Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.
Sources are quick to praise the "highly professional and quality service" offered by this team, noting that it is "always available to answer general queries outside of specific engagements, which is invaluable." The firm is recognised as a genuine national player and wins mandates from a wide range of sources. With four London-based partners the team is well equipped to handle large-scale matters. Clients include Deloitte, Santander and Barclays.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alison Goldthorp has a strong background in contentious insolvency, and has been handling restructuring work for Barclays of late. "I would always prefer to have her on my side than as the opposition," said one interviewee.
Daniel Redstone is "always practical and always available." Sources add that he is "an experienced restructuring lawyer who has worked to a very high standard on a number of complex transactions." He has recently been advising a number of US-based energy clients on the effects of the MF Global insolvency.
Fraser Ritson is a "balanced, sensible" practitioner who is widely recognised for his core expertise in advising commercial lenders.
Allen & Overy continues to be recognised as one of the premier players in the UK market, and earns praise for its "superior knowledge of UK insolvency law." The team has made a concerted effort to diversify its practice, building on its traditional lender practice to advise on all facets of the contemporary sovereign debt crisis. In addition to its outstanding resources and intellectual rigour, the team is also praised by clients for being "very pleasant to work with."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ian Field remains one of the leading figures both within the A&O team and in the wider market, and is held in high regard by interviewees. One client in particular states: "We have a strong relationship with him – he's really our go-to contact at the firm."
In the eyes of his peers, Gordon Stewart is "obviously" one of the leading practitioners in the field today. He heads the firm's global restructuring group and enjoys a genuinely international practice and reputation.
Earl Griffith enters the upper echelons of the rankings this year on the back of widespread praise from the market. One interviewee states: "I was on the other side of a transaction to him and I'd single him out as being fundamental to the transaction; he worked extraordinary hours and remained reliable throughout."
Mark Sterling is the managing partner of the firm's global restructuring and insolvency group. He has significant experience of high-end international work and is described as a "first-class lawyer."
Jennifer Marshall has figured prominently on work generated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Icelandic banks. "I'm reluctant to recommend her as then others will find out just how good she is - she's our secret weapon," declared one client.
Katrina Buckley is described as "very professional and a pleasure to work with.." She enjoys a burgeoning reputation having recently advised clients on the restructuring of privately held Greek government bonds.
Carolyn Conner's broad client base includes insolvency practitioners, financial institutions and debtors. She is described by one peer as "great to work with – we hold her in very high regard."
Randal Weeks is an "extremely capable lawyer" who "always inspires a lot of confidence." He has engendered a significant following amongst the team's commercial banking clients.
This team continues to attract praise from its clients, who value the fact that the team is "very clued up in terms of presenting advice," adding that its "advice is understandable and accessible." The team is noted for the international nature of its workload, and for the fact that it represents all types of stakeholders in high-profile restructurings and insolvencies. It has recently been advising the FSA on MF Global's special administration regime.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "excellent" Giles Boothman has been leading the team's work for the FSA on the MF Global matter. He is widely recognised as a regular player on the most high-profile matters in the market.
Dan Hamilton "is level-headed and doesn't get flustered easily. He is proactive in not just looking for problems, but solving them; he's not an ivory tower practitioner, but a real world lawyer." He has recently been advising Deutsche Bank on Crest Nicholson's debt for equity swap and related financial restructurings.
One interviewee says of Simon Baskerville: "I rate him very highly; he really gets it. He's very commercial and quick, understands what matters to you and prepares his advice on your perspective – he adds a lot of value."
Clients appreciate this team's ability to "maintain an independent view." The fact that the team is part of a huge international network ensures that it is able to advise clients on truly international matters. Peers recognise this as a strength, noting that it "does very well in CEE and has always had a good presence in Moscow." The team has recently been involved in litigation against the bankruptcy trustees of Indover Bank.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources appreciate the fact that Ian Jack is "able to take the initiative when necessary." He co-chairs the firm's global restructuring and insolvency practice.
This team continues to be recognised as one of the leading players in the market and attracts widespread praise from interviewees. Sources praise the team's "quality and depth," adding that it is "very practical, hands-on, responsive and good to work with." Clients appreciate that the team is "extremely commercial" and "solution-focused," while peers admire its "fantastic bank relationships." The team's clients include RBS, Barclays Bank and Oaktree Capital Management.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ben Larkin is "very realistic, pragmatic and commercial." Clients say that "you always feel very confident in a room when you've got him on your team." He heads the team and is especially well known for his real estate restructuring expertise.
David Leibowitz is described by sources as "approachable and proactive; he gives good advice and brings his experience to the case, meaning he is able to bring suggestions as to strategy and how we may be able to take things forwards."
One enthused interviewee described this team as "our first call in the UK and Ireland" owing to its "depth of analysis, good access to information and key people." The team's track record in London is hailed as another differentiating factor: "They are respected and they've been there a long time." The team is widely recognised for its bondholder focus and expertise, with one peer stating that "they are head and shoulders above everyone else in their field." In a recent highlight in this sphere, the team represented the private placement noteholders of the Quinn Group in the company's EUR1.3 billion financial restructuring.
KEY INDIVIDUALS James Roome is the outstanding co-head of the firm's financial restructuring group and continues to attract stellar praise, with one source describing him as "a market-leading practitioner who's stood the test of time and built a practice in the face of stiff competition."
Barry Russell is "particularly skilled in dealing with differences of opinion and being able to get parties to come to a consensus." He played a leading role on the Quinn Group matter outlined above.
Tom Bannister is another member of the team to attract widespread praise from clients, with one describing him as "well respected and helpful in explaining things that we were not immediately familiar with – he's a pleasure to work with."
Interviewees note James Terry's "very sound commercial understanding," adding that he is "able to understand the deal and the structure, and get the legal side to achieve what you're trying to prosecute."
Elisabeth Baltay enjoys the respect of peers. Sources describe her as "incredibly practical" and "not somebody who likes to grandstand."
This team is held in high regard, with one client stating: "It's not just about knowing the law, but about persuading people, gaining support, explaining proposals and explaining deadlines, and that is a more subtle skill." Peers are also quick to recognise the team's excellence, saying the lawyers can "turn their hand to pretty much anything." The team recently advised on the restructuring of the EUR3.2 billion plus syndicated facility of Metrovacesa.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nicholas Frome has a strong background as a banking lawyer, and is now recognised as one of the leading restructuring and insolvency lawyers in the market. Peers hold him in "very high regard." He worked on the aforementioned Metrovacesa matter.
Adrian Cohen is described as an "authoritative adviser on complex, large, multi-bank restructurings." He continues to impress peers, with one describing him as "calm and unflappable – he did a great job!"
Peers appreciate Philip Hertz's "very direct, no-nonsense" approach, and have the "highest regard for him." This view is endorsed by clients, who state that "when Philip's around things are commercial and pragmatic."
Insurance insolvency expert David Steinberg is described as "helpful, engaging and proactive." He recently led a team advising the co-ordinating committee of senior lenders to the Viridian Group on the restructuring of the group's senior indebtedness.
Sources continue to praise the "commercial, robust" advice offered by this "very responsive" team. It continues to build on its strong client relationships and is recognised as a serious player in the insurance insolvency market. The team has recently advised a number of creditors on the fallout from the high-profile MF Global insolvency.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Geraldine Quirk earns praise for her "strong industry and technical knowledge." She has recently been advising Swiss Re on its acquisition of Zurich Specialties London.
This team earns praise for the "forthright nature of its advice," with interviewees also appreciating the fact that the lawyers know "how to approach situations tactically." Peers are quick to recognise the firm's prominence on several bank panels as a key factor in the team generating work, and one banking client sums up the value of this experience, stating: "They understand our bank, its processes and requirements." The team has recently been representing the Bank of Scotland and KPMG in their role as administrators of certain companies within the Scotsman Hotel Group.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "enthusiastic, hard-working" Rita Lowe has earned the trust of several key clients thanks to her "to-the-point, no-nonsense" style. One interviewee says: "I always feel that she really fights your corner, she doesn't back down, and she gets her point across but in a very professional way."
Peter Wiltshire is "intellectually sharp, a nurturing lawyer and a great mentor." Interviewees add that he is "very client-focused, practical, pragmatic, efficient, friendly and commercial."
Sources describe Martin Brown as "practical, smart and sensible – easy to deal with." He led the team's advice on the Scotsman Hotel Group matter.
Emma Riddle is seen by the market as an "up-and-comer." Interviewees are quick to praise her responsiveness, saying that she "is very easy to get hold of, always returns calls, and always comes back to you."
This team has been a regular player in some of the most high-profile restructurings and insolvencies to have hit the market in recent years. The team has a range of sector specialists covering such areas as real estate, leisure, healthcare and energy, and has the resources to act on a range of cases. It also regularly works with clients in the emerging markets. Sources describe the team as "efficient, competent and commercial," and appreciate that it provides "clear, unambiguous advice."
Subsequent to publication, SNR Denton LLP, Salans LLP and Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP merged to form Dentons in April 2013.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees appreciate that Nigel Barnett is "very pragmatic. He sits back and thinks about the implications and as a result we get some really good quality advice."
Rachel Anthony "finds a way through very complex problems with very practical solutions." She recently advised on the potential administration of the Chez Gerard Restaurant Group.
Neil Griffiths is "very commercial, very approachable and very knowledgeable." He has a particular focus on contentious and litigious matters.
This firm's international network of offices is an attraction for many clients, who value the fact that it can offer a "global service and a full range of products." Clients highlight that the team "is very thorough and does a great job for its clients," and praise its responsiveness as a key quality, with one saying: "They threw a strong team at it, at short notice and had to be flexible to change as there were lots of issues. We were very satisfied with the way they responded to that."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Fleming is widely recognised as a "very able litigator, very tenacious! He's well known for getting his hands dirty and getting stuck in; he's a very good operator." He is also a licensed insolvency practitioner.
Michael Fiddy is another to attract praise from market commentators, with one saying: "In a complex situation he can see the routes through. He's pragmatic and clever. It is in those challenging restructurings that he comes into his own, where his commerciality sets him apart."
Stephen Halladay is a "very approachable, very commercial and very knowledgeable" lawyer. He heads the firm's international restructuring practice group, and recently advised Icelandic banks Glitnir and Kaupthing on the sale of certain interests in fashion retailer All Saints.
Sarah Coucher impresses peers, who recognise her as a "good technical" lawyer. She has recently been advising RBS and Zolfo Cooper on the restructuring options open to high-street retailer Clinton Cards.
Simon Neilson-Clark specialises in turnaround work and is described by one peer as "the most focused man I've ever dealt with; he's commercial, pragmatic, works like a Trojan and pops up on all sorts of deals!"
This Scottish powerhouse continues to be regarded as a player in the London market. High-profile clients are full of praise for the team's "sensible" approach to restructuring and insolvency work. The team has recently been advising Punj Lloyd, an Indian Stock Exchange-listed company, with regards to placing a UK subsidiary into administration with a view to an eventual sale.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Gibson jointly heads the team and specialises in corporate recovery and insolvency.
The team's reputation is reflected in the fact that it belongs to all UK clearing bank panels for restructuring and insolvency work. Clients include HSBC, Barclays and Kaupthing.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul de la Peña recently advised NHP in its role as landlord of the troubled Southern Cross Healthcare group, advising on restructuring options and the transfer of care homes to NHP.
Simon Waller has recently been instructed by BDO to advise on issues connected to the administration of Aermid.
Byron Nurse has recently been advising Grant Thornton in its role as administrators of SAAB GB.
Jamie Leader is a new entry in this year's rankings. A qualified barrister, he has built a following among the team's clients.
This magic circle powerhouse retains its position as one of the leading practices in the market, with market sources praising its "extraordinary work product." One client describes the team as "extremely intellectual and rigorous; they are definitely at the forefront of interpreting legislation, pushing boundaries. The client service is excellent all the way from partner to associate level – they definitely employ the brightest and are impressive at every rank." The team has recently been advising the Lloyds Banking Group on aspects of its relationship with Blacks Leisure Group, concerning the latter's administration and eventual sale.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Ken Baird has long been recognised as one of the most outstanding restructuring and insolvency lawyers in the UK market. His recent workload includes advising Partnerships in Care on restructuring its syndicated debt facilities.
Nick Segal is described by one client as having "an enormous brain – few can match him in terms of his understanding of the law. He can recall information and adapt whatever strategy we are using."
Clients appreciate that Adam Gallagher is a "really sensible chap" who is "pleasant to deal with and just gets on with it." He led the team's advice to Lloyds Banking Group on the Blacks Leisure Group matter.
One interviewee describes Richard Tett as "an absolutely outstanding person to have as your lawyer! I would like to have him on every project if I could; he's absolutely second to none." Tett has recently been advising Endemol on all aspects of its global restructuring.
Neil Golding is a "bright lawyer" with a "big-picture focus" that is appreciated by clients. His practice has a strong focus on the insurance sector.
Associate to watch Ian Wallace enters the rankings this year on the back of his impressive work for both creditor and debtor clients. Sources say he is "very good at stepping back from the problem and getting you to the solution."
Interviewees highlight the lawyers here for their "clarity of thought" and ability to deal with matters "with minimal fuss." Clients appreciate that the team is capable of "minimising and tackling issues as they arise." The sheer scale of support available to this team ensures that it is able to handle matters of any scale or complexity. The firm's reputation for excellence in contentious matters is seen as a real boon here, with one client saying: "They know how to protect you and push your cause." The team has recently been advising Ernst & Young in its role as administrator of Nortel's European entities.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Laurence Elliott has a wide-ranging practice that incorporates debt and bond restructuring. He recently advised the Financial Services Compensation Scheme on the restructuring of Welcome Financial Services (WFSL) in order that WFSL would be able to meet its liabilities from mis-selling PPI.
One client describes Stephen Gale as "absolutely outstanding; he has an ability to come up with practical solutions, but he doesn't pull any punches with his clients. If you're going down a route he doesn't agree with, he'll tell you and put you back on course to a good outcome."
Kevin Pullen is praised by clients for his "clarity of thought." He has recently worked on the aforementioned Ernst & Young matter.
This team remains a serious player in the market and is notable for its impressive and loyal client base. Interviewees are full of praise for the team's approach, saying: "You see them earning their fees rather than creating some big back office." Clients value the lawyers' expertise, with one interviewee saying: "They guide us really well throughout the whole process." The team has recently advised Barclays Bank and Lloyds Banking Group in their position as lenders to Southern Cross during the latter's restructuring.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients appreciate that Stephen Foster "won't make a crisis out of a drama." He is also highly regarded for his ability to "suggest practical and pragmatic ways through, rather than quote you the law." He led on the Southern Cross matter.
Deborah Gregory is "technically accomplished" and remains a key member of the team. She has recently been highly sought after by clients in the real estate sector, and has assisted Lloyds Banking Group with a series of real estate restructurings with a total value of almost £1 billion.
Insurance insolvency expert Joe Bannister is described as "a very bright cookie." He recently advised a syndicate of lenders on the administration and sale of nightclub operator Luminar Group Holdings.
Sources describe this team as "tenacious and relentless in the pursuit of the merits of the case for their client." One client adds: "They are also very commercial – they are able to look at a credit paper and turn it into a legal document without any hesitation." The team recently advised the joint liquidators of collapsed hedge fund manager Weavering Capital (UK).
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Rutstein has a wide-ranging insolvency and restructuring practice and is particularly notable for the international flavour of his work.
Joint head of department Sion Richards "thinks about the end goal and can hold the line when we get nervous," say clients. He specialises in contentious restructuring and insolvency matters. Sources say he is "very smart and creative," and "good at analysing the issues and getting to the solution."
Clients say of Kirkland & Ellis: "They have a very good team and we trust them; I can rely on them to be commercial and pragmatic." Peers acknowledge that the team is "on a roll at the minute," while another source describes the lawyers as "very user-friendly. They are very knowledgeable, and most importantly they are very involved. It is a great firm to reach out to in any situation in the restructuring world." The team recently advised Regency Entertainment on its consensual restructuring.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kon Asimacopoulos "moves from pure legal to commercial dynamics and is pragmatic in that he drives solutions as opposed to listing problems." He was one of the lead partners on the firm's work for Regency Entertainment.
Partha Kar also advised on the regency Entertainment matter and enters the table this year having gained recognition as an up-and-coming name in the market. One satisfied client describes him as "level-headed and calm, clear, concise and technically very strong - he knows exactly where we are coming from and can properly articulate our points."
This US giant enjoys a serious reputation in the UK market, with sources hailing the team as "a real presence." The sheer scale of the firm's international network puts it in a position to be able to handle the most complex cross-border work. The team has recently been advising AfriSam on its EUR2.5 billion debt restructuring.
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Houghton is described as "a nice guy with a lot of experience, who is very good to work with." He recently worked alongside the firm's Italian restructuring team to advise a committee of junior bondholders on SEAT Pagine Gialle's debt restructuring.
Dominic Newcomb is recognised in this field for his work on international restructuring transactions.
This "top law firm" is held in high esteem in the market, with interviewees hailing the team as "a great bunch of guys who are ahead of the game, stay calm and deliver as a practice." The excellence and scale of services offered by the firm ensure that clients can rely on market-leading expertise for the most complex restructuring and insolvency matters. The team continues to be involved in market-leading cases, including the recent Petroplus restructuring, in which it advised the lenders through ING Bank as agent and security agent, and PwC as administrator of the England and Wales incorporated companies of the Petroplus group.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Tony Bugg is described by one client as an "outstanding individual adviser. He grasps the economic implications of a situation and is able to apply the law in a very erudite and persuasive way." He advised PwC on the Petroplus matter, and is the firm's global head of restructuring and insolvency.
Senior partner Robert Elliott has established a reputation as a major player in the market, and is particularly recognised for his track record of representing financial institutions. Sources say he is "a very polished and impressive performer."
The "absolutely outstanding" Richard Holden's status within the team and the wider market is reflected in the fact that he has co-led the team's advice to the administrators of the UK Lehman companies.
Clients appreciate Chris Howard's willingness to "give the advice to assist a decision – he cuts to the chase and tells you what the better option is." He has been advising ING Bank as part of the Petroplus restructuring.
David Ereira is a "well-known presence" in the market, according to peers, who describe him as "very capable." He has recently been advising the temporary administrator of the Lithuanian-based bank AB Bankas Snoras.
Rebecca Jarvis is highly regarded by the market, with one peer saying: "She has a certain Northern bluntness which is welcome!" Jarvis worked alongside Tony Bugg on advising PwC.
This team is praised for its "very client-focused" approach, and has several notable core areas of expertise. In addition to its cross-border capability, the team's restructuring sector specialisms include structured finance, pensions and retail. The team has recently been representing Ernst & Young in its role as liquidator of Australian company New Cap Reinsurance.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Allen's profile is reflected in the fact that he was instructed by KPMG to advise on its role as joint liquidators of Lehman Brothers Commercial Corporation Asia and Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings.
Ian McDonald is described as a "very thoughtful" lawyer, and heads the firm's commercial dispute resolution team in London. His expertise encompasses the full range of restructuring and insolvency matters.
Devi Shah moves up in this year's rankings having earned praise from interviewees for being "knowledgeable and technically strong." One client states: "She has that very rare ability to combine technical excellence with commercial acumen."
Financial services, pensions and real estate work are the core areas of expertise for this team. It has also earned an excellent reputation for its work on contentious insolvency matters. Peers praise the team as being "academically strong" and "really visible." It recently represented Braemar Shipping in its acquisition of the business and assets of BMT Marine and Offshore Surveys from the administrators Deloitte.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Patricia Godfrey is "able to give sound advice very quickly; she will, in just an e-mail, give you the lay of the land, even on rather complex questions." She was instructed to advise the insolvency officeholders of Lehman Brothers Japan, Lehman Brothers Luxembourg and Lehman Holland on the fallout from the Lehman collapse.
Sources say of Glen Flannery: "You always get a sense that he's genuinely interested in the work and enthusiastic about the matter. He seems to have his phone permanently attached to him – you really do get full access to him." He led on the Braemar Shipping matter.
Sources highlight this team's ability to handle contentious matters, with one saying it is "very successful in challenging positions." "They have done everything I've asked them to do and done it well and efficiently," said one client. The team has recently been involved in the USD3.5 billion restructuring of Danaos, acting alongside the firm's Munich, Amsterdam and Athens offices to advise a co-ordinating committee of banks.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources say that Hamish Anderson "doesn't miss any material issues – he is very creative in finding practical solutions and seeing things through to a good resolution." He focuses mainly on acting for creditors.
In the words of one client, this team "brings a good sense of commerciality to a situation, which is invaluable." The group recently advised PwC in its role as administrator of Folksam International Insurance Company.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of department Alicia Videon "thinks outside the box, and is very commercially minded and interactive." Her practice has recently had a significant focus on commercial real estate.
The London office of this US firm enters the rankings this year on the back of recognition for its growing profile in recent years. With the exception of real estate work, the team tends to be international rather than domestic in its outlook, and is adept at handling complex cross-border matters. "They are very good at understanding the issue at hand and taking a commercial view of the legal issues and translating the real risks to the client," said one interviewee.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Commercial litigator Michelle Duncan focuses on contentious insolvency matters. She recently represented MODEC in a USD1.1 billion restructuring of Ghana's first deep water FPSO oil producing project.
Pinsent Masons' restructuring insolvency team is a growing force in the market, having made significant hires over the past year. The team has benefited from the firm's efforts in developing relationships with the banking sector, which has proved to be a valuable source of work. Other core areas of expertise include charities and fraud insolvency. "Their turnaround times were fantastic," say sources, who appreciate that the team is "very commercial and partner-led."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nicholas Pike has earned the respect of his peers, who describe him as "a very good name in the market, with a good team." He is a recent arrival from Lawrence Graham.
Head of London restructuring Richard Williams is "very down to earth; a personable, plain-speaking lawyer." He has recently been advising the board of Focus DIY regarding its continued trading.
Clients know they can rely on recent arrival Tom Withyman to provide "realistic, practical advice." One interviewee states: "I liked the way he rolled his sleeves up and got immersed in the day-to-day issues; I really felt like he was part of our team."
Steven Cottee is the third member of the team to have recently arrived from Lawrence Graham and is recognised by peers as a serious player in the UK market.
This team has carved out a strong reputation in the market for its expertise in handling matters relating to complex financial products. Sources say the team is "extremely responsive," and one client appreciates that it "understands the issues that concern us extremely well and produced top-notch work." Clients include Morgan Stanley, Barclays Bank and Nomura International.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clifford Atkins is a key contact.
With long-standing expertise in handling structured finance matters, this team continues to thrive and is recognised as one of the leading practices in the UK market. Given the make up of the firm, the team is unsurprisingly considered to be particularly expert at handling complex cross-border matters. Its broad range of expertise enables the group to represent a wide variety of stakeholders. Peers consider the team to be "really impressive," while clients appreciate its "commercial" and "flexible" approach.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Patrick Corr "is fantastic, always thinks outside the box and comes up with innovative ideas." He has recently been providing restructuring advice to the Regus Group.
Nigel Montgomery enjoys a "great reputation" for his insurance insolvency work. One peer says: "He is a bright guy and he comes across with brilliant delivery."
This team "provides positive and effective solutions" and enjoys the respect of the market thanks to the quality of is advice. Peers describe the team as "impressive" and recognise that it has carved out "a good practice." The department has grown in recent years and has developed a particularly strong reputation for its work on behalf of banks. It has recently been advising a number of creditors on the high-profile MF Global matter.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Manning is "very knowledgeable and reasonable to deal with," and has "a nice style and approach." He was a key player in the team's advice on MF Global.
Alan Gar has recently assisted HMV Group with the renegotiation of its bank facility. Peers acknowledge that they are "hearing a lot" about his work in the market.
This team has a significant track record in advising corporates and investment funds on high-end, complex restructurings. It has historically been best known for its advisory and transactional work, though its more recent workload has involved more insolvency processes. Clients say: "They are very responsive, and great at investing time in the broader relationship."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeremy Goldring is "a good operator and a technically sound lawyer who brings an academic angle to the work but remains commercial." He recently advised Fairline Boats on its restructuring.
Michael Woollard was recently instructed by La Senza to advise on the sale of 60 of its UK stores and its franchise rights. Interviewees describe him as "exceedingly bright and creative," and "a good lawyer technically as well as commercially."
This team has a strong focus on debtor side representation, and is well known for acting on the most high-end cross-border matters. It regularly works alongside the firm's other offices, providing clients with a smooth service and a deep bench of resources. The team's recent workload has notably featured a number of cases centred on restructuring financial institutions in the aftermath of the credit crunch. Peers speak positively of this being "a great brand, and a great firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Chris Mallon is a "highly regarded" and "strong" practitioner. He recently advised Tele Columbus Group on its restructuring, succeeding in restructuring the company's debt from approximately EUR1 billion to EUR626 million.
Dominic McCahill is a recent arrival from Weil Gotshal. It is widely expected that his presence will be a significant boost for his new firm, with peers describing him as a "brilliant lawyer."
This firm's standing ensures that it is a natural choice for clients facing the most complex restructuring and insolvency matters. Demonstrating its profile, the team advised the Irish government on resolving the issues arising out of the Irish banking crisis. The team has been involved in numerous other high-profile matters, including advising UK Asset Resolution on HM Treasury's sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money. "The quality of advice and level of commitment are impressively high," said one interviewee, while another encapsulates the team's strength by saying "they put a premium on intellect in their lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Banking expert Sarah Paterson is widely recognised as "a leader in her field" and is someone who peers "rate enormously." She has recently been advising the resolution committee and winding-up board of Glitnir on a range of issues connected with the failure of the Icelandic bank.
Associate Susan Hughes enters this year's rankings on the bank of widespread praise from the market. She is described as "commercially aware," "very good at churning through documents and picking out the salient points," and someone who "gives you a great deal of confidence everything will be done on time and done right."
Peers describe this as a "very good practice" and clients highlight that the team combines "good technical knowledge" with "great commercial awareness." The group has a significant practice acting on both restructurings and insolvencies, and is regularly called on to advise the full range of stakeholders. Clients include KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Christopher Harlowe has "got it all. He has a common-sense approach, is very able technically, and he'll sell a proposition not by beating you up, but by persuading you."
Simon Ridpath recently advised the joint administrators of Doubletake Studios on the sale of assets from the distressed company. Sources say he "provides consistently focused and commercial advice."
This team continues to attract instructions on some of the most newsworthy matters in the market, having recently been appointed to advise the administrators of troubled Scottish football club Rangers FC. Defining features of the team's workload include significant cross-border elements, and it has a particularly strong track record of handling real estate-related matters. Clients describe the team as "responsive," "technically very good and commercial."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers describe Nick Moser as "very able" and a "lovely chap." He has recently been representing a trustee of the Madoff estate in the Rubin case, a high-profile cross-border insolvency matter.
This high-quality, City-focused firm houses a restructuring and insolvency team that continues to attract significant praise from the market. Sources note that the "high-profile" team continues to attract "very impressive instructions." Clients describe the team as "very professional – top-quality but approachable." Recent highlights include advising on the restructuring and administration of the Blacks Leisure Group.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeremy Walsh is "very good at drafting" and is described as "experienced," "sensible" and "a bloody good lawyer." He led the team's work on the Blacks Leisure Group matter.
This team rises significantly in this year's rankings in recognition of its recent track record of high-profile hires and impressive instructions. Market sources are keen to praise the team, saying "it does the heavyweight work" and more broadly recognising that it sits in a "very good firm" that is "very well recognised for restructuring worldwide." The team has been acting on some of the leading cases in the market, including the MF Global and Lehman matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Adam Plainer leads the practice and is described as "very commercial, calm and good at mobilising resources. He's in the flow of the market, he knows what's happening and he has a long experience of restructuring in London."
This team continues to act on some of the most interesting cases in the market, and has carved out a reputation for providing excellent advice on high-end cross-border matters. Clients identify this as a strength, commenting on the firm's "pan-European reach." One interviewee described a piece of work that "included a lot of jurisdictions. The team was very capable but also very good at dealing with other law firms." Market commentators note the recent loss of Mark Glengarry, who has moved in-house to Morgan Stanley, but the team continues to thrive in his absence.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers describe Christian Pilkington as a "smart guy" who is "very good, and very easy to deal with." One client added: "I was thoroughly impressed by him." Pilkington recently advised the joint administrators of the holding companies of the Peverel Group.
Stephen Phillips has "a very good brain" and is described by one client as "very savvy from a commercial point of view. He understands what goals we are trying to achieve and finds a legal way to get us there."
of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is "clearly very bright and a good motivator who can drive the deals forwards."
He recently joined the firm from the now defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf.
of Squire Sanders is described as "a great lawyer"
who is "a really capable academic"
with a "quiet, thoughtful and methodical"
approach. He recently advised Begbies Traynor in its role as administrator of Cabair Group.
Brown Rudnick LLP is home to Louise Verrill
, who is described as a "dynamic"
lawyer who is able to "push through a deal."
She heads the firm's European bankruptcy and corporate restructuring group and has a recent strong track record of matters involving the banking sector.
is a recent arrival at Proskauer Rose LLP, having formerly been a big hitter at Dewey & LeBoeuf. Sources say he "has loads of experience and knows his way around a transaction."
of Chadbourne & Parke LLP is described as a "stalwart of the insolvency market"
and continues to enjoy the respect of his peers, who describe him as "a great guy and a very good lawyer."
He is a new arrival at the firm and will look to use his reputation to build Chadbourne's standing in the market.
continues to thrive at RPC (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain LLP). Sources say: "She looks at everything from all different angles and explains them very clearly. She is always ready to listen to ideas and thoughts you have and work together to come up with a good solution."
heads the group at Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP. His core area of expertise is restructuring and insolvency in the insurance industry.
The "particularly impressive" Nick Angel
leads the European financial restructuring practice at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. He is described as an "extremely commercial adviser"
who "has an astute tactical mind as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the law."
Also at Milbank Tweed is associate to watch Anna Thomander
, who continues to impress all those who come across her and is praised as an "excellent communicator and co-ordinator."
of Howes Percival LLP is "extremely dynamic, technically superb but also highly motivated."
He continues to advise Baker Tilly in its role as liquidators of Portsmouth City Football Club.
Ropes & Gray is home to Tony Horspool
, who represents a wide range of stakeholders in restructurings and insolvencies with a cross-border element.
is co-head of the UK business restructuring and reorganisation practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He specialises in advising on cross-border matters and is admitted to practice at the New York Bar.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP houses the "savvy" Richard Nevins
, who impresses clients with his combination of "charisma and knowledge."
He recently advised an ad hoc committee of noteholders in connection with the restructuring of SEAT Pagine Gialle.
of Blake Lapthorn "has a good reputation"
and is "very sound from a technical point of view."
He leads the firm's London practice.
Also at Blake Lapthorn is associate Lucy Edwards
, who "has the ability to really make you think and challenges you in a good way,"
say clients. Edwards' practice encompasses corporate and personal insolvency matters.
The "extremely knowledgeable"
and "very commercial" Vernon Dennis
of HowardKennedyFSI handles both contentious and non-contentious insolvency and restructuring work. He recently represented a major creditor following the collapse of E-Clear.
TLT LLP's James Forsyth
is new to the tables this year, and is described as "professional, helpful, competent, friendly and customer-focused."
He heads the team at TLT and has recently advised Begbies Traynor in its role as administrator of Shakeaway.
of Pitmans LLP is singled out for praise by market sources. He advised Kamkorp Autokraft on the purchase of distressed businesses Bristol Cars and Bristol Cars Services.
has left Linklaters to join Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. He moves up the rankings this year, having attracted widespread praise from interviewees. One described him as "a superb practitioner. During an incredibly difficult deal, he drove the deal forwards – he is absolutely superb."
Reinsurance litigator Ian McKenna
has joined Locke Lord (UK) LLP from Mayer Brown. He has extensive experience and adds real depth to the team.
recently joined Osborne Clarke from Speechly Bircham LLP and focuses on corporate recovery. Market sources acknowledge his track record, stating that he has "a lot of experience."