Debevoise & Plimpton LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 1

'A go-to firm for international arbitration', Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s London group is routinely instructed on high-stakes mandates. Former UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith KC has longstanding experience in representing private parties and sovereign states in groundbreaking international arbitrations; London and Hong Kong-based Tony Dymond is 'excellent for construction-related disputes'; and commercial and investor-state arbitration expert Samantha Rowe and the 'very impressive' Patrick Taylor both work between the firm's London and Paris offices. Within the firm's international counsel pool, Gavin Chesney 'handles very sophisticated commercial arbitration issues', while Robert HooseAimee-Jane Lee and Conway Blake are also integral to the firm's international arbitration offering. Laith NajjarShreya ArenMaxim Osadchiy, Sonja Sreckovic and Monika Hlavkova are the associates to note. In a major boost to the practice Jeffrey Sullivan KC, in July 2023, joined as partner and co-chair of international arbitration in Europe from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Practice head(s):

Lord Goldsmith KC


‘The team led by Lord Goldsmith is formed by outstanding lawyers from different backgrounds with different levels of seniority.’

‘Lord Goldsmith is by far one of the leading lawyers in international arbitration – infinitely knowledgeable and experienced, and a brilliant cross-examiner.’

‘Their knowledge of the law and involvement in the particularities of cases is very unique. They are also flexible with the fee structure, which is praised by clients.’

‘The Debevoise & Plimpton team is almost unrivalled in its experience, expertise, depth and overall performance. They have exceptional lawyers and are not only client oriented, but also results driven, which makes them a go-to firm for international arbitration.’

‘Patrick Taylor – very impressive. Business savvy, extremely smart, and very responsive.’

‘Tony Dymond -is excellent for construction-related disputes.’

‘Samantha Rowe is a brilliant lawyer.’

Gavin Chesney handles very sophisticated commercial arbitration issues.’

Key clients

Tethyan Copper Company Pty

CH2M Hill


Bechtel Group

The Nova Group Investments

Shell Petroleum

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria



Work highlights

  • Defending Tethyan against an arbitration claim brought by the Province of Balochistan (Pakistan).
  • Representing Nova in an ICSID claim against the Romanian Government, in respect of the purported expropriation of assets and breaches of treaty protections.
  • Representing Shell against the Federal Republic of Nigeria in an ICSID case brought under the Netherlands-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty, in relation to breaches of protections.

Dispute resolution > Public international law Tier 1

'Continuously demonstrating exceptional legal expertise in public international law', Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has substantial experience in treaty interpretation and enforcement work before international courts and tribunals. Its enviable track record also includes successfully acting in treaty cases before the International Court of Justice. The practice is additionally experienced in litigating PIL issues before domestic courts. Global Co-chair of the firm’s PIL group and former UK Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith KC, 'stands out'; Samantha Rowe is an international arbitration and PIL specialist; and Patrick Taylor's experience includes PIL, human rights and investment disputes throughout the world. At international counsel level, Aimee-Jane Lee focuses on PIL work, international treaties and international arbitrations, while Conway Blake is 'a fantastic legal strategist'. Associate Monika Hlavkova is also a key team member; and in a major boost to the practice, renowned advocate Jeffrey Sullivan KC joined as partner in July 2023 from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Practice head(s):

Lord Goldsmith KC


‘A highly efficient, expert team that still has the human touch and works well with individuals at the Bar.’

‘Continuously demonstrating exceptional legal expertise in public international law and arbitration, as well as professionalism, innovative thinking, and a commitment to client service.’

‘The Debevoise team, comprised of highly experienced and knowledgeable attorneys, distinguishes itself by consistently delivering valuable advice and strategic guidance. Working with them is always truly a pleasure.’

‘Lord Goldsmith KC is highly experienced, service-minded, and dedicated – it is always a pleasure to work with him.’

‘Lord Goldsmith KC’s ability to analyse complex legal situations and find strong and effective legal solutions is remarkable.’

‘Lord Goldsmith KC stands out with his tailor-made advice and his vast wealth of knowledge and experience in arbitration and public international law, in particular as the former UK Attorney General, which makes him an invaluable asset on any team.’

Conway Blake – clients are struck by his exceptional legal knowledge, attention to detail, and ability to think outside the box. He is also very practical and gives clear advice.

Not only is Conway Blake a fantastic legal strategist, he is also a great communicator and never too busy to answer a question or provide guidance.

Key clients

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company

Shell Petroleum

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria

Republic of Azerbaijan

The Center for Reproductive Rights

Clooney Foundation

The Nova Group Investments



Work highlights

  • Acting for Shell International Trading and Shipping Company (STASCO) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) in major proceedings concerning an oil spill.
  • Represented SPNV and SPDC (as claimants) against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in an ICSID case that was brought under the Netherlands-Nigeria bilateral investment treaty (in relation to BIT protection breaches).
  • Representing the Republic of Azerbaijan in a large and complex dispute with the Republic of Armenia before the International Court of Justice, arising under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Investment fund formation and management > Fund finance Tier 1

Delivering ‘quality work in an efficient manner,’ the ‘extremely strong’ and ‘great fund finance team’ at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is reputed for its expertise in relation to borrower-side fund finance. Also well-versed in private equity work, the team has its hand in a variety of fund strategies including real estate, credit, healthcare, Africa-focused and venture funds. The practice is co-headed by a trio of lawyers including: corporate partner Alan Davies who focuses on asset and structured financing and acquisitions; dual qualified in English and New York law, Pierre Maugüé, who is well-versed in leveraged buyout and structured financings, offers experience in the United States, Asian and European markets, and was noted by one client as an ‘excellent’ lawyer; and the ‘brilliant’ and ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Thomas Smith, who acts for funds, borrowers, sponsors and financial institutions and has significant experience in ESG-linked fund finance transactions and NAV financings. Also recommended is the ‘detail-oriented’ Daniel Hoborough, the ‘very strong associate’ Almas Daud and the ‘key’ player Andrea Thomas.

Practice head(s):

Alan J. Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Hoborough; Almas Daud; Andrea Thomas; Christine Gilleland; Anna Moore; Alex Bell; Felix Paterson; Gregg Young


‘The team provides concise and accurate advice. It is rare to find legal counsels who are both commercial and experts in their field. Tom Smith is brilliant! He is always on point and an effective negotiator who is great with giving concise and accurate advice. Daniel Hoborough is one of the best associates I’ve worked. He is detail-oriented, patient and gets things done.’

‘Tom Smith and Alex Bell are excellent. Their attention to detail, prompt action and efficient resolution to queries is impressive.’

‘This team, led by Tom Smith, is extremely knowledgeable on the market, collaborative in their approach, focused on achieving solutions for complex issues for their clients and extremely commercial. Tom Smith is definitely one of the best fund finance partners in the City. He has a collaborative and commercial approach to every transaction. He is very responsive and involved in every aspect of the deal, guides his clients through complex issues and to a position where both sides feel the outcome is fair. Tom intelligently and reasonably walks through issues and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘The Debevoise team deliver quality work in an efficient manner with a focus on providing accurate and up to date advice. Tom Smith is a great partner with deep experience in NAV financing. His leveraged finance background means he brings a different lens to the work than others in the space. Almas Daud is a very strong associate and capable of leading deals.’

‘Debevoise have a great fund finance team. They push to make sure things are done on time and take the much of the pressure off the client. Their knowledge is second to none. Over the last 12 months, I’ve reached out to Tom Smith and Almas Daud on a number of topics. 2023 has been challenging on many fronts and I always appreciate D&P’s commentary and counsel to help navigate these interesting times.’

‘Debevoise & Plimpton has a first-class investment funds finance practice that impresses with its unparalleled knowledge of the industry, solutions focused advice and round the clock service. Our team works with the excellent lawyers Pierre Maugue, Christine Gilleland and Anna Moore, who are sharp, helpful and very user-friendly.’

‘A commercially focused and high quality team that has strong breadth across the associate pool and highly experienced partners. Tom Smith has a track record of being a thought leader in the fund finance space, spearheading new initiatives such as ESG margin ratchets and hybrid facilities. A number of his associates are very strong including Felix Paterson, Gregg Young and Almas Daud.’

A very strong team in the NAV and fund financing space, with a renowned reputation in top-of-the market deals. Tom Smith is an excellent lawyer with a strong track record in NAV and fund financing. He is both a good adversary and collaborator in this space and we value his presence in the market.’

Key clients

EQT Partners

Bridgepoint Private Equity



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

Counting companies from sectors including engineering, aerospace, extractives, and pharmaceutical, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘truly exceptional’ practice  regularly advises on  high-profile money laundering and corruption cases. The firm boasts a strong track record dealing with both domestic and international enforcement agencies, including the SFO, US DOJ, and FCA, along with showcasing significant strength in the sanctions field. Lord Peter Goldsmith KC and Karolos Seeger lead the group, with the former regularly acting for corporations in litigation and white-collar matters, while the latter is a ‘wonderful lawyer’, focusing on AML and fraud matters. Jane Shvets is an expert in cross-border investigations, while international counsel Konstantin Bureiko concentrates on anti-corruption proceedings. Andrew Lee is knowledgeable on regulatory investigations involving the FCA.

Practice head(s):

Lord Goldsmith KC; Karolos Seeger

Other key lawyers:


‘Competence, innovation and strategic advice.’

‘Debevoise is a truly exceptional firm. Responsive, proactive, creative and with lawyers of the highest quality. I cannot recall a time where I have had any doubts about the quality of their advice and felt that they did not understand what I was trying to achieve when I sought their support. The quality of service is fantastic whether I have worked with them on large, high value matters or on lower value, more routine queries.’

‘Karolos Seeger is a wonderful lawyer with an incredible ability to articulate complex issues clearly and succinctly. He is personable and always responsive, I could ask for no more from my external counsel.

‘Konstantin Bureiko has a seemingly insatiable appetite for work, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and has constantly delivered what we needed whenever we have worked with him.’

Key clients

Shell plc

Rolls-Royce plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Shell and serving as global coordinating counsel in connection with  various bribery investigations and criminal proceedings relating to the award of the OPL 245 offshore oil block in Nigeria in 2011.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 2

Described by a client as a ‘disputes powerhouse’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is well-versed in handling complex high-stakes matters for large blue-chip multinationals. ‘Great advocate and cross examinerLord Peter Goldsmith KC leads the team that has particular experience in funds and private equity related work. Widely lauded Patrick Swain is key to the team, with extensive experience in shareholder disputes alongside commercial fraud claims and professional negligence litigation. ‘Brilliant commercial litigatorChristopher Boyne is a 'trusted commercial advisor' to many of the clients of the practice. At associate level, ‘exceptionally smart, diligent, and creativeLuke Duggan is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lord Goldsmith KC

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Swain; Christopher Boyne; Natasha McCarthy; Luke Duggan; Hugo Farmer


‘The team is a disputes powerhouse. They have broad view and understanding of all angles of the dispute, which allow the team to suggest the most appropriate solutions and best options.’

‘Lord Goldsmith KC – nobody can rival his experience – remains a great advocate and cross examiner. He has built a top team, including another top quality partner, Christopher Boyne. He is also highly thought of and highly recommended.’

‘I work with Christopher Boyne and Hugo Farmer at Debevoise because they drive solutions that work and are the most commercial legal team I have worked with.’

‘Debevoise specialises in a very broad range of extremely high-value, complex disputes. Peter Goldsmith KC’s reputation, and the firm’s reputation in the US, together with their premium place in the market mean that they are exceptionally well-suited to handling very complex, high-value and high-profile disputes of all kinds for clients ranging from ultra high net worth individuals to blue chip companies, state entities and sovereign states.’

‘Christopher Boyne is excellent. He is a trusted commercial advisor to a number of high profile in-house counsel. He is also a brilliant commercial litigator who punches well above his weight in terms of seniority. As well as being super bright and very sensible in his judgment, he is an exceptional team leader who commands loyalty from his juniors and respect from both senior partners and opponents. ’

‘Luke Duggan is an associate to watch: exceptionally smart, diligent and creative.’

‘Top class team capable of handling the biggest and most complex disputes. Well led at partner level and great depth of quality associates who really add value.’

‘Christopher Boyne pays superb attention to detail and clarity in what he writes, often large documents holding together a range of complex information in a tight and readily understandable whole.’

Key clients

Shell PLC and various Shell subsidiaries

The Hinduja family

Neoma Private Equity Fund

Gedeon Richter PLC

JLPS Leasing Draco Limited

Xio Fund 1 LP and associated Fund entities

Victor Pisante & associated investment companies

Work highlights

  • Act for Shell in a number of high-profile litigations.
  • Represent three members of the Hinduja family regarding claims regarding the status, meaning, and effect of two documents and their effect on the family’s significant business assets in the UK and abroad. The assets in question are worth multiple billions of US$.
  • Advise NPEF IV in relation to claims in relation to various loans/investments made to Abraaj Holdings Limited and Abraaj Investment Management Limited, both of which are members of the Abraaj Group.

Industry focus > Emerging markets Tier 2

The 'top-notch' emerging markets practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has 'a great group of partners and associates who are diligent, smart, and highly commercial'. Among them are Geoffrey Burgess, who has an active international M&A practice and frequently handles transactions in Africa, India and Russia/CIS; capital markets partner James Scoville, who recently advised Baring Vostok Capital Partners on an $85m accelerated bookbuild sale of approximately 1.2 million global depositary receipts; chair of European and Asian litigation Lord Peter Goldsmith KC and co-chair of the Africa practice Patrick Taylor, who together assisted Shell Petroleum as claimant in an ICSID case against the Federal Republic of Nigeria concerning breaches of the Netherlands-Nigeria Bilateral Investment Treaty. 'Super-smart, gracious, natural dealmaker' Alan Kartashkin, who previously led the firm's Moscow office, is now head of the firm's London-based Eastern European practice. International counsel Vera Losonci focuses on equity and debt offerings, including cross-border M&A deals and corporate governance matters. 'This practice is exceptional - agile, flexible, resourceful and very collaborative', say clients.

Practice head(s):

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

Other key lawyers:


‘Alan Kartashkin combines years of experience doing Russian deals with a strong cross-border background. Alan is super-smart and also gracious which makes for a natural deal-maker.’

‘The emerging markets practice at Debevoise is top-notch. They have a great group of partners and associates who focus on transactions and fundraising in emerging markets, with a special focus on Africa. They are diligent, smart, highly commercial, and problem solving oriented. It’s always great working with them’

‘Debevoise understands the market and do not take a “one size fits all” approach. They have strong relationships with local firms in emerging markets and work well with them in delivering a seamless experience.’

‘Geoffrey Burgess is very well versed with the emerging market and has a deep understanding on how deals are done in these markets. He is practical and gets a deal done in an efficient manner and with the best outcome approach.’

‘Deep understanding of the myriad legal issues as well as the business objectives clients pursue. Emerging markets are incredibly difficult and the firm consistently delivers A advice.’

‘Geoff Burgess is a pleasure to work with. Focuses on key issues and risks.’

‘This practice is exceptional. They are of course subject experts with years of experience in a variety of jurisdictions in the emerging markets. They are agile, flexible, resourceful and very collaborative. Working with them is a pleasure and always and yields great results for the clients.’

‘Geoff Burgess is extremely knowledgeable about Africa and he has a really collaborative approach to working with clients and co-counsel. He is a real stand out for his knowledge and experience but also for his wonderful negotiation and interpersonal skills. I would recommend Geoff to anyone doing business in the emerging markets, particularly in Africa.’

Key clients

Baring Vostok Capital Partners

Development Partners International LLP

Leapfrog Investments

Mediterrania Capital Partners Limited

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited & Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited

Shell plc (formerly Royal Dutch Shell Plc) and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited

Shell Petroleum N.V. and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Shell plc and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, an operating subsidiary of Shell plc in Nigeria. Four actions were brought against RDS and SPDC in the High Court in London. Two individual actions were brought on behalf of more than 40,000 individuals resident in Nigeria who are said to be members of two communities in different parts of the Niger Delta.
  • Advised Mediterrania in connection with the formation and fundraising of its fourth Emerging Markets Fund, Mediterrania Capital IV Mid-Cap. L.P.
  • Advised Baring Vostok Capital Partners in its accelerated bookbuild sale of approximately 1.2 million global depositary receipts representing common shares of Joint Stock Company, the Kazakh tech and financial services company, comprising on aggregate approximately 0.6% of the Company’s share capital, at a price of $70 per GDR, raising aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $85 million.

Investment fund formation and management > Private funds Tier 2

Advising a diverse range of financial services clients, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is noted for handling traditional fundraising as well as alternative capital raising issues. The team is led by Geoffrey Kittredge, who has longstanding expertise in fund formation. Also recommended is Matthew Dickman, who advises on the management and reorganisation of private investment funds, as well as secondary transactions, regulatory compliance, and internal economic and governance matters. Co-investments and GP-led fund restructuring expert John Rife is also a key name. John Anderson constributes in-house experience, having worked at Park Square Capital.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Kittredge

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is commercial, committed, available, responsive and pro-active. They know about our funds, find solutions and engage actively in structuring. They are not ego-driven in negotiations. They work effectively to our prioritisation and resource the team to match – this is done seamlessly and without fuss or pause.’

‘We recommend Matthew Dickman and Kay Hunter. I have not yet come across a problem that Matt cannot calmly find a solution for. His explanations are always clear and commercial.’

‘John Rife is a tremendous transactional secondaries lawyer. He has really made the secondaries market in Europe his own.’

‘Kay Hunter is a dedicated senior associate and a rising star at Debevoise. Very proactive in engaging with issues, constantly available and excellent interpersonal skills when dealing with both clients and counterparties.’

Key clients

AlbaCore Capital Partners

Apera Capital

Credit Suisse

Development Partners International LLP

Exponent Private Equity LLP


FitzWalter Capital Limited

Flexstone Partners

Glendower Capital


Intermediate Capital Group plc

LCM Capital LLP

LeapFrog Investments

LGT Capital Partners AG

Mayfair Equity Partners

Metric Capital Partners

Park Square Capital

SVB Capital

Three Hill Capital Partners

Tikehau Capital

Tishman Speyer

Victory Hill Capital Advisors

Wafra Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisted with the formation and fundraising of LCM Credit Opportunities 4, LCM’s flagship fund. The fund pursues a credit strategy in the performing and non-performing loans markets.
  • Engaged by LGT Capital Partners AG in the fifth iteration of its flagship secondaries fund; Crown Global Secondaries V.
  • Advised Fifth Wall Asset Management in 2022 in connection with raising its flagship climate technology funds, which focus on early and late stage venture capital investments in real estate related climate change mitigation technologies.

Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 3

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP draws upon the wider firm’s strengths in corporate and commercial transactions, particularly that of the New York office, and combines it with the ‘particularly well connected‘ financial institutions team with links to the ‘wider insurance markets‘ to assist insurance clients in high-profile, complex, and cross-border M&A mandates. Clare Swirski is the co-head of the practice, and being both ‘hugely experienced’ in the  regulatory and transactional aspects of the insurance sector and ‘very commercially aware‘ to provide excellent advice to players in the insurance market. James Scoville is the other co-head, focusing on complex transactions around insurance companies in addition to securities matters and capital markets transactions.

Practice head(s):

Clare Swirski; James Scoville


‘An outstanding team displaying superior knowledge across the sector. Very professional approach and a very “can do” attitude. Outstanding creativity, work ethic, commerciality and experience. Very much the team you want in your corner for any negotiation.’

‘The team has a very good balance of strong technical skills and commercial awareness. They are particularly well connected in the Lloyd’s and wider insurance markets. They are very client focussed and you can rely on the quality of the deliverables produced. They are also great fun to work with and are challenging but not unnecessarily confrontational working as part of a deal environment.’

‘Clare is a hugely experienced and very astute lawyer, who is extremely calm even in high pressure situations. She is very strong technically but also very commercially aware. They make a great team.’

‘The team’s ability to work with the regular, complex issues facing an international start-up life insurer is exceptional. Their understanding of the key areas, and quality of advice in navigating complexity, is excellent.’

‘Clare Swirski has provided excellent advice. I would recommend them to anyone operating in our space.’

One of the top teams in insurance.’

Key clients

AXA Group

Covéa Mutual Insurance Group

Resolution Life Group

Ascot Group Limited

American International Group

AIA Group Limited

Canopius Group Limited

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co

Compre Insurance Group


Fortitude Re

Global Atlantic Financial

Prudential Financial

Elliott Advisors

Carlyle Group

MTech Capital

Helios Underwriting Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised on Resolution Life’s strategic partnership with Blackstone regarding its life insurance and annuity consolidation business.
  • Advised the Covéa group in its $9 billion acquisition of PartnerRe.
  • Advised Canopius in its entry into a Loss Portfolio Transfer Reinsurance Agreement, related Claims Handling Agreement and security documentation with RiverStone International.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s team is well regarded for its strength in tax issues related to investment funds and private equity transactions. Jointly leading the department are Richard Ward, who is a co-managing partner for the firm in London, and New York qualified lawyer Matthew Saronson. Cécile Beurrier advises private funds on finance and structuring matters. Also key are international counsel Patrick Fasoro, who specialises in tax aspects of M&A transactions, and international counsel Jennifer Wheater, who is described as a ‘superstar’. 

Practice head(s):

Richard Ward; Matthew Saronson

Other key lawyers:


‘Richard Ward has immense current knowledge in tax and also how the tax code has developed over the years. This is great, as not many firms have senior tax lawyers with this level of knowledge.’

‘This is a very high quality team. They are exceptional at fund formation work and fund investment work.’

‘Richard Ward has deep experience and is a very experienced tax lawyer. He has very good judgment and can be trusted with the most difficult of tax problems. He gets straight to the point and always provides a very pragmatic answer. Jenny Wheater is a superstar.’

‘Richard Ward is excellent.’

Key clients

Mayfair EquityPartners LLP

The Carlyle Group

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Fitzwalter Capital Partners LLP


Pernod Ricard

Stepstone Group

Pantheon Ventures

Park Square Capital

Work highlights

  • Provided tax advice on the full structure and implementation of Mayfair’s third private equity fund.
  • Provided tax advice on the acquisition by the Carlyle Group of Abingworth LLP, a life sciences group.
  • Acted for CD&R in its acquisition from PWC of Vialto Partners, the global workforce mobility services provider.

Finance > Acquisition finance Tier 4

Drawing on ‘a deep understanding about the needs of private equity firms and their portfolio companies’, the ‘brilliant’ team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a popular choice among borrowers by virtue of its ‘incredible knowledgeable of both bespoke finance arrangements and also the industry’. This manifests itself in the context of the team’s ability to provide a holistic offering to clients, drawing not only from core leveraged finance strength (including on New York and London-law governed products) but also its strong capability handling fund level financings. Alan Davies  and Pierre Maugüé  both regularly handle work for marquee client, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, and co-head the team alongside fund finance expert Thomas Smith .

Practice head(s):

Alan Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith

Other key lawyers:

Gregg Young; Almas Daud


‘Sophisticated and commercial advisers with a deep understanding about the needs of private equity firms and their portfolio companies.’

‘It is a fantastic team full of brilliant talent. They are incredibly knowledgeable about both bespoke finance arrangements and also the industry.’

The lawyers are incredibly smart and also down to earth.’

‘Tom Smith and Almas Daud in particular are outstanding – experienced and pragmatic’

‘Alan Davies – deep knowledge of the loan markets and current leading edge technology available to sponsors in documents’

‘Pierre is rock solid’

‘Almas Daud -provides sensitive, risk-focused advice always with one eye to the bigger picture. Detail-oriented as needed without losing sight of the broader commercial narrative.’

Key clients

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

WMG Acquisition Corp.

Charles Taylor Limited / Lovell Minnick Partners LLC

Pret a Manger


B&M Retail


Work highlights

  • Advised Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) on the financing to facilitate its acquisition of Morrisons.
  • Advised CD&R on its leveraged acquisitions of the OCS group and certain UK and APAC entities of the Atalian group to create a global facilities management platform.
  • Acted as borrower counsel and represented Pret in a refinancing of their existing Senior Facilities.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 4

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s construction portfolio covers a plethora of sectors such as infrastructure, energy, oil and gas, mining, power, shipbuilding, social infrastructure, and renewables facilities. Co-headed by Lord (Peter) Goldsmith KC and Tony Dymond, the team excels in tackling complex, multi-jurisdictional construction and engineering disputes. Dymond fortifies the firm’s global expertise with his diverse experience across London, Hong Kong and Seoul, and international counsel Robert Hoose focuses on international commercial arbitration and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith KC; Tony Dymond

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hoose; Raeesa Rawal; Laith Najjar


‘Deep experience in large-scale engineering and construction project dispute resolution in Europe and internationally.’

‘Tony Dymond stands out as an outstanding leader of his firm’s contentious practice in this area.’

‘Intellectual standouts.’

‘Robert Hoose’s brain is like no other, the associates Raeesa Rawal and Laith Najjar are outstanding, and they are led by Tony Dymond, who is an excellent strategist.’

‘High degree of competence regarding complex construction claims. Laser focus on the issues that matter. Partners participate in cases and get to grips with the details early in the piece.’

‘The partners have a depth of experience with complex construction disputes that I have not encountered at other firms. The partners are attentive and incredibly easy to work with.’

‘The Debevoise attorneys that I have worked with are all excellent. They are able to assess complicated matters and present them in a clear and concise manner. They have strong advocacy skills and are very professional, which garners respect from opposing counsel and parties.’

‘Tony Dymond, Robert Hoose, and Laith Najjar are excellent. Their collaborative work, dedication to their client needs and work ethic set them apart.’

Work highlights

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

Steered by practice head David Innes, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 's London buyout team regularly works in conjunction with the firm’s offices in New York and Hong Kong on high-value transactions, including a growing volume of secondaries and investment deals. Geoffrey Burgess‘s far-reaching international practice spans Africa, India, and the US, while dual-qualified (England and US) Katherine Ashton, a private funds specialist, is particularly noted for her work on secondaries transactions. Other names to note include E Raman Bet-Mansour – based between the firm’s London and Paris offices – and Dominic Blaxill, whose recent engagements include advising on multi-billion-dollar acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

David Innes

Key clients

Prudential Financial

Leapfrog Investments

Evercare Health Fund

CPP Investment Board

Carlyle Group

Dover Corporation


EQT Partners

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice


Helios Investment Partners

HarbourVest Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Prudential Financial, in partnership with LeapFrog Investments, in its acquisition of a minority interest in Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited by way of a bilateral acquisition from Mercer Africa Limited and a partial tender offer on the JSE to eligible shareholders.
  • Advised the Evercare Group, wholly owned by the Evercare Health Fund, in its sale of a majority shareholding in Metropolitan Hospital Holdings Limited to The Metro Group Plc.
  • Advised Leapfrog Investments as lead investor in a $70 million equity investment round for Sun King. The Debevoise team assisted Leapfrog in various legal aspects relating to the transaction, including antitrust, compliance and ESG.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

Praised for its ‘excellent blend of corporate, M&A, capital markets and EU and US antitrust expertise’, the team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is well positioned to assist clients on large multi-jurisdictional merger control issues and behavioural matters. The ‘fantastic’ Timothy Mclver heads the practice and much of his work flow is international in nature, regularly counselling clients on their global antitrust strategy. Anne-Mette Heemsoth was promoted to international counsel in January 2023 and regularly advises on foreign investment risk and controls and manages foreign investment reviews.

Practice head(s):

Timothy McIver

Other key lawyers:

Anne-Mette Heemsoth; Megan MacDonald; Nick Pellicani; Bill Regner; Ted Hassi


‘Great team to work with – agile, committed and smart. They’re also very collegial and fun, while being on point on the legal issues.’

‘Tim McIver is fantastic – a great lawyer, with high standards. I would trust Tim with complex and challenging work. He leads a great team of equally committed lawyers.’

‘Megan MacDonald is super. A talented lawyer, who is easy to work with and highly committed – someone worth watching in this space. I’ve really enjoyed engaging with Megan on a variety of issues.’

‘They have a good knowledge of our shareholder’s structure so we can use their advice seamlessly.’

‘The team have an excellent blend of corporate, M&A, capital markets and EU and US antitrust expertise, and litigation.’

‘Nick Pellicani is extremely knowledgeable about US corporate and capital markets law. He has been very responsive to our requests and provided focused advice to enable us to move forward with our project.’

‘Bill Regner is extremely knowledgeable and has provided robust and reassuring advice.’

‘Ted Hassi provided excellent updates regarding the US antitrust aspects of our matter and has terrific contacts at the FTC which he is able to leverage for our benefit. His insights into the US courts and appeals mechanisms are highly appreciated.’

Key clients


Clayton, Dubilier & Rice




Pactiv Evergreen

Resolution Life

Schneider Electric



Work highlights

  • Advised CD&R on obtaining merger control and foreign investment approvals for its joint acquisition (alongside TPG) of Covetrus, a global leader in animal healthy technology.
  • Advised Mitsui on obtaining merger control approvals for the formation of Blue Water Alliance JV, LLP with Olin Corporation.
  • Advised The Carlyle Group, as majority owner, and Syniverse on merger control and foreign investment with respect to Syniverse’s partnership with Twilio.

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 6

Clare Swirski, who acts for insurers and other financial institutions on a broad range of transactional and regulatory mandates, jointly leads the team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP alongside Patricia Volhard, who splits her time between the firm’s London and Frankfurt offices and focuses on EU regulatory issues. Key clients include UK, EU and US-based fund managers, investment managers and insurers.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Volhard; Clare Swirski

Other key lawyers:

John Young


‘Patricia Volhard is excellent, commercial, committed, helpful and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘John Young is very good.’

‘The regulatory team integrates seamlessly with our funds team, which is very helpful.’

Key clients

American International Group

Covéa Mutual Insurance Group

HarbourVest Partners

Exponent Private Equity

LCM Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising AIG in the separation of its life and retirement business from its P&C business and on the all cash sale of a 9.9% equity stake in its life and retirement business to Blackstone and the related strategic asset management relationship for a portion of the life and retirement investment portfolio.
  • Providing international transactional and regulatory advice to the Covéa group in its US$9bn acquisition of PartnerRe (following acting in the same capacity in the same transaction terminated in 2020).
  • Advising on numerous aspects of EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) in the context of various HarbourVest fund strategies.

India > Foreign firms Tier 4

With a particular focus on the financial services sector, the India group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acts for international investment banks, global and regional private equity firms and financial institutions. The team is now jointly led by Geoffrey Burgess and Lord Peter Goldsmith KC, both based in London, following the 2023 departure of former co-head William Chua.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Burgess; Lord Peter Goldsmith KC

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Taylor; Shreya Ann


‘The firm has a longstanding focus on the Indian market, including activity in the automotive, technology and chemical sectors. They have a good track record in contractual disputes relating to joint ventures.’

‘They are very approachable and have a can-do approach. They also have good commercial awareness and provide a collaborative approach to help clients navigate their business-critical privacy, data protection and data security issues.’

‘Excellent team, all subject matter experts. It is always great to work with the team. They are always available.’

‘Subject knowledge, commercial understanding of issues, excellent strategy.’

‘Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is an excellent global law firm. They also collaborate very well with local counsel in different markets which I believe is important for growth and effective results. In terms of sector expertise, they are rather well known for their energy sector, investment funds and investment treaty work.’

‘Patrick Taylor is simply outstanding – exceptionally sharp, results oriented and very client-friendly. He demonstrates strong subject matter expertise across the oil and gas, energy and telecoms sectors.’

‘Shreya Ann is a rising star in the firm’s international arbitration practice. Her in-depth knowledge and experience make her an asset that any team would want to have in their team. She is also very easy to work with and is always on top of the matter and the intricate details.’

Key clients

True North

LeapFrog Investments

Lightspeed India Partners

Everbridge Partners

HarbourVest Partners

Glendower Capital

Sequoia Capital

Clearwater Capital

Multiples Alternate Assets Management

AIA Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised True North on its acquisition of a significant minority stake in Accion Group Holdings, Inc, a Pittsburgh-based digital and innovation engineering company, from TA Associates and other shareholders.
  • Advising LeapFrog Investments as lead investor on a US$70m equity investment round for Sun King, the largest provider of solar energy products for off-grid homes in Africa and Asia.

Latin America: International firms > International arbitration

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has a large team of international arbitration specialists located across its international offices. The practice group evidences a healthy generational spread from prestigious senior figures and seasoned practitioners, through to younger partners, and a deep and specialised associate bench; much of Latin America-focused team is based in New York. The firm has an established record in investor-state and commercial disputes, often representing multinationals in cases against Latin American sovereigns or businesses; it also acts for Latin American entities in cases against entities outside of the region. Multilingual practitioner Dietmar Prager is co-chair of the Latin America practice group and is a recognised leader in international arbitration, notably in investor-state disputes, where he frequently represents investors. Hugely experienced, Mark Friedman is co-chair of the international dispute resolution practice and a preeminent figure in investor-state and commercial disputes; he led on the Perenco Ecuador case, obtaining a record $390m award from the Ecuadorian state. A member of the International Court for Arbitration of the ICC and ‘a very complete lawyer’, New York and Paris-qualified Ina Popova divides her time between the two cities and is particularly noted for energy, mining, and TMT sector disputes. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) and a native Spanish-speaker, Laura Sinisterra was raised to the partnership in July 2022; already an experienced practitioner in both investor-state and commercial arbitration, she is praised as being ‘an excellent interrogator of witnesses and experts’. Sinisterra and Prager teamed up to co-lead on both the Freeport-McMoRan & Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde, and SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands, cases against Peru – the former a $1bn+ case under the US-Peru FTA; the latter a $250m+ case under the Netherlands-Peru BIT. London-based Patrick Taylor has a global practice but is increasingly involved in Latin America matters; he has a certain focus on upstream oil and gas, energy and telecoms cases. Up-and-coming figure Guilherme Recena Costa  moved in house as head-of-legal for Latin America at Barrick Gold in October 2022; and senior partner David W Rivkin retired in Febraury 2023 after over 40 years at the firm - he now acts as an independent arbitrator.

Practice head(s):

Dietmar Prager; Mark Friedman; Catherine Amirfar


The team is extraordinary. It has a series of people who are very good at what they do and stand out for their work. In addition, it should be noted that each one of them brings vast experience and added value.

They are very dedicated lawyers with a very high work ethic. In addition, being very technical, they are great strategists and know how to listen.

It is undoubtedly the best or one of the best international arbitration teams in the world. The entire team stands out, but the partners and senior associates are true arbitration specialists and stand out for their intelligence, vast experience, commitment to clients and cases, and excellent service. It is a team that stands out for handling complex controversies very easily, and they have lawyers who speak various languages ​​and have work experiences in other countries (especially in Latin America), which facilitates work with international clients and local firms. I witness that the practice area has recently received accolades for its contribution to diversity.’

The entire team stands out from some of its competitors because they work in a very harmonious and organised way, always meeting deadlines and with excellent quality, and this level of very high excellence is uniform among all the lawyers in the team. Several senior partners and associates are among the best lawyers in their field. I highlight a few: 1. Mark Friedman: he is a born leader and an incredibly talented lawyer, as well as being a very warm person. Professionally, he has a great ability to present arguments very solidly and clearly, both in writing and verbally. 2. Dietmar Prager: he stands out for having a deep knowledge of the cases he handles, for his ability to convey the client’s position and interests in the best way, and for his excellent personal quality. He is also an excellent leader, in his case from the Latin American practice. 3. Laura Sinisterra: she is a brilliant lawyer, incredibly talented, always prepared, and an excellent interrogator of witnesses and experts. On a personal level, she transmits a lot of energy and security, and clients praise her great personality and excellent service. 4. Ina Popova: she is a very complete lawyer, extremely intelligent and with all the necessary skills to excel in the field of arbitration. 5. Julio Rivera Rios: despite still being young, he is an associate of the firm who stands out a lot for his intelligence, hard work, great personality, and the excellent preparation he has for interrogations. He contributes tremendously to the team and always maintains an excellent relationship with the client and local lawyers. 6. Nawi Ukabiala: he is an associate of the firm who also stands out a lot for handling very complex aspects of the cases and knowing them in detail and explaining them in a didactic and simple way. He is also involved in various aspects of the cases, including document production, and his work is critical to the success of the team.

Excellent written and oral advocacy. Tenaciously building and pursing a case. Collegial and diverse team. Extraordinary Spanish language skill. Very experienced in Latin American cases, particularly mining industry.’

Dietmar Prager: excellent advocator and very effective cross examiner. Laura Sinisterra: elegantly passionate advocator, someone who you do not want to be in an opposite side. Nawi Ukabiala: very intelligent, comprehensively analyze a case. Julianne Marley effective and excellent drafter. Michelle Huang: effective and excellent drafter.

It is an amazing team. I have worked with them for ever 20 years, in several complex cases. We do believe that it is one of the most profound and sophisticated teams in the world.

Mark Friedman, Ina Popova, Dietmar Prager and Laura Sinisterra are amazing.

Key clients

Tethyan Copper Company (co-owned by Antofagasta Minerals and Barrick Gold Corporation)


Sumitomo Metal Mining

Perenco Ecuador

Gramercy Funds Management


Work highlights

  • Represented Tethyan Copper Company, a mining company jointly owned by Antofagasta Minerals of Chile and Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada, in a multibillion-dollar investment dispute arising out of a mining project in Balochistan province, Pakistan.  
  • Represented Freeport-McMoRan and Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Government of Peru under the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
  • Represented SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Government of Peru under the Netherlands-Peru BIT.

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 KC, 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
International dispute resolution Conway Blake
M&A / Private Equity Dominic Blaxill
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 KC
Corporate Alan Kartashkin
Funds/investment mangagement Geoffrey Kittredge
Finance Pierre Maugüé
Competition Timothy McIver
Capital markets Nicholas Pellicani
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
International dispute resolution Patrick Sullivan KC
Litigation Patrick Swain
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
Shreya Aren photo Shreya Aren Shreya Aren is an associate in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group…
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…
Conway Blake photo Conway Blake Conway Blake is a partner and member of the firm’s International Dispute…
Christopher Boyne photo Christopher Boyne Christopher Boyne is a partner based in the London office, where he…
Konstantin Bureiko photo Konstantin Bureiko Konstantin Bureiko is an international counsel based in the London office. He…
Geoffrey Burgess photo Geoffrey Burgess Geoffrey Burgess is a corporate partner with a broad international practice in…
Gavin Chesney photo Mr Gavin Chesney Gavin Chesney is a solicitor advocate in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution…
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…
Peter Goldsmith photo Lord Peter Goldsmith Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, is London Co-Managing Partner and Chair of…
Anne-Mette Heemsoth photo Anne-Mette Heemsoth Anne-Mette Heemsoth is an English-qualified international counsel in the firm’s London office…
Monika Hlavkova photo Adv Monika Hlavkova Monika Hlavkova is an associate in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group.…
Robert Hoose photo Robert Hoose Robert Hoose is an international counsel in the firm’s London office. His…
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…
Merryl Lawry-White photo Merryl Lawry-White Merryl Lawry-White is member of Debevoise & Plimpton’s International Dispute Resolution Group…
Aimee-Jane Lee photo Mr Aimee-Jane Lee Aimee-Jane Lee is an international counsel in the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group…
Andrew Lee photo Andrew Lee Andrew Lee is a litigation associate based in the London office. He…
Vera Losonci photo Vera Losonci Vera Losonci is a U.S. and English qualified international counsel in the…
Benjamin Lyon photo Mr 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…
Laith Najjar photo Laith Najjar Laith Najjar is an associate based in the London office. He is…
Maxim Osadchiy photo Maxim Osadchiy Maxim Osadchiy is a member of the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Group,…
Raeesa Rawal photo Raeesa Rawal Raeesa Rawal is an associate in the Litigation Department whose practice focuses…
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…
James C Scoville photo Mr James C 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…
Sonja Sreckovic photo Sonja Sreckovic Sonja Sreckovic is an associate based in London and a member of…
Patrick Swain photo Patrick Swain Patrick Swain is a partner based in the London office, where he…
Patrick Taylor photo Mr Patrick Taylor Mr. Taylor’s practice focuses on commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with particular…
Richard Ward photo Richard Ward Richard Ward is Co-Managing Partner for the firm in London, and Chair…
Jennifer Wheater photo Jennifer Wheater Jenny Wheater is an international counsel in the firm’s Tax Department. She…
Photo Name Position Profile
Clare Swirski photo Clare Swirski Ms. Swirski has over 20 years’ experience advising financial institutions on the…
Number of UK partners : 27
Number of other UK fee-earners : Over 100

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers Verdict

‘Famous for being the 'nice' American law firm’, Debevoise & Plimpton trainees benefit from ‘lots of responsibility very early on, the ability to learn on the job, and very lean teams’. For the small intake of trainees, training is ‘less structured and formal’ than at larger firms yet ‘equally instructive’. In fact, ‘from day one, you will be treated akin to a junior associate and will be expected to work and perform like any other member of the team’. Trainees think that ‘the people are much nicer here than at other firms. Everyone is (more or less) kind and considerate’. And ‘though the hours are long, there's no need to work when there's nothing to do and people are very understanding’. One complaint is that ‘Debevoise recruits very heavily on the basis of its reputation for disputes’ but that ‘only half the actual trainee seats will be in disputes’, which means that trainees often do not get as many opportunities for experience in this area as they would like. ‘A long period at the beginning of a seat where I was working very long hours with very little human interaction (as this particular department tends to work from home much more than others)’ was a low point for one trainee. When it comes to pro bono, ‘opportunities are aplenty; there is never a shortage of pro bono work for those with the appetite’. For a ‘collegiate environment, good remuneration; talented lawyers and high degree of responsibility from the get-go' consider Debevoise & Plimpton.