A North East-based solicitor has been crowned the top finance lawyer outside London, in this year’s national Legal 500 UK 2019 awards.

Muckle LLP Partner and Head of Banking Louise Duffy was named Finance Individual (outside London) of the Year at the Legal 500 UK Awards 2019 at The Guildhall, London, on Wednesday 6th February.

Winners were selected after many months of thorough research, including 70,000 interviews with in-house counsel, law firms and barristers in the UK to pin-point the most capable, expert practitioners and firms operating at the top of their game across a number of different business sectors.

Louise – who specialises in acquisition finance, property finance, debt restructuring, refinancing, guarantees and security issues – leads the Banking & Restructuring team at Muckle LLP, the North East’s leading independent law firm for businesses. A former partner at Pinsent Masons and lecturer at York College of Law, Louise has been ranked as a top lawyer for many years by both Legal 500 UK and Chambers and Partners legal directories.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win this national accolade, particularly as it is based on feedback from clients and independent research by Legal 500 UK.

“I am very fortunate to lead an exceptionally talented group of banking lawyers, many of whom are also recognised by Legal 500. Not only do we have the largest team of banking and restructuring specialists in the region, we work closely with all our experts in other fields, so this award is very much a win for the wider team at Muckle LLP.

“Success comes down to how we do things and how we work with people – delivering down to earth, technically excellent and responsive advice. We also have a very good understanding of both lender and borrower needs, so we can usually find ways to overcome any potential barriers and deliver deals that are of lasting benefit to both parties.

“We have strong bonds with our clients and partners and it’s fantastic to consistently be able to bring different parties together in a constructive way. Whether we’re working on a deal for £2million or £100million, we are passionate about supporting businesses throughout the North East of England and beyond.”

The awards are unique in the legal industry as they recognise each element of the profession equally, representing the very best law firms, chambers, silks, in-house lawyers, business leaders and general counsel operating within the UK market.

Jason Wainwright, Muckle LLP Managing Partner, added: “Louise is an exceptional lawyer who is committed to delivering technically excellent service at all times. She has developed the largest and highest ranked banking team in the North East, and I am immensely proud that their consistently high quality performance has been acknowledged with this national award.”