People Moves

Online Lender For Real Estate Sector Creates New In-House Counsel Role

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 19 January 2016

Online Lender For Real Estate Sector Creates New In-House Counsel Role

The specialist, online lender has added to its team with a new role of in-house legal counsel.

LendInvest, a UK-based online lender for property finance, has appointed its first in-house legal counsel as part of expansion efforts. Ruth Pearson joins from Simmons & Simmons where she was a managing associate in that firm’s banking team. 

Pearson joined Simmons & Simmons as a trainee in 2007 and qualified in 2009. During her eight years in private practice, she advised a range of financial institutions and borrowers on various banking and real estate finance transactions; she also spent nine months on secondment to the real estate restructuring team at Royal Bank of Scotland.

As part of her new role, Pearson will work with LendInvest’s heads of compliance and credit and share her transactional expertise with borrowers and brokers.

The firm opened for business in May 2013 and last week reported it has so far originated more than £500 million of loans for borrowers seeking finance deals last up to three years. It now has more than 70 full-time employees.

LendInvest is part of a trend of what sometimes goes under the title of "peer to peer" lending. P2P lending is about how creditors and borrowers can hook up and bypass banks, typically using internet platforms to do so. With banks retreating to some degree from forms of lending because of more stringent capital rules, this has left a gap in the market – and P2P players have been filling it. This is a busy area: there is a move to let investors access P2P lending through wealth management platforms as a result of an agreement between technology company FNZ and RateSetter, a P2P lender. Platforms that are powered by FNZ, such as those offered by HSBC, UBS and Friends Life, as well as UK independent financial advisors, can offer products to clients from RateSetter although it is not yet clear from reports if all such firms using the FNZ platforms will do so, or soon.


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