Firm Profile > Sidley Austin LLP > London, England

Sidley Austin LLP
70 St Mary Axe

Hedge funds Tier 2

Sidley Austin LLP advises European, US and Asian institutional managers on the full range of fund strategies, including credit, fixed-income, liquid credit and global macro. The team has particular expertise in providing multijurisdictional regulatory advice and has a strong niche in seed investments. James Oussedik, who leads the team, maintains a broad client portfolio of institutional and start-up managers, with a consistent record in credit funds work. Stephen Ross is also highly active on behalf of managers, with senior associate Peter Chapman serving as another key contributor to the practice.

Practice head(s):

James Oussedik

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Ross; Peter Chapman


Fantastic work ethic and high quality.

Stephen Ross : Incredible brilliant mind with consistent excellence.

General and specialist knowledge. Ease of navigating within the firm to get the right specialist knowledge without feeling you are side stepping someone. Ability to be flexible around their services and what we require from Sidley. Good candidate and measured advice.

Key clients

Maniyar Capital Advisors Limited

Algebris (UK) Limited

Amia Capital LLP

G Squared Capital LLP

Generation Investment Management

Lodbrok Capital LLP

Promeritum Investment Management LLP

Tages Capital LLP

Debt capital markets Tier 3

At Sidley Austin LLP, 'the service offered is comprehensive, combined with the highest level of technical advice and a pragmatic and commercial approach to problem-solving'. The firm's European capital markets group is known for its work for issuers based in the US and the Asia-Pacific region accessing European markets, and for European issuers accessing the US market. The firm handles a significant volume of investment-grade issuance for banks, among them Barclays and BNP Paribas, as well as major corporates such as GlaxoSmithKline. 'They truly care for the client and they understand their needs', say clients of the group led by David Howe (who is 'very collaborative, both on and off deal, and a really safe pair of hands') and key adviser to US corporates Mark Walsh. Walsh and Nigel Wilson represented the underwriters in a $1bn SEC-registered offering by Smith & Nephew plc. US counsel Vivian Root also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

David Howe; Mark Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Wilson; Vivian Root


‘I work opposite David Howe at Sidley relatively frequently and it is always a pleasurable experience. He is always very collaborative, both on and off deal, and a really safe pair of hands.’

‘My experience of the practice has been consistent in that every individual is clear on their focus, that the client comes first, the services of the practice being there to provide an optimum result for the client. It is not only that the service offered is comprehensive, but combined with the highest level of technical advice, a pragmatic and commercial approach to problem-solving and an ability to bring external resources and contacts to the table, make this practice unique.’

‘Very client-focused – building long-term relationships and providing a true global breadth between partners in the US and UK in particular.’

‘The people and their personal interaction with the client and the quality of service provided.’

‘They truly care for the client and they understand their needs. They provide excellent quality of work.’

‘The are good at defining what is a legal decision and what is a commercial decision.’

Key clients


BofA Securities, JP Morgan Securities

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

BofA Securities


BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and RBC

Morgan Stanley

Citigroup, JP Morgan, and HSBC

BofA, Citibank, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley


Bank of Cyprus


Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, and MUFG

McDonald’s Corporation

BNP Paribas

Goldman Sachs

Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, and Société Generale

BofA Securities, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho and Santander

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP's team in London includes global insurance practice co-head Martin Membery, who has 25 years of experience handling complex insurance/reinsurance projects, M&A, joint ventures and distribution arrangements, among other matters. Membery is supported by Fatema Orjela, who has a strong track record undertaking a wide ambit of corporate work for European and US-based private equity sponsors, as well as their portfolio insurance companies and intermediaries. Counsel James Phythian-Adams is another active practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Martin Membery

Other key lawyers:

Fatema Orjela; James Phythian-Adams


Takes a commercial viewpoint on transactions and focuses on key legal matters. Very knowledgeable about areas where we need help. Good to work with, and both flexible and makes it enjoyable. Takes a pragmatic approach where possible.’

Martin Membery (partner) – knowledgeable, worked together for many years. James Phythian-Adams – commercial, available at very flexible times and a pleasure to work with.’

The insurance team at Sidley Austin is exceptional. They are thought leaders, providing well considered, commercial and balanced advice on complex and multijurisdictional issues, and they support their clients from beginning to end.’

Martin Membery and and James Phythian-Adams are outstanding lawyers and individuals. They are two of the smartest, most experienced and most dedicated professionals in their field and are highly regarded across the industry.

Key clients







Munich Re

TowerBrook Capital Partners


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

Sidley Austin LLP is active across the full range of private equity transactions in the mid-market space, from acquisitions and portfolio company M&A to growth equity investments. The London private equity team works alongside the firm's restructuring practice to advise on transactions involving distressed assets. In 2020, the team received instructions from prominent buyout houses including Towerbrook and KKR to act on transactions across Europe; the practice also acts alongside offices in the US on transatlantic deals. Key figures in the practice include Eleanor Shanks, who has close relationships with a range of prominent sponsors, and 'highly competent' Fatema Orjela whose practice includes acting for both US and European buyout houses. Adam Runcorn was promoted to partner in July 2020 and is another name to note. The firm announced the hire of two private equity partners - Dan Graham  and Paul Dunbar , alongside finance specialist Emilie Stewart, from Vinson & Elkins RLLP  in summer 2021 following a number of departures to Goodwin in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tom Thesing

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Shanks; Fatema Orjela; Adam Runcorn


‘The team is extremely commercial. I have also found their relationship building extremely effective – they do not interact at a transactional or task level, but at a human level.’

‘Years of working with our company gives them deep institutional knowledge. It’s amazing to have advisors who know when I’ll be stuck in the investment committee and can just got on with things.’

‘The team, overall, is very collegiate, helpful, engaging and friendly.’

‘The Sidley team is highly experienced and able to bring novel ideas to bear in complex transactions and negotiations. This experience runs deeper into the organisation than I would typically see at other law firms.’

‘ Fatema Orjela is a gifted and natural leader, as well as being a highly competent lawyer. What makes Fatema stand out is her ability to operate at 5mm and 30,000 feet – she has an extremely strong grasp of the detail but maintains a commercial perspective. As an advisor, while one would consider this a standard requisite, it is very rare. Fatema is also very effective at simplifying the complex and communicating very clearly. Her ability to build relationships and increase the value of the sum of the parts of her network is second to none.’

‘Eleanor Shanks gives full dedication to her clients. I fully trust her.’

‘Fatema Orjela has a fantastic approach to client service. She keeps in regular contact with her clients to ensure she can get ahead of issues, and provides and sources excellent support. She has an “ask me anything” approach that makes clients feel very comfortable with her and confident in her skills.’

‘Adam Runcorn is a fantastic rising star, great mastery of both the legal and commercial side.’

Key clients

H.I.G. Capital




GHO Capital

Great Hill Partners


Goldman SachsPrivate Capital

Partners Group


Bain Capital


Metric Capital





Private funds Tier 3

Sidley Austin LLP has a strong profile within the credit and distressed funds space, and is expanding its share of the private equity buyout and secondaries markets through Mateja Maher, who has attracted a number of new private equity clients. The team works closely with its European tax and regulatory teams on cross-border fundraisings and investments, as well as leveraging its strong US platform. The team is led by James Oussedik, who is highly active on behalf of credit fund managers and LPs, with Stephen Ross also a key figure.

Practice head(s):

James Oussedik

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Ross; Mateja Maher


Sidley Austin has been an exceptional partner in helping us launch a European investment fund. They not only provide top-notch legal work, but they have helped us work through numerous difficulties. They have been a true partner and definitely a value add.

Key clients

Alcentra Limited


Chenavari Investment Managers

Ashgrove Capital LLP

Anthemis Capital Managers Limited

Lodbrok Capital LLP

North Wall Capital LLP

RoundShield LLP

Tailwind Entertainment

Queen’s Park Equity

Synthesis Capital



Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP's banking litigation team counts acting for funds and financial institutions in structured finance, product misselling and derivatives disputes among its areas of expertise. Practice head Matthew Shankland has particular experience in structured finance and derivatives disputes. Andrew Fox excels in insolvency-relating banking litigation, while for contentious regulatory and financial crime matters, Sara George is noted.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Shankland

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Fox; Sara George; Alastair Hopwood; Sarah Lainchbury


The main reason to use Sidleys is their level of client service. They are incredibly responsive and will seemingly drop everything to speak if required.

Andrew Fox is an exceptional partner. He always seems to genuinely want to get the right result for his clients, and goes to great lengths to achieve this. His deep technical knowledge allows him to advise with confidence and he is generally up for an argument if there is one to be had – and tends to win them!

Sarah Lainchbury is an excellent associate. Very hard working, very confident, very capable and again offers excellent client service. She works well with Andrew Fox and together they form a formidable team.

Matthew Shankland is an exceptional litigation partner – able to manage large teams and complex matters effectively, and always keeping a focus on a client’s ultimate commercial objectives and priorities. He brings excellent legal analysis and strategic instincts to the table.’

Matt Shankland – star individual litigator; very well-known in the market. Alastair Hopwood – recently promoted partner; very calm and strategic thinker. Sarah Lainchbury – exceptional senior associate: very hard-working and excellent lawyer.

A great team to work with: hardworking, reliable and strong legal skills. Particularly impressive on client care – ensuring that a client’s commercial concerns are always central to key decision making and strategy discussions, which is based on a deep understanding of their client’s businesses.’

Very experienced and well-staffed team with great litigators.

‘Excellent responsiveness and superb work product.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG Limited

Genworth Financial, Inc

Travelex Limited

Commercial litigation: premium Tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP is popular with clients in heavily regulated sectors including the pharmaceutical, insurance, financial services, property, retail, oil and gas and technology spaces. 'Star litigator' Matthew Shankland leads the team and handles a range of corporate and commercial disputes. Andrew Fox and Alastair Hopwood are other names to note. The team benefits from the ability to leverage multi-disciplinary and cross-border teams including regulatory and investigations colleagues in the US, Brussels and Geneva.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Shankland

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Fox; Alastair Hopwood; Sarah Lainchbury; Samantha Cummings;


Sidley Austin are tenacious in looking after the client’s interest. They consider all the angles and are always looking to improve their position.

Matt Shankland – star litigator; very well-known in the market. Andrew Fox – shrewd strategic thinker. Alastair Hopwood – very calm and authoritative. Sarah Lainchbury – exceptional; hard-working and excellent lawyer.

Andrew Fox has been a standout partner for his commercial approach, and making himself available.’

Very responsive, excellent work product, great to work with.

Excellent experience and culture in the commercial litigation space.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG London

Genworth Financial, Inc.

Brightline Holdings LLC (formerly Virgin Trains USA LLC)

Corporate tax Tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP's tax team provides 'excellent client service, clear advice and technical know-how' on private equity deals, M&A transactions, fund formations, and debt and equity restructurings. Oliver Currall co-heads the firm's European tax practice and is a chartered tax adviser, with a strong practice that focuses on UK and international tax planning work. Jason Menzies was promoted to partner in 2020 and is also experienced in advising on a number of pharmaceuticals M&A transactions. Key changes to the team in 2020 includes the departure of Will Smith and Drew Scott's retirement.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Currall

Other key lawyers:

Jason Menzies


Excellent client service, clear advice, technical know-how, problem solving, integrated within the legal process, fund and deals tax advice.’

Excellent tax technical knowledge, deep PE industry experience, client service awareness – they know what matters to clients and are always at the end of a phone being super responsive. Oliver Currall and Jason Menzies are key names to note.’

Key clients


Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (KKR)

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

GHO Partners

Permira Debt Managers

Queen’s Park Equity


Massachusetts Mutual

Arvelle Therapeutics


Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP fields a team of ‘well-rounded data privacy experts’ who are ‘extremely well prepared every time’. With William Long at the helm, the practice continues to handle a broad range of international data protection, privacy and cybersecurity work, including international data transfers and cyber breaches.

Practice head(s):

William Long

Other key lawyers:

John Casanova; Francesca Blythe


‘The firm is very attentive to the client and able to maintain and nurture a solid relationship over the years’.          

‘William Long is an international top expert in the field of privacy and data protection: he combines his great expertise with a very friendly approach in dealing with clients, which is very important for a positive relationship’.

‘The attorneys in this practice group are extremely knowledgeable in the data privacy area’.

‘They provide business-practical advice that is tailored to the risk tolerance of the company, and even the functional groups within the company’.

‘The attorneys have a good view of the emerging laws and best practices, and provide sound advice’.

‘Highly business-orientated and excellent collaboration, which makes the team very efficient and fast – much more so than other legal practices’.

‘Highly aware of business necessities and adept at finding a good path forward that allows for lean processes, with high compliance’.

‘Sidley provides a collaborative approach to guide and advise us on our roles and responsibilities related to GDPR’.

Key clients




Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Game Analytics

Nektar Pharmaceuticals

Magnetar Capital

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Miller Tanner

Monument Group

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP's banking and financial services group regularly handles cross-border regulatory work alongside colleagues in the US. The team has expertise in investment funds, but it is also well-versed in securities regulation, as well as issues relating to payment services and fintech. Other areas of expertise include consumer credit and mortgage regulation, anti-money laundering compliance and financial services outsourcing. The department is jointly led by Leonard Ng, an expert in the intersection between EU and UK financial services regulatory law, and John Casanova, noted for his expertise in payment services and fintech more generally. Rachpal Thind is another key practitioner with substantial cross-border experience.

Practice head(s):

John Casanova; Leonard Ng

Other key lawyers:

Rachpal Thind; Chris Poon

Key clients

Travelex Holdings Limited

Aon Securities LLC

Algebris Limited

Generation Investment Management

CVC Credit Investment Management

Managed Funds Association

Citadel Group

Deutsche Bank (New York)

BNP Paribas (New York)

Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 4

The ‘dedicated, informed and tenacious’ team at Sidley Austin LLP forms part of the firm’s global white-collar and government enforcement group operating across 20 offices worldwide; this geographic strength presents an advantage for high-profile mandates with a US angle in particular. The group's recent experience stands out in the money laundering realm, though it is also well-equipped to advise on market abuse, insider dealing, and bribery and corruption issues. In addition to her barrister credentials, department co-head Sara George has notable past prosecutorial experience at the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority. George is recommended for her ‘real criminal law skills’ and is a key contact for matters requiring advocacy experience before UK courts and agencies, including the SFO and the FCA.

Practice head(s):

Sara George


‘Empathy and kindness in difficult situations.’

‘Great people with dedication to their clients.’

‘Sara George makes this team – real criminal law skills (know-how included) but applied to complex white-collar work. She is the epitome of calm and has a steely nerve. Able to tame any client and pick apart legal problems. A real class act and an absolute pleasure to work with. She is the human face of a very large corporate organisation/team. Always looking out for others in the profession, particularly women and those from diverse backgrounds. Shares her enormous knowledge and contacts willingly.’

‘Dedicated, informed and tenacious.’

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 4

Sidley Austin LLP has carved out a strong reputation for its work on government investigations involving allegations of bribery, money laundering and sanctions violations; it is noted for liaising with the SFO and the FCA. Internal investigations, risk assessments and regulatory advice also form core areas of focus for the team, whose firepower on the ground is supplemented by its seamless collaboration with the firm’s white-collar defence specialists spread across 20 offices globally. Sara George is the key practitioner in this space and is highly regarded for her work for both companies and individuals; she jointly leads the department with John Casanova.

Practice head(s):

Sara George; John Casanova

Other key lawyers:

Rachpal Thind; David Smith


‘Sara George is an excellent attorney with a great ability to foresee case developments and act accordingly. Sara George is the attorney you would want for very complex matters. She brings clarity.’

Commercial property: investment Tier 5

Sidley Austin LLP has made significant strides in the London real estate market over recent years, under the joint leadership of Lyndsey Laverack and Jade Williams-Adedeji, who were promoted to partner in 2019 and 2021 respectively. Laverack has a strong track record acting for private equity funds on their investments into real estate assets. Williams-Adedeji, handles a mix of acquisitions and sales, portfolio management and landlord and tenant work. The practice covers a broad cross-section of properties, such as restaurants, student accommodation and senior living properties, in addition to more mainstream assets. Clients include funders, borrowers, investors and developers.

Practice head(s):

Lyndsey Laverack; Jade Williams-Adedeji

Key clients

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

TowerBrook Capital Partners

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 5

Co-headed by the 'technically strong and commercially savvy' Jifree Cader and Mark Knight , both of whom dispay excellent knowledge throughout the capital structure, Sidley Austin LLP handles a balanced mix of creditor and debtor mandates. A sizeable proportion of the instructions are generated from funds clients, whether in a defensive context for private equity portfolio companies, or more typically in their role as investors seeking to realise value (through different strategies including loan-to-own) from distressed debtors. Clients also benefit from the firm's ability to leverage the firm's US and Asia capabilities, as well as to draw upon broader complementary practices at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Jifree Cader; Mark Knight

Other key lawyers:

Gordon Davidson; Dhevine Chandrapala


The team has a great insight into the commercial aspects of a transaction. It is very knowledgeable and super responsive, and has a great depth of high-quality practices elsewhere at the firm which are complementary to their offering.’

This practice is unique given the strength of work ethic combined with technical and commercials skills meaning the right/best possible advice is provided on a consistent basis.’

For me it’s the commercial overlay and application of technical expertise and practical guidance that makes Sidley Austin the leading restructuring firm I have come across.’

‘Mark Knight and Jifree Cader are technically strong and commercially savvy.’

Jifree Cader, Mark Knight and Dhevine Chandrapala are three of the best lawyers I have ever come across from the perspective of delivery without fail and a strong practical, commercial edge. They are very easy to work with too.’

Key clients


TowerBrook Capital Partners, L.P.



Global Loan Agency Services Limited (GLAS)

Hilong Holding

Shandong Sanxing

Ad hoc group of PIK Noteholders

Zeus Living

Inspired Entertainment



M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 6

Sidley Austin LLP 's 'outstanding' team works on upper mid-market, cross-border transactions for clients in the lifesciences, technology, and financial services sectors. Practice head Thomas Thesing is a trusted adviser for many of the firm's most longstanding clients, routinely working across a diverse array of sectors. James Wood is equally fluent in public and private cross-border M&A, with a notable recent focus on the asset management and pharmaceuticals sectors. Lyndsey Laverack is recommended for her real estate investment expertise.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Thesing

Other key lawyers:

James Wood; Lyndsey Laverack


‘The Sidley team was instrumental in achieving a successful closing of a recent transaction for us. There were a number of complicated components and the team’s strength in distilling and advising on those was a critical factor in our ability to construct a deal that worked for us. Incisive, thoughtful and responsive during every step of the transaction.’

‘Outstanding advisers’

Key clients

Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd


Arvelle Therapeutics B.V.


Atento S.A.


Metric Capital Partners

WEX, Inc

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company


Photo Name Position Profile
 Tom Bainbridge  photo Tom Bainbridge Counsel
 Nick Brittain  photo Nick Brittain Senior Counsel
 Vincent Brophy  photo Vincent Brophy Partner
 Jifree Cader photo Jifree Cader Partner
 John Casanova photo John Casanova Partner
 Rosanna Connolly  photo Rosanna Connolly Counsel
 James Crooks  photo James Crooks Partner
 Oliver Currall  photo Oliver Currall Partner
 Wim De Vlieger  photo Wim De Vlieger Partner
 Paul W. Dunbar  photo Paul W. Dunbar Partner
 Susan Fanning  photo Susan Fanning Partner
 Andrew Fox photo Andrew Fox Partner
 Sarah George  photo Sarah George Partner
 Daniel D. Graham  photo Daniel D. Graham Partner
 Alan G. Grinceri  photo Alan G. Grinceri Partner
 Patrick Harrison  photo Patrick Harrison Partner
 Alastair Hopwood photo Alastair Hopwood Partner
 David Howe photo David Howe Partner
 Mark Knight photo Mark Knight Partner
 Lyndsey Laverack photo Lyndsey Laverack Partner
 Till Lefranc  photo Till Lefranc Partner
 William Long  photo William Long Partner
 Mateja Maher photo Mateja Maher Partner
 Maria Isabel Manley  photo Maria Isabel Manley Partner
 Martin Membery photo Martin Membery Partner
 Jason Menzies photo Jason Menzies Partner
 Helen Middleton  photo Helen Middleton Counsel
 Leonard NG photo Leonard NG Partner
 Struan Oliver  photo Struan Oliver Of Counsel
 Fatema Orjela  photo Fatema Orjela Partner
 James Oussedik photo James Oussedik Partner
 Graham Penn photo Graham Penn Partner
 James Phythian-Adams  photo James Phythian-Adams Counsel
 Steve Quinn  photo Steve Quinn Counsel
 Bryan Robson  photo Bryan Robson Partner
 Vivian A. Root  photo Vivian A. Root Counsel
 Stephen Ross  photo Stephen Ross Partner
 Adam Runcorn photo Adam Runcorn Partner
 Max Savoie  photo Max Savoie Partner
 Matthew Shankland photo Matthew Shankland Partner
 Eleanor Shanks photo Eleanor Shanks Partner
 Kolja Stehl  photo Kolja Stehl Partner
 Emilie E. Stewart  photo Emilie E. Stewart Partner
 Thomas Thesing  photo Thomas Thesing Partner
 Rachpal Thind  photo Rachpal Thind Partner
 Rupert Wall photo Rupert Wall Partner
 Mark Walsh photo Mark Walsh Partner
 Marc Wassermann  photo Marc Wassermann Partner
 Jade Williams-Adedeji photo Jade Williams-Adedeji Partner
 Nigel D.J. Wilson  photo Nigel D.J. Wilson Partner
 James Wood photo James Wood Partner

The Lex 100 Verdict

Known for its finance prowess and high-profile transactional work, Sidley Austen has ‘friendly, down-to-earth people’ and a ‘wide range of practice areas and quality work'. Trainees applaud the firm’s ‘office culture’ and 'international reputation’ as well as appreciating the ‘growth in London, culture and quality of work’. Again a Lex 100 Winner for remuneration, Sidley Austin consistently is at the upper end of the pay scale among City firms. The small intake receives ‘less structured training’ but ‘more responsibility early on, learning as you go’. Smaller teams ensures that trainees get ‘more heavily involved in transactions’ and prove to be a real selling point for the firm. Trainees complained of ‘tough hours’, particularly with the added strain of working those hours from home during the pandemic. Also some complaints concerned perceived ‘overreliance on recruitment from Oxbridge’ and ‘fewer international and client secondment options’. Highlights of training include ‘working on a high-profile UKSC hearing and winning the firm's annual pro bono prize’ and ‘the firm's 'European Lawyers Conference' which offered a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone else at the firm in different teams’. Trainees also highly praised the firm’s pro-bono opportunities resulting in a ‘really broad range of work available, and everyone is very encouraging to get involved’; ‘it allows you to be more in touch with your soft skills’. If a US firm with a small intake and a strong profile in finance is appealing, then Sidley Austen is worth a second look.