The trade finance sphere continually evolves and embraces innovation to meet the needs of trading companies, the challenges of emerging markets, and the regulatory and capital pressures faced by financial institutions.

We have a breadth of trade finance expertise that means we can assist clients meeting these challenges and achieving their trade finance objectives.

We advise on all aspects of trade finance, including documentary and standby letters of credit, export and pre-export facilities, guarantee issuance facilities, carriage of goods' contracts and shipping terms, receivables' financing, factoring and discounting arrangements.

We also act for a range of market players in a range of roles. We advise financial institutions on bespoke bilateral transactions, taking participations and providing account bank and other services in syndicated financings, providing outsourcing solutions to other financial institutions and in secondary market trading and arrangements to transfer credit risk. We also act for trading companies, not only on their financings arrangements, but also on commercial trading and shipping terms.

Legal 500, 2014 says, "The level of service is always excellent at Fieldfisher, where Oliver Abel Smith and Andrew Evans are quick, pragmatic and highly skilled professionals."


Notable deals / highlights

  • Acted for a Russian borrower under a pre-export finance facility with a German bank to assist the borrower in financing the cost of the purchase and transportation of alumina for delivery to a plant in Russia and the processing costs, with security over the raw materials and the contract for sale of the aluminium.

  • Advised a US institution on the issuance of a bespoke letter of credit to allow the release of a shipment of animal feed arrested in Libya, payable on the conclusion of complex legal proceedings and issued through a chain of correspondent banks as the recipient could not rely on the letter of credit issued by a US entity.

  • Acted for a US investment bank in a trade finance outsourcing transaction with a Bahrain financial institution, for the US bank to provide back office, verification and processing functions to the Bahrain financial institution in respect of letters of credit and similar instruments issued or confirmed by the Bahrain entity.

  • Advised the trade finance desk of a European bank on its risk participation with a US bank in relation to the confirmation by that US bank of a $800m documentary letter of credit issued by a Saudi Arabian bank. The US Export-Import Bank provided credit protection and our role included advising our client on inter-creditor arrangements.

  • Advised a UK financial institution on a $100m bilateral letter of credit and guarantee insurance facility to a group of agribusinesses based in Egypt and Saudi Arabia for the financing of the acquisition and importing of local and imported agricultural produce.

Expertise spotlight

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