With ‘excellent, in-depth knowledge’, the practice at Baker McKenzie has recently seen substantial change: Emily Carlisle and Jo Hewitt now jointly lead the London-based practice, which also benefitted from the recruitment of Rakesh Rathod from Allen & Overy LLP in 2022. Clients praise Carlisle for her ‘great personable skills and ability to understand and advise on complex legal matters in a clear and concise manner’, while Hewitt excels in post-acquisition integrations and subsidiary governance. Former London group head Kirsty Wilson is still active in the space and leads the firm’s global reorganisations practice; she is also a go-to name for post-acquisition integrations. The group also leverages the global corporate maintenance team in Belfast, led by of counsel Laura Fisher in London.
International business reorganisations in London
Emily Carlisle; Jo Hewitt
Other key lawyers:
Rakesh Rathod; Kirsty Wilson; Laura Fisher; Christina Khoo
‘Excellent in-depth knowledge of all areas of UK corporate law and great understanding of international laws and rules applicable to transactions.’
‘The team consistently display a thorough understanding and appreciation of the commercial and practical aspects of many varied and complex transactions, both in the UK and internationally.’
‘The team is able to collaborate with their international colleagues and the advice and assistance provided is always of a high quality.’
‘Emily Carlisle leads the international business reorganisation team and has an amazing understanding of UK corporate and international law. Emily displays great personable skills and has the ability to understand and advise on complex legal matters in a clear and concise manner.’
‘Very efficient team, from the way they work and how they plan the project it seems clear that they have experience in international business reorganisations. They offered us the use of a technological tool to track the progress of the project which was extremely useful.’
‘Our main contact in the team was Christina Khoo. She was extremely helpful and assisted us during all the process with the degree of attention that we needed at all times.’
‘Baker McKenzie was instrumental in helping us to reduce the number of legal entities within our global structure. They were proactive on this project and readily available to work through complicated issues.’
‘Baker McKenzie knows our company very well, including our approach to a number of legal disciplines, such as corporate governance, M&A, contracts, and regulatory matters. They stand out based upon the number of subject matter experts they have at their disposal, their responsiveness and willingness to work through matters efficiently, and their technical expertise.’
Bristol Myers Squibb
Icon Clinical Research
Johnson & Johnson
At Deloitte Legal, the ‘very accessible, available and knowledgeable’ practice ‘provides coherent and aligned solutions’ to its client roster of high-profile corporates. The dedicated team is led by Rachel Hossack, who specialises in intra-group reorganisations and business transformations. Other key individuals include director Nirosha Perera, who regularly acts for large privately owned or listed global groups and US inbound clients; associate director Jesika Patel and managing associate Peter Grigor, who has recently been active in legal entity rationalisations, operating model transformations and intra-group debt simplification work.
Other key lawyers:
Nirosha Perera; Jesika Patel; Peter Grigor
‘Very prepared and expert teams who coordinate very well between themselves and provide coherent and aligned solutions to the clients.’
‘All the individuals are extremely competent and always available to answer to clients’ doubts, and to raise any potential red flags associated with the project and to provide solutions to overcome the latter.’
‘Great team. Very accessible, available and knowledgeable.’
‘Great broad subject matter expertise. Able to bring in specialists very effectively and efficiently.’
‘What I find incredibly helpful and refreshing is the way they work with me as part of the team, treating me as an equal. The UK team are willing to challenge their non-UK colleagues’ advice (not to suggest it is wrong but to ensure that it dovetails with and does not prejudice the UK position).’
‘They are therefore totally committed to ensuring the client receives the best advice and don’t just implement the stated structure plan.’
‘They look to test every aspect of the plan to ensure it works best for the client. I have always found them extremely quick to respond.’
Korn Ferry Group
Electronic Arts, Inc.
Arrow Business Communications
Wahl Clipper Corporation
- Worked with VMware, Inc. to complete the post-merger integration of three businesses acquired by the group – Pivotal, Datrium and Lastline.
- Worked with Azimo on a transaction resulting in the insertion of a new holding company.
Ernst & Young LLP’s specialist international business reorganisations team structures its advice across four categories encompassing legal entity rationalisations, core structuring projects, governance and transformation matters, and deal structuring mandates. This approach allows the practice to act for a growing client base of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 corporates across the full spectrum of global matters; the firm also fields a dedicated team focusing on Japanese clients as part of its Japanese business services unit. Craig Stevenson heads up the department and has notable experience acting in Asian markets; associate partner James Menzies is the key name for compliance and governance matters, and Terence Devane was recently promoted to the partnership. Sarah Holmes retired.
Other key lawyers:
James Menzies; Terence Devane
Energy Assets Group
MSD (formerly known as Merck Sharp & Dohme)
Reckitt Benckiser Corporate Services Limited
Thermo Fisher Inc.
- Instructed to advise Lloyd’s Register on a pre-completion carve out reorganisation in roughly 70 jurisdictions.
- Advising EAG on a complex business reorganisation, across five distinct phases, including a reorganisation in advance of a refinancing.
- Advising TripActions, Inc. on a complex post-deal legal entity rationalisation and integration.
PwC LLP’s practice sits within the firm’s global department, which excels in high-profile carve outs, separations, spin projects and post-deal integration work; the group recently acted for Colfax on the separation of its medical technology business and fabrication technology business into two public companies. The team also has distinct knowledge in specialist areas including providing an IP and operating model offering, which is led by Latika Sharma, and standalone financial services and energy teams led by Kevin King and Keith Bottomley respectively. Georgie Blyth and Cynthia Chan jointly lead the wider business reorganisations practice, which also fields Tom Lewis, who is a key contact for pharmaceuticals, life sciences and Japanese clients; Laura Freestone, who focuses on entity simplification projects; and newly promoted director Harry Wilkins, who specialises in structuring projects.
Georgie Blyth; Cynthia Chan
Other key lawyers:
Latika Sharma; Kevin King; Keith Bottomley; Tom Lewis; Laura Freestone; Harry Wilkins
‘Highly responsive, technically skilled team, led by a very strong partner with excellent client relationship skills. Notably diverse and with good international experience.’
‘The ability to draw on skills from the accounting, tax and regulatory practices of PwC gives them a breadth of practical experience and knowledge which is not easily matched by traditional law firms.’
‘Seamless interaction and coordination of the PwC Legal and Tax teams allowed for smooth execution of a significant restructuring transaction.’
‘Cynthia Chan – fantastic client relationship skills, with a measured, patient approach and retaining a great knowledge of our business. Excellent overseas experience and great contacts with peers in other PwC firms abroad.’
‘Laura Freestone – highly intelligent, engaged with a calm authority and great grasp of technical issues.’
‘The team are particularly strong in corporate reorganisations and reconstructions. Their international reach combined with their familiarity with the related accounting and tax issues means they adopt a more practical approach and combine well with other advisors to reach solutions.’
‘My key contact is Georgie Blythe who, notwithstanding his role as a partner, is still able to be in the weeds of the deal when required. He has a commercial approach and his availability is excellent.’
‘The team ties together multinational transactions of considerable complexity, breaks them into understandable parts and effortlessly (apparently) prepares all documentation to get the deal done.’
Aioi Nissay Dowa
Aveva Group Plc
Axel Springer SE
British Business Bank
Elanco Animal Health Incorporated
Merlin Attractions Operations Limited
Reckitt Benckiser Plc
Resideo Technologies Inc.
TD SYNNEX Corporation
The Blackstone Group, Inc.
The Mott MacDonald Group
- Acting for Colfax Corporation on separating its medical technology business and fabrication technology business into two public companies (Enovis and ESAB), in relation to the pre-separation corporate structuring.
- Acting for BP on international business restructurings connected with a range of corporate transactions.
- Acting for TD Synnex on its various corporate legal transactions.
Leveraging the firm’s global network and full-service capacity, DLA Piper’s international corporate reorganisations team excels in complex multi-jurisdictional reorganisations, follow-on projects including post-sale integrations, and carve-out transactions. Ben Forgiel-Jenkins heads up the department, which also benefits from the expertise of corporate partner Jon Hayes and tax specialist Matthew Davies. Counsel Stan Stewart is active in multi-country restructurings, legal director Paul Routledge is a key name in the firm’s Leeds office, and senior associate Clare McLaren focuses on the financial services sector.
Other key lawyers:
Jon Hayes; Matthew Davies; Stan Stewart; Paul Routledge; Clare McLaren
The international reorganisations practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP remains a growth area for the firm, exemplified by the recruitment of Eda Demirel into the London team in late 2021. Demirel, who now leads the practice, adds notable US expertise to the practice, which leverages the firm’s wider global network on cross-border mandates. Other key individuals include Amanda Partland, who is based in Leeds; principal associate Helen Mackey, who handles the tax structuring elements of cross-border matters; and senior associate Amy Locke.
Other key lawyers:
Amanda Partland; Helen Mackey; Amy Locke
- Advised Croda International plc in relation to the global implementation of a new Free Share Plan for its employees around the globe as part of a reorganisation.
- Advised Signode Group on its corporate reorganisation in the context of a worldwide strategy to move to a single Signode brand.
KPMG Law in the United Kingdom recently recruited Richard Needham from Baker McKenzie to jointly lead the firm’s international business reorganisations practice with Peter Workman in Birmingham following the retirement of Richard Lewis. The practice also saw numerous promotions including the promotion of Ben Brafman and Birmingham-based Tom Swain to director and Manchester-based Paul Kelly and Tanvir Dhanoa getting elevated to the partnership. The group is active in high-value and complex cross-border reorganisation projects and benefits from the firm’s wider professional services expertise and bespoke and tailored technology products.
Richard Needham; Peter Workman
Other key lawyers:
Ben Brafman; Tom Swain; Paul Kelly; Tanvir Dhanoa
‘Ability to dive deeply into a particular matter very rapidly and to gear up to ensure that everything is addressed. Impressive availability of the people involved.’
‘Ben Brafman was a constant reassuring and measured presence on our matter.’
‘Richard Needham stands out as having extensive experience in international corporate reorganisations. He is personable and a pleasure to work with. He gives useful, practical advice and has a deep understanding of what is important to clients.’
‘KPMG offer a unique blend of tax, legal and governance expertise which is highly valuable as a client. Well resourced and excellent levels of expertise and professionalism.’
‘I like how KPMG law always take a full scope grip of the engagement and makes sure that everything is considered. I also like their ability to work with other firms with an open mind and that they are working together for what is best for the client.’
‘Tanvir Dhanoa — excellent, very approachable, friendly, practical, unruffled and a really good lawyer.’
‘Ben Brafman — a good lawyer who is very helpful.’
‘Ben Brafman is best in class. Calm, positive and with a lot of knowledge. That is all you need to be a great partner.’
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
- Advising Illinois Tool Works Inc on a major cross-border group reorganisation and legal entity rationalisation programme.
- Advised GlobalData plc on a complex corporate restructuring through a court approved public company reduction of capital scheme.
- Assisted JERA Trading with a global restructuring involving a separation of its financial and physical trading business involving complex regulatory issues.
Allen & Overy LLP
Under the leadership of the ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ Gillian Holgate, Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘second-to-none’ global reorganisations group is ‘efficient and resourceful’ and a key name in the market for cross-border M&A mandates. Former practice co-head Rakesh Rathod departed to Baker McKenzie in early 2022.
Other key lawyers:
‘Well experienced team and very keen to meet client’s needs.’
‘Allen & Overy’s international business reorganisations practice is second to none. The team is incredibly efficient and resourceful.’
‘Gillian Holgate is one of the top advisors we work with. Gillian has broad experience that we value as a company. She is incredibly knowledgeable and routinely makes herself available on short notice to address issues.’
‘Gillian Holgate is a trusted advisor that provides excellent practical guidance. Her team have helped navigate our Company through numerous successful reorganisations. She leads a group of consummate professionals that maintain composure and do not become rattled by complicated issues that arise in the course of a multi-phased restructuring.’
‘Hugh Robinson is very helpful, diligent, experienced, quickly grasps the business needs and seeks to accommodate.’
‘Great global knowledge of the topic, well educated personnel, diligent project coordination.’
‘Gillian Holgate – great partner to work with.’
RSM UK Legal LLP’s dedicated business reorganisations legal team leverages the firm’s wider global audit, tax and consulting network to handle large-scale international corporate reorganisations for substantial multinational private corporates. In a recent highlight, the team acted for Civica Group on its group simplification and the rationalisation of over £1bn of debt. Newly promoted partner Tristan Mutimer heads up the practice, which also includes the ‘top-notch’ Gilbert Collison. Carolyn Brown leads the wider legal services offering.
Other key lawyers:
Gilbert Collison; Carolyn Brown; Bahareh Rahmani
‘The team I dealt with worked as a single unit and were clear and precise in their communications. They took ownership of the full piece of work from inception to execution.’
‘They were able to provide clear solutions to a complex piece of planning and had the skill sets and competencies to make the whole process a lot more simple. Ultimately, you had total comfort that the work would be done correctly and to a very high standard – and that is exactly what happened.’
‘The team supported us in an efficient, effective and timely way.’
‘Gilbert Collison and his team at RSM UK LLP stand out for their ability to grasp the nuances of each situation, liaise internally to bring to bear firm wide expertise to the problem and provide us a comprehensive, practical and effective solution.’
‘Bahareh Rahmani is an associate I know well. She is quick to learn and proactive in her approach to matters and highly personable.’
‘RSM has helped us with corporate matters related to structuring, reorganisation, and liquidation. In all areas, they have provided outstanding and timely service, and I would recommend them heartily to others.’
‘A special mention to the expertise and clarity of thought that we have seen in our interactions with Gilbert Collison over the past several years.’
‘Gilbert Collison is top notch. I’d happily use him again. Switched on, accessible, highly effective and utterly professional. He also came up with suggestions and ideas that might improve the reorganisation.’
Language Line Solutions
Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC)
DHI Group Inc
Optima Defence & Security
Yates Property Holdings
- Advised Civica, the global leader in public sector software, on its group simplification and the rationalisation of in excess of £1bn of debt movements.
- Advised Richer Sounds on its transition to employee ownership by way of an initial group restructuring followed by the subsequent sale of 60% of the company’s shares to an employee ownership trust.
- Advised Language Line, part of Teleperformance Group and one of the largest language access companies in the world, on its group, share capital and debt reorganisation.