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Fieldfisher - London
  • Riverbank House
  • 2 Swan Lane
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4R 3TT
  • Managing Partner Michael Chissick
  • Number of partners 149
  • Assistant solicitors 217
  • Other fee-earners 70

THE FIRM Field Fisher Waterhouse is a European law firm providing commercial solutions across a range of industry sectors. It has a particular focus on companies that are highly regulated and those with intellectual property and technology-driven business models. The firm has over 140 partners, 210 other lawyers and nearly 300 support staff across offices in Brussels, Hamburg, Paris, London,Manchester,Munich and Palo Alto. International clients choose to work with the firm because it provides exceptional lawyers with industry expertise and strong commercial knowledge of clients’ businesses, enabling the firm to work with them to maximise their market opportunities. Field Fisher Waterhouse is acknowledged as a leading expert in sectors such as technology and communications, hotels and leisure, and media, as well as for public sector work. Clients include listed and unlisted companies, multinationals, financial institutions, professional partnerships, trade associations and government departments. They value the firm’s flexible approach to teamwork and the fact that it shapes its structures and way of working to meet their specific needs.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK The firm’s main areas of practice are corporate, IP, technology and regulatory law.The firm also has leading expertise in areas such as banking and finance, financial services, real estate, dispute resolution, personal injury and medical negligence. INTERNATIONAL There is a strong international dimension to the firm’s work,with international work representing 20% of total revenue. Beyond Europe, the firm has many long-established clients in the US, China, Japan and increasingly, India.

RECRUITMENT Field Fisher Waterhouse seeks to recruit high calibre individuals to support its continuing growth. The firm’s retention rates are excellent and many of the firm’s partners trained with the firm. All current vacancies are listed on Field Fisher Waterhouse’s website and online applications are welcomed. Further information about the firm is available from the firm’s website at www.ffw.com

  • Banking & Finance Andrew Evans
  • Capital Markets Guy Usher
  • Competition Charles Whiddington
  • Construction Alan Woolston
  • Corporate Andrew Blankfield
  • Derivatives Guy Usher
  • E-commerce Robert Shooter
  • Employee Benefits Graeme Nuttall
  • Employment Richard Kenyon
  • Energy & Pipelines Roger Sargologo
  • Financial Services & Funds Kirstene Baillie
  • Franchising & Licensing David Bond, Chris Wormald
  • Hotels & Leisure Paul Houston
  • Intellectual Property Mark Holah, Nick Rose
  • IT Robert Shooter
  • Litigation (Commercial) Peter Stewart
  • Litigation (IP/IT) Nick Rose
  • Litigation (Medical) Paul McNeil
  • Media Tim Johnson
  • Partnership Nicholas Thompsell
  • Patents Mark Hodgson
  • Pensions David Gallagher
  • Personal Injury Paul McNeil
  • Planning & Environmental John Bowman
  • Private Client Penny Wotton
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital Andrew Blankfield
  • Public Law & Regulatory Sarah Ellson
  • Public Sector Commerce Neil Palmer
  • Rail Nicholas Thompsell
  • Real Estate Antony Phillips
  • Sports 
  • Tax Graeme Nuttall
  • Telecommunications Nicholas Pimlott
  • Travel & Tourism Peter Stewart


  • 35 Vine Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC3N 2AA
  • Tel (020) 7861 4000
  • Fax (020) 7488 0084
  • DX 823 London City EC3
  • Email : info@ffw.com
  • Website : www.ffw.com
  • 5th Floor,
  • Free Trade Exchange,
  • 37 Peter Street,
  • Manchester,
  • Lancashire
  • UK
  • M2 5GB
  • Tel +44 (0)161 835 8010
  • Fax +44 (0)161 835 8015
  • DX 14477 Manchester 2
  • Email : info@ffw.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Maintains a robust lender-focused practice, advising principally on private banking and in the technology and life sciences sector. Enjoys stable relationships with key clients in the sector, including several debt funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Partner involvement: "A reasonably priced, high-quality, partner-led offering."

Breadth of services: "They have a nice practice and a good spread of work there." 

Work highlights Acted for Silicon Valley Bank on its provision of USD85 million revolving loan and term loan facilities to a US and an Irish borrower.

Advised Mizrahi Tefahot Bank on its provision of EUR10 million as part of the £8 billion of secured syndicated facilities extended to Alliance Boots.

Notable practitioners 

Head of department Andrew Evans is considered "a class act," and clients appreciate his international outlook. He recently acted for JPMorgan's Brussels branch on a secured term facility of more than USD44 million.

Significant clients AIB Bank, Oxford Finance, JPMorgan Chase, Avocet Mining, London Irish Holdings.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Burgeoning capability on banking and finance matters with expertise in structured finance disputes and derivatives claims. Recognised output in Lehman Brothers litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "The team is very thorough. They are very useful in delivering targeted advice and they have really helped us facilitate settlement of these claims."

Responsiveness: "FFW is our preferred law firm. Members are very responsive, very well respected in the industry and they know their area. It's a very good relationship."

Technical ability: "A good strong litigation practice. Competitive in terms of fees, in-house technical capability and some big-ticket work."

Work highlights Acted for Lehman Brothers Finance in a number of cases including the high-profile three-year litigation pertaining to interpretation of the former FSA's client money rules.

Represented LBBW in a variety of matters including proceedings against Barclays Bank in connection with a disputed margin call and repurchase agreements.

Notable practitioners  

"Very focused and very clear," Duncan Black is praised for his technical skills and ability to "make very complicated issues seem simple." One source notes: "He is technically excellent and he really gets to understand the intricacies of the case."

Significant clients Valiance Advisers, Standard Bank, Danske Bank, Commerzbank.

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

Basic facts about the department
 - 4 partners 
 - 1 consultant 
 - 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised for its broad coverage of the derivatives space, regularly acting for alternative investment managers, institutional asset managers and banks on transactions involving a wide variety of underlying assets. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Sensible, approachable and commercial." 

Industry knowledge: "Very responsive, very well respected in the industry and know their area."

What's new? Daniel Franks joined the group. He was previously a counsel at Allen & Overy and adds significant strength to the practice.

Work highlights Acted for Danske Bank in connection with its role as liquidity facility provider to a non-performing £70 million CMBS transaction.

Advised Lehman Brothers Finance with regard to the USD900 million close-out of its ISDA Master Agreement with Lehman Brothers International (Europe).

Notable practitioners  

Department head Guy Usher is "very bright, very capable and quite imaginative when it comes to finding fixes for problems." He is a derivatives expert and advises across the whole spectrum of matters, including equity, credit, commodity and fund derivatives. He recently advised Dankse Bank on the non-performing CMBS transaction mentioned above.

Edward Miller offers experience across a broad range of structured finance and derivatives transactions, and he is especially adept at advising on collateral issues and close-outs. According to sources he is "very thorough and very bright - you really have a lot of confidence when he has looked at something."

Gonzalo Fernandez now acts as a consultant within the group and is also head of the Corporate Trust group. He employs significant experience advising on repackagings, CDOs and securitisations for special purpose issuers and corporate trustees.

Daniel Franks has gained substantial experience advising on a wide variety of structured products and derivatives transactions, and is a recognised name in the market. In particular he focuses on securities lending, repos and collateral.

Luke Whitmorerecently joined the firm from Baker & McKenzie. Sources are full of praise for  him stating that he offers an "invaluable mix of legal expertise and commerciality," adding that "he is fast becoming an expert in the niche area of prime brokerage."

Significant clients Artemis Investment Management, Standard Bank, Commerzbank, The Bank of NewYork Mellon, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International.

Clinical Negligence - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Particularly well known for representing claimants in complex, high-value clinical negligence matters. Specialist expertise in the fields of surgical negligence, obstetric negligence, midwifery negligence and acquired infection, among others. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They were absolutely brilliant - they were compassionate towards me during a difficult time in my life."

What's new? Up-and-coming partner Manori Wellington joined the firm from Parlett Kent.

Work highlights Achieved a £9.6 million settlement for a client in a cerebral palsy case.

Acted for a client in a brain injury matter arising from surgical negligence, settled for £1.25 million.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Paul McNeil remains "in a class of his own" and is widely recognised as one of London's leading claimant lawyers. Sources regard him as a "hard-working and client-oriented" solicitor who "does a remarkable amount of work, and is always on top of all the details." He was the lead partner in the aforementioned cerebral palsy case.

Samantha Critchley continues to impress sources across the market with her broad medical negligence expertise. Her workload encompasses cases concerning surgical negligence, obstetrics, paediatrics and neurology.

The "tireless" Edwina Rawson "puts her heart and soul into cases," and clients value her availability and that she "always goes the extra mile." She has been especially active in the fields of surgical negligence and acquired infection of late, and is also experienced in handling claims relating to obstetrics, paediatrics and foetal medicine.

Up-and-coming partner Mark Bowman earns extensive praise for being "tireless in his patience" with clients, who also admire how he "lives and breathes a case." Key areas of expertise include surgical negligence, cancer claims and birth injury claims.

Manori Wellington recently joined the firm from Parlett Kent, bringing notable experience in obstetric negligence and paediatrics. She continues to be viewed as an up-and-coming figure in the London clinical negligence market, with sources noting that she is "efficient, effective and dedicated to her clients.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Best recognised for offering behavioural advice. Also very capable of handling complex cartel and abuse of dominance matters.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "The partners in the competition practice are intellectually capable and provide clear, timely advice which gets to the heart of the matter."

Client service: "The team is flexible and will juggle competing commitments to provide full support where required."

What's new? Solange Leandro has arrived at the firm from Clyde & Co to inject new strength into the practice.

Work highlights Advised Vodafone on competition compliance and merger clearance of the joint venture project to establish a mobile marketing and mobile wallet platform.

Represented National Instruments in a complaint alleging abuse of dominance, lodged with the EC, against rival firm The Math Works.

Notable practitioners 

With "his impressive analytical mind and calm measured style, Nicholas Pimlott is always the voice of reason whose considered opinion on complex issues can be trusted." He is particularly adept at handling cases arising in the media and communications markets.

Charles Whiddington is praised as "very on the ball." His broad practice encompasses the full range of competition concerns.

Solange Leandro is experienced in the full range of competition matters, including cartel investigations. Her arrival from Clyde & Co boosts the firm's credibility in the maritime and aviation sectors.

Significant clients All Nippon Airways, the EC, Air New Zealand, RAJAR, Level 3.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-16 partners
-21 other lawyers

What the team is known for Strength and emphasis on TMT and the energy and natural resources sectors. Team includes a dedicated CIS group.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are highly commercially focused but still with good attention to detail."

Pragmatic advice: "They provide me with pragmatic and realistic assessment of situations."

Market standing: "I have been impressed with them; they present themselves very well."

Work highlights Represented Adeptra in the USD115 million sale of the company to FICO.

Advised the Charles Green Consortium on the £5.5 million acquisition of the business and assets of Rangers Football Club.

Represented Infrastrata on a joint venture with BP Gas Marketing and Moyle Energy Investments relating to a gas storage project in County Antrim.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Brockbank is "on the ball," "negotiates sensibly" and is "technically very good," market sources report. He focuses on representing clients in the energy sector on a wide range of corporate transactions.

The "upbeat and positive" Andrew Blankfield "grasps a situation from a business and legal point of view very quickly," impressed clients say. He advised BBC Worldwide on its acquisition of the balance of the shares in Bedder 6, which owns the commercial rights to Top Gear.

Significant clients FFastFill, Viacom/MTV, YouView, Gazprom, KazMunaiGas Exploration Production.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advising companies from the technology, media and telecoms sectors on both contentious and non-contentious employment concerns, particularly matters that require cross-border expertise. Further strengths lie in advising public sector clients on strategic issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "What makes them an excellent firm is that they always respond very promptly and the advice is very clear. They seem to be experts at putting complex legal issues in layman's terms."

Technical ability: "They've been very responsive and helpful on a very technical issue."

Efficiency: "They're one of the most efficient firms we've ever encountered."

Work highlights Advised Tata Consulting Services on the TUPE issues and contractual negotiations arising from its successful bid to run the Criminal Records Bureau on behalf of the Home Office.

Acted on behalf of VMware on the TUPE implications of several strategic acquisitions.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Kenyon is lauded for his "knack of being able to put things in simple terms" and for his willingness to "work unsocial hours in order to get things done swiftly." He led the firm's representation of Tata Consulting Services in the above matter.

Nicholas Thorpe is perceived to combine technical proficiency with commercial acumen in order to provide "first-class client service." He has a thorough knowledge of the retail industry and frequently assists clients from this sector with a broad range of employment disputes.

Significant clients DTZ Holdings, Jigsaw, Manpower UK, Pearson, The Royal College of Physicians.

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Represents claimants and defendants in civil fraud proceedings. Considerable cross-border expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Attention to detail: "They have a good eye for detail and keep asking the right questions."

Efficiency: "They respond quickly, and meet deadlines and requirements."

Problem solving: "They have a can-do attitude. If one avenue closes, they look for another and always remain positive."

Work highlights Instructed to advise trade finance company Oiax on the defence of a USD500 million claim brought by the Dubai Islamic Bank, which alleges fraud by one of its directors.

Instructed to act for the liquidators of Goldrail Travel in relation to a significant fraud perpetrated by one of its ex-employees.

Notable practitioners  

Tony Lewis is identified as a prominent fraud practitioner. Sources report that he is "extremely good strategically" and "passionate about the work he does."

Hotels & Leisure - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Well regarded for franchising work in the hotels and leisure sector. Also active in real estate and restructuring matters, as well as sector-specific technology.

Work highlights Advised Kornicis Group on its London acquisitions and asset management

Notable practitioners 

Paul Houston is head of the hotels and leisure group in London, acting on brand roll-outs and portfolio transactions. Clients appreciate his "good commercial awareness and ability to draw out the relevant points."

Significant clients Gala Coral, Genting Casinos, Manhattan Loft, David Lloyd Leisure, Starwood.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 15 partners
- 38 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for One of the largest dedicated IT practices in the country. A major provider of legal services to government, private sector buyers and technology companies seeking advice on data security, cloud computing and mobile payment projects. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They've pitched to us in a very commercial way and that's made it very easy for our commercial team to work with them directly without too much support from our legal team."

Client service: "The customer service ethos there is very appealing."

Market standing: "A very well-developed technology practice."

Work highlights Advised government departments including the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Transport on various IT outsourcings, procurements and systems integration projects.

Advised publishers Pearson on a number of major IT outsourcing projects.

What's new? Paul Graham, formerly head of IT at Dundas & Wilson, joined the partnership in February 2013.

Notable practitioners

The "brilliant" Michael Chissick was recently named managing partner for the firm, and, although this will inevitably reduce the amount of time he can devote to his IT practice, he is still on-hand to provide strategic advice to long-standing clients in the sector.

Paul Barton is a dedicated IT specialist, and advises public and private sector entities, customers and suppliers on a whole host of e-commerce, IP, data protection, software development and outsourcing-related issues.

Paul Graham joins from Dundas & Wilson in what is viewed as a major coup for his new firm. He is a go-to lawyer for business-critical IT infrastructure implementation and outsourcing transactions, particularly within the energy and utilities, financial services and telecoms sectors. 

John Worthy's background as an in-house lawyer at one of the world's leading software suppliers makes him a much sought-after adviser in matters relating to major technology projects and outsourcings, with a special focus on banking and finance, major infrastructure and telecoms companies.

Simon Briskman is much prized by clients for his skill in the drafting and negotiation of IT contracts. One client said: "He is very well liked throughout the team. The negotiations were tense at times, but he is calm and consummately professional as well as firm when needed."

Having been an in-house counsel at Lucent Technologies, the "impressive" Nick Holland is well attuned to the needs of internal legal and commercial teams with regard to the implementation of significant multi-jurisdictional IT systems. 

Hamish Sandison is one of the firm's "marquee partners" in the technology field, and is an accomplished hand at public sector and government IT projects. He is said to instil a "constructive and positive" spirit within the teams he oversees.

Significant clients BBC, Ernst & Young, Philip Morris International, Pearson, Samsung, Starbucks.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for A well-balanced practice with a raft of strong practitioners covering all aspects of IP, including patents, copyright and trade marks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very, very service-minded - some of the best I've worked with - and really go a long way to accommodate our wishes."

Responsiveness: "They provided outstanding advice very quickly. I don't need things to be dressed up and they weren't."

Work highlights Represents Vestergaard Frandsen in a trade secrets case relating to disease control textiles.

Acted for Getty Images in a copyright dispute concerning photographs of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Hodgson is a "class act" who is recognised by sources as an exceptionally skilled and experienced patent litigator. He continues to be associated with the work of Eli Lilly, who he regularly represents.

Nick Rose heads up the department and focuses on soft IP, including copyright and trade mark protection. He is described as "extremely good at putting things in perspective," while another source simply says: "Clients love him."

David Knight is another of FFW's patent litigators, with a good reputation for "always providing a good overview of the whole situation." He recently acted for Liversidge in a Patents County Court case against Abbott Laboratories and Owen Mumford.

Rebecca Swindells continues to build a fine reputation, with one source saying: "She was very responsive and very helpful. I found her really impressive." Swindells represented Getty Images in a dispute relating to the Rugby World Cup.  

Significant clients Eli Lilly, ACAS, Fortnum & Mason, Ernst & Young, Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Fields an energetic bench of experienced litigators. Houses expertise across a range of commercial disputes. Receiving an increasing volume of work originating from the CIS region and from the energy industry sector. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Excellent communication and technical ability – it's good to have people of this quality and commitment working alongside you." 

Efficiency: "The quality of the work was really good and they were able to get things sorted in record time." 

What's new? Wickes and Edexcel are new client wins for the team. Sport England extended its panel appointment, which includes dispute resolution work, by two years.

Work highlights Representing Oiax in an ongoing USD500 million claim by the Dubai Islamic Bank arising from a director's allegations of fraud.

Acting for LBBW and the Free State of Saxony as investors in a fund, in a EUR130 million claim against Barclays Bank.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Stewart is a key contact here.  

Significant clients Thomas Cook, Pegasus Energy, Whitbread, Edexcel, Bibendum.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 1 director
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Particularly well known for public sector expertise. Highly able to guide clients through the full variety of pensions issues. Work includes buyouts and buyins, scheme restructuring and the pensions aspects of corporate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Communication: "The team gives very clear, simple advice and has the ability to summarise complex legislation and communicate it to lay people."

Technical ability: "Field Fisher Waterhouse has strong attention to detail."

Work highlights Advised the trustees of the Inchcape Motors Pension Scheme on a scheme restructuring. This involved the closure of three existing sections and the opening of a new cash balance section, ensuring that the scheme meets the new automatic enrolment obligations.

Advised the Department for Communities and Local Government on the provision of a Crown guarantee to the Audit Commission Pension Scheme ahead of the Commission's abolition.  

Notable practitioners  

Head of the pensions team David Gallagher is "absolutely excellent in terms of the commerciality of the advice he gives," according to satisfied clients. He has recently acted for the Department for Communities and Local Government, BT Financial Group and the Department for Transport.

Michael Calvert is praised by clients as being "experienced, knowledgeable and disciplined," and "concise and to the point." He recently led the aforementioned scheme restructuring for Inchcape Motors Pension Scheme.

Significant clients Electricity Supply Pension Scheme, South East Water, Accenture, BBC, Carillion Scheme.

Personal Injury - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its handling of catastrophic injury cases and complex industrial disease claims. It is particularly adept at dealing with claims for severe brain injuries involving RTAs and public liability, and also has significant experience in psychiatric injury cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They're excellent for industrial disease work."

Notable practitioners  

Jill Greenfield is highly recommended for catastrophic claims, particularly those involving brain injury. Sources note her "excellent reputation," and describe her as "outstanding."

Peter Williams is known for his expertise in claims arising from RTAs, including those involving catastrophic injuries and fatalities. He is also experienced in issues of jurisdiction, and known for his handling of complex mesothelioma claims.

Caroline Pinfold is a partner in the asbestos disease team, and is noted for her impressive degree of expertise in mesothelioma and lung cancer claims. 

Paul McNeil is recognised as an expert in neurotrauma and catastrophic injury claims, including amputations and brain injuries.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Handles litigation for a range of prestigious property owners across the private and public sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Response times are fantastic and often beyond the call – they're always available."

Work highlights Acted for the City of London Corporation on High Court litigation concerning the lease renewals of 51 tenants of Smithfield Market.

Instructed by BP on a high-value rent review arbitration.

Notable practitioners  

The "exceptionally talented" Lesley Webber, a rent review specialist, is recognised by clients for being "very well respected within the industry," one remarking: "I really like and value that rather than just giving you the answers, because she's got a good insight into the industry, she actually assists in the settlement of the cases." Amongst her notable clients are BMW, BP and Jones Lang LaSalle.

The "very good" Antony Phillips has particular expertise in property disputes relating to professional negligence and insolvencies, and extensive experience in all aspects of real estate litigation across the board. He deals with litigious matters arising from Shell Pensions Fund's property portfolio, and recently acted as lead partner on defending Cyprus Airways in a dilapidations claim.

Significant clients Accenture, BP, City of London Corporation, BIS, Nike, Shell Pensions Trust.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles a range of commercial property matters for investors, institutions and corporate occupiers. Also represents hotels and leisure clients, retailers, energy companies and public sector bodies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Commercial awareness: "The advice was spot-on. We had to weight up the risk and they were certainly very helpful in helping us to come down on the right side."

Client service: Clients praise the knowledgeable and commercially aware individuals at the firm.

What's new? Recent client wins include ASOS.com, E.ON, Gala Coral and Colliers International Property Consultants.

Work highlights Advised Accenture on all matters arising out of its regional and London premises, including its flagship Plantation Place offices.  

Notable practitioners  

Roger Sargologo specialises in energy and telecoms-related real estate work, with expertise in compulsory purchase powers.

Jayne Elkins' clients include property companies, corporate occupiers and charities. She specialises in investment, indirect investment and landlord and tenant matters. Clients describe her as "very knowledgeable" and "of sound opinion."

Significant clients Shell Pension Funds, David Lloyd Leisure, BIS, National Grid, The British Museum.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Assists clients in major M&A deals, investment funds, structured finance and property transactions. Key expertise in the media, technology, life sciences and energy sectors.

Work highlights Assisted Sopra Group with tax aspects of its acquisitions of a UK subsidiary of Tieto and the UK subsidiary of Business and Decision.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Noble regularly advises investment banks and investment funds on tax aspects of their key transactions and operations. He is also dual-qualified, as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser.

Derek Hill is noted for his expertise in tax matters pertaining to the media sector and intellectual property. Clients value the "attention to detail" that he brings to his work.

Significant clients Pearson, BBC Worldwide, Costa, JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production, JPMorgan.

Administrative & Public Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 21 partners
- 30 other lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London, Manchester

What the team is known for Maintains an outstanding reputation for handling inquests and public inquiries, and for offering advice and representation to a variety of public bodies in connection with changes to policy and legislation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A firm that you feel is on your side and that will accompany you through any work at hand. They identify with the client and make them feel they are part of a team."

Market standing: "They have a serious reputation for acting for public sector clients."

What's new? New client and panel wins include the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Asda Stores, Association of Corporate Treasurers, Go Ahead Group and the (new) Commission of Inquiry into the death of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld.

Work highlights Successfully defended the Gambling Commission in a judicial review claim brought by Camelot UK. The claim concerned the Commission's decision to grant operating licences to the Health Lottery Scheme.

Advised the Financial Reporting Council on its governance restructure. The restructure involved transferring responsibility for the running of the disciplinary scheme for accountants from the AADB to the FRC.

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Lohn specialises in advising a range of public bodies on matters relating to education regulation, healthcare, finance and sport. Market sources comment that he has a fantastic reputation, and that he is "reflective and contemplative, and takes the time to understand clients."

Martin Smith specialises in vires matters, compliance with obligations, and public inquiries and investigations. Market sources note that he is "incredibly thorough and possesses huge case management skills and interpersonal skills."  

Significant clients BBC, Solicitors Regulation Authority, General Medical Council, Nursing & Midwifery Council, Federation of Ophthalmic & Dispensing Opticians.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Excels in matters in the energy and natural resources sector, and has experience handling such transactions across multiple jurisdictions, including Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Boasts an impressive bench of skilled practitioners, many of which are wholly focused on equity capital markets work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They still manage to maintain a personal touch."

Bench strength: "One of the things I appreciate is that, as well as having good-quality, attentive, experienced partners, they have good associates as well."

What's new? The former head of equity capital markets at Eversheds, Neil Matthews, joined the team, bolstering the group's overall strength in this field.   

Tim Bird joined the firm from Wedlake Bell, bringing notable expertise in the energy and natural resources sector.

Jonathan Brooks, formerly of Maclay Murray & Spens, also joined the firm. He is a mining specialist and further strengthens the firm's offering in this area.

Work highlights Acted for President Energy, an AIM-listed oil and gas E&P company, in connection with a placing, subscription and open offer of new shares, which raised USD44.85 million.

Advised on ASX-listed Rialto Energy's admission to AIM, acting on behalf of RBC Capital Markets.  

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Brockbank is well regarded in the market and particularly noted for his strength in the oil and gas field. He has advised on multiple transactions for Ocean Equities, including a placing of new shares by Nyota Minerals.

Dominic Gurney-Champion wins praise for being "extremely competent, very sensible and very experienced," and sources also note his "ability to deal with more complicated problems and come up with sensible solutions." He advised on Rialto Energy's AIM IPO, acting on behalf of RBC Capital Markets.

Brad Isaac has recently advised EMED Mining on a range of matters, including a £3.5 million private placing and a USD5 million subscription for new ordinary shares in the company by XGC. He has a significant focus on the energy sector.

Sources find that George Cotter epitomises the firm's ability to "bring through quality to partner level." He offers experience across a range of sectors, including technology, oil and gas, and natural resources.

Neil Matthews has built up a strong practice acting for leading stockbrokers and banks. His extensive experience in the field includes advising on numerous IPOs and secondary fund-raisings.

Significant clients EMED Mining, KEFI Minerals, Mirabaud Securities, Gulfsands Petroleum, Trap Oil Group.

Commodities - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Advises clients on OTC and exchange derivatives related to a wide range of commodities, as well as energy trading. Highly active in trade finance, covering documentary and standby letters of credit, guarantee issuance facilities, and export and pre-export facilities. Key sector-specific expertise in metals trading and the oil and gas sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They have exceptional attention to detail and outstanding client service and case management. Their drafting is also first rate." 

Technical ability: "The advice was crisp and summarised as required."

Pragmatic approach: "They are down-to-earth and have a practical approach to things." 

What's new? MND, Diapason Commodities Management and Reco Environmental Partners have been secured as new clients.

Work highlights Assisted Standard Bank with its unallocated metals margin trading and margins loans business.

Advised a Japanese trading house on structuring and documenting a security arrangement in connection with aluminium sales contracts.

Notable practitioners  

Guy Usher heads the firm's derivatives and structured finance group, and advises on a range of commodity derivatives matters. Clients say that "he is down-to-earth and practical, and understands the bigger picture around derivatives business." 

Significant clients Triland Metals, Empire Resources, Avocet Mining, Silicon Valley Bank, Handelsbanken Capital Markets.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 associates

What the team is known for Celebrated litigation practice. Noted for its global capabilities and compliance work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is fantastic and its service makes it stand out from other City law firms."

International capability: "The approach the team has taken has been very, very good. It has really engaged with the countries throughout the process."

Market standing: "Field Fisher is pre-eminent in data protection." 

What's new? The team has opened a new office in Palo Alto, California to better assist its American client base. The office is run by Phil Lee.

New client wins such as the British Heart Foundation, MetLife and Nintendo.

Work highlights Assisting Facebook with devising and implementing a data protection outreach policy.

Advised Barclays Bank on the bank's cookie policy in relation to its new website launch.

Notable practitioners  

Hazel Grant continues to be a leader in data protection. Clients enthuse about her extensive experience and call her "absolutely fabulous," saying: "She provides great client service and is great to have light-hearted conversations with about serious matters."

Significant clients Ernst & Young, Netflix, Sony Europe, Thomson Reuters, Vodafone.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned as being at the cutting edge of employee ownership matters. Supplementary strengths in advising on the share plan implications of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The quality of the advice is excellent. It is both commercial and focused upon the needs of us as a client."  

Work highlights Advised Associated Chemists as it adopted employment ownership as a succession solution.

Implemented a new, bespoke employee share incentive plan for FFastFill.

Notable practitioners  

Graeme Nuttall is best known for producing and presenting The Nuttall Review concerning employee ownership. "He's incredibly passionate about employee ownership," opined one impressed source, whilst another noted that "his role at the strategic level has been huge."

Significant clients Avocet Mining, John Lewis Partnership, Food Standards Agency, Advent Capital Holdings, Wilkins & Son.

Franchising - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for A market-leading force with great clients, including household name retail and hotel companies. Acts in broad array of sectors, including professional services and food and beverage. Able to leverage its international network effectively.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
Market standing: "An extremely good franchising team." 

What's new? Chris Wormald and David Bond have replaced Mark Abell as practice heads for this group following Abell's departure.

New clients include the Cabinet Office, Las Iguanas and Marriott.

Work highlights Advised Harvey Nichols on a revision of its model international agreements ahead of future international expansion.

Advised Reiss on a number of matters, including planned entry into new markets as well as dispute resolution work.

Notable practitioners 

The "very knowledgeable" Chris Wormald is described by clients as a serious, committed and experienced practitioner. "He is very good in international franchising, and has been doing it for a long time."

Advertising and marketing team head David Bond is an intellectual property lawyer whose practice frequently crosses over into franchising. Sources speak of his skill in transposing client needs into a workable solution. "He is very analytical and incredibly receptive to knowing the business, and translating that into the work he does. He is fast and to-the-point," sources say.

Shelley Nadler advises retail and food industry clients such as Pizza Express and Mothercare. Sources say her deal-oriented approach makes her very easy to work with.

IP senior associate Gordon Drakes attracts attention for his assistance to clients with franchising issues. His highlights include acting for Reiss, and advising Hamleys on an international expansion project.

Significant clients Zizzi, WHSmith, River Island, Fortnum & Mason, Sheraton.

Since publication, Babette Märzheuser-Wood has joined Dentons

Healthcare - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Regularly acts on healthcare regulation with a range of regulators, and is especially experienced in setting up and maintaining effective systems.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They go the extra mile to help us meet deadlines."

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Ellson leads the firm's public and regulatory law group out of the Manchester office. She has a particular specialism in health and social care matters, and has a growing practice facilitating Middle Eastern healthcare projects.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Noted for its aptitude in acting for financial institution clients on authorised funds matters. Particularly adept when it comes to fund restructurings or the launch of bespoke new products. Also known for its loyal client base in this area.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "The team we worked with was extremely experienced, responsive, practical and gave timely advice."

Commercial awareness: "Well known in the industry, with good commercial awareness." 

Notable practitioners  

Kirstene Baillie is seen as a highly active member of the investment funds community and is particularly recognised for her work with authorised funds. Observers mark her out as a "very good lawyer."

Talented senior associate Andrew Massey offers advice to institutional investors and fund managers on a broad range of matters, including financial services guidance.

Significant clients Nomura Asset Management, SCIO Capital, GLG Partners Investment Funds, Aviva Investors UK Fund Services, Man Investments.  

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its expertise in the advertising and marketing, film and television sectors. Production agreements, asset finance and corporate finance, as well as licensing of publishing rights, sponsorship and content regulation, are areas of focus.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We found them very reassuring and helpful." 

Clarity: "Very pleased – they keep things concise and straightforward." 

Work highlights Advised direct response retailer Guthy-Renker on a variety of matters such as celebrity endorsements, claim substantiation, distribution agreements and the use of 'before and after' photographs.

Advised Lions Gate on its part in a complex, multiparty digital video-on-demand project.

Notable practitioners

David Bond leads the firm's advertising and marketing practice. He is especially esteemed for his record in mounting and defending claims before the ASA.

Sonal Patel is building a solid reputation in advertising and marketing law. She advises on ASA complaints and appeals, brand promotion and exploitation, advertising clearance, cross-border campaigns, and social media and online marketing promotions.

Tim Johnson focuses above all on film and audiovisual financing, production, video-on-demand and licensing deals. According to one source, he "understands the film business and financing inside out. He's more like a business adviser, not just a lawyer."

Barry Smith has decades of experience in the film industry behind him. He concentrates mainly on helping to enable tax-efficient funding structures for film production and distribution, and also advises on internet-based delivery systems.

Significant clients BP, BBC Worldwide, eHarmony, Netflix, Time Warner/Warner Bros.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 18 partners
- 31 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London 

What the team is known for Remains a well-known player in the market for major public sector procurement projects and high-profile government contracts. Noted for its expertise in complex technology outsourcing projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They showed their true colours through their knowledge of our business. We had some structural issues, but they understood the wider business process well and could add value as the project went on."

Technical ability: "It is a user-friendly team with excellent technical knowledge of IT systems and complex IT outsourcings. It helps that a number of their people have worked for IT providers in the past."

Work highlights Assisted Tata Consulting Services with its bid to take over the Criminal Records Bureau service. 

Advised the Cabinet Office on the award of a first-generation contract to administer the civil service pension scheme. This innovative project includes the first mutualised central government service.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Briskman is an experienced practitioner noted for his ability to provide pragmatic, commercial advice. His work encompasses technology and telecommunications transactions.

Hamish Sandison specialises in IT and business process outsourcings for the public sector.

Michael Chissick is a well-known name for technology outsourcings. One source highlights his ability to balance commercial risk, noting: "Following his advice, we have something that is beneficial to us but satisfies the risk profile for our customer."

James Buckingham is praised by clients for his approach to large public sector outsourcing deals. "He knows in the public sector it is all about getting the right deal that works overall."

Significant clients Accenture, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, JPMorgan, Tata Consulting Services, Vodafone.

Partnership - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Cross-practice team of 6 partners
- 2 associates.

What the team is known for Strong corporate structuring practice catering to professional clients, with a niche focus on the use of the LLP structure in franchising. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity of advice: "The advice was spot-on. We had to weigh up the risk and the team was very helpful in making sure we came down on the right side.

Work highlights Assisted a swimming franchise with its LLP conversion, with the model being replicated by its franchisees.

Advised on the insolvency and liquidation of a town planning firm LLP.

Notable practitioners 

Nicholas Thompsell is the key contact.

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 1 director
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for The firm has a growing focus on contentious pensions issues. Ably handles the full spectrum of cases and acts for representative beneficiaries, employers and trustees. Attentive to client needs.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced dispute resolution lawyer Simon Moore is "utterly unflappable," according to sources. One impressed commentator says: "He's one of the best pensions litigators I've ever worked with."

David Gallagher is recognised for both his non-contentious pensions work and his substantial pensions litigation practice. Clients describe him as "pragmatic" and "approachable and professional." 

Significant clients Electricity Pensions Trustee.

Personal Injury - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Nationwide leader in asbestos-related claims, including cases involving mesothelioma and pleural plaques. Advises clients on claims arising from employment experience across a range of industries, including the asbestos industry itself, and on a number of hospital-related claims. Also frequently advises on cases where the individual who developed the condition was exposed to asbestos via clothing worn by a relative during the course of their employment.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They have quality throughout their ranks – they're in the upper echelons of the premier league for this kind of work."

Notable practitioners 

London-based partner Peter Williams heads the asbestos team.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Advises investee companies, venture capital funds and corporate venture capital on investments at all phases. Sectors of particular focus include technology, internet, media and telecoms.

Work highlights Represented Adeptra in its USD115 million sale by several private equity houses to Fair Isaac Software.

Advised Clinithink on a £4.5 million Series A preferred investment from Finance Wales Investors and others.

Notable practitioners 

Andrew Blankfield is a key contact at the firm.

Significant clients BBC Worldwide, Frameblast, Cognolink, Silicon Valley Bank, TicTrac.  

Professional Discipline - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 12 associates

What the team is known for Broad regulatory practice spanning health and social care, legal services, finance, accountancy, sport, police and education.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "The firm is sensitive to the issues surrounding cases, and really helps to draw out the expertise of the panel in addition to supporting us with their own expertise."

What's new? New panel appointments include the GMC and the Teaching Agency. 

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Ellson heads both the public and regulatory teams, and has a particular focus on health and social care issues. Sources say: "She is very good in this area and with wider regulatory matters; she is very solid."

Matthew Lohn is the managing partner, and is dually qualified in medicine and law. He has expertise in the sport, healthcare, finance and education sectors. Sources say: "He engenders confidence and has a great reputation and profile."

Caroline Jaggard is a lead figure in GMC work and is described as "dedicated and highly competent."

James Moreton is a director and advocate in the regulatory group, with extensive experience in SRA disciplinary procedures, particularly matters concerning accusations of business crime or fraud.

Tom Rider is highly regarded in this area, and handles high-profile and challenging cases. Clients say: "He is very reliable and solid, and knows what he's talking about."

Significant clients GDC, SRA, Security Industry Authority, Financial Reporting Council, NMC, Rugby Football Union.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London 

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its strong public sector practice and particularly for work on behalf of central and local government entities. Involvement in structuring complex procurements and increasingly active on behalf of private sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Excellent knowledge of public procurement law and practice."

Work highlights Advised the Maritime & Coastguard Agency on the re-procurement of its search and rescue helicopter services contract.

Advised National Savings & Investments on an IT-related business process outsourcing contract valued at over £1 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Charles Whiddington specialises in procurement law regarding mergers, commercial agreements and state aid. Clients benefit from his significant regulatory knowledge and experience.

Significant clients Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Department for Transport, Cabinet Office, BBC, Monitor.

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Exceptional reputation for international franchising, IP and data protection matters. Impressive client roster features leading online retailers, department stores and restaurants. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Very good, responsive and very knowledgeable in the sector."

Responsiveness: "The firm is great to work with and its responsiveness has been terrific."

Work highlights Advising Tempur on its new product distribution strategy across Europe, including providing multi-jurisdictional e-commerce, privacy and consumer protection advice.

Notable practitioners  

Head of retail Chris Wormald is the key contact.

Significant clients Fortnum & Mason, Mothercare, Amazon.com, ASOS, Hawksmoor.

Sports Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 19 partners
- 20 solicitors

What the team is known for Acts for clients on large corporate deals, especially sports entities who are in financial distress and work to rehabilitate them. The firm has a strong sports IP and technology group and is particularly active in Formula 1, football and rugby.

Work highlights Advising the Charles Green Consortium on the acquisition of the business and assets of Rangers Football Club from the administrators of RFC 2012 for £5.5 million.

Acts for the Trustees of the Muhammad Ali Family Trust in protecting the brands of Muhammad Ali throughout the European Union.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Geey frequently advises clubs and individuals on EU and competition issues, as well as regulatory matters.

Significant clients New Zealand Rugby League, Marylebone Cricket Club.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 11 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises leading service providers, retailers and third parties on complex projects. Abundant mobile payment and data protection expertise. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They spend a great deal of time understanding our business and are very proactive in telling us what's coming down the track."

Work highlights Acted for Level 3 Global on its purchase of the entire share capital of fibre optics network specialist FibreSpan.

Advising Azercosmos on its first satellite procurement across multiple jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Pimlott is a well-known competition and regulatory practitioner who provides relevant advice on the impact of infrastructure changes. His performance in telecoms litigation has similarly attracted praise, with one source describing him as a "measured and intelligent litigator." 

Simon Briskman has in-depth understanding of the technical and technological aspects of telecoms. He regularly represents multinational corporations in negotiating outsourcing agreements.  

Significant clients China Telecom Europe, O2, Samsung, Vodafone.

Travel - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Advises on the full range of matters relating to the travel sector including corporate, commercial, regulatory and contentious matters. At the forefront of developments in financial protection, particularly relating to the ATOL scheme.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Sources identify this firm as one of the leading practices in the sector and clients appreciate its strong reputation.

Work highlights Advised On the Beach on a trust account arrangement set up to enable the company to comply with its ATOL requirements.

Notable practitioners  

A source describes lead partner Peter Stewart as "immensely experienced, a very able and intelligent man." He is best known for advising tour operators, travel agents and insurers on compliance with financial protection requirements, and assisted On the Beach with ATOL compliance requirements.

Significant clients ABTA, Cox & Kings, On the Beach, Sunvil Holidays, Thomas Cook.