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White & Case LLP


London: Corporate and commercial

Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

White & Case LLP

With experience of the tax aspects of real estate, financial services, private equity, restructurings and a range of other corporate transactions, White & Case LLP provides clients ‘a seamless working dynamic between the corporate tax team and the general corporate team’. The group also offers a stand-alone advisory service and has also developed expertise in advising foreign governments in relation to their tax legislation. Prabhu Narasimhan, who is ‘technically gifted, but at the same time very commercial’, is acting for Kaupthing Bank in relation to its Icelandic insolvency proceedings and international restructuring in what was one of the largest-ever bank insolvencies. Led by Narasimhan, the firm’s tax group now acts as primary tax advisers to Novator Partners, a role which covers both transactional and advisory work. Michael Wistow, a new hire from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in 2016, is acting for Bupa on its acquisition of 380 dental practices owned by Oasis. Peita Menon heads the UK tax practice and is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Michael Wistow - White & Case LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 6

White & Case LLP

Mark Powell heads the ‘tactically astute’ and ‘impressive’ team at White & Case LLP; he is acting for BUPA in relation to its acquisition of Oasis Dental Care. Marc Israel, who joined the team from Macfarlanes LLP, acted for the successful immunity applicant GB Eye in relation to the CMA’s cartel investigation into online price fixing; he also advised Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank on their joint acquisition of the private equity portfolio of the National Bank of Greece for €288m, and, together with associate Aqeel Kadri, advised Legal & General Investment Management on the Financial Conduct Authority’s asset management market study. Jacquelyn MacLennan assisted DX (Group) in relation to its acquisition of The Legal Post (Scotland) and First Post, while James Killick is leading the advice to Pfizer in relation to the CMA’s investigation into alleged excessive pricing; both divide their time between Brussels and London. MacLennan, Charles Balmain, and John Reynolds remain particularly active in competition litigation.

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

The EMEA equity capital markets team at White & Case LLPdisplays a pragmatic, business-focused approach’ to a range of equity transactions throughout various European jurisdictions. The London office is a hub for UK and US qualified lawyers and works alongside the firm’s local securities specialists based in EMEA’s most active capital markets. Working alongside the firm’s Moscow office, Inigo Esteve acted for CJSC Sberbank CIB as agent to the Russian Federation, and Sberbank CIB and VTB Capital as joint global coordinators and bookrunners in connection with the $812m privatisation of the Russian Federation’s 10.9% stake in PJSC ALROSA. In the largest-ever rights issue in Italy, Michael Immordino advised Morgan Stanley, UniCredit, UBS, BAML, J.P. Morgan and Mediobanca as joint global coordinators of UniCredit’s €13bn rights issue. A large team, including Laura Sizemore and Jonathan Parry who is ‘an excellent negotiator and an able diplomat’, was instructed by Parques Reunidos on its €525m IPO on the Spanish Stock Exchange and a subsequent €114m block trade. Acting for issuers and underwriters, the department has also been increasingly active in London main market transactions.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Parry - White & Case LLP

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory) - ranked: tier 5

White & Case LLP

Benefiting from expertise across the firm’s network including in the US, White & Case LLP’s two-partner regulatory team excels at advising financial institution clients on regulatory matters with a cross-border complexion. Stuart Willey heads the team out of London and has recently provided regulatory advice pursuant to numerous financial services M&A-related transactions. As well as working with other practice groups, Willey also regularly handles discrete standalone regulatory work for clients and is recognised for his work relating to the risk retention rules associated with the CLO market. The team was strengthened towards the end of 2016 by the arrival of former EMEA regulatory counsel at BNY Mellon James Greig.

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 4

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s ‘excellent, very responsive’ department, counts financial services, energy and technology as key sector strengths. Patrick Sarch, who arrived in January 2017 from Clifford Chance and who has particular experience acting for financial institutions, heads the practice jointly with Ian Bagshaw. Bagshaw and Caroline Sherrell assisted Avast Software with its $1.3bn purchase of AVG Technologies. The department is increasingly active in the healthcare space: Bagshaw and John Cunningham acted for Bupa on its £835m acquisition of Oasis Healthcare from Bridgepoint. The practice also acts for financial advisers in high-profile transactions: Philip Broke and Jacqueline Evans assisted Mizuho Securities, financial adviser to SoftBank Group, with the latter’s £24.3bn acquisition of ARM. Other clients of the team include Hikma Pharmaceuticals, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Brammer. Guy Potel, who has significant experience in public M&A and fintech transactions, is also recommended. Richard Youle left to join Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP in May 2017.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Large-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

Under the leadership of Ian Bagshaw, White & Case LLP handles transactional matters for a broad cross-section of investors, including private equity houses, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals. It also advises portfolio companies on a full range of issues, including capital structures, management incentive structures and strategic issues. In 2016, Bagshaw, Caroline Sherrell, Justin Wagstaff and others acted for Avast Software (which is backed by CVC Capital Partners and Summit Partners) on its $1.3bn acquisition of AVG Technologies. Bagshaw acted alongside Nicholas Greenacre and Emma Parr, among others, for The Smithfield Group on the CAN$1.13bn sale of Innovia Group to CCL Industries. Jarlath McGurran made partner. Kenneth Barry is also recommended, as is recent hire Richard Jones, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Richard Youle and Katja Butler departed for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, and Ross Allardice joined Dechert LLP.

Leading individuals

Ian Bagshaw - White & Case LLP

Next generation lawyers

Emma Parr - White & Case LLP

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: white-collar crime
Fraud: white-collar crime - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

The ‘top-notch’ team of ‘multinational and multijurisdictional experts’ at White & Case LLP are ‘vastly experienced across the full range of white-collar fraud’. The team has handled matters cross the UK and US, Russia, Africa and the Middle East, and is adept at dealing with issues including sanctions, INTERPOL Red Notices and extradition proceedings. The ‘highly analyticalJonathan Pickworth heads the practice, and recently represented an individual indicted in the US on allegations of price fixing and bid rigging.

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP promoted Amanda Cowell, who acts for banking clients in commercial litigation and domestic and international arbitration, and Joanna Dimmock, who has broad experience across a wide range of white-collar areas, to the partnership. The practice acts predominantly for investment banks in disputes concerning financial products, complex transactions, restructuring and high-profile regulatory investigations. Charles Balmainhas a superior grasp of complex issues’; Jonathan Pickworth has particular expertise in assisting with regulatory and enforcement matters and handling internal investigations; and a multi-office team, led by John Reynolds, advised Deutsche Bank in investigations by multiple regulators into potential failings in anti-money laundering, and related systems and controls. The team also acted for VTB Capital, a UK-regulated bank, in a complex fraud-based dispute; this arose from the enforcement of a share pledge, which was given as security for a €150m loan. Jason Yardley exited for Jenner & Block LLP.

Leading individuals

John Reynolds - White & Case LLP

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP recruited Ashurst’s former London head of disputes Mark Clarke, who is ‘a class act’, to lead the firm’s London oil and gas disputes practice; the firm also promoted Amanda Cowell, who primarily works with corporate, telecoms and banking clients, and white-collar crime specialist Joanna Dimmock to the partnership. Almost all the disputes the team advises on are international in nature and almost all of the practice’s clients are non-UK based; it represented the Russian Federation in its resistance of the enforcement of high-value arbitral awards in the UK, USA and Germany, which were issued in the Netherlands and are being pursued by Yukos’ ex-majority shareholders. John Reynolds is ‘a class act, outstanding with clients and a good strategic thinker’; Charles Balmainhas great analysis, client skills and runs a team impeccably’; Jonathan Pickworth is ‘a highly experienced investigations lawyer’. Jason Yardley exited for Jenner & Block LLP.

Leading individuals

John Reynolds - White & Case LLP

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 4

White & Case LLP

The competition department at White & Case LLP has an active contentious arm, which specialises in defending follow-on damages claims and is also involved in a number of high-profile regulatory investigations. James Killick is advising Pfizer in CMA proceedings regarding the alleged abuse of a dominant market position. In the civil-defence space, Charles Balmain is representing NTN in the CAT in connection with follow-on claims arising out of the EC’s automotive bearings cartel decision. Balmain is also defending Nexans in High Court follow-on claims regarding the power cables cartel. Marc Israel joined the team from Macfarlanes LLP in 2017. Sysmex UK and GB Eye are other clients.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s ‘lawyers are as professional as they come, and they are very responsive to client demands’. The practice welcomed Aloke Ray back to London from Singapore, where he was head of international arbitration in Asia; and head of oil and gas disputes in London Mark Clarke, who is ‘simply terrific’, joined from Ashurst. The practice covers commercial arbitrations, involving construction projects, insurance contracts, banking and finance, telecoms and oil and gas; investment treaty arbitration; and arbitration-related court proceedings. It represented Grupo Unidos por el Canal and its shareholders Sacyr, Salini-Impregilo and Jan De Nul in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority, which related to the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project. Phillip Capper is ‘a convincing advocate’; David Goldbergimpresses with his shrewdness and common sense, and he is very well regarded for Russian and East European international commercial law’; and Dipen Sabharwal and Robert Wheal are both highly regarded.

Leading individuals

David Goldberg - White & Case LLP

Phillip Capper - White & Case LLP

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

Benefiting from an ‘impressive platform’, which includes offices in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific, White & Case LLP provides a ‘commercial and cost-effective service’ to banks, private equity sponsors and alternative capital providers engaged in acquisition finance mandates, including matters with a US nexus – where it benefits from a ‘very good bank and bond offering and solid US and UK law offering’ – as well as emerging markets mandates and European-based deals. Justin Wagstaff, Martin Forbes and Colin Harley are among the core members of the leveraged finance teams focusing on private equity deals; Harley recently acted for HgCapital, and one of its portfolio companies Cogital Group, on the senior facilities arranged by DNB and SEB to facilitate several acquisitions including Cogital Group’s acquisition of Baldwins and Blick Rothenberg. The ‘excellentGareth Eagles regularly handles work for non-bank lenders including GSO Capital Partners and is a key member of the team that also includes the ‘affable and professionalJeremy Duffy (who provides ‘technical and commercial’ advice to a range of lenders and borrowers), and team head Lee Cullinane. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, CVC and Meridian Capital.

Next generation lawyers

Gareth Eagles - White & Case LLP

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Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

Aided by a significant international network of offices, in addition to complementary practice areas including capital markets, restructuring and private equity, White & Case LLP’s four-partner team is well positioned to handle a wide range of matters, from plain vanilla financings to highly structured mandates, involving a range of financial products. The team is praised in particular for its ‘depth of knowledge in the aviation sector’ and strong relationships with lessors, lenders and export credit agencies. The ‘excellentAdrian Beasley has strong credentials in the aviation sector and continues to advise CIT Group on the ECA-supported finance of more than 50 Airbus aircraft deliveries on lease to various airlines. ‘Very commercial’ team head Justin Bensoncombines real experience of the requirements of lessors with top-level debt financing capabilities’; he recently acted for numerous banks including DVB and BNP Paribas on the $515m limited recourse portfolio financing of fourteen aircraft. The firm has also been particularly active on restructuring-related matters within the shipping sector as demonstrated by its recent role for the secured lenders of Torm on its insolvency. Alison Weal provides ‘astute and concise analysis of transactions and documentations’ across a range of asset classes including shipping. At associate level, the ‘very detail-oriented’ Andrew Harper and David Wright are also recommended. Other clients include Barclays, BNP Paribas, Jackson Square Aviation and the Thomas Cook Group. Louise Mor joined Watson Farley & Williams LLP in 2017.

Leading individuals

Justin Benson - White & Case LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alison Weal - White & Case LLP

David Wright - White & Case LLP

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP provides a ‘very commercial’ and ‘cost-effective’ service to both lenders and corporates including Aliaxis Group, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Led on the banking side by the ‘solutions-oriented, commercial and proactiveJeremy Duffy, the team recently advised Cabot Financial on a £250m revolving credit facility and £350m issuance of New York law-governed senior secured notes. As part of his broad-ranging banking practice, Christopher Czarnocki has particular expertise handling emerging markets work and recently advised Puma Energy on its $800m revolving credit facilities. Gareth Eagles has close ties with GSO Capital Partners; he recently advised it on a $205m refinancing facility to Luminator Technology. Robert Bennett, Lee Cullinane and Jacqueline Evans are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Lee Cullinane - White & Case LLP

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

The ‘young and dynamic’ five-partner team at White & Case LLP continues to make waves in the market as a result of its ‘incredibly responsive, proactive and commercial service’ to banks, funds and debtors. Recognised for its ‘wealth of experience in both English and international insolvency and restructuring matters’, the team is able to leverage a ‘lot of exceptional talent through its network of overseas offices’. Co-ordinated out of London by ‘very experienced, innovative and client friendly’ team head Christian Pilkington and involving lawyers spread out across eight jurisdictions, the firm recently concluded its long running representation of failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing. Praised for his ability to ‘resolve difficult matters between groups with competing interests’, Pilkington also recently advised the co-ordinating committee of senior creditors in relation to African Bank’s $3.8bn financial restructuring through a curatorship. ‘Always able to cut to the chase and identify the important points’, ‘standout’ partner Ian Wallace has been particularly active within the oil and gas, and shipping/offshore sectors; he is advising Nordea Bank, as one of the key stakeholders, on the high-profile $2.3bn restructuring of CGG. The ‘outstandingLaura Prater was heavily involved in the Kaupthing matters and also regularly acts for core firm client GSO. Other clients include Anchorage Capital Group, Centerbridge Partners, Goldman Sachs and Oak Hill Advisors.

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is ‘a preferred provider of services in debt capital markets, and one of the best for emerging markets deals’. Clients remark that it is ‘incredibly commercial and, as a truly global firm, able to leverage its expertise in offices in many key jurisdictions’; they also highlight the fact that ‘the firm has spent decades building its DCM capacity and is in so many places that it has become a real force in the market’. The London team is the hub of the firm’s European captial markets capability and is not only a leader in sovereign issuances and emerging markets debt, but also an increasingly strong player in cross-border matters involving Europe and the US. Global practice head Stuart Matty and key US securities law partner Melissa Butler play key roles in outstanding deals, including Ghana’s $750m amortising notes issue, in which the firm acted for joint lead managers Citibank Global Markets, Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered Bank. Michael Doran has a strong investment grade, equity-linked and debt restructuring practice. Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes, who is dual English and US-qualified, is a veteran of the European DCM market. Ian Clark is ‘a great guy and a standout specialist in sovereign debt matters’ and Doron Loewinger is regarded as a skilled US law partner. Michael Immordino regularly handles recapitalisation deals for Italian banks and Richard Pogrel stands out for equity-linked and liability management transactions. Key deals included the restructuring of $1.9bn in debt for the Republic of Mozambique, and advising ENI on its €400m equity-linked bonds.

Leading individuals

Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes - White & Case LLP

Melissa Butler - White & Case LLP

Stuart Matty - White & Case LLP

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

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is ‘always on hand with thoughtful advice’. ‘Not only are the lawyers up to speed on industry knowledge and market standards, but they are also proactive in alerting business and legal teams to industry initiatives and trends’, says one client. ‘Very impressive and thoughtful’ head of structured finance Ingrid York, who focuses principally on derivatives, ‘has superb technical skills and is a robust negotiator’ and is ‘definitely the person you want on your side; she pre-empts any questions clients might have’. The firm has a prominent CLO practice, which acts for arrangers and collateral managers such as BNP Paribas, JPMorgan and Aberdeen Asset Management. The derivatives team handles the structuring, development, negotiation, documentation and restructuring of a broad spectrum of complex derivative products for both investment and hedging purposes. Gavin McLean, who was recently promoted to co-general counsel of the firm globally, remains a strong force in guiding the practice. He has acted as arranger counsel on numerous European CLO transactions and has ‘excellent understanding of that market and the changing regulatory environment in which it operates’. The CLO practice was further strengthened with the arrival of partner Chris McGarry from Ropes & Gray LLP. Richard Pogrel has notable expertise in structured bonds. David Barwise, who advises on deals in Asia, and Debashis Dey, who is active in deals in the Middle East, split their time between London and, respectively, Singapore and Dubai. Associate Richard Blackburn, who advises on OTC derivatives and structured products, is ‘responsive and helpful’. The team acted for Crédit Agricole CIB as arranger and stand-by swap provider for a €720m notes issue by Cars Alliance Auto Loans.

Leading individuals

Ingrid York - White & Case LLP

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

Clients of White & Case LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice single out its ‘knowledge, tenacity, responsiveness and enthusiasm; all in all it is a pleasure to work with’. The firm is widely regarded as a leader in the emerging markets space, thanks in no small part to its extensive global network and its depth of experience in key areas of finance such as banking and debt capital markets. The London team has particular strength in deals emanating from the CEE and CIS regions, the Middle East and Africa. Global head of capital markets Stuart Matty and US-qualified Melissa Butler are highly regarded for cross-border debt matters and are key figures in emerging markets sovereign debt deals. Their recent highlights include acting for joint lead managers Citibank Global Markets, Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered Bank on a $750m notes offering by the Republic of Ghana, and assisting dealers including Barclays with a $1bn GMTN programme for Access Bank in Nigeria and a subsequent $183m drawdown. Matty and Butler acted alongside US securities partner Ian Clark for the Republic of Mozambique on its $1.9bn of debt restructuring, which included a sovereign bond and two state-guaranteed loans. Head of EMEA energy, infrastructure, project and asset finance Jason Kerr worked on numerous financings in Africa and the CIS region in 2016. Bank finance specialist Christopher Czarnocki acts for both borrowers and lenders and played a key role in the Mozambique sovereign debt deal. Co-head of the firm’s global oil and gas practice Philip Stopford, who regularly handles deals in the Middle East and Africa, ‘has outstanding knowledge of project finance and the oil and gas sector, where his presence, experience and negotiating skills are very valuable’. He handled a $4.4bn financing for Vale in relation to the Nacala Corridor project in Mozambique.

Leading individuals

Christopher Czarnocki - White & Case LLP

Jason Kerr - White & Case LLP

Melissa Butler - White & Case LLP

Philip Stopford - White & Case LLP

Stuart Matty - White & Case LLP

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High yield
High yield - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has a team that includes ‘specialists in leveraged finance who handle everything from emerging markets issuance to European high yield’. The firm’s extensive international network puts the US-qualified London team at the centre of work covering a diverse range of jurisdictions and its client base includes investment banks and corporate issuers. Practice head Rob Matthews, Jill Concannon (who regularly advises private equity sponsors), Paul Clews (who handles deals for underwriters) and restructuring and liability management specialist David Becker are all recommended. The firm recently completed a £275m notes offer for Amigo Loans and a £350m issue of senior secured notes for Cabot Financial. On the investment bank side the team advised Goldman Sachs as the initial purchaser on a £77.3m offering by Lake Bridge International. Emerging markets highlights included advising IHS Towers on an $800m offering of senior secured notes, the for a Nigerian corporate to date. The firm also acted for banks including Deutsche Bank on the $1.2bn offering by Studio City Company, which was the largest high yield corporate bond in Asia in 2016.

Leading individuals

Rob Matthews - White & Case LLP

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Islamic finance
Islamic finance - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

Through its London office, White & Case LLP provides ‘excellent service’ with expertise in a number of Islamic-compliant structures, from capital markets and funds work to M&A and project and asset finance. The highly recommended Tom Bartlett leads the London team and acted for Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company and its Saudi and Chinese shareholders in relation to the $3.1bn conventional facility and $1.6bn murabaha facility to partially refinance funds used for the construction of a Saudi oil refinery. Bartlett also worked alongside the firm’s Saudi partners in Riyadh to advise the lenders, Islamic financiers and US EXIM Bank on the refinancing of the commercial bank facility and Islamic facilities in connection with the Riyadh PP11 IPP. The firm has been investing in its UAE office, having brought on some new practitioners including Claire Matheson Kirton, who joined the firm from Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP in 2016. Further, Debashis Dey specialises in conventional and Islamic capital markets transactions and works between the London and Dubai offices.

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

Clients of White & Case LLP rate the team for its ‘excellent work ethic; from partner to associate it provides excellent service that shows very good attention to detail’. The firm’s broad securitisation expertise covers the full range of transactions including cash and synthetic CMBS, RMBS, leveraged loans, SME loans, auto loans, auto leases, consumer loans, equipment leases, credit cards, short-term commodity financing loans, trade finance and whole-business deals. It also has a strong CLO practice both in London and New York, acting for arrangers, collateral managers and asset swap providers including BNP Paribas Asset Management, Aberdeen Asset Management, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. The firm’s presence in emerging markets and in the covered bond market is also a key strength. Gavin McLean, who is now the firm’s co-general counsel, maintains an active securitisation practice. Highlights included advising Crédit Agricole CIB and Société Générale on the issue of €700m in notes by German auto loans securitisation Cars Alliance Auto Loans Germany V 2016-1. Chris McGarry, who recently joined with a team of three associates from Ropes & Gray LLP, advises sponsors, issuers, arrangers and investors on a wide range of securitisations including European CLOs, consumer ABS, RMBS, trade receivables and esoteric asset classes such as physical commodities and TMT receivables.

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Trade finance
Trade finance - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

Clients rate White & Case LLP as ‘an excellent firm; its lawyers are pragmatic, responsive and knowledgeable, especially in oil and gas matters’. The firm is particularly well known for innovative deal structures in the energy market, where it acts for banks including BNP Paribas and JPMorgan, DFIs such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and IFC, and major commodity trading houses such as Trafigura. Practice head Christopher Czarnocki has an outstanding reputation in the market for complex cross-border matters. He is ably assisted by Jason Kerr, who is described as ‘an excellent lawyer’; Tom Bartlett, who has extensive experience of reserve-based lending, commodity-based financings and export finance deals; counsel Meredith Campanale, who acts for lenders and sponsors on multi-sourced financings including ECA-backed deals; and associate Gabriel Onagoruwa, who acts for commercial banks, multilateral lending agencies, ECAs and sponsors in international finance transactions. Associate James Hardy also handles pre-export financings and receivables-based structures. The team recently acted for key client Trafigura on a $175m secured Israeli oil borrowing base facility arranged by SMBC and a $450m receivables-backed financing for oil exports from Ghana National Petroleum Company.

Leading individuals

Christopher Czarnocki - White & Case LLP

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

The ‘very good, comprehensive and practical’ group at White & Case LLP has ‘a deep and broad global network that it taps into seamlessly and efficiently’. The group regularly acts for clients in the financial services and technology sectors, such as ABBYY, Brammer and ICG. ‘Highly recommended’ group head Nicholas Greenacre assisted Avast Software on due diligence and other incentive plan issues regarding its $1.3bn acquisition of AVG Technologies. Greenacre, regulatory partner Stuart Willey and tax consultant Euan Fergusson advised Equatex on stock plan administration agreements, as well as cross-border tax and regulatory issues. The team includes associates Helen Levendi and Paul Harrington.

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

White & Case LLP

Very responsive and commercially minded’, White & Case LLP’s ‘excellent’ team primarily handles the employment aspects of private equity, M&A and real estate transactions for clients in the financial services and technology sectors. ‘Very knowledgeable’ and ‘extremely service-oriented’ team co-head Stephen Ravenscroft acted for Digital Realty on the UK aspects of the company’s acquisition of a number of data centres across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, which involved the transfer of employees and compensation matters. Ravenscroft also assisted the joint administrators of CEONA with various employment issues arising from the company’s insolvency, including tax issues and seafarers’ employment agreements. Oliver Brettle, who jointly heads the practice alongside Ravenscroft, and compensation and benefits head Nicholas Greenacre are also recommended.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s infrastructure lawyers ‘are knowledgeable, practical and focus on the points that matter’, with Saul Daniel and John Cunningham recommended for their ‘commercial, responsive and communicative’ approach. In terms of international work, Caroline Miller Smith and Philip Stopford are advising Vale on the development and financing of the $4.4bn Nacala Corridor project in Malawi which involves a new greenfield rail line and the rehabilitation of existing brownfield lines, while Ellis Baker is working closely with partners in the Doha and Abu Dhabi offices on several rail projects forming part of the planned Gulf Cooperation Council railway network. On the transactional side, Caroline Sherrell acted, with the assistance of associate Thomas Cambidge, for Flughafen Zurich on the proposed sale of its 5% shareholding in Bangalore International Airport to Fairfax. Capital markets expert Gavin McLean is also a key name.

Leading individuals

Philip Stopford - White & Case LLP

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

Headed by Rebecca Campbell, White & Case LLP’s London mining practice acts for banks, mining companies and lenders in the full life cycle of mining work. In recent highlights, Campbell and Peter Finlay acted for the lenders on the multimillion-dollar financing of the expansion of Sangaredi’s bauxite mine in Guinea, and Caroline Miller Smith is assisting Vale with the financing and development of the Nacala Corridor project in Mozambique. Campbell is also working as part of a multi-office team advising a central Asian government entity on improving the country’s subsoil use legislation and is assisting a Middle Eastern ministry with overhauling a mining investment law. On the M&A front, the group has recently handled a share capital acquisition in South America, a divestment and related criminal investigation in a European country, and a mining business sale in Central Asia. Other notable clients include Norilsk Nickel, Trafigura and BNP Paribas.

Leading individuals

Rebecca Campbell - White & Case LLP

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

According to clients, White & Case LLP is ‘an excellent firm; its lawyers are pragmatic, responsive and knowledgeable, and its service is uniformly and consistently exceptional’. Head of the EMEA energy, infrastructure and project finance practice Jason Kerr has been involved in a number of market-leading project financings. In other key mandates, Mark Castillo-Bernaus led the team assisting six export credit agencies and a syndicate of banks in connection with the development and financing of a $6.4bn Liwa Plastic Industries Complex in Oman, which was among the largest projects financings to close in 2016; and a team including David Baker and the ‘always effective and pragmaticTom Bartlett acted for Harbour Energy on its backing of Chrysaor’s acquisition of a portfolio of North Sea oil and gas assets from Shell. Other key figures include Philip Stopford, who co-heads the firm’s global oil and gas practice, the ‘thoroughly knowledgeable and practicalSaul Daniel, and Peter Finlay, who is ‘one of the best negotiators and facilitators’.

Leading individuals

Philip Stopford - White & Case LLP

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Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is prominent in the growing area of interconnector work, as demonstrated by the team’s advice to Star Capital and Eurotunnel regarding the proposed interconnector project between France and England. It is also active in the conventional and renewables areas. Kirsti Massie, who sits as global head of power, led a cross-office team advising DEWA on the development of its Hassyan clean coal IPP project, and acted alongside John Cunningham on the financing for a biomass conversion on behalf of a European plant owner and operator. On the nuclear front, Ellis Baker is advising Taisei as a member of a consortium on the EPC contract for the construction of the high-profile Sinop nuclear plant in Turkey. The team also acted for an electric utility provider in disputes with a supplier arising from ICC arbitration awards pertaining to delays and cost overruns in a project. Other key names include head of the EMEA energy unit Jason Kerr, Mark Castillo-Bernaus and Phillip Capper, who leads the firm’s international arbitration offering.

Leading individuals

David Baker - White & Case LLP

Jason Kerr - White & Case LLP

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 4

White & Case LLP

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 4

White & Case LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP offers ‘a unique combination of commercial insight, industry knowledge and an ability to find good solutions to complicated legal issues’. The team is regularly instructed on major corporate transactions, and in one example corporate specialist David Cox, who is ‘frank, direct and concise’, acted for Montagu Private Equity on its acquisition of Funeral Partners Group. Practice head James Dodsworth was also busy in transactional matters, advising Corney & Barrow Bars on the disposal of its London wine bar portfolio. The other name to note is newly-promoted partner Victoria Landsbert, a ‘highly skilled lawyer who is very aware of the legal aspects of foreign jurisdictions in multi-jurisdictional transactions’. The team has particular experience of data centres, logistics facilities and hotels-and-leisure mandates.

Leading individuals

James Dodsworth - White & Case LLP

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Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

Construction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has an ‘excellent group for construction disputes’, and the practice is particularly recommended for ‘very complex, large scale arbitrations’. In 2016 the contentious team was particularly active in the transport sector across a range of airport, rail and road project disputes; in a headline mandate, Phillip Capper (who is praised for his ‘wise selection of points worth pursuing’), continued to represent Grupo Unidos por el Canal and its shareholders in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority relating to the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project. While the practice focuses almost exclusively on international work, it does handle domestic cases; in one such mandate, Robert Wheal is acting for Emcor Engineering Services in a multi-party dispute with the main contractor in connection with the redevelopment and fit-out of the Rolls Building, London. On the non-contentious side, the team remained active in its key area of major power projects, with Philip Stopford and Kirsti Massie advising Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and Al Nowais Investments on the construction of a 2,640 MW coal-fired power generation plant in Egypt, and associate Gareth Oxley advising Galileo Technologies in relation to the construction of a 40MW gas-fired power plant in Argentina. The team also noted an uptick in petrochemical projects; Stopford is advising Carbon Holdings, as sponsor, on all aspects of a proposed multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex in Egypt. ‘Industry heavyweight’ Ellis Baker heads the practice and handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates; his recent caseload includes assisting a project company with the development of a 1000MW DC power interconnector between the UK and France.

Leading individuals

Ellis Baker - White & Case LLP

Phillip Capper - White & Case LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 5

White & Case LLP

According to one client, White & Case LLP is ‘one of the premium providers of environmental legal advice in a transactional context, and particularly for international finance involving export credit agencies’. Recent highlights include acting for a lending consortium including Banco de Chile on the project financing for the development of a 600km electricity transmission line interconnecting the Sistema Interconectado Central and the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande in Chile, and advising Kraton Performance Polymers in the $1.37bn acquisition of Arizona Chemical Holdings. Counsel Tallat Hussain has ‘excellent knowledge of environmental and social standards applicable to international trade and financing, and crafts practical solutions in the challenging context of large-scale multi-party projects’.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

The ‘absolutely first-class and universally respected’ Jeffrey Rubinoff heads White & Case LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ practice alongside the ‘quick, clear, commercial and commanding’ David Cox. Rubinoff arrived from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in July 2016, bringing clients including J.P. Morgan, Host Hotels & Resorts and GIC; he advised the latter on financing Davidson Kempner’s acquisition of a portfolio of 88 UK car parks. Cox advised Cerberus Capital Management on its acquisition of a £1bn non-performing loan portfolio from Nationwide. The ‘thorough, experienced, thoughtful and commercial’ Victoria Landsbert is ‘very pleasant and easy to deal with’; real estate expert James Dodsworth is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Jeffrey Rubinoff - White & Case LLP

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London: Risk advisory

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s team has ‘strong ability and experience in the field along with a good sense of priority’, and is ‘adept at dealing with high-profile regulatory investigations, and has an eye towards important legislative developments’. The firm advises on corporate crime matters, the mitigation and management of business risk, and public investigations by government bodies including the FCA and PRA. Highlights included representing a global logistics company in a self-reported SFO investigation into corrupt payments made in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, a matter involving both pre and post-Bribery Act conduct. Jonathan Pickworth heads the practice, and ‘brings valuable experience due to his interactions with enforcement authorities'.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s ‘excellent’ team acts for clients including Facebook, Google and Afrimax Vodafone. Jonathan Langley, who has ‘a strong M&A background’ and ‘expertise that is unparalleled’, jointly heads the team with Eric Michailov, who also specialises in M&A and corporate issues, and has a considerable focus on Russia. Langley advised HSBC on the sale of certain shares in O3b to SES, and handled Digital Realty’s acquisition of eight European carrier-neutral data centres across Europe. David Eisenberg is an expert in acquisition and joint ventures in the telecoms sector.

Leading individuals: Telecoms

David Eisenberg - White & Case LLP

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London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is commended for its ‘excellent customer service’ and its ‘prompt responses’. It advises on rail infrastructure procurement and project development, the supply of rolling stock, concessions and franchising, regulatory matters and dispute resolution. International rail projects are a key strength of the team; highlights included advising Vale on the development and financing of the $4.4bn Nacala Corridor Project, a project to transport coal from Vale’s mine in Moatize to a new coal port in Nacala, Mozambique. In another highlight, Alpha Trains instructed the team on the purchase and financing of several fleets. Jason Kerr heads the team, which includes Phillip Capper, who ‘provides clear and well-reasoned advice’ and is an ‘excellent lawyer with strengths in contract obligations interpretation and dispute resolution’. Also recommended are Ellis Baker, who heads the construction and engineering practice, Louise Mor, who advises on international asset finance and leasing transactions, and Caroline Miller Smith, who advises on concession and project finance matters.

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