Clients do not hesitate to praise this high-end, full-service firm as being "a cut above everyone else" and "the best in town." The team adopts a "very pragmatic and commercial approach to getting the deal done." Standout deals over the past year include advising software company Autonomy on a recommended cash offer by Hewlett-Packard valued at approximately £7.09 billion. The firm also stands out for its extensive cross-border capabilities as evidenced through its client roster, which includes Diageo, Westfield Group and Chi-X. Clients appreciate the team's "flexible approach" and its willingness to "invest in the relationship."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nigel Boardman holds a stellar reputation, and is praised by one client as "one of the best legal advisers I have worked with." Boardman has broad experience across a range of practice areas including M&A, restructurings and sports law.
Stephen Cooke has been described as "a good technical lawyer, who brings a dose of commercial reality to the technical nuances of corporate transactions." Clients praise his "good judgement" and "attentive client care." He played a key role in advising Autonomy on the bid by Hewlett-Packard.
Sources agree that Frances Murphy is "first-class." She recently acted on behalf of Henderson Group in relation to its acquisition of Gartmore Group.
Charles Randell has extensive experience in corporate M&A and is also active in public sector work and energy-related issues. He has advised high-profile clients such as Apollo Management and HM Treasury.
William Underhill has acted for numerous corporate clients on a broad spectrum of deals and advisory transactions. He specialises in M&A and securities matters.
Clients are "consistently impressed" with Andy Ryde, describing him as being "down to earth and practical, and he knows his stuff inside out." Recent highlights include advising Charter International on the recommended bid by Colfax.
Jeffrey Twentyman is noted for his M&A skills. According to clients he is "sharp, very practical and commercial."
Clients recommend Robert Stern as being "very, very bright." He advises clients across the board ranging from small listed companies to larger listed and unlisted companies as well as investment banks.
David Johnson has acted on behalf of numerous big-name companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and RBS Equity Finance. Peers are full of admiration for his "great" work.
Christopher Saul specialises in corporate work including M&A and joint ventures, securities transactions and private equity. Highlights include representing Akzo Nobel with regards to the acquisition of ICI.
"Realistic and commercial," Gary Eaborn has been described as "an extremely good technical lawyer" and "a good negotiator." He is "definitely someone I want on my side," said one client. Eaborn recently advised Unilever on a number of issues including the sale of Sanex to Colgate-Palmolive.
Simon Nicholls was recently key partner acting for John Wood Group on its acquisition of PSN. In addition to his M&A practice, he is recognised for his equity capital markets work.
Oliver Wareham has represented both UK and international clients in a wide range of transactions including insurance, building society and asset financing work.
Kathy Hughes led the team assisting Diageo on a cross-border transaction involving the acquisition of Turkey's leading spirits company, Mey Içki.