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Stephenson Harwood

Living Wage
1 FINSBURY CIRCUS, LONDON, EC2M 7SH, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7329 4422
Fax:
Fax 020 7329 7100
DX:
64 LONDON CHANCERY LANE WC2
Email:
Web:
www.shlegal.com
Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Piraeus and 4 more

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s team is led by Dan Holland, who advises clients across multiple sectors on outsourcing agreements, franchising, sponsorships and agency, among other areas. Jonathan Kirsop, and associates Chloe Haywood and Katie Hewson, advised Ryanair on various matters, including an agreement on the purchase of critical landing software and related equipment. Senior associates Katie Samadi, who joined the London office from AdventBalance in Singapore, and Naomi Leach are other notable practitioners in the group.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

The tax department at Stephenson Harwood is known for its β€˜responsiveness and good technical knowledge’ in a set of key areas including real estate, M&A, investment funds and transportation and asset finance. Indeed, practice head and β€˜proactive problem solver’ Hugo Jenney is assisting Transport for London with the direct and indirect tax aspects of the Β£15bn Crossrail development. He also provided tax advice to Mount Eden Land in relation to the Β£581m senior debt and mezzanine Eurobond refinancing of the high-profile Langham Estate. In 2016, Maryanna Sharrock advised Acadia Healthcare on the tax provisions and stamp duty filing in connection with its Β£1.3bn acquisition of the Priory Group. Another active member in the tax team, John Meehan is acting for Osprey Equity Partners in relation to the structuring and launch of a new REIT. The firm is continuing to invest in the tax practice and added four new associates in 2016-2017.

Leading individuals

Hugo Jenney - Stephenson Harwood

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 6

Stephenson Harwood

At Stephenson Harwood, practice head Marta Garcia (who is β€˜very thorough’ and provides β€˜pragmatic recommendations’) advised Acadia Healthcare on the preliminary competition law aspects of its acquisition of the Priory Group, and advised Arriva Rail London Limited on the award of the London Overground 2 concession by Transport for London, successfully persuading the CMA there was no case to review the award. Associate Simon Albert was part of the team advising Vistra Group Management on its acquisition of the Jordans Group from the West of England Trust. The team has strengths in a number of sectors, including transport, financial services, life sciences, and energy.

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Financial services
Financial services (contentious) - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory) - ranked: tier 6

Stephenson Harwood

β€˜An ideal choice for clients who want a fairly aggressive approach to dealing with the relevant authorities’, Stephenson Harwood has a β€˜very strong practice, particularly acting for individuals on work that straddles the criminal and regulatory sphere’. β€˜Tough and determined’ team head Tony Woodcock has a β€˜complete mastery of his field’ and has vast FCA and PRA experience, on behalf of both individuals and institutions with β€˜enough criminal law instincts to ensure all bases are covered’. The β€˜clever, committed and charming’ Sara George has been involved in β€˜some of the crucial stand offs with the regulators over the past few years’. The β€˜experienced, approachable and thorough’ John Fordham is also recommended. On the advisory front, Richard Small specializes in market abuse, custody and regulatory issues impacting on the private wealth sector. As well as discrete advisory work, Sean Jeffrey also regularly provides the regulatory input on transactional matters within the financial services sector.

Leading individuals

Tony Woodcock - Stephenson Harwood

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood, which provides β€˜pragmatic advice and a clear steer on what the listing authorities will approve’, has a particularly strong listed funds capability. In 2016, it featured in four out of six investment company IPOs, one of which involved Alex Haynes acting for finnCap as NOMAD and broker to Pacific Capital Partners on the IPO of Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT. Outside of funds-related listings, the team also features in high-profile corporate AIM and Main Market admissions. Practice head Tom Nicholls, senior associate Tom Page and associate Gabrielle Pugh acted for Hotel Chocolat Group on its Β£167m AIM IPO. Another highlight saw the firm advise Shield Therapeutics on its Β£162m AIM IPO. William Saunders is another key contact in the team, which was strengthened by the recruitment of Anthony Clare from Ashurst.

Leading individuals

Tom Nicholls - Stephenson Harwood

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

Stephenson Harwood

The team at Stephenson Harwood provides β€˜excellent service, rapid document turnaround and real commitment to getting the deal done’; it is β€˜very good value for money’, and handles public and private M&A in a wide variety of sectors. Andrew Edge advised Lavendon Group on takeover bids by Loxam and TVH Group, with Loxam eventually winning the bid by paying Β£459m for the acquisition; he also assisted Engie with its Β£330m purchase of Keepmoat from TDR and Sun Capital. Practice head Duncan Stiles advised FTSE-listed Meggitt on the sale of Meggitt Targets Systems to QinetiQ Group for Β£58m. Ben Mercer acted for Vistra Group on its purchase of Jordans and Jordans Trust Company from West of England Trust, and advised Fitness First’s management team on Oaktree Capital’s sale of the company’s UK fitness clubs to DW Fitness Clubs. Andrew McLean’s real estate highlights included advising Alaska Permanent Fund and its UK real estate investment managers, LaSalle Investment Managers, on the Β£275m purchase of the company that owns the Intu shopping centre in bromley from Aviva. On the sell side, Jonathan Pittal advised Bowmark Capital on its Β£340m sale of Autodata Publishing Group to Solera Holdings, while William Saunders acted for the board of Charlemagne Capital on its Β£41m takeover by Fiera Capital, by way of a Cayman scheme of arrangement but still complying with the UK Takeover Code. Other clients include BTG, Acadia Healthcare, AET and Motor Oil Hellas (Corinth Refineries).

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Mid-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

In January 2017, Stephenson Harwood emhanced its mid-market capability by hiring Jonathan Pittal, Warren Allan and Gabriel Boghossian from King & Wood Mallesons. Pittal, who was co-head of the private equity transactions practice at his previous firm, recently acted as the lead adviser to Five Arrows Principal Investments, Bowmark Capital and the other selling shareholders on the Β£340m sale of Autodata to Solera Holdings. In 2016, Ben Mercer acted for Fitness First’s UK management team on the Β£70m sale of Fitness First’s UK business by Oaktree Capital Management to DW Sports. Also recommended in the team is Tony Edwards, who undertakes domestic deals across a wide range of sectors, as well as transactions in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has β€˜a responsive and pro-active’ indirect tax group, which has experience of the indirect tax aspects of large transactions as well as contentious tax issues. Department head Hugo Jenney is β€˜a real problem solver’ and has been advising Transport for London on the full range of tax issues in connection with the Crossrail development. The team handles real estate and project development transactions, but is also instructed by retailers, equipment leasing groups and shipping companies, including CMA CGM. Additionally, Jenney has represented the taxpayer in disputes against HMRC and also advises clients in relation to Revenue enquiries. Maryanna Sharrock and John Meehan are other key contacts.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜extremely professional team’ of "star individuals" provides β€˜timely, practical and cost-effective advice which is specifically tailored for the client’. The team is particularly strong in cases involving Russia, the CIS, Africa and India, and continues to pick up significant instructions from individuals and major companies regarding major fraud litigation. Recent work includes representing the former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company in the enforcement of a $54bn arbitration award against the Russian Federation, and acting for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in allegations that defrauded the company of millions of dollars. Alan Bercow jointly heads the practice with Ros Prince, who is β€˜one of the best fraud partners in the City’. Senior associate Priya Grewal has β€˜an excellent grasp of complex legal issues’. Experienced litigator John Fordham is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Alan Bercow - Stephenson Harwood

John Fordham - Stephenson Harwood

Ros Prince - Stephenson Harwood

Next generation lawyers

Priya Grewal - Stephenson Harwood

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Fraud: white-collar crime
Fraud: white-collar crime - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood provides β€˜useful and appropriate advice’, and the team β€˜always goes the extra mile to assist the client’. Highlights included representing the former US dollar rate submitter at Barclays in relation to the LIBOR rate-setting investigation conducted by the SFO, and the firm is also advising the Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees in relation to claims against the Icelandic bank Kaupthing. The β€˜personable and practical’ Tony Woodcock is recommended along with Sara George, who is β€˜energetic and fully dedicated to the defence of her clients’.

Leading individuals

Tony Woodcock - Stephenson Harwood

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is β€˜very strong across all service areas and all its team members are very diligent and attentive’. Much of the practice’s work involves multiple jurisdictions; its clients include global and state banks, hedge funds, investment companies and sovereign wealth funds. It works closely with the firm’s financial services and regulation team, and regularly advises on issues such as alleged interest rate benchmarking, FX fixing and mis-selling. It also advises on bank insolvencies and professional negligence matters regarding financial institutions. Recent matters saw the group act for the administrator of an insolvent Latvian bank (LKB) in two sets of high-value High Court proceedings against LKB’s former owner, which involved allegations of fraud and a worldwide freezing order and search order. It also acted for Raiffeisen Bank International in a dispute concerning the valuation (following default) of certain bond repurchase and stock lending transactions; the claim raised complex issues, such as interpretation of the close-out valuation mechanics, the meaning of fair market value, and service of default notices by fax. Sue Millar has a particular strength in investment and commercial banking disputes; Edward Davis is β€˜a brilliant litigator and a sharp legal mind’; John Fordham is β€˜an impressive litigator’; Richard Garcia is β€˜always informed and informative’; and Donna Newman, who β€˜provides thoughtful advice’, made partner. Richard Gwynne is also highly rated.

Leading individuals

John Fordham - Stephenson Harwood

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

β€˜A premier pick for commercial litigation’, Stephenson Harwood is recommended for handling large, complex, bet-the-company cases. The team continued to act for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a long-running case, defending several attempts in England by a contractor, IPCO, to enforce a Nigerian arbitration Award; this matter is likely to be one of the leading cases on the public policy exception to enforcement in the context of fraud. John Fordham is the β€˜brilliant’ commercial litigation head; Richard Gwynne β€˜gives thoughtful, unhurried advice that is usually right’; Richard Garcia is β€˜well organised and prompt in his responses’; Edward Davis β€˜clarifies the most complex facts and provides pragmatic advice and a clear litigation strategy’; Sue Millar is β€˜fearless in representing clients’ interests’; and Sean Jeffrey is β€˜a very smooth operator’. Andrew Myers is also highly regarded.

Leading individuals

John Fordham - Stephenson Harwood

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

One of the world’s leading shipping, maritime and international trade practices, Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜overall level of service is excellent’, and it has particular arbitration expertise in oil and gas, infrastructure, and construction disputes. The practice is also highly rated for Africa, India, Russia and CIS, and Latin America-related arbitrations, and is well known for significant international arbitration enforcement matters in London. Louis Flannery QC is department head; Kamal Shah, who heads the Africa and India groups, is β€˜very skilled at assessing situations and offering sound advice’; upstream oil and gas disputes group head Shai Wade is β€˜a star player and massively experienced’; and Haris Zografakis, who β€˜scores spectacular successes’, has represented clients in hundreds of commodities-related arbitrations. Counsel Duncan Bagshaw is an Africa specialist, and Vivek Kapoor was hired from Dentons’ Singapore office.

Leading individuals

Louis Flannery QC - Stephenson Harwood

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Mediators
Mediators - ranked: tier 3

John Fordham - Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s John Fordham is β€˜a mediator of choice for cases where some real force is needed on the part of the mediator and heads banged together’. Fordham’s mediation experience mirrors his work as a commercial litigator, and includes disputes in the corporate, commercial, banking and finance, insurance, IT and insolvency sectors.

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is β€˜a leading firm for major PIL-related litigation’. The practice is best known for advising governments and state-owned corporations on significant PIL issues; and its scope of work includes financial sanctions, asset tracing, and the enforcement of high-value arbitration awards. The firm also has a significant Africa practice. Kamal Shah, who heads the PIL and Africa and India groups, is β€˜excellent with clients’; Sue Millar acts for Iranian, Libyan and Syrian individuals and entities in the challenge of EU and UK financial sanctions; and senior associate Stephen Ashley is β€˜particularly good’.

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London: Finance

Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Although it is active across all transportation classes, the β€˜very dedicated’ team at Stephenson Harwood is best known for its β€˜powerhouse ship finance’ offering, which acts for banks and operators on both new money deals as well as restructurings. β€˜Market leader’ Mark Russell recently advised Nordea Bank Norge, as agent, on a $895m syndicated financing of a 36-tanker fleet. The β€˜experienced’ Jonathan Ward is particularly skilled at handling cross-border shipping mandates in Europe and the Far East; he recently advised the Export-Import Bank of China on the $2bn loan facility to allow state-owned Brazilian company Petrobas to pre-finance resources needed for 2017 and diversify its sources of finance. Global head of ship finance Ian Mace has recently handled numerous matters for ABN Amro, including advising it on a facility that includes a hunting licence secured against a fleet of existing vessels. Head of the aviation finance practice Richard Parsons is praised for his β€˜ability to succinctly explain complex issues’, particularly pertaining to operating lessor financings. In addition, Parsons has been active on aircraft portfolio acquisitions and disposals including advising a leading operating lessor on the disposal of a portfolio of 37 aircraft and the servicer of that portfolio on ongoing portfolio administration. The β€˜very commercial and thorough’ Graeme McLellan leads on the rail finance front, and is assisted by Lisa Marks, who also handles general leasing work for banks and other financial institutions. Other clients include Macquarie Bank, Flybe, Abellio East Anglia and Arriva Trains Wales. The firm joined by experienced ship finance partner Dean Norton from Clyde & Co LLP in May 2017.

Leading individuals

Mark Russell - Stephenson Harwood

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 6

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s ten-partner bank lending practice handles a mix of work for lenders and borrowers including syndicated and bilateral corporate lending, corporate-led acquisition financing, funds finance and restructuring. Team head James Linforth recently advised easyHotel on its Β£12m bank financing provided by Santander, which sat alongside a recent equity raising, to fund its hotel expansion strategy. Senior associate Daniel Margolis supported Linforth on the aforementioned deal and also acted for Insight Investment Management on the term loan to Oakem, a UK-based microfiber fintech challenger, under a Β£30m facility entered into with RBS.

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Commodities: physicals
Commodities: physicals - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood fields a β€˜practical and knowledgeable’ team that β€˜has grown into a major force in the commmodities market thanks to its wide and deep knowledge of the law and commercial practicalities’. The firm has notable strength in the energy, metals and mining sectors and acts for blue-chip clients such as Macquarie, Rabobank, Drax, ENEL, Vedanta Group and Chevron. Other clients include commodity end users, banks, oil and gas traders, mining companies and energy producers. In a standout case, the practice acted for Mercuria Energy Trading and Mercuria Energy Group in a dispute with Citibank concerning allegedly missing or multiple pledged metals stocks in Qingdao. The case ran for three years before settling at the end of 2016. The firm also advised Euro-Asian Oil in a Commercial Court claim against Credit Suisse and an oil company arising from fraud claims. Team head Haris Zografakis, senior associate Jonathan Spearing and associate Mark Lakin are highly recommended, as are Peter Bennett, who is β€˜an old hand in commodities, especially in the area of disputes’, and Paolo Ghirardani, who regularly acts for major oil companies and trading houses on trade and shipping fraud matters.

Leading individuals

Haris Zografakis - Stephenson Harwood

Peter Bennett - Stephenson Harwood

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Spearing - Stephenson Harwood

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

Stephenson Harwood

β€˜Excellent on all fronts’, Stephenson Harwood’s four-partner team provides a β€˜client focused’ and β€˜highly commercial service’ across a range of contentious and non-contentious mandates, increasingly with a cross-border complexion. The β€˜very client-oriented and friendly’ Susan Moore is regularly engaged in the highest-profile matters handled by the team and is appreciated for her β€˜decisive, authoritative and assertive’ advice. As well as her continued involvement in the ongoing administration of the Affinion scheme of arrangement, she also recently advised E-Commodities on its cross-border bond restructuring, which was implemented through processes in three different jurisdictions and funded by a parallel rights issue. The β€˜meticulous’ Elizabeth Elliott β€˜really knows her stuff’ and is advising the Board of the Pension Protection Fund, in its role as the largest creditor of BHS in the company’s administration and subsequent liquidation. Julian Cahn and Stuart Frith are also recommended, in particular for their contentious insolvency prowess.

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Trade finance
Trade finance - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜excellent team’ handles a growing workload of trade finance receivables deals, and is best known for handling β€˜technically intensive and heavily structured deals’. David Lacey has extensive experience in structured trade and invoice discounting transactions, acting for both lenders and borrowers. Also recommended are ship and trade finance specialist Neil Noble, who regularly advises on cross-border loan and security documentation and has negotiated a diverse range of structured pre-export financings, and Lisa Marks, who has represented banks and financial institutions for more than 25 years and has extensive experience of handling the financing of assets, receivables and trade debts. Highlights included acting for Santander on a payment service agreement between the bank and French listed company Sodexo.

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜excellent’ team is β€˜very responsive’. It has been increasingly active for AIM-listed clients, such as Kalibrate Technologies, easyHotel and Milton Group. Practice head Barbara Allen is β€˜personable’ and β€˜an industry expert’, and recently advised Hotel Chocolat on the employee benefits aspects of its successful Β£167m flotation on AIM. Allen and senior associate Anika Chandra advised BTG on the extension of its employee sharesave plan to overseas jurisdictions, as well as on its obligations under the Market Abuse Regulation.

Leading individuals

Barbara Allen - Stephenson Harwood

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Employment: employees/unions
Leading individuals

Kate Brearley - Stephenson Harwood

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

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood fields a β€˜very strong’ and β€˜very approachable’ group that is β€˜highly experienced’ in employment mandates. Its expertise ranges from disciplinary investigations and employment issues arising from corporate transactions, including TUPE transfers. Purvis Ghani, who has β€˜excellent technical skills’, assists Thomson Reuters with UK and international employment issues arising from employee exits, as well as tax and other compliance matters. Anne Pritam acted for Arriva on TUPE and industrial relations issues arising from the company’s successful bid to take over the London Overground concession. Kiersten Lucas is representing 23 claimants in proceedings brought against their former employer before the Commercial Court regarding contractual obligations in accordance with employee compensation schemes. The β€˜very experienced, diligent and reliable’ Kate Brearley is leading employment advice to an AIM-listed company on negotiations concerning the exit of the company’s founder and CEO. Clients also single out Paul Reeves, who is β€˜brilliantly engaging with clients and shrewd with opponents’. Other clients include HSB Engineering Insurance (HSB EIL), Mercer and CF Partners.

Leading individuals

Kate Brearley - Stephenson Harwood

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

The β€˜outstanding’ team at Stephenson Harwood is β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ in all areas of contentious and non-contentious pensions law. It has β€˜great depth’ in litigation, and is noted for its β€˜willingness to explore all options’. Philip Goodchild, who is co-head of the contentious group, represented the trustees of the Barnardo’s Staff Pension Scheme in first-of-its-kind litigation before the High Court and the Court of Appeal regarding whether scheme rules permitted the trustees to move away from the RPI. Goodchild also advised the trustees of the CGG Veritas Pension Scheme on the closure of accruals to the scheme, including negotiations with the employer. Mark Catchpole, who heads the non-contentious group, has been advising the trustees of the Bic Pension Scheme in relation to benefits payable to different classes of members. The β€˜exceptional’ Helena Berman jointly heads the contentious group with Goodchild, who β€˜knows every trick in the book in pensions professional negligence’. Jenny McKeown and senior associate Naeem Noor are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Helena Berman - Stephenson Harwood

Jenny McKeown - Stephenson Harwood

Next generation lawyers

Naeem Noor - Stephenson Harwood

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Marine insurance expert Stephenson Harwood specialises in hull and machinery insurance, port and harbour liability, cargo losses and numerous other matters. Through the efforts of marine and energy expert Simon Moore, war risk insurers won a significant appeal, which overturned a High Court decision by ruling that the constructive total loss of the B Atlantic was caused by its detention following the discovery of concealed drugs that were attached to the vessel’s hull. Alex Davis leads the team. The Channel Syndicate, Lancashire Group and India International Insurance feature on the group’s impressive client list. Senior associate Sophie Cordonnier recently arrived from Hill Dickinson LLP.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜reliable’ and β€˜innovative’ department is β€˜pure class, a team of the highest quality, offering a tailored service with complete discretion’. It acts for claimants and defendants in a range of complex professional negligence cases. Highlights included defending a large professional services firm of auditors, tax advisers and insolvency practitioners against a claim of alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and breach of contract; and representing a fine art dealer in a Β£14m claim against its former solicitors in the Commercial Court. The β€˜extremely experienced and shrewd’ Roland Foord and Stephen Roberts, who has the β€˜ability to own a case and empathise with the client’, jointly head the team. Andrew Myers has β€˜boundless enthusiasm’, β€˜great attention to detail and considerable tenacity’ and a specific focus on property disputes. Tony Woodcock specialises in professional standards within the financial services sector and Richard Garcia, who is β€˜energetic, imaginative and has excellent client skills’, is noted for banking, asset management and financial services matters. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of Helena Berman, who is experienced in pensions, trusts, legal and tax cases, from Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP.

Leading individuals

Roland Foord - Stephenson Harwood

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Hedge funds
Hedge funds - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is β€˜a highly reliable law firm’ that β€˜understands managers of start-up hedge funds’ alongside work for more established clients. James Tinworth is β€˜extremely good at adapting to the flexibility of the evolution of plans as a project unfolds’ – he and senior associate Carolyn Hall advised on the creation of a Cayman-domiciled fund focussing on shipping derivatives. Other mandates concern frontier markets and fund liquidations. Clients include JCAM Investments, Equilibrium Capital and APQ Global.

Next generation lawyers

Carolyn Hall - Stephenson Harwood

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Listed funds
Listed funds - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood, which is β€˜responsive, helpful and technically good’, handles fund IPO-related work as well as a range of re-listing, activist disputes, secondary listings and fund terminations. William Saunders advised BB Healthcare Trust on its IPO, which raised Β£150m. Alex Haynes is β€˜very well-liked by the brokers in this space’ – he advised Cenkos Securities on its role as sponsor of Civitas Social Housing’s IPO, the largest investment company IPO in London in 2016, and Vietnam Enterprise Investments on its transition from the Irish Stock Exchange to the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Elizabeth Field advised Jupiter Growth Investment Trust on changing its name, investment policy and management agreement. Other clients include SQN Asset Finance Income Fund, which Saunders advised on a Β£180m placing of C shares, and Atlantis Japan Growth Fund, which Haynes advised regarding an attempt by an activist investor to liquidate it.

Leading individuals

William Saunders - Stephenson Harwood

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London: Private client

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has β€˜a great team across the board, and is and should be the first port of call for anyone looking for either non-contentious advisory work or contentious dispute resolution advice and representation’. It is β€˜one of the few firms that has a true art specialisation and is also very experienced in cultural property work due to its long-running association with clients in the art world such as galleries, dealers and auction houses’. β€˜Very able litigator’ Roland Foord heads the team, and his β€˜calm and measured approach is born out of years of extensive experience. He has an impressive roster of clients’. He advises on other matters ranging from the sale and purchase of fine art to standard terms of business for the major market players in the art world, and is also experienced in export issues and looted art matters. Stephen Roberts has β€˜an excellent forensic mind which he brings to bear in providing superb advice on the prospects and risks of litigation’. In a significant matter, the team is acting for Mark Weiss Limited, an established London Old Master dealer, in a dispute over a painting sold through Sotheby’s as a work by Frans Hals; the authenticity of the painting has now been questioned. It also acts for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Royal College of Art, the Society of London Art Dealers, Hazlitt Gooden & Fox Limited, and Mark Adams Fine Art Ltd.

Leading individuals

Roland Foord - Stephenson Harwood

Stephen Roberts - Stephenson Harwood

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜knowledgeable’ team β€˜has an excellent appreciation of the market, the needs of the client and the subtleties of each matter. It is robust in defending its clients’ interests’. The head of the practice is the β€˜responsive’ Jenny McKeown, who is β€˜a strong litigator with considerable expertise in structured finance and a good understanding of the difficult role of the corporate trustee. She leads large multi-jurisdictional teams well’. Highlights included defending the trustee of a discretionary trust established by a Kazakh billionaire in proceedings in the Commercial Court; the claimant challenged the validity of an assignment of assets to the trust and the validity of the trust itself. Helena Berman also has β€˜a strong reputation in this field’. β€˜The practice is increasingly busy, watch this space as they become real players in the market.’

Leading individuals

Jenny McKeown - Stephenson Harwood

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s clients β€˜can be assured that all angles are covered. The team’s strength lies in its ability to assimilate information quickly and accurately and then to provide solutions in a very measured and precise way that makes clients feel that they are in very safe hands’. It is β€˜particularly helpful that the firm has offices globally, as this gives the added benefit of local expertise in different jurisdictions’. Head of department James Quarmby provides β€˜very detailed advice, and is broad thinking. He finds the optimal solution while keeping costs for the client in mind. He will always recommend the best solution for the client even if it is the most simple and cost-effective. He has the knowledge to be able to help the client and has his clients’ best interests at heart’. Senior associate Emily Osborne is β€˜technically brilliant and incredibly professional’, and both she and Quarmby are β€˜very approachable, innovative, proactive and efficient’. Areas of expertise include domicile and residency, succession planning for UK and non-UK domiciled individuals, offshore structures, and international succession law.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood acts for clients such as Hitachi Rail, Green Power Africa, and the city of Cape Town, whom practice leader Jonathan Cripps is advising on the next phase of its integrated transport and urban development project. The firm recently assisted Dutch Infrastructure Fund with its acquisition of shares in two operational toll road projects in Ireland from Cintra, a Spanish company, and handled the planning and contract negotiation on behalf of Heads of the Valleys Development Company regarding a significant capital investment programme into a world class motorsports complex in Wales. Rebecca Carter and senior associate Ian Pumfrey supported Cripps on his advice to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital on the design and construction of new healthcare facilities in Stanmore. Senior associates Will Lewis and Phil Harris have strong experience in economic and social infrastructure projects work and are also key contacts.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has particular expertise in energy disputes, the African market and offshore projects, including LNG and subsea pipelines. Tony Concagh leads the department with energy and shipping sector expert Stuart Beadnall and Tony Edwards, who has an emphasis on corporate work for clients in the African market. Clients include BHP Billiton, Eland Oil & Gas and Opus Offshore.

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

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood β€˜is a conscientious and user-friendly firm’; one client ranks its services as β€˜10/10 throughout’. Graeme Barton, who was recently promoted to partner, supported Rebecca Carter on the advice to a subsidiary of Engie on its bid for the Newcastle district energy project. Jonathan Cripps and Ben Stansfield are working alongside Carter to guide the North London Waste Authority through the procurement and development of a waste to energy facility in Enfield. On the transactional front, the group advised NextEnergy on the financing of its acquisition of five operational solar farms in the UK and the refinancing of 21 operational solar projects. On the contentious side,Ron Nobbs and senior associate Charlotte Heywood are acting for Veolia in four adjudications against Morris Homes with regards to a failure to pay for work completed by the client. Other noteworthy names include senior associate Will Lewis, and international head of the firm’s energy department Andrew McLean.

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London: Public sector

Healthcare
Healthcare - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s team is active in the private sector and handles project financing, corporate transactions, restructurings, projects and joint ventures. Karima Hudson leads the practice and Rebecca Carter heads the public sector team. Corporate partner Andrew Edge advised Acadia Healthcare on its Β£1.3bn acquisition of behavioural healthcare facilities provider Priory Group and handled the $110m acquisition of Galil Medical for BTG. Hudson assisted the shareholders of Angela Swift Holdings with the Β£39m sale of Silk Healthcare to Methodist Homes, and acted for Circle Health on a joint venture with Vamed for the provision of rehabilitation services in Berkshire. Carter and Jonathan Cripps advised Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust on the design and build contract for the Β£40m construction of healthcare facilities in Stanmore. Finance expert James Linforth is also noted.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

In 2016 Stephenson Harwood’s team was active on a high volume of deals in the retail sector on behalf of investor clients such as Schroders and Tristan Capital. Practice head Jonathon Wilkes acted for LaSalle Investment Management on the Β£240m purchase of the Intu Bromley shopping centre from Aviva Life & Pensions UK and the London Borough of Bromley, and he also assisted Metric Income Plus with the acquisition of Haverhill Retail Park. The hotel-and-leisure sub-sector is another area of strength for the practice and the team acts for a good spread of clients including Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, Ambassador Theatre Group, and De Vere Hotels. Robert Newman acted for AccorHotels Group on the sale of the former Formule 1 Hotel in Birmingham to the owner of the adjoining Ibis Hotel, and Stephen Laud assisted Pho Restaurants with a number of new site acquisitions. Simon Brading and James Trundle are also key contacts.

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Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Construction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s practice demonstrates a good mix of domestic and international mandates across a breadth of sectors including rail, oil, gas, power and real estate. For one observer the team is β€˜top of the list for rail-related projects’, with β€˜very impressive litigator’ Ron Nobbs a standout for his β€˜meticulous preparation and good judgment’. The team attracted a number of new rail instructions in 2016, acting for existing and new clients such as Abellio and Arriva. Paul Thwaite, who co-heads the contentious offering with Nobbs, is also highly regarded and garners praise for being β€˜superb with clients, and an intelligent, hands on partner’. Thwaite’s recent caseload includes acting for Chatsworth House Trust in a claim arising from defective asbestos removal, and assisting Cofely in arbitration regarding a Β£4m fee dispute against its former advisor, Knowles. Graeme Barton leads on transactional matters and has particular expertise in the energy, hotel-and-leisure, and education sectors; his recent caseload includes advising Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group on all aspects of the multimillion-pound restoration and renovation of its flagship Knightsbridge hotel, and acting for Fabricom on the construction of a 30 megawatt photovoltaic farm at Copley in Lincolnshire.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s practice is led by the β€˜dynamic’ Ben Stansfield, who has β€˜excellent client-handling skills and a very no-nonsense approach’. The team’s experience encompasses a range of areas including advising developers of energy infrastructure projects, in particular low carbon power generation, on environmental matters; in one example, Stansfield is acting for North London Waste Authority on a project to build an Energy Recovery Facility in north London. Other work encompasses advising real estate acquirors on contaminated land issues and corporate transactional due diligence; and assisting multinational industrial companies with legal obligations imposed by EU Directives and Regulations. The team also advises on criminal prosecutions for breach of environmental law.

Leading individuals

Ben Stansfield - Stephenson Harwood

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s β€˜very client-friendly team’ is led by the β€˜personable’ Ben Stansfield, who β€˜has the ability to take complicated legal points and make them user friendly’. Stansfield handles a wide variety of development projects, including large urban regeneration projects and the development of significant real estate assets in prime urban areas; recent highlights include advising Telford Shopping Centre on planning issues related to the centre’s redevelopment, and acting for Blakes Hotel on the planning application for a luxury hotel at Corsham Street, Shoreditch. The practice is also proficient in handling large-scale energy projects; Stansfield is advising the North London Waste Authority on applying for and obtaining a DCO for a Β£500m energy recovery facility in north London. Below partner level, names to note include senior associate Anita Kasseean, and associate Patrick Senior, with the latter winning praise for his β€˜dogged determination’. Senior assisted Stansfield with a judicial review on behalf of Langham Estate relating to the grant of planning by Westminster City Council to a tenant of the Estate.

Leading individuals

Ben Stansfield - Stephenson Harwood

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

The β€˜very personable’, β€˜knowledgeable and always available’ team at Stephenson Harwood does β€˜very high-quality work’; its property finance offering is complemented by its β€˜high level of property law knowledge’. James Linforth and Jayesh Patel head the practice; Linforth acted for a consortium including Temasek and HPL on obtaining a Β£433m loan from OCBC Bank and Development Bank of Singapore for the acquisition and development of a mixed-use scheme near Blackfriars Bridge in London, while Patel, together with Jonathan Proctor, advised an HSBC-led syndicate of lenders on a Β£635m loan to Mount Eden Land. Proctor also assisted Wells Fargo with Β£96m-worth of loans to Ares European Real Estate Fund to finance its acquisition of commercial and retail real estate in the UK. Other clients include Bayern, ING Real Estate Finance, Alaska Permanent Fund, RBS and easyHotel. Linforth, Proctor and recently promoted partnerGeorge Vaughton are singled out by clients for their β€˜practical, commercial advice’; Paul Hayward-Surry, hotels and leisure expert Robert Newman, senior associate Oliver Jefferies and associate Sean Crowley are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Jayesh Patel - Stephenson Harwood

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s Andrew Myers β€˜leads from the front’ and utilises his β€˜wealth of hard-acquired encyclopaedic knowledge and tenacious manner to get the best results for clients’. Myers recently led advice to the London Borough of Hackney on an overage dispute with a housing association; represented Clarendon LP GP and Clarendon Nominees in a lease renewal proceeding; obtained possession orders for Wembley Park Business Centre against squatters at a North London industrial estate; and acted for Episo 3 Tyre Property in a rectification claim resulting from a drafting error which led to underpaid rent. The β€˜incredibly experienced and unflappable’ Sophie Schultz, who is β€˜a real talent’, was promoted to the partnership in 2017. Other clients include Mount Eden Land, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust, HSBC Pension Fund, Northern Rail and LaSalle Investment Management.

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is highlighted for its β€˜technical knowledge, extensive experience and practical approach’, and its responsiveness is β€˜impressive to say the least’. The group is highly experienced in GDPR compliance and Privacy Shield matters as well as international data transfers and data breach issues. Jonathan Kirsop heads the group and recently led advice to Barclays Bank on a range of matters including subject access requests, data transactions and GDPR compliance. Sara George is the key name for regulatory and criminal investigations, and regularly advises on data breaches and investigations involving the Data Protection Act.

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Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is β€˜an excellent firm in the field of regulatory investigations’, with β€˜unparalleled experience of dealing with the SFO, FCA and other overseas bodies’. Recent highlights include acting for Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees in relation to claims against failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, among which are allegations of malicious prosecution, conspiracy to injure and unlawful interference. The group also represented various Russian and Israeli-owned banks in 12 cases before the General Court of the EU, challenging decisions before the Council of the EU to impose sanctions and advising on sanctions interpretation and compliance. β€˜Accomplished lawyer’ Tony Woodcock β€˜leads an outstanding team’ and is β€˜a great tactician who has every tool in the box at his disposal’. Sara George is β€˜tough, determined and tenacious’.

Leading individuals

Tony Woodcock - Stephenson Harwood

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has a broad IT practice, but core strengths in areas including outsourcing, software licensing and data protection. Jonathan Kirsop is a key name for advising on IT framework agreements, software development and mobile apps and Dan Holland has significant experience in the outsourcing of IT and BPO services; the duo jointly head the team. Senior associate Naomi Leach advises clients in multifarious sectors on IT-related transactions. The team has particular expertise advising on projects connected to Iran: it recently advised Melli Bank on the drafting of standard form BPO and IT services agreement, and assisted Persia International Bank with the procurement and implementation of core IT banking systems. Other highlights include advising on the procurement of IT software and support services for EasyHotel, and acting for Ryanair on an agreement for the provision of a tailored software system to manage the training records of pilots.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

The β€˜excellent’ team at Stephenson Harwood has β€˜superb legal skills’ and is β€˜easy to deal with’. It has strong expertise in sectors including life sciences, retail and luxury, and oil and gas and acts for clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Cell Medica and MoΓ«t-Hennessy. The team is led by β€˜formidable litigator’ Eifion Morris, who is known for his skillset in cross-border IP litigation. Alexandra Pygall handles commercial matters and litigation, and has β€˜an excellent and commercial legal mind-set’. Peter Taylor handles contentious and non-contentious matters, but has a particular focus on litigation. Rob Jacob, who was recently promoted to the partnership, specialises in the life sciences and oil and gas sectors. Recent work include representing GlaxoSmithKline in a claim against Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis, which spans 30 countries. The firm also advised Lego on brand enforcement on copycat products.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s recent highlights include advising Cell Medica on a research collaboration with UCL for the development of modified T cell receptor products, handling a series of commercial contracts for UCB and new client Astellas Pharma, and advising BTG in a patent licensing dispute with Genzyme relating to antibody technology. IP specialist Alexandra Pygall is singled out for her β€˜excellent sense for litigation strategy’ and β€˜deep commercial knowledge of the pharma sector’. Pygall and Andrew Edge recently advised Shield Therapeutics on its admission to trading on AIM with a market capitalisation of Β£162m. Corporate and commercial partner Anthony Clare, who is particularly experienced in the life sciences and technology space, joined from Ashurst in April 2016.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 6

Stephenson Harwood

Motorsport and football are core areas of expertise for Stephenson Harwood’s multi-disciplinary group, which is headed by litigator and international arbitrator Louis Flannery QC. Restructuring and insolvency expert Julian Cahn defended the administrators of Rangers FC against a Β£27m post-insolvency contractual claim brought by Ticketus. Projects and infrastructure specialist Jonathan Cripps advised the Valleys Development Company on its Β£280m PPP development of a motorsport complex in South Wales. Other clients include Athletes USA and Billericay Town FC. Senior associate Ben Sigler is a commercial litigator with a sports focus.

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood fields a team of β€˜leading commercial aviation litigators’ and is a β€˜go-to firm’ for disputes. Key highlights included advising BCI Aircraft Leasing Ireland C on an $82m dispute arising from the redelivery of two Airbus A340 aircraft by Air Namibia, and defending Jordan Aviation in a $7m claim concerning the redelivery condition of an Airbus A330. The team also acted for TransAsia Airways on its potential inclusion on the EU blacklist of airlines, and is advising Ryanair on a range of contentious matters. Team head Paul Phillips is a β€˜master tactician and strategist’ with β€˜extensive industry knowledge’; he is β€˜very good at assessing the overall merits of a case and getting on top of the details’. Senior associate Chloe Challinor has β€˜exceptional understanding of aviation law and is a tough litigator’.

Leading individuals

Paul Phillips - Stephenson Harwood

Next generation lawyers

Chloe Challinor - Stephenson Harwood

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Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood acts for manufacturers, operating companies, public sector procurers, rolling stock owners, infrastructure managers and financiers, both in the UK and internationally, on a range of rail matters, and is particularly noted for its franchising, rolling stock, projects and financing expertise. Highlights included advising Arriva Rail London on the mobilisation of the new London Overground Concession and advising Abellio on its bid for the new East Anglia Franchise. It is also advising Rail for London (RfL) and London Underground Limited (LUL) on the preparation of a standard form manufacturing and supply agreement, as well as maintenance and spares supply arrangements to assist in multiple tenders, and is acting for TfL on regulatory and access aspects of Crossrail. The β€˜commercial and thorough’ Graeme McLellan, who is an asset finance expert with particular focus on rolling stock, heads the β€˜experienced team’, which includes the β€˜exceptional’ Tammy Samuel, who handles franchising, rolling stock, projects and infrastructure matters; Suzanne Tarplee, who advises on franchising, rolling stock and rail regulation; and the β€˜highly regarded’ Lisa Marks. Also recommended are Graeme Barton, who was promoted to partner in 2016 and handles infrastructure and construction projects, and senior associate Darren Fodey.

Leading individuals

Graeme McLellan - Stephenson Harwood

Tammy Samuel - Stephenson Harwood

Next generation lawyers:

Darren Fodey - Stephenson Harwood

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s team, which is noted for its β€˜excellent service, and breadth and depth in the industry’, is regularly engaged in high-stakes disputes in the London shipping market. It is advising war risk insurers (Navigators Insurance Company, Travelers Syndicate 5000 at Lloyd's and others) in relation to the Court of Appeal case concerning the β€˜B Atlantic’, and acted for Vitol in a $18m cargo claim in Nigeria. The team is also acting for a major German bank on the enforcement of its rights under three shipping loan agreements entered into for the purpose of financing three tankers.Mike Phillips leads the marine and international group, which includes Sean Gibbons, who is β€˜considered and easy to work with’; Paolo Ghirardani, who has β€˜great strategic acumen’; shipping disputes specialist Duncan McDonald; the β€˜approachable’ Nick Barber, who handles admiralty and contractual issues; offshore oil and gas and maritime law expert Tony Concagh; Ingolf Kaiser, who is β€˜outstanding on dry shipping matters’; the β€˜supremely confident and reassuring’Max Lemanski; and Stuart Beadnall, who is experienced in the maritime aspects of the oil and gas industry. Cristan Evans, Haris Zografakis and Alex Davis are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Alex Davis - Stephenson Harwood

Paolo Ghirardani - Stephenson Harwood

Sean Gibbons - Stephenson Harwood

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Legal Developments by:
Stephenson Harwood

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

Legal Developments in the UK

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