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Akin Gump LLP

EIGHTH FLOOR, TEN BISHOPS SQUARE, LONDON, E1 6EG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7012 9600
Email:
Web:
www.akingump.com

London: Corporate and commercial

Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 5

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's tax group handles restructurings in conjunction with the firm's restructuring and insolvency practice; investment fund tax advice; and a range of stand-alone work for multinational clients. Stuart Sinclair heads the team and is advising the committee of bondholders of Norske Skog on the financial restructuring of $1bn debt. He continues to advise OM Asset Management alongside Sophie Donnithorne-Tait  on its equity offerings and a number of bespoke tax matters. Donnithorne-Tait's highlights also included assisting, on a pro bono basis, Global Parametrics with the establishment of an innovative disaster relief fund in conjunction with the UK and German Governments.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

The ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô and ‚Äėextremely responsive‚Äô team at¬†Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld¬† 'provides a very high level of service, with quick response times, strong industry knowledge and deep bench strength‚Äô. Clients of the practice include Singapore Airlines, Lukoil and Goldman Sachs. The ‚Äėextremely responsive and pragmatic‚Äô¬†Davina Garrod¬†heads the practice, and is noted for her ‚Äėencyclopaedic knowledge of the Competition and Markets Authority‚Äô. Garrod represented multiple financial institution investors with interests in the bid by 21st Century Fox for Sky Counsel, advising on the process of the bid and the assessment of the competing transactions/bids by each of the EC, the CMA, Ofcom and the Secretary of State. Garrod also assisted Daniel Walsh¬† with Bridas‚Äô formation of an integrated energy company in Argentina through the combination of Bridas and BP‚Äôs interest in Axion. Alaric Green¬†and Sebastian Casselbrant-Multala¬†joined from¬†Slaughter and May¬†and¬†White & Case LLP¬†respectively, while Scott Pettifor¬†was promoted from associate to counsel.

Leading individuals

Davina Garrod - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Next generation lawyers

Scott Pettifor - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld¬†provides ‚Äėinvaluable‚Äô, ‚Äėresponsive‚Äô and ‚Äėconcise‚Äô advice. The practice is led by¬†Jasper Helder, who is advising a global agricultural commodities trading company on the impact of EU and US sanctions against Russia and Crimea in relation to shipping operations for the execution of global commodity trading contracts originating in the Black Sea region. Senior counsel Chiara Klaui¬†is assisting a global propulsion and power generation manufacturer with an internal investigation concerning compliance with EU/UK, US and Hong Kong military and dual-use export controls. Associate Daniel Lund¬†joined the team from¬†Baker McKenzie¬†in September 2017.

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

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

'Incredibly knowledgeable about financial market regulations', Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's two-partner team has an excellent pedigree in the sector and excels in handling complex regulatory investigations affecting clients in the asset management industry. Both formerly at the FSA, Helen Marshall and Rosemarie Paul are 'very knowledgeable about the UK and European markets regulatory regimes' and regularly handle high-profile multi-jurisdictional agency investigations where it can also leverage the firm's significant US presence. Marshall has a 'real understanding of the way the regulator thinks' and consequently is well-placed to provide 'practical and sensible advice', while Paul is noted not only for her 'extensive technical knowledge' but also her 'excellent soft skills and ability to explain complex matters in an easily digestible way'. On the contentious front, the 'responsive and thorough' counsel Ezra Zahabi has 'excellent knowledge of the EU and UK regulatory framework' and 'delivers a high-class work product' to funds clients across a myriad of regulatory issues impacting their businesses including as it relates to MiFID ii and the European Markets and Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

Leading individuals

Helen Marshall - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Next generation lawyers

Ezra Zahabi - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Rosemarie Paul - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 6

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld¬†provides ‚Äėan excellent level of service‚Äô, with ‚Äėa high level of legal and industry knowledge‚Äô. Strengths of the practice include servicing oil and gas companies, telecoms services providers, Russian financial institutions and industrial companies, as well as handling distressed M&A transactions. Daniel Walsh¬† and¬†Sebastian Rice¬†jointly head the practice and are both recommended, with Walsh‚Äôs practice concentrated in technology, media and telecoms and Rice focusing on emerging markets transactions. The ‚Äėcalm and considered‚Äô¬†Vance Chapman¬†has led on some of the practice‚Äôs most striking recent transactions, including acting for Brusnwick Rail on its takeover by Amalgam Rail Investment and advising Oaktree Capital on its sale of controlling shares in the Mars mortgage servicing business to Arrow Global Group. Partner¬†Harry Keegan¬†and counsel Jonathan Pico¬†are also recommended.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has a standout reputation in international private equity transactions, including those with a nexus to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Its team is also particularly active in Russia-related deals; Igor Krivoshekov and David Sewell have previous experience of working in Moscow, and are the key names in this area. The team undertakes deals across a number of industries, such as oil and gas, TMT, mining, biotechnology, financial services. Sewell and Daniel Walsh  led a team, which advised Bridas Corporation on the formation of an energy company through the combination of Bridas' and BP's interests in oil and gas producer PAE, and Bridas' interest in refiner and marketer Axion Energy. Vance Chapman and others assisted Oaktree Capital with selling its controlling shares in the Mars mortgage servicing business to Arrow Global Group. The firm also generates work from clients such as The Carlyle Group, UFG Private Equity and VEON Limited. Harry Keegan and John Clark are other key figures in the team, which is led by Sebastian Rice.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld¬†is adept at handling high-value, cross-border litigation and arbitration matters including prohibitive injunctions, international freezing injunctions and anti-suit proceedings. The firm is acting for Renova Group in a dispute regarding the ownership of IES, a Russian power generation company; the case is worth $1b. Kambiz Larizadeh¬†heads the team, he is ‚Äėalways on top of the details, has a very affable manner and has superb judgement‚Äô. Justin Williams¬†is ‚Äėextremely experienced and confident, he is able to remain calm under pressure and has a very good rapport with clients‚Äô. Mark Dawkins¬†is also recommended.

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s 'provides an impeccable level of service through its deeply experienced and strong team'. It is known for cross-border creditor litigation; and the firm has significant expertise in acting for hedge funds and other investment firms on international investor disputes, with a particular focus on disputes in the distressed debt space, debt disputes and shareholder activism. The team also assists with restructuring-related litigation. Highlights included advising an investment fund, Cornwall Luxembourg, in High Court litigation against International Game Technology on the disputed liability of the defendant to pay dividends; the matter raises an important question of Italian corporate law, albeit to be resolved in this case by the English court. Financial services litigation head Mark Dawkins acts in complex, high-value disputes and investigations, often of a multi-jurisdictional nature; Richard Hornshaw is 'deeply skilled, pays exceptional attention to detail and is an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced litigator'; and Kambiz Larizadeh has a particular focus on civil fraud.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

'An excellent firm for all international commercial work', Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's London team 'provides a top-drawer service'. It specialises in conducting high-value complex cross-border disputes, particularly regarding finance and energy-related litigation, and has significant Russia and CIS expertise. Examples of hotly fought Russia-related litigation include the team's representation of Tatneft in $380m English litigation proceedings against four Ukrainian oligarchs, which concern a huge, complex alleged oil theft and cross-border fraud. Mark Dawkins heads the team, which includes Justin Williams, who is 'a highly experienced and knowledgeable litigator who is adept at managing difficult cases'; and Kambiz Larizadeh, who is 'very hands-on, and good with the detail'. Richard Hornshaw is also highly rated as are counsels Jenny Arlington and the 'very impressive' Fred Thorling.

Leading individuals

Justin Williams - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Handling complex, high-stakes, international commercial arbitrations and bilateral investment treaty disputes for multinational corporations and sovereign governments, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's 'excellent team' has particular experience in oil and gas, power generation and telecoms. In one of the first investor-state cases relating to IP investments, the team acted for Bridgestone in a dispute arising out of a Panamanian Supreme Court decision, which ordered Bridgestone to pay damages to a Panamanian tyre company for opposing a confusingly similar trade mark application. Justin Williams is 'very calm and helpful'. Other key advisers are Hamish Lal, Kambiz Larizadeh, Richard Hornshaw and counsel Jenny Arlington.

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London: Finance

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 5

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld excels at advising borrowers on the financing (involving bilateral, club and syndicates of banks) of cross-border emerging markets transactions. Leveraging the firm's sector strength across the energy industry, the team is able to add value as a result of having a real understanding of the underlying subject matter. Praised for his 'responsiveness and business acumen', Russian speaker Robert Aulsebrook excels in energy-related financing work for corporates with a Russian nexus and regularly handles work for the country's second largest oil and gas company, Lukoil, including recently advising it on the $500m financing to fund the development of the Gissar gas fields, an onshore gas exploration and production project in Uzbekistan. Other clients include CEVA Group plc, VEON and Affinion Group Holdings.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Benefiting from 'top-drawer knowledge and experience', Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's 12-partner team is 'absolutely at the top of its game' and remains the standout practice in the market on behalf of bondholders engaged in complex international restructurings. 'A market leader on private placement cross-border restructurings', co-head Barry Russell's 'strong reputation and knowledge of all the players in the London market are critical value-drivers leading to optimal commercial results'. Russell's recent highlights include acting for the private placement noteholders in relation to Premier Oil’s restructuring and Carillion’s insolvency. Praised for his 'depth of knowledge in several areas on the law', Tom Bannister worked closely with Russell on the aforementioned instructions and is also noted for his 'timely and practical advice'. 'Commercial and thoughtful' co-head James Roome recently represented Brunswick Rail, a Russian railcar leasing business, on its $600m bond restructuring. The 'highly commercial and strategic' James Terry is a leading practitioner in the London market on Norwegian bond restructurings as well as restructurings in the offshore oil and gas and shipping sectors. The 'energetic and pragmatic' Liz Osborne, 'excellent' Neil Devaney and Emma Simmonds are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Barry Russell - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

James Roome - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld exhibits 'a thorough knowledge of the products, its clients and their business, as well as business acumen and quick response times'. The practice has carved out a leading role in cross-border debt private placements, thanks in part to Barry Russell, who is considered 'the king of private placement restructurings' and regularly acts for institutional investors on the issuance of private placement notes to UK and US investors. He led a team that advised holders of privately placed notes issued by Premier Oil UK on the restructuring of approximately $3bn of debt. Robert Aulsebrook acts for issuers on offerings of Eurobonds, loan notes, convertible debt securities and commercial paper; he has been the lead lawyer on debt offerings totalling more than $10bn for Russian oil company PJSC LUKOIL. Mark Mansell represents insurance companies and other financial institutions on cross-border private placements and other debt financing transactions. Sarah Smith stands out for  public and privately-placed structured finance transactions, which include structured debt private placements.

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld acts primarily for borrowers in cross-border transactions involving emerging markets. Its main focus is on loan, debt and equity deals, though it also handles financial restructurings for institutional lenders and borrowers. Among its key clients are PJSC LUKOIL, which is Russia's second-largest oil and gas company and the first Russian company to be fully listed on the London Stock Exchange, and telecommunications company VEON. The practice also counts Lukinter Finance, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Affinion Group Holdings among its clients. Robert Aulsebrook is 'excellent - he has a thorough knowledge of the relevant products, good business and quick response times'. He recently acted for a major oil company in the CIS region on a high-value revolving credit facility from a leading European bank. Counsel Jonathan Pico, who advises on capital markets, project finance and US securities law, is a rising star in the practice. Lisa Hearn moved to the Houston office.

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Pico - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has a small but highly effective practice that handles bespoke and complex securitisation transactions. Typically, these are new money issuances privately placed with a single investor or a small syndicate of investors. Its involvement with bilateral and syndicated private placements of highly structured debt is due, in part, to the London office's prominent position in the institutional private placement market in Europe. The practice also handles the restructuring and refinancing of securitised investments, and deals that require the addition of a securitised instrument as part of a conventional corporate debt restructuring. It also acts for investors in CLO equity and new CLO equity fund platforms, provides regulatory advice on  securitisation, and acts for one of Europe's major rating agencies. Sarah Smith leads the practice. Her highlights included acting for SPV Fairhold Securitisation Limited in a matters arising from its default on loans in 2015. She also acted for institutional investors in private placement notes issued by an intermediate financing company in the energy sector. Partner Sam Brodie is also recommended.

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London: Investment fund formation and management

Hedge funds
Hedge funds - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld provides 'a very high level of service that compares very well to all other firms on quality'. The practice acts for established and new managers on a range of strategies ranging form emerging markets through to quant funds. Tim Pearce is 'an excellent lawyer who is very commercial and experienced'. Ian Meade is also a key contact. Clients include Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn, East Lodge Capital Management, India Capital Management and Steinberg Asset Management.

Leading individuals

Tim Pearce - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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Private funds
Private funds - ranked: tier 5

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 's practice handles a range of matters, with a particular strength in India-related funds. John Holton, who is qualified in Massachusetts, and Thiha Tun  are two key partners, with Divya Thakur, who divides her time between London and Singapore a senior counsel of note. Other mandates concern insurance linked securities funds and technology funds.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld 's oil and gas offering covers corporate transactions, regulatory matters and energy disputes under the leadership of corporate specialist John C. LaMaster and litigator Justin Williams . The team is currently advising Soma on its new exploration project in offshore Somalia. and the Palestine Power Generation Company appointed the group to oversee its project to develop a power plant in Northern Palestine which will initially be fuelled by natural gas from Israel and then from Gaza. James Terry and Marc Hammerson acted for Nordic Trustee on the acquisition of the Xcite North Sea oil business by a SPV by Norwegian bond holders. Richard Hornshaw is also a key name to note; he represented Tatneft in English Court proceedings against four Ukrainian defendants seeking the recovery of $400m arising from allegations of fraud which allegedly deprived the client of revenue. Julian Nichol joined the firm's project finance group from Bracewell (UK) LLP .

Leading individuals

Justin Williams - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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London: Real estate

Construction
Construction (contentious) - ranked: tier 4

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

The disputes team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld¬†is ‚Äėexcellent, with huge knowledge of the international construction sector.‚Äô Head of team Hamish Lal¬†is very highly recommended: ‚Äėa stand out litigator with an astute brain‚Äô possessing ‚Äėunparalleled legal knowledge‚Äô.¬†The team specialises in international arbitrations, particularly those seated in Dubai. Recent work includes acting for China State Construction Engineering Corporation on the $100m Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal Building disputes in international construction arbitration seated in Dubai; an arbitration acting for the claimant in respect of the high-profile Meydan Racecourse Project in Dubai, worth $140m. Lal has also acted in an arbitration regarding a $1.3bn project under construction in Kazakhstan, raising highly complex technical issues and legal questions about invalidation and deliberate concealment. On the transactional side, the firm has ‚Äėstrong and deep skills‚Äô, particularly in energy and oil and gas in MENA and Latin America.

Leading individuals

Hamish Lal - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Afghanistan

Germany

Offices in Frankfurt am Main

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Iraq

London

Offices in London

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

Switzerland

Offices in Geneva

United States

Offices in Washington DC, San Antonio, Philadelphia, New York, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Irvine, Longview, Fort Worth, and Connecticut

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