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Slaughter and May

Living Wage
ONE BUNHILL ROW, LONDON, EC1Y 8YY, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7600 1200
Fax:
Fax 020 7090 5000
DX:
11 LONDON CHANCERY LANE WC2
Web:
www.slaughterandmay.com
Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, London

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May fields 'an impressive range of experts' in strategically-significant, large-scale commercial projects. In the outsourcing arena, its team is highly able in technology-related outsourcings (areas include infrastructure, application and desktop) and more general business-transformational projects (involving areas such as facilities management, manufacturing and business process). The firm is also a strong choice in other high-value and business-critical commercial matters; David Ives and others acted for Tottenham Hotspur in a kit supply and sponsorship agreement with Nike in 2017. In addition, Rob Sumroy and associate Ian Ranson acted for The Salvation Army in the multijurisdictional procurement and rollout of a cloud-based accounting and ERP platform. Elsewhere, the firm has developed a strong specialism in the interplay between outsourcings (and other types of commercial arrangements) and emerging areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence. Duncan Blaikie, who made partner in 2017, demonstrates 'strong commercial awareness and industry knowledge'.

Leading individuals

Rob Sumroy - Slaughter and May

Next generation lawyers

Duncan Blaikie - Slaughter and May

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May's 'high quality' team provides 'very commercial' advice to clients on the taxation aspects of large corporate and fund-related transactions. The firm also has a well-developed tax advisory practice which draws on the 'excellent technical and practical knowledge' within the group. Practice head Sara Luder advised Michael Kors Holdings in relation to its £896m recommended cash offer for Jimmy Choo, including the tax implications of its particular financial and FX structure. With 'an eye on the big picture', Gareth Miles assisted Standard life on the recommended all-share merger with Aberdeen Asset Management. William Watson is noted for his 'commitment to delivery' and recently advised Land Securities on the return to shareholders of proceeds from the £475m disposal of its 50% interest in the Walkie Talkie building in the City of London; a matter that involved an innovative share scheme. 'Fabulous technical specialist' Mike Lane is recommended for the 'great insight and superb advice' he provides on complex issues, whilst Steve Edge stands out for the breadth of his tax consultancy practice. Jeanette Zaman and Tony Beare retired at the end of 2017.

Leading individuals

Mike Lane - Slaughter and May

Sara Luder - Slaughter and May

Steve Edge - Slaughter and May

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

The standard of service at Slaughter and May¬†¬†is ‚Äėalways of the highest calibre‚Äô, and the practice is rated for its ‚Äėextremely responsive, friendly and knowledgeable‚Äô approach.¬†¬†Philippe Chappatte¬†(‚Äėdeep legal knowledge in the whole of this field, can think creatively about problems, always helpful‚Äô) is the global head of the firm‚Äôs Competition Group. Chappatte and¬†Jackie Holland¬†¬†acted for payments systems infrastructure provider VocaLink and its shareholders in relation to its acquisition by Mastercard, which was referred to the CMA and necessitated the development of a set of behavioural undertakings, which the CMA accepted in lieu of a Phase 2 investigation. The ‚Äėvery astute and attentive‚Äô¬†¬†Claire Jeffs¬†¬†acted for Google on the European Commission‚Äôs investigation into its AdSense for Search advertising services and Android operating system. Other highlights saw¬†Bertrand Louveaux¬†¬†representing Punch Taverns on the CMA‚Äôs Phase 1 review of Heineken‚Äôs acquisition of the Punch Securitisation A Estate and¬†Isabel Taylor¬†advising the UK Treasury on a series of measures put forward to the European Commission to be implemented by RBS in lieu of its State aid commitments to divest the Williams & Glynn business.

Leading individuals

Bertrand Louveaux - Slaughter and May

Claire Jeffs - Slaughter and May

Isabel Taylor - Slaughter and May

Phillippe Chappatte - Slaughter and May

Next generation lawyers

Jackie Holland - Slaughter and May

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Known for its excellent client base and high-value mandates,¬†Slaughter and May's 'hugely responsive, extremely commercial' team 'takes complex problems, devours them and produces an answer'. It primarily advises issuers on equity capital markets matters, from germination to IPOs and post-listing work. Real estate, financial services and oil and gas have been especially busy sectors recently;¬†Susannah Macknay¬†and¬†Jeff Twentyman¬†acted for Glenveagh Properties on its ¬£550m IPO on the ISE and the LSE, and Macknay ‚Äď along with¬†Steven Galbraith¬†and¬†Richard Smith ‚Äď assisted Kosmos Energy with its secondary listing on the LSE.¬†David Johnson¬†is 'brilliant for straightforward, pithy advice'; he and the 'focused, upbeat'¬†Sally Wokes¬†acted for Segro on a ¬£573m rights issuance. Other clients of the 'exceptionally good' practice¬†include Ultra Electronics Holdings, Atlas Mara and HomeServe. The 'bright, incisive'¬†Nilufer Von Bismarck¬†heads the department.

Leading individuals

Nilufer von Bismarck - Slaughter and May

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory) - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May provides a 'very strong service' to a broad range of financial services clients including advising non-regulated businesses on the impact of financial services regulation. Ewan Brown has been involved in numerous multi-jurisdictional market manipulation cases, including his representation of JP Morgan Chase as one of the defendants accused of rigging the FX market. Alongside Deborah Finkler and Jonathan Clark, Brown was also involved in the long-running representation of Deutsche Bank in the LIBOR regulatory investigations and continues to act for the bank assisting with monitoring and remediation programmes following its settlements with the US and UK regulatory authorities. The 'phenomenal' Jonathan Cotton regularly handles financial services-related work as part of his wide-ranging global investigations and disputes practice; alongside Finkler he represented Carillion plc in an investigation undertaken by the FCA, following its adverse trading announcement, into potential market abuse violations. The firm also has a formidable presence in the market acting on transactional work in the sector, in addition to strategic advice on ongoing regulatory matters. Team head Jan Putnis is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile matters handled by the team including his recent representation of Prudential plc on the proposed demerger of its UK and European business. Ben Kingsley recently provided the regulatory input in relation to the firm's representation of UK Asset Resolution and Bradford & Bingley plc on the disposal of legacy owner occupied and buy-to-let mortgage assets to an investor group led by Barclays Bank. Kingsley is also recommended for his fintech expertise.

Leading individuals

Jan Putnis - Slaughter and May

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

The ‚Äėvery high-quality‚Äô practice at¬†Slaughter and May¬†is¬†‚Äėdefinitely the go-to for large-scale and complex transactions‚Äô. The firm‚Äôs blue-chip client list includes Burberry, Diageo, General Electric, GlaxoSmithKline and Rolls-Royce. The M&A offering is headed by¬†Roland Turnill, while¬†Andy Ryde¬†leads the team‚Äôs broader corporate practice. Turnill and¬†Jonathan Marks¬†acted for Standard Life on its all-share merger with Aberdeen Asset Management, effected by court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement, and Turnill also advised Vodafone on the proposed merger of its India business with Idea Cellular.¬†Simon Nicholls¬†advised John Wood Group on its all-share offer for Amec Foster Wheeler and worked alongside¬†David Johnson¬†(recommended by one individual as ‚Äėsimply the best M&A lawyer I have ever worked with‚Äô) on Actelion‚Äôs $30bn takeover by Johnson & Johnson. Johnson also¬†acted on Cineworld Group‚Äôs $5.8bn acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group, while¬†Hywel Davies¬†led a large team handling INEOS‚Äô acquisition of the entire oil and gas business of DONG Energy, and senior partner¬†Steve Cooke¬†handled WS Atkins‚Äô ¬£2.1bn acquisition of SNC-Lavalin.¬†Nigel Boardman¬†and¬†William Underhill¬†remain involved with a wide variety of transactions and advisory matters.¬†Christian Boney¬†and¬†Filippo De Falco¬†were both promoted to partnership.¬†Chris McGaffin¬†moved to the firm's Hong Kong office in August 2017 and¬†Padraig Cronin¬†moved to the firm's pensions and employment practice. Gary Eaborn¬†retired.

Leading individuals

Andy Ryde - Slaughter and May

David Johnson - Slaughter and May

Nigel Boardman - Slaughter and May

Roland Turnill - Slaughter and May

Steve Cooke - Slaughter and May

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Partnership
Partnership - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Paul Dickson leads Slaughter and May's partnership group, which focuses on partnership structures in relation to investment vehicles, joint ventures and pension funding. Clients include John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Deloitte and KPMG. Robin Ogle and Paul Mudie are also recommended.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May's team, which is led by Jeff Twentyman, has expertise in a full spectrum of issues, including buyouts, debt financings of private equity transactions, management equity arrangements and exits. The majority of the group's deals have an international dimension, involving overseas-based target companies, or non-UK buyers or sellers. Susannah Macknay, Filippo de Falco (who made partner in 2017) and others recently acted for Corsair Capital in its acquisition of Italy-based insurance software company RGI from Ardian. Macknay also assisted Palamon Capital Partners with acquiring a majority stake in Swedish company Happy Socks for circa £70m. Elsewhere, in a high-profile deal in the UK real estate sector, Murray Cox was the lead adviser to Tonstate Group in the £500m sale of the Hilton London Metropole and Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotels to funds managed by Henderson Park Capital. Other clients include Apollo Global Management, Global Infrastructure Partners and SVG Capital.

Leading individuals

Jeff Twentyman - Slaughter and May

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May¬†¬†advises on investigations, litigation, freezing orders, asset tracing, arbitrations and advisory work in relation to civil fraud. The firm continues to advise Mercuria with regards to carousel fraud claims brought against it and its co-defendant RBS in a case valued at ¬£84m. It also acts for Barratt in a bribery case concerning a former employee. Sarah Lee¬†heads the team, supported by the ‚Äėvery smart and very strategic‚Äô Deborah Finkler. Jonathan Cotton¬†and Efstathios Michael¬†are recommended. Nick Gray¬†and Richard Clark¬†retired.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May has particular expertise in high-value, technically-demanding, multi-jurisdictional disputes. The practice’s scope involves complex, structured products and sophisticated, financial derivative instruments, and it stands out for global regulatory investigations. The team acts for a broad spectrum of clients in the financial sector, including investment banks, major building societies, accountants, hedge funds, actuaries and private equity firms. Highlights included advising Banco Santander Totta (BST) on successful litigation, which arose out of interest rate swaps between BST and the defendants, which are publicly-owned Portuguese companies; this matter was the first case to be tried in the Financial List, the new dedicated financial court. It also acted for Mercuria Energy Europe Trading in dishonest assistance and fraudulent trading claims brought against it and its co-defendant, RBS that arose out of trading in the carbon emissions market. Sarah Lee is team head and Jonathan Clark's international banking practice includes advising on litigation involving derivatives transactions, benchmark manipulation and regulatory investigations, often ranging across multiple jurisdictions. Other key advisers are Deborah Finkler, Ewan Brown, Richard Swallow, Richard Jeens and Damian Taylor.

Leading individuals

Deborah Finkler - Slaughter and May

Ewan Brown - Slaughter and May

Sarah Lee - Slaughter and May

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

Acting for FTSE 100 clients across all industry sectors, Slaughter and May's 'excellent team' is widely respected for high-stakes commercial and corporate litigation, including the full range of post-acquisition, joint venture, shareholder and partnership disputes that frequently have cross-border elements.  Sarah Lee, who was elected head of the firm's dispute resolution group, acted for Mercuria Energy Europe Trading in claims brought against it, and its co-defendant, RBS, in the Financial List, which arose out of trading in the carbon emissions market in 2009; the claims relate to alleged missing trader intra-Community VAT fraud. In other significant matters, Jonathan Cotton acted for Diageo in proceedings against Vijay Mallya (the owner of both Force India Formula 1 team and Kingfisher Airlines), his son and various associated entities; the claim relates to various alleged breaches by the defendants of numerous commercial agreements. Other highly rated advisers include Richard Swallow, whose practice covers banking and financial services disputes, fraud and asset tracing, energy sector matters and contentious antitrust issues, including follow-on damages actions; and Damian Taylor, who 'provides clear and pragmatic advice on difficult questions'. Also recommended are Deborah Finkler, Efstathios Michael, Ewan Brown, Jonathan Clark, Richard Jeens and James Stacey, while Camilla Sanger is a key associate. Richard Clark retired from the partnership and Nick Gray joined international arbitration think tank, Newton Arbitration. 

Leading individuals

Deborah Finkler - Slaughter and May

Sarah Lee - Slaughter and May

Next generation lawyers

Camilla Sanger - Slaughter and May

Damian Taylor - Slaughter and May

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

'Intellectually superb and relentless in pursuing the highest possible standards', the team at Slaughter and May, which is led by the 'esteemed' Richard Swallow, has 'an enviable' reputation in competition litigation. Predominantly acting for defendants in some of the most high-profile claims, the group works closely with the global competition department, which is headed by Philippe Chappatte. Highlights included handling the principal UK actions and European follow-on litigation for British Airways in a major global multi-party litigation, following on from the air cargo cartel investigation. In another standout matter, it is representing Koninklijke Philips in a damages claim brought by in the English High Court by iiyama, arising from the European Commission's CRT and CRT Glass cartel decisions. It is also acting for MAN in various damages actions in courts and tribunals in the UK concerning the European Commission's truck cartel investigation.  Also recommended are the 'brilliant and meticulous' Jonathan Clark, 'tactically shrewd' Isabel Taylor, 'tough litigator' Sarah Lee and Camilla Sanger, who was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Leading individuals

Richard Swallow - Slaughter and May

Next generation lawyers

Camilla Sanger - Slaughter and May

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is 'great for bet-the-company cases; the firm has excellent partners as well as a raft of fantastically smart, hard-working and down-to-earth associates and trainees'. The firm's international arbitration practice in relation to Africa continues to grow; other recent work involved fraud issues, contractual disputes, breach of warranty claims and energy sector disputes. Damian Taylor, who is 'bright and incisive' and the 'very impressive' James Stacey co-head the international arbitration group, and Sarah Lee is dispute resolution group head. Also key to the group is Efstathios Michael, who 'has an extraordinarily detailed understanding of his cases and impeccable judgement and strategic nous as to which points will hit home with tribunals'. Richard Clark retired from the firm, while Nick Gray joined international arbitration think tank, Newton Arbitration.

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

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May's team, which sits in both the tax and dispute resolution departments, has 'a pre-eminent reputation across the spectrum of its practice', which encompasses investigations, pre-litigation settlements and litigation before courts at all levels. The group is co-led by Richard Jeens and intellectual property-related tax expert Dominic Robertson. Jeens is currently providing technical tax and strategic advice to Hays in relation to a dispute with HMRC over the correct VAT treatment of introductions of temporary workers; in claims for the repayment of over £1bn. Sarah Lee is currently assisting Mercuria Energy Europe Trading with the defence of a £73m High Court claim brought against it and its co-defendant RBS in relation to a missing trader VAT fraud in the carbon emissions market. Other key practitioners include Steve Edge and Mike Lane.

Leading individuals

Sarah Lee - Slaughter and May

Next generation lawyers

Richard Jeens - Slaughter and May

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Fed a steady pipeline of work from the its roster of FTSE 100 and 250 corporate clients, unsurprisingly,¬†Slaughter and May¬†is best-known for its borrower-side financing work. Recent highlights include advising DS Smith plc on the debt financing aspects of its $920m acquisition of Interstate Resources and representing Cineworld Group plc on the UK law aspects of the funding to secure its $3.6bn acquisition of US company Regal. A corollary of the firm's market-leading M&A practice, the firm has developed a particular niche in relation to ‚Äúcertain funds‚ÄĚ public bid finance work and in this regard¬†Ed Fife¬†and¬†Matthew Tobin¬†are advising Compagnie Financi√®re Richemont on a proposed voluntary public tender offer (to be made by a newly formed wholly-owned Italian subsidiary of Richemont) to acquire all of the ordinary shares of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.¬†Caroline Phillips' broad-ranging financing capabilities encompass debt financing work for private equity sponsors Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital Partners, including advising the latter on the financing to fund the¬†acquisition of a majority stake in Sweden-based Happy Socks.¬†Philip Snell¬†and¬†Robert Byk¬†are also recommended.

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Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 6

Slaughter and May

Although it lacks a discrete asset finance offering, numerous practitioners within¬†Slaughter and May's banking and finance team handle financing work in the transportation sector.¬†Robert Byk¬†regularly advises Orient Overseas (one of the world's largest integrated international container transportation and logistics companies) on its ship financing arrangements ‚Äď these include frequent financings for significant container vessels and also structured finance relating to leasing and other arrangements.¬†Andrew Johnson¬†is also recommended and regularly handles finance and leasing work for British Airways, First Reserve and Rolls-Royce.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

'The market-leading borrower side practice',¬†Slaughter and May¬†provides an 'exceptionally high-quality service' to a stellar roster of blue-chip corporates including Costain Group plc, First Group, Ocado Group and Tata Steel, across the gamut of financing work including for acquisition finance, as well as general corporate and working capital purposes. The team's pre-eminent borrower side reputation is further underscored by the firm's role for the Association of Corporate Treasurers in relation to LMA documentation; notably the firm recently updated the Borrower's Guide to¬†LMA Loan Documentation for Investment Grade Borrowers‚Äô to reflect the¬†ongoing reforms to LIBOR, Euribor and other benchmarks.¬†Matthew Tobin¬†recently advised Dufry on its¬†‚ā¨2.4bn new facilities¬†(for refinancing and general corporate purposes)¬†which included Euro and US dollar term loan facilities and a multi-currency revolving facility. As well as new money financings, the team has also handled numerous refinancing mandates for corporate clients including¬†Robert Byk¬†'s representation of ISS on the refinancing of its existing credit facility with a new ‚ā¨1bn revolving credit facility. Other recommended partners include¬†Ed Fife,¬†Philip Snell¬†and¬†Andrew McClean.

Leading individuals

Andrew McClean - Slaughter and May

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Drawing from experts in complementary practice areas including banking, corporate and litigation, Slaughter and May provides a 'highly collegiate' service which is rooted in a 'high level of market intelligence'. Praised for its 'practical, commercial and extremely solutions-focused advice', the team provides a 'first-class service', particularly for debtors, where as well as picking up standalone work it is also able to leverage the firm's impressive roster of corporate clients in addition to attracting standalone work. Recent highlights include acting on behalf of Carillion on its high-profile restructuring plan and entry into liquidation - a matter which is also indicative of the firm's ability to handle highly complex and politically sensitive mandates. The team has also been very active on behalf of troubled entities in the (until recently at least) ailing energy sector, as underscored by its high-profile mandates on behalf of both Premier Oil plc and Seadrill in relation to their respective restructurings. While it is less active on the creditor side, the team does handle some bank-side work, including its recent representation of Credit Suisse as a secured lender to Danaos Corporation in relation to the negotiation and implementation of the latter’s comprehensive refinancing and restructuring plan. 'Calm, measured and commercial' team head Ian Johnson displays a strong aptitude in relation to handling complex restructuring processes involving multiple stakeholders.  The 'thoughtful, proactive' Thomas Vickers 'combines intellectual rigour with commercial sensibilities'.

Next generation lawyers

Thomas Vickers - Slaughter and May

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May¬†provides 'excellent service with very prompt responses, and the partners are definitely across the issues'. The firm is best known for¬†advising corporate issuers on equity-linked, hybrid capital and subordinated debt transactions. It has a client roster that includes many FTSE 100 companies and it recently handled a global bond liability management exercise for BHP Billiton, which included a $2.5bn debt repurchase plan.¬†The practice handles a broad range of work including regular debt issuances, such as the ‚ā¨550m offering of senior secured notes for INEOS Finance;¬†first-time issuances such as the $920m offering by corrugated packaging company DS Smith; and issuances in key industry sectors such as aviation, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. Its work for financial institutions and insurance companies also stands out. It handled an ¬£895m issuance for RSA Insurance Group, as well as a ¬£500m offering for Santander UK Group.¬†Matthew Tobin¬†leads the team, which brings together partners with skills across a wide range of debt, equity, loan and structured finance matters. He led the team that advised SEGRO plc on the cash tender for the buyback of sterling bonds and the subsequent issue of ¬£750m in new debt. The 'commercially astute'¬†Guy O‚ÄôKeefe, the 'technically very gifted'¬†Caroline Phillips,¬†Oliver Storey¬†and¬†Oliver Wicker¬†are 'exceptional - their ability to work to challenging timelines is second-to-none'. The 'creative and solution-driven'¬†Robert Byk¬†is also recommended.

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is 'always quick to respond and turnaround times are always achieved', says one client, while another remarks that 'the firm is a preferred adviser for challenging first-principles deals'. The firm's derivatives practice is  best-known for advising corporate treasury departments on a broad range of matters including the negotiation of documentation for general treasury hedging to  complex derivatives transactions and regulatory compliance issues. In support of its M&A practice, it frequently handles equity derivatives, including portfolio total return swaps. The practice also handles equity-backed collar financings, put option financings, stock borrowing arrangements and collateralised repurchase arrangements. A significant part of its practice, however, is focused on the role of derivatives in securitisations and covered bond transactions. Oliver Wicker leads the practice and much of his work has been driven by bank deleveraging in Europe. Ed Fife is 'able to provide succinct advice on all derivative products, including  complex swap repacks, no matter how they has been packaged by the arranger'. He acted for Reinet Funds as borrower in a £250m margin loan transaction. Also recommended are Guy O’Keefe; structured finance specialist Richard Jones; and Azadeh Nassiri , who acts for investment banks, investment funds and corporates.

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High yield
High yield - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is increasingly called on the English law aspects of high yield deals in partnership with its US relationship firms. Between mid-2016 and mid-2017, the firm advised on eight high yield issuances, in each case acting for the issuer. 'The work is exceptional; the lawyers' ability to work to challenging timelines is second-to-none and they have excellent control of complex and multi-faceted projects'. Guy O'Keefe is 'commercially astute and can be relied on for pragmatic and clear advice'; he acted alongside Caroline Phillips for Drax Group on a £550m notes offering. Ed Fife and Robert Byk are also recommended.

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May's finance team is made up of partners with a broad range of skills, including structured finance, securitisation, derivatives, banking and capital markets.The firm handles a wide range of asset classes including CMBS, RMBS, CMBS, credit cards, auto loans, trade receivables, whole-business deals, covered bonds and CLOs, advising hedge funds, originators, arrangers and investors. Guy O’Keefe acted along with Richard Jones and associate Adam Burk for Santander Consumer (UK) plc as originator, seller and servicer, and account bank Santander UK plc on a the £600m Motor 2017-1 UK public auto loan transaction. Jones and Burk are 'always on hand to provide not only sound legal advice, but also commercial context, which is invaluable when discussing complex documentation'. Also recommended are partners Ed Fife, Azadeh Nassiri , Oliver Wicker and Oliver Storey, all of whom have broad structured finance and securitisation practices.

Leading individuals

Guy O’Keefe - Slaughter and May

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May's 'knowledge, client service, responsiveness and ability to cut through complex issues is outstanding' thanks in part to the 'brilliant leadership' of Jonathan Fenn. The department has substantial experience advising on the employee incentives aspects of corporate transactions; recent examples include acting for Standard Life on the incentives aspects of its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management and assisting Market Tech Holdings with the share plan elements of its acquisition by LabTech Investments. Fenn also advised Segro on the incentives aspects of a rights issue and newly promoted partner Phil Linnard handled the establishment of a growth share scheme for a digital advisory company. Other clients include Ocado Group, Centrica and Michael Kors Holdings. Padraig Cronin joined the team from the firm's corporate department and Philip Bennett retired.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Fenn - Slaughter and May

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

At Slaughter and May, key names include team leader Jonathan Fenn, newly promoted partner Phil Linnard and Padraig Cronin; Fenn regularly handles the appointment and dismissal of directors and senior management, Linnard is 'excellent' and Cronin is recommended for the employment aspects of corporate work. Recent highlights include Linnard handling the employment elements of Tata Steel's joint venture with thyssenkrupp, Fenn acting for Barratt Developments in an investigation into allegations of corruption in its London business and Cronin assisting Legal & General with the employment components of the sale of its Mature Savings business to the ReAssure division of Swiss Re. Aggreko, Bupa and John Lewis Partnership are also clients. Lizzie Twigger is also a name to note; she was promoted to senior counsel in 2017.

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Charles Cameron (who is noted for his 'thoughtful insight') heads the department at Slaughter and May, which is 'a leader in the field' for non-contentious work and was bolstered by the recruitment of Daniel Schaffer from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in 2017, who is praised as 'ruthlessly good' and 'extremely creative'. Recent mandates include Cameron, newly promoted partner Phil Linnard and Padraig Cronin advising Tata Steel on the restructuring of the British Steel Pension Scheme; Sandeep Maudgil assisting the Royal Mail with the closure of the RMG section of the Royal Mail Pension Plan and the design of a replacement plan; and Schaffer and Maudgil acting for the Railways Pension Trustee Company on multiple transfers and structural changes. The group is also becoming increasingly involved in pensions litigation; it recently represented the trustees of the BT Pension Scheme in Part 8 proceedings in the High Court and acted for Granada Group in High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings relating to whether it is obliged to maintain gilts as security for the pension benefits of former directors. Senior counsel Isobel Carruthers joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Philip Bennett retired in 2017.

Leading individuals

Charles Cameron (non-contentious) - Slaughter and May

Daniel Schaffer (non-contentious) - Slaughter and May

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London: Insurance

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

Slaughter and May

The ‚Äėstellar‚Äô team at¬†Slaughter and May¬†‚Äėadopts a rigorous but commercially sensible approach to insurance and reinsurance litigation‚Äô. Across disputes in a variety of insurance sectors, including multi-jurisdictional coverage, reinsurance insolvency subrogation issues, product recall, and professional indemnity insurance, the practice maintains ‚Äėa great track record‚Äô.¬†Sarah Lee¬†leads a team that includes the pre-eminent Efstathios Michael,¬†who ‚Äėhas a great intellect, but also very good commercial instincts, and always adopts a practical approach to insurance dispute resolution‚Äô. Highlights included successfully representing Equitas in proceedings in the High Court regarding its pursuit of multiple, substantial and complex reinsurance claims against its reinsurer, R&Q, as well as advising Marsh in respect of a claim in the Commercial Court brought by Meinl Bank.

Leading individuals

Efstathios Michael - Slaughter and May

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

Slaughter and May

‚ÄėThere is strength in depth‚Äô in the ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô team at¬†Slaughter and May, which offers ‚Äėthe kind of market insight you would expect of a firm with its client list‚Äô, which includes the majority of the major UK life insurers. Recent highlights for the practice, which is particularly noted for large M&A deals, include¬†Jonathan Marks¬†advising Standard Life on its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management, and Robert Chaplin¬†acting for Legal & General on the sale of its mature savings business. Elsewhere in this sector the firm has seen some notable Solvency II work and consistently provides ‚Äėpractical and insightful advice‚Äô in this area. Another stand-out member of the team is Craig Cleaver,¬†‚Äėa great lead partner on complex transactions‚Äô, who advised Swiss Re on the sale of a minority stake in ReAssure.

Leading individuals

Craig Cleaver - Slaughter and May

Jonathan Marks - Slaughter and May

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Listed funds
Listed funds - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

At Slaughter and May,  Robin Ogle and Paul Mudie  advised SVG Capital on tender offers as part of the termination of the fund. Paul Dickson  advised Honeycomb Investment Trust on a share placing which raised £105m.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May 's oil and gas offering is particularly strong in corporate transactions and financing mandates. Steven Galbraith and Hywel Davies are the main names to note; they are currently leading the advice to Aker Energy with regards to its acquisition of Hess' interests in Ghana, and recently acted for Maersk in the competition and energy law aspects of the $8.1bn sale of Maersk Oil to Total.

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Power (including electricity and renewables)
Power (including electricity and renewables) - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Tim Pharoah and Paul Stacey are among the key power and renewables contacts at Slaughter and May . The team recently assisted Drax with the issuing of $300m senior secured notes, and Impello instructed the group to advise on its sale to The Shell Petroleum Company. Also notable is the work for Innogy with regards to the merger of Npower with SSE's domestic retail operations in the UK.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

With a distinct focus on high-value, non-commoditised work, Slaughter and May¬†has ‚Äėthe kind of strength in depth and commercial acumen that clients may expect from a highly specialised firm‚Äô. The department has built particular expertise in athletic stadium developments and has a number of such developments ongoing, including advising Everton on its new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. Department head Jane Edwarde¬†is advising Derwent London on a substantial mixed-use office, theatre and retail development above the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. Edwarde is also acting for a joint venture comprising a Carillion entity, Beijing Construction Engineering Group and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund in relation to the development of Airport City at Manchester Airport. The team also handles a considerable number of investment property transactions for Legal & General. Indeed, Richard Todd¬†assisted Legal & General on the ¬£270m sale of 70 Gracechurch Street in London, and also assisted the client with the ¬£56.5m sale of Two Central Square in Cardiff. The group also has experience with complex HQ moves; this has recently included John Nevin¬†assisting Bupa with the lease of its new HQ in Central London, and also advising Withers LLP¬†on the lease of its new 60,000ft HQ. In the leisure sector, the team advised Tonstate Group on the ¬£500m sale of two Metropole hotels. Other work includes handling a range of Central London landlord matters, and advising retailers such as Marks and Spencer on strategic property issues.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Senior counsel Samantha Brady¬†leads the team¬†at Slaughter and May, which¬† recently advised¬†√ėrsted on its ¬£2bn disposal of a 50% interest in the 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm to a consortium of leading Danish pension funds; and advised INEOS¬†on the environmental and decommissioning liabilities of¬†its proposed acquisition of the Forties Pipeline System and associated pipelines and facilities from BP.

Leading individuals

Samantha Brady - Slaughter and May

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 5

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May's¬†team is headed by¬†¬†Jane Edwarde¬†and specialises in energy and infrastructure, football stadia and urban development schemes. The firm advised Infinis on the sale of its entire onshore wind generation and landfill gas generation business, and Essex County Council on its new energy from waste facility in Basildon. Edwarde and Richard Todd¬†acted for Everton Football Club on its new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on the construction phase planning requirements for its new stadium at White Hart Lane. The team also acted for London Resort Company Holdings on a 900-acre entertainment resort south of the River Thames, the first commercial project permitted through the DCO regime. Richard Keczkes¬†provides ‚Äėfocused, timely advice that gets the job done‚Äô.

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May has a dedicated partner-led Brexit working group, which is chaired by Jeff Twentyman, and operates as a fully-coordinated, multidisciplinary service for clients and industry bodies. As part of its offering, the firm has significant involvement in client events and industry initiatives across numerous sectors (including financial services) in order to provide thought-leadership on the multitude of issues that are likely to arise from Brexit. Richard de Carle and Stephen Powell assisted with preparing a major publication by the firm on the WTO rules, which is now in its second edition. Powell is also the co-chair of a working group set up in 2017 by the Financial Markets Law Committee to consider the WTO regime. Competition partner Anna Lyle-Smythe is on the steering committee of the UK Legal Forum, and is also a key contributor to a number of competition law working groups examining the implications of Brexit on competition law and state aid. Ian Johnson, who heads up the restructuring and insolvency practice, is a member of the City of London Law Society and Law Society working groups, which are considering the insolvency aspects of Brexit. In terms of core legal advice to clients, in the financial services sector, a cross-practice team including Oliver Wareham, Craig Cleaver, Rob Sumroy and Nick Bonsall provides ongoing assistance to EU-headquartered general insurer Zurich Insurance Plc with its Brexit planning and associated regulatory issues; a major element of the work has centred around the client's application to the UK regulators, the PRA and FCA, for full third country authorisation of its UK branch post-Brexit. Elsewhere, other areas of sector expertise include aviation, energy, retail and telecoms. Sara Luder, Ben Kingsley, Jan Putnis, Jonathan Marks and William Turtle are other contacts. 

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

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May¬†is ‚Äėa go-to firm for international corporate investigations‚Äô and has ‚Äėstrength and depth in the team, very good associates and provides excellent strategic advice‚Äô. The firm continues to act as corporate counsel for Rolls-Royce in relation to investigations by the SFO, DOJ and Brazilian authorities into bribery and corruption in overseas markets, this matter was worth around ¬£671m. Other key clients include Shell and British American Tobacco. Sarah Lee¬†heads the team, supported by Jonathan Cotton¬†and Richard Swallow¬†who is ‚Äėsavvy and creative, and has a nice touch with clients and prosecutors‚Äô. Deborah Finkler¬†is ‚Äėvery smart and very strategic‚Äô. Nick Gray¬† and Richard Parker¬†retired.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Cotton - Slaughter and May

Richard Swallow - Slaughter and May

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 1

Slaughter and May

The 'practical advice' given by Slaughter and May 's 'very commercial, incredibly knowledgeable' team is 'most helpful' and 'always prompt'. Financial services regulatory expert Ben Kingsley and technology and data specialist Rob Sumroy head the group, which counts blockchain, insurtech, regtech and market-scale payments infrastructure as core strengths. Kingsley advised Euroclear on various fintech investments and joint ventures, as well as assisting it with two blockchain projects, including a report into the use of blockchain in the settlement and clearing industry. Another payments mandate saw Thomas Cook Money instruct Kingsley on strategic issues relating to its digitisation. In the start-up space, Robert Innes has helped companies deal with documentation to help engage their customers, Kingsley advised TrueLayer on various commercial and data protection matters, and Innes and Kingsley acted for insurtech company By Miles on all aspects of its growth. Also in this space, Kingsley and Sumroy advised Bupa Customer Labs, acting as an incubator for insurtech start-ups, on various regulatory matters. Other major fintech clients include payments companies and AI providers. IP and technology expert Duncan Blaikie made partner in 2017.

Leading individuals

Ben Kingsley - Slaughter and May

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Slaughter and May

The 'outstanding' technology and telecoms team at Slaughter and May is 'very responsive, creative and easy to collaborate with'. A team led by technology practice head Rob Sumroy acted for Burberry on outsourcing its global network services, including wireless connectivity and telephony systems, and management of IT security framework, to Verizon Communications. In another highlight the team advised for SoftBank Vision Fund on its investments in two data analytics and artificial intelligence companies Ping An Medical and Healthcare Management and Ping An Healthcare and Technology. David Ives heads the firm's IP and technology practice. Duncan Blaikie was recently promoted to the partnership. 

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

The 'technically strong' intellectual property team at Slaughter and May¬†provides¬†'well-thought-out advice' particularly in strategic, commercial and transactional matters. The group is¬†instructed by Tata Steel Group on complex IP element of the company's ‚ā¨15bn joint venture with¬†thyssenkrupp, this included brand licensing and¬†research and development agreements. In another work highlight, the department acted for¬†Tottenham Hotspur¬† on its kit supply and sponsorship agreement with Nike.¬† Susie Middlemiss¬†heads the practice and has particular expertise in disputes, while¬†Cathy Connolly¬†leads on non-contentious IP matters. Other key names to note include David Ives, particularly for international licensing arrangements, and recently promoted partner Duncan Blaikie.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Corporate, commercial, transactions and IP are the core areas of focus for Slaughter and May. Susie Middlemiss co-heads the team and has expertise in disputes and IP work. Fellow practice head David Johnson focuses on corporate and commercial transactions and assisted GlaxoSmithKline with the $619m sale of its 6.2% stake in Aspen Pharmacare. Alongside Johnson, corporate transactions expert Simon Nicholls worked with Actelion on its sale to Johnson & Johnson. Corporate and commercial law specialist Richard Smith advised Immunocore on its collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will focus on developing treatments for HIV and TB using T-cell receptors.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 4

Slaughter and May

Noted for advising high-profile football clients on large, complex matters, the department at Slaughter and May is led by regulatory and transactional expert Andrew Jolly. He and Jane Edwarde acted for Arsenal FC on all its player transfers, and advised it on its agreement with Become Energy to construct and operate a battery storage facility at the Emirates Stadium. Jolly also acted for Everton FC on corporate, commercial, financing and governance matters. Additionally in the football sector, construction specialist Richard Todd and sports expert David Ives assisted Tottenham Hotspur FC with the £800m construction of its new 61,000-seat stadium. Other clients include Goals Soccer Centres and, outside of football, Boat Race Company.

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 3

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is active across disputes, regulatory and real estate instructions in the aviation sector. It is representing British Airways in multi-party litigation relating to the European Commission’s investigation into alleged cartel activity in respect of air freight services involving a number of airlines. It advised Rolls-Royce in relation to a criminal investigation conducted by the SFO into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce and Rolls-Royce Energy Systems. Efstathios Michael handles international litigation and arbitration, while Bertrand Louveaux, who is based across the London and Brussels offices, advises on merger control and competition matters.

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