The Legal 500

Osborne Clarke

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Top-tier recommendations


  • London: Transport > Rail

London: Corporate and commercial

Within Commercial contracts, Osborne Clarke is a third tier firm,

Praised for its ‘great maturity, objectiveness and focused approach', Osborne Clarke boosted its already large team with the hire of John Buyers, former head of commercial, outsourcing and technology at Stephenson Harwood. Buyers and Andy James are ‘a good team and great individually'. It advised Everything Everywhere (EE) on its 4G launch and ongoing agreements. Paul Gardner heads the department.

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Within Corporate tax Corporate tax

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Within EU and competition, tier 7

At Osborne Clarke, practice head Simon Neill‘brings a wealth of experience to bear, and is cool and calm in a crisis'; he splits his time between the Bristol and London offices. Jorren Knibbe is highly recommended.

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Within Financial services, tier 4

At Osborne Clarke, Paul Anning is ‘very accomplished' within the payments and e-money space.

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Within Flotations: small and mid-cap, Osborne Clarke is a second tier firm,

Osborne Clarke’s Jonathan King advised Golden Saint Resources on its £42m IPO, and represented Libreum Capital as sole bookrunner to Plus500’s IPO and associated placing in a £132m deal. Adrian Bott heads the department and acts for clients such as Carphone Warehouse.

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Within Investment funds, Osborne Clarke is a third tier firm,

Led by the ‘highly commercial' Paul Anning, Osborne Clarke’s 2013 highlights included advising Deutsche Bank on the nascent stages of the launch of its €500m fully AIFMD-compliant European property fund. Other key contacts include Tim Simmonds and Alex Worner.

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Within M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m, Osborne Clarke is a first tier firm,

With particular strength in the digital business space, Osborne Clarke continues to receive instructions on large M&A transactions from both new and longstanding clients; practice head Ray Berg’s advice to the shareholders of Fjordnet on its sale to Accenture is one recent example. Other highlights in 2013 include Jonathan King’s advice to Carphone Warehouse on the purchase of the remaining stake in Best Buy Europe from its previous joint venture partner, Best Buy. Mark Spinner joined from Eversheds LLP and is recommended.

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Within Private equity: transactions, Osborne Clarke is a third tier firm,

Osborne Clarke bolstered its private equity capability in 2013 with the recruitment of PE specialist Mark Spinner from Eversheds LLP. Alisdair Livingstone heads the department, which is particularly active in the technology, media and healthcare sectors; in 2013, Spinner advised Caledonia Investments on the £88m acquisition of Choice Care Homes.

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Within Venture capital, Osborne Clarke is a first tier firm,

Osborne Clarke has a strong presence in the market across a range of sectors including cleantech, renewables, life sciences and digital business. Team head Rob Wood advised a syndicate of investors on their £17m Series A funding of life sciences company Pulmocide. The team has also started to pick up more fund formation work for clients including Foresight and Bridges Venture, which in turn has led to pursuant investment work for those funds. Matthew Lewis is also recommended.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Within Fraud: civil, Osborne Clarke is a second tier firm,

Osborne Clarke’s team grew with the hire of Tom Ellis from pre-merger Wragge & Co LLP and ‘impressive litigator' Andrew Bartlett from Simmons & Simmons. The team is currently defending Sotheby’s in a matter relating to counterfeit paintings.

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Within Gaming and betting, tier 4

At Osborne Clarke, Nick Johnson advises on online gambling issues, and recently assisted Facebook in relation to advertising and online regulatory issues in the UK and Europe.

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London: Dispute resolution

Within Commercial litigation, tier 4

At ‘flexible, client-oriented'Osborne Clarke, the team’s ‘level of service is exceptional'. The practice acted for Pacific International Sports Clubs in a claim relating to Dynamo Kiev FC shareholdings. Adrian Lifely is recommended; Greg Fullelove is ‘highly capable'; and Peter Clough‘suggests commercially sound solutions'. Tom Ellis joined from Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP; and Andrew Bartlett arrived from Simmons & Simmons. Bartlett ‘combines technical ability with sound commercial awareness'.

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Within International arbitration, tier 6

Osborne Clarke ‘puts together high-quality teams'. The practice fields digital business/TMT, financial services, energy and life science expertise. The team is well known for CIS-related arbitrations, and often undertakes its own advocacy. Adrian Lifely is ‘intelligent and approachable'; Greg Fullelove‘quickly masters cases’ crucial details'; and ‘extremely able litigator' Andrew Bartlett joined from Simmons & Simmons.

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London: Finance

Within Acquisition finance, tier 6

Osborne Clarke’s Dominic Ross often handles real estate related acquisition financings in the mid-market.

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Within Asset finance and leasing, tier 5

Team head Clive Smith at Osborne Clarke has an excellent reputation for rail work, and recently advised Chiltern Railways on its negotiation of a new lease of Class 170 rolling stock from Porterbrook Leasing Company. Other clients include Eversholt Rail Group and Siemens Financial Services.

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London: Human resources

Within Employee share schemes Employee share schemes

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Within Employment: employers and senior executives, tier 4

Osborne Clarke is valued for ‘building long-term relationships' with clients including Standard Chartered Bank and Marks & Spencer. The team advises the latter on TUPE matters. Department head David Cubitt is ‘excellent at both tactics and overall strategy', and leads a ‘strong team'. Richard Brown departed the firm in 2013 for Nabarro LLP.

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Within Health and safety, Osborne Clarke is a second tier firm,

Osborne Clarke is in growth mode, hiring experienced lawyer Mary Lawrence, who has ‘a great understanding of case preparation and presentation', from DAC Beachcroft LLP. The overall team, led by Catherine Wolfenden is ‘extremely on the ball and their client care is excellent'. It is acting for RWE nPower in a HSE investigation concerning asbestos at a construction site.

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Within Pensions, Osborne Clarke is a second tier firm,

‘One of the strongest teams outside London', Osborne Clarke provides an ‘excellent service' and is ‘very easy to work with'. It acts for the representative beneficiary in the Court of Appeal regarding deed construction of the Honda Pension Plan, led by Jonathan Hazlett, who is ‘excellent in the role of supervising partner'. Mark Womersley advised the Environment Agency Pension Fund on the pension aspects of its recent outsourcing of services.

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London: Insurance

Within Product liability: defendant, tier 5

Osborne Clarke handles some product liability matters as part of its regulatory practice, led by the very experienced Catherine Wolfenden. Clients include Virgin Media, HiPP UK, and Nintendo of Europe.

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London: Public sector

Within Healthcare, tier 5

Janita Good’s team at Osborne Clarke provided competition advice to CooperVision Manufacturing.

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London: Real estate

Within Commercial property, Osborne Clarke is a first tier firm,

Osborne Clarke is noted for its ‘breadth of expertise and commercial understanding'. Deal highlights included advising Topland Group on the £85m Menzies hotel portfolio acquisitions, and acting for Marks & Spencer on various acquisitions. Ian Wilkinson, Colin Kearney, Kathryn Reid, Rajindh Mangat and Nadine Strahl are ‘very efficient and business driven'. Dolf Darnton‘is astute and understands retailers'.

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Within Construction, tier 5

Osborne Clarke ‘really understands the needs of the client'. Philip Davies leads the department and is recommended for construction and engineering procurement matters, and Jonathan Brooks and consultant Edward Butler are recommended for contentious work. The firm is advising Development Securities on a number of UK developments.

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Within Environment, tier 4

Osborne Clarke advises Associated British Ports on its environmental transactions and projects, and is advising CEMEX on a variety of environmental law matters, including a significant contaminated land issue. Brian Greenwood heads the department, and John Baird and Bristol-based Alan John are also recommended.

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Within Planning, tier 4

Osborne Clarke’s recent highlights include acting for Associated British Ports, the UK’s leading port operator, in relation to its planning and environmental projects and transactions across its UK ports. Brian Greenwood, John Baird and Alan John are key advisers.

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Within Property finance, tier 4

Osborne Clarke acts for Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS, as well as other major banks such as Santander and Investec, and corporates such as London & Regional. Recent work includes advising RBS on the restructuring of a number of facilities for a UK REIT. Madeleine Clark and Nick Padget‘are very knowledgeable and give good pragmatic advice'.

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Within Property litigation, tier 4

Osborne Clarke’s ‘high-performing' London team includes Gary Lawrenson, who is ‘personable, clearly experienced' and ‘knowledgeable', and has rights of light and telecoms expertise. Recent client gains include Henderson Global Investors.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Within Brand management, Osborne Clarke is a first tier firm,

The team at Osborne Clarke remains best known for its advertising and marketing expertise, with lead lawyer Nick Johnson also active in sponsorship work. It has acted for clients such as Facebook, Virgin Media, and Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Theo Savvides left for Bristows LLP in 2014.

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Within Data protection, Osborne Clarke is a third tier firm,

Osborne Clarke covers online marketing, advertising, data transfer and regulatory compliance matters. Practice head James Mullock has ‘impressive expertise on market trends', and continued in his representation of a number of water companies in appealing to the ECJ regarding Smartsource v ICO and others. The team also recently advised Facebook, EE, the BBC and Lloyds Bank.

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Within Intellectual property, tier 4

Osborne Clarke acts as ‘a trusted partner to clients rather than just a trusted legal counsel'. Litigator Lorna Brazell has been advising Celltrion in opposition proceedings against Genentech’s dosage regime patent in relation to the use of Herceptin. Media and technology sector experts Paul Gardner and John Davidson-Kelly focus on commercial IP work. Practice head Theo Savvides moved to Bristows LLP in 2014.

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Within IT and telecoms, Osborne Clarke is a third tier firm,

Osborne Clarke has particular expertise in technology and digital matters, recently advising clients such as BT Vision and Virgin Media on contractual arrangements. Angus Finnegan heads the telecoms practice, and commercial lawyers Simon Rendell and James Mullock are also key contacts. Former department head Mark Webber has left the firm. Angus Finnegan left for Reed Smith LLP.

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Within Media and entertainment, Osborne Clarke is a first tier firm,

Osborne Clarke’s lawyers ‘display an impressive level of industry knowledge that complements their commitment to understanding'. Adrian Bott advised Absolute Radio on its sale by Times of India to Bauer Media. Advertising specialist Nick Johnson counts Facebook among his clients. The ‘technically astute' John Davidson-Kelly, who ‘takes the time to understand the client and always delivers on his promises', works with Virgin Media. The ‘simply brilliant' Paul Gardner assisted Wargaming, the company behind World of Tanks, with a complete legal review of its website structure and terms.

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Within Media finance, Osborne Clarke is a second tier firm,

Osborne Clarke’s Paul Gardner continues to advise clients investing in media, and interactive media in particular.

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Within Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Osborne Clarke is a third tier firm,

Osborne Clarke’s Janita Good advises a broad range of clients on corporate and commercial matters. She recently advised the corporate venture division of Takeda Pharmaceuticals on an investment into Hookipa Biotech. Patent litigator Lorna Brazell advised Celltrion on a patent opposition to Genentech’s dosage regime patent in relation to the use of Herceptin with chemotherapy.

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London: Transport

Within Rail, tier 4

Osborne Clarke’s ‘deeply experienced' rail department is led by the ‘formidable' Lara Burch. It is acting for Arriva on its bid for the Crossrail operating concession. Clients also include Eurostar, Eversholt Rail Group, Invensys Rail and Siemens. Key names include Clive Smith, Simon Spooner and Jonathan Brooks.

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Further information on Osborne Clarke

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