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Ashurst

London

Ashurst - London
  • Broadwalk House
  • 5 Appold Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 2HA
  • Senior Partner Charlie Geffen
  • Managing Partner James Collis
  • Number of UK partners 124
  • Number of other UK fee-earners 585

THE FIRM Ashurst is a leading international law firm with 25 offices in 14 countries spanning the world's leading financial and resource centres.With a reputation for commercial advice that is also technically acute, the firm operates at the cutting edge of financial, corporate, infrastructure, disputes and resources markets.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK
Corporate: Advising clients on public and private M&A, private equity, equity capital markets, joint ventures, prime brokerage, corporate derivatives, regulatory matters, company law and governance, commercial contracts the establishment and management of investment funds and restructuring and insolvency.
Commercial: Advising on contractual issues, covering all the trading activities of a business. The firm provides a comprehensive service whether on strategic transactions or on a more day-to-day level.
Competition: Advising on competition litigation, merger clearances, joint ventures and technology transfer agreements, access regulation, complex economic regulation issues, rate cases, consumer protection issues and competition law compliance.
Tax: Advising on all aspects of cross-border work including international buyouts, collective investment schemes, demergers, securitisations and debt trading.
Disputes: Offering litigation, international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution expertise on banking, regulatory and finance, class actions, commercial, competition, energy, transport and infrastructure, financial regulatory, fraud and corporate crime, international compliance and investigations, product liability, real estate, restructuring and insolvency and technology issues.
Intellectual Property: Advising on, and developing legal strategies to maximise and protect the commercial potential of brands, ideas and technological advances.
Employment:
Advising on all aspects of workplace relations, including industrial relations, incentives, pensions, discrimination, boardroom appointments and departures, and executive remuneration and benefits and corporate governance issues.
Energy & Resources: Advising on all aspects of work in the energy and resources sector including mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance, greenfield projects, brownfield projects, project and acquisition financing, international law, environmental law and approvals, joint ventures, equity capital markets, reserve based lending, land and resource access, project development, EPC contracts, commercial agreements, competition and regulation, litigation and arbitration.
Real Estate: Advising on outsourcing transactions and major urban regeneration projects, sales and purchase agreements and portfolio sales agreements, financing, real estate funds including Islamic funding structures, property development and urban regeneration, leasing and portfolio management and mergers and acquisitions.
Infrastructure: Advising governments, private sector organisations and financial institutions on complex infrastructure transactions across multiple jurisdictions and sectors. Areas of expertise includes; accommodation, communications, custodial, defence, education, health, social housing, waste and energy from waste.
Finance: Advising lenders, issuers, borrowers and advisors on leveraged and acquisition finance, corporate finance, structured finance, asset finance and leasing, aircraft finance, capital markets, project finance, real estate finance, securitisation and corporate trusts. In addition, the practice area extends to bilateral and syndicated loans, guarantee and security issues and regulatory matters, including the establishment of banks in Europe and the carrying on of lending and investment banking activities within Europe.
Restructuring:
Advising on all issues arising from corporate distress, distressed investing and formal insolvencies.

INTERNATIONAL Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India (best friend referral arrangement with Indian Law Partners (ILP)), Indonesia (associated office), Italy, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UAE and USA.

RECRUITMENT The firmrecruits both qualified lawyers and trainees into all areas of its practice.Applicants need not only to have achieved high academic standards but also to possess individuality with a commercial awareness that can only be applied to issues to ensure the most appropriate solution for the client. For more information please visit the firm's website, www.ashurst.com.

    Contacts
  • Corporate, Commercial & Competition Stephen Lloyd
  • Disputes, Intellectual Property & Employment Simon Bromwich
  • Energy, Resources, Real Estate & Infrastructure Mark Elsey
  • Finance Laurent Mabilat

Branches

  • Broadwalk House,
  • 5 Appold Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 2HA
  • Tel (020) 7638 1111
  • Fax (020) 7638 1112
  • DX 639 London
  • Email : email@ashurst.com
  • Website : www.ashurst.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 33 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Increasing presence in the vibrant credit funds market and active on the development of unitranche facilities. Strong relationships with key corporate lender and sponsor clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Industry knowledge: "They just have such strong experience of the current market. Whenever I asked what the precedent was for various terms they could tell me instantly, they're so knowledgeable about current trends."

Bench strength: "I like their depth of bench; you can contact anyone and know you'll get speed of service and technical knowledge."

International capability: "It has a strong international presence and track record, so has the ability to undertake multi-jurisdictional work to a high standard."

What's new? Tim Rennie was promoted to partner.

The team was appointed to Wells Fargo's UK panel and gained State Street, JPMorgan and National Australia Bank as new clients.

Work highlights Advised Nomura International on the £1.1 billion recapitalisation of Wood Mackenzie, acting as lead arranger, bookrunner and underwriter of senior and mezzanine debt facilities.   

Represented Lloyds, HSBC, Mizhuo and Jefferies in the £501 million LBO of Mercury Pharma.

Notable practitioners 

Abradat Kamalpour is known as a "go-to guy" in the Islamic finance space. "He is very commercial about the way he approaches legal issues - he gives different options that you can take," explains one satisfied client. Kamalpour continues to advise sukuk holders on the defaulted USD650 million Goldenbelt listed sukuk.

Mark Vickers maintains an impressive reputation as a leveraged finance expert, with one client enthusing: "He is just one of the wisest heads in the market. His experience adds a lot of value."

Nigel Ward is highlighted for offering a "gold-plated service" to his clients, who identify him as "without doubt amongst the best guys in London at this." He was one of the lead partners acting on Nomura's provision of senior and mezzanine debt facilities for the recapitalisation of Wood Mackenzie.

With deep experience in leveraged and acquisition finance, Helen Burton remains "a highly respected name" in the field.

Nicholas Benham has had a highly successful year, most notably acting as co-lead partner on Nomura's USD1.1 billion recapitalisation of Wood Mackenzie. He is "easy to deal with, on top of the technical detail and a pleasure to deal with," said one interviewee.

The "excellent" Tim Rennie represented William Hill in its proposed bid for Sporting Bet for an undisclosed sum, co-ordinating with Australian and Spanish colleagues on the funding arrangements. He is highlighted as a trusted adviser by client, who single him out as being "highly technical."

Significant clients RBS, Barclays, Haymarket Financial, Sankaty, Gala Coral.

Since publication, Nicholas Benham has joined Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for High-quality banking litigation practice routinely instructed by major banks and financial institutions. Adept at handling large and complex cases both domestic and international.

Work highlights Represented Goldman Sachs and Cargill in a claim in the TCC brought by GDF SUEZ alleging breach of warranty in connection with the purchase of Teesside Power.

Represented Nomura in numerous cross-border disputes in connection with structured product transactions entered into with a fraudulent businessman.

Notable practitioners  

With "a very long and distinguished track record as a litigator," Edward Sparrow attracts praise for his vast experience and knowledge in the field. Sources say: "He exudes calmness and authority. When he speaks people listen. He's a voice of reason." 

The "very commercial" Ben Tidswell is praised as a "very strong practitioner" and has significant expertise in complex banking and insolvency disputes.

Rising star Thomas Connor specialises in financial services and banking disputes and is described favourably as "easy to deal with, straightforward and very bright."

Significant clients RBS, UBS, Northern Rock, The Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan.

Capital Markets - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
 - 18 partners 
 - 28 associates

What the team is known for Recognised as a key player in both ECM and DCM, maintaining strong relationships with a number of leading broker and investment banks, and receiving a regular flow of notable instructions. Remains a flexible and balanced practice, acting for corporate clients as well as banks. Particularly noted for its proficiency advising on matters in the natural resources and energy sectors.  

Work highlights Acted for Oriel Securities, RBC Capital Markets and Goldman Sachs in connection with their role as underwriters of Salamander Energy's USD212 million rights issue. This was the first transaction the ECM team handled for Goldman Sachs.

Advised Commerzbank with regard to Samsonite International's USD1.25 billion flotation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. 

Notable practitioners  

Department head Nicholas Holmes is a "very wise" and "very experienced UK capital markets practitioner." His broad expertise covers the whole range of equity transactions, and he led the team on the aforementioned Salamander Energy rights issue.

Jennifer Schneck "has a wealth of UK, emerging markets and capital markets expertise" according to sources. She advises investment banks and corporates on private placements, securities offerings and capital raising.

Anna Delgado heads up the firm's DCM group and is particularly experienced across exchangeable and convertible bonds, MTN programmes and international bond issues. Interviewees appreciate that she is "always responsive and up-to-date."

Francis Kucera recently joined the firm from Linklaters. According to sources he is "very responsive, very knowledgeable and very good at getting things done." He has extensive experience in European emerging markets, handling both ECM and DCM matters.

Significant clients William Hill, Avocet, Goldman Sachs, Oriel Securities, Vedanta Resources.

Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Securitisation & Derivatives - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
 - 11 partners 
 - 49 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Has established a strong reputation for itself in the CLO area, often acting for investment banks and asset managers, and recently advising on the first European CLO since the credit crisis. Also has significant strength in credit derivatives, prime brokerage and structured funding.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their strength is primarily in the synthetic and CLO area, they have got real expertise there."

Work highlights Acted for BNP Paribas with regard to its purchase, from CIFC Deerfield, of the Gillespie CLO management contract. This was a pivotal addition to its asset management platform.

Advised Credit Suisse in connection with an update to its structured products programme for the issuance of notes, certificates and warrants.  

Notable practitioners  

Sources enjoy working with David Quirolo as he is "very user-friendly and very pragmatic." He focuses on structured finance expertise transactions, and in particular securitisations, repackagings and CDOs. He recently advised on BNP Paribas's CLO acquisition, as outlined above. 

Jonathan Haines acts for asset managers and investment banks on multi-jurisdictional matters that often involve prime brokerage, corporate and equity derivatives and alternative investment funds. Interviewees appreciate that "he understands exactly what is needed and does it," while also highlighting his "great experience." 

James Coiley is a derivatives specialist, with particular experience advising on tax-efficient structures and credit derivatives. He was part of a team providing advice to Bank of America Merrill Lynch with regard to identifying transactions that would be at risk in the event of a Eurozone break-up.

According to commentators Mike Logie is "very responsive and plugged in to developments in the market." He focuses on structured products, and has notable experience advising financial institutions in connection with a variety of different underlying asset classes, including funds, inflation and commodities.

Christopher Georgiou heads up the firm's securities and derivatives practice group. He advises across a wide spectrum of financial transactions, with repo, stocklending, OTC derivatives and credit derivatives being key areas of specialism.

Significant clients Haymarket Financial, BNP Paribas, Intermediate Capital Group, JPMorgan, Cairn Capital.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Experienced in handling market investigations, abuse of dominance claims and merger control. Well known for acting in appeals before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). Also advises large companies on state aid issues.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They offer commercial support, intellectual common sense and practicality."

Commercial awareness: "They bring a real knowledge of business and have a broad perspective beyond the legal process."

Work highlights Acted for Markit in the European Commission (EC) abuse of dominance investigation into the credit default swap information market.

Acting for Virgin Media in appealing an EC state aid decision allowing funding for an ultra-fast broadband network in Birmingham.

Notable practitioners 

Head of department Nigel Parr is singled out as being "excellent; a real expert on merger control." He also demonstrates strong experience in abuse of dominance cases, cartel investigations and appeals.

Euan Burrows is well respected by peers for both his non-contentious competition work and his litigation skills. These skills are demonstrated in his spread of recent work, which has included appeals before the CAT, market investigations and merger advice.

Duncan Liddell is valued for his ability to "translate competition aspects well, always getting the pitch right, especially to people with no knowledge of the area." He advises on competition litigation and investigations.

Significant clients Intel, Virgin Media, Ramsay Healthcare, National Express, RUSAL.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-22 partners
-45 other lawyers

What the team is known for Advises an enviable list of domestic and international clients on high-end M&A transactions. Sectors of expertise include infrastructure and transport, financial institutions and gaming.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Ashurst provides fast, consistent and relevant business and legal advice."

Efficiency: "The team was extremely tight and there wasn't a moment at which one didn't know what the other was doing."

Responsiveness: "They are highly responsive." 

What's new? New clients include Vedanta, Hitachi, Mizkan and Xchanging.

Work highlights Represented Nomura in the sale of Annington Homes to Terra Firma for £3.2 billion.

Advised Vedanta Resources on the acquisition of Sterlite Industries by Sesa Goa for USD10.3 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Adrian Clark is a "strong operator" who is highly respected by market sources. He has notable expertise in public company takeover bids.

Charlie Geffen is highly praised by market sources for the strength of his technical expertise.

Richard Gubbins is a "proactive, disciplined and organised" lawyer, clients enthuse. He focuses on transactions with an international element.

Jonathan Earle recently advised William Hill on its public bid for Sportingbet. Clients say he is "highly diligent" and "highly pragmatic," and "can be a street fighter when you need a street fighter."

"Clever operator" Anthony Clare is "highly charismatic and pragmatic," sources say. He advises clients on a range of M&A and corporate finance matters.

Stephen Lloyd is roundly commended by sources for the strength of his expertise in M&A transactions. He recently advised GlobeOp Financial Services and the independent board on a £572 million recommended cash offer by SS&C Technologies.

Significant clients AMP, Babcock, Hikma, National Express, Morrisons. 

Since publication, Stephen Lloyd has joined Allen & Overy LLP

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assisting both domestic and international corporate employers with the employment aspects of substantial transactions. Increased expertise in advising Japanese clients and a growing reputation in that marketplace.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They are highly responsive to urgent requests for technical legal advice and can co-ordinate well across multiple jurisdictions."

Technical quality: "Everyone we deal with at the firm is of the highest quality. They provide sound and practical advice in a timely and understandable manner."

Bench strength: "I think that they have a really strong employment practice, underpinned by several quality individuals."

Work highlights Advised Mizkan on the employment ramifications of its acquisition of several companies from Premier Foods.

Acted on behalf of Qantas as it sought to terminate an alliance with British Airways and create a new one with Emirates. 

Notable practitioners  

Caroline Carter enjoys a strong reputation, with peers noting that "she's incredibly discreet and somebody that we strongly recommend." She was involved in the Mizkan matter.

Significant clients Apax, Gala Coral, William Hill, Apollo, Mitsui.

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Notable experience of acting for corporations in relation to fraud litigation. Civil practice complemented by white-collar investigation capacity.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Sparrow is a well-regarded commercial litigator with a distinguished track record of handling civil fraud cases.

Sources describe Angela Pearson as a "steely" litigator with "good judgement" and "good commercial common sense." Fraud is a significant component of her commercial litigation practice.

Ben Tidswell is best known for handling disputes involving banks. He is admired for his ability to communicate with clients from the financial sector.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners

What the team is known for Handles outsourcing and procurement transactions, corporate activity and contentious matters within the sector, acting for suppliers and customers of IT services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Ashurst understands technology very well. It's very good to work with." 

Work highlights Advised Babcock Marine on negotiations with the Ministry of Defence concerning the new 'maritime support delivery framework', which will affect submarines, surface ships and naval bases.

Advised Hitachi on the development and implementation of a new traffic management system for Network Rail's entire UK network. 

Notable practitioners  

Mark Lubbock heads the firm's technology group in London and focuses on all manner of IT transactions, including matters involving data protection, e-commerce, intellectual property and outsourcing contracts.

Christopher Bates is widely respected for his work on high-value, business critical commercial technology contracts for outsourcing, procurement and systems implementation projects.

Significant clients Grosvenor Estates Management, Hewlett-Packard, International Financial Data Services, JPMorgan, Visa Europe.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Works with a number of major clients on matters including trade mark protection and management. Also handles IP dispute resolution.

Work highlights Acted for William Hill on the IP aspects of its acquisition of Sportingbet.

Represented Ellerman Investments in matters concerning alleged infringement of the Ritz Hotel and Ritz Casino trade marks.

Notable practitioners  

The "very sharp" Mark Lubbock is noted by sources for his ability to "get to the bottom of a case very quickly." He acted for William Hill in the matter described above.

Significant clients Crossrail, Getty Images, Skyepharma, Ark Therapeutics, Autonomy.

International Arbitration - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Works closely with the firm's wider global network, advising international clients on a range of arbitration issues. Specialist expertise in the energy sector.

Notable practitioners  

Head of international arbitration Ronnie King is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on cross-border matters. He is a leading figure in energy market disputes.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department 
- 12 partners
- 35 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Fields a highly active and growing bench of talented litigators. Noted for its commitment to the infrastructure, energy and technology sectors, attracting clients at the top end of their industries.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The team did what they said they would do; they were proactive and consistent in their approach and good with advice. They tend to give a broad perspective." 

Market standing: "As a firm, their strategies are impressive." 

Work highlights Defended Goldman Sachs and Cargill, the vendors of Teesside Power, against allegations by the purchaser of breach of warranty.

Represented oil company Total in the English High Court, regarding a follow-on competition damages action worth EUR200 million in total.  

Notable practitioners  

Edward Sparrow is "well known in the market" and is highly rated by peers for his litigation skills. He advised the Barclay brothers' nominee directors on the board of Coroin on the complex litigation over the ownership of shares in the Maybourne Group.    

Equipped with considerable "experience and gravitas," Ben Tidswell has earned an excellent reputation for his commercial litigation practice. A recent highlight saw him representing Goldman Sachs and Cargill in breach of warranty litigation against GDF.  

Ronnie King is a respected figure amongst his peers and has been active  on some of the firm's most prominent cases of late. He is particularly strong in multi-jurisdictional litigation concerning the energy and power sector.  

Significant clients RBS, National Express, RUSAL, Telefónica, Tullow Oil.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Compact team noted for its expertise in a wide range of industry sectors, from transport and infrastructure to finance and banking. Part of the firm's wider employment, incentives and pensions group. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "I'm impressed with their attention to detail and professionalism."

Approach: "The firm is very direct and practical." 

Client service: "Members are charming and easy to deal with."  

What's new? Marcus Fink was recently promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised QinetiQ on the implementation of an asset-backed funding partnership, which uses real estate as security, with the trustees of its UK-defined benefit pension scheme.

Advised Japanese company Mizkan on the pensions aspects of its acquisition of the Branston Pickle, Sarson's Vinegar and Haywards Pickles businesses from Premier Foods.

Notable practitioners  

Steven Hull has recently led matters for clients such as QinetiQ and the trustees of the Docklands Light Railway Pension Scheme. One impressed source states: "Steve was particularly good at explaining complex issues in layman's terms, as well as charming and reassuring."

Marcus Fink was recently promoted to partner and has been working on matters such as QinetiQ's asset-backed funding partnership.

Andy Wright is praised by clients as a highly "diligent" and "practical" associate at the firm. He recently assisted Steven Hull with advising the trustees of the Docklands Light Railway Pension Scheme.

Significant clients Trustees of the Docklands Light Railway Pension Scheme, Eleco, First Data, Fluor Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme Trustees, Gala Coral.

Planning - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-2 partners
-7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Expertise in compulsory purchase and land compensation claims. Advises on major mixed-use development schemes.

Work highlights Instructed by Countryside Zest, a joint venture between London & Quadrant Housing Association and Countryside Properties to act on the £1 billion mixed-use redevelopment of Beaulieu Park in Chelmsford.

Represented Landprop Holding, part of the Inter IKEA Group, in connection with the Strand East mixed use development and associated planning and compulsory purchase matters.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Curnow led on the Beaulieu Park matter. He continues to be a major player and highly visible to peers in the London market, with one source describing him as "omnipresent."

Trevor Goode receives unanimous support from sources: "He's an exceptional lawyer. He deals with compulsory purchases and planning law for us and is a very strong individual. Trevor is a good guy."

Significant clients Crossrail, Tesco, Westfield, Countryside Properties, The Berkeley Group.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-6 partners
-20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A multidisciplinary practice offering the full range of services to borrowers and lenders. Its international network makes it a key firm for supervising inward investment.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "A very experienced real estate finance team with the capacity to provide quality advice and respond very quickly to complex issues."

Bench strength: "The knowledge base of its partners is exceptional and its associates are equally strong."

Work highlights Advised Cityhold Property on the refinancing of 1 Kingdom Street. The loan facility was worth £140 million.

Acted for the Glanmore Property Fund on the restructuring of facilities worth over £300 million with RBS and Canada Life.

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Watkinson is commended for her team management skills when running a case. Clients appreciate that she is "very hands-on and always approachable, and brings together the right level of expertise as necessary."

Ruth Harris is highly recommended for her work ethic and client care. Clients note her "exceptional eye for detail," with one adding: "She is by far the most patient lawyer I have ever dealt with."

Significant clients Oaktree, Westfield, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Lloyds Banking Group, Deutsche Bank.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for heavyweight corporate clients, advising on and handling high-value litigation arising from their property portfolios.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Thoroughness: "They are very thorough and professional at what they do."

What's new? The arrival of Iain Travers, former head of real estate litigation at Nabarro, bolsters the team's practice at the highest level.

Work highlights Advised Ernst & Young on its capacity as liquidators of Focus DIY on insolvency-related lease termination.

Advised Landprop Holdings in developing a vacant possession strategy and handled a complex possession claim against trespassers occupying the site.

Notable practitioners  

One impressed client extols Iain Travers, who has several decades of experience in the arena, as "the best litigator I've seen." Sources confirm that he is "fantastic – you can't question his quality." His clients include Ernst & Young and IBM.

The "approachable" Mark Race receives praise from clients, one of whom says: "I respect his legal advice enormously," specifying that "the thing that sets him apart is the commercial overview he brings to that." He has extensive experience in handling commercial property developments, including Canary Wharf, the Shard and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Significant clients BAE Systems, Berkeley Group, Crossrail, Ernst & Young, Telereal Trillium.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 31 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a range of high-end commercial property services, including investment sales and purchases, development, regeneration and infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are commercial lawyers who understand our business and who have a good cross-section of expertise."

Bench strength: "There is high-level partner involvement: we get senior partners involved at critical stages, with very good support from junior partners running the transaction."

What's new? New clients include Qatari Diar and Cushman & Wakefield Investors.

Work highlights Acted for Cityhold Property on the £230 million acquisition and financing of 1 Kingdom Street and the £135 million acquisition of 40 Holborn Viaduct.

Advised Westfield Group on the sale and ongoing development of the Broadway shopping centre in Bradford.

Notable practitioners 

Hugh Lumby is highly regarded in the real estate market, representing clients ranging from funds to occupiers. He has a particular focus on development and joint ventures. 

David Jones handles a broad range of real estate matters, including  investment, development, partnerships and finance. He is experienced in representing international investors, including Cityhold Property and Oxford Properties. Clients praise his "great leadership and knowledge."

Gerald Kelly focuses on structured real estate, corporate occupiers and development. He recently acted for The Berkeley Group on its acquisition and redevelopment of One Blackfriars in London. Sources praise him as "sensible and practical."

Richard Vernon is "very good, very personable and has his finger on the pulse," according to clients. He is head of the real estate department in London, with a practice covering lettings, disposals, acquisitions and development.

Significant clients Transport for London/Crossrail, Stanhope, Tesco, Beacon Capital Partners, Sellar Property Group.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Expansive practice providing expertise to the diverse spectrum of clients active in the restructuring field. Demonstrates significant expertise in both domestic and international transactions. Makes excellent use of the firm's wider network on larger deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They are very thoughtful and a highly commercial group, with excellent breadth of experience."

International capability: "They have a wide network with teams everywhere, so they can do complex analysis of cross-border work that involves difficult structures."

Work highlights Advised the senior lenders to Powerfocal on NCP's pre-packaged administration of the property-owning company with £800 million of secured debt.

Advised FTI Consulting on the receivership and restructuring of the GSF Group, a matter which involved multiple jurisdictions in Asia and Europe.

Notable practitioners  

Giles Boothman earns recognition for his knowledge of the field. "Due to his experience he can rapidly come up with a sophisticated view of the situation," states one source. He was the lead partner on the Powerfocal deal.

Dan Hamilton is "great to work with because he can deflate potentially tense situations involving multiple stakeholders." He regularly handles complex restructurings and is experienced in advising clients from all sides of a transaction.

Simon Baskerville is praised for his ability to "anticipate issues well, be very technical and highly proactive." He has recently acted on international deals, including advising FTI Consulting on a complex transaction.

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, Mount Kellett, RBS, Cerberus, Apollo.

Tax - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong corporate tax practice, with notable expertise in advising clients in the financial services, energy and property sectors. Assists with ongoing tax planning, as well as advising on tax matters arising from M&A, restructurings, property transactions and fund formation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are excellent, always available for questions and always willing to help us out."

Work highlights Advised Cityhold Property AB on the numerous tax aspects of its purchase of properties at 1 Kingdom Street and 40 Holborn Viaduct in London.

Assisted Ratesetter with the tax structuring of its Provision Fund.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Richard Palmer has strong cross-border expertise and recently advised on a number of joint ventures. Sources note that: "He is very knowledgeable, very client-oriented and excels at complicated problems."

Alexander Cox is "always impressive," according to sources. His recent workload has encompassed M&A and fund formation, and he frequently advises on property tax matters.

Simon Swann specialises in property tax. He was a key adviser to Cityhold Property AB in the abovementioned work highlight.

Significant clients Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Tritax, Westfield, CapMan, Intermediate Capital Group.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 15 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Represents clients across a diverse range of sectors, with particular experience advising those operating in the natural gas and energy field. Continues to act for an impressive list of corporate clients on IPOs, as well as secondary and further offerings on AIM.

What's new? Karen Davies joined the team from Clifford Chance, significantly boosting the firm's capability across the whole spectrum of equity capital markets transactions.

Work highlights Advised Bayfield Energy Holdings with regard to its readmission to the AIM market. Also advised on its reverse takeover with Trinity Exploration & Production to form the largest independent E&P company focusing on Trinidad.

Acted for RBC Capital Markets in connection with Canaccord Financial's proposed move from AIM to the FTSE main market.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Michael Robins was the lead partner on the aforementioned Bayfield Energy Holdings matter. He regularly receives instructions from investment banks, corporate brokers and listed companies.

Significant clients Rockhopper Exploration, RBC Capital Markets, Oriel Securities, Merrill Lynch, Avocet.

Construction - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts across a range of sectors, including real estate, energy, infrastructure and transport. The group offers non-contentious services in addition to dispute resolution expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Very helpful, friendly and very capable – generally a very good experience."

Responsiveness: "Their responses to enquiries are always very fast and efficient."

Industry knowledge: "They maintain a high quality of advice, with broad knowledge of the current wider issues and matters to be aware of and cater for." 

Technical ability: "Highly competent, with very dedicated lawyers." 

What's new? New instructions from clients such as Quadrant Estates, Infinis and MGPA. 

Work highlights Acted for The British Land Company on the redevelopment of the Leadenhall Building, a new office tower in London.

Worked with DONG Energy and ScottishPower Renewables on the construction of West of Duddon Sands Offshore Wind Farm.

Notable practitioners  

Timothy Reid shows "great composure and focus" during construction and engineering disputes, according to sources. He is also praised for his negotiation skills, his pragmatism and his attention to detail.

Recently promoted to partner, Michael Smith "knows everything there is to know about EPC contracts," according to sources. Clients say that "his negotiating style is absolutely commanding. As a client you feel like you're going in with a heavyweight prize fighter and everyone else is not." Smith also has particular expertise in procurement issues for wind farms.

Significant clients Stanhope, Chelsfield Partners, Westfield, Hines, Trustees of the South Bank Centre. 

Corporate Crime & Investigations - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles criminal investigations and internal Bribery Act compliance issues for corporate clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They were very good indeed. They are very clear. You always know where you stand and they don't over-promise. They lay out the options well."

Notable practitioners 

Angela Pearson is a key partner in the team.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A broad practice encompassing all areas of employee share schemes and incentives. Adept at servicing clients from the banking, retail and energy sectors.

Work highlights Assisted Coca-Cola HBC with the share plan aspects of its redomicile to Switzerland.

Advised Virgin Media on the implications on existing share schemes of its merger with Liberty Global.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Randall is lauded for both his impressive grasp of technical matters and for the pragmatism with which he approaches complex mandates. He recently advised Coca-Cola HBC on the share scheme implications of its recent redomicile.

Significant clients Randgold Resources, Laird, RPC Group, Morrisons, William Hill.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 47 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A user-friendly group that is an excellent source of support for oil and gas transactions, project finance and security matters. An enduring reputation as a significant player within the energy projects sector.

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Strong in the power sector and on related projects."

Client service: "The group operates well and demonstrates good client service and commercial awareness."

What's new? Nicolas Bonnefoy, who is dual-qualified in both French and English law, has joined from Gide Loyrette Nouel.

Michael Smith has been promoted from counsel to partner. He focuses primarily on the renewables and UK power industry.

Work highlights Represented ITOCHU in its acquisition of a 33.3% stake in a 420 MW T-Power CCGT power plant in Belgium for EUR48 million.

Acted for Lundin Petroleum on a USD2.5 billion seven-year senior secured revolving credit facility, allowing the company to carry out exploration projects in Norway.

Notable practitioners  

Ronnie King is firmly established in the mind of one source as one of the best energy litigators around: "Ronnie is an amazing character. He is brisk and to the point, and has a wealth of experience on energy cases. He also knows what points to run in a case, and is prepared to stick his neck out on those points."

Timothy Reid is singled out by clients for his "great composure and focus during arguments, and ability to keep a clear head on the main issues."

Peers affirm that head of department Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill is "extremely capable," with one individual stating: "I've always had a high opinion of him - he's a very nice guy and a good practitioner."

Huw Thomas is praised for his commercial approach to the needs of his clients: "He has an excellent understanding of the product we require and he brings a broad perspective to play in the service he provides to us."

Antony Skinner has been very active in the past year, having represented ITOCHU on the matter outlined above. Skinner is well known for his work in the power arena, and he is gaining a following across the broader energy spectrum.

Significant clients DONG Energy, Tullow Oil, Petra Energia, Infinis, RBS.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Recognised for its in-depth knowledge of the FSA, developed through considerable experience of acting in high-profile proceedings brought by the regulator. Offers strength on both the contentious and non-contentious side, advising a number of leading organisations in the financial services sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very organised and customer-focused."

Work highlights Advised LCH.Clearnet on its preparation for the proposed introduction of clearing for retail clients.

Assisted insurance company CPP with a response to an FSA review of its sale practices.

Represented David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital in market abuse proceedings brought by the FSA in connection with the sale of Punch Taverns shares. 

Notable practitioners  

James Perry is described as a "superb, responsive and pro-business lawyer" who is valued enormously by clients on non-contentious regulatory matters. Sources also highlight that "his knowledge of EU directives is mind-boggling."

According to interviewees Edward Sparrow "has got huge experience in dealing with regulatory authorities, has very good perspective and is quite down to earth and practical." One recent highlight saw him defend market abuse proceedings on behalf of David Einhorn and Greenlight Capital.

Rob Moulton wins praise for his "tremendous ability to simplify complicated issues." He specialises in non-contentious regulatory matters and recently led the team on the LCH.Clearnet matter.

Significant clients RBS, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, LCH.Clearnet, the FSA.

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Skilled in both life and non-life insurance, due to the addition of new partners which have strengthened the former. Adept in M&A, risk transfer, outsourcing and restructuring. Strong international capability due to the firm's global network of offices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Excellent. They were very technical. They get the business purpose of what we're trying to do. That's the value that they bring."

Efficiency: "The team were careful about allocating the right pieces of work to the right level of staff member with the right level of knowledge. Quite a seamless process."

Work highlights Advised State Street on the renewal and extension of its contract with Scottish Widows. 

Notable practitioners  

Adam Levitt handles the full spectrum of insurance matters, including complex transactions, longevity swaps, reorganisations and advice on distribution. One source remarks: "He's a tough negotiator. He knows his stuff very well and protects his clients' interests. He's a star acquisition for Ashurst."

Significant clients Aviva, Pearl Group/Axial Investment Management, Barbican Group Holdings, Threadneedle Asset Management, Canopius Group.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised for its strength in closed-ended funds work and continues to house a solid private equity funds practice. Handles a high volume of debt funds and is renowned as a leading force for CLOs.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are a really good, really strong team - great technicians who have always been quietly high quality."

Efficiency: "They know us so well. We discuss what we want and move forward, we agree a timetable and they always meet that."

What's new? The team gained Synergo and Equitix as new clients.

Work highlights Advised Intermediate Capital Group on its European debt fund, ICG Europe Fund V, which raised EUR2.5 billion in commitments.

Acted on the establishment of a co-investment fund for Inflexion Private Equity Partners, which, alongside the main buyout fund, raised £475 million.  

Notable practitioners  

The "commercial and practical" Piers Warburton inspires confidence in his clients, who trust him to find the "right balance between fund managers and investors." Alcentra recently engaged him to act on its UK and European direct loan funds.

Jeremy Bell recently acted for Hermes on a direct co-investment fund focused on European private equity acquisitions. He is a skilled practitioner with a depth of experience across the board on private funds.

Significant clients Hermes GPE, CapMan, Alcentra, Stirling Square, NM Rothschild & Sons.

Life Sciences - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Focuses its practice on commercial and corporate life sciences, including acquisitions and development agreements. Has a particular niche in medical devices in addition to broader biotechnology and pharmaceuticals expertise.

Work highlights Advised Vision RT on development agreements with Varian Medical Systems concerning radiography equipment. 

Advised Hikma Pharmaceuticals on increasing its stake in Promopharm.

Notable practitioners

Mark Lubbock is "very pragmatic and easy to work with," and is appreciated by clients for his calm manner. He was the lead partner on the Vision RT matter.

Significant clients GE Healthcare, Ark Therapeutics, Merck, Oxford Instruments, SkyePharma. 

Local Government - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Construction, infrastructure and regeneration projects are the bedrock of this practice, which has a good reputation for advisory and transactional work. 

Work highlights Advises Transport for London on planning applications for the redevelopment of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and on land acquisition in relation to the Crossrail project.

Represents Liverpool City Council in compensation claims stemming from the large-scale redevelopment of Liverpool city centre.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Curnow is a revered planning specialist who advises on numerous redevelopment and regeneration projects.

Significant clients Transport for London, Liverpool City Council, Bristol City Council, London Borough of Hackney.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- Office locations: London

What the team is known for A cross-departmental group that advises on IT, business process, financial services and real estate outsourcings, public procurement and disputes. Advises suppliers on contracts with public sector bodies.  

Work highlights Advised Babcock Marine on negotiations with the Ministry of Defence in a project to extend a maritime support delivery framework for naval bases in Devonport, Clyde and Rosyth.

Assisted Hitachi Rail Europe on the roll-out of a new traffic management system for National Rail.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Bates is described as "a sharp lawyer who knows what it is about." He takes the lead in many of the team's high-profile transactions.

Significant clients Carillion, Crossrail, Serco, Visa Europe, Worldpay.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Formidable group advising funders, sponsors and the public sector on a wide range of projects. Active domestically and internationally in areas such as waste, transport, health, education and defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The quality assurance and standards are very well maintained across the firm. It doesn't matter which person is facing, you have that quality assurance process which makes it a seamless service."

International capability: "A big machine that has tons of international experience. They have good relationships with funders, so if you are looking to do different types of funding they are a good firm to go to."

What's new? Appointed to QinetiQ's panel.

Work highlights Advising the private sector sponsors on the Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham Waste PFI Project.

Advising the lender group, of international banks and ECAs, in connection to the Intercity Express Programme PPP. 

Notable practitioners 

Mark Elsey is head of the firm's infrastructure, energy and transport team. He is particularly noted for his knowledge of the transport sector, and led the team on the Crossrail rolling stock PPP. Sources say: "He is at the top of his game. He can see things so clearly because he has been at it so long."

Logan Mair is a noted infrastructure lawyer, with a great deal of experience in PFI and PPP projects. He advised Bond Helicopters and Babcock Defence Services in their bid for the Department of Transport's helicopter search and rescue PPP. Sources say: "He is very commercial, he focuses on the issues the clients really care about as opposed to the legal niceties."

Philip Vernon is an experienced PFI lawyer, respected by both peers and clients. He advised the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a hospital PPP. Sources say: "He is very diligent, he really works hard and makes sure everything is absolutely correct."

Patrick Boyle advises lenders and sponsors on PFI projects. He is active in sectors such as education, transport and waste. Sources say: "He is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about closing deals." 

Jan Sanders is an infrastructure partner with a great deal of PFI experience. Sources say: "She is bright and gets to the point quickly."

Cameron Smith acts on domestic and international PPP projects with a particular emphasis on the waste sector. Sources say: "He is pragmatic and gets things done," and "he is dynamic, friendly and a good deal doer." 

Significant clients Balfour Beatty Investments, Wheelabrator Technologies, Education Funding Agency, Interserve, Docklands Light Railway.    

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 45 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad expertise in the private equity arena. Growing international offering in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have always had a strong reputation in private equity."

What's new? New clients include Charterhouse and Doughty Hanson.

Work highlights Advised the management team of The College of Law on its acquisition by Montagu Private Equity.

Advised Apollo Global Management on the European law aspects of funds affiliated with Apollo acquiring McGraw-Hill for USD2.4 billion. 

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Hanton advised Nomura on the sale of Annington Homes to Terra Firma for £3.2 billion. He continues in his role as head of the team.

Stephen Lloyd is highly rated by sources for his incisive approach and pleasant manner. He is global head of corporate at the firm. 

David Carter advised Charterhouse on the acquisition of Hero Management Service (UK). Clients praise his keen commercial awareness.

Charlie Geffen has advised some of the leading private equity houses in the market. Sources say he is a "superb private equity lawyer."

Significant clients Cinven, Apax, LGV, General Atlantic, Nordic Capital.

Since publication, Stephen Lloyd has joined Allen & Overy LLP

Product Liability - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acknowledged for its specialist expertise in the oil and gas, tobacco and pharmaceuticals sectors. Increasingly attracts clients from the mining and aviation industries.

Notable practitioners  

Lead partner Mark Clarke specialises in dispute resolution and has solid experience in product liability litigation and the related field of consumer safety. He has taken the lead on several significant transactions of late.

Significant clients Imperial Tobacco, Sanofi, Total Raffinage Marketing.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Handles projects domestically, in Europe, and the Middle East, acting for lenders and sponsors. Active in sectors such as infrastructure, transport, power and oil and gas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They were excellent, always available, attentive, got things done very quickly and quite commercial in their views."

Bench strength: "It doesn't matter which person is facing you, you have that quality assurance process which provides a seamless service." 

What's new? New clients include Korea Electric Power Corporation and Keppel Energy Ventures.

Work highlights Advised Lundin Petroleum on an RBL financing.

Advised the lenders to the Carrington Power Project, a gas turbine power development in the UK.

Notable practitioners 

Mark Elsey is a partner who focuses on energy, infrastructure and transport projects. Sources say: "He is incredibly commercial and good at providing an overview and then giving strategic advice."

Antony Skinner is seen by sources as "a great hire, coming on in leaps and bounds as a junior partner." Advised Infinis on financing for an onshore wind power facility. Sources say: "He is very personable, focused and pragmatic."

Significant clients Babcock International, Balfour Beatty, DONG Energy, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Crossrail. 

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department 

- 10 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

Their strengths Full-service practice offering strength in commercial agreements, competition, regulatory, IP and litigation matters. Represents a range of major providers.

Notable practitioners

Christopher Bates is a key contact for the firm.

Significant clients BT, Hutchison Whampoa, SingTel, Tele2.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 16 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Industry-focused practice covering all facets of the rail sector. Particularly recommended for its work in franchising and infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They understand the issues and they are familiar with the industry."

Co-operative approach: "They are user-friendly." 

What's new? New client wins include Virgin Trains.

Work highlights Acted for the funders to the Agility Trains Consortium on the £4.5 billion financing of the Intercity Express Programme.

Represented Abellio in its bid for the InterCity West Coast rail franchise.

Notable practitioners  

Naomi Horton was recently promoted to partner in recognition of her valuable contribution to the practice. Her experience is such that clients consider her to be a "one-stop shop" when it comes to the rail industry.

Mark Elsey led the team on the Intercity Express matter, and is recognised as one of the top projects lawyers in the rail industry. He has a "great ability to develop solutions to difficult problems," say commentators.

Terry van Poortvliet was recently promoted to partner and is highlighted for his proactive attitude. He "knows industry developments and stays on top of what is going on," according to clients.

Significant clients Crossrail, Hitachi, National Express, Virgin Trains.