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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 Matthew Layton
  • Senior Partner Malcolm Sweeting
  • Executive Partner & Legal Counsel Chris Perrin
  • Number of partners 570
  • Number of other fee-earners 2,820

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 2014) and further recognition includes: International Law Firm of the Year (IFLR Europe Awards 2014), International Law Firm of the Year (IFLR Asia Awards 2013), Private Equity Team of the Year (Legal Business Awards 2013) and Corporate Finance Team of the Year (The Lawyer Awards 2013).

Principal Areas of Work
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.

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, Jakarta, Kyiv, 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 an association agreement with Linda Widyati & Partners

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 & Natural Resources Andrew Grenville
  • Environment Nigel Howorth
  • EU & Competition Alex Nourry
  • Financial Services Christopher Bates
  • Hotels Sarah Thomas
  • Insolvency & Restructuring Mark Hyde
  • Insurance Katherine Coates
  • Intellectual Property Vanessa Marsland
  • International Capital Markets David Bickerton, David Dunnigan
  • IT Daniel Sandelson
  • Life Sciences Alex Nourry
  • Marketing & Advertising Vanessa Marsland
  • Media Daniel Sandelson
  • Pensions Hywel Robinson
  • PFI Tim Steadman
  • Planning Nigel Howorth
  • Private Equity (MBOs/Funds) Simon Tinkler
  • Product Liability J A Acratopulo
  • Professional Negligence Simon Davis
  • Project Finance Jeremy Connick
  • 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 Andrew Yianni
  • Structured Debt & Trusts Andrew Forryan
  • Structured Finance Robert Lee
  • Tax David Harkness
  • Telecommunications Joachim Fleury, Jenine Hulsmann
  • VAT David Saleh


Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Multidisciplinary banking group with a dominant market position, capable of advising lenders, borrowers and investors across the full spectrum of financings. Continues to be involved in some of the most prominent finance deals in the market, including LBOs, refinancings, and loan and bond financings related to acquisitions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"One of the leading practitioners in the loan market. Their market knowledge is extremely good."

"The overall standard of their individual lawyers is excellent. We have to cover a very wide range of topics and they can cover pretty much everything for us and then tie it all together. The fact that they have a global network is also something we find extremely useful." 

Work highlights Represented a syndicate of banks, including Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, in the provision of EUR1.97 billion of covenant-lite senior financing used to aid the acquisition of major publishing business Springer Science by BC Partners.

Acted for the lead arrangers, including RBS as co-ordinator, on the Royal Mail's £1.4 billion post-IPO facility.  

Notable practitioners  

Michael Bates is co-head of the London banking and finance practice and is considered a key player in leveraged infrastructure finance transactions. One client offers particularly effusive praise: "I think he's the best banking and finance lawyer I've worked with. He's worked on pretty much all the big deals you could ever want and seen it all before. Plus, he's very good at giving advice rather than just acting on instructions. He's absolutely brilliant."

Charles Cochrane is an active player in the banking and finance market and has accumulated a wealth of experience acting on a multitude of high-profile UK and cross-border financings. He advised a syndicate of lenders, including Goldman Sachs, on a EUR1.79 billion covenant-lite senior financing to facilitate BC Partners' acquisition of leading international publisher Springer.  

Market commentators remark that Alan Inglis is "the real trusted adviser." With over 30 years of experience advising on banking and corporate finance transactions, "he's seen it all." One client adds: "Particularly when things go wrong, he's very good at giving us advice based on strong knowledge of the documents we have."

James Johnson is best known for his lender-side work, covering leveraged and acquisition financings, restructurings and structured financings. He continues to be involved in a number of impressive transactions, recently advising a syndicate of lenders on the public-to-private financing of DE Masterblenders. 

Clients value the fact that Jim MacHale "isn't afraid to be robust when the transaction needs to be moved along." Apart from his enduring relationships with prominent institutional lenders, he is also well known for his capabilities advising on investment grade and acquisition financings.   

Key partner Nicola Wherity is singled out for her niche expertise of the fund financing arena and her up-to-date knowledge of the syndicated loan market. She is a primary point of contact for a number of clients, one of whom declares that she "does a fantastic job of co-ordinating for us. Really prepared to do the behind-the-scenes work to get us what we want. She has a really strong focus on providing good client service."

Karen Hodson is a sought-after practitioner, who garners particular acclaim for her recent work on complex bid financings for the likes of ENRC. One peer notes that "she's always completely pragmatic, sensible and manages to head off problems between clients."

Clients appreciate the "tenacious" Emma Folds for her hands-on approach, which "really drives transactions." She is especially well regarded for her work with bank syndicates, advising them on a range of loans issued to household names. 

Sources report that banking and finance partner Roderick McGillivray consistently "serves his clients well." His first-hand experience of US and European markets was valuable in the team's successful completion of Cinven's acquisition of CeramTree, which involved a New York law loan and bond financing.  

Taner Hassan is a "very active lawyer" who is reportedly "more up to date on current events and the latest trends" than most in the market. He primarily acts for borrowers and sponsors, and has a wealth of experience advising on a wide range of financings, notably leveraged financings in Europe and the emerging markets.

Robert Lee advised on Codere's refinancing, as part of its EUR1 billion restructuring. He demonstrates strength in the areas of acquisition finance and disposals of loan portfolios. Clients note that he is able to "get things done, in a timely, executable manner."

Considered "a very well-known banking and finance industry figure," Malcolm Sweeting has acted on an impressive array of high-profile transactions and represented a number of prominent banks. He remains an important contributor to the core banking group and is particularly valued for his comprehensive knowledge of global finance.

Head of the banking and finance department Mark Campbell possesses "huge credibility in the market" and displays an "obvious depth of experience and knowledge," according to sources. He continues to advise on landmark deals in which the team is involved, lately acting for several lenders on the amendment and extension of Icopal's debt through a UK court scheme. 

Habib Motani is best known for his distinguished Islamic finance practice, as well as his broad knowledge of derivatives, securities lending, repo, and netting and collateral.

Significant clients J.P. Morgan, Türk Telekom, GSO, Bridgepoint, GE.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 21 partners
- over 90 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Pre-eminent in the sector, with joint transactional and regulatory strengths. Expansive global network offering capability in high-profile international investigations and disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"One of the best banking litigation firms. Each of their partners produced material I thought was outstanding. They regularly worked through the night. They provided the support you dream of having."

"A very strong team, they have the advantage of having great strength and depth. They have a strong group of senior associates and that's crucial in big pieces of litigation."

"They clearly have a deep understanding of both regulation and litigation. They've got that crossover which makes for a strong team."

Work highlights Represented Barclays in the Libor 'test case' defending against claims relating to derivative mis-selling brought by Graiseley Properties.

Acts for Credit Suisse in a case against Up Energy Group. The case concerns an alleged default under a put option granted to Credit Suisse for the purchase of convertible loan notes issued by the defendant's Hong Kong-listed subsidiary.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Davis has over 25 years' experience in the sector and is highly regarded for his expertise in banking litigation and contentious financial regulation. Sources note him as "a good client manager who is very good at articulating a case in an elegant fashion."

A "leading light," Ian Moulding led the team with Simon Davis acting for Barclays in the Libor-related Guardian Care Homes case. Sources report him to be "a very strong litigator who is good at managing a large team of individuals but at the same time focusing on the details."

The "very thorough and experienced" Roger Best is particularly well regarded for advising major banks in multi-jurisdictional regulatory enforcement proceedings. Sources say he is an "excellent banking litigator, a great asset to the department."

Jeremy Kosky's practice covers many areas of commercial litigation, complex contentious trusts and private equity cases. Sources say: "He's done a really excellent job - a real star going forward."

Kelwin Nicholls is regarded as "very client-focused" and "one of the rising stars at Clifford Chance." He focuses on advising banks in regulatory investigations, frequently with regard to market abuse such as mis-selling claims and swap disputes.

Helen Carty specialises in advising financial institutions in contentious regulatory proceedings brought by both national and foreign authorities. Peers are impressed by her and hold her in high esteem.

Jeremy Sandelson is head of the global litigation and dispute resolution practice. His personal practice straddles commercial litigation and cross-border regulatory disputes. Peers call him "a very able opponent.

Significant clients RBS, Citi, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Bank.

Capital Markets - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Maintains its reputation for handling some of the market's most sophisticated capital markets transactions. Wide international reach due to the firm's broad network of offices. Offers high-level expertise in DCM work such as EMTN programmes, liability management and high-yield issues, with a notable focus on Africa and Russia. Skilled on the ECM side in complex IPOs and regulatory and legislative matters, particularly pertaining to financial institutions, healthcare and oil and gas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're absolute superstars. It's the breadth of experience they bring to bear. They're the number-one firm we work with."

"They've responsive, flexible, and have good commercial business sense. Another plus I've found in working with their London team is that they have offices around the world - they're always able to pull in colleagues from specific markets for different issues." 

Work highlights Advised Barclays, the issuer, on all English law aspects of its issue of USD2 billion 8.25% fixed-rate contingent convertible securities.

Advised Deutsche Bank, Nomura International, Espirito Santo Investment Bank and others on the IPO and London premium listing of Just Retirement Group.

Represented Emma Delta, the private equity sponsor, on the acquisition of a 33% stake in the Hellenic Football Prognostics Organisation, and the issuance of EUR400 million of senior secured notes to finance the purchase. 

Notable practitioners  

Michael Dakin recently advised Cinven on the acquisition of CeramTec, which involved a high-yield M&A financing. A source describes him as "very good, quick and efficient."

ECM specialist Adrian Cartwright advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and others on Cinven's £1.5 billion flotation of Partnership Assurance Group. Sources state: "He's definitely made a name for himself and has done well."

The "excellent" David Dunnigan has a wealth of experience in DCM matters, particularly those involving Africa, CEE and Russia. He recently advised BNP Paribas and Citi on the first Eurobond issue out of the Republic of Rwanda.

The well-regarded Simon Sinclair recently advised Barclays on all English law aspects of a high-profile USD2 billion contingent convertible bond issuance. A client states: "He is a market-leading expert, and I consider him a trusted adviser."

Simon Thomas is complimented as being "incredibly responsive and incredibly available. He has a huge grasp of market practice." He recently advised Barclays on all English law aspects of its £5.8 billion rights issue.

John Connolly is an expert on US securities law, and advises on the US aspects of many of the team's biggest debt, equity and high-yield transactions, including IPOs, private placements and Eurobonds.

David Bickerton, managing partner of the firm's London office, has a broad practice which encompasses DCM, PFI and projects work. He recently advised the European Investment Bank in relation to the first bond under the Project Bond 2020 initiative.

Stewart Dunlop is highly regarded for his DCM experience, and in particular for his expertise in liability management.

Christopher Walton is skilled in a wide range of US domestic and international capital markets matters, and is notable for his experience in EMEA jurisdictions.

Senior associate Eric Green is regarded as a "superstar" by one interviewee. He advises on a range of DCM matters including Eurobonds and EMTN programmes.

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, RBS, HSBC, Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  

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

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

What the team is known for Outstanding team offering immense strength in depth and breadth of expertise. Engages in high-end and innovative securitisations, with particular skill in RMBS, CMBS and covered bonds. Highly regarded derivatives practice provides integrated transactional and regulatory experience across a broad range of areas, including longevity swaps, credit derivatives and risk management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We've worked quite extensively with Clifford Chance over the last few months, and we're very happy with the service they've provided to us." 

"I rate Clifford Chance amongst the highest of the firms I work with." 

Work highlights Advised AA Bond Co and Acromas Holdings on the whole business securitisation of The AA.

Represented LCH on the formation of a clearing platform in France, which will provide clearing for single-name credit default swaps and CDS index credit default swaps. 

Notable practitioners  

Kevin Ingram is one of the luminaries of the securitisation market, with sources regarding him as a "fantastic lawyer" who is a "very easy person to deal with." He recently advised Allied Irish Banks with regard to Goldcrest Funding No.1, the first credit card securitisation by a high-profile bank in Ireland.

Steve Curtis is a highly experienced securitisation practitioner who recently advised on the whole business securitisation of The AA. Sources consider him to be "intelligent, pragmatic and good to work with."

Habib Motani is an impressive practitioner who offers deep expertise in derivatives, settlement systems and securities lending. Sources describe him as an "extremely good" lawyer who has "broad experience."

Simon Gleeson plays a central role in the practice, offering expertise in clearing, derivatives and sovereign debt. A recent highlight saw him advising LCH on the creation of a clearing platform in France.

Peter Voisey possesses deep knowledge of covered bonds, international asset securitisation and secured lending. He is praised by market sources for his "good reputation" and for his skill in handling RMBS matters.

Andrew Coats is singled out by sources as "an extremely strong lawyer." He offers experience in structured securities, repackaging programmes and derivatives.

Emma Matebalavu is notable for her expertise in RMBS, CMBS and whole business securitisations. A client appreciates that she is "able to hold together all the different pieces of the transaction, and make sure that nothing gets missed." 

Significant clients Deutsche Bank, The Futures & Options Association, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Citi. 

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Impressive expertise across a range of competition law issues. Recognised for its powerful litigation capabilities and merger control support.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The group is very user-friendly and has terrific expertise." 

Work highlights Advised TalkTalk on a complaint to Ofcom regarding an alleged abusive margin squeeze by BT in the market for super-fast broadband.

Notable practitioners  

Elizabeth Morony is an experienced commercial litigator, who heads up the firm's global antitrust litigation group. She is highly respected by peers for her work on high-profile cases.

Head of department Alex Nourry is praised for his strength of expertise. Sources report that he is "absolutely excellent and very user-friendly."

Luke Tolaini has a broad practice which encompasses competition litigation and white-collar investigations. Sources report that he is "calm and methodical in a crisis, and has excellent client-handling skills."

Greg Olsen is active in non-contentious competition matters and advises clients on a large range of issues. He has recently been active in market investigations and acquisitions.

Jenine Hulsmann has an excellent knowledge of the telecoms sector. Clients appreciate her ability to fuse strong competition law expertise with sector-specific understanding.

Former OFT regulator Alastair Mordaunt is recognised for his impressive knowledge of merger control. Clients appreciate his strategic insight and informed advice.

Oliver Bretz relocated to the firm's London office in 2014, after spending time in Paris and Brussels. His expertise encompasses merger control, state aid and cartel matters. Clients appreciate that "he's someone you can put in front of anyone and feel very comfortable that he'll handle himself well. He's got good ideas and is very supportive."

Significant clients AXA, Barclays, Bayer, NBCUniversal, Siemens.  

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Recognised as a go-to firm for high-value projects and dispute work. Strong track record in advising on significant international mandates. Considerable expertise in matters relating to the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"As usual, the advice was excellent, combining tip-top legal expertise with practical application."

"A fantastic team. They know business very well. We trust them a lot because they not only show their knowledge of legal issues but also give direction to the business."

Work highlights Advised a group of lenders on construction documentation relating to the construction of the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir motorway in Turkey.

Acted for JBIC as the funders on the construction of a power generation and seawater desalination station in Kuwait.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Steadman heads the non-contentious team and advises clients, primarily in the energy and infrastructure sector, on procurement and contracts. Sources say: "Tim brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is unparalleled by any other construction and development lawyer."

Alex Panayides is a "bright lawyer" and a "very good litigator," according to commentators. He leads the firm's contentious oil and gas practice, and has recently been involved in multimillion-pound mandates for Scandinavian and Middle Eastern clients.

David Metzger "provides excellent, insightful advice which is also commercial and practical," assert clients. He specialises in non-contentious work and frequently advises on infrastructure projects.

Marianne Toghill is praised by sources for her knowledge. She acts on non-contentious issues and has significant experience in handling development management agreements and building contracts.

Significant clients Battersea Project Land Company, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, Qatar 2022 World Cup Committee, Gazprom, Canary Wharf.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 41 partners
- 112 other lawyers

What the team is known for A superb transactional practice offering high-level service to clients on a truly worldwide basis. Noted for its particular strength on the financing side and for its sector expertise in insurance and TMT.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It's the fact that you deal with the senior partner on the job, who has a complete overview of everything. Nothing falls through the cracks. The quality of people across the board is exceptional."

Work highlights Advised Eurasian Resources Group on its offer of around £3 billion to purchase the remaining shares in ENRC.

Worked with Electra Partners on its sale of animal identification tag maker Allflex to BC Partners for USD1.35 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Newly elected global corporate head Guy Norman is highly thought of by sources for his M&A expertise. He returned to the London office in August 2013 following a two-year stint in Dubai.

David Pearson is "an amazing lawyer" who gives clients the impression of being "totally dedicated to us." He has returned to full-time client work after his time heading up the corporate department, and acted for Electra Partners on its disposal of Allflex to BC Partners.

David Pudge is described as a "very commercial" practitioner who commands respect from leading figures in the market. He has spent over 25 years at Clifford Chance.

Tim Lewis is an "excellent" corporate lawyer, according to sources, who comment on his experience in a variety of situations. He was co-lead for the firm in its work for Eurasian Natural Resources concerning its £3 billion offer for ENRC.

Spencer Baylin is a "very strong" deal lawyer with a wide-ranging corporate practice encompassing joint ventures and takeovers. He represented Warburg Pincus on its disposal of Ideal Stelrad Group to Bregal Capital for £225 million.

The "tremendous" Mark Carroll is described by peers as a "very constructive" practitioner who is very experienced in corporate matters. Along with Tim Lewis, he co-led the advising of Eurasian Natural Resources in its offer for ENRC.

Lee Coney has experience in a range of corporate matters, including private equity and takeovers. He advised Babcock International Group on the purchase of Avincis Mission Critical Services and a related rights issue.

Nicholas Hughes represents clients in a wide range of corporate matters, with a reputation for his work in energy and natural resources matters. He assisted Actis with its investment in Aela Energia worth USD290 million.

Significant clients Suntory, Barclays, LCH.Clearnet, Bridgepoint, AMC Networks.

Employment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Recognised as one of the leading teams for large corporate and financial services clients. Regularly handles the employment aspects of transactions as well as standalone advisory and litigation work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide high-quality employment advice and the relationship is very smooth because of how well they know us. They really think ahead and are really proactive."

"The service is seamless - they really understand us and our needs." 

Work highlights Advised Barclays on a number of issues including the introduction of role-based pay and the exits of a number of senior executives.

Advised CQS Global Services on defending a claim for wrongful dismissal and release from covenants brought by the former manager of a portfolio company.

Notable practitioners  

Alistair Woodland has recently advised numerous clients on employment matters relating to banking regulation, with sources noting that he has "carved out a niche for himself in that area." One impressed client says: "He is excellent, client-friendly and a great technical lawyer."

Christopher Goodwill is considered "excellent with clients, very calm and composed." He is considered a "standout lawyer" by clients and is praised for his responsiveness with one source saying: "He goes out of his way to respond within hours."

Significant clients McGraw Hill, Permia Advisors, Mondelez International, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley.

Environment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for clients on the environmental aspects of large transactions and projects. Heavily involved in energy and infrastructure project development work including advising on UK nuclear newbuild. Also advises on regulatory matters and contentious environmental work.

Work highlights Advised Shell on the environmental aspects of its sale to Vitol of its Australian downstream oil and gas business.

Advised Canary Wharf Group on the development of its Wood Wharf scheme.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Howorth is the head of the firm's environment group. He advises on corporate transactions and on consenting and environmental matters surrounding large infrastructure projects.  

Significant clients Pfizer, GDF SUEZ, Coca-Cola, BG Group, RBS. 

Financial Crime - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Frequently called upon by corporate clients to advise on some of the most significant SFO investigations of recent times. Impressive capacity to handle large-scale, multi-jurisdictional matters. Draws key clients from the banking sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're phenomenal. They have very experienced practitioners in charge who know how companies work."

Work highlights Represented Barclays in relation to the SFO's investigation into the manipulation of Libor. 

Acted for Serco in relation to allegations that it had overcharged the UK government for the electronic tagging and prisoner escorting services which had been outsourced to the company.

Notable practitioners  

Roger Best represents multinational corporations and financial institutions in business-critical investigations. Market sources say: "He is very good in an understated, disarming way. He is very experienced and has represented some of the biggest banks in the world."

Judith Seddon brings invaluable criminal defence experience to the corporate investigations arena. Peers note that "she is enormously experienced as a defence practitioner, enormously hard-working, and has good client skills."

Luke Tolaini advises major banks and financial institutions in relation to SFO investigations, and is highly skilled at dealing with international regulatory issues. Sources report that "he is an experienced, thoughtful practitioner, who gives you confidence."

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Solid technology practice complemented by considerable litigation, antitrust and projects expertise and excellent multi-jurisdictional capability. Primarily focuses on large-scale deals, especially in the financial services sector, with significant experience in IT-related corporate transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their overall work has been excellent and I'm pleased with their ability to handle complicated matters." 

Work highlights Advised Etisalat Nigeria on its procurement of IT outsourcing services from Huawei Technologies. 

Assisted Samsung with retail agreements concerning the European introduction of its OLED television.

Notable practitioners  

Clients hail André Duminy for his "huge depth of experience and enthusiasm for IT," and highlight his ability to "translate complex legal points into understandable points." He is an outsourcing specialist and offers "concise advice and really superb drafting" on technology restructuring and competition issues.

Significant clients Anheuser-Busch InBev, Co-operative Bank, Raytheon, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Shell.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 21 partners

What the team is known for Highly regarded litigation team benefiting from a successful international network and a strong bench at partner and associate level. Acts for multinational corporate clients as well as major banks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

“Clifford Chance have a very good team and great strength in depth.”

“Hugely effective and a valued partner on large and complex matters. They have strong representatives at all levels of the associate tree.”

Work highlights Acted for Barclays Bank on a high-profile derivatives dispute with Graiseley Properties.

Represented T&L Sugars in warranty and indemnity claims against Tate & Lyle Industries, following the sale of its European sugar business.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced litigator Simon Davis maintains an excellent reputation in the London market, with clients praising his ability to “see the bigger picture and give tailored advice.” He acted for Svenska Cellulosa on post-acquisition claims against DS Smith and others.

Roger Best is a “very impressive litigator” with notable experience in civil fraud and insolvency matters. Recent work includes advising Citi on the retrial of misrepresentation, fraud and tortious interference claims brought by Terra Firma over its purchase of EMI music group.

Jeremy Kosky focuses on commercial and trusts litigation with an international element. He has particular experience in private equity-related disputes, recently acting for the director of a Cayman private equity fund and his family trust in relation to a breach of fiduciary duty claim.

Iain Roxborough is highly regarded by market commentators, who say he is “very, very good and deserves his reputation.” His focus is on commercial and corporate disputes in litigation and arbitration, as well as the financial services sector.

Ian Moulding is praised as “very effective” by market commentators for his work in commercial, corporate and financial services litigation. He represented Barclays in its high-profile derivatives dispute with Graiseley Properties.

Julian Acratopulo's practice is international in scope and spans corporate, commercial, financial and product liability disputes. He acted for Talal El Makdessi on a dispute with the WPP group of companies over a share sale.

Roger Leese is highly regarded by market commentators, who praise him as “efficient” and “charming to work with.” He is particularly active in cross-border and jurisdictional issues, civil fraud cases and trusts litigation.

Up-and-coming associate Chris Yates impresses market commentators as a “strikingly able” litigation practitioner. He has appeared on a number of substantial cases, including as a senior team member advising Kader Holdings on its dispute with Desarrollo over the enforcement of an Arizona court judgment.

Significant clients Siemens, PK Airfinance, Citi, Serco, Toll.

Pensions - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Full-service pensions group with deep experience advising employers, investment companies and trustees on a range of scheme compliance and transactional matters. Well regarded for its investment expertise and offers international capabilities in dealing with cross-border matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are prepared to come up with innovative ideas." 

"The lawyers are technical and efficient." 

Work highlights Assisted the trustees of two of Morrisons' pensions schemes with a real estate asset-backed funding arrangement.

Acted for Brimar Pension Trustees on entering the Pension Protection Fund.

Notable practitioners 

Head of London pensions Hywel Robinson advised Melrose on the demerger of its FKI pension plans. He is described by clients as "very thorough, problem-solves well, but will also make an independent view and stick by it."

Clare Hoxey is outlined by sources in the market as being "technically well informed with sensible views," while clients note: "We find her advice clear, incisive and timely." She worked with Legal & General on three longevity deals with BAE Systems.

Significant clients Babcock International, The AA, Siemens, Citigroup, Barclays.

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for A notable presence on office and retail development planning and regeneration schemes. Regularly acts on energy infrastructure matters, including renewables projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're good on S106 agreements, they're thorough and they work hard."

Work highlights Advised Canary Wharf Group on its development of a 34-storey office tower at Heron Quays West, including listed buildings issues.

Acted on Helical Bar's Barts Square development, a 2.3 acre mixed-use scheme situated behind St Bartholomew's Hospital in the City of London, negotiating the S106 agreement and advising on community infrastructure levy issues.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Howorth leads the team and advises the firm's high-profile developer and property company clients on commercial projects. Clients say: "Nigel's very easy to get on with, he's got an excellent understanding of the planning process and he's very responsive."

Significant clients Exemplar, Legal & General, Siemens, Tishman Speyer, Shangri-La Asia. 

Public International Law - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 consultant
- 6 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Prominent presence in sanctions work, providing counsel on areas such as territorial claims, civil wars and occupied states. Accomplished bilateral investment treaty (BIT) practice with particular experience in emerging markets, combined with extensive human rights expertise. 

Work highlights Assisted multiple DAMAC groups in bringing claims against Egypt for violation of a BIT through the dispossession of various luxury hotels, residential and leisure properties.

Represented PNG Sustainable Development Program in an ICSID arbitration relating to the dissolving of its majority stake in gold and copper mine Ok Tedi by Papua New Guinea.

Notable practitioners  

The well-respected Rae Lindsay co-leads the practice and is renowned for her excellent sanctions expertise, notably in relation to the interaction between US and EU policy. She is also highly experienced in human rights and immunity issues, and acts for a wide range of clients, both states and private corporations.

Department co-leader Audley Sheppard maintains "a thriving practice" and is described by sources as "a great player on the circuit." He is esteemed for his arbitration work before a number of institutions, with particular expertise in the investment treaty space. 

Significant clients Valerie Belokon, Hussain Sajwani, European Financial Stability Facility, government of Poland, Bawabet Al Kuwait Holding Company. 

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Broad real estate finance expertise in both UK and international transactions for borrower and lender clients. Outstanding experience in major development finance matters, and the refinancing of large real estate assets and portfolios.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I am confident in dealing with complex multi-bank transactions with them, and relaxed about the advice and the work they do because they consistently perform. I can rely on them delivering a good service and executing a transaction."

"Very available - when they work on your deal they focus on that deal and nothing else."

What's new? Gained Battersea Project Holding Company as a client, acting for it on the development of Battersea Power Station.

Work highlights Advised GE Capital Real Estate on the £1.4 billion acquisition of a commercial property loan portfolio secured against properties in the UK, Germany and France.

Acted for Deutsche Bank and AGRE Debt Fund on a £400 million senior and a £200 million junior loan secured on the Chiswick Park multi-let business park.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Andrew Carnegie "comes with a very established reputation" in the field. He is respected for his specialist real estate finance, securitisation and structured finance expertise.

Damian Perry is well known for his extensive real estate finance knowledge, particularly relating to cross-border development and investment finance matters. Peers describe him as "commercial, collaborative and very experienced."

Jane Cheong Tung Sing specialises in structured real estate finance, with particular experience in senior and mezzanine investment for both borrower and lender clients. She gains widespread praise from market sources for her technical skill and constructive approach.

Alistair McGillivray has significant experience in acquisition finance matters. One client notes: "He has a very deep understanding of our business and the requirements of his client, as well as expert knowledge of multiple jurisdictions and structures that are appropriate for lenders."

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, MetLife, Canary Wharf Group, AIG, RBS.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts for developers, property companies and investors on a range of disputes, including cross-border issues. Handles rights of light matters, dilapidations and enfranchisement.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have superb clients for whom they provide excellent all-round service."

Work highlights Represented Park Garage Group in a professional negligence action against solicitors responsible for the drafting of a raft of leases covering petrol station properties.

Acted for the lender on an opposed insolvency sale of a EUR47 million portfolio spanning several European countries.

Notable practitioners  

Benjamin Hatton works extensively with major clients on property insolvency cases and fit-out disputes.

Significant clients Canary Wharf Group, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Helical Bar.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds and private equity on some of the largest sales and acquisitions, including asset transactions and SPV deals. Frequently advises developers on landmark projects. Also noted for its property finance expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have strong partners doing good real estate work."

What's new? New clients include SEGRO and Reignwood Group.

Work highlights Advised the Battersea Power Station Development Company on property issues relating to the extension of the Northern Line.

Acted for the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation on its acquisition of a 50% stake in the Broadgate Estate from Blackstone Capital, and on its formation of a joint venture with British Land to develop the site.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Solomon leads the team. He acts for developers, institutional investors and lenders on a diverse range of property transactions. Clients say: "He is very bright and good at finding a way through the complicated structures. If we had a difficult structuring he'd definitely be the person we'd go to."

Franc Pena specialises in shopping centre transactions including financings. Peers consider him to be "rightly well regarded in the market - technically and commercially savvy."

Significant clients Generali, Canary Wharf Group, Corporation of London, CPC Group, Evans Randall.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Formidable practice representing banks and other institutional lenders. Has the capacity to handle major insolvencies and restructurings in the UK and further afield. Works seamlessly with its market-leading capital markets and banking teams to provide a full-service offering to clients.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their coverage is fantastic, they are extremely responsive, and they really understand the dynamics of restructuring."

"They do a great job of advising in a practical and constructive way."

"The team is very focused and well organised." 

Work highlights Acted for the ad hoc committee of existing lenders, comprising HSBC, BNP Paribas, Caixabank, Natixis and Bankia, on a significant restructuring of PRISA, as well as the negotiation of a considerable injection of new capital.

Acted for the lending bank, Lloyds Banking Group, on the substantial debt restructuring of the De Vere Group.

Notable practitioners  

Iain White is described by sources as "one of the rising stars of his generation," and as a "very smart" practitioner who is particularly attuned to the realities of the market. He acted on the restructuring of Independent News & Media, including advising on the sale of the group's South African subsidiary and a major debt-for-equity swap.

Philip Hertz is recognised as a team player, and an adviser who will engage creatively with his clients' interests. His analysis and communication skills are highly praised, along with his organisation and experience. One source summed him up as "one of the best practitioners in the restructuring and insolvency market."

Adrian Cohen is highlighted as a practitioner who is particularly "commercially aware" and "very alive to looking at the commercial objectives of his clients." His practice covers all aspects of restructuring and insolvency law, and he was heavily involved in negotiating CVAs in the restructuring of Drydocks World.

David Steinberg is singled out as an adviser who is "always offering solutions" to his clients, and who approaches his cases with good commercial sense. The quality of his work is highly praised by clients and peers, and he has recently advised on the restructuring of two major Greek toll roads.

Significant clients HSBC, Barclays, Citi, RBS, GSO.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Substantial team working with a notable clientele, including banks and other financial institutions. Continues to attract new clients in a range of other industry sectors, providing them with wide-ranging tax advice on significant UK and international transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are well resourced and have some very capable individuals, which means they can do the biggest transactions and do them well."

What's new? New clients include ITV and Sony.

Work highlights Advised Avis Budget on the tax aspects of its creation of a securitisation programme for the financing of car rental services in Germany, Italy and Spain.

Acted for Hammerson on its joint venture with Westfield Group for the redevelopment of the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres in Croydon. 

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Elman is an experienced tax practitioner with expertise in tax issues relating to financing and corporate transactions.

David Harkness is commended for his "very broad practice and in-depth knowledge." He is especially well known for his work with financial institutions on public takeover matters, and is also adept at advising clients on international tax matters and tax disputes. 

Dan Neidle has a varied tax practice, taking in a wide range of matters concerning financial and corporate transactions in both the UK and internationally.

Anthony Stewart "has really deep industry knowledge and is technically excellent," according to market commentators. He specialises in tax matters concerning a variety of investment funds. 

Douglas French is "very user-friendly" and concentrates on advising clients on tax matters arising from significant commercial and corporate transactions. 

Indirect tax expert David Saleh is able to "come at things from a different angle where required," according to interviewees. He also advises clients on matters concerning property tax.

The "very clever" Etienne Wong is respected for his expertise in matters relating to a range of indirect taxes, particularly when advising financial institutions.

Significant clients Shell, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citibank, AMC Networks, Morgan Stanley.

Administrative & Public Law - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Adept at handling public law matters across multiple jurisdictions, especially with regard to the relationship between EU law and domestic law. Notable experience representing clients in inquiries and advising on reputation management.

Work highlights Advised Sorensen Communications on its campaign to introduce video relay resources for deaf people in the UK, which was carried out through a variety of public applications and parliamentary resources.

Advised James Murdoch in relation to the Leveson Inquiry and the Culture, Media & Sport Committee inquiry into phone hacking.

Notable practitioners  

Elizabeth Morony heads the firm's antitrust litigation group and has a strong reputation for her work on cases involving overlapping elements of EU and domestic law.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strength across multiple asset classes and a broad global footprint. Regularly advises on complex and high-value transactions. Strong aviation finance practice noted for representing capital providers. Notable for its work advising financiers in both the rail and offshore maritime sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very commercial and hard-working." 

"Very easy to work with, very practical, and they have a no-nonsense approach to resolving issues."

"They are professional, responsive and work very hard."

Work highlights Advised on all aspects of Investec Aircraft Syndicate's USD650 million portfolio aircraft acquisition, guiding Investec in its role as arranger and NORD/LB's and DVB Bank's roles as senior lenders.

Acted for European Investment Bank and 18 commercial banks on approximately £1.6 billion of financing for the procurement of new rolling stock for the Thameslink project.

Notable practitioners  

William Glaister leads the firm's global asset finance group and is one of the most highly regarded and pre-eminent individuals within the aviation finance sphere. He specialises in advising lessors and banks in high-value, complex transactions, and has recently led the team advising Doric Lease Corp on its USD600 million bond issuance to part-finance its purchase of four A380 aircraft.

Nick Swinburne advises banks and lessors on a range of transactions, including structured finance and leasing transactions in the aviation industry. Market sources note that "he has a good combination of commercial and technical skill and does not get lost in the minutiae of legal niceties."

Rob Burley is noted for his involvement in aviation finance transactions, acting for financiers and operating lessors and lessees. A market source notes that "he is methodical, has a lot of experience and is a good draftsman."

Gavin Teague is regularly instructed on high-value rail financing transactions and regularly advisers financiers on their role in large-scale rolling stock transactions.  

Significant clients GE Capital Aviation Services, SMBC Aviation Capital, Deutsche Bank, Avolon, The Milestone Aviation Group.

Commodities - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A great name in the transactional sphere, regularly sought out by prominent clients such as commodities traders and private equity funds for its services in trade finance. Established skill in the regulatory sphere affords it a sound name in derivatives-related work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A blue-chip finance firm." 

Work highlights Acted for Commerzbank as arranger and dealer on the EUR10 billion asset-backed MTN programme for issuer Agate Assets.

Advised Metinvest on the negotiation of swap agreements and banking warranties for transactions involving iron ore.

Notable practitioners

London partner Leonard Cleland is a key contact for this work.

Significant clients Goldman Sachs, The Carlyle Group, Rabobank, EBRD, Crédit Suisse.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Tackles international compliance projects for major corporates, drawing on the strength of the firm's Europe-wide data practice. Also advises on data protection strategy and one-off issues for key clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're technically very high-quality and pleasant to deal with, and they have a good understanding of the industry."

Notable practitioners  

Richard Jones is the firm's director of data privacy, specialising in multi-jurisdictional data management issues. Clients praise his "thoughtful practical and commercial advice; he's very clever and helps us to think things through." 

Significant clients Citi, The Co-operative Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 associates

What the team is known for Handles a broad range of work for its blue-chip client base, with a focus on advising those in banking and finance. Noted for its expertise in advising on financial remuneration regulations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“I could not rate them highly enough. Their knowledge of our schemes is so in-depth that when I am floundering, they can answer me off the top of their head. They get behind and involved, and they are fantastic in that respect.”

Work highlights Assisting Eurasian Resources Group on the cross-border share scheme consequences of its £3 billion offer for the shares of Eurasian Natural Resources.

Advising Barclays on all features of its share and incentives arrangements.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Sonia Gilbert has particular expertise in remunerations advice for financial services clients and has worked extensively with Barclays and RBS. She receives high commendations from interviewees for her depth of knowledge and commerciality. One client stated: “I trust her judgement completely,” adding that she provides a “first-class service.”

Significant clients Babcock International Group, Booker, Diageo, RBS, Accenture.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Acts for banks and mining companies on M&A, capital markets work, disputes and regulatory compliance. Often acts as bank counsel on high-end corporate transactions on a global basis, and its client list includes a number of mining majors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I like the fact that they are always available and willing to do the grind."

"The cohort below the partners are young, but well versed and know what they are doing."

Work highlights Acted for Eurasian Resources Group in its £3 billion cash and share offer for the remaining shares of ENRC.

Represented Rockwood Holdings in a joint venture with Chengdu Tianqi industry group over lithium assets in Western Australia.

Notable practitioners

David Lewis is an M&A and capital markets lawyer who co-heads the firm's mining group. He represented Columbia Wanger Asset Management, a major shareholder of Archipelago Resources, in a £383 million takeover by Archipelago's majority shareholder. Sources appreciate his client-focused and commercial approach, and note that he "really works hard to get to know us and give us what we need."

Significant clients Bumi Resources, Glencore Xstrata, Trafigura, Vale, Katanga Mining.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Premier law firm in the UK for energy work. Advises lenders on the financing of large power generation projects in regions such as Africa and the Middle East. Additional experience in the nuclear field. Renewable energy work includes acting for investors, such as private equity funds, in the financing or acquisition of projects worldwide. Excellent oil and gas practice, advising blue-chip clients across the entire oil and gas chain.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were willing to step in and help; they were proactive in finding a commercial position that would keep everybody happy." 

"Delivered on time and great at project-managing the process. They were quite crucial in solving some commercial deadlocks we got into and they were important in the success of the transaction." 

"They were prepared to invest in the relationship on a long-term basis, to put in lots of work to get to know us and spend time understanding us and our needs."

What's new? Clifford Chance was appointed to BG Group's panel following a competitive tender.

Work highlights Acted for JBIC in connection with the financing of a combined power generation and seawater desalination plant in Kuwait.

Represented Actis in its acquisition of a 60% stake in Aela Energía, a renewable energy developer in Chile.

Acted for Shell in its acquisition of a portfolio of LNG assets from Repsol for USD6.7 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Connick is active in the power and renewable energy fields. He advised the lenders, Investec Bank, on the financing of a biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plant in Northern Ireland. Sources say: "He is a pleasure to work with, a very good guy, very switched-on and commercial."

Audley Sheppard is a highly rated arbitration specialist. Commentators respect his standing in the field, with one source noting: "He is a very fine lawyer; he knows the energy sector."

Alex Panayides is a well-known dispute resolution solicitor in the energy sector. He has been involved in a number of high-profile energy matters and advises in arbitration and courtroom disputes. One source said: "He has quite a calm style, unflappable, and he is very good at reaching commercial solutions." 

Russell Wells is a projects lawyer with a great deal of energy finance experience. He advised Statoil in connection with a proposed LNG plant in Tanzania. Sources say: "He knows the energy sector and he is practical and pleasant to deal with." 

John Wilkins is an energy partner who handles some of the firm's key oil and gas relationships. He acted for Shell in relation to the divestment of its downstream assets in Italy.

Significant clients Mitsui, Chevron, Marubeni, EDF, GDF SUEZ.

Financial Services - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- over 70 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Market-leading practice with strength in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Noted for its global network and ability to advise on complex cross-border regulatory issues. Impressive client base including major industry associations and global financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are an absolute powerhouse in my view and the individuals are of an unfailing calibre - they are so good, so hard-working and clear-thinking."

"They're very hard-working, nothing is too much trouble. They've got good attention to detail and they're also very experienced and canny."

"Excellent - calm, professional, responsive and client-friendly."

"They undoubtedly have scale and they've got excellent quality people who handle very good instructions."

"It's been a very positive experience. They're incredibly professional; I think they're very commercial and deliver within the timeframes we set."

Work highlights Obtained legal opinions from numerous jurisdictions for members of the Futures & Options Association to acquire relief from regulatory requirements imposed under the Capital Requirements Regulation.

Continued to advise the International Swaps & Derivatives Association (ISDA) on European regulatory reform such as matters relating to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) amongst others.

Notable practitioners  

"Consummate tactician" Simon Davis is particularly adept at handling contentious regulatory disputes for international investment institutions. Sources say: "He's a very good mediator - when difficult issues have to be brokered he's quite good at dealing with that delicately."

Highly regarded Christopher Bates is referred to throughout the market as "a leading name" who is "very experienced and very bright." He is head of the financial regulatory practice and is noted for the quality of his advice on non-contentious issues, with particular expertise in derivatives transactions.

Roger Best receives extensive praise, with sources noting: "He's exceptionally experienced. He can steer a bank through very difficult waters." His experience in advising in regulatory investigations in multiple jurisdictions is particularly impressive, including the USA, Japan and Singapore.

Carlos Conceicao is former head of the FSA's Enforcement Wholesale Group and understandably has great gravitas in this arena. One source comments: "He is well regarded by the regulator, particularly in market abuse. If he makes a submission, the FCA will pause and reflect because he is regarded as a genuine expert."

Dorian Drew is lauded by multiple peers for his "confident, sensible" approach and for showing "real strength of character." Clients say he is "technically very sound and balances this with a pragmatism and commercial approach." He is regarded as a specialist in contentious financial services.

Regulatory and derivatives expert Simon Gleeson offers particular expertise across a plethora of non-contentious matters to not only international financial institutions but also governments, regulators and public bodies. One peer calls him "a star, ahead of many others."

Dermot Turing is a key partner advising on non-contentious regulatory matters. He recently advised the Futures & Options Association, harnessing opinions from 34 countries to advise the FOA member firms on matters relating to the Capital Requirements Regulation.

Fraud - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Well placed to handle international fraud litigation. Regularly acts for clients from the banking sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They've got an incredible breadth of expertise and they've always got someone in the firm for whatever your legal needs. They really are multi-dimensional."

"They have great expertise in handling cases which have criminal, regulatory and civil strands to them, and an international reach."

Work highlights Defended Citi against allegations that it fraudulently induced Terra Firma to purchase EMI at an inflated price.

Acted for Société Générale on a USD500 million claim against insurers relating to a commodities loss.

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Kosky has experience in acting for corporates, financial institutions and trustees in fraud disputes. His recent caseload includes defending allegations of breach of fiduciary duties.

Clients appreciate that Roger Best "provides significant experience in heavyweight City litigation." He recently acted for Citi in relation to claims brought by Terra Firma based on allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation in connection with its purchase of EMI.

Significant clients Barclays, Toll Group, Bumi Resources, ING.

Hotels & Leisure - UK-wide

What the team is known for Recognised for its finance work within the sector. Represents the interests of clients, including developers, owners and investors, both domestically and internationally. Areas of strength include acquisitions, debt restructuring, joint ventures and refinancing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do an excellent job and deliver exactly what the client wants. We keep going back to Clifford Chance because they're so good." 

What's new? New client wins include the Reignwood Group.

Work highlights Acted for Metropolitan Life Insurance on its £200 million refinancing loan of three hotels located in London and the North West.

Represented GE Capital Real Estate in the acquisition of a £1.4 billion portfolio from Deutsche Postbank, including loans secured against hotels in the UK and Western Europe.

Notable practitioners  

Real estate finance expert Andrew Carnegie is a key contact.

Significant clients The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Corinthia Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Stafford Hotel.

Insurance: Contentious Claims & Reinsurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Offers policyholder clients the comprehensive resources of a magic circle firm for all their insurance needs. Counts some of the largest financial institutions and energy companies among its clients. Possesses particular strength in political risk, D&O claims and mis-selling of financial products.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They focus on high-value matters that require large teams and are extremely thorough and professional." 

Work highlights Represented Société Générale in a USD500 million insurance claim relating to the theft of a large amount of gold.

Active in pursuing political risk claims following the expropriation of assets in Venezuela.

Notable practitioners  

Philip Hill heads the team and continues to impress with the strength of his client roster and work. Of particular note is his frequent handling of very high-value D&O issues for clients. Sources praise him as being "superbly clever, helpful and hard-working, as well as a tremendous leader on the policyholder side."

Stephen Surgeoner advises financial institution clients on D&O and credit insurance matters. He also takes an advisory role for his clients, particularly when assisting on structuring insurance for regulatory capital relief purposes.

Significant clients UBS, Barclays, Credit Suisse, E.ON, GE.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Possesses enormous strength in depth at the partner level. Counsels multinational insurance firms on both life and non-life deals. Enjoys a vibrant practice in the M&A space and is experienced in providing Part VII advice. Also assists clients with internal governance and structures and compliance issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are one of a very small pool of true corporate insurance lawyers that understand the market and can provide a full spectrum of services to a global client like us."

"They offer good breadth in terms of the team and work well across disciplines and in particular with the banking and pensions team."

Work highlights Represented Jardine Lloyd Thomson (JLT) in its acquisition of Towers Watson's reinsurance brokerage unit for USD250 million. The work was co-ordinated through the London and New York offices.  

Advised LV= on its issuance of £350 million Lower Tier 2 qualifying debt. The debt is intended to assist the mutual with its Solvency II obligations.  

Notable practitioners  

Katherine Coates is held in huge esteem throughout the market for her decades of experience in every aspect of corporate insurance work. A leading global insurer states: "Despite being very senior Katherine maintains an interest in the detail and the regulatory ins and outs, which is very impressive. She rolls her sleeves up and gets involved in transactions, while her negotiating style is measured but persuasive and always with a keen eye on looking after our key interests."

Hilary Evenett led the JLT work described above. She has the experience and skill to advise boards facing challenging regulatory environments, and to lead large transactional insurance matters.

Clare Swirski focuses on advising large, global insurers on complex regulatory, M&A and distribution matters, alongside other high-profile work. A peer described her as "a very technically clever lawyer and a hard negotiator."

Ashley Prebble joined the firm in August 2013 having previously been a corporate insurance partner for eight years at Norton Rose. "He understands the marketplace in which the organisations operate and there is no fuss about him. The last time I saw him he was nimble on his feet and adroit in his thinking," said one client.

Significant clients ACE, Admiral, Aspen Re, AXA, Co-operative Group.

International Arbitration - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 20 associates and senior associates 

What the team is known for Well-established arbitration group with significant strength in handling major cases such as claims against state governments and construction disputes. Wide-ranging client base includes financial institutions, large corporate entities and oil companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It was an incredibly rewarding experience working with them." 

"They are fantastic."  

Work highlights Acted for a consortium of oil and gas companies in a USD3 billion arbitration brought against Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

Instructed by a major European gas company in an LCIA arbitration involving a claim under political risk insurance for losses following on from the Arab Spring.

Notable practitioners

With over 25 years of experience in arbitration, Audley Sheppard deservedly has a reputation as a leading authority in the space and is described as "one of the most effective arbitration lawyers in the world." He has extensive expertise as both advocate and arbitrator.

Robert Lambert's deep experience in international disputes regularly attracts big-ticket arbitration work. He is considered to be "unbelievably committed to doing the best job for his clients." His recent work includes an award challenge against a state authority.

Alex Panayides is praised as being "highly intelligent, very good at devising a strategy and a good orator." He has an impressive level of experience in handling international arbitrations for major clients in the energy sector.

Significant clients IFC, BNP Paribas, Bawabet Al Kuwait Holding.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Generates some of the largest mandates in the market, with particular focus on private equity and real estate funds. Noted as increasingly active in the burgeoning debt funds space. Able to call on specialist tax and regulatory funds lawyers to provide a one-stop shop service for clients. Acclaimed for its ability on co-investments and alternative structures such as separate accounts and funds of one.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I think they're excellent - they're technically very good, provide thorough, practical advice and are commercial in their outlook." 

"We're very happy with them, they're top of the class in their field - we get top-level service. Can't speak more highly of them."

What's new? New clients wins include Cinven, European Capital and Stirling Square.

Work highlights Represented Permira on the establishment of its second European debt fund, targeting USD1 billion from a diverse investor base.  

Acted for Infracapital on its second infrastructure fund, concentrating on European businesses and targeting USD900 million in commitments.

Notable practitioners  

Renowned as a leader in private equity and real estate funds, Nigel Hatfield offers clients the benefit of his extensive market experience in the establishment, structuring and running of funds. Sources characterise him as "excellent - very user-friendly, very responsive and happy to simplify things."

Gerard Saviola is the recipient of extensive praise from interviewees, one of whom states: "He is really carving out a niche for himself and growing to the next level. He is a technically superb lawyer and growing into a fantastic adviser - especially on fund formation." His commerciality and responsiveness are also picked out as key strengths. 

Significant clients Apax Partners, Pramerica, DRC, 3i, VTB Capital.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Astute handling of sophisticated global business process and IT outsourcing transactions, with a focus on representing buyer-side clients. Maintains strong strategic relationships with outsourcing suppliers. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A highly skilled firm. You could see the sheer intellectual prowess on both the commercial side and the legal details."

"They've done a great job - very productive. The knowledge base there is just great."

Notable practitioners  

André Duminy is recognised for his expertise in complex, multi-jurisdictional IT and business process outsourcings. Commentators attest: "André's a real expert in the field. He's the one we look to to figure out market rates and industry issues that might crop up. He's been excellent."

Parliamentary & Public Affairs - UK-wide

What the team is known for Provides high-level public affairs advice to large corporate clients, including oil, media and financial services entities. Key mandates include advising on public inquiries, alleged breaches of competition law and economic development plans.

Work highlights Advised on the proposed merger of EADS with BAE Systems, a matter which raised complex issues of EU law.

Acted for News International chairman James Murdoch on both the Leveson Inquiry and the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into media ethics and practices.

Notable practitioners  

Senior associate Alan Mak heads up the firm's UK public policy group. His recent highlights include advising professional services body TheCityUK on policy and reform matters.

Significant clients Government of the Netherlands, Barclays, RBS, Tate & Lyle Sugars, Standard & Poor's.

Partnership - UK-wide

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Projects - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Versatile practice with significant experience acting for lenders on transport, defence, waste and energy work both domestically and internationally. Also active in bonds and secondary market matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're an excellent firm taking on big infrastructure matters - top-quality lawyers and good work." 

Work highlights Advised Denys N.V. on the Asutsuare Water Treatment Project in Ghana.

Acted for Barclays Bank on the sale of Barclays Infrastructure to 3i Group.

Notable practitioners  

David Bickerton's practice includes significant expertise in project bonds. He has experience acting for lenders in the UK and Europe, and sources describe him as "very good and very sensible."

Gavin Teague is a key partner in the team with experience across areas such as defence and transport, acting for lenders and bidders. Sources note that "he does an excellent job on a variety of transactions."

The "hugely impressive" Tim Steadman represents lenders and bidders on a broad array of projects. His practice covers areas including defence and power in the UK and the Middle East.

Significant clients EIB, JBIC, IFC, EBRD, Skansa.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Remains an extremely strong and well-respected player in the private equity market, with an enviable client list and regular representations on major transactions. Has greatly increased its practice in the emerging markets, with Africa a particular area of focus.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're hungry and not passive - they're proactive with the client. It's about a business relationship."

"They are available and responsive. I don't hesitate to call them."

"They clearly have a very broad capability in the UK and Europe."

Work highlights Assisted Electra Partners with its disposal of Allflex to BC Partners in a deal worth USD1.35 billion.

Advised CVC Capital Partners on its purchase of Domestic & General Group from Advent International for £750 million.

Notable practitioners  

David Pearson gains plaudits from clients who compliment his "comprehensive grasp of everything," noting that he is "hugely involved and has a comprehensive view of what's going on across all the work streams." He was the lead lawyer on Doc Bidco's acquisition of R Griggs Group for EUR380 million.

Sources think highly of Simon Tinkler, crediting him as "technically extremely strong" as well as commercial. In addition to his wide-ranging private equity practice, he leads the firm's London corporate group.

The "outstanding" Jonny Myers is an "incredibly insightful" lawyer who "impressed technically and with the quality of his advice." Among his key areas of expertise are retail and media, where he often advises high-profile clients.

Matthew Layton is described as a "fantastic lawyer" and a "legend in the field." He is managing partner of Clifford Chance.

Significant clients Permira, Cinven, Actis, KKR, Montagu Private Equity.

Projects - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Excellent profile in domestic work coupled with significant strength across oil and gas, infrastructure and power matters in Europe and Africa. Frequently instructed by an impressive roster of sponsor and lender-side clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're always strong on the funding and the projects side." 

"They're obviously a good firm - they do a lot in Africa and it's a very good practice."

What's new? Engaged by BG Group as a new client. 

Work highlights Represented JBIC as the single largest lender on the Az-Zour North IWPP, a major combined power and water desalination project in Kuwait.

Acted on the Yamal LNG project in Russia, advising the project company on construction and procurement issues.

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Connick heads the group and is acclaimed across the market for his expertise in the sector, including experience acting for lenders and sponsors on power deals in Africa. Sources point to his ability to "translate technical things into a legal context - it's not always easy and he does it very well."

Key partner Russell Wells is highlighted in particular for his expertise in oil and gas work. He acts for lenders and sponsors on projects in Europe and Africa, and sources describe him as "thorough and pragmatic about getting things done."

John Wilkins enjoys a notable track record in power work, both domestically and in the Middle East. Sources point to his representation of sponsors and lenders in complex financings.

Significant clients Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui, Statoil, EIB.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 19 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Acting for blue-chip corporate clients and financial institutions on complex and high-value deals. The team is well known for its capability in handling transactions with an international element.

Work highlights Acted for SBF on its £1.35 billion global acquisition of Ribena and Lucozade from GlaxoSmithKline.

Advised Doc Bidco, a private equity-backed company, on its acquisition of the holding company of Dr Martens.

Notable practitioners  

Global head of retail, David Pudge, is the key contact.

Significant clients Staples, Booker, Halfords, Carrefour, Pernod Ricard.

Social Housing - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Strong choice for innovative financial transactions in the sector, including bond issuances and private placements. Clients include well-known banking institutions and alternative financial providers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They understand the housing sector and have wider skills within the firm so they can look across different sectors to provide comparisons."

"I always feel I can pick up the phone to the partners."

Work highlights Acted for Barclays Bank and Lloyds Banking Group on their bilateral loan facilities, including both the finance and security aspects.

Assisted Legal & General with its first social housing loan facility to Hyde Southbank and Hillside Housing Trust, which included the charging of properties.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Despina Pantelia provides "clear and concise opinions," interviewees noted. She is praised for her understanding of banking transactions and loan documentation owing to her "experience and real knowledge of the sector."

Angela Shepherd is praised for her property and charging expertise, with clients regarding her as "unflappable, highly knowledgeable, and thoughtful in her advice." She recently assisted Nationwide Building Society with the licensing for a solar panel scheme undertaken by its borrower, a registered provider.

Ruby Giblin advises on the property aspects of transactions. Clients describe her as "very efficient, and confident in her views and guidance on our position."

Significant clients Abbey National Treasury Services, Prudential Trustee Company, European Investment Bank, RBS, The Law Debenture Trust Corporation. 

Tax - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Offers a broad range of contentious tax skills and experience to an enviable list of household-name clients. Operates in a variety of sectors, including insurance, financial services and asset management, media and real estate. Covers a range of matters, including GLOs and those relating to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and VAT. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the most experienced teams in the City, with an outstanding international network."

Notable practitioners  

"Formidable litigator" Liesl Fichardt "is unrivalled for tenacity and the sensible and commercially aware resolution of the most difficult problems," remark commentators. Another observer notes: "Litigation is one thing, but she also focuses on negotiating settlements and other better solutions. She is very measured in her approach." Fichardt leads the firm's tax disputes offering in London.

Significant clients Sony, Expedia, Global Radio, Tyrus Capital, Cheyne Capital.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Advises blue-chip telecommunications clients on M&A matters. Demonstrates particular depth on commercial and competition aspects of transactional work, with extensive expertise in matters with an international element.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Clifford Chance understands well the interest of the client, but is also commercial."

"I can rely on them whenever I need - they're flexible and proximate, and provide concise and profound advice."

Work highlights Acted for TalkTalk on its complaint to Ofcom regarding BT's alleged abusive margin squeeze in respect of superfast broadband services.

Notable practitioners  

Jenine Hulsmann impresses clients with "very clear and very practical advice." Sources also highlight her depth of knowledge in the sector. "She can start advising straight away on a very specific, technical matter," reported one interviewee. She acts on competition and regulatory mandates for major sector clients.

"Particularly strong on M&A in the telecoms sector," Joachim Fleury has recently acted on behalf of Deutsche Telekom in transactional work. The head of the firm's global TMT practice is described as "a knowledgeable and business-oriented lawyer."

Significant clients EE, TeliaSonera, Inmarsat, Arqiva, Etisalat.

Transport - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Regularly instructed in large rolling stock transactions by a range of clients, including leading operating lessors and financial institutions. Also noted for its expertise in projects and infrastructure, particularly project financing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're very dedicated and have helped us through some very complicated intercreditor negotiations."

"They have the ability to draw on the expertise of other members of the firm and scale up the team when they need to."

"They have a strong knowledge of the law and are also able to work on a commercial basis."

Work highlights Advised the European Investment Bank and 18 commercial banks on the £1.6 billion rolling stock financing for the Thameslink network.

Acted for Battersea Power Land Company on the £600 million Battersea Power Station regeneration, including the extension of the Northern Line to the site.

Notable practitioners  

Rail group head Gavin Teague specialises in projects and asset finance. Clients regard him as "very pragmatic and a particularly good negotiator in complex situations."

Significant clients Lombard, Eurostar, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Lloyds Commercial Banking, Angel Trains.