Shepherd and Wedderburn’s banking and finance team has reported another strong year for deals, with the value of transactions rising by 10% (£13.4 billion) in the 2019 financial year to 30 April.
The team completed 167 deals with a combined value of £145.4 billion, up from 162 deals valued at £132 billion in 2017/18.
Fiona Buchanan, Head of Banking and Finance at Shepherd and Wedderburn, said the year-on-year increase in the cumulative value of deals illustrates the team’s success in securing higher value work with new and existing clients.
“Our clients were particularly active in the renewables, healthcare, technology, real estate and financial sectors last year, which largely reflects the sectors that are performing well in both the Scottish and wider UK economies,” she said.
“Approximately 15% of work won last year was with new clients, notably corporates seeking our experienced banking and finance advisers to put debt funding in place, particularly as Brexit uncertainty continues to influence operating conditions.
“We also saw an increase in lender-side mandates, indicating the banks are getting on with business despite ongoing uncertainties.”
Notable deals completed in the year included:
acting for Moray Offshore Windfarm (East) Limited in the Scottish aspects of the £2.6 billion financing of the Moray East Offshore Windfarm in the Outer Moray Firth;
acting for HSBC Bank as Agent to a syndicate of lenders on all Scots law matters in connection with an increase to a US$750 million reserve base facility provided to INEOS UK E&P Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries following its acquisition of the North Sea Forties Pipeline System from BP;
acting as Scots Counsel for the Arrangers and Joint Lead Managers in the £238 million inaugural securitisation of residential mortgage loans originated by The Mortgage Lender; and
acting for Bank of Scotland in its £18.4 million financing of the acquisition of new-build student accommodation in Durham by Ernest Place Limited.
The team also acted for HSBC Bank plc in the refinancing of facilities to Scottish Midland Co-Operative Society Limited (trading as Scotmid Co-operative), in addition to a number of high-value debt capital markets deals.
In the past year, the team also continued to grow its financial products and services advisory practice, helping financial institutions and other market participants navigate the increasingly complex regulatory environment.
Looking ahead, Buchanan believes technology-led innovation will be the key business and transactional drivers.
“With the delivery of legal services continuing to evolve, we are increasingly finding ourselves combining excellence in legal practice with tech innovations, and we are partnering with clients on a number of pathfinder technology-assisted legal projects,” she said.
“In uncertain times, clients turn to experienced and trusted advisers who can combine specialist legal and sectoral knowledge, and our award-winning team deliver consistently on both fronts.”