The Legal 500

White & Case LLP


Top-tier recommendations


  • London: Transport > Rail

London: Corporate and commercial

Within Corporate tax Corporate tax

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Within Equity capital markets: UK capability, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP acted for RusPetro plc on its $250m IPO. The team includes a number of well-regarded lawyers including Allan Taylor, who ‘stands out for everything related to capital markets’, Greg Stonefield and Philip Broke.

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Within Equity capital markets: US capability, tier 4

White & Case LLP fields a ‘very dedicated team’. Joshua Kiernan acted for Israel-headquartered company Caesarstone Sdot-Yam on its $75m NASDAQ IPO, and Michael Immordino advised the underwriters of the €1.1bn rights issue by Italian financial services firm Unipol.

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Within EU and competition, tier 7

White & Case LLP has ‘well-trained, experienced staff with good professional networks in Europe’: John Reynolds heads the group.

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Within Financial services, tier 5

Headed by Stuart Willey, White & Case LLP provides a global regulatory perspective to its wholesale banking client base, handling standalone mandates and transactional support. Of counsel Carmen Reynolds is recommended.

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Within M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+, tier 5

In addition to its international strengths, White & Case LLP is increasingly a ‘preferred pick for UK M&A’. The London team draws on ‘decades of transactional experience’, and is regularly instructed on high-value deals in the financial services sector, with 2012 no different; highlights included advising Dexia on its €2.8bn sale of Denizbank (Turkey’s sixth-largest private bank) to Russia’s Sberbank. Philip Broke and Gavin Weir are ‘extremely professional’, and ‘contribute significantly to the projects they work on’. ‘Brilliant M&A lawyer’ David Crook and practice head Ashley Ballard are also recommended.

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Within Private equity: transactions, tier 5

White & Case LLP’s ‘high-quality’ private equity team handles a variety of transactions, including cross-border mandates, and is ‘well versed in the secondaries market’ in particular. Andrew Weiler advised Clyde Blowers Capital on its acquisition of wind turbine gear manufacturer Moventas Wind Oy and industrial gear manufacturer Moventas Santasalo Oy. Corporate practice head Ashely Ballard is also recommended.

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London: Dispute resolution

Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

Noted for its representation of investment banks, White & Case LLP’s department has ‘exceptional advocacy skills, and the advice is spot-on’. The team acted for Deutsche Bank (London Branch) in a dispute concerning the reversal of the mandatory pre-payment waterfall in a senior facilities and inter-creditor agreement. Litigation head John Reynolds and John Higham QC are recommended, Jason Yardley is ‘singled out’, and Charlie Lightfoot’s ‘mastery of contract law and control of his team is greatly appreciated’. Alistair Graham joined Mayer Brown International LLP.

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Within Commercial litigation, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s team recently represented Cukurova, the Turkish conglomerate, in a dispute with Russia’s Alfa Group concerning the ownership of a controlling shareholding in Turkey’s largest mobile phone company. John Reynolds, Jason Yardley and John Higham QC are recommended. Charlie Lightfoot is ‘pleasant and brilliant’.

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Within International arbitration, White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s team is ‘timely and practical’. Well known for its construction arbitration expertise, it has also seen an increase in telecoms and financial institutions work. Phillip Capper ‘turns challenges into opportunities’, London and Moscow based David Goldberg is ‘a top arbitration specialist’, and Charlie Lightfoot ‘displays impressive advocacy skills’. Mark Goodrich, Ellis Baker and Dipen Sabharwal are also key contacts.

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London: Finance

Within Acquisition finance, tier 4

Aided by a strong presence in New York and Europe, White & Case LLP’s London team provides a ‘very user-friendly’ service to banks, sponsors and non-traditional lenders, and is also well placed to advise borrowers seeking to tap more liquid capital markets in the US. ‘Excellent’ team head Lee Cullinane and US-qualified R Jake Mincemoyer advised banks including ABN AMRO and Deutsche Bank on the €740m senior facilities put in place for Advent’s acquisition of Dutch-based pharmacy chain Mediq. Jeremy Duffy, Magdalene Bayim-Adomako and Jacqueline Evans are also recommended.

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Within Asset finance and leasing, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

Combining ‘sound legal knowledge with a strong commercial perspective’, and able to draw on a strong US offering, White & Case LLP provides a ‘top-quality service’ to a full range of aviation clients, including Coface and the ECGD. ‘Excellent’ team head Justin Benson ‘commands respect in the industry’ and has ‘broad knowledge and expertise’, and continues to handle work for BNDES, including advising on the financing of the acquisition of aircraft for Flybe, BA CityFlyer and Air Astana. Adrian Beasley is also recommended.

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Within Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans, White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s ‘proactive, engaged and market-savvy’ team is a leader in lender-side work and popular with European borrowers accessing US liquidity. ‘Seasoned campaigner’ Lee Cullinane, the ‘experienced and unflappable’ Magdalene Bayim-Adomako, CEE expert Christopher Czarnocki and Jacqueline Evans are key figures in the practice, which is ‘a one-stop shop for US and English law’. Associate Rob Bennett is ‘a rising star’. Highlights included representing the banks in a $2.1bn senior secured credit facility for Colfax Corporation.

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Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

Headed by the ‘outstanding’ Christian Pilkington, White & Case LLP has the ‘ability to grasp detail and deliver advice in a commercial context’. Deeply entrenched relationships with banks such as Deutsche Bank lead to a significant flow of work, although the team is also increasingly active for hedge funds such as GSO Capital Partners and Anchorage. The firm continues to handle work with significant political sensitivities, including advising the Greek bondholder steering committee in the restructuring of €206bn of its government debt. The ‘creative and pragmatic’ David Manson led on the Torm restructuring for the coordinating committee of lenders. Recently promoted partner Laura Prater is a ‘real star’, and Stephen Phillips is also recommended.

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Within Debt capital markets, White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

White & Case LLP has developed a ‘very responsive and reliable’ full-service DCM practice ‘trusted by banks and issuers alike’. Stuart Matty, who advised the Republic of Zambia on a $750m sovereign bond, is ‘superb, and often makes the difference in getting deals over the line’. Also recommended are Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes, who advised on the first eurobond by an Azerbaijani issuer; Michael Doran, who advised the bookrunners on Nokia’s €750m convertible bond; Andrew Weiler and Ian Clark, for US private placements; and Doron Loewinger.

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Within Derivatives and structured products, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

Gavin McLean’s team at White & Case LLP provides ‘very consistent, good-quality advice’. David Barwise and Ingrid York are ‘most responsive - they pride themselves on being business-oriented yet legally balanced’. McLean advised Raiffeisenbank on establishing a €5bn covered bond programme. Joshua Parbhu is also recommended.

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Within Emerging markets, White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

At White & Case LLP, the ‘hardworking’ Jason Kerr ‘impresses with his ability to rapidly understand commercial issues’, and Philip Stopford ‘demonstrates great insight, imagination and perseverance’. The ‘reliable and committed’ Christopher Czarnocki and debt specialist Stuart Matty also stand out. Known to some as ‘the emerging markets firm’, it ‘develops innovative approaches and puts new ideas into practice’. Highlights for David Crook included advising Dexia on the €2.8bn sale of Denizbank.

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Within High yield, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP has ‘a committed team which offers strong experience and great value for money’. Rob Matthews is ‘an exceptional partner who adds a lot of value’, and recently advised Jefferies on a €240m issue. The ‘impressively skilled, patient and focused’ Colin Chang advised Novasep Holdings on a €127m offering. David Becker and Jill Concannon are also recommended as part of a ‘positive and constructive’ team.

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Within Islamic finance, White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s Islamic practice spans hybrid structured mega-projects, large-scale real estate investment, and capital markets. A cross-office (London/Abu Dhabi/Doha) team advised the State of Qatar on its $4bn sovereign bond issuance; and, among many big-ticket projects with Islamic elements, the firm also acted on the Sadara petrochemicals project, advising project company Saudi Aramco. Key figures include Chris Utting,* who heads the London team; Tom Bartlett; Abu Dhabi based Shibeer Ahmed; and Phillip Stopford. *Chris Utting has recently relocated to the firm's office in Johannesburg.

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Within Securitisation, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP has ‘industry knowledge of a very high level’. Gavin McLean’s team includes Joshua Parbhu, who ‘gives technical legal advice and commercial options - he does the thinking for you’; and Ingrid York, who is ‘very resourceful on synthetic issues’. Parbhu represented private equity fund management business SVG Advisers on amendments to existing securitisations. Senior associate Ronan Mellon is ‘very thorough in his analysis, and able to grasp complex structures’.

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Within Trade finance, White & Case LLP is a first tier firm,

Christopher Czarnocki ‘stands out’ at White & Case LLP, which provides an ‘extremely good service - efficient, knowledgeable and responsive’. The firm is highlighted for its outstanding export finance expertise, through a ‘commercial and pragmatic team’ featuring Jason Kerr and Magdalene Bayim-Adomako. Czarnocki advised BNP Paribas and ING on a €440m inventory financing for Blue Ocean Group.

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London: Human resources

Within Employee share schemes, tier 4

White & Case LLP rises in the ranking this year. Practice head Nicholas Greenacre and counsel Euan Fergusson are ‘excellent technically, with good business acumen’, and ‘great to work with’. Clients include global investment banks such as UBS, which the team advises on its corporate employee financial services business.

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Within Employment: employers and senior executives, tier 6

White & Case LLP gives ‘prompt and accurate advice’. It recently acted on a number of matters for Swinton, including advising on senior management departures, and also the winding-up of Le Mans Holdings, a subsidiary of the client. Oliver Brettle and Stephen Ravenscroft are recommended for their commercial approach, with Brettle noted as ‘a convincing authority to deal with opposition lawyers’.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Within Infrastructure, White & Case LLP is a first tier firm,

White & Case LLP has ‘tremendous expertise in project finance, and some especially strong individuals’, and has an established record in groundbreaking projects, especially in the EMEA region; recent work includes advising Landsvirkjun on the proposed sub-sea interconnector cable from Iceland to Europe, potentially powered by geothermal energy from the country’s volcanoes. Practice head Philip Stopford is highly respected in the market; and Jason Kerr has a ‘breadth of expertise and experience’, and takes ‘a positive, constructive approach to move the deal forward’.

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Within Mining and minerals, White & Case LLP is a first tier firm,

White & Case LLP has ‘a superior client-focused approach’. Peter Finlay is ‘very effective in aligning disparate groups of stakeholders’; and senior associate Jitesh Patel is ‘exceptionally talented’. Rebecca Campbell, who joined from an in-house role at BHP Billiton in January 2013, attracts praise for her ‘outstanding intellect and project management skills’. Clients include Alliance Mining, EN+ and several lending consortia for major projects.

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Within Oil and gas, White & Case LLP is a first tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s ‘excellent’ team has been active on mega-projects such as the Sadara Petrochemical Project, the Barzan Gas Project and the Brass LNG project. Mainly known for its representation of sponsors, Philip Stopford’s team also advised the lenders on the multibillion-dollar Nabucco pipeline project. Stopford, Jason Kerr and Mark Castillo-Bernaus are all highly respected figures in the project finance space.

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Within PFI and PPP, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP has ‘excellent banking knowledge and a hands-on approach’ to projects. Team head Caroline Miller Smith is ‘solution-oriented, with very good negotiation skills’; and senior associate Lucy Plowright is ‘very good in the detail and the mechanics of contracts’. Miller Smith and Plowright are advising the preferred bidder on the €1bn A1/A6 Junction project in Amsterdam, among several other major mandates.

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Within Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables), White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s highly regarded project finance practice is assisting Enerjisa on the €1bn development of the Tufanbeyli Thermal Power Plant in Adana, Turkey; and the lenders on the €890m financing of Northwind Offshore Energy’s wind project in Belgium’s North Sea. Jason Kerr is recommended for his knowledge of emerging markets, and David Baker is also a key contact.

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London: Real estate

Within Commercial property, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP’s growing team has expertise in real estate investment, finance and data centres, plus significant cross-border experience, as evidenced by its role advising Digital Realty Trust on its $1.1bn acquisition of three data centres in the London area. Practice head David Cox is ‘at the top of the tree - commercial, astute and able to see the bigger picture’; and James Dodsworth ‘stands out due to his knowledgeable approach’.

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Within Construction, White & Case LLP is a second tier firm,

White & Case LLP provides ‘peace of mind’ on the construction aspects of high-value, complex, multi-jurisdictional infrastructure projects and disputes. Practice head Ellis Baker is drafting documents for Qatar Railways Company’s landmark metro system. Mark Goodrich is recommended for highly technical international arbitration work. Phillip Capper is also highly rated.

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Within Property finance, tier 4

White & Case LLP has strong ties to lenders and the private equity sector. It advised Wilmington Trust SP Services (Frankfurt) GmbH as security trust agent on Vitus group’s refinancing of its multi-family housing portfolio by way of a €754m CMBS. David Cox is ‘commercial, astute and, most importantly, sees the bigger picture’.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Within Data protection, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP has been handling BCR applications, including for American Express in several European jurisdictions. It also advised IAB Europe on data protection and privacy issues regarding online advertising matters, and provided Facebook with regulatory advice relating to its UK website. Other clients include Kroll Ontrack, Koch Industries and McKinsey & Company. Global privacy group head Ashley Winton is the key contact.

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Within IT and telecoms, tier 4

David Eisenberg heads White & Case LLP’s transaction-oriented telecoms practice, which advises blue-chip clients such as BNP Paribas, Virgin Mobile, Research In Motion, and Digital Realty.

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London: Transport

Within Rail, tier 4

The ‘highly reputed’ team at White & Case LLP is advising Siemens and InfraRed Capital Partners on the Crossrail rolling stock project, and advised the National Transport Authority of the UAE in relation to its railway industry regulatory regime. Recommended individuals include Caroline Miller Smith, Phillip Capper and David Eisenberg. Former team head Tom Winsor has left the firm.

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Further information on White & Case LLP

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South Africa

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Saudi Arabia

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United States

Offices in Washington DC, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto

Legal Developments in the UK

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