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, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP recruited Inigo Esteve from Clifford Chance in London, one of a series of expansions in Europe which also included hires in France, Spain and Italy, while Greg Stonefield left for Mayer Brown International LLP. US-qualified Joshua Kiernan advised Israeli company Wix on its $127m NASDAQ IPO. Philip Broke and US-qualified Melissa Butler advised RBC Capital Markets as sponsor of Caracal Energy’s $200m IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Allan Taylor is also recommended.

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Within EU and competition, tier 7

White & Case LLP has a broad competition practise encompassing contentious and non-contentious work, and has recently received instructions for investigations at both UK and EU level. Charles Balmain is recommended.

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Within Financial services, tier 5

White & Case LLP is praised for its ‘excellent ability to coordinate across jurisdictions' on major transactions within the industry. The ‘very thoughtful' Stuart Willey provided the regulatory input on Itau’s strategic re-location of its European headquarters from Lisbon to London.

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

Recent hires on the private equity side bolstered White & Case LLP’s capabilities in this space, while other strategic developments for the firm include the establishment and expansion of Western European offices, broadening its pan-European corporate offering. With ‘deep industry knowledge and professional know-how' in the energy space, the firm was well-positioned to advise Saudi Aramco on the merger of a subsidiary, fielding a full-service team which included Alan Burke and Peter Finlay. Practice head Ashley Ballard is praised for his ‘positive leadership'. Also in the team are ‘skilled practitioner' Philip Broke and Gavin Weir, whose practice has a particular leaning towards financial institutions.

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Within Private equity: transactions, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

White & Case LLP made a splash in 2013 with the high-profile recruitment of Ian Bagshaw and Richard Youle, former co-heads of Linklaters LLP’s private equity practice, as well as Ross Allardice from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP. They join a corporate team with an established track record in M&A, which is already being translated into mandates for sponsors such as HgCapital and Warburg Pincus. Highlights included advising York Capital Management on its €653m equity co-investment with Invel Real Estate to acquire a 66% share in NBG Pangaea REIC from National Bank of Greece.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

White & Case LLP saw a significant increase in instructions on high-profile banking disputes, particularly cases involving representing investment banks. The disputes are almost exclusively cross-border in nature. John Reynolds, Jason Yardley and John Higham QC are recommended.

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

White & Case LLP’s team ‘looks for commercial solutions'. The ‘extremely hard-working' practice represented Çukurova in a dispute concerning Turkey’s largest mobile phone company. John Reynolds is recommended; Jason Yardley is ‘without doubt one of the best'; John Higham QC is a ‘great bonus, and a cost-saving in obviating the need for outside counsel for certain work'; and Charlie Lightfoot is ‘calm under pressure'.

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Within Competition litigation, tier 4

White & Case LLP has been involved in a number of major follow-on damages claims both in the US and the UK. Charles Balmain is considered a ‘dynamic and intelligent litigator'.

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

White & Case LLP ‘represents the highest standards in international arbitration'. The team acted for Viktor Pinchuk in an LCIA Arbitration with regard to a multibillion-dollar dispute, involving breach of contract claims concerning the operation and management of a joint venture comprising ferroalloys assets. Phillip Capper has ‘strong construction expertise', and David Goldberg‘knows the Russia/CIS region like no other'.

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London: Finance

Within Acquisition finance, White & Case LLP is a third tier firm,

Headed by Lee Cullinane, White & Case LLP is a well-established presence in the London leveraged finance market. The team is well placed to advise on the dual bank debt and high-yield funding involved in many big-ticket deals, working in conjunction with its counterparts in the US; Jacqueline Evans and Jake Mincemoyer, with assistance from the firm’s New York office, recently advised the arrangers on the £220m ‘Yankee’ loan to facilitate BC Partners’ acquisition of MergerMarket Group. Other clients include Nordea Bank, Mid Europa Partners and GSO Capital Partners.

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

White & Case LLP’s practice is focused on aviation, covering a broad range of transactions from debt financings to leasing transactions. Practice head Justin Benson recently advised ECGD on the ECA-supported bond refinancing of four Airbus A330 aircraft for Malaysian Airline System Berhad. Adrian Beasley has a focus on lessors and operators, and continues to advise CIT Group in connection with the ECA-supported financing of over 45 Airbus aircraft deliveries on lease to various airlines.

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

White & Case LLP provides ‘excellent service from a consistently impressive team', led by Lee Cullinane. Jacqueline Evans and Rob Matthews advised Innovia Group on a £342m notes issue combined with a €60m super senior revolving credit syndicated facility. Jake Mincemoyer advised Deutsche Bank on providing facilities of $422m and €496m for Minimax. Also recommended are the ‘technically brilliant' Gareth Eagles, Jeremy Duffy, emerging markets expert Christopher Czarnocki, and private equity specialist Colin Harley.

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

‘Able to work seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions', White & Case LLP provides ‘high-quality commercial advice' to a range of stakeholders engaged in cross-border restructurings. The ‘commercially savvy' Christian Pilkington has ‘unrivalled knowledge of his practice area', and recently advised Mid Europa Partners and its portfolio company Magyar Telecom on the financial restructuring of Magyar via an English law scheme of arrangement. Other clients include Anchorage and GSO Capital Partners. Stephen Phillips joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP in February 2014.

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

White & Case LLP has ‘a great DCM practice' which is ‘strong in emerging markets and an increasingly prominent pan-European player'. Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes’ team ‘knows its subject well and is always very efficient', and provides ‘timely and balanced advice'. Stuart Matty and Melissa Butler advised the Republic of Rwanda on its $400m sovereign issue. Michael Doran advised HSBC on PTA Bank’s $1.1bn EMTN programme. Andrew Weiler and Ian Clark lead the US private placement practice. Also recommended are Doron Loewinger and Kevin Ng, who is ‘knowledgeable, commercial succinct and accurate'.

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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 includes Ingrid York, who is ‘intelligent, charming and efficient, always remaining practical and business orientated'. York assisted a major oil company with derivatives aspects of a project finance deal for a petrochemicals plant, and advised a leading investment bank on its provision of interest rate and inflation hedging services.

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

‘The quintessential emerging markets law firm', White & Case LLP is ‘among the top firms, and is dominant in frontier emerging markets debt'. ‘Brilliant negotiators' Saul Daniel and Ellis Baker regularly work alongside Philip Stopford, who recently advised Saudi Aramco on a $20bn petrochemicals project. Debt specialist Stuart Matty acted for the Republic of Rwanda on its $400m debut bond issue. Jason Kerr advised Standard Bank on a $765m bridge loan for Nigerian oil assets, and export credit agencies on $7.5bn to finance a diesel project in Uzbekistan. Christopher Czarnocki is recommended for trade finance.

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

White & Case LLP has ‘a robust practice of very high quality that is keen to help'. The ‘commercial and pragmatic' Rob Matthews, Jill Concannon and the ‘extremely efficient' James Greene advised Wind Acquisition Finance on its €3.75bn issue. David Becker and the ‘smart, business-oriented, super-technical' Colin Chang are also recommended.

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

White & Case LLP’s cross-office practice has particular strength on the project finance side, in 2013 advising Saudi Aramco on the financing of the $20bn Sadara chemical complex, and also acting for the lenders on the construction of a $10bn smelter for EMAL Aluminium. The team includes Tom Bartlett and Philip Stopford in London and Shibeer Ahmed and Margaret Cole in Abu Dhabi, and counts the State of Qatar, China Development Bank and Abu Dhabi Equity Partners among its clients.

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Within Securitisation, tier 4

White & Case LLP is particularly strong in emerging markets transactions, including covered bonds programmes in Turkey. Gavin McLean advised on an innovative UK equipment lease deal, and Joshua Parbhu advised the arrangers on a large European CLO. Derivatives expert Ingrid York is ‘intelligent, practical and very responsive'.

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

Practice head Christopher Czarnocki at White & Case LLP has ‘extensive experience in ECA-backed and structured deals in emerging markets'. Jason Kerr and Mukund Dhar advised Standard Bank on a $765m bridge financing for Shoreline Natural Resources to secure oil assets in Nigeria. Tom Bartlett advised the lenders on a $586m credit facility for Globalstar. The firm has ‘deep knowledge of global markets and strong relationships with lenders'.

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London: Human resources

Within Employee share schemes, tier 4

White & Case LLP has an ‘excellent' practice under Nicholas Greenacre, who led advice for Expedia Inc on the roll-out of an employee stock option plan in multiple jurisdictions - a rarity in the current economic climate. UBS and Germany’s Evonik Industries are clients, and Euan Fergusson is recommended.

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Within Employment: employers and senior executives, tier 6

The ‘excellent'White & Case LLP is ‘responsive' and provides ‘solution-based' advice. The team has a strong focus on advisory work, and acted for Swinton on restructuring senior management roles, including negotiating a departure and recruiting a HR director. Oliver Brettle leads the team, and Stephen Ravenscroft is also recommended.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Within Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP), White & Case LLP is a first tier firm,

Highly regarded for project finance, White & Case LLP has a significant presence on mega-deals such as the $20bn Sadara petrochemicals project in Saudi Arabia, where it advised sponsor Saudi Aramco, and the EMAL smelter project in the UAE, where it advised on the second phase of financial close. Indicative of its reputation for one-of-a-kind mandates, it continues to advise the sponsors on the Landsvirkjun interconnector cable project. Practice head Philip Stopford is highly respected, with other key contacts including PPP expert Caroline Miller Smith, and Mark Castillo-Bernaus, who led the advice to the lenders on the financial close of EMAL, above.

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

White & Case LLP’s team is advising the lenders on the Islamic and conventional financing aspects of the $10bn Emirates Aluminium Smelter Project, and represented New World Resources plc in the disposal of a 100% stake in OKK Koksovny to the METALIMEX group. Team head Philip Stopford, who is leading the advice to Saudi Aramco on financing of the $20bn Sadara Petrochemical Project. Rebecca Campbell, formerly in-house at BHP Billiton, and the highly regarded John Tivey, who is based in Hong Kong, are among the key contacts.

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

White & Case LLP’s ‘top quartile' group gains plaudits for its capacity in big-ticket project finance, with leading market figure Philip Stopford and the recommended Tom Bartlett continuing to advise the Saudi Aramco on the $20bn Sadara Petrochemical Project. The team’s lender mandates included advising various banks, including ECAs and Islamic institutions, on a large-scale diesel and naphtha gas-to-liquid project in Uzbekistan. Saul Daniel is recommended for project development, and Peter Finlay is, according to one client, ‘one of the best negotiators and facilitators I’ve ever worked with'.

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

White & Case LLP’s team ‘displays deep sector knowledge from associate-level to partners'. Its typically large-scale project mandates included advising Ruwais Power Company and its sponsors on the refinancing of the $2.3bn Shuweihat 2 IWPP in the UAE. Jason Kerr and David Baker are highly regarded project finance lawyers, and Mark Castillo-Bernaus attracts praise for his ‘very deep insight and ability to motivate his team and his clients'.

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London: Real estate

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

White & Case LLP has one of the leading real estate practices of the US-based firms. A leading adviser in relation to data centres, it recently acted for Digital Realty Trust on the £200m-plus acquisition, development and leasing of the largest data centre campus in Europe, in Crawley. James Dodsworth has ‘excellent knowledge and business acumen', and David Cox has ‘a great manner with clients and other lawyers'.

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

With ‘excellent strength in depth', White & Case LLP has expertise in high-value international projects and disputes. It continues to advise Qatar Railways Company on the development of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project, while other clients include Alstom, Blumenthal, Carbon Holdings and Eurotunnel. Team head Ellis Baker is ‘a technically excellent construction lawyer'; Paul Cowan is ‘a very good performer and has in-depth knowledge'; Mark Goodrich is ‘incredibly bright'; and Phillip Capper is ‘a star performer in hearings and is also very focused when it comes to administering submissions'. Associate Julian Bailey joined from CMS.

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Within Property finance, tier 5

White & Case LLP advised Wilmington Trust as security trust agent on Vitus’ refinancing of its multi-family housing portfolio by way of a €754m CMBS. Other clients include BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Cerberus. David Cox and James Dodsworth display ‘excellent knowledge and business acumen'.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

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

White & Case LLP continued to advise American Express on implementing its global BCR scheme, and Facebook on regulatory issues regarding its UK website. The practice has also been advising on cross-border compliance matters, online advertising and new technology services. Ashley Winton* leads the global data privacy and cyber security team. *Ashley Winton is now at Paul Hastings LLP.

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Within IT and telecoms, tier 4

White & Case LLP advises on cross-border procurement and contract arrangements, and also handles e-commerce and other technology issues. Ashley Winton* recently assisted Facebook in relation to pan-European regulatory matters, and advised Boeing and Unicredit on contractual issues. David Eisenberg leads on telecoms regulatory and transactional work. *Ashley Winton is now at Paul Hastings LLP.

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London: Transport

Within Rail, tier 4

Led by Philip Stopford, White & Case LLP’s ‘excellent' rail team delivers ‘top-notch client care skills'. It is advising Qatar Rail on the $36bn construction of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project, and acting for Vale on the financing of the Nacala Project. The latter includes the construction of a new line to connect Moatize mine, in Tete, to the existing railway line in Malawi at Nkaya Junction. Phillip Capper, David Eisenberg, Ellis Baker and Caroline Miller Smith are recommended.

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Further information on White & Case LLP

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United States

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

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