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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - London
  • 65 Fleet Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4Y 1HS
  • Tel:(020) 7936 4000
  • Fax:(020) 7832 7001
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Senior Partner: William Lawes
  • Managing Partner: David Aitman
  • Executive Partner: Stephan Eilers
  • Number of partners: 440
  • Number of lawyers: 2,500
  • Languages: Members of the firm speak over 60 languages

Firm Overview: Freshfields is a commercially savvy, innovative law firm that helps clients navigate their most complex business issues. It has over 2,500 lawyers in 28 offices around the world and works with a network of trusted local law firms. It was the official legal services provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, helping to deliver one of the world’s largest and multi-faceted events. In 2012 the firm expanded its Asia focus with a new office in Singapore.

Main Areas of Practice:
Antitrust, Competition & Trade:

Since 2010, Freshfields’ competition practice has advised on over half the in-depth merger investigations by the European Commission. It has over 230 competition lawyers in 12 countries, including 52 partners. It advises financial institutions, governments and clients across all sectors on all competition issues, including:
■Merger control
■Abuse of dominance
■Cartel investigations and damages claims
■State aid
■Public procurement
Contacts: John Davies, Martin Klusmann

Freshfields has worked on more cross-border M&A in the last five years than any other law firm. In 2012 alone it worked on almost 250 deals, with a value of $256 billion - more than any other magic circle firm. Freshfields is leading the market in international IPOs across Europe and Asia in the period from 2011 to date (September 2013). Its global financial investor practice advised on three of the seven buyouts worth over €1 billion in 2012 – the only law firm to have done more than one. The firm’s corporate practice has over 700 lawyers worldwide, including 156 partners.
Contact: Edward Braham

Freshfields is handling more high-value arbitration cases than any other firm, worth over $80 billion. It represented ConocoPhillips when Venezuela seized oil assets worth over $30 billion, in one of the largest treaty arbitration cases ever filed. The firm’s disputes practice has over 400 litigation lawyers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States. This includes over 90 partners and 300 associates.
Contact: Christopher Pugh

Employment, Pensions & Benefits:
The practice has 20 partners and 95 associates in 12 countries. Landmark cases for Freshfields’ EPB practice include:
■Advising UPS on its proposed acquisition of TNT Express, which would create the global leader in the logistics industry, with over €45 billion in annual revenues
■Advising on Royal Mail’s restructuring. The deal transfers £37.5 billion of legacy pensions liabilities to the UK state and restructures Royal Mail’s balance sheet
Key Clients: AstraZeneca, Bloomberg, Bristol Myers Squibb, Continental, General Dynamics, Hugo Boss, Lafarge, Morgan Stanley, Merck, Smith & Nephew and UPS
Contact: Nicholas Squire

Freshfields’ finance practice advised on:
■The largest leveraged buyout in Europe in 2011 – Com Hem
■The £4.5 billion Intercity express project, the UK’s largest-ever private public partnership
■Center Parcs’ first-of-a-kind £1.2 billion refinancing and development financing
■PLC restructurings, such as the Mouchel Group It has over 350 lawyers worldwide, including 71 partners, covering restructuring and insolvency, banking, structured asset finance and energy and infrastructure.
Key Clients: Rothschild, Blackstone, CVC, Lloyds TSB and Deloitte. Contact: David Trott

Real Estate:
Freshfields’ real estate group has advised on iconic buildings projects, such as Europe’s tallest building, ‘the Shard’, and the 160m ‘Walkie- Talkie’ in London. It also acted for the extensive developments undertaken by LOCOG for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It has over 250 lawyers worldwide advising on all aspects of commercial real estate.
Key Clients: Almacantar, Blackstone, Brookfield, Cerberus, Canada Pension Plan, Grosvenor, Perella Weinberg and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.
Contact: Johannes Conradi

Freshfields’ tax and disputes teams have a market-leading reputation for resolving investigations and disputes. Freshfields is also one of the few law firms to offer a full transfer pricing service. The practice advised on the $13.7 billion sale of the pharmaceutical company Nycomed to Japan’s largest drugmaker Takeda. It also advised Berggruen on buying and reorganising Karstadt; a deal valued at over €3 billion, with negotiations with tax authorities in 90 municipalities. The firm has over 140 tax lawyers worldwide, including 46 partners and counsel.
Key Clients: Porsche, EMI, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and the London Stock Exchange.
Contact: Silvia Paternain


  • Bastion Tower,
  • Place du Champ de Mars/Marsveldplein 5,
  • Brussels,
  • Brussels Capital Region
  • Belgium
  • B-1050
  • Tel +32 2 504 7000
  • Fax +32 2 504 7200
  • Email : iris.debremaeker@freshfields.com
  • Potsdamer Platz 1,
  • Berlin,
  • Germany
  • 10785
  • Tel +49 30 20 28 3600
  • Fax +49 30 20 28 3766
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Im Zollhafen 24,
  • Cologne,
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Germany
  • 50678
  • Tel +49 221 20 50 70
  • Fax +49 221 20 50 79 0
  • Email : norbert.nolte@freshfields.com
  • Feldmühleplatz 1,
  • Düsseldorf,
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Germany
  • 40545
  • Tel +49 211 49 79 0
  • Fax +49 211 49 79 10 3
  • Bockenheimer Anlage 44,
  • Frankfurt-am-Main,
  • Hessen
  • Germany
  • 60322
  • Tel +49 69 27 30 80
  • Fax +49 69 23 26 64
  • Hohe Bleichen 7,
  • Hamburg,
  • Germany
  • 20354
  • Tel +49 40 36 90 60
  • Fax +49 40 36 90 61 55
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Prannerstrasse 10,
  • Munich,
  • Bavaria
  • Germany
  • 80333
  • Tel +49 89 20 70 20
  • Fax +49 89 20 70 21 00
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Via dei Giardini 7,
  • Milan,
  • Lombardy
  • Italy
  • 20121
  • Tel +39 02 625 301
  • Fax +39 02 625 30800
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Piazza del Popolo 18,
  • Rome,
  • Lazio
  • Italy
  • 00187
  • Tel +39 06 695 331
  • Fax +39 06 695 33800
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Strawinskylaan 10,
  • Amsterdam,
  • North Holland
  • Netherlands
  • 1077 XZ
  • Tel +31 20 485 7000
  • Fax +31 20 485 7001
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Kadashevskaya nab 14/2,
  • Moscow,
  • Russia
  • 119017
  • Tel +7 495 785 3000
  • Fax +7 495 785 3001
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Mestre Nicolau 19,
  • Barcelona,
  • Catalonia
  • Spain
  • 08021
  • Tel +34 93 363 7400
  • Fax +34 93 419 7799

Banking & Finance - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 counsel
- 16 associates

What the team is known for Regular presence on market-leading transactions. Part of the firm's wider finance group consisting of 300 members worldwide. Close co-operation with the firm's white-collar crime team.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Unchallenged on the Vienna market when it comes to corporate financing transactions. The team consistently provides excellent quality."

"Absolutely what we were looking for. Available 24/7, quick to respond and really hands-on." 

"The international mindset the lawyers possess is extremely important."

"The team has a great track record, so it was important to us to get them on board."

Work highlights Representing BayernLB in a dispute arising out of the nationalisation of Hypo Group Alpe Adria.

Advised Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkasse on the EUR35 million financing for the acquisition of the Hotel Intercontinental Vienna.

Notable practitioners 

The "brilliant" Friedrich Jergitsch heads the department. He is praised for his international understanding and "excellent" banking and finance regulatory knowledge.

Florian Klimscha "is very balanced in bringing together the interests of both sides and working out solutions," says a source. He is also praised for being "calm, considerate and always approachable" and for "thinking outside the box." He led the team that advised BayernLB on its EUR53.5 million financing for the acquisition of the shares of Westbahnhof A3 from ACRON.

Significant clients BayernLB, Deutsche Bank, Porsche, Sberbank, Skrill Group.

Capital Markets - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 counsel
- 3 principal associates
- 16 associates

What the team is known for Widespread international network allows the team to work on large, multi-jurisdictional mandates. Acts for a broad range of clients from the corporate and banking sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"An exceptionally good local team, and the global network is seamless and works very well."

"A fantastic firm. It is thriving and has great people. An established top team."

Work highlights Advised Erste Group Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International and UniCredit Bank Austria as arrangers on the update of Novomatic's EUR500 million debt issue programme.

Advised UniCredit as issuer on the Austrian aspects of its EUR7.5 billion capital increase.

Assisted Constantia Flexibles Group with its public offering and listing of EUR150 million of fixed-rate notes.

Notable practitioners

The "exceptionally good" Stephan Pachinger regularly plays a prominent role on the team's most high-profile mandates. "He possesses comprehensive knowledge of Austrian capital markets rules and regulations. He provides a high level of client service, and very short response times," say sources.

Friedrich Jergitsch numbers Volksbank and RBS amongst his clients, and advised the latter as arranger on the establishment of Telekom Austria and Telekom Finanzmanagement's EUR2.5 billion EMTN programme.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Erste Group Bank, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Kommunalkredit Austria.

Competition/European Law - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partners
- 6 other qualified practitioners

What the team is known for A greatly respected practice that covers the full spectrum of competition matters. Draws upon the Freshfields network, including the market-leading Brussels team, to act on the largest competition mandates. Well versed in areas such as cartel leniency cases, compliance training and multi-jurisdictional merger filings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is one of the market leaders and has one of the finest networks." 

Work highlights Assisted Knauf International with merger control proceedings surrounding its acquisition of assets from USG.

Advised Volvo on its Austrian car distribution system, due to the new EU legal framework regarding vertical agreements.

Notable practitioners

Axel Reidlinger heads the department. Widely regarded as a "leading figure in the market," he is highlighted for his work in cartel proceedings, and also recognised as a regular presence on major competition matters.

Significant clients Brenntag CEE, Deutsche Bahn Group, EMI Group, Hutchison 3G, Interseroh Austria.

Corporate/M&A - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 1 counsel
- 4 principal associates
- 9 associates

What the team is known for An international powerhouse, constantly present on cross-border mandates. It has a strong banking and financial institutions client base, and also acts for a number of clients from the energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Outstanding in takeovers." 

Work highlights Advised Duropack on the EUR125 million sale of its subsidiaries in Germany and the Czech Republic to Mondi.

Assisted Hutchison 3G Austria with its EUR1.3 billion purchase of Orange Austria.

Notable practitioners 

Willibald Plesser is "a major force in this area," according to sources. As well as corporate/M&A, he is particularly strong in energy mandates in the CEE and SEE regions. "I am deeply impressed with his attitude and approach," noted an interviewee.

Market commentators are enthusiastic in their praise for Konrad Gröller: "He is an excellent lawyer – commercial, intellectually rigorous and extremely dedicated." His clients include The Carlyle Group.

Thomas Zottl "gets deals through. He's a calm guy, who stays cool in difficult situations," say sources. His service-oriented approach is also appreciated. He was recently promoted to head the firm's corporate department.

Stefan Köck is noted for his skilful handling of cross-border mergers, and also advises on labour law matters.

Associate-to-watch Michal Dobrowolski enters the rankings this year having earned positive client feedback. He is a regular presence on the team's most high-profile mandates.

Significant clients The Carlyle Group, Duropack, EVN, One Equity Partners, SCA.

Dispute Resolution - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified practitioners

What the team is known for Particularly strong in commercial arbitrations, notably those related to the energy, construction and industrial engineering sectors. Often assists with litigation involving financial institutions, and with collective actions. Corporate and post-M&A disputes are a mainstay.

Work highlights Representing several clients, including an airline and a global industrial group, in proceedings against minority shareholders following squeeze outs.

Notable practitioners

Department head Günther Horvath is particularly commended by market observers for his "excellent post-M&A work" and his international experience. Sources say: "There is no question that he is top of the market."

"Outstanding litigator" Thomas Kustor regularly acts on the most high-profile cases in the market. His measured approach makes him "very valuable to clients," according to interviewees. Kustor often advises financial institutions and has a strong focus on company, industrial engineering, construction and product liability disputes.

Jenny Power is recognised as a leading lawyer in arbitration. She has been busy of late with construction and corporate arbitrations, and most often assists with international disputes.

Employment - Austria

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

What the team is known for Strong choice for international investigations and other non-contentious matters, including working hours arrangements, pensions advice and executive appointments. Assists with high-level litigation and employment-related M&A projects.   

Notable practitioners  

Celebrated department head Stefan Köck combines an excellent employment law practice with corporate work. He is highlighted for his knowledge of pensions and benefits issues.

Significant clients BP Austria.

Intellectual Property - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner

What the team is known for Predominantly active in transactional IP matters thanks to its strength in corporate/M&A. Frequently handles contentious cases, manages trade mark portfolios, and advises on the licensing of IP rights. Adept at handling proceedings where no prior case law exists.

Work highlights Assisted shoe producer Giesswein with proceedings against a competitor regarding unfair competition and design right infringement.

Represented Hutchison 3G Austria in proceedings relating to a competitor's comparative advertising campaign.

Notable practitioners

Christof Pöchhacker "is fantastic. I really appreciate his ability to analyse complex cases and he is very, very smart," enthused one interviewee. Pöchhacker heads the IP/IT department, and is often busy with contentious mandates.

Significant clients BP Europe, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Fresenius Medical Care, Tiger Coatings, Volvo. 

Public Law - Austria

What the team is known for Compact team that offers strong public procurement advisory capabilities. Also assists with energy, healthcare, constitutional and transaction-related public law matters.

Work highlights Assisted ASFINAG with establishing functional tender procedures for the long-term contract concerning the A5 Northern Highway.

Advised Austria Glas Recycling on environmental law issues, including waste management.

Notable practitioners

Stephan Denk leads the practice.

Significant clients EVN, Fresenius Medical Care Austria, Kommunalkredit, UPS, WIEN ENERGIE.

Real Estate - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified practitioners 

What the team is known for Strong choice for international investors and private equity houses. Handles portfolio acquisitions, financing matters and M&A transactions. Also handles residential, lease and litigation mandates. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team has prominent deals and clients, which stands as a testament to its quality."

Work highlights Acted for UniCredit Bank Austria on several real estate projects, including the acquisition of land from ÖBB. 

Advised Magna International Developments on securing the approval of the public authorities for a transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Thomas Zottl is "always a pleasure to work with," say clients. He is highlighted for his work on international transactions. His clients include Hexcel Holding and Starwood Hotels.

Significant clients AMB Invest, HPM Privatstiftung, Hexcel Holding, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, TIGER Coatings.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 counsel
- 3 principal associates
- 13 associates

What the team is known for Benefits from the wider Freshfields network when acting on multi-jurisdictional restructurings. Represents Austrian and foreign banks on their restructurings and the debt restructurings of their clients. As part of the larger banking and finance group, it is well placed to act on complex financial restructurings, and co-operation with the corporate team is important for large-scale matters.

Work highlights Assisting a consortium of banks with the restructuring of a EUR700 million revolving guarantee facility of the AE&E Group.

Advised Kommunalkredit Austria/KA Finanz on the insolvency and restructuring of Kommunalkredit Group. 

Advised BayernLB on the sale of its 67.08% stake in Hypo Group Alpe-Adria to the Republic of Austria.

Notable practitioners

Friedrich Jergitsch is a highly respected practitioner in this field. "His gift is that he can bring various parties together and present solutions that all are satisfied with," say market sources. Jergitsch is lauded as "one of the leading restructuring lawyers in Austria."

Significant clients BayernLB, Kommunalkredit Austria, Österreichische Volksbanken, Raiffeisen Bank International.

Tax - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 principal counsel
- 1 principal associate
- 3 associates

What the team is known for Strong on cross-border tax mandates due to the firm's international network. Covers all aspects of tax work, and has a significant reputation for tax litigation. Assists clients from a broad range of industries, with noted expertise relating to the automotive sector, financial institutions and the online gaming arena.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team came straight to the point and added value to our position. The lawyers provided valuable input and gave us excellent support."

Work highlights Successfully represented bwin.party digital entertainment in a VAT dispute concerning its Austrian tax arrangements.

Advised Sete International and Sete Brasil Participacoes on a holding and investment structure for drilling rigs in Brazil.

Notable practitioners

Michael Sedlaczek is a "very valuable addition to our team," reports one client, whilst other interviewees praise him as being "very intelligent, and precise in his opinions." Sedlaczek has a particular focus on advising clients from the financial institutions sector.

Claus Staringer is well known for his academic work as well as his tax practice. His broad tax practice covers corporate tax planning, M&A, litigation, structured finance and estate planning.

Significant clients Erste Bank, Granite Real Estate, Sete Brasil Participacoes, the Porsche family, BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft.

TMT - Austria

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified practitioners

What the team is known for Fantastic telecoms and IT team which has an excellent reputation for M&A transactional work, and is also developing a good presence in social media and regulatory matters. Continues to impress with its knowledge of outsourcing projects, and is adept at handling cross-border, compliance and internal investigatory mandates. 

Work highlights Continued to assist Hutchison with its EUR1.3 billion purchase of Orange.

Acted for Saudi Telecom on the indirect sale of shares in Indonesian operator AXIS, in addition to transitional services agreements.

Notable practitioners  

Bertram Burtscher remains a highly regarded telecoms and IT practitioner. In a recent highlight, he advised Saudi Telecom on hosting mobile virtual network operations.

Sources commend Christof Pöchhacker's IT and telecoms work, as well as commenting upon his impressive IP experience. He was recently part of the team assisting Hutchison with its purchase of Orange.

Significant clients Hutchison, Saudi Telecom, TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft, UBIS, UniCredit.

White-Collar Crime - Austria

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

What the team is known for A multidisciplinary team that draws upon the wider network to handle multi-jurisdictional mandates. Knowledgeable in the areas of corporate, capital markets and antitrust law.

Notable practitioners

Thomas Kustor heads the white-collar crime department.

General Business Law - Barcelona

What the team is known for Highly experienced in public and private M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, securities and corporate governance. Also well versed in transactional tax issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers are always up to date with all the details of the case. They anticipate our needs and go beyond our expectations."

Work highlights Acted for Abertis Infraestructuras on the repurchase of 5.3% of its own shares from ACS Actividades de Construccion y Servicios.

Assisted Canada Pension Plan Investment Board with the tax aspects of its EUR390 million acquisition of a 39% stake in Dorna Sports.

Notable practitioners

Antoni Valverde is the office manager.

Significant clients Abertis Infraestructuras, Gas Natural, Amadeus, Liberbank, Mercapital.

Competition: Domestic - Belgium

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

What the team is known for Handles some of the most complex transactions, cartels and abuse of dominance cases on the Brussels market. Excellent state aid practice at the Belgian and European levels. Notable experience of behavioural investigations, enforcement actions and follow-on litigation. Adept on cross-border transactions, with sources highlighting the international strength of the team's practitioners. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers really get involved in your particular industry, making it part of their business to know your business. This is a great asset."

"The firm has an excellent global network. We are present in multiple jurisdictions and focused on international issues, and we like the fact that the firm can mirror that."

Work highlights Advised Solvay on a European Court of Justice appeal against the European Commission's decision in the hydrogen peroxide and perborate cartel case. 

Assisted Rosneft with the formation of a series of major strategic oil and gas alliances, including with ENI, ExxonMobil and Statoil. 

Advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on all non-US competition aspects of its proposed USD20.1 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo.

Notable practitioners

John Davies receives effusive praise for his global competition practice. "He is a trusted partner and our business always welcomes his feedback and his authoritative style," states one interviewee. Davies recently advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on all non-US antitrust aspects of its USD20.1 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo.

Frank Montag is highly rated for his work on significant corporate transactions and investigations. He recently assisted Deutsche Bahn with the international competition aspects of its acquisition of Veolia's central transport business. "He is in the top tier and we would highly recommend him," states a client.

Onno Brouwer works from both the Brussels and Amsterdam offices. In Brussels, he recently assisted Solvay with its appeal against the decision of the European Commission in the hydrogen peroxide cartel case. Sources say "he has the knowledge and a style that really works."

Sources say Laurent Garzaniti has "an excellent understanding of the European environment and a good eye for the national regulations." He covers both Belgian and international competition mandates, and is praised for his business-oriented advice.

Thomas Janssens "stands out for his professionalism and industry knowledge," according to interviewees. He has recently assisted EMI with the sale of its recorded music division to Vivendi and Universal, subject to a Phase II review, as well as advising on the acquisition of its music publishing division by an investor group including Sony.

Andrew Renshaw is described as a knowledgeable and thorough competition lawyer. He has advised Visa on a range of competition and regulatory issues, including proceedings related to interchange fees and debit commitments.

Andreas von Bonin has a broad competition law practice, but is particularly highly regarded for his state aid work. He has recently advised the Hellenic Republic on high-profile matters of late, including the privatisation of OPAP, the state lottery and sports betting organisation, and the country's 12 ports.  

David Broomhall was recently appointed co-head of the firm's global competition practice. He has notable energy experience, representing significant clients including Rosneft and ConocoPhillips. "He has an exceptional grasp of the commercial realities," says a source.

Alan Ryan is praised for his expertise and approachable style. He advised UPS on its blocked bid to acquire TNT, and continues to advise on its appeal against the ruling.

Up-and-coming partner Rafique Bachour recently represented Xstrata in its merger with Glencore, leading an international competition and regulatory team. He is commended for his "outstanding work."

Significant clients EMI, UPS, Visa, Xstrata, ConocoPhillips, Rio Tinto Alcan, GM. 

Corporate/M&A - Belgium

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

What the team is known for Best known for advising on high-value international deals, with a strong track record for mergers and demergers, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Further experience in public and private M&A transactions, and also offers a respected board-level corporate advisory practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team listens to our needs and our aims, and understands the level of risk we are willing to take. We work with them to find the solution."

Work highlights Advised AB InBev on its acquisition of the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo, a transaction valued at around EUR16 billion. 

Assisted UPS with its proposed acquisition of TNT.  

Notable practitioners  

The "highly respected" Vincent Macq is praised by interviewees for his experience and solution-oriented approach to negotiations.

Geert Verhoeven is highlighted for his work on major public M&A deals. One interviewee states: "He is excellent at bringing technical expertise to bear on commercial realities. He thinks with the client."

Chris Sunt is popular among clients thanks to his "solution-minded" style. He combines corporate know-how with capital markets and finance expertise.

Deborah Janssens recently joined the team from Cleary Gottlieb. She is sought out for her understanding of company law, corporate finance and debt issues. One client states: "She is an excellent lawyer who works very hard and makes a lot of time for her clients. She is always helpful and proactive, flagging issues up before we have even asked for advice."

Significant clients Advent, Liberty Global, Siemens.

Tax - Belgium

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

What the team is known for Highly commended full-service work includes providing advisory, transactional and contentious tax advice to major clients in both the private and public sectors. Excellent reputation for M&A-related advice, corporate restructuring, tax planning and financial instruments, as well as real estate tax. Acts for high-profile corporates, insurance companies and international funds in tax litigation.

Work highlights Acts for the Henderson Group on a tax litigation case concerning its real estate investments in Belgium, including a major shopping centre situated close to Arlon.

Assisted Befimmo with the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Blue Tower office building in Brussels.

Notable practitioners  

Highly reputed tax partner Axel Haelterman is described by sources as "a very prominent tax expert in Belgium." He advises corporate and financial clients on both national and international tax issues.

Significant clients Befimmo, Commerzbank, Elia, Japan Tobacco International, Siemens.

Banking & Finance - Central & Eastern Europe

What the team is known for High-calibre banking and finance practice, with a particular stronghold in Russia. It handles many international deals driven by its London office, with a strong focus on project and structured finance. Expertise in debt capital markets extends to sovereign bond issuances across the region. It represents an impressive roster of international financial institutions in complex transactions, including syndicated loans.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"The firm is very good at managing global and local relationships."

Work highlights Assisted PrivatBank and UK SPV Credit Finance with a USD175 million loan participation notes issuance.

Represented BNP Paribas, Raiffeisen Bank International and HSBC in the Republic of Bulgaria's EUR950 million notes issuance. 

Notable practitioners 

Peter Allen, Duncan Kellaway and Ian Frost are London-based finance partners. Friedrich Jergitsch is a banking partner in Vienna, and Moscow-based Sebastian Lawson is a corporate partner.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, Citi, HSBC, ING, Sberbank of Russia.

Corporate/M&A - Central & Eastern Europe

What the team is known for Market-leading performance in the CIS, spearheaded by an outstanding Russian corporate practice. Significant cases are often led from London, Moscow and Vienna, reinforced by regional experts and a network of local firm affiliations. Well versed in areas such as private equity and the energy sector.

Work highlights Assisted E.ON with the EUR1.3 billion sale of Slovakian energy company SPP to Czech energy company EP Holding.

Advised Austrian manufacturer Duropack on the EUR125 million sale of its Czech subsidiaries.

Notable practitioners

Willibald Plesser in Vienna, Sebastian Lawson in Moscow and Stephen Revell in Singapore all co-head the CEE/CIS practice. 

Significant clients Deutsche Bahn, KCell, Kingfisher, EP Energy, Duropack. 

Projects - Central & Eastern Europe

What the team is known for Highly active across the region, with a flagship energy practice in Russia. Utilises lawyers from various departments to provide clients with relevant expertise on the largest mandates, and is known for its abilities on disputes in this area. Praised for its infrastructure, PPP and renewables know-how.

Work highlights Represented E.ON Ruhrgas in the EUR1.3 billion sale of its indirectly held interest in Slovak energy company SPP to Czech company Energetický a průmyslový holding.

Notable practitioners 

Willibald Plesser in Vienna and Sebastian Lawson in Moscow co-head the CEE/CIS projects & energy practice.  

Significant clients ConocoPhillips, E.ON Ruhrgas, ALROSA, Russian Railways, Severstal.

Arbitration (International) - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Standout choice in Europe for high-profile, high-value arbitration cases, across all sectors. Market-leading practices in London and Paris supported by arbitration strength in Germany, Italy and Russia. Frequently acts on a vast range of disputes under all major arbitration rules including substantial investment arbitrations, occasionally involving politically sensitive issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I am extremely satisfied. We used the firm because the arbitration was large with a lot at stake and we needed the best."

"This firm has very good arbitration lawyers all over - deserves to be at the top, because it is a real Euro-wide offering."

Notable practitioners  

Rolf Trittmann is widely respected for his Frankfurt-based international arbitration work, acting extensively as counsel on major multi-jurisdictional cases, alongside sitting as an arbitrator. His broad practice involves cases from sectors as varied as telecommunications, real estate and banking, although he is a notable expert in disputes relating to the automotive industry.

Paris-based Peter Turner's arbitration practice has had a long-standing focus on substantial investor-state arbitration cases, although he has also had recent significant activity in the commercial sphere, notably on gas price review cases. One source stated: "He is very available and proactive, and I'd have no reservation over working with him again in the future - and I'm quite a demanding client!"

Nigel Rawding is a long-established presence in the London arbitration market, and he continues to act on a number of major significant European and global arbitration cases, such as recently advising a multinational telecommunications provider on a potential USD500 million UNCITRAL bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration against a state.

Noah Rubins in Paris is well known for his pan-European arbitration strength, with notable expertise in disputes related to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). He is particularly experienced in cases in the energy, infrastructure and machinery sectors.

Banking & Finance - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Highly respected practice with a strong client base spanning banks, corporates and private equity investors. Driven by renowned capabilities in the UK, Germany and Spain, and praised for its integration of international services. Expertise includes infrastructure and project financing, syndicated loans and structured finance. The team advises on debt restructurings, alternative financings and trade finance. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I appreciate the totally integrated approach of the cross-border team."

Work highlights Acted for Haymarket Financial, ING and M&G Investments on EurotaxGlass Group's restructuring, which involved a debt-for-equity swap of the group's debts that resulted in the senior lenders and management taking control of the business.

Notable practitioners

David Trott is global head of finance and Neil Falconer heads the UK practice; both are based in London. Frankfurt-based partners Frank Laudenklos and Mario Hüther are the key contacts for Germany, along with Munich-based partner Yorck Jetter. Other leading practitioners include Paris team head Dougall Molson, Moscow team head Mikhail Loktionov and Iñaki Gabilondo in Madrid.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Cinven, EADS, HSBC, Morgan Stanley.

Capital Markets - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Tremendous equity capital markets practice, frequently involved in some of the most high-profile IPOs throughout Europe. Also prominent in debt and securitisation, with significant experience advising on MTN programmes, liability management transactions and standalone bond issuances, often in emerging markets. Leading practices in the UK, Germany, France, Russia and the Netherlands.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"Geared up for deals across the spectrum in terms of size; they're equipped to handle even the largest deals."

Work highlights Advised sponsor Goldman Sachs and underwriters JPMorgan and Numis in regards to the IPO of HellermannTyton Group. The matter was valued at GBP211 million and was completed within seven weeks.

Acted for a syndicate of banks with regard to their role as joint bookrunners for MegaFon's USD1.7 billion IPO. This included the undertaking of particularly complex due diligence matters.

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Murphy and Stephen Revell are the joint heads of capital markets in the UK, Rick van Aerssen is a key contact in Germany and Dougall Molson is a key contact in France.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Citi, Xstrata.

Competition/Antitrust - Europe-wide

What the team is known for An exceptional practice with market-leading teams across Europe, including offices in the UK, France, Germany and Belgium. Maintains a superb reputation for representing multinationals, in addition to assisting top national corporations. Represents clients before a range of domestic and multi-jurisdictional authorities, such as the EC, the Swiss Competition Commission and the Austrian Cartel Court. Also handles abuse of dominance and merger control proceedings, as well as various regulatory mandates

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are so impressive in this space. Their strength, breadth and depth and just the sheer number of high-level, elite and quality advocates that they have make them stand out as leaders."

Work highlights Advised Xstrata on its merger of equals with Glencore involving 15 jurisdictions, including Phase I remedies in the EU.

Assisted E.ON in Germany with its appeal before the General Court against fines imposed by the EC.

Advised Deutsche Bahn Group on a global investigation into the freight forwarding sector

Notable practitioners

Brussels-based David Broomhall and Düsseldorf's Martin Klusmann lead the global competition practice. Deirdre Trapp and Jon Lawrence are leading lawyers in London, whilst Brussels-based Frank Montag is considered a top name in Brussels and Germany.

Significant clients Anheuser-Busch InBev, EMI, Rosneft, Visa Europe, Xstrata.

Corporate Investigations - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Uses the firm's extensive network to handle a wide range of antitrust, bribery, corruption, data loss, accounting and other fraud and financial services-related investigations. Represents a large number of energy companies and financial institution clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a great network. Their global reach is very good and they take a practical and commercial approach to resolving issues." 

Work highlights Acting as global co-ordinator for Deutsche Bahn Group on the global investigation into the freight forwarding sector.

Notable practitioners

Geoff Nicholas in Hong Kong and Marius Berenbrok in Hamburg co-head the firm's global investigations practice. 

Corporate/M&A - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Outstanding European coverage, with market-leading corporate/M&A teams in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. A natural choice for headline deals, with a proven track record of managing and co-ordinating the most complex and sensitive cross-border M&A transactions in the European market. Clients praise the excellent quality of its full-service offering and in-depth industry expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“As a client working on a pan-European transaction with Freshfields, I can say that it performs excellently and is very well integrated between international offices."

Work highlights Advised private equity firm H.I.G. European Capital Partners on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Petrochem Carless Holdings, a transaction involving full-service advice from London and Germany.

Represented Pearson in the merger of Penguin with Random House.

Notable practitioners

Edward Braham heads the firm's global corporate/M&A practice from London, supported by Christoph von Bülow in Germany and Fabrice Cohen in France.

Significant clients Xstrata, Zurich, Invensys, HSBC, E.ON.

Dispute Resolution - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Exceptionally strong in Europe, with outstanding teams in key jurisdictions including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Particularly sought after for its prowess in banking and trading disputes, with additional expertise in corporate investigations and energy and telecoms litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The partners are practically like our in-house lawyers: they maintain a very close relationship with the client and know the business inside out. They are indispensable." 

Work highlights The Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and London offices defended Hewlett-Packard France against a EUR7.6 billion claim for software infringement.

Represented South African mobile operator Econet Wireless in a post-takeover dispute involving UNCITRAL arbitration and High Court proceedings in Nigeria, and an LCIA arbitration in London.

Notable practitioners

London-based Christopher Pugh leads the firm's global dispute resolution group.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Econet Wireless, Hewlett-Packard France.

Employment - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Enjoys a tremendous reputation throughout Europe, winning particular praise from clients in France and Russia, and moving up the rankings as a result. Also offers highly regarded practices in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Italy. Interviewees draw attention to the team's long-standing experience and deep expertise in co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Freshfields has done a very good job - it has co-ordinated all labour matters across Europe.” 

"Very effective at doing multi-jurisdictional matters - better than anybody else that I've come across in that space.”

Work highlights Advised Invensys Rail on the executive incentive and share plan implications of the GBP1.8 billion sale of the Invensys Rail business to Siemens, including retention and incentive arrangements for key staff in the target business. The London office co-ordinated lawyers in over 20 jurisdictions, including Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

Acted for UPS on its acquisition and integration of TNT Express, as well as on-going assistance with employment law matters. The project was led and co-ordinated by the Amsterdam office, with input from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

Notable practitioners

Nicholas Squire heads the global employment, pensions and benefits team from the firm's London office.

Significant clients Xstrata, UPS, JPMorgan, Invensys, Deutsche Bank.

Intellectual Property - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Best known for its prowess in transactional IP cases, a particular strength of the UK practice. Additional expertise in IP litigation and portfolio management capabilities covering patents, trade marks and copyright. Further key teams in Germany, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"In pan-EU litigation the firm co-ordinated about a dozen cases. It was an excellent job, because the lawyers made sure we spoke with one voice, which is important."

Notable practitioners  

Cologne-based Matthias Koch heads the global IP practice group.

Significant clients Sony, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mars, Weight Watchers.

Projects - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Extensive Europe-wide projects and energy practice, with leading offices in the UK, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands and Austria. Considerable expertise in infrastructure, renewables, oil and gas, and nuclear work. Offers pan-jurisdictional reach as well as significant experience in corporate transactions in the energy sector.

Work highlights Advised Charterhouse Capital Partners on Ista International's EUR3.1 billion sale to CVC.

Advised Rosneft on a strategic co-operation agreement with Statoil for potential upstream oil and gas matters in the Russian Arctic and Far East.

Notable practitioners  

London-based Laurie McFadden and Anselm Raddatz in Düsseldorf lead the firm's global energy and natural resources group. Willibald Plesser in Vienna co-heads the CEE/CIS region, focusing on energy work.

Significant clients BP, ConocoPhillips, GDF SUEZ, Rosneft, Severstal.

Regulatory & Public Affairs - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Close links to the regulators and legislators in key sector areas, including financial services, energy, transport, and communications and technology. Offers its international clients a broad European network, and most notably advises on regulatory law out of the UK, German and Brussels offices. Handles issues such as the implementation of late payments legislation and the insurance solvency regulatory framework, alongside the review of the EU corporate governance regime and the regulation of the EU banking and asset management sector.

Notable practitioners  

Brussels managing partner Thomas Janssens can be contacted for more information about the regulatory practice. 

Restructuring/Insolvency - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Exceptional range of top-tier restructuring and insolvency teams, particularly in the UK, Germany, Spain, Russia and Austria. Further noteworthy offices in France, Italy and the Netherlands. Frequently involved in the most complex multi-jurisdictional restructurings, and represents both creditors and debtors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have this ability to staff a deal with all the resources, bodies and expertise you could ever need - it's an excellent network and a firm at the top of its game." 

"For deals that involve large cross-border activity, our first choice would be Freshfields."

Work highlights The UK and German teams acted for the ad hoc group of noteholders in the highly complex stressed rescheduling of Deutsche Annington, Germany's largest private landlord and Europe's largest CMBS. This was achieved by an English scheme of arrangement.

The Austrian office acted on behalf of Kommunalkredit Austria and KA Finanz on the insolvency and subsequent restructuring of the Kommunalkredit Group.

In Spain the team represented the sounding group of senior lenders in the EUR700 million-plus restructuring of the travel group Orizonia.

Notable practitioners  

Ken Baird leads the global restructuring group from London, Friedrich Jergitsch leads the Vienna offering, Lars Westpfahl is a key contact in Hamburg, and Iñaki Gabilondo heads the Madrid office.

Significant clients The Blackstone Group, BayernLB, Reyal Urbis, Rothschild, Lazard.

Tax - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Maintains a formidable presence in the European tax market and continues to be a firm favourite thanks to an outstanding network and depth of expertise. Enjoys Band 1 coverage in the UK and Germany, with further key offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy. Maintains a healthy transactional practice, though has recently seen heightened activity in tax litigation, investigations and restructuring.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It is fair to say that Freshfields leads the field due to its sheer depth of coverage."

"An excellent level of consistency across Europe." 

Work highlights Acted for Russian Railways Group on the EUR800 million acquisition of a 75% stake in international logistics operator GEFCO from distressed French car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Advised EQT Partners on the EUR1.8 billion acquisition of BSN medical from Montagu Private Equity.

Notable practitioners

Madrid-based Silvia Paternain is head of the global tax practice. Other key contacts include David Haworth in the UK, Norbert Schneider in Germany and Cyril Valentin in France.

Significant clients Porsche, Merckle, Pearson Group, Pfleiderer, E.ON.

TMT - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Substantial technology and telecoms expertise, covering transactional, data protection, regulatory and competition-related mandates. Also recommended for media, where it often advises clients from the publishing sector. Tremendous TMT practice in Germany and further key teams in Austria, Belgium and the UK. Clients praise the firm's integrated collaboration between offices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the things that really distinguishes the lawyers from others is their strength and depth; there is much more uniformity in the quality of people, from the solicitors right down to the trainees."

Work highlights The Vienna and Brussels offices advised Hutchison 3G in Austria on the EUR1.3 billion acquisition of Orange Austria.

Advised listed business and technology services company Logica on the recommended GBP1.7 billion cash acquisition of Logica by Canadian company CGI.

A cross-border team including the London, Brussels and Vienna offices advised EMI on the sale of its music publishing and recorded music divisions.

Notable practitioners

Key contacts for the practice include Frank Miller in London, Laurent Garzaniti in Brussels and Thomas Tschentscher in Frankfurt.

Significant clients Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sony Pictures, BT, Vodafone.

Banking & Finance - France

Basic facts about the department 
- 5 partners
- 15 associates

What the team is known for Offers significant expertise in investment grade, leveraged, acquisition and real estate finance, as well as corporate finance and restructuring. Acts for both lenders and borrowers, with a particular focus on international and corporate financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm's international network is a huge benefit, and the lawyers know everyone in the market." 

What's new? Emmanuel Ringeval joined the banking and finance team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Finance partner Antonin Besse has retired.

Work highlights Advised the senior management of Alcatel-Lucent on securing a large corporate financing with international banks. Worked on all aspects of the refinancing, from the renegotiation of the revolving credit facility to the implementation of the secured financing, including advising on governance and employment issues. 

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Emmanuel Ringeval recently joined the firm as partner from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he headed the Paris finance practice. He has wide-ranging experience in all areas of bank financing, with a particular focus on leveraged lending and debt restructuring.

Rhéa Christophilopoulos enters the rankings following strong market feedback: "We saw her on a deal this year and things went really well: she kept a cool head even when negotiations got heated. Her attitude meant that we were very willing to compromise and find a solution." 

Significant clients Alcatel-Lucent, BNP Paribas, Cinven, Crédit Agricole CIB, EADS.

Capital Markets - France

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

What the team is known for Recognised for its strength in structured finance, with significant expertise in the establishment of securitisation programmes and the creation of securitisation vehicles. Also active in debt and equity capital markets, assisting clients with transactions related to notes issuances, EMTN programmes and private placements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team does a very good job; I can't find any flaws in its work.

"Efficient, knowledgeable and very business-focused." 

Work highlights Advised Natixis as arranger of a EUR1.15 billion securitisation of factoring receivables, using a French 'fonds commun de titrisation' (mutual fund) as issuing vehicle.

Notable practitioners  

Hervé Touraine has broad capital markets experience, including work on covered bonds and other forms of structured finance. He is highly rated by clients: "He's dedicated and innovative, and an expert in his field. We see him as a business partner of ours, rather than a lawyer."

Fabrice Grillo's practice focuses on debt capital markets and structured finance, and he has notable experience of working on cross-border transactions. Recent deals include advising Lafarge on the restructuring of its French and pan-European securitisation programmes.

Dougall Molson heads the finance team. He handles work in debt capital markets, derivatives and structured finance, including securitisation. He is qualified as a solicitor in the UK and provides support on global capital markets transactions.

Significant clients HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Lafarge, EADS, BNP Paribas.

Competition/European Law - France

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

What the team is known for Particularly visible in antitrust litigation before French and EU competition authorities and courts. Also active in merger control and related disputes as well as state aid cases. Regulatory expertise in the telecoms, energy, pharmaceutical and railway sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We are very satisfied with the firm. It is very responsive and takes into consideration every issue."

"Efficient and focused team." 

Work highlights Acted for Dunamenti Eromu before the EU General Court on a state aid case concerning the Hungarian energy sector.

Advised Russian Railways on the merger control aspects of its EUR800 million acquisition of a stake in GEFCO from PSA Peugeot Citroën.

Notable practitioners  

Clients benefit from Jérôme Philippe's experience working at the French Competition Authority. He is widely respected in the market and undertakes antitrust litigation before the French and EU courts as well as merger control.

Maria Trabucchi moves up the rankings after impressing clients with her business understanding and "excellent strategic overview." "In addition to the competition issues she also considers the business. She is very practical," states a source.

Significant clients EADS, GDF SUEZ, Mars, Brenntag, General Mills.

Corporate/M&A - France

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

What the team is known for One of the leading players for complex cross-border M&A. Clients range from listed companies to investment banks, funds and strategic buyers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
A very good global shop and a safe pair of hands for complex deals.”

A very good firm internationally with a strong reputation in transactional work.”

Work highlights Advised Ardagh Group on its offer and subsequent negotiations for the USD1.7 billion purchase of the share capital in Verallia North America held by Saint-Gobain. 

Notable practitioners 

Hervé Pisani is praised for his prowess in M&A and is described as “very cool, with lots of experience; he can deal with very difficult situations." 

Alan Mason is admired for his broad legal knowledge and standout negotiation skills. One interviewee comments: “He’s a strong generalist who can have a discussion on matters not just M&A-related. He's super-focused and remains calm in negotiations.”

Significant clients GM, Fonds Stratégiques d’Investissement, EADS, Safran, Icade. 

Dispute Resolution - France

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

What the team is known for Market leader for institutional and ad-hoc arbitration cases. Praised for expertise in commercial arbitration, investment disputes arising from multilateral and bilateral treaties, and work on disputes between states.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I'm extremely satisfied. We used the firm because the arbitration was large with a lot at stake and we needed the best."

"The firm we see on the major cases that come up a few times a year, the truly international ones."

Work highlights Represented the government of Chile in an ICJ dispute relating to the maritime boundary between Chile and Peru.

Represented the majority shareholder, a European investment company, of a large Portuguese cement manufacturing company, in an ICC arbitration initiated by a minority shareholder.

Notable practitioners 

Peter Turner heads the arbitration practice. Sources describe him as "an excellent lawyer by all accounts." He specialises in investor-state arbitration and ADR.

Clients value managing partner Elie Kleiman, saying: "He's brilliant. He has a rare quality in that he's extremely sensitive to internal politics and therefore knows the limits of the law within a company, whilst still managing to find a solution."

Clients say of Noah Rubins: "He's very smart, knows all the details of the case, gives very good advice, is always responsive and has time to talk. He's a great lawyer." He leads the firm's worldwide Russia/CIS dispute resolution group.

Significant clients Government of Chile, Kingdom of Cambodia, ConocoPhillips, GDF SUEZ, Lafarge.

Dispute Resolution - France

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

What the team is known for Excellent track record in financial litigation, representing both international and domestic financial institutions in high-profile matters. Also noted for regulatory investigations and commercial litigation expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm is commercial, and very strong in financial litigation as well as regulatory disputes." 

"Business-oriented and willing to negotiate."  

What's new? ABB, WPP, Wolseley, Infineon Technologies and ADPI are all new clients.

Work highlights Advised Deutsche Bank on a series of pre-contentious and contentious matters relating to the sale of derivative products to French municipalities and local authorities.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Elie Kleiman is well known in this sphere. He represents major corporations in the energy sector in crisis management matters as he leads the firm's crisis management group in Paris. He also works on construction disputes.

Practice head Stéphane Bénouville is also the European head of the firm's financial institutions dispute group. Clients say: "He's very tenacious and reactive." 

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Sony, JPMorgan Chase, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Natixis.

Employment - France

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

What the team is known for Prominent in litigation stemming from restructurings and mergers. Advises on relations with works councils, collective redundancies, transfer of employees and integration issues. Other work includes assisting with management retention packages, employee share schemes and pensions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team has sound judgement and deep business understanding; the suggested solutions are very pragmatic."

"It is remarkably responsive; when I call I get an answer immediately."

Work highlights Advised EMI on all employment issues relating to its disposal to Universal.

Notable practitioners  

Clients regard Emmanuel Bénard as an excellent business partner and praise his technical skill. They also benefit from his wide experience and ability to foresee what will happen in court. He is described as "very pragmatic, hard-working and open to finding business solutions."

Significant clients Air Liquide, Bristol Myers Squibb, Crédit Suisse, France Télécom, Microsoft.

Projects - France

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

What the team is known for Enters the rankings thanks to work on prominent mandates and glowing client feedback. Experienced in PPP projects and concessions, in areas as diverse as transport, health and education.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very pragmatic, innovative and really professional; the lawyers have a lot of experience in project finance." 

Work highlights Advised a VINCI-led consortium on its bid for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of the L2 Marseille motorway project.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Pascal Cuche is lauded by clients as "very knowledgeable about the market; he facilitates good team work and really knows what makes a deal bankable." He is noted for his experience in PPP projects and skill in negotiations.

Marc Lordonnois is best known for energy and infrastructure projects.

Up-and-comer Geoffrey Levesque is rated very highly by sources who outline his technical ability and expertise on the financial side of PPP projects.

Significant clients Bouygues Construction, Pathé - OL.

Private Equity - France

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

What the team is known for Acts on both domestic and cross-border private equity transactions including leveraged buyouts and public-to-private transactions. Experience on complex high-end transactions, with significant expertise on private equity-related activities such as bond offerings and derivatives.

Work highlights Advised the management of the Deutsch Group on its sale to TE Connectivity, worth USD2.1 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Key contacts at this practice include Patrick Tardivy and Jean-Claude Cotoni.

Significant clients EQT, Calcium Capital, Qualium Investissement.

Public Law - France

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

What the team is known for Accomplished team well versed across all fields of public law including planning and regulatory authorisations, contracts and public sector restructuring. Developing expertise in regulated sectors such as energy and transport. 

Work highlights Representing Bombardier Transport in connection with rail transport public procurement, namely the Regio2N and NAT contracts.

Notable practitioners 

"A very recognised name within the market," department head Pascal Cuche retains his sound reputation within public law amongst peers. Clients also note his proficiency, acknowledging that they "would rely on him for precise advice."

Marc Lordonnois demonstrates particular skill in matters relating to the public law aspects of energy, infrastructure projects and regulatory issues. He is described by sources as "very pragmatic - he always tries to find a solution."

Significant clients VINCI, CDC, Antin Infrastructure Partners.

Tax - France

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

What the team is known for Provides assistance with domestic and cross-border transactional tax matters. Significant areas of expertise include corporate finance, M&A, investments, real estate and structured finance. Clients range from financial institutions to REITs and multinationals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
 "Visible on complex matters recently."

Work highlights Advised Euro Disney on the tax aspects of its EUR1.3 billion refinancing scheme.

Notable practitioners  

Antoine Colonna d'Istria is dual-qualified in France and the USA. His expertise covers international tax matters, including transactional work. He also represents clients in contentious matters before the tax authorities. Interviewees are quick to praise him: "He's superb - very hard-working, up to speed on all the latest matters, very keen to help his clients and responsive around the clock."

Group head Cyril Valentin focuses on the tax aspects of transactions, including M&A, LBOs and real estate deals. Recent highlights include advising Icade on its combination with Silic.

Significant clients JSC Russian Railways, Ardagh, Total, Morgan Stanley.

Banking & Finance - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners in acquisition finance and bank lending in Germany and 1 based in New York
- 3 partners in asset finance
- 3 partners in regulatory
- 15 associates in acquisition finance and bank lending in Germany and 2 based in New York
- 8 associates in asset finance
- 7 associates in regulatory
- 2 counsel in regulatory

What the team is known for Tremendous expertise in acquisition finance and syndicated lending, regulatory and aviation matters, with additional strength in the rail sector. Benefits from the firm's excellent corporate and restructuring practices.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We were very satisfied with Freshfields – the lawyers do not easily give up their position and they stand by their principles. We had the confidence they would take care of our interests."

"Definitely a leading firm."  

Work highlights Advised Linde on the USD4.5 billion acquisition financing of the proposed takeover of US home care health company Lincare Holdings.

Advised BayernLB on the carve-out and sale of the Bayerische Landesbausparkasse to the Sparkassenverband Bayern.

Notable practitioners  

Dirk Schmalenbach remains a leading name in aviation asset financing. He recently advised Air Berlin on its strategic co-operation with Etihad Airways.

The "excellent" Yorck Jetter advises clients on acquisition financings and debt restructurings. His recent work includes advising Linde on the USD4.5 billion acquisition financing of the proposed takeover of Lincare.

Leading regulatory lawyer Gunnar Schuster recently advised Guggenheim Partners on the proposed acquisition of parts of its asset management business from Deutsche Bank. His expertise lies in banking regulation insurance and investment funds.

Sources recommend Konrad Schott for his expertise in both aviation and rail asset financings. Clients report: "He is truly outstanding intellectually, not only in aircraft finance but in general. He is very business-minded and really understands the client's needs." His recent activity includes advising Lufthansa on a leveraged French lease financing for the first Boeing 747-8i.

Ernst Thomas Emde provides ongoing regulatory advice to a number of financial and credit institutions, asset managers and corporates. Recent clients include GEFA Gesellschaft für Absatzfinanzierung and Reisebank.

Sources say Frank Laudenklos is particularly visible when acting for borrowers in debt finance transactions, adding: "He absolutely stands out – really top." His recent mandates include advising energy management and billing provider Techem Group on its EUR1.3 billion refinancing of existing debt.

Clients praise up-and-coming finance lawyer Mario Hüther for the high level of client service he offers, saying: "He is very informative, helpful and also thinks like the client – in this way, he can expand the horizon of a discussion when necessary." Highlights from the past twelve months include advising Charterhouse Capital Partners on its EUR348 million financing of the acquisition of BARTEC group.

Significant clients Charterhouse Capital Partners, Techem Group, Air Berlin, Guggenheim Partners, DVB Bank. 

Capital Markets - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners in equity, 4 in debt, 2 in structured finance and securitisation
- 10 associates in debt, 6 in structured finance and securitisation

What the team is known for An international powerhouse and market leader in debt and equity capital markets. Also highly recommended for structured finance and securitisation work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Obviously strong and very active on behalf of the issuer side."

"Very strong in equity – definitely correct in Band 1."

Work highlights Advised energy billing and management services provider Techem Group on its EUR1.3 billion debt refinancing.

Advised holding company Lavena Holding 1 on the EUR485 million sale of 19.7 million non-voting preferred shares in ProSiebenSat.1 Media.

Assisted Deutsche Bundesbank (acting for the Eurosystem) with the realisation of collateral provided by the Lehman Group prior to insolvency. The collateral comprises the full spectrum of securitisation structures. 

Notable practitioners  

Securitisation-focused Andreas Bartsch remains a standout name in structured finance and derivatives. He recently advised Vitus Group on the refinancing of its multi-family housing portfolio, a transaction involving a EUR754 million CMBS and a mezzanine loan provided by a European institutional investor.

Andreas König remains active in both debt and equity capital markets transactions. His recent mandates include advising 3i on the EUR109 million placing of approximately 5.3 million shares of Norma Group with institutional investors.

Market observers regard Rick van Aerssen as a pre-eminent figure in German equity capital markets, highlighting his commercial awareness as a particular strength. He recently advised Lavena Holding 1 on the sale of shares in ProSiebenSat.1 Media.  

The "great and very experienced" Mark Strauch remains a respected presence in equity capital markets and recently formed part of the team advising Deutsche Bank on the EUR451 million capital increase of German food group Südzucker. He is US-qualified and frequently advises on the US aspects of the group's capital markets transactions.

Bernhard Kaiser's recent instructions include advising the Deutsche Bundesbank on the realisation of collateral provided by the Lehman Group.

Christoph Gleske is visible and active in both debt and equity capital markets work. Sources describe him as "very knowledgeable and easy to work with, with a good deal flow." Recent months saw him advise Lufthansa on the EUR307 million private placing of 3.61% of the shares in Amadeus IT Holding.

Significant clients Commerzbank, DZ Bank, JPMorgan, HOCHTIEF, Vitus Group.

Competition/European Law - Germany

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

What the team is known for Global powerhouse appreciated for its broad international presence and sizeable competition practice, as well as its prolific activity. The antitrust, competition and trade practice group handles complex merger cases, antitrust investigations and defence against cartel damage claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Pre-eminent firm for competition law in Germany."

"The firm provides high-level advice in multiple fields of practice. We consider Freshfields to be a first-class law firm for complex international transactions where comprehensive advice in a number of jurisdictions is required in a relatively short period of time."

What's new? Frank Röhling is a new partner and Roland Stein a new counsel, both in the Berlin office. Recently won new client Frontiers Media.

Work highlights Advised E.ON on its challenge to the European Commission’s decision to impose a EUR553 million fine for its alleged infringement of EU competition law.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Gerhard Wiedemann continues to act as senior consultant on many of the firm's key mandates, including its advice to E.ON on its alleged infringement of EU competition law.

Co-heading the global antitrust, competition and trade group, Martin Klusmann continues to provide merger control advice on ThyssenKrupp's EUR2.7 billion sale of Inoxum to Outokumpu. Sources say: "He is very knowledgeable about the industry and is quick and creative."

Leading practitioner Frank Montag is described by impressed interviewees as "one of the best known and most respected lawyers in Brussels."

Helmut Bergmann recently advised Mars on two antitrust investigation proceedings initiated by the German FCO. Market observers say: "Helmut Bergmann is a very experienced and convincing antitrust lawyer. It is a pleasure to work with him."

Interviewees praise Burkhard Richter for his "excellent knowledge of competition law, hands-on approach, and substantial experience of dealing with the respective agencies."

Thomas Lübbig leads the Berlin competition practice, focusing on state aid and antitrust law in addition to merger control.

Tobias Klose heads the practice in the Düsseldorf office. He recently led the firm's work for E.ON in seeking the annulment of the European Commission’s imposed EUR553 million fine.  

Splitting his time between Cologne and Brussels, Michael Esser is highly respected for his advice on competition cases with a cross-border element. Interviewees confirm: "He is very professional and thoughtful and will not hesitate to point out issues and concerns or ask difficult questions. He understands the complexity of our business and ensures that other team members are similarly informed." He recently represented Liberty Global before the Court of Appeals in Düsseldorf following Deutsche Telekom's appeal against the FCO’s decision to clear the takeover of Kabel BW.

Peter Niggemann defended the AGC Group (Asahi Glass Company) against damages claims following the so-called car glass cartel.

Significant clients Axel Springer, Air Berlin, Mars, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp. 

Corporate/M&A - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 50 partners
- 4 counsel
- 120 associates

What the team is known for Market-leading global firm with exceptional strength in cross-border and domestic transactions. Top choice for large, complex matters requiring expertise in regulated industries such as energy, finance and infrastructure. Able to provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of a deal thanks to support from other top-ranked departments such as dispute resolution and tax.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Always fast, thorough and excellent quality work. The lawyers are very service-minded."

"The team does a fantastic job on the technical side."

Work highlights Represented E.ON in the EUR1.3 billion sale of its interest in Slovakian energy company SPP to Czech energy company Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH).

Advised KfW on its EUR1.7 billion purchase of a stake in EADS. This was a high-profile deal involving the firm's Dutch and French offices in addition to the German team.

Notable practitioners  

Andreas Fabritius is widely acknowledged as a leading figure in the market. Sources say: "His wealth of experience enables him to find very creative solutions."

Matthias-Gabriel Kremer's scope of expertise covers public and private M&A and corporate reorganisations. He recently advised BWK on automotive parts company Mahle's acquisition of a majority shareholding in cooling systems manufacturer Behr.

Sources describe Christoph Seibt as a "knowledgeable and elegant lawyer." He recently represented CVC Capital Partners in the sale of a 62% stake in Elster Group to Melrose.

Department head Christoph von Bülow is considered an extremely strong corporate lawyer. He formed part of the team advising on E.ON's sale of its interest in SPP to EPH.  

Interviewees view Nils Matthias Koffka as an active figure in the market, particularly on the private equity side.

Ludwig Leyendecker's recent highlights include advising EQT on its EUR1.8 billion acquisition of BSN Medical.

Stephan Waldhausen recently advised Oerlikon Group on the sale of its natural fibres and textile components business units to Jinsheng Group. Clients describe him as a "fantastic guy – very pragmatic, and smart in terms of interpersonal skills."

Marius Berenbrok recently assisted the Albert-Ballin Konsortium with its acquisition of Hapag-Lloyd shares.

Significant clients Continental, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp.

Dispute Resolution - Germany

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

What the team is known for Outstanding track record in high-stakes domestic and international disputes. Particularly strong in the financial services sector, and highly sought for banking litigation and arbitration mandates. Recommended by clients for its clear and practical advice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team was very approachable and quick to respond, and co-ordinated the work and the information flow very well internally. For example, if we were to contact one member of the team to describe an important piece of evidence or explain a specific fact, we knew the whole team would be updated and we wouldn’t need to explain it to each person separately."

"The Freshfields lawyers take all the time necessary to understand the commercial problems underlying a case, and have mastered very complex financial transactions - they are able to explain these to the courts in such a way that even a judge not used to this type of litigation can easily understand."

Work highlights Advised Air Berlin on damage claims related to the delayed opening of the planned Berlin-Brandenburg airport.

Represented a number of German broadband providers in proceedings with a German telecommunications company aimed at reducing the cost of the co-use of cable ducts.

Notable practitioners  

Sources pick out Rolf Trittmann as a highly visible and effective arbitrator and arbitration counsel, saying: "He is extremely prominent in the market and does excellent work." On the litigation side, he continues to lead high-profile mandates, recently advising Air Berlin on damage claims regarding the delayed opening of the planned Berlin-Brandenburg airport.

Market commentators praise Christian Duve for his banking litigation work: "He is brilliant because he has an atypical approach – he thinks around corners to get to the right ideas and find another solution." Clients highlight his strategic ability as a key strength.  

Boris Kasolowsky recently became head of the firm's German disputes department. Clients are impressed with his ability to think on his feet, saying: "As he listens to or reads the facts of the case, he simultaneously formulates the approach that he would take to develop the argument or respond to a counterargument in his head."

Thomas Kreifels has been busy with a number of major cartel follow-on damage claims of late, but also has a strong focus on product and professional liability law.

Significant clients Siemens, Deutsche Bank, HSH Nordbank, Volkswagen, BayernLB.

Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Crime - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners

What the team is known for Highly recommended for large cross-border investigations, offering an outstanding international network and sizeable global team. Well equipped to support clients in both internal and external investigations, and active in establishing and reviewing compliance management programmes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I have been extremely impressed with the entire German white-collar team. The lawyers are very smart, practical and efficient, and are able to handle a very large matter with severe time constraints and pressures and enormous document review needs quite effectively. Sometimes a major white-collar matter requires strong project management skills, and this has also proved to be one of the firm's big assets. It could easily handle any size of matter." 

What's new? Two former public prosecutors recently joined the team.

Notable practitioners

Christian Duve, based in the Frankfurt office, is a key contact for the department.

Employment - Germany

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

What the team is known for A popular choice for employment advice on cross-border as well as German transactions thanks to the firm's impressive global presence. Combines considerable expertise and experience in post-transactional employment matters with strength in boardroom advice and co-determination issues. Further areas of expertise include pensions and benefits.

Work highlights Advised RWE on the employment aspects of the transfer of business activities relating to coal, gas and biomass to RWE Generation. The project required co-ordination across ten EU member states.

Acted for BayernLB on the carve-out and sale of Landesbausparkasse Bayern to Sparkassenverband Bayern, which involved the transfer of over 700 employees. Also provided advice on social security and company pensions.  

Notable practitioners  

Commentators consider regional managing partner Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt an "excellent" and highly active figure in the German employment market. His areas of focus include advising on the termination of service contracts and remuneration schemes for board members and senior executives.

Düsseldorf-based Heinz Josef Willemsen played a leading role in advising RWE on the transfer of its coal, gas and biomass businesses to RWE Generation, as well as assisting BayernLB with the sale of Landesbausparkasse Bayern to Sparkassenverband Bayern.

Clients describe Thomas Müller-Bonanni as "clear, direct and strategic – a pleasure to work with." He receives praise for his strength in collective bargaining law.

Cologne-based René Döring is a highly regarded pensions lawyer. He recently handled the pensions aspects of Sparkassenverband Bayern's acquisition of Landesbausparkasse Bayern.

Significant clients UPS, BP, Puma, Unilever, Weight Watchers.

Energy - Germany

What the team is known for Top-ranked energy group, best known for advising big-name multinationals and domestic enterprises on major projects and transactions. Highly active on the regulatory side, and well known for its leading role in contentious matters such as gas price arbitrations. Also noted for its strong renewables practice, which is primarily active in the offshore wind sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team has great commercial thinking and is also very practical and solution-oriented."

"At partner level this team is really strong."

Work highlights Advised Charterhouse Capital Partners on the EUR3.1 billion sale of German-based energy metering firm ista International to private equity investor CVC Capital Partners.

Advised Det Norske Veritas on its merger with Germanischer Lloyd.

Notable practitioners  

Ulrich Scholz co-heads Freshfields' global energy and regulatory practice. Clients say: "His main strengths lie in his in-depth knowledge of the energy business, as well as his understanding of the problem at hand and changes to the law and regulatory regime." He recently led a team representing E.ON, RWE and lignite producer Mibrag in litigation against a regulatory system introduced by the German Network Agency in relation to re-dispatch of power plants.

Significant clients Windreich, TenneT, RWE, E.ON, DONG Energy.

Life Sciences - Germany

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

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation in the life sciences sector for negotiating new licensing agreements for biotechnology companies. Considerable experience in big-ticket M&A work for biotech and pharmaceutical clients. Building an impressive client list of pharmaceutical companies who rely on the firm for patent law advice, and increasingly visible providing corporate advice to clients in the healthcare sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"If you are working under time pressure you can be sure that Freshfields will do everything to meet the deadlines."

"The lawyers are creative, proactive and approach us with ideas about how to help more."

Work highlights Advised Morphosys on the out-licensing of MOR202, an antibody for the treatment of multiple melanoma and leukaemia that is still in clinical trials. In addition to upfront and milestone payments of EUR628 million, the buyer Celgene made an equity investment in Morphosys.

Advised EQT on the EUR1.8 billion acquisition of BSN medical from Montagu Private Equity.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say Jochen Dieselhorst "brings practical experience to the table and is very constructive in negotiations." He is most active on licence agreements, including leading on the firm's trophy out-licensing deal for Morphosys, which required co-ordination with the firm's antitrust partners in the Washington office.

Peers note that Marcel Kaufmann "is advising on a very broad range of legal areas" across healthcare and life sciences. He recently assisted Sonova with a test case on the requirement for doctor participation in the distribution of hearing aids. 

Significant clients Boehringer Ingelheim, Smith & Nephew, Morphosys, Scil Group, Pfizer.

Insurance - Germany

Basic facts about the department 
- 12 partners
- 15 associates

What the team is known for Superb transactional practice that advises on M&A and IPOs in the insurance sector. Also active on contentious mandates including defending clients against mass litigation cases. Other work includes risk analysis of new multinational products and regulatory advice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We were very impressed by the firm's ability to set up an interoffice team of such high calibre." 

Work highlights Advised JPMorgan on a group-wide life insurance agreement for its employees.

Assisted Nomura International with security lending agreements and related regulatory restrictions.

Notable practitioners  

Wessel Heukamp maintains his standing in the market and is particularly commended for transactional work. Of late he has been assisting a consortium of banks including Deutsche Bank, Citi and JPMorgan on the IPO of Talanx. He is also global head of the firm’s insurance group.

Regulatory expert Gunnar Schuster "provides exceptionally clear and practical advice; he is always accessible and is very accommodating of our needs," enthuses one interviewee. He recently advised Heidelberger Lebensversicherung on several unit-linked insurance products.

Significant clients Generali, Gothaer Lebensversicherung, R+V Versicherung, Swiss Re, Zurich.

Intellectual Property - Germany

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for trade mark law with notable strength in patent litigation. Particular expertise in the technology, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very professional team with solid expertise – the lawyers are very reliable and always well prepared."

What's new? New client wins include ThyssenKrupp and Starbucks joint venture Krüger.

Work highlights Represented Nokia Siemens Network in several patent litigation cases.

Advised 3M on trade mark and unfair competition law including defence of its corporate logo and advice on look-alike products.

Notable practitioners  

Co-leading the patents team is Frank-Erich Hufnagel who recently headed the firm's work for Nokia Siemens Network in numerous patent litigation cases.

Andrea Lensing-Kramer co-heads the brands protection team. She recently advised Weight Watchers on trade mark infringements and applications, as well as copyright matters.

Patent litigation head Peter Chrocziel, impresses clients: "A very fine lawyer – he is knowledgeable, diligent, responsive and has good judgement. All of the characteristics you like to see in a lawyer."

Department head Matthias Koch specialises in trade mark and unfair competition law and strategic brand litigation. Clients say: "He has shown outstanding legal expertise and excellent tactical skill, both in advisory work and in litigation."

Significant clients Mars, Microsoft, Seat Deutschland, Sara Lee, Colgate Palmolive.

Investment Funds - Germany

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

What the team is known for International giant, highly active in advising foreign UCITS funds on the notification process for their public distribution in Germany, as well as external portfolio managers on the regulatory framework for managing German investment funds.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We would definitely recommend Freshfields in Germany – the firm really stands out for its fund business."

What's new? New client wins for the team include China Asset Management (Hong Kong), Renaissance Asset Managers and Susquehanna International Group.  

Work highlights Advised FIL Finance Services on the legal requirements for advisory services to fund investors.

Notable practitioners  

The experienced Gunnar Schuster focuses on capital markets, banking regulation insurance and investment funds. He recently advised Ashmore Investment Management on the distribution of foreign funds, as well as German regulatory requirements for external portfolio managers of German funds.

Sources say Ernst Thomas Emde is "a very experienced lawyer in the field of investment funds who really pushes the boundaries of what can be done." In a recent highlight he advised BNY Mellon on establishing collateral management for securities lending transactions of investment funds.

Of late, counsel Alexandra Dreibus has been involved in some of the firm's key mandates, including advising new client China Asset Management on its asset management activities.  

Significant clients Banque Degroof Luxembourg, BlackRock, ING Investment Management Belgium, Merrill Lynch International, The Blackstone Group.  

Private Equity - Germany

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

What the team is known for Heavyweight private equity practice handling market-leading transactions with a cross-border dimension. Acts for both buy-side and sell-side clients on carve outs, mixed share and asset deals and auction procedures. Visible on a number of buy-outs in the pharmaceutical sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is great: committed and commercially savvy." 

Work highlights Advised Providence on its acquisition of HSE24 from AXA Private Equity.

Advised Advent International on the acquisition of Cytec Industries' Coating Resins business.

Notable practitioners 

Nils Matthias Koffka has experience of advising private equity firms on complicated debt-for-equity structures. He also co-heads the firm's infrastructure and transport group.

Andreas von Werder assists private equity firms, vendors and management with a range of matters including venture capital transactions and leveraged buyouts.

Practice head Ludwig Leyendecker "plays an important role in the team." He was co-lead partner advising Charterhouse Capital Partners on the EUR3.1 billion sale of ista International to CVC Capital Partners.  

Anselm Raddatz handles many sizeable deals, including acting for Triton on its sale of Rütgers to Rain CII. He is co-head of the global energy and natural resources sector group.

Andreas Fabritius is an experienced corporate lawyer who works with private equity sponsors. Other clients include banks, sovereign wealth funds and government agencies.

Markus Paul impresses peers with his performance on a variety of private equity transactions. He brings experience of advising clients in emerging markets.

Corporate partner Ferdinand Fromholzer advises private equity funds alongside major German corporates. Another aspect of his practice is assisting with internal compliance investigations.

Oliver von Rosenberg is visible on several major transactions. He acted for CVC Capital Partners on the listing of Evonik in Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

Significant clients KKR, EQT Partners, Charterhouse Capital Partners, Permira, BC Partners. 

Projects - Germany

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

What the team is known for Top-ranked project finance practice with a growing focus on ECA-covered transactions in addition to its core workload of classic project financing and PPP deals, supported by the firm's strong regulatory practice. Offers a high level of international experience, having recently advised on projects in Greece, Venezuela and Uruguay as well as Germany, utilising extensive English law expertise in the firm's Frankfurt office to support outbound deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The Freshfields team did a tremendous job guiding us through and wording the loan contract appropriately." 

"Champions League when it comes to legal advice." 

Work highlights Advised the Public Power Corporation of Greece on a EUR740 million export bond loan financing of equipment and components for a lignite-fired power plant in Ptolemaida, Greece.

Advised BBVA, KfW IPEX-Bank and Société Générale on the second phase of the Hermes covered debt financing of a steel mill in Venezuela.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Reichert-Facilides is universally acknowledged as an exceptionally strong project finance lawyer, with an outstanding reputation in the German market and internationally. Sources say: "He is really a star. He is instrumental in working towards a consensus with the different parties and is great at explaining and articulating various issues and solutions."

Sources note Michael Schäfer for his PPP expertise. His recent mandates include assisting a bidder with the project contract and project bond structure for the A-model A7 motorway extension project.

Public Law - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 7 counsel
- 30 associates

What the team is known for A strong regulatory and disputes offering focused on the energy industry, especially nuclear and renewable power. Market-leading water law and soil contamination expertise. Advises on industry and infrastructure projects and has robust international capabilities. Also highly recommended for public procurement matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm constantly performs up to its own high standards; I strongly recommend it."

"Freshfields is a top firm in this area."  

Work highlights Assisted RWE with its case against the reversal of the 2010 extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants.

Advised Borealis on environmental and permitting issues related to its recent acquisition of Dutch business DEXPlastomers.

Notable practitioners  

Sources recognise Hans-Joachim Prieß as a "big name" in public procurement. Clients are extremely appreciative of his "practical, high-level advice," adding: "He's a good team player, listens to the client and is really quick at understanding business needs."

Sources describe department head Wolf Friedrich Spieth as "a strong lawyer who is very fluent when it comes to water law and soil contamination issues." He recently advised Borealis on its acquisition of DEXPlastomers.

Interviewees continue to recommend Benedikt Wolfers, noting his involvement in "high-profile cases, especially advising the public banking sector and federal institutions."

Clients describe Herbert Posser as "an excellent choice for environment law, well connected with the authorities." Sources highlight nuclear energy as a particular area of expertise.  

Marcel Kaufmann's broad and highly regarded regulatory and public litigation practice is recognised in the public law table for the first time this year. His expertise encompasses healthcare, life sciences, transport, energy and environmental law. "He's technically top-notch while remaining pragmatic, which is rare in public law," say clients.

Significant clients RWE, Niedersachsische Staatsforsten, BayernLB, Air Berlin, Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Bergbau-Verwertungsgesellschaft.

Real Estate - Germany

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

What the team is known for Leverages its formidable reputation in high-end transactions to attract some of the largest corporate deals in the German real estate market, advising a diverse mix of major private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Active on impressive portfolio and single asset deals, in addition to project developments and commercial leases. Draws on the expertise of an exceptionally strong group of real estate partners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Quality-wise, Freshfields has some of the finest partners in the real estate market."

"One of the leading firms and very active, especially in Hamburg."

Work highlights Assisted Prime Office REIT with its proposed merger with Oaktree Capital Management German Real Estate Holding.

Advised Primark on its ongoing expansion into the German market with the negotiation and conclusion of 12 long-term lease agreements in cities across Germany.

Notable practitioners  

Clients and peers alike consider Johannes Conradi to be "one of the leading real estate partners in Germany." Clients particularly appreciate that "his practice spans both M&A and real estate and he is at the top of each discipline." He further stands out for his "unique ability to anticipate what his clients want from him and then negotiate the commercial points." In addition to advising on some of the firm's most sensitive mandates, Conradi recently advised AEW Europe on the sale of a logistics portfolio comprising Dutch and German properties to Canadian Granite REIT.

Friedrich Heilmann stands out for his work on major cross-border portfolio transactions. Recent highlights include advice to Queens Moat Houses on the sale of a portfolio of 20 hotels across Germany to the Israeli Fattal Hotels group. Satisfied clients say: "We really have the impression that he is always one step in front; it is always a good feeling working with him."

Significant clients The Blackstone Group, Cerberus, Morgan Stanley, Oaktree Capital Management, Perella Weinberg.

Real Estate - Germany

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

What the team is known for Best known for its involvement in sizeable, big-ticket financings and refinancings, where the real estate finance team frequently works in conjunction with tax and corporate colleagues. Particularly visible assisting some of the largest international private equity funds with acquisition financings and major restructurings of distressed debt portfolios.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We use the firm for the largest, most complex transactions with regulatory or capital markets aspects." 

"The lawyers don't over-complicate things and keep costs in mind when looking at matters that are quite straightforward."

Work highlights Advised the ad hoc committee of noteholders of Deutsche Annington on the refinancing of the GRAND loan portfolio, one of the largest European CMBS financings.

Advised German real estate manager IVG Immobilien on the restructuring of its EUR4.2 billion debt portfolio prior to negotiating its refinancing.

Notable practitioners  

Top-ranked Andreas Bartsch continues to enjoy an excellent reputation for structured finance transactions in the real estate sector. His recent mandates include advising Hypothekenbank Frankfurt on the early repayment of a EUR550 million CMBS-structured loan that had been held against the Leo II property portfolio.

Clients describe real estate group head Frank Laudenklos as "an intelligent and capable lawyer with the ability to really pull things together in complicated contracts." He played an important role in the firm's advice to The Blackstone Group on its unsuccessful bid for the EUR1.5 billion Project Hampton real estate loan portfolio, sold by Lloyds Banking Group.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 28 associates

What the team is known for Recognised for advising clients on significant and complex deals, and representing both creditors and debtors. Particular expertise with cross-border mandates. Noted for close ties with colleagues in London.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the market-leading practices in this area."

Work highlights Advised on the financial and operational restructuring of Pfleiderer, a matter valued at EUR900 million.

Assisted Alcentra with the leveraged buy-out of fashion company Basler, in a mandate worth approximately EUR200 million.

Notable practitioners  

Excellent market feedback sees "brilliant restructuring lawyer" Lars Westpfahl rise to a star ranking. Sources describe him as "a very strong negotiator in complex situations, possessing very in-depth knowledge." He recently advised German home improvement group Praktiker on its refinancing and restructuring.

Significant clients Amtek Auto, Deutsche Annington, IVG Immobilien, Praktiker, Q-Cells.

Tax - Germany

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 5 counsel
- 40 associates

What the team is known for Advises high-profile companies and financial institutions on corporate tax, major private equity transactions, financial restructuring, structured finance and litigation. Cross-border tax work is facilitated by the firm's impressive international network.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The first firm we'd go to would be Freshfields. It keeps adding value by bringing new ideas."

"The Freshfields tax practice is large, which is good because you have an expert in every field and the critical mass within the department. Tax is not ancillary but a core function."

Work highlights Advised Oerlikon on the EUR550 million sale of Natural Fibers and Textile Components to Chinese group Jinsheng.

Assisted EQT Partners with tax issues related to its EUR1.8 billion acquisition of BSN medical from Montagu Private Equity.

Notable practitioners

Stephan Eilers remains one of the most respected and sought-after advisers in Germany. Clients note that he always has his finger on the pulse: "He knows if there are any new developments on an international or European level. This is really helpful."

Sources rate Holger Häuselmann highly for his work on complex financial products. "Technically, he's absolutely brilliant," say interviewees.

Highly recommended partner Jochen Lüdicke "tends to be a favourite in board rooms, big corporations and German Mittelstand companies," according to market observers. Lüdicke recently represented E.ON in challenging the nuclear fuel elements tax before the Hamburg and Federal tax courts.

Clients are impressed by Jan Brinkmann's technical ability and powers of persuasion. He often advises major banks.

Wilfried Schaefer is a prominent tax lawyer known for his advice to financial institutions, as well as blue-chip corporates such as Porsche.

Sources describe practice head Norbert Schneider as "a thorough worker who gets to the heart of the issues." Clients recommend him for corporate reorganisations.

Tobias Teufel formed part of the team assisting Porsche with its recent corporate reorganisation. Interviewees describe him as "skilful and intelligent."

Significant clients Oerlikon, EQT Partners, Barclays, Porsche, E.ON.

TMT - Germany

What the team is known for Impressive TMT team with formidable strength in telecoms, technology and media matters. Often assists with substantial outsourcings, and is also a strong choice for multinational M&A deals in the IT arena. In media, it is particularly popular with clients from the publishing and broadcasting industries, advising on large-scale transactions, litigation and regulatory matters. The team is at its strongest in the telecoms sector, where it has recently been involved in high-profile cable deals and regulatory proceedings, and is supported by the firm's market-leading competition group.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A pragmatic team which does not exaggerate the legal risks of a project. It gives us advice on how to deal with issues without making things too complex. We really appreciate that the lawyers keep things as simple as possible."

Work highlights Advised global WiFi network Fon Wireless on its partnership with Deutsche Telekom.

Acted for Lavena Holding 1 on the sale of 19.7 million non-voting preferred shares in ProSiebenSat.1 Media.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say media lawyer Klaus Beucher "is very internationally oriented," adding: "He has a really good sense of the peculiarities of foreign countries and a real feel for combining business targets with legal requirements." He regularly advises RTL on regulatory issues.

Thomas Tschentscher "provides outstanding service and business-focused advice," enthuse clients. He provides Vodafone with ongoing advice on regulatory and commercial TMT matters.

Clients note Jochen Dieselhorst's litigation work. He also handles outsourcing projects and IT matters, and recently assisted Peek & Cloppenburg with the launch of its online store.

Michael Haidinger's recent work includes advising Liberty Global and Unitymedia Kabel on various regulatory and commercial issues, including further potential mergers in the cable sector.

Peter Chrocziel is a highly regarded patent litigator, whose clients include global electronics and software companies.

Norbert Nolte co-heads the firm's TMT group. His highlights from recent months include representing Fon Wireless in its partnership with Deutsche Telekom.

Significant clients Hewlett-Packard, Liberty Global, Microsoft, RTL Group, Vodafone.

Banking & Finance - Italy

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

What the team is known for Particularly noted for cross-border work, and involved in a large number of high-yield transactions and export finance deals. Predominantly acts for clients who operate in finance, private equity and real estate.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It works well under pressure and provides very good work within a short timeframe." 

"Precise, direct and efficient. Great client care with a practical approach."

What's new? New client wins include Amtek Auto, Techem, Vestas Wind Systems and Wells Fargo Securities.

Work highlights Advised Wells Fargo on the multimillion-pound financing for Bonney Forge for the acquisition of B.F.E., a company that manufactures industrial valves.

Acted for Permira on the EUR700 million sale of Valentino Fashion Group to Mayhoola for Investments.

Notable practitioners 

Corrado Angelelli is described as "an expert in structured finance and securitisation – efficient and highly knowledgeable." He recently advised KION on a partial refinancing by means of a high-yield bond issue.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, One Equity Partners, CBRE Global Investors, Permira, Morgan Stanley.

Capital Markets - Italy

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

What the team is known for Fields a specialised structured finance team in its Italian offices. The group is involved in the full spectrum of deals in the market including securitisation, structured products and tax structured products.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Its global expertise was of the high calibre we required." 

"We have done complex transactions and the team takes on all our work. In terms of the lawyers' ability, we are satisfied and we would never go to a different firm." 

Work highlights Advised Rottapharm on the issue of EUR400 million senior notes due 2019 listed on the GEM of the Irish stock exchange.

Notable practitioners  

Corrado Angelelli brings broad banking and finance knowledge to his capital markets activity. He is popular with clients, who describe him as "knowledgeable, extremely calm in negotiations, balanced, and very adept at handling clients." 

Emiliano Conio assists clients with structured products, securities and derivatives, playing a key role in the firm's securitisation practice. Clients are quick to praise his affable nature: "He is efficient, but also friendly, open and very available. It is a pleasure to work with him." 

Significant clients Crédit Agricole, Fitch Ratings, RBS, Rottapharm.

Competition/European Law - Italy

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

What the team is known for Excellent track record in competition and EU law, adept at handling everything from IAA investigations and regulatory matters to EU and Italian merger filings. Attracts a healthy mix of Italian and international clients and is particularly active in the energy and transportation sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Used to working with international clients so the quality of service is really of a high standard." 

"The team displayed great effort and commitment and I don't think it could have done any better, especially considering it was a very complicated transaction."  

What's new? Numerous client additions include Cinven, Avio, FMC Corporation and Heinz. Opened an antitrust, competition and trade desk in Milan.

Work highlights Represented Deutsche Bahn and its Italian subsidiary Schenker Italiana in a judicial proceeding brought by DHL before the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance, regarding the outcome of a cartel investigation brought by the IAA.

Acted for 2iGas Infrastruttura Italiana Gas and E.ON Italia on an IAA investigation into bid rigging in the gas distribution sector. The team then successfully represented E.ON Italia in the Italian Administrative Court of First Instance appeal.

Notable practitioners  

With previous experience working for the IAA, Tommaso Salonico is a highly respected authority in the sphere. "He is very confident and calm which really instils confidence," says a source.

Gian Luca Zampa is "quick, available and very good at simplifying things," note interviewees. A recent work highlight saw him assist Cinven and Avio with EU and US antitrust investigations relating to its sale of Avio’s Italy-based civil and military aviation business.

Notable practitioners A2A, Iren, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp Group, E.ON.

Corporate/M&A - Italy

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

What the team is known for A solid track record representing domestic and foreign clients in cross-border M&A deals. Appreciated for being able to tap into an extensive international network. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Can work under pressure and provides very good work in a short timeframe."

"Used to working with international clients so the quality of the service is of a really high standard."

"A strong team from top to bottom." 

What's new? Zambon Group, Lloyds TSB and CVC Capital Partners are new clients.

Work highlights Advised Cinven on the EUR3.3 billion sale of Avio's Italy-based civil and military aviation business to Nuovo Pignone, a company that forms a part of GE.

Assisted Advent International with the USD1.15 billion acquisition of Cytec's Coating Resins business, a company that has Europe-wide operations.

Notable practitioners 

The "consistently solid and reliable" Nicola Asti rises in the rankings owing to many strong recommendations and a presence on a large number of big-ticket deals, including the Cinven transaction.

Commentators agree that Massimo Benedettelli is "good at understanding the needs of his clients. He's attentive and proactive at pointing out problems."

Significant clients Cinven, Prelios, CVC Capital Partners, Hewlett-Packard, UniCredit.

Since publication, Massimo Benedettelli has joined ARBLIT

Dispute Resolution - Italy

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

What the team is known for Highly recommended for financial litigation, and a strong focus on global investigations and arbitration. Frequently co-operates with overseas offices on cases requiring cross-border expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Extremely reliable, works well as a team and excellent international coverage."

"A go-to firm for international arbitration since it's involved in many important cases."

What's new? Vossloh Kiepe, Petrofac and EADS are new additions to the team's client portfolio. It has also been appointed to the global litigation panel of UniCredit.

Work highlights Represented Bally Gaming Netherlands II and Bally Italy in two arbitrations brought by HBG Connex following some regulatory issues arising from the supply of an electronic gaming system. The total value of the proceedings was EUR300 million.

Notable practitioners 

Glowing client feedback sees Enrico Castellani rise to the top of the rankings. "He is extremely good – I think he is one of the best in Italy. He has a good understanding of how the regulators think and is quick, smart and communicates well," asserts one satisfied client.

Fabrizio Arossa represents corporate and financial clients from across Europe and the USA. Commentators appreciate his ability to give a broad overview on cases, noting that "he collects together all the different points of view and then challenges and develops them."

Giuseppe Curtò is widely appreciated by clients in the banking sector, who say: "He gave me a clear picture of the case and provided practical suggestions on the best way to move forward."

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nomura.

Employment - Italy

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

What the team is known for A strong reputation for combining local expertise with an international perspective, thus providing a comprehensive service for national and international clients. Recent work highlights have included corporate governance, mass redundancies, share incentive plans and corporate reorganisations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Integrates a strong knowledge of the Italian rules with an impressive understanding of the international environment."

"It has an innovative approach which is especially good when you have a complex reorganisation."

What's new? Recently added Creditech, Lavazza, Selmabipiemme Leasing and Teleleasing to its client portfolio.

Notable practitioners  

Luca Capone is a popular figure with clients, who appreciate his strategic planning, stating: "He understands the company's urgencies and helps you to shape a long-term legal strategy." He is highly active in the pharma, finance and manufacturing sectors.

Significant clients Advent International, Loro Piana, Borsa Italiana, Mediobanca, Burberry.

Energy & Natural Resources - Italy

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

What the team is known for Over a decade of experience in the energy sector, which has consolidated its strong reputation in the field, particularly in litigation. Clients include sponsors and financiers, which it advises on matters ranging from regulatory work to dispute resolution.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"High-quality, available and knowledgeable."

Work highlights Advised A2A Group on the appeal of the Authority for Electricity and Gas's decision imposing a tariff limit concerning natural gas on the wholesale market.

Advised E.ON Italia on its appeal before the administrative court against the Italian Antitrust Authority regarding bid rigging.

Notable practitioners  

Tommaso Salonico has an exemplary reputation as an expert on regulatory matters. One client says: "He displayed an excellent understanding of technical and sector-specific issues."

Significant clients Eni, Iren Group, OLT Offshore LNG Toscana.

Private Equity - Italy

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

What the team is known for A strong track record in cross-border transactions. Often represents leading London-based private equity houses in significant deals in the Italian market. Benefits from a strong worldwide network and client base. 

Work highlights Assisted Cinven with the EUR3.3 billion sale of Avio's aviation business to Nuovo Pignone, part of GE Aviation.

Advised Advent on the USD1.15 billion acquisition of Cytec's Coating Resins business unit.

Notable practitioners  

Nicola Asti wins praise for being "very experienced, and reasonable in negotiations." He was the lead lawyer advising on Cinven's sale of the aviation business of its portfolio company Avio.

Significant clients Cinven, BC Partners, One Equity Partners, Advent International, CVC Capital Partners.

Real Estate - Italy

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

What the team is known for Acts for a high volume of Italian and international fund management companies on a variety of matters, including liquidating and establishing real estate funds, and setting up joint-venture investment platforms. Also fields a strong real estate finance team.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Able to communicate complex matters in simple terms."

"Highly responsive and able to take a commercial view on things."

What's new? Europa Real Estate IV, Inter Hospitality Holding, Savills Italy and Fondamenta are new client additions.

Work highlights Represented Omega Fund in the disposal of a portfolio of some 120 office properties.

Notable practitioners 

Marzio Longo is widely regarded as a standout player in the real estate sphere. One client states: "He is extremely clear in explaining complex matters and takes a human approach to advising his clients. He also has an in-depth understanding of your business which I really appreciate."

Massimo Benedettelli is highly esteemed for his proficiency in corporate real estate matters.

Significant clients Fondazione, IDeA Fimit, Allianz, Inter IKEA Centre Italia, Burberry Italy Retail.

Since publication, Massimo Benedettelli has joined ARBLIT

Restructuring/Insolvency - Italy

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

What the team is known for A popular choice for debtors and creditors alike thanks to its fully integrated service. Covers all aspects of restructuring, including corporate and debt restructuring, extraordinary administration procedures and pre-bankruptcy settlements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It tries to find solutions rather than complicating things."

Work highlights Assisted Hotel Eden, a hotel belonging to Starman Group, with a EUR98 million financing granted by UniCredit and Banco Popolare di Verona for the purpose of refinancing its existing debt.

Advised BAA Airports on the extraordinary administration proceedings of Alitalia. 

Notable practitioners 

Enrico Castellani frequently lends his impressive litigation skills to restructuring transactions. Market sources admire his broad practice, saying: "He mixes corporate, finance and litigation skills, and has an impressive knowledge of bankruptcy proceedings."

Corrado Angelelli is highlighted for his expertise in the field of non-performing loans. Clients appreciate his top communication skills as well as his "tailor-made solutions."

Significant clients Banca d’Italia, Banca Antonveneta, Permira, Burberry, Starman Group.

Tax - Italy

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

What the team is known for Highly active on a wide variety of matters, ranging from financial products, corporate restructurings and M&A to tax audits and tax litigation. Leverages a strong network to provide a truly global service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Provides excellent tailored advice and a great insight into the Italian tax system."

"The lawyers don't just answer questions according to the book – they are able to put themselves in our shoes." 

Notable practitioners 

Department head Renato Paternollo is singled out for his "outstanding advice" and "excellent communication skills." Clients are also quick to point out his clarity and steadfast attention to detail.

Vittorio Salvadori di Wiesenhoff "has a strong reputation for his work on financial products and is quick with his responses," according to interviewees. He has been busy with a wide variety of mandates of late, including the taxation of restructuring and financial instruments, as well as tax audits and tax litigation.

Roberto Egori wins praise for his in-depth knowledge of finance, and often advises on the tax aspects of financial transactions. One client notes: "He is good at proposing solutions and very attentive to changes in the market. He is also very available and polite."

TMT - Italy

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

What the team is known for Provides assistance across the board to TMT clients, with a firm focus on non-contentious matters including outsourcings, licensing and regulatory issues. Handles a significant amount of work in the gaming sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent in terms of response times, expertise, availability and quality of advice."

What's new? UniCredit is a new client win.

Work highlights Advised UniCredit on a multi-jurisdictional IT outsourcing in Italy, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Assisted Betfair Italia with various issues including relationships with the regulators, privacy law and contractual issues.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Luca Ulissi is a renowned IT lawyer with a strong focus on gaming. Sources note: "He helps with problems that occur during negotiations. His presence at the table is very important since his advice is always so transparent."

Significant clients 3 Italia, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Bally Gaming Netherlands II and Bally Italy.

Banking & Finance - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 counsel
- 1 consultant
- 11 associates

What the team is known for Expanding group which has recently advised on a number of the market's most prominent acquisition finance deals. Covers topics ranging from high-value syndicated loans to complex subordinated finance agreements. Notable regulatory expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team did well on a very complex transaction, co-ordinating the Dutch and English law elements."

Work highlights Advised Boskalis on the financing of its EUR1.3 billion acquisition of Dockwise.

Assisted Estro Groep with the restructuring of its EUR280 million leveraged loan facilities and related debt.

Notable practitioners  

Thijs Flokstra is praised for his ability to combine legal and notarial advice: "What I like about him is that he is a civil law notary and a finance lawyer, meaning that he is a one-stop shop for a lot of work. He can take care of the notary work, the finance aspects and the corporate law aspects."

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Endemol, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley.

Capital Markets - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 20 associates
- 1 consultant

What the team is known for Versatile team particularly noted for ECM and securitisation. Marked English law expertise and considerable experience on RMBS transactions, with the team frequently acting on behalf of banks as managers and arrangers. Regularly covers major international IPOs, private placements and rights issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is always readily available, which I appreciate as these deals are dynamic and market-driven - you have to be quick."

What's new? Mandeep Lotay has been promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Boskalis on its issuance of EUR320 million in new ordinary shares, placed through an accelerated bookbuilding.

Instructed as international counsel by Ziggo in relation to its global offering and listing on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

Notable practitioners 

UK-qualified partner Mandeep Lotay frequently acts for leading banks on securitisation transactions. Sources say: "From a commercial point of view, he is able to guide us through the risks - the risks that we can live with and those that need to be pushed back. He is proactive in ensuring that we have all the information required to make the decision." 

Impressive senior associate Wouter Jongen wins praise for his commercial understanding and personable approach. He is particularly active on the debt side.

Significant clients Barclays, Citibank, Cinven, Warburg Pincus.

Competition/European Law - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 9 associates

What the team is known for State aid remains one of the foundations of this firm's outstanding competition practice, with the Dutch team involved in a number of significant proceedings. Also recognised for its involvement in a significant number of cartel and follow-on damages matters, as well as merger control projects. Particularly active in regulated industries such as energy and telecommunications. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent, hands-on lawyers who deliver timely advice and have a great international network."

What's new? Competition and IP associate Elske Raedts recently joined the team from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

Work highlights Acted for Shell on its appeal against a fine imposed by the EC arising from the Dutch bitumen cartel, winning a significant reduction.

Advising ThyssenKrupp on several civil follow-on damages claims cases relating to the lift cartel.

Notable practitioners  

Onno Brouwer acted for Ceres on a domestic cartel investigation related to the flour industry. Commentators say: "He has an excellent knowledge of competition law and a great track record."

Winfred Knibbeler is described as a "straightforward and intelligent lawyer." He is highly respected and recently assisted Ziggo with its joint venture with HBO and its purchase of Esprit Telecom.

Significant clients Betfair, HJ Heinz, PepsiCo, Telegraaf Media Group, Visa.

Corporate/M&A - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 25 associates

What the team is known for Respected practice for both public and private M&A, with deep experience and expertise. Client base including blue-chip companies and financial institutions. Recognised capacity on cross-border mandates, and noted ability to handle politically sensitive issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"An excellent firm with hands-on lawyers who deliver timely advice. It has a good international network, a great reputation in the market, and can cover the whole range of work."

"If you need crunching time, the team has a lot of depth in resources."

Work highlights Advised the Dutch state on the EUR137 million sale of 33.3% of shares in Connexxion Holding.

Assisted Borealis with an agreement to buy DEXPlastomers from DSM Nederland and ExxonMobil.

Notable practitioners  

Dutch and English-qualified practitioner Shawn der Kinderen is highly respected for his transactional work. Clients appreciate his broad range of qualities: "He's a very good communicator with an excellent understanding of our business. He is strong in negotiations and tough on some points, but is also balanced, sympathetic and solution-oriented." 

"Seasoned" M&A partner Jan Willem van der Staay "brings a lot of experience to the table." He advised Boskalis on its successful public offer for Smit International.

Alexander Doorman led on APX-ENDEX's demerger of its gas and power businesses in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK into separate entities. Clients say: "He is very sharp and excellent in negotiations."

Significant clients ING, UPS, Advent, Fiat Industrial.

Dispute Resolution - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 counsel
- 8 associates

What the team is known for Broad expertise in cross-border disputes, cartel damage claims and international sanctions. Notable arbitration activity, both at the domestic and international levels. A regular presence on high-profile disputes in the energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I am really enthusiastic about the team's proactive approach. The lawyers are very realistic about our chances and they are honest when the chances are low. Additionally they don't just focus on the legal side, they can think of the business aspects of the case as well."

Work highlights Represented ABN AMRO in a dispute with Ghadir Petrochemical over the alleged breach of an escrow agreement.

Successfully defended Ecopetrol against a high-value claim related to the termination of an oil contract in Colombia.

Notable practitioners  

Hub Harmeling heads the team. Clients report: "He is very sharp at analysing the situation and is open to thinking about things in a different way." Another source adds: "His knowledge is exceptional and he is good at managing expectations. He analyses the situation to help you to position yourself and to know how to use everything to your advantage." Harmeling is also recommended for his arbitration expertise.

According to a client, senior associate Jeroen Van Hezewijk "is very smart and really tries to comprehend and master our business. That empowers him to think about alternatives for us and to set a good strategy." 

Significant clients BNP Paribas Fortis, DE Master Blenders, Enexis, Kwik-Fit, ThyssenKrupp.

Employment - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 associates

What the team is known for Advises on the employment aspects of some of the biggest M&A transactions in the Dutch market, thanks to the firm's renowned corporate team. Standalone work includes representing clients in executive hires and dismissals, management incentive schemes, and executive remuneration in financial institutions. Acts on behalf of a diverse group of international clients from a variety of industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Efficient and responsive."

Work highlights Advised BC Partners on the employment aspects of its EUR3.3 billion acquisition of Springer Science.

Notable practitioners  

Clients value Brechje Nollen's ability to negotiate with works councils and unions. One source remarks: "Nollen offers really tactical advice and has very broad knowledge. I can use her for anything related to employment law." Nollen recently advised Fiat Industrial on the employment aspects of its merger with CNH Global.

Significant clients IK Partners, Borealis, Ziggo, Advent, Cyrte.

Energy & Natural Resources - Netherlands

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

What the team is known for Well known for advising major energy players on significant M&A transactions, winning praise from clients for its constructive approach to high-stakes negotiations.  Also highly regarded for regulatory issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We have an excellent working relationship with the Freshfields team. It is very diplomatic and the partners worked together very closely."

Work highlights Advised Total E&P Nederland on a new natural gas agreement with GasTerra.

Advises Enexis on several bond issuances worth several million euros.

Notable practitioners  

Shawn der Kinderen is a recognised transactional lawyer who is frequently active in the energy sector.

Winfred Knibbeler is lauded by clients for his diplomatic approach and co-operative attitude. He recently represented Essent in litigation against the State's legislation on unbundling. 

Intellectual Property - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department 
- 3 partners
- 1 counsel
- 10 associates

What the team is known for Magic circle team covering contentious and non-contentious work, including advice on the IP aspects of corporate transactions. Expertise in patents, trade marks, copyrights and design rights. Highly reputable patent litigation team with extensive experience in international proceedings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team co-ordinated all the patent cases. It was an excellent job and the firm ensured that we spoke with one voice, which was very important."

Work highlights Represented RTL Nederland in a dispute with the Dutch Telegraaf newspaper relating to the unauthorised publication of broadcasting data.

Notable practitioners  

The highly experienced Peter Hendrick wins praise as a "thoughtful and strategic litigator who understands the business landscape." Clients are particularly positive about his interpersonal skills: "He has a very good feeling for how people will react, and is very good at putting clients at ease and making points in court." He recently represented Schlumberger in European Patent Office proceedings against Akzo Nobel and Halliburton involving several oil exploration patents.

Rutger Kleemans has a mixed practice covering patents and general IP law. He provides ongoing advice to Novartis on enforcement strategies in the Netherlands.

Significant clients Ajinomoto, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, Ziggo.  

Life Sciences - Netherlands

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

What the team is known for Recommended for corporate transactions and patent litigation in the pharmaceutical sector. Also acts on regulatory, licensing, and sales and distribution mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is very responsive, always right on top of the issues and reacts quickly if something needs doing. The whole project is well planned."

Work highlights Representing Bristol-Myers Squibb in a patent nullity action filed by Sanofi.

Advised Novartis on enforcement strategies for its products in the Netherlands.

Notable practitioners

Rutger Kleemans heads the life sciences team.

Significant clients Ajinomoto, Bio-Rad, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hoffmann-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline.

Private Equity - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 14 associates

What the team is known for Noteworthy private equity offering augmented by strong banking and finance team. Well-known expertise in public offers and placements, with other mandates including private M&A transactions. Significant cross-border capacity thanks to its large international network.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"If the team is working for us, the lawyers are completely committed."

Work highlights Advised Cinven and Warburg Pincus on the placement of shares of Ziggo in the company's global offering and listing on NYSE Euronext.

Represented EQT Infrastructure II in its acquisition of Westway Group.

Notable practitioners  

Shawn der Kinderen leads the private equity group and advises on cross-border transactional work. He assisted Advent with its public offer for the shares in Mediq, and was instructed by Cyrte in its EUR95 million acquisition of Emesa Group Holdings.

Significant clients AEA Investors, Goldman Sachs PIA, One Equity Partners, Paine & Partners, Providence Equity Partners.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Netherlands

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Tax - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 associates

What the team is known for Singled out for a proactive approach. Advises international corporate groups and financial institutions on investments and transaction structuring and restructuring. Structured finance is a key strength, in particular RMBS work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Creative, results-oriented and able to think outside the box." 

Work highlights Advised Fiat Industrial on the tax aspects of its merger with CNH Global.

Assisted the German state's investment body, KfW, with the tax aspects of its investment in EADS.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Machiel Lambooij is appreciated by clients for his excellent communication skills. One interviewee adds: "He is exceptional as a tax lawyer - it's the combination of his vast and broad knowledge, his proactive approach and his pragmatism."

Prominent partner Eelco van der Stok advises on a range of complex tax issues linked to private equity and financial services. According to a source, "he is one of the best out there. He is practical and creative in coming up with structures that maximise efficiency."

TMT - Netherlands

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Banking & Finance - Russia

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

What the team is known for Provides strong local advice to borrowers, including both Russian and international corporates, as well as a good mix of banking clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the top-quality firms on the market. Very professional and quick to respond."

Work highlights Advised Deutsche Bank on a USD400 million facility purchase agreement with a Russian oil company.

Acted for Nord Gold on a syndicated bridge USD300 million term loan facility arranged by Natixis, Sberbank CIB and Société Générale.

Notable practitioners

Head of the department and managing partner of the Moscow office, Mikhail Loktionov is held in high regard by market commentators. His practice is wide-ranging and attracts international clients looking for in-depth knowledge of the Russian banking sector. 

Significant clients Gazprombank, Rusfinance, Russian Railways, Nord Gold, Alltech Investments.

Capital Markets - Russia

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

What the team is known for Strong in both debt and equity capital markets, working both for big-name issuers and for underwriters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The quality of the advice it was giving and the way the negotiations were handled stood out." 

What's new? Pavel Koutovoi has been promoted to counsel.

Work highlights Advised Rosneft on its debut Eurobond offering, totalling USD3 billion.

Advised Severstal on a USD475 million bonds offering.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Allen is one of the most prominent individuals working from London on Russian capital markets. Commanding an excellent reputation for both debt and equity work, he wins client praise for being "great on the mechanics and the detail."  

Head of the department and managing partner of the Moscow office, Mikhail Loktionov is a well-known name on the market. Market sources recommend him as a "very good person to work with."

Market commentators say that Sarah Murphy "works phenomenally hard." She heads the international capital markets practice and leads on a significant number of deals in Russia.

Senior associate Ivan Semenkin is praised by a source for his ability to "manage a very complicated project." He also advises on corporate and M&A transactions.

Significant clients Russian Railways, Severstal, Rosneft, VTB Capital, Goldman Sachs.

Competition/Antitrust - Russia

Basic facts about the department
- 1 counsel
- 1 associate

What the team is known for Predominantly known for expertise in M&A approval filings, working closely with the firm's corporate M&A practice. Strong cross-border capabilities as part of an international firm. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I'm impressed by the lawyers, who are very efficient at making decisions."

Work highlights Obtaining antitrust authority clearance for UPS in the course of its proposed acquisition of TNT Express.

Acting for Boskalis on the antitrust authority clearance of its takeover of Dockwise.

Notable practitioners  

Alexander Viktorov is recommended by sources for his work on filings and merger control. He is proficient in obtaining antitrust clearances and advises on Russian monopolies.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, LVMH, N-Trans, Russian Railways.

Corporate/M&A - Russia

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

What the team is known for Offers excellent expertise in advising on complex Russian deals, particularly with a public M&A element. Continues to act for a strong client base of leading Russian corporates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The greatest client service in the legal field I have ever experienced."

"They react quickly and explain everything in understandable language."

Work highlights Acted for NefteTransService on the acquisition of TransGarant from FESCO Group.

Advised LLC Management Company Metalloinvest on the sale of 100% shares in Russian railcar carrier Metalloinvesttrans LLC, in a deal worth more than USD570 million.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Dmitry Surikov is a prominent name in the market, advising on key M&A deals and joint ventures in the metal and mining, industrial, transport and technology sectors. 

Sources recommend Igor Gerber as a "very strong" lawyer. He focuses on transactions in a range of sectors, such as retail, transport, infrastructure, telecoms, energy and natural resources.

Michael Schwartz has a broad practice covering corporate and commercial law, as well as project finance. He recently moved from Moscow to Munich and is a popular choice for German clients coming into the Russian market due to his lengthy expertise. 

Associate Igor Kovalevich is highly recommended for his negotiation skills.

Significant clients Global Ports, Rosneft, Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russian Railways, NefteTransService.

Dispute Resolution - Russia

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

What the team is known for An experienced cross-border team that works on a strong portfolio of international disputes. Appears regularly before the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

What's new? Gazprombank is a notable new client.

Work highlights Acted as lead counsel for Rusoro on an ICSID additional facility arbitration concerning the expropriation of gold mining assets.

Represented EVN in USD3 billion investment project disputes with the Moscow government.

Notable practitioners  

Market commentators say that Maxim Kulkov has a "very creative mind" and is able to "offer solutions which other lawyers would overlook." In a recent highlight, he acted for KMPG as appointed receivers on a USD4.5 billion fraud case.

Noah Rubins heads the global Russia/CIS dispute resolution group and has impressive experience in representing clients in international arbitration. Sources highlight his Russian language skills.

Significant clients UniCredit Bank, UPS, Interstate Bank, Rosneft, KPMG.

Employment - Russia

Basic facts about the department
- 1 counsel
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on diverse aspects of employment law, including recruitment, employment termination and remuneration, and compliance. Frequently active on mandates involving secondments abroad and the employment of foreign nationals in Russia. Supports clients in disputes with employees by providing investigative services as well as representation in court.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers work perfectly in English and can always advise you which option is most suitable."

What's new? New clients include Heinz.

Work highlights Provided Heinz with consultancy services in relation to various employment issues, including internal rules regarding remuneration and the use of company cars by employees.

Advised a leading Russian company on the engagement and employment of sportsmen and coaches in Russia.

Notable practitioners  

Leading the department, Olga Chislova has a wealth of experience advising both Russian and international clients on employment and migration mandates. Clients say: "She is open-minded and can perform quickly."

Marina Sokolova receives praise for her keen knowledge of Russian employment law, while clients appreciate her responsiveness, enthusing: "She rapidly replied to every e-mail and did everything to solve our question; it didn't feel like she was from a law firm, but like she was working in our company."

Significant clients EADS, E.ON, Flowserve, Heinz, Rothschild.

Energy & Natural Resources - Russia

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

What the team is known for Draws upon its expertise in the transactional arena to assist large multinationals with oil & gas transactions. Advises major players in the market, and has a developing mining client roster.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It has a broad international presence which allows the team to access quality advice from its international partners."

"The lawyers provide very detailed and meticulous advice." 

Work highlights Advised ConocoPhillips on the sale of its 30% stake in a Russian upstream joint venture with LUKOIL.

Assisted Severstal with the USD100 million acquisition of a 38.5% interest in the Putu Iron Ore Project in Liberia. 

Notable practitioners  

Sergei Diyachenko heads the energy practice and is widely respected for his mining expertise. Sources appreciate his excellent client relationship skills, describing him as a "safe pair of hands."

Significant clients Alrosa, Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Russian Railways.

PPP - Russia

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

What the team is known for Leads the market due to its long-term focus on PPP and an excellent range of clients. Advises banks, governmental bodies, state-owned companies and funds on key projects involving railways, roads and water supply.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Its advice is always reliable, business-oriented and very practical; an excellent team of people to work with."

"Pioneers of this market; the lawyers know a lot about PPP." 

What's new? Secured Far East & Baikal Region Development Fund and Vinci as new clients.

Work highlights Advising VTB Capital and Gazprombank as preferred bidders on the EUR2.9 billion Western High Speed Diameter PPP toll road project.

Advised Vodokanal of St Petersburg and the City of St Petersburg on the Neva Water project, which is valued at around EUR500 million.

Notable practitioners  

Described by commentators as the "leading PPP specialist" and "guru of Russian infrastructure," Innokenty Ivanov has a formidable reputation in the market and a very impressive track record. He also advises clients on joint ventures and M&A transactions.

Fedor Teselkin is a "highly active and respected" lawyer, who continues to develop this top-notch practice. Commentators single him out for his extensive experience and excellent communications skills.

Significant clients Gazprombank, Sberbank, VEB, Vodokanal of St Petersburg, VTB Capital.

Private Equity - Russia

What the team is known for Renowned international player providing an integrated service, benefiting from the support of a top-tier corporate practice. Broad industry expertise across technology, pharmaceuticals and transport.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Strong, commercial lawyers."

Notable practitioners

Dmitry Surikov is the main point of contact in the Moscow office.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Russia

What the team is known for A first-rate corporate group ensures a presence on many high-profile restructurings, and considerable banking and finance know-how means financial restructurings are also a key area.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Can really hold its own in difficult transactions."

Work highlights Advised Gazprombank on the restructuring of a USD650 million loan facility to White Seal Holdings. Eden Water Financial Solutions was the lender.

Assisted Gazprombank with the restructuring of a USD300 million facility to Lirio Enterprises.

Notable practitioners  

In addition to managing the Moscow office, Mikhail Loktionov also heads the capital markets and finance practices. He is well liked by market sources, who commend his restructuring expertise.

Banking & Finance - Spain

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 senior associates
- 8 associates

What the team is known for Versatile practice covering the full range of banking transactions, including financial and debt restructuring, asset and project finance, structured products and financial services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is commercially strong and the level of communication with clients and regulators is superior. It has an excellent capacity for transmitting concepts and messages effectively."

"During the deal the whole team works perfectly. You get top-quality at all times, across the team." 

What's new? Blackstone has become a new client for Freshfields in Spain and worldwide. The firm advises it on banking, refinancing and real estate.

Work highlights Represented Amadeus in two finance agreements with the European Investment Bank, worth EUR150 million and EUR50 million.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner and practice head Iñaki Gabilondo receives rave reviews: "For more complex matters he is one of the best lawyers in Spain. He has technical knowledge of the law but also knows how to apply it practically."

Clients describe Ana López as "hard-working and dynamic. She understands how the banking world works." She advised Amadeus on the two finance agreements with the European Investment Bank.

Associate Joe Amann enters the rankings following warm praise from interviewees: "He's friendly, always provides you with a solution and really takes care of the client."

Significant clients GSO, Babson, Anchorage, Cerberus, KKR.

Capital Markets - Spain

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

What the team is known for Handles equity and debt capital markets transactions on behalf of issuers, underwriters, trustees and investors. Attracts praise for its international capacity.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm has a lot of experience in capital markets; it's a specialist. It has a very useful international network with excellent lawyers."

Work highlights Assisted Lufthansa with the EUR300 million accelerated bookbuilding offering of a 3.61% stake in Amadeus IT Holding.

Notable practitioners  

Armando Albarrán earns glowing client feedback: "He's one of the best lawyers in Spain, if not the best, and we trust him the most. He has excellent capital markets expertise and understands the regulator well. He's also very pleasant and accessible."

Associate Alfonso De Marcos was part of the team that acted for Lufthansa in the EUR300 million accelerated bookbuilding offering of a stake in Amadeus IT Holding.

Significant clients Abertis, Gas Natural, Lufthansa, Tree Inversiones, Repsol.

Competition/European Law - Spain

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded antitrust and competition practice with expertise in restrictive practices, merger control and state aid. Recently, it has been particularly busy advising clients on cartel cases, abuse of dominant position and antitrust litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team's capacity to find creative solutions and anticipate obstacles is amazing."

"Its strength lies in its in-depth knowledge of the CNC."

What's new? New clients include Allianz, Novartis, Amadeus and Sixt.  

Work highlights Advised Hewlett-Packard on a complaint for abuse of dominant position against Oracle, brought before the CNC.

Assisted Abertis Telecom with state aid investigations carried out by the EC regarding the implementation of digital terrestrial television.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Francisco Cantos is singled out as "one of the most knowledgeable competition lawyers in Spain." He was the lead partner on Hewlett-Packard's complaint for abuse of dominant position against Oracle.

Sources are impressed with partner Álvaro Iza's capabilities: "I could not think of any other competition lawyer in Spain that could match his experience and knowledge. He is an impressive guy." 

Clients are effusive about senior associate Enrique Carrera, describing him as "a star who makes complex things simple and the client feel secure."

Significant clients Mediapro, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Linpac, ABB, Visa Europe.  

Corporate/M&A - Spain

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

What the team is known for A broad practice with experience in public and private M&A, joint ventures, restructuring and corporate governance, amongst others. Highly regarded for its expertise in the real estate sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The corporate team is reliable, completely trustworthy and makes no mistakes: we've never had a problem with a contract. The lawyers are creative, analyse all options, measure all the risks, but at the same time find original and innovative paths."

Work highlights Assisted Abertis Infraestructuras with the EUR2.2 billion acquisition of OHL concessions in Brazil.

Assisted Mercapital, Financiera Fimar and Gasmedi with the EUR330 million sale of the latter to Air Liquide.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Armando Albarrán earns enthusiastic client praise: "He's a Jedi Master; he has an incredible capacity for work, a prodigious brain and great technical expertise. He maintains his cool and remains calm, and was instrumental to the success of the deal." He recently led the EUR330 million sale of Gasmedi to Air Liquide.

Clients are happy with David Franco, saying: "We trust him completely; he's assertive, clear and a solution finder. He's also very methodical, detail oriented and experienced."

Interviewees highlight Javier Gómez-Acebo's long-standing experience in the field. One client says: "He's very user-friendly and was proficient in getting us to the finish line."

Significant clients Abertis Infraestructuras, Gas Natural, Amadeus, Liberbank, Mercapital. 

Since publication, Antoni Valverde Roy has joined Allen & Overy

Dispute Resolution - Spain

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

What the team is known for High-end international arbitration practice. Well-regarded litigation team with expertise in product liability claims and antitrust litigation, as well as financial restructuring and insolvency disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"The partners are practically like our in-house lawyers: they maintain a very close relationship with the client and know the business inside out. They are indispensable."

Work highlights Represented Japan Tobacco International in a number of product liability claims filed by individual consumers, associations and governmental institutions.

Representing Grünenthal in a claim for damages filed by the Spanish Association of Thalidomide Victims regarding the alleged administration of thalidomide in Spain in the 1960s.

Notable practitioners 

Commentators say litigator Rafael Murillo is "a first-class partner." He counts E.ON among his recent clients. 

A client says of Vicente Sierra"I'm very happy with him; he gives excellent advice and works well with other firms." Sierra's practice covers litigation and arbitration.

Associate Natalia Gómez remains active in this market advising Grünenthal on a EUR204 million claim for damages filed by AVITE, a Spanish association for thalidomide victims.

Significant clients Equión Energía, ETECSA, Grünenthal, Liberbank, Colbun.

Employment - Spain

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner

What the team is known for Respected team with particular experience in the employment aspects of corporate transactions and further expertise in restructurings, disciplinary dismissals and litigation. Noted for its specialised knowledge of the banking sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A great quality service - the lawyers are available 24/7 and provide immediate responses." 

Notable practitioners  

Department head Raquel Flórez continues to enjoy a solid reputation amongst peers and is valued by clients, who describe her as "helpful and excellent on sensitive issues."

Described as "experienced and meticulous," senior associate Elena Esparza continues to be active and well regarded in the market.

Significant clients WPP, UPS, Parrot, Mylan, Hays Personnel España.

Energy & Natural Resources - Spain

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

What the team is known for A multidisciplinary team supported by the firm's robust global network. Adept at corporate and M&A, capital markets and finance transactions in the energy sector.

Work highlights Assisted Belgian fund Fluxys with the acquisition of EUR87.5 million and EUR146 million stakes in Medgaz.

Notable practitioners

Álvaro Iza and Armando Albarrán are the primary contacts for the practice.

Significant clients E.ON, Gas Natural Fenosa, Repsol, BP Exploration Company.

Intellectual Property - Spain

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

What the team is known for Acts on contentious and non-contentious IP, advertising and unfair competition matters for IT and media clients. Also advises on licensing arrangements, data protection and IT outsourcing transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team understands the problem well and responds quickly. We are extremely happy."

"This international firm has good partners and associates who understand the business world."

Work highlights Represented Sony Computer Entertainment in litigation proceedings against the Spanish distributors of PS3 modchips.

Acted for SCA Hygiene Products on advertising and unfair competition litigation proceedings against Arbora & Ausonia.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Sergio Miralles is acknowledged for his patent expertise, and impresses clients with his fast responses, proactive approach and organisation skills.

Significant clients Bristol-Myers Squibb, Primark, Weight Watchers, UPS, Kingfisher.

Since publication, Sergio Miralles has joined Intangibles Legal S.L.P.

Private Equity - Spain

What the team is known for Strong international focus combined with a high level of expertise in banking and finance. Experienced and dedicated representation of a wide range of funds and private equity firms in all manner of financing, transactional and investment work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is well prepared, rapid and very proactive. It responds well to the unexpected."

"The lawyers handle complex cross-border deals very well. They work actively with their international offices, which is a great asset in private equity." 

Work highlights Advised Doughty Hanson and Grupo Hospitalario Quirón on the EUR800 million acquisition of Barcelona's Centro Médico Teknon from Magnum Capital.

Assisted Oppidum capital with the Spanish aspects of its acquisition of a 6.16% stake in EDP.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced corporate lawyer Armando Albarrán receives extremely positive commentary from clients, who note that "he's not only a good lawyer, he's commercial and business-oriented as well. He's also calm and controlled."

Finance specialist Ana López is well respected for her work in this area. She counts Bankia and Société Générale among her clients.

Significant clients Doughty Hanson, Triton Partners, Orizonia, Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, Mercapital.

Since publication, Antoni Valverde Roy has joined Allen & Overy

Real Estate - Spain

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for real estate transactional work. Additional expertise in the debt restructurings of Spanish real estate companies and new-money deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team is very dependable, always available and technically the best. Juan Gómez-Acebo oversees everything and his attention to detail is very good."

"The lawyers are diligent, top professionals and practical; that is what I value, it makes my life easier."

Work highlights Acted for Costco Wholesale on its expansion in Spain, including advising on the negotiations of a ground lease agreement and subsequent acquisition of a plot in Seville, as well as the construction agreement for its first retail premises in Spain.

Advised Primark on the lease and acquisition of premises across Spain.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Juan Gómez-Acebo is commended as an "excellent lawyer, who's not only technically strong but also very approachable." He advised Primark on the lease and acquisition of premises in various Spanish cities.

Counsel Fernando Soto comes highly recommended by clients: "He looks at things from a legal and commercial point of view, is someone you can rely on and also a good negotiator."

Significant clients Primark Tiendas, Costco, Topland, Metrovacesa, Blackstone.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Spain

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 30 associates

What the team is known for A team of finance, tax, dispute resolution and corporate practitioners handling complex restructuring and insolvency matters. Capable of offering Spanish and English law advice, it is particularly commended for its assistance to financial entities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team acts almost as our in-house department; we have a close relationship. To us, it is indispensable."

"Excellent input and availability. The lawyers respond to any issues or questions we may have and are constructive in negotiations."

Work highlights Acted for senior lenders on the debt and equity restructuring of Spanish travel group Orizonia.

Advised Crédit Agricole on the EUR105 million refinancing of Santa Hortensia.

Notable practitioners  

Restructuring expert Iñaki Gabilondo attracts a host of positive feedback: "His excellent commercial ability has helped us in negotiations. We have a close working relationship – he is always there for us," say impressed clients.

Clients praise restructuring practitioner Ana López"She has a lot of experience in complicated deals. She always anticipates her clients’ needs and is able to propose solutions that meet all parties' interests."

Significant clients Banco Sabadell, Banco Popular, Bankia, Caixabank, Deutsche Bank. 

Tax - Spain

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

What the team is known for Extraordinary expertise across the board including in corporate, indirect and structured finance tax matters as well as disputes and transfer pricing. Praised for its international capacity.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the most creative firms for complex M&A matters. Sophisticated, good at thinking outside the box and fast."

"The lawyers are very proactive and on top of everything; they are commercial and analyse risks from a business perspective."

Work highlights Assisted Canada Pension Plan Investment Board with the tax aspects of its EUR390 million acquisition of a 39% stake in Dorna Sports.

Advised on the Spanish legal, tax and regulatory aspects of Oppidum Capital's acquisition of a 6.16% stake in EDP - Energias de Portugal.

Significant clients 

Miguel Lorán is highly recognised in the market. Clients describe him as "very strong technically and a strategic thinker. He gives really succinct and clear, robust advice." He has been particularly active in restructurings and reorganisations of late.

Silvia Paternain is the new head of the firm's global practice. "She is super-creative, looks at all possible angles and thinks of things nobody else thinks about," say clients.

Young associate Bosco Montejo is a highly active member of the team.

Since publication, Miguel Lorán has joined Osborne Clarke

Banking & Finance - UK

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

What the team is known for Premier destination for high-end borrower-side work, and recognised for its impressive sponsor and lender mandates. It is at the forefront of market developments in bank/bond financing, infrastructure finance and debt restructuring.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"High-quality advice with a good understanding of the client's business and perspective. They are commercial – a firm you turn to for something complex."

"I like the whole team – they have a very deep bench and good quality of lawyers, from associates right the way through to partner."

"They stand out as providing a good service to borrowers."

What's new? Michael Steele and Geoff O'Dea were promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acted for CVC Capital Partners on the all-senior debt financing portion of its USD1.8 billion acquisition of Ahlsell.  

Advised Techem Energy Services, a German portfolio company of Macquarie, on its EUR1.3 billion refinancing of existing debt. 

Notable practitioners 

Sean Pierce offers "high-quality advice with a good understanding of the client's business and perspective." He is recognised for his work on behalf of sponsor clients, recently leading the team on the financing of CVC's purchase of Ahlsell.

Alex Mitchell receives extensive praise, with one source commenting: "He is probably the most commercial lawyer I've worked with." Mitchell has recently worked on a debt restructuring for Haymarket Financial, ING Bank and M&G Investments, and has been described as a "very diligent, detailed lawyer who is very thorough and cognisant of pressure points."

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, Prudential M&G, Cinven, Morgan Stanley, HSBC.

Capital Markets - UK

Basic facts about the department
- 20 partners 
- 60 associates

What the team is known for Maintains its position as one of the leading ECM practices in the market, demonstrating its broad capabilities acting on some of the most high-profile IPOs of recent years. Also has strong expertise on the debt side, with significant experience advising on MTN programmes, liability management transactions and standalone bond issues, often in emerging markets. Remains an active participant in industry development discussions, often working in conjunction with regulators and exchanges. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Geared up for deals across the spectrum in terms of size, they're equipped to handle even the largest deals."

"They're very good technically and help to drive the transaction through to a very successful conclusion."

Work highlights Advised Xstrata on a USD4.5 billion Yankee bond offering.

Acted for a syndicate of banks on their role as joint bookrunners for MegaFon's USD1.7 billion IPO. This included the undertaking of particularly complex due diligence matters.

Notable practitioners  

The "very experienced and very capable" Julian Makin is regarded as a "go-to person on mining and ECM work." He is co-head of the firm's mining and metals team, and offers expertise in both DCM and ECM.  

Sources are full of praise for ECM specialist Sarah Murphy, commenting that she is "obviously completely at the top of her game," and particularly admiring that "when it's a complicated matter she's good at taking charge and heading forward with it."

Highly experienced ECM practitioner Tim Jones brings "exceptional" experience and gravitas. He recently advised on DS Smith's GBP466 million rights issue, on behalf of sole sponsor and bookrunner JPMorgan Cazenove.

Significant clients Techem, Barclays, Severstal, Commerzbank, Xstrata.

Since publication, Tim Jones has retired from this practice.

Competition/European Law - UK

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

What the team is known for Heavyweight expertise at the forefront of the competition market with an unrivalled bench strength. Talented in all areas of competition law and involved in the most sophisticated and complex market investigations and damages actions. Frequently advises on large mergers with a significant impact on the industry sectors involved.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are so impressive in this space. Their strength, breadth and depth and just the sheer number of high-level, elite and quality advocates that they have makes them stand out as leaders."

"They have the ability to sift through data then take a step back and come up with a strategic view in a very short space of time. They are meticulous in dealing with a topic and leave no stone unturned."

Work highlights Advised Pearson on an agreement with Bertelsmann to create the world's leading consumer publishing organisation by combining two leading publishers, Random House and Penguin.

Advised InterContinental Hotels Group on the OFT investigation into alleged breaches of competition law occurring in the supply of room-only hotel accommodation by online companies.

Represented Deloitte in the Competition Commission investigation into the supply of statutory audit services.

Notable practitioners  

Sources say Deirdre Trapp is "head and shoulders above the competition." Viewed as "intellectual, very impressive and someone who works hard to get results," she typically handles complex market investigations on behalf of major clients.

David Aitman is seen as an expert in European competition work and is well respected by peers. He has experience of working with companies from the highly regulated water and energy industries.

Highly driven Rod Carlton is viewed by clients as "an energetic and dynamic partner" who "is acutely commercially sensitive, has great judgement and is an outstanding strategist." His track record includes securing unconditional clearance for high-profile mergers.

With a vast amount of experience to his name, John Davies demonstrates a deep understanding of the field. He is viewed as a key contact by the group's clients and splits his practice between London and Brussels.

Simon Priddis is accomplished at managing the needs of his clients and has a strong understanding of the regulator's mindset. He has considerable experience of complex competition issues arising out of mergers and acquisitions.

Jon Lawrence is singled out as "a star individual" and "an excellent and very experienced litigator." He is specifically adept at defending a swathe of clients in follow-on damages claims, including representing ABB in a high-profile claim made by National Grid.

Paul Lomas is often seen leading the litigious aspects of the group's most complex competition cases. His background in general commercial dispute resolution is seen as a useful asset in defending action by the regulators and competitors.

Dispute resolution partner Bea Tormey is experienced in representing clients before major domestic regulatory bodies as well as the European competition authorities. She is currently involved in investigations into the rigging of the Libor rate.

Significant clients BP, Tesco, Anheuser-Busch InBev, BHP Billiton, BG Group.

Corporate/M&A - UK

Basic facts about the department
- 48 partners
- 229 other lawyers

What the team is known for Represents clients in market-leading transactions of the highest profile, including those of the utmost sophistication and intricacy. Maintains its outstanding reputation on worldwide cross-border transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent quality at all levels, flexible and commercial, and innovative in its service offering."

"They gear up and respond very quickly and are multidisciplinary."

"One of the things that struck me is they make their senior people and top-drawer talent available."

Work highlights Represented Xstrata in its USD70 billion all-share merger with Glencore International.

Advised Pearson on its agreement with German multinational media company Bertelsmann to combine Penguin and Random House.

Advised Logica on the GBP1.7 billion recommended cash acquisition of Logica by CGI.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Rawlinson is "extremely intelligent," and "cuts through processes to achieve business objectives," clients say. He is the managing partner of the London office.

Edward Braham recently advised UGL on its GBP78 million acquisition of the trading operations of DTZ from its administrators. He heads the worldwide corporate practice.

The "excellentJulian Long is praised by market sources for his abilities on a range of complex cross-border transactions. He acted for Aon on its redomiciliation from the USA to the UK.

Claire Wills has a good and growing reputation for her advice to financial institutions and retail companies on high-profile deals. Her recent highlights include advising ING on its disposal of the UK branch of ING Direct to Barclays.

Since publication Barry O'Brien has left the firm to take up an in-house role.

Significant clients BAE Systems, Barclays Bank, E.ON, Deutsche Bank, Tesco.

Litigation - UK

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

What the team is known for Excellent reputation continues to generate some of the largest mandates in the market. Superior command of commercial litigation demonstrated by its status as trusted adviser to some of the world's most prestigious companies.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It is undoubtedly a first-class litigation team."

"Impressive in terms of being able to put together a team to deal with the huge cases that come up."

"Freshfields can compete effectively across a broad range of disputes." 

Work highlights Acted for Deutsche Bank on a USD250 million claim against Sebastian Holdings and on the defence of a substantial counterclaim made against it.

Represented RBS in litigation against Thomas Hicks and George Gillett, the former owners of Liverpool FC, relating to the takeover of the club.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Terry is renowned as a "hugely experienced and very clear strategic thinker," with one source adding that he is simply "amazingly good." He spearheads the team representing Vasily Anisimov in spin-off litigation to the high-profile Berezovsky case.

The "very well-regarded" Christopher Pugh consistently impresses market observers with his depth of experience in large-scale international disputes.

Ian Taylor "has the ability to think strategically and a thirst and appetite for detail," according to one interviewee. He is a go-to adviser for numerous investment and retail banks, and is described as "absolutely excellent."

Raj Parker has earned a strong reputation for his work on disputes across a variety of industry sectors, including banking, leisure, transport and media.

Sources laud Paul Lomas as a "brilliant, very responsive and persuasive" litigator with a "superbly analytical mind." His clients include major household names such as Tesco.

Simon Orton is a talented litigator mainly operating in the banking and financial services spheres. He acts for investment and retail banks and also has experience in regulatory investigations.

Significant clients BP, KPMG, Tesco, Smith & Nephew, Siemens.

Restructuring/Insolvency - UK

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strongest full-service offering in the restructuring and insolvency market, with the ability to offer high-quality consultation to a wide range of clients. Pre-eminent in company-side representation. Experienced in handling highly intricate, Europe-wide transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have this ability to staff a deal with all the resources, bodies and expertise you could ever need – an excellent network and a firm at the top of its game." 

"They have a great reputation and are number-one for company-side insolvency advice – in that field they are the best you could have."

Work highlights Acted for the ad hoc group of noteholders on the highly complex stressed rescheduling of Deutsche Annington, Germany's largest private landlord and Europe's largest CMBS. This was achieved by an English scheme of arrangement.

Acted for HSBC Bank as senior agent and the co-ordinating committee for senior lenders on the recapitalisation of the Biffa waste management group.

Notable practitioners  

The hugely accomplished Ken Baird draws substantial praise for his long-standing presence in the market. "He is very wise, he has a lot of experience and is an excellent sounding board," said a source.

Several sources highlight Adam Gallagher as the first port of call for complex restructuring and insolvency advice, saying: "He embodies everything about the firm; he is diligent, commercial, really quite incredible, " and "he is one of the most creative individuals I have worked with."

US and UK-qualified Nick Segal continues to draw praise from clients for his vast knowledge of the field. One source states: "I am not sure I have worked with a solicitor who knows more and thinks more about a subject – he is so on top of every case he handles."

Neil Golding is described as being "creative, insightful and focused on delivering the right results." He is particularly proficient at handling cases with an insurance element and working on schemes of arrangement.

At the absolute forefront of the market, Richard Tett is endorsed as "one of the most technically sound restructuring lawyers in the market." Clients say he is "phenomenally creative at problem solving." He was lead partner on the Deutsche Annington matter.

Significant clients Blackstone, Rothschild, Lazard, Deloitte, Ernst & Young.

Tax - UK

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

What the team is known for High-quality team valued for its strength in depth, providing clients with a broad international network and a diverse knowledge base for complex technical matters. Praised for its transfer pricing group, which is seen as a unique and first-rate offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Counsel who can deal with highly complex matters – they are very clever and highly impressive in the tax market."

"They are responsive and always provide an all-round full service to clients."

Work highlights Provided tax advice to Xstrata during its merger with Glencore International, via a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement.

Advised Pearson on the tax issues related to its joint venture with Bertelsmann, which aimed to merge publishing houses Penguin and Random House.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Ballard heads the corporate tax group. His recent work includes advising on tax matters related to joint ventures, acquisitions and takeovers. Sources note that he "is very good and heads an exceptionally strong team."

Sarah Falk is singled out as an expert in corporate tax matters. She regularly handles complex cross-border transactions and has recently worked on a number of high-value mergers, acquisitions, sales and joint ventures.

Colin Hargreaves offers considerable expertise in international and cross-border tax work. He has a broad range of experience, with an emphasis on transactions in the corporate and real estate sectors.

Peers recognise Paul Davison for being "technically great; someone who does a good job for his clients." His practice focuses on tax in structured finance and leasing transactions.

Head of the finance tax group, David Haworth regularly advises financial institutions and corporate clients on the UK tax regime. He recently advised an underwriting syndicate on MegaFon's USD1.7 billion IPO.

Clients value Helen Lethaby for her "very thorough and practical understanding of the area." Interviewees say her technical ability is "second to none." She has particular expertise in fund structuring and fund management matters.

David Taylor is described as being "really fantastic" in tax matters. He heads the firm's private equity tax offering, regularly advising clients on their investment activities.

Murray Clayson is recognised for his leading expertise in international tax matters. His broad practice encompasses the full range of financial and corporate transactions. He stands out for his niche expertise in transfer pricing.

Significant clients Chevron, Mouchel Group, BAE Systems, Cinven Group, AEA Investors.