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United Kingdom > London > Corporate and commercial > M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Dechert LLP’s practice head Douglas Getter combines ‘international experience, practical advice and a forward-thinking nature’; he advised The Hunt Companies on its acquisition of a 50% stake in Amber Infrastructure Group. Graham Defries and ‘extremely thorough, responsive’ associate Ross Montgomery are recommended. The department hired ‘heavyweight’ lawyer Laurent Faugerolas from energy boutique LF Advising in November 2015.

Very good indeed’, Eversheds LLP’s practice acts for clients such as Chemtura, China National Nuclear Corporation and Reckitt Benckiser. Robin Johnson advised Alimentation Couche-Tard on its acquisition of Topaz and assisted Pentair with its $1.8bn purchase of ERICO Global Company. Richard Moulton and Latin America expert Keith Froud jointly lead the department, which also includes the ‘very capable and responsiveRobert Pitcher.

Mark Davis heads McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP’s ‘first-class’ department, which recruited Piero Carbone from Duane Morris in May 2016. Nick Azis advised longstanding client Olam International on its $1.3bn purchase of Archer Daniels Midland’s worldwide cocoa business. Other clients include Macquarie and Honeywell. Ellie West is recommended.

Nabarro LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team is particularly strong in the healthcare and technology sectors; Alasdair Steele acted for Fixnetix during its sale to Computer Sciences Corporation. Real estate and infrastructure are other sector strengths of the team. Caroline Newsholme is recommended, as is the ‘technically and commercially strong’ Peter Williamson. John Finnemore was promoted to partner.

Olswang LLP’s ‘first-rate’ practice, which is particularly strong in TMT, real estate, retail and leisure, is led by Mark Bertram, who advised the Iliffe family on its £220m sale to Trinity Mirror of a stake in Local World Holdings. Anthony Waller, who is praised for ‘bending over backwards’ for clients, acted for Surreal Vision during its sale to Facebook. Robert Willis provides ‘polished, comprehensive and accessible advice’.

Osborne Clarke is notably strong in the digital business and marketing sector, with clients including Carphone Warehouse, News UK and Siemens. Mark Spinner acted for Caledonia Investments on its £241m acquisition of Coral’s Gala Retail Bingo business, and advised Alcumus Holdings on its £92m sale to Inflexion by Sovereign Capital. Simon Smith heads the department, in which Mathias Loertscher made partner in May 2015.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team was joined by hotels specialist Nick Skea-Strachan from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in October 2015. ‘Top-notch’ department head Andrew Masraf advised Kier Group on its £265m purchase of Mouchel Group. Russell Booker, Sean Page and the ‘commercial, practical, courteousJon Harris are also recommended. Paul Amiss joined Winston & Strawn London LLP in November 2015.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team combines ‘commercial acumen and negotiating skills’. Clients include Live Nation Entertainment and UDG. James McKay, who delivers ‘a consistently high-quality service’, leads the practice, which hired of counsel Dale Huxford from BroadTech Global. Giles Distin moved to Addleshaw Goddard LLP in December 2015.

Stephenson Harwood provides ‘excellent client service’, as well as advice that is ‘always tailored and commercial’; Duncan Stiles heads the department in which Ben Mercer is recommended. The team acted for Acadia Healthcare Company on its £1.5bn acquisition of The Priory Group. Healthcare experts Karima Hudson and Anthony Clare joined in December 2015 and April 2016 from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co and Ashurst, respectively.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘responsive, perseverant’ practice has strong cross-jurisdictional capabilities: it acted for CR Laurence on the non-US aspects of its $1.3bn sale to Oldcastle Building Envelope. Department head Neil Blundell combines ‘expertise’ and ‘commercialism’. Simon Allport gives ‘excellent, practical advice’ and Richard Eaton is also recommended.

Andrew Blankfield heads Fieldfisher’s ‘effective’ team, which recruited Stuart Carter from Bond Dickinson LLP. David Wilkinson advised Azibo Holdings on its sale of Currencies Direct in a £200m management buyout funded by Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital Partners. Carlton Durrant and the ‘supportive, level-headed’ Christine Phillips are recommended.

Gowling WLG’s enlarged post-merger team includes Charles Bond and David Brennan. The ‘very responsive, reassuring’ Sunil Kakkad leads the team, which acts for clients such as AstraZeneca, GCP Student Living and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Karima Hudson and Richard Goold moved to Stephenson Harwood and Ernst & Young, respectively.

Increasingly active in the technology sector, Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘incredibly responsive, very pragmatic and reliable’ practice counts Easynet and Fox International among its recent client wins; more longstanding clients include Badoo and CBRE. Nick Nocton joined the team from Jeffrey Green Russell in October 2015. Nick Davis heads the department.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’ ‘excellent’ team acted for Auden Mckenzie Holdings on its £306m sale to Actavis, and also recently advised Platinum Equity and Perrigo. Tom Cartwright, Amy Comer and Stephen Walters head the practice. Timothy Corbett, who is particularly active in the technology and life sciences sectors, is recommended.

RPC’s practice is led by Tim Anderson, who acted for Dialog Semiconductor on the UK aspects – worth approximately $2bn – of its acquisition of Atmel Corporation. Matthew Griffith, formerly general counsel at Worldpay, joined in October 2015; Neil Brown made partner in May 2015. James Mee has ‘good technical knowledge’.

Philip Taylor’s team at Reed Smith LLP acted for NetDragon Websoft on its $130m purchase of Promethean World. James Wilkinson assisted MSA Safety with its $200m acquisition of Latchways. Other clients include Fortune Oil and CBPE Capital. Andrew Clark made partner in January 2016, after James Wilson and Giles Beale moved to Holman Fenwick Willan in December 2015.

Rutland Partners, Highland Spring, FDM and Macmillan Publishers are among the clients of Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘exceptional’ practice, which is headed by James Robertson. Emma Danks advised Enterprise Rent-A-Car on its purchase of City Car Club. Mike Turner acted for Unruly on its £114m sale to News Corp. James Goold is recommended.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP’s ‘first-class’ department, which is notably strong in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector, is led by Anna Buscall and the ‘calm, commercial’ Jeremy Willcocks. Willcocks assisted Armour Group with its $23m purchase of OneView Commerce. Buscall is ‘very strong technically’, and was instructed by McArthurGlen Group in several large corporate matters.

Michael Wachtel, Simon Vere Nicoll and Andrew Holderness head the team at Clyde & Co LLP; the team heads specialise in oil and gas, real estate and insurance respectively. Recent clients include Simec/Liberty Group, Nplus 1 Singer Capital Markets and BW Offshore. Philip Mace is recommended.

Holman Fenwick Willan hired James Wilson and Giles Beale from Reed Smith LLP. Nick Hutton leads the practice, which includes the ‘unflappable’ Jayson Marks along with Alex Kyriakoulis, who acted for a high-profile port management company on its bid for 67% of the shares in Piraeus Port Authority.

Real estate, energy and natural resources are the key strengths of K&L Gates LLP’s department, which is headed by Paul Tetlow; clients are ‘particularly impressed by the strength of the associates’. The ‘very commercial’ Jeremy Davis advised LKQ Corporation on its €1bn acquisition of Rhiag-Inter Auto Parts Italia from Apax. Other clients include Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Capita and 3D Systems.

Kashif Siddiqui, who specialises in outbound investment from the Middle East, joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP from DLA Piper in September 2015. The practice, which is led by Michael Pattinson, acted for Apache Capital Partners on its £108m acquisition, via Paul Street JV Company, of McLaren Property’s shares in Paul Street (General Company) and Reining.

Jan Mellmann’s ‘exemplary’ team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP is particularly strong in the transport, energy and natural resources sectors. Clients include 88 Energy, All Leisure Group and Baobab Resources. Andy Savage and Nigel Taylor joined from Norton Rose Fulbright and Clyde & Co LLP, respectively.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP’s ‘responsive, committed’ department is commended for its ‘market-leading knowledge of the energy sector’ and its ‘seamless’ multi-jurisdictional work. The ‘hardworking, delightful’ Neil Foster heads the practice along with Derek Jones, who is ‘strong technically and commercially’; the latter advised American Industrial Partners on its $380m purchase of Anixter International’s OEM Supply Fasteners division.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP counts Arqiva, TTT Moneycorp and the Bahamian government among its clients. Tom Shaw heads the team, which includes recommended media expert Martin Wright and Andrew Collins, who acted for The Halsall Family on its £56m sale of Silver Cross Nurseries to Fosun International.

Hilary Winter heads the team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP, which clients praise as having the ability to handle ‘complicated, multi-jurisdictional’ matters. Jinal Shah is ‘knowledgeable, hardworking and effective’; Shawn Atkinson and Anthony Riley are also recommended. Weyinmi Popo and Matthew Williams joined from Jones Day and Hogan Lovells International LLP, respectively.

AES Corporation, ACWA Power, Bank of Cyprus and GDF Suez are among the clients of Chadbourne & Parke (London) LLP’s department, which focuses on the energy sector and is led by Charez Golvala. Andrei Baev joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in April 2015. Kevin Atkins recently joined Locke Lord LLP.

The team at Cooley (UK) LLP is led by Justin Stock; its clients include Igas Energy, Betway Group and Apollo Global Management. ‘Strong corporate all-rounderDavid Bresnick advised SwiftKey during its takeover by Microsoft. Senior associate Aaron Archer has ‘outstanding industry knowledge, great deal-making skills and impressive tenacity and stamina’. Ed Lukins is also recommended.

Daniel Oates at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP acted for CVC Capital Partners and its portfolio company Wireless Logic on the latter’s buyout of SimService; he also advised Francisco Partners on the merger of Lumata, one of its portfolio companies, with Velti. AEA Investors, Highbridge Principal Strategies and KKR are other clients. Graham White heads the practice.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s ‘very commercial, very responsive’ department is led by Fergus Payne and the ‘very charismaticJo Evans; the latter advised How Splendid on its sale to Creston. The ‘fantasticPaul Rajput assisted Publicis Worldwide with its acquisition of Vivid Brand and August. Other clients include Integrated Dental Holdings, Havas Media and Proman Expansion.

Winston & Strawn London LLP’s ‘charming, proactive’ department head Zoë Ashcroftmaintains grace and humour in the toughest of negotiations’. The ‘astuteNicholas Usher advised Motorola Solutions on its £817m acquisition of Airwave Solutions. Other clients of the practice include Maximus Corporation and Brooks Brothers. Paul Amiss joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in November 2015.

Sarah Atkinson joined the team at Bryan Cave from Hogan Lovells International LLP in January 2016. Department head Carol Osborne, who is ‘a fantastic sounding-board’ with strong business acumen, advised CIL&D on its sale of Kaiser Eagle Mountain to Eagle Mountain Acquisition. Senior associate Andrew Hart is also recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘impressive, efficient’ practice is headed by ‘strong negotiatorRichard Spink; renewable energy expert Jonathan Eves made partner in May 2015. The ‘succinct, eruditeCamilla Usher-Clark acted for TerraForm Power on various transactions in 2015, comprising 14 solar projects with a total capacity of 186MW. Mark Shepherd is also recommended.

Private equity specialist Fabrizio Carpanini joined Dorsey & Whitney from Olswang LLP in November 2015; he acted for the owners of Dr. Organic on the sale of their business to NBTY. Max Beazley advised Maxxim Consulting on its merger with Q5 Partners. Mark Taylor heads the department, whose other clients include Liberty Global and Virgin Media.

The hospitality and leisure sector is a particular strength of Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP’s corporate team, which is headed by Philip Watkins with support from senior associate Victoria Rodley. Clients include Hay Tor Capital, Galileo Global Education, New West End Company and Creative Industries Federation.

James Campbell leads the team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, which has particular strengths in the technology and energy sectors. The team advised MNG Gold on its $25m acquisition of the Youga Mine in Burkina Faso from Endeavour Mining. Sandra Bates joined from Stikeman Elliott (London) LLP in November 2015.

Steptoe & Johnson’s department is headed by private equity specialist Michael Thompson, with support from Michael Fox, Farzana Rao and associate Sonia Mohammed. Manufacturing, property and retail are particular sector strengths. Clients include The 180 Group and Emerisque Capital.

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