Last Updated October 08, 2019

Law and Practice

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Winston & Strawn London LLP provides a wide range of legal services through its banking and finance practice, to public and private companies, leading financial institutions, multilateral and development finance institutions, private equity and investment funds, alternative funding sources, investors and emerging companies, on investment grade, leveraged and mezzanine financings. The firm advises on high-profile transactions and matters ranging from cross-border transactions, initial public offerings (IPOs) and project finance matters, to distressed acquisitions and creative “first-of-their-kind” financings. Clients include leading international funding sources which provide senior, subordinated, secured and unsecured debt, and hybrid (equity/debt) products, as well as institutional investors who regularly participate in senior debt markets, equity sponsors, and borrowers in both developed and emerging economies. Additional thanks to partners Ed Denny and Dan Meagher and associate Shaheer Momeni, among others, for their contributions to this chapter.

The economic picture in 2019 remains complex. 

In the UK, as the political process and negotiations surrounding the UK's proposed withdrawal from the European Union (so-called "Brexit") have dragged on, businesses have increased their preparedness for a hard Brexit, while adopting a wait-and-see approach to transactions and investment. One significant aspect of Brexit has been the continued weakness in sterling, which has prompted opportunist approaches to larger businesses in defensible sectors, but this has not spread to more mid-market targets.

Business associated with government funding received a boost with the spending review announced by the government in mid-2019. This has yet to be felt, but austerity-ending increases have been announced across large parts of government business. 

Corporate lending (as opposed to deposit taking) remains an unregulated activity in the UK. There has been discussion of introducing regulation of non-bank lenders but, for the moment, regulators seem to be focused elsewhere.

More widely, international markets are still grappling to find alternative rate-setting mechanics following the announced withdrawal of the requirement that London banks contribute to LIBOR rate setting, which will affect how interest rates are fixed from 2021. While a lot of work has been done, no replacement with equivalent functionality has emerged, and it seems that changes in interest rates are set to be far more volatile as a result. 

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Authors



Winston & Strawn London LLP provides a wide range of legal services through its banking and finance practice, to public and private companies, leading financial institutions, multilateral and development finance institutions, private equity and investment funds, alternative funding sources, investors and emerging companies, on investment grade, leveraged and mezzanine financings. The firm advises on high-profile transactions and matters ranging from cross-border transactions, initial public offerings (IPOs) and project finance matters, to distressed acquisitions and creative “first-of-their-kind” financings. Clients include leading international funding sources which provide senior, subordinated, secured and unsecured debt, and hybrid (equity/debt) products, as well as institutional investors who regularly participate in senior debt markets, equity sponsors, and borrowers in both developed and emerging economies. Additional thanks to partners Ed Denny and Dan Meagher and associate Shaheer Momeni, among others, for their contributions to this chapter.

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