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Banking And Finance

We believe in a commercially focused, pragmatic, approach to advising our banking and finance clients and sound market knowledge underlies all of the guidance we give. We consider that identifying issues early on is key to providing our clients with efficient, reliable and practical legal advice based upon astute commercial awareness.

Our expertise spans a variety banking and finance issues. We have acted for a number of leading lenders and we are able to advise companies of all types on their dealings with lenders. We also advise a variety of corporations (international corporations, family businesses, charities, trusts and developers) on all aspects of their relationships with lending entities.

We advise on the following matters:

  • Corporate lending;
  • Asset/property finance;
  • Project finance;
  • Corporate debt management;
  • Corporate banking;
  • Property acquisition and
  • investment;
  • Insolvency;
  • Restructuring;

Through a network of contacts, we are also able to assist in raising finance.
If you wish to speak to a member of our Banking and Finance Team then please contact us

  • Making History With Shepard’s Citations – Above the Law

    The story of Shepard’s Citations began when a salesman named Frank Shepard published the first version of his guide to legal precedence in 1873 after noticing how his attorney colleagues kept notes on case treatment in the margins of their documents. That was 150 years ago this year. Today, Shepard’s Citations Services continues to be the top choice for attorneys across practice areas, within law firms or as corporate counsel, looking to build their arguments and make critical decisions from the best case law available. In a recent interview, Above the Law spoke with Principal Product Manager Huiling Chen and Product Manager Karen Hay about the history of Shepard’s Citations and how LexisNexis continually revitalizes Shepard’s for today’s attorneys. Take In History At A Glance Hay highlights Shepard’s unique historical display of case treatment as a prime example of that revitalization. Introduced with the product’s 150 year anniversary in mind, History at a Glance gives legal researchers a new, easier way to view the historical context of a case. History at a Glance provides high-level analysis and context for the development and treatment of a legal case over time, allowing researchers to determine whether the citations used in their own drafting are good law. The feature tracks a case’s entire history and displays that information in a dynamic graphic that adapts to the history of the Shepardized case, as well as to specifications set by the researcher. Screenshot courtesy of LexisNexis. Importantly, History at a Glance bolsters Shepard’s ability to help researchers to deal with one problem Frank Shepard never encountered: today’s massive body of case law. “We have some cases with over a thousand results in their histories,” says Hay. “History at a Glance helps you narrow those results down and find where and when those important decisions were made.” History at a Glance’s intuitive interface is a key part of the product’s ability to direct researchers to the best case law available and provide seamless access to information about how specific court decisions have impacted the Shepardized case. Additional filters streamline the search process, equipping researchers to swiftly sort out jurisdictions, documents types, and other factors that are irrelevant to the task at hand. “It goes back to our 150 years of experience analyzing these cases and connecting them,” adds Chen. “What Shepard’s does is simplify and summarize to answer your key question while providing information and context about relevant proceedings.” Screenshot courtesy of LexisNexis. 150 Years of Shepard’s When your product’s name becomes a verb, you know you’ve made it. “Shepardizing your case is the first thing you learn in your legal research and writing classes,” says Hay. “When I was clerking and practicing, that’s what the partners would always ask: ‘Did you Shepardize?’” “In the eyes of every partner I’ve worked for, Shepard’s has been the gold standard for whether you’ll demonstrate completeness and competence in the courtroom.” The high level of trust attorneys have in Shepard’s, however, had to be earned through a century and a half of excellent, accurate analysis and evaluation of the law. Frank Shepard’s first pamphlets were a reflection of a focus on practicality, initially only covering case law relevant to attorneys based in his home state of Illinois, according to LexisNexis. Those pamphlets evolved into “adhesive annotations” that could be pasted directly into document margins during the research process. Image courtesy of LexisNexis. Those pamphlets soon grew into large, bound volumes that tackled case law in an ever-expanding range of jurisdictions while the Shepard’s company weathered both World Wars and the Great Depression. To this day, editions of these printed works line the walls of law libraries across the nation. (For those dedicated to physical books, current print editions of Shepard’s Citations are still available.) Shepard’s moved online in 1980, but it wasn’t until LexisNexis acquired Shepard’s in 1999 that the research tool’s online platform gained the extensive analytical capabilities today’s users have come to know and appreciate. Image courtesy of LexisNexis. Innovations introduced by LexisNexis – including tech-assisted document analysis tools and a fresh vetting and drafting process helmed by a team of attorney-editors — have since boosted the speed, accuracy, and usability of the Shepard’s platform. History at a Glance, developed with the aid of extensive customer input, is only the latest iteration of how Shepard’s follows Frank Shepard’s drive to streamline the legal research process and adapt to the needs of today’s attorneys. Chen and Hay say their team will continue to carry on that mission through each new iteration and update of Shepard’s. “We’re driven by the same concepts that drove Frank Shepard forward: providing comprehensive, accurate, timely data in an innovative way,” says Chen. “I think he’d be proud of what he created and the fact that he laid the foundation that allows us to practice the way we do today,” Hay adds. To learn more about Shepard’s Citations Services or Lexis+, please visit
  • Fox Moves To Redact Parts Of Discrimination Complaint That Make Their Lawyers Look Hella Shady – Above the Law

    (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images) Can you get a judicial order to put the toothpaste back in the tube? Fox News is aiming to find out. Yesterday, the company filed a motion to seal portions of the employment discrimination case filed on Monday by Abby Grossberg, a former booker for Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo. Grossberg alleges widespread sex discrimination at the network, as well as a a hostile work environment where derogatory comments about women and Jews was pervasive. But it’s allegations about conduct by Fox’s lawyers as they prepared Grossberg to be deposed in the $1.6 billion Dominion defamation suit which have the network flipping out. In her complaint, Grossberg describes conduct which is perilously close to suborning false testimony. For instance: Ms. Grossberg also left the deposition preparation sessions with the distinct impression and understanding that it was in her clear best interests to respond to questions with the generic, “I do not recall” whenever she had the opportunity. Ms. Grossberg left the deposition preparation sessions without knowing that by giving such false/misleading and evasive answers like the ones Fox’s legal team reacted to positively to during the prep sessions, she not only opened herself up to civil and criminal liability for perjury, but was subtly shifting all responsibility for the alleged defamation against Dominion onto her shoulders, and by implication, those of her trusted female colleague, Ms. Bartiromo, rather than the mostly male higher ups at Fox News who endorsed the repeated coverage of the lies against the Dominion. Grossberg alleges that Fox’s lawyers encouraged her to deflect blame away from her male colleagues and the male hosts and onto herself and Maria Bartiromo, whom management described as “menopausal,” “hysterical,” and a “diva.” The complaint characterizes this as part of a pattern of discrimination the plaintiff encountered and adds that Grossberg was discouraged from telling Dominion’s lawyers that Bartiromo lacked sufficient staff to properly read all the emails from Dominion warning them not to put Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani on the air to slander the voting machine company. For its part, Fox has been trying to head off this complaint since before it was filed. On Monday, Fox sought a TRO in New York state court blocking Grossberg from disclosing anything about her communications with its lawyers. On Tuesday, after Grossberg filed her federal case, it withdrew the state complaint. Then Wednesday, it filed the instant motion to seal, more or less pasting in the language from the withdrawn TRO. Fox argues the Grossberg “met with inside and outside counsel for Fox News on several occasions to provide Fox News’ attorneys with information to assist in their provision of legal advice to Fox News and their defense of the case, as well as to prepare for Ms. Grossberg’s deposition.” “These sessions were aimed at further developing a legal strategy and defense to the claims alleged against Fox News in the Dominion Lawsuit and ultimately providing Fox News with legal advice,” they continue, adding that the plaintiff “publicly filed privileged and confidential information belonging to Fox News without Fox News’ consent.” So the defendant would like to seal portions of the complaint which have already been on the public docket for almost three days now. Perhaps this is in preparation for an eventual breach of contract counterclaim against Grossberg, which might go some way to inducing her to settle. But if the aim is to actually hide this information from Dominion, that ship has probably sailed. But thanks for letting the rest of us know that paragraphs 135-140, 143, 145, 146, 149-151, 155- 156, 160-162, and 312 are where the juicy stuff is. Grossberg v. Fox Corp [Docket via Court Listener] Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics and appears on the Opening Arguments podcast.
  • Ex-Boutique Partner Gets Prison Time For Stealing From Firm – Above the Law

    Earlier this week, Scott Diamond, a former partner at Sacks Weston, a Pennsylvania litigation boutique, was sentenced to jail time after stealing six figures of legal fees from the firm and keeping some for himself and his associate co-conspirator. Diamond pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in August for stealing about $320,000 from the firm and originally faced up to 40 years behind bars. Prosecutors later requested a guideline sentencing of 27 to 33 months in prison, while Diamond’s defense attorney requested no jail time, suggesting instead a period of house arrest and probation. Ultimately, Diamond was sentenced to six months in prison followed by six months of house arrest. His co-conspirator received a sentence of three years of probation. The Legal Intelligencer has the details: The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, which includes three years of supervised release, represents a middle ground between prosecution and defense. … Brody determined that Diamond posed a low threat of reoffense and expressed genuine remorse for his actions during his address to the court. However, evidence supporting the prosecution’s claim that Diamond also stolen from clients by charging personal expenses to their files weighed into her decision that some amount of time behind bars was warranted. Diamond expressed his regrets to the court, saying, “I would like to extend my deepest and more sincere apology to members of my former firm for taking money from them and keeping them in the dark.” He continued, adding, “There were underlying circumstances that caused me to take the money but to say them now would sound like an excuse.” That “excuse” for stealing from the firm? Diamond was reportedly promised by Andrew Sacks, another name partner at the firm, that he’d receive more money on top of 33% of the firm’s profits, but that never happened. His lawyer, David Bahuriak, claims his client committed fraud to get his due. Looking back on the situation, Bahuriak acknowledged “it would have been wise for Diamond to sue Sacks rather than steal.” John Weston, one of Diamond’s former partners at the firm, read a victim impact statement in court, explaining that the firm — not to mention the legal profession — has taken quite the reputational hit thanks to his former colleague’s actions. “It brings shame on all of us as lawyers. It’s another lawyer joke: Dewey Cheatem and Howe,” Weston said. “We lost all of our young lawyers because they didn’t want to be associated with the firm.” Following the sentence, Weston said the period of time from discovering Diamond’s fraud to Wednesday’s sentencing has been “painful and ugly,” but it “turned out the way it should.” “I am sad the whole thing happened. I don’t like for anyone to go to jail but I also don’t like when lawyers get away with theft,” Weston said. Weston filed a civil suit against Diamond to recoup full restitution for the firm, and says he will drop it if and when he receives the full amount. Diamond’s lawyer, on the other hand, says his client has already paid full restitution. The moral of the story is an easy one for lawyers to remember: don’t steal from your firm, even if you think you’re owed money. You’re probably going to get caught and you’ll likely wind up behind bars. Ex-Sacks Weston Partner Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison, 6 Months House Arrest [Legal Intelligencer] Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
  • Advice on Flat Fee Billing from Two Lawyers Who Do It

    This article summarizes key takeaways from the #ABATECHSHOW presentation “Flat Fees: the F Word You’ll Learn to Love” by flat fee pros Regina Edwards and Ashley Pepitone.  Summary based on my notes, compiled by Chat GPT with additional editorial review. The Benefits of Flat Fees for Lawyers This presentation on flat fees for lawyers opened by highlighting the benefits of flat fees. First, the speakers explained the problems with hourly fees including unpredictability, inefficiency, and client dissatisfaction with surprise bills and fee disputes. In contrast, flat fees provide predictability for both clients and lawyers in terms of revenue and workload. Flat fees also incentivize attorneys to work efficiently and develop effective systems for addressing tasks. Next, lawyers don’t need to adopt flat fees all at once.  Instead, they can structure their practice areas to implement flat fees selectively, such as for business/transactional matters, individual/personal matters, family law, estate planning, criminal law, and immigration. Lawyers can also try flat fees for a limited period or specific types of matters. Another benefit of flat fees is that they incentivize efficient communication by lawyers.  Lawyers can use technology to communicate efficiently, frequently, and involve clients in their cases. Lawyers should also take steps to develop robust communications policies for clients Various communication technology resources are available at to help lawyers stay efficient and keep clients informed. Frequently Asked Questions About Flat Fees The speakers then addressed common FAQs on flat fees: FAQ 1:  What happens if a case drags out?  A- Consider options such as charging flat fees per month or per trial day in court, or creating a phase-based fee schedule with a menu of services outlining fees for “extras.”  FAQ 2- How can lawyers make more with flat fees compared to hourly billing when, for example, a divorce billed by the hour can be upwards of $50,000? A- The speakers noted that hourly billing can be far more limiting than flat fees.  Under a flat fee schedule, a lawyer can charge a modest $5k for an uncontested divorce and handle them all the same day (for a total of $20k) whereas, on an hourly schedule, the fee would be much less. Flat fees also don’t depend on others to bill and collect so a  solo practitioner with no associates, small staff and systems can do very well.  The key is for lawyers to figure out how much they want to earn each month, and reverse engineering billing to design a practice, figure out what to charge FAQ 3 – Are flat fees ethical?  A- They are allowed under the bar rules of every state, but must be done correctly and in accordance with state requirements. [Editor’s Note – additional ethics of flat fee billing can be found at MyShingle and Attorney at Work]    FAQ 4 – Will clients call and email more with flat fees?  A- It can happen but managing client expectations is key.  To minimize calls, lawyers can use secure client portals or carefully worded case updates to keep clients informed without using up lawyer time.  Lawyers can also use a tight engagement agreement for flat fees with options such as a monthly subscription model, a fee schedule per event, or charging in stages. Share this: Related
  • Women In Law Are Driving An Entirely New Practice Model – Above the Law

    Heather Cantua, Amy Duvanich, and Jamie Wells. Imagine: You wake up on a regular weekday, and rather than already feeling behind, you feel positive, even excited about the day ahead of you. Your first order of business is to do something you love – whether that’s walking your kids to school and taking a moment to greet the other parents, engaging in the exercise or meditation routine that makes you feel like your best self without rushing through it, or taking your dog on a favorite nearby hike. Following a wonderful start to your day, you look forward to your work, because you have full autonomy over what that work is and how much of it you do. On top of that, you feel valued and supported by your colleagues. Where oh where, you ask, might you find this mythical workplace environment that offers flexibility, agency, and genuinely encourages your success? Surely not in law, you guess, knowing all too well based on experience that law firm and in-house counsel life are a grind that eventually spits you out, particularly for women. Perhaps your experience is confirmed by the Law360 2022 Glass Ceiling Report on women in law which reports that major firms have made almost no progress on bringing women into the top leadership and partner levels. Or perhaps, you’re one of the scores of in-house lawyers who, despite working tirelessly and especially during the pandemic, was recently laid off, or might be in the near future. Indeed, the landscape for women lawyers on traditional paths – Biglaw, and in-house jobs in particular – remains riddled with inequities. We start our law careers thinking that we’re on equal footing with our male counterparts. After all, women make up at least 50% of law school graduates, as they have for a generation, and comprise around 50% of the associates at major firms, according to the Law360 Report. But over the years, those numbers dwindle. Across the board in Biglaw, women make up roughly 20% of equity partners and 30% of non-equity partners. 2020 Survey Report on the Promotion and Retention of Women In Law Firms, published by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL). In 2020, women held only a small percentage of law firm leadership jobs: They were 12% of managing partners, 28% of governance committee members, and 27% of practice group leaders, according to NAWL. The in-house numbers aren’t much better. Across the country, the number of women in top legal positions (particularly CLO/GC) is roughly 30%, according to the 2020 Inclusion Index Survey Report published by The Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Law firm pay also tracks inequities among men and women. The ABA published disheartening statistics in 2022 about Women in the Legal Profession, noting that “[l]aw firm pay for women almost caught up to pay for men among associates and non-equity partners in 2020, but a sizable gap still existed at the highest levels. In 2020, female associates and female non-equity partners received, on average, 95% of the compensation of their male counterparts. But among equity partners, women received just 78% of the compensation of men, on average. There were virtually no women among the very highest-compensated law firm attorneys in 2020. Only 2% of law firms said their highest-paid attorney is female – and that number actually dropped from 8% in 2005.” Perhaps most telling about the prospects of advancement for women in Biglaw is that male and female lawyers “strongly disagree on how well their law firms foster long-term careers for women.” That was one conclusion from a 2019 study published by the ABA and ALM Intelligence, which explored why experienced female lawyers are leaving law firms. The report includes results from a survey of more than 1,200 senior lawyers at the nation’s largest law firms. The survey showed that men generally thought their law firms treated women fairly, but women disagreed. For example, the vast majority of men (88%) said gender diversity is widely acknowledged as a firm priority, but barely half of women (54%) agreed. Also, nearly 3 out of 4 men (74%) said their law firms successfully retained experienced women but again, less than half of women (47%) agreed. As to why experienced female lawyers leave their firms, the women surveyed ranked caretaking commitments as the No. 1 reason (58%), followed by stress at work (54%) and emphasis on marketing or originating business (51%). Some women have chosen to build a solo or boutique practice. That path can be rewarding insofar as it sidesteps glass ceilings, office politics, pay inequity, and other ills found in Biglaw and in-house legal jobs. But solo or boutique practices have their perils too. For one thing, they tend to be riddled with administrative work which falls to the lawyers (particularly the female ones) and eats time that would otherwise be spent on client work or free time. And as a solo, unless you have been good about building and maintaining a network of lawyers with whom you can collaborate, it can often feel lonely and lacking in oft-needed support. Before you throw in the towel on your law degree or settle for another law job that undervalues and fails to serve you, think about this: There is an emerging model that enables women to build a practice that is more fulfilling, reflecting their own personal definition of success, rather than one that has been dictated by someone else, and enjoy the support of like-minded colleagues. The model found widespread adoption in the pandemic, which fundamentally changed workplace norms around daily attendance on a proscribed schedule in a physical office. Unlike Biglaw and many in-house legal departments which are ratcheting up the pressure to return to the office, distributed law firms like Scale LLP have, instead, embraced these changes. This model – which doubles down on flexibility and encourages lawyers to structure their day in a way that makes sense for them – has a profound effect on the viability of sustaining a law practice over the long term, especially for women. Heather Cantua, Deputy Managing Partner at Scale LLP. “Scale is attractive to female attorneys because: (1) our lean structure passes a greater portion of fees through to attorneys, allowing the flexibility and work-life balance that’s structurally impossible at big law firms; and (2) we’re focused on building a culture of collegiality that’s supported by aligned financial incentives for us to collaborate,” says Heather Cantua, Deputy Managing Partner at Scale. “On my recruiting calls with female partners, it gives me pride to be able to answer all their questions authentically and with real solutions to their problems. The proof is in the numbers: Scale is 53% female partners,” she adds. Cantua is a consumer finance attorney who began her career in Biglaw, and later went in-house in the fintech sector. She joined Scale in 2019 and hasn’t looked back: “Scale is different because I value my own time. I set my own rates. I decide which clients to work for and what work to take. I now don’t need to wait for someone else to give me a path. I create my own path. One of the best compliments is when I see former colleagues and friends and they comment on how I seem much happier now,” says Cantua. For her, Scale’s ethos and strategic vision has made all the difference. “I hope that other attorneys who want to challenge the assumptions of the entire legal industry can find a home. The past couple of years have taught me that the pace of change is not slowing down. And so now I’m trying to learn how to ride those waves of change and have a career that accommodates my life instead of a life that has to accommodate a career. Now, when I want to go hard at work, I can. And when I need to take a break, I can because I have control,” says Cantua. Amy Duvanich, Counsel at Scale LLP. In-house female attorneys have also found a home at Scale. Before joining Scale, Amy Duvanich was the rare breed of lawyer who went to work in-house shortly after graduating from law school, working for companies in industries ranging from education, retail, real estate, and software. Duvanich reached an “aha” moment, realizing she could combine her talents and passions and best serve clients by becoming a fractional general counsel to start-up companies, and then realized that the Scale model was a terrific fit for her vision. “The services and rates we are able to provide due to the structural differences between Scale and traditional law firms really benefits startups and small businesses,” says Duvanich. For Duvanich, the prospect of getting to bring value to multiple rather than just one organization was especially attractive, as is the fact that she has control over what work she chooses to do. Duvanich also appreciates the fact that a large number of Scale’s attorneys have an in-house background. “Attorneys with significant experience in-house are well situated to provide practical and efficient guidance shoulder to shoulder with our business partners. Efficient guidance is important to all clients, but it is especially important to startups. I am able to handle most of what my clients need, and I have colleagues that are able to fill in any gaps,” says Duvanich. Jamie Wells, Partner at Scale LLP. Jamie Wells is a litigator hailing from Biglaw who joined Scale right in the middle of the pandemic. Her transition to Scale from a large law firm was “seamless and my days now feel like my days used to feel, with the exception that I have a lot more ease and time, and that allows me to actually be better at providing service to clients, building teams, networking, and expanding my own business.” For Wells, working in a team is critically important, and she has found that at Scale, in spades. “Culturally it’s a great fit because everybody is remote, so it’s very easy to actually connect in a way that I wasn’t expecting,” says Wells. When Wells first started at Scale, she was constantly approached by other Scale attorneys with the question “What can we work on together? And that was so important to me because I like working on teams, I like building teams, I like sharing work, sharing credit. And across the board, everybody at Scale shares that mentality.” Wells recommends Scale for “somebody that is hungry, wants to take their career into their hands and do what they think is right for them.” As to her own decision to join Scale, Wells says “I’ve completely bet on myself and succeeded.” Women in law like Heather Cantua, Amy Duvanich, and Jamie Wells are now driving an entirely new way to practice law. They are actively building successful practices at Scale on their own terms: promoting themselves and building a stronger book of business; exercising autonomy to choose the “who / what / where / when” over their work; achieving self-defined meaning and purpose in their practices; and keeping more of the things they love while shedding the things they want to leave behind.