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Simmons & Simmons LLP

London

Simmons & Simmons LLP - London
  • CityPoint
  • One Ropemaker Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2Y 9SS
  • Senior Partner: Colin Passmore
  • Managing Partner: Jeremy Hoyland

THE FIRM Simmons & Simmons is a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working through offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm’s strategy is designed to ensure it provides its clients with high-quality advice and delivers value through new ways of working.
Simmons & Simmons applies considerable expertise to all business sectors but focuses on: asset management and investment funds, energy and infrastructure, financial institutions, life sciences and technology, media and telecommunications (TMT). Simmons & Simmons acts regularly on the most innovative cases, deals and transactions in its chosen areas of specialism and receives recognition for the quality of its work from clients and others within these industry sectors.
In 2011 and 2012, for example, Simmons & Simmons was named a top tier law firm in the ‘Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report’ and was a winner in the Dispute Resolution and Anti-bribery and Corruption categories; winner of the Best European Law Firm Award at the Hedgeweek Global Awards 2013; named Leading Law Firm at the Hedge Fund Journal Awards 2012; winner of the Energy and Natural Resources Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2012.
The firm’s commitment to corporate responsibility is well recognised. Simmons & Simmons was the highest ranked law firm in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2013 in the UK for the fifth year running and named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2013.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Five sector teams are drawn from the core practice areas of: corporate, dispute resolution, EU, competition and regulatory, employment, pensions and employee benefits, financial markets, IP, projects, real estate, information, communications and technology, and tax.
 Recent major transactions handled by the firm include advising: the UK government on the proposed BAE Systems and EADS NV merger; ONGC Videsh Ltd on a $1bn acquisition in Azerbaijan; Shenyang Jinbei Vehicle Manufacturing Co Ltd on an acquisition creating a joint venture in Russia; Truphone, the mobile telecoms company on a £70m investment by Roman Abramovich to fund its international expansion; Veolia on the sale of its UK-regulated water businesses; transactions for longstanding client Telefónica; Intertrust Group Holding SA on its acquisition of Walkers Management Services; CRC Credit Fund Limited on the Lehman Client Money Application Supreme Court win; Deutsche Bank and UBS on a £190m placing by Drax Group plc; Natixis Global Asset Management on the launch of the first UK OEIC managed by an EU UCITS management company; and SEDCO Capital on the launch of a unique Shariah-compliant funds platform. The firm has advised the Department for Communities and Local Government on the sale of the Fire Service College and Viridor on £200m South London Waste Project.Working with TMI Associates, its joint venture firm in Japan, the firm also advised Sealed Air Corporation on the sale of a Japanese subsidiary and associated cross-border advice.
Simmons & Simmons also advises on the effects on its clients of the regulatory, enforcement and litigation requirements arising from current market conditions, and is known for its work on landmark financial litigation matters and appeals.The firm has one of the largest full-service dispute resolution practices of any firm headquartered in the City of London, covering financial markets litigation, contentious regulatory, corporate crime, professional and product liability and international arbitration, as well as insurance, IP and employment disputes.
Firmwide, it has over 230 partners and a total staff of around 1,500 of whom more than half are based in its 20 offices outside the UK.

OTHER OFFICES Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Beijing, Bristol, Brussels, Doha, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Funchal*, Hong Kong, Jeddah**, Lisbon*,Madrid,Milan,Munich, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo.

*Sociedade Rebelo de Sousa in association with Simmons & Simmons,
**Simmons & Simmons is in alliance with Hammad & Al-Mehdar

    Contacts
  • Asset Management & Investment Funds: Colin Leaver
  • Energy & Infrastructure: Juliet Reingold
  • Financial Institutions: Jonathan Hammond
  • Life Sciences: Jacques-Antoine Robert
  • TMT: Andrew McMillan
  • LEGAL PRACTICES  
  • Coporate & Commercial: Mark Curtis
  • Corporate: Giles Dennison
  • Information, Communications & Technology: Tom Wheadon
  • Projects: Juliet Reingold
  • Dispute Resolution: Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff, Ian Hammond
  • EU, Competition & Regulatory: Tony Woodgate
  • Intellectual Property: Marc Döring
  • Employment: Simon Watson
  • Financial Markets: Jonathan Hammond
  • Banking: James Bresslaw
  • Asset Finance: Christopher Boresjo
  • Financial Services: Sarah Bowles
  • Capital Markets: David Roylance
  • Tax: Nick Cronkshaw
  • Real Estate: Nick Jones

Branches

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Increasingly called upon to act on emerging markets transactions as well as attracting a steady flow of traditional domestic lender work. Continues to grow the practice organically and through strategic lateral hires.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Efficiency: "Good access to partners. The team has a strong work ethic and we get timely responses." 

Work highlights Advised Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Bank on financing for the acquisition of machinery by a Tanzanian corporate.

Represented SEB in connection with Aktiebolaget SKF's EUR500 million revolving credit facility.  

Notable practitioners

Head of banking James Bresslaw is a key contact here.

Significant clients The Bank of New York Mellon, Danske Bank, Schroders, Bluecrest Capital Management.  

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 20 associates

What the team is known for Depth and breadth of expertise in banking and finance litigation supported by its international presence. Significant experience acting for major retail and investment banks across a range of contentious matters including interest rate mis-selling, Libor and Lehman-related litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They really give us a full first-class service. They are forward-looking, responsive, comprehensive, a pleasure to work with and nothing is too much trouble. Outstanding!"

Efficiency: "Very user-friendly, very attentive and give top-quality work without the magic circle rates. Very efficient."

Work highlights Represented Attestor Value Master Fund in the MF Global Special Administration in relation to client money claims.

Defended a number of banks in numerous claims in connection with the highly publicised allegations of mis-selling of interest rate swaps.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Turner has a wealth of experience in the sphere and recently led the team advising on the MF Global client money litigation. Sources say he is "calm and experienced and has excellent judgement."

Richard Bunce focuses his practice on wholesale banking disputes and has particular expertise in matters with fraudulent elements.

"Standout" litigator Colin Passmore has a strong reputation for his experience in retail banking litigation. He has recently been involved in interest rate swap disputes. Clients appreciate that he "works hard to make sure the relationship is strong and functioning well."

"Very attentive, very thoughtful and very approachable," Marc Thorley specialises in retail banking disputes. Sources comment: "A first-class operator and a brilliant mind. Really user-friendly, forward-looking and responsive." 

Caroline Hunter-Yeats has particular experience representing wealth management firms and was recently involved in a high-value claim arising out of the Madoff scandal.

Significant clients Handelsbanken, Bluecrest, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank.

Capital Markets - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
 - 22 partners 
 - 28 associates

What the team is known for Maintains a solid ECM practice, with experience advising on a broad range of issues, including IPOs, block trades, secondary offerings and private placements. Also provides integrated US securities capacity, and is adept at handling offerings across multiple jurisdictions. Strong DCM offering, with significant skill assisting with EMTN programmes and liability management matters.

Work highlights Acted for JPMorgan in connection with its role as arranger to JPMorgan Chase & Co's USD65 million LSE-listed EMTN programme. Also advised on the issuance of EUR1.5 billion notes under the programme.

Advised sole bookrunner Bank of America Merrill Lynch in relation to JAB Holdings' £1.2 billion placing in Reckitt Benckiser Group.  

Notable practitioners  

Head of the firm's ECM group Christopher Horton offers extensive expertise advising on cross-border transactions, especially those with an emerging markets element. He has recently focused on matters involving the natural resources and real estate sectors.

Charles Hawes is an expert on US securities law, and regularly advises non-US issuers. He offers in-depth experience acting as arranger's counsel on EMTN programmes, and recently advised JPMorgan on the aforementioned notes issuance.

Significant clients Liberum, Rothschild, Macquarie Capital, Numis Securities, JPMorgan Cazenove.

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

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

What the team is known for Strong rounded securitisation, derivatives and structured finance practice, which builds upon the firm's established asset management and funds expertise. Proficient at handling synthetic CDOs, cash CDOs, asset repackagings and credit-linked derivatives transactions. 

Work highlights Assisted Deutsche Bank on the establishment of its £10 billion mortgage trading programme. The team also advised on the programme's first issuance.

Advised Legal & General Investment Management on the central clearing mechanisms that it has in place for external and in-house clients, such as pension schemes and Irish QIFs.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Sideris is described by sources as a "smart guy who is very commercially oriented." His wide-ranging expertise encompasses repackaging, derivatives and structured securities. He has advised investors and arrangers on a number of substantial secured financing transactions.

Jonathan Hammond heads up the firm's financial markets group. He specialises in structured finance and has significant experience of advising on synthetic CDOs and repackagings.  

David Roylance possesses a "great legal mind" yet remains hugely sensitive to clients' commercial concerns, which is greatly appreciated by sources. They also note that "he's very good at being the big-picture man and provides a top-quality comprehensive service."

Simon Schiff advises on cross-border structured finance transactions on behalf of a diverse client base, including hedge funds, rating agencies, arrangers and originators. His securitisation experience covers a broad range of asset classes, such as consumer loans and equipment leases. 

Alan Davies maintains a good reputation in the market. He is experienced in a variety of derivatives and structured finance transactions, including repos, asset-backed financings and both synthetic and cash CDOs.

Significant clients Allianz Investment Management, BlackRock, JPMorgan, Henderson, Morgan Stanley.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advising on competition matters for foreign clients active in UK and European markets. Industry-focused expertise with particular strengths in the energy and infrastructure industries. Solid experience of merger control work and cartel investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They are good at listening to what we want, and are unafraid to be challenging while looking out for our best interests."

Commercial awareness: "They exhibited some very sensible qualities: practical, good at understanding our business needs, and realistic."

Work highlights Acted for Sharp in defending two damages claims brought by Nokia in the High Court.

Advised ED&F Man on the merger control and competition aspects of Sudzucker's acquisition of a stake in the company, including investigations by the EC.

Notable practitioners 

Interviewees feel that Tony Woodgate "has a very practical approach to complex issues, is very timely and shows good business knowledge." He is able to advise on contentious and non-contentious competition matters.  

Charles Bankes is singled out for his knowledge of regulated industries such as energy and transport. He also advised Veolia Water on numerous competition matters affecting the water sector.

Oliver Heinisch is singled out for the precision of his advice and "excellent understanding of our business needs." His practice focuses primarily on contentious competition matters and litigation at both UK and European levels.

Significant clients Schlumberger, Hynix Semiconductor, Orkla, HMV Group, Bacardi International.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 18 partners
- 29 associates

What the team is known for A good reputation for advising clients in the financial services, asset management and investment funds, energy and infrastructure, and TMT sectors on a range of transactions. Strong in representing clients on deals in emerging markets, particularly in Africa and Asia.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We are very satisfied with their services on M&A transactions."

What's new? New client and panel wins include Amey, Comcast, SunEdison and TfL.

Work highlights Advised Veoila on the EUR1.45 billion sale of its UK regulated water business to Rift Acquisitions.

Advised Kuroda Precision Industries on the £13 million acquisition of the Jena Tec division of Avingtrans.

Advised Sealed Air on the JPY30 billion sale of Japanese company Diversity to funds advised by The Carlyle Group.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Baker recently advised the UK government on the proposed merger of BAE Systems and EADS, worth £28 billion. He has particular expertise on public company M&A.

Significant clients Anacap Financial Partners, PCCW, Nova Capital Management, Telefonica, NBCUniversal.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently engaged to act on behalf of major financial institutions, including a number of industry leading names. Particularly strong in undertaking work with a multi-disciplinary element that necessitates collaboration with other internal teams.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The work is very commercially driven which is exactly what we are looking for."

Market standing: "The pre-eminent adviser for complex, high-risk claims."

Market standing: "A strong reputation and very well established within the financial services market."

Work highlights Handled the employment aspects of a £1.236 billion divestiture made by Veolia.

Acted on behalf of Portigon over an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and Court of Appeal over a procedural tribunal point.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Hewland provides clients with "good holistic overviews" that lead them to "think about points they had not originally considered." Clients also appreciate his ability to "strike a balance between being commercial and legally robust."

Julian Taylor's practice concentrates primarily upon the representation of financial institutions across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Clients label him a "true business partner," one who fully "understands how to provide commercial advice."

According to one commentator, departmental head Simon Watson "has unparalleled experience in representing respondents in high-value matters." Others highlight his experience and strength in "marshalling the facts and taking account of the wider issues."

Philip Bartlett is frequently called upon to advise respondent clients from the financial sector. He was involved in the Veolia transaction in a supervisory capacity.

Andrea Finn is commended by sources for her "incredible work ethic" and strength in contentious situations. She is hailed as a "sophisticated, experienced adviser" and is perceived to adopt a style that "engenders trust" in clients.

Known for the vigour with which she represents clients, the "approachable and commercial" Anna Rentoul is "very good at thinking about how people are likely to react and to feel" when facing employment disputes.  

Significant clients AllianceBernstein, AXA Group, Deutsche Bank, Invesco, Visa.

Environment - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Advising on transactions and financings, particularly in the energy and waste sectors. Also advises clients on environmental liabilities and contaminated land matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Visibility: "The firm is putting the support into the team as a bespoke practice."

What's new? New clients include Sun Edison and Transform Land.

Work highlights Advised Iggesund Paperboard on the environmental and regulatory aspects of a biomass project.

Notable practitioners  

Steven McNab leads the firm's environment and climate change team. He regularly advises on transactional and regulatory environment matters and has gained a reputation among clients and peers as an "entrepreneurial and inventive" lawyer. Sources say: "He doesn't look for problems, he looks for solutions." 

James Taylor is an experienced associate who regularly handles regulatory and transactional environment work. Sources describe him as a "good, solid lawyer."

Significant clients Veolia Water, ABB AB, IKEA, Threadneedle Estates, Viridor. 

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Established track record of handling high-value civil fraud disputes, involving injunctive relief and international asset recovery. Draws significant clients from the CIS.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Team strength: "They have extremely good partners who are seasoned campaigners."

Notable practitioners  

Nick Benwell is a key partner in the practice group.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly developed information and communications technology practice, complemented by a focus on telecoms and hi-tech patent law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A really excellent firm. The team is really interested in our business and also understands how we work as a team."

Work highlights Continues to advise Samsung on its multi-jurisdictional design right, patent and unfair competition dispute, a legal battle of epic proportions.

Advised mobile telecommunications company Truphone on a £70 million capital investment from Roman Abramovich.

Notable practitioners  

James Cotter acts for clients in the financial services, telecoms and public sectors, mainly with regard to cloud hosting, data centre, system implementation and regulatory matters. 

Significant clients Huawei Technologies, HTC, Ministry of Defence, Samsung, Virgin Media. 

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Predominantly known for its high-quality patent litigation work but also has a fine soft IP practice. Acts for major clients in a number of highly technical industries, including pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "We always know we're in for a battle when we come up against them."

Value for money: "The people we deal with are responsive and willing to consider alternative fee structures to give clients certainty." 

What's new? Michael Gavey and Scott Parker were both promoted to partner in 2012.

Work highlights Acted for Samsung in its multifaceted disputes against Apple concerning various patented aspects of its devices.

Represented Bayer Pharma in a patent revocation case brought by Gedeon Richter concerning oral contraceptive drugs.

Notable practitioners  

Kevin Mooney is "the absolute godfather" of the patent litigation world, particularly within pharmaceutical work. He has been heavily involved of late in advising on the new Unified Patent Court. "I'd want him on my side," said one interviewee.

David Stone is leading the firm's charge in non-patent work, and has particular expertise in copyrights and trade marks. He has been acting for Samsung in litigation against Apple. Sources say he is "brilliant on design law."

Marc Döring is a "first-class" patent litigator with "outstanding knowledge and business understanding." He practises across a wide range of patent cases, and recently acted for Bayer Pharma in proceedings concerning its 'Yasmin', 'Yasminelle' and 'Yas' drugs.

The "terrific" Marjan Noor litigates patents within the life science sector, where she is "universally admired," say interviewees. She represented Eli Lilly in revocation actions brought against the company concerning its product olanzapine.

Significant clients GlaxoSmithKline, Coca-Cola, Capita Group, Takeda, INEOS Healthcare.

Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Admired for the breadth of its practice, which houses expertise in numerous specialist areas such as fund disputes, insurance and professional liability. Solid grounding in mainstream commercial litigation. Noted as highly active on an international basis.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are forward-looking, responsive, comprehensive and a pleasure to work with. Nothing is too much trouble." 

Efficiency: "Excellent value for money. They are innovative in the way they try to staff cases and deliver work for us." 

What's new? New clients include Fujifilm, Warner Chilcott and Sealed Air. Reappointed to the Ofgem panel and won places on the Société Générale and Macquarie Bank panels.

Work highlights Acted for two individual defendants on a significant cross-border dispute arising from the 2005 LBO of Italian telecoms operator Wind Telecomunicazioni.  

Successfully represented Ennismore Fund Management in the High Court in defence of claims over bonus payments brought by a former manager.

Notable practitioners

Colin Passmore is recognised for his strong client service skills: "He's very involved in the overall relationship; he works hard to make sure it is strong and functioning well." He possesses particular strength in professional liability disputes and those involving retail banks.  

The "calm and experienced" Robert Turner "has excellent judgement" and is perceived by sources as being "very smart and very involved." He is a highly active litigator who has previously acted for key clients CRC Credit Fund and Attestor Value Master Fund.

Reported as being "very good with clients," Philip Vaughan is also characterised as "a very calm guy who specialises in big cases." He has a strong track record acting on complex disputes in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Experienced partner Caroline Hunter-Yeats acts for wealth management firms on highly technical financial litigation and is identified by market sources as a "very effective litigator." 

Significant clients Bluecrest, Mitsui, Qatar Petroleum, GlaxoSmithKline, Coca-Cola.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Demonstrates strength in advising both trustees and employers on all areas of pensions law. Can draw on the expertise of lawyers in the firm's international offices to act on cross-jurisdictional matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "We are very happy with the standard of work carried out by Simmons & Simmons, and with the timeliness of delivery."

What's new? Danny Tsang has joined the firm from K&L Gates, where he was department head.

Work highlights Advised Veolia Water UK on the pensions elements of the £1.2 billion sale of its UK regulated water businesses to Rift Acquisitions.

Acted for the SmithKline Beecham Pension Plan trustees on the merger of the scheme with the Stiefel Scheme.

Notable practitioners  

Clients describe Michael Wyman as "completely trustworthy" and note that "his attention to detail is remarkable." He recently advised BASF on the closure of its UK final salary scheme to future accrual and the merger of the scheme with Ciba Pension Scheme.

Danny Tsang is highly respected for his work advising employers, trustees and insolvency practitioners. One source enthuses: "He's easy to deal with and has a good commercial perspective."

Louise Waldron advises on all areas of pensions law. Alongside Tsang, she arrives from K&L Gates, where she assisted on a wide array of matters for clients such as Care UK.

Significant clients Anheuser-Busch InBev, BASF, BNP Paribas, GlaxoSmithKline, HMV.

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Adept at handling a broad range of cases for large insurers. Well-known for their work with solicitors, accountants, brokers, and construction professionals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "An impressive practice that has made its mark in this area."

Work highlights Advised CMS on a claim brought by Edenwest alleging negligent advice, successfully arguing for the claim to be struck out.

Notable practitioners 

James Pollock is "highly commercial, as well as able to leverage academic legal points in our favour." Described by peers as "formidable," one impressed commentator described him as "a big character who I'd trust to fight my corner." 

Caroline Hunter-Yeats is known by peers for her involvement in big-ticket cases. She regularly advises on claims relating to financial institutions including IFAs.

Colin Passmore is one of the most recognised names in the professional negligence market. Known for his litigation expertise, he remains active in this area.

Simon Hilditch is "pragmatic and thinks outside of the box." "Tactically masterful," he can "deal with issues before they become a problem, he's good at making things go away."

Significant clients Beazley, Mitsui, QBE, Travelers, Hardy.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-6 partners
-28 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A full-service real estate finance team with global expertise. Acts for all parties in the market, including non-bank lenders. Offers advice across a range of industry sectors, including hotels and leisure, housing and construction finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The team is very experienced, very responsive and proactive in dealing with issues. It was a positive experience."

Work highlights Advised lender banks Aareal Bank Wells Fargo and Santander on the £130 million acquisition financing of a prime London office block at 99 Bishopsgate. The property was acquired by Brookfield as part of a wider portfolio of real estate purchases.

Advised Santander in its role as lender on the development financing of the Great Northern Hotel at St. Pancras station.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Kildahl remains a go-to lawyer for transactions in this area. Clients comment that he is "hugely experienced, very attentive and very commercial – someone you would turn to for commercially minded advice. He's good at steering us in difficult projects."

Mark Waghorn continues to be a pillar in the real estate finance community. He is described as having "very good industry knowledge and depth of experience. He is professional and competent."

Significant clients CBRE, Patron Capital, Helaba, Royal Bank of Canada Europe, The British Land Company.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for developers, investment funds and asset management clients. Areas of particular strength include corporate occupier and corporate recovery matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "A strength is their ability to cover just about every angle of every legal issue. You'd have to go a long stretch to find something they can't do."

Industry knowledge: "They have an understanding of both insolvency and real estate."

What's new? John Kelsey joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner.

New clients include Arab Banking Corporation, Native Land Investments and UK Government Major Projects.

Work highlights Acted for Deka Immobilien Investment on the acquisitions of Kings Place, the Palestra building and 5 Aldermanbury Square.

Acted for Nationwide Building Society on the leasing of new headquarters at One Threadneedle Street.

Notable practitioners 

Nick Jones is head of international real estate in London.

Significant clients CBRE Global Investors, Henderson Global Investors, Ministry of Justice, NAMA, Threadneedle.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Growing presence in the market with diverse expertise. Recognised for its strength in providing contingency planning advice in pre-insolvency situations. Adept at advising companies and directors, with increasing activity in bank-side representation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Simmons & Simmons is one of the most balanced firms in understanding the key issues around service levels. The team will always have open discussions about work quality and deadlines."

Work highlights Advised HMV Group on its administration and restructuring, including the renegotiation of its banking facility and the disposal of its live entertainment division.

Advised GHG, the landlord of the private hospitals and its directors on the potential restructuring of £2.1 billion of debt.

Notable practitioners

Peter Manning is described as "an excellent no-nonsense lawyer who blends robust legal advice with a good balance of commerciality." Highlights this year include advising GHG on its significant debt restructuring.

Alan Gar is singled out for his experience in representing creditors. One source comments: "He brings bank-centric expertise to the team," adding that "he is top-quality, organised and gives superb advice." He is also praised for his ability to "eliminate lengthy mediation by utilising his commercial negotiation skills."

Significant clients NAMA, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, BDO.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises on tax planning, property transactions, and the tax implications of banking and capital markets transactions, with the added benefit of substantial tax expertise across its offices in continental Europe. Strong experience in advising clients in the finance, energy, media, life sciences and technology sectors. Also houses a notable indirect tax practice which advises clients on VAT and other indirect tax matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Quality advice across the board – strength and depth in the firm; we enjoy working with the people there.

Work highlights Providing tax advice, including on VAT, to Becton Dickinson on its USD730 million sale of a majority stake in its labware business to Corning.

Advising Boost Management on the tax implications of its establishment of a programme with the purpose of issuing exchange-traded products tracking equity and commodity indices.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Cronkshaw is described by one client as "very responsive and very solution-driven." He heads the tax group in London and on a global basis, and frequently advises clients on M&A and property transactions.

Martin Shah specialises in advising financial services sector clients, including a number of investment funds, asset managers, banks and insurance companies.

Significant clients BlueBay Asset Management LLP, The British Land Company, ED&F Man Holdings, HMV Group, Veolia Water UK.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Well-regarded aviation finance practice with particular expertise in export credit financings. Notable expertise in helicopter financings alongside strong capabilities in commercial aircraft financings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Simmons & Simmons delivers more than merely technical expertise. They will run through everything to get to the correct commercial solutions with me."

Industry knowledge: "They're always fully up to speed with any new developments in the market."

What's new? Donna Ager joins the team after eight years at Clifford Chance, bringing extensive experience in aviation finance.

New client wins include AerLingus, Avolon Aerospace, Bank of America Leasing (Ireland) and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance.

Work highlights Advised BNP Paribas, Bank of America and the Development Bank of Japan on the USD400 million financing of eight Airbus A320 aircraft for LATAM Airlines and TAM.

Advised Crédit Agricole on the refinancing of two Airbus A320 aircraft for Interjet.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Boresjo heads the department and is well regarded in the market for his aircraft finance and leasing practice.

Aviation finance specialist Mark Moody is praised for his capabilities in advising on export credit finance deals.

Sources describe Donna Ager as "part of the next generation," and clients appreciate her responsive and commercial outlook in aviation finance matters. 

Significant clients BMI, CIAF Leasing, Finnair, JPMorgan, Lloyds Bank, Natixis, Standard Chartered Bank, Volito Aviation.

Commodities - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London 

What the team is known for Financial services regulation incorporating advice on both exchange-traded and OTC commodities derivatives. Highly regarded for its leading metals practice, and for its advice on energy trading, regulatory enforcement and the structuring of financial instruments related to commodities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I have been very happy with the firm's work; the advice has been practical, comprehensive and commercial."

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Melrose heads the commodities and energy trading practice at the firm and is widely admired in the market. He is an expert on regulation in the commodities and futures sphere, and is known for his expertise in metals derivatives trading. 

Highly regarded practitioner Darren Fox has a primary focus on the regulation of hedge funds, and also advises on energy and metals futures.

Charlotte Stalin focuses on European and UK financial services regulation, including advising on regulation and compliance concerning futures and commodities.

Significant clients Jefferies Bache, Scotiabank, Futures and Options Association. 

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Broad practice covering domestic and international construction projects and disputes. Active advising on complex contracts and conducting international arbitrations. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "It was a high-level service with very short response times and the best industry knowledge, and they were very patient with us."  

Work highlights Advised Viridor Waste Management Services on a complex EPC contract relating to an energy from waste project. 

Notable practitioners  

Clients appreciate that Richard Dyton provides "focused and straightforward advice, timely service, and a proactive approach." He acts on the purchaser side of matters, and for UK and overseas governments.   

James Pollock is "very big on strategy, doing it fantastically," according to commentators. He specialises in insurance-based disputes and professional liability claims for construction professionals.

Significant clients Beckton Dickinson, Turner & Townsend, Doran Consulting, MVV Umwelt, Etihad Rail.  

Consumer Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 3 associates

What the team is known for Strong financial services expertise. Sought after by major banks and consumer credit clients for a wide array of matters, including structured finance platforms, litigation, regulatory advice and contract negotiation. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Members are very responsive, knowledgeable and practical. And they are very good at providing ongoing updates to keep the business informed on changes in the legal environment."

Bench strength: "Simmons is a high-quality team across the board. It provides quality advice and has strength and depth in the firm."

Notable practitioners 

Practice leader Mark Dewar moves up the rankings this year following tremendous praise from clients who appreciate his "in-depth knowledge of the consumer finance landscape" and that he is "a very experienced and commercial lawyer."

Significant clients O2 Telefónica, Anacap, Arbuthnot.

Corporate Crime & Investigations - UK-wide

What the team is known for Experienced at handling cross-jurisdictional corruption investigations for corporate clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Apart from being responsive, which is very important in these matters, it's really just their pragmatic approach."

Bench strength: "They have a rotating, but high-quality group of assistants. You get the sense that they are able to apply a high level of intellect and experience."

What's new? Leading practitioner Stephen Gentle has recently arrived from Kingsley Napley. He joins the firm at the same time as ex-Berwin Leighton Paisner associate Elinor Lloyd.

Notable practitioners 

"Talented" lawyer Nicholas Benwell has an excellent reputation for handling a range of white-collar matters, including criminal investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption. Clients prize his "depth of experience of working on complex matters." 

Stephen Gentle has an outstanding reputation for representing corporations and high-profile individuals in relation to corruption, sanctions and cartel defence. Sources describe him as "very tactically astute," "a real powerhouse of an intellect" and "probably one of the most charming and approachable people any client would wish to meet."

"Star of the future" Elinor Lloyd is singled out for her impressive experience, "entrepreneurial" approach and "ability to articulate the rationale for what she's advising in a way that makes good common sense."

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Active on UK power matters. Skilled in project finance and development, as well as M&A arising in the energy sector.

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Technical ability: "Simmons has good renewables expertise - the partners were fully dedicated to our deals and were always available. It was very cordial and friendly."

Visibility: "They pop up on some of the most interesting deals outside of London done from London."

Work highlights Acted for Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, negotiating funding and co-operation agreements in connection with development of the Shah Deniz gas field.

Represented Teesside Gas Processing Plant in the sale of the plant to Arclight Capital Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Wallace has advised AES in connection with the Kribi IPP in Cameroon. Sources praise his “solution-oriented negotiation style" and affirm he is "good at taking a deal through its paces."

Significant clients Latvenergo, Veolia, Qatar Petroleum International, Egyptian LNG, Viridor.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strong reputation across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Experienced at advising on projects in emerging markets, sponsoring large-scale mining projects and handling associated infrastructure works and matters involving dispute resolution.

Work highlights Acted for First Quantum Minerals in relation to the sale of assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which included the Kolwezi copper/cobalt tailings mining project and Frontier and Lonshi mines, and associated arbitrations.

Advised BlackRock World Mining Trust on its USD110 million royalty financing arrangement with London Mining concerning sales of iron ore from the latter’s Marampa project in Sierra Leone.

Notable practitioners

Juliet Reingold is a key contact.

Significant clients Mwana Africa, Copperbelt Minerals, Quantic Mining, Kaminex, Sumatra Copper & Gold.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 24 partners 
- 40 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London 

What the team is known for Provides clients with an international non-contentious regulatory practice, with particular strength in advising asset managers and hedge funds. Also offers a full-service contentious regulatory practice, with specialists experienced in a wide range of FSA investigations, especially those related to insider dealing and market abuse. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They're good at leveraging their abilities across different jurisdictions."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Attestor Value Master Fund, in connection with the first representative action in the MF Global Special Administration.

Continued to be active in litigation stemming from the Lehman Brothers insolvency, recently representing Credit Fund in successfully defending the Court of Appeal judgment in the Supreme Court.

Notable practitioners  

The "very capable, very competent" Darren Fox is praised for his "enormous expertise" in the non-contentious regulatory space. He is especially noted for his experience in advising the hedge fund sector and his clients include many leading UK and US hedge fund managers.

Contentious regulatory expert Richard Sims "has a huge breadth of experience and can cut straight through to the nub of the issue." Sources particularly appreciate that he possesses "a real understanding of the way the FSA thinks."

Charlotte Stalin advises financial services institutions on a wide range of issues involving regulation, including compliance, risk management and the international offering of services and products.

Non-contentious regulatory specialist Jonathan Melrose concentrates his practice on matters related to asset management and market infrastructure. He also advises financial institutions that are involved in derivatives and commodities trading.

Stephen Gentle recently joined the firm from Kingsley Napley, bringing a wealth of experience in contentious regulatory matters. He recently represented an individual in a market abuse investigation brought by the FSA. Sources describe him as a "very calm and careful lawyer."

Significant clients Jefferies, Allianz Global Investors, Scotiabank, Standard Chartered Bank, Morgan Stanley. 

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 11 partners
- 34 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned for its technical ability across the hedge funds industry. Operates effectively at both ends of the market, lately assisting numerous start-ups, as well as large and established fund managers, with formation and capital raising matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have an overview of market practices and vast experience of all the cases. I like the way they work - professional, systematic, precise, and they stick to deadlines."

Bench strength: "They stand out. Great firm and huge team strength." 

Work highlights Advised Deutsche Bank on its structured UCITs platforms, involving ETFs and index-based strategies.

Acted for BlueBay Asset Management on the launch of three hedge funds domiciled in the Cayman Islands.  

Notable practitioners  

Iain Cullen is "extremely good. He has bags of experience, is technically very strong, has very in-depth knowledge of the industry and is able to add considerable value." Of late, he has been active on numerous hedge fund launches for clients including Armajaro Asset Management, Winton Capital Management and Vinci Zafferano. One interviewee adds that he is "one of the top lawyers in this field in London." 

Richard Perry has considerable hedge funds experience and was lately mandated by GSA Capital Partners to set up a quantitative futures fund. Sources see him as "very impressive" with "a very good market overview and very detailed funds experience." 

Neil Simmonds' remit is open-ended funds and hedge funds and he has particular expertise in UCITs funds, lately leading the team providing advice to Deutsche Bank on its UCITs platforms.

Clients find David Williams "particularly helpful and creative," when handling complex matters. He offers a "responsive, quick and accurate" approach and is particularly recognised for his work on real estate funds. Recently, he has been working closely with Lanebridge Investment Management on various issues impacting existing funds as well as potential new projects.

Dale Gabbert recently joined the team from Reed Smith LLP. Whilst at his previous firm, he advised Bunge Investment Management on the post-acquisition restructuring of Climate Change Capital. He is "considered, commercial and very good in conflict situations. His oversight and creative input on matters has, at times, been invaluable," according to one client.

Significant clients Brevan Howard, First State Investments, Natixis Asset Management, Schroders, Tudor Capital Europe.     

Life Sciences - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A large team with high levels of expertise across a variety of life sciences concerns. Particularly accomplished in handling litigation, although its transactional practice is also extremely capable.

What's new? Michael Gavey and Scott Parker were promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights Acted for Bayer in proceedings against Genentech relating to patent revocation and non-infringement.

Advised Becton Dickinson on the USD730 million sale to Corning of its BD Biosciences - Discovery Labware business.

Notable practitioners 

Sources call Marjan Noor a "brilliant" litigator who "clearly understands the industry." Her practice encompasses patent litigation and she regularly works for leading life sciences firms such as Eli Lilly, which turned to her in a case concerning olanzapine.

Marc Döring is a "strong, established practitioner" who receives credit for his litigation work. He recently acted for Bayer on a patent revocation and non-infringement case brought by Gedeon Richter concerning a contraceptive pill.

Charles Mayo is recognised by commentators for handling matters with "exemplary care – he finds solutions to the hiccups. He gives a clear steer and his advice was always given with commercial consideration." He is a busy adviser to various pharma companies.

Richard Binns has a varied IP practice that particularly features transactions in the life sciences sector. He advised Genmab on a licensing deal for its drug daratumumab.

Michael Gavey regularly acts for clients on corporate and commercial concerns, particularly transactional matters. He represented Ascendis Pharma in a licensing agreement with United Therapeutics.

Scott Parker is rated for his work in patent litigation where he focuses on medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical issues. He and Marjan Noor acted for Bayer on the Genentech litigation described above.

Kevin Mooney is deemed a legend in the pharmaceutical patent litigation space. He has recently been chairing the committee tasked with drafting procedural rules for the new Unified Patents Court.

Significant clients Procter & Gamble, Astellas Pharma, LEO Pharma, ViiV Healthcare, Warner Chilcott.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Significant expertise in advising public agencies and private sector clients from the logistics, financial services and accounting sectors on IT and business process outsourcings. On the technology side, the team's expertise encompasses software development, telecoms supply and procurement contracts.

Work highlights Assisted the Ministry of Defence with a logistics procurement project for non-explosive commodity items.

Advised Telefónica UK on outsourcing its European finance and accounting functions to Genpact International. 

Acted for the Money Advice Service on outsourcing a UK-based debt advisory contact centre to Elizabeth Finn Care. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Alexander Brown is a key contact.

Significant clients HMV, Imperial College, MHRA, Ministry of Justice, Virgin Media.

Projects - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Offices in London and Bristol 

What the team is known for Acts domestically and internationally on PFI and PPP projects. Advises lenders, and the public and private sectors, in areas such as defence, transport, waste and secondary market deals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They manage to tread the line, between being too passive and pushing their own ideas too much, extremely well."

Efficiency: "They have been sensibly proactive in ensuring that the appropriate grade of staff are employed across the project in order to try to balance cost against task in an effective manner."

What's new? Iain Duncan was promoted to partner in 2012.

The firm was appointed to the Transport for London panel.

Work highlights Advised MVV Umwelt on an energy-from-waste PPP on MOD land.

Advised Viridor Waste Management on the South London waste PPP.

Notable practitioners 

Richard Dyton is an experienced PPP/PFI partner who has advised on areas such as waste, transport and defence. He advised Viridor Waste Management on its bid for the Central Bedfordshire Waste PFI. Sources say: "He is experienced and knowledgeable and he has an ability to lead negotiations and find good solutions."

Iain Duncan is a new partner in the projects group. He has experience acting on PFI/PPP projects in areas such as transport. Sources say: "He has a good understanding of projects and the attendant risks, and he is good at finding solutions to problems."

Significant clients Ministry of Defence, Surrey County Council, UK Green Investment Bank, Network Rail.

Product Liability - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A solid contender in the food law sector, offering expert advice across a wide range of product safety and consumer issues. Particularly notable for its involvement with industry groups such as the International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

Work highlights Acted for Jarden Consumer Solutions Group on a product safety issue in France and advised on a Europe-wide corrective action.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Dewar is reportedly "a force to be reckoned with" and invites glowing reviews from clients: "He's always there, always free and flexible. He cuts through a lot of the red tape and the jargon."

Significant clients E&J Gallo.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Advises sponsor and lender clients on projects domestically and internationally. Operates in areas such as power, renewables, mining, defence and transport.

What's new? New clients include BlackRock World Mining Trust.

Work highlights Advised Nabucco Gas Pipeline International on a gas pipeline connecting the Caspian region to Western Europe.

Advised AES on the EUR92.4 million Dibamba IPP in Cameroon.

Notable practitioners 

Patrick Wallace focuses on project financings in the infrastructure and energy sectors. He led the team advising on the Dibamba IPP project in Cameroon. Sources say: "He has nothing to prove so he is not silly about point scoring. He is technically good and sound, and commercially sensible but robust."

Significant clients UK Ministry of Defence, Latvenergo, Qatar Petroleum International, Egyptian LNG, Teesside Gas & Liquids Processing.   

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Regulatory, consumer protection and supply chain issues are key areas of expertise offered to suppliers and retailers. Broad retailer advisory practices combining retail finance, commercial and consumer products regulatory expertise. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity of advice: "Simmons is absolutely fantastic. The advice is clear and concise. We've never had issues."

Technical ability: "They seem to have a high level of competence in the fields we employ them for as well as an interest in being involved in the improvement of the standards of practice."

What's new? Recently joined by partner David Stone in London, who specialises in IP matters including brand copyright, trade marks and designs.

Work highlights Handles TJX Brand Companies' trade mark portfolio as well as its supply arrangements in Spain and the UK.

Acting for SAMSUNG on its ongoing dispute with Apple and leading the team handling EU design right and patent issues.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Dewar leads the practice and is the key contact.

Significant clients Coca-Cola, SAMSUNG, Abercrombie & Fitch, TK Maxx, Virgin Media.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

What the team is known for Offers comprehensive transactional and legal advice to international clients, including those in emerging markets. Additional expertise in related regulatory matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market reputation: "Simmons & Simmons has always had a strong and respected telecoms practice."

What's new? Hong Kong Telecom, NTT Europe and Wholesale Applications Communities secured as new clients.

Work highlights Provided firm-wide assistance with MTN's sale and leaseback from HIS of telecommunications towers in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon.

Advised PCCW on its asset and share purchase of South African mobile operator Vodacom in several European and African jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

Tom Wheadon offers "invaluable expertise and great support." Industry clients include suppliers as well as customers in the areas of media, e-commerce and satellite communications. 

Alexander Brown advises on telecoms outsourcing and handles data protection matters. Interviewees appreciate his understanding of commercial realities. "He has incredibly clear thinking and can cut through the mess for clients," praises one source.

Significant clients Comcast, Virgin Media, Samsung, Verizon. 

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 11 partners
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Noted for its ongoing relationship with Network Rail, as well as for its involvement in numerous large infrastructure projects.

What's new? Appointed to Transport for London's panel.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Dedicated service: "Great leadership and advice when required. A strong work ethic. Proactive in suggesting ways forward and resolutions to issues."

Work highlights Acting for Network Rail on the upgrade to the Thameslink service. The firm advised on the Property Agreement and Property Compensation Agreement with London Underground, and on plans for new depots.  

Notable practitioners  

Carol Hewson is a litigator with particular experience in the rail industry. She frequently acts for Network Rail in disputes with various rail companies.

Juliet Reingold's approach is "personable, confident and very effective," say commentators. She exhibits "a good balance of leadership and subject matter expertise" that has led to her "quickly gaining the trust of senior project team leaders."

Significant clients Etihad Rail, Dimetronic, Transport for London.