Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

United Kingdom > London > Human resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Employment remains as competitive as ever – the majority of law firms field dedicated employment teams, and new boutiques are entering an already crowded market on a regular basis. International work still dominates, with cross-border transactions and team moves becoming ever more common. At a more domestic level, the effect of the introduction of tribunal fees in 2013 continues to be felt, however some firms report signs that claims are slowly beginning to pick up. Whistleblowing claims and restrictive covenant issues have risen sharply throughout 2015, while more niche areas of employment, driven by wider social issues of gender equality, mental health discrimination and equal pay, as well as the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act and the Senior Managers Regime, have grown in prominence. Stricter anti-tax avoidance regulations and new market abuse regulations designed to clamp down on the financial services sector has resulted in increased calls for advice arising from these areas.

Following changes to Tier 1 investor application rules in late 2014, firms have noted a rise in entrepreneur applications from high-net-worth individuals, particularly those from China, Russia and Cyprus. In addition to stricter immigration rules across the board, the uncertainty of the EU Referendum has resulted in a wave of instructions from EU nationals seeking permanent residency. On the corporate side, firms continue to advise employers on sponsoring Tier 2 visa immigrants amidst upcoming amendments, which will see the salary threshold for experienced workers increasing from Β£20,800 to Β£25,000 in autumn 2016, and rising to Β£30,000 in April 2017.

A number of law firms have experienced an uptick in corporate support work as well as an increased number of buy-ins and buyouts affecting the pensions sector. Defined benefit schemes continue to face deficit issues and an increasing number are closing to future accrual. On the other hand, defined contribution schemes are seeing further investment into these plans. The main talking point of the last year has been the establishment of new boutique ARC Pensions Law, which was established in mid-2015 by the highly regarded Anna Rogers and Chris Mullen. The team focuses purely on non-contentious issues, and many view it as the first real competitor for Sacker & Partners LLP

Employee share schemes

Index of tables

  1. Employee share schemes
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employee share schemes clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The β€˜first-rate’ team at Allen & Overy LLP excels in the financial services sector, where it acts on high-risk remuneration matters and executive incentives at a domestic and international level for clients including Virgin Money, Prudential Financial and Aviva. β€˜Extremely commercial’ practice head Paul McCarthy recently advised Worldpay Group, The Gym Group and McCarthy & Stone on the share incentive aspects of the clients’ individual IPOs.

Clifford Chance LLP’s β€˜first-class’ incentives department β€˜stands out as one of the best share schemes practices in the market’ with β€˜a strong grasp of the law’. Practice head Sonia Gilbert is noted for her β€˜real ability to cut straight to the answer’ and for her β€˜grit, stamina and substance in the face of tremendous pressure’. Gilbert recently advised National Australia Bank on the share plan elements of its Β£1.5bn demerger and IPO of Clydesdale Bank. Senior associate Liz Pierson β€˜works with pace and agility, ensuring every detail is thoroughly considered’.

Simon Evans leads the practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and led advice to Telecity Group on the impact of its acquisition by Equinix on its share arrangements. Other key names include Nicholas Squire, who is part of the team acting for Anheuser-Busch InBev on the share scheme elements of its takeover of SABMiller Group; and newly promoted partner Alice Greenwell. Jocelyn Mitchell retired in 2016.

In addition to its β€˜exceptional transactional practice’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP also stands out for its expertise in financial services remuneration. Recent highlights include advising PA Consulting Group on the impact of a proposed investment by The Carlyle Group would have on its share arrangements, and assisting Sky with its acquisition of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia and the extension of its employee ownership scheme. Paul Ellerman leads the department, which includes Mark Ife.

The β€˜excellent’ Gillian Chapman leads Linklaters LLP’s β€˜outstanding team’, which is β€˜head and shoulders above most practices’. The firm acts for a high-profile client base that includes BAE Systems, Anglo American and Lloyds Banking Group, and recently advised SABMiller on share scheme issues relating to its acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Clients praise β€˜consummate expert’ Alexandra Beidas and counsel Graham Rowlands-Hempel, who is β€˜always professional’.

Boutique firm Tapestry Compliance LLP, which has offices in London and Yorkshire, has seen substantial growth in the last year, both in the size of the team and the client roster; new clients include eBay, N.M. Rothschild & Sons and AIA Group. The department attracts praise for its β€˜unprecedented service levels’ and β€˜pragmatic and to-the-point advice’. Clients single out β€˜superb’ practice head Janet Cooper and the β€˜excellent’ Bob Grayson.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s extensive global footprint makes it a natural choice for cross-border matters. Jeremy Edwards (β€˜a genuine expert’) leads the practice, and recently assisted Prudential with the launch of its global share plans. Other clients include Deutsche Bank and Accenture. Senior associate Alasdair Friend is β€˜a pleasure to deal with’. Stephen Ratcliffe was promoted to partner in 2015.

CMS’ β€˜very responsive and creative’ practice is notably strong in transactional matters; the team advised Advanced Computer Software Group on the share scheme elements of its acquisition by Air Bidco, an investment vehicle indirectly owned by Vista Partners. Nicholas Stretch leads the practice.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ practice is led by Paul Randall, who joined from Ashurst in mid-2016 and took on the role of practice head from Louise Whitewright, who retired in the same year. The department is particularly noted for its β€˜excellent international practice, especially with US clients’, and acts for clients including SABMiller, Liberty Global and Virgin Media. β€˜Very helpful’ counsel Kiran Khetia is also recommended.

Jonathan Fenn leads Slaughter and May’s β€˜very responsive’ practice, which provides β€˜well-thought-through and knowledgeable solutions’ to a client list that includes 3i Group, Carillion and Rolls-Royce.

Travers Smith LLP has had a strong transactional year; highlights included advising Ball Corporation on the share scheme elements of its Β£4.3bn acquisition of Rexam, and assisting Nikkei with the incentive aspects of its Β£844m acquisition of The Financial Times Group. Practice head Mahesh Varia β€˜applies his knowledge astutely and effectively’.

The β€˜experienced and pragmatic’ Michael Carter leads Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s β€˜extremely proactive and knowledgeable’ practice, which is noted for its β€˜highly professional manner’. The team is experienced in employee shareholder status implementation and also has transactional and advisory expertise.

Eversheds LLP’s practice is headed by Mathew Gorringe and includes Danny Blum, who is noted for his β€˜excellent technical knowledge’. The department is recognised for its cross-border strength and recently acted for Triumph Group on the expansion of its restricted stock awards into multiple jurisdictions.

Fieldfisher’s key names include Mark Gearing, who recently led advice to Recruit Holdings on the shareholder equity arrangements arising from its acquisition of Hotspring Ventures; and Graeme Nuttall, who is a leading figure in employee ownership structures. Clients also recommend senior associate Jennifer Martin and corporate partner Neil Palmer.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s department is led by the β€˜highly practical and down-to-Earth’ Matthew Findley, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016. He takes over the role from Monique Beaulieu following her move to Grant Thornton UK LLP. The team is especially strong at global share plans.

Lynette Jacobs leads Pinsent Masons LLP’s department, which is β€˜very good on all counts’, and is particularly strong in matters with an international element. Clients include Imperial Brands, William Hill and Pace. Legal director Suzannah Crookes is also recommended. Former practice head Matthew Findley joined Norton Rose Fulbright.

Simmons & Simmons’ practice leverages the firm’s global network to act on multi-jurisdictional matters. Its strength in financial services is reflected in a client base that consists of Old Mutual, Brookfield Asset Management and Swiss Re. Ian Fraser leads the department.

Nicholas Greenacre (who is noted for his β€˜good balance of deep technical knowledge and strong commercial acumen’) leads the β€˜responsive and practical team’ at White & Case LLP, which recently advised Miniclip on the share scheme elements of its sale of a majority stake to Tencent Holdings.

Macfarlanes LLP’s practice provides comprehensive coverage of both transactional and standalone share scheme issues; highlights included assisting Appleby Group with the share scheme elements of the sale of its fiduciary business to Bridgepoint, and advising Liontrust on the implementation of three bonus deferral schemes. Rob Collard leads the team.

Consultant Andrew Stanger leads the practice at Mayer Brown International LLP, which has expanded its focus on sweet equity and scheme arrangements in private equity structures. Recent highlights include advising Entertainment One on the implementation of an executive incentive plan.

The team at Birmingham-based boutique firm Pett Franklin & Co. LLP is led by Stephen Woodhouse and chartered accountant William Franklin, and includes highly regarded name partner David Pett. Clients include Xtrac, Aquascot and Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP.

β€˜An expert in the area’, Postlethwaite Solicitors Ltd β€˜provides knowledgeable and practical advice in a clear and understandable way’. The firm acts on all share scheme issues, and is particularly experienced in employee ownership. Robert Postlethwaite leads the practice, which includes David Reuben, the β€˜very personable’ Stephen Chater and the β€˜always efficient’ Judith Harris.

Sarah Priestley’s team at Shearman & Sterling LLP recently advised Vitruvian Partners on the share scheme aspects of its acquisition of CRF Health, and assisted GMT Communication Partners with the sale of Seagull Group. Corporate tax specialist Simon Letherman was promoted to partner in 2016.

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜highly commercial team’ is led by Barbara Allen (β€˜a leader in the field’) and includes β€˜excellent’ senior associate Anika Chandra. In an illustration of its work for AIM-listed companies, the department recently advised AIM-listed client Focusrite on the implementation of a management incentive plan following the client’s IPO.

Taylor Wessing LLP has a strong international client base, particularly US clients investing in the UK. Recent highlights include advising Mimecast on equity incentives following its NASDAQ IPO. The β€˜incredibly responsive and vastly experienced’ Ann Casey leads the β€˜excellent’ team, which includes β€˜extremely calm, organised and effective’ senior associate Anna Humphrey.

Employment: employees/ unions

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employees/unions
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: employees/ unions clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The β€˜truly exceptional’ practice at Leigh Day β€˜stands out as one of the top teams in the area’ and β€˜consistently pushes the boundaries for employees in innovative ways’. β€˜Extremely hardworking’ practice head Chris Benson is continuing to act for over 20,000 Asda employees in an equal pay claim. Clients also single out Emma Satyamurti, who β€˜leaves no stone unturned when fighting for her client’, and litigator Michael Newman, who focuses on trade union mandates; both were promoted to the partnership in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The β€˜experienced, sensitive, knowledgeable and clear’ Elizabeth George is also recommended.

Edward Cooper leads Slater and Gordon’s practice, which includes Paul Daniels, who recently acted for Oisin Tymon, former Top Gear producer, in a high-profile racial discrimination and harassment claim against the BBC and Jeremy Clarkson. Other key matters included representing Razwan Faraz, a teacher involved in the Trojan Horse investigation in Birmingham schools, in unfair dismissal and religious discrimination tribunal proceedings; and Simon Cuthbert’s successful representation of a police firearms officer in a disability discrimination claim. Clients also recommend discrimination specialist Kiran Daurka and head of the firm’s major litigation group Ivor Adair.

Bindmans LLP’s β€˜friendly, professional and unflinching team’ β€˜rises to any challenge presented’ and β€˜has a level of expertise not often seen in the market’. Practice head Shah Qureshi is representing six High Court judges in a test case challenging the government’s changes to the judicial pension schemes on the basis that they discriminate against age, race and gender. The team also acts for trade unions including the National Union of Journalists and United Voices of the World. Emilie Cole and Shazia Khan are also recommended, as is associate Peter Daly, who has β€˜an excellent legal mind and analytical skills’.

β€˜One of the best trade union firms around’, Pattinson & Brewer’s client list includes the GMB, Unite and Equity. The practice, which is led by the β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ Binder Bansel, also has substantial expertise representing police officers and the Police Federation; the team recently acted for multiple officers in litigation relating to payments owed to officers recalled to duty for overtime work. Anthea Christie and Elizabeth Stephenson (who β€˜works hard to ensure a successful outcome’) made partner in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Led by Linda Stewart, the practice at Simpson Millar LLP has notable experience representing trade unions, particularly in the aviation sector, with clients including the British Airline Pilots’ Association, the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association and the Aircrew Officers Association Europe. The firm also has expertise in equal opportunities and discrimination mandates, and leads in holiday pay claims. Key names include Joy Drummond and Aneil Balgobin; Balgobin joined the firm in 2016 from Rollingsons.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP focuses solely on representing trade unions and union members, and recently represented clients in cases relating to disability discrimination and holiday pay. The main contact in the department is Rakesh Patel, who is head of the firm’s employment rights strategy.

Employment: employers and senior executives

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employers
  2. Employment: senior executives
  3. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: employers and senior executives clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Allen & Overy LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ team is β€˜excellent on all fronts’ and provides β€˜a gold-standard service’. The department’s β€˜depth of industry knowledge is unmatched’, particularly in the financial services sector, where it acts for clients including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and BlueBay Asset Management. Highlights in other sectors included advising Pure Storage on the enforceability of restrictive covenants, and assisting TE Connectivity on the multi-jurisdictional employment elements of the $3bn sale of its broadband network solutions division to CommScope. The β€˜formidable and no-nonsense’ Karen Seward leads the practice, which includes the β€˜intelligent and experienced’ Mark Mansell, Sarah Henchoz, who is β€˜the person you want when dealing with a complex matter’, and β€˜truly exceptional and insightful’ counsel Louise Skinner.

Clients consider Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice as β€˜best in class’. It provides a β€˜second-to-none service’ with β€˜exceptional global coverage’ across international projects and M&A mandates; recent examples include advising Hewlett Packard on the employment aspects of a global spin-off. The team is also strong domestically and has substantial expertise in industrial relations issues. The β€˜highly pragmatic and deeply technical’ John Evason leads the practice, which includes Monica Kurnatowska, who β€˜really knows her stuff’; Daniel Ellis; Christine O’Brien, who β€˜goes the extra mile’; and Stephen Ratcliffe, who was promoted to the partnership in 2015 and works across employment and benefits.

The β€˜absolutely first-class’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides β€˜well-reasoned and clear advice’ and includes β€˜serious, top-notch litigators that stand out above the rest’. Andrew Taggart (β€˜fantastic, unflappable, and among the most able employment solicitors in the country’) leads the practice and recently acted for Wesfarmers on the employment elements of its Β£340m acquisition of Homebase. Peter Frost, who β€˜consistently gives good, clear and relevant advice’, defended a discrimination case against the Church of England. β€˜First-class lawyer’ Christine Young and the β€˜robust’ Tim Leaver are also singled out. Other clients include easyJet, Chevron and Lloyds Banking Group.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s β€˜top-notch practice’ has β€˜real depth and breadth across employment’ and provides β€˜an outstanding level of service’ to both employers – including Credit Suisse, Ford and Viacom international – and senior executives. The firm gains substantial cross-border mandates through its Ius Laboris membership. Toni Lorenzo is praised as β€˜one of the best High Court litigators’ and the β€˜excellent’ Ellen Temperton is noted for her data protection and privacy expertise. The β€˜fantastic’ James Davies and Michael Burd co-head the department, which includes β€˜strategic thinker’ Richard Miskella, β€˜go-to partner’ Sean Dempsey, and the β€˜highly practical’ Nicholas Hadaway. Christopher Hitchins joined Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP.

Simmons & Simmons’ team acts β€˜at the highest level across the board’ and is β€˜extremely clued up on issues and changes in the financial services sector’. The department is also recognised for its contentious expertise, and successfully defended Jefferies in a sex discrimination claim. The practice has seen an increase in regulatory mandates; the β€˜commercial and pragmatic’ Andrea Finn and Philip Bartlett led advice to numerous clients on the Senior Managers Regime. Simon Watson leads the group, which includes the β€˜genuinely fantastic’ Mark Hewland and Julian Taylor. The β€˜hardworking’ Vicky Wickremeratne made partner in 2015. Other clients include BlueCrest, Moody’s and Deutsche Bank.

The β€˜commercial, accessible and understanding’ Michael Leftley leads the β€˜excellent’ team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, which is β€˜one of the key firms’ for mandates in the financial services sector. The practice also has notable contentious strength and often advises clients in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court. International project work is also prominent for the firm, for which Leftley and the β€˜practical and pragmatic’ Richard Yeomans are recommended. Clients include Barclays, British Airways and Laing O’Rourke. Alasdair Simpson and β€˜knowledgeable and pleasant’ managing associate Annabel Mackay are also recommended.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s β€˜tremendously responsive’ team provides β€˜practical, sensible and commercially-oriented advice’ and is co-led by managing partner Lisa Mayhew and the β€˜focused’ Rob Eldridge. The β€˜hands-on and straightforward’ Rebecca Harding-Hill is recommended for contentious issues including discrimination and whistleblowing claims. The department is prominent in the financial services sector, and also has numerous clients in the retail, tech and energy sectors; its client roster includes Tesco, UBS and Credit Suisse. Marian Bloodworth joined Kemp Little LLP.

At Clifford Chance LLP, the β€˜always accessible’ practice head Chris Goodwill is β€˜streets ahead of the pack’ and is representing Barclays in several high-profile investigations by multiple regulators. Goodwill is also assisting with the employment elements of GE Corporate Finance Bank’s sale of its capital leveraged loan business across several European jurisdictions. Alongside the firm’s transactional and contentious strengths, the department is also recognised for its β€˜outstanding’ advisory expertise. Other key names include Mike Crossan and Alistair Woodland.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s team of β€˜consummate professionals’ is β€˜in a word, superb’. The firm provides advice to clients including Novartis, Blackstone and Sports Direct International. Practice head and β€˜go-to practitioner’ Caroline Stroud specialises in high-value disputes and investigations, while Kathleen Healy focuses on cross-border projects. Nicholas Squire, who is recommended for transactional matters, is assisting Anheuser-Busch Inbev with the employment aspects of its $100bn takeover of SABMiller.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s β€˜impressive outfit’ is led by the β€˜terrific, experienced and unflappable’ Elizabeth Slattery, and grew in strength in 2016 following the arrival of β€˜seasoned practitioner’ Stefan Martin from Mayer Brown International LLP. The department is strong across advisory and transactional matters, and on the contentious side, clients single out Ed Bowyer for his High Court experience; Bowyer is advising AlixPartners as administrators and a syndicate of lenders on the asset sale of the Parabis Group. Further clients include eBay, Honeywell and News Corporation.

β€˜Impressive rainmaker’ Nicola Rabson leads the β€˜top-class team’ at Linklaters LLP, which is a β€˜leader in the field’ for transactional issues and high-value employment litigation; recent examples include successfully representing HSBC in an unfair dismissal, race and religious discrimination tribunal claim. Other clients include the National Grid, Credit Suisse and Commerzbank. Rabson also stands out for her whistleblowing expertise, and clients recommend β€˜excellent litigator’ Jean Lovett, who β€˜remains relaxed under pressure’.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team is β€˜an authority in employment’ and β€˜should be a first stop for City clients’. The practice is strong in litigation and cross-border transactions, and acts for a roster of high-calibre clients including HSBC, Wells Fargo and Hibu. Nicholas Robertson (who β€˜puts his neck on the line for clients’) heads the team, which includes senior associate Miriam Bruce, who is β€˜a real joy’, β€˜seasoned senior associate’ Ann Robson, and Christopher Fisher. Stefan Martin joined Hogan Lovells International LLP.

The β€˜friendly and responsive’ practice at Bird & Bird LLP excels in cross-border matters, regularly advising clients on multi-jurisdictional projects and restructurings. Elizabeth Lang has substantial experience in the aviation sector, and recently represented in multiple tribunal claims. Lang also acted for the same client in a restructuring following Blackpool International Airport’s closure. Other clients include Verifone, Amey and Monarch. Ian Hunter leads the department, which includes James Froud, β€˜excellent litigator’ Warren Wayne and legal director Penny Hunt, who β€˜gives clear and pragmatic advice’.

CMS provides β€˜an excellent level of service’ with substantial strength in litigation and cross- border transactional mandates. Recent work for the β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ Graham Paul includes advising Korn Ferry on the pan-European employment elements of its $450m acquisition of the Hay Group. Practice head Anthony Fincham successfully defended Foot Anstey in an age discrimination claim; the matter is on appeal. Sarah Ozanne provides β€˜sound knowledge’ and Robert Davies is recommended for outsourcing projects.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s β€˜effective, professional and balanced’ team β€˜gets results which exceed expectations’. The practice is strong in the retail and sport sectors, where it acts for clients including Sports Direct International, Mercedes-Benz GP and Harrods. In an illustration of its growing financial services practice, the firm recently advised Chantry Vellacott on its merger with Moore Stephens. Michael Powner leads the department, which includes William Granger, who leads on senior executive mandates. Clients also single out the β€˜grounded’ Trevor Bettany, the β€˜invaluable’ Nick Hurley, Emma Bartlett, and β€˜superb and tenacious consultant’ Alan Julyan.

The β€˜practical and persuasive’ Khurram Shamsee leads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ department, which acts for financial services and public sector clients including Deutsche Bank, Axa Insurance and UCLH NHS Foundation Trust. The team is representing Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a claim against multiple insurance brokerage firms relating to the misuse of confidential information. The practice is also advising TalkTalk on employment issues arising from its purchase of Blinkbox from Tesco. Nicholas Chronias specialises in industrial actions and the β€˜pragmatic’ Udara Ranasinghe is recommended for whistleblowing matters.

Farrer & Co is a force in the education sector, where it advises schools and higher education establishments such as Imperial College, Charterhouse School and Eton College. Practice head David Smellie also leads the firm’s schools group. β€˜Exceptionally safe pair of hands’ Katie Lancaster and the β€˜calm and objective’ Jonathan Eley are recommended for senior executive matters, and William Dawson is noted for handling regulatory cases in the financial services sector. Rachel Lewis and David Hunt are also recommended.

Mishcon de Reya LLP has β€˜a strikingly good team for both employers and employees alike and is fantastic for contentious matters’. The β€˜extremely talented’ Daniel Naftalin leads the department, which includes the β€˜technically excellent’ Joanna Blackburn, the β€˜supportive and commercial’ Sharon Tan and the β€˜impressive’ Mark Levine. The β€˜pragmatic’ Greg Campbell led advice to the management team of Morgan Stanley on its exit from the company. Other highlights included Naftalin’s representation of Pimlico Plumbers in a dispute regarding employment status. Also recommended are Sarah Keeble and β€˜first-rate tactician’ and newly promoted partner Jennifer Millins.

In an illustration of its ability to leverage its international office network, Squire Patton Boggs recently advised Coats on the employment aspects of the $125m sale of its European crafts business to Aurelius Group, and assisted Oliver Marketing with the employment elements of a global marketing contract with Adidas. Caroline Noblet co-heads the global labour and employment practice, which includes Miriam Lampert, David Whincup, newly promoted partner Natalie Bellwood, and Fraser Younson, who is a consultant with the firm. Jane Bullen retired.

At Taylor Wessing LLP, practice head Paul Callaghan provides β€˜excellent strategic oversight’ and is β€˜keenly attuned to clients’ needs’. The practice, which β€˜has particular expertise with transatlantic clients’, includes Andrew Granger, who is representing easyJet in tribunal litigation relating to holiday pay, and is also advising Pan Macmillan on various employment issues arising from its demerger from Macmillan Publishers. Sean Nesbitt is recommended.

Tim Gilbert leads the practice at Travers Smith LLP, which includes Ed Mills, who is acting for Brewin Dolphins on the employment elements of the sale of its Stockade business to Alliance Trust Savings. Mills also assisted Virgin Active with the restructuring of its head office and senior management team, in which the UK leadership team was folded into a European executive board. Other clients include AIG, Deloitte and Pinewood Studios. SiΓ’n Keall is recommended for discrimination matters. Andrew Lilley is now a consultant.

The β€˜very competent, pragmatic and business-oriented’ team at Dechert LLP continues to grow its presence in the senior executive sphere alongside the firm’s β€˜excellent’ employer practice. The client roster includes SAGA Group, BNY Mellon and Barbican Insurance. β€˜Exceptional employment lawyer’ Charles Wynn-Evans is β€˜trustworthy and reliable’ and leads the practice, which includes Jason Butwick, who is β€˜first class and a safe pair of hands’.

Eversheds LLP’s β€˜consistently effective’ team maintains its strength representing City clients on international projects and in industrial relations matters. The β€˜unflappable’ Fiona Bolton led the firm’s multi-jurisdictional advice to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking on its acquisition of Neovia Logistics, and Paul Fontes assisted London Stock Exchange Group with the sale of its market data vendor business to IRESS. Fontes leads the practice alongside Martin Warren, who β€˜provides wise counsel in challenging situations’. Audrey Williams joined Fox Williams LLP and Philip Davies joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

Fox Williams LLP’s β€˜extremely professional’ practice provides β€˜thorough and robust advice’ with a substantial focus on the financial services and professional services sectors, assisting both employers and senior executives. Jane Mann leads the practice, which recently recruited Audrey Williams from Eversheds LLP, and also includes β€˜standout litigator’ Joanna Chatterton, City specialist Aron Pope, the 'infallible' Joanne Owers, and Helen Farr, who is recommended for senior executive matters.

King & Wood Mallesons is praised for its β€˜fantastic work’ on international projects; practice head Carl Richards, who is β€˜excellent across the board’, recently advised Golden Gate Capital on the non-US employment elements of its acquisition of The Dow Chemical Company’s global Angus Chemicals business. Other clients include Telstra, Ladbrokes and Universal Music Group. Hilary O’Connor and β€˜great’ managing associate Nicola James are other noteworthy names.

Macfarlanes LLP’s β€˜classy outfit’ is led by the β€˜brilliant, clear and concise’ SeΓ‘n Lavin. The practice remains strong across advisory and contentious mandates, and works closely with the firm’s litigation team. Dan Lavender is recommended for financial services litigation. The department is strong across the financial services sector, and represents senior executives and employer clients including Visa, Legal & General Group and Schroders. Hayley Robinson is praised for her β€˜hands-on, pragmatic approach and astute legal analysis’.

Olswang LLP β€˜marries a keen eye for detail with a strategic and tactical approach’, enabling the firm to provide clients with β€˜practical and commercial advice’ in a β€˜highly responsive’ manner. Practice head Melanie Lane stands out for her expertise in outsourcings and reorganisations, and assisted Catalent with the proposed closure of its UK packaging facility site. The β€˜bright, energetic and motivated’ Catherine Taylor is recommended for cross-border and High Court litigation.

Osborne Clarke provides β€˜first-class service and invaluable assistance’ to clients in a range of sectors, with a focus on the financial services, recruitment and tech sectors. β€˜Detail-conscious’ practice head Victoria Parry is representing Nomura International in a disability and age discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing claim. Other clients include Dell, Silicon Valley Bank and Nomura International. David Cubitt, who is head of the firm’s London office, has β€˜laser-sharp focus and gets to the crux of the matter quickly’.

Patrick Brodie (β€˜one of the cleverest lawyers around, and maintains a sense of commerciality and fun’) leads RPC’s β€˜genuinely outstanding’ practice, which excels in high-profile litigation and transactions, often with an international element. Clients include CBRE and Associated Newspapers, with new client wins including Coca-Cola Enterprises and Lifeways. The team continued to defend the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia before the Court of Appeal in a claim concerning the application of diplomatic immunity. β€˜Technically brilliant legal director’ Kelly Thomson is also recommended.

Reed Smith LLP’s team has β€˜remarkable strength in depth, with hardworking and high-quality lawyers’. The department remains a key name in international matters, and recently advised AECOM on the employment aspects of a global restructuring. Thomas Ince leads the department and is deputy head of the firm’s EMEA group. Clients also single out Robin Jeffcott, who is β€˜a terrific name in the field’ and is European vice chair of the litigation department. Graham Green is recommended for global projects and media matters.

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜excellent’ practice has grown following Purvis Ghani’s recruitment from Mayer Brown International LLP. The department assisted DNB with the employment elements of a loan book transfer to the client’s new subsidiary. Other key names include Kate Brearley, who specialises in team moves and restrictive covenants; the β€˜brilliant’ Anne Pritam; the β€˜truly exceptional’ Paul Reeves; and newly promoted partner Kiersten Lucas.

Caroline Carter leads Ashurst’s β€˜knowledgeable’ team, which provides β€˜a faultless and client-focused service’. The practice has a substantial international element, and Crowley Woodford, who gives β€˜invaluable support’, has a strong Japanese client list including Zeon Corporation and Mitsui & Co. Recent highlights include advising on the employment aspects of AVEVA Group’s acquisition of multiple industrial software assets from Schneider Electric.

While traditionally strong in the not-for-profit sector, Bates Wells Braithwaite continues to expand its commercial client roster, which includes Caffe Nero, Euromoney Institutional Investor and Corporate Media Partners Limited. Practice head William Garnett advised the English National Opera on the removal of its chief executive and also negotiated the departure of its artistic director. Paul Seath, who β€˜has excellent judgement’, is recommended for senior executive mandates, and Martin Bunch is β€˜beyond insightful’. Paul Jennings is also recommended.

CM Murray LLP β€˜excels in its representation of senior executives’, particularly in cross-border issues and whistleblowing matters. The international strength also transfers to the firm’s employer practice, which regularly acts for multinationals with UK operations. Key names include managing partner Clare Murray, Bettina Bender, the β€˜professional and extremely knowledgeable’ Anna Birtwistle, Esther Martin and David Fisher, who specialises in High Court injunctions.

Clyde & Co LLP β€˜provides extremely pragmatic and commercial advice at an excellent level’, and is led by β€˜effective negotiator and problem-solver’ Robert Hill. The team continues to act for EstΓ©e Lauder on all employment matters, with multiple tribunal claims and two potential acquisitions occurring in the last year. Chris Holme and James Major are names to note, and Charles Urquhart is β€˜approachable and utterly reliable’.

DLA Piper’s β€˜high-quality’ department is noted for its β€˜commercially astute strategies and excellent understanding of the law’. In a reflection of the firm’s β€˜true international strength’, β€˜exceptional team leader’ Adam Hartley recently advised Amlin on the employment aspects of the proposed merger of its European subsidiaries. Jonathan Exten-Wright is recommended for matters with human rights elements. Pattie Walsh joined Bird & Bird LLP and Tom Kerr Williams joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP.

The β€˜incredibly knowledgeable and charming’ Michael Bronstein leads Dentons’ β€˜excellent practice’, which is strong in TUPE, outsourcing issues and cross-border projects. Clients include the Royal Mail Group, Network Rail, the Bank of China (UK) and the John Lewis Partnership, which is a new panel win for the firm. Ryan Carthew and Gilla Harris are also recommended.

At boutique firm Doyle Clayton, β€˜unflappable litigator’ Peter De Maria (who β€˜combines charm with tenacity’) is acting for Robert Reid and Andrew Brogden in a repudiatory breach of contract claim relating to incorrect bonus payments. On the employer side, clients include Travelex, Capco and Vitality. Clients also single out the β€˜savvy’ Peter Doyle, who has substantial senior executive expertise; the β€˜reassuringly good’ Darren Clayton and the β€˜steely but sensible’ Jennifer Nicol. Litigator Helen Brooks joined from Goodman Derrick LLP. Jessica Corsi left for an in-house role.

Latham & Watkins focuses on non-contentious issues, often with a cross-border element; examples include advising Allergan on the employment aspects of the sale of its global generic pharmaceuticals business to Teva Pharmaceutical. Practice co-chair Stephen Brown assists on tax matters. Catherine Drinnan is also recommended.

The β€˜proactive’ team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP recently advised Actavis on the reduction of its workforce across 70 countries following the client’s acquisition of Allergan. Practice head Matthew Howse led on that matter and is also recommended for contentious mandates. Pulina Whitaker, who is β€˜extremely knowledgeable with a practical approach’, joined in 2015 from King & Spalding International LLP.

Paul Griffin leads the department at Norton Rose Fulbright, which β€˜combines technical knowledge, commercial acuity and a range of experience to provide excellent advice, especially on international matters’. Clients include BMW, IMI and HSBC Holdings. The β€˜professional, personable and credible’ Catrina Smith is recommended for regulatory investigations and the employment aspects of insolvency and restructuring issues.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜smart and practical team’ focuses on the financial services and infrastructure sectors, where it acts for a client roster that includes Balfour Beatty Group, Bombardier and RBS. β€˜Astute and pragmatic’ practice head Edward Goodwyn advised Kier Limited on the employment elements of its acquisition of Mouchel, which involved due diligence across several jurisdictions. Steven Cochrane primarily acts for financial services clients.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP is β€˜fast becoming one of the top firms for employment litigation’ thanks in part to its β€˜substantial reputation and expertise in the equal pay field’. Ed Stacey, who β€˜commands respect while being extremely approachable’, leads the practice, which acts for clients including Phones4U, Eni International Resources and Dreamjet. Nick Willis and Chris Perkins are also recommended, as is Tom Kerr Williams, who joined in 2016 from DLA Piper.

Jonathan Fenn leads the department at Slaughter and May, which is β€˜a real class act’ and recently advised Ladbrokes on the employment elements of its merger with Gala Coral. Charles Cameron is β€˜calm, wise and reassuring’ and senior associate Lizzie Twigger is β€˜a good strategic thinker’.

White & Case LLP’s practice leverages the firm’s international presence to act on cross-border matters. The β€˜outstanding’ team recently advised LINE Corporation on the employment aspects of its acquisition of the global MixRadio business of Microsoft Mobile Oy. β€˜First-rate lawyer’ Stephen Ravenscroft and Oliver Brettle jointly head the department.

The β€˜commercial and responsive’ Henry Clinton-Davis leads the practice at Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP and β€˜provides invaluable expertise’. The practice has substantial experience representing international clients, especially in cross-border investigations. The practice regularly acts for technology and retail clients such as Monsoon Accessorize, AT&T and McArthurGlen.

Bircham Dyson Bell remains prominent in the not-for-profit sector, and regularly assists on regulatory mandates and corporate transactions, particularly TUPE transfers. The team also has substantial tribunal experience. Clients include Blue Cross, Qatar Airways and AECOM. Jesper Christensen leads the practice, which includes the β€˜technically strong’ Brian Gegg and the β€˜exceptional’ Caroline Yarrow. Nicholas Le Riche made partner in 2015.

Boutique firm Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP is β€˜at the top of the list for senior executive work’ and is noted for its β€˜tremendous depth of experience and exemplary service’. The team has particular expertise advising entrepreneur-run businesses, especially in the financial services sector, and acting on discrimination and whistleblowing claims. β€˜Flawless lawyer’ Gareth Brahams, β€˜standout practitioner’ Arpita Dutt, the β€˜no-nonsense and highly personable’ Ruth Badrick and the β€˜outstanding’ Alistair French are recommended.

Clients praise Covington & Burling LLP for its β€˜ability to address international employment needs’. The firm regularly acts for US corporations; Chris Bracebridge and associate Antonio Michaelides recently advised Indivior on the UK and US employment elements of its demerger from Reckitt Benckiser. Managing partner Christopher Walter is global chair of the international employment practice.

The β€˜incredibly able’ Helga Breen leads DWF’s β€˜strong and responsive’ team, which is β€˜robust and user-friendly’, and focuses on non-contentious matters, especially large projects, often with an international element. The financial services sector is prominent for the department across employer and senior executive work. Clients include ADG Holdings and the Bankers Benevolent Fund.

The β€˜impressive’ team at Fieldfisher provides β€˜highly bespoke advice’, with a focus on large projects and cross-border outsourcing matters. Nicholas Thorpe is advising on the employment elements of the merger between DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield. Richard Kenyon leads the practice, which includes Margaret Davis and James Warren. David Carmichael, joined from Eversheds LLP.

Boutique firm GQ Employment Law LLP provides an β€˜excellent, Rolls-Royce service’ and has a β€˜second-to-none reputation in tough litigation’. Clients include Commerzbank, Close Brothers and Mercer. Founding partners Paul Quain, whose β€˜first-rate judgement enables him to unpick the knottiest cases’, and β€˜unflappable fighter’ Jon Gilligan are singled out. Darren Isaacs, β€˜great strategist’ Richard Harvey and the β€˜excellent’ Daniel Pollard are also recommended.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s β€˜faultless team’ has a particularly strong capability in the media and entertainment sector, and is β€˜a first-class firm for theatre clients’ including the National Theatre, Really Useful Theatre Group and Nimax Theatres. β€˜Fast-acting and compassionate’ practice head Howard Hymanson stands out for his expertise in psychiatric illness cases and bullying in the workplace. Other key names include β€˜extraordinary lawyer’ Marian Derham and the β€˜practical and pragmatic’ Yvonne Gallagher.

Howard Kennedy LLP is noted for its β€˜sound legal and business judgement’ and the practice β€˜goes the extra distance for clients’. β€˜Excellent and quietly determined team leader’ Carolyn Brown is acting for Glencore Energy UK in a high-profile Commercial Court dispute. Other clients include Foxtons and Mills & Boon. The β€˜very sharp and tactical’ Jane Amphlett is also recommended. Taj Rehal joined Fladgate LLP in 2015.

Following its merger with Thomas Eggar, Irwin Mitchell now has an increased international offering; the β€˜always professional’ department head Sybille Steiner is German qualified, and Melanie Stancliffe acts for a number of French clients. The practice focuses on the financial services, construction and real estate sectors; clients include Kleinwort Benson Bank and Jones Lang LaSalle. Christopher Tutton is also recommended.

Joelson’s team β€˜has a genuine focus on clients’ needs’ and is led by David Greenhalgh, who is β€˜refreshingly unstuffy’ with β€˜a real commercial awareness’. Greenhalgh is acting for Sunrise Brokers in a case relating to employee restrictions, which has reached the Supreme Court. Jennifer Maxwell-Harris (who is noted for her β€˜rare mixture of professionalism and compassion’) focuses on the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Kemp Little LLP’s β€˜high-quality’ practice saw substantial growth in 2015 following the arrival of Marian Bloodworth (β€˜a jewel in the employment law crown’) from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. The team, which is led by β€˜practical problem-solver’ David Williams, is strong in the technology sector, where clients include BuzzFeed, Spotify and AKQA, and has a growing presence in the financial services sector. The β€˜very attentive’ Kathryn Dooks is also recommended.

Kennedys’ β€˜great expertise in the rail sector’ is reflected in its client base, which includes Great Western Railway, Virgins Trains East Coast and South West Trains. The aviation sector is also a key focus for the team, which regularly advises insurance clients in this sector. The β€˜wise’ Allan Finlay leads the department, which includes the β€˜clever and able’ Matthew Leake and the β€˜respected’ Fiona Morgan.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s β€˜small but extremely dedicated team stands out for its senior executive nous’ and its β€˜substantial commitment to clients’. On the employer side, the firm focuses on the professional and financial services sectors. The β€˜extremely well-regarded’ Richard Fox leads the practice, which includes the β€˜outstanding’ Adrian Crawford, the β€˜personable and measured’ Michelle Chance*, and Adam Lambert. *Since publication, Michelle Chance has joined Bond Dickinson.

The β€˜commercial and responsive’ Katie Clark leads McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP’s β€˜solid’ practice, which advises clients including Cygnet Health Care, WSP Environmental and KP Snacks. β€˜Pragmatic and knowledgeable’ associate Paul McGrath is also recommended.

Memery Crystal LLP’s β€˜responsive, technical and engaging’ team is led by the β€˜excellent’ Merrill April, who focuses on contentious issues and is defending Gulfsands Petroleum in breach of contract and statutory claims brought by a former CEO. Stephen Milne is now a consultant.

Nabarro LLP has prominent contentious expertise; practice head Richard Brown successfully defended the State Bank of India in a race discrimination and whistleblowing claim brought by a former trader. Other clients include Santander, Laing O’Rourke and Land Securities. The team also has expertise in mental health issues and reputational risk matters.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s β€˜excellent’ practice advises on contentious and non-contentious issues, and has a growing international focus. The department acts for several high-profile clients including Burger King and Eurotunnel Services. Paul Mander leads the practice, which includes Tom Walker (who is β€˜practical and client-oriented’), Jon Heuvel, Sarah Johnson and Andrew Haywood, who β€˜knows his stuff’.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP remains the β€˜go-to firm’ for housing associations and registered providers, and also has substantial TUPE expertise. The team acted for Hyde Housing Group in an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision relating to an unfair dismissal claim, which had implications on TUPE transfers. β€˜Robust and trustworthy practice head’ Emma Burrows β€˜moves effortlessly towards the core issue’. TUPE specialist Richie Alder, Tania Tandon and β€˜highly promising lawyer’ Nicola Ihnatowicz are recommended.

Withers LLP is β€˜an excellent firm for senior executives’, which it advises on a domestic and international level. Practice head Meriel Schindler acted for Harriet Green on her exit from Thomas Cook, which involved advising on the threat posed to the exit package following negative press coverage. Employer clients include Informa and The City Lit. Allso recommended are Daniel Isaac and the β€˜tenacious and savvy’ Elaine Aarons, who excels at senior executive work.

Jodie Sinclair leads the practice at Bevan Brittan LLP, which focuses on the healthcare sector. The firm acts for multiple NHS Foundation Trusts and recently defended the Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust in an employment tribunal claim. Alastair Currie made partner in 2015.

Bristows LLP β€˜has a particular focus on transactions with an outsourcing element’ and often advises on global outsourcing projects; the team is assisting multinational outsourcing company Capgemini on employment and TUPE issues. Linda Farrell leads the department, which includes senior associates Lidia Poczok (who is β€˜a delight’) and β€˜all-round rock star’ Justin Costley.

The β€˜well-respected’ Martin Hamilton leads Capsticks LLP’s team, which is β€˜one of the leading firms for NHS trusts’. The firm is advising multiple NHS bodies on the employment issues related to the implementation of new models of care. Clients praise Peter Edwards, Gary Hay, the β€˜fantastic’ Andrew Rowland and the β€˜great’ Victoria Watson.

Nick Tsatsas leads the department at Fladgate LLP, which saw substantial growth in 2015 with the recruitment of Taj Rehal and Michael McCartney from Howard Kennedy LLP and Fasken Martineau LLP, respectively. The team recently advised Alliance Pharma on the employment elements of its acquisition of 27 products from Sinclair Pharma. Senior associate Mike Tremeer is β€˜simply outstanding’.

Goodman Derrick LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team is led by Alison Downie, who is β€˜a real professional and always a sensible voice in the crowd’. Downie continues to act for the Labour Party on employment issues; other clients include John Frieda Salons and the British Board of Film Classification. Clients praise β€˜very likeable’ senior solicitor Clare Gilroy-Scott.

Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP has strong ties with its US offices, and regularly acts for US clients on UK employment issues. Practice head Naomi Feinstein is advising numerous clients on Modern Slavery law compliance, and is also recommended for transactional matters.

Following Jules Quinn’s departure to King & Spalding International LLP, β€˜down-to-earth’ of counsel Mark Taylor leads Jones Day’s β€˜responsive and insightful’ team, which is experienced in international mandates and focuses on the private equity sector. Clients include The Riverside Company and Goldman Sachs.

Adele Martins leads Magrath LLP’s practice, which saw an uptake in tribunal work in 2015 alongside the firm’s non-contentious mandates. Clients include Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, Innocent Drinks and Ellis Clowes. Susan Thompson is recommended.

Daniel Peyton heads the practice at McGuireWoods London LLP, which acts for a number of US clients and has notable experience in contentious matters and issues relating to confidential information and restraint of trade.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s β€˜robust and highly capable’ team sits within the firm’s global practice and focuses on cross-border issues for multinational clients including Gap, Facebook and Western Union. β€˜Clever, experienced and thorough litigator’ Nicola Whiteley leads the team, which includes of counsel Mandy Perry, who is β€˜a joy to work with’.

Proskauer Rose LLP is β€˜a favourite for funds and private equity clients’, and has substantial experience in contentious and cross-border mandates. Practice head Daniel Ornstein is β€˜an extremely thorough and well-seasoned lawyer, who is hard to beat’.

β€˜Acute and commercial strategist’ Nic Hart leads Steptoe & Johnson’s β€˜excellent’ team, which focuses on contentious matters and trade union disputes. Clients include Mott MacDonald, Pork Farms and Park Cakes.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s β€˜strong and tailored’ practice is led by the β€˜perceptive’ Angharad Harris, who successfully defended longstanding clients Gearbulk (UK) and Gearbulk Services in the EAT in whistleblowing and breach of contract claims. Asha Kumar is β€˜extremely professional’. The β€˜friendly and approachable’ Liz Buchan is now a consultant.

Newly promoted β€˜go-to’ partner Adam Grant leads Wedlake Bell LLP’s team, which is β€˜excellent across the board’ and provides β€˜to-the-point and efficient advice’. The practice has substantial cross-border experience, and recently acted for Bio-Rad Laboratories on employment issues across 22 EMEA jurisdictions. Other key names include Richard Isham, Ravinder Mahal and the β€˜clear and straightforward’ David Israel.

Slater and Gordon is highly regarded for its senior executive work for partners, City executives and medical professionals. The team is particularly prominent in contentious matters in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court. Julie Morris leads the department, which includes Paul Daniels, who is recommended for discrimination cases, finance sector specialist Clive Howard, Claire Dawson and John Marshall.

The β€˜incredibly switched-on’ Tim Spillane leads Stewarts Law LLP’s β€˜strong, sensible and pragmatic team’ and β€˜fights hard for his clients with real tenacity and charm’. The department is β€˜a leader in the executive field’ and has particular expertise in the financial and professional services sectors. Richard Nicolle is β€˜very detailed and focuses on the real issues’.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP’s β€˜absolutely outstanding’ team provides β€˜spot-on advice and an exemplary service’, making it β€˜one of the best senior executive firms out there’. The practice is β€˜a leader in the financial services sector’ and is highly experienced in whistleblowing matters. β€˜Top-rate’ practice head Jo Keddie β€˜really packs a punch’. Clients also praise the β€˜outstanding’ Susan Kelly, the β€˜efficient’ Andrew Yule, David von Hagen and James Lynas.

Edwin Coe LLP is β€˜the complete package’ and β€˜one of the best for high-end claimant work’. The team acts for clients in the financial services sector, and has a growing energy sector presence. Rachel Harrap (β€˜astute, savvy and composed under pressure’) heads the practice, which includes the β€˜amazing’ Linky Trott, who is β€˜unbelievably smart’, and the β€˜client-friendly and commercial’ Alexandra Carn.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s four-partner team β€˜rates highly for executive work’ and is led by Anthony Sakrouge, who is β€˜responsive, efficient and generous with his time’. β€˜Seasoned professional’ Jane Klauber is prominent in the not-for-profit sector, and Edward Wanambwa is β€˜tenacious and leaves no stone unturned for his clients’.

Kervin & Barnes Solicitors focuses primarily on the financial services sector, and practice head Gareth Kervin has a substantial investment banker client base. The practice represents clients in the Employment Tribunal and High Court, and has experience in discrimination claims and reputation management issues. Senior associate Lucy Truscott is also recommended.

Payne Hicks Beach’s β€˜speedy and client-driven team’ is experienced in advising on high-profile whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Peter McRoberts is the key name, and is β€˜highly regarded by banking clients’. Associate Chris Weaver is β€˜approachable, dynamic and pragmatic’.

The β€˜superb’ Richard Woodman leads the department at Royds Withy King, which includes the β€˜completely unflappable’ Caroline Doran who β€˜genuinely cares about her clients’. The team has experience in misconduct matters, fraud cases and restrictive covenant issues. Helen Murphie, who is β€˜extremely knowledgeable’, the β€˜user-friendly’ Gemma Ospedale and Kevin James are also recommended.

DWFM Beckman β€˜is set up to deal with the employment problems of senior executives’. Areas of expertise for the β€˜extremely good’ practice include discrimination cases, whistleblowing and disciplinary procedures. Elizabeth Johnson leads the department and is praised for her β€˜astute mind’. Also recommended are β€˜polished professional’ Naylah Hamour and Sharokh Koussari, who β€˜thinks outside the box to find creative solutions’.

The 'highly commercial’ team at Gordon Dadds LLP is led by Laura Livingstone and includes the β€˜measured and perceptive’ Rebecca Lynch, Martin Pratt and consultant Marie van der Zyl. Livingstone assisted London Evening Standard features editor Katie Law with issues arising from her potential redundancy, successfully negotiating for the removal of her at risk status and for the retention of the client's original position within the newspaper. The practice also has expertise representing financial sector clients.

Russells Solicitors remains prominent in the music industry, often representing music producers in employment issues. The practice has expanded its client base into the wider media and entertainment sectors and also the financial services sector. John Reid leads the team, which includes Gavin Maude, Chris Organ and Chris Gossage.

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health and safety clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Chris Morrison leads the practice at Clyde & Co LLP, which β€˜always assists in a proactive manner’ and regularly acts on high-profile issues. The team acts for corporates and insurers including Asda, AIG and Mitie Group. Morrison’s key mandates included advising Pyranha Mouldings in corporate manslaughter proceedings. Also recommended are Rod Hunt, who is β€˜a very able professional with excellent technical knowledge’, and David Leckie, who is recommended for regulatory matters.

For some, DLA Piper β€˜provides the best experience and service in the field’ and utilises its national strength to advise on domestic and international issues. Practice co-head Teresa Hitchcock is a leader in non-contentious mandates, while fellow co-head Roy Tozer is β€˜always tactically ahead of the game’ in contentious matters. Recent highlights for the practice include assisting McCalls Special Products following a fatality at one of its factories. Charles Arrand is also recommended.

DWF advises a wide range of corporates and insurers including Morrisons, Wetherspoons and new client BUPA. Practice head Steffan Groch is representing Cape in an investigation into a fatality at the client’s North Sea platform, and Dominic Watkins is representing Monovan in corporate manslaughter proceedings following the fatalities of two members of the public at one of its construction sites. Other key names include Hilary Ross and Paul Matthews.

β€˜One of the first-class choices for health and safety work’, Eversheds LLP fields a β€˜team of real experts’ that provides β€˜excellent strategic advice’. The β€˜incomparably brilliant’ Kevin Elliott leads the department, and recently represented Greenwood Forest Park following a fatal fall from a zip wire. Also recommended are the β€˜patient and diplomatic’ David Young and the β€˜client-focused’ Paul Verrico, who made partner in 2016.

For some, Kennedys is β€˜simply the best for health and safety work’. Richard Crockford leads the team and is one of the β€˜true leaders’ in disaster incidents; the department is acting for new client Merlin Entertainments in an investigation following a highly publicised roller coaster collision at Alton Towers. Other key names include β€˜fearless defender’ Daniel McShee and David Wright, who is β€˜always calm under fire’.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a β€˜truly national service’, which makes it β€˜one of the best by a mile’. The practice is β€˜a big name in the construction sector’ with a client list that includes Morgan Sindall Group, Balfour Beatty and Bouygues (UK). Laura Cameron leads the department, which includes β€˜first-class lawyer’ Kevin Bridges and senior associates Sean Elson (who β€˜sticks with his clients until the end’) and the β€˜extremely competent and positive’ Kizzy Augustin.

BCL Solicitors LLP’s β€˜extremely capable’ team is noted for its β€˜clear strength in regulatory investigations’. The practice focuses solely on defending in contentious matters and leverages the firm’s strong criminal practice to act on corporate manslaughter issues, in which β€˜tenacious and strategic’ practice head Guy Bastable shines.

Jennette Newman leads BLM’s department, which β€˜stands out among the crowd’ and is a β€˜strong operator’ in the construction and care sectors, with substantial inquest experience. Key names include Leanne Conisbee and Victoria Kennedy, who is β€˜the absolute epitome of professionalism’.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s practice is led by β€˜star partner’ and β€˜genuinely skilled operator’ Jon Cooper, who has β€˜impeccable judgement’. The team advises defendants and claimants, and recently assisted the HSE with the prosecution of Euro Dismantling Services and its employee. The practice also acts for retail sector clients including Sainsbury’s and B&Q.

The transport and construction sectors are prominent areas of focus for Burges Salmon LLP’s practice, which acts for clients including FirstGroup and London and South Eastern Railway. The team also continues to grow its manufacturing and renewable energy expertise. β€˜Excellent’ practice head Ann Metherall acts for rail clients and is recommended alongside Chris Jackson and senior associate Matt Kyle, who is β€˜excellent at steering clients through complexities’.

CMS is a leader in energy sector matters across oil and gas, and renewables; clients include TAQA Bratani and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe. Practice head Jan Burgess, who splits her time between Aberdeen and London, regularly advises on high-risk offshore oil and gas matters.

Sally Roff leads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s national practice, while Fiona Gill leads the London team and regularly advises construction clients. The department has a substantial insurer client base, which includes Zurich, AXA and Aviva. Associate Colin Moore is also recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has β€˜solid analytical skills’ and a β€˜detailed understanding of the issues’; the practice β€˜will leave no stone unturned’ when acting for its clients, which include BP, Panasonic and Chevron. The team is representing Chevron in an investigation following a fatal explosion at one of the client’s refineries. Practice head Howard Watson is β€˜at the top of his game’ and has β€˜unmatched gravitas and commercial awareness’.

Nabarro LLP’s practice is led by Lukas Rootman, and is recognised for its strength in HSE prosecutions, investigations and inquests. Clients include Veolia Environmental, GE Capital, Tarmac and Quintain. Carl Dray is recommended for insurance matters.

Osborne Clarke remains strong in crisis management matters, with a notable presence in the energy, transport and infrastructure sectors; clients include SSE, EDF Energy and Eversholt Rail. Associate director Mary Lawrence leads the practice, which includes Catherine Wolfenden, who heads the regulatory group.

Plexus Law focuses on insurance litigation and has substantial experience in prosecutions and investigations. Clients include RSA, Chartis, XL Group and Bovis Homes. Key names include β€˜standout partner’ Peter James, Anthony Bushell, who β€˜handles prosecutions with great integrity and robustness’, and Philip Tracey, who is β€˜very business savvy’.

RPC’s β€˜fair, balanced and pragmatic team’ stands out for its insurance expertise; clients include XL Caitlin and Faraday. Practice co-heads Gavin Reese and Nick McMahon are praised for their β€˜ability to tailor advice to each situation’ and β€˜are able get the best out of those they are working with’.

Rob Elvin leads Squire Patton Boggs’ department, and is also European head of the firm’s environmental, safety and health practice. The team is experienced in corporate defence work, and regularly utilises its global network to assist clients on a domestic and international level.

Gowling WLG provides β€˜sound advice’ and acts for clients in defending and preventing enforcement actions and assisting with inquests. Clients include Sheffield City Council and Cemex UK operations. Andrew Litchfield and Susan Dearden are the key contacts.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, consultant Gary Cassidy advises clients on investigations, prosecutions and regulatory compliance. Louise Moore is also recommended.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s practice sits within the firm’s β€˜truly excellent criminal law practice’ and represents clients in prosecutions and criminal investigations. Jonathan Grimes is β€˜a great criminal lawyer with a clear understanding of health and safety’.

Caroline May leads Norton Rose Fulbright’s team, which is advising the Crown Estate Commissioners on the health and safety elements of multiple offshore energy and infrastructure projects. Other clients include BP, Air Products and Macquarie Group.

Weightmans LLP continues to act for insurance clients and was recently instructed by HCCI to act for Thenhotels following the death of two hotel guests. David Lewis leads the national practice, and Crispin Kenyon heads up the London team.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP provides β€˜sound commercial advice’ and has particular experience advising on fire safety and asbestos issues. The β€˜incredibly valuable’ Craig Baylis leads the department, which includes associate Jeremy Bark, who is β€˜always on the button’.

Adam Kendall leads the practice at Bevan Brittan LLP, which continues to act for health sector clients on compliance issues and enforcement proceedings.

Bivonas Law LLP specialises in criminal and regulatory issues and is led by β€˜star in the field’ Michael Appleby*; he is β€˜an outstanding practitioner and fantastic tactician’. *Since publication, Michael Appleby has joined Fisher Scoggins Waters LLP.

β€˜Leading criminal defence firm’ Blackfords LLP has experience across investigations, inquests and defending gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter prosecutions. Practice head Gary Rubin β€˜cuts to the issues’ and β€˜fights his corner well’.

The β€˜considered, clear and knowledgeable’ Sam Boileau and Stephen Shergold lead Dentons’ β€˜experienced and capable’ team, which has a strong presence in the energy sector; Boileau has particular experience dealing with the new Offshore Safety Directive. Senior associate Helen Bowdren is β€˜extremely committed’.

Fieldfisher is prominent in the travel sector, a particular focus of practice head Rhys Griffiths, and advises on compliance issues and criminal investigations. Clients single out the β€˜very responsive and knowledgeable’ Andrew Sanderson.

K&L Gates LLP is β€˜highly experienced in the construction sector’, where it acts for clients including Laing O’Rourke and Allegheny Technologies. The β€˜extremely user-friendly’ Christine Braamskamp leads the practice, which focuses on criminal work. β€˜Outstanding practitioner’ Dylan Moses is also recommended.

The β€˜highly professional team’ at Tuckers Solicitors specialises in criminal prosecutions and enforcement notice appeals, and also regularly advises the HSE. The β€˜masterly and incisive’ Jim Meyer leads the practice.

The β€˜highly technical and supremely bright’ Simon Joyston-Bechal leads the practice at boutique firm Turnstone Law. The firm also utilises a team of five barristers, who retain their own practices while also advising the firm’s clients.


Index of tables

  1. Immigration: business
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay
  4. Other recommended firms
  5. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Immigration clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bates Wells Braithwaite’s practice is β€˜a beacon of excellence’, with clients citing its β€˜extremely good reputation for very difficult cases’. β€˜Extremely knowledgeable’ practice head Philip Trott acts for high-profile entertainers, film and television companies, and members of foreign governments. Also recommended are β€˜brilliant’ senior associate Christopher Randall, who specialises in human rights and asylum-related applications, and β€˜excellent’ associate Chetal Patel, who primarily advises on Tier 2 visas. The team was strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Tim Barnden from Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP; he has β€˜a wonderful rapport with clients’.

β€˜Always prompt and factual’, Kingsley Napley LLP provides β€˜an excellent level of service’ on a broad range of matters including Tier 2 compliance, criminal convictions, overstay applications and judicial reviews. Practice head Nicolas Rollason regularly acts for investors, entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals. Also recommended are the β€˜technical but commercial’ Ilda de Sousa, EU immigration expert Elspeth Guild and senior associate Gillian Brownlee, who is β€˜proactive and very professional’.

Laura Devine Solicitors provides β€˜very prompt and clear advice’ to a wide range of corporate and private clients. Founder Laura Devine advises on both UK and US immigration matters, often acting for high-net-worth individuals. The department is led by Sophie Barrett-Brown, who specialises in Tier 1 entrepreneur and investor visas, while the β€˜efficient’ Malini Skandachanmugarasan leads on appeals and human rights matters, and has strong knowledge of discretionary applications and Article 8 cases. Christi Hufford Jackson, who joined from Fragomen LLP, now leads the US practice following Joseph Elias’s return to the US.

Magrath LLP’s β€˜very responsive’ team is led by Ben Sheldrick, who handles Tier 1 (investor) and Tier 2 applications and extensions. Newly promoted partner Alfreda Joubert handles applications under the Points Based System (PBS), as well as Leave to Remain (ILR) and entry clearance applications for spouses, civil partners and family members of British and EEA nationals. Founder Chris Magrath, who is dual US and UK qualified, is also recommended.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP provides β€˜a very high level of advice’ for a broad range of clients, including educational institutions and clients in the financial services sector. The practice is led by Julia Onslow-Cole, whose track record includes acting for governments. Clients recommend β€˜very professional and reliable’ solicitor Kelly Whiter. Katrina Cooper joined from Faegre Baker Daniels in 2015.

Carter Thomas Solicitors provides β€˜in-depth knowledge of immigration laws and policies’ and specialises in assisting educational institutions with Tier 4 licences. The team is headed by the β€˜very meticulous’ and β€˜incredibly helpful’ Nichola Carter.

Gherson has β€˜a formidable reputation for dealing with complex immigration matters’. The firm has particular expertise in extradition proceedings, asylum applications and appeals. The β€˜deeply passionate’ Roger Gherson advises on matters involving Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. Lisa Amos heads the business immigration practice.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team acts for high-net-worth individuals, and specialises in naturalisation and complex ILR applications. Clients recommend newly promoted partner Maria Patsalos, who is β€˜very professional and compassionate’, β€˜extremely sharp’ associate Natalie Loader, and Kamal Rahman, who leads the team.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s practice is headed by the β€˜helpful and responsive’ Tracy Evlogidis, who handles employment-related matters.

Penningtons Manches LLP is β€˜a very capable firm’ that provides β€˜consistent and comprehensive advice’. The group, which is led by Pat Saini (who is noted for her β€˜great depth of understanding’) acts for a broad range of clients in the technology, sports and entertainment sectors, and has seen an increase in instructions from clients in the education sector. Clients recommend Hazar El-Chamaa, who is now a partner, and non-practising associate director Penny Evans.

Squire Patton Boggs provides β€˜excellent advice on complicated immigration matters for critical employees’, and is noted for its handling of applications across all categories under the PBS. The team is headed by the β€˜approachable’ Annabel Mace, who specialises in Tier 2 compliance and sponsor licence issues. The team includes the β€˜very competent and responsive’ Supinder Sian, whose expertise includes handling entry clearance, extensions of stay and ILR applications.

The β€˜excellent’ group at Baker McKenzie LLP sits within the firm’s wider employment and global immigration mobility department, which is headed by John Evason. The team primarily assists employers with international company transfers and Tier 2 visas.

Bindmans LLP has β€˜exceptional expertise in all areas of immigration law’, and handles matters ranging from asylum to trafficking and domestic violence. The team is jointly led by Alison Stanley, who is recommended for her β€˜judgement, determination and unflappability’; and Liz Barratt, who is β€˜one of the most knowledgeable solicitors in the area’. Also recommended are associates Emma Cohen, who specialises in adoption and surrogacy matters, and Ashley Fleming, who handles EU law and nationality matters. Roberta Haslam is 'excellent at identifying issues even in the most complex cases'.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s β€˜highly knowledgeable’ group regularly handles Tier 1 (investor) visa applications and has seen a significant increase in instructions from its Russian client base. The team is headed by Rose Carey, who β€˜gets great results’ for clients. Senior associate Tilly Oyetti joined from Magrath LLP in 2016.

Fragomen LLP’s β€˜very good and proactive’ practice advises a wide range of high-net-worth individuals, including entrepreneurs, entertainers and individuals in the sports sector. A separate team advises clients in the financial services sector. The group is led by Caron Pope, who is experienced in handling all applications under the PBS, with particular expertise in assisting Eastern European and Chinese clients with Tier 1 (investor) applications. Clients recommend the β€˜outstanding’ Natasha Catterson and Nadine Goldfoot.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s practice is led by Andrew Osborne, who specialises in handling Tier 1 investor and entrepreneur applications under the PBS, aswell as intra-company transfers and Tier 5 applications for skilled migrants. Senior associate Diana Okoeva specialises in US immigration and nationality law.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s β€˜very diligent’ practice is β€˜courteous, helpful and a pleasure to deal with’. On the corporate side, the practice handles the immigration aspects of complex and high value transactions, as well as Tier 4 sponsorship work, while on the personal immigration side, the team advises on judicial reviews, appeals and overstays, with particular expertise in the adoption of children abroad. The team includes β€˜superb’ barrister Tom Bradford and fellow associate Nisha Patel, who is β€˜an excellent communicator’. Edward Wanambwa heads the team.

β€˜Proactive, fast and professional’, Taylor Wessing LLP’s cross-departmental team advises on a broad range of matters, including the immigration aspects of corporate transactions and Tier 2 compliance. Clients recommend senior counsel Charlie Pring, who primarily acts for North American businesses, entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals. Sean Nesbitt leads the group.

Bird & Bird LLP’s β€˜very efficient’ team is led by β€˜effective’ senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy, who acts for high-profile clients across a wide range of industry sectors, and primarily assists US organisations with establishing and expanding their UK and European operations. Clients include Infosys Technologies and Nuance Communications.

Boutique firm Bonheur Legal specialises in advising software and technology clients on intra-company transfers, as well as Tier 1 (exceptional talent) visa applications. Clients recommend the β€˜patient and dedicated’ Charlotte Hervet. Founder Thierry Hervet leads the practice.

Headed by the β€˜proficient’ Jonathan Chaimovic, Clyde & Co LLP handles Tier 2 sponsorship licences for clients in the insurance and oil and gas sectors. Clients include Glencore, Universal Music Group and Ophir Energy.

β€˜Very fast and thorough’, Watson Farley & Williams LLP acts for both high-net-worth individuals and corporates, with a growing focus on assisting performers with Tier 5 (creative and sporting) visa applications. It is led by the β€˜responsive’ Angharad Harris.

Wright Hassall LLP’s β€˜very good’ team is experienced in handling complex ILR and Tier 1 (general) extension applications for high-net-worth individuals, as well as Tier 2 applications for clients in the charity, financial services and education sectors, among others. Marian Dixon, who provides β€˜accurate timely advice’, heads the practice. Matthew Davies joined from Fox Williams LLP.

Bircham Dyson Bell provides β€˜an extremely high level of service’ to high-net-worth individuals and SMEs. Clients recommend associate Tim Hayes, who is β€˜highly responsive, personable and detailed’, practice head Jesper Christensen, and Alastair Collett leads on personal immigration.

DavidsonMorris’ β€˜very responsive and professional’ practice advises clients in the finance, sports, medical and charity sectors, with particular expertise in sponsor licence renewal work. Led by group head Anne Morris, it acts as sole immigration law provider for the British Medical Association.

Doyle Clayton’s β€˜business-focused’ team primarily advises employers on sponsor licences, with strong experience in PBS applications. β€˜Highly recommended’ practice head Owen Jones* successfully assisted Yamaha Music Europe with two Tier 5 temporary worker applications to allow two musicians to enter and perform in the UK. Anita de Atouguia was promoted to partner in 2015. Since publication Owen Jones, has joined Sheridans.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ β€˜dynamic and very well-organised’ group specialises in acting for clients in judicial review proceedings before the High Court, as well as handling Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal cases. On the business immigration side, the team advises SMEs on compliance and sponsorship licence applications under the PBS. Clients recommend the β€˜hardworking’ Adam Tear and β€˜knowledgeable’ James Packer. Other key names include Ayan Yalchin, Vicash Ramkissoon and β€˜genuine star’ Toufique Hossain.

Fox Williams LLP’s practice is now led by Sacha Schoenfeld following the departure of Matthew Davies to Wright Hassall LLP. The team often acts for clients in the technology, financial services and professional services sectors.

The β€˜incredibly talented’ team at Travers Smith LLP is highly experienced in advising clients on sponsor licence applications and compliance issues. It primarily acts for clients in the financial services sector, including Western Union, Monarch Alternative Capital and Bank Negara Indonesia. The group is led by employment head Tim Gilbert, who handles Tier 1 (entrepreneur), Tier 2 (general) and Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) applications.

Clients rate Gulbenkian Andonian’s β€˜incredible depth of knowledge’ and its ability to conduct its own advocacy. The practice has strong experience in appeals and judicial review applications, and the β€˜intelligent, resourceful and efficient’ Bernard Andonian, who is now a consultant, sits on the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. Clients also recommend Dave Vasoodaven and Hayk Sayadyan.

β€˜Excellent at asylum and human rights cases’, Lawrence Lupin Solicitors β€˜achieves excellent results in particularly complex cases’. Founder Lawrence Lupin specialises in judicial reviews concerning the deportation of skilled workers. Clients also recommend β€˜meticulous’ associates Tamana Aziz and Stefan Vnuk, both of whom have experience acting for clients before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

The β€˜exceptionally good’ practice at Fisher Meredith LLP is headed by Robert Sparks, who conducts his own advocacy before the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, and has been involved in cases before the Court of Appeal. Clients recommend associate Mariam Khaliq.

Wilson Solicitors LLP’s β€˜highly professional and very experienced’ team handles the full range of asylum and nationality matters, often acting for clients before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal. Clients recommend the highly regarded Anita Vasisht, who has particular expertise in high- profile extradition cases. Matthew Davies heads the practice.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions (non-contentious)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Pensions: dispute resolution
  4. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Pensions clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Allen & Overy LLP’s β€˜first-rate’ team β€˜consistently delivers well-presented and focused advice that inspires confidence in its clients’. The β€˜exceptional’ Maria Stimpson leads the practice, which includes the β€˜outstanding’ Neil Bowden, who led advice to the trustees of the ICI Pensions Fund on establishing an umbrella buy-in contract, the first of its kind in the market. DΓ€na Burstow, who β€˜is able to walk in the trustees’ shoes’, acted for the trustees of the Hogg Robinson (1987) Pension Scheme in a deed rectification application. Corporate clients include News UK, Prudential and Co-operative Group.

CMS β€˜sits at the top as a standout performer’ and β€˜combines a vast repository of technical knowledge’. Nigel Moore leads the practice, which has β€˜possibly the best litigation offering in the country’ with β€˜immense experience and tactical acumen’. Neil Smith (β€˜a great litigator and negotiator’) is acting for the trustees of the Wedgwood Pension Scheme in Part 8 proceedings. On the non-contentious side, Maria Rodia and Simon Pilcher are advising the trustees of the Sanofi-Aventis Pension Scheme on the scheme’s closure to future defined benefit accrual. Other names include β€˜excellent all-rounder’ Mark Atkinson, Emma Frost, β€˜experienced litigator’ Mark Grant and Keith Webster.

The β€˜knowledgeable and approachable’ Katie Banks leads the non-contentious practice at β€˜star firm’ Hogan Lovells International LLP, while β€˜queen bee of pensions’ Angela Dimsdale Gill is head of pensions litigation. The β€˜first-class team is one of the best all-rounders in the field’ and acts for some of the biggest clients including the trustees of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan, which the department is advising in a deficit recovery exercise. Clients single out the β€˜technically able’ Duncan Buchanan, Claire Southern, β€˜great communicator’ Faye Jarvis, β€˜rising star’ Nicholas Heaton and newly promoted Matthew Bullen, who is β€˜incredibly hardworking’.

Linklaters LLP is β€˜a leading firm’ that acts on contentious and non-contentious mandates for corporates and trustees. Ruth Goldman leads the non-contentious team, which includes Tim Cox, who is assisting United Technologies Corporation on the merger of two schemes with a combined asset value of Β£1.8bn. β€˜Excellent communicator’ Mark Blyth, who β€˜combines knowledge with tactics’, leads the contentious practice and continues his work for British Airways, acting on landmark proceedings against its trustees. Other notable names include the β€˜down-to-Earth’ Claire Petheram, Rosalind Knowles and the β€˜highly informed’ Isabel France. Clients also praise β€˜remarkable’ counsel Lorna Mitchinson.

Pensions boutique Sacker & Partners LLP has β€˜a premier practice in defined benefit schemes’ and β€˜an exceptional litigation team’. The firm represents a raft of high-profile clients including the Bank of England Pension Fund, the Boots Pension Scheme and TfL Pension Fund. Recent highlights include advising the trustees of the Northern Bank Pension Scheme on the implementation of a collateralised security structure, and acting for Saga and its trustees on seeking a deed rectification. Key names on the contentious side include Katherine Dandy and Peter Murphy. Notable non-contentious team members include Ian Pittaway, Mark Greenlees, β€˜sound practitioner’ Edward Hayes and Helen Ball. Philippa Connaughton joined from RPC in 2016.

Jeanette Holland leads Baker McKenzie LLP’s β€˜outstanding team’, which has β€˜superb technical skills, a responsive service and strong business acumen’. Clients include American Express, Atos and the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF). Robert West, who is β€˜one of the industry’s legends’ and is β€˜utterly unflappable’, is acting for the trustees of the MNOPF on the establishment of a defined contribution arrangement. Also recommended are Chantal Thompson, who is β€˜a very sound individual’, the β€˜proactive and bright’ Arron Slocombe, and senior associate Jonathan Sharp, who is β€˜a rising star’.

The β€˜professional, high-quality and helpful’ practice at Eversheds LLP leverages its national office network and provides β€˜clear and concise advice’ with β€˜a consummate understanding of pensions law’. Global head of pensions Francois Barker is β€˜a trusted player in the team’ and Jeremy Goodwin leads the London department. On the contentious side, Giles Orton, who is β€˜imaginative and full of enthusiasm’, leads the pensions litigation team along with β€˜authoritative lawyer’ Claire Carroll. Clients include Legal & General, Lloyds Banking Group and the trustees of the British Airways pension schemes.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s β€˜pre-eminent’ department is led by the β€˜enormously energetic and creative’ Daniel Schaffer, who β€˜lives and breathes each case’. The team includes the β€˜experienced’ Alison Brown and the β€˜pragmatic and knowledgeable’ Samantha Brown, who β€˜has a great manner and continuously explores solutions’; she advised TUI Travel on the merger of its three pension schemes to form a sectionalised scheme. Paul Lewis is recommended for contentious matters, and clients praise senior associates Rachel Pinto and Michael Aherne.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s national practice β€˜punches above its weight’. The β€˜incredibly smart’ Carolyn Saunders leads the practice, which is noted for its β€˜valuable experience’ and β€˜specialist knowledge’. Highlights included advising RWE npower’s trustees on their strategy for communicating with members. The firm has β€˜a solid litigation presence’ led by the β€˜hardworking and tenacious’ Isabel Nurse-Marsh, who has β€˜incredible strategic insight’ and is β€˜a brilliant team leader’. Other key figures include Ben Fairhead, Alastair Meeks (who is β€˜an exceptional lawyer’), the β€˜insightful’ Raj Sharma, and Stephen Scholefield.

Jonathan Fenn leads Slaughter and May’s β€˜highly dedicated practice’, whose β€˜efficiency and effectiveness is hard to beat’. The β€˜extremely user-friendly’ Sandeep Maudgil led advice to Philips International (a new client) on the de-risking of its pension fund in a Β£3.5bn buy-out. Maudgil is also assisting Post Office with the proposed closure of its defined benefit scheme to future accrual. The team also recently joined the BT Pension Scheme panel. Clients also praise Philip Bennett (β€˜a strong intellectual’) and β€˜solid, dependable and thoughtful partner’ Charles Cameron.

Travers Smith LLP’s team is β€˜one of the strongest for technical expertise’ and has β€˜some of the best pension experts around’. The β€˜legendary’ Paul Stannard leads the department, which includes the β€˜incredibly bright’ Susie Daykin, the β€˜genuinely exceptional’ Philip Stear and the β€˜thorough and experienced’ Daniel Gerring. Newly promoted partners David James (β€˜unbelievably smart’) and Dan Naylor (who β€˜is personable and commercially strong’) are also recommended. Highlights included acting for the British Steel Pension Scheme on a package of benefit changes to manage a substantial increase in the scheme’s funding deficit.

Clifford Chance LLP’s β€˜excellent’ practice is noted for its expertise in pension investments, and acts for high-profile clients including Airbus, Scottish Widows and Babcock International. Practice head Hywel Robinson acted for the trustees of the Thames & Hudson Pension Fund on the closure of the fund to future accrual, and is assisting Barclays with a ring-fencing project. β€˜Powerful and persuasive negotiator’ Clare Hoxey and Imogen Clark are also recommended.

Matthew Swynnerton leads the practice at DLA Piper, following Michael Cowley’s move to a consultancy position. The team continues to advise high-profile clients including the BBC, the National Grid, British Airways and UPS. Recent highlights include acting for the trustees of the Novartis UK Pension Scheme on the pensions elements of the sale of its animal health business to Eli Lilly. Litigator David Young is β€˜truly exceptional’. David Farmer joined PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP in 2016.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP excels in acting for clients on the pensions elements of corporate transactions; recent highlights include advising Boehringer Ingleheim on the pensions aspects of its proposed asset swap with Sanofi, and assisting Pearson with the pensions elements of its sale of the Financial Times Group to Nikkei. Charles Magoffin leads the department, which includes Dawn Heath, Nicholas Squire and the newly promoted Andrew Murphy.

Glyn Ryland leads Gowling WLG’s β€˜practical and commercial’ team, which includes the β€˜excellent’ Jason Coates and the β€˜consistently good’ Paul Feathers. The practice is experienced in buy-ins and buy-outs; Feathers continues to act for Rothesay Life on several transactions including a Β£1.6bn bulk annuity buy-in with the Civil Aviation Authority Pension Scheme. Other clients include the Philips Pension Fund and BMW (UK) Schemes. Peter Shave and Ian Gordon are recommended for contentious issues.

Mayer Brown International LLP β€˜provides an intelligent service in a timely fashion’ and is β€˜exceptional at dealing with complex issues’. Practice head Philippa James continues to advise the trustees of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund on the successful approval of a new funding regime. Stuart Pickford is recommended for contentious matters. Clients also single out Andrew Block and Ian Wright.

At Nabarro LLP, Neal Gibson and department head Jennifer Bell continue to represent the trustees in the high-profile IBM litigation, which is now before the Court of Appeal and which involves breach of duty of good faith. Other clients include Atos Pension Schemes, Eaton and BAE Systems. Jonathan Warne is recommended for contentious matters. Other key names include Ian Greenstreet and Kate Richards. Anne-Marie Winton joined ARC Pensions Law.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s β€˜unquestionably excellent’ team attracts praise for its β€˜no-nonsense approach’ and β€˜thorough and commercial knowledge’. Peter Ford leads the department, which has notable expertise in investment matters, and which includes Lesley Browning, who recently advised the trustees of the MNOPF on the implementation of a longevity swap, and Susan Dingwall, who leads on the contentious side Other clients include Lloyds Banking Group and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Squire Patton Boggs fields β€˜a team of well-respected specialists’ which β€˜has a depth rarely seen’. The practice focuses on trustees and recently advised the trustees of the Anglian Water Group Pension Scheme on several investment transactions. The β€˜incisive and friendly’ Clifford Sims is particularly active in the public sector for clients including the Cabinet Office. Other key figures include β€˜solid and reliable’ practice head Wendy Hunter, Kirsty Bartlett, who is β€˜truly dynamic’, and Victoria Leigh, who is β€˜a great litigator’. Judith Donnelly joined from Clyde & Co LLP.

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜star has seriously risen in the world of contentious pensions’ following the firm’s recruitments of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP’s team in 2016, which has β€˜created a serious force to be reckoned with’. The β€˜extremely tenacious and refreshing’ Helena Berman and the β€˜unflappable and laser-sharp’ Jenny McKeown are β€˜a real delight to work with’. Also recommended are practice head Mark Catchpole, who is β€˜commercially astute and pragmatic’; the β€˜charming and energetic’ Philip Goodchild; and senior associate Amanda Banister, who is β€˜one of the brightest young pensions lawyers in the country’. Clients include the PPF.

Formed in 2015 by the β€˜personable and practical’ Anna Rogers and Chris Mullen, ARC Pensions Law is β€˜a boutique firm that draws from the wealth of experience and knowledge’ of its founders, as well as fellow team members Anne-Marie Winton (who is β€˜outstanding’) and the β€˜commercial and pragmatic’ Rosalind Connor, who joined from Nabarro LLP and Taylor Wessing LLP, respectively. The firm, which focuses solely on non-contentious issues, has β€˜arrived on the scene and quickly made a mark’, and provides β€˜a fantastic service that is nimble, responsive and perfectly pitched’.

Catherine McAllister (β€˜very patient, with a brilliant understanding of the law’) leads Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team in London, which leverages the firm’s national capability to act for a heavyweight client base that includes British Airways, Capita and Nationwide. Other key figures include Rachel Rawnsley, who heads the national practice, and Jade Murray. Joel Eytle has joined the Financial Conduct Authority.

Ashurst’s β€˜small but well-formed’ team is led by β€˜steady pair of hands’ Marcus Fink and includes senior associate Andy Wright, who is noted for his β€˜real depth of knowledge and ability to communicate in a non-technical manner’. The practice acts for the trustees of the National Grid Pension Scheme, Interserve and J.P. Morgan, and was recently appointed to Coca-Cola Enterprises’ panel. Angela Pearson is the key name for contentious issues, and is supported by senior associate Lindsey Roberts.

At Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Norman Russell led advice to the trustees of the LINPAC Group Pension Fund on several liability management and incentive exercises. Other clients include the trustees of Roche Pension Fund and Lockheed Martin UK Pension Fund. David Dennison leads the practice.

Richard Knight leads Burges Salmon LLP’s team, which has β€˜great technical expertise’ and is β€˜strong throughout’. The practice has substantial public sector experience; Michael Hayles continues to advise the Department of Transport on the restructuring of the Highways Agency and its pension provisions. Key figures on the contentious side include Justin Briggs, who is β€˜a confident but thoughtful solicitor’, and senior associate Suzanne Padmore, who β€˜is excellent in tricky situations’. The β€˜proactive’ Clive Pugh and the β€˜exceptionally competent’ Tim Illston are also recommended. Richard Pettit was promoted to partner in 2015.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s β€˜considerate and flexible’ team continues to handle advisory work as well as some transactional matters, and β€˜always provides timely and comprehensive advice, even at short notice’. The β€˜extremely professional and pleasantly unstuffy’ Michael Jones leads the practice, which includes the β€˜technically excellent and commercial’ Jane Wolstenholme, who is β€˜the kind of pensions lawyer you want on your side’. Clients include Westminster Abbey, City & Guilds and Civica Group. Penny Cogher joined Irwin Mitchell in mid-2015.

Dentons is β€˜a joy to work with’ and attracts praise for its β€˜responsiveness and highly commercial approach’. Elmer Doonan leads the practice and advised KSL Capital Partners on the pension elements of its acquisition of De Vere Village Hotels. The team also acted for the trustees of the FDR Limited Pension Scheme in a court application concerning pension increases. The β€˜approachable and commercially driven’ Jay Doraisamy is β€˜a shrewd and charming safe pair of hands’. Andrew Patten joined Fieldfisher.

David Gallagher leads the practice at Fieldfisher and recently led advice to the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme and its trustees on governance issues. Gallagher also acted for the trustees of the Arriva pension schemes on a parent company guarantee renewal and several corporate restructurings. Other clients include Time Inc., Eggborough Power Scheme and The National Gallery. Michael Calvert is recommended for transactional matters. Director Andrew Patten joined from Dentons.

Macfarlanes LLP’s β€˜small but strong’ team is made up of β€˜solid and experienced practitioners’ led by the β€˜confident, efficient and technically able’ Camilla Barry, who is β€˜a match for anyone in the non-contentious field’. Recent highlights include advising Visa on the pensions elements of its acquisition of Visa Europe.

At Osborne Clarke, public sector specialist Mark Womersley acts for clients including the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) National Framework and the Environment Agency Pension Fund. Practice head Jonathan Hazlett is advising the trustees of the National Museum of Wales Pension Scheme on proposed changes to the scheme’s future service benefits. Paul Matthews is recommended for contentious issues.

β€˜Under the energetic and imaginative leadership of the charismatic’ Oliver Reece, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP is β€˜making fast progress in the market’, and provides a wide range of services, including a β€˜proactive and innovative’ indexation review initiative. The team acts almost exclusively for employers, and excels in risk transactions and tax-related matters. The department has also seen substantial growth with the arrival of Fraser Sparks and David Farmer from Stephenson Harwood and DLA Piper, respectively. Director Philip Tooke is recommended for insolvency-related issues.

Simon Hartley and β€˜proactive and detailed’ consultant Justine Senior jointly lead Reed Smith LLP’s β€˜very dependable’ department, which is β€˜always robust, pragmatic and extremely outcome focused’. Hartley recently acted for the Civil Aviation Authority Pension Scheme’s trustees on a Β£1.6bn buy-in, and Senior is advising the Whitbread Group Pension Fund trustees on day-to-day issues. William Sutton (β€˜an exceptional team player’) was promoted to partner in 2016.

The β€˜extremely reliable and professional’ practice at Simmons & Simmons has a strong focus on the financial services and energy sectors, as reflected in its client base, which includes Total, XL Services and Schlumberger. The practice is led by the β€˜outstanding’ Michael Wyman (who β€˜pursues points tenaciously and is technically infallible’) and includes the β€˜highly experienced and client-focused’ Danny Tsang.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s β€˜excellent’ practice is spread across the firm’s offices nationwide and acts for a high-profile client base that includes Old Mutual Wealth, Procter & Gamble and Bellway. The team, which has β€˜a fantastic technical grasp of the law’, is led by Martin Poore, and includes the highly regarded Suzanne Duff and Tracy Walsh, who is β€˜very proactive and responsive’. Contentious specialist Craig Monty is acting in the high-profile IBM litigation.

The β€˜approachable and friendly’ Mark Howard leads Clyde & Co LLP’s β€˜technically proficient’ team, which provides β€˜superb, tailored advice in a very responsive manner’ and which is experienced in trustee liability insurance claims and scheme de-risking. The practice acts for clients including Just Retirement, Glencore UK and the British Medical Association Pension Scheme, and is also on the PPF’s legal panel.

Neil Bhan leads the department at DAC Beachcroft LLP, which acts for a prominent public sector client base that includes NHS England and Lancashire County Council. The practice also acts for clients outside the public sector, including Mitie, which it advises on auto-enrolment and contractual issues arising from several outsourcing projects.

King & Wood Mallesons’ β€˜excellent’ team is noted for its β€˜high level of technical knowledge’ and its ability to β€˜always work well ahead of the deadline’. Practice head Wyn Derbyshire (β€˜commercial, practical and a joy to work with’) recently advised Brit Group Services on scheme administration issues. Other clients include Amcor, British Land and the trustees of the East London and SELkent Pension Scheme. β€˜Thorough and diligent’ associate Stephen Hall is also recommended.

In an illustration of Latham & Watkins’ transactional strength, the firm recently acted for Allergan on the pensions aspects of the sale of its generic pharmaceuticals business to Teva Pharmaceutical, and assisted the underwriters J.P. Morgan Cazenove and UBS Investment Bank with the pension arrangements related to the IPO of Ibstock. Other clients include Dodge & Cox, Zipcar and The Carlyle Group. Catherine Drinnan leads the practice, which works closely with the firm’s US and European offices.

Pitmans LLP’s practice covers a broad range of pensions issues, including defined benefit schemes, regulation and pension fraud. The team advises both trustee and employer clients, and also has a close relationship with the PPF. Key names include David Archer, director Julian Richards and insolvency specialist Denise Fawcett. Practice head Chris Netiatis is recommended for pension liberation matters.

TLT’s national practice advises employers and trustees on a wide range of pensions issues including transactions, regulatory matters and scheme governance. Key names include practice head Sasha Butterworth, James Dean and Ben Watson, who is recommended for investment mandates. WHSmith, Travelers, the trustees of the Doosan Power Systems Pension Scheme and the trustees of the Fujitsu Technology Solutions International Plan are all clients.

The β€˜always thorough’ Taylor Wessing LLP β€˜fields people who really know what they’re doing’. The β€˜hugely committed’ Mark Smith, who is β€˜technically as strong as they come’, leads the practice, which is β€˜a leader in the pensions fraud space’, and acts for a mixture of employer and trustee clients including Independent Trustee Services, Pi Consulting (Trustee Services) and the trustees of the Royal British Legion Staff Pension Fund. Rosalind Connor joined ARC Pensions Law.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s practice is β€˜strong all-round’ and is noted for its β€˜high standard of work and user-friendly manner’. The β€˜very commercial and approachable’ Justin McGilloway leads the practice, which is β€˜more than capable when dealing with highly complex issues’. McGilloway is advising the trustees of the Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme on its UK defined benefit scheme and the implementation of several liability management exercises. The practice has notable strength in the food, leisure and charity sectors. Clive Weber (β€˜a real gentleman, who has a quiet but firm manner and always delivers’) is also recommended. Kris Weber joined Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ β€˜very knowledgeable and responsive practice’ has considerable strength in transactional matters for clients including KPMG, Weetabix and Equiniti Group. The team acted for Equiniti Group on the pension plan elements of its IPO. Joanne Etherton leads the department and has β€˜real expertise and a practical, commercial approach’.

Irwin Mitchell has developed β€˜a strong non-contentious practice’ through some highly effective lateral hires. Martin Jenkins leads the practice, which recruited Penny Cogher from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in mid-2015. Recent highlights include advising an international bank on automatic enrolment issues, and assisting a governmental body with compliance and governance matters.

At Olswang LLP, practice head Ron Burgess led advice to the shareholders of Retail Acquisitions on the pensions aspects of its purchase of BHS Group. Burgess, along with senior associate Andrew Campbell, also acted for CIT Group (UK) on the pensions issues relating to its move from a trust-based defined contribution scheme to a group pension arrangement. Other clients include Amey, KSS and River Island.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s β€˜responsive’ department attracts praise for its ability to β€˜explain highly technical points in a succinct and practical way’. The practice acts for a range of public and charity sector clients, including the Salvation Army, the London Borough of Newham, and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, and recently advised Belfast City Council on pension issues arising from the Waterfront Hall development in Belfast. Other clients include Universal Music Group, Vivendi and BIC Group. Practice head Martin McFall is β€˜sensible, thoughtful and enjoyable to work with’.

One specialist contentious team is featured in the rankings for Pensions: dispute resolution.

Boutique employment firm Signet Partners LLP has a β€˜small but strong’ pensions department, which is β€˜able to deal with all types of cases with great ease, insightand professionalism’. The team advises clients across the board including employers, trustees and representative beneficiaries. β€˜Excellent’ practice head Deborah Latimer β€˜has a wealth of experience’ and β€˜can solve almost any problem’.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to