Banking & Finance - London (Firms)
Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners
- 76 other qualified lawyers
What the team is known for Multidisciplinary banking group with a dominant market position, capable of advising lenders, borrowers and investors across the full spectrum of financings. Continues to be involved in some of the most prominent finance deals in the market, including LBOs, refinancings, and loan and bond financings related to acquisitions.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the leading practitioners in the loan market. Their market knowledge is extremely good."
"The overall standard of their individual lawyers is excellent. We have to cover a very wide range of topics and they can cover pretty much everything for us and then tie it all together. The fact that they have a global network is also something we find extremely useful."
Work highlights Represented a syndicate of banks, including Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, in the provision of EUR1.97 billion of covenant-lite senior financing used to aid the acquisition of major publishing business Springer Science by BC Partners.
Acted for the lead arrangers, including RBS as co-ordinator, on the Royal Mail's £1.4 billion post-IPO facility.
Michael Bates is co-head of the London banking and finance practice and is considered a key player in leveraged infrastructure finance transactions. One client offers particularly effusive praise: "I think he's the best banking and finance lawyer I've worked with. He's worked on pretty much all the big deals you could ever want and seen it all before. Plus, he's very good at giving advice rather than just acting on instructions. He's absolutely brilliant."
Charles Cochrane is an active player in the banking and finance market and has accumulated a wealth of experience acting on a multitude of high-profile UK and cross-border financings. He advised a syndicate of lenders, including Goldman Sachs, on a EUR1.79 billion covenant-lite senior financing to facilitate BC Partners' acquisition of leading international publisher Springer.
Market commentators remark that Alan Inglis is "the real trusted adviser." With over 30 years of experience advising on banking and corporate finance transactions, "he's seen it all." One client adds: "Particularly when things go wrong, he's very good at giving us advice based on strong knowledge of the documents we have."
James Johnson is best known for his lender-side work, covering leveraged and acquisition financings, restructurings and structured financings. He continues to be involved in a number of impressive transactions, recently advising a syndicate of lenders on the public-to-private financing of DE Masterblenders.
Clients value the fact that Jim MacHale "isn't afraid to be robust when the transaction needs to be moved along." Apart from his enduring relationships with prominent institutional lenders, he is also well known for his capabilities advising on investment grade and acquisition financings.
Key partner Nicola Wherity is singled out for her niche expertise of the fund financing arena and her up-to-date knowledge of the syndicated loan market. She is a primary point of contact for a number of clients, one of whom declares that she "does a fantastic job of co-ordinating for us. Really prepared to do the behind-the-scenes work to get us what we want. She has a really strong focus on providing good client service."
Karen Hodson is a sought-after practitioner, who garners particular acclaim for her recent work on complex bid financings for the likes of ENRC. One peer notes that "she's always completely pragmatic, sensible and manages to head off problems between clients."
Clients appreciate the "tenacious" Emma Folds for her hands-on approach, which "really drives transactions." She is especially well regarded for her work with bank syndicates, advising them on a range of loans issued to household names.
Sources report that banking and finance partner Roderick McGillivray consistently "serves his clients well." His first-hand experience of US and European markets was valuable in the team's successful completion of Cinven's acquisition of CeramTree, which involved a New York law loan and bond financing.
Taner Hassan is a "very active lawyer" who is reportedly "more up to date on current events and the latest trends" than most in the market. He primarily acts for borrowers and sponsors, and has a wealth of experience advising on a wide range of financings, notably leveraged financings in Europe and the emerging markets.
Robert Lee advised on Codere's refinancing, as part of its EUR1 billion restructuring. He demonstrates strength in the areas of acquisition finance and disposals of loan portfolios. Clients note that he is able to "get things done, in a timely, executable manner."
Considered "a very well-known banking and finance industry figure," Malcolm Sweeting has acted on an impressive array of high-profile transactions and represented a number of prominent banks. He remains an important contributor to the core banking group and is particularly valued for his comprehensive knowledge of global finance.
Head of the banking and finance department Mark Campbell possesses "huge credibility in the market" and displays an "obvious depth of experience and knowledge," according to sources. He continues to advise on landmark deals in which the team is involved, lately acting for several lenders on the amendment and extension of Icopal's debt through a UK court scheme.
Habib Motani is best known for his distinguished Islamic finance practice, as well as his broad knowledge of derivatives, securities lending, repo, and netting and collateral.
Significant clients J.P. Morgan, Türk Telekom, GSO, Bridgepoint, GE.