The Legal 500

Steptoe & Johnson

Work 020 7367 8000
Fax 020 7367 8001



London: Corporate and commercial

Within EU and competition EU and competition: Trade, WTO, anti-dumping, customs

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

Michael Thompson leads the four-partner team at Steptoe & Johnson, which includes the newly promoted Michael Fox. Its client base mirrors its specialisms in retail, technology, property and manufacturing and includes Spark Networks, Emerisque Brands and Illinois Tool Works.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Within Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption), Steptoe & Johnson is a third tier firm,

At Steptoe & Johnson, Patrick Rappo ’s growing team includes Jeffery Cottle , who joined from BHP Billiton. The firm has ‘excellent knowledge' of enforcement on a global scale. Rappo previously worked for the SFO.

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London: Dispute resolution

Within Commercial litigation Commercial litigation

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Within International arbitration International arbitration

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Within Public international law, Steptoe & Johnson is a third tier firm,

Steptoe & Johnson has ‘excellent appreciation of all aspects of public international law'. The team acted on applications before ICSID tribunals, including obtaining an injunction against the Government of Zimbabwe to protect the life and safety of the claimants. Patrick Norton and Matthew Coleman are highly regarded.

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London: Insurance

Within Insurance and reinsurance litigation, tier 5

Steptoe & Johnson’s experience includes reinsurance fraud, environmental coverage and cases involving hazardous products. Department head Angus Rodger has particular expertise in financial services, with recent matters including an LCIA arbitration regarding an alleged $1bn fraud.

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Within Insurance: corporate and regulatory, tier 4

Steptoe & Johnson’s recent work includes pension buy-ins/buyouts and advice to insurers in relation to PPI issues. Department head Angus Rodger is currently assisting FirstAssist Insurance Services with a range of regulatory and transactional matters. Other clients include CIGNA and P&O.

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London: Real estate

Within Commercial property, tier 4

‘Professional, appropriately knowledgeable and the equal of larger practices', Steptoe & Johnson is acting for Bride Hall on a number of mixed-use schemes, and continues to advise data centre provider Telecity Group. Brendan Patterson, Matthew Farmer and Sam Kelly are recommended.

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Within Construction, tier 5

Steptoe & Johnson’s team is ‘the real deal', with ‘incredibly intelligent practitioners' such as department head Jonathan Raynes. The firm counts as Gatwick Airport and O’Keefe Construction Group among its clients.

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Further information on Steptoe & Johnson LLP

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Legal Developments in the UK

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

    How to build an investment fraud defence case that disproves prosecution allegations of dishonesty.

    With a town council now officially facing a fraud investigation, we examine what individuals in such a large body should do if they come under suspicion.
  • The risks of liberation

    The dangers that pension liberation and money laundering pose to those involved in pension funds and management.

    What has been achieved since the introduction of the Act that was intended to tackle bribery in business?

    Five banks being fined £3.6 billion in the US for manipulating forex is a stark reminder of the legal risks involved in currency trading. Here, Aziz Rahman of Rahman Ravelli examines how the brokers and the traders in forex can avoid legal problems.
  • Foreign Intercepts

  • 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.

  • 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?