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Gowling WLG

Living Wage
4 MORE LONDON RIVERSIDE, LONDON, SE1 2AU, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0870 903 1000
Fax:
Fax 020 7379 6854
Email:
Web:
www.gowlingwlg.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's team advises clients on national and international contracts across more than 23 sectors, with its service covering matters ranging from routine business contracts to large-scale and innovative outsourcing transactions. David Lowe, who heads up the group, has 20 years of experience in this space. In 2017, Lowe, Robert Breedon and principal associate Caroline McNally acted for Kraft Heinz in the re-acquisition/reversion of certain Kraft Brands, which had previously been licensed to Mondelez International in a number of European territories. Stephen Kenny and senior associate Alexandra Poynter assisted South London Waste Partnership with the delivery of an ambitious waste services programme; this is the largest of its kind in Europe. Sally Mewies is particularly knowledgeable about technology-related contracts, where she acts for vendors and purchasers across a wide range of industries. Another key individual is Sarah Sasse, who advises public sector entities on procurements and other commercial arrangements. Principal associate James Barr is recommended for his automotive sector expertise.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 5

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG¬†is ‚Äėhighly knowledgeable‚Äô and provides ‚Äėprofessional service, with queries answered clearly‚Äô. Sector expertise of the team includes agriculture, construction, food and drink, life sciences and technology. Head of team¬†Bernardine Adkins¬†acted for Fayat on its acquisition of the Dynapac business from Atlas Copco and has been advising Mazda Motors alongside director¬†Samuel Beighton¬†on a range of competition issues arising from its use of a virtual showroom. The team also acted for Origin on its acquisition of the business of Bunn Fertilisers and its notification to the CMA. Associate¬†Rory Jones¬†is recommended for ‚Äėproviding clear and cogent advice‚Äô. The team added experienced competition and trade regulation lawyer¬†Vincent Smith¬†as of counsel in January 2018.

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EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs
EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG¬†is ‚Äėhighly knowledgeable in the area of UK/EU sanctions over Russia‚Äô and provides a ‚Äėprofessional service with queries answered clearly‚Äô. Head of practice¬†Bernardine Adkins,¬†¬†who is also a qualified barrister, is strong across the range of EU, trade and competition disciplines, with particular expertise in trade defence investigations. Adkins, supported by¬†Rory Jones¬†(who ‚Äėprovides clear and cogent advice‚Äô), advised a UK manufacturer and exporter of military list goods on a suspected breach of one of its open individual export licences and advised a German manufacturer and exporter on the application of the EU‚Äôs Dual Use Regulation to inter-company sales of dual-use items.¬†Wendy Wagner¬†and¬†David Lowe¬†are both significant for international trade instructions. Highly experienced trade regulation lawyer¬†Vincent Smith¬†took on a consultancy role.

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory) - ranked: tier 6

Gowling WLG

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Led by Penny Sanders, Gowling WLG provides a 'very responsive service' to  broad range of regulatory issues impacting on clients in the consumer credit, fintech, asset management and insurance space. Principal associate Kam Dhillon is praised for her ability to 'help clarify matters through informal discussions with regulators'.

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

According to one of its client, Gowling WLG 'stands out significantly from the crowd for its rare combination of client service, value for money, competence and integrity'. AIM-related work has been a core of focus at the firm since the inception of the exchange in 1995. Led by Jeffrey Elway, the team covers the full spectrum of advice on IPOs, secondary offerings and public M&A. Nick Heather and John Reed specialise in advising investment funds and listed investment companies on their activities on AIM and the Main Market. In 2017, Charles Bond, who is particularly active in the mining and oil and gas sectors, worked with director Samantha Myers to advise Phoenix Global Mining on its £9.2m AIM listing. Bond was also the lead adviser to Altus Strategies Plc on its circa £1.1m AIM admission. Sunil Kakkad leads a group that focuses on assisting Indian companies with cross-border capital raises, M&A and other corporate transactions; Kakkad is particularly active in sectors such as technology, media and renewable energy. Other key figures include Oliver Riley, Sefton Collett, David Brennan, Kristian Rogers and director Caitlin Cumming.

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M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£250m
M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£250m - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

The ‚Äėexcellent, very reliable‚Äô¬†Gowling WLG¬†is noted for its strength in energy and real estate transactions. The ‚Äėextremely competent and reassuringly calm‚Äô¬†Stuart Young¬†advised the shareholders of Opus Energy Group on its proposed sale to Drax Group for ¬£340m; he was supported by principal associate¬†Neil Hendron,¬†who is ‚Äėvery knowledgeable and extremely capable‚Äô. Other highlights included¬†David Brennan's¬†advice to Legrand North America on the ¬£300m acquisition of Sever Tech and¬†Jeffrey Elway's¬†advice to Thesis Asset Management on its ¬£52m acquisition by means of takeover by an acquisition vehicle formed and owned by Ventiga Capital Partners, J. Leon & Co and Thesis management.¬†Charles Bond¬†leads the firm‚Äôs natural resources group, with particular expertise in financing and M&A for listed and private companies in the oil and gas sector; he is a ‚Äėvery responsive, hardworking lawyer‚Äô and ‚Äėvery knowledgeable of the mining sector and how to do deals in Russia‚Äô.

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Venture capital
Venture capital - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG acts for a balanced mix of investee companies, funds and corporate venturers. As part of his broader private equity practice, the 'excellent' Ian Piggin is regularly involved in venture capital transactions, particularly within the technology and life sciences sectors. Piggin recently advised Neyber Holdings on its Series C fundraising activity and also acted for Epidarex Capital on its investment into IGEM Therapeutics to progress a pipeline of IgE antibody drug candidates to treat cancer. Banking and finance head Kirsty Barnes specialises in venture debt finance and recently acted for Battery Ventures on a debt finance package provided by Silicon Valley Bank following Battery's acquisition of AED-SICAD. Gareth Baker is recommended for venture capital-related energy deals and principal associate Neil Hendron is developing a strong reputation on life sciences venture capital work. Other clients include Draper Esprit plc, BGF Ventures and Pfizer Ventures.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

‚ÄėVery accomplished national and international operator‚Äô Gowling WLG¬†deals with international asset tracing, freezing orders, international sanctions, anti-bribery and corruption, mortgage fraud, contentious trusts and insolvency matters. The firm handles a large amount of cross-border work and has a particular focus on Brazil where it continues to act for The Federal Republic of Brazil and The Municipality of Sao Paulo in relation to an unjust enrichment claim worth $30m. It also continues to act for First Peninsula Trustees and Port of Hercules Trustees in relation to a $1bn multi-jurisdictional matter that arose from the Madoff ponzi scheme. Head of team James Sidwell¬†is ‚Äėa litigator with great experience‚Äô, Andrew Witts¬†is ‚Äėan accomplished international litigator‚Äô and Alex Jay¬†is ‚Äėtechnically very strong with a commercial approach to cases‚Äô.

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Fraud: white-collar crime
Fraud: white-collar crime - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG¬†has ‚Äėa flexible and commercial approach‚Äô and is ‚Äėa leading firm for contentious insolvency and asset tracing cases‚Äô. It advises on international sanctions, anti-bribery and corruption, mortgage fraud, Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud, land-banking fraud, carbon credit trading, and contentious trusts and insolvency. The firm has a strong presence in Brazil and successfully defended the former mayor of Sao Paulo in relation to a case of knowing receipt of funds that were the proceeds of fraud. The case was valued at over $30m. The team is headed by James Sidwell¬†and Alex Jay¬†who has ‚Äėa burgeoning reputation for delivering on the difficult cases that other firms are wary of taking on‚Äô. Catherine Naylor¬†is also recommended.

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 6

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is 'a good-quality firm with a good breadth of service offering'. The practice acts in high-profile regulatory matters, including those relating to LIBOR and FX; has significant and longstanding relationships with a number of banks; and has been instructed on significant matters arising out of the credit crisis. Other areas of note are restructuring and fraud-related disputes. The team defended J P Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation against a claim commenced in the Commercial Court by a Swedish natural resources company, which concerned alleged breach of several commercial contracts for the supply of straight-run fuel oil; the matter gives rise to interesting questions of jurisdiction and service, as well as the international customs implications of trading in oil from Libya. James Sidwell is UK commercial litigation team head and Alex Jay is 'an approachable and sensible lawyer'.  Other notable advisers include Andrew Witts, director Catherine Naylor and principal associate Verity Barker.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 5

Gowling WLG

In addition to a varied commercial disputes practice, Gowling WLG has particular strengths in fraud and asset tracing, contentious insolvency, banking litigation and trusts litigation. It is 'absolutely outstanding; its lawyers have great judgment and know cases inside out'. High-profile work included the team's advice to Jaiprakash Associates on an action brought by Formula One World Championship; the matter relates to contracts entered into by the parties and their affiliates regarding the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. James Sidwell is commercial litigation head; chairman Andrew Witts is 'an accomplished, international litigator'; Alex Jay is 'highly reliable'; and Andrew Smith, who is 'razor-sharp and excellent for making difficult calls', splits his time between London and Birmingham. Catherine Naylor  is a key director.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 6

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's 'ability massively outstrips its reputation in the market and its rates are remarkable given the Magic Circle-level quality of the work'. The practice has particularly strong sector experience in IP, technology and life sciences, natural resources, and construction and engineering. Highlights include acting for a UAE-based independent oil company in an ad hoc arbitration, which arose under a long-term gas supply agreement. Gordon Bell heads the international arbitration practice; David Breslin  and the 'fantastic' director Karen O’Connell are also highly regarded. Michael Darowski joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Leading individuals

Gordon Bell - Gowling WLG

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Mediators
Mediators - ranked: tier 3

Andrew Manning Cox - Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's Andrew Manning Cox is regularly instructed to mediate disputes both in the UK and internationally; his recent experience includes disputes ranging in value from £100,000 to £24m that involved joint ventures and partnership disputes, property, construction and engineering matters, franchises, sale of goods and product liability as well as professional negligence, fraud, employment and shareholder disputes.

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London: Finance

Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 8

Gowling WLG 

Primarily based in London but also including assistance from the firm's Birmingham office, Gowling WLG  's five-partner team provides a 'flexible and commercial approach' on behalf of investors, pension trustees, lenders, IPs and turnaround professionals. The team is, however, best-known for its expertise at handling contentious insolvency and asset tracing cases, where the 'very intelligent and pragmatic' Alex Jay has a 'burgeoning reputation for delivering on the difficult cases that other firms are wary of taking on'. Andrew Witts is 'very experienced in international fraud and complex litigation issues' and still maintains a fairly active practice despite his duties as chairman of the firm. Team head Julian Pallett and director Kanika Kitchlu-Connolly are also recommended. Clients include Ernst & Young, Moore Stephens and Quantuma.

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG relocated Jonathan Brufal from Dubai to lead the practice. He has a strong reputation for work in sub-Saharan Africa and he is currently advising the government of Kenya on the Muranga Water PPP project, which is the first County Government PPP project to be procured under devolution legislation, and is also the country's first water PPP project. He also assisted the government of Rwanda with an inland port PPP project in Kigaliup. The firm provides 'a very good level of service' and it has particular expertise in the utilities and mining sectors. Andrew Newbery is a key partner in the practice and has significant experience in infrastructure, energy and mining projects. He is currently assisting Unity Energy and Resources with applications for coal, copper and zinc exploration licences in Myanmar. Corporate finance partner Charles Bond leads the natural resources group and he advised Bushveld Minerals on its mining operations in South Africa. Principal associate Alasdair McKenzie , who is 'very knowledgeable', plays a pivotal role in work for GuarantCo, for which the firm handled the financing of oil terminals in Ghana and a hydro-facility in Nepal.

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London: Human resources

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG 'demonstrates a high level of professionalism at all times' and provides 'good advice based on sound knowledge'. The team has notable expertise in the construction, quarrying, aerospace, food, local government and health sectors; clients include Bakkavor Foods, Starbucks, the London Borough of Croyden and Bloor Homes. Team head Andrew Litchfield is 'very thorough and provides pragmatic advice in a balanced way'; his experience includes accident prevention advice, investigations, inquests and litigation. Principal associate Michael Hafen is also recommended.

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG 'is a standout firm for pensions litigation' with 'vast industry knowledge, an attentive approach and professional acumen'. Team head Peter Shave is 'measured, unflappable and an excellent tactician'; he recently represented the board of the PPF in proceedings aiming to establish the meaning and effect of the compensation cap provisions, and acted for Thales Pension Trustees in a Part 8 application. Ian Gordon 'leaves no stone unturned' and represented a motor trade business in a negligence claim against two law firms and acted for the trustees of a pension scheme in proceedings relating to the scheme's employer attempting to change the basis on which pensions are increased under the scheme's rules. Jason Coates and Paul Feathers are the key names for non-contentious work; Coates advised the trustees of the UK pension arrangements of Fujitsu Services on scheme advisory work and Feathers assisted Rothesay Life with its pensions risk transfer transactions. Principal associate Nicky Yarwood is recommended and Jane Kola joined ARC Pensions Law.

Leading individuals

Peter Shave (dispute resolution) - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Nicky Yarwood (dispute resolution) - Gowling WLG

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 6

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG offers a compact but experienced team of insurance lawyers who focus on litigation, arbitration and mediation skills, including international arbitration. Particularly known for coverage and Bermuda Form arbitration work, the team is led by Samantha Holland, who was promoted to partner in May 2017. She is supported by David Breslin, who specialises in insurance and reinsurance, major and complex claims. Among its clients the firm can claim some major market players such as Allianz Insurance, Argo Re, XL Catlin and Chubb Atlantic.

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's corporate insurance practice focuses on M&A and joint ventures, particularly specialising in innovative, bespoke policy wording. Most team members have a litigation background, as well as being non-contentious insurance lawyers, meaning they are well placed to identify risk. Samantha Holland, who focuses on advising policyholder clients on all aspects of transactional insurance, was promoted to partner in 2017 and now leads the team, which also includes Michael Lacey, an expert in non-contentious insurance, M&A and joint ventures in insurance and financial services.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Listed funds
Listed funds - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's listed funds practice covers a range of work, including handling heavyweight fund IPOs, primarily for fund sponsors but also for service providers. Nick Heather, who heads the practice, advised Aberdeen Standard Investments on the launch of Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income plc, which had a fundraising target of ¬£250m. Heather also advised on the launch of Tufton Oceanic Assets Limited, a $91m Guernsey-domiciled fund investing in a portfolio of second-hand ships. In another highlight, Oliver Riley¬†advised GCP Student Living on its launch and a subsequent placing programme. On the broker side, Riley advised Peel Hunt as sponsor and placing agent for the IPO of Jupiter Emerging & Frontier Income Trust, which raised ¬£90m, and Reed advised Winterfloord Securities as sole bookrunner of the Impact Healthcare REIT, which commenced with a seed portfolio of 58 care homes on twenty-year leases. John Reed¬†also advised Industrial Multi-Property Trust on its takeover by Hansteen Holdings ‚Äď a transaction regulated by the Takeover Code. Kristian Rogers¬†¬†on the IPO of¬†AEW UK Long Lease REIT. Kate Seabourne is a key senior associate.

Leading individuals

Nick Heather - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Kate Seabourne - Gowling WLG

Kristian Rogers - Gowling WLG

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Real estate funds
Real estate funds - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Alongside work concerning listed real estate vehicles, Gowling WLG advises a number of institutional investors such as the Universities Superannuation Scheme, which Sharon Ayres (who divides her time between London and Birmingham) assisted with forming a joint venture with Morgan Sindall to invest in supported housing. Names of note for listed real estate vehicles include Oliver Riley, who advised GCP Student Living on a placing programme, plus Nick Heather and John Reed , who advised Aberdeen Standard Investments on the launch of a £350m listed fund investing in logistics.

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London: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG¬†¬†fields an ‚Äėaccessible, responsive and highly skilled team‚Äô. James Sidwell¬† is an ‚Äėexcellent litigator with great technical expertise who works hard for his client. He has a keen intellect and superb tactical awareness‚Äô. The ‚Äėhighly skilled‚Äô Catherine Naylor¬†shows ‚Äėoutstanding attention to detail and impresses clients with her results-orientated outlook‚Äô. First Peninsula Trustees, Alliance Trust plc and Port of Hercules Trustees are all clients.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG fields a 'broad and capable offering across all sectors' with 'deep insight into the public sector'. The team - led by the 'exceptional' Stephen Kenny - is 'designed to optimise the client's legal position, commercial and financial position' and is currently advising Highways England on the procurement of the Stonehenge Highways project. Director Dominic Richardson has a strong track record in the rail sector and counselled new client CRRC on a contract with TfL for the supply of wagons to be used on Engineering trains. Internationally, the government of Kenya recently appointed a team led by Andrew Newbery to oversee the Muranga Water PPP; Newbery is also assisting US-EXIM on the proposed financing structure of a new UK nuclear project.

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

At Gowling WLG the mining offering is 'comprehensive and well-informed in the specialist area of mining project financing and small to mid-cap transactions'. Especially recommended are the 'very intelligent' and 'excellent professionals' Charles Bond and consultant Andrew Wright who recently represented Phoenix Global Mining on its AIM flotation. A team supported by 'deeply knowledgeable' principal associate Susan Johnston acted for Bushveld in its acquisition of 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals from Evraz; Bond also led the advice to Bushveld regarding the demerger of Greenhills - its tin-focused subsidiary - which is now wholly-owned by AfriTin. Other key names to note include Sefton Collett who specialises in equity capital markets.

Next generation lawyers

Susan Johnston - Gowling WLG

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG has substantial experience in the regulatory space as shown by John Cooper 's counsel to the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation with regards to an appeal brought to the Competition and Markets Authority by Firmus Energy. The group is overseeing a number of other disputes and arbitrations under the supervision Gordon Bell , Tom Price and Michael Darowski . Daniel Wood is currently leading the advice to a multinational engineering contractor with regards to monetary and scheduling issues arising from the reconstruction of a fuel storage facility in the UK, and practice head David Ponsford recently acted for Synergy Global Consulting in the negotiation and finalisation of a resettlement services agreement with a major oil and gas with activities in East Africa.

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Power (including electricity and renewables)
Power (including electricity and renewables) - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Derek Goodban leads the power practice at Gowling WLG from Birmingham. In London, Gareth Baker and Andrew Newbery advised Rockfire Capital on all financing aspects of the acquisition of two solar portfolios from Wirsol Energy, and the pair assisted Primrose Solar with the disposal of its last remaining UK solar farms to Equitix. On the contentious front, Daniel Wood represented E.ON in the development of its rectification strategy and ensuing legal proceedings arising from a fundamental failure discovered during the construction of wind turbines at the Robin Rigg offshore farm. The team - led by Birmingham's John Cooper - continues to oversee the implementation of the government's smart meter programme; Cooper also defended the Northern Ireland utility regulator in two separate appeals brought by Firmus Energy and SONI. Other key clients include Octopus, Natixis and Opus Energy.

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Water
Water - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Andrew Newbery spearheads Gowling WLG 's water team and was part of the outfit counselling Sumitomo, Osaka Gas and National Holdings Group with regards to their bid for the project financed AZ Zour North 2 integrated water and power plant in Kuwait. In recent highlights, the team acted for the World Bank and the government of Kenya in the procurement of a water supply project, and advised MUJV - a joint venture between Veolia and UK Power Networks - on its sub-contracts with Aspire Defence for the expansion of the Allenby Connaught PFI with the MoD. On the regulatory side, Birmingham-based John Cooper has experience acting for governments, private entities and regulators; Andrew Litchfield is currently representing a factory operator in its response to a criminal investigation by the Environment Agency on the grounds of pollution charges. Jonathan Brufal heads the Africa group and recently relocated to London from the Dubai office.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 5

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG  straddles all areas of public law including human rights and aspects of EU law combined with regulatory expertise, especially in the energy, education, health and transport sectors. John Cooper heads the public law and regulation group which includes directors Ravi Randhawa  and Kieran Laird. It acted for the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation defending it on two appeals brought by energy companies. It also acted for Oxfam as intervener in a judicial review brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade challenging the grant of export licences by the government to companies selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Cooper continues to act for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on its smart meter programme which involves regulatory, policy development and new legislation work.

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Healthcare
Healthcare - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG 's healthcare expertise spans transactions and procurement work, as well as advising care home providers on acquisitions, restructuring and outsourcing; the team also acts for public sector clients and NHS Trusts. Practice head Robert Breedon's 'experience in alliancing in the public sector is second to none’; recent instructions include advising Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust on the £39m sale of two medium secure units to its wholly-owned subsidiary Summerhill Services Ltd, and Lakeside Healthcare on its merger with six other GP practices. Andrew Litchfield  is an expert within the healthcare regulatory space and Michael Lacey is recommended for corporate work and healthcare transactions.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

At Gowling WLG a multi-disciplinary team can offer the gamut of expertise to local authorities. Sarah Sasse heads the procurement practice and has many years of experience of outsourcing matters, especially in the IT sector. Mark Greenburgh heads up the inter-departmental local government team and is advising Bury Metropolitan Borough Council on the fall out following the leader of the council having to suspend the Chief Executive, the Monitoring Officer and the Director of Children’s Services following a critical external review of an historic child protection issue. On the procurement and regeneration front it is advising the London Borough of Barnet on the £4bn Brent Cross/Cricklewood scheme involving housing, transport and commercial units. The team was boosted with the hire of planning partner Vicky Fowler from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

The team at Gowling WLG¬†is ‚Äėhighly responsive and technically excellent, but what sets it apart is its industry knowledge and pragmatic approach, which enables the timely resolution of any potential issues‚Äô. The team is often involved in regeneration projects and over-station developments, and also has expertise in the retail sector. Giles Clifford¬†is advising TfL and Crossrail on multiple office developments at Liverpool Street station, and of counsel Michael Hallowell¬†is involved in a station redevelopment in the West End. The team, which includes Peter Thorne, is also advising a joint venture comprising St Mowden Properties and Vinci on the ¬£1bn New Covent Garden redevelopment. Further, Richard Miles¬†is advising Legal & General and Schroders UK Property Fund on the ¬£400m regeneration of Bracknell town centre. Newly promoted partner Felicity Lindsay¬†acted for The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society in relation to the launch of the UK‚Äôs largest-ever property fund, The Royal London UK Real Estate Fund. Further, Rabinder Chaggar¬†assisted The Crowne Estate with the ¬£63m disposal of a large retail park, and also advised a multi-national development joint venture with the acquisition of land for the development of a retail scheme. Malcolm Headley, who is ‚Äėan expert in the field and commercial in his approach‚Äô, assisted Hearst Magazines UK with the pre-let of its new London HQ in Leicester Square. Sarah Galvin¬†was promoted to partner, and director Sarah Birchley¬†joined the firm from Simmons & Simmons. Additional contacts include Jon Lloyd¬†and Richard Bate.

Leading individuals

Jon Lloyd - Gowling WLG

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Construction
Construction (contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Gowling WLG

Contruction (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Birmingham-based Michael O‚ÄôShea¬†heads the disputes practice at Gowling WLG. Daniel Wood¬†and senior associate Jack Cantwell¬†represented E.ON in connection with a ‚ā¨26.25m claim arising out of defects encountered at their Robin¬†Rigg offshore wind farm development, in the Solway Firth. Sue Ryan¬†acted for BAE Systems in a multi-party action in the TCC arising out of the defective design and construction of a substantial High Bay Warehouse in Cheshire. On the transactional side, practice head¬†Richard Green¬†has a particular focus on large-scale infrastructure and energy/process plant contracts, and an international focus on the Middle East. Green is advising Aston Martin¬†Lagonda¬†in relation to the construction aspects of a new multimillion-pound car manufacturing facility in South Wales.¬†Philip Baker¬†is advising Battersea Power Station Development Company on the construction aspects of various elements of the ¬£8bn redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Vicky Fowler heads the team at Gowling WLG, which specialises in compulsory purchase and regeneration work. Fowler and Andrew Thomas are advising the London Borough of Barnet Council on the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme, which will create a new town centre, incorporating 7,500 homes, 27,000 jobs, three re-built schools, redevelopment of Brent Cross shopping centre, and an additional Thameslink train station. Other recent work includes advising TFL on redevelopment proposals at South Kensington station, and on development proposals at Stephenson Street and the Mall at Walthamstow. Laura Nation joined from Howard Kennedy LLP in January 2018.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

The team at Gowling WLG, which is praised by clients for its 'strong sector knowledge and sound advice', is known for its broad client base of lenders and borrowers. Practice head Nick Turner acts for a number of key debt fund clients, including ICG-Longbow, TH Real Estate and Quadrant Partners, and Jon Lent and Matthew East, who are 'capable of working through complex issues and providing strong client support', advised a debt fund managed by Chenavari on the acquisition and development financing of real estate in London for Westminster Real Estate. Lent, who leads the student accommodation practice, also acted for several REITs, including Empiric Student Property and GCP Student Living. The team, which also includes legal director Oliver Bretherton, also has strong relationships with UK clearing banks - it recently acted for HSBC on a £100m acquisition and development finance matter - and German banks.

Leading individuals

Nick Turner - Gowling WLG

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

The team at Gowling WLG is headed by Martin Thomas who is a specialist in negligence, contract claims, business rates and CPO compensation. The team is acting for Performance Retail in a High Court claim relating to the breach of an agreement for lease. In another highlight for the group, rights to light expert Anne Waltham is acting for client MORI in a large-scale dilapidations claim. Clive Chalkley is recommended and recently acted for Bellway Homes on a 40m Specific Performance Claim. Other clients include the Crown Estate, Sainsbury’s and BAE Pension Funds. Charlotte Tyfield has expertise in lease renewals.

Leading individuals

Anne Waltham - Gowling WLG

Martin Thomas - Gowling WLG

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Social housing: finance
Social housing: finance - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Headed by Chris Brierley, Gowling WLG’s social housing finance team provides comprehensive funding advice to one of the market’s largest housing groups, Sanctuary Housing Association, and also has social housing panel appointments for multiple high-street lenders. In one example, Brierley and principal associate Angela Rawlins acted for Sanctuary Housing Association in relation to its new £75m credit facility and note purchasing agreement with MUFG and BAE Systems Pensions Fund. The team including director Navin Prabhakar also acted for a subsidiary of a social housing REIT in relation to a private placement to refinance a portfolio of social housing assets. Laura Golightly joined the team from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG ’s multi-jurisdictional brand management practice specializes in advising clients in the automotive, food and drink, retail and technology industries on advertising and promotional activities. Recent highlights for the team include assisting the Volkswagen Group on a range of advertising and marketing issues such as running a safety and technology campaign for Audi and promotional material, and on alcohol marketing clearance and regulatory issues for Carlsberg. Dan Smith  is a key contact and marketing specialist; he advised Marks & Spencer on its Christmas advertisement and merchandise arrangements with a newly released film. Celine Bay, George Sevier , Mathilda Davidson  and Jason Stephens are also recommended.

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Counting Route 66 Ventures, Crowdcube and Radius Payment Solutions among its clients, Gowling WLG's department is headed by capital markets expert David Brennan. It has particular experience in blockchain, payments and open banking. As well as dispensing regulatory advice, the team handles corporate and finance matters: Ian Piggin acted for Neyber Holding on £21m-worth of fundraising via equity and debt investments, and advised Barclays Bank on its $5m investment in payments security fintech company Form3. The team also advised a British clearing bank on structuring a new form of supply chain financing, and acted for start-ups such as Sinus Iridum and OpenFin on becoming operational in the UK. BTL Group is a recent client win; more longstanding clients include Lending Works and TransferGo. Financial services regulatory expert Ian Mason joined in May 2018 from DLA Piper.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

The IT and telecoms practice at Gowling WLG  offers 'deep industry knowledge and excellent value for money' and is instructed by both public and private sector clients, particularly in non-contentious matters. 'Superb lawyer' Sally Mewies heads up the commercial, IT and outsourcing team and is highlighted as 'extremely pragmatic'.  The group advised Flybe on outsourcing agreements with service provider Amadeus IT Group. It was also instructed by Birmingham City Council on negotiations with Capita and resulting sale of shares in the companies' joint venture, Service Birmingham, to Capita. Patrick Arben and Sarah Sasse are key names to notes for technology sector disputes and advising public sector clients respectively. Vanessa de Froberville left the firm.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

The 'very competent, bright and effective' intellectual property team at¬†Gowling WLG¬†has been highlighted as 'one of the go to firms for IP disputes', attracting praise for 'responsiveness, business acumen, industry knowledge and zealous advocacy'. In the pharmaceutical sector, the team continued to act for¬†Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics Company in litigation concerning in the¬†Humira drug before the Court of Appeal. The team is also instructed by¬†GlaxoSmithKline in an international patent dispute, relating to¬†the technology for making very fine powders. The 'creative, organised and responsive' head of the technology patent litigation group, David Barron, is singled out as 'a leading patent litigator', and led a team acting for¬†SSH Communications Security Corporation in a multi-jurisdictional patent infringement dispute against Sony. Alexandra Brodie¬†is another key name to note, particularly for litigation in the tech sector. 'Great negotiator' and newly-promoted partner John Coldham¬†‚Äď an 'expert in the design field and a go-to person for design disputes' ‚Äď attracts praise for his 'practical, commercial perspective,¬†innovative solutions to problems, and straightforward advice'. Other changes to the team include¬†Matt Hervey's promotion to the partnership.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s advertising practice, working closely with its international network of offices, acts for a number of global brands. It advises Volkswagen Group UK on a range of advertising and marketing related matters across its brands; Volkswagen; Audi; SEAT; Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Hovis, Carlsberg, Marks & Spencer, Kraft Heinz, Mothercare, Nomad Foods Group and Weetabix are also clients. Director Dan Smith heads the UK advertising team and Kate Swaine, who is based in Birmingham, leads the UK trademarks, brands and designs team. Director George Sevier, principal associates Mathilda Davidson and Alice Stagg, and associate Jason Stephens are also key figures.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG has a strong reputation in patent litigation and commercial arrangements and regularly acts for a number of heavyweight pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. Birmingham-based Patrick Duxbury is head of life sciences and an expert in advising on strategic collaborations. He advised AstraZeneca on its collaboration with Merck to develop and enhance oncology drugs and assisted MedImmune with its alliance with Sanofi Pasteur to develop and commercialise an antibody that prevents lower respiratory tract illness. Patent litigator Paul Inman represented Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics in its litigation against AbbVie with regard to the client wishing to produce a biosimilar of AbbVie's Humira drug. He also defended GSK against patent infringement proceedings brought by Vectura in relation to powders used in inhaler products. Another key figure is Luke Kempton, who  advised BIAL on a licensing agreement for the development and commercialisation of opicapone in North America. Also recommended is Ian Piggin, who worked with Epidarex Capital Management in its investment into IGEM Therapeutics, which focuses on Immunoglobulin E based biologics for cancer treatment.

Leading individuals

Patrick Duxbury - Gowling WLG

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is instructed by airlines, aircraft component manufacturers and airports across competition, dispute resolution, IP, outsourcing, employment and pensions matters. It advised Flybe on the procurement of its passenger service systems; represented Cathay Pacific Airways on an employment dispute; and continues to represent Thai Airways proceedings brought by British Airways in the UK Air Cargo litigation. Of counsel Clark Sargent in Birmingham leads the aerospace, aviation and defence practice and Bernardine Adkins heads the EU, trade and competition practice. Principal associate James Barr and Sally Mewies, who are also based in Birmingham, are also recommended, as is IP litigator Gordon Harris.

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Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 4

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is regularly instructed on station developments and upgrades, overstation and over track developments, freight operator support, commercial contracts, and employment and pensions work. It continues to advise the London Borough of Barnet on the closure of existing rail freight facilities, and on the delivery of a new rail freight facility and new station, as part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme. It is also advising Crossrail and TfL on a proposed over-site development at Liverpool Street in London and is advising Transport for London and London Underground Limited on the redevelopment of South Kensington station. Richard Green handles non-contentious construction work and is experienced in new station developments; director Dominic Richardson specialises in transport projects; consultant Michael Whitehouse is experienced across UK and international rail projects; and of counsel Michael Hallowell is experienced in station development work. Giles Clifford heads the group.

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