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Travers Smith LLP

London

Travers Smith LLP - London
  • 10 Snow Hill
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1A 2AL
  • Managing Partner Andrew Lilley
  • Senior Partner Chris Hale
  • UK  
  • Number of partners 65
  • Assistant solicitors 173
  • Other fee-earners  89
  • International  
  • Number of partners  2
  • Assistant solicitors 2

The Firm Travers Smith has spent the past 150 years quietly building a reputation for excellence. The key to its reputation is a partner-led approach and uncompromising focus on quality control. This, when allied to one of the highest retention rates in the City, means it is able to present clients with teams of uniformly excellent lawyers. The firm is entrepreneurial in its approach and exceptionally efficient. It fights only the battles that are worth winning, consistently focusing on the results it can achieve for its clients rather than the points it can score. This approach has attracted a long list of loyal clients.

Principal Areas of Work Travers Smith is a full-service law firm. Technical excellence underpins everything it does, and the firm strives to provide user-friendly legal advice that is relevant to clients’ needs. The firm acts for publicly-listed and private companies, financial institutions and private equity clients, as well as other business enterprises involved in large and complex UK and cross-border transactions. A corporate law firm, its business comprises the following main practice areas: banking, commercial (including IP and IT); corporate (corporate finance, private equity and investment funds); corporate recovery; employment; employee incentives; environment and planning; EU and competition; financial services and regulatory; litigation; pensions; real estate; and tax.

International For its international and cross-border work, Travers Smith has always favoured close relationships with other premium-quality independent law firms, deliberately avoiding formal networks and exclusive relationships. Instead, the firm has invested heavily in forming close ties with a number of carefully chosen preferred firms, ensuring that its clients have the very best experience and expertise at their disposal.

Recruitment Travers Smith is always looking to recruit people from all backgrounds, with academic excellence and sound judgement who take their careers, but not themselves, seriously. The firm’s training philosophy is that skill and expertise are best acquired through practical experience complemented by carefully targeted formal instruction. Great emphasis is placed on ensuring that trainees are actively involved in a broad range of work and the firm regularly wins awards for its training programmes. Graduate applications are made to Graduate Recruitment Manager Germaine VanGeyzel at www.traverssmith.com/graduaterecruitment.

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate/Commercial/Financial Services 40%
  • Banking/Corporate Recovery 15%
  • Litigation 15%
  • Real Estate 10%
  • Employment  
  • Tax 10%
    Contacts
  • Banking 
  • Commercial Tom Purton
  • Corporate Spencer Summerfield
  • Corporate Finance Neal Watson
  • Corporate Recovery Jeremy Walsh
  • Dispute Resolution Stephen Paget-Brown
  • Employee Incentives Mahesh Varia
  • Employment Tim Gilbert
  • Environment & Operational Regulatory Douglas Bryden
  • EU/Competition Nigel Seay
  • Financial Services & Regulatory Jane Tuckley
  • Investment Funds Sam Kay
  • M&A Spencer Summerfield
  • Pensions Paul Stannard
  • Private Equity Paul Dolman
  • Real Estate Anthony Judge
  • Regulatory Investigations Stephen Paget-Brown, Margaret Chamberlain
  • Tax Kathleen Russ

Branches

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Respected and growing team in the London market. Often instructed on international transactions by a range of clients. Also developing a niche expertise in unitranche financings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“They’re really proactive in terms of the managing process. They know how we function and they can run a lot of negotiations on our behalf, which is really helpful. A very good team.”

“A very detailed approach - it is a partner-led firm supported by very good associates. You get more partner interaction with them than potentially some of the other larger firms. They’re particularly good at foreseeing problems down the line.” 

Work highlights Advised Peel Holdings on the £266 million refinancing of its existing facility.

Assisted thetrainline.com with a £50 million super senior revolving credit facility and a £140 million unitranche facility, used to refinance its existing bank facilities and fund a substantial shareholder distribution.  

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Ayre has a strong lender-led practice and specialises particularly in acquisition financings. Clients praise him for his ability to “take control of a transaction; he doesn’t argue the small points but focuses on getting the deal done.” Market commentators note that he has a “very commercial, proactive approach and he’s very keen to develop a relationship.”

Charles Bischoff principally acts for lenders on transactions concerning corporate and leveraged facilities, but also acts on leveraged finance deals for private equity sponsors. One client reports: “He’s awesome. He has got market expertise and specialist knowledge in the areas we work with him on.��

Jeremy Walsh offers advice on debt restructuring and acquisition finance to borrowers, investors and financial institutions. Clients mark him out as a "very commercially minded” practitioner.

Andrew Gregson covers the full spectrum of general banking matters and has particular expertise in acquisition finance and corporate lending. Clients describe his approach as "very calm and very diligent” and say: “He’s a very rational chap to deal with. He’s a very steady pair of hands. He methodically works through things and is very aware of the market.”

Significant clients Bridgepoint Advisers, Silicon Valley Bank, RBS, Exponent Private Equity, Macquarie Bank.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Frequently acts both for and against banks. Well reputed and able to take on significant and complex matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"An absolute delight to work with. They are very clever, very hard-working. They all rolled up their sleeves and got the job done."

"They fostered a wonderful team relationship. They are extremely able and competent people."

What's new? Gained a panel appointment from Parvalorem and include the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International as a new client.

Work highlights Acted for Sebastian Holdings on claims against Deutsche Bank alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty in connection to losses sustained from allegedly unwarranted derivative trades.

Defended the Argentine Republic in actions brought by a group of funds including NML Capital. The case concerns Argentina's default under various bonds following its economic collapse.

Notable practitioners  

Head of litigation Stephen Paget-Brown is experienced in litigation overseas as well as cases relating to regulatory enforcement. According to counsel, he is "very experienced and an excellent team leader."

Toby Robinson has experience of complex high-value litigation. Peers are impressed, reporting: "He's a strong operator but he's charming. He's the sort of formidable opponent you wouldn't want on the other side as he's deeply immersed in financial products."

Andrew King is highly regarded for his client management abilities. He led the team representing Sebastian Holdings in its highly publicised litigation against Deutsche Bank.

Robert Fell acts for a diverse range of clients including investment and clearing banks and hedge funds. Clients describe him as "a fantastic litigator who provides clear and commercially sensible advice."

Significant clients Rosneft Oil, Nomura, Macquarie Bank, RBS, Santander.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for High-quality UK firm with strong offerings in corporate and private equity matters. Particularly gains plaudits for its mid-market capability, where it is one of the leading practices in the country.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a house style that goes from top to bottom - they're non-fussy and very clear. Under duress and in negotiations they are non-combative but up to anyone else in intellectual power."

"I like the partner access I get - they're very commercial and don't bother me with endless detail."

"The team worked very hard, were diligent, and the partner was commercially astute and readily available to assist."

Work highlights Advised Metric Property Investments on its merger with London & Stamford in a deal worth a total of £811 million.

Assisted Noble Corporation with its complex USD9.9 billion merger with Noble Switzerland and subsequent NYSE relisting.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Gillen is a "great lawyer" who sources "have a lot of confidence in." His particular strengths are in corporate finance and transactional matters, where he is credited for the pragmatism of his approach.

Richard Spedding is a highly regarded practitioner who sources note as one of the leaders in the Travers Smith corporate team. He advised Noble Corporation on its significant merger with Noble Switzerland for a consideration of USD9.9 billion.

Peers highlight Philip Cheveley as a "really standout guy" who is "very practical" in his approach. He led the firm's representation for Canaccord Genuity in the aborted transaction for RBS's 'Rainbow' branches, worth up to £1.5 billion.

Senior partner Chris Hale has over 30 years' experience at the firm and is a very well-respected practitioner, particularly in relation to private equity transactions. Sources call him a "standout individual."

Spencer Summerfield is noted as a "very strong" corporate practitioner who gives "pragmatic advice" to sources. He acted for Pace plc on its purchase of Aurora Networks for USD323 million.

Significant clients Enterprise plc, Ashtead Group, Hellman & Friedman, Metric Property Investments, Pace plc.

Employment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Leading group advising on all aspects of employment law. The team works across a wide range of sectors with high-profile clients in financial services, insurance and retail.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are the most pragmatic, commercially focused law firm I have ever dealt with. They tell you what they think and what the risks are. It is very commercial and very responsive."

"Their advice is excellent and they are very responsive almost 24/7. They are much more than lawyers to us in that they provide advice and guidance and go the extra mile." 

Work highlights Assisted Direct Line on the establishment of its European Works Council including advice on its constitution.

Worked with Shepherd Neame on the outsourcing of its warehousing and distribution arm to Kuehne & Nagel Drink Logistics.

Notable practitioners  

The "impressive" Andrew Lilley advises a wide range of clients on issues including TUPE, discrimination and restrictive covenants.

Siân Keall works with clients on all aspects of employment law including tribunal and High Court litigation. She is widely praised by sources, with one in particular noting her "top-notch advice which is concise, effective and commercially precise."

Sources say Tim Gilbert "knows his stuff and conveys it in a very concise manner." He advises on both contentious and non-contentious issues for clients in a wide range of industries.

Significant clients Metrobank, AIG, LVMH, Virgin Active, Raytheon.

Environment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for clients on regulatory, transactional and litigation matters. Notable strength advising clients on EU legislation such as REACH and WEEE. Highly active in the energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are business-centred, always able to strike the right level of service, very cost-conscious and transparent in billing, and very good technicians."

"Very skilled and knowledgeable about everything we need in terms of environmental law." 

Work highlights Advised Avnet on environmental regulatory compliance on an EU-wide basis.

Acted for GDF SUEZ on its investment in the UK shale gas sector.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Bryden has a varied practice which includes advising clients on product stewardship and producer responsibility issues, acting on transactions and advising on environmental litigation. He represented NFT Distribution on its sale of a distribution site at London Colney. Sources say he is "a very thorough and tenacious lawyer with a deep understanding of his field."

Owen Lomas is a consultant in the firm's environment group. He advises clients on a wide range of matters.

Carl Boeuf is an associate in the environment practice. He has experience acting on product stewardship matters and was an environmental consultant prior to becoming a solicitor. Sources say: "He was very sensible and straightforward; he wanted to do the deal rather than unpick commercial points."

Significant clients Nike, INEOS, Bridgepoint, Bridge Leisure, WSP Environmental.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Recognised for its expanding e-commerce offering, advising web-based clients on the legal aspects of key technological issues. Instructed on outsourcings for providers and customers, and supported by an active contentious practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They always have time for me, and put things in layman's terms, which is great." 

Work highlights Advised Equistone Partners Europe on its purchase of network-hosting companies Easynet and MDNX, to be merged into a single large-scale supplier.

Represented Cannacord Genuity in matters relating to the creation and application of a banking system provided by Avaloq Licence.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Dan Reavill combines technology expertise with an IP background to provide sought-after advice on data protection, software development and system implementation. Recent highlights include acting for HostelBookers.com on its outsourcing with Rackspace.

Significant clients Micro Focus, HostelWorld.com, Shazam, Trainline.com, Inoapps.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-7 partners
-19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly appears before the Commercial Court in the most significant mandates in the financial services sector. Broad client base extends to the energy and natural resources and leisure sectors among others. Regularly works on cross-border disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“An absolute delight to work with in difficult circumstances.”  

"They are strategic thinkers and completely on their game in terms of understanding all aspects of the litigation process.”

Work highlights Represented Sebastian Holdings in a significant claim brought against Deutsche Bank in London and New York, relating to a series of derivatives transactions.

Acting for Rosneft Oil in a £160 million enforcement claim against Yukos arising out of an existing arbitral award.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Paget-Brown is “a methodical, impressive guy, and a good litigator who I have recommended to clients,” according to one source. He obtained a freezing injunction for Parvalorem over EUR32 million of assets, relating to amounts owed under facility agreements.

Sources enthuse that Robert Fell is “everything you could want in a City solicitor, and is a thoroughly good person to work with.” He is also singled out for his ability to manage cases, particularly when there is a cross-border element involved.

Caroline Edwards is described by one source as “my go-to litigation partner,” noting that she is “user-friendly and commercial.” She advised Pathfinder Minerals on a dispute arising out of the award of mining concession contracts in Mozambique.

Clients say that Toby Robinson “is enormously good fun to work with!” He led the team representing Rosneft Oil Company in its £160 million dispute with Yukos.

Significant clients The Argentine Republic, Nomura, Pathfinder Minerals, London Mining, Merlin Entertainments.

Pensions - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Standalone pensions group that is particularly highly regarded for its trustee advisory practice. Maintains a strong bench of practitioners in its representation of large and medium-sized pensions schemes, while also offering expertise in corporate transactional support.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They excel at translating the legal jargon into understandable language."

Work highlights Advised Bentley and the trustees of the Bentley pension scheme on a longevity swap with Deutsche Bank.

Acted for the trustees of AXA on closing its scheme to future accrual and on amendments to its defined contributions.

Notable practitioners  

The "completely exceptional" Paul Stannard heads the firm's pensions group and lists BAE Systems Pension Scheme as a key client. "He always portrays an air of confidence that doesn't border on arrogance," states one client; "You always feel the advice is considered."

Peter Esam "is very commercial in his approach. He helps you to understand what things mean and how to apply them but won't lose sight of his obligation to protect the client." He was part of the team that worked for the trustees of UBM Pension Schemes in the merger of several schemes into a single one.

Philip Stear has a client base that includes the National Association of Pension Funds. His practice covers a broad range of pensions issues, including scheme mergers and liability management. He is described by clients as "a very able technical lawyer and a good communicator."

Daniel Gerring has already been identified by commentators as "a future star" and is commended for his personable approach and client focus. He acted for the Clarks Pension Schemes on its matters relating to auto-enrolment.

The "exceptional" Susie Daykin is commended by clients for her ability to "get very complicated concepts across to the client simply," while other sources describe her as "phenomenally bright." She has worked with the trustees of the Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme on disputes with the Pensions Regulator.

Significant clients British Steel, Unilever, Trinity Mirror, Vodafone, Dow Chemical.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Multidisciplinary practice, offering the full range of services to borrowers and lenders, most notably on investment and development transactions. Also recognised for its work with or acting for numerous real estate funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"When we ask for advice we tend to get a response swiftly and it is very much a partner-led relationship. They are able to provide advice on all areas and legal aspects for our business. Ultimately, we get a complete rounded service from Travers Smith."

"Travers Smith appears to quickly grasp its clients’ needs and then structure itself appropriately to the relevant deal. On the whole I’ve found the firm pragmatic, flexible, commercial and practical." 

Work highlights Acted for Safestore on the amendment and extension of existing banking facilities, secured against its real estate portfolio. 

Assisted a joint venture investment vehicle with the £29 million refinancing of 15 commercial properties by Deutsche Pfandbriefbank.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Peel handles real estate finance borrower and lender-side mandates, and lender-side fund finance mandates. He is also experienced in leveraged finance and corporate lending. Sources highlight him as a "responsive, practical, commercial and pragmatic" practitioner.

Significant clients RBS, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group, Voreda, Helaba.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Particularly noted for investment work, advising funds clients on transactional matters and development schemes. Expertise in student accommodation assets, renewables and the hotels sector. Also acts for corporates on headquarters lettings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Overall service is absolutely excellent. We get a complete rounded service from Travers Smith. They are able to provide advice on all aspects of our business."

"Their strongest points are their responsiveness, creativity, partner involvement, accountability and their flexible approach on fees."

What's new? New client wins include Bannatyne Health & Fitness, United House Group and LJ Capital. 

Work highlights Advised Voreda on its development project at Imperial West, the new White City campus of Imperial College London, including construction of new laboratory and office buildings.

Acted for CLS Holdings on the £118.6 million acquisition of a 34-property office portfolio.

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Judge specialises in investment transactions, with particular specialism in structured acquisitions. "He's very good, very easy to work with," clients report; "he gives you another view you may not have thought of and he's commercially focused."

Simon Rutman has a broad-ranging property practice, advising on transactions, letting and development. Clients say: "He can understand the important main points of a deal and drive it forward, focusing on the key important points rather than getting bogged down in the detail."

Julian Bass recently assisted Bridgepoint Advisers with its headquarters relocation, pre-letting 29,500 sq ft of office space at 95 Wigmore Street. He also handles investment and development mandates.

Significant clients Patron Capital, Lothbury Property Trust, Macquarie Bank, Amcorp Group, Peel Holdings.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Recognised as a specialist provider of services to insolvency practitioners, and distressed investors and lenders. Additionally provides a solid, technical service in borrower-led restructurings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their advice is always constructive, and can be put to direct use."

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Walsh is head of the banking and corporate recovery team, and is recognised as a "very commercially minded" adviser who specialises in debt restructurings. He is highly praised by his sources as "top-quality; an extremely good lawyer."

Significant clients KPMG, Zolfo Cooper, Duff & Phelps, FRP Advisory, Bank of England.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Maintains an enviable reputation for its activity in the private equity sector, with a client list reflecting its strength in this area. Further expertise is brought to bear in investment funds matters and restructurings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very commercial and very timely." 

Work highlights Advised Melrose Industries in its USD1 billion sale of Crosby and Acco to KKR.

Assisted Burton's Biscuits with the £350 million sale of the company to a newly formed company supported by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. 

Notable practitioners  

Richard Stratton is a well-known tax practitioner with a strong reputation for his work relating to funds, both onshore and offshore. 

Kathleen Russ "has a mastery of the private equity space," according to observers. One client adds: "She is very easy to deal with and very capable. She explains stuff in a way that doesn't make you feel a complete idiot."

Sources say Simon Yates "is a very enthusiastic tax practitioner. He seems to have very good general knowledge of various tax areas."

Simon Skinner is an expert in tax issues relating to private equity matters. He also provides clients with transactional and structuring tax advice in a variety of other corporate contexts.

Significant clients Peel Group, Bridgepoint, The Carlyle Group, Macquarie, Bain Capital.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 40 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Acclaimed capital markets practice with a focus on sophisticated and high-profile AIM deals. Diverse practice representing issuers and underwriters in a wide range of matters. Frequently handles work with an international dimension, and possesses a strong in-house US securities capability.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Travers Smith would be my first choice for this type of work." 

"They're very experienced. They're a high-quality outfit. I have only positive things to say about them."

Work highlights Represented Canaccord Genuity and Charles Stanley Securities in connection with Tungsten Corporation's £225 million AIM IPO.

Advised Panmure Gordon and Daniel Stewart in connection with the £163 million reverse takeover of Platinum NanoChem by AIM-listed Biofutures International, and the related £32.5 million placing of new ordinary shares.

Notable practitioners  

Spencer Summerfield, head of corporate at the firm, has extensive experience in AIM and main market IPOs. Interviewees describe him as an "extremely responsive, on-the-ball and solutions-driven" lawyer who is a "pretty cool operator."

The highly regarded Andrew Gillen recently advised Canaccord Genuity and Charles Stanley Securities in connection with Tungsten Corporation's £225 million AIM IPO. Sources state: "He is definitely a leading practitioner in this field - he's responsive, hands-on and commercial."

Aaron Stocks focuses his practice on listed offshore funds, and recently advised Numis Securities in connection with Bluefield Solar Income Fund's £130 million IPO.

Significant clients Peel Hunt, Pinewood Shepperton, Metro Bank, CLS Holdings, Panmure Gordon.

Commercial Contracts - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Experienced team known for its deft handling of a range of work, including distribution, supply and outsourcing agreements. Notable work across fields such as finance, retail and food and beverage.

What's new? New client wins include AXA UK Pensions Trustees, Hostelbookers.com and Hobbycraft.

Work highlights Advised eServ Global on a joint venture with MasterCard and Belgacom to provide management and operational services for the HomeSend mobile payments business.

Advised Shepherd Neame on a ten-year logistics outsourcing agreement with Kuehne+Nagel.

Notable practitioners  

Tom Purton heads the department and is described as "very commercially astute. He quickly understands and can appreciate the nuances of transactions and contracts." His practice covers areas such as joint ventures and outsourcings in fields including media, IT and retail.

Key partner Richard Brown has extensive experience in fields such as energy and utilities. He is well versed in a wide range of work and has recently handled matters as diverse as joint ventures, outsourcing and supply arrangements.

Significant clients Pinewood Shepperton, Trainline.com, McColl's Retail Group, TSL Education, Element Six.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Provides advisory and transactional support to high-profile clients on UK-based and global share scheme matters. Expertise spans a range of sectors, with a focus on servicing private equity clients and plcs.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They take abstract things and make them easy to understand, in a pragmatic sensible way."

"One of the things that we were impressed with, apart from the legal expertise and commercial side, was the real tailored, bespoke service we received."

Work highlights Advised Bank of London and the Middle East on the complex, cross-border implementation of employee incentive plans following its listing on the NASDAQ in Dubai.

Advised Atrium on the transatlantic share incentive aspects of its £180 million acquisition by Enstar.

Notable practitioners  

Mahesh Varia is renowned in the share schemes arena, receiving high praise from market sources. He remains highly involved in mandates, from the initial instruction to day-to-day liaisons and drafting documentation. He is commended for his depth of knowledge, his commerciality and his communicative skills.

Significant clients Google, Pret A Manger, Expro International Group, Canaccord Financial, Shepherd Neame.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Excellent reputation for non-contentious work with a complementary contentious practice. Noted as a go-to firm for alternative fund regulatory advice as well as innovative areas such as payments law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"I found them very proactive. They helped to see the project from a high level and gave targeted advice."

"Very good - they got to know our business really well. They've got a depth of knowledge and technical expertise. Immensely helpful."

What's new? New clients include Coller Capital, Ares Management and Faster Payments Service.

Work highlights Advised the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company on a highly innovative cheque imaging project to cut down cheque processing from six days to two days.

Advised Silverfleet Capital on regulatory issues pertaining to its investment in Ipes, a private equity fund administrator regulated in Luxembourg, Guernsey and Jersey. The team also advised Ipes in relation to AIFMD.

Notable practitioners  

"Undoubted expert in regulatory matters" Margaret Chamberlain has a strong reputation for both contentious and non-contentious work. Clients appreciate her "deep understanding of law and commercial pragmatism."

Philip Bartram is noted for his expertise in payments regulation as well as advising on AIFMD as co-chair of the AIMA group. He advises a range of clients including fund managers, investment banks and payment institutions.

Mark Evans frequently advises on a broad range of issues and has specialist knowledge in payments law. Sources report him to be "meticulous, thorough and a pleasure to deal with."

Tim Lewis is highly regarded in advising on alternative investment fund regulation as well as regulatory capital issues. Clients hold him in high esteem, saying: "He's hard-working, knows his field, and he is practical and proactive."

Co-head of the contentious regulatory investigations group Stephen Paget-Brown is often called on to negotiate difficult waters in sensitive investigations undertaken by the regulators. Peers regard him as very bright and someone they would refer individuals to when conflicted.

Co-chair of the AIMA group Jane Tuckley is a notable expert in investment fund infrastructure, AIFMD implementation and market abuse matters. Clients regard her as "outstanding. She really understands the detail and knows the policy decisions. She is also an absolute delight to work with."

Significant clients Standard Bank, Euroclear, Bain Capital, Bridgepoint Capital, Intermediate Capital Group.

Franchising - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Notable practice experienced in international franchising matters involving franchises in the USA, Russia and the Middle East. Regularly works on corporate to corporate franchising.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They performed extremely well and I am delighted with what they have done for us. Their forte is their ability to get things done, and to get the right deal for us." 

Work highlights Assisted Immediate Media in its high-profile franchising deal to license a number of publications from BBC Worldwide, including Top Gear and BBC Good Food.

Advised retailer LK Bennett on international franchising work throughout the Middle East.

Notable practitioners  

Tom Purton concentrates on joint commercial enterprise and commercial contract work, including outsourcing, franchising and agency agreements. Reporters say he is "hugely experienced commercially and very timely in getting back to you."

Significant clients McColl's Retail Group, Caffè Nero, Patron Capital/Cycas, Royal Automobile Club.

Fraud - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Handles fraud disputes, investigations and asset recovery actions for corporate clients. Equipped to handle cross-border matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The relatively small size of the team means they all have the same litigation ethos: commercial and practical advice, backed up with excellent legal thinking, with an emphasis on making sure the service is tip-top."

Work highlights Acted for Pathfinder Minerals on a USD500 million dispute concerning the transfer of mining concession licences away from Pathfinder’s Mozambique subsidiary and the ownership of that subsidiary.

Defended the directors of the Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund in a USD111 million dispute and investigation relating to interest rate swaps.

Notable practitioners   

Market commentators say head of litigation and co-head of regulatory investigations Stephen Paget-Brown is "very efficient and extremely commercial." He handles a range of disputes for clients in the banking and finance sectors.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Adept across the spectrum of private funds activity, performing transactional and advisory work for a range of clients. Handles investment and co-investment mandates for a mainly domestic institutional investor base. Acts for managers and investors active in the private equity, debt, infrastructure and real estate asset classes. Recognised for its strength in and commitment to advising clients on the impact of AIFMD and EMIR regulations. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are my go-to funds team. They are well respected in the market." 

What's new? The team gained Renshaw Bay, Coller Capital and CEE Equity Partners as new clients.

Work highlights Assisted CEE Equity Partners with the structuring, formation and USD435 million first closing of the China CEE Fund. 

Advised sponsor and placing agent Numis Securities on the £130 million IPO of Bluefield Solar Income Fund.

Notable practitioners  

Samuel Kay heads up the funds practice and maintains a strong private funds-oriented practice. He caters to funds and investors, advising on a range of advisory and transactional matters. "His industry knowledge, commercial approach, project management skills and general responsiveness are all very commendable," explains a keen observer.  

Significant clients Abris Capital Partners, BlueGem Capital Partners, Kester Capital, Hermes GPE, Benson Elliot Capital Management.  

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Broad practice handling ITO and BPO work for suppliers and customers, with a particularly strong presence in the financial services and food and drink sectors. Offers expertise in matters of both a domestic and international nature.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They work as a team, which is key in contracts that cover multiple areas. They have a strong presence in meetings but balance this with a practical view and good sense of humour."

"They give a good service and are responsive to queries."

Work highlights Advised McColl's Retail Group on the large-scale outsourcing of its warehouse, supply and distribution services.

Supported AXA UK Pension Trustees in replacing its incumbent administrative services provider with Capita Employee Benefits. 

Notable practitioners  

Tom Purton is held in high regard as a "tough negotiator with excellent technical ability." He has recently been involved in logistics-based sourcings, including for Shepherd Neame and McColl's Retail Group.

Benjamin Chivers has been active in logistics and business process sourcings of late, and has also acted on more niche matters, including the hygiene operations of C.H. Guenther & Sons. Clients commend him for "interpreting and turning things into an understandable language, asking pertinent questions to dig a little deeper, and being very efficient."

Significant clients NFT Distribution, Firstsource, TSL Education, HostelBookers.com, Charterhouse Print Management.

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

What the team is known for Strength in areas including professional negligence claims, rectification and issues regarding financial support directions and liabilities. Frequently instructed by a wide range of high-level clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They really stand out as having a good quality of practice. They focus on work for employers and trustees, and they do difficult, big cases."

Work highlights Acted for Stena Line in claims concerning the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund deficit and contributions from current and former employers.

Acted for the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee in relation to a dispute regarding an employers' responsibility for the liabilities of a number of deferred pensioners on the scheme.

Notable practitioners

Mark Hall is senior counsel on the team and receives significant acclaim for his depth of litigation expertise. He handles work including complex regulatory matters, professional negligence and rectification claims. Sources comment: "He's analytical, organised, knows what needs to be done and is able to make that happen in good time." 

Significant clients Trustees of the Lehman Brothers Pensions Scheme, Trustees of the ITN Pension Scheme, Trustees of the AXA UK Pension Scheme.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Considered a class act for private equity, particularly for its mid-market prowess. Remains active in high-end matters, continuing to act for management teams as well as major private equity houses. Possesses a strong, deep bench of experienced lawyers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)  

"There's a real strength-in-depth there. Their whole business is based around private equity."

"They're very pragmatic and know how we want to work. You really feel they've got your back at the most difficult times."

Work highlights Advised 3i Group and the management team of Civica on Civica's sale to OMERS Private Equity for a total of £390 million.

Assisted Bridgepoint with its £185 million purchase of Cambridge Education Group from Palamon Capital Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Travers Smith managing partner Chris Hale "does a fantastic job," according to sources, who are full of praise for the continuing strength of his practice in the area. He took the lead advising 3i Group on its disposal of Civica to OMERS Private Equity for £390 million.

Sources call Paul Dolman an "incredibly straightforward" partner who is "the most commercial lawyer I have come across." He co-led the team advising Hellman & Friedman on the merger of Web Reservations International and HostelBookers.com.

Helen Croke is noted as an "exceptional negotiator" who is highly respected in the private equity market. Of late she worked with TA Associates on a significant investment in Flashtalking.

Edmund Reed is "rated very highly" by sources, with one noting him as "very diligent and very thorough." He assisted Bridgepoint with its £185 million acquisition of Cambridge Education Group from Palamon Capital Partners.

Ian Shawyer is often seen on transactions for both management and private equity clients. He co-led the firm's work for Hellman & Friedman in the merger of its portfolio company, Web Reservations International, with HostelBookers.com.

Significant clients Equistone, Exponent, Lyceum, Phoenix, Carlyle.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Acts for a wide range of large clients across the full spectrum of retail work. The team is particularly notable for its commercial contract-related work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They are good analysts of the legal and commercial principles in major transactions."

"They give good partner access and have a strong and stable team underneath."

Work highlights Advised LK Bennett on its expansion into the Middle East, involving franchising work in particular.

Advised and negotiated for Shepherd Neame's ten-year deal concerning the outsourcing of its logistics function.

Notable practitioners

The key contact is Tom Purton, who heads up the practice.

Significant clients Pret A Manger, McColl's Retail Group, Select Service Partner, Brighthouse, Trainline.