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Portrait of Stephen Phillips

Stephen Phillips


CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Saltire Court
20 Castle Terrace
United Kingdom
Languages English

Stephen Phillips is a partner with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of finance transactions.

He acts for both banks and borrowers in various sectors, including oil and gas, financial institutions, maritime and real estate.

Stephen has also been heavily involved in the transfer of loan portfolios and warehousing transactions and the Scottish aspects of the securitisation of residential and commercial mortgage loans as well as credit card and auto loans receivables.

He also has significant experience of advising on Bank of England Discount Window Facilities and advising Scottish financial institutions and corporates on loan note issues.

Stephen has an extensive advisory practice, which includes advising and opining upon the validity of complex financial instruments and structures under Scots law. He is the author of Scots law industry opinions including the Scottish ISDA Netting and Collateral opinions.

Stephen is a member of the Banking, Company and Insolvency Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland and is one of the teachers of the International Finance LLM course at the University of Edinburgh.

Legal 500 identify Stephen as a Leading Individual in Banking and Finance in Scotland.

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"According to clients he is "always very solid" and commands great respect from his peers. One market commentator adds: "We've got a good relationship and I have a lot of respect for him. If I was a bank or a borrower I would have no issue going to him"."


Relevant experience

  • Standard Life plc on the negotiation of a syndicated facility of USD 400m.
  • John Wood Group plc on the negotiation of its bilateral facilities with seven banks.
  • Ethos Energy Limited on the negotiation of its bilateral facilities with four banks.
  • Banks on the application of the CRR regulations to their lending, deposit and trading arrangements.
  • A number of financial trade bodies, including the main derivatives body, ISDA.
  • Banks and financial institutions on a wide range of securitisation and warehousing transactions.
  • Regularly, Scottish counsel to major bond and note issuers.
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  • Law, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
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Scottish independence - The road to a second referendum?
On 18 September 2014, the Scottish electorate voted on whether Scotland should become an independent country. The result was 55/45 in favour of remaining part of the United Kingdom but in the aftermath of Brexit support for Scottish independence has increased.Recent opinion polls have shown that Scots are evenly split on the issue of independence. In the run-up to the Scottish Parliament elections on 6 May 2021, the two main pro-independence parties, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Scottish Greens, campaigned for a mandate to hold a second independence referendum whilst the pro-Union parties campaigned against a further referendum. Whilst the SNP were one seat short of an overall majority, the election produced a clear pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament with 72 out of 129 seats. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has made it clear that she views the election result as being a mandate for holding an independence referendum during the lifetime of the current Scottish Parliament.
Rebound & Remodel: Scottish independence: The road to the EU
The May 2021 Scottish elections returned a pro-independence majority to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment with a mandate to request a second Independence Referendum. It is not clear when such a request will be made or whether the UK Government would agree to such a request but the debate about independence will have a greater profile. Brexit has been one of the main reasons why there has been an increase in support for in­de­pend­ence among Scottish voters and the Scottish Government has stated that an independent Scotland would seek to rejoin the EU. This paper discusses what the EU application process would look like if Scotland were to vote for independence, and what issues would need to be addressed by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.
Rebound & Remodel: Scottish independence: An independent Scottish currency
Following the election of a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament in the May Scottish elections, the likelihood of a second independence referendum has increased. It is likely that, as part of the debate, there will be a focus on what currency might be used in an independent Scotland. In 2014, Scottish Government proposed a currency union with the remaining UK (rUK) but this proposal has been sidelined due to opposition from the UK Government, whose consent would be needed.This means that the most likely currency options available to an independent Scotland would be (1) continued use of Sterling, (2) “ster­lingisa­tion” or (3) a free-floating Scottish currency.
Rebound & Remodel: Scotland's road to recovery
Much of our attention has turned to Scotland’s road to recovery post pandemic, post-Brexit and post-election.  As a nation, Scotland is still addressing a catastrophic pandemic and is in the midst of an uncertain economic landscape ahead. It is dealing with the UK’s exit from the EU and the recent Scottish general election, which has firmed up the prospect of another independence referendum in the medium term.  
Changes to CCFF, the UK Government’s large business support scheme
Changes have been announced today to the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the UK Government’s liquidity support scheme for larger businesses involving the purchase of commercial paper, a type...
Covid-19 Liquidity, Debt and Employment Measures
The Covid-19 Liquidity, Debt and Employment Measures briefing from CMS can be downloaded below and contains  information about the fol­low­ing:Li­quid­ity and Working Capital Support - including details...
Covid-19: How adverse is materially adverse? 
The concept of ‘Material Adverse Effect’ or ‘Material Adverse Change’ is used for protection from the unknown: events of magnitude which cannot be anticipated in due diligence and risk assessment...
Covid-19: Help for businesses
The Government has implemented certain measures to ease the liquidity pressures stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak. These measures, including the new programmes for debt and wage support, are amongst...
Covid-19: Help for businesses
The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is now available and further information on the scheme has been released. Our article summarises the CCFF, including an overview of eligibility for the scheme...
Help for businesses in distress due to COVID-19
The Government and Bank of England have announced a number of schemes and measures to support business during the “Covid-19 shock”. The details are being developed but what is known so far is summarised...
Government consults on UK Global Tariff
The UK Government has launched a public consultation on what the UK’s global tariff regime should be after the end of the transition period with the EU. Changes being considered include removing small...
Brexit FAQs
The UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January provides certainty of a sort. But most of the Brexit-related issues that really matter to businesses are still to be resolved. As the UK and the EU prepare...