Watson Farley & Williams LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Watson Farley & Williams LLP
15 APPOLD STREET
LONDON
EC2A 2HB
England

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 1

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has a strong pedigree in high-profile and precedent-setting court litigation. It excels in large-scale commercial and corporate disputes that are related to the transport, energy and real estate sectors. In addition, the firm also has an enviable track record in construction and engineering disputes, as well as commodities litigation. In addition to being a major player in the domestic arena, the practice houses specialists who are prominent in cross-border disputes. One of the names to note at the firm is Andrew Ward, who has particular expertise in the maritime, trade, aviation and energy sectors. He co-heads the practice with Rebecca Williams, who 'works tirelessly to get the best result possible'. Also integral to the practice are commercial, banking and maritime litigation specialist Charles Buss and Andrew Hutcheon. The senior associate pool includes Mark McAllister-Jones, who focuses on construction, energy, oil and gas, and corporate/joint venture disputes. Jemma Dhillon is another key individual. Thomas Ross left for Harcus Parker Limited in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ward; Rebecca Williams

Testimonials

The team combines experience gained in various sectors, which gives the team more perspectives than might otherwise be the case.

Brings a strong commercial focus to disputes.

Andrew Ward is tactically astute and sensible.

Rebecca Williams has excellent judgement, and she gives her clients full and frank advice about the merits and what they need to do to achieve the best outcome. She understands how various processes work, and she works tirelessly to get the best result possible.

Charles Buss is creative and determined.

Andrew Hutcheon is thoughtful and an excellent lawyer.

Key clients

Bester Generacion UK

PTT Public Company

Kyla Shipping Co

YieldStreet Management

Nirvana Maintenance

Deutsche Bank Trust Company of New York

Work highlights

  • Represented PTT Public Company in a Supreme Court hearing, which related to a large-value dispute with Triple Point Technology.
  • Successfully representing YieldStreet Management in a case before the UK Commercial Court, which provided helpful clarification on a number of aspects of the law of undue influence.
  • Successfully representing Bester Generacion in the groundbreaking Technology & Construction Court (TCC) decision in PBS Energo AS v Bester Generacion UK Ltd.

Finance > Transport finance and leasing Tier 1

Benefitting from strength-in-depth out of London and also able to draw upon resources in key global transport hubs throughout Europe and Asia, Watson Farley & Williams LLP is able to provide ‘highly commercial advice‘ to clients across the spectrum of financing and leasing transactions, from a purely domestic as well as cross-border context. Maritime-related work continues to inform much of the deal flow and the firm’s balanced offering for both owners and banks affords it a ‘unique understanding of all matters relevant to the transaction and the needs of the relevant parties‘. The ‘exceptionalLindsey Keeble exemplifies the firm’s comprehensive coverage in the sector and is praised for her ability to provide ‘clear, innovative and solutions-oriented advice‘ to banks and owners on ECA-backed financings and loan refinancings, particularly in the cruise and LNG space. Under the guidance of the ‘creative, innovative and commercialJim Bell, the firm’s presence in the aviation finance market also continues to grow. Praised for his ability to ‘combine deep legal knowledge with a complete understanding of transaction economics‘, Bell has developed particularly strong ties with lenders and lessors, which are appreciative of his ‘depth of market knowledge, including on slightly off-the-wall stuff.’  In addition to her work on the aviation front, Louise Mor is the principal contact at the firm for rail finance.

Practice head(s):

Lindsey Keeble

Other key lawyers:

Jim Bell; Louise Mor; Oliver Tebbit; Patrick Kirkby; Richard Dibble; Dominic Pearson; Patrick Moore; Pete O’Hare; Gary Walsh; Kavita Shah; Chris Mitchell

Testimonials

The firm has a very strong ship financing team that on a frequent basis assists both ship owners and banks. The fact that they assist both groups gives them a unique understanding of all matters relevant to the transaction and the needs of the relevant parties.’

It is an experienced firm with a huge depth of expertise in aviation financing and aircraft leasing. What sets them apart is that they work with me as if they were part of my own in-house deal team.’

Building on the firm’s well-known strength in shipping, Watson Farley & Williams has become thought leaders in aviation. The quality of content produced is indicative of the strength of the team.’

‘Working with the team is a pleasure, as they are highly commercial, and immediately understand the realities that underpin a transaction, focusing on what is important, without undue wasted effort on what is not.’

Lindsey Keeble’s knowledge, capabilities and negotiation skills are perfectly recognised in the market. We always follow her advice when we need guidance on complex deal structuring and she has been of wonderful help over the last decade for our group.’

Lindsey Keeble is an exceptional lawyer, extremely capable and knowledgeable, and commercial and pragmatic in her approach. She gives clear advice, is innovative and solution oriented. She is well respected at both sides of the table and simply stands out on the legal scene within financing in the maritime sector.’

Jim Bell is, in my opinion, the number one lawyer in aircraft finance. There are a handful of excellent lawyers in the space that have deep legal knowledge; there is only one that combines this knowledge with a complete understanding of transaction economics.’

Jim Bell is an exceptional lawyer who is able to find creative, innovative and commercial solutions to complex problems. Jim is extremely intelligent, skilled and an excellent negotiator, but also friendly and commercially pragmatic. Jim has also built an ambitious and extremely talented aviation finance team around him.’

Key clients

Aviation Working Group

Avolon

Castlelake

Citibank Europe Plc

Investec Bank

KfW IPEX-Bank

Macquarie Bank

MUFG Bank

Nordea Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Teekay Tankers

Wilmington Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised, among other creditor groups, the bondholders in relation to Virgin Atlantic Airways’ landmark £1.2bn restructuring and recapitalisation plan which completed in early September 2020.
  • Advised Macquarie Bank in relation to the securitisation of certain underlying loans for Fleetscape Capital Limited in respect of the financing of ships on lease to various lessees.
  • Advised Nordea Bank on a $713m sustainability-linked loan facility for Euronav NV.

Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 2

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has 'longstanding and deep understanding of all aspects of commodities disputes, based on long practice in shipping, energy and resources disputes'. The firm has a strong disputes practice, which is jointly led by Andrew Ward and Rebecca WilliamsAndrew Hutcheon has a strong focus on the commodities, mining, oil & gas, shipping and aviation sectors. Robert Fidoe recently acted for oil & gas company PTT in a dispute with Triple Point Technology concerning PTT’s global commodities trading and risk management systems.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ward; Rebecca Williams

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

WFW’s London office has a strong and knowledgeable energy and resources department. Its non-contentious department is very closely linked to its disputes team who have longstanding and deep understanding of all aspects of resulting commodities disputes, based on long practice in shipping disputes and in energy and resources disputes.’

‘Good market understanding and a sensible approach to managing disputes. Able to bring in significant resources when required, but most commodities disputes are run by an associate overseen by an experienced partner.’

‘A strong commodities practice with wide expertise in upstream disputes and giving good sense of perspective for downstream disputes.’

‘Robert is an outstanding lawyer, adept at managing complex technical disputes and with a good eye for the issues that are important in a dispute. Robert’s easy going manner is very popular with clients and other team members who find him very easy to work.’

‘Andrew Hutcheon is an exceptional lawyer, able to analyse the most difficult problems.’

‘Rob Fidoe is calm, sensible, tactically astute.’

Key clients

PTT Public Company Limited

JE Energy Limited

FBN Bank (UK) limited

Union Bank UK plc

OMV Gas Trading GmbH

Anglo American plc

Louis Dreyfus

Work highlights

  • Representing PTT Public Company Limited in a Supreme Court hearing relating to a longrunning multimillion-dollar dispute between it and Triple Point Technology concerning claims and counterclaims arising in relation to PTT’s global commodities trading risk management systems.
  • Advising an independent trading consultancy in respect of two separate disputes (one international arbitration against its Singaporean offtaker- successfully settled; and one High Court case against its supplier, one of the world’s largest independent commodities trading houses) arising out of contracts for the sale and purchase of fuel oil FOB Tema, Ghana.
  • Representing a state-owned O&G company in South Asia in respect of multimillion-dollar arbitral disputes against various suppliers under long-term agreements for the import of LNG.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 2

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s multidisciplinary practice is led by global head of oil and gas Chris Kilburn in London and has a proven track record acting in large corporate transactions and cross-border projects across emerging economies. The team comprises head of the upstream finance group Joe Levin , who handles high-value financing mandates, and standout practitioner Heike Trischmann , who is noted for LNG sector work and international petroleum negotiations. Jan Mellmann (who heads the firms global mining and commodities practice) is recommended for his corporate finance expertise. The team was also recently boosted by the addition of highly experienced transactional specialist Julian Nichol from Akin Gump LLP. On the commercial litigation side; Rob Fidoe and Andrew Hutcheon advise corporates and state-owned entities on energy, infrastructure, and international trade disputes. The team can leverage its international offering across Paris and Singapore on multi-jurisdictional deals.

Practice head(s):

Chris Kilburn

Testimonials

‘Team is very capable and also keeps in mind the context and bigger picture and knows when to be pragmatic, when to solve/de-escalate an issue between legal counsels, and when this is a commercial point to be dealt with between clients. ‘

‘They are good technically but what really differentiates them is that they are really good project managers, good at liaising between different parties’

‘Joe Levin is really available, and has a very positive and cheerful attitude which is very pleasant and motivating. He has a real sense of the commercial relationships at stake, and is really focused on making sure we get to the finish line.’

‘Deep understanding of the Oil and gas sector especially with respect to financing. Work very closely with their clients and feel part of the team.’

‘Heike Trischmann is readily accessible, very polite, and affable. She really thinks things through. Her experience in multiple jurisdictions makes her a shrewd lawyer and allows her to identify multiple risks that parties may not be considering.’

‘There are few legal practices that can claim to have a similar level of experience and expertise in oil and gas’

Key clients

DNB Bank, Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas and ING Bank

IPR Energy Group

CalEnergy Resources

Coro Energy plc

Advance Energy plc

United Oil & Gas plc

PTT Public Company Limited

Circle Gas

Tower Resources plc

Blue Grid Gas & Power and Mytilineos S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising DNB Bank, Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas and ING Bank as arrangers and a syndicate of 20+ lenders on increasing Chrysaor’s debt facility
  • Advising IPR on its financing and acquisition of certain onshore Egyptian producing upstream assets from Dana Gas Egypt (“DGE”)
  • Representing PTT Public Company Limited, the Thai state-owned SET-listed oil and gas company, in a Supreme Court hearing in November 2020

Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 2

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s power practice group is led by global co-head of energy and infrastructure Henry Stewart, and has strength in the renewable energy and offshore wind space. The team advises a range of clients on high-value financing deals and cross-border transactions in the Middle East and Asian markets. The group was recently bolstered by the arrival of experienced transactional specialist Julian Nichol from US firm Akin Gump LLP. Emmanuel Ninos and Martin Lucas are other key contacts and have recently been engaged in the largest offshore wind construction project in the North Sea. Rebecca Williams co-heads the dispute resolution group and is recommended for biomass and offshore wind litigation matters. Elsewhere, Titus Edjua is a key contact for Africa-project mandates; project finance partner Daisy East is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Henry Stewart

Testimonials

‘Very approachable and flexible in working with. Excellent communication skills and hard-working to deliver value for the client.’

‘They have the drive to achieve a good and fair contract – they have an understanding of both sides’ positions to suggest ways forward and potential solutions.’

‘Emmanuel Ninos has been central to the success of major contracts and we look forward to continuing to work with him.’

‘Rebecca Williams is a brilliant leader, first-class lawyer, and great tactician. Rebecca puts everything into her cases, and fights hard for her clients in all the big cases. A real winner.’

‘Martin Lucas is a calming influence when I have a tight deadline and both Martin and his team always produce work to the highest standard and on time and within fee estimate. I trust his work 100% and never feel I need to go back to him to clarify his work.’

‘Martin Lucas has an excellent understanding of what we as a client truly need and what we are after with regard to granularity in advice. Truly excellent lawyer.’

‘WFW have the best contentious energy/power team in London, in my view.  They have a commanding practice and are involved in some of the biggest and most complex disputes.’

‘The renewable project team have an unrivalled depth of knowledge of the offshore windfarm industry. They totally understand the requirements of the client and I consider them an extension to our in-house department.’

Key clients

Equinor

Lightsource BP

National Westminster Bank

The Renewables Infrastructure Group / Infrared Capital Partners

Vattenfall

Stadtwerke Munchen

Investec

Ørsted

Bio Capital Limited

Coro Energy plc

Work highlights

  • Advised NatWest on its first SONIA project financing as part of the ongoing LIBOR transition through its £30m financing of a portfolio of UK rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV projects, owned by Innova Energy, with a total installed capacity of 57 MW.
  • Advised InfraRed, as fund manager to TRIG, in relation to TRIG’s acquisition of a 17.5% equity interest in the Beatrice offshore wind farm from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
  • Advising the SPVs set-up by SSE plc and Equinor that are developing the three offshore windfarms known as Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C in the North Sea on all the construction elements for the development of those wind farms, which combined will combined generate 3.6 GW of energy and able to power up to 4.5 million homes.

Corporate and commercial > M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 3

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's cross-sector expertise in energy, transport, natural resources and real estate ensures that the firm is routinely sought out by domestic and international entities on all manner of corporate transactions. Practice head Chris Kilburn also serves as the firm's global oil & gas sector head, but is increasingly active in the renewables sphere - leading on multi-jurisdictional deals in emerging markets. Jan Mellmann and Daniel Saunders specialise in natural resources transactions, while Christina Howard leads on a range of cross-border mandates in technology, financial services, and the transport sector, most notably in the maritime arena.

Practice head(s):

Chris Kilburn

Other key lawyers:

Jan Mellmann; Daniel Saunders; Christina Howard; Andy Savage; Mark Tooke

Testimonials

‘Law is all about the people and the quality at WFW is outstanding.’

‘Andy Savage is outstanding.  He is accessible and highly responsive on core legal matters. He stands out as having particular acumen in transaction tactics, guiding clients through multi-stage competitive processes.’

‘Very approachable and flexible in working with. Excellent communication skills and hard-working to deliver value for the client.’

‘Mark Tooke is very responsive, and together with his team has provided us with great transaction support. He is a smart and practical lawyer, and we value his solid guidance.’

‘Chris Kilburn knows the oil and gas market in Europe and Asia and has an easy, patient nature which has been invaluable.’

‘Jan Mellmann is technically excellent, commercial, proactive and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The Watson Farley team delivers comprehensive advice in a fast and seamless manner. The M&A practitioners are particularly strong at pulling in SMEs when required, using their time judiciously.’

‘A strong team with good, practical and cost-effective advice and guidance. They are our first call and are always available to provide one-off or detailed advice, depending on the context.’

Key clients

IPR Energy Group

Ørsted

Lightsource BP

Stadtwerke München GmbH

Teekay Tankers Limited

Rheinmetall AG

Coro Energy

Star Bulk Carriers Corp

Frasers Property

Bondcare

CNG Fuels

Work highlights

  • Advised IPR Energy Group on its financing and acquisition of certain onshore Egyptian producing oil and gas assets from Dana Gas Egypt.
  • Advised United Overseas Group Ltd. on the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited.
  • Advising InfraRed Capital Partners, as fund manager to The Renewables Infrastructure Group in relation to its acquisition of a 17.5% equity interest in the Beatrice offshore wind farm.

Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 3

Energy, healthcare, and real estate are sector specialisms for the private equity team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP. The practice is active advising on investments, acquisitions and disposals in these areas, working alongside the firm's tax, projects and regulatory practices to service clients. Practice head Chris Kilburn focuses on the energy sector, including renewable energy. Andy Savage handles both UK and cross-border transactions, particularly in Africa; elsewhere, Tom Jarvis is noted for his work on the tax structuring of transactions.

Practice head(s):

Chris Kilburn

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Strong process management, commercial understanding and ease of working.’

‘Very approachable and flexible. Excellent communication skills and hard-working to deliver value for the client.’

Key clients

InfraRed Capital Partners

LeapFrog Investments

DIF

Helios Energy Investment

Bio Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised leading alternative asset manager HRL Morrison & Co. on structuring and implementing an investment platform for pan-European developments.
  • Advising InfraRed Capital Partners, as fund manager to The Renewables Infrastructure Group (“TRIG”), in relation to TRIG’s acquisition of a 17.5% equity interest in the Beatrice offshore wind farm.
  • Advising Bio Capital 2 Ltd on its acquisition of Redstow Renewables Ltd, an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, from Downing LLP.

Finance > Trade finance Tier 3

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has in-depth expertise in niche areas of the commodities finance market, particularly reserve-based lending and other financing transactions for energy companies. Joe Levin leads the firm's upstream finance practice from London and he has a strong track record in energy and natural resources financings across the UK, Africa and the Middle East. His group recently assisted arranging banks including DNB Bank in increasing Chrysaor’s debt facility from $3bn to a $4.5bn RBL facility. He is supported by partners in the global oil and gas group, among them Chris Kilburn.

Practice head(s):

Joe Levin

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

DNB Bank, Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas and ING Bank

IPR Energy Group

CalEnergy Resources

Coro Energy plc

Advance Energy plc

Chesterfield Resources plc

FBN Bank (UK) Ltd

United Oil & Gas plc

PTT Public Company Limited

Circle Gas

Work highlights

  • Advising DNB Bank, Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas and ING Bank as arrangers and a syndicate of 20+ lenders on increasing Chrysaor’s debt facility from $3bn to a $4.5bn reserve-based lending facility (RBL). Chrysaor will use in excess of $1.6bn of drawings from the RBL to fund its merger with Premier Oil, a key deal of 2020 in the UK North Sea (and globally) in the upstream sector.
  • Advising IPR on its financing and acquisition of certain onshore Egyptian producing upstream assets from Dana Gas Egypt (DGE) for a consideration of up to $236m. DGE’s parent company, Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas, is the Middle East’s first and largest regional private sector natural gas company. IPR is a leading private E&P operator in Egypt with nine concessions and a strong track record of enhancing the recovery of mature producing oil and gas fields.
  • Representing PTT Public Company Limited, the Thai state-owned SET-listed oil and gas company, in a Supreme Court hearing in November 2020 in front of Lord Hodge, Lady Arden, Lord Sales, Lord Leggatt and Lord Burrows.

Industry focus > Hospitality and leisure Tier 3

Felicity Jones heads both the real estate and hotel and hospitality groups at Watson Farley & Williams LLP. The practice combines cross-practice experience in planning, real estate, construction and finance with sector-focused knowledge to advise a broad range of clients, including investors, developers, brands and franchisees. The team is notable for the geographical reach of its work across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Hotel financing-focused Richard Hughes joined from Pinsent Masons LLP and has experience in UK and European portfolios and loan portfolios secured on hotels.

Practice head(s):

Felicity Jones

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They are client friendly, always reachable and provide good advice.’

‘We have switched from an ‘in-house’ counsellor to WFW a few years ago. WFW is attentive, thorough and utterly professional in their conduct.’

‘Deep knowledge of the hotel business and contracts.’

Key clients

Norlake Hospitality Limited (Hoxton)

BP Pension Fund

Frasers Property

Chandris Hotels Group

Grivalia Hospitality

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

Khanna Enterprises Limited t/a KE Hotels

Xenia Leisure Group Limited

Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Limited

Zaha Hadid Architects (“ZHA”)

Grupo Inversor Hesperia SA (Hesperia Hotels & Resorts)

Aprirose

Work highlights

  • Advised Le Palace Genève SA (the owners of the iconic Grand Hotel Geneva) on its negotiations with Accor and its subsequent rebranding to the Fairmont brand.

Transport > Shipping Tier 3

Watson Farley & Williams LLP continues to expand its shipping practice, recruiting Marcus Dodds in August 2020 and Mike Phillips in January 2021. Both Dodds (who joined from Reed Smith LLP) and Phillips (formerly of Stephenson Harwood) have broad practices covering both contentious and non-contentious work across wet and dry shipping. The practice is increasingly active in contentious shipping matters, adding to its longstanding expertise in advisory work. Charles Buss is noted for his work on ship financing transactions, while Daniel Saunders  handles commercial shipping work. Lindsey Keeble and George Paleokrasses co-head the team, which includes Robert Platt.

Practice head(s):

Lindsey Keeble; George Paleokrasses

Other key lawyers:

Charles Buss; Daniel Saunders; Marcus Dodds; Mike Phillips; Robert Platt; Andrew Ward; Andrew Hutcheon; Toby Royal

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled skills and experience and shipping and port finance across several jurisdictions.’

‘Mike Philips inspires confidence and I feel most comfortable working with him, because he is not only excellent in maritime law (highly experienced in shipping and trade disputes), he is also impressively commercial. Therefore his advice is always clear, sensible and strategic. He is also very quick and cost effective.’

‘Great multidisciplinary team, with a depth of understanding of the legal (and often the technical) issues which is largely unrivalled in my experience (particularly given the recent arrivals of certain new partners).’

‘Specialists in ship finance and shipping litigation, the team has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. They seem to have secured some big industry clients to compliment their strong offering to the banking sector.’

‘They are very knowledgeable, friendly, reasonably priced and proactive to say the least.’

‘The top choice to get advice on any kind of dry or wet shipping.’

‘I am consistently impressed by the work done by Marcus Dodds. Marcus is a true all rounder, with deep experience both on the contentious and non-contentious fronts.’

‘Charles Buss is one of the best shipping and shipbuilding lawyers around. He has so much energy and will not let go of a problem until he has found a way to get his client what they want.’

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 4

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's capital markets practice is aligned with the firm's strengths in the transport, energy and natural resources sectors. Led by Chris Kilburn, the team handles the full spread of work for corporate issuers, investment banks, NOMADs and brokers. A recent highlight involved Jan Mellmann advising Coro Energy Plc on its acquisition of Global Energy Partnership Limited, as well as a £4.5m placing. Kilburn is experienced in advising overseas-listed companies on accessing the UK markets, including many ASX-listed companies.

Practice head(s):

Chris Kilburn

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Watson Farley & Williams has a good all-round set of capabilities and a collaborative approach.’

Jan Mellmann is friendly, pragmatic, and understands the practical realities of smaller companies.’

Key clients

88 Energy

Tower Resources plc

Coro Energy Plc

Advance Energy Plc

Aminex plc

United Oil & Gas plc

Chesterfield Resources plc

TORM plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Coro Energy Plc on its investment in a 20.3% stake in ion Ventures Holdings Ltd, a South East Asian and UK-focused developer of clean energy projects.
  • Advised Advance Energy plc on the acquisition (via its subsidiary Advance Energy TL Limited) of a 50% interest in Carnarvon Petroleum Timor, Unipessoal Lda for a consideration of $20m and on raising $30m from the AIM market to fund the acquisition.
  • Advised TORM plc on its agreement to purchase eight 2007-2012 MR product tankers with chemical trading capabilities from TEAM Tankers Deep Sea Ltd., for a total cash consideration of $82.5m and the issuance of 5.97m TORM shares.

Employment > Immigration Tier 4

Watson Farley & Williams LLP‘s immigration practice works with both companies and individuals; standing out for its advice to fast-growth companies, particularly those in the digital and technological industries – its work in this space includes managing Tier 2 skilled worker visa applications and innovator visas. It also has a niche specialism in the maritime industry. For individuals, the firm handles family issues, naturalisation applications and personal investments. Beyond providing strategic advice to clients, crisis situations (such as those involving expired visas) are another area of strength. Anna Robinson and Devan Khagram co-head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Anna Robinson; Devan Khagram

Other key lawyers:

Elliott Marsh

Testimonials

A personalised service, incredibly knowledgeable team and very responsive.’

The knowledge that the team at WFW have with regards to immigration is far above others that I have worked with. They are very understanding of questions and make the process very easy and scaleable.’

The team at WFW have always responded in a timely manner. They go above and beyond when it comes to their customer service and strive for complete resolution in any questions we have approached them with. We have always been throughly happy with the level of service the whole team at WFW have provided over the years.

The attention to detail and the level of care are a strong combination for WFW. They are not prone to panic, and they are therefore reassuring to work with. The care for the employee/prospective employee and the patience in each situation have been most appreciated.’

We have a continually growing level of immigration cases we support, what with the Brexit impact and our own headcount trajectory, and yet there are no issues that we cannot solve together and no sign of struggling with the caseload. They are also happy to adapt to any process changes we implement, to ensure that our working relationship continues to grow from strength to strength.’

I really value the availability of the individuals we work with at Watson Farley & Williams. They have strong knowledge of the visa spectrum that gives us the reassurance we need to keep our licence in good standing. They are also incredibly personable, having a friendly and engaging approach to this work, and making the information as easily digestible as possible.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading Scandinavian bank on the post-Brexit immigration ramifications, more specifically on the EU Settlement Scheme route and the implications for existing bank employees.
  • Advised a high profile cruise company on the repatriation of crew from one of its vessels during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm reviewed the immigration position of non-EEA and EEA crew members disembarking the vessel and advised on the various requirements of UK immigration legislation.
  • Advised a leading defence and security technology company on complex employment, immigration, tax and practical issues associated with secondments between the UK and Germany post-Brexit.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Mining and minerals Tier 4

Watson Farley & Williams LLP handles an array of corporate mining and minerals-related work for major companies including Chesterfield Resources plc. Jan Mellmann, the global head of the firm’s mining and commodities group, oversees the team and advises on financing work and capital markets transactions. Daisy East advises sponsors and lenders on financing transactions. The team handles cross-border work across Africa and Australia.

Practice head(s):

Jan Mellmann

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Chesterfield Resources plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Chesterfield Resources, a standard list copper and gold exploration company, on the acquisition by Polymetal International Plc, a FTSE 100 precious metals mining group, of a 22.5% stake in the company.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 4

The 'competent, engaging, hardworking' team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP acts for a number of blue-chip clients, with a particular emphasis on the energy and leisure sectors. The well-regarded Rebecca Williams leads the team, acting for engineering, energy and petrochemical clients in the full range of disputes. Ryland Ash, who joined the firm from his position as managing partner of Silver Shemmings Ash LLP in November 2020, and senior associate Alexander Creswick are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Williams

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team benefits from the blend of experience that its members have gained from having worked in other locations with WFW and in other firms. This allows for the sharing of ideas and approaches.’

‘Rebecca Williams stands out for her work in energy and construction disputes. Her tenacity, emotional intelligence and attention to detail are second to none. Alex Creswick is an exceptional lawyer with judgement well beyond his years in practice.’

‘Rebecca and her team are very responsive and capable.’

‘From my experience of the construction team, it is led by the dynamic Rebecca Williams, who gives both responsibility and opportunity to young, keen lawyers. Gender diversity is not a campaign, but a culture. The team is pragmatic and results orientated.’

‘Alex Creswick is great with detail and has a wide range of experience.’

‘Rebecca Williams is very focused on results and proportionality. She is creative and intelligent, with a great sense of purpose and objectivity, and is unafraid to give unpopular advice and dish out tough love. She is driven by a desire to grow the team by attracting quality professionals who wish to be part of a success story built on positive results and successful outcomes for its clients.’

‘The team at Watson Farley & Williams comprises a highly professional set of competent, engaging, hardworking and personable lawyers.’

‘Ryland Ash is a personable and skilled litigator, with a strong commitment to serving his clients’ interests. He is approachable and engaging, a true collaborator, and a real pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Bester Generacion UK Ltd

Ladbrokes Coral

Millennium Hotels & Resorts

Ørsted

PTT Public Company Limited

Zaha Hadid Architects

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Bester Generacion in the  Technology & Construction Court (TCC) case of PBS Energo AS v Bester Generacion UK Ltd.
  • Representing PTT Public Company Limited in a Supreme Court hearing relating to a multimillion-dollar dispute between PTT and Triple Point Technology.
  • Successfully representing and defending landlord Plymouth (Notte Street) Ltd in a dispute in the High Court and later in the Court of Appeal, on the issue of practical completion under the building contract and agreement for lease, in respect of a £35m student accommodation project.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

The construction team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP offers drafting and negotiating advice on large-scale energy and real estate projects. In addition to its contractual expertise, it offers transactional support to clients in relation to project funding, advising on market trends and the bankable aspects of construction documentation. Martin Lucas leads the non-contentious team, working with purchasers in the energy and power sectors.

Practice head(s):

Martin Lucas

Other key lawyers:

Barry Hembling

Testimonials

‘Strong understanding of construction and international projects.’

‘Always very prompt to respond and keen to develop solutions where needed. Good fun to work with.’

‘WFW has expertise in all disciplines that are required by my business. They are able to provide quick responses as well as comprehensive legal solutions and analysis as required. Compared to other law firms I find WFW is very approachable and easy to work with.’

‘Barry Hembling is very approachable and pragmatic. He always fully engages with the client and provides practical and high-quality advice, no matter how small or large the works are.’

‘They really know the energy sector and renewables industry.’

Key clients

Equinor

Vattenfall

Zaha Hadid Architects

Ropemaker Properties

CNG Fuels

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Colas

Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm

Sustainable Development Capital

Bio Capital

Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm

Walney Extension Wind Farm

Oxonium

Ladbrokes Coral

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

Work highlights

  • Advising as projects counsel on the SPVs set up by SSE and Equinor that are developing the three Dogger Bank offshore wind farms.
  • Continuing to provide non-contentious construction law advice on a portfolio of real estate development projects for Ropemaker properties.
  • Advising the joint venture of Copperbelt Energy Corporation and InnoVent on the development of two solar PV projects in Zambia.

Real estate > Planning Tier 4

Nick Walker leads Watson Farley & Williams LLP's planning, environment and health and safety team. It delivers 'exceptionally high-quality commercial advice' across the spectrum of planning work, including compulsory purchase, onshore and offshore consents, PRS schemes and emerging energy technologies. The group is also experienced in advising on judicial reviews and challenges.

Practice head(s):

Nick Walker

Testimonials

‘The WFW planning team is unique in being both low key and agile, whilst delivering exceptionally high-quality commercial advice to a significant client base ranging from national pension fund investors to entrepreneur developers.’

‘Nick Walker is the star partner of the planning and environmental WFW team, unique in his ability to identify the route to secure the client’s objectives along the line of least legal and practical resistance through his considerable intellectual capacity and rigour.’

‘Nick talks the client’s commercial and pragmatic language and invariably has his finger instinctively on the pulse of their core concerns and objectives, so as to be able to deliver exceptionally high quality commercial legal advice to them on numerous thorny legal problems. Nick is a low-key and brilliant planning and environment lawyer.’

Key clients

Ropemaker Properties Limited

Orsted

CNG Fuels Ltd

Crossmark

Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm

The Renewables Infrastructure Group (“TRIG”) and Infrared Capital Partners

Arenko

Bio Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Walney Extension Wind Farm Limited on its £447m sale of transmission assets relating to the 659 MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm to Diamond Transmission Partners Walney Extension.
  • Advised CNG Fuels on the planning and EHS aspects of their £80m funding by Foresight Group in a joint venture to build a nationwide network of refuelling stations that will allow heavy goods vehicles to run on carbon-neutral fuel.
  • Advised Ropemaker Properties (BP Pension Fund), one of the UK’s top 10 largest pension fund, on a number of planning and EHS matters.  

Transport > Rail Tier 4

The team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP is particularly focused on financing and capital markets matters, as well as dispute resolution and tax. It advises clients on cross-border and domestic projects related to rolling stock lessors, train operators and manufacturers, and public bodies. Practice leader Louise Mor is an expert in rail-related transactions, including secured debt, sales, and asset acquisitions. In November 2020 the team brought on construction specialist Ryland Ash; he brings client-side experience from his time at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Taiwan.

Practice head(s):

Louise Mor

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We have found WFW to provide excellent guidance, advice and support in contractual matters relating to several key rail projects in London and the UK. Personal service has been outstanding and response times quite amazing, especially considering the working environment and extenuating circumstances in the covid period.’

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable and very pleasant to work with.’

‘Ryland Ash is our primary contact; he is an expert in contract law and provides superb advice and support – we enjoy working and learning from Ryland. Ryland has a critical understanding and knowledge of contract law prevalent to the rail industry.’

‘Louise Mor is the perfect lawyer to work with.’

‘Louise Mor has a wealth of knowledge that she manages to bring across in a very simple way. A very sophisticated transactional lawyer.’

Key clients

Ermewa Holding

Alpha Trains

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Work highlights

  • Acted for KfW as lender in respect of a £47m secured loan to Wascosa UK, financing the purchase of 570 new Greenbrier freight wagons, to be leased to Network Rail in the UK.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 5

Watson Farley & Williams LLP advises on transactions, tax consultancy matters and disputes, with specialist expertise in the energy and transport sectors; advising ship lessees on complex high-value disputes with HMRC is a key area of focus. Richard Stephens has specialist maritime tax expertise and Tom Jarvis has a strong background in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Chris Kilburn heads up the corporate group services practice.

Practice head(s):

Chris Kilburn

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Tom Jarvis and his team were incredibly responsive and gave excellent advice.’

Tom Jarvis has a deep understanding of his subject matter and is able to advise on complex tax problems in a way which is practical and easy to understand from a non-tax-lawyer perspective. He conveys a sense of genuine interest in the issues he is advising on and a sense that he cares greatly about the outcome from the client perspective.’

Richard Stephens has a considerable amount of knowledge and experience in the area of tax with which we were concerned. His expertise extends from not just technical but to commercial also. This was particularly relevant on the asset disposal that he was advising on. He was able to resolve queries and issues promptly and to the satisfaction of all shareholders.’

Key clients

Lightsource BP

National Westminster Bank

The Renewables Infrastructure Group / Infrared Capital Partners

Vattenfall

DNB Bank, Bank of Montreal, BNP Paribas and Lloyds

IPR Energy Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a number of key strategic creditors of VAA on the airline’s landmark £1.2bn restructuring and recapitalisation plan.
  • Advised leading alternative asset manager HRL Morrison & Co. on structuring and implementing an investment platform for pan-European developments.
  • Acted for a number of major international cruise lines through their management of the Covid pandemic, the laying up of their vessels and their planned cruise restarts.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 5

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's commercial arbitration practice leverages firm-wide finance, shipping, energy, oil and gas, construction and commodities expertise. The team also acts in arbitrations involving political risk, CIS-based frauds, and corporate and commercial disputes. Rebecca Williams, whose 'leadership is impeccable', and maritime, trade, aviation and energy sector expert Andrew Ward co-head the team, which includes Charles Buss, who 'sees things that others miss', and experienced partners Andrew Hutcheon and Rob Fidoe. Alexander Creswick is the key senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ward; Rebecca Williams

Other key lawyers:

Charles Buss; Andrew Hutcheon; Rob Fidoe; Alexander Creswick; Jemma Dhillon; Mark McAllister-Jones

Testimonials

The team works very well together, with great depth of legal and technical ability.

Overall I found everyone at WFW I encountered to be easy to deal with and efficient.

Between them, they cover a number of key areas for arbitration: energy, commodities, shipping and banking. They are less snooty than some of the other international arbitration teams.

Andrew Ward is sensible and tactically astute.’

Andrew Ward has a brilliant combination of commercial acumen and technical legal ability. Really smart and hugely enjoyable to work with.

Rebecca Williams is the star of the team. Her leadership is impeccable. Rebecca is a master with strategy, and has a sixth sense when it comes to anticipating what the other side will do.

Charles Buss sees things that others miss.

Senior associate Alexander Creswick combines legal skill with really good technical/scientific understanding. Also very personable.

Work highlights

  • Acting for the operators/lessees of four high-value supertankers in four concurrent arbitrations (held on an expedited basis), which involve complex questions about provisions providing for the early termination of underlying leases following an IPO.
  • Acting for an oil marketing and distribution company in a dispute with an independent commodities trading house, arising out of a long-term master sales and purchase agreement for the supply of 60 LNG cargoes.
  • Representing the Ministry of Energy of a Southeast Asian government, in a series of high-value arbitrations over decommissioning liabilities for assets operating under petroleum concessions.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 5

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is well placed to handle a wide range of landlord and tenant matters - recent work includes lease disputes, dilapidations and property insolvency, including CVAs - as well as development-related rights to light issues, vacant possession strategies and overage agreements. Practice head Dev Desai predominately acts for landlords.

Practice head(s):

Dev Desai

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Mulroney

Testimonials

I have been very impressed with the response time as queries are always dealt with swiftly.

Alexander Mulroney is super – he grasps any problem very quickly and is able to get to the nub of the issue.

The team are very approachable and knowledgeable. They liaise well with other professionals within the firm to provide comprehensive advice.

Dev Desai and Alexander Mulroney are highly experienced and knowledgeable individuals. They both impart their expertise well to clients.

Dev Desai is responsive, experienced, straightforward and great to work with.

Dev Desai is very accomplished, quick thinking and driven by details. An excellent man to have on your side.

I would describe WFW as a slick modern law firm with a sharp eye for talent. The firm caters for clients seeking discretion and the highest degree of advice backed by a smooth service. The trainees are as adept as associates elsewhere and the associates I have engaged with are partner level.

The individuals take responsibility for their client’s assets as if they owned them themselves. This is displayed in how they provide professional advice that goes the extra mile.

Key clients

BP Investment Management Limited/Ropemaker Properties Limited

The Collective

The Advertising Association

Nordea Bank

Optimus Wind Limited (a subsidiary of Ørsted)

Collier Contracts Limited

Frasers Property

De Villiers South West Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Eastern Pyramid Group in a right to manage claim brought by leaseholders of luxury apartments in the landmark building in Lancaster Gate, to be heard in the Court of Appeal in October 2021.
  • Advised the property arm of BP’s pension fund, Ropemaker Properties Limited, on a number of CVAs by its tenants in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including the Restaurant Group, Travelodge, Caffé Nero, New Look, Clarks Shoes and the Arcadia Group (prior to its administration).
  • Acted for the Advertising Association on a contentious statutory lease renewal, a lease termination on short notice in response to the dramatic change in the client’s operational needs and on a high-value dilapidations dispute.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 6

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's litigation practice is particularly strong for asset finance and trade finance disputes relating to the shipping, aviation and transport sector. The group counts derivatives, capital markets and bondholder litigation among its other areas of expertise. Commercial litigators Andrew Ward and Rebecca Williams jointly lead the dispute resolution group; Charles Buss specialises in the ship finance sector.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Ward; Rebecca Williams

Other key lawyers:

Charles Buss; Andrew Hutcheon

Testimonials

Very good cooperation with other WFW teams such as the transport, shipping and aviation team.

Working with Charles Buss couldn’t have been better. Working with Charles has not only been very constructive but also very successful in the end. He has brilliant analytical skills, a very quick comprehension of complex situations as well as an outstanding ability to formulate texts precisely and to the point. Charles is very much solution-focused, convincing, hard working and always available. Apart from his high legal skills and deep shipping knowledge Charles is very empathic and able to understand the underlying interests of all parties involved.

Work highlights

  • Defending Nordea as agent and co-lender in a major bank lending syndicate in claims brought by a junior lender, COSCO that claims that Nordea ought to have permitted Nordea’s borrower, Prosafe SE, the owner of an offshore oil accommodation platform, to repay COSCO ahead of Nordea under the terms of the subordination deed and claims damages for this alleged breach.
  • Successfully represented YieldStreet Management LLC  in a $76.7m Commercial Court claim which provided helpful clarification on a number of aspects of the law of undue influence. The dispute related to the recovery of funds due under various commercial loans to ship-owning corporate borrowers, advanced to finance the acquisition of end-of-life vessels for demolition, personally guaranteed by three members of a Dubai-based family.
  • Acted for security agent Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale  in international litigation concerning security in respect of 14 bulk carrier cargo ships owned by private equity funds.

Employment > Employers Tier 7

London-based outfit Watson Farley & Williams LLP is best known in the employment space for its representation of maritime and energy clients in a wide range of employment law issues. The employment team, which is jointly headed up by Anna Robinson and Devan Khagram, assists clients on both contentious and non-contentious work. The team regularly advise on areas including TUPE, employment litigation, restrictive covenants, severance terms, board restructures and corporate acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Anna Robinson; Devan Khagram

Other key lawyers:

Aarti Jagpal

Testimonials

‘Very experienced employment team with particular skills and reputation in the field of shipping, including experience of cross-border applicable law issues.’

‘Great knowledge, approachable and human. They are professional without being robots.’

‘Advice is backed up by evidence/precedents and tailored to our organisation.’

‘The team are responsive and efficient. They not only provide us with the answers we need, but will spend time with us as required, to ensure we are familiar with the relevant legislation and how it operates on a practical basis.’

‘Anna Robinson is responsive and provides solid advice.’

‘Devan Khagram is a very responsive, client friendly partner with highly tuned legal skills.’

‘Devan Khagram is very friendly, but also a sharp lawyer. Devan stands out for his excellent communication and management skills (for example his ability to manage a complex cross-border redundancy process in several countries instructing several foreign law firms), but also for his swift response, his practical and proactive approach, his great availability, his in-depth knowledge and his good knowledge of the maritime industry.’

Key clients

Vattenfall

Advance Energy plc

Holland America Group (Part of the Carnival Corporation)

Rightship Pty Ltd

Carnival plc (trading as Carnival UK)

Robert Bird & Partners Limited

Frasers Management (UK) Limited

JX Nippon Exploration and Production Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading European Stock Exchange company on employment law matters, including advising on the implications of Covid-19 in a number of employment-related areas, particularly in relation to specific employees who were refusing to return to work in the office.
  • Advising a number of international shipping and trading companies on various employment law matters including, in respect of repatriation of crew, and potential termination of contracts and preparing new seafarer employment contracts.
  • Advising a leading defence and security technology company on complex employment, immigration, tax and practical issues associated with secondments between the UK and Germany post-Brexit in relation to a range of scenarios.

Real estate > Property finance Tier 7

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is adept at advising lenders and investors on real estate financing across a range of asset classes, including hotels, residential and mixed-use properties, care homes and student accommodation. Richard Hughes, who joined the firm from Pinsent Masons LLP in June 2020, heads the team after the departure of former practice head Ranjeev Kumar to TLT in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hughes

Real estate > Environment

United Arab Emirates > Shipping

Watson Farley & WilliamsAndrew Baird leads a ‘terrifically cohesive‘ full-service shipping practice. Andrew also acts as managing partner and has particular expertise in cross-border financings and advises on loans and leasing transactions. Michael Savva is a go-to contact at the firm for ship financing and restructuring. Charlotte Bijlani is a key point of contact in the dispute resolution team, and Charlotte Knight provides support at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baird

Testimonials

‘Terrifically cohesive team, led well by very competent management. Appropriate billing and commercial advice.’

‘Direct and to the point, proactive advice. Solid attention to detail whilst getting to the answer quickly.’

‘Experienced and very commercial.’

‘Andrew Baird has a wealth of experience. Always makes himself available and is very practical in his approach.’

Key clients

Viken Aurum Shipowners Holdings Limited

Maritime Equity Management LLC

Bahri Chemicals

Work highlights

  • Advised Viken Aurum Shipowners Holdings Limited in respect of the pre-delivery financing of two Aframax-type LR2 vessels equipped with Liquified Natural Gas propulsion currently under construction at Guangzhou Shipyard International.
  • Advised United Overseas Groupon the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers, a shipping company specialising in the international transportation of refined products and chemicals based out of the Dubai International Financial Centre.
  • Acted for Bahri Chemicals on their ten ship newbuilding programme at Hyundai Mipo.

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending)

Watson Farley & Williams advises on a range of secured and unsecured debt financing transactions for banks and financial institutions. Practice head Andrew Baird focuses on cross-border asset and project finance and is praised for his ‘commercial and solutions driven attitude‘. Other key names to note include Michael Savva and associate Charlotte Knight, who is ‘results driven‘ and ‘intelligent‘.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baird

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very impressed by the firm in all aspects, main strengths include: broad and deep knowledge of the renewable energy sector; very strong on financing documentation and portfolio financing in particular; legal advice – never loses sight of the commercial realities; very patient, flexible and supportive when encountering delays and unforeseen events; access to expertise from more mature markets, in particular their London team.’

‘Andrew Baird – extremely knowledgeable, easy to deal with, commercially minded, strong network, patient.’

Without doubt the best experience we have had with any lawyers in the UAE, hence the reason we have returned to them for multiple work streams. The main differentiator has been the clear and unambiguous advice they give, their commercial mindset, their market expertise and sector knowledge, and the patience and support they provide at all steps of the way without constantly trying to increase fees like most other lawyers.

‘Andrew Baird: Long-standing experience in maritime sector, both with banking or other finance parties and industry clients. Extensive knowledge of international maritime corporate finance related issues and transactions. Deep knowledge of shipping industries, its problems and practices. Problem solver and bridge builder never losing sight of client’s interest. Commercial and solution driven attitude based on his experience and understanding of the sector. Hard worker, delivering on promises.’

Charlotte Knight: Results-driven, intelligent, knowledgeable and hard-working lawyer who knows her way in the maritime sector. Delivers as promised, never loses overview in complicated transactions, bringing all parts of a transaction successfully together. Strong with people, whether client or not always focusing on delivering high quality work within agreed time frames.

Key clients

Viken Aurum Shipowners Holdings Limited

Maritime Equity Management LLC

Siraj Power Holding Limited

Various clients

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to VASHL in respect of the pre-delivery financing of two Aframax-type LR2 vessels equipped with Liquified Natural Gas propulsion currently under construction at Guangzhou Shipyard International.
  • Advised Maritime Equity Management LLC on the DIFC law aspects of a wider restructuring transaction in relation to United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited.
  • Acted for Siraj as the borrower under a groundbreaking $50m secured portfolio project financing of rooftop solar PV assets.

Dedicated to client care, industry focus and investment in our people
We are an international law firm advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network.  We have a strong sector focus, combining our technical excellence with deep industry knowledge across energy, transport and real estate.

Our business exists to help our clients achieve their goals, partnering with them to meet the challenges they face today and will face tomorrow.

Our values rest on developing deep and long-lasting relationships externally and internally through respect, sharing, communication and integrity.

We strive for excellence in all that we do and view investment in our people as key to achieving our business goals and values.

Our teams are integrated across legal disciplines and offices delivering consistently high levels of service locally and in combination across borders.

History: Sector focus has been at the heart of our strategy since we opened for business in 1982.  Having started life as an asset finance boutique focusing on the maritime and aviation industries, our transport focus quickly expanded to other supply-chain led industries, most notably, renewable and conventional energy and real estate and associate infrastructure across these industries.

Through our offices around the world, we provide a full suite of services within our core sectors enabling us to deliver exceptional value to our clients.

Facts

  • Founded 1982
  • 170+ partners
  • 550+ lawyers
  • 17 offices

Senior Partner: George Paleokrassas
Managing Partner: Lindsey Keeble

Global Sector Heads:
Aviation: Jim Bell, Charles Viggers
Energy: Malte Jordan, Henry Stewart
Maritime: George Macheras, George Paleokrassas
Mining & Commodities: Jan Mellmann
Oil & Gas: Chris Kilburn
Real Estate: Felicity Jones

PhotoNamePositionProfile
Andrew Baird photo Andrew BairdAndrew specialises in cross-border asset and project finance, with particular emphasis on…
Jim Bell photo Jim BellJim has significant experience in advising financiers, lessors and operators on structured…
Charles Buss photo Charles BussHe specialises in commercial, banking and maritime litigation and arbitration. In the…
Nicola Davies  photo Nicola Davies Nicola’s practice focuses on shipping and aviation finance, with particular emphasis on…
Jemma Dhillon photo Jemma DhillonJemma focuses on commercial litigation and international arbitration, acting on cases before…
Richard Dibble photo Richard DibbleRichard specialises in international finance and commercial contract work and in particular…
Frank Dunne photo Frank DunneFrank’s practice involves a broad range of ship finance work for major…
Daisy East photo Daisy EastDaisy specialises in advising sponsors and lenders on all aspects of project-related…
Christina Howard photo Christina HowardChristina specialises in international, cross-border and domestic M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructurings,…
Andrew Hutcheon photo Andrew HutcheonAndrew has experience in a broad range of commercial and financial disputes…
Felicity Jones photo Felicity JonesFelicity acts primarily for clients with real estate assets or trading activities…
Simon Kavanagh  photo Simon Kavanagh Simon specialises in asset, project and structured finance, including debt capital markets…
Lindsey Keeble photo Lindsey KeebleLindsey specialises in structured finance and leasing within the maritime space, with…
Patrick Kirkby photo Patrick KirkbyPatrick has over 21 years’ experience advising on a wide range of…
Joe Levin photo Joe LevinJoe advises lenders and sponsors on a number of project finance, acquisition…
Christopher Lowe photo Christopher LoweChris has been Managing Partner of the firm, alongside Lothar Wegener, since…
Martin Lucas photo Martin LucasMartin has over 15 years’ experience of advising on projects in the…
Jan Mellmann photo Jan MellmannJan specialises in corporate finance and M&A work, with an emphasis on…
Louise Mor photo Louise MorLouise has significant expertise in the rail and aviation sectors. Her transactional…
Michael O Michael O"Donnell Michael specialises in international financial transactions with a particular emphasis on advising…
David Osborne photo David OsborneDavid’s practice concentrates on asset and project finance, with a particular emphasis…
James Penn  photo James Penn James specialises in commercial, banking and property disputes. He has over 30…
Mike Phillips photo Mike PhillipsMike specialises in shipping, contentious ship finance and ship and offshore vessel…
Robert Platt photo Robert PlattA commercial contracts and dispute resolution specialist, Robert’s expertise spans a broad…
Gary Ritter photo Gary RitterGary has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, including…
Toby Royal photo Toby RoyalToby has a wealth of experience in the maritime sector advising shipowners,…
Kavita Shah photo Kavita ShahKavita specialises in international, structured, asset and project finance and leasing transactions…
Richard Stephens photo Richard StephensRichard advises UK and multi-national companies on all aspects of UK corporation…
Henry Stewart photo Henry StewartHenry has extensive finance, commercial and corporate experience in the energy and…
Nigel Thomas photo Nigel ThomasNigel has been a Partner at Watson Farley & Williams since 1988.…
Mark Tooke photo Mark TookeMark’s practice encompasses mergers, acquisitions, domestic and international joint ventures, venture capital…
Heike Trischmann photo Heike TrischmannHeike specialises in all aspects of oil and gas law, and also…
Charles Walford  photo Charles Walford Charles’ areas of practice include cross-border and domestic acquisitions and disposals of…
Andrew Ward photo Andrew WardAndrew specialises in international arbitration, commercial litigation and resolving disputes outside the…
:

Briefing
Key trends in contentious construction (https://www.legalbusiness.co.uk/co-publishing/sponsored-briefing-key-trends-in-contentious-construction/)
The team at Watson Farley & Williams discuss the latest developments in the sector

The Lex 100 Verdict

A ‘leading shipping practice’ with a ‘good sized trainee intake’ plus a ‘guaranteed international secondment and high profile multi-jurisdictional work’ sum up Watson Farley & Williams’ most popular qualities. A Lex 100 Winner for international secondments, Watson Farley & Williams’ international opportunities are a major draw; one trainee found the experience ‘amazing. Our Athens office is a brilliant place to work and I am currently assisting the Bangkok office remotely. It was great to see how a different office operates. The exposure is also greater due to small teams which require you to take on a lot more responsibility which was really rewarding’. The training is split into a six-seat rotational system and provides multiple opportunities to travel abroad. Even during the pandemic some travel continued, albeit with more difficulty. The firm’s energy and finance departments are very strong, offering ‘Magic Circle levels of work’ without that culture. Trainees do mention some long hours during particularly busy periods, but praise the firm’s ‘peer-to-peer mentoring’. A trainee adds: ‘from partner down to associate, people really want you to take responsibility and control of your own workstreams’. With its shipping and aviation strengths, as well as the ‘friendly and welcoming’ culture and abundant international opportunities, Watson Farley & Williams is a popular choice.