The REFBlog has been a little quiet recently, mainly down to being phenomenally busy in November and December 2018 on a range of transactions, which carried through into January 2019.
New Partners in the REF Team
During that period, as you will have seen from our press release, we have greatly enhanced our REF team with the hire of Iain Thomas and Christian Francis.
Enhanced Service Delivery Platform
We have also been very busy looking at our service delivery platform and ways to improve it, both on premium structured real estate financings and the more commoditised REF work (the latter we typically service from our regional offices (and Belfast)).
Transaction management is key to this process and we are constantly looking at ways to improve the process, particularly as the deal closing cycle is now a lot longer than clients (and their lawyers!) would wish. For the Fieldfisher REF team this has resulted in:
- Process Mapping to ensure deal efficiencies from fee estimate to deal close;
- Using Workshare Transact as our CP management tool – creating real time CP management in an online data room and speeding up production of deal bibles and location of documents/delivery of advice;
- Focussed REF training on drafting and negotiation of documents (and developing new crisp REF template security documents for these purposes);
- An enhanced "back office" (both in and outside London (Belfast/Manchester/Birmingham)), in the case of Belfast, to speed up post-closing and bible generation;
- A focus on difficult or special situations in the real estate finance market – a recent example including acting for a client on a loan purchase and subsequent refinancing of a group of hotels in receivership and a re-branding of the same.
We are committed to innovation and will continue to look at ways of improvement. Any active engagement or comment from readers of this blog would be much appreciated to help our thinking.
Please do reach out!
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