Firm Profile > Akin Gump LLP > London, England

Akin Gump LLP
E1 6EG

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 1

Praised by one client for its 'strong ability to corral bondholders with different agendas and well supported by New York colleagues', Akin Gump LLP excels in advising creditors, including hedge and pension funds, in complex multi-party restructuring mandates. A true destination practice, the majority of matters handled by the 13-partner team, which is run out of London by the 'experienced and commercialJames Roome and Barry Russell, is of a standalone nature, a testament to the firm's ability to 'maximize value for its clients in a sustainable way'. Leveraging the firm's overarching energy sector expertise, the team continues to be at the forefront of creditor mandates in the oil and gas sector, with the 'calm and collectedJames Terry benefiting from particular expertise in relation to Norwegian bond restructurings. The 'energetic and enthusiasticLiz Osborne is a 'calm and focused negotiator' for a versatile array of investor clients, which are appreciative of her ability to 'deal effortlessly with highly complex detail'. The  'quietly spoken but fiercely intelligent' Emma Simmonds is a 'stylish negotiator' and is regularly involved in high-profile restructurings of distressed bonds, private placement notes and loans in Europe.

Practice head(s):


The team has comprehensive skills and significant experience in multi-party complex restructuring.

In addition to being very good lawyers, they have two other qualities that I have always found sets them apart from other work-out lawyers. First, in discussions where they represent a group of disparate lenders, they are able to lead the discussions and offer a range of approaches in order to more quickly and efficiently reach consensus. Second, they understand the business implications of situations and thus are able to separate the theoretical from the practical in strategic discussions with clients.

The team has a strong ability to corral bondholders with different agendas and are well supported by their New York colleagues for cross-border deals.

James Terry is calm and collected and very commercial.

James Roome – good for high level strategic guidance. Knows how restructurings play out and how to get clients the best deal.

When you think of what a great partner and advisor is in terms of external counsel, Barry Russell embodies it and then beats it. By far.

The energetic and enthusiastic Liz Osborne is extremely hardworking and a great negotiator.

Liz Osborne is exceptional in all regards – she deals effortlessly with highly complex detail and yet retains a clear vision of how everything fits. Importantly for clients, she inspires huge confidence that your interests are being relentlessly considered, and, if necessary, fought for.

Emma Simmonds is quietly spoken but fiercely intelligent and a stylish negotiator.






Key clients

Agrokor d.d.

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Digicel Group Limited

Lenders to the Endeavour Group of Companies

Fairhold Securitisation Limited

Strategic Value Partners (UK) LLP

The Ad Hoc Group of Senior Secured Noteholders of Galapagos SA

Majority bondholder of Norwegian Law Governed Secured Bonds Issued by G3 Exploration Limited

The Noteholders of Royal Imtech N.V. and its Subsidiaries

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

Global Group of Mozambique Bondholders (GGMB)

Ad Hoc Group of Senior Unsecured Creditors of Noble Group Limited

Nordic Trustee AS

Certain Affiliated Noteholders of the Syncreon Group

Holders of Shares and Notes Issued by Terreal Holding SAS and its subsidiaires

The Ad Hoc Noteholder Committee of Weatherford International

Hedge funds Tier 2

Akin Gump LLP advises a variety of fund clients including major fund managers, institutional asset managers and start-up funds, providing an integrated service across the UK, Europe, and the US thanks to the firm's international platform. The team works across all fund formation and operation matters including launches and fundraisings, liquidity management work, fund structurings and secondary transactions. The team in London is led by Ian Meade, who has substantial relationships with many key fund managers across the UK and US; and Tim Pearce, who advises on fund structurings, regulatory instruments, third party issues and alternative investments. Counsel Hamish Annandale is also a key name to note.

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‘Excellent corporate law and funds structuring knowledge couple with a commercial lens.’

‘Excellent responsiveness. Solid technical knowledge. Commercial approach to problem solving. Tim Pearce is excellent.’

‘Tim Pearce is excellent – commercial minded, approachable partner.’

‘Tim Pearce, Partner and Hamish Annandale, Counsel are readily available to advise on investment queries as they have arisen. Their depth of market knowledge and of our business means they add great value, enabling us to achieve tasks in the most appropriate way, structure and cost for the firm and underlying clients.’

Oil and gas Tier 2

The oil and gas team at Akin Gump LLP is co-led by John C. LaMaster and Justin Williams and impresses with its ‘knowledge, experience and ability to turn things around quickly‘. LaMaster is a seasoned expert in all aspects of upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas work and also handles electricity generation, biofuel, chemical and petrochemical matters; while Williams handles litigation. The practice significantly bolstered its capabilities in late 2019 with the addition of transactional corporate and private equity partners Shaun Lascelles and Simon Rootsey from Vinson & Elkins RLLP, and Weyinmi Popo from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP, who specialises in Africa-focused transactions and investments. Julian Nichol is also noted for project finance mandates.


‘The experience of the team makes it unique. Also the turn-around time on projects and documents is phenomenal.’

‘Knowledge, experience, ability to turn things around quickly.’

‘Substantively, the team are exceptional and among the best, if not the best. Additionally, what sets them apart is their responsiveness, commerciality and proactive approach to getting the deal done.’

‘Justin Williams – true market leader.’

Key clients


Pan American Energy S.L.

Coastline Exploration

Palestine Power Generation Company

SDX Energy

Ad hoc committee of lenders to Endeavour International Corp

DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG

The Carlyle Group


Dommo Energia S.A.

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 2

Julian Nichol leads the power offering at Akin Gump LLP, which is increasingly involved in first-of-its-kind power generation projects; it recently advised project developer Palestine Power Generating Company on the 518 MW Jenin Independent Power Project in Palestine. Nichol is experienced in advising on the acquisition, disposal, development and financing of independent power generation projects, as well as advising on reserve-based financings. The practice also recently strengthened its transactional capabilities in emerging markets with the the recruitment of Shaun Lascelles and Simon Rootsey from Vinson & Elkins RLLP and Weyinmi Popo from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP.

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‘Akin Gump and in particular Julian Nichol have excellent knowledge and experience of renewable energy projects, especially solar projects in West Africa. Their insight on various items under PPP and PPA were very helpful to safeguard our rights as investor and energy producer.’

‘The depth and reach of resources, both in each location and internationally. The quality of the lawyers, their experience, knowledge and networks and the manner in which they can enhance these by leveraging the resources of the firm. The firm has very clear specialisms and excel in these. It does not try to be all things to all clients, but in its selected areas of intervention, it is a powerhouse.’

‘Julian Nichol, Energy Partner. He stands out because of the depth and breadth of his experience in energy projects, covering the whole life-cycle from development, though construction to operation and sale. He is an individual of great intellect, always combining his extensive legal knowledge and commercial experience to deliver practical, realistic and workable solutions. He also possesses great personal integrity and what he says may always be relied upon.’

Key clients


New Urban Communities Authority of the Government of Egypt

Palestine Power Generation Company

Shams Ma’an Power Company

Wentworth Clean Power

PAL 4 Solar Energy LLC

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

Akin Gump LLP expanded its team considerably in 2019, with four new partners joining the firm and bolstering its offering. Shaun Lascelles and Simon Rootsey arrived from Vinson & Elkins RLLP, providing significant expertise in energy and emerging market transactions, with Helios and Vitol Investments notable new clients in the space. Africa-focused investment specialist Weyinmi Popo arrived from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP, while Gavin Weir joined from White & Case LLP. The firm works with an array of private equity funds, maintaining a notable relationship with the Carlyle Group, alongside sovereign wealth funds, working closely with the firm's funds and finance practices. The practice is led by Sebastian Rice, a specialist in cross-border transactions with key contacts across Europe, the US, and Russia.

Practice head(s):


Fantastic at execution, highly professional and understand client needs.

David Sewell consistently performs well. His work on interesting deals persists, be it in energy or in secondary deals within the PE space.

Harry Keegan – Technically very sound, extremely responsive and a pleasure to work with.

Commercial, responsive, creative.

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

Vitol Investment Partnership

Helios Investment Partners


DEA Deutsche Erdoel

Coller Capital

VLC Energy

COG Energy

UFG Private Equity

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP's 'very commercial' and 'client-focused' banking litigation team has positioned itself as a popular choice for creditors in disputes. It is particularly well-regarded for its representation of hedge funds in bondholder disputes, as well as in handling contentious restructuring matters. 'Very experienced litigator' Mark Dawkins leads a team which also includes Richard Hornshaw and senior counsel Sheena Buddhdev . The group is able to work seamlessly with colleagues in its financial regulatory and restructuring teams and its international network in cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):


In financial services, this firm is stellar – its litigation teams are extraordinarily capable.’

They have great experience in this area of dispute resolution, and are very highly regarded in the field.’

A very client focused litigation team that understands the client’s objectives and develops a range of legal options to achieve those.

Mark Dawkins and Sheena Buddhdev are brilliant, experienced high quality litigators who are head and shoulders above their peers.

Richard Hornshaw is wonderfully knowledgeable about the sector, with great clients and a great team.

Mark Dawkins is a very experienced litigator. He’s patient, has a dry wit and a fine legal mind. His grip of complex financing structure and the commercial issues arising out of it in a litigation context are first class.

The team is very commercial and very nice to work with for the Bar. We had a stunning success for the clients killing a claim at a relatively early stage. They compare favourably with any other City firm.


Key clients

Oceanwood Capital Management


Deloitte as administrators of African Minerals Limited

Fairhold Securitisation Limited

Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Noble Group

Creditors of Interserve

Burford Capital

Cornwall Luxembourg SARL

Debt capital markets Tier 3

The London office of Akin Gump LLP is the main hub of the firm’s debt capital markets practice outside of the US. Its team in London advises issuers, institutional investors and hedge funds based in the US, the UK and elsewhere worldwide. Its work focuses predominantly on cross-border private placements on behalf of institutional investors, alongside structured finance and securitisation. The practice is led by private placements specialist Barry Russell. Other key figures include Robert Aulsebrook, who works extensively on deals involving Russia, and Thomas O’Connor. Mark Mansell frequently acts for insurance companies. Also recommended are Michael Gustafson, who joined as a partner from Pricoa Private Capital, and senior counsel Tori Weir.


The firm has deep knowledge of the client’s business practices and procedures, the ability to communicate efficiently with many relevant company colleagues, and the ability to coordinate complex processes and ensure the successful completion of the deals.’

Robert Aulsebrook shows full dedication to client, speed of reaction, excellent knowledge of the product and the ability to handle complex transactions.’

The Akin Gump team is a very strong, capable, attentive and detailed-oriented group. We enjoy working with them a lot and view their strengths across DCM, restructuring and compliance as top-notch. They are very much our “go-to” firm for advice around private capital markets and the recent deepening of the bench is a great sign.’

Barry Russell, Tom O’Connor and Mike Gufstafson are our “go-to” guys. Each of these gents has been a genuine partner in terms of underwriting new issue debt as well as in the restructuring of debt situations. They understand our goal as institutional lenders and what we are seeking to achieve and go in to bat for us in a strong, educated way. We feel they have our back and therefore feel we are well-positioned with them advising us. Each of these guys is well known in the European markets which also helps.’

An excellent team with in-depth knowledge of the oil & gas sector including the Russian market. It works seamlessly across various jurisdictions and out of a number of offices across the globe. It is friendly but highly focused and mainly acts for issuers/borrowers.’

Robert Aulsebrook is a top-tier lawyer with enormous experience in debt capital markets. He gets the deal done and keeps his calm under pressure.’

They are nice to work with and know what they are doing.’

They are incredibly client service-oriented, responsive, commercial, knowledgeable – all of it. Tom O’Connor and Tori Weir stand out.’

Key clients



CEVA Group Plc

Pricoa Private Capital

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

Barings LLC

Emerging markets Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP 'has deep knowledge of the global oil and gas sector', which is a key focus of its emerging markets work. It is best known for project finance transactions in Russia, the Middle East and Central Asia, but is also active in other regions and handles corporate deals alongside finance matters. Its partners frequently advise on ECA-backed loans, pre-export financings, farm-ins and farm-outs, syndicated and bilateral loans and Eurobonds, alongside and other debt securities and derivatives-based financing. Robert Aulsebrook, who focuses on international debt finance, project finance, capital markets and derivatives, and project finance partner Julian Nichol are the lead lawyers in London. Also recommended are Weyinmi Popo and Shaun Lascelles.

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‘The firm has deep knowledge of the global oil and gas sector and the various transactions done by an oil and gas company in the course of its business activity.’

‘The firm has long years of experience with our company and thorough knowledge of different business segments.’

‘Robert Aulsebrook is in charge of international finance transactions, compliance and information disclosure. He has long years of experience with us as a client, which ensures top-notch execution of transactions.’

Key clients

New Urban Communities Authority of the Government of Egypt


Palestine Power Generating Company (PPGC)

Shams Ma’an Power Company

Lukinter Finance BV

CEVA Group plc

PAL 4 Solar Energy LLC

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

Akin Gump LLP provides ‘constructive and understandable risk-assessed advice’ to clients in the technology, IT, defence and private equity sectors. Trade compliance and financial crime advice are mainstays of the practice. The team is particularly well-versed in conducting multijurisdictional investigations; it handles voluntary self-disclosures and subsequent settlement negotiations in this space. Reflective of the firm’s strong foothold in the US tech sector, the team is also increasingly sought out to advise on cyber-related and other innovative issues. Jasper Helder and Chiara Klaui jointly lead the department, where recently promoted counsel Daniel Lund is also a key figure.

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Akin Gump’s UK export team has an impressive grasp of both regulatory and policy issues in the EU and the UK, including how those different spheres (policy and regulatory) and jurisdictions (EU and UK) intersect and overlap (and where they do not).

Dan Lund, in particular, has been extraordinarily helpful in working through thorny regulatory and policy issues in the UK and EU, often on a short-turnaround basis

Very good ability to combine commercial aspects of a transaction, in-debt knowledge of trade restrictions and understanding of clients risk appetite.

Provides constructive and understandable risk assessed advice.

Very responsive and available. Ability to discuss and explain complex legal advice to both legal and non-legal clients.

Knowledgeable and updated on recent updates and trends. Good discussion partner

Key clients

United Technologies Corporation

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.


United Parcel Service

Esterline Technologies

Textron Inc.

Volkswagen Group of America

Johnson & Johnson

Bain Capital LLC

Archer Daniels Midland Company



Financial services: contentious Tier 3

The dedicated financial services regulatory team at Akin Gump LLP specialises in FCA and PRA matters, particularly those with a cross-border element. The group works closely with the non-contentious side to assist with regulatory compliance advice. The ‘professional and promptHelen Marshall leads the practice and is a ‘truly formidable presence who really understands how things work, in an extremely practical way’. Also notable is counsel Joe Hewton, who focuses on regulatory compliance issues.

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‘I have always found and continue to find Akin Gump, by virtue of its partners, to be an absolutely excellent, legally astute and commercially aware practice’

‘Helen Marshall is a standout partner – highly intelligent, with immediate knowledge of the law applicable to her practice, as well as the practicalities of ensuring its implementation into a commercial environment, notwithstanding overarching regulatory or supervisory considerations’

‘I’ve worked with many regulatory orientated teams – across the magic circle and major US firms. I consider the team at Akin Gump to be outstanding’

‘The beauty of their approach is that it is both well-founded with the required expert technical basis, but at the same time practical and applied’

‘Their deep knowledge of the UK financial services regulatory landscape make them excellent advisers and advocates. They know how and when to push, and how hard.’

‘Their approach is never theoretical, or reliant on technicality, it is grounded in real life experience’

‘I can only describe Helen Marshall as outstanding. She brings the perfect blend of technical expertise and real life knowledge of how the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) works. She is utterly determined, portrays immense confidence, and is prepared to stand-up to opposition in a very well considered way’

‘Joe Hewton is a rising star. Utterly calm and professional, with a tremendous work ethic. He pores over the smallest details and constructs intricate arguments. He is a reassuring, confident and encouraging presence’

Private funds (including infrastructure funds) Tier 3

Akin Gump LLP significantly bolstered its London funds offering in mid-2019 with the arrival of the team from O'Melveny.  The new team comprises funds veteran John Daghlian , who is highly experienced in private equity formation and fundraising, Daniel Quinn and Alex Bakic , who both work prolifically on high-value secondaries and restructurings, alongside fund formation work, as well Mary Lavelle , who made partner upon her arrival. They work with existing partner John Holton , who  advises asset managers in a variety of jurisdictions, specialising in work for Indian clients. The practice has cross-jurisdictional expertise in sponsor fundraising, GP-led restructuring and secondaries, and investor-side matters, advising a combination of major international, European, and emerging markets funds across a variety of fund types and asset classes.


The wealth of experience makes Akin’s fund formation practice unique.

John Daghlian is excellent. A wealth of experience and very commercial. Also a great sense of humour!

A great mix of very commercial and in the detail. The team is able to provide a seasoned and balanced view on risk in order to allow us to take commercial decisions with confidence.

Solutions-oriented, very responsive, able to provide advice and guidance on a broad range of matters. Very aware of what else is going on in the market – both from GP and LP perspective.

Aleks Bakic is an excellent funds lawyer – the institutional knowledge he has built of our business over time means that his counsel is valuable not only with respect to new fund formations, but on a broader range of matters.

A great fund team with exceptional experience, particularly in relation to secondaries.

Daniel Quinn – is an exceptional lawyer, he is technical but also commercial and understands what his clients want.


Key clients

Harbour Litigation Funding

Coller Capital

Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners


Generali Investments

eEquity AB

Ocean Fund LP

Helios Investment Partners

Aksia Group SGR

Commercial litigation: premium Tier 4

'Originally known simply as the best bond outfit in London', Akin Gump LLP's disputes team has 'leveraged those skills into wider commercial litigation'. The 'strong premium litigation team' counts financial services, restructuring and energy sector disputes, as well as litigation involving Russia and the CIS region, among its areas of specialism. The team is led by Mark Dawkins who, alongside Richard Hornshaw, is particularly active in financial services disputes. Justin Williams is 'extremely experienced in handling 'big ticket' litigation' in the energy sector and in disputes with a Russian element, while Kambiz Larizadeh is highlighted for civil fraud matters. Counsel Sheena Buddhdev, who attracts praise for 'excellent skills coordinating complex cases', is another name to note.

Practice head(s):


The firm has a strong premium litigation team. They are knowledgeable, well prepared and not afraid to take a novel approach to advancing a client’s case.

A very strong, cohesive team. Client-focused with excellent commercial awareness, sensitive to client needs and the challenges of litigation/arbitration, particularly for foreign clients.

This is a perfectly sized team that is both nimble and has serious capacity. They do more litigation than some of the Magic Circle, and are more savvy as a result. They have that level of detail that you would want. Originally known simply as the best bond outfit in London, by far, they have leveraged those skills into wider commercial litigation.

Justin Williams is very calm under pressure and extremely experienced in handling ‘big ticket’ litigation. Counsel James Glaysher is very bright, always on top of the detail and has very good drafting skills.

Sheena Buddhdev is the pivot at the heart of a team, excellent skills coordinating complex cases and multiple work streams.

Aimee Smart is very clever, and with an assiduous eye to detail.

Kambiz Larizadeh is calm and measured under pressure, and with exceptional judgement – he’s able to identify the points that really matter and that will make the difference.

Richard Hornshaw is destined for the very top, an absolutely determined streetfighter, someone you’d want on your side if the chips are down.

Key clients


Oceanwood Capital Management


The Joint Administrators of Afren PLC (in administration)

Partners of Deloitte LLP as Joint Administrators of African Minerals Limited

Fairhold Securitisation Limited


Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Noble Group

Neste Bahrain WLL

Mr. Robert Foresman

Bondholder creditors of Interserve

Construction: contentious Tier 4

US-based firm Akin Gump LLP has a strong presence in the domestic UK market, as well as handling high-profile international construction arbitration. Hamish Lal heads the team, and noted for his 'capability to clearly distil the most complex issues and disputes into concise and understandable terms.' He is supported in the practice by associate Josephine Kaiding who has the 'ability to quietly and confidently execute instructions to a high standard.' The team also represents oil and gas companies in complex litigation.

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‘Hamish Lal leads the team at Akin Gump and is one of the pre-eminent construction and engineering lawyers in the world. Hamish very quickly determines the key issues in disputes and works tirelessly with his clients to establish and execute the most effective and efficient dispute resolution strategy. I have always been impressed at Hamish’s capability to distil the most complex issues and disputes into concise and understandable terms. Hamish is supported by Josephine Kaiding. I have been impressed by Josephine’s desire to learn and develop her legal and professional skills and ability to quietly and confidently execute instructions to a high standard.’

‘Hamish Lal is a lawyer that any sensible person involved in contentious construction litigation would want advising them. He has prodigious energy and a superb technical knowledge of construction law.’

‘Hamish Lal is the best construction and engineering disputes lawyer that I have instructed. His understanding of the law, the complex factual and technical matters at play in construction and engineering disputes, and the commercial pressures facing clients is unmatched by his peers.’

Key clients


HSM Offshore

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Fraud: civil Tier 4

Akin Gump LLP's practice focuses predominantly on cross-border disputes and energy disputes involving fraud, with a particular emphasis on litigation involving Russian and CIS clients. 'Very experienced and level headed' litigator Kambiz Larizadeh specialises in international commercial disputes. In an ongoing matter, Kambiz is representing Tatneft in long-running proceedings brought by the client against 4 Ukrainian businessmen, with a total value of $380m. Justin Williams has strong expertise in major disputes involving Russian companies in the energy sector. Richard Hornshaw is also a key member of the team.

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‘Akin Gump has considerable strength in depth, with a large team of partners and associates with significant experience in this area. They are hardworking and fight the client’s corner, whilst being pragmatic and exercising sound judgement, a key asset in the rough and tumble of fraud litigation.’

‘Capable of deploying large teams, experienced at all levels. Excellent to work with.’

‘Richard Hornshaw is astute, able to rally and organise a team effectively whilst still being on top of the detail.’

‘Kambiz Larizadeh is extremely bright and hands-on, always considering the case from all angles and with an eye on strategy at every turn.’

‘Kambiz Larizadeh is a smart litigator who knows how to handle high profile clients and litigation.’ 

Key clients



Deloitte/African Minerals

Joint Administrators of Afren

International arbitration Tier 4

Akin Gump LLP's 'very strong, cohesive team' is widely recognised for its experience in complex, high-stakes, international commercial arbitrations and investment treaty disputes; the practice has particular sector experience in the oil and gas, power generation and telecoms industries. Russia disputes specialist Justin Williams leads the worldwide international arbitration practice from the London office, which also includes construction arbitration expert Hamish LalKambiz Larizadeh, who is well known for matters involving civil fraud; and financial services disputes expert Richard Hornshaw. Jenny Arlington and James Glaysher are experienced counsels.

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‘Justin Williams is a true star in the int arb firmament – finger on the pulse at all times, and great judgement.’

‘Akin Gump has a very well built team, always available, and with large experience in arbitration.’

‘Akin Gump has very high standards of excellence, and global representation. I found the team I worked with to be very organised, professional and timely in its actions. Overall, my experience was very positive based on the integration of the team members, their clear vision of the goals to be achieved and the knowledgeable attorneys involved.’

‘A very strong, cohesive team. Client focused with excellent commercial awareness. Sensitive to client needs and the challenges of litigation/arbitration, particularly for foreign clients.’

Justin Williams – excellent leadership, puts together well balanced teams of associates and counsel, unparalleled sensitivity to client needs and concerns. Sheena Buddhdev – the pivot at the heart of a team, excellent skills coordinating complex cases and multiple work streams. James Glaysher – consistently strong team player, good nose for the key issues.’

Key clients

Dommo Energia S.A.


Neste Oil

China State Construction Engineering Corporation

Bridgestone Americas Inc

Vitol Group

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 5

Praised for its 'proactive approach to problem solving', Akin Gump LLP has two crucial limbs to its London finance practice. One is the borrower-focused finance offering, that under the guidance of Robert Aulsebrook excels at handling emerging markets-related matters for the likes of Lukoil, the Russian oil company that he continues to advise across myriad different financings (including as it relates to syndicated and club loans, pre-export finance and  acquisition finance). The other is the institutional private placement sub group, which continues to thrive under the guidance of US-qualified partner Thomas O’Connor and leads on both new money opportunities (including as it relates to investment-grade unsecured note placements) and work in a restructuring context.


‘Deep knowledge of the client’s requirements and ability to consistently stick to them in the documentation.’

‘Proactive approach to problem solving.’

‘Full dedication to client, excellent timing of processing client’s requests, thorough knowledge of the client’s business practices and internal procedures.’

Key clients


LUKOIL Overseas Uzbekistan Ltd.

Lukinter Finance BV

CEVA Group Plc

Pricoa Private Capital



Corporate tax Tier 5

Core elements of the practice at Akin Gump LLP are restructurings, investment funds, and standalone tax advisory work. Sophie Donnithorne-Tait is a tax restructuring expert, noted as 'great at quickly identifying key deal issues and developing practical and commercial solutions'. The team is led by Stuart Sinclair, who has a solid financial institutional client-base, and includes counsel Serena Lee, who has a developing practice involving funds and debt restructuring work.

Practice head(s):


Overall I find the team very robust in their technical approach, very focused the issues that really matter and provide advice that is practical to implement.’

They are technically strong, which they show in difficult and complex cases. They are quick and provide clear advise. On top of that, they are fun to work with.’

Stuart Sinclair is meticulous, forensic and appears to have memorized the yellow and orange handbooks.’

Sophie Donnithorne-Tait is a brilliant tax partner and one of the best I work with in the restructuring market. Sophie is great at quickly identifying key deal issues and developing practical and commercial solutions.’

Key clients

Ad hoc committee of unsecured creditors to Noble Group Limited


Strategic Value Partners

Freetown City Council, Sierra Leone

BrightSphere Investment Group plc (previously known as OM Asset Management plc)

Sustainable Growth Fund

A group of private placement noteholders in the restructuring of Interserve plc and its subsidiaries.

The Photography Awards Limited

Park Square

Goldman Sachs

Ad hoc group of senior secured noteholders of Galapagos SA

Syndicated lenders to Endeavour International

EU and competition Tier 5

The ‘impressive’ competition department at Akin Gump LLP garners praise for its ‘vast experience and knowledge of merger control’, and also has expertise in behavioural and state aid work. Led by Davina Garrod, the London team operates as part of the US-based firm’s global antitrust offering, working with  leading corporations and financial institutions. Sectors in which the firm has expertise include financial services, TMT, energy and technology, among others. Counsels Scott Pettifor and Alaric Green are noted.

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The team is very responsive and has vast experience and knowledge of merger control. It knows and understands how competition authorities operate very well.

We have had the opportunity to work with associates, counsels and partners of Akin Gump and they all have shown exceptional technical knowledge. Also, their work ethic and team work are outstanding. Finally, the firm’s ability to understand other jurisdictions’ antitrust regimes is something that we have not seen with other foreign firms.

The team works together in a seamless way – it handles all issues very efficiently. The lawyers provide high quality with very short response time.

Great dedication and enthusiasm from the whole team – from partner to associate.

Davina Garrod is a great professional with a realistic approach to transactions, very proactive and target-oriented. She understands the industry very well.

The whole team is impressive. Davina Garrod, Scott Pettifor and Alaric Green all have a grasp of legal issues, a business-oriented approach to finding solutions, an ability to get to the bottom of an issue.

Counsel Alaric Green is very responsive and focused on clients’ expectations.

Key clients

Singapore Airlines

Goldman Sachs


Kingston Technology

GIC Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund

Apollo Global Management

Baker Hughes




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

Akin Gump LLP has been ramping up its London corporate team significantly, adding financial institutions' specialist Gavin Weir from White & Case LLP , as well as three corporate M&A and private equity transactional partners; Shaun Lascelles, Simon Rootsey and Weyinmi Popo. The team is able to advise across the full range of M&A work, including negotiated transactions, auction processes, hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures and strategic alliances and tender offers involving public and privately held companies. Sebastian Rice and Daniel G. Walsh  jointly lead the practice.

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Akin Gump’s ability to provide around the clock dependable services, their depth of specialised knowledge and their “common-sense” approach were decisively effective and critical for the successful completion of our transaction.

Gavin Weir really stands out for his professionalism, character and deal-making skills. He is one of the most efficient and competent lawyers I have ever worked with and his invaluable legal support was decisive in the successful completion of our transactions.

They have a very commercial mindset and will not allow the noise of minutiae to interfere with the bigger issues. Most importantly, they are able to identify the risks that would have a genuine impact whilst proposing effective ways of mitigating those risks.

Key clients

Astro Bank

MBU Capital

BC Energy Investments Corp (Formerly Bridas)

DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG

Helios Investment Partners


Pan American Energy S.L



The Carlyle Group

UFG Private Equity

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 6

Akin Gump LLP acts primarily on the buy-side, with a particular focus on advising investment managers. The practice also has experience advising the wider financial services industry on regulatory developments and the impact of EU legislation, offering experience of the alternative investment fund managers directive, European market infrastructure regulation, the market abuse directive and the EU securitisation regulation. Contentious regulatory specialist Helen Marshall leads a team that includes Ezra Zahabi, who is known for advising on regulatory developments, business establishment and structuring and compliance issues.

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, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Singapore, Washington, DC.

Department Name Email Telephone
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
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Hamish Annandale photo Mr Hamish Annandale Hamish Annandale is a counsel in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
Mr Nicholas Antonas  photo Mr Nicholas Antonas Nicholas Antonas is counsel in Akin Gump’s global energy transactions group. He…
Ms Jenny Arlington photo Ms Jenny Arlington Jenny Arlington has more than 10 years’ experience in representing a wide…
Mr Robert Aulsebrook  photo Mr Robert Aulsebrook Robert Aulsebrook’s practice focuses on international debt finance, project finance, capital markets…
Mr Aleksander Bakic photo Mr Aleksander Bakic Aleksander Bakic is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
Mr Tom Bannister  photo Mr Tom Bannister Tom Bannister is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. He…
Ms Sheena Buddhdev photo Ms Sheena Buddhdev Sheena Buddhdev advises on a broad range of high-value, complex banking and…
Mr Vance Chapman  photo Mr Vance Chapman Vance Chapman focuses his practice on special situations, equity offerings and equity…
Mr John Clark  photo Mr John Clark John Clark focuses on UK and international corporate finance, including equity and…
Mr John Daghlian  photo Mr John Daghlian John Daghlian is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
Mr Mark Dawkins  photo Mr Mark Dawkins Mark Dawkins is a partner in Akin Gump’s litigation group. He has…
Ms Sophie Donnithorne-Tait  photo Ms Sophie Donnithorne-Tait Sophie Donnithorne-Tait is a partner in Akin Gump’s tax group. She advises…
Mr Artem Faekov  photo Mr Artem Faekov Artem Faekov represents public and private entities in international project finance and…
Ms Davina Garrod  photo Ms Davina Garrod Davina Garrod leads Akin Gump’s EU/UK competition group. She advises multinationals, corporates…
Mr Jasper Helder  photo Mr Jasper Helder Jasper Helder’s practice focuses on international trade and corporate compliance matters addressing…
Mr John Holton  photo Mr John Holton John Holton represents asset managers on the launch and restructuring of private…
Mr Richard Hornshaw  photo Mr Richard Hornshaw Richard Hornshaw is a partner in Akin Gump’s litigation group and leads…
Miss Inderveer Hothi photo Miss Inderveer Hothi Inderveer Hothi’s practice focuses on finance and corporate transactions covering a wide…
Ms Sophie Jermine  photo Ms Sophie Jermine Sophie Jermine has over 15 years of experience in acting for hedge,…
Ms Josephine Kaiding  photo Ms Josephine Kaiding Josephine Kaiding focuses on international arbitration and dispute resolution in connection with…
Mr Harry Keegan  photo Mr Harry Keegan Harry Keegan’s practice focuses on international mergers and acquisitions and equity capital…
Ms Chiara Klaui photo Ms Chiara Klaui Chiara Klaui is known for her pragmatic and to the point advice…
Mr John C. LaMaster  photo Mr John C. LaMaster John C. LaMaster is a partner in Akin Gump’s global energy transactions…
Mr Hamish Lal photo Mr Hamish Lal Hamish Lal represents clients in a range of high-value, highly technical, international…
Mr Kambiz Larizadeh  photo Mr Kambiz Larizadeh Kambiz Larizadeh is a partner in Akin Gump’s litigation group. He focuses…
Mr Shaun Lascelles  photo Mr Shaun Lascelles Shaun Lascelles has more than 20 years of experience advising on cross-border…
Ms Mary Lavelle photo Ms Mary Lavelle Mary Lavelle is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. She…
Ms Serena Lee photo Ms Serena Lee Serena Lee is a counsel in Akin Gump’s tax group. She advises…
Mr Mark Mansell  photo Mr Mark Mansell Mark Mansell has represented noteholders, bondholders and other investors in numerous cross-border…
Ms Helen Marshall photo Ms Helen Marshall Helen Marshall is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial regulatory group. She…
Mr Ian Meade  photo Mr Ian Meade Ian Meade is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
Ms Caroline-Lucy Moran  photo Ms Caroline-Lucy Moran Caroline-Lucy Moran’s practice comprises cross-border M&A, joint ventures, project development and private…
Mr Julian Nichol photo Mr Julian Nichol Julian Nichol’s practice focuses on the acquisition, disposal, development and financing of…
Mr Thomas O'Connor photo Mr Thomas O'Connor Tom O’Connor is a partner in Akin Gump’s finance group. He represents…
Ms Liz Osborne  photo Ms Liz Osborne Liz Osborne is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. She…
Mr Tim Pearce  photo Mr Tim Pearce Tim Pearce is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
Mr Stephen Peppiatt  photo Mr Stephen Peppiatt
Mr Scott Pettifor photo Mr Scott Pettifor Scott Pettifor advises on merger cases (at an EU, U.K. and multijurisdictional…
Mr Weyinmi Popo photo Mr Weyinmi Popo Weyinmi Popo, a cross-border corporate finance lawyer, advises various Africa-focused private equity…
Mr Daniel Quinn  photo Mr Daniel Quinn Daniel Quinn is a partner in Akin Gump’s investment funds group. He…
Mr Sebastian Rice  photo Mr Sebastian Rice Sebastian Rice is the partner in charge of Akin Gump’s London and…
Mr James Roome photo Mr James Roome James Roome is a senior partner of the London office and a…
Mr Simon Rootsey  photo Mr Simon Rootsey Simon Rootsey works with private equity firms, infrastructure investors and corporates on…
Mr David Sewell  photo Mr David Sewell David Sewell is an English lawyer who concentrates on cross-border corporate transactions.…
Ms Emma Simmonds  photo Ms Emma Simmonds Emma Simmonds is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. She…
Mr Stuart Sinclair  photo Mr Stuart Sinclair Stuart Sinclair is a partner in Akin Gump’s tax group. He advises…
Mr James Terry  photo Mr James Terry James Terry is a partner in Akin Gump’s financial restructuring group. He…
Mr Daniel G. Walsh  photo Mr Daniel G. Walsh Daniel Walsh represents both acquirors/investors and their targets/investees in acquisitions and investments…
Mr Gavin Weir  photo Mr Gavin Weir Gavin Weir leads domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and corporate financings under…
Mr Justin Williams photo Mr Justin Williams With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Williams is a recognised leader…
Ms Ezra Zahabi photo Ms Ezra Zahabi Ezra 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.


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 LLP, a leading American firm with a strong international focus, has thrilled trainees with its excellent pay, care and consideration of its trainees' development and friendly attitude. Trainees highlight that 'the training is less formal, the opportunities to learn have been endless. There is also a lot more flexibility due to the smaller intake and decisions are made much more fluidly, dependent on interest and business need'. While its strength lies in its 'tax and insolvency work that the firm is renowned for', Akin Gump provides trainees excellent opportunity to work 'on more matters and so receive a broader range of experience' alongside colleagues 'both domestic and international', and to 'have more responsibilities earlier on during the training contract'. This American firm bucks the trend with its friendly approach, albeit with long and 'unpredictable hours' although trainees admit 'that is what you sign up to at any world-class firm'. Akin Gump wins the top Lex 100 Winner award for its pay, for the second year in a row, and does well in terms of training meeting expectations with trainees highlighting that 'there are a lot of programmes, schemes and opportunities in place to ensure we are happy at work and maintain high job satisfaction'. A particularly strong feature mentioned was the firm's pro-bono offering, a highlight being one trainee's experience 'defending prisoners on death row in Malawi'. Highly praised for 'the fact that the lawyers genuinely seem to enjoy what they do and their enthusiasm is contagious; the firm is filled with really academic lawyers who love the law and this makes them great lawyers and incredible people to learn from'.