Firm Profile > Herbert Smith Freehills LLP > London , England

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
EXCHANGE HOUSE
PRIMROSE STREET
LONDON
EC2A 2EG
England

Living Wage

Administrative and public law Tier 1

The public law team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides market-leading defence expertise to a client roster of household commercial names, global financial institutions, utilities companies, statutory regulators and government bodies. The team has acted on a multitude of high-profile cases, with practice head Andrew Lidbetter representing both the Church of England and Zurich Insurance in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and Cuadrilla Resources in the judicial review into its plans to commence fracking operations. Nusrat Zar and Jasveer Randhawa both have a wide-ranging portfolio of highly publicised mandates which encompasses claimant as well as defence matters; their involvement in court proceedings concerning the resettlement of Chagos Islanders is a representative case. Procurement work is a growth area for the team, which handles procurement challenges, litigation and general public procurement advice. In addition to significant commercial work, the team also has a substantial pro bono platform for acting on human rights issues; Lidbetter and senior associate Anna Eliasson’s intervention on behalf of the AIRE Centre concerning the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s handling of human trafficking is a significant recent example.

Testimonials

The team has substantial expertise in administrative and public law including public inquiries. There is real depth in the team and the individuals are without exception very hardworking and very responsive

The best of the Magic Circle firms for commercial public law

The team provides excellent, detailed advice and is always accessible and available

Andrew Lidbetter and Peter Frost bring strategic expertise, energy and good judgement. They are committed to the work and willing to go the extra mile

Andrew Lidbetter has an unbeatable combination of strengths: practical, client-friendly and endowed with excellent commercial judgement

Jasveer Randhawa is a first-class person to work with; she quickly grasps the key points of an issue and provides her clients with clear and direct advice

Nusrat Zar is very calm and collected, very receptive, and a great listener

Senior associates Lara Nassif, James Wood, Karam Jardaneh, Claire Hall, James Wood, Sousan Gorji and Sahil Kher are equally bright and receptive to client needs

The firm is always thinking one, if not two, steps ahead

Key clients

Stagecoach

Telefónica

Church Commissioners for England and the Archbishops’ Council

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

KPMG

British American Tobacco

Financial Reporting Council

Cuadrilla

Zurich Insurance

Associated British Foods

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'lawyers have great experience with disputes in all banking sectors'. The practice acts in the largest, most complex and highest profile disputes in the London market, including defending group litigation against financial institutions. It also regularly works alongside the firm's widely respected financial services regulatory and corporate crime and investigations practices. Highlights included acting for Lloyds Banking Group (and five of its former directors) in a high-profile shareholder class action, which arose from the acquisition by Lloyds TSB of HBOS and the recapitalisation of the combined entity during the 2008 financial crisis. Rupert Lewis now leads the banking litigation practice in London, former banking litigation head Damien Byrne Hill is currently dispute resolution head across the UK and US, and Simon Clarke  acts in high-profile banking and financial services litigation, which often involve complex products and derivatives. Also highly rated are London class action practice head Harry EdwardsJulian Copeman, Chris BushellKirsten MasseyNatasha Johnson, Donny Surtani and John Corrie; the key senior associates are Ajay Malhotra and Emma Deas.

Testimonials

Now has one of the best, if not the best, banking litigation teams in the City.

The team has been instructed on most of the biggest banking disputes in London in recent years.

Rupert Lewis has established himself as one of the foremost banking litigators in the City; he has excellent industry knowledge and tactical judgement. In addition, he is greatly valued by his clients for his communication and matter management skills.

Damien Byrne Hill and Chris Bushell both have deservedly formidable reputations.

Adam Johnson QC is a very effective advocate.

Simon Clarke has an excellent understanding of capital markets products.

Kirsten Massey is superb at handling vast amounts of documentation and information, and is particularly adept at identifying and recalling key information during long-running litigation and enquiries.

Brexit Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles the full breadth of Brexit issues with particular expertise in trade work, benefitting from the firm’s highly regarded EU and international trade law practice, which specialises in EU trade, WTO and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) matters. Lode Van Den Hende, who splits his time between London and Brussels, is a noteworthy name in the trade department, which also includes consultant Eric White. Other departments that contribute to the firm’s Brexit group include the public international law team, energy practice, financial services regulatory teams and TMT practice. Andrew Cannon is a key contact for public law work, consultant Dorothy Livingston combines her experience in the financial sector with EU law knowledge to handle Brexit-related work, senior partner James Palmer specialises in regulatory issues, and Silke Goldberg focuses on European energy law and advises on the impact of Brexit on the energy sector. As Brexit director for the firm, Paul Butcher leads the group and co-ordinates the firm’s cross-practice and cross-office approach. Demonstrating the firm’s traditional financial services strength, the group recently assisted Scottish Widows with the transfer of the portion of its insurance business sold in the European Economic Area (EEA) on an EEA passporting basis to a Luxembourg-based subsidiary; the group also advised several WTO members on the impact of Brexit on international trade relations and a new trade agreement between the UK and WTO members regarding the country’s independent trade policy.

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group (Scottish Widows)

Marsh & McLennan

Willis Towers Watson

TP ICAP

iSwap

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'has no weak links - every member of the team makes a valuable contribution to cases'. The firm fields one of the largest and most specialised commercial and corporate litigation practices in the UK across all sectors. Highlights included John Whiteoak leading advice to an international group of companies on disputes surrounding the ownership and possession of a fleet of vessels, which were claimed by a Nigerian company. Damien Byrne Hill is UK and US head of dispute resolution; Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head; Rupert Lewis leads the banking litigation practice in London; EMEA dispute resolution head Philip Carrington has wide experience of fraud-related litigation; while Alexander Oddy leads the firm's alternative dispute resolution practice. Also key to the practice are Julian Copeman, James Baily, Natasha Johnson, Neil Blake and Rachel Lidgate. The senior associates to note are Fiona Treanor, Andrew Cooke and Kevin KilgourGregg Rowan  relocated to the firm's Melbourne office.

Testimonials

London’s premier litigation practice. There is no other team in the City which can offer its breadth of experience in the field. Moreover, given its litigation focus, it is able to deploy significant resources to cases where required‘.

Rupert Lewis is an obvious standout;  he has developed into one of the foremost commercial litigators in the City. He has excellent judgement and a great breadth of experience‘.

Key clients

Associated British Foods

British American Tobacco

JPMorgan

Lloyds Banking Group

Royal Bank of Scotland

Sky

Uber

UBS

Volvo

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 1

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.

Testimonials

‘Excellent level of knowledge and technical competency. Exciting people to work with and highly diligent.’

‘First rate firm of the highest quality.’

‘Richard Forsdyke is commercially extremely savvy and focuses on getting things done rather than getting bogged down in legal arguments’.

‘Strong team with gravitas. Very knowledgeable and capable.’

‘Jeremy Walden is an outstanding, sensible lawyer.’

‘Jeremy Walden is a stand out practitioner. Aside from market-leading technical expertise, he is adept at quickly and accurately pinpointing client priorities.’ 

‘Sebastian Taylor is particularly skilled at manoeuvering complex negotiations with a balanced focus. He is a dedicated team leader and his ability to identify, understand and act on the commercial imperatives involved is especially well developed.’

‘The team seamlessly bring together all of the different disciplines required to make large complex transactions happen. They are equally skilled at negotiating with counter parties and managing clients and clients expectations.’

‘Don Rowlands and Nick Turner are a particularly strong team. They do a very strong double act as good cop/bad cop. They are also very efficient and fun to work with.’

‘Consistent high quality service from consistently high quality personnel.’

‘Don Rowlands is a leader in his field who often does the the dirty work that partners of his experience regularly pass down to juniors. There are no half measures with his approach.’

‘Emma Carter has a prodigious work rate which is always of the highest quality. A clear listener who delivers on what her clients specifically ask for and gets things done’.

Key clients

British Land

Hammerson

Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly Standard Life)

Canary Wharf Group

Brookfield

Hermes Real Estate

Pearson

Transport for London

Brookgate

Blackstone

Travis Perkins

Commercial property: development Tier 1

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.

Testimonials

‘Excellent level of knowledge and technical competency. Exciting people to work with and highly diligent.’

‘First rate firm of the highest quality.’

‘Richard Forsdyke is commercially extremely savvy and focuses on getting things done rather than getting bogged down in legal arguments’.

‘Strong team with gravitas. Very knowledgeable and capable.’

‘Jeremy Walden is an outstanding, sensible lawyer.’

‘Jeremy Walden is a stand out practitioner. Aside from market-leading technical expertise, he is adept at quickly and accurately pinpointing client priorities.’ 

‘Sebastian Taylor is particularly skilled at manoeuvering complex negotiations with a balanced focus. He is a dedicated team leader and his ability to identify, understand and act on the commercial imperatives involved is especially well developed.’

‘The team seamlessly bring together all of the different disciplines required to make large complex transactions happen. They are equally skilled at negotiating with counter parties and managing clients and clients expectations.’

‘Don Rowlands and Nick Turner are a particularly strong team. They do a very strong double act as good cop/bad cop. They are also very efficient and fun to work with.’

‘Consistent high quality service from consistently high quality personnel.’

‘Don Rowlands is a leader in his field who often does the the dirty work that partners of his experience regularly pass down to juniors. There are no half measures with his approach.’

‘Emma Carter has a prodigious work rate which is always of the highest quality. A clear listener who delivers on what her clients specifically ask for and gets things done’.

Key clients

British Land

Almacantar

The Madison Square Garden Company

Transport for London

Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly Standard Life)

Brookfield

Argent Related

Lendlease

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Capco

Hammerson

Commercial property: investment Tier 1

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘Excellent level of knowledge and technical competency. Exciting people to work with and highly diligent.’

‘First rate firm of the highest quality.’

‘Richard Forsdyke is commercially extremely savvy and focuses on getting things done rather than getting bogged down in legal arguments’.

‘Strong team with gravitas. Very knowledgeable and capable.’

‘Jeremy Walden is an outstanding, sensible lawyer.’

‘Jeremy Walden is a stand out practitioner. Aside from market-leading technical expertise, he is adept at quickly and accurately pinpointing client priorities.’ 

‘Sebastian Taylor is particularly skilled at manoeuvering complex negotiations with a balanced focus. He is a dedicated team leader and his ability to identify, understand and act on the commercial imperatives involved is especially well developed.’

‘The team seamlessly bring together all of the different disciplines required to make large complex transactions happen. They are equally skilled at negotiating with counter parties and managing clients and clients expectations.’

‘Don Rowlands and Nick Turner are a particularly strong team. They do a very strong double act as good cop/bad cop. They are also very efficient and fun to work with.’

‘Consistent high quality service from consistently high quality personnel.’

‘Don Rowlands is a leader in his field who often does the the dirty work that partners of his experience regularly pass down to juniors. There are no half measures with his approach.’

‘Emma Carter has a prodigious work rate which is always of the highest quality. A clear listener who delivers on what her clients specifically ask for and gets things done’.

Key clients

Blackstone

Brookfield

Hammerson

Aberdeen Standard Investments

British Land

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Goldman Sachs

Allianz Real Estate

Citi Group

Argent Related

Competition litigation Tier 1

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, the ‘top-class’ competition litigation team operates as an integral part of the wider competition, regulation and trade team. The group also draws upon the expertise of the firm’s QC-led dispute resolution practice. This makes the firm a preferred destination for clients seeking to receive simultaneous assistance with both contentious and non-contentious matters from competition litigators and solicitor advocates.  The department’s experience covers the full spectrum of litigation work, including follow-on private damages actions, challenging merger decisions, forming defence strategies, and securing settlements for clients. Yet another standout feature of the team is its strong expertise in the regulated markets space, which includes regulatory work in the sectors of telecoms, energy and transport. Regularly engaged in cross-border litigation, the department is also well-positioned to handle issues across the EU and in the Asia-Pacific. A team led by ‘phenomenal’ practice co-head Kim Dietzel and James Farrell continues to advise Iveco and Fiat Chrysler on their pan-European defence in proceedings resulting from the European Commission’s trucks investigation. The ‘incredible’ Stephen Wisking also heads the department and handles multiple regulatory appeals and private enforcement proceedings; Wisking’s recent work highlights include defending Google in High Court proceedings seeking damages for abuse of dominance, among others.

Testimonials

‘Highly knowledgeable partners who understand the law and are great at determining the litigation strategy; the team is also strong at associate level

The team cannot be beaten in terms of depth of knowledge of the telecoms industry

A competition law team of very bright individuals, which is one of the best in the City

Kim Dietzel has an excellent understanding of the law, coupled with an ability to navigate and exert influence during multi-party litigation

Stephen Wisking is immensely knowledgeable and always exercises sound judgement in evaluating his clients’ arguments

Stephen Wisking combines intellectual excellence with many years of experience

Key clients

Sky UK

Google

Iveco

Tesco

Reckitt Benckiser

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's non-contentious team is part of what is described as 'one of the best construction practices in London'. The firm has a multi-sector approach, covering energy, transport, infrastructure and real estate for a variety of clients including developers, governments, contractors as well as construction professionals. Nicholas Downing leads the team and has advised on some of the largest real estate development projects, including working with British Land on the redevelopment of Canada Water. Tim Healey is a standout figure, advising on energy and infrastructure projects, including prominent work on HS2.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘HSF’s construction team is full of hugely capable lawyers who are a real pleasure to work with. They are excellent at what they do.’

‘One of the best construction practices in London in terms of the quality of the lawyers they bring to the table: from the senior partners to the junior associates.’

‘Strength in depth, with some of the best associates.’

‘The team’s practice is unique in offering consistently high quality service and excellent availability.’

‘Calm, considered and thorough.’

‘Senior associate Iain Suttie’s approach is informative and helpful.’

‘Iain Suttie has a detailed knowledge of the construction sector and was always able to provide comprehensive advice on any matter relating to a construction contract.’

‘Iain’s Suttie advice has always been thorough and well considered.’

‘Senior associate Samantha Scott has has an excellent grasp of relevant law and the practical points of project work. She works incredibly hard to meet deadlines and her work is consistently of a high quality.’

‘Iain Suttie is a standout construction lawyer, brilliant on the detail and charming to deal with.’

Key clients

Argent Related

British Land

Cain International

Capital & Counties Properties

EDF Energy

Hammerson

Lodha

Nord Stream 2 AG

Transport for London

Tullow Oil

Corporate governance Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's dedicated corporate governance advisory team focuses on board and head office issues including regulatory, reporting and governance standards matters for both listed and private companies; it counts roughly 116 London Stock Exchange-listed companies as clients. The group also leverages the strength of other departments including the corporate and employment practices, a specialist team which focuses on company investigations and crisis management, and the financial services group, which has been handling Senior Managers and Certification Regime and Senior Insurance Managers Regime issues. Ben Ward and Paul Ellerman jointly lead the department; Ellerman is also global head of the firm's remuneration and incentives team. Corporate partners Mike Flockhart, Robert Moore, James PalmerCaroline Rae and Stephen Wilkinson; incentives specialist Mark Ife, financial institutions transactions practice head Alex Kay and regulatory expert Karen Anderson all contribute to the practice. Of counsel Gareth Sykes is also a corporate governance specialist. Carol Shutkever retired in 2018.

Testimonials

‘An exceptional grasp of the corporate governance landscape, ensuring clients are made aware of any upcoming changes so they have the opportunity to plan ahead.

Herbert Smith Freehills has a depth and detailed knowledge of this area, quickly capturing developments and giving insights to clients in a clear and concise manner. It provides practical and timely advice and has knowledge on a par with other leading law firms in this area, but the speed and style of keeping clients informed makes it stand out.

The HSF team is one of the strongest corporate governance teams in London. Practical and accurate advice is delivered in a timely and user friendly way. This area is a vital one for listed plcs and having the HSF team on call is very reassuring.

HSF’s offering is unique as it is genuinely a corporate governance team as opposed to a corporate team that picks up corporate governance queries.

The team demonstrates exceptional knowledge of all the elements that are relevant to corporate governance, both current law and regulation and future developments in the area. Further, it is able to deliver this information in an engaging manner that aids retention.

Gareth Sykes provides excellent service and is coming into his own following the retirement of Carol Shutkever. James Palmer continues to add value and insight.

Gareth Sykes is incredibly supportive and provides good commercial advice and recommendations in what can be a ‘dry’ subject. He is definitely becoming one of the leading lawyers in the field.

James Palmer is highly respected as a leading authority in this area, and Alex Kay is pragmatic, user-friendly and an excellent sounding board.

Gareth Sykes is a star – he is knowledgeable, pragmatic and swift in response, and Paul Ellerman is very strong on remuneration matters.

Key clients

Associated British Foods

Berkeley Group

British American Tobacco

BP

Johnson Matthey

Lloyds Banking Group

National Grid

Pearson

Severn Trent

Elementis

Ferrexpo

G4S

Genus

Hammerson

Inchcape

Man Group

Moneysupermarket.com

PageGroup

SIG

Stagecoach Group

The Unite Group

The Weir Group

Travis Perkins

WH Smith

ANZ Banking Group Ltd

Canada Life International

Coats Group

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

Kin + Carta (formerly St Ives plc)

River & Mercantile

Sky

South32

TSB

Emerging markets Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses predominantly on the key emerging markets of Russia, the CIS, the Middle East, India, Africa, Latin America, South East Asia and Eastern Europe. It advises blue-chip organisations and major international banks, as well as development finance institutions such as African Development Bank and International Finance Corporation. The firm has a market-leading energy finance practice, and the firm's energy and natural resources practice frequently advises on groundbreaking transactions in the reserve-based lending, pre-payment, pre-export and acquisition finance sectors. Its recent work included complex matters for Kosmos Energy, SOCO International and Petrobras Oil & Gas. The firm's project finance capability is also highly respected and, in 2018, it was brought to bear on high-profile developments such as the 420MW Nachtigal hydropower project, Mpatamanga hydropower project and the Amur gas processing plant. Co-head of the Africa practice Martin Kavanagh has more than 20 years' experience in energy, natural resources and infrastructure finance. William Breeze acts for borrowers, lenders and trading houses in trade finance, project finance and upstream energy finance transactions.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Standard Chartered Bank

Vitol

Government of Nepal

African Development Bank

Woodside Energy

DEG

UBS

Goldman Sachs

Credit Suisse

Gazprom

Societe Generale

Government of Zambia

Carlyle Group

Tata Sons

Barclays

African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank)

African Development Bank

BP

Employee share schemes Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's multi-disciplinary team offers excellent coverage of all aspects of share schemes and incentives, which sees it generate work from a sizeable client base of UK and international listed and private companies; Paul Ellerman has a strong track record of establishing a wide range of cash-based and share-based incentive plans. Ellerman is also a co-head of the firm's corporate governance practice, which assists clients with drafting and reviewing remuneration reports and advises on the remuneration aspects of the Corporate Governance Code, among other matters. The firm acts for clients across a wide range of sectors, with a notable specialism in the financial services industry; Mark Ife has specialist expertise in financial services remuneration. Kiran Khetia recently joined as of counsel from Hogan Lovells International LLPBradley Richardson moved to Linklaters LLP.

Testimonials

We can rely on Herbert Smith Freehills to deliver clear and pragmatic advice.

Mark Ife is excellent at being able to discuss complex legal concepts with audiences at any level, which I particularly appreciate as a non-lawyer. He is always responsive, clear, concise and, most importantly, pragmatic. He is also very knowledgeable and always enthusiastic about his subject matter

The combination of fast response times, value for money, thinking beyond the direct question and giving clear concise advice (in a way that anyone in our business could understand) is unparalleled, in my experience

Mark Ife is great at looking at the wider picture to ensure that, even if we haven’t asked the right question, we get the right answer

Paul Ellerman and Mark Ife are a standout team; both are technically knowledgeable and practical at the same time

Paul Ellerman and Mark Ife have considerable experience and are technically excellent. They are always accessible and engaged. They provide a very high level of service. To my mind, they differ from others in their commercial and pragmatic approach. They are very good at coming up with solutions to clients’ needs

Knowledgeable, responsive and efficient – what’s not to love?! The team has real strength in depth, fielding heavyweight partners and approachable juniors. The breadth of experience that the team has, when combined with its straightforward, no nonsense approach, really marks it out from competitors

Key clients

BHP

British American Tobacco

ClearBank

Hammerson

G4S

Man Group

PageGroup

WH Smith

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

L’Oréal

Employment: employers Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s employment team assists clients with complex litigation and regulatory investigations, multi-jurisdictional matters, major transactions, crisis management and boardroom matters. The practice is at the forefront of hot employment topics, including trade unions and works councils, equal pay and diversity, Brexit, the gig economy, data protection and GDPR and whistleblowing. Recent highlights include advising Tesco on the defence of equal pay claims brought on behalf of store colleagues. Andrew Taggart - described by one client as 'the stand-out practitioner in the entire market' - heads the practice. Peter FrostChristine Young, Tim Leaver and senior associate Jennifer Andrews are other key contacts.

Testimonials

Outstanding team. Very strong on litigation and financial services‘.

Strong litigation experience‘.

The Herbert Smith Freehills employment practice is superb. They are clearly experts in all aspects of UK employment law, and they are incredibly responsive and strategic in their approach. They are simply the best in the employment law field in the UK‘.

A ‘client is king’ approach. Nothing is too much trouble‘.

An exceptional partner-led team (unlike many), with some of the most experienced and well-regarded partners in London. Clients can be assured of an excellent service, from real specialists. HSF are big beasts of the employment market‘.

Peter Frost is experienced, a fighter.’

‘Andrew Taggart is thoughtful, creative and engaging.’

Christine Young is bright and conscientious‘.

Andrew Taggart is hugely experienced, commercially savvy and a pleasure to work with‘.

Christine Young is an exceptional employment lawyer‘.

Andrew Taggart combines commercial insight with legal precision‘.

Christine Young is a hugely able star within a very strong team. Respected by clients for her commercial no-nonsense approach‘.

Andrew Taggart is the stand-out practitioner in the entire market, so far as I am concerned. He is a superb litigator; commercial, strategic, and a first class lawyer. He is also charming, funny, and a delight to work with‘.

Key clients

Chevron

Hays plc

Horserace Betting Levy Board

Hotelbeds Group

IFM Investors

Inmarsat

Jefferies LLC

Pensions Insurance Corporation

Syneos Health Inc

Ted Baker

Tesco plc

The Ministry of Defence

TP ICAP

Equity capital markets – mid-large cap Tier 1

Despite fluctuations in various segments of the market at various times since 2018, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has managed to hit the right pockets of activity at just the right times. For instance, the practice group was able to capitalise on a flurry of activity emanating out of Turkey just before that market went quiet in 2018; this included advising the issuer on one of the largest Turkish IPOs of the past decade. Further, although domestic and European equity markets have been sluggish, the firm's funds practice and strong M&A reputation has generated some recent activity as potential acquirers have turned to rights issues in order to fund acquisitions. Charles Howarth heads the equity capital markets group and also leads the London office's Nordic group. Tom O’Neill is 'among the foreign lawyers that best understand the Nordic and European capital markets', while on the more junior end Mike Flockhart is 'a partner who clearly understands the hows, whats and whys of market practice'.

Testimonials

Herbert Smith Freehills provides true partner involvement and a deep bench of junior lawyers

The team is pragmatic and extremely commercial; they won’t waste a client’s time with any nonsense

Good knowledge of the domestic market, and a strong bench of US securities lawyers

Key clients

Elementis

Morgan Stanley

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Deutsche Bank

Numis Securities Limited

Citi

Davy

The Weir Group plc

The Unite Group plc

Peel Hunt

JP Morgan

Memorial Healthcare Group

Şok Marketler Ticaret A.Ş

ASELSAN A.Ş

BioPharma Credit plc

Jefferies International Limited

DNB Bank ASA

DNB Markets

EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s trade offices, which are based in London and Brussels, operate as a single, fully integrated team and provide cross-practice advice not only on matters concerning competition, regulation and trade, but also corporate investigations and dispute resolution. Clients include a number of high-profile multinational companies and UK government bodies, but recently the department has also been advising WTO members on their international trade obligations. Work highlights concern WTO law, trade policy, sanctions and export control matters, customs issues, trade remedies, and issues relating to market access and trade barriers. While Lode Van Den Hende advises on the full spectrum of international and EU trade law, he is also ‘a standout trade law practitioner’ due to his strong background in representing clients in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Senior associates Morris Schonberg and Brussels-based Jennifer Paterson are also recommended.

Testimonials

The team has a particular depth of knowledge and expertise in EU law

The team works very well even under tight deadlines

Jennifer Paterson is able to provide incredibly knowledgeable and commercially astute advice on very esoteric topics

Morris Schonberg is great

Key clients

United Carton Industries Company

Gazprom Neft

Rosneft

British American Tobacco

Nord Stream 2

Associated British Foods

Aquind

Fraud: civil Tier 1

In addition to its top-tier disputes capabilities, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a track record of work on high-value multijurisdictional fraud investigations, drawing on a team of experts across its international network of offices. The team also has expertise in the locating, freezing and recovery of assets, with an in-house forensics team which provides global investigation and asset tracing services for victims of civil fraud. The 'outstanding' Jeremy Garson heads the team, which also includes EMEA disputes head Philip Carrington, solicitor advocate Rachel Lidgate and 'extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful' of counsel Gareth Keillor.

Testimonials

‘They know what they can do and they carefully weigh the available options before proceeding’.

‘They follow a hands-on but respectful approach when cooperating with colleagues in foreign jurisdictions’.

‘There is integrity in everything they do’.

‘They are always punctual in delivering work of very high quality’.

‘Kevin Kilgour is meticulous in his work and communicates complicated ideas in a simple and effective manner’.

‘Jeremy Garson is an outstanding lawyer – he has excellent knowledge of the law combined with an imaginative, holistic and pragmatic approach aimed at providing his clients with the best and most efficient solutions’.

‘They are a formidable resource to have on your side’.

‘They are highly responsive and cut through to the heart of the key issues’.

‘Gareth Keillor is extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful; has a lot of cross-border dispute resolution experience.’

‘Jeremy Garson is a thoughtful, highly analytical and a very efficient defender of my rights. He is willing to work to tight deadlines and be aggressive when need be.’

‘Chris Bushell is one of the up and coming leaders in London litigation.’

Key clients

Gazprom Export LLC

Jyske Bank (Gibraltar) Limited

JPMorgan (JPM)

Mr Bernard Charles Ecclestone

Tarek Investments Limited (Investment vehicle of billionaire Vladislav Doronin)

A Cypriot company which owns a substantial real estate asset in England.

Tony Jimenez (Dubai-based businessman)

Health and safety Tier 1

The core areas of focus for Herbert Smith Freehills LLP are energy, industrial, transport and construction, with the practice benefiting from the wider firm's top-tier strength in litigation. 'Master tactician' Howard Watson, who heads up the team, is regarded as 'one of the leading partners in the field' and is particularly known for his work in the energy sector. Key work he has led on in recent months has included advising Chevron on the HSE investigation into the fatal explosion at its Pembroke refinery in 2011, and acting for BP on the inquest into the deaths caused by the terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in 2013.

Testimonials

‘A huge depth of knowledge and experience in this area.’

‘Howard Watson knows the landscape back to front; he carries enormous technical knowledge and understanding and he simply destroys the other side’s case.’

‘A very partner focused team. Howard Watson provides excellent support in a crisis. His attention to detail and experience in handling complex investigations and prosecutions is a class act.’

‘A unique team in that they operate within a major commercial, civil litigation law firm. This means that the health and safety team usually act for bluechip companies who would normally instruct HSF in civil matters. They have a fantastic reputation within certain industry sectors, such as oil and gas and transport. They combine fantastic litigation skills with a great understanding of a client’s commercial and business needs. All in all – sheer class.’

‘Howard Watson is a genius, master tactician with great instincts, always ready to fight his client’s corner but in a measured, reasonable way that is almost always effective. One of the leading partners in the field.’

‘Patrick Tumelty is a superb, incredibly diligent, thoughtful senior associate. He will know every detail of the case. Softly-spoken but if he says something, everyone listens.’

‘Phil Pfeffer manages the team very well with prompt responses and ensures appropriate delegation and deadline achievement.’

‘Greg Loss is extremely knowledgeable of the industry.’

Key clients

Chevron

BP

BAE Systems PLC

Perenco

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is well-positioned in the market with a comprehensive offering, which ranges from experience in infrastructure M&A in the secondary market, restructurings, financings and refinancings to greenfield project development and infrastructure disputes. The firm's client portfolio includes sponsors, funds, insurers and lenders. Practice head Patrick Mitchell has more than 25 years experience in the field and is a key contact for transactions. David Wyles has a strong track record advising investors and lenders. Gavin Williams is experienced in acting for pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and GP-managed funds.

Testimonials

The team has a great level of experience in EU and UK energy regulation. Their advice is always practical and to the point. What makes this team stand out from competitors is their commercial acumen and the understanding of the client’s goals.

HSF has a very professional, diligent and responsive practice.’

Silke Goldberg stands out as one of the most educated energy lawyers in the UK. Her outstanding language skills greatly help her to be perfectly attuned to the development of European energy regulation and practice.

John Taylor and David Wyles, who are excellent communicators and technically very strong, are to be commended for the excellent service they provide.’

Key clients

AENA

Allianz Capital Partners

Amber Infrastructure

Brookfield Infrastructure Debt

Arcus Infrastructure

Dalmore Capital

DIF

DWS

Electricite de France

Equitix

First State

GIC

GLIL

HICL

iCON Infrastructure

InfraRed

iSquared

JP Morgan Infrastructure

London Luton Airport

Partners Group

QIC

Sumitomo Corporation

Thames Water

Tideway

Transmission Capital Partners (‘TCP’)

UBS Infrastructure

Vantage Infrastructure

Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 1

The 'extremely technically capable' team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises prominent policyholders such as banks, energy, mining and construction companies on large, complex matters; it has recently handled cases in the areas of warranty and indemnity, credit insurance, political risk, energy insurance and public liability. Paul Lewis has broad expertise while 'superstar' Alexander Oddy - dubbed 'the Ferrari of the solicitors' world' - focuses on the energy and natural resources sector while also handling work for other bluechip corporates. Sarah McNally specialises in the construction, infrastructure, and energy sectors and the 'very capable' Greig Anderson acts for financial institutions.

Testimonials

The team has carved out a niche as the standout insurance policyholder firm. As an insurance broker, they are top of the list when a client asks me who they should go to for advice on difficult claims

Approachability and the ability to communicate on complex issues effectively sets Herbert Smith Freehills apart from its competitors

Technically extremely capable, the team also importantly understands the commercial realities of the clients and the insurance market

Very strong on policyholder coverage issues, with clear advice for non-lawyers and lawyers alike. Detailed understanding of technical factual matrix and application

Anthony Dempster has encyclopaedic knowledge of this area of law but manages to both bring it to life and explain it in an easily digestible form. He is simply my go-to external counsel for all such matters

Sarah McNally can be relied on to give good, practical advice, rooted in thorough analysis of the legal position

Alexander Oddy gets to the heart of the issue quickly, and is able to provide quality legal advice that assists in making commercial decisions

Alexander Oddy is a brilliant technical lawyer but also approachable, commercially savvy and a pleasure to deal with

Alexander Oddy is a superstar, the Ferrari of the solicitors’ world

Fiona Treanor is an exceptionally bright and committed associate

Fiona Treanor has a first-rate legal mind

Greig Anderson is very capable, approachable, solutions focused and very much understands the commercial aspects of the insurance market with which his clients interact

Key clients

Drax Plc

Single Buoy Moorings

Insurance: insolvency and restructuring Tier 1

Praised for its 'excellent technical skills', the insurance insolvency and restructuring team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'compares favourably to magic circle firms working on the same deals'. Geoffrey Maddock has led the firm's team on more than twenty transfers of insurance business. Other key partners include Barnaby Hinnigan, who has extensive experience in the sector, and worked on a number of of Brexit-related projects during 2018.

International arbitration Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'rightly respected in the market as a top operator in the field of international arbitration and it has superb, pragmatic and hardworking lawyers at every level'. The practice acts in arbitration across a broad range of sectors, including energy, mining, TMT, financial services, pharmaceuticals, transport, infrastructure, defence, real estate, manufacturing, travel and leisure, insurance and construction. Global international arbitration head Paula Hodges QC became the next President of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in May 2019 - but continues in practice at the firm - and specialises in disputes in the energy and technology sectors. UK international arbitration head Craig Tevendale is an energy disputes expert, but also acts in cases involving M&A, defence, leisure and infrastructure projects. The practice's other highly rated individuals are India disputes head Nicholas PeacockChris Parker, whose work often involves Africa, and investment arbitration expert Andrew Cannon. Iain Maxwell is an experienced of counsel and Hannah Ambrose is a key senior associate.

Testimonials

It is not just an energy arbitration power house; the team also acts in a wide range of other sectors. Its lawyers also have an excellent institutional memory for arbitrators‘.

The team is committed and has an excellent understanding of clients’ requirements and exceptional knowledge of international disputes in the energy sector‘.

Paula Hodges QC and Chis Parker bring a wealth of talent to the team‘.

Craig Tevendale is an unflappable, excellent cross-examiner and advocate; he has total command of the material and gives clear advice that clients can use to make a decision‘.

Andrew Cannon has tremendous experience and is a calm and incisive communicator who is strong on the practical side of handling a case‘.

Senior associate Hannah Ambrose is a seriously talented lawyer and her knowledge of arbitration law is first class‘.

Key clients

BP

Chevron

Standard Chartered Bank

Vedanta

Sinopec

United Utilities

Rendeavour

Mylan

Virgin Trains

Eni

Listed funds Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's investment funds team is 'knowledgeable, experienced, commercial and responsive'. The firm has built a reputation for developing innovative capital structures which often straddle the line between closed-ended and open-ended funds, especially with regards to regulatory and tax aspects and voting structures. IPOs, fundraisings and placing programmes are the firm's core areas of operation, supplemented by a number of regulatory mandates relating to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFD), Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and Brexit. In a standout highlight, team head Nigel Farr, Sarah Pollock and others assisted with the fundraising of SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust, one of the first UK listed investment funds to invest exclusively in the energy efficiency sector. Nish Dissanayake is the name to note for listed fund formation and funds-related regulatory advice. Tim West is also highly recommended.

Testimonials

In terms of technical capability they are probably among the best in the market place. As well as being extremely diligent and hard working, the team went beyond the documents and provided thoughtful, commercial and timely advice to guide us through the disrupted equity markets‘.

You often hear the term ‘a lawyer’s lawyer’, but I think the HSF team go beyond that and are ‘a client’s lawyer”.

One of the leading teams in listed funds. They offer the deepest bench of experienced partners and senior associates. Very diligent, commercial and thorough in their approach to execution

HSF provides a true one stop shop, commercial solutions to unexpected developments and, most importantly, really felt like an extension of our own team‘.

Key clients

US Solar Fund plc

SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited

Cambridge Innovation Capital plc

Pershing Square Holdings

BlackRock

BioPharma Credit plc

Man Group plc

Neuberger Berman

Lendlease

Polar Capital Partners

Baillie Gifford

J.P. Morgan Asset Management

HarbourVest Partners

Aberdeen Standard Asset Management

Sherborne Investors

Third Point Offshore Investors Limited

Marble Point Loan Financing Limited

Mining and minerals Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides complete coverage to a stellar client base in the mining sector. This includes having mining sector experts in specialist areas such as tax, employment and pensions, technology and corporate crime and investigations. Practice head Greg Mulley specialises in public and private M&A, IPOs and other equity fundraisings, joint ventures, listed company issues and corporate governance. The team was recently bolstered by the promotion to partner of Laura Hulett, who focuses on complex M&A and project financing transactions.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘The key strengths of this team are the depth of its industry experience and the global connectivity of the team.’

‘Greg Mulley and Laura Hulett are particularly notable. Greg takes a holistic view of the client relationship and is focused on delivering the best the firm has to offer them.’

Key clients

BHP

Anglo American plc

Lonmin plc

Ferrexpo Plc

South32

ArcelorMittal

Elementis plc

Anglo Pacific Group plc

Lazard

Norilsk Nickel

Oil and gas Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's client base includes supermajors, independents, financial buyers, traders, Asian corporates and banks. The oil and gas team, led by Lewis McDonald, who recently relocated from the Tokyo office, handles corporate, finance and specialist work. The team also has an impressive contentious offering; James Baily has expertise in cross-border and gas and LNG price review disputes, among other areas. In recent highlights, the group acted for BP in a multibillion-dollar inter-conditional UK-Alaska transaction between the client and ConocoPhillips, which constitutes one of the first such international transactions between two global energy majors in the past 20 years. Other key contacts include Reza Dadbakhsh, who handles M&A, cross-border transactions and entries into mature and emerging markets. Stephen Murray retired from the profession.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘The Herbert Smith Freehills team has an exceptional dedicated oil and gas finance team which is well run, well resourced and capable of delivering exceptional results.’

‘Thomas Bethel and Rakhee Patel make an exceptional team – they have fantastic knowledge of their subject matter, and are proactive, creative, innovative and always willing to try to find a solution to complex issues.’

‘Steve Dalton is very responsive and knowledgeable (at high and detailed levels) of all aspects of the project he works on.’

‘Andrew Hamel-Smith has an encyclopedic knowledge of the project legal documents and the history of their evolution. This is extremely helpful.’

Key clients

BP

Chevron

Gazprom

BHP Billiton

ENI

Repsol

Perenco

JX Nippon

Tullow Oil

Cuadrilla

Edison

Premier Oil

North Caspian Operating Company N.V.

Kerogen

Carlyle

Warburg Pincus

Vitol

Mercuria

Centrica EMT

Englehart

Cheniere

Glencore

PTTEP

CNOOC

KOGAS

Sinopec

Mitsubishi

Mitsui

PetroChina and Petroineos

BNP Paribas

Citi

Credit Agricole

HSBC

ING

Macquarie Bank

Natixis

RBC

Societe Generale

Standard Chartered Bank

VTB

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology Tier 1

Alan Montgomery is the global co-head of the Herbert Smith Freehills LLP pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector team, together with Shaun McVicar in Melbourne. It is home to a world-class patent litigation team acting for global pharmaceutical companies;  Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore are two of the key patent litigators whilst Montgomery handles an impressive range of M&A, restructuring, joint venture and commercial mandates in the life sciences sector. Jonathan Turnbull's expertise includes protection of rights in small molecule and biological products and Chris Parker handles a broad range of disputes in the sector.

Testimonials

A top-tier team, very impressive.’

Mark Shillito, Joel Smith and Andrew Moir are all brilliant lawyers, strategic thinkers with great client skills.’

Key clients

Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. (part of the Roche group)

AbbVie

Gilead Sciences

Sanofi

Genus Plc

Strides Pharma Science

Biogen

F Hoffmann-La Roche

Abbott Laboratories

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises on the full gamut of power matters, covering biomass, energy from waste, solar, offshore wind and tidal energy. The team handles everything from greenfield project development and secondary M&A to refinancing transactions. Silke Goldberg has been advising on a number of interconnectors between the UK and other jurisdictions, and the firm has a long-established relationship with EDF, building on the successful financial investment decision on Hinkley Point C in 2016. The practice is led by Lewis McDonald, who recently relocated to London from the firm's Tokyo office, while energy and infrastructure finance partner Matthew Job is also recommended.

Testimonials

‘The team provides strong regulatory advice in the energy field.’

‘The Herbert Smith team has good links with the energy industry upstream, midstream and downstream. It appears to communicate very well internally which allows insights and experience to be shared. This really does set it apart from the rest of the market.’

‘This is a strong, proactive team in raising potential issues and offering creative solutions to problems.’

‘Silke Goldberg provides valuable counsel to her clients – her knowledge of energy regulation is excellent.’

‘Matthew Job is particularly strong at interrogating commercial intent to ensure all issues have been appropriately thought through and offering up creative solutions.’

‘Helen Beatty is an excellent senior associate. She is proactive and efficient with good knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Citi

Credit Agricole

HSBC

ING

Macquarie Bank

Natixis

RBC

Societe Generale

Standard Chartered Bank

VTB

Amber Infrastructure

Aquind

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor

Cavendish Nuclear Limited

Centrica plc

CGN Europe Energy

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Department for Business Innovation & Skills

Drax

EDF

EDF ER

Energinet.dk

ENGIE

Government of Sierra Leone

GridLink

Hartree

InterGen

KWAP

Product liability: defendant Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP fields a team of dedicated lawyers, who specialise in industry sectors including manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare as well as tobacco, food and beverages. It acts for insurers and corporate insureds in significant product liability disputes and provides commercial and risk management advice. The practice is jointly led by Howard Watson, who is vastly experienced in group/class actions; recall expert Tony Dempster; and Philip Pfeffer, who is well versed in the consumer products sector. Senior associate David Bennett is also noted.

Key clients

Diageo

British American Tobacco

Associated British Foods

Volvo Trucks

Rail Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is experienced in large scale UK-based rail projects and the group is able to leverage its extensive international network to advise on significant international projects. With extensive franchising experience, the team handles a number of rail-franchising instructions and it is also engaged in significant rolling stock procurement mandates. Rail-related real estate developments are also a key focus of the practice and it is adept at high-profile disputes in the sector, where David Nitek plays a key role. Global infrastructure head Patrick Mitchell has extensive experience of project development and transactions; Mitchell and consultant Adrian Clough continue to advise High Speed Two on core elements of the £55bn HS2 project. Of counsel John Williams has broad experience in the rail sector where he advises on the development of railways, access and operational issues, rolling stock procurement, infrastructure, rolling stock maintenance, interface arrangements, concession and franchise issues; and Tim Briggs handles regulatory matters. The arrival of asset finance partner Rex Rosales, from Watson Farley & Williams LLP, has bolstered the firm's rail finance expertise.

Key clients

Amber Infrastructure

Dalmore Infrastructure

DIF

GLIL Infrastructure

East Midlands Trains

HS1

High Speed Two

London North Eastern Railways

South West Trains

Stagecoach

Transport for London and London Underground

Virgin Rail Group

Virgin Trains West Coast

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is as comfortable advising compliance and advisory matters as investigations and regulatory defence and white collar crime matters. It frequently counsels clients in sectors such as banking and financial services and mining, advising on matters including bribery, corruption, sanctions, money-laundering, fraud, modern slavery and tax evasion. Susannah Cogman heads the team and has  a broad practice spanning investigations, including those by the SFO, compliance and regulatory matters. Daniel Hudson handles regulatory investigations by the SFO, FCA, the police and HMRC. Brian Spiro , who joined in 2017 , acts for corporates and individuals in business crime matters in the UK and throughout Europe.

Testimonials

‘Strong practice across multiple international locations, with star individuals in several’.

‘Brian Spiro is outstanding and is a terrific addition to the firm’s global white-collar presence’. 

‘Dedicated, expert, experienced financial crimes team, covering all aspects of financial crime including anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption, and sanctions’. 

‘Susannah Cogman and Dan Hudson are both extremely knowledgeable and known experts in their area; excellent communicators, who see the “big picture” and oversee the provision of timely practical advice.’ 

‘Kathryn Boyd has excellent technical knowledge, and in-house experience used to provide relevant, practical advice’.

Key clients

Watchstone Group

ICBC Standard Bank plc

The Executive Counsel to the Financial Reporting Council

Roger Jenkins

Various employees and ex-employees of Tesco plc

A senior British businessman involved in bribery allegations concerning GlaxoSmithKline’s activities in China

Various individuals in respect of the SFO’s investigation into Afren PLC

Tax litigation and investigations Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's top-level tax litigation team draws on the firm's global platform and strong disputes history to provide high profile clients with a powerful multi-jurisdictional litigation and investigations service. Solicitor-advocate Heather Gething, who is an accredited mediator and a judge in the First-tier Tax Tribunal, leads the firm's 'simply superb' tax disputes and tax planning department. The teams also includes  Nick Clayton, an expert in issues arising from the Criminal Finances Act 2017, and senior associates Michael Hunt (who specialises in disputes involving the tax treatment of debt and derivatives) and 'greatDawen Gao.

Testimonials

The team is simply superb

Their knowledge of tax and accounting is encyclopedic, and their advice is always clear and commercial

Highly skilled in tax investigations with in depth understanding of legal and tactical issues

Very bright team with a strong grasp of the law and the commercial issues into which it is applied.’

Key clients

Uber

Bernie Ecclestone

UBS

Telefonica (O2)

Watchstone Group

Pacificorp

Trade finance Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP climbs to the top tier this year, having cemented its prominent position in large, complex and highly structured transactions in the energy market. It is 'very service-oriented and will do everything it can to support clients in the best way possible', remarks a client who notes that it 'demonstrates a keen desire to better understand the business and the needs of the client'. The practice is led by the 'client-drivenWilliam Breeze and leading light Thomas Bethel, who specialises in oil and gas finance and is among the most experienced lawyers in English law reserve-based lending transactions. The firm had a role in the majority of market-leading RBL deals in recent years, acting for leading energy companies and trading houses, as well as a large roster of banks that includes HSBC, BNP Paribas and ING. It also handled prepayment and pre-export financing facilities with a value in excess of $10bn between 2016 and 2018.

Testimonials

“It is by clearly the firm with the largest banking team focused on the independent E&P industry and the RBL market. As such, it is uniquely positioned to support corporates and banks in the raising of financing.”

“Thomas Bethel is the key partner in charge and is extremely knowledgable. He is supported by a team of strong associates.”

“Thomas Bethel has strong experience in project work and restructurings in various jurisdictions, and provides clear, concise commercially-driven advice.”

“Senior associate Kushal Bhimjiani instills confidence in her clients and is intelligent and commercially-driven.”

“The firm demonstrates a keen desire to better understand the business and the needs of the client.”

“Thomas Bethel has strong experience in project work and restructurings in various jurisdictions; he is commercially-drive and provides clear and concise advice.”

“Will Breeze is client-driven and always available.”

Key clients

Intesa SanPaolo

BNP Paribas

HSBC

The Carlyle Group

Societe Generale

DNB Bank

ING Bank

Natixis

VAT and indirect tax Tier 1

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's main areas of expertise are VAT and stamp duty advice. The group often supports the wider firm's transactional departments, although it also handles a wide variety of standalone advisory and contentious indirect tax work, including in relation to the aggregates levy, landfill tax and tonnage tax. Isaac Zailer leads the group. Nick Clayton and senior associate Michael Hunt are other names to note.

Water Tier 1

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has vast experience of regulation and restructuring within the water sector. Recently, the group was appointed to assist Southern Water in connection with its PR19 price control review, and advised the Bazalgette Consortium on its successful bid to undertake the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The group is jointly led by experienced M&A expert Malcolm Lombers and regulatory specialist Tim Briggs.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

‘The team appears more practical in its advice and more willing to learn about its perceived strengths and weaknesses from the client’s viewpoint.’

‘Tim Briggs and Andrew North are knowledgeable about competition and regulatory matters relating primarily to the water industry Price Review 2019 in very practical ways. They are easy to work with, flexible and willing to work to accommodate the client’s changing demands as necessary.’

Key clients

Severn Water

Tideway

Southern Water

Thames Water

Bristol Water

Aviation Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's multi-disciplinary practice is commended for its 'excellent aviation knowledge' and is particularly noted for its track-record on significant M&A, competition and regulatory instructions in the sector. The team generates a significant workflow from UK airports on planning and infrastructure mandates, while tax, IP, real estate and disputes are also key areas of focus. Kim Dietzel handles regulatory work and UK and EU competition mandates in the aviation sector, while M&A expert Robert Moore has a strong airline following. Advising Virgin Atlantic on the consortium rescue takeover offer for Flybe Group is a key highlight for the department which is 'able to relate to the commercial realities of a deal'. The wider aviation team has recently been enhanced by the arrival of asset finance specialists Rex Rosales and Jahnavi Ramachandran, who joined from Watson Farley & Williams LLP in 2018.

Testimonials

The team impresses with the volume and quality of work that is produced at such tight deadlines.

The team has excellent aviation knowledge.

The team is strong team and very commercial.

The team is innovative and has a market-leading wealth of experience.

 

Key clients

Virgin Atlantic

Heathrow Airport Holdings

TUI Travel

Thomson Airways

Gatwick Airport

London Luton Airport

UK Civil Aviation Authority

TAG Farnborough Airport

Gardner Aerospace

Dart / Jet 2

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 2

With an impressive roster of blue-chip corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has excellent financing credentials on behalf of investment grade corporates including EDF,  Elementis plc and British Land. Kristen Roberts leads the corporate debt and acquisition finance team in London and has significant expertise across the capital structure, including on mandates in the loan and privately placed notes markets. On the borrower front, Roberts is particularly well-versed working alongside FTSE corporate treasury teams and is at the cutting-edge in trends in the corporate debt market. On the lender front, the firm has particular niches in the energy sector – where it is a market leader in advising banks on reserve-based lending facilities – as well as with regard to multi-sourced financings in the emerging markets, involving debt provided by commercial lenders, export credit agencies and Development Finance Institutions. Senior associate Elliot Beard has a growing reputation on behalf of a number of FTSE 250 clients, which he regularly advises on their general corporate financings in the banking and US private placement markets.

Key clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Atnahs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bazelgette Tunnel Limited/Tideway

British Land

Carlyle Group

Credit Suisse International

EDF

Elementis plc

G4S plc

HSBC

InterGen

Lloyds Bank

Santander

Lonmin plc

Morgan Stanley

BAWAG Group

Deutsche Bank

Tata Sons

Construction: contentious Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's contentious team acts for a premium roster of domestic and international clients, with clients including developers, multinational corporations, contractors and governments. James Doe, who 'instils confidence in clients' and has a particular focus on energy and power, was promoted to lead the team in 2018. Other recommended figures include 'brilliant legal mind' David Nitek and Ann Levin, who has a track record across a range of construction projects including tunnels, power plants and offshore wind farms.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

‘James Doe has a consistency in his temperament and approach that instils a lot of confidence in a client.’

‘HSF’s construction disputes practice has a wealth of experience navigating through often complex disputes with strong knowledge of the NEC form of contact.’

‘David Nitek is a pleasure to work with. He is diligent, committed and focused on achieving good results for his clients.’

‘If I could work with one partner in the whole of London, I would want to work with David Nitek. He is focused, has a brilliant legal mind, and he delivers exceptional services to his clients.’

‘At the associate level, Michael Sharp is fantastic and clearly going places: I would not be surprised if he were made a partner.’

‘Philip Parrott is a great quarterback for complex cases and a safe pair of hands.’

‘Olivia Liang is very bright, very hard working and very approachable.’

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a strong international reach and regularly advises institutional clients, trustees, their insurers, beneficiaries, family offices and ultra-high-net-worth individuals on a broad range of issues. Work spans from pure advisory work through to complex actions pursuing or defending trustees in relation to claims for breach of trust, through to third party claims by or against trustees. The team has also acted in the arbitration of trust disputes. It is particularly well-regarded for its work in advising trust companies on complex cross-border issues relating to succession and tax planning. Richard Norridge heads the team and Gareth Keillor has recently been promoted to 'Of Counsel'.

Testimonials

My experience is one of solid reliability, with a particular flair for the Asian market. I was really impressed with Richard Norridge’s sensitivity in engaging with an elderly and fairly frail client in terms of client care‘.

The team is approachable and friendly, very down to earth notwithstanding its size and high standing in the market‘.

Richard Norridge is a stand-out performer. He is unfailingly pleasant and has a first class mind‘.

Richard Norridge has a wealth of experience and has handled many substantial disputes often with an international element. Richard is very straightforward and personable to deal with‘.

Richard Norridge is a tremendously able lawyer –  he combines multi-jurisdictional experience and acumen with a relaxed and good humoured manner. He is a calming and wise influence even when matters get fraught‘.

Richard Norridge is very down to earth, very knowledgeable, an effective client handler. He is sensible and takes a collaborative approach to his work‘.

Gary Horlock is very bright and able to spot key issues‘.

Top team, efficient, very knowledgeable Richard Norridge, Gareth Keillor‘.

Gareth Keillor is an outstanding counsel and understands the need for prompt and practical legal solutions‘.

Gareth Keillor works the issues and drives matters towards a well considered conclusion‘.

Debt capital markets Tier 2

The debt capital markets group at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in London is 'very commercial, with excellent attention to detail'. It has a proven track record of work for both issuers and managers on a range of products, including standalone bonds, regulatory capital instruments, MTN programmes, commercial paper programmes, private placements, equity-linked transactions and liability management trades. The practice comprises experienced lawyers qualified in both English and US law and, in 2018, it handled innovative transactions in developed and emerging markets. The practice has worked on some of the most high-profile projects bonds in the market, including the £10bn Thames Tideway debt issuance programme. The firm is also strong in sovereign debt issuance and acted for managers in the Republic of Ghana's $1bn notes offering. Practice head Amy Geddes and key partner Andrew Roberts are recognised experts in the DCM market, and clients recommend US securities partners Gabrielle Wong, Tom O’Neill and Dinesh Banani.

Testimonials

Andrew Roberts and Amy Geddes are always available and technically excellent, and they also look to find commercial solutions‘.

Key clients

Barclays Bank PLC

Tideway

Severn Trent plc

G4S plc

Standard Chartered Bank

Morgan Stanley

HSBC

Caixabank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

DNB Bank

Growthpoint

Bevco

Marble Point Loan Financing Limited

The Brunner Investment Trust plc

African Export Import Bank

African Development Bank

Derivatives (including commodities) Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses on high-end, complex and multi-jurisdictional transactions for both buy-side and sell-side clients across a wide variety of underlying structures and jurisdictions. The practice covers rates and FX, equities, commodities and credit derivatives for financial institutions, funds and corporates, as well as structured finance transactions and transactions undertaken to achieve regulatory benefits that include the use of derivatives. The firm also runs advice on derivatives regulatory reform, including clearing and margining under European Market Infrastructure Regulation.  Margin lending transactions in the form of equity derivatives, repos, total return swaps and loans utilising derivatives techniques for both banks and end users feature prominently in its work. Michael Poulton runs the international securitisation and structured finance practice, with the firm also having a strong  focus on derivatives in the context of transactions for insurance companies, and extensive commodity derivatives expertise.The newly promoted Nick May, who is head of the derivatives practice, is a standout partner. Clients praise the 'very good team work and 'can-do' attitude from very commercial lawyers'.

Next Generation Partners

Key clients

Tideway

Virgin Atlantic

JPMorgan

Natixis

Société Générale

Fidelity

Deutsche Bank

Scotiabank

BNP Paribas

Agricultural Bank of China

Morgan Stanley

Citi

Scottish Widows

Sberbank

VTB Bank

EU and competition Tier 2

Attracting praise for its expertise by peers and clients alike, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has 'extensive competition law experience'. The team is active across a number of industries such as aviation, telecoms, transport and regulated infrastructure, but also has a particular strength in financial services and consumer products, with Susan Black particularly recommended for the latter sector. Black heads up the firm's consumer products practice group. The London and Brussels offices work closely together on competition matters, with the London team also working in conjunction with colleagues across the firm’s global network in Europe, Africa and the Asia Pacific. This international breadth means the firm is able to handle complex cross-border merger filings, antitrust investigations, and private enforcement actions. The department’s longstanding client base includes notable blue-chip clients such as Sky, British American Tobacco, and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Mandates include a team led by global practice head Stephen Wisking advised Sky on the merger control and regulatory aspects of its £29.7bn acquisition by Comcast, as well as on the merger control and media plurality issues of 21st Century Fox’s competing bid for Sky. Also highly recommended are Veronica Roberts, Kim Dietzel and Tim Briggs.

Testimonials

The team provides a first-rate legal service and clear and unambiguous answers

A standout team due to its high responsiveness, professionalism, and deep knowledge of the area

The team is highly practical and willing to listen to the client’s points of view

The team is fantastic — very knowledgeable and experienced

Team members focus on what the risk areas for a client are realistically, as opposed to simply theoretical risks; they then develop useful, well-informed solutions that are easy to implement

Tim Briggs is flexible in addressing the needs of the clients, and very knowledgeable about the area, particularly with regard to competition and regulatory matters relating to the water industry

Susan Black is a fantastic, really engaged competition lawyer who provides good commercial advice

Veronica Roberts is a true standout lawyer. She has a pleasant manner and provides razor-sharp legal analysis

Key clients

Sky

Google

Uber

Iveco

Marshalls

Hammerson

Stagecoach

Moneysupermarket.com

Reckitt Benckiser

Virgin Atlantic Airways

TUI

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks

Elementis

Synthomer

Severn Trent Water

Tideway

Financial services: contentious Tier 2

Known for its banking and asset management expertise, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP also has experience in fintech, payment services and Brexit-related projects. Banking regulation and compliance expert Clive Cunningham leads the non-contentious practice, which specialises in complex, multijurisdictional advisory and transactional work, an example being advice to interdealer brokers TP ICAP on all aspects of its Brexit project and related restructurings. Also notable is Andrew Procter, who focuses on the financial services and investment banking industry. Given its strength in disputes work the firm offers clients significant experience on the contentious side, offering regulatory expertise, particularly in relation to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and cyber security related matters. Leading this team is Jenny Stainsby, who has experience in a range of regulatory and compliance matters, including investigations and enforcement proceedings as well as governance, conduct of business issues and skilled persons' reviews.

Key clients

Ardonagh Group Limited

Baillie Gifford

Cabot Square Capital

Goldman Sachs International

Lloyds Banking Group plc

Pension Insurance Corporation

Pool Re

Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc

Standard Chartered Bank

TP ICAP plc

TSB Bank plc

Vanquis Bank Limited

Willis Towers Watson

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 2

Property damage and professional negligence are the mainstays of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's insurance and reinsurance litigation practice. The firm's client roster includes insurers, reinsurers, captive insurers and prominent brokers. Paul Lewis heads the 'knowledgeable' team, which features the 'trustworthy' Alexander Oddy and property damage and business interruption expert Anthony Dempster. Other key members of the group are David Reston, who specialises in professional negligence disputes, and Greig Anderson, who has cyber insurance expertise.

Testimonials

The team is knowledgeable, capable of addressing most matters with minimal assistance and excellent judgement, and resources to tackle any problem

The team brings a forensic and technical eye to matters that few can match; it has significant expertise in bet-the-company litigation. The depth of associate talent is also a strong point

Paul Lewis knows how to extract the maximum for his client in any commercial settlement

Alexander Oddy is ferocious in his attention to detail, and reliably calm under pressure

Alexander Oddy and Fiona Treanor have complete mastery of the law and the facts, excellent client-handling and counsel-handling ability, and entirely trustworthy judgment

Fiona Treanor is a star. She has unrivaled technical expertise combined with a very approachable manner

Key clients

Aviva

Marsh

Barbican Insurance

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 2

The practice at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is led by non-contentious specialist and 'star performer' Geoffrey Maddock , who enjoys a strong reputation among clients, who recommend him for his 'very broad, deep and invaluable knowledge of insurance'. The practice has particular strengths in pensions de-risking and reinsurance and portfolio transfers, expertise that goes hand in hand with more general transactional capabilities. Senior associate Kaja Kluziak is also recommended.

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical skills – they compare favourably to the magic circle firm working on the same deal.’

‘The practice provides deep and broad expertise.’

‘The team is very responsive and demonstrates high levels of accountability/ownership for the matters on which they are instructed.’

‘Excellent corporate advice and relationship management skills.’

‘Geoffrey Maddock is a star performer with decades of experience, and with the resulting assurance and versatility, not to mention unflappability.’

‘Kaja Kluziak is a fast rising senior associate who delivers excellent work on time and has great promise.’

‘Geoff Maddock is very knowledgeable in the field of insurance and provides practical solutions to what can be extremely complex problems.’

‘Elizabeth McKnight has extraordinary depth of knowledge and is a provider of pragmatic advice.’

‘Geoff Maddock provides excellent corporate advice and relationship management skills to ensure that we speak to the right people to get the advice we need in a timely fashion.’

‘Kaja Kluziak has excellent knowledge, attention to detail and work ethic.’

Key clients

Ardonagh Group (formerly Towergate Insurance)

JLT

Lloyds Banking Group (Scottish Widows)

Marsh & McLennan

MoneySuperMarket.com Group plc

Pool Reinsurance

Pension Insurance Corporation

Phoenix Life

ReAssure Limited (Part of Swiss Re)

Resolution

Royal London

Swiss Re

Willis Towers Watson

Financial Guaranty Insurance Company

Canada Life Group (UK) Limited

The Canada Life Assurance Company

Intellectual property Tier 2

The intellectual property team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'commercially focused and able to provide concise advice under pressure' and combines substantial commercial IP expertise, spanning transactions, projects, risk management and strategic advisory work, with notable strength in patents, trade marks and copyright disputes. Practice head Joel Smith handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, with particular experience across the consumer, retail, media, technology, agribusiness and energy sectors, while global head of intellectual property Mark Shillito focuses on the life sciences, TMT and consumer goods industries. Other names to note include pharmaceutical patent litigators Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore (Moore splits his time between London and Milan), and hi-tech patent expert Andrew Moir.

Testimonials

Andrew Moir is a technical expert, and able to provide confident, concise legal advice, that is both practical and commercial.

Andrew Moir understands technology, and this enables him to give tailored advice that reflects the real underlying issues.

The team is very commercial. It understands the issues facing clients and gives practical advice, that still has the requisite amount of detail.

Key clients

Ariosa Diagnostics Inc.

Unilever

Gilead

Abbvie

Hoffman La Roche AG and Roche Products Ltd

IKOS CIF Limited, IKOS AM Limited

Genus

Aurobindo Pharma

Atticus Limited Liability Company

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP combines 'genuine commercial expertise in telecoms, media, entertainment, tech and privacy' with 'an insightful and commercially-aware team, which is able to deliver fast and cogent advice'. The sector-focused group handles a range of corporate, commercial, regulatory and contentious matters for its impressive client roster, which spans large corporates, public sector clients, global banks, financial institutions and technology companies. The group is jointly led by Nick Pantlin, who specialises in IT transactions; commercial litigator James Farrell; patent litigator Andrew Moir, and telecoms sector specialists David Coulling and Stephen Wisking, who focus on transactional and regulatory matters respectively.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

Herbert Smith Freehills provides a technically strong team, with appropriate back-end support that is required in order to get deals over the line.

An outstanding team for complex, high-value technology and telecoms disputes.

Although it has the capabilities to handle corporate support work and large technology outsourcing deals, Herbert Smith Freehills team has the experience that one might expect from more niche TMT firms.’

Nick Pantlin is a pleasure to work with and makes a real effort to stay engaged on a relationship level; that is often something that is missing with larger firms.

Andrew Moir is impressive as both a leader and a strategic thinker in the technology sector.

David Coulling definitely knows his stuff in the telecoms space.

Consultant Hayley Brady is extremely personable and bucks the trend of the average senior corporate city lawyer. She is also hugely knowledgeable and has really strong relationships in the media and entertainment industry.

Senior associate Terence Lau is incredibly technical with an ability to be pragmatic where required and to find solutions to issues where there may have an impasse.

Senior associate Heather Newton has the ability to manage complex technology disputes with multiple streams seamlessly.

Senior associate Dan Eziefula is a highly intelligent associate and a future star.

Key clients

ARRIS International plc

Bharti Airtel

BP

British American Tobacco

ClearBank

Facebook

Google

IBM

IHS Towers

Lloyds Banking Group

Ministry of Defence

Orange

Reliance Communications

SingTel

Sky

Tata Communications

Telefonica UK (O2), Telefonica S.A.

Transport for London

TSB

UBS

VEON

Vodafone

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's media and entertainment offering handles a raft of high-profile transactional, operational, regulatory, competition and dispute resolution mandates. The team is active across film, TV, interactive content, OTT platforms, digital and social media, technology, IP and rights management instructions, while music, sports, gaming, live events, sponsorship, advertising, marketing, information and data services and betting work are also key focuses. Consultant Hayley Brady is UK head of digital and media and specialises in commercial, advisory and regulatory work. Brady advised Smilegate on the commercial agreements relating to the launch of Smilegate Megaport's mobile games (including Epic Seven). In an example of its market-leading transactional expertise, the team was instructed by the Independent Committee of Sky on the competing takeover offers from 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corporation.

Testimonials

The team is hardworking and positive.

Hayley Brady is calm, focused and will work as long, and as hard as required.

Key clients

Sky

Tabcorp

Time Inc.

Time Warner

British American Tobacco

Smilegate

Focus Features (ComCast)

Dubai Department of Tourism, Commerce and Marketing

NetEase

Partnership Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is particularly noted for its disputes practice, acting for partnerships, LLPs and their members. The multi-disciplinary team is made up of disputes, corporate, employment, incentives, regulatory and tax specialists, enabling it to provide a full-service offering. On the non-contentious side, it advises on partnership strategy, notably assisting Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner on the employment and partnership aspects of its day-to-day operations and integration following the merger between Berwin Leighton Paisner and Bryan Cave; a matter handled by Tim LeaverMalcolm Lombers and Alan Watts jointly head the department.

Testimonials

They bring enormous professionalism and a breadth of commercial and legal experience which makes them a powerful and effective firm in the partnership arena.

Tim Leaver and Nick Wright are both highly experienced and capable practitioners. Tim is excellent at working with senior-level individuals and Nick has very impressive judgement.

The firm has a strong corporate and employment team that operates highly effectively in the partnership field and has significant experience of working with large commercial clients.

Key clients

Alvin Partners

Anchorage Capital

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

BTG Pactual Europe LLP

KPMG UK and KPMG International

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 2

Pensions litigation has been a particular recent strong point for the team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, with Samantha Brown acting on significant matters involving GMP equalisation, Section 75 debt applications and Pensions Regulator enforcement cases. The team also counts insurance firms and regulatory bodies on its client roster, with issues ranging from Pensions Ombudsman complaints to professional negligence claims (senior associate Antonia Pegden is an emerging name in the latter, having acted on a number of highly publicised matters). Regular non-contentious mandates include derisking exercises, general regulatory advice, scheme closures, corporate transactions - Michael Aherne is a rising star in this field -  high-value buy-outs, scheme funding negotiations and consolidation projects. Rachel Pinto leads on matters for a number of high-profile clients with a particular emphasis on derisking mandates including bulk annuity transactions.

Testimonials

The pensions disputes team is extremely knowledgeable, hard-working, customer focused and proactive. It is able to cope with very complex and demanding litigation

A highly experienced team that is well resourced and provides an excellent quality of advice

The team is very responsive and thoughtful

The team provides great market insights, is highly committed and feels very much on your side to get the optimal result

Samantha Brown is very experienced, easy to work with and calm under pressure. She is technically brilliant

Alison Brown is highly experienced, commercial and has great insight into pensions regulation

Rachel Pinto provides quality advice and is a great negotiator

Michael Aherne provides excellent advice that is always clear and to the point

Antonia Pegden is very clever, extremely hard-working, thorough and utterly dependable. She is a real team player

Cathryn Marson provides good conscientious service of high technical quality

Key clients

Wesfarmers

Lloyds Banking Group

Pension Insurance Corporation

Warner Media

TUI Travel Limited

Chevron

G4S

CBRE

Scottish Widows

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Virgin Atlantic

Lloyds Banking Group

Mercer Limited

National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust

Pension Insurance Corporation

Ernst Young

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 2

Pensions litigation has been a particular recent strong point for the team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, with Samantha Brown acting on significant matters involving GMP equalisation, Section 75 debt applications and Pensions Regulator enforcement cases. The team also counts insurance firms and regulatory bodies on its client roster, with issues ranging from Pensions Ombudsman complaints to professional negligence claims (senior associate Antonia Pegden is an emerging name in the latter, having acted on a number of highly publicised matters). Regular non-contentious mandates include derisking exercises, general regulatory advice, scheme closures, corporate transactions - Michael Aherne is a rising star in this field -  high-value buy-outs, scheme funding negotiations and consolidation projects. Rachel Pinto leads on matters for a number of high-profile clients with a particular emphasis on derisking mandates including bulk annuity transactions.

Testimonials

The pensions disputes team is extremely knowledgeable, hard-working, customer focused and proactive. It is able to cope with very complex and demanding litigation

A highly experienced team that is well resourced and provides an excellent quality of advice

The team is very responsive and thoughtful

The team provides great market insights, is highly committed and feels very much on your side to get the optimal result

Samantha Brown is very experienced, easy to work with and calm under pressure. She is technically brilliant

Alison Brown is highly experienced, commercial and has great insight into pensions regulation

Rachel Pinto provides quality advice and is a great negotiator

Michael Aherne provides excellent advice that is always clear and to the point

Antonia Pegden is very clever, extremely hard-working, thorough and utterly dependable. She is a real team player

Cathryn Marson provides good conscientious service of high technical quality

Key clients

G4S

Lloyds Banking Group

Mercer Limited

National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust

Pension Insurance Corporation plc

EY as CVA supervisors of the TXU Energy group companies

Planning Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has an established foothold in the major fields of the planning law market, namely commercial development, energy and infrastructure projects. Market-leading projects are often handled through the team, including multi-billion pound London regeneration schemes, significant retail and mixed-use developments, commercial building projects and DCO applications for major infrastructure projects. Of particular note to the latter, Catherine Howard and of counsel Charlotte Dyer are handling the £1bn+ electric power transmission link between England and France. DCO applications for infrastructure projects is a strong point including expertise in the nuclear energy development sector. Practice head, Matthew White, advises on some of the largest commercial redevelopment projects on the market such as the £4bn Canada Water mandate. The team often takes on highly unique projects such as Madison Square Garden’s new London Sphere project, including site acquisition and planning. Contentious work is all-encompassing, with recent matters involving the defence of high-profile public inquiries, judicial reviews and planning objections.

Testimonials

A brilliant team with a good range of skills.

Has a superb understanding of the intricacies of planning law and also the ability to apply that practically to relevant situations.

Matthew White is a smooth and efficient senior partner who is excellent at client handling.

Charlotte Dyer is a great lawyer and amazing to work with.

Catherine Howard is diligent and hardworking; nothing is too much trouble for her!

Annika Holden is first-class, endlessly hardworking, responsive and very knowledgeable.

Matthew White is a calm, polite and skillful negotiator, adept at quickly disarming aggressive opponents and getting to the pragmatic and commercial heart of a negotiation.

The team always gives top-quality advice with a quick response in extremely challenging situations.

Catherine Howard and her team impresses every time with their extensive knowledge and provision of articulate and thorough advice.

Charlotte Dyer is an extremely thorough and efficient practitioner whose work is also extremely well considered. She is highly effective and able to positively shape and influence a project.

Key clients

British Land

Argent Related

Landsec

Blackstone

M7 Real Estate

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Lazari

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

UK Oil and Gas

Wisley Property Investment Limited

Brockton Capital

Stanhope

Chelsfield

Gatwick Airport Limited

Cuadrilla Resources

EDF Energy

Muse Developments

Lendlease

Mitsubishi Estate London

Quintain

Professional discipline Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's professional discipline work complements the firm's widely respected administrative law and human rights practices. The group was recently predominantly active in the financial, accountancy and legal sectors. It acted for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)'s Executive Counsel in prosecuting a formal complaint against Baker Tilly UK Audit, the auditors to AIM-listed Tanfield Group, which was a global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and zero emission electric vehicles. Andrew Lidbetter heads the practice, which includes Nusrat Zar and of counsel Jasveer Randhawa.

Key clients

The Financial Reporting Council

Watchstone Group

Professional negligence Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's professional negligence team sits within the firm's 'formidable' dispute resolution practice and it is 'technically very strong, and has a very good understanding of the client's business, which helps advice to be commercially nuanced'. With a global reach, the London team handles high-profile claimant and defendant work across the insurance, pensions, legal, financial, technology and construction sectors for leading insurers, brokers and blue-chip clients; 'this is the team you engage on the most complex matters with the potential to impact the company significantly'.  Paul Lewis heads the firm's global contentious insurance practice and heads the pensions disputes group; he is regularly engaged in disputes involving solicitors, insurance brokers and pensions advisers. David Reston is noted for claims involving solicitors and Sarah McNally, who is 'technically superb and is always able to shape her advice so it can be easily digested and put into action', handles construction, infrastructure, projects and energy sector disputes.

Testimonials

The depth of knowledge and ability to adjust to in-house legal as well as business audiences is unique and unparalleled.

Paul Lewis is consistently calm under pressure and practical.

Sarah McNally has shown unmatched levels of responsiveness and depth of thinking.

With the team’s expertise and sound analysis of complex legal issues aside, what stands out is that it understands the client’s business.

Its proactive management of matters allows the client to anticipate and be tactically ahead of issues, and to manage matters in a calm and effective manner.

Sarah McNally in particular is a very impressive lawyer; she is very calm, very pragmatic and provides tailored advice addressing the nub of the issue, almost always in time pressure situations.

David Reston and David Bennett are very good commercial thinkers and are extremely thorough with their advice and legal assessment

The team has the best thinkers and has a strong name for litigation in the City.

Key clients

Amber Fund Management

Barbican Insurance

Marsh

Morgan Cole

Property finance Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is noted for its ability to handle large pan-European property finance transactions, and has been particularly active advising on high-value refinancings and complex development finance matters. It also handles senior and mezzanine debt financings, hotel financings, and real estate NPL financings. The team acts for leading market lenders, including UK banks, German mortgage banks and fund lenders. On the borrower side, clients include major UK real estate companies. Simon Chadney leads the team, which also includes Gary Hommel, who heads the firm’s European finance practice, and Robert Carr, who has expertise in advising on mezzanine finance.

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Legal and General Investment Management

Lloyds Bank plc

Morgan Stanley

Wells Fargo

PGIM (formerly PRICOA Mortgage Capital)

Société Générale

Hammerson plc

Brookfield Properties

Property litigation Tier 2

Handling a broad range of commercial property litigation, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'efficient, diligent, proactive and pragmatic' team sits at the intersection of the firm's dispute resolution and real estate practices and is noted for its experience in compulsory purchase order (CPO) compensation disputes - a key area of expertise for team head Matthew Bonye - and rating litigation but the group is also well versed in handling contentious public project, development and redevelopment work as well as various landlord and tenant issues, among others. In a recent highlight, the team defended the board of trustees of the Tate Gallery against a claim of private nuisance and breach of human rights brought by several residents of the NEO Bankside development. Senior associate Julia Tobbell has been particularly active in high-value disputes, while rating law expert Martin Dawbney joined boutique planning law firm Town Legal LLP in May 2018.

Testimonials

Matthew Bonye is very knowledgeable and willing to assist clients at any time. He provides outstanding, clear and robust advice in a timely manner.

Outstanding in understanding diverse challenges in the field of property litigation.

The team is capable of taking on a wide range of issues and identifying what’s important.

Key clients

British Land

Hermes Pension Fund

Hammerson

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW)

Argent

Heathrow Airport

Lendlease

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery

Blackstone

Public international law Tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's team of 'top-tier lawyers' has 'excellent experience' in investment treaty arbitration, acting for sovereign and leading multinational clients in proceedings against states. The group's work in this space focuses strongly on disputes in areas where the firm is traditionally strong, including the energy, oil and gas, mining and banking sectors. Other areas of expertise include Law of the Sea issues, sovereign and international organisation immunity and human rights-related matters, sanctions and international trade law; the team has also been seen a steady growth of work advising clients on the UK's exit from the EU. Andrew Cannon has 'tremendous experience in public international law'. Iain Maxwell is noted for his representation of clients in ICSID investment arbitration.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘Herbert Smith Freehills’ public international law practice is experienced in acting for both investors and states, giving them an advantage, having seen the dispute play out from both sides.’

‘Top-tier lawyers, excellent experience.’

‘Andrew Cannon – a public international law expert with government experience – and Iain Maxwell – a very competent lawyer – make a great well-rounded team.’

‘Andrew Cannon has tremendous experience in public international law; he is a calm and incisive communicator, strong on the practical side of handling a case.’

‘Iain Maxwell is not afraid to grapple with detail and then ultimately cut through the noise to give you meaningful advice that can be used to make a decision.’

Key clients

Standard Chartered

United Utilities

Kingdom of Spain

ACP Axos Capital GMBH

The Government of Sierra Leone

Commercial contracts Tier 3

Known for its IT expertise, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP combines a deep bench of commercial contracts practitioners with technology sector specialists. The firm is well regarded for complex commercial and business transformation projects, as well as global cross-sector procurements and outsourcings. The team also has an experienced commercial disputes practice. Nick Pantlin specialises in advising clients on complex and business-critical outsourcing, notably in the technology area. He co-leads the team with Stephen Rayfield, who has extensive experience advising central government bodies on major procurement exercises. Their group is advising Google's technical infrastructure legal team on all its commercial requirements.

Testimonials

‘A knowledgeable IT practice with expertise in outsourcing’

‘Strong levels of resource are available for larger and time-critical projects’

‘The team provides excellent advice, guidance and outputs. They are always available to give straightforward input to drafting the contract’

‘They are all extremely knowledgeable about the law but also capable of being commercial in the positions they take’

‘They are an extremely friendly and personable team who all seem to enjoy working together’

‘Nick Pantlin is an asset in supporting business-wide projects, often at short notice’

‘Nick Pantlin is always enthusiastic and high energy.  He seems to really care about his team and his clients’

Key clients

Google

IBM

Ministry of Defence

Transport for London

BP

Lloyds Banking Group

ClearBank

TSB

Telefonica

UBS

British American Tobacco

VEON

Commercial property: retail Tier 3

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.

Corporate tax Tier 3

Isaac Zailer is the global head of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's tax group, which has a strong international focus and advises clients on the tax aspects of M&A deals, private equity, fund formation and restructuring. Particular niche specialisms include upstream energy taxation and insurance-related tax. Other key names include corporate and tax planning specialist Howard Murray and William Arrenberg, whose focus include real estate, oil and energy tax matters. In 2019, Neil Warriner retired, while Michael Alliston left the firm for Norton Rose Fulbright.

Testimonials

High quality focused advice on complex tax issues in clear, practical and understandable briefings

‘Very capable in high-stakes, high pressure environments and able to access advice on a range of bespoke issues

Isaac Zailer provides advice that cuts to the chase and is solution focused. He brings to bear an impressive experience in the industry

Key clients

Associated British Foods

BHP

BP

TSB

Virgin

Orange

Mercuria Energy

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP fields distinct data protection and cybersecurity practices led by Miriam Everett and Andrew Moir respectively; Everett was promoted to the partnership in 2019. Nick Pantlin is general head of the TMT and data practice and has recently been active advising clients on data protection and cyber security issues related to the use of new sourcing delivery models, data analytics and the commercialisation of big data; and Christine Young heads up the employment-related data protection and data subject rights practice. The data protection group’s expertise includes GDPR compliance advice, data transfers, data subject access requests and binding corporate rules and also benefits from the firm’s global network to assist with cross-border mandates; it recently advised Hays on its data protection practices across Europe including a full review as part of its GDPR compliance project. Marcus Turle is also recommended.

Testimonials

The firm has the ability to quickly take an holistic approach and assemble a team of true subject matter experts to deal with complex data issues.

It provides very pragmatic and commercial advice, and is efficient, professional and flexible in supporting matters large and small.

The team combines strengths across disciplines and jurisdictions, blending them seamlessly to create outstanding legal advice on cybersecurity issues.

HSF provides a bespoke data protection service that looks at the client’s specific needs and tailors its advice accordingly.

The group is always prepared either to give a view or, as necessary, to take the time to reflect further or dig deeper to understand fully the parameters within which any problems should be considered. Both Marcus Turle and Duc Tran are outstanding.

Miriam Everett carefully listens to the client’s objectives and challenges, and provides pragmatic advice in a timely manner.

Miriam Everett combines excellent data protection knowledge with a real pragmatism that is helpful for driving matters forward. She is willing to take a view on complex areas of emerging law, and maintains excellent oversight of work carried out by her team.

Andrew Moir is an exceptional partner with technical expertise that commands the respect of industry experts and a first-rate legal mind. His advice is commercial and astute. He responds rapidly to queries and is always able to make progress and offer insight even with intractable legal issues. He is absolutely the lawyer you want at your side if you suffer a cyber attack.

Andrew Moir is always calm and confident when advising on complex privacy issues, ensuring the strategies consider other regulatory frameworks‘.

Key clients

Hays

British American Tobacco

Asian video games developer and publisher

LINE Corporation

Global investment manager

IBM

TSB

Environment Tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP possesses expertise in oil and gas, nuclear and renewable energy, and environment-related disputes. The firm provides regulatory compliance advice and assists with matters such as contaminated land and climate change liability, as well as advising on environment-related matters arising from Brexit. Senior associate Julie Vaughan advises on transactional and project development matters in the energy projects, transport, retail and water treatment sectors.

Testimonials

The very commercial team demonstrates a great dedication to the client

The practice has an excellent focus on the client’s requirements and achieves the best results possible

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 3

Known for its banking and asset management expertise, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP also has experience in fintech, payment services and Brexit-related projects. Banking regulation and compliance expert Clive Cunningham leads the non-contentious practice, which specialises in complex, multijurisdictional advisory and transactional work, an example being advice to interdealer brokers TP ICAP on all aspects of its Brexit project and related restructurings. Also notable is Andrew Procter, who focuses on the financial services and investment banking industry. Given its strength in disputes work the firm offers clients significant experience on the contentious side, offering regulatory expertise, particularly in relation to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and cyber security related matters. Leading this team is Jenny Stainsby, who has experience in a range of regulatory and compliance matters, including investigations and enforcement proceedings as well as governance, conduct of business issues and skilled persons' reviews.

Testimonials

‘The team are strong in communication, understand the complexities of offshore models and have worked really well’

‘Very practical and responsive in an area not known for either attribute’

‘Andrew Procter provides a lot of good, pragmatic advice on broader regulatory topics’

‘Clive Cunningham takes the time and effort to understand clients’ business, which makes him better placed to provide accurate, timely and helpful advice’

Key clients

TP ICAP

iSwap

TSB Bank

Clear.Bank

Tikehau Capital

The Big Exchange

Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC)

Man Group

Baillie Gifford

BlackRock

Fintech Tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'pragmatic and responsive' fintech group acts for investors, start-ups, national and international banks, insurances companies and other financial services organisations, advising on regulatory considerations such as PSD2 and GDPR, cyber security risks, outsourcing arrangements, smart contracts, financing, and general corporate transactions. The team stands out for its ability to manage complex partnership agreements, primarily outsourcing arrangements for financial institutions and payment services but also in relation to the development of innovative funding solutions and payment platforms. Nick Pantlin's broad expertise covers the potential impact of blockchain technology and smart legal contracts in the financial services sector, whereas Caroline Rae specialises in corporate transactions, including takeovers, private acquisitions and capital raising. Senior associate Lyndon Coppin, former head of operations, technology and commercial legal at Barclays Bank, was one of several lawyers to join the team in 2018-2019.

Testimonials

“Herbert Smith Freehills are more focused on practical solutions, more willing to really get into the detail of a problem and often more innovative in finding a solution than other firms.”

“HSF fintech group is a high quality legal team with excellent commercial insight.”

“The firm has strength in depth in fintech and broader FS regulatory work.”

“Marsha Williamson continually demonstrates a thorough knowledge of banks’ complex constitutional arrangements.”

“Marsha Williamson is a dedicated and hard working lawyer with incredible intellect.” 

“Partner Barney Hinnigan is extremely supportive of clients through challenging transactions and able to quickly mobilise all areas of the firm to provide expertise quickly and in a highly integrated manner.”

Key clients

TSB

BNPP

Credit Agricole

ClearBank

UBS

Tandem Bank / Tandem Money

LendInvest

Santander

Funding Circle

The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son

Moneysupermarket

11:FS

Huozhi

The Big Exchange Limited

Caple

M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP advises predominantly London-listed clients on complex cross-border matters, with a focus on the public M&A markets. In addition to representing corporations in public takeovers, the firm has longstanding relationships with investment banks, and frequently advises them as financial sponsors on high profile acquisitions. Key matters have seen Stephen Wilkinson lead a team advising Sky as target in the competitive auction between Comcast and 21st Century Fox; running a team that included the 'very able' senior associate Harriet Forrest, who clients recommend for her 'valued calmness'.  Practice head Gavin Davies, alongside the 'excellent' Caroline Rae, advised ARRIS International on its proposed $7.4bn acquisition by CommScope Holding Company Inc. Meanwhile senior partner James Palmer remains a visible member of the team, with a strong track record of advising clients on M&A, including hostile takeovers.

Testimonials

Excellent corporate law advice combined with strong experience in the energy sector

Very commercial without losing any technical excellence

Knowledgeable, technically able, confident and pragmatic. They also have a first class approach to service delivery, are highly responsive and committed to understanding us and providing additional value.’

Gavin and his team do a great job anticipating deal issues so that we address them early rather than have them hold up the process

Stephen Wilkinson is a standout lawyer, one of the best we have worked with

Caroline Rae is excellent. She gives pragmatic advice, appropriate for us and the situation

James Palmer’s depth of experience is appreciated by our legal team and our senior management

Mike Flockhart is outstanding. Great technical legal knowledge combined with practical commerciality. One of the best in his field. He will always be a ‘go-to’ corporate resource on critical matters

Harriet Forrest is a very able senior associate with valued calmness and assurance allied to the strongest of work ethics and strong intellect

Key clients

Ardonagh Group (formerly Towergate Insurance)

ARRIS International

Associated British Foods

Bharti Airtel

BHP

BP

British American Tobacco

Centrica

Connect Group

EDF

Elementis

Genus

Hammerson

Inchcape

Johnson Matthey

Lonmin

Mercuria Energy

Oaktree Capital

Orange

Pearson

Severn Trent

Sky

Stagecoach

Telefónica/O2

The British Land Company

Meredith Time Inc.

TSB

Virgin

Weir Group

Willis Towers Watson

Personal injury: defendant Tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's personal injury practice focuses on providing advice to leading corporate clients from a range of sectors, particularly heavyweights in the energy field pertaining to serious injury claims and group litigation. The team is adept at handling both the civil claim and criminal prosecution that may arise from the same incident. Multi-party actions and catastrophic injuries specialist Howard Watson, who has notable experience of paraplegia and head injury claims, leads the department, which is frequently instructed on multi-jurisdictional matters.

Key clients

BP

Chevron

TXU

BAE

Diageo

Private equity: transactions – mid-tier – up to £250m Tier 3

Eight partners in Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's broader City corporate practice regularly work on PE mandates; with four of them handling primary buyouts, while two apiece are devoted to the ancillary practice areas of tax and financing. Real estate, infrastructure, energy, alternative financial services and TMT are sectors of specialist expertise for the firm, with the practice headed by John Taylor. PE fund formation and public-to-private transactions are some other core areas of work. The team acts for multinational blue-chip PE houses, such as The Blackstone Group and The Carlyle Group, as well as some sovereign wealth funds. Also recommended is Gavin Davies, who often advises financial investors and UK-listed companies.

Testimonials

‘Two factors make this practice stand out from the crowd: (i) the partners are highly technically skilled with excellent market knowledge but are also pragmatic, commercially aware and very personable  – which can itself be critical factor in an M&A transaction (ii) and the consistently very high quality of the corporate associates.’

‘HSF stands out from its peers in terms of selection and retention of first rate/stellar female corporate associates.’

‘The team is exceptionally hard working and very commercial in their approach. This level of commerciality and deal strategy is not always found in other firms.’

‘The team is superb, in particular marked by Malcolm Lombers and Martyn Jones. Responsive, knowledgeable, swift and capable.’

‘Barney Hinnegan is a standout corporate partner – highly technically skilled with excellent market knowledge but also pragmatic, commercially aware and very personable  – which can itself be critical factor in the success of an M&A transaction when dealing with tense stakeholders and counterparties.’

‘Partner Caroline Rae is also worthy of note – you definitely want to make sure you have Caroline on your side of the table, not opposite you.’

‘Marsha Williamson and Charles Stewart are both stand out corporate associates.’

Key clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Blackstone

Cabot Square

Carlyle

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

GIC

Impilo

Hannam & Partners

Hanover Investors

Hastings Funds Management

iCON Infrastructure

KKR

Metric Capital Partners

Sherborne Investors

Three Hills Capital Partners

Real estate funds Tier 3

Although General Partners (GPs) constitute the majority of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's current clientele in the real estate funds space, the firm boasts a burgeoning LP practice, with a recent increase in mandates from sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Backed by a strong real estate practice, the investment funds team maintains good relationships with a number of longstanding clients, with mandates highlighting advisory roles as they diversify into alternative asset classes. Practice head Nigel Farr focuses primarily on closed-ended investment vehicles; also recommended is Tim West. The group is praised by one client for its 'excellent availability and client service'.

Testimonials

HSF’s property team is excellent and brings all its knowledge to bear in structuring vehicles..

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

AEW

Fiera Capital Corporation

Hermes Investment Management

Cabot Square Capital LLP

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Wittington Investments

Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV

Cain International

Allianz Real Estate

Public Sector Pension Investment Board

Structured products and securitisation Tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP focuses on high-end, complex and multi-jurisdictional transactions and specialises mainly in bespoke deals for originators as well as arrangers, lenders and other market participants rather than handling a high volume of transactions. The firm's securitisation practice acts for leading investment banks, private equity houses and their portfolio companies, originator banks and other market participants in the structuring of new and innovative deals. The structured finance practice also focuses on novel transactions, such as advising Tideway on the Thames Tideway Tunnel funding programme that includes the first time use of a deferred purchase structure for a major infrastructure project in the sterling market. Michael Poulton has 20 years' experience in advising on sophisticated and ground-breaking securitisation transactions. Jake Jackaman frequently handles whole business, development loan and other receivables securitisations. Up-and-coming partners Joy Amis and Nick May are ones to watch.

Key clients

Tideway

Virgin Atlantic

JP Morgan

Natixis

Société Générale

Fidelity

Deutsche Bank

Scotiabank

BNP Paribas

Agricultural Bank of China

Morgan Stanley

Citi

Scottish Widows

Sberbank

VTB Bank

 

Acquisition finance Tier 4

Tapping into the firm's impressive roster of corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles a significant amount of financing related to M&A activity. The firm is also well-connected to numerous funds (including those with a focus on the energy sector and infrastructure) and regularly handles leveraged financings for them on their investments. On the bank side, the team's market-leading reputation in the reserve based lending space continues to be enhanced by strengthening relationships with some major European and US investment banks on leveraged finance matters.

Key clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Atnahs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Carlyle Group

Credit Suisse International

Elementis Plc

Morgan Stanley

BAWAG Group

Deutsche Bank

Commercial property: hotels and leisure Tier 4

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP delivers a ‘consistently high quality service from consistently high quality personnel’, working with a wide variety of owner, development and tenant clients on high-profile matters. The practice handles the full lifecycle of investment projects and transactions as well as large development and regeneration projects. The globally integrated hotels and leisure practice advises on areas including acquisitions, disposals, disputes, IP and employment issues, while expertise in the retail sector includes development, acquisition, disposal and letting issues. Donald Rowlands, a ‘leader in his field’, is a key member of the team, as is Richard Forsdyke, who is knowledgeable across the full spectrum of financing, development and investment matters. The group is currently acting for Madison Square Garden Company in relation to the proposed development of MSG Sphere London, a 20,000 seat entertainment venue in Stratford. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, investment and fund managers, borrowers and lenders. Nick Turner is a key name and leads the corporate occupier offering, while Paul Chases is an expert in the structuring, negotiation and completion of complex development joint ventures. Also recommended is Shona Grey, a specialist in corporate acquisitions and disposals in the private equity real estate sector.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 4

Co-headed by Kevin Pullen and John Whiteoak  for non-contentious and contentious work respectively, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's ten-partner team provides 'practical and commercial solutions' to a wide range of stakeholders on the creditor and debtor front, particularly in distressed scenarios within firm-wide sector strengths including energy, infrastructure, travel, and leisure. Able to overlay complementary practice areas including corporate, litigation and tax, and also aided by an extensive international network, the firm has the ability to handle big-ticket cross-border debtor mandates as evidenced by its ongoing work in the longstanding Nortel matter.

Testimonials

‘The team has the ability to cut through the most complex of matters and deliver practical, commercial solutions, while always protecting their clients’ positions.’

‘The team has real depth and breadth of experience in all areas of insolvency and restructuring law, including in relation to a number of ongoing high-profile cross-border insolvency cases.’

‘Stephen Conyers has very strong technical knowledge and practical nous, combined with friendly and affable approach which clients clearly love.’

Key clients

Sea Trucks International Limited and several of its group companies

Non-executive directors of Carillion Plc

Amey Birmingham Highways Limited

Arbuthnot Latham

BNP Paribas

Bench

Equitix Infrastructure

Amber Infrastructure

Ernst & Young

Virgin Atlantic

Three Hills Capital Partners

Fraud: white-collar crime Tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP' corporate crime and investigations team is able to advise on white collar crime compliance and investigations work around the world. Its UK team is backed by offices across Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the US, advising on multiple aspects of corporate crime including bribery, corruption and money laundering, taking the lead on both investigations and compliance work. Individual clients include directors, senior management and other employees. Susannah Cogman heads the team and has experience advising on anti-money laundering systems and controls failures, and representing clients in FCA investigations.

Testimonials

‘The team is stuffed with highly intelligent, hard-working, gifted lawyers’.

‘Elizabeth Head is a star in the making’.

Key clients

The Executive Counsel to the Financial Reporting Council

Roger Jenkins

Various employees and ex-employees of Tesco plc

A senior British businessman involved in bribery allegations concerning GlaxoSmithKline’s activities in China

Various individuals in respect of the SFO’s investigation into Afren PLC

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a dedicated private wealth offering that comprises senior disputes, advisory and transactional lawyers who advise on various issues including structuring and tax advisory matters. It regularly advises institutional clients, trustees, insurers, beneficiaries and family offices as well as high-net-worth individuals. Client mandates include acting for some of the wealthiest families in Asia, the Middle East and Europe (including the UK). Richard Norridge heads the team.

Testimonials

Richard Norridge  is knowledgeable and articulate. Approachable, but strong. Has been very good to deal with. Supported well by colleagues.

Pragmatic and commercial, as well as technically sound, it is an ambitious and motivated team that is keen to make its mark in what is a competitive area.

Gareth Keillor is very experienced and capable in offshore and in Russia/CIS/Ukraine matters. He is hardworking, bright, commercial  and aware of – and sensitive to – clients’ needs.

Reputation management Tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's defamation and reputation practice headed by the 'exceptionalAlan Watts applies a multi-jurisdictional approach, drawing on the firm's resources around the world. It is therefore a go-to practice for major multinational corporations. In this litigation-focused area of law, the practice promotes alternative dispute resolution. The team is also actively involved in handling cases surrounding the #metoo movement, advising companies on how to address allegations. Neil Blake's wide-ranging practice includes assisting FTSE 250 mining companies with their reputation management.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

‘HSF have a very strong litigation practice but know how to manage matters outside court, which is vital in reputation management.’

‘Alan Watts is an exceptional lawyer. Very good at client management and the tactical elements of managing reputation issues.’

Key clients

Ted Baker

Lord Sugar

EasyJet plc

Vodafone plc

Virgin

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 5

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP frequently acts for charities, NGOs, foundations and social enterprises as well as multinational corporate clients in relation to their charitable and philanthropic activities. The charities group spans all practice areas including tax, trusts, real estate and employment and its work typically has an international dimension. It is regularly instructed to advise local and international charities and foundations on their governance, structures and processes in addition to their social investments. Richard Norridge heads the team.

Testimonials

The team at HSF has been incredibly insightful, helpful and dedicated, helping us to overcome a series of complicated and complex issues‘.

The team’s interest in, and passion about, my social enterprise and the impact I am trying to create is clear and this is of utmost importance to any social entrepreneur. If your lawyers care about what you are trying to do, and share in the journey with you, it becomes an incredibly powerful relationship and this is what I have with the HSF team‘.

‘Approachable, flexible and thorough. Excellent at leveraging the resources within HSF to assist our work‘.

Rebecca Perlman is always approachable, intelligent and able to grasp complex themes quickly, and makes herself easily available‘.

Rebecca Perlman has been excellent in propelling our work‘.

‘The team has pulled things out the bag for us with very short notice. Made themselves available and moved projects forward efficiently‘.

What makes this practice unique is that every individual we work with takes pride in their work. What they all have in common is a desire to understand our needs and to build great relationships‘.

 

Key clients

Local Welcome

Tech for Trade

Global Campaign for Mental Health

The Freetown Foundation

Minds at Work

Circle of Young

Intrepreneurs (COYI)

Disability Law Service

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 5

Eight partners in Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's broader City corporate practice regularly work on PE mandates; with four of them handling primary buyouts, while two apiece are devoted to the ancillary practice areas of tax and financing. Real estate, infrastructure, energy, alternative financial services and TMT are sectors of specialist expertise for the firm, with the practice headed by John Taylor. PE fund formation and public-to-private transactions are some other core areas of work. The team acts for multinational blue-chip PE houses, such as The Blackstone Group and The Carlyle Group, as well as some sovereign wealth funds. Also recommended is Gavin Davies, who often advises financial investors and UK-listed companies.

Testimonials

‘Two factors make this practice stand out from the crowd: (i) the partners are highly technically skilled with excellent market knowledge but are also pragmatic, commercially aware and very personable  – which can itself be critical factor in an M&A transaction (ii) and the consistently very high quality of the corporate associates.’

‘HSF stands out from its peers in terms of selection and retention of first rate/stellar female corporate associates.’

‘The team is exceptionally hard working and very commercial in their approach. This level of commerciality and deal strategy is not always found in other firms.’

‘The team is superb, in particular marked by Malcolm Lombers and Martyn Jones. Responsive, knowledgeable, swift and capable.’

‘Barney Hinnegan is a standout corporate partner – highly technically skilled with excellent market knowledge but also pragmatic, commercially aware and very personable  – which can itself be critical factor in the success of an M&A transaction when dealing with tense stakeholders and counterparties.’

‘Partner Caroline Rae is also worthy of note – you definitely want to make sure you have Caroline on your side of the table, not opposite you.’

‘Marsha Williamson and Charles Stewart are both stand out corporate associates.’

Key clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Blackstone

Cabot Square

Carlyle

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

GIC

Impilo

Hannam & Partners

Hanover Investors

Hastings Funds Management

iCON Infrastructure

KKR

Metric Capital Partners

Sherborne Investors

Three Hills Capital Partners

Private funds Tier 5

Garnering client praise for its 'extreme dedication, professionalism and cost consciousness', the investment management department at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is led by Nigel Farr. The group's 'thorough experience in funds matters' covers the areas of private equity, real estate and infrastructure, with a particular strength in funds investing in developing markets such as Asia and Africa. Blue chip entities such as BlackRock and BNP Paribas feature on the firm's client list, which also saw significant growth on the LP side due to the addition of new investor clients. Also noteworthy are Stephen Newby and Tim West; Newby boasts prior experience at the firm's Singapore and Dubai offices while West possesses funds regulatory expertise.

Testimonials

Herbert Smith Freehills are very responsive and turn things around quickly. They are able to make commercially-savvy decisions and have a genuine interest in making a positive social impact‘.

HSF are very efficient, competent and work well within deadlines and budgets‘.

Stephen Newby  is highly experienced in pretty much all fund-related issues, from fund formation to GP-LP negotiation issues, fund economics and tax’.

Stephen Newby is very approachable and engaged‘.

Key clients

BlackRock

Sustainable Development Capital

Alvin Partners

BNP Paribas

HSBC

Man Group

Neuberger Berman Private Equity Partners

Lendlease

Polar Capital

Baillie Gifford

J.P. Morgan Asset Management & JP Morgan Cazenove

HarbourVest Global Private Equity

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Pension Protection Fund

Transport finance & leasing Tier 6

The arrival in August 2018 of Rex Rosales and Jahnavi Ramachandran from Watson Farley & Williams LLP has afforded Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's London office a substantial aviation finance offering which was previously missing. Able to draw on the firm's broader aviation capability (across litigation, corporate and regulatory), its global network and complementary practice areas including finance and restructuring, the team has a strong footing with which to gain market share. Rosales and Ramachandran are both well respected among banks and lessors, in particular, and since joining the firm they have already expanded the scope of their client base to include firm-wide clients including Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Key clients

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group

CIT Group

EDC

Avolon Aerospace

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

CACIB

ABL Aviation

Erste Bank

Qatar Re

FPG Amentum

Bayerische Landesbank

The firm: Operating from 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and the US, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. The firm provides many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including banks, consumer products, energy, financial buyers, infrastructure and transport, mining, pharma and healthcare, real estate and TMT.

Types of work undertaken: Corporate and commercial: Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate practice provides clients with market-leading legal advice on their most important commercial transactions, including significant cross-border mergers and acquisitions, ground-breaking projects, complex capital markets fundraisings, financial regulation, inward investment, governance and risk management for companies’ boards and corporate tax advice. Clients include the world’s leading corporates, banks, financial buyers, governments and public sector bodies and the firm’s role frequently puts it at the heart of industries that are reshaping, restructuring and expanding into the world’s emerging markets. The diversity of the group allows it to advise on transactions across a wide range of industry sectors and it is acknowledged as providing world-class legal advice to energy and infrastructure, technology, media and telecoms, and financial services clients.

Banking and finance: the firm’s growing finance practice is known for the distinctive quality of its debt finance capability, advising on international and domestic deals in the bank lending (including acquisition finance and property finance), securitisation and capital markets, asset finance and project finance markets, as well as on corporate recovery matters. Its experience of acting for parties on all sides of transactions and its reputation for innovation give the firm a broad and original perspective when approaching deals, particularly those that are complex. With a focus on service delivery, it has a full finance offering in London, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Singapore and Australia.

Dispute resolution: the firm has a formidable reputation for domestic and international litigation, international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution – a pre-eminent position it has held for decades. It is the breadth of the firm’s practice and the experience and quality of its practitioners that distinguish it from its competitors.

Areas of specialism include: commercial litigation, international arbitration, advocacy, ADR, banking and regulatory disputes, intellectual property, cyber security, insurance litigation, private wealth and charities, international public law, competition litigation, fraud and investigations, health and safety, professional negligence and trusts litigation. Herbert Smith Freehills has a leading global advocacy practice. The firm’s unique in-house advocacy unit provides a number of benefits for clients, including ease of instruction and reduction in cost.

Real estate: the firm has a reputation for executing the largest and most complex real estate deals with accuracy and at speed. Its broad practice covers finance, development, investment, infrastructure/projects, corporate occupier, planning, construction and property litigation.

Clients: the firm represents many of the world’s leading corporations and investment banks. Its client base includes a growing number of the Middle East’s and Asia’s blue-chip multinationals.

In 2012 the firm expanded into America by opening an office in New York, which now comprises seasoned litigators, international arbitration specialists and projects and infrastructure practitioners. The firm expanded into Germany in 2013 with the opening of two offices (Frankfurt and Berlin) and opened a further office in South Korea (Seoul). 2015 saw the firm strengthening its presence across the EMEA region with its expansion into South Africa with an office in Johannesburg; Saudi Arabia with the launch of an exclusive association with the Law Office of Nasser Al-Hamdan in Riyadh; and Singapore with its Formal Law Alliance with Singapore law firm Prolegis LLC; the firm opened in Düsseldorf, its third office in Germany, in 2016. The firm opened its Kuala Lumpur office in May 2017, following the approval of its Qualified Foreign Law Firm licence by Bar Council Malaysia.

Other offices: Bangkok, Beijing, Belfast, Berlin, Brisbane, Brussels, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Jakarta (associated firm), Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Melbourne, Moscow, New York, Paris, Perth, Saudi Arabia (associated firm), Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore (associated firm), Sydney, Tokyo.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner James Palmer
CEO Mark Rigotti
London/Europe
Advocacy unit Adam Johnson
Acquisition finance Will Nevin
Acquisition finance Heather Culshaw
Administrative and public law Andrew Lidbetter
Arbitration Paula Hodges QC
Asset management Nigel Farr
Banking litigation Damien Byrne Hill
Construction and engineering Mark Lloyd-Williams
Construction and engineering Nicholas Downing
Consumer goods Susan Black
Corporate crime Rod Fletcher
Corporate fraud Rod Fletcher
Cyber security Andrew Moir
Debt capital markets Andrew Roberts
Debt capital markets Tom O'Neill
Derivatives Dina Albagli
Employee incentives Paul Ellerman
Employment Andrew Taggart
Energy, natural resources and utilities Steven Dalton
Energy, natural resources and utilities Matthew Job
Entertainment and media Stephen Wilkinson
Entertainment and media Alan Watts
Equity capital markets Charles Howarth
Equity capital markets Tom O'Neill
EU, competition and regulation Stephen Wisking
Finance and banking Kristen Roberts
Financial institutions Alex Kay
Financial institutions Damien Byrne Hill
Financial services regulatory Clive Cunningham
Financial services regulatory Andrew Procter
Infrastructure Patrick Mitchell
Insurance Geoffrey Maddock
Insurance and reinsurance litigation Paul Lewis
Intellectual property Mark Shillito
International arbitration Paula Hodges QC
International law Adam Johnson
International law Andrew Cannon
Investment funds Nigel Farr
IT and e-commerce Nick Pantlin
Life sciences Sophie Rich
Litigation Mark Shillito
Litigation Alan Watts
M&A Stephen Wilkinson
Pensions Alison Brown
PFI/PPP Patrick Mitchell
Planning and environment Matthew White
Private equity Mark Geday
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michael Aherne photo Michael Aherne
 Karen Anderson photo Karen Anderson
 Jennifer Andrews photo Jennifer Andrews
 James Baily photo James Baily
 Matthew Bonye photo Matthew Bonye
 William Breeze photo William Breeze
 Samantha Brown photo Samantha Brown
Mrs Alison Brown  photo Mrs Alison Brown
 Paul Butcher photo Paul Butcher
 Charlotte Cartwright  photo Charlotte Cartwright
 Paul Chases photo Paul Chases
 Simon Clarke photo Simon Clarke
 Susannah Cogman photo Susannah Cogman
 John Corrie photo John Corrie
Mr Ian Cox  photo Mr Ian Cox
 Clive Cunningham photo Clive Cunningham
 Reza Dadbakhsh photo Reza Dadbakhsh
Mr Steven Dalton  photo Mr Steven Dalton
Mr Martin Dawbney  photo Mr Martin Dawbney
Mrs Alice Dockar  photo Mrs Alice Dockar
 Nicholas Downing photo Nicholas Downing
 Harry Edwards photo Harry Edwards
 Paul Ellerman photo Paul Ellerman
 Nigel Farr photo Nigel Farr
 James Farrell photo James Farrell
 Rod Fletcher photo Rod Fletcher
 Richard Forsdyke photo Richard Forsdyke
 Peter Frost photo Peter Frost
 Ian Gault  photo Ian Gault
 Silke Goldberg photo Silke Goldberg
 Shona Grey photo Shona Grey
 Tara Grossman  photo Tara Grossman
 Tim Healey photo Tim Healey
 Damien Byrne Hill photo Damien Byrne Hill
 Paula Hodges photo Paula Hodges
 Catherine Howard photo Catherine Howard
 Charles Howarth photo Charles Howarth
Mrs Michelle Howie  photo Mrs Michelle Howie
 Daniel Hudson photo Daniel Hudson
 Mark Ife photo Mark Ife
Mr Hywel Jenkins  photo Mr Hywel Jenkins
 Gareth Keillor photo Gareth Keillor
 Anna Law  photo Anna Law
 Tim Leaver photo Tim Leaver
 Rupert Lewis photo Rupert Lewis
 Joanna Mason  photo Joanna Mason
Mrs Shelagh McKibbin  photo Mrs Shelagh McKibbin
Mr Mark Newbery  photo Mr Mark Newbery
 Chris Parker photo Chris Parker
 Rachel Pinto photo Rachel Pinto
Mr Julian Pollock  photo Mr Julian Pollock
 Michael Poulton photo Michael Poulton
 Andrew Procter photo Andrew Procter
 Bradley Richardson  photo Bradley Richardson
Mr Mark Rigotti  photo Mr Mark Rigotti
Miss Hannah Roscoe  photo Miss Hannah Roscoe
Mr David Rosen  photo Mr David Rosen
 Donald Rowlands photo Donald Rowlands
 Jenny Stainsby photo Jenny Stainsby
Mr Shekhar Sumit  photo Mr Shekhar Sumit
 Andrew Taggart photo Andrew Taggart
Mr Nicholas Turner  photo Mr Nicholas Turner
Mr Jeremy Walden  photo Mr Jeremy Walden
Mr Neil Warriner photo Mr Neil Warriner
 Tim West photo Tim West
 Matthew White photo Matthew White
 Hannah White  photo Hannah White
 Julia Williams  photo Julia Williams
Mr Nick Wright  photo Mr Nick Wright
 Christine Young photo Christine Young
Mr Paul Young  photo Mr Paul Young
UK :
Number of partners : 161
Number of other fee-earners : 465
Global :
Number of partners : 469
Number of other fee-earners : 2,478

The Lex 100 Verdict

Respondents consistently praised Herbert Smith Freehills' 'commitment to diversity' and chose the firm due to its 'progressive people' and 'inclusive culture'. What stands out among responses is the impact 'the people' have on trainees, making HSF 'the friendliest firm I've come across during my university studies' for some recruits. Earning a Lex 100 Winner medal for inclusivity, trainees are happy about the support they receive as 'there is a genuine emphasis on well-being' and 'a lot of internal training to prepare you for both the firm and your team'. HSF is renowned for the 'quality of its litigation practice' and for having 'the best disputes department'. As for the working hours, recruits' work/life balance fell short. 'Having to stay late at short notice' and 'cancel evening plans' were not appreciated by respondents. Another objection was that the 'seat and secondment allocation process are not very transparent', although one trainee was grateful that 'the host office was very conscious to include you in activities' during a client secondment. The firm's international presence was also a big draw, making HSF a Lex 100 Winner in the category of international secondments. Trainees' best moments were 'the development course at the end of the first year', and 'drafting a settlement agreement for a high-profile case'. Indeed, 'the multiple opportunities to attend court' was a popular response and training is described as 'more focused' and 'hands-on' than at comparable firms, especially when it comes to 'high-profile matters'. If you want to work for a 'progressive firm' with a 'genuine interest in diversity and inclusion' where there is a 'strong focus on personal and professional development', apply to Herbert Smith Freehills.