The Legal 500

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Work 020 7583 4055
Fax 020 7353 7377
West Palm Beach, Washington DC, Tokyo, Stamford, Providence, Newport Beach and 10 more



London: Corporate and commercial

Within EU and competition, tier 7

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP maintains an active behavioural practice under the leadership of Becket McGrath. Merger clearance also features among the team’s recent instructions; it provided advice to a client in the telecoms sector on the merger control process and transactional structuring for a disposal.

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Within Financial services, tier 5

, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s team includes former FSA alumnus Chris Finney, who provides ‘thorough and responsive' advice across a range of UK and EU regulatory requirements. David Ramm left for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

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Within M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m, tier 5

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s London practice advises a client base of corporates, banks, funds and insurance companies, and handled 20 M&A transactions in 2013. The group includes the ‘experienced' and ‘extremely hardworking' Shawn Atkinson. David Ramm left for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

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Within Private equity: transactions, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is a third tier firm,

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is an active mid-market and growth capital investment player, with a client base that includes new clients 3TS Capital. Former practice head David Ramm moved to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, following the departure in June 2014 of Shawn Atkinson to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP. US-qualified partner Ted Cominos remains; his practice focuses on emerging markets.

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Within Venture capital, tier 5

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP provides ‘business-orientated advice' to clients including RHO Ventures and Innova Capital. The team regularly works in conjunction with its US colleagues, and alongside the Boston office, recently advised Accel Partners on its €5m Series A investment into Friendly Fashion. The firm is also heavily engaged in early-stage business initiatives including Angels Den, which aims to connect entrepreneurs with angel investors. Shawn Atkinson and David Ramm left to join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius respectively.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Within Fraud: civil, tier 5

Laurence Harris , James Maton and Antonio Suarez-Martinez are key figures in the team at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, which primarily advises governments and anti-corruption agencies on recovering the proceeds of corrupt activities from dishonest public officials.

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London: Dispute resolution

Within Commercial litigation, tier 5

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP ‘matches the Magic Circle firms for ability'. The team acted for the family Trusts of Bernie Ecclestone through the company, Bambino Holdings, in the high-profile defence of proceedings brought by the German media company Constantin Medien, relating to the sale of shares in Formula 1 racing in 2005 by Bayerische Landesbank. Kevin Perry has ‘great ability'; Laurence Harris is a ‘fearsome negotiator'; and James Maton is ‘intelligent and analytical'.

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Within Defamation and privacy Defamation and privacy

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Within International arbitration International arbitration

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Within Public international law, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is a second tier firm,

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is known for its representation of government clients, and work on sovereign immunity; international boundaries; anti-corruption issues and state asset recovery; disputes between states; and issues arising under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Tim Daniel is recommended; James Maton is ‘deeply committed to cases'; and Laurence Harris is ‘tough and resolute'. Antonio Suarez-Martinez and consultant Alan Perry are recommended.

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London: Finance

Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, tier 5

Headed by Jon Yorke, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s four-partner team has strong capability in relation to insurance and financial services insolvencies.

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London: Insurance

Within Insurance and reinsurance litigation, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is a third tier firm,

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s practice is co-chaired by David Kendall and Mark Everiss. Richard Hopley, who is praised for his ‘thoroughness and attention to detail', is currently acting for Centre Re, Munich Re and European International Reinsurance in a cross-border dispute concerning T&N’s £500m asbestos liabilities. James Crabtree joined from Taylor Wessing LLP, while Mark Meyer left for Cozen O’Connor.

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Within Insurance: corporate and regulatory, tier 4

Known for its M&A, restructuring and regulatory expertise, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP has ‘tremendous business and marketplace savvy', and maintains ‘excellent relationships with regulatory agencies'. Chris Finney has ‘a solid regulatory background', and advised Ruxley Ventures in relation to two PRA consultation papers. He also acted for Fairfax Financial Holdings on its acquisition of American Safety Re. James Crabtree joined from Taylor Wessing LLP. Damian Connolly has left the practice.

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Within Insurance: insolvency and restructuring, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is a second tier firm,

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s team is led by Jonathan Yorke, who has extensive experience in solvent schemes of arrangement for insurers. Richard Hopley continues to act for the reinsurers of T&N’s £500m asbestos liability policy. Other clients include PwC, Swiss Re and Enstar. Damian Connolly has left the practice.

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Within Product liability: defendant, tier 4

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP advises on product liability claims as part of its insurance and reinsurance disputes practice, acting for XL, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Tata Steel. Richard Hopley is praised for his ‘thoroughness and attention to detail'.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Within Brand management, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is a second tier firm,

At Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, John Olsen has ‘exceptional knowledge of UK trade mark law, and outstanding litigation ability', and Nicholas Bolter ‘takes time to really know every aspect of a client’s business'. The team advised on a number of high-profile enforcement matters, and Olsen also acted for Warner Brothers Entertainment in relation to its European trade mark and design portfolio management. Other clients of the practice include Nikon and MasterCard.

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Within Intellectual property, tier 4

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is particularly recognised for its expertise in cross-border trade mark matters, including prosecution, enforcement and acquisitions of rights. Lead lawyers include John Olsen and Nicholas Bolter, who is ‘very smart whilst understanding the need to give commercial, pragmatic advice'. Akash Sachdeva is recommended for litigation. Clients include MasterCard, ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, and Warner Brothers Entertainment.

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Within Media and entertainment, tier 4

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s Becket McGrath advised Guardian Media Group on its disposal of GMG Radio. Practice head John Olsen advises Warner Bros on all trade mark and design matters, and Akash Sachdeva assists Nikon on advertising matters.

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Within Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is a third tier firm,

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is ‘an excellent firm with an international perspective', with Niall McAlister and Ben Goodger recommended for licensing and transactional work. Highlights included advising shareholders on the sale of Antitope to PolyTherics, and acting for investor Epidarex Capital on the spin-out of Edinburgh Molecular Imaging from the University of Edinburgh. The firm has also recently advised Oxford Immunotec and ASLAN Pharmaceuticals.

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Legal Developments by:
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

    - Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces