Talking Trade Finance

Financing Receivables – Structures and Issues

Posted by Amanda Montano on Apr 12, 2021 9:54:44 AM

By Amanda Montano, Associate and Andrew Thompson, Trainee

At the latest Trade & Export Finance webinar, partners Geoffrey Wynne and Sam Fowler-Holmes delved into the topic of receivables financing. Given the manner in which COVID-19 has impacted businesses’ cash flow and supply chains, financing receivables has, perhaps unsurprisingly, accelerated over the past year. With the recent fallout of Greensill, the ideal opportunity arose to discuss the nature of receivables finance, the challenges facing the industry and key factors in mitigating risks and achieving the benefits the industry has to offer.

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Topics: Trade Finance, Receivables Financing

And Spring Heralds SONIA... and Alternative Rates

Posted by Jacqueline Cook on Mar 31, 2021 11:08:26 AM

The end of March has welcomed Spring, and this year it marks a new era for the financial markets, particularly for loans and financial products which would usually use Sterling LIBOR as the benchmark for calculation of interest, default interest or to calculate a discount rate. After 31 March 2021, alternative rates or benchmarks should be used in place of Sterling LIBOR.

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Topics: SONIA, LIBOR, LIBOR replacement rate

What 2021 holds in store for trade and commodity finance

Posted by Amanda Montano on Jan 29, 2021 11:16:39 AM

By Amanda Montano and Humzah Irfan

Jacqueline Cook, Senior Knowledge Development Lawyer at Sullivan's London office, broke ground on our first Trade & Export Finance Webinar of 2021, held on 21 January, and the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) for the post-Brexit position was top of the agenda. London's Senior Partner, Geoffrey Wynne, followed with thoughts on what the trade finance industry should be looking out for in 2021.

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Topics: Brexit, LIBOR, Digitalisation

"Trade" and "Cooperation" – Buzzwords for life beyond Brexit

Posted by Jacqueline Cook on Jan 11, 2021 6:03:07 PM

In a flurry of last-minute negotiations, the EU and the UK agreed on the form of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU, European Atomic Energy Community and the UK on 24 December 2020 ("TCA") to bring about the "Brexit deal" on their future relationship. As timing was extremely tight, with the end of the Brexit transition period looming a week later1, ambassadors for each EU member state approved the TCA in principle, so it passed through EU Parliament unopposed. It was then signed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission for the EU.

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Topics: Brexit, TCA, UK Act

Some Issues to Look Forward to in 2021

Posted by Amanda Montano on Jan 8, 2021 2:37:22 PM

By trainee Humzah Irfan at Sullivan in London

At Sullivan's monthly seminar in December, Mark Norris, partner at Sullivan’s London office, reflected on a roller-coaster year in 2020, breaking down key trade finance related events and picking up on common themes with a view on how issues from 2020 might feed into 2021.

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Transitioning out of LIBOR: What is the impact for trade and export finance?

Posted by Amanda Montano on Dec 4, 2020 11:06:14 AM

Written by Amanda Montano and Szonja Kolbenheyer

Things have been moving quickly now on LIBOR and IBOR reforms, but with regulators in the UK, US and EU going at different speeds. Needless to say, it was a welcome development this week to see combined announcements on 30 November 2020 from the Federal Reserve Board, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC), the LIBOR administrator ICE Benchmark Administration, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). International cooperation really is needed as so many trade and export finance deals are inherently cross-border and often involve multiple currencies. The fact that USD LIBOR will be available for legacy loans until 30 June 2023 will help sectors like ou rs, which have been recognised 
as needing a forward-looking term rate.
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Topics: LIBOR, Geoffrey Wynne

Sullivan Webinar – Trade Finance in 2020: annus horribilis, lessons for the future or a bit of both?

Posted by Sam Fowler-Holmes on Nov 23, 2020 11:21:34 AM

By trainee Humzah Irfan at Sullivan in London

Sam Fowler-Holmes restarted Sullivan's Breakfast Seminar, this time at lunchtime! On the day England moved into a second national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam provided an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the trade finance sector. The presentation discussed issues from the progress in digitalisation in the trade finance market to Brexit and LIBOR.

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Topics: Brexit, LIBOR, Supply chain finance, COVID-19, Digitalisation

Meeting the Challenges Covid-19 Poses for Trade Finance Transactions: Key Issues to Consider When Making Amendments and Waivers

Posted by Sam Fowler-Holmes on Sep 2, 2020 9:59:50 AM

This article is the second in a series looking at how to address some of the issues affecting trade finance documentation and transactions in the current climate.

The first article in this series analysed some of the issues that parties to a trade finance transaction should be aware of when considering amendments and waivers to their written contracts. This article continues to explore the issues that arise in connection with amendments and waivers, focusing first on the common question of how best to document an agreed amendment or waiver to an English law contract, and then considering how amendments or waivers to one contract can potentially (and possibly detrimentally) impact a party’s rights under a connected contract, and finally how to take steps to avoid or mitigate such impact.

How should I document an amendment or waiver in a trade finance transaction?

The starting point is always to consider any requirements set out in the relevant contract. Even if a contract is silent as to how it should be amended or waived, it is advisable to make any amendment or waiver in writing as, if well drafted, doing so helps to mitigate any later dispute about the intended scope or effect of the amendment or waiver.

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Topics: Trade Finance, COVID-19

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020

Posted by Geoff Wynne on Aug 21, 2020 11:09:24 AM

Written by: Geoffrey Wynne, Alexandra Shipulina and Szonja Kolbenheyer (trainee solicitor)

The Act

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Topics: coronavirus, COVID-19, Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act

Meeting the Challenges COVID-19 Poses for Trade Finance Transactions: Amendments and Waivers

Posted by Sam Fowler-Holmes on Jun 17, 2020 12:14:31 PM

This alert is the first in a series addressing the issues affecting trade finance documentation and transactions in the current climate.

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Topics: Trade Finance, COVID-19

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About the Blog

Talking Trade Finance is here to provide you with all of the latest updates in the Trade & Export Finance Industry.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

Meet the Editor


Sam Fowler-Holmes is a partner in the Trade & Export Finance Group in Sullivan’s London office. He specialises in structured and unstructured trade, commodity and export finance, advising both financial institution and corporate clients on a range of financing products including pre-export financing, prepayment financing, letter of credit and payment instrument facilities and working capital and borrowing base financings. Sam is a regular speaker at the Sullivan trade and export finance seminars and is a member of the ITFA Emerging Leaders Committee.


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