Firm Profile > Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP > London , London

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Acquisition finance Tier 1

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has expertise across the capital structure and across financial products (including Term Loan B, New York-law governed high yield and unitranche) for an eclectic mix of banks, alternative capital providers and private equity sponsors. The team is at the vanguard of developments in financing terms and documentation, and is appreciated by its sponsor clients for its 'strength in pushing for new technology in the documentation'. Tom Richards is cultivating a strong reputation in the leveraged finance space for major sponsor clients, including Advent International, which he recently advised on the $1bn first and second lien facilities to finance its $1.65bn take-private acquisition of Laird Plc. Notably, this mandate was Advent's first take-private and the first ever all US-dollar denominated financing documented under English law and sold into the US. The 'first-rateChris McLaughlin handles a significant volume of work for private equity sponsors and direct lenders, and is a key member of the team that also includes bank-side lawyer Reena Gogna. Former team head Mark Donald departed at the end of 2018.

Insurance: insolvency and restructuring Tier 1

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's insurance insolvency and restructuring team benefits from its position as part of the US firm's global insolvency and restructuring practice, and has been involved in a number of the most-profile insurance restructurings in recent years. The practice also works in tandem with the firm's private funds group, positioning it to win more work relating to the restructuring of insurance companies and assets. Practice head Alexander Wood works alongside Mark Lawford, restructuring heavyweight Andrew Wilkinson and recently promoted partner Gemma Sage.

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 1

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's PE department is reputed for its 'speed of service, high levels of partner accessibility and excellent quality of work'. The firm boasts a constantly growing client roster with new names such as AMP Capital and Bain Capital instructing the group for the first time. A particularly strong record of work in real estate and infrastructure related PE is notable, with James McArthur and others advising NIBC Infrastructure Partners on the multi-million dollar sale of its social infrastructure and renewable assets to Equitix. On the buy side, star performer Marco Compagnoni led in assisting long-standing client Providence Equity on a number of recent transactions, including the acquisition of online educational services provider TES Global Group. The aggregate value of the deals completed for this client exceeds $1.5bn. Jonathon Wood is noted for his expertise in PE transactions involving technology companies. Compagnoni and Michael Francies  are joint heads of team; Samantha McGonigle departed to co-found Fairview Equity Partners in February 2019.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 2

Benefiting from 'excellent market knowledge', Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's five-partner team provides 'superb technical knowledge and pragmatic realism' to a balanced mix of debtor and creditor-side clients. Able to harness the expertise of US-based practitioners should the need arise, the firm has the flexibility to execute matters using both UK and US insolvency procedures. This combined effort was recently realised by the team's work (alongside the New York group) as global restructuring counsel to Westinghouse Electric Company in its Chapter 11 and associated proceedings. The 'tactically astuteAndrew Wilkinson has an excellent reputation on both the creditor and debtor front, including in relation to distressed investing matters for funds clients. 'There is nothing he cannot handle on the restructuring front' – Adam Plainer 's work includes contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters for creditors and debtors. 'Able to frame extremely complicated concepts and choices in a clear way', Mark Lawford handles high quality and complex work for a diverse mix of clients, including private equity and hedge funds, banks and insolvency practitioners. Counsel Linton Bloomberg is 'an emerging star who has worked on a string of excellent high-profile cases and will lead the way in years to come'.

High yield Tier 2

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a reputation for innovation, as well as a high profile in the European high yield market. It pioneered, and remains active in, the private high yield tap product, which increases speed to market for issuances of additional bonds under existing indentures. The firm acts for sponsors, issuers, underwriters and investors, and its practice works closely with the banking and US capital markets groups to ensure that it has expertise in both the bank and bond aspects of leveraged financings. It is also one of few firms to have a specialised European high yield restructuring practice. Leading light Patrick Bright helped the firm to build on its work for underwrites in 2018, with high-profile matters for clients such as Goldman Sachs. Up-and-coming partner Nitin Konchady is also recommended.

Private funds Tier 2

Advising The Abraaj Group on its liquidation was a major highlight for Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's well-regarded private funds department., which is led by Ed Gander . The advice given pertained to the disposal of management rights and of the Abraaj Global Healthcare Fund and certain Latin American funds, among other issues. The practice covers a broad range of work for leading buyout houses. In addition to a steady stream of fundraisings (primarily in the private equity and real asset sectors), the firm also handles a number of GP-led secondaries and restructuring processes. Funds regulatory and strategic advisory is another core service; James Bromley (who was made up to the partnership in January 2019) is a key contact on this front. In a recent success, James Sargent and others acted as lead fundraising counsel for Dalmore Capital on the £950m Dalmore Capital III fund, which is one of the largest UK-only infrastructure funds raised.

Real estate funds Tier 2

At Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, real estate funds matters sit within the firm's broader private funds practice group. Besides real estate fundraisings and fund closings, the group also often works on general partner-led restructurings and secondaries matters. The offering is marked by a strong record for infrastructure fund work, particularly in the greenfield space. In addition, the group boasts an integrated strategic advisory function to provide a commercial perspective alongside its core legal services. Head of team Ed Gander is a key client contact while James Sargent specialises in real asset funds. James Bromley was made partner in January 2019.

Structured products and securitisation Tier 2

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a long-standing reputation as the dominant manager counsel on European CLOs. The firm is sole counsel for leading global managers Blackstone/GSO and Carlyle Group, which are among the most active market participants. In total, the firm acts for seven of the leading managers in the CLO market, as well as arrangers such as Deutsche Bank. The practice's recent work also includes the development of new and innovative structures, including two bespoke securitisations to provide capital for development loan origination. In the loan portfolio space, it has also worked on credit and servicing platforms that can be used by multiple banks for their non-core assets and acting on asset sales and purchases. London practice head Jacky Kelly, who also co-leads the firm's global  structured finance and derivatives group, is a standout partner for advice to asset managers on CLOs. Brian Maher not only handles CLOs, but also consumer asset securitisations and other bespoke asset-backed financings. Up-and-coming CLO partner Alexander Martin is also recommended.

Derivatives (including commodities) Tier 3

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP is particularly highly regarded for its dominant position in the CLO market and, in 2018, it was the leading firm in the European CLO market for the third year in a row, acting for asset collateral managers. In the derivatives market, the firm not only provides advice on the structuring of CLOs, but also assists clients with the use of derivatives in M&A transactions, and provides currency and interest rate hedging for structured finance vehicles, corporates and banks. It also handles repo funding structures and credit default swaps, and has a specialist team to service the derivatives needs of private equity and corporate clients. In the practice led by Jacky Kelly, newly promoted partner Alexander Martin handles dervatives in the context of CLOs and associate Andrew Lauder, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP, advises on a broad range of OTC derivatives and structured capital markets transactions.

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) Tier 3

The team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP impresses with a broad practice, which handles transactional and finance work in the infrastructure space. Core areas of focus are transport, energy, TMT and social builds. The team - which works with a client roster including private equity sponsors, pension funds and multi-asset managers - is led by corporate partner James MacArthur and finance specialist Paul Hibbert. In early 2019, the practice was strengthened by the arrival of Sidley Austin LLP partner Mark Thompson, who is well versed in private equity and M&A transactions.

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 3

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's cross-disciplinary offering handles a range of corporate, finance, litigation and restructuring work, and is also active across employment, pensions, real estate, competition, antitrust, IP, technology and tax mandates. Clients also benefit from its private equity and capital markets experience. The firm is instructed by international media and entertainment companies.

Tax litigation and investigations Tier 3

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's tax disputes team is co-led by experienced litigator Jamie Maples and Oliver Walker, who is instructed on a number of cases before English and European courts. Recent cases include internal investigations into corporate governance failings, VAT disputes and a number of contentious tax insurance matters. Hannah Field-Lowes left the team for White & Case LLP in February 2018.

Corporate tax Tier 4

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 's City tax team  counts a strong private equity leaning  among its strengths as well as handling the  tax aspects of  corporate M&A,  private funds,  insolvencies  and  group restructurings. It  is able to draw on the firm's  office  network across  North America and Europe  to  handle cross-border tax matters. The  team also  advises on  the tax  aspects of  structured financings, leveraged financings and management incentivisation schemes. Oliver Walker leads the department and has significant experience in transactional tax matters and complex reorganisations.

M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 4

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP acts for corporates and private equity firms on major cross-border transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestments. The firm has a high profile roster of private equity clients as well as also advising corporates such as GE, Sanofi and Westinghouse.  Heavyweight practice head Michael Francies is experienced in advising public companies and private investors, and recently acted for Sanofi in its  sale of Zentiva to Advent International. The team regularly collaborates with international colleagues, working closely with the Paris, New York and Frankfurt offices.  The team has been bolstered through the 2019 addition of  Mark Thompson from Sidley Austin LLP, who focuses on real estate M&A transactions. Former Herbert Smith Freehills partner James MacArthur  advises corporate and PE sponsors across infrastructure and real estate transactions.

Commercial litigation Tier 6

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 'has a fantastic London litigation practice' that regularly works with its colleagues in Europe, the US and Asia. Jamie Maples  has been developing the office's growing focus on significant tax litigation matters and Mark Lawford's principal areas of expertise include cross-border insolvencies and restructurings, debtor and creditor representations, and insolvency litigation. Christopher Marks is the associate to note.

International arbitration Tier 6

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's team is 'clever, client focused and well organised'. The London office's specialist arbitration lawyers represent both private parties and sovereign clients around the world in high-level international arbitrations. Jamie Maples has a strong track record advising investment banks, corporations, governments and private equity houses, and Hayley Lund is an experienced associate.