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Ashurst

BROADWALK HOUSE, 5 APPOLD STREET, LONDON, EC2A 2HA, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7638 1111
Fax:
Fax 020 7638 1112
DX:
639 LONDON CITY EC3
Web:
www.ashurst.com
Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Brisbane, Brussels, Canberra, Dubai and 19 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Ashurst's multidisciplinary commercial contracts practice operates within the firm's wider Digital Economy group; in this space, the firm advises clients on the interface between commercial agreements and data regulation, the exploitation of new technology/connectivity and collaborative partnerships. Nick Elverston leads 'the extremely talented team', which 'always delivers the goods'. James Perry has 'an effective negotiation style'. Also recommended is Christopher Bates, who is 'a joy to work with'. On the outsourcing front, the firm has particularly strong capabilities in transactions where there is a significant technological overlay, such as BPO (particularly in the energy/natural resources, infrastructure and financial services sectors), defence and government services. In the fintech sector, Bates and David Futter were among the advisers to DXC Technology on its successful bid to provide the Post Office with outsourcing support in relation to the Post Office Card Account, the vehicle through which Universal Credit is paid to people on benefits in the UK. Outside of outsourcing,  Bates, counsel Brian Murphy and others advise Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc on a new £1bn long-term wholesale supply chain partnership with McColl's Retail Group. Amanda Hale is another key partner.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Ashurst's corporate tax practice excels in major real estate transactions, M&A, financing transactions, in addition to energy and infrastructure-related tax work. The group is led by 'technically very good' funds and M&A expert Alexander Cox who, alongside Managing Partner Simon Beddow,  advised Ladbrokes Coral on its £4bn acquisition by GVC Holdings. 'Fabulous' real estate tax lawyer Simon Swann assisted Invesco Real Estate with the acquisition of a 50% interest in the Southside Shopping Centre in Wandsworth, resulting in a new 50:50 partnership with Land Securities. Fellow real estate tax experts Nicholas Gardner and Richard Vernon are currently advising Lendlease on a number of development projects, including the tax structuring of its joint venture with the London Borough of Haringey with respect to the redevelopment of sites within the borough. 'Excellent tax lawyer' Paul Miller is valued for his 'knowledge beyond tax' which enables him to provide 'value-added advice to businesses'.

Leading individuals

Alexander Cox - Ashurst

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

The ‚Äėresponsive‚Äô and ‚Äėclient-focused‚Äô team at Ashurst¬†provides ‚Äėpartner-led‚Äô and ‚Äėhigh quality legal advice‚Äô with a ‚Äėvery pragmatic and commercial approach‚Äô, with an impressive client roster including Coca Cola, Santander and Royal Mail.¬†Nigel Parr¬†and¬†Euan Burrows¬†jointly head the practice which is active across the range of competition law disciplines. Parr has been representing Hargreave Hale in relation to a Financial Conduct Authority‚Äôs (‚ÄėFCA‚Äô) competition law investigation into asset management firms, assisting the client throughout the investigation process and preparing a defence to the FCA‚Äôs statement of objections. Other highlights included¬†Ross Mackenzie¬†advising Cardtronics on CMA‚Äôs Phase 2 investigation into the client‚Äôs $464bn acquisition of DC Payments,¬†Duncan Liddell¬†representing Virgin Media before the CAT in respect of Ofcom‚Äôs 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review and¬†Neil Cuninghame¬†acting for Palmer & Harvey McLane in respect of the CMA‚Äôs consideration of the Tesco/Booker merger.

Leading individuals

Duncan Liddell - Ashurst

Euan Burrows - Ashurst

Nigel Parr - Ashurst

Ross Mackenzie - Ashurst

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Led jointly by¬†Nicholas Holmes¬†and US securities expert¬†Jennifer Schneck, the 'very strong, proactive'¬†practice at¬†Ashurst¬†handles 'complex, highly demanding work' and is 'particularly good at spotting difficult issues before other parties do'. It¬†counts pharmaceuticals, TMT and energy as particular sector strengths, and has a very strong line in Anglo-Irish transactions and matters involving listed real estate funds. It has been very busy on the underwriter side in the last year: Schneck and Simon Bullock¬†acted for Barclays, Numis, Peel Hunt and Berenberg on the ¬£575m IPO of Sabre Insurance Group. Holmes, who is 'a go-to lawyer for particularly complex and challenging projects',¬†assisted Credit Suisse and Davy with Glenveagh Properties' ‚ā¨550m IPO on the ISE and the LSE. In the emerging markets space, Holmes advised Citigroup on a $200m convertible bond issuance by Atlas Mara to partially fund its investment in Union Bank of Nigeria. Savannah Petroleum is another emerging markets client.

Leading individuals

Jennifer Schneck - Ashurst

Nicholas Holmes - Ashurst

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory) - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst provides 'high-quality and cost-effective advice' covering standalone regulatory issues, regulatory informed financial services transactional work and contentious work on behalf of a broad range of clients including banks, trading platforms, funds and clearing houses. Jake Green has developed a strong reputation for providing fintech-related regulatory advice both in relation to cryptocurrency matters (where he has acted for numerous cryptocurrency start-ups on the regulatory issues associated with their initial coin offerings) and on the development of new fintech products for financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, which he advised on the roll-out of its much publicised online consumer banking platform. Alongside the 'excellent' James Perry, and 'technically astute' counsel Tim Cant, Green has also been very active for a broad array of both buy and sell-side clients on the implementation of the MiFID II directive. On the contentious front, David Capps benefits from in-house litigation experience at UBS and puts this to good effect on behalf of investment banks and broker-dealers across a range of matters including in relation to market abuse regulatory investigations. The 'wonderful' Edward Sparrow provides significant gravitas to the firm's litigation function and still maintains a thriving practice in his capacity as senior consultant. Tom Connor is also recommended. Clients include RBS, Credit Suisse, Oak Hill and Saxo Bank.

Leading individuals

Edward Sparrow - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Jake Green - Ashurst

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst's strong deal execution capabilities enable it to generate a healthy pipeline of work from issuers, NOMADs and investment funds. Its AIM practice, which is jointly led by Michael Robins and Simon Bullock, features prominently in some of the largest and most high-profile transactions in the market. Robins, Nick Bryans and others are advising Atlantis Resources on the reverse takeover of the Uskmouth power station in Wales from SIMEC UK Energy Holdings Limited (SIMEC). Robins also led the advice to AIM-listed company Serica Energy on the reverse takeover of BP's interests in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the North Sea, and associated infrastructure. In another matter, Bullock, recently promoted partner Tara Waters and others acted for Jefferies as the NOMAD and sole bookrunner in the £105m AIM IPO of Ten Lifestyle Group Plc. Other individuals with significant AIM experience include Nicholas Holmes and Nick Williamson. Jennifer Schneck heads up the firm's US securities group, which includes senior associates Rodrigo Hidalgo and Jeffrey Johnson.

Leading individuals

Michael Robins - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Simon Bullock - Ashurst

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

The ‚Äėextremely good‚Äô, ‚Äėknowledgeable, responsive and very client focused‚Äô¬†Ashurst¬†is well regarded for high value M&A work and regulatory advice.¬†Tom Mercer¬†heads the corporate transactions team, which frequently assists financial institutions, blue-chip corporates and natural resources and infrastructure clients. Mercer and¬†Simon Beddow¬†notably represented Ladbrokes Coral on its ¬£3.9bn takeover by GVC. In the past 12 months the firm has seen an uptick in M&A transactions executed for industrial technology companies, with one deal seeing¬†Karen Davies¬†(‚Äėknowledgeable, responsive and very client focused‚Äô) and¬†James Fletcher¬†act for AVEVA Group on its ¬£3.5bn combination with Schneider Electric‚Äôs industrial software business. Oil and gas remains an area of strength, with¬†Nick Bryans¬†advising Lamprell on its entry into a significant joint venture arrangement with Saudi Aramco, Bahri, and Hyundaij Heavy Industries, and¬†Michael Burns¬†advising Tullow Oil on its farm down of licence interests in the Lake Albert Oil project in Uganda to Total. Another energy project saw Adrian Clark¬†handle Cape‚Äôs recommended ¬£332m takeover by a subsidiary of Altrad Investment Authority. In the projects and infrastructure space global corporate head¬†Robert Ogilvy Watson¬†acted for General Nuclear International in an aborted bid to acquire Nugen from Toshiba. Other names which feature in the firm‚Äôs client roster include National Express, RBS, William Hill and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.¬†James Wood¬†moved to¬†Sidley Austin LLP¬†in October 2017, while¬†Dominic Ross¬†left to join¬†White & Case LLP¬†in November 2017.

Leading individuals

Adrian Clark - Ashurst

Karen Davies - Ashurst

Simon Beddow - Ashurst

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Private equity: transactions ‚Äď mid-market deals - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Ashurst's core strengths in domestic and cross-border mid-cap and large-cap transactions are complemented by its highly-rated banking and finance (particularly leveraged and acquisition finance) and investment funds practices. David Carter and senior associate Braeden Donnelly were part of a cross-office team, which acted for the management team in the £600m MBO of Old Mutual Wealth's Single Strategy asset management business. Another transaction led by Carter involved acting for Agilitas in the buyout of Danoffice IT. In the healthcare sector, Nick Rainsford led the advice to CapVest Capital Partners on the acquisition of NextPharma from an affiliate of Sun European Partners. Other clients of the firm include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and financial institutions. Jason Radford has particular experience of infrastructure-related transactions connected with the oil and gas, built environment, healthcare and transport sectors. Bruce Hanton, London managing partner Simon Beddow and Karen Davies are other key figures.

Next generation lawyers

Nick Rainsford - Ashurst

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst's team, led by the 'fabulous' Simon Swann, comprises 'true indirect tax experts' who are particularly noted for their strengths in VAT and SDLT matters. The team regularly assists with the structuring of joint ventures, developments and financing, and also handles the full spectrum of VAT disputes before UK tax courts and contentious matters that arise out of real estate transactions. Highlights for Nicholas Gardner included advising Lendlease on the VAT and SDLT aspects of a number of development projects around North London as part of the client's joint venture with the London Borough of Haringey. He also acted for Hastings Insurance Services on its appeal to the First Tier Tax Tribunal regarding the VAT treatment of insurance-related services. 'Technically strong' Paul Miller is representing Ocean finance in relation to a Court of Appeal hearing being brought by HMRC concerning the scope of VAT abuse and the extent to which it is limited to wholly artificial transactions. Senior associate Tim Gummer is another key contact.

Leading individuals

Simon Swann - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Tim Gummer - Ashurst

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†handles all aspects of fraudulent activities investigations including liaising with authorities, freezing orders and asset recovery. It recently defended Daiwa against a breach of duty and dishonest assistance claim by Singularis Holdings, this was valued at over $200m. The firm also continues to act for Nomura, coordinating disputes and litigation in a multi-jurisdictional case that requires coordination with law firms in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Mauritius and also its own offices in New York and Indonesia. Angela Pearson¬†heads the team, she is ‚Äėa highly capable leader with good commercial judgment‚Äô. The team give ‚Äėclear, prompt, commercial advice and know their stuff‚Äô‚Äô. Lynn Dunne¬†and Edward Sparrow¬†are recommended.

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

'One of the best around', Ashurst's 'excellent team' acts in some of the largest UK finance cases, while the practice is increasingly involved in matters with an international element. The range of disputes on which the firm recently advised includes contractual interpretations, defence of senior individuals, enforcement and dispute of validity of major arbitral awards, and enforcement of security following borrower defaults. Other areas of note are film investment schemes, fraud, deceit and conspiracy claims, freezing orders, global master repurchase agreement close-out disputes, and issues arising from the restructuring and insolvency of counterparties and borrowers. The practice successfully acted for Cerberus Capital Management, as Third Defendant, in a claim for conspiracy by unlawful means to engineer a sale of at an undervalue by way of an administration; and in a significant bet-the-firm matter, it defended Daiwa Capital Markets Europe against Singularis Holdings’ $200m-plus claim for breach of duty and dishonest assistance. Team head Lynn Dunne is 'a highly effective, streetwise litigator who is recommended without hesitation'; David Capps specialises in finance-related disputes, financial regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations; James Levy 'has excellent judgment, is very commercial and is a pleasure to work with'; and Tom Connor specialises in financial services litigation. Edward Sparrow and Jon Gale are also key names.

Leading individuals

Edward Sparrow - Ashurst

James Levy - Ashurst

Lynn Dunne - Ashurst

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

'Providing good knowledge and understanding together with strategic advice and excellent service', Ashurst is well known for complex, high-value commercial disputes across a range of industries, such as transport, infrastructure, automotive and power, along with gaming, telecoms, food and drink, and pharmaceuticals, among others. In one of the largest contentious waste project sector disputes in the country, the practice successfully represented Interserve Construction in a High Court claim concerning the termination of a contract by Hitachi Zosen Inova for the construction of an energy-from-waste plant; it also defended longstanding client McLaren Automotive (McLaren) against a dispute relating to the development of McLaren's GT3 and GT4 racing cars, supply of parts and provision of after-sales, including substantially reducing the scope of an ex-parte injunction against McLaren. James Levy is London dispute resolution department head; Simon Bromwich 'understands strategy and the wider picture'. Jon Gale  has particular experience in banking disputes as well as public law litigation, including commercial judicial review. Edward Sparrow is also regularly involved in high-profile matters.

Leading individuals

Edward Sparrow - Ashurst

Simon Bromwich - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Jessica Neuberger - Ashurst

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

The 'technically strong' team at Ashurst is instructed by both claimants and defendants engaged in the spectrum of competition litigation. It particularly stands out its 'practical approach' and 'exceptionally detailed knowledge of the latest Government policies and ongoing law proceedings'. Group head Euan Burrows is defending Pirelli against High Court proceedings arising from the power cables cartel. Nigel Parr is representing Intel in its appeal before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice against the General Court's decision to uphold a historic abuse of dominance claim. Duncan Liddell successfully advised Virgin Media on appeals before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in relation to the dark fibre access remedy aspect of Ofcom's 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review. Tom Connor and associate Max Strasberg are further key practitioners.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Ashurst is 'excellent for case preparation, client handling and assembling the right team for the job'. The practice is best known for energy and resources disputes and has a particular specialism in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations in Scandinavia. Global and London arbitration group head Matthew Saunders is 'an excellent advocate who has a particular strength of understanding the requirements of addressing foreign arbitral tribunals'; and Tim Reid is 'untiring in his pursuit of the right answer for clients'. Tom Cummins regularly acts in matters in the energy, mining, and infrastructure sectors, and senior associate Emma Martin is 'a very competent lawyer'.

Leading individuals

Matthew Saunders - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Emma Martin - Ashurst

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Tax litigation and investigations
Tax litigation and investigations - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst has a broad contentious tax practice spanning enquiries, pre-litigation settlements and advocacy before tax tribunals. The group has particular tax grounding in the financial resources and infrastructure sectors and has developed expertise in relation to investigations and negotiations with the EU regarding state aid and harmful tax competition. Team head Nicholas Gardner is representing Carbon Capital in first-tier tribunal proceedings in relation to capital allowances claims by investors in its partnership; leading discussions with HMRC in relation to the settlement of its claims. Paul Miller is acting for Ocean Finance in relation to the Court of Appeal hearing being brought by HMRC in relation to allegations of VAT abuse. Alexander Cox advised the former Gala Coral Group in relation to the recovery of VAT from HMRC.

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

'Prepared to work across a range of deal sizes', from mid-market matters to those at the upper end of the mid-market, Ashurst consequently receives a significant flow of mandates implementing different financial products and is praised for the 'commercial, practical and responsive' service it provides to banks and alternative lenders, in particular. The 'very knowledgeable and experienced' Helen Burton has 'done an excellent job of leveraging her banking relationships to follow those bankers who have set up their own debt funds'. Indeed, the firm is recognised as a 'market leader' in the direct lending space and continues to pick up a significant amount of work for clients including Hayfin and ICG. Ross Ollerhead also regularly handles direct lending work, in addition to more conventional work for banking clients. Ollerhead's diverse practice also includes work for private equity sponsors including Oakley Capital which he recently advised on the financing - funded partially by a unitranche facility provided by Alcentra - to support its acquisition of Schuelerhilfe. Nigel Ward handles conventional leveraged finance transactions as well as in relation to infrastructure acquisition finance matters, an area where Jane Fissenden is also very accomplished. Martyn Rogers, Mark Vickers,  Paul Stewart, Tim Rennie and Ewen Scott are also recommended. Additional clients include RBS, HSBC and Apollo.

Leading individuals

Mark Vickers - Ashurst

Nigel Ward - Ashurst

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

'Up-to-date on best market practice', Ashurst provides 'commercial, practical and responsive' advice to a balanced array of lenders and borrowers including RBS, HSBC and AVEVA Group plc. The 'calm and client-focused' Nicholas Moore regularly handles cross-border investment grade syndicated and bilateral loan financings; he recently advised RBS, as co-ordinator, on two syndicated loan facilities provided to Hilton Food Group, in part to finance its acquisition of Icelandic Group UK. Alongside debt capital markets partner Anna Delgado, Moore also recently acted forTritax Big Box REIT plc on a £350m unsecured revolving credit facility and a debut £1.5bn EMTN programme to refinance existing £550m secured facilities and for working capital purposes. Tim Rennie has particular expertise in arranging the financing of public takeovers, and alongside Mark Vickers recently advised Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley as financial advisers to Vantiv in connection with its £8bn merger with Worldpay Group plc. Other recommended practitioners include Lee Doyle and Robert Andrews, for fund finance work; Nick Wong, who acts for lenders and borrowers on the financing of acquisitions within the insurance sector; senior associate Darren Phelan;   and Martyn Rogers.

Leading individuals

Nicholas Moore - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Darren Phelan - Ashurst

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Commodities: derivatives
Commodities: derivatives - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst has a broad derivatives and structured finance practice in which commodities are key asset classes. Newly promoted partner Kerion Ball frequently advises both banks and buy-side clients. He recently assisted an independent oil and gas producer with an innovative deal-contingent commodity price hedging arrangement in the context of a reserve-based lending facility and a related acquisition of oil production assets. He also acted for a multiseller ABCP conduit issuer‎ in a series of metals inventory financing transactions. Jonathan Haines is a widely respected OTC derivatives expert who acts for leading dealers and frequently advises on the impact of new regulations including margin rules for non-cleared derivatives. He recently helped a major investment bank to set up a cross-asset swap framework agreement to enable clients to provide exposure to commodities and equity asset classes. Derivatives specialist James Coiley  counts leading banks such as BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse among his clients. Energy, resources and infrastructure partner Antony Skinner is also recommended.

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Commodities: physicals
Commodities: physicals - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Ashurst's commodities practice comprises transactional and disputes lawyers across its international network of offices. In London, the team handles matters arising from the trading of physical commodities, structured finance transactions, project and acquisition financings, and M&A deals in the energy sector. A key strand of work for the practice is advising investment banks and trading houses on bespoke, long-term physical trading arrangements, often as part of a wider project or acquisition finance transaction. Philip Thomson leads the practice and specialises in the development and financing of LNG plants, pipelines and petrochemical facilities, as well as commodity trading transactions. He recently assisted a large seller of LNG with the restructuring of a long-term sale and purchase agreement with a national oil company. Also recommended are Antony Skinner for structured commodity trading arrangements for power, gas, coal and carbon; and co-head of the oil and gas practice Michael Burns. Angola LNG Marketing, Marubeni Corporation and Bank of America Merill Lynch are among the firm's clients.

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

Ashurst

'Not afraid or too risk averse to give robust advice', the five-partner team at Ashurst 'punches above its weight' and delivers 'strong advice' which is borne out of an 'excellent knowledge of the restructuring market'. The practice's eclectic client roster, which includes debtors, distressed investment funds, lenders, bondholders and IPs, ensures it has an excellent perspective of the domestic market as well as internationally. 'Very authoritative' team head Giles Boothman has 'an excellent understanding of the restructuring space' and is regularly at the forefront of the firm's most challenging cross-border mandates including its involvement as EMEA and Asian counsel for Apollo in relation to its $800m superpriority senior debtor in possession loan provided to Westinghouse Electric Company following its decision to file for Chapter 11. With assistance from the 'technically very able' new partner Drew Sainsbury , Boothman also recently acted for Palmer & Harvey plc - the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler - throughout its restructuring process from initial attempts at finding a buyer, ultimately through to advising the joint administrators, PwC, following the company's transition into administration. Recently promoted partner Ru-Woei Foong is 'excellent on detail'. Other clients include Cerberus, Fortress and Oaktree Capital. Dan Hamilton recently retired.

Leading individuals

Giles Boothman - Ashurst

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

At¬†Ashurst¬†¬†'the overall level of service is very good and the value for money for the high-quality advice received makes it stand out from other firms'. Head of debt capital markets¬†Anna Delgado¬†specialises in both¬†debt and equity-linked capital markets issues for issuers and underwriters. Her highlights from 2017 included acting for Tritax Big Box, which is¬†the only listed vehicle dedicated to investing in very large logistics warehouse assets, in its¬†inaugural ¬£500m offering of unsecured bonds issued under its ¬£1.5bn EMTN programme. 'Brilliant'¬†infrastructure and energy finance partner¬†Derwin Jenkinson¬†handles both capital markets and loan financings. He advised¬†Allianz Global Investors on its provision of ¬£127.6m in 40-year, index-linked bonds to finance a student accommodation development at the University of Hull.¬†Francis Kucera¬†advises¬†investment banks and issuers on¬† emerging market financings, particularly in Eastern Europe and the CIS region. He assisted lead managers including¬†Citigroup and Deutsche Bank with a Eurobond issued by the State of Montenegro. 'His¬†knowledge is excellent and he can always be relied upon to provide comprehensive advice on difficult subjects', say clients of¬†head of corporate trust¬†Malcolm Charles.¬†Alexander Biles¬†is a rising star, as evidenced by his work for arranger Lloyds Bank on on the update of DS Smith's ‚ā¨2.5bn EMTN programme and the dual-tranche issue of ¬£250m and ‚ā¨750m in notes. Key to this deal was counsel¬†Christopher Hardingham,¬†who is recommended for international bond issuance, EMTN programmes, European commercial paper and certificate of deposit programmes.

Leading individuals

Anna Delgado - Ashurst

Derwin Jenkinson - Ashurst

Francis Kucera - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Alexander Biles - Ashurst

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst provides 'excellent commercially-minded service that represents very good value for money, particularly when compared to Magic Circle firms'. The firm handles structured products platforms for a stellar list of clients that includes Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. It also has expertise in all key derivatives asset classes including structured credit, strategic equity derivatives and longevity risk, and it has one the leading practices in London for asset repackaging deals. In 2017, the practice acted for Credit Suisse in the update of its structured products programme, which included five multi-product base prospectuses, a programme memorandum and underlying programme documentation. Jasmine Tiw is a specialist in structured products and bespoke proprietary indices, and she handled that matter. Also involved was Michael Logie , who leads the securities and derivatives group. Clients describe him as 'a trusted adviser with great visibility across the market and an excellent manner with his clients; he is always prepared to provide an informed view to assist a client and understands the importance of meeting deadlines'. His primary areas of focus are platforms for the issuance of structured products to investment and retail clients, complex structured products and regulatory matters. Jonathan Haines and counsel Kerion Ball advised numerous lenders on the refinancing of a derivative financing structure through new margin loans secured on Swiss listed shares. Key partner James Coiley and rising star partner James Knight handled a total return swap with a Turkish bank on behalf of a leading investment bank. Adair Gordon-Orr is recommended for complex asset finance transactions and bespoke credit and market risk transfer work.

Leading individuals

James Coiley - Ashurst

Jonathan Haines - Ashurst

Michael Logie - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

James Knight - Ashurst

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 4

Ashurst

Ashurst has a strong bench of partners with experience in emerging markets finance, particularly in capital markets transactions. Francis Kucera has wide-ranging expertise in international debt and equity deals, and has a particular focus on emerging market financings in Eastern Europe and the CIS region. He frequently acts for investment banks and issuers, among which are sovereigns, corporates and financial institutions. Head of Corporate Trust and Agency Malcom Charles advised Citibank as trustee in connection with the issuance by JSC Bank of Georgia of GEL500m in bonds. This landmark transaction was the first international capital markets issuance of debt securities denominated in Georgian Lari and the first local currency bond offering in the wider CIS region for a decade. Also recommended are corporate partner Sergei Ostrovsky, who leads the firm’s Russia and CIS practice; Cameron Smith, who specialises in infrastructure and energy projects and project financing; and global head of utilities David Wadham.

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Islamic finance
Islamic finance - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Abradat Kamalpour leads the practice at Ashurst, bringing impressive experience in multiple jurisdictions and disciplines, particularly debt capital markets and structured finance transactions. The team has been involved in some of the most high profile transactions in the global market, including the first international capital markets issue out of a post-sanctions Iran; as well as advising a group of leading New York based hedge funds as sukuk holders on the $650m Saad Trading and Investment (Golden Belt) sukuk, which has entered into high-profile litigation in Saudi Arabia. Other clients include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic; Goldman Sachs; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Saudi Economic and Development Company. Senior associates Conor Funston and Farzana Ali are also key contacts in the London office.

Leading individuals

Abradat Kamalpour - Ashurst

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 5

Ashurst

Counsel David Baxter leads the department at Ashurst, which handles the share scheme components of corporate transactions, international share plan issues and corporate governance mandates. Baxter's recent work includes acting for Aveva Group on the incentive elements of its combination with Schneider Electric SE's industrial software business, handling the share scheme issues of Ladbrokes Coral Group's acquisition by GVC Holdings and advising Cape on the share plan components of its takeover by a subsidiary of Altrad Investment Authority. Interserve, EnQuest and Renewi are also clients. Rebecca Servian was promoted to senior associate.

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 5

Ashurst

Crowley Woodford leads the 'strong' practice at Ashurst, which has 'excellent business acumen' and is highly regarded for its work in the financial services and private equity sectors. The group has also seen an increase in advisory mandates and has notable strength acting for the European subsidiaries of Japanese corporates. Recent highlights include on the employment elements of Aveva Group's combination with Schneider Electric's industrial software business, handling board level appointments and GDPR compliance for the National Express Group and assisting Palmer and Harvey with advisory matters including employee loan agreements and a disciplinary investigation. The Bank of England, Park24, EnQuest, Berendsen and Punter Southall Group are also clients. Newly promoted partner Ruth Buchanan is also a name to note; clients single her our as 'a responsive and experienced lawyer with a sensible approach and excellent strategic thinking'.

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Ashurst

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Ashurst is noted for assisting corporate clients with the pensions elements of transactional work; it recently advised Berendsen on the pensions aspects of its takeover by Elis, assisted the Aveva Group with its acquisition of Schneider Electric's industrial software business and handled the pensions issues relating to the Bank of England's takeover of the Chaps payment system. Counsel John Gordon, who joined from Linklaters LLP, leads the group following Marcus Fink's departure to PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP; he has notable experience structuring pension scheme benefits, liability management, funding issues and regulatory mandates. Angela Pearson leads the contentious team and recently repesented First Data in the Court of Appeal in proceedings relating to pension increases under the governing documentation of its FDR Limited Pension Scheme.

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London: Insurance

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

Ashurst

Ashurst's team¬†‚Äėhas real expertise and a wealth of experience in this area‚Äô.¬† Practice head¬†Adam Levitt¬†provides ‚Äėa rare combination of technical excellence, commercial mind-set and pragmatism' and¬†'is a force who always delivers for his client'; he spearheads ‚Äėa strong team with depth and breadth‚Äô that offers a full-service capability. The range of work includes providing advice on M&A and portfolio transfers and reinsurance and alternative risk transfer arrangements, as well as on product development, distribution and regulatory issues. The team is also particularly active in evolving areas of insurance law such as cyber insurance, which can be seen in its ongoing strategic advice to the Australian Department of Defence on the purchase of insurance for its acquisition and sustainment projects. The team's ability to provide ‚Äėtimely, high-quality advice and insurance expertise‚Äô marks it out as a go-to practice for complex matters, such as advising Gryphon, a new challenger offering protection products via consumer-friendly technology, on its proposed capital structure from a Solvency II perspective, as well as structuring generally. Senior associate¬†Akiko Morioka¬†is also noted.

Leading individuals

Adam Levitt - Ashurst

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†is regularly instructed by financial services sector clients on a range of disputes involving audits, actuarial matters, funds, major projects, legal and pensions work. ‚ÄėThoughtful‚Äô team head James Levy, who¬†‚Äėreally cares about his cases‚Äô, led the advice to Daiwa Capital Markets Europe in a $200m case alleging breach of duty and dishonest assistance by Singularis Holdings. Levy also advised Gala Coral Group on a ¬£2m claim brought by the wife of a former high-stakes sports gambler at Gala, alleging a breach of duty of care. Other clients include NRAM, Cattles and Welcome Financial Services. Lynn Dunne¬†and consultant Edward Sparrow¬†are also key contacts.

Leading individuals

James Levy - Ashurst

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 4

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†advises fund sponsors on various fund formation matters in buyout, debt and infrastructure funds. Nick Goddard¬†advised Equitix on forming a ¬£750m infrastructure fund, and in real estate advised CapMan on forming CapMan Nordic Real Estate II, which raised ‚ā¨425m. Piers Warburton¬†advised Pearl Diver Capital on creating three funds, targeting a total of $500m, to invest in collateralised loan obligations. In the debt fund space, Goddard advised Shard Credit Partners on forming its debut, ‚ā¨250m, debt fund.¬†Other clients include Rothschild Merchant Bank, which Goddard advised on forming a ‚ā¨625m direct lending fund, and Intermediate Capital Group.

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

At Ashurst, Nick Goddard¬† advised CapMan Real Estate on forming CapMan Nordic Real Estate Fund II, which raised ‚ā¨425m to invest in value-add properties in the Nordic countries. Nicholas Holmes¬†handles listed REIT work, such as his advice to Credit Suisse and J&E Davy as joint bookrunners of the aborted IPO of Core Industrial REIT on the Enterprise Securities Market in Dublin and AIM in London.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Ashurst

The infrastructure team at Ashurst is 'commercially-focused and solution-oriented' and provides 'strong, fast, accurate and constructive advice'. Known especially for its expertise on the sponsor and lender side of large-scale infrastructure projects and the PFI/PPP space, the group is jointly headed by corporate specialist Philip Vernon and global co-head of the transport department Mark Elsey . In recent highlights, Terence Van Poortvliet continues to lead the advice to TfL with regards to the Silvertown Tunnel PPP project, and the client-recommended Derwin Jenkinson is part of the team advising the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the landmark Thames Tideway Tunnel project. On the energy side, a number of clients have appointed the firm to oversee the financing of energy from waste facilities. Recent social infrastructure mandates include the financing of the new Treviso Hospital in Italy and the funding of 1, 750 new on-campus student rooms at the University of Hull. Clients recommend Anthony Johnson - who was recently promoted to partner - for his 'very good sector-specific knowledge and constructive negotiation style'. Other key names include Logan Mair , Jan Sanders , Patrick Boyle  and senior associates Gaby Jones and Aaron Shute .

Leading individuals

Mark Elsey - Ashurst

Patrick Boyle - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Anthony Johnson - Ashurst

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

The multi-disciplinary mining team at Ashurst is particularly strong in M&A and fundraising transactions for listed entities with assets in emerging markets such as Africa. JP Morgan Cazenove recently appointed the group as sponsor to handle the listing of Sirius on the LSE as a move up from the AIM, and Tom Mercer acted for the independent directors of Vedanta in the investment by Volcan - its majority shareholder - in Anglo American. Yann Alix - who heads the firm's Africa group - intervened for Newcrest as the seller in the disposal of 89.9% interest in the Bonikro gold mine to Forbes & Manhattan and Africa Finance Corporation. The mining offering is headed by corporate partner Michael Robins and supported by Nick Williamson who specialises in M&A, corporate finance and ECM mandates.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Clients praise Ashurst 's 'quick responses and professional advice' and lending expert Huw Thomas and upstream M&A specialist Michael Burns are singled out as 'pragmatic and capable'. The practice covers the full life cycle of oil and gas projects and recently advised EnQuest on its acquisition of 25% of BP's interest in the Magnus field, the Sullom Voe terminal and two pipelines under the supervision of Julia Derrick . A major international conglomerate instructed a team led by Philip Thomson - who co-heads the practice with Burns - to oversee its provision of financing facilities to a private equity-backed independent oil and gas company which recently acquired substantial upstream assets in Northern Europe; also notable on the financing front is Nikhil Markanday 's counsel to two major banks as lenders in relation to bridge facilities for the partial funding of a major gas pipeline. The team is also currently intervening in the development of major projects, and Matthew Saunders is representing a number of LNG sellers in a dispute with a buyer arising from a long-term SPA.

Leading individuals

Huw Thomas - Ashurst

Julia Derrick - Ashurst

Michael Burns - Ashurst

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

Ashurst

Ashurst provides  'very commercial, pragmatic and invaluable' advice  underpinned by an 'excellent knowledge of the power sector'. The lawyers in the power team 'are the best at understanding the wider picture and clients' business drivers', with the 'eager, responsive, approachable' Cameron Smith draws particular praise. In recent highlights, practice head David Wadham acted for Banks Renewables on the development and financing of three onshore wind farms, and Antony Skinner advised the Santander, Barclays and others as lenders on the refinancing of solar assets. Recent front-end projects work includes assisting a major global technology company with the restructuring of two Asian projects following the insolvency of its EPC joint venture partner, and Matthew Saunders is defending a heavyweight corporate client in SCC proceedings filed by an electricity distributor in relation to a Swedish law contract. Senior associate Peter Grayson is also a key contact alongside counsel Nicholas Hilder  and newly promoted partner Anthony Johnson .

Leading individuals

David Wadham - Ashurst

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London: Real estate

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

Ashurst

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 4

Ashurst

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

‚ÄėBy any measure‚Äô, Ashurst¬†is ‚Äėa top-tier real estate firm‚Äô with significant experience in major London development projects and real estate investment throughout Europe and the UK. The department has particularly strong investment clients throughout Asia and Europe and has completed a number of market-leading transactions acting for Korean investors. Investment head David Jones¬†advised TH Real Estate, on behalf of the Cityhold Office Partnership, on the ¬£292m sale of One Kingdom Street in London. Sarah Sivyour¬†handled multiple West End property acquisitions for AFIAA, a real estate investment vehicle for Swiss pension funds. Further, Melanie Jordan¬†advised Singapore-based CDL Hospitality Trust on its acquisition of Manchester‚Äôs Lowry Hotel, and also assisted Morrisons with the ¬£93m sale and leaseback of a Birmingham customer services centre to Tritax. The firm has also been at the forefront of London‚Äôs development market. Indeed, Hugh Lumby¬†and Richard Vernon¬†have acted for Lendlease on a number of ¬£1bn+ developments in 2017-2018; most recently, the team assisted the client with its winning bid for the 25-year, ¬£3.5bn redevelopment of Euston station. Lumby also acts for Westfield on all of its major London developments, including the phase two extension of Westfield London, the leisure and residential expansion at Westfield Stratford, and the client‚Äôs germinal joint venture with Hammerson for a ¬£4bn regeneration project in Croydon. Henry Moss¬†and senior associate Tim Regis¬†(who is ‚Äėvery commercial, very intelligent, and very pleasant‚Äô) are involved in a major, seven-phase PRS-led development project in East London. In the leisure sector, Trevor Goode¬†is advising Qatari Diar on the conversion of the current US embassy in London into a luxury hotel. The team has also handled London HQ relocations for various financial institutions, and provides ongoing landlord and tenant advice to landed estates and major domestic and international occupiers. Darren Rogers¬†and Patrick Williams¬†joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP¬†in 2017.

Leading individuals

David Jones - Ashurst

Hugh Lumby - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Tim Regis - Ashurst

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Construction
Construction (contentious) - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

Contruction (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

The construction team at Ashurst, led by Tim Reid, is ‚Äėvery proactive, with excellent industry and subject matter knowledge.‚Äô On the transactional side, Ben Patton¬†continues to advise longstanding client Westfield on all construction aspects of its ongoing works at the existing ¬£2.3bn Westfield London development at White City in London.¬†David Wadham¬†is advising Japanese Bank for International Cooperation on the development and construction financing of the 950 MW Moray Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Scotland.¬†Michael Smith¬†is advising CEC on the ¬£150m development of the Edinburgh tram system between York Place in the centre of Edinburgh and Newhaven in Leith. Jan Sanders¬†is ‚Äėextremely able, pragmatic and approachable,‚Äô and counsel Nicholas Hilder¬†is recommended as ‚Äėoutstanding: extremely pragmatic, thoughtful and collaborative.'

Leading individuals

Tim Reid - Ashurst

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

The ‚Äėstrong‚Äô team at Ashurst has been strengthened by the move of counsel Eleanor Reeves from Dentons¬†to head the London environment practice. Reeves has ‚Äėin-depth knowledge of regulation and is able to provide clear and concise guidance, particularly when assisting with crisis management.‚Äô Recent work includes advising on environment and safety aspects of Japanese parking operator Park24 and the Development Bank of Japan's ¬£312m acquisition of National Car Parks Limited. Nick Stalbow and renewables expert Anthony Johnston are also recommended. Other clients include CGN, BAE, Interserve, Atlantis Resources, OMV, Renewi, Covanta, Grundon, National Express, and Berkeley.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†is praised for its ‚Äėabundant industry knowledge, advising above and beyond the legal realm'.¬†Trevor Goode¬†heads the firm's planning and public sector team, which specialises in regeneration schemes. Goode recently advised the Berkeley Group on the continuing regeneration of the former Southall Gasworks site, one of London's largest strategic brownfield sites; and acted for Grosvenor on the planning application for the Bermondsey Project, a new ¬£500m urban neighbourhood in South London.¬†Richard Vernon, Melanie Jordan¬†and Lucy Thomas¬†advised Lendlease on the planning and CPO strategy related to its successful bid to become the JV partner on the ¬£2bn Haringey regeneration scheme, set to deliver over 6,400 new homes, a new mixed-use town centre and substantial commercial retail office and community space. Senior associate Charles Reid¬†is also highly recommended.

Leading individuals

Trevor Goode - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Charles Reid - Ashurst

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

The 'dedicated team' at Ashurst is praised by clients for its 'great attention to detail', 'strong knowledge' and 'focus on getting the necessary results'. Highlights included Ruth Harris advising M&G Investments on a £517m secured notes issuance facility relating to the high-profile residential development at No. 1 Grosvenor Square in central London, and Sarah Watkinson, who specialises in acting for investment banks, private equity funds and Asian inbound investors, assisting Samsung SRA Asset Management with the acquisition and financing of an office building in the capital. The team handled a number of multi-jurisdictional matters, including EQT Real Estate's refinancing of an acquisition located on Avenue Dubonnet in Courbevoie, Paris. Jessica Jenner is noted for her 'excellent leadership, knowledge and responsiveness'; senior associates Sarah Winter and Stuart Blacklock, 'a strong technical lawyer with excellent commercial awareness', are also key members of the team.

Leading individuals

Ruth Harris - Ashurst

Sarah Watkinson - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Jessica Jenner - Ashurst

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Iain Travers leads the team at Ashurst which has been bolstered by the arrival of Alison Hardy from Squire Patton Boggs. Hardy has specific expertise in PropTech and is also regularly instructed by property businesses and corporate occupiers. She was recently successful in defending client Zinc Cobham in a High Court matter which involved a specific performance claim of £100m. Other highlights included Hardy acting for Hudson Advisors in a 1.5m dilapidations claim and Travers acting on a substantial case for Mapeley STEPS. Mapeley STEPS represents the UK government and the matter relates to the breach of a services obligation and a counterclaim for an unpaid service charge. Kimberley Sheppard also arrived from Squire Patton Boggs.

Leading individuals

Iain Travers - Ashurst

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Ashurst draws upon the wide sectoral and cross-practice expertise of its team - in London and across the network - to deliver a wide variety of services for clients and other stakeholders impacted by Brexit. The firm has been highly sought-after to provide advice to governments in the UK and EU, as well as further afield internationally. It also works with trade bodies and industry associations. The breadth of its offering has meant that members of the firm have delivered seminars for key clients, spoken at industry events and also provided thought-leadership contributions in the mainstream media. Hiroyuki Iwamura is heading up a series of roadshows across the country to advise Japanese companies with operations in the UK on the legal risks associated with Brexit. The firm's practice lead is corporate partner Rob Aird, who has 'really made it a priority to understand the details of Brexit; he studied hard, even before the referendum vote, in order to be well-prepared'. Aird acts for corporates and a wide range of market participants in the financial services industry (including banks and asset managers) in their Brexit preparations. James Coiley, who is a partner in the structured finance and derivatives group, has written extensively about the impact of Brexit on the UK's banking industry (particularly structured products). James Perry is recommended for his financial services regulatory expertise, as is Jake Green. On a related note, counsel Tim Cant has specialist knowledge of the regulation of market infrastructure (including trading platforms and post-trade arrangements) and trading venues, among other areas. Beyond financial services, the firm is able to deliver the full scope of advice to clients in various other sectors, including oil and gas, energy and utilities, and transport. Another key figure in the team is global competition chair Nigel Parr, who is currently leading the City of London Law Society's sub-committee on the impact of Brexit on competition law, and recently chaired a seminar by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

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Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†acts for corporations and financial institutions with regards to internal investigations into bribery, corruption, financial irregularities, fraud and money-laundering and sanctions. It is adept at handling multi-jurisdictional investigations, including those by the FCA, SFO and NCA. Key client sectors include oil and gas, energy, infrastructure and defence. Head of team Angela Pearson¬†is ‚Äėa highly capable leader with good commercial judgement‚Äô.¬†David Capps¬†is also recommended.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

Ashurst

Led jointly by financial regulatory expert Jake Green, technology specialist David Futter and corporate partner Rob Aird, Ashurst's practice has excellent strength in depth and advises several high-profile financial institutions on a range of technology matters. Green and Futter have been advising Goldman Sachs on the roll-out of its digital retail banking platform Marcus, including regulatory advice as well as negotiating over 30 vendor collaboration agreements. Lorraine Johnston, who made counsel in January 2018, advised on the matter, as did fellow regulatory expert and senior associate Bradley Rice. All four lawyers also act for various cryptocurrency clients, including Plus500 and e-Toro, and have assisted clients with ICOs. Nick Elverston, who heads the firm's TMT and digital economy group, advised WorldPay Group on its strategic partnership with Visa, with a view to both parties launching payments innovations in several jurisdictions. Additionally in the payments space, Green advised BP Oil UK on the regulatory aspects of BPme, the company's new mobile app for paying for fuel at petrol station forecourts. On the corporate side, Aird acted for Countrywide on its joint venture with Blenheim Chalcott to create digital mortgage broker Dynamo. Other clients of the department include Lloyds Banking Group, DXC Technologies, Aldermore Bank and Ellul & Co. Technology expert Tara Waters made partner in May 2018.

Next generation lawyers

David Futter - Ashurst

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Ashurst

The digital economy group at Ashurst handles contentious and non-contentious matters across IT and telecoms matters, with clients including giffgaff, BP and Panasonic Avionics. 'Astute' practice head Nick Elverston attracts praise for 'seeing the bigger picture'; he acted alongside competition partner Duncan Liddell for Virgin Media on its strategic cooperation with Sky for a targeted advertising across both of the companies' platform. In another work highlight Christopher Bates led a team advising DXC Technology in relation to its successful bid to provide Post Office with IT infrastructure and banking services. Amanda Hale is a key name to note for strategic and transactional matters. Mark Lubbock left the practice to join Brown Rudnick LLP.

Leading individuals

Nick Elverston - Ashurst

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 4

Ashurst

Ashurst’s digital economy team assists its clients on the development of digital strategies; where highlights include advising Virgin Media on its strategic cooperation with Sky to allow advertisers to sell targeted advertising across both the Virgin Media and Sky platforms; advising Television Event and Media Marketing on its UEFA licencing agreements; and advising Virgin Media on the auction of one of its EPG slots. The practice also handles significant transactions in the media and entertainment space and it is advising Deutsche Bank in relation to the takeover bid by 21st Century Fox for Sky; is advising Ladbrokes Coral on its potential acquisition by GVC Holdings; and advised Johnston Press on its divestment of 13 publishing titles and associated websites in East Anglia and the East Midlands to Iliffe Media. Nick Elverston leads the digital economy team, which also features Amanda Hale. Duncan Liddell renders EU and UK competition law advice for media and entertainment sector clients.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 4

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†has strong expertise in the areas of corporate finance and intellectual property.¬†Private equity partner Nick Rainsford¬†handled¬†LGC's sale of its Forensics and Security division to Eurofins Scientific.¬†Corporate specialist Eric Stuart advised Jefferies as bookrunner regarding Kiadis Pharma's placement of 2.25 million new shares with institutional investors for ‚ā¨18m. Mark Lubbock¬†has joined Brown Rudnick LLP¬†.

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London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Ashurst

Ashurst¬†has ‚Äėoutstanding knowledge of the industry‚Äô, ‚Äėstrong business acumen‚Äô and is praised for its ‚Äėpersonable and professional‚Äô approach. It handles high-profile rail deals both in the UK and internationally. Global co-head of transport¬†Mark Elsey¬†advises Crossrail Ltd on a number of key areas including depot construction and access property rights, overstation developments and management of the contract with Bombardier to build 66 new state-of-the-art trains. Terence Van Poortvliet¬†advised National Express Group on the ¬£72.6m acquisition of National Express' subsidiary, c2c, by new entrant Trenitalia UK; and advised the funders to Deutsche Asset Management and Infracapital on the funding of the new rolling stock for the West Midlands procurements.¬† Naomi Horton¬†is ‚Äėone of the best rolling stock specialists in the market‚Äô and advised Virgin, Stagecoach and WCTL in relation to its successful bid for and subsequent Direct Award of the extension of the West Coast franchise with DfT; and advised the joint venture of Keolis and Amey on its bid to the Welsh Government to appoint an Operator and Development Partner (ODP) to undertake the operation of the Wales and Borders franchise, and the design and management and operation of the South Wales Metro. Recently promoted partner Jonathan Turner¬†is a ‚Äėrising star, incredibly intelligent and fast to the key points‚Äô. Senior associate Stuart Cottis¬†is also noted.

Leading individuals

Mark Elsey - Ashurst

Naomi Horton - Ashurst

Terence van Poortvliet - Ashurst

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Turner - Ashurst

Stuart Cottis - Ashurst

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