Firm Profile > Stephenson Harwood > London , London

Stephenson Harwood

Art and cultural property Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood acts for the major players in the art world on some of the most high profile transactions and disputes. It acts for leading international auction houses and also advises financial institutions and art associations. It has seen an increase in instructions on all aspects of cybersecurity risk management and has been advising high-net-worth individuals either as collectors, dealers or sellers on this issue. Roland Foord leads the firm’s art and cultural property group and advises clients on both contentious and transactional matters. Foord also has extensive experience in auction law. Stephen Roberts specialises in dispute resolution and risk management and is skilled at advising on issues involving title, provenance and attribution in particular.

Commodities disputes Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood's commodities practice has considerable expertise in both transactional and contentious matters. Practice head Haris Zografakis and partners Peter Bennett, Paolo Ghirardani and Jonathan Spearing are among the most highly respected names in the London commodities market, and they handle the full range of advisory, transactional and contentious issues across the entire supply chain for physical commodities. This includes acting for clients in English Court proceedings from the High Court to the Supreme Court; arbitrations under all of the major international rules including International Court of Arbitration, London Maritime Arbitrators Association, London Court of International Arbitration, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Singapore International Arbitration Centre, and China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission; and commodity trade tribunals before the London Metal Exchange, The Grain and Feed Trade Association and the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations. These matters cover a vast range of underlying commodities - coal, crude oil, petrochemicals, LNG, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, ores and concentrates.

Fraud: civil Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood handles high value fraud cases, disputes and international fraud litigation, with a strong track record of work relating to emerging markets such as Russia, the CIS, Africa and India. Areas of expertise include freezing orders, search orders, Norwich Pharmacal orders, receivership orders, gagging orders and asset tracing. Ros Prince - 'a tenacious litigator without fear of standing up to oligarchs or governments' - co-heads the team and focuses on large scale fraud disputes. She works in tandem with the 'phenomenally experienced' Alan Bercow, who also heads the team, advises clients in large scale fraud and asset tracing litigation, while other key members of the wider team include commercial litigation head John Fordham, described as a 'been there and done it' partner, while senior associate Priya Grigoriadis is also recommended.

Listed funds Tier 1

William Saunders heads up the investment funds practice at Stephenson Harwood, which is acclaimed for its 'depth of experience across the team and first-class client accessibility'. The firm boasts a constantly growing client roster of both listed funds and brokers, with instructions from a total of eleven new clients in the past year. Regulatory assistance is an area of regular workflow, with the firm supporting clients through the implementation of Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) Regulation and MiFID II. On the IPO side, Alex Haynes and others acted for N+1 Singer in their role as financial adviser and placing agent on the IPO of Hipgnosis Songs Fund. This is the first listed investment company to deliver returns to investors through investment in songs and associated musical intellectual property rights. Senior associate Kate Longman and Alexa Whitehead both garner praise from the firm's competitors.

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood has an exceptionally strong litigation offering with leading names including the 'first-rateHelena Berman, 'fantastic pensions litigator' Jenny McKeown and the 'fiercely intelligent' Naeem Noor receiving high-profile instructions from a broad client list of representative beneficiaries, trustees and scheme sponsors. Recent matters handled by the team have involved complex regulatory issues, indexing disputes, rectification disputes and professional negligence claims. Berman also leverages her private client expertise on issues in the offshore market. The 'outstanding' Mark Catchpole, who heads the non-contentious practice, covers scheme mergers and consolidations, corporate transactions, master trust implementation and risk reduction exercises.

Rail Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood has 'strong and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the rail industry'; the team 'understands key issues quickly and delivers in a user-friendly fashion'. It is engaged on prominent rail projects and it has extensive experience across franchising, rolling stock and infrastructure work. Clients include major franchise owners, operators, rolling stock manufacturers, financiers and government entities. It is also able to utilise the firm's experience across competition, employment, infrastructure, real estate, corporate, tax and dispute resolution to provide a full service to rail clients. Leading practitioner Tammy Samuel is well-versed in rolling stock mandates and led advice for Spanish rolling stock manufacturer, CAF, on numerous bids across the UK. Suzanne Tarplee, who 'understands issues from a commercial point of view and comes up with workable solutions', plays a pivotal role in franchising, rolling stock and rail regulation instructions. Recently promoted partner Darren Fodey is 'excellent on the detail'.

Aviation Tier 2

The aviation practice at Stephenson Harwood is 'knowledgeable, practical and dynamic' ; it has 'exceptional knowledge and understanding of the aviation sector and this, combined with great strategic thinking, makes for a ruthlessly effective and efficient service'. The team regularly works in conjunction with other aviation practitioners from across the firm's network of offices to provide a comprehensive service. The specialist team is particularly adept at complex disputes in the sector, where it is regularly instructed by leading airlines. The firm also offers expertise across regulatory, competition, commercial, tax, planning, real estate, projects, corporate and pensions issues. Paul Phillips is an 'exceptional litigator'; he is 'razor-sharp, very hardworking and he has the ability to grasp the essence of case very quickly to develop a considered and appropriate strategy'. Phillips led advice for Ryanair in a €70m dispute brought against the car hire company, Hertz Europe, for breach of contract.  Senior associate Chloe Challinor has a 'profound understanding of the regulatory landscape and is an amazing problem solver'.

Commercial property: hotels and leisure Tier 2

Active on a range of development and investment work, Stephenson Harwood provides clients with full lifecycle support from acquisition to disposal. Sectors of particular activity include warehouse and logistics, retail, data centres and mixed-use with an increasing number of instructions pertaining to regeneration and alternative assets. Jonathon Wilkes heads the department, which gears its inward investment practice towards France, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, among other jurisdictions. The hotels and leisure sector is a further area where the practice excels, representing a roster of hotel managers, nightclubs, restaurants and casinos on real estate, tax, corporate, employment and health and safety matters.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood advises on some of the most high-value and sensitive national and multi-jurisdictional disputes. The excellent team is able to draw on the wider department’s expertise in diverse areas such as insolvency, regulatory and taxation, and a significant proportion of its work relates to fraud and asset tracing. It also has considerable experience of complex onshore trust disputes and at advising trustees when involved in matrimonial disputes where large sums of money are at stake. Jenny McKeown and Helena Berman are highly recommended.

Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood has experience working for nominated advisers and companies across London's AIM, Main Market and Specialist Funds Segment. Given the breadth of industry sectors and market segments it handles, the team managed to stay very active in the face of a mercurial market, having acted in nearly 70 London ECM deals in 2018. Moreover, the firm has continued to invest in the ECM group through new partner promotions in 2018 and 2019. The practice group is headed by Tom Nicholls, 'a talented and business-oriented lawyer with great knowledge of the London market; an absolute go-to'.

Financial services: contentious Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood has specialist regulatory enforcement expertise, combining experience in regulatory investigations and criminal investigations. The firm acts for individuals and corporates against regulators and prosecuting authorities and also advises them in the context of internal investigations. Tony Woodcock leads the practice and specialises in providing advice to individuals and institutions in the financial and professional services sector.  Also notable is the 'very knowledgeable and experienced' Sean Jeffrey, who has particular expertise in legal professional privilege in a regulatory context. The team was strengthened by the 2019 arrival from Winston & Strawn LLP of Justin McClelland, who focuses on contentious financial regulation, economic crime, and corporate investigations. In a recent highlight, the team was appointed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to undertake a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company Ltd and the conduct of its directors and auditors. Richard Small left in 2018 to join Addleshaw Goddard.

Fraud: white-collar crime Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood advises clients including individuals and corporates on regulatory and criminal investigations. Areas of expertise include civil litigation, fraud, commercial litigation, regulatory compliance and employment litigation. It also advises clients in relation to allegations of bribery, corruption, and breaches of competition law. The firm acts in cases involving various agencies including the FCA, SFO, CMA, DOJ, SEC and CFTC. Clients include directors and senior executives. Head of team Tony Woodcock focuses on criminal and contentious financial services investigations and business regulation. Jake Pidcock joined as partner from the FCA. Sara George left the firm for Sidley Austin LLP.

M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood's corporate M&A team is noted for its capability to advise clients across a range of sectors. These include healthcare and life sciences, corporate real estate, in which the firm has advised US and European clients, and insurance and  financial services, in which the team has acted for continental European clients. The firm uses its network of international offices in conjunction with cross-border alliances to facilitate multi-jurisdictional work, spearheaded by lawyers' expertise in those markets. Practice head Duncan Stiles is recommended for his experience working with US clients, while Andrew Edge heads the corporate department, and is experienced across the whole range of corporate transactions, including public and private M&A and equity fundraisings. The firm re-hired former partner  Marc Hammerson from Akin Gump LLP . Hammerson primarily handles M&A transactions in the energy and infrastructure sector.

Private equity: transactions – mid-tier – up to £250m Tier 2

Jonathan Pittal heads up the eight partner strong PE department at Stephenson Harwood. Highlights included Gabriel Boghossian, Warren Allen and others advising BlueGem Capital on its €106m sale of 100% of its holdings across numerous portfolio companies (including Entronia Wine Group and The Private Clinic Group) to a new fund established by the client and backed by Glendower Capital. Major PE secondaries transactions of this kind are an area of especial expertise for highly recommended partner Boghossian. The corporate offering is strongly supported by the firm's broader banking, tax and regulatory practice groups, ensuring it can provide a multi-disciplinary service when necessary. A client of over 14 years comments that 'the consistency and quality of advice over that period has never varied and remains just excellent'.

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood handles corporate crime, investigations and prosecutions. Areas of expertise include anti-corruption, anti-trust legislation, cartels, sanctions and cross-jurisdictional cases. It often deals with regulatory investigations by the FCA, SFO, CMA, DoJ, SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Tony Woodcock heads the team and focuses on criminal and contentious financial services investigations and business regulation. The team has been expanding, with the addition of the 'superb' Justin McClelland as a partner from Winston & Strawn LLP and Jake Pidcock , who joined as a partner from the FCA. Sara George left for Sidley Austin LLP.

Shipping Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood handles a range of shipping work and is particularly known for its expertise in complex shipping disputes. The team, which is aided by its international network, handles charterparty disputes, shipbuilding work, FPSO disputes, offshore construction matters, marine insurance and casualty matters. The wider team also advises on IP and competition work in the sector, and ship finance enforcement work is also a key strength. The team represented Navigators Insurance Company and others in a Supreme Court case. Mike Phillips heads the team and marine insurance specialist Alex Davis is noted for his experience in coverage issues and complex losses. Paolo Ghirardani handles complex disputes, often with a cross-border element, and Sean Gibbons has a strong Korea practice and is experienced in the superyacht sector. Joe O’Keeffe joined from Ince in October 2018.

Transport finance & leasing Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood's 13-partner team has the strength-in-depth to provide a 'pragmatic and commercial service' to a broad range of stakeholders in the shipping and rail sectors. The 'vastly experiencedMark Russell, 'very talentedIan Mace and 'reliable and capableJonathan Ward are key practitioners in the maritime space (with Ward particularly strong on new money deals and restructurings with a Chinese nexus). Following a spate of major restructurings, new money finance deals have started to become more prominent again in the shipping market; the firm has picked up its fair share of these, including Mace's recent work for shipping company Team Tankers International on a $220m senior secured credit facility. The 'responsiveRichard Parsons leads on the aviation front and has a strong following among banks and operating lessors. As well as her general leasing expertise, the 'super experiencedLisa Marks also assists on rail finance matters.

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood's 'highly experienced practice' regularly advises on large, high-value and technically challenging disputes, and it has recently assisted with disputes involving alleged interest-rate benchmarking, FX-fixing and mis-selling. Sue Millar and Edward Davis co-run the banking and finance litigation subgroup, and John Fordham is commercial litigation department head. Other experienced partners are Richard GarciaDonna Newman and Richard Gwynne, while Alina Neal is the senior associate to note.

Commercial litigation Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood has particular strengths in cross-border disputes in the energy, financial services, shipping, aviation, art and real estate sectors. Recent growth included the hiring of Justin McClelland, who is focused on contentious financial regulation, economic crime, and corporate investigations, from Winston & Strawn LLP.  John Fordham heads the commercial litigation group; Richard Garcia has particular litigation expertise in relation to shareholders, partnership joint ventures, post-acquisition issues and corporate investments; meanwhile Sue Millar is particularly focused on the financial services and international trade sectors. Also highly rated are Edward DavisRichard Gwynne, sports law group head Ben Sigler and Kate CorderyGuy Harper was made partner in 2019, and Caroline Houghton and Alina Neal are the senior associates to note.

Commercial property: investment Tier 3

Active on a range of development and investment work, Stephenson Harwood provides clients with full lifecycle support from acquisition to disposal. Sectors of particular activity include warehouse and logistics, retail, data centres and mixed-use with an increasing number of instructions pertaining to regeneration and alternative assets. Jonathon Wilkes heads the department, which gears its inward investment practice towards France, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, among other jurisdictions. The hotels and leisure sector is a further area where the practice excels, representing a roster of hotel managers, nightclubs, restaurants and casinos on real estate, tax, corporate, employment and health and safety matters.

Construction: contentious Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood's contentious team handles disputes across range of sectors, including oil and gas, power and energy, rail and real estate. On the  international front, the team is building a reputation for its work in the Middle East, particularly in the energy and power sectors. Ron Nobbs and Paul Thwaite lead the practice. Nobbs, who provides 'strong, focused advice', recently led for for subcontractor Giffen in a dispute with Hochtief over the new station entrance for Bloomberg at Bank station in London. The 'impressive' Thwaite specialises in contractor claims for delay and disruption, and was lead partner acting for ENGIE on a dispute with Lend Lease over the the refurbishment of the government buildings housing the Treasury and HMRC. 'Clever and superb' Charlotte Heywood, who specialises in rail disputes and advises on defect claims, is also recommended.

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood has traditionally had a strong practice in PFI/ PPP projects work but, increasingly, the team has also been focusing on asset management matters such as secondary market acquisitions and refinancings. It is also involved in various energy from waste and biomass projects. The group is headed by Jonathan Cripps, who has longstanding experience advising public and private clients particularly from the transport, energy and accommodation sectors. Rubin Weston is a key contact in financing matters and is well versed in developing markets. Rebecca Carter's expertise in PPP/ PFI related matters is also notable.

International arbitration Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood is 'devoted to cases and to its relationships with clients, and the practice has the ability to identify the appropriate work team and resources to dedicate to a case'. Its distinguishing features include arbitration strengths in shipping and construction teams as well as sector strengths in energy, natural resources, aviation, infrastructure, construction, banking and telecoms; the firm also has significant Africa and India practices, and regularly acts in Russia and CIS matters. Louis Flannery QC is international arbitration group head, Kamal Shah runs the Africa and India practices, Shai Wade has particularly strong expertise in oil and gas-sector disputes, and Vivek Kapoor is an experienced senior associate. Former counsel Duncan Bagshaw left for Howard Kennedy LLP.

IT and telecoms Tier 3

The 'genuinely hardworking' commercial, outsourcing and technology team at Stephenson Harwood combines 'strong legal experience with commercial sector knowledge' and assist clients with the full range of IT advice with particular expertise in cloud computing, fintech, IT outsourcing, software licensing and data protection issues, IT litigation and corporate transactions. The group is led by Jonathan Kirsop, who has particular expertise in data-focused IT initiatives, and Dan Holland, who handles large IT projects. The group benefits from the addition of 'star senior associateDavid Berry from Addleshaw Goddard; Berry 'consistently provides considered, thoughtful and timely advice' and is 'technically strong with an ability to easily connect the dots of a matter'.

Mediators Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood’s commercial litigation head John Fordham is 'an excellent mediator who exudes both gravitas and empathy during mediations; he facilitates discussion at an appropriate level and achieves settlements that at the outset seem impossible'. Fordham is regularly instructed in high-value, complex mediations, and he has particular strength in financial services disputes. On the international side, he has carried out mediations in France, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Jersey and the US. Fordham recently mediated a dispute that arose from the share-out of a hotel business.

Oil and gas Tier 3

The transactional and disputes lawyers at Stephenson Harwood have a strong focus on sub-Saharan African oil and gas mandates, ranging from advising on investments, sales, storage, delivery and long-term contracts to litigation. On the transactional side, the team is particularly active in private and public M&A and fundraising. The client roster consists mainly of independent E&P companies. Marc Hammerson recently re-joined the firm from Akin Gump LLP .

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood has an exceptionally strong litigation offering with leading names including the 'first-rateHelena Berman, 'fantastic pensions litigator' Jenny McKeown and the 'fiercely intelligent' Naeem Noor receiving high-profile instructions from a broad client list of representative beneficiaries, trustees and scheme sponsors. Recent matters handled by the team have involved complex regulatory issues, indexing disputes, rectification disputes and professional negligence claims. Berman also leverages her private client expertise on issues in the offshore market. The 'outstanding' Mark Catchpole, who heads the non-contentious practice, covers scheme mergers and consolidations, corporate transactions, master trust implementation and risk reduction exercises.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood acts for ultra-high-net-worth individuals as well as family offices internationally and predominantly acts  for entrepreneurial wealth generators. It has a particular focus on complex structuring with an international angle where a business or corporate structure is involved. It has niche expertise in advising on the UK tax treatment of international pensions. As well as the traditional private client services, it also advises its clients on a myriad of other issues such as private jets, super-yachts, art and white-collar crime. James Quarmby and Hugo Jenney  are key contacts.

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood serves a range of pharma, biotech and healthcare clients, including startups, with a comprehensive range of expertise. This includes corporate and commercial; Andrew Edge has advised a number of major players in the sector on mergers, acquisitions and IPOs and Anthony Clare also advises on commercial and funding mandates.  Alexandra Pygall 'provides the highest quality advice' to her clients on all aspects of IP commercialisation including licensing and collaboration deals and routinely assists on the IP aspects of M&A. 'Excellent advisor' Rob Jacob also specialises in all aspects of IP advisory and contentious cases.

Professional negligence Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood has an 'extremely able team that is well-capable of managing the most complex litigation'; its expertise is 'strong and deep'. The team handles complex claimant and defendant work and is instructed by individuals, as well as leading accountancy firms, auction houses, pension consultants and actuaries, leading law firms and global professional services insurers, as well as global financial institutions and senior management. The team regularly handles negligence cases relating to regulatory and criminal investigations. Roland Foord, who heads the team with Stephen Roberts, led advice for National House-Building Council (NHBC) on a £41m claim against its former auditor and tax adviser, PwC. Kate Cordery is engaged on claims involving solicitors, tax advisors, accountants, auditors and professional services firms.

Property finance Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood has a wide-ranging client base of borrowers and lenders, including overseas and clearing banks, insurers, funds and corporate borrowers, as well as a growing number of Asian investors. Investment and development finance are areas of strength for the team, which advises on transactions involving hotels, care homes and retail properties. The team is led by James Linforth, and also includes Jayesh Patel, Paul Hayward-Surry (who specialises in the commercial real estate, residential housing and hotel sectors) and Jonathan Proctor.

Property litigation Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood's 'thorough, knowledgeable and efficient' team sits within the firm's commercial litigation practice and has particular expertise in rights of light and other development-related disputes as well as a wide range of contentious tenancy matters and issues at the intersection with professional negligence. 'Formidable litigatorAndrew Myers 'knows when to turn on the pressure and when not to in the dispute process'; he heads the team, which includes 'professional' rights of light expert Sophie Schultz; 'her work ethic and tenacity whilst retaining a human touch in order to maintain relationships is an absolute strength'.

Real estate funds Tier 3

With a core strength in listed real estate vehicles, Stephenson Harwood handles the structuring and launch of a range of fund types including REITs, offshore funds, authorised and unauthorised unit trusts and open-ended investment companies and limited partnerships. The investment funds group also regularly advises clients on joint venture arrangements aimed at real estate investment, as well as divestment transactions. William Saunders, who leads the practice, is name to note. Also recommended is Warren Allan who focuses on private funds, including private real estate funds.

Trade finance Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood joins the ranking this year, as its large commodities practice, led by Haris Zografakis, has a strong position in the trade finance market. The firm has extensive experience in transactional work across the whole of the commodities cycle from the extraction of raw materials through to end use, providing advisory, transactional and contentious services to clients in the physical commodities, trade finance and derivatives markets. It has notable expertise in coal, crude oil and petrochemicals, LNG, ferrous and non-ferrous  metals, and mining. Its extensive client base includes major trading houses such as Vitol and Mercuria, banks such as Macquarie and Rabobank, power companies, mining companies including Vedanta, and national oil companies. 'We really appreciate his support', says a client of Jonathan SpearingDavid Lacey is well versed in structured trade and invoice discounting transactions, and Rubin Weston represents lenders and borrowers on major financings.

VAT and indirect tax Tier 3

Hugo Jenney leads the department at Stephenson Harwood, which focuses on the funds, transportation and asset finance sectors, as well as having an active real estate practice. The group also handles more niche matters including share schemes and employee incentives. The team also includes Maryanna Sharrock, who has expertise in cross-border tax matters, and John Meehan, who has experience in VAT and stamp duties.

Commercial property: development Tier 4

Active on a range of development and investment work, Stephenson Harwood provides clients with full lifecycle support from acquisition to disposal. Sectors of particular activity include warehouse and logistics, retail, data centres and mixed-use with an increasing number of instructions pertaining to regeneration and alternative assets. Jonathon Wilkes heads the department, which gears its inward investment practice towards France, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore, among other jurisdictions. The hotels and leisure sector is a further area where the practice excels, representing a roster of hotel managers, nightclubs, restaurants and casinos on real estate, tax, corporate, employment and health and safety matters.

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood's team works across a range of sectors, such as rail infrastructure, education, hotels and real estate. Graeme Barton leads the team is known for his work in the energy, hotels and leisure and education sectors, advising purchasers, suppliers and funders. He recently took the lead for 103 Colmore Row Unit Trust on the construction of a new 26-storey building in Birmingham. Rebecca Carter is another name to note, with experience of economic and social infrastructure projects and acting as lead partner advising the North London Waste Authority on a programme of construction works in connection with the North London Heat and Power Project.

Corporate tax Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood's key areas of tax sector expertise are funds, transportation and asset finance. The group is often called upon to advise on M&A, financing and real estate matters and is also able to assist clients with the restructuring of complex tax planning arrangements. Department head Hugo Jenney handles corporate and personal tax; Maryanna Sharrock is a business tax expert; senior associate Kate Worthington has particular experience in real estate transactions.

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

Jonathan Kirsop leads the data protection and information team at Stephenson Harwood, which handles the full spectrum of data protection issues including GDPR compliance, data breaches, subject access requests and international data transfers. The team advises a client roster spanning the financial services, retail, life sciences, shipping, charity, aviation, rail and professional services sectors; notable examples include BTG, The Movember Foundation and Deloitte. Barclays Bank is also a key client, which Kirsop recently advised on its GDPR compliance. Litigator Ben Sigler is the main contact for contentious data protection issues, particularly subject access requests.

Employee share schemes Tier 4

At Stephenson Harwood, the employee share schemes and incentives department excels in advising a varied client roster ranging from larger listed corporations and AIM companies to financial institutions and start-ups. The team provides advice regarding share plans, corporate governance issues, and bespoke arrangements such as incentive arrangements. The group also regularly collaborates with the firm’s employment team on handling employees’ appointments and exits from companies; of recent note, practice head Barbara Allen led a cross-departmental team on advising Mark Read on his appointment as chief executive of media and advertising company WPP. Clients also single out senior associate Anika Chandra, who is another key figure on the team.

Employment: employers Tier 4

With notable expertise across the full spectrum of employment matters, Stephenson Harwood stands out for its sector strength in the financial services, regulatory, rail, leisure, luxury goods and life sciences industries; key clients include Arriva, Mercer and Mizuho Bank. The group is also handling an increased volume of cross-border mandates and works closely with its Asia and Middle Eastern offices, while also collaborating with US law firms without UK law capability. The team is also singled out for its knowledge of restrictive covenants and gender pay gap reporting issues. Mark Catchpole leads the practice, which also fields restrictive covenant expert Kate Brearley, litigators Anne Pritam and Purvis Ghani and financial services specialist Paul Reeves.

Healthcare Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood has a strong offering in healthcare M&A. Led by corporate partner Karima Hudson and supported by corporate finance specialist Andrew Edge, the team has seen a steady increase in healthcare acquisitions and instructions acting for funds and private equity investors.

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood boasts a highly specialised and 'vastly' experienced marine insurance team, which was further strengthened in October 2018 by the arrival of the highly regarded Joe O’Keeffe from Ince. 'Great commercial tactician' Alex Davis advises on cross-border hull, cargo, war risks, port risk, shipyard liability, general liability and mortgagee interest disputes. Simon Moore, who focuses on marine and energy matters, recently successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court in the B Atlantic case relating to war risks insurance.

Intellectual property Tier 4

The 'very reliable' practice at Stephenson Harwood has 'excellent legal skills and sharp commercial awareness' and 'excels at coordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation'. With 'excellent strength and depth in life sciences and pharmaceuticals work', the team attracts praise for being 'unique in its ability to switch its approach from big pharma to small biotech'; other strong sectors for the group include the retail, luxury brands, oil, gas and shipping industries. 'Stand-out litigator' and 'formidable negotiator' Eifion Morris is 'absolutely brilliant strategically' and leads the practice alongside the 'technically and legally superb' Alexandra Pygall. Rob Jacob has 'exceptional practical experience coupled with a commercial approach' and handles a combination of contentious and non-contentious matters for life science and energy sector clients, while recently promoted partner Naomi Leach focuses on transactional matters in the life sciences sector.

Planning Tier 4

Real estate practice head, Jonathon Wilkes, now handles Stephenson Harwood’s planning mandates following the departure of Ben Stansfield to Gowling WLG. Cited expertise includes DCO applications for energy projects, CPO applications for redevelopment projects, and a number of urban regeneration schemes. Contentious mandates include handling an HS2 planning objection on behalf of a hospitality group.

Public international law Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood combines 'second-to-none' expertise in international sanctions and enforcement issues with its work representing governments and state-owned companies in investment treaty and investor-state disputes. Department head Kamal Shah has strong experience in Africa and India-related arbitration. Sue Millar advises on a range of contentious and non-contentious issues arising in relation to the various Iranian, Libyan, Syrian and Russian sanctions regimes. Richard Garcia and senior associate Stephen Ashley are 'superb lawyers in the sanctions and public international law sphere'.

Commercial contracts Tier 5

Stephenson Harwood advises on a range of agreements, from day-to-day trading arrangements to one-off complex and strategic alliances, with a particular focus on the food and drink, transportation, hospitality and life sciences sectors. Dan Holland specialises in centralised procurement structures and consignment manufacturing arrangements. He co-leads the team with Jonathan Kirsop, who has notable expertise in advising on commercial arrangements in the art and cultural property market.

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 5

Stephenson Harwood has a strong track record of work on insurance acquisitions, with Sam Gray recently handling a string of deals for clients such as The Ardonagh Group and Arthur J Gallagher & Co, including Ardonagh's acquisition of Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Limited. The team, which regularly handles transactions with a cross-border element, works in tandem with the wider firm's tax, commercial litigation, incentives and private equity teams.

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 6

Led by James LinforthStephenson Harwood's four-partner team provides a 'responsive and client-oriented service' to borrowers and lenders across a diverse array of work, ranging from public and private acquisition finance through to funds finance and corporate lending matters. The team regularly handles multi-jurisdictional matters, where it is aided by an international network that includes a particularly strong offering in Asia. The London team also has a strong reputation for emerging market financing matters, particularly in relation to deals with a nexus to Francophone African countries.

EU and competition Tier 6

The competition department at Stephenson Harwood handles a wide spectrum of competition law matters, such as merger control, behavioural investigations, state aid, commercial agreements, and licensing and other IP arrangements. The team often works in conjunction with other departments, particularly in industries of strategic importance for the firm including financial services, rail, shipping and healthcare, in which it has been expanding its presence with new mandates. Marta Isabel Garcia heads up the practice, where consultant Bryony Roy is also noted.

Sport Tier 6

Stephenson Harwood's sports practice stands out for its work handling insolvencies for football and motor sports clubs that often involve contentious elements, such as acting for the liquidators of RPC PLC (formerly Rangers FC) in their defence of an £18m ongoing secured claim by former owner of the club, Craig Whyte. The group's broader practice covers disputes and litigation spanning sponsorship, alleged impropriety, IP infringement, misuse of funds, unjust enrichment and fraud. Practice head Ben Sigler recently advised a sovereign wealth fund in relation to bribery allegations concerning the hosting of a major sporting event.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 7

Led by 'thoughtful and detail-orientedSusan MooreStephenson Harwood's eight-partner team provides 'robust advice' to a diverse array of clients including funds, insolvency practitioners, corporates and banks, and is best-known for its 'very strong capability in relation to contentious matters'. Moore is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile matters handled by the team and excels at handling matters with a cross-border angle, including her work for the Norwegian official receiver of the Norske Skog group (which is Norway's largest ever corporate insolvency).

Stephenson Harwood is a law firm with over 1,000 people worldwide, including more than 170 partners. Its people are committed to achieving the goals of its clients – listed and private companies, institutions and individuals.

The firm: Stephenson Harwood assembles teams of bright thinkers to match its clients’ needs and give the right advice from the right person at the right time. Dedicating the highest calibre of legal talent to overcome the most complex issues, the firm delivers pragmatic, expert advice that is set squarely in the real world.

The firm is headquartered in London, with ten offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the firm has forged close ties with other high-quality law firms. This diverse mix of expertise and culture results in a combination of deep local insight, and the capability to provide a seamless international service.

Types of work undertaken: Stephenson Harwood has recognised market-leading strengths in five key areas: asset finance, commercial litigation and arbitration, corporate finance, marine and international trade, and real estate. Its offering is underpinned by in-depth market knowledge related to all of these areas, backed by a full range of ancillary legal services attuned to the needs of clients within each area.

Asset finance: the team’s expertise covers a very broad range of assets that includes aviation, heavy equipment, rail, oil and gas, ports and airports, real estate, renewables and shipping. Clients include global and domestic lenders, arrangers, sponsors and borrowers.

Commercial litigation, arbitration and regulation: the team has a track record for advising clients on their most challenging disputes and has, over the years, acted on many of the largest cases in the commercial courts. The team is highly respected among its peers. In addition to the firm’s own clients, Stephenson Harwood is frequently referred work by many of the largest international law firms when they are faced with conflict situations.

Corporate finance: the team’s core services include M&A, takeovers, joint ventures, IPOs, private equity and venture capital. The client base is international and includes listed and privately-owned companies, management teams, banks and private equity houses. The team operates across a broad range of industries, but has a particularly strong track record in the consumer, energy and resources, financial services, pharmaceuticals and transportation sectors.

Marine and international trade: the size of the team and depth of its experience mean that Stephenson Harwood is well placed to advise on any shipping or trade-related concern – from the most complex marine incident or financing structure to the more straightforward sale and purchase dispute or cargo claim. Clients include many of the world’s largest ship owners, ship yards, banks, insurers, P&I clubs, offshore services companies and commodity traders.

Real estate: the team advises on investment acquisitions and disposals, financings, development projects, sale and leasebacks and other structures, as well as ongoing property management matters. It has extensive experience of real estate development and regeneration, securing planning permissions and advising on environmental issues. Clients include property companies, institutional investors and financiers, fund managers, high-net-worth individuals, hotel groups and corporate occupiers.

Other practice areas: banking, commercial, contentious trusts, employment, environment, funds, intellectual property, pensions, projects, restructuring and insolvency, tax and private wealth.

Other offices: Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, Piraeus, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Yangon.

Associated offices: Athens, Bucharest, Guangzhou, Jakarta.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Roland Foord
Chief executive Sharon White
Chief operating officer Clive Ruse
Arbitration Louis Flannery
Aviation finance Richard Parsons
Aviation litigation Paul Phillips
Banking James Linforth
Commercial Dan Holland
Commodities Haris Zografakis
Competition Marta Garcia
Construction Paul Thwaite
Consumer Andrew McLean
Corporate finance Duncan Stiles
Employee incentives Barbara Allen
Environment Ben Stansfield
Fraud and asset tracing Alan Bercow
Funds William Saunders
Hotels and leisure Robert Newman
IP Eifion Morris
Life sciences Andrew Edge
Litigation John Fordham
Marine and international trade Mike Phillips
Employment and Pensions Mark Catchpole
Private wealth James Quarmby
Professional practices Roland Foord
Projects Jonathan Cripps
Rail Graeme McLellan
Real estate Jonathon Wilkes
Real estate finance Paul Hayward-Surry
Real estate litigation Andrew Myers
Restructuring and insolvency Susan Moore and Stuart Frith
Regulation Tony Woodcock
Shipping finance Ian Mace
Sanctions Sue Millar
Tax Hugo Jenney
Photo Name Position Profile
 Tom Adams  photo Tom Adams
 Barbara Allen  photo Barbara Allen
 Nick Barber  photo Nick Barber
 Graeme Barton  photo Graeme Barton
 Stuart Beadnall  photo Stuart Beadnall
 Peter Bennett  photo Peter Bennett
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 Helena Berman  photo Helena Berman
 Catriona Berman  photo Catriona Berman
 Gabriel Boghossian  photo Gabriel Boghossian
 Simon Brading  photo Simon Brading
 Kate Brearley  photo Kate Brearley
 Julian Cahn  photo Julian Cahn
 Archie Campbell  photo Archie Campbell
 Rebecca Carter  photo Rebecca Carter
 Mark Catchpole  photo Mark Catchpole
 Chloe Challinor  photo Chloe Challinor
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 Julie Clegg  photo Julie Clegg
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 Kate Cordery  photo Kate Cordery
 Jonathan Cripps  photo Jonathan Cripps
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 Elizabeth Field  photo Elizabeth Field
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 Darren Fodey  photo Darren Fodey
 Roland Foord  photo Roland Foord
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 Stuart Frith  photo Stuart Frith
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 Ian Mace  photo Ian Mace
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 Daniel Margolis  photo Daniel Margolis
 Lisa Marks  photo Lisa Marks
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 Duncan McDonald  photo Duncan McDonald
 Jenny McKeown  photo Jenny McKeown
 Andrew McLean  photo Andrew McLean
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 Ben Mercer  photo Ben Mercer
 Sue Millar  photo Sue Millar
 Simon Moore  photo Simon Moore
 Susan Moore  photo Susan Moore
 Eifion Morris  photo Eifion Morris
 Andrew Myers  photo Andrew Myers
 Donna Newman  photo Donna Newman
 Tom Nicholls  photo Tom Nicholls
 Ron Nobbs  photo Ron Nobbs
 Neil Noble  photo Neil Noble
 Naeem Noor  photo Naeem Noor
 Dean Norton  photo Dean Norton
 Emily Osborne  photo Emily Osborne
 Joe O’Keefe  photo Joe O’Keefe
 Tom Page  photo Tom Page
 Richard Parsons  photo Richard Parsons
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 Mike Phillips  photo Mike Phillips
 Jake Pidcock  photo Jake Pidcock
 Jonathan Pittal  photo Jonathan Pittal
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 Anne Pritam  photo Anne Pritam
 Jonathan Proctor  photo Jonathan Proctor
 Alexandra Pygall  photo Alexandra Pygall
 James Quarmby  photo James Quarmby
 Paul Reeves  photo Paul Reeves
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 Stephen Roberts  photo Stephen Roberts
 Mark Russell  photo Mark Russell
 Tammy Samuel  photo Tammy Samuel
 William Saunders  photo William Saunders
 Sophie Schultz  photo Sophie Schultz
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 Sharon White  photo Sharon White
 Alexa Whitehead  photo Alexa Whitehead
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 Haris Zografakis  photo Haris Zografakis
Number of UK partners : 170
Number of other UK fee-earners : 675