The Legal 500

Olswang LLP

Work 020 7067 3000
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Singapore, Reading, Paris, Munich, Madrid, London and 2 more


Top-tier recommendations


London: Corporate and commercial

Within Commercial contracts, Olswang LLP is a third tier firm,

Olswang LLP is ‘incredibly responsive, knows the business and has a strong team'. Clients highlight the firm’s market knowledge, ‘appropriate response to risk' and consistency of service. Clients include BP, Marks & Spencer, Vodafone, Microsoft and Deutsche Telecom. Dominic Dryden, Matthew Bennett and ‘practical, commercial, smart' Ross McKean stand out.

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Within Corporate tax, tier 4

Olswang LLP’s diverse client base includes the BBC, Better Capital, and F&C REIT Asset Management. Practice head Mark Joscelyne advised Vodafone on its joint venture with Sainsbury’s to establish a new mobile virtual network operator, and Natasha Kaye advised ITV on its acquisition of Garden Productions Limited. Graham Chase is ‘technically very sound and commercial in his approach'.

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Within EU and competition, tier 5

Olswang LLP has a strong TMT client base which includes Microsoft, Cineworld and Aegis Group. In the pharmaceutical space, practice head Howard Cartlidge’s ‘meticulous encyclopaedic documentation and first-rate awareness of the issues facing the industry means he is always able to assist with cutting-edge issues'.

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Within Financial services, tier 5

Olswang LLP advises a range of entities within the industry including banks, asset managers and insurance companies on regulatory issues.

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Within Flotations: small and mid-cap, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Olswang LLP’s sector strengths in TMT and real estate reflect its current deal flow, and this balanced practice has been active on both the issuer and broker side. Head Paul Blackmore advised CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings, a client since its inception in 2011, on its £31.4m AIM IPO. Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand is also recommended; she regularly acts for Asian entities investing in and out of the UK.

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

Olswang LLP’s M&A team had a strong year in 2013, closing 80 M&A and joint venture transactions. Recognised for its media-sector expertise, it counts Warner Music, ITV and Sony Pictures Television among its clients. Practice head Fabrizio Carpanini and a full-service team advised the shareholders of Alexander Mann Solutions on its sale to New Mountain Capital. Louis Glass is recommended.

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Within Partnership, tier 4

At Olswang LLP, David Bunker, who regularly advises on transactional matters involving partnerships, wins plaudits for his ‘outstanding technical knowledge and commercial instincts'. ‘Responsive' employment partner Melanie Lane is ‘very good at navigating the grey areas'. Clients include BBC Worldwide Limited, and F&C REIT Asset Management LLP.

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Within Private equity: transactions, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Headed by Stephen Rosen, Olswang LLP’s private equity practice is a prominent player in UK and European mid-market buyouts, with a client base that includes highly active sponsors such as Graphite Capital and ISIS Equity Partners, as well as management teams. In keeping with its core leisure-sector strength, Duncan McDonald led the team advising the shareholders of CGL Restaurant Holdings Limited on the £50m sale of the company to D&D Topco Limited, a new company formed by management and backed by mid-market private equity firm LDC.

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Within VAT and indirect tax, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Olswang LLP’s wide-ranging practice covers VAT and SDLT disputes, including the DV3 RS Limited Partnership v HMRC case; complex transactions such as the iCity joint venture; and sector-specific indirect tax issues for clients from the TMT and leisure sectors. Cliona Kirby, Stephen Hignett and Graham Chase are recommended.

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Within Venture capital, Olswang LLP is a third tier firm,

Headed by Stephen Rosen, Olswang LLP has a strong reputation in the technology and life sciences sectors, where its client base includes investors and investees such as Eplanet Capital and Syncona Partners. Chris Mackie has handled work for taxi-app venture Hailo since its inception, including advising it on its recent Series D fundraising led by OCCAM Partners Fund.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Within Fraud: civil, Olswang LLP is a third tier firm,

Olswang LLP’s practice is led by the well-regarded Richard Bamforth , and was boosted by the arrival of the ‘brilliant' Bernard O’Sullivan from Byrne and Partners LLP. The firm has been acting for one of the defendants in BTA Bank v Ablyazov.

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Within Gaming and betting, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘client-focused' David Zeffman heads the team at Olswang LLP, which has ‘very good industry knowledge and connections' and gives ‘first-rate' advice. It has a particular focus on remote gambling, advising clients ranging from broadcasters to sports rights holders, software developers and technology providers. Key clients include Paddy Power, BetFred, Victor Chandler and Gamesys.

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London: Dispute resolution

Within Commercial litigation, tier 5

Best known for technology, media and telecoms, Olswang LLP’s cases regularly include work in banking and financial services, pharmaceuticals, construction, manufacturing, and energy. Jeremy Mash, Richard Bamforth and Steven Corney are recommended.

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Within Defamation and privacy, Olswang LLP is a first tier firm,

Olswang LLP’s team of ‘true experts' is led by the ‘marvellous' Geraldine Proudler. On the defendant side, the firm’s clients include News International and Guardian Newspapers. The firm also acts for claimants including ITV and the former Russian policeman Pavel Karpov, and provides reputation-management advice to companies such as Microsoft and Lloyds Bank. Clients describe Ashley Hurst as ‘smart, responsive, knowledgeable, proactive, thoughtful and strategic', and recommend Dan Tench and Jean-Fréderic Gaultier, ‘an excellent litigator' at the firm’s Paris offices.

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Within International arbitration, tier 6

Olswang LLP is well known for its TMT sector experience. The practice represented Albert Abela Corporation in an arbitration that involved challenges in multiple courts and jurisdictions.

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London: Finance

Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, tier 5

Headed by Alicia Videon, Olswang LLP has an excellent pedigree in restructurings in the commercial real estate and TMT sectors. Clients include KPMG, Kaupthing and PwC.

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Within Derivatives and structured products, tier 5

Olswang LLP focuses on deals in the real estate and technology sectors, and has an ‘enthusiastic and good-value' practice. The ‘bright, commercial and client-friendly' Charles Kerrigan and Ruth Marken‘enjoy being innovative in solving problems'. Cineworld and Wells Fargo are clients.

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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 5

Olswang LLP provides an ‘excellent and timely service', and has seen an increase in instructions on cross-border work. Clients include Channel 4, Sportech and the BBC. Department head Daniel Aherne‘gives clear and jargon-free advice', and Catherine Taylor and Melanie Lane are ‘very competent'.

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Within Pensions, tier 6

Clients at Olswang LLP include Microsoft, Reed Elsevier and Warner Music Pensions Ltd, advising on standalone matters such as auto-enrolment and scheme restructuring. Ron Burgess has many years’ experience in the pensions industry, including a secondment to the Pensions Regulator. Gary Henderson and Julian Turner also advise.

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London: Public sector

Within Administrative and public law, tier 4

Olswang LLP has expertise advising on regulatory matters within the telecoms, gambling, pharmaceuticals and media sectors. Dan Tench heads the team.

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London: Real estate

Within Commercial property, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Olswang LLP gives clients ‘an excellent deal team on transactions' and provides ‘a seamless service'. It advised F&C REIT on a transaction to acquire the Dollar shopping centre portfolio in a £250m club deal from the Grosvenor Estate. Simon Kanter is ‘outstanding', and Jonathan Lewis and Tim Westhead are also recommended.

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Within Construction, tier 4

Olswang LLP is particularly noted for its leisure and retail expertise. Clients include Gilliam Properties, Melia Hotels International and Warner Music UK. Team head Francis Ho is recommended alongside Andrew Aglionby. Nick Lane is now with Mishcon de Reya.

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Within Planning, tier 6

Olswang LLP hired Suzan Yildiz as head of its planning practice, from Southwark Council. Yildiz is ‘commercially savvy and a supportive team player'. The firm assisted Benson Elliot in securing planning permission for the Phase 1 redevelopment of the Arcadia Shopping Centre.

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Within Property finance, Olswang LLP is a third tier firm,

Olswang LLP has an ‘excellent deal team, with a brilliant link-up between finance, tax and corporate'. The firm acted for Bayerische Landesbank and the Steering Committee for the Senior Lenders to Gardenprime in relation to the Citibank building in Canary Wharf. Alicia Videon is ‘extremely strong', and has recently been joined by Andrew Besser from Addleshaw Goddard LLP, who now heads the practice. Eleni Skordaki has moved to Dechert LLP.

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Within Property litigation, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘excellent' team at Olswang LLP is led by Marcus Barclay, who is notable for his expertise in rent reviews, and gives ‘practical and intelligent advice'. Chris Hobson has ‘outstanding breadth of knowledge'. Simone Ketchell, Antoni Hajdon and Will Charnock all provide ‘an excellent service'.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Within Brand management, Olswang LLP is a first tier firm,

Olswang LLP draws on its media sector and trade mark capabilities in acting for clients such as ITV, Dentsu Aegis Network, Microsoft and M&C Saatchi. Iain Stansfield leads on advertising and marketing work, for major retailers and other clients. Joel Barry heads the trade mark group, which includes Stephen Reese, who recently advised Soho House Group on global portfolio management matters. Helen Newman is also recommended for brand protection work.

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Within Data protection, Olswang LLP is a third tier firm,

Olswang LLP draws on its media and technology sector expertise to advise on data privacy matters. It recently gained attention for representing the claimant group in the Safari litigation against Google, obtaining a favourable High Court decision that the defendant will have to respond to privacy breach claims in the UK; and Ross McKean is also acting for a member of the claimant group in a separate privacy policy complaint. Other work for the practice included compliance and security breach matters.

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Within Intellectual property, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Olswang LLP has a leading soft IP practice and is also growing its capabilities in patent work. Paul Stevens heads a ‘savvy' team, and is ‘always at the top of his game'. He successfully represented Zynga against Mattel regarding the Scrabble trade mark, and also successfully acted for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 in preventing TVCatchup from streaming copyrighted content over mobile networks. Michael Burdon has been representing ZTE in patent infringement proceedings against Vringo. John Enser is recommended for copyright matters in the media sector.

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Within IT and telecoms, Olswang LLP is a first tier firm,

Olswang LLP handles transactional, regulatory and commercial work for technology and telecoms sector clients. It recently acted for Microsoft in contentious matters, and advised Vodafone on a joint venture with Sainsbury’s. Clive Gringras covers litigation and commercial/transactional work. Purvi Parekh leads on telecoms regulatory matters, and outsourcing lawyer Dominic Dryden acts for clients such as BP and Unilever. Rob Bratby is now the firm’s Asia managing partner, based in the Singapore office.

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Within Media and entertainment, Olswang LLP is a first tier firm,

The ‘very strong team' at Olswang LLP is noted for its ‘high-quality service' and ‘depth of industry knowledge'. The firm’s international head of media is Mark Devereux, who advised StudioCanal on the acquisition of a majority stake in Red Production Company. Head of music John Enser stands out for his ‘depth of industry knowledge and ability to handle complex transactions'. Head of the film and TV practice Jacqueline Hurt is highly regarded by clients and peers alike, and acted for Reliance Entertainment on the production and financing of the film Vampire Academy, a UK/Romanian co-production. Hurt also acted for ITV Studios on the production and financing of the TV series Thunderbirds are Go. Mark Bertram is ‘easy to work with and helpful in finding solutions', and is active in the publishing sector. Selina Potter and Victoria Gaskell both count several broadcasters among their clients.

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Within Media finance, Olswang LLP is a first tier firm,

Olswang LLP’s media finance lawyers are praised for their ‘excellent sector knowledge and speed of execution'. The firm counts borrowers and lenders among its clients, including Bank of Ireland, Sportech plc, and euNetworks. Charles Kerrigan was key to the development of media and technology finance as a standalone practice at the firm, and Moni Mannings and Ruth Marken are also recommended.

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Within PATMA: Patent attorneys, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Robert Stephen and the ‘hugely experienced' Justin Hill co-head the team at Olswang LLP, which gives ‘highly strategic and timely advice with very good results'. Hill advised Naked Energy on its IP policy and strategy, and Stephen is acting for Kymab in relation to opposition proceedings and litigation with Regeneron. Other clients include Microsoft, GSK, Teva and Xerox.

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Within PATMA: Trade mark attorneys, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Joel Barry heads the trade mark team at Olswang LLP, which regularly advises on domestic and cross-border trade mark issues, and acts for an impressive client base including Sky, BAE Systems and Vodafone Group. The group manages Sky’s international portfolio, covering oppositions, revocation actions and international disputes. Sarah Wright is ‘efficient and practical' in her approach. Eleanor Merrett joined the team from Dehns.

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Within Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Olswang LLP is a second tier firm,

Olswang LLP draws on its IP, technology and transactional capabilities to handle patent protection and litigation as well as cross-border commercial deals. It advised Vectura Group on a global licensing deal with UCB Celltech, and acted for Resolution Chemicals in a patent dispute against Lundbeck, which settled before trial. IP lawyer Stephen Reese heads the department, with Stephen Rosen leading on venture capital work.

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Within Sport, Olswang LLP is a third tier firm,

Headed by David Zeffman, the team at Olswang LLP has particular strength advising on broadcast and digital media rights within the sports industry. Selina Potter advised BT on a range of issues relating to the launch of its sports channels. Sports-related litigation is handled by Dan Tench, whose media law bent sees him regularly advising sports talent on reputation management issues. David Roberts regularly handles corporate mandates in the football sector.

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Further information on Olswang LLP

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