Firm Profile > Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP > London, England
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP Offices
110 FETTER LANE
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
The 'small but effective' nine-partner banking team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a well hedged client base, advising creditors and debtors across the key debt financing products through the capital structure. Tom Richards has done a 'fantastic job' of developing the firm's borrower side offering, including for high-profile sponsors such as Advent and Bain Capital, which are appreciative of his conversance with the full array of financial products, including bank/bond financings on big-ticket multi-jurisdictional mandates. Appreciated for his 'technical skills and can-do-attitude', Chris McLaughlin has a more balanced practice, which as well as private equity work also encompasses a growing amount of work for the private credit funds, increasingly dominating the European mid-market lender space. Paul Stewart is also effective at advising private credit funds on their lending activity and is a key member of a team that also includes Reena Gogna , whose lender practice encompasses private credit funds and traditional commercial/investment banks, and the 'extremely hardworking' Paul Hibbert , who has been instrumental in leading the development of the infrastructure finance practice at the firm.
Chris McLaughlin; Tom Richards; Reena Gogna; Paul Stewart
Other key lawyers:
Paul Hibbert; James Clarke; Alastair McVeigh
‘Weil have a small but effective team. They are good at both sponsor and lender work.’
‘Tom Richards has done a fantastic job at building up the office’s sponsor-side credentials.’
‘We use Chris McLaughlin for many deals and are impressed with his technical skills and can do attitude.’
‘Paul Hibbert is extremely hard working and excellent at getting the deal over the line.’
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
'Able to bring best practices and knowledge from a broad range of situations', Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP frequently advises fulcrum stakeholders involved in many of the highest-profile cross-border mandates in the market. Although the six-partner team generates most of its own deal flow, and is by no means reliant on referrals from the US, its ability to draw on its strength across the Atlantic provides flexibility and reassurance to debtor clients, in particular, on matters with a transatlantic nexus. The 'incredibly astute and commercial' Neil Devaney has developed a particularly strong reputation for creditors and frequently takes the lead advising ad hoc groups of bondholders on major cross-border restructuring situations, where his ability to manage different stakeholder interests and reach consensual solutions is widely appreciated. Mark Lawford is praised for his 'powerful analytical skills and ability to think laterally', ensuring that he is a popular choice among a range of creditors, debtors and IPs across a varied array of complex mandates, often including a contentious angle. Andrew Wilkinson co-heads team alongside Devaney and has vast experience advising creditors and debtors in high-value cross-border mandates. Of the more junior partners, the 'terrific' Gemma Sage continues to impress through her excellent work for stakeholders engaged in restructurings and formal insolvency procedures. The firm has seen a number of departures over the last year, with Adam Plainer joining Dechert LLP , Clare Cottle joining Akin Gump LLP and Alex Wood joining Shearman & Sterling LLP , but retains a strong bench of talent.
Andrew Wilkinson; Neil Devaney
Other key lawyers:
Mark Lawford; Gemma Sage; Matt Benson; Jenny Davidson; Nick Fortune
‘Strong restructuring expertise, very thorough.’
‘The very experienced team is able to bring best practices and knowledge from a broad range of situations.’
‘The team has a very broad knowledge of the various stakeholders in the stressed credit/financial restructuring market, particularly credit investors.’
‘The firm has a depth of experience of restructuring in many markets and at varying business levels built up over many years. That means they know what they’re doing and have the confidence and ability to adapt to new situations which, in the restructuring field, is happening all the time.’
‘The incredibly astute and commercial Neil Devaney is a leading individual in the world of creditor-side restructuring representation. His strategic thinking, intellectual and innovative guidance, managing different stakeholder interests, structuring transactions involving complex issues and layered capital structures and reaching consensual solutions stands him apart from other practitioners in the market.’
‘Neil Devaney always understands the business being restructured, financial as well as legal issues and what a client needs. He is incredibly astute and commercial.’
‘Mark Lawford: one of the keenest intellects I have come across in over 30 years of practice. His powerful analytical skills match his ability to think laterally as well as get things done; a rare combination in one person of all the attributes of a very effective lawyer.’
‘Andrew Wilkinson: enormous experience. He leads the field when it comes to innovation. Hayley Lund [disputes]: practical, responsive, hands-on and very efficient. Maeve Brady: a pleasure to work with, her straightforward approach is exactly what is needed with determined opponents.’
‘Gemma Sage is terrific.’
Ad hoc group of bondholders of Digicel
Ad hoc group of bondholders of Ferroglobe
Ad hoc group of bondholders of NMC Health plc
Ad hoc group of bondholders of OHL
Ad hoc group of lenders to Seadrill
AMC Entertainment/Odeon Cinemas Group Limited
David Soden and Nick Edwards, the Joint Liquidators of Paragon Offshore plc
Ad hoc group of bondholders of Abengoa
Ad hoc group of senior creditors of KCA Deutag
Asia Research & Capital Management Ltd
The RCF lender group and the Agent in relation to Flint
Lehman Brothers Holding Inc and Lehman Brothers Holdings Scottish LP 3
Marco Compagnoni; Michael Francies
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Wood; Simon Lyell; Murray Cox; Lewis Blakey
‘Simon Lyell is an exceptionally creative and clever thinker who is able to articulate ideas very clearly, coming up with creative solutions to corporate issues on restructurings where we have worked together. The equity side of a distressed deal is so important and Simon provides clear and concise advice, really understanding the financial and inter creditor issues his clients face. He is a joy to work with and an outstanding lawyer leading his field.’
‘Outstanding partner-led client service delivered commercially and with a strong understanding of our internal processes and risk tolerance.’
‘Top quality people, very diligent. Strong advocates for client positions.’
‘Well-established legal firm with deep cross-functional expertise globally – one stop shop. Very commercial and pragmatic with good understanding of our needs. High calibre professional.’
‘Top-quality team, led by the godfather of private equity, Marco Compagnoni.’
‘Simon Lyell is outstanding, blending a keen eye for detail, technical skills and pragmatism. Chris McLoughlin [finance] added a huge amount of value on the finance workstream, offering critical insights into market terms and ultimately negotiating substantially better terms than we or our financial advisers had hoped for.’
‘Strong advocates for our interest and excellent ability to articulate our positions. In-depth knowledge of deal terms and conditions, as well as options for structures.’
‘Marco Compagnoni is the leader of the pack. He has years of experience in making deals happen, when lesser lawyers would fail to find solutions. He has bags of energy, enthusiasm and an unslaked thirst for satisfying clients. He inspires huge loyalty for good reason: he will do what it takes to deliver for his client.’
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Bain Capital Credit
AP1 & AP4
Cobham (portfolio company of Advent)
Kantar (portfolio company of Bain Capital)
TSG (portfolio company of Advent)
Howdens (portfolio company of General Atlantic and CDPQ)
Montagu Private Equity
Public Sector Pension Investment Board
Generation Investment Management
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP offers integrated funds, tax, and regulatory expertise to its clients, which include well-known fund managers active within the private equity, infrastructure, and credit spaces. The team advises clients on large-scale fundraisings, operational and regulatory issues, secondary transactions, including innovative fund-to-fund structures, and fund restructurings. Practice head Ed Gander is an active adviser to top clients on fundraisings and operational issues, and has previously run his own private equity fund, while James Sargent advises on fundraisings, co-invests, and GP-led secondaries for funds across a diverse range of strategies. James Bromley has a growing market profile, and is noted particularly for his work on high-profile spin-outs and social impact funds.
Other key lawyers:
James Sargent; James Bromley
Advent International and Bain Capital
Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
Castleforge Partners Limited
Yoo Capital Fund II (GP) Limited
Finance > Securitisation Tier 2
At Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, 'all the lawyers are exceptionally smart but they also take the time to know and understand their clients'. The firm has a dominant position in the manager-side CLO market, which in 2020 was the largest sector in the broader ABS market, and it frequently acts for the largest CLO managers, among them Blackstone and Carlyle. Nevertheless, the practice has a broader focus and is involved in high-value and innovative structures. One example is its work for work for The Very Group on its Irish shopping catalogue receivables securitisation, as well as on the refinancing of their £1.3bn UK securitisation programme. Practice head Jacky Kelly led that deal and also acted for Goldman Sachs in the structuring of US solar panel receivables backed bond issuance, ensuring compliance with EU regulations. Brian Maher is a key adviser to leading CLO manager Apollo for new issuance and refinancings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Commercial, responsive and practical with excellent market knowledge.’
‘A very well resourced team with a pool of talented associates who can all contribute to transactions.’
‘Very pragmatic and straight to the point advice.’
‘Strong leadership from Jacky Kelly and Brian Maher. All the lawyers are exceptionally smart but they also take the time to know and understand their clients. They are very commercial and deliver excellent, “on-point” advice. On brief for our more complex transactions and they deliver without fail.’
Shop Direct / The Very Group
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a 'technical, commercial and very responsive' structured finance practice that has a dominant position in the CLO market, in which it is the leading adviser on the manager side. Alongside that, the firm handles a range of derivatives transactions, including hedging transactions for issuer SPVs, repos and TRS structure for CLO managers, and infrastructure fund hedging strategies. It is also involved in emerging areas of structured finance, notably the incorporation of ESG issues into CLOs and other structured finance transactions. Jacky Kelly leads the practice and is highly regarded for her work on CLOs and securitisation, while counsel Andrew Lauder, who 'provides practical solutions and is always very responsive', handles a broad range of OTC derivatives and structured capital markets transactions, particularly TRS and repo-linked funding platforms, synthetic securitisations and bespoke repackaging transactions.
Other key lawyers:
‘Practical solutions and good turnaround times.’
‘Andrew Lauder provides practical solutions and is always very responsive.’
‘The uniqueness of our engagement was that the transaction was extremely time constrained and almost working- around-the-clock type. The lawyers in Weil are competent, responsive and professional.’
‘The type of deals this team gets involved in are usually very demanding in terms of transaction management and require responsiveness beyond the usual parameters. Andrew Lauder is the counsel on the derivatives side and is technical, commercial and very responsive.’
Finance > High yield Tier 3
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a small high yield practice in London but is nevertheless involved in high-value transactions for key players in the market, including sponsors, investment banks and bond investors. Its work stems largely from acquisition finance and refinancings, and a key deal in 2020 saw the firm advise JP Morgan and other investment banks on three transactions with an aggregate value of €6.5bn as part of a refinancing for Hellman & Friedman portfolio company Verisure. Patrick Bright and Nitin Konchady, who splits his time between London and New York, took the lead on that deal are the firm's principal high yield practitioners. Clients report that they are 'very focussed on outcomes and provide clear explanations of complex issues'.
Patrick Bright; Nitin Konchady
‘Very focussed on outcomes. Clear explanations and able to simplify the descriptions of complex issues so that client is able to make informed decisions and be confident they are the right ones. Very responsive to questions, in a timely manner.’
‘A pragmatic and client-friendly practice. Always looking for ways to get transaction done and to provide solutions to problems as they arise.’
‘Patrick Bright is very responsive and always comes up with a practical and well thought out solution to problems as they arise.’
Advent International (sponsor)
Bain Capital (sponsor)
Bank of America (underwriter)
Ellerman Investments (sponsor)
Goldman Sachs (underwriter)
Infopro Digital (issuer)
J.P. Morgan (underwriter)
Ashmore Group (asset manager)
Morgan Stanley (underwriter)
Novalpina Capital (sponsor)
Sculptor Capital Management (asset manager)
The Very Group Limited (issuer)
TowerBrook Capital Partners (sponsor)
Known for advising infrastructure funds and private equity, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP specialises in the M&A and acquisition financing aspects of the sector. The firm’s work covers the key areas of energy, social, transport and TMT, advising on data network being an example of recent activity. James MacArthur assists private equity sponsors, pension funds and multi-asset managers on investments in infrastructure. He co-leads the practice with Paul Hibbert, whose forte is acquisition and leveraged finance, acting for private equity sponsors and lenders, with a particular focus on infrastructure. The team has been boosted by the arrival of Murray Cox, who joined from Slaughter and May in 2021 and brings expertise advising listed companies, financial sponsors and sovereign wealth funds on a range of M&A and corporate finance matters.
James MacArthur; Paul Hibbert
Other key lawyers:
Emma Serginson; Murray Cox
‘Top tier corporate and finance practice’.
‘Paul Hibbert is a great lawyer, with strong technical expertise, problem solving skills and a wealth of experience spanning a number of complex structured financings. He is very proactive, personable and client-driven and has a very good understanding of the wider commercial aspects of a transaction’.
‘Emma Serginson showed exceptional dedication and resilience throughout a recent process’.
Antin Infrastructure Partners
APG Asset Management
Basalt Infrastructure Partners
First Sentier Investors
Global Infrastructure Partners
InfraRed Capital Partners
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
A versatile offering, coupled with an impressive and expanding bench of market-leading practitioners, underpins Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's stellar reputation for major M&A transactions. The firm added well-regard private equity and M&A lawyer Murray Cox from Slaughter and May in 2021, following on from the hire of David Avery-Gee from Linklaters in 2019. Avery-Gee jointly leads the practice with veteran partner Michael Francies, with the team drawing on the firm's strengths in private equity and SPAC deals to play an increasing role in the City M&A market. Francies and Avery-Gee are praised by clients for their 'attentiveness and versatility', routinely leading on many of the firm's most significant mandates. The team received a further boost in 2021 with the addition of renowned competition and regulatory expert Jenine Hulsmann from Clifford Chance LLP.
David Avery-Gee; Michael Francies
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly professional and responsive to all client requests. No turnaround time and 24/7 availability during crisis time. Being one of the top corporate law firms globally, WGM’s systems, diversity, innovation etc are of the highest standard.‘
‘I am particularly impressed by this practice’s ability to combine high end UK and US capability, which was what we needed on the matter on which we consulted them. We also needed insolvency expertise on both sides of the Atlantic which they were able to provide, and coordination of all these various aspects.’
Highland Gold Mining
Montagu Private Equity
At Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, the team handles a broad spectrum of high-profile tax disputes and is notably active in litigation against the tax authorities and insurance-related mandates. The group also works closely with the firm's global network on cross-border issues and has significant experience before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. Key practitioners include Oliver Walker, Jenny Doak, Jamie Maples and newly promoted partner Christopher Marks. Aron Joy and counsel Hayley Lund also contribute to the practice.
Oliver Walker; Jenny Doak; Jamie Maples; Christopher Marks
Other key lawyers:
Aron Joy; Hayley Lund
Joint Special Administrators of MF Global UK
Providence Equity Partners
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP displays a broad range of tax expertise, from advising on private equity and corporate M&A, to corporate insolvencies and group restructurings. Oliver Walker has extensive experience in handling a broad range of transactions in the corporate M&A and private equity space, while Jenny Doak has a strong focus on SPACs and M&A work. Aron Joy is also noted and has particular expertise in fund tax matters.
Jenny Doak; Oliver Walker
Other key lawyers:
‘I have worked with WG&M for more than 15 years across multiple specialisms / product areas and it is not an understatement to say that everyone I have worked with has been incredibly capable, trustworthy and most importantly a pleasure to interact with. Their team culture and respectful, common-sense approach is something I have always valued highly and why I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them as a team.’
‘Aron Joy and his team provide excellent support on tax issues arising during the fund establishment and fund raising process. They are always on top of the issues and willing to make themselves available at short notice.’
Brookfield Asset Management
Sculptor Capital LP
Montagu Private Equity
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP > Firm Profile
With approximately 1,100 lawyers in offices on three continents, Weil operates according to the ‘one firm’ principle, allowing the firm to bring the right mix of firm-wide skill and local-market presence to deliver coordinated legal advice to help clients achieve their sophisticated goals and objectives. Weil’s London office is a leader in the U.K. legal market and is the hub of our European practice. Weil’s strategy is focused on long-term investment in recruiting and retaining exceptional talent at all levels. Few firms place greater emphasis on pro bono work. Weil’s award-winning pro- bono programme is deeply ingrained in the firm’s culture.
PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK
Private Equity: Entrenched in all aspects of private equity, the team includes some of the most respected private equity lawyers in the market. Providing best-in-class advice to market participants throughout the lifecycle of their investments, Weil’s lawyers offer up-to-date know-how to ensure that funds gain the best possible return on investment with a complete solution from transactions and fundraising, to financing, restructuring and tax. From pension and growth funds to multi-asset managers, buyouts to portfolio company restructurings, the firm’s expertise covers every facet of the market.
Private Equity Infrastructure: Weil’s private equity infrastructure team advises a number of the leading infrastructure funds and other investors on their investments in infrastructure assets across the transportation, energy, social infrastructure and telecommunications sectors. The team has a very strong capability in cross-border M&A, financing and restructurings across the sector.
Corporate/M&A: Clients globally turn to Weil for strategic advice on their UK and cross-border M&A transactions. The experienced team is knowledgeable across the full range of deal types from takeovers, carve-outs and public-to-privates to joint ventures and distressed M&A. Weil’s public company offering also includes corporate governance and compliance, and equity capital markets (including IPOs).
Private Funds: Offering fully integrated funds, tax and regulatory capabilities, the private funds team provides leading commercial advice to managers throughout the duration of their funds’ lives, from the raising and deployment of capital to realisation. Many of the world’s leading fund managers rely on Weil for up-to-the-minute advice and solutions to stay ahead of the competition and understand the plethora of new regulation.
Leveraged Finance & High Yield: Weil’s preeminent London leveraged finance and high yield expertise is underpinned by a full service banking and finance practice advising both financial institutions and private equity sponsors. The team has a reputation as go-to advisors for the largest and most complex financings in the market. Its breadth and depth of knowhow stems from the diversity of work, advising across a variety of different products, sectors and client types.
Structured Finance: The London structured finance group has been at the forefront of the industry in Europe since the inception of the market and is known for complex and innovative transactions, including the creation of several first-ever securitisations of specific asset classes. Weil covers the full range of structured finance products with extensive derivatives expertise. Along with ABS and MBS experience, Weil has a dominant position in the revitalised European CLO 2.0 market and is active on debt portfolio trades and distressed deals.
Restructuring & Insolvency: Weil’s London restructuring team has advised on the highest profile and most complex cases in the marketplace. Weil advises a broad client base that includes debtor and creditor representations, directors, private equity houses, senior, mezzanine and subordinated lenders, purchasers and sellers of distressed M&A assets and NPLs and substantial bankruptcy litigation. Weil’s unparalleled global presence provides the US–UK–European link that very few other firms are able to, providing clients with fully integrated cross-border advice and up-to-the-minute global restructuring know-how.
Dispute Resolution: Weil’s London disputes practice advises on the most high-profile and technically complex cases in the market, including novel areas of law which have resulted in judgments that are now the leading authorities on points of law. The firm advises upon, manages and conducts all aspects of commercial disputes and investigations, from strategic advice during the early stages of negotiations to courtroom and arbitration advocacy. Weil’s lawyers are regarded as commercially savvy, distinguished and unique in the London market for conducting their own advocacy in arbitration tribunals.
Tax: The Weil London tax team provides cutting edge advice on structuring and implementing transactions, as well as providing a sophisticated consultancy service to clients. The team collaborate with our transactional teams and colleagues across the globe to provide structuring solutions that work from a tax, regulatory and wider legal perspective.
Competition: Weil’s Competition practice forms a key part of the firm’s global Antitrust/Competition offering, providing clients with the international reach and experience required to handle multinational regulatory issues, particularly involving the EU and US competition laws and enforcement. The team has achieved significant success before all major authorities and courts in Europe and the United States.
Transactional Support: Weil’s team of in-house transaction specialists leverage the expertise of the firm’s full-service capabilities, and provide a further distinctive aspect of the comprehensive client offering. The transaction specialist team provide specialist advice on corporate governance and compliance, employment, data protection, intellectual property, management incentives, real estate, and technology.
The firm has offices in Beijing, Boston, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Miami, Munich, New York, Paris, Princeton, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Washington DC.
|Managing Partner (London), M&A/Corporate||Michael Francies|
|Arbitration, Litigation||Jamie Maples|
|Banking – Sponsors & Lenders||Chris McLaughlin|
|Banking – Sponsors||Tom Richards|
|Banking – Lenders||Reena Gogna|
|Banking – Lenders||Paul Stewart|
|Banking – Lenders||Alastair McVeigh|
|Capital Markets – High Yield||Patrick Bright|
|Capital Markets – Equity, M&A/Corporate||David Avery-Gee|
|Graduate Recruitment||Yohanna Wilson|
|Private Equity||Marco Compagnoni|
|Private Equity Infrastructure||James MacArthur|
|Private Equity Infrastructure||Paul Hibbert|
|Private Funds, Pro Bono||Ed Gander|
|Private Equity, Pro Bono||Simon Lyell|
|Private Equity, Property/Environment||Mark Thompson|
|Restructuring||Andrew J. Wilkinson|
|Structured Finance||Jacky Kelly|
|Structured Finance||Brian Maher|
|Patrick Bright||Full CV available at www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Nigel Clark||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Marco Compagnoni||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Barry Fishley||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Stephen Fox||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Michael Francies||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Ed Gander||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Mr Ian Hamilton||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|James Hogben||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Jacky Kelly||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Mark Lawford||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Simon Lyell||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Brian Maher||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Jamie Maples||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Chris McLaughlin||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Tom Richards||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Andrew Wilkinson||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Jonathan Wood||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
Student (The Lex 100 )
The Lex 100 VerdictAn American heavyweight in financial markets, Weil, Gotshal & Manges London LLP is more than just an outpost of a famous law firm. The firm has an ‘unparalleled reputation in the financial world’, and trainees particularly love the fact that Weil ‘has a strong UK feel for a US firm, as the work is largely derived from UK origins’. The ‘international appeal’, ‘prestige’ and ‘impressive client base’ were but some of the factors which convinced recruits to apply and subsequently join the firm. As one trainee comments: ‘it had everything I was looking for in one place’. Weil is the deserving recipient of four Lex 100 Winner medals this year for its salary, inclusiveness, confidence of being kept on, and social life. Training is described as being ‘largely on the job’, which suits some trainees more than others, though ‘this does vary from team to team’. Culturally the firm is friendly and accommodating: ‘everyone is extremely helpful, has been exceedingly supportive whilst working from home, and people are always happy to help and answer questions, no matter how busy they are’. Long hours are not uncommon, however, and more than one trainee said that the work/life balance was the worst thing about the firm. ‘Weeks of 3am finishes’ and ‘several competing deadlines’, occasionally left recruits ‘feeling pressured’. Some teams are reported to have a hierarchical working structure too. On the plus side, there is a ‘continuous stream’ of pro bono opportunities, which are 'plentiful and interesting’. Indeed, ‘launching a pro bono partnership’ was one trainee’s best moment. To work with ‘industry titans’ in a firm which offers ‘top-quality work, a friendly culture and a high level of responsibility for trainees’, research Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Acquisition finance
- EU and competition
- Private funds (including infrastructure funds)
- Mining and minerals
- Real estate funds