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Clifford Chance LLP


Clifford Chance LLP - London
  • 10 Upper Bank Street
  • Canary Wharf
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • E14 5JJ
  • Managing Partner David Childs
  • Senior Partner Malcolm Sweeting
  • Executive Partner & Legal Counsel Chris Perrin
  • Number of partners 585
  • Number of other fee-earners 2850

THE FIRM: International law firm Clifford Chance combines the highest global standards with local expertise. Leading lawyers from different backgrounds and nationalities come together as one firm, offering unrivalled depth of legal resources across the key markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The firm focuses on the core areas of commercial activity: capital markets; corporate and M&A; finance and banking; real estate; tax, pensions and employment, and litigation and dispute resolution.
Through a strong understanding of clients’ cultures and objectives,Clifford Chance draws on the full breadth of its legal skills to provide results-driven, commercial advice.
Clifford Chance has more leading global practices than any other firm (Chambers Global 2013) and further recognition includes: International Law Firm of the Year (Chambers Global Awards 2013), International Law Firm of the Year (IFLR Asia Awards 2013), Finance Team of the Year (Legal Business Awards 2013) and Corporate Finance Team of the Year (The Lawyer Awards 2013).

Capital Markets:
The Capital Markets Practice comprises over 420 partners and lawyers who concentrate on securities transactions and other products sold into the capital markets. The practice is founded on a full-service US and UK securities law capability, complemented by local securities law expertise in each of the key financial centres. It provides practical, integrated legal advice covering the full spectrum of global capital raising activities including public and private domestic and international offerings of traditional debt and equity securities as well as convertible and other derivative and structured securities.
Corporate: The Corporate Practice,which comprises 820 legal advisers worldwide, handles some of the world’s largest and most complex M&A transactions. It combines global transaction capability with a full service of English, US and civil law expertise in the key financial centres across Europe, the Americas and Asia. In addition to mainstream M&A, the firm also encompasses leading specialist practices in: commercial contracts, competition and antitrust, communications, energy, healthcare, financial institutions, funds, investment banking, insurance, media and technology and private equity.
Finance: Clifford Chance’s Finance Practice, which comprises over 700 legal advisers worldwide, is the leading international finance practice of any law firm. The practice provides highly commercial and practical advice across the full spectrum of financial products including syndicated lending and leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, derivative products, project finance, financial regulatory, insolvency, restructuring and structured finance. It advises regulatory authorities, supranational bodies, governments and government agencies and actively helps to shape the market through working with market organisations to develop documentation, policy and best practice.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution: The firm has a team of more than 470 litigators internationally and has experience in virtually all segments of the business and financial markets across multiple jurisdictions.They work with clients to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively - whether through arbitration, litigation or other techniques. They also work with clients to develop compliance programmes that minimise future litigation risks. The firm is currently representing clients in some of the largest and most significant actions, particularly in antitrust/competition litigation, white-collar, regulatory, insurance, banking securities and international arbitration.
Real Estate: Clifford Chance’s leading Real Estate Practice,with over 300 partners and lawyers worldwide, offers UK, European, Asian and US real estate capability. The practice advises the real estate industry’s leading players on the entire property ‘life-cycle’ from the initial acquisition, development, leasing, joint venturing and financing through to the final exit, as well as tax structuring, PFI/PPP, corporate outsourcing, planning, environment and litigation.
Tax, Pensions & Employment: Clifford Chance has one of the world’s largest international tax groups within a single law firm, with over 230 tax advisers worldwide. The firm is uniquely placed to provide leading edge advice to clients, and the practice is structured on an integrated global basis. Local tax groups within the practice work closely with areas such as securitisation, securities, M&A, corporate restructuring, private equity, real estate and funds.
The pan-European VAT Group advises on all areas of VAT and has particular strength advising on novel and complex issues in the structured finance, financial services, corporate finance and real estate sectors.
The Employment Group advises on all key employment issues from appointment and severance of senior executives to collective dismissals, contractual documentation and policies, outsourcing of services, discrimination and equal opportunities, immigration, works councils, trade unions and high court and tribunal litigation.

INTERNATIONAL Clifford Chance’s international capabilities include offices in: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Kyiv, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Riyadh*, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo,Warsaw and Washington DC. * Clifford Chance has a co-operation agreement with Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm

RECRUITMENT As well as recruiting the best people, the firm insists on the professional development of all its employees. The firm’s lawyers work continuously to develop both legal and personal skills through the training programmes offered by the ‘in-house’ law education system, the Clifford Chance Academy.Visit www.cliffordchance. com/careers for more information on opportunities within the firm.

  • Administrative & Public Law: Oliver Bretz
  • Arbitration (International): Audley Sheppard
  • Asset Finance: William Glaister
  • Banking: Mark Campbell
  • Banking Litigation: Matthew Newick, Ian Moulding
  • Civil Fraud: Roger Best
  • Collective Investments: Clare Swirski
  • Commercial: Daniel Sandelson
  • Commercial Litigation: Jeremy Sandelson, Simon Davis
  • Commodities: Tim Plews
  • Construction: Tim Steadman
  • Contentious Trusts: Jeremy Kosky, Jeremy Sandelson
  • Corporate Finance: David Pearson
  • Defamation: Simon Davis
  • Derivatives: Habib Motani
  • Employee Benefits: Christopher Goodwill, Robin Tremaine
  • Employment: Christopher Goodwill
  • Energy & Resources: Russell Wells
  • Environment: Nigel Howorth
  • EU & Competition: Alex Nourry
  • Financial Services: Christopher Bates
  • Hotels: Sarah Thomas
  • Insolvency & Restructuring: Mark Hyde
  • Insurance: Katherine Coates, Nicholas Munday
  • Intellectual Property: Vanessa Marsland
  • International Capital Markets: David Bickerton, David Dunnigan
  • IT: Daniel Sandelson
  • Life Sciences: David Walker
  • Marketing & Advertising: Vanessa Marsland
  • Media: Daniel Sandelson
  • Pensions: Hywel Robinson
  • PFI: Huw Jenkins, Tim Steadman
  • Planning: Nigel Howorth
  • Private Equity (MBOs/Funds): David Walker
  • Product Liability: J A Acratopulo
  • Professional Negligence: Simon Davis
  • Project Finance: Russell Wells
  • Property Litigation: John Pickston
  • Public Policy/Sector: Oliver Bretz
  • Rail: Alex Nourry, Gavin Teague
  • Real Estate/Finance: Jonathan Solomon, Franc Pena
  • Regulatory: Tim Plews
  • Retail: Vanessa Marsland
  • Sovereign Debt Rescheduling: Deborah Nache-Zandstra
  • Structured Debt & Trusts: Andrew Forryan
  • Structured Finance: Robert Lee
  • Tax: David Harkness
  • Telecommunications: Joachim Fleury, Jenine Hulsmann
  • VAT: Etienne Wong


Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-55 partners
-49 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Continues to perform at the highest level across the board on leveraged finance, investment grade and emerging markets transactions. Dominant presence on both the borrower and lender sides due to the scale and experience of the team.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Bench strength: "Pragmatic, hard-working and knowledgeable, with a good spread of experience and a large talent pool." 

Problem solving: "They have a depth of legal resources and skills available, and a commercial approach to problem solving." 

Market standing: "They have an elevated view of the market and a depth of experience; they don't waste time."

Work highlights Represented a syndicate of lenders, made up of more than 90 banking institutions, on the USD12.47 billion revolving credit facilities provided to Glencore International and Glencore Singapore.

Advised on a dual currency financing provided to borrower client Türk Telekomünikasyon. The three-year term loan facility was made up of a USD285.12 million tranche loan and a EUR239.4 million tranche loan.   

Notable practitioners 

Habib Motani maintains a very highly regarded Islamic finance practice and has been working closely with ISDA and IIFM of late on the preparation of cross-currency swap and profit rate swap confirmation templates.

Michael Bates earns plaudits for his high-profile banking practice, recently acting for a nine-bank club providing EUR3.2 billion of funding for Macquarie's acquisition of Opengrid Europe. He is known as a strong, hands-on practitioner who "will challenge his own clients if he thinks they are not being flexible enough, and he has a strong reputation which helps to get things done."

Mark Campbell maintains a stellar reputation in the market, and recently advised the eight co-ordinating banks on the refinancing of CEMEX's debt, a transaction worth over USD7 billion. He consistently attracts positive commentary, with one source noting: "He has a very broad understanding of transactions and the market; he's down to earth and keen to get to the right answers."

Charles Cochrane recently acted on a complex amendment and restatement of existing facilities on behalf of BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, adding a further £260 million senior term loan facility. He is lauded for his "ability to bring complex concepts down to an understandable level," and is further described as "very commercial, hard-working and able to juggle numerous things all at once."

Distinguished partner Alan Inglis has been busy of late with mandates from BNP Paribas, SA Surcursal en Espana and Crédit Agricole, working on amendment and restatement and amend-to-extend transactions respectively. He is highlighted as "one of the big players" in the field.

James Johnson receives glowing reviews from market commentators, who describe him as "very impressive," "very commercial" and "very effective at getting things done." He is an extremely effective lender's counsel, acting recently for Lloyds and Citibank, amongst others.

Jim MacHale has the full confidence of his clients, who mark him out as being "exceptionally experienced," with one source adding: "He has a good balance of being commercial, but when it comes to belt-and-braces stuff he is on the ball constantly." MacHale recently represented a syndicate of six lenders in the provision of an acquisition facility worth £125 million.

Nicola Wherity has advised on an impressive number of matters of late, including an USD8.5 billion revolving credit facility extended to Nestlé by client Citigroup Global Markets. She is "practical, very clear in getting her thoughts across, very commercial and market-aware, and hard-working," according to impressed sources. 

Emma Folds has a thriving practice focusing on European acquisition finance transactions. A recent highlight saw her advising mandated lead arrangers Citibank, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, Rabobank and Deutsche Bank on EUR131 million of financing for the acquisition of Kobusch. She is identified as a "commercially effective negotiator."

Roderick McGillivray is a highly visible partner in this space, regularly acting on some of the most high-profile transactions in the market. He was mandated to act on behalf of Anheuser-Busch InBev in connection with USD14 billion financing for the acquisition of Grupo Modelo SAB.

Hard-working partner Karen Hodson receives favourable reviews from peers, who describe her as "one of the easiest lawyers to deal with, and very good as well." She has been active on the acquisition finance side of late, advising the lenders on senior and mezzanine financing for Cinven's purchase of CPA Global.

Highly regarded partner Robert Lee acts for lenders on both a domestic and cross-border basis, as well as advising borrower clients such as venture capital houses.

Malcolm Sweeting remains a standout name among peers and is admired for his experience and collaborative style. He recently oversaw AB Volvo's multicurrency revolving facility, worth EUR1.2 billion.

Peers emphasise Taner Hassan's ability and activity levels. He led the team advising borrower client Türk Telekomünikasyon on its dual-currency financing.

Significant clients Qatar Islamic Bank, HSBC, Credit Suisse, AB Volvo, Anheuser-Busch InBev.  

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- over 60 associates
- over 110 other fee earners

What the team is known for Full-service operation with a deservedly strong reputation. Handles large, high-profile litigation including cases arising from the Libor investigations, Lehman and the Icelandic bank collapses. Significant international capabilities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "Clifford Chance has strength in depth in terms of legal expertise, market knowledge, industry insight and client relationships. It knows its institutional clients' needs inside and out, and such insight/empathy coupled with its resources of expertise means it is good at protecting its clients' interests in contentious situations."

Market standing: "At the top of its game. One of the best litigation houses in the city."

Thoroughness: "A Rolls-Royce service in terms of delivery. No stone is left unturned. A very diligent, very detailed and very thorough service."

Work highlights Provision of advice to Barclays in the highly publicised matter brought by Guardian Care Homes Group in relation to mis-selling of interest rate derivatives and Libor.

Represented Barclays in connection with SFO and former FSA investigations in respect of the client's capital raisings in 2008.

Notable practitioners  

"A star in every sense," Simon Davis is at the forefront of the industry and represents Barclays in major banking litigation, including matters relating to the Libor scandal. Sources comment favourably: "He's got just the right measure of how to be serious and purposeful and how to lighten things."

"A fantastic litigator in the space," Ian Moulding is actively involved in major high-profile banking cases. He is praised as "very good at organising and running a large team and experienced and skilled at managing big cases." 

"A good tactician," Roger Best played a key role in advising Barclays in connection with its settlements with the FSA, SEC and US Department of Justice in relation to Libor investigations. 

Jeremy Kosky has a broad contentious practice regularly acting in a range of commercial litigation including banking disputes, trust and private equity issues.

Jeremy Sandelson has experience handling cross-border matters. His commercial litigation expertise includes regulatory investigations and securities disputes.

"A very impressive technical lawyer," Kelwin Nicholls has significant experience advising financial institutions in connection with FSA investigations.

"Very clever and very easy to deal with," Helen Carty has recently been involved in numerous high-profile banking litigations. In the words of one client, "she's very thoughtful and gives very clear advice."

"Decisive" and "thorough," Iain Roxborough  is praised for his efficiency. Sources say: "He's very good at guiding the client and leading the team."

Associate James Brady is attracting praise for his impressive attention to detail. One source says: "He is very intelligent, hard-working and understands the law extremely well."

Significant clients JPMorgan, Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley.

Capital Markets - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
 - 23 partners 
 - 114 associates

What the team is known for Remains at the forefront of the market on both the debt and equity side, boasting a well-balanced practice that effectively assists underwriters and issuers across a range of complex matters. Draws upon the firm's deep bench of practitioners in order to provide expertise across a range of key sectors including insurance, tax and mining. Also houses notable high-yield expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Excellent common sense, friendly service from them. Very high quality, whether they're advising you, or on the other side, they're not the sort of firm that unnecessarily creates problems."

Bench strength: "Clifford Chance is my law firm of choice because of the level of senior support I receive on transactions as well the depth of legal knowledge and capacity in the other lawyers."  

Work highlights Acted for joint lead managers Deutsche Bank and Barclays Bank in connection with the Republic of Zambia's USD750 million debut Eurobond issuance.

Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch in relation to Russian oil and gas explorer and producer RusPetro's USD250 million LSE IPO. 

Notable practitioners  

Sources are keen to highlight that global head of capital markets David Dunnigan "is very accessible and hands-on." He also wins plaudits for his "pragmatic approach to solving legal issues" and "great communication and interpersonal skills." He acted for Inter-American Investment Corporation, helping to establish its USD1 billion EMTN programme.

Eric Green is described as "very capable and confidence inspiring, good at co-ordinating and good at diving in." He has been involved in a number of the firm's key DCM deals.

Simon Sinclair wins praise for being "very client service-focused" and has particularly impressed interviewees with his responsiveness and his measured approach. He specialises in both debt and equity capital markets work, and recently assisted UBS with a USD2 billion CoCo issuance.

John Connolly is a US securities expert, and of late he handled all the US securities aspects of NMC Health's initial LSE listing, on behalf of Deutsche Bank.

Stewart Dunlop comes highly recommended for his expertise on liability management issues, and he also handles EMTN programmes, regulatory capital issues and equity-related issues for borrowers and arrangers.

David Bickerton is managing partner of the firm's London office. Interviewees appreciate that he makes them feel like "the only client in the world" and highlight that he provides clear advice and is very accessible. 

Simon Thomas "really has a good understanding of the issues that matter to banks" and "provides clear and solution-based advice" according to sources. He focuses on ECM work and has significant emerging markets experience, particularly in the Middle East and Russia.

Christopher Walton has a wealth of experience advising on US capital markets issues, as well as international ones. He was part of the team that advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch in connection with RusPetro's USD250 million flotation on the LSE.

Adrian Cartwright is co-head of the European capital markets group. He acted on behalf of JPMorgan in relation to the EUR1.25 billion issuance made by KBC, via an accelerated book build.

Michael Dakin concentrates his practice on high-yield transactions. He was recently involved in advising Spanish cable operator ONO on a number of transactions, including a USD1 billion high-yield issuance, for the purpose of completely refinancing its debt.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, EQT, Goldman Sachs, Montagu, Nomura.

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

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

What the team is known for Remains one of the most highly respected firms in the market, consistently at the forefront of market trends and developments. Offers a strong bench of practitioners, whose combined expertise spans the complete spectrum of matters involving structured finance, derivatives and securitisation, many of whom standout as leaders in the field. Adopts a cross-disciplinary approach, working cohesively with the firm's insolvency, restructuring and financial institutions experts, amongst others, to provide a holistic service to clients.

Work highlights Represented Deutsche Bank in its capacity as arranger with regard to the establishment of Panama-based Global Bank's USD500 million covered bond programme. This was Latin America's premier covered bond programme, and its first issuance was a USD200 million Rule 144 A/Regulation S offering.

Acted for the originators, NatWest and RBS, in connection with Arran Cards Funding's USD1.2 billion credit card securitisation transaction. The floating rate notes were backed by UK credit card receivables.

Notable practitioners  

For pure securitisation Kevin Ingram is lauded by sources as "probably the market-leading practitioner in London." He acts as head of the firm's structured finance group and particularly specialises in consumer asset securitisations, such as credit cards. He advised NatWest and RBS with regard to Arran Cards Funding's USD1.2 billion credit card securitisation. 

The "extremely strong" Steve Curtis is viewed as "absolutely standout for his whole business securitisation practice." A recent highlight saw him act for Barclays in relation to the establishment of Associated British Port's £2.36 billion debt issuance platform.

Habib Motani is another market leader who is admired for his very wide knowledge base. He maintains a long-standing reputation for his expertise in structured finance and derivatives.

Simon Gleeson is seen by sources as "a go-to person for regulatory advice on difficult areas." He offers a wealth of experience advising on clearing, sovereign debt and derivatives, and frequently does so for an enviable client base of regulators, public bodies and governments.

Securitisation specialist Peter Voisey is well known in the market for his skill advising on CMBS, RMBS, covered bonds and portfolio sales. He acted in the aforementioned matter for Deutsche Bank in the establishment of Panama-based Global Bank's USD500 million covered bond programme.

Andrew Coats is experienced across a wide range of structured products, such as derivatives, repackagings and structured securities. He has particular expertise in longevity-related derivatives.

Sources highlight that Christopher Bates is strong when it comes to advising on regulatory issues in the derivatives space, and particularly those centred around EMIR. His advice is sought by a range of leading financial institutions, and he has been particularly busy of late assisting with responses to regulatory change following the financial crisis.

Emma Matebalavu is "pragmatic, likeable and gets deals done," a combination which is admired by commentators. She has significant CMBS experience and acts for borrowers, special services and noteholders.

Significant clients JPMorgan Chase, UBS, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander GBM.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Offers a highly rated competition litigation team that is experienced in acting before both domestic and European courts. Also provides clients with commercially savvy advice in the merger control field.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Competition is often multi-jurisdictional and they are able to think about strategy on a wider scale."

Client service: "They are a very effective team that works hard for clients to produce good results."

Work highlights Advised Everything Everywhere on the competition and regulation aspects of its application to become the UK's first provider of 4G mobile services.

Acts for AXA Insurance in dealing with the OFT investigation into the exchange of information in the private motor insurance sector and the Competition Commission investigation into the general motor insurance market.

Notable practitioners 

Leading litigator Elizabeth Morony is regularly singled out by sources, with one saying that "her knowledge of competition law is superb" and that "she is a master tactician with clients, who love her." Morony is widely experienced in litigating across the full range of contentious competition matters.

Singled out for his business-minded acumen, Alex Nourry "has a very commercial take on competition issues." As such, he has particular expertise in large-scale merger control work.

Luke Tolaini is also a noted competition litigator with a strong track record in contentious matters. He has recently advised clients on abuse of dominance, cartel and follow-on damages claims.

Greg Olsen is singled out for his stellar client-handling skills, with one source stating that "he is the perfect person to interact with clients - he is pragmatic and makes complex rules simple by bringing it down to the core issues."

Jenine Hulsmann was a key partner in the aforementioned Everything Everywhere matter. She has also acted in several long-running market investigations, specifically those affecting the media industry.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, The Co-operative Group, LCH Clearnet, Morgan Crucible, NBCUniversal.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-39 partners
-75 other lawyers

What the team is known for Advises multinational clients on substantial and complex transactions. Expertise on cross-border and high-profile deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They were working hard 24 hours a day and I could always reach them and they gave good and clear advice."

Responsiveness: "They are highly responsive and a great team."

Client service: "They give an excellent service." 

Work highlights Represented International Power in a £6.4 billion recommended cash offer by Electrabel to acquire shares in International Power not owned by GDF SUEZ.

Advised Co-operative Banking on its acquisition of 632 branches of Lloyds TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester.

Represented Cinven in the parallel acquisitions of Mercury Pharma and Amdipharm for £465 million and £367 million respectively.

Notable practitioners  

David Pudge "is super-responsive and helps us sort out problems," impressed clients report. He represented Santander in the sale of its stake in Thames Water to China Investment.  

Tim Lewis represented Shell in its proposed offer of £992.4 million for Cove Energy. Clients say he is "impressive and helpful" and "a really hard-working guy."

David Pearson is a highly respected lawyer whom sources particularly recommend for his representation of public companies. He advises an array of clients on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions.

Spencer Baylin is "highly client-focused," "clear thinking" and "commercially sound," clients say. He has recently advised TeliaSonera on several transactions involving Kcell, including the acquisition of the remaining 49% of Kcell for USD1.5 billion.

The "highly interactive" Lee Coney advised EADS on the proposed combination of BAE Systems and EADS using a dual-listed company structure. His areas of expertise include M&A, corporate finance and takeovers.

New partner Nicholas Hughes is "highly thorough," "thinks through issues very carefully" and "comes up with good practical solutions," clients say. He has particular expertise in the energy sector.

Matthew Layton is "smart" and "pragmatic" and "gets things done," impressed sources say. He is the firm's global head of corporate.

Significant clients Barclays, Motorola, McGraw-Hill, HSBC, Permira.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A dominant presence within the banking sector, where it assists major financial institutions in handling sensitive and complex employment matters. Expert in dealing with the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "The partners do not pass work down – they're prepared to work late and I find that very impressive."

Technical ability: "They're clearly well resourced and know what they're doing."

Work highlights Assisted McGraw Hill with the employment elements of the reorganisation and subsequent USD2.5 billion sale of its education division.

Advised Barclays on disciplinary proceedings relating to Libor rate-fixing investigations, both in the UK and in other jurisdictions. 

Notable practitioners  

Identified by a senior source as one of London's standout employment lawyers, Christopher Goodwill maintains a strong position in the marketplace. He was recently involved in the Libor rate-fixing investigations, advising Barclays bank on related disciplinary proceedings.

Alistair Woodland has, according to one client, "carved himself a niche in bank regulatory work. He's taken an area of law that is relatively new and become a leading name in it." He also advised Barclays on disciplinary proceedings relating to the Libor rate-fixing investigations.

Michael Crossan is acclaimed for his tenacity and knowledge base, and is perceived as strong at handling the employment aspects of transactions. He led on the McGraw Hill matter.

Significant clients Aviva, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Man Group, Morgan Stanley.

Environment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 lawyers including a professional support lawyer

What the team is known for One of the leading teams in London, handling high-quality environment mandates on a domestic and international basis. Recognised for its provision of advice on transactions, European regulations such as REACH and the water framework directive, and for its strength in advising on large energy and infrastructure projects.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We had a pre-meeting to establish our needs and they were very responsive to those. They covered what we wanted, stuck to the deadlines and were very quick and very efficient."

Bench strength: "They were very easy to deal with, very pleasant and very commercial. I have a lot of respect for the firm; they have a lot of very good people there."

What's new? Advising new client Equator Principles Association on a new version of the Equator Principles.

Work highlights Advised GDF SUEZ Energy International on environmental regulatory issues related to energy generation.

Provided regulatory and policy-related environmental advice to Pfizer on a Europe-wide basis.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Howorth is the widely respected leader of the firm's environment team, and is particularly noted for his work on corporate transactions and energy projects. He has taken a lead on the environment group's work for Horizon Nuclear Power on its nuclear new build programme. Sources say: "He has got real presence and real gravitas." 

Significant clients Emerson, International Power, Mexichem, Mitsubishi, Coca-Cola. 

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Sought after to handle high-value fraud claims. Draws notable clients from the financial sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Exceptionally good customer service." 

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Kosky is a well-regarded commercial litigator and a notable presence in the civil fraud market. He is best known for handling fraud cases involving significant aspects of trust law.

Clients describe Roger Best as a "good tactician." He has significant experience of advising corporate clients on asset recovery issues.

Hotels & Leisure - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 associate

What the team is known for Particularly strong on the financing of hotels and hotel acquisitions. Also acts on refinancings, corporate restructuring and joint venture agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "Strong on financing, driven by private equity on the leisure side and by banks on the hotels side."

Work highlights Acted on the £104 million financing of the Cavendish Hotel for Ascott.

Advised Duet Private Equity on the £80 million mezzanine debt financing of Blackstone's acquisition of the Mint hotels portfolio.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Carnegie focuses on finance, insolvency, real estate and securitisation in the hospitality sector.

Significant clients Barclays, Shangri-La Hotel Group, MetLife.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Advises on high-value technology and outsourcing contracts on behalf of customers and suppliers. Also takes on heavyweight IT litigation matters. Superb global network.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Clifford Chance runs a large team well and very thoughtfully, and understands what can be very complex technical matters."

Notable practitioners

Sources say André Duminy is "very good to deal with, pleasant and constructive." He advises customers and suppliers on multiparty, international technology outsourcing and business separation matters.

International Arbitration - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 20 associates

What the team is known for Highly accomplished international arbitration team with broad expertise. Routinely acts on highly significant and complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. Works closely with colleagues in Paris.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Clifford Chance is very user-friendly and very approachable, with a good team on the case. We work well with them. Full marks."

Work highlights Acted for investment firm RNK Capital in a damages claim after the ending of a carbon emissions project, entailing 12 parallel arbitration proceedings and simultaneous litigation in Moscow. 

Advised defence contractor Raytheon in a high-value dispute with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs with regards to the termination of the UK government's e-Borders programme, thus complicated by matters of national security.

Notable practitioners  

Audley Sheppard is "amongst the best practitioners in London," according to market sources. He is described by clients as "a very impressive, low-key individual – he's very calm, with a great presence and great rapport with arbitrators." Sheppard regularly acts for high-profile clients in complex international disputes, including Siemens, Shell and Standard Chartered Bank.

Robert Lambert is well respected for his growing advocacy skills and his expertise in international arbitration. He frequently acts as lead counsel on complex cases, and is well respected by peers for his management of cases and his presence in proceedings. 

The "incredibly busy" Alex Panayides is noted particularly for his specialism in oil and gas-related construction disputes, and heads the disputes practice in this sector. He is commended by market sources for his strength in strategy when it comes to complex arbitrations. He has recently represented Sinopec and Statoil in complex international proceedings.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered Bank, IFC, Siemens, Shell.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department 
- 25 partners

What the team is known for Acclaimed for its substantial resources and deep bench of talented litigators. Consistently instructed on high-profile cases arising from the financial sector. Recognised for its full-service offering to corporations, individuals and financial institutions.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They have the ability to manage and run the largest cases and investigations due to their strength in depth and global presence." 

Commercial awareness: "Experience in running large matters and ability to see the bigger picture. Strong commercial focus and sensitivity to internal issues." 

Efficiency: "Extremely impressive. They go well beyond what you would normally expect from a big team on a big case and they cover every angle extremely diligently." 

Work highlights Acting for Barclays Bank on the test case brought by Guardian Care Homes Group, a significant case involving allegations of mis-selling and Libor fixing, which could affect future Libor rate-setting investigations.

Representing Autonomy founder Mike Lynch in complex litigation regarding allegations of misrepresentation and financial impropriety made by Hewlett-Packard, which purchased Lynch's software company in 2011.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Davis has had heavy involvement in the firm's work on behalf of Barclays regarding Libor rate-setting investigations. He is identified as a "calm, approachable presence with a strategic focus," with a valuable ability to "maintain a sense of the matters as a whole."

Roger Best's "deep understanding of the regulatory landscape, in the UK and elsewhere," makes him a go-to adviser to numerous key clients. He is further picked out as a "good tactician" by one impressed interviewee.

Described by clients as "very, very good," Jeremy Kosky maintains a strong reputation for his work on contentious trusts and commercial disputes.

Ian Moulding garners admiration for his organisational abilities and is noted by one source as "experienced and skilled at managing big cases." Of late he has advised Barclays Bank on the much-publicised Libor-fixing test case brought by Guardian Care Homes.

Experienced litigator Iain Roxborough is "very client-focused" and "good at tailoring advice." A retail and investment bank client lately instructed him to act on potential claims relating to an incident with its computer systems. He is lauded for his "strong strategic acumen."  

Julian Acratopulo "co-ordinates a case with an extremely impressive degree of control and gets on superbly with clients," enthuses one source. He recently acted on behalf of major clients Raytheon and PK Alpstream.

Roger Leese has a wealth of experience handling cross-border disputes and has lately been advising Bumi Resources, an Indonesian client, on complex regulatory matters related to a Takeover Panel investigation.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, Brookfield Multiplex, Henderson, BNP Paribas, Bumi Resources.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service team, particularly well known for handling pensions issues connected to high-value transactions. Works closely with the firm's insurance and regulatory practice to provide excellent risk management services. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Communication: "Clear and concise advice is given in a user-friendly manner."

Commercial awareness: "Members are highly commercial and pragmatic."

Efficiency: "CC is always available and super-efficient."  

What's new? Following the retirement of Nick Sherwin, Hywel Robinson has taken over as the head of pensions.

Work highlights Acted for Citi on the acquisition of EMI's pension fund as part of the deal to sell EMI to Universal and Sony.

Advised the trustees of Alcatel-Lucent's UK pension schemes on various complex matters, such as funding arrangements, the use of contingent assets, pensions transfers and issues relating to mergers and acquisitions.

Notable practitioners  

Sources recognise department head Hywel Robinson as being "very commercial" and "technically excellent." His clients include Citi and Swiss Re.  

Clare Hoxey is an expert in pensions and regulation, advising clients such as Situs and RBS. One impressed client notes that she "engaged authoritatively in difficult negotiations and produced excellent results."

Imogen Clark is highly regarded for her mixed contentious and non-contentious practice, which covers both employment and pensions. Clients include Asia Trading Holdings and Man Group.

Significant clients Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Babcock International Group, Kraft Foods Pension Trustees.

Planning - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Routinely involved in complex commercial development and regeneration projects. Handles planning advisory work for clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Work highlights Instructed by Helical Bar to advise on the development of Barts Square behind St Barts Hospital in the City of London.

Acted for Legal & General on the development of St Georges House in Croydon and Walbrook Square in the City of London.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Howorth is head of the group and led on the Barts Square development, in addition to advising Legal & General on London-based developments at St Georges House and Walbrook Square.

Significant clients Canary Wharf Group, TIAA, Siemens, Hammerson, Battersea Project Land Company.

Public International Law - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Excellent track record representing both states and private entities in investment treaty disputes. Substantial international sanctions practice. At the forefront of work advising corporations and international organisations on the human rights dimensions of conducting business. Other areas of expertise include state and diplomatic immunity, diplomatic privileges, sovereign debt and WTO work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They have multiple offices abroad and bring expertise to bear in a number of jurisdictions."

Technical ability: "They have a truly expert team there."  

Work highlights Acting for a Kuwaiti investor on a claim against the Egyptian government for breaches of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arising from an increase in gas prices.

Representing a Latvian investor, Valerie Belokon, in an UNCITRAL investment arbitration relating to the expropriation of Belokon's bank in the Kyrgyz Republic in the wake of a change in government in that country.

Notable practitioners

Group co-head Audley Sheppard is a highly regarded investment treaty arbitration practitioner. He commands respect for his personable, straightforward approach to both clients and peers. While commentators highlight his experience on Africa-related matters, his recent work has involved a broad range of jurisdictions and includes not only the BIT claim against the Egyptian government but also the UNCITRAL case involving the Kyrgyz Republic.

"One of the consummate international law solicitors in London," Rae Lindsay heads the group jointly with Audley Sheppard. Sources highlight her expertise on international sanctions and state and diplomatic immunity. She works in the field of business and human rights. Her clients include governments and government agencies, international organisations and multinational corporations.

With over 40 years' experience advising on public international law (PIL) matters, consultant Jeremy Carver fully deserves the title "doyen of international law" conferred on him by peers. Still "full of enthusiasm and bounce," he is said to maintain a "deep interest in policy issues and his clients."

Significant clients Government of Poland, EBRD, Shell, Siemens.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-6 partners
-21 lawyers

What the team is known for At the forefront of the market, advising on a broad range of financial products. Highly regarded for work on loan originations secured by real estate assets in the UK and worldwide.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They have a very deep bench and a certain practicality in terms of addressing legal issues."

Problem solving: "You go to Clifford Chance because you don't want any issues. They will do everything to get transactions done."

What's new? Emma Matebalavu joined the real estate finance practice from the structured finance and securitisation team in May 2012, strengthening its capital markets capability.

Work highlights Advised RBS on the £465 million purchase of the Isobel loan portfolio, as well as the rated CMBS securitisation of the portfolio.

Advised Goldman Sachs on the £220 million acquisition financing of Devonshire Square by Blackstone.

Notable practitioners  

Peers describe Damian Perry as a standout lawyer in this field of practice. Clients also rate him highly, describing him as "very commercial" and "user-friendly."

Alistair McGillivray is praised for his responsiveness. Sources say he is "very client-focused" and "can fast forward to potential problems so that you don't end up with unforeseen issues towards the end of a deal."

Andrew Carnegie is a leading practitioner in property finance. He is highly praised for handling deals personally and for the quality of his work, which "stands the test of time." One client says: "Andrew is to real estate finance what Sir Alex Ferguson is to football."

The "excellent" Jane Cheong Tung Sing has acted on behalf of key clients Goldman Sachs, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and UBS of late. She works on structured real estate finance transactions on a domestic and pan-European basis.  

Significant clients LaSalle Investment Management, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Canary Wharf Group, Deutsche Bank. 

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Works alongside the firm's real estate practice, which manages substantial corporate property portfolios, in acting on related disputes.

Notable practitioners  

Benjamin Hatton is regarded by sources as "very very technically competent." He has a wide-ranging knowledge of all aspects of real estate litigation, with particular natural resource sector expertise.

Since publication, Bryan Johnston has joined Dentons.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Highly regarded for inbound investment and structured real estate work. Recognised for complementary expertise in commercial property transactions, including tax, corporate and real estate finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They are creative thinkers, problem solvers."

Market standing: Peers highlight the firm's international capability, strong client base and the high calibre of its individual lawyers.

Work highlights Advised Canary Wharf Group on the acquisition of Wood Wharf Limited Partnership and the grant of a 250-year lease for the Wood Wharf site, set to be redeveloped as a mixed-use scheme.

Acted for City of London Corporation on the development agreement for 100 Cheapside with joint venture partners CarVal Investors and Orion European Real Estate Fund III.

Notable practitioners  

Sources name Tony Briam as a "godfather of the property legal profession." He focuses on office, retail, leisure and industrial developments, with expertise in joint ventures, lettings, funding and structured transactions. Clients say: "To sit with him as your adviser is always insightful, educational and powerful. He has a huge resource of experience."

Jonathan Solomon has experience in joint ventures, investment and development, particularly relating to office and hotel properties. Recent work includes advising Hammerson on a joint venture with Westfield for the mixed-use redevelopment of Croydon's Whitgift Centre and Centrale shopping centre. Sources praise him as "very technically strong with very good commercial sense."

Franc Pena focuses on joint ventures, large developments and the letting of headquarters. Clients include Quantum Global Real Estate and Atlas Capital. Clients appreciate his "commercially minded and diligent" approach.

Significant clients Development Securities, Helical Bar, MetLife, MSREF, State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently advises on non-domestic restructurings utilising English schemes of arrangement. Offers high-quality representation across the spectrum of restructuring and insolvency, including both creditors and debtors. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They provide market-leading advice, as the restructuring team are at the forefront of current restructurings in Europe."

Commercial awareness: "They understand commercial realities and are good at providing alternatives and strategies which adapt to them."

Work highlights Advised RBS on the corporate restructuring of Vivacom (Bulgarian Telecommunications Group) using an English scheme of arrangement.

Advised the senior co-ordinating committee, including Barclays, BNP Paribas and HSBC, on the sale of Viridian's regulated energy business and the restructuring of the group post-sale.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees value Philip Hertz for his direct approach. One source comments: "He is extremely hard-working and has the courage to give his views despite the risks." He is experienced in advising financial institutions, and was lead partner on the Vivacom deal.

Adrian Cohen frequently advises on multi-jurisdictional deals, and was part of the team that advised Dubai-based shipping company Drydocks World on its financial restructurings.

While previously noted for his insurance expertise, David Steinberg also advises on a significant amount of mainstream restructuring deals. Sources say: "He is calm and unflappable. Whatever a deal throws up he can cope with it without becoming too emotive in overly emotional circumstances." 

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Represents and advises leading financial institutions on complex tax issues. Highly adept at handling sophisticated cross-border transactions, especially those involving jurisdictions with challenging tax regimes. Market-leading advisers on legislative changes which have arisen in the corporate tax market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "Clearly a very strong tax practice."

Work highlights Advised Deutsche Bank on the sale of Actavis generic pharmaceutical group to Watson Pharmaceuticals, a transaction involving tax regimes in the USA, Germany and the UK.

Acted for RBS during Associated British Ports attempts to establish a business securitisation debt issuance platform, a transaction involving complex tax issues related to structured debt and securitisation.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas French focuses his practice on the full range of tax issues related to corporate and commercial transactions. He has recently retired from the partnership but continues to act in his capacity as a consultant.

Jonathan Elman focuses on corporate and finance taxations. Sources say he is "extremely good, very experienced and a top City tax lawyer." Clients value his advanced understanding and his ability to be "thorough, careful, determined and a good fighter when it comes to litigation." 

Global tax head David Harkness is a well-respected figure in the market. He has particular expertise in public takeover and tax disputes. Recent work includes advising EDF on the sale of its Sutton Bridge power station.  

Head of the international VAT group Etienne Wong stands out as being an "excellent choice for indirect tax matters." He regularly advises financial institutions on the full range of indirect tax matters including stamp duty and VAT.

David Saleh is singled out as "a specialist in real estate and indirect tax." He is experienced advising on the tax issues related to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings.

Dan Neidle has expertise in a broad range of tax matters relating to corporate and financial transactions. He is adept at handling both domestic and international matters. He has recently advised RBS, Citibank and Deutsche Bank on a number of complex transactions.

Sources say Anthony Stewart is "pragmatic and has very deep industry knowledge." His practice focuses on the taxation issues related to investment funds.

Significant clients Citibank, Abbey Life Assurance, Hammerson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lloyds TSB Bank.

Administrative & Public Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 22 other lawyers

What the team is known for Handles a variety of cases in connection with public policy, public affairs and regulation. Noted for its activity in public inquiries and cases concerning reputation management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They work hard for their clients and produce good results."

Market standing: "A fine outfit." 

Work highlights Acted for James Murdoch in connection with the public inquiry into phone hacking called by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Acted for James Murdoch in connection with the Leveson Inquiry into conduct of the press.

Notable practitioners  

Elizabeth Morony is head of the firm's antitrust litigation group. Her practice is distinguished by an interest in drawing on European law to challenge the decisions of regulators, and she is regarded by market sources as a "pleasant, personable and capable individual."

Luke Tolaini is a partner in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. He specialises in handling matters pertaining to regulatory infringements and enforcements.  

Significant clients The Chagos Islanders.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Strong expertise across all three major asset classes, with particular experience in handling cross-border matters for multinational clients. Market-leading aviation practice acting for major banks and airlines on the financing and refinancing of commercial aircraft including helicopters. Also houses a notable shipping finance practice covering large vessels and superyachts, and a rail finance practice that has advised on a number of key rolling stock procurements in recent times.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "Clifford Chance is outstanding on an international level."

Breadth of practice: "They are exceptional in all areas."

Experience: "Very experienced and seasoned aviation lawyers who excel in highly complicated and structured transactions." 

Work highlights Acted for HSBC France on the USD40 million financing of 19 Eurocopter aircraft.

Advised Bahri on the merger of the fleets and operations of Bahri and Vela International Marine.

Advised European Investment Bank on its part in the £2.2 billion financing of the Intercity Express Programme.

Notable practitioners

William Glaister is respected throughout the marketplace for his truly exceptional aviation finance practice. He recently led the team advising RBS on its USD7.3 billion sale of RBS Aviation Capital to a consortium led by SMBC.

Nick Swinburne is known for his strength in the fields of both aviation and shipping finance. He recently led the team advising SMBC on the easyJet 'Spanish operating lease' structured financing of four Airbus A320-200 aircraft.

Gavin Teague is well regarded in the market for his broad rail finance practice. He recently led the team advising the European Investment Bank on the financing of the Intercity Express Programme.

Rob Burley is highly commended for his aviation finance practice. He is particularly known for his specialism in Japan-related transactions.

Significant clients Angel Trains, Deutsche Bank, DVB, GECAS, ING Capital, Investec.

Commodities - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 22 associates
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Excellent derivatives practice with a strong commodities orientation, and considerable additional expertise in trade finance. Advises commodities traders and banks on a range of matters, such as regulatory issues, finance facilities, letters of credit and arbitrations. Well known for its international strength, especially in Moscow, Amsterdam and Dubai.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "The lawyers understand what we need as a bank; it is like they are financiers as well as lawyers. We don't lose time redrafting."

Technical abiltiy: "It presented the arguments well from our side and raised all the risks."

Work highlights Advised Raiffeisen Bank International on a proposed financing to a gold mining group with operations in Russia, the CIS, Africa and Canada.

Notable practitioners 

Leonard Cleland is a key contact in the London office.

Construction - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 2 directors
- 31 assistants

What the team is known for Most often seen working on significant and high-value construction and engineering transactions and disputes. The practice has a heavy international slant, and sector focus areas include energy and natural resources, transport, infrastructure and property development.

What's new? Marie Berard has been promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acting for Battersea Project Land Company on the colossal Battersea Power Station redevelopment project. The final project will see the construction of more than 860 residential units and an extension to the Northern Line.

Advised Vestas Southern Africa on a large ZAR1 billion wind farm in South Africa. 

Notable practitioners  

Tim Steadman is "a top operator, hard-working and very diligent," according to his peers. He focuses on procurement and contractual issues for clients, often in energy, natural resources and infrastructure. 

Sources say David Metzger is "exceedingly good at hugely difficult and complex projects." He concentrates on non-contentious work for major domestic and international projects.

"Impressive practitioner" Marianne Toghill is valued by clients for being "straightforward, approachable and knowledgeable in the sector." She acted on the Battersea Power Station project.

Alex Panayides is praised by market commentators for his strategic prowess. He is most well known for his work in the oil and gas industry, and on international arbitrations.

Significant clients Canary Wharf, Corinthia Hotel Group, MGT Power, Development Securities, Brookfield Multiplex.

Corporate Crime & Investigations - UK-wide

What the team is known for Sought after by corporate clients to handle major cross-jurisdictional investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Adept at explaining technical issues in an accessible manner."

Notable practitioners 

Roger Best has a strong reputation for representing financial institutions. Sources say he is "very measured in his approach and a very formidable opponent."

Sources describe Judith Seddon as a "very intelligent solicitor with an enviable background in crime and professional regulation." She plays a leading role in the firm's business crime and regulatory enforcement team.

New entry to the rankings Luke Tolaini has significant experience of advising corporations and individuals in relation to investigations brought by the SFO and former FSA. Sources admire his even-keeled and committed approach.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Operates on both international and domestic projects, including undertaking some such work pro bono. Component of global data protection practice. 

Notable practitioners  

Director of data privacy Richard Jones is a noted presence in this field according to sources. He operates on the full range of mandates in this area and was described by one source as "very knowledgeable, a very concise communicator, commercially aware and pragmatic. He is good at managing large projects and he is very personable and easy to deal with."

Significant clients Citi, Co-op, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer, Shell.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advising an impressive roster of clients from the financial services sector upon new and existing share scheme plans. Particular strength in handling mandates with a multi-jurisdictional element.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They have excellent business acumen. The advice is always appropriate and commercially astute."  

Work highlights Advised Barclays on the legal implications of the implementation of share incentive plans across 46 countries.

Assisted RBS with the maintenance of existing share incentive plans across multiple jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

Practice leader Sonia Gilbert earns unanimous market acclaim for her ability to successfully handle complex mandates. "She is a hugely impressive lawyer," noted one senior source, adding: "She has this innate quality to sense exactly what it is that clients want." She has been working extensively with Barclays.

Isobel Evans is one of London's leading share scheme experts at associate level. She has been involved in matters for RBS, Barclays and Diageo.

Significant clients Babcock International Group, Man Group, Meggitt, Accenture, Standard Chartered.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for A high-end traditional City firm which is significantly raising its profile in Africa. Also thought of as a heavyweight project finance practice, with great expertise in the oil and gas sector and an impressive run in completing 'big-money' deals. 

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Breadth of services: "They are always able to find team members with the relevant expertise and language skills."

Market standing: "Clifford Chance will always be up there as they do the big deals."

What's new? Russell Wells has taken over from Andrew Grenville as head of the energy and resources group. John Wilkins and Steven Fox co-lead the oil and gas group, and Jeremy Connick and Düsseldorf-based Peter Rosin co-lead the power group. The London office also welcomed partner Huw Jenkins from the firm's Hong Kong office in early 2013. Meanwhile, former star associate Ashvin Seetulsingh has left London to join the firm's Hong Kong office.

Work highlights Advised Statoil on its first ever investment in the Australian shale oil and gas sector in a deal valued at £200 million.

Represented ABSA Capital in the USD508 million financing of the Maamba project in Zambia, a 300 MW circulating fluidised bed coal-fired power plant.

Notable practitioners  

Audley Sheppard is a renowned arbitrator, who is gaining ground in the energy arena and is well respected by his peers.

Alex Panayides represented Excalibur Ventures in a high-profile claim relating to a disputed interest in petroleum exploration rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Head of the global energy and resources group at Clifford Chance and lead on the Statoil transaction set out above, Russell Wells has impressed clients "with his immense global experience - he can draw on an incredible number of jurisdictions to get you to a well-founded position."

Sources describe Jeremy Connick as "A1 on energy work," and praise him for his "extensive and current industry knowledge." Connick's broad energy focus spreads to both the power and renewables sectors.

The past year saw John Wilkins advise Shell on a deal worth USD100 million involving its purchase of the Polish retail filling station business from Neste Oil.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 16 partners
- 26 assistants

What the team is known for Advising mining clients on structuring M&A transactions, syndicated banking deals and UK listing rules. Matters handled stretch from Europe into Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa, and many contain complex cross-border elements.

Work highlights Acted for Evraz in its purchase of a further 50% interest in Corber Enterprises, on top of its prior 50% stake, resulting in its obtaining an indirect interest of 82% in Raspadskaya.

Notable practitioners

James Pay and David Lewis are key contacts.

Significant clients Vale, Glencore, Morgan Stanley, Citi, VTB Capital.  

Environment - UK-wide

What the team is known for Advises clients on matters such as green finance, the carbon reduction commitment (CRC), CDM projects, emissions trading and carbon disputes.

Work highlights Advised the Voluntary Carbon Standards Association on issues surrounding "trapped" carbon units.

Advised Trading Emissions on the re-negotiation of emissions trading agreements.

Notable practitioners 

Nigel Howorth advises clients on climate and carbon issues and also advises in disputes in the sector. He advised the Equator Principles Association on a new version of its Equator Principles, encouraging sustainable practices in global project financing.  

Significant clients Aviva Investors, Infigen Energy, Mitsubishi Corporation, Horizon Nuclear Power, Royal Bank of Scotland.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 26 partners 
- Over 100 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Houses a deep bench of talented lawyers with experience in handling complex non-contentious and contentious matters, including FSA investigations brought against high-level individuals and companies. Particularly noted for its expertise in multi-jurisdictional matters, which is enhanced by the sharing of regulatory knowledge across the firm's global network.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They join up the dots in the world of international regulation; you need to know where US, UK and Asian rules overlap and they understand it all."

Technical ability: "The analysis has always been very strong and thorough."

Bench strength: "They're all extraordinary individuals. A very capable team."

What's new? Recently a number of the contentious regulatory lawyers have been on secondment to leading financial institutions, including BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

Case Highlights Represented Cheshire Mortgage in connection with an investigation, conducted by the FSA, into the firm's processes for responsible lending and arrears handling.

Advised Credit Suisse in connection with the sale, to Blackrock, of its ETF business operations in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland.

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Bates leads the financial regulatory practice and advises a range of leading financial institutions. One interviewee describes him as "the godfather of non-contentious regulation." 

According to interviewees, Roger Best is "smart – he listens and he knows the regulations. He's willing to step in to face off with the regulator when necessary, and can do that in a very professional manner that is not antagonising." He has advised banks with regard to regulatory investigations in many jurisdictions, including the UK, USA, Japan, Singapore and Germany.

Carlos Conceicao regularly acts in some of the largest investigations being brought by the FSA. Sources admire his "encyclopaedic knowledge of the FSA."

Simon Gleeson is described as "an outstanding financial services lawyer." He offers a wealth of expertise in advising financial institutions, as well as regulators and governments, across a broad spectrum of non-contentious regulatory matters.

Simon Davis is "entirely unflappable," according to sources, who also appreciate his "ability to analyse and cut to the core of the issue and convey it clearly." He has handled a range of litigious and regulatory matters for key clients Barclays and Deutsche Bank.

Non-contentious regulatory lawyer Dermot Turing is well regarded for his work in the futures space, and offers particular expertise in advising financial institutions on risk management.

Dorian Drew recently joined the firm from Clifford Chance. Sources note that he "has as much experience as anyone in the marketplace and is easy to work with." He is a contentious financial services specialist and has recently been busy advising clients being investigated in connection with Libor.

Significant clients Bank of New York Meloon, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, RBS.

Insurance: Contentious Claims & Reinsurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 consultant
- 18 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Proficient in high-profile, high-value insurance and reinsurance litigation. Key specialisms in D&O, political risk and business interruption cases. Strong international profile means that the team can handle multi-jurisdictional disputes with ease.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are always able to provide high-quality legal input on a whole range of diverse issues, both in the UK and internationally. This is especially valuable when we need input not just on insurance law points, but on other associated issues."

Commercial awareness: "The firm has extensive experience in the application of the principles of insurance law, as well as a good understanding of market practice within the insurance community, which gives their advice a genuine commercial value."

Bench strength: "It's an extremely sophisticated operation. They certainly have some of the best senior associates I've ever come across."

Notable practitioners  

Philip Hill is adept in both insurance and reinsurance matters, particularly those related to the energy sector. One source praises him as "a very bright man who has an unusually tight grasp of the legal cases he's working on." A client states: "He's very commercial and non-confrontational, with a steady manner which works towards facilitating an agreement."

Stephen Surgeoner has a broad insurance and reinsurance practice which includes professional indemnity and Lloyd’s matters. One client notes that "his key strength is his ability to provide clear and concise legal advice on complex insurance law issues without losing focus on the underlying commercial points."  

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department 
- 6 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Advises on high-value domestic and international insurance transactions, including M&A and Part VII transfers. Provides a full service across life and non-life insurance sectors. Deep expertise in longevity insurance of pension schemes and regulatory matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "A good cadre of people. They've got a lot of bench strength. They obviously have good-quality associates and they manage them well."

Responsiveness: Clifford Chance's performance was outstanding - we felt like we had them on call at all times. They were always available in the closing stages, which is critical.

Market standing: "Probably one of the standout practices in terms of sheer breadth of deals they get involved in."

What's new? New client wins include Legal & General and QBE.

Ashley Prebble joined the firm from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Work highlights Advised Abbey Life on a reinsurance agreement which monetised Santander's life risk insurance portfolio in Spain and Portugal. The result was a pre-tax capital gain for Santander of EUR490 million.

Represented Aviva on the sale to MetLife of its entire operations in Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Notable practitioners  

Global head of insurance Katherine Coates is widely regarded as "a phenomenal name in the industry," and is praised by clients for her "pragmatic and commercial" approach. She advises clients on M&A, regulatory issues and product development, and she played a key role in the aforementioned Abbey Life matter. One appreciative client remarks: "She is extremely hands-on, with real insurance sector knowledge and the gravitas to move deals forward."

Clare Swirski recently advised Co-operative Group on the complex disposal of its life insurance business to Royal London. One admiring source states: "She's a scientist by training and brings her scientist's logic to solving problems."

Sources say Hilary Evenett is "very good technically and also rather affable." Her practice includes providing regulatory advice pertaining to solvency issues and portfolio transfers, and she is also noted for her strength in M&A and joint ventures regarding both life and non-life insurers.

Ashley Prebble recently joined the firm from Norton Rose Fulbright. He receives widespread recognition for his capacity to handle M&A and distribution agreements in the insurance sector.  

Significant clients AXA, LV=, Legal and General, XL Group, Aspen Re.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Performs consistently well across the private equity and real estate funds arenas, with an impressive track record acting on multibillion-pound fundraisings. Noted for its depth of knowledge on relevant regulation and tax requirements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The key strength of that team is commercial awareness. They have seen every issue and can come up with solutions."

Breadth of services: "We like the breadth of their capabilities and the consistent quality they provide."

Bench strength: "They have huge strength and depth in this field." 

Work highlights Acted as co-counsel on Permira's fifth European buyout fund, Permira Fund V.

Acted for Tata Capital on its Opportunities Fund, with a fundraising target of USD1 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Hatfield "stands out from much of the rest of the field," according to one interviewee. His profile in the market is strong, having acted on some of the most significant private equity and real estate funds in recent years. He was engaged on Infracapital's second infrastructure fund, targeting £900 million.

The "super-responsive" Gerard Saviola "looks out for our interests vigorously," says one client, adding: "He is pragmatic and tactical in the way he runs negotiations - he is more than just a lawyer."

Significant clients 3i, BlackRock, Apax, Pramerica, Sequioa.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

Office locations ranked: London. 

What the team is known for A reputable team that acts on the customer side on large-scale projects, with specific expertise in fund and asset management transactions. Also noted for strategic business process, IT and communications outsourcing projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team provides a high level of client service with a focus on the ultimate commercial outcomes."

Commercial awareness: "They have a style that gets honed through experience.  You end up with precise outcomes and less conflict, and creative solutions that meet the needs of both parties."

Work highlights Advised WEX on an outsourcing of data centre services to CSC, as well as the roll-out of card processing services.

Assisted The Carlyle Group on the acquisition of RAC from Aviva, a deal that included a significant transitional services agreement.

Notable practitioners  

Andre Duminy is highly regarded in the market for his expertise on global outsourcing deals. One source says that "it is about trust, and big companies put their trust in him." 

Significant clients Anheuser-Busch InBev, Citi, Co-operative Banking Group, Shell, Standard Life.

Parliamentary & Public Affairs - UK-wide

What the team is known for Public policy experts with considerable expertise in both the UK and the EU. Typically supports financial institutions and commercial entities in interpreting policy. Assists in formulating strategies to accommodate changing legislation, and has considerable involvement in policy formation at national level. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "It is a clear leader in public policy in the UK and across the EU. It is the only firm with an integrated practice across all its sector groups and practice areas. Clients very much benefit from their joined up approach." 

Work highlights Provides strategic advice to the government of Togo on political and economic development within its new democratic framework.

Provides ongoing advice to James Murdoch and News International in relation to the Leveson Inquiry.

Notable practitioners  

Alan Mak is a prominent figure for public affairs work. He works closely with TheCityUK, advising on financial services policy, and was part of the team assisting Sorenson Communications to implement its video relay service for hard-of-hearing TV viewers in the UK. Sources comment: "He has an exceptional mind and a highly commercial, pragmatic approach."

Significant clients Barclays, Standard & Poor's, the government of Belgium, Oracle, the European Commission.

Partnership - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 consultant
- 8 associates

What the team is known for Cross-practice group focused on LP and LLP establishment and structuring, member changes and disputes. Expertise in private funds.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "We rate them highly for the breadth of the team's capabilities and the consistent quality." 

Work highlights Represented Henderson Equity Partners in a novel dispute with a large group of fund investors, who were seeking to bring a derivative claim on behalf of the partnership.  

Assisted DRC Capital with the partnership issues stemming from its spin-out from Duet Private Equity.

Notable practitioners 

Mike Crossan heads the practice.

Significant clients Actis, HSBC, KKR and Colyzeo.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for An experienced team advising on domestic and international PFI and PPP projects. Traditional strength in transport and defence, also advises clients in sectors such as education, health and waste.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They are very strong and have a very broad and deep team."

Industry knowledge: "They have a good understanding of the alternative credit market."

Notable practitioners 

David Bickerton has experience advising both sponsors and funders on PPP deals. Sources say: "He is very helpful and user-friendly."

Gavin Teague is a finance lawyer active on PFI/PPP projects. He is particularly noted for his work in the defence and rail sectors. Sources say: "He is very committed to his clients and does a good job for them."

Tim Steadman is a knowledgeable and well-respected solicitor with experience in PFI and construction projects. Sources praise his practical approach and speed of reaction. 

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Outstanding reputation for its representation of buy and sell-side clients on a range of investments, including buyouts, growth capital transactions and infrastructure fund transactions. Praised for its integrated international and multi-disciplinary capabilities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are close to recent market developments."

International capability: "They are an international firm, which is helpful when you are looking at global companies."

Work highlights Advised Cinven on the £465 million acquisition of Mercury Pharma from HgCapital.

Represented Clayton Dubilier & Rice in the acquisition of a substantial stake in retailer B&M Stores. 

Notable practitioners

Matthew Layton advised Actis on the acquisition by the company of the remaining 40% stake in Actis held by the UK government. He is global head of the corporate practice.

The "extremely commercial" David Pearson is praised for his availability and accuracy, with one enthusiastic client adding that he "gets to the point incredibly quickly." He advised Corsair Capital on the acquisition of Notemachine Group from Rutland.  

Simon Tinkler is "an outstanding lawyer and a very nice guy to deal with," according to one client. He advised Montagu Private Equity and Global Infrastructure on their restructuring of and exit from Biffa.

Significant clients Bridgepoint, EQT, The Carlyle Group, 3i Infrastructure, JPMorgan Infrastructure.  

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Regularly advises both sponsors and lenders on major project financings. Acts on projects in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, in sectors such as mining, oil and gas, power and infrastructure.   

Notable practitioners 

Jeremy Connick focuses on advising clients on energy and infrastructure projects. He has a well-established reputation and receives positive feedback from market observers. Sources say: "He is sensible, busy and commercial; he wants to do a deal which is what you want."

Russell Wells is a well-regarded partner in the London projects team. Sources say: "He is very commercial, he has the ability to cut through complex legal arguments and make his point eloquently."

John Wilkins advises clients on project finance matters, with a particular focus on the power and energy sectors. Sources say: "He really managed the relationship side and the delivery side for his team incredibly well."

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Magic circle firm sought after by retailers for its corporate and commercial strength. Well positioned to provide international assistance by virtue of its strong network of offices globally. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "What impresses us is that they are very practical and want to have the deal done. Members are very thorough and detailed, have our best interest in mind, help push things forward and always give us very practical advice."

Client services: "The individuals take care to understand your business and are able to deal with any issues that come along. Very good specialists and generalists."

What's new? Senior associate Gareth Camp joined from Freshfields and focuses on the consumer goods and retail sector.

Work highlights Acted for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its acquisition of a considerable stake in B&M Stores, and acted as the mandated lead arrangers on the debt financing of the acquisition.

Advised Booker Group on antitrust issues relating to its acquisition of Makro's UK business.

Notable practitioners  

David Pudge is the global head of retail at the firm and the main contact.

Significant clients GAME, Kraft, Carrefour, Pernod Ricard, The Co-operative Group.

Social Housing - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Expertise in acting for major banks on traditional loan facilities and cutting-edge finance transactions in this sector.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are available at all times to give sound, practical advice."

Work highlights Acted for Lloyds TSB as sole arranger and joint bookrunner, and Prudential as security and bond trustee, on Saxon Weald Homes' £225 million bond issue.

Advised Lloyds TSB on the financing of Riverside Group's solar panel scheme.

Notable practitioners 

Angela Shepherd has worked extensively on the consolidation and amendment of multimillion-pound loan facilities for Barclays relating to social housing providers. "She's prepared to do work for her client at any time of the day or night," said one interviewee. "She's so supportive, and willing to advise."

Practice head Despina Pantelia enters the rankings this year. She has undertaken a raft of high-value work for significant banks working in this sector, including multimillion-pound refinancings. "She has vast technical knowledge and client relationships skills," enthused one source. "She really bridges the gap between the law and the transaction."

Significant clients RBS, Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank, European Investment Bank.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

What the team is known for Large TMT group. Particularly adept at acting on high-end cross-jurisdictional telecoms transactions. Continued activity in emerging markets, international regulations and consumer apps.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Definitely a firm you can work with as a partner. I feel a very strong bond with the team and they are on board. Clifford Chance never lets you down."

Work highlights Advised TeliaSonera on the USD1.5 billion buyout of the outstanding shares in Kazakh mobile operator Kcell. Also advised on subsequent related transactions involving WiMax and fibre-optic business acquisitions. 

Represented Motorola Solutions in its £129.3 billion takeover of Psion.

Notable practitioners  

Global head of department Joachim Fleury continues to bring financing and M&A expertise to the firm's telecoms practice. He is a known adviser in complex international deals involving varying types of telecoms companies. 

Peers are impressed with how Jenine Hulsmann applies her competition expertise in the telecommunications industry. She has recently been instructed to provide comprehensive support with obtaining permission from Ofcom in the provision of 4G mobile services.  

Significant clients Deutsche Telecom, Everything Everywhere, Inmarsat, TeliaSonera.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 13 partners
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Best known for its work on large-scale infrastructure projects and for its impressive asset finance practice.

Work highlights Advised the European Investment Bank in connection with the financing of the Intercity Express Programme.

Instructed by Southern Railway with regard to a procurement of £200 million of rolling stock from Bombardier.

Notable practitioners  

Gavin Teague is an experienced asset finance and project finance lawyer, whose reputation derives strongly from his ability to handle major projects.

Significant clients Angel Trains, Eurostar, Network Rail, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Lloyds TSB.