Firm Profile > Macfarlanes LLP > London, England

Macfarlanes LLP
20 CURSITOR STREET
LONDON
EC4A 1LT
England

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Macfarlanes LLP is recognised for its vast experience in high-value and complex disputes for high-net-worth families and individuals, trustees and family offices. It continues to be busy advising on disputes over some of the largest trusts and estates that often hold prominent businesses, other substantial property holdings and large cash and investment portfolios. Head of the 'talented, experienced and personable' team is Charles Lloyd  who is a leading contentious trusts practitioner with extensive English and international experience. Jonathan Arr has a particular focus on Bermuda, Mauritius, the Bahamas, Jersey and Guernsey. Elizabeth Doherty is well-regarded for her work on all aspects of contentious trusts and is well versed in claims of breach of trustee and/or removal of trustees and protectors as well as Public Trustee v Cooper applications. It 'has experienced, unflappable partners who devise sound strategies in complex, cross-border trust litigation in a manner which instils confidence and delivers client objectives'.

Practice head(s):

Charles Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Arr; Elizabeth Doherty; Jacob Ward

Testimonials

Simply the best – the lawyers have the support of an outstanding non-contentious but highly commercial and litigation-savvy private client, trusts and probate team.  Led by Charles Lloyd, who is exceptionally experienced and cool-headed, charming and reassuring, they provide an extremely good service, handling smoothly the largest cases, but turning their hands enthusiastically and with the same client commitment, to cases whatever their size. Charles Lloyd and Jonathan Arr are the standout partners.

‘Overall, the Macfarlanes team is a complete class act.  The lawyers have the total package – technical skill, commitment to the client’s cause, great judgement and strategic calls and superb client handling skills. Jonathan Arr – developing into one of the very top trust litigation solicitors.  His instincts are spot on and he delivers fantastic results for his clients. Always on top of everything and a pleasure to work with.’

Macfarlanes’ trusts lawyers are exceptional, and the standard against which I measure other firms. The team is technically brilliant, commercially reasonable, and a pleasure to work with. Advice is timely, solutions focused, and always excellent value for money. In terms of key capabilities, the firm is a powerhouse for private client and tax. Private client matters often touch on corporate, securities, insolvency, and financing matters and what sets Macfarlanes apart is the ability to deliver fully integrated advice and assistance across all of the key private client touch points. Jonathan Arr is an utter pleasure to work with.’

Macfarlanes is undoubtedly one of the premier firms – arguably “the” premier firm – specialising in high-end private client litigation. It is outstanding for heavy-duty international disputes, with a great team and superlative back-up. Charles Lloyd is outstanding. One of the most impressive and respected figures in the international litigation field, he is supported by an exceptional team of partners and senior and junior assistants. Jonathan Arr and Elizabeth Doherty deserve special mention among the litigation partners, and Jacob Ward is an exceptional senior assistant. The litigation team is further strengthened by an equally impressive non-contentious group.’

Charles Lloyd: one of the big beasts in this area. Superb with clients and seen it all before. Elizabeth Doherty: at the head of a new generation of contentious trusts and probate lawyers who already has a stellar reputation. Very detail-focused and very good at handling clients.’

Charles Lloyd is a highly experienced and smooth operator. Elizabeth Doherty is thorough in preparation and determined in execution.’

‘It has an exceptionally strong and well-regarded team, from partners through to associates.  They are genuine leaders in the field. Jonathan Arr is brilliant.  Incredibly bright, and charming and commercial with it.  I would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone looking for advice in this area. Charles Lloyd is an extremely well-known, well-liked and well-respected figure in the contentious trust world and for very good reason.  He’s great.

‘Genuinely personable people with great personalities. Really know their stuff. Practical and commercial not just based on theory of law, great team working both internally and with their clients and related parties. Very responsive. Charles Lloyd – really knows his stuff and is a jovial chap whilst being firm with the other side when needed. Elizabeth Doherty – excellent technician, very personable, understands the detail and can communicate well to the non-technical parties.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Under the leadership of Piers Barclay the group at Macfarlanes LLP provides comprehensive advice to clients across all aspects of private client, including bespoke tax advice, trust and succession planning as well as advising on the administration of estates, philanthropy and contentious trusts and property matters. It is skilled at advising high-net-worth clients with assets, business interests and families across multiple jurisdictions. Barclay has a wide-ranging tax and trusts practice with a significant number of Middle Eastern and Greek clients. Jonathan Conder advises on a whole host of issues, with strong experience in advising business owners who have combined personal and corporate law needs as well as helping clients with their large-scale philanthropic aims. Oliver Court has a large family office client base. Charles Gothard has spent considerable time in  Switzerland developing relationships with key intermediaries such as private banks, trust companies and foreign lawyers. ‘Quality shines throughout the team.

Practice head(s):

Piers Barclay

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Conder; Charles Gothard; Edward Reed; Oliver Court; Nicholas Harries; Isobel Morton; Jennifer Smithson; Sebastian Prichard Jones; Mark Hunter; Richard Giangrande; Charlie Maydon Grace

Testimonials

‘The Macfarlanes private client team is extraordinary.  The lawyers have a depth of knowledge that is unmatched and it is a pleasure to collaborate with as part of a team. One of the terrific things about working with Macfarlanes is that different members of the practice have different areas in which they shine, including a knowledge of various other jurisdictions.  In addition, they always step up when a new matter arises that has a short deadline‘.

‘Oliver Court is knowledgeable, particularly in the area of US-UK planning, and is a pleasure to work with.  He is able to explain complex cross-border planning matters in a client-friendly way. Jennifer Smithson also has an impressive knowledge of US-UK planning as well as fiduciary matters. Jennifer is always ready and able to help, embracing even the most pressing and complex matters‘.

Piers Barclay is a true leader, not only in his field but for the group more generally. Clients adore Piers and he is able to handle the most difficult of personalities. Nicholas Harries is always a pleasure to work with, no matter the complexity or number of jurisdictions involved. He is incredibly smart and able to handle the most difficult matters with patience and grace‘.

They are superb for both (1) personal tax, trusts and probate and (2) contentious trusts and probate . I and others at my firm have worked with a number of the lawyers at Macfarlanes for many years. We involve them in our most significant matters, for clients with assets usually in the billions of dollars or pounds. We find all of their partners with whom we have worked to be of the highest quality. They are always incredibly responsive, are leaders in the field, provide sophisticated, nuanced advice and have great depth‘.

I have worked with several of the partners on client matters over the years and have found all of them to be excellent. Moreover, I have consistently found the associates to be extremely impressive. On the personal tax, trust and probate side I have worked the most with, and think extremely highly of partners Sebastian Prichard Jones, Jon Conder, Piers Barclay, Charles Gothard, Oliver Court, Isobel Morton, Mark Hunter and senior solicitor Charlie Maydon Grace. Macfarlanes has extraordinary depth, as each of these partners is a superb lawyer, extremely knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking, sophisticated in his or her practice and displays valuable judgement and keen insight‘.

‘The lawyers at Macfarlanes are a delight to work with. For example, I regularly recommend Sebastian Prichard Jones (senior partner of the firm) and other partners to important clients and they invariably thank me‘.

I consider Macfarlanes to be the “Oxbridge” of the private law world and am always highly impressed with them. I have recently been working with Jon Conder on a big international trust planning case for a young heiress. This is a complicated cross-jurisdictional matter and he has done an amazing job‘.

‘The best in the industry.  Jenny Smithson – simply excellent.  Clients love her and her attention to detail is second to none. Richard Giangrande – well respected and technically brilliant. Nicholas Harries – experienced practitioner with gravitas and great to work with’.

Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 1

In addition to handling acquisitions, exits, and investments in the private equity space, Macfarlanes LLP advises clients on matters including equity incentive plans related to transactions, private investments in public equity, and carve-outs. The team is active across the mid-cap and high-value space, working on both domestic UK transactions and international deals. Alex Edmondson leads the team and primarily advises on sponsor-led buyouts. Stephen Drewitt formerly served as head of PE and continues to be a key contact in the practice. Jessica Adam is also recommended, counting  both PE houses and management teams among her client base.

Practice head(s):

Alex Edmondson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Drewitt; Jessica Adam

Testimonials

‘A vastly experienced and knowledgeable PE transactional team, ably supported by Macfarlanes’ tax and private funds practices. Transactional expertise is bolstered by a deep understanding of corporate governance matters. The team is smart, responsive and sensitive to client needs.’

‘Stephen Pike is excellent. Stephen is always available, communicates complex points in a straightforward style and knows our key concerns well. Stephen has a great command of the details but is also capable of taking the 1,000 foot view and identifying what’s truly important.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Alchemy Private Equity

August Equity

Caledonia

Charme Capital

Epiris

Exponent

GHO Capital

Graphite Capital

Hayfin

JC Flowers

Keyhaven Group

OpCapita

Origin Equity Group

Silverfleet Group

Waterland Private Equity

Retail funds Tier 1

Macfarlanes LLP remains a strong choice for institutional asset managers, including funds and financial institutions. The team advises major international banks and managers on retail products, with a notable strength in 'retailisation' advice to private equity investors. Elsewhere, the group is heavily involved in wider regulatory issues within the space, working with the Investment Association and advising the FCA on its post-Brexit funds regime. Lora Froud, who leads the retail funds practice, is a specialist in regulated retail funds products, working with the firm's high-profile clients, as well as advising on the Treasury's Long Term Asset Fund vehicle. Alexandra Green has a particular focus on regulatory issues, such as MiFID II, FCA and PRA waivers, and ESG products. In 2020, Green made partner, while Alexandra Cochrane was promoted to counsel.

Practice head(s):

Lora Froud

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Green; Alexandra Cochrane

Testimonials

Lora Froud’s team are approachable and responsive, which is a quality that pre-dates the pandemic – they have always been like this. They are pragmatic and commercial as they have taken time to understand our business, our concerns and our client’s concerns, so working with them feels much like a collaboration.

Lora Froud has exceptional knowledge of the retail fund market, including both the product side and regulatory matters.

I am always impressed by the depth of knowledge of this team, even the junior lawyers. The manner in which advice is relayed is always clear and they are able to draw on a wealth of experience from key partners.

Macfarlanes always have a bespoke approach tailored to the client. We have been particularly impressed on some of their ESG content.

Macfarlanes has a genuinely collaborative approach, communication between teams is very good and everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Lora heads a team of highly competent solicitors. They are all approachable, pragmatic and efficient.

Strong industry knowledge and a practical approach.

Key clients

Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Goldman Sachs International

Morgan Stanley Investment Management

BNY Mellon Asset Management

Legal & General Investment Management

Vanguard Asset Management

Fidelity Investments

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Jupiter Asset Management

Quilter Investments

Merian Global Investors (now part of Jupiter)

Coutts

Link Fund Solutions

Commercial property: development Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLPThe commercial property team at elite London firm Macfarlanes LLP is well-regarded for offering ‘concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate disciplines’. In the development space, its key differentiators include the high degree of emphasis it places on helping clients obtain value from surplus land, as well as the vast experience that Nick Barnes and Anthony Burnett-Scott possess in respect of mixed-use and urban regeneration projects. Clare Breeze was recently appointed as Burnett-Scott’s co-head and centres her practice around cross-border commercial and residential property transactions, including those relating to build-to-rent, private rented sector and student accommodation assets. The team caters to both institutional and private investors, also frequently supporting on the real estate aspects of major corporate transactions, and has seen significant growth in the private equity real estate market of late. Standout recent work has included advising on the acquisition of The Ritz Hotel in London by a private Qatari investor, a deal on which Tom Pedder played a key role. The firm's corporate occupier practice is centred around the representation of clients in the retail, professional services, media and creative industries and is geared to act on relocation projects, premises acquisitions and excess space disposals, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Burnett-Scott; Clare Breeze

Other key lawyers:

Dan Marriott; Nick Barnes

Testimonials

‘A market-leading team with intimate knowledge of sector. They work exceptionally hard but are also good fun. They understand how my business works and structure their work around it.’

‘Macfarlanes offer concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate and construction disciplines. The lawyers get straight to the point and they can always be relied upon to offer optimised solutions to fit the circumstances. At the end of each billing period, I rarely worry about fees because they are very good at sticking to agreed multiple workstream budgets. I really enjoy working with the lawyers at Macfarlanes.’

‘Special mention to Anthony Burnett-Scott: Anthony is very experienced across the real estate spectrum and can always be relied upon to respond promptly and deliver succinct advice to address complex circumstances; he is also a tremendous ambassador for his firm and is able to help me navigate effortlessly to other disciplines when needs arise.’

‘Extremely strong and responsive team who communicate between one and another and our team very efficiently. The lead partner was available when necessary and always responsive to email or phonecalls. The process was particularly document heavy but the Macfarlanes team worked through it steadily and with a good nature and responded to any queries promptly and with a thorough answer. They were extremely focused and moved through the work quickly and efficiently.’

‘Dan Marriott is always available and willing to offer guidance or insight. He is very creative and flexible and he has a very collaborative and inclusive approach which helps to build positive momentum on projects.’

‘Clare Breeze proactively looks for solutions and is good humoured under pressure.’

‘Tom Pedder is a dedicated hard working professional who has dealt on my behalf in a number of very complex transactions – a credit to his profession and to his partnership.’

‘Down to earth, detailed advice and sufficient power to get deals over the line.’

Commercial property: investment Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLPThe commercial property team at elite London firm Macfarlanes LLP is well-regarded for offering ‘concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate disciplines’. In the development space, its key differentiators include the high degree of emphasis it places on helping clients obtain value from surplus land, as well as the vast experience that Nick Barnes and Anthony Burnett-Scott possess in respect of mixed-use and urban regeneration projects. Clare Breeze was recently appointed as Burnett-Scott’s co-head and centres her practice around cross-border commercial and residential property transactions, including those relating to build-to-rent, private rented sector and student accommodation assets. The team caters to both institutional and private investors, also frequently supporting on the real estate aspects of major corporate transactions, and has seen significant growth in the private equity real estate market of late. Standout recent work has included advising on the acquisition of The Ritz Hotel in London by a private Qatari investor, a deal on which Tom Pedder played a key role. The firm's corporate occupier practice is centred around the representation of clients in the retail, professional services, media and creative industries and is geared to act on relocation projects, premises acquisitions and excess space disposals, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Burnett-Scott; Clare Breeze

Other key lawyers:

Dan Marriott; Dominic Cunliffe; Nick Barnes

Testimonials

‘A market-leading team with intimate knowledge of sector. They work exceptionally hard but are also good fun. They understand how my business works and structure their work around it.’

‘Macfarlanes offer concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate and construction disciplines. The lawyers get straight to the point and they can always be relied upon to offer optimised solutions to fit the circumstances. At the end of each billing period, I rarely worry about fees because they are very good at sticking to agreed multiple workstream budgets. I really enjoy working with the lawyers at Macfarlanes.’

‘Special mention to Anthony Burnett-Scott: Anthony is very experienced across the real estate spectrum and can always be relied upon to respond promptly and deliver succinct advice to address complex circumstances; he is also a tremendous ambassador for his firm and is able to help me navigate effortlessly to other disciplines when needs arise.’

‘Extremely strong and responsive team who communicate between one and another and our team very efficiently. The lead partner was available when necessary and always responsive to email or phonecalls. The process was particularly document heavy but the Macfarlanes team worked through it steadily and with a good nature and responded to any queries promptly and with a thorough answer. They were extremely focused and moved through the work quickly and efficiently.’

‘Dan Marriott is always available and willing to offer guidance or insight. He is very creative and flexible and he has a very collaborative and inclusive approach which helps to build positive momentum on projects.’

‘Clare Breeze proactively looks for solutions and is good humoured under pressure.’

‘Tom Pedder is a dedicated hard working professional who has dealt on my behalf in a number of very complex transactions – a credit to his profession and to his partnership.’

‘Down to earth, detailed advice and sufficient power to get deals over the line.’

Key clients

M7 Real Estate

Hillwood

Brookfield

Canary Wharf Group

Ecoworld

Kennedy Wilson

Legal & General

Realstar

Stanhope

Corporate tax Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLP has a strong client offering that covers transaction structuring, fund formation and group tax advice, dispute resolution and operational tax work. Damien Crossley heads up the practice and is praised for his 'unrivalled' knowledge of the private equity and investment management space. Mark Baldwin has a broad corporate tax practice and focuses on the structuring of collective investment vehicles, and Ashley Greenbank showcases expertise in cross-border finance and M&A transactions. The team also has significant experience advising funds; James McCredie and Ceinwen Rees are key names to note. Jeremy Moncrieff focuses on M&A in the asset management and wealth management space. Key changes to the team include the departure of Peter Abbott in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Damien Crossley

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Greenbank; Mark Baldwin; James McCredie; Jeremy Moncrieff; Ceinwen Rees

Testimonials

Damien Crossley is exceptional at providing clear and commercial advice. He is different from competitors due to his willingness to ‘get off the fence’ and his unwillingness to over-complicate matters unduly. His knowledge of the investment management sector (not just private equity) is also close to unrivalled.’

We have found the team to be very thoughtful and commercial. They give clear advice and back it up well.’

Jeremy Moncrieff is very good. He is not afraid to stick his neck out and give an opinion, which is always well reasoned and carefully explained. He is also very responsive and always makes time to help.’

Key clients

Alcentra

Alchemy

Blackstone

Bridgepoint Advisers Limited

Cross Ocean

GHO Capital

Hayfin Capital Management

Legal and General

Omnicom

Partners Group

Patron Capital

Realstar

Smith & Williamson

Virgin

Warwick Capital

Employee share schemes Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLP advises major employers such as Virgin and JD Wetherspoons, covering the full range of employment share scheme plans. The client base is similarly diverse and includes public and private companies, ranging from major corporates to startup ventures. A growing aspect of the firm’s work is in financial services remuneration for fund managers.  Robert Collard heads up the team, advising on transactions and regulatory support, with a particular focus on the financial services sector. He is supported by senior counsel Rasmus Berglund who is experienced in handling share schemes that involve both the US and UK.

Practice head(s):

Robert Collard

Other key lawyers:

Rasmus Berglund

Testimonials

‘We’ve have been a customer of Macfarlanes for a number of years, across a number of areas. They have a unique ability to transition customers between business lines seamlessly with no territorial disputes or ownership problems. As a customer this is extremely powerful and efficient, as it removes any need to explain challenges twice, or give extended background.’

‘They feel as an extension to our company across multiple lines of business and continue to give excellent and practical advice, timely responses in an integrated and ordered way.’ 

‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable, practical and collaborative, in addition to being friendly and communicative.’

Financial services: contentious Tier 2

At Macfarlanes LLP, the financial services and markets dispute resolution team has experience in major investigations, with recent work involving LIBOR and FX, market abuse allegations and insider-dealing investigations. The group comprises experts in civil and criminal litigation, and has a track-record in cross-border regulatory disputes. Dan Lavender takes the lead, and is often called upon to co-ordinate matters involving multiple jurisdictions. Matt McCahearty heads the firm's litigation department and is well-established in the space of investigations and regulatory enforcement. Barry Donnelly is a veteran of contentious financial regulatory issues, with experience in proceedings brought by UK and US regulators and criminal authorities. Senior counsel Aalia Datoo is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Dan Lavender; Matt McCahearty

Other key lawyers:

Barry Donnelly; Aalia Datoo; Helen Carter; Laura Bridgewater

Testimonials

Very good team covering contentious FS, good industry knowledge and great team players.’

Matt McCahearty – increasing prominence and stature over past few years, great team player.

Exceptional strength with technical knowledge around judicial reviews.’

Matt McCahearty and Dan Lavender are both exceptional and sharp litigators.’

I have worked with Matt McCahearty on a number of matters. He is intelligent, sensible and a pleasure to work with. He is experienced and knowledgeable and I would not hesitate to recommend him.’

Fraud: civil Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLP is ‘well-known for civil fraud work, regularly representing sophisticated clients in some of their most challenging contentious situations‘. Notable for litigation funding expertise, the firm handles commercial, private wealth and banking fraud, with particular strength in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS matters. James Popperwell leads the practice and is a ‘wise and experienced practitioner and a great asset in complex cases‘. A key name in his team is senior counsel Chloë Edworthy, who specialises in cross-border litigation and arbitration, often relating to fraud.

Practice head(s):

James Popperwell

Other key lawyers:

Chloë Edworthy; Nikolas Ireland; Joanna Constantis; Ed Llewelyn-Evans

Testimonials

‘Very careful and thorough work on the cases I have been instructed upon. Excellent document management platforms for the litigation. Very nice people to work with/for’.

‘Stand out partner is James Popperwell who has excellent judgment and a very clam reassuring manner. Chloe Edworthy is an excellent senior associate. She has shown great skills in drafting and care in the work she carried out. Ed Llewelyn-Evans likewise very good on the cases we have been working on together’.

‘My overall impression of the firm (the dispute section) is excellent. Cooperation within the team is good, they are all hard working and deliver superb quality work. Particularly strong in cross-border issues’.   

‘Nikolas Ireland has excellent legal kills on complex matters and always fight hard for the client; Joanna Constantis is very competent and has a good eye also for the fine details which might be very important to the case’.

‘This a very well-coordinated and balanced team of professionals, who are passionate about their work. They are knowledgeable, experienced and efficient. Partners personally are involved in the case and very engaged, they pay a lot of attention to clients’ needs’.

‘James Popperwell is the partner with whom I deal. A wise and experienced practitioner and a great asset in complex cases’.

‘Their calm efficiency is a great asset to their clients and other lawyers working with them’.

‘Macfarlanes is well-known for Civil Fraud work, regularly representing sophisticated clients in some of their most challenging contentious situations’. 

Key clients

Vitaly Orlov

Michael Slobodin, Clern Holdings, Igor Cheremkin, Vladimir Kuznetsov, Alexander Kolychev, Maksim Mayorets, Irina Matveeva, Evgeny Olkhovik

Vitaly Orlov

British Bankers’ Association

Norebo Group

BDO

Primekings Limited, Robin Fisher, Geoff Ziedler, Barry Stiefel

Better Capital LLP

AlixPartners

Fund finance Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLP advises fund managers on financing for a variety of fund structures, with particular strength in credit funds and private equity. The team advises on GP support, capital call, subscription and equity commitment facilities. Also notable is that it has a growing profile in international lending arrangements. The team is jointly led by Andrew Perkins and Richard Fletcher, who are both strong performers in the credit fund space and advise on a number of complex mandates. Senior associate Alex Pickett advises on ESG and sustainability-focused financings, and has in-house expertise from a secondment, as does Valery Nformba.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Perkins; Richard Fletcher

Other key lawyers:

Alex Pickett

Key clients

Alcentra

Alchemy Special Opportunities Funds

Partners Group

Montagu

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 2

Praised for its ‘very pragmatic, result-oriented approach’, Macfarlanes LLP benefits from the firm’s wider reputation in the corporate arena, especially in attracting anti-bribery and anti-money laundering compliance instructions. The team is also well-equipped to handle bribery and corruption investigations conducted by enforcement authorities such as the SFO, the FCA and the NCA. For matters requiring more complex strategic assistance, the team can rely on the firm’s case management unit. Department head Neill Blundell is ‘a charming and slick operator who corporates want on their side in times of a crisis’. Recently promoted partner Lorna Emson has extensive experience acting in the financial services and oil and gas sectors.

Practice head(s):

Neill Blundell

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Emson; Barry Donnelly; James Popperwell; Max Hobbs; Francis Bond

Testimonials

‘I have found the team at Macfarlanes in this sector (Neill Blundell and Lorna Emson in particular) stand out for combining real knowledge and understanding of the relevant legal principles with a sure grasp of practical realities and how to achieve the best for their client by applying those principles. They have a very pragmatic, result-oriented approach which clients clearly value.’

‘It’s the link to Macfarlanes’ civil practice that really sets this team apart — they are able to access criminal and regulatory crossover work for corporates who are clients of the wider firm. Also, their knowledge is broad-based and they are very used to dealing with the demands and anxieties of demanding corporates. Private prosecution work is also important and distinctive.’

‘I found the team to be well organised, responsive and knowledgeable. They move easily between criminal, civil and regulatory matters and provide a level of service that is unbeatable.’

‘Neill Blundell brings his decades of experience to bear on a pretty diverse mix of cases and seems to lead a happy ship. He is very good with the clientsand takes a pragmatic and long view of the case.’

‘Lorna Emson has a background in civil litigation which makes her a good fit for the team’s work. She always cuts to the heart of the issue and is approachable and friendly.’

‘Francis Bond is an associate with a keen eye for detail and an excellent grasp of sanctions law.’

‘Neil Blundell is undoubtedly one of the doyens of the regulatory investigations and corporate crime space. He has significant experience of acting for corporates facing criminal investigations and prosecutions. He has been involved in some of the highest-profile bribery investigations. He is a true expert in this area and is incredibly well-regarded by both clients and peers alike. A charming and slick operator who corporates want on their side in times of a crisis.’

Tax litigation and investigations Tier 2

Macfarlanes LLP's tax team has 'great technical expertise' and 'deep knowledge' of tax investigations and litigation, HMRC enquiries and audits. The team represents clients before tax tribunals and civil courts in relation to a wide variety of direct and indirect tax disputes. Another area of focus includes advising high-net worth individuals on domicile and residence enquiries. The practice is led by Gideon Sanitt who has a 'great combination of brains, responsiveness and client awareness'. Senior solicitor advocate Ben Webster and senior counsel Joanna Constantis are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gideon Sanitt

Other key lawyers:

Ben Webster; Joanna Constantis; Jackelyn West; Leyla Garahan; James Drake-Linney

Testimonials

This firm is a class act and clearly on top of its game.’

Gideon Sanitt – He is very able and easy to deal with . A great combination of brains, responsiveness and client awareness.’

Gideon Sanitt – stand out partner, fully understanding client perspective and brief, commercial.’

Excellent service and great technical expertise.’

Deep knowledge of relevant legislation and HMRC practice and approach. Up to date and relevant information on current topics and case law.’

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP's provides an 'extraordinarily capable and efficient' financial services and markets litigation team for complex regulatory disputes, enforcement actions and investigations. It frequently handles cross-border matters and is particularly active in those involving the US, where it works with its New York practice, and the Middle East. The 'extremely knowledgable' Barry Donnelly is strong for transatlantic enforcement cases and disputes relating to allegations of US dollar LIBOR manipulation. Donnelly leads the practice alongside Matt McCahearty and Dan Lavender, who both have a breadth of experience in commercial and regulatory disputes.

Practice head(s):

Barry Donnelly; Matt McCahearty; Dan Lavender

Other key lawyers:

Iain Mackie; Aalia Datoo

Testimonials

The team is extraordinarily capable and efficient. They are creative and continually go the extra mile.’

Barry Donnelly is hands down excellent. Sharp as a tack, smart, personable and practical.’

Barry Donnelly is extremely knowledgable, charming, patient and firm where he needs to be.

Barry Donnelly has unparalleled experience and expertise in this area and is trusted by the most significant institutional clients to deal with their most complex and sensitive matters. He is first class.

Key clients

NatWest

The British Bankers’ Association

JB Firth Rixson Inc, and FR Acquisitions

Dr Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed (Libyan Investment Authority)

Commercial litigation: premium Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP‘s commercial litigation team attracts praise for providing ‘practical and commercially sound advice in complex disputes‘. Working closely with the firm’s impressive private client and corporate practices, the team is a popular choice for privately-held businesses and wealthy families in a range of UK and cross-border corporate and commercial disputes. The ‘outstandingMatt McCahearty leads the team and is popular with US clients. Other key contacts include the ‘extremely bright, commercially minded and client-friendlyLois Horne, ‘excellent litigatorIain Mackie and recently promoted partner Christopher Charlton.

Practice head(s):

Matt McCahearty

Other key lawyers:

Iain Mackie; Matt McCahearty; Max Hobbs; Ed Llewelyn-Evans; Fred Snowball; Lois Horne

Testimonials

Macfarlanes has one of the leading corporate commercial litigation and corporate practices in the UK. They have always provided us excellent advice and have a good pulse on the market. They are very much at the top of their field.

Lois Horne is a stand-out partner. She is extremely bright, commercially minded and client-friendly. She is always on top of the documents and the detail as well as the big picture. She has an excellent sense of how a point will play before a court or tribunal and thinks tactically several steps ahead. Max Hobbs is an associate to watch. He works incredibly hard, has a keen eye for detail, and is a pleasure to work with. He is going places.

Matt McCahearty is an outstanding litigation partner who played a key role in one of our most complex recent litigations. He has sound judgement and knows how to work very well with clients. Iain Mackie led the matter for us as well and is an excellent litigator with a very good command of strategy and a close attention to all the small points in a litigation.’

The team is very strong, has top quality instructions, goes toe to toe with the largest City firms, and is excellent value for money. There is strength in depth at all levels.’

Lois Horne – excellent tactical nous, and a clear sense of the aims in litigation and how to achieve them. Ed Llewelyn-Evans – calm under pressure, and a highly skilled litigator.

Iain Mackie: always on top of what the client wants and needs; clever, astute, savvy, with excellent judgement. Lois Horne: super-clever, and very on top of the detail of her cases. Dan Lavender: very canny, always looking for the angles for his client and getting the most out of a bad case. Matt McCahearty: he has a very steely edge and will always fight his client’s corner. Fred Snowball: extremely bright, on top of every aspect of his cases; definitely future partner material.

Extremely able, experienced and thoughtful litigators. Take a detailed approach to mastering the legal and factual detail of the case. Give practical and commercially sound advice in complex disputes.

Key clients

Travelport Limited

Dr Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed (Libyan Investment Authority)

NatWest

Tony Matharu (Grange Hotels)

A former senior partner of a substantial Swiss private bank

Investec Trust (Guernsey) Limited / ITG Limited (ITGL)

Better Capital LLP

SAS

BDO

Ian Colin Wormleighton and David Philip Sodden of Deloitte LLP

Palla Pharma Limited and TPI Norway AS

Universal Coal PLC

Thomas Letter

Exotix Partners

Genius Sports Group and its subsidiary, Betgenius Limited

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 3

The commercial property team at elite London firm Macfarlanes LLP is well-regarded for offering ‘concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate disciplines’. In the development space, its key differentiators include the high degree of emphasis it places on helping clients obtain value from surplus land, as well as the vast experience that Nick Barnes and Anthony Burnett-Scott possess in respect of mixed-use and urban regeneration projects. Clare Breeze was recently appointed as Burnett-Scott’s co-head and centres her practice around cross-border commercial and residential property transactions, including those relating to build-to-rent, private rented sector and student accommodation assets. The team caters to both institutional and private investors, also frequently supporting on the real estate aspects of major corporate transactions, and has seen significant growth in the private equity real estate market of late. Standout recent work has included advising on the acquisition of The Ritz Hotel in London by a private Qatari investor, a deal on which Tom Pedder played a key role. The firm's corporate occupier practice is centred around the representation of clients in the retail, professional services, media and creative industries and is geared to act on relocation projects, premises acquisitions and excess space disposals, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Burnett-Scott; Clare Breeze

Other key lawyers:

Tom Pedder; Dan Marriott; Nick Barnes

Testimonials

‘A market-leading team with intimate knowledge of sector. They work exceptionally hard but are also good fun. They understand how my business works and structure their work around it.’

‘Macfarlanes offer concise, prompt and practical advice across all commercial real estate and construction disciplines. The lawyers get straight to the point and they can always be relied upon to offer optimised solutions to fit the circumstances. At the end of each billing period, I rarely worry about fees because they are very good at sticking to agreed multiple workstream budgets. I really enjoy working with the lawyers at Macfarlanes.’

‘Special mention to Anthony Burnett-Scott: Anthony is very experienced across the real estate spectrum and can always be relied upon to respond promptly and deliver succinct advice to address complex circumstances; he is also a tremendous ambassador for his firm and is able to help me navigate effortlessly to other disciplines when needs arise.’

‘Extremely strong and responsive team who communicate between one and another and our team very efficiently. The lead partner was available when necessary and always responsive to email or phonecalls. The process was particularly document heavy but the Macfarlanes team worked through it steadily and with a good nature and responded to any queries promptly and with a thorough answer. They were extremely focused and moved through the work quickly and efficiently.’

‘Dan Marriott is always available and willing to offer guidance or insight. He is very creative and flexible and he has a very collaborative and inclusive approach which helps to build positive momentum on projects.’

‘Clare Breeze proactively looks for solutions and is good humoured under pressure.’

‘Tom Pedder is a dedicated hard working professional who has dealt on my behalf in a number of very complex transactions – a credit to his profession and to his partnership.’

‘Down to earth, detailed advice and sufficient power to get deals over the line.’

Competition litigation Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP is highly regarded by peers for its work in the pharmaceutical sector, where it advises large companies on disputes relating to unfair pricing and patent settlement. Malcolm Walton leads the department, which also includes Cameron Firth, who has particular expertise in the retail and consumer sectors.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Walton

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Firth; Simon Day

Construction: contentious Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP has experience in construction litigation, adjudications and arbitration. It is particularly strong in commercial real estate disputes, including those involving office, residential and leisure properties, as well as disputes regarding infrastructure projects. Douglas Wass leads the team, often acting on PFI disputes relating to hospitals, university projects and waste-to-energy facilities. Mark Lawrence, who acts on behalf of developers and builders both domestically and internationally, and Andy Mather, who has broad experience in High Court litigation, are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Wass

Other key lawyers:

Andy Mather; Mark Lawrence

Testimonials

‘An exemplary team that fosters collaboration to the benefit of its clients. The construction team has renowned expertise that is in high demand in complex construction-related disputes. They have a great reputation in the High Court.’

‘Doug Wass leaves no stone unturned to support his clients. He is extremely sharp and knowledgeable about the law and the legal strategy. Mark Lawrence is a user-friendly advocate who has an impressive ability to get a handle on the case and understand the critical issues to deal with. He is highly recommended. Andy Mather thinks laterally and has a great vision as to the strategy and how to advance complex legal arguments, and has intricate legal knowledge.’

‘The team has excellent litigation experience, particularly in the infrastructure space. Key personnel are excellent communicators to us as a client, and importantly in discussion with other dispute parties.’

‘Doug Wass has excellent experience and knowledge matched with the ability to communicate well to all parties and explain the options to us as a client.’

‘Top-drawer legal advice and case management. Extremely pragmatic.’

‘They are a very efficient team and they tend to approach issues slightly differently to many other firms, which gives them an innovative advantage. It is a small team, which ensures consistency of staffing on each matter and good continuity of knowledge.’

‘Both Andy Mather and Doug Wass are quietly confident and very skilled at what they do. They are easy to communicate with (even for difficult messages) and communication goes two ways so I am kept informed of what’s going on.’

‘Mark Lawrence and the team clearly have expertise and experience in managing contentious construction matters. However, where Mark stands out is his ability to provide a calming influence in a time of commercial crisis, and then to deliver careful, articulate and pragmatic advice which allows us as a client to make considered and effective decisions. Above all of Mark’s other qualities and expertise, it is this that makes him stand out from the competition.’

Key clients

Catalyst Healthcare (Manchester) Limited

Grove Developments Limited

Aggregate Industries

Legal & General

Stanhope

Weston Homes

Brookfield

Realstar

European Land

St James’s Oncology SPC Ltd

Global Switch

Lancashire Schools SPC Phase 1 Ltd

Argan, Inc/Atlantic Projects Company

Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP's construction team advises on key commercial and residential developments, as well as PFI and civil infrastructure projects. It acts on behalf of investors, owners and lenders on the finance side, and is notable for its work on behalf of household-name arts institutions. Angus Dawson leads the practice, offering particular expertise in off-site manufacture. Radhika Shah is also highly regarded for procurement advice.

Practice head(s):

Angus Dawson

Other key lawyers:

Radihka Shah; Rebecca Whatman

Testimonials

‘Work tends to be delegated to the right level. Good industry knowledge.’

‘Deep and broad sector-specific knowledge. Approachable, friendly team who can balance the requirements of the complex organisation I work with.’

‘They strike the right balance between professional and open, fun and hardworking.’

‘Radhika Shah is a very experienced and thorough senior lawyer.’

Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 3

Robert Boyle and Richard Burrows jointly lead Macfarlanes LLP's capital markets practice, which is supplemented by the firm's strengths in M&A, tax and regulatory work. With international capital markets transactions forming the bulk of the workload, the team acts for a mix of issuers, sponsors, management teams and owner managers. Harry CoghillTom Rose and senior counsel Mark Slade are other key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Robert Boyle; Richard Burrows

Other key lawyers:

Harry Coghill; Tom Rose; Mark Slade

Testimonials

High quality individuals, very responsive and proactive.’

Robert Boyle – top M&A and equity capital markets partner. Mark Slade – very able all-round senior associate handling all aspects of a transaction.’

Key clients

Inspecs Group Plc

J.D. Wetherspoon

Moulton Goodies Limited

Supermarket Income REIT Plc

Nerano Pharma

Alchemy

DC Thomson & Company Limited and related parties

Queen’s Road Capital Limited

Family Office of Lord Alliance of Manchester CBE

EU and competition Tier 3

The 'exceptionally sharp legal minds' at Macfarlanes LLP are consulted by large commercial clients, as well as overseas law firms, to advise on EU and UK competition elements in relation to market investigations and merger control matters. Led by the 'outstanding' Malcolm Walton, the group is particularly strong in the pharmaceutical sector and maintains strong relationships with key companies in the industry, such as Flynn Pharma and Teva. Cameron Firth in particular is a 'stand-out individual in the field' of regulatory investigations in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Walton

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Firth; Fiona Beattie; Tom Usher; Stephen Kon; Christophe Humpe

Testimonials

Great in depth knowledge amongst solicitors in this specialist field. Adept at handling large scale competition law litigation including cartel damages claims and before the European courts.’

Key strengths are the combination of deep industry/commercial knowledge with exceptionally sharp legal minds. You can trust the Competition team to cut through and give practical and detailed advice and work incredibly efficiently and effectively.’

Cameron Firth is a stand-out individual in the field. He grasps complex and challenging matters incredibly quickly and provides a rare level of clarity. He’s comfortable taking a view rather than sitting on the fence. We also know that we can put him in front of senior executives with complete trust that he will speak their language and get his advice across so that the legal position and the options are easily understood and digested. Fiona Beattie is a trusted adviser who takes the time to get to know our business and industry inside out and provides detailed, thorough and clear advice. She is a creative thinker and tenacious in seeing a matter to conclusion.

Malcolm Walton is an outstanding partner. He managed a large task in a very efficient manner, with a relatively small but knowledgeable and effective team. He (and the team) achieved a remarkable grasp on our unique space in an industry that is not well known or understood. Malcolm used the right assortment of expert resources in each phase of the engagement, adding resources only when necessary and thus managing well the overall budget while also ensuring that only knowledgeable resources were involved.

Macfarlanes has forged a unique combination of commercial litigation and competition expertise. They combine a deep knowledge of competition law with the experience of heavyweight commercial litigators.

Key clients

AB SKF

Diageo

Epiris LLP

Farelogix Inc.

Flynn Pharma

Genius Sports / Betgenius

Mylan (now part of Viatris)

Omnicom

Prysmian SpA

RBS

Sepura Ltd.

Smith & Williamson

Teva

The BBC

XPO Logistics

Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP continues to grow its varied client roster which spans high-net-worth individuals, senior executives and high-profile entrepreneurs; the group also teams up with the firm's private wealth and corporate specialists. The group is well versed in investigations conducted by the SFO, the HMRC, and authorities across Europe and overseas. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice has also been advising individuals in relation to ransomware attacks as well as investments in fraudulent schemes. Department head Neill Blundell is a Higher Court Advocate and ‘a first-rate expert who can explain things very clearly and can cut through to the essential points’. In addition to her strong background in civil litigation, Lorna Emson (who is ‘very approachable and tenacious in her conduct of her cases’) is also a go-to adviser for financial crime mandates and was promoted to partner in May 2021. Multiple other team members also have experience of civil fraud proceedings, as well as private prosecution and extradition issues. Senior solicitor Helen Harvey is recommended for ‘her ability to write clearly and concisely about complex matters’.

Practice head(s):

Neill Blundell

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Emson; Helen Harvey; Max Hobbs; Francis Bond

Testimonials

‘They are a team of high-quality experts who can grapple with cases of great complexity and difficulty. Yet, they wear their expertise lightly in that they maintain a high degree of humanity and empathy in steering their clients through the challenges of a potentially life-changing case which for most people happens only once in a lifetime.’ 

‘Neill Blundell has vast experience and knowledge of criminal and regulatory practice and is a natural when it comes to handling the clients and taking a strategic view of the case. He seems to run a happy ship.’

‘Lorna Emson has a background in civil litigation which is a great advantage for the type of criminal work the team encounters. She is very approachable and tenacious in her conduct of her cases.’

‘The white-collar crime team benefits from its links to the wider Macfarlanes civil practice, giving them access to criminal and regulatory crossover work for private clients. It’s a small team, but has substantial experience dealing with HNW individuals who are looking for a truly bespoke service.’

‘Neill Blundell is a first-rate expert who can explain things very clearly and can cut through to the essential points.’ 

‘Neill Blundell has a well-earned reputation for excellence in advising high-net-worth clients. Neil confidently takes charge of case strategy, and brings a deeply knowledgeable, agile and effective approach.’

‘Helen Harvey’s grasp of detail and ability to marshal huge quantities of material are breathtaking. As is her ability to write clearly and concisely about complex matters. She is definitely one to watch for the future.’

‘Francis Bond is an incredibly impressive solicitor in the white-collar space. He has a strong commercial sense, and considered, pragmatic approach.’

Hedge funds Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP combines regular work for European investment managers, particularly on alternative credit funds, with an active start-up fund practice. The firm has notable integrated regulatory and tax expertise across key European jurisdictions, enabling it to handle cross-border mandates. The practice is led by Sam Brooks, who has a strong focus on work for start-up managers.

Practice head(s):

Sam Brooks

Testimonials

The team at Macfarlanes have an acute sensitivity to the commercial aspects of our business, especially in such a competitive environment. In looking for legal counsel, we critically needed advice that was not only legal, but also practical and suitable for our circumstances, especially as a small emerging manager.

Our main point of contact was Sam Brooks, who has been extremely helpful through the fund formation process. Sam provided excellent legal advice, and went to great lengths to help us with the unforeseen challenges that popped up during the fund formation process and even after launch.

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

Praised by clients for its full-service capabilities and collegiate  style, Macfarlanes LLP is regularly sought out by well-known corporates across sectors including pharmaceuticals, financial and professional services, media, and retail for advice on large cross-border deals.  Co-practice head Howard Corney advises clients on international and emerging markets M&A and other matters.  Luke Powell, who runs the department with Corney, focuses on financial services, asset management and private equity, serving as the relationship partner for several of the firm’s top clients. Harry Coghill‘s broad sector focus sees him leading on multiple high-value transatlantic deals – often in collaboration with the equally prolific Tom Rose. Alex Edmondson heads up the firm’s private equity practice.

Practice head(s):

Howard Corney; Luke Powell

Other key lawyers:

Harry Coghill; Tom Rose

Testimonials

‘Macfarlanes’ reputation is a major benefit for us. As a full-service law firm, we’ve been able to make use of their leading practices in other areas, notably tax, financial services regulation and pensions and the corporate team manage this very effectively for us. Some of our transactions are very unique (non-standard) but the team are able to solve these issues and provide solutions that really do help. Everything feels bespoke for us.’

‘Luke Powell has an eye for every bit of detail and is fully involved in each of our transactions. He knows exactly what we want to achieve out of each of our investments and he makes it happen. He has become a trusted adviser and a first point of contact for the entire team.’

‘Excellent technical knowledge and strong experience base. Highly responsive and a pleasure to work with: highly collegiate.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Life

Goldman Sachs

Inspecs plc

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

L3Harris Technologies

Legal & General

Lycamobile

M7

Omnicom

Realstar

Ritz Hotel (London)

Smith & Williamson

Superdry

Virgin

XPO Supply Chain

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP 's pensions practice, led by Camilla Barry , is known for its corporate and employer support work in relation to pension liabilities. Andrew Barton  advises major insurers and reinsurers on high-value transactions.  Pensions work includes funding negotiations, DC master trust advice, s75 debt management, and changes to benefit terms. De-risking offerings include longevity swaps and insurance, and bulk annuity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Camilla Barry; Andrew Barton

Testimonials

‘The advice is very detailed, the legal drafting is very precise and both the partners and associates are extremely competent. They are also very approachable and respond quickly to queries whether by email or phone.’

‘A very strong life insurance team with in depth knowledge on longevity reinsurance, pensions and the wider regulatory framework.’

‘Team balances practicality and thoroughness of advice very well. Examples include referrals for treatment of member cases where the advice was short and practical, while for advice on accrual closure they took the time to make sure the right steps were addressed upfront.’

Key clients

Legal and General Assurance Society Limited

Spirit Aerosystems, Inc.

PSF Benefits Limited (the Pension SuperFund)

GBT Travel Services UK Limited

Pernod Ricard S.A.

FNAC Darty S.A.

Barloworld UK Limited

Autovista Limited

Private funds Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP is 'a market leader for mid-market funds' with particular expertise in the preferred equity, credit, and distressed assets spaces. The team works with managers on complex, non-UK structures, including pan-European strategies, and is integrated closely with its tax practice on fundraising matters. The team is led by Stephen Robinson, who advises institutional managers on the formation of private equity, credit, and infrastructure funds. Christopher Good is noted for his work across formation, co-investments, and secondary transactions.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Good; Harriet Miller

Testimonials

Macfarlanes are a market leader for mid-market funds with a UK focus. They have been successful in carving out a niche for fund formation and structuring work. Technically strong and very active, they have a strong team from partner down the junior associate level.

Macfarlanes has supported us with our legal requirements related to fund formation and management for many years and we have always been delighted with the service and support we receive. The team is responsive, knowledgeable and commercial.

I work most with Chris Good, who is excellent.His manner, both with clients and counterparties is pitch perfect: professional and polite, always with a smile, but always getting the very best result for his client.’

The Macfarlanes team were always a pleasure to work with and always made themselves available on short notice. I know they were advising many other clients in addition to ourselves but they still managed to make us feel like they were our in-house team throughout the process. That’s quite a feat.

Key clients

Signal Capital Partners

KLAR Partners

CBPE

Alcentra

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Dawn Capital

SV Health Investors

Advent Life Sciences

Hayfin Capital Management

Muzinich & Co.

Cross Ocean Adviser LLP

17Capital

LGPS Central

Warwick Capital Management

Property finance Tier 3

Macfarlanes LLP has strengths in financings regarding hotels, the private rented sector and build-to-rent, with an increasing focus on the green and sustainable lending arena. The 'extremely experienced and knowledgeableColin Morgan leads the 'technically excellent' team, with expertise in advising senior and mezzanine lenders, borrowers and developers on property investment and development. Clare Breeze counts domestic and international borrowers and lenders among her clients. Jatinder Bains is also a notable team member, as is Laura Bretherton, who was promoted to partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Colin Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Clare Breeze; Jatinder Bains; Laura Bretherton

Testimonials

‘Macfarlanes LLP’s team is really business oriented and very efficient on legal issues. They have a strong and resilient client base and they know their clients’ requests and goals very well.’

‘Technically excellent, responsive and old school, in a good way.’

‘Excellent depth of commercial real estate transactions.’

‘Very reliable and safe pair of hands.’

‘Laura Bretherton and Jat Bains are great to deal with and highly competent.’

‘Very thorough and knowledgeable, whilst also being down to earth and approachable.’

‘Colin Morgan is a smart, commercially focused, responsive lawyer. Extremely experienced and knowledgeable about the family office sector. Very pleasant to deal with.’

Key clients

ARA Venn

Constellation Hotels

DBS Bank Ltd

Harbour Lending Limited

ING Bank N.V.

Legal & General

London and Regional Hotels

Lulu Hospitality

M7 Real Estate

LW Theatres

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited

PRS Operations Limited

Realstar

Supermarket Income REIT plc

Acquisition finance Tier 4

Best-known for its work for financial sponsors and also increasingly active in the direct lending space, the 'commercial and pragmatic' team at Macfarlanes LLP has very strong visibility within the domestic leveraged finance mid-market. The 'knowledgeable' Kirstie Hutchinson is active for both corporates and private equity funds and is appreciated for her ability to 'remain calm in a crisis'. 'Technically superb' team head Andrew Perkins 'understands what the key legal issues are' for credit funds, both in the context of them as direct lenders, as well as in terms of their own borrowing requirements. Malcolm Hitching  joined from the London office of Ropes & Gray LLP in summer 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Perkins

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Hutchinson; Malcolm Hitching; Adam Caines; Alex Pickett

Testimonials

The team is commercial and pragmatic in its approach, while being extremely detail oriented. They are prepared to engage with complex transactions and provide commentary and analysis on legal issues in an easy to understand manner.’

‘The team provides a seamless service and maintains a positive perspective and can-do attitude in the face of challenges and set-backs.’

The firm has quality from top to bottom and delivers excellent legal work. It also forges strong relationships with its clients and adds genuine value beyond the narrow confines of the legal work.’

Malcolm Hitching is a stand out; technically strong and commercial about fees.’

Andrew Perkins is technically superb, generous with his time and always ensures his clients understand what the key legal issues are and what makes those issues so important.’

The technical Kirstie Hutchinson displays excellent client service, proactive communication, and industry knowledge.’

Kirstie Hutchinson has great knowledge and is calm in a crisis.’

Key clients

Caledonia / Seven Investment Management

Epiris

GHO Capital Management

Graphite Capital

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Silverfleet Capital Partners

Stanhope Capital

Weight Capital Partners

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 4

Overseen by Andrew Perkins, the 'commercial and pragmatic' banking and finance team at Macfarlanes LLP displays 'excellent industry knowledge', enabling it to deliver 'excellent legal work' for a borrower-focused client roster that, as well as its core private equity sponsor clientele, also includes numerous listed companies. Praised for her ability to provide 'practical and no-nonsense advice', Kirstie Hutchinson works closely with the firm's corporate and public M&A practice and is a cornerstone of the firm's mid-and upper-market corporate lending practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Perkins

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Hutchinson; Malcolm Hitching; Adam Caines; Alex Pickett

Testimonials

The firm is very technical and displays excellent industry knowledge.’

The firm delivers excellent legal work backed by a strong commercial understanding.’

Commercial and pragmatic in their approach while being extremely detail oriented.’

Kirstie Hutchinson – fantastic service, knowledge, approach and communication.’

Kirstie Hutchinson provides practical and no-nonsense advice.’

Malcolm Hitching is a stand out – he is technically strong with excellent client skills and thinks about his clients’ businesses and how he can help them.’

Key clients

Alliance One

Centerbridge Capital Partners

Cimpress Plc

Expedia

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc

Pyxus International, Inc.

Quilam Capital Limited

Redde Northgate Plc

Smith & Williamson Holdings Limited

Travelport

VTB Capital

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 4

With a partner-led approach and praised for its ability to draw on 'expertise from different areas to develop optimal solutions for clients', although Macfarlanes LLP may not have the largest restructuring practice it is frequently involved in complex and high-profile mandates for a wide-range of stakeholders. Well-versed at advising on traditional formal insolvency matters, it has gained most recognition for its transactional work, leveraging its strong private equity and alternative credit provider relationships. 'Truly exceptional' team head Jat Bains is frequently at the forefront of this funds-related work (including for turnaround funds) and is  well-regarded for his ability to 'find commercial solutions which work'. 

Practice head(s):

Jat Bains

Other key lawyers:

Paul Keddie; Peter Baldwin

Testimonials

The team does a great job at working cross-functionally and pulling in expertise from different areas to develop optimal solutions for clients.’

The team provides thoughtful and balanced advice, protects my interests firmly, but without becoming overly embroiled in needless arguments with the opponents.’

Top tier, partner-led service, which is technically first-class and their advice is always given with a strong commercial perspective.’

It is a good team that offers pragmatic advice and has great private equity/alternative credit provider relationships.’

Jat Bains has proven truly exceptional. His depth of knowledge on the legal issues across a wide range of areas on corporate law has proven truly phenomenal on repeated occasions. He combines this with a real creativity and advice to find commercial solutions which simply work and can get agreed by the other side.’

Paul Keddie is an excellent lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience of insolvency law and practice.’

Key clients

Alchemy Special Opportunities LLP

Better Capital LLP

Buzz Bingo

Castle Trust Capital plc

Deloitte LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

OpCapita

Wirecard

Debt capital markets Tier 4

Macfarlanes LLP has a small DCM practice that, despite its size, handles complex and first-of-kind transactions. Among these was its work for Castle Trust Capital on an innovative form of scheme of arrangement, which converted more than 20,000 bonds into balances in new accounts when the company converted to a bank. Practice head Richard Fletcher continues to advise Venn Partners on its £3.5bn bond programme established by PRS Finance plc in connection with the Private Rented Housing Guarantee Scheme, which asset manager Venn was appointed to establish and manage by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Practice head(s):

Richard Fletcher

Key clients

Beechbrook Capital

Ben Oldman Partners

Castle Trust

Venn Partners LLP

Derivatives and structured products Tier 4

'They are very much attuned to the latest industry practices and commercial in their advice which is really helpful for an in-house counsel', says a client of Macfarlanes LLP, which has a prominent buy-side practice. Its work encompasses prime brokerage, derivatives, repos, clearing and debt trading for large and sophisticated funds. The firm recently acted for BT Pension Scheme Trustees Limited in relation to its Phase 5 initial margin obligations. 'They continue to impress', says a client of lead partner William Sykes and Richard Fletcher, noting that 'the service you get is quick, smart, sensible and good value'. Christopher Acton, who frequently advises hedge funds, managed account platforms and proprietary trading houses, is 'on top of the legal detail but immensely practical and pragmatic'.

Practice head(s):

Will Sykes; Richard Fletcher

Other key lawyers:

Chris Acton; Robert Daniell

Testimonials

‘We have used the Macfarlanes team for some years now and they continue to impress. Whether small tasks or large projects, the service you get is quick, smart, sensible and good value. The team have the experience and strength-in-depth to turn around the more commoditised project work quickly and at an acceptable cost. For bespoke and nuanced arrangements and advice, they are sharp and clear-thinking. We are always confident that they fully understand the commercial complexities as well as the legal analysis.’

‘Will Sykes and senior counsel Rob Daniell. Will and Rob both bring a wealth of sell-side experience to bear when batting for the buy-side – and it shows. Both are thoughtful and practical. They will tell you what brokers will accept and set out the risks you might need to take on. If you have a question, you can call them up and you always feel they’ll have the answer.’

‘This team has superior practical experience of derivative transactions. Some of the team have worked in industry previously and therefore know exactly what firms are looking for in terms of deliverables.’

‘Christopher Acton, ex-Slaughter and May, is on top of the legal detail but immensely practical and pragmatic. He understands what we want done and how to do it. Robert Daniell is very technical and understands complex points.’

‘A very high-calibre team, fantastic work product, great client relationships. Highly dependable. One of our go-to firms. Always enjoy working with the Macfarlanes team.’

‘Richard Fletcher is a particular standout. Highly knowledgeable and user friendly (both with the client and other side of a deal). Always produces exceptional work product. Good value for money.’

‘I have worked with Macfarlanes for over 10 years. They are my first choice of derivatives and repurchase transactions counsel. Their turnaround times are exceptional, they are approachable and engaging. They are very competent of the legal and regulatory regime in an ever-changing regulatory or political canvas. They are very much attuned to the latest industry practices and commercial in their advice which is really helpful for an in-house counsel.’

‘William Sykes – an exceptional lawyer. I have been working with Will for over 10 years and highly value his advice. Will’s strengths are in-dept knowledge of law and regulation combined with a commercial approach, promptness and helpfulness. I find Will’s ability to synthesise and drill through the multitude of rules, subsequently applying them to the commercial objective quite unique – his advice certainly makes the work of an in-house counsel easier. He is very well respected by the buy-side (asset management) community and that is the other valuable element of his counsel – he has helpful insight as to how the industry participants are approaching a certain matter.’

Key clients

BT Pension Scheme Trustees Limited in its capacity as Trustee of the Pension Scheme

Venn Partners LLP (trading as ARA Venn)

Partners Group

Employers Tier 4

Working closely with the firm's regulatory and litigation departments, the employment team at Macfarlanes LLP concentrates on work arising from the financial services sector, where it advises a broad range of institutions. The group is overseen by Hayley Robinson, who advises on grievance and discipline procedures, restrictive covenant and other post-termination disputes, Employment Tribunal litigation, sensitive day-to-day employment issues, as well as the employment aspects of corporate transactions. Another name to note is the vastly experienced Sean Lavin.

Practice head(s):

Hayley Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Seán Lavin; Tabitha Al-Mahdawie

Testimonials

‘Hayley Robinson and her team have a deep knowledge of their field and of our commercial landscape and routinely combine the two to provide timely and invaluable advice. They are highly responsive and their clear communication helps us to navigate often complex situations.’

‘Hayley Robinson is a creative thinker and takes a thorough and measured approach to challenging situations. She is an excellent lawyer and a trusted partner of our business.’

‘They are all personable and approachable and have strong knowledge of employment law. They have personalities which makes them fun to work with.’

‘They are not only competent, but also endowed with great social skills – which is not a given with lawyers.’

The Macfarlanes employment team are unfailingly responsive, insightful and commercial. They have built a detailed knowledge of our business and culture and are adept at crafting solutions to fit.’

‘Macfarlanes has a strong employment law practice with strength and depth in the team. Their advice is reliably insightful and well thought through. They are a trusted partner to our business.

‘Very collaborative and approachable team that take time to understand their clients and the business.’

Environment Tier 4

The team at Macfarlanes LLP acts for corporate, real estate, financial services, infrastructure and private clients. Consultant Nigel Price leads the practice; he has experience in advising on disputes, regulatory issues and the environmental aspects of transactions. The practice also covers environmental insurance negotiations and site contamination risks, as well as issues surrounding sustainability and company reporting.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Price

Testimonials

‘Great technical knowledge and attention to detail.’

Nigel Price has very solid legal knowledge and a relentless focus on detail whilst also being commercial to the core.’

‘Nigel Price is a good lawyer – commercial and client focused.’

‘Great technical knowledge and attention to detail. There has been seamless transition to working remotely with the high level of communication maintained.’

‘A very commercial firm with strong private equity and real estate experience.’

‘Macfarlanes is a great firm with many excellent lawyers,  They are very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. I would recommend the firm.’

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 4

Macfarlanes LLP's 'exceptional' team has a number of core strengths, across asset and wealth management, fintech, corporate finance and mortgages. The group is often instructed on regulated activities and authorisations, marketing and distribution issues, governance and prudential issues, as well as conduct and reporting matters. The practice is jointly led by Andrew Henderson, who is increasingly active in the fintech space, and Alexandra Green, who was made a partner in 2020 and continues to impress clients with her 'pragmatic approach' and in-depth knowledge of the FCA handbook. Senior solicitor Rachel Serene has a growing profile in the financial regulatory space, having developed expertise in the senior managers regime. In May 2021, Paul Ellison left the firm for Clifford Chance LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Henderson; Alexandra Green

Other key lawyers:

Tim Plews; Rachel Serene

Testimonials

The Regulatory team are extremely knowledgeable and pragmatic about business matters. They use simple language for their clients to help understand complex issues or solutions.’

The financial services regulatory team is exceptional. Their knowledge of the FCA is second to none and I would not go anywhere else for regulatory advice. They can explain some quite tricky regulatory issues in a way that is logical and straightforward, always identifying risks and guiding us through their resolution. They are a pleasure to work with.’

Alexandra Green is a stand out lawyer. She knows the FCA Handbook inside and out, and always takes a pragmatic approach. She presents extremely well to the business, acting more like a partner to the business rather than a legal advisor removed from the day to day realities. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.’

It’s a very good team. We appreciated the professionalism and quality of the advice we received throughout our discussions.’

We worked mainly with Alexandra Green and Rachel Serene. We appreciated the professionalism and quality of the advice we received throughout our discussions. The lawyers understood our requests, their answers were clear and precise. It’s a real support for us.’

The firm’s regulatory team, has been extremely helpful in helping us to negotiate the introduction of additional regulatory obligations and developments over the last three years. These include the introduction of the Mortgage Credit Directive, TCF approach and more recently the consumer credit post-Brexit changes.’

They have provided clear advice along every step of the way – whether this be in relation to larger reviews undertaken or smaller, more time sensitive queries. Every response has been provided efficiently with follow up calls offered.’

Alexandra Green deserves particular note in the approach that she takes – nothing is too much trouble and her amiable attitude makes her a pleasure to deal with no matter what the issue. We have recently referred on another department within our firm to Macfarlanes and Alex in particular, having been so impressed with the work carried out to date.’

The team is very responsive, thoughtful and capable. They are first call for us.

Andrew Henderson is outstanding. Always clear in his messaging he is also a highly calming influence and a very steady pair of hands in many areas. His experience and pragmatism always shines through. Rachel Serene always gives you 100% and ensures you get all the analysis and support you need. Just great to work with.’

Key clients

Coutts

Alchemy Special Opportunities

Montagu Private Equity LP

Revolut

JC Flowers

Jupiter Asset Management

Troy Asset Management

James Hay

Hayfin Capital Management

Wirecard AG

Quilter Investors

Immigration Tier 4

The team at Macfarlanes LLP is led by personal tax specialist Edward Reed, who has particular expertise with regards to internationally mobile families, and is also a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. His immigration experience is backed up by specialist senior solicitors Tom Marsom and Jessica Yu; together, they advise on applications for visas, sponsor licences and Indefinite Leave to Remain, working with clients from a variety of sectors, with a notable focus on financial services and asset management. Senior counsel James Perrott left in spring 2021 to head up Mayer Brown International LLP's European mobility and migration practice.

Practice head(s):

Edward Reed

Other key lawyers:

Tom Marsom; Jessica Yu

Testimonials

‘Jessica Yu is an excellent immigration lawyer who is always trying to find the best solutions.’

‘Tom Marsom has been very helpful in assisting a senior employee in our firm with immigration questions. He has been available for calls, emails and offered in person meetings to suit various requests.’

‘Tom Marsom has been excellent to work with. As a US employer, Tom has provided to us clear, comprehensive, and thoughtful guidance around navigating immigration changes due to Brexit. Throughout the sponsorship process, he has been incredibly communicative and commits time and thoughtfulness to ensuring everyone is understanding of and on board with the process.’

‘Jessica Yu consistently delivers high quality advice and services.’

‘The team has a lot of expertise and is always up to date regarding changes in the law. Their availability for urgent matters is great.’

‘Macfarlanes offer a highly professional and seamless approach in all aspects of employment, commercial and immigration law.’

‘We’ve experienced a very high level of service with the Macfarlanes team. My experience has been working with them for immigration issues as well as policy changes, and the team is responsive and collaborative. The team has deep knowledge in immigration laws in the UK and has been very responsive to our questions and requirements.’

‘They are proactive in keeping us abreast of latest changes or updates in immigration laws particularly in visa types pre and post Brexit, which has been tremendously helpful in preparing us for the transition.’

Partnership Tier 4

Macfarlanes LLP’s cross-departmental professional practices and LLPs group has a strong track record in handling legal and financial sector combinations and private equity investments, with additional tax expertise. Jessica Adam took over as head of the practice following John Dodsworth’s role change to a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Jessica Adam

Other key lawyers:

John Dodsworth

Testimonials

What impresses me about this firm is the quality and expertise of everyone your interact with. You always feel that the advice you are given is coming from someone who is an expert in a particular area, whether that is at partner level or more junior levels.

Excellent lawyers with the ability to be strategic as well as detailed.

Jessica Adam is a standout lawyer in the team. She is exceptionally commercial and experienced and puts the client first always. I trust her advice and consider her an extra member of our management team.

The unique issues surrounding professional partnership and LLP structures require specialist industry and market knowledge to negotiate most effectively. Jessica Adam’s market and commercial knowledge are very strong. These deals are incredibly complex, and Jessica’s ability to maintain sight of the entire structure allows in-house lawyers to focus on individual issues and rely on Jessica to pull the team back to the 1,000-foot plan when we start to go off-piste.

Securitisation Tier 4

Macfarlanes LLP has 'excellent knowledge of clients' motivations for a particular structuring and the benefits it would bring'. The firm focuses on innovative and complex transactions, frequently involving fund-based structures. Richard Fletcher is head of the structured finance and securitisation practice. He advises financial institutions, corporates, fund managers, investors, servicers and trustees on a broad range of matters, specialising in securitisation, structured products and speciality finance transactions. He recently acted for ARA Venn on its appointment by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to operate, manage and deliver the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme, and in relation to the establishment of the £3bn bond programme to fund the loans.

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of our main motivations for the particular structuring we undertook and the benefits it would bring our clients.’

Key clients

ARA Venn

Muzinich & Co

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

Macfarlanes LLP‘s ‘vastly experienced’ broad-ranging private equity team advises clients on matters ranging from acquisitions and exits to equity incentive plans related to transactions, private investments in public equity, and carve-outs. The team is also active on transactions involving a variety of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, retail and media. Alex Edmondson leads the team, and frequently advises on sponsor-led buyouts. Stephen Drewitt, who formerly served as head of PE,  continues to be a key contact in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Alex Edmondson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Drewitt

Testimonials

‘A vastly experienced and knowledgeable PE transactional team, ably supported by Macfarlanes’ tax and private funds practices. Transactional expertise is bolstered by a deep understanding of corporate governance matters. The team is smart, responsive and sensitive to client needs.’

‘Stephen Pike is excellent. Stephen is always available, communicates complex points in a straightforward style and knows our key concerns well. Stephen has a great command of the details but is also capable of taking the 1,000 foot view and identifying what’s truly important.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Alchemy Private Equity

August Equity

Caledonia

Charme Capital

Epiris

Exponent

GHO Capital

Graphite Capital

Hayfin

JC Flowers

Keyhaven Group

OpCapita

Origin Equity Group

Silverfleet Group

Waterland Private Equity

We are a distinctive London-based law firm, focused on our clients and on delivering excellence in the international legal market.

We understand that because the world in which our clients operate is complicated, unpredictable and pressured, you need clear, concise advice that is attuned to your needs. That takes experience, so our partners get involved and stay involved. With the support of tight-knit teams, they advise on your most critical matters with clarity and confidence.

That leads to great ideas, stronger relationships and greater efficiency. It’s a quality of experience that distinguishes us from our larger competitors, but only enhances our reputation for solving our clients’ most complex legal issues.

We’ve made a deliberate choice to remain smaller than many of our peers. The tight-knit, cohesive nature of our firm means you benefit from our collective experience. We talk to one another.  We’ve kept things simple. We’ve decided against growth at the expense of quality, against size at the expense of efficiency and agility.

So whilst we’re large enough to advise on your most complex matters, we’re also small enough to ensure that our people and our work are exceptional, without fail.

You will have issues and needs that are unique. These differences, be they commercial imperatives or personal pressures, will always be high in our minds: we have a collective sense of responsibility towards the people, not just the institutions we serve.

Internationally you want the best advice from the best lawyer – irrespective of the jurisdiction they are working in, or where they are based.  You also want it integrated and interpreted for you. Our independent approach gives you just that, wherever you are.

Whether you need advice on corporate and commercial matters or on your private affairs either in the UK or overseas please contact us. We would be pleased to hear from you.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Sebastian Prichard Jones
Managing partner Julian Howard
Commercial, brands and IP Malcolm Walton
Competition Malcolm Walton
Construction & engineering Angus Dawson
Corporate and M&A Luke Powell
Corporate and M&A Howard Corney
Derivatives & trading Will Sykes
Employment Seán Lavin
Employment Hayley Robinson
Finance Christopher Lawrence
Financial services regulation Paul Ellison
Insurance Andrew Barton
Investment management Stephen Robinson
Litigation and dispute resolution Iain Mackie
Pensions Camilla Barry
Private client Piers Barclay
Private equity Stephen Drewitt
Real estate Anthony Burnett-Scott
Restructuring and insolvency Jat Bains
Tax and reward Damien Crossley
Photo Name Position Profile
 Peter Abbott  photo Peter Abbott Partner advising on a wide range of tax and structuring matters but…
 Christopher Acton  photo Christopher Acton Partner advising hedge funds, managed account platforms and proprietary trading houses, on…
 Jessica Adam  photo Jessica Adam Partner working for a range of clients from private equity houses and…
 Alexander Amos  photo Alexander Amos Partner advising a wide range of asset managers and investors on the…
 Jonathan Arr  photo Jonathan Arr Partner specialising in international contentious trust, probate and succession disputes, high-value family…
 Jat Bains photo Jat Bains Partner specialising in a range of debt finance transactions, acting for credit…
 Peter Baldwin photo Peter Baldwin Partner specialising in advising clients on a broad range of innovative special…
 Mark Baldwin  photo Mark Baldwin Partner practicing on a broad spectrum of corporate tax work. His particular…
 Piers Barclay  photo Piers Barclay Partner specialising in succession, tax and estate planning advice for individuals and…
 Nick Barnes photo Nick Barnes Partner advising on commercial real estate work, including development and investment work,…
 Camilla Barry  photo Camilla Barry Partner advising corporate groups, trustees and insurers on all aspects of UK…
 Andrew Barton photo Andrew Barton Corporate insurance partner with expertise in a wide range of insurance transactional…
 Neill Blundell  photo Neill Blundell Partner and head of the firm’s corporate crime and investigations practice. He…
 Robert Boyle  photo Robert Boyle Partner active in all fields of corporate law, advising on a broad…
 Clare Breeze  photo Clare Breeze Partner regularly advising investors, developers and funders on a wide variety of…
 Sam Brooks photo Sam Brooks Partner primarily representing sponsors of both closed-ended and open-ended alternative investment funds,…
 Anthony Burnett-Scott  photo Anthony Burnett-Scott Partner and head of the commercial real estate practice. He has a…
 Richard Burrows  photo Richard Burrows Partner advising on all fields of company and corporate law, including private…
 Adam Campbell  photo Adam Campbell Partner advising on a broad range of domestic and cross-border M&A transactions.
 Harry Coghill  photo Harry Coghill Partner with broad transactional experience, including in the areas of public and…
 Robert Collard  photo Robert Collard Partner specialising in employee share schemes and incentives and head of the…
 Jonathan Conder  photo Jonathan Conder Partner advises UK and international private clients, trustees, foundations, family offices and…
 Howard Corney  photo Howard Corney Partner advising on a broad range of M&A work with a particular focus…
 Oliver Court  photo Oliver Court Partner advising individuals, families and trustees based in the UK and abroad…
 Damien Crossley  photo Damien Crossley Partner and head of the tax and reward group. He advises on…
 Dominic Cunliffe  photo Dominic Cunliffe Partner working exclusively on commercial real estate transactions and specialises in both…
 Angus Dawson  photo Angus Dawson Partner and head of the non-contentious side of the construction and engineering…
 Simon Day  photo Simon Day Partner specialising in competition litigation and other complex multiparty disputes, and has…
 John Dodsworth  photo John Dodsworth Partner with considerable deal experience over a 20 plus year period advising…
 Elizabeth Doherty photo Elizabeth Doherty Partner specialising in international contentious trust, probate and succession disputes, high-value family…
 Barry Donnelly  photo Barry Donnelly Partner with more than 30 years’ experience in international disputes and investigations,…
 Stephen Drewitt  photo Stephen Drewitt Partner specialising in private equity, acting predominantly for private equity sponsors and…
 Alex Edmondson  photo Alex Edmondson Partner advising on a broad range of M&A transactions and corporate advisory…
 Paul Ellison  photo Paul Ellison Partner specialising in advising on UK financial services regulatory matters. He advises…
 Cameron Firth photo Cameron Firth Partner with over 15 years’ experience practising all aspects of antitrust law…
 Richard Fletcher  photo Richard Fletcher Partner advising financial institutions and corporates on a range of financing matters,…
 Lora Froud  photo Lora Froud Partner advising clients on the structuring and operation of onshore and offshore…
 Richard Giangrande photo Richard Giangrande Partner advising on all aspects of estate planning and personal taxation and…
 Christopher Good  photo Christopher Good Partner advising on private fund formation, looking after fund sponsors who are…
 Charles Gothard  photo Charles Gothard Partner specialsing in advising international families and entrepreneurs as well as the…
 Alexandra Green  photo Alexandra Green Partner advising asset managers, wealth managers, banks, mortgage providers, insurers, corporate finance…
 Alex Green  photo Alex Green Partner working on a broad range of corporate matters, with a particular…
 Ashley Greenbank  photo Ashley Greenbank Partner advising on the full range of corporate tax issues, but particular…
 Nicholas Harries  photo Nicholas Harries Partner advising on the full range of tax, estate and succession planning…
 Will Hedges  photo Will Hedges Partner 2018
 Andrew Henderson photo Andrew Henderson Partner advising financial institutions and financial technology firms on financial services regulation…
 Justin Hope  photo Justin Hope Partner advising on all aspects of domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, including…
 Lois Horne  photo Lois Horne Partner advising financial institutions, corporates and entrepreneurs on a broad range of…
 Julian Howard  photo Julian Howard Partner and firm’s managing partner principally involved in acquisition finance, international capital…
 Mark Hunter photo Mark Hunter Partner advising on a broad range of tax, trust and estate planning…
 Kirstie Hutchinson  photo Kirstie Hutchinson Partner acting for private equity sponsors, corporate borrowers and issuers, credit fund…
 Gerald Kelly  photo Gerald Kelly Partner specialising in joint ventures and property development and advises developers, institutions…
 Dan Lavender  photo Dan Lavender Partner specialising in city and financial services litigation and investigations. He is…
 Seán Lavin  photo Seán Lavin Partner advising corporate clients on TUPE, collective and union issues, the employment aspects…
 Mark Lawrence photo Mark Lawrence Partner
 Christopher Lawrence  photo Christopher Lawrence Partner and head of the finance group, with over 20 years’ experience…
 Charles Lloyd  photo Charles Lloyd Partner specialising in international commercial litigation including fraud and asset tracing, large scale…
 Iain Mackie  photo Iain Mackie Partner specialising in large-scale corporate and financial services litigation and arbitration for…
 Dan Marriot  photo Dan Marriot Partner working on property development, the negotiation of commercial leases for both…
 Charles Martin  photo Charles Martin Senior partner working principally in M&A and private equity, acting for sponsors…
 Andy Mather  photo Andy Mather Partner acting on a wide range of substantial international and domestic arbitration,…
 Matt McCahearty  photo Matt McCahearty Partner’s whose practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration, white collar…
 James McCredie  photo James McCredie Partner advising on a wide range of tax matters, including the establishment…
 Jeremy Moncrieff  photo Jeremy Moncrieff Partner advising on a broad range of tax and structuring matters with…
 Colin Morgan  photo Colin Morgan Partner and head of the firm’s real estate finance practice. He has…
 Guy Morpuss photo Guy Morpuss Barrister with a wide-ranging commercial practice, both in court and in arbitration.
 Isobel Morton photo Isobel Morton Partner advising ndividuals, family offices and trustees on tax, trust and succession…
 Simon Nurney  photo Simon Nurney Partner specialising in large scale corporate, commercial and construction disputes for a…
 Robert Ogilvy Watson photo Robert Ogilvy Watson Partner specialising in corporate law, particularly mergers and acquisitions involving listed companies,…
 Tom Pedder  photo Tom Pedder Partner whose practice encompasses a wide range of commercial real estate matters,…
 Andrew Perkins  photo Andrew Perkins Partner acting for alternative lenders, credit funds, banks and financial institutions on…
 Simon Perry  photo Simon Perry Partner undertaking a broad range of domestic and international M&A and private…
 Stephen Pike  photo Stephen Pike
 Steven Pitchford  photo Steven Pitchford Partner advising a diverse range of clients on domestic and international corporate…
 James Popperwell  photo James Popperwell Partner and head of the firm’s fraud practice. He specialises in asset…
 Luke Powell  photo Luke Powell Partner and co-head of the mergers and acquisitions group.
 Gregory Price  photo Gregory Price Partner focusing on ax consultancy, providing tax advice to UK and international…
 Sebastian Prichard Jones  photo Sebastian Prichard Jones Partner specialising in advising high-net-worth individuals and families on tax and succession…
 Edward Reed  photo Edward Reed Partner advising internationally mobile families on their asset structuring, personal tax and succession…
 Ceinwen Rees photo Ceinwen Rees Partner advising on a broad range of tax and structuring matters with…
 Hayley Robinson  photo Hayley Robinson Partner and head of the employment team, advising on the full range…
 Stephen Robinson  photo Stephen Robinson Partner advising a wide range of investment managers, fund sponsors and investors…
 Tom Rose  photo Tom Rose Partner advising on a wide range of corporate matters, including public and…
 Gideon Sanitt photo Gideon Sanitt Partner specialising in tax litigation but has a background in transactional tax…
 Mark Slade  photo Mark Slade Senior counsel working on a broad range of corporate matters but with…
 Jennifer Smithson  photo Jennifer Smithson Partner advising on all areas of personal tax and succession planning, with…
 William Sykes  photo William Sykes Partner and head of derivatives and trading practice, and advises investment and…
 Alicia Thomas  photo Alicia Thomas Partner advising on on a broad range of tax and structuring matters…
 Tom Usher  photo Tom Usher Partner advising on all aspects of EU and UK competition law including…
 Malcolm Walton  photo Malcolm Walton Partner and head of the firm’s competition group and his experience covers…
 Sarah Ward  photo Sarah Ward Partner advising banks, financial institutions, debt funds, investment funds, borrowers and sponsors…
 Douglas Wass  photo Douglas Wass Partner acting on a wide range of substantial international and domestic arbitration,…
Number of UK partners : 89
Number of other UK fee-earners : 439

We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership. It is about recruiting, retaining and promoting all groups in the firm fairly, and we have invested in our processes to ensure that everyone has the same chance to develop and advance. 2020 has been a particularly unique year due to Covid-19. Although there are unprecedented challenges, it also demonstrates what can be achieved when businesses, charities and communities come together. Following on from key initiatives delivered in 2018 and 2019, during 2020 we have continued our work within D&I delivering our programmes virtually, with a focus on allyship, ethnicity and social mobility.

  • Inclusive leadership programme: delivered in 2018, this programme included consultation with all members of the firm and culminated in the launch of 25 People Commitments aligning to three main strands: Balance, Clarity and Development. Under the Balance strand, we reviewed our parental leave policies and in 2019, were ranked first place in the legal sector in the My Family Care Parental Leave Policy & Reward Benchmark.
  • The Female Lawyers Forum: this development programme consisted of five modules and was delivered over the course of 2019 with the support of the senior leadership team and clients.
  • The Male Lawyer Roundtables: delivered in 2019, this was a forum for our male lawyers to discuss the 25 People Commitments and to reflect on feedback from our female and BME lawyers.
  • BME fee earner initiative: a series of workshops with our BME lawyers provided a forum to discuss BME inclusion at the firm. We are now implementing the proposal including the launch of a BME reverse mentoring programme in February 2020, enabling our most senior partners to be mentored by BME solicitors and trainees.
  • A focus on allyship: in 2020, we have identified allyship as an area of focus. In February 2020, we celebrated LGBT+ history month by placing a spotlight on LGBT+ icons and hosted weekly stalls in the Kitchen area to allow people to physically sign up to be an ally. In early 2020, we also launched a toolkit on “how to be an effective ally” at a cross-sector event we hosted in conjunction with InterLaw.
  • Our response to the Black Lives Matter movement: building on our work around allyship, in support of the BLM movement, we consulted with our REACH network and developed a programme to support colleagues, encourage discussion and enable learning. This included: two reflection sessions during which colleagues spoke about personal experiences, a seminar looking at race relations in the UK and US delivered by Afua Hirsch (who is also facilitating our reverse mentoring programme), and the launch of a resource hub which provides employees with an extensive list of materials to educate themselves on race-related issues. In July 2020, we were one of the first firms to sign up to the Race Fairness Commitment and we are currently collating and analysing our ethnicity data as part of this commitment.
  • A focus on social mobility: in 2020, we have identified social mobility as a key focus area. We currently work with a number of organisations to recruit socially mobile candidates at a graduate level, including Rare Recruitment, Aspiring Solicitors, Bright Network and PRIME. The recruitment process includes CV blind interviews and the use of contextual recruitment which enables us to understand the context of a candidate’s experiences and qualifications. In order to further our work in this space, we are in the process of designing a bespoke school pipeline programme to support 40-60 candidates from socially disadvantaged backgrounds throughout sixth form and university each year.

All of these programmes have been supported by our four staff networks, which provide opportunities for peer support, networking and personal development: Balance (for everyone balancing home and work commitments), LGBT+ & friends, REACH (race, ethnicity and cultural heritage) and EnABLE (for disability, neurodiversity and mental health). The networks are consulted on particular issues and help to inform key decisions around the firm’s strategy.

The Lex 100 Verdict

A firm with ‘a small cohort, high quality of training and a friendly culture’ that is ‘encouraging from the start’ describes Macfarlanes, a stalwart of the London legal market. Known for ‘top-end work’, Macfarlanes’ comparatively small trainee intake allows for ‘trainees to become an important part of the team straight away’, and to be given ‘high-level responsibility and contact with clients’. Trainees comment that the firm’s ‘communication is open, and you are made to feel like a valued member of the team, contributing to substantive work’. Described as ‘a rewarding and collaborative workplace’ with comparatively ‘much better formal training’, Macfarlanes rates highly on supervision and quality of work. Commenting on the work/life balance, some trainees applaud the firm’s approach: ‘we are worked hard, but not silly hours every day. There is a real effort to make sure people have a work/life balance’. Others see this as an area for improvement, along with increasing the firm’s diversity. Macfarlanes is a Lex 100 Winner for confidence in being kept on after the training contract. Most trainees agree that the pandemic’s impact has been mitigated well; many have been ‘so impressed with how the firm has handled lockdown, and how we have been kept up to date and 'in the loop'. We have been fully integrated into the firm’. They also compliment the firms’ work socials including ‘pizza making’ saying ‘they have really made an effort’. If you are looking for high-quality training and an excellent City firm pedigree with a modern human touch, Macfarlanes is a great bet.