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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 > Risk advisory > Brexit > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Allen & Overy LLP assists clients with formulating and implementing their Brexit strategies by drawing upon the expertise of its team across multiple departments and jurisdictions. In addition, it has participated in more than 30 fact-finding initiatives with government departments and trade associations, and it also engages extensively with regulators. The firm is particularly active in the financial services sector, where it advises clients on a range of issues connected with their future business needs, such as future market access options,  financial services regulation, business restructuring and relocation, and licensing, among others. Its work covers a broad cross-section of activities in the financial services ecosystem, including banking, investment management and insurance.  Etay Katz, Damian Carolan and senior associate Jodi Norman are part of a cross-office team which is advising a London-headquartered multinational bank on all aspects of its Brexit contingency planning, including its application to BaFin for a licence to establish a European banking subsidiary in Germany. The firm also assists corporate clients from various other industries with Brexit issues, including TMT, life sciences and energy. Daniel Shurman, Richard Cranfield, Kate Sumpter and Matthew Townsend are among a number of names to note.

Ashurst draws upon the wide sectoral and cross-practice expertise of its team - in London and across the network - to deliver a wide variety of services for clients and other stakeholders impacted by Brexit. The firm has been highly sought-after to provide advice to governments in the UK and EU, as well as further afield internationally. It also works with trade bodies and industry associations. The breadth of its offering has meant that members of the firm have delivered seminars for key clients, spoken at industry events and also provided thought-leadership contributions in the mainstream media. Hiroyuki Iwamura is heading up a series of roadshows across the country to advise Japanese companies with operations in the UK on the legal risks associated with Brexit. The firm's practice lead is corporate partner Rob Aird, who has 'really made it a priority to understand the details of Brexit; he studied hard, even before the referendum vote, in order to be well-prepared'. Aird acts for corporates and a wide range of market participants in the financial services industry (including banks and asset managers) in their Brexit preparations. James Coiley, who is a partner in the structured finance and derivatives group, has written extensively about the impact of Brexit on the UK's banking industry (particularly structured products). James Perry is recommended for his financial services regulatory expertise, as is Jake Green. On a related note, counsel Tim Cant has specialist knowledge of the regulation of market infrastructure (including trading platforms and post-trade arrangements) and trading venues, among other areas. Beyond financial services, the firm is able to deliver the full scope of advice to clients in various other sectors, including oil and gas, energy and utilities, and transport. Another key figure in the team is global competition chair Nigel Parr, who is currently leading the City of London Law Society's sub-committee on the impact of Brexit on competition law, and recently chaired a seminar by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

Baker McKenzie’s cross-departmental Brexit team in London, which is jointly led by Samantha Mobley and Ross Denton, works closely with other practitioners located across the worldwide network to provide fully-coordinated, strategic advice to businesses on their most complex operational challenges. The firm’s depth and breadth of expertise makes it particularly well-placed to advise clients on global restructurings and trade-related issues; Denton, who heads up the London trade practice, is a seasoned expert in the public regulation of international trade, export controls and customs matters. In addition, other areas covered by the trade practice include sanctions and WTO law. Mobley has decades of experience advising clients on global competition issues. Clients also count on the expertise of practitioners with knowledge about other areas, such as employment and immigration, regulatory compliance and tax. Elsewhere, in addition to providing standalone advice to clients, another value-add is that the firm liaises with various authorities across the globe to stay up to speed on developments. It also has strong connections with a number of UK trade associations. Jennifer Revis, Emily Carlisle and Kate Alexander are among other individuals in the sizeable Brexit team.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP - which was formed after Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Bryan Cave merged in April 2018 - has a specialist Brexit taskforce, which is led by competition and international trade partner Chris Bryant. With Bryant at the helm, the firm is at the forefront of advice to clients on a wide range of matters, including scenario and contingency planning, restructuring and regulatory issues. It has been particularly active in guiding clients through the impact of a no deal scenario, and what the impact of the UK relying on WTO rules would mean for their businesses. The firm has also played a key role in shaping the UK government's policy towards Brexit, with team members having provided evidence at Parliamentary Select Committees and the Department for International Trade. Financial services regulatory expert Polly James has been advising a variety of clients in the industry on the impact of Brexit, including the loss of passporting rights and alternative business models. Matthew Baker focuses on issues affecting the investment management industry, while Geraldine Quirk advises insurance sector clients on a wide range of non-contentious matters. James Marshall acts for clients from sectors such as aviation, water, energy and transport. Senior lawyer consultant Marieke Datema is also recommended.

Clifford Chance is at the forefront of the advice to a broad cross-section of clients on the commercial and legal implications of Brexit. A major cornerstone of its offering is its public policy practice, which is co-chaired by Simon Gleeson in London and Brussels-based Thomas Vinje. Phillip Souta is the UK head. It is embedded across the global network - as well as legal practice areas and sector groups - and serves to anticipate and shape public policy by engaging with key policymakers and regulators. It also provides clients with informed advice on up to date policy developments to assist them with formulating and implementing their own Brexit strategies, and provides assistance with media relations, among various other services. Complementing the public policy practice is the firm's trade practice, which advises businesses and trade bodies on inbound and outbound post-Brexit trade issues, such as WTO law, GATTS, anti-subsidy and trade barrier regulations; Jessica Gladstone, consultant Federico Ortino and Paris-based of counsel Michel Petite are key individuals. The firm has a particularly strong international regulatory practice, and is notably active in the financial services sector; a team including Christopher Bates, Simon Crown Gleeson and Owen Lysak has advised ISDA on a wide range of regulatory matters, including assisting it with preparing questions for submission to the ESMA/European Commission on the EU Benchmarks Regulation. Lysak and consultant Mark Campbell are advising the Loan Market Association (LMA) on the potential regulatory consequences of Brexit for the syndicated lending industry, among other matters. Elsewhere, the run-up to the Brexit referendum saw a surge in demand from clients for advice on electoral law advice; the firm has a dedicated electoral law practice, which assists businesses and industry bodies with contentious issues (such as electoral petitions) and provides non-contentious advice on UK electoral law and associated regulation.

Dechert LLP's international trade team works with 15 sector experts across the firm to assist clients with minimising commercial and operational risks arising from Brexit, and with identifying and maximising opportunities. The group also advises clients on its engagements with investors, customers and the UK government, among others. Miriam Gonzalez, who co-chairs the firm's  international trade and government regulation practice, has particular expertise in EU and WTO trade negotiations; she has previously served as the lead EU negotiator on the WTO Basic Agreement on Telecommunications, and also led the services negotiations for EU bilateral and WTO accession agreements on e-commerce. Her other areas of expertise include EU and WTO internal market regulations, export controls and foreign investment proceedings. Senior director Andrew Hood advises governments, industry bodies and companies on the implications of Brexit, including UK and EU regulatory issues; he has previously served as the legal adviser to the UK Prime Minister, and also acted as Head of International and EU law at the Attorney General's office. In 2017, Hood provided insights to the House of Lords International Trade Committee on the continuing application of EU trade agreements for the UK post-Brexit. Senior director Roger Matthews is another key contact in the team, which is praised for its 'unparalleled understanding of the issues and context at play on both sides of the Channel'.

DLA Piper has leveraged its resources in the UK and internationally to form a global Brexit committee, which consists of a team of former politicians and government officials, as well as legal advisers; Richard Bonnar is the chairman. The firm enhanced its offering in 2017 by hiring a Brexit director, Paul Hardy, who has more than 20 years of EU law experience, and has previously worked in Brussels and Westminster. Before joining the firm, Hardy formerly served as EU legal adviser to the House of Lords, and as counsel for European legislation at the House of Commons. Working with members of the wider network, the UK-based team has been particularly busy advising clients from the financial services and insurance sectors on their Brexit contingency plans ahead of the UK potentially leaving the EU single market in March 2019. Melanie James is a key partner in the firm's work for insurance sector clients, for whom she advises on commercial, transactional and regulatory matters. She recently presented to the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the American Council of Life Insurers on Brexit. Legal director George Mortimer is another insurance sector specialist.  John Forrest, Hardy and associate Daniel Jones have been instructed by TheCityUK to produce a report analysing the possible structure of a future UK-EU free trade agreement, and the impact of relevant provisions on the financial and related professional services industry. Another highlight involved advising UK trade association ABFA (now UK Finance) on the impact of Brexit on the asset-based finance industry. Hazel Moffat, who is a co-head of the public law practice in the UK, is another key figure.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has been assisting clients from a variety of sectors with understanding the implications of Brexit on their operations since 2015.Ros Kellaway and principal associate Annabel Borg lead the team, which works closely with practitioners in the firm's offices across the EU, including Brussels. James Lindop , who heads up the international trade practice, covers a wide range of Brexit-related questions, such as the potential imposition of customs formalities, trading within the WTO framework and reviews of pricing mechanisms (in the light of the possible risk of the imposition of tariffs and other trade barriers). Andrew Henderson is advising Aviva Investors and Legal & General Investment Management on their options for establishing subsidiaries or branches in the EU27 post-Brexit, and he is also assisting multi-manager investment firm Architas with managing various Brexit-related structuring (and associated governance) issues. Totis Kotsonis is recommended for his EU state aid and public procurement expertise. Tom Bridgford assists clients with contracting issues.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP appointed Paul Butcher as its Brexit director in July 2017 to coordinate the firm's Brexit coverage and represent the firm externally. Butcher is a prominent figure in the firm's engagements with UK government departments, as well as City and industry stakeholders (such as TheCityUK and the City of London Corporation). The firm also works closely with designated Brexit partners, such as consulting and advisory firms The Boston Consulting Group, Global Counsel and Hanbury Strategy. A major pillar of the Brexit offering at the firm is the 20 years-old EU and international trade practice, which is led by Brussels-based Lode Van Den Hende ,  and advises clients on supply chain management, commercial contracts, the application of EU regulatory regimes post-Brexit and market access options, among other areas. Consultant Eric White is another key figure in the trade team. Clients from a wide range of industries turn to the firm for support on Brexit, including financial services, TMT, manufacturing, consumer and industrial. In the energy sector, Butcher and Silke Goldberg  are advising a number of energy clients on Brexit (including Euratom) issues. Goldberg also twice gave evidence to the House of Lords Brexit Committee on the impact of Brexit in the energy sector. Geoffrey Maddock, Barnaby Hinnigan and consultant Alison Matthews undertake Brexit-driven mandates in the insurance sector. Gavin Williams, consultant Dorothy Livingston  and senior partner James Palmer are other key figures in the Brexit team.

In 2014, Hogan Lovells International LLP established a specialist Constitutional Change taskforce of senior thought leaders from across the firm to assess the legal and policy implications of emerging issues for clients - such as a possible Brexit. The group, which is led by Susan Bright, includes founding members Charles Brastedand Peter Watts. It has been particularly active in advising clients from regulated sectors on Brexit, including financial services, insurance, energy, media and pharmaceuticals. In addition to undertaking a legal and commercial advisory role for clients, the firm has been working with the International Regulatory Strategy Group (a group of senior UK-based leaders from the UK financial services and professional services industry) to produce a series of major reports which propose a model for mutual market access for financial services post-Brexit; Rachel Kent, who chairs the IRSG workstream, drafted the reports with support from other lawyers from the firm and other members of the workstream. Elsewhere, the firm has also played a key role in anticipating policy by engaging with policy makers within the UK government, as well as the US State and Treasury Departments, and the European Commission, among other bodies. Practitioners with significant trade negotiation experience include Brussels-based senior adviser Hugo Paemen (who led the EU negotiations during the entire Uruguay Round) and Warren Maruyama in Washington DC. Aline Doussin recently joined the trade team in London from Squire Patton Boggs. Lourdes Catrain, who co-leads the international trade team, is another key member of the taskforce.

Linklaters LLP operates across practice areas and jurisdictions to assist clients with navigating Brexit-related challenges and opportunities. In the financial services sector, the firm's depth and breadth of expertise puts it on a strong footing to advise a wide range of financial institutions on the impact of Brexit on corporate structures, reorganisation/restructuring options, financial regulatory issues (such as passporting and equivalence), jurisdiction analysis (for relocation/setting up) and employee-related issues, among others. Michael Kent, Peter Bevan and Harry Eddis are among the practitioners to note in this space. The firm also engages extensively with UK and EU trade bodies, as well as regulators; Deepak Sitlani and Mark Brown have spoken on a number of occasions at ISDA conferences. Aside from financial services, the firm advises clients from various other industries on the implications of Brexit, including retail, energy and automotive. Christopher Bellamy QC and Lucy Fergusson jointly lead the group, which also includes Nicole Kar, Charlotte Morgan and Matthew Weiniger QC.

Norton Rose Fulbright fields a core multidisciplinary Brexit team, which is led by Emma Giddings, that monitors developments in the negotiations and assesses the commercial implications for clients. Its advice on Brexit covers all the industries in which the firm has a particular focus, such as financial institutions, insurance, energy, transport and life sciences. The firm launched a dedicated trade practice in London in January 2017 as a response to the EU referendum vote; practice head Mark Simpson has trade treaty law experience, which includes free trade agreement negotiations under the WTO framework. In addition, counsel Milagros Miranda Rojas has more than 15 years of experience of advising and representing governments in trade policy and international trade law issues. Beyond core legal advice to its clients, the firm is extremely active on the thought leadership front. Jonathan Herbst has provided evidence to the House of Lords EU financial affairs sub-committee on the impact of Brexit on financial services. He has also been asked by the same sub-committee to give evidence on how financial regulation and supervision can evolve post-Brexit to ensure financial stability, and to ensure equivalence/some other form of close relationship between the UK and EU regulatory regimes to preserve market access. Harry Theochari is advising the UK government on the impact of Brexit on the UK's port and shipping interests. The energy team has been involved in various Brexit-related speaking engagements, conferences and client training events.

Pinsent Masons LLP's multidisciplinary, cross-border Brexit advisory team assists clients with all aspects of their preparations, including scenario planning, contract risk assessments and renegotiations, and employment audits, among other matters. Clare Francis is leading the firm's advice to clients on a cutting-edge commercial contracts product, Brexit Contracting Solutions, which use Artificial Intelligence to assess the impact of Brexit on existing contract portfolios in a fast and efficient manner, as well as assessing broader supply chain risks. Euan Smith provides corporate immigration support along with Joanne Hennessy. Iain Connor advises clients from sectors, such as IT and pharmaceuticals, on likely intellectual property issues post-Brexit. A notable feature of the Brexit team is that it includes a public policy unit, which is led by Andrew Henderson, and assists clients with building a case for how they want Brexit to work for them, and how they can put this forward to key influencers. Robbie Owen leads the government affairs team, which includes Francis Tyrrell, and focuses on the process for Brexit-related legislation and its constitutional implications. Outside of the UK, Christoph Maurer in Paris and Munich-based Rainer Kreifels are other key figures. Guy Lougher is the overall head of the Brexit advisory team, which also features Alan Davis, Elizabeth Budd and Caroline Ramsay.

Slaughter and May has a dedicated partner-led Brexit working group, which is chaired by Jeff Twentyman, and operates as a fully-coordinated, multidisciplinary service for clients and industry bodies. As part of its offering, the firm has significant involvement in client events and industry initiatives across numerous sectors (including financial services) in order to provide thought-leadership on the multitude of issues that are likely to arise from Brexit. Richard de Carle and Stephen Powell assisted with preparing a major publication by the firm on the WTO rules, which is now in its second edition. Powell is also the co-chair of a working group set up in 2017 by the Financial Markets Law Committee to consider the WTO regime. Competition partner Anna Lyle-Smythe is on the steering committee of the UK Legal Forum, and is also a key contributor to a number of competition law working groups examining the implications of Brexit on competition law and state aid. Ian Johnson, who heads up the restructuring and insolvency practice, is a member of the City of London Law Society and Law Society working groups, which are considering the insolvency aspects of Brexit. In terms of core legal advice to clients, in the financial services sector, a cross-practice team including Oliver Wareham, Craig Cleaver, Rob Sumroy and Nick Bonsall provides ongoing assistance to EU-headquartered general insurer Zurich Insurance Plc with its Brexit planning and associated regulatory issues; a major element of the work has centred around the client's application to the UK regulators, the PRA and FCA, for full third country authorisation of its UK branch post-Brexit. Elsewhere, other areas of sector expertise include aviation, energy, retail and telecoms. Sara Luder, Ben Kingsley, Jan Putnis, Jonathan Marks and William Turtle are other contacts. 

Bindmans LLP's multifaceted offering sees it cover the interface between Brexit and areas such as employment law, family law, human rights law and immigration law. Clients in this space include individuals, businesses, education bodies and unions. Another pillar of the firm's Brexit work is its involvement with grassroots, rights-focussed organisations; John Halford and Liz Barratt recently advised NGO Here For Good on EU and discrimination law issues, as they relate to EU nationals planning to reside in the UK post-Brexit; they have also co-authored a detailed legal guide for EU nationals on the topic of planning and securing their rights in the UK. The firm also has a strong reputation in litigation and related policy work, having previously acted for the crowd-funded People's Challenge Group in R (Miller and Dos Santos) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Tamsin Allen, who acts for the Cambridge Analytica whistleblowers Christopher Wiley and Shahmir Sanni, recently instructed counsel to prepare an opinion on whether or not there were grounds to suspect that criminal offences had been committed by individuals associated with the Leave campaign. Halford represented MPs Tom Brake and Chris Leslie in Scottish judicial review proceedings seeking a reference to the CJEU for a ruling on whether or not the Article 50 notice can be unilaterally withdrawn by the UK. Elsewhere, the team is currently analysing the UK and EU position papers on the citizens' rights elements of the proposed withdrawal agreement to assess where rights have been overlooked or will be left unprotected, and possible legal remedies. Associate Olivia Piercy is a member of Resolution's Working Party on Brexit, which is analysing and itemising key family law legislation which will be impacted by Brexit; the objective of this work is to provide the UK government with a detailed assessment of EU amendments to domestic family law, which will need to be preserved post-Brexit. Amy Rowe (the head of the family and matrimonial team) and Ashley Fleming (an associate in the immigration team) are other recommended individuals at the firm.

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