Welcome to the Winter 2019 edition of the Corporate Debt update

Since our last edition the uncertainty created by Brexit has continued and further challenges have been presented by the upcoming general election, all contributing to a climate in which many corporates have taken the conscious decision not to transact at all, especially given many are also in a position of having completed refinancing deals last year. For those that have entered into transactions the uncertainty created by Brexit and the election have led to protracted transaction timelines and additional scrutiny on investment decisions and rationale. Credit sanctions also suggest additional diligence and sensitivities before transacting. However, there are sectors that continue to attract interest, with a range of funders and products available to support on the right terms.

Leading this edition is an extended article examining the UK Government's Green Finance Strategy. We examine in detail and provide commentary on the objectives of the strategy, what it might mean for UK business and the finance industry and what the next steps might be for all those impacted by it. This article follows on from, and links to, previous articles we have included in this publication focusing on the growth and evolution of 'green' and 'sustainable' financing. The prominence of this subject matter in market publications, industry seminars and the general news illustrate that 'green' and 'sustainable' are ever more likely to play a key role in financing. Click here to read this article.

We also take a closer look at a seemingly quiet change announced by the UK Government to the order of payments to creditors upon a business insolvency, i.e. that of moving HMRC ahead of certain categories of secured lenders. Where we are in the financial cycle means that the relevance of this change for the corporate debt market could be even greater than it might otherwise have been and members of Addleshaw Goddard have been actively involved in voicing concerns about this change through their involvement with industry associations such as R3 – the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, the UK's leading trade body for the insolvency profession. In this article we explain the proposed changes, examine their potential impact and reflect on some of the mitigants that lenders and borrowers may wish to consider employing at the point the proposals come into effect. Click here to read this article.

Finally, we consider the impact, on both funders and borrowers, of the extension of the Pensions Regulator's powers and the introduction of new criminal offences under the measures set out in the Pension Schemes Bill that was published in October 2019. Click here to read this article.

Amanda Gray

Amanda Gray

Partner, Financial Services London. UK

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