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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

London

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
  • www. freshfields.com
  • Senior Partner: William Lawes
  • Managing Partner: Ted Burke
  • Executive Partner: Stephan Eilers
  • Number of partners: 440
  • Number of lawyers: over 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 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
■ Compliance
■ State aid
■ Public procurement
Contacts: John Davies, Martin Klusmann

Corporate:
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

Disputes:
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 every 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

Finance:
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 300 lawyers worldwide, including 72 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 160-metre ‘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

Tax:
Freshfields’ tax and disputes teams have a marketleading 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

    Contacts
  • Antitrust, Competition & Trade: John Davies, Martin Klusmann
  • Corporate: Edward Braham
  • Dispute Resolution: Chris Pugh
  • Employment, Pensions & Benefits: Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt
  • Finance: Alan Newton, Dirk Schmalenbach
  • IP/IT:  Klaus Beucher
  • Real Estate: Chris Morris
  • Tax:  Murray Clayson
  • Associate Recruitment:  Richard McCabe, Megan Ascione
  • Graduate Recruitment:  Ben Staveley

Branches

  • The Makeen Building,
  • Office 202,
  • PO Box 129817,
  • Abu Dhabi,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tel +971 2 6521 700
  • Fax +971 2 6521 777
  • Strawinskylaan 10,
  • Amsterdam,
  • North Holland
  • Netherlands
  • 1077 XZ
  • Tel +31 20 485 7000
  • Fax +31 20 485 7001
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • Bahrain World Trade Centre ,
  • 37st Floor,
  • East Tower,
  • PO Box 20184,
  • Manama,
  • Bahrain
  • Bahrain
  • Tel +973 1 713 4333
  • Fax +973 1 713 4300
  • Mestre Nicolau 19,
  • Barcelona,
  • Catalonia
  • Spain
  • 08021
  • Tel +34 93 363 7400
  • Fax +34 93 419 7799
  • 3705 China World Tower Two,
  • 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue,
  • Beijing,
  • China
  • 100004
  • Tel +86 10 6505 3448
  • Fax +86 10 6505 7783
  • Email : asianewsletters@freshfields.com
  • Potsdamer Platz 1,
  • Berlin,
  • Germany
  • 10785
  • Tel +49 30 20 28 3600
  • Fax +49 30 20 28 3766
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • 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
  • 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
  • Al Fattan Currency Tower, 20th Floor,
  • Dubai International Financial Centre,
  • Sheikh Zayed Road,
  • PO Box 506 569,
  • Dubai,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tel +971 4 5099 100
  • Fax +971 4 5099 111
  • 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
  • #1108 Saigon Tower,
  • 29 Le Duan Boulevard,
  • District 1,
  • Ho Chi Minh City,
  • Vietnam
  • Tel +84 8 38226 680
  • Fax +84 8 38226 690
  • Email : asianewsletters@freshfields.com
  • Via dei Giardini 7,
  • Milan,
  • Lombardy
  • Italy
  • 20121
  • Tel +39 02 625 301
  • Fax +39 02 625 30800
  • 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
  • Prannerstrasse 10,
  • Munich,
  • Bavaria
  • Germany
  • 80333
  • Tel +49 89 20 70 20
  • Fax +49 89 20 70 21 00
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • 601 Lexington Avenue,
  • 31st Floor,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10022
  • Tel 212 277 4000
  • Fax 212 277 4001
  • Piazza del Popolo 18,
  • Rome,
  • Lazio
  • Italy
  • 00187
  • Tel +39 06 695 331
  • Fax +39 06 695 33800
  • Email : email@freshfields.com
  • 10 Collyer Quay 42-01,
  • Ocean Financial Centre,
  • Singapore,
  • Singapore Island
  • Singapore
  • 049315
  • Tel +65 6636 8000
  • Fax +65 6636 7000
  • Akasaka Biz Tower 36F,
  • 5-3-1 Akasaka Minato-ku ,
  • Tokyo,
  • Tokyo-to
  • Japan
  • 107-6336
  • Tel +81 3 3584 8500
  • Fax +81 3 3584 8501
  • Email : asianewsletters@freshfields.com
  • 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
  • Suite 600,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20004-2692
  • Tel +1 202 777 4500
  • Fax +1 202 777 4555

Corporate/Commercial - Africa-wide

What the team is known for A strong cross-border M&A practice that advises on significant transactions with African elements. London and Middle East offices take a lead role for their established clients, with partners in other European offices also advising on African investments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capability: "Freshfields are clearly making a big effort in Africa."

Work highlights Advised Abraaj Capital on its acquisition of West African food group Fan Milk International.

Notable practitioners  

Shawn der Kinderen and Julian Main lead the Africa Group. They are based in Amsterdam and London respectively.

Significant clients Xstrata, Etisalat, Barloworld, MTN.

Dispute Resolution - Africa-wide

What the team is known for A globally renowned international arbitration practice that plays a lead role in some of the largest disputes involving African parties. The firm represents both governments and corporate clients, and mandates range from major disputes in the oil sector to construction arbitration and contentious work in the telecoms sector.

What's new? In early 2014, it was announced that Constantine Partasides and Georgios Petrochilos would leave Freshfields, and Gaetan Verhoosel would leave Covington & Burling, with both sets of lawyers joining arbitration legend, Jan Paulsson, to form a new boutique firm.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have a massive arbitration practice."

Work highlights Advised Econet Wireless on post-takeover litigation and arbitration regarding a multibillion-dollar stake in the company, with proceedings in Lagos, London and Amsterdam.

Acted for the African telecommunications group MTN on a USD4.2 billion lawsuit in the USA regarding the loss of a telephone license in Iran.

Notable practitioners 

The key contacts are London-based Sylvia Noury, Dubai-based Reza Mohtashami, Paris-based Elie Kleiman and New York-based Brian King.  

Significant clients Government of Kenya, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Tullow Oil, MTN Group.

Arbitration (International) - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Global arbitration giant acquiring increasing prominence in the Asian market, particularly in Hong Kong and Japan. Acts for clients across the region on large-scale commercial and investment mandates in sectors such as private equity, oil and gas, and retail.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "This team's strengths include experience, global reach and availability. The quality of the work produced is outstanding."

What's new? Hong Kong-based arbitration lawyer John Choong was promoted to partner in May 2013.

Notable practitioners  

Globally renowned arbitration figure Lucy Reed continues to establish herself as one of the main players in the Asian arbitration market. She receives widespread praise for her extensive work across commercial and investor-state arbitration, interviewees referring to her as "a real player who is hugely experienced," and "an absolutely fantastic advocate."  

Banking & Finance - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for A robust practice with a solid presence across Asia but particularly strong in the China and Vietnam markets. Known for its acquisition finance and general lending expertise, and handles transactions for both financial institutions and corporates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "It was easy to understand the commercial implications of the decisions and they were very good in that aspect, making things simple for us."

Work highlights Acted for Guoline Overseas on the financing of its offer to acquire the share capital of Hong Kong-listed Guoco Group. The value was approximately HKD8.25 billion.

Advised two Thai banks on separate loan facilities to Charoen Pokphand Group.

Notable practitioners 

David Winfield, based in Hong Kong, is a key contact.

Significant clients Blackstone, Fufeng Group, HSBC, Bank of America, Asian Development Bank.

Capital Markets - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Formidable track record advising issuers on equity deals, including acting on many of the most high-profile IPOs in the Hong Kong market. Harbours particular expertise in its Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vietnam offices, backed up by its growing practice in Singapore. Also strong in DCM including in renminbi bonds and MTN programmes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Very good co-ordination between Tokyo, London, Hong Kong and their other offices. They're hands-on and easy to deal with."

Efficiency: "Professional, prompt and accurate." 

Work highlights Advising Goldman Sachs, the global co-ordinator, bookrunner and placing agent, on the USD3.1 billion follow-on offer by Sinopec.

Advised principal selling shareholder, Matahari Department Store and the issuer CVC Capital Partners on the USD1.3 billion equity offering of Matahari Department Store. This was the largest equity sale in Indonesia in recent years.

Notable practitioners  

Teresa Ko is the firm's China chairperson, based in Hong Kong, and a founding member of the ECM practice. Stephen Revell is co-head of the global capital markets practice and a key contact in Singapore.

Significant clients Esprit Holdings, BNP Paribas, BOCI Asia, China Communications Construction, Merrill Lynch.

Corporate/M&A - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for A first-rate M&A practice that offers comprehensive corporate legal services including advice on banking and finance and securities law. Maintains a strong reputation in China for its recent growth and undertaking of high-value deals. Frequently represents European companies on joint venture projects and interest transfers in Japan. Highly regarded for its private equity expertise having assisted Chinese and international funds with regional transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Solution-oriented: "They truly distinguish themselves by having the ability to suggest creative solutions."

What's new? William Woo joined as a partner of the Hong Kong corporate department in February 2013.

Work highlights Advised HSBC on the USD9.4 billion divestment of its Ping An Insurance shares.

Represented E.ON UK in connection with the sale of its 50% interest in Horizon Nuclear Power to Hitachi for a consideration of EUR696 million.

Acted for Arbaaj Capital in the sale of its shares in Integrated Healthcare Holdings via offerings on the Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore stock exchange.

Notable practitioners  

Hong Kong partner Robert Ashworth is the regional managing partner of the firm's Asia practice. He is the main contact for both corporate/M&A and private equity matters.

Significant clients General Atlantic, CVC Capital Partners, Abraaj Capital, Pacific Century Group, Warburg Pincus, Blackstone.

Energy & Natural Resources - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for A growing transactional energy practice acting out of offices in China, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam. Active on major matters for significant global clients.

What's new? The firm reopened an office in Singapore in September 2012.

Work highlights Represented Hess on the multibillion-dollar disposal of Thai and Indonesian oil and gas assets, marking the client's exit from both jurisdictions.

Acted for BG Group on the disposal of its USD470 million of natural gas distribution body Gujarat Gas.

Notable practitioners  

Gavin MacLaren is a key partner in the Singapore office. He recently acted on Hess's disposal of South-East Asian assets and represented a group of Japanese clients on their disposal of a smelter project and a hydropower project. Sources describe him as "knowledgeable and practical adviser."

Significant clients Hess, Nippon Asahan Aluminium, Sumitomo Chemical, Seadrill, Goldman Sachs.

Life Sciences - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Handles complex transactions such as first listings in Hong Kong for emerging PRC pharmaceutical companies. Also active in intellectual property, regulatory and dispute resolution work. Well positioned to assist clients with marketing and promotional strategies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Their regional network and coverage are very good."

Work highlights Provides ongoing commercial, IP, regulatory and HR advice to Haemonetics, supporting all aspects of its operations in China and other jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region.

Notable practitioners  

Beijing-based Jack Wang is a key contact.

Significant clients MSD/Merck, Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, Warburg Pincus, China Animal Healthcare.

TMT - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Specialising in large corporate transactions, particularly in the telecommunications space. Involved in a number of substantial cross-border projects from its offices in China, Vietnam and Singapore. Also notable for regulatory work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "A team of international and local lawyers ensured comprehensive advice from all perspectives."

Value for money: "They're fair about their billing. It's fantastic value because they're really efficient."

Market standing: "They have some very strong clients and a very strong corporate practice."

What's new? The firm's Asia network was extended by the re-opening of an office in Singapore in late 2012.

Mark Parsons was promoted to partner and co-head of the TMT practice group.

Work highlights Advised Singapore Telecommunications on the formation of a joint venture with Myanmar Telephone and Royal Myanmar Transport, for the purpose of acquiring a telecoms licence in Myanmar.

Assisted Hutchison Telecommunications on the expansion of its 3 mobile phone network into Indonesia.

Advised China Telecom on its USD13 billion acquisition of CDMA Network.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Parsons is a contact for the Asia-wide practice in Asia. Tony Foster is a key partner in Vietnam.

Significant clients Vodafone, Hewlett-Packard, Hutchison Telecommunications, Logica, Singapore Technologies Telemedia.

Banking & Finance - Austria

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 Westbahnhof A3 by ACRON.

Capital Markets - Austria

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.

Corporate/M&A - Austria

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. He is 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.

Dispute Resolution - Austria

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.

Intellectual Property - Austria

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.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Austria

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."

Tax - Austria

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.

Corporate & Finance - Bahrain

This international firm has a long-standing reputation in Bahrain, where it frequently acts for the government. The firm's seven lawyers also advise heavyweight clients on transactions in the oil and gas and construction sectors. Clients comment on the team's thorough and prompt advice, noting that it is "resourceful and efficient." One source added: "The service is worth every penny and its lawyers are amazing." Key mandates include advising the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation on the privatisation of the bus system, as well as acting on a USD1.1 billion financing arrangement for Bapco. Head of the Bahrain office Harnek Shoker is described as the "dynamo" of the practice and is praised by clients for his strategic thinking.

Competition/European Law - Belgium

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 is regularly sought for advice on competition issues with German aspects, recently assisting 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, and advised 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 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."

Thomas Wessely frequently advises German clients on domestic and European competition matters. He recently assisted Brenntag with an appeal before the Düsseldorf courts against a decision made by the Bundeskartellamt. 

An expert in EU competition law, Michael Esser splits his time between Cologne and Brussels. He recently represented Liberty Global before the Court of Appeals in Düsseldorf following an appeal by Deutsche Telekom regarding the FCO’s clearance decision of the takeover of Kabel BW. One client notes that he "does not hesitate to ask difficult questions and understands the complexity of our business."

Corporate/M&A - Belgium

The "highly respected" Vincent Macq is praised by interviewees for his experience and for his 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 amongst 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."  

Corporate/M&A - Brazil

The Italy-based Brazil desk typically handles transactions and disputes involving the two jurisdictions. Ricardo Gardini de Andrade is the key contact. 

UK-based David Sonter is the firm's key contact point for all Brazil matters. He regularly works with international clients executing transactions in Brazil, and Brazilian clients investing globally. 

General Business Law - Cambodia

This firm recently reopened its office in Singapore, where it operates a Cambodia practice specialising in representing the state in a range of international disputes. Highlights include acting for Cambodia in a maritime dispute with Thailand, and representing the country in its first arbitration before the ICSID, brought by the subsidiary of a US power producer and concerning the construction of a power plant in Phnom Penh. The team is led by corporate and energy and natural resources lawyer Gavin MacLaren, who has over a decade's experience advising on Cambodian matters. He has negotiated on behalf of the Cambodian government with various foreign investors, including Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell. Recent highlights include taking the lead in the firm's representation of Cambodia in its maritime dispute with Thailand.

Corporate/M&A - Canada

What the team is known for This London-headquartered firm regularly advises Canadian clients on a wide variety of outbound work, including acquisitions, joint ventures and capital markets transactions. The firm also acts for international clients on the establishment of their Canadian operations, and on cross-border transactions with a Canadian component. Areas of expertise include banking and financial services, energy and resources and telecommunications.

Work highlights Acted for business and technology services company Logica on its GBP1.7 billion acquisition by Canadian company CGI.

Notable practitioners  

Laurie McFadden is a key partner in London for Canada-related work.

Banking & Finance - Central & Eastern Europe

Peter Allen is recognised for his debt and equity capital markets work in Russia and CEE. He worked with the Moscow office advising Rosneft on its debut Eurobond offering, which totalled USD3 billion.

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

Moscow-based Sebastian Lawson advises on equity offerings and privatisations. His expertise lies across CEE and the CIS.

Nick Hayday is an experienced capital markets and Islamic finance lawyer. He is recommended for his knowledge of Ukraine, Slovenia and Bulgarian deals.

Duncan Kellaway is noted for his presence on debt capital market matters in CEE. He acted as lead partner to BNP Paribas, HSBC, and Raiffeisen Bank International on the Republic of Bulgaria's EUR950 million issuance of 4.25% notes due 2017.

Corporate/M&A - Central & Eastern Europe

Sebastian Lawson is an expert in CEE and CIS-wide transactions, with a focus on corporate transactions, equity offerings and privatisations.

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.

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. He speaks Russian fluently and has in-depth knowledge of working in countries of the former Soviet Union.

Projects - Central & Eastern Europe

Willibald Plesser mainly focuses on corporate/M&A law, and is also particularly strong in energy mandates in the CEE and SEE regions. "I am deeply impressed with his attitude and approach," said an interviewee.

Banking & Finance - China

According to clients, David Winfield is a "very knowledgeable and commercially minded" practitioner. He specialises in leveraged finance transactions and financial restructurings. Amongst recent highlights, he advised a subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust on a HKD4 billion financing to acquire Asia Container Terminals.

Capital Markets - China

Teresa Ko leads the practice and is consistently described as "a significant force in the market" by commentators. Clients observe that "she will give you commercial and to-the-point advice," while one went as far as to term her "a queen dealmaker." She acted for Goldman Sachs, the global co-ordinator, bookrunner and placing agent, on a recent USD3.1 billion follow-on offer by Sinopec.

Grace Huang continues to make her mark on the equity capital markets. She wins praise from clients who consider her to be "the complete package." She recently advised China Pacific Insurance on a high-value private placement of H-shares.

Ken Martin is prized by clients who note that he is "a very commercial, affable guy with a good perspective." He represented the underwriters (including Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch) on the USD902 million IPO of Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal.

Andrew Heathcote focuses on debt capital markets, an area in which he is said to "know his way around the issues." He was the lead partner advising Hutchison Whampoa on the EUR2 billion bond issuance by Hutchison Whampoa Europe Finance.

New York-admitted Calvin Lai recently advised Esprit Holdings on elements of its recent USD644.5 million rights issue. He speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese.

William Woo joined the team in February 2013 from Orrick. He concentrates on equity matters, particularly IPOs in the mining sector, and is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Competition/Antitrust - China

Department head Michael Han continues to be viewed by market commentators as "a premier competition lawyer in the region who is very active, well known and respected." He leads many of the team's most significant matters, which have included advising Xstrata on the Chinese antitrust implications of its acquisition by Glencore, valued at approximately USD90 billion. He is based in the firm's Beijing office.

Associate Vivian Cao is well versed in the competition aspects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and worked with Michael Han on the acquisition of Xstrata by Glencore.

Ninette Dodoo is widely respected by peers for her knowledge and technical ability. Clients also rate her highly, with one interviewee reporting that "I think Ninette is wonderful: a real antitrust expert." 

Nicholas French previously spent two years in Beijing and now co-heads the international China antitrust team in London, where he focuses on guiding Chinese companies through the competition implications of operating in Europe.

Corporate/M&A - China

Hong Kong-based Robert Ashworth "understands the commercial perspective" of deals, according to interviewees. Recent mandates include ones in insurance; for example he acted for Pacific Century Group in relation to its purchase of Asian insurance units from ING. He is also prized for his deep "experience, which is hard to find."

Teresa Ko is noted for her expertise in equity capital markets as well as M&A, working with a number of major Chinese and international clients. Recent M&A highlights include advising HSBC on the sale of its interest in Ping An Insurance, a USD9.4 billion transaction. She has also undertaken transactions in the telecoms sector of late. Interviewees highlight her "commercial and to-the-point advice."

Alan Wang has experience on transactions in the manufacturing and pharmaceuticals sectors. In addition to major cross-border corporate mandates, he has also picked up work in private equity.

Jack Wang is considered "approachable and very responsive, with a sharp intellect." He is particularly active in the telecommunications and pharmaceuticals sectors, and has a growing focus in relation to the automotive industry.

Recent highlights for Heiner Braun include acting for Pacific Century Group on the acquisition of insurance units in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand from ING. The transaction was valued at USD2.14 billion. He is also a German-qualified lawyer and represents Chinese clients on mandates with German aspects.

Sabine Stricker-Kellerer is head of the China desk at the Munich office. Her practice focuses on major transactions with a Chinese element, although she is also well versed in dealing with contentious issues and is a member of the China International Economic & Trade Arbitration Commission.

Dispute Resolution - China

This major international player is developing a solid position in the market, particularly for contentious financial services regulatory matters and internal investigations. In highlights, it recently advised a Swedish lock manufacturer on its anti-corruption regimes: the scope of its advice spanned the Asia-Pacific region, and involves consideration of the relevant laws in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and India, among several other jurisdictions. Main contact Geoff Nicholas heads the international commercial disputes group and is also co-head of the global investigations practice. He divides his time between Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Dispute Resolution - China

Lucy Reed heads the firm's worldwide arbitration team, dividing her time between Hong Kong and the firm's recently relaunched Singapore office. She consistently receives the highest praise from sources, who describe her as "an absolutely fantastic advocate with a great reputation." She is widely regarded as a leading authority on commercial arbitration, and is also in great demand as an arbitrator. 

Newly promoted partner John Choong receives excellent feedback from sources, who highlight his technical ability, responsiveness and intelligence. One in particular reported that "he is very impressive: very smart and very articulate." He has a broad practice, spanning international arbitration, cross-border litigation and internal investigations.

Hong Kong-based Geoff Nicholas frequently advises clients on cross-jurisdictional disputes, in addition to providing guidance on anti-corruption issues in Hong Kong and Mainland China. He is head of the firm's international commercial disputes group and co-head of the global investigations practice. Previously based in London, he maintains an impressive reputation, having represented such noted international clients as Rolls-Royce and Accenture.

Intellectual Property - China

Clients recommend Richard Bird for his "excellent IP advice." He has an established practice acting for multinational corporations in non-contentious matters related to R&D arrangements and IP commercialisation in Greater China.

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)
Market standing: "I am extremely satisfied. We used the firm because the arbitration was large with a lot at stake and we needed the best."

Breadth of services: "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 about 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. Praised for integration of international services. Expertise includes infrastructure and project financing, syndicated loans and structured finance. Advises on debt restructurings, alternative financings and trade finance.

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

Work highlights Acted for Haymarket Financial, ING Bank 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) 

Bench strength: "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 on the GBP211 million IPO of HellermannTyton Group. 

Assisted a syndicate of banks with their role as joint bookrunners for MegaFon's USD1.7 billion IPO. This included undertaking 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 European Commission, 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)
Market standing: "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 European Commission.

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/M&A - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Outstanding European coverage, with market-leading corporate/M&A teams in the UK, France and Germany, as well as 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)
International capability: “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 Insurance Group, Invensys, HSBC Holdings, 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 and Spain as well as 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)
Commercial awareness: "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.

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. Offers additional expertise in IP litigation and portfolio management capabilities covering patents, trade marks and copyright. Fields further key teams in Germany, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "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.

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) 
Bench strength: "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."

International capability: "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 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.

The Austrian office acted for Kommunalkredit Austria and KA Finanz on 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.

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)
Bench strength: "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.

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 HP, Microsoft, Sony Pictures, BT, Vodafone.

Banking & Finance - France

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."

Capital Markets - France

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. 

Corporate/M&A - France

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 form discussion on matters not just M&A-related. He's super-focused and remains calm in negotiations.”  

Frankfurt office managing partner Britta Zierau heads the French desk and advises clients on cross-border transactions. She is fluent in German, French and English. 

Dispute Resolution - France

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

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. He speaks Russian fluently and has in-depth knowledge of working in countries of the former Soviet Union.

Dispute Resolution - France

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." 

Tax - France

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.

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."

Banking & Finance - Germany

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 Holdings.

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

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 Deutsche Lufthansa on a leveraged French lease financing for the first Boeing 747-8i.

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.

Brazilian-born Lucas Annes is an associate in the firm's Frankfurt office and focuses on capital markets law and structured finance. He completed his legal studies in Brazil, at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Principal associate Gabriela Gomes Strieder specialises in domestic and cross-border project finance. A native Brazilian, she completed her legal studies in Brazil and worked at a law firm in São Paulo before joining Freshfields in Frankfurt.

Clients praise up-and-coming finance lawyer Mario Hüther for the high level of client service he offers: "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 last twelve months include advising Charterhouse Capital Partners on its EUR348 million financing of the acquisition of BARTEC Group.

Capital Markets - Germany

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 placement 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 placement of 3.61% shares in Amadeus IT Holding.

Corporate/M&A - Germany

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.

An expert in EU competition law, Michael Esser splits his time between Brussels and Cologne. He recently represented Liberty Global before the Court of Appeals in Düsseldorf following an appeal by Deutsche Telekom against the FCO’s decision to clear the takeover of Kabel BW. One client enthused that he "does not hesitate to ask difficult questions and understands the complexity of our business."

Peter Haberrecker's Italian language skills and knowledge of Italian law and culture make him well placed to advise Italian companies doing business in Germany. He was part of the team that advised the Italian Barilla corporation on the sale of its stake in the German bakery producers Lieken to the Czech company Agrofert. One client was impressed that "no matter what the problem was, he was very reactive."

With many years of experience assisting German and Turkish buyers with cross-border deals, Hartmut Nitschke heads the firm's Turkey desk. His recent mandates include advising E.ON on its acquisition of a 50% stake in Turkish energy company EnerjiSA-Group from Verbund of Austria. 

Sabine Stricker-Kellerer has over 25 years of experience dealing with Chinese matters, and is the firm's senior China counsel. She is a member of the panel of arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and a founding member of the German Chinese Dialogue Forum. Of late she has advised a major European airline on various investments in China.

An experienced practitioner in French-German deals, Britta Zierau recently advised the French automotive group PSA on the creation of a joint German headquarters for the Peugeot and Citroën brands in Cologne.

Based in the Shanghai office, Heiner Braun is a Germany-qualified lawyer and represents Chinese clients in mandates with German aspects.

Brussels-based Frank Montag is highly rated for his work on significant corporate transactions and investigations. Clients regularly seek him out for advice on competition issues with German aspects, and 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 recommend him highly," states a client.

Tobias Müller-Deku is based in Riyadh. He has extensive experience of handling cross-border matters involving Germany and the Middle East, recently representing Volkswagen in the formation of a joint venture with Automotive Technologies Alliance and Saudi Arabian Marketing & Agencies. Clients say: "He has tremendous client focus and is pragmatic and business-oriented."  

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 entering the Russian market for the first time.

Brussels-based partner Thomas Wessely frequently advises German clients on domestic and European competition matters. He recently assisted Brenntag with its appeal against a decision by the German competition authority before the Düsseldorf court. 

Foreign Desks Freshfields' Switzerland desk regularly advises German clients on transactions involving Switzerland or Swiss companies. Key contacts include Mark Strauch and Christian Bunsen in Frankfurt am Main.

The Turkey desk advises foreign companies on their Turkish investments as well as Turkish companies abroad. It has long-standing experience of working in Turkey and has strong links with Turkish law firms, financial institutions and government agencies. Hartmut Nitschke in Cologne is the main contact for the desk.

Since publication, Axel Epe has retired from this practice.

Dispute Resolution - Germany

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.  

Clients describe Christian Borris as "objective, professional and very quick." His long-standing experience of sitting as an arbitrator as well as acting as party representative enables him to see a case from both points of view and offer practical and workable advice to clients when acting as counsel. He comes particularly highly recommended by clients for corporate disputes work.

Boris Kasolowsky recently became head of the firm's German disputes department. Clients are impressed with his ability to think on his feet: "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."

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.

Since publication, Christian Borris has joined Borris Hennecke Kneisel

Since publication, Christian Borris has joined Borris Hennecke Kneisel

Since publication, Christian Borris has joined Borris Hennecke Kneisel

Intellectual Property - Germany

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."

Restructuring/Insolvency - Germany

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.

Tax - Germany

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 boardrooms, 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.

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

Arbitration (International) - Global-wide

What the team is known for Global arbitration leader with outstanding strength in all major hubs and increasing prominence in Asia. In-depth experience of multibillion-dollar commercial and investment cases across a variety of sectors. Leading individual experts on each continent supported by a vast team of dedicated arbitration practitioners, with extensive experience of acting on complex cases under all institutional and ad hoc rules.

What's new? In early 2014, it was announced that Constantine Partasides and Georgios Petrochilos would leave Freshfields, and Gaetan Verhoosel would leave Covington & Burling, with both sets of lawyers joining arbitration legend, Jan Paulsson, to form a new boutique firm.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Freshfields has done a fantastic job of integrating its offices to make it truly a global practice, following a real concerted effort over the last few years. On top of its game."

Market standing: "This firm is strong in many areas that are critical to the client and has a very good reputation in the international arbitration community."

Work highlights Represented Crystallex International in its bilateral investment treaty (BIT) related ICSID case against Venezuela, concerning a major gold mine. The USD3.2 billion case involved experts from a number of Freshfields' North American and European offices.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Blackaby in Washington, DC draws extensive international praise for his investment treaty arbitration practice. He is particularly active on energy cases, especially involving Latin American parties. Sources recommend him for his "experience, knowledge of the energy industry, and imagination in preparing strategy and arguments."

A long-standing figure at the top of the field, Hong Kong-based Lucy Reed is "an accomplished international lawyer with significant experience in arbitration." Sources describe her as "a strong strategic thinker" who is "well versed on technical issues, a good communicator, and very creative and analytical." Her recent transfer to the Hong Kong office demonstrates the firm's commitment to growth in the Asia-Pacific arbitration market.

Asset Finance - Global-wide

What the team is known for A notable player for aviation and rail finance, with a particularly strong brand in Germany and in the UK. The firm handles a broad range of matters including portfolio financing, lease financing and bonds work for clients including several major airlines from across Europe and the Middle East.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):

Expertise: "They are very strong in aviation." 

Work highlights Advised Dubai Aerospace Enterprise on a USD550 million portfolio refinancing for 19 narrow-bodied aircraft on lease to 11 operating lessors in ten jurisdictions. 

Advised Ryanair on a 12-year USD193.4 million US EX-IM backed pre-funded bond issue to enable the purchase of seven Boeing 737s.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Murphy enjoys a strong international reputation for his work in aviation finance. Notably, he advised Aercap on the USD160 million acquisition and lease of five Boeing 737 aircraft to American Airlines.

Dirk Schmalenbach is a highly regarded partner in the firm's aviation finance practice in Frankfurt. His clients include Air Berlin, Hannover Leasing and a number of German banks.

Konrad Schott is active in both the rail and aviation spaces in the German market. He has advised Lufthansa on a number of transactions, including several Japanese operating leases.

Simon Hall specialises in rail finance and has acted on a number of large rolling stock and rail infrastructure projects in the UK. He advised HS1 on the refinancing of acquisition and corporate debt related to the Channel Tunnel high speed rail link.

Significant clients Avolon Aerospace, UK Government, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Deutsche Bank.

Banking & Finance - Global-wide

What the team is known for Acting for financial institutions, institutional investors and corporates in cross-border financings, with a growing client base of alternative investors. Strong European practice supported by key Asian presence. Particularly known for experience advising borrowers. Expertise in leveraged finance, debt refinancings and infrastructure finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capacity: "Where the firm doesn't have an office, the lawyers know who is the best lawyer in that particular jurisdiction. The firm is also very good at managing those global and local relationships."

Work highlights Advised Techem Energy Services on its EUR1.3 billion debt refinancing through high-yield bonds.

Notable practitioners

David Trott is global head of finance and is based in the London office along with UK head of finance Neil Falconer. David Winfield leads the Asia-Pacific practice, splitting his time between Singapore and Hong Kong.

Significant clients Cinven, CVC Capital Partners, HSBC, Prudential M&G, RBS.

Capital Markets - Global-wide

What the team is known for Maintains its position as a global equity heavyweight and is also very proficient when it comes to debt work. This is particularly true in London, Central Europe and Asia. The firm is also well-versed in securitisation matters in London and the structuring of products in the USA and across Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Responsiveness: "The overall impression is very high."

Work highlights Acted for a syndicate of banks as joint bookrunners for MegaFon's USD1.7 billion IPO.

Notable practitioners Sarah Murphy and Stephen Revell are joint heads of the global capital markets practice. Sarah is a key contact in London and Stephen splits his time between Singapore, Hong Kong and London.

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

Competition/Antitrust - Global-wide

What the team is known for Exceptionally strong in Europe, with a superb team of litigators in London, and added strength and depth thanks to top-ranked practices in Belgium, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. Handles all manner of investigations, as well as private damages, state aid, cartel and merger enforcement cases. It has an increasing profile in China and Japan, and additionally acts on a range of important mandates in the USA, with continued development in this jurisdiction. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A Rolls-Royce competition firm. I have been able to choose from the cream of competition lawyers, and this is certainly a top choice."

International capability: "Excellent globally. One of the reasons we use Freshfields is because it has such a global network."

Work highlights Lawyers from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Washington, DC and seven European offices represented a global financial institution in regulatory and criminal investigations relating to the alleged manipulation of Libor and other interest rates.

Advised on the antitrust and merger control aspects of GM's alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroën. The matter involved merger filings in Europe, Asia and Central and South America, and the team was made up of practitioners from Brussels, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo and Washington, DC.

The Brussels team successfully represented Rio Tinto Alcan in settlement negotiations relating to alleged abuse of dominance in technology licensing.

Notable practitioners

The practice is co-headed by Martin Klusmann, in Düsseldorf, and David Broomhall, who is based in Brussels. Other prominent partners include Deirdre Trapp and Jon Lawrence in London, Frank Montag in Brussels and Michael Han in Beijing.

Significant clients Advent International, Cinven, EMI Group, GM, Pearson.

Corporate Investigations - Global-wide

What the team is known for Expertise throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA on fraud, internal investigations into corruption, and self-reporting to foreign enforcement agencies. Also defends clients in actions brought by prosecutors and regulators. Clients include financial, technology and other corporate clients which the firm assists with compliance programmes in relation to anti-corruption.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Global reach: "They have a great network, their global reach is very good and they bring in a wider consideration."

Work highlights Representing a Swiss bank in connection with an investigation by the DOJ and Internal Revenue Service into alleged facilitation of US customers to avoid tax payments. 

Notable practitioners

Aaron Marcu is a key contact in the USA and Geoff Nicholas is a key contact in the UK.

Significant clients HSH Nordbank, Moneygram International, JPMorgan Chase, Smiths.

Corporate/M&A - Global-wide

What the team is known for Unanimously acknowledged as a top choice for multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions, offering formidable coverage of Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. Can draw on the resources of market-leading teams in key jurisdictions such as the UK, France, Germany and Russia to assist with major global deals, and enjoys a steadily growing in prominence in Asia and Latin America.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "Freshfields has fantastic global coverage. One of the things that struck me is how quickly they can make their senior people and top-drawer talent available. Very impressive.” 

Work highlights Advised British engineering company Invensys on a recommended offer by France’s Schneider Electric to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Invensys.

Acted for the Abraaj Group on its agreement to acquire a 100% stake in Fan Milk International, West Africa’s market-leading manufacturer and distributor of frozen dairy products and juices.

Notable practitioners

Edward Braham heads the firm's global corporate/M&A practice.

Dispute Resolution - Global-wide

What the team is known for Excellent international reach, with top-quality teams in London, Germany, the UAE and Vietnam. The firm has a well-respected New York practice and also handles high-profile cases in Japan, China and India. Sought after for cross-border litigation and arbitration cases concerning compliance, corporate investigations and contract and investment disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: “They are undoubtedly a first-class litigation team."

Breadth of services: "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.

Notable practitioners

London-based Christopher Pugh leads the firm’s global dispute resolution practice. Jonathan Rawlings is a key contact in the Middle East and North Africa litigation and global investigations group, and Peter Turner is the head of arbitration in Paris.

Employment - Global-wide

What the team is known for Strong in Europe, and reaping the rewards of sustained investment in the Asian market with an outstanding Japanese employment practice. Well regarded for advising clients on the employment aspects of major transactions, including on sensitive industrial relations matters, employee investigations and litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
International capability: "They're very effective at handling multi-jurisdictional matters. They're better than anybody else that I've come across in that space." 

Expertise: "Good quality - they know exactly what they're doing. We work with them with the understanding that they know how to fight salient points."

Work highlights The Hong Kong and Singapore offices advised Seadrill on employment issues affecting Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore following the USD3 billion sale of its tender rigs business in Malaysia. 

Assisted Wolseley with the establishment of a new employee stock option plan and long-term incentive plan for a number of countries including the UK, the USA, France and Scandinavia.

Notable practitioners 

Nicholas Squire heads the global employment, pensions and benefits group from London. Kathleen Healy in Hong Kong heads the Asia practice.

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

Insurance - Global-wide

What the team is known for A real corporate powerhouse with an emphasis on cross-border M&A and capital markets deals led from offices in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong. Advises insurers on the impact of regulatory changes, including the implementation of Solvency II.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Communication: "They stand out in terms of technical expertise and  breadth of knowledge. They give me notice of changes that might affect me in the market - it really shows their professionalism."

Bench strength: "There's some amazing talent in Freshfields. They have extremely bright people who know the market very well indeed."

Work highlights Assisted Chartis with the restructuring of its European operations in preparation for the implementation of the Solvency II regulations.

Advised a consortium of banks led by Deutsche Bank and Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co on the IPO of German insurer Talanx, with EUR817 million worth of shares listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Advised HSBC Holdings on the disposal of its 15.57% stake in Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance to four subsidiaries of Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand.

Notable practitioners

Christoph Gleske in Frankfurt and Neil Golding in London co-head the firm's financial institutions group.

Significant clients AIG, Allianz, AXA, Phoenix, Prudential.

International Trade - Global-wide

What the team is known for Advises corporate clients and financial institutions on multi-jurisdictional investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption, as well as providing due diligence and compliance advice. Continues to expand its international offering with the addition of global investigation experts in its various offices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Their global reach is very good, so they bring a wider consideration and have a good insight into the developing regulatory and legislative environment."

Notable practitioners  

Adam Siegel co-heads the firm's global investigations team in New York, alongside Geoff Nicholas who splits his time between the Hong Kong and Singapore offices. Another key contact is Paul Lomas in London.

Outsourcing - Global-wide

What the team is known for Leverages its network of practitioners across Europe, the USA and Asia to advise major financial services and telecoms clients on their outsourcing operations. Offers high-calibre experience in corporate transactions, as well as expertise in related skill sets such as data protection, tax and employment.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're very much on the business side of issues – they don't come in from a legalistic perspective."

Work highlights Assisted AXA Asia with the outsourcing of its regional software development and maintenance function to Accenture and TCS.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Lister is a highly respected name in London. He heads the firm's IP/IT practice.

Private Equity - Global-wide

What the team is known for Represents an impressive roster of global financial investors in multi-jurisdictional transactions, thanks to its extensive geographical coverage. Advises on all aspects of deals including regulatory, finance and competition issues. Additionally sought after for its expertise in emerging markets transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They always offer a very good and timely service, and are able to pool their global resources as needs be, so it's a very good arrangement." 

Work highlights Acted for Advent International on its USD1.15 billion acquisition of Cytec Industries' international Coating Resins business.

Advised Charterhouse Capital Partners on its sale of Ista International to CVC Capital Partners for approximately EUR3.1 billion.

Notable practitioners

Frankfurt-based Markus Paul co-heads the global private equity practice alongside David Higgins in London. Asia managing partner Robert Ashworth is a key contact in Hong Kong.

Significant clients Warburg Pincus, Abraaj Capital, Cinven, EQT, TPG.

Projects - Global-wide

What the team is known for Advises a roster of lenders and sponsors on energy sector financings and transactional work. Strong offerings throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas, with sources particularly complimentary about the teams in Vietnam, Russia and Germany. The firm's top-calibre disputes practice is also appreciated by clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They have considerable expertise in energy and natural resources."

Work highlights Advised BG Group on the USD1.8 billion sale of its 60.1% stake in the Brazilian gas distribution company Comgás to Cosan.

Advised VTB Capital and Gazprombank on the EUR2.9 billion Western High Speed Diameter project linking St Petersburg to Russia's national road network.

Notable practitioners

London-based Laurie McFadden co-heads the firm's global energy and natural resources group with Anselm Raddatz in Hamburg. Based in New York, Melissa Raciti-Knapp co-heads the Latin America group. Tony Foster is managing partner of the firm's Vietnam office, and is a key contact for the Asia practice.

Significant clients BP, Rosneft, Chevron, E.ON, ConocoPhillips.

Public International Law - Global-wide

What the team is known for Outstanding international arbitration practice with an excellent track record in the PIL arena, particularly in relation to investment treaty disputes. Benefits from a strong network of offices, with leading PIL experts in key arbitration hubs including Washington, DC, Paris, London and Hong Kong.

What's new? In early 2014, it was announced that Constantine Partasides and Georgios Petrochilos would leave Freshfields, and Gaetan Verhoosel would leave Covington & Burling, with both sets of lawyers joining arbitration legend, Jan Paulsson, to form a new boutique firm.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "Incredibly impressive practice." 

Work highlights Acted for Chile on a maritime boundary dispute with Peru before the ICJ.

Assisted with the establishment and operation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, in relation to investigations into the unrest in Bahrain following the Arab Spring protests.

Notable practitioners  

Sources describe Lucy Reed as "a big player in the field." She heads the firm's global international arbitration practice, splitting her time between the Hong Kong and Singapore offices. A very highly regarded figure in PIL, she is regularly sought after both as counsel and arbitrator.

Washington, DC-based Nigel Blackaby leads the US and Latin America international arbitration teams. His practice encompasses bilateral treaty investment claims, with a particular emphasis on Latin American countries.

Significant clients ConocoPhillips, Chile, Global Fund, Vestey Group, Union de Cycliste Internationale.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Global-wide

What the team is known for Pre-eminent in the UK, Russia and Germany, with additional restructuring capability in the Hong Kong office. Standout company-side practice in Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "World-class for innovative and outside-the-box solutions. They are first-class lawyers."

Client service: "They do a great quality job, they give us good advice, and they react quickly to bring matters forward."

Work highlights Lawyers in the UK and Germany advised the ad hoc committee, holders of over EUR1 billion worth of notes, in relation to the Deutsche Annington Immobilien Group's rescheduling of EUR4 billion worth of REF notes.

The London team advised the senior co-ordinating committee of Travelodge on its GBP760 million restructuring.

Notable practitioners

Ken Baird in London is the global head of restructuring. David Winfield leads the Asian finance group.

Significant clients The Blackstone Group, Rothschild, Lazard, Deloitte, KPMG.

Tax - Global-wide

What the team is known for A prominent player in some of the market's most complicated and challenging multi-jurisdictional cases. Offers exceptional European coverage, with noteworthy offices in Germany, the UK, France and Belgium, as well as a solid US practice. Highly esteemed for work in the finance sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are responsive and always provide an all-round full service to clients."

Work highlights Assisted Xstrata with its USD90 billion proposed merger with Glencore International.

Acted for JSC 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.

Notable practitioners

Silvia Paternain chairs the global tax practice from Madrid. Other key practitioners include David Haworth in the UK, Norbert Schneider in Germany and Cyril Valentin in France. Claude Stansbury is the US practice contact, based in DC.

Significant clients Porsche Group, Merckle, Rolls-Royce, Berggruen, EMI.

TMT - Global-wide

What the team is known for Impressive European offering combined with excellent teams in China and Vietnam. The firm's TMT workload spans a variety of industries, including music and print publishing, telecoms and software.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "I think one of the things that really distinguishes them is their strength and depth: you have a big team supporting you and there's uniformity in the quality of people doing the work, from the solicitors right down to the trainees."

Work highlights Assisted Hutchison 3G Austria with its EUR1.3 billion acquisition of Orange Austria, and the regulatory issues it faced as a result of removing one of the four major players from the Austrian mobile market.

Notable practitioners

Frank Miller and Laurent Garzaniti are co-heads of the TMT practice, based in London and Brussels respectively. Mark Parsons is based in the firm's Hong Kong office, and Thomas Tschentscher is a key name for Frankfurt. Klaus Beucher in Cologne is recognised for his media expertise.

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

Corporate/M&A - India

London-based Pratap Amin heads the India practice and is praised for his exceptional depth of knowledge of the Indian market, as well as his prowess in handling corporate matters. Commentators concur that he is "extremely knowledgeable and well connected."

This firm's India team is often sought out for its expertise on strategic acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures. It aids many European and US corporations on India-related transactions. Pratab Amin in London is a key point of contact for this practice area. He co-heads the India team as a whole with Arun Balasubramanian, who is based in Singapore. 

Dispute Resolution - India

This group's London-based India desk is a source of deep experience of India-related disputes, particularly in the telecoms sector. Commentators attest to the team's international reputation: "Because they are top of the pack in Europe, they pick up more than their fair share of India-related cases." The practice is bolstered by a solid corporate team on the India desk. India group head Pratap Amin is the key contact.

Corporate/M&A - Israel

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners

- 6 associates

What the team is known for Significant local presence and focus on high-end transactions. Excels for both inbound and outbound work. Of late, highly active in private equity transactions as well as the energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Expertise: "Freshfields is the place to go for an Israeli company with a challenging problem overseas."

Market standing: "A top firm." 

Work highlights Advised Generali on the renegotiation of the sale of its 69.1% controlling stake in Migdal Insurance. The transaction was completed with the sale price at EUR705 million.

Advised Delek Energy on perfecting the rights of two of its subsidiaries in licences obtained for gas fields offshore of Cyprus.

Notable practitioners  

Frank Miller heads the firm's Israel focus group in London and acts on the most high-profile mandates. He is a "first-class lawyer with a huge understanding of business matters," clients say.

"Top-class" lawyer Adir Waldman is the firm's main contact in Tel Aviv, who is involved in all of the firm's key transactions as a consultant. One impressed client said: "He is one of the smartest guys I ever met," while another called him "super responsive and extremely effective."

Significant clients IDB Group, Israel Corporation, Makhteshim Agan Industries, East Mediterranean Gas, Elbit Systems.

Banking & Finance - Italy

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 issuance.

Raffaele Lener has long-standing expertise in the financial sector, acting for an impressive range of domestic and international clients, with a particular interest in Middle Eastern clients.

Capital Markets - Italy

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 always a pleasure to work with him."

Corporate/M&A - Italy

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 Cinven's sale of Avio's civil and military aviation business.

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

Associate Ricardo Gardini de Andrade is a member of the Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian Bars and heads the firm's Brazil desk from the Milan office.

Educated in Germany and Italy, Peter Haberrecker is based in the firm's Munich office, and frequently acts on Italian-related corporate transactions. In a recent example, he acted for the Italian-based electronics company Zapi on the acquisition of Schabmüller from the Munich-based investor Aurelius. 

Foreign Desks The Brazil desk typically handles transactions and disputes involving the two jurisdictions. Ricardo Gardini de Andrade is the key contact.

Since publication, Massimo Benedettelli has joined ARBLIT

Dispute Resolution - Italy

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: "He gave me a clear picture of the case and provided practical suggestions on the best way to move forward."

Qualified in Italy, Portugal and Brazil, Ricardo Gardini de Andrade focuses on international arbitration and cross-border M&A. A lot of his practice covers Brazil-related disputes.

Lluís Paradell Trius specialises in international arbitration and public international law. He frequently acts for investors and states on disputes involving Latin American states.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Italy

Enrico Castellani frequently lends his impressive litigation skills to restructuring transactions. Market sources admire his broad practice: "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."

Tax - Italy

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."

Banking & Finance - Japan

James Lawden has many years of experience working throughout Asia with substantial Thailand expertise.

Mark Plenderleith advises a range of financial institutions on financing matters in emerging jurisdictions, such as Mozambique, Chile and Indonesia.

Naoki Kinami is a consultant at the firm, and advises major international clients on Japanese regulatory issues.

Capital Markets - Japan

Edward Cole is regularly recruited to handle cross-border transactions involving the UK, Australia and Japan. He is also highly regarded for his cross-jurisdictional M&A expertise. He advised Daiwa Capital Markets Europe on Orix's MTN programme update.

Sources highlight James Lawden's adaptability and his experience in handling asset-backed and equity-linked transactions. Also qualified in England and Wales, he has spent over 14 years working in Japan.

Corporate/M&A - Japan

James Lawden has more than 25 years of experience of practising in Japan, and has developed a deep understanding of Japanese business culture. He acted for Tesco Holding on the sale of its shares in Tesco Japan and related joint venture matters.

Clients describe Junzaburo Kiuchi as "a tremendously good lawyer, with excellent commercial sense." He recently advised Siemens on the Japanese aspects of its 100% acquisition of LMS International, valued at approximately USD866 million.

Department head Edward Cole is credited with being "culturally attuned to his clients," with sources quick to praise his command of the Japanese language. His recent highlights include advising Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Scheme on a global strategic investment alliance with Japan's Pension Fund Association and a consortium led by Mitsubishi.

Takeshi Nakao acted for Bosch Group on the sale of its minority stake in Denso, a Japanese automotive parts company, valued at approximately EUR1.1 billion. Clients praise his responsiveness and communication skills.

Based in London, James Wood was previously head of the Tokyo office and maintains a strong reputation in the Japanese market.     

Dispute Resolution - Japan

Head of the litigation team Kazuki Okada is highly thought of by clients, especially for labour dispute matters. Sources point to his experience acting for unions as a source of his negotiation skills and he is also cited for his commitment to "resolving an issue in the most efficient way to maximise the client's interest."

Akiko Yamakawa advises both international and domestic clients on such workplace dispute issues as sexual harassment, retirement and overtime allowances, and dismissal. She is also skilled in alternative dispute resolution, and international clients appreciate her extremely good English.

Projects - Japan

Mark Plenderleith heads the firm's Asian energy, mining and infrastructure project finance practice and acts particularly prominently for Asian investors and capital providers. He recently advised a leading financial institution with regard to the financing of a major social infrastructure PPP project in Malaysia.

Counsel Don Stokes is a swiftly responsive and widely respected practitioner, best known for his representation of governments, other sponsors and lenders in the structuring and implementation of large project finance transactions. He recently advised one of the principal parties involved in the development of a significant copper deposit in Russia.

Corporate & Finance - Kazakhstan

Moscow-based corporate partner Sebastian Lawson is complimented by sources on both his technical and his team management skills. In addition to his extensive experience in Kazakhstan, he has handled major deals across the CIS/CEE region. He recently acted for KCell on its inaugural stock market listing on the London Stock Exchange.

US-qualified Noah Rubins is widely recognised as an accomplished foreign practitioner for Kazakhstan-related mandates. He recently served on the team negotiating a settlement with the Republic of Kazakhstan on behalf of the Karachaganak consortium in relation to the USD3 billion transfer of 10% of the consortium's interests to KazMunaiGas. The consortium comprised international oil and gas companies, including BG Group, Eni, Chevron and LUKOIL. He is based in Paris, and heads the firm's worldwide Russia/CIS dispute resolution group. He is experienced in acting for clients in international arbitration cases across much of Europe. 

Foreign desks This firm is able to pool the substantial resources of its London, Paris and Moscow corporate, dispute resolution and finance teams to advise clients on Kazakhstan-related mandates. The firm handles both contentious and non-contentious Kazakhstan-related matters with equal finesse, earning it a reputation as a "big name in the Kazakhstani market." It is best known for its work representing international entities in high-profile disputes, and is also recognised to be "very strong for complex banking and finance transactions." A go-to firm for capital market transactions, it was recently instructed by KCell in relation to its inaugural stock market listing on the London Stock Exchange. Other notable clients include HSBC, Air Astana and the Karachaganak consortium of international oil and gas companies, which includes BG Group, Eni, Chevron and LUKOIL. Noah Rubins in Paris is a key contact.

Arbitration (International) - Latin America-wide

Washington DC-based and practice head Nigel Blackaby successfully defended the Republic of Guatemala against a USD185 million claim brought by Iberdrola Energía. He is fluent in Spanish and sources describe him as "an expert on Brazilian law." They also highlight his "fair judgement, understanding of the issues at stake and great familiarity with the region." Blackaby is frequently appointed as an arbitrator.

According to sources, New York-based Alexander Yanos "combines excellent legal skills with broad industry knowledge." He was co-lead partner (along with Blackaby) on the team that obtained victory for Burlington Resources (a ConocoPhillips subsidiary) in its recent ICSID case against the Republic of Ecuador, which involved an estimated claim of USD3 billion.

London-based Sylvia Noury has worked closely with Blackaby on a number of cases and frequently provides pre-arbitration advice to clients from the energy, telecoms, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

New York-based Noiana Paula Marigo was part of the team acting for Pan American Energy in an ICSID dispute against the Republic of Bolivia, which stemmed from the expropriation of the company's Bolivian assets.

Senior associate and London-based Luiz Aboim is a key point of contact for Brazilian cases and has acted for clients in the energy, telecoms and insurance sectors.

Since publication Alexander Yanos has left the firm.  

Projects - Latin America-wide

Melissa Raciti-Knapp enjoys strong praise in this area for her "language skills, cultural understanding in the region and strong finance background."

General Business Law - Libya

This firm's Libya practice offers advice on a range of corporate, M&A and finance mandates. It assists foreign and Libyan clients on matters pertaining to their investments within the country, including advice on sanctions issues. Pervez Akhtar heads the firm's MENA practice from Dubai. He is well known for the work he has done for the Libyan Investment Authority and is a popular choice among clients for his work in the region. 

Corporate/Commercial - Middle East-wide

What the team is known for A key regional player, well known for advising on M&A and commercial mandates related to the energy sector, with a far-reaching geographical spread. Maintains an illustrious list of clients, including state entities, sovereign wealth funds, private investors and major corporations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
Solution-oriented: "They know exactly what we are looking for, and they are committed to getting things done and are responsive. I can totally depend on them."

Clarity of advice: "The quality of their legal advice is really excellent and they are extremely well co-ordinated."

Work highlights Assisted Emirates NBD with its USD500 million acquisition of a 95.2% stake in BNP Paribas Egypt.

Advised EFG Hermes on its investment with QInvest to establish a leading investment bank operating in the MENA region and South-East Asia.

Advised Gulf Investment Corporation on its USD50 million acquisition of a stake in Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Pervez Akhtar maintains a standout reputation and is consistently identified as a leader in M&A and private equity. He is based in Dubai, and is particularly singled out for his detailed knowledge of practice in Libya, Qatar, Turkey and Pakistan, as well as the UAE. Sources praise his strong leadership and attentive service, with one client noting: "He's magnificent and a very good person to have in your corner."

At the London office, Bruce Embley is extremely active on M&A deals in the region, most notably in Qatar, where he is engaged by clients such as the Qatar Investment Authority. One commentator described him as "a sensible and confident lawyer who picks things up quickly."

London-based Patrick Ko frequently advises Middle Eastern clients on outbound investments, particularly those targeting South Africa, India and South-East Asia. Sources highlight his varied practice and impressive technical skills.

Significant clients Abraaj Group, HSBC, Qatar Holding, Fajr Capital.

Dispute Resolution - Middle East-wide

What the team is known for Outstanding practice driven from Saudi Arabia and the UAE with a focus on construction and energy arbitration, as well as DIFC court litigation. Cross-border investigations as well as international trade and sanctions cases are other key areas of expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Their overall performance is really good. They always respond to your e-mails in an efficient and quick manner, and never neglect even minor issues - it's impressive."

Work highlights Advised East Mediterranean Gas on a multibillion-dollar dispute with the national gas companies and the government of Egypt relating to its supply of Egyptian natural gas to Israel.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees highlight London-based partner Reza Mohtashami as a major driving force behind the firm's success. Sources confirm that he is "very active on sophisticated arbitration matters" and highly personable as well.

Significant clients AstraZeneca, Government of Bahrain, Emirates National Oil Company, Daewoo International, MTN Group.

Projects - Middle East-wide

What the team is known for Well known as an adviser to state and private sponsors on social infrastructure and transport PPPs. Frequently instructed by major oil and gas companies and contractors, and a strong contentious practice in these sectors also adds to the firm's appeal.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I can totally depend on them - they show commitment and dedication. Response times are quick and I can call them any time."

What's new? Tim Pick joined the firm's London office in 2013 from Shearman & Sterling.

Work highlights Advised Bahrain's Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Housing on an affordable housing project, to be built on a PPP basis. 

Advised Alstom Transport on a USD1.5 billion metro construction project in Baghdad.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Pick practised in Abu Dhabi for a decade and continues to be a regional front runner since his move to London and subsequent departure from Shearman & Sterling. Clients describe him as "down to earth, responsive and smart," while peers affirm he is "a good addition to the team."

Significant clients Bahrain Petroleum, Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022, Emirates National Oil.

Banking & Finance - Netherlands

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."

Capital Markets - Netherlands

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." 

Corporate/M&A - Netherlands

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."

Dispute Resolution - Netherlands

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.

Intellectual Property - Netherlands

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.

Tax - Netherlands

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."

Corporate/Commercial - Qatar

What the team is known for A broad range of high-value international and domestic corporate work for Qatari institutions and major corporations operating in the region, notably in the banking sector. Key relationships with clients in the oil and gas sectors and an active involvement in shaping Qatar's regulatory framework.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Broad qualities: "We keep going back to them for the quality of work and advice provided, and their familiarity with the markets. The team is efficient and impressive."

Work highlights Advised Qatar Holding on the allocation of funds from its joint venture with Fonds Marocain de Développement Touristique to various tourist development projects in Morocco.

Advising EFG Hermes on its strategic investment with QInvest to establish a leading investment bank operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and in South-East Asia.

Notable practitioners  

Pervez Akhtar manages the firm's MENA regional team from Dubai, and regularly leads on mandates for Qatari clients.

London-based partner Bruce Embley is described as a "a lawyer who stands out and gets good work," and is a recognised presence on Qatari outbound M&A deals.

Significant clients Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar Holding, Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022, Katara Hospitality.

Banking & Finance - Russia

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. He brings US expertise as he is US-qualified and has spent time practising in the US.

Sebastian Lawson advises on equity offerings and privatisations. His expertise lies across CEE and the CIS.

Capital Markets - Russia

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."

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."

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.

Corporate/M&A - Russia

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.

Sebastian Lawson is an expert in CEE and CIS-wide transactions, with a focus on corporate transactions, equity offerings and privatisations.

Dispute Resolution - Russia

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.

Energy & Natural Resources - Russia

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."

Restructuring/Insolvency - Russia

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. He is qualified to practice in Russia, New York, and England and Wales.

Banking & Finance - Saudi Arabia

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

What the team is known for A regional offering, with a specialisation across the banking and finance, transactional, conventional and Shari'a-compliant spectrum. Sought out for some of Saudi Arabia's most prestigious and complex financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Quality of service: "If we didn't have Freshfields advising us with their knowledge of local regulations, we couldn't have achieved what we did."  

Notable practitioners  

Tobias Müller-Deku is the principal contact and head of department.

Significant clients Nomura, Solvay, Abraaj Capital, Samsung CT, National Bank of Kuwait.

Capital Markets - Saudi Arabia

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

What the team is known for A strong name in equity capital markets, drawing on years of experience in the region and a high-end client roster. Particular expertise on rights issuances and cross-listings involving notable financial institutions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Confidence: "I'm comfortable that Freshfields brings the right people on board." 

Expertise: "Very impressive on the equity side." 

Work highlights Advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch on equity capital markets and regulatory issues.

Notable practitioners  

Tobias Müller-Deku is a recognised stalwart in this sector, and acts for clients on some of the most prominent deals. Clients commend him for his rare mix of both local and international expertise.

Significant clients Saudi Fransi Capital, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Nomura, Sahara Petrochemicals.

Corporate/Commercial - Saudi Arabia

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

What the team is known for Remains a strong player in the market, receiving praise for its cross-border corporate transactions as well as work with major domestic clients. Considered highly skilled in handling corporate matters involving investors and financial institutions, as well as joint ventures and capital markets regulation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Clarity of advice: "The quality of their legal advice is really excellent and they are extremely well co-ordinated." 

Work highlights Acted for Volkswagen in a joint venture with Automotive Technologies Alliance and Saudi Arabian Marketing & Agencies.

Notable practitioners  

The "extremely strong and knowledgeable" Fares Al-Hejailan advises large domestic clients on significant joint ventures and M&A. Sources say: "He has the particular strength to be able to see the big picture and work towards it, without sacrificing the small, important issues."

Tobias Müller-Deku has extensive experience in handling cross-border matters involving Germany, and represented Volkswagen in the joint venture matter mentioned above. Clients say: "He has tremendous client focus, and he is pragmatic and business-oriented."

Significant clients Saudi Fransi Capital, SABIC, Solvay.

Dispute Resolution - Saudi Arabia

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

What the team is known for A new addition to the rankings this year, this firm has an increasing presence in Saudi Arabia. The Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan is one of the oldest and largest Saudi Arabian law firms on the ground, and this co-operation with an international powerhouse has leveraged the best of the local and international facets.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Solution-oriented: "Very impressed with their approach."

Notable practitioners  

Salah Al-Hejailan is the local firm's founder, and his broad strengths cover dispute resolution. Jean-Benoît Zegers has significant arbitration experience in Saudi Arabia, and also from his previous experience in the Paris office of Freshfields.

Significant clients BAE Systems, Gulf Investment Corporation, Cisco Systems, Astrium, Grant Thornton.

Corporate/M&A - Singapore

This newly reopened office boasts considerable Cambodian expertise. The team specialises in representing the state in international disputes, with notable recent work including a dispute over overlapping maritime claims with Thailand. Gavin MacLaren leads the team, and has particular expertise in relation to corporate and energy and natural resources matters.

Energy & Natural Resources - Singapore

Gavin MacLaren acted for Hess on its disposal of energy assets in Thailand and Indonesia. He also recently represented significant Japanese clients on the sale of the Nippon Asahan Aluminium smelter and power station to the Indonesian Government for approximately USD1 billion. MacLaren is also noted for his experience in Cambodia.

Philip Morgan is developing a strong reputation in the areas of energy and natural resources sectors. He was involved in Hess' exit from Thailand and Indonesia. Clients praise his commercial awareness.   

Banking & Finance - Spain

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 two finance agreements with the European Investment Bank, worth EUR150 million and EUR50 million.

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." 

Capital Markets - Spain

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 3.61% stake in Amadeus IT Holding.

Corporate/M&A - Spain

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." 

Since publication, Antoni Valverde Roy has joined Allen & Overy

Dispute Resolution - Spain

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." His 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.

Energy & Natural Resources - Spain

Álvaro Iza and Armando Albarrán are the primary contacts for the practice, which is adept at corporate and M&A, capital markets and finance transactions in the energy sector.

Intellectual Property - Spain

Department head Sergio Miralles is acknowledged for his patent expertise, and impresses clients with his fast responses, proactive approach and organisation skills.

Since publication, Sergio Miralles has joined Intangibles Legal S.L.P.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Spain

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."

Tax - Spain

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.

Since publication, Miguel Lorán has joined Osborne Clarke

Corporate/M&A - Switzerland

Foreign Desks Freshfields' Switzerland desk is led by Mark Strauch in Frankfurt, but also draws upon lawyers from the firm's London and Vienna offices. The team has built up a wealth of experience by acting on major Swiss-related transactions, and utilises this know-how to assist a range of clients with their Swiss work.

Corporate/M&A - Turkey

Pervez Akhtar is based in the Dubai office and is regional managing partner for the Middle East and North Africa region. He has a good understanding of the Turkish legal market and regularly advises clients on matters related to Turkey.

Cologne managing partner Hartmut Nitschke is the lead country partner for Turkey. Eczacibasi Group is just one of the Turkish clients he has assisted over the years.

Foreign Desks Freshfields' Turkey desk has a strong track record of acting on Turkish deals. It has developed relationships with leading Turkish firms and key market players, and can offer in-depth advice to Turkish clients looking to invest globally, and international clients looking to invest in Turkey. Alan Rae Smith in London is a key contact for the desk.

Projects - Turkey

Foreign Desks Alan Rae Smith is one of the key members of Freshfields' Turkey desk. "He knows the market very well and understands the specific issues in Turkish law and regulations," say clients, who also appreciate Rae Smith's solution-oriented approach to projects in the country. The Turkey desk assists with corporate/M&A matters, including those relating to the energy sector, and with project financing and development.

Banking & Finance - UK

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."

Capital Markets - UK

Nick Hayday is an experienced capital markets and Islamic finance lawyer. He is noted for his knowledge of Ukraine, Slovenia and Bulgarian deals.

Duncan Kellaway is noted for his capacity to handle DCM matters involving Central and Eastern Europe, especially the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. He recently advised the Republic of Bulgaria on its EUR950 million sovereign bond issuance.

Peter Allen is recognised for his debt capital markets work in Russia. He has recently been working with the firm's Moscow office to advise Rosneft on its debut Eurobond offering, which totalled USD3 billion.

Sources are full of praise for Sarah Murphy, commenting that she is "obviously completely at the top of her game," and that "when it's a complicated matter she's good at taking charge and heading forward with it." She heads the international capital markets practice and leads on a significant number of DCM and ECM deals in Russia, including advising the bookrunners on OJSC SIBUR Holding's USD1 billion debut Eurobond offering. She is also US-qualified and has a strong capacity to advise on matters concerning the USA.

Madrid-based associate Joe Amann is an expert in UK-related capital markets transactions. He receives warm praise from interviewees: "He's friendly, always provides you with a solution and really takes care of the client."

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.

Highly experienced ECM practitioner Tim Jones has "exceptional" experience and gravitas. He recently advised on DS Smith's GBP466 million rights issue, on behalf of sole sponsor and bookrunner JPMorgan Cazenove.

Capital Markets: Structured Finance, Securitisation & Derivatives - UK

Hong Kong-based partner Andrew Heathcote focuses on debt capital markets and he is said to "know his way around the issues." He assisted Hutchison Whampoa with its EUR2 billion bonds issue.

England and Wales-qualified partner Mandeep Lotay is based in the firm's Amsterdam office. He 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." 

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

Department head Marcus Mackenzie is particularly noted for his expertise in whole-business securitisations. He recently advised Center Parcs in connection with its GBP1 billion securitisation of its UK holiday parks. He has extensive experience in advising on project financing for infrastructure, as well as in the leisure and retail sectors.

The "very experienced" Simeon Rudin is recognised for his strength and experience in the derivatives and structured products market. He offers in-depth knowledge across a range of issues, but largely focuses on more complex transactions that require an innovative approach.

Competition/European Law - UK

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.

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.

The 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.

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.

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 M&A.

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.

Nicholas French is commended by sources, who say: "His organisational skills are excellent and his analytical skills are exceptional," alongside which "he is very strategic and knows what is best to protect the business." He is experienced in all areas of competition law, with particular expertise in advising Chinese companies.

Corporate/M&A - UK

Amsterdam-based partner Shawn der Kinderen represented Barloworld in the disposal of its UK material handling business to Briggs Equipment, a UK-based concern.

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.

Barry O'Brien recently advised Invensys on the proposed GBP1.7 billion disposal of its rail division to Siemens together with a proposed GBP625 million return of capital to shareholders of Invensys. He is highly respected by market sources for his experienced and commercial approach on transactions.

Julian 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.

David Higgins is co-head of the global financial investors group, and is the relationship partner for several key clients. Clients say he is a "first port of call" for private equity matters, "especially if it is a US asset."

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.

London-based Indian expert Pratap Amin is one of the most highly respected figures in the market, as evinced by his "very good network in India and involvement in high-profile deals." Sources also remark that he is a "very good negotiator," with some going so far as to say he is "unparalleled on India matters."

Bruce Embley is described as "a lawyer who stands out and gets good work," and is a recognised presence on Qatari outbound M&A deals. He is also noted for his expertise in dealing with South African matters.

Patrick Ko is a key point of contact for Middle Eastern clients, notably advising on international investment transactions. He has a particular focus on the jurisdiction of Qatar. 

Frank Miller heads the firm's Israel desk and acts on the most high-profile mandates. He is a "first-class lawyer with huge understanding of business matters," clients say.

David Sonter is the firm's key contact point for all Brazil matters. He regularly works with both international clients conducting transactions in Brazil, and Brazilian clients investing globally.

James Wood was previously head of Freshfields' Japanese office in Tokyo. He is currently the firm's country partner for Australia and is involved in a range of corporate transactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Foreign Desks This significant practice has a broad range of international expertise. Jurisdictions where the team is particularly prevalent include Canada, India, Israel, Kazakhstan and Turkey.

Dispute Resolution - UK

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 interviewees. He is a go-to adviser to numerous investment and retail banks and is described as "absolutely excellent."

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.

Raj Parker has earned a strong reputation for his work on disputes across a variety of industry sectors, including banking, leisure, transport and media.

Paul Bowden is a greatly respected international litigator, with particular experience in the Hungarian market.

Hong Kong-based Geoff Nicholas heads international commercial disputes at the firm, and worked in the London office for many years. Clients say: "He is an expert in UK litigation," and comment on his deep understanding of global investigations.

Foreign Desks Home to an Indian group handling disputes for an impressive list of major Indian companies and leveraging off the continuing strength of its India-focused corporate group.

Employment - UK

Nicholas Squire is perceived as a "standout" lawyer in this area, capable of drawing upon years of experience in order to ensure that clients receive a superlative level of advice. "He ensures that the commercial goals of a client are taken into consideration" and is comfortable acting on major corporate transactions.

Lauded for her empathetic approach, Caroline Stroud adopts a commercial style that is of immense benefit to her impressive stable of clients. She represented Vita Group in the Employment Appeal Tribunal concerning an unfair dismissal claim.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK

Head of the global dispute resolution practice and co-head of the oil and gas subsector group, Christopher Pugh maintains a high profile in the energy disputes field.

A relatively new addition to the Freshfields team, commentators note Tim Pick's "good combination of commercial and legal skills." He brings significant expertise and experience on a range of energy matters.  

Insurance - UK

Raj Parker is particularly proficient in insurance matters relating to the financial services sector. He is praised as a "high-quality" lawyer who "impresses clients."

Intellectual Property - UK

Sources "very much rate" Justin Watts, saying he is "creative in his approach to litigation." His primary area of practice is patent litigation, mainly in the pharmaceutical and electronics arenas.

Avril Martindale is known for her abilities in handling transactional matters, including the licensing and protection of acquired IP rights.

Projects - UK

Tim Pick is a new addition to the projects team. He handles project finance work, particularly in the energy sector, in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Sources say: "Tim understood the local context and knows how to get deals done. A very pleasant person to deal with."

Alan Rae Smith is a project finance partner focusing on the energy and infrastructure sectors. Sources say: "He is commercial. He is prepared to look at the overall picture and take a view on risk and what is sensible. You can have pedantic people driving deals into the cupboard and he is not one of them."

Foreign Desks Freshfields has a highly respected Qatar desk, which handles a wide variety of corporate and projects work. Of late, it has been advising eminent names such as Qatar Holding, Qatar Investment Authority, EFG Hermes and The Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022.  

Restructuring/Insolvency - UK

Ken Baird draws substantial praise for his long-standing presence in the market. "He is very wise, has a lot of experience and is an excellent sounding board," said one source.

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."

Several sources highlight Adam Gallagher as the first port of call for complex restructuring and insolvency advice, praise which is understandable when considering market feedback: "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."

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."

Tax - UK

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.

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 as "she has a very thorough and practical understanding of the area." Interviewees describe her "technical ability" as "second to none." She has particular expertise in fund structuring and fund management matters.

Helen Buchanan heads the London and international tax disputes and investigations team and is highly regarded by market observers. She handles a broad range of matters including advising on tax relief concerning film financing, and structured finance arrangements.

Banking & Finance - United Arab Emirates

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

What the team is known for An established presence in the Gulf acting with a diverse banking and finance offering. Significant experience in project, restructuring, regulatory and Shari'a compliance matters for a number of major regional clients including banks and telecoms companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

Sector expertise: "We needed consultation on the Islamic side of things and they came through exceptionally with the partners provided."

Work highlights Advising RAK Ghani Glass regarding a number of Shari'a-compliant loans including ijara and murabaha structures.

Advised Dubai Aerospace Enterprise on a series of aircraft financings, refinancings and leasing matters across multiple jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

William Coleman is active in the structured products, Islamic finance and asset finance sectors. He acts for banks, corporates, financial houses and airlines and aircraft lessors. Clients comment: "William Coleman is a standout lawyer with a great eye for detail, a very good technical lawyer."

Tarek El-Assra is adept in Islamic asset and fund management, project, infrastructure and takaful mandates. Clients enjoy working with him, remarking: "Tarek made it so easy for us: responses were lightning-quick and efficient."

Significant clients HSBC, Deutsche Bank, The Abraaj Group.

Corporate/M&A - United Arab Emirates

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Standout expertise acting on financial and oil and gas sector M&A, advising international heavyweights on deals throughout the region. A dominant player in the private equity space, with a respected client roster of investment firms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Client service: "We are very comfortable with them - we get a lot of their time and attention, they respond very quickly, and pull in resources from around their network."

Work highlights Advised Emirates NBD on its USD500 million acquisition of a 95.2% stake in BNP Paribas Egypt.

Advised Gulf Investment Corporation on its USD50 million acquisition of a stake in Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa.

Notable practitioners  

Pervez Akhtar is widely regarded as a leader within the regional M&A market, where he typically advises private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds. One source said: "He has tremendous ability, great technical knowledge, and can understand key business issues whilst driving the transaction forwards." Another added: "He's someone good to have when you're in a tight spot." He is also singled out for his expertise in Qatar, Libya, Turkey and Pakistan.

Foreign Desks The MENA practice, headed by Pervez Akhtar, is noted for its high volume of corporate mandates in Libya and Qatar.

Significant clients Abraaj Capital, HSBC, Fajr Capital, STC, Etisalat.  

Dispute Resolution - United Arab Emirates

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

What the team is known for Versatile, full-service dispute resolution team, regularly instructed by elite international operators as well as government institutions. Expertise includes international arbitration, global investigations and litigation. Highly active in construction disputes and skilled in handling cross-border cases throughout the wider region.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A market-leading practice, especially in arbitration."

Responsiveness: "Their overall performance is really good. They always respond to your e-mails in an efficient and quick manner, and never neglect even minor issues - it's impressive."

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Rawlings is the firm's expert on litigation, sanctions and global investigations. He leads the team on major disputes and prompts enthusiastic recommendations from market sources.

Market sources confirm Reza Mohtashami's fantastic reputation for major arbitration cases: "He is a very capable pair of hands - prolific in his output." He maintains a highly active role in the firm's MENA practice following his move to the firm's London office in July 2014.

Significant clients AstraZeneca, government of Bahrain, Daewoo International, MTN Group, Emirates Telecommunications.

Real Estate - United Arab Emirates

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for construction dispute resolution, representing international contractors and state entities in matters relating to large-scale power and infrastructure projects in the region. Also advises sector heavyweights on front-end work, including EPC contracts and management agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They always respond to your mails in an efficient and quick manner, and never neglect even minor issues."

Work highlights Advised Alstom Transport on the USD11 billion construction of a railway network in the UAE, as well as on the USD1.5 billion construction of a metro line in Baghdad.

Notable practitioners  

Erin Miller-Rankin is singled out by many for the strength of her contentious practice. One client enthused: "She's a brilliant lawyer with impressive business acumen. She is high calibre and a very good team leader."

Significant clients Daewoo, Hyundai Engineering, Emaar, ENOC, Dubai Properties Group.

Capital Markets - USA

The "terrific" Brian Rance is "thorough and detail-oriented," as well as an "effective draftsman," sources say. He advised Citi Global Markets as initial purchaser and placement agent on a cash-flow CLO transaction managed by Guggenheim Investment Management, under which USD1.013 billion of securities were issued.

Jerome Ranawake is "really good at CDOs, CLOs and related derivatives," clients say. He recently advised State Street Bank & Trust on implementing the Dodd-Frank business conduct rules.

International Arbitration - USA

Nigel Blackaby is widely renowned for his extensive work in the energy sector and in disputes involving Latin America. Sources single out his imaginative ability when it comes to preparing strategy and arguments. Blackaby is currently representing Burlington Resources in an ICSID arbitration against Ecuador.

Brian King elicits much praise for his work as an advocate and arbitrator. "He possesses a great understanding of how to prepare for an arbitration," report commentators. He is currently representing ConocoPhillips in a number of significant arbitrations.

Rising star Noiana Paula Marigo focuses her practice on arbitrations involving Latin America. She formed part of the team that acted for the Republic of Guatemala in a significant ICSID arbitration.

Projects - USA

Melissa Raciti-Knapp is best known for her expertise in domestic and Latin American project finance matters. A large part of her practice focuses on mining and metals, but she is also adept at handling matters for clients from the power, oil and gas, wastewater and infrastructure sectors.

Foreign Desks The firm has a prominent Latin America practice across its US offices. Melissa Raciti-Knapp is co-head of this practice and a key contact for projects work across the region.

Tax - USA

The tax practitioners at this international giant remain a popular choice for a broad range of clients, and offer notable expertise in international matters. Key contacts at the firm include DC-based Claude Stansbury and New York-based Rob Scarborough.

Banking & Finance - Vietnam

Tony Foster continues to be a key player in this sphere, with recent work highlights including acting for FMO on the restructuring of financing provided for a waste treatment project in Ho Chi Minh City. According to one interviewee, "his counsel has consistently been top-class. He presents the salient information perfectly."

Sources say Bui Thanh Tien is "great for day-to-day banking operations as well as the more complex matters." He has recent experience on matters involving project financing, exchangeable loans, and guarantees for bridge loans.

Corporate/M&A - Vietnam

Tony Foster is widely regarded as a leading light in the Vietnamese market. One client enthuses: "He really goes the extra mile to resolve any issue." Foster was the lead partner in the firm's recent representation of HSBC Insurance regarding its divestment in Bao Viet Insurance to Sumitomo Life.

Milton Lawson is praised for his pragmatic approach, which he has recently applied to transactions spanning the food and drink, chemicals and life sciences sectors. "He's built up a great practice and reputation in this country - he's a really talented lawyer."

Projects - Vietnam

Tony Foster is "super, especially for infrastructure projects," say interviewees. He consistently impresses peers and has experience in working for major names including AES and Talisman. He recently advised ConocoPhillips on the USD1.29 billion sale of its Vietnamese assets to Perenco.

Milton Lawson is considered "a solid projects lawyer" and has recently advised significant clients on real estate project developments in Ho Chi Minh City. He also has experience on significant infrastructure projects, including those involving water, ports and roads.