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Shearman & Sterling LLP


Shearman & Sterling LLP - London
  • Broadgate West
  • 9 Appold Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 2AP
  • Senior Partner Creighton Condon
  • Global Managing Partner David Beveridge
  • London Managing Partner Nicholas Buckworth
  • Number of Partners 200
  • Number of other fee-earners 900

THE FIRM Shearman & Sterling is a leading international law firm with over 900 lawyers providing a wide range of legal services through a network of 18 offices in the world’s major financial centres. It has been advising many of the world’s leading corporations and financial institutions, governments and government organisations for more than 140 years. The firm is committed to providing legal advice that is insightful and valuable to its clients. This has resulted in its involvement in many ground breaking transactions in all major regions of the world. Shearman & Sterling strives to deliver people, expertise and resources aligned to meet its clients’ needs,wherever they arise. The firm’s partner-driven, entrepreneurial and client-focussed approach enables it to provide integrated client services across many geographies and practices. Nearly one half of Shearman & Sterling’s lawyers practice outside the United States and are collectively fluent in more than 50 languages. The firm’s lawyers practice US, English, French, German, Italian and EU law.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Shearman & Sterling’s London office has been established for over 40 years. Today it is recognised as one of the leading international corporate and commercial law firms in London. The firm offers integrated English and US legal advice across a broad range of practices in the UK, Europe and elsewhere globally.
Shearman & Sterling lawyers are acknowledged as market leaders in: equity and debt capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions and corporate advisory work; finance, including acquisition and bank finance, restructuring and bankruptcy and structured finance; project development and finance; advising on legal and regulatory compliance issues relating to financial institutions; asset management; international arbitration and litigation; antitrust and European competition law; real estate, including development and investment projects and finance; tax; employment law, including compensation and employee benefits; and intellectual property.
The London office works closely with other offices in its international network in the Americas, continental Europe, the Middle East and Asia to advise clients on the full range of corporate and financial transactions.

INTERNATIONAL Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto,Washington DC.

  • Arbitration & Litigation Richard Kelly, Jo Rickard
  • Asset Management Bill Murdie
  • Capital Markets Richard Price
  • EU & Competition Law Matthew Readings
  • Finance Group Clifford Atkins,
  • Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Sam Whitaker
  • Financial Services Barney Reynolds
  • M & A Laurence Levy
  • Project Development & Finance John Inglis
  • Real Estate Clare Breeze
  • Tax Iain Scoon


Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Continues to impress observers with its blend of sponsor, lender and borrower-side representation. Enduring relationships with some of the most significant players on both sides of the market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Breadth of services: "They're multidisciplinary, with an amazing grasp of the law. They are commercial, user-friendly and reactive. They are the go-to people for me."

Client service: "They have been extremely helpful, always approachable and have always made themselves available. They explain things in exactly the right way and manage clients well."

Market standing: "It's a top-end finance practice." 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of mandated lead arrangers Barclays and JPMorgan Securities regarding a term loan B financing extended to chemical manufacturer INEOS.

Advised Investcorp on its financing arrangements for the purchase of Esmalglass, including a unitranche facility and a revolving credit facility.  

Notable practitioners 

Anthony Ward is extremely popular among market sources, who refer to him as a "driving force" in the market and "very much a top-tier player." He has been advising Barclays, JP Morgan and Investcorp on complex financing arrangements of late. "He's a very cool lawyer to work with - nothing fazes him," notes one interviewee.

Clients describe structured finance expert Clifford Atkins as "an absolute guru." He is further praised for the breadth of his practice: "He knows capital markets, banking and leveraged finance - across the spectrum he is brilliant and extremely well connected."

Caroline Leeds Ruby is identified as an "impressive" practitioner. Borrower client Indian Hotels mandated to her to act on its bid for Orient-Express Hotels, a sophisticated cross-border financing involving elements in Bermuda, Singapore, the UK, the USA and India.

"Very thoughtful and commercial," Peter Hayes has racked up an impressive deal list of late, advising on major mandates for Standard Chartered Bank, The Standard Bank of South Africa and Investcorp.

Iain Goalen recently returned to London from the firm's office in the United Arab Emirates. He is a highly experienced and well-regarded finance partner with significant experience across the board.

Significant clients Advent International, Credit Suisse, Oberthur Technologies, Standard Chartered Bank, Ardagh Group.

Capital Markets: Debt & Equity - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Offers particular strength in DCM and high-yield debt, advising on complex transactions for a range of issuers, underwriters and sponsors. Provides combined UK and US capabilities, with notable skill advising on Yankee bonds. Substantial international expertise spanning a range of jurisdictions including South Africa, Greece and Spain. Also houses a notable ECM practice in London.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "We get excellent service from them, they're very responsive, tend to not just to give the legalistic answer but legal advice that's informed by business realities - quite commercially oriented."

Market knowledge: "They're very experienced, take a very professional approach and have a great knowledge of market precedent."

What's new? The group was appointed to the global legal panel of Société Générale, and also received instructions from new client Anglo American.  

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Sasol, in connection with the issuance of its USD1 billion inaugural US bond. Sasol is an integrated chemical and energy company based in Johannesburg.

Advised Nokia with regard to its EUR750 million convertible bond offering, one of only a few Nordic equity linked transactions to have taken place recently.

Notable practitioners  

Apostolos Gkoutzinis is "very responsive and enthusiastic, with good commercial and legal insights" according to sources. His practice includes a concentration on high-yield matters, and of late he advised a collection of banks as joint bookrunners in First Quantum Minerals' USD350 million bond issuance.

Jacques McChesney is well known and highly regarded in the market as a "talented" high-yield specialist. He advised paper manufacturer Lecta, in relation to a refinancing and reorganisation that included the issuance of a EUR390 million high-yield bond.

The "talented" Richard Price is head of European capital markets at the firm, and is adept at handling both ECM and DCM matters. He has extensive experience in South Africa, and led the team on the aforementioned matter for Sasol.

Significant clients Ardagh Group, Advent International, Sasol, Anglo American, Schneider Electric.

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

Basic facts about the department
 - 10 partners 
 - 1 counsel 
 - 23 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Provides integrated UK and US law capabilities in London and advises on the full range of product areas. Especially adept at handling complicated, one-of-a-kind derivatives transactions, and advising on issues related to derivatives clearing. Also noted for its ability to handle complex refinancings and restructurings.  

Work highlights Advised on the restructuring of Kaupthing's ISK200 billion covered bond programme on behalf of Icelandic bank Arion.

Represented the Dubai branch of Citibank with regard to its role as security agent and onshore account bank for the financing of the USD252 million Bahrain's Muharraq Wastewater Project.

Notable practitioners  

Sources admire Patrick Clancy's commercial and technical skill and note that "you want him on your side as opposed to the other side." He is a derivatives expert and is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of derivatives transactions. He recently advised on the impact of different ratings downgrades for Bank of America.

Julian Tucker advised Arion Bank in connection with the aforementioned restructuring of Kaupthing's ISK200 covered bond programme. He offers a wealth of securitisation expertise and also has substantial experience of advising on acquisition and project finance for corporate trustees.

Ian Harvey-Samuel is a prominent name in the derivatives space and regularly speaks on the topic at ISDA conferences. He advised Ardagh Packaging in relation to its entrance into a EUR150 million pan-European asset-backed credit facility, in order for it to purchase two group members' receivables.  

Significant clients ICE Clear Europe, Morgan Stanley, Nomura International, Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, Ardagh Packaging.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Delivering a solid service to clients. Strong ties with the firm's Brussels-based office.

Notable practitioners 

Matthew Readings is noted as being "fantastic - very easy to deal with. He knows his law." Clients value his responsive nature.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 30 other lawyers

What the team is known for Market sources speak highly of the London team's commercial and effective approach on substantial cross-border transactions. A highly respected option for complex and strategically important transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They are really good and consistent on cross-border deals."

Client service: "They are highly responsive, understand the commercial issues and are therefore super-helpful in getting a deal done."

Efficiency: "They are very good at running transactions and turning documents around; they know how to get things done."

What's new? New clients and panel wins include Barry Callebaut and Vivendi.

Work highlights Represented GE in the USD4.3 billion acquisition of Avio.

Advised Argon Management (the management of Actavis) on the disposal of Actavis to Watson Pharmaceuticals for approximately EUR4.5 billion.

Represented ArcelorMittal on the USD1.1 billion sale of a 15% interest in ArcelorMittal Mines Canada to a consortium led by POSCO and China Steel.

Notable practitioners  

The "practical" Laurence Levy is acclaimed by clients for "not losing sight of the forest for the trees." He recently advised African Barrick Gold on a potential takeover offer.

Jeremy Kutner is "super sharp," "highly measured" and "highly commercial," and "really understands what the client wants," impressed clients say. His areas of expertise include cross-border M&A deals, strategic alliances and joint ventures.

Significant clients Intercontinental Exchange, GDF SUEZ, Tata, Citi, Viacom.

International Arbitration - London (Firms)

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Provides tax advice to a number of major corporate clients, financial services groups and private equity houses. Strong cross-border capability, which draws upon offices in the USA and continental Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The partner and the team have been very responsive and great on communication."

Work highlights Advised ICE on tax aspects of its USD8.2 billion acquisition of NYSE Euronext.

Provided tax advice to LMA on its USD276 million sale of assets to Teleflex Incorporated.

Notable practitioners  

Sarah Priestley recently joined the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. She has a formidable reputation advising clients in the private equity sphere.

Significant clients Marriott International, Viacom, GE, Société Générale, GDF Suez.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for A leader in oil and gas and petrochemical matters, and a successful track record in advising developers, lenders and export agencies on power projects across the globe. The team is also increasing its profile in Africa.

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Technical ability: "This is a team of strong individuals with good expertise in the negotiation of EPC project finance agreements."

Work highlights Advised a consortium of lenders led by Barclays Capital and HSBC in relation to the permanent financing arrangements for the Tamar gas offshore development near Haifa, Israel.

Acted for Sumitomo and Rainmaker Energy as sponsors on the Dorper Wind Farm project financing.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Buckworth acted on the EUR140 million financing of Dorper Wind Farm situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, on behalf of a consortium led by Sumitomo and its local partner, Rainmaker Energy.

John Inglis has great expertise in the development and financing of energy projects in the Middle East, and has acted on behalf of Dow Chemical on its chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia.

Significant clients Citadel Capital S.A.E., Sasol, Abu Dhabi National Oil, Société Générale, JBIC.

Financial Services - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for The firm has an extensive global network, with offices strategically located in key markets in Europe, Asia and America. Particularly noted for its strength on the non-contentious side, with substantial experience in business structuring, compliance and the establishment of financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "I found that they were very quick in getting up to speed and learning and understanding the model of our unique arrangement."

Client service: "They are very proactive; they want things to work and to make our process with the FSA as effective as possible."

What's new? The group was recently appointed as panel solicitors to BNP Paribas, UniCredit and Société Générale.

Work highlights Acted on behalf of IntercontinentalExchange in relation to its USD8.2 billion acquisition of NYSE Euronext, advising on all European regulatory and antitrust aspects of the transaction.

Advised ICE Clear Europe and ICE Clear Credit with regard to the ground-breaking launch of a credit default swaps clearing service.

Notable practitioners  

Sources agree that Barnabas Reynolds is "certainly a top practitioner in this field," noting that he is "very knowledgeable about the regulatory space and is a tireless worker" for his clients. He frequently advises on a broad range of non-contentious regulatory issues for investment banks, clearing houses, brokers and exchanges, amongst others.

Significant clients Bank of Canada, ICE Group, ICE Clear Europe, Nasdaq, SIX x-clear. 

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Handles impressive mandates for sponsor and lender clients. Particular strength in the Middle East and Africa. The firm has handled projects in areas such as power, petrochemicals, and oil and gas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Good project finance agreement expertise and strong calibre individuals."

Responsiveness: "It is easy to resolve issues with them, we can pick up the phone and speak and find ways of dealing with issues."

What's new? John Inglis joined from Ashurst in 2012. 

Work highlights Advised HSBC and Barclays Capital on the financing of the Tamar offshore gas development in Israel.

Advised Dow Chemicals in its joint venture with Saudi Aramco to develop the Sardara chemical complex in Saudi Arabia. 

Notable practitioners 

Nicholas Buckworth is the managing partner of the firm's London office and a projects partner. He advised Dow Chemicals on the Sardara chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia.

John Inglis joined the firm from Ashurst in 2012. He has experience advising on major oil and gas and infrastructure projects in the Middle East. He was part of the team advising Dow on the Sardara chemicals project.

Significant clients Citadel Capital, JBIC, KEXIM, Sasol, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.