Trade finance

Voted one of the top trade finance practices in London for advising lenders and borrowers on national, international and cross-border trade finance transactions. With an outstanding reputation in commodities and structured finance we are able to bring a holistic approach to structured trade and commodity finance matters.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

Working at the leading edge of international trade and export finance, we act for banks, development banks, export credit agencies, traders, exporters and other market players. Our extensive experience spans the breadth of structured trade and commodity finance.

We offer a strong combination of an understanding of physical and derivatives contracts, shipping, trade and commodities finance, regulatory and contentious experience to international clients from all of our key offices. This means we are able to advise lenders and borrowers on all aspects of even the most complex trade financing mandates, including in relation to cutting-edge trade receivables transactions.

We take a commercial approach to providing solutions whether using established methods or innovative structures such as Shari'a-compliant techniques.

Our highly rated dispute resolution team have vast experience of trade finance disputes and advising on the cross border issues which arise. 

Areas of practice

  • structured pre-export financing
  • structured pre-payment financing
  • warehouse financing
  • limited-recourse structures
  • facilities backed by export credit agencies
  • documentary credits and standby letters of credit
  • forfaiting, bill acceptance and note purchase facilities
  • commodity financing
  • factoring, invoice discounting and receivables financing
  • workouts, recoveries and litigation
  • tax structuring.

"Their knowledge and awareness of new technologies such as blockchain systems, and the legal issues pertaining to them, were very evident and I believe market-leading."

The Legal 500 UK 2023

Prepayment financing for US oil company

We advised our client on a prepayment financing for oil in storage in an FPSO operating in an offshore Nigerian oil field.

Repurchase agreement for major Australian bank

We advised a major Australian bank on a repurchase transaction for powdered milk stored in European warehouses.

Term loan facility for Scottish oil company

We are advising our client on a term loan facility to finance the development of additional oil production in an offshore Nigerian oil field.

Invoice discounting facility for European receivables for an international bank

We advised the bank on it's on the purchase of receivables due to a global food group in respect of sales in various European markets.

Purchase of receivables for an international bank

We are advising the bank on the purchase of receivables in England, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Uncommitted facilities International bank

We advised the bank on uncommitted facilities for financing oil trading for two major oil trading companies.

Trade finance documentation advise for Hong Kong finance provider

We are advising the finance provider on standard trade finance documentation for purchase and on-sale financing in England.

England-based facility for café imports for an international bank

We advised a major Australian-based lender on various cross-border and storage goods security issues. The transaction also involved financing the commodity stocks stored in warehouses by various entities in the borrower group.

Latest news & insights

11 Nov 2022

From Insights

UK sanctions: prohibition on the maritime transportation of crude and petroleum oil and products

On 5 December 2022, the 16th amendment1 to the UK's sanctions against Russia, The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the "Regulations")2, comes into force ..


25 Oct 2022

From Insights

CIF Weekly: Embracing the next chapter: The Electronic Trade Documents Bill and its importance for the future of international trade

On 12 October 2022 the Electronic Trade Documents Bill (the "Bill") was introduced to the House of Lords and received a first reading. The Bill was drafted by the Law ..


22 Jul 2022

From Insights

Commodities in Focus - Edition 13 2022

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of Commodities in Focus (CIF); our bulletin for clients engaged in the production, trading, carriage, storage and financing of commod..


25 Feb 2022

From Insights

Commodities in Focus - Edition 12 2022

Welcome to the twelfth edition of Commodities in Focus (CIF); our bulletin for clients engaged in the production, trading, carriage, storage and financing of commoditi..


01 Feb 2022

From News

Philip Prowse joins Stephenson Harwood as partner

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its international trade practice with the addition of commodities trade finance specialist Philip Prowse, who joins as..


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.