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
- 4 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for Key player in Exeter for banking and transactional matters. Offers a wide array of expertise including acquisition finance, asset finance and property development finance. Acts for banks and governmental bodies on bilateral and syndicated lending transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The breadth of experience is extensive in the firm and they can field expertise in niche areas where required."

"They are very experienced lawyers and will give you a balanced view."

Work highlights Instructed by The UNA Group on its multimillion-pound refinancing with Barclays.

Advised Wayseal Finance in relation to its funding of companies developing property.

Notable practitioners  

Rebecca Dury is a dedicated banking lawyer specialising in property development finance, commercial banking and general corporate refinancings. Clients note: "She offers a wealth of experience in the more complex areas of banking," and "she is very thorough; she understands some of the nuances that laymen might miss."

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, HSBC, Handelsbanken, Urbaser, Lloyds Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Lender-focused practice, regularly working with the major clearing banks in the region. Borrower practice reflects the practice's industry expertise in the energy and real estate sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their industry knowledge is a key element to their skill set and allows them to give the right advice at the right time."

"They're excellent. Proactive, commercial and sensible when it comes to cost."

Work highlights Advised the Homes & Communities Agency on a £32 million funding arrangement with a building consortium for the development of Sherford, a new market town outside Plymouth.

Acted for the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman on the USD350 million project financing of the Al Ghubrah Independent Water Project. Specifically advised on English law issues in connection with the security structure.

Notable practitioners  

Julian Kinsey heads the team. He has a depth of experience in all matters of corporate and finance work. Clients report: "He looks beyond the law; he can guide us commercially as well," and peers note he is a "good figurehead" for the team.

Clients single out Philip Withey as a "safe pair of hands" and state: "You can be confident in him." He advises on risk allocation, structuring and security issues, and has an industry specialism in renewable energy and power.

Significant clients HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Union Bancaire Privée, Post Office, Chartis.

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Leading banking practice in the South West. Increasing focus on multi-jurisdictional transactions and advisory work. A broad range of sector specialisms, including energy, transport, leisure and agriculture.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"There is excellent support from within the firm to handle our varying requirements."

"The speed of service delivery is excellent."

Work highlights Advised Lloyds Bank on a £70 million revolving credit facility to Westerleigh Group Holdings, used to repay the borrower's existing facilities.

Acted for Crediton Dairy on the £10 million MBO of a flavoured drink business from Milk Link.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Leeming heads the team. He specialises in real estate finance, acquisition finance and general corporate banking matters. Peers rate him for his pragmatism and commercial awareness, noting that "he is good at getting the deal done."

Graham Soar is a "highly regarded" banking practitioner with experience in derivatives, project finance and debt capital markets. Clients praise him for his ability to "keep calm under pressure."

Rachel Ruane advises corporates and financial institutions on the legal requirements relating to asset, acquisition and real estate finance. Sources describe her as "approachable and technically great" with "very good understanding of the transactions."  

Significant clients HSBC, Nationwide, FirstGroup, RBS, Imperial Tobacco.

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Highly regarded for advice to specialist lenders such as private equity houses and hedge funds on security and loan transactions, often relating to public takeovers. Renowned international expertise with a particular focus on the Middle East.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They give me exceptionally good service; they act like a private office. It's a very good firm."

"They adapt as necessary to suit the requirements of the transaction." 

Work highlights Advising Awal Bank on the implementation of a USD1.5 billion transfer protocol for its debt, involving creditors in a number of different jurisdictions.

Acted for Trifast on its term, overdraft and asset-based lending facilities with HSBC worth over £20 million.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Norton acts for both private and public companies in relation to banking and corporate transactions. Clients like his "quick, efficient and to-the-point" approach that complements his noted technical knowledge.

Significant clients Clearview Capital, Travelzest, Robert Hitchins, Clydesdale Bank, Zurich.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Somerset

What the team is known for Well-respected dedicated banking and finance offering in Somerset. Handles large property portfolios, with a growing reputation in the social housing and agriculture sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're known as a good firm of solicitors; they are professional and do the job properly."

Work highlights Acted for Summerfield Developments on the negotiation of new multimillion-pound facility agreements in relation to a portfolio of investment and property developments.

Aided HSBC with its £16 million financing of a portfolio comprising ten care home properties.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Roger Seaton has a particular specialism in real estate finance. He often takes the lead on the team's banking instructions. Clients call him "a practical lawyer."

Philip Brown is rated by clients for his thorough and flexible approach. Other sources note that he is "ultra-efficient and approachable." Banks appreciate his ability to build relationships with clients. Has specific expertise in secured lending.

Significant clients Lloyds Bank, Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Handelsbanken, Principality Building Society, C Hoare & Co.

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Recognised for expertise in real estate finance and corporate banking facilities. Genuine regional specialist in Islamic finance, acting for London-based Islamic banks on senior and mezzanine investment financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We would use them if we had a strict deadline and wanted to feel we were in safe hands."

Notable practitioners  

According to market commentators, Will Whitt "communicates incredibly well and is commercially pragmatic." He has experience in acting on UK and cross-border real estate finance and acquisition finance facilities.

Significant clients Santander, 90 North Real Estate Partners, Ahli United Bank, Clydesdale Bank, ABC International Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Acts for both major and specialist lenders in matters including refinancing, development finance and acquisition finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are very customer-friendly and efficient."

"They are very used to the way banks want to deal with security, meaning they are easy to work with."

Notable practitioners  

Tim Walker is highly experienced in advising lenders and corporate borrowers on domestic and cross-border banking transactions. Clients report he is "commercially aware" and appreciate his "upfront discussions, which make him able to direct on how to take things forward."

Significant clients Santander, HSBC, Clydesdale Bank, Unity Trust Bank, The Co-operative Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Exeter

What the team is known for Depth of experience in asset-backed lending, commercial property and corporate finance and expertise in both contentious and non-contentious finance work. Represents major banks and corporate borrowers in the region.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have individuals that drive a deal through, which is very helpful from a bank's perspective."  

Work highlights Represented South Devon College in  a new £4 million unsecured credit facility provided by Santander.

Acted for Aberystwyth University on the financing of a £100 million residential project concerning 1,000 student residences.

Notable practitioners

Charles Maunder is head of department in the Exeter office.

Significant clients Triodos Bank, RBS, Standard Bank, Leumi ABL, Aldemore Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Regional market leaders. Strong reputation for leveraged finance, project finance and structured finance products. Key sector focuses include energy, infrastructure and digital business. Multi-discipline approach includes a real estate finance and restructuring offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Their consistency in the way they deal with banks is something we hold in high regard."

"I like the firm, patient and professional way they deal with things. They use common sense and are respectful to the other side." 

What's new? Tom Bussy was promoted to partner in early 2014. He specialises in leveraged finance and general corporate finance matters.

Work highlights Advised the Imperial Tobacco Group on a number of bilateral facilities worth over EUR1 billion.

Acted for Barclays on a £125 million debt facility for Telecom Plus to aid the acquisition of subsidiaries of npower.

Notable practitioners  

Omar Al-Nuaimi heads the banking department in Bristol. He has specialist expertise in leveraged finance, structured finance and property finance transactions. One client notes: "He just seems to have a very good ability to communicate. He transcends all levels of communication with ease."

Tom Bussy is "exceptional," according to clients. One source notes that "his advice is always pragmatic and commercial. No matter if it is a small UK or large cross-border deal, he always has in-depth experience."

Significant clients RBS, HSBC, Investec, Silicon Valley Bank, Funding Circle.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Strength advising on social housing finance, renewables projects and general corporate facilities. Substantial experience in advisory work regarding bilateral and syndicated finance transactions, both domestic and abroad.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A breadth of professional contacts and support from within the firm to handle varying banking requirements."

What's new? Jonathan Stewart joined the team from Osborne Clarke and brings with him experience in property and acquisition finance.

Work highlights Acted for Triodos Bank on a number of social housing financings, including a £10 million loan to First Choice Housing Association and a £10 million loan to North London Muslim Housing Association.

Advised WHSmith on a loan to aid their expansion in India.

Notable practitioners  

According to peers, Gary Roscoe is a "practical and commercially minded lawyer." He acts for corporates, investment funds and financial institutions on matters ranging from real estate finance to derivatives.

Jonathan Stewart joined the firm from Osborne Clarke. He has a broad range of banking and finance experience with a noted sector focus in social housing and real estate.

Significant clients Barclays, The Co-operative Bank, Downing LLP, Savills, Nationwide Building Society.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Strong relationships with major regional banks, providing both local Bristol-based work and a wider reach into the South West. Sector expertise includes charities, healthcare and education.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It is a great firm with great people."  

Work highlights Advised HSBC on a £2.4 million facility to Stroudwater Redevelopments Partnership for the redevelopment of the former Elby Wharf Industrial Estate, situated by Stroudwater Canal. 

Notable practitioners 

Robert Collier is the key contact.

Significant clients Santander, Lloyds, RBS, Allied Irish Banks, Handelsbanken.

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.