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Chambers Europe Awards 2017

The 2017 Chambers Europe Awards ceremony and dinner were held on Friday 7th April at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

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.

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Carsten Berrar
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Carsten Berrar of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is a stand-out name in the German market. Co-head of the firm’s Capital Market’s department, he is noted for his extensive experience in equity and public M&A matters, advising on leading IPOs and rights offerings as well as many of the large public takeover transactions in the German market. Described as “clearly the number one lawyer in ECM right now” by an enthusiastic source, clients confirm that “he’s truly an asset.” Fluent in English and French in addition to his native German, he is admitted to the Bar in Frankfurt am Main and New York.


Mario Siragusa
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Mario Siragusa of Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP is revered in the EU legal community and in particular in the Italian market for his competition law expertise, in which he has held a star ranking for the last nine years. He is frequently highlighted for his knowledge of competition law at the both the Italian and European levels, in which he advises high-profile clients on damage claims, cartel matters, abuse of dominance, state aid and merger control issues. Sources describe him as “the antitrust master” and “absolutely outstanding, the best lawyer I have ever met in competition law.”

Siragusa frequently publishes on changes to legislation and represents clients before the European Court of Justice, General Court of the European Union and National Antitrust Authorities and national courts. He is also highly regarded for his work in telecommunications, for which he has held a Band 1 ranking for many years.

Austria Law Firm of the Year

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati
Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners

Winner: CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

CHSH is a highly notable firm that maintains its top positions in such areas as M&A, capital markets and white-collar crime in addition to a full-service coverage of other key practices. Recent significant instructions included advising OMV on the sale of a 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria to a consortium formed by the German Allianz Group and Snam, Italy’s gas infrastructure operator.

Belgium Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Winner: DLA Piper LLP

DLA Piper LLP boasts an expansive international network with a strong and established role in the Belgian domestic market. The firm consistently wins excellent reviews for its public sector expertise, offering a leading public and administrative law department and serving numerous clients involved with public services. It operates at the cutting edge of fast growing industries and areas of law, maintaining its top tier ranking in IT and advancing to a leading position within Data Protection, after impressing sources across the market with its work and well organised, flexible teams. Recent examples of the firm's expertise include assisting bpost with the outsourcing of its ICT infrastructure and ICT applications to various international service providers, with an estimated contract value of EUR350-400 million.

Belgium Client Service Award

Winner: Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy consistently receives impressive feedback from clients across the wide range of its core business areas. One client praises the firm’s "very strong and deep knowledge of the business, great customer focus" and adds that it "is solution-oriented, with sharp minds and good negotiators." Other qualities frequently picked out by clients include the firm’s high standards of international service and find great advantages in its cross regional approach is really strong.

Czech Republic Law Firm of the Year

BBH, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.
Clifford Chance LLP
Havel, Holásek & Partners
Kocián Šolc Balaštík
PRK Partners

Winner: Kocián Šolc Balaštík

Kocián Šolc Balaštík is a home grown firm that has had a prominent presence in the Czech market for over 25 years. The firm is lauded for its work in M&A and corporate advisory, in particular for tax issues, an area in which the firm enjoys a top-tier ranking. Prominent clients include national and international banks and companies, such as Česká národní banka, O2 and Skanska and the firm frequently advises on international transactions using its English and German law in house expertise. It offers particular industry expertise in real estate, energy and telecommunications.

Denmark Law Firm of the Year

Bruun & Hjejle
Gorrissen Federspiel
Kromann Reumert

Winner: Plesner

Firmly part of the elite group of legal practices in Denmark, Plesner has continued to impress across the breadth of its wide-ranging practice. Consistently receiving strong feedback, the firm occupies a top tier position in the majority of practice areas and recently added further accolades by rising to the top of the rankings in TMT. Advises on all kinds of major deals involving the Danish market, including transactions and contentious issues, and both international and domestic cases. Recently the firm acted on the major SEK1.7 billion IPO of a Danish corporation, represented J.H. Schultz Information in its successful appeal against the High Court's judgement in a trademark dispute and advised a consortium of banks and investors on the EUR635 million sale of a 97% interest in Dansk Skibskredit.

Finland Law Firm of the Year

Castrén & Snellman
Hannes Snellman

Winner: Castrén & Snellman

Castrén & Snellman continues to command respect for its high-quality work and is consistently placed as a leading firm across the full range of legal services in Finland. This is demonstrated by its established top tier ratings in areas such as Banking & Finance, Competition, Dispute Resolution and Restructuring & Insolvency. The firm's Intellectual Property team also receives strong praise from clients and advanced in the rankings this year. Major recent cases include acting on the listing of DNA on Nasdaq Helsinki and successfully defending Stora Enso in a competition law related dispute with Metsähallitus, which was claiming approximately EUR160 million in damages.

France Law Firm of the Year

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

Winner: Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI

French powerhouse Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI continues to excel in both legal prowess and outstanding client service. Offering clients extensive coverage of the French legal landscape, the firm has recently achieved further market recognition for its services in financial regulation. A strong choice for high value transactions, it continues to offer top-tier practices in a diverse range of areas, including banking & finance, venture capital, intellectual property, real estate and public law. The firm recently advised Agence des Participations de l'Etat (APE) on the EUR1.7 billion privatisation of the Nice and Lyon airports.

Germany Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Gleiss Lutz
Hengeler Mueller
Latham & Watkins LLP

Winner: Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz offers the full spectrum of corporate advice, and truly lives up to its stated commitment of delivering top-quality advice and excellent service throughout. The firm has a long-standing presence in the German market, and year on year it consistently maintains its many rankings across several practice areas with top notations in competition law, employment and planning and environment. Prominent mandates include advising on Blackstone's refinancing of the Meerwind offshore farm, and representing E.ON in a constitutional complaint procedure relating to the nuclear phase-out.

Greece Law Firm of the Year

Bernitsas Law
Karatzas & Partners
Koutalidis Law Firm
Lambadarios Law Firm
Zepos & Yannopoulos

Winner: Bernitsas Law

Bernitsas is a highly established firm in the Greek market that is active on market-leading deals that stand-out in terms of significance and innovation. The firm boasts top-level positions in banking and finance, capital markets, corporate/commercial and dispute resolution as well as restructuring/insolvency and TMT. Recent highlights include advising Alpha Bank on establishing a joint venture with Centerbridge Partners to create an innovative integrated servicing platform for non-performing Greek bank loans. The firm also represented Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund IV, acting through its subsidiary Apollo Investment ΗoldCo, as the leading member of the consortium that won the tender for the privatisation/re-development of the Astir Palace Vouliagmeni resort.

Hungary Law Firm of the Year

Andrékó Kinstellar Ügyvédi Iroda
Kajtár, Takács, Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker & McKenzie Ügyvédi Iroda
Horváth & Partners DLA Piper
Lakatos Köves & Partners

Winner: Horváth & Partners DLA Piper

Horváth & Partners DLA Piper holds its position as a leading firm in Hungary, winning law firm of the year for the second year running. This year its already impressive portfolio of rankings was strengthened with a rise to the top band in banking & finance as well as advancing in the dispute resolution table. The firm saw continued success in the media industry acting as legal counsel for the movie production "Blade Runner 2" and representing several betting clients including Betfair, Headlong/Sporting Offs and Gala Interactive in lawsuits against the Hungarian Gambling Authority regarding alleged illegal gambling activities.

Ireland Law Firm of the Year

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

Winner: Arthur Cox

A stalwart of the Irish legal market that boasts an impressive 18 band one rankings and continues to garner excellent reviews for its top-ranked banking, capital markets, corporate, disputes, real estate and tax practices. 2017 sees the team entering the top tier of the new Life Sciences table thanks to work on market-leading mandates such as Allergan's USD40.5 billion sale of its generics business to Teva. The firm is equally at home in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, assisting Greencore with its USD747.5 million acquisition of US group Peacock Foods. Other recent highlights include acting for Morgan Stanley on the EUR1.5 billion financing of Colony Capital's acquisition of a loan portfolio from NAMA.

Ireland Client Service Award

Winner: ByrneWallace

Clients say of the ByrneWallace team: “They are really approachable so you really feel that you matter as a client. I also think they are extremely practical.” The firm garners additional recognition for its attentive and hands-on partners, as well as its outstanding speed of response.

Italy Law Firm of the Year

Chiomenti Studio Legale
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Clifford Chance Studio Legale Associato
Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners
Legance - Avvocati Associati
Nctm Studio Legale

Winner: Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners

Italian giant Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners has continued to go from strength to strength in the past year, providing clients with market-leading expertise in the areas of energy, project finance and real estate, as well as increased market recognition in compliance-related advice. The firm obtained a band one ranking this year for corporate/M&A following its impressive caseload, including assisting the supervisory board of Banca Popolare di Milano with the EUR3.7 billion merger with Banco Popolare, through the incorporation of a new banking holding under Italian law.

Luxembourg Law Firm of the Year

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

Winner: Arendt & Medernach

Widely recognised as a powerhouse across all aspects of corporate and commercial law in Luxembourg, Arendt & Medernach has achieved and consolidated its top tier rankings in a diverse range of practice areas. The firm also makes significant gains this year, with both its investment funds and its capital markets practices advancing to the top band after receiving strong praise from clients and advising on an impressive selection of deals, including acting on European Investment Bank's issue of EUR500 million 0% Eurocooperation bonds. Other recent work includes advising SES on its acquisition of shares in O3b Networks and funding the transaction through a combination of capital raising and the issuance of hybrid bonds.

Netherlands Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance LLP
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
Loyens & Loeff

Winner: De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek maintains its outstanding reputation in the Dutch market and wins exceptional praise for its high-quality work on complex matters. The firm occupies a leading position in numerous practice areas, offering hugely successful and experienced teams in high-end corporate M&A, dispute resolution and capital markets. It has played a key role on several high-profile mandates in recent years and is increasingly operating in international markets, with recent work including representing NAM in mass tort claims relating to gas extraction and earth tremors, valued at EUR1 billion, and acting as part of a team of leading global firms to advise Royal Dutch Shell on its USD70 billion takeover of BG Group.

Netherlands Client Service Award

Winner: Stek

Clients frequently remark on Stek's outstanding client service, with numerous sources describing the firm as one which offers "the same quality as a big law firm" but is "more client-orientated" than others they have experienced. Several clients are impressed by the lawyers' "quick and personal approach," with others praising how "open, accessible and knowledgeable" the firm's lawyers are. One client summarises Stek's appeal by saying that "the combination of speed of service, quality of advice and reasonable fees is a big pro for me" and adds that Stek is "agile in its service and better focused on the business and needs of its clients."

Norway Law Firm of the Year

Advokatfirmaet BA-HR
Advokatfirmaet Schjødt
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Wikborg Rein

Winner: Wiersholm

Backing up a strong year of growth within the firm, Wiersholm receives strong endorsements from clients across multiple industries and practice areas, with many confirming the practice as a leading player in the Norwegian market and marvelling at its high standards of service and its wide-ranging expertise. The firm consistently achieves high rankings in all its core areas, with a notably strong track record in transactions, recently advising on Visma's sale of its Business Process Outsourcing Division to HgCapital. The firm is also distinguished by its impressive experience in handling complex contentious cases, including employment disputes, restructuring and insolvency matters and cross-border financial claims, such as advising Deutsche Bank on its USD300 million claim against Sebastian Holdings.

Poland Law Firm of the Year

Clifford Chance
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak
Wardyński & Partners

Winner: Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak

Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak is a highly respected firm that acts on market-leading M&A and capital markets deals. It has been expanding its breadth in Poland over recent years, growing in lawyer numbers as well as expanding the coverage of practice areas. In addition to its top-notch reputation for M&A and private equity as well as real estate and capital markets, it now has a full-service offering in Warsaw. The firm recently advised Invesco Real Estate on the acquisition of Q22, one of Warsaw's iconic office buildings, for €230.3 million. It also acted for CVC Capital Partners on its acquisition of Żabka retail chain from Mid Europa Partners.

Poland Client Service Award

Winner: CMS

Highly established in Poland, CMS gets exceptional client feedback. A client reports: “I really like working with them. They are responsive and organised. They have a great ability to grasp technical aspects and have a business approach. "Another client confirms: “Especially the responsiveness of the CMS Poland team, independent of the different time zones we are working in, is a strong plus.”

Portugal Law Firm of the Year

Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, RL
PLMJ Network
SRS Advogados
Vieira de Almeida

Winner: Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, RL

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados continues to be recognised as one of the leading firms on the Portuguese market. Its seemingly endless and outstanding coverage of a vast array of diverse practice areas has seen it ranked in the first band in no less than thirteen areas in the latest edition of Chambers Europe. Such practices include banking & finance, competition law, corporate/M&A, dispute resolution and employment. The firm also appears in our new section for life sciences.

Portugal Client Service Award

Winner: Vieira de Almeida

Clients benefit from Vieira de Almeida's highly impressive international coverage, with the firm recently expanding its presence in lusophone and francophone Africa through legal network VdA Legal Partners. Impressed sources also commend the firm's high level of client attention: "Their strongest points include negotiation and problem solving. They were an invaluable asset when it came to planning and getting through problems that arose. We knew that we would always have someone to answer our questions and to give us a solution." Further sources say: "They always add value for their clients."

Romania Law Firm of the Year

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA
Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii

Winner: Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen remains a leader in the Romanian market with top rankings in a range of practice areas and advanced to band 1 in Restructuring/Insolvency. The firm is reputed to be particularly dominant in dispute resolution, an area that it has strengthened further this year through partner promotions. Key clients include Ford, RBS and Bance Comerciala Romana.

Russia Law Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Goltsblat BLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Pepeliaev Group

Winner: Baker McKenzie

Long-established in Russia and consistently maintaining its ground and market positions, the firm has top-notch coverage of such key areas as domestic and international disputes as well as IP, life sciences, TMT, real estate, mining, employment and tax. The firm also benefits from its solid, on-the-ground presence in the CIS region and often handles cross-border transactions involving several regional jurisdictions. Recent highlight deals included advising Walgreens Boots Alliance on the sale of Alliance Healthcare Russia to a Russian-owned 36.6 pharmacy chain. It also assisted Alliance Mining Group with the sale of Amur Zoloto to Petropavlovsk.

Spain Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy
Clifford Chance S.L.
DLA Piper Spain
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Uría Menéndez

Winner: Pérez-Llorca

A rapidly expanding force on the Spanish legal scene, Pérez-Llorca has bolstered its partnership with a series of high-profile lateral hires and internal promotions. The firm enjoys a superb reputation for its top-ranked public law practice, as well as for its respected M&A, disputes, employment and real estate departments. The team has acted on some of the largest domestic transactions in the Spanish market, including acting for Gas Natural Fenosa on Repsol and Criteria Caixa's EUR3.8 billion sale of 20% of the company. With the aid of its London and New York offices, Pérez-Llorca has also advised on significant cross-border matters such as the USD1.62 billion sale of Dell EMC's Enterprise Content Division to OpenText.

Spain Client Service Award

Winner: Garrigues

Sources are quick to praise Garrigues’ practical advice, inter-office coordination and client treatment. Other interviewees highlight the team's proactivity, agility and ability to anticipate problems. One satisfied client enthuses: “With Garrigues is that nothing is impossible regarding time. We have been able to produce a lot of high-quality documents quickly – they can always find a legal solution to any problem.”

Sweden Law Firm of the Year

Advokatfirman Cederquist KB
Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyrå KB
Advokatfirman Lindahl
Mannheimer Swartling
Advokatfirman Vinge KB

Winner: Advokatfirman Vinge KB

Advokatfiraman Vinge KB has continued to flourish in recent years, playing an active and significant role in a buoyant Swedish economy and remaining firmly established amongst the leading practices in Sweden. Clients regularly testify as to the firm's excellent advice on high-value M&A transactions, IPOs and complex commercial disputes, which is reflected in the firm's impressive number of top tier rankings. This year, the firm's Tax department was added to the top tier, after impressing sources throughout the market. Recent examples of the firm's work include advising the listed digital bank, Nordnet, on Nordic Capital and Öhman's SEK6.476 billion offer for its business.

Switzerland Law Firm of the Year

Bär & Karrer AG
Baker McKenzie
Lenz & Staehelin
Walder Wyss Ltd

Winner: Homburger

Homburger is a formidable presence in the Swiss landscape. The firm continues to attract blue-chip clients and possesses a jurisdiction-leading 11 top-tier rankings. The firm's traditional areas of banking and finance, capital markets, corporate/M&A, disputes and tax attract particular praise from market commentators and clients alike. The full-service offering also boasts leading teams for intellectual property, life sciences, TMT and white collar crime concerns. Notable mandates for the firm include advising ChemChina on its CHF43 billion takeover of Syngenta. The team frequently acts for major financial institutions on a range of financing and regulatory concerns, including assisting Credit Suisse with the establishment of its new Swiss Universal Bank.

Turkey Law Firm of the Year

Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership (BASEAK)
Çakmak-Gökçe Avukatlık Bürosu
Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein
Hergüner Bilgen Özeke Attorney Partnership

Winner: Paksoy

Paksoy has had a phenomenally successful year in the Chambers Europe guide, adding two new band one rankings in Corporate/M&A and Projects and Energy to its traditional strengths of capital markets and banking and finance. The firm also gained a new ranking in competition and improved its standing in dispute resolution. The respected team acts for a range of prominent domestic and international clients including the EBRD, whom it advised on a USD100 million facility agreement for Türk Telekom. Additional recent highlights include assisting GE Healthcare with two health campus PPP projects worth over USD1 billion.

UK Law Firm of the Year

Clifford Chance LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills
Hogan Lovells

Winner: Linklaters

A leader in the UK legal arena, Linklaters boasts an impressive 26 Band 1 rankings across both London and UK-wide. Top practices including banking & finance, corporate/M&A, oil and gas and competition and it is gaining traction in real estate and shipping finance. Frequently acting on high profile complex matters, the team advised Visa Europe on its EUR21.2 billion sale to Visa Inc. Clients praise the service, describing it as “outstanding. They are incredibly professional and dedicated. They provide great commercial advice at the drop of a hat and they have a really deep team.”

Ukraine Law Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie
Sayenko Kharenko

Winner: Baker McKenzie

Well-established international firm that has maintained its top-positions in such significant areas as banking and finance, capital markets, M&A as well as IP, employment, real estate and restructuring insolvency. Recent highlights include the completion of a highly complex USD2.3 billion restructuring of Metinvest where the firm represented the company. It also represented Eurobank Ergasias in the sale of its Ukrainian subsidiary, Universal Bank, to TAS Group.

Offshore Law Firm of the Year

Bedell Cristin
Carey Olsen
Mourant Ozannes

Winner: Mourant Ozannes

With offices in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands and Guernsey in addition to London, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong, Mourant Ozannes maintains its reputation as a go-to firm for corporate, finance and dispute resolution issues. It also offers top-tier practices in employment, investment funds and property matters. Recent work highlights include acting for EFG Private Bank regarding claims made upon assets held by the bank by hedge fund liquidators and receivers in the British Virgin Islands.

Offshore Client Service

Winner: Bedell Cristin

Clients recommend Bedell Cristin for its extensive knowledge and availability. One client says: “Their response times are excellent and their business acumen and industry knowledge are exemplary.” Another source emphasises the team’s dedication, stating that “the quality of the work is excellent, they’re always willing to work to tight deadlines. Their entire team works late to assist us, and that’s key for us.”

Baltic-Wide Law Firm of the Year

Eversheds Sutherland
Primus, Attorneys at Law

Winner: Eversheds Sutherland

A truly global legal brand in the Baltics, the firm has made significant gains in the 2017 rankings, particularly in Latvia and Estonia. The firm offers a full-service approach in all three countries, including banking and finance, corporate/commercial, disputes and IP. Recent highlights include advising Iron Mountain on its acquisition of Archyvu Centras, a holding company with subsidiaries in all three Baltic countries. The firm also advises RB Rail, a joint venture that coordinates the planning and construction of a high-speed rail across the Baltics.

Baltic-Wide Client Service Award

Winner: Ellex

A large firm with strong and broad presence in all three Baltic countries that has recently strengthened its presence in Latvia by merging with Glimstedt. The firm is one of top choices for pan-Baltic deals in the region. Its lawyers receive exceptionally strong client feedback. "They are understanding of their environment and giving good quality advice on what would be a smart thing to do," a client says. Another source praises the team as “fast, hard-working and thinking along with us.” One interviewee sums it up: “It's not very frequent for attorneys to work so hard, so efficiently, be so invariably responsive, and handle every situation so adeptly, also explaining the situation in 'understandable language.'” Another adds the lawyers “always reply instantly when they receive the request and confirm the delivery time for the answer."

Central & Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year

Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance LLP
Wolf Theiss

Winner: Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss is a firm with a true commitment to the CEE region, with offices in most countries across the region. The firm's dedicated teams collect rankings across a broad range of sections and jurisdictions. Clients benefit from its strong foothold in Austria, allowing it to coordinate investments from the German speaking market into CEE. This is frequently pointed out by clients, who praise the firm’s strong coordination across multiple offices.

Europe Law Firm of the Year

Winner: Dentons

Most recently opening offices in Rome and Amsterdam, Dentons boasts an impressive 26 branches across Europe. With 25 Band 1 rankings, the firm is consistently noted ins areas including real estate, employment and international trade while continuing to consolidate its reputation for projects and energy and corporate/M&A both across Europe and on a local basis. Recent mandates include advising European Investment Bank on granting a EUR70 million loan to the Kyrgyz Republic for the partial financing of the construction of an electricity power transmission line to connect Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan’s electricity networks. Clients say: "It is a very skilful team, always available and on time, and has excellent cross-border capabilities.” They add that the firm is “quick to get things done, responsive and has great negotiation skills.”