Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777
banking and finance icon

Banking and finance solicitors

The banking and finance team has considerable experience in advising lenders and borrowers including UK and international banks, building societies and corporate clients.

undefined      The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

The department is split into three specialist groups, meaning that transactions are resourced by carefully selected teams:

  • Acquisition Finance
  • Project/Asset Finance
  • Property Finance

The department has a proven track record of handling high value and complex debt finance work in the region. It certainly finds itself on the region’s highest profile deals and it also has a reputation of “punching above its weight”.

Some of the department’s notable clients include Santander UK PLC, National Westminster Bank PLC, Metro Bank plc (the firm has recently been appointed to their panel), Svenska Handelsbanken AB (PUBL), Haskins Garden Centres Limited, Yacht Havens Limited, The Ageas Bowl and developers such as Reilly Group, Doswell Projects, Ocea Life and Alfred Homes Limited.

2018 has been another strong year for the department in terms of the volume and value of transactions handled evidenced by the fact that the team acted on matters involving in excess of £750m of debt. The department has strong relationships with retail banking groups and a number of higher education institutions. In addition, the department is legal provider to a number of challenger banks, such as InterBay Funding Ltd and Hampshire Trust Bank PLC, and has a growing presence in this area (Axis Bank UK Ltd and Proplend Ltd being two recent appointments in this sector).

Our service

The team is focused on delivering a service which is:

  • partner led
  • client focused
  • seeks to provide commercial and pragmatic advice
  • cost transparent – we provide clear cost estimates at the beginning of each transaction
  • proactive

Our lawyers, praised by clients for their “easy to communicate with” and “personal approach”, offer a depth of expertise and experience that is unrivalled in the region.

James McNeil is the lead partner who has a reputation for delivering transactions on time and is known for his commerciality. Clients enthuse that he “offers extra value-added advice over and above what we usually ask for and helps us with understanding the issues.”

Our expertise

The team advises on a wide range of issues including:

  • development and construction finance
  • acquisition finance
  • project finance
  • asset finance

We also advise on all issues which may arise including the drafting and negotiation of loan and security documentation, intercreditor arrangements, release of existing security and review of existing loan and security documentation.

Our clients

We act for:

We also act for:

  • other funders e.g. building societies, foreign banks, providers of sub-prime finance
  • corporate and commercial clients who need to utilise debt finance in order to finance specific projects and/or their day to day operations
  • developers
  • funds which invest directly/indirectly in real estate
  • residential housing associations
  • operators and owners of retail and leisure operations
  • investors in real estate (residential, commercial and agricultural)


  • Chambers and Partners 2020:  Highly active in debt finance transactions, offering a full spectrum of banking expertise encompassing acquisition, asset and property finance. Regularly sought after by retail banking groups, house builders and developers for real estate finance-related work. Also acts for UK clearing and challenger banks on leveraged finance, debt facilities and working capital facilities.  One client comments: “They have expertise and their work is of a good quality.” Another source adds: “They are professional yet approachable.
  • Legal 500 2020: One source said ‘Quick to respond and drive a deal forward. Very comprehensive and detailed approach.’
  • Chambers and Partners 2018: Sources emphasise the team’s “strength and depth of expertise and experience. The people are engaging and easy to communicate with.”  Another client notes “I think the lawyers were particularly skilled at listening to our requirements,” further praising “their considerable skill and experience in the commercial banking and finance sector, yet still retaining a personal approach.”
  • Legal 500 2018-19: Paris Smith LLP provides ‘a level of service that is excellent in all areas; the team is quick, efficient, extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic and provides good value for money’. James McNeil heads the practice and is rated for his ‘ability to speak in layman’s terms, meaning he can effectively cascade legal messages and requirements to clients’. Acquisition, asset, project and real estate finance are all areas of expertise for the practice, which has strong relationships with a number of retail banking groups such as Santander and HSBC, as well as regional corporate borrowers and higher education institutions. Recent highlights include advising RB Sport and Leisure Holdings on the refinancing of The Ageas Bowl, which involved the negotiation of a new finance lease with Eastleigh Borough Council. Also recommended are acquisition finance expert Jonathon Roy and real estate finance specialist Clare Lee.

Southampton Contact

James McNeil
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2108
Send an email

View Profile

Meet the Team

Edward Power
LLP Partner

T: 01962 679 783
Send an email

Liam Doughty
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2325
Send an email

Michael Moore
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2290
Send an email

Stuart Allen
LLP Partner

T: 01962 679 782
Send an email

Imogen Beaver

T: 023 8048 2115
Send an email

David Middleton

T: 023 8048 2144
Send an email

James not only has excellent expertise but is very commercially minded and always determined to secure the right result.  His ability to resolve issues laterally leads to swift solutions.

- Mike Donaldson, Santander UK Plc

This practice is well equipped to handle acquisition, construction, real estate and corporate finance for both borrowers and lenders.  On the corporate finance side, the team is noted for its particular expertise in MBOs…James McNeil comes recommended for his expertise in leveraged finance and real estate finance, and is the firm’s relationship partner for major lender clients.”

- Independent legal directory Chamber & Partners

Paris Smith LLP has noted a substantial uptick in instructions to handle property financing. The ‘very good’ James McNeil leads the team, which advises clients including Santander, Lloyds Bank and Alfred Homes.

- Legal 500 2016

“Paris Smith LLP’s ‘high-quality’ team is led by the ‘thorough, proactive’ James McNeil, and in 2014 advised lenders and borrowers, including Santander, on a steady flow of transactions, with Stuart Allen particularly active in real estate finance.”

- Legal 500

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Please fill in the contact form below or call us at one of our offices.

02380 482 482

01962 679 777

Request a callback

For more information on how we deal with your personal information please see our Privacy Notice.