Equity capital markets - mid-high cap in London
Allen & Overy LLP fields a deep bench of English and US equity capital markets experts, which advises issuers, investment banks and financial advisers on some of the largest and most complex transactions in the UK and EMEA. It is a first port of call for big-ticket listings, and other high-profile equity fundraisings and transactions. In one highlight, Michael Bloch (who made partner in 2019) and Jeff Hendrickson were among the advisers to Credit Suisse International on a €1.2bn block trade of shares and related €500m equity collar transaction. David Broadley, who is the head of the UK ECM practice, specialises in acting for issuer clients in the financial services sector. Adam Wells is the head of the US corporate finance practice. James Roe and senior associate Eimear Coady are other key names in the team.
‘A&O’s ECM practice is strong, with a lot of deep experience across the board. Their experience of IPOs certainly differentiates them from other big firms.‘
‘James Roe – one of the best technicians for UK corporate and securities law. Adam Wells – very strong US securities partner, always available and very focused on finding solutions.‘
‘A&O is technically excellent, always interested in the cutting edge of practice, and responsive to commercial needs. Adam Wells and Jeff Hendrickson are the top US practitioners there – I have known them for years and always admire their US securities knowledge.‘
‘One of the go-to firms.‘
‘Large and experienced team. Innovative thinking and passion.‘
‘James Roe – a subject matter expect and great business partner on transactions.‘
Marks & Spencer
Credit Suisse International
Man Group plc
Naspers and Prosus
Underwriters to Astrazeneca
Lenders to Interserve plc
Underwriters to Investec Asset Management
The managers to Arima Real Estate SOCIMI, S.A.
- Advised Marks and Spencer Group plc (M&S) on its over £600m rights issuance, to part fund its £750m 50/50 joint venture with Ocado Group.
- Advised Network International Holdings plc (Network International) on its £2.2bn IPO and listing on the London Stock Exchange. Also concurrently advised on a $300m cornerstone investment by Mastercard (representing 9.99% of the share capital at IPO) and the entry into a strategic commercial arrangement between Network International and Mastercard.
- Advised DWF on its initial public offering (IPO), application to listing on the premium segment of the Official List and to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (the LSE), which completed in March 2019.
Clifford Chance LLP has an outstanding track record advising issuers, sponsors and underwriters on market-shaping transactions. Noted for its strong English and US law capabilities, the firm is among the leaders in the market for domestic and cross-border IPOs and secondary offerings, as well as related corporate work. A recent highlight included Simon Thomas, US group head John Connolly and others acting for the underwriters (Credit Suisse, KKR Capital Markets, Citi, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Barclays) on Calisen Plc's £328.8m Main Market IPO and premium listing. Adrian Cartwright is the global head of capital markets, while Simon Sinclair is the head of the London team.
‘In addition to transaction experience, CC is typically part of the conversation between the FCA and other market participants regarding potential changes in regulation, so they generally have their finger on the pulse. Simon Thomas is particularly noteworthy in this respect – whenever I have a question on UK market practise / how the FCA might view a particular issue, Simon is one of lawyers that I would call for a view.‘
‘The level of service and quality of advice is consistently excellent and I personally consider them to be my preferred counsel for bank side work. Simon Thomas, in particular, is outstanding, coupling precision of legal advice with commercial acumen and a calm, considered demeanour. He has advised us on a number of transactions in the past couple of years and he is a go-to name in the ECM space.‘
‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable, thoughtful and experienced. They are also personable and commercial, which enables them to provide timely and pragmatic advice on fast-paced deals.‘
‘Within CC Simon Thomas is our go-to partner – very strong technically, really approachable / accessible and easy to work with. Understands banks’ viewpoint 100% and is internally trusted across our risk management framework to give sensible advice which balances risk with commerciality. Great relationship skills. Equally empathetic with issuers – goes out of his way to get on with our clients which is a massive help and steps in if issuers’ counsel are found wanting. He has so much experience and brings an air of diplomacy and gravitas to these inter–lawyer disputes. Also – not egotistical and happy to help out the junior bankers.‘
‘Adrian Cartwright is another great, solid lawyer with great client skills. We’ve worked with him on a couple of things including on the issuers side. Always a relief to find CC on the issuer’s side; we know they are sensible, reasoned, listen and cooperate constructively in getting deals done.‘
‘They are one of my absolute go-to firms for ECM and equity-linked transactions. They have a good balance of technical excellence and client focus on both the company and underwriter sides. Adrian is someone I rate highly. He is the right leader of that team. Chris Roe has a good manner, excellent attention to detail and is just a fantastic operator. Simon Thomas is technically excellent. Simon Sinclair is someone I would always hold in high regard. Iain Hunter ‘gets it’, and is pragmatic and commercial.‘
Huatai Securities Co., Ltd
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited
Jefferies International Limited
Zeus Capital Ltd
J.P. Morgan Cazenove
Serco Group plc
RBC Europe Limited
- Advised Huatai Securities Co. on the $1.7bn offering and London global depositary receipt listing of Huatai Securities Co., the first under the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme.
- Advised the underwriters on the £95m initial public offering and London premium listing of DWF Group plc.
- Advising a syndicate of banks on Middle East and Africa focused payment solutions company Network International’s initial public offering and admission to the premium segment of the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.
The experience of Latham & Watkins' heavyweight team comes to the fore in groundbreaking IPOs and other headline-grabbing ECM transactions, where it advises issuers, financial sponsors and investment banks. Highlights included James Inness leading the UK team, which advised the underwriters on Saudi Aramco's IPO on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul); this was the largest IPO in history. Inness also acted for DNEG on its proposed IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Olof Clausson is another key figure in the team, which was strengthened by Chris Horton's arrival from Simmons & Simmons in late 2019. David Boles departed for Cooley (UK) LLP in early 2020, with Claire Keast-Butler making the same move a year prior.
‘I was impressed by L&W’s ability to seamlessly divide and conquer issues and tasks. Separate teams would deal with issues that could be dealt with modularly and the L&W teams then always worked to coordinate on their end. If issues were dealt with in series versus in parallel there simply would not have been time to deal with the many issues that arose over the course of the transaction.‘
‘Very credible and experienced practitioners who are commercially aware.‘
‘James Inness is an excellent lawyer who analyses situations from a variety of perspectives. He also brings considerable experience from the large number of transactions, often complex, that he has worked on. He also has a capacity to get the job done in a very efficient manner, anticipating challenges on projects before they occur.‘
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
CVC Capital Partners
Helios Investment Partners
TI Fluid Systems
- Advised the underwriters on the initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), the largest IPO in history.
- Advised the underwriters in connection with Synthomer Plc’s £204m rights issuance on the London Stock Exchange in connection with its £654m acquisition of Omnova Solutions Inc.
- Advised the joint global coordinators, the joint bookrunners, and the joint lead managers on the listing of Marel hf. (a leading global provider of advanced food processing equipment, systems, software, and services to the poultry, meat, and fish industries) on the Euronext Amsterdam.
In 2019, Linklaters LLP acted on five of the six London Stock Exchange Main Market listings involving companies with a market capitalisation of over £1bn. The firm is also a key adviser on the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme; New York-qualified partner Pam Shores and recently promoted partner Tom Thorne were part of the cross-office group, which advised the investment banks on the IPO of Huatai Securities. The London team has also acted on large IPOs elsewhere in Europe and South Africa. Also notable is that the ECM team provides thought leadership to regulators and industry bodies, such as the FCA, the LSE, AFME and City UK. The London team is part of a global platform, which spans more than 20 countries. John Lane and Jason Manketo co-head the practice, which also includes Mike Bienenfeld and James Wootton.
‘Linklaters’ equity capital markets team’s pedigree speaks for itself. John Lane, James Wootton and Tom Thorne have a wealth of experience and expertise that marks them out as a team for all occasions. Their credentials means that they will always be able to turn their hand to any sector or matter, with first-class regulatory knowledge to back this up. When combined with a US team of the pedigree of Jason Manketo and Pam Shores, this top team is hard to beat.‘
‘Superior knowledge and experience which allow the team to be proactive and able to solve issues in independent and innovative ways. Ability to combine the legal framework with the commercial need of the clients always achieving the best result for the success of the deal. Can do attitude supported by unparalleled knowledge of the industry.‘
‘From senior partners to associate, you know the coverage provided by the Links team will be impeccable. Hands-on team, able to build very strong relationships with both the banks and the corporates.‘
‘John Lane’s vast experience and background means he stands out even among even the very top equity capital markets lawyers in London.’
‘James Wootton has proved himself capable on many high-profile matters over the course of the last decade.’
‘Tom Thorne is a recent excellent addition to the partnership.’
‘On the US side, one knows that with Jason Manketo and Pam Shores you have among the very top of the best US securities lawyers in the UK.’
‘John Lane is the dean of UK ECM in London, and continues to deserve this title.’
Helios Towers plc
Bank of America
Gulf Marine Services
- Advised Helios Towers plc, a leading independent telecoms tower company with operations across five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, on its £1.15bn initial public offering on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised a syndicate of five investment banks on the IPO of Trainline plc on the premium listing segment of the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised Finablr plc on its initial public offering and admission to the premium segment of the Official List and to trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange.
White & Case LLP has an excellent record in premium listings on the London Stock Exchange, and exchanges across EMEA and in the US. It also operates at the top end of the market in relation to rights issues, private placements and block trades. Showcasing its top-tier credentials, the firm has acted on a third of transactions on the LSE involving emerging markets companies since 2012. Elsewhere, highlights in 2019 included Inigo Esteve leading the advice to Saudi Aramco on the world's largest IPO to date, and US-qualified partner Laura Sizemore, Allan Taylor, Esteve and others acted for Energean Oil & Gas on a £211m equity placing to institutional investors through an accelerated bookbuilding process to fund its acquisition of the exploration & production assets of Edison. Jonathan Parry is another well-known name.
Other key lawyers:
‘Laura Sizemore is by far my favourite law partner to work with in capital markets across all of the law firms. She has deep experience and you get her focus on all aspects of a deal despite her seniority, which is extremely valuable. She is a pleasure to work with and always most helpful. Her emerging markets expertise is particularly useful, given there are so many complexities that emerge on those deals.‘
‘The ECM W&C team is able to drive clients, banks or issuers through very lengthy and complex projects, always being on top of every issue and always adopting a can do attitude. The team is second to none in terms of problem solving and thanks to their extensive experience across geographies, they remain a trusted adviser. Proactiveness and ability to be hands-on on projects, make the W&C partners a notch above their peers.‘
‘Laura Sizemore is an excellent leader, who is able to navigate through issues thanks to her extensive knowledge and ability to bond with clients. People listen to her and they completely trust their judgement, on both sides of the table. Inigo Esteve is the UK partner we work the most with and his can do attitude and ability to deal with tricky clients/transactions does not go unnoticed. Excellent team members, with superior experience.‘
‘Strong legal knowledge coupled with unique local connections and business acumen.‘
‘Laura Sizemore is an exceptional partner. Always available, incredibly solid knowledge and unparalleled experience. Also her ability to connect the right people promptly is tremendously important for us.‘
‘Highly experienced capital markets team with deep expertise. Very good level of service and focus from partners.‘
‘Jon Parry is a top partner, who provides first-class support to clients with a holistic and client-friendly approach. His strong experience and ability to find solutions and get involved in the day-to-day mark him out as excellent for smooth execution. Similarly, Inigo Esteve and Laura Sizemore on the US side are market leaders with excellent pedigree. Appoint White & Case on an ECM deal and you can be sure of attention and expert advice that will cover all bases.‘
‘Inigo Esteve has great experience of the MENA region; he also impresses with his knowledge of the current norms and practices of the London capital markets. One of his greatest strengths is that he is very organized, structured and is able to deploy a taskforce and ask for key and precise deliverables from his clients – always in a very kind way.’
‘Inigo Esteve and Jonathan Parry are standout partners. They are both highly experienced and are very hands-on in their transactions, always making themselves available when needed. They are very pragmatic and efficient in their approach, with a focus on achieving the best outcome for their clients. They are able to think creatively when required to solve issues.’
Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)
Energean Oil & Gas
Polymetal International plc
RBC Capital Markets
- Advised long-term client Saudi Aramco on the world’s largest IPO to date.
- Advised a syndicate of banks, including Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs as joint global coordinators, and BofA Merrill Lynch, EFG-Hermes and Numis as joint bookrunners, on Finablr’s £306m initial public offering and listing on the Premium Segment of the LSE.
- Advised Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, VTB Capital, BofA Merrill Lynch and Sberbank as joint book running managers on the offering of American depositary shares, each representing one ordinary share of HeadHunter Group Plc.
Ashurst advises all of the major investment banks in London, as well as institutional brokerage firms and investment firms; it also acts for corporate issuers and shareholders. Equally adept in domestic and cross-border work, mainstays of the practice include IPOs, rights issuances, block trades and private placements. Simon Bullock led a group, which advised Tritax EuroBox on its £135m placing to fund the acquisition of a pipeline of European real estate logistics assets. The practice, which is led by global head Nicholas Holmes, is also notably active in secondary fundraisings related to corporate rescues. Jennifer Schneck leads a three-partner US securities team, which was strengthened by the arrival of Stuart Rubin from the firm's Hong Kong office. The firm's areas of sector expertise include the infrastructure, financial institutions, pharmaceuticals and TMT industries.
‘Nicholas Holmes and Simon Bullock are significant players in the London ECM market, with excellent pedigree and experience. Their hands-on approach is also one that clients find extremely beneficial and Nicholas Holmes, in particular, has a wealth of experience across all manner of ECM transactions which helps stand him apart. Their US practice, headed by Jennifer Schneck and Eric Morris adds weight to their all round capabilities that any client would be happy to use.‘
‘Ashurst has a very strong offering, combining an extremely personable team with detailed technical knowledge and a thoughtful approach to transactions.‘
‘Feel that Ashurst have a strong team across the levels – Nicholas Holmes is fantastic, makes himself highly available, and always gives sound, thoughtful advice.‘
‘It’s the personal touch that distinguishes Ashurst. I always get the feeling I am dealing with adults and that my deals are being looked after appropriately.‘
‘Jennifer Schneck continues to go above and beyond in terms of delivery of service and positive attitude. You know you are going to get solid legal advice coupled with a sound commercial view.‘
‘Very experienced team that provides a level of client service that is second to none in the City. I have worked with the team on a number of occasions and am always impressed by the commitment of the team to any project.‘
‘The partners on a project are intimately involved on a daily basis and provide very high quality advice. The level of engagement that they provide and their wealth of experience set them ahead of the majority of their peers. I would highlight Simon Bullock, Tom Mercer and Nick Williamson as stand-out examples of this.‘
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Time Out Group
- Advised Interserve plc on its £485m deleveraging plan.
- Advised J.P. Morgan Cazenove and J&E Davy on the £606m placing of ordinary shares by DCC Plc.
- Advised Morgan Stanley on the £1.5bn+ rescue refinancing of Thomas Cook.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has a well-established reputation in complex and novel international ECM transactions. The practice is particularly noted for its strong US law capabilities, with Sebastian Sperber and David Gottlieb both being New York-qualified; Pierre-Marie Boury is dual-qualified to practise in New York and Paris. The team's ECM experience is particularly evident in the Nordic region, as well as Russia and Turkey. In 2019, highlights included Boury acting for Schibsted and Adevinta on the spin-off and IPO of Adevinta; this was the largest IPO in the Nordic region in ten years, and the largest in Norway since 2006. In another matter, Sperber and others advised the underwriters (led by Morgan Stanley, and including Nordea and SEB) on a $420m SEC-registered offering by Veoneer Inc. Raj Panasar joined Hogan Lovells International LLP.
- Acted for Schibsted and Adevinta on the spin-off and offering of shares of Adevinta, making the IPO the largest in the Nordic region in ten years, and the largest IPO in Norway since 2006.
- Acted as international counsel to ABG Sundal Collier, Morgan Stanley and Carnegie as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, and Swedbank Norge as joint bookrunner, on the offering of shares of SATS ASA.
- Acted for the underwriters, DNB Markets, Goldman Sachs International, and Nordea, on the private placement of shares of P/F Bakkafrost (Bakkafrost) to institutional investors in Norway and internationally through an accelerated bookbuilding process.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is involved in many of the largest ECM offerings seen in the UK and Europe. Its London team, which includes more than 50 practitioners, is comprised of a mix of England and Wales and US-qualified lawyers. It handles the full spectrum of ECM transactions for corporate issuers, underwriters, sponsors and investors. The group includes Reuven Young, who acted for EQT on its $1.4bn IPO and listing on Nasdaq Stockholm; and Leo Borchardt, who was the lead adviser to Centogene on its $56m Nasdaq IPO. Simon Witty leads the team, which also includes Will Pearce and Dan Hirschovits.
A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S
Mereo BioPharma Group plc
Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited
Morgan Stanley International
Renaissance Capital (Kenya)
- Acted as UK and US legal advisers to Mereo BioPharma Group plc on its combination with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc and listing on Nasdaq.
- Advised A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, an integrated transport and logistics company, and Maersk Drilling on the $3.6bn separation of Maersk’s offshore drilling activities through a demerger of Maersk Drilling.
- Advising Millicom as the major selling shareholder on the £1.15bn LSE main market listing in London of Helios Towers.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, which is equally active on issuer and underwriter mandates, is a strong choice for UK and international ECM transactions. Noted for its dual UK/US capabilities, the team operates at the premium end of the market in IPOs, secondary offerings, rights issues and global depositary receipts. Tom O’Neill, who heads up the US securities practice, has vast experience in SEC-registered and Rule 144A securities offerings, as well as SEC compliance and corporate governance work. Another key figure is Mike Flockhart, who was the lead adviser to Barclays as sponsor on London Stock Exchange Group Plc's $27bn all-share acquisition of Refinitiv by way of a reverse takeover. Dinesh Banani and senior associate Sarah Ries-Coward are other notable individuals. Former ECM head Charles Howarth joined CMS.
Other key lawyers:
‘Tom O’Neill lives, breathes, eats and sleeps equity capital markets. He is fantastic on US law. Technically brilliant. James Palmer is an excellent all-round corporate lawyer.‘
Bank of America
Energean Oil & Gas plc
The Unite Group plc
The Weir Group plc
WH Smith PLC
Numis Securities Limited
DNB Bank ASA
JPMorgan Global Core Real Assets Limited
US Solar Fund plc
RTW Venture Fund Limited
- Advised several major investment banking clients on the English/US aspects of important ECM transactions involving Energean Oil & Gas plc (“Energean”), a fast-growing Mediterranean-focused oil and gas company that undertook one of the best performing recent IPOs on the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised Synthomer (a FTSE 250 speciality chemical company) on its Class 1 acquisition of Omnova Solutions Inc., which develops, manufactures and markets polymers, dispersions, elastomers and other speciality chemicals, for £654m, and associated rights issue of £199m.
- Advised UBS and Morgan Stanley on the standard market listing with a 144A offer on the London Stock Exchange of EverArc Holding Limited, a special purpose acquisition company (‘SPAC’).
Shearman & Sterling LLP excels in acting for underwriters and issuers on the full range of ECM transactions (governed by New York and English law) across the EMEA region. In 2019, team head David Dixter and others acted for the underwriters (Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Securities Plc, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Wood & Company Financial Services) on the €669.5m IPO and privatisation of Nova Ljubljanska banka on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. The same team also advised the underwriters on the Republic of Slovenia's €109.5m sell down of Nova Ljubljanska banka stock on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. Pawel Szaja leads the firm's Emerging Europe and DACH desks.
‘They go above and beyond to help clients (the banks) out on transaction related work. For example, Shearman will always volunteer to hold the pen on documents whereas some of the larger firms often tend to push back hard on things like this.’
‘David Dixter and Pawel Szaja are exceptionally strong in their fields and go to names when I have questions on situations where legal counsel have not been involved yet.’
‘Knowledgeable about the domestic market. Easy to deal with. Available and practical advice. As good as you get in their field.’
‘David Dixter is an outstanding lawyer. Loads of experience, hands-on and knows how to get the job done.’
‘I have worked with many associates of the firm and they always deliver quality products.’
‘David Dixter is extremely hands on and knowledgeable. Always walks the extra mile and is fun to work with.’
‘They have two standout partners. David Dixter is very user-friendly and will always give you the best advice possible. Pawel Szaja is super bright, sees every part of the deal, is very switched-on, has a can-do approach and is responsive.’
Deutsche Bank AG
J.P. Morgan Securities plc
Citigroup Global Markets Limited
WOOD & Company Financial Services A.S
International Finance Corporation
Pareto Securities AS
Citigroup Global Markets
Hassan Allam Holding S.A.E.
VAALCO Energy, Inc.
- Acted for the underwriter, Pareto Securities AS on the sale of common shares of Diamond S Shipping owned by funds affiliated with First Reserve and WL Ross Co LLC. Also acted for Pareto Securities AS on a registered secondary-shelf takedown of DHT Holdings, Inc. in relation to the sale of shares of common stock, owned by BW Group Limited.
- Advised Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Halyk Finance as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners and Renaissance Capital as a joint bookrunner in connection with a $344.5m fully marketed offering by ALMEX Holding Group, the majority shareholder of Halyk Bank, of 29.3m Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), each representing 40 shares in the share capital of Halyk Bank.
- Advised the underwriters on the follow-on public offering by InterXion Holding N.V. of ordinary shares, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds to InterXion of approximately $321m.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's London team advises issuers and underwriters on listings in the UK, US and Europe. It also handles Rule 144A/Regulation S follow-on offerings and other complex ECM transactions. The European capital markets practice is led by Danny Tricot, whose deal experience includes matters with a nexus to the Middle East, Africa and Russia. In 2019, Tricot, James McDonald, and counsels Adam Howard and Maria Protopapa, were among the advisers to the majority shareholders of Evraz plc on two separate secondary offerings, which raised an aggregate amount of $309m. Pranav Trivedi and counsel Riley Graebner are other notable individuals.
‘High calibre partner-led team. Long standing experience in ECM.‘
‘Pranav Trivedi and Danny Tricot stand out as very experienced practitioners. Both have very strong commercial knowledge and a practical approach. Very user friendly service and always available – probably more available than some competitors.‘
‘Responsive and commercially-astute with strong analytical legal skills.‘
‘Danny Tricot is a very mature and effective deal doer with strong legal skills.‘
Borr Drilling Limited
Globalworth Real Estate Investments Ltd
Shareholders of EVRAZ plc
Build a Rocket Boy Limited
Phoenix Group Holdings plc
- Advised Phoenix Group Holdings plc, a listed UK-based closed life assurance fund consolidator, on its £3.25bn acquisition of ReAssure Group Plc, a UK-based company that operates as a life and pensions consolidator, from Swiss Re Ltd.
- Advising Globalworth Real Estate Investments Limited, an AIM-listed real estate developer focused on Central and Eastern Europe, on a €265m follow-on Rule 144/Regulation S offering of common shares on the London Stock Exchange.
- Advising Borr Drilling Limited (Bermuda) on its $47m initial public offering of common shares and listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May, which focuses on issuer-side mandates, is a key adviser to FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies. Under the leadership of practice head Nilufer von Bismarck, the firm acts on many complex, high-profile and innovative ECM transactions in the London market. In 2019, Hywel Davies led a group which advised Accsys Technologies Plc on its €46.3m firm placing and placing and open offer. Another highlight involved von Bismarck acting for AP WIP Investments Holdings LP on its circa $860m reverse takeover by Landscape Acquisition Holdings Limited. Richard Smith is another key figure in the team.
Other key lawyers:
Watches of Switzerland Group
Honeycomb Investment Trust
Investec Asset Management
AP WIP Investments Holdings
- Advised Watches of Switzerland Group and Apollo Global Management on the initial public offering of Watches of Switzerland.
- Advised Prudential plc and M&G plc on the demerger of M&G plc from Prudential plc.
- Advised SEGRO plc on a placing of approximately 7% of its existing ordinary share capital to raise gross proceeds of approximately £451m.
At Baker McKenzie, Adam Farlow leads the capital markets group in the EMEA region. The London team handles matters ranging from pre-IPO structurings and restructurings to advice on post-listing disclosure obligations, secondary offerings and corporate governance issues. It has a particularly strong reputation acting for issuers based in emerging markets on high-profile and groundbreaking IPOs and other complex, cross-border ECM transactions. In a recent mandate, Megan Schellinger worked with the firm's Cairo office to advise Banque du Caire on its planned privatisation via an IPO, which involved the sale of shares in Banque Misr, which is owned by the Egyptian government. Beyond emerging market issuer work, the firm is increasingly winning underwriter-side mandates in developed markets.
‘The firm’s acquisition of Megan Schellinger was a great boost for their US practice. Megan continues to offer solid US legal advice coupled with a profoundly commercial standpoint. We’d like to see her more and hope they continue to promote her and give her the needed support.‘
‘They have a very good team for emerging markets deals.‘
‘George Marshall is excellent on Saudi deals.‘
Arabian Centres Company
Biocartis Group NV
Carnegie Investment Bank AB
Citibank, N.A./ Citigroup Global Markets Limited
Schmolz + Bickenbach AG
Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd
Sequana Medical NV
- Advised Arabian Centres Company on its IPO and listing on the Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange). The IPO involved the first ever full international equity offering by a Saudi issuer pursuant to Rule 144A under the US Securities Act 1933 to US investors.
- Acted as lead counsel to Galapagos NV, a Belgian clinical-stage biotech focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs, listed on Euronext Brussels, Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ, on its 10-year global research and development collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc. involving the issue of shares and warrants.
- Advised Sequana Medical on its pre-IPO convertible debt financing, IPO on Euronext Brussels and follow-on accelerated bookbuild, combined with a migration of the company from Switzerland to Belgium.
Complementing its strong UK position, Dentons combines in-house US expertise in London with a sizeable global footprint, making it a key player in cross-border ECM transactions. On the mid to high-cap side of the practice, the firm's strength in emerging markets ECM work was highlighted in 2019, when highly regarded global practice leader Nik Colbridge advised FTSE 100 mining company Polymetal International Plc on its admission to the official list of the AIX and to trading on the Astana International Exchange (AIX). The firm also handles large transactions involving markets such as Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Russia. On the low to mid-cap side, Neil Nicholson, US securities law expert Cameron Half and associate Verity Kent advised Stifel Nicolaus Europe as sole bookrunner on Techniplas Inc's AIM IPO and placing of shares. David Collins is experienced in ECM transactions involving the technology, betting and gaming, financial services and healthcare sectors, among others.
‘The Dentons team is not only fully on top of all legal aspects, but has also been able to get quickly up to speed on the industry specific aspects of our transaction.’
‘Able to provide great US market insight and value-add on transactions.’
‘Cameron Half is very impressive. He brings vast experience and great commercial awareness to bear on any transaction, a real joy to work with.’
‘Small and flexible team, good pricing.’
‘Cameron Half is able to deal with big transactions efficiently.’
‘As a client, we liked the very personal approach from the team and leading partners. Deep dive-in into problems and very professional advice based on deep commercial (not only legal) understanding of our problems.’
‘We would like to highlight Nik Colbridge and Cameron Half. We liked their very personal approach, deep understanding of the commercial side of the problems and high level of availability.’
‘Truly global coverage with particular strength in Greater China and Eastern Europe. Strong focus on the client and not on the billing and internal budgets. Significant added value while advising on legal matters. Very professional, with in-depth expertise on capital markets and equity transactions. They have a unique way of planning transactions.’
‘The team are very strong and capable but what sets them apart is the ability to tailor their legal advice to the commercial circumstances and apply an appropriate level of pragmatism.’
‘Neil Nicholson is a very capable lawyer. He is easy to deal with, proactive and commercial.’
‘Cameron Half is a hugely experienced US securities lawyer and, unusually in his field, is able to explain US securities law in a way that actually makes sense.’
‘Verity Kent is a very safe pair of hands.’
‘Availability, dedication, professionalism, great communication skills, presence and understanding of CEE markets.’
‘Professionalism, commitment, great commercial judgement and skills – Nik Colbridge really stands out.’
‘True specialists in ECM with extensive experience advising on international financing transactions of all sizes across a diverse range of sectors and markets.’
‘Nik Colbridge is probably one of the strongest ECM lawyers in London. We were very pleased with the smooth deal execution and seamless high-quality service.’
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC)
Polymetal International plc
Republic of Slovenia
The Ferretti Group
PRS REIT plc
- Advised the Republic of Slovenia, as to English and US securities laws, on the completion of the IPO of Nova Ljubljanska Banka.
- Advised The Ferretti Group, an Italian luxury yacht builder, on its withdrawn Rule 144A/Regulation S IPO on the Milan bourse, as to Italian, English and US securities laws.
- Advising an airline on its Rule 144A/Regulation S IPO and listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Kazakhstan stock exchanges.
Greenberg Traurig, LLP's international reach sees it act for issuers and major investment banks on a broad cross-section of UK and cross-border (developed, frontier and emerging market) ECM transactions. Its team has vast experience of SEC-registered and Rule 144A IPOs, accelerated bookbuild offerings and rights issues, among other matters. In one work example, in 2019, James Mountain, Andrew Caunt and Dorothee Fischer-Appelt (who is dual New York/England & Wales-qualified) acted for Ocean Outdoor on its £420m LSE listing, following its reverse takeover by Ocelot Partners. The team also advised Ocean on its £25m share buy-back programme. Caunt, who heads up the practice, has 20 years of experience of large capital markets transactions.
‘They have a really good bench of partners. Dorothee Fischer-Appelt is fantastic for German-speaking clients, enthusiastic and energetic. James Mountain and Andrew Caunt: both are standout names, providing the right balance of commercial pragmatism and legal requirements‘
‘The firm may not have the profile of the magic circle, but you have top notch experienced specialists who are able to be very involved in the execution of transactions. At other firms, you simply do not have the same level of access to partner level knowledge and experience. We have been very impressed. Andrew Caunt is an experienced, thoughtful and analytical lawyer. He is a capital markets expert with a keen sense of what is ‘market’. He is ‘hands on’ in his approach and supportive between transactions as well.‘
‘Very partner led, extensive international reach, pragmatic advice with a willingness to take a view‘
‘Andrew Caunt remains my go-to lawyer at Greenberg and in the City of London. On any topic he will give a thoughtful and concise response. I like the way he doesn’t mince his words and speaks his mind. It’s refreshing and saves us a lot of time and procrastination debating legal points. He is an outstanding all-rounder. James Mountain is an excellent counterpart to Andrew Caunt. He is calm and measured. Technically strong. Both are very personable and I enjoy talking to them‘
‘Extremely accessible partners, excellent and joined-up working model, very competitive pricing‘
‘Greenberg brings a wealth of ECM experience on the UK and US side. They are commercial and diligent and offer a genuine partner-led service. Andrew Caunt is a very capable operator in the ECM space. He is responsive and diligent and can speak the client’s language. Andrew works closely with James Mountain who is reliable, very knowledgeable and has a good rapport with clients. They make a potent duo!‘
Ocean Outdoor Limited
Digital Landscape Group Inc (formerly Landscape Acquisition Limited )
APi Group (formerly J2 Acquisition)
EverArc Holdings Limited
- Acted for EverArc Holdings as issuer on its $340m IPO on the London Stock Exchange, one of the very few IPOs in London in 2019.
- Advised listed company J2 on its $2.9bn acquisition of APi Group, a market-leading provider of commercial life safety solutions and industrial specialty services. The team also advised on J2’s $250m warrant consent solicitation to partly fund the acquisition.
- Providing U.S. securities law advice to Luxembourg-based Aroundtown, a real estate company listed in Germany, on its public tender offer to shareholders of German-based TLG Immobilien AG, which is expected to create Europe’s third largest commercial real estate company.
Norton Rose Fulbright's practice features prominently in the financial and professional services, technology, real estate, energy, commodities and resources sectors. Raj Karia leads the team, which is sought out by corporate issuers, bulge-bracket investment banks, nominated advisers and investors on large and complex transactions; it covers the full spectrum of UK (AIM and Main Market) and cross-border transactions. Listed funds and special purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACS) are a notable strength of the practice. Clementine Hogarth and Fiona Millington are among a number of highly regarded individuals in the group, which includes US securities law expert Thomas Vita. Kit McCarthy made partner in early 2020, and Richard Sheen is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Fiona Millington — responsive, commercial and very knowledgeable!‘
Trian Investors 1 Limited
Numis Securities Limited
Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co.
J.P. Morgan Securities plc.
Goldman Sachs International
Canaccord Genuity Limited
Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Berenberg and Societe Generale
CI Capital Holdings S.A.E.
Picton Property Income Limited
Management Consulting Group PLC (MCG)
Purplebricks Group Plc
Warehouses De Pauw NV
Xior Student Housing NV
- Advised Tenth of Ramadan for Pharmaceutical Industries and Diagnostic Reagents S.A.E. (Rameda) on its $109m IPO and listing on the Egyptian Exchange.
- Advised NYSE and TSX-listed Barrick Gold on its take private, by way of an all share offer, of London-listed Acacia Mining, valuing Acacia at $1.2bn.
- Acted for Lightspeed Solar Partners PLC on the admission of its shares to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
Simmons & Simmons
While Simmons & Simmons' team has extensive experience in all areas of the UK equity capital markets landscape, it is particularly active in transactions involving companies listed on the Main Market. The majority of its deals involve a US offer, and its capabilities in this space were strengthened in 2019 by the arrival of senior associate Andrea Tompkins from Linklaters LLP; Chris Walton heads up the US securities practice. Colin Bole is the overall head of the UK equity capital markets team, which primarily acts for investment banks, brokers and sponsors; issuer-side work is on the increase. Recent highlights include advising Newlight Partners LP as one of the major selling shareholders of Helios Towers plc on its £1.15bn main market IPO and premium listing. Former practice head Chris Horton joined Latham & Watkins.
‘Practical, partner-led advice. They are in-touch with market practice but able to develop more detailed arguments to support the status quo rather than dogmatically advancing the market practice argument.‘
‘Colin Bole is calm and measured and provides practical advice. He is also very proactive in updating on fees etc.‘
Newlight Partners L.P.
J.P. Morgan Securities plc
RBC Europe Limited
HSBC Bank plc
Barclays Bank PLC
Dowgate Capital Limited
Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation
Peel Hunt LLP
Numis Securities Limited
Merrill Lynch International
Evercore Partners International LLP
N M Rothschild & Sons Limited
Jefferies International Limited
ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
- Advising Future plc, a global platform for specialist media, on its transfer from standard to premium listing in April 2019 and its £104m cash box placing and related £140m class 1 acquisition of TI Media in October 2019.
- Advising J.P. Morgan and Numis as joint bookrunners, and Numis as sponsor in connection with a £260m placing by Unite Group plc in connection with its transformational class 1 acquisition of Liberty Living Group plc from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for £1.4bn.
- Advising J.P. Morgan and ABN AMRO as joint bookrunners on a €312m secondary placing of shares in Amsterdam listed Adyen. N.V. by a group of pre-IPO shareholders.
Philip Cheveley leads Travers Smith LLP's team, which acts for more than 60 publicly listed companies, a significant number of which are on the FTSE 350 index. It also has a strong profile among London-based investment banks and nominated advisers, as well as investment funds (and their managers and financial sponsors). The firm's ability to deliver English and US law advice makes it a strong choice for IPOs, cash placings, open offers, reverse takeovers and block trades, among other transactions. US securities law expert Dan McNamee and recently promoted partner Tom Coulter advised RBC Europe (a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada) as bookrunner on a placing programme by renewable infrastructure fund Greencoat UK Wind Plc, and a £375m placing and offer for subscription. Spencer Summerfield, Andrew Gillen and recently promoted partner Jonathan Walters are among other key figures. Adrian West is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘Practical and experienced.‘
‘Richard Spedding is knowledgeable and experienced.‘
Distribution Finance Capital
Staffline Group plc
MySale Group plc
Irish National Treasury Management Agency
Liberum Capital Limited
Peel Hunt LLP
GCA Altium Limited
- Advised Liberum Capital Limited and Peel Hunt LLP as joint bookrunners, and GCA Altium Limited as financial adviser and nominated adviser, to Loungers plc on its £185m AIM IPO.
- Advised TruFin plc on the £44.5m sale of its interest in Zopa Group Limited and the demerger of Distribution Finance Capital Limited to Distribution Finance Capital Holdings plc.
- Advised Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in its role as placing agent on the $250m IPO of US-based solar assets focused investment company Lightspeed Solar Partners plc on the Specialist Fund Segment.
CMS significantly bolstered its team by hiring Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's former equity capital markets head Charles Howarth in mid-2020. The firm acts for a number of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, and also has a strong client following among investment banks. Complementing its sizeable UK presence, the practice also offers European and Asian market coverage; its ability to offer US securities law expertise is another value-add. In 2019, practice head Alasdair Steele led advice to Numis Securities on Future Plc's move from the standard segment to the premium segment of the Official List. Gordon Anton made partner.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong partners supported by excellent associate team. Results in really good strategic and commercial advice backed up by a first rate legal service.‘
‘Louise Wallace is a trusted adviser for me. She’s direct, straightforward and brings a wealth of experience to give excellent strategic and commercial deal advice. Michelle Kirkland is a rising star. First-rate legal capability, hard working and highly collaborative to get deals done across a wide range of stakeholders. Highly recommended.‘
‘Very strong and well resourced team that provides high quality advice and commitment to projects.‘
‘Jack Shepherd – exceptional level of engagement and project assistance.‘
‘Flexible approach. Cost-effective and proportionate US securities advice. High level of partner involvement/visibility.‘
‘Simon Morgan is a careful and unflappable steadying presence on a deal.‘
The Rank Group Plc
Primary Health Properties
Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund
Aquila European Renewables Income Fund
JP Morgan Cazenove
- Advising Main Market listed Datang on the admission to trading of £676m of new H-Shares to the standard listing segment.
- Advising Aquila European Renewables Income Fund plc on its successful initial public offering and a €155m fund raising.
- Advising Main Market listed Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Fund on a £216m placing, open offer and offer for subscription and a further £137.5m placing; both transactions were heavily over-subscribed.
DLA Piper covers a wide ambit of UK and international ECM transactions under the leadership of practice head Alex Tamlyn, who has more than 30 years of corporate finance experience and serves as chair of the Primary Markets Group on the London Stock Exchange. The highly rated group also includes Martin Penn, Charles Severs and senior associate Karin Kirschner. In addition to acting for corporates, other clients include selling shareholders, underwriters, sponsors, nominated advisers, brokers, trustees and depositaries. Robert Newman recently made partner.
‘Martin Penn has an deep sector expertise that we depend on hugely. His delivery capability is exceptional and his support on unusual and technical legal elements has been invaluable.’
Allied Minds plc
PureTech Health plc
John Menzies plc
Harworth Group plc
Hutchison China MediTech
Numis Securities Limited
Liberum Capital Limited
Peel Hunt LLP
Hyve Group plc
- Advising Hyve Group plc, a next-generation global events business, on its acquisition of US-based marketing firms Shoptalk Commerce LLC and Groceryshop LLC for $145m on a cash free, debt free basis.
- Advised Aptitude Software on its Class 1 disposal of its wholly-owned subsidiary Microgen Financial Systems (MFS) to Moscow Bidco, a newly-incorporated private limited company controlled by funds advised by Silverfleet Capital Partners, for £51m.
- Handled a number of matters for Hutchison China MediTech Limited, including its NASDAQ public secondary offering, whereby Hutchison Healthcare Holdings Limited sold 12 million American Depositary Shares of Chi-Med.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's practice, which is jointly led by US-qualified partner Steve Thierbach and Chris Haynes, is strong across the full range of transactions, including UK and US IPOs, placings, rights issues and block trades. Another feature of the practice is its involvement in the London listings and IPOs of special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs) and cash shells. The team is notably active in the technology and e-commerce sectors; energy and financial services are among other key areas of strength.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very commercial and provides very strong legal guidance.‘
‘Chris Haynes and Steve Thierbach make a great team – providing pragmatic advice and solutions to issues.‘
‘Extremely high quality, experienced partners, who bring that experience to bear directly on transactions, providing valued judgement and a significant level of senior day-to-day input.‘
‘Steve Thierbach and Chris Haynes have a wealth of experience in the equity capital markets, both at a technical and at a practical transactional level, and provide thoughtful, pragmatic and hands-on leadership on transactions.‘
‘Chris Haynes and Steve Thierbach — easy to work with and commercial.‘
‘The overall team is excellent. It takes the time to really understand issues and genuinely help. The team’s knowledge of Equity Capital Markets and associated regulation, with its application to our business, is second to none.‘
‘In my experience it is the partner-led approach of the Gibson Dunn team that sets them apart.‘
Amryt Pharma plc
AO World plc
Numis Securities Limited
The Hut Group
- Advised Emirates NBD, the parent company of Network International, as selling shareholder, on the initial public offering of Network International.
- Advised the founders of UK cybersecurity company Sophos on the proposed acquisition and take private of Sophos by private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
- Advised The Hut Group, a global online leader in beauty and wellness, on a variety of matters throughout 2019 including various equity fundraising rounds including £66m of primary equity raised from global investment manager, BlackRock, and Belgium-based investment company, Sofina.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's team advises issuers and banks on all aspects of a company's equity fundraising activities, and it is also knowledgeable about post-listing corporate and securities law issues. Maegen Morrison, Daniel Simons and Jonathan Baird jointly lead the practice in London, which combines a strong English law offering with in-house US securities law expertise. In addition, the firm's strength in cross-border offerings are buttressed by its international platform. It is also particularly strong in pre-IPO fundraisings and AIM listings leading to step-ups to the Main Market. Raj Panasar joined from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in early 2020; both Baird and Panasar are dual-qualified to practise in England and Wales and the US.
Other key lawyers:
‘Raj Panasar is my key contact. He is precisely the person you would want to contact if you had an emergency on a deal at 4am… and he would pick up the phone. Exceptional lawyer, always available, commercial and pragmatic in his advice.‘
J.P. Morgan Cazenove
Just Group plc
Urban Exposure plc
- Advised J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Jefferies International on the placing of €500.5m of new equity in Globalworth.
- Advised a consortium of banks comprising J.P. Morgan Cazenove, Jefferies International, and UBS AG, who placed approximately 29 million new ordinary shares, raising €264m for AIM listed Globalworth Real Estate Investments Limited.
- Advised Grainger Plc on the placing of 61 million new shares, raising approximately £186.7m.
Led by Kate Ball-Dodd, Mayer Brown International LLP's team acts for corporate issuers and underwriters on sophisticated UK and multijurisdictional transactions. It advises clients from a multitude of industries, including the banking, construction, energy, technology, metals and mining and technology sectors. In 2019, highlights included Colin Scagell, Rebecca Bothamley and senior associate Harriet Hainsworth acting for Peel Hunt and Panmure Gordon as joint bookrunners on a £10m cash box placing by Blancco Technologies. While most of the practitioners in the London team primarily advise on English law matters, a number of individuals have US securities law expertise, including Robert Flanigan.
Other key lawyers:
‘Partner led with great attention to detail. Willing to go the extra mile.‘
‘Kate Ball-Dodd – faultless attention to detail. Innovative in materials produced.‘
‘Very approachable and easy going yet you have complete confidence that they are on the ball.‘
‘Strong team with plenty of experience in our field.‘
‘Kate Ball-Dodd – easy to work with, commercial and gives practical advice.‘
‘Good blend of commercial and technical knowledge – get to the key issues fast and give strong advice.‘
Entertainment One Limited
Investec Bank plc
Numis Securities Limited
Peel Hunt LLP
Promotora de Informaciones, S.A.
Silence Therapeutics plc
St Modwen Properties
- Acted for Investec as sponsor to Aptitude Software Group plc on the disposal by Aptitude of Microgen Financial Systems Limited to Silverfleet Capital Partners LP, a class 1 transaction; and on the return of value arising from the disposal.
- Advised longstanding client Entertainment One (eOne) on a placing of £130m to part-fund its acquisition of UK-based Audio Network Limited.
- Advised Silence Therapeutics plc on the private placement of ordinary shares for $5m by Mallinckrodt with the proceeds for the purposes of general working capital.