Firm Profile > Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > London, England

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Fund finance Tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP maintains its strong track record in sponsor-side fund financing, working with a variety of major buyout, venture capital and alternative credit funds. It has also expanded its share of lender-side work, advising international banks and financial institutions. The 'exemplary' practice advises on the full range of facilities, including subscription and capital call, NAV, and hybrid lending. Thomas Smith has market-leading expertise in ESG-contingent loans. Another key individual is Alan Davies, who regularly handles European work for major fund managers. Smith and Davies co-head the practice with Pierre Maugüé, who has notable expertise in insurance-leveraged deals, alongside other complex arrangements, such as GP asset financing.

Practice head(s):

Alan Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith

Other key lawyers:

Almas Daud


The Debevoise team was outstanding with their knowledge in this very complex transaction. The structured finance team led the transaction but they also brought together their tax and secondaries team. For any type of structured deal like this, Debevoise is the clear leader and I would not hesitate to use them again or recommend them to any clients that want to replicate this structure.’

I would like to specifically call out: Pierre Maugue, Partner – Pierre led the transaction for the Debevoise team and is outstanding. He is very sharp and worked through complex issues with us and always made sure we negotiated the best outcome. In addition, his positive and personable attitude makes him an absolute pleasure. Pierre was in London and we were working New York hours but I never felt like I couldn’t reach him.

Thomas Smith – I think he is the best in the business when it comes to Fund related facilities. Tom also kept me in the know on fees at regular intervals, especially where they were running over pre-agreed budgeted numbers.

Great team – personal and informal whilst still being highly professional. Always seeking to improve and get the best results for the client.

Tom Smith is a stand out lawyer and really tries to get the best results as possible for his clients. Sharp and to the point.

The D&P team were exemplary in all areas. I was fortunate to work together with Tom Smith and Almas Daud on two recent projects and was particularly impressed by their depth of knowledge and ability to simply get things done.’

Strong reputation in the market and a highly collegiate and collaborative culture. A pleasure to work with the team.

Key clients


Bridgepoint Credit

Oaktree Capital Management

Tishman Speyer

Park Square

Glendower Capital



Baring Private Equity

Boyu Capital

Albacore Capital


Morgan Stanley

Blue Water Energy


Public international law Tier 1

As 'a steadfast and brilliant partner' to its clients, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's London team consistently provides market-leading PIL and international arbitration services through the firm’s global international dispute resolution group. The group generates work from sovereign governments, corporates, high-profile individuals, NGOs and international organisations. The wide-ranging scope of its expertise includes human rights, international humanitarian and environmental law, the Law of Treaties, diplomatic issues and foreign investment. Former UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, who has appeared before a number of international courts and tribunals, leads the department, which includes a co-head of the firm’s Africa practice group, Patrick TaylorSamantha Rowe is a PIL and international arbitration specialist. Other key names at the firm are international counsels Aimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake, as is associate Merryl Lawry-WhiteWendy Miles QC left for Twenty Essex in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith QC

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Taylor; Samantha Rowe; Aimee-Jane Lee; Conway Blake; Merryl Lawry-White


The Debevoise team has been a steadfast and brilliant partner.

The group in London has considerable weight and ability.

This is a very experienced and dynamic PIL team doing cutting edge work – deep experience at all levels of the team.

Lord Peter Goldsmith QC’s leadership of the team sets the benchmark, conveying to clients that the firm can dedicate time and resources to human rights public interest work.

Lord Goldsmith and Patrick Taylor are solid pairs of hands.

Patrick Taylor is a strategic partner, who has gone beyond the traditional pro bono lawyering model.

International counsel Aimee-Jane Lee remains one of the maximum horsepower intellects in the firm as a whole, and can be trusted to bring true excellence to her matters.

Associate Merryl Lawrey-White is a true colleague to clients.’

Key clients

Royal Dutch Shell

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company

Center for Reproductive Rights

State of Qatar

The Ocean Foundation

United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 1

At Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, corporate compliance and defence, as well as regulatory expertise lie at the core of the white-collar and regulatory defence department’s offering. The group is very experienced in conducting internal investigations, in addition to its strength working on investigations conducted by UK prosecutors and agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The team is also a good destination for clients seeking cross-border assistance due to its seamless collaboration with colleagues in the US; it has particular experience engaging with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Advising clients on sanctions regime compliance is another forte for the team; 'classy operator' Jane Shvets leads the sanctions team across Europe, while also splitting time between London and New York; associate Konstantin Bureiko is also noted for his deep sanctions and export control expertise. The practice is jointly led by the highly regarded duo Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, UK’s former Attorney General, and Karolos Seeger, ‘a superb lawyer in all respects, instilling confidence in everything he does’. In June 2021, international counsel Robin Lööf departed to Fountain Court Chambers.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith QC; Karolos Seeger

Other key lawyers:

Jane Shvets; Konstantin Bureiko; Andrew Lee; Thomas Jenkins


‘Very professional team, with high technical expertise in trade compliance across many jurisdictions.’

‘The team has extensive knowledge in regulatory investigations and specialist knowledge of the FCPA, UK Bribery Act and impact on corporates.’

‘A great cocktail of excellence mixed with pragmatism; a risk-based approach; always available.’

‘Karolos Seeger is a superb lawyer in all respects, instilling confidence in everything he does. Understands the full spectrum of issues and pressures faced by in-house counsel and supports accordingly; a great team player; ability to deflate tense situations, particularly with interviewees. Great humour and fun to work with.’

‘Karolos Seeger is as good as it gets – very clever, multilingual, both big picture- and detail-focused.’

‘Jane Shvets stands out for her professionalism and availability; her quality of work  is outstanding.  A classy operator, exuding a sense of calm to her clients.’

‘Jane Shvets is an excellent solicitor and her broad knowledge across jurisdictions in the US, UK and Russia makes her stand out. Her multilingual skills were a key differentiator for her in providing the support and advice to our company on a sensitive investigation. Associate Alma Mozetic was also very efficient and responsive in supporting and advising on key aspects of the investigation.’

‘A firm which everyone would like to work with. At the same time, they get on great with everyone. We rate them very highly. In particular, Karolos Seeger is amazing.’

Key clients

Rolls-Royce plc

Mahesh Sannapareddy

Emerging markets Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 'provides a unique perspective on activity on the African continent' where it is particularly active; it also handles corporate transactions and disputes in Asia, India and Russia. The firm acts for local and international organisations, major financial institutions, private equity houses, international strategic investors, governments, energy and natural resources companies, and corporates. Key M&A partner Geoffrey Burgess assisted Helios Investment Partners on the launch of Africa Speciality Risk Group, which specialises in placing African and other emerging risks. The firm also handles finance transactions in Russia; James Scoville advised Ozon on its $1.15bn IPO and listing on Nasdaq, which was the largest ever IPO of primary securities by a Russian company on a US exchange, and on a $750m offering of senior bonds. Lord Peter Goldsmith QC chairs the European and Asian litigation group, and Patrick Taylor leads the international dispute resolution practice, which handles commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, particularly in the upstream oil and gas, energy and telecoms sectors. Vera Losonci is active in emerging market equity and debt offerings.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Burgess; James Scoville; Lord Peter Goldsmith QC; Patrick Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Vera Losonci; Mark McCloskey; Merryl Lawry-White


‘The firm is very inclusive in its relationships with clients; they keep us informed of all aspects of a transaction, not restricting contact to only the aspect that concerns counsel located in the emerging market.’

‘Geoff Burgess has been invaluable in navigating the complexities of emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East.’

‘The firm has wide experience of M&A in Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.’

‘The Debevoise & Plimpton team provides a unique perspective on activity on the African continent both in terms of fundraising and potential litigation support. Their closeness and understanding of the needs of the Developmental Finance Institutions is useful in terms of understanding approach for Africa fundraising. They also bring seasoned senior team members to engagements which is different from what I have seen from other law firms.’

‘I worked a lot with Geoffrey Burgess. Geoff is responsible, thoughtful and commercial. When approached with a question, he takes his time to understand the issues and knows when to bring in the right colleagues for in depth discussions.’

‘I have worked with the team in their pro bono capacities. They are extraordinary. Their legal skills are of a high level quality and their commitment to the work they do is impressive. Comparing to other firms I can firmly say that no other firm has shown this level of commitment to pro bono work.’

‘Patrick Taylor has been extraordinary in the pro bono work of the firm. I have also mention the work of Merryl Lawry-White and Mark McCloskey. Beyond their excellent legal skills I wanted to highlight their commitment with human rights. We really value our partnership.’

Key clients

Royal Dutch Shell


Center for Reproductive Rights

Government of Grenada

Shell Int’l Trading & Shell Nigeria Exploration Production

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Ozon Holdings plc

Leapfrog Investments Group


Development Partners International

United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Helios Investment Partners

Barrick (Niugini) Limited and Barrick (PD) Australia Pty Limited

Gramercy Funds Management

Government of Qatar

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a strong track record in complex cross-border M&A and it also excels in handling a full range of insurance regulatory issues for clients, as well as large and complex reinsurance and retrocession arrangements. Finance and capital markets transactions are other drivers of work for the the team, which acts for (re)insurers and private equity investors from the UK, US, EU, Bermuda and Asia Pacific. Clare Swirski is particularly well-versed in Brexit and Solvency II matters. She co-heads the practice with James Scoville, who is experienced in transactions involving insurance companies, as well as debt and equity capital markets transactions. Benjamin Lyon is another key individual.

Practice head(s):

James Scoville; Clare Swirski

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Lyon


Excellent technical knowledge and relentless stamina. Involved in almost every Lloyd’s transaction in recent times.’

Ben Lyon – goes the extra mile and then just keeps going. Has an excellent working knowledge of the industry based on prior transactions. Clare Swirski – fantastic technical knowledge in financial services and regulation generally.

They have a very deep and experienced team who know the insurance market inside and out. There is no issue that they haven’t faced in the past that they can give appropriate advice on should any insurance issues arise.’

Ben Lyon and Clare Swarski were our two main contacts. True professionals, always available no matter the time of day or time changes and always prepared.

I could very much rely on their technical expertise, but would also note their flexibility and responsiveness as key qualities of the team, as well as a calmness under pressure. I also got on with all members of the team very well and found them very easy to work with, which was important in a relatively high pressurised environment working to tight deadlines.’

Key clients

American International Group

Covéa Mutual Insurance Group


Ascot Group Limited

Prudential Financial Group

Resolution Group

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Compre Services (UK) Limited

Elliott Advisors

Third Point Re

GreyCastle Holdings Ltd.

Asta Managing Agency Limited

Assured Guaranty

Hamilton Insurance

New York Life Insurance Company

International arbitration Tier 2

Representing commercial and sovereign clients in matters of immense value, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s European, African, Russia and CIS and Asian sub-continental international arbitration work is led from London. Former UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith QC handles complex and politically sensitive commercial and investment disputes; Patrick Taylor, who is based in London and Paris, serves as Africa practice group co-head; London and Hong Kong-based Tony Dymond is a construction-related commercial arbitration specialist; and Samantha Rowe, who divides her time between London and Paris, focuses on commercial arbitration, investor-state arbitration and public international law. Other notable advisers includes experienced international counsels Gavin Chesney and Aimee-Jane Lee, and recently promoted counsel Robert Hoose  and Conway Blake, along with associates Merryl Lawry-White, Laith Najjar, Shreya Aren and Maxim Osadchiy. Wendy Miles QC left for Twenty Essex in mid-2020.

Practice head(s):

Lord Peter Goldsmith QC

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Taylor; Tony Dymond; Samantha Rowe; Gavin Chesney; Aimee-Jane Lee; Robert Hoose; Conway Blake; Merryl Lawry-White; Laith Najjar; Shreya Aren; Maxim Osadchiy


The team has some of the best individuals in the London disputes market, and the quality shines through as a result.

The arbitration group has unique qualities which are hard to match.’

They work more co-operatively at international levels than other firms. Clients get – and pay for – top quality advice and representation.

Lord Peter Goldsmith QC is a legal heavyweight whose insights and expertise are incomparable‘.

Patrick Taylor works tirelessly for his clients, and has an excellent bedside manner which keeps them coming back; and Tony Dymond is personable, accessible, and sees the client’s big picture.

Samantha Rowe is highly recommended – a brilliant advocate.

International counsel Rob Hoose’s commitment can’t be faulted – clever but down to earth and a real pleasure to work with.

International counsel Gavin Chesney is very bright, understands technical concepts very quickly, and breaks down complex issues and articulates them clearly.

Key clients

Joma Industrial Source Corporation

CH2M Hill


Bechtel Group

The Nova Group Investments

Government of Grenada



Shell Petroleum

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

The Russian Federation

Qatar Airways

Private funds Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advises a diverse range of clients across all major investment strategies, handling fund formation, alternative capital raisings, secondaries, and regulatory matters for buyout, debt, sector-specific, and infrastructure funds. Clients include start-up managers, financial services investors, including insurance funds, and global asset management firms. The team enjoys strong relationships with its US colleagues, and also works on a pan-European basis. US-qualified Geoffrey Kittredge leads the London practice, and is a strong adviser across the private equity space, working for a number of top asset management clients. John Rife continues to work prolifically across fundraising and operational matters, and has a strong focus on alternative asset transactions, including GP-led secondaries. Matthew Dickman was promoted to partner in mid-2021, and is noted for his work with venture capital and tech investment funds. Counsel John Anderson rejoined the firm from an in-house position in 2020, and specialises in Luxembourg and non-EU fund structures and regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Kittredge

Other key lawyers:

John Rife; Matthew Dickman; John Anderson


Broad experience and expertise across jurisdictions’

‘Extensive experience.

Key clients

AfricInvest Group

AlbaCore Capital Partners

Apera Fund II

Canson Capital Partners

Centricus Asset Management

Credit Suisse Asset Management Limited

DBAY Advisors Limited

Development Partners International LLP

DN Capital (UK) LLP

Fifth Wall

FitzWalter Capital Limited

Glendower Capital

Intermediate Capital Group plc

LCM Capital LLP

LGT Capital Partners AG

Lorax Capital Partners

Novum – Fund II

Park Square Capital

Project Lighthouse

Wafra Inc.

Commercial litigation: premium Tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's London commercial litgiation practice is described by one client as 'an outstanding team for high value work' and is praised for its 'truly international outlook'. 'Rainmaker and highly experienced litigator' Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC leads the team following the departure of Kevin Lloyd, who joined Hogan Lovells International LLP alongside Richard Lawton and Akima Paul Lambert. 'Top-notch commercial litigator' Christopher Boyne is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Lord Goldsmith

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Boyne; Gavin Chesney; Luke Duggan


Chris Boyne – A real rising star, with shrewd judgement and a hands-on approach. Perfect for big ticket litigation.’

Lord Peter Goldsmith is a very experienced QC and a brilliant speaker. Gavin Chesney is great in advising clients on a case, providing deep analyses of each aspect.’

A litigation heavyweight, instructed on and able to handle the largest and most demanding cases.

They are an outstanding team for high value work and have been very prominent in the last few years in major commercial litigation in London.

Debevoise is a firm with deep experience in dealing with the most complex, highest value commercial disputes – and a truly international outlook to match.

Chris Boyne is  well-established as a top-notch commercial litigator. He is extremely bright, cuts immediately to the heart of the case, has excellent litigation instincts and never loses sight of how best to achieve the client’s commercial objectives. He is also a pleasure to work with. Lord Goldsmith is a rainmaker and highly experienced litigator and advocate with impeccable strategic judgement. Luke Duggan is top-quality : very bright; commercial and efficient.’

Impressive team and a pleasure to work with – very good judgement – always aware of the points that matter.

Key clients

PJSC Tatneft

Royal Dutch Shell

PJSC Uralkali

AIG Inc.

The Hinduja Family

British American Tobacco

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited.

Sberbank of Russia

Petro Poroshenko

Acquisition finance Tier 4

Able to advise on UK and US-law governed debt products from London and also well-integrated with its US offices (as well as across Europe), Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is well-equipped to provide 'very commercially-minded' advice to private equity sponsors, including marquee client Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, on the financing associated with their global investment activity. The 'responsive, commercial and creative' Alan Davies  and dual US/UK qualified partner Pierre Maugüé are noted for their leveraged finance expertise, while 'respected operator' Thomas Smith provides additional expertise on the fund finance front.

Practice head(s):

Alan Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith


‘The team is highly skilled, very commercially minded and has excellent co-ordination and co-operation between Debevoise legal teams across various jurisdictions.’

‘It is a very strong finance team which has acted for us across a range of complex, multi-jurisdictional and high-value matters.’

Alan Davies is outstanding.’

Alan Davies and Pierre Maugüe are responsive, commercial and creative.’

Tom Smith is highly regarded across the fund finance market. He knows everyone, and is a respected operator.’

Key clients

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice


B&M European Value Retail S.A.

EQT Partners

Lovell Minnick

International Paper Company

Warner Music Group

The Carlyle Group

Resolution Life Group Holdings Ltd


Schneider Electric SE

Construction: contentious Tier 4

Led by 'fine legal mindTony Dymond, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP offers support on top-flight international disputes. It covers the full range of major projects, including energy, transport and social infrastructure developments, on behalf of owners, contractors and lenders. Robert Hoose, recently promoted to international counsel, is experienced in disputes related to major engineering projects, and 'hugely committed and determined' associate Raeesa Rawal is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC; Tony Dymond

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hoose; Raeesa Rawal


‘The team has wide and in-depth knowledge that covers complex legal issues which are well communicated to everyone involved. The team offers flexibility and when needed works to get the job done in the required timescales.’

‘Way more over the detail than their competitors and always with an eye on overall strategy.’

‘Tony Dymond has a fine legal mind and an outstanding ability to communicate complex matters in a succinct and intelligent manner. He is a team player who gets the best out of those around him.’

‘Real, in-depth knowledge of the industry and the commercial drivers of large corporates. Pragmatic application of legal skills to drive best results for clients’ businesses. All done with an extremely engaging approach.’

‘Tony Dymond is approachable and accessible. He listens, responds, and strategises to best support business objectives. Rob Hoose is indefatigable, energetic, enthusiastic and understands construction and engineering. He is a fine lawyer.’

‘Raeesa Rawal is hugely committed and determined to do best possible job for her clients.’

‘Each member of the team is a strong performer. There are no weak links. The team, though large and geographically diverse, communicate well and are coordinated in their approach.’

‘The team is exceptionally well led and motivated. The lawyers work cohesively as a team and are evidently outcome focused.’

Corporate tax Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has an 'excellent' tax practice and advises clients on the tax aspects of fund formation, M&A, finance and capital markets transactions. Co-managing partner Richard Ward is an 'outstanding tax lawyer' with 'deep knowledge' and expertise in the taxation of funds and private equity transactions. Matthew Saronson and Cécile Beurrier advise clients on a range of tax-related issues concerning private equity funds. International counsel Jennifer Wheater joined in March 2020 and offers 'amazing insight' into the area of fund taxation.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ward; Matthew Saronson

Other key lawyers:

Cécile Beurrier; Jennifer Wheater


The team has excellent market knowledge and current market practice to ensure their clients are kept at the leading edge. Partners are always responsive to new requests and deliver in a timely manner.’

Matthew Saronson is the main partner we deal with and has a far-ranging knowledge of US tax together with Richard Ward.’

Very strong overall tax advice. Commercially relevant and to the point. They understand our needs well, and have made an effort to understand key issues affecting our business. They are flexible and have a deep bench, and are very responsive.’

Debevoise has an excellent UK tax practice, particularly in the areas of fund formation and private equity deals. They concentrate on what they do best.’

Richard Ward is an outstanding tax lawyer. He his highly experienced and has a deep knowledge of the tax aspects of funds and PE deals. Jenny Wheater is truly remarkable. She has an amazing insight into the latest developments in HMRC thinking and the latest structures available. Jenny and Richard are a real pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

Intermediate Capital Group plc

HarbourVest Partners

Metric Capital Partners LLP

Fifth Wall Capital Partners LLP

Park Square Capital LLP

Allianz Capital Partners

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 5

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advises both sponsors and management teams on private equity transactions in sectors including energy, insurance, and life sciences and works with a number of high profile PE clients. The practice has a particular focus on secondary transactions, advising clients on complex investments in funds and GP-led fund restructurings. In addition to handling cross-border transactions involving European companies, the team is active in the African market. David Innes leads the team, while Katherine Ashton handles much of the practice's secondary market work.

Practice head(s):

David Innes

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Ashton; Geoffrey Burgess; E Raman Bet-Mansour; Andrew Rearick; Dominic Blaxill


‘Our Debevoise transactional team, led by Kate Ashton, is highly effective. They are our go-to firm for complex, large value transactions. They have a deep bench, and their specialist advice is excellent. They understand our business and its needs, and service our team using advanced technology and in a highly collaborative fashion. Their culture matches ours, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.’

‘Kate Ashton is an excellent operator. She is well-respected in the market. She is ably supported by Andrew Rearick and, on public matters, by Dominic Blaxill. Both of them are superb. Andrew is very technical, cerebral, sees the issues immediately. Dominic is technically very strong and has a great commercial mindset, which is a rare and valuable combination.’

‘Strong experience across emerging markets. Very well versed in sponsor specific considerations. Flexible in terms of team make-up and billing arrangements.’

‘Highly commercial team with deep intellect and problem solving capabilities. True sense of partnership rather than transactional relationship – they care about the clients’ success.’

Key clients

Helios Investment Partners

Providence Equity Partners



Link Fund Solutions Limited

Elliott Management

Wand Partners

Paraline Group

Capital Group Capital Markets

Precision Medicine Group

EU and competition Tier 6

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's provides support to clients from a number of sectors in corporate transactions, often on a cross border basis. Timothy McIver leads the global antitrust group outside of the US and frequently works with the firm's Washington office to provide assistance with merger filings in relation to international M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Timothy McIver

Other key lawyers:

Anne-Mette Heemsoth


‘We have a great, efficient, well organised and very constructive working relationship with them. We appreciated that they were present and willing to assist us even during the initial lockdown periods of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their meticulous knowledge of the decisional practices of the EU Commission really came in handy. Overall, we have really enjoyed working with them.’

‘We worked with Timothy McIver and Megan MacDonald and would be happy to recommend both for any future work in the merger control sector.’

Key clients

Aveva Group plc

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

DAZN Group Limited

GoDaddy Inc.

Gogo Inc.

HarbourVest Partners


Kelso & Company

Precision Medicine Group

Schneider Electric SE

Syniverse Technologies

Third Point Reinsurance

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 6

The team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is focused on advising investment managers and insurers based in the UK, US and EU on regulatory issues. The group is most known for its insurance industry work, where it handles transactions, regulatory approvals and licensing. For funds and investment managers, the group has significant expertise in the EU's alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD). The group is co-headed by insurance department co-leader Clare Swirski and French- and German-qualified Patricia Volhard, who splits her time between Frankfurt and London, focusing on advising private funds on their regulatory requirements. Benjamin Lyon is dual-English and -New Zealand qualified, and is regularly instructed by insurers and financial institutions on corporate governance issues. In August 2020, Simon Witney departed for Travers Smith LLP as a special counsel.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Volhard; Clare Swirski

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Lyon; John Young; Philip Orange


Global coverage is good. Technical update and discussion webinars are very good, regular and wide-ranging. Good coverage of insurance and financial services issues.’

I have known Clare Swirski professionally for around 18 years and she is a highly approachable professional, an expert in technical insurance regulation and is a delight to work with. Clare’s technical and practical knowledge of UK insurance business transfers is superb. She has a very detailed grasp of all of the relevant legislation and provides sharp insights into its ramifications and application combined with a practical and commercial approach. Whenever I need technical input on a difficult new issue, I often turn to Clare for advice and I can guarantee she can help – she is my “go-to” insurance business transfer lawyer.’

Key clients

FitzWalter Capital Partners

Covéa Mutual Insurance Group

GreyCastle Holdings Ltd.

Helios Investment Partners

Elliott UK Advisors

Third Point Re


Compre Services (UK) Limited


American International Group (“AIG”)


Assured Guaranty

Hamilton Underwriting

Swiss Re

India > Foreign firms Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advises a varied client roster, which includes international investment banks, private equity houses, strategic investors as well as Indian corporations. Besides demonstrating strength in cross-border M&A, fund formation, capital markets and restructuring mandates, the group also excels in contentious matters  and investigations. London-based Geoffrey P. Burgess, who specialises in private equity matters, oversees the practice with transactional lawyer William Chua in Hong Kong. Fellow co-head Lord Peter Goldsmith QC splits his time between the two offices, and has acted in several international arbitrations with links to India.


‘Debevoise is a formidable practice when it comes to foreign firms working in India. Having worked with them on sensitive white-collar assignments as compared to other US Firms, the Debevoise team understands Asia and India very well. Philip Rohlik in China spearheads the white-collar initiative in Asia and is very thorough and hands on.’

‘The quality of work of the investment funds practice is outstanding. The notable aspects of the practice are depth of knowledge and responsiveness. Truly trusted advisors. Gavin Anderson is an excellent negotiator, draftsman and always on top of any situation.’

Key clients

TPG Global

Capital Group

HarbourVest Partners

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan

Morgan Stanley Private Equity

Rolls-Royce plc

PJSC Uralkali

Since opening in 1989, the London office – the firm’s second-largest – has developed remarkable talent and experience in Debevoise’s core practice areas, including private equity, insurance, international disputes and investigations, financial institutions, M&A, finance, capital markets and tax. Market wise and expert in English and European law, the London office is an integral part of a closely coordinated global practice that includes colleagues in Europe, the US and Asia.

In the corporate and transactional arena, where English and New York law have come to occupy leading positions in much of the world, the London office boasts deep experience in both. Some 30% of Debevoise’s London lawyers hold US qualifications, and more than 75% are English law-qualified. Further, 10% of the firm’s London lawyers are dual-qualified in both England and the US.

The office’s leading disputes resolution practice similarly spans legal regimes, as well as international borders, languages, industries and court systems. The practice’s advocacy-led approach makes it distinct in the market, with capabilities ranging from international commercial arbitration, domestic and international commercial litigation and public international law, to white collar crime and investigations. The practice is chaired by former UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC, who has been described by the major legal directories as “one of the great doyens of the English bar.”

Debevoise’s London transactional group has advised on some of the largest public listings, globally significant M&A transactions, and innovative acquisition financings and strategies for corporate clients, and has a market-leading fund formation practice supporting its expanding fund sponsor client base.

In close collaboration with the firm’s other offices, London office lawyers build and coordinate specialized teams to advise on local and international matters in the UK and throughout Europe, as well as across emerging market territories, including India, the Middle East, Africa, Russia/CIS and Latin America.

Department Name Email Telephone
M&A / Private Equity / Capital Markets Katherine Ashton
M&A / Private Equity Raman Bet-Mansour
Tax Cecile Beurrier
Litigation Christopher Boyne
M&A / Private Equity Geoffrey P Burgess
Finance Alan J Davies
Funds/investment management Matthew Dickman
International dispute resolution Tony Dymond
International dispute resolution Lord Goldsmith QC
M&A / Private equity David Innes
Funds/investment mangagement Geoffrey Kittredge
Finance Pierre Maugüé
Competition Timothy McIver
Funds/investment management John Rife
International dispute resolution Samantha J. Rowe
Tax Matthew Saronson
Financial institutions and insurance / Capital markets James C Scoville
White collar & regulatory defense Karolos Seeger
White collar & regulatory defense Jane Shvets
Finance Thomas Smith
Financial institutions and insurance / Capital markets Clare Swirski
International dispute resolution Patrick Taylor
Funds/investment management Patricia Volhard
Tax Richard Ward
Photo Name Position Profile
 Katherine Ashton  photo Katherine Ashton Dual-qualified in England and the U.S., Kate Ashton is a corporate partner…
 E Raman Bet-Mansour  photo E Raman Bet-Mansour ​E. Raman Bet-Mansour is a corporate partner in the firm’s London and…
 Cecile Beurrier  photo Cecile Beurrier Cécile Beurrier is a partner in the firm’s Tax Department whose practice focuses…
 Christopher Boyne photo Christopher Boyne Christopher Boyne is a partner based in the London office, where he…
 Geoffrey Burgess  photo Geoffrey Burgess Geoffrey Burgess is a corporate partner with a broad international practice in…
 Alan Davies  photo Alan Davies Alan Davies, a corporate partner in the firm’s European Finance Group, focuses…
 Matthew Dickman photo Matthew Dickman Matt Dickman, a London-based partner and member of the firm’s Funds/Investment Management…
 Tony Dymond  photo Tony Dymond Tony Dymond is a partner in the firm’s London and Hong Kong…
Lord Peter Goldsmith photo Lord Peter Goldsmith Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, is London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of…
Mr David Innes  photo Mr David Innes David Innes is a corporate partner in the firm’s London office and…
 Geoffrey Kittredge  photo Geoffrey Kittredge Geoffrey Kittredge, a London-based partner and Chair of Debevoise’s European Funds/Investment Management…
 Benjamin Lyon photo Benjamin Lyon Mr. Lyon focuses on corporate transactions in the insurance and asset management…
 Pierre Maugüé  photo Pierre Maugüé Pierre Maugüé focuses his practice on acquisition and leveraged buyout financings and…
 Timothy McIver photo Timothy McIver Timothy McIver is a partner in the London office. His practice focuses on…
 John Rife photo John Rife John Rife is an English-qualified partner in the Corporate Department and a…
 Samantha Rowe photo Samantha Rowe Samantha J. Rowe is a partner in the International Dispute Resolution and…
 Matthew Saronson  photo Matthew Saronson Matt Saronson  focuses on advising sponsors and investors on the U.S. and…
 James Scoville  photo James Scoville James Scoville is a corporate partner whose practice focuses on securities matters…
 Karolos Seeger  photo Karolos Seeger Karolos Seeger is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory…
 Jane Shvets  photo Jane Shvets Jane Shvets is a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory…
 Thomas Smith  photo Thomas Smith Thomas Smith is an English-qualified partner in the Finance Group of the…
 Clare Swirski photo Clare Swirski Ms. Swirski has over 20 years’ experience advising financial institutions on the…
Mr Patrick Taylor  photo Mr Patrick Taylor Mr. Taylor’s practice focuses on commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with particular…
 Patricia Volhard  photo Patricia Volhard Patricia Volhard is a partner in Debevoise’s Frankfurt and London offices and…
 Richard Ward  photo Richard Ward Richard Ward is Co-Managing Partner for the firm in London, and Chair…
Number of UK partners : 23
Number of other UK fee-earners : Approximately 125

Our clients come to us for the finest legal advice and service. We provide that service by bringing to our firm the best and most diverse talent, and by working to build and sustain an inclusive community.

We are deeply proud of the considerable success we have had in hiring diverse lawyers and law students. We know that it is the quality of our practice and the culture and people who form our firm that attract such great talent.

We also know that the work of building a truly diverse and inclusive firm cannot be measured just by accolades, and that numbers alone do not fully tell the tale. It is our job at Debevoise to create a professional environment in which all our lawyers can thrive and succeed.

We have embedded diversity and inclusion within all elements of the firm’s broader talent development work.

Management Committee Sponsorship Program

Members of the firm’s Management Committee and departmental leaders are paired with top-performing mid- and senior-level diverse associates to promote and support their careers through opportunity generation, profile raising and internal leadership.

Addressing Implicit Bias

We have instituted implicit bias training in all aspects of our talent cycle – recruiting, advising, staffing, evaluation – and for all levels of lawyers.

Real-Time Informal Feedback Program

To enhance career development for our lawyers, the firm has implemented our Real-Time Informal Feedback Program. Lawyers are taught a number of simple yet effective feedback techniques, and meet regularly to discuss their experiences in giving more frequent feedback.

Practice Group Leadership

Practice group leaders are expected to actively implement practices and procedures to encourage inclusive leadership and reduce unconscious bias. The firm implements training programs designed to educate attorneys at all levels on these concepts. This training has included internationally based, drama-infused learning on unconscious bias as well as neuroscience training on inclusive leadership practices.

Centralized Staffing

We apply a centralized approach to staffing our junior litigators, with the objective of ensuring an equitable distribution of responsibilities and opportunities.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Debevoise & Plimpton trainees ‘wanted experience in both transactional and litigious seats, areas in which the firm showcases great strength’. The US firm’s London office boasts several interesting practice areas and regularly undertakes ‘groundbreaking work’ in international arbitration, private equity, fund formation and public international law. ‘Trainees loved ‘attending client meetings where my research was discussed’, ‘getting to negotiate non-disclosure agreements’ and ‘receiving congratulatory calls from senior lawyers’. A small intake allows recruits to ‘build great relationships’, both with each other and with their colleagues who are ‘genuinely friendly’ and boast the enviable combination of being ‘both whip-smart and kind’. One of the best things about training at Debevoise is ‘the opportunity to work in small teams; this forces you to contribute and be proactive with your work and ideas’. The quality of work is high too: ‘some of the disputes we work on don’t have precedents, so we’re literally working on cutting-edge matters’! It follows that trainees have rated their job satisfaction levels highly enough to award the firm a Lex 100 Winner medal. Another Lex 100 Winner gong has been scooped up for the ‘incredible pay’. Balancing Debevoise’s impressive salary are some ‘tough hours’, which can be ‘unpredictable’, and the worst thing is ‘having to work late when you least expect it; clients can give you a lot of work right at the end of the working day or working week’. The high level of responsibility afforded to trainees can also be ‘overwhelming’. ‘Working 18-hour days for a consecutive 12-day stretch’ and ‘doing really long hours in M&A’ are examples. For a firm which is ‘externally competitive but internally collegiate’, consider Debevoise & Plimpton.