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Latham & Watkins

99 BISHOPSGATE, LONDON, EC2M 3XF, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7710 1000
Fax:
Fax 020 7374 4460
Email:
Web:
www.lw.com

London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a well-known player in the financial services sector, where it acts for financial institutions and market infrastructure providers in outsourcings, cloud/utility projects, technology transactions and fintech-related consortiums. Its team's commercial contracts and technology expertise in this particular industry is complemented by its knowledge of financial services and data regulatory issues, as well as intellectual property. Outside of financial services, the firm also acts for a significant number of clients in other areas, such as retail, automotive, private equity and payments. Senior associate Christian McDermott worked with the San Francisco office to assist LivaNova Plc with the corporate and commercial aspects of the $190m sale of its Cardiac Rhythm Management business to MicroPort Scientific Corporation.  Aviva, Coca Cola European Partners and Zimmer Biomet are among other clients. Andrew Moyle and Gail Crawford lead the team, which also includes Nicola Higgs and senior associate Fiona Maclean.

Leading individuals

Andrew Moyle - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Christian McDermott - Latham & Watkins

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

the primary focus of Latham & Watkins's tax group is on high value international deals, including M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions. It is particularly strong in cross-border transactions, and 'effectiveness when liaising with local counsel', in addition to 'negotiating appropriately with its counterparts'. The London team is co-led by Karl Mah, noted for his ability to provide 'sound technical advice' that is 'tailored to the commercial dynamics of transactions' and  Sean Finn. In a recent highlight, Finn advised FCM Technologies on the $13bn merger of equals with Technip; a matter that included EU cross-border and Delaware law merger regimes. He also advised Onex Corporation on its £1.35 acquisition of Parkdean resorts. Mah was instructed by Netflix on the tax element of its acquisition of Millarworld.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

The practice at Latham & Watkins is jointly headed by Jonathan Parker and John Colahan . Parker has been advising Electro Rent Corporation in relation to the Phase 2 CMA investigation into its merger with Microlease and Test Equipment Asset Management, while Colahan has been representing Viasat in an appeal against Ofcom’s authorisation of ground-based stations operated by Inmarsat Ventures for the provision of broadband services to aircraft. The team has seen an uptick in instructions to its London office, requiring associates Sophia Lange and Anuj Ghai to relocate to London from the firm's Brussels office. John Kallaugher is also recommended.

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

The six-partner practice at¬†Latham & Watkins¬†has superb pan-European listings capabilities, and counts private equity-backed IPOs as an area of particular expertise; it also has a strong line in foreign private issuances on US exchanges.¬†James Inness¬†and¬†David Boles¬†acted for TI Fluid Systems on its ¬£407m IPO on the LSE, and Inness advised FMC Technologies on its merger with Technip to form TechnipFMC, as well as with the latter's listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Euronext Paris. On the underwriter side, Boles advised Nordic Capital on Munters Group's SEK4.5bn IPO on Nasdaq Stockholm, and assisted J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank with HelloFresh's ‚ā¨318m IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Well known for his European expertise,¬†Olof Clausson¬†advised J.P. Morgan, UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the underwriters on Play Communications' IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.¬†Richard Brown¬†and¬†Claire Keast-Butler¬†are also recommended.

Leading individuals

David Boles - Latham & Watkins

Olof Clausson - Latham & Watkins

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory) - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' financial services regulatory offering in London has rapidly made an impact in the market as a result of the strategic recruitment of many top-notch individuals, including most recently in May 2018 with the arrival of Carl Fernandes from Linklaters LLP. Leveraging the firm's market-leading reputation among investment banks for transactional finance work and also benefiting from strong transatlantic ties with the firm's US financial services regulatory offering, the London team is picking up some high-quality work from an impressive roster of clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Barclays and Credit Suisse. Nicola Higgs has garnered a strong reputation in relation to MiFID ii implementation and as well as acting for numerous major global financial entities, including Jeffries and Rothschild, on implementation projects, she is also providing thought leadership on the implications of the MiFID product governance regime. Higgs is also advising Goldman Sachs on the impact of the EU Benchmark Regulation across its bank, private bank and asset management businesses.  Rob Moulton has 'deep commercial insight' across a range of regulatory issues affecting the wholesale finance markets and is according to one client a 'market leader in advising small to mid-cap brokers on regulatory matters'. David Berman is also recommended across a range of regulatory work affecting banks, brokers and asset management firms, and has developed a particularly strong reputation advising on the Senior Managers Regime. The team was also boosted on the contentious front at the beginning of 2018 by the arrival of financial services litigators Andrea Monks and Jon Holland from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Leading individuals

David Berman - Latham & Watkins

Rob Moulton - Latham & Watkins

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' practice is rated for its strength in depth, which enables it to consistently handle large-scale public and private M&A, frequently for US-headquartered multinationals. Department head¬†Nick Cline¬†is the key relationship partner for a number of the firm‚Äôs global corporate clients including VEON, Aon and Qatar Investment Authority, and notably handled Thomas Cook‚Äôs sale of its Belgian airlines business to Brussels Airlines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa. He also assisted¬†Edward Barnett¬†on the disposal of Method and Ecover global consumer products businesses to SC Johnson on behalf of The Trustees of the Skagen Business Trust. Pharmaceuticals sector expert¬†Robbie McLaren¬†advised Theramex on its acquisition of the women‚Äôs healthcare assets of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries in a deal worth $703m. On the technology side, McLaren also represented Andreessen Horowitz in connection with its minority investment in software developer Improbable World.¬†Richard Butterwick¬†acted for RPC Group in connection with its ‚ā¨262.5m acquisition of ESE World.¬†Simon Tysoe¬†acted for Uniper on its sale of a 25% stake in the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field, located in Western Siberia, to OMV.¬†Huw Thomas ¬†was promoted to partner in January 2018.

Leading individuals

Edward Barnett - Latham & Watkins

Nick Cline - Latham & Watkins

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' transactional practice¬†advises a range of global private equity houses and other clients on all issues arising from¬†transformational UK and multi-jurisdictional large-cap deals, often acting in concert with¬†the firm's market-leading banking and finance, equity capital markets and high-yield debt offerings.¬†Michael Bond¬†recently acted for The Carlyle Group on its ‚ā¨10.1bn acquisition with GIC of AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals Business. Another notable mandate involved¬†David Walker, global co-chair¬†Kem Ihenacho,¬†Richard Butterwick¬†and¬†banking partner¬†Jayanthi Sadanandan¬†advising CVC and Blackstone (as part of a consortium) on the ¬£2.96bn acquisition of Paysafe Group; at the time of the announcement of this deal, it was the largest public-to-private transaction under the UK Takeover Code since 2010. Another key figure is¬†Farah O‚ÄôBrien, who worked alongside Ihenacho and others to assist Leonard Green & Partners with acquiring a controlling interest in Pure Gym. Other clients of the firm include Cinven, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, TA Associates and Bain Capital. Thomas Forschbach¬†has more than 25 years of experience of private equity transactions. Huw Thomas¬†made partner in January 2018.

Leading individuals

David Walker - Latham & Watkins

Kem Ihenacho - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Tom Evans - Latham & Watkins

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins recently hired Jon Holland, 'a highly experienced litigator who has overseen highly complex regulatory investigations' and Andrea Monks, who 'brings great focus and energy to her cases and is always on top of the issues'; the both joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP and have advised retail and investment banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions on high-profile disputes and contentious regulatory matters. Recent matters include defending Barclay Bank, as security agent, on a dispute involving the £525m bond financing of the Four Seasons Healthcare Group (FS), which arises from an alleged common mistake that FS alleges gives rise to a right to rectify the terms of security given by it; the matter is of particular relevance to the legal and business community as it should clarify the laws on rectification of contracts. The practice also acted for an international investment firm (and other entities) in their defence to a clawback claim of over $1bn brought under the 1986 Insolvency Act; the claim related to a financing transaction for Hellas II, one of Greece’s largest telecoms companies, which later went into insolvency. Oliver Browne and Martin Davies head the team; Davies is 'a calm and strong lead partner for high-value, complex claims, and he gives excellent client service and is able to marshal his team, counsel and outside parties with real skill'. Stuart Alford QC focuses on economic crime and regulatory matters; and Philip Clifford QC recently took silk. Jumana Rahman and Dan Smith are key counsels.

Leading individuals

Andrea Monks - Latham & Watkins

Jon Holland - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Dan Smith - Latham & Watkins

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins fields 'lawyers with strong intellect and technical ability, combined with savvy commercial and tactical advice'. The firm grew the 'swiftly expanding practice' when it hired Jon Holland and Andrea Monks , who advise financial institutions on significant disputes and contentious regulatory matters, from Hogan Lovells International LLP; and Ian Felstead, who is known for commercial, media, and regulatory litigation, from CMS. Felstead is 'an excellent litigation lawyer who is capable of handling complex disputes'. In a claim for contractual rectification, the team acted for Barclays Bank, which acted as the security agent in a £525m bond financing of the Four Seasons Healthcare Group (FS); the High Court dispute arose from an alleged common mistake that FS alleges gives rise to a right to rectify the terms of security given by it. Oliver Browne is chair of the litigation and trial department in London; other highly rated advisers include Philip Clifford QC, Stuart Alford QC, Sophie Lamb QC, Charles Claypoole and Martin Davies. Jumana Rahman, and Dan Smith are notable counsels; and John Kallaugher retired from the partnership in 2017.

Leading individuals

Oliver Browne - Latham & Watkins

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' 'top-flight team' acts in high-profile matters in several different industry sectors, including oil and gas, energy and construction disputes, and investment treaty arbitration. Highlights included defending Ukraine in an arbitration brought by three Cypriot companies under the Energy Charter Treaty. Co-chair of the firm's London litigation and trial practice Oliver Browne is 'a great team leader, has very sound judgment and is someone clients can rely on in good times and bad'; recently appointed silk Sophie Lamb QC  is global co-chair of the international arbitration practice; Philip Clifford QC also took silk in 2018; Charles Claypoole regularly takes a leading role in investment treaty disputes; and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert divides his time between London and Hamburg. Charles Courtenay is a key counsel, while Samuel Pape is a well-regarded associate.

Leading individuals

Philip Clifford QC - Latham & Watkins

Sophie Lamb - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Samuel Pape - Latham & Watkins

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' public international law (PIL) expertise covers Law of the Sea issues; investor and state-side investment treaty matters; trade sanctions; international trade law, including WTO issues; state  and sovereign immunity law; and business and human rights. In the largest-ever treaty claim brought against Ukraine, the team defended Ukraine in an arbitration brought by three Cypriot companies under the Energy Charter Treaty; the arbitration raised a number of complex issues related to state responsibility in relation to the actions of domestic courts and the right to regulate under PIL. It also represented the Republic of Croatia in an ICSID arbitration brought under its BIT with Belgium, which involved a real estate acquisition and proposed development of a luxury tourist resort. Sophie Lamb QC is global co-chair of the firm’s international arbitration group; and Charles Claypoole, London and Hamburg-based Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert and Marc Hansen are also key practitioners.

Leading individuals

Charles Claypoole - Latham & Watkins

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

'One of the most active firms in the market',¬†Latham & Watkins' 12-partner team has the 'strength-in-depth to enable it to be efficient and supportive even on projects with very tight timelines'. Benefiting from both bank and high yield bond expertise, the team has the flexibility and all-encompassing expertise to provide a 'very high-quality service' to investment banks and private equity sponsors on deals across the capital structure and is 'very savvy about the latest legal terms and market precedents'. 'Combining outstanding technical skills with best in class negotiating capabilities',¬†Stephen Kensell¬†is regularly engaged in very challenging deals for banks; he acted alongside the 'outstanding'¬†Mohamed Nurmohamed¬†for¬†the lenders on the ‚ā¨2.1bn term loan and revolving credit facility¬†(alongside a bond offering) to facilitate Bain Capital and Cinven Partners'¬†‚ā¨5.4bn acquisition of Germany-based healthcare company STADA Arzneimittel.¬†Jayanthi Sadanandan¬†is particularly active on the sponsor side and recently advised¬†Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners on the¬†first lien/second lien loans to enable the acquisition of Paysafe Group plc. The 'excellent'¬†Sam Hamilton¬†also has a private equity sponsor focus to his practice and as well his regular work for core client Nordic Capital, he also recently advised Leonard Green & Partners on the financing for its ¬£2.4bn acquisition of CPA Global. As well as his regular flow of work for core client Deutsche Bank, the 'very impressive'¬†Christopher Kandel¬†also recently advised Hellman & Friedman on the first lien/second lien loan financing for its tender offer for publicly-listed company Netts, to take the Danish payments company private.¬†Ross Anderson,¬†Ross Pooley¬†and¬†Dominic Newcomb¬†are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Christopher Kandel - Latham & Watkins

Dominic Newcomb - Latham & Watkins

Sam Hamilton - Latham & Watkins

Stephen Kensell - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Mohamed Nurmohamed - Latham & Watkins

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

While it is undoubtedly best-known for its market-leading leveraged finance offering,¬†Latham & Watkins' strong ties with major investment banks including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank also ensures that it regularly picks up more general syndicated loans work and investment grade M&A financings. 'Very savvy about the latest terms and market precedents', the team's ability to advise across the spectrum of European and US debt products including New York-law governed high yield bonds ensures that it can handle some of the biggest-ticket and most sophisticated cross-border mandates in the market. 'Combining outstanding technical skills with best in class negotiation capabilities',¬†the 'outstanding'¬†Stephen Kensell¬†is 'able to support his client in the most efficient manner on challenging deals', including his recent role for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and HSBC¬†(as global co-ordinators) on the¬† ‚ā¨10bn¬†syndicated loan provided to Wind Tre, the largest mobile operator in Italy. Other highlights included Ross Anderson¬†and Mohamed Nurmohamed's work for the lenders (including HSBC and UBS) on the lending facilities provided to Switzerland-based chemical manufacturing company, Archroma, for the purposes of refinancing its existing debt.'¬†Extremely impressive' UK and US-qualified partner¬†Christopher Kandel¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Stephen Kensell - Latham & Watkins

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Able to leverage a strong international offering, particularly in the US, as well as a market-leading UK and US finance brand that includes strength on the high yield and bank side, the 'exceptionally responsive' four-partner team at¬†Latham & Watkins¬†has a 'deep knowledge and understanding of complex restructuring matters' on behalf of an eclectic roster of stakeholders including banks (Goldman Sachs), funds (KKR) and corporates (Bibby Offshore). Working closely with the firm's Hamburg office, the 'excellent'¬†Simon Baskerville¬†is acting for the ad-hoc committee of holders of ‚ā¨800m of notes issued by ailing retailer Steinhoff. 'Clearly a leader in the market',¬†James Chesterman¬†'s 'well-seasoned¬†experience in a broad range of debt financings and restructurings' enables him to provide 'very innovative solutions' in complex scenarios. Chesterman recently acted for Barclays Bank in its role as security agent in connection with financing provided to the Four Seasons Healthcare Group in relation to its restructuring. 'A calm and clear head under pressure',¬†Helena Potts¬†provides 'practical advice' to a range of creditors and debtors and is regularly involved in complex cross-border mandates including her representation of the super senior liquidity providers on the Edcon restructuring. Team head¬†John Houghton¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

John Houghton - Latham & Watkins

Next generation lawyers

Helena Potts - Latham & Watkins

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins¬†has a team of 'practical, commercial and hands-on problem solvers' and its US capital markets practice is one of the largest in London. Its emerging markets workload includes representation of¬†both issuers and investment banks on landmark and multi-jurisdictional debt offerings in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The practice advised initial purchasers including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs on the $500m debut issuance by Turkish petrochemicals company Petkim¬†Petrokimya. Sovereign deals are another key feature of the practice and a highlight was the firm's work for joint bookrunners on a $3bn notes offering by the government of Ukraine, which was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. Both deals were led by key partners¬†¬†Lene Malthasen¬†and¬†David Stewart, who¬†is primarily based in Moscow but spends a significant amount of time in the London office. Malthasen is developing¬†the firm's English and European debt practice, as well as playing a leading role in emerging markets work, and she has extensive experience in liability management transactions. The London practice is also active in the US private placements market, and Malthasen represented TWINSET on a ‚ā¨170m notes issue. Counsel¬†James Baxter¬†also played a key role in that transaction.

Leading individuals

David Stewart - Latham & Watkins

Lene Malthasen - Latham & Watkins

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins's¬†clients turn to it for advice on bespoke and innovative transactions. It acts for global financial institutions including¬†Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank. It also has a long list of¬†private equity clients for which it handles structured finance work, including Blackstone Group. Recent highlights include acting for¬†Barclays Bank in its capacity as hedge co-ordinator for Wind Tre SpA, in which the practice assisted with the development and management of a hedging strategy in connection with the unwinding of $5.25bn of existing swaps with eleven hedge banks, and the proposed entry into $3bn in cross-currency swaps and ‚ā¨2bn in¬†interest rate swaps with a large hedging syndicate of¬†banks. Newly promoted partner¬†Shatha Ali¬†and associate Polly Ehrman, who¬†handles OTC derivatives and structured finance transactions, notably in equity and credit instruments, were the key lawyers on that deal.¬†Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya¬†and¬†Dean Naumowicz¬†are the key names in the practice. Warna-Kula-Suriya acted for Magnetar Financial in its investment in a synthetic securitisation and Naumowicz handled significant private equity margin loan transactions in 2017. The firm's investment in the team sees it climb the ranking this year.¬†Simeon Rudin,¬†formerly of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, joined as counsel. He has considerable experience in strategic equity and structured credit transactions.¬†Jeremy Green¬†and Thomas Cochran¬†both joined as counsel from¬†Goldman Sachs to add expertise in¬†complex OTC derivative and structured capital markets transactions.

Leading individuals

Dean Naumowicz - Latham & Watkins

Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya - Latham & Watkins

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins  is a leading player in debt capital markets transactions involving emerging markets. The practice has extensive experience in Russia and the CEE region, as well as other key jurisdictions. Debt specialist Lene Malthasen is a key partner in the group, and frequently advises on Rule 144a issuances and liability management transactions in Russia, the CIS, the Middle East, Southern Europe and Asia. Last year, she advised the joint bookrunners on a $3bn notes offering and tender offer by the Government of Ukraine. The firm has worked closely with JPMorgan on all bond issuances out of Ukraine since 2016. David Stewart, who works between the London and Moscow offices, focuses on the broader CEMEA region, bringing his knowledge of US securities law to bear on debut bond offerings and liability management transactions. Malthasen and Stewart worked together to assist JPMorgan and Citigroup with an offering of loan participation notes to fund a loan to the State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine. Also recommended are counsels Ed Kempson and James Baxter for transactions in Russia and the CIS region; and project development and finance partner John Balsdon, who frequently handles oil and gas projects in emerging markets.

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High yield
High yield - ranked: tier 1

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins¬†attracts praise for its 'depth of experience and strong ability to run complex transactions;¬†if Latham is on a deal - regardless of which side it is acting on - it will get done well'. Across its European offices, the firm handled 90 high yield deals in 2017, with a combined value of more than $70bn. Its eight-partner team is the largest in London and is involved in some of the most complex deals in the market. A good example is Wind Tre's cross-border refinancing, which included the issuance of ‚ā¨7.3bn in senior secured notes. Practice head¬†Brett Cassidy, who¬†is 'probably the most technically capable lawyer in the high yield market', acted for¬†banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC on that deal.¬†Jennifer Engelhardt¬†is 'one of the most well-respected lawyers in high yield - she has encyclopaedic market knowledge, coupled with a collaborative approach that makes you want her on your side'. She acted for Aker BP in a $400m notes offering. The firm's deep bench of talent includes managing partner¬†Richard Trobman;¬†¬†Jocelyn Seitzman, who handled an ¬£855m deal for¬†Madison Dearborn Partners;¬†Francesco Lione, whose clients include Goldman Sachs;¬†Tracy Edmonson, who handled a deal for Wagamama Finance; and¬†Scott Colwell, who represented lead managers in a ‚ā¨5.3bn financing for Bain Capital and Cinven.¬†Jeffrey Lawlis,¬†who works in London and Milan, 'sees some of the most complicated deals in the market and is always able to find a solution'.

Leading individuals

Brett Cassidy - Latham & Watkins

Jennifer Engelhardt - Latham & Watkins

Jocelyn Seitzman - Latham & Watkins

Richard Trobman - Latham & Watkins

Scott Colwell - Latham & Watkins

Tracy Edmonson - Latham & Watkins

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins¬†advises many leading investment banks on securitisation and counts¬†Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP¬†Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan among its clients. It also acts for a range of leading private equity groups, alternative investment funds and structured credit funds¬†such as Ares Management and Fortress Investment Group. Its focus is on bespoke and complex transactions, in which practice head¬†Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya¬†is 'very experienced, very commercial and knows what the key legal considerations are'. He acted for Magnetar Financial on its¬†investment in a synthetic CMBS securitisation of commercial real estate loan where Santander UK plc bought protection on a ¬£916m portfolio with the aim of obtaining capital relief.¬†Mark Nicolaides¬†acted for¬†Black Diamond Capital Management in a ‚ā¨427m CLO, and advised Blackstone Group on¬†the scheduled maturity of its investment in the shipping loans capital relief trade entered into with Citi. Also recommended are¬†Shatha Ali, whose¬†clients¬†include Barclays Bank;¬†Dean Naumowicz, who handled deals for BNP Paribas and JPMorgan; and¬†counsel¬†Jeremy Green.¬†Simeon Rudin, who joined from¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, added experience in advising investment banks, insurance companies and market counterparties on structured finance and fintech matters.

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 5

Latham & Watkins

At Latham & Watkins, practice head Stephen Brown handles national and international executive incentive matters including the share aspects of corporate transactions, the impact of management changes on schemes and stock-based incentives work. Other key individuals include counsel Sarah Gadd and associate Kendall Burnett.

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 5

Latham & Watkins

Stephen Brown leads the department at Latham & Watkins which covers the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious employment issues including disputes, corporate support work, tax matters and compliance mandates. Brown's expertise encompasses the employment aspects of M&A work, TUPE issues, executive recruitment and severance matters and cross-border mandates. Catherine Drinnan is also a name to note for transfer of undertaking work and cross-border acquisitions.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 5

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins'¬†Nick Benson¬†handles sponsor-side work such as fund formations, co-investment schemes and restructuring, as well as some work for investors. Highlights on the fund formation front included advising Capvis on its fifth buyout fund, which raised ‚ā¨1.25bn and Tata Capital with forming its second, $400m, India-focused capital growth fund. Restructuring work included advising Quadriga on the auction of the contents of its third fund to a new investor, but with the assets continuing to be managed by Quadriga. Assicurazioni Generali is a key client for LP work, as is Novo Holdings. The firm also acts for Citic Capital and AlbaCore Capital as well as a number of sovereign wealth funds.¬†Tom Alabaster¬†joined¬†Linklaters LLP.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

At Latham & Watkins 'the quality is without question' and the mining team is 'outstanding in all cases'. Recent capital markets work includes Francesco Lione 's advice to the initial purchasers - including Goldman Sachs and Santander - on their acquisition on the senior note issuance by Ferroglobe and Globe Specialty Metals, and practice head Craig Nethercott led on a number of financing matters such as Taweelah's financing as borrower of its aluminium extrusion plant in Dubai. Simon Tysoe is 'easy to work with and highly knowledgeable' and another noteworthy contact alongside John Balsdon . Other key clients include Rio Tinto, Ma'aden, ArcelorMittal and Royal Hill.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is noted for the 'remarkable strength of its team' jointly spearheaded by Simon Tysoe and Craig Nethercott , especially in the private equity and cross-border M&A space. Buckeye appointed the group to handle its acquisition of a 50% stake in independent global marine terminal business VTTI, and Tysoe oversaw Uniper's sale of 25% stake in the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field to OMV. On the financing side, Matthew Brown represented the borrowers and sponsors in the financing of the Penco Lirquén offshore LNG terminal and a connected gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Chile, and Clement Fondufe teamed up with Tysoe to advise Assala Energy - a Carlyle portfolio company - on the reserve-based lending facility for the acquisition of oil production assets in Gabon. Sophie Lamb successfully obtained the dismissal of two group claims against client Shell brought by thousands of residents in the Niger Delta on the grounds of alleged environmental pollution and human rights violations. Other key clients include ExxonMobil, Chevron and Anadarko.

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London: Real estate

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Paul Davies heads the team at Latham & Watkins, which is advising longstanding client SABIC UK on Brexit and the implications to EU ETS, including soil and groundwater issues, land remediation relief, flaring issues, breaches of permit, health and safety issues and decommissioning and demolition of redundant plants. The team is also representing Bain Capital on its acquisition of a majority stake in Fedrigoni, a manufacturer and seller of paper, film, self-adhesive, and related products; Leonard Green & Partners on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Pure Gym, a UK-based owner and operator of gyms; and Henkel on its acquisition of Darex Packaging Technologies, a supplier of can coatings and closure sealants for the food and beverage packaging industry. New clients include Royal Dutch Shell and Technip FMC plc.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 4

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' practice is praised by clients for its¬†¬†'expertise, knowledge of the lending market and ability to always suggest creative solutions'. The team specialises in commercial mortgage transactions (particularly mezzanine loans), large loan portfolio acquisitions, and loan-on-loan transactions; cross-border matters make up a significant proportion of its workload. Practice co-head¬†Jeremy Trinder¬†recently acted for a European bank on the¬† ‚ā¨1.3bn refinancing of Lone Star's acquisition of the Propinvest Dutch real estate loan book from the Dutch state, as well as advising a bank lender client on¬†a ‚ā¨142m Spanish NPL financing. The team has also handled acquisition financing involving a variety of assets; practice co-head¬†Quentin Gwyer¬†advised¬† Ashkenazy Acquisition on its acquisition of the Grosvenor House Hotel - the most significant single-asset hotel transaction in UK history - and assisted Energy Capital Partners with the ¬£230m acquisition of three power stations.¬† Bank of Ireland, BAWAG, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Partners Group and Platinum are also clients.

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Highlighted as being 'very good for cutting edge privacy advice', Latham & Watkins' information law, data privacy, and cybersecurity team combine 'the highest quality knowledge and industry experience' to 'deliver business appropriate advice'. The 'smart and ultra-commercial' Gail Crawford (who 'both leads in her space and provides practical application') heads up the team, which benefits from the addition of Ian Felstead who joined from CMS and specialises in contentious matters. The department's impressive client roster includes EY, Facebook and Addison Lee.

Leading individuals

Gail Crawford - Latham & Watkins

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

Latham & Watkins

Regularly acting for start-ups, disruptive fintech companies, financial institutions and investors, Latham & Watkins handles strategically significant, cutting-edge matters and has impressive cross-border capabilities. Blockchain and ICOs are particular strengths; it also advises financial institutions on IT outsourcing. The team recently advised a foreign central bank on restructuring its financial regulatory regime, and has experience advising nation states on digital currency issuances. The group also handles high-value corporate work in the fintech space: David Walker advised Blackstone Group on all aspects of its joint offer with CVC Capital Partners to purchase Paysafe Group for £2.96bn. Other clients include Credit Suisse, TA Associaties and the UAE Banks Federation; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Rothschild and Liquidnet are recent clients. IT and outsourcing expert Andrew Moyle heads the department; senior associates Stuart Davis, Fiona Maclean and Christian McDermott are frequently active in fintech. Financial services regulatory expert Carl Fernandes arrived from Linklaters LLP in September 2018.

Next generation lawyers

Stuart Davis - Latham & Watkins

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins' technology transactions group attracts praise for its 'commerciality and industry knowledge'. The team has particular experience in the financial services sector, and advised Blackstone Group International Partners on its £2.96bn acquisition of Paysafe Group, as well as acting for TA Associates on its investment in Interswitch, a fintech business in Nigeria. Andrew Moyle heads up the department which also includes 'incredibly knowledgeable and diligent' technology transactions chair Gail Crawford is recommended for data protection advice.  Coca Cola European Partners, VEON and Tencent are all clients of the practice.

Leading individuals

Andrew Moyle - Latham & Watkins

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 3

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is regularly engaged in high-profile corporate and finance transactions in the media and entertainment sector. Highlights include advising Netflix on the acquisition of Millarworld, the comic book company founded by Mark Millar; advising FI Holdings on its IPO on AIM; advising Blumhouse Productions on the sale of 45% stake in Blumhouse Productions to ITV Global Entertainment; and advising STX Entertainment, a film production studio, on a multiparty financing of feature film, Adrift. Lisbeth Savill heads the London-based media and entertainment team, which works closely with its Los Angeles-based media and entertainment transactional team. Counsel Clare Hardwick, who joined in 2017 from an in-house role, handles single picture financing, television co-development, digital media content and joint venture work; and associate Rachael Astin, who joined from CMS in 2017, handles commercial and regulatory work, and has a focus on digital media and content distribution. On the contentious side, Martin Davies  joined from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Ian Felstead joined from CMS. Sarah Caughey has left the firm.

Leading individuals

Lisbeth Savill (Media Finance) - Latham & Watkins

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