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Linklaters LLP

ONE SILK STREET, LONDON, EC2Y 8HQ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7456 2000
Fax:
Fax 020 7456 2222
DX:
10 LONDON CITY EC3
Email:
Web:
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 handles a wide range of transactions for customers and suppliers, with standout capabilities in highly regulated sectors such as financial services, life sciences and telecommunications; it is ‘really good for the big stuff’, according to one client. Its workload includes IT and technology-related matters involving data centres, managed network and mobility services, service desks, and infrastructure. On the BPO side, the team’s expertise spans functions such as human resources, finance and accounting, and facilities management. The firm’s global footprint makes it well placed to undertake matters with an international flavour; John Crozier, and managing associates Mathew Baldwin and Amruta Bapat, are part of a cross-office team advising Novartis on the procurement of production infrastructure services across a number of production facilities in Europe. HSBC, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Three Mobile are other notable clients. Georgina Kon made partner in 2016. Richard Cumbley leads the team, which includes Julian Cunningham-Day and Marly Didizian.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s tax department has a wealth of ‘technical expertise and the ability to apply it to a variety of commercial circumstances’. It handles taxation across a range of specialisms, from corporate and financing transactions, to advising asset managers and investment funds, and also has a dedicated private equity tax structuring practice. As an example of the group’s private equity work, the ‘calm and creativeMark Kingstone assisted TDR Capital with the structuring of its acquisition of Euro Garages and the subsequent merger of that business with the client’s existing forecourt retail business to form Intervias. In the funds space, Kingstone acted on the tax structuring and documentation of PW Real Estate Fund III, which reached its hard cap of €1.5bn at its second close, in 2016. Lynne Walkington acted for Deutsche Börse AG on the tax and holding structure in relation to its merger with London Stock Exchange Group plc. A ‘commercial and technical problem solver’, Yash Rupal heads the practice group, which is also rated for its ‘impressive strength in depth’, fielding highly recommended associates such as Sam Lintonbon and senior associates such as Sarah Lindley. Partner Dominic Winter is another key contact in the tax department.

Leading individuals

Dominic Winter - Linklaters LLP

Mark Kingstone - Linklaters LLP

Yash Rupal - Linklaters LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘prompt’, ‘commercial’ and ‘balanced’ practice attracts praise for its ‘client-focused’ and ‘problem-solving’ approach and for its ‘impressive practical experience and market-leading legal skills’. Nicole Kar (‘a clear and insightful adviser’) leads the team, which counts BP, Siemens, Vodafone, and Visa Europe among its clients. Christian Ahlborn advised Deutsche Börse on the merger control strategy for its €24bn merger with London Stock Exchange Group, while Kar and Simon Pritchard advised both parties before the CMA on the £125m acquisition of Sainsbury’s pharmacy business by Celesio UK. Michael Cutting continues to advise National Grid on the two-step divestiture of its UK gas distribution business worth £13.8bn (which is currently in a phase I review before the European Commission) and acted for Centrica on the CMA’s investigation into the UK energy markets. Natura Gracia (‘positive’, ‘provides very clear advice’) and Sir Christopher Bellamy (who provides ‘extremely valuable strategic input and experience’ and ‘keeps the big picture in mind’) are also recommended. Rachel Hetherington was promoted to counsel and Gavin Robert departed to join Euclid Law.

Leading individuals

Christian Ahlborn - Linklaters LLP

Michael Cutting - Linklaters LLP

Nicole Kar - Linklaters LLP

Natura Gracia - Linklaters LLP

Simon Pritchard - Linklaters LLP

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Given the commerciality and breadth of industry knowledge within the team’, Linklaters LLP’ equity capital markets department is ‘one of the highest quality groups’ in the City. It attracts instructions from issuer, sponsor and underwriter clients and has been involved in a number of recent UK main market IPOs. Jason Manketo, who jointly leads the department, acted for Credit Suisse Securities as global coordinator of Detsky Mir’s £295m IPO, which was offered to Russian and international investors. Mike Bienenfeld and James Wootton, ‘an exceptional young partner’, acted for multiple banking syndicates as joint managers, global coordinators, and bookrunners, in addition to UBS as sponsor, on ConvaTec Group’s IPO, which raised £1.46bn and was the largest UK IPO of 2016. Joint practice head John Lane helped advise Metro Bank on its £400m IPO – one of the few successful London IPOs in Q1 2016. In another issuer-side mandate, Iain Wagstaff assisted CMC Markets with its IPO offering to qualified US and UK investors and a further offer to retail investors. In the wider European market, the London group led a cross-office team that advised the underwriters on Dutch-insurer ASR’s IPO on Euronext Amsterdam. The department was also involved on the issuer’s side of the Countryside Properties IPO, and on the underwriter’s side of the CYBG IPO.

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 (contentious) - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Praised for its ‘excellent industry knowledge’, Linklaters LLP’s integrated ten-partner practice provides a ‘first-class service’ to investment banks, investment managers and infrastructure providers across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters affecting their businesses. At the forefront of prudential regulation, the firm is a ‘clear leader’ on ring-fencing matters and continues to be the lead/strategic adviser to two UK clearing banks as they seek to implement this separation of their retail and investment/trading activities As well as being heavily involved in providing strategic advice on other key regulatory issues, including Brexit and MiFID II, the firm has had a key role advising numerous retail and investment banks on ensuring implementation of the recently enacted Senior Managers and Certification Regime. Formerly in-house at a major investment bank, Harry Eddis has excellent insight into the industry and has been active across a wide variety of regulatory issues including those impacting on the clearing sector and Fintech. Eddis recently helped establish LMEprecious, an innovative new suite of exchange-traded, loco London precious metals products. Michael Kent is ‘very strong on regulatory matters’ and is an experienced member of the team that also includes Peter Bevan (who has developed a strong reputation for advising on MiFID II issues); Sarah Parkhouse, who has a focus on regulatory issues arising in the private wealth management and retail sector; and Nadia Swann, who specialises in senior management training (including preparation of CEOs, non-executive directors and a broad range of senior business people) and in regulatory corporate governance and policy management and legal risk and reviews. On the contentious front, the firm has an ‘outstanding offering’ and is regularly involved in high-profile internal investigations, as well as regulatory enforcements/investigations and associated private litigation. Carl Fernandes has a ‘thorough grasp of his area’ and is a key member of the team that also includes the ‘outstandingNikunj Kiri, Martyn Hopper and Christa Band. Clients include Citi, UBS, Lloyds, RBS and Aviva.

Leading individuals

James Gardner - Linklaters LLP

Martyn Hopper - Linklaters LLP

Michael Kent - Linklaters LLP

Peter Bevan - Linklaters LLP

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

Charles Jacobs - Linklaters LLP

Iain Wagstaff - Linklaters LLP

Richard Godden - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Fionnghuala Griggs - Linklaters LLP

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

Charles Jacobs - Linklaters LLP

Iain Wagstaff - Linklaters LLP

Richard Godden - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Fionnghuala Griggs - 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

Linklaters LLP’s ‘very impressive’ practice 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 ‘excellent’. Financial services, high-end retail, technology and telecoms are key sector strengths; the department is also noted for its experience in the mining sector. In the finance space, Roger Barron and Simon Branigan advised Deutsche Börse on its proposed £21bn merger with London Stock Exchange Group, while on the retail side Iain Fenn, Owen Clay and Nick Garland assisted Home Retail Group with its £1.4bn takeover by J Sainsbury. Other retail mandates include Charles Jacobs’s advice to Steinhoff International Holdings on its £597m acquisition of Poundland Group. Barron and Jessamy Gallagher advised National Grid on the sale of a 61% stake in NGGD, its £13.8bn UK gas distribution business, to a consortium of infrastructure investors. Ian Hunter made partner in April 2016; he and David Avery-Gee acted for Glencore International on the £2.5bn sale of 40% of its agricultural business to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and on the sale of a further 10% of the business to British Columbia Investment Management Corporation for $625m. The department’s other clients include Nestlé, Visa Europe, AXA and BP. Iain Wagstaff and Richard Godden are also recommended. Private equity specialists David Holdsworth and Stuart Boyd joined Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in May 2016.

Leading individuals

Charles Jacobs - Linklaters LLP

Iain Wagstaff - Linklaters LLP

Richard Godden - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Fionnghuala Griggs - Linklaters LLP

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Large-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is praised by clients for its full-service offering; ‘it is great if you are looking to buy a business with any esoteric legal issues or in a highly regulated sector’. In addition to handling complex cross-border buyouts for US and European private equity houses, the team assists clients with competitive auction processes, and is supported by specialists in IPOs and other finance-related issues. In 2016, practice head Alex Woodward (‘a tremendous operator’) and Vincent Ponsonnaille acted for a consortium of funds advised by BC Partners and PSP Investments on the corporate and financing aspects of its acquisition of the Keter Group from its founders, the Sagol family. In another matter, Ben Rodham was the lead adviser to M&G Investments and Management on its £800m sale of Alliance Medical Group to Life Healthcare. Carlton Evans assisted Atlas Merchant Capital with its acquisition of Credicom Bank. Recently promoted partner Will Aitken-Davies has ‘a laid-back demeanour, which belies an inner steel and huge work ethic’.

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

Linklaters LLP has ‘the strength and depth of talent to be able to undertake incredibly complex, wide-scale multijurisdictional investigations, and to advise companies on all aspects of their obligations and liabilities’. The firm’s cross-border capabilities encompass Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and the team regularly works with its insolvency, derivatives and financial regulatory departments, amongst others. Recent work included representing a major accountancy firm in a professional negligence claim in relation to a collapsed property investment fund in the Isle of Man, and acting for Grant Thornton as liquidator in on ongoing $9.2bn fraud trial in the Cayman Islands. Practice head Michael Bennett’s ‘years of experience have imbued him with a sense of calm control, which is deeply reassuring to clients’; Satindar Dogra is praised for his ‘absolute dedication to each case’; and Christa Band is ‘incredibly astute and sure-footed in her approach’.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLPhas great knowledge and resources, with excellent strength in depth’.The firm recruited Susana Cao Miranda, who has a particular focus on banking disputes and contentious regulatory investigations and enforcement, from Goldman Sachs. The practice continues to act in the most high-profile, large and complex banking disputes before the courts and regulators; and fields an integrated team across both the firm’s litigation and financial regulatory, derivatives and structured products and structured finance practices. The team acted for PricewaterhouseCoopers, as the joint administrators of LBIE, in the Waterfall applications for directions; this concerned creditors’ entitlements in relation to the LBIE estate surplus, which involved various complex and legally novel issues. It also acted for Bayerische Landesbank (BLB) in Commercial Court proceedings; the dispute arose from the 2006 sale of BLB’s stake in Formula 1 to CVC Capital Partners and involved allegations of bribery. Banking litigation practice head Christa Band is ‘an incisive and brilliant lawyer’; Patrick Robinson is recommended for derivatives and structured products disputes; Andrew Hughes is ‘an accomplished regulatory expert in the contentious area’; Nick Porter iRoss ‘a very clever, hard-working and unflappable litigator’; and global dispute resolution head Michael Bennett is ‘highly respected’. Euan Clarke specialises in banking and finance litigation, asset recovery and investigations, contentious and advisory insolvency, and litigation arising from fraud and corporate crime; and London dispute resolution head Satindar Dogra is a specialist in fraud investigations and corporate crime work, including sanctions advice and disclosure obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act and FSA rules.Harriet Ellis, Kathryn Ludlow and Alison Wilson are highly rated, along with Susan Roscoe, Rory Conway and Ros Gallagher.

Leading individuals

Christa Band - Linklaters LLP

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLPprovides a high-quality service’. The practice is recommended for high-profile, high-stakes disputes for leading corporations, businesses and banks that are legally novel, examples including complex contractual interpretation cases, joint venture disputes and claims arising from bribery allegations; the practice was recently involved in over 70 substantive hearings in a 12-month period across the breadth of its disputes practice specialisms. It advised Grant Thornton, as liquidators of various companies within the Saad group, in relation to a multi-jurisdictional alleged financial fraud, including a case in the Cayman Islands that involved a claim for the recovery of assets and damages worth approximately $9.2bn. Michael Bennett is the ‘reliably impressive’ global dispute resolution head; Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head; and Ben Carrollprovides first-class case management strategy and legal advice’. Kathryn Ludlow, Christa Band, Andrew Hughes, Nick Porter and Patrick Robinson are also highly rated. Other key names include Euan Clarke, Tom Lidstrom, Tom Cassels, Susan Roscoe and Harriet Ellis, along with Rory Conway and Ros Gallagher. Banking disputes expert Susana Cao Miranda joined from Goldman Sachs.

Leading individuals

Andrew Hughes - Linklaters LLP

Christa Band - Linklaters LLP

Michael Bennett - Linklaters LLP

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s competition litigation group is ‘one of the strongest among London firms’, according to a client, and has experience in acting for claimants and defendants in follow-on damages claims, also handling regulatory investigations and litigation. With the retirement of Michael Sanders in April 2017, the department is now headed by Tom Cassels, ‘a tenacious, commercial and knowledgeable practitioner, and one of the most engaging personalities to work alongside’. Cassels is acting for Air France-KLM in the re-pleading of a case before the High Court regarding damages claims following the EC’s air cargo investigation; the claimants were forced to re-plead on a narrower scope after a number of successes for the defendants. The team is also representing Visa Europe in a slew of damages claims issued against the client by retailers, which allege breach of competition law concerning the implementation of multilateral interchange fees for Visa card payments in Europe. On the claimant side, counsel Elizabeth Jordan is on a team acting for Kelkoo, which is bringing claims against Google alleging abuse of a dominant position regarding online searches and search advertising. Other notable clients include LG Electronics, which the team is representing in relation to the CRT cartel litigation, and The Goldman Sachs Group, concerning its role in the power cables cartel.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLPhas an excellent practice and sound judgement; it is also very responsive and the firm’s associates provide good support’. It is particularly noted for oil and gas, natural resources, and telecoms disputes. The team acted for the trustee of Lakeshore TolTest Corporation (LTC) (in bankruptcy), in a complex arbitration over sums allegedly due to LTC, regarding the construction of an oil processing facility. Matthew Weiniger QC is highly rated; and Greg Reid is ‘a superb lawyer, who is very good at identifying the relevant issues and providing quick and crisp advice’. Other recommended advisers are Tom Lidstrom, Ben Carroll, Michael Bennett and Satindar Dogra.

Leading individuals

Greg Reid - Linklaters LLP

Matthew Weiniger QC - 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 property-related cases; she has also mediated commercial disputes in employment, pensions, trading, international law, and trusts, wills and probate.

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s expertise includes investor-state disputes and trade law. The team regularly advises on investment treaties and acts for and against states or state entities in sectors such as telecoms, energy and utilities. Other areas include trade litigation, international human rights law, and corporate responsibility; and state immunity issues, often in relation to the enforcement of judgments or arbitral awards against states or state entities. Matthew Weiniger QC is ‘very hard-working and sees the wood for the trees’, and he has a particular focus on energy and financial services disputes. International arbitration specialist Greg Reid, energy expert Ben Carroll, and external senior counsel Lorand Bartels are other key contacts.

Leading individuals

Matthew Weiniger QC - Linklaters LLP

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Leveraging the firm’s extensive international network, the ‘very hardworking and approachable’ team at Linklaters LLP has an ‘excellent perspective of the overall market’ and is well-versed in both bank and bond financing, as well as Term Loan B financing. Recent highlights include advising BC Partners on the €695m European covenant-loose Term Loan B and €150m payment in kind (PIK) facility in connection with its acquisition of Israel-based Keter Plastics. With assistance from the firm’s Milan office, Adam Freeman recently advised the lenders, including UniCredit and BNP Paribas, on the financing to facilitate CVC’s acquisition of Doc Generici from Charterhouse. Incorporating a €325m Term Loan B facility and a €50m revolving credit facility, the transaction was one of the first covenant-lite loan only deals in Italy. The ‘very strong’ team also includes Edward Aldred, who is ‘excellent on Term Loan B deals’; the ‘smart and practicalOliver Edwards; the ‘excellentNick Syson; and Annette Kurdian, who is appreciated by clients for her ‘up to date knowledge of market evolution’. Other clients include HSBC, UBS, Carlyle Group and Alcentra.

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

Sitting within the firm’s global banking group, Linklaters LLP’s asset finance team provides ‘solutions-driven and pragmatic’ advice to banks, corporates and investors across a range of shipping and aviation finance matters, particularly those involving complex cross-border issues. On the aviation front, the team recently advised VistaJet on its corporate reorganisation, which involved three stages of amendments to more than 60 separate aircraft financing facilities and several pre-delivery payment loan facilities. The ‘responsive and solutions-orientedOlga Petrovic is the primary partner active in the asset finance field, while at associate level Caroline Courtney has ‘deep industry knowledge’ and provides ‘sound advice’ across a range of new money financings and restructurings. Clients include Citibank, Golar LNG and Wells Fargo.

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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 the expertise of 36 partners in London, in addition to vast international resources, Linklaters LLP’s clients value its ‘extensive deal experience’ and ‘good overall view of the market’. Particularly active on the lender side on behalf of banking clients including HSBC, Lloyds and UBS, the ‘hardworking and responsive’ team is able to leverage the expertise of practitioners on the ground in a vast array of jurisdictions to handle a large volume of syndicated lending mandates. The ‘exceptional’ and ‘knowledgeablePhilip Spittal heads the firm’s global loans team and is regarded as ‘one of the best in the market’. He recently advised a syndicate of banks on the post-IPO financing for Philips Lighting, the lighting division of Philips. Stuart Thomas advised BNP Paribas and other facilitating banks on the amendment and extension of the $5.5bn revolving credit facility for Arcelor Mittal. On the corporate side, the ‘outstandingToby Grimstone and Ian Callaghan recently advised Glencore on the financing necessary to facilitate its acquisition of a minority stake in Russia’s state-owned oil and gas company Rosneft alongside the Qatar Investment Authority. The ‘smart and practicalOliver Edwards and James Martin are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Oliver Edwards - Linklaters LLP

Philip Spittal - Linklaters LLP

Stuart Thomas - Linklaters LLP

Toby Grimstone - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ian Callaghan - Linklaters LLP

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Commodities: derivatives
Commodities: derivatives - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

The commodities practice at Linklaters LLP is central to its market-leading presence in energy, natural resources and mining markets, and derivatives are a key part of the team’s skill set. The firm has built up a solid reputation in commodity derivatives thanks in part to its innovative approach to new products such as exchange-traded commodity platforms, structured carbon credit transactions and structured trades in both precious and base metals. The firms is able to call upon a top-tier derivatives and structured finance practice and its prominent physical commodities practice to provide hedging and financing tools for its key clients. Chris Staples, a partner in the firm’s energy, natural resources and infrastructure practice and co-head of the global commodities group, advised RWE on regulatory matters affecting the trading of commodity derivatives in Japan, China, Singapore and Bangkok. Other highlights included acting for Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Citigroup on the preparation of master sale and repurchase transaction documentation for commodities transactions following the impact on the repo market of the Qingdao metals storage and financing dispute.

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Commodities: physicals
Commodities: physicals - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s commodities work stems from its strong energy, natural resources and mining practices, which gives its lawyers an in-depth understanding of the underlying markets. The firm handles significant matters concerning physical and financial commodities trading and dispute resolution, and it has a prominent market position in the buying and selling of physical commodity trading books. Chris Staplesgarners respect from clients and peers for his practical approach’. Jeremy Gewirtzis also recommended. In a key matter, the firm acted for Commonwealth Bank of America and Citi Group on the preparation of a suite of master sale and repurchase transaction documentation for a variety of commodities. The firm also counts Noble, Glencore and Castleton Commodities among its clients.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Gewirtz - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Right at the top of the market’, the ‘fantastic’ team at Linklaters LLPexcels at handling complex multi-stakeholder cases’ and provides a ‘top-notch service’ to senior lenders, IPs, funds and corporates. Praised for her ‘strong leadership on complex mandates’, co-head Rebecca Jarvis has been working alongside colleagues in the firm’s Madrid office on the ongoing restructuring of Spanish company Abengoa. As part of his broad-ranging restructuring expertise, Richard Hodgson has a leading reputation for advising on distressed M&A mandates; he is assisting PwC and LBIE on the design and implementation of three bespoke auction processes, enabling eligible creditors to sell their remaining claims against LBIE to a third party purchaser rather than taking independent action or waiting for the conclusion of the potentially lengthy "Waterfall" litigation. The ‘highly personable’ Nick Le Masurier is ‘very knowledgeable’ on schemes of arrangement and alongside the ‘super commercialBruce Bell advised the ad-hoc co-ordinating committee of noteholders, via three schemes of arrangement, on the restructuring of Metinvest’s capital structure. Co-head Richard Bussell, Euan Clarke, Richard Hodgson and the ‘smart and effective’ Rory Conway are also recommended. Despite the departure in November 2016 of Yen Sum to Sidley Austin LLP, the team recently welcomed the arrivals of Sarah Mook, from Goldman Sachs and special situations expert James Douglas from Ropes & Gray LLP.

Leading individuals

James Douglas - Linklaters LLP

Rebecca Jarvis - 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 LLPhas a very knowledgeable team that provides fast responses, good advice and great service’ across the entire DCM space including liability management, equity-linked bonds, regulatory capital deals and sovereign bonds. The firm is ‘number-one in the market’, according to one client. It not only has a strong practice in English law deals but also has a prominent role in the market for SEC-registered, New York law-governed regulatory capital securities issued by UK and European banks. Elaine Keats leads the practice and stands out for her work on liability management and retail bonds. Ben Dulieu is well known for equity-linked deals. ‘Go-to capital markets lawyerRichard Levy has a broad practice that encompasses regulatory capital, liability management and emerging markets deals. Among the other highly regarded partners are Cecil Quillen (who is US-qualified), Carson Welsh, the ‘highly skilled and responsive’ Richard O’Callaghan, who is strong in emerging markets transactions, and Keith Thomson, who ‘knows everything there is about convertibles’. Newly promoted Neil Dixon is a prominent fixture on bank and insurance regulatory capital deals. The firm’s standout deals from 2016 included the ZAR10bn restructuring of Africa Bank’s debt as part of its rescue process; a £2.88bn convertible bond issue for Vodafone; advice to the underwriters of the Sultanate of Oman’s $4bn debut issuance; and the establishment of a £6bn EMTN programme for National Grid.

Leading individuals

Ben Dulieu - Linklaters LLP

Carson Welsh - Linklaters LLP

Cecil Quillen - Linklaters LLP

Elaine Keats - Linklaters LLP

Francis Kucera - Ashurst

Richard Levy - Linklaters LLP

Richard O’Callaghan - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Neil Dixon - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has ‘the best practice in the market and provides the highest level of service’, according to one client who sees the firm as ‘the first port of call for complex, innovative and cross-border deals’. The firm provides ‘the highest possible level of service, fast response times and best-in-class industry knowledge, and has the best business acumen and industry knowledge in the market’. Head of the dervatives team Vinay Samani is ‘one of the most trusted and reliable lawyers in the City; he understands how the market works and what his clients need’, says a client who praises his ‘relaxed and sensible manner’. Also recommended are global head of capital markets Michael Voisin; Deepak Sitlani who is ‘the very best in a very strong team’ and has ‘commercial savvy and deep legal analytical skills’; Paul Lewis who is ‘one of the very best in the market – very bright, very commercial and certainly a person to reach out to on the most complicated and innovative deals’; derivatives specialist Simon Firth; Matthew Monahan who ‘goes above and beyond to make himself available, has a phenomenal work rate and will close a deal even when the odds are stacked against him’; longevity swap expert and ‘universally respected market leaderDavid Phillips; key adviser to leading investment banks Toby Gray; and Mark Brown who is ‘a lawyer’s lawyer, hugely experienced and has broad knowledge and attention to detail that make him ideally suited to work on the practical implications of regulatory reform’. Newly promoted Mark Drury is ‘a young partner doing well to find his niche – highly commercial, responsive and flexible’. The team acted for Credit Suisse International in the establishment of the first single-issuer, multi-dealer repackaging programme, and advised ISDA on the industry-wide implementation of initial margin requirements.

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

Mark Drury - Linklaters LLP

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is ‘at the front of the pack for emerging markets DCM work’ and is described by one client as ‘first choice for renminbi bonds listed in London’. The firm has a well-established emerging market practice that is often a first port of call for large corporates and financial institutions, and which has a long track record of innovative and challenging deals in key markets. The firm has a global network of offices but London is an essential hub in many transactions, including sovereign debt deals and complex financings. The team often collaborates with partners in Lisbon, Paris and its affiliated firm in Johannesburg to cover matters across the entire Africa continent. It has a strong presence in the CEE and CIS regions through local offices and resident experts in London, and an India group that is known for its in-depth knowledge of cross-border financings. The firm is also a strong presence in Latin America deals, with the London team collaborating with teams in New York and São Paulo, and is highly respected for deals in Turkey, the Middle East and China. Mirthe van Kesteren leads the emerging markets banking and structured trade finance practice in London and is co-head of the firm’s CIS group. The team includes outstanding partners such as Africa group head Andrew Jones; US securities experts Cecil Quillen and Patrick Sheil, who both handle debt and equity transactions; senior partner and mining industry expert Charlie Jacobs; Elaine Keats, whose extensive international capital markets expertise encompasses debt offerings, convertible bonds and MTN programmes; utilities and infrastructure specialist Ian Andrews; head of the CIS group Daniel Tyrer and Toby Grimstone, who focuses on international banking matters, including syndicated loans and secured financings. 2016 highlights included advising lenders such as African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the $5bn Nacala Corridor project, which comprises a 900km rail and port development in Malawi and Mozambique, and is currently Africa’s largest infrastructure project.

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’s high yield practice is closely integrated with its leading banking and finance practice and acts for underwriters, sponsors and corporate issuers on new high yield bond issuances, restructurings and LBO transactions. Alexander Naidenov, Mark Hageman and US counsel Natalia Sokolova are all highly regarded; their clients include Credit Suisse, PizzaExpress Group and Cerberus. Naidenov acted for Apollo Global Management on a €200m senior secured notes offering, which formed part of a dividend recapitalisation for glass packaging manufacturer Verallia. Hageman’s highlights included debt exchanges and new financings with a total value of a €500m for paper company Norske Skogindustrier. He also acted for key corporate client Cirsa Gaming Corporation on a €450m senior notes issue and tender offer that allowed the company to improve its financing terms. The team also advised the initial purchases including Credit Suisse on a €150m bond financing for Slovenian broadband operator United Group.

Leading individuals

Alexander Naidenov - Linklaters LLP

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

According to clients, Linklaters LLPhas dominated the RMBS market for several years and has real strength across all asset classes’. The firm’s lawyers ‘have seen everything and bring clear, measured, commercial advice’. In an illustration of its RMBS workload, the team acted for Cerberus and FirstKey Mortgage on the securitisation of Northern Rock’s mortgage book in the three deals; of those, the £6.2bn Towd Point Mortgage Funding 2016-Granite 1 plc was the largest single RMBS transaction in the European market since the financial crisis and one of the first securitisations to comply with both US and European Union risk retention rules. Andrew Vickery (‘outstanding in covered bonds and RMBS deals’) heads the team, which includes James Harbach and Adam Fogarty, who are ‘leaders in the field of super-size loan portfolio securitisations’. Julian Davies, who is best known for structured utility bonds and whole-business securitisations, and head of the London structured finance group in London Mark Nuttall are also highly recommended, as are newly promoted partner Alex Shopov and counsel Reza Taylor, who played prominent roles in the Granite transactions, and counsel William Trotman, who joined from Simmons & Simmons and specialises in RMBS, CMBS and covered bonds. Harbach led a team that advised Greene King on a £340m deal that was the first pub securitisation since the financial crisis. Vickery advised TwentyFour Asset Management LLP on the securitisation of UK buy-to-let loans, including a £300m issuance by Malt Hill No.1. Nuttall’s highlights included acting for National Grid on a £13.8bn whole-business securitisation stapled financing relating to the sale of a 61% share in its UK gas distribution business NGGD to a consortium of long-term infrastructure investors.

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

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Trade finance
Trade finance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

For some, Linklaters LLP is ‘a preferred adviser on highly structured and complex transactions’. Structured commodity trade finance and restructuring work are the firm’s key areas of focus, where it advises both borrowers and lenders including large trading houses and banks. Mirthe van Kesteren leads the team, which is part of the firm’s global commodities practice, and has in-depth knowledge of the industry and the innovative financing techniques that it requires. Her highlights included advising KAZ Minerals on a $300m facility from Development Bank of Kazakhstan for copper produced in the Aktogay mine. She also advised Barclays Bank on a $950m borrowing base facility with Greenenergy Fuels and others. Toby Grimstone advised Glencore on the €10.2bn joint acquisition of a stake in Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft, which included a complex financing package and offtake agreeements. He also advised the same client on a revolving credit facility from a syndicate of 38 banks. In a further highlight, the team acted on the restructuring of Ukrainian steel and mining group Metinvest, which included the amendment of existing pre-export finance facilities with a total value of $1.2bn.

Leading individuals

Mirthe van Kesteren - Linklaters LLP

Toby Grimstone - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kirill Lebedyanskiy - Linklaters LLP

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘highly responsive, dedicated and well-informed’ share schemes practice regularly handles incentive matters with international elements, and has particular strength in the financial services sector. ‘Experienced, insightful and great to work with’, practice head Alexandra Beidas advised Biffa on various incentive matters regarding its listing on the London Stock Exchange, including the introduction of new executive and employee share plans. The ‘excellentGillian Chapman advised Home Retail Group on multi-jurisdictional share issues relating to Sainsbury’s £1.4bn acquisition of the company. The team includes of counsel Graham Rowlands-Hempel and associate Cara Hegarty, who ‘provides strong technical advice’.

Leading individuals

Gillian Chapman - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Cara Hegarty - Linklaters LLP

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Employment: employees/unions
Leading individuals

Nicola Rabson - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s team is rated by clients as an ‘excellent firm for corporate clients, particularly in financial services’ and has a strong focus on regulatory investigations, compliance and tribunals. Practice head Nicola Rabson, who is ‘one of the real heavyweights in the London market’, successfully represented Glencore in a bonus claim brought by a former executive before the Court of Appeal regarding the company’s merger with Xstrata. Other key figures include Jean Lovett, whose experience includes handling individual and collective severance arrangements and discrimination matters; Jillian Naylor, who represents clients before the High Court and Employment Tribunal, with particular expertise in high-value remuneration, whistleblowing and discrimination claims; and of counsels David Speakman and Simon Kerr-Davis.

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 group is noted for its ‘excellent service, and technical and market knowledge’, and ‘always sticks to agreed deadlines’. Non-contentious group head Ruth Goldman has been advising Hewlett-Packard on a wide range of defined benefits and defined-contribution issues arising from various corporate restructurings, including changes to funding agreements and master trust transfers. Rosalind Knowles and Philip Goss have been leading advice to the trustees of M&S Pension Scheme on the closure of the scheme, which is valued at £6bn. Contentious practice head Mark Blyth and Tim Cox have been representing the trustees of the Staveley Pension Scheme in regulatory proceedings brought by the Pensions Regulator regarding a Financial Support Direction. Associate Alasdair Smith is also a name to note. Other clients include British Airways, BP and Tesco.

Leading individuals

Mark Blyth - Linklaters LLP

Ruth Goldman - Linklaters LLP

Tim Cox - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alasdair Smith - Linklaters LLP

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London: Insurance

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

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has significant expertise in M&A transactions, reinsurance, portfolio transfers and insurance business restructurings, and the ‘strong’ regulatory practice advises on the full range of issues including Solvency II regulation, clearance control changes, compliance and enforcement. Recent highlights included advising AXA on Project Wolf, which involved the sale of its UK Life & Savings businesses via three disposals to Phoenix Group, Standard Life and Life Company Consolidation Group, and acting for the Vickers Pension Trustees on a £1.1bn pension scheme buyout with Legal & General Assurance Society. The team is also advising Swiss Re on its acquisition of Guardian Financial from Cinven, and assisting AXA France with the reinsurance of its £1.3bn longevity risk. Practice lead Victoria Sander advises on the full gamut of corporate insurance work, and Duncan Barber and Dan Schuster-Woldan are also names to note.

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 workload includes a range of AIMFD regulatory matters, as well as fund redomiciliations and management spin-outs. Matthew Keogh is a key contact, with Edward Smith also a name to note. Clients include Brevan Howard, Alcentra, EMSO Partners and Moore Capital.

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Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s Jonathan de Lance-Holmes is advising SoftBank on its role in the SoftBank Vision Fund, a technology fund with a very significant commitments from a sovereign wealth fund and several technology companies, which raised $93bn at its first closing in May 2017. Practice head Matthew Keogh advised Macquarie on several nine-figure infrastructure debt funds, he also handles nine-figure Euro investments for leading international institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds. Senior associate Rahul Manvatkar is also a name of note in the team, which acts for KKR, Deutsche Bank Asset Management and Ardian.

Next generation lawyers

Rahul Manvatkar - Linklaters LLP

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a strong roster of European clients, which it advises on open and closed-ended fund launches and co-investments in real estate across sectors, including logistics and value-add. Edward Smith advised Barings Real Estate Advisors on creating the Barings Real Estate Advisers Core Fund, an open-ended pan-European fund with regulatory suitability for German institutional investors. His other work included advising ProLogis on a £1bn joint venture arrangement with CBRE for a number of real estate investments in the British logistics sector. Jonathan de Lance-Holmes also handles billion-dollar real estate fund matters – he acted for PW Real Assets (now known as Aermont Capital) on creating its third real estate fund, which hit its hard cap of €1.5bn at second close to make opportunistic real estate investments. Other clients include BlackRock and Deutsche Bank Asset Management.

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Retail funds
Retail funds - ranked: tier 4

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s Rahul Manvatkar advises well-known banks on a number of retail fund issues, Manvatkhar and Edward Smith acted for Commerzbank on UCITS issuers concerning a number of exchange-traded funds.

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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

Linklaters LLP handles infrastructure transactions, major financings and refinancing matters, and new-build projects, both in emerging markets and domestically. Recent highlights include Fiona Hobbs and Andrew Jones, who heads the firm’s Africa group, acting for the lenders on the proposed financing of a rail line built by Vale in Mozambique running from the Tete mine to Nacala, and former global infrastructure group leader Bruce White advising the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the financing of Project Spark, the first phase in the government’s nationwide smart meter roll-out programme, and Project Thistle, which involved a £40m funding partnership between the EIB and two other commercial banks. Matthew Keats, who specialises in Russian and CIS matters such as the financing of the Yamal LNG deal in Russia, Jeremy Gewirtz, who leads the London energy and infrastructure team, Richard Ginks and Richard Coar are all also recommended.

Leading individuals

Bruce White - Linklaters LLP

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s specialist mining team is ‘strong across the board’, leveraging a strong international network of offices and relationships, including with Allens in Australia. Charles Jacobs leads the practice with Toby Grimstone, who is known to clients for his ‘excellent knowledge of the finance markets and legal practices’, and ‘solid operatorDavid Avery-Gee. Andrew Jones advised the lenders on the proposed financing of the development by Vale and Mitsui of a rail line between a mine in the Tete Province of Mozambique and Nacala in Malawi. On the M&A side, Ian Hunter and Avery-Gee acted for Glencoreon the sale of 40% of its agricultural business to the Canada Pension Plan Investments Board, and the sale of a further 9.99% to the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation; Paul McNicholl and Nicole Kar also represented Anglo American on the sale of its Brazilian Niobium and Phosphates business to China Molybdenum in its effort to reduce debt. Other notable clients include Rio Tinto and Sibanye Gold.

Leading individuals

Andrew Jones - Linklaters LLP

Charlie Jacobs - Linklaters LLP

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s energy team has a strong footprint in the oil and gas sector, where it advises sponsors, developers and lenders on large-scale projects. The firm’s wide-ranging expertise and global footprint makes it a natural choice for cutting-edge mandates; in a highlight mandate, Daniel Tyrer is leading a team advising the project sponsors on the development and financing of the $10bn Coral FLNG project in Mozambique, which is the largest-ever sub-Saharan project financing to date and which involves a team (led by Fiona Hobbs) providing assistance on the unitisation agreements, while a team led by Mark Russell advised on LNG sales agreements. In another sponsor highlight, Mark Russell and Andrew Penfold worked alongside Tyrer to advise the sponsors on the development, construction and operation of an offshore buoy mooring facility in Djibouti, a refined product pipeline, and associated infrastructure. On the lender side, Matthew Keats led a team advising a lender consortium on the multi-sourced financing for the construction of the Yamal LNG project in Russia. The team also acted for Rosneft on the purchase of a stake in the Vadinar refinery in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as advising on supply and offtake agreements related to the purchase. Fiona Hobbs, who co-leads the group with Tyrer, advised Maersk Oil on its acquisition of 50% of Africa Oil’s stake through a farm-in to three Kenyan and two Ethiopian licences.

Leading individuals

Daniel Tyrer - Linklaters LLP

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

Linklaters LLP

Noted for its ‘real strength and depth in renewables’, Linklaters LLP represents high-profile clients such as HSBC, Macquarie and National Grid throughout the full lifecycle of energy projects. John Pickett heads the renewables practice alongside Richard Coar and also leads the energy and utilities sector. Highlights included acting for the sponsors of the Dudgeon offshore wind farm on all aspects of their £1.3bn project financing, and acting for a group of sponsors on the construction and financing of the £2.6bn Beatrice offshore wind farm. Charlotte Morgan and Coar are acting for FAB Link on its joint venture with RTE for the construction and financing of an electricity interconnector between France, Alderney and Britain; Coar is also advising a group of lenders on the financing of Wren Renewables’ integrated waste management facility in Essex. In the solar sector, Pickett acted for IFC on a tender for the design, finance, operation and maintenance of two adjacent solar power plants in Zambia. Jeremy Gewirtz recently acted for HSBC on the restructuring of the Rijnmond II plant in the Netherlands.

Leading individuals

Charlotte Morgan - Linklaters LLP

Jeremy Gewirtz - Linklaters LLP

John Pickett - Linklaters LLP

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Water
Water - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has ‘deep and broad relationships across the sector’, handling M&A, finance, regulation and competition matters. Practice head Julian Davies recently worked with Mark Nuttall to advise six water companies on the opening of the non-household retail market as part of Ofwat’s move towards a competitive market at retail level. Managing associate Elisabeth Johnson is part of the team assisting Thames Water with all aspects of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, and also recently acted for Anglian Water, Southern Water and Yorkshire Water on issuances of debt to US investors. Michael Cutting heads the water regulatory unit and counsel Reza Taylor also plays a key role in the department.

Leading individuals

Julian Davies - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Elisabeth Johnson - Linklaters LLP

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London: Public sector

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

Linklaters LLP

Leading companies including Arcadia and Southern Water retain Linklaters LLP in an array of work, including procedural advice and judicial reviews. Practice head Tom Cassels provides ‘excellent strategic advice’ with ‘great industry and business knowledge’ in investigations, public inquiries and select committee hearings. He is representing Camelot UK Lotteries in an investigation conducted by the Gambling Commission into allegations that the client breached its licence for operating the National Lottery with a fraudulent cash prize. Taveta Investments and Arcadia have instructed the practice in various inquiries that are being led by joint select committees investigating BHS’ pension deficit, administration and sale to the now liquidated Retail Acquisitions. Managing associate Tim Miller is the other main contact.

Leading individuals

Tom Cassels - Linklaters LLP

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 4

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘excellent’ team ‘grasps the gist of the legal intricacies, but at the same time does not get bogged down into acrimonious negotiations’. Although the practice is not large, it still manages to attract some of the best mandates in the UK market; for example Martin Elliott and newly promoted partner Tom Watkins (who is a ‘good problem solver, with particularly strong drafting skills’), acted for AustralianSuper Pty on its £434m acquisition of an additional 42% interest in the King’s Cross Central regeneration scheme. In another standout deal, Watkins and Patrick Plant assisted Fidelidade - Companhia de Seguros with the £300m acquisition of the Thomas More Square estate, through a joint venture with Resolution Property. Plant’s caseload also included advising on various corporate headquarter mandates in the media sector, such as advising the Economist Group on the sale of its complex in St James’s, London. Practice head Andrew Bruce is ‘consistently excellent’ and ‘strikes a fair balance between fierce negotiator and reasonable mediator’. Bruce represented Chinese Estates Holdings in its acquisition of 14 St George Street, Mayfair; and in the development space, he continues to advise Lendlease on its regeneration of Elephant & Castle. In other development highlights, Mark Burgess-Smith represented Prologis on the setting up of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investors to invest in investment-and-development properties in the UK; and Simon Price assisted Meyer Bergman with the development of a residential site at West Cromwell Road, Kensington. The practice often features on the landlord side in retail sector work.

Leading individuals

Andrew Bruce - Linklaters LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘depth of expertise is unmatched’; the team’s wide-ranging workload covers environmental regulations and compliance issues, as well as strategic advice in respect of sustainability and climate change. The team is particularly well regarded for its transactional expertise, where it ‘brings a pragmatic and commercially informed approach to the environmental aspects of M&A transactions’; in one recent highlight practice head Vanessa Havard-Williams |(who has ‘an exceptional ability to provide insight and clarity in complex situations’) advised National Grid on the environmental aspects of the sale of four distribution networks as part of a hive-down and share sale. Harvard-Williams was also busy in the international project finance space; she advised International Finance Corporation, as well as a consortium of other export credit agencies and lenders, on the environmental risks arising from a rail corridor in Mozambique and Malawi, which will link a major coal mine to the coast. Other key players in the team include Chris Staples, who advised International Finance Corporation on the issuance of a forest bond, and managing associate Rachel Barrett, who is ‘superb at facilitating challenging meetings and a great communicator’.

Leading individuals

Vanessa Havard-Williams - Linklaters LLP

Next generation lawyers

Rachel Barrett - Linklaters LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

At Linklaters LLP, head of practice David Watkins provides ‘superb leadership’ and regularly advises on developments in the centre of London; Watkins is currently assisting Aroland Holdings with the section 106 Agreement for a 73-storey skyscraper at the former Aviva tower site in the Square Mile. Besides office development, the team is also adept at handling significant mixed-use schemes, with recent examples including advising key client Great Portland Estates on its redevelopment for a 1.3-acre site bounded by Hanover Square, Tenterden Street, New Bond Street and Brook Street. The team also acted for Ridgeford Properties in relation to a residential-led mixed-use scheme for 79 new homes, restaurants, shops and leisure space at Moxon Street in Marylebone. The other key figure in the team is senior associate Louise Samuel, whose expertise takes in planning for corporate headquarters, as well as advising on listed buildings. Samuel and Watkins are acting for Black Pearl on its planning application for the redevelopment of a site at 18 Blackfriars Road.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘amazing’, ‘high-calibre’ team is commended for its bench strength and responsiveness, as well as its ‘deep industry knowledge and huge amount of experience’. It handles the full range of property finance matters, and is particularly noted for its strength in structured finance and cross-border transactions. Practice head Steve Smith advised Tyndaris on its €15m B-note position in the €80m refinancing of the Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia, Italy, and acted for M&G Investments on its €93m financing of the acquisition, by a joint venture between RedTree Capital Invest and Carrefour Nederland, of 14 distribution and logistics warehouses in France. Smith also assisted a sovereign wealth fund with financing its £370m purchase and £800m development of 10 Broadway, New Scotland Yard. Scott Simpson advised Blackstone on the financing of Storage Mart’s acquisition of Big Box Storage. The ‘practical, commercial’ Mark O’Neill ‘balances technical expertise with in-depth sector understanding’, and is an ‘exceptionally strong choice for complex deals’; a former real estate finance head at Allen & Overy LLP, he joined in May 2016 and counts Wells Fargo and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank among his clients. Other clients of the department include Cerberus, Citibank, Lloyds Banking Group, Prologis and Royal Bank of Canada. Managing associate Philip Gore is also recommended.

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 4

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘extremely knowledgeable’ practice is headed by ‘incredibly perceptive’ counsel Frances Richardson. Katie Bradford, who ‘has bags of experience and is excellent at using this to provide a highly informed judgement’, is now a consultant. Euan Clarke is ‘excellent for real estate finance matters’ and senior associate Chris Stevenson is ‘extremely collaborative and thinks outside the box to find innovative and original solutions’. The team regularly acts for finance clients with notable examples including KPMG and PwC; Bradford recently led advice to the latter as administrators of Lehman Brothers in claims relating to dilapidations, unpaid rent and damages for loss of future rent. Barclays Bank, Deloitte and Lendlease are also clients.

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s specialist team covers Brexit from a range of angles and jurisdictions, which includes monitoring legal and institutional developments in the EU, and also producing thought leadership pieces and client briefings on specific topics to assist clients in their contingency planning. The firm has been particularly active working with UK and European trade and professional bodies, and was recently appointed as Brexit counsel by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA); Mark Brown, Deepak Sitlani and others act as legal counsel to the association. Michael Kent, Peter Bevan and Harry Eddis also have financial services sector expertise, while other sector strengths include energy and utilities, and TMT. Patrick Robinson gave oral evidence on the impact of Brexit on the UK justice system to the House of Commons Justice Committee. Sir Christopher Bellamy QC heads the group.

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Corporate governance
Corporate governance - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP established a specialist operational intelligence group in 2014 to provide business-critical advice on risk management, governance and regulatory compliance, as well as corporate sustainability. Tom Shropshire, Vanessa Havard-Williams and Satindar Dogra co-head the team, which assists clients in formulating and monitoring governance and compliance models, risk assessments, reporting and disclosure requirements, and crisis management. It also deals with a wide variety of ancillary issues, such as anti-bribery/money laundering, data protection and human rights. Shropshire acts for corporate clients located worldwide, and was the lead adviser to the United Nations Global Compact and principal draftsperson of the Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability. Dogra and others have been advising News Corporation’s independent Management and Standards Committee on investigations into phone hacking and various other matters at News UK. Richard Cumbley has extensive expertise in the privacy implications of new technology, data security incidents and privacy litigation. Elsewhere, the firm acts for a broad cross-section of clients in the financial services industry, including banks, asset managers and wealth management firms. Managing associates Rachel Barrett, Lucy Blake and John Stone are other active members of the team.

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

Linklaters LLP’s ‘fantastic expertise and outstanding pragmatism’ set it apart as ‘a genuinely brilliant practice at the top of its game’. ‘Quality lawyerRichard Cumbley heads the firm’s TMT and IP team, which features Julian Cunningham-Day, Georgina Kon (who made partner in 2016) and ‘utterly brilliant’ senior counsel Peter Church, with associate Alaister Johnson also recommended. The group utilises the firm’s global reach to advise on a wide range of cross-border issues including privacy matters and international compliance projects. Its track record includes acting for UBS, Live Nation, Disney, HSBC, Thomson Reuters and State Street.

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 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is appreciated for its ‘excellent, well-judged service, pragmatic advice and deep technical knowledge’, and is ‘reliable in a crisis situation, providing an insightful and practical approach’. Clients include a mix of financial institutions, corporates and individuals, and the group regularly appears before various global regulators including the SFO, the FCA and the Pensions Regulator. Highlights included acting for Bhs following its collapse in mid-2016, advising on various Parliamentary enquiries and enforcement actions brought by the Pensions Regulator; and representing a private investment firm in investigations into potential corruption and bribery activity. Michael Bennett and Satindar Dogra are the key individuals, and Christa Band is noted for her financial services expertise.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP fields a sophisticated financial regulatory practice and an excellent technology group; accordingly, its fintech practice benefits from impressive strength-in-depth. Blockchain, payments work and data matters for exchanges have been keeping the team particularly busy: financial regulatory expert Harry Eddis and structured securities and derivatives specialist Paul Lewis acted for Clearmatics Technology Solutions and UBS, the leader of a bank consortium, on the development of a mechanism to access central bank reserves and transfer funds using a blockchain-supported Utility Settlement Coin (USC). This involved both regulatory advice and assistance with the commercial agreements governing the design and build of the blockchain platform. More generally in the regulatory space, the team advises financial institutions on the implications of Payment Services Directive II and MiFID II, and how to most advantageously work with technology companies around these regulations. On the corporate side, Savi Hebbur and Hugo Stolkin advised Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A on its €326m sale of Indian fintech company Hermes I-Tickets Private to Wirecard Sales International. Banking and technology expert Julian Cunningham-Day, who has experience in advising banks on digitisation and financial data, heads the firm’s global fintech practice jointly with Eddis and Lewis.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘very good response times’ and has ‘good business and industry knowledge’. Richard Cumbley has core strengths in commercial and regulatory IP matters. He recently advised UBS on a private virtual currency used to settle financial transactions. Julian Cunningham-Day is best known for handling IT procurement, outsourcing and offshoring issues. John Crozier is an expert on outsourcing and commercial transactions; Marly Didizian specialises in outsourcing and commercial IT agreements; and Georgina Kon has experience in commercial and regulatory IT issues. Other clients include BT and Sainsbury’s.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP handles contentious and non-contentious IP, representing clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Novartis. Litigator Ian Karet, who heads the IP practice, is, according to one client, ‘the person you want in your corner if things become contentious’. He recently advised Nestlé on its agreement with PAI Partners to create Froneri, a new ice-cream, frozen food and chilled dairy company. He is also representing Merck & Co in a high-profile trade mark dispute with Merck KgaA. Richard Cumbley is the global head of TMT/IP and the transactional IP practice is led by Nemone Franks who is ‘hugely personable and brilliant to have on your side in negotiations’. Other key figures include IP litigator Nigel Jones and of counsel Yohan Liyanage, who acted for Johnson & Johnson in a patent revocation case brought by Eli Lilly concerning an antibody to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Associate Isabelle Guyot has ‘an amazing intellect’ and is ‘one to watch’.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 3

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has ‘extensive experience and knowledge in the healthcare sector’. The team amply draws on its expertise in all areas of corporate finance, M&A, banking, IP, data protection and outsourcing, product liability, regulatory and antitrust projects; according to one client, it demonstrates ‘extraordinary commitment and responsiveness to overcome challenges that clients’ businesses face within the industry’. Recent highlights include acting for Accord Healthcare on its successful £603m acquisition and related financing for Allergan’s former pharmaceutical generics business in the UK and Ireland from Teva Pharmaceutical Industry; acting for Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as co-defendants in a high-value patent litigation action brought by Amgen relating to a new class of medical treatments for lowering the level of cholesterol; and assisting US-based Merck & Co with the defence of a trade mark infringement claim brought by Merck. New York-based competition expert Thomas McGrath, corporate partner Aisling Zarraga and TMT specialist Marly Didizian co-head the global healthcare practice. Didizian is ‘highly commercial, a pleasure to work with and a trusted adviser’. Ian Karet focuses on handling the IP aspects of acquisitions and disposals, as well as patent and trade mark disputes. IP litigator Nigel Jones and counsel Yohan Liyanage are also highly recommended.

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London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP advises governments, regulators, sponsors, lenders and financiers on complex deals in the rail industry, covering financing, construction, enhancement, franchising, rolling stock and policy matters. It is advising the lenders (African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and others) on the proposed financing of Vale’s development project of a 912km rail line leading from its mine in the Tete province in Mozambique, through Malawi to Nacala. It is also advising Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) on the sale of HS1. Other highlights included advising on the Shaw Report into the future financing of Network Rail. Siemens, Innisfree and Deutsche Bahn are also clients. Fiona Hobbs heads the team, which includes the ‘brilliant’ Charlotte Morgan, Stuart Rowson, Ian Andrews and Bruce White.

Leading individuals

Charlotte Morgan - Linklaters LLP

Fiona Hobbs - Linklaters LLP

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Further information on Linklaters LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Linklaters LLP in other jurisdictions.

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Indonesia

India

Italy

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Japan

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Offices in London EC2Y and London EC2Y

Luxembourg

Offices in Luxembourg

Myanmar

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United States

Offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

Legal Developments in the UK

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