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Chambers Europe Awards 2016

This year, the Chambers Europe Awards Ceremony and dinner was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday, April 22nd 2016.

These awards honour the work of national and international law firms across Europe on the basis of research for the upcoming edition of Chambers Europe.  They recognise a law firm’s pre-eminence in key countries in the region.  They also reflect notable achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.

Take a look at the photo gallery of the ceremony here.



Winners 2016

Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession

Séamus Given

Séamus Given of Arthur Cox is a clear star in the field of employment law. Head of the firm’s employment practice, he is praised for his deep experience and knowledge of all aspects of Ireland’s employment law and issues surrounding industrial relations. His clients have described him as “the best in the business due to his level of expertise, practical insight, speed of response and outstanding professionalism.” Given regularly publishes on matters related to high-profile cases as well as variations in employment law in England and Ireland.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Christian Dorda

Christian Dorda, founding partner of Dorda Brugger Jordis, is a leading light in the Austrian market and across Europe. He is revered for his extensive experience in Corporate/M&A and his excellent work as an arbitrator. Fluent in English and French in addition to his native German, he is a significant force on international matters. Dorda is Vice President of the ICC International Chamber of Commerce Austria and Counsel to the French-Austrian Chamber of Commerce. He is a board member of Agenda Austria, his home country's first fully independent think tank.

Austria Law Firm of the Year

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlwati
Dorda Brugger Jordis
Eisenberger & Herzog
Wolf Theiss

Winner: Schoenherr

Large Austrian firm with top-notch expertise in M&A, banking, competition and restructuring with additional first-class knowledge in IP, real estate and public law. The firm's clients also benefit from its excellent disputes and capital markets know-how. The firm is one of the most active Austrian firms internationally, with ranked offices in nine countries across the CEE region. Recent work highlights include advising Heta Asset Resolution on the sale of the SEE banking network of former Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International to Advent International and EBRD as well as advising the Austrian ministry of finance on multiple legal disputes concerning HETA. The firm has also acted for Adidas on its EUR220 million acquisition of Austrian-based app developer Runtastic.

Client Service Award for Austria

Winner: CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlwati

CHSH’s clients appreciate the firm’s breadth and depth of expertise across a range of practice areas, with one client stating that “they are critically sized, relevant experts, ready to support you on various matters.” Additional sources note the firm’s availability and adherence to deadlines. One client praises their “speed and precision. I get quick responses and they can work under pressure.”

Belgium Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Winner: Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

A well-established firm in Belgium with top-notch energy and tax practices. Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick continues to impress in the Belgian market, advancing in the rankings in key practice areas including banking & finance, real estate and IP. Advising on national matters as well as international cases, clients further benefit from its membership in the Lex Mundi network. Recent work highlights have included advising EDF Luminus on a claim against the Belgian state for breach of the EU directive on the taxation of energy products as well as assisting Befimmo with the Gateway acquisition from Codic and Immobel.

Client Service Award for Belgium

Winner: DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper receives excellent feedback from its clients, with many praising its teams’ responsiveness and availability. One client states that “The service was incredible. I cannot remember any e-mail or question that was not replied to within an hour.” Additional clients note the partners’ negotiation skills and the ease with which the firm dealt with cross-border matters through its vast network.

Czech Republic Law Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie
Clifford Chance LLP
Kocián Šolc Balaštík
PRK Partners
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
White & Case LLP

Winner: PRK Partners

PRK Partners is a market-leading Czech firm with vast experience of advising leading international clients on complex mandates. The firm is noted for its outstanding strength in the finance sphere, working closely with household names such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Raiffeisenbank and ING, and for its prominence in labour law matters, including active participation in leading employment law associations and representation of clients in TUPE, redundancy and employee tax issues. The outfit's growth in the projects & energy and real estate spheres has also been noted by an array of impressed market commentators.

Denmark Law Firm of the Year

Bruun & Hjejle
Gorrissen Federspiel
Kromann Reumert

Winner: Kromann Reumert

Kromann Reumert remains a mainstay in the Danish market for its top-notch capabilities across an impressive range of practice areas. It continues to be popular with financial institutions and energy providers, acting on M&A, IPOs and competition matters. Recent work highlights have included advising Syd Energi on the acquisition of 25% of the share capital in Verdo Tele as well as advising Nordea Bank as part of a syndicate of lenders financing Altor’s acquisition of Norican Group.

Finland Law Firm of the Year

Castrén & Snellman
Hannes Snellman

Winner: Borenius

Borenius continues to impress with its strength across all of the firm's practices and teams. In particular, its real estate department has received high praise this year and rises to the top of the rankings, while Borenius' teams in intellectual property, restructuring, tax, energy, and shipping continue to impress both clients and market commentators alike. Notable highlights of late include advising Paroc and its sellers on the company's EUR700 million acquisition by CVC Capital Partners, as well as instructions from the likes of Aberdeen Asset Management, Citycon and Valad Europe.

France Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Bredin Prat
Clifford Chance Europe LLP
Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
White & Case LLP

Winner: Clifford Chance

The Paris arm of international powerhouse Clifford Chance continues to be praised for its leading position in the French market. The exceptional team boasts an extensive client portfolio of key players within the financial sector who benefit from the firm's vast global network and full service offering. The Paris office provides clients with expertise in a number of practice areas and industry sectors, as diverse as acquisition finance, international projects, public law and sport. A standout recent mandate for the department in the private equity sphere has been assisting Cinven with its EUR1.3 billion acquisition of Labco from a consortium of investors.

Germany Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Hengeler Mueller
Hogan Lovells International
Latham & Watkins LLP

Winner: Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller remains a leading light in the German legal landscape. In addition to the firm's fabled corporate strength, it boasts top-ranked practices in banking, capital markets, competition, disputes, energy, investment funds and private equity. Hengeler Mueller routinely participates in many of the largest inbound and outbound transactions involving Germany, often with the help of its international offices and its high-profile best-friends network. Recent highlights include advising Coca-Cola Enterprises on its EUR14.94 billion merger with Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke to form Coca-Cola European Partners. It often assists many of the country's blue chip corporates with a range of transactions, a fact showcased by the firm's representation of DAX company HeidelbergCement in the EUR4.4 billion syndicated bridge financing for its acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Italcementi.

Greece Law Firm of the Year

Karatzas & Partners
KG Law Firm
Koutalidis Law Firm
Lambadarios Law Firm
M&P Bernitsas Law Offices

Winner: Lambadarios Law Firm

Lambadarios is an Athens-based firm known for both its international and domestic capabilities. It continues to impress in the areas of Dispute Resolution, Corporate/Commercial and Banking & Finance in particular. The team advises an impressive portfolio of clients ranging from international media companies and financial institutions to local energy and natural resources companies. Also active for clients in the aquaculture sector, the firm advised Nireus Aquaculture on a EUR17 million financial restructuring.

Hungary Law Firm of the Year

Andrékó Kinstellar Ügyvédi Iroda
Baker & McKenzie
CMS Cameron McKenna LLP
Horváth & Partners DLA Piper
Szecskay Attorneys at Law
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Winner: Horváth & Partners DLA Piper

Alongside its continued leading position in high-end M&A and tax mandates, this firm has recently witnessed a growth in strength in the Hungarian competition law, real estate and TMT markets, benefiting on cross-border mandates from the international expertise of DLA Piper's global network. The firm also maintains its niche position in the Hungarian film finance field, recently advising on the structuring, financing and production of major motion picture 'The Martian', produced and shot in Hungary in 2015. In the transactional sphere, the firm has sustained its prominence with clients from the energy sector, recently acting for major companies such as Tigáz and Eni on high-end sales and investments.

Ireland Law Firm of the Year

A&L Goodbody
Arthur Cox
Mason Hayes & Curran
McCann FitzGerald
William Fry

Winner: A&L Goodbody

Boasting a truly impressive 21 Band 1 rankings in Chambers Europe, A&L Goodbody is a clear market-leader in the Irish market. Top-tier in practice areas ranging from banking & finance, capital markets and dispute resolution, clients also benefit from further excellent teams in health litigation, construction and investment funds. The firm is active on highly complex and high-profile matters, including advising Pfizer on its $160 billion merger with Allergan.

Client Service Award for Ireland

Winner: Mason Hayes & Curran

One particularly impressed client states that Mason Hayes & Curran “provided thorough, thoughtful and practical advice on every issue we encountered during a long negotiation processed and provided great leadership.” Further impressed sources highlight the firm’s dedication and excellent communication skills.

Italy Law Firm of the Year

Chiomenti Studio Legale
Clifford Chance LLP
Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners
Legance - Avvocati Associati

Winner: BonelliErede

One of the top Italian firms on the market, BonelliErede continues to excel in its representation of both domestic and international clients. An outstanding choice for high value transactional and litigious cases, with market-leading practices for corporate/M&A, dispute resolution, private equity and employment. The energy sector is another key area of focus for the firm, which recently advised Linea Group Holding on its EUR500 million merger with A2A, the first stage in consolidating Italy's utility sector.

Client Service Award for Italy

Winner: Legance - Avvocati Associati

Avvocati Associati receives praise from clients for its lawyers’ approachability and efficiency. One particularly impressed client states that “The overall level of service is excellent, and it is remarkable how they are able to combine a high level of performance with rapidity of service.” Sources further note the lawyers’ in-depth knowledge of their particular areas, lauding their “suggestions of solutions and best behaviours.”

Luxembourg Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Arendt & Medernach
Bonn Steichen & Partners
Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen

Winner: Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen

A leading firm in the Luxembourgish market, Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen has continued to go from strength to strength. The firm boasts top tier rankings in key areas, including Banking & Finance, Capital Markets and Corporate/Commercial with further strengths in Investment Funds and Dispute Resolution. It regularly advises a mixture of national and international financial institutions and funds as well as real estate portfolios, recently assisting GAGFAH with its EUR3.9 billion takeover by Deutsche Annington.

Netherlands Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
Houthoff Buruma
Loyens & Loeff

Winner: Loyens & Loeff

Loyens and Loeff offers capabilities in an impressive array of practice areas in the Netherlands and stellar feedback from clients. With particular strengths in private equity, real estate and energy and natural resources, the firm is making significant strides in dispute resolution and restructuring/insolvency. Loyens and Loeff is also extremely active on tax matters, recently advising Simon Property Group and Klépierre on the EUR7.2 billion merger between Klépierre and Corio.

Client Service Award for Netherlands

Winner: Stibbe

“Very pragmatic, always with the eye on the ball but also managing to dig deep into the case,” is a sentiment echoed by many of Stibbe’s clients. Sources praise the firm’s commercial awareness and depth of expertise. One client also deems the firm “very user-friendly and responsive, I always heard back right away with thoughtful and comprehensive responses.”

Norway Law Firm of the Year

Advokatfirmaet BA-HR
Advokatfirmaet Schjødt
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Wikborg Rein

Winner: Advokatfirmaet BA-HR

This mainstay of the Norwegian market continues to go from strength to strength, receiving excellent client feedback for all practices and departments. BA-HR boasts a highly impressive eleven top-tier rankings in Chambers Europe 2016, including a band one position for oil and gas work, having bolstered its team with some impressive lateral hires. The firm's lawyers serve an exceptional client base and have been appointed as joint counsel to Statnett and the National Grid on the EUR2 billion subsea interconnector project between Norway and the UK.

Poland Law Firm of the Year

Domański Zakrzewski Palinka
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak
Wardyński & Partners

Winner: Dentons

Expansive Polish office of this global firm has highly-ranked teams across the whole spectrum of legal services. The firm houses first-class energy, environment, public procurement, real estate and competition teams. Its transactional practice is complimented by notable disputes, banking, debt capital markets, tax, restructuring, TMT and projects and infrastructure offerings. The office has added six new partners in 2015, including three lateral hires. The firm's client roster features many blue-chip Polish energy companies as well as banks. Recent highlights include advising TAURON Polska Energia on a EUR 1.43 billion bond issue as well as representing a consortium of Saipem, Techint and PBG in a high value dispute with Polskie LNG concerning the construction of Poland’s first LNG regasification terminal.

Client Service Award for Poland

Winner: Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak

Sources praise the lawyers at Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak for their availability and extensive knowledge of the market. One source in particular highlights their ability to “step immediately into each others’ shoes without compromising on quality.” Another client notes that "they are good at finding a way that they can bring value whilst not overriding or undermining the in-house legal team. They'll work to make sure that we get the right level of service."

Portugal Law Firm of the Year

Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados
Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
PLMJ, Law Firm
Uría Menéndez
Vieira de Almeida & Associados

Winner: Vieira de Almeida & Associados

Vieira de Almeida & Associados has emerged as one of Portugal's leading full-service law firms, with top-tier practices for corporate/M&A, banking, capital markets and competition law. In the last year the firm celebrated its 40th anniversary and welcomed a host of impressive lateral hires, bolstering its capabilities in projects and energy & natural resources. The firm is renowned for its coverage of francophone and lusophone Africa, as well as handling key Portuguese cases such as advising the Bank of Portugal on the resolution of Banco Espírito Santo and Banco Banif.

Romania Law Firm of the Year

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen
Peli Filip
Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA
Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii

Winner: Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA

Schoenherr's development across the CEE region is epitomised by the outstanding growth in prominence of its Bucharest office, having recently established itself as a leader of the competition/antitrust market, alongside increasing prowess in contentious matters, distressed and transactional finance, and tax mandates. The firm's array of recent high-end work highlights are illustrative of Schoenherr's increasing reputation at the top end of the Romanian market, notably advising key players from the finance and energy markets.

Russia Law Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie
Baker Botts LLP
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Goltsblat BLP
Herbert Smith Freehills
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Winner: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

This active Moscow office of an American firm offers top-level advice in regards to the energy sector and also houses very strong banking and M&A teams. Its in-depth sectoral expertise also includes TMT and private equity. Among recent highlights, the firm advised CTC Media on the sale of its Russian operating business to Russian investors.

Spain Law Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie
Clifford Chance LLP
Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira
Uría Menéndez

Winner: Uría Menéndez

Uría Menéndez has cemented its position as one of the premier full-service law firms in Spain and has now expanded its presence across Latin America thanks to a number of mergers in key jurisdictions. In addition to its manifest strength in traditional areas such as M&A, finance, capital markets and disputes, the firm also benefits from market-leading teams in the areas of energy, employment, environment, IP, investment funds, life sciences, private equity, public law, real estate, restructuring and insolvency and shipping. Its clients include leading international companies and the majority of the IBEX 35, whom it advises on a range of transactions. Recent highlights include its advice to Coca-Cola Iberian Partners on its EUR14.94 billion merger with Coca-Cola Enterprises and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke to form Coca-Cola European Partners. The firm also represented Banco Santander in the EUR5.35 billion merger of Santander Asset Management and Pioneer Investments.

Client Service Award for Spain

Winner: Garrigues

“I value the lawyers’ absolute availability and their ability to give a quick response,” is a common response from Garrigues’ clients. Sources further value the high quality of advice and negotiation skills. One particularly impressed client states that “when they are dealing with something, I don’t have to worry. They are meticulous, they always offer different solutions.”

Sweden Law Firm of the Year

Advokatfirman Cederquist KB
Advokatfirman Lindahl
Mannheimer Swartling
Advokatfiraman Vinge KB

Winner: Mannheimer Swartling

A veritable giant on the Swedish market, Mannheimer Swartling's strength across the board has seen it ranked in the top tier in no less than sixteen practice areas in the latest edition of Chambers Europe. The firm's banking & finance and disputes teams attract particular praise, while the firm's corporate/M&A team is regularly involved in some of the largest transactions on the market, including advising Meda on Mylan's pending SEK83.6 billion takeover bid.

Switzerland Law Firm of the Year

Bär & Karrer AG
Lenz & Staehelin
Niederer Kraft & Frey AG
Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Winner: Bär & Karrer AG

Bär & Karrer continues to be a go-to option for many of the country's leading businesses as well as multinationals with interests in Switzerland. In addition to its thriving banking and M&A practices, the firm profits from premier teams in capital markets, dispute resolution, life sciences, private client, real estate and white collar crime. The distinguished team frequently acts on many of the most high-profile deals in the Swiss market, as is demonstrated by its role in advising Syngenta on ChemChina's USD43 billion all-cash offer for the company. The team is also active in representing leading banking clients in key strategic matters, such as UBS's USD58 billion “too big to fail” reorganisation.

Turkey Law Firm of the Year

Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership
Esin Attorney Partnership
Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı Attorneys at Law
Yegin Çiftçi Attorney Partnership
YükselKarkinKüçük Attorney Partnership

Winner: Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership

A true presence in the market, the firm offers excellent capabilities in both domestic and international matters. It remains a market leader in Real Estate and is making strides in shipping and banking & finance. The firm continues to be popular with international clients investing in Turkey from a variety of industries, including beverages, private equity firms and industrial manufacturers. It recently advised YM Gayrimenkul on its USD250 million acquisition of real estate company MESA.

Client Service Award for Turkey

Winner: Yegin Çiftçi Attorney Partnership

Yegin Çiftçi Attorney Partnership is often noted for its ability to handle cross-border work. Sources further praise the lawyers’ responsiveness and communication skills, with one stating that “working with this firm is excellent - the advice always comes promptly, and if I have any doubts then the team will always go through the documents in detail and explain them."

UK Law Firm of the Year

Clifford Chance LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills
Latham & Watkins
Slaughter and May

Winner: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

A mainstay of the UK market, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is renowned for advising large multinational corporations. It boasts top notch practices in banking and finance, competition and litigation with further impressive capabilities in tax, equity capital markets, construction and public procurement. The firm is also highly active on complex, high-value M&A, with its recent mandates including advising AstraZeneca on its proposed takeover of Pfizer.

Ukraine Law Firm of the Year

Avellum Partners
Sayenko Kharenko

Winner: Aequo

A relatively new firm on the market, Aequo has immediately made an impression and continues to grow in size. The firm has quickly advanced in banking and finance and corporate/M&A, and offers further excellent capabilities in IP and competition/antitrust. Advising a range of international and national companies, its client base includes Samsung Electronics, Google and Energy Standard Group. The firm also advised the EU on grating EUR1.8 billion macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.

Baltic-Wide Law Firm of the Year

Tark Grunte Sutkiene

Winner: COBALT

Cobalt has greatly expanded its practice, doubling in size and capacity as a result of merging with Borenius in all three Baltic States in late 2015. It now boasts offices in Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga and Minsk. This merger has made the firm one of the top choices for cross-border deals in the region.

Central and Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance LLP

Winner: CMS

CMS boasts an extensive presence across Central and Eastern Europe, with highly rated offices spanning 13 of the region's jurisdictions, and numerous noted specialists focused on high-end, multi-jurisdictional work within the region. The firm's demonstrable prowess on an international level translates to market-leading ratings in Chambers Europe's Central and Eastern Europe-wide corporate/M&A and projects & energy sections, alongside a highly rated position in the real estate and banking & finance spheres. Recent examples of the firm's top-end work in the region include advising Erste Bank on the financing of the acquisition of a logistics real estate portfolio, including assets in Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, by Blackstone's real estate fund from European property developer Immofinanz.

Offshore Law Firm of the Year

Bedell Cristin
Carey Olson
Mourant Ozannes

Winner: Ogier

Ogier has long been a leading full-service offshore firm with key strength in Jersey and Guernsey, Luxembourg and the Caribbean. It is particularly strong on big-ticket M&A deals and advises Europe-wide on blue-chip corporate mandates with complex offshore legal issues. In a recent highlight, the firm advised on Jersey law issues relating to UBM's USD841 million sale of PR Newswire to Cision. The firm has also grown its capabilities in acting for international private equity while maintaining its traditional strength in work for major banks. Ogier retains its leading reputation for private client, real estate and dispute resolution matters.

Europe Law Firm of the Year

Winner: Allen & Overy

With offices in fourteen countries, including in the UK, Russia, Germany, Belgium and Poland, Allen & Overy remains a key player across Europe. Boasting an outstanding 61 Band 1 rankings across its European branches in areas including corporate/M&A, banking & finance, IP and employment, the firm is regularly visible on high-profile, complex matters. Recent highlights including advising Omega Pharma on its EUR3.6 billion acquisition by Perrigo Company and Deutsche Annington on the EUR6.5 billion financing for its takeover of GAGFAH. Clients praise the firm’s “expertise, responsiveness and effective co-ordination of teams across Europe.” Sources further endorse the firm for its “search for practical solutions when faced with difficult negotiations.”