United Kingdom > London > Corporate and commercial > EU and competition > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
Index of tables
EU and competition
- Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
- DAC Beachcroft LLP
- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Gowling WLG
- Holman Fenwick Willan
- Mayer Brown International LLP
- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP
- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP
- Shepherd and Wedderburn
- Sidley Austin LLP
- Squire Patton Boggs
- Stephenson Harwood
- Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
- Winston & Strawn London LLP
- Christian Ahlborn - Linklaters LLP
Oliver Bretz -
- Susan Bright - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Euan Burrows - Ashurst
- Rod Carlton - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Philippe Chappatte - Slaughter and May
- Martin Coleman - Norton Rose Fulbright
- Michael Cutting - Linklaters LLP
- John Davies - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Maurits Dolmans -
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Mark Friend - Allen & Overy LLP
- Philipp Girardet - King & Wood Mallesons
- Simon Holmes - King & Wood Mallesons
- Jenine Hulsmann - Clifford Chance
- Nicole Kar - Linklaters LLP
- Suyong Kim - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Duncan Liddell - Ashurst
- Bertrand Louveaux - Slaughter and May
- Philip Mansfield - Allen & Overy LLP
- Frances Murphy - Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP
- Alex Nourry - Clifford Chance
- Greg Olsen - Clifford Chance
- Nigel Parr - Ashurst
- Alex Potter - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Simon Priddis - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Simon Pritchard - Linklaters LLP
- James Quinney - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Paula Riedel - Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
- Isabel Taylor - Slaughter and May
- Deirdre Trapp - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Clifford Chance’s ‘very strong’ team had an impressive year, and counts Samsung, NBCUniversal, Cinven and Booker Group among its clients. Led by the ‘calm and practical’ Alex Nourry, who gives ‘robust, cerebral’ advice, the department advised Just Retirement Group on its notification to the CMA of the group’s £1.7bn merger with Partnership Assurance Group. Greg Olsen advised NBCUniversal on the European Commission (EC) investigation of cross-border premium pay-TV content licensing. Jenine Hulsmann and ‘client-focused’ senior associate Chandralekha Ghosh are also recommended.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s team has ‘vast experience and knowledge’, and is praised for its ‘excellent response times’. John Davies advised AB InBev on all antitrust aspects of its £71bn acquisition of SABMiller’s share capital; this included antitrust filings in over 30 jurisdictions. Simon Priddis heads the practice, in which Alastair Chapman is also recommended, and the ‘outstanding’ Martin McElwee is singled out for his impressive handling of Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigations. Senior associate Erika Rittenauer relocated from the Vienna office in December 2015.
Linklaters LLP’s ‘pragmatic’, ‘user-friendly’ department is led by the ‘strategic, client-focused’ Nicole Kar. The team advised Alent on the merger control aspects of its takeover by Platform Specialty Products, including competition filings in eight jurisdictions. Other clients include Barclays, BP, Glencore and J Sainsbury. Christian Ahlborn, Christopher Bellamy and Simon Pritchard are recommended along with the ‘responsive, commercially focused’ Natura Gracia, who gives ‘clear, concise’ advice.
Philippe Chappatte’s ‘excellent’ nine-partner department at Slaughter and May counts Asda, British Airways, Google and Royal Dutch Shell among its client roster. Recent client wins include Equinix, John Lewis and Ladbrokes. Claire Jeffs, John Boyce and Jordan Ellison assisted Ball Corporation with securing phase two clearance of its acquisition of Rexam. Bertrand Louveaux is praised for his ‘breadth of knowledge’ and ‘spot-on advice’, as is Lisa Wright, for her ‘superb technical knowledge’.
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘practical’, ‘top-notch’ team counts Lloyds Banking Group, Tullet Prebon and 21st Century Fox among its clients. Jonathan Hitchin and Philip Mansfield, who is described by one client as ‘an absolute rockstar in the competition field’, acted for Hitachi in an EC investigation into cartel conduct in the automotive parts sector. Mark Friend and Antonio Bavasso head the practice, which includes ‘smart and effective’ senior associate Dominic Long, as well as Alasdair Balfour and counsel Thomas Masterman, who have ‘in-depth knowledge’.
Ashurst’s ‘very responsive’ team provides ‘friendly service’; its recent client wins include Countrywide, Pirelli and Nomura. Practice head Nigel Parr acted for Lloyds Banking Group in the CMA’s market investigation into current accounts and the provision of finance to SMEs. Ross Mackenzie advised West of England Trust on the competition elements of the sale of its Jordans Legal Publishing business to LexisNexis. ‘Seasoned veteran’ Duncan Liddell ‘cuts through the detail and draws out the key issues’.
James Quinney heads the team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, where Veronica Roberts acted for Telefónica on the merger control aspects of its attempted sale of O2 to Hutchison Whampoa, and Stephen Wisking assisted Sky during the EC’s investigation into cross-border premium pay-TV content licensing. Other clients include Pilkington, Reckitt Benckiser and Virgin Atlantic Airways. The ‘very engaging’ Susan Black has ‘a good business focus’, is ‘technically excellent and extremely good at risk assessment’.
Angus Coulter and Suyong Kim jointly lead Hogan Lovells International LLP’s department, which acts for Alstom, Google and Trinity Mirror, among others, and Ofgem is a recent client win. Known for its work on transactions and investigations, the team advised SABMiller on the merger control elements of its £71bn acquisition by AB InBev. In January 2016, Ciara Kennedy-Loest transferred to London from Brussels, and Paul Castlo was promoted to counsel.
Samantha Mobley heads the ‘very strong’ practice at Baker McKenzie LLP, which advised ADM on an EC filing regarding the acquisition of AOR. Other clients include British American Tobacco, Cargill, Antalis and EDF, the last of which Keith Jones represented during the CMA’s energy market investigation. The ‘technically excellent’ Luis Gómez is singled out for his ‘good strategic sense and invaluable sense of humour’; Ross Denton is ‘commercially minded and very approachable’. Barclays’ former global competition head Nicola Northway is expected to join the department in the autumn of 2016.
Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s ‘practical, commercial’ team advised several large banks on the FCA’s market study of investment and corporate banking. Practice head Andrew Hockley and the ‘very approachable’ James Marshall assist Thames Water with all competition and regulatory matters; Marshall gives ‘succinct and clearly presented’ advice. Other clients include Hermes Investment Management and Arcadia.
King & Wood Mallesons’ ‘excellent’ department is headed by Tom Usher* and Simon Holmes; clients include RBS, Expedia, Diageo and the BBC. Usher advised Ladbrokes on its proposed merger with Gala Coral’s betting and gaming business, a deal which has been fast-tracked to phase two. Stephen Kon* and Christophe Humpe* are praised for their ‘unrivalled commercial acumen and strategic analysis’. The ‘hugely knowledgeable’ Cameron Firth* is also recommended, as is the ‘awesome’ Philipp Girardet. *Since publication, Tom Usher, Stephen Kon, Christophe Humphe and Cameron Firth have joined Macfarlanes LLP.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s team is ‘responsive, practical and great value for money’. The ‘excellent’ Ian Giles assisted Delta Air Lines with all its EU competition matters and advised First Utility Limited on the CMA’s investigation of the energy market. Practice head Martin Coleman acted for HSBC in an EC investigation into alleged collusion in connection with the Euro IBOR. Mark Tricker ‘always goes the extra mile’, and of counsel Caroline Thomas is also recommended.
Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘responsive’ department includes various ‘well-respected experts’, and delivers ‘first-class service’. The ‘very practical, client-focused’ Guy Lougher heads the team, which acted for E.ON in the CMA’s energy market investigation. Giles Warrington advised Hanson Quarry Products Europe on remedies imposed by the CMA following an investigation into the UK’s aggregates, cement and concrete markets. The ‘hugely experienced’ Jenny Block shows ‘determination’ and has ‘in-depth knowledge’. Angelique Bret made partner in May 2015.
The ‘very good’ practice at Addleshaw Goddard LLP is headed by the ‘solid’, ‘level-headed’ Bruce Kilpatrick, who advised a major international bank on the CMA’s investigation into retail banking, the authority’s largest investigation to date; he also acted for JT Global on its proposed acquisition of Jersey Airtel and Guernsey Airtel from Bharti Group. The team also counts J Sainsbury, Jersey Telecom and William Hill among its clients. Rona Bar-Isaac is also recommended.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s ‘high-calibre’ practice advises clients on merger control, market investigations and territorial broadcasting exclusivity. Practice head Davina Garrod, who is particularly strong in the financial services and technology sectors, is ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘always up to speed’. She assisted Harman International Industries with obtaining clearance of its €145m purchase of Bang & Olufsen’s automotive audio business, and acted for LEO Pharma regarding the merger control aspects of its €675m acquisition of Astellas Pharma.
Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP’s ‘creative, responsive’ team counts Fair Wear Foundation, Western Digital, GHX and SABIC among its recent client wins. Susan Hinchliffe* heads the practice, which served as co-counsel to General Electric Company on the competition aspects of its £10bn purchase of Alstom. Other clients include Monsanto, Mondeléz International and Philip Morris International. The ‘very personable’ Tim Frazer is ‘fantastic’ and gives ‘clear, practical and succinct advice’. Susan Hinchliffe* left the firm following completion of research for the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 UK.
CMS’ practice head Caroline Hobson, who is ‘a real pleasure to work with’, acted for Didix International in the CMA’s post-transaction investigation of Didix’s acquisition of Taste Marketing. Other clients include Eurostar, SSE, CKI and Pfizer. ‘Rising star’ Satyen Dhana, who has particular experience in financial services, consumer products and energy and infrastructure, joined in September from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Dhana is ‘excellent’, provides ‘high-quality service’ and is ‘always willing to go the extra mile’.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s key figures are Maurits Dolmans, Nicholas Levy and Romano Subiotto. Dolmans acted for Google in several CMA market investigations; Levy advised Coca-Cola Company on the antitrust elements of its $2.15bn purchase of a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage Corporation, and acted for Ryanair in the CMA’s investigation into its minority shareholding in Aer Lingus. Other clients include HarperCollins and GlaxoSmithKline.
DLA Piper’s ‘extremely high-quality’ department is particularly strong on the merger control side. The ‘very reassuring’ Sam Szlezinger heads the practice, having joined from Dentons in December 2015; he is supported by Alexandra Kamerling and ‘excellent’ Sarah Smith. Kamerling advised Celesio AG on the CMA’s investigation of Celesio’s purchase of 271 Sainsbury’s in-store pharmacies. The practice’s recent client wins include AkzoNobel, National Grid, Duke Street and Heineken.
Eversheds LLP’s ‘responsive, experienced’ practice is led by the ‘outstanding’ Ros Kellaway, who advised RWE npower on the CMA’s energy market investigation. Stephen Rose assisted Dairy Crest Group with Müller Wiseman’s acquisition of its dairy business, which was cleared by the CMA at phase one. Other clients include Compass Group, Vodafone, Volkswagen Group UK and Association of British Insurers. Principal associate Nicola Holmes is also recommended, as is ‘commercial’ legal director Aysha Fernandes.
Jones Day welcomed the ‘strategic’, ‘responsive’, ‘extraordinarily versatile’ Alan Davis from Pinsent Masons LLP into its ‘very classy’ competition team. Davis leads the practice alongside the ‘wonderful’ Matt Evans. Davis advised FP McCann on a CMA investigation into an alleged cartel among suppliers of concrete drainage products. AB Electrolux is a client in the context of merger control.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s ‘pragmatic’ team was augmented by the recruitment of the widely recommended Paula Riedel, who joined from Linklaters LLP in August 2015. The ‘responsive, commercial and technically strong’ Sarah Jordan acted for Montagu Private Equity in a CMA investigation of the £170m sale of CliniSys Group to Roper UK; the transaction was cleared in December 2015. Recent client wins include Accenture, CapVest and Teva Pharmaceuticals, which is one of Shaun Goodman’s clients.
Macfarlanes LLP’ ‘remarkable’ team is led by the ‘experienced, practical’ Marc Israel*, with support from the ‘calm and measured’ Malcolm Walton. Walton acted for Pork Farms on the phase two merger clearance aspects of its acquisition of Kerry Foods’ chilled savoury pastry business. Israel advised Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank on the merger control aspects of their €288m purchase of the National Bank of Greece’s private equity portfolio. Recent client wins include Finsavio, Exor and Associated British Ports. *Since publication, Marc Israel has joined White & Case LLP.
The ‘outstanding’ team at Shearman & Sterling LLP handles a range of work, including merger control, CMA investigations and EC cartel investigations; James Webber is singled out for his ‘impressive state-aid expertise’. The practice, led by the ‘practical, commercial’ Matthew Readings, advised Intercontinental Exchange on the CMA’s investigation of the client’s $650m purchase of Trayport. He also assisted Liberty Global with the UK antitrust aspects of its $195m acquisition of a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation.
Simmons & Simmons combines ‘responsiveness, good value, a strong international network and personable lawyers’. Clients include Ofgem, Cheyne Capital, Nippon Electric Glass Co and Schlumberger. The firm acted for Plastipak Holdings on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of APPE, which received unconditional EC clearance. Charles Bankes and Tony Woodgate head the practice, in which the ‘extraordinary’ Peter Broadhurst is recommended for his ‘clear, concise and insightful’ advice.
Travers Smith LLP is praised for its response times, value for money, and ‘ability to distil dense detail into clear and concise conclusions’. ‘Top-class’ practice head Nigel Seay, who shows ‘broad commercial acumen’, advised Pace on its $2.1bn merger with Arris. Recently promoted partner Stephen Whitfield gives ‘pragmatic, reliable’ advice; he assisted ForFarmers with securing merger clearance for its $158m acquisition of Countrywide Farmers’ feed-and-forage business.
Peter Willis’s department at Bird & Bird LLP specialises in sectors undergoing rapid technological change, such as telecoms, energy and e-commerce. It handles large merger filings, competition authority investigations and CMA dawn raids. Richard Eccles advised The Football Association on the competition aspects of certain commercial pay-TV agreements. Other clients include BT, Sanofi Pasteur, TomTom International and Polar Air Cargo.
The ‘excellent’ practice at Bristows LLP is praised for its ‘efficiency’ and ‘in-depth knowledge of the TMT sector’. Practice head Pat Treacy, who ‘skilfully translates the complexities of competition law into pragmatic legal advice’, advised Kimberly-Clark during an investigation launched by the Groceries Code Adjudicator. Sophie Lawrance ‘delivers highly bespoke advice in a measured and digestible way’, and has ‘extremely good knowledge’. Stephen Smith joined from RPC.
Burges Salmon LLP’s key figures include Laura Claydon, John Houlden and Simon Coppen. The ‘outstanding, measured and methodical’ Claydon acted for FirstGroup on the merger control aspects of its bid to acquire the TransPennine Express Franchise. She also assisted Oasis Healthcare with obtaining CMA clearance for Oasis’ purchase of Total Orthodontics. The team also represents The Co-operative Group, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and The Racecourse Association.
Dentons brought in the ‘experienced, knowledgeable’ Adrian Magnus from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP to lead the competition practice; effectively, he replaced Sam Szlezinger, who moved to DLA Piper in December 2015. The ‘responsive, effective’ team has been handling more transactional work, acting for World Fuel Services on the merger control aspects of its purchase of ExxonMobil’s aviation fuel operations in 83 airports globally. Other clients include Flextronics and SMBC Europe.
Dickson Minto WS’ ‘pragmatic, speedy’ team is headed by the ‘commercial’ Ajal Notowicz, who has the ‘rare ability to explain difficult concepts clearly’. The department has been handling much more behavioural work recently, for clients such as AG Barr, Wood Mackenzie and Aggreko. Notowicz advised Compass Partners on the antitrust aspects of its investment in a $2bn portfolio of Bridgepoint’s assets. Other clients include Allflex Holding France, BC Partners and Fishers Laundry Group.
Fieldfisher’s practice head Charles Whiddington acted for Kikkoman on its proposed acquisition of a rival. John Cassels advised Invisalign on a market analysis to determine whether the client is dominant in the supply of dental braces. Nick Pimlott recently assisted Pearson VUE with its disposal of the Driving Theory Test service to Learndirect and advised Digital UK on the competition aspects of its new Freeview Play service.
Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP’s department head Gillian Sproul is supported by Lisa Navarro and senior associate Simon Harms. Navarro acted for Bristol Water during an Ofwat investigation into an alleged abuse of dominance in the infrastructure installation market; she also assisted the client with winning a CMA redetermination of prices set in December 2014, essentially safeguarding £128m of revenue. Other clients include Atlas Mara, Rentokil Initial and Platform Specialty Products Corporation.
K&L Gates LLP combines ‘superb service’, ‘first-class knowledge’ and ‘strategic advice’. ‘Very sharp’ practice head Scott Megregian, who divides his time between London and Brussels, acted for Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation on the proposed $80m acquisition of various Akers businesses. Neil Baylis advised CRH on its purchase of Lafarge’s UK business, a necessary condition of the Holcim-Lafarge merger. Senior associate Gabriela da Costa is ‘incredibly efficient and very personable’.
Latham & Watkins is particularly strong on the transactional side, such as its advice to Actavis on its acquisition of Auden Mckenzie, but also has experience in several major cartel investigations, including an investigation in the automotive parts sector. Practice head John Colahan assisted Aviva Life & Pensions UK with securing EC clearance of a joint venture with Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada to acquire a portfolio of London real estate. John Kallaugher is another name to note. Jonathan Parker joined from the CMA in February 2016.
Nabarro LLP’s ‘impressive’ department, which ‘punches above its weight’, is headed by the ‘very strong’ Cyrus Mehta and Brian Sher, with support from senior associate Russell Hoare. The team is sole counsel to GlaxoSmithKline in the UK’s first investigation into reverse patent settlements. Mehta acted for Hospital Corporation of America in its appeal against a proposed CMA remedy that would force the client to sell several of its facilities in London.
Olswang LLP’s practice has a strong TMT sector focus and handles merger control work for Cineworld and CityFibre, among others. It advised Audible, BPI and Viacom on competition issues arising from IP licensing and distribution agreements. Senior associate Dervla Broderick is a key contact. Former team head Howard Cartlidge recently moved to DWF.
Reed Smith LLP’s department is headed by Edward Miller and Marjorie Holmes; Miller continues to advise IDEXX Laboratories on a range of competition matters, and acted for International Beverages Group on competition matters surrounding its worldwide distribution structures. Sonoco Products Company, a recent client win, was advised by the team on phase two clearance of its €280m purchase of Weidenhammer Packaging Group. Other clients include Debenhams, Hapag-Lloyd AG and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co.
Taylor Wessing LLP is particularly strong in the technology and pharmaceuticals sectors, where clients include Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Ericsson, Ricoh Europe and Ferrero UK. Practice head Robert Vidal acted for Ranbaxy Laboratories in its appeal to the General Court against the EC’s decision to fine Ranbaxy and other pharmaceuticals companies €146 million for certain settlement agreements deemed to be anti-competitive. Senior counsel Louisa Penny and senior associate Richard Craig are other names to note.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘very effective’ department is led by Paul Henty and the ‘incisive, thorough’ Paul Stone, who shows ‘excellent technical knowledge and strategic thinking’; he acted for Celesio to obtain immunity from fines following a CMA investigation into an alleged care home medicines cartel. The team also advised YouView TV on the competition issues surrounding the launch and roll-out of its YouView platform. Other clients include WS Atkins and ITV.
DAC Beachcroft LLP’s clients include Royal Mail Group and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. State aid work included advising North East Finance on its proposed launch of the second-generation JEREMIE fund to provide investment capital – financed by public sector grants and a loan from the European Investment Bank – for SMEs in the region. The team is headed by Alexandra von Westernhagen, with support from legal director David Harrison.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s ‘personable, communicative’ team is ‘first-rate, tactically and strategically’ – its lawyers are praised as having the ability to ‘think outside the box’ and to handle regulators well. Practice head Ali Nikpay is ‘technically outstanding’ and ‘very effective’; he is supported by ‘very clever, hardworking’ of counsel Deirdre Taylor and ‘strong litigator’ Patrick Doris. Nikpay advised Gala Coral on its £2.3bn merger with Ladbrokes. Other clients include Marriott International, Schlumberger and UBS.
Gowling WLG’s clients include Dixons Retail, Estée Lauder Companies, Aston Martin Lagonda and Origin Enterprises. Bernardine Adkins acted for AstraZeneca UK on merger control aspects of its $300m sale of Caprelsa to Genzyme. Principal associate Samuel Beighton is also active in the space and the practice recently recruited senior associates Oyebola Ajayi and Chantal Encavey from Linklaters LLP and the CMA, respectively.
Anthony Woolich leads the ‘dedicated, invaluable’ team at Holman Fenwick Willan, with support from Daniel Martin. Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company is a recently acquired client: it instructed the practice on competition clearance of the $328m restructuring of two joint-venture companies it had formed with Rolls-Royce and Singapore International Airlines. Other clients include DHL, Morgan Stanley, Hellas Gold and ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation.
Mayer Brown International LLP recruited of counsel Warsha Kalé from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, replacing Gillian Sproul, who moved to Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP. Department head David Harrison assisted Wells Fargo with all of the non-US merger control elements of its $32bn purchase of General Electric’s commercial distribution finance business. He also advised Interoute on its £400m acquisition of Easynet. Other clients include Mittal Investments UK and Agility Logistics.
Omar Shah and of counsel Joanna Christoforou recently joined Frances Murphy’s team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP from Latham & Watkins and Ashurst, respectively. Izzet Sinan and Kevin Robinson are also active in the space. Murphy and Sinan acted for CRH on the global merger filings and antitrust issues pertaining to CRH’s $6.5bn purchase of assets from Lafarge and Holcim. Murphy continues to advise Sanofi-Aventis on various cross-border competition issues.
The ‘effective’ Douglas Lahnborg leads the team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP, with support from Matthew Rose. Lahnborg advised Telenor on the proposed $1.36bn merger of its Danish operations with those of TeliaSonera and, alongside Rose, continues to act for Lucozade Ribena Suntory in antitrust matters. Sony, Prudential Greenfield LP and Crane Co are also clients.
Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘responsive, knowledgeable and highly experienced’ department head John Schmidt, who is qualified in Scotland and Germany, advised FanDuel on the applicability of EU merger regulations to an extra funding round desired by the client; phase one clearance was obtained. Schmidt is supported in the London office by Gordon Moir, who has particular experience in telecoms. Recent client wins include SAS/Scandinavian Airlines, while Heineken, John Lewis and Teva UK are more longstanding clients.
Stephen Kinsella heads Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘responsive’ practice, which has ‘good industry knowledge’ and ‘a collaborative approach’. The team advised Heineken on the antitrust elements of its $781m purchase of assets from Diageo. Other clients include MasterCard, Recall and Archer Daniels Midland. Patrick Harrison is another name to note, as is senior associate Rosanna Connolly, who combines ‘strong technical skills and great client service’.
Martin Rees and Diarmuid Ryan lead Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘excellent’ department. The ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ Ryan assisted Poundworld with securing phase two clearance of its merger with 99p Stores. Other clients include Cathay Pacific, INEOS, S.A Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa, GB Group and new client, Peninsula Business Services. The firm recently hired new partner Francesco Liberatore from Jones Day where he had been a senior associate.
Marta Garcia and Mike Pullen are key figures in Stephenson Harwood’s ‘thorough, high-level’ practice, and give ‘clear, considered and decisive advice’. The ‘incredibly thorough, patient and flexible’ Garcia – whom clients rate as being ‘among the very best in the field’ – advised DIF Infra on the competition aspects of its deal to acquire shareholdings in two Irish toll-road projects from Cintra. The team advises clients such as Ceva Logistics and Acadia Healthcare on a wide range of competition issues.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is particularly strong on merger control: department head Juan Rodriguez acted for ZF Friedrichshafen on obtaining merger clearance of its $13.5bn acquisition of TRW Automotive Holdings Corp in 14 jurisdictions, and advised Alcatel-Lucent on the competition aspects of Nokia’s offer to purchase all of the client’s equity securities, totalling €15.6bn. Rodriguez is supported in the London office by European counsel Axel Beckmerhagen, who is admitted under the EU and in Germany.
Peter Crowther’s department at Winston & Strawn London LLP has attracted more merger control work recently but also remains active on the state aid side, where it has been assisting Siemens Project Ventures, Socar Trading and GEM Holdings as sponsors with the state aid aspects of an LNG-to-power project that is set to become Malta’s principal source of electrical energy. Panasonic Corporation, Actavis and XL Catlin are also clients.
Becket McGrath leads the team at Cooley (UK) LLP, with support from senior associate Trupti Reddy, who handles merger control and is a life sciences expert. Most of the practice’s work has a TMT focus and Guardian Media Group is a longstanding client; the team is also active in the retail and insurance sectors. The department is especially strong in advising clients on EC and CMA market studies and investigations, and regularly provides behavioural advice.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘proactive, flexible’ team is commended for its ‘breadth of experience’ and its strength in multi-jurisdictional merger filings. ‘Pragmatic, strategic and highly responsive’ practice head Timothy McIver has ‘a very good grasp of the competition landscape of specialty chemicals’; he advised American Securities on the merger control aspects of its $855m acquisition of Blount International. Other clients include HarbourVest Partners, Access Industries, Mitsui & Co and Amazon.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP’s ‘exemplary’ department is ‘extremely responsive and cost-effective’. Department head Tobias Caspary is ‘a true expert’ and works in ‘seamless’ cooperation with the firm’s international offices to execute cross-border antitrust work. He advised a third party to the phase two CMA investigation of Reckitt Benckiser’s purchase of the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson. Other clients include CVC, Goldman Sachs and New Mountain Capital.
The team at Mishcon de Reya LLP is headed by the ‘personable, experienced’ Andrij Jurkiw, who acted for Bidvest Foodservice International on the merger control implications of its purchase of Cimandis, and secured a phase one clearance of the transaction. He also advised Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on state aid issues relating to its proposed new stadium. Rob Murray and Sarah Houghton are also recommended.
Osborne Clarke’s competition team is led by Simon Neill, who divides his time between London and Bristol; he is supported in the London office by Andrew Bartlett. Microsoft, Holcim and Alibaba.com are recent client wins, which join longstanding clients such as TalkTalk, Dyson, Arriva and Carphone Warehouse. Neill acted for Tech Mahindra on the international merger filings relating to its acquisition of SOFGEN. He also advised Green Deal Finance Company on state aid matters.
RPC is especially active in behavioural work, with particular expertise in the insurance and retail sectors, and the team acted for Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance during the CMA’s investigation into the private motor insurance market. It also advised Independent Print on the competition aspects of its £24m sale of the i newspaper to Johnston Press. Other clients include DMG Media, Johnson Controls and Snap-on Holdings UK. Lambros Kilaniotis heads the practice.
The ‘very responsive’ Jeremy Robinson joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP from Hill Dickinson LLP in September 2015; he has ‘strong business acumen and industry knowledge’. The two-lawyer team specialises in aviation and transport, and advised Airport Strategy & Marketing on state aid matters. Budapest Airport, Peel Airports, Flybe and Swiss International Air Lines are other recent client wins.
Mark Powell heads the team at White & Case LLP, which is supported on the non-contentious side by James Killick. Jacquelyn MacLennan acted for Toshiba in an appeal to the General Court against a €115m fine imposed by the EC. GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, Nordic Capital and Pfizer are also clients of the practice. MacLennan, Charles Balmain and John Reynolds are particularly active in litigation.