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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

EXCHANGE HOUSE, PRIMROSE STREET, LONDON, EC2A 2EG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7374 8000
Fax:
Fax 020 7374 0888
DX:
28 LONDON CHANCERY LANE WC2
Web:
www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/contact-us
Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Belfast, Berlin, Brisbane and 21 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s multi-disciplinary team, whose ‘business acumen and experience shines through’, assists UK and multinational clients with all aspects of their most complex and large-scale commercial agreements and ‘bet-the-company’ business transformation projects. The practice generates work across multiple sectors, including financial services, energy, transport, technology and communications. Team head Nick Pantlin is working with Stephen Rayfield and recently promoted partner David Coulling to advise the Ministry of Defence on its multibillion-pound procurement and redesign of all IT services and systems used to support the UK armed forces. In another matter, Pantlin was part of a cross-practice team advising on the establishment of Clear.Bank, representing the UK’s first new clearing bank in more than 250 years. Elsewhere, Pantlin and others assisted Boeing Defence UK with its successful bid to provide transformational IT services to Staffordshire Police. Adrian Clough has more than 20 years of public procurement experience, and has acted for clients such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Ofgem, BAA and Lend Lease. Senior associate Abbie Pokorny also has an active commercial contracts practice. Nick Elverston joined Ashurst.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s tax department is anchored by a transactional team that has expertise in M&A, fund formation, private equity work and restructuring. It is particularly well-positioned to advise on transactions involving heavily regulated sectors such as insurance and upstream energy. Indeed, practice head Isaac Zailer advised E.ON on the tax aspects of the $1.72bn disposal of the client’s entire North Sea oil and gas business. Additionally, Howard Murray is acting for EDF and its subsidiary, NNB Generation Company, on the tax structuring and financing associated with the Hinkley Point C project. In the real estate space, Neil Warriner acted for Qatari Diar in connection with the negotiation and creation of tripartite rental property joint venture, with assets of £1.4bn and plans to develop and manage 4,000 homes. William Arrenberg was instructed by Brookfield Property Partners to draft and negotiate the tax provisions and protections in relation to the £560m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of the unit-holders in the Jersey Property Unit Trust. Aurell Taussig is another key contact and advised Man Group on its $232m acquisition of Aalto Invest – a firm with offices in the US, UK and Switzerland.

Leading individuals

Howard Murray - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Isaac Zailer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

William Arrenberg - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‘excellent’ practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is led by Stephen Wisking, who is a ‘valuable sounding board’ for clients, and ‘always provides sound advice’. He is advising longstanding client Sky in connection with the merger control aspects of its proposed £11.7bn acquisition by 21st Century Fox, as well as on the European Commission’s investigation into territorial restrictions on cross-border access to pay-tv content. Susan Black (who is praised for her ‘good commercial and legal advice’) led the team advising Arriva on the merger control review by the CMA of its acquisition of the Northern Rail Franchise. ‘Trusted and valued adviser’ Kim Dietzel continues to act for Virgin Atlantic Airways on a number of regulatory and competition law issues, including acting alongside ‘proactive’ and ‘perceptive’ senior associate Suzy Campbell in relation to its joint venture with Delta Airlines, and advising on its continued application of the remedies accepted by the European Commission in relation to the oneworld transatlantic alliance between British Airways, American Airlines, and Iberia. Veronica Roberts advised Telefónica on the proposed merger between O2 and Three and Tim Briggs advised a consortium in relation to its bid to acquire a controlling 51% interest in the four regional UK gas distribution networks owned by National Grid. The practice was appointed to the panel of Northern Ireland Electricity Networks in 2016. Former practice head James Quinney is now a consultant in the team.

Leading individuals

James Quinney - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Kim Dietzel - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Suzy Campbell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The equity capital markets department at Herbert Smith Freehills LLPranks among the highest quality teams in the London market’. Known particularly for its FTSE 100 client-base, it is currently involved in two substantial and highly sensitive European equity transactions, and also has deep expertise in emerging market listings. Department head Charles Howarth, rated for his ‘technical excellence’, is advising Barclays and Deutsche Bank as joint sponsors and financial advisers on the highly publicised merger of London Stock Exchange Group plc and Deutsche Börse AG and the subsequent admission to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and the LSE. Mike Flockhart specialises in corporate finance transactions and acted for the banks, including HSBC and Morgan Stanley, on the £735m rights issue by Phoenix Group in order to fund its acquisition of Abbey Life from Deutsche Bank. Other recent highlights include advising the underwriters of Allied Irish Banks’s €12bn IPO. Tom O’Neill heads the US securities practice, and Dinesh Banani is also highly recommended and specialises in the US-law aspects of international offerings by non-US issuers. James Palmer is another key contact.

Leading individuals

Charles Howarth - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Dinesh Banani - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Financial services
Financial services (contentious) - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory) - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘responsive and proactive advice’ across a wide range of regulatory matters impacting retail and wholesale clients in the financial services industry. ‘Particularly strong in the alternative investment funds market’, the team has been helping them navigate the increasingly treacherous regulatory terrain including on compliance with MiFID II and regulatory capital requirements. As well as continuing to advise TSB on the regulatory issues associated with its spin-out from Lloyds Banking Group, team head Clive Cunningham also recently provided the regulatory input on Man Group’s $232m acquisition of Aalto Invest. Andrew Procter is recognised as a ‘good lawyer to have on your side’ and was recently a key part of a multi-disciplinary team which assisted on the establishment of Clear Bank, the first new clearing bank to enter the market in 250 years. The ‘approachable and diligentKaren Anderson and ‘commercial and responsive’ Mark Staley are also recommended. In a combined effort with lawyers from within the competition group, Jenny Stainsby, Hywel Jenkins and Daniel Hudson continue to represent a leading global investment bank and an international financing group on the global reviews into alleged manipulation in the FX market. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Marathon Asset Management, Santander and UBS.

Leading individuals

Clive Cunningham - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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

Alex Kay - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Gavin Davies - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

James Palmer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Stephen Wilkinson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
Leading individuals

Alex Kay - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Gavin Davies - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

James Palmer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Stephen Wilkinson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‘very responsive, relationship-driven’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is a ‘go-to firm for corporate advice’; it blends ‘best-in-class legal advice, pragmatic commercial judgement, the utmost professional integrity and a clear understanding of clients' objectives and motives’. TMT, energy and, increasingly, pharmaceuticals (where clients include originators and generics) are key sector strengths of the department, which handles a high volume of public and private M&A. It also has impressive regulatory expertise: James Palmer and the ‘responsive, hands-on, knowledgeable’ Malcolm Lombers advised the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers on SoftBank Group’s undertakings following the latter’s £24.3bn purchase of ARM. Public M&A specialist Mark Bardell, who has years of experience working at the Panel, is ‘technically and commercially skilful’; he, Lombers and Stephen Wilkinson assisted Sky with its £18.5bn acquisition by 21st Century Fox. The ‘reliable’ Alex Kay is ‘great to deal with’; he, Palmer and Charles Howarth acted for British American Tobacco on its $49.4bn acquisition of Reynolds American. In the energy space, Anna Howell and Steven Dalton advised E.ON on the $1.72bn sale of its North Sea oil and gas business to Premier Oil; Howell also assisted BP with its first significant investments in Mauritania and Senegal, via the acquisition of $1bn-worth of interests in Kosmos Energy’s offshore gas exploration blocks. The department’s other clients include Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel, Claris Lifesciences and Wesfarmers. Mike Flockhart and Gavin Davies are also recommended. Private equity specialist James Macarthur joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP in May 2016, and Gillian Fairfield retired in May 2017.

Leading individuals

Alex Kay - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Gavin Davies - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

James Palmer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Stephen Wilkinson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Partnership
Partnership - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s partnership group is an amalgamation of specialists from across the firm’s corporate, employment and incentives, regulatory and tax practices. The group has been particularly active on the contentious side and Chris Bushell won a principle-setting High Court appeal for Marathon Asset Management LLP in 2016, which concerned the treatment of an LLP member’s profit share after a breach of fiduciary duty. Alan Watts heads the contentious side of the practice and fellow joint head Malcolm Lombers has a wealth of experience advising accountancy and professional services firms, including PwC and KPMG, on corporate partnership matters, such as global structuring and restructuring. In 2016, Watts has been involved in a number of contentious partner exits and team moves involving Magic Circle and Big Four firms. Heather Gething is another contact on the contentious side of the group and the ‘commercial and technically strongTim Leaver specialises in the legal distinction between partners and employees. The department’s varied clients include Willis Group Holdings, Anchorage Capital and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Leading individuals

Alan Watts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Malcolm Lombers - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Large-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Private equity: transactions – Mid-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP demonstrates ‘strong industry knowledge’ in high-value domestic and cross-border transactions, with a particular specialism in sectors such as TMT, energy, infrastructure and real estate. Mark Geday heads the practice, which generates a significant amount of work from clients such as Blackstone, Cabot Square and Antin Infrastructure Partners. In 2016, John Taylor was part of a cross-practice team assisting Carlyle Group with sale of Sampson House and Ludgate House (which are located at London’s Southbank) to Bankside Quarter (Jersey) Limited. Another highlight involved Gavin Davies acting as the lead adviser to IHS Towers in its acquisition of more than 1200 telecommunications tower sites in Nigeria from HTN Towers. Elsewhere, the firm is active in the alternative financial services space, where it handles matters involving investments into areas such as peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and e-money, and mobile financial solutions; Tomasz Wozniak advised Heidelpay and its founder management team on the acquisition of a controlling stake in the business by AnaCap Financial Partners.

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Trade, WTO, anti-dumping, and customs
Trade, WTO, anti-dumping, and customs - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP counts Louis Dreyfus Company, British American Tobacco, and Associated British Foods among its clients. Practice head Lode Van Den Hende, who divides his time between Brussels and London, is representing Gazprom Neft and Rosneft in separate matters before the EU General Court and the European Court of Justice challenging EU trade and financial sanctions. The practice was joined by former head of international trade law at the European Commission’s legal deparment, Eric White; he splits his time between the Brussels and London offices as a consultant and was part of the team advising a number of public and private entities on the potential outcomes of the Article 50 negotiations on EU customs law, WTO law, international trade law, and EU rules on market access. Daniel Hudson is part of the team advising an upstream oil and gas trading company on various sanctions regimes, including in relation to Iran and Russia. Also recommended are Susannah Cogman, who is noted for her strengths in sanctions matters relating to Syria, Lybia, Iran, and Russia, and senior associate Jérémie Charles, who joined the Brussels office from Sidley Austin LLP.

Leading individuals

Lode Van Den Hende - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The tax team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP distinguishes itself through its mandates across the entirety of indirect taxation and by its place at the legal-vanguard of tax legislation, including the UK’s proposed tobacco levy and sugar tax. In the non-contentious space, the department specialises in transactions that are particularly demanding for indirect tax, such as real estate and funds-related deals and corporate migration, but also provides stand-alone advice in anticipation of new legislation. Such transactional work includes assisting Qatari Diar with the real estate tax aspects of its tripartite rental property joint venture, which aims to develop and manage a portfolio of 4,000 homes. Neil Warriner specialises in real estate tax and Isaac Zailer heads the global tax group. The department also has a formidable contentious offering spearheaded by Heather Gething, who has vast experience of VAT litigation and has been representing the British Aggregates Association in an appeal of the EU Commission’s decision regarding the Aggregates Levy, originally planned for introduction in 2002. Additional clients include TSB Bank, Telefonica Europe and PacifiCorp.

Leading individuals

Neil Warriner - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP brings ‘an enormous amount of litigation experience to the table, both in civil fraud and in specialist areas such as banking, trusts and private wealth, which is of enormous value in complex cases’. The department’s client list includes Alpha Bank, Jyske Bank and Bernard Ecclestone, and the firm recently acted for the latter in a series of connected matters related to the sale of Formula 1 shares by a German Bank, Bayerische Landesbank, to a US private equity firm, and also represented several entities including Tarek Investments, Pontwelly Holdings and AH Overseas in a high-profile shareholder dispute. In another highlight, the team defended Jyske Bank before the Supreme Court of Gibraltar in proceedings brought by the liquidators of Marrache & Co. The team is headed by the ‘calm and strategic’ Jeremy Garson who ‘is very hands-on and relentless in his pursuit of the opposition’. Philip Carrington is adept at handling cross-border matters, and Gary Milner-Moore specialises in fraud matters involving breach of directors’ duties, economic torts and secondary liability.

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Fraud: white-collar crime
Leading individuals

Rod Fletcher - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

At the very top for banking litigation in London’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP specialises in the defence of multiple claims, such as film finance litigation or interest rate swap claims; and the banking litigation practice regularly draws upon the firm’s specialists in financial services regulation, corporate crime and investigations, and public law, as well as contentious insurance, arbitration, defamation and tax. The team recently advised on major issues facing banks, including shareholder actions, LIBOR, FX, mis-selling of collateralised products, investment decisions, and senior management decisions. Specific examples include the practice’s advice to Watchstone Group (formerly known as Quindell) on threatened group litigation by Quindell shareholders; this arose from public announcements made by the company, including the resignation of its executive chairman and finance director, and the re-statement of its annual report and 2011-13 accounts. The team also defended UBS in four claims brought by failed Icelandic banks (the Banks), in which rescission is sought of transactions where the Banks repurchased interests in global notes from UBS; and defended the RBS Group (RBS) against actions brought by shareholder and investor groups, regarding RBS’ 2008 rights issue. Group head Damien Byrne Hill is ‘a very steady hand for major investment banking litigation’; Simon Clarke handles highly complex banking and financial services litigation, often involving structured products and derivatives; Rupert Lewis is ‘in a class of his own - robust under pressure and great in high-value banking claims’; Harry Edwards is ‘extremely hard-working and clever’; Kirsten Massey is ‘brilliant at managing large scale and complex litigation’; James Norris-Jones is ‘a quite superb lawyer’; Chris Bushell has a particular focus on fund management disputes; and Adam Johnson’s caseload often has a cross-border element, including asset-tracing and injunctions. Other recommended advisers are Gary Milner-Moore and John Whiteoak, and growth in the team saw John Corrie make partner.

Leading individuals

Damien Byrne Hill - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Rupert Lewis - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Simon Clarke - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ajay Malhotra - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Harry Edwards - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPretains its enviable reputation for litigation’. The firm has one of the largest and most specialised commercial litigation practices in the UK, and it forms an integral part of a highly regarded global dispute resolution group. Kirsten Massey led the team defending RBS Group in actions brought by shareholder and investor groups in connection with the Group’s 2008 rights issue, which involved substantial disclosure and complex factual and legal issues. It also continued to act for Bernie Ecclestone in relation to a series of connected matters arising from the sale of Formula 1 shares by German bank, Bayerische Landesbank (BL), to US private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners, and subsequent payments made to an ex-employee of BL. Mark Shillito is UK and US disputes head and Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head. Rupert Lewis is ‘commercially astute, excellent with clients and inspires loyalty in his team’; James Baily has ‘deserved gravitas’; and Gregg Rowan is ‘a first class-litigator’. Other key names are John Ogilvie, Damien Byrne Hill, Chris Bushell, Philip Carrington, Simon Clarke, Adam Johnson QC (who recently took silk), Alexander Oddy, John Whiteoak, Jeremy Garson, James Farrell, Gary Milner-Moore, and Neil Blake. The firm’s trusts and estates disputes head Richard Norridge, and James Doe, who focuses on infrastructure, construction and engineering project disputes, returned to the London office from Hong Kong and Seoul respectively, while former advocacy unit head Ian Gatt QC joined Stewarts Law LLP.

Leading individuals

Alan Watts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Damien Byrne Hill - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Philip Carrington - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gregg Rowan - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

As ‘one of the established players in competition litigation’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has extensive experience of regulatory appeals and defending private enforcement claims in the EU, UK and other national courts. The London group comprises practitioners from the firm’s disputes department and competition, regulation and trade unit, and regularly teams up with partners in the firm’s Brussels and Düsseldorf offices to bring claims in increasingly popular jurisdictions for competition litigation, such as Germany and the Netherlands. In one of the department’s most significant matters of 2016, practice head Stephen Wisking and the ‘technically astute’ Kim Dietzel are defending private damages claims brought against Pilkington in English and German courts regarding the EC’s car glass cartel decision. The ‘knowledgeable’ department head is also acting for Sky and TalkTalk in relation to BT’s appeals regarding Ofcom’s 2013 decision that BT had overcharged purchasers of Ethernet services. Further, Dietzel is acting for defendants and potential defendants in multiple ongoing, high-profile cartel cases involving power cable, ball bearing and trucks cartels. Additional clients include Schunk, the which the team continues to defend in relation to the carbon and graphite cartel, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Tessenderlo Chemi.

Leading individuals

Stephen Wisking - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘level of service is excellent; responses are well organised, relevant and provided in a timely manner, and the practice is able to mobilise resources without limitations of geography’. It acts in complex arbitrations under a broad spectrum of laws and under the rules of all major institutions, as well as advising on ad hoc arbitrations. The team represented Standard Chartered Bank, and its Hong Kong subsidiary, in relation to international arbitration remedies regarding an investment, by way of a loan, in a power station in Tanzania; the dispute has resulted in four different International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes arbitration claims, pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty and several contracts. Craig Tevendale, who is ‘very practical in his advice, an excellent advocate and a great strategist’, was promoted to UK head of international arbitration; the ‘excellent’ global head of international arbitration Paula Hodges QChas outstanding judgement and is a good, strategic thinker’; Nicholas Peacock heads the India international arbitration practice; many of Chris Parker’s matters relate to Africa; and Iain Maxwell is a key of counsel. Dominic Roughton departed for Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP.

Leading individuals

Paula Hodges QC - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Iain Maxwell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts both for professional bodies and for individuals and firms across the finance and accountancy sectors. The practice is to the panels of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) and acts for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) on a number of matters, including in the FRC’s complaint against Deloitte in relation to its conduct as auditor of AIM-listed company Aero Inventory; Rod Fletcher and Nusrat Zar led on that matter. Practice head Andrew Lidbetter (‘knowledgeable, experienced, and with impeccable judgement’) defended ACCA in a judicial review and in a High Court civil claim in relation to separate disciplinary proceedings. Zar is leading the team, which includes of counsel Jasveer Randhawa, acting for CIMA in proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee.

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPprovides tremendous value for money and the firm’s lawyers work with clients to ensure that the level of engagement is appropriate for the issue raised’. The practice has a significant investment treaty arbitration practice; it also advises across the full spectrum of pure PIL matters, including boundary disputes, the Law of the Sea, treaty interpretation and human rights, as well as international trade law, WTO law, and sanctions. It also recently advised clients on the UK’s exit from the EU. Highlights included acting for United Utilities and its Estonian subsidiary, AS Tallinna Vesi (the water utility in Estonia’s Tallinn), on a high-value investment treaty claim against the Republic of Estonia. Andrew Cannon works across the Paris and London offices, and is particularly known for international sanctions, investment arbitration, and state and international organisation immunity issues. Of counsel Iain Maxwell acts for and against state parties in arbitration cases, including numerous International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes investment arbitrations; Maxwell also advises on international sanctions. Former global PIL head Dominic Roughton moved to Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP.

Next generation lawyers

Iain Maxwell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Tax litigation and investigations
Tax litigation and investigations - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Widely recognised as a leader in this practice area’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLPconsistently provides comprehensive, first-rate advice on highly complex tax litigation matters’. Led by the ‘tremendously experienced’ Heather Gething, the department is regularly involved in high-value and politically salient tax cases. Indeed, in 2016, Gething and Rupert Lewis acted for Bernard Charles Ecclestone in High Court litigation regarding a £1bn tax assessment by HMRC. Also of note, the tax group acted for Telefonica Europe and Telefonica UK on a judicial review of HMRC’s decision to change the way in which the client would be taxed on network services for customers roaming outside of the EU. Gething also represented PacifiCorp in a High Court claim regarding the recovery of SDRT after the statutory time limits for tax reclamation. On the investigations side, Gething assisted Palatium Investment Management with a HMRC investigation into the realisation of taxable gains in connection with the disposal of certain bonds; this matter proceeded to litigation and will be heard before the Court of Appeal. Senior associate Michael Hunt, who is ‘an astounding talent for tax analysis’, and consultant Ross Fraser are also recommended. Additional key clients include UBS Wealth, Bank of Ireland and Centrica.

Leading individuals

Heather Gething - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Hunt - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Leveraging its strong roster of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 corporate clients, and its growing array of private equity sponsors including Carlyle, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides an ‘excellent service’, with a particular strength in the infrastructure and energy sectors. Led by ‘sharp shooter and quick thinker’ Ian Yeo and aided by ‘down-to-earth and detail-oriented’ Ilze Vigo, the firm advised Marel Group on a secured facilities agreement, used amongst other things, to fund the acquisition of MPS meat processing systems for €383m on a debt and cash free basis. As well as handling numerous borrower-side mandates, including for British American Tobacco (BAT) on its $25bn acquisition finance facilities to fund part of the $49.4 billion acquisition of the remaining stake BAT does not already own in Reynolds American, ‘knowledgeable and attentive’ team head Will Nevin has also successfully nurtured growing lender relationships, as underscored by his advice to Crédit Agricole and Unicredit on the £452m bridge term loan for the financing of Steinhoff International's public bid for Poundland Group. Ewen Fergusson and the ‘responsive and highly technical’ Kristen Roberts are also recommended.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Receiving a regular flow of work on behalf of the firm’s impressive roster of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides a ‘high-quality, commercial and responsive service’ to borrowers. Team head Kristen Roberts is praised for his ‘first-class technical skills and insightful advice’; he recently advised Provident Financial on its £450m multi-currency revolving facility agreement. Praised for his excellent ‘general market knowledge’, Will Nevin regularly handles corporate acquisition finance mandates; his recent highlights include acting for British American Tobacco on the $25bn facility to enable the funding of part of the $49.4bn acquisition of the remaining stake in Reynolds American. The energy sector remains a highly fertile ground for financing activity and in this space the team regularly acts for lenders on the provision of facilities on a reserve-based funding basis. Thomas Bethel acted for a syndicate of lenders on the refinancing of Lundin Petroleum’s $4bn reserve based lending facility. Ewen Fergusson is also a key member if the team and recently advised new client Amcor on its €750m debut European syndicated financing.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s sectoral expertise in the energy industry has manoeuvred its restructuring team in a strong position to pick up some major mandates, particularly in the oil and gas space, as a consequence of the general malaise in the sector brought about by the depressed oil price. Team head Laurence Elliott has ‘been prominent in the oil and gas sector’ and recently advised the co-ordinating committee of secured lenders on the restructuring of overleveraged UK oil exploration company EnQuest. Elliott also assisted a group of banks, including Barclays and BNP Paribas, navigate the best outcome in relation to their combined £170m exposure to beleaguered Scotland-based First Oil plc - a strategy which ultimately led to the sale of its interests in numerous North Sea oil fields using a pre-packaged administration. The ‘excellent’ Kevin Pullen and contentious insolvency expert John Whiteoak continued to advise Ernst & Young as administrators to Nortel’s EMEA entities. Other clients include Scotiabank, Ferrexpro and Baltic Gas.

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is recognised for the breadth of its DCM practice, which covers standalone bonds, regulatory capital instruments, EMTN and commercial paper programmes, private placements, equity-linked bonds and liability management transactions for sovereign, corporate and investment bank clients across a wide range of jurisdictions. Its strong UK and European corporate client base includes UK-listed companies such as G4S, Ferrexpo, Royal Mail and Severn Trent. It also acts for a growing roster of investment banks as deal managers including Bank of China, HSBC and JPMorgan. Andrew Roberts leads a team that comprises English and US-qualified lawyers. Tom O’Neill leads the US securities practice in London and has 20 years’ experience in deals across Europe and emerging markets. Dinesh Banani has particular expertise in US law aspects of debt offerings by non-US issuers. Amy Geddes has broad expertise that includes equity-linked deals and regulatory capital transactions for both issuers and managers. Senior associate Mark Dickinson plays a key role in the practice and with O’Neill advised French company Danone on a $12.5bn financing that included a $5.5bn Rule 144a Yankee bond offering. Another flagship deal for the team saw it advise Tideway, which is constructing the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London, on establishing a £10bn asset-backed, multi-currency programme and subsequent drawdowns with a total value of £450m. Emerging markets highlights included acting for lead managers on a CNY3bn offering by the People’s Republic of China.

Leading individuals

Amy Geddes - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Andrew Roberts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Mark Dickinson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘an approachable team that always makes itself available to discuss critical issues’. The practice focuses on bespoke, complex and multi-jurisdictional deals for both buy-side and sell-side clients. It also has a reputation for innovation in the structured finance space, an example of which is its development of structures to provide leverage to hedge funds and to facilitate the buy-back of distressed debt, alongside interest rate, forex, equity, and commodity and credit derivatives transactions for financial institutions, funds and corporates. Highly experienced structured finance partner Dina Albagli leads the derivatives practice, in which Jake Jackaman handles a broad range of transactions including repackagings, cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. Newly promoted derivatives partner Nick May is ‘an excellent adviser – concise, timely, adaptive and commercial; he consistently delivers reliable, well thought out advice’. In a flagship transaction, Jackaman advised Tideway on the development and financing of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which included the issuance of structured bonds. He also advised arranger Cohen & Company Financial Limited on amendments to a €500m receivables-backed funding programme.

Leading individuals

Dina Albagli - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nick May - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has ‘genuine experience in emerging markets and is one of the top firms for finance transactions thanks to its in-depth market knowledge’. It is a leading firm for energy and natural resources projects with a track record of advising blue-chip companies on deals in Russia, the CIS, the Middle East, India, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe. The firm’s outstanding reputation in the energy and natural resources sectors sees it play a leading role in first-of-their kind transactions and highly complex financings. Recent examples include advising trading house Vitol on a $1.65bn financing for its interest in the $7bn OCTP oil and gas project in Ghana. The project is the first successful, large-scale gas-to-power project financing in Africa and is backed by facilities provided by IFC, United Kingdom Export Finance and a commercial banking group including HSBC, Société Générale and ING. The firm is advising the Government of Nepal on negotiations for the development of six large-scale hydroelectric power projects with a potential value of more than $7bn. Head of the London energy, natural resources and infrastructure finance team Martin Kavanagh, who is also global co-head of the firm’s Africa group, led on both the Nepal and Vitol deals. Alexander Currie has more than 20 years’ experience acting on project financings, acquisitions and disposals of energy and natural resource assets, and on restructuring troubled projects in Russia and the CIS, as well as Europe, Middle East and Africa. Structured and leveraged finance specialist Ian Yeo recently advised on transactions in Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and other African states. Debt capital markets partners Amy Geddes and Andrew Roberts, and banking partner Matthew Job are also recommended. John Balsdon moved to Latham & Watkins.

Leading individuals

Martin Kavanagh - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPprovides high-quality advice at all levels’, according to one client. The firm has an experienced team led by Michael Poulton, ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in the market’, who is ‘a first-class structuring lawyer with long and deep experience across all of the product classes within structured finance transactions and who deploys a sensible and commercial approach; he possesses one of the most impressive technical brains in the business’. Jake Jackaman is the other key partner in the team; his expertise covers cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. Jackaman led advice to Tideway on the financing and development of the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel, which included the £450m issuance of bonds under Tideway’s whole-business securitisation programme. Of counsel Francesca Segurini, senior associate Joy Amis and associate Charlene Kong, who is ‘a thoroughly competent and effective lawyer’, all play significant roles in the practice. Poulton’s highlights included advising arrangers Merrill Lynch International, Citigroup Global Markets and Banco Sabadell on TSB Bank’s second securitisation issuance backed by residential mortgages. The £3bn deal was TSB’s inaugural issuance under Rule 144a and enabled the client to access to the US market. He also acted for Cabot Square Capital on numerous transactions, including the sale of a £120m portfolio of auto hire loans that was funded through a bespoke securitisation-style warehouse structure.

Leading individuals

Jake Jackaman - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Michael Poulton - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Part of the firm’s wider corporate governance practice, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘responsive, proactive and commercial’ remuneration and incentives team specialises in acting for clients in the banking and financial services sector. Department head Paul Ellerman acted for Wesfarmers on the share plan aspects of its acquisition of Homebase from Home Retail Group. Mark Ife advised ClearBank, the UK’s first new clearing bank in more than 250 years, on equity arrangements concerning its launch in 2016. The team includes senior associate Bradley Richardson.

Leading individuals

Mark Ife - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Paul Ellerman - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Bradley Richardson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Employment: employees/unions
Leading individuals

Andrew Taggart - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Peter Frost - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‘first-class’ group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLPprovides invaluable support on employment disputes and investigations’ and has ‘enormous strength’ across all other aspects of employment law. Group head Andrew Taggart has been defending Watchstone in High Court proceedings brought by its founder and former chairman regarding payment under a settlement agreement arising from the claimant’s departure from the company. Peter Frost assisted Marathon Asset Management as the claimant with High Court proceedings brought against one of its founders alleging mass data theft following the defendant’s departure. Other recent highlights include acting for a number of banks on the employment aspects arising from the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime across various jurisdictions. The team includes the ‘technically brilliantTim Leaver, who is ‘very robust in dealing with tough disputes’, and Christine Young, who provides ‘sound advice’. Clients also recommend senior associate Jennifer Andrews, who is ‘a real rising star’.

Leading individuals

Andrew Taggart - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Peter Frost - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Andrews - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is known for its ‘very sophisticated and tough approach in terms of litigation’, and has considerable experience defending domestic and international companies in high-profile investigations and prosecutions. The practice is led by Howard Watson, who has ‘a first-class legal brain’ and ‘leaves no stone unturned’. Watson is advising BP on all aspects of the inquests arising from the deaths of 40 people at a gas plant in Algeria following a terrorist attack in 2013, and is leading advice to Chevron on an explosion at one of the company’s refineries. Rod Fletcher, who has experience defending manslaughter prosecutions, is also noted. Other clients include Caterpillar and British American Tobacco.

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘good, timely’ practice is well versed in transactional support and regulatory matters, including investigations and corporate litigation. It has particular expertise acting for clients in the bulk annuity market, counting Just and Scottish Widows among its clients. Alison Brown, who heads the global employment, pensions and incentives practice, has been advising Time Warner Cable on various issues, including changes to its defined-benefit plan following the sale of GE Asset Management. The ‘proactive, highly organised and professionalSamantha Brown, who leads on contentious matters with Paul Lewis, acted for the board of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) in relation to a Part 8 claim brought by the trustees of the Halcrow Pension Scheme regarding a proposal to transfer the assets and liabilities to a new scheme without members’ consent. The team includes senior associate Rachel Pinto. Daniel Schaffer is now with Slaughter and May.

Leading individuals

Samantha Brown - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Rachel Pinto - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Led by the ‘great client communicator’ Paul Lewis, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is ‘absolutely top draw’ in representing industry leaders such as Gen Re, Aviva, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and underwriter Barbican Insurance Group. The ‘very experienced’ David Reston has ‘superb strategic skills’ and provides ‘sound advice’ in disputes relating to a range of liability policies, including professional indemnity, D&O and cyber matters. Anthony Dempster is ‘one of the best’ for property damage and business interruption claims, and is defending RSA in dispute filed under a property and liability risks policy regarding the insurer’s decision to decline a claim following losses that that were allegedly caused by a fire. The ‘extremely smart’ Greig Anderson made partner and his expertise includes bankers’ blanket bond policies and cyber work. Senior associate Fiona Treanor is recommended for reinsurance and offshore energy claims in the London and international markets.

Leading individuals

Anthony Dempster - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

David Reston - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Greig Anderson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Insurance litigation: for policyholders
Insurance litigation: for policyholders - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Standing head and shoulders above his peers’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s, Alexander Oddy ‘has a great knowledge of the London Market and how insurers see things’ - particularly in the energy, natural resources and financial sectors – and is representing Single Buoy Moorings in a claim filed under the company’s construction insurance programme against its insurers, which concerns the alleged constructive total loss of a platform that was damaged in the Yme oil field. The ‘experienced and astute veteran’ Paul Lewis heads the practice and prevented AXA from obtaining an anti-suit injunction in the Commercial Court for The Weir Group plc, which stayed English proceedings based on the outcome of pending Australian litigation. Financial, cosmetic and IT sector clients also instructed the firm in matters pertaining to D&O claims, property damage losses and employment practices liability insurance. BP is a significant client of the practice, which includes property damage and business interruption claims expert Anthony Dempster, Sarah McNally – who has ‘in-depth knowledge and attention to detail’ - and the ‘committed and diligent’ recently promoted partner Greig Anderson.

Leading individuals

Alexander Oddy - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Paul Lewis - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Greig Anderson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘an excellent service in terms of appropriate advice and responsiveness to requests’, and the team ‘inspires complete confidence in the client with its expertise and refreshing openness to alternative fee structures’. The department is praised for its portfolio transfer expertise, and also has a strong track record in M&A transactions, restructurings and Solvency II advice. Barnaby Hinnigan handles the full gamut of corporate and regulatory matters for insurance sector clients, and recently advised Old Mutual on the disposal of its subsidiary, Rogge Global Partners, to Allianz Global Investors. Other highlights included advising Pension Insurance Corporation on several transactions, including a £900m buy-in with the trustees of Aon Retirement Plan; acting for HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Cazenore and Commerzbank on the £735m rights issue by Phoenix Group to fund its acquisition of Abbey Life Assurance Company; and assisting Credit Suisse with a reinsurance transaction entered into with Dai-ichi Life. The team is headed by Geoffrey Maddock, who focuses on non-contentious insurance sector work, and Alison Matthews wins plaudits for her ‘extensive knowledge of regulatory matters and personable manner’.

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Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
Insurance: insolvency and restructuring - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice ‘scores high on all fronts’, advising a range of finance companies, brokers, and insurance and reinsurance companies on UK and EU regulatory regimes with regards to restructuring, tax issues and insolvency. The team acts for the provisional liquidators and scheme administrators of the Independent Insurance Company on the formulation of a ‘cut off’ scheme of arrangement, a scheme sanctioned in the High Court in July 2015, and is also advising Close Brothers on the insolvency of Gable Insurance, a Liechtenstein-based insurance company whose business provided policies to customers in the UK. Other highlights included acting for Close Brothers on premium finance matters arising out of the insolvency of Enterprise Insurance Company in Gibraltar. Financial Services Compensation Scheme, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Towergate Insurance are also key clients. Laurence Elliott heads the team, and has extensive experience advising on debt restructurings, workouts and insolvencies, most notably in the financial services and energy sectors. Geoffrey Maddock, who is the other name to note, focuses on non-contentious work in the insurance sector.

Leading individuals

Laurence Elliott - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Personal injury: claimant
Leading individuals

Howard Watson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is experienced in handling high-value complex claims and group litigation cases where the subject matter is sensitive and potentially high-profile, for example personal injury claims involving quadriplegia/paraplegia and severe head injury. The practice acts for major insurers and corporates such as Diageo, BP, Chevron and TXU. Recent work includes representing Diageo in high-value multi-party litigation in relation to the distribution of Thalidomide in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as acting on behalf of BP in a case relating to the terrorist attack on the Amenas gas plant in Algeria. Department head Howard Watson specialises in group action and catastrophic injury claims and is experienced in litigating in foreign jurisdictions.

Leading individuals

Howard Watson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‘well-respected’ Anthony Dempster heads Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice and is ‘very strong technically’ in representing corporate clients and insurers in high-value claims, including product recalls. Coca-Cola and The Weir Group plc are key clients of the group. Howard Watson ‘is a star performer’ in group actions and has been handling major cases relating to drug distribution and fires caused by defective batteries. He is also defending the administrators of TXU Energy in asbestos claims brought against one of its group companies. Through the efforts of Philip Pfeffer, British American Tobacco Italia was successful in having Codacons’ attempt to appeal a class action dismissed by the Supreme Court, which concerned allegations that the defendant partook in a dangerous activity by manufacturing cigarettes in regards to nicotine manipulation and addiction issues. Senior associate David Bennett is a name to note.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is particularly noted for its ‘exceptional’ expertise in financial services professional negligence and mis-selling claims, and is ‘a leading firm in insurance litigation’. The team is also experienced in claims involving pensions, accountancy, tax, legal, technology and construction professionals, and acts for a range of key insurers, as well as blue-chip corporate clients. The team is representing PwC in two High Court actions: litigation pertaining to a professional negligence and conspiracy claim arising from the collapse of Keydata Investment Services, and a dispute concerning a professional negligence and breach of contract claim brought by John Hargreaves (the founder of Matalan) relating to tax advice. Goldman Sachs International, Barbican Insurance, Willis Tower Watson and Marsh are also clients. Paul Lewis leads the global contentious insurance and reinsurance practice and handles cases for solicitors and pension advisers. David Reston is ‘first-class’ for complex-high value disputes, particularly involving solicitors’ negligence. Tom Leech QC is ‘very able’, and Sarah McNally and Harry Edwards are also noted. Mark Shillito heads the firm’s UK and US dispute resolution practice and John Corrie was recently promoted to partner. Ian Gatt QC recently joined Stewarts Law LLP.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Hedge funds
Hedge funds - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPexceeds expectations, making managers feel like the only client’. Tim West advised on the restructuring of BlueCrest AllBlue Fund as part of BlueCrest’s decision to return all third party capital. Key names also include Stephen Newby, who handles work concerning difficult markets. Other mandates concern leadership changes at managers, activist investment, funds focusing on frontier markets and fund-related related litigation; Chris Bushell represents Marathon Asset Management in ongoing litigation concerning the theft of the firm’s documents. Nish Dissanayake was elected to the partnership in May 2017.

Next generation lawyers

Nish Dissanayake - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Listed funds
Listed funds - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Carrying out a range of work across the sector, Herbert Smith Freehills LLPstill offers a premium service for listed funds’. Tim West and Nigel Farr are ‘hands down the best practitioners in this space – both are very bright, with the ability to navigate the most complex products and structures’; West advised Neuberger Berman Private Equity on issuing a new class of zero-dividend preference shares, allowing existing investors to roll over their current ones, while Farr advised BioPharma Credit on its IPO, which raised $760m. Stephen Newby, who was elected to the partnership in 2016, advised Amedeo Air Four Plus, a Guernsey-domiciled investment company which leases out Airbus A380s, on two share placings, one in July 2016 and another in January 2017, raising a total of £170m. In the investor-side space, Farr and Gavin Davies advised Sherborne Investors on its investment in Electra Private Equity, and subsequent shareholder activism. Other clients include JPMorgan Cazenove.

Leading individuals

Nigel Farr - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Tim West - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Stephen Newby - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises on fund formations concerning aviation and other niche asset classes, as well as infrastructure and buyouts, some of which in challenging emerging markets. Stephen Newby and Tim West are key names to note in the team.

Leading individuals

Tim West - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises sovereign wealth funds, insurers and investment managers on a variety of funds, authorised contractual schemes and club deals. Tim West represented an institutional investor on the expansion of an authorised contractual scheme, which now has 21 sub-funds. Nigel Farr and Stephen Newby are also practitioners of note.

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London: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts for prestigious ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, institutions, family offices, private banks and trust companies in a wide range of complex and high-value matters involving multiple jurisdictions. Richard Norridge heads the department, and Tom Leech QC is also recommended. The team continues to represent Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees (the trustees of the Tchenguiz Discretionary Trust) in relation to the long-running and high-profile Tchenguiz litigation, advising on the appeals pending before the Privy Council. In other matters, Leech has been acting as lead counsel and advocate to Appleby Trust Co Ltd (as trustee of the Glencore employee benefit trust) in litigation over a claim for breach of contract against Glencore and a claim for breach of trust against Appleby in the Commercial Court. Other major clients include Julius Baer and Jyske Bank (Gibraltar).

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Patrick Mitchell leads Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s global infrastructure team and works closely with Adrian Clough, who has substantial expertise in the privatised rail sector. Recent highlights include Julia Pyke and Matthew Job advising EDF on the corporate, administrative and construction arrangements of the Hinkley Point C nuclear project while Sarah Pollock acted for Scandinavian clients in the acquisition of the Brigg, Snetterton and Kent biomass power plants. Additionally, Mitchell acted alongside Job for High Speed Two Limited on the construction elements of phase 1 and the procurement of two types of rolling stock for the new HS2 north-south rail line project. Simon Caridia, Martin Kavanagh, who has extensive experience in emerging markets, and the recently promoted Silke Goldberg are also key contacts. Other notable clients include Macquarie, Tideway and DIF. John Balsdon joined Latham & Watkins.

Leading individuals

Adrian Clough - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Matthew Job - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s UK and EMEA mining group has strong expertise in private and public M&A and corporate work. It advised new client Excalibur Steel on its potential acquisition of Tata Steel, including the Port Talbot works in Wales, and David Walton acted for Newmont and Sumitomo on the disposal of their 56% stake in the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in Indonesia. Practice head Greg Mulley worked closely with the Sydney office in Yancoal’s acquisition of Coal & Allied from Rio Tinto. In terms of contentious work, John Ogilvie has defended numerous claims of environmental issues arising from operations in Africa. Will Breeze focuses on natural resources project finance work, and senior associate Joanne Keillor supports the dispute resolution branch of the practice and has experience in handling allegations of pollution and contamination.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a prominent reputation the in oil and gas market, as illustrated by the firm’s heavyweight client roster, featuring oil majors such as BP, private equity powerhouses including Carlyle and multinational natural gas companies such as Engie. Energy disputes are a cornerstone of the practice, and in 2016 James Baily successfully defended a group of oil majors as the owners of the Andrew Field in the North Sea against a commercial court claim brought by Scottish Power as the purchaser in a long-term gas sales agreement seeking £85m in damages following the prolonged shut-in of the field. On the transactional side, Anna Howell, who co-heads the firm’s global energy practice, acted for BP on its first investment in Mauritania in the form of an agreement with Kosmos to acquire 62% interest in its offshore exploration blocks in Mauritania and 32.5% in Senegal; she also handled E.ON’s sale of 100% of its shares in its UK and Norwegian subsidiaries to Premier Oil. Other names to note include the ‘very efficient and result-orientedSteven Dalton and Alexander Currie. John Balsdon joined Latham & Watkins and Henry Davey departed for Squire Patton Boggs.

Leading individuals

James Baily - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Stephen Murray - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s global energy offering consists of ‘a number of very strong members who each provide a high-quality and responsive service to clients’. Julia Pyke, who is regional department head in London, is ‘a highly knowledgeable and personable character who operates at the cutting edge of industry developments’. Matthew Job (who is ‘able to clearly articulate issues and present practical potential solutions’) recently acted alongside senior associate Hannah Roscoe for the lenders on the operating phase refinancing of a European hydropower plant. In an Africa-related highlight, Sarah Pollock worked with Martin Kavanagh to assist the government of Sierra Leone with its agreement with Joule Africa regarding the development of phase two of the Bumbuna hydroelectric plant. Pollock also acted with Roscoe for the joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and BWSC in connection with the acquisition and development of a dual heat and power biomass plant project in Kent. Silke Goldberg is acting in the Hinkley Point C project.

Leading individuals

Julia Pyke - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Mark Newbery - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Matthew Job - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Hannah Roscoe - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Water
Water - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides ‘a first class service’ and conducts ‘very high quality work’, according to one client. The group was appointed by Tideway, Anglian Water and Severn Trent to contribute to a report looking at how best to implement Ofwat’s proposals on the most efficient use of direct procurement in projects exceeding £100m. Head of infrastructure Patrick Mitchell continues to assists Tideway with the high-profile Thames Tideway Tunnel project, which involves complex financing arrangements and regulatory issues, while Julia Pyke leads the advice on the negotiations of the key economic contracts for the sponsor of the Tidal Lagoon project in Swansea Bay. In the transactional space, David Wyles and Steven Dalton acted for funds managed by Hastings on their acquisition of 50% of South East Water from CDPQ, while Andrew Roberts, Kristen Roberts, Stephen Wilkinson and Robert Moore are advising Severn Trent on its takeover bid for Dee Valley. Clients also recommend associate Stacey Pang and competition partner Tim Briggs.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, ‘exceptionally talented’ practice head Andrew Lidbetter ‘is a market leader’ for a range of high-profile matters. In a recent highlight, he represented Cuadrilla Resources in appealing Lancashire County Council’s decision to deny planning permission for fracking at Preston New Road (PNR) and Roseacre Wood (RW) to the SSCLG; in addition to handling the reopening of a public inquiry for RW, the firm is now acting for the company in three judicial reviews that are at challenging the government’s decision to grant planning permission at PNR. British American Tobacco retained the practice in filing a dispute relating to revisions that were made to The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), and lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court concerning the UK’s regulations on plain packaging for tobacco products. Non-governmental organisations such as the Public Law Project and the Child Poverty Action Group instruct the firm with public bodies and leading companies, including Coats Group plc and EDF Energy. The ‘terrific lawyer’ Nusrat Zar is highly recommended with senior associates Anna Eliasson and Natacha Heffinck, and the ‘brilliant’ Jasveer Randhawa, who was promoted to of counsel and has the ability to ‘get under the skin of issues and give clear advice’.

Leading individuals

Andrew Lidbetter - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Nusrat Zar - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Anna Eliasson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Jasveer Randhawa - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Natacha Heffinck - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, solicitor advocate Andrew Lidbetter handles a wide range of public law issues including judicial reviews, professional regulation matters and freedom of information requests. Other areas of expertise for the practice include advising on complex infrastructure projects and procurements, government asset sales, restructuring programmes, PPP structures, regulatory issues and handling litigation, including inquiries and disciplinary proceedings. Adrian Clough, who has notable expertise handling PPP matters and infrastructure mandates, litigator Nusrat Zar and Stephen Rayfield, who primarily handles corporate transactions and restructurings, are also noted.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Leader of the packHerbert Smith Freehills LLPdeals with multiple jurisdictions easily with one single reporting line’, and the team is regularly instructed on significant cross-border mandates; recent examples include Richard Forsdyke acting for Oxford Properties on the sale of its 50% stake in the Leadenhall Building to CC Land, and ‘excellent practical advisorJeremy Walden assisting Shaw Holdings with its £270m acquisition of 88 Wood Street from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen. The practice enjoys a strong relationship with FTSE REITs such as The British Land Company and Hammerson, and head of practice Donald Rowlands, who is ‘excellent at taking clients through complicated transactions’, acted for the latter on the £335m sale of its 50% stake in the Grand Central shopping centre in Birmingham. Another name to note on the investment side is Julian Pollock, who co-heads the investment team with Walden. In the development sub-sector, the practice is ‘particularly good on pre-letting buildings that are off-plan or under construction’. Infrastructure-related development work is another area of strength, and Nick Turner, ‘who is rapidly becoming top-class’, is advising on numerous over-station developments. In other work Forsdyke continued to handle a number of key development mandates, including acting for Almacantar on the redevelopment of Marble Arch Place, and assisting Anschutz Entertainment Group with the transformation of the Millennium Dome and surrounding 40 acres on Greenwich Peninsula into the O2 Arena and entertainment district. The practice’s retail and hospitality expertise is heavily landlord/owner oriented. Additional key figures include regional managing partner Ian Cox and ‘clear advisorDavid Rosen.

Leading individuals

Donald Rowlands - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Richard Forsdyke - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Construction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team is ‘worth every penny for complex matters’, with non-contentious head Nicholas Downing first choice for many of the UK’s most important development, energy and infrastructure projects. Downing is advising High Speed Two (HS2) on the procurement and delivery of the new north-south high speed railway project, and is also acting for NNB Generation (HPC) on its nuclear programme; recent work includes assisting the latter with its £3bn reactor contract for the nuclear stream supply systems (and associated information control systems), which will be the main component of the nuclear island at Hinkley Point C. In the development sub-sector, Downing and Tim Healey are acting for Capital & Counties Properties on all demolition and construction aspects of the redevelopment of Earls Court and Olympia, including the phased residential development at Lillie Square. The team is also advising Hammerson Brent Cross and Standard Life on construction of the new Brent Cross shopping centre. On the contentious side, the practice provides advice that is ‘timely, accurate and tailored to the commercial need at the time’ to clients such as Transport for London, Marubeni and Healthcare Support (Newcastle). Contentious head Mark Lloyd-Williams focuses on international arbitration, while Ann Levin and David Nitek (who has an ‘excellent strategic brain’), handle a mix of PFI disputes and standard form disputes in sectors such as transport, energy and medical research. The contentious team was further bolstered by the return of James Doe from the firm’s Seoul office.

Leading individuals

Nicholas Downing - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is led by Catherine Howard, who assists with regulatory and consenting issues for a large number of infrastructure projects including nuclear powers stations and interconnectors; Howard is advising Cuadrilla Resources on environmental issues arising from fracking, and most recently acted for the company on obtaining additional permits for greenhouse gas emissions. ‘Very competent’ senior associate Julie Vaughan was also busy in the energy space; her work included acting for a joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor on all aspects of the acquisition and development of a biomass-fired combined heat and power plant project in Kent, and representing two bidding consortia in the auction for a majority joint venture stake in the remaining gas distribution network assets of National Grid Gas. Litigator John Ogilvie leads on environmental disputes.

Next generation lawyers

Julie Vaughan - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

In an illustration of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s impressive reputation for contentious work, the ‘commercial and proactiveCatherine Howard handled a number of high-profile disputes in the energy sector; as well as successfully representing Cuadrilla Resources on three appeals following the initial refusal of the company’s planning applications for exploratory shale gas operations, Howard also successfully defended EDF Energy against a High Court challenge to consent to carry out surveys of land needed for Sizewell C. In another important energy sector mandate, Howard is advising Aquind on planning for a £1.1bn interconnector link to France’s nuclear-powered electricity grid. Head of practice Matthew White focuses on big ticket developments for private sector developers and is noted for his ‘thoughtful and strategic advice’; his recent highlights include obtaining planning for the Silvertown Partnership in relation to Silvertown Quays, and advising Lendlease on all aspects of the redevelopment of the Deptford Wharves site in the London Borough of Lewisham. The practice has a number of well-regarded individuals below partner level, including Charlotte Dyer, who provides ‘clear direction on planning issues’; the ‘very assured’ Ben Hazenberg; and Martyn Jarvis. Patrick Robinson and senior associate Elizabeth Christie departed for Town Legal LLP.

Leading individuals

Matthew White - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Charlotte Dyer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Noted for its lender-side strengths, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s department advises clearing banks, investment banks, German banks, insurers and funds on a variety of complex, high-value property finance transactions. The ‘highly experienced, technically excellent, calm and collected’ Simon Chadney, who heads the practice jointly with Gary Hommel, ‘knows how to get things done, focuses on what’s important, and is respected by borrowers and lenders alike’. Robert Carr acted for Deutsche Bank on the €226m financing of the acquisition of a mixed-use portfolio in the Netherlands, and on the €35m financing of the acquisition of an office block in Paris. Chadney assisted Deutsche Pfandbriefbank with its £75m refinancing of Tishman Speyer’s purchase of the Economist Plaza in London, and acted for Helaba on its £175m refinancing of the Ocubis London office portfolio. On the borrower and sponsor side, Hommel advised Brookfield Office Properties on the £515m development financing of 100 Bishopsgate, while Carr acted for Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners on the £436m acquisition financing of CityPoint Tower. Chadney advised Almacantar on the £400m financing of the Marble Arch Tower development. The team also assists publicly listed real estate companies with debt financing: Chadney acted for Capital & Counties on the £100m financing of its Olympia exhibitions business (secured against the Olympia Exhibition Halls), and on the £150m infrastructure financing of its Earls Court joint venture with Transport for London – the facility was provided by the Homes and Communities Agency. Chadney also advised Hammerson on a £420m revolving credit facility to refinance an existing loan.

Leading individuals

Gary Hommel - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Simon Chadney - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Robert Carr - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team has ‘a superb array of talent’ that includes Matthew Bonye, who is ‘highly strategic in his leadership’, the ‘remarkableMartin Dawbney and Tom Leech QC. Clients also single out ‘wonderful’ senior associate Frances Edwards, whose ‘rigour and attention to detail separates her from the rest’, ‘impressive’ senior associate Julia Tobbell, who is ‘truly fantastic and pairs practicality with a fearless approach’ and ‘youthful but brilliant’ associate Matthew Weal. Bonye is representing Canary Wharf Group in a claim resulting from the administration of Lehman Brothers and the ultimate termination of its lease. The group is also defending TAG Farnborough Airport against compensation claims brought by 250 local residents arising from an alleged depreciation in property prices resulting from noise levels, and is acting for the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery in proceedings brought by the residents of a neighbouring residential development who claim that members of the public being able to look into their apartments from the gallery’s rooftop viewing platform is a breach of their human rights and their right to privacy.

Leading individuals

Matthew Bonye - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP attracts praise for ‘its very proactive approach to identifying the legal challenges Brexit presents’; it has been ‘quick off the blocks (compared to the competition) in pulling together a competent Brexit team’. Gavin Williams heads the practice, which draws on the firm’s longstanding track record in trade/WTO law and its sector expertise in areas such as financial services, energy, FMCG and industrial/manufacturing. Recent highlights include advising an investment fund on the potential impact of Brexit on trade in apparel products between the UK and EU, and advising a producer of consumer products on customs considerations for certain products. Brussels-based Lode Van den Hende has recently been appointed to TheCityUK’s international trade and investment group. Consultant Eric White, who is also Brussels-based, led the Trade Policy and WTO group at the European Commission’s Legal Service. James Palmer has more than 20 years’ experience working with the UK government, UK regulators and the European Commission on the development of various business regulations. Financial services regulatory expert Andrew Procter is also highly regarded. The firm adds value beyond pure legal advice, with one client reporting that ‘its seminars covered all the areas we wanted to have covered, were pitched at just the right level for the audience, and demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter’.

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Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, where ‘there is no sitting on the fence’, a dedicated corporate governance advisory team works with practitioners active in areas such as employment and dispute resolution to cover a full range of governance issues. The firm has a strong client following of private companies and listed companies (it acts for 37 FTSE 100 companies alone), and advises on matters such as executive remuneration, directors’ duties, company constitutions, corporate reporting and AGMs. Clients include Associated British Foods, G4S and BP. The firm also undertakes a significant amount of contentious and non-contentious work for financial institutions, with recent work including advice to banking and insurance sector clients on the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, as well as the Senior Insurance Managers Regime. Karen Anderson, Hywel Jenkins, Alex Kay and Andrew Procter are recommended for their financial services expertise, and Carol Shutkever and Paul Ellerman jointly lead the corporate governance advisory team. Senior partner James Palmer ‘tells the story as it is and is not afraid to confront difficult issues’. Senior associate Gareth Sykes is also highly regarded.

Leading individuals

Carol Shutkever - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gareth Sykes - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team attracts praise for its ‘fantastic level of service, paired with very responsive and practical guidance and an efficient approach’. Andrew Moir is global head of the firm’s cybersecurity team; his recent work includes advising an online retailer on a data breach, including contact with data privacy regulators following the release of details highlighting a flaw in its Android and iPhone apps and the subsequent online publication of customer data; and assisting a consortium of global banks in the creation of the Cyber Defence Alliance. Marcus Turle is the key name in the data protection team, which also includes Nick Pantlin, employment specialist Christine Young and senior associate Duc Tran. Pantlin and Tran advised Tabcorp on data compliance issues following an acquisition. Hays, RBS and Standard Life are also clients.

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Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘well-established and well-resourced team’ is ‘strong, responsive and knowledgeable’, and is ‘able to combine relevant specialisms to provide an effective and thorough service’. The firm is notable for having handled the UK’s first Deferred Prosecution Agreement, and has recently seen an uptick in demand for its sanctions regime advisory offering in light of the changing sanctions landscape, most notably across Russia and Ukraine. In another recent highlight, the group represented Société Générale in a claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which alleged bribery and intimidation tactics made in relation to a series of trades totalling approximately $1.5bn. Business crime expert Rod Fletcher heads the team and is recommended along with Susannah Cogman, who is ‘calm, sensible and well informed’.

Leading individuals

Rod Fletcher - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Susannah Cogman - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Daniel Hudson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘extremely responsive’ team ‘understands the nature of the market and clients’ needs very well’. Practice head Alan Watts ‘proves his worth time and time again by cutting to the heart of the issue and spotting the most strategic options quickly. His recent work includes representing Lord Alan Sugar against the Daily Mail in a dispute concerning defamatory comments published in an article; acting for Virgin Atlantic following the publication of a press release by a pilot’s union that included defamatory comments and malicious falsehoods; and handling pre-broadcast issues for the Board of the Pension Protection Fund relating to allegations made in a Channel 4 documentary. Neil Blake is highly regarded and senior associate Rebecca Murtha is ‘a rising star’.

Leading individuals

Alan Watts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Joel Smith handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients spanning the consumer, retail, media technology and energy sectors. In 2016, Smith advised Love Productions on trade mark infringement and passing-off issues relating to the company's rights to the mark Great British Bake Off, and acted for Sky in IPEC copyright infringement proceedings against publicans broadcasting Sky football games through the use of domestic viewing cards. The team also advises on comparative advertising issues involving complaints of trade mark infringement before the High Court or complaints to the ASA, and on online behavioural advertising.

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s practice is noted for its strength in depth and its broad range of expertise. As well as its prominent M&A, private equity and large-scale IT outsourcing workload, the team assists fintech start-ups and challenger banks with navigating fundraising, growth and regulations. Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, financial data and payments are particular areas of expertise. The ‘excellent, reliable’ Alex Kay, who is a financial institutions M&A expert, is ‘great to deal with’; he heads the group jointly with TMT M&A specialist Nicholas Moore and Nick Pantlin, a technology and outsourcing expert with a fintech sector focus. Pantlin, financial services regulatory specialist Andrew Procter and corporate partners Greg Mulley and Caroline Rae acted for ClearBank on its establishment, on regulatory matters and on the drafting of commercial agreements with parties including financial institutions; ClearBank is the UK’s first clearing bank in over two and a half centuries. Pantlin also advised TSB Bank and Banco de Sabadell on TSB’s migration from its existing IT services platform to the one provided by Sabadell’s in-house IT services company Sabadell Information Systems. IP and cybersecurity expert Andrew Moir acted for Cyber Defence Alliance, a joint venture between several high-profile international banks, on numerous issues, including IP, data protection, competition and governance. The practice was joined by of counsel Aaron White, who specialises in corporate technology and telecoms transactions, from Ashurst in March 2017. TMT and outsourcing expert David Coulling was promoted to partner in May 2017.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s group is highly regarded for its ‘business acumen’ and provides ‘creative suggestions which help keep a deal to often tight timetables’. Praised for his ‘tough but personable’ approach, Nick Pantlin heads the firm’s technology sector group and the UK and European IT and outsourcing practice. He led a team assisting TSB Bank and Banco Sabadell on a complex project pertaining to the migration of TSB’s IT services to a new platform provided by Sabadell Information Systems. Nicholas Moore heads the TMT M&A practice, and recently advised Telefónica on its proposed disposal of O2. Mark Robinson handles telecoms-related matters, and has particular expertise in emerging markets. David Coulling, who is an expert on telecoms issues, is ‘effortlessly efficient’. Of counsel Aaron White, who is a key name for telecoms transactions, was a new arrival from Ashurst. Sky and the Ministry of Defence are also clients.

Next generation lawyers

David Coulling - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team, which consists primarily of individuals with engineering and scientific backgrounds, acts for clients including AbbVie and Unilever. Practice head Mark Shillito has core expertise in the life sciences sector. Joel Smith, who has a strong track record acting for clients in the media, technology and retail sectors, recently represented Sky in copyright infringement proceedings against publicans that broadcast Sky football on commercial premises through domestic viewing cards. Patent law specialist Sophie Rich is best known for her work in the pharmaceutical sector. Sebastian Moore, who also focuses on the pharmaceutical sector, recently acted for Gilead Sciences in multiple patent disputes with Idenix (now owned by Merck) concerning a hepatitis treatment drug. Patent law expert Andrew Moir focuses on the technology sector, and recently defended Unilever against a compensation claim brought by a former employee regarding inventions made during his employment. Complex patent law specialist Rebekah Gay recently joined from the firm’s Sydney office. Christopher Sharp joined Pinsent Masons LLP and David Wilson joined Carpmaels & Ransford LLP.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘pragmatic’ team handles transactional, operational, regulatory, competition and disputes work; music, sport, gaming, advertising, live events, film, TV, interactive content, channel and digital platforms, social media and rights management are all areas of expertise. The team acts for Tabcorp on its white label partnership with News UK to launch an online wagering and gaming business in the UK and Ireland. It is also advising Moby Media Group on its partnership with Vice Media to launch Vice into the Middle East. It is also advising Sky on Twenty-First Century Fox's proposed £11.7bn acquisition of Sky, and advised STV in relation to the renegotiation of its advertising sales agreement with ITV. Global head of media and entertainment Stephen Wilkinson stands out for his ‘knowledge, gravitas and cool under pressure’. Also recommended are Gavin Davies, who handles corporate and M&A transactions in the sector, Alan Watts, who handles disputes, Joel Smith, who is noted for rights issues, and Stephen Wisking, who is experienced in competition matters in the sector. Senior associate Hayley Brady is ‘bright, has bags of stamina, and is a great problem solver’. Nick Elverston joined Ashurst in 2016.

Next generation lawyers

Hayley Brady - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP (Film and TV; computer games; digital media)

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s client roster features a healthy balance of global innovator pharmaceuticals and generics companies. Sebastian Moore has ‘the expert touch’ in patent litigation, having acted for blue-chip multinational clients including Roche, Genentech, Biogen and Sanofi Pasteur. In 2016, Moore successfully defended Gilead Sciences in a patent infringement case brought by Idenix Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Merck) and counterclaimed for revocation of Idenix’s European patent; in a separate matter, it is defending the same client in a revocation action initiated by Teva UK in the English Patents Court relating to a SPC protecting Gilead’s HIV medicines. Moore and Andrew Moir are also representing Ariosa Diagnostics in patent proceedings brought against it in the English High Court in relation to its Harmony non-invasive prenatal test. Alan Montgomery is highly regarded in the public and private cross-border M&A space, and co-heads the pharmaceuticals sector M&A team with Robert Moore. The corporate team advised Claris Lifesciences on the $625m sale of its injectable business to Baxter International, and is handling Genus’ partnership deal with Hermitage Genetics. Other highlights included advising a pharmaceutical company on an antitrust complaint arising from abuse of dominance issues and a subsequent settlement arrangement; and assisting a number of pharmaceuticals companies with data protection and security issues. Howard Watson is a key name to note for product liability, health and safety and high-value personal injury related matters. Highly regarded patent litigation specialist Sophie Rich and senior associate Jonathan Turnbull are recommended for multi-jurisdictional litigation.

Leading individuals

Sebastian Moore - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Sophie Rich - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Turnbull - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s multi-disciplinary practice acts for airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airport owners and operators, infrastructure development contractors and government bodies on a range of regulatory, competition, corporate and dispute resolution matters. It is acting for Virgin Atlantic Airways on regulatory and competition matters regarding its joint venture with Delta Air Lines in relation to routes between the UK, US, Canada and Mexico. Other clients include easyJet, Heathrow Airport Holdings, TUI Travel, Thomson Airways, Gatwick Airport and TAG Farnborough Airport. Gareth Roberts heads the team alongside competition and regulatory expert Kim Dietzel. Gregg Rowan and Gavin Williams are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Gareth Roberts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s multi-disciplinary rail group is noted for its ‘in-depth knowledge of rail matters’. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the core contractor procurements for phase 1 of the project, and is advising the DfT and London and Continental Railways (LCR) on the sale of their interests in the King's Cross Central Partnership (the entity that owns and is developing King's Cross Central) to AustralianSuper. It is also advising Stagecoach South West on its bid for the new South Western franchise and is advising HS1 Ltd, the owner of High Speed 1, on a range of commercial, operational and regulatory matters. Global head of infrastructure Patrick Mitchell has ‘vast experience in the rail sector’ and heads the rail team, which includes Adrian Clough, competition, regulation and trade partner Tim Briggs, and of counsel John Williams.

Leading individuals

Adrian Clough - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Patrick Mitchell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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