Alex Schaafsma
Partner and Head of Banking and Finance
  • Experience
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Alex is a Partner and a Finance Lawyer and heads up the Banking and Finance Team. She is also head of our Real Estate Finance Team, which comprises of property and finance lawyers acting on property backed transactions.

Alex trained at a ‘Magic Circle’ global law firm in London and she was admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales in March 2004. Shortly after qualification, Alex moved to Amsterdam and worked there for six and a half years as an English qualified solicitor, acting on English law transactions, predominantly for Dutch lenders and concentrating on leverage finance, acquisition finance and conventional lending. Alex moved to another, English global law firm in 2007, and continued to work in Amsterdam, but focussing more on acting for borrowers, and dealing with a broader range of finance matters – including project finance, renewable energy finance (wind farms and solar panels) and trade finance – whilst continuing to act on conventional lending transactions and also for lenders. Alex returned to London in 2011, and in doing so broadened her experience to real estate finance, funds lending and Islamic finance.  

Alex joined Birketts in September 2017 and works together with colleagues across all of the Birketts offices. Alex works for both borrowers and lenders at Birketts and on a wide range of financing transactions. In particular, Alex acts on a lot of real estate finance transactions – both development and investment – and works closely with the property, planning and construction teams – as well as others, throughout Birketts. Together the teams are able to provide a seamless service to clients on complex and time sensitive transactions and Birketts has a number of niche specialists who can provide very detailed advice on unusual and/or complicated matters.

Birketts is on the legal panel of most mainstream lenders and has a very strong network of relationships with key business developers in the Cambridgeshire region and beyond.  

Alex understands the importance of delivering work on time and on budget and is very commercially focussed. Her practical approach to transactions and advice on technical legal detail in layman, comprehensible terms, is highly valued by her clients. Alex can also advise clients on possible lending opportunities and structures of transactions.

Alex is described as ‘Up and Coming’ by Chambers [UK 2022]. Clients in this edition say: “Alex Schaafsma is exceptional in her attention and support.” “She has a keen eye for detail and is rigorous in ensuring that all angles are considered and covered.”

The previous edition notes that she impresses clients with “her experience and knowledge of matters as well as her ability to deal with the people involved. Her advice is always sought before any major decisions are taken”. 

Alex is recommended and named as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ by Legal 500 [UK 2022]. Clients in this edition say “Alex Schaafsma is a highly experienced partner, efficiently overseeing the work and caring greatly about the bank/lawyer relationship”. Another adds “Alex Schaafsma is our principal contact and she has been a great source of assistance and advice when needed”.

In an earlier edition clients note that her strengths are her “speed of response, articulation of the impact of proposed changes, and her open, pragmatic and commercial approach”. 

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Alex Schaafsma is exceptional in her attention and support.

Chambers [UK 2022]