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Chambers Global Awards for Excellence 2013

Nominations for the Chambers Global Awards were based on research for the 2013 guide. The selections were made by our editors in consultation with the research team. Winners are selected after an appraisal of the firms' overall performance. We look at their involvement in the highest profile and most cutting-edge deals and cases across the world.


Shortlist and Winners

International Law Firm Of The Year

Clifford Chance LLP Winner

"The editors and researchers of Chambers Global were unanimous in their decision. Clifford Chance's continued international expansion and involvement in cutting-edge deals and cases has earned it the title of Chambers Global: International Law Firm of the Year. The rankings provided an indicator; Clifford Chance has earned more Band 1 rankings than any other firm in the 2013 edition. Europe is Clifford Chance's traditional heartland and here it remains a market leader for its outstanding international finance, M&A and projects practices. A focus on the Asia-Pacific region, which includes opening an office in Seoul, has paid dividends. In one highlight it advised Citi on the HKD2.65 billion take private acquisition of Hang Ten Group made by Li & Fung. A new office in Casablanca has underlined a commitment to Africa. For this region, Clifford Chance has created a network of foreign experts across its offices, who work together on such matters as as advice to Export-Import Bank of China on its proposed USD2 billion financing for the Republic of Niger. Clifford Chances' commitment to serving its global client base is also evident in the Chambers Global Foreign Expert rankings. The firm has 86 Foreign Expert rankings, more than any other firm in the guide."

Law Firm of the Year: Africa

Linklaters Winner

Another excellent year for this African practice was crowned by the firm's alliance with South African heavyweight Webber Wentzel in February 2013. The team has been highly active in South Africa of late, advising both the South African government and a number of project lenders on the country's Renewable IPP Programme. Its cross-border transactional work included representing China's Minmetals Resources in its USD1.3 billion acquisition of Anvil Mining. In other seminal M&A matters, the firm advised Glencore International on its proposed USD90 billion merger with Xstrata.

Norton Rose Fulbright

This firm has an enviable presence on the African continent, having recently added a Tanzania office to a network that also includes a Morocco base and three South African offices. These teams work together with specialists based in London, Paris and New York to advise various regional and international clients on their foremost legal issues. The practice's wide-ranging transactional highlights include advising Exxaro Resources on the merger of its mineral sands operations with the businesses of Tronox. In high-level projects work, the team acted for new client Zimbabwe Power Company on the development of coal and hydropower projects worth around USD3 billion.

Allen & Overy LLP

This leading firm continues to act on issues across all regions of the African continent, advising on a broad swathe of headline-grabbing deals and projects. The practice enlists the talents of experts based in Paris, London, Perth and Dubai, and the firm's Casablanca office facilitates work for North African clients. A range of prestigious finance work includes advising on the exchange offer and new issuance of USD500 million bonds by the Republic of Senegal. In projects highlights, the team represented Lake Turkana Wind Company and Aldwych International in the development and financing of a 300 MW Kenyan wind farm.

Clifford Chance LLP

The opening of this firm's Casablanca office has bolstered its already formidable presence in African issues, adding another hub to a network of specialists spanning its European, US and Middle Eastern offices. The team has superb credentials when it comes to high-stakes acquisitions, notes issuances, and a variety of project developments. One standout matter was the firm's advice to Export-Import Bank of China on its proposed USD2 billion financing for the Republic of Niger, represented by the Ministry of Economy Planning, Land Management and Community Development.

Herbert Smith Freehills

This firm's internationally renowned expertise in natural resources remains a major asset for its Africa practice, which attracts big-ticket work across the mining and energy sectors. The Paris team  is advising Rio Tinto on Guinea's USD10 billion Simandou iron ore project, while on the lender side London-based experts represented Stanbic Bank in the financing of Kenya's Kinangop Wind Farm Project. A multi-jurisdictional team also assisted CPCS Transcom and the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises with the privatisation of a number of Nigerian electricity sector companies.

Law Firm Of The Year: Asia-Pacific

Allen & Overy LLP Winner

This international powerhouse continues its programme of expansion in Asia, setting up new offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 2012. It has excellent finance capabilities and also fields top-tier teams in corporate and arbitration matters. A highlight saw the team in China advise Noble Group on a USD3.2 billion revolving loan facility, which involved 58 other participating financial institutions.

Clifford Chance LLP

In another highly successful year for the firm, it has continued to expand its substantial offering across Asia's big money centres, as well as in key emerging jurisdictions such as Thailand and Malaysia. It also stands out for its ability to deliver top quality advice across a wide spectrum of practice areas, with an especially successful year in capital markets, banking & finance and M&A fields. In one standout matter, it advised Citi on the HKD2.65 billion take private acquisition of Hang Ten Group made by Li & Fung

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

A stalwart in the corporate sphere, Freshfields continues to top the tables in M&A and equity capital markets. It advised China Telecom on its USD13 billion acquisition of CDMA network assets held by China Telecommunications Corporation and Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal on its USD903 milion global offering of shares and listing. The practice continues growing its stronghold in Asia, with a re-launch in Singapore at the end of 2012 and the relocation of Lucy Reed, global co-head of international arbitration to Hong Kong.

Herbert Smith Freehills

This major international player has greatly augmented its presence in the Asia-Pacific through its merger with one Australia's most prestigious firms. Its growth in this region continues  as it  is now on the verge of opening a new office in Seoul. Respected across the board, it fields especially gifted expertise in the critical energy and resources and dispute resolution spheres. It is particularly well known for its representation of such giants of the oil and gas sector as BP, CNOOC and Sinopec.

King & Wood Mallesons

As the only international firm which is able to provide PRC law advice, King & Wood Mallesons is unique in the market. It dominates particularly in China and Australia, where it fields a full-service offering, with key strengths in the core areas of finance, corporate, energy, construction and disputes. It is acting for both Glencore and Xstrata in the proposed USD900 billion takeover bid by the former for the latter.


Linklaters continues to uphold its formidable reputation, delivering a high quality of execution on some of the region's most complex corporate and finance transactions. Its strong geographic coverage is evident not only through its high profile teams in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, but also in its continued traction in India and South-East Asia. In one notable highlight it acted as underwriters' counsel on the USD2 billion IPO and HKSE listing of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery.

Law Firm of the Year: Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Winner

This prominent national firm continues to attract market-leading work across all practice areas and sectors. Blakes is well known for its high-end oil and gas transactions practice, as well as for its significant cross-border expertise; 2012 highlights saw the firm advise Nexen on its CAD15.1 billion acquisition by CNOOC, and Quadra FNX Mining on its acquisition by KGHM Polska. Other areas of strength include competition, information technology and public procurement. In addition to its Canadian offices, the firm has representative offices in London, New York, Beijing and Shanghai, and two offices in the Middle East, where it advises on domestic law in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

This top-end deal-driven firm enjoys an enviable profile for its Toronto-based transactions practice, with additional expertise in its Montreal and New York offices. A strong choice for both domestic and international corporate matters, Davies acted for KGHM Polska on its acquisition of Quadra FNX Mining, and is a key player in the proxy battle between Canadian Pacific Rail and Pershing Square, as counsel to Pershing. The firm is also highly rated on the competition side, and has a successful practice in infrastructure projects and PPP.

Fasken Martineau LLP

Fasken Martineau stands out for its international footprint; following its February 2013 merger with South African firm Bell Dewar, it has the largest percentage of lawyers based outside Canada of any Canadian-based firm. The firm is recognised for its eminent mining practice, and also has top-rated teams in telecommunications, international trade and aboriginal law. Notable clients include First Quantum Minerals, CP Rail and Viterra's board of directors.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

This impressive firm has strong offices across the country and wins acclaim for its expertise in a range of practice areas, including antitrust, banking and finance and dispute resolution. 2012 saw the firm advise Glencore on the competition aspects of its USD6.1 billion takeover of Viterra. It also represented BCE in its acquisition of Astral Media. Notably, the litigation department acted for Danone in a highly publicised court challenge relating to the import of US yoghurt products into Canada.

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Stikeman Elliott has a strong presence across its Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver offices. It also has teams in New York, London and Sydney, where, as the only Canadian firm with an office in Australia, it is well positioned to advise on a range of resource-based transactions. The firm has a strong reputation for its sophisticated M&A and corporate finance practice and for its penetration of the mining industry in both of these areas. In recent highlights, it acted for CNOOC on its acquisition of Nexen. Other notable clients include Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.

Law Firm of the Year: Europe

Clifford Chance LLP Winner

Clifford Chance offers an outstanding international network coupled with formidable strength in banking and finance, corporate, energy and projects. The firm regularly tops the tables in key countries such as Belgium, France, Spain, Germany and Russia, as well as throughout Central Eastern Europe and Turkey. It is involved in many of Europe's leading mandates, notably advising Fluxys on its acquisition of Eni's interests in TENP and Transitgas. Clients and peers highlight its technical excellence and broad industry knowledge.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

This international heavyweight houses leadings teams in key jurisdictions such as France, Spain, Italy and Russia.  Notable areas of expertise include corporate/M&A, banking and finance, and dispute resolution.


This global firm is a force to be reckoned with in Europe thanks to excellent geographical reach and high-calibre teams. It frequently tops the tables in banking and finance, capital markets and corporate/M&A, and is also increasingly active in life sciences.

White & Case LLP

Although best known for its prowess throughout CEE, White & Case also has increasing strength in western Europe, notably in France where it is expanding rapidly. 

Allen & Overy LLP

This international powerhouse is regularly involved in high-level cross-border mandates, particularly in the banking and finance field. The firm also continues to expand its global reach by recently teaming up with Turkish firm Gedik & Eraksoy.

Baker & McKenzie

This firm enjoys extensive European coverage and is especially known for its presence in Turkey and throughout CEE.   It is notably active in a diverse range of practice areas, such as employment, life sciences and technology.

Law Firm of the Year: Latin America

Pinheiro Neto Advogados Winner

This firm is acclaimed in Brazil and internationally for offering the most consistently high-quality legal representation available in the market. The firm's broad knowledge base and business acumen make it a force to be reckoned with as it grapples with anything from telecoms to climate change. However, clients gain most advantage from these combined strengths when calling upon the firm to push through multi-pronged transactions and projects. These skills have been on display of late as it continues to represent LAN in a merger with TAM, and the team has been particularly busy handling innovative debentures operations, assisting Minerva as it launched BRL200 million worth of equity convertibles. The firm is a member of the Club de Abogados – Iberoamerica.

White & Case LLP

This global giant has established an implacable foothold in the Latin American market over the past two decades, with offices operating out of Mexico and Brazil now firmly embedded into their domestic jurisdictions.

Baker & McKenzie

This international player has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, and has built up a reputation over the past six decades as one of the strongest outpost in Latin America.

Consortium - Centro América Abogados

Consortium has the biggest head count of the regional legal platforms: 166 lawyers in ten offices across Central America. It is also first choice in every individual country where it has an office, particularly for its highly respected financial practice.

Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal

This legal powerhouse is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. It is one of the largest firms in Latin America, with over 350 lawyers, and continues to dominate the market across the board.

Norton Rose Fulbright

With offices in Colombia and Venezuela, this international firm is active in multiple Latin American jurisdictions and its cross-border credentials, along with one of the strongest teams in Energy & Natural Resources, are a huge attraction to its clients in the region.

Law Firm of the Year: Middle East

Clifford Chance LLP Winner

This firm combines high-end transactional expertise with one of the most respected dispute resolution practices in the region. The Dubai team is especially active in arbitration, and also advises on cutting-edge regulatory issues, sanctions and trade law. Top transactional highlights frequently draw on the firm's long-standing Saudi capabilities, and the UAE and Saudi lawyers worked together to advise the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) on a proposed USD1.3 billion fleet and operations merger with Vela International Marine.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields has cultivated a broad Middle East practice, which encompasses a range of practice areas and jurisdictions. Its strong global track record in arbitration is, in part, built on its Middle Eastern achievements, while its long-standing commitment to Bahrain distinguishes it from many other firms. Transactional work spans regions, and one notable highlight featuring the Dubai team was representing Abraaj Capital in the sale of its stake in Turkish healthcare provider Acibadem to entities controlled by Malaysia's Khazanah. Freshfields also has a notable Israel desk, which is one of the most accomplished in the market.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Over the last five years Latham & Watkins has emerged as one of the main international law firms in the region, succeeding in a challenging and rapidly changing market. The Qatar team is especially well regarded, and the firm made a significant impact on that market before many rivals. The Saudi practice also has an excellent history, and has maintained good momentum through the change of office managing partner from Mohammed Al-Sheikh to Salman Al-Sudairi. The Saudi market produced many of the firm's work highlights, including the representation of DaVita in a healthcare joint venture.


Linklaters has consistently excelled across the region on corporate and capital markets work. It has so far eschewed the approach of opening in many jurisdictions, focusing instead on creating a strong transactional base in the UAE. This focused approach has enabled it to hone its key strengths. Top work includes advising Lloyds TSB on the sale of its banking business in the UAE.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy has crafted a Middle East practice that focuses on the very top end of the market. It is one of the few firms to combine a market-leading presence in the UAE with significant success in Qatar, and one transactional highlight featuring both jurisdictions was the USD10 billion Barzan gas project, where the firm advised the export credit agencies. The Dubai office continues to excel, while the firm also has success in Abu Dhabi, significantly beating many rivals in the gold rush to open and grow there. Riyadh is also flourishing, with the firm taking a change of local association in its stride.

Law Firm of the Year: USA

Morrison & Foerster LLP Winner

This US-based global giant has experienced one of the most successful years in its long and illustrious history. The firm took the spotlight with landmark victories and engagements in the IP arena – an area in which the firm frequently leads thanks to its superb national and trans-Pacific capabilities. MoFo also made headlines in the bankruptcy arena with its representation of ResCap and the Chapter 11 trustee of MF Global, highlighting a particular area of impressive growth for the firm.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

The past year has seen Cravath Swaine & Moore further cement its position as one of the world's truly elite corporate law firms. The firm continues to win mandates of tremendous import and magnitude in a host of practice areas, but is perhaps best noted for its handling of the most cutting edge of transactional matters. The firm's corporate and tax departments demonstrate an ongoing mastery of industry-defining cross border work for leading multi-nationals. Both teams have advised Grupo Modelo in connection with its proposed acquisition by Anheuser-Busch, a deal which would lead to the creation of the world's largest beer producer. Finally, the firm is recognized for its representation of systemically important financial institutions in the most sophisticated financings.

Jones Day

Jones Day has enjoyed a standout year, remaining one of the market's dominant forces in antitrust work. Its market-leading position in this area was consolidated by the high-profile representation of Goodrich Corporation in its USD18.4 billion merger with United Technologies Corporation, one of the country's biggest recent transactions. Corporate and banking work have also proven to be key areas of strength, and the firm has earned recognition this year for its international expertise in these areas with particular prominence across Latin America, and clients laud the firm's ability to offer a truly global service.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis continues to go from strength to strength across several key practice areas, maintaining its enviable client base and attracting new mandates on a global scale. It retains leading expertise in core areas such as restructuring, IP and private equity buyouts, while gaining increasing recognition for its stellar fund formation and corporate tax work. Its preeminent attorneys handle high-profile, high-stakes work for big industry names, with recent examples including the Chapter 11 filings submitted by Hawker Beechcraft and Global Aviation Holdings. Work on the Deepwater Horizon litigation for longstanding client BP justifiably keeps Kirkland firmly in the headlines, and perfectly demonstrates its ability to marshal its notable cross-border resources.

Latham & Watkins LLP

This international heavyweight successfully completed another exceptional year, capitalizing on a strong network of domestic and international offices to lead on some of the world's largest deals. The firm's headline-grabbing work included representing Lucasfilm in its USD4.05 billion acquisition by Disney. Latham showed off its cross-border skills advising Watson Pharmaceuticals on its EUR4.25 billion purchase of Actavis Group, a deal that was coordinated between offices in California and England, and highlighted the firm's famed corporate and life science expertise. Its projects team continued to be a dominant force, recently acting for South Jamaica Power on its ground-breaking gas-fired power project in Jamaica.

Law Firm of the Year: Banking & Finance

Allen & Overy LLP Winner

The Allen & Overy teams across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East continue to distinguish themselves as high-calibre practices, attracting prestigious clients such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital. The group is widely recognised for its capabilities in Islamic finance, and continues to excel in project finance across the board. In practice highlights, the firm acted for UniCredit as arranger on the extension of Merlin Entertainment's GBP1.3 billion term, acquisition and revolving facilities.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance continues to broaden its sphere of influence, having recently opened new offices in Casablanca and Seoul. These new offices add to a full complement of excellent teams in Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as a burgeoning practice in the USA. Seminal work includes advising the European Financial Stability Facility on the restructuring of Greece's sovereign debt, and on Finance Assistance Facility Agreements with the Hellenic Republic, Ireland and Portugal.

Latham & Watkins LLP

This international heavyweight fields experienced specialists across the USA, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The firm is well known for its skills in leveraged buyout work, and its broad base of expertise includes alternative instruments such as PIK finance and hybrid investments as well as more traditional forms of financing. The group represented Barclays in its bridge, term loan and revolving credit facility in connection with Kinder Morgan's acquisition of El Paso.


Another superb year at this magic circle firm has featured roles on both the borrower and lender side of some of the world's biggest financing transactions. Highlights include representing BNP Paribas in its EUR6 billion revolving credit facility for BMW, and advising RBS on its USD6 billion facility for Xstrata. The team's celebrated specialists can be found in London, Paris, Hong Kong and New York.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

This firm offers highly valuable global experience to its banking and finance clients, combining strong London and New York teams with an excellent Latin America presence, and impressive Asian and European work. Its prestigious dealsheet includes advising Barclays Bank and J.P. Morgan Securities as global co-ordinators on a multibillion-dollar term loan bank financing.

Law Firm of the Year: Competition/Antitrust

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Winner

This practice continues to shine in global work, with market-leading teams based in Washington, DC, Brussels, Cologne and Rome. In notable highlights, the team acted for Google on a range of issues, including the USA and EU merger clearance for its USD12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Other seminal mandates include successfully assisting IBM with a series of antitrust complaints before the European Commission.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

This magic circle firm advises on top-level competition issues from its offices in Brussels, Beijing, Düsseldorf and Washington, DC. In an excellent year, it assisted Xstrata with obtaining clearance for its proposed merger with Glencore, which encompassed filings across the EU, North and South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The team also advised Hewlett-Packard on abuse of dominance complaints it brought against Oracle in France, Spain and Japan.

Jones Day

This superb practice offers an outstanding breadth of global coverage, with hubs of expertise across Europe, Asia and the USA. Its stellar client base includes Apple, which has recently called on the firm in connection with litigation in California, and an investigation into eBooks by the European Commission. Dell, Deutsche Bank and MasterCard are among its other major-league clients.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Affiliates

This firm's high-calibre workload spans a broad swathe of international jurisdictions, including the antitrust aspects of mergers involving parties in China, Finland, Canada, the USA and Switzerland. The team also advised Russian petrochemical giant CJSC Sibur Holding on the USD1 billion sale of its mineral fertiliser business to CJSC Holding Company Siberian Business Union. Major contentious issues include cases handled on behalf of De Beers, China Minmetals and the National Hockey League.

Arnold & Porter LLP

This international practice has a top-tier US offering, and its Brussels-based team has gone from strength to strength, attracting a range of high-quality recommendations. The firm is entrusted with the filings for a range of big-ticket transactions, and advised Cisco on clearance in the EU, the USA, and a number of other jurisdictions for its USD5 billion acquisition of NDS.

Law Firm of the Year: Corporate/M&A

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Winner

The outstanding global breadth of this corporate practice continues be a major asset, and the firm offers high-quality M&A services from offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. One undoubted highlight was the firm's representation of Xstrata in its proposed USD90 billion merger with Glencore, which brought together the talents of specialists from a number of global offices. Other major clients include BP, BAE Systems and CVC.


Alliances established this year have strengthened the already impressive international coverage offered by this practice, which now has a close relationship with Allens in Australia and Webber Wentzel in South Africa. The team's globe-spanning workload has involved mandates handled by the London, Brussels, New York and Hong Kong offices. These include advising BP on its USD9 billion joint venture with Reliance, and representing GDF SUEZ in its EUR20.2 billion reverse takeover of International Power.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Affiliates

This team offers a market-leading US practice, alongside superb teams based in Europe, Asia and Latin America. An eclectic range of prestigious mandates includes top-level transactions handled on behalf of American Express, Yahoo! and Pfizer. The firm also represented NDS and its owners in connection with its headline-grabbing USD5 billion sale to Cisco.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Clients of this corporate powerhouse can draw on the expertise of seasoned specialists based throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Its sector-spanning dealsheet includes multibillion-dollar transactions in the pharmaceuticals, financial services and communications industries. In standout matters, the team advised Collective Brands on its USD2 billion sale to a consortium, and acted for Nippon Steel on its headline-grabbing USD22.5 billion merger with Sumitomo Metal Industries.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

2012 has witnessed further growth of this firm's extensive international network, with the opening of new Cleary offices in Seoul and Abu Dhabi. These newest branches add to the group's impressive extant strength in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the USA. This heavyweight team is entrusted with high-stakes matters by clients such as Google, which called on its M&A expertise in its USD12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Further highlights include advising Japan-based Asahi Kasei on its offer to acquire Massachusetts-based ZOLL Medical for USD2.21 billion.

Law Firm of the Year: Dispute Resolution

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Affiliates Winner

This top US firm enjoys a stellar reputation nationwide, and its American disputes practice is well supported by a strong team in the UK. It is well known for its involvement in high-profile, high-value litigation, acting for an enviable client roster of international plaintiffs and defendants. The firm represented the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in a case brought under New York law by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands relating to the administration of offshore accounts. Other clients include BNP Paribas and Traffic Sports International.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

This eminent USA-based firm has a notable presence in Europe and is well respected for its representation of clients across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Russia in a range of cross-border lawsuits. It continues to represent major global financial institutions in bankruptcy litigation proceedings arising from the Madoff fraud and the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The firm has also acted for the Republic of Argentina on litigation matters worldwide.

Clifford Chance LLP

This distinguished global firm is rated for its strength in dispute resolution across a number of major jurisdictions, where the team regularly advises on big-ticket matters. The firm is strong in both Western and Eastern Europe, and has a very significant Chinese team; it also wins recognition for its commitment to its US practice. It is currently representing Russian company Promneftstroy in a case before the Dutch Supreme Court arising out of the bankruptcy of Yukos Oil. Well respected in the arbitration world, Clifford Chance also advises on arbitration matters in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

This firm is a bona fide leader in dispute resolution worldwide. With a strong hold on Western Europe and good coverage in Asia, its offices regularly work together on a range of litigation and arbitration matters in both of these jurisdictions, as well as across Latin America, the Middle East and the USA. 2012 highlights include acting for a nationalised Irish bank in New York litigation relating to the sale of its US assets, and continuing to represent the government of Belize in a maritime boundary dispute before the International Court of Justice.  

Herbert Smith Freehills

This global litigation powerhouse stands out for its involvement in high-stakes cases originating from a plethora of international jurisdictions. Herbert Smith's 2012 merger with Freehills further strengthened its prominence in Asia, where its profile in arbitration is particularly strong. In European highlights, the firm represented the Kingdom of Spain in arbitration proceedings brought by a number of investment funds in relation to the alleged violation of the Energy Charter Treaty.

Law Firm of the Year: Intellectual Property

Baker & McKenzie Winner

This world-renowned firm has a phenomenal presence in the IP arena, with specialists stationed across North and Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its superb capabilities attract a client roster of international luminaries, which seek the team's advice on patent litigation, licensing, brand acquisitions and anti-counterfeiting. Highlights of the past year include successfully representing LVMH in connection with a parallel importation case which resulted in the payment of around USD5 million in damages.

Bird & Bird

The technical skills at this firm garner immense respect across the board, and cover a range of patent, design, trade mark and copyright issues. The team's industry-spanning client base includes high-profile names from the electronics, telecoms, consumer goods and academic sectors. In standout matters, the group advised US client Hansen Beverage on managing its European and Asian trade mark portfolios for its Monster Energy range of drinks.

Hogan Lovells

The workload at this global heavyweight comprises complex cases and applications spanning a plethora of international jurisdictions. Its clients can call on celebrated specialists in the firm's Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Moscow and and London offices. Headline cases include advising HTC on a variety of multi-jurisdictional patent matters, and representing Mercedes-Benz in five patent litigation cases heard before a number of US courts. Deutsche Telecom, PepsiCo and Dell also feature among its big-ticket clients.

Jones Day

This firm receives widespread recognition for its well-integrated network of IP specialists, which has grown further with the opening of the Jones Day Düsseldorf office in 2012. The group features expert practitioners based in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the USA, who advise a range of clients on the protection of their hi-tech, pharmaceutical or fashion brand intellectual property. In cross-jurisdictional matters, lawyers from the firm's UK, US and German offices represented the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in patent litigation relating to a biotech pharmaceutical product.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

This team has a superb reputation for its work in the technology arena, and continues to act on some of the most prestigious mandates within the sector. Alongside a variety of impressive USA-based teams, the group has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Tokyo. Recent success stories include the firm's work for Nikon in New York, winnings a summary judgment of invalidity quashing Anvik's patent infringement claims against its client. The firm also acts for Novartis and Genentech on a variety of strategic matters.

Law Firm of the Year: Offshore

Maples and Calder Winner

This offshore giant has expanded its Asian operations with the launch of a Singapore office – its second in the region after Hong Kong. It excels in Cayman and BVI law, notably strengthening its investment funds team in the Caribbean through significant hires. It also has a successful Irish practice, while the London and Dubai teams also provide significant input.

Mourant Ozannes

This firm has deep roots in the Jersey and Guernsey markets, and in the last decade has expanded significantly across the world. 2012 saw the opening of new offices in the BVI and Hong Kong, increasing its access to key jurisdictions. In addition to transactional work, the firm is also very well regarded for dispute resolution, with successful cases before the Privy Council.


Walkers has experienced a year full of developments, with many new partners coming to the fore. By selling its fiduciary business it has tightened its focus on pure legal services, excelling in the Cayman Islands and in Asia. Work highlights include acting as Cayman and BVI counsel to the underwriters on the USD3 billion financing to support taking private.


With its comprehensive global network, this firm covers most of the key offshore jurisdictions. It has made a particularly strong push into Asia, recently opening in Shanghai, and moving key personnel to its other Asian offices. Highlights include representing Hong Kong's in connection with the scheme for its privatisation. The firm is also one of the few to have an extensive presence across the Indian Ocean jurisdictions.

Conyers Dill & Pearman

From its Bermuda base, this firm has expanded across the Caribbean, and also has offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean. The Caribbean and Asian teams frequently co-operate on very high-profile transactions, and acted as Cayman Islands and BVI counsel to Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group on its USD2.8 billion IPO.

Law Firm of the Year: Projects/Energy

White & Case LLP Winner

The depth of the group at White & Case means it can deploy high-quality, full-service projects teams across the breadth of its global network. The firm was prevalent in 2012's most high-profile matters, including advising the lending consortium on the financing of the landmark EUR7.8 billion Tours to Bordeaux High-Speed railway.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy's global eminence in the project finance sphere is unquestioned, with the practice regularly advising lenders and export credit agencies on the most high-profile matters. In 2012, the team represented the lenders in the financing of the USD2 billion Nizhnekamsk refinery and petrochemical project in Tatarstan.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding's significant mandates in 2012 demonstrate the high esteem in which the practice is held. Known for its LNG expertise, a cross-office team assisted Anadarko with its development of a multibillion-dollar LNG export facility in Mozambique.


This global powerhouse had another strong year in 2012, maintaining its position as a go-to firm for lenders and sponsors on a range of matters in the projects and energy arena. The team represented Total in a range of high-profile transactions in the Russian Arctic, including the acquisition of a 20% stake in the Yamal LNG project.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

The versatile group at this firm was a permanent fixture on many of 2012's landmark transactions all over the world. The team was notably active across Latin America, with a cross-office team advising the lenders on the USD1.1 billion Caserones Copper Mine project financing in Chile.