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Stephenson Harwood LLP


Stephenson Harwood LLP - London
  • 1 Finsbury Circus
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2M 7SH
  • Number of partners 120
  • Number of other fee-earners 350
  • Total staff 600

THE FIRM Stephenson Harwood is a full service international law firm, with over 120 partners and 600 staff worldwide. The firm acts for a wide range of listed and private companies, institutions and individuals. Through its network of offices and strong local law firm relationships, the firm offers clients commerciallyfocused legal advice across the globe.
Stephenson Harwood has an established track record for advising leading companies on their most challenging and high value matters. The firm’s lawyers work to achieve open and strong long-term relationships with its clients.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Stephenson Harwood has recognised market-leading strengths in five key areas: finance, commercial litigation and arbitration, corporate finance, marine and international trade and real estate. Its offering is underpinned by in-depth market knowledge related to all of these areas, backed by a full range of ancillary legal services attuned to the needs of clients within each area.
Asset Finance: The team’s expertise covers a very broad range of assets that includes aviation, heavy equipment, rail, oil and gas, ports and airports, real estate and renewables. Clients include global and domestic lenders, arrangers, sponsors and borrowers.
Commercial Litigation & Arbitration: The team has a track record for advising clients on their most challenging disputes – and have over the years acted on many of the largest cases in the commercial courts. The team is highly respected among its peers. In addition to the firm’s own clients, Stephenson Harwood is frequently referred work by many of the top international law firms when they are faced with conflict situations.
The team won ‘Litigation and regulatory team of the year’ at the 2012 Lawyer Awards.
Corporate Finance: The team’s core services include M&A, takeovers, joint ventures, IPOs, private equity and venture capital. The client base is international and includes listed and privately-owned companies, management teams, banks and private equity houses. The team operates across a broad range of industries, but has a particularly strong track record in the consumer, energy and resources, financial services, pharmaceuticals and transportation sectors.
Marine & International Trade: The size of the team and depth of its experience mean that Stephenson Harwood is well placed to advise on any shipping or trade-related concern – from the most complex marine incident or financing structure to the more straightforward sale and purchase dispute or cargo claim. Clients include many of the world’s largest ship owners, ship yards, banks, insurers, P&I clubs, offshore services companies and commodity traders.
Real Estate: The team advises on investment acquisitions and disposals, financings, development projects, sale and leasebacks and other structures, as well as ongoing property management matters. It has extensive experience of real estate development and regeneration, securing planning permissions and advising on environmental issues. Clients include property companies, institutional investors and financiers, fund managers, high net worth individuals, hotel groups, public sector bodies and corporate occupiers.
Other practice areas: Banking; commercial; employment; environment; funds; intellectual property; pensions; projects; restructuring and insolvency; tax and wealth management.

Other offices: Beijing, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Paris, Piraeus, Shanghai, Singapore.

Associate offices: Athens, Bucharest, Kuwait and Jakarta.

  • Arbitration Louis Flannery
  • Aviation 
  • Aviation 
  • Banking Jayesh Patel
  • Commercial Dan Holland
  • Commercial Litigation John Fordham
  • Competition Julianne O’Leary
  • Construction Paul Thwaite
  • Consumer Andrew McLean
  • Corporate Finance Duncan Stiles
  • Education Marcel Haniff
  • Employee Incentives Barbara Allen
  • Employment Kate Brearley
  • Energy Jeremy Sheldon
  • Environment Andrew Wiseman
  • Fine Art Stephen Roberts
  • Fraud & Asset 
  • Funds William Saunders
  • Health & Care Chris Seel
  • Hotels & Leisure Robert Newman
  • Insurance Alex Davis
  • IP Eifion Morris
  • Islamic Finance David Lacey
  • Life Sciences Andrew Edge
  • Marine & International Trade Paolo Ghirardani
  • Offshore Construction Stuart Beadnall
  • Pensions Mark Catchpole
  • Private Equity Tony Edwards
  • Projects Clare McConnell
  • Rail Graeme McLellan
  • Real Estate Jonathon Wilkes
  • Real Estate Finance Neil Murray
  • Real Estate Litigation Sean Fitzgerald
  • Regulation & Investigation Tony Woodcock
  • Restructuring & Insolvency Stuart Frith, Susan Moore 
  • Ship Finance Mark Russell
  • Tax Hugo Jenney


  • 1 Finsbury Circus,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2M 7SH
  • Tel (020) 7329 4422
  • Fax (020) 7329 7100
  • Email : info@shlegal.com
  • Website : www.shlegal.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Adept across the full spectrum of lender-side mandates, including bilateral and syndicated lending. Increasingly handling work on acquisition finance, invoice discounting and corporate lending.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Commercial awareness: "They have good knowledge of the law and are aware of the commercial factors of the deal."

Efficiency: "I found Stephenson Harwood to be knowledgeable and commercially focused, allowing a pragmatic approach to resolve issues and achieve our desired objectives within a relatively short timeframe."

Work highlights Acted for Mannington Mills on the financing of its USD170 million purchase of the Amtico by way of a senior asset-based lending debt facility and a mezzanine term facility.  

Advised Archirodon Group on the refinancing of its USD225 million syndicated unsecured revolving credit facility.  

Notable practitioners

David Lacey is a key contact in the department.

Significant clients Lavendon Group.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 19 associates
- 8 other fee earners

What the team is known for Well-established presence in the banking marketplace, with an impressive client roster. Notable expertise handling international disputes and matters involving complex financial products.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A cross-section of excellence throughout the firm. Very efficient and responsive. The lawyers are client-friendly and understand the various audiences to whom they might be talking and providing advice."

Work highlights Instructed by a number of hedge fund advisers in connection with proceedings brought against them in a claim arising out of the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Advised January Investments, a British Virgin Islands company, in respect of a USD12.5 million negligence and breach of mandate action against Habib Bank.

Notable practitioners  

John Fordham has a wealth of experience in the banking field and regularly advises on a broad range of matters in the financial sector including funds, fraud and investigations.

Sue Millar leads the banking litigation group at the firm and focuses her practice on investment banking disputes and commercial litigation matters. Sources say she has a "genius mind." 

Significant clients HSBC, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 19 associates

What the team is known for Good reputation for advising domestic and international clients on a range of corporate transactions. Particular strength in the transportation, energy consumer and financial services sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They provide strong, good-quality legal work which is well managed."

Technical ability: "I just thought they were all-round excellent."

International capability: "They can bring an international perspective to the negotiations."

What's new? New clients include Cathay International, Drax and Meggitt.

Work highlights Advised Eland Oil & Gas on its USD154 million acquisition from Shell, Total and Agip of a Nigerian oil mining lease.

Represented Mannington Mills in its acquisition of Amtico International.

Advised Kernel on its 50-50 joint venture with a subsidiary of Glencore International to acquire a deep water grain export terminal in Taman port in Russia.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Edge is "technically highly sound, calm under pressure and good to deal with," market sources say. His recent highlights include advising Macquarie Investment Bank on the acquisition of a European rolling stock leasing business from Lloyds Banking.

Ben Mercer "adds an unusually strong commercial bent to his handling of our legal matters," satisfied clients say. His clients include private and public companies, private equity houses and management teams.

Significant clients Affinion International, BTG Group, Duff & Phelps, GDF SUEZ, Lavendon.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A varied, broad-based employment team boasting substantial expertise in everything from the TUPE implications of large transactions to defending complex tribunal claims. Particularly noted for tackling multi-jurisdictional mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They'll give thought as to what we want to do and help advise us as to how to best achieve that goal."

Efficiency: "They're efficient, professional and their advice is always very accurate."

Work highlights Acted for Canaway Fleming Architects on a tribunal claim brought by a former employee. The claim entailed allegations of racial discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Advised Macquarie Bank on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Lloyds Banking Group's European rolling stock leasing business.

Notable practitioners  

The vastly experienced Kate Brearley is a luminary within the employment domain. "She is technically strong and knows her stuff inside out," remarked one source, whilst another claimed that "she's very much aware of things that are going on in the wider market." She is frequently called upon to advise on employment issues that arise from corporate transactions.

Sources praise Anne Pritam's "proactive" style, one which enables her to approach cases in a "sensible and pragmatic" manner. She is instructed in connection with boardroom disputes and TUPE matters, and led on the Canaway Fleming Architects matter.

Interviewees are keen to highlight the directness of advice provided by Paul Reeves. Much of his work is on behalf of large clients from the financial services industry, with an emphasis on tribunal representation.

Significant clients Bank of Montreal, Charlemagne Capital, KPMG, The Royal College of Art, Fine & Rare Wines.

Fraud - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong reputation for representing claimants and defendants in large-scale fraud cases. Significant experience of handling issues pertaining to asset tracing or injunctive relief.

Work highlights Advised investment management company FIM on the defence of claims of unjust enrichment and negligent misstatement arising from the Madoff Ponzi fraud.

Defended an ex-director of Weavering Capital against claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence, amounting to USD400 million in total.

Notable practitioners  

John Fordham is singled out as a "brilliant litigator and supreme tactician," who represents his clients "calmly, strategically and tactically." He has extensive experience of handling cases involving allegations of dishonesty.

Sources admire Louis Flannery's sound judgement and leadership. His recent work highlights include successfully defending an appeal against the High Court's decision in the Fiona Trust case, which involved allegations of corruption and conspiracy to defraud.

Alan Bercow has experience of advising on multi-jurisdictional fraud cases. Sources describe him as a "hard-working, thorough and extremely good litigation handler."

Ros Prince impresses sources with her gravitas and case management skills. She has recently acted for the defendant to a significant fraud claim.

Significant clients The Arab Republic of Egypt, Rabobank, Euro-Asian Oil, HSBC Trustee.

Hotels & Leisure - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 12 associates

What the team is known for Acts for owners and operators of hotels, pub chains, restaurant chains and nightclubs. Also acts for financiers. Active in real estate, financing and corporate work.

Work highlights Acted for Accor Hotels on the development and construction of new Novotel, IBIS and IBIS Style hotels across the UK.

Advised Vietnamese street food restaurant chain Pho on its lease renewal at Westfield Shepherd's Bush, its acquisition of a lease at Westfield Stratford and its new venue at the Leeds Trinity shopping centre.

Notable practitioners

Stephen Laud acts for landlords as well as the owners and operators of hotels, bars and restaurants. His practice focuses on real estate matters. Recent work includes advising The Langham Estate on lettings of restaurants and bars across its estate.

Robert Newman leads the hotels and leisure group at the firm, specialising in real estate work. Recent work includes acting for ETM Group on its pub and restaurant portfolio expansion.

Significant clients InterContinental Hotels Group, HSBC, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Vinoteca.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles work across the spectrum of IT law, including data protection, data network storage, related regulatory matters and licensing agreements. Acts for clients in a number of industries, such as financial services, retail and the public sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team really know what they're doing. They just become part of our team, which I've truly enjoyed."

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Kirsop advises on commercial IT and privacy matters. Clients particularly appreciate the insight he adds, having worked in the past for the Information Commissioner's Office.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, Gap Europe, KPMG, Santander, The Cloud Networks.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Has a particular focus on passing-off, copyright infringement cases and strategic IP concerns. Sector-specific expertise in representing banking and insurance clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They're a go-to firm for us. They meet our requirements and more." 

Work highlights Advises Emirates NBD on a challenge to the name of the bank following a merger.

Acts for Christie's in a copyright infringement case in the High Court relating to its treasury software.

Notable practitioners  

Eifion Morris is a "very dynamic litigator" who is "fast, responsive and highly commercial." His practice incorporates litigation and IP strategy, and he acted in the Emirates NBD name challenge.

Sources label up-and-comer Alexandra Pygall "very commercial" as well as "thorough and creative." Her sector expertise includes life sciences patent licensing.

Peter Taylor is an experienced figure who recently joined the team from Baker Botts UK LLP.

Significant clients Gap Inc, Barclays Bank, KPMG, Moët Hennessy, Pernod Ricard.

International Arbitration - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- 31 associates

What the team is known for Popular choice for maritime-related commercial arbitrations. Growing profile for emerging markets work. Sophisticated practice with a deep bench.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
Commercial awareness: "The firm has a good commercial approach to resolving disputes on behalf of its clients."

What's new? Multiple sources confirm that the firm has been doing particularly well for itself since last year's hire of Shai Wade from Reed Smith.

Notable practitioners  

The "inimitable" Louis Flannery leads the team, and attracts praise for his sense of judgement. Over his career he has handled almost every kind of international arbitration, and earned a reputation for his thoughtful and decisive case handling.

Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Strong track record on high-value international disputes. Significantly expanded bench in London. Experienced in high-calibre cases in the energy, banking and investment sectors.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Good proactivity and responsiveness from the team." 

Client service: "Highly professional at all times, in all regards." 

What's new Moët Hennessy, Pernod Ricard, FTI Consulting Group and Bank of Singapore are all new client wins for the team.

Work highlights Acted for Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees, as trustee of the Tchenguiz Family Trust, on judicial review proceedings arising from administrative, regulatory and criminal claims related to the insolvency of Kaupthing Bank.  

Advising Moet Hennessy and Pernod Ricard on anti-counterfeiting strategies, prompted by significant online scams being operated across Asia and Europe.   

Notable practitioners

John Fordham "has a very good overview and gives commercial and clear advice on the options and the status of the case," according to interviewees. He is known as a "very intelligent" practitioner.

Andrew Myers acted for the De Stefano property group in an £8 million claim against BT. He is lauded for his commerciality and realistic advice.

Sean Jeffrey is "very knowledgeable, easy to work with and he works hard, thinking laterally to achieve the best result for his client." He took a key role in advising the trustees of the Tchenguiz Family Trust on the judicial review proceedings.

Significant clients ABN AMRO, KPMG, Total, PwC, InterContinental Hotels Group.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 4 associates

What the team is known for Particular expertise in funding issues and debt management. Acts for a wide variety of clients, including trustees, companies, charities and public bodies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarify of advice: "You get high-quality advice for a good price, communicated in a clear way."

Commercial awareness: "I was very satisfied with their professionalism and business sense."

Market standing: "Stephenson Harwood has grown and has been making good moves – it's one to watch."

What's new? Partner Graham Wrightson has joined the team from Mercer.

Work highlights Worked with the Board of the Pension Protection Fund to devise a solution to the problem of equalising guaranteed minimum pension payments between men and women.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Catchpole is head of the employment and pensions group. One source states: "His advice is clear, comprehensive and actionable."

Fraser Sparks is considered to be "down to earth, really well briefed and able to communicate concepts in a clear way." He is able to advise trustees and employers on all areas of pensions law.

Philip Goodchild is noted for both his non-contentious work and his pensions litigation expertise. He draws praise for "his businesslike, practical approach to things and his respect for the client's culture."

Amanda Banister previously worked in-house at the Pension Protection Fund, and is an expert in the relationship between corporate insolvency and pensions. One commentator notes: "She comes from the PPF so has that inside knowledge and is very good with clients."

Significant clients Barnardo's, Thomson Airways, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, British Land, Pitney Bowes.

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 15 associates

What the team is known for Acts for both claimants and defendants, with particular expertise in cases against solicitors and actions for and against accountants and pension professionals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A group of people who get on with their clients well."

Work highlights Obtained summary dismissal of a USD52 million claim from Arrowhead against KPMG on the grounds of limitation and the absence of a duty of care.

Notable practitioners  

Roland Foord has distinguished himself in the professional negligence field. Described as "impressive," market observers say: "You know you've got a real fight on your hands when he's on the other side."

Stephen Roberts is "good at the detail and really gets stuck in." He specialises in matters relating to financial institutions, including accountants, IFAs, and banks.

Significant clients Christie's, Deloitte, Park Indemnity, Rawlinson & Hunter, Steer Davies Gleave.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-9 partners
-18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Houses an experienced bench proficient in investments, development financings, refinancing and restructuring. Caters to a client base of major financial institutions.  

What's new? Andrew Hill, formerly joint head of the real estate finance practice at Dentons, joined the team.

The team gained panel appointments from Lloyds and RBS, and a new client in Crédit Agricole.

Work highlights Acted for Native Land, part of a joint venture vehicle, on the £92 million financing for the development of a prime residential piece of real estate in Mayfair.

Advised Deutsche Hypothekenbank Actien-Gesellschaft and HSBC on an investment facility of £82 million, provided to refinance the acquisitions of two central London properties by Crosstree Real Estate.

Notable practitioners  

James Linforth's clients rate him "very highly. He has the right balance of knowing the law and finding a solution." His client list includes RBS.

Neil Murray has an impressive reputation for advising on finance transactions. Clients say he is "very thoughtful and very commercial."

Paul Hayward-Surry is acclaimed as "a safe pair of hands. He's technically sound, responsive, approachable and enjoyable to work with."

Significant clients HSBC, Deutsche Postbank, Santander, Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank, ING.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Works closely with the firm's real estate practice on existing property portfolio management as well as receiving standalone instructions from commercial clients. Significant recent experience of acting on lease renewals and dilapidation claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Strong commercial skills in addition to robust legal advice."

Pragmatic advice: "They provide down-to-earth and intelligible advice to try to avoid disputes, but when unavoidable they are prepared to deploy the firm's resources - and roll up their own sleeves - with a view to achieving the desired result."

Work highlights Acted for international property managers Westbrook Partners on a £100 million collective enfranchisement claim relating to the Dolphin Square residential development in Pimlico.

Advised the West End Lyceum Theatre on rights of light matters in advance of development plans.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Myers is applauded by clients as a "hands-on" lawyer with "excellent communication and negotiating skills," who "takes a commercial view" and "gives realistic advice." An "excellent" solicitor advocate, he has appeared in court alone against a QC, achieving a successful result for his client.

Sean Fitzgerald has a strong track record of advising on a range of property litigation matters. He has recently acted on rent review, mortgage actions, dilapidations, professional negligence and insolvency-related claims.

Natalie Johnston recently joined the firm from King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin. She is endorsed by sources as "very, very quick on the uptake, very inventive," as well as being "good at the detail," taking a "very careful, methodical approach." She recently assisted with a dilapidations claim and has experience of handling break notices and tenant defaults, and acting on the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

Significant clients Alpha Bank, Canary Wharf Group, LaSalle Investment Management, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust, Westbrook Partners.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 18 associates

What the team is known for Represents clients in the investment and development spheres, including funds, institutional investors and property companies. Additional expertise in the hospitality sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Commercial awareness: Clients praise the commerciality of the firm's advice.

What's new? New clients include CBRE Global Investors, AREA Property Partners and Schroder REIT.

Work highlights Acted for St Martin's Property Group on the £20 million disposal of 5 Cheapside above St Paul's underground station.

Acted for Metric Property Investment on various sales and acquisitions, including the £10.95 million acquisition of Lichfield retail park from Aviva Investors.

Notable practitioners  

Marcel Haniff acts on a wide range of property matters, including investment, development, leasing and urban regeneration.

Stephen Laud acts on acquisitions, disposals and landlord and tenant work. Clients range from sovereign wealth entities to corporate occupiers. He has a particular focus on the hotels sector.

Significant clients ING Real Estate, KPMG, The Langham Estate, SABMiller, Transport for London.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises on a range of corporate and property transactions, as well as housing niche expertise in investment funds-related work and tax leasing. Strong client base, including shipping companies, major banks and property sector clients, amongst others.

Work highlights Advised the NLWA, which comprises seven north London boroughs, on a complex waste management project involving new and refurbished waste-treatment facilities, and a new fuel-use facility. The firm assisted with tax efficient restructuring to minimise SDLT and VAT.

Advised the University of Greenwich on VAT matters concerning a £3 billion new-build student accommodation project featuring 358 beds.

Notable practitioners 

Practice head Hugo Jenney is noted for his expertise in advising on tax leasing. He regularly handles cross-border matters, and brings considerable experience of French-related matters, as he is bilingual and dual-qualified in both England & Wales and France.

Maryanna Sharrock is "incredibly competent, highly creative, practical and very responsive," according to sources. She handles a range of M&A, reorganisations and restructurings, amongst other corporate tax matters.

Significant clients Helios Properties, Langham Estates, CMA CGM, Evergreen Shipping, Macquarie.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Formidable presence across all three major asset classes. Advises a range of leading banks, shipping companies and offshore industry clients on financings, restructurings and export credit financings in the shipping sector. Has a strong reputation for acting for lenders on commercial aviation financings. The rail finance group assists leading banks and rolling stock leasing companies on major rail mandates in the UK and continental Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Our experience with Stephenson Harwood has been outstanding – they are excellent and incredibly thoughtful."

Bench strength: "The bench is impressive: a great group of associates who are all very well versed in asset finance law."

Work highlights Acted for DNB Bank and Mizuho on the USD1.4 billion financing of six LNG vessels.

Advised Macquarie Bank on its winning bid for three European rolling stock portfolios sold by Lloyds Banking Group.

Advised Guggenheim Aviation Partners on the financing of various aircraft, including two Airbus A330s. Also advised on the sale and leaseback of 11 Boeing 757-300 aircraft.

Notable practitioners  

Graeme McLellan is widely recognised for his excellent capabilities in rail finance. Clients describe him as "responsive and constructive."

Richard Parsons is well regarded for his aviation finance practice. He recently led a team advising Guggenheim Aviation Partners on the financing of various aircraft.

Mark Russell is known as a market leader in shipping finance. Clients say he is "approachable and able to explain complex legal issues straightforwardly. He is able to understand the other side's point of view, and able to communicate in a way that addresses everyone's concerns."

Lisa Marks is a highly experienced asset finance partner whose portfolio covers a range of rail concerns. She joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2013.

Significant clients CB Rail, Credit Suisse, DVB Bank, Montrose Global, Novus Aviation, Transport for London. 

Aviation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department 
- 8 partners
- 16 associates

What the team is known for Highlighted for the strength of its litigation work in aviation. Commended for providing additional information to clients in the form of industry newsletters and bulletins.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team keeps abreast of developments and a finger on the pulse at a European level. The lawyers are responsive and offer timely advice, keeping to the times agreed. They are very consultative and have their antennae out to alert us to things they think are coming. Quite proactive in keeping clients informed." 

Responsiveness: "The lawyers have a very methodical approach, which is what I really value about them. When I send something for them to look at or I need a second opinion, they get back to me very quickly."

What's new? New client wins and panel appointments include Ryanair (claims handling), Flybe (regulatory), Macquarie Aviation Capital Finance and VuelingOne.

Work highlights Advising liquidators of Ghana cargo airline MK Airlines on losses arising from crashes in South Africa and Canada. Advised DVB Bank on the financing of two new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. 

Notable practitioners  

Sources appreciate Paul Phillips' commerciality: "Paul is a very clever litigator and a very good strategic thinker, and fights his clients' corner very hard whilst having a commercial outlook." One interviewee added: "I have the utmost respect for him – he has a fine strategic brain and is someone who will always go a million miles for his clients. He has a solid aviation practice and strong practical knowledge. He is great." Phillips heads the aviation disputes regulatory and risk group, and advised the joint liquidators of MK Airlines on the matter listed above.

Associate-to-watch Russell Binch is impressing clients and peers alike, with interviewees stating that "he is absolutely great" and "very, very bright – he has a tremendous eye for detail and good legal analysis." He has supported Paul Phillips in a number of the practice's work highlights in recent times.

Significant clients American Airlines, Air Asia, TAP Portugal, Buraq Air, ICON Capital.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Offers strong expertise in cross-border matters, with recent experience advising on IPOs for African, Malaysian and Chinese companies. Notably, has established itself as a strong choice for the representation of brokers and NOMADs, having acted for several of the most prominent entities in the market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They're strong in Sub-Saharan Africa."

What's new? Former Lawrence Graham partner Tom Nicholls joined the team in 2013, adding significant depth to the AIM practice.

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Eland Oil & Gas in connection with its AIM IPO and a placing which raised £118 million. The proceeds were used to acquire a 45% stake in the lease of a large Nigerian oil mine.  

Advised Chinese e-commerce service provider Global Market Group on its admission to AIM. On listing the company had a market capitalisation of £127 million.

Notable practitioners 

Commentators agree that Tom Nicholls is a good addition for the firm, and note that he certainly "knows what he's doing." He brings to the firm a wealth of experience in the natural resources and energy sector.

Significant clients Arden Partners, Au Hua Clean Energy, China Food, Sorbic International, Fusionex.

Commercial Contracts - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Dedicated commercial, outsourcing and technology team with strength in consumer brands and manufacturing. Other expertise includes financial services and life sciences.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "On a personal level, I have really enjoyed working with them. It's a terrific team. They really know what they're doing."

Responsiveness: "I liked their speed, reactivity and pragmatism."

Work highlights Advised Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on terms and conditions for the servicing of One Hyde Park offices and apartments. Also advised on the drafting and review of consultancy, advertising and supply arrangements.

Notable practitioners

Dan Holland specialises in commercial work, particularly supply chain and services agreements. He also advises on strategic alliances. Clients praise his "very practical understanding" and appreciate his commercial approach, saying he "doesn't waste time going into unnecessary details."

Significant clients O-I Europe, Barclays Bank, Aviagen, Mandarin Oriental.

Construction - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 15 associates 

What the team is known for An expanding team active on both domestic and international construction matters. It has particular expertise in the education, energy, utilities and transport sectors. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They assimilate the info given to them very quickly and they are easy to get hold of. I have nothing but praise for their performance."  

What's new? New client wins and panel appointments include Renew, ABB and Veolia.

Work highlights Acted for Walter Lilly and Company and Renew in a high-profile construction dispute relating to a private residence.

Advised the University of Greenwich on the construction of student accommodation.

Notable practitioners  

Commentators admire Ron Nobbs for his thoroughness, and because he "fights for his client to the last corner." He acts on contentious matters, including the Walter Lilly case.

The "very sharp" Paul Thwaite is praised for his "grasp of the details." He has a broad practice handling disputes as well as non-contentious matters.

Significant clients Accor Hotels Group, Neilcott Construction, Paul Davis & Partners, Cofely, Lend Lease. 

Corporate Crime & Investigations - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Good reputation for dealing with SFO corruption investigations, sanctions issues and anti-bribery compliance matters. Draws significant clients from the financial sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They are doing some very complex and interesting work."

Industry knowledge: "They have carved out a good practice advising the senior management of banks."

Work highlights Advising multiple financial institutions in relation to international sanctions imposed on Libya and Iran.

Notable practitioners 

Tony Woodcock has a brilliant reputation for counselling corporations and high-profile individuals on a range of criminal and regulatory issues. Sources describe him as "very level-headed," with "good criminal law instincts and understanding," and a "terrific bedside manner."

New entry to the rankings Sara George is a former FSA prosecutor, with considerable experience of advising clients on internal investigations and anti-bribery procedures. Sources report that "she always has an eye on the potential criminal implications and is very good at protecting clients against criminal and civil suits."

Education - UK-wide

What the team is known for Specialists in the areas of real estate, construction, projects, procurement and finance. Particularly active of late in student accommodation projects. 

Work highlights Advised the University of Greenwich on a new £40 million student accommodation project.

Instructed by the Royal College of Art to advise on its campus redevelopment project.

Notable practitioners

Marcel Haniff and Rebecca Carter are key practice contacts.

Significant clients University for the Creative Arts, New College, Oxford, East Berkshire College, Lewisham College, City of Westminster College.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Skilled at advising on the share scheme aspects of IPOs and AIM listings. Particular focus upon the energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The quality of their work is excellent and it is provided in a timely and comprehensive manner." 

Work highlights Advised Eland Oil & Gas on share plan issues arising from its listing on the AIM exchange.

Designed and implemented a share plan that enabled employees at Fusionex International the opportunity to buy shares in the company upon its flotation.

Notable practitioners  

Sources remark favourably on Barbara Allen's ability to "strike the right balance between rigorous analysis and coming up with a valuable answer." She assisted Eland Oil & Gas in the matter described above.

Significant clients Diploma, ICAP, Impax Asset Management, Intermediate Capital Group, Milton Group.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department 
- 10 partners
- 19 associates
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Well known in the market for representing both individuals and institutions in high-profile investigations conducted by regulators, setting itself apart from many City firms by comfortably undertaking matters with a criminal element. Also has substantial experience on the non-contentious side, especially in matters involving client money and assets.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They've built up a really good practice, often representing high-profile individuals."  

Work highlights Acted on behalf of leading interdealer broker ICAP, convincing the FSA to reduce the firm's required regulatory capital due to the fact that the international corporate governance arrangements in place were sufficient.

Advised Liverpool Victoria in connection with the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review.

Notable practitioners  

Tony Woodcock wins praise from sources, who note that "he's a very easy person to work with; he's steady and works well as part of a big team." He is expert in contentious regulatory matters and has recently achieved success in a number of high-profile investigations conducted by the FSA and the US Department of Justice, acting on behalf of both individuals and companies.

Former barrister Sara George represents clients in regulatory and criminal investigations on an international level. Interviewees highlight that "not only does she know the FSA handbook and statute inside-out, but she has a remarkable feel for how the FSA will react to certain arguments and identifies the weaknesses in the FSA's case."

Significant clients ICAP, Veritas Asset Management, Sanlam, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Liverpool Victoria.

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Engages predominantly in high-profile marine insurance work, and also offers expertise in political risk, war risks and energy insurance. Regarded as a go-to practice for specialist work such as piracy, having handled cases arising from such activity occurring off the west coast of Africa.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They are very approachable and grounded. They know what the market wants, and what insurers want. They have a good network outside the London perimeter - a global network." 

Bench strength: "They're building up by some rather astute hires of some associates of real quality. The impression I have is that their practice is growing."

Work highlights Recently advised RSA Cargo on a USD13 million claim regarding the hijacking of the tanker 'Anuket Emerald' off the west coast of Africa, which resulted in the theft of a large quantity of gas oil.

Notable practitioners  

Alex Davies is the key contact at the firm.

Significant clients RSA, Talbot, Beazley, Amlin, Torus.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Sizeable practice handling a wide range of open and closed-ended listed funds, as well as a growing number of hedge and real estate funds. Strong presence in Asia and the Middle East draws a variety of high-profile clients to the UK practice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "I think they are extremely good - they are right on top of legal issues. They are very commercial, understand commercial pressures, give good clear advice and respond quickly."

Communication: "Very good at explaining clearly, and creative in their responses when required."

Market standing: "Stephenson Harwood punch above their weight in listed funds."

What's new? The team gained Schroders as a new client.  

Work highlights Advised Emyr Hughes on the launch of its open-ended EMCO Alternative Property Fund.

Acted for The Diverse Income Trust on two C share issues of £30 million and £50 million.

Notable practitioners  

Clients find William Saunders "commercial, practical and great at dealing with people." He recently advised key client Greenwich Loan Income Fund on the purchase of a lending business as well as two placings, with a total matter value of around £10 million.

Andrew Sutch recently worked on matters for SR Europe Investment Trust and the British Portfolio Trust, now BlackRock Income and Growth Trust. One client describes him as a "great" adviser.  

Elizabeth Field was mandated on an innovative matter by Jupiter Green Investment Trust regarding a share rights amendment. Her corporate finance practice spans advice to boards, sponsors and managers of funds listed in London.

Senior associate Alex Haynes has assisted on some of the team's most significant mandates of late and is commended for the clarity of his advice: "He asks good questions and understands issues quickly. He offers clear and concise responses."

Significant clients RBC Capital Markets, Charlemagne Capital, Premier Asset Management, Henderson Private Equity Investment Trust, Chayton Capital.  

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

What the team is known for Noted for its ability to handle highly technical aspects of contentious pensions matters. Provides a comprehensive service, often advising on regulatory matters and claims before the High Court, Pensions Ombudsman and Financial Ombudsman Service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "The team goes from strength to strength."

Work highlights Acted for the representative beneficiary of the Industry Wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme in construction proceedings concerning the pensions increases payable to scheme members.

Acted for the representative beneficiary of the Hewlett-Packard Pension Scheme in a rectification action brought by the employer, which sought to eliminate the need to provide scheme members with inflationary increases to the part of their pension comprised of voluntary contributions.

Notable practitioners  

Philip Goodchild heads up the team and impresses sources with his work on a range of complex pensions disputes. He has nearly 20 years' experience of pensions law.

Associate Amanda Banister is recognised by interviewees as being "absolutely first-class." She previously spent a stint working at the Pension Protection Fund, giving her valuable industry knowledge.

Significant clients Barnardo's Staff Pension Scheme trustees, CGGVeritas, British Land, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, TUI Travel.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Infrastructure and PFI team advising sponsors and lenders domestically and internationally. Acts on sectors such as waste, education, transport, housing and health.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They work as a team, they respond to exceptionally demanding timescales, and the quality of their work is uniformly high. The firm is not at all 'pushy' and comes across as caring for its clients." 

Client service: "They are knowledgeable, approachable and effective."

Work highlights Advised the North London Waste Authority on a £3 billion waste management PFI.

Advised Hitachi Rail Europe on its bid for the Crossrail rolling stock PPP.

Notable practitioners 

Jonathan Cripps is an experienced infrastructure partner, active in PFI and PPP projects. He advised the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust on a health PFI.

Significant clients City of Westminster College, Lewisham College, London Development Agency, South Tees NHS Trust, University of Greenwich.

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 11 associates

What the team is known for Advises clients on an array of private equity transactions, including MBOs, PIPE investments, restructurings and refinancings, with notable expertise in maritime-related private equity transactions. Continues to advise clients on venture capital transactions, including seed financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We received great client care, attention, accessibility and empathy."

Work highlights Represented members of the management team of Bohemia Interactive Simulations on the purchase of their stake in the company by Riverside.

Advised Aim Group on the £50 million refinancing of its former UK division, Aim Aviation UK which is owned by Lloyd's Development Capital.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Elizabeth Field acts for a number of private equity-owned clients and also advises venture capital investors on a range of transactions. 

Significant clients Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Adenium Energy Capital, Hazel Capital, Injazat Capital, Longmynd Industrial.

Shipping - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 26 associates
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Strong and deep team renowned as a serious contender for high-end matters. Involved in an array of contentious and transactional work, and frequently advises banks and insurance companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "The team's knowledge is very impressive and reassuring."

Market standing: "The marine team has a consistent high quality and is, in terms of quality if not in size, at least the equivalent of other more high-profile competitors."

What's new? New client wins for the practice include Chevron and Nanjing Iron & Steel.

Work highlights Advised HSH Nordbank on a syndicated loan facility in connection with eight tanker vessels, and an associated Chapter 11 restructuring.

Acted for insurer Groupama on a USD44 million claim for losses following main engine damage to the 'Navios Apollon'.

Notable practitioners 

Paolo Ghirardani chairs the firm's marine and international trade group, and is described as "a big name" for his contractual and dry shipping work, including trade fraud matters. He had a lead role acting for Latmar Holdings on alleged fraud claims totalling USD160 million.

Stuart Beadnall has considerable industry experience as former in-house counsel in the energy and shipping sectors. He is frequently selected to advise shipbuilders on multimillion-dollar disputes, among other issues. Sources describe him as "imperturbable – Stuart can multi-task without the quality of his work being diminished. He is excellent."

Ingolf Kaiser had a lead role on the HSH Nordbank Chapter 11 restructuring matter. Sources note his reputation as a bright individual with an "excellent brain" in the shipping and trading contexts.

Alex Davis has a practice encompassing the insurance aspects of shipping and energy matters. He led for Groupama on defending a USD44 million damages claim. "He is not only a good lawyer but he also has a very good way with clients; he is a no-nonsense achiever."

Sean Gibbons wins plaudits as "a personable team player with an acute commercial perspective" in his shipping and offshore practice. His broad experience includes advising on cargo claims and alleged shipping fraud. He recently advised a shipowner on a shipbuilding dispute.

Mike Phillips's clients includes shipowners and shipyards. He recently assisted a bank on a significant restructuring of two facilities in connection with the financing of five vessels. Sources praise his depth of knowledge and his timely work ethic.

Michael Kim recently joined the firm from DLA Piper. Sources agree he is "very dynamic," and a highly diligent solicitor to have on-side. His highlights include advising Eukor Car Carriers as charterers of a ship attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Significant clients Vitol, RSA, Nordis, RBS, Petrobras.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 12 associates
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for The firm offers broad expertise in rail, but is most frequently identified for its rolling stock asset finance practice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They have quality people on the asset finance side."

What's new? Tammy Samuel joined the firm from Dentons in 2013.

Work highlights Represented Macquarie Bank in its bid for three rolling stock portfolios sold by Lloyds TSB.

Acting for the Smart City consortium led by Hitachi in a bid to provide rolling stock for Crossrail.

Notable practitioners  

Tammy Samuel recently joined Stephenson Harwood from Dentons, bringing with her an impressive rolling stock and franchising practice. According to sources, "she gives us a commercial view of a situation and provides a pragmatic response to a complex legal scenario."

Graeme McLellan heads the global rail practice, and is highly regarded for his asset finance expertise. In addition to his rail work, he also handles matters in the aviation sphere.

Lisa Marks is renowned for her broad-ranging rail expertise. She joined the firm from Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2013.

Having worked in-house at a train operator, Suzanne Tarplee possesses ample knowledge of the industry. She focuses on procurement and regulation.

Significant clients CB Rail, Transport for London.