Firm Profile > Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > London, England
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP Offices
65 GRESHAM STREET
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
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.
‘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.’
Royal Dutch Shell
Human Dignity Trust
Commonwealth Lawyers Association
International Commission of Jurists
Center for Reproductive Rights
The Nova Group Investments
The Russian Federation
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.
‘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’.
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.
‘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‘.
British American Tobacco
Royal Dutch Shell
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.
‘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.’
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.
The Blackstone Group
The Carlyle Group
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
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.
Next Generation Partners
‘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‘.
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.
‘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.’
DBAY Advisors Limited
Exponent Private Equity Partners
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.
‘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.‘
Motor Fuel Group
Clayton Dubilier & Rice/Solenis
American International Group Inc.
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.
‘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.
‘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‘
AIA Group Limited
Motor Fuel Group
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
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.
AfricInvest Capital Partners
Bank of New York Mellon
Capital Group/Capital International
Helios Investment Partners
Interros International Investments
PJSC Polyus Gold
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.
Clayton Dubilier & Rice
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.
AmTrust Financial Services
The Carlyle Group
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Hamilton Insurance Group
The Hanover Insurance Group
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > Firm Profile
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.
|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|
|Katherine Ashton||View Profile|
|E Raman Bet-Mansour||View Profile|
|Geoffrey Burgess||View Profile|
|Alan Davies||View Profile|
|Tony Dymond||View Profile|
|Sally Gibson||View Profile|
|Lord Peter Goldsmith QC||View Profile|
|Mr David Innes||View Profile|
|Geoffrey Kittredge||View Profile|
|Richard Lawton||View Profile|
|Kevin Lloyd||View Profile|
|Pierre Maugüé||View Profile|
|Wendy Miles QC||View Profile|
|Matthew Saronson||View Profile|
|James Scoville||View Profile|
|Karolos Seeger||View Profile|
|Jane Shvets||View Profile|
|Thomas Smith||View Profile|
|Mr Patrick Taylor||View Profile|
|Patricia Volhard||View Profile|
|Richard Ward||View Profile|