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Ashurst

London

Ashurst - London
  • Broadwalk House
  • 5 Appold Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 2HA
  • Chairman Ben Tidswell
  • Vice-Chairman Mary Padbury
  • Managing Partner James Collis
  • Number of UK partners 125
  • Number of other UK fee-earners 500

THE FIRM: Ashurst is a leading international law firm with 28 offices in 16 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.

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE
Corporate, Competition & Tax 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.
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, Intellectual Property, Employment & Technology
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 incentives, pensions, discrimination, boardroom appointments and departures, and executive remuneration and benefits and corporate governance issues.
Technology: Advising on all aspects of work in communications and media, technology, intellectual property, data protection and freedom of information, broadcasting and media, betting and gaming and outsourcing.
Energy, Resources, Real Estate & Infrastructure
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 include; 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 OFFICES: Abu Dhabi, Adelaide, Beijing, Brisbane, Brussels, Canberra, Dubai, France, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, India (best friend referral arrangement with Indian Law Partners (ILP)), Jakarta (associated office), Jeddah (associated office), Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Munich, New York, Perth, Port Moresby, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington DC.

    Contacts
  • Corporate, Competition & Tax Simon Beddow
  • Disputes, Intellectual Property, Employment & Technology 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
- 17 partners
- 42 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Noted as a go-to adviser to many corporates and financial institutions. Particularly active in the insurance and infrastructure sectors. Versatile team handling a variety of finance products, including the flourishing area of credit funds. Good track record acting for borrowers, lenders and sponsors.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're technically very savvy, our clients find them user-friendly and they have good commercial acumen."

"They don't let you down. Project management is always excellent. They're a bit more creative than some other firms in terms of trying to find solutions." 

Work highlights Acted for Commerzbank on Hypothekenbank Frankfurt's £4 billion sale to Lone Star and Wells Fargo of its whole UK commercial real estate portfolio and servicing platform.

Represented a syndicate of banks, including HSBC and RBS, as the underwriters and arrangers for the £375 million refinancing of the Pret A Manger group by Bridgepoint.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Vickers "is an extremely experienced operator" with a "huge reputation across the sector, and rightly so," say commentators. Clients add that "he has a very easy-going demeanour about him, but is very good at being robust when he needs to be." He has garnered particular acclaim for his expertise of debt funding in public-to-private transactions. 

Head of the firm's international finance practice Nigel Ward is hugely experienced in the areas of leveraged finance and restructurings, with one source commenting that he is "technically at the top of his game, without question." He represented Barclays, as a member in a syndicate of arrangers, in the financing of Permira's £300 million acquisition of R Griggs. 

Sources frequently reference Helen Burton's "depth of experience" and overall capability. Of late, she has been actively involved in the growing product area of credit funds, advising long-term clients and specialist unitranche providers on a variety of financings.   

Clients report that partner Lee Doyle is "enormously customer-focused and always willing to go the extra mile." He is especially admired for his "ability to think outside the box." He has acted for a number of major clearing banks, including Lloyds, RBS and HSBC on corporate lending and investment-grade finance matters. 

Tim Rennie remains one of the team's strongest practitioners in the area of acquisition finance. Clients are consistently impressed by his capabilities, with one remarking: "He is very bright and very switched-on. Really good at bringing in the right people from the wider Ashurst team. He'll really give you a genuine view on the commercial aspects."

Abradat Kamalpour is a partner in the finance department and also head of the emerging markets and Islamic finance desk. He combines vast expertise in securitisation, debt capital markets and structured finance with an in-depth understanding of Islamic-compliant structures.

Significant clients Lloyds Bank, Haymarket Financial, Sankaty, Markit, Santander.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Strong bench of experienced litigators frequently instructed by major international banks as well as senior executives. Able to advise banks in international investigations with its ancillary regulation practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I'd deal with them for larger High Court litigation. Not only are they commercially astute, they're tactically astute."

What's new? New client wins include BayernLB and Daiwa.

Work highlights Represented Nomura in multiple pieces of international litigation related to structured product transactions the bank had engaged in, pre-financial crisis.

Acted for Sir Tim McKillop, former chairman of RBS, in defence of substantial claims brought by shareholders against the former directors of the bank alleging inaccuracies in the bank's 2008 prospectus.

Notable practitioners  

Vastly experienced, Edward Sparrow is highlighted by numerous sources for his ability to "instil massive confidence in his client." One source reports: "He has very good judgement and a very good litigation sense. His litigation experience has been invaluable in choosing which issues to fight on."

Thomas Connor focuses on financial services disputes and has particular strength acting for wealth management clients.

Chairman of the firm Ben Tidswell is well regarded for his experience in cases where complex financial disputes meet civil fraud.

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, RBS, UBS, Northern Rock Asset Management, Commerzbank.

Capital Markets - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners

What the team is known for Strong ECM team handling a steady stream of work for banks and issuers. Possesses deep experience in IPOs and secondary offerings. Well-established DCM practice covers a broad range of matters, including covered bonds, retail bonds and restructurings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Ashurst is professional, concise and customer-driven. They have reasonable fees and reduce complicated issues so they can be easily understood and resolved."

"They are up to date and go the extra mile. They are responsive and the partners have a lot of input across the day-to-day actions on files."

What's new? Francis Kucera joins the firm from Linklaters, bringing with him his DCM experience in emerging markets matters.

Work highlights Advised ANZ on the English law aspects of the update of its USD30 billion programme, for the issuance of covered bonds listed on the LSE.

Represented Merlin Entertainments, the owner of Madam Tussauds Group, on its £3.3 billion IPO on the LSE.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Holmes, head of the ECM practice, recently advised Merlin Entertainments on its £3.3 billion IPO. Sources admire his strong reputation in the market.

Head of the DCM practice Anna Delgado recently advised ANZ on its global covered bond programme. Clients praise her "great responsiveness" and "excellent follow-up," and consider her to be "very experienced in this field."

Francis Kucera recently joined the team from Linklaters, and has a strong background in DCM matters involving Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). A market source states: "He will be a definite boost to Ashurst's emerging markets practice."

US securities lawyer Jennifer Schneck has a broad practice, which includes expertise in private placement transactions, corporate advice and cross-border M&A. She recently advised the underwriters on the IPO of Foxtons. 

Significant clients Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets, William Hill, J.P. Morgan Cazenove.  

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

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

What the team is known for Acknowledged as a market-leading practice for European CLOs, advising on a number of recent transactions. Strong in OTC derivatives, repurchase agreements (repo) and longevity transactions. Notable for acting for banks and asset managers on structured finance matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are the clear market leaders in European CLOs. They are deeply entrenched in their markets, and thus are experienced and commercially aware."

"We think they're great - they've got great business knowledge and are very responsive."

Work highlights Represented Haymarket Financial in its issuance of a EUR404.6 million CLO secured on a portfolio of senior secured loans.

Acted for Intermediate Capital Group on the issue of a CLO secured on a portfolio of senior secured loans, notes and high-yield bonds, and worth EUR556.5 million.  

Notable practitioners  

James Coiley is highlighted for his experience in derivatives, and frequently advises major investment banks on a variety of matters. Sources regard him as "an excellent lawyer with a very good reputation." 

Christopher Georgiou is head of the firm's securities and derivatives group. He possesses deep expertise in an extensive range of matters, with particular knowledge of credit derivatives, repo and stocklending. 

Jonathan Haines is a specialist in derivatives, and frequently represents leading banks and asset managers, advising them on corporate and equity derivatives, alternative investment funds and associated regulatory matters.

Mike Logie recently advised Barclays on its global structured securities programme. He is considered to be a lawyer who "has a great reputation" and is "good on the structured product side."

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Intermediate Capital Group, Natixis. 

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises clients from a range of sectors on contentious and non-contentious competition matters. In-house economists offer additional analytical strength.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The lawyers are real specialists in competition law. They understand our business very well and the context of our industry, which allows them to give us good, practical advice."

Work highlights Secured Phase 2 merger clearance allowing minerals company Imerys to acquire Goonvean's kaolin business.

Notable practitioners  

Euan Burrows has a broad competition practice, which encompasses advisory work, regulatory appeals and follow-on litigation. His recent work includes advising on significant market investigations.

Nigel Parr has a strong reputation for his contentious and non-contentious expertise. Sources admire his strategic approach and consider him a "talented and experienced competition lawyer."

Duncan Liddell is praised for his experience in competition litigation and advisory matters. He recently advised a client in relation to the EC investigation into the credit default swap information market.

Significant clients Imperial Tobacco, Intel, Virgin Media, Ramsay Healthcare, Odeon.

Construction - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Broad practice, especially active in the renewable energy, infrastructure and property sectors. Strong contentious offering, advising clients in disputes both domestically and overseas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are extremely good lawyers – pragmatic, very responsive and keen to meet deadlines. The advice that I have received is of a very high standard."

"Advice has been sound and we continue to be pleased with the level of service, industry knowledge and specific contractual knowledge."

Work highlights Acted for Countryside Zest on construction, utility and infrastructure matters in the £1 billion Beaulieu Park extension of Chelmsford.

Advised Merseylink on the design and construction of the £500 million Mersey Gateway Bridge. 

Notable practitioners  

Department head Timothy Reid is praised for his "excellent ability to grasp the core of the argument and to articulate the position in a short report." An experienced litigator, he is well regarded by the market, with one insider saying he is "fantastic, immensely hard-working and thorough."

Key partner Michael John Smith has specific expertise in international EPC contracting. He is highlighted by sources as being "excellent in drafting and negotiating."

Significant clients British Land, Hines, Quadrant Estates, Crossrail, Westfield.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 30 partners
- 86 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A highly respected and experienced team with capability across public and private M&A and private equity. Particularly noted as a leading player in infrastructure and financial services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide advice that is as good as anyone else in the City."

"Their work ethic is unbelievable. They're always available and are complete workaholics."

Work highlights Represented William Hill in its purchase of Playtech's shares in William Hill Online for £424 million.

Advised Morrisons on an arrangement with Ocado relating to the delivery of Morrisons groceries. The deal was worth £300 million.

Notable practitioners  

Adrian Clark is described as a "good operator" who is "always available and responsive" to clients. He was co-lead for Morrisons in its £300 million agreement with Ocado to deliver Morrisons goods.

Anthony Clare is highly rated by peers for his capability in corporate matters. He was lead lawyer for William Hill in its joint purchase with GVC of Sportingbet for £485 million.

Richard Gubbins impresses as "excellent at general client relationship matters." He is highly experienced and acts across a variety of M&A transactions.

Significant clients 

Merlin Entertainments, Oxford Instruments, Vedanta Resources, Apollo Global Management, RBS.

Since publication, Charlie Geffen has joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Employment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Adept at handling contentious and advisory matters for a diverse client base. Standout work for private equity houses and Japanese businesses, with notable work on cross-border mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide comprehensive advice, which gives you great confidence that you are well protected and well advised." 

"The whole team is very strong and they have a very commercial and very businesslike approach."

Work highlights Advised Bayfield Energy Holdings on board changeover and compensation agreements following its merger with Trinity Exploration.

Worked with Aspinalls to restructure its UK workforce, including advice on current jobs and work agreements as well as on working patterns.

Notable practitioners  

Clients welcome the fact that Caroline Carter is always available to them, with one impressed source noting her as a "class act." She recently advised William Hill on the employment matters resulting from its acquisition of Sportingbet.

Significant clients Apax, William Hill, Apollo, Qantas, Toshiba.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for a range of clients, including leading financial institutions, global corporates and software service providers. Impressive track record in data privacy and cyber security, with knowledge of electronic banking, encryption and digital signatures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're pragmatic and commercial, and they deliver when I really need them to. They're on their toes and agile." 

Work highlights Provided counsel to Xchanging on contract exit strategy and renegotiation for its provision of IT services to LME.

Advised supplier International Financial Data Services on its long-term outsourcing contract with Old Mutual and Skandia Life.

Notable practitioners  

"Class act" Mark Lubbock has a broad IT practice, encompassing matters from data protection to e-commerce. He is practice leader and acts for a high-profile client base, recently advising William Hill on its acquisition of Playtech's stake in its online arm.

Christopher Bates "has a good eye for the detail, understands what his client wants and is very focused on getting there." Specific strengths lie in complex, multi-jurisdictional outsourcing and providing advice to clients in the financial services sector.

Significant clients Pension Insurance Corporation, Thomson Reuters, WorldPay, State Street, J.P. Morgan.

Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Maintains its long-standing reputation as a serious player in the commercial litigation market. Acts on cross-border and international disputes for major corporates and banking clients, with notable expertise in energy, banking, financial services and professional negligence cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“They have a very, very good reputation.”  

“They think about the points that the other side is going to take before they take them, so the team is very well prepared.”

Work highlights Advised Cattles and Welcome Financial Services on a professional negligence claim against PwC.

Instructed by Goldman Sachs and Cargill to defend breach of warranty allegations brought by GDF in relation to a steam turbine and a gas pipeline.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Sparrow has a broad litigation practice, handling M&A, financial services, professional negligence and fraud disputes. He is a well-known figure in the commercial litigation market, with a reputation as a “very sensible and very smart” practitioner. Peers say: "He is always very good as an opponent; he's very measured.”

Ben Tidswell serves as chairman of the firm in addition to practising in commercial and financial disputes. Peers respect his approach to litigation, saying: “He is very sensible and undoubtedly tough, but he doesn't take silly points or waste time.” Recent work includes advising Cattles and Welcome Financial Services on the dispute with PwC.

Ronnie King is particularly active in international arbitration, jurisdictional challenges and anti-suit injunctions, with notable expertise in the energy and insurance industries. He recently acted for Centrica on its claim against Medway Power for more than £100 million in unpaid invoices.

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, RBS, Rusal, Tullow Oil, Imperial Tobacco.

Pensions - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Renowned for its expertise in tackling insolvency and restructuring matters affecting pensions schemes. Ably supported by its pensions offering in Europe, as well as possessing the strength in depth to draw on experience from its other legal departments in tackling pensions challenges.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide very good, timely and well-considered advice." 

"They are very professional and helpful." 

What's new? New clients include Agilitas Partners, Bechtel and Toshiba.

Work highlights Worked with the trustees of the Docklands Light Railway Pension Scheme on a number of matters, including negotiations for a funding arrangement.

Assisted BHP Billiton on its auto-enrolment issues, with emphasis on reviewing the international elements of its employment structures.

Notable practitioners  

Marcus Fink represents clients on wide-ranging pensions matters and recent highlights include advising BHP Billiton on its auto-enrolment concerns. "He is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the pension market and able to impart this information in an easy and understandable manner," comments one client.

Significant clients Eleco, First Data, Fluor Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme Trustees, Gala Coral, J.P. Morgan.

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Well-regarded planning practice noted for its strength at the senior level. Recognised by sources as a significant presence on complex mixed-use redevelopment and town centre regeneration matters. Also active on infrastructure projects, particularly in the transport and aviation sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are good planning experts and have an understanding for business as well, which is important."

What's new? New client wins include Transport for London and Shanks Group.

Work highlights Acted for Transport for London and the Greater London Authority on the £8 billion redevelopment of Earls Court, finalising a Section 106 agreement with developers Capco that includes provision for multimillion-pound upgrades to transport and infrastructure networks in the area.

Advised Guildford Borough Council on its £400 million redevelopment of the North Street site, a 2.5 hectare retail-led town centre regeneration project anchored by several major retailers, which will provide up to 400,000 sq ft of retail space.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Curnow attracts praise from fellow planning practitioners for his commercial, practical approach to high-level negotiations. He recently acted for Countryside Properties and London & Quadrant Housing Trust as joint venture partners on a £1 billion redevelopment of Beaulieu Park, Chelmsford.

Trevor Goode heads the department and acts on high-value redevelopment and regeneration schemes for developers, property companies and local authorities. "He's a very good business lawyer with good planning expertise who builds relationships with people," clients reported.

Significant clients Tesco, Berkeley Group, Grosvenor, Commercial Estates Group, Chalegrove Properties.

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Strong reputation for its representation of clients on financial negligence issues. Experience handling complex and highly publicised cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They've done a good job - they have communicated well and been on top of everything." 

Work highlights Advised Cattles, and its subsidiary Welcome Financial Services, in its £1.65 billion claim against PwC for auditors' negligence.

Notable practitioners  

James Levy is a key contact.

Significant clients Cory Environmental; Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Regularly instructed by senior and mezzanine lenders and borrowers across a wide range of structuring and financing matters. Offers high-quality advice to investor clients on property and loan transactions in both the UK and across Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were great - very proactive and reactive. I really liked their style and the way they didn't just give answers on the legal side; it was commercial as well." 

"I hope we have the opportunity to work with them again because they are absolutely excellent."

What's new? Derwin Jenkinson joins the firm from Clifford Chance, bringing experience in project bonds and commercial mortgage backed securitisations.

Work highlights Worked on behalf of Nomura as senior and mezzanine lender on the refinancing of Camden Market, valued at £230 million.

Advised Starwood European Finance on Project Battersea, a mezzanine development financing of a retirement village, valued approx £60 million.

Notable practitioners  

Ruth Harris' practice covers a broad range of structured real estate finance matters for both borrower and lender clients. This includes investment and development finance, restructuring and distressed real estate debt. One happy client says: "I cannot recommend her highly enough. It's her approach to clients plus the fact that she's extremely bright and doesn't miss anything."

Sarah Watkinson regularly advises borrower and lender clients on senior and mezzanine loans in addition to being particularly active on real estate investment and development transactions. One client said: "She has such a large amount of experience in this area so it was good to have someone who really knew their mind and what was going on in the market."

Significant clients RBS, Santander, Oaktree Capital Management, Oxford Properties, Macquarie Bank.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises a number of major institutional clients on development and investment matters. Particularly active on redevelopment projects. Also noted for its landlord and tenant practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very pragmatic, solution-minded, responsive and available." 

"They provide excellent service and good value for money. They are a pleasure to do business with."

Work highlights Represented Greenhills in a £5 million arbitration concerning indemnity payments arising from the operation of a break clause in an office lease.

Notable practitioners  

Iain Travers heads the real estate disputes practice and advises developers and investors on a variety of issues. He gains widespread praise for his calm leadership in significant matters, with one enthusiastic client stating: "He keeps a cool head even in intense situations and he's a really good strategist."

Mark Race advises on development matters. Clients report that his "legal advice is rock-solid, and he also brings a pragmatic, commercial approach that helps deliver solutions." 

Significant clients Landprop Holdings/Inter IKEA, Westfield, Telereal, IBM, Crossrail.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Broad-ranging practice covering development work, regeneration matters, investment sales and acquisitions and lettings. Clients include significant institutional investors, developers and occupiers. Also acts on large-scale infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They anticipate what we're looking for and they live and breathe the projects as we do. They're an extension of the team, thinking about the bigger picture as well as the specific instructions we give them."

"We get a consistent team, they are commercial and do a very good job of supporting the younger members of our team."

What's new? New clients include TPG Capital and Nomura.

Work highlights Advised Westfield on the £1 billion redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre, Croydon.

Acted for Oxford Properties on the £235 million purchase of King Edward Court, Paternoster Square, home of the London Stock Exchange.

Notable practitioners  

Global head of real estate Hugh Lumby handles development and investment matters for key clients. "He's a fantastic lawyer," one client enthuses, adding: "I've never met anyone more dedicated to client service. He's got commercial vision, he's got passion, he's just good at everything."

David Jones recently acted on the £143 million acquisition of 30 Crown Place for a South Korean institutional investment group. Clients say he has an "impressive breadth of knowledge and organises his team very effectively."

Gerald Kelly represents key clients on development and redevelopment projects and high-value investment transactions. He also tackles joint venture structuring issues.

Richard Vernon heads the London real estate team, and advises on investment deals, leasing and development matters. Peers regard him as "very sensible and commercial."

Significant clients Lovell Partnerships, Crossrail, BAE Systems, Berkley, Grosvenor.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Maintains an enviably broad practice, servicing an extensive client roster. Acts on major domestic and international restructurings and insolvencies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"As a team, they always produce a strong performance." 

Work highlights Acted for the ad hoc committee of bondholders in the major restructuring of the Co-operative banking group.

Advised the joint administrators of Vostok Energy on strategic issues relating to the company's future. The team was also involved in negotiations surrounding the successful sale of Vostok's oil and gas assets in Russia.

Notable practitioners  

Dan Hamilton specialises in financial restructurings, and has worked extensively on the issues surrounding the proposed solvent consensual restructuring of the Punch Taverns group. He is notably skilled in the handling of leveraged and structured finance restructurings.

Global head of the firm's restructuring and special situations group Giles Boothman is a very experienced figure, and specialises in large-scale restructurings across a wide range of industries. He is recognised by sources as "a very constructive person in negotiation, and a very sensible lawyer."

Simon Baskerville is praised by his clients as "very commercial, and a very strong deal maker." He acts primarily for stakeholders in distressed companies, and also advises insolvency practitioners.

Significant clients RBS, Cerberus, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sankaty, Oaktree Capital Management.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Respected corporate tax group with particular strength in matters concerning M&A, property, funds, IPOs and restructurings. Attracts clients from a range of sectors and industries, including real estate, financial services, and energy and natural resources. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We are very happy with them. They really understand the meaning of relationships and client service. They are really excellent."

"They were working with our other advisers and worked with them very well. The advice we were given was very pragmatic."

Work highlights Advised Alberta Investment Management on tax issues arising during its £935 million acquisition, with OMERS Private Equity, of Vue Entertainment.

Assisted Morrisons with its agreement with Ocado to facilitate its home delivery of customer purchases. 

Notable practitioners  

Richard Palmer "is an excellent lawyer. Beyond being a tax lawyer he understands the business. He understands our risk profile and our sensitivities," states one interviewee. Palmer is head of the tax department.

Sources say Alexander Cox "is eager and keen - he puts the time in." He recently advised CEVA Group on its recapitalisation and the restructuring of its debt.

Simon Swann "is a good guy who is very thorough and considered, and a nice, sensible bloke who gets the deal done." He focuses on real estate taxation.

Significant clients Rockhopper, Intermediate Capital Group, Oaktree Capital Management, Babcock, Gala Coral. 

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Notable for its involvement in many recent high-profile AIM deals. Advises an impressive list of corporate clients, major investment banks, NOMADs and underwriters. Possesses an in-house US capital markets ability.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very high-quality, and my usual go-to firm."  

Work highlights Advised Tungsten Corporation on its £225 million AIM IPO.

Represented Atlantis Resources on its AIM listing, which raised a total of £20 million.

Notable practitioners  

The respected Michael Robins is skilled in IPOs and secondary offerings, and recently advised Atlantis Resources on its AIM listing. Clients describe him as a "highly experienced lawyer with strong technical skills and the experience to address the key issues without getting caught up in trivia."

Significant clients Rockhopper Exploration, Tungsten Corporation, Atlantis Resources, Bayfield Energy, Tethys Petroleum.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Undertakes advisory and transactional share scheme and incentives mandates for global clients. Notable strengths in servicing clients in the financial services, energy and resources and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their strength is their market knowledge – they inform us on what is current in the market and what is going on."

"They are very unassuming, prompt and confident with their advice."

Work highlights Assisting Merlin Entertainments with the international share incentive implications of its £3.3 billion IPO.

Advised Tungsten on the share scheme features of its £225 million takeover of OB10.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Diosi is well regarded by the market for his strong technical nous and enthusiasm. "He is really personable, responsive and technically very strong," say interviewees. His recent clients include Merlin Entertainments and Oxford Instruments.

Head of department Paul Randall leads the firm's most important share scheme matters and is particularly adept at transatlantic mandates. He is identified as a calm and steady practitioner who is strong at making strategic decisions. One client stated that "he always ensures that the correct result is achieved."

Significant clients Randgold Resources, QinetiQ Group, Markit, Laird, Vedanta Resources.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- 85 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Noted for the strength of its oil and gas and renewable energy offerings. Handles upstream M&A and development work in the North Sea and around the world. Advises on financing and developing large renewables projects and portfolios in the UK and Africa. Expertise in conventional and nuclear power development and financing projects.

 Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They bring the depth of resource that you need; they provide a very good service, what you would expect from a major player."

"They are hugely responsive to our requirements, responsive in terms of giving us what we want and responding very promptly at all times."

"When we ask for advice it is tailored to the client; it is very well judged in terms of the depth into which the advice goes and the recommendations that they make."

Work highlights Acted for Rockhopper Exploration in relation to a farm-in agreement with Desire Petroleum, in the Falkland Islands offshore area.

Advised ACWA Power in connection with the development and financing of a 160 MW concentrated solar power project in Morocco.

Represented Aeolus Kenya in connection with the financing and development of Kinangop wind farm, a 60 MW onshore wind project in Kenya.

Notable practitioners  

Timothy Reid is a dispute resolution partner who focuses on the energy and construction fields. He regularly acts in international arbitrations and High Court disputes. Sources describe him as "very client-oriented."

Ronnie King acts in litigation and arbitration on behalf of energy clients. Recent instructions include advising Centrica in relation to a £100 million claim in the Commercial Court. Sources say: "He provides top-quality advice with a commercial understanding."

Antony Skinner often acts on renewable energy and conventional power projects. In one recent matter he acted for Infinis in the refinancing of a portfolio of 16 onshore wind farms. One source says: "He's incredibly pragmatic and very transaction-focused."

Geoffrey Picton-Turbervill heads the firm's global energy group. Sources recognise his expertise in the oil and gas sector, with an interviewee proclaiming him "one of the finest energy lawyers in the world." He led the team acting for JX Nippon Exploration & Production in its purchase of North Sea assets from Eni. 

Huw Thomas is an energy lawyer who advises on project finance deals and reserve-based lending. He advised EnQuest in connection with a USD1.7 billion credit facility. Sources describe him as "experienced, pragmatic and pleasant to deal with."

Significant clients RBS, Woodside, Kuwait Petroleum, Tullow Oil, OMV. 

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 consistent strength in both contentious and non-contentious financial services. Deep bench of highly reputable partners with considerable experience in FCA enforcement.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The quality of work is always good and their lawyers are easy to work with. They are practical and responsive - I have been very impressed."

"Quality service and advice with access to the most experienced members of the team. Very client-oriented."

"Broad in its areas of expertise, very pleasant to work with across departments and good value for advice and lawyers of this calibre."

Work highlights Advised Oaktree Capital Management on the impact of the AIFMD, and how it should be implemented most efficiently.

Advised ICAP on the launch of its Swap Execution Facility, in particular making it compliant with FCA regulation. This was a major cross-border project as the SEF was provided in 20 jurisdictions worldwide.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Sparrow is highly regarded for his expertise in contentious regulatory disputes and is also a respected banking litigator. Clients say: "He has a very nice bedside manner; often when you introduce him to senior executives who are facing a regulatory challenge, he has a natural gravitas and is reassuring. He's very good at making people feel like they have the full team on their side."

James Perry is known for giving expert advice in relation to non-contentious regulatory matters. One client reports: "His knowledge of the industry, particularly at the UK level, is unsurpassed." Another comments: "He is concise and specific in his responses and has a commercial but firm approach."

Key non-contentious partner Rob Moulton is lauded by clients as "always very accessible and very quick to respond when we need advice. What you want is a common-sense, swift view, and he can give you that."

Significant clients RBS, Nomura, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays.

Fraud - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Experienced in handling fraud investigations, conspiracy cases and multi-jurisdictional proceedings to recover assets. Frequently acts for multinational corporates and financial institutions.

Work highlights Advised the US official unsecured creditors' committee on a USD7.5 billion dishonest assistance and knowing assistance claim against Nortel Networks.

Advised Roadchef on a claim brought by the trustees of the RoadChef Employee Share Scheme against the former chief executive of RoadChef for dishonestly misappropriating over £30 million of shares from the trust.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Sparrow has extensive experience in handling a range of commercial fraud disputes. Peers describe him as a "proper all-round litigation lawyer."

Head of department Angela Pearson has a broad commercial practice. She is acclaimed as "a very client-focused lawyer and a great tactician in fraud cases."

Eminent practitioner Ben Tidswell is chairman of the firm. He frequently acts for major financial institutions and has particular expertise in finance disputes.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Adept at providing clients with services in risk transfer, outsourcing and pension plan and insurance restructuring as well as traditional M&A work. Able to advise both life and non-life clients as well as non-insurance clients dealing with large liabilities.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They managed the case brilliantly and are used to dealing with international transactions. They are also fine having calls whenever we need no matter the time difference, and are very flexible and accommodating to that."

"We really appreciate their willingness to manage fees and delegate to the Scottish office to do things at a more commercial rate."

"There are a wide range of specialists there and if you need specific advice on a niche product there is always someone to talk to. They are very good at drawing in people from the larger Ashurst net."

Work highlights Represented Chesnara in its £62.3 million acquisition of Direct Line Life Insurance, a closed-book life assurer, from Direct Line insurance group.

Advised International Financial Data Services on its agreement with Skandia Life Assurance and Skandia Multifunds to provide policy administration, payment and financial services in a large outsourcing transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Adam Levitt has a broad practice in the insurance space, with experience in assisting clients with all areas including longevity swaps and risk transfer agreements, regulatory advice and Part VII transfers. A client said: "I rely on him heavily for contracting work and he is adept at negotiations with other lawyers, always ensuring that we get the right results."

Significant clients Aviva, Royal London, Pension Insurance Corporation, Manulife Asset Management, Tantalum.

International Arbitration - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Renowned for its focus on the active Russian marketplace, with particular expertise in energy disputes. Also handles an increasingly diverse spread of technology, real estate and shipping arbitrations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do a very good job with very strong people."  

"What really impresses us is the standard of their drafts - their drafting skills really are remarkable."

Work highlights Represented RUSAL in a high-value LCIA arbitration brought by SUAL Partners and involving USD50 billion in supply contracts.

Notable practitioners

Ronnie King leads Ashurst's international arbitration department and regularly handles significant cross-border disputes involving the energy market. He is praised for his "strategies, tactics and wealth of experience." 

Significant clients Reliance Industries.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Highlighted for its robust real estate private equity practice. Frequently working in the flourishing credit funds sphere, backed up by strong support from the structured finance department. Has seen a good volume of activity in the IPO market of late, and has also acted on several social investment fund mandates.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are obviously very well connected in the market; they know what the issues and expected outcomes are. They understand how the deals work."

"They are highly professional, and possess in-depth experience." 

Work highlights Advised Equitix on the formation of a global infrastructure fund, which raised more than £500 million.

Acted for Alcentra in the creation of a direct lending fund targeting European middle-market corporates.  

Notable practitioners  

Piers Warburton was mandated by CapMan to act on its Buyout X, Nordic Real Estate and Russia II funds, overseeing the establishment and closing of each, targeting an aggregate total of EUR825 million. He is an experienced funds partner with expertise across a number of asset classes.  

Jeremy Bell is well liked by market sources for his "diligent and responsive" approach. He acted for Rothschild on its EUR200 million Oberon Credit Investment Fund I, a European secured credit fund.

Significant clients CapMan, Hermes GPE, Altor, Inflexion Private Equity, Rothschild.

Life Sciences - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Present on corporate and commercial deals in the sector. Clients span the range of small and middle capitalisation biotech and pharmaceuticals companies, university spin-offs and multinational players.

Work highlights Advised Oxford Instruments on its acquisition of German UHV scanning probe microscopy systems manufacturer Omicron NanoTechnology.

Acted for LGC Holdings, a biological and chemical analytical services provider, on its sale to Bridgepoint.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Lubbock is considered a "seasoned, sensible practitioner" by senior market sources. He is entrenched in the life sciences sector, and is a go-to for corporate and commercial transactions.

Significant clients Ark Therapeutics, GE Healthcare, Imperial College, SkyePharma, Smith & Nephew.

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 Noted expertise on infrastructure work with a focus on transport and regeneration projects. Social housing is another strong area and the team regularly advises on joint ventures between local authorities and the private sector.

Work highlights Acted for Transport for London and Crossrail in connection with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Legacy Communities Scheme redevelopment.

Acted for Guildford Borough Council concerning the redevelopment of the North Street site, including aspects of the CPO, public procurement and challenges to decisions.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Curnow is an experienced practitioner who counts real estate and public sector work as cornerstones of his practice. Sources notes his strength on planning issues, especially on matters relating to compulsory purchase orders.

Significant clients North Kesteven District Council, Birmingham City Council, Liverpool City Council, London Borough of Hackney, Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Adept at advising customer and supplier-side clients in high-value and complex outsourcing deals, with particular experience of the financial services and defence sectors. Significant knowledge of business process and information technology outsourcings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their attention to detail is extremely good, which is what you'd expect from Ashurst. They are also very creative in terms of considering the options available to us, and in structuring and responding to queries."

"We are definitely pleased with them. Their commercial and legal advice is really helpful. When we ask them to do something, they do it."

Work highlights Assisted Hitachi Rail Europe with arrangements for a new traffic management system across Network Rail's entire UK network. 

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Bates has impressed clients in outsourcing transactions, with one interviewee noting: "He's been a good bridge between the legal, the IT and the commercial sides of things. He is always available at short notice." He has significant experience in guiding clients through high-profile outsourcing negotiations.

Significant clients Babcock International Group, The Equitable Life Assurance Society, Visa Europe, Xchanging, Serco. 

Projects - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 82 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Represents lenders, bidders and public sector clients on a broad array of domestic and international work. Impressive reputation for flagship projects in the healthcare, education, defence, waste and transport arenas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have good lines of communication. They anticipate what needs to be done and recognise that it's in everybody's interests that things are done efficiently." 

"They come up with innovative proposals and they do a good job."

What's new? New client wins include Defra.

Work highlights Advised the Education Funding Agency on the privately funded element of the Building Schools for the Future programme, involving an aggregator vehicle and the construction of 46 schools in five batches.

Acted for the funders on the £240 million Cornwall Integrated Waste Project.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Mark Elsey is highly sought after by lenders and funders for his expertise in transport matters, bolstering his practice with significant experience in waste projects. Source say: "He understands the issues, he's bright and also business-focused in getting a deal done."

Logan Mair is a key partner in the team whose experience includes handling work in the education and waste arenas for public sector clients and bidders. Sources describe him as "a very effective operator."

Key partner Patrick Boyle is praised as having "a lot of insight, and he can communicate complex issues clearly. He's very balanced and diplomatic." He acts for lenders and sponsors on a wide range of projects work, including matters in the transport and education fields.

Philip Vernon acts across areas including education, waste and defence, representing lenders and public sector clients. One client says: "He provides exemplary service - he's very good at negotiating and liaising with the senior principals in any transaction."

Jan Sanders is described as "always very sensible, pragmatic and helpful." She is well versed in a range of work, with notable experience acting for lenders on waste matters.

Cameron Smith regularly acts on behalf of sponsors and funders on PFI/PPP projects in the UK and internationally. He has broad sector experience including transport, education and waste to energy.

Significant clients Balfour Beatty Investments, Interserve, Babcock, Crossrail, FCC Environment.

Private Equity - UK-wide

What the team is known for Well known for its capacity to handle leveraged buyout transactions, as well as a host of other private equity matters. Offers clients the benefit of a full-service practice including financing. Services an array of domestic and international private equity houses.

What's new? Merged with Australian firm Blake Dawson in September 2013. The new combination continues to be known as Ashurst.

Work highlights Acted for Merlin Entertainments, which is backed by private equity investors, on its £937 million IPO.

Assisted Apax Partners with its purchase of Rhiag in a deal worth EUR560 million.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Hanton is a "very smart guy and real technician," according to commentators. He acts on a wide range of transactional work, lately advising on Oaktree Capital's £165 million purchase of Countryside Properties.

David Carter impresses sources as a "bright individual who gets numbers as well as words" and who "goes down well with management teams." He advised Malmaison and Hotel du Vin Property Holdings on its £180 million purchase by KSL Capital Partners.

Significant clients Cinven, Doughty Hanson, Charterhouse, Blackstone, General Atlantic.

Product Liability - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strong tobacco practice with the ability to co-ordinate international litigation on behalf of major clients. Advises on various matters involving e-cigarettes, pharmaceutical products, food contamination and aviation.

Notable practitioners 

Mark Clarke is heavily involved in co-ordinating complex product liability cases on a global basis. Beyond tobacco work he is also instructed on both pharmaceutical and consumer issues.

Significant clients Imperial Tobacco, Sanofi, Total Raffinage Marketing.

Projects - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 21 partners
- 82 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Significant strength in the UK market alongside a notable international footprint. Highly regarded for its track record in power and transportation projects, representing sponsors and lenders in Africa, Europe and the UK.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're absolutely brilliant - we simply could not have closed the deal without the expertise, depth and creativity they brought to it. It's been nothing but a positive experience."

"They have a very strong UK practice and a good infrastructure team." 

What's new? New panel appointments, including Infrastructure UK and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. 

Work highlights Advised Aeolus Kenya on the 60MW onshore Kinangop project, the first privately financed wind farm in Kenya.

Advised the lenders on the USD790 million IPP3 project in Jordan.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Antony Skinner is praised for his work for sponsors on renewables projects in the UK and Africa. Sources comment: "He completely stepped up and took the lead in negotiations - he's held in very high regard."

Head of department Mark Elsey regularly acts for lenders and sponsors in transport and infrastructure matters. He is well versed in financings for high-level projects in the UK.

Significant clients Crossrail, JBIC, K-EXIM, Balfour Beatty, Assured Guaranty.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 20 associates

What the team is known for Offers market-leading expertise across rolling stock, franchising and projects and infrastructure. Advises a range of clients, including public sector organisations, operators and funders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very practical and have a good understanding of the commercial aspects, not just the legal aspects."

"The team is very responsive to our demands." 

Work highlights Advising National Express on multiple franchising matters, including its Essex Thameside rail franchise bid.

Advised Crossrail on its £1 billion rolling stock procurement.  

Notable practitioners  

Naomi Horton is experienced in advising on all aspects of the rail industry, with particular expertise in railway projects and regulations. She advises a broad range of clients, including public sector bodies and train operators. Sources state that "she knows the whole regulatory framework inside out," with one impressed client noting: "She had a real catalysing effect on the final stages of the negotiations." 

Terry van Poortvliet led the team on the Essex Thameside franchising matter and is also noted for his particular focus on rail sector projects. Clients say he is "engaging, very bright, easy to deal with and concise."

Mark Elsey is the global head of the energy, transport and infrastructure team and regularly leads on major rail infrastructure projects, advising both funders and government authorities. One client notes that he "is incredibly astute and spots the issues very quickly."

Significant clients Transport for London, Abellio, Porterbrook, Docklands Light Railway, City of Edinburgh Council.