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 advises on multiple aspects of private wealth disputes and dispute avoidance in the UK and offshore. It has a dedicated private client team that covers the full range of contentious issues from trusts and estates through to wills and probate. The team is a cohesive structure that comprises three units dealing with contentious trusts and estates; wealth planning and international tax. Its client base is primarily very wealthy individuals and families as well as trustees and trust companies situated around the world. The group has significant expertise in offshore trusts in particular the Cayman and British Virgin Islands through Ziva Robertson and Nicholas Holland. Lynsey McIntyre is regularly instructed in complex cross-border matters frequently advising on matters involving the Channel Islands.

Practice head(s):

Ziva Robertson

Other key lawyers:


‘It’s a big international firm with the resources to deal with big litigation particularly where there is a US angle. Nicholas Holland is very hands on, highly responsive and good on strategy‘.

Nicholas Holland is a well-known leader in contentious trusts disputes. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the topic both in the UK and in the main offshore jurisdictions. He is also well organised and a pleasure to work with‘.

Nicholas Holland is an excellent and pragmatic litigator‘.

The team has an excellent knowledge of the offshore jurisdictions in which such work concentrates and are sharp litigators. Nicholas Holland has an encyclopaedic knowledge of private client issues and is both client focused and technically excellent‘.

Ziva Robertson and Nicholas Holland are outstanding practitioners in contentious trust situations‘.

Ziva Robertson is very bright and works very hard for her clients‘.

Key clients

Royal Bank of Canada

Hill Street TrusteesTruchot Trustees

Pavilion Trustees

Dawson-Damer family

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

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP handles a broad spectrum of corporate transactions, invariably of a cross-border nature. Work is driven through the London and US offices primarily, with the firm's Italian, German and French offices also involved in cross-border mandates. The team has a notably strong reputation in the life sciences and healthcare sectors, and acts for a number of high-profile clients in these areas, as well as in the energy and consumer goods sectors. Practice head Nick Azis advises clients on public and private M&A, in addition to corporate finance and joint ventures, with a particular nod to overseas markets in Africa. One commercially significant mandate saw the firm advise Praxair on its €5bn disposal of the majority of Europe-based businesses to Taiyo Nippon Sanso; the deal was necessary from an antitrust and regulatory perspective to secure Praxair's merger with German industrial gases company Linde.

Practice head(s):

Nick Azis

Other key lawyers:

Michael Holter


Excellent lawyers with a good understanding of clients’ needs, in particular those in continental Europe.

Good service at the interface between corporate/M&A and complex commercial arrangements

Michael Holter is an excellent, terrific lawyer, always with a pragmatic approach – a good negotiator

Key clients

Praxair, Inc.


Mondi Group

Intersnack Group / KP Snacks

Actuant Corporation

Krüger Group

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP has a dedicated team that covers the full range of non-contentious high-value trusts and estate matters as well as providing wills and probate advice. It is adept at advising on fund structuring, the restructuring of private wealth programmes as well as providing regulatory advice. 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 family or assets. Simon Goldring heads the team that acts for five of the Top 20 on the Sunday Times rich list and eight of the wealthiest people on the Forbes 100 billionaires list.

Practice head(s):

Simon Goldring

Other key lawyers:

Simon Gibb; Astrid Owen; Laura Harper


The firm overall is large internationally, and one would think that this would lead to a depersonalisation of service. However, our experience is that team members are very engaged with their clients and provide an excellent, commercially minded service.

McDermott Will & Emery has been invaluable in providing high-quality legal advice in the private client/HNW space, specifically in regard to trust structuring and tax issues faced by my clients.’

‘Very strong on offshore tax matters, including the taxation of non-residents and non-domiciliaries.’

Astrid Owen and Simon Gibb are ferociously clever, dynamic, interesting – they make an extraordinary team. Their work ethic is extraordinary, matched only by their knowledge and creative solutions. Dream private client team with depth of US knowledge also.

‘Simon Goldring is very responsive to demands and has an ability to juggle multiple tax returns and issues for a large family.

Simon Goldring has an encyclopaedic knowledge and ability to translate this into an easy to understand format to pass on to our clients. I have full confidence that if I have a query, no matter how big or small, Simon will ensure a swift turn around.

‘Simon Goldring really is very good technically and very thoughtful. Very dedicated to clients.’

Simon Gibb is technically proficient.

‘Laura Harper is very effective and commercial.

‘Simon Golding is very experienced. Laura Harper is very practical and helpful.

Commodities disputes Tier 3

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP acts for leading investment banks that play an active role in the commodities markets, as well as for energy trading houses and agribusiness groups. Its work encompasses corporate and regulatory advice on large-scale commodities transactions, contracts and trading agreements, as well as litigation. Counsel David Birchall leads the practice and has more than 25 years' experience in energy transactions in the mid- and downstream fields. To bolster its litigation capability, the firm hired Andrew Savage from Watson Farley & Williams LLP, who focuses on commercial and finance disputes and international arbitration across a range of industry sectors including shipping, commodities and energy.

Practice head(s):

David Birchall

Other key lawyers:

Healthcare Tier 3

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's healthcare practice predominately advises private healthcare providers and leading medical manufacturers and suppliers on M&A, joint ventures, private equity deals, financing mandates, corporate and regulatory matters, and entry into international healthcare markets. Hamid Yunis chairs the London office and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare practice; he is particularly well known for his work in public-private partnerships and major global healthcare transactions. Sharon Lamb has a wealth of expertise in regulatory matters, hospital developments, and contractual and joint venture arrangements. Associate David Gibson is also recommended for commercial healthcare.

Practice head(s):

Hamid Yunis

Other key lawyers:


Sharon Lamb is the go-to person on healthcare in the UK.

McDermott has a good team of lawyers with excellent wide-ranging healthcare knowledge

Hamid Yunis is extremely experienced in international health deals. ‘

Sharon Lamb is one of the most senior and experienced health care partners, with NHS, government and private sector experience’.

Key clients

Cygnet (UHS)

 Varian Medical Systems

Alliance Medical

Babylon Healthcare

Varex Imaging


Private equity: transactions – mid-tier – up to £250m Tier 3

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's PE department is lauded by clients for 'coming up with increasingly creative solutions to problems'.  The team's broad client base includes not only PE firms but their portfolio companies, ultra-high net worth family offices, clients acquiring businesses from PE funds and the management teams of target companies. Additional expertise in the healthcare and life sciences sector renders the group particularly well-placed to assist on deals involving the acquisition and disposal of pharmaceutical companies. Nick Azis is team head; Piero Carbone, Eleanor West and Linda Zeman are all strongly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nick Azis

Other key lawyers:


The team is incredibly responsive and commercial; it is particularly good at disseminating complex issues into a few sentences and liaising with the deal team directly‘.

I was very impressed by Piero Carbone; he is our partner of preference for every UK deal.  He is very responsive, knows the law inside out and is very great at coming up with creative and unique solutions to problems quickly‘.

Key clients


Baird Capital Partners

Great Point Partners

Empire Investments

JMH Capital

Oakley Capital/Pembroke

Vespa Capital

Metric Capital Partners LLP

Tana Africa Capital

Five Arrows

Structured products and securitisation Tier 3

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP joins the ranking having invested heavily in its structured finance capability in 2018. The firm hired both new practice head Rachel Kelly, who has more than 30 years' experience in the market, and counsel Kerry Pettigrew from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. The practice advises on a broad range of structured finance, securitisation and structured products, including commercial and residential real estate transactions, CLOs, CDOs, warehouse financing, loan sales and receivables and trade financing, as well as whole business securitisations, project bonds, repackagings and structured bonds. Among its clients are arrangers, originators, lenders, borrowers, corporates, insurance companies, investment managers, SMEs, investors, note issuers, servicers, account banks, swap counterparties and rating agencies. Kelly's arrival has seen the firm significantly boost its market presence in the securitisation, CLO and structured products markets.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Kelly

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Pettigrew; Ranajoy Basu


“Rachel Kelly is a very experienced structured finance lawyer who is a pleasure to work with. Her knowledge and approach are top of the class and she sets the standard for others.”

“The firm has a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in dealing with structured finance transactions. It is a hidden gem away from the mainstream.”

“Rachel Kelly takes the time to listen to what you are trying to do and suggests realistic solutions.”

Key clients

Sequoia Infrastructure

American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, Inc. (“AFLA”)

Oil and gas Tier 4

Corporate expert Lisa O’Neill and counsel Elisabeth Moseley are the key contacts in McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's oil and gas team. The pair previously advised Petrobras on the sale of its interests in Block BC-10 in the Campos Basin, Brazil, for $1.54bn, and handled the €5bn divestment of the majority of Praxair’s businesses in Europe to Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation.

Practice head(s):

Lisa O’Neill

Other key lawyers:

Corporate tax Tier 5

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's core UK tax practice focuses  on advising on M&A transactions, fund formations, banking-related tax work, real estate matters and litigation, engaging in disputes with tax authorities including HMRC. The group is able to draw on the firm's global office network to cater to the needs of international clients in cross-border tax matters. Tax generalist James Ross leads the team and has particular experience in transfer pricing and double tax treaty issues.

Practice head(s):

James Ross

Other key lawyers:

Neville Wright; Sarah Gabbai


They always look to find a solution to the problem rather than put barriers in the way of getting business done

The firm’s teams are easy to manage, they align internally, know and anticipate what needs to be done meaning clients ask a question and receive a consolidated response covering all jurisdictions

Key clients



HIG Capital

Great Point Partners

Property finance Tier 5

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP expanded its practice in April 2018 with the hiring of Laurence Rogers, Tom Calnan and Neville Wright from DLA Piper. The team acts for lenders and borrowers, particularly debt funds and overseas investors. Structured deals involving the acquisition and disposal of corporates owning real estate assets are a particular area of expertise, but the team also advises on investment and development finance, refinancing, and restructuring matters. Rogers has significant expertise in both UK and cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Tom Calnan; Laurence Rogers

Other key lawyers:


McDermott Will & Emery has an excellent team who have been together for many years. The team has quick turn-around and makes proactive decisions with excellent deal advice and great communication.’

Laurence Rogers has a huge following in the property community and has successfully closed deals throughout Europe, which brings confidence to clients. He has excellent knowledge of legal structures for both property and debt and an unusual understanding of the intricacies around complicated tax frameworks given the many jurisdictions in Europe.

It is a small team with deep finance experience. Clients get an expert finance team and, in particular, partner-heavy service.

Laurence Rogers is very good at getting deals done and identifying real issues for client consideration rather than minor matters which do not warrant consideration.

Neville Wright reaches quick conclusions and gives clear advice about the real risks involved.

Laurence Rogers is really enthusiastic and has the advantage of having trained as property lawyer so can foresee any potential problems so they can be addressed up front.

Key clients

H.I.G. Capital

Pollen Street Capital

Employment: employers Tier 6

The two-partner London employment practice at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP advises on both transactions and litigation for the US firm's UK clients; growing areas of work this year have included deal-driven work and data privacy matters, as well as a spike in employment tribunal claims. The team, which works closely with the firm's employment lawyers across France, Germany, the US and China, is led by McDermott lifer Katie Clark, who handles all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, with a track record of complex employment disputes. She works alongside Paul McGrath, who made partner in 2017 and has a particular speciality in the employment aspects of privacy and data protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Katie Clark

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Callaway Golf Company

D. E. Shaw & Co

Galliard Homes

Intersnack Group/KP Snacks

Philharmonia Orchestra


AccessData Group



Krüger Group


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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 Piero Carbone
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
 David Birchall  photo David Birchall
 Tom Calnan  photo Tom Calnan
 Piero Carbone  photo Piero Carbone
 Katie Clark  photo Katie Clark
 Sarah Gabbai  photo Sarah Gabbai
 David Gibson  photo David Gibson
 Simon Goldring  photo Simon Goldring
 Nicholas Holland  photo Nicholas Holland
 Rachel Kelly  photo Rachel Kelly
Ms Sharon Lamb  photo Ms Sharon Lamb
 Paul McGrath  photo Paul McGrath
 Lynsey McIntyre  photo Lynsey McIntyre
 Elisabeth Moseley  photo Elisabeth Moseley
 Lisa O’Neill  photo Lisa O’Neill
 Astrid Owen  photo Astrid Owen
 Kerry Pettigrew  photo Kerry Pettigrew
 Ziva Robertson  photo Ziva Robertson
 Laurence Rogers  photo Laurence Rogers
 Andrew Savage  photo Andrew Savage
 Neville Wright  photo Neville Wright
 Hamid Yunis  photo Hamid Yunis
 Linda Zeman  photo Linda Zeman
Number of UK partners : 30
Number of other UK fee-earners : 45