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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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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.  
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. 
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...
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...
The pro­rog­a­tion of the UK Par­lia­ment: CMS to live blog from the UK Su­preme...
Widely dubbed the con­sti­tu­tion­al case of the cen­tury, on Tues­day 17 Septem­ber 2019 the UK Su­preme Court will hear three ap­peals - one from each of the leg­al jur­is­dic­tions mak­ing up the United King­dom...