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TOP tier recommendations
London: Corporate and commercial > Financial services
London: Corporate and commercial > VAT and indirect tax
London: Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: corporate crime
London: Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation
London: Dispute resolution > Tax litigation
London: Human resources > Employment: employers and senior executives
London: Human resources > Pensions
London: Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
London: Projects, energy and natural resources > Water
London: Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax
London: Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets: US capability
London: Corporate and commercial > EU and competition
London: Corporate and commercial > M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
London: Corporate and commercial > M&A: premium deals, £250m+
London: Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
London: Corporate and commercial > Partnership
London: Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions
London: Dispute resolution > International arbitration
London: Dispute resolution > Professional discipline
London: Dispute resolution > Public international law
London: Finance > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
London: Finance > Corporate restructuring and insolvency
London: Finance > Debt capital markets
London: Finance > Derivatives and structured products
London: Finance > Emerging markets
London: Finance > Islamic finance
London: Finance > Securitisation
London: Human resources > Health and safety
London: Human resources > Overview
London: Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory
London: Insurance > Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
London: Insurance > Personal injury: claimant
London: Insurance > Personal injury: defendant
London: Insurance > Product liability: claimant
London: Insurance > Product liability: defendant
London: Insurance > Professional negligence
London: Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate
London: Projects, energy and natural resources > Mining and minerals
London: Projects, energy and natural resources > PFI and PPP
London: Real estate > Environment
London: Real estate > Overview
London: Real estate > Property finance
London: Real estate > Property litigation
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Data protection
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
London: Corporate and commercial
Within Commercial contracts, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
At Herbert Smith LLP, specialists from key disciplines provide a full service to many FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and public sector clients; the cross-practice team is noted for its ‘excellent understanding’ of relevant markets and commercial risks. Mark Turner has BPO, offshoring and multi-jurisdictional outsourcing expertise, and recently advised Transport for London on the termination of its £1.5bn agreement with Cubic Corporation for its ticketing and fares collection system. Nick Elverston, a specialist in complex joint ventures, advised BSkyB on its venture capital equity investment in start-up Zeebox Limited, including its long-term commercial arrangements. Nick Pantlin acted in the team’s headline instruction of 2011, a two-phase $200m global outsourcing and IT project for Man Group.
Within Corporate tax, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s team has strength in insurance, asset management, real estate, and corporate rescue and restructuring, with key sectors including oil and gas, upstream energy and insurance. The team acted for British Sky Broadcasting Group in its aborted offer from News Corporation, and for Chevron Global Energy on the UK tax aspects of its sale of Chevron Limited. Recommended individuals include Bradley Phillips, Isaac Zailer, Neil Warriner, and the ‘focused, technically thorough and hardworking’ Sara Stewart. William Arrenberg was made up to partner.
Within Equity capital markets: UK capability, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
‘Top-notch’ firm Herbert Smith LLP has an ‘extremely strong partner bench and very talented associates’. Recommended names include Greg Mulley, who is ‘very able, with great knowledge and experience’; James Palmer; ‘rising star’ Will Pearce, who is ‘responsive, proactive and helpful’; Christopher Haynes, who recently advised sponsors including Goldman Sachs on a €475m sell-down by Aviva; and Charles Howarth, who led the advice to sponsors including Credit Suisse on Bank of Ireland’s €1.9bn rights issue.
Within Equity capital markets: US capability, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
At Herbert Smith LLP, the ‘very user-friendly’ Stephen Thierbach and rising star Ben Garcia advised JP Morgan on Klöckner & Co’s €590m rights issue. Alex Bafi’s work included US securities matters involved in the restructuring of JJB Sports. Associate Dinesh Banani is tipped for a bright future.
Within EU and competition, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP has an excellent name in contentious matters, where it acts for clients including BSkyB, Virgin Atlantic, Pilkington, and BAA; its litigation capabilities are ‘second to none’. In investigations, it acted for Arriva in the Competition Commission’s investigation into local bus services. In mergers, it acted for Lagardère Group on multi-jurisdictional merger control issues arising from the sale of its international magazine publishing business to Hearst. Practice head James Quinney, Stephen Wisking and Susan Black are recommended.
Within Financial services, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Noted for its ‘significant depth of knowledge’, Herbert Smith LLP’s recent work includes advising on a new electronic trading platform. On the contentious side, it is known for its expertise in high-value, strategically important issues. Nikunj Kiri provides ‘quality advice’; and the ‘first-class’ Martyn Hopper, Karen Anderson, Jenny Stainsby and Daniel Hudson are key contentious figures. Clive Cunningham arrived from Taylor Wessing LLP.
Within M&A: premium deals, £250m+, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP combines ‘a consistency of depth and breadth of quality’ with ‘an unfussy culture of accessibility’. While 2011 saw a sharp decrease in transactional activity compared to the previous year’s standout numbers, the M&A team still advised on some $30.5bn-worth of deals, with average deal values around the $1bn mark. It handles an array of public and private takeover work for longstanding FTSE 100 and 250 clients, including recently representing G4S in its proposed £5.2bn takeover of ISS A/S, which would have created the world’s largest integrated security and facilities service, had the transaction not been aborted. Global corporate head James Palmer is ‘a truly first-class act’, and London corporate head David Paterson has ‘great technical knowledge and combines it with a fantastically approachable, yet authoritative style’. Clients also rate ‘rising star’ Will Pearce; Ben Ward (‘an able deputy’); ‘excellent corporate lawyer’ Gillian Fairfield; and Gavin Davies.
Within Partnership, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP saw a surge in contentious and non-contentious hedge fund work in 2011. Litigator Alan Watts and transactional lawyer Malcolm Lombers jointly head the practice, which has expertise in large international partnership structures, with PwC and KPMG among its clients. Gary Milner-Moore has a wealth of experience on the contentious side.
Within Private equity: transactions, tier 5
Headed by Gavin Davies, Herbert Smith LLP’s four-partner team regularly combines with the firm’s finance, tax and funds groups to provide a ‘co-ordinated and commercial’ service to a growing roster of clients including 3i, Carlyle and Blackstone. The team regularly advises the latter on real estate and mid-market deals, such as its acquisition of Tangerine Confectionery Group. The ‘very pleasant and highly commercial’ James MacArthur is particularly effective in the mid-market, for clients such as Cabot Square. The ‘pragmatic and experienced’ Roddy Martin has a niche in the energy sector and on China-related deals.
Within VAT and indirect tax, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s ‘proactive, innovative and very hardworking’ team has a transactional focus and expertise in areas including insurance, energy, outsourcing, Islamic finance and real estate. It acted for BAA on its successful appeal against HMRC’s decision to deny recovery of VAT; and advised British Aggregates Association on the legality of the UK’s Aggregates Levy under EU state aid law. Neil Warriner is recommended, and real estate tax expert William Arrenberg was promoted to partner in 2012.
London: Crime, fraud and licensing
Within Fraud: civil, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
With its team of ‘top litigation lawyers’, Herbert Smith LLP has great expertise in freezing and search orders. In conjunction with colleagues in Moscow, the London team is acting for Computershare in defending a claim in Russia by Anatoly Lomakin for damages of approximately $56m. It is also representing a group of individuals who were induced to invest in a carbon credit scheme by alleged fraudsters. Robert Hunter and Simon Bushell are ‘vastly experienced’.
Within Fraud: corporate crime, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Graham More at Herbert Smith LLP leads a ‘very accessible and capable’ team which counts around a quarter of the companies in the FTSE 100 among its clients. Highlights included acting for Willis in the enforcement action brought by the FSA over Willis’ implementation of anti-bribery systems and controls. Nichola Peters is ‘very thorough’, and senior associate Kerri Scott, is one to watch. Peter Burrell is now at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.
London: Dispute resolution
Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP excels in crisis situations. It was instructed by UBS when it discovered that a rogue trader had caused losses of over $2.3bn, and has handled a raft of regulatory and class action disputes facing RBS and Lloyds Banking Group. The firm opened an office in Belfast in 2011 that cost-effectively reviews and analyses the large volumes of documents involved in major contentious matters. Recommended individuals include practice head Damien Byrne Hill; Sonya Leydecker; Martyn Hopper, who is ‘very pragmatic and has clear understanding of how the regulator works’; and Simon Clarke, who is ‘very good at managing big complicated cases’.
Within Commercial litigation, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP has been busy acting for Russian and CIS clients, including shareholder disputes for FSU oligarchs. Highlights included acting for FGIC and FGIC UK in their headline $200m fraud claim against German bank IKB; and representing the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in relation to large-scale recoveries work associated with the collapse of Keydata Investment Services in 2009. The practice’s ‘expertise is sound’. Sonya Leydecker is an ‘exceptional team head’; and Ted Greeno, Phillip Carrington, Kevin Lloyd and Robert Hunter are also recommended.
Within International arbitration, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Offering a London-Paris axis, Herbert Smith LLP is ‘reliable and thorough’. The practice represented the government of Spain in proceedings commenced by 14 investment funds based on alleged Energy Charter Treaty violations, marking the largest arbitration case in Spanish history. Paula Hodges is practice head, and Matthew Weiniger, Craig Tevendale and of counsel Christian Leathley are also recommended.
Within Professional discipline, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s Andrew Lidbetter enjoys an excellent reputation in this area, acting both for and against regulators. Martyn Hopper has extensive financial services disciplinary experience, and Nusrat Zar is also recommended. CIMA is a key client.
Within Public international law, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘thoroughly competent’ team at Herbert Smith LLP advises on international boundary disputes, investment protection and treaty arbitration, international trade law and WTO issues, sanctions and export control, sovereign immunity, and international human rights. The firm’s opening of a New York office in the summer of 2012 adds to the firm’s global PIL platform, particularly in terms of Latin America treaty disputes. Matthew Weiniger is ‘knowledgeable, and gives practical advice’.
Within Tax litigation, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
‘Leading firm’ Herbert Smith LLP is ‘technically excellent’ and ‘very client focused’, and has a very broad practice, with significant strength in mediation and resolution outside tribunal cases. It acted for Philips Electronics UK in an ECJ reference on corporation tax loss relief, and for the Law Society of England and Wales in an appeal to the Supreme Court relating to HMRC powers and other matters. Team head Heather Gething is the ‘gold standard’ among tax litigation lawyers, and Rupert Shiers is ‘very intelligent with a wide-ranging knowledge of tax law, whilst also being a rigorous litigator’.
Within Acquisition finance, tier 4
Herbert Smith LLP remains best known as a ‘borrower practice par excellence’, particularly in the energy sector. Recent highlights include advising TUI Travel on its £1.55bn refinancing, and Essar Energy on the financing of its acquisition of the Shell-owned Stanlow oil refinery in Cheshire. On the lender side, the firm regularly advises in relation to financings in the emerging markets, and was boosted by the recent arrival of Will Nevin from Linklaters LLP. Jason Fox has an excellent reputation for energy matters, and Malcolm Hitching and Ewen Fergusson are also recommended. Clients include BAT, TomTom and Citibank.
Within Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP has a balanced practice acting for lenders and borrowers, and has standout expertise in energy sector financings. Will Nevin led the advice to longstanding client G4S on the multi-currency term and revolving credit facilities of £5bn related to its bid for Danish company ISS. Ewen Fergusson leads the general banking group, which secured panel appointments with banks including for Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse. Clive Barnard is ‘able to look at the bigger picture and brings in his years of experience to deal with tricky deal-related issues’. Energy expert Jason Fox recently assisted First Hydrocarbon Nigeria.
Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s ‘top-drawer’ team handles a range of cross-border mandates for a variety of stakeholders. The group is best known for its ‘excellent’ debtor work, and is representing JJB Sports on its restructuring, as well as continuing to represent Nortel on its insolvency. The ‘very strong’ Stephen Gale is often at the heart of the team’s most significant work, with recent work including assisting National Australia Bank on the restructuring of £100m of senior debt provided to the Healthcare Locums group of companies. Team head Kevin Pullen and Simon Chadney are also recommended.
Within Debt capital markets, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s partners provide ‘practical, timely advice’. The ‘knowledgeable, responsive and very good-value’ team is active in US private placements for corporates, and is building an investment bank presence on the back of its emerging markets and energy practices. Deal highlights included a $2bn bond issue for Alfa Bank. Peter Epp stands out for his ‘great negotiating skills’, while other key figures include Dina Albagli, Jake Jackaman and Steve Thierbach. The ‘hands-on and very knowledgeable’ Andrew Roberts joined from Linklaters LLP.
Within Derivatives and structured products, tier 4
Jake Jackaman’s team at Herbert Smith LLP is ‘technically very strong, from partner through to associate’. Dina Albagli advised Jefferies International on derivatives aspects of its $430m acquisition of Prudential Bache. The firm represents clients such as Citi and Morgan Stanley on derivatives matters, with credit and equity deals to the fore, and advises extensively on OTC clearing.
Within Emerging markets, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is consistently involved in corporate and energy-related mandates across Africa, India and Eastern Europe. It recently acted for Godrej Group on its acquisition of a stake in Darling Group Holdings, which is operational in 14 countries across Africa; and assisted Barclays with a dual-currency loan facility for Russian oil giant Rosneft, at $1.4bn and €470m. John Balsdon and Martin Kavanagh are recommended.
Within Investment funds, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is ‘exceptionally constructive and broad minded’, and fields ‘a strong and multi-layered team’ for listed, hedge and private funds. It acted on the launch of Cabot Square’s CS Capital Partners IV; re-documented Man’s family of 800 hedge funds; advised FRM Diversified Alpha on voluntary liquidation; and acted on the launch and secondary fundraising of NB Global Floating Rate Income Fund. Scott Cochrane and practice head Nigel Farr are ‘excellent lead partners who both deliver great service’. Tim West is ‘one of the leading individuals for closed-ended funds work’, and is ‘an excellent lawyer, innovative and with an intelligent approach’. Mark Geday is ‘a first-class lawyer’. Thiha Tun and ‘very able’ senior associate Stephen Newby are also recommended.
Within Islamic finance, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP advised the arrangers on the $800m Salik toll road financing, and QIB (UK) plc on establishing a new shari’ah-compliant platform to exploit listed equities. Other clients include Commercial Bank of Abu Dhabi, Gatehouse Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB). Dubai-based practice head Nadim Khan is recommended. Andrew Roberts joined the London team from Linklaters LLP, while senior associate Michael Dunphy joined Abu Dhabi colleagues from King & Spalding in affiliation with the Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar in Riyadh.
Within Securitisation, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is ‘on hand effectively 24/7’, with ‘a drive to deliver solutions and a welcome practical and commercial streak’. Michael Poulton, who ‘knows the documentation inside out and often trumps lawyers on the other side with his deeper and better knowledge’, acted on the £1.23bn sale of Bank of Ireland’s residential mortgage portfolio, and is working on a range of new RMBS programmes for building societies. Derivatives expert Dina Albagli is also recommended.
London: Human resources
Within Employee share schemes, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is ‘second to none’, and has the ‘highest levels of technical knowledge’. It acted for BSkyB on the share scheme aspects of its withdrawn takeover bid, and for Apache Corporation on the incentives aspects of its $1.5bn acquisition of a portfolio of companies from ExxonMobil. Paul Ellerman has a ‘great ability to give detailed counsel where required but also to distil this into simple commercial terms’; and the ‘pragmatic, straight-talking’ Mark Ife is also recommended.
Within Employment: employers and senior executives, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s team is highlighted as for its ‘intellectual thoroughness’, speed of response, and the ‘calibre of its individuals, from the top right down to the trainees’. Its formula of leading individuals backed by contentious and regulatory muscle attracts premium work and clients; the ‘very personable’ Andrew Taggart led the advice to UBS in the much-publicised $2.3bn rogue trading investigation, and Peter Frost acted in the test case on the employment status of priests in the Church of England. Also praised are practice head Andrew Brown, the ‘innovative’ Tim Leaver, and Ian Gatt QC.
Within Health and safety, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP has an ‘excellent’ health and safety practice, led by the ‘superbly knowledgeable and experienced’ Howard Watson. The team is active in corporate support matters, and regularly assists leading multinationals in the energy sector. In 2011 it advised Chevron in relation to the ongoing police and HSE investigation into a major refinery explosion which resulted in four fatalities and one serious injury. Other active clients include EDF, Panasonic and Biotage.
From a law firm perspective, financial services remains a focal sector, in part because of the expanding regulatory and compliance obligations encroaching into employment law, such as the FSA regulatory code. Firms with strong regulatory teams are in demand, with Herbert Smith LLP, for instance, instructed by UBS to advise on its high-profile rogue trader case. Other leading employment practices, such as Allen & Overy LLP and Simmons & Simmons LLP, have long dominated the financial sector, but there is no room for complacency; there is a sense that even the investment banks are seeking value for money and considering firms other than traditional ‘finance’ firms for services.
Within Pensions, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s team is differentiated by the ‘practicality’ of its advice, and ‘the fact that it is prepared to come off the fence’. Clients include Virgin Atlantic, Aviva and the Pension Insurance Corporation. Rising to the top tier for pensions disputes, the firm is acting in the Nortel case, and is also acting for a company against the Pensions Ombudsman. Roderick Morton is ‘extremely skilled at explaining complex issues, supporting the corporate position, and providing solutions’. Dan Schaffer, Alison Brown and pensions litigator Paul Lewis are also highly regarded. Ian Gault became a consultant in 2012, and is noted for his ‘pragmatic, practical and solution-focused’ advice.
Within Insurance and reinsurance litigation, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is a standout choice for complex and high-profile insurance and reinsurance cases. Anthony Dempster is ‘excellent at handling extremely complex products; Paul Lewis has a ‘first-rate reputation’ and is ‘a great tactician’; and practice head David Reston provides ‘sound strategic advice’.Reston recently acted for RSA in test litigation relating to the operation of its motor vehicle repair scheme; the outcome is likely to have widespread implications for the insurance industry. Also recommended are Christopher Foster, who is an ‘ingenious, quick-thinking man who you want to have on your side in a scrap’; and Alexander Oddy, whose ‘professionalism, expertise and responsiveness are stellar’. Clients of the team include RSA, Marsh and Gen Re.
Within Insurance litigation: for policyholders, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s team is a ‘market leader’, and acts for a broad range of policyholders including clients in the energy, financial, and industrial sectors. The ‘technically excellent’ Alexander Oddy recently acted for BP Corporation North America in connection with recovery claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon incident. Also recommended are Christopher Foster; Paul Lewis, who is valued for his ‘client-focused approach’; and Anthony Dempster, who is a ‘first-rate lawyer’. Clients include Pilkington and Standard Chartered.
Within Insurance: corporate and regulatory, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Handling ‘high-end, complex matters’, the team at Ashurst acts for both insurers and investors in the insurance industry. Jonathan Drake advised Barbican Insurance on its proposed transactions with Omega Insurance; and David Page acted for Lloyds Electrical Contractors Association on the disposal of TSM Agencies to niche insurer ProSight, a joint venture between Goldman Sachs and Texas Pacific. The highly regarded Adam Levitt and Hammad Akhtar are set to join from Herbert Smith LLP.
Within Insurance: insolvency and restructuring, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
At Herbert Smith LLP, Laurence Elliott has been advising the Financial Services Compensation Scheme on the restructuring of Welcome Financial Services, in connection with its PPI mis-selling liabilities. Other key clients include Grant Thornton, RSA and PwC.
Within Personal injury: defendant, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
‘The simply outstanding’ Howard Watson at Herbert Smith LLP advises on significant issues for large corporates, acting for Chevron in relation to the explosion at Milford Haven in 2011, and for Diageo in relation to claims resulting from the use of the drug Thalidomide. His experience includes advising on mechanisms for dealing with potential group actions.
Within Product liability: defendant, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP handles high-profile matters for clients in a range of industries, and is trusted on ‘the most complex matters’. It recently settled the £100m claims against Rolls-Royce concerning its Mermaid Pods propulsion systems, acting for the primary insurers. The ‘first-class’ Tony Dempster and Howard Watson ‘always preserve a commercial outlook’.
Within Professional negligence, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Led by the ‘knowledgeable and hardworking’ Sonya Leydecker, Herbert Smith LLP has a team that ‘lives up to its great reputation’. Acting for both claimants and defendants, its expertise covers a breadth of areas including insurance, financial services, technology and construction, and it has ‘top-quality expertise’ in high-value, high-profile and complex matters. Alexander Oddy is ‘truly brilliant’; Paul Lewis stands out for his ‘excellent legal advice and strategic thinking’; and the ‘professional’ David Reston is also singled out.
London: Private client
Within Contentious trusts and probate, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘excellent and reliable’ team at Herbert Smith LLP is headed by the esteemed Robert Hunter, who is ‘well known for his court expertise’. In one highlight, Hunter advised the trustees of a Jersey trust on a significant restructuring which included the creation of two new trusts to plan for future beneficiaries. John Wood is also well regarded.
Within Personal tax, trusts and probate, tier 4
In addition to carrying out major restructurings and advising on substantial cross-jurisdictional estates, Herbert Smith LLP handles an array of succession planning and trust advice. The highly rated Robert Hunter heads the team, which has made some significant lateral hires at senior associate level.
London: Projects, energy and natural resources
Within Infrastructure, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Rail powerhouse Herbert Smith LLP is ‘committed to deadlines and quality of output’, ‘can mobilise a large resource’, and is ‘in the top quartile in the Middle East’. Among several large-scale rail mandates, the firm is advising HS 1 Ltd, the concessionaire of High Speed 1, on regulatory and property management issues; and, using a cross-office team, is also advising the Haramain High-speed Rail Consortium, chosen to construct the Mecca- Medina-Jeddah rail link. Patrick Mitchell heads the global infrastructure team.
Within Mining and minerals, tier 4
As well as handling transactions in Europe, Africa and Indonesia, Herbert Smith LLP has been active in disputes, and advised Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation on a $2bn damages claim by First Quantum regarding ENRC’s acquisition of an interest in the Kolwezi Tailings Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Within Oil and gas, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP has ‘proper industry knowledge that many firms aspire to, but few attain’. Jason Fox is ‘a class act’, ‘manages and controls his team extremely well’, and has ‘an amazing breadth of experience’; and Simon Tysoe is ‘excellent at relationship building and can mobilise the necessary resources within the firm’s network’. Group head Stephen Murray advised Apache North Sea Limited on its acquisition of the North Sea oil and gas assets of Mobil North Sea, among several international highlights. Ted Greeno is recommended for dispute resolution; and David Clinch also attracts praise from clients.
Within PFI and PPP, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is advising FCC Construcción on its bid for the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Project, one of the largest hospital tenders in the PFI market. The firm has also drawn on its international capabilities to become a force in the burgeoning Russian PPP arena. Patrick Mitchell and Nicholas Tott co-head the London team.
Within Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables), Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is ‘a pure energy firm’ with ‘excellent sector experience’. Group head Mark Newbery ‘provides good leadership’; nuclear specialist Julia Pyke is ‘excellent’; and senior associate Sarah Pollock has ‘a broad knowledge of diverse nuclear topics’. Adrian Clough is leading the advice to The Bureau of Public Enterprises of Nigeria on the privatisation of the 17 successor companies to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
Within Water, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
A longstanding presence in the market and widely respected for his historical influence on the privatisation of the UK water sector, Trevor Turtle at Herbert Smith LLP is ‘hugely well informed’. Noted for its regulatory expertise, the practice also handled a host of corporate transactions in 2011, including advising Severn Trent on the update of its €4bn Eurobond medium-term note programme; and Bristol Water on a £40m index-linked bond issue. Global in scope, the group advised on water projects in Africa, the Middle East and China.
London: Public sector
Within Administrative and public law, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
With ‘the best public law team in the City’, Herbert Smith LLP has ‘strength at partner and assistant level’, and is ‘first rate, especially in cases extending into the commercial sphere’. In 2011 it successfully defended NNB, a subsidiary of EDF, in judicial review proceedings brought by Innovia against the IPC’s decision to grant NNB access to its land to conduct surveys. Andrew Lidbetter has ‘an encyclopaedic knowledge of UK administrative law’, and is ‘a cool customer who knows exactly what he wants and how to get it’. Nusrat Zar has ‘a keen forensic focus and unflappable calm’, and Martyn Hopper is recommended for his financial services expertise.
Within Local government, tier 4
Herbert Smith LLP, which specialises in major projects and judicial reviews, acted in the conclusion of the City of Sheffield’s £1bn redevelopment of its retail quarter, and is representing Southwark Council in the early stages of a mixed-use regeneration in Elephant and Castle. Andrew Lidbetter leads the team.
The Administrative and public law table ranks claimant and commercial firms together. Of the City firms, Herbert Smith LLP, Hogan Lovells International LLP and Baker & McKenzie LLP provide strong representation of commercial clients, while Bindmans LLP and Leigh Day & Co remain leaders on the claimant side. The latter two also have market-leading human rights and civil liberties practices, where other renowned firms include Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Tuckers Solicitors and the newly merged Deighton Pierce Glynn. Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP and Eversheds LLP each have recognised expertise in public inquiries, and Trowers & Hamlins LLP and Clifford Chance are among the leaders for public affairs work.
London: Real estate
Within Commercial property, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP has ‘outstanding lawyers with the skills and resources to manage complex transactions’. The team was instructed on some of the largest transactions in the UK, for longstanding clients such as Blackstone, Carlyle, Hammerson and Chelsfield. It also acted for new client Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board on its joint venture with Land Securities Group regarding the proposed £1bn Victoria Circle development. Practice head Ian Cox’s ‘proactive, responsive and commercial team’ includes Richard Forsdyke, James Barnes and the ‘exceptionally good and very effective’ Don Rowlands.
Within Construction, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s ‘top-quality’ team has a wide-ranging projects and litigation practice, with particular expertise in Middle Eastern rail and energy. Nicholas Downing acted for EDF on nuclear new-builds in the UK. BP is also a client. The non-contentious practice was strengthened by the arrival of James Bremen and two senior associates from King & Spalding International LLP in 2011. Tony Dymond is ‘excellent at the overall strategy of a dispute’, and Mark Lloyd-Williams is ‘as good as it gets in the field’; they are ‘particularly adept’ at large, complex cases. The ‘reliable’ Ann Levin represented a university hospital trust in a PFI construction dispute.
Within Environment, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s well-resourced team provides ‘outstanding service’, and ‘very practical and punchy’ advice. It is best known for its corporate transactional support for some of the world’s largest companies, but additionally handles environmental litigation, and recently advised an oil company on remediation and contaminated land issues. Clients include EDF, BP, Chevron, DONG Energy, and Apache. Team head Louise Moore is recommended, as is senior associate Kevin O’Connor, who provides ‘thorough legal analysis’ and has ‘an easy communication style’.
In environmental matters, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP and Linklaters LLP lead the way, while Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Herbert Smith LLP field the top planning practices. Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Devonshires and Winckworth Sherwood stand out on the social housing side.
Within Planning, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP's three-partner team ‘acts for a wide range of developers’ and ‘can be relied on to provide an excellent service to clients’. It assisted EDF Energy on its successful application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) to construct a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and advised BSkyB on its proposed headquarters redevelopment in Osterley. Matthew White has ‘excellent negotiating skills’, and senior associate Catherine Howard has ‘extensive, detailed knowledge of the planning process’. Practice head Patrick Robinson is very highly rated.
Within Property finance, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Undertaking an equal mix of borrower and funder work, Herbert Smith LLP has ‘strong industry knowledge and a can-do attitude’ and often handles innovative financing structures. Highlights included advising Anschutz Entertainment Group on its £150m refinancing of the O2 Arena. Gary Hommel is ‘non-confrontational and client friendly, with good market knowledge’, and Simon Chadney is ‘happy to fight the right battles without losing sight of the commercials’.
Within Property litigation, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP represents blue-chip developers, insurers and banks in residential and commercial property disputes. Frances Edwards and ‘cool-headed’ practice leader Matthew Bonye ‘articulate the key issues’ and ‘provide thorough analysis’. The group advised a developer in a compulsory purchase order compensation claim, and represented Chevron in a land options dispute at the High Court. Société Générale is a new client.
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
Within Brand management, Herbert Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP advises on trade mark, advertising and marketing matters, with a particular focus on contentious issues. It defended Rockwool in a High Court comparative advertising dispute; assisted BSkyB with brand licensing arrangements; and advised Kobo on advertising issues regarding the launch of its e-reader in WHSmith stores. The ‘very strategic and authoritative’ Mark Shillito advised easyJet on trade mark licensing and opposition matters.
Within Data protection, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s information governance team is led by of counsel Kate Brimsted, following Christopher Rees’ departure to Taylor Wessing LLP. Brimsted supports transactional matters and litigation, while standalone work includes advising on data sharing and breaches. Clients include Atmel Corporation, Moneysupermarket.com, British American Tobacco, and ElectraLink.
Within Intellectual property, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s ‘very strategic and authoritative’ practice head Mark Shillito handles patent and trade mark disputes. Sophie Rich leads on life sciences matters, and Sebastian Moore, who provides ‘valuable advice’ in pharmaceutical patent litigation, recently represented Roche in High Court proceedings. Nick Gardner is now a consultant at the firm. Other clients include Abbott Laboratories, Eisai, Rockwool and Chevron.
Within IT and telecoms, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
‘Informed, knowledgeable and highly commercial’, Herbert Smith LLP is noted for its strength in regulatory and contentious matters. IT practice head Mark Turner advises on major systems development and procurement. Nick Pantlin is ‘very user friendly and makes everything look easy’, and recently acted for Man Group on a $200m global IT project and outsourcing arrangement. Telecoms head Nick Elverston, who is ‘very solution oriented and able to “think with the business”’, led advice to Telefónica on a UK joint venture with Everything Everywhere and Vodafone. Senior associate David Coulling is ‘a rising star’.
Within Media and entertainment, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP advised longstanding client BSkyB on the expansion of SkyGo services, and on the Zeebox second screen service. Alan Watts and Hayley Brady advised STV Group on Channel 3 networking arrangements with ITV. Other highlights included advising Anschutz Entertainment Group on the £150m refinancing of the O2 Arena, and FilmFlex Movies on expanding its on-demand services. AOL, Google, Sony, Time Warner, and Warner Bros are other major clients. Hannah Wardale is recommended for her ‘prompt advice and market knowledge’, and Paul Silver ‘has the ability to clarify complicated legal concepts’. The ‘highly effective’ Nick Elverston heads the practice, and is recommended for his ‘commercial acumen, industry knowledge and strong relationships’.
Within Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Herbert Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP is highlighted for its ‘comprehensive advice and excellent knowledge on patent law and the pharmaceutical industry’. Practice head Sophie Rich advises clients such as Abbott Laboratories and Sanofi on patent litigation and enforcement. Sebastian Moore provides ‘valuable advice, and has an excellent understanding of the needs of the pharmaceutical industry’ on patent matters. He represented Roche in High Court proceedings over its Bonviva product, and continues to work with Mark Shillito in co-ordinating pan-European patent litigation for Eisai regarding its Aricept and Pariet drugs.
Within Aviation, tier 4
Herbert Smith LLP’s aviation practice spans corporate and commercial, real estate and planning, disputes, competition and regulatory matters. It has acted for BAA for a number of years, and recently advised the authority in appeal proceedings regarding a decision requiring it to divest Stansted airport. Other clients include easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Gatwick Airport. Stephen Wisking and Nusrat Zar are recommended.
Within Rail, Herbert Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Herbert Smith LLP’s ‘outstanding’ rail practice is advising the Haramain High-speed Rail Consortium on the construction of the €6.5bn Mecca-Medina-Jeddah rail link; advised Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) on a €7.8bn project which includes a new high-speed railway line connecting Tours and Bordeaux; and advised HS1 Limited on the initial construction and operation of High Speed 1. Head of infrastructure Patrick Mitchell and global head of transport Adrian Clough are singled out. James Bremen recently joined from King & Spalding International LLP.
Further information on Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in other jurisdictions.
United Arab Emirates
Offices in Brussels
Offices in Madrid
Offices in Paris
Offices in Hong Kong
Offices in Jakarta
Latin America: International firms
Offices in Tokyo
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Commercial contracts
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Equity capital markets: UK capability
- Corporate and commercial : Equity capital markets: US capability
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
- Corporate and commercial : Partnership
- Corporate and commercial : Private equity: transactions
- Corporate and commercial : VAT and indirect tax
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: civil
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: corporate crime
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: white-collar crime
- Dispute resolution : Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : Defamation and privacy
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Dispute resolution : Professional discipline
- Dispute resolution : Public international law
- Dispute resolution : Tax litigation
- Finance : Acquisition finance
- Finance : Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Debt capital markets
- Finance : Derivatives and structured products
- Finance : Emerging markets
- Finance : Investment funds
- Finance : Islamic finance
- Finance : Securitisation
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Employment: employees/unions
- Human resources : Health and safety
- Human resources : Pensions
- Insurance : Insurance: corporate and regulatory
- Insurance : Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
- Insurance : Insurance and reinsurance litigation
- Insurance : Insurance litigation: for policyholders
- Insurance : Personal injury: claimant
- Insurance : Personal injury: defendant
- Insurance : Product liability: claimant
- Insurance : Product liability: defendant
- Insurance : Professional negligence
- Private client : Contentious trusts and probate
- Private client : Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Infrastructure
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Mining and minerals
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Oil and gas
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
- Projects, energy and natural resources : PFI and PPP
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Water
- Public sector : Administrative and public law
- Public sector : Local government
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Environment
- Real estate : Planning
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Brand management
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Data protection
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Intellectual property
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media and entertainment
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- Transport : Aviation
- Transport : Rail
Offices in Doha
Offices in Moscow
Offices in Singapore
Offices in Bangkok