Burges Salmon has secured a place on a newly-formalised panel advising Nationwide Building Society on business finance transactions in excess of £10m.
The Bristol firm joins Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Dechert and Eversheds on the panel that was set up earlier this year to formalise Nationwide's adviser relationships for commercial lending. Burges Salmon's appointment follows an 18-month project which was completed in April, on which a team from Burges Salmon's finance group advised Nationwide on the complete overhaul of its documentation for loans of up to £10m. Burges Salmon scooped the work on this project in a beauty parade involving six firms. The team included finance partners Richard Leeming, Sandra Forbes and Paul Browne. Leeming said: "This was a highly significant project for both Burges and Nationwide. The result is that the documents are more user-friendly and can be prepared far more quickly than before." Nationwide's senior manager of support services Martin O'Reilly said: "Not only did our previous documents require greater conformity, the new ones also accurately reflect the commercial market in which we now operate. "We were very impressed with the Burges Salmon team, to the point that we've now appointed it to our panel of firms advising on £10m-plus transactions." In the past, Nationwide has not had a formal panel for commercial lending, but has now created two distinct groups. The first deals with general facilities of up to £10m, for which a panel of 40 firms covering the whole of the UK has been set up. That panel also includes Burges Salmon. "We've had relationships with these firms for a number of years and we're happy with their service and quality," said O'Reilly. The building society previously used between 60 and 70 firms for this level of work. The second panel is for larger transactions. O'Reilly said: "There are four names on there that have had the bulk [of work] so far - those are Eversheds, Burges Salmon, Dechert and Rowe & Maw, but we do use magic circle firms from time to time. We use Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and others. The list is not exclusive. Periodically we will add to it."