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Pinsent Masons LLP

BUNHILL ROW, LONDON, EC1Y 8YZ, ENGLAND

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for public and private sector entities in transformational BPO and IT/technology outsourcing and procurement, as well as projects involving distressed companies. Simon Colvin leads the team, which is particularly strong in matters associated with advanced manufacturing and technology, as well as the financial services sector. It is also increasingly active in projects connected with the infrastructure sector, particularly where there is an interplay with technology. David Isaac, Justin Chan and others are assisting Transport for London (TfL) with its groundbreaking Surface Intelligent Transport System outsourcing programme. In a separate matter, in 2016, Chris Martin led the advice to the University of Birmingham on the procurement of a cloud-based suite of new back-office systems. The Ministry of Justice, Heathrow Airport, Serco and Capita are other key clients. Other key figures include Yvonne Dunn, who leads the fintech practice, Tim Roughton, who is experienced in acting for suppliers and customers in outsourcing transactions in the life and pensions industry, Diane Mullenex, and recently promoted partners Natalie Trainor and Alison Eckford.

Leading individuals

David Isaac - Pinsent Masons LLP

Simon Colvin - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 6

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s transactional tax team has been involved in some enviable mandates in 2016-2017, which have showcased the team’s aptitude in pre-transaction and post-transaction international tax structuring. Eloise Walker is the primary contact in the London transactional tax group and leads the firm’s international tax initiative. Indeed, much of Walker’s work involves tax planning across a number of legal jurisdictions; as an example, she acted for Teva Pharmaceuticals Europe BV on the Β£603m disposal of its interest in Activas UK and Activas Ireland. Similarly, she advised the shareholders of Skyscanner on its Β£1.4bn disposal to China’s largest online travel firm, CTrip. Leeds-based John Christian is another key contact in the firm’s UK corporate tax department, and Heather Self has particular experience in international tax planning. The team’s varied client base includes AMC Entertainment Holdings, HSBC and Costain.

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Customs and Excise
Customs and Excise - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s specialist customs and excise practice group is driven by a number of sector specialisms including retail and manufacturing, but the team is particularly experienced in the excise duty issues affecting the beer brewing industry. The customs group is headed by Jason Collins and Stuart Walsh, two experienced tax litigators who have represented household-name brewery clients in excise and alcohol duty disputes with HMRC and also advise on issues such as supply chain arrangements and regulatory compliance. Ian Hyde as well as senior associates Ian Robotham and Jake Landman are also recommended.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

The β€˜excellent’ practice at Pinsent Masons LLP is praised for its β€˜huge diversity of competition law expertise’, β€˜understanding of what the client is looking for’, and β€˜impressive strength in depth’. Clients include Teva Pharmaceuticals, DCC and Saint Gobain. Practice head and β€˜seasoned competition lawyer’ Alan Davis, who joined from Jones Day, is advising CST Industries in the CMA’s cartel investigation into the supply of galvanised steel tanks for water storage. Guy Lougher (who has β€˜excellent judgement’ and is β€˜unflappable under pressure’) acted for E.ON in the CMA’s market investigation into the retail energy market, and advised new client AMC on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of the Odeon & UCI group, which involved merger notifications to the European Commission and the CMA. Also recommended are Angelique Bret, who is β€˜a rising star with a wonderful client touch’, and who is praised for her β€˜thoughtful, pragmatic and calming approach’; newly made-up partner Caroline Ramsay, who is based in Glasgow, has β€˜cutting-edge experience’ and is β€˜very good at meeting short time scales’; and Giles Warrington in Birmingham, who is a β€˜true gentleman’ with β€˜excellent experience in market investigations’. Jenny Block joined Ofwat as general counsel.

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory) - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

The β€˜absolutely first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP β€˜really knows its stuff’, particularly as it pertains to regulation affecting the insurance, asset management, wealth management and retail banking sectors. β€˜Detail-oriented’ and β€˜realistic about what can and cannot be achieved in the regulatory context’, the firm provides standalone advisory work, in addition to regulatory advice which is complementary to transactions in the sector. Described as a β€˜real pleasure to work with’, David Heffron β€˜leaves no stone unturned in exploring options for his clients’. He recently advised E.ON UK plc on its Energy Installation Services business' successful application for FCA authorisation as a consumer credit firm. Elizabeth Budd has long standing regulatory expertise on behalf of general and life insurers and is a key member of the non-contentious team that also include products and payments expert Tony Anderson. Colin Read leads on the contentious front and has a β€˜focus on trouble-shooting for insurers and wealth management clients’. The team has also been particularly active on data breaches and cyber-crime and is well-regarded for its work on redress schemes where the FCA has been unhappy about the customer experience. Clients include AXA, Allianz and HSBC.

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP manages a varied workload, which includes AIM/Main Market/overseas listings, dual listings, secondary offerings and reverse takeovers. Reflective of the international footprint of the practice, Robert Moir acted for Warsaw Stock Exchange listed recruitment company Work Service on its listing on the London Stock Exchange. Jon Harris and legal director Michael Lakin managed the English law aspects of Procurri Corporation’s IPO on the Mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange. Another key feature is the firm’s strong focus on sectors such as technology, life sciences and energy; Russell Booker assisted Loopup Group with its Β£40.8m AIM IPO, representing the first technology-related IPO post-Brexit. Rob Hutchings, Hannah Brader and others assisted Motorpoint Group with its Β£200m Main Market IPO. John Tyerman leads the team, which also acts for brokers, bookrunners and NOMADs.

Leading individuals

Jon Harris - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Chrissy Findlay - Pinsent Masons LLP

Gareth Jones - Pinsent Masons LLP

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M&A: mid-market, Β£50m-Β£250m
M&A: mid-market, Β£50m-Β£250m - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group, which is led by energy and infrastructure expert John Tyerman, frequently handles multi-jurisdictional M&A for public and private companies, and is consistently active across a wide range of sectors. Hannah Brader, who is very strong in M&A involving insurance and financial institutions, advised Legal & General Group on its Β£140m sale of Cofunds to Aegon UK. In the cross-border space, Joanne Ellis assisted the shareholders of GBK Restaurants with the company’s Β£120m sale to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Famous Brands, while Tom Leman advised Target Group on its Β£112m sale to the India-listed Tech Mahindra. Leman also acted for AB InBev on its purchase of Camden Brewing Group. Rob Hutchings advised Kier Group on the Β£75m sale of its Mouchel Consulting business to WSP. Though mostly active in the mid-market space, the practice also handles some impressive premium M&A: Andrew Kerr acted for Nirma on its $1.4bn purchase of Lafarge India from LafargeHolcim, Leman advised AMC Theatres on its $1.2bn acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, and Robert Moir assisted Redefine Properties with its €1.2bn purchase of a 75% stake in Dutch property company Echo Prime Properties. Jon Harris and Nicole Livesey are also recommended. In 2016, Stephen Levy’s departure for Dentons was offset by the arrival of telecoms expert Andrew McMillan from Simmons & Simmons. Financial sector M&A expert Hammad Akhtar joined from Ashurst in April 2017.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Mid-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP features prominently in high-profile deals involving inbound investments into the UK. In 2016, Tom Leman acted for AMC Theatres in its $1.2bn acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group from Terra Firma. In another high-profile matter, Alan Diamond, Rosalie Chadwick and others advised Skyscanner on its Β£1.4bn sale to Chinese online travel group CTrip.com International. In addition to its large-cap capability, the firm has a particularly strong profile at the sophisticated end of the mid-market arena; Andrew Masraf and Fiona Kindness advised Lyceum Capital Partners on its Β£50m investment into Sabio Limited. Another name to note in the team is Joanne Ellis, who specialises in regulated private healthcare transactions. Edward Stead heads the practice, which handles work in sectors such as real estate, infrastructure, energy and life sciences. Andrew Phillips joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

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

Pinsent Masons LLP

With vast expertise in VAT and indirect tax disputes, Pinsent Masons LLP is β€˜rightly regarded as a go-to firm for VAT litigation’. β€˜A born-litigator and a mastermind of VAT defence-litigation’, Stuart Walsh is representing Lowcosttravelgroup and AIAL in relation to HMRC’s appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union after losing a case in the British Supreme Court regarding the levy of additional VAT across the travel booking industry. The specialised litigation team has also represented Cantor Fitzgerald in a dispute with HMRC regarding the VAT treatment of carbon credits issued under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Jason Collins and Ian Hyde are β€˜stand-out’ lawyers in the practice group.Steven Porter was promoted to partner in 2016. The practice also provides transactional and stand-alone indirect tax advice and VAT assessment challenges to clients in the motor and insurance sectors. Additional clients for which the team has handled tax litigation include Avon Cosmetics.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP provides β€˜a faultless level of service, carefully outlining all threats and opportunities’ and β€˜managing each case with consummate ease’. The group has significant expertise in obtaining freezing, disclosure and passport delivery up orders, and regularly deals with fraud committed in offshore jurisdictions. Aeroflot, Gold Point Media and LLB Verwaltung (Schweiz) are amongst key clients, and the firm is currently defending the latter in a multimillion-pound fraud claim regarding a non-existent investment project and investment sum misappropriation. The group is also acting for Aeroflot in various proceedings against the estate of the late Boris Berezovsky and associates, who allegedly defrauded the client of a significant proportion of international income. Alan Sheeley heads the department, and is currently defending two major banks in fraud-related claims.

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Fraud: white-collar crime
Fraud: white-collar crime - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is β€˜a very strong firm in this area’, with β€˜good strength at partner level and a great deal of experience in the field’. The firm is known for its strength in the infrastructure, energy and mining, technology and financial services sectors, and has recently advised on a number of corruption investigations and private prosecutions in these areas. Notable work included representing Sweett Group in a corporate prosecution brought by the SFO in connection with the Bribery Act and alleged failure to prevent bribery, where the client entered a guilty plea. Leading practitioners include Barry Vitou, a β€˜good strategist and thoughtful lawyer who always fights his client’s corner’, and recently promoted partner Anne-Marie Ottaway, who β€˜brings great experience from the SFO’. Tom Stocker is also a name to note, specialising in bribery, fraud, money laundering and international trade sanctions cases.

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Gaming and betting
Gaming and betting - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜unique team’ provides β€˜swift and precise advice which focuses on finding a solution whilst also making sense from a business perspective’, and the group is β€˜very knowledgeable about all new developments within the sector’. The firm is known for its expertise in business expansion and financing, and regularly advises the introduction of new business-critical systems, relocation and strategically significant disputes, alongside other gambling and betting industry issues. The team is headed by the β€˜extraordinary’ Diane Mullenex who β€˜is at the forefront of all new developments and has true international experience’, finding β€˜very workable solutions to all problems’. Recent work includes assisting AMC Entertainment with its acquisition of Odeon Cinemas, and advising Crystal Palace Football Club on stadium alcohol licensing.

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Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’ β€˜outstanding’ practice has β€˜a broad range of international experience’ and provides β€˜great value for money’, advising on liquor and gambling licensing across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The team has a strong base of restaurant sector clients including Wagamama, Yo! Sushi and Pizza Express, and has substantial advocacy and litigation capabilities. Highlights included acting for global distiller Diageo in an application for a premises licence for its central London office; advising KPMG on two applications in relation to a client meeting and entertainment centre and a cafΓ©; and advising House of Fraser in an opposition to a street trading license application outside its Manchester location. Liquor licensing specialist Audrey Ferrie heads the department.

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 5

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP β€˜provides good communication channels and working relationships, and the team reacts quickly to new cases’. The firm’s clients include multinational insurance companies and UK and foreign banks, and the practice’s scope of work includes derivatives mis-selling claims; professional negligence; consumer credit and payment protection insurance claims; fraud; and contentious insolvency. The team acted for Novo Banco (NB), a Portuguese bridge bank, in an $850m claim, further to a facility agreement entered into by NB’s predecessor, Banco Espirito Santo. Stuart McNeill is investment banking litigation head; Edinburgh-based Jim Cormack is banking and finance litigation head; and Michael Fenn is a key adviser. Other notable practitioners include Alan Sheeley, who is β€˜a star when it comes to litigation and the right partner for a tough case’; Joanne Gillies, who β€˜has a good understanding of clients’ business’; and recently promoted legal director Michael Hawthorne, who β€˜grasps the complexities of a case extremely quickly’. Richard Twomey joined DWF.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜team is excellent and has huge experience of complex commercial litigation’. The practice is best known for disputes involving energy, financial services, pensions and cross-border matters. It acted for Aeroflot-Russian Airlines in high-value fraud proceedings against the estate of the late Boris Berezovsky and others, which involved complex questions of international jurisdiction, limitation and insolvency law, and ground-breaking reported decisions on the treatment of foreign exchange debts of deceased bankrupts. Michael Fenn is β€˜a very experienced litigator and great team leader’; Katharine Davies β€˜has excellent instincts’; and Alan Sheeley β€˜stands out as brilliant - he knows how to achieve his clients’ objectives and fights hard for them’. Stuart McNeill, and Ben Fairhead are key names. The β€˜first-rate’ Alistair Calvert made partner, while Richard Twomey exited for DWF.

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s competition group β€˜manages to combine public procurement and competition expertise, and so is particularly valuable where those areas overlap’. Though the dedicated competition litigation practice is relatively new, β€˜the group has chosen well by putting’ Ben Lasserson β€˜at the helm’ of the contentious team. He is involved in multiple follow-on claims arising out of headline cartel decisions and has also acted for listed companies and local authorities in high-value procurement challenges. In β€˜a major development for the department’, Alan Davis re-joined the from Jones Day in 2017 and heads the larger competition and EU practice. He is acting for FP McCann Limited in the CMA's only remaining criminal cartel investigation under the "old" cartel offence. Guy Lougher acted for Groupe Eurotunnel in a dispute with the CMA, which reached the Supreme Court in 2016.

Next generation lawyers

Ben Lasserson - Pinsent Masons LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is β€˜a first-rate firm that is extremely thorough and strategically sound’. The practice is well known for large, complex international engineering and construction arbitrations, but it also has robust experience in energy, technology, financial services, and insurance disputes. Mark Roe is international arbitration head; David McIlwaine is international arbitration committee chair; Michael Fenn is β€˜an experienced commercial disputes partner with considerable finesse and experience’; Jason Hambury is β€˜a very good construction arbitration specialist’; and Katharine Davies is β€˜a bright, committed and excellent litigator’. Other key advisers include Adrian Elliot, Rob McCallough, Nick Bradley, Martin Harman and Manoj Vaghela.

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Tax litigation and investigations
Tax litigation and investigations - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has β€˜profound depth of knowledge and unrivalled experience, whether the dispute requires detailed advice on aspects of the tax law or involves major litigation involving tens of millions of pounds’. The team is truly β€˜first-class’ and continues to be involved in market-first tax cases. Joint department head Jason Collins is highly regarded in the practice area and is representing BT Pension Scheme on appeal in test case for over 100 of the UK’s largest employers; the case considers the client’s recovery of Β£2bn of tax credits concerning investments it made into certain UK companies and is the first UK tax case to be heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) since the Brexit referendum. The β€˜profoundly experienced’ Ian Hyde is representing Avon Cosmetics in one of the last cases to be referred to the CJEU before the referendum, which concerns VAT levied in relation to one of the client’s brands. Steven Porter was recently made partner and is leading a series of judicial review challenges brought by taxpayers against HMRC regarding payment notices for the clients’ involvement in tax avoidance schemes. Clara Boyd and the β€˜tactically savvy’ Stuart Walsh are also key contacts. The department is especially strong in the financial services and energy and infrastructure sectors, which has attracted clients such as Credit Suisse and British Coal.

Leading individuals

Jason Collins - Pinsent Masons LLP

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 5

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s strong clearing bank relationships sees the firm take a role on the senior lending part of many domestic mid-market transactions. In addition to handling corporate lending transactions, Vanessa Heap also regularly handles mid-market acquisition financing deals and recently advised RBS and Lloyds, on the Β£80m term and revolving credit facilities provided to F M Conway, which were used to finance the Β£57.8m acquisition of United Construction Materials and to refinance the Β£15.7m acquisition of Berkshire Macadams. Liam Terry handles a significant amount of work for HSBC, recently advising it on a Β£50m term and revolving facilities agreement to Vectura Group to part finance its Β£441m acquisition of Skyepharma. Martin Bishop is also recommended.

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Asset-based lending
Asset-based lending - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP (Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester)

Led out of the firm’s Birmingham office by the β€˜very hands on’ Edward Sunderland and assisted by practitioners spread across the regional network, including Leeds and Manchester, Pinsent Masons LLP is β€˜highly experienced in the field’ and β€˜whether acting for borrower or bank, is focused on getting the deal done and not arguing points for the sake of it’. Sunderland β€˜knows the ABL product and market inside out’, and with assistance from β€˜excellent’ Manchester-based senior associate Tim Fearn recently advised RBS, HSBC and Barclays on the provision of Β£231m debt and ABL facilities to Conviviality plc to refinance the acquisitions of the Matthew Clark Group and the PLB Bibendum Wine Group. On the borrower side, Sunderland and senior associate Victoria Baker acted for Briggs Equipment UK on the novation of its existing syndicated ABL facility led by GE Capital alongside a club of Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, RBS Invoice Finance, ABN Amro, Wells Fargo and PNC. James Cameron and Amy Flavell are recommended for their work on the recoveries front. Other clients include Europcar Group, Arran Isle, and BNP Paribas Commercial Finance.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

Leveraging its strong clearing bank relationships, as well as servicing the firm’s roster of London-listed corporates, Pinsent Masons LLP is a very visible presence in the UK corporate lending market. Liam Terry leads the firm’s HSBC relationship and recently advised it on a $70m term and revolving credit facility for Telit Communications. Vanessa Heap acted for Motorpoint Group on its post-IPO facility with Santander. Team head Martin Bishop has recently handled numerous matters for L&G including on its Β£175m refinancing of the Sofitel Hotel situated in Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport. Other clients include RBS, Barclays Bank and Redefine International plc.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 7

Pinsent Masons LLP

With five partners based in London and also able to call upon the expertise of practitioners across a number of regional offices including Manchester, Birmingham and Scotland, Pinsent Masons LLP has the strength-in-depth to provide a β€˜cost-effective and commercial service’ to a varied mix of clients including banks, IPs and funds engaged predominantly in mid-market domestic mandates. β€˜The reliable’ Tom Withyman has a niche expertise advising on charities restructuring; he recently advised the directors of Aston Student Village on the restructuring of this charity vehicle holding the student accommodation at Aston University. The β€˜approachable’ Nicholas Pike handles both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work; he recently advised Gatwick Airport and a group of seven major airlines on arrangements to provide short-term funding to the Aviator Group, a distressed group of companies that operated a ground-handling services business from London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham airports. The β€˜very responsive’ Steven Cottee displays a real β€˜"can do" attitude’ across a range of work including law firm insolvencies, while Richard Williams is noted for his expertise on construction restructurings. Clients include HSBC, Alix Partners, KPMG and RBS.

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

Offering β€˜an optimal blend of access to partners and competitive fees’ according to clients Pinsent Masons LLP handles a broad range of DCM matters, but its key areas of focus are on bond finance for projects, education and social housing. The firm is a longstanding adviser to UK clearing banks and also represents institutional investors on large-scale privately placed bond issues, particularly in relation to UK-based issuers raising money in the US private placement market. Head of capital markets Edward Sunderland handles EMTN programmes, private placements, listed bonds and commercial paper financings. Other key figures include Michael Watson, who leads the project bonds practice, Stephen Tobin, who focuses on energy and infrastructure finance, Apicksha Patel, who has β€˜first-class technical knowledge and provides excellent support through challenging negotiations’, Grace Hui, who leads on matters for bond trustees, and counsel Sharon Smith, who has 18 years’ experience and regularly handles wholesale and retail bonds. The firm advised HSBC Bank and Bank of New York Mellon Corporate Trustee services on a Β£370m index-linked bond issue by Aberdeen City Council.

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP provides β€˜good value for clients who are looking for top-quality lawyers at a lower cost than most City firms’. The firm predominantly advises lenders and has strong relationships with the leading UK clearing banks, focusing predominantly on mid-market deals, although it is moving up the value chain in terms of deal size and complexity. Its workload includes term and conduit, non-recourse and off balance sheet transactions, and SPVs. Edward Sunderland acted for HSBC Bank on the amendment of Capital Bridging Finance No.1 Limited securitisation documents to replace the mezzanine note with variable rate subordinated secured notes. Sunderland is assisted by consultant Sharon Smith in the Birmingham office who has more than 20 years’ experience in debt capital markets and securitisation transactions. London-based derivatives partner Stephen Woods recently worked on vehicle leasing and loan receivables securitisations, and the restructuring of RMBS deals. Head of international tax Eloise Walker focuses on corporation tax issues in the context of structured finance and asset-backed funding and has particular expertise in securitisations. Senior associate Grace Hui advises trustees, issuers, paying agents and corporate services providers on a range of structured finance and capital markets transactions, including complex CMBS and RMBS securitisations. Wilmington Trust is among her key clients.

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

The β€˜excellent’ share plan and incentives team at Pinsent Masons LLP has experience in senior executive remuneration matters, as well as other issues with international elements. β€˜Knowledgeable, solutions-oriented and professional’ team head Lynette Jacobs, who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’, recently acted for AMC on incentives issues concerning its $1bn acquisition of Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group, and advised Imperial Brands on its global share plan across 35 jurisdictions. Suzannah Crookes is also very highly rated by clients.

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

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’ β€˜extremely strong team’ handles a range of big-ticket mandates, including compliance and high-profile restrictive covenant issues. β€˜Brilliant’ and β€˜practical’ group head Edward Goodwyn, who specialises in acting for clients in the infrastructure sector, successfully defended Bombardier against a compulsory trade union recognition application brought by Unite before the Central Arbitration Committee. Steven Cochrane advised Teva Pharmaceuticals on a number of employment matters arising from the sale of Actavis Generics to Accord Healthcare, including negotiating and preparing revised contracts for senior employees. Other clients include TClarke, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I) and Tata Communications.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜very responsive and knowledgeable’ group handles a wide range of health and safety matters for international clients. β€˜A leader in this field’, department head Kevin Bridges has experience advising on joint police and HSE investigations. The team includes Sean Elson and senior associate Kizzy Augustin, who specialises in fire safety and lift safety issues, covering corporate manslaughter and regulatory investigations. Laura Cameron, who heads the group in Scotland, is also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Kizzy Augustin - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜very experienced’ pensions team is β€˜at the top of its game’ and β€˜undoubtedly a contentious pensions specialist’. β€˜Well-respected’ practice head Carolyn Saunders has been leading advice to an outsourcing company on various complex arrangements concerning a scheme with assets valued at more than Β£1bn. The β€˜outstanding’ Isabel Nurse-Marsh heads the litigation team, which includes the β€˜singularly good’ Ben Fairhead. Fairhead and Tom Barton acted for Royal London in the landmark High Court case Hughes v The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited, which concerned pension liberation scams. Clients also recommend the β€˜excellent’ Raj Sharma, the β€˜time-conscious’ Alastair Meeks, and β€˜excellent technical pensions lawyer’ Stephen Scholefield. At the senior associate level, β€˜tenacious litigator’ Hayley Goldstone is recommended along with Charlotte Scholes.

Leading individuals

Carolyn Saunders - Pinsent Masons LLP

Isabel Nurse-Marsh - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Charlotte Scholes - Pinsent Masons LLP

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

The expertise of Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜highly experienced litigators’ includes cyber insurance, reinsurance, D&O matters, and warranty and indemnity claims; its strengths extend to professional indemnity disputes in the pensions sector and product liability work. Manoj Vaghela is representing Generali in relation to group litigation that has been brought against Morrisons regarding allegations that a former employee released the data of other workers. Practice head Nicholas Bradley β€˜is a first-rate litigator with excellent judgment and strong commercial instincts’, who has been acting in international coverage, commutation agreement and reinsurance recovery disputes. Daman, Chubb and Direct Line are key clients of the practice, which recently hired senior associate Georgina Fleet from Legal & General. Ian Birdsey was made up to partner and is well regarded for data risks, cyber liability, policy wording and various other matters. Colin Read leads contentious regulatory disputes and has experience with the Financial Ombudsman Service, FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority. His expertise also includes energy and liability policies, and health and safety risks. Senior associate Ravi Nayer is another key figure.

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

The β€˜strong team of professionals’ at Pinsent Masons LLP β€˜always has access to wider expert resources within the firm when necessary’ and provides β€˜excellent value for money’. The firm has a strong track record in major distribution deals, M&A work and complex regulatory issues, and has retained a strong client base in the general insurance, life and pensions, savings and investments and health sectors. Notable work included acting for AXA on its joint venture with Trov, a Silicon Valley-based app designer, and advising Legal & General on its Β£140m sale of Cofunds, a UK investment platform for financial institutions. The team also has substantial expertise in acting for startups, and recently advised an IT/insurance distribution startup on the initial setup, development and implementation of its business. David Heffron heads the practice, where Alexis Roberts and Bruno Geiringer are the other key figures. British Gas Insurance, Reliance Mutual and Marsh & McLennan Group are also active clients.

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Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
Insurance: insolvency and restructuring - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP provides β€˜excellent value for money’, and has notable expertise in Part VII transfers, restructurings and exit strategies involving asset segregation. The cross-border practice also has significant experience across the Middle East, working closely with its Qatar office to advise on insolvencies in the Doha and Dubai insurance markets. Highlights included advising Reliance Mutual Insurance Society on a major project involving life insurer demutualisation and sale to US-based private equity investors, followed by a Part VII transfer involving Β£1.9bn worth of assets, and handling a range of insolvency issues on behalf of Allianz, Canada Life, Royal London and Zurich, among others. David Heffron jointly heads the practice with Nick Bradley, who has significant experience in the insurance legacy and run-off field, and has been involved in various legacy business projects on behalf of major insurers. Richard Williams, Colin Read and Claire Massie are also names to note.

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is representing Hamad M. Aldrees & Partners in a multimillion-pound dispute filed against Rotex Europe, which allegedly supplied deficient mineral separating units and has filed a counterclaim against the client for unpaid fees. Leeds-based practice head Andrew Masterson acted for Laleham Health & Beauty in a dispute with a supplier of specialist labels to recover losses for products that were defective, inaccurate and delivered late. Asda and Tecoglas are additional clients. At legal director level, the recently promoted Louise Nahon – who is a qualified chartered mechanical engineer – is recommended in Leeds with the β€˜outstanding’ Sarah Taylor, who β€˜can be depended on to get the best possible result’, leaving β€˜no stone is left unturned’ when advising on product safety matters for retailers and food and drink manufacturers. Manoj Vaghela is the main contact in London.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜highly skilled team’ has β€˜considerable strength-in-depth’, β€˜a client-focused approach’, and is β€˜commercially astute’. It acts for insureds and insurer clients as defendants and claimants, and its expertise spans financial services, pensions, legal, construction, technology and tax disputes. Nick Bradley and Jason Collins jointly head the team. Stuart McNeill handles financial services matters and represented Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) in purusing a valuation claim against the German banking group, DZ Bank and a high-value negligence claim against its collateral manager, Bank of New York Mellon. Zurich, Argo International, Ulster Bank, Inter Hannover, Chubb and RSA are also clients. Pensions litigation head Isabel Nurse-Marsh is β€˜tenacious, hardworking, and goes to great lengths to get the best for her clients’ and Colin Read has β€˜vast knowledge and experience of the engineering and construction sectors’. Recently promoted partner Ian Birdsey combines a β€˜sensible commercial approach with a keen eye for detail’ and handles TMT and cyber matters, and Neal Morris heads the construction advisory and disputes team. Jim Cormack and Jonathan Fortnam are also recommended. Legal director Michael Fletcher is β€˜sharp’ and has broad expertise, and fellow legal director Chamika Hand is experienced in D&O liability.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 5

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s funds offering, headed by Ian Warner, handles a range of work, with a particular number of economic, social and governance (ESG) fund work complementing debt and real estate fund formation matters. Warner and Glasgow-based senior associate Elaine MacGregor advised Sango Capital on two further closings of an Africa-focused fund-of-funds, and Mayfair Capital on a residential debt fund. In the venture capital space, Warner acted for City University on establishing a fund to invest in start-ups generated by the CASS Entrepreneurship Centre. Daniel Greenaway is now at Mishcon de Reya LLP, David Young in Edinburgh is a new hire from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP.

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London: Private client

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

Richard Hart heads an β€˜excellent’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP which is β€˜very responsive and provides robust and tailored advice that shows the firm’s expertise and ability to link together different specialisations (for example tax and art advice)’. Associate Fionnuala Rogers is β€˜knowledgeable and passionate about art, and this shines through in the quality of the advice that she gives’. Hart acts for several ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families on matters such as acquisitions and refurbishments of historic houses, and advises on art collections. The team has a strong transactional practice, with notable capabilities on the contentious side also. It is representing Mondex Corporation in a major dispute on behalf of the heirs of a Jewish gallerist who was dispossessed in World War II of the Modigliani painting Seated Man with a Cane. Other key clients include Deutsche Bank, University of the Arts London, Sussex University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and various members of Middle Eastern royal families.

Next generation lawyers

Fionnuala Rogers - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team provides β€˜an immaculate service with excellent response times, and has a depth of knowledge and experience which shows that each matter has been researched beforehand to the highest standard’. Head of department Michael Pulford has β€˜a great eye for the tactical points and on how best to protect the client while always ensuring the information provided is kept confidential’. Pulford is β€˜more than ably assisted’ by senior associate John Ford, and there is β€˜great strength in depth in the team’. It is particularly strong in large and complex cross-border trust disputes. Recent successes include overturning a $3bn β€˜without notice’ worldwide freezing injunction brought by Russian crude oil producer PJSC Tatneft against eight of the firm’s clients who are trust and corporate entities incorporated in England, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man and Jersey. Clients include Kendris, Equiom Group, Standard Bank (Jersey) and Capco.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 4

Pinsent Masons LLP

The β€˜very commercial’ Michael Pulford leads the team at Pinsent Masons LLP, and acts in relation to high-profile and high-value pre- and post-nuptial agreements, divorce and financial remedy proceedings, and private law children and child abduction cases.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP β€˜provides good access to partner level input backed up by strong and very able juniors’, delivering β€˜quick responses, good commercial acumen and industry knowledge’. The firm was recently engaged by Indo UK Healthcare Private and UK Global Healthcare to advise on the implementation of a major health programme supported by the Indian and British governments aiming to build 11 hospitals and 89 polyclinics across India, and acted for Ferrovial Aeropuertos on the proposed acquisition of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports from Heathrow Airport Holdings. Michael Watson acts as head of the global finance and projects group and has β€˜broad sector expertise’ from which β€˜he can quote useful precedent’. The team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of planning partner Gareth Phillips from Watson Farley & Williams LLP, is led by Stephen Tobin and includes β€˜first-class’ finance specialist Apicksha Patel.

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s mining and natural resources team β€˜carries domain expertise and charges competitive fees’ under the leadership of construction law expert Sarah Thomas. She is advising York Potash alongside the Leeds-based planning partner Andrew Quinlan on planning, environmental, M&A and property matters in connection with its proposed mine development in the UK. Other key names include Jon Harris, who recently acted for Beaufort as the broker in numerous secondary fundraising matters by AIM-listed companies, and legal director Ross McDowall, who advised Kier on a wide array of property, environmental and planning law issues with regards to its operations in East Ayrshire. The team acted in LCIA arbitration proceedings arising from an iron ore mining project in Western Africa seeking to recover monies on behalf of the trustee. Other notable clients include Anglo American, Sirius and African Minerals.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP β€˜scores highly on pragmatism, practicality, industry knowledge and experience’. Global energy practice is headed from Aberdeen by Bob Ruddiman, β€˜a respected industry figure who runs his team intelligently and efficiently’. In London, Paul McGoldrick (β€˜a highly experienced practitioner’) worked alongside Glasgow-based Rosalie Chadwick on Total’s Β£585m sale of its North Sea Midstream business to North Sea Midstream Partners, which was the first transaction of its type to be considered by the Oil and Gas Authority and which involved negotiating with the Authority as well as Norwegian regulators. On the construction side, the Edinburgh-based Julia Maguire is advising a West African industrial conglomerate on the procurement of a Β£12bn petroleum refinery and petrochemicals plant, which involved handling more than 700 contracts related to the project, including equipment supply contracts and construction contracts. In other key mandates, Akshai Fofaria has been acting on one of the largest administrations in the sector to date and Katharine Davies is acting for a subsidiary of an oil company in ICC arbitration proceedings. Other notable clients include BP, Shell, Faroe and Siccar Point. International projects expert George Booth is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Bob Ruddiman - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

At Pinsent Masons LLP, β€˜the technical ability of the team is exceptional, with an outstanding level of reactivity’. Senior associate Helen Bone β€˜shows great strength in depth’ and recently assisted Apicksha Patel and Chris McGarvey - who is based in Edinburgh – with the advice to two lenders on a wind farm project in Croatia. In other highlights, the practice acted for five international banks – spearheaded in this matter by Simon Mumford – on the financing and contractual aspects of the Kabd energy from waste project in Kuwait, the first PFI/PPP waste mandate in the region. Planning partner Gareth Phillips, who recently arrived from Watson Farley & Williams LLP, is assisting DONG with all planning and property matters surrounding the Hornsea Project 3 offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Richard Griffiths is acting for NuGeneration with regards to the environmental and planning aspects of the development of a new nuclear station and all related infrastructure in Cumbria. The department is jointly led by global energy sector head Bob Ruddiman in Aberdeen and Paul Rice in London.

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Water
Water - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

The cross-disciplinary water department at Pinsent Masons LLP acts for clients such as Severn Trent, Veolia and Water Plus, covering desalination, waste water, resource management, dispute resolution and water infrastructure projects. While the team is spread across the UK, the London branch consists of, among others, construction and regulatory expert Sarah Thomas, who specialises in infrastructure projects including waste water treatment, water management and industrial outsourcing schemes; department head Adrian Eakin, who is currently advising an infrastructure fund on the development of a desalination facility in Southern Europe; and consultant Mark Lane, who formerly headed the department and has extensive experience. The team is currently handling several complex disputes, including a Coroner’s Inquest defence for new client Yorkshire Water in connection with a fatal road accident that occurred after a flooding incident in Sheffield. Anne-Marie Friel is also a key contact and recently led the advice to a joint venture in relation to its successful bid to build a portion of a major water infrastructure project.

Leading individuals

Adrian Eakin - Pinsent Masons LLP

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London: Public sector

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜first-rate, accurate and knowledgeable’ group handles matters ranging from international expansion, regulatory work and governance to educational technology projects, immigration and disciplinary issues, and acts for major institutional clients, including Nottingham Trent University, University College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Edinburgh and University of Manchester. Practice head Victoria Goddard assisted the University of London with the procurement process for a student accommodation development in Stratford. Martin Priestley is leading a team assisting the University of Sheffield with the expansion of its partnership with Nanjing Tech University by establishing a joint institute for science; he is also advising the University of Sussex on the procurement of a new student administration and records system and an online distance learning service. β€˜Able, measured and realistic negotiator’ Chris Martin is β€˜able to distil the complexities of each case into sound pragmatic advice’. β€˜Brilliant litigator’ Julian Sladdin, who is β€˜a delight to work with’, stands out for his β€˜forensic attention to detail and strong analytical skills’. The β€˜knowledgeable’ Gayle Ditchburn is also recommended. Nicola Hart retired.

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Healthcare
Healthcare - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group handles strategically important work for NHS trusts and advises private equity investors, property funds, banks, corporates and management groups on regulatory issues, financing and corporate transactions. The group also acts for private sector organisations in alliance with the NHS. Practice co-head Kate Orviss is advising UK Global Healthcare on the implementation of the Indo UK Institute of Health Programme, which involves managing relationships with multiple private sector partners, structuring joint ventures, and assisting with procurement, clinical partnerships and corporate matters as well as handling the regulatory and intellectual property aspects of the project. Co-head Joanne Ellis assisted Oasis Healthcare with several acquisitions of dental practices nationwide and handled the management buyout of Oakland Primecare for Synova Capital. Sean Elson is advising a US-based investment company on the impact of an ongoing Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation on the planned acquisition of a chain of care homes, which also includes assisting the management board on their health and safety duties. Other clients include Barts Health NHS Trust, Pharmacy2U and Octopus Healthcare. Carly Caton joined Bevan Brittan LLP. Barry Francis retired.

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Infrastructure (Parliamentary)
Infrastructure (Parliamentary) - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is β€˜an outstanding firm with a large capable team’. Robbie Owen, who heads the planning, environment, energy and infrastructure team, is β€˜an industry-leading adviser with total commitment to getting the job done right’ and senior associate Duncan O’Connor is β€˜a particularly collaborative and hard-working team member’, who β€˜always adds value’. The duo are advising Transport for London on the Silvertown tunnel scheme, which will involve the construction of a highway tunnel beneath the Thames. The group is also assisting the University of London with the promotion of a private bill to facilitate the establishment of its research facilities and colleges as universities in their own right. The team also has notable expertise in the energy sector, and Gareth Phillips is handling planning and property issues for Dong Energy pertaining to the Hornsea project three offshore wind farm. Francis Tyrrell β€˜is experienced and great with details’, Richard Ford is β€˜a very strategic negotiator’ and legal director Richard Bull is also noted.

Leading individuals

Robbie Owen - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group attracts praise for its β€˜exceptional industry knowledge, high level of professionalism and depth of support provided by the entire team’. In a recent highlight, practice head and regeneration expert Anne Bowden, who splits her time between London and Leeds, led advice to the London Borough of Southwark on the creation of a new town centre in Canada Water, London Docklands, a joint venture with British Land, and also assisted the London Borough of Lambeth with the delivery of and investment into mixed tenure developments. Adrian Eakin leads the firm’s infrastructure, projects and concessions practice and the β€˜knowledgeable and commercial’ David Meecham is recommended for housing matters. Manchester-based Scot Morrison regularly handles PPP projects; his recent highlights include assisting the London Borough of Haringey with the establishment of the Haringey Development Vehicle and acting for the London Borough of Wandsworth on the establishment of a joint venture vehicle to deliver a regeneration scheme in the Winstanley and York Road estates.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 5

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜pragmatic approach and clear understanding of client objectives’ ensured that the practice was busy on investment deals across a range of asset types. Simon Gardiner advised Legal & General Pensions on the Β£200m acquisition of a distribution warehouse to be occupied by Amazon at Tilbury Dock, and the β€˜very able and personable’ Kevin Boa acted for Grainger Residential on the Β£99m acquisition of a build-to-rent private rented sector development scheme in Salford Quays. The practice is possibly best known for its expertise in the hotels sector, with London practice head Claire Hughes particularly highly regarded in this respect. Hughes acted for Junson Assets Management Europe on the property aspects of its acquisition of the Hilton Dockland Riverside Hotel. Another name to note for hospitality work is corporate specialist Nick Skea-Strachan, whose caseload covers hotel and resort management contracts and franchising arrangements for the likes of Cycas Hospitality and Shangri-La. On the development side, senior consultant David Taylor β€˜remains a strong supervisor’, and Michael Reid is also β€˜strongly favoured for development and occupier work’. Reid is acting for Luton Town Football Club on the acquisition and redevelopment of the Power Court site in Luton. Other key figures include investment specialist Richard Lloyd, who is β€˜never unavailable and always has the interests of his client at top of mind’, and urban regeneration specialist Nic Berry.

Leading individuals

David Taylor - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Construction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP remains at the forefront of contractor work in the UK, with the practice handling a high volume of adjudication and litigation claims for the likes of Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Kier Group. The contentious offering is now led from Scotland by Fraser McMillan. Mark Roe is in charge of international arbitration work, and together with oil-and-gas specialist Adrian Elliott, he assisted Tepe Insaat Sanayii with the recovery of monies due to it under an arbitration award stemming from two substantial ICC arbitrations concerning construction of the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey. The firm’s international capability has been further developed as a result of the expansion of its relationship with major Spanish and Italian contractors such as Ferrovial and ACS Dragados. In the non-contentious sphere, names to note include global head of infrastructure Richard Laudy and John Mullee, with the latter specialising in providing procurement strategies and advisory work on large scale projects. The team remained active on a range of significant energy and infrastructure projects, with examples including Jonathan Hart’s advice to Aspire Defence Capital Works and Aspire Defence Services regarding the Ministry of Defence’s Army Basing Programme; and Leeds-based Melanie Grimmitt’s assistance to E.On Climate & Renewables UK Humber Wind with the construction aspects of the disposal of the transmission assets at Humber Gateway offshore wind farm to a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty Investments and Equitix.

Leading individuals

Mark Roe - Pinsent Masons LLP

Richard Laudy - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice benefits from the firm’s impressive roster of construction and engineering contractor clients, which includes AMEC Foster Wheeler and Balfour Beatty; the team acted for Morgan Sindall on environmental permitting issues in relation to its construction site at Bryngwyn Cattle Market. Practice head Georgie Messent specialises in the waste sector and in 2016 assisted waste companies both in relation to litigation, including a significant nuisance action, as well as on various transactional matters; in one example of the latter, Messent acted for Cory Environmental Group and its fund managers on the sale of its municipal waste business, Cory Environmental Municipal Services, to Biffa Waste Services. In other transactional highlights, Messent advised Deloitte on environmental risks and liabilities in relation to the sale of Evolve Polymers to Plastipak, and also assisted AMC Entertainment with its Β£921m acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinema Group.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜fabulous’ nine-partner team handles a wide range of planning matters involving infrastructure projects as well as commercial and residential developments. National head of practice Iain Gilbey, who has β€˜exceptional knowledge and confidence when dealing with county councils’, is acting for Berkeley Homes on all legal planning aspects of the developments in the South Quay area of Canary Wharf. In another example of large-scale development work, Nicholle Kingsley and senior associate Jamie Lockerbie are acting for Elephant & Castle Properties on the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle shopping centre and London College of Communication. On the infrastructure side, the team are well known for handling a high volume of DCOs across the energy and transport and waste sectors: recent examples include Robbie Owen (whose β€˜energy and dynamism stand out’) acting for TfL on its DCO application for a twin-bore highway tunnel beneath the Thames in east London, and Gareth Phillips advising Dong Energy on all planning and property matters associated with the Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm. Other key figures include the β€˜very able’ Richard Ford, who leads on international work; Richard Griffiths, who is acting for NuGeneration in relation to the development of a nuclear power station in Moorside; and Emma Harling-Phillips, who joined from DLA Piper.

Leading individuals

Iain Gilbey - Pinsent Masons LLP

Richard Ford - Pinsent Masons LLP

Robbie Owen - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jamie Lockerbie - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Noted for its strong investment and development finance capabilities, its β€˜technical knowledge’ and its β€˜can-do attitude’, Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜speedy, accessible and insightful’ department also frequently handles non-performing loan transactions, and has excellent relationships with numerous clearing banks. The β€˜extremely commercial’ William Oliver, who heads the practice jointly with Gerry Mulholland, provides a β€˜high level of service’; β€˜he outlines risks, highlights mitigants, and gains the respect of all parties’. On the borrower side, Oliver advised Redefine International on the refinancing of a Β£168m facility provided by Aviva Commercial Finance, and acted for Mount Anvil (Kidderpore) on a Β£75m development facility from RBS for the redevelopment of Kidderpore College in Hampstead. The β€˜very strong’ Frances Mallender, who made partner in May 2016, β€˜completes deals to very tight deadlines’, and β€˜combines legal knowledge with an understanding of lender and borrower behaviour’. She acted for RBS on the exercise of a Β£45m accordion option available to Safestore Holdings, constituting an overhaul of the original facility agreement between the two parties. Richard Hughes acted for Junson Assets Management (Europe) on a Β£40m loan to finance the purchase of the Hilton Dockland Riverside Hotel by a Chinese investor. Other clients of the department include HSBC, Barclays, National Bank of Kuwait and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Leading individuals

William Oliver - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Frances Mallender - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜responsive, impressive and reliable’ London team is jointly headed by Siobhan Cross, whose β€˜expertise is invaluable’, and Melissa Thompson. The practice has core strengths in rights of light matters; recent work examples include acting for Royal London on the rights of light issues affecting several proposed developments and assisting The Portman Estate with development mandates including rights of light and vacant possession strategies. The group is also highly regarded for its vacant possession expertise as well as experience in energy-related property disputes, telecoms-related issues, protester actions, town and village green mandates and insolvency-related property disputes. The team is acting for Capital & Counties Properties in various vacant possession strategies pertaining to a hotel development in Covent Garden and successfully represented Aurora Energy Resources in a claim under the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966 to obtain access rights to undertake multiple seismic surveys in Sefton. Legal & General Property, Berkeley Group and Origin Housing are also clients. Associate Richard Bartle is recommended for mediation. Dev Desai joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP.

Leading individuals

Siobhan Cross - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Social housing: finance
Social housing: finance - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Sarah Whitty leads the β€˜excellent’ practice at Pinsent Masons LLP, which has β€˜an exceptional strength in depth’. Whitty primarily advises lenders and recently worked with Ian Roberts to assist M&G Investments with the development of a new funding scheme with Genesis Housing Association and Linq Partners for mixed tenure housing; acted for the Bank of Scotland, alongside Edward Sunderland, on the restructuring and refinancing of Β£35m of banking facilities to Port of Leith Housing Association; and, with Stephen Brown, assisted Santander with a private placement by Greenfields Community Housing. Aviva, Nationwide Building Society and Pension Insurance Corporation are also clients. Brown leads the firm’s social housing property due diligence and security team, and Sunderland heads up the debt capital markets and securitisation practice; the team also includes David Meecham, who is the key adviser for Homes and Communities Agency, and Anne Bowden.

Leading individuals

Sarah Whitty - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Social housing: local authorities and registered providers
Social housing: local authorities and registered providers - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP utilises its national footprint to advise on a range of issues, including housing estate regeneration projects, housing renewal schemes and social housing PFI. David Meecham handled various matters for key client the Homes and Communities Agency ; recent work includes advising on the procurement of a development partner for the regeneration of Standish Hospital in Gloucestershire, assisting with the construction of a scheme for 239 new homes in Chesterfield, and advising on a residential scheme development in Castle Court, Portland. The group also acts for several London Boroughs and councils, with highlights including advising the London Borough of Wandsworth on its flagship estate renewal scheme at the Winstanley and York Road estates, acting for the London Borough of Haringey on the creation of a housing investment vehicle, and assisting Westminster City Council with the development and letting arrangements for a major development project. Anne Bowden heads the department.

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s cross-border, multidisciplinary Brexit team is led by Guy Lougher, and handles a wide range of complex commercial, legal and strategic issues for clients across a wide range of sectors, including life sciences and education. Euan Smith led the advice to Universities UK on the legal implications of the UK’s departure from the EU on the level of student tuition fees and the availability of student loans. The group also provides guidance to industry bodies and committees, and has been invited to participate in panel discussions by a number of trade associations, and also to advise government departments. Andrew Henderson leads a public policy team which assists clients in understanding the implications of Brexit and provides advice on effective engagement with government. Other key contacts in the group include Alan Davis; financial regulatory expert Elizabeth Budd; and Robbie Owen, who leads the government affairs team.

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Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜first-class team’ has β€˜exceptional technical knowledge and business sense’, making it an β€˜up-and-coming leader in the field’. Its expertise encompasses cybersecurity breaches, litigation, regulatory compliance, and freedom of information requests. In a recent highlight, it advised the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police on multiple subject access and freedom of information requests. The University of Surrey, Google and Facebook are also clients. Marc Dautlich (β€˜an industry leading practitioner who is personable and knowledgeable, and scans the horizon for his clients to anticipate oncoming risks’) heads the team, which includes Cerys Wyn Davies in Birmingham; contentious specialist David Barker, who is β€˜a fantastic, client-focused lawyer who is happy to roll up his sleeves and deliver advice at the top level’; newly promoted partner Ian Birdsey, who is recommended for cybersecurity issues; and senior associate Kathryn Wynn, who advises financial services clients.

Leading individuals

Marc Dautlich - Pinsent Masons LLP

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

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜experienced team’ has β€˜excellent credentials in this area’, and has β€˜cutting-edge experience in advising corporates under investigation, providing strategic and practical advice’. Practice head Barry Vitou has notable expertise in money laundering matters and the UK Bribery Act, and is praised for his β€˜strategic approach to advising corporates, where he always sees the full picture’. Anne-Marie Ottaway’s β€˜experience with the SFO allows her to see issues from a rounded perspective and give effective advice’. In a recent highlight, the team advised Sweett Group in a corporate prosecution by the SFO in relation to an offence of failure to prevent bribery, a high-profile matter which exposed disadvantages in the precedent set by the SFO for Deferred Prosecution Agreements in the ICBC Standard Bank case.

Leading individuals

Barry Vitou - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Clients are β€˜hugely impressed’ by the β€˜highly understated’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which has β€˜first-rate knowledge, expertise and experience in the field’. Practice head David Barker is β€˜exceptionally bright and doesn’t lose track of the realities for the clients’, senior associate Alex Keenlyside β€˜stands out for his willingness to go the extra mile no matter what’ and associate Imogen Allen-Back is β€˜brilliant and a real star of the future’. Barker recently acted for key client Google in two right to be forgotten cases and defended it in a European Court of Human Rights application made by an individual following an unsuccessful defamation claim. Capita, Balfour Beatty, United Utilities and Birkbeck, University of London are also clients.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice benefits from the firm’s strong technology practice, and accordingly advises several high-profile technology companies on financial matters. It also has excellent bank-side capabilities, advising several major financial institutions on their technological products, payments services and IT outsourcing as well as on regulatory issues. Group head Yvonne Dunn, who is a fintech specialist, advised Otonomos (UK), which uses distributed ledger technology to simplify corporate governance, on its successful application to the FCA sandbox. She also assisted digital voucher network i-Movo with various regulatory matters regarding a proposed cryptocurrency payments system. In the lender space, technology expert Angus McFadyen, who specialises in data assets and emerging technology, acted for ING Bank on the development of its consumer money management app, Yolt. Dunn advised Tesco Bank on the development of its digital wallet project, and on an associated joint venture with MasterCard. She also acted for Allied Irish Banks on the procurement of new software for its business banking platform from Dutch software supplier Backbase. TMT M&A expert Andrew McMillan joined from Simmons & Simmons in May 2016. Legal director Luke Scanlon is also active in the space.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team provides β€˜first-class’ advice, and its impressive client roster includes Fujitsu and Transport for London. Simon Colvin, who is the global head of the firm’s TMT practice, is noted for his transactional expertise, particularly in the public sector. Head of telecoms Diane Mullenex, who is β€˜always at the forefront of industry developments’, is advising BT’s Middle East operations on telecoms, ICT and regulatory matters. She also assisted the Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar with drafting a decision and order against Qatar’s incumbent telecoms operator Ooredoo. David Isaac is global head of the firm’s advanced manufacturing and technology sector, and recently advised Transport for London on its surface intelligent transport system programme. Angus McFadyen focuses on financial services technology, and acts for clients including Aviva, Aegon, AXA and Tesco Bank. Technology disputes specialist Ian Birdsey was recently made partner and David McIlwaine handles contentious matters in the TMT sector. Senior associate Anthony Fielding, who is β€˜extremely responsive’, β€˜personable’ and β€˜articulate’, is an expert in technology and telecoms deals, particularly in the Middle East. Legal director Chris Breen specialises in IT disputes and is β€˜dedicated’ and β€˜extremely thorough’.

Leading individuals: Telecoms

Diane Mullenex - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Anthony Fielding - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a multi-disciplinary IP practice that provides β€˜high-quality’, β€˜timely’ and β€˜relevant’ advice. The team is led by the β€˜phenomenally successful’ Clare Tunstall, who is noted for her patent litigation expertise. Iain Connor specialises in IP disputes, and recently represented Interflora in a keyword advertising dispute with Marks & Spencer. Adrian Murray heads the patent and trade mark attorney team and has β€˜quality industry expertise’ in the pharmaceutical sector. Litigator Charlotte Weekes is β€˜fantastic with clients’ and has β€˜superb judgement’. Deborah Bould is known for her work handling patent disputes and Allistair Booth advises on transactions in the life sciences sector. Patent specialist Catherine Drew joined from Olswang LLP, and senior associate Christopher Sharp, who is β€˜technically very sound’ and is β€˜excellent to work with’, was a new arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Associate Tamsin Cornwell is β€˜extremely down to earth’ and β€˜fantastic with the details of a case’.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is praised for its β€˜high level of competence and responsiveness’. It regularly handles big-ticket transactions and fundraisings for life sciences sector clients, as demonstrated by its work for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on the Β£603m sale of its UK and Ireland business Actavis Generics to Accord Healthcare. Other highlights included advising Oxford Sciences Innovation on a series of spin-out transactions from Oxford University Innovation, and assisting The Binding Site with its collaboration with the Mayo Foundation. The team also handles product liability claims relating to medical implants, assisted a UK-based pharmaceutical company with a parallel import trade mark infringement case, and acted for Actavis in appeal proceedings against Novartis before the EPO. Clare Tunstall and patent and trade mark attorney Adrian Murray jointly lead the team, which enhanced its regulatory practice when it hired patent litigator and life sciences regulatory specialist Catherine Drew from Olswang LLP in 2017. Allistair Booth handles commercial transactions including licensing, collaboration and partnering transactions; criminal regulatory lawyer Zoe Betts has β€˜excellent client and presentational skills’; Charles Waddell advises on financings, M&A transactions and joint ventures. Senior associate Christopher Sharp joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Providing nationwide strength in depth, Pinsent Masons LLP’s London office is particularly strong in transactional, commercial and real estate sports work, often with significant cross-border elements; disputes and regulatory work are to a large extent handled by the Manchester and Leeds offices. β€˜Peerless’ group head Trevor Watkins is β€˜strategic, pragmatic and solution-oriented’; his β€˜unmatched global network of contacts and unrivalled sports knowledge make him a go-to partner’. Watkins and senior associate Julian Moore, advised longstanding client the Jockey Club on its commercial rights management and on sponsorship deals, such as its Grand National sponsorship arrangement with Randox. An expert in global sports investment, Watkins also acted for US private equity firm JMI Equity on its attempted acquisition of a Championship football club. On the events side, Watkins advised UK Sport – on behalf of joint bidders Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport – on its successful bid to host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, making it the first time in 37 years that the UK has hosted the event. Competition specialist Angelique Bret is very active in the space, as are Manchester-based partners Julian Diaz-Rainey, who is strong in disputes and regulatory work, and Samantha Livesey, an IP, IT and commercial rights specialist. The practice also handles stadium finance and complex tax issues. Football finance and commercial expert James Earl joined Fladgate LLP in 2016 to head the firm’s sports practice.

Leading individuals

Trevor Watkins - Pinsent Masons LLP

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London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team attracts praise for its β€˜quick responses and clear advice’ as well as for its β€˜strong track record in infrastructure projects in the rail sector’. The team is advising the EPC contractor on a $1.7bn railway project in Ethiopia and is acting for the Greater London Authority and TfL on the HS2, Phase 1 Parliamentary Bill concerning the protection of various transport assets and statutory functions around London. It is also continuing to advise TfL and LUL on the planning and authorisation of the Β£1bn extension of the London Underground’s Northern Line. Jon Hart heads the team which includes the β€˜dynamic’ Robbie Owen who is an infrastructure planning expert, Anne-Marie Friel, who handles projects, and Francis Tyrrell, who has a β€˜wealth of knowledge’.

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Further information on Pinsent Masons LLP

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