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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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United Kingdom > London > Investment fund formation and management > Listed funds > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Listed funds
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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Gowling WLG had a strong 2016, handling two investment fund IPOs in a relatively quiet year for the market. Kristian Rogers advised Draper Esprit on its IPO, which raised £100m on both the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the Enterprise Securities Market in Dublin. Rogers also advised Pacific Industrial & Logistics REIT on its IPO, which raised £10m on AIM. As far secondary share issuances are concerned, John Reed advised Empiric Student Property on a £125m share issuance programme, while Oliver Riley and senior associate Kate Seabourne advised GCP Asset Backed Income Fund on a £60m accelerated book build. Other highlights included Reed advising Vinacapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund on its transition from the AIM to the London Stock Exchange’s main market. Practice head Nick Heather advised Liberum Capital on a £53m issuance of zero-dividend preference shares.

Carrying out a range of work across the sector, Herbert Smith Freehills LLPstill offers a premium service for listed funds’. Tim West and Nigel Farr are ‘hands down the best practitioners in this space – both are very bright, with the ability to navigate the most complex products and structures’; West advised Neuberger Berman Private Equity on issuing a new class of zero-dividend preference shares, allowing existing investors to roll over their current ones, while Farr advised BioPharma Credit on its IPO, which raised $760m. Stephen Newby, who was elected to the partnership in 2016, advised Amedeo Air Four Plus, a Guernsey-domiciled investment company which leases out Airbus A380s, on two share placings, one in July 2016 and another in January 2017, raising a total of £170m. In the investor-side space, Farr and Gavin Davies advised Sherborne Investors on its investment in Electra Private Equity, and subsequent shareholder activism. Other clients include JPMorgan Cazenove.

Norton Rose Fulbright is ‘one of the best, if not the best – clients get pragmatic and clear advice from one of London’s most knowledgeable and user-friendly teams’. Michael Newell advised Civitas Social Housing, a real estate investment trust investing in social housing, on its IPO, which raised £350m. Richard Sheenjust gets the job done and knows the demands of the market inside-out, which is so important’ – he advised JPMorgan Cazenove on its placing of £92.9m of shares in John Laing Infrastructure fund in order to refinance an existing loan, and Starwood European Real Estate Finance on its placing of £73m of shares. Ian Fox has ‘deep knowledge of the investment trust sector and great judgement and diligence’ – he advised JPMorgan Income & Growth Investment Trust on its rollover into JPMorgan Elect, which was represented by Sheen. Senior associate Margaret Simcock ‘delivers high-quality work and is great at keeping touch with clients to keep things on track’. Other mandates relate to changes in investment policies and zero-dividend preference share issuances.

Stephenson Harwood, which is ‘responsive, helpful and technically good’, handles fund IPO-related work as well as a range of re-listing, activist disputes, secondary listings and fund terminations. William Saunders advised BB Healthcare Trust on its IPO, which raised £150m. Alex Haynes is ‘very well-liked by the brokers in this space’ – he advised Cenkos Securities on its role as sponsor of Civitas Social Housing’s IPO, the largest investment company IPO in London in 2016, and Vietnam Enterprise Investments on its transition from the Irish Stock Exchange to the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Elizabeth Field advised Jupiter Growth Investment Trust on changing its name, investment policy and management agreement. Other clients include SQN Asset Finance Income Fund, which Saunders advised on a £180m placing of C shares, and Atlantis Japan Growth Fund, which Haynes advised regarding an attempt by an activist investor to liquidate it.

CMS is ‘excellent: very diligent, experienced and responsive to client needs in provision of transaction advice and listed fund construction: it is very capable of applying sector-specialist knowledge and bringing to bear expertise of partners from elsewhere in the firm’. Practice head Cathy Pitt advised Jeffries as listing sponsor of Vietnam Enterprise Investments concerning the fund’s inclusion in the London Stock Exchange’s premium segment. As far as work around IPOs is concerned, Pitt also advised broker Winterflood Investment Trusts on Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments’ IPO, and acted for N+1 Singer as placing agent on RM Secured Direct Lending’s. In the Edinburgh office, Wendy Colquhoun advised Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust on changes to the company’s investment objectives in order to wind it down. Other clients include Numis Securities.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s listed fund work ranges from issuance of new shares through to changes in investment policies. Highlights included advising BACIT (which changed its name to the target’s after the transaction) on its transition from a fund of funds into a life science investment company through the purchase of Synconia from The Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK – this was financed by a placing of £357m of new shares. Other clients include Riverstone Energy, which he advised on a policy change to allow it to take over Canadian International Oil, and Greater Pacific Capital. Jonathan Baird joined Hogan Lovells International LLP in August 2017.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is ‘very responsive, with an impressive knowledge of the listed funds market’: ‘its advice is always user-friendly and solutions-oriented, and its partners are visible on their deals and readily available when necessary’. The firm handles a number of ongoing initial public offering projects, as well as subsequent offerings and fund restructurings. Practice leader Erik Jamieson is ‘excellent and very pragmatic, with great commercial awareness’ – he advises Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency as manager of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, a cornerstone investor in Draper Esprit on Draper Esprit’s IPO. Nicholas Holman is ‘very impressive on technical and regulatory fund structuring matters’, and counsel Jeremy Pickles is ‘bright and one to watch’. The firm also acts for HICL Infrastructure Company, a FTSE 250 infrastructure investment company. The practice was strengthened by the arrival in August 2017 of dual UK and US qualified partner Jonathan Baird, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Travers Smith LLP is ‘an excellent firm, giving good commercial advice from a strong team’. Aaron Stocks advised Impact Healthcare REIT on its admission to the Specialist Funds Segment and raising of £160m. In addition, it ‘has increasingly won some very good mandates from bulge bracket banks which may have not instructed it in the past’ – Stocks advised Numis Securities on sponsorship of a £60.6m placing by Bluefield Solar Income Fund. Will Normand ‘has a notable track record on working of some of the most complex funds: he is incredibly hardworking and resilient in the face of extreme pressure, breaking down the complex to assist clients in launching their new vehicles’; he advised Ranger Direct Lending Fund on the issuance of placing of zero dividend preference shares worth £36m. Other clients include Liberum Capital, Marwyn Value Investors and Stifel Nicolaus.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP handles capital markets work concerning listed funds. Richard Werner advised Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments, a credit fund, on its £80m IPO on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange. Werner also advised Liberum Capital on its role as sponsor and placing agent of Phoenix Spree Deutschland’s raising of £38m via an offer for subscription, and acted for Secure Income REIT on a ‘re-IPO’ secondary placing of shares.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles work such as rights issues and initial public offerings for various listed funds. Michael Lingens advised Impact Health Partners the IPO of Impact Healthcare REIT – a real estate fund which invests in care homes - on the specialist fund segment, and David Hicks acted for Fidelity Asian Values on a rights issue. Senior counsel Victoria Younghusband advised India Capital Growth Fund on a rights issue which raised £23m, while Andrew Collins advised Mithras Investment Trust on several tender offers. Other clients include Circle Properties, Eredene Capital and Mayfair International Capital Management.

Simmons & SimmonsDavid Williams and Patrick Graves continue to advise Funding Circle SME Income Trust on matters following its 2015 IPO, including a £14.5m capital raising and the fund’s first securitised transaction. Chris Horton advised JPMorgan Securities and RBC Europe as sponsors and bookrunners of 3i Infrastructure’s capital raising, which secured £350m. Other clients include Brevan Howard and investment banks.

At Slaughter and May, Robin Ogle advised SVG Capital on its sale of its investment portfolio to HarbourVest Structured Solutions for £807m. Nilufer von Bismarck advised LMS Capital on a change of investment policy and a tender offer which returned £6m to shareholders. In the capital raising space, Martin Hattrell advised 3i Group on 3i Infrastructure’s capital raising of up to £350m.

Ashurst advises global investment banks on significant capital-raisings by listed funds. Nicholas Holmes advised Jefferies International and Akur on Tritax Big Box REIT’s placement of ordinary shares, which raised around £100m; the fund invests in a range of logistics parks in the United Kingdom. Holmes also advised Stifel Nicolaus on a secondary offering by Foresight Solar Fund.

Carrying out work from both London and Edinburgh, Maclay Murray & Spens LLP is ‘a trusted advisor for listed funds’, with ‘great team knowledge providing a positive user experience - it brings a good level of knowledge and curiosity together with a strong understanding of client needs’. London-based Guy Norfolk is ‘constantly visible throughout the transaction, and shows a good balance of technical knowledge and commercial experience – he is straightforward to deal with and is able to resolve issues with clear and constant advice’; he advises cornerstone client Baillie Gifford. Claire Armstrong in Edinburgh is also a key contact. The firm also acts for Aberdeen Investment Management.

Birmingham-based Shakespeare Martineau LLPprovides very professional, accurate and relevant advice promptly’, with a strong focus on listed venture capital trusts. Kavita Patel advised Foresight 3 VCT and Foresight 4 VCT on their merger, which involved the liquidation of Foresight 3. Patel also advised Unicorn AIM VCT on a public offer for subscription, which raised £15m in two weeks.

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