Financial services

They are professional, reliable and proactive … They speak in very clear terms so the client understands exactly what they are advising on.

Chambers UK

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What people say about us

Financial services


Experienced in advising lenders and borrowers on a variety of financing work. Areas of work include MBOs, acquisition and education financing as well as bridge refinancing. Draws its borrower clients from the construction and food and beverages sectors, among others.

Strengths: Clients praise the firm's ‘proficient delivery all round’.

Notable practitioners
John Chater: ‘He gives precise advice and has also a commercial approach. He seeks to find solutions for the client.’

‘He is excellent. He efficiently explains everything in straightforward detail.’

Helen Drayton provides advice on acquisition finance, particularly in relation to MBOs. She also handles development finance and is experienced in financing work across a number of sectors including healthcare and leisure.

Chambers UK - 2022 edition


Reading-based banking and finance specialist John Chater is the main contact at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. His varied portfolio of work covers acquisition finance (including transactions with a private equity element), real estate investment finance, development finance and general corporate banking...The firm is heavily involved in work for lenders and counts a sizeable number of UK and international banks as clients.

‘Approachable, friendly and willing to engage with both ourselves and the client to ‘hold hands’ and guide, as much as manage the legal aspects.’

‘John Chater has been our main point of contact within the banking and finance team. He has always made himself available, even at very short notice, and no query is ever too much trouble for him. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a superb team around him to offer support in other areas of the firm, regularly introducing other experts from across the firm who are equally adept and responding to any queries we have.’

Alex Fox is a dynamic leader, inspiring others by his determination and good humour, and sets the tone for the [business and finance disputes] team. He is also fiercely bright and quick to see a point. Charlotte Hill and Bronagh Adams are highly intelligent and strategic thinkers. Charlotte is particularly creative and able to see matters obliquely. Emma Davies is utterly determined and indefatigable. She will work as hard as the situation requires and will not give up until done.’

The Legal 500 - 2022 edition


National firm with a growing reputation for its international capabilities, acting for a wide-ranging domestic and international client base.

Strengths: Clients say: 'They are technically skilled, but what sets them apart is their commercial aptitude and personable style.'

Other sources note that the lawyers 'go the extra mile to advise, by understanding what the client and the bank are trying to achieve.'

Notable practitioners
Sources highlight John Chater for being 'diligent, technically skilled, personable and able to see things from the client’s commercial, as well as the legal, perspective.' He advises borrowers and lenders on a range of transactions including real estate finance and acquisition finance.

Helen Drayton provides advice on acquisition finance, particularly in relation to MBOs. She also handles development finance and is experienced in financing work across a number of sectors including healthcare and leisure.

Chambers UK - 2021 edition


The firm-wide banking and finance practice not only advises some of the world's most active lending banks, but also has a large roster of large corporate borrowers in the healthcare, real estate, retail, education, construction and social housing sectors.

Helen Drayton, who handles acquisition finance, bi-lateral lending and development finance, works with the London office to assist banks and investors outside of the EEA to enter the UK.

The team are always available and respond quickly to any queries. They have regularly gone the extra mile for mutual clients.

John Chater is approachable, incredibly knowledgeable and has a rare ability to take complex legal matters and describe them in a way that can be easily comprehended.

The 'brilliant' business and financial disputes team benefits from experience acting for and against banks in litigation, with particular expertise in swaps litigation. Practice head Rustam Dubash has significant experience representing Indian companies; Alexander Fox handles both traditional banking and fintech disputes, including cryptocurrency claims, while Phillip D’Costa is noted for contentious regulatory matters. Other names to note include Michael Brown, who brings misselling of investment products claims, LIBOR and card payment services disputes expertise. Recently promoted partner Emma Davies (who splits her time between Oxford and London) and 'tenacious litigator' Charlotte Hill are other names to note.

The Penningtons team is a really top-drawer outfit. I would not hesitate to recommend them. For claimant-side work, Penningtons are up there with the very best financial services lawyers.

Phillip D’Costa is reassuring, unflappable, commercially savvy and immensely hard-working.

Emma Davies is unusually hard-working and determined and will leave no stone unturned to achieve the result intended.

Alex Fox is a whirlwind of energetic intellect; constantly driving on the team by example and direction.

James Harrison never misses a beat, is commercially astute and a great tactician.

Charlotte Hill is a tenacious litigator, and a real force of nature. She is brilliant at case management and marshalling evidence.

The Legal 500 - 2021 edition


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP