Firm Profile > Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP > London, England

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 1

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP’s London practice handles insurance matters including transactions, Part VII transfers and longevity risk reinsurance issues. The team is led by Joseph Ferraro and also includes Nicholas Bugler and Andrew Tromans; Bugler is active in insurance-related transactions, as well as matters related to insurance-linked securities, while Tromans has a broad practice covering non-contentious insurance work including transactions and joint ventures. Kirsty MacLean was promoted to partner in early 2020 and is noted for her work on de-risking transactions; she is praised for her 'incredible industry knowledge'.

Practice head(s):


‘Highly trustworthy and reliable team of corporate insurance lawyers. Top tier advisers for corporate, M&A, reinsurance, outsourcing and joint ventures relating to the insurance sector.’

‘Nick Bugler and Andy Tromans are impeccably positioned to advise international groups on UK corporate insurance, regulatory and Lloyd’s matters. Joe Ferraro and Jennifer Tait are top notch advisers on complex insurance capital markets and ILS matters. Willkie UK’s ability to leverage the firm’s market leading New York corporate insurance practice makes the firm an obvious choice for insurance groups with US and UK operations.’

‘Willkie Farr & Gallagher have exceptional expertise in the longevity insurance and reinsurance industry across both the UK and US. They work fiercely in support of their clients’ interests and tirelessly to drive deals to completion.’

‘Kirsty Maclean has incredible industry knowledge which makes her an invaluable asset to anyone who works with her. She has a solution-focused approach to transactions which produces results that work for her clients long into the future.’

‘Andy Tromans has an excellent, straight-forward and practical mindset which cuts through the complexity that can often confuse insurance industry transactions. Clients and counterparties alike value this approach, and his longstanding knowledge of the industry and its players is always at his fingertips and can be relied upon to help in every deal.’

Key clients

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited

Axis Capital

Carlson Capital


Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited

Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC)

MS Amlin



Lancashire Insurance Group

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 2

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP focuses on large, complex cross-border financial crime matters. Working closely with its US and European counterparts, the London practice is made up of English and US-qualified partners and associates. 'Remarkable litigatorPeter Burrell heads the litigation, compliance, investigations and enforcement, and white-collar defence practice groups. Burrell is noted for his strength in matters such as anti-money laundering, bribery and corruption, sanctions and fraud matters, and also for defending companies and individuals in investigations and enforcement actions. Simon Osborn-King is recommended for domestic and cross-border investigations, commercial litigation and arbitration. Rita Mitchell is also recommended.

Practice head(s):


‘Global reach and experience’.

‘Michael Thorne is practical and gets stuck in’.

‘They are an outstanding alternative to the Magic Circle firms in London’.

‘They have built a very serious London team in this area in a short space of time’.

‘Peter Burrell has a prodigious appetite for work displays first-class judgement’.

‘The team understands our business and needs’.

‘Diligent and responsive’.

Key clients


Alstom Power Limited

Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP 'has built a very serious London team  in a short space of time'. It acts in high-value, complex litigation, often with concurrent parallel proceedings such as civil, criminal, regulatory and arbitration matters. Consistently involved in high-profile disputes in the English courts, Peter Burrell heads the litigation and compliance, investigations and enforcement practices in London. Simon Osborn-King focuses on fraud, wrongdoing, and shareholder and transaction-related disputes (particularly in the private equity and asset management space).

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They are an outstanding alternative to the magic circle firms in London. US headquartered, they have built a very serious London team in this area in a short space of time by very astute lateral hire and rapid promotion. They have the capacity and skill sets to go toe-to-toe with the best and they never fail to impress.

Peter Burrell is a remarkable litigator and leads his team from the front. He has a prodigious appetite for work, displays first class judgement and draws heavily from the very talented team behind him.

Mike Thorne, Andrew Turnbull and Cristina Caggiano are all stand-out solicitors.

The team understands our business and needs.

Super responsive and diligent.

Key clients

Man Group PLC

Nopporn Suppipat and others

Fraud: civil Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's 'helpful and efficient' team acts for corporates, financial institutions and individuals in domestic and international fraud disputes and investigations, with a particular focus on defence work. 'Remarkable litigator' Peter Burrell assists clients with civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings, including fraud disputes. Simon Osborn-King specialises in fraud, conspiracy and misconduct litigation, often involving applications for urgent interim relief.

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‘Led by an outstandingly strong partner, Peter Burrell. Very hands on in their approach.’ 

‘Peter Burrell is very open and personable, while robust and direct when needed. He strikes an excellent balance between commerciality and technical legal advice.’ 

‘They are an outstanding alternative to the magic circle firms in London. US headquartered, they have built a very serious London team in this area in a short space of time through lateral hires and promotions.’ 

High yield Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP joins the ranking due to the growing involvement of London-based partner Jennifer Tait in large, cross-border high yield issuance, usually related to corporate acquisitions. Tait, who is dual-qualified in English and New York law, and a team of three associates focus on equity and debt capital markets transactions, with a particular emphasis on high yield bonds. Working closely with the firm's long-established high yield practice in New York, as well as the business reorganisation and restructuring group, the team is increasingly visible in standalone bond issues, LBOs and acquisition finance.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Platinum Equity

Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust plc

The coordinating committee of senior secured noteholders in the restructuring of Lecta S.A.


Joint bookrunners in Senior Notes offering by PartnerRe

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals


Joint bookrunners in Senior Notes offering by Marsh & McLennan

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP has expanded its share of large-cap transactions, adding several major houses to its portfolio in London, as well as continuing to work with a number of existing clients. A crucial development for the team was the arrival of Gavin Gordon and David Arnold from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP  in mid-2019, a move that significantly bolstered the firm's capabilities in London. The practice works closely with the US and Paris-based platforms on a number of cross-border transactions of significant value, covering  a variety of industry sectors and asset types. Claire McDaid remains highly active in leveraged buyouts, investments, and carve-outs, while associate Andrew Gray is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):


‘Technically excellent, very reactive, listen to their clients and understand their needs before giving advice.’

‘Strong private equity team with a broad range of  sector specialisation, including insurance and financial services’

‘Very responsive and always available’

‘Technical yet commercial. They think beyond what the contract says’

‘Claire McDaid is excellent’

Key clients

Actera Group

Blue Water Energy

Bregal Freshstream LLP


FFL Partners FTV Capital

Genstar Capital

Insight Partners

PAI Partners

Searchlight Capital Partners

Acquisition finance Tier 6

Strengthened by the arrival of Ashley Young  from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in November 2019, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's 'extremely responsive' London finance practice is increasingly well-positioned to assist the firm's flourishing mid-market focused corporate private equity practice. The 'fantasticSebastian FitzGerald has significant experience handling complex cross-border financings and regularly works alongside lawyers based out of the firm's Paris and Frankfurt offices.


The firm has a level of global expertise and experience that others will find hard to match.

Sebastian FitzGerald and his team are extremely responsive and ensure all agreed deadlines are met.

The fantastic Sebastian FitzGerald is very efficient and flexible.


Key clients

IK Investment Partners

PAI Partners

CVC Capital Partners

Insight Partners

Bregal Freshstream



OSG Group

Excellence Logging Group

Pemberton Asset Management

EU and competition Tier 6

Acting on both UK and EU issues, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is adept at handling a wide range of matters including merger control, antitrust cases and investigations. The UK and European group is led by ‘truly outstanding practitionerPhilipp Girardet, who has expert knowledge of competition enforcement issues concerning online platforms. Rahul Saha is a standout adviser in the regulated sectors.

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‘The strength of the team at Willkie Farr largely resides in Philipp Girardet who is a real standout. We regularly refer matters to Phillip in situations where we cannot act for a conflict-related reason and have no hesitation in strongly recommending him to clients. Client feedback on Philipp has always been very strong. His calm but insightful approach and willingness to give clear advice in difficult judgemental situations is often noted.’

‘The EU and Competition team is clearly made up of outstanding individuals. Philipp Girardet is clearly a truly outstanding practitioner in his field. This makes it standout together with excellent associate support.’

‘Philipp Girardet is one of the best solicitors I have come across in 35 years of practice. He is in command of the factual and legal aspects of his case. He commands the respect of his team and client and is exceptional.’

‘Rahul Saha is an excellent technical lawyer and clearly a talented solicitor.’

‘Philipp Girardet is first class – his advice is sharp, pragmatic, commercial and cuts to the heart of the issue. Highly recommended.’

Key clients

Expedia Group

trivago N.V.

Telefónica UK (O2) / Telefónica SA

Lagardère Group

Electronic Arts

Lego Group

Kraft Heinz


FFL Partners

Valeo Foods

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 7

The 'exceptionalGraham Lane oversees a 'very talented and down-to-earth' seven-strong team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP, that 'works well across practice areas' and overseas offices (including alongside the US and Paris groups). Although it does handle some debtor work - generated as a result of distressed private equity portfolio companies - the firm's sweet-spot lies in creditor/investor side mandates for funds engaged in large cross-border situations involving complex capital structures.

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A truly exceptional team, that works well across practice areas and offices.

It is rare to find a group of highly talented people with such a down-to-earth approach.

The team has a pro-active, client-focused approach.

Graham Lane is an exceptional lawyer and his team’s culture, professionalism and behaviour demonstrates that his leadership is also highly effective.

Graham Lane and Iben Madsen are both very user-friendly, supportive and knowledgeable.

Iben Madsen is a super lawyer, with a great sense of humour.

Alexander Roy is a star.


Key clients

Monarch Alternative Capital

Apollo Management International

Cheyne Capital

Credit Suisse Asset Management

CVC Credit Partners

GoldenTree Asset Management

Tikehau Capital

Grant Thornton UK


TOR Investment Management

Spartan Race, Inc.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher is an elite international law firm with approximately 750 lawyers based in twelve offices in six countries. Willkie’s London office was established in 1988 and provides English and US legal advice to UK, US and international market-leading public and private companies, investors and financial institutions. The London office is fully integrated and works closely with Willkie’s offices in the US and Continental Europe on many complex international matters. Willkie’s core areas of practice in London are: Antitrust and Competition, Asset Management, Compliance, Investigations and Enforcement, Corporate Insurance, Finance, Financial Services Regulatory, Litigation M&A, Private Equity, Restructuring and Tax.

Types of work undertaken
Antitrust and competition: The team in London advises on a broad range of EU and UK competition matters, including cross-border mergers, cartels, dominance cases and competition litigation.

Asset management: The London asset management team represents sponsors in the formation of, and institutional investors investing in, private equity, hedge, debt, mezzanine, infrastructure, real estate, energy and venture capital funds covering a variety of sectors, and has extensive experience on a broad range of secondary transactions, secondary directs, co-investment deals, management spinouts and managed accounts.

Business reorganisation and restructuring: Willkie’s London restructuring team is part of the firm’s highly regarded international restructuring practices in New York, Houston, Paris and Frankfurt, with experience in all aspects of business and financial restructurings and insolvency matters. It advises companies, creditors and other stakeholders, with a focus on complex cross-border mandates.

Capital markets/finance: Willkie’s capital markets and finance teams in London represents issuers and other financial institutions in sophisticated capital-raising transactions, including IPOs, Rule 144A offerings, secondary equity offerings, high yield and other debt issuances, rescue financings, PIPEs, private placements, block and other securities trades, leveraged finance, special situations, bank/senior credit financings and mezzanine financings.

Compliance, investigations and enforcement: Willkie’s internationally recognised Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement practice is a market leader in both the UK and the United States. The team represents public companies, financial institutions and their executives in all aspects of compliance, investigations and enforcement and has significant experience in high-stakes matters and all types of financial crime.

Financial services regulatory: The financial services team in London acts for corporates and financial institutions on a wide range of regulatory and compliance matters and UK and EU regulatory developments. The team has significant experience across a wide range of financial products including securities, funds, derivatives and structured products and advises on strategic transactions in connection with M&A, capital markets and restructurings, and governance and conduct matters.

Corporate insurance: The London insurance team is part of Willkie’s firm wide interdisciplinary practice, which includes corporate, tax, regulatory and litigation capabilities. The team’s insurance industry attorneys have received significant recognition for advising general insurers, life insurers, reinsurers, investment banks, brokers, private equity funds and hedge funds in insurance-related transactions.

Litigation: Willkie’s London litigation team frequently advises clients from across the broad spectrum of industry, in particular financial institutions and corporates. Acting for both claimants and defendants, the team has extensive experience of a wide range of complex and frequently multi-jurisdictional civil disputes and proceedings, including High Court litigation, international and national arbitrations, mediation and regulatory and statutory proceedings. The team is frequently instructed on high stakes fraud litigation.

Private equity/M&A: Willkie is recognised as having one of the leading private equity transactional practices in Europe and the United States. It is one of few international law firms with extensive experience in virtually every type of private equity transaction, from early-stage venture capital financings to complex cross-border, multi-billion dollar leveraged buyouts and going-private transactions.

Tax: Willkie’s tax team in London advises on corporate and international tax matters, including structures for UK and international business investments, and the tax aspects of public and private M&A, private equity investments, joint ventures/partnerships, fund formation, reorganisations and demergers, insolvency and restructurings, capital markets issues, structured finance, property developments and investments, and employee share plans.

Willkie offices: New York, Washington, Houston, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan, Rome

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Thomas M Cerabino
Chairman Matthew A. Feldman
London managing partner Peter Burrell
Photo Name Position Profile
 David Arnold  photo David Arnold Please see:
Mr Nicholas Bugler  photo Mr Nicholas Bugler Please see:
Mr Peter Burrell  photo Mr Peter Burrell Please see:
Mr Philip Coletto  photo Mr Philip Coletto Please see:
 Edward Downer  photo Edward Downer Please see:
Mr Joseph Ferraro  photo Mr Joseph Ferraro Please see:
Mr François Feuillat  photo Mr François Feuillat Please see:
 Sebastian FitzGerald  photo Sebastian FitzGerald Please see:
 Philipp Girardet  photo Philipp Girardet Please see:
Mr Gavin Gordon  photo Mr Gavin Gordon Please see:
Ms Judith Harger  photo Ms Judith Harger Please see:
Mr Graham Lane  photo Mr Graham Lane Please see:
 Kirsty  Maclean   photo Kirsty  Maclean  Please see:
 Iben Madsen  photo Iben Madsen Please see:
Ms Claire McDaid  photo Ms Claire McDaid Please see:
Ms Rita Mitchell  photo Ms Rita Mitchell Please see:
 Rahul Saha  photo Rahul Saha Please see:
 Jane Scobie  photo Jane Scobie Please see:
 Jennifer Tait  photo Jennifer Tait Please see:
Mr Andrew Tromans  photo Mr Andrew Tromans Please see:
Mr Solomon Wifa  photo Mr Solomon Wifa Please see:
 Ashley Young  photo Ashley Young Please see:
 Henrietta de Salis  photo Henrietta de Salis Please see:
Number of resident partners : 25
Number of resident fee-earners : 80+

Willkie’s most valuable asset is its people. We believe everyone benefits from a diverse and inclusive workplace, and the confluence of people of different races, cultures, religions, gender identities, beliefs and sexual orientations makes for a stronger team that is more adept at creative problem-solving on behalf of our clients, and most importantly creates an environment where our people feel welcomed and valued.

We are committed to building an inclusive environment that recognises and leverages the unique experiences and differences each individual brings to the table. As such, it is our policy to employ and to recognise the talents of our present and future personnel at all levels based solely on merit. We do not discriminate or tolerate discrimination in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, colour, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, paternity, marital or civil partnership status, caregiver status, nationality, national origin, citizenship, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or preference, veteran’s status or any other classification protected by law. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including hiring, training, nature of assignments, transfers, promotion, compensation, discipline, termination, and access to benefits.

Willkie is proud to partner with Rare Recruitment on two initiatives; Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System and Vantage. Partnering with Rare means social mobility measures and educational data are embedded into our recruitment process. This means we will better understand applicants’ academic achievements. Additionally, interviews for our vacation scheme are conducted on a CV blind basis.

In London, we are proud to have an active LGBTQ+ Affinity Group as well as the London Chapter of the Women’s Professional Development Committee (WPDC). The WPDC was established more than a decade ago to offer professional development programs and guidance to ensure Willkie provides a rewarding and empowering experience to women at the firm. Our lawyers are also members of Willkie’s firm-wide Diversity and Inclusion Committee, established approximately thirty years ago.