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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Living Wage
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
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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 'very enthusiastic and personable' multidisciplinary team 'hits the ground running' in large procurement matters, BPO and IT outsourcings, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and other business-transformational projects. Team head Nick Pantlin is 'very responsive, steady and calm'. Also singled-out for client praise, among others, are David Coulling ('quickly grasps very technical points of technology law') and senior associate Hayley Brady ('the tougher the task, the more she comes to the fore'). In addition to Brady, Jeremy Purton, Alex Cravero and Edward du Boulay are other highly regarded senior associates. Adrian Clough and of counsel John Williams were appointed by Stagecoach and Virgin Trains to advise their respective franchise and commercial operations on the Smart Ticketing on National Rail (STNR) programme. The firm also acts for clients such as The Ministry of Defence, IBM, Sky and Standard Life.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles both transactional and advisory tax work for clients across a range of sectors, including upstream energy and insurance. The group has significant experience in transaction structuring and is able to draw on the firm's global presence in cross-border matters. The team is led by Isaac Zailer, who advised British American Tobacco on the $49.9bn acquisition of the remaining 57.8%of shares in Reynolds; a matter which included a significant restructure and an analysis of tax implications across the business. In another highlight, Howard Murray is advised Sky on structuring issues surrounding its potential takeover by 21st Century Fox. William Arrenberg is advising British Land on its plans for the redevelopment of a major mixed-use site at Rotherhithe.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬† stands out for its¬†‚Äėhigh-quality legal advice combined with a strong strategic vision‚Äô. Global head of practice¬†Stephen Wisking¬†has been advising Sky on the merger control, regulatory and public interest aspects of 21st Century Fox‚Äôs proposed ¬£11.7bn acquisition of shares in Sky, as well as representing Sky on the EC‚Äôs investigation into the provisions of its licensing agreements with a number of US film studios. ‚ÄėVery pragmatic, thoughtful and business-focused‚Äô¬†¬†Susan Black¬†is strong for competition advice in the transport and financial services sectors and recently acted for Hammerson on its ¬£3.4bn offer to purchase the entire share capital of Intu Properties. Black also co-ordinated with¬†Andr√© Pretorius¬†in the notification and technical filings across multiple jurisdictions relating to British American Tobacco‚Äôs acquisition of a 57.8% stake in Reynolds American.¬†Kim Dietzel¬†continues to act for Virgin Atlantic Airways on a number of regulatory and competition law issues, ¬†including acting alongside ‚Äėproactive‚Äô and ‚Äėperceptive‚Äô senior associate¬†Suzy Campbell¬† in relation to its joint venture with Delta Airlines and Air France-KLM, as well as the proposed sale of a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM. Senior associate¬†Grace Aylward¬†is recommended as ‚Äėa good practitioner‚Äô. Former global head of practice¬†James Quinney¬†retired from practice in April 2017.

Leading individuals

Kim Dietzel - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Stephen Wisking - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Susan Black - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Suzy Campbell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs
EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's practice advises clients on the full spectrum of international trade and WTO law and trade regulatory work, including trade policy considerations, customs issues and trade remedy proceedings. Practice head Lode Van Den Hende,  who divides his time between Brussels and London, continues to represent Gazprom Neft and Rosneft on cases before the EU General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions adopted by the Council of the European Union. Susannah Cogman and Daniel Hudson advise on sanctions issues; Cogman has particular expertise in sanctions work in relation to Iran, Russia, Syria and Lybia, while Hudson’s experience is concentrated on sanctions issues arising from financial crime. Senior associate Morris Schonberg is recommended for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations and is qualified as a solicitor-advocate, regularly representing clients in trade-related litigation before the EU courts. Senior associate Jérémie Charles moved to Hogan Lovells International LLP in January 2018.

Leading individuals

Lode Van Den Hende - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Morris Schonberg - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's¬†department is well known for its high-end expertise in London listings, its excellent emerging markets practice and its consistently strong performance on the issuer and the underwriter side. Charles Howarth¬†and US securities expert¬†Tom O‚ÄôNeill, who provides 'clear, highly relevant, to-the-point advice',¬†have¬†been very busy across Europe and in Turkey; supported by the 'highly capable, professional'¬†Dinesh Banani,¬†both group heads acted for a syndicate of underwriters including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank on the $393m IPO of power company Enerjisa, and advised Memorial Healthcare Group on its IPO on the Borsa ńįstanbul. Other issuer-side clients include BioPharma Credit and The Unite Group. Howarth and O'Neill also acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Davy on Allied Irish Banks' ‚ā¨13bn IPO on the LSE and the ISE.¬†Mike Flockhart¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Charles Howarth - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Tom O'Neill - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Dinesh Banani - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Able to call upon the expertise of nine partners across both non-contentious and contentious financial services regulatory matters, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume of matters for asset management and banking clients including TSB Bank, Clear Bank, BNP Paribas, BlackRock and Man Group. As well as handling large strategic implementation projects for clients relating to the Senior Managers Regime, Brexit, capital adequacy and MiFID ii, the team has also provided the regulatory overlay on numerous big-ticket financial services M&A matters including Clive Cunningham 's work for Lloyds Banking Group on the regulatory aspects of a major transfer of the retail private banking businesses of Scottish Widows Bank and Lloyds Bank Private Banking across to Lloyds Bank plc. As well as work for traditional banks, the team has also begun to pick up a significant flow of work for challenger fintech entities as they compete for market share. In this regard, Cunningham has handled numerous regulatory matters for ClearBank (the first new UK clearing bank in 250 years) and also acted for TSB on its separation from Lloyds Banking Group and on the establishment of a nascent digital bank. Benefiting from in-house banking experience, as well as a previous secondment to the UK regulator, the 'very calm and responsive' Karen Anderson provides 'proactive and well-balanced advice across a range of regulatory matters' including  responding to reviews, attestations and inquiries, focusing particularly on market abuse, wholesale conduct and conflicts of interest. Andrew Procter has a primarily contentious leaning to his practice, although alongside Cunningham and Hywel Jenkins, he has also been at the forefront of the firm's work for numerous asset managers and insurers on Senior Managers Regime implementation.  Jenny Stainsby heads the firm's global contentious financial services regulatory offering and has an impressive pedigree in the market for handling domestic and multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. Outside of her pure contentious workload, Stainsby is also well-regarded by financial institutions for her ability to provide robust risk management advice and in relation to guiding retail and commercial banking clients through remediation and redress processes.

Leading individuals

Clive Cunningham - 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 team at¬†Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent; very responsive, commercially savvy, with strength throughout the ranks‚Äô.¬†Gavin Davies¬†was recently appointed to head the firm‚Äôs global M&A practice; he has 25 years of experience in UK public takeovers, shareholder activism and investment work in Africa. 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.¬†Stephen Wilkinson¬†and¬†Mark Bardell¬†(who is ‚Äėextremely bright and creative in a transaction setting‚Äô) are advising Sky on its recommended takeover by 21st Century Fox, alongside senior associate¬†Harriet Forrest¬†¬†, associate¬†Imogen White¬†and colleagues in the competition, employee incentives and tax practices. Wilkinson and¬†Robert Moore¬†acted for Lonmin on its recommended all-share takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater. The 'reliable'¬†Alex Kay¬†and¬†Caroline Rae¬†are advising longstanding client Hammerson on its ¬£3.4bn recommended takeover offer for Intu Properties; Kay also worked alongside¬†James Palmer¬†and¬†Charles Howarth¬†on British American Tobacco‚Äôs acquisition of the remaining shares in Reynolds that it did not already own for $49.4bn. In the energy space,¬†Greg Mulley¬†acted for Mercuria Energy Group on the reverse takeover to effect the combination of the Argentinian and Colombian oil & gas assets of Andes Energia. Other clients of the team include Associated British Foods, Severn Trent, EDF and Virgin. Senior M&A and corporate finance expert¬†Ben Ward¬†is a ‚Äėvery pragmatic deal-doer‚Äô and heads the London corporate team.

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

The 'impressive' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP  represents partners and major professional services firms in partnership disputes. It draws on a multi-disciplinary set-up, bringing in team members from the disputes, corporate, employment, incentives, regulatory and tax departments to provide 'a consistently excellent service' to clients. The group also has a significant non-contentious practice and 'first-class' Tim Leaver advised Berwin Leighton Paisner on the partnership aspects of its merger with the US-headquartered Bryan Cave to form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Highlights for Mark Bardell included advising Strutt & Parker LLP on all aspects the combination of its business with BNP Paribas Real Estate. Co-heads Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, who specialises in firm mergers and partnership dispute expert Alan Watts, who has acted on high-profile partner exits and team moves, are also recommended.

The 'impressive' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP  represents partners and major professional services firms in partnership disputes. It draws on a multi-disciplinary set-up, bringing in team members from the disputes, corporate, employment, incentives, regulatory and tax departments to provide 'a consistently excellent service' to clients. The group also has a significant non-contentious practice and 'first-class' Tim Leaver advised Berwin Leighton Paisner on the partnership aspects of its merger with the US-headquartered Bryan Cave to form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Highlights for Mark Bardell included advising Strutt & Parker LLP on all aspects the combination of its business with BNP Paribas Real Estate. Co-heads Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, who specialises in firm mergers and partnership dispute expert Alan Watts, who has acted on high-profile partner exits and team moves, are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Alan Watts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Malcolm Lombers - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Private equity: transactions ‚Äď mid-market deals - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Clients praise Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'highly sophisticated advice' on the M&A, financing and tax aspects of mid-cap and large-cap UK and cross-border deals. The group also covers transactions elsewhere in Eastern Europe, as well as Turkey and Africa. In addition to having a sizeable geographical footprint, the practice is also characterised by its strengths in sectors such as energy and infrastructure, real estate, TMT and alternative financial services. In 2017, Patrick Mitchell, and senior associates Tom Marshall and Martin Bittner, were among the advisers to a consortium (including Allianz Capital Partners, DIF and InfraRed) on its acquisition of Affinity Water for £687m. In another notable matter, Geday and John Taylor were part of the cross-practice team, which recently acted for Three Hills Capital Partners in its investment in Byron Hamburgers. Gavin Davies assisted Meredith Corporation with the sale of Time Inc UK to Epiris. Another notable individual is Tomasz Wozniak, who acted for Uber in the circa $3.7bn merger of its assets in the Russia and CIS region with Yandex Taxi. Nicholas Moore is also recommended. A trio of partners - Mark Geday, Tomasz Wozniak and Nicholas Moore  - were set to leave the firm for  Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP  at the time of publication.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's standalone team is led by commercial tax specialist Isaac Zailer  and draws on the overall strength of the firm's tax group to lead on major transactional, advisory and contentious VAT and indirect tax issues. On the transactional front, the group handles real estate mandates, fund formation, corporate migration and indirect tax solutions. In relation to advisory work, it has significant expertise in the aggregates levy, landfill and tonnage tax and often provides submissions to government and industry bodies on the legality of proposed new indirect taxes. The tax investigations and disputes team, led by Heather Gething (who sits as a judge in the First-tier Tax Tribunal), has significant experience handling VAT disputes in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Gething is currently advising Uber London on its defence of a claim brought in the High Court by Jolyon Maugham QC concerning the client's VAT invoicing procedures. Howard Murray advised TSB Bank and Banco de Sabadell on an inter-group IT migration which had significant VAT implications. William Arrenberg advsed Lendlease on the structuring of a transaction pertaining to the development of The Timberyard Deptford to endure that zero rating was available on all aspects of the project. Neil Warriner is recommended for real estate tax.

Leading individuals

Isaac Zailer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

‚ÄėLitigation powerhouse‚Äô Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†handles high-value and multi‚Äźjurisdictional fraud investigations involving litigation, arbitration, freezing orders and asset recoveries. The firm acted for The Republic of Kazakhstan against the enforcement of a $500m arbitral award in a cross-border matter involving London, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It also acted for Jyske Bank in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar in defence of a claim for dishonest assistance and dishonest receipt brought by the liquidators of Marrache & Co, a Gibraltarian law firm. Jeremy Garson¬†heads the team, supported by Philip Carrington¬†and Rachel Lidgate¬†who was promoted to partner. Senior associate Gareth Keillor¬†is ‚Äėvery experienced, thoughtful and level-headed‚Äô. The team has ‚Äėa deep bench and very capable lawyers‚Äô and is ‚Äėtop-tier despite the heavy competition‚Äô.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

'A top-tier banking litigation practice with a strong mix of investment and retail bank disputes', Herbert Smith Freehills LLP continues to advise many of the largest national and international banking groups and other major financial institutions on their high stakes, complex litigation cases. Recent work included high-profile shareholder actions and multiple parallel claims arising out of contentious issues such as the Panama Papers, mis-selling, film finance, interest rate swaps and tailored business loans. The 'very impressive' Damien Byrne Hill , who  assumed the role as head of disputes for UK and US in 2018, is 'among the very best banking litigators; he is direct, focused, and robust in his approach'. Simon Clarke  handles highly complex banking and financial services litigation, often involving structured products and derivatives. The 'immensely hard working and fun-to-work-with' Harry Edwards, who is 'a strong litigator with a deservedly rising profile', led advice to Watchstone (formerly known as Quindell) on a threatened group litigation brought by shareholders of Watchstone, arising out of various public announcements made by the company in 2013; the claim, if pursued, would be one of the first claims brought on the basis of section 90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which provides a cause of action for investors who buy, sell or hold listed securities in reliance on deliberately misleading information published to the market. Other key advisers are the 'first-rate, bright and insightful' Rupert Lewis, who 'has shown that he can handle even the most challenging cases superbly'; and John Corrie, who is 'a very able litigator who combines high intellectual ability with great charm'. Chris Bushell, Adam Johnson QC, Gary Milner-Moore and John Whiteoak are also highly rated; Donny Surtani was made partner; and Julian Copeman returned from secondment to the firm’s Hong Kong office. The key senior associates are Ajay Malhotra, Tom Henderson and Emma Deas. James Norris-Jones  joined  Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

Leading individuals

Damien Byrne Hill - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Kirsten Massey - 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 LLP has one of the largest and most specialised practices in the UK for all types of commercial and corporate litigation and across all sectors; the team was recently particularly active in significant  commercial and corporate litigation for major banks and financial institutions as well as matters involving the energy, mining, consumer products and TMT sectors, among others. It achieved a settlement on behalf of the RBS Group (RBSG) in its defence of actions brought by shareholder and investor groups in connection with RBSG's 2008 rights issue; and represented the SocGen defendants in a claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority, which entered into a series of trades with SocGen, in respect of which it sought rescission and repayment of the premiums paid. Damien Bryne Hill is UK and US disputes head; Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head; Rupert Lewis leads the banking litigation practice in London; Natasha Johnson 'has a great deal of experience with the international elements of litigation'; Gregg Rowan is 'a first class-litigator, who has a measured and in-control manner'; and Alexander Oddy is deputy head of the firm's commercial litigation practice. Other recommended names are Philip Carrington, James Baily, Simon Clarke,  Adam Johnson QC, Kirsten Massey, and John Whiteoak, along with John Ogilvie, James Doe, Chris Bushell, and Jeremy Garson. Julian Copeman relocated to the London office from Hong Kong and Donny Surtani and Rachel Lidgate were made partners.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'one of the pre-eminent firms for competition litigation' and is 'at the forefront of the leading cases', particularly in the telecoms field. The group takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating competition litigation with the competition, regulation and trade teams, as well as the wider dispute resolution department. It stands out for its experience in regulatory appeals and private enforcement claim defence in the EU, UK and in other jurisdictions. 'A great tactician with an unparalleled strategic sense', practice head Stephen Wisking is instructed by Google on separate High Court claims brought by Kelkoo and Connexity seeeking damages for abuse of dominance following similar claims raised by the European Commission. In 2017-2018, Wisking continued to advise Sky on a variety of regulatory litigation matters, including in a judicial review of Ofcom's decision brought by campaign group Avaaz, in the context of 21st Century Fox's £11.7bn public offer to acquire the client. The 'experienced and determined' Kim Dietzel is representing Schunk in follow-on litigation relating to procedural aspects of the section 47A Competition Act regime. Adam Johnson is recommended for his experience in claims concerning automotive manufacturing and banking and finance sectors. Senior associate Andrew North is another key contact.

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 'strong team of dedicated lawyers masters complex subject matter and the advice is pragmatic, measured and fit for purpose'. It advises across a range of sectors, including TMT, financial services, pharmaceuticals, transport, defence and construction, but is particularly well known for its energy arbitration work. Global international arbitration head Paula Hodges is 'a seasoned arbitration lawyer who is very good at handling client relationships at a senior level as well as reassuring nervous witnesses'. Other key figures include Craig Tevendale, who is UK international arbitration head, and Nicholas Peacock, who heads the India international arbitration practice. Also recommended are Chris Parker, Andrew Cannon and of counsel Iain Maxwell.

Leading individuals

Paula Hodges - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Iain Maxwell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Acting for leading professional bodies as well as firms and individuals involved in disciplinary proceedings, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'excellent for City-related problems and its service is first class overall; the advice is always well thought through and delivery by the team is reliable and seamless'. The practice is well known for its strengths in both public law and financial services disciplinary work and the majority of its work was recently in the financial and accountancy sectors; it acted for a multinational professional services firm in relation to a professional disciplinary investigation being conducted by the executive counsel to the Financial Reporting Council, which involved reporting to the (then) FSA on a multinational investment bank's compliance with the FSA's client asset rules. Andrew Lidbetter heads this practice area and he has experience of prosecuting, defending and advising adjudication committees in disciplinary cases, in addition to revising disciplinary schemes and judicial reviews; Rod Fletcher's clients include senior city executives under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and also individuals subject to investigation in the police, legal, financial, healthcare and ecclesiastical sectors; and Nusrat Zar'gives calm, clear advice whether on general strategy or specific issues'. Of counsel Jasveer Randhawa  is also highly regarded.

Leading individuals

Andrew Lidbetter - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises both governments and investors in ICSID and other investor-state arbitral forums. Other public international law (PIL) strengths include boundary disputes, the Law of the Sea, treaty negotiation and interpretation, sovereign and international organisation immunity and human rights, as well as international trade law, WTO law and sanctions. The group has also been heavily involved in advising clients on the UK's exit from the EU. The team acted for ACP Axos Capital in ICSID proceedings brought against Kosovo under the Germany-Yugoslavia BIT, following the cancellation of the privatisation of the company, Post and Telecommunications of Kosovo. Global co-PIL head Andrew Cannon's practice includes investment treaty arbitration, state immunity, boundaries and Law of the Sea, international sanctions, state recognition, and the international law of treaties; and of counsel Iain Maxwell has acted in arbitration cases for and against state parties on four continents, including numerous ICSID investment arbitration cases, as well as advising on the Law of the Sea and on international sanctions.

Leading individuals

Andrew Cannon - Herbert Smith Freehills 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

The standout tax disputes group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is led by Heather Gething, who is a judge in the First-tier Tax Tribunal, and is a veteran of tax investigations and litigation. She is supported by solicitor-advocate and newly promoted partner Nick Clayton who has developed a niche in advising clients in relation to civil and criminal measures aimed at penalising third parties who facilitate or enable tax evasion. Gething is currently advising Uber London on its defence of a High Court claim brought by Jolyon Maugham QC concerning the VAT liability of the client. Senior associate Michael Hunt specialises in cases involving the tax treatment of debt and derivatives; recently advising a corporate on a number of disputes arising from intra-group debt. Highlights included representing Bernard Charles Ecclestone in relation to ongoing proceedings in the Administrative and Commercial courts, challenging the legality of an HMRC decision to rescind a settlement agreement. The group is also acting for UBS Wealth as a defendant alongside other wealth-managers and independent financial advisers in multiple sets of negligence proceedings involving members of film partnerships who were not made aware of the tax risk of film partnership structures. 

Leading individuals

Heather Gething - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Hunt - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Nick Clayton - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

In addition to supporting the firm's impressive roster of corporate clients when they require acquisition finance expertise, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's borrower focused practice continues to pick up an increased flow of work from private equity sponsors. For example, the team acted for Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on the financing related to its acquisition and development of four biomass power plants in the UK. On the corporate acquisition front, Will Nevin (who has 'excellent market knowledge') acted for British American Tobacco on its syndicated loan financing in connection with its high-profile merger with Reynolds. The 'pragmatic and efficient' Kristen Roberts leads the corporate debt and acquisition finance team out of London and is noted for his broad-ranging financing capability (including corporate acquisition financing and sponsor-driven leveraged financing matters) for borrowers and lenders.

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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

Leveraging its impressive roster of FTSE 250/100 corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides an 'excellent service' across the gamut of borrower-side financing requirements including on general corporate lending, event-driven and acquisition financings. Team head Kristen Roberts delivers 'high-quality' financing advice to many of the firm's blue-chip corporates including Coats Group plc which he advised in relation to its debt diversification programme through a $350m bank multi-currency revolving credit facility and debut $225m US private placement of notes. Although the firm is undoubtedly better known for its borrower side prowess, Will Nevin has successfully expanded its lender side work both on the leveraged and corporate acquisition finance front on behalf of lender clients including Citi and HSBC. A more established lender practice also continues to flourish in the energy sector where the firm regularly acts for banks in relation to reserve-based funding structures. Thomas Bethel has a strong reputation in this space and regularly handles work for large bank syndicates; he recently acted for the lenders to Ophir Energy on an up to $350m reserve-based lending facility. Other recommended practitioners include Ian Yeo, for emerging markets mandates; William Breeze, for structured commodity trade finance; and Martin Kavanagh, for energy and infrastructure finance.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Leveraging the expertise of complementary practice areas including corporate, employment and dispute resolution, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP remains a popular choice on behalf companies, boards of directors and IPs across a range of non-contentious and contentious matters. Able to provide strong sectoral overlay in areas of focus for the firm as a whole, the team continues to be involved in numerous matters impacting the energy space. For example, contentious insolvency expert John Whiteoak has been representing Sea Trucks International on disputes arising out of its large-scale insolvency. Whiteoak also continues to work alongside team head Kevin Pullen in relation to the firm's ongoing long-running representation of Ernst & Young as administrators to Nortel’s EMEA entities. Senior associate John Chetwood  is also recommended and recently advised Three Hills Capital on all aspects of its negotiations with the existing lenders and the structure and terms of the proposed CVA related to its acquisition of a majority stake in troubled casual dining company, Byron Burgers. Laurence Elliott recently retired.

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'very responsive and always delivers when it says; the advice is to-the-point and pragmatic and the joined-up team takes the effort to understand the client's business'. The practice advises both issuers and managers on a range of debt instruments that includes standalone bonds, regulatory capital offerings, MTN programmes, private placements, equity-linked transactions and liability management deals. Andrew Roberts and Amy Geddes are 'very responsive and have a wide and strong range of knowledge across different issues'. Emerging markets debt is a key focus for the practice and forms a key element of the work of Tom O’Neill, who leads the US securities practice, and Dinesh Banani, who advises issuers and investment banks on international capital markets financings, including Rule 144A securities offerings of both equity and debt. Roberts and Banani acted for United Bank for Africa in its $500m debut Rule 144A/Regulation S issuance. Senior associate and rising star Mark Dickinson also played a key role in that deal. Senior associate Theresa Matts 'has great client skills and really knows her stuff'. She acted as part of a broader banking and finance team to assist Tideway with the update of its £10bn debt issuance programme.

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 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'offers an exceptional level of service - the documents are always turned around quickly and deadlines are respected, but, most importantly, the team’s commercial acumen and knowledge of the markets in which it operates is first-class'. The derivatives practice focuses on high-end, complex and multi-jurisdictional transactions in interest rate, forex, equity, commodity and credit derivatives for financial institutions, funds and corporates. It is also a key adviser on regulatory reform, including clearing and margining rules under EMIR. The practice also handles innovative matters including the development of structures to provide leverage to hedge funds and to facilitate the buy-back of distressed debt. The firm acted for a Russian bank in an equity upside arrangement, which was structured as an equity derivative option under an ISDA master agreement. Dina Albagli leads the derivatives practice and was the lead lawyer on that transaction. She advises buy-side and sell-side clients on transactional matters and also assists financial institutions with regulatory capital and liquidity issues. Nick May 'explains complex issues in a way non-specialists can understand'. Jake Jackaman's practice includes repackagings, cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. He is 'a very smart guy but practical'. Michael Poulton, whose main focus is on securitisation but who has a broader structured finance practice, 'draws on an a great reservoir of experience and responds calmly and rationally under pressure'.

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 'a very strong team that works exceptionally hard to deliver the highest quality of work to a tight timescale; it undoubtedly has a very deep understanding of the market and delivers an outstanding all round service'. The firm handles flagship transactions in¬†Russia, the CIS, the Middle East, India, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, advising both¬†corporates and international banks. Its prime area of focus is energy finance and it has a deep bench of finance and capital markets lawyers who play key roles in its¬†energy and natural resources group. Its recent highlights include acting for the¬†Government of Nepal on five large-scale hydropower projects, and advising¬†the lenders on the US$1bn prepayment facility for Oman Oil Exploration & Production LLC. For the Government of the Republic of Zambia, borrower Kafue Gorge Lower Power Development Corporation¬†and sponsor Zesco Limited, the practice handled the financing of a 750MW hydropower project in Zambia. For lenders including ING Bank and Natixis it handled¬†a senior secured borrowing base facility to facilitate the acquisition of¬†Shell's upstream assets in Gabon by¬†Carlyle International Energy Partners.¬†Head of the London energy, natural resources and infrastructure finance team¬†Martin Kavanagh¬†led the Gabon deal.¬†Ian Yeo¬†has more than¬†20 years' experience in banking work, which includes¬†the structuring of complex financings in the emerging markets in Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey.¬†Alexander Currie, who advised Gazprom on the financing of the ‚ā¨13bn¬†Amur Gas Processing Plant in East Siberia, has dealt with¬†project financing and restructuring for more than 20 years. Debt capital markets partners¬†Amy Geddes¬†and¬†Andrew Roberts¬†are also recommended, as is¬†William Breeze¬†who¬†acts for borrowers, lenders and trading houses on a wide range of trade finance, project finance and upstream energy finance transactions.

Leading individuals

Ian Yeo - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Martin Kavanagh - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'very responsive and always delivers; the advice is to-the-point and pragmatic, and the team’s commercial acumen and knowledge of the markets in which it operates is first-class'. The practice continued to act for Tideway in its issuance of bonds under its whole-business securitisation programme. Jake Jackaman led that deal and has a broad practice that encompasses repackagings, cash flow CLOs, synthetic CDOs, credit funds, securitisations and portfolio credit default swaps. Michael Poulton leads the firm's securitisation and structured finance practices and has worked in the market as a lawyer and an investment banker for nearly 20 years. He is 'able to draw on a great reservoir of experience in his field and combines this with commercial acumen and ability to respond calmly and rationally under pressure'. Poulton recently acted for LendInvest as borrower under a securitisation warehouse financing that provides funding for its new buy-to-let lending business in the UK. Newly promoted partner Nick May, who 'explains complex issues in a way non-specialists can understand', and senior associate Joy Amis are rising stars.

Leading individuals

Jake Jackaman - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Michael Poulton - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Joy Amis - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Nick May - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Trade finance
Trade finance - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

'The firm has a very strong team that has worked exceptionally hard to deliver the highest quality of work to a tight timescale', says a client of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, who adds that the lawyers 'undoubtedly have a very deep understanding of the market and deliver an outstanding all-round service'. The 'first-rate practice' is led by both William Breeze, who leads on structured commodity trade finance, and reserve-based lending specialist Thomas Bethel  who is 'highly knowledgeable and very adept at seeing a deal through from inception to close'. Drawing on the firm's strong energy and natural resources capability, the practice acts for banks and trading houses including ING Bank, BNP Paribas and Natixis.  Breeze handles structured deals in the oil and gas sector, and to a lesser extent in metals and softs. His recent highlights include advising lender Société Générale on a $1bn hybrid PXF deal for a Dutch orphan SPV to finance the prepayment of crude oil to Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production LLC. Bethel, who acts predominantly for lenders and has 'as much experience in reserve-based lending as anyone in the market', advised lead arrangers of a $2bn financing for an acquisition by Neptune, which included both reserve-based lending and acquisition finance features.

Leading individuals

Thomas Bethel - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'absolutely fabulous' department has 'unparalleled experience' with 'excellent industry knowledge and a professional approach that separates it out in the market'. The team handles the full range of share plan and incentives work including transactional support and regulatory issues. Recent highlights include advising Sky on the share elements of its proposed acquisition by 21st Century Fox, acting for Millenium and Copthorne Hotels on the incentives aspects of a cash offer by its controlling shareholder, and assisting the Bank of Montreal with the implementation of a pan-European deferred compensation plan. Other clients include British American Tobacco, The Berkeley Group and Hammerson. The 'pragmatic, decisive and experienced' Paul Ellerman leads the group, which also fields the 'outstanding' Mark Ife, who is 'one of the leading lawyers in the field', and senior associate Bradley Richardson, who is 'approachable, supportive and practical'.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'has one of the strongest employment practices in the market' thanks to 'an outstanding calibre of lawyers who have an excellent reputation and are leaders in the field' with 'genuine experience across every aspect of employment law you can think of'. Team head Andrew Taggart and Peter Frost are 'thought leaders' and 'highly skilled litigators who really stand out above the rest'. Other key figures include Tim Leaver, who 'consistently provides a first-class service and approaches issues with exceptional judgement and commerciality'; Christine Young, who is 'a class leader'; and 'absolutely brilliant' senior associate Jennifer Andrews. The team recently advised BAE Systems Applied Intelligence on large-scale redundancies in multiple jurisdictions, assisted AA with the dismissal of its former executive chairman and acted for the Church of England in a statutory inquiry into the handling of child sex abuse allegations. Senior associate and employment barrister Sian McKinley joined from Chambers of Robin Allen QC in 2017.

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

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, the 'superb' department is 'commercially astute, legally knowledgeable and deeply resourced' with 'exceptionally experienced lawyers who are highly capable negotiators and have the ear of the HSE'. Howard Watson leads the practice; clients praise him as 'a superstar lawyer' who is 'immensely knowledgeable, thorough and a great tactician'. Watson's recent work includes advising Chevron on an investigation following an explosion at one of its refineries which resulted in four fatalities and multiple injuries, acting for BAE Systems in multiple investigations relating to the death of two servicemen following the misfiring of a tank gun, and representing SIG as cladding supplier to Grenfell Tower in the public inquiry and the police and HSE investigations. BP and Perenco are also clients. Rod Fletcher is also a name to note.

Leading individuals

Howard Watson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'outstanding' team includes Alison Brown and Paul Lewis, who lead the non-contentious and litigation elements respectively; Brown is 'excellent commercially' and Lewis is 'exceptional at understanding complex issues'. Clients also single out Samantha Brown, who is 'superb in combining technical brilliance with excellent judgement and strategical awareness'; newly promoted partner and derisking expert Rachel Pinto, who 'provides incredible service throughout'; and 'excellent' senior associate and former barrister James Rickards, who joined from Chambers of Michael Bowes QC, Christopher Gibson QC and Andrew S.  Recent mandates include representing Lloyds Bank in Part 8 proceedings relating to GMPs and advising Irish Life Assurance on a bulk annuity transaction.  Daniel Schaffer joined Slaughter and May.

Leading individuals

Samantha Brown (non-contentious) - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Rachel Pinto (non-contentious) - 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

What Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†‚Äėlacks in pure numbers, it makes up for in quality and depth of talent‚Äô.¬†Paul Lewis¬†heads the team, which has ‚Äėan extremely high level of quality from the senior partners down to the trainees‚Äô and ‚Äėtechnical abilities that are really second to none‚Äô. This can be seen in the work of partners such as Alexander Oddy,¬†‚Äėwho applies real intellectual rigour to complex claims‚Äô; he recently took the lead advising Single Buoy Mooring on a claim under its construction insurance programme arising out of damage to an oil platform on the Yme field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Another key member of the team is the ‚Äėapproachable and personable‚Äô Anthony Dempster,¬†‚Äėone of the best property insurance and reinsurance lawyers working in London, who provides clear and concise advice‚Äô. He acted for RSA in defending claims made under a property/liability risks insurance policy for losses arising from a major fire at a restaurant and office complex in Tabernacle Street in the City of London. In addition, the ‚Äėtop-drawer‚Äô practice can claim to act for all interested parties in the insurance sector, from corporate policyholders and brokers to insurers and reinsurers, with blue-chip clients including RSA, Marsh, Willis and Aviva, for whom David Reston¬†is the key contact. It is also progressing in emerging markets, with Greig Anderson¬†advising on major cyber insurance claims, as well as assisting Airmic with producing a guide on the same topic.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†‚Äėhas excellent partners who quickly analyse and understand technical coverage issues, providing practical advice‚Äô. The firm's leading policyholder practice recovered over ¬£500m in 2016/17 in insurance recoveries for policyholders, acting for ten FTSE 100 clients. It also remains the UK Association of Insurance and Risk Managers' preferred service provider¬†on insurance law issues. The full-service firm specialises in handling claims under¬†political risk and political violence polices, with mandates arising from events in parts of Africa and the Middle East; claims under W&I insurance; and claims under¬†credit risk policies. Paul Lewis¬†leads the team, ‚Äėconducting litigation with a firm eye on his client‚Äôs commercial realities, with a forte in driving a commercial settlement where appropriate‚Äô.¬†‚ÄėFerociously committed litigator‚Äô Alexander Oddy¬†is advising Single Buoy Moorings on a claim arising out of damage to an oil platform on the Yme field - the largest contested insurance claim in the energy insurance market and in the English courts at present. In terms of emerging markets, the recently promoted Greig Anderson¬†is¬†building the team's expertise in the cyber insurance arena.

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's¬†‚Äėfull-service offering for insurance clients is of a high standard‚Äô, and the experienced team's ‚Äėall-round strength in depth makes it a market leader in the insurance field‚Äô. A dedicated de-risking team, which focuses on the provision of pension de-risking products through the insurance market, forms a key part of the practice, and the firm has become highly sought after for its regulatory work, with clients including Canada Life, Scottish Widows and Royal London. Team leader Geoffrey Maddock¬†is ‚Äėeminent in the corporate insurance field‚Äô and¬†is seen as¬†‚Äėa market leader for his combination of market expertise with wider knowledge and wisdom‚Äô. This is demonstrated by highlights such as his advice to Canada Life on the ¬£3.4bn longevity-risk programme for Marsh & McLennan‚Äôs defined benefit pension scheme.

Leading individuals

Geoffrey Maddock - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's restructuring and insolvency practice advises some of the largest and most prominent debtors and lenders, offering restructuring and insolvency expertise, alongside a fully integrated contentious practice. This combined offering is a particular strength of the firm, and demonstrates the ability of the highly skilled and multidisciplinary team. Highlights included advising the Greater Manchester Waste PFI Project on all aspects of its landmark restructuring in the infrastructure sector, and acting for Three Hills Capital Partners on its acquisition of Byron, which was conditional on a successful company voluntary arrangement. Practice head Kevin Pullen, who led the team in the latter of these two matters, has over two decades of experience advising on all forms of debt restructuring and insolvency, acting for debtors, creditors and insolvency practitioners in a wide variety of domestic and international situations. John Whiteoak is also acting as lead disputes counsel to Sea Trucks International and several of its group companies in connection with disputes arising out of a large-scale insolvency; he specialises in insolvency, corporate fraud and recovery, as well as complex banking and commercial disputes.

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ’s personal injury practice handles complex claims and group litigation for major corporate clients including Diageo, BP, Chevron and TXU. Howard Watson is currently acting for BP in relation to claims arising from the terrorist attack upon a gas plant in Algeria in 2013 in which the client was participating in a joint venture. Watson also acted alongside Damian Grave for Diageo in multi-party proceedings arising from the distribution of thalidomide in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Anthony Dempster handles a range of insurance and reinsurance litigation involving personal injury, product liability, environmental claims and professional negligence. Senior associate David Bennett is acting for the administrators of TXU in relation to asbestos claims brought against one of its group companies.

Leading individuals

Howard Watson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP attracts praise for its ‚Äėexcellent depth of knowledge in relation to complex liability claims‚Äô. The firm is representing Diageo in relation to injuries allegedly suffered in the late 1950s and early 1960s caused by thalidomide. It is also acting for SIG in relation to the supply of cladding to Grenfell Tower, and for British American Tobacco in numerous product liability matters including product regulation concerning their new Generation Products (including e-cigarettes). Other clients include Associated British Foods, for which it is handling strategic product liability matters. Partner Philip Pfeffer¬† ‚Äėbrings superb industry knowledge and dedication to defence work‚Äô, and practice head¬†Howard Watson¬†has ‚Äėvast experience and is always incredibly helpful‚Äô. Up-and-coming associates¬†Yasmin Mitha¬† and David Bennett¬†are also recommended. The team has a strong depth of expertise in class actions, risk management advice and product safety, focusing on regulatory and criminal matters.

Leading individuals

Howard Watson - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†houses a ‚Äėdedicated team which has unquestioning willingness to go out of their way to meet requests without hesitation‚Äô and provides ‚Äėcomplete and comprehensive advice with a quick and thorough grasp of the matter‚Äô. The team handles insurance, legal, financial, technology and construction-related disputes and regularly acts for insurers, brokers and blue-chip clients in both claimant and defendant professional negligence cases.¬†Chris Bushell¬†is defending Amber Fund Management against a ¬£53m claim brought by Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales and Alan Watts¬†is advising PwC on a number of professional negligence matters, including defending it against a claim brought by a British entrepreneur and a claim that it was negligent and/or in breach of contract in respect of legal services provided to the claimant. Barbican Insurance and Marsh are also clients. Paul Lewis¬†is ‚Äėbrilliant in professional indemnity claims involving pensions‚Äô and heads the firm‚Äôs global contentious insurance and reinsurance practice; David Reston¬†is a ‚Äėfirst-class litigator who you want on your side in complex difficult disputes‚Äô; Sarah McNally¬†has ‚Äėexcellent attention to detail and delivers on very speedy turn-around times‚Äô; and Mark Shillito¬†heads the US and UK dispute resolution department. Tom Leech¬†QC¬†, Harry Edwards, who ‚Äėgives clear advice and is very responsive‚Äô, John Corrie¬†and senior associates Antonia Pegden¬†and James Rickards, who recently joined from Outer Temple Chambers, are also recommended.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Listed funds
Listed funds - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles a range of listed fund formation work, often involving less traditional asset classes. Nigel Farr advised BioPharma Credit on its fully-subscribed IPO, which included rolling elements of a private fund into it. Tim West assisted NB Private Equity Partners with moving its shares from the specialist fund segment to the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange, and advised Gabelli Merger Plus+Trust, which operates a hedge fund-style merger arbitrage structure, on its IPO. In another cross-border highlight, West advised BlackRock Greater European Investment Trust on a proposed secondary listing in Johannesburg. Nish Dissanayake advised Sherborne Investors on its IPO, which raised £700m for a strategy of purchasing a public company. Other clients include Polar Capital Global Healthcare Trust, which Farr advised on a tender offer, and Marble Point Loan Financing Limited, a fund investing in collateralised loan obligations, which West assisted with its IPO on the specialist fund segment. In the sponsor space, Stifel Nicolaus is another client.

Leading individuals

Nigel Farr - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Tim West - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 6

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has particular strength in emerging markets work; Stephen Newby  ('always willing to assist with any problem, whether big or small') advised Solon Capital Partners on forming a sub-Saharan Africa investment platform, Solon Capital Holdings, which secured investments from CDC Group.  Nigel Farr  is also a name of note. Other work includes advice to sovereign wealth funds.

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles a range of matters in real estate investment, some of which with residential elements. Stephen Newby handles work concerning funds with European assets, as well as fund restructurings. Tim West  has expertise in authorised contractual schemes. Nigel Farr is also a name of note. Clients include Lendlease and Neuberger Berman.

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London: Private client

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‚Äėextremely capable and personable‚Äô Richard Norridge¬† heads the ‚Äėwell-resourced‚Äô team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†. Norridge has a ‚Äėgood eye for detail and is always able to see the bigger picture which leads to a clear plan of action‚Äô.¬†Of counsel Gareth Keillor¬†is ‚Äėbright, thorough, hardworking and is destined to become a major player in the contentious private client market‚Äô. The department acts for ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as institutions, family offices, private banks and trust companies on complex and high-value matters involving multiple jurisdictions.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Richard Norridge¬†¬†at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬† ‚Äėholds a firm line to secure the best outcome for the client. This coupled with his professionalism and the way he conducts meetings and writes correspondence garners respect from the other side‚Äô. Of counsel Gareth Keillor¬† is ‚Äėknowledgeable and responsive and is a very solid lawyer‚Äô. The group typically acts for prestigious ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as institutions, family offices, private banks and trust companies on multi-jurisdictional matters.

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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

Clients value the 'outstanding responsiveness and the uncommon willingness of the partners to make themselves available' at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP . The infrastructure lawyers 'combine first-class deal execution skills with deep sector knowledge'. Global practice head Patrick Mitchell 'marries a fine mastery of the law with an understanding of public policy and investor priorities' and continues to advise the developer of the HS2 on all aspects of the project's first phase. The group - led by Sarah Pollock and Matthew Job - assisted Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners with the acquisition and development of four biomass power plants in the UK, and corporate partner Simon Caridia oversaw all aspects of the restructuring of the Greater Manchester Waste PFI project on behalf of Viridor Laing while Ann Levin handled disputes arising from alleged performance failures. Tim Briggs has strong regulatory and antitrust expertise and finance partner Martin Kavanagh is also a noteworthy name. The group was recently appointed to the Severn Trent and Thams Water panels. Julia Pyke left the firm for an in-house position at EDF and Henry Davey became a legal director at Squire Patton Boggs .

Leading individuals

Adrian Clough - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Matthew Job - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Patrick Mitchell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 's mining practice fields strong dispute resolution and finance capabilities under the leadership of corporate expert Greg Mulley . Lonmin recently appointed a group including Stephen Wilkinson and Robert Moore to oversee its recommended all-share takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater, and Nicholas Peacock represented Vedanta in a bilateral investment treaty arbitration against an Asian government arising from the imposition of a retrospective tax. Gregg Rowan acted for ArcelorMittal with regards to its claim against a Ukrainian subsidiary, an formed senior manager and the Luxembourg-based group holding company on the grounds of alleged breach of contract. David Walton and Will Breeze are also key names on the financing side while John Ogilvie  handles a wide range of disputes. Other notable clients include BHP, Newcrest, South32 and JP Morgan Cazenove.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides 'competent and timely advice on short notice' and its oil and gas practitioners are praised by clients for their 'generous support, timely advice and client-oriented approach'.  Rachel Lidgate and Reza Dadbakhsh were recently promoted to the partnership and Alexander Currie relocated to London from another office. A team headed by Craig Tevendale is currently representing a major oil and gas field operator in cost recovery disputes with a Central Asian government, and William Breeze acted for two lenders in the refinancing of an international oil and gas company's syndicated multi-tiered reserve-based facilities. Also notable is James Baily 's defence a group of oil majors as the owners of the Andrew Field in the North Sea in a Commercial Court claim brought by Scottish Power seeking damages following an extended shut-in of the field. Other key clients include Chevron, BNP Paribas, Cuadrilla and Vitol.

Leading individuals

James Baily - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Stephen Murray - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Reza Dadbakhsh - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'one of the best' in the power space, according to one client who values its 'punctual and excellent business acumen, tailored advice and knowledge in the regulatory field'. A team led by Sarah Pollock and Matthew Job continues to assist Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on its acquisition and development of four biomass plants in the UK with the support of senior associate Hannah Roscoe , and two central UK government entities instructed Stephen Rayfield 's outfit to oversee the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank including the passage of new legislation. The 'approachable and professional' Silke Goldberg is currently advising Aquind on its interconnector project between Lovedean and Le Havre, and Patrick Mitchell teamed up with Job and Catherine Howard to act for a major energy company in its upcoming nuclear projects. The firm's client roster also features BNP Paribas, Centrica, National Grid and Mitsui. Julia Pyke departed the firm to take up an in-house role at EDF.

Leading individuals

Matthew Job - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Silke Goldberg - 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 'excellent service, timely delivery and consistently high-quality advice' under the joint leadership of regulatory expert Tim Briggs and infrastructure M&A specialist Malcolm Lombers . Global infrastructure head continues to advise Tideway and Bazalgette on the construction, regulatory and financing issues arising from the development of the landmark Thames Tideway Tunnel project. On the corporate front, London corporate leader Ben Ward was part of the team acting for the selling funds in the proposed sale of a 53.69% equity interest in Kendra, the ultimate holding company of Yorkshire Water. Southern Water appointed the firm to oversee its PR19 price control review, and Dina Albagli continues to counsel a leading UK water company on new and existing financing and credit facilities.

Leading individuals

Tim Briggs - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Public sector

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts for claimants, defendants and interveners. Its clients range from well-known corporates and government departments to organisations such as Liberty, the Public Law Project and the Child Poverty Action Group.  Andrew Lidbetter who is considered 'simply the top admin and public law lawyer' continues to act for KPMG on the ground-breaking case on whether it is liable to a judicial review. The highly regarded Nusrat Zar acts for commercial organisations, public bodies and  regulators in sectors such as media, telecoms and broadcasting and consumer goods and services. Other key members of the team include Jasveer Randhawa  and senior associate Anna Eliasson. It is  representing  Telefónica as an interested party in judicial review challenges by other parties to Ofcom's position on  the competition issues and auction regulations for the award of  2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands. It was also selected to  represent the Church of England  in relation to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Natacha Heffinck has left to take an in-house role.

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

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†is ‚Äėable to provide sufficient resources in all areas of real estate on very short notice to ensure transaction timetables are met‚Äô. Shona Grey¬†and Ian Cox¬†handled a number of large-scale property mandates for Blackstone, which included its joint acquisition of a UK light industrial platform from Brockton Capital and Dunedin Properties, which involved over 130 properties and more than 1,000 separate tenancies. The team has also assisted Hines with multiple corporate real estate transactions: global practice head Jeremy Walden¬†advised the client on the acquisition and financing of the Royal Exchange, Manchester from Trinistar Manchester, while Julian Pollock¬†structured two joint ventures with Henderson Park, one of which targets value-add student accommodation investments, and another for the acquisition and redevelopment of a five-star hotel in Athens. Further, Donald Rowlands¬†is advising Brookfield on all real estate aspects of its 100 Bishopsgate development, which recently involved a 20-year pre-let agreement with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, which will take occupancy in 2021. In the London office market, the highly regarded Richard Forsdyke¬†acted for Oxford Properties on the sale of its 50% stake in the Cheesegrater building to CC Land Holdings. Forsdyke is also advising Almacantar on the ¬£500m Marble Arch Place redevelopment project. The team is also acting for British Land in relation to the multibillion-pound redevelopment of a 46-acre site in Rotherhithe. Further, the real estate group has an active letting and property management practice, which is led by Nick Turner, who recently counselled TfL on the lease agreements for its new office hub in Stratford. Also of note, the team manages the high-profile Broadgate Estate in the City of London. Additional contacts include Shelagh McKibbin, David Rosen, and newly promoted partners Paul Chases¬†and Will Turnbull.

Leading individuals

Donald Rowlands - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Richard Forsdyke - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Shona Grey - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Construction
Construction (contentious) - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Contruction (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†has¬†‚Äėknowledge of large complicated construction projects that is unmatched by many firms.‚Äô James Doe¬†leads the contentious team, where he mainly works in international arbitration, leading cases under the ICC, UNCITRAL, LCIA and other major institutional rules. Ann Levin¬†is the client relationship partner for two of the firm's key clients, TfL and Babcock International; she is recommended alongside senior associate Noe Minamikata¬†as being ‚Äėvery adept at quickly understanding the issues and providing good, clear, commercial advice‚Äô. Nicholas Downing¬†heads the non-contentious practice and has ‚Äėoutstanding understanding of complex issues and how to apply them to project documentation‚Äô. Recent work includes a major extension to the entrance of a flagship shopping centre serving North London, including a new bus station, car parking and infrastructure works. Tim Healey¬†continues to advise on all construction aspects of the ¬£5bn redevelopment of Earls Court and Olympia, including the phased affordable and private residential development at Lillie Square. Samantha Scott¬†'brings a robust yet practical approach to contract drafting‚Äô. Ibaad Hakim¬†¬†joined from White & Case LLP, and Arash Rajai¬†joined from King & Wood Mallesons. Jillian Chung¬†departed for an in-house role at EDF.

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¬†is ‚Äėvery experienced with great strength in depth.‚Äô Catherine Howard¬†heads the team, working on regulatory and consenting issues for a large number of infrastructure projects including nuclear powers stations and interconnectors. In particular, Howard has led the firm's advice to Cuadrilla Resources and UK Onshore Oil and Gas. Recent work includes advising British Land on their proposals for the major ¬£2bn redevelopment of the Canada Water at the Rotherhithe Peninsula; and advising a JV of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, a Danish fund management company, and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S, a global turnkey developer, contractor and operator of power plants, on the acquisition and development of a string of biomass-fired combined heat and power plant projects. Julie Vaughan¬†comes highly recommended as ‚Äėexcellent to work with, knowledgeable and commercial‚Äô, and John Ogilvie¬†is ‚Äėa great strategist with brilliant client care.‚Äô Other clients include BP Plc, EDF, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Nord Stream 2 AG, Mitsubishi Corporation, Gazprom, Essar Oil UK, Transmission Capital Partners, and Blackstone.Julia Pyke left in June 2017 to become EDF‚Äôs General Counsel for nuclear new build businesses. Julian Copeman¬†returned from the HK office in November 2017.

Leading individuals

Julie Vaughan - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†provides¬†‚Äėa consistently high level of service and sector-leading planning knowledge.‚Äô Head of team Matthew White¬†is ‚Äėone of the biggest names in planning'.¬†Recent work includes advising British Land on the ¬£2bn redevelopment of Canada Water, a 19-hectare site including the Harmsworth Quays Printworks, which will include a new urban centre and 3,500 homes. Catherine Howard¬†continues to advise AQUIND Limited on proposals for a ¬£1.1bn 2GW capacity interconnector project, running 150 miles undersea between the UK and France, the route of which will pass through five local planning authorities as well as requiring a marine licence. Howard also advised EDF Energy on its application for a new nuclear power station, Sizewell C in Suffolk, particularly in relation to consultation prior to making its DCO application. Counsel Charlotte Dyer¬†is ‚Äėan extremely dedicated practitioner and the speed and efficiency with which she produces high quality work is very impressive.‚Äô Associate James Gibson¬† joined the team in April 2017 from Eversheds Sutherland (International) 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

Under the leadership of Simon Chadney¬†and Gary Hommel, the team at¬†Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†offers 'value for money and partner involvement'; it advises leading market lenders such as Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Morgan Stanley, PBB Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and PGIM, and has a strong borrower-side client base, including Brookfield, Oxford Properties and Quintain. Chadney acted¬†for Morgan Stanley on its ‚ā¨2.6bn financing of the acquisition by Cerberus of a Spanish property portfolio from BBVA; Hommel assisted new client DekaBank with the ¬£152m refinancing of Argent's 1 and 2 St Pancras Square; and¬†Robert Carr¬†advised Oxford Properties on the mezzanine financing¬†of Old Spitalfields Market for Tribecca, which was the client's first loan in Europe.

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

The ‚Äėoutstandingly professional‚Äô team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†is noted for its ‚Äėstrength and depth of talent‚Äô. Headed by the ‚Äėcalm and authoritative‚Äô Matthew Bonye, the group recently acted for Canary Wharf in the settlement of a ¬£500m claim for rent and damages against the Lehman Brothers.¬†Bonye has also been advising British Land on potential issues of rights to light at a development site neighboured by over 120 freeholds and leaseholds. Julia Tobbell¬†is cited for her ‚Äėremarkable intellect‚Äô as is the ‚Äėbrilliant and charming‚Äô Matthew Weal. Martin Dawbney¬†is recommended for his advice on large-scale developments and Tom Leech¬†QC has expertise in professional negligence. The ‚Äėsparkling and wonderful‚Äô Frances Edwards¬†and the ‚Äėenergetic and perceptive‚Äô Stephanie Trompeter¬†are also singled out for praise by clients.

Leading individuals

Matthew Bonye - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

Julia Tobbell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP appointed Paul Butcher as its Brexit director in July 2017 to coordinate the firm's Brexit coverage and represent the firm externally. Butcher is a prominent figure in the firm's engagements with UK government departments, as well as City and industry stakeholders (such as TheCityUK and the City of London Corporation). The firm also works closely with designated Brexit partners, such as consulting and advisory firms The Boston Consulting Group, Global Counsel and Hanbury Strategy. A major pillar of the Brexit offering at the firm is the 20 years-old EU and international trade practice, which is led by Brussels-based Lode Van Den Hende ,  and advises clients on supply chain management, commercial contracts, the application of EU regulatory regimes post-Brexit and market access options, among other areas. Consultant Eric White is another key figure in the trade team. Clients from a wide range of industries turn to the firm for support on Brexit, including financial services, TMT, manufacturing, consumer and industrial. In the energy sector, Butcher and Silke Goldberg  are advising a number of energy clients on Brexit (including Euratom) issues. Goldberg also twice gave evidence to the House of Lords Brexit Committee on the impact of Brexit in the energy sector. Geoffrey Maddock, Barnaby Hinnigan and consultant Alison Matthews undertake Brexit-driven mandates in the insurance sector. Gavin Williams, consultant Dorothy Livingston  and senior partner James Palmer are other key figures in the Brexit team.

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Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's dedicated team acts for 110 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and it also undertakes a significant amount of work for private companies, with a focus on the listing, reporting and governance standards that are applicable to them. Carol Shutkever and Paul Ellerman jointly head up the group, which is supported by practitioners in ancillary areas, such as corporate, employment and financial services. It provides 'excellent updates on topical matters' and 'delivers advice without setting on the fence'. In the financial services sector, the team has been particularly active in the advice to banks and insurance institutions on the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and the Senior Insurance Managers Regime. Karen Anderson is knowledgeable about market abuse, conflicts of interest and systems and controls issues, among other areas. Outside of financial services, Shutkever, Ellerman, Greg Mulley, senior associate Bradley Richardson and others have recently advised BHP on a wide range of matters, such as AGM preparations, annual reporting and reporting requirements under the Modern Slavery Act. Other key clients include BP, Sky, Pearson and Page Group. On the contentious side, internal investigations and regulatory investigations are other drivers of work for the team; Mark Bardell, Hywel Jenkins, James Palmer, Andrew Procter and Jenny Stainsby are all recommended in this space. Susannah Cogman is a name to note for corporate crime compliance and investigations.

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

The 'helpful and efficient' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'excellent on all fronts' and attracts praise for its 'appropriate advice and sensible approach'. The practice is jointly led by 'the exceptional' head of data protection and privacy Miriam Everett (who 'is commercial in her approach and provides technically sound advice'); the global head of cyber security Andrew Moir (who 'brings an unique blend of deep legal & technical IT expertise');and the 'responsive and helpful' Nick Pantlin, who heads up the national TMT and data department. The team has been instructed on several substantial GDPR compliance projects for clients such as Hays, British American Tobacco plc and Time Warner. Other key names to note include 'subject matter expert' Marcus Turle.

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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¬†has ‚Äėa reputation in this area that is deservedly exceptional‚Äô. In 2017 it represented clients under investigation by the SFO, the police, the FCA, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Pensions Regulator (TPR), the FRC, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A particular highlight included advising PwC in relation to an investigation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) into PwC's Client Money and Asset (CASS) audits of Barclays Bank. In October 2017 the investigation was abandoned. Other clients include Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, RBS, Standard Chartered Bank, UBS and Vanquis Bank. Susannah Cogman¬†heads the team, supported by Rod Fletcher¬†and Daniel Hudson, who are ‚Äėvery professional and capable colleagues and a pleasure to work with‚Äô. Hywel Jenkins¬†is ‚Äėa stand-out star of the team and incredibly clever‚Äô. Brian Spiro¬†joined as partner from BCL Solicitors LLP¬†.

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

Headed by Alan Watts, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises clients on defamation, malicious falsehood, misuse of private information, breach of confidence, harassment and regulatory remedies. The practice acted for Lord Sugar in connection with false and misleading online advertising using his name and image to promote services without authorisation. Neil Blake, Christopher Cox and Angela Liu  are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Alan Watts - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

M&A, IT outsourcing, assisting banks with digitisation, and all kinds of work for start-ups are the core pillars of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'excellent, really responsive' , 'practical and thoughtful'  department, which provides 'comprehensive, reliable' advice and is noted for its 'rapid turnaround of high-quality documents'. The team is recommended for 'complex legal areas': a large team including Greg Mulley, the 'calm, steady' Nick Pantlin, Caroline Rae, Andrew Procter and Clive Cunningham continued to act for ClearBank -- the UK's first clearing bank in two and a half centuries -- on regulatory and commercial matters. Pantlin and Cunningham advised Banco de Sabadell and TSB Bank on the latter's migration of services from its existing fintech services platform to one provided by the former's in-house services company, Sabadell Information Systems. Barnaby Hinnigan advised Tandem Money on its purchase of Harrods Bank from Qatar Holding. Other clients of the 'very enthusiastic, personable' practice include GlobalCollect and Lloyds Banking Group as well as new clients Funding Circle and LendInvest. Rae and corporate partner Alex Kay, who heads the firm's financial institutions group, are 'exceptional' and provide 'spot-on advice'. Corporate partner Nicholas Moore and senior associate Suzanne Sullivan are 'pragmatic, responsive and particularly good at distilling complex issues into key bullet-points'.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The IT and telecoms group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP  is praised for its 'outstanding service and business-focused advice. The practice is acting for the Ministry of Defence on a £1bn IT transformation and re-procurement project. In another highlight, it acted for TSB Bank and Banco de Sabadell on the integration of IT services following the acquisition of the former by the latter banking group. The team has significant telecoms expertise, with clients including Vodafone, Telefónica O2 and TalkTalk. The 'excellent' Nick Pantlin heads the practice, which includes head of TMT M&A Nicholas Moore, IT and outsourcing specialist James Farrell and recently promoted transactional partner David Coulling  (who quickly grasps very technical points of technology law'). Consultant Hayley Brady is singled out for her 'deep understanding of the telecoms sector'. 'Very knowledgeable' of counsel Aaron White  joined the team from Ashurst  and senior associate Hugh Bannister joined from King & Wood Mallesons. Litigator Rachel Lidgate was promoted to the partnership.

Next generation lawyers

David Couling - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The 'excellent' intellectual property practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has been described as 'one of the strongest teams in London' for representing innovators in pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent matters. The group was recently instructed by a large bio-pharmaceutical company in high profile litigation before the Court of Appeal. This matter, led by the well-regarded Sophie Rich, required consideration of complex patent and competition law issues. Sebastian Moore (who is singled out particularly for global patent litigation) successfully defended Gilead Sciences, alongside the 'very knowledgeable' Andrew Moir, in a patent infringement dispute brought by Idenix valued at $19m, and relating to Gilead's Hepatitis C treatment, sofosbuvir. The team additionally issued a counterclaim for revocation of Idenix's European patent. Joel Smith heads up the practice and has experience across a range of both contentious and non-contentious matters. Smith recently advised Geox in relation to allegations of trade mark infringement and passing off by Gola of Geox's Nebula brand across Europe, and additionally acted for the client in a claim before the UK courts. Other key highlights include representation of Unilever in defense of claims concerning the ownership of inventions made by a former employee in the course of employment. The team has been successful before the UKIPO and on appeal to the High Court and Court of Appeal and is due to continue to act before the Supreme Court.

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

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The ‚Äėtop-quality‚Äô team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP¬†is praised for its ‚Äėbusiness-focused advice‚Äô and it regularly handles transactional, operational, regulatory, competition and disputes work across the media and entertainment industry. It is active in film, TV, interactive content, channel and digital platform launches, OTT platforms, digital and social media, and is also active across instructions covering music, sports, gaming, live events, sponsorship, advertising, marketing, data services and betting. Global media and entertainment head Stephen Wilkinson¬†is ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô and advised Orbit Showtime Network on studio output arrangements with NBCUniversal. Wilkinson and Stephen Wisking, who is global head of competition, act for Sky on a number of matters, which includes advising Sky in connection with Twenty-First Century Fox‚Äôs proposed ¬£11.7bn acquisition of Sky. Corporate and M&A partner Nicholas Moore¬†specialises in the technology, media, telecoms and financial buyer sectors, and advised Tabcorp on the launch of betting website SunBets with UK newspaper, The Sun. Gavin Davies¬†advises STV Group on a range of matters and also advised Time Inc. which entered into a binding agreement with Epiris to sell Time Inc. UK, which was acquired by Meredith as part of its acquisition of Time Inc. Senior associate Hayley Brady¬†has a ‚Äėnear photographic memory of deals‚Äô; ‚Äėthe tougher the task, the more Brady comes to the fore‚Äô. She advised Unlockd on its launch into the European market, and advised Moby Media Group on a partnership with VICE Media. Disputes partner Alan Watts¬†is also noted, as is senior associate¬†Andrew North¬†.

Next generation lawyers

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

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's repertoire in this area includes advising on transactions, patent litigation, dispute resolution and regulations. Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore are two key figures in the patent litigation team. Rich represented AbbVie in its proceedings against Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics, Biogen and Samsung Bioepis regarding their infringement of the client's Humira drug, which is used to treat certain forms of arthritis. Moore defended Gilead against patent infringement allegations brought by Idenix in relation to its Hepatitis C treatment sofosbuvir. Regulatory issues are handled by Kyriakos Fountoukakos, who divides his time between the Brussels and London offices. Senior associate Jonathan Turnbull is also experienced in regulatory matters. On the transactions side, Alan Montgomery assisted Claris Lifesciences with its $625m sale of its specialty injectables business to Baxter International. Chris Parker focuses on contentious work and is an expert in international commercial arbitration.

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 is involved in corporate, tax, competition, regulatory, planning, IP, trade projects and disputes in the aviation sector. Key mandates include advising Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic on the proposed sale of a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM, and on the the creation of an expanded transatlantic joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. It is also advising the same client on regulatory and competition law issues arising from the joint venture with Delta Air Lines in relation to routes between the UK, US, Canada and Mexico. TAG Farnborough Airport, Heathrow Airport Holdings, Thomson Airways, Gatwick Airport and UK Civil Aviation Authority are clients. Kim Dietzel, who is experienced in advising on competition law and regulatory issues in the sector, heads the team with corporate partner Robert Moore. Gregg Rowan handles aviation disputes and Gavin Williams regularly advises on corporate matters. Of counsel Suzy Campbell is also noted.

Leading individuals

Kim Dietzel - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėhighly responsive‚Äô team is experienced across a range of high-profile rail projects. Franchising, rolling stock, real estate and rail-related disputes are key areas of expertise. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the core elements of Phase 1 of the project, which includes the procurement of the construction of the high-speed railway infrastructure and the procurement of rolling stock. It is also instructed by Stagecoach and Virgin Trains to advise their respective franchise operators in connection with the smart ticketing on national rail (STNR) project. Adrian Clough¬†is ‚Äėvalued for his fantastic experience in the sector‚Äô and for his ‚Äėability to get to the heart of things quickly‚Äô. Other key figures include competition and regulatory specialist Tim Briggs; disputes partner David Nitek; of counsel John Williams, who ‚Äėknows everything there is to know about rail franchising‚Äô; and senior associate Tom Marshall. Global infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell¬†leads the team.

Leading individuals

Adrian Clough - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

John Williams - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Patrick Mitchell - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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