Firm Profile > Withers LLP > London , England

Withers LLP
20 Old Bailey
LONDON
EC4M 7AN
England

Living Wage

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Withers LLP acts for over 130 landed estates across England and Wales on all aspects of rural property transactions. The department is regularly instructed by clients who are entering the rural UK property market for the first time and also has a number of clients who are resident or domiciled abroad. Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall co-heads the landed estate group and focuses on advising landowners and estates on a wide variety of management and succession issues. Matthew Woods also heads the group and is skilled at providing tax and succession planning advice to the owners of rural property. The team is also well-placed to advise on all aspects of trusts and cross-border planning.

Testimonials

The team has a great understanding of all aspects of landed estates‘.

Matthew Woods is a great person to have in trustees meeting and in client meetings. Always providing reassuring and considered guidance‘.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Withers LLP has lawyers in London, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore to assist clients on high-value and multi-jurisdictional trust and succession planning disputes. The large team acts for individuals, families, fiduciaries and charities on every aspect of contentious trusts and succession work as well as Court of Protection matters. Other clients include blue-chip financial institutions. Under the leadership of Stephen Richards the excellent group works closely with its private wealth colleagues and its family and reputation management teams to assist its clients. Key team members include Dawn Goodman, Steven Kempster and Paul Hewitt.

Testimonials

‘Paul Hewitt is a peerless litigator with a remarkable capacity for tactical invention’.

‘Stephen Richards is great with clients and really knows his stuff’.

Stephen Richards is incredibly well liked, genuinely wants to resolve disputes to move matters forward, forward thinking, very commercial and very analytical’.

Key clients

His Exalted Highness the VIII Nizam of Hyderabad

Mary Cowan

Helena Gorbunova

Constantine Folkes

Beneficiaries of the Marlborough Family Trusts

RSPB & Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Deborah Barker

Mrs Kashinath Bhusate

Barnardo’s

A beneficiary of an Isle of Man law trust

Court of protection Tier 1

Withers LLP advises families and the appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people as well as regularly acting for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. The team is experienced at advising on disabled trusts and on advance decisions to refuse medical treatment (also known as ‘living wills’). Julia Abrey co-heads the elder law team and has particular expertise in cross-border mental capacity issues. Stephen Richards frequently acts for both applicants and respondents in the Court of Protection in applications for statutory wills, lifetime gifts, contested registrations of powers of attorneys as well as health and welfare decisions and deputyships.

Testimonials

‘Withers has a first-class Court of Protection practice. In my view, it is the best in the UK by far in terms of its knowledge, tactical and strategic nous, and skill in delivering the best outcome for the client.’

‘Withers stands head and shoulders above all other firms as the best in the business in this area, combining shrewd private client knowledge with a detailed insight into the Court of Protection.’

‘Withers has a number of exceptional partners but the true quality lies in its strength and depth with a huge number of extremely capable associates who are all well-versed in this area and related litigation.’

‘Stephen Richards is a first-class lawyer who is steeped in this area and deals brilliantly with clients who are in highly stressful situations.’

‘Paul Hewitt is sensible and the truly exceptional Julia Abrey is skilled at advising high-net-worth individuals.’

‘Julia Abrey is at the forefront of representation of those lacking mental capacity.’

‘Julia Abrey is a hugely experienced lawyer specialising in elderly clients and non-contentious work. Julia is able to build an easy rapport with her clients and is simply always right.’

‘Stephen Richards and Paul Hewitt are both highly experienced in contentious Court of Protection work and I am willing to recommend them to parties who require representation in what can be highly charged litigation.’

‘Stephen Richards is very intelligent and approachable.’

‘Stephen Richards is very experienced in COP litigation, fighting hard for his clients, but at the same time respecting the inquisitorial nature of the COP and knowing when it is better to try to achieve consensus.’

Employment: senior executives Tier 1

Withers LLP boasts an impressive client roster of bank executives, partners, business owners and leaders and employers, and continues to act on novel issues of law both in an advisory and litigious capacity. Recent work highlights range from advising on day-to-day operations to large-scale, high-profile litigation across a wide array of industry sectors including sports, luxury, financial services and charities. Under the leadership of Meriel Schindler the team has continued to assist those dealing with Brexit-related uncertainty, and dedicated regulatory partner Harvey Knight has recently assisted clients with issues arising from regulatory changes within the financial services sector. Elaine Aarons is also a key name within the practice; she often intervenes in cross-border matters and has an outstanding record representing bank chief executives. Claire Christy and Hugh More jointly lead the employer-side practice.

Testimonials

‘The Withers employment team is very commercial and easy to deal with. It is well-known in the City and that seems to make negotiations easier to progress.’

‘Withers fields a really strong team; one of the market leaders in employment law, especially when it comes to complex and high-value disputes in the financial services sector.’

‘The team has a world-class depth of technical knowledge of employment law, and consists of personable and highly ethical senior leaders. They are able to help a client think around corners and gauge the subtleties of a legal situation to come to the right decision about challenging and sensitive people issues.’

‘Meriel Schindler is very personable, practical and commercial. She quickly gets to the root of the issue, assesses the legal options and clearly describes the available options.’

‘Elaine Aarons is a standout claimant lawyer. She achieves astounding settlements. Meriel Schindler leads the team and does a mixture of high-end claimant and respondent work. She is a great all-rounder, and a lawyer you want on your side. Melissa Paz is an extremely thorough and reliable associate.’

‘Elaine Aarons is ambitious for her clients, and she knows the field – and human nature – well enough to be able to read the politics of a situation and navigate tricky situations to create success for her clients. She is the consummate professional, sharply focused on managing cases efficiently, providing excellent and timely care to her clients while pinpointing the right legal moves, every step of the way.’

Key clients

Alex Baldock

Fred Jallot

Guy Wieynk

Isabelle De Wismes

Brett Simpson

Stephen Barter

Alex Wilmot-Sitwell

Natasha Montrose

Family Tier 1

Withers LLP has a vast amount of experience in complex international cases with its 18 offices worldwide. It continues to act in major reported and significant family law cases. Suzanne Todd heads this excellent team and her practice spans complicated international financial remedy work as well as multi-jurisdictional pre-nups and private international children and family matters. The firm fields a large team of family and divorce lawyers that is well–equipped to handle the most complex international and high-value cases. Diana Parker 'remains in the very top rank of family lawyers'. Suzanne Kingston is now at Mills & Reeve LLP.

Testimonials

The family team is in the premier division when it comes to HNW London divorce work‘.

The team has strength in depth. It is full of bright engaging individuals‘.

Diana Parker has been right at the top of the industry for a very long time. Julian Lipson is bright, affable and entirely client focused – he works hard for his clients and trains his focus on their long term interests rather than their short term goals’.

Diana Parker and Laura Winterbottom were an unbeatable team for me that it was a joy to work with. They are not only extremely effective but also lovely people‘.

Suzanne Todd is an extremely impressive leader of the family team. She is calm, wise and has excellent judgement‘.

Suzanne Todd is tip top. She can explain points without being patronising, taking a little more time where required to ensure the client is fully conversant with what’s being discussed/considered‘.

‘Katharine Landells and Michael Gouriet are excellent. Katharine Landells is calm and thoughtful with a sense of humour and razor sharp intellect that makes for a killer combination‘.

Claire Blakemore will go to the wire for her clients, defending them to the hilt. She is quick witted and uber efficient‘.

Laura Winterbottom and Adele Pledger are both on their way to the top‘.

Adele Pledger is just superb‘.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Withers LLP has a large team that specialises in all areas of private client work from elder law and landed estates through to international probate, international trusts and tax investigations. Other areas of expertise include advising on philanthropy and it also has a significant number of US-qualified attorneys in the London office. It acts for just over half of the individuals and families in the 2018 Sunday Times UK Rich List. Its international probate expertise is also well recognised as it deals with complicated cross-border issues, and manages estates where property and family members are spread across different countries. Jeremy Arnold heads the team in London. Alessia Paoletto and Lara Crompton were promoted to the partnership.

Testimonials

Withers has a team of top legal experts. The lawyers explain new or proposed developments in UK and international law in layman’s terms‘.

Withers LLP is the market leader in personal taxation in London and worldwide‘.

The team has an excellent level of technical knowledge and is able to use its international colleagues to provide joined up multi-jurisdictional advice‘.

‘Undoubted ‘go-to’ firm in the private client international space, with strength in depth, particularly on UK and US matters, but with a critical presence in Asia. Philip Munro always delivers. Stephen Nerland and Jay Krause are excellent in dealing with the complexities of any US involvement’.

Philip Munro has a broad range of experience and gives practical advice‘.

Richard Cassell is a very bright lawyer‘.

Ceri Vokes is just the best! Her knowledge of tax law is encyclopaedic and cutting edge. She was aware of every nuance and issue in my file, and she was great at communicating these to me clearly and concisely. As a result, I got the exact services that I needed‘.

Ceri Vokes satisfies the most demanding clients. She is also very committed and reliable‘.

Claire Harris is excellent at building a rapport with clients and giving clear advice‘.

‘Claire Harris is always easy to speak with and goes the extra mile to think of a solution for the task at hand‘.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Alison Paines at Withers LLP is renowned for her expertise in governance and regulatory investigations, as well as her role in advising healthcare charities. Chris Priestley is the legal adviser to many of the largest operating charities in the country and is well known for his work on governance, mergers, commercial and fundraising projects for charities. The department is regularly involved in large cross-border matters and has been carving out niche expertise in cryptocurrency as well as advising a number of clients on the introduction of blockchain technology.

Testimonials

Withers is unique in its global scale, offering expert private client, charity, and not-for-profit advice across jurisdictions in a tied-up holistic fashion. This is particularly valued by global families and private clients‘.

Its strength is that the team thinks through the impact to the charity and advises accordingly, rather than other legal firms that I worked with who just quote the law and do not try to find a solution‘.

‘We haven’t found anything they don’t have experience in yet! Chris Priestley is responsive and commercial, we enjoy working with him’.

The team has an ability to think two steps ahead and see the impact tomorrow of what decisions are being made today. This ability gives the team credibility with my board and its advice is highly valuable’.

Chris Priestly is a very wise head. He stands out because of his great experience and pragmatic approach‘.

‘Emma Flower is also very good‘.

Key clients

Royal Society

Royal Free

College of Optometrists

The Salvation Army

Parkinson’s UK

Syracuse University London Programme

A prominent international philanthropist

Global Steering Group

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity

Family: mediation Tier 2

The key partners for mediation at Withers LLP are Suzanne Todd and Claire Blakemore . Todd has recently conducted a mediation in Italian.  Both Todd and Blakemore are highly recommended and mediate in both financial and children issues. Diana Parker is also recommended. Suzanne Kingston is now at Mills & Reeve LLP .

Leading individuals

Testimonials

It is a first-class team that knows what it is doing and confidently carries out the work. Good breadth to the team as in younger members are involved in supporting partners and benefit from the experience’.

‘The practitioners are skilled and hardworking. Service to the client is the priority. The lawyers are reasonable and fair to deal with and surprisingly reasonable in respect of costs. The silver service of the family law world‘.

Withers has established a team of mediators who are well known for a pragmatic and forward looking approach which achieves results in even intractable cases‘.

Suzanne Todd has such a wide array of skills – calm, clear and kind. Safe pair of hands and no fuss – clients love her’.

Suzanne Todd is at the top of her game. Sound legal knowledge, does not look to score points in dealing with her opponents. A great ambassador for how family lawyers should run their practices‘.

Suzanne Todd is straightforward, meticulous and enormously experienced. She is a joy to deal with ‘.

‘Suzanne Todd is a class act as a mediator. She is highly experienced and is often referred complex cases. She is hugely energetic yet firm and will be able to avoid clients becoming overwhelmed in intractable issues‘.

Claire Blakemore is a brilliant mediator who shows real skill in helping clients find any common ground between them. Her patience is legendary but she also commands respect and combined with her sense of humour this means she will help clients settle if there is a chance of doing so‘.

 

 

Residential property Tier 2

Withers LLP's 'highly proactive and experienced' team acts on the buyer side of high value transactions in prime central London and across the UK, as well as advising on landlord and tenant matters, enfranchisement, funding arrangements and the tax position of overseas buyers, many of who are based in the Middle East. The team's expertise covers pre-emption agreements, farming tenancies, planning permission, construction, financing and investigations to determine title. Henry Stuart handles transactions for UK and international clients purchasing properties across England and Wales, whereas Nicholas Vaughan has particular expertise advising investors from Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia on their acquisition of prime central properties.

Testimonials

“Withers have a very broad knowledge on all aspects of property law coupled with a personal touch and an ability to get things done quickly and efficiently.”

“A highly proactive and experienced team, who are able to advise across a wide spectrum of matters and on a very personable level.”

“Emma Copestake is a fantastic lawyer with depth of experience and commercial insight.”

“Emma Copestake is the best lawyer we have worked with – her support is exemplary.”

Venture capital Tier 2

Withers LLP has a nascent capability in the venture capital arena as a result of its merger in August 2018 with boutique UK tech law firm JAG Shaw Baker. The resultant seven-partner offering draws upon the strengths of the legacy firm, particularly for early-stage company side work within the fintech and AI space, and enhances the offering as a result of the ability to leverage significant complementary practice areas including IP and commercial, as well as international offices in the US and Asia. James Shaw  and Erika McIntyre  jointly head the seven-partner team that also includes very well-respected US and UK-qualified partner Tina Baker, whose recent work included advice to London-based open source security company Snyk on its $22m Series B venture funding round led by Accel.

Leading individuals

Key clients

Festicket Ltd

Arachnys Information Services

Synk Ltd

CloudNC Ltd

Cazoo

ING Bank

Arkema Limited

Northzone VIII LP

Fraugster Limited

CommerzVentures

Art and cultural property Tier 3

Clients of Withers LLP benefit from its network of international offices. It has a long-established reputation in tax and estate planning work particularly for the owners of major art collections and works on a broad mix of contentious art matters, from restitution, to disputes about title, contested provenance and contractual issues. Eleni Polycarpou is a known name for her work on contentious art law. Celia Lloyd-Davidson is a notable practitioner for non-contentious art matters and for her work in the creative sector working closely with commercial galleries, museums and artists. Simon Chadwick is also recommended.

Rising stars

Testimonials

Eleni Polycarpou is an exceptional litigation solicitor – immensely experienced and very knowledgeable in this quite specialist field.  Apart from anything else, she is a considerate person, with great client management skills‘.

Eleni Polycarpou is an excellent commercially-minded lawyer who immediately sees potential risks and offers solutions for their mitigation‘.

Eleni Polycarpou was excellent throughout. She quickly identified the key issues and guided a multi- jurisdictional team through the due diligence‘.

The team works seamlessly across offices and jurisdictions‘.

 

Key clients

Institute of Contemporary Arts

Hauser + Wirth

Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation

Private collector

Fine Art Group

London Art Dealer

London Art Gallery

Cambridgeshire auction house

Executors and beneficiaries of an estate

Private collector

Financial services: contentious Tier 3

Withers LLP is focused on acting for individual senior executive and non-executive clients, as well as their owner managed businesses, in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) regulated sectors. Harvey Knight leads the practice and specialises in PRA and FCA enforcement cases involving individuals. In a high profile example, his team acted for former Barclays Wealth COO Andrew Tinney, who challenged  a proposed FCA decision notice that attempted to ban him from carrying out any senior management role in any regulated financial service provider.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

‘Good regulatory experience, industry knowledge and a cool commercial head’

‘Harvey Knight is an experienced ex-FSA lawyer. Very knowledgeable about regulatory enforcement’

‘A steady hand on the tiller’

Key clients

Andrew Tinney, former Chief Operating Officer (‘COO’) of Barclays Wealth

Public international law Tier 3

Withers LLP's public international law practice was strengthened by the arrivals of consultant Aniruddha Rajput, who is a member of the UN International Law Commission, and senior associate Robert Kovacs, who joined from Volterra Fietta and has broad experience in public international law, human rights and international arbitration. The practice advises sovereign governments, multinational companies and individuals on matters ranging from international investment law, human rights, sanctions, WTO law, maritime law and state immunities. Hussein  Haeri is an experienced advocate in state-state and investor-state disputes and arbitrations under the auspices of the PCA, UNICTRAL and ICSID.

Next Generation Partners

Key clients

The Government of the British Virgin Islands

The Center for Reproductive Rights

Scholz Holding

The Government of Jersey

Progas Energy Limited

Reputation management Tier 3

The 'very good and professional' Withers LLP has a long-established practice providing a variety of clients with pragmatic and holistic advice on communication, information and reputation management issues. The team almost exclusively represents claimants in their cases against the media. The 'clever and thoughtfulJo Sanders joined from Harbottle & Lewis LLP to head the UK department while Amber Melville-Brown has taken the lead of the firm's global media and reputation team based in the US, effectively offering clients a round-the-clock service. Another name to note is associate Andrew Fremlin-Key, who is building a specialist focus in the sports sector.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

The team’s stellar reputation is definitely enhanced by the arrival of the very talented Jo Sanders.’

Jo Sanders is a clever, thoughtful and creative lawyer.’

Andrew Fremlin-Key is great.

The quality of their work is first class.

Highly responsive – they gave sensible measured advice and ensured that I got the best possible result in the circumstances.

Withers provides excellent levels of service and compares very favourably with its competitors

Key clients

Racing Point Limited and Racing Point UK Limited

Tatiana Akhmedova

Professor Christina Slade

Education: institutions Tier 4

At Withers LLP, the education team is included within the charities department and advises on a broad range of areas, such as employment, real estate, tax and data protection, often with an international element. Core members of the team include Alison Paines, who has vast expertise in advising public sector clients on governance procedures; newly made-up partner Alana Petraske, whose specialisms include advising international universities; Richard Cassell, who handles international tax and trusts; and Chris Priestley.

Key clients

Global University Systems

Syracuse University

Fondation Ecole Centrale Paris

University of Pennsylvania

Fraud: civil Tier 4

Withers LLP's private client focused practice advises on international fraud cases involving contentious trusts, offshore structures, asset tracing, freezing orders, search and seize orders, art and cultural assets, as well as multi-jurisdictional cases involving blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The firm handles work emanating from Russia, the CIS, Asia, Cyprus and the UK, and works closely with its BVI office in order to trace assets. Stephen Ross - who 'makes the work he does seem effortless' - heads the team and focuses on asset freezing and recovery cases, commercial litigation and regulatory disputes.

Testimonials

‘This practice combines a strong commercial background with world-class experience in dealing with the affairs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals’.

‘Peter Wood is massively experienced and has a real global view over a multitude of jurisdictions’.

‘Lesley Timms has deservedly been promoted to partnership – she is hardworking and dedicated to securing the best result for her clients’.

‘The firm has a tremendously strong team of fraud litigators’.

‘They are equally comfortable representing claimants and defendants, and have market-leading expertise when it comes to applications for injunctive and other interim relief’.

‘Peter Wood is an extremely astute litigator, who gives very shrewd and incisive advice’.

‘Eleni Polycarpou is a leading arbitration lawyer with terrific expertise in Russian and CIS matters,

‘The ability of the civil fraud team to work closely with the contentious trusts team is helpful on cases which involve trusts – as so many fraud cases do’.

‘Stephen Ross is an excellent litigator, tenacious, very understanding of client’s needs, and user friendly. Stephen makes the work he does seem effortless although he is evidently a very hard worker’.

‘Stephen Ross is superb. Calm, measured, clever, thoughtful and practical’.

Key clients

Tatiana Akhmedova

Elena Baturina

Vladimir Ivanovich Galagaev & Others

Barrowfen Properties Limited

A Cyprus holding company

Professional negligence Tier 4

Withers LLP defends and brings professional negligence claims against lawyers, valuers, accountants, tax advisors, engineers and investment advisors; the team acts for insurers and claimants. It is particularly noted for its experience in defending claims brought against barristers and it is regularly instructed by Bar Mutual. The team is 'committed and determined to get the best results for its clients' and it is an 'experienced team in the professional liability field'. Consultant Christopher Coffin, who heads the team, led advice for the claimants (Anchor Hedge Fund (in liquidation), Galaxy Fund Inc (in liquidation), Futuresone Diversified Fund (in liquidation), all acting by their liquidator John Greenwood of Baker Tilly (BVI)), on a claim to recover substantial settlement proceeds arising from a dispute between the claimants, associated companies and Société Générale. Associate Caroline Thompson is experienced in handling claims against legal professionals.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

Peter Leckey and Joshua Swift are both thoughtful, hardworking and a pleasure to work with.

Christopher Coffin is an excellent lawyer.

 

Key clients

Anchor Hedge Fund (in liquidation), Galaxy Fund Inc (in liquidation), Futuresone Diversified Fund (in liquidation), all acting by their liquidator John Greenwood of Baker Tilly (BVI)

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited and its insured David Lowe QC

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 5

Withers LLP's relatively conflict-free practice has 'expertise in banking litigation that is a useful complement to the firm's private client practice'. It acts for both high-net-worth individuals and small companies in international banking litigation disputes. The names to note are global dispute resolution division CEO Peter WoodAndrew Wass, Christopher Coffin, Harvey KnightRoberto Moruzzi, and Eleni Polycarpou.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

One of the best choices for large-scale litigation against banks; the team is able to compete with the Magic Circle firms.

Andrew Wass is calm, unflappable, and deeply knowledgeable about the law and sector.

Eleni Polycarpou is a skilful lawyer who really cares about achieving the best results for her clients.

Key clients

Vladimir Ivanovich Galagaev & others

Commercial litigation Tier 5

Withers LLP' London lawyers are 'extremely patient, caring and attentive, and understand different cultural differences'. The team is focused almost exclusively on cross-border matters and houses experts in complex, international asset recovery cases. It also has specific expertise in the fields of art, brands, fashion and sport. Peter Wood is global CEO of dispute resolution, Tatiana Menshenina acts for Russian and CIS clients, and Roberto Moruzzi heads the Europe litigation and arbitration team. Also key to the group are Niki Olympitis, Christopher Coffin and Andrew WassLesley Timms was recently made partner.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

What makes the practice unique is Withers’ world-class, private client practice, which means that when dealing with cases involving individuals such as oligarchs they have a real understanding of how these people operate and how they structure their affairs‘.

Legally and strategically astute and give excellent client service‘.

Peter Wood is a great name in international commercial litigation‘.

Christopher Coffin is very experienced and an exceptionally good strategic decision-maker who gives well-considered and sound advice‘.

Lesley Timms is thorough, hardworking and dedicated to her clients‘.

Key clients

Vladimir Ivanovich Galagaev and others

Elena Baturina

Tatiana Akhmedova

Diesel London

Racing Point

Wainford Holdings

Barrowfen Properties

Education: schools Tier 5

Withers LLP has a vast international education practice, with work concentrated strongly in the Asian and American markets, and advises clients on the full spectrum of matters, including establishing international schools, mergers and complex restructurings. Overseen by Chris Priestley, the practice group also draws on the firm's non-profit and employment expertise. Alana Petraske, who focuses on UK-US education issues, has moved to the New York office to expand the team there. Alison Paines remains a key contact and is recommended for her experience in advising charities and other non-profit bodies.

Key clients

All Saints’ Church, Binfield

Employment: employers Tier 5

Withers LLP boasts an impressive client roster of bank executives, partners, business owners and leaders and employers, and continues to act on novel issues of law both in an advisory and litigious capacity. Recent work highlights range from advising on day-to-day operations to large-scale, high-profile litigation across a wide array of industry sectors including sports, luxury, financial services and charities. Under the leadership of Meriel Schindler the team has continued to assist those dealing with Brexit-related uncertainty, and dedicated regulatory partner Harvey Knight has recently assisted clients with issues arising from regulatory changes within the financial services sector. Elaine Aarons is also a key name within the practice; she often intervenes in cross-border matters and has an outstanding record representing bank chief executives. Claire Christy and Hugh More jointly lead the employer-side practice.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘The Withers employment team is very commercial and easy to deal with. It is well-known in the City and that seems to make negotiations easier to progress.’

‘Withers fields a really strong team; one of the market leaders in employment law, especially when it comes to complex and high-value disputes in the financial services sector.’

‘The team has a world-class depth of technical knowledge of employment law, and consists of personable and highly ethical senior leaders. They are able to help a client think around corners and gauge the subtleties of a legal situation to come to the right decision about challenging and sensitive people issues.’

‘Meriel Schindler is very personable, practical and commercial. She quickly gets to the root of the issue, assesses the legal options and clearly describes the available options.’

‘Elaine Aarons is a standout claimant lawyer. She achieves astounding settlements. Meriel Schindler leads the team and does a mixture of high-end claimant and respondent work. She is a great all-rounder, and a lawyer you want on your side. Melissa Paz is an extremely thorough and reliable associate.’

‘Elaine Aarons is ambitious for her clients, and she knows the field – and human nature – well enough to be able to read the politics of a situation and navigate tricky situations to create success for her clients. She is the consummate professional, sharply focused on managing cases efficiently, providing excellent and timely care to her clients while pinpointing the right legal moves, every step of the way.’

Key clients

Racing Point Limited and Racing Point UK Limited

Northview Group

Neon Management Services Limited

Institute of Contemporary Arts/ICA

Edward James Foundation/West Dean

J Stern & Co

The Investment Association

Winton Capital Management

Morris Profumi SpA/Atkinson London 1799 Limited

The London School of Architecture

Harsco

SSAFA

Square Global Markets

International arbitration Tier 5

Withers LLP 'impresses clients with the quality of the team it assembles and the hard work that everyone puts in'. The group is well known for its experience in the energy, infrastructure and mining and metals industries, and for acting for and against sovereign states in investor-state arbitrations, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. The firm is also historically recognised for arbitration work in the hotels and luxury sectors, and it has a strong focus on arbitration in Russia and CIS countries. Hussein Haeri and Eleni Polycarpou are the co-international arbitration heads; Tatiana Menshenina is also an experienced practitioner, while Robert Kovacs and Camilla Gambarini are the associates to note.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

The team at Withers is very experienced in a wide variety of international arbitration matters‘.

Hussein Haeri is highly effective in quickly understanding extremely complex cases, which allows him to provide excellent guidance and support from the outset‘.

Eleni Polycarpou is an experienced expert in the field of international arbitration and is skilled at dealing with the most difficult clients‘.

Key clients

Scholz Holding

Gemmo

Progas Energy

Ali Allawi

M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 5

Withers LLP is best known for advising on IP-rich transactions, particularly in the luxury brands, sport, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors. Within these, clients range from individuals and family offices to large corporates, with work often cross-border. The most notable recent development is the firm's merger with technology boutique JAG Shaw Baker, which expanded Withers' expertise in this sector and added a number of new clients, as well as additional partners, including the co-founder of JAG, James Shaw. The corporate practice is headed by Paul McGrath.

Testimonials

The remarkably informed team at Withers are very knowledgeable, technically sound, resourceful and understand the clients’ needs and concerns.

Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand and James Martell always make sure I feel important.’

‘Associate Mark Lynch stands out. He understands the big picture, is amenable, approachable and always able to meet very tight deadlines

Graham Webster and Libby Payne have valuable sector savvy expertise; they know their respective fields not just from a legal perspective but also have detailed know-how of the business itself

Key clients

Racing Point Limited and Racing Point UK Limited

Latrus Racing Corp.

Harsco

Investors and founders of Symphony Ventures

Evolve IP

Rosalind Oxley

Philipp Humm

MARA Incorporated SDN. BHD.

Ultra HNW Middle Eastern Family Office

TransferWise

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Immigration

Withers LLP acts for corporate clients and employers on a range of immigration issues. It is regularly engaged on sponsorship applications and compliance issues. The team is also instructed by high-net worth individuals and well-known personalities on personal immigration matters. Tracy Evlogidis heads the London practice.

Leading individuals

 

The firm: Withers is one of the world’s first international law firms dedicated to the business, personal and philanthropic interests of successful people, their businesses, families and advisers. With over 160 partners and more than 850 other staff members in 17 offices across Europe, US, Asia Pacific and the Caribbean, Withers has unparalleled expertise in the key legal issues facing individuals and their families. Its clients’ interests span 80 countries and the firm has acted for 63% of the top 100 UK ‘Sunday Times Rich List’, and a significant number of the US ‘Forbes List’ of Richest Americans and the Asian ‘Hurun Rich List’.

Principal areas of work:  Private Client: Withers has one of the largest and most comprehensive private client practices in the UK. Whether you require advice on legal and tax structuring for your business and investments, family and business governance, tax and estate planning, immigration, pensions or help with a vulnerable person in your family, Withers will deliver tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. Many of its clients’ interests are purely domestic, whilst others are international families with interests in a number of locations. In a fast-moving and increasingly compliance focused world, the need for integrated advice that reaches across borders has never been greater. Withers’ clients have achieved success in many fields, from senior executives to multi-generational families, owners, managers and investors in private capital.

Family: As one of the largest, longest established and most experienced teams in the world, there are few situations the practice has not handled. The family team predominantly acts for HNW clients, frequently advising on cross border and complex financial cases. A central aim is to help clients avoid a traumatic and protracted court battle, securing the best possible outcome and a fair and appropriate settlement. Withers has also been instrumental in shaping and setting precedents in family and divorce law in the UK and Hong Kong.

Dispute Resolution: The firm has defended the interests of successful individuals, businesses and brands for many years, pursuing matters swiftly and robustly where necessary. With over 160 lawyers globally, Withers has an established international dispute resolution practice acting in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and is well known in the art, sport, fashion and luxury assets sectors. Specialisms include international arbitration, public international law, tax controversy, media and reputation management, employment and regulatory, professional negligence, board and shareholder disputes, insolvency and fraud. Their BVI office is a particular strength in cross border litigation, focusing on insolvency, asset tracing and recovery. With a disputes portfolio valued at $10 billion, it has pioneered the use of arbitration and mediation for commercial disputes and, more recently, trust disputes.

Real Estate: Withers’ real estate team has completed commercial, residential and non-profit deals for some of the most prominent individuals, families and institutions in the world, helping them to expand both domestically and internationally, offering specialist insight into both day-to-day real estate investments, as well as complex development projects. The firm’s dedicated team also assists with tax structuring, dispute resolution and finance.

Corporate: Clients benefit from the team’s depth and diversity of knowledge when advising on issues that arise over the entire life cycle of a company, from securing investment, to structuring executive equity incentives and completing mergers and acquisitions. Working with successful people and organisations around the world means that the team understands the unique legal issues surrounding private capital, which can range from investment, structuring and control of cross border investments to the corporate and personal tax issues created.

Charities: The charities and philanthropy team actively engages with and shapes legal reform and developments in the charity sector. Withers has one of the largest portfolios of charity clients in the country, acting for over 50% of the UK’s top 50 charities by income. Clients range from leading national charities to small private foundations. The firm has worked in the not-for-profit sector for decades and has one of the most comprehensive teams in the UK legal sector, who also offer US/UK, cross border charity advice.

Technology: The technology team known as Withers tech includes professionals from across the globe in areas including intellectual property, corporate restructuring, venture capital, employment law and finance. The team’s comprehensive legal offering is designed to meet the unique needs of entrepreneurs, a diverse range of investors and high growth technology companies in a number of industries including life sciences, fintech, cleantech, adtech and emerging technology sectors such as blockchain, crypto, and artificial intelligence.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Justine Markovitz
Chief executive officer Margaret Robertson
Agricultural and rural affairs Bertie Hoskyns-Abrahall
Agricultural and rural affairs Matthew Woods
Art and cultural property Eleni Polycarpou
Art and cultural property Celia Lloyd Davidson
Banking Xanthe Lok
Charities Alison Paines
Charities Chris Priestley
Civil fraud Stephen Ross
Commercial litigation and dispute resolution Roberto Moruzzi
Commercial property Jeremy Wakeham
Commercial property Paul Brecknell
Contentious trust and probate Stephen Richards
Construction Julie Teal
Corporate (AIM) Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand
Corporate finance Ben Simpson
Court of protection Julia Abrey
Court of protection Stephen Richards
Data protection Kenneth Mullen
Data protection Richard Penfold
Employment Meriel Schindler
Family Suzanne Todd
Financial services and funds Harvey Knight
Immigration Tracy Evlogidis
Intellectual property Kenneth Mullen
Intellectual property Richard Penfold
International arbitration Hussein Haeri
Life sciences Susanna Stanfield
Luxury brands Graham Webster
Luxury brands Kenneth Mullen
M&A Graham Webster
Partnership Tim Taylor
Partnership Paul McGrath
Pensions Gillian Johnson
Personal tax, trust and probate Dora Clarke
Personal tax, trust and probate Christopher Groves
Privacy law and defamation Jo Sanders
Professional negligence Eleni Polycarpou
Property litigation Andrew Chesser
Public international law Hussein Haeri
Residential property Henry Stuart
Restructuring and insolvency Roberto Moruzzi
Sponsorship Ben Simpson
Tax investigations Maurice Martin
Technology James Shaw
Venture capital James Shaw
Photo Name Position Profile
 Elaine Aarons  photo Elaine Aarons
 Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand  photo Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand
 Claire Blakemore  photo Claire Blakemore
 Simon Chadwick  photo Simon Chadwick
 Claire Christy  photo Claire Christy
 Christopher Coffin  photo Christopher Coffin
 James Copson  photo James Copson
 Camilla Gambarini  photo Camilla Gambarini
 Dawn Goodman  photo Dawn Goodman
 Michael Gouriet  photo Michael Gouriet
Mr Hussein Haeri  photo Mr Hussein Haeri
 Paul Hewitt  photo Paul Hewitt
 Steven Kempster  photo Steven Kempster
 Harvey Knight  photo Harvey Knight
Dr <div>Robert</div> Kovacs  photo Dr
Robert
Kovacs
Mrs Katharine Landells  photo Mrs Katharine Landells
 Julian Lipson  photo Julian Lipson
 Paul McGrath  photo Paul McGrath
 Amber Melville-brown  photo Amber Melville-brown
 Tatiana Menshenina  photo Tatiana Menshenina
 Hugh More  photo Hugh More
 Roberto Moruzzi  photo Roberto Moruzzi
 Niki Olympitis  photo Niki Olympitis
 Alison Paines  photo Alison Paines
 Diana Parker  photo Diana Parker
 Adele Pledger  photo Adele Pledger
 Eleni Polycarpou  photo Eleni Polycarpou
 Chris Priestley  photo Chris Priestley
Dr Aniruddha Rajput  photo Dr Aniruddha Rajput
 Stephen Richards  photo Stephen Richards
 Stephen Ross  photo Stephen Ross
 Jo Sanders  photo Jo Sanders
 Meriel Schindler  photo Meriel Schindler
 Ben Simpson  photo Ben Simpson
 Natasha Stourton  photo Natasha Stourton
 Tim Taylor  photo Tim Taylor
 Caroline Thompson  photo Caroline Thompson
 Lesley Timms  photo Lesley Timms
 Suzanne Todd  photo Suzanne Todd
 Alice Tomlin  photo Alice Tomlin
 Andrew Wass  photo Andrew Wass
 Laura Winterbottom  photo Laura Winterbottom
 Peter Wood  photo Peter Wood
Number of global partners : Over 160
Number of UK partners : 70
Number of other UK lawyers : 164
40+

The Lex 100 Verdict

Four-time Lex 100 Winner Withers LLP is commended by trainees for the 'variety of work, really interesting clients' and 'number of international offices'. Newbies were also impressed with 'the number of female partners', admiring the lack of 'macho City culture'. Many respondents chose Withers for its 'focus on private client law' and the 'types of client', as well as its 'international outlook which is greater than competitors'. Compared to some other City firms, trainees feel they have a 'better work/life balance' and are 'given a much higher level of responsibility' whilst working shorter hours. There is also 'not much of a hierarchy; people of all levels of seniority are approachable'. The best thing about the firm is the 'heavy focus on training' which shows that it's 'committed to producing top-quality lawyers' and this is echoed by 'the fact so many of the partners at the firm trained here'. On the flip side, there were some grumbles about the 'lack of transparency around seat rotations and qualification' and one trainee's worst moment was their 'one and only 2am finish'. International secondments scored highly, earning Withers a Lex 100 Winner medal thanks to recruits having the opportunity to work in Hong Kong and Milan. Best moments included a matter 'involving a European royal family' which gave 'immediate confirmation that the firm's reputation [for working with high-profile clients] is justified'. 'Going on a work ski trip' and 'being given a transaction to run myself' are also up there. If you are interested in work of 'a technical nature for interesting clients' then Withers may be the firm for you.