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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 's team head Harvey Knight spent many years at the FSA before moving into private practice, thereby affording him 'good insight into the regulatory mindset'. 'Bullish, enthusiastic and not afraid to take on difficult points for his client', Knight is 'an excellent man to have on your side', particularly if you are a senior executive facing regulatory scrutiny.

Leading individuals

Harvey Knight - Withers LLP

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

Withers LLP

The luxury brands sector is a key strength for the team at Withers LLP; clients include Soho House, Max Mara and Renault Sport. Financial services, real estate, technology and professional services are other areas of focus. The team includes special counsel Ben Simpson, Anthony Indaimo, who splits his time between the firm’s London, Milan and Singapore offices and focuses on cross-border transactions, Paul McGrath, an expert in family-owned businesses, Tim Taylor and Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

The ‘very approachable, professional, practical and knowledgeable’ Withers LLP advises on international fraud cases often involving individuals or families. The firm is adept at handling multi-jurisdictional matters through its international network of offices in London, Milan, BVI, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. The firm has recently acted in multi-million pound fraud cases in financial services, private investment, energy and the art world. The team is ‘very strong and experienced in this area’ and head of Department Stephen Ross has ‘client handling skills that are second to none’. Lesley Timms is also recommended.

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

Withers LLP

Withers LLP advises on a range of white-collar crime issues including bribery, corruption, fraud, insider trading, market manipulation and forgery. It often represents clients at interviews in relation to investigations by the FCA, PRA, SFO, NCA and HMRC. Harvey Knight heads the team.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

Withers LLP

Relatively conflict-free firm Withers LLP is 'well known for large-scale claims against banks and financial institutions', with financial mis-selling disputes of specific interest to the firm’s wider high-net-worth private client base. Recent matters for the 'powerful team' include defending the Provincia di Brescia (an Italian local authority) against proceedings, which involve a claim by Dexia Crediop for declaratory relief in relation to interest rate swap transactions. Team head Andrew Wass is 'calm, unflappable and able to distinguish the wood from the trees in massive litigation'; Peter Wood is 'a true leader and an excellent lawyer and deal-maker'; Christopher Coffin advises on derivatives disputes, loan recoveries, asset tracing and fraud and has a particular specialism in advising clients from Russia, Ukraine and the CIS; Harvey Knight is well known for his contentious financial service expertise. Eleni Polycarpou is also widely respected.

Leading individuals

Andrew Wass - Withers LLP

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 6

Withers LLP

 'Going above and beyond', Withers LLP's 'has a superb team'. It is well known for advising on matters involving the BVI, Russia and the CIS, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus; stands out for art, sport and fashion sector cases; and has a strong insolvency practice. The team represented a Russian businessman in his claim for the return of a debt, allegedly owed under a partnership agreement and supplementary agreements. Peter Wood is 'excellent at understanding instructions', and Roberto Moruzzi is Europe litigation and arbitration team head. The other names to note are Tatiana Menshenina, Christopher Coffin,  Stephen Ross and Andrew Wass; and special counsel Georgina Bailey is 'patient, highly organised and diligent'.

Leading individuals

Peter Wood - Withers LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 6

Withers LLP

Withers LLP 'has demonstrated a mastery of the law and practice in this field'. The international arbitration group is jointly led by Hussein Haeri and Eleni Polycarpou. The investor-state arbitration practice  acts in Middle East and Africa matters, particularly in the infrastructure and energy sectors; the firm also has a robust commercial arbitration practice involving parties from CIS countries, as well as related jurisdictions such as Cyprus and the BVI. The 'practical and solutions-driven' Haeri is 'outstanding; he has both a strong understanding of the law and an excellent client-handling manner'. Tatiana Menshenina is also a key contact.

Next generation lawyers

Hussein Haeri - Withers LLP

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

Withers LLP is 'very strong in this field with a real diversity of work across all types of public international  clients'. The practice is particularly well-known for its investor-state arbitration practice as well as state-state disputes; notable geographical strengths include the Middle East and Africa and the team regularly works on infrastructure and energy-related matters. It is also noted for human rights and trade law issues. Highlights included representing A11Y, which specialises in assistive technology solutions for blind people, in an ICSID-administered investor-state arbitration against the Czech Republic under the UK-Czech Republic bilateral investment treaty. Public international law head Hussein Haeri 'combines huge intellectual powers with great client handling and gives straight-to-the-point advice'.

Next generation lawyers

Hussein Haeri - Withers LLP

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London: Human resources

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

Withers LLP

Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP is 'superb in every respect' and 'easily one of the best for high-net-worth individuals and senior executives' particularly in contentious matters. In a recent highlight, newly promoted partner Claire Christy advised the CEO of Clear Channel International on his employment package; other mandates include handling whistleblowing claims, discrimination claims and severance issues. On the employer side, group head Meriel Schindler, who is 'a fighter for all of her clients', recently advised the Girls' Day School Trust on employment issues pertaining to senior individuals, Christy handled the employment aspects of Neon Management Services' relaunch including TUPE elements and disciplinary issues, and Schindler assisted The Royal Academy of Arts with various employee relations matters. Clients also single out Elaine Aarons, who is 'exceptionally talented and knowledgeable' and 'incredibly solution oriented'.

Leading individuals

Elaine Aarons - Withers LLP

Meriel Schindler - Withers LLP

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Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 5

Withers LLP

Withers LLP delivers a ‘personalised service’ and regularly advises corporate clients on their international strategies, such as sponsorship licence applications, maintenance and renewals, right to work and ongoing compliance, visa applications, and project management issues. The practice also advises on a range of personal immigration for their senior executives.  It also acts for high-net-worth individuals, and high-profile figures in media and entertainment. The team is headed by the ‘impressive’ Tracy Evlogidis, who recently joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP in 2017, heads the team. Also recommended are counsel Philip Barth, and associates Zoe Jacob and Gulcin Kashano.

Leading individuals

Tracy Evlogidis - Withers LLP

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London: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

The ‘exceptional’ team at Withers LLP regularly defends claims against barristers and also represents claimants in disputes with a range of professionals such as solicitors, valuers, accountants, tax advisers, engineers and investment advisers. It represented claimants Hugo Page and Nigel Meares and the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund in their application for a further extension of a general civil restraint order. Christopher Coffin has ‘excellent client-facing skills, is extremely bright and able, and is commercially savvy’; recently promoted partner Eleni Polycarpou is ‘very intelligent and switched on’. Associates Caroline Thompson, Sinead Harris and Stephanie Balsys, who is ‘very efficient, hardworking and has good client relationship skills’, are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Christopher Coffin - Withers LLP

Next generation lawyers

Caroline Thompson - Withers LLP

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London: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP fields a ‘highly responsive team that is professional and gives advice in a way that is easy to understand’. Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall  and newly promoted partner Edward Jarron attracts praise for its ‘formidable range of expertise and experience in all areas of rural estate law’. The ‘sensible and capable’ Matthew Woods  is also recommended. The team advises 130 landed estates across England and Wales and is recommended for its ability to advise on all aspects of rural property transactions including transactional advice such as VAT and stamp duty land tax. The group also receives a steady flow of instructions from overseas clients who are entering the rural UK property market for the first time. Newly promoted partner Claire Harris is adept at advising owners of UK landed estates and rural property on tax and succession issues which impact on families. Harris also advises trustees where the principal asset is land. Christopher Groves  acts for the Spencer-Churchill family and Blenheim Palace Estates. Groves also advises farmers and landowners on the structuring of their businesses to mitigate inheritance tax and on the sale of land for development purposes.

Leading individuals

Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall - Withers LLP

Matthew Woods - Withers LLP

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

Withers LLP

Celia Lloyd Davidson is the UK head of art law at Withers LLP  and is praised for her ‘excellent technical advice and strategic guidance on key matters’. Lloyd Davidson advises on all aspects of commercial art law and is regularly instructed by leading museums, galleries, artists and intermediaries. Newly promoted partner Eleni Polycarpou  leads the UK art litigation team and is ‘very knowledgeable and is exceptional with clients’. Clients benefit from its network of international offices through which the team can service its globally mobile client base. It is also well-regarded for its work on tax and estate planning issues particularly for the owners of major art collections. Other key areas of expertise include advising on the full range of contentious matters in the art sector from restitution claims, to disputes about title and contested provenance and contractual issues. Major clients include the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Naxos Art Inc. The team is also part of initiatives in Switzerland and in London through which the art world is kept informed about using arbitration as a preferred form of dispute resolution.

Next generation lawyers

Simon Chadwick - Withers LLP

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

Withers LLP

At Withers LLP  the ‘overall level of service is outstanding, with prompt responses forthcoming coupled with insightful advice and robust knowledge’. Alison Paines  ensures that the ‘quality of the advice is always first-class; few others have such in-depth knowledge of NHS charities as she does’. Paines’ clients include an eclectic mix of service providers, grant-makers, educational bodies, aid agencies and research institutes as well as individual and corporate philanthropists. She has particular expertise in strategic and governance advice. Chris Priestley  provides ‘superb advice, always encompassing the ‘bigger picture’ as well as incorporating the finer details’. Priestley has a wealth of experience of advising charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit bodies on all aspects of their operations and regulation.

Leading individuals

Alison Paines - Withers LLP

Chris Priestley - Withers LLP

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

Withers LLP

Withers LLP's team ‘knows its clients’ concerns inside and out and then provides them with the most appropriate advice in a timely fashion’. Head of department Stephen Richards  is ‘clever and personable and has a superb way with clients; he manages to exude calmness even in the most hard-fought litigation’. Paul Hewitt ‘gets to the nub of a matter and is brilliant at seeing a way through it and having a clear plan of attack’. Dawn Goodman  is a ‘tenacious and able litigator with clear ideas and rapid judgement’. Steven Kempster  is well regarded and associate Sarah Aughwane receives a lot of accolades –‘she is smart and has been involved in a number of complex trust disputes and shows an impressive grasp of complex legal and factual issues’. The ‘hardworking’ Alice Tomlin  is ‘brilliantly organised’.

Leading individuals

Dawn Goodman - Withers LLP

Paul Hewitt - Withers LLP

Stephen Richards - Withers LLP

Steven Kempster - Withers LLP

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Court of protection
Court of protection - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP  is regularly involved in high-value financial cases. The ‘very pragmatic and sensitive’ Julia Abrey  co-heads the elder law team with Stephen Richards. Paul Hewitt  is a ‘master tactician and has an almost supernatural sense of how to get the best result from any situation’. At associate level Alice Tomlin is a ‘superstar in the waiting’ and Deborah Nicholls is ‘quick and clever’. As well as representing families and appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people, the team regularly acts for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. It also advises on disabled trusts and other advance decisions to refuse medical treatment also known as ‘living wills’.

Leading individuals

Julia Abrey - Withers LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP  is ‘absolutely first-class with star individuals at every level from senior partners through to associates. It is a firm that knows exactly what it is doing and always delivers’. The ‘excellent and hardworking’ Suzanne Todd heads the practice and spans complex international financial remedy work through to private international child and family matters. The ‘strategic and pragmatic’ Julian Lipson is also recommended, as is Diana Parker, who is ‘a fighter with clairvoyant abilities’. Michael Gouriet  provides ‘wise and considered advice with a perfect bedside manner’. Claire Blakemore  ‘combines professionalism with being very commercial, responsive and also entirely empathetic in difficult times of divorce’. Suzanne Kingston is ‘highly skilled’. Special Counsel Laura Winterbottom  and associate Adele Pledger  are also singled out. The firm fields a large team of family and divorce lawyers that is well –equipped to handle the most complex international cases.

Leading individuals

Claire Blakemore - Withers LLP

Diana Parker - 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

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Family: mediation
Family: mediation - ranked: tier 2

Withers LLP

Withers LLP  is a ‘'go to’ firm for mediation where the resources and disputes are complex’. Suzanne Todd  ‘combines super empathy with a determination to ensure that any discussions are realistic and all options are explored’. Suzanne Kingston  has ‘an excellent reputation in this area which is well deserved. She understands how to manage the often challenging family dynamic and doesn’t baulk at or shy away from the thorny issues which are thrown up. Intransigent situations are her forte’.Diana Parker can ‘see the wood from the trees at the outset’. Claire Blakemore  is ‘down to earth and sensible. Clients stand a very good chance of sorting things out with Claire and are also able to feel that they had an opportunity to put their views across’. The mediators are ‘very able as one would expect as they are very experienced lawyers and they understand what their mediation clients need from them’.

Leading individuals

Suzanne Kingston - Withers LLP

Suzanne Todd - Withers LLP

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

Withers LLP

Withers LLP is ‘without doubt one of the top law firms in the UK and globally for personal tax, trusts and probate’. Patricia Milner is ‘highly impressive and pragmatic’ and the ‘very practical’ Tim George ‘provides clear but comprehensive responses’. The ‘extremely commercial’ Philip Munro has a ‘very sharp mind’ and provides ‘concise, pragmatic and executable advice; he is very good at articulating options clearly to clients, even where the underlying legislation is complex and involved’. Charlie Tee is ‘very experienced’. Richard Cassell is recommended along with Jeremy Arnold who is renowned for his expertise in wealth structuring, tax, trusts and estate matters for high-net-worth individuals, family offices and entrepreneurs in the UK and globally. The large team advises on all areas of private client work from international trusts to US tax issues outside the US. Claire Harris, Jaime McLemore and Stephen Nerland were promoted to partner.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Arnold - Withers LLP

Patricia Milner - Withers LLP

Philip Munro - Withers LLP

Richard Cassell - Withers LLP

Next generation lawyers

Claire Harris - Withers LLP

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London: Public sector

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 4

Withers LLP

As part of the charities and philanthropy team, education specialists at Withers LLP offer a full service covering areas such as employment, immigration, health and safety, IP, data protection, international tax and real estate. Alison Paines, Chris Priestley and Richard Cassell are the leading partners in a team whose work includes advising an impressive roster of American colleges. It is advising the University of Illinois on setting up a dual-qualified charitable structure in the UK, and is also assisting Global University Systems, an international network of higher education institutions, with setting up in Asian countries and acquiring a college in the US.

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Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 5

Withers LLP

Alison Paines, who has long-standing expertise in charities law, jointly heads the team at Withers LLP with Chris Priestley, who focuses on domestic and  international commercial projects such as joint ventures and other collaborations. Special counsel Alana Petraske advises educational institutions, charities and their donors on a range of regulatory and finance issues. The team advises on conversions to academies and other school restructurings together with governance and operational issues. It advised an Australian co-ed school on all aspects of the establishment of a charitable organisation in order to raise funds from UK- based alumnae. In other work, it advised a faith school on the exit of its head teacher following a decline in the school's academic performance and safeguarding concerns.

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London: Real estate

Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 1

Withers LLP

Withers LLP is ‘excellent for all aspects’ and has a ‘second to none knowledge of conveyancing’. The team ‘ticks all of the boxes’ with ‘unrivaled response times’ and the willingness ‘to go the extra mile’. It is well-regarded for its service of international clients as the firm’s ‘global reach’ provides ‘both language and cultural understanding’. Practice head Henry Stuart and partner Nicholas Vaughan are praised for their ‘combined knowledge and deep patience’. Stuart focuses on real estate transactions both in the UK and internationally, offering tax and structuring advice. Emma Copestake has particular expertise in leasehold enfranchisement, complex funding arrangements and ancillary tax matters. She is praised alongside Hannah Robinson as possessing ‘extensive legal knowledge’. Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall is recommended and specialises on rural properties and landed estates. The practice sits within the firm’s wider real estate team and offers construction and modification advice. Edward Jarron has been promoted to partner.

Leading individuals

Emma Copestake - Withers LLP

Henry Stuart - Withers LLP

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 3

Withers LLP

Withers LLP ‘provides excellent service and great value for money’ to charities, politicians, sports personalities, celebrities and businesses. Highlights included assisting Sasha Wass QC with a successful IPSO complaint against the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline, performing pre-publication work on behalf of a well-known author and advising high-net-worth individuals on blackmail and defamation issues. Amber Melville-Brown  and Athalie Matthews  are commended for their ‘excellent client care and practical instincts’. The ‘experienced and practical’ Caroline Thompson  and ‘proactive and professional’ Andrew Fremlin-Key  are ones to watch.

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Further information on Withers LLP

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

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Italy

Offices in Milan and Padua

London

Offices in London

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

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 (‘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

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