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King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin

London

King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin - London
  • 10 Queen Street Place
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4R 1BE
  • Senior Partner Stephen Kon
  • Managing Partner Rob Day
  • Number of partners in KWM network globally 550
  • Number of other lawyers in KWM network globally 2,230

THE FIRM Leading international law firm SJ Berwin has combined with King & Wood Mallesons* to create the first global law firm headquartered in Asia, focused on connecting Asia to the world and the world to Asia.
As a game-changing combination of the Asian regional powerhouse and with SJ Berwin’s European and Middle East first tier capability, the firm is providing a gateway for clients looking for superior execution and cultural insight.
King & Wood Mallesons is a new definition of a global elite law firm brand. With a network of 30 locations, including China, Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East, Japan and the US, and more than 2,700 lawyers, the firm is on the ground where clients need them most.
The firm works together with clients to shape a new world for their business, combining entrepreneurial spirit with intellectual rigour to provide legal solutions that are innovative and often ground breaking.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK
King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin advises clients on the full spectrum of commercial, financial and specialist legal services, with a principle focus on: corporate and international funds, EU, competition and regulatory, dispute resolution, finance and real estate.
The firm also has deep industry expertise in the following sectors: consumer; energy and infrastructure; financial institutions; life sciences and healthcare; private equity; real estate; and technology, media and telecoms.
For more information, visit our global website at www.kwm.com
*SJ Berwin LLP became a member of the King & Wood Mallesons network, which operates under a Swiss Verein structure, on 1 November 2013. From that date it will operate as King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin across the UK, Continental Europe and the Middle East. For more information on King & Wood Mallesons please go the website at www.kwm.com

    Contacts
  • Commerce & Technology Jeremy Schrire
  • Consumer David Parkes, Jeremy Schrire
  • Corporate Steven Davis
  • Finance Jeremy Cross
  • IP David Rose
  • Employment Nicola Kerr
  • Energy & Infrastructure Neil Upton, Elaine Gibson-Bolton
  • EU, Competition & Regulatory Simon Holmes
  • Financial Institutions Ian Borman, Nick Anstee
  • Financial Markets David Calligan
  • Litigation Craig Pollack
  • Life Sciences & Healthcare- David Rose
  • Private Equity Richard Lever
  • Real Estate Simon Ricketts
  • Ed Page Bryan Pickup
  • Restructuring & Insolvency Jeremy Goldring
  • Tax Heather Corben
  • Technology, Media & Telecoms- Andrew Schindler, Will Holder Chris Fanner, Elaine Gibson-Bolton

Branches

  • 10 Queen Street Place,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4R 1BE
  • Tel (020) 7111 2222
  • Fax (020) 7111 2000
  • DX 255 London Chancery Lane WC2
  • Email : London@sjberwin.com
  • Website : www.sjberwin.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for A mainstay of the European finance market, the team has increased its visibility on both lender and borrower sides with key hires in London. Established expertise in funds finance, alternative lending and traditional bank-side activity.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "We like their ability to adapt to our style of work and to give advice rather than just read the proverbial rule book to us."

Client service: "They are very organised, very thorough and personable."

Breadth of services: "A very strong funds finance practice."  

What's new? The team gained Credit Suisse as a new client and was appointed to the RBS and Lloyds panels.

Work highlights Advised Macquarie Bank on the £62.5 million senior and junior facilities extended to the Towry Group for refinancing purposes.

Acted for a bank syndicate comprising RBS, Santander, Lloyds and Allied Irish Bank in connection with Caretech Holdings' £147.4 million refinancing.

Notable practitioners 

Christopher Fanner is frequently seen acting on sophisticated acquisition finance deals and has developed significant expertise in the telecommunications sector. He is highly valued by clients and described as "impressive" by peers.

Ian Borman builds upon his solid reputation in the market, with sources calling him "fantastic," and "experienced and technically strong." He acted for Haymarket Financial on the senior debt financing of a £42.5 million term and revolving facilities agreement for the acquisition of Novus Leisure by Hutton Collins Partners and LGV Capital.   

Significant clients Bank of Montreal, European Investment Bank, Credit Suisse, Haymarket Financial, Investec Bank.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Ably advises on complex and high-profile disputes and contentious regulatory matters. Represents a range of prominent institutional clients across the spectrum of banking litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Great for strategic and tactical advice. A fantastic team. They can leverage on their knowledge of the market on top of knowing the law."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Arch Financial Products in connection with an FSA investigation and enforcement action as well as a number of civil proceedings brought in the High Court.

Represented Saltri III in a high-value cross-border restructuring dispute.

Notable practitioners  

Head of litigation Craig Pollack has significant experience acting on behalf of hedge funds and major investment banks. He regularly handles complex multi-jurisdictional disputes.

Solicitor advocate Alex Leitch acts for a broad range of clients including hedge funds, private equity houses and public companies. He has particular expertise in media-related litigation.

Significant clients Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, UniCredit, Lion Capital, The Bank of New York Mellon.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Proficiency in handling a spread of competition matters relating to both contentious and non-contentious concerns. Delivering experienced, expert advice on sensitive cartel investigations. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are excellent at client care and keeping us informed. They really make you feel valued."

Problem solving: Sources single out the team's innovative thinking as a real plus point.

What's new? Recent hires include new partner Sarah Turnbull, who joins from Ofcom, and former Berwin Leighton Paisner partner Elaine Whiteford.

Work highlights Advised Universal Music on the competition and regulatory issues related to its acquisition of EMI's recorded music arm. This included securing clearance from competition authorities across the world.

Represented Telefonica before the Court of Appeal in a dispute with BT relating to interconnection payments for 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers.

Notable practitioners 

Senior partner Stephen Kon is appreciated for his ability to "provide valuable input into complex cases." His vast experience of competition law is widely acknowledged, with one source describing him as "a true leader in the field."

Tom Usher is seen as a valuable adviser because of his ability to "approach problems practically and explain tricky concepts to non-lawyers to get them to the right decisions." His commercial approach is seen as a clear asset to clients.

Simon Holmes, who heads the firm's competition team, is noted for his innovative approach. He recently advised publishing house Simon & Schuster in relation to investigations into the e-books market.

Elaine Gibson-Bolton represents clients before the full line-up of regulatory bodies and before both UK and European courts. She recently acted for Telefónica in its dispute against BT.

Cameron Firth is respected by interviewees for his robust approach as well as his good judgement. His clients include Associated British Foods and Marks & Spencer.

Philipp Girardet is highlighted as "very responsive, commercially oriented and easy to work with." He is experienced in complex merger work and was a key member of the team acting for Universal Music in the aforementioned transaction.

Significant clients Aisan, Amcor, BBC, Cemex, Diageo, Heinz.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-18 partners
-35 other lawyers

What the team is known for Particularly praised by sources for its expertise on transactions in the real estate, private equity and banking sectors. A well-respected option on both high-end and mid-market deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are very commercial and focused on protecting our position but also on getting things done in a flexible and pragmatic manner."

Client service: "They understand us and anticipate; they know what we want and they deliver it."

Market standing: "They are strong, good people." 

What's new New client wins include Terra Firma, Acteon, Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Work highlights Represented Terra Firma in its £276 million acquisition of The Garden Centre.

Advised Duke Street on the £296 million sale of Deloro Stellite.

Advised Investcorp on its £86 million acquisition of Georg Jenson from Axcel Capital.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Goldberg has a particularly good reputation for his advice to clients on real estate-related deals. He recently advised Westfield on the sale of three UK shopping centres for an aggregate value of £159 million.

Steven Davis is praised by market sources for his results-driven approach. He heads the team.

Significant clients Landsbanki, Lion Capital, Amcor, British Land, One Savings Bank.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A diverse practice, with the requisite strength to provide respondent clients across a range of sectors with equally impressive representation across contentious and non-contentious employment matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They don't create work for the sake of driving up the fees – the work they do is what is essential."

Work highlights Successfully advised ICE Futures on defending claims brought by a former employee alleging sex discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal.

Acted for Duke Street General Partner on the employment implications of its investment into the Parabis Group.

Notable practitioners  

Nicola Kerr, known for her skilful representation of large employers in contentious situations, leads the firm's employment practice. "Her main differentiator is that she thinks like a client," reported one source, whilst another remarked upon her capacity to "provide very sound commercial advice."

Hilary O'Connor led on the ICE Futures case. She is familiar with the manifold intricacies of employment law and has the level of competency required to deal with virtually any related dispute. "To me," opined one commentator, "she's the best lawyer in London."

Carl Richards specialises in providing clients with advice on transactional matters. He is hailed for his rigour and interpersonal approach to assignments, with one source noting his ability to "build a rapport very quickly" with clients.

Significant clients The British Land Company, EDF Energy, Hilton International, Ladbrokes, Lion Capital.

Environment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other lawyers

What the team is known for Handles standalone environment projects and supports other departments of the firm on transactions and contentious matters. Good reputation for waste and contaminated land work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They look at things on an intuitive basis, discuss it with you and talk about emerging conclusions; it was a very collaborative and engaging approach."

Commercial awareness: "They understand the commercial practicalities, understand the context and recognise that we need to balance the risks." 

What's new? The firm was reappointed to the panel of The Crown Estate this year.

Work highlights Advised an investment consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets on its acquisition of Sutton Bridge Power Station.

Advised Resolution Chemicals in a dispute with the Environment Agency related to environmental permitting.

Notable practitioners  

Angus Evers has a broad environmental practice but is particularly recognised by sources for his waste and contaminated land work. He advised the Royal Mail Group on its redevelopment of the Nine Elms sorting depot. Sources say: "He keeps it simple and to the point; he is very approachable and just offers sound advice."

Significant clients Cemex UK, Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, Lands Improvement Holdings, Nuovito Energy, RBS.

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Advises claimants and defendants in relation to international injunctions, dispute resolution and asset recovery.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Extremely diligent. Their advice is timely and they are very responsive and always on point."

Notable practitioners  

Hilton Mervis is a well-regarded commercial litigator with a notable track record of involvement in civil fraud cases. Sources admire his considered approach to strategy.

Head of the firm's dispute resolution team Craig Pollack is identified as an impressive strategist. He has significant experience of advising on allegations of fraud within the context of arbitration proceedings.

Ian Hargreaves 

Hotels & Leisure - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts for high-profile hotels clients, including operators, developers, investors and financiers. Known for real estate work, as well as franchise and management agreements, tax-efficient structuring, M&A, supply and distribution, and IP matters.

Work highlights Advised Starwood Capital on the finance restructuring and subsequent acquisition of the Principal Haley portfolio for a total of USD450 million.

Advised Internos Real Estate Advisors on the structuring and establishment of a hotel-focused spezialfond. Also led on acquisitions and leasebacks of hotels in Germany, Holland and Austria for the fund.

Notable practitioners

Bryan Pickup is a recognised figure in the hotels and leisure sector. He specialises in real estate work, including acquisitions, sales and development.

Significant clients Hilton Hotels, Invesco Real Estate, Internos Real Estate Advisors, Starwood Capital.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for suppliers and customers, and has particular understanding of the technology requirements of financial services, digital media, healthcare, music, retail and leisure clients.

Work highlights Advised Hill's Pet Nutrition on the implementation of an e-commerce platform and various distribution agreements in order to sell products online to consumers.

Advised software house Ideaworks 3D on various development, licensing and support agreements related to multi-platform content.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Shindler is a key contact.

Significant clients British Sugar, Capital Dynamics, City Credit Capital, Logica, Ladbrokes. 

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Well regarded for its abilities across IP, including trade marks, passing-off and patent work. Represents a number of major companies and well-known high-street names.

Work highlights Acted for BSkyB in passing-off and trade mark infringement proceedings relating to its 'NOW TV' brand.

Advised NicOx on a licensing and distribution agreement with Rapid Pathogen Screening.

Notable practitioners  

David Rose has "good commercial sense" and is "very approachable." His practice spans both hard and soft IP, and he was the lead lawyer on the BSkyB litigation mentioned above.

Ray Black is a "knowledgeable and practical" lawyer who is highly experienced in all areas of soft IP, including trade marks and copyright.

Campbell Forsyth is a patent lawyer who rated for his eye for detail. Clients also single out his commercial awareness. 

Significant clients Nintendo, Ladbrokes, Sony Computer Entertainment, Polo Ralph Lauren, bet356.

Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Extensive list of highly active corporate clients. Impressive global reach and capacity. Consistently attracts high-quality mandates of international significance. Expanding specialist areas of expertise such as competition litigation.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They take a client-driven approach, which combines a detailed strategic overview with intelligent aggression where needed."

Strategic planning: "Great for strategic and tactical advice." 

What's new? Amazon.com is a new client.

Work highlights Successfully defended Konstantin Malofeev and Marshall Capital Holdings in the Supreme Court against claims of fraud and conspiracy brought by VTB Capital.

Represented Arch Financial Products in connection with an FSA investigation and civil claims relating to its activities as investment manager of the Arch Cru Funds.

Notable practitioners

Craig Pollack is characterised as a "really good strategist" with an ability to provide a "brilliant strategic overview of the case." One source adds: "He always retains his client's confidence and has a deep-seated empathy with their commercial desires."

Alex Leitch played a leading role representing Arch Financial Products, its CEO and compliance officer, in an FSA investigation. He is known as a "client-driven" litigator, who "fights every corner."

The "very thorough" and "conscientious" Hilton Mervis is praised for being a "good strategist and a creative mind." He acted for Saltri III on a dispute arising from the restructuring of a group of companies.

Significant clients Morgan Stanley, Investcorp Technology Partners, UniCredit, Ladbrokes, Associated British Foods.

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advised on retail and large-scale mixed-use developments. Handles planning litigation including compulsory purchase compensation claims and judicial reviews of planning decisions.

What's new? Stephen Webb joined the group in May 2013; he was formerly head of planning at Dentons.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Ricketts is much admired by sources. "In any planning matter, Simon is the fount of all knowledge. He has always got his finger on the pulse. He is extremely approachable and a friend to the business in that respect; any of us can pick up the phone to him for a chat and he's always there to offer advice."

One pleased observer notes that Stephen Webb, a new addition to the SJ Berwin team, is "someone I rate – he is friendly, pragmatic and unaffected."

Significant clients British Land, Lands Improvement Holdings, Quintain, Royal Mail Group, HS2 Action Alliance.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for An accomplished practice offering clients access to expert advice across a broad range of real estate finance matters. Recognised for its strength in the creation and structuring of real estate funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They're very organised as a firm. They feed back to us and let us know where we are in proceedings and turn things around quickly. They give straight, sensible advice on implications for us as a client."

Problem solving: "They are easy to deal with and add value to the process in trying to find solutions for the client." 

Work highlights Advised Terra Firma on the acquisition of the largest chain of garden centres in the UK, purchasing 129 retail outlets valued at £276 million.

Advised Starwood on its successful acquisition of the Principal Haley portfolio, which has an aggregate value of USD450 million and was the first large portfolio disposal by Lloyds.

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Cross cross is a key contact at the firm.

Significant clients Schroders, RBS, Evans Randall, Delancey Estates, Threadneedle. 

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises on contentious real estate matters for high-end, blue-chip clients and institutional investors. Acts on insolvency-related property issues and the range of landlord and tenant matters, as well as dilapidations, break notices, forfeitures and rent reviews.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're methodical, their advice is comprehensive and they're commercial."

Bench strength: "They have oodles of experience."  

Work highlights Represented a major retailer in the High Court to reclaim overpaid rent as its leases expire.

Successfully undertook a case for a client in the Lands Tribunal in a petition under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1925 to remove certain restrictive covenants on a property.

Notable practitioners  

The "experienced," "clear-thinking," "personable" and "commercial" Jason Juden is credited by clients as a figure who "always gives good advice." Sources add that "he's very good and reassuring, very client-oriented, but also good at spotting the technical issues as well." Some of his recent work includes dilapidations, rent reviews and guarantor claims.

Significant clients AXA REIM, British Land, Hilton Hotels, Marks & Spencer, The Crown Estate.

Since publication, Natalie Johnston has joined Stephenson Harwood.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Known for acting on large-scale developments and on acquisitions and disposals for investment funds. The hotels sector is also a key strength of the practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their understanding of our business is the best I have experienced. They know what matters to us and how to deliver that."

Strategic planning: "What stands out about them is their ability to handle super-complicated transactions in a short timeframe."

Responsiveness: "They are very good at client contact and being in touch."

Work highlights Acted for Zenprop and Event in a joint venture on the development of student housing within the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration scheme.

Acted for Evans Randall on the £285 million unit trust sale of Drapers Gardens in London.

Notable practitioners 

The "very experienced" Bryan Pickup focuses on retail and residential development, investment, and landlord and tenant matters. Clients highlight his "undoubted gravitas" and say that "you know that, with his wealth of experience, he will offer sensible and well-considered counsel."

William Boss acts on a range of real estate matters, specialising in large developments and the retail sector. Recent work includes advising The Crown Estate on the pre-let of a retail store on Regent Street to J Crew.

Darren Rogers acts on investment matters, joint ventures, development work, lettings and pre-lettings. Recent work includes advising on the real estate aspects of Terra Firma's proposed acquisition of Annington Homes, which owns the MoD's Married Quarters Estate. Clients say: "He has a great depth of knowledge of UK real estate and offers sound judgement on identified commercial risks and solutions."

Significant clients British Land, AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, Invesco Real Estate, Schroders, Marks & Spencer.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Core strength in advisory and transactional matters. Often called upon by the leading insolvency practitioners to advise on complex mid-market transactions. Comprehensive experience of retail insolvencies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "They always ensured that the right person was on the deal at the right time. The advice was consistently clear, firm and practical."

Work highlights Advised Mazars, as administrators, on the sale of assets of Thamesteel, including the disposal of a steel mill.

Acted for the sellers and Deloitte, as administrator, on the pre-pack administration of the business and assets of Collier International UK.

Notable practitioners  

Clients identify Jeremy Goldring as an experienced adviser. One interviewee comments: "He could be fierce when necessary, commercial, hard-working, reassuring and had our best interests at heart." He recently acted as lead partner to Deloitte during the Collier International administration.

Michael Woollard's practice focuses on non-contentious insolvency cases. He has leading expertise in the retail sector, and recently advised La Senza on its pre-pack administration.

Significant clients KPMG, Ernst & Young, PwC, Landsbanki, PLUS Market Group. 

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Sector-specific expertise in the media, investment funds and property spheres. Strong international expertise, with the capacity to draw tax expertise in offices across continental Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "The quality of their advice is great. They are pragmatic and hands-on and know exactly what their clients are looking for."

Client service: "We get a first-class, client-focused service from SJ Berwin. They understand the importance of a close relationship and invest a lot of time understanding what we do."

Commercial awareness: "A combination of strong commercial logic applied to complex issues, whilst ensuring the legal position is well covered."

Work highlights Provided tax advice to Universal Music Group on its £1.2 billion purchase of EMI’s recorded music divisions.

Advised British Land on tax aspects of the forward funding development and purchase of Hereford town centre.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Heather Corben is particularly well known for her expertise in property tax matters. Her recent highlights include advising British Land on its forward funding development and purchase of the Old Market in Hereford's town centre.

Clients note that Stephen Pevsner "provides solutions in the most efficient manner." He is particularly adept at advising clients on the tax implications of private equity activities.

Significant clients Aspect Capital, The Crown Estate, Evans Randall, Invesco Real Estate, Terra Firma.

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Acts on large-scale projects both domestically and abroad. The team predominantly acts on the purchaser side of transactions and disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "A good range of professionals with cross-sector knowledge." 

What's new? The team has been appointed to the European panel for Amazon and the UK panel for Gamesa. 

Work highlights Acted for Nabucco Gas Pipeline International on construction matters relating to its cross-border pipeline project.

Acted for Lagos State Government and LAMATA on the construction of a PPP rail project.

Notable practitioners

Julia Court is "extremely hard-working, authoritative and practical," according to sources. Clients appreciate that she "inspires confidence and is a master of construction law." She acts on major domestic and international construction projects.

Stuart Jordan specialises in procurement matters for construction transactions. He recently acted for Starwood Capital on performing construction due diligence for its purchase of hotels and conference centres.

Significant clients The Crown Estate, AXA, Co-operative Insurance Society, Rakinvest, Ocado. 

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Offers comprehensive coverage for non-contentious matters across the full spectrum of regulated industries, including insurance, derivatives and banking services. Highly regarded for its expertise in the funds sector, and alternative investment funds in particular.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "The knowledge of the subject matter is excellent, and their interpretation of the rules is first-class."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of PLUS Market Group in connection with the sale to ICAP Holdings of its subsidiary, Plus Stock Exchange.

Advised Think Money Group on multiple regulatory issues, including an E-money FSA application, as well as options to restructure the existing business to make the most of the E-money licence.

Notable practitioners  

Tamasin Little is "very well thought of" by commentators, who admire that "she is absolutely excellent on the detail; she knows the stuff inside-out." She regularly advises on a broad range of issues, including compliance requirements, investment products, market abuse and money laundering.

Department head David Calligan recently led the team on the PLUS Market Group matter. His practice includes a focus on advising investment management firms and broker dealers in both Europe and North America.

Significant clients Interactive Investor, Blackstone Group, Think Money, Apax, Maple Securities. 

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 24 partners 
- 33 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Mainstay of the private equity funds arena, with expertise across several other asset classes. Highly active in the European buyout space, frequently advising on some of the most complex and high-profile fund raisings in the market.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Breadth of knowledge about private funds area extremely good - they are on top of the brief right across the space."

Market standing: "Depth of experience - they have the team and the firm - they have been in the industry for many, many years."

What's new? The team has won a number of new clients, including Cubera, JRJ Ventures, Mako Investment Managers and ICG Longbow.

Work highlights Advised Patron Capital on its fourth fund investing in real estate-related investments across Europe, which raised EUR880 million.

Acted for Schroders on the Columbus UK Real Estate Fund, which raised £320 million.

Notable practitioners  

Duncan Woollard impresses with his exceptional market knowledge: "Nothing has been raised that he hasn't been able to give an immediate response to." He acted on the fifth private equity fund for key client Investindustrial, a large European buyout fund.

"Very bright" department head Michael Halford offers expertise across private equity and real estate funds, recently leading the team on Patron Capital's EUR880 million fourth European fund. Sources emphasise his thoughtfulness and depth of knowledge.

Josyane Gold "has a real finger on the pulse of the moment," according to sources. She is a highly regarded private equity funds specialist with a wealth of experience in the market.

Jonathan Blake has carved out an impressive reputation in the private equity funds world. He is, according to admiring sources, "hugely intellectual, combining that with continued energy and leveraging the phenomenal networks he has." He further provides "hands-on senior level client engagement."

Significant clients Abingworth, Terra Firma, Invesco, Aberdeen Asset Management, Pacific Capital Partners.   

Parliamentary & Public Affairs - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Handles drafting and advisory work, with a particular focus on the financial services and private equity sectors. Planning and environmental work are additional areas of expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "The team is extremely efficient and well organised, and is exceptionally strong on litigation tactics and legal analysis." 

What's new? Sarah Turnbull, former legal director of Ofcom, joined the team in April 2013.

Notable practitioners Simon Holmes is a key contact. 

Partnership - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partner cross-practice team

What the team is known for International partnership expertise, particularly relating to private equity and funds. Particularly strong in fund structuring and disputes.

Notable practitioners  

Litigator Hilton Mervis is highly recommended for his tenacious spirit and dynamic approach to problem solving. He is frequently involved in contentious partnership cases, acting for private equity clients. Sources say he is "a lateral thinker who is always exploring different ideas; a good and inventive strategist."

Significant clients Triton Managers, PAI partners, Patron.

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

-18 partners
-35 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Good reputation for buyout work and venture capital transactions. Expertise on leveraged buyouts, GP consolidations, secondary and distressed transactions, including pan-European transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "They are great at strategic and tactical advice. They can leverage off their knowledge of the market on top of knowing the law."

Commercial awareness: "They know what is commercially important to the deal."

Communication: "They are joined-up and talk to each other behind the scenes."

Work highlights Represented Terra Firma in its £3.2 billion acquisition of Annington Homes from Nomura.

Advised Better Capital on its £25 million acquisition of Everest.

Notable practitioners  

Steven Davis advised Apollo Global Management on the acquisition of Aurum. Sources praise his driven and goal-oriented approach.

Richard Lever is a "can-do kind of guy" for whom "nothing is a problem," impressed clients say. He advised Investcorp on its £86 million acquisition of Georg Jenson.

Timothy Wright advised Duke Street on the leveraged buyout of law firm Parabis. He frequently advises clients on a range of private company transactions.

Ylan Steiner is "driven and knowledgeable," sources say. He advised Vitruvian on its USD64 million investment in Just-Eat.

Significant clients Lion Capital, Graphite Capital, ECI, Vitruvian, RIT Capital.

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Well known in the field for its competition practice, and for corporate transactions in the retail sector. Strong real estate offering, advising clients on the sale and acquisition of stores and shopping centres, and an active IP practice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "We get good client service and we use them for specialist areas of law. They offer good value for money for the advice we get from them."

Work highlights Advised Investcorp on its £86 million acquisition of Georg Jensen from Axel Capital Partners.

Acted for the Westfield Group on its disposal of interest in shopping centres in Guildford, Belfast and Tunbridge Wells to Hermes Real Estate, valued at £159 million.

Notable practitioners  

Head of retail David Parkes is the main contact.

Significant clients Polo Ralph Lauren, Marks & Spencer, Westfield Group, Amazon.com, Dixons.