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TOP tier recommendations
London: Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax
London: Corporate and commercial > Financial services
London: Corporate and commercial > Flotations: small and mid-cap
London: Corporate and commercial > M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
London: Corporate and commercial > Partnership
London: Corporate and commercial > VAT and indirect tax
London: Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime
London: Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation
London: Dispute resolution > International arbitration
London: Dispute resolution > Mediators
London: Dispute resolution > Professional discipline
London: Dispute resolution > Tax litigation
London: Finance > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
London: Finance > Commodities: derivatives
London: Finance > Commodities: physicals
London: Finance > Corporate restructuring and insolvency
London: Finance > Investment funds
London: Finance > Trade finance
London: Human resources > Employment: employees/unions
London: Human resources > Employment: employers and senior executives
London: Human resources > Pensions
London: Insurance > Professional negligence
London: Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas
London: Projects, energy and natural resources > PFI and PPP
London: Real estate > Construction
London: Real estate > Environment
London: Real estate > Planning
London: Real estate > Property finance
London: Real estate > Property litigation
London: Real estate > Social housing: finance
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
London: Corporate and commercial
Within Commercial contracts, tier 5
Stephenson Harwood has a depth of experience in consumer brands, and expertise in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries, with high-profile clients including leading Indian healthcare company Piramal. John Buyers heads the team and recently advised on a major outsourcing for a UK insurer. Dan Holland has experience in supply chain outsourcing and manufacturing agreements, and recently assisted Guernsey Post. The team recently won appointment to Barclays Bank’s commercial panel.
Within Corporate tax, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood provides ‘quick and correct’ advice, and has a niche in shipping matters along with strength in M&A, funds and real estate. It acted for Duff & Phelps on its acquisition of MCR. Other clients include Bibby Line, Lone Star Funds, Helios, and British Land. Hugo Jenney is ‘very sharp’.
Within Financial services, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood has ‘outstanding knowledge of the financial services arena’. Its recent work includes advising on a client money project. The team includes Charlotte Hill, who increasingly advises firms in FSA supervision matters; Tony Woodcock, who is known for his work for individuals, and has ‘achieved a lot of recognition’; and Sara George,who is ‘hardworking, knowledgeable and well connected’.
Within Flotations: small and mid-cap, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood has ‘a fabulous presence in Asia’, bringing in work for issuers including Radiant Growth Investments and China New Energy, the latter capitalised at £20m on its AIM IPO. The firm also acts for NOMADs and brokers such as Arden Partners, Religare Capital Markets and Westhouse Securities. Peter Bradley and Tony Edwards are recommended.
Within M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood continued to strengthen its corporate offering in 2011 with the recruitment of Andrew McLean from Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Jeremy Sheldon from Fulbright & Jaworski International LLP. They join a team which draws praise for its ‘substantive legal knowledge and ability to demonstrate creativity and broad, practical thinking’. It is a regular fixture on $500m-plus deals, with 2011 seeing it advise Primal Healthcare on the English law aspects of its $640m acquisition of a strategic equity stake in Indian mobile phone operator Vodafone Essar. Practice head Duncan Stiles is noted for his ‘particular experience working with US-based clients to navigate the UK legal system’.
Within VAT and indirect tax, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood has great expertise in the tonnage tax sector, where it advises on leasing arrangements for numerous tonnage tax companies. It regularly provides advice to clients such as Pacific Carriers, CMA and Toisa. Aircraft, general transportation and real estate matters are other specialisms. Hugo Jenney is the name to note.
London: Crime, fraud and licensing
Within Fraud: civil, Stephenson Harwood is a first tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood has considerable asset tracing experience, and is advising the Arab Republic of Egypt on the tracing and recovery of assets allegedly misappropriated by former President Hosni Mubarak and his family and associates. It is also representing the defendant in relation to substantial fraud claims over credits given by Dubai Islamic Bank to a consortium of businessmen. John Fordham is ‘wise’, and Alan Bercow is particularly experienced in cases involving Russia and the CIS.
Within Fraud: corporate crime, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood has the ‘very talented’ Sara George and the ‘very experienced’ Tony Woodcock. The team represented a bank alleged to have laundered the proceeds of corruption through a client settlement account. Associate David Hamilton is also singled out for praise.
Within Fraud: white-collar crime, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
At Stephenson Harwood, practice head Tony Woodcock is ‘calm under pressure’, and Sara George is ‘very thorough’. The team successfully acted for companies associated with Vincent Tchenguiz in judicial review proceedings concerning the legality of warrants obtained by the SFO. Associate Harvey Dyson is ‘technically excellent’.
London: Dispute resolution
Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood represented British Arab Commercial Bank in its claim against AHAB to recover sums loaned to one of its subsidiaries, ATS; and continues to assist FIM Advisers in proceedings brought against it arising out of the operation of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. John Fordham, Richard Gwynne, Edward Davis and Sue Millar are all recommended. Sunil Gadhia left the firm to join Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
Within Commercial litigation, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood ‘manages complex litigation effectively’. The practice represented Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees in claims against Kaupthing arising from the granting of security to Kaupthing for certain liabilities, marking a landmark case involving novel points of international law. John Fordham is commercial litigation head; and Richard Gwynne, Louis Flannery, and Sue Millar are also highly rated. Sunil Gadhia joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
Within International arbitration, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood’s Louis Flannery is a ‘fascinating and unpredictable advocate’; and Kamal Shah is a ‘charming practitioner’. Also of note are commercial litigation head John Fordham; Peter Bennett; the ‘first-rate’ Richard Gwynne; and Sean Gibbons, who handles global maritime arbitrations. The practice recently acted in a case involving the enforcement in England of an award made in Tanzania.
Within Professional discipline, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood continues to advise accountants and solicitors, led by Tony Woodcock.
Within Asset finance and leasing, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Headed by Mark Russell, Stephenson Harwood’s 12-partner team handles work across the spectrum of asset classes for banks, lessors and owners. It remains best known for its ship finance work and has a strong record advising banks such as DVB Bank, HSH Nordbank and Nordea Bank Finland. While new-money financings have been impacted by the economic climate, the group has been increasingly active in restructurings, including advising a co-ordinating committee for three syndicates of banks in relation to the $1bn of debt and bonds of a major shipping company. ‘Able to drill down on the issues’, Richard Parsons has ‘very good overall understanding of all aspects of aircraft leasing financing and debt structures’. Also recommended are Graeme McLellan, for rail; and Jonathan Ward and Nigel Porter, for shipping.
Within Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans, tier 5
Within Commodities: physicals, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood’s Haris Zografakis oversees an ‘extremely quick, very knowledgeable’ team with ‘meticulous attention to detail’. Peter Bennett is ‘an excellent lawyer in the field of international contract law’, and litigator Paolo Ghirardani is also highly recommended. The firm’s clients include Trafigura, Traxys and Indian mining giant Vedanta. It also acted for Noble in default claims against Agrovenus in FOSFA arbitrations, and for Glencore in GAFTA arbitrations against Saipol.
Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, tier 4
Headed by the ‘vastly experienced and accomplished’ Stuart Frith, Stephenson Harwood provides ‘excellent and cost-effective’ advice to banks, IPs, corporates and asset based lenders. Leveraging the firm’s strength in shipping, a multi-disciplinary team is representing HSH Nordbank regarding claims against Omega Navigation Enterprises relating to a default under a syndicated loan facility secured against tanker vessels owned by Omega subsidiaries.
Within Investment funds, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood is best known for mid-market and larger hedge and listed funds but also maintains credible practices in retail and private funds. It advised Henderson International Income Trust plc and MAM Funds on LSE main market listings, and assisted Qatar Investment Fund with its migration from AIM to the LSE main market. Practice head William Saunders, Andrew Sutch and Elizabeth Field are recommended. James Tinworth joined from Simmons & Simmons LLP.
Within Trade finance, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
David Lacey at Stephenson Harwood has ‘excellent technical knowledge, great experience and very strong drafting skills’, and ‘combines intellectual rigour with practical experience’. The practice brings together finance, litigation and trade expertise and is very strong in receivables financing, where the ‘quality and timeliness of advice is exemplary’. Lacey advised Banco Santander on a $5m letter of credit for a transaction in Brazil, and a $10m invoice discounting structure for Nokia.
London: Human resources
Within Employee share schemes, tier 5
Barbara Allen is recommended at Stephenson Harwood, having joined from Ashurst.
Within Employment: employers and senior executives, tier 5
Stephenson Harwood is ‘excellent’, in particular department head Kate Brearley, who is an authority on restrictive covenants and team moves. The four dedicated employment partners are ‘all very persistent’. The firm advised new client MAM Funds plc on the appointment and subsequent reorganisation of a new management team.
Within Pensions, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood is ‘unbeatable for PPF-specific pensions work’, and rises a tier in the non-contentious ranking this year. Philip Goodchild is ‘realistic, practical and very reliable’. ‘Standout lawyer’ Fraser Sparks, who joined the firm from Squire Sanders LLP, is ‘always ahead of deadlines and a problem solver’. Mark Catchpole is ‘excellent – pragmatic and down to earth’; and litigator Sue Millar is also recommended. The firm played a key role in the Uniq pension scheme restructuring and TUI Travel matters. It also advised the beneficiaries of the Hewlett-Packard Pensions Scheme in a construction/rectification action in the High Court.
Within Insurance and reinsurance litigation, tier 6
With particular strength in the marine sector, Stephenson Harwood has specialisms in hull, trade, commodity and energy insurance. Practice head Alex Davis is ‘robust and solid’, and newly promoted partner Simon Moore is ‘absolutely first class and a brilliant strategist’. Clients include RSA.
London: Private client
London: Projects, energy and natural resources
Heavily involved in domestic public/private partnerships, Michael Grimes’ team at Eversheds LLP is active in a variety of projects including PFI mandates in social housing and waste. Jonathan Cripps and Rebecca Carter left for Stephenson Harwood in August 2011.
Within Oil and gas, tier 5
Stephenson Harwood has ‘the skills to handle complex energy-related disputes without difficulty’. The team has been particularly active in Nigeria, including advising two national companies on a major LNG project and acquisition of divestments. Kamal Shah ‘can put together the right team to handle complex energy litigation/arbitration’. Jeremy Sheldon joined from Fulbright & Jaworski International LLP in September 2011.
Within PFI and PPP, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood significantly bolstered its offering with the hire of Jonathan Cripps, former head of projects at Eversheds LLP, and Rebecca Carter from the same firm. The duo advised North London Waste Authority on its £3bn waste services procurement. Associates Ian Pumfrey and Jennifer Westall are also recommended.
London: Public sector
Within Education: institutions, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood’s ‘service-oriented’ group is ‘knowledgeable, diligent and hardworking’, particularly for construction projects. Marcel Haniff now leads the team, following the retirement of Colin MacKenzie-Grieve. Jonathan Cripps and Rebecca Carter joined from Eversheds LLP.
London: Real estate
Within Commercial property, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood ‘punches above its weight’. Work highlights included advising Transport for London on the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road station. Department head Jonathon Wilkes is ‘very commercially minded, and has a measured approach to negotiations’. The team made several hires, notably James Trundle from Nabarro LLP and Andrew Hill and Paul Hayward-Surry from SNR Denton. Former Wragge & Co LLP associate Simon Brading is ‘a standout’.
Within Construction, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood provides ‘calm’, ‘considered’ and ‘coherent’ guidance on PFI projects. Team head Steven Wait is acting for a Russian company on the development of a 4,000-bed facility in Sochi, ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Paul Thwaite ‘understands the nuances of a dispute and the dynamics between the players’.
Within Environment, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood’s ‘highly recommended’ team provides advice on issues including waste management, emissions trading, due diligence, and renewables. It is well known for its expertise in the area of contaminated land matters, currently acting for six local authorities in the area. ‘Supreme expert’ Andrew Wiseman has ‘unparalleled knowledge’.
Within Planning, tier 4
The ‘excellent’ Stephenson Harwood is noted for its ‘competitive pricing’. It won its first instructions from Capital Shopping Centres, advising on the renegotiation of a planning agreement in Manchester. The team also helped University of Greenwich on the legal audit of its planning application for a new £76m building. Barry Jeeps is valued for his ‘attention to detail and perseverance’.
Within Property finance, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood’s ‘high-quality, partner-led service’ expanded with the arrival from SNR Denton of the ‘very commercial’ James Linforth in October 2011, followed by Andrew Hill and Paul Hayward-Surry. The team advised Eurohypo AG on the £150m facility for the purchase of St Katharine’s Dock. The highly rated Jayesh Patel leads a popular team that also includes Neil Murray, who ‘demonstrates an incisive mind and great ability to manage all aspects of a deal’, and Richard Light, who has ‘a very amenable personality’.
Within Property litigation, tier 4
SNR Denton’s ‘dynamic’ practice couples ‘creativity’ with ‘a professional approach’. It represents administrators and retailers in insolvency disputes and portfolio management matters. Team head Julian Cridge is noted for his ‘strong intellectual skills’ and ‘strategic thinking’. Andrew Myers joined Stephenson Harwood.
Within Social housing: finance, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood is advising Lloyds Bank on Devon & Cornwall Housing Association’s reorganisation. ‘Leading innovator’ Natalie Elphicke and associate Kate Higgins are recommended. Rebecca Carter and London projects head Jonathan Cripps joined the firm from Eversheds LLP.
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
Within Intellectual property, tier 5
Eifion Morris now heads Stephenson Harwood’s practice, following Lucy Harrold’s departure from legal practice, and Alexandra Pygall has joined from Covington & Burling LLP. The firm handles transactional and contentious matters, and recently advised Datacard Corporation in High Court infringement proceedings.
Within IT and telecoms, tier 5
Stephenson Harwood’s John Buyers has ‘deep industry knowledge’, and significant experience in IT outsourcing and other contract negotiations. Clients include KPMG, Capita and The Cloud Networks.
Within Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, tier 4
Stephenson Harwood’s Andrew Edge provides ‘a very, very commercial outlook’ on corporate finance matters, and recently advised Piramal Healthcare on acquiring a molecular imaging R&D portfolio from Bayer. IP partner Alexandra Pygall joined from Covington & Burling LLP.
Within Aviation, Stephenson Harwood is a third tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood is ‘a serious firm that provides professional services with diligence and attention’. It advised Sky Lounge Services, a Lebanese aircraft operator of a Hawker 900 private jet, regarding a crash at Sulaymaniyah International Airport in Iraq; and also advised Air Asia Berhad in proceedings brought by Babcock & Brown regarding the delayed redelivery of a Boeing 737-300 at the end of a five-year lease. Team head Paul Phillips has a ‘hands-on nature’ and is ‘responsive, knowledgeable, precise and diligent’. Senior associate Russell Binch is ‘very approachable’.
Within Rail, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
The team at Stephenson Harwood is advising a manufacturing consortium bidding to provide the rolling stock on a £2bn Crossrail project. Graeme McLellan heads the team, which includes Jonathan Cripps, who recently joined from Eversheds LLP, and the ‘first-rate’ Mary Bonar, who is now a consultant.
Within Shipping, Stephenson Harwood is a second tier firm,
Stephenson Harwood has a ‘diligent and highly professional team’ that is ‘strong on detail and has a finely tuned understanding of commercial considerations’. It advised Groupama in a $45m claim for constructive total loss arising out of main engine damage. The ‘approachable and personable’ team includes ‘very experienced’ group head Paolo Ghirardani; Stuart Beadnall, who is ‘dedicated and professional’; Duncan McDonald, who is ‘a real star’; ‘top talent’ Tony Concagh, who is ‘tough and tenacious’; the ‘highly recommended’ Alex Davis; and the ‘canny, quick and capable’ Ingolf Kaiser. Simon Moore was recently promoted to the partnership.
Further information on Stephenson Harwood
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Offices in Paris
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Offices in Hong Kong
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Commercial contracts
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : Flotations: small and mid-cap
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
- Corporate and commercial : Partnership
- Corporate and commercial : VAT and indirect tax
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: civil
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: corporate crime
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: white-collar crime
- Dispute resolution : Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Dispute resolution : Mediators
- Dispute resolution : Professional discipline
- Dispute resolution : Tax litigation
- Finance : Asset finance and leasing
- Finance : Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Finance : Commodities: derivatives
- Finance : Commodities: physicals
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Investment funds
- Finance : Trade finance
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Employment: employees/unions
- Human resources : Pensions
- Insurance : Insurance and reinsurance litigation
- Insurance : Professional negligence
- Private client : Contentious trusts and probate
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Oil and gas
- Projects, energy and natural resources : PFI and PPP
- Public sector : Education: institutions
- Public sector : Healthcare
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Environment
- Real estate : Planning
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- Real estate : Social housing: finance
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Intellectual property
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- Transport : Aviation
- Transport : Rail
- Transport : Shipping
Offices in Singapore