property finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "We have a preference for using Ashfords rather than some of the larger magic circle firms as a partner looks at the detail of the transaction across all aspects and for the duration of the deal, rather than senior or junior associates as we experience elsewhere. We find Ashfords’ approach produces a smoother, more efficient process."

Client service: "Very professional and solid law firm, providing consistent and sound advice."

What's new? Rebecca Dury was promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acted for Lloyds TSB on its £30 million refinancing of Somerset Care.

Advised Wayseal Finance on its funding of property development companies.

Notable practitioners  

Rebecca Dury was recently promoted to become a partner at the firm. She continues to establish a strong transactional banking practice, representing both major lenders and borrowers.  

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, Handelsbanken, Urbaser, National Australia Bank, The Una Group. 

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Excellent track record in the renewables and oil and gas sectors. Covers the full spectrum of banking and finance issues, and continues to see expansion in regional lending work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capability: "In the wider South West region I would single them out as very good. They are one of the best in the South West. A very strong team."

Client service: "Their main strengths: they are very responsive, work to a tight timetable, commercial, and knowledgeable across a number of spectrums. The type of legal advice we want, they are able to provide all of that; a one-stop shop."  

What's new? In May 2013 Bond Pearce merged with North East powerhouse Dickinson Dees to become Bond Dickinson.

Kiron Farooki, a financial institutions and regulatory specialist, has joined the team from Royal Mail.

Work highlights Advised Piper Private Equity on its £16 million investment in the Loungers bars and restaurants.

Advised Banks Renewables regarding its funding agreement with The Co-operative Bank, to fund the construction of two wind farms.

Notable practitioners  

Julian Kinsey leads the firm's banking and finance team.  He is hugely experienced and highly respected by sources, who appreciate his "pragmatic approach to getting a deal done."

Clients report that Philip Withey "is very responsive, commercial and knowledgeable." His practice covers acquisition, project and asset finance, and he has been leading the team on the aforementioned matters for Piper Private Equity.

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Santander, PSA Finance.

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Recognised as one of the strongest banking and finance practices in the region. Continues to cover a broad range of complex matters including acquisition, real estate and asset finance, derivatives and treasury transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capabiliyy: "In Bristol, Burges Salmon is by far the strongest banking practice. The feedback from people who deal with the firm is that it does a very thorough job. It is the institutional firm for banking in the region."

Client service: "The firm that probably impressed us the most is Burges Salmon in Bristol. They are really great. The work they do for us has been technically challenging and less than straightforward, but they have coped very well. This is work we would normally give to a magic circle firm but they are great. They impress us as they delegate work but then the juniors know what to pass to partner level or not."

Work highlights Advised London Waste & Recycling Board and Investec Bank regarding the project finance of a waste-to-energy plant.

Advised Albemarle & Bond Holdings on the £65 million revolving credit facility provided by Barclays and Lloyds TSB.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the firm's corporate and financial institutions team, Sandra Forbes has swathes of experience in corporate banking, asset and project finance. Sources consider her "very responsive, commercial and knowledgeable." She recently led the team on a £70 million revolving credit facility provided by Lloyds TSB.

The "very commercial" Richard Leeming is lauded by peers and clients for his expertise in banking and finance matters. Sources are impressed by his ability to master technically challenging and complex issues, as well as his "good communication and management."

Significant clients RBS, Santander, Helius Energy, Imperial Tobacco, HSBC.

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for High-quality advice to traditional and non-traditional lenders, including hedge funds and private individuals. Noted strength in renewable energy, aircraft finance and Middle Eastern finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Outstanding. Charles Russell has a first-class reputation for working on complex assignments all over the world and delivering 'value-added' results for its clients."

Commercial awareness: "The firm's main strengths are their understanding of the market sector we are dealing with at the time, their wide ranging geographical jurisdiction and financial regulatory understanding, and their business-focused approach to the job in hand."  

Work highlights Advised Trifast on a variety of facilities in excess of £20 million, provided by HSBC.

Advised Capeview Capital regarding facilities for a power station project, with the overall capitalisation of £600 million. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Richard Norton is praised for his "technical knowledge, practical no-nonsense approach to his assignments, and willingness to go the extra mile for clients."  He led the team in the aforementioned work for Trifast.

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, Zurich, Clearview Capital, Travelzest, Nationwide Building Society.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Taunton

What the team is known for A dominant presence in the Somerset banking and finance market. Particularly proficiency in agricultural finance, leisure and social housing sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very good, very thorough and very quick. They have good commercial awareness and are practical."

Work highlights Acted for a major landed estate and Handelsbanken in a remortgaging of its agricultural estate.

Acted for Principality Building Society regarding the provision of a facility for property development to a national developer. 

Notable practitioners  

Roger Seaton leads the firm's banking and finance team from the Taunton office. He has built a strong practice covering property finance, acquisition finance and secured lending. One client stated that "he is very experienced, and thinks very practically when assessing commercial situations and overviewing work."

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Arbuthnot Latham.

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for Respected handling of a broad range of matters including acquisition and real estate finance, general corporate banking and Islamic finance. Trusted by both traditional and non-traditional lenders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Helpful, professional and prompt."

Client service: "Excellent. They are extremely professional but enjoyable to work with." 

Work highlights Advised Santander on the mostly private equity-backed MBO of Loungers Group.

Acted for 90 North Real Estate Partners in the £42 million acquisition of the Parham Road student village in Canterbury, which included a Shari'a-compliant investment structure.

Notable practitioners  

Sources praise the emerging banking and finance practice of Will Whitt. Clients report: "He is very commercial, very proactive, great to work with, has a sensible approach and suggests things we hadn't thought of." His clients include The Co-operative Bank and Santander.

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Clydesdale Bank, Ahli United Bank, ABC International Bank.

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham 

What the team is known for Respected handling of complex national and international financing matters. Noted expertise in real estate, acquisition, project and asset finance, as well as recognised sector specialisms in healthcare, charities and social housing. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I have been very impressed with their level of service, and their willingness to understand our business."

Partner involvement: "I am very happy with them. They are very responsive and it feels like I have a direct line to the partners. It feels like we are a valued client."

What's new? Rickerbys and Harrison Clark merged in April 2013 to become Harrison Clark Rickerbys, consolidating two strong banking and finance practices.

Adam Finch, a financial regulation specialist, joins the team from Bevan Brittan.

Work highlights Acted for Bank of Ireland regarding the sale of a portfolio of commercial and residential properties in Liverpool.

Advised Norwegian company Green Resources on facilities provided by Norfund and Finnfund, for the purposes of financing timber plantations in various African countries including Tanzania.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Walker has a strong general banking and asset finance practice, with notable expertise in shipping and aircraft finance. Sources report: "He is very level-headed, very detail-oriented. I very much trust and rely on the advice he gives. He is proactive and gives suggestions as how best to structure a deal."

Chris Agius is recognised for his strong banking and finance practice. He advises both lenders and borrowers in a wide variety of matters, from real estate finance and refinancing to social housing and healthcare funding.  

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, Lloyds TSB, HSBC, VoIP Capital International.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for Continues to be borrower-focused, enjoying an excellent reputation in secured lending. Also noted for expertise in the healthcare, leisure and refinancing sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We were very impressed by the ease of access to the team and their ability to understand our business."  

Work highlights Advised Caley regarding the extension of its senior and junior facilities, worth £125 million.

Acted for Foinavon on the restructuring of its loan facilities between multiple lenders.

Notable practitioners

Charles Maunder is head of the firm's banking and finance practice.

Significant clients Aldermore Bank, RBS, Lloyds TSB, Standard Chartered Bank, SBF Global.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for A highly respected presence in the regional banking and finance market. Sector specialisms in connection with digital business, real estate, infrastructure and energy. Close relationships with major traditional and non-traditional lenders on a broad spectrum of complex matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capability: "In the wider South West region and Bristol I would single out Osborne Clarke. They are the best in the South West. They have a strong team."

Client service: "My impression is that they are very good actually. The team has been very good whenever we have worked with them."  

Work highlights Advised RBS and The Co-operative Bank on the refinancing of their £64 million facilities for the Day Lewis plc Group.

Advised UNITE on its debut retail bond issue worth £90 million.

Notable practitioners  

Omar Al-Nuaimi is head of the banking and finance team. He has particular expertise in project, leveraged and structured finance. He was part of the team representing UNITE on its debut retail bond issuance.

Tom Bussy is a "fantastic" senior associate making his mark in the banking and finance arena. He specialises in refinancing, general corporate and leveraged finance.

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Clydesdale Bank, Funding Circle, Rotork.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for High-quality work for a raft of major national and international lenders on a broad range of banking and finance matters. Noted strength in the renewables, retail and corporate sectors.

Clarity: "Very professional and knowledgeable but still able to suggest commercial solutions to issues and explain them in terms that a layman can understand."

Level of service: "A professional and commercial firm made up of lawyers from London with great pedigree as well as solid home-grown talent. The result is that you get London-quality advice coupled with a local relationship and commitment to client service."

What's new? Gary Roscoe has been promoted to partner and is leading the banking and finance team in Bristol.

Jonathan Stewart, a corporate and acquisition finance specialist, has joined the team from Osborne Clarke.

Work highlights Advised Triodos Bank regarding its funding of various renewable energy projects, including the £1.8 million funding of a turbine hydroelectric project in North Wales.

Acted for Matthew Clark Wholesale on the refinancing of its £50 million debt facility provided by Barclays.

Notable practitioners  

Gary Roscoe focuses on a range of matters including corporate banking, real estate finance and acquisition finance. One client reports: "Gary fills me with confidence. He quickly assimilates the detail of what we are proposing and takes on board my key concerns."

Jonathan Stewart is a new member of the firm's banking and finance team. He continues to develop a strong reputation for his work in real estate and acquisition finance, and his social housing sector expertise.

Significant clients Nationwide Building Society, RBS, Bank of Ireland, Lloyds TSB, Downing LLP.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Specialist expertise in the healthcare, education, charities and family business sectors. Particular focus on the regional banking and business community.

Notable practitioners 

David Emanuel is a key contact in the firm's banking and finance practice.

Significant clients Santander, RBS, HSBC, Allied Irish Banks, Clydesdale Bank.

Foreign Experts

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