The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Withers LLP

Living Wage
16 OLD BAILEY, LONDON, EC4M 7EG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7597 6364
Fax:
Fax 020 7597 6543
DX:
160 LONDON CHANCERY LANE WC2
Email:
Web:
www.withersworldwide.com
Geneva, Greenwich, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Milan and 7 more

London: Corporate and commercial

Financial services
Financial services (contentious) - ranked: tier 3

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has a β€˜strong financial services practice, particularly when it comes to representing individuals facing regulatory action’. Formerly at the FSA for a number years, Harvey Knight β€˜knows the system inside out’ and will β€˜really go the extra mile for his clients’.

Leading individuals

Harvey Knight - Withers LLP

[back to top]

M&A: smaller deals, up to Β£50m
M&A: smaller deals, up to Β£50m - ranked: tier 2

Withers LLP

Sovereign wealth funds, family offices and founder-controlled companies feature prominently on Withers LLP’s client roster. Luxury retail is a core sector focus: Soho House, Max Mara and Renault Sport are representative clients. The team acts for corporates in other sectors too: Ben Simpson, who heads the group jointly with Anthony Indaimo, advised DeAngelo Brothers UK on its purchase of Ainsty Timber Marketing from ATM Capital. Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand and energy expert Oleg Shvander joined in 2016 from Olswang and Clyde & Co LLP, respectively. Tim Taylor and family-owned-business expert Paul McGrath are also recommended.

[back to top]

London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 3

Withers LLP

Withers LLP is β€˜an excellent firm with a real understanding of civil fraud cases’, and the team β€˜does great work for both claimants and defendants, paying real attention to detail in the interim stages and doing what is required to take a case to trial’. The firm’s well-established international practice covers the US, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands, and recent work has included a wide range of high-value international fraud cases. Examples include representing Ivanbridge Company and the Ivan Trust in a fraud matter involving €7.6m in Trust funds, a matter spanning Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, and acting for QPR Holdings in a claim regarding various loan repayments. Stephen Ross heads the practice and has β€˜impeccable judgement, always remaining calm and reacting quickly and flexibly to fluid situations’.

[back to top]

Fraud: white-collar crime
Fraud: white-collar crime - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has advised on a range of investigations brought by the SFO, HRMC, Lloyds of London and the FCA, representing a mix of individuals, corporations and financial institutions in fraud and corruption matters. Recent work include acting for one of eleven defendants in an SFO prosecution regarding alleged EURIBOR rate setting, and representing a bank director under investigation by the FCA.

[back to top]

London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 6

Withers LLP

β€˜Excellent for large-scale claims against banks and financial institutions’, Withers LLP is ideally placed to act for international wealthy individuals and family businesses seeking redress for poor advice. The team also acts in prosecutions brought against individuals, and represents traders in FCA/SFO investigations in relation to LIBOR and FOREX. It advised Italy’s Provincia di Brescia on a claim by Dexia Crediop for declaratory relief in relation to interest rate swap transactions, pursuant to a 1992 ISDA master agreement. Andrew Wass is β€˜calm, unflappable and distinguishes the wood from the trees in massive litigation’; and Christopher Coffin β€˜leaves no stone unturned - he constantly probes arguments from different angles to identify their strengths and weaknesses’.

[back to top]

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 6

Withers LLP

Withers LLP β€˜has great experience of large, challenging disputes’. The practice is experienced in financial services litigation and is able to act against banks; and the firm has a focus on litigation connected to the BVI, Italy, Greece and Cyprus, with Russia being a particular strength. Its high-profile international client base also includes major sporting and luxury brands. The β€˜unflappable’ Peter Wood β€˜has a really good manner with clients’; Roberto Moruzzi β€˜has a good eye for what is really important’; and Tatiana Menshenina and Christopher Coffin β€˜both have excellent judgement and intuition’.

[back to top]

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 6

Withers LLP

Withers LLP’s β€˜client-care is amongst the best around’. The practice regularly acts in sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and mining; it also has a robust investment treaty practice. The co-international arbitration heads are Hussein Haeri, who is β€˜a standout operator’, and special counsel Eleni Polycarpou, who β€˜never leaves any stone unturned’. Tatiana Menshenina β€˜has a near-unrivalled understanding of Russian and CIS-related commercial disputes’; global head of litigation Peter Wood is β€˜very impressive’; and special counsel Georgina Bayley β€˜gives clear-headed advice’.

[back to top]

Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

Withers LLP is β€˜a good firm for PIL work’; it has a particular focus on investor-state arbitration, but the practice also advises on enforcement and sovereign immunity issues, as well as human rights. Other notable areas include advising governments on the enforcement of international trusts and tax treaties; and the team has notable Middle East and energy sector expertise. Hussein Haeri is β€˜very strong’; he led the representation of a UK investor in an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes arbitration against the Czech Republic.

[back to top]

London: Human resources

Employment: employees/unions
Leading individuals

Elaine Aarons - Withers LLP

Meriel Schindler - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 6

Withers LLP

Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

The β€˜superb’ team at Withers LLP regularly acts for FTSE 100 corporates and high net-worth individuals on high-profile disputes, including Employment Tribunal claims and litigation with a cross-border element. It is led by the β€˜calm, effective and clear’ Meriel Schindler, who has been advising the Institute of Contemporary Arts on various employment matters, including negotiations arising from a potential discrimination claim. Elaine Aarons is assisting Informa with a number of multi-jurisdictional matters, including the enforcement of post-termination restrictions. Other recent highlights include advising J. Stern & Co on drafting contracts and staff handbooks. Of counsel Claire Christy, who has significant experience representing senior executives in shareholder disputes and exits, is also recommended. Daniel Isaac is now at Wallace LLP.

Leading individuals

Elaine Aarons - Withers LLP

Meriel Schindler - Withers LLP

[back to top]

London: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

Withers LLP’s team has β€˜an established expertise in this field, acting for individual claimants, and for defendants’, and it brings β€˜strong, stable, competent and calm representation to any claim or defence’. The team is highly regarded for its work in defending barristers, on the instruction of insurer, Bar Mutual, and also acts for claimants in matters against a range of professionals. Department head Christopher Coffin β€˜is a good person to have on high-profile, high-value cases which require a calm head and a willingness to take on the opposition’. Associate Caroline Thompson is β€˜one to watch, providing really skillful and measured input’. Special counsel Eleni Polycarpou is β€˜an excellent lawyer who combines strong forensic analysis with brilliant people skills’.

Leading individuals

Christopher Coffin - Withers LLP

Next generation lawyers:

Caroline Thompson - Withers LLP

[back to top]

London: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall and the β€˜exceptional’ Matthew Woods co-lead a β€˜very strong and thorough’ team at Withers LLP, which is β€˜consistently excellent’, has a number of β€˜standout individuals’, and is one of the β€˜market leaders for landed estates’. Christopher Groves has β€˜a wealth of experience and provides a full and comprehensive service to clients’, and on the real estate side Jeremy Wakeham is β€˜very knowledgeable’. Mainly acting for families (rather than institutions), the β€˜first-class’ team is recommended for its experience in rural property transactions, and has a diverse practice ranging from transactional tax advice such as VAT and stamp duty land tax to contentious matters, where it has considerable strength. It recently represented a purchaser in a significant contractual dispute over the terms of a contract to buy a vast rural estate. The β€˜excellent’ team acts for many major landowning families whose trusts and property interests require specialist knowledge of heritage legislation, and it is also experienced in acting for international families requiring advice on how to purchase rural property in the most tax-efficient manner.

Leading individuals

Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall - Withers LLP

Matthew Woods - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 3

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has β€˜a very strong practice that fits in very well with its overall excellent private client offering. It has a well-organised and helpful team that is completely dedicated to its clients’. Celia Lloyd Davidson is β€˜very alert to the commercial realities of each situation’; the β€˜phenomenal’ Peter Wood is β€˜very good at identifying arcane points of law and identifying the potential traps before the client walks into them’; Robin Paul has β€˜a wealth of knowledge and experience’; Eleni Polycarpou, who heads the art litigation team, is β€˜an excellent litigator to have on your side and is relentless in pursuing her clients’ best interests’; and β€˜up-and-coming’ associate Simon Chadwick has β€˜an unparalleled work ethic and his client manner is perfect’. The firm has considerable international and transatlantic capabilities. In a significant cross-border matter, it is advising Gazelli Art House (a leading Mayfair contemporary art gallery) in a claim against a Taiwanese gallery; and, in another substantial international matter, it is instructed by Naxos Art Inc in a dispute over the ownership of more than 300 paintings.

Next generation lawyers

Simon Chadwick - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has a 17-partner team led by Alison Paines, who is the standing legal adviser to the Association of NHS Charities. Other key figures are Chris Priestley, who has a wealth of experience advising charities and social enterprises on domestic and international projects and also assists businesses and individuals working with charities on their CSR and philanthropic initiatives; the β€˜very talented’ Paul Hewitt, who is β€˜a master tactician committed to his clients’ and leads the firm’s work for charities on legacy income and trustee disputes; and special counsel Alana Petrakse, who β€˜has a brain the size of a planet’. The team includes a number of US attorneys working in London and the US. The firm is advising the Royal British Legion on a charity trust law project in relation to various properties that are held in trusts for its branches and beneficiaries. It also advised SSAFA - The Armed Forces Charity on the terms of a year-long partnership agreement with England Rugby, covering IP licences, data protection and other matters. Other clients include Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, the NSPCC, and the Salvation Army.

Leading individuals

Alison Paines - Withers LLP

Chris Priestley - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Stephen Richards heads the department at Withers LLP, and is β€˜at the top of his game’; β€˜if you want a solicitor who will put you in a strong position to settle your dispute with minimum publicity and get you a great financial deal, he is the person you want’. His team is β€˜extremely helpful and provides workable solutions. It is a force to be reckoned with’. The β€˜very talented’ Paul Hewitt is β€˜a master tactician who is utterly committed to his clients. You would have to go a long way to find anyone as good as he is’; Paola Fudakowska has β€˜a keen intellect and polished communication skills as well as an ability to give client-focused and concise advice in a no-nonsense yet considered way’; and the β€˜brilliant’ Dawn Goodman is β€˜a leading light in this field’. Also recommended is Steven Kempster, who regularly acts in significant UK and international trusts disputes. The firm is also noted as having β€˜a team of associates and assistants who are second to none’; associates Sarah Aughwane and Alice Tomlin β€˜are doing tremendous work. It is not just their clear legal knowledge and attention to detail that set them apart, it is also that they are very easy to work alongside’. The team acted for the adult children of a deceased whose will left most of his estate (sworn for probate at over Β£9m) on discretionary trusts for a class of beneficiaries including his children and sisters; the will was contested and the terms of the compromise have now been approved by the court.

Leading individuals

Dawn Goodman - Withers LLP

Paul Hewitt - Withers LLP

Stephen Richards - Withers LLP

Steven Kempster - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Court of Protection
Court of Protection - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Stephen Richards and Julia Abrey at Withers LLP are β€˜streets ahead of most in terms of the complexity of work they are involved in, frequently with an international dimension’. Abrey heads the elder law team, which has significant experience in dealing with international financial assets in a Court of Protection context. She is β€˜very committed’ and is β€˜a leading light in this area’; she gives β€˜straightforward, robust and caring advice’ and is β€˜plainly very experienced in this area both in terms of the law and the practical problems that can arise for people later on in life’. Richards is known for his contentious work and β€˜fights really hard for his clients. He really cares about them’. Also on the contentious side, Paul Hewitt has β€˜a depth of knowledge and an unerring sense of what is realistic to achieve which set him a cut above the rest’. At associate level, Deborah Nicholls is β€˜calm, efficient and sensible’, and Carly Barrett is also β€˜efficient, with good interpersonal skills’. The group has extensive expertise in drafting and using welfare lasting powers of attorney, and acts for over 100 charities on issues arising out of legacy income and challenges to gifts left to charities. Abrey is also noted for her work on living wills.

Leading individuals

Julia Abrey - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP β€˜always provides a "Rolls-Royce" service with impeccable client care and attention to detail’; β€˜the billionaire and the most high-profile cases regularly end up with the firm’. The β€˜charming and urbane’ Julian Lipson β€˜fights the client’s corner in a very civilised manner’, and Suzanne Todd (who leads the family team in London) is β€˜extremely able and pragmatic’. The β€˜top-rate’ Diana Parker is β€˜an excellent tactician and has a huge breadth of experience – she is always able to achieve the best settlement for her clients’. Suzanne Kingston is β€˜a very effective meditator, and tough as needs be’, and Michael Gouriet has β€˜a phenomenal intellect combined with a charming persona and a remarkable work rate. He is one of the best divorce lawyers in the country with few comparable’. The β€˜fiendishly bright’ Katharine Landells β€˜fights her client’s corner hard but with elegance and style, always looking for a sensible way through things’, and the β€˜extremely conscientious’ Claire Blakemore is β€˜supportive of her clients and has impeccable judgement’. Special counsel Laura Winterbottom β€˜can work on the most complicated cases with justifiable confidence’. The firm has β€˜real strength in depth – every partner without exception is a highly impressive lawyer, and it also has some brilliant juniors coming up through the ranks’.

Leading individuals

Claire Blakemore - Withers LLP

Diana Parker - Withers LLP

Gill Doran - Withers LLP

Julian Lipson - Withers LLP

Michael Gouriet - Withers LLP

Suzanne Kingston - Withers LLP

Suzanne Todd - Withers LLP

Next generation lawyers

Laura Winterbottom - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Family: mediation
Family: mediation - ranked: tier 2

Withers LLP

The β€˜extremely experienced’ Suzanne Kingston at Withers LLP has β€˜a kind and patient manner which puts clients at ease. At the same time she is clear in her dealings with them so that they understand what is happening. She is well prepared, and for financial mediations she is always on top of her numbers’. She is β€˜one of a kind – very firm but very fair, and passionately committed to ADR’. Suzanne Todd is β€˜extremely experienced, and prepared to listen to the other party’s point of view. This means that people can avoid both the stress and the attendant costs of court hearings’. The β€˜very intelligent’ Diana Parker is β€˜highly impressive for financial disputes’. Claire Blakemore has β€˜a very empathetic manner and an ability to connect with clients. This means that she is particularly skilled at finding common ground, even in situations where a couple is quite polarised. The confidence clients have in her gives them the chance of reaching an agreement’. The team as a whole is β€˜hardworking, business-like and thorough’, with β€˜a commitment to this type of work’.

Leading individuals

Suzanne Kingston - Withers LLP

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP’s β€˜hugely experienced team delivers an excellent service. It has extensive knowledge of international tax and estate planning for high-net-worth individuals’. Jeremy Arnold is β€˜a visionary who is one step ahead. He is very good at predicting how things will go. His commerciality and understanding of difficult UK tax issues is immense, and his experience shines through’. Penelope Williams is β€˜very good on UK/US issues. She is professional and reliable, and has the ability to translate complex documents and legalese into digestible concepts and understandable English’. Patricia Milner is β€˜very good at dealing with very large families with international issues’, and Judith Ingham is β€˜superb for the very technical issues’. Christopher Groves is β€˜tough when needed’ and β€˜very good with entrepreneurs’, and Sarah Cormack is β€˜extremely professional with a first-class ability to communicate complex issues in a clear and concise way’. Ceri Vokes has β€˜a robust understanding of international and UK tax issues relating to HNWI and their families. She is very responsive, technically brilliant and gets straight to the point. She is very reliable and clearly satisfies the needs of the most demanding of clients’. Richard Cassell specialises in tax and estate planning for UK-resident US citizens and advice to US charities operating in the UK. Special counsel Claire Harris is β€˜up and coming’. Filippo Noseda is now at Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Arnold - Withers LLP

Patricia Milner - Withers LLP

Richard Cassell - Withers LLP

Next generation lawyers

Claire Harris - Withers LLP

[back to top]

London: Public sector

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

Withers LLP’s team is praised for its β€˜timeliness and sector knowledge’, and handles employment, governance, tax, compliance and related matters for US universities and global educational initiatives. Clients include Brigham Young University, Georgetown University, Princeton University and University of Liverpool. Special counsel Alana Petraske is assisting the University of Illinois with the establishment of a US/UK dual-qualified charitable structure, which includes governance advice, registration of a new charitable body with the Charity Commission, and related tax, regulatory and compliance assistance. The group is advising Global University Systems on international matters including the acquisition of a US college, and launching in India and Malaysia, and is handling a range of work for Syracuse University, including health and safety, risk mitigation and property issues. Richard Cassell is a go-to name for dual-qualified charitable structures. Alison Paines heads the charities group.

[back to top]

Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 5

Withers LLP

Withers LLP’s practice handles projects and transactions with a cross-border element, academy conversions and reorganisations, and also advises on wider employment and charity-related matters. Alana Petraske is leading a team advising an Australian independent school on tax-efficient fundraising in the UK, and Chris Priestley is handling a merger of multiple schools, academies and early years providers into a multi-academy trust. Meriel Schindler advised a UK-based school on the exit of its head teacher, following a decline in the school’s academic performance and safeguarding concerns, which also included assisting with reputational risks and local authority governance issues. Other recent highlights include advising the Girls’ Day School Trust on the appointment of a chief executive officer and handling the sale of a school to an independent provider.

[back to top]

London: Real estate

Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Henry Stuart heads the β€˜outstandingly brilliant’ team at Withers LLP, which also includes key practitioners Emma Copestake, who is β€˜one of the most outstanding lawyers in the team, who clients trust without question’ and β€˜always finds the best solution and goes the extra mile every time to find it’; the β€˜fantastically knowledgeable and patient’ Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall, who focuses on rural properties and landed estates; and Nicholas Vaughan, who primarily acts for overseas clients. The six-partner group, which sits in the firm’s private client and tax department, also includes special counsel Edward Jarron, who is highly regarded for his landed estate work and Julie Teal, who regularly acts for high-net-worth individuals.

[back to top]

London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 3

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has β€˜an excellent claimant practice and is rapidly growing its defendant expertise’, and has β€˜a truly brilliant’ team that stands out for β€˜the exemplary service provided by knowledgeable and pleasant practitioners’. β€˜Fantastic lawyer’ Amber Melville-Brown, who heads the practice, is β€˜head and shoulders above her peers’ and has β€˜a charming and friendly manner and a thorough, responsive and practical approach’. Recent highlights include representing a barrister against the Mail on Sunday, MailOnline and The New Zealand Herald in a matter relating to defamatory allegations concerning suppressed and tampered evidence; and acting for an individual in a misuse of private information, defamation, malicious falsehood and harassment claim. The team also regularly advises charity clients and NGOs, including the British Red Cross, Greenpeace and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

[back to top]


Further information on Withers LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Withers LLP in other jurisdictions.

Legal Developments by:
Withers LLP

  • WORKING TOGETHER UNDER ITALIAN LAW – BUSINESS NETWORK CONTRACTS

    In 2009, Italian Law introduced a new legal instrument, Business Network Contracts (β€˜BNC’), which allow aggregations of commercial entities to work together in an organised and durable manner (without having to establish a new company or a consortium) whilst retaining their own independence and individuality, as well as benefitting from various incentives and tax benefits.
    - Studio Legale Associato con Withers LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to