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
Acquisition finance Tier 1
Benefiting from 'experience across a wide range of transactions and markets', Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP is 'excellent at thinking outside the box' for a fairly balanced roster of creditor and debtor clients. On the lender front, although the firm handles a sizeable amount of banking work (particularly on behalf of US investment banks), under the guidance of the 'very experienced and client friendly' Chris McLaughlin, the team has been particularly active in the alternative lender/credit funds space, an area that was further enhanced in July 2019 by the arrival of Paul Stewart from Ashurst. 'Absolute rock star', Tom Richards , meanwhile, engenders a tremendous amount of loyalty from marquee sponsor side client, Advent, which he continues to advise on financing aspects of many of its most significant European buyouts.
Other key lawyers:
Great expertise in financing, second-to-none.
The team’s experience across a wide range of transactions and markets is excellent, enabling it to provide “out-of-the box” solutions.
The team offers a very personalised service and is excellent at acting for direct lenders.
Chris McLaughlin is a very experienced and client friendly lawyer, who is always on top of any issue that arises.
Chris McLaughlin is extremely responsive and always provides very thoughtful advice. He is excellent at balancing legal risks with commercial realities.
Tom Richards is an absolute rock star!
Strengthened on the funds side, in particular, by the arrival in November 2019 of Neil Devaney from Akin Gump LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has an increasingly balanced debtor and creditor facing offering, with expertise running the gamut from distressed investing and non-performing loans mandates through to formal insolvency procedures. Led by Adam Plainer, the team has an 'excellent understanding of the issues in restructuring in complex scenarios involving multiple parties and jurisdictions', where it is aided by its ability to harness the expertise of finance lawyers with knowledge throughout the capital structure (including both UK and US-law governed debt) and the flexibility to execute matters using both UK and US insolvency procedures. As the senior European partner in the restructuring team, Andrew Wilkinson has 'seen it all' and is thereby able to effectively guide both debtors and creditors through the choppy waters of global restructurings, in particular. Mark Lawford has a strong reputation for debtors and creditors across both consensual restructurings, as well as in a contentious scenario. Of counsel Linton Bloomberg provides 'very sensible advice' to myriad stakeholders, including banks, funds, IPs and private equity sponsors. Alexander Wood quit for Shearman & Sterling LLP in summer 2020.
Other key lawyers:
The team has an excellent understanding of the issues in restructuring in complex scenarios involving multiple parties and jurisdictions.
Andrew Wilkinson has seen it all.
Linton Bloomberg provides very sensible advice.
Syncreon Group Holdings B.V.
Ambac Assurance UK Limited
Stuart Sybersma and David Soden as joint provisional liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Limited
Doncasters Group Ltd
Ad hoc group of noteholders under the SFA issued by KCA Deutag (including Sculptor Capital LP, Barings LLC, and Avenue Capital Group )
FRP Advisory as the Joint Administrators of Arjowiggins Fine Papers Ltd
Charterhouse Capital Partners
Lehman Brothers Holding Inc and Lehman Brothers Holdings Scottish LP 3
KPMG re: MF Global UK Limited (in special administration)
Floatel International Ltd
Franklin Templeton Investments
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP 'knows the industry inside out' and is well-positioned at the top of the market, winning new relationships as well as continuing to advise longstanding clients such as Advent International. The London team advises on a range of high-value and cross-border buyouts, take-privates, carve-outs, investments, and exits across Europe and the US. It has also been increasing its work with infrastructure funds, an area in which James MacArthur leads. Marco Compagnoni continues to act prolifically in high value, market-leading deals, securing a number of new mandates. He leads the practice alongside well-regarded dealmaker Michael Francies. Jonathan Wood, who has a focus on the tech sector, also plays an active role in the practice alongside newly-promoted partner and 'rising star' Lewis Blakey, who is highly recommended.
‘This is a great team that has the highest standards. What marks it out from other firms is the laser-like focus on achieving what the client wants and needs, rather than what the law firm thinks it needs. There is a level of responsiveness that is lacking at other firms: the team really seem to care about the client and what it is trying to achieve’
‘Extremely commercial firm that knows the industry inside out. The team are some of the most intelligent individuals in the market. Very responsive’.
‘Marco Compagnoni is the undoubted star. He is quite extraordinary in uniting great knowledge and technical ability with an ability to deliver results at great speed. He can plot a course that enables a deal to complete where more conventional lawyers would fail. He is truly a counsellor and not just an executing lawyer. Go to Marco when you need the best and when the stakes are high: he will deliver when everyone else has failed’
‘Lewis Blakey is a rising star, who will quickly become a leader in his field. Extremely commercial perspective, with a mind that can consider the question from all angles’
‘Marco Compagnoni manages to make the complicated simple, and deliver quick and clear advice. He is a refreshing change to how others go about the business of legal advice’
Public Sector Pension Investment Board
Lee Equity Partners
Montagu Private Equity
Generation Investment Management
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Sun European Capital Partners
Clayton Dublier & Rice
CPP Investment Board
Mid Europa Partners
Southeast Europe Equity Fund II
A&M Capital Advisors Europe
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a broad offering within the private funds space, encompassing private equity, infrastructure, and credit funds. Particular areas of expertise include spin-outs and advice to incoming managers, complex secondaries transactions, and the formation of innovative longer-term products across emerging asset classes. Mandates include notable strategic projects on behalf of Brookfield, Columbia Threadneedle Partners, and Infrastructure Capital. Ed Gander heads the team, and is highly experienced in funds across all key asset classes on behalf of major global asset managers. Nigel Clark combines fund formation with secondaries and incentivisation arrangements. Stephen Fox specialises in private equity fundraisings and secondaries, James Sargent advises major clients on fund structuring and operational matters, and the highly-rated James Bromley heads up the firm's strategic advisory section, handling start-up funds, the introduction of new managers, and the expansion of existing platforms into new sectors.
A commercial, pragmatic and innovative team
Fast, to-the-point, pragmatic
Ed Gander is particularly commercial and provides valuable advice.
Strong experience and coverage of infrastructure and able to advise on investor/fund related matters . They have a commercial approach to documentation and negotiations and are generally able to turn work around quickly and efficiently.
James Sargent has excellent knowledge of the market. He manages client relationships well, delegates to junior team members for run of the mill work and provides his input when required.
InfraRed Capital Partners Limited
Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Generation Investment Management
Real estate funds Tier 2
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP distinguishes itself in headline fundraises; the group also excels in setting up complex multijurisdictional carried interest arrangements, co-investment schemes and other incentivisation arrangements, secondary sales and fund restructurings. Practice head Ed Gander, James Sargent and recently promoted partners Marc Schubert and Aron Joy, are among the key names to note.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has 'one of the market leading CLO manager practices in the UK'. One client remarks that 'it is a market-leading firm in the CLO space, very responsive and with great knowledge.' Consistently acting for many of the most active CLO managers in the European market, among them Blackstone / GSO, Carlyle and Blackrock, the firm has carved out a dominant position in that market. It is also active in other aspects of the structured finance space, handling derivatives in M&A, currency and interest rate hedging for structured finance vehicles, repo funding structures and credit default swaps. The firm also has specialist private equity derivatives expertise, which is called upon for hedging arrangements related to acquisition and infrastructure finance. Jacky Kelly leads the practice, in which Alexander Martin plays a prominent role.
‘The firm has one of the market leading CLO manager practices in the UK.’
‘It is a market-leading firm in the CLO space, very responsive and with great knowledge.’
‘Jacky Kelly as lead partner is outstanding and very responsive, hand-holding first-time managers very well. Both associates were also very good and responsive.’
Blackstone / GSO
High yield Tier 3
'The firm has a pragmatic approach to handling transactions and complex situations, and it is willing to think outside the box and find solutions', says a client of Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP. In 2019, the firm was busy with acquisition financings, refinancings, restructurings and tap issuances. The high yield practice works closely with the banking group to handle bond and loan execution, often in regard to innovative and high-value transactions. One example is its work for Bain Capital in a complex $4bn carve-out acquisition of a 60% stake in Kantar. Practice head Patrick Bright is 'incredibly responsive, approachable and always willing to explore complex and non-standard situations'. Up-and-coming partner Nitin Konchady, who splits his time between New York and London, and associate Stefan Monaghan are also recommended.
‘The firm has a pragmatic approach to handling transactions and complex situations, and it is willing to think outside the box and find solutions for problems.’
‘Patrick Bright is incredibly responsive, approachable and always willing to explore complex and non-standard situations.’
‘The team is pragmatic, client-friendly and equally capable of managing both the sponsors and the management teams through the funding process. It is an A+ team.’
‘Patrick Bright has a fantastic command of the legal aspects and how to distil those for the commercial folks in a way that helps us as a borrower to make optimal financing choices.’
‘They advised us on our first high yield issuance to refinance our existing senior indebtedness. Patrick Bright has strong experience in capital market transactions and remains very accessible for beginners and small players like us. He perfectly understood our constraints and our needs and built an efficient team in consequence. He took the upper hand on the bargaining and it was a relief to have him on our side.’
‘Associate Stefan Monaghan shows an incredible commitment to the deal and he never refuses to help, even when it was not exactly in his area of expertise. He managed to explain technical matters in very plain words and in our native language. He was obviously the keystone of the team to deliver a peaceful and smooth deal for us.’
Advent International (sponsor)
Bain Capital (sponsor)
Goldman Sachs (underwriter)
Infopro Digital (issuer)
Morgan Stanley (underwriter)
Novalpina Capital (sponsor)
PIMCO Europe (investor)
TowerBrook Capital Partners (sponsor)
Infrastructure (PFI and PPP) Tier 3
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP acts for some of the leading infrastructure funds active in the UK market. Its client base includes Antin Infrastructure, AMP Capital, and THI Investments. The team, which is headed by the well-regarded James MacArthur and Paul Hibbert , has been active across mandates in a range of infrastructure sectors including social, transport and energy. Notably, the team has been boosted by a number of hires in related practices, including M&A partner David Avery-Gee and tax partner Jenny Doak, both of whom have a focus on energy work. The team is praised by clients for going 'the extra mile for their clients'.
‘The partners and wider team we work with at Weil, Gotshal & Manges understand our strategy and commercial objectives, and provide valuable and proactive input. The partners work effectively and seamlessly with our senior executive team and our external financial advisers.’
‘Willing to go the extra mile for their clients.’
‘James MacArthur always thinks proactively about our requirements as a client, providing valuable advice and input. He runs a great team and pro- actively covers all aspects of a deal.’
‘Paul Hibbert is a very strong commercial debt lawyer. Pragmatic and effective in getting transactions closed. He is very proactive, personable and client-driven and has a very good understanding of the wider commercial aspects of a transaction.’
Securitisation Tier 3
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has a dominant position in the European CLO market and is counsel to nine of the top global CLO managers, among them Blackstone and Carlyle. It also advises some of the leading arranger banks. While this is the mainstay of the practice, the firm is also active in deals involving a diverse range of asset classes, notably trade receivables, lease receivables, broadcasting revenues, Spanish consumer loans and property bridging loans. It is frequently involved in niche areas requiring innovative deal structures, among which was the first US private placement of diamond trade receivables. Jacky Kelly leads the three-partner structured finance and derivatives practice and is a prominent figure in the CLO market. Brian Maher handles a broad palette of work that includes Spanish consumer loans, Norwegian lease receivables and worldwide trade receivables, as well as being active in CLOs. Alexander Martin is recommended for European CLO transactions.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's tax litigation department is noted for its strong track record in high-profile tax litigation and cases involving novel points of law. In addition to litigating cases in court, the team advises clients on the merits of pursuing litigation against the tax authorities, and the interaction between insurance cover (and related conduct obligations) and the decision to settle or contest a tax claim. The group is jointly led by Jamie Maples, Oliver Walker and Jenny Doak (who was hired from Vinson & Elkins RLLP in 2019).
‘They understand the challenges we face as a third sector provider and are always able to get straight to the heart of the matter very quickly.’
Joint Special Administrators of MF Global UK
Corporate tax Tier 4
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's tax team plays a key role in private equity and corporate M&A transactions, private funds, insolvencies, group restructurings and structured finance. The department is jointly led by funds tax expert Oliver Walker and Jenny Doak, who was hired from Vinson & Elkins RLLP in November 2019. Doak has expertise in restructurings and transactional tax. Aron Joy, who recently made partner, has expertise in investment management and private funds tax.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Weil tax team has in depth knowledge and is excellent at all areas of corporate taxation.’
‘Oliver Walker is an outstanding tax lawyer who is a pleasure to deal with. He is a master of tax issues in M&A but truly understands the commercial dynamics.’
‘Team is well aligned with the corporate practice with experienced partners. Strong team.’
‘Jenny Doak is a technically excellent and commercially astute tax partner who delivers exceptional client service – she is approachable, accessible, and a consistent source of sound judgement and guidance on the largest transactions. Her work is conducted cost effectively and transparently.‘
Bain Capital Private Equity (Europe) LLP
Centerbridge/ syncreon Group B.V.
Advent International Corporation
Campbell Soup Company
KKR/ Blue Mountain
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Ambac Assurance UK Limited
OPSEU Pension Plan
SouthEast Europe Equity
Knowlton Development Corporation, Inc.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP made a big statement in the London M&A market with the hire of highly-regarded partner David Avery-Gee from Linklaters LLP in November 2019. Avery-Gee has a strong track record advising on cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and capital raisings for well known clients, particularly in the natural resources sector. To date, a significant portion of the firm's work in London has included advising US clients looking to capitalise on investment opportunities in the UK, with the firm's close links with buyout houses gifting it significant experience advising on take private deals as well as public takeovers. Michael Francies leads the department and has a broad range of experience across public and private transactions both internationally and domestically.
Willis Towers Watson
Campbell Soup Company
Brookfield/Westinghouse Electric Company
Cornell Capital/Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC/ONE)
Mercury UK Holdco
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP fields a cross-practice team, which handles M&A, private equity, capital markets, technology and IP transactions in the media and entertainment space. The group includes Barry Fishley in London and benefits from the ability to work with lawyers across its international network.
International arbitration Tier 7
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's London office represents private parties and sovereign clients in high-level and high-value international arbitrations. Jamie Maples' sector expertise includes the banking and financial services, media, technology, energy, engineering, and retail and hospitality industries. Hayley Lund was promoted to counsel in 2020.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP > Firm Profile
Weil is one of a small handful of firms that has a balance of market-leading private equity, finance and restructuring capabilities with an international framework of consistently high-quality offices.
The firm: The firm has 1,100 lawyers, in offices around the world. The London office was established in 1996 and has grown to become the second largest of the firm’s worldwide offices, with over 90% of Weil’s lawyers in London being UK-qualified and around 80% of its work home-grown.
Weil’s focus has consistently been one of long-term investment in recruiting and retaining exceptional talent at all levels and ensuring a balanced practice hedged for all economic conditions.
Weil has developed an award-winning Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion strategy which is built on four components: pro bono, inclusion, community & environment, and well being & social.
Types of work undertaken
Private equity/M&A: private equity is the cornerstone of Weil’s UK and global practice. The firm acts as a trusted advisor to leading private equity houses and portfolio companies on their most significant deals.
The combination of market-leading private equity and funds practices provides a leading integrated global funds and deal execution platform, enabling the firm to provide advice over the full life cycle of a private equity fund, from formation to investment, continuing through to realisation and return of capital to investors. Weil has broadened its offering to focus on infrastructure transactions and can offer funds active in this area a complete solution from transaction and fundraising, to financing, restructuring and tax.
This is complemented by the firm’s M&A practice which provides advice on all aspects of UK, European and multi-jurisdictional public and private deals, including corporate governance and public company advisory expertise.
Private funds group: Weil’s private funds team in London advises on many of the largest, most prestigious and sophisticated funds mandates in the market. Weil has built one of the most diverse practices in Europe within the private funds space. Weil is recognised as a leading advisor across a wide range of sub-sectors of the private funds market, including private equity – mega funds, infrastructure funds, debt funds, emerging markets funds and debut managers, spin-outs and secondaries.
Restructuring: Weil’s restructuring practice is recognised as one of the leading bespoke restructuring practices in the City. The practice comprises the highest profile, market-leading UK-originated global mandates, as well as significant work alongside the firm’s premier US restructuring practice on US-originated matters.
Finance: few firms can boast such breadth and quality of work, providing a unique combination of top-of-the-market sponsor instructions, lender and borrower representations and restructuring mandates. In addition to the breadth and quality of work in London, the Weil practice integrates one of the strongest European banking practices with truly top-tier US-headquartered banking law capability and a leading Asian banking franchise.
The firm’s expertise includes bank and institutional lending, acquisition finance (including senior and mezzanine debt), high-yield asset finance, derivatives, refinancings and recapitalisations, debt and equity markets, structured finance, infrastructure financings and lease financings.
Dispute resolution: Weil is one of the few firms with leading dispute resolution capabilities throughout the UK, Europe and the Americas. The firm advises on the most high-profile and technically complex cases in the market, advising on and conducting matters for their full life-cycle, from strategic advice through to negotiations, ADR processes, cross-border litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations. Much of the firm’s work concerns novel areas of law and ultimately results in judgments that become the leading authorities on significant legal issues.
Transactional support: the majority of Weil’s work in London involves multidisciplinary teams across the specialist fields of competition, corporate governance and compliance, employment, intellectual property, management incentives, real estate, tax, data privacy and technology. The London transaction specialist lawyers provide transactional and advisory support across all legal specialisms and play a crucial role in ensuring that transactions, restructurings and disputes reach a successful completion.
Other offices: Beijing, Boston, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, Miami, Munich, New York, Paris, Princeton, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Warsaw, Washington DC.
|Managing partner (London)||Michael Francies|
|Corporate tax||Oliver Walker|
|Dispute resolution||Jamie Maples|
|Equity Capital markets||Michael Francies|
|High Yield||Patrick Bright|
|Investment fund formation and management||Ed Gander|
|IP/IT and Data Privacy||Barry Fishley|
|Private equity||Marco Compagnoni|
|Private Equity Infrastructure||James Macarthur|
|Private Equity Infrastructure||Paul Hibbert|
|Pro bono||Ed Gander|
|Pro bono||Simon Lyell|
|Structured finance||Jacky Kelly|
|Graduate recruitment manager||Lara Machnicki|
|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|
|Ms 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|
|Doug Nave||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Adam Plainer||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|
|Alexander Wood||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
|Jonathan Wood||Full CV available on www.weil.com.||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK partners : 32 Number of other UK fee-earners : Approx 150
Student (The Lex 100 )
The Lex 100 VerdictWeil, Gotshal & Manges has a 'reputation for being excellent across several practice areas'. The US firm boasts an 'extremely high quality of clients and work, whilst maintaining a non-hierarchical and open atmosphere' and is 'not too traditional or stuffy'. Several trainees experienced the environment on the vacation scheme, which has earned Weil a Lex 100 Winner award. A small intake means that 'you are not just another trainee' and there is a 'real emphasis on training which includes regular know-how sessions led by associates and partners'. Some respondents noted, however, that 'training depends on which seat you're in', with some teams providing more than others. Social interaction also varies between departments. Trainees feel that they are 'treated as an associate, both in terms of the work we receive and the value placed on our opinions'. There is 'good responsibility from an early stage' and 'supervisors and partners are generally very friendly and happy to answer questions'. On a slightly less positive note, 'transaction teams are sometimes too lean for the amount of work', which can exacerbate the 'long hours', although this is 'only in certain teams'. The firm also seems to have 'outgrown the space' of its London office. But the 'transactions are very interesting': 'closing a multi-billion dollar deal' and 'helping clients draft their witness statements' are evidence of this. 'Client closing lunches and international trips' were also remembered fondly. On the flipside, 'the hours can be pretty relentless; it can be tough if you don't leave the office before 11pm in the week and then have to work weekends'. For international work, a great trainee salary and impressive clientele, take a closer look at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Corporate restructuring & insolvency
- Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+)
- Private funds (including infrastructure funds)
- Real estate funds
- Derivatives and structured products
- High yield
- Infrastructure (PFI and PPP)
- Tax litigation and investigations
- Corporate tax
- M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+
- Media and entertainment (including media finance)
- International arbitration