Banking and Finance
WITH a highly rated team of seven partners, it is no surprise that Dickinson Dees LLP is usually involved in some capacity in all major transactions in the area whether acting for the lender, the borrower or the private equity provider. Practice head Deborah Kirtley in particular is perceived as a major player, and the firm wins client plaudits for the strength in depth of its industry knowledge. Big ticket work in 2006 included acting for Bank of Scotland on the Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin Group's acquisitions of property throughout the UK. The education sector has also kept them very busy; the firm advised Barclays on its pounds 50m loan facility to Middlesbrough College to fund a new campus and also acted for the University of Durham on development facilities worth pounds 92m. Russell Jarvis and Nicola Nutley are also recommended.
Eversheds LLP's Nick On has relocated to the firm's London office and Newcastle-based Andy Nunn replaces him as head. 2006 saw the team complete 135 transactions involving financing totalling more than pounds 2bn. It mainly acts for financial institutions including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Newcastle Building Society. On the borrower side, the team has acted for Newcastle International Airport, UK Land Estates and One NorthEast. As well as indigenous North East lending and borrower work, the Newcastle team continues to win, act on and in many cases lead on national and international finance transactions, bringing work into the region from clients based internationally.
Managing partner Stephen McNicol at Muckle LLP leads a team which demonstrates a 'good spread of knowledge with very capable key lawyers'. It continues to develop particularly in the areas of enterprise zone funding, property finance and borrower advice. Louise Duffy has joined the team as a partner from Pinsent Masons and has specific experience of work for public bodies. Highlights of 2006 included advising one property investment client on a number of acquisitions raising over pounds 140m.
Ward Hadaway's highly rated Julie Harrison concentrates on high-value and leveraged transactions, together with project finance. …