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Slaughter and May

London

Slaughter and May - London
  • One Bunhill Row
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1Y 8YY
  • Senior Partner Christopher Saul
  • Number of partners 106
  • Number of UK fee earners  626
  • figures as of 01/05/14  

THE FIRM Slaughter and May is a leading international law firm with a worldwide corporate, commercial and financing practice.The firm provides its clients with a professional service of the highest calibre, combining technical excellence with commercial awareness and a practical, constructive approach to legal issues. Every client receives a personal service tailored to their requirements; special emphasis is placed on partner involvement, approachability and continuity of client service. International work is central to the firm’s practice. The firm has close working relationships with leading independent law firms around the world which enables it to provide clients with a first class and seamless legal service worldwide.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Main areas of practice comprise:
Asset Management: Advice to asset management businesses on legal and regulatory issues, including their structure, location, acquisition and disposal and advice to managers and investors on the establishment, promotion and reorganisation of investment funds and other financial products.
Capital Markets: Capital issues ranging from ‘plain vanilla’ to highly structured products; sovereign debt; initial public offerings; rights issues and other pre-emptive issues; convertible and exchangeable securities; placings; equity derivatives; and hedging and stabilisation of equity and equity-related products.
Competition: EC, UK and cross-border merger control; cartels; abuse of dominance; market investigations; state aid; public procurement; sectoral regulation; and competition and regulatory litigation. Competition Litigation: Advising on competition litigation before English and European courts and in other alternative dispute resolution fora, including appeals against decisions of competition authorities and regulators and private actions for damages and other forms of relief.
Contentious Tax: Advising clients on all aspects of the tax disputes with domestic and overseas tax authorities from the investigation stage through to the proceedings before the tax tribunals and courts.
Corporate & Commercial: Broad range of corporate and commercial work including: demergers and reorganisations; joint ventures; returns of capital; corporate governance; and general advice to corporates.
Corporate Recovery & Insolvency: Advising companies, directors, creditors, insolvency practitioners and other parties on complex restructuring and refinancing.
Dispute Resolution: Handles the full range of litigation and arbitration, including: complex international and domestic disputes; risk management; and mediation.
Environment: Compliance, management and liability and the environmental aspects of corporate and financing transactions.
Financial Regulation: A range of regulatory issues affecting financial institution clients and non-regulated customers.
Financing: Expertise includes: acquisitions/leveraged finance; loan finance; derivatives; securitisations; structured finance; and leasing and asset finance.
Global Investigations: Handles the full spectrum of statutory, regulatory and disciplinary investigations by regulatory or professional bodies and government agencies.
Information Technology: Advising companies active across a broad range of new and mainstream technologies on their technology and e-commerce-related matters.
Infrastructure, Energy & Natural Resources: A range of matters for infrastructure, energy (including oil and gas) and mining and mineral clients, including: mergers and acquisitions; projects; and investments.
Insurance: Advising insurance sector clients on the full range of corporate, financing and regulatory matters including M&A, capital markets, restructurings, risk transfer, regulatory capital and (re)insurance litigation.
Intellectual Property: Creation, exploitation and enforcement of IP rights including on global IP licensing strategies; R&D arrangements and franchising; and multi-jurisdictional and domestic IP disputes.
M&A: Buying and selling public and private companies and businesses, often involving a cross-border element.
Outsourcing: A range of outsourcing and other strategic sourcing projects across a broad range of sectors and jurisdictions and for a variety of services (ITO, BPO,HRO).
Pensions & Employment: Employment, pensions and employee benefit matters.
Private Equity: Venture capital investment through to the largest and most complex cross-border mergers and acquisitions and from the initial investment all the way through to exit.
Sovereign Debt & Eurozone: Advising a range of public and private sector clients around the world on sovereign debt, restructuring and eurozone-related issues.
Real Estate: All types of property transactions as well as construction and engineering projects.
Sport: Advising in relation to on-field matters (player contracts, transfers, registration issues and disciplinary actions), regulation of participants by sports governing bodies as well as every aspect of the business of sport.
Tax: Tax aspects of corporate transactions and activities; the development of innovative structures for financing transactions and instruments; and tax disputes.

RECRUITMENT There are approximately 75-80 vacancies for trainee solicitors per year. In addition, work experience placements are available at Easter and during the summer for penultimate year students considering a career in law. The firm also runs a 2-day workshop in December for non-law finalists and non-law graduates, and an Open Day at Easter for first year law students.Applications should be made using the online form which can be accessed via the website (www.slaughterandmay.com) and be addressed to Mrs Mel Binks. Further information is available on the careers section of the firm’s website.

    Contacts
  • Asset Management Paul Dickson, Robert Chaplin
  • Capital Markets (equity) Nilufer von Bismarck
  • Capital Markets (debt) Marc Hutchinson
  • Competition Philippe Chappatte John Boyce
  • Competition 
  • Contentious Tax Tony Beare
  • Corporate & Commercial Frances Murphy
  • Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Richard de Carle, Ian Johnson
  • Dispute Resolution Deborah Finkler
  • Environment John Nevin
  • Financial Regulation Ruth Fox
  • Financing Paul Stacey
  • Global Investigations Deborah Finkler
  • Information Technology Rob Sumroy
  • Infrastructure, Energy & Natural Resources Mark Horton
  • Insurance Oliver Wareham
  • Intellectual Property Susie Middlemiss
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Stephen Cooke
  • Outsourcing Rob Sumroy
  • Pensions & Employment Jonathan Fenn
  • Private Equity Jeff Twentyman
  • Real Estate David Waterfield, Steven Edwards
  • Sovereign Debt & Eurozone Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya, Nilufer von Bismarck, Ian Johnson
  • Sport Andrew Jolly, Rob Sumroy
  • Tax Sara Luder

Branches

  • One Bunhill Row,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1Y 8YY
  • Tel +44 20 7600 1200
  • Fax +44 20 7090 5000
  • DX 11, Chancery Lane, London
  • Website : www.slaughterandmay.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Fields a highly active and experienced bench, adept in cross-border work. Widely regarded as a leading borrower-side team, advising particularly on acquisition financing transactions. Attracts corporate clients drawn from a wide variety of sectors. Has seen increasing activity in the IPO market of late.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Extremely professional; if one partner is not available there is always a broader range of partners that know our company and can help us. Amazing to see how they combine a very professional attitude with a bit of humour and a positive attitude." 

"My personal experience with them has been in line with their strong reputation. It's very impressive to see them in action."

What's new? The team was appointed to the first ever legal panel of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and was reappointed to the HM Government UK major projects panel. 

Work highlights Advised Shire on a new, fully underwritten USD2.6 billion short-term bank loan, used to partially fund its acquisition of rare disease company ViroPharma.

Acted for Manchester Airport Group on £1.2 billion of investment grade financing for its acquisition of Stansted Airport, which comprised a £300 million revolving credit facility and a £900 million term loan.

Notable practitioners  

Philip Snell maintains a reputation for being "very down-to-earth and not fazed by anything." He has considerable experience advising across the full spectrum of financing transactions and is particularly highlighted for his expertise acting for the treasury departments of multinational corporations. Key work highlights include advising GE Money Bank on the CHF1.5 billion financing involved in its IPO. 

Key partner Matthew Tobin greatly impresses clients with his comprehensive knowledge of complex financings and their associated security structures. One client comments: "He's very, very professional and has a broad knowledge. He's capable of tying in the commercial interests to solutions." He led on a number of high-profile matters of late, including a refinancing and debt extension for ISS.

Edward Fife is well regarded for his broad banking and finance practice, which covers debt capital markets, non-bank lending, acquisition finance and derivatives. A syndicate of arrangers, including Deutsche Bank, instructed him to advise on a USD1.03 billion secured syndicated term loan facility for Saudi Oger.

Clients find Robert Byk to be "extremely professional," noting that "he has a great knowledge of the marketplace." His comprehensive general banking and finance practice is lauded by market commentators.

Miranda Leung assisted the team with a number of key mandates this year, notably representing Technicolor in its refinancing. Her broad finance practice spans work in restructuring and corporate recovery and structured and acquisition finance. 

Significant clients Barratt Developments, Workspace, Corsair Capital, INEOS, Deutsche Bank.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Strong market presence with a breadth of capability across commercial litigation and related insolvency proceedings. Regularly instructed on complex banking disputes relating to the fallout from the financial crisis.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"From a litigation perspective they're sensible and respectable in advising clients well with strategy and tactics."

"A fantastic litigation firm. They're always a pleasure to litigate against."

"They were highly competent - they were efficient, strong opponents and I thought they ran the case well."

What's new? Gained Landsbanki as a new client.

Work highlights Advised HM Treasury in relation to a review concerning the transference of RBS's poorly performing assets to a 'bad bank'.

Advised Deutsche Bank on multiple regulatory investigations relating to the manipulation of interbank benchmark rates.

Notable practitioners  

"Great in negotiations and tough about getting the right outcome," Deborah Finkler is highly rated by peers for her pragmatic advice and sensible approach to her opposition. Sources say she is "one of the top litigators around. If there's anyone you'd want fighting your corner, she's the person you'd pick."

Ewan Brown focuses his practice on disputes relating to complex derivatives and regulatory enforcement. Sources describe him as "superb - absolutely meticulous with his attention to detail and analysis."

Richard Swallow's practice spans banking litigation and financial crime, handling complex cross-border regulatory proceedings. Peers are impressed by his solution-oriented approach.

Significant clients Euroclear, Fortress Investment Group, Gain Capital, Standard Chartered Bank, Schroders.

Capital Markets - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Reputed for its skill in sophisticated ECM matters, including advising on some of the largest IPOs of recent times. Frequently represents high-profile companies in debt matters such as MTN programmes, tender offers and high-yield bonds. Offers a broad international reach through its network of offices in London, Brussels, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We use them for our high-end capital markets work - they cover everything superbly." 

"We use them every time we have a big assignment. No improvements; they're very good and experienced." 

Work highlights Acted as the lead legal adviser to Royal Mail regarding its IPO and admission to listing.

Represented CaixaBank on its issue of EUR594.3 million 4.50% unsecured bonds, due 2016.

Notable practitioners  

Marc Hutchinson's DCM practice includes recently advice to Westpac Banking on the update of its covered bond programme. Sources state: "He operates on the company side, and is excellent at that."

"Great guy" Christopher Saul has the respect of the market for his deep capital markets expertise, which forms a part of a wider corporate and private equity practice. He is frequently called upon to advise on flotations and rights issues.

Significant clients Apollo, Countrywide, esure, Bupa, Derwent London.

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

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

What the team is known for Represents an enviable list of high-profile financial institutions, corporates and state entities in a diverse range of sophisticated matters. Securitisation expertise includes CMBS, RMBS and whole business securitisations, with particular strength in covered bonds. Advises on the full spectrum of derivatives work, with deep knowledge of equity, index-linked and longevity derivatives, as well as offering advisory expertise on ISDA and clearing agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're exceptional for a reason. They have very good lawyers and they run a very tight ship." 

"All of them are cut from a similar cloth - you get off a call feeling comforted by the advice you received. They are superb at keeping the deal organised and on track."

 Work highlights Advised Punch Taverns on the legal and capital restructuring of its whole business securitisation structures.

Counselled Aegon on its second longevity transaction, which covers underlying longevity reserves in the Netherlands of EUR 1.4 billion. 

Notable practitioners  

Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya is widely admired for his expansive practice, which recently saw him advising Nordea on a credit risk sharing transaction. A client states: "He is phenomenal. He is incredibly commercial, offers very good counsel on things, and is also incredible at looking forward and trying to figure out if agreements will work." 

Guy O'Keefe is sought after for his broad securitisation expertise, and notably has advised Punch Taverns on the restructuring of its whole business securitisation structures. A client regards him as "a nice person to deal with, who knows his stuff."

Significant clients Apollo, Deutsche Bank, Fortress Investment Group, Holmes and Fosse Master Issuer, Lloyds Pension Trustees. 

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Provides high-quality advice across a broad spectrum of issues, including merger control and market investigations. Dedicated competition litigation team offers specialised assistance in contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"One of the leading competition firms. They have great depth within the firm; no matter which lawyer you deal with, they are excellent."

"Client driven, incredibly hard-working and incredibly smart."  

Work highlights Advised Platts on an EC investigation into pricing in the oil and biofuels sectors.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Philippe Chappatte has a deep knowledge of merger control issues and is recognised as an expert in the field. He is also praised for his advocacy skills.

Clients report that Bertrand Louveaux has a "great commercial mind and depth of knowledge." He is also praised for his methodical approach and understanding of the politics of competition matters.

Michael Rowe heads the competition litigation practice. He is adept at handling contentious competition matters, from appeals of regulatory decisions to damages litigation.  

Significant clients ASDA, Bupa, Ericsson, Google, Royal Mail. 

Construction - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Primarily works with developers and purchasers on high-value projects. Active in the property, energy and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very competent in their ability to turn documents around." 

Work highlights Advised Arsenal FC on the sale and development of land in north London.

Acted for PwC on its proposed refurbishment of Hay Galleria, on the south bank of the Thames.

Notable practitioners  

The "astute" Steven Edwards heads the practice and handles project work. "He is a can-do person: if he doesn't have the answer then he'll find the answer," notes a source.

Significant clients Carillion, Legal & General, Lend Lease, Marks & Spencer, Lincs Wind Farm.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 39 partners
- 119 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent firms for corporate work in the UK. Acts for more UK-listed companies than any other firm and is also active in global deals for international clients. Possesses one of the strongest benches in the M&A market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They know the subject back to front, they're very knowledgeable and you know they're getting it right."

"Slaughters are outstanding - they have a strength in depth that is almost unmatched."

"With Slaughter & May you get their excellent standards and the all-encompassing gold-plated client service."

Work highlights Advised Vodafone on its USD130 billion disposal of its US group, including a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, to Verizon Communications.

Assisted NYSE Euronext in its buyout by IntercontinentalExchange for USD11 billion.

Notable practitioners  

"Eminence grise" Nigel Boardman remains a "hugely impressive lawyer" who is "faultless" in his corporate work. He is one of the City's most experienced practitioners, and was part of the team acting for Vodafone on its sale of its interest in Verizon Wireless to Verizon.

The "superb" Andy Ryde heads up the firm's corporate group and is a highly respected figure in the market. One source says of Ryde: "He combines cutting-edge knowledge with being practical and user-friendly. He's a first-rate corporate M&A lawyer."

Stephen Cooke is an "extremely good" partner who has the respect of his leading peers in the market. He is highly experienced and is often sighted on major deals.

Frances Murphy is described as a "very commercial and very sensible" lawyer who is "particularly strong at project management." She co-led the firm's advice to NYSE Euronext with respect to its USD11 billion merger with IntercontinentalExchange.

Jeffrey Twentyman acts for corporate and private equity clients and is described as a "really good-quality" lawyer. He is particularly noted for his experience.

Sources praise William Underhill as "brilliant technically" for his work in corporate finance on a variety of transactions. He acted for Royal Mail on its high-profile IPO.

David Johnson is a "very strong" lawyer who clients say is "very bright and very focused on our interests." He is particularly noted for his work in corporate finance matters.

The "terrific" Kathy Hughes gains plaudits from clients and peers as a "very impressive" practitioner. She has plentiful experience in a host of corporate transactions.

Roland Turnill leaves clients "running out of superlatives" with his proficiency as a corporate practitioner. His ability to "pick up the biggest deals and make them look easy" was demonstrated by his role as co-lead in Vodafone's disposal of its US group to Verizon for USD130 billion.

Gary Eaborn is a "very technically astute and tough" transactional lawyer who acts for a range of domestic and international companies. 

Simon Nicholls is credited by sources as an "incredibly intelligent and very quick lawyer" who gains plaudits for his ability to anticipate issues. He co-led the firm's work for Diageo in relation to its purchase of a stake in United Spirits.

Robert Stern is noted as a "very smart operator" for his wide-ranging corporate and capital markets practice.

Senior partner Christopher Saul is one of the most experienced lawyers in the market and remains the "big name" in the London market. 

The "excellent" Mark Zerdin is a "commercial, smart guy" who is an experienced hand at corporate and private equity work. He recently assisted FS Africa in its acquisition of Lonrho for around £174.5 million.

Significant clients Bupa, Centrica, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone.

Employment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Leading team for advice on the employment aspects of high-value corporate deals. The team is also adept at providing ongoing advice to global companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are accessible and always get back to me in a reasonable period of time. Also very pragmatic and make sure we act practically and appropriately."

"They work their global network seamlessly to produce coherent advice." 

Work highlights Advised INEOS on industrial relations at the Grangemouth refinery including a long-running conflict with UNITE the union.

Assisted Renesas Electronics with a multi-jurisdictional redundancy process related to the closure of a number of subsidiary companies.

Notable practitioners  

As well as his employment work, Roland Doughty is also renowned for his pension expertise and regularly advises on the cross-over between the two. His clients include global corporates and he advises these groups on a full range of issues. Sources say: "Nothing seems to ruffle his feathers. He is a class act and when he is involved, deals run more smoothly."

Elizabeth Twigger is described as a "fierce negotiator" who "always knows what a client wants." Others praise her as being "extraordinarily bright and hard-working," as well as a "very thorough lawyer."

Significant clients Ashmore Group, BBA Aviation, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Dentsu Aegis, Marks & Spencer.

Environment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Represents clients on corporate transactions and provides standalone regulatory advice. Areas of strength include advising on the sale of energy assets, M&A and IPOs.

Work highlights Advised DONG Energy on the sale of the Severn gas-fired power station.

Acted for Manchester Airport Group on its purchase of Stansted airport.

Notable practitioners  

Samantha Brady is an associate in the firm's environment group. She is well respected by clients and peers, one of whom described her as "fantastic." Recent work includes advising Costain Group on a proposed merger with May Gurney Integrated Services.

Significant clients Centrica, United Utilities, Marks & Spencer, Royal Mail, INEOS. 

Financial Crime - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Well-regarded investigations group. Instructed by major corporations to advise on liability and compliance. Well versed in handling cross-border matters.

Work highlights Acted for Olympus and its UK subsidiary in relation to a Crown Court prosecution arising from allegations that false or misleading statements were made to the subsidiary's auditors.

Represented Deutsche Bank in multiple investigations concerning benchmark rates.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Cotton has a broad corporate crime and investigations practice, in addition to civil litigation experience. His expertise encompasses bribery, fraud, sanctions and export control matters.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Frequently instructed on highly strategic and complex IT deals, leveraging its international partnerships to effectively handle global transactions. Advises on emerging areas including big data, cloud and e-money.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"What always impresses me with them is that the team is enormously energetic. They'll keep going and going until they find the solutions."

"They are able to identify the issues, come across as having a lot of industry expertise and are able to converse with non-lawyers in the right way." 

Work highlights Advised Ladbrokes in relation to software and CRM licences provided by Oracle.

Provided counsel to Botswana government-owned Okavango Diamond on the creation and implementation of an online platform for the sale of rough diamonds.

Notable practitioners  

IT practice head Rob Sumroy is praised as "phenomenally bright, incredibly hard-working and very affable." He advised a range of high-end clients on technology matters, particularly outsourcing and data protection. 

Significant clients FirstGroup, Ocado, Schroders, Workspace.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for A broad and impressive IP offering with particular strengths in corporate and commercial transactions centring on IP, and heavyweight litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very good at getting themselves aligned and so the advice is consistent."

"The quality of the associates is impressive."  

Work highlights Advised Dyson Technology on legal proceedings and an investigation regarding the potential leak of confidential and proprietary information to its competitor Bosch.

Advised Dow and Millerchip on the sale of legal publisher the Practical Law Group to Thomson Reuters.

Notable practitioners  

Susie Middlemiss is head of the firm's IP dispute resolution group and is a celebrated patent litigator. One client says of her: "What particularly impresses me is that she doesn't presume; she listens to exactly what you want, rather than bringing an off-the-shelf solution."

Cathy Connolly advises on large-scale licensing agreements, IP-heavy transactions and trade mark litigation. One client says: "If it is something difficult and awkward and requires a creative mindset then I will give her a call."

David Ives is recommended for IP licensing, franchising and sponsorship agreements. A client says: "He has always been available and makes us feel that we are in safe hands."

Significant clients ASDA, Carillion, GlaxoSmithKline, Marks & Spencer, Royal Mail.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-11 partners
-35 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Known for its ability to handle high stakes and complex disputes, and for the quality of its individual partners. Acts for major banking clients, multinational corporates and government bodies. Offers complementary expertise in regulatory investigations, alongside experience in commercial litigation and arbitration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“They were superb; there is no doubt that their client would have felt that they had a top-notch team. We felt we had a formidable opponent in Slaughter and May.”

“A formidable litigation team with some really good and impressive partners.”

Work highlights Acted for Equitas on its claim against Walsham Brothers, alleging that monies were collected on its behalf but not paid to it.

Represented Kroll Associates in defence of claims brought by Dar Al Arkan and a Bahraini bank alleging that it assisted in the publication of confidential information for the purposes of undermining the claimants' business.

Notable practitioners  

The “outstandingly able” Elizabeth Barrett focuses on commercial disputes, investigations and regulatory matters. She acted for the trustee for the liquidation of MF Global on various claims in the special administration of MF Global UK.

Sources say that head of dispute resolution Deborah Finkler is an “extremely good” litigator who “knows which points are good and which points to take.” She is particularly known for her representation of banking sector clients and financial institutions. Recently, she represented Royal Mail Group as the interested party in judicial review proceedings brought against HMRC by TNT, concerning VAT exemption for downstream access services.

Sarah Lee represents multinational corporate clients, financial institutions and government bodies. Her practice covers a range of commercial and corporate disputes, including litigation and arbitration.

Ewan Brown is particularly well known for his expertise in oil and gas and financial services disputes. Peers say he is “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” adding: “You don't want to be on the other side of him, given a choice!” He acted for Fortress Investment Group on various claims against third party fund managers.

Nick Gray has broad disputes experience in litigation and arbitration, with a practice spanning banking, shareholder, insurance and energy cases. Peers praise him as “a general commercial litigator of seniority in the City, who can turn his hand to a range of things.” He acted for LBI on its claim against Rabobank for amounts due from a currency swap under an ISDA master agreement.

Sources say Efstathios Michael is “a very tough litigator and a good negotiator” as well as being “a very clever guy.” He is particularly known for insurance and reinsurance disputes, with recent work including advising Equitas in relation to its claim against Walsham Brothers, in which it was alleged that monies were collected on Equitas's behalf but not paid to it.

The “highly knowledgeable and very user-friendly” Richard Swallow handles commercial litigation and arbitration, as well as investigations work. He acted for British Airways on follow-on damages proceedings arising from an air freight cartel investigation.

Executive partner of Slaughter and May Richard Clark is extremely well regarded in the London market, and has expertise in banking, fraud and international trade disputes. He also has experience in disputes arising in the film and theatre industries.

Significant clients Alliance Bank, Deutsche Bank, Olympus Corporation, British Airways, Royal Mail Group.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 20+ other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Draws upon its global reach in advising national and international clients on a broad range of strategic pensions issues. Works closely with other departments in providing comprehensive support to companies and trustees on the full spectrum of transactional and advisory matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They employ professional and personable members of staff with a great depth of knowledge and practical know-how."

"Their ability to organise a transaction and make sure all things come into action is very, very good, and they are incredibly thorough."

Work highlights Worked with INEOS Group on changes to its pension scheme as part of its survival plan for the Grangemouth refinery.

Assisted Royal Mail on benefit changes to avoid a significant pension funding gap.

Notable practitioners 

Philip Bennett is a key name in the market, gaining a reputation as "a legendary pensions figure and a very bright man," while clients comment that "the breadth of his knowledge is incredible." He recently acted for General Motors in ensuring that the Millbrook pension plan and pensions liabilities stayed in the company following the sale of Millbrook Proving Ground.

Charles Cameron "is very impressive" with "a good knowledge of pensions and an excellent approach to project management." He worked with INEOS Group on scheme amendments to facilitate its survival plan for the Grangemouth refinery.

Sandeep Maudgil guided GlaxoSmithKline in its implementation of a pensions pay cap across its four schemes. He is respected by his clients for his "considered service," with one individual noting: "He will give you advice and not just sit on the fence."

Jonathan Fenn is highlighted as "very sensible and pragmatic" by his clients. He heads the firm's pensions and employment practice and recently assisted the Trustees of the BSkyB Pension Plan on auto-enrolment issues.

Roland Doughty "is very responsive and resolves things very quickly," according to clients. He is known in the market for his work on share schemes, as well as mergers and acquisitions with pensions elements.

Significant clients Akzo Nobel, Aviva, Caterpillar, Marks & Spencer, United Utilities.

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Adept at handling high-value and complex financial negligence claims. Noted expertise in cross-border litigation. Regularly acts on behalf of brokers, banks and actuaries. 

Notable practitioners  

Deborah Finkler heads the group and is a key contact

Significant clients Euroclear, Marsh, Mercer, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, SEB Trygg Liv.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Retained by institutional investors on transactional matters. Represents landowners and developers on large-scale developments. Often advises on corporate real estate issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their timing and communication are very good. They explain things very well and their depth of knowledge is good."

"They're very good, they're like a one-stop shop which is very good from our point of view."

Work highlights Acted for Grosvenor on the £114 million sale of 11-15 Grosvenor Crescent for residential development.

Advised Legal & General Property on the £200 million acquisition of a City of London office property. The deal was structured as an SPV sale.

Notable practitioners  

John Nevin recently acted for UD Europe on its £77 million acquisition of 265 Strand. "He's got a good sense of drafting but doesn't get drawn into minutiae," reports one client, adding: "He's very good on detail but also good at direction."

Jane Edwarde is retained by clients including institutional funds on development, acquisitions and disposals, lettings and corporate real estate. Clients praise her technical legal ability.

Significant clients Arsenal Football Club, The Cabinet Office, Derwent London, Fishmongers' Company, ITV.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Powerful company-side offering, representing an impressive stable of corporate clients. Provides well-resourced and thorough representation on major deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Everything they do is laced with quality." 

"They have a strong reputation for representing borrowers." 

Work highlights Advised the Central Bank of Cyprus on the recapitalisation and restructuring of the Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank, through a negotiated agreement with the Eurogroup and IMF.

Advised Technicolour SA on a significant refinancing, which involved the major purchase of Technicolour's outstanding senior debt by Tech Finance & Co.

Notable practitioners

The restructuring and insolvency department is led by co-heads Ian Johnson and Richard De Carle.

Significant clients Allianz Capital Partners, Apollo, Ernst & Young, Fortress Investment Group, HM Treasury.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Sizeable tax group noted for its ability to handle some of the most complex and high-profile matters in the market. Possesses significant expertise across the corporate tax spectrum, regularly dealing with international mandates for major clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Excellent client service, and a big key point is that they are very commercial. The opinions are always balanced and are not unnecessarily aggressive."

"We get consistently high-quality advice. It is reassuring for us to get good tax support across a range of deals. It is always top-quality. They get the issues quickly - they are smart people."

Work highlights Advised Vodafone on the disposal of its US group, including its 45% share in Verizon Wireless.

Advised Royal Mail on its IPO. 

Notable practitioners  

Steve Edge enjoys an enviable reputation in the market. "He is a great individual if you want to impress the Revenue or want a different perspective. He rightly has a good reputation," said a peer.

The "extremely able" Tony Beare is head of the firm's tax group. He is described by market sources as being "really good technically and also very user-friendly." One interviewee adds: "I have always enjoyed working with him. You know you can get the deal done."

Sara Luder is considered by clients to be "very sharp and well informed, and very commercial in knowing what to fight for." 

"You can ask Graham Iversen anything and he pretty much always has the answer," according to clients. Iversen advises on a wide range of corporate and finance matters.

Commentators say William Watson is "very good technically." His notable recent matters include the sale by Derwent of its stake in 1-5 Grosvenor Place, London.

Gareth Miles covers the full range of corporate tax work, including indirect taxes. He recently advised Manchester Airport Group on its acquisition of Stansted Airport. 

"Very technically strong and commercial," Jeanette Zaman is "very approachable and easy to deal with. She is open and honest," say interviewees. She works on a range of corporate transactions, recently advising GlaxoSmithKline on the sale of its thrombosis brands to Aspen. 

Clients say Dominic Robertson "has a very sharp mind indeed, and he a very reassuring knowledge of the taxes in a commercial context."

Significant clients Barclays, Santander, Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs, GE. 

Administrative & Public Law - UK-wide

What the team is known for Advises on major central government projects. Particular expertise in restructuring arising from the global financial crisis. Noted for the quality of its state aid work, particularly in relation to government austerity.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The partners and associates are first-rate. They're really great to work with and knowledgeable in their subjects."

Work highlights Advised the Department for Communities & Local Government on the Affordable Housing Scheme, including on the award of the licence to deliver the scheme to Affordable Housing Finance.

Advised Royal Mail Group on its privatisation by means of an IPO and admission to listing.

Notable practitioners  

Sources describe Elizabeth Barrett as "a highly experienced litigator, with an ability to adapt to a wide variety of fields." She brings this versatility and expertise to her public law practice, with a particular emphasis on regulatory issues.

Significant clients British Airways, HM Treasury, UK Asset Resolution, BIS, Ministry of Justice.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Focuses on handling transactional share scheme mandates for its listed corporate clientele. Also acts in an advisory capacity for clients with regards to their existing share schemes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"There is never anything that is questionable – they get it right first time. They understand the clients and their business, they understand you want a legal answer in a commercial context and they produce the work on that basis."

"They respond to our sometimes unusual requirements in that when we want a share plan, we have specific commercial requirements, some of which are complex, contradictory and difficult, and they have helped us through them."

Work highlights Advised Vodafone on the share plan aspects of the USD130 billion sale of its stake in its US business to Verizon.

Assisted Infinis Energy and its primary shareholder Terra Firmis on the share scheme implications of Infinis Energy's IPO.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Fenn has a wealth of experience in dealing with share schemes. He is valued by clients for his proactive approach and for the commercial, pragmatic nature of his advice. One source remarked: "If you throw anything at him he knows what he should do."

Roland Doughty takes the lead on a number of the practice's high-profile mandates, for clients such as Vodafone, Schroders and Santander. One client valued the rapport he established with them and identified him as being "very understanding of our requirements."

Significant clients 3i, Ocado, Schroders, Shire, Whitbread.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Advises on oil and gas, renewable energy and power work, on behalf of energy companies, financial institutions and national governments. Handles upstream and downstream M&A, finance and development work. Excellent regulatory practice and also acts on M&A and financing in the power and renewable energy sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Excellent drafting and excellent when assisting in negotiations."

Work highlights Acted for DONG Energy on the sale of the Severn gas-fired power station for £350 million.

Represented Premier Oil Exploration in relation to a farm-in to oil and gas exploration licences in the Falkland Islands.

Acted for Centrica on the £50 million sale of an offshore wind farm to DONG Energy.

Advised renewable energy generator Infinis on its IPO.

Notable practitioners  

Hywel Davies is a corporate and commercial lawyer who regularly advises on the oil and gas sector. Recent highlights include advising Premier Oil on a farm-in agreement with Desire Petroleum relating to Falkland Island oil and gas licences.  

Paul Stacey is a "brilliant technical lawyer" who advises on power and renewable energy transactions and regulatory issues. A client said: "He will bring all the corporate, finance, commodities and regulatory expertise and master them all effortlessly."

Significant clients DECC, Drax, Interconnector, Kosmos, Talisman. 

Financial Services - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A go-to firm for both complex financial services advice and contentious multi-jurisdictional, multiparty regulatory disputes. Deep bench of talented practitioners with significant international expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Nothing is too much trouble for them. They're extremely hard-working and have an intelligent approach."

"They've got a core team of go-to people that I rely on, who are there day and night if I need them. It's hard to find the adjectives to describe them. They are exceptional."

Work highlights Advised HM Treasury in its review of the case for transferring high-risk assets from RBS to an internal 'bad bank'.

Continued to advise Deutsche Bank in connection with several regulatory investigations in numerous jurisdictions relating to the setting of benchmark rates.

Notable practitioners  

Head of dispute resolution Deborah Finkler often advises on high-profile and sensitive multi-jurisdictional investigations. Sources note: "She's very commercially astute, impressive, and shows great judgement."

Contentious regulatory specialist Elizabeth Barrett is regarded as highly impressive by her peers. She is experienced in multiparty proceedings and is often called upon to advise in sensitive circumstances to manage risk.

Head of the financial regulation group Jan Putnis has specific expertise in European financial regulation. Recent highlights include advising Santander on a multiparty agreement with international private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic to facilitate growth of Santander Asset Management.

Ben Kingsley is a key partner in the non-contentious regulatory team. He advises clients on a broad range of matters including funding structures, securities laws and market conduct issues. 

Significant clients Bradford & Bingley, Central Bank of Cyprus, Fortress Investment Group, Gain Capital, Ministry of Finance of Portugal.

Fraud - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Engaged by major corporate clients to handle civil fraud and regulatory investigations. Noted for its ability to handle multi-jurisdictional matters.

Work highlights Acted for Kroll Associates on a USD500 million claim brought by Dar Al Arkan concerning the deliberate publication of confidential proprietary information. 

Advised Fortress Investment Group on various economic tort claims against third party fund managers.

Notable practitioners   

Jonathan Cotton is regarded as a "big name" in the field. His experience includes advising on the theft of confidential information by employees and competitors, conspiracy and investigations. Sources say he is "hard-working, clever and great to work with."

Significant clients Olympus, Deutsche Bank, British Airways, Gain Capital, Standard Chartered Bank.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Sits within the firm's dispute resolution group and is instructed on high-stakes, complex litigation. Commonly seen acting on international work, especially in the D&O, insurance and reinsurance runoff and coverage fields. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have been diligent and creative litigation and dispute resolution advisers, and provided really creative solutions."

"They get the more complex and technically difficult work and manage it well."

Work highlights Instructed by Equitas on a USD20 million claim against Walsham Brothers arising out of alleged unpaid amounts owed to the client.

Advised Marsh on £10 million cover it placed for Wakefield District Council following a fire that destroyed a school.

Notable practitioners  

Efstathios Michael represents policyholder, insurance and reinsurance clients in very complex and high-value litigation and arbitration. Sources describe him as an "outstanding solicitor in terms of getting to the point, having a commercial outlook and being really unflappable."

Significant clients Homeserve, Rhenas, Smith & Nephew.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Transaction-focused insurance team that leverages the strength of other departments to assist large insurance clients with their biggest domestic and international deals. Also possesses extensive skills beyond its traditional transactional strength in the regulatory, advisory and risk transfer spaces.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are the go-to firm for the scary big stuff and are totally trusted by our general counsel and the executive team."

"Their knowledge and competence are second to none." 

"When facing technical matters I have complete confidence in them."

Work highlights Advised Swiss Re on its agreement with Pacific Century Group to invest as much as USD425 million in FWD Group, and assisted the company with its acquisition of a 4.9% shareholding in New China Life Insurance from Zurich.

Retained by Royal London to advise on the sale of its offshore subsidiary Royal London 360° in an MBO funded by Vitruvian Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Oliver Wareham heads the department and is a seasoned operator in the insurance space. He is a sought-after adviser on regulatory issues. "He's a supremely capable lawyer who's enormously insightful at applying his legal skill commercially," enthused one client, adding: "I always feel confident that he won't miss something, and he helps me find the path that is most helpful for the business." 

According to clients, Craig Cleaver "combines technical skills with a clear understanding of the commercial objective." He is highly experienced in the transactional space, and also has skills in distribution and longevity swaps. He is "a great negotiator who is both tenacious and committed," said one client.

Jonathan Marks assists clients seeking to derisk pension schemes as well as handling leading large international transactional work. Clients note that "he is a very technically skilled lawyer who always focuses on trying to drive the right outcome."

Significant clients Aegon, Allianz, Aviva, esure, Legal & General.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

What the team is known for Displays notable strength in the closed-end listed funds market. Offers strategic transactional guidance, including handling the purchase and sale of asset management businesses, and overseeing corporate reorganisations. Highlighted for its strong international network of firms able to assist in all key funds jurisdictions.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very good service; they go the extra mile for us. I never have any doubts that they put my interest as a client first. I always have the impression that they're there fighting my corner." 

What's new? Ignite Social Enterprise and Investec Asset Management are new client wins for the team.

Work highlights Advised Centrica on the formation of a new impact investment fund to focus on investments into energy-related enterprises.

Acted for Schroders on its purchase of Cazenove Capital for around £424 million.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Dickson is the key contact.

Significant clients 3i, Legal & General, SVG Capital, Baring Emerging Europe, Fidelity International.  

Life Sciences - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A leading corporate practice with profound understanding of the sector's particularities and trusted by its giants for industry-defining transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very good at getting themselves aligned and so the advice is consistent."

"The way they structured their team was smart - they had mid-to-senior associates able to master their area and partners able to co-ordinate them as a team, not in silos."

Work highlights Advised GlaxoSmithKline on the £700 million sale of its thrombosis brands Arixtra and Fraxiparine/Fraxodi to the Aspen Group.

Advised Shire on the competition law and financing elements of its USD4.2 billion acquisition of ViroPharma.

Notable practitioners  

Leading corporate specialist David Johnson advises some of the biggest companies in the sector on strategic acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures. Sources highlight his intimate knowledge of the life sciences industry.

Significant clients GlaxoSmithKline, International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), Mylan, Shire, ViiV Healthcare.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Impressive strategic sourcing practice advising on large-scale outsourcing projects, renegotiations and renewals. Acts for an enviable range of clients, including public sector bodies and major insurance, telecoms and retail clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team has provided robust support and worked hard in helping us to achieve our requirements. The firm has been client-focused and dogged in its commitment to support us. The degree of passion and enthusiasm for the work has been commendable."

"I think they step outside the usual commercial lawyer restrictions, think creatively and engage with us as clients. They focus things around how the relationship works, not strictly on the contractual. They're accommodating, easy to work with, very committed, and they dovetail with us really well."

"I was very pleased with the advice and service we were given, and we negotiated and closed the bid process in an extremely quick time. They were very professional and knowledgeable."

Work highlights Assisted Royal Mail with a strategic technology sourcing and transformation project.

Supported Ocado Group in its various long-term logistics, distribution and technology sourcing arrangements with Morrisons.

Notable practitioners  

Rob Sumroy heads the IT and outsourcing practice and is described by clients as a "very solution-oriented" solicitor with "a wealth of experience and know-how, and a great deal of passion." 

The "very capable, intelligent and energetic" David Ives continues to display his prowess in IT and IP in a range of sourcing contexts. He has been extremely active on both the customer and supplier side of late, advising on significant matters for Carillion and Ocado, among others.

Significant clients Aviva, Direct Line, FirstGroup, Marsh, SAV.  

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

What the team is known for Marshals notable strength in the non-contentious and litigation arenas to advise an impressive client roster on high-level pensions disputes. Handles work including professional negligence and rectifications claims. Significant cross-border expertise.

Notable practitioners Deborah Finkler heads the group and is a key contact.

Significant clients Associated British Ports Holdings, Mercer, SEB Trygg Liv.

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners

What the team is known for Offers private equity clients the benefit of extensive expertise in corporate matters, as well as a suite of complementary practices. Acts on a range of deals, primarily concentrating on major buyout transactions.  

Work highlights Advised Countrywide Group and its private equity backers, Oaktree Capital Management and Apollo, on its initial public offering.

Worked with Palamon Capital Partners on the disposal of a majority interest in Cambridge Education Group to Bridgepoint.

Notable practitioners  

Jeffrey Twentyman is able to deploy 25 years of experience in corporate and private equity deals and regularly acts for significant clients. He advised Corsair Capital and Centerbridge Partners as part of a consortium on a £600 million investment into Williams & Glyn ahead of its IPO.

Significant clients Apollo, First Reserve, PSPIB, Terra Firma, Varde Partners Europe.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Strong reputation for work in Africa and the UK, acting for lender and sponsor clients. Sources point to its handling of energy financings, alongside notable expertise in infrastructure work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're on some spectacular projects - it's always a quality product with them."

Notable practitioners  

Helen Griffiths is well known for her work in Egypt. Her practice includes financings for energy and infrastructure mandates, where she is regularly instructed by lender-side clients.

Steven Galbraith is noted for his handling of oil and gas financings and infrastructure work in Africa and Asia. Sources describe him as "a very strong lawyer."

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Works at the very high end of the market with an enviable client base that includes a number of supermarkets. The team is well known for its transactional work, especially on deals with a multi-jurisdictional element.

Work highlights Advised Prada on its EUR130 million bond issue on the Irish stock exchange. 

Advised Ocado on its 25-year tie-in with Morrisons. Involved logistics agreements as well as work on sale and leasebacks.

Notable practitioners

Andy Ryde is the main contact for the firms retail team.

Significant clients ASDA, Ladbrokes, Darty, Heal's, Inchcape. 

Tax - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 19 partners
- 60 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Well-resourced group providing contentious tax support to a wealth of substantial corporate clients with interests in a wide variety of industry sectors. Deploys notable expertise in advising clients on the negotiation of settlements with HMRC, and in taking cases to tribunals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are just extremely good - solid, reliable."

Work highlights Advised Royal Mail as an interested party with respect to a judicial review challenge against HMRC by TNT concerning the VAT status of postal services.

Acted for The Reed Group in its dispute with HMRC concerning unpaid income tax and national insurance contributions. 

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees say experienced litigator Sarah Lee is "very able and very professional." She also has the expertise to advise clients in mediations.

Significant clients Bupa, Deutsche Bank, Ford, Santander.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

What the team is known for Diverse offering housing practice area specialists with experience handling work in the telecoms field. Particularly prominent on heavyweight M&A mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Phenomenally strong lawyers who are involved in massive deals." 

Work highlights Represented Vodafone in the sale of its US group to Verizon Communications for a total consideration of USD130 billion.

Acted for Motorola Mobility on the Article 102 investigation by the EC, into whether the client had abused its position as holder of standard essential patents. 

Notable practitioners  

Corporate partner Adam Eastell has experience handling telecoms-related mandates and is a key contact for clients.

Significant clients Assurant, Cable & Wireless, Siemens, Telenor, Vodafone.