Stephenson Harwood > London, England > Firm Profile

Stephenson Harwood
1 FINSBURY CIRCUS
LONDON
EC2M 7SH
England

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 1

Acting for claimants and defendants on business-critical fraud cases, Stephenson Harwood is known as 'a fantastic group of people doing some of the most high-profile fraud work in the London market - a highly efficient and savvy team with real strength in depth'. The firm has substantial expertise in international fraud litigation from emerging markets and developing economies, notably Thailand, Africa, India, South America and particularly the CIS and Russia. The department has experience across the spectrum of injunctions, asset tracing and fraud recovery work. Ros Prince focuses on high value fraud and financial services litigation. She co-leads the team with Alan Bercow, who handles a range of disputes as well as tracing and recovering assets across multiple jurisdictions. Other key names in the area include expert litigator John Fordham and senior associate Priya Grigoriadis, who specialises in complex litigation, arbitration, fraud and asset recovery.

Practice head(s):

Ros Prince; Alan Bercow

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘It is quite clear to me that their approach to clients and the approach to adopt is exceptional. I simply cannot recommend them more highly’. 

‘Ros Prince – very, very effective.  A sage individual who really knows how to approach matters and get results.  I like being on her side, I wouldn’t want to be opposite her (but having said that I can see that she treats people with respect, professionalism and courtesy)’.

‘Extremely client oriented, professional and knowledgeable team with outstanding experience’.

‘Ros Prince is outstanding in her ability to act and advise not only on discrete issues, bur also on strategy in complex multi-jurisdictional matters involving both issues of fact and of law, national and international. Ros’ leadership of the team and her ability to engage with the counsel and lawyers from other jurisdictions is second to none’.

‘Priya Grigoriadis excels in managing the case from the procedural perspective and has extraordinary client skills’.

‘A fantastic group of people doing some of the most high-profile fraud work in the London market – a highly efficient and savvy team with real strength in depth’.

‘Alan Bercow steadies the ship and with his experience is able to handle the client. John Fordham has unparalleled experience and knowledge in the area of commercial fraud and asset recovery’.

‘When you have a major issues, I want to know that the team of lawyers have done this a hundred times and know all the tricks that a debtor knows. Stephenson Harwood are one of the top rated fraud recovery teams in London and have been doing this forever. This gives me a lot of comfort’.

Key clients

Former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company

Libyan Investment Authority

Igor Mints

Medlands PTC Limited (as trustee of the Trust) and an underlying company of the Trust

Mr Ravi Ruia and Mr Prashant Ruia

Shane Crooks and Malcolm Cohen of BDO LLP

MOG Holding Limited

Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, Ivan Avramov and others

Work highlights

  • Continue to act for the former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company on their enforcement action in England in relation to US$54 billion+ arbitration awards against the Russian Federation.
  • Act in relation to the affairs of the Libyan Investment Authority (“LIA”) representing one of the persons claiming to be chairman of the LIA in various claims, based on misappropriation of Libyan assets during the Gaddafi era, in different jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, Cayman Islands, the Netherlands and France and including the appointment by the English Commercial Court of receivers and managers in relation to LIA assets and claims.
  • Client Igor Mints is a successful Russian businessman and the co-owner of an international investment management company headquartered in London. On 28 June 2019, two Russian banks, PJSC National Bank Trust and PJSC Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation, commenced proceedings claiming US$572 million against him, his father and his two brothers.

Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood's team has 'an excellent understanding of, and wealth of experience in, the coal and metals trading markets'. Its work covers a full range of commodities, including oil, LNG and grains. With vast experience in all key fora - among them GAFTA, FOSFA, the LME and the High Court - the firm is widely recognised as having one of the deepest benches for commodities, shipping and international trade law. Haris Zografakis leads a practice known for its 'firm and confident, but not aggressive or unnecessarily antagonising' approach to litigation. Peter Bennett is 'an extremely experienced and diligent commodities lawyer, who has a very good bedside manner with clients'. The 'meticulous and careful' Jonathan Spearing is adept in both litigation and arbitration. Newly-promoted partner Emma Skakle is well-versed in all aspects of shipping and commodities litigation. Consultant Elisabeth Gaunt, who joined from Taylor Wessing LLP, adds extensive experience in commodities finance cases.

Practice head(s):

Haris Zografakis

Testimonials

‘The service of the firm is really outstanding: quick responses, deep knowledge of the market and great authority in the legal issues involved. Great in advising the client. They are our first choice in this area. We would recommend them to anyone, but not to our opponents!’

‘We are always impressed that Stephenson Harwood have not only an excellent grasp of the law – something, which of course we would expect from a law firm of this stature – but also, more unusually, a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of the relevant market, the latest industry trends, developments and crises.’

‘The team has an excellent understanding of, and wealth of experience in, the coal and metals commodities trading markets.’

‘Peter Bennett is really an expert in this area, particularly skilled in arbitration strategy and tactics; always available, reliable and – above all – effective, he conducts all the trial phases with precision and appropriateness.’

‘I have known Peter Bennett for well over 10 years and time and time again he has proven to be one of the most reliable lawyers there are. His thorough knowledge, quick grasp of the issues involved, excellent understanding of the industry and clear, no-fluff advice have always been greatly appreciated in times of crises. His ability to remain calm even in the most tense situations has the effect of bringing down the stress of everyone involved in a dispute.’

‘Peter Bennett is an extremely experienced and diligent commodities lawyer who has a very good bedside manner with clients. Jonathan Spearing stands out for his expertise in relation to metals trading fraud and is a meticulous and careful lawyer.’

Key clients

Mercuria

Vedanta Resources and subsidiaries/related companies

Stemcor

Macquarie Bank

Steag

PDVSA

BASF Intertrade

Elinoil

Mabanaft

Sahara Energy Resources

Work highlights

  • Advising Mercuria in claims brought against Deutsche Bank in the English Commercial Court arising out of the Qingdao warehousing fraud in 2014.
  • Acting for Sahara Energy Resource Ltd in ongoing English High Court, LCIA arbitration, Nigerian Court (Lagos & Abuja) and UAE Court proceedings. The client is a Geneva-based commodities trader, which is engaged in disputes with UAE-based trader Ultimate Oil & Gas DMCC and its Nigerian based parent company Rahamaniyya Oil & Gas DMCC. Sahara entered into a sale contract with Ultimate to deliver gas oil to the Rahamaniyya’s storage terminal in Nigeria. Following various payment defaults by Ultimate, Sahara terminated the sale contract with Ultimate and requested the release of the balance of the remaining gas oil that had not been paid for by Ultimate. Rahamaniyya refused to release the remaining gas oil Sahara, which currently remains at the terminal in Nigeria.

Employment > Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood‘s pensions offering has been restructured to create a combined, single practice offering ‘deep technical knowledge and formidable litigation skills’. The non-contentious arm is led by Philip GoodchildStephen Richards  is at the forefront of the team’s pensions innovations work, establishing client-focused initiatives via an online’Pensions Hub’ and an automated scheme documentation system. Mark Catchpole and Graham Wrightson also support the pratice. The litigation practice is headed by‘force to be reckoned with’ Helena Berman. The team regularly advises on TPR investigations/moral hazard and anti-avoidance claims, scheme rectification and CPI/RPI issues for sponsoring employers, trustees, and representative beneficiaries. The disputes team continues to have a significant presence, with Jenny McKeown  successfully acting for Honda in its rectification compromise claim. ‘Incredibly gifted’ senior associate Chris Edwards-Earl also supports the litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Helena Berman

Testimonials

‘Helena Berman and Chris Edwards-Earl are a first class tag team. They represented us on a fiendishly complicated pensions dispute and outflanked the opposition at every turn with their intellectual rigour, thoroughness of preparation and dogged determination. The settlement they achieved for us exceeded our wildest expectations. Their performance at a COVID-era remote mediation was awesome.’

‘Helena Berman is a force to be reckoned with. She is both measured and fierce at the same time. She is also funny, down-to-earth and very smart. Unlike many top-ranking pensions specialists, she doesn’t sit on the fence or hedge her bets when advising. This clarity and frankness is refreshing. ‘

‘Chris Edwards-Earl is incredibly gifted. He is incredibly articulate and persuasive with the written and spoken word, and equally gifted with numbers’ 

‘Fantastic industry knowledge, practical experience of the sector. Great combination of deep technical knowledge and formidable litigation skills. The firm I always choose for the tricky cases.’

‘Helena Berman and Jenny McKeown are a dream team. They understand our business and, unlike many pension litigation solicitors, they are not in awe of barristers. They chase and challenge counsel where appropriate and as a result, they are highly effective.

‘Jenny McKeown is extremely experienced in pensions litigation. Unflappable and always makes the right call – great instincts. Someone you want on your side.’

Key clients

Arriva Group

Honda Motor Europe Limited and Honda of the UK Manufacturing Limited

J.P. McDougall & Co Limited (within the AkzoNobel group of companies) and the Trustees of the J.P. McDougall & Co Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Representative Beneficiary of the SPS Technologies UK Pension Plan, Salim Sidat

Michael and Alison Garlick

Trustees of the Bic UK Limited Pension Scheme

Santander (CF Trustee) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Arriva Group on a case involving parallel claims for damages alongside a judicial review, challenging the DfT’s procurement process adopted for the awarding of rail franchises and Arriva’s bid’s disqualification due to assessment of pension risks.
  • Acted for Honda Motor Europe Limited and Honda of the UK Manufacturing Limited on what was one of the largest compromises of a claim for rectification.
  • Acting for JP McDougal (J.P. McDougall & Co Limited (within the AkzoNobel group of companies) and the Trustees of the J.P. McDougall & Co Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme) on a technical rectification claim, in a matter which exemplifies our team’s experience in resolving issues in scheme documentation with cost-effective solutions, avoiding an otherwise protracted negligence claim.

Investment fund formation and management > Listed funds Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood remains a go-to firm for institutional investment managers, advising high-profile closed-ended funds on structuring and secondaries transactions, as well as leading on a number of major IPOs in what has been a difficult market for equity raisings. Standout work has included REIT and social impact fund formations, as well as EU, Brexit and ESG-related regulatory compliance advice. The team is led by William Saunders, who remains a standout figure in the market, handling major IPOs and complex fund restructurings. Alex Haynes handles formation and structuring mandates for UK and offshore funds, while the ‘technically strong‘ Elizabeth Field is noted for her work on alternative equity raisings, fund reconstruction and M&A. Carolyn Harris was promoted to partner in mid-2021. Also recommended are senior associates Kate LongmanAlexa Whitehead and Nicholas Horton.

Practice head(s):

William Saunders

Other key lawyers:

Alex Haynes; Carolyn Hall; Elizabeth Field; Kate Longman; Alexa Longman

Testimonials

The team is exceptional, with excellent sector knowledge and fantastic investment and development of their trainees and more junior lawyers. The diversity in the team is also very welcome. I feel in very good hands when Stephenson Harwood are acting for us.

Partners William Saunders and Alex Haynes are both exceptional. They are very commercial, easy to work with and I know I can rely on them and their advice in difficult situations. Nick Horton and Kate Longman are standout senior associates and a pleasure to work with.

The team is quite simply excellent, giving the highest quality advice and superb client service. Partners and associates are a pleasure to deal with and are evidently very knowledgeable and current in their areas of expertise.

William Saunders is a stand-out partner on all fronts. Very quick to grasp and analyse the key issues, and with a very good board room presence.

Liz Field is technically very strong, extremely tenacious and ensures that the firm’s advice is clear and robust.

Key clients

Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust

Acorn Income Fund Limited

Akur Limited

Allianz Global Investors GmbH

Allianz Technology Trust PLC

Alternative Asset Opportunities PCC Limited

Alternative Credit Investments plc

Alternative Liquidity Fund Limited

Alvarium RE Limited

Aseana Properties Limited

Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust plc

Atlantis Japan Growth Fund Limited

Augmentum Capital LLP

Augmentum Fintech plc

AVI Japan Opportunity Trust plc

BB Healthcare Trust plc

Big Society Capital Limited

BDO LLP

BlackRock Income & Growth Investment Trust plc

BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc

Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Limited

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe

CC Japan Income & Growth Trust plc

Cenkos Securities plc

City of London Investment Trust plc

Coupland Cardiff Asset Management

Dragon Capital Limited

Draper Esprit VCT plc

Eighteen East Capital Limited

European Opportunities Trust plc

European Real Estate Investment Trust Limited

Fair Oaks Income Limited

finnCap

Work highlights

  • Advised Home REIT plc on its £240.5m IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Schroders and its joint venture partner, Big Society Capital, on the launch of Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust, the UK’s first social impact investment trust.
  • Advised Alternative Credit Investmentson a possible cash offer by funds advised by Waterfall Asset Management,  and the termination of ACI’s investment manager.

Private client > Art and cultural property Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood has an experienced and well-established team that is led by Roland Foord. The group advises a broad range of clients, from auction houses and dealers to museums and private collectors, on a vast array of matters including the sale and purchase of fine art (both privately and at auction) in addition to advising on looted art, title and attribution. Other core areas of expertise include advising on loans and export licensing. Guy Harper  is another key figure whose strength lies on the contentious side. The practice has been active too in advising on cybersecurity risk management as well as the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. In addition the skilled team is well-equipped to handle complex cross-border matters and has been increasingly receiving new instructions on art market fraud.

Practice head(s):

Roland Foord

Other key lawyers:

Guy Harper; Danielle Maddox; Caleb Bompas

Testimonials

‘Unparalleled experience in the field, with noted leadership and unassailable credibility. Roland Foord leads the pack. He has superb experience and an excellent tactical sense for how a claim will play out. Danielle Maddox is also a measured and clever senior associate‘.

‘Stephenson Harwood has a very strong litigation team within the art and cultural field. Roland Foord stands out’.

Stephenson Harwood has been advising on art and cultural property issues for decades. Its understanding of the legal and business framework of the art world is unrivalled in the UK‘.

‘Roland Foord is the hub of Stephenson Harwood’s art and cultural property capability. His long term involvement in this sector makes him an authority. As one of the City’s most experienced litigators he has a strategic approach to litigation which focuses on outcomes. He has exceptional communication skills, is highly responsive and, despite being in high demand, makes you feel like you are his single most important client. Caleb Bompass is a rising star in the art and cultural property field. He has trained with Roland Foord and therefore has many of the same qualities. He knows the field, having worked in-house in auction houses, and he has great litigation instincts‘.

The team is always responsive, creative, expert, thorough and reliable‘.

Key clients

Qatar Museums Authority

Sadie Coles HQ Limited

Christie’s

Phillips Auctioneers

Mark Weiss

The Modern Institute

Waddington Custot Galleries

The Society of London Art Dealers

Hazlitt Gooden & Fox Limited

The Royal College of Art

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Transport > Rail Tier 1

The 'very strong, partner-led and experienced' team at Stephenson Harwood provides full coverage on all rail matters, including franchising and concessions, rolling stock, and procurement. It has additional expertise in employment and pensions, projects and infrastructure, and real estate. 2020 saw the team advising national commissions and departments on access to the Channel Tunnel and the impact of Covid-19. Practice co-heads Tammy Samuel and Suzanne Tarplee are both 'very credible and well respected' for their expertise in finance and rolling stock procurement; Tarplee can draw on notable experience from secondments including the National Infrastructure Commission and as general counsel for HS2. Darren Fodey is noted for advising TfL on regulatory aspects of Crossrail. Lisa Marks focuses on asset financing, Ron Nobbs is an expert in rail litigation, and Paul Thwaite deals with commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Tammy Samuel; Suzanne Tarplee

Testimonials

The team offer a very broad range of skills, expertise and knowledge. Very professional, friendly and supportive.’

Tammy Samuel, Suzanne Tarplee and Paul Thwaite all understand how our business works. Very good knowledge of our industry and all very credible and well respected individuals in their own areas of expertise.’

An experienced team from the partners to the associates who know and understand the rail industry and apply that knowledge in a balanced, pragmatic and commercial way. First class knowledge of the rolling stock area – not only from the manufacturer perspective but also operators and financiers.’

A very strong partner-led which compares favourably to other firms in the sector. The partners have very strong experience in the sector acting for a wide range of stakeholders. Stephenson Harwood takes a proactive approach to introducing market players which can offer lead to development of new business relationships.

Availability and accessibility and responding in a timely manner particularly stand out. They will always aim to get things done even when deadlines are particularly tight. Notable individuals in this regard are Lisa Marks, Suzanne Tarplee and Tammy Samuel.’

Key clients

CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles)

Abellio Transport Holdings (including all TOCs – Abellio Greater Anglia, Abellio East Midlands, Abellio West Midlands, Merseyrail and Abellio ScotRail)

Trenitalia UK Limited (and Trenitalia c2c)

Arriva Plc

Arriva UK Trains Limited (including all TOCs – Arriva Rail London, CrossCountry, Chiltern, Grand Central)

Lombard North Central

Transport for London

London Underground Limited

National Infrastructure Commission

Centrus / Corelink

Northern Trains Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Abellio, Trenitalia and their respective operating companies on EMAs, ERMAs and associated documentation together with the latest National Rail Contracts.
  • Advised Arriva UK Trains Limited on the new form of direct award agreement following expiry of its franchise.
  • Advised Trenitalia c2c Limited on amendments to a £100m deal for new trains to reflect changes to the fleet necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 2

Tom Nicholls leads the team at Stephenson Harwood, which has acted in many high-profile AIM IPOs, secondary fundraises and public takeovers. It attracts a loyal client following among corporate issuers, sponsors, NOMADs and brokers. Highlights in 2020 included Anthony Clare leading advice to E-Therapeutics Plc on a £12.4m placing. Elsewhere, the group is particularly noted for its strengths in the listed funds space, as evidenced by the fact that it acted on four of the eight fund IPOs that occurred in 2020. William Saunders and others acted for Home REIT Plc on its £240.5m IPO on the London Stock Exchange, which was the biggest listed fund IPO of 2020. Tom Page, David Dowding, Alex Haynes and Elizabeth Field are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Tom Nicholls

Testimonials

The Stephenson Harwood team are very strong in their field and knowledgeable. They are pragmatic, commercial and helpful.’

Tom Page and Tom Nicholls are both very strong.’

Tom Nicholls is the stand out partner for both M&A and ECM, with a very calm considered approach and an ability to always focus on the long game. Engenders trust quickly with clients and always delivers an excellent team.’

Very capable and personable, and work well within a larger team.’

Tom Page is always a pleasure to work with and can be relied upon to give excellent balanced advice.’

Key clients

Aberdeen UK Tracker Trust

Acacia Pharma Group plc

Acorn Income Fund Limited

Akur Limited

Allianz Global Investors GmbH

Allianz Technology Trust PLC

Alternative Asset Opportunities PCC Limited

Alternative Credit Investments plc

Alternative Liquidity Fund Limited

Alvarium RE Limited

APQ Global

Arden Partners plc

Aseana Properties Limited

Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust plc

Atlantis Japan Growth Fund Limited

Augmentum Capital LLP

Augmentum Fintech plc

AVI Japan Opportunity Trust plc

BB Healthcare Trust plc

Big Society Capital Limited

BDO LLP

Berenberg

BlackRock Income & Growth Investment Trust plc

BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc

Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Limited

Canaccord Genuity Limited

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe

CC Japan Income & Growth Trust plc

Cenkos Securities plc

City of London Investment Trust plc

Coupland Cardiff Asset Management

Dragon Capital Limited

Draper Esprit VCT plc

easyHotel plc

Eighteen East Capital Limited

E-Therapeutics Plc

European Opportunities Trust plc

European Real Estate Investment Trust Limited

Fair Oaks Income Limited

finnCap Limited

Focusrite plc

GCP Infrastructure Investments Limited

Geiger Counter Limited

GLI Finance Limited

Gore Street Capital Limited

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund plc

Gravis Capital Management Limited

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited

Gulf Investment Fund plc

Henderson Global Trust plc

Henderson International Income Trust Fund

Henderson Value Trust

Home REIT plc

Hotel Chocolat plc

Impax Asset Management Group plc

Invesco Fund Managers Limited

Investec Bank plc

Jefferies International Limited

J.P. Morgan Cazenove

Jupiter Emerging & Frontier Trust plc

Jupiter UK Growth Investment Trust PLC

Jupiter Green Investment Trust plc

Liberum Capital Limited

Lowland Investment Company plc

LXI REIT plc

Kudu Investment Management, LLC

Landore Resources Limited

Manchester & London Investment Trust plc

Mobius Capital Partners LLP

Mobius Investment Trust plc

NetScientific plc

Nichols plc

Novacyt SA

Nplus1 Singer

Numis Securities

Oakley Capital Investments Limited

Oncimmune Ltd

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Peel Hunt LLP

PMM Partners

Premier Miton Global Renewables Trust plc

Premier Miton Investors

Qatar Investment Fund plc

Scape Living plc

Scape Student Living Limited

Schroder British Opportunities Trust plc

Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust plc

Schroder Investment Management Limited

Schroder Real Estate Investment Management Limited

Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc

Shield Therapeutics plc

Shore Capital and Corporate Limited

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited

Stockdale Securities Limited

Strand Hanson Limited

Strategic Equity Capital Plc

Sturgeon Capital Limited

The Bauhaus Investment Trust Plc

The Bankers Investment Trust Plc

The Brunner Investment Trust Plc

The Diverse Income Trust Plc

The Merchants Trust Plc

Victory Park Capital Advisers

Vietnam Enterprise Investments Limited

Vietnam Holding Limited

Whiteoak Capital Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Liberum as sole bookrunner in relation to a placing and open offer conducted by Time Out Group plc to raise approximately £45m and £4m respectively, raising a total of £49m.
  • Advised longstanding client Acacia Pharma as issuer’s UK counsel on all aspects of its €27m fundraising in February 2021 and a €25m raise in August 2020.
  • Advised UK asset manager Schroders and its joint venture partner Big Society Capital (BSC) on the launch of Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust plc, the UK’s first social impact investment trust.

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: contentious Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood is noted for its ability to represent senior individuals and corporates in UK and cross-border financial services investigations and enforcement cases, bringing in lawyers from the litigation, employment and corporate departments. Leading the team is Tony Woodcock, about whom clients say ‘no-one knows more, and has a better feel for contentious FS disputes‘. Sean Jeffrey has a strong track-record in FCA enforcement matters, particularly in relation to client money and retail products. Justin McClelland‘s practice spans criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as follow-on civil disputes.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock

Other key lawyers:

Sean Jeffrey; Justin McClelland; Ellen Gallagher; Alan Ward

Testimonials

Excellent knowledge of the FCA regulations and regulatory interpretation thereof. Experienced across the sphere of regulatory interactions and interventions – S166 avoidance steps, executing/managing S166 programmes and enforcement actions. Experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic in managing uncertainties created by regulatory intervention and the ambiguities within the client team.’

Flexible and accommodating in legal approach, the role of the law firm and diary management to meet client demands whilst ensuring proposed solutions achieved overriding corporate objectives/aims.’

Sean Jeffrey provides a strategic insight into the workings of the regulator and pros and cons of alternative approaches which ‘battles should be fought’ and those where ‘a more conciliatory approach’ would be in client best interest.’

Tony Woodcock is one of the elder statesmen of the industry. No-one knows more, and has a better feel for contentious FS disputes than him. He’s utterly superb.’

Sean Jeffrey: outstanding; massively clever; enormously knowledgeable; understands the industry; is highly respected by the regulators; and is a top choice for any tough case.’

Justin McClelland is an outstanding lawyer with superior knowledge of issues relating commodities and financial services. He is thoughtful and forward looking and thinking enabling him to provide business clients the time and fulsome advice required to make bet the company type decisions.’

Broad experience with a variety of types of client, from large corporate to individuals.’

Sean Jeffrey brings experience of a wide variety of issues and clients, with extensive knowledge of the regulators and how to handle them, there is little that he hasn’t seen before. He is very good at keeping his clients out of trouble, or limiting the damage when things have gone wrong, including limiting reputational damage, whilst never losing sight of ensuring that the right thing is done for all stakeholders. His nuanced and forward thinking approach to contentious matters makes him stand out from the crowd.’

Key clients

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission

Bank Saderat

Affinion International Limited

Insolvency Practitioners’ Association

KPMG

Mercer limited

Threadneedle Asset Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Tony Woodcock was appointed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to undertake a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company plc (“EIC plc”) and the conduct of its directors and auditors.
  • Acted for Bank Saderat plc and its parent, Bank Saderat Iran, one of Iran’s largest commercial banks. The Banks were wrongfully subjected to EU sanctions.

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

Stephenson Harwood's corporate offering is especially concentrated on clients in the energy, tech, corporate real estate and financial services sectors, where the team is adept at handling large, multi-jurisdictional transactions in established and emerging markets. Corporate finance head Sam Gray specialises in private M&A, and has recently led on deals for renewable power and insurance clients. Anthony Clare specialises in life sciences and biotechnology, while the 'responsive and commercial' Ben Mercer is a key contact for cross-border acquisitions and disposals in a range of sectors. Duncan Stiles has a particular focus on the US market. A three-partner team including Andrew Edge and Karima Hudson left to join Taylor Wessing LLP  in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sam Gray

Testimonials

‘Stephenson Harwood’s M&A team worked as an extension of the in-house legal team during the largest transaction in our group’s history, including by providing a secondee to assist during the due diligence phase. This made the transaction move much more smoothly and also enabled the firm to liaise directly with the business where required, which was beneficial in terms of the business buying into the legal process. The team were always readily available and responsive, and performed extremely well especially considering that we completed negotiations and signing from our respective homes during full lockdown in May 2020. The transaction was not affected at all in terms of timing and outcome. Their performance impressed the senior management team as well as in-house legal.’

‘Excellent experience working with Ben Mercer. Ability to coordinate complex matters, communicate risks clearly and give good commercial context. Very responsive.’

Key clients

3stepIT

3i Infrastructure

Alternative Credit Investments Plc

Arthur J. Gallagher (UK) Limited

Blue Gem Capital Partners

Bowmark Capital LLP

Brooks Events Limited

City of London Investment Group PLC (CLIG)

Civica

Covanta Holding Corporation

Duff & Phelps

Elysian Capital

ENGIE

FPE Capital

Frasers Property

GRIT Real Estate Income Group

Heerema Marine Contractors

Highview Enterprises Limited

Inspired Education Holdings Limited

John Swire & Sons Limited

LaSalle Investment Management

London Investment Group plc

Miton Group

Nexus Tradeco LTD.

NMC Health PLC

Piramal Enterprises Group

RELX Group

RSM

Salutem Healthcare Limited

SEA Holdings

Snap-On Incorporated

The Ardonagh Group

Transpennine Partners (Scot) LP

Vistra Group

Zedra Management SA

Work highlights

  • Advised Covanta on the formation of two joint ventures and the equity funding of the Protos Energy Recovery Facility.
  • Advised Alternative Credit Investments plc (ACI) in connection with a possible cash offer by funds advised by Waterfall Asset Management, LLC.
  • Advised Highview Enterprises Limited on its first external fundraising round and entry into a licence agreement between Highview and SHI over certain of Highview’s IP rights.

Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood's private equity team has significantly expanded since 2019, when the firm was joined by Adam Crossley, Richard Coleman and Malcolm Macdougall  from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The practice handles the full range of transactions in this area, acting for private equity houses, portfolio companies, and management teams on investments, buy-outs, disposals, and bolt-on acquisitions. The practice is led by Jonathan Pittal, who has more than 20 years' experience in this area; elsewhere, Gabriel Boghossian is noted for his expertise in secondary transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Pittal

Other key lawyers:

Adam Crossley; Richard Coleman; Malcolm MacDougall; Gabriel Boghossian; Lydia Zakrzewski

Testimonials

‘Good skillset and clarity of process.’

‘Richard Coleman and Lydia Zakrzewski will always make time and give us good access to the rest of their organisation.’

‘We have worked with the team over several years. They are very professional, always available and quick to respond, stick to timetables and are very commercial in their approach.’

Key clients

Bowmark Capital

Elysian Capital

Mobeus

BGF

Farview Equity Partners

FPE Capital

Apposite Capital LLP

Rockpool Investments LLP

BlueGem Capital Partners LLP

Morgan Stanley

Inspired

Five Arrows

ESO Capital

Macquarie

Standard Life Aberdeen

Schroders

Bestport Private Equity

Pelican Capital

STAR Capital

All Seas Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised mid-market private equity firm Bowmark Capital LLP on its significant minority investment in Focus 4 U Ltd.
  • Advised Elysian Capital, and the management team of the company, on the £103 million sale of Wellbeing Software to The Citadel Group, a company listed on The Australian Stock Exchange.
  • Advised a former management team from a FTSE plc, backed by Baird Capital, on the simultaneous acquisitions of two leading tech businesses – Intevi and Karlson – to create a new brand to reimagine future workspaces, Aura.

Corporate and commercial > VAT and indirect tax Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood has a full-service offering and advises clients on the full range of indirect tax work, with particular strength in corporate M&A and financing, as well as real estate. Other key areas of focus include share schemes and employee incentives, investment funds and transportation. Maryanna Sharrock heads the practice following Hugo Jenney's move to a consultant role and focuses on the tax aspects of cross-border M&A deals. John Meehan has a strong corporate tax practice and displays particular expertise in navigating real estate fund tax regimes. Senior associate Kate Worthington is also noted and advises on VAT and SDLT matters in relation to real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Maryanna Sharrock

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Maryanna Sharrock always delivers excellent and detailed advice.’

Key clients

Oxford Biomedica

ENGIE

Inmarsat

LXI REIT

Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust/Schroder Real Estate Fund

London Metric

Civica

Bowmark Capital

Covanta Holdings Limited

Arthur J Gallagher

Tristan Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Frasers Property on the tax aspects of its £135m acquisition of a company owning a business park in London.
  • Advised Schroders on tax issues relating to the sale of Kings Mall Shopping Centre in Hammersmith to IKEA for circa £130m.
  • Advised on tax issues relating to Oxford Biomedica’s collaboration with biopharmaceutical company PhoreMost.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood's 'innovative thinking and commercially savvy' commercial litigation team is 'highly experienced in complex international cases' including in large corporate, joint venture and partnership disputes in the energy, financial services, shipping, aviation, art and real estate sectors. Edward Davis and Paul Thwaite jointly lead the group. Other key commercial litigators include John Fordham, Richard Garcia (who specalises in cross-border investment disputes); Genevieve Quierin (who recently joined from Mishcon de Reya LLP bringing expertise in high profile group claims); the 'excellent' Sue Millar, and Guy Harper. Other changes include the arrival of accountancy professional liability and regulatory specialist Adam Culy from BDO and the departure of Louis Flannery to Mishcon de Reya LLP. Senior associate Chris Pettett is 'one to watch'.

Practice head(s):

Edward Davis; Paul Thwaite

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Innovative thinking and commercially savvy; highly experienced in complex international cases, but also reliable and skilled in smaller domestic disputes.

Richard Garcia is experienced and client-friendly. He has excellent knowledge of the sector.’

I worked mostly with Genevieve Quierin. She is confident, proactive and has good judgement. She is always available and reassures clients that even the most complex exercises are under control.’

Richard Garcia – excellent at mastering the technicalities of complex financial instruments; always looks to go the extra mile to find a way to argue a point for a client.

Sue Millar – Simply excellent. She brings total commitment to a case, fights for her client and does so with astuteness and attention to detail without losing sight of the big picture.

Brilliant international firm with exciting global reach into markets where London lawyers are not always prominent. The commerciality and skill of the lawyers and their knowledge of comparative legal systems and experience of big litigation ought to place them at the top of London’s legal offering. Also their diversity and gender balance is very impressive.

Ben Sigler and John Fordham are outstanding lawyers and analyse cases brilliantly.’

Richard Gwynne – a superb litigator who brings a vast array of experience, a razor sharp mind and practice wisdom to his cases. Richard Garcia – loves finding creative solutions to complex problems. Totally dedicated to the client’s cause. Chris Pettett is one to watch. Totally dependable to the run the case in the best way.

Key clients

Over 1,000 claimants in group claims brought against Mastercard and Visa

Merrill Lynch International

Libyan Investment Authority

Aggreko International Projects Limited

Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd and Ors

Natixis S.A.

Deloitte LLP

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Members of the founding family of the Essar group

Medlands PTC Limited (as trustee of the Trust) and an underlying company of the Trust

Starbridge Development Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing over 1,000 claimants in group claims brought against Mastercard and Visa. The claimants seek to recover losses incurred as a result of unlawful Multilateral Interchange Fees (“MIF”) set by the card schemes on every Visa and Mastercard card transaction processed by the claimants in the UK and Europe.
  • Acted for Merrill Lynch International (“MLI”) in successfully defending a claim brought by CFH Clearing Limited (“CFH”), a former foreign exchange trading counterparty of MLI following the foreign exchange market volatility caused by de-pegging the Swiss Franc from the Euro. The first-instance decision in the clients’ favour was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
  • Acted on behalf of one of the competing chairmen of the Libyan Investment Authority (“LIA”) (Libya’s sovereign wealth fund) in relation to the existing receivership and representing him on the ongoing authority dispute against the other purported chairmen following the division in the Libyan government and institutions of the Libyan state following the fall of Gaddafi in 2011.

Employment > Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood's pensions offering was restructured to create a combined, single location practice offering 'deep technical knowledge and formidable litigation skills'. The non-contentious arm is led by Philip Goodchild. Stephen Richards  is at the forefront of the team's pensions innovations work, establishing client-focused initiatives via an online'Pensions Hub' and an automated scheme documentation system. Mark Catchpole and Graham Wrightson also support the pratice. The litigation practice is headed by'force to be reckoned with' Helena Berman. The team regularly advises on TPR investigations/moral hazard and anti-avoidance claims, scheme rectification and CPR/RPI issues for sponsoring employers, trustees, and representative beneficiaries. The disputes team continues to have a significant presence, with Jenny McKeown  successfully acting for Honda in its rectification compromise claim. 'Incredibly gifted' senior associate Chris Edwards-Earl also supports the litigation practice and is a key lawyer in the firm's endeavours.

Practice head(s):

Philip Goodchild

Testimonials

‘The experience, professional approach and timely delivery of keenly costed projects makes Stephenson Harwood my go to law firm for complex pension solutions.’

‘They have gone from a class act moderate size firm, to a major player and a heavy hitter. A great deal of in-house knowledge and expertise, bespoke to pensions work.’

‘Stephen Richards is hugely energetic, full of solutions and also very knowledgeable, particularly about mastertrust transfers.’

‘Graham Wrightson is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to deal with, and he cuts to the chase very effectively’

Key clients

Textron Group pension funds

TMF International Pensions Ltd

Trustee of Sicame Electrical Developments Limited Pension Scheme

Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures Pension Fund

Southern Housing Group Pension Scheme

Barnardo’s Staff Pension Scheme

The First Group’s major pension scheme, the First UK Bus Pension Scheme

The Institute of Physics Retirement Benefits Plan (1975)

Workers Pension Trust Limited

Partnerships in Care Limited Pension and Life Assurance Plan (pension scheme within the Priory Hospitals Group)

Work highlights

  • Advised Textron Group pension funds in relation to pensions being increased for pensioners who needed money sooner rather than later.
  • Advised TMF International Pensions on one of the first alternative pension products to be an alternative contender to the DIFC state pension arrangement.
  • Advised the Trustee of Sicame Electrical Developments Limited Pension Scheme in relation to the requirement to adjust plan benefits to account for the unequal effects of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) – otherwise known as “GMP equalisation”.

Finance > Transport finance and leasing Tier 2

Although it is perhaps less visible in the highest profile and most complex mandates in the market, Stephenson Harwood handles a sizeable pipeline of work by dint of the strong and well-established relationships it has forged over the years with both capital providers and owners across the spectrum of asset classes. Ian Mace heads up the firm's ship finance offering and has been responsible for broadening the client base to include an increasing number of non-bank lenders. Jonathan Ward has vast experience at handling cross-border financings and restructurings for owners and lenders, including matters involving a significant Chinese complexion. Richard Parsons has good traction among banks and lessors and leads the aviation finance offering that was recently strengthened by the arrival in September 2020 of the 'sensible and very practical' Rebecca Garner from Addleshaw Goddard, particularly in light of her credentials on the corporate jet front. Tammy Samuel regularly handles financing work, including as it pertains to rolling stock procurement, as part of her wide-ranging transactional, commercial and regulatory rail offering. The team is rounded out by Lisa Marks, who in addition to advising on rail finance matters, also handles a range of more general equipment finance and leasing matters. Senior associate Jon Cripps joined in April 2021 from Milbank.

Practice head(s):

Tammy Samuel (Head of finance/Co-head of Rail); Suzanne Tarplee (Co-head of Rail); Ian Mace (Head of Ship Finance); Richard Parsons (Head of Aviation Finance); Lisa Marks (Head of Equipment Finance and Leasing)

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Ward; Dora Mace-Kokota; Julie Clegg; Neil Noble; Rebecca Garner; James Collins; Charlotte McNeilly; Kulraj Badhesha; Jon Cripps

Testimonials

They have an excellent culture which means they are not only very knowledgeable and effective but they listen carefully and draw out all appropriate information from clients.’

The team is very knowledgeable in the aircraft leasing space. It is also very practical in their solutions and advice.’

Suzanne Tarplee has superb knowledge and is excellent at applying it.’

‘Rebecca Garner is commercial, sensible and very practical.’

Key clients

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Alliance Laundry Finance Limited

Altavair

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

DNB Bank ASA

Macquarie

EnTrust Global’s Blue Ocean Funds (Entrust)

Rock Infrastructure

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Investec Asset Finance Plc

JP Morgan

Archway Aviation

Taiping Fontainburg DVB Aviation Capital

Gulfair

MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Rostrum Leasing

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Avation PLC

Volotea, S.L

IndiGo

Aircraft Leasing and Management

Sky Leasing

BNP Paribas

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Oaktree Capital Management/Fleetscape Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Fleetscape on an innovative financing structure with Macquarie Bank.
  • Advised EnTrust on a $27.5m loan facility to PT Buana Lintas Lautan TBK.
  • Advised a major European bank in relation to a secured loan facility made available to the UK based drybulk owner Seastar.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood has a strong reputation for advising on complex and high-value trust and family disputes with particular skill in international cross-border disputes. It has been active in the Asian market too. Clients include international ultra-high-net-worth individuals in addition to domestic dynastic families. It is also skilled at handling disputes involving cross-border taxation matters and advises on contented probate disputes. The group has considerable experience of advising trustees in high-value matrimonial disputes. Jenny McKeown leads the team that includes recommended partner Helena Berman and associate Peter Gillis.

Practice head(s):

Jenny McKeown

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Relatively recent, very strong, lateral hires at partner level have transformed this team into a real powerhouse. This has inevitably enabled it to attract and retain strong juniors. Standout partners are Jenny McKeown: razor sharp, personable and a natural leader, runs a very good team. Helena Berman: very bright and utterly committed to her clients, the feeling is mutual. Peter Gillis: definitely a future star.’

Simply brilliant at what it does. The lawyers cut through the usual nonsense and really see the practical point of any litigation issue. Helena Berman and Jenny McKeown who run this team together are very similar in their strengths – tirelessly dedicated to their clients’ interests, demanding a very high standard of the people they work with and of themselves, always seeing the right way to do things and never wasting effort on the peripheral. Peter Gillis is a future star.’

‘The contentious trusts and probate practice at Stephenson Harwood, particularly Jenny Mckeown, has provided timely, efficient and practical advice to my team.’

This team is very responsive and knowledgeable. Helena Berman is a standout performer in this sector.’

‘This team has a great reputation, and real experience at dealing with complex international private client cases. Jenny McKeown is an excellent partner, providing invaluable strategic insight and always keeping an eye on the big picture to ensure that the client achieves the best possible outcome.’

‘In my view, the team’s strengths are particularly impressive in terms of how it collaborates with colleagues in multi-jurisdictional disputes despite time zone differences; the lawyers are very responsive.’

Key clients

Michael Garlick (the Chairman and owner of Burnley FC) and his wife Alison Garlick

The UK and Hong Kong beneficiaries of a high value family Trust settled by their father

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood acts for UHNW individuals and family offices internationally. It predominantly acts for entrepreneurial wealth generators and has a particular focus on complex structuring with an international angle, especially where a business or corporate structure is involved. It frequently advises on governance for family businesses and related issues during the transfer of wealth to the next generation. Other strengths include advising on the UK tax treatment of international pensions. James Quarmby heads the department and has an 'incredible understanding of tax and can communicate to all levels of experience with empathy and humour'. Hugo Jenney is now a consultant.

Practice head(s):

James Quarmby

Other key lawyers:

Hugo Jenney; Emily Osborne; Alice Vink

Testimonials

‘We have extensive experience of dealing with this practice and they are extremely good at dealing with all aspects of private client matters. Its real assets are the people in the team. Emily (Osborne), James (Quarmby) and Alice (Vink) are all first rate and hugely regarded within the private client world. James is hugely knowledgeable and has formidable personal skills. James has a wonderful network and has an incredible knack of being able to condense hugely complicated advice into relatively straightforward advice. Emily has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the tax code. Her response times are excellent and I have never encountered a question which is relevant to personal or trust taxation that she does not know, or at least have a very strong idea of, what the correct answer will be. Alice has spent the last few years building her professional network and she is definitely somebody who has the potential to be a partner within the firm in the near future‘.

‘I found Emily Osborne to be one of the best tax lawyers I have come across. She is fantastic. She is very approachable, excellent at distilling complex rules and very pragmatic in her advice’.

The culture of the firm is such that everyone I have met has been approachable, friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Most importantly the advice they provide is presented clearly which is incredibly important to potential clients. James Quarmby and Emily Osborne consistently give clear, helpful, relevant advice in easy to understand terms for what is usually a complex subject matter. They are incredibly knowledgeable and I have no hesitation whatsoever in referring clients to them. I feel what makes them different from competitors is that they are not afraid to give an opinion (i.e. they don’t sit on the fence and caveat their advice) and instead they provide clarity for clients and advisers alike‘.

The SH team has a collaborative approach, working with clients and business partners to find  a solution and resolution rather than taking a more contentious stance creating high fee and time costs. Alice Vink: Very approachable and collaborative, works well on highly complex family governance structures. James Quarmby: Highly experienced and decisive, looks for solutions and moves matters along‘.

‘I find Stephenson and Harwood a most congenial practice with which to deal. I would say that the team’s main strengths are high levels of expertise and professionalism. I work mainly with James Quarmby, head of private client. James is exceptionally knowledgeable. I particularly value James’s ability to work cooperatively with other practices and professionals‘.

‘Complex issues are set out in a simple/straightforward manner such that clients can overcome the legal narrative to make decisions. Good work ethic across team. Always contactable and willing to go the extra mile for the client. Emily Osborne (partner) is excellent. She has a pragmatic/commercial approach and a real “can do” attitude. Organised, efficient, approachable, contactable and always a step ahead. Problems or unforeseen issues are navigated without any unnecessary drama to arrive at a sensible outcome‘.

‘The private client team is driven by James Quarmby who lives and breathes the legal profession and especially tax. He has close relationships with clients, enabling him to provide a highly personalised service and tailored solutions. Recommended solutions are usually straightforward – “why make it complicated”. Highly qualified and forward thinking approach. Very personable with clients and professional contacts. A person that can be trusted‘.

What is so unusual about the practice is that you get a boutique style private client advice from such a large international law firm. This means that the advice is highly personal, with partner level attention at all times, but with the reach and expertise of a major commercial law firm. So if our clients have a need for advice on, say, a build contract for a super yacht, or finance for an art collection, then they have the lawyers to do that and in many different countries. We find the fact that they can advise in so many jurisdictions to be very comforting as all of our clients have cross-border issues. Their people are highly collaborative and they actively participate in our network and always try and reciprocate with referrals of clients and intermediaries. James Quarmby is at the top of his game‘.

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

Stephenson Harwood’s varied client roster consists of multinational companies, financial organisations, sovereign wealth funds and non-governmental organisations, for which the firm handles a full scope of financial crime matters. Led by the highly regarded former prosecutor Tony Woodcock, the practice is known for its work on cross-border bribery and money laundering investigations conducted by UK and US authorities. Sean Jeffrey is noted for his ability to handle a wide range of issues, ranging from anti-competitive behaviour and market abuse, to sanctions violations. Highly recommended for his work on internal investigations, Justin McClelland ‘perfectly strikes the very difficult balance between cooperation and robust advocacy’.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Top notch City firm. Excellent lawyer cover across the board.’

‘The services we received from the firm were exceptional in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.’

‘Justin McClelland truly stands out in the field. He thinks strategically as well as practically, works highly efficiently, sees around every corner, and perfectly strikes the very difficult balance between cooperation and robust advocacy.  While ensuring the client is strongly defended, he also builds credibility with the regulator. Every strategic recommendation Justin made proved to be the right one. I honestly cannot imagine being better represented than we were with Justin. I would recommend him without equivocation and he would be my first call on a corporate investigation in the future. I simply cannot say enough about Justin’s services.’

‘Sean Jeffrey is a highly knowledgeable all-rounder; first-rate solicitor; great with clients; gives sound practical advice.’

Key clients

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission

Bank Saderat plc

Melli Bank plc

Mercer limited

Persia International Bank plc

National Iranian Tanker Company

Bank Sepah International plc

 

Work highlights

  • Advising Gibraltar Financial Services Commission with respect to undertaking a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company plc and the conduct of its directors and auditors.
  • Acted for Bank Saderat plc and its parent, Bank Saderat Iran, one of Iran’s largest commercial banks, both of which were wrongfully subjected to EU sanctions in relation to Iran asset freezing measures.

Transport > Aviation Tier 2

With access to a global team of lawyers in Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore, the London team at Stephenson Harwood is well-regarded by clients for its 'outstanding' aviation litigation team. It routinely handles the most complex matters concerning aviation finance, restructuring and insolvency, as well as repossession and enforcement claims. Practice co-head Paul Phillips is 'second to none' for aviation litigation, while co-head Richard Parsons has a 'unique knowledge of' aviation leasing and finance. Chloe Challinor is a 'meticulous' and 'brilliant' aviation litigator and regulatory lawyer. The team brought on three new partners in 2020: Rebecca Garner from Addleshaw Goddard in September, James Collins from Norton Rose Fulbright in May, and Ian Benjamin  from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in October.

Practice head(s):

Paul Phillips; Richard Parsons

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Challinor; Patrick Bettle; Rebecca Garner; James Collins; Ian Benjamin

Testimonials

Richard Parsons is very impressive and provides clear and precise advice and analysis of complex transactions.’

Stephenson Harwood have an outstanding aviation team, led by a brilliant partner supported by committed and highly competent associates. They are highly responsive to client needs, have an excellent knowledge of the aviation sector, and are great to work with.’

Paul Phillips is an outstanding partner, with excellent commercial and strategic instincts, and a unique knowledge of the sector.’

‘Chloe Challinor is outstanding: she is extremely hard-working and meticulous and a brilliant lawyer.’

Paul Phillips and Patrick Bettle are very commercial and tirelessly supportive. Paul clearly has every bit and more of the expected expertise and skill you would expect of someone with his standing. Patrick is indefatigable and utterly dependable. He builds a good rapport with clients and is careful and conscientious.’

An outstanding team who demonstrate exceptional specialist knowledge of the aviation sector. The team invariably achieves the best outcomes for its clients. The team are adept in all aspects of the aviation sector and provide a holistic approach to any case. The legal skills are provided with great efficiency and in a highly cost-effective way.’

Paul Phillips’ knowledge of the industry is second to none. He demonstrates great tactical and strategic insight into any dispute, which in combination with being a steely litigator, allows him to achieve the optimal outcome for his clients.’

‘Johnny Champion is a rising star who demonstrates great technical understanding of complex issues. No point of detail escapes his attention, and this is often deployed incisively in his client’s favour.’

Key clients

Ryanair

Lion Air

AirAsia

Vueling

IndiGo

Royal Jordanian Airlines

China Southern Airlines

Gulf Air

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

Royal Kuwait Airways Corporation

Volotea

Buraq Air

Aercap

Aircastle

Aircraft Engine Lease Finance

Aircraft Leasing and Management

Altavair

Archway Aviation

BBAm Aircraft Leasing & Management

Castlelake Aviation

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

ICBC Leasing

Jackson Square Aviation

Macquarie AirFinace

Magnetar Capital

Orix Group

Rostrum Leasing

SMBC Leasing

SKY Leasing

Standard Chartered

TFDAC

Transportation Partners

Wings Capital Management

DVB Bank

BNP Paribas

Société Générale (SocGen)

MUFG Bank

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

Work highlights

  • Advised Ryanair in relation to enforcement action brought by the CAA concerning the 2017/18 Ryanair pilot strikes and the payment of passenger compensation.
  • Advised various leading airlines on topical regulatory issues such as Brexit, Covid-19 travel regulations, and reviews by regulatory bodies concerning passenger refunds for flights cancelled due to the pandemic.
  • Advising multiple international operating lessors across a broad range of business areas, including advising Altavair on various sale and leaseback transactions with Delta and a major Asian flag carrier, advising Altavair on various limited recourse financing transactions, advising Avation and Altavair on operating lease transactions and advising Avation and a US hedge fund on matters related to various airline restructurings and insolvencies.

Transport > Shipping Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood is frequently instructed in casualty and charterparty disputes, and it also handles non-contentious work for clients, such as shipbuilding contracts. The team is particularly experienced in handling matters involving FPSOs, with Stuart Beadnall and Max Lemanski advising on the construction and chartering of these vessels, as well as related disputes. Practice head Alex Davis specialises in handling marine insurance disputes, while Nick Barber leads on casualty response matters. Sean Gibbons advises on superyacht-related work and he is also knowledgeable about shipbuilding issues. Mike Phillips and Paolo Ghirardani left the firm to join Watson Farley & Williams LLP and HFW respectively, while Kirsty MacHardy was a key arrival from Campbell Johnston Clark. MacHardy, who is a litigation specialist, acts for clients such as lenders, shipowners and charterers.

Practice head(s):

Alex Davis

Testimonials

‘Nick Barber is a trusted adviser and a safe pair of hands for all shipping matters, particularly big casualties/wet shipping, but also technical shipbuilding disputes.’

‘Impressive response time, competitive rates, top tier for shipping (wet + dry) and shipbuilding.’

‘SH has real breadth for a mid-size firm and can offer support on a wide range of matters, pulling in knowledge from other parts of the firm as required. All departments share a client-centric and user-friendly approach and the advice is first class.’

‘The team provides very good legal assistance in the field of shipping and international trade.’

Key clients

Commerzbank

Mercuria

Nordisk

PDVSA

Petrobras

The Standard Club

Talbot Underwriting Ltd

Brit Insurance

RSA

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owner of an FPSO (Altera), who chartered an FPSO to an oil company (Premier) for use on the UK North Sea fields. A dispute arose between the parties as to the construction of the complex and potentially ambiguous base hire adjustment mechanism in the charterparty. The matter proceeded to a High Court hearing. Altera was successful, with the Judge ruling that Altera should be awarded its claim of about $12m plus interest and costs.
  • Acting for War Risks Underwriters in respect of a claim for $77m (the insured value of the vessel, CV Stealth) which has been presented against both the clients and Marine Risks Underwriters in Commercial Court proceedings. The claim arises following the vessel’s three-year detention in Venezuela related to a series of criminal allegations against an agent of the vessel’s sub-charterers involved in the contemplated loading of the cargo in Puerto La Cruz.
  • Advising war insurers in respect of US$20m+ claim arising following the detention of fully laden bulk carrier in Indonesia following a major casualty involving damage to subsea pipeline, subsequent major pollution and resultant explosion killing 5 local fishermen. The vessel was detained by the local authorities in the context of ongoing criminal proceedings against the master and subsequently confiscated for compensatory purposes by the authorities following Court decisions.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘client-friendly lawyers’ have extensive experience of handling all stages of financial services investigations relating to allegations of bribery and corruption, market abuse, insider dealing and tax offences. The group is known for its work at the SFO in particular. It also prides itself on its well-rounded offering and ability to advise clients on parallel issues arising at the junction of criminal, regulatory and civil law. Drawing on his prior experience as a prosecutor, consultant Tony Woodcock sits at the helm of the department. Justin McClelland is also a former prosecutor and recommended for being ‘diligent, deeply experienced and a thorough gentleman’.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock

Other key lawyers:

Justin McClelland; Sean Jeffrey; Alan Ward

Testimonials

‘Client-friendly lawyers who give sensible legal and commercial advice. Wide experience and thoughtful analysis.’

‘The depth of experience in the team is fantastic but more than that the appreciation of the non-legal fall out of litigation meant that the focus on the business and its day-to-day requirements were never lost sight of (in fact, Sean Jeffrey was the first to point out that the day-to-day must continue!). Every area expert that was bought in was fully briefed in advance and shared the same vision for the case. The case management was seamless.’

‘Real legal experts. An excellent inter-generational mix of practitioners bring a broad swath of experience to the practice. One of the preeminent sanctions and financial crimes practices in the City.’ 

‘Tony Woodcock is a senior dean of the white-collar bar in the UK and has a “seen it, done it, got the t-shirt” attitude even when it comes to stickiest white-collar cases. Unflappable.’

‘Sean Jeffrey is a veteran of big financial, regulatory and disciplinary investigations.’

‘Tony Woodcock is the standout partner. Measured and experienced.’

‘Justin McClelland is a truly fantastic solicitor; he is the sort of lawyer that I would call upon if I ever needed serious help. Justin is diligent, deeply experienced and a thorough gentleman.’

‘Mr Sean Jeffrey’s manner and method were reflected in his team and how the entire case was managed (and it was extremely complex matter with a lot riding on the outcome). He took all necessary time to discuss, educate and debate the strategy and was prepared to follow the client’s strategy as well. Sean really understands both the business and the human impact side of things which meant he really understands exactly where the client’s sensitivities are and why. This enables the litigation strategy to consider the many different angles and the wider impacts that reaches beyond just winning in court.’

Work highlights

  • Represented Tesco’s whistleblower in relation to a high-profile SFO prosecution which commenced its 12-week trial in September 2017.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood's 'very knowledgeable and experienced' finance litigation team attracts praise for offering 'magic circle quality with the nimbleness of a smaller litigation group'. Investment banking disputes expert Sue Millar and Edward Davis (who has experience in fraud cases and complex banking and fund-related matters) jointly lead the team which benefits from the addition of Genevieve Quierin from Mishcon de Reya LLP, who adds particular experience in group actions. Other names to note include commerial litigator John Fordham, Richard Gwynne (who has particular derivative disputes and trade finance dispute expertise), Richard Garcia, who 'has massive experience in financial services litigation', and Donna Newman who frequently handles financial products and markets litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sue Millar; Edward Davis

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Brilliant lawyers, depth of coverage, will stand your corner for you.

Very knowledgeable and experienced in the field. Always pro-active. They keep the client always informed.

Richard Garcia stands out as a hands-on, experienced lawyer with practical solutions and well-thought-out suggestions.’

Sue Millar – exceptional grasp of political effects on banking issues. Clear concise advice and direction on mechanisms to challenge injustice or poor regulation.

Magic circle quality with the nimbleness of a smaller litigation group and more partner engagement, with a market-leading reputation in banking and financial services litigation from years of having acted for and against leading financial institutions.’

Ed Davis and Jeremy Livingston are both excellent lawyers, with a view on the strategy in the long term, and always available when needed.

Richard Garcia has massive experience in financial services litigation, both retail and investment, with vast market and product knowledge. Kate Cordery is a very dedicated newer partner who has particular regulatory experience. Edward Davis is perhaps the team’s most experienced litigator who has been running some of the largest financial services litigation over the last few decades.

Key clients

Merrill Lynch International

Aggreko International Projects Limited

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd, Bank of Cyprus Public Company Limited, Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co Ltd

Natixis S.A.

Over 1,000 claimants including numerous global hotel chains, high street and online retailers, a leading betting and gaming company, restaurant chains, travel companies, arts and entertainment companies, ticketing companies and others.

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank Limited (Taiwan)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Merrill Lynch International in a claim brought by CFH Clearing Limited in relation to algorithmic foreign exchange trading prices.
  • Representing Aggreko International Projects Limited in its successful application for a without notice prohibitory injunction, restraining payment from being made under a guarantee structure involving banks in London and Yemen.
  • Acting for over 1,000 claimants in £500m claims against Visa and MasterCard for the recovery of interchange fees that were imposed on the claimants by the card schemes in contravention of European and UK competition law.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 3

The 'collaborative' team at Stephenson Harwood is led by Paul Reeves, whose broad practice includes advising senior executives on exit strategies, discrimination cases and allegations of misconduct; he frequently works with associate Kate Higgins. The team's expertise includes advising on new appointments, stock option and bonus issues, and discrimination cases, including where clients are suffering from long Covid. Clients come from well-known corporates, law firms and the financial services sector. Anne Pritam's expertise encompasses advising on whistleblowing and discrimination cases and allegations of misconduct such as sexual harassment. She also advises on regulatory complications, especially in the financial services sectors. The highly experienced Kate Brearley acts for both employers and senior executives; she and senior associate Serena Foulkes are considered a 'fantastic team' by clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Reeves

Testimonials

‘My engagement was with a partner Paul Reeves, and associate Kate Higgins. I had quite a complex contract and several different share schemes in operation so negotiating on my behalf was not straightforward but the outcome was excellent. The process for me as a client was excellent.’

‘Paul Reeves the partner went through my contractual position and spent good time understanding my objectives in the negotiation with my employer. He was always himself available at fairly short notice for a discussion on points that were arising during the process. On reflection I was very pleased that he helped me to make a fully-informed decision on all aspects of the case; he went a significant step further than that from a client engagement point of view.’

‘The key attributes of the team are their friendly, client focused approach and their attention to detail. Very collaborative and great to work with, they make you feel that you are important to them as an individual as well as a client.’

‘Kate Brearley and Serena Foulkes are a fantastic team – they feel more like trusted friends than simply legal advisers.’

Work highlights

  • Advising WeWork’s legal team as one of its preferred advisers for employees in respect of two collective redundancy consultations which took place in June 2020 and October 2020, respectively.
  • Advised the incoming CFO of a listed company on the negotiation of his new contract and his promotion from his previous role.
  • Advised a former managing director of a London Branch of a foreign bank about his employers’ failure to provide adequate support during a time of severe illness and regulatory challenges.

Industry focus > Life sciences and healthcare Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood prides itself on the industry knowledge and specialist backgrounds of its life sciences partners, and offers specialist expertise in the manufacture of high-value drugs such as gene therapy products and vaccines. Group head Alexandra Pygall, who has a background in chemistry, advises clients on IP transactions including strategic and commercial agreements, as well as IP disputes. Dan Holland is noted for his expertise in manufacturing and supply agreements for biological products. The full-service practice also provides data protection, employment, tax and competition advice.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Pygall

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very professional, pragmatic, business-minded, knowledgeable team that advise as if they were part of the team. Very good quality-cost ratio.’

‘Excellent commercial advice to clients; timely and practical approach’

‘Alexandra Pygall – brilliant strategist and excellent with clients.’

‘Great commercial skills and super legal advice.’

‘Dan Holland and Alexandra Pygall are experts in the field and are experienced, commercial and pragmatic when approaching projects.’

Key clients

GSK

UCB

Oxford Biomedica plc

Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Incyte Corporation

Novacyt

Optum Venture Global Partners, LP

Acacia Pharma Group plc

Shield Therapeutics Plc

Capiton AG

e-therapeutics plc

Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

Tyratech

Kymab

Vernalis R&D

bluebird bio

AM-Pharma

Eisai Europe Ltd

Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel in a multi-jurisdictional trade mark infringement litigation relating to non-traditional marks (shape and colour) which is running in over 30 countries worldwide against multiple defendants in relation to the enforcement of GSK’s rights in a pharmaceutical product.
  • Advised Oxford Biomedica plc on the manufacture and supply of AZD1222, the adenoviral COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and commercialised by AstraZeneca.
  • Advised Acacia Pharma Group plc on key matters including its successful €27 million fundraise, through the placing of 10 million new ordinary shares with institutional investors in Europe and the US; the company’s strategic in-licensing, investment and loan transaction with Cosmo; and its €190 million IPO and listing on Euronext Brussels in 2018.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood acts for major accountancy firms, law firms, auction houses, pension consultants and insurers. It advises on both claimant and defendant mandates, which can frequently involve regulatory matters. The practice is co-led by Kate Cordery and Roland Foord; Cordery has particular expertise acting for the Big Four accountancy firms, whilst Foord specialises in cross-border mandates. Adam Culy  joined the team in 2020 from  BDO LLP , along with commercial litigator Genevieve Quierin  from Mishcon de Reya LLP. Stephen Roberts retired in early 2021.

Practice head(s):

Kate Cordery; Roland Foord

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Myers; Helena Berman; Jenny McKeown; Tony Woodcock; Adam Culy; Genevieve Quierin

Testimonials

‘The Stephenson Harwood professional negligence team has extensive experience defending professional negligence claims against solicitors and benefits consultants, particularly in the context of pension schemes and private trusts. They are very efficient at resolving claims collaboratively and diplomatically; e.g. identifying where rectification or other equitable doctrines can be deployed to correct drafting errors or reverse other mistakes, removing a claimant’s loss. They have a deep understanding of this sector, meaning that they are always on top of the latest arguments and case law.’

‘Stephenson Harwood provide an excellent, all-round legal service. Good client management, very able lawyers, with sound judgement.’

‘You get extremely high-powered partner-time from a major City firm with none of the usual filtered advice.’

‘Andrew Myers is very savvy and has a real ability to drive through cases to satisfactory outcomes in a pragmatic way.’

‘Jenny McKeown has been brilliantly astute: she wears her learning lightly, but her judgement calls have been faultless, knowing which strategy to pursue when and predicting accurately how the litigation will play out. Helena Berman is another notable partner in the team; not afraid to back herself in picking the points to litigate. She has a strong track record.’

‘Kate Cordery is pragmatic, sensible and has fantastic client skills.’

‘Andrew Myers is robust and tenacious , but with sound judgement. Kate Cordery is an extremely able lawyer, very good strategic thinker.’

Key clients

KPMG LLP

Deloitte LLP

Mercer Limited

Christie’s

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission

Sedgwick Noble Lowndes Limited

FTI Consulting LLP

Mark Weiss Limited

Insolvency practitioners from KPMG LLP

Insolvency practitioners from BDO LLP

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Multiplex

Work highlights

  • Defending Deloitte LLP in a claim made against it for £54m by Christopher Rokos, a high-profile hedge fund founder, in relation to his participation in an Enterprise Zone Investment Scheme which is currently under challenge by HMRC.
  • Acting for 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.

Investment fund formation and management > Real estate funds Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood advises funds and their managers on a wide range of vehicles that invest in real estate assets. It is highly active in the REIT space, as is reflected by the fact that it advises clients on IPOs, secondary fundraisings and investments. In addition, other areas of expertise include offshore funds, authorised and unauthorised unit trusts. and open-ended investment companies and limited partnerships. Joint venture arrangements are also an area of strength. The team is led by William Saunders, who is widely-hailed as a leading name in the listed funds space. Alex Haynes and Elizabeth Field are also key individuals, as is William Robertson, who is active on the regulatory side.

Practice head(s):

William Saunders

Key clients

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Nplus1 Singer Advisory LLP

Home REIT plc

Alvarium RE Limited

Liberum Capital Limited

Nexus Group

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited

Aseana Properties Limited

LXi REIT plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Nplus1 Singer, as nominated adviser and joint placing agent, and Panmure Gordon, as joint placing agent, on the £92m secondary fundraising for Urban Logistics REIT plc.
  • Advised Home REIT plc on its £240.5m IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Liberum Capital on its role as nominated adviser and broker to Urban Exposure plc, an AIM-traded specialist residential development finance and asset management company, in respect of a tender offer to Urban Exposure shareholders to return £65m of capital to shareholders.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Infrastructure Tier 3

Well known in the PPP industry, Stephenson Harwood has expertise across PFI and PPP including NHS LIFT, BSF and PF2, working across the key sectors of accommodation, transport and energy. As well as advising on greenfield projects, the firm handles asset management work on operational projects, including secondary market acquisitions, refinancings and disputes. Practice head Jonathan Cripps has experience advising on economic and social infrastructure projects including in the transport, energy and accommodation sectors, and is regarded as ‘amongst the leaders in the UK in the Infrastructure field’.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Cripps

Other key lawyers:

Rubin Weston; Rebecca Carter

Testimonials

‘The firm’s USP is the personal attention given by staff to the client’s actual needs and values. This helps to culture how advice is given and is a notable differentiation from other legal firms. The team listens well to the client and and thinks through the issues that exist and develops strategies that make sense to the client and are efficacious in the real world’.

‘The team is led by Jonathan Cripps who influences how the Stephenson Harwood team works with the client. He is amongst the leaders in the UK in the Infrastructure field . This gives great confidence in the how the team works. I would be extremely reluctant to leave this firm and this team’.

‘The differentiator is continuing commitment to the service and outcomes expected by the client at a fee which is managed to avoid surprises. Each matter dealt with is approached as if a new opportunity. This is something many law firms could achieve simply but do not’.

‘The lead partner is Jonathan Cripps. As expected in such a position the approach is experienced, thoughtful, professional and effective’.

Key clients

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

North London Waste Authority

Semperian PPP Investment Partners Group Limited

Century Health (Nottingham) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising NLWA on all legal aspects of its North London Heat and Power Project – a ten year programme to build a new Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at the Edmonton EcoPark in Enfield.
  • Advised Century Health (Nottingham) Limited on the replacement of Clugston (due to administration) as FM Provider.
  • Advising Semperian on various secondary market acquisitions such as the purchase of the remaining 50% of the stake in Fife Hospital from InfraRed (Stake 2) having previously advised on Stake 1 (50% stake from an international infrastructure group) in 2018.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood's contentious construction team acts on behalf of public bodies, developers, contractors and occupiers in major disputes. It acts across sectors, with particular expertise in disputes concerning public projects, such as rail and energy infrastructure, and real estate developments. Ron Nobbs and Paul Thwaite co-lead the practice, with Nobbs primarily focusing on supplier and purchaser matters, while Thwaite acts on behalf of contractors in delay and disruption cases. Charlotte Heywood is also recommended for her experience in rail disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ron Nobbs; Paul Thwaite

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Stephenson Harwood has shown the ability to work flexibly, to react quickly when needed and to draw in experts on particular issues, as and when required.’

‘An experienced team from the partners to the associates who know and understand the rail industry and apply that knowledge in a balanced, pragmatic and commercial way.’

‘The team work collaboratively and we have appreciated their willingness to set aside personal egos to achieve client objectives.’

‘Open-minded, straightforward, able to translate into simple language, diligent and highly competent.’

‘Stephenson Harwood has provided us with commercial litigation support which has been second to none. Rates have been extremely reasonable for a City business and they have even discounted some fees as a gesture of goodwill.’

‘Charlotte Heywood has remained a legal lifeline. She has made herself available around the clock to work with different time zones and turns around matters very quickly.’

‘The team has a great depth of knowledge in the area of dispute resolution.’

‘A firm that offers all the capabilities you need as a business.’

Key clients

ENGIE

Veolia

Multiplex

ABB UK

Equipe Regeneration

Mala Engineering

The Royal College of Art

University of Greenwich

LaSalle Investment Management

Thornsett Developments

Work highlights

  • Acted for ENGIE in relation to a dispute with LendLease Construction arising out of multiple claims brought by Exchequer Partnership.
  • Acted for Multiplex in relation to a claim arising out of the design and construction of 100 Bishopsgate.
  • Avising Equipe in relation to its High Court claim arising from the Brockley PFI project, which expires in 2027.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 3

With two solicitor advocates in the team, including team head Andrew Myers, Stephenson Harwood is noted for its advocacy skills, which are routinely called upon by property management and investment companies, as well as institutional landlords and tenants requiring assistance with contentious property portfolio and tenancy work. This includes service charge and rent arrears, forfeiture proceedings, dilapidations and contested lease renewals. Handling rights to light matters and claims arising from property developments constitutes another key element of the practice and is an area of particular expertise for Sophie Schultz; she is the second solicitor advocate in the team and frequently acts for developers as well as for neighbours in nuisance claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Myers

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Andrew Myers has a rare grasp of the underlying property matters and is relentlessly focused on getting his clients optimum results.

The team is super smart and just who you need on your side if you’re involved in a contentious matter. They provide a commercial view, not just a legal view, and are great strategists.

The practice is unique due to the driving force of Sophie Schultz.

Sophie Schultz is an amazing technical lawyer – the best I have ever come across. She marries this with a common sense, pragmatic approach, enabling her to give clear commercial advice to clients. Sophie is extremely diligent, turns things around quickly for our demanding clients and is always available and happy to chat something through.

Very rigorous on detail but understanding of the client’s context and overall objectives. Very helpful connections within the company to line up other experienced lawyers with the necessary skill sets and within a fee framework that had been agreed.

Andrew Myers is wickedly bright and resourceful. He is also unflappable, meeting crises with calmness and maturity. A person who should be in anybody’s emergency dial.

If you want someone to worry over a problem until a solution emerges, this is your team.

Each lawyer I have dealt with is deeply impressive and knows their stuff inside out. Case preparation is first class and their knowledge of the law is brilliant.

Key clients

Schroders

The Prudential Assurance Company Limited

HSBC Bank Pension Fund

Lothbury Property Trust Company

Intertrust

Mercia Real Estate

The Langham Estate

The Royal College of Art

London Metric plc

Capital Industrial

Work highlights

  • Acting for the management company of Aldford House, a mansion block in Mayfair, in a claim for serious service charge arrears at the block, which was originally for over £1.1m of arrears.
  • Acted for LondonMetric Saturn Limited in an action against  Sportsdirect.com plc for rent arrears under its lease.
  • Acting for two Mercia Real Estate companies in a substantial nuisance claim regarding an industrial site in the West Midlands that has caused them significant losses over many years due to dust pollution.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 3

Owing to its 'intelligent, easy to work with, hardworking, and responsive' IP team, Stephenson Harwood secures impressive non-contentious patent matters in the life sciences and energy sectors. Practice head Alexandra Pygall and Naomi Leach are key names for cross-border commercial licensing agreements and transactions, predominantly for pharmaceutical and biosciences innovators. Showcasing broader sector knowledge, a team led by Leach advised on patent and know-how licensing deals in the clean energy sector. Rob Jacob regularly runs patent litigation, having recently pursued infringement claims and commercial disputes through the Patents Court on behalf of shipping and security companies.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Pygall

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Stephenson Harwood’s TMT practice is a very collaborative and knowledgeable group of individuals who provide practical no-nonsense advice, make an effort to learn your business in order to anticipate problems, and are always accessible.

Everyone I’ve had the pleasure to work with has shown high work ethic, great interest in the issues posed, and pragmatism in addressing them. Dan Holland, Alexandra Pygall and Naomi Leach in particular have been fantastic!

The team has a deep understanding of the commercial aspects of the law. They seek to understand the business and its goals to enable the best results. They are also excellent at crystallizing legal issues in a way that makes a path forward clear.

The team is intelligent, easy to work with, hardworking, and responsive. We have worked with them on complex multinational projects. The team is always organised and has a terrific grasp and management of complex issues.

Alexandra Pygall: Excellent commercial advice; timely and practical advice to clients.

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline plc

Oxford Biomedica

UCB

Kymab Limited

Acacia Pharma

Incyte Corporation

Novacyt A.S.

Highview Power

Shield Therapeutics

AM-Pharma

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Work highlights

  • Advised Oxford Biomedica on the manufacture and supply of AZD1222, the adenoviral Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and commercialised by AstraZeneca.
  • Advised Highview (a global leader in long-duration energy storage solutions), in relation to partnering with Sumitomo Heavy Industries (a technology leader in industrial machinery and environmental and power technologies) to expand cryogenic energy storage projects globally.
  • Advised Shield Therapeutics in relation to critical out-licensing of its patent rights in Europe and China in two separate but interlinked and complex deals.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 3

On the contentious IP front, Stephenson Harwood acts on a high volume of trade mark infringement actions. Recent highlights for the 'trustworthy, commercial and fiercely intelligent' Rob Jacob have concerned complex issues surrounding 3D marks for medical devices and toy companies, as well as historical goodwill disputes on behalf of food and drink brands. Practice head Alexandra Pygall and Naomi Leach lead on the non-contentious side, while Pygall also has a hand in trade mark enforcement and opposition actions for longstanding clients in the retail, fashion and alcohol industries.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Pygall

Other key lawyers:

Rob Jacob; Naomi Leach; Anne Stoffels

Testimonials

Alexandra Pygall and Rob Jacob shine.

The team excels at cross-border trade mark disputes. They are efficient, creative and take action quickly. They combine technical legal expertise with pragmatism and commerciality.

Rob Jacob is an expert trade mark litigator. Trustworthy, commercial and fiercely intelligent.

Anne Stoffels – star of the future. Great lawyer. Very responsive and organised.

Great team; hands-on, easy to work with.

Alexandra Pygall has a great eye for detail. She excels at licensing work, which makes her my go-to lawyer for this. Combined with a pragmatic and down-to-earth approach, it’s a winning combination.

Stephenson Harwood has a market-leading team offering notable expertise in all areas of IP law. Frequently acts for pharmaceutical companies in trade mark litigation. Also often representing notable brands. Additionally experienced in parallel imports, design rights, trade secrets and copyright issues.

The lawyers are extremely responsive and you have immediate access to partners. Within IP law, they are very knowledgeable about the international aspects and have strong contacts in other countries.

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline plc

easyGroup Limited

Gap, Inc

The Duracell Company

Turbo-K

ViiV Healthcare UK Limited

Perfetti van Melle

Mercer Limited

CitySightseeing

Dr Wolff Group

Made.Com

Vexo International (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for GSK on various trade mark matters, and in particular worldwide cross-jurisdictional litigation in relation to the protection and enforcement of its rights in the Seretide Diskus asthma inhaler (the second-best selling pharmaceutical product ever worldwide).
  • Acting for easyGroup, brand licensor for the easyFamily of brands (including easyJet) in numerous claims against third parties alleging infringement of easyGroup’s trade marks.
  • Acting as UK IP counsel for Gap (including its brands Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic and Old Navy).

Corporate and commercial > Commercial contracts Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood’s team assists with a broad range of agreements and outsourcings and has recently leveraged its strength in the life sciences sector to advise on a variety of Covid-related mandates. These include advising Oxford Biomedica on two agreements for the supply of drug substances for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University. Dan Holland and Naomi Leach jointly lead the group; Holland handles procurement structures and manufacturing arrangements, while Leach acts on commercial transactions in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):

Dan Holland; Naomi Leach

Testimonials

‘The SH team offers significant experience in the issues associated with manufacturing/supply agreements in the biotech/life-science sector and have provided excellent support during a number of significant negotiations, advising on industry-standard commercial aspects as well as legal drafting points. This is a highly knowledgeable, great team to work with!’

‘Dan Holland has a great team of associates under him who are at my disposal. The associates are at different levels which is great as I can give the more difficult contracts to the more advanced associates and Dan manages this seamlessly. Dan is genuinely on top of our business, knows our clients and is able to pick out key issues in transactions. He also is very approachable and can be contacted easily and gets back to me quickly.’

‘They are very approachable and very familiar with our line of business. They are commercially minded and don’t go down the legal “rabbit hole”. They are also very good at sticking to deadlines and turning over documents without delay.’

Key clients

Oxford Biomedica

Novacyt S.A.

City Sightseeing

Feelunique

Highview Power Enterprises

Work highlights

  • Advised Oxford Biomedica in relation to two agreements for the supply of drug substances for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and marketed by AstraZeneca.
  • Advised Novacyt S.A. and its subsidiary, Primer Design Limited, in relation to the supply of Covid-19 PCR test kits and other diagnostics to the Department of Health and Social Care as part of its procurement to tackle the pandemic.
  • Advised Highview Power Limited in relation to partnering with Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. to expand cryogenic energy storage projects globally.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood advises on the full range of transactional, structuring and advisory work across all direct and indirect taxes, with particular expertise in handling complex cross-border matters. Practice head Maryanna Sharrock has a broad tax practice that covers cross-border M&A tax issues; she is praised for her 'commercial and pragmatic' approach. John Meehan is another key point of contact, and senior associate Kate Worthington is also noted for her experience in handling a wide variety of real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Maryanna Sharrock

Other key lawyers:

John Meehan; Hilary Barclay; Kate Worthington

Testimonials

‘Maryanna is incredibly “user friendly” – both commercial and pragmatic.’

‘Always receive excellent detailed advice.’

Key clients

Oxford Biomedica

ENGIE

Inmarsat

LXI REIT

Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust/Schroder Real Estate Fund

London Metric

Civica

Bowmark Capital

Covanta Holdings Limited

Arthur J Gallagher

Tristan Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised AJG on its very significant acquisition of The Bollington Wilson Group.
  • Advised on the IPO of Home REIT, a real estate investment trust focused on accommodation for the homeless.
  • Advised Schroders on the sale of Kings Mall Shopping Centre in Hammersmith to IKEA for £130m.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 4

With sector specialisms in the energy, oil and gas and maritime industries, Stephenson Harwood's 'polished, effective team' fields experts in arbitrations involving Africa, the Middle East, Russia/CIS, India and Israel. The principal figures are London and Dubai-based Rovine ChandrasekeraKamal Shah, who leads the Africa and India groups and is 'well known to the market'; and Shai Wade, who is 'a terrific lawyer, advocate and strategist' who acts in large-scale, complex disputes. Former international arbitration head Louis Flannery QC joined Mishcon de Reya LLP in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Rovine Chandrasekera; Kamal Shah; Shai Wade

Other key lawyers:

Krystal Lee; Salah Malas

Testimonials

Stephenson Harwood is a brilliant team in real world international contractual disputes across various sectors.

The lawyers are sensible, pragmatic and drive hard to meet clients’ needs.

Established leader in the field, especially in the EMEA space.

A polished, effective team, with great international experience through Kamal Shah and Rovine Chandrasekera.

Kamal Shah is very experienced and a steady hand on the tiller.

Kamal Shah is well known to the market – great experience, particularly in African energy arbitrations.

Shai Wade is a terrific lawyer, advocate and strategist; and his drafting is flawless and he thinks multiple moves ahead of his opponent. Despite his obvious talent, he is incredibly charming, easy going and a pleasure to work with.

Shai Wade brings expert insight into arbitrations and energy sector disputes. Clients enjoy working with him, and he delivers the goods. One of our go-to names for conflict referrals.

Key clients

Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Work highlights

  • Acting for Iran’s Ministry of Defence, MODSAF, in a long-running commercial dispute with International Military Services (UK Ministry of Defence subsidiary ), which relates to the enforcement of two ICC awards in favour of MODSAF.
  • Instructed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) to act in CIArb’s intervention (as an interested party) in an appeal brought by Halliburton in the UK Supreme Court.

Dispute resolution > Mediators Tier 4

John Fordham – Stephenson Harwood Accredited as a mediator since 1995, Stephenson Harwood commercial litigation head John Fordham has conducted hundreds of mediations across the full spectrum of commercial, financial and personal disputes. In addition to his mediation work in all the main commercial centres in the UK, Fordham has acted as mediator in Hong Kong, Dubai, France, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Dispute resolution > Public international law Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood's team consistently represents governments and state-owned companies in high-profile PIL-related work, and is particularly active in financial sanctions work. It has also expanded its investment treaty and investor-state disputes capabilities. Kamal Shah heads up the practice, which fields experienced advisers Richard GarciaSue Millar, Ben Sigler and of counsel Stephen Ashley.

Practice head(s):

Kamal Shah

Testimonials

Highly skilled and experienced litigators.

Richard Garcia is a very careful, thorough and thoughtful solicitor.

Sue Millar has great negotiating skills, and superb knowledge and experience of sanctions.

Key clients

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Petroleos de Venezuela

Arab Republic of Egypt

Libyan Investment Authority

High Commissioner for Pakistan in the United Kingdom

Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Bank Saderat

Persia International Bank

Bank Sepah International

Melli Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Iran’s Ministry of Defence, MODSAF, in a longrunning commercial dispute with International Military Services, a UK Ministry of Defence subsidiary, which concerns the enforcement of two ICC awards in favour of MODSAF.
  • Acted for the Arab Republic of Egypt in relation to the tracing of assets that were misappropriated by the Hosni Mubarak regime.
  • Acted for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), as represented by AbdulMagid Breish (chairman in relation to LIA’s affairs), in various claims concerning misappropriation of Libyan assets during the Gaddafi era.

Employment > Employee share schemes Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood advises a number of clients within the financial services sector, especially companies listed on London’s alternative investment market exchange. The team is highly skilled in navigating compliance issues, particularly in relation to market abuse regulations. Barbara Allen leads the team and advises on employee appointment and exits, as well as partnership agreements in private equity houses.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Allen

Testimonials

‘The team is up-to-date not just on the relevant legislation but also on trends in practice and investor sentiment. Therefore they can provide really practical advice on this area which is as much about what is acceptable and therefore likely to be approved by shareholders as it is about what is possible in law.’

‘Barbara Allen provides exceptional service. She is extremely responsive and pragmatic and I am always happy to recommend her with confidence to others.’

‘Very contactable, high level of detail, great work ethic.’

‘A well respected and resourced firm, grow, ambitious with considerable talent.’

‘Barbara Allen is well respected in the area of share plans with a wealth of experience. Technically first class and both practical and commercial in the application of the law. Barbara is approachable and a very sound communicator.’

Key clients

Shareholders of Blackrock Expert Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a healthcare medical equipment provider on the design and implementation of a new long-term incentive share plan.
  • Advised the majority shareholders of Blackrock Expert Services Limited on the sale of the company to Duff & Phelps.
  • Advised a Fortune 500 company on the operation and winding-up of legacy UK tax-advantaged share incentive plans.

Employment > Employers Tier 4

Though especially skilled in restrictive covenant disputes and team moves, Stephenson Harwood is well-equipped to handle the gamut of non-contentious and advisory issues, including large-scale redundancy, TUPE processes and restructurings. Most active in the financial services, rail, luxury goods, hospitality and professional services sectors, the department is now overseen by Paul Reeves, ‘the person you want in your corner for a thorny employment issue’, after former practice head Mark Catchpole stepped down in May 2020 as a partner to work  as a consultant. Kate Brearley and seasoned litigator Anne Pritam are other key names.

Practice head(s):

Paul Reeves

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Strong partner involvement, very practical advice, good sense both of what’s market and what’s feasible. Able to see the big picture.’

Paul Reeves is a terrific advisor, and the person you want in your corner for a thorny employment issue. Paul sees issues from all perspectives and provides advice that reflects short-term and long-term objectives.’

Richard Freedman is  excellent – capable, rigorous, technically excellent.’

Kate Brearley and her team are always available and provide excellent service with a great understanding of the client’s business and concerns.’

Key clients

LVMH

AxiomSL Ltd

Fragomen LLP

Investcorp International

ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG

Host Europe Group Limited

Therium Capital Management

Standard & Poor’s

Arriva plc

DNB Bank ASA

Bank of Montreal/BMO Financial Group

Mizuho Bank Ltd

Vueling

DO & CO Aktiengesellschaft

Civica

Oak Furniture Land

Mizuho International plc

MicrosensDx

Yes To Inc

FITTS Ltd

Philex Electronic Ltd

Maersk A/S

Circa Healthcare Ltd

Extreme-E Ltd

The Mines Advisory Group

DO & CO Aktiengasellschaft

The Council for Responsible Jewellery

UKSL Management Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Louis Vuitton UK Limited after a former employee made a claim for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and disability discrimination.
  • Defended for Fiera Capital a claim by a former employee including compensation/damages for: whistleblowing (£44m) and breach of contract (£150m).
  • Represented MicrosensDx in employment tribunal litigation by a litigant in person, involving complex claims arising from Mercer’s merger with JLT, and cutting-edge disability discrimination issues concerning whether an employer can be on notice of an employee’s undiagnosed condition.

Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 4

'Professionally led by Alex Davis’, Stephenson Harwood's insurance practice focuses on marine insurance and acts for many major insurers in this space. The team is noted for handling matters ranging from shipment and total losses to cargo and commodity fraud cases. Joe O’Keeffe has particular expertise in war risks and detainment matters, as well as fraudulent claims, while Simon Moore focuses on both energy and marine insurance work. Senior associate Richard Hugg is also a key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Alex Davis

Testimonials

‘The team is professionally led by Alex Davis. He is a big guy with a big reputation and has a thorough knowledge of marine insurance law. He leads by example and ensures his team maintain the high standards that he has implemented.’

‘They are approachable , will tell you straight whether you have a viable case. They do not take on a case if they believe you haven’t a chance of success.’

‘Excellent knowledge & advice combined with a fantastic commercial understanding. The whole team are brilliant’

Key clients

Royal & Sun Alliance plc

Brit Insurance

Talbot Underwriting

Hiscox Insurance

Beazley Group

Liberty Mutual Insurance

AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance

Torus

Navigators Insurance Company Limited

India International Insurance

Canopius

Lancashire Insurance Group (UK) Ltd

Antares Managing Agency Limited

The Channel Syndicate

Atrium Underwriters Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising war insurers in respect of $20m claim arising following the detention of a fully laden bulk carrier in Indonesia following a major casualty involving damage to subsea pipeline.
  • Acting for war risks underwriters in respect of a claim for $77m (the insured value of the Vessel, CV Stealth).

Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 4

Sam Gray is the main contact at Stephenson Harwood, which has a particularly strong profile among insurance brokers. Gray advises clients on strategic acquisitions, as well as joint ventures and equity fundraising, among other matters. In addition, he is also knowledgeable about the interface between financial services and technology.

Practice head(s):

Sam Gray

Key clients

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

The Ardonagh Group Limited

Ethos Partner Holdings Limited

Investment fund formation and management > Private funds Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood has a strong specialism in secondary funds work, including GP-led secondaries, fund restructurings, and recapitalisation. The team also advises on fundraises for a number of funds, particularly infrastructure-focused bodies, and has particular expertise in continuity transactions, involving the sale of fund assets to new funds from the same manager. The team is led by Jonathan Pittal, a private equity specialist, while Gabriel Boghossian is highly active in the secondaries space. Sarah de Ste Croix  has been promoted to partner within the team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Pittal

Key clients

ICG Enterprise Trust PLC

Corre Energy

N4 Partners

Five Arrows Managers SAS

Unigestion SA

Henderson Alternative Strategies PLC

Hamburg Commercial Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Corre Energy on a series of substantial transactions relating to: (i) the establishment of Corre Energy SCSp, the first hydrogen storage business of its kind, focused on a renewable energy storage business, in connection with its multi-jurisdictional corporate restructure; (ii) investor negotiations with cornerstone investor taking a stake in the manager, (iii) seed capital from third party investor, and (iv) receipt of financing from Infrastructure Capital.
  • Advising Unigestion on multiple transactions including co-investments, primary commitments and secondaries deals
  • Advising HAST in relation to its secondaries disposal of multiple interests, ranging from private limited companies incorporated in England and Wales to Lux funds and US partnerships

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood's oil and gas and offshore practice is now jointly led by Tony ConcaghStuart Beadnall, and Max Lemanski, with former practice head Marc Hammerson and Tony Edwards having moved to Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP in late 2020. The team is particularly noted for its work for offshore contractors, for whom it advises on contractual issues and disputes associated with offshore oil and gas projects worldwide. It has a key focus on matters with a nexus to the North Sea, South America and Africa. On the contentious side, the group is particularly active in disputes arising from floating production, storage and offloading and facilities. Rubin Weston has particular experience of advising lenders and sponsors on finance transactions in Russia and Eastern Europe. Simon Moore is prominent in large FLNG projects. Emma Skakle joined from Clyde & Co LLP  in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tony Concagh; Stuart Beadnall; Max Lemanski

Other key lawyers:

Rubin Weston; Simon Moore; Peter Bennett; Kamal Shah; Shai Wade; Tom Adams

Testimonials

Excellent client relationships, a diverse workforce, knowledgeable in African legal issues, flexibility in fees during the pandemic.’

‘They are all knowledgeable in the relevant transaction being worked on, responsive to our issues and we are very pleased with their experience and work product.’

‘They have a number of partners who are very experienced in offshore oil and gas construction and production. They are wise enough to acknowledge they don’t do everything and are a dependable firm that wants to develop long-term relationships, without milking cases.’

Key clients

Altera Infrastructure (formerly Teekay Offshore)

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Eland Oil & Gas

Heerema Marine Contractors

Petrobras International

Subsea 7

Valero Energy

PDVSA

Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK)

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owner of an FPSO (Altera), who chartered an FPSO to an oil company (Premier) for use on the UK North Sea fields, in a dispute between the parties.
  • Acted for SUEK  (the largest producer of coal in Russia and a top ten producer globally) on a $1bn pre-export financing in 2019 from a lending syndicate led by Deutsche Bank.
  • Acted for SUEK on a $50m loan facility to fund its import of Japanese mining equipment. Half of the debt was provided by JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) and the other half by a syndicate of banks (supported by a guarantee from NEXI, the Japanese Export Credit Agency).

Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 4

The key names at Stephenson Harwood are projects head Rebecca Carter  and offshore wind head Tony Concagh; the team is praised for its 'strong  understanding of the marine infrastructure and services market' as well as its 'well planned and transparent' billing. The practice's expertise covers international finance, renewable power projects and energy storage matters.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Carter; Tony Concagh

Other key lawyers:

Tom Adams; Jonathan Cripps; Simon Moore; Naomi Leach

Testimonials

‘The team have worked hard to get to know the ins and outs of our business, which has helped form a collaborative relationship where they are viewed internally as almost being a limb of our own legal team (in particular areas). This has proved vital in scenarios where quick understanding of our frequently arising issues and risk profile/appetite are required for urgent advice. They also have a strong market understanding of the marine infrastructure and services market which is invaluable given it is our key sector. Billing is always well planned and transparent. People are rationale, approachable and knowledgeable, which when blended together results in strong advice and support. Their advice is always timely and proactive.’

‘Tom Adams has worked hard to understand our business as well as the key stakeholders and decisionmakers within the business. This has lead to his name holding weight within both the in-house legal team and with our senior management. This could only have been achieved due to Tom providing clear, practical and relevant advice on a repeat basis. His candour and temperament instill confidence that what you are being told is the true picture and not just providing yo with what you want to hear.’

‘Tom Adams is absolutely outstanding in his availability, responsiveness and brilliant combination of legal knowledge, practical contractual application, dispute resolution and ability to bring in other disciplines from the firm.’

Key clients

EDF

Green Africa Power

Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited

North London Waste Authority

Valero Energy

Sizewell C

Covanta Energy

Highview Power Limited

Corre Energy

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising North London Waste Authority on all legal aspects of its North London Heat and Power Project – a ten yea rprogramme to build a new Energy Recovery Facility at the Edmonton EcoPark in Enfield.
  • Advised Highview (a global leader in long-duration energy storage solutions) in relation to partnering with Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) to expand cryogenic energy storage projects globally. As part of this partnership, SHI made a $46m investment into Highview Power.
  • Advised CorreEnergy – a European green hydrogen producer and developer of mass energy storage – in connection with its multi-jurisdictional corporate restructure and acceptance of its first private investment into the new group.

Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood's practice is led by Jonathon Wilkes, whose wide-ranging expertise includes single asset acquisitions and disposals, portfolio transactions, joint ventures, real estate finance  and asset management matters. Under his leadership, the team is also highly active in brownfield/greenfield development projects and regeneration schemes. The core team is supported by practitioners in related disciplines, notably funds, finance and commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jonathon Wilkes

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Berman; Simon Brading

Testimonials

‘Focused team who look to understand our detailed needs and requirements.’

‘The solicitors involved in our work are very competent and progressive looking at the wider picture in order to move transactions along to a successful conclusion.’

‘The team treats me as a customer better than other practices I have used in the past. Dealing with them makes them feel part of our organisation rather than an external provider.’

‘Simon Brading is extremely efficient and knowledgeable about our particular development sector. He always meets his deadlines and on forecasted cost or as near as possible.’

‘Commercial, attentive, helpful and good value for money.’

‘Simon Brading is always available and responsive. He is commercial and sensible and gets the deal done without point-scoring.’

‘Catriona Berman is very reassuring to work with, despite the vendor’s solicitors and client generating plenty of challenges!’

‘Highly commercial outlook. Able to establish rapport with opposition legal team, making transactions smooth. Highly responsive.’

Key clients

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund

LaSalle Investment Management

Tristan Capital Partners

The Langham Estate

Duff & Phelps

London Metric Properties

Firethorn Trust

Frasers Property Holdings UK Ltd

The Royal College of Art

Schroders’ Real Estate Investment Trust (‘SREIT’)

Realty Income

Work highlights

  • Advised Schroder UK Real Estate Fund on the letting of the Department W building to Queen Mary University, a comprehensively and sensitively redeveloped office on Mile End Road in Tower Hamlets.
  • Advised London Metric on the purchase of a portfolio of five Waitrose stores in various locations in England.
  • Advised Echelon Data Centres on the acquisition of mixed data centre and office space site in Greenwich involving extensive due diligence on the suitability of the site for the intended proposals.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood has a diverse construction practice, covering energy projects, commercial real estate and large-scale infrastructure. Though its core business is domestic, it also offers international services, acting on behalf of purchasers, funders and suppliers on matters in Ireland, South Africa and the United States. Graeme Barton heads the practice, with particular strength in the energy, education, hotels and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Barton

Testimonials

‘I have found Stephenson Harwood to be highly responsive to support the resolution of a number of complex commercial issues. These have been wide ranging and at times needed to be responded to at pace. Stephenson Harwood have shown the ability to work flexibly, to react quickly when needed and to draw in experts on particular issues, as and when required.’

‘Graeme Barton is our main contact – we have confidence in him, and in the system we have set up to provide for responses to meet the timing required for returning tenders.’

Key clients

ENGIE

Veolia

Mala Engineering

The Royal College of Art

University of Greenwich

4C Hotels Group

LaSalle Investment Management

Fabricom S.A

Thornsett Developments

JJ Rhatigan & Co

103 Colmore Row Unit Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising NLWA on its North London Heat and Power Project, a ten-year programme to build a new energy recovery facility in Enfield.
  • Advised a property unit trust on the demolition of the old NatWest tower in Birmingham and the subsequent reconstruction of a 25-storey office tower.
  • Advised a solar contractor which is part of the Engie group on the construction of three subsidy-free ground-mounted solar projects in the UK.

Real estate > Property finance Tier 4

The real estate finance team at Stephenson Harwood acts on investment and development financings for lenders and borrowers involving urban centres, logistics properties and overseas assets. The team is also active in the ESG arena. James Linforth leads the practice and advises both lenders and borrowers on acquisition financings in the UK and in other jurisdictions. Paul Hayward-Surry is active in the commercial real estate, housing, hotels and leisure sectors, and the 'very commercialJonathan Proctor is adept at investment and development financing transactions. Other notable team members include Jayesh Patel and George Vaughton, who has strengths in advising bank and non-bank lenders.

Practice head(s):

James Linforth

Testimonials

‘Very good to work with on transactions, due to their experience and knowledge. Always ensure they explain the risk of accepting/rejecting points and provide their recommendation.’

‘Provide useful, relevant and pragmatic advice, based on experience and not just knowledge.’

‘Very professional and personable at the same time.’

‘Jon Proctor is adaptable to dealing with different types of customers. Always takes the time to talk points through and is very commercial. As well as giving his thoughts, he always comes up with solutions too.’

Key clients

Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

ING Bank N.V.

Canada Life

Barings Real Estate Advisers LLP

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Schroders plc

Bank Leumi (UK) plc

Aver Property L.P.

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

NatWest

Coutts

RBSI

Firethorn Trust

BACB plc

Mercia Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Wells Fargo on a £60m debt facility to Supermarket Income REIT plc.
  • Advising Mass Mutual in relation to the financing by Hermes Wellington Place LP of Site 1, Wellington Place, Leeds, as part of a major regional development project.
  • Advising Firethorn Trust on a series of financings totalling over £100m to acquire and develop logistics sites across the UK.

Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

The ‘incredibly responsive, personable and efficientStephenson Harwood handles the full gamut of data protection and information law issues. As well as day-to-day regulatory and compliance work, the practice has recently been handling Covid-19-related matters, advice around the impact of the Schrems II judgment, and defending class action suits relating to data breaches. Katie Hewson, who was promoted to partner in May 2021, now heads up the team alongside Naomi Leach and Ben Sigler. Jonathan Kirsop left for Pinsent Masons LLP in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Katie Hewson; Naomi Leach; Ben Sigler

Testimonials

‘Katie Hewson is outstanding’.

‘Katie Hewson’s legal advice is always incredibly commercially minded and her understanding of the technical aspects of privacy is unparalleled’.  

‘Katie Hewson was clear in her advice and provided timely and clear responses to questions’.              

‘Katie Hewson listened closely to what we were trying to achieve, and produced a practical approach which was precisely tailored to our objectives’.

‘The Stephenson Harwood team are responsive, collaborative and thorough yet practical and pragmatic, attributes that were key to our handling a data breach issue efficiently and successfully’.

‘Katie Hewson and Ben Sigler felt like part of our team when we worked with them on an issue that arose’.

‘Katie Hewson and Ben Sigler seem attuned to “real world” dynamics rather than merely advising on what the legal framework is for a particular situation’.

Key clients

Mizuho Bank Limited

Deloitte LLP

Trident Trust

S&P Global Inc.

Neuberger Berman Europe Limited

Moet Hennessy Europe

Covanta

Trenitalia c2c

Civica Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Civica UK on data protection risks and issues arising in relation to the acquisition of a payroll outsourcing and software specialist company.
  • Advised a leading life sciences company on data protection and privacy issues arising in its arrangements with third parties.
  • Advised an international financial services company on the implementation and use of cutting-edge AI tools.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood focuses primarily on supporting technology and fintech companies in connection with corporate transactions, software licensing disputes and financial services regulation. Dan Holland leads the team and is regularly assisted by associate Anita Basi, who possesses considerable expertise in IT projects across the technology, financial services and life sciences sectors. Associate David Berry left the practice in May 2021 to join Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):

Dan Holland

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

UCB Biopharma SRL

Deazy Limited

Seaglass Cloud Technology Limited

Rockpool Investments LLP

Bowmark Capital

Urban Jungle

Civica

Pelican Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Elysian Capital and the management team of the company on the sale of Wellbeing Software to The Citadel Group, a company listed on The Australian Stock Exchange.
  • Advising UCB’s IT team in relation to the management of their technology contracts.
  • Advised Civica on a number of deals including the acquisitions of Infoflex, Parago Software, Agylia, Equiniti HR Solutions and Thelma-EU Limited, trading as Medical Billing and Collection.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 5

Headed by 'very safe pair of hands' Julian Cahn, following Susan Moore's departure to Faegre Baker Daniels, Stephenson Harwood's four-partner team provides 'strong technical and commercial skills' to IPs, funds and corporates, across a range of formal insolvency and corporate restructuring mandates. Leveraging the firm's overarching commercial litigation strengths, the team remains best-known for its aptitude at handling highly contentious matters in both a corporate context, as well as in relation to personal insolvency matters. Ian Benjamin 's arrival from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in November 2020 strengthens the team's non-contentious credentials.

Practice head(s):

Julian Cahn

Other key lawyers:

Ian Benjamin; Stuart Frith; Nick Axup; Paul Hollands

Testimonials

The team has strong technical and commercial skills across both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work.’

Strong team with attention to detail. They have a really personal approach to their clients.’

Julian Cahn is a very safe pair of hands

Julian Cahn is one of the London market’s top contentious insolvency lawyers – technically excellent, pragmatic and commercial.’

Key clients

Deloitte LLP

KPMG LLP

BDO LLP

Cable Capital

Ernst & Young

FTI Consulting

Smith and Williamson

Blandford Capital

David Rubin & Partners

Borelli Walsh

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Receivers of Sebastian Holdings Inc (“SHI”), which was the personal investment vehicle of Mr Vik, a sometime multi-billionaire.
  • Advising Wells Fargo Bank on the restructuring and enforcement options available in the context of a defaulted loan secured over a large city centre mixed-use retail development in the North West of England.
  • Acting for the directors of Green Dragon Gas Ltd in commercial court litigation arising out of the issuance of high-value bonds by Green Dragon Gas Ltd’s parent company, which are in turn guaranteed by Green Dragon Gas Ltd.

Public sector > Administrative and public law Tier 5

Stephenson Harwood stands out for its expertise in complex administrative and public law cases involving financial services clients, including challenges to sanctions and internal investigations. In addition, the firm has a strong regulatory and contentious practice in the transport sector; currently, the team is representing Ryanair in a challenge against a ruling in the CJEU declaring that the airline must compensate passengers for flights cancelled as a result of strike action. Tony Woodcock frequently assists clients with judicial reviews and internal investigations, whereas the 'tremendously clever' Sean Jeffrey has strong credentials in financial services litigation, particularly cases involving the wrongful imposition of sanctions on banks.

Practice head(s):

Tony Woodcock; Sean Jeffrey

Testimonials

‘Sean Jeffrey is a superstar. A bona fide expert public lawyer with equal expertise in FCA and regulatory work, and also commercial work. He’s tremendously clever, and in particular is the man to lead any massive complex commercial JR. Outstanding.’

‘Stephenson Harwood has a highly capable and committed team. It is led by a brilliant partner supported by very competent team of associates. They are highly responsive to clients’ needs.’

Key clients

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission

Ryanair DAC

Arriva Rail East Midlands Limited

Bank Saderat Plc

Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

North London Waste Authority

Bank Sepah International Plc

CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles)

United Kingdom Accreditation Service

Work highlights

  • Assisted Gibraltar Financial Services Commission with a statutory investigation into the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company and the conduct of its directors and auditors.
  • Acted for Bank Saderat plc and its parent, Bank Saderat Iran, one of Iran’s largest commercial banks, in defence of EU sanctions.
  • Acting for Ryanair in respect of an ongoing judicial review against the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

The 'very responsive and professional' lawyers at Stephenson Harwood work with corporates from various industries on merger control, market investigations and behavioural issues. In 2021, the firm has been active advising clients on the impact of the new National Security and Investment act on FDI filing. Marta Isabel Garcia leads the team; experienced in all aspects of the practice area, she has a particular specialism in the rail sector.

Practice head(s):

Marta Isabel Garcia

Other key lawyers:

Anna Victoria Delahey; Genevieve Quierin

Testimonials

The team project managed the whole process for us for a multi-jurisdictional M&A. They liaised beautifully with the business to obtain the necessary information in record time and as a result we achieved all of our clearances in good time. The team’s knowledge and experience meant that you could relax in the knowledge that you would be guided effortlessly through the whole process.

Very responsive and professional.’

Anna Delahey was extremely efficient and personable. I received very prompt and regular updates on the progress of the filings and clearances which enabled me to provide a similarly effective service to my senior management team. Marta Garcia is obviously a very experienced partner and made you feel in very safe hands.’

The team is very pragmatic. They are very capable to close an acquisition within a specific timeframe. They are very hard working. They are solution driven and find practical solutions to difficult problems without costing the company an arm and a leg. This was the first law firm where I felt the company was not being squeezed for every cent it had. They looked at the deal structure and applied their fees to the acquisition size.’

They take the time to understand the issues. Probe with questions to get the full story.’

We felt there were two key strengths the team exhibited. First, they were very pragmatic and second they were very responsive. This combination worked very well for us given that we were engaged in a small, but time critical, business deal. They seemed willing to work with us using our systems and preferred manners of communication and this made it very easy to work with them. In general, I would say that my experience working with the team was an absolute pleasure and I would actively recommend them to others. There was a really good fit in terms of like-mindedness and culture in our interactions.’

We felt well-guided by the depth of knowledge the team presented, the pragmatism displayed and the pace by which the transaction was going along. We were impressed by the co-ordination of the various disciplines required within the team.

Marta Garcia is a very good technician on all things competition law related.

Key clients

Leaders Romans/Bowmark

Ardonagh

Covanta

Alaris

Work highlights

  • Advised Leaders Romans Group on a CMA cartel investigation in the estate agency sector.
  • Advised Covanta on all aspects of merger control in relation to the acquisition of joint control over two joint ventures.
  • Advised Alaris Holdings on all merger control and foreign direct investment law matters in relation to its acquisition of Linwave Technology.

Finance > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 6

Benefiting from 'a deep appreciation of both the lender's and borrower's perspective', by virtue of its work for a balanced roster of banking and corporate clients, Stephenson Harwood displays a 'pragmatic' approach across a range of work, including public and private acquisition finance, through to funds finance and corporate lending matters. Team head James Linforth 'takes a fair, measured and calm approach to find solutions which are mutually acceptable to all parties.'

Practice head(s):

James Linforth

Testimonials

Stephenson Harwood LLP is one of the firms to approach if one wants to get finance or real estate or corporate transactions done efficiently and with all parties working together on good terms.’

The strengths of Stephenson Harwood’s bank lending investment grade team are that they have a deep appreciation of both the lender’s and borrower’s perspective as they are experienced in acting for lenders as well as acting for borrowers.’

The firm has longstanding relationships with the main bank players in the market and understands the particular drivers and requirements of the relevant bank lender. The team’s ability to see both perspectives means that the team members are pragmatic and will not pursue a point for sake of argument, which wastes time.’

‘James Linforth takes a fair, measured and calm approach to find solutions which are mutually acceptable to all parties. His extensive experience and deep technical knowledge help to cut through complex issues.’

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 6

Hailed as a ‘great team’, Stephenson Harwood is engaged on a wide variety of sporting matters; the practice is particularly acclaimed for insolvency-related affairs, especially in respect of motorsport and football clubs. Eommercial litigator Ben Sigler is head of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Ben Sigler

Other key lawyers:

Julian Cahn

Testimonials

A great team.’

Key clients

Trustees in Bankruptcy of Boris Becker

Bolton Wanderers Football Club

Revolve Performance Limited

Stella International Holdings

Work highlights

  • Continuing to act for Boris Becker’s trustees in bankruptcy in a complex exercise that involves a detailed investigation of the tennis legend’s business affairs and property including in respect of income generated from his various sporting commitments and successes.
  • Continuing to act for the (now) liquidators of Bolton Wanderers FC. The matter was high profile and resulted in the rescue and continued existence of BWFC, a historic and community asset in Bolton.
  • Acting for the Revolve Performance Group in respect of the restructuring of the Mountune motor racing brand, an iconic British racing manufacturer.

Iran > Foreign law firms Tier 1

Stephenson Harwood has been providing legal advice to Iranian institutions for more than four decades. It advises local and international clients in all areas of business in Iran, notably the banking sector. It also covers other areas such as sanctions, litigation, shipping, fraud and asset tracing, banking and financial institutions and energy. London-based litigator Sue Millar, who also heads the firm's sanctions practice, is the key contact, although the firm's Dubai office also has a track record of cross-Gulf work.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Good breadth of banking legal knowledge combined with understanding of regulatory and political focus which affects the banking business’.

‘Sue Millar has proved time and again to understand the issues for foreign banks working in the UK. She provides reasoned and sound advice on a wide range of legal issues for us.’

Key clients

Melli Bank plc

Bank Saderat plc

Bank Saderat Iran

Persia International Bank Plc

National Iranian Tanker Company

Iran Aluminium Company (IRALCO)

Bank Sepah International plc

Iranian Ministry of Defence

India > Foreign firms Tier 3

In addition to acting for international and Indian banks and other financial institutions, Stephenson Harwood also has a dedicated private wealth practice to assist ultra-high-net-worth families in India, the Middle East and elsewhere on their wealth management and investments. The firm combines its global/Asia capabilities with a close connection to the India market providing financing, corporate and disputes expertise in the mid-market range in sectors including resources, healthcare and technology. It also advises, on a pro bono basis, the British Asian Trust. Kamal Shah, who heads the group (and the Africa group), primarily advises on complex disputes in India, often with cross-border elements and spearheads a respected arbitration practice. Meanwhile George Cyriac (dual qualified in New York and India) has some decades of experience on cross-border corporate, private equity and restructuring transactions in Asia. Nijoe Joseph is reported to be ‘one of the most respected banking and finance lawyers in the UAE’; he has noteworthy experience of shipping, aviation and financing (including Islamic finance) expertise while Gregory Xu in Singapore, leads the general banking and project finance offering for Southeast Asia.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Stephenson Harwood has a strong team of partners covering India across different jurisdictions – UK, Middle-East, Singapore. In India the team has been advising on merger & acquisitions, litigation and arbitration, finance matters, IPOs and covers various sectors including technology and outsourcing work. They are a reliable option for many mid-market transactions for both inbound and outbound work. Attention to customer service is exceptional. Professionalism and integrity in every regard. Always apply the right level of expertise and partner supervision of senior and junior staff is very good.

‘I would highly recommend the services of the banking and finance team of Stephenson Harwood, Dubai office. The team is well organised, provides effective advice and makes the relationship both effortless and pleasant. One of the significant quality of the team to be highlighted is their ability to turn around within the committed timelines and which helps us in closing matters with our clients. They are also cost effective.’

‘Nijoe Joseph is one of the most respected banking and finance lawyers in UAE. He tries to understand the needs of the clients and provides effective advice based on the requirements. If a matter is entrusted to Joseph, he would be available throughout whenever required. As a partner, his availability and engagement in a matter is to be specifically mentioned. Joseph is also easy to work with and always willing to take the time to discuss our concerns and respond to questions. Even during the pandemic as well, Joseph has been in constant touch and provided the necessary support at all times.’

‘The firm punches above its weight. Top quality but at more reasonable price points than the magic circle firms. Also, they are quite commercial and pragmatic.’

‘George Cyriac leads their Indian M&A efforts and stands out. He is hands-on, commercial and pleasant to work with. He is able to build a rapport quickly with Indian clients.’

‘Kamal Shah heads their India group and is a great litigator.’

Key clients

ICICI Bank

Axis Bank

Yes Bank

HDFC Bank Limited

State Bank of India, Hong Kong branch

Mr Ravi Ruia and Mr Prashant Ruia

Mizuho Bank

Aditya Birla Finance Limited

Power Finance Corporation Limited

REC Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on a limited basis as local counsel to State Bank of India, Hong Kong Branch on its US$1 billion loan financing from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, a policy-based financial institution, wholly owned by the Japanese government.
  • Acting on a transaction involving Brookfield group acquisition of certain projects of the RMZ Group by acquiring shares of identified RMZ Group entities including that of RMZ Infotech Private Limited.
  • Acted for Power Finance Corporation Limited, REC Limited, and Yes Bank Limited on a transaction involved financing of a 326.70 MW(ac) wind power project, in the State of Madhya Pradesh at an estimated project cost of INR 220,721,00,000 to be developed by SBESS Services Projectco Two Private Limited, an indirect subsidiary of Softbank.

South Korea > Shipping: foreign firms

Noted for its ‘vast experience and expertise’ in the shipping industry, Stephenson Harwood has a preeminent marine and international trade practice. The team has a large geographical footprint and is comprised of lawyers across Asia, the Middle East and the UK. In Seoul, managing partner Michael Kim has a diverse practice, handling both contentious and non-contentious issues. Kim is supported by associate Hannah Lee and Stuart Burrell, whose clients include major shipowners, shipbuilders, construction and EPC contractors, oil companies and insurers. Alex Davis takes the lead in London, working with Stuart Beadnall, who has extensive experience in advising on shipping contracts. Andrew Rigden Green is Hong Kong’s practice head and is a specialist in the installation and operation of offshore structures. Based in the Singapore office, Virtus Law LLP – Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance partner Daryll Ng is supported by head of shipping and offshore finance, Gregg Johnston.

Testimonials

‘Expertise and professionalism. No other law firm in Korea is more experienced than SH in the shipping sector.’

‘Michael Kim. An excellent lawyer and a reliable partner who has extensive knowledge, provides timely and precise advice, and is tailored to the need of the clients.’

‘Stephenson Harwood LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office has vast experiences and expertise in the shipping market. They are very committed to their clients, Korean as well as international.’

‘I believe among the foreign international law firms who have offices in Korea, Stephenson Harwood LLP Foreign Legal Consultant Office has the best reputation in the shipping industry, by far.’

Key clients

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Korea Line Corporation

Hanwha General Insurance Co Ltd

The Import-Export Bank of Korea

KB Insurance Co., Ltd

Chevron International Pte Ltd

The Standard Club

Hanjin Heavy Industries

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd

Sungdong Shipbuilding

Daehan Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Sinokor Merchant Marine Co.,Ltd

Japan P&I Club

SPP Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Eukor Car Carriers. Inc

Macon Charter B.V.

SK Shipping Co., Ltd.

H-Line Shipping Co.,Ltd.

DB Insurance Co., Ltd

Feen Marine Scrubbers Inc.

HHIC-PHIL KOREA

Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

SC Engineering Co., Ltd.

Seil Textile Co., Ltd.

You Chang Trading Corp

MULTI ASSET GLOBAL INVESTMENTS CO.,LTD.

LATTICE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.

WILLIAM FRY

NOVEL GROUP OÜ

BHI CO., LTD

LG Chem Ltd.

Stephenson Harwood is a law firm with over 1,100 people worldwide, including more than 180 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 nine 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: Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris, Piraeus, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Yangon.

Associated offices: Athens, Bucharest, Guangzhou, Jakarta.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Senior Partner Roland Foord
Chief executive Eifion Morris
Chief operating officer Clive Ruse
Arbitration Kamal Shah & Shai Wade
Aviation finance Richard Parsons
Aviation litigation Paul Phillips
Banking James Linforth
Commercial Dan Holland
Commodities Haris Zografakis
Competition Marta Garcia
Construction Ron Nobbs
Corporate Tom Nicholls
Corporate finance Sam Gray
Employee incentives Barbara Allen
Environment Jonathon Wilkes
Finance Tammy Samuels
Fraud and asset tracing Ros Prince
Funds and ECM William Saunders
Hotels and leisure Catriona Berman
IP Alexandra Pygall
Life sciences Alexandra Pygall
Litigation Ed Davis & Paul Thwaite
Marine and international trade Alex Davis
Employment Paul Reeves
Pensions Philip Goodchild
Private wealth James Quarmby
Private equity Jonathan Pittal
Professional practices Roland Foord
Projects & infrastructure Jonathan Cripps
Rail Tammy Samuel & Suzanne Tarplee
Real estate Jonathon Wilkes
Real estate finance Paul Hayward-Surry
Real estate litigation Andrew Myers
Restructuring and insolvency Susan Moore
Regulation Tony Woodcock
Shipping finance Ian Mace
Sanctions Sue Millar
Tax Maryanna Sharrock
Oil and gas Marc Hammerson
Leasing Lisa Marks
Healthcare Karima Hudson
Insurance Alex Davis
Contentious trusts & probate Jenny McKeown & Helena Berman
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Tom Adams  photo Tom Adams Tom is a shipping and energy specialist with particular expertise in dispute…
Barbara Allen  photo Barbara Allen Barbara has over 25 years’ experience of advising both companies and individuals…
Nick Barber  photo Nick Barber An experienced lawyer with a marine background, Nick heads the casualty response…
Graeme Barton  photo Graeme Barton Graeme uses his experience across a wide range of sectors within the…
Stuart Beadnall  photo Stuart Beadnall Stuart is a leading specialist in shipping and energy, with particular expertise…
Ian Benjamin  photo Ian Benjamin Ian advises domestic and international clients on all aspects of restructuring and…
Peter Bennett  photo Peter Bennett Peter specialises in international litigation and arbitration as well as commercial contracts…
Alan Bercow  photo Alan Bercow Alan is co-head of Stephenson Harwood’s market-leading fraud and asset recovery team.…
Helena Berman  photo Helena Berman Helena is the head of our pensions dispute resolution team. With over…
Catriona Berman  photo Catriona Berman A real estate lawyer with interests in investment, development and asset management,…
Gabriel Boghossian  photo Gabriel Boghossian Gabriel advises on a wide range of private equity transactions, including fundraising,…
Simon Brading  photo Simon Brading As a real estate lawyer with a focus on large development, investment…
Kate Brearley  photo Kate Brearley An expert in all areas of employment law, Kate’s clear and commercial…
Jonathan Bridcut  photo Jonathan Bridcut Jonathan is a corporate partner who specialises in private M&A, joint ventures…
Don Brown  photo Don Brown Don has broad experience of secured lending, including asset-based lending, receivables finance,…
Julian Cahn  photo Julian Cahn Julian is an insolvency and dispute resolution specialist, with extensive experience of…
Archie Campbell  photo Archie Campbell A property lawyer with particular specialism in real estate finance.  He has…
Rebecca Carter  photo Rebecca Carter Rebecca leads teams of talented projects lawyers with an absolute focus on…
Mark Catchpole  photo Mark Catchpole Mark is consultant in our pensions practice. He has specialised in pensions…
Anthony Clare  photo Anthony Clare Anthony is a corporate partner specialising in M&A and corporate finance. He…
Julie Clegg  photo Julie Clegg Julie specialises in ship financing. She has extensive experience of advising lenders…
Richard Coleman  photo Richard Coleman Richard is active across a range of private equity, growth capital and…
James Collins  photo James Collins Recognised as a rising star in the aviation finance industry, James delivers…
Tony Concagh  photo Tony Concagh A recognised expert in offshore oil and gas and maritime law, Tony…
Kate Cordery  photo Kate Cordery Kate has experience in a wide range of commercial disputes – with…
Jonathan Cripps  photo Jonathan Cripps Jonathan’s focus is always on helping projects clients reach their objectives. Whether…
Tim Crocker  photo Tim Crocker Tim acts for creditors, debtors, insolvency officeholders and trustees on all (non-litigious)…
Adam Crossley  photo Adam Crossley Adam is a corporate lawyer specialising in private equity and growth capital.…
Sean Crowley photo Sean CrowleySean is a partner in the firm’s banking team, acting for both…
Adam Culy  photo Adam Culy Adam is an accountancy professional liability / regulatory specialist (in particular defending…
Ashley Davidson  photo Ashley Davidson Ashley is a partner in our real estate team and has extensive…
Edward Davis  photo Edward Davis Ed is a commercial litigator, helping to resolve a wide range of…
Alex Davis  photo Alex Davis Alex is the marine and international trade practice group leader and also…
David Dowding  photo David Dowding Specialising in corporate acquisitions and disposals and corporate finance, David has broad…
Cristan Evans  photo Cristan Evans Cristan specialises in the resolution of shipping and trade disputes. He provides…
Elizabeth Field  photo Elizabeth Field Liz is a corporate partner who advises public and private companies on…
Darren Fodey  photo Darren Fodey Darren is an expert in rail regulation, regulated contracts and railway operations,…
Roland Foord  photo Roland Foord Roland is the firm’s senior partner and a full time commercial disputes…
John Fordham  photo John Fordham John is head of Stephenson Harwood’s commercial litigation practice and described as…
Stuart Frith  photo Stuart Frith Stuart is an insolvency and restructuring specialist who has been operating in…
Marta Garcia  photo Marta Garcia An EU and UK competition law expert, Marta is well-known for advising…
Richard Garcia  photo Richard Garcia Richard is an experienced commercial litigator who has worked on some of…
Rebecca Garner  photo Rebecca Garner Rebecca is an asset and structured finance specialist with extensive experience acting…
Sean Gibbons  photo Sean Gibbons Sean specialises in shipping, shipbuilding and offshore disputes and also advises shipyards…
Tal Goldsmith  photo Tal Goldsmith Tal is an insolvency and asset recovery lawyer. She specialises in all…
Philip Goodchild  photo Philip Goodchild A pension law expert, Philip is well known for his work in…
Sam Gray  photo Sam Gray Sam is head of corporate finance in London. He specialises in M&A…
Priya Grigoriadis  photo Priya Grigoriadis Senior associate
Richard Gwynne  photo Richard Gwynne Richard has long experience in resolving a very wide range of complex…
Carolyn Hall photo Carolyn HallCarolyn is a corporate partner specialising in investment funds. She also has…
Guy Harper  photo Guy Harper Guy is a litigator specialising in corporate and finance disputes. He is…
Alex Haynes  photo Alex Haynes As a partner within the firm’s highly regarded investment funds team, Alex…
Paul Hayward-Surry  photo Paul Hayward-Surry Paul is a real estate partner specialising in real estate finance, acquisitions,…
Katie Hewson photo Katie HewsonKatie is a commercial, outsourcing and technology specialist with particular expertise in…
Charlotte Heywood  photo Charlotte Heywood Charlotte is a partner within the commercial litigation team specialising in construction,…
Dan Holland  photo Dan Holland A commercial lawyer with a focus on outsourcing, manufacturing and supply chain…
Richard Hugg photo Richard HuggRichard is a marine insurance specialist, regularly acting for London market insurance…
Rob Jacob  photo Rob Jacob   Rob is a partner specialising in both contentious and non-contentious IP…
Sean Jeffrey  photo Sean Jeffrey Sean heads the firm’s regulatory litigation practice. Sean is a commercial litigation…
Ingolf Kaiser  photo Ingolf Kaiser Ingolf has been a partner since 2000 and specialises in shipping, commodities…
Menelaus Kouzoupis  photo Menelaus Kouzoupis Menelaus’ practice covers a wide range of international commercial law, with a…
Stephen Laud  photo Stephen Laud Stephen specialises in commercial real estate, principally advising on investment acquisitions and…
Naomi Leach  photo Naomi Leach Naomi has a strong commercial practice, with particular expertise in relation to…
Max Lemanski  photo Max Lemanski Max is a well-known energy and shipping litigator, with clients based in…
James Linforth  photo James Linforth James heads up the firm’s banking team. His expertise lies in debt…
Kate Longman  photo Kate Longman Senior associate
Malcolm MacDougall  photo Malcolm MacDougall Malcolm is a corporate lawyer specialising in private equity transactions ranging from…
Kirsty MacHardy  photo Kirsty MacHardy Kirsty is an experienced litigator specialising in a wide range of shipping…
Ian Mace  photo Ian Mace Ian is a partner and head of our ship finance group. He…
Dora Mace-Kokota  photo Dora Mace-Kokota Dora is a finance partner specialising in advising major international financial institutions,…
Daniel Margolis  photo Daniel Margolis Daniel is a partner in the banking team, based in the firm’s…
Lisa Marks  photo Lisa Marks Lisa specialises in asset finance with a particular focus on general leasing…
Justin McClelland  photo Justin McClelland Leading legal directories recommend the “engaging and incisive” Justin McClelland in the…
Jenny McKeown  photo Jenny McKeown Head of the employment, pensions and private wealth practice group, Jenny is…
John Meehan  photo John Meehan John advises on a broad range of UK tax matters, including corporate…
Ben Mercer  photo Ben Mercer Ben is a corporate partner focusing on public and private M&A, joint…
Sue Millar  photo Sue Millar Sue is an experienced and well-respected litigator whose expertise in commercial and…
Simon Moore  photo Simon Moore Simon is a partner in the marine and international trade department in…
Eifion Morris  photo Eifion Morris Eifion is the chief executive of Stephenson Harwood LLP. He is responsible…
Andrew Myers  photo Andrew Myers Andrew is well known as a tenacious litigator who gets results. His…
Donna Newman  photo Donna Newman Donna advises on a broad spectrum of commercial and financial disputes. She…
Tom Nicholls  photo Tom Nicholls Tom is head of the firm’s corporate department. With a particular expertise…
Ron Nobbs  photo Ron Nobbs A construction and engineering law expert, Ron is highly rated by his clients…
Neil Noble  photo Neil Noble An asset finance and commercial specialist with a focus on the marine…
Naeem Noor  photo Naeem Noor Senior associate
Joe O'Keefe photo Joe O'KeefeJoe is a recognised leading lawyer operating at the legal interface between…
Emily Osborne  photo Emily Osborne An experienced private wealth advisor, Emily provides international tax and private wealth…
Tom Page  photo Tom Page Tom has extensive experience advising on all aspects of corporate finance including…
Richard Parsons  photo Richard Parsons Richard is an aviation finance and leasing expert and particularly well known…
Jayesh Patel  photo Jayesh Patel An experienced banking and restructuring lawyer specialising in real estate finance, corporate…
Paul Phillips  photo Paul Phillips Paul is a very experienced commercial litigation partner, who has represented clients…
Jonathan Pittal  photo Jonathan Pittal Jonathan is a corporate partner specialising in private equity. He advises private…
Ros Prince  photo Ros Prince Ros specialises in high value fraud and asset recovery litigation, and is…
Anne Pritam  photo Anne Pritam Anne helps clients with the practical implications of employment, immigration and partnership…
Jonathan Proctor  photo Jonathan Proctor Jonathan is a partner in the firm’s finance team. He has a…
Alexandra Pygall  photo Alexandra Pygall Alexandra is head of Stephenson Harwood’s intellectual property practice. She is an…
James Quarmby  photo James Quarmby James is the head of our private wealth team and is widely…
Genevieve Quierin photo Genevieve QuierinGenevieve acts for corporate and individual clients in a broad range of…
Paul Reeves  photo Paul Reeves Paul’s experience in our employment team is pivotal in its recognitional as…
Stephen Richards  photo Stephen Richards A big scheme specialist, Stephen advises employers, trustees, and master trusts on…
William Robertson photo William RobertsonWilliam specialises in UK and European financial services regulation, supporting financial institutions…
Julie Romer photo Julie RomerJulie is a partner in the banking team. Julie advises lenders, private…
Michael Rutili  photo Michael Rutili Michael is a trusted adviser to numerous, mostly European, private clients, their…
Tammy Samuel  photo Tammy Samuel Head of the finance practice and a leading commercial and regulatory rail…
William Saunders  photo William Saunders William is a partner and head of the funds and financial services…
Sophie Schultz  photo Sophie Schultz A specialist property litigator with over 15 years’ experience, Sophie helps clients…
Kamal Shah  photo Kamal Shah Kamal is the head of Stephenson Harwood’s Africa and India groups. He…
Maryanna Sharrock  photo Maryanna Sharrock Maryanna is a tax partner advising on corporation tax, international tax, VAT,…
Ben Sigler  photo Ben Sigler Ben is a partner in our commercial litigation team and heads the…
Emma Skakle  photo Emma Skakle Emma is an experienced litigator and specialises in resolving complex disputes for…
Jonathan Spearing  photo Jonathan Spearing Jonathan is an energy and natural resources lawyer, specialising in all aspects…
Duncan Stiles  photo Duncan Stiles Duncan is a corporate partner and advises a sophisticated, internationally diverse client…
Suzanne Tarplee  photo Suzanne Tarplee Suzanne is a commercial and regulatory rail expert and advises on all…
Paul Thwaite  photo Paul Thwaite Paul is a specialist in construction and engineering disputes and procurement claims.…
James Trundle  photo James Trundle A real estate lawyer with a particular focus on investment, disposal, development…
George Vaughton  photo George Vaughton George has a wealth of experience advising lenders and borrowers across a…
Shai Wade  photo Shai Wade Shai specialises in international arbitration, serving both as counsel and arbitrator in…
Jonathan Ward  photo Jonathan Ward Jonathan is a ship finance expert with a focus on complex, cross-border…
Rubin Weston  photo Rubin Weston Finance
Alexa Whitehead  photo Alexa Whitehead Associate
Jonathon Wilkes  photo Jonathon Wilkes Jonathon is a real estate partner and head of our real estate…
Tony Woodcock  photo Tony Woodcock Tony is acknowledged as a leading individual in regulatory litigation, specialising in…
Kate Worthington  photo Kate Worthington A senior associate in the firm’s tax group who advises on a…
Graham Wrightson  photo Graham Wrightson A pensions expert advising trustees and employers on all aspects of pension…
Haris Zografakis  photo Haris Zografakis Haris heads the firm’s commodities practice and for over 25 years has…
Sarah de Ste Croix  photo Sarah de Ste Croix Sarah is a partner in the private equity team specialising in the…
Number of UK partners : 170
Number of other UK fee-earners : 675

Our vision is to be known as an inclusive and diverse firm, where all our people feel they can be themselves and thrive at work. Our people are our biggest asset. We want Stephenson Harwood to be a place where colleagues can do their best work in a team that values the unique contributions that they bring.

Our Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity strategy focuses on culture, leadership, talent management and recruitment. We partner with a range of organisations to help us to create the diverse and inclusive workplace that we strive to be. Partners include Stonewall, The Business Disability Forum, The Valuable 500, Aspiring Solicitors and Rare Recruitment.

Access to the profession

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion starts with young people, often long before they would come to work for us.

We have a longstanding partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to provide access to opportunity for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. We are founding members of Aspiring Solicitors Foundation, an organisation focused on removing financial hardship for students to support them in pursuing a career in law.

Our new scholarship programme, open to disadvantaged students, offers £15,000 to cover the costs of university fees and contribute to living expenses. Recipients will receive a range of support, including a mentor from the firm, invitations to insight days and work experience, and they’ll be guaranteed a place at an assessment centre for a training contract.

We work hard to reach diverse candidates, providing the support they need to apply for roles at the firm. We partner with a number of organisations to attract diverse candidates. We use the Rare contextual recruitment system as part of our graduate selection process. The tool contextualises the academic performance of applicants, helping us to identify ‘stand-out’ candidates, regardless of background.

Fostering inclusion

We know we need to foster an inclusive culture, where all our people can be themselves and thrive at work. It’s about equality and opportunity, making sure that talented people can thrive and progress at Stephenson Harwood. All of our associates have a dedicated development partner, who has responsibility for supporting their development and career progression. We are focused on fair work allocation for all – we currently have structured work allocation pilots in two practice groups, with a view to extending this programme across our business.

Our six D&I networks create a sense of belonging by celebrating diversity and connecting people across the business and working with the wider community.

Our Female Career Progression Programme (FCPP) supports associates to navigate their career and strengthen their networks in the firm and with our clients. We already know that our women are talented; the FCPP focuses on giving them the tools, resources and networks to progress their career.

We know that developing inclusive leaders, who build meaningful relationships with their teams, brings a real competitive advantage. We have run inclusive leadership training for our partners globally. The value that we place on inclusion extends to how we reward our partners, as we now include accountability for living our values in partner performance reviews.

The Lex 100 Verdict

‘Small trainee intake’, ‘international secondment opportunities’, ‘high pay’, ‘big litigation practice’, ‘interesting and varied practice areas’, and ‘high levels of responsibility’ were among the attractions at Stephenson Harwood mentioned by current trainees. A Lex 100 Winner for international secondments, Stephenson Harwood’s global access is impressive; from the opportunity to spend time in Dubai, to international secondments in Seoul, there is a lot on offer. One trainee describes their secondment as ‘an eye-opening experience; an opportunity not only to see how the other offices operate but to also broaden my international legal understanding’. Stephenson Harwood has a broad base of blue-chip clients globally, providing ‘great training opportunities, plus lots of responsibility given to trainees, and plenty of choice of seats'. Known for its friendliness and supportive training, trainees comment that the firm is on a ‘smaller scale compared to Magic Circle firms. It feels very much like a tight-knit team and this makes it easier to approach associates and partners with endless questions’. Another sums up: ‘the firm really does provide a friendly and supportive environment, and it has been a lovely place to work so far’ - Stephenson Harwood’s training reputation seems to be well justified.