Clifford Chance LLP

Banking & Finance Department

London (Firms)
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What the team is known for Significant finance practice sought out by high-calibre corporates, financial institutions and private equity sponsors in the leveraged and investment-grade markets. Well positioned to advise on the full range of financial instruments, from European covenant-lite structures to Term Loan B facilities. Additionally noted for its ability to advise lenders in EMEA on high-value transactions as well as its expertise assisting US-based clients. Enjoys a strong reputation for its expertise in the healthcare, technology, pharmaceuticals and retail sectors.

Strengths Sources say the team consists of "high-calibre individuals, who work well together and well with clients."

Clients say: "They have a strong bench of partners and associates who are able to work rapidly on deals and have a good understanding of market norms."

Interviewees say the team has "excellent market knowledge," explaining that "even if the person you're speaking to doesn't have the answer, they will speak to other partners to find out about other deals and where the market is."

Work highlights Acted for Morgan Stanley as global co-ordinator and UBS as mandated lead arranger in relation to the £3.5 billion term facilities and £550 million add-on to an existing £1.45 billion revolving credit facility for Sainsbury's in connection with its proposed £7.3 billion merger with ASDA.

Notable practitioners

Charles Cochrane acts for both borrower and lender-side clients. His work includes everything from M&A financing to leveraged and debt restructuring matters. Sources regard him as a "very bright guy who knows his stuff."

David Robson has particular experience advising investment banks and is noted for his expertise in leveraged and M&A financings. Impressed clients state: "What always impresses me is his ability to distil matters down to the key points and the way that he works with the opposition's counsel to smooth the process."

Emma Folds has a respected corporate lending and debt restructuring practice and is praised for her representation of banks and alternative capital providers.  Clients say: "She gives you immense confidence and is very straightforward at explaining things to people with varying degrees of knowledge. She has a calming easy manner and is responsive and always available."

Jim MacHale is well regarded for his expert handling of leveraged finance and corporate loan matters. Clients note: "He has a really easy-going manner and he will give you the time and walk you through the background. He talks you through the points that really matter and is a pleasure to deal with."

Karen Hodson is highlighted by market sources for being "user-friendly" and "sensible" in her approach. She is regarded for her lender-side expertise and is experienced in advising on matters including leveraged finance, structured finance and margin lending.

London regional managing partner Michael Bates is recognised as one of the foremost experts in infrastructure financing matters and is also experienced in acting for corporate borrowers.

Nicola Wherity is "practical, sensible and has a good understanding of the market," according to clients. She centres her practice on advising lender-side clients on investment grade and fund finance matters.

Robert Lee is the global practice area leader for finance at the firm. His broad finance practice spans cross-border M&A, corporate lending and fund finance matters, among others.

Taner Hassan is noted for his expertise in acting for sponsors, regularly advising private equity clients on leveraged finance matters. Clients say: "He is very smart, highly skilled, understands issues and new facts immediately and proposes very good solutions. He also takes time to explain the solution to clients in a manner which is easily understandable."