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CMS

CANNON PLACE, 78 CANNON STREET, LONDON, EC4N 6AF, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7367 3000
Fax:
Fax 020 7367 2000
Email:
Web:
https://cms.law
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Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS handles the gamut of issues arising from strategically complex, cross-border agreements (often involving multiple parties), where it acts for clients active in a wide range of industries, such as financial services, life sciences, oil and gas, consumer products, and TMT. The team advises on BPO and IT/technology outsourcing deals, franchising and licensing, strategic collaborations and distribution agreements, among other matters. Sarah Hanson is assisting Futura Medical with commercialising its CSD500 medical device, which recently involved handling multiple cross-border distribution agreements for the client. Another recent highlight involved Ian Stevens advising fintech company Clearscore on the expansion of its business. John Armstrong, who has more than 25 years of commercial contracts experience, acts for clients such as Value Retail, BP and DKNY. Paul Silver and Duncan Turner recently made partner. Following the firm’s recent merger with Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, the newly amalgamated practice now benefits from the expertise of highly regarded practitioners who were formerly at Olswang LLP, such as Dominic Dryden, Matthew Bennett, Laurence Kalman and Alex Dixie.

Next generation lawyers

Paul Silver - CMS

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

CMS

Following a three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang, CMS’s tax department has significantly expanded, both in terms of personnel and in breadth of specialism and experience. The department now fields 13 partners and has expertise in areas such as real estate taxation, tax planning in connection with a wide range of corporate and private equity transactions, fund structuring, employee incentives and IP and technology tax issues. Richard Croker leads the corporate tax team alongside department co-head Stephen Hignett, the latter of whom has been involved in multiple, complex demergers and reorganisations in 2016. Similarly, on the corporate transactional side, Sam Dames, Mark Joscelyne and Aaron Fairhurst have experience of the gamut of M&A, finance and private equity work. Clíona Kirby maintains an active tax advisory practice and advised DV4 Limited on the tax structuring of a residential investment partnership with Qatari Diar Real Estate and a Dutch pension fund asset manager. Additionally, Nick Burt, Jim Hillan and the ‘practical and solution-focusedGraham Chase have particular expertise in real estate and funds taxation.

Leading individuals

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 4

CMS

Cyrus Mehta and Caroline Hobson head the ‘excellent’ practice at CMS, which has been strengthened following its three-way merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP. The amalgamated practice, which provides ‘solid, commercial, and balanced’, acts for a list of heavyweight clients including Mercedes-Benz UK, Thomson Reuters, BT, Amazon, and IMG, and the practice is active across the energy, life sciences, financial services, transport, and technology sectors. The ‘commercial and client-friendlySatyen Dhana acted on EU and UK merger control and competition issues arising from SSE’s sale of its stake in Scotia Gas Networks to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, while Graeme Young advised the University of Glasgow in relation to the CMA’s investigation into the university’s student debt policy. Mehta advised the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) on the CMA’s remittal investigation following a successful appeal against the CMA’s decision to impose divestments during its original investigation into private healthcare. Brian Sher (who is praised for his ‘devotion to his clients’ and ‘boundless energy’) advised GlaxoSmithKline on the competition law aspects of disputes with generic companies over infringement of trade mark rights in multiple European jurisdictions. Other recent work includes advising PVC Holdings in relation to the CMA’s cartel investigation into a number of modelling agencies, and acting for an overseas financial institution subject to an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 4

CMS

With ‘strong knowledge of share placings for brokers and corporates’, CMS has an active transactional and regulatory equity capital markets practice, with particular strength in the mid-market. Cathy Pitt was especially active in 2016 and acted for Winterflood Investment Trusts as sponsor to Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments’ £80m IPO. James Parkes advised Hollywood Bowl Group on its IPO and admission to the LSE’s main market, and also handled a debt and equity restructuring immediately prior to the client’s IPO. Additionally, Parkes and practice head Gary Green acted for Hunting plc in relation to a cash box placing, which raised about £70.9m. The firm strengthened its US securities capabilities through its highly publicised three-way-merger in 2016. Daniel Winterfeldt left for Reed Smith LLP. The team also has a strong Scotland-based practice, and Graeme Bruce is recommended in the Glasgow office.

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Financial services
Financial services (contentious) - ranked: tier 2

CMS

Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory) - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS’ financial services team displays ‘great industry knowledge’ and provides ‘highly commercial’ contentious and non-contentious advice to retail and wholesale banking clients. Benefiting from an ‘unfathomable depth of knowledge’, Simon Morrisalways puts forth the most accurate position’ and is particularly strong in the retail insurance market. Praised for her ‘cool and considered approach’, as well as her ‘willingness to take on board comments and points from the client’, Alison McHaffie has vast experience advising financial services entities that are subject to regulatory investigations involving retail mis-selling, conflicts of interest and market abuse. The ‘client focused and commercialBill McCaffrey has a ‘detailed knowledge’ of regulatory matters, particularly as they relate to consumer credit. Maxine Cupitt is also recommended. For non-contentious matters, the ‘client friendlyAsh Saluja is ‘extremely knowledgeable and practical’ on the regulatory issues impacting a broad spectrum of financial services entities including banks, broker-dealers, funds and insurers. The ‘technically excellent’ associate James Dickie is a ‘rising star’ who is ‘extremely practical even in the most stressful situations’.

Leading individuals

Simon Morris - CMS

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 2

CMS

Following CMS’s recent merger with Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, the amalgamated practice now benefits from a team that combines Nabarro LLP’s historical strengths in the healthcare and life sciences, technology, corporate real estate and infrastructure sectors, with Olswang LLP’s traditional strengths in industries such as TMT and leisure. James Parkes was the lead adviser to Hollywood Bowl Group on its £240m IPO and admission to the Main Market, representing one of the few IPOs to successfully complete in the aftermath of the UK referendum on EU membership in 2016. Cathy Pitt acted for N+1 Singer as sponsor and placing agent on RM Secured Direct Lending’s £50m IPO. Iain Newman acted for Investec on a number of placings (including IMImobile Plc’s £5m placing), while Alasdair Steele advised Allenby Capital and Dowgate Capital as joint brokers on the £16m AIM IPO of Franchise Brands. Paul Blackmore is also highly regarded.

Leading individuals

Iain Newman - CMS

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 3

CMS

Having undergone significant expansion following its merger with Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, CMS saw its M&A capabilities bolstered by the arrival of 20 M&A partners from the legacy firms. Real estate-related corporate work is one area that has grown stronger for the department post-merger, particularly in the hotels space: the ‘experienced, approachable yet toughLouise Wallace assisted LSREF3 Atlas Holdings with its sale of the entirety of Atlas Hotels Group’s business and portfolio to London & Regional Properties for over £500m. Energy is an area in which the practice consistently performs impressively: Charles Currier and Sandra Rafferty acted for Quad Gas Group on its purchase of a 61% stake in National Grid’s £13.8bn UK gas distribution business. In another key energy deal, Doug Land acted for longstanding client SSE on its £621m sale of a 16.7% stake in Scotia Gas Networks to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and on its £355m sale of a 49.9% stake in 350MW Clyde wind farm to Greencoat UK Wind and GLIL. Other energy clients include BP and RWE. The ‘excellent, experiencedGary Green is ‘a great person to have on your team’. From Nabarro’s legacy practice, Iain Newman, healthcare specialist Warren Taylor and start-ups expert John Finnemore are recommended, while key figures from Olswang include Mark Bertram, Katie Nagy de Nagybaczon and Paul Guite. Heineken International, Redefine International and Care UK are all legacy Nabarro clients; Time Warner, BBC Worldwide, Sony and Dentsu Aegis were brought over by Olswang, which was well known for its strength in TMT. Other sector strengths include financial services, healthcare and life sciences, infrastructure and consumer products.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Mid-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS’s private equity team expanded significantly following the firm’s recent merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP; Mark Bertram, Chris Mackie and Georgina Ball were among a number of former Olswang LLP lawyers to join the amalgamated group. The team particularly stands out in upper mid-market transactions, where it acts for some of the most prominent investors in this space, including Advent International Corporation, Oakley Capital Partners and Epiris Managers. In 2016, Martin Treagus (‘very good at getting the deal done in a constructive way’) acted for LGV Capital on its £118m sale of the pub chain Liberation Group to Caledonia Investments. In another highlight, James Grimwood assisted Risk Capital Partners with the £52m sale of specialist online travel agent cruise.co to Bridgepoint Development Capital, which involved a highly competitive bidding process. Louise Wallace undertakes a significant amount of private equity work in the hotels and leisure and consumer products industries. Other names to note include David Davidson, who is based in Edinburgh, and Dipesh Santilale.

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 3

CMS

Following the three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang, CMS brought in a number of partners with experience in the tax aspects of real estate transactions.Graham Chase, Stephen Hignett and Cliona Kirby joined the firm from Olswang; Kirby acted for DV4 Limited in relation to the VAT and SDLT issues arising from the merger of the East Village and Elephant & Castle redevelopment sites into new partnership structures. Similarly, Nick Burt and Phil Anderson have extensive experience of high-value property transactions and joined from Nabarro in the merger.

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Venture capital
Venture capital - ranked: tier 3

CMS

Substantially enhanced in May 2017 by the combination with Olswang and Nabarro, CMS provides expertise out of London and its regional offices to investors and investees, and is able to handle the full venture capital lifecycle, from seed financing through to late-stage investments and exits. Chris Southorn has significant venture capital exposure by dint of his wide-ranging company law practice; he recently advised venture capital builder Blenheim Chalcot on its acquisition of analytics firm iJento. Based in the firm’s Aberdeen office, Helen Machin advised social impact investor Nesta Impact Investments and GSTC Health Innovations, in the £500,000 Series A funding round in Genera, a fast-growing healthcare technology. Machin is also responsible for helping to grow the firm’s flourishing relationship with Business Growth Fund. Formerly at Nabarro, John Finnemore has an ‘excellent reputation’ on behalf of both early stage companies and funds, while ex-Olswang partner Chris Mackie brings venture capital expertise as part of his broader mid-market private equity offering.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 3

CMS

Following its three-firm merger in May 2017, CMScontinues to provide an excellent level of service’ and ‘has a great strength and depth within the team’. The department is noted for its ‘great knowledge of Russia’, and regularly handles cross-border fraud disputes involving Russian and CIS jurisdictions. Key active clients include Par-La-Ville Hotel and Residences, Guralp Systems and Yukos Capital, and the firm is currently representing the latter in a Commercial Court claim against individuals who allegedly acquired shares by means of a rigged auction. Practice head Bernard O’Sullivan is ‘a lateral thinker who doesn’t scare easily’ and ‘always puts his client’s interests first’. CMS

Following its three-firm merger in May 2017, CMScontinues to provide an excellent level of service’ and ‘has a great strength and depth within the team’. The department is noted for its ‘great knowledge of Russia’, and regularly handles cross-border fraud disputes involving Russian and CIS jurisdictions. Key active clients include Par-La-Ville Hotel and Residences, Guralp Systems and Yukos Capital, and the firm is currently representing the latter in a Commercial Court claim against individuals who allegedly acquired shares by means of a rigged auction. Practice head Bernard O’Sullivan is ‘a lateral thinker who doesn’t scare easily’ and ‘always puts his client’s interests first’. CMS

Leading individuals

Bernard O’Sullivan - CMS

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Gaming and betting
Gaming and betting - ranked: tier 1

CMS

The ‘all-round excellent’ team at CMS advises a mix of broadcasters, sports rights holders, publishers and software developers on the full range of gambling issues across various sectors. The team continues to advise the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) on the UK Government’s reform to the taxation of remote gambling services, issuing judicial review proceedings for the High Court to determine the lawfulness of the new tax regimes, and is also advising online gambling business Gamesys on the £425m sale of its Jackpotjoy, Starspins and Botemania business to the Intertain Group. Key practitioners include practice head David Zeffman, corporate lawyer Rob Willis, litigation specialist Dan Tench and Stephen Hignett, who has notable expertise in the gambling sector.

Next generation lawyers

Anna Soilleux-Mills - CMS

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London: Dispute resolution

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

CMS

CMS is ‘superb; it gives proactive, strategic advice that is delivered with continuity by a team with strength in depth’. The firm recently merged with Nabarro and Olswang; and its experience spans the full reach of banking litigation, including limitation of loss, trading of litigation rights, claims arising from insolvencies, constructive-trust style claims, and claims arising from breach of FSA regulations, in addition to representing clients in major Commercial Court disputes and High Court proceedings. Duncan Aldred leads the firm’s banking litigation team, dealing mainly with banking and insolvency professionals on contentious matters; and Guy Pendell is ‘recommended for his ‘excellent judgement, strategic thinking and client-focused advice’. Alison McHaffie specialises exclusively in contentious regulatory matters, with a particular focus on the banking sector. Maxine Cupitt, Omar Qureshi and Phil Woodfield are also highly rated. Gemma Lampert in Edinburgh is recommended for financial services contentious advice.

Leading individuals

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS recently entered into a three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang. Incoming expertise from Nabarro included that of Jonathan Warne, who is ‘a particularly impressive litigator’, Tom Dane, Lee Gluyas and Adam Greaves, as well as Andrew Taplin, Ben Trust and Sukhi Kaler. Key Olswang LLP figures include Richard Bamforth, whose ‘strength is his ability to combine and marry his top-quality court craft with client needs’; Steven Corney and Ian Felstead, who are ‘a real pleasure to deal with and have great ability’; and Jeremy Mash. Frequently involved in high-profile, bet-the-company litigation, the ‘responsive, engaged and pro-active’ disputes group is well known for energy litigation, coverage disputes and construction litigation. It also draws upon the firm’s practices in TMC, life sciences, corporate recovery, IP, insurance, hotels, pensions, employment and real estate. Recent highlights include the team acting for Rosneft Marine (UK) in an oil products dispute. Guy Pendell, energy disputes specialist Phillip Ashley, who is ‘an excellent strategist’, Alexander Denslow, Simon Garrett and Omar Qureshi are all highly experienced, as are Rob Wilson, Duncan Aldred, Susan Barty, Adrian Bell and Sarah Grenfell.

Leading individuals

Guy Pendell - CMS

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS entered into a three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang. The group is recommended for its ‘out-of-the box approach, timeliness and cost effectiveness’; it has sector expertise in energy, construction and infrastructure, as well as the TMC, insurance, hotels and leisure, and life sciences industries. Key Olswang LLP arrivals were arbitration head Richard Bamforth, who is ‘one of the best in the business’, and Jeremy Mash, while Jonathan Warne, who is ‘a skilled strategist and has brilliant client skills’, Adam Greaves, Tom Dane and Christopher Gooding joined from Nabarro. Guy Pendell, Phillip Ashley, Adrian Bell, Colin Hutton and energy head Rob Wilson are all highly rated, as are Alex Denslow, who is known for construction and insurance arbitrations, Omar Qureshi, and Sarah Grenfell.

Leading individuals

Guy Pendell - CMS

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Mediators

Tim Hardy at CMS is ‘thorough, very even-handed, and clearly has a lot of experience in dealing with commercial disputes’. Hardy, who is also a CEDR Solve panel member, recently mediated a retail sector and minority shareholder-related dispute.

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Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 2

CMS

Sheffield-based Chris Horsefield and Manchester-based Rachel Cooper (who is ‘tireless’, ‘super commercial’ and ‘amazing with clients’) head the practice at CMS, which acts on both the prosecution and defence sides in the healthcare and education sectors. The team is on the panels of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the General Optical Council. Cooper and ‘efficient’ and ‘hardworking’ associate Katie Henderson (based in Manchester), who ‘handles work well beyond her seniority as a solicitor with aplomb’, acted on behalf of the NCTL in a number of proceedings against teachers facing allegations of historic sexual abuse, exerting an undue amount of religious influence, and sending sexually motivated social media messages to teenage pupils. The team also receives instructions from the Medical Defence Union to act in a number of fitness to practice proceedings and investigation committee hearings before the General Medical Council.

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 4

CMS

CMS, which recently merged with Nabarro and Olswang, ‘has good capacity to handle PIL disputes’. Formerly of Nabarro, Karen Denny is ‘the leading light in the PIL practice; she is very sharp, switched on, and has good client skills’. Denny’s experience includes advising on sovereign immunity issues; freezing injunctions; the enforcement of foreign judgments; obtaining evidence for use in overseas proceedings; and complex fraud and tracing disputes. Christopher Gooding and Sukhi Kaler are names to note.

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 5

CMS

Enhanced by the firm’s recent combination with Olswang and Nabarro, CMS provides ‘commercial, pragmatic and responsive’ advice to lenders and private equity sponsors on leveraged finance deals within the mid-market. Alex Patience, Patrick Donegan and Mark Moseling are all recommended. Peter Crichton joined McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in May 2017.

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Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 6

CMS

Benefiting from ‘impressive technical and industry knowledge’, CMS provides ‘robust yet commercial advice’ to a range of stakeholders engaged in the financing of a broad mix of asset classes. On the aviation finance front, Keith Wilson is praised for his ‘lateral thinking, commerciality and creativity’. Tim Elliot relocated to the firm's Hong Kong office.

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

CMS

Recently enhanced by the combination with Olswang and Nabarro, CMS has strength in depth out of London, the regions and internationally, enabling it to act for a balanced spread of corporates and lenders, which in addition to the firm’s staple core of clearing banks also includes a growing number of investment banks. Working in conjunction with a number of the firm’s international offices including Brazil and Mexico, Alex Patience advised new client Rabobank and a syndicate of lenders on the provision of cross-border, multi-base currency facilities for Genus. Patience also advised HSBC and Lloyds on the £70m financing of BGL Group to support the group’s securitisation. Ted Harrison, Patrick Donegan, Mark Moseling and Neil James are also recommended.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 4

CMS

Enhanced by the firm’s recent combination with Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, CMS provides ‘practical and cost-effective’ advice to a balanced mix of debtor and creditor clients including clearing banks, funds, IPs and corporates. The ‘very solutions-orientedRita Lowe has developed a significant niche advising on law firm insolvencies including her recent work for King & Wood Mallesons LLP on negotiations with its lender and subsequent administration. Peter Wiltshire is ‘excellent on bank-related matters’ and recently advised Lloyds Banking Group’s client asset management team in relation to its largest exposure in connection with its lending to the Long Port Group of companies (which is comprised of 11 Guernsey registered companies and limited partnerships with prime real estate assets in Guernsey, Jersey and England). ‘Excellent problem solverAshley Smith provides ‘very clear and commercial advice’ to stakeholders engaged in traditional insolvencies and restructurings, as well as in debt trading scenarios. The ‘very hands onDuncan Aldred provides contentious insolvency expertise and is a key member of the team that also includes Martin Brown, who excels at multi-jurisdictional mandates, as well as Patricia Godfrey and Glen Flannery, who add gravitas to the team following their arrival from Nabarro LLP. Clients include RBS, HSBC, KPMG and National Australia Bank.

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS is ‘excellent on all fronts; very responsive and knows its clients’ business very well’. ‘The lawyers leave their egos at the door’ say clients of Michael Cavers and Jason Harding, who are ‘very focused, consistent, effective and excellent at client service’. The firm’s recent merger with Nabarro and Olswang added corporate partners with DCM experience including co-head of the corporate group Iain Newman and real estate finance partner Mike Delaney, although the legacy CMS team is where the bulk of the firm’s debt capital markets experience lies. Cavers leads the team and frequently handles project bonds, debt programmes and standalone issuance. Harding focuses on structured finance but acts for banks and corporates on Eurobonds and project bonds. Clients remark that the team’s in-depth experience ‘makes negotiations easier and helps to form pragmatic relationships with other law firms’. Daniel Winterfeldt joined Reed Smith LLP. A highlight for the CMS team in 2016 was its work for Ei Group on a range of capital markets transactions including a £250m liabilty management transaction. The firm also acted for Northumbrian Water on the refinancing of £300m in guaranteed bonds.

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

CMS

CMS has a diverse practice that acts for an impressive client base across the full range of derivatives and structured products. In the longevity risk market, it acts for clients such as Abbey Life Insurance, Deutsche Bank and Swiss Re. In the retail products space, the practice is advising the likes of Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan on retail structured products including notes, warrants and certificates, and advises those same banks on credit derivatives and is also a preferred choice for buy-side and sell-side clients for advice on equity derivatives. Will Dibble acts for investment and retail banks and corporates on derivatives and structured products including wholesale and retail structured product offerings such as credit, equity, fund, commodity and forex-linked products. Jason Brooks advises on credit derivatives and equity derivatives, as well as structured financial products including repos and securities lending transactions. Michael Cavers is an expert on retail products, equity and fund-linked derivative transactions, loan-linked hedging and credit-linked notes. Jason Harding and insurance sector specialist James Parker are also recommended. Mike Munro who is co-head of the firm’s life, pensions and longevity risk team, along with Parker, advised Pension Insurance Company on a £1.1bn longevity swap. The recent merger with Olswang brought in a team that is ‘excellent and really knows its stuff’. Charles Kerrigan is ‘on the ball’ and specialises in real estate and technology sector deals for domestic and international lenders, investors and funds. Ruth Markencombines technical legal expertise with robust commercial understanding’ and acts for lenders, large corporates and funds on technology finance and derivatives. Anne Chitan is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Will Dibble - CMS

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 3

CMS

At CMS, experienced partners Michael Cavers, Jason Harding and Jason Brooks each bring specific areas of expertise within the structured finance group. Cavers advises corporates, trustees and financial institutions on a range of securitisation transactions, including whole-business deals; Harding acts for leading financial institutions and corporates in all areas of the debt capital markets, including securitisations and CDOs; and Brooks has a diverse derivatives and structured finance practice that sees him act in innovative asset-backed and synthetic credit transactions. Last year, Cavers continued to advise longstanding client Ei Group, which was formerly Enterprise Inns, on its £1bn pub securitisation, which included amendments to documentation in light of new legislation. Harding assisted Northumbrian Water with changes to its existing £248m securitisation of the water resources operating agreement for the Kielder reservoir following the ratings downgrade of the account bank. Highlights for Brooks included acting for UniCredit’s asset backed note programme TransAlp on programme updates for private securitisations and repackagings.

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 2

CMS

Following its merger with Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, CMS boasts a ‘very strong’ incentives group with ‘a good international perspective’. Group head Nicholas Stretch advised Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners on tax and investment issues relating to the company’s spin-out from BTG. The ‘excellentAndrew Quayle, who previously headed Olswang’s share schemes team, has been assisting Cineworld in matters including the implementation of a new long-term plan across seven European jurisdictions. Clients also recommend of counsel Catherine Merry, who is ‘very pragmatic and responsive’; and Graham Muir, who led the incentives practice at Nabarro.

Leading individuals
Next generation lawyers

Catherine Merry - CMS

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 3

CMS

Following its merger with legacy firms Nabarro and Olswang, CMS’s ‘technically sound, responsive and timely’ practice has strengthened significantly across the full gamut of employment work, with a notable increase in regulatory matters for clients in the financial services sector. Sarah Ozanne led advice to King & Wood Mallesons on the employment aspects arising from the firm’s insolvency. Practice head Melanie Lane, who formerly led the olswang team, has been advising Ministry of Sound on the employment aspects of the sale of its Ministry of Sound Recordings business to Sony Music UK. On the contentious side, Graham Paul has been assisting BMC with an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) equal pay claim in the private sector. Richard Brown, who previously led the Nabarro team, successfully defended Laing O’Rourke against a claim brought by a former senior employee alleging an unlawful deduction from wages. Clients also recommend ex-Olswang partner Catherine Taylor, who often handles employee competition and contractual disputes brought before the High Court. Anthony Fincham is another name to note. Robert Davies is now at Walbrook Law LLP.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’ practice has significant experience in a wide range of environment, and health and safety matters, and was further bolstered by the firm’s merger with legacy firm Nabarro LLP. Practice head Jan Burgess represents multinational companies in criminal prosecutions, personal injury claims and inquests, among other matters. The team includes Olivia Jamison, who specialises in environmental liability, compliance and risk management matters. Lukas Rootman, who previously headed Nabarro LLP’s practice, has particular expertise acting for companies in the chemicals, construction, energy, waste and manufacturing sectors. Insurance and dispute resolution expert Carl Dray is also recommended.

Leading individuals

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Following the firm’s merger with legacy firms Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, CMS’ enlarged practice ‘has a lot of strength in depth’ across non-contentious and contentious matters, for both corporates and trustees. Maria Rodia and consultant Nigel Moore led advice to MANWEB, now part of ScottishPower, on a £1.6bn longevity swap with Abbey Life. The well-regarded Emma Frost assisted the trustees of the Sony Music Pension Plan in relation to the transfer of the £38m defined-contribution elements of the scheme to the Fidelity Master Trust, as well as advising on indemnity-related issues. Former Nabarro partners Ian Greenstreet and Sam Robinson have been advising B&CE on various pensions matters. On the contentious side, former Nabarro practice head Jennifer Bell and Neal Gibson acted for the trustees of the IBM UK Pensions Trust in the Project Waltz litigation in the High Court. Mark Grant heads the practice, which includes Neil Smith, Mark Atkinson, Keith Webster and Simon Pilcher. Associate Alexandra Tomlinson is also recommended. Former practice head at Olswang Ron Burgess is now at Blake Morgan LLP.

Leading individuals

Mark Grant - CMS

Neal Gibson - CMS

Neil Smith - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Alexandra Tomlinson - CMS

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London: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS’s clinical negligence and medical advisory team predominantly handles negligence claims and professional disciplinary cases on behalf of members of The Medical Defence Union and the Dental Defence Union; other clients include medical and professional indemnity insurers and members of the medical profession involved in matters not covered by a medical defence organisation. The practice has experience in cases involving surgical malpractice, orthopaedics, delayed diagnosis and cosmetic surgery. Department head Chris Horsefield is experienced in defending clinicians in complex high-value and high-profile claims.

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Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’ recent merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP added a further office in Singapore and added political risk, energy and aviation expert Christopher Gooding to the London team. Led by Ed Foss, the practice’s expertise spans various defence and coverage claims, including professional indemnity, construction, reinsurance, cyber risks and trade credit. Insurance sector group head Alex Denslow acted for Miles Smith before the Court of Appeal, which denied Clearway Drainage Systems’ request to overturn the decision that prevented it from obtaining relief from sanctions after the appellant had failed to provide witness statements. Another highlight saw ‘insurance and reinsurance heavy weightSimon Kilgour represent a bank in trade credit disputes concerning non-honouring policies, while Simon Garrett acted in cases regarding trading activities and breach of duty allegations. W. R. Berkley Corporation, Novae and MS Amlin plc are additional clients of the practice, which includes Monica Lesny, cyber and construction expert Stephen Tester and Stephen Netherway, who leads the financial institutions insurance sector team. Senior associate Tom Pangbourne joined the practice from DAC Beachcroft LLP.

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’ ‘outstanding’ team has ‘a deep understanding of the market, the transactional parties and the relevant issues in each matter’, and ‘its collegial approach and straightforward negotiating style allows difficult issues to be resolved in a straightforward manner’. The lawyers are ‘experts in the field of pensions and longevity transactions, and there is a strong depth of knowledge within the team rather than a reliance on one key individual’. Highlights included advising the Trustees of Manweb Group on a £1bn longevity insurance arrangement with Abbey Life Assurance Company, the first arrangement entered into by a pensions provider in the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme; acting for Zurich Assurance in four separate longevity transactions with the Trustees of various UK pension schemes; and advising Standard Life on its acquisition of AXA Portfolio Services, a matter involving intellectual property, data protection, employment and real estate issues. James Parker and Mike Munro co-head the practice; Munro is ‘an expert in his field’ and is ‘extremely helpful in giving the client real commercial insight’. Senior associate Jenny Nanalal is also a name to note, and ‘can understand very intricate technical issues while working tirelessly to get the deal over the line in a mutually beneficial way’.

Leading individuals

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS has ‘a fantastic reputation’ for handling work concerning various professional services sectors. The team, which is based across the firm’s London, Bristol, and other UK offices, stands out for its ‘vast geographical reach’ and its ‘in-depth sector expertise’. Department head Ed Foss has ‘a wealth of experience’ and ‘vast knowledge’. Martin Fox specialises in construction professional indemnity claims and acted for Galliford Try Infrastructure in a dispute pertaining to an £18m claim brought by the owners of Broadway Plaza, a development on the site of a former children’s hospital in Birmingham. The ‘first-rateMonica Lesny defended Nick O’Reilly, the former joint administrator of Sixty UK, in a dispute pertaining to professional indemnity issues brought by the liquidators for alleged negligence in the conduct of an administration. Stephen Netherway heads the firm’s financial institutions insurance group and is acting for Spire Healthcare in a £10m coverage dispute with its insurer, RSA. Insurance head Alex Denslow is representing Miles Smith and its insurers in a case against Clearway Drainage Systems. In Bristol, Cheryl Gibson specialises in advising construction professionals and insurance brokers and Zoe Burge is also noted. Other key team members include Stephen Tester, who is ‘exceptional in construction cases’; the ‘fantasticSimon Garrett; Anna Crew, who leads the solicitors’ negligence team; and of counsels Neil Beighton, Martin Davis, and Sarah Hyde. Senior associate Thomas Pangbourne is also singled out. Belinda Schofield left the firm in 2016.

Leading individuals

Ed Foss - CMS

Martin Fox - CMS

Next generation lawyers:

Thomas Pangbourne - CMS

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Listed funds
Listed funds - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS is ‘excellent: very diligent, experienced and responsive to client needs in provision of transaction advice and listed fund construction: it is very capable of applying sector-specialist knowledge and bringing to bear expertise of partners from elsewhere in the firm’. Practice head Cathy Pitt advised Jeffries as listing sponsor of Vietnam Enterprise Investments concerning the fund’s inclusion in the London Stock Exchange’s premium segment. As far as work around IPOs is concerned, Pitt also advised broker Winterflood Investment Trusts on Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments’ IPO, and acted for N+1 Singer as placing agent on RM Secured Direct Lending’s. In the Edinburgh office, Wendy Colquhoun advised Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust on changes to the company’s investment objectives in order to wind it down. Other clients include Numis Securities.

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 1

CMS

At CMS, which has been bolstered by taking on a strong team from Nabarro, ‘clients get very good service’ as well as ‘a very good all-around approach with good strength in depth’. Key names joining the team as part of the merger include Amanda Howard, Darren Stolzenberg and Victoria Henry – the three have track records of advising on a range of funds, a number of which targeting residential property. Melville Rodrigues, who was already at the firm, ‘brings considerable experience to the table, with significant experience in funds combined with a strong track record and experience in real estate – the combination of these areas of expertise is a great strength’ – his work includes secondary market transactions for a range of managers. Rodrigues also advised Vistra Group on its taking of responsibility for over seventy real estate funds as trustee.

Leading individuals

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Retail funds
Retail funds - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’s ‘very responsive’ team represents blue-chip names in the sector. Karagh Gilliatt is ‘extremely knowledgeable in terms of UK fund industry knowledge’ – she acted for Lloyds Banking Group on a number of fund mergers and a transfer of ISA books, as well as the termination of administration services provided by BNY Mellon. Aidan Campbell ‘thinks about clients; business requirements and gives sound, commercial advice’ – he advised UCITS managers such as Virgin Money on UCITS V. In the fund formation space, Gilliatt acted for T. Bailey on the creation of a new open-ended investment company (OEIC) for Guinness Asset Management.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 1

CMS

The infrastructure team at CMShas an in-depth knowledge of the law and the industry context’, and the partners ‘are adept at ensuring the knowledge cascades down the team over time’. The recent merger with Nabarro and Olswang has enhanced the firm’s enviable client roster and added to its global and UK presence through the gain of offices in Manchester and Sheffield. Robert Grayis exceptional’ and ‘consistently performs at a very high level, and is generous in ensuring that clients are properly advised’; he recently assisted Aspire Defence with the extension of project Allenby Connaught, which involved granting a new £1.1bn construction sub-contract variation from the original PFI deal. Paul Smith, who ‘consistently proves himself to be invaluable’, is representing funders, sponsors and contractors on several PFI project disputes in sectors including health, roads and social housing. On the energy side, Phil Duffield is leading the advice to Low Carbon regarding two battery storage projects secured under National Grid’s first Enhanced Frequency Response regime tender. Co-head Andrew Ivison assisted senior funders with the financing of a new rolling stock to replace the trains of numerous lines run by the East Anglia franchise.

Leading individuals

Paul Smith - CMS

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS fields a host of oil and gas specialists, including energy, projects and construction practice group leader Bob Palmer, head of energy and chairman Penelope Warne, and Ian Herbert. Herbert is acting for BP on its purchase of a 10% stake in the Zohr gas field in Egypt from Eni, with an option to acquire a further 5%. Other highlights included advising on OMV’s acquisition of 25% interest in a gas field in Russia, and acting for Seadrill Group on the the renegotiation of $11bn in bank debt with more than 40 lenders; Andrew Shaw and Stephen Millar are leading on that matter. On the contentious front, Phillip Ashley acted for Rosneft in innovative arbitration proceedings in which the client was given permission by the Court of Appeal to intervene as an interested third party to overturn a High Court decision.

Leading individuals

Bob Palmer - CMS

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Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) - ranked: tier 1

CMS

For some, CMSis perhaps the leading firm when it comes to European energy legislation’; its lawyers ‘understand the industry and clients’ business very well’. Highlights included advising the distribution arm of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks on the procurement of new capacity for the Shetland Islands, and (in an illustration of its market-leading wind power expertise) acting for SSE on the sale of a stake in the Clyde onshore wind farm to Greencoat UK Wind and GLIL for £350m, as well as advising Repsol on the sale of rights to the 784MW Inch Cape project and its stake in the 664MW Beatrice project to Chinese state-owned State Development & Investment Corporation. Robert Lane (who ‘gives very sensible, commercial advice and understands the regulatory environment better than anyone’) heads the power and regulated industries department and is part of the team acting for Dudgeon Offshore Wind on the divestment of offshore transmission assets. He is also advising the bidders on a tender for potential licensees and operators of said assets. Head of clean energy Munir Hassan and Phil Duffield, who sits in the projects sub-team, assisted various investors with the development of numerous innovative battery storage and generation projects. Charles Currier (who leads on power-related corporate matters) and Sandra Rafferty are also recommended, as is Tom Ryan, who is ‘a very capable individual and provides an excellent service when called upon’.

Leading individuals

Robert Lane - CMS

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 3

CMS

Olswang LLP now operates under CMS following the global merger between the firms and Nabarro LLP. With his vast experience in judicial reviews and other administrative challenges, practice head Dan Tench represented the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association before the CJEU in challenging amendments that the UK made to taxation law for remote gambling services by focusing on the constitutional relationship between the countries, and also represented three individuals in bringing a breach of confidence and privacy claim against Google, which saw the Court of Appeal use the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to amend the Data Protection Act 1998, having found that the misuse of private information is a tort and that the claimants were allowed to recover compensation. Other clients include Ingenious Media, Sandoz and Clearcast.

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Healthcare
Healthcare - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’ group includes ‘experts in the complex area where law, regulation, politics and social policy meet’ and the team provides ‘crisp and cost-effective’ service in corporate matters, financing transactions and regulatory work. The group’s commercial, compliance and competition offering was bolstered by the arrival of a team of private sector specialists, including Rachel Cooper, real estate specialist Candice Blackwood and Warren Taylor, who co-heads the life sciences and healthcare group, as a result of the firm’s merger with Nabarro LLP. Jason Zemmel, praised for his ‘commercial insight and judgement’, is advising Orla Healthcare on procurement matters and the expansion of its home care offering to NHS trusts and is representing the client in various commercial disputes. Martin Treagus is assisting Integral Medical Holdings Group with corporate, contractual, tax and regulatory matters as well as handling related procurement work.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS is included in the ranking for the first time thanks to its merger with legacy firm Nabarro LLP, which was widely recognised for its expertise in large-scale public procurement, infrastructure and regeneration projects, real estate issues and education sector-related matters. Waste and renewables expert James Snape jointly heads the department with construction litigator Fraser Askham and Mark Rocca, who are both based in Sheffield. Key clients include Redcar & Cleveland Council and Sheffield City Council; Manchester-based Christopher Hallam, who was a new arrival from Pinsent Masons LLP, is advising the latter on the first phase of the creation of Sheffield’s new retail quarter. Other work included Askham assisting Leicester City Council with the extension of the PFI agreements for four of its schools. Construction expert David Parton and infrastructure financing specialist Lucy Plowright joined the firm from Irwin Mitchell and White & Case LLP respectively.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’s tie-up with Nabarro and Olswang on 1st May 2017 has resulted in a highly significant real estate offering, that is led by the ‘experienced and very calm’, Ciaran Carvalho. The new practice now has access to the full spectrum of clients, including UK REITs such as Land Securities and Hammerson, institutional bodies such as Standard Life Investments and M&G Real Estate, and foreign investors such as Beijing Capital Development Holdings and SRE Group. Key players on the investment side include ‘intelligent and reliable’ investment head Edward Benzecry, who assisted Aberdeen UK Property Fund with the sale of 10 Hammersmith Grove, London, to Brockton Capital; ‘pragmatic and incisive advisorSimon Staite, who advised Beijing Capital Development Holdings on its £200m purchase of 30 Crown Place in the City of London; and Jonathan Lewis. In the development sub-sector, names to note include ‘sensible and approachable’ UK-head Mark Heighton; Kevin Stimpson, who is assisting joint venture partners Hammerson and Standard Life on the £4bn regeneration of Brent Cross; and the ‘very diligent and commercialClare Thomas. The new practice services a plethora of hospitality clients, including the likes of Hyatt and The Savoy, and has considerable experience in big ticket transactional mandates; in one recent example global head of hotels and leisure Thomas Page acted for Cranefield on its acquisition of DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London from Blackstone. In the retail space, there is particular strength on the landlord side, where shopping centre specialist Martyn Needham, is ‘great to work with on transactions’; the practice also acts for tenants such as Toys "R" Us and Sports Direct. Helen Johnson is the main contact for retail work.

Leading individuals

Thomas Page - CMS

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Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 1

CMS

Construction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 1

CMS

At CMS, the recent merger of CMS, Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP has resulted in a substantial practice that impresses on both domestic and international work. On the contentious side, ‘excellent strategistSteven Williams leads on UK mandates and has charge of a team whose members are ‘above all, strong lawyers with a first-class nose for the correct answer to a case’. Williams and Matthew Taylor, who ‘delves into the detail quickly’, continued to handle a range of cases for the likes of Lendlease, and in one work example successfully acted for Brockton Capital in a £4m adjudication relating to the development of retail precinct The Mailbox in Birmingham. The other key contentious practitioner is international arbitration specialist Adrian Bell, a ‘strong and determined litigator who knows where the merits lie, and how to deploy his team to reach a satisfactory outcome’. Bell, who co-heads the team with Williams, recently defended ISG Construction against a multi-party claim in the High Court for defective design and construction at a mixed-use development in central London. The non-contentious team is also well regarded, with head of practice Victoria Pecketta leader in the field, who is quietly leading the changes to the standard forms produced by JCT’. Aside from Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT) matters, Peckett also has extensive experience of international construction forms and is assisting Engie with a number of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the construction of assets to support the provision of electricity to Chile’s Sistema Interconectado central power grid. David Parton leads alongside Peckett and has a strong developer focus; he is acting for Delancey Real Estate Asset Management on the construction aspects of the development of 185 Park Street in Southwark.

Leading individuals
Next generation lawyers

Billie Bingham - CMS

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS is possibly best known for its expertise in waste and contaminated land, and the practice provides a ‘first-class service’ in defending regulatory enforcement actions; Paul Sheridan, who wins praise for his ‘excellent perception, strategic direction and client handling’, recently acted for Brett Aggregates in an Environment Agency investigation arising from a fatality, allegedly from cyanide in the environment. Sheridan’s other highlights included advising Red Industries on the purchase of a landfill. The practice is also highly proficient in areas such as clean energy, EU product advisory work and environmental permitting; Olivia Jamison (who heads the practice with Sheridan) has been advising clients such as John Laing Infrastructure Fund on energy efficiency, carbon schemes and environment reporting requirements. In the transactional space, associate Valentina Keys represented a consortium including Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and CIC Capital Corporation on the environmental aspects of its purchase of a 61% stake in the National Grid’s UK gas distribution business.

Leading individuals
Next generation lawyers

Valentina Keys - CMS

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS’s recent three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang has resulted in a practice that is ‘most definitely in the upper end of the market’. The newly merged firm is able to draw on a unique developer following that includes Hammerson, Land Securities and SEGRO; the ‘very commercialMartin Evans, who is in charge of the team, acted for the SEGRO on its partnership with the GLA to bring forward land across five sites to be rejuvenated for a range of industrial uses. In another major development scheme, Joshua Risso-Gill, who ‘stands out for his legal acumen’, successfully defended Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund in various judicial reviews relating to a site at Enderby Wharf for 1,150 homes and a cruise ship terminal. Ashley Damiral, who is also noted as being an ‘expert in the area of commercial real estate planning’, handled a range of planning issues for housebuilders such as Berkeley Homes and Crest Nicholson. The new practice’s broad capability extends to energy and infrastructure consenting; Stephen McNaught and Robin Hutchison are acting for National Grid on the development consent order (DCO) for an electricity interconnector between the UK and France. McNaught, who gives ‘pragmatic advice on complex matters’, also assisted Scotia Gas Networks and National Grid with their objections to Transport for London (TfL)’s DCO application for the Silvertown Tunnel.

Leading individuals

Martin Evans - CMS

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 2

CMS

Thanks to its merger with Nabarro and Olswang, CMS’s ‘extensively experienced’ department has expanded significantly. ‘Technically strong’ former practice head Andrew Besser and the ‘personable, commercial’ and ‘client-focusedRuth Marken joined from Olswang along with Charles Kerrigan and of counsel Kerry Langton, while Andrew McLean, Mike Delaney and the ‘commercially strongClive Swillman arrived from Nabarro. Swillman advised Urbanest UK on the £350m refinancing of its student accommodation portfolio with M&G Investments and Aviva Investors, while Marken acted for BMO Real Estate Partners on financing its acquisition of a £191m retail real estate portfolio from British Land. Besser advised the trustees of Heron Tower Property Unit Trust on their £400m refinancing of 110 Bishopsgate. The merged practice continues to be particularly strong in the hotels space, thanks to CMS’s credentials in this area; Simon Johnston acted for Cranefield on the £200m financing of its £300m acquisition from Blackstone of the company that owned the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. Together with Jonathan Dames, Johnston advised Pension Insurance Corporation and Assured Guaranty on their £105m financing of a student housing development for the University of London. Keith Ham and Ian McGarr, who are experts in hotel and healthcare financing, are also recommended. Other clients include Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Capital & Regional, Cromwell Property Group and Galliard Homes.

Leading individuals

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

CMS

The ‘exceptionalDanielle Drummond-Brassington heads the team at CMS following the firm’s merger with legacy firms Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP in 2017. The practice, which is ‘one of the best in the market and stands as the pre-eminent firm for property litigation’, fields an ‘extremely professional, responsive and highly knowledgeable’ team. Nick Lloyd is ‘a leading rights of light lawyer’; he is representing Station Hill North and Station Hill South in a dispute pertaining to rights of light and development constraint issues surrounding the Station Hill mixed-use regeneration project. Other noteworthy practitioners include Emma Pinkerton; ‘client favouriteJulie Gattegno, who is ‘a joy to work with’; Nick Wood, who is ‘intensely bright and focused, commercially minded, realistic and incredibly dedicated to the cause’; Marcus Barclay; and the ‘highly commercialSimone Ketchell. Clients also single out senior associates Anna Ralston, who ‘has a great enthusiasm and appetite for heavyweight litigation’ and Robin Biela, who is ‘undoubtedly one to watch in the future’. Highlights included representing citizenM Hotel Group in a dispute regarding the interpretation of a right to waive certain pre-conditions in a contract for a development site sale, acting for Hilton Worldwide in litigation relating to a portfolio of ten hotels, and handling a valuation case for the Wellcome Trust. Jennifer Rickard retired.

Leading individuals

Nick Lloyd - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Anna Ralston - CMS

Robin Biela - CMS

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 2

CMS

Emma Burnett, who is ‘an excellent advocate you will see in the trenches when negotiations are underway’, heads the practice at CMS, which ‘is starting to play in the upper leagues’ following its merger with legacy firms Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP. The expanded team includes John Armstrong, the ‘hardworking and diligentIan Stevens, Sam De Silva, the ‘highly pragmaticElle Todd (who heads the firm’s digital and data team) and litigator Dan Tench. The team’s impressive client roster also includes Ford Credit, National Grid, Fiat, Metlife and Great Portland Estates; De Silva recently advised the latter on its compliance with UK data protection and privacy laws. In another highlight, Tench represented three Safari users whose data was obtained without their consent in a breach of confidence and privacy claim. The team is also recommended for cybersecurity issues, multi-jurisdictional projects and GDPR compliance.

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Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS has expertise across CEE and CIS jurisdictions, and regularly advises on internal and external investigations, enforcement, money laundering compliance and sanctions. The team also has notable experience in Bribery Act matters, and has advised clients in relation to self-reporting and corruption issues. Omar Qureshi heads the corporate crime practice, and Duncan Aldred leads the banking litigation team, advising banks and insolvency professionals on various contentious matters. Maxine Cupitt is the name to note for financial services and insurance work.

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Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS’ practice (previously part of legacy firms Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP) ‘is first rate and has a rare quality in being able to provide exceptional advice to both claimants and defendants’. The group is ‘at the top of the list for corporate reputation management’ and its clients include ITV, Guardian Media Group and Microsoft. In a recent highlight, ‘exceptionally talented and creative lawyerDan Tench defended Bloomberg in a privacy, data protection and breach of confidence claim brought by an individual pertaining to the publication of details of a Serious Fraud Office investigation. The group also acted for Ingenious Media Holdings and its CEO in a judicial review of a decision to disclose information about the clients to journalists from The Times, and represented James Stunt in a libel claim against Associated Newspapers. Geraldine Proudler, who ‘is among the most experienced lawyers in the business’, leads the group, which includes Ian Felstead, Karen Denny and legal director Tamsin Blow. Anna Caddick moved in-house to Facebook.

Leading individuals

Dan Tench - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Tamsin Blow - CMS

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS takes ‘active steps to understand the client’s business’ and ‘provides expert advice without losing sight of the commercial risks and benefits’. It significantly enhanced its brand management offering when it merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, creating a brand management powerhouse that advises on the full range of issues, from registration and enforcement of trade marks to the exploitation and promotion of brands through advertising. Key figures within the sizeable team include Iain Stansfield, who focuses on transactional and advisory work for a client base comprising several well-known names in the advertising and marketing, publishing and retail sectors; head of advertising and marketing Susan Barty ,who is ‘client focussed’ and singled out for her ‘solid industry and legal expertise’. Also recommended are the ‘commercially-mindedTom Scourfield, who heads the IP group, which includes contentious IP specialist and ‘trusted adviserDavid Parrish; Joel Barry, who specialises in the media sector; and Guy Heath and Louise Gellman, who focus on protection, exploitation and enforcement of trade mark rights. Recent highlights include advising Sky on the protection, enforcement and management of more than 3000 trade mark portfolios in over 150 countries; acting for British Olympic Association on infringement and settlements in relation to ambush marketing; and assisting new client eBay with a series of trade mark opposition cases relating to –BAY formative marks. Japan Tobacco International, Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer and Microsoft are also clients.

Leading individuals

Joel Barry - CMS

Susan Barty - CMS

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS’s practice, which already had excellent financial regulatory capabilities, was strengthened by its absorption of Olswang LLP’s ‘brilliant’ team of technology and finance experts, in which ‘innovative’ TMT finance specialist Charles Kerrigan was a key player. Particular areas of expertise for Kerrigan include digital money, payments and blockchain; he has advised both financial institutions and regulators on these matters. Most of the department’s clients are large-scale financial institutions, though it also acts for a number of fintech start-ups. Technology outsourcing expert Dominic Dryden advised Nationwide on the implementation of a new technology platform involving two technology vendors: Murex and Deloitte. Kerrigan, IP partner Joel Vertes and structured finance expert Ruth Marken acted for Big Innovation Centre, a London hub for up-and-coming entities that include fintech start-ups, on various commercial and IP matters. Marken also advised Telit Communications, an AIM-listed "Internet of Things" player and machine-to-machine wireless technology provider, on obtaining $40m-worth of a total of $75m of cross-border financing with HSBC. ClearScore is another client. For corporate work, M&A expert Louis Glass, who has particular experience in technology, internet and e-commerce transactions, is recommended. Elle Todd is the key contact for data protection matters.

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Franchising
Franchising - ranked: tier 3

CMS

CMS’s impressive client roster includes Hakkasn, Hark Rock International, J. Barbour & Sons and Nickelodeon, which the group advises on a broad range of non-contentious and contentious domestic and international franchising matters. Recent highlights include representing Surround Care in ongoing High Court franchising litigation with Caremark involving four defendants, and acting for Thomas Pink on litigation arising from the termination of an existing franchisee, as well as the negotiation of a new master franchisee agreement with Global Brands Group in China. Joel Vertes heads the team, which includes Edinburgh-based William Anderson, who joined from Owen White in October 2016 and is a key name for franchise disputes.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS’ recent merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP has significantly strengthened its IT and telecoms offering. The team is ‘always prompt in its turn-around times’ and has ‘a great ability to listen to its clients and tailor its resourcing to meet the needs of its client’. Recent work includes advising HP on its purchase of Samsung’s printing business. Communications law expert Chris Watson is head of the TMC group and John Armstrong heads the IT practice and is highly regarded for his expertise in business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology outsourcing (ITO) transactions. Commercial contracts specialist Emma Burnett is someone ‘who you will also see in the trenches with you when the negotiations are underway’. Clive Gringras handles contentious and non-contentious matters for clients including Microsoft, Facebook and Airbnb, and Selina Potter focuses on media technology and digital distribution matters. Anthony Waller and Dominic Dryden are best known for their work on technology-related transactions. Other clients include , BT, Orange, the National Grid, the Post Office, VimpelCom and Lloyds Bank.

Leading individuals: Telecoms

Chris Watson - CMS

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’ team provides ‘excellent service in all areas’, and its recent three-way merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP has significantly boosted its capabilities. Tom Scourfield, who is ‘a fountain of knowledge’, recently represented Nestlé in opposition proceedings brought by Mondelēz pertaining to the client’s UK trade mark application to register the shape of a four finger KitKat. He also advises BT on the enforcement of its IP rights on its BT Sport channels, which has included developing an online and offline enforcement strategy. The ‘very professional’ and ‘knowledgeable’ Poonam Majithia, specialises in the sport, TMT and consumer products sectors. Guy Heath, who was formerly head of Nabarro LLP’s practice, focuses on IP transactions and trade mark law. Joel Barry, previously head of Olswang LLP’s IP practice, covers a wide range of IP matters, but is best known for his expertise in brand protection.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS has unrivalled breadth of industry knowledge’ and ‘vast’ expertise spanning film and TV financing and production, as well as broadcasting, advertising, publishing, music and digital media matters. In the film and television space, it acts for both producers (such as BBC, ITV and NBCUniversal) and financiers of content (including Bank Leumi, Anton Capital and the Doha Film Institute). The team has advised on the establishment of new production companies founded by high-profile TV executives, and advised all3media on its acquisition of Two Brothers Pictures. It acts for major UK and international broadcast groups (including Amazon Prime Video and BBC) on carriage negotiations. Advertising expertise includes adtech, clearance work for brands, ASA compliance, as well as talent, social media and endorsement deals. Gaming, social media and interactive content is a key focus of the team and it handles IP, transactions and advisory work. In the music space it advises major record companies (such as Universal Music and Warner Music) as well as music publishers and music users on contentious and non-contentious matters; recent highlights include advising Ministry of Sound Group on the sale of its label Ministry of Sound Recordings to Sony Music UK. The media finance team, is led by the ‘exceptionalCharles Kerrigan and acts for a range of lender, borrower and sponsor clients such as Bank of Ireland, Wells Fargo and Lloyds Bank. Paul Guite is ‘technically excellent’ and co-heads the media team with Victoria Gaskell who has ‘an innate understanding of the brief’. Selina Potter, Mark Bertram, Steven Corney, John Enser (‘unfazed by any difficulty’), and Jacqueline Hurt are also key figures in the media and entertainment space, while Ruth Marken is noted for media finance. Rebekah Hayes is also recommended.

Leading individuals: Media and entertainment

John Enser - CMS (Music; digital carriage)

Selina Potter - CMS (Broadcasting and digital carriage)

Victoria Gaskell - CMS (Broadcasting and digital carriage)

Leading individuals: Media finance

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PATMA: Patent attorneys
PATMA: Patent attorneys - ranked: tier 2

CMS (London)

Clients of CMS rate the firm for the ‘consistency of advice and its timeliness’. The team focuses on advising technology giants such as Western Digital, Raytheon and Imagination Technologies, as well as life sciences sector clients including Abbott Laboratories, Dexcom and Silence Therapeutics. Microsoft remains a key client, which the team is assisting with more than 1200 live applications in prosecution. Robert Stephen heads the patent attorney practice and jointly heads the life sciences group. Kevin Cordina is ‘a strong IP lawyer, who can make good suggestions and offer practical assistance in electronics and medical devices related patent matters’. Legal director Helen Wallis is ‘always professional and diligent’ and specialises in software and computing hardware. Stephen successfully defended Kymab’s granted European patent at EPO opposition proceedings with oppositions filed by three opponents, and is representing it in an appeal against Regeneron’s patent at the EPO. Cordina is advising Acelity on oppositions at the EPO, freedom to operate clearances as well as transactional work for a number of acquisitions.

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PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
PATMA: Trade mark attorneys - ranked: tier 2

CMS (London)

CMS, which merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, acts for an impressive client list that includes ITV, Sky, W Chump & Sons and Hakkasan, for which the sizeable team handles the full range of trade mark matters. Sarah Wright assisted W Chump & Sons with clearance searches to secure trade mark protection of the name The Grand Tour across Europe and six additional jurisdictions, and continues to act for Microsoft on its European trade mark prosecution and opposition work. Joel Barry is ‘strategically brilliant, and is able to advise on all aspects of prosecution and litigation’. Barry and Wright have been assisting Sky with its worldwide trade mark protection and enforcement strategy, which involves handling 600 oppositions, revocations or invalidity actions, as well as managing pending litigation. Kelly Clarke is ‘an attorney clients trust to get things done with sound technical ability’. Another name to note is Tom Scourfield, who focuses on IP enforcement work and on the consumer products, life sciences, energy and TMT sectors.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 1

CMS

CMS significantly enhanced its healthcare practice when it merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in May 2017. The combined team now covers the full spectrum of life sciences matters, with particular strength in handling patent litigation and big-ticket M&A transactions. In an illustration of its track record in the patent space, it is advising a leading global pharmaceutical company on potential patent infringement claims against generic companies, and is advising a pharmaceuticals company on the challenges to SPC validity (including the validity of paediatric extensions to SPCs) concerning a number of different pharmaceutical products. Other mandates included assisting Convergence Pharmaceuticals on the £524m sale of the company to Biogen Idec, advising CooperSurgical on the acquisition of the business and assets relating to the Wallace product line from Smiths Medical International, and representing GlaxoSmithKline in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against infringement findings and penalties imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a reverse patent settlement competition investigation in the UK. Key figures include Niall McAlister, David Day, Sarah Hanson and Carina Healy, who are the names to note for corporate and commercial transactions; patent attorney Robert Stephen, who is highly recommended for his opposition and appeal experience at the EPO; Shuna Mason, who is singled out for regulatory, compliance and product liability cases; Brian Sher and Caroline Hobson, who focus on EU and UK competition matters; and patent litigator Gareth Morgan, ‘a super star’ with notable experience of acting in IP trials concerning patent entitlement, patent validity and infringement, SPCs and the interpretation of IP licences. Patent specialist Jane Hollywood has been heavily involved in securing European patent protection for the high-profile CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. Other representative clients include Medtronic, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific and Sandoz.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 3

CMS

With its absorption of Olswang, CMS significantly strengthened its sports practice in 2017, bolstering its broadcast and media rights capabilities in particular. Group head David Zeffman, who has decades of experience in sport and gambling matters, acted for the Greyhound Board of Great Britain on the submission of its concerns to the Competition and Markets Authority regarding Ladbrokes’ merger with Gala Coral. Commercial partner Victoria Gaskell assisted Chelsea FC with restructuring the contractual arrangements concerning the global implementation of its TV channel Chelsea TV’s programme block and online service. Corporate expert Nick Crosbie advised IMG Media on its acquisition of Livestream’s streaming exchange platform business and assets. Other clients include UEFA and the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Of counsel Anna Soilleux-Mills is an expert in gambling matters.

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London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 2

CMS

CMS’s team focuses on rail infrastructure projects, rolling stock procurement and funding, and depot financing transactions. It also has expertise in the light rail sector. It advised the lenders to Rock Rail East Anglia (a consortium of Rock Rail, SL Capital, GMPF and LPFA) on the funding for the procurement of 378 new intercity and bi-mode Stadler built rolling stock units to be leased to Abellio East Anglia. Tramlink Nottingham, Eurostar International, FirstGroup, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Edinburgh Trams are also clients. Bill Carr handles rolling stock procurement and maintenance agreements, and Edinburgh-based Eleanor Lane specialises in major transport and infrastructure projects. Consultant Jonathan Beckitt is also recommended. Carr and Lane head the team.

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Latin America: International firms

Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

CMS

The ‘excellentCMS has significantly expanded its Latin America practice with firms in Chile, Peru and Colombia joining the CMS global network in early 2017, linking up with existing offices in Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. Clients report that ‘response times are always fast’, lawyers’ ‘knowledge of the industry is extensive’ and ‘pricing is amazing for the value it delivers’. The Mexico City office is well known for having advised the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) on the reform of the electricity industry and it continues to be involved in the transformation of that sector. In Brazil, the firm represented PetroRio on a range of FPSO charter and operation agreements and crude oil sales contracts. In Chile, Luis Felipe Arze is ‘highly committed’, ‘always seems one step ahead’ and ‘knows the market inside and out’; he recently advised Eléctricas de Medellín Ingeniería y Servicios on the construction of a new transmission line to help connect Chile’s two main energy systems, Sistema Interconectado Central and Sistema Interconectado Norte Grande. Fellow Chile partner Jorge Allende is a prominent name in mining, energy and resources. Rio partner Ted Rhodes has a fine record on oil-and-gas work in Brazil and elsewhere, and Derek Woodhouse is a big name in Mexico City.

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Further information on CMS

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about CMS in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Dubai

Austria

Offices in Vienna

Belgium

Offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Brussels, Brussels, and Brussels

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Offices in Sarajevo

Bulgaria

Offices in Sofia and Sofia

China

Offices in Beijing, Beijing, and Shanghai

Croatia

Offices in Zagreb

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague

Germany

Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, and Munich

Algeria

Offices in Algiers

Spain

Offices in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona

France

Offices in Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon

Hungary

Offices in Budapest

Latin America: International firms

Italy

Offices in Rome and Milan

London

Offices in London EC4N and London EC3A

Luxembourg

Offices in Luxembourg

Morocco

Offices in Casablanca

Montenegro

Offices in Podgorica

Netherlands

Offices in Utrecht and Amsterdam

North West

Offices in Manchester

Oman

Offices in Muscat

Poland

Offices in Warsaw and Poznan

Portugal

Offices in Lisbon

Romania

Offices in Bucharest

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Scotland

Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen

South East

Offices in Reading

Singapore

Offices in Singapore, Singapore, and Singapore

Slovenia

Offices in Ljubljana

South West

Offices in Bristol

Switzerland

Offices in Zurich and Geneva

Ukraine

Offices in Kiev and Kiev

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield S2 and Sheffield S2

Serbia

Offices in Belgrade

Legal Developments by:
CMS

  • Access to justice: protective costs orders in planning challenges

    Third parties and competing developers have no rights of appeal to the Secretary of State against planning decisions. Disappointed applicants can appeal to the Secretary of State and can have the merits of the application reconsidered. The only remedy available to a disappointed third party is a challenge by way of judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. The sense of frustration and disempowerment this creates has not been helped by the increasing complexity of the planning process and the use of consultation to legitimise decisions that many perceive may already have been taken.
    - CMS Group

Legal Developments in the UK

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