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Banking heavyweight joins Ward Hadaway

ONE of Yorkshire's leading banking lawyers has joined law firm Ward Hadaway.

Mark Smith outside horiz 02 Nov13Mark Smith (pictured) has joined the UK Top 100 law firm’s Leeds office as a Partner after more than 20 years in Yorkshire at a major international law firm where he established its specialist finance group and spent many years as its national head of real estate finance.

Mark came to Leeds in 1992 having been a Partner in a major London law firm where he had been involved in a broad range of banking and financing transactions and had spent time in their Hong Kong office.

Since his time in Leeds, Mark has acted for a whole range of funding clients including UK and overseas banks, building societies, insurance companies and funds as well as borrowers both quoted and private.

As well as acting on funding transactions, Mark has gained significant expertise acting for buyers and sellers in the residential and commercial loan markets.

As part of his real estate finance practice, Mark has in recent years been heavily involved in acting for lenders and investors in the student accommodation sector.

He is highly rated by independent legal guides, described by Legal 500 as being “excellent” and someone who “provides a true commercial approach to everyday issues”.

On his appointment at Ward Hadaway, Mark said: “I am really excited to be joining the firm.

“Ward Hadaway has really established itself as a distinctive and growing presence in the Yorkshire market and its approach of providing high quality, partner-led advice to clients across the region matches well with the way in which I have worked over the years.

“There is already an excellent team in place at the firm and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues and bringing further success to Ward Hadaway.”

Julie Harrison, Partner and Head of Banking at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark on board.

“He has carved out an enviable reputation for the quality of his work and for his rapport with clients so his recruitment is a major boost for our team in Yorkshire.”

Earlier this year, Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, including Nick Bell from the Banking and Finance team, advised property giant Allied London on its refinancing with Royal Bank of Scotland and Pramerica, which paved the way to a management buy-out at Allied, owner of the New Dock mixed-use development in Leeds.

Martin Hulls, Partner and Head of Office in Leeds, said: “Mark’s recruitment is a further demonstration of Ward Hadaway’s ability to attract truly high calibre lawyers to the firm and of our determination to continue investing in our operation in Leeds.

“His presence will considerably strengthen the breadth and depth of services which we can offer to our clients in Yorkshire and across the country.”


Ward Hadaway now employs over 50 lawyers in its Leeds office, providing legal advice in areas including Banking, Corporate, Commercial, Employment, Property, Competition Law, Healthcare, Family and Matrimonial, Dispute Resolution, Social Housing, Intellectual Property and Information Technology.

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