Firm Profile > McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP > London, England

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP has particular expertise in disputes involving offshore trusts and the laws of the Cayman and British Virgin Islands as practice co-head Ziva Robertson is qualified in both jurisdictions, while Nicholas Holland is also qualified in the Cayman Islands. The group also works with Canadian intermediaries and families and has been involved in some of the most high-profile Canadian trusts disputes. The practice represents multibillion-dollar net-worth clients, structures and fiduciaries, both in the UK and globally. Lynsey McIntyre is in demand for her cross-border offshore trusts expertise, and often attracts Jersey, Guernsey and other overseas-based clients.

Practice head(s):


‘Ziva Robertson is simply the go-to specialist in contentious trust matters both here and overseas. She stands out because she will not give up when a difficulty hits her, but will simply work to the bone to explore other avenues or other ways of pursuing the same points. In my experience she is a dynamo who charges the batteries of those she works with

‘MWE offers a Rolls-Royce service to its clients, which include a large number of high-net-worth individuals. Ziva Robertson is one of the leading solicitors in the field. She has seen it all and has been involved in some of the most significant trusts cases both in England and offshore in the last ten years

‘The contentious trusts practice is highly focused and expert. The team also benefits from related expertise across the office and from the firm’s global reach

Nick Holland is one of the standout leaders in this field, both in London and internationally. He has immense knowledge and experience of trusts litigation in England, Canada and the main Caribbean and Channel Islands jurisdictions. This enables Nick to find creative solutions. He is committed and enthusiastic and his clients find themselves well cared for

Nick Holland is extremely hardworking, brings Canadian and Cayman expertise to bear, and thinks outside the box

Well-known and effective international practice. Very good for cases with a US angle’

‘Nick Holland is a highly experienced litigator who deals very well with difficult clients and situations. He deploys extensive technical knowledge with humour and empathy, which achieves excellent results for his clients

Very senior and experienced partners who really know the area. Nick Holland has good intuition and is charming and able

The team under Ziva Robertson’s command is simply extraordinary. She is smart, she thinks outside the box, she can improvise at any given moment and under any circumstance, she rises to any occasion and any challenge, she is dedicated, she is kind, and she will give 100% of herself to your case and then give you 100% more. She is magic

Key clients

Dawson-Damer family

Hill Street Trustees

Royal Bank of Canada

M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 2

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's full service corporate group assists major companies from a range of industries but has a particularly strong reputation for its work in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. The team regularly handles cross-border transactions and is able to collaborate with other offices across the firm's  global network. As well as  advising on high value deals for corporates, the firm also assists on large transactions for family offices, utilising lawyers from its private client, corporate and tax teams.  The team, which is headed by Nicholas Azis, added Tom Whelan from Hogan Lovells International LLP, strengthening the firm's private equity offering. Azis advises a broad range of publicly owned and privately held clients, principally in the commodities, energy, life science and manufacturing sectors. Stuart Mathews and Calum Thom are other key names to note in the team.

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Key clients

TAC Limited

Palamon Capital

Irving Oil

ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc

ManpowerGroup Inc

Multigate Medical Products Pty Ltd

BlueGem Capital Partners LLP

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's 'very experienced and dedicated' team covers the full range of non-contentious issues, including very high-value trusts and estates and wills and probate, as well as complex commercial matters. The team also advises on fund structuring, the restructuring of private wealth programmes, regulatory issues and evolving tax regimes. In addition, it is skilled in advising on all aspects of UK tax matters. The group acts for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families, some of whom are on the Sunday Times Rich List and the Forbes Billionaires list. Noted for its 'global reach and vast resources', the team has particular expertise in US tax and wealth law, both in the UK and US offices, and almost all of its wealthy clients have connections with the US either through their families or assets. Simon Goldring and Ziva Robertson head the department.

Practice head(s):


Simon Goldring works very hard and is good technically. He thinks very carefully about things’

‘A high-quality firm that always puts the client first. Simon Goldring is obsessive about client service and he will always go the extra mile to deliver.  Simon will always challenge and explore every option to find the perfect solution for the client’

Astrid Owen is a go-to adviser for the most complex and difficult structuring issues. She should be on speed dial for internationally based families and family offices

The team stands out for its dual UK/US international planning expertise. Astrid Owen is clearly an expert on US and international tax matters

‘Simon Gibb is a walking encyclopaedia on tax, trusts and estate law combined with real commercial flair’

Simon Gibb is impressive in relation to his trust law knowledge and planning abilities

‘The team is extremely comprehensive in its approach, very knowledgeable and familiar with cross-border private client matters. Andrew Vergunst is especially knowledgeable about matters concerning the UK, US and South Africa. He is excellent in project managing cross-border advisory matters

Very experienced and dedicated to client service. Responsive to issues and good at dealing with HMRC. Abigail Nott is up and coming

Commodities disputes Tier 3

The litigation practice at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP has a reputation for taking on larger firms in complex, high-value disputes with an international element. Its recent work features disputes involving a myriad of jurisdictions, among them the UK, Switzerland, Romania, Gambia, Qatar, Australia, Denmark and South Africa. Much of its work derives from the energy sector and it includes cross-border disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty. Andrew Savage has a practice that covers fraud, commodities, shipping, construction and IT, and he leads the three-partner group.

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Key clients

Petrochemical Holdings GmbH

Conapro Dena-BMS SAL

Lehman Brothers Finance A.G. (In Liquidation)

Healthcare Tier 3

The London team at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP advises multinational clients on a broad spectrum of matters such as M&A, joint ventures, corporate and regulatory work and private equity deals. It has particular specialisms in international healthcare transactions, digital health diagnostic technologies, and handles complex work related to cancer and kidney care. The 'brilliant' Hamid Yunis and the 'excellentSharon Lamb lead in the practice. Yunis focuses on transactions, such as M&A and private equity deals, PPPs,and corporate finance, while Lamb handles both healthcare transactions and regulatory advice. Associate David Gibson provides corporate and finance advice.

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The multi-dimensional scope of expertise by the team completely fulfilled all of our needs. Very responsive in a timely manner to all concerns and issues that were raised.’

The wisdom, elegance and balance demonstrated by Hamid Yunis were indispensable in completing our acquisition. He quickly became a trusted and valued member of our leadership team.

The team has a real and practical knowledge of the healthcare sector, from the perspective both of public authorities and private entities. Standards of client care are very high. The team can draw on the firm’s other groups, including litigation, very effectively.’

Sharon Lamb is particularly excellent. She has an extensive knowledge of the healthcare sector, including the legal framework. She is well-versed in the practical considerations faced both by NHS and private entities. I have also been very impressed by her strategic thinking, in terms of efficiently meeting client goals.’

They are really good at understanding your business, concerns and needs. A very practical approach while being excellent from the technical point of view. The partner I have worked with, Hamid Yunis, is really brilliant from the strategical standpoint. The team is always available and ready to assist whenever your need their support. That was important for me considering my company is based outside the UK.

Sharon Lamb is THE go-to healthcare lawyer. She knows everything and everyone and works relentlessly hard.’

Key clients

Cygnet (UHS)

Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

Alliance Medical


Babylon Healthcare

Varex Imaging, Inc.

UHHS Cleveland

Guildhouse UK



Emirates Medical Group

Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 3

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP offers a range of industry expertise in mid-market transactions across the UK and Europe. The team works with buyout houses, management teams, and high-net-worth family offices in complex transactions across a number of sectors, with particular strength in healthcare and life sciences. The arrival of practice head Tom Whelan from Hogan Lovells International LLP has bolstered the firm's practice, contributing significant expertise and new client relationships in retail and energy. Eleanor West is also recommended.  Piero Carbone  joined DLA Piper in summer 2020.

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Key clients

H.I.G. Capital

Intermediate Capital Group


Baird Capital Partners

Great Point Partners

Empire Investments

JMH Capital

Oakley Capital/Pembroke

Vespa Capital

Metric Capital Partners

Tana Africa Capital

Five Arrows

Bluegem Capital Partners

Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP is best known for taking on larger firms in complex, high-value disputes, which often have international features. Its corporate and commercial practice ranges from provision of services contracts, interpretation of contract terms, fraud and fiduciary duty issues to claims concerning the structure, governance or operation of companies. Andrew Savage joined the firm in 2019 from Watson Farley & Williams LLP, where he was commercial litigation head. Romilly Holland, Kimberley Smith and Ben Lamble are experienced associates.

Practice head(s):


Andrew Savage is technically excellent and also able to give the practical advice that clients need.

Andrew Savage is a first-class rainmaker and legal strategist who gets the job done.

They have an exceptionally strong team of very experienced individuals who provide advice which is always incisive and exactly on-point. They benefit from great global coverage. They always do the utmost to secure a win for their clients. The main partner, Andrew Savage, has done a great job of building up a team of very impressive associates. You couldn’t want a better team – and I don’t hesitate to recommend them when the opportunity arises.

Andrew Savage is absolutely dedicated to his clients, a superb tactician and a fantastic lawyer overall. One of his main achievements is that he has built up a team of very impressive associates. These include Ben Lamble, Kimberley Smith and Edward Perkins, each of whom is a future star. I’ve worked with each for more than a year on multiple cases and have been very impressed.

This is a first rate team that’s really going places. Andrew Savage is going it again, building a team that he continues to lead brilliantly.

Andrew Savage is one of the top litigators in London. He is at the sweet spot of experience (whisper it, but some people who spent their career in bigger firms haven’t seen as much litigation) and has the intellectual ability to grapple with the most complex and high-value cases. A real fighter and a nice guy too, who brings out the best in his team. Ben Lamble is a really able associate. He’s spotted points on papers missed by the silks, and has the charm to point it out nicely.

Andrew Savage brings a depth of experience to the team – his broad knowledge of commercial law means that there is nothing he can’t take on and do so successfully.


Key clients

Lehman Brothers Finance A.G. (In Liquidation)

Petrochemical Holdings GmbH

Conapro Dena-BMS SAL

Property finance Tier 4

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's team is led by Laurence Rogers, who is highly experienced in investment and development finance and has handled mandates involving jurisdictions across Europe, Africa and the US. He has expertise in a variety of asset classes, including offices, hotels, warehouses, student accommodation and retail outlets. A large proportion of the team's client base is made up of debt funds and overseas investors.

Practice head(s):


‘The practice majors in complex, high-value financing transactions with an international bias. Laurence Rogers is a market-leading specialist with an insightful knowledge of the real estate finance sector.’

‘On large portfolio financings, Laurence Rogers demonstrates an unrivalled command of the points in issue and delivers results time after time. A strong and loyal team.’

‘Commercial and efficient. Very partner-led service.’

‘Laurence Rogers is clear and commercial in his approach and very available.’

Key clients

Octopus Group

Alta Semper

Angleton Park

Atelier Capital Partners

Joseph Homes Limited

Ladder Capital

Promasidor Holdings Limited

Dominvs Group

Resolution Property FM Limited

Starz Mortgage Capital Ltd.

Yianis Group

Borgers Limited

Softbox (Midco) Limited

Soller Ten Limited

Tishman Speyer Limited

Corporate tax Tier 5

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP advises corporates, financial services organisations and high-net-worth individuals on the tax aspects of M&A, fund formation, banking and real estate transactions, as well as contentious tax issues. Practice head James Ross is experienced in commercial tax and restructuring issues, as well as transfer pricing and international tax. Associate Sarah Gabbai focuses on corporate tax and has a wealth of experience advising clients on a full range of UK and international tax matters.

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MWE teams are very knowledgeable. They are very responsive, one always knows that someone from the team is working on the issue. They are also quick in responding though they sometimes have to align internally and internationally first.

Because of McDermott’s focus on clients from the industry (main street business), they have the right approach to our clients. One of their major selling point is transfer pricing, international tax law (BEPS, DAC6), and intergroup agreements.’

James Ross is an expert in international tax with an excellent feeling of how to communicate complex issues and has the right sense for other jurisdictions to fit them into his view. James is very responsive and leads the way into the desired direction right from the start.

Key clients

Praxair, Inc.




Multigate Medical Products Pty Ltd

ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc.

Oryx Real Estate

Tishman Speyer Limited

Atelier Capital Partners

Employers Tier 6

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's London team advises both UK and international companies on employment law, and draws on the firm's Stateside roots to assist US companies investing in the UK. The department is known for its work on Employment Tribunal cases and the High Court. Another key source of work is transactional support on large corporate deals. 'Strategic and commercial' team head Katie Clark has notable expertise in non-compete/restraint of trade disputes.

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‘Good for restrictive covenant work.’

‘Katie Clark is strategic and commercial.’

‘All the individuals we dealt with at MWE were kind, helpful and went above and beyond to make sure we had the advice we needed.’

‘We have been incredibly impressed with everyone we have worked with at MWE.’

‘Pragmatic, approachable, analytical. A real sensible no-nonsense team that delivers every time.’

‘Katie Clark is tough, friendly, sensible, business focused and not theoretical. She manages to apply her deep knowledge in a way that helps the business – every time.’

‘In comparison to others I’ve used, the advice given by MWE is always well thought through and works on both an employment law and employee relations ground, rather than just factual.’

‘Paul McGrath’s skillset and eye for detail is at the high end.’

Key clients

Callaway Golf Company

D. E. Shaw & Co

Galliard Homes

Philharmonia Orchestra



Service Master

Multigate Medical Products

The firm: McDermott Will & Emery partners with leaders around the world to fuel missions, knock down barriers and shape markets. Our team works seamlessly across practices, industries and more than 20 locations to deliver highly effective—and often unexpected—solutions that propel success. More than 1,200+ lawyers strong, we bring our personal passion and legal prowess to bear in every matter for our clients and the people they serve.

Main areas of practice
Corporate and transactional: Our seasoned lawyers represent the full spectrum of corporate interests around the world, from global corporations to family-owned businesses to privately held companies. Our lawyers thrive on solving the most complex business problems facing their clients today and mapping out strategies to drive clients’ success tomorrow. Broad capabilities include seamless transactional services, such as negotiating cross-border acquisitions or outsourcing deals, representing issuers in public offerings, securing preferred financial credit arrangements for borrowers or navigating a business restructuring. Of particular note is our geographical reach; international clients regularly turn to the London team to advise on transactions across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the team is renowned for the ability to effectively manage transactions on a global scale.

Dispute resolution and international arbitration: Our lawyers focus on commercial and finance disputes and international arbitration, offering a wealth of experience across all sectors and industries, including finance, insolvency, energy, insurance (for policy holders), fraud, commodities, shipping, construction, IT and art theft.

Employment: Our lawyers help clients attract and retain workers at every level, enter and exit markets as business conditions warrant, develop and implement effective employment policies, identify and protect trade secrets and other confidential information, and negotiate and enforce employment contracts. We advise clients on the full range of UK and EU employment issues, including wrongful and unfair dismissal, executive severance, confidentiality and restrictive covenants, employee fraud, discrimination, union recognition, TUPE, pensions and employment, employee benefits and data protection aspects of acquisitions.

Healthcare and life sciences: Our team provides unparalleled legal acumen rooted in decades of experience and forward growth powered by unconventional thinking. We partner with clients on the full range of healthcare-related issues, helping to navigate the issues that matter when it comes to achieving missions and solidifying positions in the market. Leveraging on the firm’s market leading reputation in healthcare, our lawyers in the UK practice advise on M&A, investments, and corporate finance, and have substantial experience in innovative structures for complex joint-ventures, public-private partnerships and funding arrangements across EMEA. The team also provides comprehensive healthcare regulatory advice, counselling a number of entities in relation to engagements with the NHS, including the provision of operational services, digital health and data privacy, medtech and life sciences matters.

Private equity: Our team delivers strategic advice on private equity transactions at all stages of the investment life cycle, including control, non-control and minority investments, public-to-private transactions, buyouts and recapitalisations, mergers and acquisitions, growth capital investments and buy-and-build strategies, acquisition finance/refinance, and on all manner of exit strategies. We represent clients across a wide range of different industries and jurisdictions, providing market leading international deal structuring advice.

Private client and wealth management: From the global to the personal, the firm brings its full-service network to bear in helping closely held business owners and high-net-worth individuals effectively structure their assets, meet their wealth transfer and planning goals, and make their mark  philanthropically. As clients make the critical decisions that shape their personal, business, tax, civic and charitable concerns around the world, we will be at their side with creative, customized solutions. Our lawyers advise clients across the globe on all aspects of cross-border wealth management, trust and estate planning, and wealth transfer issues, with particular experience in UK, US and South African legal, tax and compliance matters.

Privacy and cybersecurity: Our highly-skilled data protection lawyers have experience advising clients around the world on comprehensive data protection compliance programs, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) preparedness, the law of the individual EU Member States, international data transfers, as well as data and cybersecurity. The team assists clients in handling global data breaches, including compliance with data breach notification requirements, response to government investigations and litigation in various countries. Our team enables clients to efficiently achieve and maintain compliance with respect to the most challenging privacy requirements.

Real estate: Our real estate team provides a comprehensive, high quality service for clients’ real estate acquisition, operation, leasing, financing and development needs. The team covers the full range of real estate mandates, from the structuring of large, complex acquisitions through to development and ultimate disposition. We advise a diverse group of clients, including developers, lenders, operators, private owners and real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as leisure, retail, hospitality and themed-entertainment clients on all of their commercial matters. Backed by the world’s leading health care practice, the team also has extensive experience handling real estate matters for companies in the health industry.

Tax: Our lawyers provide multi-disciplinary service on all UK and international tax issues concerning corporate and commercial business matters, including mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, flotations, corporate structuring, asset and structured finance, treasury management, cross-border transactions, transfer pricing and mediation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Ira Coleman
Managing Partner (London) Hamid Yunis
Corporate & Transactional Nicholas Azis
Corporate Finance Mark Fine
Corporate Finance Aymen Mahmoud
Dispute Resolution & International Arbitration Andrew Savage
Employment Katie Clark, Paul McGrath
Emerging Markets, Corporate Finance, Capital Markets Ranajoy Basu
Heatlhcare Sharon Lamb, Hamid Yunis
Private Equity Tom Whelan
Private Wealth Simon Goldring
Private Wealth Disputes Ziva Robertson, Nicholas Holland
Privacy & Cybersecurity Ashley Winton
Real Estate Tom Calnan, Laurence Rogers
Tax James Ross
Photo Name Position Profile
 Nicholas Azis  photo Nicholas Azis Nick is a partner in the corporate department, where his practice focuses…
 David Birchall  photo David Birchall David is counsel, he advises clients on the full range of energy…
 Tom Calnan  photo Tom Calnan Tom is a partner, he focuses his practice on commercial real estate…
 Katie Clark  photo Katie Clark Katie is a partner Katie Clark has significant experience advising on all…
 Sarah Gabbai  photo Sarah Gabbai Sarah is an associate, she focuses her practice on corporate tax and…
 David Gibson  photo David Gibson David is an associate, he focuses his practice on commercial health care,…
 Simon Goldring  photo Simon Goldring Simon is a partner, he advises clients on a wide range of…
 Nicholas Holland  photo Nicholas Holland Nick is a partner, he focuses his practice on international contentious trusts and…
Ms Sharon Lamb  photo Ms Sharon Lamb Sharon is a partner, she focuses her practice on health care transactions,…
 Paul McGrath  photo Paul McGrath Paul is a partner, he advises clients across a broad range of…
 Lynsey McIntyre  photo Lynsey McIntyre Lynsey is a partner, she focuses her practice on litigation, including contentious…
 Elisabeth Moseley  photo Elisabeth Moseley Elisabeth is a counsel, she focuses on cross-border mergers and acquisitions in…
 Astrid Owen  photo Astrid Owen Astrid is a partner, she advises internationally based clients and their family…
 Ziva Robertson  photo Ziva Robertson Ziva is a partner, she specialises in dispute resolution including complex trust…
 Laurence Rogers  photo Laurence Rogers Laurence is a partner, he focuses his practice on all aspects of…
 Andrew Savage  photo Andrew Savage Andrew is a partner, he focuses his practice on commercial and finance…
 Hamid Yunis  photo Hamid Yunis Hamid is a managing partner for our London office and partner-in-charge of…
 Linda Zeman  photo Linda Zeman Linda is a partner, she advises clients on corporate law with a…
Number of UK partners : 30
Number of other UK fee-earners : 45