Backing banks on £80m refinancing

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Providing advice to Lloyds, Barclays, Santander and HSBC on the £80 million refinancing of East Yorkshire-based polymer technology specialist Fenner was one of the highlights of the year for DLA Piper’s top ranked banking and finance team.

The team, whose operations are split between its Sheffield and Leeds offices, is one of six local firms in the rankings and is praised for being “highly commercial and efficient” and providing excellent overall levels of service.

Nabarro and Irwin Mitchell, which also divides its banking and finance operations between Sheffield and Leeds, are among third ranked firms in the field, ahead of HLW Keeble Hawson, Hill Dickinson and Wake Smith

Nabarro’s banking practice, which includes Barclays and the now divided Lloyds TSB remains a “stalwart” of the banking sector, despite the departure of leading finance lawyer Dean Gormley to head the banking and finance team at Irwin Mitchell, not long after the publication of the last Legal 500.

Mr Gormley was previously a senior lawyer at the Manchester office of Eversheds and then a partner at Halliwells.

Nabarro’s Ben Hendry is described as a key contact at the firm, whose successes during the last year included advising Bank of Scotland on the restructuring and refinancing of Stockton-on-Tees-based equestrian centre Stainsby Grange’s existing development loans.

Mr Gormley’s arrival at Irwin Mitchell followed the departure of James Bullock to become a corporate and commercial partner at Maidstone-based Brachers.

Irwin Mitchell has continued to win high-quality work from banks such as HSBC and The Co-operative Bank, who it advised on the provision of a loan to enable a major UK housing association to extend its residential property portfolio.