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DLA Piper

3 NOBLE STREET, LONDON, EC2V 7EE, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 08700 111 111
Fax:
Fax 020 7796 6666
DX:
33866 FINSBURY SQUARE
Email:
Web:
www.dlapiper.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s UK-wide and international reach sees it handle all aspects of domestic and multi-jurisdictional commercial contracts, distribution transactions and other complex arrangements for notable clients such as Molson Coors, Tata Steel, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Kraft Foods, among others. The team’s knowledge spans a wide range of matters, including joint ventures and strategic alliances, service level agreements, and research and development (R&D) agreements. Global practice co-head Iain Bowler recently led a team advising Merseytravel on the £600m procurement of a new fleet of 52 electric trains. In another 2016 highlight, Bowler and senior associate Michiko Jo were part of a cross-border team that advised New Look on commercial advertising and regulatory aspects of a prize promotion associated with the client’s ‘Model Squad’ campaign. Kit Burden is a global co-chair of the firm’s technology sector group, and has a wealth of experience of IT outsourcing and transformation projects. Mark Dewar has focus on consumer products, particularly in the food and drink sector, and is knowledgeable about UK and cross-border supply chain contracts and product launches.

Leading individuals

Iain Bowler - DLA Piper

Mark Dewar - DLA Piper

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s tax team is ‘adept’ at handling international M&A, restructurings and real estate and finance transactions, and also has a dedicated transfer pricing group. Richard Woolich leads the department and was instructed by Aareal Bank to advise on the UK tax aspects and manage the international tax advice in relation to the refinancing and restructuring of Invesco Fund’s EU property portfolio. ‘A consummate professional’, Paul Rutherford acts for Heineken Group in connection with the tax efficiency of its offer to acquire a securitisation group, Punch Taverns A, from Patron Capital. Neville Wright has expertise in the tax aspects of real estate transactions and advised Oxford Properties on its sale of the Green Park business park to Singapore-based Maple Tree Investments. The transfer pricing group is jointly led by Joel Cooper and Randall Fox.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The ‘effective’ Sam Szlezinger heads the practice at DLA Piper; his recent highlights include advising VimpelCom on merger control clearance for the acquisition by its subsidiary Mobilink of competing mobile network operator Warid, and acting for FA Premier League (FAPL) on Ofcom’s investigation into the sale of FAPL’s UK live broadcasting rights for football matches. Alexandra Kamerling (who is noted for giving ‘great advice’ that is ‘practical and commercial’) led the team advising Qualcomm on a joint venture agreement with TDK requiring clearances in a number of jurisdictions. Sarah Smith and Szlezinger advised Heineken on its acquisition of the partial Punch pub estate, which involved handling merger control issues before the CMA. Other notable clients include Etihad Airways, Gazprom, NTT Data, and Merck. Also recommended are ‘personable’ senior associate Ilan Sherr, who provides ‘great commercial advice’, and Richard Jenkinson, who joined the team from Dentons.

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has been instructed by underwriter and issuer clients and sees a steady flow of main market London IPO work and secondary offerings. Alex Tamlyn heads the EMEA capital markets practice and Charles Severs and Robert Salter are also key contacts in the department. The team has been instructed by various underwriter clients such as Canaccord Genuity, Deutsche Bank AG and BMO Capital Markets, and has also acted for issuers such as Bonmarché Holdings, Conviviality and PureTech Health. Martin Penn was promoted to partner in 2016.

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Financial services
Financial services (contentious) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory) - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has an ‘impressive feel for financial services regulation and is adept at giving a balanced, commercial approach which effectively navigates the complexities of the regulatory framework’. The ‘highly experiencedMichael McKee provides ‘skilful and practical advice’ across a broad spectrum of regulatory issues including MiFID II, payments regulation and the Senior Managers Regime. He recently provided all the necessary regulatory input, as part of a multi-disciplinary group, to enable the successful establishment of new digital challenger bank Masthaven Bank. McKee is also on the FCA’s Skilled Person panel and is therefore a useful resource on contentious matters handled by the firm. Formerly at the FSA, contentious head Tony Katz ‘knows the regulation and the regulator intimately and is unafraid to make difficult judgement calls’. Sam Millar is also recommended and is part of a ‘hardworking and strong team’ which is effectively able to mobilise practitioners not only out of London but also throughout its regional network. Clients include Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Noor Capital.

Leading individuals

Michael McKee - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s broad offering provides support on domestic capital markets mandates to companies and their advisers across its UK offices, and also leverages the firm’s wider global platform for cross-border matters. In addition to fielding English-qualified practitioners, the London office also houses US-qualified capital markets lawyers, such as George Barboutis, who heads the US securities practice for the EMEA region, and senior associate Iryna Nagayets. Charles Severs, practice head Alex Tamlyn and senior associate Robert Newman acted for Liberum Capital Limited as the underwriter on Time Out Group’s £195m AIM IPO. Tamlyn was also the lead adviser to Hutchison China Meditech Limited on its listing of American Depository Shares on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Tom Heylen’s clients include Halyard Health, Tissue Regenix and online retailer Amazon. Martin Penn, who made partner in 2016, is also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Martin Penn - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

The ‘proactive, exemplary’ department at DLA Piper has ‘great bench strength’ and offers ‘valuable advice’. It is well known for its TMT expertise, though it also acts for high-profile clients in sectors including energy, financial services and transport. The ‘incredibly responsive, thoughtful’ and ‘very experiencedRobert Bishop is ‘pragmatic, commercially savvy’ and ‘a brilliant negotiator’; he heads the practice with Jon Kenworthy, who advised GetTaxi on a $300m investment into the client by Volkswagen Group. Managing director Charles Severs, who ‘always ensures that services are delivered as promised’, assisted ARM Holdings with its $350m purchase of Apical, while Mark Chivers advised NTT Data on its $3.1bn purchase of Dell Services. In the energy sector, Jon Hayes acted for General Electric on its €1.5bn acquisition of LM Wind Power. The ‘first-classAnu Balasubramanian is ‘very knowledgeable on representations, warranties and standard market practice’, and ‘gets complicated transactions done on time’. Robert Salter, who is strong in public M&A, is also recommended.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions – Large-cap deal capability - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s first-rate team has ‘the knowledge, the experience and the knowhow to close deals’. UK private equity head David Raff is ‘incredibly commercial and a charmingly ferocious negotiator’. Also singled out for praise is European private equity head Tim Wright, who ‘can run multiple thought processes concurrently, and at exceptional speeds’; and John Pryor, who ‘pre-empts how his advice will be received, understood and implemented’. The firm has a particularly excellent reputation in the mid-market space, and also handles a significant number of large-cap mandates. In 2016, Anu Balusubramanian led the advice to ABRY Partners and the management sellers on the sale of Thomson Online Benefits to Mercer Limited. Another notable highlight saw James Kerrigan act for LDC and management in the £178m sale of Synexus Clinical Research to PPD. In the large-cap space, Wright and others acted for the management team in Bupa’s £835m tertiary buyout of Oasis Dental Care from Bridgepoint. Edward Griffiths is recommended, as is recent hire Andrew Wylie, who joined from Nabarro LLP.

Leading individuals

Tim Wright - DLA Piper

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Trade, WTO, anti-dumping, and customs
Trade, WTO, anti-dumping, and customs - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The ‘first-rateJohn Forrest leads the ‘experienced’ team at DLA Piper, which counts Boston Consulting Group, Hyundai Kia Motor Group, Experian, Nexion Technologies, Asda, and Commerzbank, as well as a number of sovereign entities, among its clients. Forrest advised a client on an ongoing HMRC investigation into rules of origin for customs valuation purposes, and provided sanctions and export control advice to Amec Foster Wheeler in relation to potential commercial opportunities, including in Iran and Russia. The team advised clients on compliance with EU and US sanctions, and on the sanctions, trade and export control aspects of a merger approval. Senior associate Chloe Barker divides her time between Birmingham and London, and is also recommended.

Leading individuals

John Forrest - DLA Piper

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

In the opinion of a client, DLA Piper is ‘similar in quality to Magic Circle firms’. It focuses on stand-alone consultancy work, in addition to maintaining an active transactional practice. The firm makes good use of its international network and has thus seen an increase of instructions from corporates seeking to expand their EU presence. ‘A pleasure to work with’, Richard Woolich heads the department and provided UK tax advice to Aareal Bank in relation to the refinancing and restructuring of Invesco Fund’s EU property portfolio, managing international tax advice in four European jurisdictions as part of this transaction. On the advisory side, he provides compliance and structuring advice to leading banks, global entertainments companies and multinational retailers. Neville Wright has been particularly active in real estate and energy infrastructure-related taxation, and has recently been instructed by clients such as Hastings Fund and Deutsche Fonds Holding. The team also has experience in working alongside the firm’s disputes resolution department. Ben Brown joined the team from Allen & Overy LLP in 2017.

Leading individuals

Richard Woolich - DLA Piper

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has ‘a strong civil fraud practice both in litigation and arbitration’ and provides ‘pragmatic advice with good risk analysis’. Key individuals include ‘tough opponentJean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, ‘polished and innovative thinker’ Jeremy Andrews and Jamie Curle, who ‘moves easily between the details and the big picture’ and ‘has an excellent strategic grasp of all issues’. The team recently acted for Standard Chartered Bank in the recovery of $140m of secured assets in Tanzania, where security was provided in relation to the client’s investment in a local power plant, and also represented Simetra Global Assets in proceedings against a London-based FCA defendant regarding the misappropriation of $375m worth of investments. AB Bank is also a key client.

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Gaming and betting
Gaming and betting - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice regularly handles IT, IP, corporate and litigation matters for its broad range of gambling sector clients, and also has notable expertise in domestic and international tax issues. Key clients include William Hill, Jackpot.com and Paysafe Group; the team recently advised the latter on gambling regulations and risk impact across 28 European jurisdictions for the purposes of reshaping its market presence policy, and also assisted with the preparation of worldwide international travel policies. The firm also represented Gala Coral Group in its voluntary settlement with the GB Gambling Commission, a matter involving significant licensing ramifications. Nick Fitzpatrick and Hilary Stewart-Jones co-head the department, and the latter is praised for her ‘very wide knowledge of both UK and international gaming law’.

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London: Dispute resolution

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is well known for cross-border mandates; the practice regularly acts for top-tier clients in their most important and high-profile disputes in the financial services sector. It acted for Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) (SCBHK) and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad in a dispute which arose from the attempted alleged wrongful misappropriation of $140m of secured assets from SCBHK in Tanzania, which security was provided for SCBHK’s investment in a local power plant; it also continued to advise RBS in over 160 swaps mis-selling cases. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, who ‘picks up issues very fast and is brilliant with clients’, is the UK litigation and regulatory group head; Jeremy Andrews has a particular focus on banking and funds litigation, contentious trusts, and fraud and asset tracing matters; Jamie Curle is ‘very bright and runs cases very effectively’; Tony Katz focuses on cross-border disputes involving the highest risk regulatory issues; and Sam Millar’s focus is on regulatory work for financial institutions and global investigations. Paul Smith was promoted to partner.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piperhas huge experience’. The practice recently experienced a marked increase in multi-jurisdictional mandates; it advised the Special Administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co in its actions to recover up to €3.5bn losses arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions. The team also continued to advise RBS in over 160 swaps mis-selling cases, both at the pre-action stage and in claims commenced in the High Court and various district registries. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry is ‘very bright and gives incisive strategic advice’; Jamie Curle ‘has an excellent grip of strategy and is very commercial’; and James Carter is ‘bright and fun to work with and a great team-building person’. Jeremy Andrews, Linos Choo, Janet Legrand, Stephen Sly and Richard McGrane are also highly rated. Paul Smith and Sarah Smith were promoted to the partnership.

Leading individuals

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

With a growing reputation acting for claimants and defendants, DLA Piper has continued to invest in its competition litigation department, which saw the hire of Richard Jenkinson from Dentons in 2017. Indeed, since joining the firm in 2015, department head Sam Szlezinger has been active in claimant litigation and regulatory investigations, and is advising KRS Releasing on an investigation by the Maltese competition authority. Sarah Smith was promoted to partner in 2016 and has been instructed by clients such as Lupin and Merck in the pay-for-delay litigation, which concerns related IP and competition issues affecting the pharmaceutical industry globally. Alexandra Kamerling is another key contact in the practice group and acted for a number of companies in claims against XL; this was one of the first damages private enforcement matters to be brought before the CAT.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a particular strength in energy sector and infrastructure disputes; the practice also has a strong record in investment treaty disputes and is noted for its representation of states, particularly in Europe and in Africa. It has significant geographical reach on the African continent. The team acted for Gazprom in a series of SCC arbitration claims, relating to the supply, pricing and transit of gas. Philip Chong is Europe international arbitration head; other recommended practitioners are Kate Cervantes-Knox, Mark Hilton, Richard McGrane, James Carter and Jeremy Andrews.

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice combines significant investment treaty arbitration work with a broader PIL practice that includes advisory work for states and sanctions; and it has extensive presence in key emerging markets, such as the CIS region and Africa. Investment treaty dispute highlights included advising the Republic of Kenya on an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes claim, brought by mining investor Cortec. Kate Cervantes-Knox has significant investment treaty experience, representing both states and investors in international arbitrations, pursuant to bilateral and multilateral investment treaties; Janet Legrand is recommended for advising states; and Richard McGrane and Europe head of international arbitration Philip Chong are also key names. Counsel Scott Horton’s practice focuses on work for sovereigns.

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The departures in August 2016 of Philip Butler and David Miles to Dechert LLP notwithstanding, DLA Piper remains a significant presence, most notably in the domestic space as a result of its strong ties with UK clearing banks and its ability to leverage the expertise of practitioners not only based in London but also in the UK regions. Andy Kolacki acts for both lenders and borrowers in deals utilising both senior and subordinated capital structures; his recent highlights include advising HSBC, Investec and Bank of Ireland on the provision of an all-senior debt financing package to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners to support its MBO of GL Education. The ‘incredibly hardworking and pragmatic’ Mark Dwyer regularly acts for corporate borrowers on acquisition finance transactions, including advising VimpelCom on its $250m financing to facilitate its acquisition of Warid Telecom in Pakistan and the £340m Takeover Code cash confirmed financing of Heineken's public takeover of Punch Taverns. The ‘commercial’ Julie Romer is also recommended, as is the ‘vastly experienced’ Maurice Allen, who joined the firm in a consultancy role in March 2017 from Ropes & Gray LLP.

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

DLA Piper

A key part of the firm’s global asset finance practice, which includes strong capabilities out of Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Oslo and Dubai, DLA Piper’s two-partner London-based team has expertise within both the shipping and aviation sectors on behalf of owners, banks, lessors and private equity investors. Alan Cunningham recently acted for Flybe on the lessor novation of six Embraer 195 aircraft between Falko and Avolon. Recently promoted partner Richard Skipper was also involved in the aforementioned matter and is the other core partner within the team. US-qualified capital markets partner Tony Lopez has expertise advising on aircraft portfolio securitisations.

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Asset-based lending
Asset-based lending - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper (London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham)

The ‘extremely strong and talented’ team at DLA Piper has expertise out of London as well as many of its regional offices, ensuring that it has the critical mass and geographical ties to seamlessly handle any transaction, regardless of location. Praised for its ‘technical and commercial’ approach, the team has strong ties with the domestic clearing banks, in addition to alternative finance providers and corporate clients, and is able to handle the full range of transactions including those which use an ABL facility for either working capital, refinancing or acquisition finance purposes, in addition to supply chain finance and in a cross-border finance setting. Manchester-based Joseph Frew has a strong reputation in the local market for lenders and borrowers, and in a deal which also involved a unitranche facility provided by Tosca Debt Capital, he recently advised HSBC (as one of the finance providers alongside PNC) to facilitate the merger between sponsor-backed recruitment businesses Swift and Air Energi. Birmingham-based Stephen Bottley also regularly implements ABL techniques within transactions and recently acted for Lloyds Bank, as part of a banking club, on the £80m multi-currency ABL facilities provided to Anglia Maltings Group for working capital and acquisition finance purposes. The ‘very commercial’ Simon Boon is, according to one client, ‘one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in the UK in the ABL and invoice finance arena’, and because of his contentious expertise is well-placed to assist clients on the construction of facility documentation and in providing guidance on regulatory issues such as data protection, money laundering and insurance mediation. Leeds-based partner Sarah Day is ‘highly proficient in all areas of banking law with a close awareness of matters relating to receivables financing and asset based lending’. Lorinda Peasland is recommended for ABL-related restructuring work. Clients include ABN Amro Commercial Finance, Aldermore Invoice Finance, GE Capital and Siemens Financial Services.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Despite the departure of well-regarded leveraged and corporate lending partners David Miles and Philip Butler to Dechert LLP towards the end of 2016, DLA Piper maintains a significant presence in the market where it is praised for its ‘high service levels on the more complex or esoteric structures’. The ‘incredibly hardworking and pragmatic’ Mark Dwyer – who joined at the end of 2015 from Slaughter and May – has been instrumental in building up the firm’s borrower-side credentials. Dwyer advised Discovery Communications on its $2bn refinancing and acted for Heineken on its £340m financing of its public takeover of Punch Taverns. ‘First-rate’ team head Julie Romer recently advised numerous banks including Barclays on the £200m amendment and restatement of facilities for Just Eat to fund its acquisition of Hungry House. Other clients include Workspace Group, HSBC and Ares Capital.

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

DLA Piper

Appreciated by clients for its ‘very broad practice covering restructuring and contentious insolvency matters’, DLA Piper’s ten-partner team is effectively able to deploy practitioners at the correct level of experience to provide a ‘cost-effective and commercial’ offering to a range of stakeholders on domestic and multi-jurisdictional matters. ‘Superb’ team head Amy Jacks is a ‘very strong all-rounder’ across a range of restructuring and insolvency work including in relation to portfolio sales. The ‘very commercial and practical’ Chris Parker is ‘very switched on’ on contentious matters and continues to represent the administrators of Lehman Brothers in the Waterfall I and II litigation. French-qualified partner Noam Ankri excels at complex distressed matters involving an international complexion; he is advising the steering committee of bondholders in relation to the restructuring of French-listed company CGG Group’s $3bn debt which involves exposure to debt not only in France but also UK, US and Norway. Recently promoted partner David Ampaw is ‘excellent at navigating the issues of debt sales’ and is a key member of the team that also includes the ‘extremely experienced and knowledgeableMichael Fiddy, Neil Riley (who provides ‘sensible and commercial advice on complex restructuring matters’), and private equity restructuring expert Jonathan Richards. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Lonestar, Lloyds and Aviva Commercial Finance.

Next generation lawyers

Amy Jacks - DLA Piper

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, structured finance partner and head of financial markets Martin Bartlam regularly handles debt offerings; he recently advised Hastings Funds Management and Norddeutsche Landesbank on an innovative €60m hybrid bond and loan financing for the Gloghboola wind farm in Ireland. Bartlam’s other highlights included assisting dealers including Goldman Sachs and Nomura with the update of Santander Consumer Bank’s €32bn EMTN programme. Capital markets specialist Ronan Mellon, whose practice encompasses covered bonds, corporate bonds, commercial paper, project bonds, hybrid structures and masala bonds, also played a key role in that deal. Vincent Keaveny has more than 20 years’ experience advising corporates and financial institutions on a broad range of finance transactions including debt offerings, derivatives trades and securitisations. He acts for issuers and underwriters on international DCM transactions, including the establishment and update of debt issuance programmes. Working with Bartlam he advised Banca IMI on its EMTN and structured note programmes. Mark Dwyer, who focuses on DCM and structured finance, advised Mount Street on a series of debt issues including a €59m privately placed note.

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a team of experienced partners with broad finance practices that include specialist expertise in structured finance. Martin Bartlam is international group head of finance and projects, in which sits the financial markets team that Mark Dwyer leads. Bartlam, who has in-house experience from his time as head of structured products at Calyon in London, advises on international structured deals for arrangers, issuers, investors, sponsors, originators, monolines, credit rating agencies, trustees and servicers. Bartlam recently advised a UK-based multinational bank on the rollout of a bespoke hedging service for its external customers. Dwyer has more than 20 years’ experience in the structured finance and debt capital markets space, and he regularly advises clients from a range of sectors including banking and financial services, private equity, real estate, retail, food and pharmaceuticals. His recent work includes advising an Asian insurance company on cross-border swaps, and a Chinese clothing company on various derivatives matters. Vincent Keaveny is international co-chair of the financial services sector group and has advised banks, financial institutions and corporate clients in the UK and overseas on derivatives, structured finance, securitisation and debt capital markets transactions for more than 20 years. He recently advised a European bank on the annual update of its structured note programme. John Delamere is also recommended.

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields a number of experienced projects partners in London including Charles Morrison, who is a key figure in the energy and infrastructure finance team, and widely regarded as an expert on energy matters, particularly in the oil and gas sector. He recently advised integrated energy company Victoria Oil & Gas on a complex farm-out arrangement with Africa-focused oil and gas exploration group Bowleven in relation to a production-sharing contract for the Bomono Block in Cameroon. Nigel Drew’s broad finance practice includes bank and bond deals for the financing of international infrastructure projects. He has a strong track record of road, rail and airport projects in Africa and Eastern Europe.

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High yield
High yield - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a standout practitioner in US-qualified Tony Lopez, who is head of international high yield and has more than 20 years’ experience in the market. He regularly acts for corporate issuers, sponsors and investment banks on public and private deals across a number of jurisdictions. The hire of partner Andy Kolacki from Latham & Watkins is a sign of the firm’s ongoing investment in the high yield and leveraged finance practice. Lopez played a central role in the refinancing of Corral Petroleum Holdings and Preem, which included senior PIK toggle notes in tranches of €570m and SEK500m. Other highlights for the team included advising Central European Media Enterprises on the redemption of $500m in PIK notes, which was the culmination of three years representing the company as issuer and borrower in a series of complex financing transactions that included two high yield offerings and the issue of convertible notes.

Leading individuals

Tony Lopez - DLA Piper

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is best known for advising multinational banks and financial investors in growth securitisation markets, and its recent activity has seen it handle deals in a range of asset classes including mortgages, auto loans, consumer loans, accounts, equipment and lease receivables both in the UK and in high-growth markets such as Poland and Portugal. The firm is also active in US and European arbitrage CLOs, finance platform structuring for new challenger banks, and the transfer of performing and non-performing portfolios. The firm’s key partners include international group head of finance and projects Martin Bartlam, who recently advised Ares Management on the purchase of mezzanine notes forming part of a £130m warehouse facility backed by AvantCredit's online consumer loans; highly respected securitisation veteran and international co-chair of the financial services sector group Vincent Keaveny, who acted for a UK finance partner of several well-known car brands on the £1bn refinancing of a privately-placed auto loan securitisation of an auto-loan book; and London head of finance and markets Mark Dwyer, who is part of a team advising Heineken on the proposed acquisition of Punch Securitisation as part of a £1.15bn takeover Punch Taverns. In the CLO space, the London team acted for Ares European Loan Management LLP as collateral manager on its €417m inaugural European arbitrage CLO.

Leading individuals

Vincent Keaveny - DLA Piper

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

The ‘excellent’ multidisciplinary team at DLA Piperworks hard to get issues resolved’. In Birmingham, senior associate Nick Hinton advised long-term client Dignity on the structuring and implementation of new senior executive and management arrangements, including a new deferred bonus plan and changes to the company’s Save As You Earn scheme to comply with regulations. Leeds-based associate Lynda Finan is regularly instructed on the incentives aspects of major transactions, and Manchester-based David Thompson is also a name to note.

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s department handles the full gamut of employment work, with particular expertise in corporate transactions and regulatory matters. The department is headed by Adam Hartley, who represented Uber in high-profile litigation brought before the Employment Appeal Tribunal regarding the rights and employment status of the client’s drivers. Hartley also led advice to CooperVision on a pan-European contract review and implementation process following the company’s merger with Sauflon. Other highlights for the team included advising a global banking group on the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. Jonathan Exten-Wright is also recommended. The department’s client base includes HSBC, ITV and the London Stock Exchange.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice advises on regulatory matters for domestic and international clients from a broad range of sectors, including retail and construction. Practice head Teresa Hitchcock represented Ardagh Group in a HSE investigation following a serious accident concerning one of the client’s employees at a third party’s site. Litigation expert John Gollaglee acted for Wilko in an investigation conducted by the local authority following a serious accident at a store near Leicester. Mark Franklin is acting for Airbus Helicopters in a fatal accident inquiry arising from a helicopter crash. Roy Tozer and Charles Arrand are now at Shoosmiths LLP.

Leading individuals

Teresa Hitchcock - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s group has notable experience acting for corporates on the pensions aspects of major transactions, as well as assisting trustees in various matters, including the closure of schemes. Group head Matthew Swynnerton advised Mondelez on covenant and liability issues concerning its acquisition of Cadbury from Burton’s Foods, and advised the trustees of the Avesta Polarit Pension Scheme on its closure to defined-benefit future accrual. On the litigation side, David Young regularly handles contentious pensions and trust matters, including regulatory investigations and risk management issues. Clients include Allied Domecq Pensions, GE and Aviva. Michael Cowley has retired.

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s excellent’ practice is ‘first class’ in aviation and cyber work, with recent work including cases pertaining to aircraft losses and large-scale data breaches. ‘Extremely tenacious’ practice head Leon Taylor ‘is a sound pair of hands’ with an ‘open, approachable and helpful manner’, who is acting for the London war risks reinsurance market in relation to the disappearances of Malaysia Airlines’ flights MH17 and MH370. Andrew Symons leads the group with Taylor and represented R&Q in an significant appeal brought by another Lloyd’s syndicate, which saw the Commercial Court rule that respiratory claims relating to World Trade Center attacks could be aggregated. Allied World Assurance Company and Munich Re are additional clients of the practice, which has also been handling professional indemnity and D&O disputes.

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper stands out for its ‘good customer focus, commercial approach and overall strength in depth’, and its ‘willingness to adapt its advice and fee structure to the nature of the transaction’. The practice covers life and non-life matters including domestic and cross-border M&A, group reorganisations, Part VII transfers and other run-off insurance portfolio matters, and the team has a strong working relationship with many European insurance regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Recent work included advising AIG on the sale of its 51% shareholding in AIG Greece to Exin Financial Services, and acting for MS Amlin on a merger under SE regulation as part of a corporate restructuring, where the client aims to merge RaetsMarine Insurance, its Dutch subsidiary, into Amlin Underwriting Services, its UK subsidiary. Prakash Paran co-chairs the global insurance group, and is ‘an excellent negotiator who always remains calm under pressure’.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice, bolstered by the recruitment of Andrew Wylie as practice head from Nabarro, handles a range of fund formation practices, with a significant strength in funds concerning emerging and frontier markets. Alex Tamlyn is also a name of note for fund formation, with James O’Donnell handling significant investor-side work as well as international elements. Clients include LaSalle Investment Management, FMO, the States of Jersey Public Employees Contributory Retirement Scheme and the trustees of Royal Insurance Group Pension Scheme.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piperhas a strong team in place under the leadership of’’ Colin Wilson, which ‘excels in the PFI project area’ and clients are ‘always impressed by the speed at which its lawyers respond’. Maria Pereira and Wilson were part of the team advising the DfT on the high-profile Airport Capability programme, which is due to involve the expansion of either Heathrow or Gatwick airport. Other highlights included acting for Hitachi Rail on the New Tube for London scheme and assisting Agility Trains with ongoing operational matters arising from the Intercity Express Programme. The firm recently strengthened its contentious construction capabilities by hiring David Moss and Paul Giles from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and Alison Fagan from Addleshaw Goddard. Other contacts include Mark Dwyer, who recently joined the financial markets unit from Slaughter and May, power project expert Nigel Drew and the Manchester-based Liam Cowell who specialises in the transport and roads sectors.

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is ‘among the best performing law firms in the market’, according to one client, and provides ‘a good knowledge of the local environment, a high level of availability, and an excellent service’, especially in contentious matters. Sandy Telfer and Sheffield-based Petra Billing acted for Ineos in its successful application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change under it 14th UK onshore unconventional oil and gas licensing round, and Kate Cervantes-Knox represented the Republic of Kenya in an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes arbitration claim brought by mining investor Cortec. In the private sector, James Carter defended a Columbian mining company in ICC arbitration proceedings brought by a Turkish entity with regards to an asset purchase agreement relating to coal mining licenses and related assets in South America. The team also worked closely with its international network to assist clients with bond issuing, security finance and real estate portfolio transactions.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is praised for its ‘exceptional service; advice is tailored to each situation with an excellent overlay of the real commercial issues of a transaction’. International head of finance and projects Charles Morrison provides ‘fantastic commercial insight’ and is supported by Dimitri Papaefstratiou, who leads the newly formed London energy and infrastructure projects team. Highlights included acting for HSBC on a letter of credit issuance facility made available to GNPC to support its role in the development of Sankofa gas project in Ghana; and representing Gazprom in a series of ICC arbitrations relating to the supply, pricing and transfer of gas to Ukrainian supplier Naftogaz. Papaefstratiou also worked alongside the Madrid office to assist the Spanish Egyptian Gas Company in connection with the development of the Damietta LNG terminal in Egypt. Philip Chong is also recommended for international arbitration matters.

Leading individuals

Charles Morrison - DLA Piper

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Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)
Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is singled out for its ‘deep industry knowledge, strong expertise, client focus and extensive team’. Key figures include the ‘forward-thinking’ Natasha Luther-Jones, who heads the renewable energy EMEA practice, and Dimitri Papaefstratiou, who heads the energy, infrastructure and projects department. Luther-Jones was lead UK partner in a cross-office European team acting for a consortium of investors led by Credit Suisse in the Fosen Vind onshore wind farm in Norway. Other notable names in the London office include Nigel Drew – who advised Maamba Collieries on the development of phase one of a coal-fired power station in Zambia – and Darren Walsh who is representing the operator of a newly constructed nuclear plant in the Middle East on the negotiation and finalisation of a ten-year O&M agreement. The team was also involved in a high-profile carbon positive project for a household name client, as well as four separate acquisitions of solar assets on behalf of an investor. Other notable clients include Equitix, National Grid and BTMU.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is well regarded for its judicial review and procurement work. Edinburgh’s Hazel Moffatis a real asset’ and heads the national practice with Leeds-based Paul Stone, who successfully represented the Department for Transport - as an interested party - in a judicial review that was filed by Heathrow Airport against the Office of Rail and Road regarding rail access charges that will be implemented by the airport for allowing Crossrail services to use Heathrow Spur. Assisting Market Operator Services with statutory codes and a regulatory framework to launch a competitive non-household water market was a major highlight for the practice, which is advising Transport for the North on its formation under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016. The ‘excellent’ practice also acts for Heineken, Student Loans Company and the British Horseracing Authority. Legal director Martyn Scott is another name to note in Leeds.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper showed its intentions for this practice area with the hire of 27 lawyers, including William Naunton and Bryan Pickup, from King & Wood Malleson. ‘Naunton and his team provide a wonderfully commercial, user friendly approach to the law’, with George Burrha described by one client as ‘one of the best property lawyers in the business’. In line with this expansion, the practice handled one of the UK’s largest investment mandates, with corporate specialist Robert Salter and legal director Jonathan Whiteford acting for Oxford Properties on its £563m sale of the Green Park business park to Singapore-based Mapletree Investments. In another significant investment mandate, ‘cerebral’ London practice head Richard Wilkinson, who ‘goes the extra mile to understand the specific industry sector relevant to the deal’, represented Deutsche Fonds Holding on the real estate aspects of the £155m sale of 20 Moorgate to SEA Holdings. The team’s development work has a strong regional focus, and in one example, Liverpool-based Mark Beardwood is advising Cheshire West and Chester Council in connection with the Chester Northgate town centre regeneration programme. In London, Paul Jayson is acting for WeWork on the development and pre-letting obligations of its portfolio of prime city office buildings. The hotel-and-leisure and retail offerings are led from the Leeds office by Matthew Duncombe and Valerie Mather, respectively. Duncombe acted on behalf of Marriott International on various hotel franchise deals, while Mather continued to service the practice’s strong portfolio of retailers, which includes BHS, Dixons Carphone and JD Sports Fashion. Richard Hopkinson-Woolley departed for Simmons & Simmons.

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Construction: contentious and non-contentious
Construction: contentious - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Construction: non-contentious - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s non-contentious team is led by Stephen Malley, who specialises in advising developers on property development, including head-office projects and R&D facilities. Malley’s work in 2016 included advising Quintain Estates on the construction documentation for a 360-unit residential development at Wembley Park; and assisting Granville Homes with its first UK residential development, the construction of a luxury PRS scheme in Holland Park. The contentious team focuses on international arbitration, with an emphasis on large civil, engineering, energy (including nuclear and renewables), oil-and-gas and infrastructure matters. Contentious co-head Mark Hilton and legal director Edward Shaw are both ‘bright and tenacious’; Shaw is currently acting for an employer in an extension-of-time claim against a contractor arising from the £10m re-development of a high-value residential property. Also of note are ‘thoughtful and effective leader’ Philip Chong, and Kate Cervantes-Knox, who is ‘a growing force in the international arbitration field’. Legal director Ben Peecock joined from Addleshaw Goddard, but Stephen Haller retired.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘market-leading’ practice stands out for its ‘industry knowledge, and extensive experience of dealing with regulatory agencies’. Sheffield-based Teresa Hitchcock, who is praised for her ‘ability to quickly digest and understand complicated technical issues and communicate clearly and effectively’, has particular expertise in contaminated land, nuisance disputes and regeneration projects. Her recent work includes assisting Unilever with an overview of the key environmental risks relevant to its European business, and acting for Heineken UK in relation to an incident at a manufacturing site that led to a chemical loss to a nearby watercourse. Also in Sheffield is legal director Alistair Clough, who continued to provide specialist environmental and remediation advice to Grant Thornton in its capacity as administrators of J G Ambergate. The team is also noted for its expertise in criminal investigations brought by the Environment Agency, with Leeds-based Stuart Ponting the name to note in this respect. Roy Tozer departed for Shoosmiths LLP.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is possibly best known for its work in the infrastructure and energy space, where Howard Bassford was active on a range of significant mandates; as well as drafting the DCO for Tidal Lagoon Power’s natural power project in Swansea Bay, Bassford also successfully promoted Highways England’s DCO for junctions 3 to 12 of the M4. In another highlight, the team is acting for National Grid on the North West Coast Connections transmission power line project running from Carlisle to Lancaster. The team also handles development planning, and is praised for its ‘ability to provide innovative solutions to secure consent’. The ‘first-class’ Karen Howard advised the London Borough of Newham on planning relating to the £3.5bn regeneration project at Silvertown Quays, and also represented Commercial Estates Group on the promotion of a site in Maldon, Essex which is a strategic housing site for 1000 houses. The practice is led from Birmingham by Trevor Ivory. Emma Harling-Philips left for Pinsent Masons LLP.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice acts for lenders and borrowers on a wide range of property finance matters, and is noted for its strong multi-jurisdictional capabilities. Refinancing is a particular strength: group head Toby Barker acted for Aereal Bank on a €1bn pan-European real estate financing for Invesco, comprising a €580m facility to refinance a portfolio of properties located across France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands; a €30m facility to refinance one of Invesco’s existing Italian portfolios; and a further €390m to enable Invesco to expand its portfolio throughout all seven jurisdictions. Barker also advised Aviva on its £469m refinancing of a £1.2bn London portfolio owned by one of its borrowers, Lazari Properties. Paul Gray, an expert in highly leveraged international real estate and structured finance transactions, advised Market Tech Holdings on a £900m facility arranged by AIG Asset Management (Europe) for future acquisitions and developments. An expert in CMBS, he also advised Solutus Advisors on replacing its special servicer, and the ensuing £250m restructuring of its Mapley Gamma office portfolio. On the development finance side, Gray assisted Stadio TDV with obtaining €30m of credit to finance some of the pre-development costs of its Stadio della Roma project. In acquisition finance, Laurence Rogers acted for M&G Investment Management on a £60m loan to Secure Income REIT for the purchase of units in several Jersey unit trusts in possession of a portfolio of Travelodges.

Leading individuals

Laurence Rogers - DLA Piper

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘bright and enthusiastic’ team is led by the ‘exceptionalIan Brierley and includes ‘incredibly talented’ senior associate Alasdair Thomas. The team has core strengths in development litigation; Brierley handled various development issues for developer Aroland pertaining to its 1 Undershaft development project, which included advising on rights of light issues, which is another area of expertise for the department. In other work, the group acted for Market Tech in a vacant possession issue for a retail development site in Camden High Street, and in a possession claim in the High Court against squatters at a property in King’s Cross; represented Sauchiehall Street Properties in a guarantee claim in the High Court against EMI Group; and acted for Friends Life in a High Court claim against squatters in the client’s retail park development.

Leading individuals

Ian Brierley - DLA Piper

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper utilises its international footprint to advise on global compliance projects, particularly in the financial services, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. The team also assisted the Health and Social Care Information Centre in relation to the data protection aspects of its exit from several large outsourcing contracts, while other clients include Asda, Creative Content UK, Aviva, the London Stock Exchange, Boston Consulting Group and InterContinental Hotels Group. Practice head Ross McKean advises clients on data governance and compliance, breach responses, cybersecurity and global sourcing projects. The team also includes the ‘highly knowledgeable’ Andrew Dyson and associate Rachel de Souza.

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Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has extensive experience in high-profile, cross-border investigations and criminal defence work, with key areas of expertise including tax and fraud investigations, sanctions breaches, cartel cases and financial integrity matters. Recent work includes representing Latvian bank Trasta Komercbanka in proceedings brought by the European Central Bank and the national regulator, which sought to withdraw the bank’s licence on the basis of concerns regarding capital, liquidity and money laundering. The group also acted for Soma Oil and Gas in an SFO investigation into allegations of bribery by public officials in Somalia. Tony Katz heads the financial services and investigations team, and has substantial experience in cross-border matters across various sectors.

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Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s team is experienced in advising publishers – including Hodder, Little Brown Book Group, Pan Macmillan and Penguin Random House – on the clearance of published titles; recent work in this space include assisting with the publication of Class of 92 and Fifty Years of Hurt: The Story of England Football and Why We Never Stop Believing. Other clients include Orion, Springer Nature and Quercus. Key names in the ‘brilliant’ team include Ruth Hoy, who advises on traditional and online media-related matters; Duncan Calow, who is noted for his expertise in the e-publishing and digital content spaces; Richard Taylor, who is highly regarded for international defamation matters; Andrew Smith, who is based in Manchester; and Paul Stone, who handles libel and slander matters for public sector clients.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is regularly called on to advise major international clients on global brand management issues spanning trade mark clearances and disputes, sponsorships, and advertising and promotional campaigns, with a notable emphasis on sport, gambling and digital media. Nick Fitzpatrick and Patrick Mitchell count Baku Games, The National Basketball Association and The Premier League as clients, while John Wilks, Duncan Calow and Claire Sng advise brands including Amazon, Panasonic and Alcatel Lucent on advertising and marketing issues, including handling complex compliance projects and issues relating to digital and ad-tech. It is advising Aviva on privacy compliance issues relating to behavioural and targeted advertising, social media marketing, and use of big data for advertising and marketing purposes. The team is also assisting a number of clients on multi-jurisdictional marketing promotion reviews, and has handled trade mark filings, oppositions, portfolio management and online and offline infringement issues for Papa John’s. In another key highlight it is advising Rakuten on its €220m sponsorship of the Futbol CLUB Barcelona. The team is led by well-regarded IP practitioner and litigator Ruth Hoy and includes consultant Siân Croxon and media and entertainment specialist Duncan Calow.

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

IT and outsourcing expert Anthony Day heads DLA Piper’s practice jointly with structured finance and capital markets specialist Martin Bartlam. In addition to its work for financial institutions and funds looking to invest in fintech companies, the team handles technology implementation and outsourcing for established financial players, also advising these clients on compliance and regulatory matters. Day acted for Lloyds Banking Group on its £100m digital transformation project with McKinsey and Sapient Nitro, involving the wholesale redesign of its online offerings to customers, and the development of online products and apps to enhance customer experience. In an illustration of its work for fintech companies, Bartlam assisted Luther Systems with ongoing financing for its capital requirements. He also acted for Finnish financial services provider Euroloan Group on the €60m financing of its fintech consumer finance business, based on receivables sourced through its cloud-based consumer lending engine. On the regulatory side, Bartlam advised Future Finance Loan, which uses loan origination technology to help students obtain loans, on various regulatory matters, including whether or not the company could use receivables originated on the platform as security for its funding model. On the corporate and investment side, Luca Gori advised Aviva Ventures on its financial services partnership with digital accelerator Founders Factory. Other clients instructing the practice on in-depth fintech work include RBS and AinFin.

Leading individuals

Martin Bartlam - DLA Piper

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Franchising
Franchising - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Leveraging its strong international network of offices, DLA Piper is ‘great for international franchising transactions in multiple jurisdictions’, primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and food and beverage sectors. The team is particularly experienced at advising clients on establishing franchise systems, as well as advising existing franchisors on the international expansion of their franchise systems, and on disposals of franchised operations. Iain Bowler’s recent mandates include advising a private equity vehicle which owns a multi-unit franchise of a high street retail brand on the renewal of the franchise, and assisting a UK-based online retailer with the development of a global franchise system including a new online trading platform to support franchisees’ businesses. Bowler was also part of a cross-border team that assisted a private equity and venture capital firm on the acquisition of healthcare sector franchises.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s team handles the full spectrum of work in this space, and acts for clients including Samsung and Cisco. Kit Burden, who is the head of the firm’s international technology and sourcing group, is a key name for technology transactions and has considerable experience working with clients in the financial services sector. Telecoms expert Mike Conradi has core strengths in outsourcing contracts, and recently advised VimpelCom on outsourcing the management of a mobile network in Russia.Anthony Day is best known for his work on large-scale software licensing, data analytics and systems implementation arrangements. Cloud computing specialist Mark O’Conor has worked with clients including Bank of America and JP Morgan.

Leading individuals: Information technology

Kit Burden - DLA Piper

Leading individuals: Telecoms

Mike Conradi - DLA Piper

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a diverse IP practice and acts for high-profile clients such as Amazon and Lloyds Bank. Simon Levine, who is the global co-chief executive officer and managing partner of the firm, is well known for his work in contentious IP, particularly in the media, sport and technology sectors. The London team is led by Ruth Hoy, who also co-chairs the firm’s fashion team, has particular strengths in trade mark and copyright matters. Adam Cooke focuses primarily on litigation in the life sciences and technology sectors; he recently represented Novo Nordisk in a patent dispute against Regeneron. Soft IP specialist John Wilks specialises in the media, technology and sport sectors, and recently advised Emirates Airline on infringements and unauthorised use of the client’s brands, which included handling trade mark, copyright and domain name issues. He also advised British Airways and Unilever on IP strategies for exploiting and protecting commercially valuable data. Wilks, Simon Levine and Ruth Hoy, have handled various matters for the Premier League concerning the client’s copyright enforcement programme.

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s expertise spans film, television, advertising, marketing, gaming, social media, interactive content, publishing and theatre-related matters. It is advising the Football Association Premier League on the reshaping of its commercial programme; advised on the international sale of audio-visual rights to the Premier League competition for the 2016/17 to 2018/19 football seasons; and is also advising on a copyright enforcement programme. Other key clients include Discovery Communications, which the firm advised on its pan-European acquisition of rights to the Summer and Winter Olympic Games for 2018-2024, and on the creation of a long-term partnership with BAMTech; VICE Media, which the firm advised on VICELAND, a series of linear television channels. Laurence King Publishing, Copyright Licensing Agency, National Basketball League (NBA), Universal Studios, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Comerica Bank and Sony Pictures are also clients. Duncan Calow is noted for his expertise in the publishing sector, and is also active across theatre, video games, interactive content and social media. John Wilks handles a range of advertising, marketing and promotions issues. Nicholas West advises on the broadcasting and audio-visual exploitation of content and is active in the sports sector. Global co-chair of the media, sport and entertainment sector Nick Fitzpatrick, global co-CEO of the firm Simon Levine, M&A co-chair Jon Kenworthy and international corporate group head Bob Bishop are also key figures, as are recently promoted partners John Cloke and Patrick Mitchell. Chris Hanson joined Wiggin LLP in 2017.

Leading individuals: Media and entertainment

Duncan Calow - DLA Piper (Publishing; computer games)

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper stands out for its expertise in the IP and competition space; it is advising clients on appeals to the European Commission concerning its decisions in the perindopril and citalopram cases. Other recent highlights include advising Ascendis Health on its €335m acquisition of Remedica, and acting for Merck in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) of the CMA’s decision in the GlaxoSmithKline’s Paroxetine case, in which the CMA imposed fines of £45m. Practice head Bonella Ramsay is assisting two biotechnology companies with a series of global collaborations relating to diagnostics businesses, including advising on IP licensing as well as distribution and co-branding matters. Other clients include AbbVie, West Pharmaceutical Services, Brainomix and International Stem Cell Corporation. Competition specialists Sarah Smith and Alexandra Kamerling are highly recommended. Adam Cooke retired from the partnership but remains a consultant.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s practice is best known for international media rights work for sports industry clients, but also has notable expertise in commercial partnerships and stadium finance. Practice head Nick Fitzpatrick and IP specialist John Wilks, acted for beIN Sports on the infringement of its copyright and the breach of its exclusive rights to broadcast live sports events. This involved actions against infringers in various territories, including Germany, Iran, Qatar and the US as well as the UK. On the sponsorship side, Fitzpatrick assisted the Badminton World Federation (BWF) with appointing Infront Sports & Media as sales service provider for media and sponsorship rights regarding the BWF tournaments to be held between 2017 and 2025; advised Hamad International Airport on new sponsorship agreements with FC Bayern Munich; and assisted Unicef with its agreement with ITV and Endemol regarding the organisation and promotion of the Soccer Aid charity football match. On the regulatory side, Fitzpatrick advised the BHA on its funding arrangements and on its Authorised Betting Partners scheme; the firm also assists the NBA with regulatory issues. The department has a strong presence in the corporate and finance space: development finance expert Paul Gray acted for Stadio TDV on the €30m financing of various pre-development costs of the Stadio della Roma project. Other clients include the RFU, ESPN and the Football League. John Cloke, who advises sports clients on commercial, copyright and regulatory issues, is an expert in digital distribution. Patrick Mitchell, who assists clients with media rights transactions, sponsorship and sporting events, made partner in May 2017.

Leading individuals

Nick Fitzpatrick - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

Patrick Mitchell - DLA Piper

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a ‘friendly and hands-on team’ with a ‘great reputation’ in aviation matters. It handles complex and high-value matters for international and domestic airlines, aviation service providers and aviation insurers, with wide-ranging expertise spanning dispute resolution, regulatory issues, commercial contracts, accidents and insurance disputes in the aviation sector. Tony Payne is advising Manchester Airports Group on its submissions to the DfT regarding night time movement limits and noise quota limits at Stansted Airport. Mark Franklin is representing Honeywell in a $42m product liability dispute concerning property damage resulting from a fire that broke out on an aircraft while it was parked at Heathrow airport. Kathryn Ward is ‘completely focused on delivering for the client; he will always go the extra mile’ and has ‘a good understanding of the commercial aspects of case handling as well as the sensitivities surrounding aviation claims’. Ward represented Allianz in liability issues relating to the fatal crash of an ATR72 aircraft operated by Aerocaribbean in November 2010. Payne and Franklin head the team.

Leading individuals

Kathryn Ward - DLA Piper

Mark Franklin - DLA Piper

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Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s ‘strong’ department advises on regulatory matters, rolling stock procurements, rail franchise tenders and wider infrastructure projects, as well as operational matters. The team is advising HS2 Ltd on the planning and real estate aspects of HS2, particularly in relation to complex acquisitions and site assembly, as well advising on mechanisms for multiple compensation claims. It also advised the DfT on several matters including the East Anglia rail franchise, and on operational matters relating to the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project. Merseytravel is instructing the team on high-value investments in fleet and depot improvements. Agility Trains, Hitachi Rail Europe and Serco are also clients. London-based UK projects head Colin Wilson, UK rail head Robert Smith in Leeds, and Edinburgh-based Sharon Fitzgerald, who handles infrastructure projects, are highly regarded.

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 6

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles a range of shipping disputes for blue-chip international shipping and logistics companies, utlitising the firm’s global network for cross-border cases. It is acting for the liquidators of OW Bunkers in a case against ING Bank for the recovery of some of the assigned bunker supplier receipts collected by ING Bank pursuant to security arrangements under a $700m revolving credit facility. The team is also acting for the the liquidating trustee of OW Bunkers in numerous arbitrations against shipowners in order to collect unpaid bunker receipts following the conclusion of the ‘Res Cogitans’ case in the Supreme Court. Marine practice head Linos Choo handles ship finance and shipbuilding disputes and is particularly active in the Greek and Far East markets.

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about DLA Piper LLP (US) in other jurisdictions.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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