• You are now in...
  • UK

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

London

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP - London
  • Adelaide House
  • London Bridge
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4R 9HA
  • Number of UK partners 173
  • Number of other UK fee-earners 477
  • Total number of staff 1434

THE FIRM BLP is a leading international law firm with a reputation for innovation in legal services. With offices in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Paris and Singapore, the firm’s international footprint was extended further with openings in Dubai, 2012 and Beijing, 2013, helping it meet the needs of clients in an increasingly internationalised market. The firm’s expertise covers all aspects of commercial law; construction, engineering and procurement; corporate finance; dispute resolution; employment, pensions and incentives; EU and competition; finance; intellectual property; private client; real estate; regulatory and compliance; restructuring and insolvency; and tax. One of the fastest growing top 20 UK law firms in recent years, BLP continues to recruit and promote leading individuals as part of an ambitious programme to employ top-ranked legal experts globally. Its real estate capabilities are the most highly regarded in the UK, it has one of the largest and broadest tax teams in the City, its real estate finance practice has worked on some of the biggest securitisations deals of the past number of years, and the firm is currently ranked by the Financial Times as one of Europe’s top ten legal innovators. BLP is renowned for responding creatively to the challenges clients face. For example, Lawyers On Demand provides a high-quality pool of over 200 flexible, freelance lawyers, offered to clients at low cost, as and when needed, and the firm has recently created ‘Integrated Dispute Resolution’, a five-pronged model where clients are able to utilise BLP’s capabilities from instruction to trial. Through an innovative legal outsourcing arrangement it is also delivering a truly client-centric service to Thames Water – managing their legal needs under a long-term, fixed-price deal. Further, the firm recently launched an Integrated Client Service Model, which consists of: Legal Process Improvement (LPI); LOD virtual transaction teams; third parties sourcing; and BLP Manchester – a legal services delivery team.

Principal Areas of Work BLP lawyers are ranked in almost 70 areas of legal expertise and have extensive experience across numerous industry sectors. The firm’s industry experience includes: energy and natural resources; financial institutions; healthcare; infrastructure; hotels, sport and leisure; outsourcing and business services; public sector and not for profit; real estate; retail; security, defence and aerospace; and transport.

INTERNATIONAL As well as its own offices of which there are eleven in total, BLP has strong relationships with a non-exclusive panel of the leading independent local law firms around the world. Via its preferred firm network, the firm has access to more than three times as many tier-1 ranked legal practices in Asia and Europe than any ‘global’ law firm. Across Europe, these relationships enable BLP to call upon 230 tierone ranked practices, meaning the firm can deliver the highest quality local advice in a flexible, seamless way that reflects the circumstances of each jurisdiction and the requirements of each matter. As a result, BLP successfully supports clients across 130 different jurisdictions, and was short-listed for a Managing Partners Forum Award for Best International Collaboration across Frontiers in 2012 and Best Managed International Firm in 2013. The firm embraces diversity and is committed to social responsibility. Thirty-three per cent of BLP employees took part in corporate responsibility activities during working hours last year – more than twice the London Benchmarking Group member average – and in 2012 the firm was listed in The Times report, ‘Top 50 ‘Employers for Women’. Further details are available via the firm’s website, www.blplaw.com, LinkedIn or via Twitter: @BLPLaw

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Moscow, Paris, and Singapore.

Areas of Practice

  • London  
  • Real Estate 28%
  • Corporate 23%
  • LDR 19%
  • Finance 13%
  • Tax 10%
  • Other 7%
    Contacts
  • Asset Finance Russell Clifford
  • Aviation Tom Budgett
  • Banking & Capital Markets Emma Howdle-Fuller
  • Betting & Gaming David Collins
  • Charities Janet Turner QC
  • Commercial Mark Lewis
  • Construction & Engineering Bob Maynard
  • Corporate Finance Michael Anderson, Benjamin Lee
  • EU & Competition David Harrison
  • Employment Lisa Mayhew
  • Energy & Infrastructure Mark Saunders, Mark Richards
  • Environment Tim Pugh
  • Financial Services Sidney Myers
  • Food, Health & Safety Law Craig Baylis
  • Hotels Karen Friebe, Nick Skea-Strachan
  • Insolvency & Corporate Recovery Ben Jones, David Leibowitz
  • Insurance/Reinsurance Jonathan Sacher, Anthony Lennox
  • Insurance Corporate Regulatory Jacob Ghanty, Adam Bogdanor
  • Intellectual Property Simon Clark
  • International Arbitration Nic Fletcher QC
  • Investment Funds Antony Grossman
  • Leisure Craig Baylis
  • Licensing Craig Baylis
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution Jonathan Sacher
  • Outsourcing Mark Lewis
  • PFI/PPP Tessa Kimber
  • Pensions & Incentives Norman Russell
  • Planning Tim Hellier, Tim Pugh
  • Private Equity Michael Anderson, Benjamin Lee
  • Pro Bono Michael Goldmeier, Alison Klarfeld
  • Project Finance Mark Richards
  • Public Sector Andrew Yates
  • Real Estate Chris de Pury
  • Real Estate Disputes Roger Cohen, Wendy Miller
  • Real Estate Finance Naveen Vijh
  • Retail John Bennett
  • Restructuring Ben Jones
  • Tax Corporate, International, Contentious John Overs, Michael Wistow
  • Technology & Media Ian De Freitas
  • Trademarks Ian Gruselle
  • Transport Mark Richards, Russell Clifford
  • Trusts & Personal Tax, Private Client Jonathan Kropman
  • Water Keith Stella

Branches

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Maintains a strong client base, representing market players from private equity investors to blue-chip borrowers. Comprehensive experience in sophisticated servicing, derivatives and distressed debt lending matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“Very practical and focused on sticking to the important bits.” 

Work highlights Acted for Tesco on the raising of over £490 million for the complex securitisation of a mortgage loan owned by Tesco and Cambridge University Endowment Fund.

Acted for Puma Hotels on its cross-border refinancing, worth £323 million.

Notable practitioners  

Head of banking Emma Howdle-Fuller has an impressive list of successful transactions under her belt. She has experience in domestic and international banking transactions, including syndicated lending, real estate finance and debt restructuring.

Marc Palley practises in the acquisition, property and trade finance arenas. His wider areas of focus include capital markets and insolvency, which inform his work on banking and finance matters.

Significant clients Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Hellenic Petroleum, Thames Water, Standard Bank.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Multi-jurisdictional capability, with clients in Africa and Turkey. Recognised specialism in financial litigation with integrated transactional finance practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I've recently been impressed by the BLP team. They've got first-rate litigators and they're very easy to deal with."

Work highlights Acted for Eurosail, the issuer in a Lehman Brothers-related RMBS transaction, on successfully defending insolvency claims at first instance and then again at appellate level.

Successfully brought a claim on behalf of Access Bank against the bank's former CEO regarding misappropriation of funds and the conducting of an illegal share support scheme.

Notable practitioners  

The "immensely charming" Segun Osuntokun is noted for his client management skills. He frequently acts for banks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sources say he is "incredibly impressive, probably one of the most impressive people I've worked with. He's clever, hard-working, he spots every point and can see round corners."

Oliver Glynn-Jones led the team acting for Eurosail, displaying proficiency in litigation arising out of complex securities transactions. Sources regard Oliver as "a real standout lawyer," describing him as "committed and likeable to clients."

Richard Power has a broad practice including disputes relating to retail banking and insolvency. Sources say he is "a first-rate litigator - very personable, knowledgeable and practical."

Up-and-coming partner Oran Gelb has garnered deep experience having completed secondments at three major banks. Sources describe him as "very calm, thorough and very promising."

Significant clients Wilmington Trust, Morgan Stanley, Citi, Hatfield Philips, Barclays Bank.

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

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

What the team is known for Advises on a broad range of securitisation matters, including CMBS, consumer ABS and whole business securitisations. Possesses particular experience in complex UK and European real estate securitisations and restructurings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide responsiveness, creativity, a commercial approach and partner-led involvement."

"They have great expertise; I think they are stronger than some of the bigger names."

Work highlights Advised Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Bank as the joint lead managers on a £273 million public securitisation of Paragon buy-to-let mortgages.

Represented Situs in its role as the servicer and special servicer regarding the Debussy DTC CMBS transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Severs is singled out for his expertise in securitisation matters. According to a client, "he's very strong in the field of securitisation, and is a commercial, smart and thoughtful guy." 

Jayne Black has extensive experience in CMBS transactions, and frequently advises servicers and special servicers on restructurings, enforcements and portfolio management issues. One peer states: "I have a lot of respect for Jayne."

Significant clients Capita, Tesco, CBRE Loan Servicing, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners

What the team is known for Wide-ranging competition practice. Increasing strength in litigation and investigations.

Work highlights Advised UK accountancy firm BDO on the Competition Commission's investigation into the statutory audit market.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department David Harrison is particularly active in merger control and behavioural matters. He also advises on state aid and public procurement issues.

Clients praise Andrew Hockley's "incredible knowledge, efficiency and responsiveness." His recent experience includes investigations and damages litigation.

Clients characterise Adrian Magnus as "knowledgeable and user-friendly." He was recently seconded to the FCA.

Significant clients National Grid, Thames Water Utilities, Tesco, ScottishPower, Investec.

Construction - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded across construction matters. A deep bench of experienced practitioners offers services relating to disputes, arbitrations and transactional matters. Prominent in property development projects, acting for an enviable roster of clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The biggest collection of top-quality names – a really able bunch of people."

"They have been very good, quick and attentive to the details, and they have a strong commercial flavour to their work."

Work highlights Advised a joint venture between Grosvenor Estates and Peninsula Hotels on a procurement strategy, construction appointments and a building contract relating to the redevelopment of a 1.5 hectare area at Hyde Park Corner.

Advised WR Berkley on appointments of consultants and a procurement strategy connected to the development of its new European headquarters in London.

Notable practitioners  

The "really excellent" Marc Hanson heads the firm's engineering, construction and procurement group. He focuses on non-contentious work and has significant experience in advising developer clients on construction documents.

Key partner John Hughes-D'Aeth is well regarded by the industry, with peers noting that he is "very sound and sensible." He has particular expertise in advising clients on procurement issues.

Highlighted by a peer as "a quality lawyer," Bob Maynard heads the contentious construction team. He has extensive experience of mediation, adjudication and litigation.

Caroline Pope is a key member of the practice's contentious team and acts for a range of clients, primarily in the utilities and property industries. "I think she is brilliant; she's got an absolute command of what the dispute is about," said one client.

Described as "an outstandingly good lawyer" and "a pleasure to deal with," Terry de Souza specialises in advising clients on international disputes.

Nazir Dewji focuses on non-contentious matters. "He is very knowledgeable, clear-thinking and straightforward to do business with. He is also very personable and goes the extra mile to help resolve any issues that we have," notes a source. 

Stella Mitchell handles non-contentious work, advising developers, funders and public bodies. Clients highlight her for the quality of her advice.

Significant clients Canary Wharf Group, Qatari Diar, Land Securities, Cambridge University, Thames Water.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Able to undertake an array of transactions in the mid-market space, with sector expertise in areas such as real estate, healthcare and energy. Possesses an experienced bench of respected and proficient practitioners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They spent the time and energy at the outset to understand our business and help us achieve our objectives."  

"They were just what we were looking for in an outside law firm."

Work highlights Represented Playtech in its sale of a minority stake in William Hill Online for £424 million to William Hill.

Advised Quintain Estates & Development in the disposal of a 40% stake in the Greenwich Peninsula site to Knight Dragon for £230 million.

Notable practitioners  

Sources are "very impressed" by David Collins, pointing out his strength in capital markets and M&A transactions. He is also known for his expertise in gaming and gambling matters.

Keith Stella is a highly experienced practitioner who primarily undertakes work in corporate finance.

John Bennett has over 30 years' experience in transactional matters. He regularly works with some of the practice's highest-profile clients, including Tesco.

Significant clients Tesco, Praxair, Long Haul Holdings, St Ives plc, Towers Watson. 

Employment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Well known for its employment litigation work, the team is similarly strong on advisory issues. Represent clients in the financial, retail and IT sectors on both domestic and international matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are our premium employment law provider and we use them when we need the best advice."

"I know that if I give work to BLP, it will get done on time. I have a confidence in them that I don't have with other firms."

Notable practitioners  

Rebecca Harding-Hill advises across the full range of employment work and has a wealth of litigation experience. She is described as a "prodigiously hard-working lawyer" who "is not frightened of giving options but does not sit on the fence."

Lisa Mayhew heads the employment department and regularly acts on matters relating to financial services regulation. She has an excellent reputation as one of the leading employment lawyers in London, with clients praising her "pragmatism and responsiveness."

Rob Eldridge is noted for High Court litigation with a focus on restrictive covenants. His clients include ASOS, LVMH and Panmure Gordon.

Marian Bloodworth has extensive experience across the full range of employment law, with recent notable work on team moves. Sources note: "She knows employment law inside and out, which allows her to provide comprehensive advice."

Significant clients Oracle, UBS, Thames Water, Tesco, British American Tobacco.

Environment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises clients including property owners and developers on a range of transactions, with a particular focus on the sale and purchase of contaminated sites. Also acts for clients in disputes such as the defence of group nuisance actions.  

Work highlights Advised Cargotec on contaminated land and asbestos liabilities in relation to an acquisition.

Notable practitioners  

Aidan Thomson advises on transactions, environmental litigation and environmental insurance matters. Clients variously describe him as "very calm and reflective" and "clear in his explanations and precise in communication." 

Isabelle Laborde is an associate who practises planning and environment law. Sources describe her as "very pragmatic and sensible."

Significant clients AIG, Tesco, Allianz, Thames Water, Heathrow Airport.  

Financial Crime - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Extensive experience in compliance matters affecting financial institutions. Key investigations and compliance expertise in money laundering, bribery and fraud.

Work highlights Advised NatWest on the criminal and civil aspects of a Ponzi fraud carried out through the use of its bank accounts.

Notable practitioners  

Aaron Stephens is praised for his ability to provide practical and efficient advice. Clients also value his ability to advise on transatlantic corruption issues: "His knowledge of the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] and Bribery Act is extensive, and the fact that he is qualified in the US and UK means we can use one lawyer for most things."

Daren Allen is a go-to practitioner for financial institutions that are subject to criminal or regulatory investigations, and has particular expertise in money laundering issues. Sources describe him as "hard-working, easy to deal with and sensible."

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Accomplished team with a high-profile client base. Undertakes matters on an international basis in innovative areas of IT, including varied technology services and platforms. Recognised for its supplier-side work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Pragmatic, innovative in solutions and resourceful in how they service us, giving us the right resource at the right point in the deal."

"Very flexible in terms of timing and very responsive, with real depth in terms of the team they have in the area." 

What's new? United Business Media and Nike were secured as new clients.

Work highlights Provided counsel to National Grid in relation to its Electricity Management System contract.

Advised PRS for Music on its procurement of new IT outsourcing services.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise the highly experienced Mark Lewis, noting that "he adds gravitas to any negotiation and he's got a huge amount of market knowledge." He has expertise in international outsourcing.

Richard Chapman "brings a very strong business sense to contractual negotiations and is very effective." His admirable client relationships and software engineering background ensure his regular instruction on major transactional matters.

Usman Wahid is lauded by clients for his "very practical" approach and strong negotiation skills. He is recognised for "understanding our business and how we work very well," and uses this knowledge to consistently deliver for clients. 

Significant clients Tesco Bank, Barclays, Tata Consultancy Services, Optimal, Stagecoach.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for A large and highly capable IP practice concerned mainly with copyright, trade mark, internet and design matters. Has a large in-house trade mark prosecution team, and thus offers a one-stop shop for brand matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We like working with the BLP team because we can speak plainly to one another and they provide clear and concise advice. They understand us and have learned to speak our language."

Work highlights Acted for the Newspaper Licensing Agency on a reference to the ECJ with regard to the well-known 'Meltwater' case, which concerns the extent to which the 'temporary copies' exception for copyright infringement covers copies made on users' screens and computers during internet browsing. The ECJ ruled in June 2014 that viewing articles on the internet does not constitute copyright infringement.

Manages The Financial Times's worldwide trade mark portfolio.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Clark is head of department and is considered a "leader in the field of copyright" by sources. He is also an IP litigator and devotes much of his practice to Europe-wide and international trade mark portfolio management.

Ian De Freitas "knows his stuff backwards," according to sources, not least with regard to increasingly pressing issues of database rights and breach of data security. He also handles the range of copyright and trade mark matters.

Toby Headdon is a senior associate from whom great things are expected. He has already shone in previous and existing mandates, notably on behalf of the Newspaper Licensing Agency with regard to the 'Meltwater' case and related actions.

Significant clients Canonical, Markit, Hornby, Newspaper Licensing Agency, Pharmacare.

Licensing - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 associate

What the team is known for Advises clients on all aspects of regulation, specifically gambling, liquor and sexual entertainment venue licensing. Represents a wide range of clients, including restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and luxury department stores.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The service is very personable, as they believe in the same lawyers working with individual brands."

"BLP understand the sector very well; they are very commercial and fit to our approach on things."

Work highlights Challenged a judicial review decision in the Court of Appeal concerning a refusal to renew a sexual entertainment venue licence in Oxford.

Achieved variations to the existing premises licence of the Bulgari Hotel, thereby lifting restrictions placed on the establishment as part of its original planning consent.

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Bark is heralded by peers as being extremely hard-working and commercial. Clients comment that he is "extraordinarily aware of what is going on around him, in all aspects of licensing and also, more generally, in regard to the legal obligations of all parties involved." 

Craig Baylis is praised for his client-friendly approach and accessibility. Clients describe him as "supportive, knowledgeable and professional," and comment that he is "engaged and timely in his communication."

Significant clients Harrods, Selfridges, Marriott Hotels, Tesco Stores, Tragus Holding.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-20 partners
-34 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well regarded for financial litigation, contractual and shareholder disputes, and the defence and energy sectors. Frequently instructed on substantial international and cross-border disputes. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

“The skirmish in court went our way, and a large part of that has been due to the detailed preparation and work they had put in to pull the work together and get the appropriate counsel on board.”

“They did exactly what we hired them to do, and the outcome was exactly what we wanted.”

Work highlights Acted for National Grid on its application to the English court to request that the European Commission provide documents for use in National Grid's private claim for follow-on damages arising out of the gas-insulated switch-gear cartel.

Acted for Television Autonomica Valencia on a breach of contract claim against Imagina Contenidos Audiovisuales, as well as a claim for a declaration of validity of its termination of the contract on the grounds of a breach.

Notable practitioners  

Graham Shear acts for a wide range of clients, including banks and financial institutions, defence companies and sports and entertainment businesses. He has particular expertise in contractual disputes and shareholder litigation.

Oliver Glynn-Jones represents clients in contractual disputes, shareholder litigation, and warranty and indemnity claims. He is particularly experienced in relation to financial litigation.

Significant clients USBC, Intercontinental Bank, ScottishPower, Thames Water, Tesco.

Pensions - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Considerable experience across the full gamut of pensions issues. Frequently advises clients on scheme management matters, including restructurings and mergers, as well as transactional challenges.

Notable practitioners

Norman Russell "has the benefit of a great deal of experience but is very good at conveying his wisdom in a way that clients can understand," says one commentator. He regularly advises trustees and employers facing scheme deficits, overseeing corporate transactions and restructurings.

David Dennison has a great deal of experience across all areas of pensions law. Clients consider him to be "very flexible with good overall knowledge, and will get back to you very quickly."

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Strong planning team within a market-leading property offering. Leading firm for tall buildings development work in central London. Also acts for key players on many of the most high-profile infrastructure projects in the country.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very good - they're very knowledgeable and their advice is always to the point and relevant."

"First-class, highly motivated, driven people. Extremely thorough and very precise."

Work highlights Acted for Thames Water on the planning application for the £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel, the largest waste water infrastructure project in the capital for over 100 years.

Advised National Grid on the application for a development consent order for the first EU-funded carbon capture facility in the UK, including a proposal for a 60 km onshore carbon pipeline.

Notable practitioners 

Department head Tim Hellier is widely recognised for his strong planning and environment practice. He is the first choice for many clients on prime central London development work and urban regeneration schemes. 

Timothy Smith specialises in high-value mixed-use development matters. "Tim is a very astute individual and hugely intelligent, with a nice demeanour," enthused one client, adding: "He brought exactly the right resources to the table when needed."

James Good focuses on large-scale infrastructure developments, with a particular concentration on water projects. Clients say: "He's conscientious, thorough and always available. He does well predicting troubles ahead."

The "cerebral" Tim Pugh is noted by peers for his infrastructure planning work, including nationally significant infrastructure projects. He is also very active in urban extension and regeneration matters.

Peers say Christian Drage is "very sensible, with a lovely manner," and report that "dealing with Christian is a pleasure." He acts on mixed-use City developments and retail planning.

Associate director Sarah Beattie heads the firm's compulsory purchase practice area team and advises on compulsory purchase order (CPO) matters for infrastructure projects. Peers consider her a "good technician" and clients say they are "very happy with her work."

Associate to watch Simon Catterall is a new entry this year. Described by fellow planning lawyers as "an incredibly safe pair of hands," he primarily acts on major development matters.

Significant clients Homes & Communities Agency, Tesco, Land Securities, Westfield Group, Taylor Wimpey, Aviva.

Private Client - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Established private client team with significant strength in depth. Main areas of focus include tax and wealth planning and trust structuring. Often acts for institutional clients, advising on complex asset holding structures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their solutions are exactly to the point." 

Notable practitioners

The "extraordinarily hard-working" Rupert Ticehurst has an impressive contentious and non-contentious practice, concentrating on tax planning and trust structures.

Martin Paisner has a wealth of experience in advising on domestic and offshore trust structures. "He is charismatic and extremely client-friendly," says one source.

Simon Phelps primarily advises wealthy non-UK individuals and families on UK tax planning and trust structuring, with a particular focus on clients from the Far East. Observers note that "he can always come up with solid, swift and clean solutions."

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Offers a diverse range of real estate finance services, including the restructuring of large loan and asset portfolios. Frequently instructed by borrower, lender and investor clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"Their project management is very good. They deliver without fuss, on time and on budget."

"My experience has been very good - they're pragmatic and they throw resources onto the matter when it's needed."

Work highlights Advised Griffin-American Healthcare on its £298.5 million acquisition of a portfolio of care homes.

Assisted LaSalle on a £100 million development loan facility to Urbanest.

Notable practitioners  

Claire Watson's real estate finance practice is broad, covering senior and mezzanine debt, development and investment finance, and restructurings. One client says she is "very good when negotiating documentation. She makes sure we don't waste time on trivial matters and instead concentrate on the more important things. She's very knowledgeable and thorough."

Head of department Naveen Vijh is a property finance specialist, with expertise in acquisition, development and structured finance transactions. He acts for a number of leading banks and financial institutions. Clients praise his skills in negotiation. 

Significant clients M&G, ING, Aviva, Pramerica Real Estate Capital, The Carlyle Group.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Market-leading team frequently handling major disputes for clients including property companies, developers and investors. Particularly active on receivership matters. Also noted for expertise on rights of light issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a depth of knowledge and experience that means you know you are going to get pragmatic, efficient advice."

"They are very responsive, they're always there when you need them and they know what the client wants." 

Work highlights Advised W R Berkley on rights of light and development issues regarding its £500 million headquarters development at 52-54 Lime Street.

Advised Berkley Estates, a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, on issues relating to the £1.5 billion redevelopment of the Shell Centre at Waterloo.

Notable practitioners  

One source describes Joanna Lampert as "simply fantastic," adding: "A client who has Joanna representing them is a very lucky client." She acts on high-profile matters including major infrastructure projects. Clients regard her as "very commercial and practical." 

Landlord and tenant specialist Akhil Markanday recently acted for Almacantar in a dispute with a tenant at Centre Point. One happy client reports: "He gives a rounded, commercial view on the key risks, and gives us a weighted risk for each area which assists us in making decisions."

Peers regard Roger Cohen as "a pleasure to work with and a very safe pair of hands." He specialises in handling commercial property disputes for investors and corporate occupiers.

Clients particularly value Wendy Miller's expertise on rights of light issues for major developments. "She is very good at giving clear and easy to follow advice," states one client.

Michael Metliss recently acted for Tesco in a dispute with the landlord of the Langney Shopping Centre in Eastbourne, which was closed for seven months. Sources say he is "excellent, very responsive and provides a clear strategy."

Significant clients Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities Group, Great Portland Estates, Aviva, Derwent London.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 61 partners
- 108 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly acts on market-leading investment transactions, high-profile developments and headquarters lettings. Acts for a broad base of blue-chip domestic and international funds, institutions and developers. Also handles complex structuring and finance matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Faultless performance in many ways - they are just a machine and they work through our top-level deals fantastically."

"What we like is their ability to give us advice very collaboratively. They bring in the right experts when needed. We've been very impressed with the quality of the expertise they have in different disciplines and how well they work together."

What's new? New clients include the London Legacy Development Corporation, Brookfield and WR Berkley.

Work highlights Advised the Lodha Group on its £306 million acquisition of One Grosvenor Square, the current site of the Canadian High Commission, for residential development. This was the Mumbai-based developer's first deal in the UK market.

Acted for Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group as joint venture partners on the pre-letting of 20 Fenchurch Street.

Notable practitioners  

Chris de Pury leads the property team. He advises on single asset and portfolio investment transactions, often with complex structuring arrangements, as well as development matters. Peers consider him "the ultimate Mr Smooth - he has great connections."

James Knox handles prime London investment deals, portfolio acquisitions, financings and development work for domestic and cross-border funds. Peers regard him as a "massively bright, cerebral guy with international connections."

Executive chairman Robert MacGregor continues to act for a number of the firm's key clients on investment and development matters. One source describes him as "utterly amazing" on a recent deal, confiding: "If he hadn't been on the transaction I don't think we would have delivered it."

David Battiscombe has experience of a wide range of property work, with a focus on development. Peers also note his expertise on hotels and leisure sector matters.

Claire Milton's practice encompasses sales, acquisitions, development and leasing. Clients say: "She's meticulous and skilled at identifying work streams and knowing who to pull in to give you a holistic view. She's also good at presenting to the board."

Peter Rudolf has a broad-ranging property practice with particular expertise in development matters. He is well regarded by peers in the market.

Alan Wight advises on landlord and tenant matters for property companies and corporate occupiers. "He knows our business and he's got the experience in the market to provide solutions," clients report.

Andrew Sanders acted for King's Cross Central on the sale of a 2.4-acre development site to Google for use as their UK headquarters. He specialises in big-ticket redevelopments.  

Samant Narula specialises in investment work for funds and institutions. One enthusiastic client says: "He is just a walking book of market knowledge; if you want to know what's happening in the property market talk to him. He identifies opportunities for both of us and is a brilliant technical lawyer. He's also such a nice guy, so easy to get on with."

Significant clients Tesco, Great Portland Estates, Blackstone, Qatari Diar, Oxford Properties.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Regularly mandated on major projects by significant banking clients. An undoubted specialism in real estate issues relating to restructuring and insolvency. Also represents clients drawn from the shipping, leisure and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team are creative and agile in finding a way to get the job done."

"Their work is always of a very high standard, and their client service is top-notch." 

Work highlights Represented the landlords of a number of properties owned by the retailer Game in a dispute over whether it is a requirement for administrators to pay rents as an expense of administration.

Acted for the Bank of Ireland in a dispute over the 'centre of main interest' of a high-profile Irish bankrupt. The team were successful at trial, as well as at appeal.

Notable practitioners  

David Leibowitz specialises in insolvency litigation, and acts for a broad palette of clients, ranging from major domestic banks to directors and shareholders. He is singled out by sources as "a good strategist and leader, and an excellent lawyer."

Head of the group's restructuring and insolvency team Ben Jones is recognised in the market as "highly competent, unfazed by any challenges and pragmatic."

Significant clients RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays Bank, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, Macquarie.

Social Housing - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Handles large social housing developments, often acting for developers and institutional investors. Advises on joint ventures, mixed-use developments and private rental sector matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have been helpful and pragmatic in balancing our objectives, as well as the more commercial aspects."

Work highlights Advised Tower Hamlets on its £500 million Blackwall Reach regeneration project, including redevelopment of the Robin Hood Gardens estate.

Advised the Homes & Communities Agency on major housing development schemes, including Build to Rent and Get Britain Building.

Notable practitioners  

Client regard department head Andrew Yates as "practical" and praise his "understanding of commercial objectives." He acts on major development matters and stock transactions, including forward funding. 

Significant clients Barking Riverside, Bellway Homes, Greater London Authority, London Legacy Development Corporation, National Grid.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Substantial team with an enviable reputation for handling tax issues arising from real estate matters. Services a host of domestic and international clients. Also has expertise in VAT and other indirect tax issues. 

Work highlights Acted for Access Self Storage on the refinancing of its 57-facility portfolio of self-storage properties. 

Advised Allianz Real Estate on its EUR300 million acquisition of a substantial office complex at Taunusanlage 1, Frankfurt.

Notable practitioners  

Commentators observe that tax department head Michael Wistow "is developing real expertise in property transactions; he is highly regarded in that sphere."

John Overs "has been around a long time and is a very able tax lawyer." He leads the corporate tax team, working on a diverse range of matters involving direct and indirect tax issues.

Neal Todd is an experienced corporate tax lawyer with expertise in a variety of key areas, including M&A and structured and asset finance.

The "extremely pleasant" Gary Richards is adept at advising clients on the tax aspects of property matters, and is also strong on general corporate tax issues. A peer says: "I have a lot of time and respect for him, his practice and his expertise."

Alan Sinyor is head of VAT at the firm and "has a good reputation" amongst peers. He is best known for his long-standing expertise in matters concerning VAT and other indirect taxes. 

Significant clients Norges Bank Investment Management, Land Securities, Tesco, Telefónica, Standard Chartered Bank.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Highlighted for its strong rail finance team and involvement in rolling stock deals. Acts for rolling stock operating companies (ROSCO) on matters such as negotiating purchase contracts and operating leases. Also noted for its aviation and shipping finance practice and its work for a broad range of clients in these sectors.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They have a very strong team of experienced people. They allocate the right resources to the tasks and are extremely responsive."

"They were always available for me under a very tight timeframe."

"I have always found them to be highly commercial." 

Work highlights Advised Minsheng Financial Leasing on the sale and leaseback of five Bombardier aircraft.

Offering ongoing advice to Pacific Drilling on the restructuring of a USD2 billion financing for four new ultra-deepwater drillships. 

Notable practitioners  

Russell Clifford heads the firm's asset finance group and is particularly identified for his work in rolling stock financing deals acting on behalf of clients including banks, lessors, operators and manufacturers. Clients note that "he is very easy to deal with and highly knowledgeable."

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke is a recently promoted partner in the firm's asset finance team and is noted for his work on rolling stock deals acting on behalf of banks, lessors and manufacturers.

Senior associate Adam Longney is noted for his work in rail finance transactions.

Significant clients Angel Trains, Beacon Rail Leasing, Bombardier, Deutsche Bank, Investec Bank.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Long-standing reputation in the market. Boasts a large team with a wealth of experience across a wide range of sectors, including real estate, natural resources and betting and gaming. Strong experience handling IPOs, secondary offerings and moves from the main market to AIM.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I have always found the firm to be professional and competent, providing practical and pragmatic legal advice. I would recommend them to any firm wishing to list on AIM."

"Excellent, very professional and very approachable. BLP was able to come up with appropriate solutions to our challenges." 

Work highlights Represented Action Hotels in its £30 million AIM IPO.

Acted for International Mining & Infrastructure Corporation (IMIC) on its acquisition by way of reverse takeover of Afferro Mining, and the readmission to AIM of the enlarged group.

Notable practitioners  

David Collins, head of corporate at the firm, is complimented as being "reassuring and sure-footed." He is the relationship partner for the team’s impressive client roster, which includes Numis, Peel Hunt and Liberum Capital.

Alex Latner impresses sources with his wide-ranging practice which covers flotations and secondary offerings. A client states: "He is dependable, technically very good and commercially astute. He understands what the client needs - you want him in your corner."

Murdoch Currie is skilled in flotations and fund-raisings, and recently advised on the AIM IPO of Eclectic Bar Group. He is identified as "extremely competent, and he provided timely and pragmatic advice throughout the process. I have already recommended him to other potential clients."

Alexander Keepin specialises in energy and natural resources IPOs and secondary issues. Clients appreciate his "practical, responsive and commercial" approach. 

Significant clients Helphire Group, Cenkos Securities, Eclectic Bars Ltd, MirLand Development, Liberum Capital.

Charities - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Broad expertise executing large-scale transactions for private clients, non-profits, businesses and public sector organisations. Particularly skilled in the provision of tax planning advice for prominent UK and international donors. Services a number of clients within the social housing sector.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I can't downplay the amount of work they've done for us. We had numerous conference calls that lasted several hours. I definitely got the feeling that they were personally invested in our situation."

"They were extremely capable and responsive and were able to draw on a range of expertise throughout the firm to assist when needed."

What's new? Gained a number of new clients, including The Dreamland Trust, Allia, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and North Norfolk District Council.

Work highlights Advised Battersea Dogs & Cats Home on the preparation of a formal objection to TfL's proposed Transport Works Act Order, which involved complex issues surrounding land ownership and required the additional expertise of the firm's planning and real estate teams.

Assisted with the establishment of a new charitable organisation, JW3, which involved the provision of advice on tax, charitable trading and governance issues, as well as the disposal of adjacent residential properties.

Notable practitioners 

One client enthuses that Janet Turner QC is "one of those exceptional people" advising within the sector, adding: "She's been great at providing training for our trustees on complex governance issues. I am very confident in her abilities and the pieces of work she produces." 

Martin Paisner enjoys a firmly established reputation within the charities field, drawing from his first-hand experience as a trustee of a number of family trusts and charities to provide his clients with assured advice.

Associate director Neasa Coen strikes peers as a "bright and capable lawyer who is pleasant to deal with." She assisted the team with several significant pieces of work, including the establishment of Dreamland Trust.

Significant clients University of Cambridge, Wolfson Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, Tesco.

Commercial Contracts - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Notable experience in advising clients across a range of fields, including advertising, media, finance and retail. Expertise includes partnership, service arrangements and distribution.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are really responsive, very commercially focused and pragmatic. They understand your risk thresholds and what you are looking for."

What's new? New client wins include the Direct Line Group.

Work highlights Advised UBM on issues including venue licensing arrangements, a data capture agreement and supplier arrangement standardisation agreements.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Richard Shaw's expertise includes distribution, supply and outsourcing work in areas such as retail and media. Sources describe him as "disarmingly down to earth, with a very good legal and commercial brain. His advice is pithy and it hits the key issues."

Significant clients Tesco, Travelex, Nike, Barclays Bank, National Grid.

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Acts for a variety of clients across the entertainment, sports and media industries, with a particular focus on advising large corporates on issues of defamation and confidential information. Continues to develop its expertise in relation to cybersecurity, including cases of e-mail hacking and the theft of electronic data. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do huge amounts of commercial litigation across the entire field." 

Work highlights Advised Sir Paul Judge on his defamation counterclaim in response to ENRC's allegation that confidential documents were leaked to the press.

Continues to advise the defendants on a case of data protection, involving large group claims from workers who allege they were blacklisted by construction companies through a database companies could subscribe to. 

Notable practitioners  

Graham Shear is highly regarded for his work on complex cases of privacy and defamation litigation, most notably in the sports and entertainment industries. Increasingly advising on cases with multi-jurisdictional elements, with particular experience on those in the Middle East.

Significant clients Thames Water, Tesco, Gareth Bale, Andrew Marr, Lord and Lady Kinnock.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 50 partners
- 150 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for oil and gas clients in M&A, upstream development and financing, disputes and corporate finance. Significant offshore and onshore UK experience in addition to work throughout Europe and Africa.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The service you get from them is excellent and the advice is excellent as well."

Work highlights Counsel to Oil Spill Response, a joint project set up by leading oil independents to provide a global response network to react to sub-sea oil spills.

Represented Carrizo Oil & Gas in relation to the disposal of its interest in Huntington Field in the North Sea, valued at USD184 million, to Iona Energy.

Notable practitioners  

Adam Dann has a great deal of experience in upstream oil and gas M&A and finance projects. In a recent deal he advised Carrizo Oil & Gas in the sale of its interest in the Huntington Field in the North Sea. One impressed client described him as an "extraordinarily talented energy lawyer."

Mark Saunders is a seasoned corporate oil and gas lawyer with a track record as an in-house and private practice lawyer in the industry. Clients say: "Mark has that practical capacity to see what I am trying to achieve from a business point of view."

Significant clients Hellenic Petroleum, Premier Oil, Shell, Vegas Oil & Gas, Panoro Energy.  

Financial Services - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strength in contentious regulatory enforcement issues complemented by a well-reputed non-contentious advisory practice. Significant expertise in the insurance sector. Also noted for its work in cross-border investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"When you employ external advisers you need them to have an absolutely detailed understanding of the area you have requirements in. BLP has those key experienced people and they're flexible in terms of our needs and requirements."

"They offer a very personal service. The relationship in terms of people on the ground is fundamentally important. They listen and are easy to get on with."

Notable practitioners  

Head of financial services, Sidney Myers is noted for his proactivity, strategy and knowledge. Clients say he is "absolutely on top of his game in terms of subject matter. He's very proactive, constantly keeping me informed of relevant issues."

Contentious regulatory expert Nathan Willmott is particularly well regarded for his knowledge of both the regulations and the regulators. Clients say: "He is an exceptional adviser - he provides pragmatic advice, and understands how the FCA works and what businesses need."

Up-and-coming partner Jacob Ghanty focuses his practice on non-contentious regulatory issues and has experience in the area of payment services regulation.

Significant clients HSBC, AIG, BGC Brokers, CNA Europe, Tesco Bank.

Fraud - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Commercial litigation team with notable fraud expertise. Draws blue-chip clients from the banking sector.

Work highlights Represented NatWest on concurrent civil and criminal proceedings regarding a £20 million Ponzi fraud scheme perpetrated through the use of its bank accounts.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the Africa group Segun Osuntokun regularly advises financial institutions on issues relating to fraud, corruption and money laundering. Sources report that "he is very thorough, hard-working, good with his clients and a pleasure to work with."

Significant clients HSBC, National Grid, Thames Water, Intercontinental Bank, Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago.

Hotels & Leisure - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
-15 partners
-18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading practice acting on a broad range of hotel-related matters, including joint ventures, institutional financing, M&A and franchising. Regularly represents the interests of financial lenders, developers and operators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do everything that you'd expect from a top-tier firm; they're very responsive and proactive on deals, and offer clarity throughout the process. We're always happy to work with them."

"We're really impressed with the team. Any hotel-specific work, we take it to them."

What's new? Karen Friebe, the former global co-chair of DLA Piper's hospitality and leisure group, joined the practice.

Work highlights Represented RBS in financing matters regarding the £15 million acquisition of Manchester's Marriott Victoria & Albert hotel.

Advised Silverlink Properties on the management agreement for the development of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Newcastle.

Notable practitioners  

Consultant Andrew Little is highly regarded for his experience and specialist knowledge of the market. He has acted on a number of issues during his tenure, including M&A issues, operating contracts, development financing and time share ventures.

Karen Friebe enjoys a strong reputation in the sector and is well respected by her peers. A recent addition to the department, she represents a variety of owners and operators in matters including management agreements, disposals and joint ventures.

Clients laud Nick Skea Strachan's legal acumen and note his ability to "get the best out of a franchising deal." He also has significant experience in management and operational agreements, M&A work and rebranding matters.

Significant clients Aareal Bank, GLH, Morgans Hotel Group, Quintain, Westmont Hospitality.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Focuses on providing advisory services and on pursuing contentious reinsurance claims for clients. Also continues to advise insurer clients alongside a flourishing reinsurance practice.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are competitive and come to alternative fee and fixed fee arrangements – that flexibility was great for us."

"They are good in all they do and are respected in the reinsurance market."

Work highlights Advised a client on an excess of loss reinsurance claim brought by two Lloyd's syndicates following the 2010/11 New Zealand earthquakes.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Sacher is hugely well respected in the reinsurance space and is described by a peer as "eloquent, smart and charismatic." Clients enthuse that he is "very focused on core issues and the big-picture business goals, while also mastering the minute details."

Anthony Lennox heads the firm's reinsurance and insurance team, and focuses his practice on the reinsurance space. He is frequently instructed in big-ticket arbitration, treaty disputes and reinsurance recoveries. Interviewees highlight that he "very much understand the needs of clients' businesses." 

Significant clients AIG, Munich Re, The Travelers Companies, Amlin, CNA.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A solid and dependable service praised by clients for its timely and efficient management of mid-level insurance work. Focuses on assisting with compliance and regulatory issues, and on advising on some prestigious transactional work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"We have a global reach and they have as well, which was part of the reason that we went with them. We feel that even if they didn't have an office somewhere they could source one that was as good as them."

"The work is consistent, timely, entirely reliable and on budget."

Work highlights Acted for Towers Watson on the USD250 million sale of its global reinsurance broking arm to JLT.

Advised BBVA Seguros on the English law aspects of a EUR1 billion quota share life reinsurance and security transaction with the Irish subsidiary of Scor Global Life.

Notable practitioners  

Adam Bogdanor heads the corporate insurance team.

Significant clients Aviva, Amlin, Chartis, Clal Insurance, CNA Europe.

International Arbitration - UK-wide

What the team is known for Experienced team regularly handling high-profile arbitrations such as those related to construction and energy disputes. Works cohesively with Moscow-based practitioners, allowing greater versatility in handling CIS-related disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They prepared documents to the highest professional standard, which considerably strengthened our legal position."

"The level of service was excellent." 

Notable practitioners 

The "wonderful" Nicholas Fletcher QC is experienced in handling diverse disputes such as corporate investment arbitrations arising in the finance and engineering sectors. He is praised for his ability to stay "on top of the detail" in complex arbitration cases.

Michael Polonsky dedicates a major part of his practice solely to international arbitration, regularly receiving instructions for high-value, bet-the-company arbitrations. His recent workload has included representing state governments in BIT disputes.

Significant clients AES, Soletanche-Bachy, Qatar Electricity & Water Company, State of Lagos, Water and Sewage Authority of Trinidad & Tobago.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Commended for its substantive experience in real estate funds matters, and also handles private equity funds. Noted for its full-lifecycle approach to funds, providing managers with support on formation, structuring, fund-raising and exits. Displays additional skill in listed funds and regularly handles both onshore and offshore vehicles.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The people are very client-focused; they're very proactive in coming forward with solutions and always very responsive. You know you're always going to get a good service top to bottom."  

Work highlights Advised CBRE Global Investors on the £600 million merger of two of its real estate funds.

Represented X-Leisure Funds in the restructuring of its partnership through the acquisition of a majority stake by Land Securities.

Notable practitioners  

Sources note that Antony Grossman shows "good initiative" when handling complex funds matters. "He's very bright and good at coming up with ideas," explain one client. He is particularly recognised for his expertise in real estate funds, attracting major clients such as Hermes Property Unit Trust to his client roster.   

Justin Cornelius invites much enthusiasm from interviewees, who describe him as "extremely commercial, reliable and thorough," and his communication as "exceptional." He is well known in the real estate funds sphere and also acts on debt funds and corporate transactions involving funds and investment managers.

Victoria Henry concentrates her practice on real estate investment funds and is able to assist clients with all aspects from structuring to reorganisation and exit. A satisfied interviewee notes that she does a "fantastic job."

Significant clients BlackRock, Aviva, M&G, Schroders, Clearbell Capital.

Local Government - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 1 QC 
- 26 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Recognised for the strength of its planning and construction expertise, with notable work on large-scale regeneration projects. The team also regularly deals with PFI, housing and infrastructure issues.

Work highlights Advised the Homes & Communities Agency on the transfer of certain housing regulatory responsibilities to Milton Keynes Council.  

Provided strategic advice to Central Bedfordshire Council, in connection with the provision of sheltered housing and care homes.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Yates is the key contact for the firm's local government work.

Significant clients Greater London Authority, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Epping District Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Borough Council, London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

What the team is known for Proficient across digital platforms, acting for broadcasters, publishers and computer games companies. Strong IP expertise ensures a depth of technical knowledge for media clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"One of the leading firms for gaming work." 

Notable practitioners  

Simon Harper maintains a presence in the digital publishing field, continuing to advise media clients alongside heading up the firm's Lawyers On Demand business. He is well regarded by peers for his technical ability and subject matter expertise.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Impressive outsourcing and business service with broad expertise, including in complex cross-border work for customer and supplier side clients. Niche strength in associated matters such as properties and facilities management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I'm very pleased, especially with the outsourcing, software and services work. They are very approachable and easy to get on with, very pragmatic, and good value for money."

"They were the perfect buffer in negotiations and steered us through the whole process. They were available even at times when you wouldn't imagine they would be, partly thanks to the real international flavour to their team."

Work highlights Assisted Balfour Beatty with the procurement of an extensive internationally managed telecoms network.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Lewis continues to act in both customer and supplier side sourcing transactions, and offers considerable experience in cross-border IT transactions, particularly with respect to the Indian market. He advises on a range of matters, including sourcing structures and exit strategy mechanisms, while clients highlight that he has "not just technical ability, but also an absolute understanding of the market."

Marcus Pearl holds broad business process and IT outsourcing expertise built on a wealth of industry-specific and in-house experience, most notably in the healthcare and sports sectors. He is "absolutely marvellous on all aspects of ancillary commercial contracts. He is professional and knowledgeable, and he gives you the impression that you are in safe hands," observes one commentator.

Significant clients PRS for Music, National Grid, Barclays Bank, Williams Lea, Travelex.

Parliamentary & Public Affairs - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Handles parliamentary work as part of the firm's broader planning and environmental practice. Experience with a number of nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Deals with major infrastructure projects well." 

Work highlights Acted for Thames Water Utilities on the DCO for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, an NSIP.

Provided drafting and amendment advice concerning the Mesothelioma Bill, on behalf of the British Lung Foundation.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Greenberg has an outstanding reputation in the parliamentary agency sphere, and had a lead role in drafting and advising on modifications to the Mesothelioma Bill for the British Lung Foundation. Sources say: "We are delighted with his service, and his communication skills are truly excellent."

Significant clients Thames Water, Homes and Communities Agency, National Grid, Halite, Folkestone Harbour.

Projects - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Broad-based PPP expertise covering fields including social infrastructure, waste and transport. Handles work in the UK and internationally for bidders, funders and public sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're absolutely excellent. They supported us no end, they're always there when we need advice and they're very thorough."

What's new? New clients include 3i Infrastructure Partners, Ingenious Media Group and Amber Infrastructure Group.

Work highlights Advised the Finnish Transport Agency on the EUR660 million Hamina-Vaalimaa motorway project.

Represented Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust in a £100 million new cancer centre, providing advice on the sale and development of land owned by the trust.

Notable practitioners  

Head of projects and infrastructure Mark Richards is described as "a really good guy - easy to work with and extremely affable." His experience covers areas such as social infrastructure and waste, acting for lenders, bidders and public sector clients.

Robert Gross's practice includes instructions in Europe and the Middle East, where he acts on areas including transport and renewables. He is well versed in representing project sponsors and the public sector.

Significant clients FHW Dalmore, Balfour Beatty Capital, Barclays Corporate Bank, GCP Capital Partners, National Grid.

Private Client - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Commanding presence in the contentious trusts field, and a strong reputation for handling complex, high-value trusts and probate disputes. Draws on the strength and resources of offices in Moscow, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very commercially minded, cut through the legal jargon and get straight to the point." 

Work highlights Acted for Summit Trustees in a high-profile dispute between two Russian millionaires over a £40 million property.

Represented the Earl of Cardigan in a dispute with his family estate trustees, which includes an application for removal of trustees and a compensation claim for breach of trust.

Notable practitioners  

The "uniquely talented" Rupert Ticehurst has an outstanding reputation for his expertise on contentious and non-contentious trusts matters. "His communication skills are excellent: he is able to succinctly explain issues in a client-friendly way," remarks one source, adding: "He is also good at providing strategic advice."

The "superb" Jessica Henson is an associate at the firm and concentrates on trusts disputes. She is praised by sources as being "efficient and clued up," and "a real up-and-coming star."

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London 

What the team is known for Highly regarded for real estate procurement work, including high-value development schemes. Active in the utilities sector, acting on large-scale infrastructure projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Easy to do business with and available to commence work swiftly."

Work highlights Acted for Thames Water Utilities on its procurement of partners for the £3 billion AMP6 asset management programme.

Advised London Legacy Development Corporation on phases four and five of housing development on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site.

Notable practitioners

Adrian Magnus is a key contact.

Significant clients Highways Agency, Capita Business Services, University of Brighton, Homes & Communities Agency, Greater London Authority.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 40 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Market-leading team with regular work at the top end of the market. The team is known for acting in the interests of large household names including major supermarkets. 

Work highlights Advised Tesco on a number of licensing hearings, many of which were facing local opposition.

Manages Fat Face's global trade mark portfolio with regular work on IP litigation.

Notable practitioners

John Bennett is the head of the department.

Significant clients Apple, ASOS, Monsoon, John Lewis, Ocado.

Sports Law - UK-wide

What the team is known for Acts on finance deals in sport as well as advising on corporate matters such as the development of sports stadia and infrastructure projects. Also acts for clients on commercial deals, and works with sportsmen and women on reputation management issues. 

Work highlights Acted for various Premier League football clubs on financing work involving the acceleration of broadcast receivables.

Acted on sports ground developments and ground relocations for sports clubs such as Lancashire County Cricket Club and non-stadium phases of White Hart Lane's redevelopment.

Notable practitioners 

Graham Shear acts for clients on financing transactions and is well regarded by peers for his representation of players, agents and clubs. He is also one of the leading experts on third party investment issues in football. One source said: "He's an effective and knowledgeable solicitor."

Significant clients Ashley Cole, West Ham Football Club, Nike, Peter Crouch, The Football Association.

Tax - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Provides a strong service in tax disputes to a range of notable clients. Renowned for its expertise in handling indirect tax cases with far-reaching UK and EU significance, especially those relating to VAT. 

Work highlights Acted for Vaccine Research Limited Partnership in its test case concerning tax relief claims arising from a medical research project. 

Notable practitioners

Ron Downhill is a key contact. 

Significant clients Dreams, Mars, Kimberly-Clark, Jaguar Land Rover, ITV.  

Telecommunications - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A diverse offering with strength in handling commercial agreements for telecoms sector clients, including procurement arrangements. Key areas of specialisation include network infrastructure.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We were very impressed by the commercial team at BLP - they did a sensational job!" 

What's new? 3663 and Bidvest are among the firm's new clients for telecoms work.

Work highlights Acted for National Grid on structuring its contract with EE for the provision of a bespoke mobile service for the client's engineers. The matter is valued at approximately £10 million.

Advised Tesco on the procurement of a core network designed to link its data centres globally. Acted for the company in respect of the tender process and subsequent negotiation of the contract.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Chapman heads the telecoms practice and is a key contact for clients.

Significant clients Cisco Systems, Huawei, Aegis Media, Balfour Beatty.

Transport - UK-wide

What the team is known for Provides significant expertise in advising financiers and lessors on rolling stock transactions. Also noted for its advice on planning matters.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We have called them to perform some extremely demanding tasks in difficult timeframes and they have never failed."

"They have a great commercial business sense." 

"Good value for money." 

What's new? Rail finance specialist Jamie Wiseman-Clarke has been promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Angel Trains on the amendment of existing leasing and maintenance arrangements relating to its Pendolino fleet.  

Notable practitioners  

Russell Clifford leads the asset finance group, specialising in structured asset finance and leasing. Clients note that "he is a strong advocate in a difficult negotiation."

Jamie Wiseman-Clarke specialises in rolling stock finance, acting for banks, lessors and manufacturers. Clients say he is "technically excellent." 

Adam Longney is regularly featured in high-value rolling stock finance deals. A market source notes that "he is very technically able and able to conduct himself in a strategic way." 

Significant clients Alpha Trains, London Underground, Beacon Rail Leasing, Transport for London.