• You are now in...
  • UK

Linklaters

London

Linklaters - London
  • One Silk Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2Y 8HQ
  • Senior Partner Robert Elliott
  • Managing Partner Simon Davies
  • Global Head of Corporate Jeremy Parr
  • Global Head of Finance & Projects Jim Rice
  • Global Head of Commercial Arnaud de La Cotardière
  • Worldwide Figures  
  • Number of partners 450
  • Number of lawyers 2200   

THE FIRM Linklaters LLP is a leading global law firm, supporting clients in achieving their strategies wherever they do business. The firm uses its expertise and resources to help clients pursue opportunities and manage risk across emerging and developed markets around the world.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK
Banking: Comprehensive experience spanning the fields of banking and finance, including acquisition and leveraged finance, bilateral and syndicated credit facilities, financial structuring, high yield, real estate finance, trade and emerging markets finance, restructuring and insolvency and asset finance.
Capital Markets: Expertise across international capital markets, covering: debt, equity, equity-linked, regulatory capital, liability management, high yield, derivatives and structured financings.
Competition/Antitrust: Expertise in competition law, merger control, state aid, public procurement, utility regulation, market investigations, cartels, abuse of dominance and any related litigation. Specialist lawyers in key jurisdictions in Europe, the USA, South America and Asia.
Corporate & M&A: Advice on finance and commercial transactions including complex cross-border M&A, major listings on stock exchanges around the world, joint ventures, restructuring and privatisations.
Corporate Tax: Expertise across all tax aspects of corporate transactional (including private equity), finance (including structured finance), international tax planning, contentious, real estate and investment funds work.
Employment & Incentives: Global advice on all employment and incentives matters, with a balanced practice combining advisory work, transactional involvement and contentious advice. Employment work includes regulatory investigations, restructurings and redundancies, governance, board/senior executive appointments, terminations and disputes. Global share plans expertise covers areas such as plan design and structure, corporate transactions, regulatory issues, governance, trusts and corporate/individual tax.
Environment & Climate Change: Advice on all aspects of environmental and climate change regulation, carbon trading, sustainability and governance, the allocation of environmental assets and risks in M&A, project finance, funds and real estate, and regulatory and environmental dispute resolution.
Financial Regulation: Advice on financial regulation, compliance risk management and regulatory investigations and enforcement for investment, commercial and retail banks, asset managers, private equity houses, insurers, exchanges, trading platforms, clearing houses and other financial institutions.
Insurance: Expertise across all aspects of the sector including M&A, JVs, rights issues, securitisations, demutualisations, complex capital markets transactions, reorganisations, portfolio transfers and regulatory.
Intellectual Property: Expertise in contentious and non-contentious aspects of intellectual property rights.
Investment Management: Advice on the structuring, formation, taxation, regulation and marketing of all types of investment funds, institutional and retail, for investment in all types of asset classes: securities, debt, derivatives and financial instruments, private equity, and real estate.
Litigation & Arbitration: Dispute resolution services in a wide range of areas including litigation, arbitration, mediation and other forms of ADR. Sectors of experience include litigation in banking, competition and antitrust, derivatives and structured products, fraud and white-collar crime, insolvency, contentious tax, energy and infrastructure disputes, regulatory investigations, pensions, property and finance.
Pensions: The pensions group advises both trustees and corporates on the full range of pensions issues, including tailored funding solutions, regulatory, governance and investment issues.
Private Equity: Expertise in all aspects of the industry, from establishing the fund and making investments, to ongoing portfolio assistance including restructuring advice, to exiting from those investments.
Projects: Advice on project financings in the energy and infrastructure sectors: oil and gas, petrochemical, power, renewables, telecoms, mining, water, PPP/PFI project financing, together with all other aspects of energy and infrastructure-related acquisitions, investment vehicles, hybrid and structured financing and refinancing.
Real Estate: Expertise in all aspects of real estate sector work including: premium real estate investment, M&A, development and distressed real estate; leasing advice; sale and leasebacks; joint ventures; real estate funds, financing and tax; real estate investment trusts; construction advice; planning/zoning law, policy and practice; rent review and real estate-related disputes.
Restructuring & Insolvency: Leading expertise across an exceptional spread of transactions covering a wide range of jurisdictions and complexities, including debt restructuring and rescheduling, equity capital raising and restructuring, distressed M&A activity, debtor advisory work, formal insolvency procedures and contingency planning and investigation, asset tracing and insolvency litigation.
Technology, Media & Telecommunications: Expertise in commercial and regulatory advice on outsourcing, data protection, IT, e-commerce, telecoms and media and broadcasting.

INTERNATIONAL Linklaters has 29 offices covering all the major jurisdictions and financial centres around the world. Work is handled in all commercial languages and local languages of countries in which Linklaters has offices.

RECRUITMENT In order to maintain Linklaters’ premier position the firm actively recruits the highest calibre candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. Individuals interested in making an application can visit the firm’s website at www.linklaters.com/ukgrads or contact the firm at graduate.recruitment@linklaters.com.

    Contacts
  • Asset Finance Olga Petrovic
  • Banking Gideon Moore
  • Capital Markets Jim Rice
  • Competition/Antitrust Paula Riedel 
  • Corporate & M&A Shane Griffin
  • Corporate Tax Yash Rupal
  • Employment & Incentives Gillian Chapman
  • Environment & Climate 
  • Financial Regulation Michael Kent
  • Insurance Victoria Sander
  • Intellectual Property Ian Karet
  • Investment Management Jonathan de Lance-Holmes
  • Litigation & Arbitration Michael Bennett
  • Pensions Ruth Goldman
  • Private Equity Ian Bagshaw
  • Projects Bruce White
  • Real Estate Andy Bruce
  • Restructuring & Insolvency Tony Bugg
  • Technology, Media & Telecommunications John Crozier

Branches

  • One Silk Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2Y 8HQ
  • Tel (020) 7456 2000
  • Fax (020) 7456 2222
  • DX 10 London City EC3
  • Website : www.linklaters.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Remains a key fixture at the top end of the market, focusing primarily on lenders but with a firmly established reputation on the borrower side. Huge strength in depth across banking and complementary departments.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Client service: "The service culture is excellent; they are very responsive and have a very strong group of associates supporting their partners."

Responsiveness: "They were easy to reach and always available, they managed expectations about when they would be contactable and they responded quickly all the time. Just a very reliable performance all round."

Visibility: "Definitely one of the firms we see the most and have the most respect for."

What's new? Alcentra, Lloyds and Deutsche Bank are all new client wins.

Work highlights Advised Glencore International on financings totalling approximately USD30 billion, in connection with its USD70 billion merger with Xstrata.  

Acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as mandated lead arranger on USD16.8 billion loan facilities for Rosneft, provided to fund its acquisition of a 50% shareholding in TNK-BP.

Notable practitioners 

Global head of banking Gideon Moore is "far and away one of the best lawyers in terms of client relationships. He is extremely good at managing people and difficult situations," according to satisfied sources.

Clients appreciate Nick Syson's knowledge and commercial acumen, identifying him as a go-to figure "in a situation where you need a smart, good lawyer who knows all the deals you've just done. He will get you there in a way that works for everyone." He advised Deutsche Bank and Unicredit Bank as arrangers on the amend and extend of Alliance Boots' senior syndicated loan facilities, totalling £8.27 billion.

Adam Freeman is widely praised by market observers. His practice covers leveraged and acquisition finance transactions of all kinds, and he is particularly notable for his work on behalf of financial sponsors.

Brian Gray's collaborative style wins approval from sources, who single him out as being "very, very able as a consensus builder and very collected – he can really construct a solution when there's a chasm between the parties. That's how he's able to deliver value for all sides." He has recently been advising the banks extending approximately £1.5 billion syndicated term and revolving debt facilities to Melrose.

David Ereira is widely regarded as a "standout individual" in the acquisition finance and restructuring spheres.

Sources describe Philip Spittal as an "innovative and dynamic lawyer who tries to find alternative approaches to challenges." He acted for Lloyds on a EUR700 million term loan facility provided to DS Smith for the acquisition of SCA Group's packaging division.

Jeremy Stokeld is an experienced partner who maintains a broad practice encompassing structured and secured financing and syndicated lending. He operates on both a cross-border and domestic basis.

Key client Lloyds recently mandated Stuart Thomas to advise on amendments to USD700 million loan facilities extended to Lonmin. He is "highly diligent and dedicated, providing consistent and focused advice and support throughout transactions," according to one impressed interviewee.

Annette Kurdian is well known for her work on behalf of private equity sponsors and financial arrangers. Her experience on acquisition financings is extensive, and she continues to be involved in some of the team's largest transactions.

Up-and-coming partner Toby Grimstone is reportedly "on top of the technical detail and a pleasure to deal with." One peer further identifies him as "strong, very sensible and very pragmatic." His practice has an international flavour, with a particular focus on Africa and other emerging markets.

Significant clients RBS, JPMorgan, Citibank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 51 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Leading presence in the City with notable strength advising on large, high-value and complex litigation. A thriving contentious banking practice with a steady flow of work as a result of the financial crisis. Extensive experience in mis-selling claims. 

Work highlights Represented the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) in a High Court matter relating to the enforceability of security interests over assets. The matter gave rise to complex multi-jurisdictional challenges.

Acted on behalf of Standard Chartered Bank in connection with its USD165 million claim against Ceylon Petroleum in relation to oil derivative hedging transactions.

Notable practitioners  

The "very sensible and very commercial" Christa Band has a stellar reputation amongst peers. She attracts praise from sources, with one client commenting: "She will focus on important matters and get it done. She has a drive and I appreciate her ability to get to the heart of the matter."

Alan Walls is well regarded in the banking space and has been involved in a number of high-profile investigations. Clients appreciate his experience and knowledge of the industry. 

"Very measured and assured," Andrew Hughes is praised by sources for his experience, tenacity and ability to "see the big picture." One client comments: "He's extremely responsive and very commercial and cares very deeply about the client relationship."

Praised for his client-handling skills, James Gardner has a strong reputation in the field. Clients cite Gardner's "extraordinary grasp of the complexities of the problems we have been trying to resolve" as well as his "ability to recall them in simple and clear terms." 

"Very tenacious and very bright," Patrick Robinson has a broad banking practice with particular expertise in litigation concerning derivatives and structured products.

Significant clients RBS, Zolfo Cooper, Barclays and Barclays Capital, UBS.

Capital Markets: Debt & Equity - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
 - 28 partners 
 - 131 associates

What the team is known for Widely recognised as a market leader in both DCM and ECM, frequently acting on some of the most cutting-edge deals in the market. Currently active advising on sovereign debt deals for countries such as Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia, and also recommended for its in-depth knowledge of the Russian market. Equity expertise covers international IPOs, block trades and rights issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The partners are always present and available but you know you can also rely completely on the associates."

International capability: "They're extremely strong in Russia. They really have the expertise and knowledge in the emerging markets space there."

Technical ability: "They get the mix right across the board, a good MTN practice and a good emerging markets practice."  

Work highlights Advised HSBC and Deutsche Bank in connection with a EUR206 billion liability management transaction relating to bonds issued or guaranteed by the Hellenic Republic. 

Acted for Turkish oil refiner Tupras, with regard to its USD700 million corporate bond issuance. The bonds were listed on the UKLA's Official List. 

Notable practitioners  

Keith Thomson wins praise for "his skill in managing highly sophisticated and complex cases." He has particular expertise advising on equity, debt and equity linked transactions in the European markets, and also offers a wealth of emerging markets experience, including in Thailand, India, Turkey and Indonesia.

Carson Welsh is "extremely strong on the regulatory capital side," according to interviewees. He is experienced across a broad range of capital markets issues and was one of the lead partners advising on the aforementioned Hellenic Republic liability management issue. 

Alexander Naidenov is a US-qualified partner specialising in high-yield debt transactions. He advised Triton in relation to its USD1 billion sale of Dematic, to AEA Investors and Teachers' Private Capita.

Ben Dulieu wins praise for his "broad knowledge base and god-like availability," which sources find incredible. He has significant experience handling DCM and equity-linked transactions.

The "very personable" Elaine Keats is an expert in liability management issues and worked alongside Carson Welsh on the Hellenic Republic matter. Her practice also includes a strong focus on retail bonds.

The "fantastic" Charles Jacobs is highly regarded for his expertise in the mining sector. He acts as head of the firm's global mining team, and handles IPOs, capital raising and other corporate matters for clients in this field.

John Lane is a "very capable, intellectual lawyer" who is "quickly able to come up with smart solutions when a problem arises." He is adept at handling both domestic and international ECM matters, and notably handled the high-profile £2.6 billion Direct Line IPO.

Commentators are keen to praise Jason Manketo's "complete focus and dedication to driving all aspects of a transaction forward." He advised Graff Diamonds in connection with its proposed flotation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Cecil Quillen largely focuses his practice on handling cross-border high-yield debt offerings, and he has particular experience in the Russian market.

The "terrific" Mark Hageman is "sensible and good to work with," according to interviewees. He is a high-yield specialist and has been instrumental in the growth of the firm's offering in this area.

Patrick Sheil is a US-qualified partner who has notable experience advising on US securities transactions, and has a key focus on Africa and the Middle East.

Significant clients RBS, BNP Paribas, Glencore, Citi, Ophir.

Since publication, Francis Kucera has joined Ashurst

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

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

What the team is known for Remains a premier choice for clients participating in some of the most innovative new deals in the market. Offers a broad degree of flexibility with practitioners adept at advising across a multitude of different products, including longevity and balance sheet securitised derivatives. Also utilises the firm's strength in other key areas, such as M&A, tax and pensions to provide an integrated service covering the full spectrum of corporate and financial transactions.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Very knowledgeable and very experienced but still able to bring business acumen to very legalistic points."

Technical ability: "For OTC and corporate equity derivatives they're outstanding."

Responsiveness: "They turn things round quickly, are very commercial in their approach and very smart."

What's new Partner Toby Gray returned to London after spending six years covering Asian derivatives in the firm's Hong Kong office.

Structured finance and securitisation lawyer Mark Nuttall was promoted to partner.  

Work highlights Acted for Peel Ports Group with regard to its £1.5 billion refinancing, which involved the establishment of a whole-business securitisation debt platform and a substantial restructuring of swaps. 

Advised a consortium of corporates and banks in connection with several equity derivative transactions, including a EUR500 million 'collar' transaction allowing Iberia to protect and lock-in the current value of its shares in Amadeus IT Holding. 

Notable practitioners  

Simon Firth is a recognised authority in the derivatives space, and sources note that "he's the expert's expert," adding that "he's always available and turns work around immediately." He was part of the team advising PwC in connection with issues arising out of the Lehman Brothers administration.

Pauline Ashall is seen as a "highly effective" partner, who "gives a fantastic service, always delivers for her firm" and "comes up with a lot of innovative solutions." She is knowledgeable across all types of derivatives transactions, and has been working with Simon Firth on the Lehman Brothers matters.

Michael Canby wins praise for his "prompt assessment of complicated problems and his ability to create solutions" which sources find "amazing." His extensive capital markets expertise includes a particular focus on note programmes, CDOs and OTC derivatives.

Julian Davies advised on the aforementioned £1.5 billion Peel Ports refinancing. He has substantial experience advising on project bonds, with a particular focus on structured utility bonds. Interviewees highlight his "very positive can-do attitude" and his pleasant demeanour.

The "extremely good" James Harbach comes highly recommended for his strength in the area of mortgage-backed securities. He heads up the firm's structured finance group and represents corporates, financial institutions and investment banks on complex financings and restructurings.

Paul Lewis is a derivatives and structured securities specialist, with notable experience of equity-linked securities, synthetic CDOs and repackaged notes. He has recently been particularly active in matters involving credit CPPI products.

According to interviewees Vinay Samani is a "trusted adviser" who has a wealth of experience in structured products. He focuses on advising on OTC and securitised derivatives, bond issuances and CDOs, for issuers and investment banks.

Deepak Sitlani wins praise for his "very measured, thought-out approach," while sources also note that "he can simplify things and is very easy to deal with." He is experienced across the complete range of OTC derivative asset classes, including credit and strategic corporate equity.

Sources describe Michael Voisin as "someone that we have a lot of confidence in," noting that "he has a good way with clients and obviously has a vast amount of experience." He is an expert in derivatives, and has recently been active advising on clearing issues for a number of major swap dealers.

Mark Brown receives plaudits for his "superb service, great product knowledge and very timely delivery of advice." He is head of the firm's Islamic derivatives practice, and has significant experience in the Middle East, in countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Anne Hoe advises on a range of securitisation projects, such as whole-business deals. Her expertise also spans synthetic transactions, credit-linked notes and other types of asset-backed transactions.

Mark Nuttall has particular experience in handling structured finance transactions involving the utilities and infrastructure sectors. He recently advised on the establishment of a £2.5 billion utility structured bond programme on behalf of the issuer Affinity Water Finance.

Jim Rice maintains a long-established reputation in the industry and is highly regarded for his extensive experience across the spectrum of securitisation and structured finance.

Significant clients Nomura, Lloyds, Cerberus, Citi, RBS.

Since publication, Anne Hoe has retired from this practice.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Offers leading experience in complex mergers and acquisitions as well as in market investigations. Noted for its depth of resources and relationships with financial institutions and large global corporations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have a depth of technical knowledge and experience, providing pragmatic, business-oriented advice."

Client service: "They are so strong at engaging with and committing themselves to transactions. An excellent work ethic."

Work highlights Advised AXA PPP on the OFT investigation into the private healthcare market.

Continued to work with Anglo American on a range of competition issues related to the combining of the company with Lafarge, as well as market investigations into the cement industry.

Notable practitioners 

Michael Sanders is seen as "a very astute character with a good tactical sense" who is lauded as a "fantastic litigator." His expertise extends to damages claims, cartels and appeals.

Viewed as "a strategic thinker and an excellent resource for clients," Michael Cutting continues to attract a multitude of clients. He is praised for his knowledge of the energy, water and construction industries.

Nicole Kar is highly admired by clients, who say "she adds value" and "clearly understands the client's commercial imperatives and strategy." One source adds that "her energy, drive and work delivery are second to none." Kar has been lead partner on the team's advice to Anglo American for several years.

Sources say Christian Ahlborn is "absolute class." As well as having experience in complex M&A concerns, he is well versed in state aid issues.

Simon Pritchard is singled out as an "outstanding merger control expert." He is widely recognised by peers, with his experience of working at the OFT seen as making him a valuable asset.

Paula Riedel is praised for her ability to "provide concise articulation of complicated issues" and clarity in potentially ambiguous situations. She is highly experienced with merger control issues.

Eamonn Doran brings an experienced head to market investigations and merger control matters. He also demonstrates an understanding of state aid issues.

Senior statesman Christopher Bellamy continues to contribute to the work of the team with expert advice across a range of complex competition matters.

Associate Rachel Hetherington offers experience of merger control and state aid issues. She also has a good understanding of competition issues affecting the media, healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Significant clients Glencore, Vodafone, Johnson & Johnson, Actavis, BP.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-44 partners
-142 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides high-quality advice to clients on market-leading transactions of the highest profile, value and complexity. Natural resources, financial services and private equity continue to be key sectors of expertise and focus.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "The offices are well interconnected and the advice is seamless."

Client service: "We have been extremely happy and satisfied with the quality and service we have received from the firm."

Market standing: "Very impressive - Linklaters knew their client's business inside out."

What's new New client and panel wins include BP's US panel, Arcadia, Maersk and Aditya Birla.

Work highlights Represented Glencore International in its USD70 billion merger of equals with Xstrata by scheme of arrangement of Xstrata.

Represented BP on the sale of its interest in TNK-BP to Rosneft including the acquisition by BP of a stake in Rosneft.

Advised Siemens on its £1.742 billion acquisition of the rail business of Invensys.

Notable practitioners  

"Leading light" Charles Jacobs is a "charismatic lawyer with a knack for negotiation," whose "clarity of thought and methodical approach to deals transcends talent and is more of a gift," sources enthuse. He has represented clients in many of the highest-profile deals of the year. His practice has a particular focus on Africa and recent highlights include advising Absa on the strategic combination of Barclays African operations with Absa, valued at USD2.1 billion.

Richard Godden is "an incredibly smart and capable lawyer," market sources say. He has notable expertise in takeover transactions.

The "good and strong" Owen Clay recently advised long-standing Linklaters client Britvic on its £1.4 billion merger with AG Barr. He receives particular praise from sources for his work in the oil and gas sector.

Jeremy Parr is "calm and considered," "easy to get on with" and "technically very good," sources say. He is the global head of M&A.  

David Cheyne is a highly respected senior corporate lawyer, and a consultant at the firm.

Stephen Griffin gives clients "a good commercial view on things" and is a "sensible negotiator," clients say. He is rated for his expertise on a range of cross-border and domestic transactions.

David Holdsworth has "deep legal knowledge" and is "highly solution-minded and entrepreneurial," clients say. His recent highlights include advising Dentsu on its £3.2 billion recommended cash offer for Aegis.  

Significant clients RBS, Anglo American, Lloyds Banking Group, Cookson, Rio Tinto.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notably adept at advising large multinationals upon the employment issues that stem from transactions. Enviable base of financial services clients, comprising a number of the sector's most renowned institutions. Also acts on Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They're clear and concise but never simplistic. They're good at translating legal procedures into understandable terms."

Commercial awareness: "They are very knowledgeable and responsive, with pragmatic and commercial advice."

Technical ability: "The level of care that they put into preparing their cases is enormous."

Work highlights Provided legal representation to Britvic during its proposed takeover of AG Barr.

Represented the liquidators of Woolworths in relation to claims brought against the failed store by two trade unions.

Notable practitioners  

Sources credit Jean Lovett as an "extremely dedicated lawyer, one will do her utmost to deliver against tight deadlines." She brings instant credibility to matters and is further said to exhibit "strong judgement." She led on the Britvic engagement.

Nicola Rabson is commended for both contentious and non-contentious matters. One client highlights her ability to "express herself in a very clear and commercial manner," whilst others extolled her strategic and personable approach.

Significant clients Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bain.

Environment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 associates

What the team is known for Leads the market in advising on the environmental aspects of major domestic and international transactions. Strong regulatory practice advising clients on matters related to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, and the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive. Also provides high-level strategic advice on corporate social responsibility issues.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I have been extremely impressed with their ability to cut through complex legal arrangements and translate them into digestible chunks in a way that is easy for non-legally trained people to understand."

Breadth of service: "They have a team that is very good at the law, but they also have a very good understanding of communications, politics and the media, which has been very refreshing and very positive."

Market standing: "They deserve their ranking; it is a very good group doing lots of international environment work."

Work highlights Advised on environment issues related to Siemens' £1.74 billion acquisition of Invensys’ rail business.

Counselled BP in relation to its 2012 Sustainability Report in order to ensure that it complied with guidelines on corporate responsibility reporting. Issues covered included arctic drilling, hydraulic fracturing, energy policy and climate change.

Notable practitioners  

Vanessa Havard-Williams leads the team and is viewed as "a standout lawyer" in the world of environmental law. She is equally at ease advising clients on transactions, financings, restructurings and infrastructure projects, as well as advising on corporate social responsibility and policy issues. Sources are impressed by her up-to-date knowledge of both legal and policy developments. One source said: "She offers incredibly pragmatic advice based upon a very deep insight of not just the current legal sphere, but a very good understanding of what is coming through the policy pipeline."

Significant clients Anglo American, Biffa, Centrica, Glencore, Sony.

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Substantial capacity for handling major investigations, civil fraud litigation and asset-recovery work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Team strength: "Linklaters can assemble a strong team of associates to deal with any matter."

Work highlights Advising the bankruptcy administrator of Bankas Snoras in relation to allegations of fraud arising from the bank's collapse.

Advising the liquidators of several companies within the Saad Group on an alleged fraud of USD9.2 billion, which spans multiple jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

Alan Walls is a highly regarded fraud litigator with significant experience of working with financial institutions. Clients report that he "is very experienced, knows all the key stakeholders within the industry and is a really good resource."

Christa Band is a "top-rated litigator," noted for assisting with major investigations.

Satindar Dogra is building an impressive reputation in the civil fraud and investigations arena. Sources describe him as "a visionary, who has great strategic strength" and "outstanding judgement."

Significant clients BP, BAE Systems, RBS, Grant Thornton, Zolfo Cooper.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Magic circle firm handling large international projects. Enjoys an enviable client following, particularly within the financial services sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Very commercial people, who got the job done efficiently. They knew their stuff about IT and outsourcing."

Work highlights Advised Pioneer Global Asset Management on an outsourcing agreement with BlackRock Financial Management Services with regard to implementing the latter's Aladdin trading, portfolio management and risk reporting system.

Continued to advise PwC on IT aspects of the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Notable practitioners  

John Crozier is the firm's global head of TMT and IP, and also of the outsourcing practice. He handles transactions in the technology space and also advises on the regulatory implications of such transactions and client strategy.

Leading market sources describe Richard Cumbley as "a good name in the market" for his transactional and contentious work relating to IT outsourcings, procurements and implementation. 

Significant clients BP, Lloyds Banking Group, Ministry of Defence, PwC, Visa Europe.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Skilled in dealing with some of the largest patent and trade mark disputes in the market. Also maintains a reputable record in transactional IP and brand protection issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A great name with a great practice."

Commercial awareness: "They have a high level of commercial awareness."

Work highlights Advises Intel in relation to ongoing smartphone litigation over phones featuring Intel chips.

Advised Actavis Group and a consortium of investors on the EUR4.25 billion sale of Actavis to Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Karet is a "very sharp" and "highly versatile" practitioner who focuses on patent litigation but is able to turn his hand to commercial IP concerns as well. He has been advising Intel in the smartphone litigation outlined above.

Nigel Jones concentrates his practice on patents, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biotech fields. "He has always been excellent when I've asked him for anything," said one interviewee. Jones acted for Janssen Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy on defending a patent revocation action.

Significant clients Johnson & Johnson, easyGroup, Merck, Visa Europe, Rio Tinto.

International Arbitration - London (Firms)

What the team is known for International arbitration practice operating within the wider commercial litigation team, with the capacity to handle high-value arbitrations. Substantial experience in arbitrations before the LCIA.

Notable practitioners  

Greg Reid has a wealth of experience in international arbitration. He regularly advises clients on commercial arbitration issues, and has specialist knowledge of the infrastructure and energy markets.

Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Building on its strong profile in big-ticket litigation with a steady flow of sophisticated and technical disputes. International reach lends itself to the representation of an illustrious global client base.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm itself is huge, so it is nice to have dedicated people. It's the same core team going forward, which is something we value a lot." 

Notable practitioners

Christa Band is described as a "mightily impressive" litigator by one satisfied interviewee. She maintains a broad commercial litigation focus, with particular emphasis on work emanating from the banking and financial services sector.

The "excellent" John Turnbull is highly prized by clients for his litigation skills. One interviewee notes: "When he gets involved he adds significant value."

Proficient in banking, international trade and professional negligence disputes, Andrew Hughes is noted as being "dedicated" and "very focused on the outcome he secures for his client."

Michael Bennett is renowned in the market as a "clever, sensible guy" with a reputation for being "seriously very good." He handles corporate and regulatory investigations alongside his general commercial litigation practice.

Satindar Dogra is a talented litigator with an emphasis on civil fraud cases. He also handles disputes in the aerospace and defence sectors, and one source notes that "he never seems to put a foot wrong."  

Nick Porter has a "good breadth of knowledge and expertise," according to market commentators. He is "efficient, organised and looks for the appropriate solutions to what we're trying to deal with. We trust him implicitly," adds an interviewee.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive standalone pensions team acting for a roster of high-profile multinational clients. Advises trustees, corporates, insurance companies and other providers. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Linklaters is very pragmatic and commercially minded." 

Breadth of services: "The team is capable of covering all aspects of pensions law."

Work highlights Advised Vodafone on the pensions aspects of its £1 billion takeover of Cable & Wireless Worldwide. This involved negotiating deeds of agreement with the trustee of two of Cable & Wireless's schemes.  

Advised Cookson Pension Plan Trustees on a £300 million pension insurance buy-in agreement.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Cox is known as a "leading light" in the pensions market. He recently advised Vodafone on the aforementioned pensions issues relating to its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide.

Ruth Goldman is head of the firm's pensions department. One client states: "She can cut through minutiae to get to the nub of the problem."

Isabel France is recognised by peers as a "very capable lawyer." She acted for Cookson Pension Plan Trustees on its recent pension insurance buyin agreement.

Sources describe Claire Petheram as "very calm and measured." She acts for clients on issues such as investment management, scheme mergers and the pensions aspects of corporate deals.

Rosalind Knowles can handle the full range of pensions issues. She draws praise from both peers and clients, and is noted for her eye for detail. 

Nicholas Laird is counsel at the firm and has more than ten years' experience in pensions law. According to one impressed commentator, "he knows his stuff and communicates well."

Philip Goss is an associate at the firm. One peer states: "Philip Goss will be very strong. He has made a name for himself already."

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for blue-chip clients on large complex planning matters. Commended for advising on landmark planning projects, including some of London's tallest buildings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Linklaters provides high-quality advice and is approachable and co-operative."

Work highlights Advised Henderson Global Investors on the development planning of Smithfield General Market in Farringdon.

Notable practitioners  

Team head David Watkins leads in providing advice to Henderson Global Investors on Smithfield. One source praises his capacity for strategic thinking: "He is able to sit in meetings with us and with barristers and carry out a proper strategic analysis."

Significant clients Great Portland Estates, British Land, Native Land, Lend Lease, Hines UK.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-21 partners
-120 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A lender-focused practice handling some of the most high-value and complex transactions in the marketplace. A go-to destination for cross-border transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They cover everything you can think of, from transaction document negotiations to drafting service agreements. I've used the best law firms in the City and they're the strongest in my view."

What's new? John Tucker returned from his senior management role to full-time practice.

Trevor Clark joins the London team from the firm's Hong Kong office, where he was co-head of the Asia-Pacific banking and projects group.

Work highlights Acted on the £289 million acquisition and financing of Phase I and II Broadgate West on behalf of Broadgate West Investments II, one of the largest real estate finance deals of 2012.

Advised on Standard Life Investments European Property Growth Fund's EUR150.7 million senior debt facility with Crédit Agricole, secured on a portfolio of European properties.

Notable practitioners  

Steve Smith continues to consolidate his reputation in this field. Clients comment that "he is very well known and respected. He has a very sound understanding of the market and the deals. He is very pragmatic."

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, RBS, Lloyds, JPMorgan, Oaktree.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts for major international corporate clients on matters ranging from lease renewals for office occupiers to advising on complex joint venture property disputes on both internal and international cases. Expertise in delivering emergency injunctions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "They plan ahead and react accordingly."

Work highlights Acted for Lend Lease on a high-value dispute concerning the contested ownership of the Bluewater Shopping Centre.

Advised the Game Group administrators on a High Court application relating to the question of whether rent should be classified as an administration expense. 

Notable practitioners

Sources express the "utmost respect" for the "excellent" Katie Bradford, head of the practice, has extensive experience across all aspects of real estate litigation. One client notes that she is "very experienced and very good at providing big-picture judgement and analysis," and admires her "strategic, tactical thinking."

Significant clients Deloitte, KPMG, Land Securities, Lend Lease, PwC.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Offers investment, development, distressed and corporate real estate services to domestic and international clients. Clients include property companies, funds and banks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Linklaters has provided a very high-quality and reliable service. The connection of different practice areas to solve complex, novel problems has been excellent."

Breadth of services: "A full suite of services to offer." 

Work highlights Acted for Prologis on its joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management to acquire distribution facilities in 11 European markets.

Acted for Lend Lease on the regeneration of the Elephant & Castle, a mixed-use scheme including the improvement of infrastructure.

Notable practitioners 

Martin Elliott has a broad practice with a focus on joint venture, development, shopping centre and retail development work. Sources say he is "easy to deal with, thoughtful and intelligent."

Simon Clark is head of European real estate at Linklaters. He is particularly experienced in real estate tax issues and investment structuring.

The well-regarded Patrick Plant represents investors, developers and tenants. Recent work includes acting for entities controlled by M. Y. Safra on the £470 million acquisition of the Jersey property unit trust owning One Plantation Place.

Andrew Bruce is head of the UK real estate practice. Recent work includes advising Alshaya on the acquisition of La Senza's operations in the UK, involving pre-pack acquisition and the purchase of 60 UK stores. Clients appreciate his "clear guidance and direction," whilst peers say he is "very pleasant to deal with."

Mark Burgess-Smith focuses on structured real estate transactions. Clients say he is "very good at turning complex things into understandable, intelligent explanations," and praise his ability to "apply his knowledge of conventional property law to an unconventional situation." 

Significant clients Capital Shopping Centres, Capital & Counties, Deutsche Bank/RREEF, Lloyds TSB, HSBC.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Prevalent team for creditor-side representation. Firm favourite of leading domestic and international financial institutions for large, high-risk or challenging matters. Vast international network guarantees cross-border expertise across the globe. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They do the big team stuff extremely well. They have real strength and depth and are capable of running high workload restructurings better than anyone I have come across."

Technical ability: "They have visionary leadership that is backed up with strong delivery and excellent legal insight."

What's new? Reappointed to the panels of both RBS and Lloyds TSB in 2013.

Work highlights Advised Iberotravel Vacations, as the Spanish parent company of an international travel group, on the capital restructuring of its corporate group in a process involving schemes of arrangement under English law.

Acted as the UK advisors to Eastman Kodak Company on the foreign aspects of the company's Chapter 11 restructuring in the US, which included advice on foreign subsidies and assets.

Notable practitioners  

Tony Bugg is highly valued as "he has a commercially driven approach to strategy." Sources describe him as "thorough, thoughtful, strategic and hard-working." He regularly acts for administrators in complex insolvency deals.

Richard Holden is a "calm, measured, insightful and strategic" practitioner. He has considerable experience of this market and has acted on some of the largest restructuring deals of recent times.

Viewed as a seasoned adviser by sources, David Ereira is acknowledged for his ability to "provide very wise counsel" to his clients. He recently advised Zolfo Cooper on its role as temporary administrator to AB Bankas Snoras.

Rebecca Jarvis attracts praise for being "very smart and crisp in her advice." She has a wide-ranging restructuring practice advising the full breadth of market clients. She was the lead partner advising Eastman Kodak Company on the foreign elements of its Chapter 11 restructuring.

The "implicitly trusted" Bruce Bell enters the rankings this year. Sources describe Bell as "amazing" and add: "He has the reputation and the expertise, and performs to the highest level." He is lead partner on several highlight deals, including the EUR3.8 billion restructuring of eircom.

Highly regarded by market observers, Yen Sum has a broad finance practice that regularly requires her to advise on national and international restructurings. She is particularly recognised for her lender-side representation.

Senior partner Robert Elliott still acts as a contact for the firm's key clients, who value his wide experience of the restructuring market.

Significant clients PwC, Deloitte, Cortefiel, eircom, Ernst & Young.

Tax - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-6 partners
-21 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong corporate tax practice with notable experience in large-scale, sophisticated transactions and expertise in international and cross-border work. Handles the full range of corporate tax matters including fund work, securitisations and restructurings.

Work highlights Advised Cookson Group on a complex demerger including the structuring and reorganisation of the company. The demerger required tax advice for the UK, USA and Europe.

Advised Julius Baer on the acquisition of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's non-US private wealth management business, which involved tax advice in multiple jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

Sources say head of the UK tax group, Yash Rupal is "very intelligent and practical – a real go-to adviser." He frequently advises clients on a range of corporate tax matters including contentious issues. He was the lead partner on the Cookson Group demerger.

Interviewees say Martin Lynchehan is "a very, very good tax lawyer – he is the guy if you have a difficult VAT issue." He handles both indirect and direct tax and has particular expertise in real estate and financing transactions.

Michael Hardwick remains a valued adviser at the firm. His wealth of experience in the field has been called upon throughout the UK tax reform process.

Mark Kingstone leads the firm's investment funds tax team. Recent highlights have included a high volume of mergers and acquisitions work, acting for clients including Julius Baer and BP.

Lynne Walkington regularly handles the full range of transactional tax matters. Her recent experience includes mergers and acquisitions, demergers, reorganisations and restructurings. Key clients include Vodafone.

Dominic Winter is a valued corporate adviser who regularly handles structured finance transactions and corporate M&A deals. He is also experienced in representing clients in tax disputes with HMRC.

Elizabeth Conway has a broad practice, covering both contentious and non-contentious tax matters. She recently advised the Actavis Group on structuring matters related to the EUR4.25 billion sale of the company to Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Tim Lowe earns high praise from interviewees. Sources say: "He has excellent technical and intellectual reasoning skills, is a strong defender of his client's interests and needs minimal client oversight. A highly articulate and very able lawyer."

Significant clients Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, BP, JPMorgan, Rio Tinto.

Since publication, Michael J Hardwick has left this practice.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Maintains a strong shipping finance practice with particular expertise in non-traditional and hybrid financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Calmness and flexibility: "They were very level-headed and skilled at managing a variety of interests. When circumstances changed they could react appropriately."

What's new? New client wins include Jefferies Capital Partners and Marubeni.

Work highlights Advised Compañia Sud Americana de Vapores on the USD90 million ECA financing of two supramax container vessels.

Notable practitioners  

Shipping finance specialist Olga Petrovic is praised in the market for her capabilities in big restructuring mandates.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Jefferies Capital Partners, Marubeni.

Commodities - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 35 partners
- Over 200 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for A cross-practice commodities group handling some of the largest multi-jurisdictional pre-export finance facilities. A strong international presence allows the firm to service major commodities clients in key markets. It draws upon extensive derivatives expertise to assist with structuring innovative products and providing regulatory advice in the commodities sphere.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I have been very happy with them; the lawyers have really excellent legal analysis, availability and attention to detail."

Bench strength: "There are always enough good people around to do whatever needs to be done."

What's new? Freepoint Commodities Europe, Vitol and ISDA secured as new clients.

Work highlights Advised Kazakhmys Finance on its USD1 billion pre-export financing facility for the development of copper mines in Kazakhstan.

Assisting various investment banks and energy firms with precious metals trading and custody structures.

Notable practitioners  

Respected practitioner Mirthe van Kesteren "gives solid and grounded advice" and "has a constructive negotiating style," according to clients. She heads the structured trade finance practice in London and recently advised Eldorado Brasil Celulose on a USD500 million export financing arranged by Banco Santander.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Glencore, BP, Barclays Capital.

Corporate Crime & Investigations - UK-wide

What the team is known for Extensive investigations capacity. Experienced at advising corporate clients on criminal investigations and Bribery Act compliance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They are able to draw upon different members of the team if specific issues arise."

Client service: "It is a Rolls-Royce service and everything is done to the highest possible standard. They are meticulous."

Notable practitioners 

"Super star" John Turnbull has an excellent reputation for handling major corporate investigations. Sources say he litigates "like a maestro conducting an orchestra."

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 managing associates
- 11 other associates

What the team is known for Broad offering in this area, with mandates including Binding Corporate Rules, privacy and client confidentiality. Offers multi-jurisdictional ability and focus on specific industry sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "I go to Linklaters for the complex stuff."  

International capability: "The firm just does so much and has such global coverage."

Problem-solving: "We found the team's approach to be reasonable. It understood our client's position and dealt with us in a commercial and pragmatic way."

Work highlights Assisted News Corporation with various matters, including advising the News Corporation Management & Standards Committee in relation to the News of the World phone hacking case and other issues.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Cumbley is described by sources as "awesome," whilst clients call him "extremely intelligent, pragmatic, quick to understand the issues and drive solutions to our needs. He is very pleasant to work with, very accommodating and extremely good at what he does."

Significant clients Barclays, Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, Live Nation, RBS.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An impressive practice with a particular focus on servicing financial sector clients. Frequently advises upon the share scheme aspects of the largest transactions in the marketplace.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Very impressive on the commercial side. It gives us a lot of confidence knowing that they're so experienced in this field."

Partner involvement: "In my experience, Linklaters has been very good at balancing the need for partner involvement and cost containment and, at the same time, promoting the young talent they cultivate." 

Work highlights Advised Glencore on the share scheme aspects of its widely publicised merger with Xstrata.

Assisted Rio Tinto with the drafting and implementation of a complex global share plan.

Notable practitioners  

Gillian Chapman leads the group and is frequently instructed to handle the share plan aspects of major transactions. She led the team that advised Glencore upon the share scheme implications of its merger with Xstrata.

Kate Kelleher is noted as an employee share schemes specialist. "I find her to be very easy to deal with and commercially minded: she doesn't point-score," reports one impressed source.

Significant clients Britvic, HgCapital, Barclays.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Global powerhouse with immense corporate finance and M&A capabilities working collaboratively on energy matters. Recognised for its substantial renewables practice and involvement in major power deals and high-stakes project financings.

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Market standing: "The pre-eminent oil and gas practice in the City. I don't think there is anyone better."

What's new? Partners Richard Ginks and Nick Garland have moved to London from the Singapore and Dubai offices, respectively. Formerly London-based, John Maxwell has now relocated to the Tokyo office as managing partner.

Work highlights Acted for Repsol on the sale of LNG assets in Angola, Canada, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago.

Represented BP in its sale to Rosneft of its 50% share in the Russian joint venture TNK-BP.

Notable practitioners  

Clients are quick to affirm that Jeremy Gewirtz "is invaluable as a senior partner on more complex energy deals." Gewirtz acted for the borrower, Carrington Power, on the £650 million financing of an 880 MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant.

Matthew Hagopian took the lead on the Repsol matter set out above and is admired by sources for his "strong financing background."

Fiona Hobbs is much admired for her "tremendous industry knowledge in pure oil and gas work."

Head of the water practice, Julian Davies is championed for his financing work, having acted for Anglian Water Services on its retail bond programme, to the value of £10 billion.

The past year saw John Pickett advise a consortium of lenders on the 270 MW Lincs Wind Farm project. One observer noted that "John is a very good practitioner who's strong on representing banks and has a good reputation in this market."

Up-and-coming Richard Coar is gaining ground in the renewables sector and receives solid praise from one client, who firmly states that "he is really impressive - best in class for me."

Significant clients GDF SUEZ, Total, Marubeni, Centrica, National Grid.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Large, high-profile corporate matters for mining clients requiring in-depth knowledge of the mining sector, associated assets and implications of significant transactions. Substantial global reach and a vast pool of lawyer resources to draw on, catering to a range of client needs.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "I have experience of acting opposite them in mining matters - they are very good people and have a well-resourced team. In my view they are the standout firm at the moment."

Visibility: "Very prominent in the mining sector on a number of levels. We always regard them as strong competition."

Work highlights Acted for Glencore International in its incredibly high-profile USD70 billion all-share merger with Xstrata.

Represented Anglo American in connection with the final stage of its USD1.4 billion sale of Scaw Metals Group to an investment consortium, involving the disposal of Scaw South Africa.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the practice Charles Jacobs is admired by sources, one of whom enthuses: "I rate him incredibly highly - he's fantastic. Sometimes a case involves a sponsor and the client needs to put a different point of view across. It's helpful to have a team like his that can work well in that situation. He's head and shoulders above the rest."

Significant clients Rio Tinto, Kazakhmys, Hochschild, De Beers, Aquarius Platinum.

Environment - UK-wide

What the team is known for Advises clients on a range of matters relating to emissions trading and CDM projects. Also, advises on matters such as energy efficiency projects, cleantech and policy issues related to climate change. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are pragmatic and they know their subject."

Work highlights Advised the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on the creation of the UK's emissions allowance auction programme. 

Acted for Quimobasicos regarding the treatment of HCFC projects under the Kyoto protocol.

Notable practitioners 

Chris Staples has a practice that focuses on emissions trading and climate change matters. His peers describe him as a "respected player in this space." He represented Vitol in a power deal in Bulgaria that involved the transfer of EU emissions allowances. Clients say: "He gets brownie points for his responsiveness."

Financial Services - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Remains a premier choice for clients seeking expertise on both contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters, with market-leading experts adept at handling the most complex matters. Offers a truly global practice with experience in advising clients on financial services issues in 70 different jurisdictions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "You know that you are getting what the FSA is thinking when you deal with Linklaters."

What's new? Harry Eddis was recently made a partner. He has broad expertise across the spectrum of financial markets regulation with particular knowledge of clearing platforms.

Work highlights Handled the acquisition of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's non-US Global Wealth and Investment Management business on behalf of Julius Baer Group, advising on all the regulatory and integration aspects of the transaction.

Conducted an FSA-requested review of Winton Capital Management's governance model in the capacity of a Section 166 skilled person, drafting a summary and providing recommendations for improvement.

Notable practitioners  

Non-contentious specialist Peter Bevan led the team acting in the role of Section 166 Skilled Person with regard to the governance model review for Winton Capital Management. Interviewees describe him as "a very sharp guy" who is like "a walking FSA handbook."

Michael Kent has "a very wise head and an experienced pair of hands," according to sources. He specialises in non-contentious advisory work and recently advised OTCDeriv on the development of a SwapClear platform.

According to sources, Andrew Hughes is "very tenacious and really gets to the detail of cases." He has significant expertise in contentious matters, with a particular focus on regulatory investigations and fraud.

Christa Band concentrates her practice on financial services and banking work, and regularly acts on behalf of clients in regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings.

Carl Fernandes was lead partner on the team handling the Julius Baer Group acquisition mentioned above. He is also experienced in handling contentious regulatory matters. Sources are keen to highlight that he is "client-friendly with superb knowledge."

James Gardner is a member of the contentious team and offers substantial experience in regulatory investigations as well as cross-border commercial litigation.

Harry Eddis was recently made a partner. He was also part of the team involved in advising OTCDeriv on the development of the SwapClear platform.

Martyn Hopper recently joined the firm from Herbert Smith Freehills. He is noted for his considerable expertise in contentious matters, and is described as "one of the key people" for this type of work.

The "absolutely first-rateNikunj Kiri recently joined the firm from Herbert Smith Freehills. Whilst at Herbert Smith he was the lead partner advising UBS in connection with enforcement proceedings brought by the FSA, against the former UK wealth management business's chief executive John Pottage.

Significant clients OTCDeriv, AXA, HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Experienced in complex insurance transactions, including IPOs and M&A. Particularly expert in longevity risk transfers and pension scheme buyouts. Renowned for its strength in cross-border deals, especially in the emerging markets.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "For me, they're the experts in the field. For a difficult life insurance matter, they would be my first port of call. I think they're in a class of their own."

Technical ability: "They have a meticulous attention to detail and are very good at drafting.

Work highlights Advised Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and the rest of the underwriting syndicate on the IPO of Direct Line.

Advised AXA on its USD494 million purchase of HSBC's general insurance business in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico.

Notable practitioners  

Duncan Barber has an expansive practice covering both life and non-life insurance. He is praised as having "a very deep, encyclopaedic knowledge of the insurance market. He's extremely well versed in all of the technical aspects that affect deals for insurers; he's got a lot of experience."

Victoria Sander is experienced in a wide range of matters, including regulatory issues, notably Solvency II, and pension scheme buyouts. She recently advised Groupama on the sale of several of its UK operations. One client notes her ability to "challenge what the actuaries are saying," further adding: "She's very commercial and understands the cost pressures on the clients. She's very aware of what's going on in the marketplace."

Dan Schuster-Woldan is recognised for his handling of some of the team's most high-profile recent matters, including the aforementioned Direct Line matter. One client states: "He is the kind of super smart, dedicated but pragmatic young partner that an experienced M&A team like ours really appreciates."

Madhu Jain is an associate who attracts widespread praise for her drafting skills. One client states: "She's very hard-working with a technical knowledge of the insurance sector and a good legal brain. She did a first-class job."

Significant clients Legal & General, Old Mutual, Aviva, Lloyds Banking Group, Prudential.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 18 partners
- 38 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Standout name for real estate funds as well as high-quality offerings in the private equity, hedge and closed-ended listed funds spaces. Offers a complete suite of services to clients, drawing on the resources of its dedicated global funds team and supporting departments.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I would strongly recommend them for the overall level of responsive client service, and practical guidance that they provide."  

Efficiency: "Very attentive, they got things done. Good at negotiation with other parties."

What's new? The team has gained EMSO Partners, Egypt Kuwait Holdings, Julius Bär Holding AG, Orix Corporation, Macquarie Group and BlackRock as new clients.  

Work highlights Acted for new European credit asset management house Goldbridge Capital Partners on the formation and structuring of Goldbridge Alternative Investment Funds and the launch of two distinct sub-funds of the fund.  

Advised Perella Weinberg Partners on fundraising for its second European real estate fund, which had a target of £1.25 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan de Lance-Holmes has substantive experience in the private funds market and his "market savvy and very commercial" approach makes him a favourite with clients. As well as leading on matters for Goldbridge Capital Partners and Perella Weinberg of late, he has also been advising State Street Bank on a wide-ranging AIFMD preparedness project.

Significant clients Cinven, ProLogis, VTB Capital, InfraRed, State Street.  

Life Sciences - UK-wide

What the team is known for Offers experience in litigation and is able to draw on the strength of its corporate expertise when approaching transactional matters.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Jones is a "really effective litigator" who specialises in life sciences, particularly pharmaceuticals, healthcare and biotech matters.

Intellectual property expert Ian Karet undertakes a variety of matters within life sciences, including licensing issues, mergers and litigation.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 29 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London 

What the team is known for Large-scale strategic and outsourcing projects for clients from the public and private sectors. Covers business process outsourcings including finance, HR, procurement and customer services as well as ITO agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The quality of service is always high and the team pride themselves on it.  We have set them challenging deadlines, but they deliver everything you want them to."

Bench strength: "They are able to deploy people onto matters whenever there are changes or pinch points, which we find invaluable."

Technical ability: "They have helped us with large deals in the IT space. They are well skilled and certainly one of the key firms in the area."  

Work highlights Represented the Post Office in a ten-year agreement with Royal Mail to distribute products and services through the Post Office network.

Assisted BP on a major finance and accounting outsourcing relating to supplier and customer payments as well as production revenue accounting services.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced practice head John Crozier "brings a level of understanding which indicates where the market is and what we may be able to achieve." He advises on business process outsourcings, ITOs and managed services agreements.

Richard Cumbley has wide-ranging experience in projects on behalf of leading suppliers and high-profile clients such as Sainsbury's, BP and KPMG.

Marly Didizian advises on a range of outsourcing agreements for customers and suppliers.  Sources described her as a "wise counsel" both technically and in terms of her approach.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, Green Deal Finance, Lloyds TSB, PwC, Ministry of Defence.

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 10 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Works alongside the firm's non-contentious pensions specialists to offer a seamless service. Well-reputed for its focus on dispute avoidance and risk management. Noted for its strength in international pensions litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very smart and client-friendly. We've always found them to be a very good firm with consistent quality."

Technical ability: "Linklaters provides specialist advice, which is very valuable."

Market standing: "They do a lot of work at the high end." 

Work highlights Acted for the trustees of the RHM pension scheme in a case regarding whether retirement ages for men and women had been properly equalised. To save costs, a representative beneficiary was not appointed and the trustees acted for the members’ interests.

Acted for Prospect Hospice on two cases involving the industry-wide Federated Flexiplan pension scheme. The scheme trustee went to court for directions on what benefits members were entitled to under the rules, and trials were held to determine the legal issues and the facts. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Mark Blyth wins plaudits from market sources. He is noted as "a very focused and clear-minded individual" and a "superb lawyer." 

Significant clients PwC, Nortel Networks, Kodak, AXA, Buck Consultants.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Impressive projects and infrastructure group, advising domestically and internationally. Noted for its strong lender practice. Active in areas such as transport, health, defence, waste and secondary market deals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "There is a good level of senior partner involvement and they have a strong bench of associates."

Technical ability: "They are well known for working for sponsors and lenders, which gives them experience on both sides of the fence."

 Problem solving: "They are a great firm. You will always get there with them; it may be painful but you can trust them to get the job done."

Work highlights Acted for the lender group on the EUR1.4 billion Nimes-Montpellier high-speed rail link PPP project.

Advised the lenders in connection to the new children's health park at Alder Hey hospital.

Notable practitioners 

Bruce White is the "talismanic" leader of the firm's PFI/PPP practice. He acted for the lender consortium on the Sheffield highways maintenance PPP. He is respected by both peers and clients. Sources say: "He always has time for you, he can find solutions to the most difficult problems and he is pragmatic and commercial."

Stuart Rowson is a partner with a great deal of experience in the PFI/PPP sector. He advised the funders on the £321 million M25 upgrade. Sources say: "He is very commercial, resourceful, has a good understanding of the law, and is good at convincing banks to not worry about things that shouldn't concern them."

Ian Andrews is an experienced infrastructure partner, particularly focusing on transport projects. He advised Hochtief PPP Solutions on a road PPP in the Netherlands. Sources say: "He is an extremely bright guy with an impressive knowledge of transport infrastructure. He is extremely experienced and considers all sides of the equation to reach a solution."

Charlotte Morgan has been active on a number of key UK infrastructure projects. Sources say: "She is incredibly clever, able to pick up very complex points quickly and is able to see the big picture."

Significant clients Carillion, Bouygues, AWE Management, European Investment Bank, 3i Group.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Excellent reputation for advising clients on high-profile UK, European and international deals. The team is highly rated by major industry players for its client service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are highly proactive, responsive, hard-working and considered in their approach."

Commercial awareness: "They are not dogmatic but rather they are tactical and commercial."

What's new? Alex Woodward was promoted to partner.

Work highlights Represented Montagu Private Equity in its £200 million acquisition of The College of Law from the Legal Education Forum.

Advised a consortium of selling stakeholders and Actavis itself on the disposal of Actavis for EUR4.25 billion to Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Notable practitioners  

Carlton Evans advises private equity houses on a range of transactions including acquisitions and refinancings. He has notable expertise in advising clients on takeovers.

Alex Woodward is a "fantastic technical lawyer" who wins praise for his negotiation skills. He advises private equity houses and other financial sponsors on leveraged M&A and portfolio matters.

Significant clients Arle, Oaktree Capital, Global Infrastructure Partners, Bridgepoint, The Carlyle Group.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Noted for the breadth and depth of its London projects offering. Strong domestically, particularly on large infrastructure projects. Additional strength in power and oil and gas projects, especially in Europe and Africa.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Very good in terms of service and legal knowledge, as well as very responsive. The team also made the effort of managing sometimes unusual or unreasonable administrative requests from the borrower."

Client service: "They take time to understand the business we are in and how we conduct that business. They tailor the way they staff the team and provide their advice accordingly, and by going through that process they add value."

Market standing: "They stand out globally for both quality and size."

Work highlights Advised Thames Water Utilities on the £4.1 billion project financing of the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Advised the lenders on the Caspian Pipeline Companies pipeline expansion project financing.

Notable practitioners 

Daniel Tyrer is noted for his work on infrastructure and energy project financing. He has a good reputation for his knowledge of the CIS market, having spent a number of years practising in Moscow. Sources say: "He knew how to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds and he knew how to explain his logic to people coming from different perspectives." 

Jeremy Gewirtz focuses on advising sponsors and lenders in the energy space. He advised Carrington Power in a £650 million project financing of a power plant in the UK. Sources say: "Technically he is really, really strong and he doesn't get caught up in things that aren't important."

Matthew Hagopian is a dual US-UK qualified solicitor who focuses on energy project financings. Sources praise his "really in-depth knowledge of the industries he works in," and say: "His main focus is oil and gas, specifically liquid natural gas; he really understands the market and what's going on in the world."

John Pickett is noted for his renewables practice, and also operates in the power sector. Sources say: "He has a very pragmatic side and is able to take into account what the market will and won't take."

Significant clients Centrica, National Grid, BP International, Repsol YPF, Glencore International.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

What the team is known for Underpinned by the firm's expertise across a range of large-scale projects, the team advises clients from both the public and private sectors. Also strong in handling procurement challenges.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: Sources indicate that the firm's depth of resources enables it to handle matters concerning the largest of projects.

Notable practitioners  

Oliver Black specialises in procurement and utilities regulation, and leads on the majority of the team's instructions.

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Pre-eminent capital markets, M&A and banking practices make Linklaters a strong contender for some of the largest and most complex retail transactions. Benefits from strong corporate and finance teams around the world. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I've been very happy. We have a good team with the same partner all the way through and a good number of associates that understand how we work." 

Work highlights Acted for Home Retail Group on its acquisition of three Habitat stores in London, its retail website, related stock and IP in Ireland and the UK.

Represented Alshaya in the takeover of La Senza's local operations through a pre-pack administration agreed with KPMG.

Notable practitioners  

Aedamar Comiskey leads the retail practice and is the key contact.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Burberry, Luxottica, Dixons, Home Retail Group. 

Tax - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for High-quality representation of blue-chip corporate clients in tax disputes arising from corporate transactions, property deals and VAT, amongst other matters. Acts for clients in investigations, tribunals, and national and European courts. 

Work highlights Advised BP on reclaiming stamp duty reserve tax charged by HMRC on an alleged breach of the EC Capital Directive.

Notable practitioners  

Dominic Winter has a broad corporate and finance practice, and is highly rated for his handling of contentious tax matters.

Significant clients BP, Land Securities, Vodafone.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

What the team is known for Capable legal advisers on all kinds of heavyweight telecoms transactions. Additionally well known for regulatory prowess and strength in M&A and financing. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Where they differ from others is that they know that deals are about compromising and so they make balanced judgements."

Work highlights Represented Vodafone in its acquisition of Cable & Wireless for £1.04 billion.

Acted for France Telecom on its pioneering tower sale and leaseback transaction involving 16 African jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners 

The "very enthusiastic and knowledgeable" Julian Cunningham-Day remains a core member of Linklaters' telecommunications practice. His corporate background has earned him significant roles in high-profile mergers and acquisitions in this industry. 

Significant clients AT&T, Bahrain Telecommunications, France Telecom, Vodafone. 

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 12 rail-focused partners in the Global Infrastructure and Construction Group
- 65 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for An internationally focused practice best known for its work on large-scale infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Broad expertise: "They have a good blend of strong PPP, finance and rail knowledge, and can pull together people who are strong in all these areas."

Work highlights Acted as key legal advisers to the Laidlaw Inquiry in its examination of the cancelled West Coast franchise award.

Represented a consortium of lenders bidding for the EUR1.4 billion Nîmes–Montpellier high-speed rail PPP project.

Notable practitioners  

Fiona Hobbs has developed considerable rail industry knowledge through her projects and project finance practice. Market commentators suggest she is an accomplished practitioner.

Charlotte Morgan has a "long track record and high calibre of experience on the PPP side," say sources. She has been involved in numerous matters, including advice on the Thameslink and Nottingham Express Transit projects.

Ian Andrews' involvement in the Eurotunnel project provides evidence of his depth of experience in transport infrastructure projects. His practice is international in nature, as demonstrated by his involvement in projects in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Stuart Rowson has a broad practice covering project finance, construction and banking law. "If you want to get a deal done, he is someone you want to work with," say clients.

Significant clients CNM, Lloyds TSB, Siemens, RBS, QW Rail Leasing.