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London : Corporate and commercial
Within Commercial contracts, tier 4
Macfarlanes LLP services UK and international clients, both on the provider and customer side of outsourcing arrangements, spanning the financial services, publishing, healthcare and charities sectors. It assisted ICAP Management Services with outsourcing arrangements for the provision of electronic trading platform ‘i-Swap’ and advised Air Liquide on the tender for outsourcing of the provision of home oxygen therapy services for NHS primary care trusts. Representative clients include Castle Trust Capital, Tech Mahindra and the Royal Parks Foundation. Commercial department head Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp and Rupert Casey are rated.
Within Corporate tax, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team is noted for its business acumen and industry knowledge, and ‘clear, balanced and concise’ advice. The six-partner team has expertise in investment fund structuring, group tax planning, remuneration planning, and VAT, and is a ‘go-to group’ for private equity deal structuring. It acts for Haymarket Financial as lead tax adviser on its group tax planning and fundraising activity, and acted for the Virgin Group on the sale of a 51% stake in Virgin Active to CVC. Ashley Greenbank is ‘one of the best corporate tax lawyers in the country’; Mark Baldwin is ‘helpful, commercial and responsive’; and Damien Crossley is ‘clever and practical’.
Within EU and competition, tier 5
Macfarlanes LLP ‘really gets to grips with the business, the industry and the issues facing clients’. It acted for BATS Global Markets on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Chi-X Europe, and for Pinewood Healthcare on a complaint to the OFT about the conduct of Reckitt Benckiser. The ‘calm and unflappable’ Marc Israel heads the team. Malcolm Walton was promoted to partner and has expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, and in matters involving mixed competition and IP issues.
Within Financial services, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘lawyers are clever and efficient: clients love them’. Recent work includes advising a client involved in the ongoing FSA/SEC investigation into alleged manipulation of Libor. David Berman leads non-contentious matters. On the contentious side, Barry Donnelly, Dan Lavender and Iain Mackie are experienced in regulatory investigations.
Within Flotations: small and mid-cap, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
‘Great ambassador’ Robert Boyle at Macfarlanes LLP features in a ‘commercially minded, pragmatic and extremely professional’ team alongside ‘strong, innovative, practical lead partner’ Simon Martin. ‘The firm is technically and commercially very strong, and client focused, with partner-led teams’. It advised LXB Retail Properties on a £110m placing of shares.
Within M&A: premium deals, £250m+, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘exacting legal knowledge and rounded commercial advice’ ensure that it is widely accepted as a credible alternative to the Magic Circle, and it maintains a prominent position in cross-border transactions through key relationships with international firms. In 2011 it advised Trafigura on the disposal of a 20% stake in Puma Energy to Sonangol Holdings. Matthew Blows and Ian Martin jointly head the practice, with the former singled out for his ability to ‘anticipate issues before they are raised’. Graham Gibb is also recommended. James Dawson joined from Addleshaw Goddard LLP, while Garrett Hayes moved to Paul Hastings LLP.
Within Partnership Partnership
Within Private equity: transactions, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP has a ‘great tradition of superb lawyers in the private equity arena’, and ‘provides Magic Circle advice at mid-market fee levels’. The practice receives regular instructions from significant sponsors in the industry, including 3i, Alchemy and Graphite. Charles Meek represented Duke Street Capital on its acquisition of Wagamama from Lion Capital. ‘An excellent communicator who is particularly strong on management issues’, Ian Martin advised Graphite on its acquisition of Protocol Education from Bridgepoint. Other recommended partners include the ‘very good’ Stephen Drewitt and Charles Martin.
Within VAT and indirect tax, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘helpful, commercial and responsive’ team acts for clients including Alchemy Partners, Virgin and Silverfleet. It has expertise in areas such as contentious VAT, private equity, real estate, and the structuring of investments to offset VAT exposure. Mark Baldwin is ‘first class’.
London : Crime, fraud and licensing
Within Fraud: civil, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
At Macfarlanes LLP, Barry Donnelly is leading the advice to WestLB in proceedings against Nomura International Bank concerning an allegedly fraudulent net-asset-value calculation of shares in an offshore fund. Charles Lloyd has a ‘fine eye for detail’, and newly promoted partner Matt McCahearty is ‘very clever’.
London : Dispute resolution
Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
2011 saw Macfarlanes LLP act in WestLB v Nomura, in the Court of Appeal; Lehman Brothers (Europe) v Firth Rixson & Others, also in the Court of Appeal and involving the interpretation of the ISDA Master Agreement; and UBS / Merrill Lynch v The Region of Lombardy, in two cases involving swap and sinking fund structures negotiated between investment banks and Italian municipalities. Barry Donnelly is ‘an outstanding litigator with excellent tactical sense’, and Iain Mackie and Charles Lloyd are also recommended. The firm rises in the ranking this year.
Within Commercial litigation, tier 5
Macfarlanes LLP ‘understands the client’s commercial needs’. The group acted for Salford Capital Partners in defending high-value claims brought by Boris Berezovsky. Team head Iain Mackie has a ‘good grasp of the legal niceties, as well as the tactics’. Willie Manners and Geoff Steward are also well regarded.
London : Finance
Within Acquisition finance, tier 4
Headed by Julian Howard, Macfarlanes LLP advises a mix of lenders and sponsors on mid-market LBOs, among them RBS, Goldman Sachs and Apollo. Christopher Lawrence recently advised Duke Street and Hutton Collins on the £120m senior and mezzanine debt package for the buyout of Wagamama. The team’s strong ties with investment debt providers such as Ares and Haymarket is also paying dividends, in light of their increased involvement in providing liquidity on deals.
Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, tier 4
Co-headed by Christopher Lawrence and Jat Baines, Macfarlanes LLP is able to leverage its excellent pedigree in the private equity industry to pick up a raft of work for portfolio companies, and is active in distressed M&A deals. The team recently advised OpCapita on the acquisition of Comet Group, and Better Capital on the £20.5m acquisition of Fairline Boats. Other clients include iSOFT, Four Seasons Health Care and Goldman Sachs.
Within Derivatives and structured products, tier 5
Christopher Lawrence leads ‘a strong practice’ at Macfarlanes LLP, and recently advised Castle Trust Capital on property index swaps in a new retail investment product. Rachel Kelly heads the structured finance practice. Newly promoted partner Will Sykes is ‘excellent on technical detail, and extremely commercial’.
Within Investment funds, Macfarlanes LLP is a first tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP ‘maintains a consistently high quality of advice and industry knowledge’ across fund classes, and fields ‘true experts’ in UCITS and other retail funds. Listed funds expert Stephen Robinson is ‘very knowledgeable, and provides very good advice and an honest opinion’. Practice head Bridget Barker is highly rated for private funds, Matthew Blows is recommended for listed funds, along with Tim Cornick for open-ended funds, and Mark Baldwin for tax matters. The group advised Montagu Private Equity on its multi-jurisdictional $2.5bn fundraising for Fund IV. It also acted on the launch of Neptune Investment Funds III, a long/short fund under UCITS III, and other retail fund clients include Skandia and Fidelity. Damien Crossley and senior associate Christopher Good acted for Alchemy Special Opportunities on a $500m Guernsey-based debt fund targeting US investors. Stephen Sims joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP.
Clifford Chance’s client base includes some of the most active issuers and underwriters. Peter Voisey, Steve Curtis, Neil Hamilton and Simeon Radcliff have ‘top-level expertise’; Kevin Ingram, who ‘still dominates credit card deals’, is ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in the market’; and Christopher Walsh ‘has a deep understanding of the subject matter’. Andrew Forryan is also recommended, for RMBS transactions and whole-business securitisations. The firm has seen a spate of covered bond deals and is prominent in the commercial mortgage space, where it is heavily involved in the CMBS 2.0 initiative. Emma Matebalavu advised Northern Rock on its £1.3bn RMBS, and Ingram assisted HSBC in restructuring a €25bn covered bond programme. Rachel Kelly is now at Macfarlanes LLP.
London : Human resources
Within Employee share schemes, tier 5
Rob Collard at Macfarlanes LLP is ‘professional and proactive’ and an ‘excellent leader’.
Within Employment: employers and senior executives, tier 5
Macfarlanes LLP is appreciated for its ‘first-class input into decision-making’. The five-partner team advises in relation to executive terminations, high-value discrimination and whistle-blowing claims, and significant team moves in the financial services sector, among other matters. Department head Seán Lavin and Dan Lavender both have ‘very strong technical skills’, and act for recent panel win WorldPay, IMG, Red Bull and Lotus.
Also notable for their work in the area of immigration are: Birnberg Peirce & Partners; Blake Lapthorn; Blakemores; Clifford Chance; Davenport Lyons; Dundas & Wilson LLP; Eversheds LLP; Luqmani Thompson & Partners; Macfarlanes LLP; Paragon Law; Pinsent Masons LLP; QualitySolicitors FJG; RadcliffesLeBrasseur; Russell-Cooke LLP; Simons Muirhead & Burton; Travers Smith LLP; and Watson, Farley & Williams LLP.
Within Pensions, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP advises corporates and investors, particularly in relation to complex and novel transactions, and strategic pension issues and changes. It has ‘a justified reputation for steadiness and accuracy. It may not be the most publicity-seeking firm, but they get on with the work’. The firm advised NOVA Chemicals on the sale of its joint venture interest to INEOS, while other clients include EMI, The Really Useful Group and Hogg Robinson. Recommended individuals include head of department Hugh Arthur; Jane Marshall, who is ‘a great ally to have on one’s side’; and the ‘quite exceptional’ Camilla Barry, who is ‘simply the best’. In pensions litigation, the firm continues to act in the IMG case.
London : Private client
Within Agriculture and estates, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘prompt’ team at Macfarlanes LLP is headed by the highly esteemed John Hornby. Its experience includes option agreements for estates, estate planning, and the establishment of farming partnerships. Tristan Ward is ‘conscientious’, and valued for his personal experience in agriculture.
Within Art and cultural property Leading individuals
Within Charities and not-for-profit, tier 5
Helen Darling’s team at Macfarlanes LLP gives ‘detailed, clear advice’. The firm is strong in charity mergers and joint ventures such as Together for Short Lives and CharityShare, and in the implementation of government initiatives such as The Education Endowment Foundation and Legacy10. Clients particularly value the firm’s pro bono services. Rupert Casey is ‘intelligent and humble’.
Within Contentious trusts and probate, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘first-class’ team at Macfarlanes LLP is led by the ‘astute’ Charles Lloyd. In 2011, it advised beneficiaries and executors of a multi-jurisdictional intestate estate on planning and restructuring issues, a matter which ultimately led to High Court litigation. The firm is on the Barclays Wealth Fiduciary panel.
Within Personal tax, trusts and probate, Macfarlanes LLP is a first tier firm,
The highly respected Jonathan Conder heads the team at Macfarlanes LLP, in which Nicholas Harries and Piers Barclay are also significant figures. It draws on the firm’s resources in areas such as financial services, corporate and property to undertake work for clients such as Barclays Wealth, Coutts Private Office, and Lloyds. Owen Clutton remains active in a consulting role.
London : Real estate
Within Commercial property, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP is ‘top drawer: highly skilled and very professional in all respects’. It advised Arora family trust and Grove Developments on the pre-letting of a 300-bedroom hotel at Stansted airport to Premier Inn and on the £282.5m purchase of Tower 42. Charles Horsfield, Dominic Cunliffe, Steven Pitchford and the ‘highly skilled and very professional’ Tom Pedder are recommended. New department head Ian Nisse joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP.
Within Construction, tier 4
Macfarlanes LLP represents the full range of construction players, with an emphasis on end users and developers. Doug Wass represented B&Q plc and Weston Homes plc in multimillion-pound defective design and construction claims. Simon Nurney handles procurement, D&C contracts and general construction disputes. Associated British Ports is also a client.
Within Environment, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP is well known for its contentious experience, and also provides environmental insurance advice. It recently worked with EM Global Limited and Corby Borough Council in the recovery of insurance relating to toxic waste claims. Other clients include Trafigura, LyondellBasell, Aeternum Capital, and SABIC UK Petrochemicals. The four-partner team, led by Paul Davies, is ‘savvy in business and environment issues’ , and recruited Larry George as a consultant in 2011.
Within Property finance, Macfarlanes LLP is a third tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP’s Colin Morgan and Jat Bains are ‘highly skilled and very professional in all respects’. The team advised on the terms of the £71m facilities made available to The Leisure Fund Limited Partnership to refinance existing facilities secured on seven prime out-of-town UK leisure assets.
Within Property litigation, tier 5
Macfarlanes LLP’s team advises institutional investors, wealthy individuals and public companies on the full ambit of property disputes. Willie Manners heads the practice, which ‘stands out from the pack’ in terms of service levels and counts Friends Life among its clients.
London : TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
Within Brand management, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP has ‘great experience of the specific challenges relating to brand management’. Advertising and marketing expert Rupert Casey provides ‘added value, and is able to handle anything with calm professionalism’. Casey advised Heineken International on the launch of a Star Player iPhone app for live UEFA matches, and acted for Converse on a sponsorship deal to keep the 100 Club music venue in operation. Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp advised on the brand launch of the Caterham F1 team (formerly Team Lotus), which followed on from the High Court dispute with Group Lotus regarding the Team Lotus mark, in which Geoff Steward represented the client.
Within Franchising, Macfarlanes LLP is a second tier firm,
Macfarlanes LLP’s commercial team acts in contentious, regulatory and advisory franchising matters. Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp and Charles Meek acted for the owners on the sale of the UK Krispy Kreme franchise. Other clients include Gourmet Burger, Pret A Manger and Arora Hotels.
Within Intellectual property, tier 4
Macfarlanes LLP focuses on soft IP matters for the consumer goods sector, with clients including Umbro, Pernod Ricard and Yoplait. Geoff Steward handled a number of high-profile trade mark disputes, including defending 1Malaysia Racing in a case against Group Lotus and acting for Anheuser-Busch in a trade mark revocation claim against Budejovický Budvar. Rupert Casey handles licensing matters.
Within IT and telecoms, tier 5
Macfarlanes LLP acts for financial sector clients on IT outsourcing, and recently advised ICAP on arrangements with investment banks for i-Swap, a new electronic trading platform. Rupert Casey heads the practice.
Within Media and entertainment, tier 5
Within Sport, tier 4
Macfarlanes LLP represents team owners, agencies and retailers across football, Formula One and other sports. It acted for Tune QPR on acquiring Queen’s Park Rangers FC; Umbro International in a licensing dispute; and the British Ski and Snowboard on its new constitution. Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp leads the practice.
Further information on Macfarlanes LLP
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Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Commercial contracts
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : Flotations: small and mid-cap
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Corporate and commercial : Partnership
- Corporate and commercial : Private equity: transactions
- Corporate and commercial : VAT and indirect tax
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: civil
- Dispute resolution : Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Finance : Acquisition finance
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Derivatives and structured products
- Finance : Investment funds
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Pensions
- Private client : Agriculture and estates
- Private client : Art and cultural property
- Private client : Charities and not-for-profit
- Private client : Contentious trusts and probate
- Private client : Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Environment
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Brand management
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Franchising
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Intellectual property
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media and entertainment
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Sport