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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Carey Olsen's enviable client base includes names such as Sanne, Stonehage Fleming and Janus Henderson Group. Guy Coltman was instructed alongside the firm’s banking department to advise Delphi Automotive on the spin-off of its Powertrain Systems segment into a new publicly traded entity with support from counsel David Allen, who has experience in scheme of arrangement matters. On the transactional front, the ‘very responsive and commercial’ James Willmott acted on the buyer side of Sandpiper CI’s acquisition of a chain of Costcutter-branded convenience stores in Jersey, and advised Cape on the Jersey aspects of its proposed multi-million-pound takeover by a subsidiary of Altrad Investment Authority with help from senior associate Katherine Tresca. Clients also engage Alex Ohlsson and the firm’s real estate outfit to handle high-value property transactions. Counsel Michael Evans, who recently joined the team from Ogier, is another key name to note, alongside senior associate David Taylor. Paul Burton joined Maples and Calder's newly opened Jersey office in September 2018.

Gareth Rigby heads Mourant Ozannes’ ‘responsive, commercial and sensible’ corporate offering, which ‘clearly comprises first-rate lawyers at all levels’ and provides a ‘pragmatic and prompt service’. A well-known UK betting company instructed the ‘practical, client-friendly and impressive’ Jon Woolrich and the ‘technically strong and responsive’ James Hill to advise on a large-scale reorganisation and distribution exercise following its refinancing. On the transactional front, counsel Iain Millar was part of the team which handled the $2.8bn purchase of Gazeley by Global Logistic Properties from Brookfield, and the highly recommended Paul Martin acted as sole Jersey counsel to an international investor in the acquisition of a personal care retail chain. Other key contacts include Robert Hickling, Mark Chambers and Neil McCarroll, who was recently promoted to counsel and handles a broad range of corporate transactions including cross-border private equity and debt restructurings.

The corporate and commercial team at Ogier ‘not only has the strongest set of partners, it also has real strength in depth’, according to one client, and ‘has the approach of a Magic Circle firm in London in terms of capability, delivery and client service’. Simon Dinning, who is the global head of the firm’s corporate and commercial offering, ‘is an outstanding source of sound, well-reasoned guidance whether in the midst of a transaction or with ad hoc queries’. EN+ appointed a team comprised of Dinning and managing associate Alexander Curry to oversee its IPO of global depositary receipts listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Also notable was the group’s work for Kennedy-Wilson Holdings with regard to its all-share merger with Kennedy-Wilson Europe Real Estate by way of a Jersey scheme of arrangement. Its enviable client base, including Anglo American, Cinven and Waitrose, also engages the team to handle corporate restructurings, real estate transactions and the establishment of holding structures. The ‘pragmatic, knowledgeable and responsive’ Raulin Amy is also a key contact, alongside Richard Daggett and Matthew Shaxson.

The ‘strong and trusted’ team at Appleby ‘continues to be responsive and provide the expertise clients require’ under the leadership of Wendy Benjamin, who has ‘an excellent understanding of commercial law and gives clear and concise guidance’. A team led by Fraser Robertson and Andrew Weaver – who ‘is not afraid to stand firm when needed’ – represented Kennedy-Wilson Europe Real Estate in its $3bn merger with Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, and Sime Darby engaged the group to act as Jersey counsel on its listing on the main market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. Michael Cushing collaborated with Benjamin to advise a trust company on the insolvency issues arising from the reinstatement of a company following its wrongful summary winding-up, and James Gaudin was supported by ‘excellent’ associate Kevin McQuillan to oversee Lone Star’s acquisition of 14 care homes in the UK as Jersey counsel.

Bedell Cristin recently promoted the highly recommended Tom Davies to partner and Guy Westmacott to managing associate. The ‘knowledgeable and efficient’ team represents clients such as JT Group, Aviva, Danske and Macquarie in significant transactions, contract negotiations, and debt and property portfolio acquisitions and dispositions. Westmacott was part of the team which acted for WisdomTree in its acquisition of ETF Securities’ exchange-traded commodity, currency and leveraged businesses, while practice head Tim Pearce led the Jersey advice to private equity investment firm Leonard Green & Partners with regard to its acquisition of intellectual property management and technology company CPA Global. Also notable is the team’s work for Claranet with regard to the Jersey law aspects of a refinancing and private equity investment transaction led by Tikehau Capital. Martin Paul, Alasdair Hunter and Bruce Scott are also key contacts. Simon Hopwood joined Maples and Calder's newly opened Jersey office.

The ‘responsive and professional’ team at Collas Crill is headed by Mike Williams, who recently joined the firm from Mourant Ozannes, along with the highly recommended Ian Montgomery. Montgomery recently acted for Noah Bidco in its acquisition of shares in Jersey company Metalsteel. In other highlights, a longstanding client which owns a holding structure with companies across a variety of jurisdictions appointed the firm to undertake a complex restructuring exercise to facilitate the redevelopment of hotel sites into exclusive residential apartments, and the team represented a trust company in its capacity as trustee in its acquisition of a Jersey company which owns high-value residential property assets in London. Associate Conor Walsh was part of the team which assisted Three UK with the BVI law aspects of its acquisition of Transvision Investments. Also notable is corporate and regulatory specialist Dilmun Leach, who recently joined the department from Ogier .

One client describes the service provided by Voisin Law as ‘thoroughly impressive’. The corporate and commercial lawyers ‘are willing to work to tight deadlines and able to work as an integral part of the wider transaction team effortlessly’. The group was instructed to act as counsel on the Jersey law aspects of a high-value group restructuring under the leadership of the ‘extremely responsive’ Jeffrey Giovannoni on behalf of a global financial services company, and Chris Le Quesne led the advice to a Jersey company with regard to its winding-up. Also notable is Kate Anderson, who oversaw the acquisition of a Jersey property holding structure and the subsequent restructuring within the purchaser group, and senior associate Daniel Walker, who handled a number of significant multi-jurisdictional real estate transactions. Ian Strang leads the practice, which counts VG, Randalls and LV Group among its clients.

Clients engage WALKERS for ‘the full range of work – from high-value critical M&A to routine board work’. The ‘quality, relevance of advice, amenability and commerciality of the team are first rate’, and clients recommend ‘clear and confident’ senior counsel Mark Crichton, who ‘extracts the best out of a transaction team through his collegial style’. The firm’s international client base regularly appoints the group to oversee restructurings and real estate and M&A transactions. Jonathan Heaney spearheads the banking and finance and corporate and commercial offerings in Jersey with the support of Nigel Weston and Alexandra Corner. Also noteworthy are senior counsels Christophe Kalinauckas and Guy Morris.

Boutique firm Ward Yates is led by the ‘expert and wholly reliable’ Nick Ward and the ‘personable, approachable and knowledgeable’ Victoria Yates – both of whom are ‘charming to work with’ – and is entirely focused on non-contentious corporate, trusts and finance work. The team, which ‘offers a personalised service’, is currently acting as Jersey counsel to a regulated investment business with regard to its sale to a licensed trust company; in another highlight, a Russian multi-industry holding company instructed the group to oversee the sale of one of the Jersey companies forming part of its wider telecoms group. Ward and Yates also led the advice to clients with regard to the establishment of a share-holding partnership, complex contractual negotiations and corporate governance issues related to potential insolvency and criminal investigations. Clients also recommend the ‘hardworking, efficient and excellent’ Elaine Kelly.

Private client and corporate boutique firm Hatstone Lawyers recently strengthened its offering through the promotion to partner of Bennie Burger and the arrival of Mark Rawlins from Collas Crill. In recent highlights, Simon Vivian and Alex Carus advised a shipping group on the establishment of a joint venture to acquire, service and dispose of vessels; the pair also acted as lead counsel to Calligo on its takeover of Canadian cloud services provider 3 Peaks. Burger collaborated with Vivian to handle an international restructuring involving the re-purchasing of own shares and the capitalisation of debt on behalf of Carolon. Senior associate Michael Shenkin specialises in family office, trust and business law matters and is also a name to note.

Lexstone Lawyers’ Marcus Stone is lead Jersey counsel to Angel Trains, which recently appointed the firm to oversee the corporate law aspects of its establishment of two SPVs. On her end, Lucy Egerton-Vernon acted for a Panamanian company in a share transfer and provided regulatory advice to the same client regarding a foundation within its structure. In other highlights, the team advised on a group restructuring following a shareholder dispute, and associate Claudia Martens collaborated with Stone to assist Royal Road Minerals with its opening of a branch in Peru.

BCR Law entrusts its corporate and commercial department to the ‘first-class’ Wendy Lambert and Mark Renouf , who ‘provides a solid understanding of his clients’ cases and industries’. Together they lead an ‘excellent and responsive’ outfit which was recently bolstered by the arrival of English solicitor Emma Baker from Malcolm C Foy & Co in Doncaster. In recent highlights, MRH and its Jersey trading company instructed the firm to handle its takeover of Petroleum Distributors, which involved two Jersey and Guernsey subsidiaries, and Lambert led the advice on a corporate restructuring on behalf of a healthcare group which was split into two separate entities. Michelle Leverington is also a key contact; she recently reviewed contractual arrangements, drafted commercial contracts and oversaw the sale of a surveyor’s practice along with the resulting employment and consultancy issues.

Edward Scott is ‘always commercial in his approach’ and spearheads Dickinson Gleeson’s young corporate offering, which operates mainly in the real estate space. Recent highlights include Scott’s advice to Landsec on its acquisition of a portfolio of three outlet centres from Hermes Investment Management, and the group’s instruction by a major Asian investor to handle the acquisition – and its financing – of serviced apartments in London through two Jersey companies. The corporate department also worked closely with trust litigation specialist James Gleeson to assist a major property developer with a corporate governance matter which involved buying out a minority interest holder. Associate John Burns joined the firm from BTO Solicitors LLP in Glasgow. NewRiver also appointed the group to work alongside Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP to advise on the finance and corporate aspects of its buying out of its joint venture partner from four Jersey property unit trusts.

Young firm Parslows is 'on par with many of the larger firms in terms of breadth of experience and responsiveness' and 'excellent across all areas of law', according to one client. In Jersey, the 'very responsive' Advocate Mason Birbeck combines 'great technical knowledge with the ability to relay complex information in clear language'; he recently assisted a foreign outsourcing services provider with the establishment of its Jersey offering, and advised a financial services company on the sale of its majority equity interest. David Hill leads the team from London and is also highly recommended by clients.

Pinel Advocates is a boutique firm which advises clients on a wide array of corporate matters such as M&A transactions, restructurings and equity capital markets mandates. With a particular proficiency in the technology and fintech start-up space, the team operates its own venture capital wing. The main name to note is Andrew Pinel, who also handles private client and investment fund matters.

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