SHEPHERD and Wedderburn’s banking and finance team has reported a busy 12 months, supporting clients on deals worth more than £40 billion, despite the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the 12 months to 31 October 2020, the team advised clients, including banks, funds, financial institutions, alternative lenders, public bodies, corporate borrowers and sponsors.
Fiona Buchanan, head of banking and finance, said: “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), the large business equivalent (CLBILS) and the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, as well as conventional restructuring of debt packages.
“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, Fiona said her team’s key objective is to assist clients in navigating a shifting landscape due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing uncertainty around the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU.
“The investment we have made in bespoke technology-based solutions for clients and in developing our team has meant that we have continued to operate seamlessly during lockdown restrictions and we continue to collaborate with clients on a number of pathfinder technology-assisted legal projects,” she said.
”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, with the green recovery a core part of many clients’ agendas for economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 future, 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.”