Shepherd and Wedderburn division advises on deals worth £40bn-plus

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s banking and finance team has advised clients on deals with a total value of more than £40 billion in its last financial year.

Fiona Buchanan, head of banking and finance at the legal firm, praised the positive deal volume. Picture: contributed.
Fiona Buchanan, head of banking and finance at the legal firm, praised the positive deal volume. Picture: contributed.

The division of the legal heavyweight saw a “busy” 12 months to October 31, supporting clients – including banks, funds, financial institutions, alternative lenders, public bodies, corporate borrowers and sponsors – with a mix of strong deal volumes and advisory work, despite the ongoing challenges presented by Covid-19.

The team highlighted completed notable deals in the year, including acting for Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind in the £2bn financing of the relevant offshore wind farm; and Bank of Scotland in connection with the provision of £26 million in UK government-backed debt support by means of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) for the UK business of retailer Charles Tyrwhitt.

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The law firm’s unit also acted for Nord/LB in relation to the circa £19m funding of the provision of Clydebank Health Care and Care Centre under the Scottish Government’s Hub initiative; and iconic Scottish brand Hunter Boot regarding the Scottish aspects of its equity and debt restructuring.

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Scots law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn hails ‘solid’ growth

Fiona Buchanan, head of banking and finance at Shepherd and Wedderburn, said the positive deal volume illustrates the unit’s ability to win new mandates from new and existing clients, including for a number of high-value debt capital markets deals.

“We saw an immediate shift during the initial lockdown towards advising both lenders and corporate borrowers in relation to government-backed schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) [plus] the large business equivalent... and the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, as well as conventional restructuring of debt packages,” she said.

“Beyond that, our clients have also remained active in the clean energy, healthcare, technology, retail, real estate and financial sectors, reflecting the strength of the firm’s expertise in these sectors of critical importance to the economy, particularly as we turn our attention to emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Looking ahead, Ms Buchanan said her team’s key objective is to help clients navigate a shifting landscape due to the economic impact of coronavirus and ongoing uncertainty around Brexit – with the division harnessing technology.

She added: “While we expect the prevalence of debt restructuring to continue into the new year, we have also seen a steady increase in conventional funding activity for businesses well-positioned to navigate a path through the pandemic. Improved market confidence over the summer led to an increase in debt capital markets deals coming to market, which we also hope will be a continuing trend into 2021.

“In the longer term... our experience advising on some of the UK’s largest clean energy projects to date sees us well-placed to assist clients towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

“A post-Covid-19 environment is unlikely to involve any less regulation and, in an increasingly complex financial regulatory environment, we continue to grow our financial products and services advisory practice.”

Shepherd and Wedderburn was founded in 1768 and says it is now the largest Scottish-headquartered UK law firm, with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, London and Dublin.

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