Akin Gump LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Akin Gump LLP
EIGHTH FLOOR
TEN BISHOPS SQUARE
LONDON
E1 6EG
England

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 1

'Well-connected in the creditor community', Akin Gump LLP's 'exceptional' team has 'an unrivalled knowledge of complex, multi-party restructuring matters' for bondholders, including those acting in a distressed investment capacity, as well as those from the private placement noteholder community. A true destination practice, the majority of mandates handled by the 13-partner team, which is co-headed in London by James Roome and Barry Russell, are of a standalone nature, a reflection of its ability to provide a 'very commercial approach to advising on solutions to complex situations'. Leveraging the firm's overarching industry knowledge, the team is recognised as 'the go-to-firm in London for buy-side investors in energy restructurings'. The 'super commercial' James Terry is pivotal to much of this work, particularly in light of his specialism for energy and offshore sector issuers in the Nordic high yield market. Other recommended partners include 'world-class practitioner' Liz Osborne and Emma Simmonds, who is 'adept at bridging the gap between the legal and commercial worlds'.

Practice head(s):

James Roome; Barry Russell

Other key lawyers:

James Terry; Tom Bannister; Liz Osborne; Emma Simmonds; Lois Deasey; Hermione Allen; Jakeob Brown; Emma Butler; Caoimhe Kennedy; Jessica Ling; Lauren Pflueger

Testimonials

A first rate and exceptional team with strength in depth and an unrivalled knowledge of complex, multi-party restructuring matters.’

They have a clear edge in terms of their energy credentials that make them the go-to firm in London for buy-side investors in energy restructurings.’

Well connected with the creditor community. Specifically excel in bondholder assignments.’

Barry Russell and Tom Bannister provide an outstanding combination, utilizing in any case their deep understanding of the law, the counterparties, the professional advisors and the art of the possible in working closely with us to negotiate best outcomes.’

The super commercial James Terry is central in restructurings of energy and offshore sector issuers in the Nordic high yield market.’

Emma Simmonds is extremely knowledgeable and adept at bridging the gap between the legal and commercial worlds. She was also a constant source of creative ideas and compromise positions that helped prevent restructuring negotiations breaking down when a commercial impasse had been reached.’

Liz Osborne is a world-class practitioner who is highly driven and displays excellent commercial judgement.’

Liz Osborne is excellent and one of the best lawyers with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Incredibly diligent, focused on the end result and not afraid to drive other parties on when needed, but does so in a highly personable style. Brilliant to work with and someone you want on your side.’

Key clients

Private Placement Noteholders of C&J Clark America, Inc

CMV’s secured senior creditor

Nordic Trustee AS

The holders of various private placement notes issued by ED&F Man Treasury Management plc

Fairhold Securitisation Limited

The Lenders to (and Shareholders of) the Interserve Group of Companies

Ad hoc committee of holders of intu Metrocentre Finance plc

The private placement noteholders of NAC Aviation 29 Designated Activity Company

Ad hoc group of guaranteed bondholders of Noble Corporation plc

The Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc

Ad hoc group of term loan B lenders to PGS ASA

Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Premier Oil Group holding

Ad hoc committee of lenders to Prosafe SE

Ad hoc group of new secured noteholders of the Seadrill Group

Holders of notes issued by SIG plc

PIK Loan Lenders for Swissport

Ad hoc group of bondholders holding senior secured notes issued by Travelex Financing PLC

Informal ad hoc group of senior note holders for Tullow Oil plc

Work highlights

  • Advising an ad hoc group of creditors of Premier Oil in connection with the proposed merger of Premier Oil with Chrysaor Holdings Limited and with the restructuring of Premier Oil’s $2.7bn of debt.
  • Advised the payment-in-kind loan lenders in relation to the $1.9bn financial restructuring of Swissport, including a debt-for-equity swap, a new long-term debt facility and an additional interim finance facility.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders in relation to the financial restructuring of Travelex, through which the group’s wholesale and outsourcing business and certain international businesses of Travelex were transferred, by way of a series of pre-pack administration sales, to a new holding structure, New Travelex.

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

Akin Gump LLP‘s private equity team has been building its reputation in London following a series of hires over recent years. It acts on a large volume of matters, including acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, and disposals and has a particularly strong presence in emerging markets, with recent deals involving companies in Nigeria, South Africa, and Colombia as well as in Russia. Shaun Lascelles focuses on emerging markets, and has considerable experience acting in the energy space. Simon Rootsey advises on a range of cross-border mandates, while Weyinmi Popo is noted for his work in the African market. The practice is led by Sebastian Rice, who also leads the firm’s Hong Kong practice.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Rice

Testimonials

‘Fantastic – truly collaborative.’

‘Extremely commercial and extraordinarily responsive. Akin Gump sources highly experienced solicitors from its network of associated legal firms in order to create M&A teams with complete and all-round expertise and support. This creates the certainty of top tier, sound legal support.’

‘Exceptional legal support, robust client service and business/ problem-solving approach.’

‘Akin is a terrific advisor. They provide excellent counsel for cross-border deals. Given the shifting sands of energy transition, their expertise across the energy value chain will be a blessing for their clients.’

‘Level of client coverage is excellent – there is clear collaboration amongst the partners. Ability to cover multiple topics for one firm and to tie them all together. Legal brilliance but with a commercial mind.’

‘Akin Gump’s team acts as our trusted partner on every transaction we contemplate. They have the depth of talent and resources to cover all aspects of an acquisition – they are responsive, understand the commercial imperatives and go beyond the interpretation of the law to provide options and solutions to solve issues faced during the structuring or negotiation.’

Key clients

Coller Capital

Vitol S.A.

Africa Capital Works

MBU Capital

Emerging Capital Partners

Helios Investment Partners

Cairn Capital Group

Mail.ru Group Limited

Mediobanca S.pA.

Carlyle Group

UFG Private Equity

Landsdowne Partners

Work highlights

  • Acting for Helios Investment Partners, the largest Africa-focused private investment firm, in connection with its investment in Helios Towers, both on its partial exit and ongoing corporate matters.
  • Advising Coller Capital in a a GP-led secondary transaction for the remaining assets of Permira IV.

Investment fund formation and management > Hedge funds Tier 2

Akin Gump LLP advises a combination of established hedge funds, institutional asset managers and start-ups on fund formation, liquidity issues, seed capital arrangements and regulatory considerations, with a strong focus on US-domiciled products. The team works closely with practitioners in the firm's New York and Washington DC offices, enabling it to handle cross-border mandates as well as keeping track of regulatory changes. Tim Pearce and Ian Meade both handle complex fund management mandates for major clients in the US and Europe, including complex fund restructurings and launches. Counsel Hamish Annandale is knowledgeable about a number of fund strategies, including co-investment and hybrid structures.

Practice head(s):

Tim Pearce; Ian Meade

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Tim Pearce – understands the sector inside out, translates the requirements back to our structure and acts as an advocate, explaining the business to the third parties with which we engage. The direct partner involvement is more time and cost efficient.

The team is experienced, with a great depth of knowledge and resourcing across the firm and contacts to assist with global regulatory requirements.

Tim Pearce and Hamish Annandale give all our requests due consideration and frequently offer recommendations on how to tackle tasks and launch products enabling the firm to assess and pick the best option to achieve our goals.’

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

Transactional powerhouse Akin Gump LLP's oil and gas group has an 'excellent' track record acting in high-value and cross-border energy M&A, disputes, restructurings, and regulatory work. The group has significant global project financing expertise and advises across the full life-cycle of upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas work. The team has extensive experience working in emerging markets with Weyinmi Popo and private equity specialist Shaun Lascelles focusing on Africa mandates and Simon Rootsey in Latin America. London international arbitration head Justin Williams is another key name, working with Hamish Lal and counsel Jenny Arlington on the contentious side. Transactional head Julian Nichol left to join Watson Farley & Williams LLP in September 2021.

Testimonials

‘Justin Williams is a standout energy lawyer and terrific leader ‘

‘Extremely commercial and extraordinarily responsive’

Key clients

Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Premier Oil

VPI Holding Limited

Vitol Group S.A.

The Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc

Equinor

Coastline Exploration

LUKOIL

Palestine Power Generating Company

PJSC Tatneft

Vivo Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured creditors of the Premier Oil Group in connection with the proposed merger, by way of reverse takeover under the UK Listing Rules, of Premier Oil Plc with Chrysaor Holdings Limited and with the restructuring of Premier Oil’s c. $2.7 billion of debt.
  • Represented Vitol SA, an energy and commodities company focused on trading and distribution of energy products globally, as part of a consortium with Africa Oil to buy a stake in two Nigerian oil fields from Brazil’s Petrobras and in a related joint venture with BTG Pactual, Brazil’s largest independent investment bank.
  • Advised Equinor, a Norwegian-based international energy company, in its acquisition from Rosneft of a 49 percent interest in LLC KrasGeoNaC (KGN).

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

Akin Gump LLP's power practice group has a track record of advising on large acquisitions, disposals, and financings for renewable energy sector clients. Shaun Lascelles advises a range of major oil companies; other key contacts in the team include leveraged finance specialist Amy Kennedy and counsel Nertila Qenani, who advises on transactions and projects. The London team can leverage the US-headquartered firm's international offering across Asia, Europe and the Middle East to handle major cross-border deals, and has been advising on the 52.5 MW Shams Ma’an solar PV project; the largest solar project in Jordan. Practice head Julian Nichol left to join Watson Farley & Williams LLP in September 2021.

Testimonials

‘The team have in-depth knowledge and a genuine interest to advance projects.’

Key clients

VPI Holding Limited

Vitol S.A.

New Urban Communities Authority of the Government of Egypt

Palestine Power Generation Company

Shams Ma’an Power Company

PAL 4 Solar Energy LLC

LUKOIL

Work highlights

  • Representing Palestine Power Generating Company in a transaction to develop a power plant in Jenin in the northern part of the West Bank of Palestine.
  • Advised VPI Holding Limited, an affiliate of energy and commodities trader Vitol S.A., in connection with the company’s acquisition from Drax Group plc of four combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants in the UK for a consideration of £193m.
  • Advising on ongoing matters in connection with the operation of the 52.5 MW Shams Ma’an solar PV project in Jordan, the largest solar project in Jordan.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP focuses on providing compliance advice to clients involved in high-stakes, complex corporate transactions, and has expertise in trade issues at an UK, EU and US level. The London team forms part of the firm's leading international trade group, which includes dedicated trade experts in many of the firms offices in the US, Europe and Asia. Practice co-Jasper Helder and Chiara Klaui 'are both outstanding partners'; the former is a 'leading light' in export controls and sanctions issues, while the latter assists multinational companies with internal and government investigations.

Practice head(s):

Jasper Helder; Chiara Klaui

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Lund

Testimonials

Akin Gump is unique in providing advice on sanctions regulations both in the EU and the US. Within 48 hours from our request we will have received an extensive advice with a summary.’

Chiara and Jasper are both outstanding partners – very commercial and thoughtful about their advice and the wider impact. They consistently get the basics right (which is surprisingly uncommon in an area with a lot of grey space) and think through the practical realities of their advice.

The team in London is led by two extremely able partners – direct, extremely knowledgeable and commercial.’

Jasper Helder and Chiara Klaui are very responsive and provide actionable, business-friendly advice on complicated EU export control and sanctions topics.’

Excellent knowledge of a tricky subject area.’

Jasper Helder is a leading light. His analytical skills and ability to explain complex matters in simple terms make him our go-to lawyer of choice.

Jasper is certainly one of the best lawyers in the area of EU export controls. He guidance is always clear, concise, and practical. He is knowledgeable about export controls and sanctions as it relates to my industry (semiconductors and technology).

They can be emphatic to the certain situations when the matter is sensitive, also stay professional. They are there, available to you when you need them. They are willing to send you an update if they know it is important or interesting for your business. They will go that extra mile for their customer.’

Key clients

ABB

ARM

BAE Systems

Booking.com

bp

COFCO

Eastman Chemical Company

Government of the United Arab Emirates

Intel Corporation

Juniper Networks

Lukoil International

Mitsui & Co

Palo Alto Networks

Raytheon Technologies Corporation

Royal Boskalis Westminster

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX)

Thales

The Coca Cola Company

United Parcel Service (UPS)

Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors

VEON

Work highlights

  • Advising a cloud computing provider on Brexit and other trade regulatory developments and policy changes.
  • Advised Royalty Pharma on the trade compliance aspects of its $2.5bn initial public offering and listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
  • Developed a global trade compliance programme on behalf of a global leader in technology and engineering.

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: contentious Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP fields a team with significant experience in regulatory investigations and enforcement, focusing on FCA and PRA initiated matters. Aside from investigations, the group is well-versed in information requests, product intervention queries, supervisory enquiries and thematic reviews. The group also benefits from a strong office network in the US, allowing it to handle transatlantic regulatory matters. Helen Marshall leads the group, praised by one client as 'tough, strategic but charming'. Ezra Zahabi leads the non-contentious practice, but also contributes to contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Helen Marshall

Other key lawyers:

Ezra Zahabi; Joe Hewton

Testimonials

Superb team, strength in actually fighting regulatory cases to the RDC – not all that common in city teams.’

Helen Marshall – the doyenne of contentious financial services: knowledge and understanding built on decades working with and for the regulator, tough, strategic but charming.’

Helen Marshall is an exceptional lawyer. Hard-working, vastly knowledgeable, thoughtful, responsive and shrewd. All lawyers are expensive but Helen represents true value for money.’

Key clients

Ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders of Travelex

Royalty Pharma

Ad hoc committee of unsecured creditors of Noble Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders in relation to the regulatory issues and applications of the high-profile financial restructuring of Travelex, through which the group’s wholesale and outsourcing business and certain international businesses of Travelex have been transferred by way of a pre-pack administration sale to a new holding structure, New Travelex.
  • Advising Royalty Pharma, a US-based biopharmaceutical company on the regulatory considerations in connection with the launch and IPO of a new pharmaceutical royalties undertaking incorporated in the UK and listed on Nasdaq.
  • Provided English law advice to the ad hoc committee of unsecured creditors on regulatory considerations in connection with the financial restructuring of US$3.5 billion debt issued by Noble Group Limited, a SGX listed Asia commodities supply chain and trading group.

Finance > Debt capital markets Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP is known for 'concise, clear, and solidly based advice presented in a commercial context'. The firm has a market-leading cross-border private placements practice that frequently assists institutional investors, among them US and UK insurance companies, on which head of the finance group Tom O’Connor takes the lead. Emerging markets specialist Robert Aulsebrook, who recently advised key client Lukoil on its issuance of $1.5bn in Eurobonds, is also a key partner, as is Barry Russell, co-head of the financial restructuring group, who frequently acts for noteholders, bondholders and other creditor groups on cross-border workouts of European companies. Beyond private placements, the firm also assists issuers, sponsors and underwriters with public debt offerings, including Eurobonds, LPNs and high-yield bonds listed on the US, UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Singapore and other stock exchanges. Michael Gustafson, who advises non-bank lender clients, and Mark Mansell, who advises insurance companies, also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Tom O’Connor; Robert Aulsebrook

Testimonials

‘Concise, clear, and solidly based advice presented in a commercial context. A specialist lender counsel.’

‘Barry Russell – years of success in the restructuring market mean that he has a well-deserved reputation of being able to deliver on behalf of his clients. But, also a rational and constructive foil for borrowers to face off against.’

Key clients

PJSC LUKOIL

Fernando Parent Limited

LUKOIL Securities B.V.

Various institutional investors

Work highlights

  • Representation of Institutional Investors in connection with their purchase of the US-dollar equivalent of $380,000,000 in Senior Unsecured Notes of Dyson Finance Limited denominated in Euro and Yen. The Notes were guaranteed by Dyson Finance’s parent company, Dyson Holdings PTE LTD, a Singapore holding company.
  • Represented various institutional investors in a private placement of $550,000,000 of various series of senior unsecured notes issued by Smith & Nephew plc, a public limited company organised under the laws of England and Wales.
  • Advised PJSC LUKOIL on the successful completion of its issuance of $1.5bn Eurobonds listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. The offering consisted of 10-year 144A/Reg S notes with a coupon of 3.875% per annum. The notes were issued by LUKOIL Securities B.V. and guaranteed by PJSC LUKOIL with the transaction completing on May 6, 2020.

Industry focus > Emerging markets Tier 3

The London finance group at Akin Gump LLP works closely with colleagues in Frankfurt, Moscow, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the US on cross-border finance transactions; the firm is particularly noted for its work in Russia, the Middle East and Central Asia. Over the last 20 years, has raised more than $50bn for clients, including a $1.5bn Eurobond, a $1bn project financing and $500m revolving credit facility for longstanding client LUKOIL in 2020. Robert Aulsebrook focuses on international debt finance, project finance, capital markets and derivatives mandates, while Weyinmi Popo is a key adviser to Africa-focused private equity sponsors. Shaun Lascelles handles cross-border M&A and private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Robert Aulsebrook

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Akin Gump has shown a strong knowledge about the project finance documents and related legal matters. For the past five years of our project Akin Gump has a significant contribution in progressing the business either for the day-to-day operations or for the infrequent matters, linking the contracts terms to provide the best advice for the project management and leading to a secure position with the lenders and stakeholders.’

Key clients

New Urban Communities Authority of the Government of Egypt

PJSC LUKOIL

Palestine Power Generating Company (PPGC)

Shams Ma’an Power Company

Lukinter Finance BV

CEVA Group plc

PAL 4 Solar Energy LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised PJSC LUKOIL on the successful completion of its issuance of $1.5bn Eurobonds listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Acting as sole English counsel to the Government of Egypt on the New Urban Communities Authority’s financing for the historic construction of Egypt’s new administrative capital city located east of Cairo. The financing exceeds $2bn of English law syndicated bank debt.
  • Advising PAL 4 Solar Energy LLC on the development and financing of a solar power project in Burkina Faso. The work involves drafting and negotiating all development and financing documents, including the Power Purchase Agreement and the PPP Agreement with the government of Burkina Faso.

Investment fund formation and management > Private funds Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP advises high-profile international and European players, on fund formations across a range of asset classes, including buyout, credit, infrastructure, and venture capital funds. The team also works with institutional investors, and has a strong record in GP-led secondaries, securing a strong share of the transactional market. John Daghlian remains a key player in fundraisings and investor-side matters, with expertise in a range of asset classes. Daniel Quinn has notable capabilities in green energy funds and secondaries, while Mary Lavelle advises a number of sovereign wealth clients on investments and co-investments alongside GP-led restructurings and secondaries. Recently-promoted counsel Chris Jeanes and Simon Ellis have active secondaries practices.

Practice head(s):

John Daghlian; Daniel Quinn

Testimonials

Very strong team in the private funds space, well known for their expertise and broad gauge knowledge of secondaries transactions. True partner-led practice and excellent support from related practice areas.

John Daghlian and his team are experts in fund formation issues – particularly on secondaries and restructurings.

The team has great fund formation and secondary experience.

Danny Quinn is an exceptional lawyer, he is both technically very strong and practical with great knowledge of the market.

Very commercial and solutions-oriented. Have good insight into market practice, and GP/LP dynamics.

Key clients

Adelis Equity Partners

Aksia Group SGR

Aliter Capital

Apollo Global Management

Coller Capital

eEquity AB

Everstone

Expedition Growth Capital

Glendower Capital

Government of Singapore Investment Corporation

Harbour Litigation Funding

Helios Investment Partners

Intermediate Capital Group

Key Capital

MVOF Management Limited

Oakfield Capital Partners

Ocean Fund LP

Oriens

Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners

RIT Capital

Rubicon Partners

Stratus Group

Sunridge Partners

Turkven Private Equity

Wren House Infrastructure Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Harbour on the raising of their fifth fund, which targeted $1bn in commitments.
  • Advising Quinbrook on the raising of their newest platform, targeting £1bn in commitments, and focusing on renewable investments in the UK.
  • Advised longstanding client Helios on all fund-related aspects of its combination with the Toronto-listed Fairfax Africa, which created the premier pan Africa-focused alternative investment manager, Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

Akin Gump LLP is recommended as ‘excellent to work with and brilliant in asset recovery and commercial fraud litigation‘. Specialising in conducting high-value complex cross-border litigation and arbitration, the practice focuses on disputes involving fraud, misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty. The team has expertise in obtaining and defending mandatory and prohibitive injunctions, international and domestic freezing injunctions and anti-suit proceedings, with particular strength in Russia/CIS, energy and financial sector matters. Practice head Kambiz Larizadeh ‘has built an excellent reputation for civil fraud‘, while the experienced Richard Hornshaw leads the London disputes team.

Practice head(s):

Kambiz Larizadeh

Other key lawyers:

Justin Williams

Testimonials

‘Justin Williams makes excellent strategic decisions on the direction of the case. Everyone in the team (from different offices) works collaboratively with each other and supports each other. It’s a pure pleasure working with the Akin Gump!’

‘Particularly strong in high value Russian litigation, typically with a fraud element’.

‘Kambiz Larizadeh is adept at dealing with difficult clients. Masters complex fact patterns with ease’.

‘A truly international law firm capable of taking on and effectively running the largest of commercial frauds and asset recovery cases’.

‘Breadth and depth of experience of Partners especially Kambiz Larizadeh. KL adopts a sensible attitude to what is achievable, keeps the client fully informed, does not impose impossible deadlines or make unrealistic promises of success to the clients’.

‘Excellent to work with and brilliant in asset recovery and commercial fraud litigation’.

‘I have been opposite Kambiz Larizadeh in 2 very large fraud disputes (one an international arbitration and the other a Commercial Court case). He is a clever lawyer, able to run large teams in big ticket litigation, and is sensible and courteous. He has built an excellent reputation for civil fraud’.

Key clients

PJSC Tatneft

Deloitte as administrators of African Minerals Limited

NOC Swiss

Work highlights

  • Acted in the Commercial Court litigation for PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Ors. This case has been one of the largest and most hotly fought pieces of Russia-related litigation of the last five years. Akin Gump acts for Tatneft, Russia’s fifth largest oil company, in $380 million English litigation proceedings against four Ukrainian oligarchs.
  • Acting for the joint administrators of African Minerals Limited (AML). AML was an AIM-listed company that went into administration in 2015 with debts of approximately US$1 billion. The administration raised a number of high-value and complex issues, including, the proposal of a scheme of arrangement.
  • Acting for Mr. Arash Nagdhi-Esfastani (ANE), the director and shareholder of a UAE oil and commodities trading company, NOC Swiss LLC, in High Court proceedings in England brought against ANE and NOC under a letter of indemnity and s. 423 Insolvency Act 1986 by Greek ship-owners arising out of a time charter.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 4

With 'technical firepower and commercial nous', Akin Gump LLP's finance litigation team is popular among creditors and investment funds in banking and restructuring disputes. It attracts praise for its 'global-reach and strong inter-relationships with transactional colleagues' including its restructuring and funds practices, and is also building a reputation for representing litigation funders in disputes. Richard Hornshaw (who handles a range of finance and securities law litigation) took over as head of the practice from Mark Dawkins who remains at the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hornshaw

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Smart, agile team, focused on delivering practical resolutions rather than maximizing fee income.’

Richard Hornshaw is delightful to work with, an iron fist in a velvet glove when dealing with counterparties and entirely focused on delivering outcomes consistent with client objectives in the most cost and time efficient manner possible.

Global-reach and strong inter-relationships with transactional colleagues, meaning a deeper and wider understanding of issues; Strong technical abilities fused with excellent commercial approaches; Relative to other firms, it has more technical firepower and commercial nous.

Richard Hornshaw is technically very strong, very approachable and has gravitas with colleagues, opponents and the bar.

The team at Akin Gump is a joy to work with. They are very thorough in their preparation of a case. They think creatively and are prepared to pursue novel strategies to get the best outcomes for their clients.

Mark Dawkins provides very clear strategic thinking.

Key clients

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Premier Oil

Deloitte as administrators of African Minerals Limited

Fairhold Securitisation Limited

Ad Hoc Group of Senior Secured Noteholders of Galapagos

Noteholders to Imtech

Nordic Trustee AS

Ad Hoc Committee of noteholder creditors of Travelex

Work highlights

  • Advised an ad hoc group of creditors in connection with the proposed restructuring of its debt. From the litigation perspective, this included responding to a significant challenge from another shareholder/creditor.
  • Acting for the joint administrators of African Minerals Limited (AML) in disputes.
  • Advising Nordic Trustee AS, the holder of secured bonds issued by G3 Exploration, in a highly contentious insolvency situation in which the principal litigation workstreams include two sets of contested winding-up proceedings in the Cayman Islands;  potential claims against the founder and former Chairman and CEO of the Group;  a hostile inter-creditor dispute and declaratory relief proceedings in England relating to a disputed guarantee.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 4

Akin Gump LLP's 'superb' practice has deep-rooted sector expertise in the energy, technology and construction industries. Leading the firm's worldwide international arbitration practice from London, Justin Williams is an energy disputes specialist, particularly in relation to Russia. London disputes head Richard Hornshaw is highly rated for financial services disputes; Hamish Lal acts in major construction arbitrations; and Kambiz Larizadeh is a civil fraud expert. At counsel level, Jenny Arlington is noted for high-value, complex international arbitrations under most of the main arbitral rules.

Practice head(s):

Justin Williams

Testimonials

Akin Gump is a superb firm for international arbitration. They combine the best qualities of the US firms (energy, dynamism and spark) – with those of the London practices (cool, calm, collected analysis and poised delivery). This is a lethally effective brew for international arbitration – tribunals and clients are blown away.

They are right at the top of their game.

Great for being able to introduce innovative solutions.

The team is great; it is very thorough and detail oriented.

The team has a profound knowledge of the law and of the cases they work in.

The team is led by partner Justin Williams, who makes excellent strategic decisions on the direction of the dispute. Everyone in the team (including those from different offices) works collaboratively with each other and supports each other. It’s pure pleasure to work with the team at Akin Gump!

Justin Williams must be one of the best international arbitration partners on either side of the Atlantic; he is brainy, thoughtful, persuasive and transparently straightforward – a real star.

Justin Williams was able to create a consistent case in a difficult scenario, and always came up with positive solutions.

Key clients

Dommo Energia

Lukoil

Bridgestone Licensing Services

Bridgestone Americas

Vitol Group

Active Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting for a US oil company in a $3bn UNCITRAL arbitration, which relates to a series of disputes arising out of a CIS production sharing contract and related work.
  • Acting for a South American oil company in a $1.5bn ICC arbitration that concerns a disputed farmout agreement.
  • Acting for tyre manufacturer Bridgestone in a high-profile ICSID arbitration against Panama that concerns IP investments.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 4

Akin Gump LLP offers ‘a high-calibre international practice‘ focused on advocacy in high-value, high-stakes international arbitrations. It is led by the experienced and well-regarded Hamish Lal, who is experienced in infrastructure project disputes. Energy and infrastructure specialist Josephine Kaiding left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Hamish Lal

Testimonials

‘A high-calibre international practice combined with a genuine construction law specialism.’

‘Hamish Lal has the ability to see construction law issues differently and therefore resolve disputes more efficiently.’

‘The Akin Gump team are strong across the disputes field but the contentious construction practice stands out in the market.’

‘Hamish Lal is a top lawyer with an unfailing commitment to his client and is one of just two or three go-to lawyers for high-value, complex disputes with a focus on infrastructure and capital projects. He is supported by a strong team behind him.’

‘Hamish Lal has many years of experience dealing with significant and complex multi-jurisdictional construction disputes. He has a range of international experience which surpasses many other generally comparable top-tier construction and arbitration lawyers. He is technically excellent in construction and arbitration law and manages to put clients, members of his team and lawyers for the counterparties, arbitrators and judges at ease by his calm and relaxed manner. He brings tremendous energy to whatever he does, which includes a surprisingly large amount of speaking at lectures, webinars and also legal writing.’

Key clients

LUKOIL

Heerema Marine Contractors

First Abu Dhabi Bank

TAQA

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international construction developer in disputes against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as respondent in international arbitration, with $2.8bn in dispute.
  • Acting for First Abu Dhabi Bank in the Qatar Financial Centre Courts at the Court of First Instance and in the Court of Appeal.
  • Handling all disputes arising out of a production sharing contract between an upstream oil and gas company and a CIS country.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 5

Akin Gump LLP has a 'superb' tax team that offers 'encyclopaedic knowledge' and 'practical solutions'. The practice primarily focuses on the financial services sector and showcases expertise in handling tax issues relating to financial restructurings, securitisations and investment funds. Former practice head Stuart Sinclair moved to EY LLP in July 2021, and was supplanted by Sophie Donnithorne-Tait in September 2021, who is highly recommended for tax-related restructuring work and is 'smart as a whip' according to clients. Counsel Serena Lee is also noted as 'hardworking' and 'insightful'.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Donnithorne-Tait

Other key lawyers:

Serena Lee; Matthew Durward-Thomas

Testimonials

The team is superb and the strongest I have ever encountered in the industry.’

Akin Gump’s corporate tax practice is really broad compared to many firms – they have a combination of a depth of knowledge across a broad range of corporate tax issues which makes them stand out from other firms. This is especially so in relation to international tax matters and restructurings and transactions involving a number of tax jurisdictions.’

Sophie Donnithorne-Tait has been very impressive. The team are clearly at the top of their game and know tax law back to front. Serena Lee has been the lead lawyer on our matters and has been, frankly, perfect. She is bright, insightful, hardworking and easy to work with.’

Encyclopaedic knowledge of UK and EU tax rules and tax treaties, insightful analysis and practical solutions to difficult problems.’

Key clients

Royalty Pharma

Travelex Investor Group

Prudential Insurance Company of America (PRICOA)

The Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Valaris plc

Fernando Parent Limited

PIK Lenders Swissport

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of intu Metrocentre Finance plc

Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Premier Oil Group

VPI Holdings Limited

Endava PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Royalty Pharma on its successful IPO and listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders in relation to the financial restructuring of the Travelex group, through which the group’s international business was transferred, by way of a series of pre-pack administration sales, to a new holding structure: New Travelex.
  • Advised PRICOA in connection with the proposed restructuring of its investment in the UK franchise of Pizza Hut, which resulted in a successful Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 5

International merger filings is Akin Gump LLP's speciality; the City team regularly works with overseas offices to advise on the competition elements of multijurisdictional M&A and other corporate transactions. Davina Garrod leads the London team. As well as litigating at an EU and UK level, Garrod works with large companies and financial institutions on regulatory issues. At associate level, Scott Pettifor uses his 'out-of-the-box thinking' to assist with merger control across a number of industry sectors.

Practice head(s):

Davina Garrod

Other key lawyers:

Scott Pettifor; Victoria Yuan

Testimonials

Scott Pettifor – his out-of-the-box thinking has managed to find solutions for the company when we need his help.

Akin Gump employs professional attorneys and specialises in merger control. We are impressed by their knowledge in this field. In addition, it has always been easy to communicate with members of the Akin Gump team, evidencing their strong teamwork.’

Davina Garrod and Scott Pettifor both have vast experience with and extensive knowledge of multinational antitrust regulations. They were very efficient in handling cases and easily grasped the key issues. Their exceptional communication skills also enable them to coordinate complex processes with a clear vision of how everything fits together.’

Very pleasant to work with, knowledgeable and responsive

The team is very plugged in on all aspects of competition and antitrust law and provide timely and very good advice. Very commercial approach as well.

Davina Garrod, Scott Pettifor and their team are very professional, very responsive and also very commercial in their approach. They assign probabilities to outcomes which is very helpful.

Very responsive and engaging.

Key clients

Singapore Airlines

Goldman Sachs

Macquarie Bank

Kingston Technology

GIC Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund

Apollo Global Management

Baker Hughes

Dropbox

7-Eleven Inc.

UBS

Work highlights

  • Advising Macquarie Bank and Siemens on obtaining merger control approvals in multiple jurisdictions regarding the creation of a joint venture.
  • Advising a global tech company in the European Commission’s ongoing behavioural competition investigations into Apple Inc.
  • Assisted MassMutual/Barings with the restructuring of  FX and payments provider Travelex.

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 5

Akin Gump LLP's financial services regulatory team draws on the firm's solid reputation for funds work to advise investment managers on a wide variety of English-law regulatory issues, including in relation to the impact of Brexit and the marketing and management of funds. The group is led by Ezra Zahabi, whose practice involves the interplay of EU and English financial regulatory law. Helen Marshall, who leads the contentious team, is often called upon to assist with the advisory practice.

Practice head(s):

Ezra Zahabi

Other key lawyers:

Helen Marshall; Joe Hewton

Testimonials

Significant investment made in understanding our business, excellent team work.’

Ezra Zahabi is dynamic, innovative, out of this world clever, delightful to work with.’

Key clients

Ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders of Travelex

Royalty Pharma

Ad hoc committee of unsecured creditors of Noble Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised an ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders in relation to the regulatory issues and applications of the high-profile financial restructuring of Travelex, through which the group’s wholesale and outsourcing business and certain international businesses of Travelex have been transferred by way of a pre-pack administration sale to a new holding structure, New Travelex.
  • Advising Royalty Pharma, a US-based biopharmaceutical company, on the regulatory considerations in connection with the launch and IPO of a new pharmaceutical royalties undertaking incorporated in the UK and listed on Nasdaq.
  • Provided English law advice to the ad hoc committee of unsecured creditors on regulatory considerations in connection with the financial restructuring of US$3.5 billion debt issued by Noble Group Limited, a SGX listed Asia commodities supply chain and trading group.

Corporate and commercial > M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 5

Akin Gump LLP's London office is highly regarded by clients for its 'depth of talent and resources' on high-value, cross-border transactions. The team is particularly noted for its strength in emerging markets, handling major energy, TMT, and infrastructure deals for clients in locations such as Russia, the CIS, Africa, and Latin America. Joint practice heads Sebastian Rice and Daniel G. Walsh both boast significant experience in international M&A, variously specialising in private equity, venture capital, and telecoms deals. The practice is benefitting from its 2019 hires; Gavin Weir is roundly praised by clients as 'the definition of a trusted adviser', Shaun Lascelles is recommended for his deep knowledge of international oil and gas markets, while Weyinmi Popo is a key contact for Africa-focused private equity sponsors, strategic investors and family offices.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Rice; Dan Walsh

Testimonials

‘The team we have worked with has been excellent. They are responsive, thoughtful and proactive. They reacted very well to the challenges of the pandemic and maintained a consistently high quality of service despite those challenges. They worked extremely well and efficiently to a challenging timetable.’

‘Akin Gump’s team acts as our trusted partner on every transaction we contemplate. They have the depth of talent and resources to cover all aspects of an acquisition, they are responsive, understand the commercial imperatives and go beyond the interpretation of the law to provide options and solutions to solve issues faced during the structuring or negotiation.’

‘Gavin Weir is key to the Akin Gump’s team approach and added-value. He is thorough, has broad and lateral thinking abilities, is a problem-solver, creative and innovative, while having a perfect moral compass. He is the definition of a trusted advisor. His availability is remarkable, making you feel you have his undivided attention.’

‘Gavin Weir is an excellent negotiator, able to navigate demanding transactions and to assist in the formulation of effective strategies in transaction procedures, and negotiations. He is a highly experienced professional who brings valuable know-how and sound legal advice to his clients.’

‘Gavin Weir has repeatedly contributed to us completing several successful transactions. His experience, professionalism, robust & wide legal knowledge and problem-solving attitude and capability make him stand-out compared to his peers.’

‘Gavin Weir is superb. He is always available and ensures that we receive the golden standard in legal advice across multiple topics. He is smart at bringing in his partners if he feels it is required.’

‘Level of client care is excellent. Give legal advice but with a commercial perspective. M&A expertise is second to none.’

‘Sebastian Rice – experience and a commanding presence in legal discussion. He acknowledges our views and makes it happen for us’.

Key clients

VPI Holdings Ltd

Vitol S.A

Helios Investment Partners

Mediobanca S.p.A.

Cairn Capital Group

Piraeus Bank

Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of the Premier Oil Group

Endava

Coller Capital

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP)

Africa Capital Works

MBU Capital

Mail.ru Group Limited

Trans-Siberian Gold

Fortenova Grupa

Carlyle Group

Work highlights

  • Advised VPI Holding Limited on the company’s proposed acquisition from Drax Group plc of four combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants in the UK.
  • Advising Cairn Capital Group Ltd., together with Mediobanca S.p.A. on the terms of an acquisition and merger with Bybrook Capital LLP.
  • Advising Fortenova Grupa d.d. on the sale of its frozen food business to Nomad Foods.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 5

The 'outstanding' disputes team at Akin Gump LLP is particularly strong for financial restructuring litigation, cross-border fraud, energy sector and Russia-related disputes. The 'excellent' Richard Hornshaw took over as head of the team from Mark Dawkins, who stepped back from the practice. Hornshaw focuses his practice on finance and securities law matters, as well as insolvency and restructuring situations, while Kambiz Larizadeh is a name to note for civil fraud. Counsel Jenny Arlington (who is fluent in English, Russian and German) handles both international arbitration and litigation, with particular expertise in technology disputes as well as cyber and privacy issues. Sheena Buddhdev joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hornshaw

Testimonials

Cutting edge analysis combined with real tenacity in getting the right result.’

Richard Hornshaw is both deeply impressive technically, as well as collaborative in his approach – an absolute necessity in cross-border commercial litigation with multiple teams and firms needing to operate as one unit to implement a consistent strategy. You look forward to working with him on significant matters as he builds and leads a great wider team with a deft touch, and is always alive to the right legal points and strategy.

Jenny Arlington is a rising star! She is a safe pair of hands, and works tirelessly (often behind the scene) to ensure many different parts of the case move together towards the desired outcome!

Of all the law firms I deal with in London, Akin Gump is unique for effective and insightful advice, delivered on budget, and with exceptional quality in legal and commercial strategy.’

The Akin London team has a very impressive bench of commercial litigators with the right blend of strategy, client focus, and technical and Court nous.  They are a great firm to work with, always focused on the end-game and getting the best result for the client. They have also impressed us by their stress-testing alternative approaches, strategies, and legal arguments.

‘Kambiz Larizadeh had a good ear to understand your legal concerns and worked tirelessly . He provided not only sound legal advice but also comfort that they are genuinely there to resolve the issues at hand.’

Akin Gump has outstanding professionals, and very dedicated. Stand out for their know-how, expertise and dedication to the client.’

Richard Hornshaw is excellent, and one of the most intelligent solicitors in the City. I would trust him with any knotty problem.’

Key clients

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Premier Oil

Deloitte as administrators of African Minerals Limited

Fairhold Securitisation Limited

PJSC Tatneft

Bridgestone Licensing Services, Inc. and Bridgestone Americas Inc.

Holders of notes issued by Travelport Limited

NOC Swiss

Nordic Trustee AS

Lukoil

Work highlights

  • Advising Nordic Trustee AS, the holder of secured bonds issued by G3 Exploration Limited (“G3E”). This is a highly contentious insolvency situation in which the principal litigation workstreams include: (i) two sets of contested winding-up proceedings in the Cayman Islands; (ii) potential claims against the founder and former Chairman and CEO of the Group; (iii) a hostile inter-creditor dispute; (iv) declaratory relief proceedings in England relating to a disputed guarantee; (v) correspondence relating to pre-action disclosure in Singapore; (vi) a guarantee debt claim in the Cayman Islands and subsequent §1782 enforcement actions in NYC; and (vii) a complaint before the Conciliation Board of Oslo, Norway.
  • Acting for the joint administrators of African Minerals Limited (AML). AML was an AIM-listed company that went into administration in 2015 with debts of approximately US$1bn.  As part of the scheme structure, the claims were assigned to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) controlled by certain of the creditors. The scheme was implemented against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and was one of the first schemes of arrangements to be approved at a virtual meeting of creditors and by the court at a virtual hearing.
  • Represented the Travelport Ad Hoc Group in connection with the high profile Commercial Court litigation concerning the attempt by Wex Inc. to invoke a ‘material adverse event’ clause to escape its US$1.7bn agreement to acquire the Travelport payments business.

Finance > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 5

Acting in relation to a range of often highly structured, partner-led new money financings and also regularly working alongside the firm's market-leading bondholder-focused restructuring team, Akin Gump LLP's fluid borrower-focused practice is particularly visible in core sector strengths of the firm as a whole, including energy. Regularly working alongside the firm's Moscow office, fluent Russian speaker Robert Aulsebrook continues to advise leading Russian and emerging market companies, including Lukoil, on their ongoing financing needs. Tom O’Connor co-heads the team alongside Aulsebrook and has a specific focus on institutional private placement matters, work which sees him active on the front end of deals as well as in a restructuring context.

Practice head(s):

Robert Aulsebrook; Thomas O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Peppiatt; Michael Gustafson; Mark Mansell; Amy Kennedy; Inderveer Hothi

Key clients

PJSC LUKOIL

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders intu Metrocentre Finance Plc

PIK Lenders Swissport

Astrobank

BioPharma Credit Plc

Intermediate Capital Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advised PJSC LUKOIL on its issuance of $1.5bn Eurobonds listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the payment-in-kind (PIK) loan lenders in relation to the $1.9bn financial restructuring of Swissport, including a debt-for-equity swap, a new long-term debt facility and an additional interim finance facility.
  • Advising the creditors in connection with the senior secured financing provided to JD Wetherspoon plc, including the amendment of the existing intercreditor arrangements, which did not contemplate additional senior debt.

Investment fund formation and management > Private funds (including infrastructure funds)

India > Foreign firms Tier 5

Akin Gump LLP‘s India-related work is led by Prakash Mehta in Washington DC and the ‘excellent’ Thomas John Holton in London. Its focus is on funds matters; ‘with excellent capabilities on all facets of fund formation, including regulatory, tax and compliance‘. It acts for major, often global private equity, venture capital, real estate and credit funds in their fund raisings in India and also assists India-based funds to expand overseas or set up a base in countries such as the USA, when they would also be assisted in navigating regulatory and licensing issues. There are specialists in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, London and Abu Dhabi, including Divya Thakur and Juliana Widjaja in Singapore.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

It’s a full service firm with excellent capabilities on all facets of fund formation, including regulatory, tax and compliance. Further, with the team spread across key geographies, such as Singapore, London and US-West coast, they are able to work seamlessly across time zones. With respect to any complex matter requiring expert opinions, the firm is able to pull in resources from various backgrounds who give very timely and sound legal advice.’

‘Thomas John Holton: Always available and an excellent funds lawyer – gives very practical advice which is balanced from a regulatory and market perspective.

Key clients

Carpediem Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Carpediem Capital in connection with the launch of their fund and marketing efforts around the world.

Akin Gump is a global law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors who pride themselves on dedication to their clients and their communities. With 20 offices worldwide, we are renowned for numerous market-leading practices; our strengths in complex transactions and restructurings, high-stakes litigation, and public policy and regulatory matters; and our unyielding pro bono commitment. We partner with clients from both established industries and cutting-edge markets to deliver creative solutions to business-critical issues, helping them seize opportunities and anticipate challenges. Driven by our forward-thinking leadership, we have built a strong culture of innovation and collaboration as well as a talented and diverse workforce committed to the success of our clients and each other. We are intentional about fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where all employees are supported and given the tools to succeed. We are focused on recruiting and nurturing the next generation of exceptional legal talent and are proud that our recruitment and professional development efforts are recognized as among the best in the industry. Akin Gump’s London office is the hub of the firm’s international practice.

The firm: The firm’s strategy is to grow practices that complement its core strengths internationally. This has resulted in the growth of the London office with particular depth in the practice areas noted below. The fully integrated nature of the office within the broader firm means that the firm’s London lawyers work closely with their counterparts around the globe. Akin Gump’s London office clients include investment funds, insurance companies and market-leading energy and telecommunication companies.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is the practising name of Akin Gump LLP. Akin Gump LLP is a New York limited liability partnership and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Types of work undertaken
Africa: Akin Gump’s fully integrated Africa team brings together over 90 lawyers and advisors based firm-wide, many of whom have lived and worked in Africa. Our lawyers regularly undertake sophisticated projects across the continent and understand the challenges associated with doing business in complex economic and political environments.

Banking litigation: a market leader in cross-border creditor litigation, having worked on some of the most significant creditor cases of the last decade, the firm has deep knowledge and experience in acting on the full range of international creditor disputes.

Capital markets (debt and equity): the team advises issuers, insurance companies and hedge funds and has a leading practice representing institutional investors in cross-border private placement financing transactions.

Competition/EU: known for its robust international transactional antitrust capabilities and for leading merger control investigations, the London team is supported by a network of competition lawyers located in key business centres.

Construction: the practice offers high-value, highly technical international construction and engineering arbitration advice in the oil, gas, power and major projects sectors.

Corporate: Akin Gump advises on every type of M&A transaction and tender offer, including some of the largest acquisitions and dispositions of shares and assets involving public and private businesses worldwide.

Debt finance: the firm advises clients on precedent-setting new financings (including special situations and leveraged financings), workouts and restructurings in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. It represents institutional investors, investment funds, borrowers and other stakeholders in relation to leveraged acquisition finance, direct lending, distressed and “rescue” financings, debt capital markets – including private placement debt issuance – securitisation, structured finance and project financings.

Dispute resolution: the practice’s work includes handling finance litigation, energy and telecoms disputes and advising on major international arbitration matters.

Energy: a market leader advising on all aspects of the traditional energy and renewables industries with a renowned full-service practice encompassing transactional, dispute and regulatory matters.

Financial restructuring: a top-tier financial restructuring practice handling many of the most significant matters in the market, which, combined with the firm’s renowned US restructuring team, gives the firm a leading global presence. Widely recognised as a leading creditor practice in Europe.

Financial services regulatory (contentious and non-contentious): fielding a team with years of experience working at the regulator and for regulated businesses, Akin Gump is among the top firms in this focused area.

International trade: Akin Gump has a leading export controls, sanctions, trade policy, customs, trade remedies and WTO disputes practice.

Investment management: Akin Gump acts for some of the largest investment funds in the world and is among the few elite international firms to have market-leading practices in both the hedge fund and private equity fund industries in all the world’s prominent centres for alternative investment management. The team also includes a leading secondaries practice in London.

Private equity: the firm advises on high-value, complex private equity transactions, with a particular focus on investments in the energy, financial services, telecommunications and health sectors and in emerging markets.

Project finance: the firm advises on power generation projects, waste-to-energy projects, embedded generation projects, energy storage, and transmission and distribution projects. The team also advises on oil and gas, process plant and petrochemical projects as well as infrastructure project financings.

Tax: Akin Gump’s award-winning tax practice focuses on advising financial sector clients in highly complex, cross-border restructurings and the tax structuring of investment fund transactions.

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Fort Worth, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hartford, Hong Kong, Houston, Irvine, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Singapore, Washington, DC.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Partner in Charge Sebastian Rice
Senior partner James Roome
Capital markets Barry Russell (debt)
Capital markets Robert Aulsebrook (debt)
Capital markets Vance Chapman (equity)
Capital markets Harry Keegan (equity)
Construction (arbitration) Hamish Lal
Corporate/M&A Sebastian Rice
Corporate/M&A Gavin Weir
Debt finance Tom O'Connor
EU/UK competition Davina Garrod
Finance Robert Aulsebrook
Finance Barry Russell
Financial restructuring James Roome
Financial restructuring Barry Russell
Financial restructuring James Terry
Financial restructuring Liz Osborne
Financial services Helen Marshall (contentious)
Financial services Ezra Zahabi (non-contentious)
International Trade Jasper Helder
International Trade Chiara Klaui
Investment management (Hedge funds) Ian Meade
Investment management (Hedge funds) Tim Pearce
Investment management (Private Equity funds) John Daghlian
Investment management (Private Equity funds) John Holton
Leveraged finance Amy Kennedy
Private equity transactions Shaun Lascelles
Private equity transactions Sebastian Rice
Private equity transactions, including Africa Weyinmi Popo
Litigation/International arbitration Justin Williams
Commercial litigation/banking litigation Mark Dawkins
Commercial litigation/banking litigation Richard Hornshaw
US securities Daniel Walsh
PhotoNamePositionProfile
 Hamish Annandale photo Hamish AnnandaleHamish Annandale is a counsel in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
 Nicholas Antonas  photo Nicholas AntonasNicholas Antonas is counsel in Akin Gump’s global energy transactions group. He…
 Jenny Arlington photo Jenny ArlingtonJenny Arlington has more than 10 years’ experience in representing a wide…
 Robert Aulsebrook  photo Robert AulsebrookRobert Aulsebrook’s practice focuses on international debt finance, project finance, capital markets…
 Aleksander Bakic photo Aleksander BakicAleksander Bakic is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
 Tom Bannister  photo Tom BannisterTom Bannister is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. He…
 Vance Chapman  photo Vance ChapmanVance Chapman focuses his practice on special situations, equity offerings and equity…
 John Daghlian  photo John DaghlianJohn Daghlian is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
 Mark Dawkins  photo Mark DawkinsMark Dawkins is a partner in Akin Gump’s litigation group. He has…
 Lois Deasey photo Lois DeaseyLois Deasey is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. She…
 Sophie Donnithorne-Tait  photo Sophie Donnithorne-TaitSophie Donnithorne-Tait is a partner in Akin Gump’s tax group. She advises…
 Matthew Durward-Thomas photo Matthew Durward-ThomasMatthew Durward-Thomas represents investment funds as well as private and multinational public…
 Artem Faekov  photo Artem FaekovArtem Faekov represents public and private entities in international project finance and…
 Davina Garrod  photo Davina GarrodDavina Garrod leads Akin Gump’s EU/UK competition group. She advises multinationals, corporates…
 Alaric Green photo Alaric GreenAlaric Green is counsel in Akin Gump’s EU/UK competition group. He advises…
 Michael Gustafson photo Michael GustafsonMichael Gustafson is a finance lawyer with significant experience leading complex debt…
 Jasper Helder  photo Jasper HelderJasper Helder’s practice focuses on international trade and corporate compliance matters addressing…
 Joe Hewton photo Joe HewtonJoe Hewton is counsel in Akin Gump’s financial regulatory group. He advises…
 John Holton  photo John HoltonJohn Holton represents asset managers on the launch and restructuring of private…
 Richard Hornshaw  photo Richard HornshawRichard Hornshaw is a partner in Akin Gump’s litigation group and leads…
 Inderveer Hothi photo Inderveer HothiInderveer Hothi’s practice focuses on finance and corporate transactions covering a wide…
 Sophie Jermine  photo Sophie JermineSophie Jermine has over 15 years of experience in acting for hedge,…
 Harry Keegan  photo Harry KeeganHarry Keegan’s practice focuses on international mergers and acquisitions and equity capital…
 Chiara Klaui photo Chiara KlauiChiara Klaui is known for her pragmatic and to the point advice…
 Hamish Lal photo Hamish LalHamish Lal represents clients in a range of high-value, highly technical, international…
 Kambiz Larizadeh  photo Kambiz LarizadehKambiz Larizadeh is a partner in Akin Gump’s litigation group. He focuses…
 Shaun Lascelles  photo Shaun LascellesShaun Lascelles has more than 20 years of experience advising on cross-border…
 Mary Lavelle photo Mary LavelleMary Lavelle is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. She…
 Serena Lee photo Serena LeeSerena Lee is a counsel in Akin Gump’s tax group. She advises…
 Mark Mansell  photo Mark MansellMark Mansell has represented noteholders, bondholders and other investors in numerous cross-border…
 Helen Marshall photo Helen MarshallHelen Marshall is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial regulatory group. She…
 Ian Meade  photo Ian MeadeIan Meade is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
 Caroline-Lucy Moran  photo Caroline-Lucy MoranCaroline-Lucy Moran’s practice comprises cross-border M&A, joint ventures, project development and private…
 Thomas O'Connor photo Thomas O'ConnorTom O’Connor is a partner in Akin Gump’s finance group. He represents…
 Liz Osborne  photo Liz OsborneLiz Osborne is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. She…
 Tim Pearce  photo Tim PearceTim Pearce is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
 Stephen Peppiatt  photo Stephen Peppiatt
 Scott Pettifor photo Scott PettiforScott Pettifor advises on merger cases (at an EU, U.K. and multijurisdictional…
 Weyinmi Popo photo Weyinmi PopoWeyinmi Popo, a cross-border corporate finance lawyer, advises various Africa-focused private equity…
 Daniel Quinn  photo Daniel QuinnDaniel Quinn is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
 Sebastian Rice  photo Sebastian RiceSebastian Rice is the partner in charge of Akin Gump’s London and…
 James Roome photo James RoomeJames Roome is a senior partner of the London office and a…
 Simon Rootsey  photo Simon RootseySimon Rootsey works with private equity firms, infrastructure investors and corporates on…
 David Sewell  photo David SewellDavid Sewell is an English lawyer who concentrates on cross-border corporate transactions.…
 Emma Simmonds  photo Emma SimmondsEmma Simmonds is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. She…
 Aimee Smart photo Aimee SmartAimee Smart is counsel in Akin Gump’s litigation group. She has experience…
 James Terry  photo James TerryJames Terry is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. He…
 Daniel G. Walsh  photo Daniel G. WalshDaniel Walsh represents both acquirors/investors and their targets/investees in acquisitions and investments…
 Gavin Weir  photo Gavin WeirGavin Weir leads domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and corporate financings under…
 Justin Williams photo Justin WilliamsWith over 20 years of experience, Mr. Williams is a recognised leader…
 Ezra Zahabi photo Ezra ZahabiEzra Zahabi is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial regulatory group. She…
Firmwide lawyers and advisers : 900+
London lawyers : 137

At Akin Gump, we believe the various perspectives and experiences of our lawyers and staff help us achieve exceptional results for our clients and bring important insights into all aspects of the firm.

Firmwide Resource Group

Our firm sponsors seven firmwide resource groups (FRG) for lawyers and staff focused on Abilities, Asian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Parents/Caregivers, and Women. These FRGs complement the firm’s efforts related to recruiting, professional development, and fostering inclusive workplaces. They are voluntary and open to all attorneys and staff.

Local Diversity and Inclusion Councils

Akin Gump has a firm-wide Diversity and Inclusion Council to guide the execution of the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy. We also have local diversity and inclusion councils in each U.S. office, and London. Diversity and inclusion councils offer lawyers and staff a chance to communicate ideas to firm management and to recommend additional initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion at the firm.

Family Friendly Policies

At Akin Gump, we support lawyers through policies and programmes that enable them to effectively manage and integrate work, family, and other responsibilities. The firm has a Reduced Work Schedule Policy, which allows lawyers to work reduced schedules and remain on partnership track. In particular, we have a significant track record of promotions of women who have availed themselves of the policy.

We also have an Agile Work Programme that recognises that agile work arrangements play an important role in providing excellent client service at the highest levels while also providing flexibility for our lawyers.

The firm works with Bright Horizon’s Family Solutions to offer our employees care for children and dependent adults.

Pro bono

Our lawyers defend human rights by representing asylum seekers, victims of trafficking and the NGOs that assist them. Our pro bono matters include public interest litigation, legislative counselling, poverty law and transactions, in each of Akin Gump’s offices. The firm is also focused on leveraging our tremendous pro bono commitment to address injustice and pursue equality throughout our communities.

London

The London office of Akin Gump is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment where all members of the Akin Gump community can thrive and grow. We maintain a culture that sees differences as strengths. Local chapters of our FRGs support BAME, Abilities, LGBTQ+, Women, and Parents and Caregivers. In addition, social mobility is specifically included as part of our efforts.

During our trainee recruiting process, we utilise blind screening by removing the name and gender from student applications to reduce the opportunity for bias. Applicants are asked to take a critical thinking assessment to help us ensure that a broad range of candidates have the opportunity to reach the interview and selection process. We also partner with Bright Network and Aspiring Solicitors, and participate in their careers fairs.

We maintain strategic external partnerships with a number of professional, social and cultural organisations to foster diversity and inclusion. These include a Bridge Builder programme with leading youth and education charity City Year, an internship programme and a mentoring initiative with the Social Mobility Foundation, sponsorship of the AS Foundation which seeks to reduce financial barriers to entry to the legal professional, Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme and a school backpack project for the families’ division of homeless charity Shelter. We also work with leading women’s charitable organisations including Refuge, Solace Women’s Aid and Vital Voice.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s stellar reputation in funds, private equity and restructuring impressed recruits. A small trainee intake and lean teams equal ‘exposure to deals and clients early on’ and working with senior colleagues, including partners, is the norm. An appealing financial package has earned the US firm a Lex 100 Winner award. There is a ‘hands-on approach to training’ with ‘trainees treated as members of the team’ but the ‘right balance is struck between the expectation that we learn by doing and an acknowledgement that we will not know how to do everything first time’. This commitment to professional development has stood firm during lockdown, with recruits reporting that ‘training sessions seem even more frequent since we moved to working remotely’. The ‘responsive’ graduate development team was also praised: ‘it is very easy to reach out to them and get something set up’. Less impressive is the IT infrastructure which ‘feels old and often fails’, including the ‘VPN which never works’ – far from ideal when working from home! Having to work anti-social hours and weekends was begrudged, although it was acknowledged that ‘the work/life balance does fluctuate’. ‘Being part of a very small team working on a one-billion-dollar deal’ and ‘a client taking the time to thank me personally after my first closing’ were highlights. ‘Trying to meet 9am deadlines given late at night’ and ‘not taking notes on a call and then being asked for them by a partner’ were moments trainees would rather forget. For a firm with a dynamic culture, where the work is of an ‘outstanding quality’ and the pro bono opportunities abundant, consider Akin Gump.