Clifford Chance undoubtedly remains at the very pinnacle of the financial services market, with an incredible depth and breadth of experience and expertise, and a cadre of market-leading individuals. The firm can offer its sterling client list unrivalled resources, a comprehensive global network and the cutting-edge advice that the firm is justifiably known for. The advisory practice recently assisted the International Swaps & Derivatives Association (ISDA) with the proposals for a range of regulations on OTC derivatives (EMIR), short selling and sovereign credit default swaps, market abuse reform and reform of the MiFID, highlighting its involvement in issues which resound throughout the market. The contentious team is increasingly in high demand, with regulators in Europe, the USA and the UK taking an increasingly aggressive and collaborative approach, and the firm has been retained as lead counsel by Barclays and RBS for the much-publicised LIBOR investigation. Clifford Chance's ability to provide market-leading advice across jurisdictions is an invaluable asset to clients. Besides acting for leading financial services firms, it is increasingly asked to represent CEOs, risk directors, compliance officers and board members of such firms.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christopher Bates is "the top one" in the non-contentious area. He is acknowledged as one of the leading intellects in the field, a position he effortlessly combines with an extraordinary grasp of technical detail.
Global head of regulatory enforcement, Roger Best is another leader in the field. He "has real stature in the market," and "knows how things should be run." Prominent clients also speak highly of his intellectual curiosity, which they deem "an incredibly useful resource."
On the receiving end of fulsome praise is the "impressive" Carlos Conceicao, whose time at the FSA has proved of great benefit to clients. He currently represents a senior management individual facing an FSA disciplinary action for potential breaches of its Principle 1 (integrity) and Principle 6 (skill, care and diligence).
Peers highlight Simon Gleeson as a "creative and commercial" practitioner, who is without a doubt one of the leading figures on the advisory side. He is especially strong on the highly technical and esoteric parts of the regulatory framework.
Head of commercial litigation Simon Davis is a well-recognised name in the market, known for his effective problem resolution skills and his incredible work rate.
Dermot Turing's focus lies in issues relating to payments issues and technical clearing sales. He also has a strong reputation for futures and options work.
Market observers say derivatives-focused contentious lawyer Matthew Newick is a "superb all-rounder" who is "great at the big picture but not afraid of the detail."