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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Index of tables

  1. Equity capital markets
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Bolstered by excellent leveraged finance and US securities expertise, the team at Allen & Overy LLP¬†regularly acts for several of the largest issuers and underwriters in the market on a variety of mandates.¬†James Roe¬†and corporate finance expert¬†Adam Wells¬†acted for the Irish government as major shareholder on Allied Irish Banks' ‚ā¨3bn IPO on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).¬†The team has excellent multi-jurisdictional capabilities: Wells, who heads the practice jointly with¬†David Broadley, acted for Neinor Homes and Lone Star Real Estate Fund on the former's IPO on the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges, valuing it at ‚ā¨1.3bn. Underwriter clients include Goldman Sachs, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Clifford Chance LLP is well known in the market for its strength in depth, its excellent issuer- and underwriter-side strength and its propensity for handling highly complex matters. Iain Hunter had a very busy year, assisting Co-Operative Bank on a members' scheme of arrangement, a creditors' scheme of arrangement and a £700m equity capital raise. On the underwriter side, Simon Thomas acted for a syndicate of sponsors, global co-ordinators and bookrunners including Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan Securities and HSBC on TI Fluid System's £407m IPO. In complex cross-border work, Adrian Cartwright and US securities expert John Connolly acted for a group of underwriters on the $880m IPO of Polyus Gold. The team's US capabilities were bolstered by the arrival of Per Chilstrom from the New York office in March 2018.

With enviable experience in major IPOs, convertibles transactions, block trades and accelerated book-builds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP's practice handles transactions involving numerous jurisdictions. Mark Austin and Piers Prichard Jones acted for ZPG on its £2.2bn acquisition by Silver Lake via a scheme of arrangement; Austin and Adrian Maguire assisted Bakkavor on its IPO on the LSE. On the underwriter side, Austin advised Barclays and Numis on Alfa's LSE IPO. Emma Rachmaninov made partner in May 2018.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's¬†department is well known for its high-end expertise in London listings, its excellent emerging markets practice and its consistently strong performance on the issuer and the underwriter side. Charles Howarth¬†and US securities expert¬†Tom O‚ÄôNeill, who provides 'clear, highly relevant, to-the-point advice',¬†have¬†been very busy across Europe and in Turkey; supported by the 'highly capable, professional'¬†Dinesh Banani,¬†both group heads acted for a syndicate of underwriters including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank on the $393m IPO of power company Enerjisa, and advised Memorial Healthcare Group on its IPO on the Borsa ńįstanbul. Other issuer-side clients include BioPharma Credit and The Unite Group. Howarth and O'Neill also acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Davy on Allied Irish Banks' ‚ā¨13bn IPO on the LSE and the ISE.¬†Mike Flockhart¬†is also recommended.

The six-partner practice at¬†Latham & Watkins¬†has superb pan-European listings capabilities, and counts private equity-backed IPOs as an area of particular expertise; it also has a strong line in foreign private issuances on US exchanges.¬†James Inness¬†and¬†David Boles¬†acted for TI Fluid Systems on its ¬£407m IPO on the LSE, and Inness advised FMC Technologies on its merger with Technip to form TechnipFMC, as well as with the latter's listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Euronext Paris. On the underwriter side, Boles advised Nordic Capital on Munters Group's SEK4.5bn IPO on Nasdaq Stockholm, and assisted J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank with HelloFresh's ‚ā¨318m IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Well known for his European expertise,¬†Olof Clausson¬†advised J.P. Morgan, UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the underwriters on Play Communications' IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.¬†¬†Claire Keast-Butler¬†is also recommended and Richard Brown¬†has left the firm.

The practice at¬†Linklaters LLP¬†is 'always available, responds quickly and with a commercial, can-do attitude'.¬†James Wootton¬†and¬†Iain Wagstaff¬†are noted for their 'seamless execution of IPOs'; Wootoon,¬†Simon Branigan¬†and¬†Mike Bienenfeld, who are 'knowledgeable, pragmatic, responsive and personable',¬†acted for Allied Irish Banks on its ‚ā¨3bn IPO. Further afield,¬†Tom Shropshire¬†advised Sibanye Gold on its $1bn rights offering, constituting the third-largest ever rights offering by a South African company.¬†John Lane¬†is said by some clients to be 'perhaps the best capital markets brain around', and is 'very good on wider policy issues such as MiFID implications and FCA regulations'; he and 'reasoned, commercial multi-tasker'¬†Jason Manketo¬†acted for HSBC Bank as London listing adviser on the admission of Bank of Cyprus shares to the LSE. Other clients include ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan Securities and, on the corporate side, RHI Magnesita.

White & Case LLP's 'first-class' department is praised by clients for its 'rapid response times, sound judgement and superb international strength in depth for complex multi-jurisdictional matters'; emerging markets are a particualr strength. Inigo Esteve, who leads the team jointly with Jonathan Parry, has 'an excellent understanding of the letter of the law as well as practicalities and commercial considerations', and is 'a rare lawyer'. Parry and the US-qualified Darina Lozovsky acted for En+ Group on its $1.5bn IPO on the LSE and the Moscow Exchange, constituting the largest Russian IPO in five years, while Parry and the US-qualified Laura Sizemore advised Alfa Financial Software Holdings on its £278m IPO on the LSE. Other clients include Cabot Credit Management, Energean Oil & Gas and, on the underwriter side, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Deutsche Bank. The US-qualified Michael Immordino is also recommended.

Led jointly by¬†Nicholas Holmes¬†and US securities expert¬†Jennifer Schneck, the 'very strong, proactive'¬†practice at¬†Ashurst¬†handles 'complex, highly demanding work' and is 'particularly good at spotting difficult issues before other parties do'. It¬†counts pharmaceuticals, TMT and energy as particular sector strengths, and has a very strong line in Anglo-Irish transactions and matters involving listed real estate funds. It has been very busy on the underwriter side in the last year: Schneck and Simon Bullock¬†acted for Barclays, Numis, Peel Hunt and Berenberg on the ¬£575m IPO of Sabre Insurance Group. Holmes, who is 'a go-to lawyer for particularly complex and challenging projects',¬†assisted Credit Suisse and Davy with Glenveagh Properties' ‚ā¨550m IPO on the ISE and the LSE. In the emerging markets space, Holmes advised Citigroup on a $200m convertible bond issuance by Atlas Mara to partially fund its investment in Union Bank of Nigeria. Savannah Petroleum is another emerging markets client.

'Exceptional on all counts',¬†Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP's 'strong, competent and dedicated'¬†practice is recommended for 'high-end, complex equity transactions with a US nexus', and is 'noted for its technical know-how'.¬†Raj Panasar¬†is 'the first person to call in a crisis'; clients 'value the breadth of his expertise and the quality of his judgement'. He, 'exceptionally good' US securities expert¬†Pierre-Marie Boury¬†and¬†David Gottlieb¬†acted for Citigroup and Deutsche Bank as underwriters on Digi Communications' ‚ā¨210m IPO on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.¬†Sebastian Sperber¬†is seen by some clients as 'the dean of US securities law in the UK'; he and Panasar advised CB Equity on its ‚ā¨2.5bn sale of shares in Heineken and Heineken Holding to institutional investors via an accelerated book-build. Other clients include Goldman Sachs International, Morgan Stanley and Russian telecoms operator MegaFon.¬†Counsel¬†Sarah Lewis¬†is 'very hands-on'.

With extensive experience in equity capital markets across Europe, the team at¬†Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP¬†frequently acts for issuers and underwriters on large IPOs and rights offerings.¬†John Banes¬†and¬†Leo Borchardt¬†acted for the bookrunners on an ‚ā¨8bn rights offering by Deutsche Bank, and Banes and¬†Simon Witty¬†advised ContourGlobal on its ¬£441m IPO on the LSE.¬†Additionally on the underwriter side, Witty and Reuven Young¬†acted for the sponsor, co-ordinators and bookrunners on Charter Court Financial Services Group's ¬£253m IPO on the LSE. Outside of the UK, Borchardt assisted Boozt with its SEK1.85bn IPO on Nasdaq Stockholm, and, along with Banes and Young,¬†advised the underwriters on Handicare Group's SEK1bn IPO on the same exchange.¬†Dan Hirschovits¬†made partner in July 2017; Paul Etienne Kumleben¬†has retired.

Counting listed investment funds, real estate and natural resources as areas of particular activity, Norton Rose Fulbright's team acts for issuers and underwriters on cross-border matters. Fiona Millington and the US-qualified Thomas Vita acted for Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as global co-ordinators and bookrunners on Landscape Acquisition Holdings's $500m IPO, and assisted underwriters including Citigroup Global Markets, Liberum Capital and Macquarie Capital (Europe) on a £215m equity fundraising by CityFibre Infrastructure on the AIM. Vita and Ian Fox acted for Goldman Sachs International and J.P. Morgan Cazenove on BioPharma Credit's $881m IPO, and Millington and Alan Bainbridge advised Barclays on the $2.8bn sell-down of its stake in Barclays Africa. Clients on the issuer side include Greencoat UK Wind and Vodacom Tanzania.

Though especially experienced on the underwriter side, Shearman & Sterling LLP's 'highly advanced' team has excellent issuer-side capabilities, and is 'frequently seen on the market's larger, more complex deals'. Fast-moving consumer goods, financial institutions, real estate and technology have been particularly active sectors for the practice recently. 'Highly user-friendly, commercial' group head David Dixter is 'always very involved'; he and Trevor Ingram acted for the global co-ordinators, including Citigroup, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley, on a $1bn rights offering by Sibanye Gold, which was the third-largest ever rights issuance by a South African company. The 'very hands-on' Pawel Szaja, who made partner in January 2018, has 'a very broad knowledge and a profound understanding of market standards, which he puts to use in documentation and disclosure'; he is 'open to all comments' and is 'a great sparring partner'.

The 'top-drawer' team at¬†Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP¬†has excellent multi-jurisdictional capabilities, including strong expertise in Russian capital markets, and is noted for its frequent high-end issuer-side activity. Group head¬†Danny Tricot¬†'explains things well' and is 'a pleasure to work with'; clients say that 'there is no doubting his understanding of capital markets'. Along with¬†Pranav Trivedi, Tricot¬†acted for TMF Group on its $1bn IPO on the LSE, and alongside¬†Robert Porter, Tricot advised M7 Real Estate on the establishment of a closed-ended investment fund that then undertook a ¬£300m listing on the LSE. Tricot and¬†James McDonald¬†assisted Banco Comercial Portugues with its ‚ā¨1.3bn rights offering. Old Mutual, Globalworth Real Estate Investments and IC Power are additional clients.

Known for its excellent client base and high-value mandates,¬†Slaughter and May's 'hugely responsive, extremely commercial' team 'takes complex problems, devours them and produces an answer'. It primarily advises issuers on equity capital markets matters, from germination to IPOs and post-listing work. Real estate, financial services and oil and gas have been especially busy sectors recently;¬†Susannah Macknay¬†and¬†Jeff Twentyman¬†acted for Glenveagh Properties on its ¬£550m IPO on the ISE and the LSE, and Macknay ‚Äď along with¬†Steven Galbraith¬†and¬†Richard Smith ‚Äď assisted Kosmos Energy with its secondary listing on the LSE.¬†David Johnson¬†is 'brilliant for straightforward, pithy advice'; he and the 'focused, upbeat'¬†Sally Wokes¬†acted for Segro on a ¬£573m rights issuance. Other clients of the 'exceptionally good' practice¬†include Ultra Electronics Holdings, Atlas Mara and HomeServe. The 'bright, incisive'¬†Nilufer Von Bismarck¬†heads the department.

The team at¬†Baker McKenzie¬†acts for a range of issuers and underwriters on cross-border mandates.¬†James Thompson¬†and Simon Porter¬†acted for Global Ports Holding on its ¬£154m IPO on the LSE; also in the Turkish space,¬†Mavi Giyim Sanayi ve Ticaret instructed Thompson and¬†Nick O‚ÄôDonnell¬†on its TRY1.17bn IPO on the Borsa ńįstanbul, which was Turkey's largest IPO in five years. UK- and US-qualified group head¬†Adam Farlow¬†assisted Nyrstar with a ¬£100m sale of shares via a private placement. On the underwriter side, O'Donnell advised EFG Hermes and Citigroup as joint bookrunners on ADES International Holding's $243m IPO. Deutsche Bank is another underwriter client. Edward Bibko left in September 2017 for an in-house role at Jefferies.

Dentons' 'very effective' practice provides 'rapid responses', and is frequently active on complex cross-border mandates. 'Capital markets guru'¬†Nikolas Colbridge¬†has 'deep knowledge of the global equity capital markets environment'; he acted for DP Eurasia on its ¬£148m IPO on the LSE. Colbridge,¬†Nick Hayday¬†and¬†Darren Acres¬†advised Hurricane Energy on a $300m equity fundraising and a $230m fundraising involving convertible bonds via accelerated book-build.¬†The 'very talented', US-qualified¬†Cameron Half, who has 'deep knowledge of equity capital markets, depositary agreements and investment banking', acted for VGP on its ‚ā¨285m follow-on equity offering. The 'stellar, business-oriented'¬†Neil Nicholson¬†'always puts client service first';¬†Brian Moore¬†and¬†Guy Norfolk¬†are also recommended.

With plenty of international experience on the issuer and underwriter side, Greenberg Traurig, LLP's department is led by Andrew Caunt. Along with James Mountain, Caunt advised J2 Acquisition, one of the world's largest special purpose acquisition vehicles, on its $1.25bn IPO on the LSE. Both partners also assisted Ocelot Partners with its $420m IPO and acted for Landscape Acquisition Holdings on its $500m LSE IPO, both on the LSE. Caunt also acted for Stars Group on its £50m sale of shares in Jackpotjoy on the LSE via accelerated book-build, and advised Liberum Capital as placing agent on Alpha FX's £70m IPO. Other underwriter clients include Deutsche Bank, Numis Securities, UBS and Citigroup. The UK- and US-qualified Dorothee Fischer-Appelt is also recommended.

The practice at¬†Mayer Brown International LLP¬†acts for issuers, underwriters and selling shareholders on a range of cross-border equity capital markets work, including IPOs, private placements, share buy-backs, demergers and global depositary receipt offerings.¬†Kate Ball-Dodd¬†and the New York- and French-qualified¬†Robert Flanigan¬†jointly head the department; Flanigan, who has been particularly active in the Spanish markets recently, was US counsel to Liberbank on its ‚ā¨500m rights offering and a related ‚ā¨120m accelerated book-build by several of its shareholders. He also acted for Promotora de Informaciones on its ‚ā¨563m share offering.¬†Colin Scagell¬†advised Peel Hunt as sponsor and bookrunner on IntegraFin Holdings' ¬£178m IPO on the LSE. Other clients of the team include GW Pharmaceuticals, Metrovacesa and Altice.¬†Rebecca Bothamley¬†made partner in January 2018;¬†Richard Smith¬†is also recommended.

Particularly strong on the underwriter side, the team at Simmons & Simmons has particular expertise in the financial institutions, TMT and life sciences sectors. It often advises on sophisticated matters: group head Chris Horton acted for Cenkos Securities and Stifel Nicolaus as joint bookrunners on Hurricane Energy's $520m placing and convertible bond offering, and assisted J.P. Morgan Securities and Stifel Nicolaus as bookrunner and sole sponsor respectively with a £330m equity fundraising by Assura. On the issuer side, Patrick Graves advised Funding Circle SME Income Fund on a £140m share issuance. Other clients include Numis Securities and Jefferies. Simon Ovenden and US securities expert Chris Walton joined in 2017 from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Clifford Chance respectively.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's team counts European bank capital securities as a particular strength, and is frequently active on multi-jurisdictional mandates, including work in emerging markets. John O’Connor acted for Barclays on the second sell-down of its stake in Barclays Africa via a private placement; closer to home, Ben Perry advised New Energy Investment as selling shareholder on four offerings of its shares in Danish company DONG Energy to institutional investors, pursuant to an accelerated book-build. Richard Pollack assisted Orion Engineered Carbons with share sales worth $219m and $107m respectively, involving registered offerings made by principal shareholder Kinove Luxembourg Holdings. Other clients include Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and TeliaSonera. Chris Beatty, Vanessa Blackmore, Kathryn Campbell and John Horsfield-Bradbury are also active in the space.

Praised for its 'excellent technical knowledge, commercial nous, good work ethic and user-friendly culture', Travers Smith LLP's department is well-versed in IPOs, particularly of private equity-backed companies, and counts technology and listed investment funds as sector strengths. It also has US securities expertise, courtesy of Dan McNamee, who assisted Aaron Stocks in advising Assura on its secondary issuance of up to £330m on the Main Market. Philip Cheveley acted for Zeus Capital and Numis Securities as global co-ordinators and bookrunners, and for Stockdale Securities as sponsor, on JTC's £310m IPO; he also advised Zeus Capital and Deloitte, as bookrunner and sponsor respectively, on Xafinity's £190m IPO. Adrian West, Will Normand  and Richard Spedding are also recommended.

The 'responsive, technically excellent' team at CMS 'commands clients' respect', and provides 'an excellent overall level of service'. Though active across all sectors, it counts real estate and listed investment funds, energy, industrials and consumer goods as particular areas of expertise within equity capital markets, and prides itself on its stand-by underwriting capabilities. Paul Blackmore acted for CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings on a £215m placement and accelerated book-build; Kristy Duane assisted John Laing Infrastructure with a £120m accelerated book-build, and acted for LondonMetric Property on a similar matter worth £95m. Iain Newman advised Stifel as sponsor on Supermarket Income REIT's £100m IPO on the LSE. Jack Shepherd made partner in May 2017;

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP's team is led jointly by New York-qualified partners¬†Philip Boeckman¬†and¬†George Stephanakis. Underwriters and issuers instruct the firm on cross-border mandates in a range of sectors. New York-qualified corporate expert¬†David Mercado¬†acted for Becle on its MXN11bn share offering in the US as well as on its IPO on the Mexican Stock Exchange; he also assisted the managers, led by Credit Suisse, on Credit Suisse Group's CHF2.4bn share offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The electricity sector is an industry strength: Stephanakis advised Electricit√© de France on its ‚ā¨4.02bn share offering on Euronext Paris.

The team at Dechert LLP has excellent cross-border capabilities, and acts on a range of equity capital markets matters. Patrick Lyons, who speaks French and Arabic, is the practice's US-qualified expert; he acted for Raya Contact Centre on a share offering on the Egyptian Exchange, and assisted Ferrexpo with a £150m share-sale via accelerated book-build. He also advised one French biotech company on a US private placement. Allenby Capital and Investec Bank are additional clients. Noted for his experience in the Middle East and North Africa, Camille Abousleiman heads the department jointly with Douglas Getter; Sean Geraghty is also recommended.

Noted for its multi-jurisdictional capabilities, DLA Piper's 'very good' practice handles complex equity capital markets matters for large issuers and underwriters. Group head Alex Tamlyn acted for Hutchison China MediTech on its $301m depositary share offering on the Nasdaq, and Charles Severs advised Menzies Aviation on the £70m rights issuance that funded its acquisition of Aircraft Service International Group from BBA Aviation. Robert Salter advised Cannaccord, Stifel and Peel Hunt on a £100m placement by IQE; Zeus Capital is another client on the sponsor side. Karin Kirschner, Martin Penn and Johannes Poon are also recommended. The UK- and US-qualified George Barboutis moved to the Dubai office in 2018.

Headed by the UK-qualified¬†Chris Haynes¬†and the US-qualified¬†Steve Thierbach, the team at¬†Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP¬†is increasingly visible on high-value IPOs and placements; technology and e-commerce are particular sector strengths. Both practice heads assisted Citigroup and UBS as global co-ordinators with J2 Acquisition's $1.25bn LSE IPO, and advised global co-ordinators Barclays and UBS on Ocelot Partners' $425m IPO, also on the LSE. They also acted for Next Games Oyj on its ‚ā¨144m IPO on Nasdaq First North Finland, and advised AO World on a ¬£50m equity fundraising. Thierbach assisted Gulf Capital with selling its stake in Gulf Marine Services via a block-trade transaction. Associate¬†Sarah Leiper¬†is also active in the space.

The practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP has strong issuer and underwriter experience, and is frequently active in a wide range of sectors. Though active mostly on the AIM, the team also handles Main Market matters: group heads Maegen Morrison and Daniel Simons acted for J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Numis Securities on its £80m equity placement in brewery business Marston's, and Don McGown assisted Shaftesbury with a £265m Main Market placement. The team has seen several changes in the last year: the US-qualified John Basnage left to become managing partner at Anthem Advisory, but the team welcomed US-qualified counsel Bryan Stephens from Linklaters LLP in March 2018. Investment funds specialist Jonathan Baird is highly active in equity capital markets; he arrived from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in September 2017.

Macfarlanes LLP's practice is 'excellent on all fronts', and has 'strength in depth across a number of disciplines'; 'extremely happy' clients say the team is 'very commercial and provides succinct advice'. Group head Robert Boyle, who assisted Supermarket Income REIT with its £100m IPO on the LSE, is 'a brilliant lead partner whose technical excellence is matched by his client-handling skills'; he has 'real authority' and is 'a great communicator'. Harry Coghill advised Xafinity's management team on its £190m LSE IPO, and acted for Regal Entertainment Group on its $3.6bn merger with Cineworld Group, which involved a rights issuance and a reverse takeover. Mark Slade acted for Regional REIT on a £100m equity fundraising to fund its acquisition of two property portfolios. Richard Burrows is also active in the space.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP¬†fields 'a hugely responsive, commercial' team that is 'impressive from more senior partners to trainees' and 'punches well above its weight'; clients say it is 'good at building younger talent' and 'always goes the extra mile'.¬†Mark Bergman, who heads the 'extremely diligent, technically excellent' department, acted as US counsel to Glenveagh Properties on its ‚ā¨550m IPO on the ISE and the LSE, and, along with counsel¬†John Satory, assisted Segro with the US law aspects of its ¬£573m equity offering. Both lawyers also advised Countrywide on a ¬£38m share sale, and assisted TAG Immobilien with a ‚ā¨50m share sale.

With experience in IPOs on European and US stock exchanges,¬†Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP¬†fields a UK- and US-qualified team that is especially strong in private equity-related ECM matters.¬†Adam Signy¬†and¬†Nicholas Shaw¬†advised KKR & Co on the ¬£119m sell-down of its stake in Pets at Home Group via an accelerated book-build, followed by a further ¬£108m sell-down that constituted a full divestment. Shaw and¬†Derek Baird¬†assisted Apax Partners and Guardian Media Group on the latter's ¬£268m sale of its stake in Ascential via an accelerated book-build. The department also acted for Gestamp Automoci√≥n on the US-law aspects of its ‚ā¨956m IPO on the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges.¬†Clare Gaskell¬†is also active in the space.

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