Real Estate Finance

Herrington Carmichael has one of largest property law teams in the South-East of England. Supporting our clients across a range of specailst legal services.

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Finance & Secured Lending

Herrington Carmichael provides a highly personalised, practical, and commercial approach to both lenders and borrowers on secured lending transactions.  

We are an experienced team working with financial institutions, well-known high street and major banks as well as individuals dealing with the technical legal aspects of secured lending to ensure that our client’s outcomes are achieved and that their asset is secure. 

Our real estate development finance and secured lending team have industry recognised expertise and regularly advises clients on a full range of complex property financing transactions and arrangements.

We are experienced in drafting and advising on documentation based on LMA standards, bank standard documents, complex security suites (including overseas) and multi-currency lending arrangements.

We manage transactions from start to finish, ensuring a smooth and cohesive process which facilitates commencement to completion in a quick and timely fashion. We will invest the time upfront with you to understand your standard internal facility documentation and security requirements.

For each transaction, you will be made aware of your main point of contact within Herrington Carmichael as well as the other team members working on your deal from the outset of each transaction. We believe speed, communication and transparency are the key requirements for any transaction, and we work hard to meet these standards.

We work with a variety of lenders, including UK based financial institutions such as NatWest Bank plc, HSBC, Metro Bank plc and Handelsbanken.

We have also worked alongside and are familiar with the documentation of a number of alternative lenders such as Strata Residential Finance, Allica Bank, Shawbrook and Aldermore. We are also the preferred provider for Onyx Development Finance clients.

Our services include:

  • Bridging finance
  • Development finance
  • Prioritisation of loans
  • Property acquisition and investment finance
  • Property refinancing
  • Refurbishment loans – heavy and light
  • Short term loan funding
  • Sale and leaseback structures

Alongside our corporate and commercial teams, we are able to offer advice on loan agreements, floating charges, debentures, guarantees, security over building contracts and other finance documentation.

Recent Work

Exclusive Hotels

The £42m refinance from Allied Irish Bank to NatWest for a boutique hotel chain, involving a complex redemption procedure and extensive due diligence on the group’s property portfolio.

Care Sector

A £7.5m loan facility with Cynergy Bank, split across four companies for a client in the care home sector. X-company Guarantees, Debentures and 4 x first legal charges taken as security.


Acting for the lender on a £15m development finance and £1.5m bridge facility acting on behalf of our client. The development will consist of 33 houses with the bridge being against consented land for 5 high-value houses. 

Developer Finance

£4m development finance facility with Close Bros, acting for our developer client. Complex security by way of legal charges, debentures, intercreditor deeds and a costs overrun guarantee.

Residential Development

Acting for NatWest on the development finance for a £2m+ residential property development site with advisory requirements on demarcation agreements and asset protection agreements.

Care Home Group

Acting on behalf of Metro Bank, we were instructed to take 2 x legal mortgages, 4 x debentures, a personal guarantee, X-company guarantees and a subordination as security to secure the loan for this new to bankclient.


What are the different types of development finance 

There are various types of development finance, each structured to cater for the requirements of the particular project. It offers a longer-term funding arrangement specifically tailored to funding construction projects. The term length will depend on the timeline for the proposed construction but often will be available for up to 3 years. It is common for a development facility to release funds in various stages under a land and build facility. The land loans provides funds to acquire the site with the build facility providing staged draw downs to enable to the build to progress.

The main types of development finance are as follows (but not limited to):
Senior Debt/First Charge – these lends generally have a lower loan to value of the gross development value although this varies depending on the lender, and the developer.
Stretched Senior Debt – this can be useful when you need additional funding over and above your senior debt or have more than one project ongoing at the same time. Generally speaking a lender will only offer this type of lending to an experienced developer with a proven track record.
Mezzanine Finance – this type of finance can help maximise total borrowing. It is a second charge and can help to contribute towards the amount the developer has to contribute towards the project. It is often more expensive but offers a solution for many developers.
Development Exit Finance – this becomes relevant when you may want to refinance a project or when you are approaching the end of your initial loan term but not yet able to complete the sale of the units on the development.
Over and above the typical facilities for new construction sites, developers should also consider if heavy & light refurbishment lending is appropriate. These facilities cover conversion works to existing buildings. As they are perceived to have a lower risk profile, lenders can take a different approach to leverage.  
What is Bridging Finance?

Bridging finance, as it is commonly referred to, offers a short term flexible option for developers requiring to ‘bridge’ the gap before the next funding comes in. Typically, the term of the loan will range from a few months to 18 months. This type of finance is generally used to fund small scale construction projects and renovations, that can be completed quickly and within the term of the loan or until a longer term facility can be put in place.

Due to the shorter term of the loan, lenders’ requirements tend to be reduced and the funds can be made available at short notice – this can even be as little as 24 hours, depending on the lender (and the team of professional advisors supporting the deal)!

For all the benefits that a bridging loan can offer, there are substantial fees and interest charges which as always need to be weighed against the convenience and speed. It is usual to see a higher interest rate, an arrangement fee (often a percentage of the loan), a broker fee and of course legal fees.

Property Finance Insights

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Herrington Carmichael has once again been named in the Times Best Law Firms. We were first listed in 2023 and have once again made the Best Law Firms list for 2024.

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