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Linklaters Business Services

ONE SILK STREET, LONDON, EC2Y 8HQ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7456 2000
Fax:
Fax 020 7456 2222
DX:
10 LONDON CITY EC3
Web:
https://www.linklaters.com
Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin and 25 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's team has 'good commercial acumen, which is blended with legal expertise and a pragmatic approach'. Julian Cunningham-Day, in particular, is 'very smart, super-helpful and gets things done with the minimum of fuss'. The team, which is led by Richard Cumbley, has a notable focus on high-value, strategically-significant, business-critical commercial agreements. Areas of expertise include the contentious and non-contentious aspects of large BPOs, technology-related procurement transactions and IT/telecoms contracts. It is particularly strong in regulated sectors, such as financial services (including fintech), telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and energy. Reflective of the complexity of the firm's work, Marly Didizian and managing associate Greg Palmer recently advised Sappi Group on the negotiation of key service and supply arrangements with Lenzing AG, and also parallel negotiations of an outsourcing agreement (also with Lenzing). The firm is also highly active in the negotiation of core pensions administration outsourcing agreements; Cunningham-Day, managing associate Lindsey Brown and others are acting for clients such as Aviva and Diageo (among various others) in this space. Georgina Kon, who has more than 14 years of commercial contracts experience, acts for customers and suppliers in the public and private sectors. John Crozier, who heads up the firm's global outsourcing practice, is a council member on the Global Sourcing Association (GSA) UK Council.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a sophisticated tax group which 'combines a depth of knowledge with an innovative approach and insight'. The practice acts for major financial institutions as well as multinational corporates, financial sponsors and property companies. The team is led by 'star performer' Yash Rupal , whose 'unparalleled abilities are complimented by the team he has built around him', which includes the experienced Mark Kingstone. He is acting for the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) on tax issues surrounding its administration. Lynne Walkington and Dominic Winter (both of whom are regarded as possessing 'great technical knowledge') assisted Old Mutual Group with its separation into four divisions. Winter and counsel Jenny Wheater advised SoftBank Group on tax issues arising from the formation of the SoftBank Vision Fund in a matter involving UK and Japanese tax constraints. Other highlights for the group included assisting Unilever with its defence of the unprecedented $143bn takeover bid by Kraft Heinz, in relation to which the team developed structural solutions. Also recommended are newly promoted partners James Morgan and Sarah Lindley; and Mavnick Nerwal, a funds and investments expert who 'shows great promise'.

Leading individuals

Dominic Winter - Linklaters LLP

Yash Rupal - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Mavnick Nerwal - Linklaters LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The ‚Äėfirst-class‚Äô team at¬†Linklaters LLP¬†¬†is noted for its ‚Äėquick, thoughtful, friendly and commercial‚Äô approach, with a special focus on the financial services, mining, energy and infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, retail and oil and gas sectors. ‚ÄėExcellent‚Äô practice head¬†Nicole Kar¬†‚Äėis laser-focused on what the client wants and what needs to be done to get that‚Äô. Kar and¬†Simon Pritchard¬†advised Amec Foster Wheeler on its ¬£2.2bn takeover by John Wood Group, which involved the use of a novel ‚Äėtwin-track‚Äô approach which allowed for Phase 1 clearance to be obtained swiftly and avoided the need for a Phase 2 investigation. Another highlight saw¬†Christian Ahlborn¬†advising Unilever on an investigation by the CMA into alleged abuse of dominance in the supply of single-wrapped impulse ice cream. Ahlborn is recommended for his ‚Äėdeep understanding of the law and a mastery of economics that enables him to get to the bottom of the most complex competition problem‚Äô.¬†Natura Gracia¬†is noted for her ‚Äėpractical approach‚Äô, and managing associate¬†Anna Mitchell¬†is ‚Äėinsightful, hardworking, and a pleasure to work with‚Äô. The firm‚Äôs global chairman¬†Sir Christopher Bellamy¬†is noted for his advice on multi-jurisdictional cases, having previously been president of the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). The team saw the departures of Michael Cutting¬†Paula Riedel¬†to join the CAT and¬†Kirkland & Ellis International LLP¬†respectively.

Leading individuals

Christian Ahlborn - Linklaters LLP

Michael Cutting - Linklaters LLP

Natura Gracia - Linklaters LLP

Nicole Kar - Linklaters LLP

Simon Pritchard - Linklaters LLP

Sir Christopher Bellamy QC - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Anna Mitchell - Linklaters LLP

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The practice at¬†Linklaters LLP¬†is 'always available, responds quickly and with a commercial, can-do attitude'.¬†James Wootton¬†and¬†Iain Wagstaff¬†are noted for their 'seamless execution of IPOs'; Wootoon,¬†Simon Branigan¬†and¬†Mike Bienenfeld, who are 'knowledgeable, pragmatic, responsive and personable',¬†acted for Allied Irish Banks on its ‚ā¨3bn IPO. Further afield,¬†Tom Shropshire¬†advised Sibanye Gold on its $1bn rights offering, constituting the third-largest ever rights offering by a South African company.¬†John Lane¬†is said by some clients to be 'perhaps the best capital markets brain around', and is 'very good on wider policy issues such as MiFID implications and FCA regulations'; he and 'reasoned, commercial multi-tasker'¬†Jason Manketo¬†acted for HSBC Bank as London listing adviser on the admission of Bank of Cyprus shares to the LSE. Other clients include ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan Securities and, on the corporate side, RHI Magnesita.

Leading individuals

Jason Manketo - Linklaters LLP

John Lane - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

James Wootton - Linklaters LLP

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory) - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

'One of the top few leading practices', Linklaters LLP provides 'strong strategic advice' to investment banks, investment managers and infrastructure providers across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. On the non-contentious front, the firm advises on discrete regulatory issues as well as large-scale regulatory projects relating to Brexit, ring-fencing and regulatory capital. The team continues to handle numerous mandates relating to MiFID II and led by the 'excellent' Harry Eddis has been representing Nomura International plc on the implementation of the directive. Alongside Nikunj Kiri, Michael Kent and Martyn Hopper, Eddis has  also been central to the 12 leading investment and retail banks on their implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. The 'super bright' Peter Bevan has broad-ranging financial services regulatory expertise and often puts this knowledge to good effect on behalf of entities seeking to develop new financial products. The 'very technical and knowledgeable' Sebastian Barling  provides standalone regulatory advice as well as advising on the regulatory overlay in relation to financial services M&A. On the contentious front, in addition to the presence of pre-eminent practitioners including Hopper, Kent, Kiri and 'clever and dynamic' solicitor advocate Andrew Hughes , the team also benefits from numerous more junior practitioners who are developing a strong reputation, including the 'very articulate and detail oriented' Alison Wilson, who excels at handling FCA enforcement actions on behalf of retail banks and 'user-friendly and very bright' managing associate Ben Packer, who handles contentious financial services as a function of his broader dispute resolution offering. Sarah Parkhouse retired and Carl Fernandes joined Latham & Watkins.

Leading individuals

Martyn Hopper - Linklaters LLP

Michael Kent - Linklaters LLP

Nikunj Kiri - Linklaters LLP

Peter Bevan - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sebastian Barling - Linklaters LLP

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô, ‚Äėpragmatic and service-oriented‚Äô¬†Linklaters LLP¬†practice provides ‚Äėexcellent legal advice‚Äô and ‚Äėvery good levels of service, both on buy side and sell side assignments‚Äô. The team is known for its strength in public M&A, and its expertise in complex work such as reverse takeovers and demergers. Clients describe its responsiveness, business acumen, strength in depth and value for money as ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô. Financial services, high-end retail, technology and telecoms are key sector strengths; the department is also noted for its experience in the mining sector. Global head of corporate¬†Aedamar Comiskey¬†led the advice to Amec Foster Wheeler on its recommended all-share acquisition by competitor John Wood Group. The ‚Äėextremely supportive, practical and commercial‚Äô¬†Simon Branigan¬†led the team on AIB‚Äôs ‚ā¨12bn reprivatisation and IPO on the London and Irish stock exchanges.¬†Iain Fenn¬†(has a ‚Äėcommercial focus‚Äô and a ‚Äėcommitment to getting the deal done‚Äô) is advising Old Mutual in a complex arrangement for a demerger into two entities. Other highlights have seen firm senior partner and global chairman¬†Charles Jacobs¬†handle Glencore‚Äôs ¬£2.5bn sale of a 40% stake in its agricultural business,¬†Iain Wagstaff¬†act for Three on its ¬£300m acquisition of UK Broadband and the ‚Äėvery client oriented and pragmatic‚Äô¬†Sarah Wiggins¬†advising Benckitt Benckiser Group on its acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition, with total enterprise value of $17.9bn. Also recommended are corporate group leader¬†Owen Clay¬†,¬†who is ‚Äėfriendly and responsive‚Äô and ‚Äėis good at dealing with challenging clients and situations‚Äô and¬†William Buckley¬†¬†who is ‚Äėgood at leveraging the capability of the firm‚Äô.¬†¬†Fionnghuala Griggs¬†and¬†Kanyaka Ramamurthi ¬†were both promoted to partnership, while¬†Stuart Boyd¬†moved to¬†Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

Leading individuals

Aedamar Comiskey - Linklaters LLP

Charles Jacobs - Linklaters LLP

Iain Wagstaff - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Fionnghuala Griggs - Linklaters LLP

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's London-based private equity team is integrated with other offices across the network, and is also allied with the firm's other top-class practices (including finance, equity capital markets and M&A), enabling it to cover the full spread of transactions involving all major jurisdictions worldwide. Led by Alex Woodward, the group particularly comes into its own in groundbreaking deals involving novel/esoteric legal issues and matters connected with highly regulated sectors, such as healthcare, energy and financial services. In 2017, Woodward, recently promoted partner Christopher Boycott and banking partner Oliver Sceales acted for The Carlyle Group in its acquisition of Praesidiad from CVC Capital Partners. Another significant deal involved Carlton Evans acting for Baring Private Equity and Bright Food in the £1.4bn sale of the Weetabix group to Post Holdings. Ben Rodham advised The Office Group and its shareholders on the £490m sale of the business to Blackstone, which had followed a competitive auction. The firm also acts for other well-known names in the private equity sphere, such as BC Partners, Montagu, PAI and Apollo Global Management. David Martin, who relocated to the London office from Abu Dhabi, is recommended, as are Will Aitken-Davies and Vincent Ponsonnaille.

Leading individuals

Alex Woodward - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ben Rodham - Linklaters LLP

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

‚ÄėTop-tier‚Äô Linklaters LLP¬†advises on complex, multi-jurisdictional cases involving the fields of derivatives, insolvency, regulatory finance, capital markets, and energy and infrastructure. The firm continues to act for Grant Thornton as liquidators of companies within the Saad group and represented Bayerische Landesbank in commercial court proceedings arising from the bank‚Äôs sale of its stake in Formula One to CVC in 2006. Other clients include KBC Lease and Caff√® Nero. The team is headed by Michael Bennett¬†and Satindra Dogra¬†and has ‚Äėan impressive hands-on approach‚Äô. Christa Band¬†is also recommended. Katie Bradford¬†moved into a consultancy role. Kathryn Ludlow and Greg Reid retired from the firm.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

Linklaters LLP

The 'excellent and commercially astute' Linklaters LLP is widely known for handling high-profile and significant matters with financial and reputational impacts for its clients; and the firm fields lawyers with banking litigation expertise relating to insolvencies, derivatives and structured financial products, and misrepresentation along with fraud issues, mis-selling claims and contractual disputes, lender enforcement actions, and consumer credit issues. Cross-border highlights include successfully defending the Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) in expedited London High Court proceedings brought by the Republic of Kazakhstan (ROK) and the National Bank of Kazakhstan; RoK sought a declaration that BNYM should not have frozen over $22bn of its assets held by BNYM under the terms of an English law-governed global custody agreement. Christa Band is banking litigation practice head, Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head and the global dispute resolution head is Michael Bennett. Patrick Robinson  has a broad banking and financial markets disputes practice, particularly regarding derivatives and structured products disputes; Andrew Hughes has extensive experience of banking disputes and fraud and regulatory investigations; and Alison Wilson has a particular focus on contentious regulatory work. Other highly rated individuals are Nick Porter , Euan Clarke, Harriet Ellis and Kathryn Ludlow , together with Susan Roscoe , Nick Porter, Rory Conway, Ros Gallagher, and Susana Cao Miranda. Jonathan Swil is a notable managing associate. James Gardner retired from the firm.

Leading individuals

Christa Band - Linklaters LLP

Patrick Robinson - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Swil - Linklaters LLP

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The 'absolutely top-rate' practice at Linklaters LLP stands out for its multi-jurisdictional, cross-practice capability when handling large, complex cases involving top-tier UK and international companies; and the practice regularly advises clients in the financial services sector, but has seen an increase in work from the mining, telecoms, charities and technology sectors. Recent highlights include Tom Cassels leading advice to Hutchison 3G UK in its breach of contract claim in the Commercial Court against EE that involved the parties' agreement for a rollout of network infrastructure on their shared mobile telecoms network; the matter involves complex contract law issues, extensive technical evidence and has unique implications for the ongoing operation of one of the UK's major mobile telecoms networks. In other matters, Ben Carroll acted for Glencore International, a large mining concern and commodities trader, in defending it against a breach of contract claim brought by Minera las Bambas and MMG Swiss Finance that related to the sale of a large mine in South America; the dispute related to the application of indemnities given in the sale and purchase agreement and turns on the proper contractual interpretation of a number of indemnities. Michael Bennett is global dispute resolution head; and Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head. Also recommended are Tom Lidstrom, who is 'a class act who stands out from the crowd', Patrick Robinson, Nick Porter, and Harriet Ellis, along with Rory Conway and Susana Cao Miranda. Marc Harvey relocated from the Hong Kong office to London, while Kathryn Ludlow retired from the firm.

Leading individuals

Michael Bennett - Linklaters LLP

Satindar Dogra - Linklaters LLP

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The 'superb' competition litigation team at Linklaters LLP is 'at the heart of interchange litigation' and particularly excels in its work for defendants. Following the retirement of Michael Sanders in April 2017, the team is led by the firm's 'leading competition litigator', Tom Cassels. The group also greatly benefits from the 'greatest competition law mind in the solicitors field', Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, who is a former European Commission judge and president of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Highlights included acting for Hutchison 3G UK as an interested party in judicial review proceedings commenced by the client against Ofcom, Vodafone, O2 and BT with respect to Ofcom's decision to impose competition measures in the Public Sector Spectrum Release auction process. In another stand-out matter, the group is representing Visa Europe and Visa UK in multiple claims brought by various retailers concerning interchange fees. 'Good at coordinating across multiple jurisdictions', Counsel Elizabeth Jordan, who is handling a number of the firm's major cases, is 'bound for greatness', according to one client.

Leading individuals

Tom Cassels - Linklaters LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

'Demonstrating an impressive hands-on approach', Linklaters LLP's 'excellent service includes seamlessly working with other counsel within and outside UK, instructing non-legal experts and managing witnesses effectively'. The practice is particularly focused on disputes in the financial services, oil and gas, natural resources, and telecoms sectors; and the firm fields partners with substantial Africa experience across Anglophone, Lusophone, and Francophone Africa.Tom Lidstrom'provides a top-class service'; Matthew Weiniger QC is global international arbitration head; and Michael Bennett is global dispute resolution division head. Ben Carroll is also highly rated and Jacqueline Chaplin and  Ula Cartwright-Finch are well-regarded managing associates. Marc Harvey  relocated to London from the firm's Hong Kong office, where he was Asia regional managing partner, while Greg Reid retired from the firm.

Leading individuals

Matthew Weiniger QC - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ula Cartwright-Finch - Linklaters LLP

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Mediators
Mediators - ranked: tier 4

Katie Bradford - Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's Katie Bradford is best known for her mediation work in high-value property-related cases; Bradford's other areas include cases involving employment law, pensions, trading, trusts and probate.

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is best known for investor-state disputes in sectors such as telecoms, energy and utilities; trade law including trade remedies and litigation; international human rights law and corporate responsibility such as alleged violations of international human rights standards; sanctions' frameworks aimed at Russia and Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya, among others; and state immunity issues, frequently related to the enforcement of judgments or arbitral awards against states or state entities. Matthew Weiniger QC and Ben Carroll are the names to note. Ula Cartwright-Finch and Adrien Canivet are key managing associates. Greg Reid retired from the firm.

Leading individuals

Matthew Weiniger QC - Linklaters LLP

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Benefiting from a vast roster of practitioners focusing on leveraged and corporate acquisition finance out of London and also able to tap into the firm's impressive international network of offices,¬†Linklaters LLP¬†is 'able to staff appropriately on tight timelines' and provide a 'very strong service which is attuned to the latest market developments' to banks, alternative capital providers, corporates and private equity sponsors.¬†Adam Freeman¬†heads up the leveraged finance sub-group at the firm and has strong credentials among many leading banks in the market; alongside¬†Robert Burt, Freeman recently advised the arrangers and underwriters on the complex financing involving TLB, second lien and revolving credit facilities for Blackstone and CVC to fund their acquisition of Paysafe plc. On the borrower front,¬†Oliver Sceales ¬†has handled numerous matters for The Carlyle Group including recently advising it on a ‚ā¨320m European cov-lite TLB facility and¬†‚ā¨80m revolving credit facility to fund its acquisition of Praesidiad from CVC Capital Partners.¬†Annette Kurdian¬†is 'excellent on tricky transactions' on behalf of banks and alternative lenders; alongside the 'experienced'¬†Nick Syson, and on the US high yield front¬†Mark Hageman, she recently advised the arrangers/underwriters¬†(including BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse) on the cov-lite TLB, revolving credit and bridge facility to fund Unilabs'¬†(an Apax Partners portfolio company) acquisition of AeskuLab Holding and Alpha Medical.¬†Edward Aldred¬†and¬†Daniel Gendron ¬†are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Adam Freeman - Linklaters LLP

Nick Syson - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Annette Kurdian - Linklaters LLP

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Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 5

Linklaters LLP

Housed within the firm‚Äôs global banking group,¬†Linklaters LLP¬†'s asset finance team effectively services the firm's broader banking and funds clients, in particular, on transactions within the transportation sector. As well as being able to tap into the finance expertise of practitioners across the globe on multi-jurisdictional matters, the team also often works in collaboration with lawyers from other complementary practice areas including restructuring, capital markets and private equity. Team head¬†Olga Petrovic¬†is working alongside restructuring colleagues out of New York on the representation of¬†Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank as senior secured lender, in relation to the ongoing Chapter 11 proceedings of Greek-owned shipping company Toisa. Petrovic also recently acted for the European Investment Bank on its first financing implementing its innovative ‚Äúgreen shipping‚ÄĚ credit support product¬†(a product which the firm helped to establish). Counsel¬†Andrew Penfold¬†is also a key member of the team and has a particular focus on the development and financing of offshore oil and gas assets, including production vessels. On the aviation front, as well as continuing to regularly advise on corporate and business jet financings, the firm is also picking up an increased flow of work in the commercial sector.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Benefiting from 'top-tier analytical and intellectual ability',¬†Linklaters LLP¬†provides a 'very responsive service'¬†to banks and corporates across a myriad of financing work, including as it relates to general corporate lending, investment grade acquisition financing, margin lending and refiancings.¬†Head of the firm's global loans practice,¬†Philip Spittal¬†has deep expertise at handling¬†syndicated lending and event-driven acquisition finance for investment grade, crossover and leveraged credits; Spittal recently represented ING Bank as global co-ordinator on term and revolving credit facilities and a ‚ā¨600m short-term facility for¬†Dufry, and advised BNP Paribas in its capacity as co-ordinator on an amendment and restatement of its existing ¬£1.88bn revolving facility agreement for¬†Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc, involving a syndicate of 30 lenders. As well as handling a raft of general corporate lending work and investment grade acquisition financing matters,¬†Oliver Edwards¬†has also developed a market leading margin lending practice and recently¬†advised a syndicate of international banks on the refinancings of a margin loan secured over shares in¬†Steinhoff¬†for a borrower ultimately owned by Christo Wiese. Recently promoted partner¬†Ian Callaghan¬†'is destined to become a leader in the area'; he recently acted for JP Morgan on the¬†‚ā¨150m¬†bridge term loan facility to¬†Neinor Homes, for the purpose of financing the acquisition of certain plots of land located in Spain. Other recommended practitioners include¬†James Martin,¬†Toby Grimstone¬†and 'very sharp and enthusiastic' managing associate¬†Caroline Courtney. Other clients include Glencore, Credit Suisse,¬†Reckitt Benckiser plc and Credit Suisse.

Leading individuals

Oliver Edwards - Linklaters LLP

Philip Spittal - Linklaters LLP

Toby Grimstone - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ian Callaghan - Linklaters LLP

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Commodities: derivatives
Commodities: derivatives - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a market-leading energy, natural resources and mining practice across its international office network, which leads to a steady flow of commodities work in both physical and derivatives markets. Co-head of the global commodities group Chris Staples handles both physical and derivatives trades for some of the world's largest financial institutions. He recently acted for Barclays Bank in the disposal of its commodities trading book, particularly in relation to its non-core crude oil, refined oil, petrochemicals, natural gas liquids and natural gas transactions. The deal involved a portfolio sale agreement and a total return swap covering transactions held on commodities exchanges, as well as OTC derivatives. He also handled Noble Clean Fuels Limited's sale of its physical and financial power and gas book, which included structuring and managing the sale, and a total return swap.

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Commodities: physicals
Commodities: physicals - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a breadth of expertise across regulatory and transactional commodities matters that stems from its highly regarded energy, natural resources and mining practices. While many firms in the commodities space approach the market from a shipping and insurance perspective, the firm's understanding of underlying markets is driven by its expertise in finance and trading in specific market sectors. Its work encompasses physical precious and base metals trading and warehousing, the establishment of commodity trading platforms, and dispute resolution. The practice frequently handles complex physical commodities deals, which last year included advising a multinational finance company on a structured intermediation financing for a European refinery, and acting for the London Metals Exchange in connection with its  central electronic register for the transfer of off-warrant warehouse receipts, known as LMEshield. Chris Staples, who assisted Barclays Bank with the disposal of its commodities trading book, and Jeremy Gewirtz are co-heads of the firm's global commodities group. Noble Group, Macquarie Bank and Société Générale are among the firm's clients.

Leading individuals

Chris Staples - Linklaters LLP

Jeremy Gewirtz - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Strengthened by the recent hires of fund/special situations experts¬†James Douglas¬†and¬†Sarah Mook¬†from¬†Ropes & Gray LLP¬†and Goldman Sachs, respectively,¬†Linklaters LLP¬†handles the full array of transactional, formal insolvency and corporate restructuring mandates implementing out of court and in court procedures across the jurisdictions with which the firm is located. Co-head of the firm's global team,¬†Rebecca Jarvis¬†has a particularly strong track record advising major international corporates facing financial difficulties and is representing Nigeria-based gas company Seven Energy Group on its complex capital restructuring. Co-head¬†Richard Bussell¬†handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates for a broad array of stakeholders and recently advised the trustees of the Co-operative Pension Scheme on the separation of the Co-operative Bank plc from the pension scheme in order to¬†improve its capital position and avoid potential resolution. A market-leading expert on the implementation of English creditor schemes of arrangement,¬†Bruce Bell¬†handles a mix of fund-side creditor work and debtor mandates including his ongoing work for the Norske Skog group on its restructuring. Spearheaded by the 'vastly experienced'¬†Tony Bugg, the firm also handles some residual Lehman Brothers work including on the continuation of the ‚ÄúWaterfall Proceedings‚ÄĚ in the UK courts to determine entitlements to surplus funds.¬†Nick Le Masurier,¬†Euan Clarke¬†and¬†Richard Hodgson¬†are also recommended.

Leading individuals

James Douglas - Linklaters LLP

Rebecca Jarvis - Linklaters LLP

Richard Bussell - Linklaters LLP

Tony Bugg - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nick Le Masurier - Linklaters LLP

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is 'a go-to firm for any investment grade debt and it has the ability to handle both plain vanilla and esoteric products'. Liability management and retail bonds specialist Elaine Keats, who acted for British American Tobacco Group on the issuance of $17.5bn in notes, leads the practice, which has a deep bench of talent across all aspects of DCM. For some, Richard Levy is 'the best counsel in London, especially for complex products; he is super-technical and commercial'. Keith Thomson handles debt and equity-linked transactions in the Euro markets and is a specialist in convertible and exchangeable bonds. Thomson and Ben Dulieu are 'the two lawyers everyone in equity-linked seeks out for transactions'. Carson Welsh focuses on regulatory capital transactions, which last year included advising Banco Santander on $250m in second ranking senior notes, which are new types of security in the Spanish market. US-qualified Cecil Quillen is also recommended for regulatory capital deals. Richard O’Callaghan has significant MENA and emerging markets expertise, and clients note that he is ' highly skilled and responsive, with a particular expertise in more complex issues'. Neil Dixon is 'outstanding - he has the complete confidence of clients and is always up-to-date with market developments in the incredibly technical world of financial services regulatory capital'. Managing associate Manoj Tulsiani is 'very technical and commercial and doesn't waste any time'.

Leading individuals

Ben Dulieu - Linklaters LLP

Carson Welsh - Linklaters LLP

Cecil Quillen - Linklaters LLP

Elaine Keats - Linklaters LLP

Richard Levy - Linklaters LLP

Richard O’Callaghan - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Manoj Tulsiani - Linklaters LLP

Neil Dixon - Linklaters LLP

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is 'the very best in the market', according to one client who remarks that 'for complex, innovative, cross-border work it would be our first port of call'. The firm is 'very good at keeping on top on new regulations its business acumen and industry knowledge are second-to-none'. The firm's prominent position in market-defining issues is evidenced by its work for ISDA on the impact of Brexit on the derivatives market and documentation. Deepak Sitlani and Mark Brown, who is 'hugely experienced and hardworking, and shows very impressive attention to detail', were the main partners involved. Key partner Vinay Samani has more than 20 years’ experience in debt, equity and structured finance transactions, and frequently acts for both financial institutions and corporates. One client describes him as '100% reliable; he understands how the market works and what his clients need, and he marries a relaxed, common-sense approach with in-depth technical knowledge'. Paul Lewis, who is now head of UK derivatives and structured products, focuses mainly on margin implementation for non-cleared derivatives, but also handles matters relating to the application of blockchain and smart contract technology. One client remarks that he is 'definitely the right person to lead the firm towards innovative technology solutions, as he has always been forward-looking'. Lewis and David Phillips advised BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan on new issuance under the markets first single-issuer, multi-dealer repackaging programme. The firm's deep bench of talent includes global head of capital markets Michael Voisin; Simon Firth, who acted for British Business Bank in the provision of guarantees to United Trust Bank; Toby Gray and Matthew Monahan for repackagings and credit-linked notes, who exhibit 'good response times, good knowledge and are willing to co-operate under tight deadlines'; 'very strong partner' and rising star Mark Drury, who is 'solution-oriented and not afraid to tell it like it is'; and counsel Doug Shaw.

Leading individuals

Deepak Sitlani - Linklaters LLP

Michael Voisin - Linklaters LLP

Paul Lewis - Linklaters LLP

Simon Firth - Linklaters LLP

Vinay Samani - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Doug Shaw - Linklaters LLP

Mark Drury - Linklaters LLP

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP¬†has one of the premier finance practices in London and frequently acts for banks, corporates, funds and governments in their financing, hedging and investment activities. From London, it handles work in Africa, the CEE, China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Southeast Asia and Turkey. It is a leading player in¬†debt capital markets transactions in emerging markets, though trade and project finance are also among its major strengths. Last year, it acted for lenders including African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and¬†Japan Bank for International Cooperation on the $5bn financing of the Nacala Corridor project, a 900km rail and port development in Malawi and Mozambique backed by mining company Vale to transport coal from its mines to overseas markets. Head of the firm‚Äôs Africa group¬†Andrew Jones¬†led that deal. Another key deal in Mozambique was the $5bn financing of the¬†Coral South floating liquefied natural gas project, in which¬†Daniel Tyrer¬†led a team acting for the sponsors. He is also¬†head of the CIS group¬†is a leading light for oil and gas¬†project finance across EMEA.¬†Mirthe Van Kesteren¬†leads the emerging markets banking and structured trade finance practice in London, which has a deep bench of experienced partners including transport,¬†utilities and infrastructure¬†expert¬†Ian Andrews;¬†US securities partners¬†Cecil Quillen¬†and¬†Patrick Sheil, who handle both for debt and equity transactions; senior partner and mining industry expert¬†Charlie Jacobs; capital markets partners¬†Richard O‚ÄôCallaghan, who advised the Republic of Slovenia on a ‚ā¨1.25bn tender and exchange offer for outstanding debt, and¬†Elaine Keats; and¬†banking partner¬†Toby Grimstone.

Leading individuals

Andrew Jones - Linklaters LLP

Daniel Tyrer - Linklaters LLP

Ian Andrews - Linklaters LLP

Mirthe van Kesteren - Linklaters LLP

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High yield
High yield - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP¬†has a busy high yield practice that works closely with its highly respected banking group in London to generate a steady flow of bond deals, LBO transactions and restructuring work.¬†The practice has two 'very strong and experienced' US-qualified partners in¬†Alexander Naidenov¬†and¬†Mark Hageman, who are 'knowledgeable and creative, very responsive and hands-on in their deals'. Naidenov, who 'stands out for his creativity, pragmatism and hands-on approach, and is quite a charismatic personality', acted for AnaCap Financial Europe in its ‚ā¨325m issuance of senior secured floating rate notes to fund the acquisition of debt portfolios from AnaCap. The deal is notable for the bespoke corporate structure of the first-time issuer, which is formed as a¬†reserved alternative investment fund. Hageman, who is 'proactive and very good with processes, and¬†remains focused on the transactions', assisted¬†Cortefiel and its sponsor shareholders CVC and PAI Partners with¬†Cortefiel's debut ‚ā¨600m high yield bond offering to repay the group's existing debt. He also advised initial purchasers on a ‚ā¨1.35bn¬†high yield bond acquisition financing and refinancing for cable TV operator United Group. Counsel¬†Nadia Sokolova¬†¬†moved to¬†Ashurst.

Leading individuals

Alexander Naidenov - Linklaters LLP

Mark Hageman - Linklaters LLP

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP¬†is 'excellent ‚Äď probably the most sensible, pragmatic and commercial secured financing team on the street'. The firm is widely regarded as a leader in the whole-business securitisation market; it played a part in all of the utility WBS deals in the UK - including¬†Welsh Water, Anglian Water and Peel Ports - and continues to act in all of their WBS financings. The practice also handles large and complex transactions in other market sectors, including RMBS. It acted for a consortium of six UK financial institutions, including Barclays Bank and HSBC, in the ¬£11.8bn Ripon RMBS, which is backed by¬†mortgage loans originated by Bradford & Bingley. Adam Fogarty¬†led that deal. Julian Davies¬†acted for the British Broadcasting Corporation in the Juturna Broadcasting house CMBS securitisation.¬†Practice head Andrew Vickery¬†and partner James Harbach, who handles securitisation, structured finance, project and utility bonds and private or state-structured guaranteed debt offerings, are 'high-quality and experienced practitioners for more complex and innovative trades'. Also recommended are¬†Mark Nuttall, who focuses on the infrastructure and utilities sectors, and also leads the firm‚Äôs social finance practice; Alex Shopov, who advised Essar Oil on issuance under its¬†refined petroleum trade receivables-backed commercial paper conduit securitisation; newly promoted partner Reza Taylor, who¬†has 'excellent commercial understanding of the market and is pragmatic, solution-focused, friendly and professional'; and William Trotman.

Leading individuals

Adam Fogarty - Linklaters LLP

Andrew Vickery - Linklaters LLP

James Harbach - Linklaters LLP

Julian Davies - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alex Shopov - Linklaters LLP

Reza Taylor - Linklaters LLP

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Trade finance
Trade finance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is known for its 'smooth delivery in multi-jurisdictional transactions and its keen ability to pull apart any change that might affect a deal'. Head of structured trade and commodity finance Mirthe Van Kesteren has handled all of the financing deals for KAZ Minerals since 2001; her recent work for this client includes a $2bn trading agreement with Advaita relating to the production of copper concentrate, a $600m PXF for the refinancing of its existing facility, and the negotiation of commercial trading contracts for both copper concentrate and copper cathodes. The team for these deals included managing associate Adrian Newell, who has extensive experience in trade and commodity financings including PXF and pre-payment deals in the CIS region, ECA-backed deals and borrowing base facilities. The other key partner in the practice is Toby Grimstone, who is a key adviser to major trading house Glencore on complex financing transactions; his recent highlights for this client include the $9.1bn joint sale of a stake in Russian state-owned oil and gas company Rosneft, which involved the unwinding of the financing and credit support arrangements put in place for the original acquisition financing.

Leading individuals

Mirthe van Kesteren - Linklaters LLP

Toby Grimstone - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Adrian Newell - Linklaters LLP

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's 'excellent' department is noted for its global share plans expertise, with recent highlights including advising Unilever on the share elements of the sale of its global spreads business, and assisting with the incentives aspects of Old Mutual's separation into three separately listed businesses based internationally. BAE Systems, Vodafone and Lloyds Banking Group are also clients. Alexandra Beidas leads the group and regularly advises financial institutions on remuneration issues; she also acted for Aldermore Group on the share elements of its acquisition by First Rand Bank and worked with managing associate Cara Hegarty to develop management incentives arrangements for Rothesay Holdco UK following its buyout of an investor's stake. Gillian Chapman retired in 2017.

Leading individuals

Alexandra Beidas - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Cara Hegarty - Linklaters LLP

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP provides 'a Rolls-Royce service to its corporate clients in their employment disputes' and 'stands among the best for big-ticket litigation'; it recently represented a doctor in the Court of Appeal regarding his dismissal following him raising concerns and related whistleblowing issues. Other recent mandates include advising several major banks on the employment components of the implementation of ring-fencing rules, assisting AmecFosterWheeler with the employment elements of its takeover by John Wood Group and handling the employment aspects of Schneider Electric's combination with the Aveva software business via a reverse takeover. Commerzbank, Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury's, Unilever and the National Grid are also clients. Nicola Rabson leads the group and is singled out as 'the star of the team'; other key names include the 'highly experienced and thoughtful' Jean Lovett, the 'extremely knowledgeable' Jillian Naylor, managing associate Sinead Casey and counsel David Speakman.

Leading individuals

Nicola Rabson - Linklaters LLP

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's 'service levels are of the highest standard' with 'a detailed and methodical approach that sets it apart from the rest'. While historically recognised for its strong non-contentious practice, the firm also fields a robust litigation team; Ruth Goldman leads the transactional side while Mark Blyth is 'simply the best pensions litigator around'. Goldman's recent work includes advising MMC UK Pension Fund Trustee on a longevity swap; other non-contentious work includes Philip Goss assisting Sir Philip Green, Arcadia Group and Taveta Investments with issues surrounding the BHS pension schemes and managing associate John Sheppard handling the pensions elements of the merger between Centrica's European oil and gas exploration and production business with Bayerngas Norge for SWM. On the contentious side the group represented the trustees of the Staveley Pension Scheme in proceedings relating to the issuance of a financial support direction, and acted for Sir Philip Green and Taveta Investments in the inquiry into the BHS schemes. Also recommended are Claire Petheram, Rosalind Knowles, 'highly pragmatic' managing associate Alasdair Smith and 'clear and practical' managing associate Geoff Egerton.

Leading individuals

Tim Cox (non-contentious) - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

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London: Insurance

Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

‚ÄėOutstanding and excellent value for money‚Äô, the team at¬†Linklaters LLP¬†‚Äėis ruthlessly efficient with its time so you never feel that costs are being wasted‚Äô. The firm‚Äôs global reach gives it expertise in cross-border and emerging markets transactions, and it has advised on over 400 insurance matters globally. These matters cover the full spectrum, from M&A and portfolio transfers on the corporate insurance side to Solvency II and pre-enforcement support at the regulatory end; a particular highlight was advising Prudential on its conflicts of interest policy. Practice head Victoria Sander¬†was involved in a high-profile matter regarding Part VII of FSMA for Aviva UK Life, transferring the whole of the long-term life insurance business of Friends Life and Friends Life and Pensions to Aviva Life & Pensions UK. She leads a team that includes the ‚Äėextremely smart‚Äô Duncan Barber,¬†who is a ‚Äėgo-to person on really tricky regulatory issues‚Äô, as well as Dan Schuster-Woldan¬†and Kanyaka Ramamurthi, who are ‚Äėsecond to none for transactional work‚Äô.

Leading individuals

Duncan Barber - Linklaters LLP

Victoria Sander - Linklaters LLP

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Hedge funds
Hedge funds - ranked: tier 4

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP 's 'hedge fund team is very responsive and targeted to clients' product lines - it can advise on the full range of funds issues, with a practice depth covering closed-ended LP-GP structures and investment trusts'. Matthew Keogh 'can handle anything you throw at him' - he and counsel Rahul Manvatkar advise Deutsche Bank's global investment solution teams on various hedge fund matters, including on relationships with managers using its Irish-domiciled platform. Jonathan de Lance-Holmes, who also has experience of advising quant funds, advised Brevan Howard Capital Management on making a minority investment into another asset management business. Other clients include Morgan Stanley.

Next generation lawyers

Rahul Manvatkar - Linklaters LLP

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Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

At Linklaters LLP, Jonathan de Lance-Holmes continues to advise SoftBank on the Softbank Vision Fund; he and counsel Rahul Manvatkar advised on the creation of a sidecar running alongside it entitled the SoftBank Delta Fund to invest in DiDi, which was constrained due to the terms of the Vision Fund. Matthew Keogh advised cornerstone client Macquarie on creating an infrastructure debt fund. Tom Alabaster is a new hire from Latham & Watkins - his work includes Asia-related fund formation work. The firm also acts for Middle Eastern, Asian and North American institutional investors. Edward Smith has left the firm.

Next generation lawyers

Rahul Manvatkar - Linklaters LLP

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

At¬†Linklaters LLP, counsel¬†Rahul Manvatkar¬†advised Barings Real Estate Advisers on the launch of a pan-European core real estate fund, which raised ‚ā¨850m.¬†¬†Matthew Keogh¬†advises well-known names in real estate on fund formations, while¬†Amanda Sanchez-Barry¬†advised ProLogis on forming a ¬£1bn joint venture investing in British logistics assets. Tom Watkins¬†advised Cromwell Europe on the sale of two of its real estate funds to a new entity which was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Jonathan de Lance-Holmes¬†handles investor-side work for sovereign wealth funds. Edward Smith has left the firm, while Tom Alabaster¬†joined from Latham & Watkins. BlackRock is another client.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Linklaters LLP

Known to clients as a 'strong lender-side adviser', Linklaters LLP represents an impressive client roster including names such as Macquarie, Allianz, First State and IFM. The team provides a full-service offering across the entire project life cycle and recently oversaw high-profile brown field M&A transactions. Jessamy Gallagher and Roger Barron (the latter now with Paul Hastings LLP ) acted for National Grid in the hive-out and sale of its gas distribution business to NGGD, a holding company formed specifically to own the business after the transaction. In the transport sector, Ian Andrews advised the Ontario Teachers' pension plan and Borealis on the sale of the HS1 group, and a consortium of investors appointed the group to oversee its £2bn acquisition of London City Airport. Stuart Rowson who recently assisted APG and ATP in their takeover of assets owned by infrastructure fund EISER including Belfast City Airport and the East Surrey pipelines.

Leading individuals

Ian Andrews - Linklaters LLP

Jessamy Gallagher - Linklaters LLP

Stuart Rowson - Linklaters LLP

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Mining sits at the core of Linklaters LLP 's multi-disciplinary practice which advises the full gamut of clients under the joint leadership of Charles Jacobs , Toby Grimstone and David Avery-Gee . Longstanding client Glencore recently appointed the team to oversee its acquisition of 31% stake in Mutanda and 10.25% in Katanga from Fleurette Properties. Corporate partner James Inglis worked closely with allied firm Allens to handle Rio Tinto's sale of its Australian subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries to Yancoal, and Avery-Gee intervened in Newcrest regarding its subscription for 10% of the issued share capital in AIM-listed SolGold. On the financing side, Fiona Hobbs and head of the Africa group Andrew Jones oversaw the $2.73bn project financing for the construction and refurbishment of a 912km coal railway line through Mozambique and Malawi as well as the Nacala port in Mozambique to service the Vale and Mitsui mine on behalf of a group of investment and commercial banks.

Leading individuals

Andrew Jones - Linklaters LLP

Charles Jacobs - Linklaters LLP

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

At Linklaters LLP 'responsive times are very short and the industry knowledge is exceptional mainly due to the team's extensive track record in project finance deals'. In recent highlights, the 'very commercially-minded' practice co-head Daniel Tyrer led the advice to the Area 4 Partners with regards to the development of the Coral FLNG project in Mozambique, and Matthew Keats applied his deep understanding of the Russian market to assist the lender group with the multi-source financing for the construction of the Yamal LNG project. Mark Russell represented Eni in the sale of 35.7% stake in Eni East Africa, which equates to 25% indirect participating interest in Area 4, to a wholly-owned subsidairy of ExxonMobil. Ilia Ditiatev 'is able to reach compromises even in the most challenging stalemates between lenders and borrowers' and was recently made partner; she is another key name to note alongside Fiona Hobbs who jointly heads the practice with Tyrer. Other noteworthy clients include Rosneft, National Grid, BP and Total.

Leading individuals

Daniel Tyrer - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ilia Ditiatev - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

At Linklaters LLP clients get 'an excellent service all around', 'very good client access and strong continuity which helps with repeat deals'. The department handles a healthy variety of project financing mandates, corporate transactions and disputes, and is currently assisting the central government with its future nuclear strategy. Among the names to note feature the 'very commercial and approachable' John Pickett and the 'formidably bright' infrastructure and projects practice head Jeremy Gewirtz who collaborated with the corporate team to advise Mitsui and ENGIE on the sale of the portfolio containing the Saltend, Deeside and Indian Queens UK power plants to Energy Capital Partners. Richard Ginks recently oversaw a 40% shareholding acquisition in the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm on behalf of Equitix while Charlotte Morgan plays a key role in the firm's nuclear offering. Also notable is the 'excellent, solution-driven and commercial' Richard Coar who jointly spearheads the renewables practice with Pickett and is currently leading counsel to the project company on the financing and development of the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.

Leading individuals

Charlotte Morgan - Linklaters LLP

Jeremy Gewirtz - Linklaters LLP

John Pickett - Linklaters LLP

Richard Coar - Linklaters LLP

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Water
Water - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The water offering at Linklaters LLP covers the full gamut of corporate and M&A, financing, regulatory and competition issues in the sector. Reza Taylor was recently promoted to partner within the finance department and is part of the team advising each of the seven securitised UK water companies on CayCo onshoring, which involves the replacement of Cayman-incorporated companies in their finance groups with English companies. Also a finance expert, Mark Nuttall recently teamed up with managing associate Elisabeth Johnson to counsel Thames Water with regards to its debut issuance into the Canadian bond market. Significant recent corporate highlights include assisting 3i Infrastructure with the sale of its stake in Anglian Water to a consortium of Dalmore Capital and GLIL Infrastructure, and the sale of Southern Water's non-household retail business to Business Stream - a subsidiary of Scottish Water. Julian Davies heads the practice while Michael Cutting leads the regulatory advice.

Leading individuals

Julian Davies - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Elisabeth Johnson - Linklaters LLP

Reza Taylor - Linklaters LLP

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

The 'excellent' team at Linklaters LLP¬†is¬†'very responsive and practical, has great soft skills and makes you feel like you are their only client.' It assists¬†businesses and public bodies on judicial reviews combined with technical knowledge of the telecommunications, financial services and water industries and¬†continues to advise clients on Brexit issues. Tom Cassels, who is singled out¬†for being 'brilliant in a crisis ‚Äď totally unflappable'¬†acted for Hutchison 3G UK in judicial review proceedings against Ofcom in respect of Ofcom‚Äôs decision to impose competition measures in the¬†public sector spectrum release auction process.¬†It also acted for Barclays as an interested party on a judicial review as to whether KPMG could be the¬†subjected to a judicial review. Other key practitioners include partner Alison Wilson¬†and¬†managing associate Tim Miller¬†.

Leading individuals

Tom Cassels - Linklaters LLP

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London: Real estate

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

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP¬†is ‚Äėcapable of fielding top-notch talent in every discipline affecting a real estate deal, in a way that can only be achieved with the depth of a true specialist firm‚Äô. Global real estate head Andy Bruce¬†has ‚Äėthe unique ability to put his seniority at the service of a deal‚Äô; ‚Äėwhat clients get with him is impressive commercial sensibility wrapped inside a very able lawyer‚Äô. Bruce and Simon Price¬†advised the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund on its role in the concerted purchase of a stake in Accor‚Äôs ‚ā¨4.4bn hotel property business. Price has particular experience in the hotel and leisure sector and assisted Mandarin Oriental Hotels with the management agreements of a new boutique hotel and branded residences in West London. Further, the group assisted a multinational joint venture with its acquisition of a portfolio of large retail property assets spread across three European jurisdictions. In the development space, the team is advising Lendlease on the ¬£2bn Elephant and Castle regeneration project. Additionally, Martin Elliott¬†is acting for the Barratt Group in relation to a mixed-use development in Hounslow comprising over 500 new homes and an extensive leisure and retail complex. Patrick Plant¬†advised Deutsche Bank on the pre-let of its new London HQ, and has acted for a global fintech company on the development of its European HQ. Tom Watkins¬†exhibits ‚Äėexcellent business acumen‚Äô and managing associate Siobhan Burton¬†is ‚Äėwhip-smart‚Äô and ‚Äėknows how to manage a large team‚Äô. Richardson Capital and Triuva are among the department‚Äôs key clients.

Leading individuals

Andrew Bruce - Linklaters LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

The team at Linklaters LLP has expanded to three partners. Vanessa Havard-Williams, head of the global group based in London, is an expert on international soft law sustainability standards, and the drafting and negotiation of related environmental and social contracts. Havard-Williams led the team advising lenders on the project financing of the $4bn Nacala Corridor Rail and Port project in Mozambique and Malawi, the largest ever successful project financing of infrastructure development in Sub-Saharan Africa; and advised National Grid on the application of the contaminated land regime to the real estate interests of easements and wayleaves granted by National Grid Property to third parties engaged in the provision of utilities and services. Rachel Barrett and Chris Staples also come highly recommended.

Leading individuals

Vanessa Havard-Williams - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Rachel Barrett - Linklaters LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 4

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's team is headed by David Watkins, who continues to advise Aroland Holdings on the s106 agreement for the £1bn construction of a 73-storey tower. Senior associate Louise Samuel is advising Starbones Limited on an inquiry following the refusal of planning permission for the construction of a mixed-use building. Watkins and Samuel are advising on all planning aspects of the £1.3bn purchase and development of the 5.3 acre Bankside Quarter site next to Blackfriars Bridge in Southwark, which has planning permission for 1.4 million sq ft of mixed-use development, including 489 flats and 300,000 sq ft of commercial space.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP¬†‚Äėstands out for cross-border or complex deals‚Äô, and is praised for its ‚Äėflexible approach, willingness to go the extra mile, ability to tell clients if they want too much, and market know-how‚Äô. Led by Steve Smith, who is ‚Äėhands down one of the top performing, most knowledgeable and commercial lawyers in the market today‚Äô, the team acts for borrowers, sponsors and developers, and has added to its historically strong debt-funds client base with a number of investment and commercial bank clients, including Citibank and Wells Fargo. Smith and Scott Simpson, an ‚Äėexcellent communicator‚Äô and ‚Äėan invaluable port of call for advice‚Äô, advised LaSalle Investment Management and DRC Capital as lenders on the financing of Global Student Accommodation‚Äôs acquisition of a Spanish student accommodation portfolio, operating business and brand from Oaktree; the ‚ā¨141m deal was the client‚Äôs first in Spain. Mark O‚ÄôNeill, a ‚Äėstalwart of the industry‚Äô, also acted on a number of high-value development finance matters.

Leading individuals

Mark O'Neill - Linklaters LLP

Steve Smith - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Scott Simpson - Linklaters LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP¬†has core strengths in crisis management, reputational issues and insolvency. The practice is¬†‚Äėcapable of running the very biggest litigation‚Äô and provides a ‚Äėtop-notch quality service to clients‚Äô.¬†Frances Richardson¬†heads the team and is praised for his ‚Äėthoroughness‚Äô and ‚Äėvery hands on‚Äô approach. Highlights included acting for PEC Oxford Limited in a High Court challenge of a rent review arbitration reward and advising PEC Parkfield Limited on the proposed redevelopment of a central London shopping centre. The group is also defending administrators who are subject to a claim of ¬£120m for a breach of duty when selling a portfolio of central London properties. Partner consultant Katie Bradford¬†is ‚Äėextremely good at providing high level directional advice‚Äô while managing associate Chris Stevenson¬†is also recommended.

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP operates across practice areas and jurisdictions to assist clients with navigating Brexit-related challenges and opportunities. In the financial services sector, the firm's depth and breadth of expertise puts it on a strong footing to advise a wide range of financial institutions on the impact of Brexit on corporate structures, reorganisation/restructuring options, financial regulatory issues (such as passporting and equivalence), jurisdiction analysis (for relocation/setting up) and employee-related issues, among others. Michael Kent, Peter Bevan and Harry Eddis are among the practitioners to note in this space. The firm also engages extensively with UK and EU trade bodies, as well as regulators; Deepak Sitlani and Mark Brown have spoken on a number of occasions at ISDA conferences. Aside from financial services, the firm advises clients from various other industries on the implications of Brexit, including retail, energy and automotive. Christopher Bellamy QC and Lucy Fergusson jointly lead the group, which also includes Nicole Kar, Charlotte Morgan and Matthew Weiniger QC.

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Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP, which is deservedly recognised as a 'a leader in the field', has been providing an integrated, global risk management, governance and regulatory practice since its dedicated operational intelligence group was established in 2014. The firm provides the full spectrum of advice on governance and compliance models, risk assessments, reporting, disclosure, investigations and crisis management. Tom Shropshire is advising the board and executive management of a financial institution with operations in Europe and the US on its approach to corporate governance, compliance policies and procedures and reporting frameworks. In another matter, which concerns a client's worldwide operations, Shropshire is acting for a global corporate in an assessment of its corporate governance structure and practices, and the effectiveness of its compliance procedures. Shropshire is also assisting another global company with an internal investigation into its operations in Latin America. Vanessa Havard-Williams, who demonstrates 'first-class judgment', has expertise in human rights and sustainability issues, environmental and product safety, and crisis management, among other areas. Shropshire and Havard-Williams co-lead the practice with Satindar Dogra, who has more than 20 years of experience of fraud investigations and corporate crime. Richard Cumbley has expertise in global projects involving data security incidents, regulatory investigations and large-scale privacy-related litigation. Alexandra Beidas, who leads the incentives team, acts for 40 of the companies listed on the FTSE 100, and also advises a number of FTSE 250 companies. Other notable individuals include Tom Cassels, Harry Eddis and Michael Kent. Recently promoted partner Rachel Barrett and managing associate Lucy Blake are also highly recommended.

Leading individuals

Tom Shropshire - Linklaters LLP

Vanessa Havard-Williams - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Lucy Blake - Linklaters LLP

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Data protection privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Leveraging the firm's wider technology expertise, the data protection practice at Linklaters LLP is highlighted for its multi-jurisdictional advice. The team has been acting on substantial GDPR compliance and strategy, as well as in high-profile ICO investigations. Practice head Richard Cumbley attracts praise for his ability to 'come up with innovative ways to cut through difficult problems'. The team is instructed by large corporates including Disney, J Sainsburys, Thomson Reuters and BUPA, in addition to consultancy firm KPMG. Julian Cunningham-Day is highlighted for his 'strong client skills and practical, supportive advice' in this area. Associate Alaister Johnson is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Richard Cumbley - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alaister Johnson - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP advises corporations and financial institutions on regulatory compliance and investigations and prosecutions by the FCA, PRA, TPR, DOJ and SEC. The firm is advising Amec Foster Wheeler in relation to bribery and corruption investigations by the SFO, SEC and DOJ. Another highlight included acting for Sir Philip Green and Taveta Investments in relation to the Work and Pensions and Business, Innovation and Skills Committee inquiry into BHS which resulted in a £363m settlement. Other clients include Citi, UBS, Lloyds, Morgan Stanley, RBS and Aviva. Michael Bennett and Satindar Dogra head the team, supported by Martyn Hopper, Christa Band, Ben Packer and Andrew Hughes. Elly Proudlock joined as counsel from WilmerHale, Susana Cao Miranda joined as partner from Goldman Sachs.

Leading individuals

Martyn Hopper - Linklaters LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

With global breadth, strength in depth and a formidable line in high-end financial services regulatory work, the 'superb' practice at Linklaters LLP adopts 'a multi-disciplinary approach' and 'truly bridges the gap between finance and technology'. Harry Eddis and capital markets expert Richard Hay are 'very impressive: they cut to the chase and are pleasant to deal with'. As well as handling more conventional fintech work, the department also advises clients on technology matters relating to structured finance and capital markets: together with Michael Kent, Eddis, who has 'deep financial regulatory knowledge across markets', advised Quantile Technologies on regulatory matters pertaining to its derivatives portfolio optimisation service. Eddis and Paul Lewis, who is 'a clear leader in smart contracts, derivatives and distributed ledger technology (DLT)', acted for Clearmatics Technology Solutions and UBS, leading a bank consortium, on the development of a new inter-bank payment system involving Utility Settlement Coins. Both partners have also been advising a multinational investment bank on establishing spot and derivatives trading services involving Bitcoin and Ether. At the start-up end, technology expert Julian Cunningham-Day, who heads the group alongside Eddis and corporate expert Fionnghuala Griggs, advised regtech company Market Axess on its client contracts and the establishment of a cloud-based European data store.

Leading individuals

Harry Eddis - Linklaters LLP

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

The 'very professional and technically excellent' telecommunications, media and technology sector group at Linklaters LLP attracts praise for 'leaving no stone unturned in pursuing the best outcome for the client'. The group acted for Hutchison 3G UK and its parent company, CK Hutchison Holdings on its £300m acquisition of UK Broadband Ltd from PCCW Limited, it additionally acted for Hutchison 3G on it renegotiation of network sharing arrangements in the UK. The team has particularly expertise handing technology matters in the insurance and financial sectors with clients including AXA, Lloyds and RBS. It has advised on paperless and borderless transaction solutions, trading platforms and currencies using blockchain technology in the financial sector, and on dashcam uses and driverless car projects in the insurance sector.  Julian Cunningham-Day and Iain Fenn jointly head the global practice, which includes TMT sector Richard Cumbley. Daniel Csefalvay joined Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

The 'extremely clever and pragmatic' intellectual property team at Linklaters LLP offer 'very good value' across contentious, non-contentious and transactional IP advice. The team was instructed by Schneider Electric to advise of intellectual property aspects of the company's reverse takeover of AVEVA Group plc. This included transitional trade mark licences to allow the incorporation of Schneider’s software business into AVEVA’s group, in addition to arranging cross-licensing agreements to allow Schneider’s retained business and the divested software business to continue use of certain shared rights. The also has significant patent litigation experience and, with recently promoted partner Yohan Liyanage taking the lead, a team is representing Sanofi group and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc in co-ordination of a global patent dispute regarding medical treatments that reduce cardiovascular disease against Amgen. The group is also defending this client in a patent claim, also against Amgen, relating to cholesterol-lowering therapies. In another contentious matter, the department is acting for acting for Merck & Co in defending a high-profile claim for trade mark infringement and breach of a 1970 contract by Merck.  Ian Karet heads up the team which also includes the 'intellectually rigorous' Nemone Franks and Nigel Jones . William Hill, Just Eat Plc and Unilever are all clients.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's practice is divided into competition, corporate and TMT-related work, with Aisling Zarraga and Marly Didizian at the fore. Zarraga heads the corporate team and other key members include James Inglis and Matthew Bland. Didizian works at the helm of the TMT team with other notable names such as Ian Karet, Nigel Jones and Yohan Liyanage. Liyanage defended Regeneron and Sanofi in an appeal regarding the sale of the cholesterol drug Praluent due to patent infringement. Karet is acting for Merck & Co in its trade mark dispute with Merck KGaA regarding the Merck name. Key members of the competition team include Nicole Kar and Sir Christopher Bellamy.

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London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP handles a range of rail sector corporate, finance, real estate and regulatory matters for sponsors, lenders, rolling stock companies and government clients. Headline work includes advising the lenders on the $2.73bn project financing of the $4bn construction of the Nacala Corridor Rail and Port project in Mozambique and Malawi; and advising the lenders to the bidders on the £3bn acquisition of HS1 for a joint venture managed by InfraRed Capital Partners.  Fiona Hobbs and Charlotte Morgan lead the team, while Stuart Rowson, Ian Andrews, consultant partner Bruce White, and Jessamy Gallagher are also noted.

Leading individuals

Charlotte Morgan - Linklaters LLP

Fiona Hobbs - Linklaters LLP

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