I support Francis Wilks & Jones’ services to banks and financial institutions.
Amongst other things, I act as an ambassador to the firm, promoting its dedicated asset based lending practice within the asset based lending and receivables finance industries.
I have over 40 years’ experience in advising clients on both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of receivables financing and asset based lending work.
Prior to my consultancy with our firm, I was a partner of global law firm DLA Piper which I joined in 2001 from the niche asset based lending firm, Wildes.
I have always taken a highly collaborative client approach, seeking to provide practical and positive advice and be both responsive and approachable. I manage large projects efficiently and endeavour to add value while avoiding excessive fees.
My expertise includes:
- conducting claims against the former clients of finance companies, guarantors and indemnifiers
- undertaking fraud investigations and insolvency-related litigation
- working closely with insolvency practitioners appointed to wind up the businesses of discounters’ clients and advising receivables financing and asset based lending clients on the best strategies for maximising their realisation of debts and other assets
- drafting suites of template facility, security, guarantee and associated documents for many of the major asset based lenders in the UK and designing innovative financing arrangements which can be contracted online in a modernised, user-friendly and competitive format
- advising on regulatory issues such as data protection, money laundering and insurance mediation in the context of asset based lending facilities
- supervising a review of a major UK bank’s 1,000+ standard invoice finance, asset finance and banking facility and security documents to identify and remediate provisions which failed to meet a set of defined standards
- designing and drafting a suite of non-recourse, selective invoice finance agreements to operate seamlessly in conjunction with a client’s back office recruitment services business in both the UK and the US. The client’s operating model required that transactions should be conducted through a dedicated portal to minimise risk and reduce the cost of staff interaction
- advising on the law relating to anti-assignment provisions to assist a client to structure a multi-billion dollar sale of its invoice discounting portfolio to another global financier and to facilitate the completion of the securitisation of another client’s factoring book
- compiling an “Inventory of Laws” for a major global client involving collaboration with law firms in 29 different countries. The project involved the completion of a template in relation to anti-money laundering, international trade controls, treating customers fairly, customer bankruptcy, sound and ethical business practices (anti-trust/competition), misuse of information (insider trading/data protection/document retention) and financial services institutions (affiliate transactions/licencing and registration/commercial lending/leasing). The inventory was then used by the client’s internal compliance team to compare the information on each Inventory against existing policies and controls to identify what, if any, compliance gaps might exist. I was subsequently retained to refresh the reports in many of the relevant countries
- advising from a regulatory perspective on a credit advisement tool to be used by a global client in 17 jurisdictions to determine whether the provision of this service was regulated or subject to any restrictions which would preclude it being provided in any of the relevant countries
- successfully concluding the settlement of a claim against the wife of a guarantor who alleged that she had not received independent legal advice on the terms and effect of a legal charge offered as security for the guarantee liabilities and had never met her solicitor, even though her solicitor had provided a certificate confirming that he had provided advice on the terms and effect of the legal charge
- in a case involving an invoice discounting company which did not hold a debenture or other charge entitling it to appoint an administrative receiver to a client who was misappropriating monies belonging to the discounter, obtaining the appointment of a receiver by the court to prevent the client misappropriating further monies tendered by debtors direct to the client to which the discounter was solely entitled under the invoice financing agreement
- successfully negotiating a pre-action settlement with two directors of a clothing company who had defrauded an invoice discounting company even though the directors had not signed personal guarantees nor had any other contractual liability to the discounter
- conducting proceedings involving complex legal issues on which there was no similar legal precedent against an administrator for monies misappropriated by the administrator which represented remittances tendered by debtors in respect of debts arising after the commencement of the administration which had been purchased by a discounter
- acting for a trade finance company in relation to a fraud involving the making of false representations and the provision of forged documents by the borrower in order to induce the financier to fund the transaction. After swiftly issuing proceedings, the dissipation of the borrower’s assets was secured through an application for a freezing order and subsequently obtaining charging orders on the borrower’s properties and other enforcement actions
- acting for a major UK bank in its defence of a claim by a former customer for monies allegedly withheld from the customer by the bank and successfully defeating the claim at trial by winning all 137 issues in dispute
I provide targeted legal training to the firm’s lawyers and clients and have been a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on the legal aspects of receivables financing and asset based lending, fraud and money laundering.
I have initiated and led eight pro bono training projects teaching law graduates at law schools in Tanzania and Zambia.