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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 800

The Firm Shearman & Sterling is a leading international law firm with over 950 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 60 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; private equity; 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, employee benefits and incentivisation; 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
  • Private Equity Mark Soundy
  • Project Development & Finance John Inglis
  • Real Estate Lucy Keeble
  • Tax Sarah Priestley


Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Sophisticated finance offering, regularly handling transactions requiring New York and European expertise. Agile bench, acting on fast-paced cross-border deals for an international client base. Known for its long-standing relationships with key lender and sponsor clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"One of the few New York firms in the UK that possess a strong high-yield capital markets and leveraged banking practice. Has a high percentage of technically proficient attorneys who are also highly approachable and personable."

"They're very responsive, they have deep technical knowledge and a practical approach." 

"They are very proactive and very commercial in their approach; they don't present just the law, they think beyond that and present solutions. They're very useful in really helping us get to where we need to go and in moving the entire process forward."  

Work highlights Advised Oberthur Technologies and Advent International on the refinancing, using a covenant-lite term loan B credit facility, of Oberthur's senior bank debt. 

Acted for Jefferies and Goldman Sachs in their capacity as lead arrangers for the financing of TSL Education's acquisition by TPG.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Ward is highlighted as a "strong technical lawyer, who is also very commercial, practical and even-keeled." He advised Investcorp on the financing for its purchase of the Hydrasun Group. He is further described as "intellectually rigorous."

Clifford Atkins took the lead for a group of banks acting as initial purchasers and arrangers on complex financing arrangements for Thomas Cook's refinance, which involved a high-yield bond issue. A client notes that he is "thoughtful and careful in his analysis." 

Caroline Leeds Ruby attracts warm praise from sources, with one enthusing that she is "very diligent, extremely responsive, flexible and has deep technical knowledge." She acts for corporate and financial institution clients.

The "technically strong" Peter Hayes is praised for his knowledge, particularly on intercreditor issues. Clients also appreciate his communication skills and ability to "explain very complex legal points to non-legal experts."

Iain Goalen impresses interviewees with his "great attitude" to getting deals done. "He's got a very nice manner," explains a client, adding that he is "a brilliant negotiator." He led the team advising Goldman Sachs and Jefferies Finance on the financing arrangements for TPG's purchase of TSL Education.

Philip Stopford "comes across as very intelligent and quietly effective," according to sources. He is an associate and regularly assists on high-profile deals, including advising Nokia on its financing arrangements for the purchase of Siemens' stake in the Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture.  

Significant clients Advent, Citi, Investcorp, Ziggo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Capital Markets: Debt & Equity - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Well-regarded practice regularly acting on sophisticated capital market matters. Highly adept in high-yield transactions, with an integrated bank and bond practice. Strong in DCM and ECM work, with particular skill in IPOs, rights issues and Yankee bonds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"If we can get them on a transaction I count myself really lucky. They excel at dealing with the day-to-day, and escalating what needs to be decided by people here. I value that incredibly highly, given how busy we are."

"Shearman is superb, one of my top firms. They are definitely making an impact in London in the capital markets world."

Work highlights Advised the initial purchasers, led by Citigroup Global Markets, HSBC Securities, J.P. Morgan Securities and others, as joint bookrunning managers on Reckitt Benckiser's inaugural USD1 billion bond offering.

Advised the underwriters, including UBS, Nordea and Carnegie Investment Bank, on US and English law regarding Sanitec's IPO and listing on the Stockholm stock exchange.

Advised the initial purchasers, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, DNB Markets, Jefferies and others, in connection with Thomas Cook's £1.6 billion refinancing, which included a EUR525 million high-yield bond offering.

Notable practitioners  

The "proactive and excellent" Jacques McChesney is held in high regard for his high-yield and DCM practice. He recently advised Nokia Siemens Networks Finance on an offering of senior notes.

Apostolos Gkoutzinis has a broad practice which spans high-yield bond offerings, DCM and ECM transactions, and is particularly notable for his knowledge of matters involving Greece. A client states: "He's our go-to guy and is a huge asset for our work."

Richard Price is an "accomplished lawyer" who has extensive experience of DCM and ECM matters. According to a source, "he's incredibly personable and knowledgeable. Even though he's very busy, he has that air of making you feel he has all the time in the world for you."

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, Piraeus Bank, Citi, Credit Suisse, Anglo American. 

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

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

What the team is known for Well-regarded team with a diverse practice offering expertise in a wide range of areas. Particular strength in complex derivatives transactions, equity financing and matters involving distressed trading and insolvency. Close ties to the firm's New York office means that the team can offer assured transatlantic guidance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent. They're consistently able to provide solutions to complex legal problems."

"They have good experience and pedigree." 

Work highlights Advised Ziggo on the EUR1.3 billion investment-grade refinancing of its existing bank facilities.

Advised ICE Clear Europe on the impact of EMIR on its customer clearing accounts, client clearing documentation, investment structures and other matters, and on its acquisition of the LIFFE clearing business.

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Clancy, head of the firm's UK derivatives group, recently advised ICE Clear Europe on the impact of EMIR, and on its acquisition of the LIFFE clearing business. He is regarded as a "fabulous lawyer."

Ian Harvey-Samuel is highly proficient in structured finance, derivatives and restructurings. According to a client, he is "very proactive, and always offers robust and commercial analysis and advice."

Julian Tucker's securitisation practice includes expertise in property financings, aircraft financings and multi-jurisdictional receivables. He is "well known for his securitisation work," according to a market observer.  

Significant clients Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Citibank/Citicorp Trustees, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Arion Bank. 

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Well placed to advise clients from the financial sector. Regularly handles cross-border work for clients with multi-jurisdictional competition concerns.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're always available, always responsive and excellent at managing the different people working on the project."

Work highlights Advised BMI Healthcare on the Competition Commission's private healthcare market investigation.

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Readings is praised for his ability to co-ordinate multi-jurisdictional mandates. Clients also appreciate his focus on client service and report that "working with him is a very smooth process. The quality of work is impeccable and he is a pleasure to deal with."

Significant clients Anglo American, IntercontinentalExchange, Tata Steel, Danone, Paramount Pictures.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for An integrated global practice with significant presence in London. Covers corporate and private equity work and regularly acts for numerous blue-chip clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They're fantastic M&A lawyers. They certainly know their stuff and live and breathe M&A."

Work highlights Advised Liberty Global on its purchase of Virgin Media in a deal worth around USD23.3 billion. 

Assisted Nokia with its EUR1.7 billion buyout of Siemens' interest in Nokia Siemens Networks.

Notable practitioners  

Laurence Levy is noted as a "very sharp" lawyer who is "client service-oriented" and "a good sounding board" on corporate matters. He was co-lead lawyer on GE Aviation's acquisition of Avio Group for USD4.3 billion.

Jeremy Kutner is an "exceptionally intelligent" lawyer who is also "technically very good," according to sources. He led the UK side of Liberty Global's USD23 billion acquisition of Virgin Media.

Significant clients GE, ArcelorMittal, InterContinental Exchange, Citi, Barry Callebaut.  

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Clients include private equity houses, corporate organisations and a number of financial institutions of international standing. The team handles a high volume of cross-border work. 

Work highlights Advised Liberty Global on its USD23.3 billion cash and shares merger acquisition of Virgin Media.

Assisted ICE in UK tax issues arising from its USD11 billion acquisition, by cash and shares merger, of NYSE Euronext. 

Notable practitioners  

Clients appreciate that Sarah Priestley "provides very calm and sensible advice." She is especially well known for her expertise in handling matters relating to private equity and hedge funds.

Significant clients Nokia, Vivendi, GE, Viacom, Marriott International. 

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Leading project finance firm. Acts on the development and financing of upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas projects. Experience advising on financing, development and regulatory issues in the conventional and nuclear power sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The work quality is excellent, the turnover of work is really quick and the advice is of a very practical nature." 

"Extensive expertise, very business-oriented, and exceptional in understanding the client's needs so it is easy to establish a good relationship with them."

"I like them on the basis that they are commercial, they are straightforward, they are quite happy to have a view." 

Work highlights Acted for ECAs and commercial banks on the financing of the Khauzak-Shady gas field development project in Uzbekistan.

Acted for Central Termica de Ressano Garcia, the project company, on the development and financing of a 170 MW gas-fired power station in Mozambique.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Buckworth frequently acts on financings in the oil and gas and power sectors. He led the team acting for Dow Chemical in its joint venture with Saudi Aramco to develop the Sadara petrochemicals complex in Saudi Arabia. Sources say: "He is very business-oriented, he understands what the client needs and his capacity to convince with solid arguments is exceptional."

John Inglis is a project finance partner often instructed in relation to a wide spectrum of energy and infrastructure schemes. Clients say: "He is very proactive and he has good commercial understanding."

Significant clients Citadel Capital, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Sumitomo, Société Générale, Sasol.

Financial Services - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strength in non-contentious matters with expertise in regulatory compliance and business structuring. Global reach with offices across Europe, the USA and Asia. Represents a wide range of clients including hedge funds, major banks and financial infrastructure providers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their lawyers are thoughtful and careful in their analysis. They successfully worked on an incredibly complex and time-sensitive assignment."

What's new? Gained a panel appointment from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Work highlights Acted for ICE Clear in the negotiations of the LIFFE derivatives market's transition from using LCH Clearnet to ICE as its new clearing house.

Advised the Lower Tier 2 Group of hedge fund investors in The Co-operative Bank as part of The Co-operative's recapitalisation. This is unprecedented as it is the first creditor bail-in of a UK bank.

Notable practitioners  

Barnabas Reynolds is admired by clients for his creativity, technical expertise and clear-thinking approach. One source comments: "He has an encyclopaedic mastery of the new regulatory environment for financial instruments." He is often called upon to advise on non-contentious regulatory issues for an array of clients including exchanges, brokers and clearing houses.

Significant clients Citi, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Prosperity Capital Management.

International Arbitration - UK-wide

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.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Bolstered by the expansion of the group in London, the practice is making considerable strides in the market. Draws on resources from elsewhere in the firm, including its leveraged finance and high-yield offerings.

Work highlights Advised the senior management of Mergermarket on the company's £382 million purchase by BC Partners from Pearson.

Worked with Electra Partners on its acquisition of a majority interest of Hotter Shoes from Gresham.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Soundy is a "serious practitioner" in the private equity market, according to peers. Clients highlight him as "very commercial" as well as "very professional and user-friendly." He advised Arle Capital Partners on its disposal of Qioptiq to Excelitas Technologies Corporation for USD700 million.

Ben Rodham is a "standout" young lawyer who, sources say, "knows his onions on the technical side as well as having a sound commercial mind and being good with clients." He joined the firm in 2014 from Addleshaw Goddard. 

Significant clients HgCapital, Bridgepoint, Investcorp, Apax, Vitruvian.

Projects - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Formidable experience handling high-end oil and gas and power work. Regularly acts for lenders and sponsors in a wide range of jurisdictions, with an especially strong profile in the Middle East and Africa.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're extremely flexible in all aspects, very quick and professional, and the quality of their work was of a high standard."

"They're always on my shortlist - they're a quality firm for power projects who provide very consistent quality service."

What's new? New panel appointments include Dragon LNG, Société Générale and BNP Paribas.

Work highlights Acted for Central Termica de Ressano Garcia on the USD175 million Ressano Garcia 170 MW gas engine IPP in Mozambique.

Represented the lenders in the financing of the USD380 million Khauzak-Shady upstream gas development project, the first multi-sourced project financing to close in Uzbekistan.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Nicholas Buckworth's practice covers oil and gas deals in the Middle East and Africa and power work in Europe, regularly acting for sponsors. Sources comment: "When negotiations reach a stalemate he'll invariably unlock a solution - his input's invaluable."

John Inglis receives consistent acclaim for his skill in complex power-sector projects for lenders and sponsors in Asia and Africa. Sources describe him as "extremely experienced in the sector, and he leads from the front - he's hands-on, he looks at things himself."

Sanja Udovicic joins the team from the firm's Singapore office and is praised for her expertise across oil and gas, power and renewables work for lenders and sponsors in Asia and the Middle East. Sources say: "She's always able to take a step back and consider the other side's views to broker a mutually acceptable position - she's a key element of the team in negotiations."

Significant clients The Dow Chemical Company, Citadel Capital, Sumitomo, Sasol, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.