Firm Profile > Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > London, England

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
65 GRESHAM STREET
LONDON
EC2V 7NQ
England

Public international law Tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has 'unmatched breadth of experience' across a broad spectrum of public international law-related areas. The team regularly undertakes complex cases involving international environmental law; international humanitarian law; treaty interpretation; indigenous rights; arbitrary detention; political persecution; state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts; and denial of justice claims. Lord Peter Goldsmith is particularly noted for his substantial experience in representing sovereign and commercial clients in public international law arbitration and other court proceedings worldwide. He is currently lead counsel in a series of high profile public international law disputes pursued by the State of Qatar, including in its case before the International Court of Justice under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Wendy Miles and Patrick Taylor are the other key names for proceedings in the financial services, telecoms, construction, and energy and natural resources sectors. Aimee-Jane Lee advises on the international protection of investments, particularly under bilateral investment treaties, the Energy Charter Treaty and investor-state contracts.

Testimonials

Debevoise & Plimpton is one of the very top firms in this field. It has a breadth of experience that not many firms can match.’

Peter Goldsmith QC is a seasoned litigator; there is nothing he hasn’t seen

Aimee-Jane Lee is the superstar in the group, and is whip smart and has excellent attention to detail.’

Key clients

Royal Dutch Shell

Human Dignity Trust

Commonwealth Lawyers Association

International Commission of Jurists

Center for Reproductive Rights

The Nova Group Investments

The Russian Federation

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime Tier 1

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 's top tier London corporate crime team is 'the real deal' according to one client, advising on matters ranging from prevention, corporate defence, sanctions, compliance and regulatory investigations. It also deals with internal investigations for boards of directors, board committees and corporations. It frequently advises clients in sectors including engineering, aerospace and defence, infrastructure projects, energy and financial services. Co-head of team Lord Peter Goldsmith QC advises on white-collar, arbitration and litigation matters domestically and internationally. Karolos Seeger, who also co-heads the team, specialises in white-collar crime, internal investigations, compliance and corrupt practices legislation. Robin Lööf was promoted to international counsel. Jane Shvets focuses on white-collar defence and internal investigations Alex Parker left the firm for an in-house role at GlaxoSmithKline.

Testimonials

‘Top-tier work product combined with straightforward and responsive client service make this team the real deal’.

‘The team to go for when you need agile, forward thinking lawyers who will do things the right way’.

‘Debevoise’s approach represents a perfect blend of high-level legal expertise, an understanding of how businesses operate in a fast-paced global environment, and a common sense approach to proposing solutions that can be deployed in real-life’.

‘Karolos Seeger has deep experience dealing with a multitude of agencies across the world. He is experienced, hands-on and has tremendous judgement’. 

‘Many of the team are multilingual which facilitates handling cross-border matters and they are very flexible and dedicated, working all hours to get the job done’.

‘Jane Shvets is a great resource, in particular in relation to Russia related work’.

‘Jane Shvets is approachable, available and provides first-class legal advice’.

Key clients

Société Générale

Rolls Royce plc

Commercial litigation Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP fields 'profoundly capable lawyers who will truly get to the heart of a case'. The commercial litigation team is regularly instructed by some of the biggest companies in the world on large and complex mandates, which are frequently cross-jurisdictional. The 'sought after'  Kevin Lloyd and the 'formidable'  Richard Lawton acted for BAT Industries and BTI 2014 in litigation, which sought to recover two dividends plus interest (totalling approximately $880m) from Sequana, Europe’s largest paper and packaging manufacturing and distribution company. Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC is London co-managing partner and chair of European and Asian litigation, while recently promoted partner Christopher Boyne and international counsel Akima Paul Lambert are also highly rated.

Testimonials

It is a top-quality team, from partners down to junior associates, who are capable of grappling with the most complex cases‘.

This absolutely first-class firm is involved in the biggest and most complex commercial disputes and is stacked with talented lawyers who are also commercially aware‘.

Kevin Lloyd is deservedly one of the most highly sought after partners in the London market. He is an incredibly smart lawyer, an astute tactician, commercially savvy and a supreme negotiator – the complete package‘.

Richard Lawton is a formidable force. He is an exceptional technical lawyer who is all over the detail of a case and has sound litigation instincts. Allied to that, he is an indomitable fighter who leaves no stone unturned for his clients. Clients want him on their team‘.

International counsel Christopher Boyne is someone with the ability to take charge of the most difficult disputes. He handles – and wins – heavy, complex commercial disputes matters and is a hit with clients – one to watch‘.

International counsel Akima Paul Lambert is a pleasure to work with, client focused and very responsive‘.

Key clients

British American Tobacco

Robert Tchenguiz

Whiteleave Holdings

Litasco

Royal Dutch Shell

PJSC Tatneft

PSJC Uralkali

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's London team has 'extensive' knowledge of the insurance M&A market and has worked on many of the largest deals in the sector over the last few years. The highly regarded Ben Lyon and practice head Clare Swirski are lauded for their 'excellent' technical insurance knowledge, particularly on Solvency II questions, for which Clare is described as 'the go-to person' in the market. Swirski, Lyon and James Scoville were recently part of a large transatlantic team which advised AXA on the $15.3bn acquisition of XL Group.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

‘Good industry knowledge both for the UK and internationally’

‘The team takes a commercial-minded approach to insurance transactions while focusing on an appropriate level of legal detail and risk mitigation. They are in a unique position to be able to advise on market developments and provide guidance on commercial positions to be taken in transaction documents.’

‘Ben Lyon has a strong understanding of the insurance market and drivers for insurance clients, and uses that understanding to provide commercially relevant advice. He has a client-centric approach and is proactive in ensuring advice is provided in line with client requirements.

‘Clare Swirski is a go-to person on Solvency II questions – she really understands the business implications.’

‘Ben Lyon possesses a unique combination of deep insurance-industry knowledge and excellent M&A experience.’

‘Ben Lyon applies a client-focused approach to legal representation by taking the time to understand what is motivating his clients and adjusting his approach accordingly.’

Key clients

AXA

American International Group

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd.

Ascot Underwriting Limited

AmTrust Financial Services

Prudential Financial Inc. / Prudential Financial Insurance Company

Assured Guaranty Corporation

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

Greycastle Holdings Ltd.

Third Point Reinsurance Company Ltd.

TIAA-CREF

The Blackstone Group

The Carlyle Group

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

HarbourVest Partners

International arbitration Tier 2

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 'has significant expertise and a deep bench, and the practice is remarkably dedicated and committed to client service'. The advocacy-led practice acts for both state and commercial clients in the full range of high-value, international arbitration disputes, and the team has particular government-related experience. Former UK Attorney General Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC is managing partner of the London practice, and Wendy Miles QC acts in proceedings in the financial services, manufacturing, telecoms, insurance, construction, energy and natural resources sectors. Tony Dymond and Patrick Taylor are also highly rated. Samantha Rowe made partner, while Aimee-Jane Lee and the recently promoted Akima Paul Lambert and Gavin Chesney are key international counsels.

Testimonials

The team’s expertise covers multiple jurisdictions and different legal fields; it is very integrated and the lawyers work seamlessly with each other. There is also a strong sense of internal culture and pride‘.

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC is a consummate advocate with brilliant command of detail and process, and he is ably supported by counsels such as Gavin Chesney‘.

Wendy Miles QC is dedicated and technically excellent, while also being commercially minded and savvy‘.

Tony Dymond is a lawyer’s lawyer; he is thoughtful and able to reduce complex issues to their key components‘.

Patrick Taylor is incredibly hardworking, detail-orientated in his analysis, and a powerful and impressive advocate‘.

Samantha Rowe provides sharp insight from various angles‘.

A standout individual is Aimee-Jane Lee, who has excellent attention to detail and is very smart‘.

Key clients

The Nova Group Investments

The Russian Federation

The Poddar Brothers

Private funds Tier 3

The investment management group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, which 'provides a boutique-like experience wrapped up in a US powerhouse offering', took on more than a dozen new fund clients during 2018. The team works with a wide range of clients, from brand new fund managers and independent boutiques to global alternative asset firms and the private equity arms of major banks. In a first-time fund formation of its kind for the client, European private equity chair Geoffrey Kittredge advised Apera Capital on the establishment of its new debt fund, Apera Capital Private Debt Fund I; the fund raised approximately €750m. Funds regulatory specialist and international counsel John Young joined the team from Ropes & Gray LLP in September 2018, while John Rife was made up to the partnership and Delphine Jaugey was promoted to international counsel.

Next Generation Partners

Testimonials

‘The firm’s private funds practice provides outstanding services well informed not only by the latest European legal developments, but also by US private funds developments’.

‘Legal excellence is paired with strong negotiation experience, which helps to arrive at amicable agreements with even difficult counterparties’.

‘The Debevoise & Plimpton team differentiates itself by giving true advice at critical points of the process. Unlike other firms, who tend to merely explain what the options are, Geoff Kittredge and his team give you practical advice and get the job done’.

‘Geoff Kittredge is a hugely experienced partner who has an immense history assisting major PE clients. His technical knowledge, industry nous and commercial focus wrapped up in a charismatic character makes him a formidable lawyer’.

‘John Rife has become a leading partner in the team. He is a technically very able lawyer with a great pedigree of experience’.

‘The London private equity practice at Debevoise & Plimpton is led by a group of excellent lawyers with extensive experience in the market who work well together as a team.  When working with Debevoise you are confident that you will receive top quartile advice and will therefore be well placed in any legal discussion or negotiation’.

‘This team is at the cutting edge of the fund formation space.  It is reliable, effective and always able to deliver against tight deadlines in tough situations’.

‘John Rife is an excellent lawyer in the private equity market,  with a strong reputation and excellent commercial judgement.’

Key clients

Glendower Capital

Tishman Speyer

DBAY Advisors Limited

LeapFrog

Exponent Private Equity Partners

Park Square

Morgan Stanley

Apera Capital

Baring Vostok

Metric Capital

Acquisition finance Tier 4

'Highly commercial and up to speed with market trends', Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's banking and finance team has a strong reputation for handling cross-border borrower-side acquisition finance mandates for core private equity sponsors and corporates, including longstanding client Clayton Dubilier & Rice. With numerous dual US and UK-qualified practitioners in London, as well as being able to tap into the expertise of finance lawyers in the US, the team is well-placed to advise on deals involving bank debt and New York-governed high yield bonds. The firm's fund financing expertise has also been appreciated by sponsor clients, which are increasingly implementing such facilities to provide further liquidity to fund acquisitions. Alan Davies is a 'top performer' and regularly handles leveraged finance work for private equity sponsors.

Testimonials

Thomas Smith and Almas Daud are able to explain complex issues in a straight-forward manner and focus on the real issues, rather than the minutia.

Key clients

Resolution Life

Motor Fuel Group

Clayton Dubilier & Rice/Solenis

American International Group Inc.

B&M

Glendower Capital

Construction: contentious Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's contentious practice handles a wide range of disputes relating to buildings, airports, ports, gas facilities, power projects and social infrastructure. The team is led by 'exceptional lawyer and advocate' Tony Dymond who is known for his work on disputes in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The firm's client base consists of lenders, owners and contractors in the international space. 'Sharp and inquisitive' associate Robert Hoose is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Testimonials

‘The team is strong both academically and practically.’

‘The contentious construction team at Debevoise & Plimpton contains an unrivalled mix of individuals.’

‘Genuine in-depth construction and engineering legal expertise with an international reach.’

‘Tony Dymond is extremely bright, engaging and down to earth.’

‘Tony Dymond is an exceptional legal mind and grasps key issues immediately.’

‘Rob Hoose has a sharp and inquisitive thought process that enables intelligent strategy and plans to develop.’

‘Tony Dymond is an exceptional lawyer and advocate. He is able to quickly grasp the substantive matters within the context of large and complex disputes.’

‘Tony Dymond is one of the few lawyers who genuinely understands construction and engineering delay matters.’

‘Rob Hoose is a lawyer experienced in the finer points of construction; he is able to see the main issues clearly and to turn these into concise arguments.’

‘Gavin Chesney has a great facility for understanding the detail of construction costs and collecting these into clear submissions.’

‘Tony Dymond is clever and manages expectations of clients well.’

‘Rob Hoose is very much on top of the detail and impressively so.’

Corporate tax Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP stands out for its expertise in the interplay between US and UK tax regimes, predominantly advising on fund formation, M&A, financing and capital markets tax issues with US-UK aspects. The team is jointly-led by London co-managing partner Richard Ward and Matthew Saronson, whose practice consists of advising sponsors and investors on the US and international tax aspects of private equity funds and their operations.

Testimonials

A wide range of tax expertise combined with excellent commercial sense

Creative thinkers, fast workers and on point

Richard Ward is a go-to person with incredible knowledge and solutions available on the spot

Key clients

AIA Group Limited

PJSC Polyus

Motor Fuel Group

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

HarbourVest Partners

Tristan Capital Partners Holdings Limited

Hanover Insurance Group

Emerging markets Tier 4

The London office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has more than 20 years' experience in advising clients investing and operating in India, China, Latin America, Russia and Africa. Its work encompasses M&A, joint ventures, private equity investment, fund formation, direct investment and capital markets deals. The London practice, led by corporate partner Geoffrey Burgess and securities and capital markets specialist James Scoville, works closely with teams in the firm's New York, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo offices. Also recommended is international counsel Vera Losonci who handles equity and debt offerings for issuers in emerging markets, notably Russia and the CIS. A key deal in 2018 saw Burgess advise Helios Investment Partners on its investment in a Moroccan education company.

Key clients

AfricInvest Capital Partners

Bank of New York Mellon

Capital Group/Capital International

Helios Investment Partners

Interros International Investments

LeapFrog Investments

Morgan Stanley

NLMK

Norilsk Nickel

PJSC MegaFon

Poddar Family

PJSC Polyus Gold

Prudential Financial

Sistema

Tata Teleservices

TPG Capital

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 4

Led by David Innes, the corporate team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP handles both traditional leveraged buyouts and PE secondaries work (such as the restructuring and acquisition of PE funds). The practice is instructed on transactions involving a broad range of industry assets including retail, industrial, media, telecoms and natural resources. A specialisation in the insurance sector is a hallmark of the firm, as evidenced when Katherine Ashton assisted HarbourVest Partners in its joint £1.2bn acquisition (alongside Bain Capital) of one of the UK's largest online insurers, esure. Ashton is qualified to practice in both England and the US.

Key clients

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

HarbourVest Partners

Bregal Freshstream

Helios Investment Partners

Precision Medicine Group

EU and competition Tier 7

Lawyers in the antitrust and competition team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP handle merger control issues arising in relation to multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions. The group assists clients with obtaining clearance for mergers and acquisitions from the European Commission as well as from the relevant national authorities. Led by practice head Timothy McIver, the team in London works in close cooperation with the firm's New York office. Of recent note, the group assisted Discovery Communications with securing clearance for its $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Sector-specific expertise covers a wide spectrum including private equity, financial services, technology, chemicals, energy, natural resources, aviation, and communications.

Key clients

AIG

AmTrust Financial Services

The Carlyle Group

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Discovery Communications

Hamilton Insurance Group

The Hanover Insurance Group

Perform Group

Solenis

Uralchem

 

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. Clients look to the firm to bring a distinctively high degree of quality, intensity and creativity to resolve legal challenges effectively and cost-efficiently.

The firm: Since opening in 1989, the London office – the firm’s second-largest – it has developed remarkable talent and expertise 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 co-ordinated global practice that includes colleagues in Europe, the US and Asia.

Types of work undertaken: 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 expertise 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 dispute resolution practice similarly spans legal regimes, as well as international borders, languages, industries and court systems. Led by a team of seven partners, 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 co-ordinate specialised 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.

Other offices: The firm has a substantial and growing practice worldwide, operating from offices in New York, Washington DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. In Europe, each of the firm’s offices practise local, EU and New York law.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partners Lord Goldsmith QC
Managing partners Richard Ward London
Mergers and acquisitions David Innes UK
Mergers and acquisitions Raman Bet-Mansour US
Mergers and acquisitions Geoffrey P Burgess US
Private equity Raman Bet-Mansour US
Private equity Geoffrey Kittredge US
Private equity David Innes UK
Private equity Geoffrey Burgess US
Private equity Sally Gibson UK
Private equity Katherine Ashton US/UK
Capital markets James C Scoville US
Capital markets Katherine Ashton US/UK
Financing Alan J Davies UK
Financing Pierre Maugüé US
Financing Thomas Smith UK
Financial institutions and insurance James C Scoville US
Corporate tax Richard Ward UK
Corporate tax Matthew Saronson US
International dispute resolution Lord Goldsmith QC UK
International dispute resolution David W Rivkin US
International dispute resolution Karolos Seeger UK
International dispute resolution Sophie Lamb UK
International dispute resolution Kevin Lloyd UK
International dispute resolution Tony Dymond UK
International dispute resolution Richard Lawton UK
International dispute resolution Patrick Taylor UK
Photo Name Position Profile
 Katherine Ashton  photo Katherine Ashton
 E Raman Bet-Mansour  photo E Raman Bet-Mansour
 Geoffrey Burgess  photo Geoffrey Burgess
 Alan Davies  photo Alan Davies
 Tony Dymond  photo Tony Dymond
 Sally Gibson  photo Sally Gibson
Lord Peter Goldsmith QC photo Lord Peter Goldsmith QC
Mr David Innes  photo Mr David Innes
 Geoffrey Kittredge  photo Geoffrey Kittredge
 Richard Lawton  photo Richard Lawton
 Kevin Lloyd  photo Kevin Lloyd
 Pierre Maugüé  photo Pierre Maugüé
 Wendy Miles QC  photo Wendy Miles QC
 Matthew Saronson  photo Matthew Saronson
 James Scoville  photo James Scoville
 Karolos Seeger  photo Karolos Seeger
 Jane Shvets  photo Jane Shvets
 Thomas Smith  photo Thomas Smith
Mr Patrick Taylor  photo Mr Patrick Taylor
 Patricia Volhard  photo Patricia Volhard
 Richard Ward  photo Richard Ward
Number of UK partners : 20
Number of other UK fee-earners : Approximately 100

The Lex 100 Verdict

Debevoise & Plimpton boasts 'both transactional and contentious teams that operate at a very high level'. The US firm's 'top quality arbitration and funds work' attracted many and the salary, which is 'among the highest in the City', was also an undoubtable draw. Consequently, Debevoise has amassed four Lex 100 Winner medals for job satisfaction, quality of work, confidence of being kept on and remuneration. Recruits enjoy being part of a small intake where they form a valuable part of 'tight-knit teams' and get to work on 'very large deals with renowned clients'. The training contract is flexible: 'the firm really takes into account what you would like to do'. Highlights such as 'working on a challenge against anti-homosexuality laws and preparing submissions for the Supreme Court in Belize' and 'travelling to fourteen different countries during my white-collar seat' are definitely not to be sniffed at. On the flip side, 'all-nighters' and 'drafting board minutes for the first time without context or precedent late at night' were instances trainees would rather forget. Whilst 'being involved in live matters and learning as you go along' is exciting, the 'less formal training' sometimes leads to 'uneven development' and to trainees having 'limited knowledge of the area of law you are involved with', at least to begin with. But pro bono at the firm 'surpasses expectations' and is 'far from another marketing angle'. Indeed, several trainees cited working on notable pro bono cases as some of their proudest moments. To work at a firm which is 'full of very smart people who are incredible at what they do' but which maintains an 'unsnobbish and non-aggressive culture', take a closer look at Debevoise & Plimpton.