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London : Corporate and commercial
Within Corporate tax, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s team has strength in areas such as Islamic finance and private equity work, and has been active in advising on new developments such as the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the proposed EU financial transaction tax. It recently provided Equistone Partners Europe with cross-border corporate, tax structuring and regulatory advice relating to its taking over the management of Barclays Private Equity Funds I, II and III; and advised RBS on the disposal of its aviation leasing unit. In an unsettled year for the team, Nina Buchan retired from the partnership, Mark Persoff joined Ernst & Young, Michael Brosnahan left practice, and Jonathan Kandel joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Within Equity capital markets: UK capability, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance is highlighted for its pre-eminence in high-profile transactions, with a team led by London managing partner David Bickerton. Adrian Cartwright is ‘very experienced in emerging markets’, and recently advised underwriters on the $10bn Glencore IPO, as well as assisting Nomos Bank on its $700m IPO, the largest London IPO of a Russian company. Iain Hunter advised DP World on its Premium London listing. Simon Thomas is a ‘“go-to” partner for UK work’.
Within Equity capital markets: US capability, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
John Connolly leads Clifford Chance’s US securities team, which advised on US aspects of the $10bn IPO of Glencore for joint global co-ordinators including Morgan Stanley. Connolly also advised banks including HSBC on Polymetal’s $500m premium London listing.
Within EU and competition, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s six-partner team benefits from the firm’s excellent global coverage, and has strength in the media, mining and transport sectors. On the merger side, it acted for Princes on its acquisition of Premier Foods’ canning business, and in market investigations it acted for NBC Universal on the Competition Commission market investigation into movies on pay TV. It is increasingly active in the area of anti-trust litigation, where Elizabeth Morony and Luke Tolaini represented Siemens in National Grid’s claim for damages against the gas-insulated switchgear cartel in the High Court. Recommended individuals include practice head Alex Nourry, Oliver Bretz, OFT expert Alastair Mordaunt, and Greg Olsen.
Within Financial services, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s highlights included advising on the spinout of Barclays Private Equity from Barclays. Advisory head Chris Bates, Simon Gleeson and Tim Plews are recommended, and Monica Sah joined from Morgan Stanley. Contentious partners Roger Best and Carlos Conceicao are widely praised. The practice’s contentious side boasts forensic accounting capability.
Within M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m Leading individuals: M&A
Within M&A: premium deals, £250m+, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s 41-partner team has ‘great depth of quality’, ensuring that ‘matters move forward more quickly and more surely under their charge’. Private equity remains the firm’s mainstay, although its mix of FTSE 100 corporate, global company and financial institution clients is such that it continues to grow its share of cross-border, strategic acquisitions and public M&A deals. Global corporate head Matthew Layton advised Citigroup on its acquisition of EMI Group and subsequent sale of the group’s recorded music business to Universal Music and its music publishing business to a group of investors for £1.2bn and $2.2bn, respectively. London corporate head Simon Tinkler leads a team of ‘very strong corporate counsel’ that includes Tim Lewis, who has an ‘excellent intellect’; David Pudge, who is noted for his ‘outstanding knowledge and proportionality’; and Sumesh Sawhney, whose ‘excellent knowledge of Indian law’ is proving a real boon to growth in work related to that emerging market.
Within M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Leading individuals: M&A
On the private equity side, the lack of liquidity continued to constrain market activity. Alternative debt providers stepped in to provide some of the debt required to push deals through, and high yield also took up some of the slack, with robust targets still proving attractive propositions. The decline in mega-deals caused even the larger sponsor clients to look to the increasingly congested mid-market for transactions, with legal advisers following suit; private equity powerhouses such as Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP saw more activity on this front. Deals continued to fall at the last hurdle due to buyers’ and sellers’ expectations not marrying, and the pick-up in deal flow at the beginning of 2011 was stymied by the unfolding eurozone crisis. Sponsor portfolio management was the order of the day, and distressed M&A also continued to feature in 2011’s transactional flow.
Within Private equity: transactions, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
The ‘jewel in the crown of the firm’s corporate capabilities’, Clifford Chance’s private equity team has longstanding and deeply entrenched relationships with many of the most significant players in the industry, including The Carlyle Group, CVC and Bridgepoint. This sees it regularly engaged in the biggest-ticket mandates in the market, with recent examples including Carlyle’s £1bn acquisition of RAC. While deal flow has been suppressed due to market conditions, the firm has also been involved in a raft of ancillary matters including add-on deals for portfolio companies (such as for Actis portfolio company EMPH on its acquisition of Visa Jordan Card Services) and spin-outs; and it has picked up new clients including Cinven. The ‘excellent’ David Walker heads the team, which includes Spencer Baylin, who ‘knows the industry inside out’; the ‘bright and hardworking’ Kem Ihenacho; Matthew Layton, who is ‘hugely focused on the right issues’; Jonny Myers; and Simon Tinkler.
Within VAT and indirect tax, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s two-partner team ‘sets the standard’ in the area, and is highly visible in the market. It has expertise in areas such as securitisation, renewables, charities and the growing area of Islamic finance, and acts for clients such as Barclays, Morgan Stanley and RBS. Etienne Wong is a ‘hugely influential market pace-setter’, and David Saleh is also recommended.
London : Crime, fraud and licensing
Within Fraud: civil, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance stands out for its ability to handle complex fraud matters with an international element. It is acting for Société Générale in relation to a significant fraud in the commodities market, in a claim worth $500m. It is also retained by Warburg Pincus International to advise on allegations made by a disgruntled investor. Team head Roger Best and Stephen Surgeoner are well regarded.
Within Fraud: corporate crime, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance represented Tamoil in relation to measures taken in several EU countries to ensure that Tamoil was not designated as a target under sanctions against the former Gadaffi regime. The team is also advising a financial institution on issues relating to alleged links with an ousted regime in the Middle East. The ‘top-notch’ Roger Best is recommended along with the ‘very clever’ Judith Seddon, who is now a director.
Within Fraud: white-collar crime Leading individuals: Fraud
London : Dispute resolution
Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance has a strong team backed up by a dedicated forensic accounting group and the firm’s international network, and acts in an impressive range of financial disputes. Head of banking litigation Matthew Newick has ‘sound tactical and strategic judgement in complex multi-jurisdictional matters’; Julian Acratopulo is ‘outstandingly intelligent, and has a brilliant grasp of sophisticated financial products and markets’; and Ian Moulding is ‘very experienced in this field’. Jeremy Kosky, Martin Saunders, Simon Davis and Roger Best are also highly recommended. The firm is acting in a number of matters that relate to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and is advising Société Générale on a significant fraud in the commodities sector.
Within Commercial litigation, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance has been active across a range of high-profile commercial disputes and regulatory investigations. The practice represented Citi in its settlement with the European arm of Lehman Brothers to release over $2.5bn-worth of assets held in its custody business. Jeremy Sandelson is global litigation head; Elizabeth Morony is a ‘creative lawyer’; Simon Davis is a ‘thought leader’; and Luke Tolaini ‘works tirelessly for clients’. Julian Acratopulo, Roger Leese, Iain Roxborough, Ian Moulding, and Jeremy Sandelson are highly rated.
Within International arbitration, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
At Clifford Chance, Audley Sheppard is a ‘solid lawyer and great advocate’, and Rob Lambert and Alex Panayides are also recommended. The practice successfully represented the government of Poland in relation to its defence of an Energy Charter Treaty claim. Jason Fry rejoined the firm in Paris, and Marie Berard was promoted to partner.
Within Public international law, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s practice is jointly headed by Audley Sheppard and Rae Lindsay. The team advised on complex issues arising out of the Arab Spring; and acted in international law matters arising out of steps taken by governments around the world in response to political and economic crises, including sovereign debt matters. The firm’s bilateral investment treaty (BIT) specialists achieved some significant victories for clients, while other areas of expertise include the emerging field of business and human rights, and sanctions matters. Jeremy Carver is highly rated.
London : Finance
Within Acquisition finance, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
With ‘top-notch business acumen’, Clifford Chance acts for names such as HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and EQT. Enhanced by the arrival of Fabio Diminich from Latham & Watkins LLP, the firm’s high yield experience is being deployed across a range of new-money financings and refinancings; recent work includes acting for the lenders on the bank and senior secured high yield bond financing of BC Partners’ acquisition of Phones 4u. Charles Cochrane is regularly at the forefront of the team’s most complex mandates, recently acting for the banks on the €2.3bn acquisition of Securitas Direct. James Johnson is ‘a big name in the market’; Jim MacHale ‘shows good awareness of the key commercial issues’; and Caroline Jury is ‘excellent at navigating the best outcome for her clients’. Mark Campbell, Alan Inglis and Michael Bates are also highly regarded.
Within Asset finance and leasing, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
The ‘go-to firm for highly strategic mandates’, Clifford Chance ‘excels at handling deals employing highly complex structures’. In a deal that also drew on the firm’s M&A, competition and tax expertise, the team played a pivotal role on RBS’ $8bn disposal of its aviation leasing unit. Able to tap into a vast international network, the team has been involved in a raft of deals in the BRIC countries, with the ‘very proactive’ William Glaister recently advising Natixis on the $27.1m Brazilian ECA financing for Saudi Airline NAS. On the rail side, Gavin Teague is advising the senior lenders on the £2.2bn Thameslink rolling stock project. Simon Lew and Nick Swinburne are also recommended. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Citibank and EIB.
Within Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance handles a raft of investment grade transactions alongside its pre-eminent leveraged finance work. The ‘outstanding’ team provides ‘invaluable support, beyond just technical advice’ to big-ticket clients such as Barclays, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan. A global team of lawyers acted for the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on the high-profile $12.5bn financing for the acquisition of Fosters by SAB Miller. Nicola Wherity advised Citigroup in relation to a €4.5bn facility for Nestlé; and Michael Bates led advice to Commerzbank and Moto Investments. The ‘calm’ and ‘proactive’ Charles Cochrane provides ‘creative solutions’, and is widely recommended. Mark Campbell, Karen Hodson, Alan Inglis, Malcolm Sweeting and Jim MacHale are other key players.
Within Commodities: derivatives, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s Claude Brown ‘knows his stuff on the transactional side’. He and Tim Cleary advised hedging co-ordinators on documentation for the $7.2bn financing of the Nordstream pipeline, while other recent highlights for the firm include advising a bank on a large reserve-based grain financing facility. Peter Zaman, Leonard Cleland and Roger Best are much sought after by investment banks and commodities traders.
Within Commodities: physicals Leading individuals: Commodities
Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Headed by the ‘excellent’ Mark Hyde, Clifford Chance’s nine-partner team excels at big-ticket restructurings and insolvencies, where it is able to deploy a ‘highly co-ordinated approach’ in utilising multiple offices and strengths in related practice areas. In addition to its creditor side work, on the back of the firm’s close ties with a host of major lenders, the team has been involved in numerous debtor mandates over the past 12 months, including Petroplus, Game plc and several assignments in Dubai, including for Dubai World. The ‘hardworking and intellectual’ Iain White, the ‘vastly experienced’ Nicholas Frome, Philip Hertz and Adrian Cohen are highly recommended.
Within Debt capital markets, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Emerging markets transactions are a focus for Clifford Chance’s David Bickerton, David Dunnigan and US-qualified John Connolly, who advise sovereign issuers, corporates and financial institutions. Highlights included a £600m debut bond issue for the Greater London Authority, a $500m debt buy-back for Barclays Bank, and a $500m issue by the Republic of Namibia (advising the lead managers). The firm also handled deals for ONO and Nordea. The ‘responsive, technically excellent’ Simon Sinclair is recommended, and ‘liability management guru’ Stewart Dunlop has returned to the London office.
Within Derivatives and structured products, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
‘Very good on regulatory issues’, Clifford Chance’s team has ‘a deep understanding of the subject’. The ‘commercially minded and focused’ Christopher Walsh excels on structured products, including covered bonds. Andrew Coats advised Deutsche Bank on a longevity swap relating to £3bn of Rolls-Royce’s pension fund liabilities. Derivatives specialist Habib Motani advised on over 20 equity derivatives transactions for the likes of Citi and Goldman Sachs, and was key to formulating ISDA’s documentation for Islamic Profit Rate Swaps. Also recommended are derivatives and credit risk specialist Claude Brown; and Matthew Grigg, for credit-linked, equity-linked and fund-linked deals.
Within Emerging markets, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
Clifford Chance has been involved in the majority of Turkey’s large-scale, internationally financed infrastructure and energy projects over the past five years, and the firm’s new Istanbul office has further boosted the firm’s profile in the market. Geeta Khehar is involved in banking, acquisition finance and lending in emerging markets, and has experience in Russia. Russell Wells was part of a team that advised Standard Chartered Bank on the first foreign investment in a Chinese financial asset management company.
Within High yield, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s team benefited from the addition of Tony Lopez, who relocated from the New York office, and Fabio Diminich, who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP in October 2011. Michael Dakin was involved in advising Spain’s main cable operator, ONO, on the high yield issue of $1bn senior secured notes. Securitas and EQT are also clients.
Within Investment funds, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s ‘commercial knowledge is excellent and puts it a cut above other law firms’. It currently focuses on high-end private equity and real estate funds, following several departures. Practice head Nigel Hatfield is ‘quite simply superb’: he is ‘extremely commercial, approachable and has a great attention to detail’. The team advised Equistone on its spinout from Barclays and fundraising for Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV. It also advised on Bridgepoint’s Development Capital Fund I and RREEF’s Pan European Infrastructure Fund II. Gerard Saviola joined from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Within Islamic finance, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
‘One of the few firms that can offer a rounded, full shari ’ah-compliant service’, Clifford Chance credibly spans Islamic finance and conventional capital markets. It advised HSBC Bank Middle East Limited on updating its $5bn sukuk programme including a $500m issuance, the first institutional sukuk incorporating a wakala and mudaraba. It also advised PT Natrindo Telepon Seluler on its $1.2bn equipment financing and the mandated lead arrangers on a QAR1bn ijara facility for Northgate Company LLC, marking the largest private sector shari’ah-compliant financings in Indonesia and Qatar respectively. Habib Motani is the key figure in London, with Dubai-based Debashis Dey, global practice head Qudeer Latif and Robin Abraham also recommended.
Combined bank/bond financing structures consequently remained to the fore, particularly on larger transactions. Latham & Watkins LLP has the most complete offering in this respect, and is highly rated for acquisition finance, as well as having a top-tier high yield offering. Of the Magic Circle firms, Clifford Chance recently followed Linklaters LLP’s lead in the high yield space and bolstered its offering with a significant hire from Latham & Watkins LLP. Those two firms, along with Allen & Overy LLP, have the most complete finance offerings, with excellent banking relationships and comprehensive international networks.
Within Securitisation, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s client base includes some of the most active issuers and underwriters. Peter Voisey, Steve Curtis, Neil Hamilton and Simeon Radcliff have ‘top-level expertise’; Kevin Ingram, who ‘still dominates credit card deals’, is ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in the market’; and Christopher Walsh ‘has a deep understanding of the subject matter’. Andrew Forryan is also recommended, for RMBS transactions and whole-business securitisations. The firm has seen a spate of covered bond deals and is prominent in the commercial mortgage space, where it is heavily involved in the CMBS 2.0 initiative. Emma Matebalavu advised Northern Rock on its £1.3bn RMBS, and Ingram assisted HSBC in restructuring a €25bn covered bond programme. Rachel Kelly is now at Macfarlanes LLP.
Within Trade finance, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
‘Increasingly prominent in trade finance’, Clifford Chance has an extensive track record in high-end structured deals. Practice head Leonard Cleland advised lead arrangers including Nordea Bank on a buyer credit agreement for the Nizhnekamsk refinery project in Russia. Nick Swinburne advised Santander and BNP Paribas on a $530m ship financing for Vale supported by the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation. Further highlights included a $1bn syndicated pre-export facility for potash producer Uralkali.
London : Human resources
Within Employee share schemes, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s three-partner team is appreciated for its ‘pragmatic and reliable’ advice, and ability to provide ‘new ideas and well-thought-out solutions to clients ’ issues’. It acted for Man Group on new and amended incentives plans following the client’s $1.6bn acquisition of GLG Partners. The ‘invaluable’ Sonia Gilbert and Robin Tremaine are recommended. Daniel Hepburn left legal practice in 2012.
Within Employment: employers and senior executives, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
Clifford Chance is valued for its ability to ‘dedicate substantial resources to major pieces of heavyweight litigation’, such as multimillion-pound bonus claims, age discrimination claims, and whistle-blowing cases for financial institutions. It is ‘very good on remuneration issues’, recently acting for Barclays Bank on boardroom matters and the FSA remuneration code, among other matters. Practice head Chris Goodwill displays ‘commercial astuteness and good judgement’, and Alistair Woodland has ‘a supple intellect and a shrewd strategic approach’. Clients include International Power, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Permira.
Also notable for their work in the area of immigration are: Birnberg Peirce & Partners; Blake Lapthorn; Blakemores; Clifford Chance; Davenport Lyons; Dundas & Wilson LLP; Eversheds LLP; Luqmani Thompson & Partners; Macfarlanes LLP; Paragon Law; Pinsent Masons LLP; QualitySolicitors FJG; RadcliffesLeBrasseur; Russell-Cooke LLP; Simons Muirhead & Burton; Travers Smith LLP; and Watson, Farley & Williams LLP.
Within Pensions, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s pensions lawyers are ‘proactive, knowledgeable and pragmatic. They work hard to find resolutions and compromises that fit with the client’s requirements and objectives’. The firm advised Aviva on bulk buy-in projects, and Deutsche Bank on a longevity swap with the Trustees of the Rolls-Royce Pension Fund. Other clients include Barclays, Siemens and Lend Lease. Nick Sherwin retired from the firm in 2012, with Hywel Robinson taking over as practice head. Robinson is ‘always available, gives a pragmatic response to issues, and keeps his client’s goals clearly in focus’. Clare Hoxey is also recommended. Head of the pensions litigation practice Imogen Clark is ‘very good’, and the firm rises a tier in the contentious ranking this year.
London : Insurance
Within Insurance and reinsurance litigation, tier 4
Clifford Chance’s insurance and reinsurance team acts for insurers and also major corporates. The team is led jointly by Philip Hill and Stephen Surgeoner, in London, and Nicholas Munday, who divides his time between London and Moscow. The firm has particular strength in political risk and trade credit matters. Surgeoner recently represented Société Générale in a high-profile case involving the misappropriation of gold bullion in Turkey.
Within Insurance: corporate and regulatory, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
The team at Clifford Chance ‘never fails to deliver a consistent and highly professional service’. Katherine Coates is head of the global insurance group and advised Aviva on its restructuring under Part VII, resulting in the transfer of over 13 million insurance contracts. Clare Swirski is a ‘god-send’, and recently advised Royal Liver on the transfer of its whole business to Royal London, involving reserves of £2.5bn. Tim Page handled a major UK buyout, advising Carlyle Group on its acquisition of RAC from Aviva. Also recommended are Alex Erasmus, who advised HSBC on the disposal of its general insurance business and on bancassurance agreements in Asia and South America; and Hilary Evenett.
Within Insurance: insolvency and restructuring, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
At Clifford Chance, David Steinberg and Philip Hertz specialise in restructuring and insolvency matters. Steinberg advised Grant Thornton as liquidators of the Pacific and General Insurance Company on the repatriation to the UK estate of the fund established for its US policyholders. Hertz advised Scottish Lion Insurance Company in relation to its appeal to the Inner House of Court of Sessions in relation to the requirements for sanctioning a solvent scheme.
London : Private client
Within Contentious trusts and probate, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s cross-departmental offering consists of specialist arbitrators, contentious regulatory lawyers, and banking litigators such as highly regarded department head Jeremy Kosky. The team carries out an eclectic mix of work from high-end wills and asset management disputes, to pensions litigation and private equity related disputes.
Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, Boodle Hatfield LLP, Charles Russell LLP, Farrer & Co, Forsters LLP, Macfarlanes, and Withers LLP all have superb reputations across the gamut of private client work. Internationally oriented firms such as Baker & McKenzie LLP and Clifford Chance stand out for multi-jurisdictional contentious trusts work.
London : Projects, energy and natural resources
Within Infrastructure, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
A strong presence in the domestic project finance and corporate market, Clifford Chance was instructed on many of the UK’s biggest-ticket deals of 2011. The firm advised a consortium of commercial lenders, including RBS and DNM Nord, on the £1.5bn financing of Phase 1 of the London Gateway Port Development; and the senior lenders, including EIB, on the £1.85bn financing of the Thames Rolling Stock Project. Brendan Moylan specialises in M&A; and Gavin Teague has expertise in the rail and defence sectors.
Within Mining and minerals, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s corporate, project finance and capital markets mining offering is headed by David Lewis and James Pay. The firm acted for the underwriting banks – Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Credit Suisse – on the Glencore IPO, and has also been active in London-based arbitration.
Within Oil and gas, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance has ‘a well-established oil and gas team with in-depth knowledge of downstream, midstream and upstream’. David Lewis led a team which advised Dominion Petroleum on its share-for-share recommended takeover by fellow exploration company Ophir Energy under Bermudan law. The firm continues to advise Shtokman Development AG, a joint venture of Gazprom, Total and Statoil, on the Shtokman Field project, one of the largest natural gas fields in the world. Tim Lewis has ‘valuable knowledge of public takeovers and the UK Takeover Code’.
The mining and minerals market was dominated by the $60bn Glencore IPO (the largest-ever flotation on the LSE), with Linklaters LLP and Clifford Chance both acting on the transaction. Its equivalent on the projects side was the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, with White & Case LLP, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP among those instructed on the financing side. For those not engaged in record-breaking listings or mega-projects, the story was still a healthy one; many small to mid-cap companies thought the time was right for an AIM listing, resulting in a glut of work advising on placings, and M&A and general corporate work remained strong.
Within PFI and PPP, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance targets the major UK PPP projects, and is also known for its advice to lenders on refinancing of existing PFIs. Gavin Teague is part of a team advising the senior lenders on the Thameslink rolling stock project, a long-term PPP contract for the delivery of around 1,000 new trains to the upgraded line; and Andrew Rolfe is leading a team advising the lenders on the Isle of Wight Highways PPP Project.
Within Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables), Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance has acted on some of the most significant deals and projects in the power market in recent years. In 2011, it closed the $17bn reverse takeover of client International Power by GDF SUEZ. The London team remains part of a large cross-office group advising the international lenders on the $3bn coal-fired ultra mega power plant in Sasan, India. On the contentious side, Audley Sheppard recently represented The Republic of Poland at an Energy Charter Treaty tribunal, successfully obtaining dismissal of claims by the claimant company alleging breach of the treaty. Andrew Grenville heads the group.
London : Public sector
Within Administrative and public law, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance has ‘all of the strengths you would expect from a Magic Circle firm – top-class client service and litigation support’. It recently acted for James Murdoch in relation to phone hacking and in the Leveson Inquiry. The practice is led by antitrust specialist Elizabeth Morony, who is a ‘real mover and shaker’, and ‘brilliant with clients’. Luke Tolaini is ‘a very good strategic thinker’ who is ‘excellent at managing client relations’, and ‘sees the big picture rather than getting bogged down with the complexity of legal issues’. Senior associate Emmeline Rushbrook is ‘extremely patient and charming’.
The Administrative and public law table ranks claimant and commercial firms together. Of the City firms, Herbert Smith LLP, Hogan Lovells International LLP and Baker & McKenzie LLP provide strong representation of commercial clients, while Bindmans LLP and Leigh Day & Co remain leaders on the claimant side. The latter two also have market-leading human rights and civil liberties practices, where other renowned firms include Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Tuckers Solicitors and the newly merged Deighton Pierce Glynn. Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP and Eversheds LLP each have recognised expertise in public inquiries, and Trowers & Hamlins LLP and Clifford Chance are among the leaders for public affairs work.
Within Public affairs, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s integrated, sector-wide practice is ‘responsive’ and ‘highly respected’. It represented James Murdoch in the phone-hacking inquiries, and is advising the Belgian government on Dexia Bank’s rescue package. Other clients include the European Commission, TheCityUK, and Reform. Thomas Vinje, counsel Dieter Paemen and practice head Oliver Bretz are recommended. Former practice head Michael Smyth CBE remains a consultant.
London : Real estate
Within Commercial property, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s key clients include Canary Wharf Group, which the team advised on the pre-let of half of 25 Churchill Place, a new building to be constructed on the Canary Wharf estate. Other work included advising Hedleigh (Mayfair) on the £143m sale of Audley Square House, and Shangri-La Hotels on a hotel development in The Shard. Jonathan Solomon (‘very bright – an outstanding lawyer’) leads a team of ‘extraordinarily good people’ which includes Mark Payne, Franc Peña (‘extremely competent’), Tony Briam and Catherine Cook.
Within Construction, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s ‘extremely capable’ group shows an ‘impressive ability to work through difficult problems constructively’. Its ‘excellent lawyers’ advise funders and developers in areas including including international renewable and nuclear energy. Tracy London and Daniel Edwards advised MGT Power Limited on the design and construction of a £550m biomass power plant in Teeside; Alex Panayides represented a large contractor regarding the DIFC Arbitration Centre; and Marianne Toghill advised Corinthia Hotels and Shangri-La Hotels on respective London developments. Tim Steadman is ‘deal conscious’, and David Metzger ‘combines intellect and commercial pragmatism to an optimal degree’.
Within Environment, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
A core component of Clifford Chance’s environmental practice is energy and infrastructure projects and related transactions. In 2011 it continued to advise Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture between RWE Npower and E.ON, on environmental consents for new nuclear power facilities pursuant to the acquisition of two development sites. The group also provided regulatory assistance to Pfizer on a number of issues, including carbon emissions accounting. Nigel Howorth leads the London team.
Despite the uncertainty, core office and retail assets in London and other major European cities continued to attract global investors. The high-end residential market in London also continued to thrive. Demand for top-end City properties was led predominantly by Asian and US investors targeting £100m+ core assets and development opportunities. Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Clifford Chance and Linklaters LLP continue to dominate in commercial property. Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP acted on three of the largest investment deals of the year, including advising Tishman Speyer on its £172m acquisition of the Sanctuary Buildings. Linklaters LLP acted for AREA Property Partners and Delancey Real Estate Asset Management on their takeover and subsequent take-private of Minerva plc, one of the standout deals of the year, and Clifford Chance was kept busy by longstanding client Canary Wharf Group.
Within Planning, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
Clifford Chance has seen a rise in energy and infrastructure mandates, and recently advised the lenders on phase one of the London Gateway port development, which involved the construction of three berths and related connections. The team also worked with environment colleagues on the consenting aspects of the ongoing Horizon nuclear power project to develop new facilities in England. Nigel Howorth is the key figure.
Within Property finance, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance has ‘one of the best practice groups in Europe’, with a ‘strong team at both partner and associate level’. With its leading client base of lenders and borrowers, the team was heavily involved in distressed transactions, and also acted on numerous loan portfolio sales and purchases. Notable highlights included advising Deutsche Bank as lender on a senior loan to fund the acquisition of Chiswick Park. Andrew Carnegie remains the ‘undisputed heavyweight of European real estate’, and Alistair McGillivray, Damian Perry and Jane Cheong Tung Sing are ‘highly rated’. Mark Rees-Jones retired in April 2012.
Within Property litigation, tier 4
The ‘technically excellent’ team at Clifford Chance provides ‘sound strategic advice’ in insolvency-driven cases. Bryan Johnston and Kirstin Black acted for Woodford Land in a dispute with Persimmon Homes concerning an option agreement. Ben Hatton and Jane O’Leary make ‘a formidable team’, and are ‘very impressive’ in mediation.
Within Social housing: finance, Clifford Chance is a second tier firm,
Clifford Chance is recommended for its ability to handle complex matters. The team acted for Prudential on the private placement of a catalyst bond, and advised seven lenders regarding a security trust structure. Despina Pantelia, Ruby Giblin and practice head Robert Smith are also recommended. Solar energy expert Angela Shepherd is ‘outstandingly good’.
London : TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
Within Intellectual property, tier 5
Clifford Chance’s Vanessa Marsland is ‘a trusted counsel’ on contentious and transactional trade mark and copyright issues. The practice also handles trade mark filing and opposition work.
Within IT and telecoms, Clifford Chance is a third tier firm,
Clifford Chance’s Jenine Hulsmann is recommended for telecoms regulatory and competition matters. Spencer Baylin handles M&A and finance work. Key clients include Deutsche Telecom, Immarsat, Saudi Telecom Company, and Anheuser-Busch.
Within Media and entertainment, tier 4
Clifford Chance’s multi-disciplinary team, led by Daniel Sandelson, advises global broadcasters and corporate media clients on big-ticket M&A and joint ventures. Consultant Michael Smyth handles media litigation, and anti-trust partner Jenine Hulsmann advises on telecoms and online media issues.
London : Transport
Within Rail, Clifford Chance is a first tier firm,
Clifford Chance is an ‘excellent choice’ for rail matters, and is particularly noted for its experience relating to investment into the rail industry, and its complex, high-value transactional work. The team advised EIB on the financing of the Intercity Express Programme, and acted for the senior lenders on the Thameslink rolling stock project. Other clients include Angel Trains, Southern Railway and Transport for London. Team head Gavin Teague is singled out alongside Alex Nourry.
Further information on Clifford Chance
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- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Equity capital markets: UK capability
- Corporate and commercial : Equity capital markets: US capability
- Corporate and commercial : Financial services
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: premium deals, £250m+
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
- Corporate and commercial : Private equity: transactions
- Corporate and commercial : VAT and indirect tax
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: civil
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: corporate crime
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: white-collar crime
- Dispute resolution : Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Dispute resolution : Public international law
- Finance : Acquisition finance
- Finance : Asset finance and leasing
- Finance : Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Finance : Commodities: derivatives
- Finance : Commodities: physicals
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Debt capital markets
- Finance : Derivatives and structured products
- Finance : Emerging markets
- Finance : High yield
- Finance : Investment funds
- Finance : Islamic finance
- Finance : Securitisation
- Finance : Trade finance
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Pensions
- Insurance : Insurance: corporate and regulatory
- Insurance : Insurance: insolvency and restructuring
- Insurance : Insurance and reinsurance litigation
- Insurance : Professional negligence
- Private client : Contentious trusts and probate
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Infrastructure
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Mining and minerals
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Oil and gas
- Projects, energy and natural resources : Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
- Projects, energy and natural resources : PFI and PPP
- Public sector : Administrative and public law
- Public sector : Public affairs
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Environment
- Real estate : Planning
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- Real estate : Social housing: finance
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Intellectual property
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media and entertainment
- Transport : Rail
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