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

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP
CITYPOINT
1 ROPEMAKER STREET
LONDON
EC2Y 9AW
England

Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 1

US firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's London team supports clients across the full spectrum of the insurance corporate and regulatory sector, including on cross-border M&A, longevity reinsurance transactions, ILS structures, regulatory advice and restructurings. The team also handles bancassurance and international distribution transactions, insurance portfolio transfers and legacy deals as well as private equity investments in insurance. The London team dovetails effectively with US-based colleagues in New York and San Francisco. Hugely experienced practice head Joseph Ferraro is recommended for handling corporate insurance issues. Andrew Tromans acts for life and non-life insurance companies, often working on Part VII transfers, policy wordings, FSA and EU regulatory matters. Nicholas Bugler, Kirsty Maclean and Jennifer Tait are further key team members. The practice has been bolstered by the arrivals of Melanie James and Tim Baumgartner from DLA Piper in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Ferraro

Testimonials

‘Joseph Ferraro has very good overall corporate knowledge so can assist with all the points of a partial sale of the business.’

‘Tim Baumgartner is personable and practical’

‘Andrew Tromans and his team are my go-to resources for insurance corporate and regulatory matters involving the London market. They are reliable, responsive and incredibly thoughtful.’

‘Andrew Tromans stands apart from the field. His intellect and superior drafting and negotiation skills have been invaluable to my company.’

‘The Willkie team has a deep bench of professionals ranging in seniority level, area of expertise (collateral, insurance, etc.), and jurisdiction of experience (UK, USA, etc.).’

‘We’ve had really consistent, positive engagements with the Willkie team and are rarely in a position where we do not feel we can have an open dialogue with counsel and have confidence in the information and/or advice provided.’

‘Nicholas Bugler is an exceptional insurance market lawyer with deep expertise in Lloyd’s, ILS and related structuring issues. Nicholas is always calm, thoughtful and available to clients and provides high quality advice.

‘Andrew Tromans is our most trusted legal advisor.’

Key clients

Group Ark Insurance Limited

Fidelis Insurance Group Holdings

NTUC Income Insurance Co-Operative Limited

Conduit Holdings Limited

Lancashire Holdings Limited

MS Amlin AG

Apollo Partners LLP, Apollo Group Holdings Limited, Apollo Underwriting Limited at Lloyd’s

SCOR

Herbie Re Ltd.

Socium Re

Viribus Re

Kinesis Re

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

IQUW

Credit Risk Transfer Solutions

Aspen Insurance

Kendall Re

Compre Holdings Limited

Marco Capital

Liberty Mutual

FM Global

Saudi Reinsurance Company

Cover-More Insurance Services

Aetna International

Pelican Ventures, LLC

BDB Holdings Limited

ACHP plc

Volante Insurance Group

AXIS Capital Holdings

ARAG plc

Aon Securities

Ariel Re

DARAG

Work highlights

  • Advised Group Ark Insurance Limited on placement of three tranches of subordinated debt that is admissible as regulatory capital towards the client’s capital requirements as determined by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
  • Represenred Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited, in connection with its third equity capital raise in 12 months implemented by a rights offer and a $300 million private capital raise with US-listed and international insurance group, The Travelers Companies, Inc. agreeing to take a minority stake in the (re)insurer.
  • Advised Apollo Group and Apollo Underwriting at Lloyds in its $90 million investment by Alchemy as well as securing a letter of credit facility with National Westminster Bank plc for the purposes of providing Funds at Lloyds for the 2022 year of account.

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

Praised as ‘at the top of their field when dealing with high value, complex matters‘, the team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP represents major domestic and international corporates facing financial crime allegations, and is able to handle internal and regulatory investigations, compliance issues, and prosecutions, as well as parallel civil fraud proceedings. The practice, led by the ‘different classPeter Burrell , benefits from significant cross-border expertise, particularly relating to the US, and is able to handle multijurisdictional bribery and corruption, money laundering, and fraud investigations, with dual US/UK-qualified Rita Mitchell  a key name for global investigations by the likes of the SFO, FCPA, and US DOJ. Simon Osborn-King has defended multinationals in diverse industries before UK regulators, and also contributes to the firm’s civil fraud capabilities, alongside providing significant regulatory expertise, while senior associate Michael Thorne is noted for his expertise in international financial and trade sanctions and modern slavery work.

Practice head(s):

Peter Burrell

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘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.’

‘Very capable, responsive and top of their field when dealing with high value, complex matters.’

‘Peter Burrell – just a different class in terms of knowledge and experience. Expert knowledge of the applicable legal issues.’

Key clients

General Electric (GE) / Alstom

CITGO Petroleum Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Alstom in connection with possible enforcement action by the European Investment Bank (“EIB”) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”) in connection with various Alstom projects, in particular an EIB/EBRD funded project in Slovenia.
  • Represented GE and Alstom France in relation to an indictment by the Slovenian Prosecutor relating to alleged abuse of office and money laundering in relation to the construction of a unit at Slovenia’s largest coal power plant.
  • Representing CITGO Petroleum Corp in response to a DOJ investigation under various federal criminal statutes. This is a highly complex matter involving representation of a state-owned, PDVSA subsidiary.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 3

'An outstanding alternative to the Magic Circle firms in London', Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's litigators are well known for major transactional and shareholder-related disputes in the private equity, insurance and asset management sectors. The team also has significant experience in high-value fraud cases involving multiple jurisdictions. London litigation, compliance and enforcement practice chair, Peter Burrell, is a 'remarkable litigator', who  focuses on cross-border matters; and Simon Osborn-King is active in commercial litigation comprising parallel UK and US aspects. Promoted to partner in January 2022, Jerry Healy is 'a very sharp lawyer', while associate Giles Harvey is 'a future star'.

Practice head(s):

Peter Burrell

Testimonials

An outstanding alternative to the Magic Circle firms in London. It has built a very serious London team in this area in a short space of time by very astute lateral hires and rapid promotion. The group has the capacity and skillsets to go toe-to-toe with the best and never fails to impress.

Peter Burrell is a very hands on, robust and forensic investigator. You know you are in safe hands and his strategic application is second to none.

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.

The standout partner is Peter Burrell. His day-to-day knowledge of the detail (despite his seniority) is incredible – you know you’re being advised by someone that really gets the case.

Simon Osborn-King is very experienced – a safe pair of hands.

Simon Osborn-King is excellent.

Jerry Healy is very clever. A very sharp lawyer, but polite, thoughtful and respectful of those he is working alongside.

Associate Giles Harvey is utterly committed – a future star.

Key clients

Symphony Partners

Next Global Investments

Dynamic Link Ventures

Man Group

MontLake QIAIF Platform ICAV

Man Asset Management (Ireland)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Nopporn Suppipat, Symphony Partners Next Global Investments and Dynamic Link Ventures (as claimants) in a $2bn conspiracy trial in the Commercial Court.
  • Acting for Man Group in its defence of a large-scale fraud-related dispute.
  • Secured a judgment for MontLake QIAIF Platform ICAV (Irish investment fund) in its High Court proceedings against Kidman Asset Management, Massimo Bochicchio and Tiber Capital (in administration).

Dispute resolution > Competition litigation Tier 3

In the wake of a substantial hiring streak, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is fast establishing itself as a significant player in the contentious competition market. The team was significantly bolstered by the arrival of several partners and associates from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in November 2021. The newly recruited practice head, the ‘exceptionally bright’ Boris Bronfentrinker, is praised both for his legal acumen and his tenacity in market-leading cases taken before the English courts, including multi-billion pound class actions in the financial services sector. Reputed by clients as a ‘tough and experienced litigator‘, Elaine Whiteford‘s recent highlights include claimant-side cartel proceedings before the High Court and the CAT. Dual-qualified barrister and advocaat (Belgium) Nicola Chesaites is praised for her capabilities representing both claimants and defendants in collective actions, while Michelle Clark – who was promoted to partner in January 2022 – is recommended for her broad sector coverage and contentious experience.

Practice head(s):

Boris Bronfentrinker

Testimonials

‘They have a laser-like focus on what is required to secure the best outcomes for their clients and their work ethic is second to none.’     

‘I have worked extensively with Boris Bronfentrinker, Elaine Whiteford, and Nicola Chesaites over the last ten years on an array of competition litigation cases. They all have different and complementary styles, with the common attributes of being very clever, tenacious, and hardworking.’

‘Boris Bronfentrinker is exceptionally bright and hardworking – he has real vision on what is required to win cases, and fights hard to secure the best outcomes for his clients.  No one fights harder.’

‘Elaine Whiteford is brilliant at distilling complex arguments and evidence down to their core essence and presenting them in a way that is compelling to courts and tribunals. Particularly adept at identifying the key weaknesses/strengths in the arguments and evidence.’

‘Boris Bronfentrinker works incredibly hard even by the standards of top commercial law firms, is incredibly engaged on the detail of the case but also at the strategic level really drives a case forward with very good tactical judgment and can get results for clients seemingly against the odds.  The client will feel their position is being defended at all times to the utmost.’

‘Elaine Whiteford combines fantastic attention to detail without losing sight of the strategic objectives of the client, which she puts forth in a very forceful way.’

‘Elaine Whiteford is a tough, experienced litigator who brings to bear both charisma and personal charm.’

‘Boris Bronfentrinker is excellent with clients and is masterful at his craft. You know when you give him a case, he’ll be like a dog with a bone.  You feel in safe hands with him at the helm.’

Finance > Debt capital markets Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP climbs the rankings on the strength of its presence in key market niches. The practice acts for private equity sponsors, corporate issuers and financial institutions on the full spectrum of capital markets transactions in the UK, Europe and the US, but it is particularly strong in Rule 144A and Regulation S debt transactions, liability management transactions and insurance-linked debt instruments. The firm's deep knowledge of regulatory and rating agency capital adequacy criteria and capital markets structures and processes make it a prominent adviser on complex insurance industry capital raisings involving Solvency II and BMA Tier 1, 2, and 3 regulatory capital requirements. London head of capital markets Jennifer Tait and head of corporate insurance capital markets Joseph Ferraro are the key practitioners. They acted for Lancashire Holdings Limited in its $450m offering of notes listed on the London Stock Exchange. Associate David Griffiths in the insurance transactional and regulatory practice is a key adviser on insurance-linked securities.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Tait; Joseph Ferraro

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Platinum Equity / Solenis

GLAS

Arkema

Lancashire Holdings Limited

MS Amlin and Phoenix 2

Fidelis and Herbie Re

Socium

Kinesis

Viribus

SCOR

Conduit Holdings Limited

Dragon SPAC

GoldenTree Asset Management LP

Peel Hunt

Select Equity

Work highlights

  • Provided debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity in its acquisition of UK parent company Solenis, a global producer of specialty chemicals used in water-intensive industries.
  • Represented GLAS Trust Company LLC in Constellation Automotive Financing PLC’s offering of £695,000,000 4.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2027.
  • Advised Arkema S.A in the sale of its polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA) and activated methyl methacrylates (MMA) business, known as the Mallarmé business, to Trinseo S.A., a Luxembourg public limited liability company (société anonyme)

Finance > High yield Tier 3

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP acts predominantly for private equity sponsors and has a growing presence in that sector of the market. London head of capital markets Jennifer Tait and head of corporate insurance capital markets Joseph Ferraro lead a group that also works for corporate issuers and financial institutions, advising on the UK and US aspects of the full range of capital markets transactions. A key focus is Rule 144A and Regulation S debt transactions, with a particular on high yield bond offerings, as well as other private placements.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Tait: Joseph Ferraro

Key clients

Platinum Equity / Solenis

GLAS

Arkema

Lancashire Holdings Limited

MS Amlin and Phoenix 2

Fidelis and Herbie Re

Socium

Kinesis

Viribus

SCOR

Conduit Holdings Limited

Dragon SPAC

GoldenTree Asset Management LP

Peel Hunt

Select Equity

Work highlights

  • Provided debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity in its acquisition of UK parent company Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals used in water-intensive industries.
  • Represented GLAS Trust Company LLC in Constellation Automotive Financing PLC’s offering of £695,000,000 4.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2027.  
  • Advised Arkema S.A, a world player in specialty materials, in the sale of its polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA) and activated methyl methacrylates (MMA) business, known as the Mallarmé business, to Trinseo S.A., a Luxembourg public limited liability company.

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – mid-large cap Tier 4

Known for its insurance sector strength, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is particularly active in the insurance capital markets space, as well as handling SPACs, private equity and fund work. The firm has experience across various global exchanges, aided by its strong US network. Dual qualified in the UK and NY, Jennifer Tait represents issuers and underwriters in capital markets transactions in the US and Europe in public and private offerings. She co-leads the practice with corporate insurance capital markets specialist Joseph Ferraro.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Tait; Joseph Ferraro

Key clients

Dragon SPAC

GoldenTree Asset Management LP

Peel Hunt

Select Equity

Conduit Holdings Limited

SCOR

Platinum Equity / Solenis

GLAS

MS Amlin and Phoenix 2

Arkema

Lancashire Holdings Limited

Fidelis and Herbie Re

Socium

Kinesis

Viribus

Work highlights

  • Advised Dragon SPAC S.p.A. and its founders on an initial financing round for gross proceeds of approximately $10m funded by Jaguar Health, Inc.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP impresses with its involvement in several cases before the High Court, and acts both on the claimant and defendant side, especially for clients active in the private equity and funds spaces. The team is considered to be ‘fantastic at delivering a considered and tailored service to big corporate clients on high-value and high-octane matters‘. Team leader Peter Burrell also specialises in regulatory investigations, and Simon Osborn-King acts as adviser to corporates, shareholders and high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Peter Burrell

Other key lawyers:

Simon Osborn-King; Jerry Healy

Testimonials

‘I’ve worked with the same Willkie team members on civil fraud as on commercial litigation and have seen the same excellent, hands on approach. Sensible on budgets, efficient on delivery, and lovely people to collaborate with.’

‘Peter Burrell – despite being managing partner in London, somehow still seems to be able to be in the detail on his cases. A hugely impressive individual.’

‘They are particularly good at working across a range of different jurisdictions and different proceedings, which is so often required in fraud work. They consider the potential responses to any step thoroughly before taking it. They are tireless and creative in seeking another angle, a new solution for the client.’

‘Jerry Healy – great judgment, always focused on what will add value for the client and what really matters. Superb at motivating and managing a team and getting the best out of everyone.’

‘The team is fantastic at delivering a considered and tailored service to big corporate clients on high-value and high-octane matters.’

Key clients

Nopporn Suppipat, Symphony Partners Limited, Next Global Investments Limited and Dynamic Link Ventures Limited

Man Group Plc

MontLake QIAIF Platform ICAV

Man Asset Management (Ireland) Limited, formerly GLG Partners Asset Management Limited, Man Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Claimants Nopporn Suppipat, Symphony Partners Limited, Next Global Investments Limited and Dynamic Link Ventures Limited in a $2bn claim in the Commercial Court.
  • Acting for Man Group in its defence of a large-scale fraud launched by the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait.
  • Secured a successful judgment for MontLake QIAIF Platform ICAV, an Irish investment fund, in proceedings it brought in the English High Court against Kidman Asset Management Limited and Tiber Capital LLP (in administration).

Finance > Acquisition finance Tier 4

Often working alongside its well-established Paris and US offerings, the ‘commercial and hardworking’ team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is gaining increasing visibility in the London market and generating more standalone work. Financial sponsors provide most of the work flow and are impressed by the ‘creative and complex solutions’ the team is able to provide. Sebastian FitzGerald is ‘very pragmatic and technical’ and has been pivotal to the team’s growing success on sponsor-backed financings in the US and European financing markets. Ashley Young  co-heads the team alongside FitzGerald and, as well as his private equity work, also regularly advises credit funds on special situations matters.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian FitzGerald; Ashley Young

Other key lawyers:

Komal Raina; Timothy Sawyer; Daniel Gendron

Testimonials

A highly commercial and hardworking team with the ability to work out creative and complex solutions in challenging and time sensitive situations.’

Excellent interdisciplinary team work across the teams with strong focus on execution.’

‘The very pragmatic and technical Sebastian FitzGerald is accessible and responsive.’

Key clients

CVC Capital Partners

Searchlight Capital Partners

Insight Partners

PAI Partners

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Freshstream Investment Partners

Genstar / Apex

Blantyre Capital

Stanley Capital Partners

SGT Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising longstanding client CVC Capital Partners, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Cooper Consumer Health (Cooper) from Charterhouse Capital Partners.
  • Advising Bain Capital Credit on all aspects of the financing for the acquisition of the bakery chain Gail’s.
  • Advised Searchlight Capital Partners on all aspects of the financing in connection with its investment in Celestyal Cruises.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 4

Staffed with 'really smart, commercial and user-friendly lawyers', Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP's London team works on its own, as well as in collaboration with offices across the European network and its US headquarters, to provide 'highly effective' advice to a creditor focused client base. Much of this work is on the funds side, an area in which team head Graham Lane  is well regarded, as a result of his ability to provide 'technically well-considered legal advice' on complex cross-border projects. Iben Madsen  also has a strong reputation and recently worked closely with the firm's New York office on behalf of an ad hoc group of senior noteholders in relation to Hertz's high-profile US Chapter 11 and European restructuring. The 'exceptionally talented' Edward Downer  is also a key member of the team, as is associate Alexander Roy, who is 'personable, knowledgeable, tactful and hardworking'. 

Practice head(s):

Graham Lane

Other key lawyers:

Edward Downer; Iben Madsen; Alexander Roy; Jason Taylor

Testimonials

The team offers a great combination of commercial and legal advice, and they have a huge depth of experience.’

They deploy small teams rather than dozens of lawyers – which manages cost – but it is done in a quietly efficient manner which is highly effective.’

Hard working, creative and commercial team with a clear focus on their clients’ desired outcome.’

‘They have a number of really smart, commercial and user-friendly lawyers. ‘

Graham Lane provides good quality commercial advice and a premium service.’

The very approachable Ed Downer has excellent product knowledge and commercial advice when advising trustees and agents on complex restructuring and insolvency transactions. He is an exceptionally talented lawyer who consistently goes above and beyond expectations in delivering value to us.’

Alex Roy – personable, knowledgeable, tactful and hardworking with a great attitude.’

Key clients

AlixPartners

Ardian

Fidera

Global Brands Group

Global Loan Agency Services (GLAS)

Invesco

Monarch Alternative Capital

Searchlight Capital Partners

Third Point

BlueBay Asset Management

Kroll

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Representing an investor group comprising Searchlight Capital Partners and Invesco as first and second lien lenders in connection with the restructuring of the Mediapro/Imagina companies, a leading international multimedia communications group based in Spain.
  • The London practice teamed up with New York to advise a 36-member group of Hertz’s senior noteholders on the car rental company’s high-profile US Chapter 11 and European restructuring.
  • Acted for a special committee of the board of directors of Intelsat Connect Finance, in connection with the Chapter 11 cases, and the related restructuring process.  

Investment fund formation and management > Private funds Tier 4

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP provides advice to clients on the full lifecycle of funds from establishment and fundraising through to closing. Practice head Solomon Wifa is ‘knowledgeable and thorough’ with deep experience in advising on cross-jurisdictional private fund matters, while Henrietta de Salis specialises in providing regulatory advice. Colin Fulton was made up to partner in January 2021 and alongside Wifa handles both fund management and secondary transactions.

Practice head(s):

Solomon Wifa

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Colin Fulton is always available. Extremely hardworking and absolutely dedicated to finding solutions for his clients.’

‘Solomon is somewhat of a statesman of private funds in the UK. He is knowledgeable and thorough and mentors and supervises his team to ensure consistency of service.’

‘The team is diverse which provides a range of views which is useful in the field of investment funds.’

Key clients

Uhuru Partners

NTR plc

Stanley Capital

Blue Water Energy LLP

Sagard

Freshstream Investment Partners LLP

Insight Partners

Impax Asset Management plc

DeA Capital Alternative Funds SGR

Banque Cantonale de Geneve

Work highlights

  • Advised Uhuru Partners on the structuring and raising of its flagship fund, Uhuru Growth Fund I, L.P.
  • Advised NTR on the closing of NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 5

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP continues to bolster its position in the London competition market, significantly strengthening its antitrust litigation offering with the hire of Boris Bronfentrinker and much of his team from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in November 2021. On the non-contentious side, the firm is regularly engaged by a number of blue-chip corporate clients for assistance in multi-jurisdictional merger control matters, compliance reviews, and abuse of dominance inquiries. The ‘pragmatic and commercial‘ practice head Philipp Girardet is noted for his niche expertise in cartel investigations. Rahul Saha focuses on Phase I investigations facing prospective transactions.

Practice head(s):

Philipp Girardet

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The competition law team delivers high quality work and is able to explain complicated matters in a concise, easy to understand manner. They understand our market sector and have taken the time to understand our business. They are friendly, responsive and have always been happy to tailor their work approach so that it works for us.’

‘Philipp Girardet delivers pragmatic and commercial advice, always framing it in the context of our business needs, without over complicating the matter. He has always made himself available to us as needed.’

‘Deep knowledge of competition law and corporate practice related thereto.’

‘Philipp Girardet is very responsive, providing practical and efficient advice.’

Key clients

Virgin Media O2

Expedia

LEGO

Match (Tinder, Hinge, Match.com)

Cérélia

Searchlight Capital

Franklin Templeton

Valeo Foods

Pret A Manger

Premier Foods

Work highlights

  • Advising Telefónica UK (O2), now Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), on defending one of the largest standalone antitrust damages claims of around £1bn currently in the English courts.
  • Advising and representing Expedia and, in particular, its online travel agency brands in the context of the ongoing review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) by the European Commission (EC) and the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
  • Providing advice to the LEGO Group in relation to the setting up and operation of a selective distribution system for LEGO Education products across the EEA, Switzerland and the UK.

Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 5

Noted for its work on European PE deals, Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP handles acquisitions and exits for a broad client base of PE houses and portfolio companies. In addition to its presence in European financial centres, the team’s network of offices in the US enables it to handle transatlantic deals. The team acts on deals across a range of sectors, with financial services and insurance particular areas of focus. Practice head Gavin Gordon is highly experienced in private equity and has practiced alongside David Arnold for much of his career. Claire McDaid is also active in this area, with junior partners Philip Coletto and Andrew Gray other notable names in the team, which is praised for its ‘enviable depth of talent’.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Gordon

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely strong in private equity transactions (shareholder agreements etc). They are unmatched in their ability to strike the perfect balance between commercial outcome and strong legal protection.’

‘Both Phil Coletto and Claire McDaid are exceptional partners. Very focused, and able to grasp the underlying commercial rationale for any legal work extremely quickly. Excellent attention to detail.’

‘Phil Coletto has extremely strong negotiation and matter management skills, able to take on a number of projects and drive them with small nimble teams’

‘The Willkie team has an enviable depth of talent. There are no other firms we work with that has such capable attorneys across all functional areas and at all levels.’

‘Gavin Gordon and Amelia Doughty are top notch attorneys – commercially savvy, expert negotiators and very efficient. They have a tight grasp of a transaction’s needs – they know when to press the gas, when to pump the brakes and when to drill down on an issue.’

‘David Arnold and Andy Gray both deliver high quality legal advice. Their biggest strength is to be commercial when needed and their ability to manage internal general counsel.’

‘Will Buchanan – a rising star who should also be recognised as a detailed individual who is able to commercially understand all aspects of what we would like to achieve on deals/legal projects.’

‘The team is very responsive and generally has a very strong sense of what is going on in the market. The overall team has strong support throughout including in financing, tax, regulatory and as such is a strong one-stop shop.’

Key clients

Searchlight Capital Partners

CapVest Partners

Bain Capital Credit

FTV Capital

Freshstream

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Stanley Capital Partners

Insight Partners

Genstar Capital

Bluewater

Work highlights

  • Represented Searchlight Capital Partners on its sale of Global Risk Partners, one of the largest independent insurance intermediaries in the UK, servicing nearly half a million personal and commercial customers.
  • Advised FTV Capital on the sale of its minority stake in True Potential to Cinven and subsequent reinvestment through its new Fund VII.
  • Advised CapVest Partners LLP on the sale of Valeo Foods, a leading international food manufacturer, to Bain Capital. The deal was widely reported on in the market.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration

New York-headquartered Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP recently launched  a London international arbitration practice when it looked to Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP to recruit barrister and partner Duncan Speller, whose experience includes over 150 institutional and ad hoc arbitrations; and counsel Dharshini Prasad, who routinely acts in complex, multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher is an elite international law firm of approximately 1,000 lawyers located in 13 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 services institutions. Our London team is fully integrated and works closely with Willkie’s offices in the US and Europe on many complex international matters and transactions. Willkie’s core areas of practice in London are: antitrust and competition, asset management, business reorganization and restructuring, capital markets, compliance, investigations and enforcement, corporate insurance, finance, financial services regulatory, litigation, private equity/M&A 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 challenging merger control/antitrust cases as well as some of the most high-profile litigation cases in the UK.

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 reorganization and restructuring: Willkie’s London restructuring team is part of the firm’s highly regarded international restructuring practice in New York, Houston, Chicago, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan, 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 and enforcement practice is a market leader in both the UK and US. 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.

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.

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.

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 US. 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: Brussels, Chicago, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Chairman Thomas M Cerabino
Chairman Matthew A. Feldman
London Managing Partner Peter Burrell
PhotoNamePositionProfile
David Arnold photo David ArnoldPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/a/arnold-david
Nicholas Bugler photo Nicholas BuglerPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/b/bugler-nicholas
Peter Burrell photo Peter BurrellPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/b/burrell-peter
Philip Coletto photo Philip ColettoPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/c/coletto-philip
Edward Downer photo Edward DownerPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/d/downer-edward
Joseph Ferraro photo Joseph FerraroPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/ferraro-joseph-d
François Feuillat photo François FeuillatPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/feuillat-francois
Sebastian FitzGerald photo Sebastian FitzGeraldPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/fitzgerald-sebastian
Colin Fulton photo Colin Fultonhttps://www.willkie.com/professionals/f/fulton-colin
Philipp Girardet photo Philipp GirardetPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/g/girardet-philipp
Gavin Gordon photo Gavin GordonPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/g/gordon-gavin
Andrew Gray photo Andrew Grayhttps://www.willkie.com/professionals/g/gray-andrew
Graham Lane photo Graham LanePlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/l/lane-graham
Kirsty Maclean photo Kirsty MacleanPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/m/maclean-kirsty
Iben Madsen photo Iben MadsenPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/m/madsen-iben
Claire McDaid photo Claire McDaidPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/m/mcdaid-claire
Rita Mitchell photo Rita MitchellPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/m/mitchell-rita-d
Rahul Saha photo Rahul SahaPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/s/saha-rahul
Jane Scobie photo Jane ScobiePlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/s/scobie-jane
Jennifer Tait photo Jennifer TaitPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/t/tait-jennifer
Andrew Tromans photo Andrew TromansPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/t/tromans-andrew
Solomon Wifa photo Solomon WifaPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/w/wifa-solomon
Ashley Young photo Ashley YoungPlease see: https://www.willkie.com/professionals/y/young-ashley
Henrietta de Salis photo Henrietta de SalisPlease see: http://www.willkie.com/professionals/d/de-salis-henrietta
Number of resident partners : 25
Number of resident fee-earners : 65+

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.