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London : Corporate and commercial
Within Commercial contracts, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
The standalone commercial team at Travers Smith LLP, is led by the ‘cool and calm’ Tom Purton. ‘Very client focused’, ‘reliable’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’, it handles the full spectrum of outsourcing and procurement, manufacturing and distribution, and joint venture work. It advised NBNK Investments in relation to key outsourcing and supply arrangements for its £1.5bn bid for 632 Lloyds branches and other UK banking assets. It gained LK Bennett, You View and Immediate Media as new clients, and advised Macquarie Bank on its contractual arrangements with British Gas to purchase and install smart meters nationwide. The ‘methodical and accurate’ Richard Brown ‘provides clear, commercially focused advice, and is always available to help’.
Within Corporate tax, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP is known for its broad corporate tax practice encompassing transactional and advisory work in areas such as private equity, listed companies, investment funds and property transactions. It acted for The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of The Foundry. Team head Kathleen Russ, Richard Stratton and Simon Skinner are recommended, and Emily Clark was made up to partner in 2011.
Within EU and competition, tier 6
Travers Smith LLP has a strong reputation in mergers, but has also seen an increase in behavioural work. It advised Pinewood Shepperton on a takeover offer by Peel Acquisitions and the subsequent OFT clearance process, while other clients include Bridgepoint Capital and Gala Coral. Key partner Margaret Moore is recommended, and Nigel Seay ‘invests significant time understanding the business and the industry to ensure that the advice he is giving is both relevant and commercially focused’.
Within Financial services, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP’s ‘expertise matches that of larger City law firms’. The team recently advised CHAPS on systemic oversight issues. Margaret Chamberlain is recommended; Mark Evans is ‘an outstanding specialist’; and Tim Lewis ‘provides creative solutions’. The team also includes market abuse expert Jane Tuckley; and Toby Robinson, Caroline Edwards, Stephen Paget-Brown and Rob Fell, on the contentious side.
Within Flotations: small and mid-cap, Travers Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
‘Top-quality outfit’ Travers Smith LLP is ‘very strong’, offering ‘an ideal mix of in-depth legal knowledge and the ability to take a commercial view’. Its partners – including Spencer Summerfield, Neal Watson and Andrew Gillen – are ‘as strong as any others’. Summerfield advised London Mining on placing £57.8m of AIM-listed shares; Gillen represented Numis Securities on the transfer of Cape plc to the Official List; and Aaron Stocks advised Panmure Gordon on a similar move by Qatar Investment Fund. Richard Spedding advised Collins Stewart on Playtech Ltd’s £110m institutional placing.
Within M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m Leading individuals: M&A
Within M&A: premium deals, £250m+, tier 4
‘Excellent mid-size player’ Travers Smith LLP has long retained a strong foothold in the private equity arena, and attracts praise for how well its M&A practice ‘integrates with the rest of the firm to provide all the support and help required across the disciplines’. In 2011 it advised on 34 deals with an average deal value of £187m, with much of the work driven by the firm’s particular strength in the financial services sector. Highlights included advising Macquarie Bank on its £274m purchase of OnStream, and CPA Global on its sale to European private equity firm Cinven. Practice head Spencer Summerfield, the ‘unflappable’ Philip Cheveley and Richard Spedding, who ‘does a tremendous job of distilling an issue down to its essential elements’, are all recommended.
Within M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Leading individuals: M&A
Within Partnership Partnership
Within Private equity: transactions, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Although it is more domestic in scope than some of its peers in the ranking, Travers Smith LLP has an excellent reputation, providing ‘commercial, responsive and constructive’ advice to an impressive roster of sponsor clients. It advised Exponent Private Equity on the acquisition of a portfolio of BBC magazine titles, and Carlyle on its acquisition of The Foundry. The firm remains well known for its work for management, and was recently involved in the sales of Wagamama, Eat and RAC. Standout partners include team head Philip Sanderson, who is ‘effectively able to balance good commercial and legal judgement’; the ‘pragmatic, commercial and attentive’ Ian Shawyer; Helen Croke, who ‘displays a tremendous work ethic’; and the ‘enormously experienced’ Chris Hale.
London : Crime, fraud and licensing
London : Dispute resolution
Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP rises a tier in the ranking this year. The dynamic team, led by Stephen Paget-Brown, includes Jonathan Leslie, who is ‘mild-mannered, but determined’; Andrew King and Toby Robinson, who ‘deserve mention for their incisive and determined prosecution of even the most difficult and complex cases’; and contentious regulatory expert Rob Fell, ‘one of the best litigators in the market’. The firm represented LBIE in relation to its settlement with Citigroup in connection with custody assets valued at over $2.5bn; and is acting for Sebastian Holdings in complex claims against Deutsche Bank arising from a series of highly exotic, leveraged derivatives trades.
Within Commercial litigation, Travers Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
The widely respected team at Travers Smith LLP represented Rosneft Oil Company in Commercial Court proceedings to enforce four Russian arbitration awards, amounting to approximately £425m. Stephen Paget-Brown is active in the banking and financial services sectors; and Jonathan Leslie, Andrew King, Rob Fell, Toby Robinson and Caroline Edwards are other key practitioners.
London : Finance
Within Acquisition finance, tier 5
Although it handles matters for a broad range of stakeholders, Travers Smith LLP is best known for its work for private equity sponsors such as 3i, Bridgepoint and Silverfleet Capital Partners. ‘Very good’ team head Jeremy Walsh advised Exponent Private Equity on the financing of its acquisition of a portfolio of assets from BBC Magazines. ‘Excellent across the board’, Andrew Gregson, Matthew Ayre and Ben Davis are recommended.
Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, tier 4
Headed by Jeremy Walsh, Travers Smith LLP’s two-partner team has handled a raft of high-profile retail insolvency mandates, including acting for the Outdoor Group on the pre-packaged administration sale of the Blacks and Millets businesses, and assisting Clinton Cards on the extension of its working capital facilities.
Within Investment funds, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP is highlighted for its ‘wide experience plus accessibility and responsiveness’, providing a ‘very thorough and detailed’ service across private, hedge and listed funds. It advised Aberdeen Asset Managers on merging four Caymans-listed funds of funds, and is acting on Abris CEE Mid-Market Fund II. Practice head Sam Kay is ‘results-driven, highly responsive, pragmatic, and approachable, and knows his subject matter’. Head of listed funds Aaron Stocks has ‘a pragmatic, practical and business-friendly approach as well as a keen eye for detail’. Richard Stratton (tax), Richard Spedding (hedge funds) and Jane Tuckley are also recommended.
London : Human resources
Within Employee share schemes, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP has expertise in private equity matters, and acts for a host of high-profile clients including Barclays Wealth Trustees, Virgin Media, and Macquarie Bank. The team acted for Brit Insurance Holdings on the employee share ownership arrangements involved in its acquisition by Achilles Netherlands Holdings; and also advised Google on its acquisition of Admeld. Mahesh Varia and Victoria Nicholl are recommended.
Within Employment: employers and senior executives, tier 4
Travers Smith LLP is consistently rated as ‘excellent’ by clients, and is a firm that ‘knows its client base well and spends time understanding its needs’. Clients include BNP Paribas Real Estate, Deloitte and the RAC, and the firm also acted for Virgin Active on its acquisition of Esporta’s health and fitness clubs and post-completion integration. Ed Mills is ‘sure-footed when it comes to making tactical decisions’, and Siân Keall is ‘very commercial and responsive’.
Also notable for their work in the area of immigration are: Birnberg Peirce & Partners; Blake Lapthorn; Blakemores; Clifford Chance; Davenport Lyons; Dundas & Wilson LLP; Eversheds LLP; Luqmani Thompson & Partners; Macfarlanes LLP; Paragon Law; Pinsent Masons LLP; QualitySolicitors FJG; RadcliffesLeBrasseur; Russell-Cooke LLP; Simons Muirhead & Burton; Travers Smith LLP; and Watson, Farley & Williams LLP.
Within Pensions, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Paul Stannard heads the pensions department at Travers Smith LLP, and is ‘a first-class adviser – able to see the wood for the trees and think constructively about problems’. Philip Stear is ‘very able, with a real forensic mind’; and Peter Esam is ‘very good from a legal point of view, but also shows compassion. Sometimes it isn’t necessary to be aggressive – and when it isn’t he introduces a level of decency’. Jonathan Leslie is also recommended. The firm acted for the trustee of the Mirror Group Pension Scheme in buying in the top-priority liabilities of the scheme with Aviva; and advised the GE Pension Schemes on benefit changes. The firm also acted in Lehman, Stena, and ITN in the High Court and Court of Appeal. In 2012, Andrew Block left the firm to join Mayer Brown International LLP.
London : Real estate
Within Commercial property, Travers Smith LLP is a second tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP is ‘very good at driving transactions through to completion’, handling real estate fund transactions and big-ticket investment deals. It advised the Peel Group on the £1.6bn sale of Manchester’s Trafford Centre to Capital Shopping Centres. The team includes James Styles, Julian Bass, Anthony Judge, and ‘consummate professional’ Simon Rutman.
Within Construction, tier 5
Travers Smith LLP’s small team has experience in matters including the construction of large hotels in London. Kofi Atta ‘focuses on the key issues’, and provides ‘reliable advice’ to real estate funds.
Within Environment, Travers Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP recently recruited consultant Owen Lomas from Allen & Overy LLP, significantly strengthening the firm’s offering in environmental law. The practice attracted more work relating to product stewardship and EU chemical law in 2011.
Within Planning, tier 6
Travers Smith LLP advises Patron Capital LLP on its portfolio of care homes, including gaining consent for development, changes of use and highways matters. Senior associate Romola Parish is ‘thorough and diligent’.
Within Property finance, Travers Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
Travers Smith LLP advised on domestic and international senior debt and mezzanine financings, and acted for the borrower and lender on three significant transactions involving financing the purchase of sites for hotel developments. Clients include RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Carlyle. Paul Lyons is recommended.
Within Property litigation, tier 5
Travers Smith LLP represented Pinewood and Shepperton plc in a public inquiry regarding a town and village green application. Senior associate Andrew Ross is the key contact.
London : TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
Within Franchising, Travers Smith LLP is a first tier firm,
Appreciated for its ‘consistency and continuity of service’, Travers Smith LLP’s ‘extremely competent, practical and helpful’ franchising team shows ‘real commercial savvy’, and ‘provides guidance on negotiation tactics and pitfalls’. It advised Pinewood Studios on overseas franchising arrangements with studios across the world, and is advising Malmaison and Hotel du Vin on the development of a pan-European franchise model. Other clients include Moto, SSP, LK Bennett, and Yo! Sushi. Department head Tom Purton is ‘an excellent adviser’, ‘extremely competent as well as a pleasure to work with’. Dan Reavill is also recommended.
Within IT and telecoms, tier 5
Travers Smith LLP’s Dan Reavill recently advised Brewin Dolphin on implementing a £16m IT system, and successfully represented Inoapps in a dispute. Other clients include HostelWorld.com, London Mining and Pret a Manger. Alistair Wilson is now a consultant with the firm.
Within Media and entertainment, Travers Smith LLP is a third tier firm,
‘First-class negotiator’ Richard Brown at Travers Smith LLP is ‘a good person to have in your corner’. The ‘practical, commercial’ team advised longstanding client talkSPORT on its licensing arrangements with SiriusXM; assisted Exponent with its £121m acquisition of a portfolio of BBC magazine titles, including Radio Times and Gardens Illustrated; and advised joint venture YouView on matters relating to its launch. Head of commercial Tom Purton led advice to Pinewood Shepperton and TSL Education. The team is also advising the Ambassador Theatre Group on its diversification into cinema.
Within Sport Sport
Further information on Travers Smith LLP
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Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Commercial contracts
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : Flotations: small and mid-cap
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
- Corporate and commercial : Partnership
- Corporate and commercial : Private equity: transactions
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: civil
- Dispute resolution : Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Finance : Acquisition finance
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Investment funds
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Pensions
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Environment
- Real estate : Planning
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Franchising
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media and entertainment
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Sport