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London : Corporate and commercial
Within Commercial contracts, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
The size and scope of Allen & Overy LLP’s commercial offering internationally means it is well placed to accommodate larger multi-jurisdictional matters requiring cross-border expertise. Jane Finlayson-Brown co-heads the outsourcing team with Claire Wright, who balances ‘legal robustness and commercial pragmatism’. It advised a global bank on a long-term outsourcing of technology, telecoms and network products in a transaction which spanned 47 jurisdictions and involved 21 of the firm’s offices. Jim Ford advised Shell on a complex IT separation and system cloning arrangement, and Colleen Keck has experience in joint ventures and distribution and supply agreements within the pharmaceutical industry. Honda and Citibank are among notable clients.
Within Corporate tax, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s six-partner team is increasingly active in regulatory matters, and also saw an increase in finance-related matters and debt restructuring work. Areas of traditional strength include real estate, funds and structured finance. Key clients include National Grid, Shell, and Quinn Group. It acted for Lloyds Banking Group on the corporate tax aspects of the funding structures for the Greater London Authority’s Crossrail project, and for HSBC as arranger, and HSBC Corporate Trustee Company as delegate, on the establishment of a $50bn trust certificate issuance programme. Recommended individuals include Lydia Challen, and group co-heads Christopher Harrison and Vimal Tilakapala.
Within Customs and Excise Customs and Excise
Within Equity capital markets: UK capability, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Mark Dighero’s team at Allen & Overy LLP provides ‘a very good, integrated, cross-border product’. Dighero advised DS Smith on its £466m rights issue and Ophir Energy on its £375m IPO. Louise Wolfson (a ‘very attentive, astute adviser’) advised Allied Gold on its move to the LSE main market. David Broadley acted as underwriter counsel on the €1.3bn IPO of Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa. Jim Wickenden joined from Herbert Smith LLP.
Within Equity capital markets: US capability, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s growing US team, which added Jim Wickenden from Herbert Smith LLP, is ‘very powerful in the ECM space’. Max Aaron advised Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa on its €1.35bn Rule 144A IPO; Robert Williams advised Portugal’s Banco Espírito Santo on a debt-for-equity exchange and €350m share offering; and recently promoted partner Sachin Davé advised DS Smith on a £466m rights issue. David Broadley is ‘very capable and helpful’. Daniel Epstein has left the firm.
Within EU and competition, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s four-partner team acts for clients including Alliance Boots, Thomson Reuters, and Heineken. In mergers, it acted for News Corporation on the highly contested competition and regulatory aspects of its proposed acquisition of the shares in BSkyB. In investigations, it acted for two international banks on the European Commission investigations into credit default swap clearing and the parallel investigation into CDS information. Antonio Bavasso, Philip Mansfield, Simon Pritchard* and the ‘thorough and experienced’ Mark Friend are recommended. *Simon Pritchard is now at Linklaters LLP
Within Financial services, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP advised on the regulatory aspects of a corporate charge card programme across 17 countries, while contentious instructions included mis-selling, market abuse and international corruption matters. Etay Katz, Bob Penn, Damian Carolan, John Goodhall and Etay Katz are recommended. Calum Burnett is highly rated on the contentious side, as is ‘standout’ practitioner Arnondo Chakrabarti. Litigator Lawson Caisley joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP.
Within M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m Leading individuals: M&A
Within M&A: premium deals, £250m+, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP has a ‘highly professional team’ whose ‘deep understanding of clients ’ businesses enables it to tailor advice to their requirements’. It continues to gain transactional market share year on year, with 2011 being particularly strong on the energy and emerging markets fronts. The team advised Reliance in its sale of a 30% stake in 23 production sharing contracts to BP, and GE Oil & Gas on its agreement to acquire the well support division of John Wood Group for $2.8bn. The firm’s strong roster of corporate clients, international scope and deep bench of ‘hands-on, down-to-earth’ partners make it a ‘preferred firm for bet-the-ranch transactions’. Richard Evans ‘exudes quiet confidence even in the most challenging negotiations’; Jeremy Parr has ‘outstanding commercial business sense’; Richard Cranfield is highly regarded for his ‘sensible, commercial focus’; and Andrew Ballheimer is ‘one of the smartest M&A lawyers around’.
Within M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Leading individuals: M&A
Within Partnership, tier 4
Allen & Overy LLP’s team is ‘pragmatic, intelligent and business aware’, with John Goodhall ‘rated highly’ for his work with financial sector clients.
Within Private equity: transactions, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP provides a ‘responsive and highly commercial service’ to a strong client base that includes Apax, Charterhouse and Towerbrook. ‘Very proactive and commercial’ team head Derek Baird advised Pamplona Capital Management on the €600m sale of the TMP Friction group, and assisted new client Varde Partners on its £472m acquisition of SAV Credit. The ‘very responsive’ Gordon Milne is also recommended, as is Susan Howard, in particular for her work in the infrastructure sector.
Within VAT and indirect tax, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘able and greatly experienced’ group acts for blue-chip clients such as Goldman Sachs International, Thames River Capital, BNP Paribas Fortis and Misys. Areas of expertise include real estate funds, hedge funds, and sovereign funds. Christopher Harrison is ‘extremely helpful’, and Peter Mendham ‘gets the job done’.
London : Crime, fraud and licensing
Within Fraud: civil, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP is acting for the defendants in a $600m claim over a disputed investment in an Iraqi telecoms company, involving proceedings in the Cayman Islands and England and worldwide freezing and disclosure orders. The team also acted for various funds in a claim against Numis Securities involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation relating to an investment. Mona Vaswani ‘gives clear advice that clients can rely on’, and co-head of the group James Partridge is also recommended.
Within Fraud: corporate crime, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Providing ‘clear and concise advice’, Allen & Overy LLP’s team includes the ‘very precise’ Jonathan Hitchin, the ‘very knowledgeable’ Calum Burnett, and Arnondo Chakrabarti, who ‘inspires confidence’. It is acting for a number of FTSE-listed companies in relation to cross-border criminal investigations involving allegations of corruption, including dealing with disclosure to the authorities on the companies’ behalf.
London : Dispute resolution
Within Banking litigation: investment and retail, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP has a renowned ten-partner banking litigation team that works seamlessly with the firm’s non-contentious finance experts, both in London and across its global network. Group head Calum Burnett is ‘the “go-to” regulatory specialist’; Andrew Denny is ‘technically excellent’; Mona Vaswani is ‘very bright, commercial, and proactive’; James Partridge is ‘very practical, with excellent litigation sense’; and Arnondo Chakrabarti is a ‘“go-to” litigator’. Marc Florent, Peter Watson and Tim House are also highly recommended. The firm appeared before the Supreme Court in the LBIE client money and KSF insolvency/restructuring disputes; and acted for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) in proceedings before the Court of Appeal.
Within Commercial litigation, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
‘Excellent for strategic advice’, Allen & Overy LLP’s team is ‘top class’. It represented the principal defendants in a $500m High Court claim in relation to the sale of LSE-listed company Kazakhgold, and its subsidiary gold mining operation in Kazakhstan. John O’Conor is managing partner of the London litigation department; and Calum Burnett heads banking, finance and regulatory litigation. Peter Watson ‘adds lustre to all litigation he is involved in’; Jonathan Hitchin is ‘someone to have on your side of your table’; and Richard Farnhill has a ‘good grasp of tactics’. Arnondo Chakrabarti and Tim House are also recommended.
Within International arbitration, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Despite Allen & Overy LLP’s global arbitration group head Stephen Jagusch joining Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, together with Anthony Sinclair, the firm retains some strong practitioners in Judith Gill QC, Richard Smith and Mark Levy. The group recently acted in a shareholder dispute involving a multimillion-dollar investment project, resulting in five parallel arbitrations. Gill ‘makes complex concepts understandable’.
In terms of individual moves, the headline in London’s international arbitration legal market was the decision of Allen & Overy LLP’s global arbitration group head Stephen Jagusch to join US firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, together with Anthony Sinclair.
Within Public international law, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP advises clients across treaties, investment treaty arbitration and investment protection, WTO law, international environmental and human rights law, and international laws against corruption and money laundering. The practice recently assisted clients with business interests in Libya, Syria and Iran in relation to sanctions, asset freezing and tracing, and force majeure clauses. It also conducted the advocacy at the merits hearings of three significant investment treaty arbitrations. Judith Gill QC, Mark Levy, Edward Murray, and special global counsel Philip Wood are key contacts. Stephen Jagusch and Anthony Sinclair joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.
London : Finance
Within Acquisition finance, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
With deeply entrenched relationships with lenders, sponsors and corporates, and aided by a vast international network, Allen & Overy LLP’s team is well placed to handle both new-money deals and refinancings, irrespective of size or location. ‘Very highly respected on the bank side’, Stephen Kensell recently represented Deutsche Bank and HSBC on the financing of the French public-to-private acquisition of Delachaux by CVC. The ‘excellent’ Robin Harvey advised PAI on the financing of its acquisition of Swissport. 3i is also a client. Other recommended partners include Timothy Polglase, Robin Harvey and George Link.
Within Asset finance and leasing, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP has ‘a depth of quality resource that few can match’. Leveraging the firm’s vast global footprint, the seven-partner team excels at multi-jurisdictional mandates, and particularly aviation finance transactions. The ‘very good’ Paul Nelson advised Aldus Aviation on the ECA-supported portfolio financing of up to 14 Embraer Aircraft. ‘Not afraid to roll up his sleeves’, the ‘very impressive’ Harry Upcott regularly advises across a raft of asset classes, and recently represented Hong Kong Aviation Capital on the pre-delivery payment financing and subsequent leaseback of six Airbus A320 aircraft for Wizz Air. Praised for his ‘proactive and solution-orientated approach’, Mario Jacovides is global head of the team, which also includes Graham Smith; David Smith, who handles ship finance; and Jonathan Bevan, for rail finance.
Within Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP remains a dominant force in the investment grade debt and equity financing markets, and has a strong track record on the major syndicated loans in the EMEA region. Michael Duncan chairs the global banking practice, which has 30 London-based banking and finance partners acting for borrowers, sponsors and lenders including HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Deutsche Bank. Leading the way in ‘super-jumbo’ investment grade financing, Nicholas Clark advised BHP Billiton on the $7.5bn acquisition facility to support the tender offer to acquire Petrohawk Energy Corporation. Trevor Borthwick acted for Marks & Spencer on its £1.3bn revolving credit facility; and Michael Castle assisted the joint bookrunners on the €3.4bn credit facility for transportation manufacturer Bombardier. Stephen Kensell, George Link, Sanjeev Dhuna and Cathy Bell-Walker are also recommended.
Within Corporate restructuring and insolvency, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
‘An established market leader’, Allen & Overy LLP provides ‘responsive and proactive advice’ to a ‘fantastic stream of banking clients’. Praised for its ‘impressive ability to handle large multi-jurisdictional matters’, the team is advising senior lenders on the $1bn restructuring of Almatis, and is also representing the agent on the restructuring of the syndicated debt of La Seda de Barcelona by way of an English-law scheme of arrangement. On the debtor side, the firm continues to act for Quinn Group on its €1.3bn restructuring. Earl Griffith – praised for his ‘excellent advice and ability to effectively deploy the firm’s resources’ – is one of a ‘very strong bench of partners’ that also includes Gordon Stewart, Mark Sterling and Carolyn Conner.
Within Debt capital markets, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
With ‘a hugely impressive DCM offering’ Allen & Overy LLP is ‘absolutely top class in all respects, particularly partner involvement’. Boyan Wells and the ‘calm, unflappable’ Matthew Hartley are ‘experts in their field’. Diana Billik, who advised the lead managers on Türkiye Garanti Bankasi’s $500m and $350m dual tranche offering, is ‘commercial and practically minded’. Stephen Miller, who heads the financial institution DCM practice, has ‘a wealth of experience’. Also of note are Max Aaron, for sovereign issues; Sachin Davé, in emerging markets; Jamie Durham, who advised the lead managers on a $350m sukuk; Jonathan Mellor, for equity-linked deals; Jonathan Melton and Adam Kupitz, for liability management; and the ‘peerless’ Simon Hill, who heads ‘the outstanding corporate trust team in the City’.
Within Derivatives and structured products, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP ‘sets the standard’. Leading an outstanding team, David Benton – ‘part of the ISDA royalty’ – recently advised ISDA on the stress testing of derivatives rules. Edward Murray, ISDA’s representative on the UK Treasury’s Banking Liaison panel, has been advising on claims arising from the collapse of Icelandic banks; Anthony Drake-Brockman advises issuers on new retail product regulation; Richard Tredgett is among the partners advising the likes of Barclays and Citibank on strategic equity deals; David Wainer advised Macquarie on multi-product issuance platforms; Simon Haddock assisted in devising an innovative web-based default management product; and Parya Badie is ‘a star, and an exceptional talent’ in equity derivatives.
Within Emerging markets, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
The ‘very accessible’ and ‘hands-on’ team at Allen & Overy LLP has a well-established reputation for transactional work in Russia, CIS, India, and Africa, along with a more recent strategic focus on Turkey. Nigel Pritchard advised the lenders on a $2bn project relating to a refinery and petrochemical complex in Russia, and Philip Bowden acted for a syndicate of banks on a $1bn revolving credit facility to Kansanshi Mining in Zambia for the largest copper mine in Africa. Lorraine Ball is ‘at the top of her game’; Andrew Castle is a ‘good, pragmatic lawyer with good knowledge of the waste sector’; and the ‘highly intelligent’ Christopher Andrew is ‘carving a niche for himself in the offshore wind market’.
Within High yield, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
The high yield bond practice at Allen & Overy LLP draws on strong banking and debt capital markets capabilities, and now acts for a well-balanced mix of banks, issuers and financial sponsors. Team head Kevin Muzilla recently advised Dematic, Refresco Group and Ferrexpo, while Elizabeth Leckie acted for Fresenius Medical Care.
Within Investment funds, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP has ‘good depth, a sufficiently large team and the ability to bring in specialists in the US, the UK and across the EU’. It covers the gamut of high-end private and hedge funds, as well as listed funds and UCITS, recently advising CQS on two new debt funds; Standard Life on its European Property Growth Fund; and Tishman Speyer on a new feeder fund for its European Core Fund FCP-SIF. Nick Williams is ‘fast off the mark, always calm, pleasant, and on top of the detail’. Matt Huggett is also recommended.
Within Islamic finance, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘excellent’ sukuk practice is underpinned by the firm’s depth in conventional banking, and it also advises across shari’ah-compliant trusts, derivatives, project financings and restructuring. The team advised Saudi International Petrochemical Company on its SAR1.8bn mudaraba sukuk issuance, and the joint lead managers on Kuveyt Türk Katilim Bankasi’s $350m sukuk, Turkey’s first under new legislation. It also acted for the lenders on the $2.85bn Qurayyah IPP project, which included a sizeable shari’ah-compliant tranche. Jamie Durham and Dubai-based Anzal Mohammed have ‘an excellent understanding of the Islamic as well as conventional aspects of a deal’. Roger Wedderburn-Day, Salim Nathoo and Michael Duncan are also recommended, as is European Islamic finance head and recently promoted partner Atif Hanif.
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, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Led by Salim Nathoo, the team at Allen & Overy LLP ‘stands apart for its strength and volume in a wide range of transactions’, and dominates the RMBS space. Nathoo advised Paragon on the first buy-to-let deal since the financial crisis, and with David Krischer acted on the first public securitisation by Northern Rock, valued at £1.3bn. The firm is ‘the market leader in covered bonds’, with Angela Clist recently establishing global programmes for four leading Australian banks. Also involved was Sally Onions, who is ‘able to cut through what appear to be insurmountable problems with direct and incisive advice’. Christian Lambie and Tim Conduit are also highly recommended. Further highlights included establishing a £2bn global collateralised structured securities programme for Barclays.
London : Human resources
Within Employee share schemes, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s two-partner team acts for clients including Imperial Tobacco, Investec, Kingfisher and Sage, and is able to draw on the firm’s wider strength in corporate and human resources. It advised WHSmith on a new co-investment plan for its senior management. Paul McCarthy and Sylvie Watts are recommended.
Within Employment: employees/unions Leading individuals: Employment
Within Employment: employers and senior executives, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Mark Mansell and his team at Allen & Overy LLP deliver a ‘truly gilt-edged service’. Mansell is ‘enjoyable to work with’, ‘unstuffy’ and ‘technically very strong’, and both he and Karen Seward are ‘excellent for boardroom and high-value disputes’. The firm was victorious in the Supreme Court in the arbitration case of Jivraj v Hashwani, and enjoys a loyal following among major financial institutions. Stefan Martin shines in both the contentious and transactional arenas, and the quality of the team’s senior associates is also noted by clients.
From a law firm perspective, financial services remains a focal sector, in part because of the expanding regulatory and compliance obligations encroaching into employment law, such as the FSA regulatory code. Firms with strong regulatory teams are in demand, with Herbert Smith LLP, for instance, instructed by UBS to advise on its high-profile rogue trader case. Other leading employment practices, such as Allen & Overy LLP and Simmons & Simmons LLP, have long dominated the financial sector, but there is no room for complacency; there is a sense that even the investment banks are seeking value for money and considering firms other than traditional ‘finance’ firms for services.
Within Pensions, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s pensions team advises on cutting-edge contingent asset and funding work, and has a growing longevity swap practice. The firm had 13 scheme merger instructions ongoing in 2011. In addition to this strategic work, it has a strong day-to-day advisory practice for both trustees and employers. Clients include Britvic, Rio Tinto, HBOS and Pfizer. In the past year the firm’s pension litigators have advised on internal disputes, Pensions Ombudsman complaints, Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman appeals, and represented Prudential and QinetiQ in their High Court applications. Maria Stimpson ‘makes complex issues understandable, and is a skilled negotiator’. Däna Burstow is ‘impressive in her grasp of detail and awareness of legal issues’. Neil Bowden has ‘a brilliant legal mind, and has the expertise to give the client clear judgement’. Pavel Shevtsov and Paul Phillips advise clients on investment programmes, while Jonathan Hitchin and Joanna Page provide pensions litigation firepower. Consultant Derek Sloan is still an active member of the team.
London : Insurance
Within Insurance and reinsurance litigation Leading individuals
Within Insurance litigation: for policyholders, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s dedicated team has a strong reputation for policyholder representation, with the firm’s international offices providing key support. In 2011 it saw an increase in cross-border matters and claims relating to global natural disasters, including the floods in Bangkok and the tsunami in Japan. A highlight was representing a major global pharmaceutical company in a claim for reimbursement, included acting in a series of Bermuda Form arbitrations. It regularly acts in financial sector disputes, representing hedge fund managers and policyholders in D&O claims. Practice head Joanna Page is recommended, along with Richard Farnhill, Richard Smith and Judith Gill QC.
Within Insurance: corporate and regulatory, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
The highly regarded Philip Jarvis heads the insurance group at Allen & Overy LLP. It is a relatively small team, but handles high-quality matters, recently carrying out significant work for Legal & General Group plc on its longevity risk transaction of the Pilkington Glass Pension Scheme. On the M&A side, Jarvis and Stephen Mathews advised Nomura on its acquisition of Delta Lloyd’s German life insurance business and the Axent business in Holland. Of counsel Andrew Barton is also recommended.
London : Projects, energy and natural resources
Within Infrastructure, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP is ‘easily the best infrastructure practice in the market’, with work in 2011 encompassing international and domestic road, rail, ports, waste and social infrastructure deals. The firm advised DP World on the financing and development of the London Gateway. International mandates included advising the IFC on the establishment of the African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund. Conrad Andersen is ‘highly regarded by banks and borrowers for his technical ability, and can successfully execute both M&A and PPPs’. Susan Howard is recommended, and senior associate Sara Pickersgill is very highly regarded.
Within Mining and minerals, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP is ‘clearly one of the best in the project finance arena’, and augmented its global mining presence with the opening of a Casablanca office in September 2011. Highlights included advising Vale SA on the $4.9bn sale of mining and smelting assets to Norsk Hydro. Noted for his ability to see the bigger picture, Jonathan Bevan is ‘pragmatic, and talks the client’s language’. David Lee is ‘a clear thinker on complex issues’.
Within Oil and gas, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP covers all areas of the chain from upstream exploration to downstream disposals, with global capability. In upstream M&A, John Geraghty advised DNO International on its acquisition of RAK Petroleum; and Reliance Industries on its $7.2bn sale to BP of 23 Indian production sharing contracts. Downstream highlights included advising Shell on the divestment of its African assets in 14 countries across the continent. The firm has also been very active in carbon trading and disputes, acting for major multinationals, banks and governments.
Within PFI and PPP, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP ‘sets the benchmark for projects and infrastructure’, and is ‘one of the best in the field of PPPs’. Across education, waste, transport and highways, the firm is involved in many of the UK’s largest projects, including the London Gateway port, where it is advising the project companies on financing; and the Mersey Gateway, where it is advising the Balfour Beatty/Bouygues Travaux Publics consortium on its project bid. Group head David Lee’s ‘knowledge of PPPs is vast’, and senior associates Jocelyn Land and Matthew North are also recommended. Internationally, the firm advised the sponsor on the Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail link PPP.
Within Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables), Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP acts across the spectrum of practice areas in virtually every power subsector, advising a broad array of clients. Among recent work, Gareth Price has been advising Hitachi GE Nuclear on its investment in the development of the Visaginas nuclear power plant in Lithuania. The firm is also acting on three of the largest IPPs in the Middle East, including the Sur IPP in Oman. Price, who also took over as head of project finance after the retirement of Anne Baldock in April 2012, is ‘absolutely the most talented and knowledgeable legal adviser in nuclear energy’.
Within Water, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
With a strong reputation in structured finance, Conrad Andersen at Allen & Overy LLP advised the bank and bond arrangers on three holding company refinancings, including that of Greensands, the holding company of Southern Water. Anderson and Susan Howard advised Capstone Infrastructure Corporation on its CAD$215m acquisition of a 70% stake in Bristol Water from Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona.
London : Public sector
Within Administrative and public law, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP has seven London-based partners specialising in this area. Drawing on expertise from across the firm, including the EU and competition practice, it acts for a number of public bodies as well as claimants. It advised News Corporation on the licensing requirements for, and third-party objections to, its proposed BSkyB acquisition. Andrew Denny and Peter Watson are recommended. Recently promoted counsel Angeline Welsh is also recommended, as is associate James Neill, a qualified barrister, who was a significant new recruit.
London : Real estate
Within Commercial property, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP is a ‘cut about the rest’, providing ‘first-rate advice across real estate and financing’. Highlights included advising the European Medicines Agency on a pre-let of 250,000sq ft at 25 Churchill Place, and Orion Capital Managers on the purchase of an acre of prime residential land in Chelsea. Practice head Adam Cleal is recommended, as are ‘class act’ Imogen Moss and Christopher Woolf, who is ‘a rising star: extremely commercial and clever’.
Within Construction, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘top-notch’ group provides ‘invaluable support’ to clients involved in oil and gas developments in the Middle East, and energy-from-waste schemes in the UK, and provides ‘accurate assessment’ of legal issues coupled with ‘credibility and reliability for all parties involved’. The ‘impressive’ Nigel Pritchard has a ‘comprehensive understanding’ of EPC contracts. Mark Levy and Beverley Vara oversee contentious matters, and recently represented an energy firm in a $650m UNCITRAL arbitration. Balfour Beatty is also a client.
Within Environment, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP has ‘a high level of expertise’ and ‘broad coverage’ in environmental matters. While the practice saw less work over the past year on environmental aspects of M&A, it experienced an increase in renewable energy transactions. Its dedicated regulatory team advised JPMorgan, Marubeni and other large corporations on REACH-related matters, and the climate change team supported Gazprom and Deutsche Bank on carbon trading matters in 2011. Matthew Townsend is ‘a great relationship-builder’, and ‘takes time to understand and support the client’s business’.
On the property finance side, market activity increased with a steady demand for equity investment and development. Clifford Chance, with its base of leading lender and borrower clients, was heavily involved in distressed transactions, and also acted on a number of loan portfolio sales and purchases. Allen & Overy LLP remained a top choice for big-ticket transactions, and handled the Land Securities refinancing, the largest domestic debt refinancing of 2011.
Within Property finance, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP ‘leads the way on more complex financings’, and is a top choice for big-ticket transactions. It advised on the Land Securities refinancing, the largest domestic debt refinancing of 2011, while restructuring work included advising RBS on revising loans worth £900m. Mark O’Neill, Arthur Dyson and Simon Roberts are commended for ‘high-quality documentation and knowledge’, and are ‘very commercial, and not afraid to give clear advice without excessive caveats’. Greg Brown and Melissa Samuel are ‘able to digest large and complex transactions’.
Within Property litigation, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP advises commercial developers and others on rights of light issues, and acts in professional negligence claims against valuers. Its residential practice recently advised a US private equity firm on an enfranchisement claim concerning a block of London flats. Beverley Vara heads the group.
Within Social housing: finance, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘superb team’ is highly rated for its capital markets work, and handles all aspects of secured and unsecured bonds. Geoff Fuller is a ‘top-drawer’ adviser, and counsel Elizabeth Collett is also ‘exceptionally talented’. Greg Brown specialises in global loans.
London : TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
Within Brand management, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP advises major brand owners on IP-related matters, including brand protection, licensing and enforcement. Clients include eBay, Honda, McDonald’s Restaurants, and Sony. Neville Cordell advised Virgin Atlantic on using Olympic symbols in advertising campaigns, and represented Beifa Group in an appeal over proceedings brought against its community design registration for a highlighter pen. Jim Ford is ‘an excellent commercial lawyer who gives high-quality advice’.
Within Data protection, tier 4
Noted for its ‘solid commercial advice’ and ability to ‘understand the issues’, Allen & Overy LLP assists blue-chip clients in relation to data breaches and regulatory issues in the context of high-profile matters and cross-border transactions. Jane Finlayson-Brown is ‘approachable, considered, and not fazed by anything’. Senior associate Nigel Parker is ‘extremely adept’ on the cross-border side.
Within Intellectual property, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP is recommended for patent litigation, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector. ‘Very creative and tenacious’ IP litigation head Nicola Dagg and Huw Evans, who gives ‘succinct and sound IP advice’, together defended Novartis in a cross-border dispute with MedImmune regarding the Lucentis drug. Neville Cordell is ‘an expert litigator, with a strong knowledge of IP law, which he applies to cases in a highly commercial manner’. Cordell assisted eBay in a trade mark dispute with L’Oréal involving keyword advertising issues. Jim Ford advised Biomet on licensing arrangements.
Within IT and telecoms, Allen & Overy LLP is a third tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s cross-departmental team has capabilities in transactional/M&A, litigation and anti-trust matters. Jane Finlayson-Brown handles procurement, outsourcing and projects, and Nicola Dagg leads on IP litigation.
Within Media and entertainment, tier 4
Allen & Overy LLP regularly assists international clients in high-end corporate transactions, regulatory matters and disputes, and notably advised News Corporation in the Leveson Inquiry and numerous corporate and anti-trust matters, with Simon Toms acting as interim general counsel at News International. Antonio Bavasso is representing BSkyB in the FA Premier League case concerning the use of foreign decoder cards by UK commercial establishments. Litigator Neville Cordell represented eBay before the ECJ. Other clients include Twitter, Twentieth Century Fox, and Thomson Reuters.
Within Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, Allen & Overy LLP is a second tier firm,
Nicola Dagg leads Allen & Overy LLP’s global life sciences group and focuses on IP litigation, and recently acted for Pfizer in obtaining a preliminary injunction against Teva’s generic atorvastatin product, as well as successfully representing Novartis in a patent dispute with Medimmune. On the commercial side, the firm advised clients such as UCB, Syntaxin and Heptares on collaboration agreements, and acted for Astellas Pharma’s subsidiary Prosidion on the $609m sale of its patent estate and associated licences.
London : Transport
Within Aviation, tier 5
With a ‘great reputation’, the team at Allen & Overy LLP has strength across corporate, asset finance and litigation, and is particularly well regarded for its repossession experience. It advised GECAS in a number of high-profile matters, including defending a claim by Alpstream (and other companies within the Alpstream group) in proceedings against GECAS, PK AirFinance and JetBlue Airways. Peter Watson is ‘highly recommended’ for aviation disputes. Qantas Airways is also a client.
Within Rail, Allen & Overy LLP is a first tier firm,
Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘first-class’ rail team advised the lenders on an £850m senior facility agreement and the bond arrangers on an £800m senior bond issue to refinance Angel Train’s existing debt. It also advised a consortium consisting of Bombardier, Amber, RREEF and SMBC on its bid for the procurement, leasing, maintenance and financing of new rolling stock for Thameslink. Department head Jonathan Bevan is ‘a real expert’, and Conrad Andersen and Nigel Pritchard are also singled out.
Further information on Allen & Overy LLP
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