Firm Profile > Allen & Overy LLP > London , London

Allen & Overy LLP
E1 6AD

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Acquisition finance Tier 1

Instructed by a balanced roster of lenders and borrowers on deals which traverse both capital structure and geographies, Allen & Overy LLP has 'superb visibility in the market'. With some 31 partners focused on transactional banking work in London, the firm has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume and variety of deals, and is as comfortable handling sponsor-led leveraged finance mandates as it is advising on corporate-led event-driven acquisitions. Recent highlights include Jonathan Brownson's and Matt Moore's work (alongside a team of high yield experts) for the lead arrangers on the bank and bond financing in support of the bid for TDC, a publicly listed Danish telecommunications company, by a consortium of investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. On the borrower side, Robin Harvey has an excellent reputation among private equity sponsors and he recently advised PAI Partners on the debt financing aspects of the leveraged buyout from First Reserve of M Group Services. Co-head of the firm's global banking practice, the 'excellentPhilip Bowden, has very strong ties with core lender clients and he regularly represents on financing packages to facilitate both leveraged and investment grade acquisition financing. The 'very capableDenise Gibson is noted for her work on behalf of traditional banks, as well as credit funds/alternative lenders.

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 1

Leveraging the firm's deeply entrenched commercial and investment bank relationships, and also able to effectively resource multi-jurisdictional deals by virtue of its huge international network of offices, Allen & Overy LLP remains a market leader for syndicated deals throughout EMEA. Although it is better known for advising on the lender side, the team also regularly handles corporate lending work for numerous large public companies, providing the firm with an excellent perspective of market terms from both sides and across the full spectrum of the capital structure. Melissa Samuel  has an excellent reputation for lenders and borrowers across a range of corporate lending, structured finance and acquisition finance. She has experience advising on 'super jumbo' deals, including her work for the lead arrangers and underwriters on a $775m two stage syndicated financing facility and a $230m bridge to equity issuance facility in support of Elementis plc’s acquisition of Mondo Minerals. David Campbell's broad-ranging banking prowess regularly includes big-ticket cross-border syndicated loan facilities, and he recently advised the arrangers to Renewi plc on an amendment and extension to its main banking facility, converting it to a €550m Green Loan Facility. Global head of corporate lending Trevor Borthwick and co-head of global banking Simon Roberts are also recommended, with the latter recently advising a  global financial institution in relation to the amendment and restatement of Rio Tinto’s $7.5bn multicurrency facilities.

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP's highly rated banking and finance litigation team advises on the full range of issues affecting clients in the financial sector, ranging from major regulatory investigations to high-profile disputes. The practice regularly works alongside the firm's specialists in banking, restructuring, derivatives and corporate trustee practices. It successfully defended Deutsche Trustee in English proceedings, which were brought by Dana Gas in relation to the enforceability of the repayment of an Islamic Bond under English Law. Calum Burnett heads the London litigation and investigations practice, while Andrew Denny has particular expertise in litigation involving complex structured financial products. Also key to the team are Mona Vaswani, Arnondo ChakrabartiMahmood Lone and James Partridge, along with counsel Oliver Rule; white-collar crime specialist Eve Giles was hired from Kingsley Napley LLP.

Brand management Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is best known for its strong reputation in brand litigation and counts international household brands such as Coca-Cola, 20th Century Fox and McDonald's among its recent clients. David Stone spearheads the practice and is 'one of the best experts in EU design law'. Nigel Parker and Jim Ford's practice straddles the interface of non-contentious IP and commercial matters, where they advise on brand acquisition, licensing and joint ventures. Neville Cordell is another experienced litigator. Karla Hughes, who joined in March 2019 from Hogan Lovells (Alicante) SL & Cia, leads the portfolio management and trade mark prosecution practice for the Belfast office.

Brexit Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP’s cross-border and cross-departmental Brexit client advisory team advises on the development and implementation of Brexit strategies including corporate reorganisations and expansive contingency plans. The group is noted for its financial services sector expertise and regularly assists with issues arising from the impact of Brexit on operating models and licence applications. Recent highlights include advising Nomura on the Brexit contingency plan for its wholesale global markets and investment banking business, including providing regulatory advice on alternative financial centres in the European Economic Area (EEA), building out its French credit institution, and establishing and licensing a new investment firm entity in Germany. It also assisted the Commonwealth Bank of Australia with its contingency planning and post-Brexit structuring and operations in Europe. Capital markers expert Daniel Shurman leads the team, which also fields regulatory specialists Damian Carolan and Kate Sumpter, insurance partner Philip Jarvis, corporate expert Matthew Townsend and Bob Penn, who rejoined the firm from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is routinely engaged for high-end, cross-border work for a prestigious roster of clients. The practice, which is led by global real estate head Imogen Moss, also advises landlords and tenants on the leasing and management of real estate investments, covering rent reviews, insurance and repair obligations. Moss plays an active role in the firm’s thriving headquarters practice and is also an expert on joint ventures and investments which use complex offshore structures. In a recent highlight, the team advised Westbrook Partners on its acquisition of the Sterling Industrial Platform, a portfolio of 28 UK logistic assets spanning over three million sq ft of lettable space. Well-regarded counsel Emma Willoughby represents a range of developers, landlords and tenants from the retail, office and industrial sectors.

Corporate governance Tier 1

As adviser to some 26 FTSE 100 companies including Aviva, Hiscox and Associated British Foods, Allen & Overy LLP has notable expertise across compliance, regulatory and risk management mandates and regularly assists listed companies with shareholder issues, including activist investors and contentious company board disputes. The group also handles environmental, social and governance reviews, and fields a dedicated team, which specialises in annual general meetings and annual reporting issues. Recent work includes advising Electra Private Equity on several activist shareholder, strategic review and governance issues, and handling the governance elements of DWF's listing on the London Stock Exchange. Richard Browne and Richard Cranfield jointly lead the corporate group and Paul McCarthy is the key contact for corporate incentives. Other noteworthy practitioners include corporate finance partner David BroadleyMatthew Townsend, who is co-head of the international trade and regulatory law group; and senior corporate assistants Victoria Rankmore and Kate Astley. In late 2018, the firm also launched A&O Consulting, a venture which will focus on providing regulatory business advice including corporate governance work.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 1

With a core group of ten partners based in London, and also able to draw upon 'huge firm-wide resources' across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US, Allen & Overy LLP's  'strong, experienced and capable' team has the critical mass and geographical reach to provide a one-stop-shop service to a broad range of stakeholders in many of the highest-profile and most challenging cross-border restructurings. Praised for the 'technically strong and commercial' attributes of their lawyers from across all levels of seniority, the team is able to provide a 'very solution-oriented and nuanced approach' with the flexibility to offer international advice including, but not limited to, US Chapter 11, UK schemes of arrangement, pre–packaged sales and debt for equity swaps. This overarching knowledge and experience across jurisdictions was recently deployed to good effect on the firm's representation of the co-ordinating committee as creditors on the $5bn financial restructuring of Ojer Telekom and the subsequent creditor acquisition of its subsidiary Turk Telekom. The 'exceptionalIan Field is global head of the firm's restructuring group and is appreciated for his 'ability to remain calm when the pressure is on'. Randal Weeks  has 'excellent attention to detail', which he exhibits  on behalf of lender clients on big-ticket restructurings. Jennifer Marshall provides 'outstanding focus and leadership' across both contentious and non-contentious matters and is recognised as a thought-leader across many cutting-edge industry topics. Joel Ferguson  has extensive experience advising a wide range of clients, including financial institutions, funds, corporates, and insolvency practitioners. The team's funds-related restructuring offering was recently enhanced by the return to the firm in April 2019 of Tim Watson , following a stint at investment management firm Davidson Kempner.

Debt capital markets Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is 'the best of the best', according to one client, who also praises the quality of its associate team. The firm is consistently a leader in international debt issuance by volume and has one of the most active practices for the establishment of MTN programmes and subsequent issuance. It advises issuers and managers on some of the largest and most complex deals in the market, and is also seen as one of the most skilled practices for regulatory capital matters. Jonathan Melton is the practice head; he handles EMTN programmes, straight debt and equity-linked issues, statutory covered bonds, loan participation notes, emerging markets issuance and liability management. The stellar partner group also includes Matthew Hartley, who frequently acts for sovereigns, supranationals, corporates, banks and mutuals; Theo Trayhurn, who handles regulatory capital issuance by financial institutions and high-profile blue chip corporate bond issues; the 'very good, very technical' Tom Grant; the 'hardworking and collaborativeJamie Durham; US-qualified Sachin Davé, who deals with issuance for foreign governments, issuers and investment banks; and newly promoted partner Peter Crossan.

Derivatives (including commodities) Tier 1

The derivatives and structured finance practice at Allen & Overy LLP is active in transactional matters in every asset class, including commodities, and has the deepest bench of talent of any firm in the City. Widely regarded as a thought leader in the derivatives market, the firm has continued to innovate with the launch of Margin Xchange - a system that consolidates and codifies the firm's extensive expertise in initial margin negotiations within industry leading technology to create a market utility to enable all institutions to implement their initial margin requirements. The firm's work includes complex financing structures for illiquid assets, portfolio transfers, advice on the changing regulatory framework, and more traditional derivatives and structured finance transactions. Among the many standout partners in Tony Drake-Brockman's team are Parya Badie in the structured equity group who is a market leader and expert in hedging documentation and intercreditor issues; Guy Antrobus who has been heavily involved in ISDA’s work on Initial Margin Credit Support documentation; head of global international capital markets David Benton; regulatory specialist Paul Cluley; leading adviser to ISDA Emma Dwyer; David Wainer and David Wakeling , who led the development of MarginMatrix. Up-and-coming partner Tom Roberts is a founding partner of the firm's Market Innovations Group.

Emerging markets Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP's debt finance practice is heavily involved in large and innovative transactions in emerging markets. Its work involves financings in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, Ukraine, Southeastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, as well as many parts of Asia and Latin America. In 2018, the firm continued to build on its strong track record of 'first-of-kind’ emerging markets deals involving structured finance, projects and debt capital markets. It acts for export credit agencies, development finance institutions and multi-lateral agencies, as well as issuers and managers of bonds, including equity-linked transactions. The firm has many standout practitioners with significant emerging markets experience, and among these are lead ECA partner Lorraine Bayliss; India group chair Sanjeev Dhuna; debt and commodity finance specialist Greg Brown; Africa group head Tim Scales; US securities partner Sachin Davé; head of the European Islamic finance practice Atif Hanif; project finance expert Andrew Castle; up-and-coming trade, commodities and export finance counsel Catherine Lang-Anderson; and rising star senior associate Oleg Khomenko.

Employee share schemes Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is at the forefront of the advice to financial institutions on their most complex and sensitive remuneration issues, including senior executive incentive arrangements. It is also a first port of call for many publicly listed and privately owned UK and international companies. Paul McCarthy's expertise in employee equity incentives includes their design, the tax and cost implications, shareholder communication, corporate governance and best practice. In addition to providing standalone advice, he advises on share plan issues arising from IPOs and M&A. The practice particularly stands out in the context of global share schemes; its ability to work with members of the tax, securities, employment, corporate and regulatory practices enables it to provide a first-rate service. McCarthy works with senior associate Louise Batty.

Employment: employers Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP’s employment department is a leader in market-defining disputes in both the High Court and Employment Tribunals, while also specialising in high-profile strategic advisory work, as well as interdisciplinary regulatory, data privacy and transactional matters. The practice is particularly well known for its expertise in the financial services sector. Other sector specialities include TMT, life sciences, industrials and oil and gas. Recent highlights include advising the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on a Brexit project which requires setting up a new entity in the Netherlands and the closure of the bank’s entity in Malta. Sarah Henchoz heads the practice. Karen Seward, Mark Mansell and Robbie Sinclair (who was made partner in May 2019) are also recommended.

Environment Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP provides regulatory advice on environmental liabilities and assists with environmental approvals for the import of chemical substances. The firm also advises on climate change risk assessment and the implementation of internal compliance programmes, as well as on environmental sustainability reporting. The firm regularly liaises with clients from the fossil energy, nuclear power, manufacturing, mining and renewable energy sectors. Practice head Matthew Townsend's areas of expertise include chemicals regulation, product recovery and recycling, and M&A transactions and projects in the energy and power sectors.

Equity capital markets – mid-large cap Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is well known for its underwriter relationships, but has also been one of the leading company-side counsels for big-ticket listings and innovative deals on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Of particular note, the team advised DWF on its recent IPO, making it the first law firm to list on the exchange's premium segment. Moreover, with recognised strengths in English and US securities law, the London team plays a significant role in the firm's wider EMEA ECM offering. In one recent example, a cross-office team spanning London and Abu Dhabi acted for Network International in its 2019 IPO on the LSE, which marked the largest IPO on record for a Middle Eastern tech company. 'One of the best corporate finance lawyers in the UK', James Roe is a key figure in the English capital markets group, which is headed by David Broadley, and Adam Wells leads the 'absolutely first class' US securities team. Also of note, Michael Bloch, 'a strong technical and commercial ECM practitioner', was promoted to partner in 2019.

Financial services: contentious Tier 1

Experienced in advising on a range of financial services matters, Allen & Overy LLP has particular expertise in handling regulatory investigations, as well as boasting  a financial services criminal defence capability covering anti-corruption and bribery, anti-money laundering, anti-trust and sanctions. The arrival of criminal defence lawyer Eve Giles from Kingsley Napley LLP further strengthens the team in this area. The contentious practice, led by Calum Burnett, works closely with A&O's regulatory lawyers and recently established regulatory consulting business, A&O Consulting. Notable in the team is Mahmood Lone, who specialises in acting on high profile investigations into alleged market abuse and manipulation. Damian Carolan heads the non-contentious regulatory group that acts for investment and retail banks, asset management firms and trade bodies across a range of advisory and transaction-related regulatory issues. His team includes Kate Sumpter, who has expertise dealing with complex regulatory-driven structural change projects for UK and international banks.

Fraud: civil Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is adept at dealing with high value multijurisdictional matters that involve a high volume of documents, freezing orders, disclosure orders, and search and seizure orders. Other areas of expertise include world-wide asset freezing, interim applications and ancillary orders such as for passport retention. The firm acts for claimants and defendants in the oil and gas, telecoms, manufacturing, banking and financial sectors. Senior associate Helen Biggin handles cross-border dispute resolution involving fraud in emerging markets, including Iraq, while fellow senior associate Juliet de Pencier is also well-regarded.

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is an expert in sophisticated infrastructure transactions. Led by the well-regarded David Lee, the team has a deep bench of lawyers advising  on the full range of infrastructure-related matters, including fundraisings, acquisitions, refinancings, sales and PPP deals, working  on both greenfield and brownfield projects. The firm's client portfolio is similarly broad, with the group regularly acting for players active in airport, road, rail, renewables and tech infrastructure projects. Richard Evans and Sara Pickersgill are well versed in EU-wide infrastructure M&A transactions. Jonathan Bevan and Jocelyn Land know respectively the rail and energy sectors well. The well-regarded Conrad Andersen left for Latham & Watkins in summer 2018.

Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP advises clients in the construction, energy and pharma sectors on professional indemnity, product liability, property damage and business interruption disputes with insurers. Practice head Joanna Page handles a range of matters including director and officer’s liability, professional indemnity and political risk insurance claims, while Richard Farnhill mainly acts for financial institutions. Richard Smith specialises in insurance coverage arbitration and 'calm, unflappable' senior associate Russell Butland covers property damage and business interruption claims.

Islamic finance Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP fields a full-service Islamic finance offering from its London office, which is complemented by a strong network of offices throughout the Islamic world, including an association firm in Saudi Arabia. Functioning as a part of the firm's wider banking and capital markets practices, the Islamic finance team is regularly involved in cross-border project finance, commercial lending and structured finance mandates. Of recent note, the team has been especially active in the Saudi market, acting for clients such as the Saudi Electric Company and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The European Islamic finance group is headed by Atif Hanif, who has expertise in bank finance and capital markets deals, and is widely recognised as a leader in the Islamic finance world.

Oil and gas Tier 1

The energy and natural resources experts at Allen & Overy LLP advise the firm's enviable client roster of national oil companies (NOCs), international oil companies (IOCs), independent oil and gas companies, and funders on the entire life cycle of assets in the sector, from consenting and planning through to construction, financing and operation, and ultimately their refinance or sale. In recent highlights, Gareth Price's team continued to advise on the $6bn Bapco modernisation project in Bahrain, and the Rovuma liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique. John Geraghty, who has extensive experience in international transactions, Andrew Castle and Troy Edwards are also key contacts. Ed Moser was recently promoted to partner and Conrad Andersen departed to Latham & Watkins.

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 1

The 'phenomenal' team at Allen & Overy LLP advises an extensive list of household name trustees and sponsors on all key issues facing the pensions market including defined contribution master trust implementation, restructuring exercises (including ring-fencing mandates in the banking sector), derisking exercises and GDPR compliance. In addition to their advisory work, Neil Bowden, Maria Stimpson and Jane Higgins have recently been involved in some of the industry’s leading disputes in the High Court concerning GMP equalisation and scheme rectifications. Recently made-up partner Andy Cork has particular expertise on insurance buy-in matters.

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology Tier 1

At Allen & Overy LLP, Jim Ford leads the London IP practice and is co-chair of the global life sciences group and Marc Doring heads the UK IP litigation team. The group offers the full spectrum of specialisms; mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, IP, financing and regulatory matters. Matthew Appleton focuses on corporate transactions for life sciences clients and the 'excellent' Marjan Noor is highly rated for her handling of IP and regulatory matters. Neville Cordell and senior associate Rafi Allos tackle IP litigation together with regulatory work. Many of the team have science backgrounds -  there is a team of science analysts based in Belfast and the team has a specific focus on the area of gene editing. It also offers a comprehensive range of expertise from regulatory to distribution and advertising in respect of the challenges associated with the medicinal applications of cannabis.

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP continues to advise on an impressive mix of deals across the energy spectrum, including large-scale project financing work in the renewables space, such as Hornsea, Dudgeon and the Crystal Rig III onshore wind farms. Team leader Gareth Price focuses on all aspects of the development, acquisition, disposal and funding of energy and infrastructure assets around the world with a particular interest in developments that contribute to solving the 'trilemma' of energy security, affordability and decarbonisation. Other key partners include Troy Edwards and Chris AndrewEd Moser was recently promoted to partner; infrastructure specialist Conrad Andersen left to join Latham & Watkins.

Property finance Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP is known for its strong lender-side client base, which includes insurance companies, debt funds and US mortgage REITs, as well as traditional bank lenders. The firm is also active on the sponsor side, regularly advising real estate private equity funds. In addition to its specialism in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) issuances, the team also handles acquisition and development finance; senior and mezzanine loans; and loan portfolio transactions. The firm is also noted for the strength of its pan-European work. Paul Flanagan, Arthur Dyson, Simon Roberts and Mark Manson-Bahr lead the team, while the ‘standoutDavid Oppenheimer is also a key contact.

Public international law Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP has superlative expertise across the full spectrum of public international law and related matters ranging from environmental and human rights issues to transnational jurisdiction, international compliance and sanctions issues. Its 'outstanding and hardworking' team is experienced in state-to-state disputes before the International Court of Justice and tribunals under the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, ICSID, the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea and other ad hoc bodies. The group's capabilities in human rights law was bolstered by the arrival of Suzanne Spears from Volterra Fietta; she handles advisory and contentious work, with a focus on matters related to investment treaties, territorial boundaries, international trade and sovereign immunity. Mark Levy QC regularly coordinates with the Paris office in representing sovereign state and corporate clients in commercial arbitrations and investment treaty cases. Other key figures include Kate Davies and James Freeman and senior associates Naomi Briercliffe and Guled Yusuf. 

Rail Tier 1

Benefitting from 'in-depth expertise' Allen & Overy LLP handles complex and high-value rail transactions. It offers particular experience in infrastructure, concessions and rolling stock, and acts for governments, sponsors, financiers and manufacturers. Leveraging its global footprint, the team handles a number of complex, cross-border instructions. Department head Jonathan Bevan stands out for his infrastructure and transport expertise across financings, development, construction, public-private partnerships and construction. Bevan and Richard Evans led advice for Hitachi Rail Europe on its disposal of a 30% stake in Agility Trains West to a consortium comprised of Dalmore Capital, Equitix Investment Management, Japan Infrastructure Initiative Company and Rock Rail Holdings.

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime Tier 1

Allen & Overy LLP 's corporate crime team is 'practical and pragmatic', and is as adept at representing large multinational companies as international financial institutions in business-critical investigations. The team advise on matters including corruption, sanctions, financial issues, regulatory investigations, anti-bribery compliance, and data and privacy issues. As befits an international firm, Allen & Overy's global network of offices means it can handle a range of multi-jurisdictional investigations by various enforcement authorities. Head of team Jonathan Hitchin is recognised for his strength advising on cross-border investigations, cartel investigations and private damages claims. Arnondo Chakrabarti handles the full gamut of corporate crime matters and counts FTSE 100 companies among his clients. The magic circle firm strengthened its hand with the addition of Eve Giles  , who advises both corporates and individuals on white collar and criminal defence matters. Lawson Caisley  is also highly regarded.

Structured products and securitisation Tier 1

'This team is special because of its high-quality legal advice and technical drafting', remarks a client of Allen & Overy LLP. The firm has a leading role in the structured finance market, providing bespoke legal advice and innovative technology to enable clients to develop new products and manage risk. It handles complex financing structures for illiquid assets and portfolio transfers, as well as traditional derivatives and structured finance transaction transfers, and is at the cutting edge of regulatory advice. The firm acted on more than one third of all public CLO transactions in Europe in 2018 as arranger or manager counsel. Tony Drake-Brockman leads the derivatives and structured finance practice, which handles structured products, while Salim Nathoo leads the securitisation group. Their practice has some of the leading advisers in the market. Franz Ranero is a leading light in the CLO market. Angela Clist handles securitisation of all asset classes but is a market leader in covered bonds. Tim Conduit is highly experienced in utility, transport, project bonds, asset financing, trade finance and structured commodity financings backed by infrastructure and project loans. Lucy Oddy advises financial institutions, funds, private equity firms and corporates on a broad range of asset-backed finance transactions. Sally Onions has a strong track record in RMBS and covered bond transactions in the UK. Counsel Daniel Hill is also recommended.

Trade finance Tier 1

The trade, commodities and export finance practice at Allen & Overy LLP builds on the firm's market-leading structured finance expertise, and one client notes that it has 'excellent knowledge of derivatives'. The firm is called upon to handle complex and innovative financing structures, including those that use traditional trade finance techniques in novel ways such as blending them with other forms of banking product. In 2018, the practice also handled a number of restructurings and litigations in the trade and commodity finance space, and it is regarded as one of the leading advisers on distressed structures and regulatory matters. Greg Brown, who recently advised on financings in Russia, Africa, India, Turkey and the Middle East, and Catherine Lang-Anderson, who frequently advises leading banks, are among the firm's standout practitioners. Derivatives and structured finance specialist Richard Tredgett and head of the firm's ECA practice Lorraine Bayliss are also recommended.

Transport finance & leasing Tier 1

'One of the go-to-firms in the market for handling big-ticket asset finance mandates', Allen & Overy LLP's five-partner team has expertise across the gamut of transportation assets. The practice is, however, best known for its expertise within the aviation space, where it is well placed to handle the most sophisticated mandates in the market by virtue of its ability to leverage its strong capital markets and structured finance expertise, as well as a wide-ranging international network. Global head of aviation finance, the 'very brightPaul Nelson is regularly involved in innovative and complex deals, including his recent work for UKEF and ING Bank on the Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option (JOLCO) financing of a Boeing 737 aircraft for Avianca; notably, this was the first UK Export Finance-backed JOLCO financing for a Latin American carrier. Harry Upcott has strong ties with many operating lessors and has recently been very active advising on several big-ticket portfolio transactions. Outside of the aviation sector, Kevin Young has a strong pedigree within the shipping sector and has recently advised numerous different funds on the acquisition of shipping portfolio loans. The 'responsive and knowledgeableMario Jacovides heads up the overarching global structured and asset finance group, which also includes Jonathan Bevan, who has 'vast rail experience'.

Water Tier 1

The practice at Allen & Overy LLP oversees both clean and dirty water schemes which entail a range of project structures from build, operate and transfer(BOT) schemes and PFI projects, to concession arrangements and privatisations. Its practitioners have substantial experience across the whole of infrastructure fundraising, both greenfield and brownfield, PPP, acquisitions, refinancing, sales and other aspects. Tim Conduit focuses on work in the bond, bank and institutional debt markets. Ed Moser was recently promoted to the partnership, while Conrad Andersen left to join Latham & Watkins .

Commercial litigation Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP has a strong track record advising clients in challenging and business-critical cases, with the majority of the firm's commercial litigation cases involving an international dimension. The group regularly works alongside the firm's corporate, restructuring and banking practices. Highlight matters have included  Joanna Page leading the defence of an energy player's Indian subsidiary in UK litigation proceedings relating to the supply of liquefied petroleum gas. Calum Burnett heads the magic circle firm's UK litigation and investigations group, which includes partners such as leading individuals Lawson Caisley , Jonathan Hitchin and  James Partridge. Caisley's practice includes fraud and white-collar crime, cyber security breaches and shareholder disputes, with his sector expertise including private equity, aerospace and defence, technology and entertainment. Hitchin is well known for disputes arising during the acquisition and disposal of businesses, the failure of joint ventures, claims arising out of the insolvency and reconstruction of corporate entities, and fraud claims. Partridge meanwhile focuses on asset finance disputes in the aviation and shipping sectors, derivatives-related cases, and disputes involving the interpretation of complex commercial and financial agreements. Other well-regarded individuals are Alice Englehart and Richard Farnhill, along with counsel Sarah Garvey and senior associate Helen Biggin. In a boost to the investigations team Eve Giles was hired as partner in the white-collar crime team from Kingsley Napley LLP.

Commercial property: investment Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP is routinely engaged for high-end, cross-border work for a prestigious roster of clients. The practice, which is led by global real estate head Imogen Moss, also advises landlords and tenants on the leasing and management of real estate investments, covering rent reviews, insurance and repair obligations. Moss plays an active role in the firm’s thriving headquarters practice and is also an expert on joint ventures and investments which use complex offshore structures. In a recent highlight, the team advised Westbrook Partners on its acquisition of the Sterling Industrial Platform, a portfolio of 28 UK logistic assets spanning over three million sq ft of lettable space. Well-regarded counsel Emma Willoughby represents a range of developers, landlords and tenants from the retail, office and industrial sectors.

Competition litigation Tier 2

Representing primarily defendants, Allen & Overy LLP’s client base includes multinational companies and banks as well as  public-sector clients such as governments and governmental bodies. The team stands out for its wider expertise in areas such as litigation, intellectual property, and financial services. One distinguishing characteristic of the group is its strong presence in the financial sector, where the team is advising Citibank on various private enforcement actions taken as a result of the European Commission’s foreign exchange markets investigation. Antitrust private damages actions are a steady source of work for the team; ‘strong litigatorJonathan Hitchin often takes the lead in this regard. Clients have ‘the highest regard for the team’s wide-ranging expertise’, which covers other industries such as TMT and regulated sectors (particularly energy, water, rail, and air traffic control). Also recommended is Antonio Bavasso, who heads the global competition practice and is adept at handling media plurality issues. The team received a boost in April 2018, when criminal cartel specialist Eve Giles joined from Kingsley Napley LLP.

Corporate tax Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP advises  on corporate, financial and real estate tax matters, covering all of these from both a transactional and advisory perspective. The department often draws on the firm's international presence to offer clients a full cross-border service. Financial services tax is a key area of expertise, under the leadership of group head Vimal Tilakapala, and clients include a mixture of banks and other financial institutions, particularly in relation to financings, capital markets issues and structured finance. Christopher Harrison leads the global tax practice and James Burton stands out for real estate tax work.

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP has made substantial investments in its data protection team over recent years and also benefits from the expertise of special adviser David Smith, the former deputy information commissioner at the UK ICO. The practice handles the full spectrum of data issues including compliance work, transactional support and contentious issues. Jane Finlayson-Brown and Nigel Parker jointly lead the team; Finlayson-Brown is experienced in compliance work and Parker focuses on cybersecurity mandates. The group also draws from the wider partner pool for cybersecurity work including litigator Lawson Caisley, employment specialist Sarah Henchoz and IP litigator Mark Ridgeway.

EU and competition Tier 2

At Allen & Overy LLP, the antitrust group advises on a full range of issues including merger control, cartels, market investigations, behavioural cases, and state aid. Demonstrating the depth of the department's expertise, the team acted for 21st Century Fox on its long-running £27.7bn takeover bid for Sky, which encompassed advice on merger control, regulatory controls, and contentious issues. Apart from its traditional client roster of large corporations and financial institutions, the department also receives instructions from governments and public-sector bodies. The London team has a strong track record handling complex cross-border work, with its expertise complemented by the strength of the firm's Brussels competition team in particular. Global antitrust group co-chair Antonio Bavasso , who is described by clients as a 'strategic thinker', advised 21st Century Fox in relation to its $71bn acquisition by the Walt Disney Company— a transaction that involved securing multiple merger clearances internationally. Also of significance is the team’s strong presence in the financial services sector, with Mark Friend and Philip Mansfield leading a team  acting for BNY Mellon on the first investigation opened by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) using its competition enforcement powers. Friend leads the London-based practice, where Alasdair Balfour, counsel Thomas Masterman and Dominic Long are also recommended.

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 2

Experienced in advising on a range of contentious and non-contentious financial services matters, Allen & Overy LLP has particular expertise in handling regulatory investigations, as well as boasting  a financial services criminal defence capability covering anti-corruption and bribery, anti-money laundering, anti-trust and sanctions. The arrival of criminal defence lawyer Eve Giles from Kingsley Napley LLP further strengthens the team in this area. The contentious practice, led by Calum Burnett, works closely with A&O's regulatory lawyers and recently established regulatory consulting business, A&O Consulting. Notable in the team is Mahmood Lone, who specialises in acting on high profile investigations into alleged market abuse and manipulation. Damian Carolan heads the non-contentious regulatory group that acts for investment and retail banks, asset management firms and trade bodies across a range of advisory and transaction-related regulatory issues. His team includes Kate Sumpter, who has expertise dealing with complex regulatory-driven structural change projects for UK and international banks.

Fintech Tier 2

Standing out for the strength of its financial services regulatory practice, Allen & Overy LLP's 'capable and responsive' team acts for clients across the spectrum of fintech, where the team advises on corporate and financing transactions, regulatory compliance, and the structuring of lending platforms. Jane Finlayson-Brown stands out for her in-depth knowledge of information technology requirements, particularly the exploitation of data, an area in which she is frequently instructed by financial institutions looking to capitalise on opportunities to develop data driven products and services.

High yield Tier 2

Of the Magic Circle firms, Allen & Overy LLP has made the biggest inroads into the high yield market and clients remark that is has 'a very well organised team with exceptional market insight that is capable of delivering creative yet executable solutions'. Practice head Kevin Muzilla leads a five-partner team, making it one of the deepest benches in London,  and it works closely with the firm's market-leading practices in banking, leveraged finance and debt capital markets, corporate and restructuring. Its client base encompasses underwriters, sponsors and issuers including Metinvest and Iceland Foods. Jeanette Cruz handled new issuance for Metinvest. Matthias Baudisch and John Kicken handled a €3.5bn bank/bond merger financing; Jake Keaveny focuses on work for underwriters.

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP's 'seen-it-all, done-it-all team' insurance team works closely with the firm's corporate department, advising on premium domestic and European M&A deals. The practice's work also includes pensions buy-ins, de-risking and Solvency II implementation cases, whilst a bespoke team provides AGM and annual reporting support for insurer clients. Practice head Philip Jarvis and Kate McInerney make for an 'outstanding' team; McInerney, who was promoted to partner in 2019, played a key role for the Co-op on the sale of its insurance underwriting business, CIS General Insurance Limited, to Markerstudy.

Intellectual property Tier 2

The intellectual property team at Allen & Overy LLP attracts praise for its 'outstanding ability, client awareness and total commitment to the cases it handles'. The group assists with a combination of contentious and commercial matters relating to the full range of IP rights. Recent work highlights include representing Huawei in Conversant’s high-profile claim for a declaration that it has offered FRAND terms relating to its SEP portfolio, as well as acting for Eli Lilly in its appeal to the Supreme Court against an order for the revocation of its patent for its Tadalafil product. Global head of IP, litigator David Stone, has particular experience in EU design law, while Jim Ford heads the commercial IP practice. Other names to note include patent litigator Mark Ridgway, who focuses on the telecoms, pharmaceuticals and biotech industries; life sciences and consumer products patents litigator Marc Döring;  Mark Heaney, who has expertise in the hi-tech sector, and life sciences sector specialist Marjan Noor, who 'brings a unique combination of client care and detailed involvement to a case'. Nicola Dagg departed to Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

International arbitration Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP 'provides excellent project management and works in diverse teams across jurisdictions and professions'. The practice has a long-established London-based arbitration team, which handles both commercial and investor-state arbitrations. The team is particularly active in arbitrations involving insurance, banking, finance and complex financial products and infrastructure and construction projects. Richard Smith specialises in international arbitration and insurance coverage arbitrations, particularly those conducted under the Bermuda Form insurance policy; gas price arbitration expert Mark Levy QC took silk in 2019; and recently promoted partner James Freeman has significant experience in energy disputes. The other names to note are Kate Davies, along with senior associates Sunil MawkinNaomi Briercliffe and Guled YusufSuzanne Spears was hired from Volterra Fietta.

M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+ Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP advises FTSE100 and FTSE250 clients on a range of corporate M&A transactions, with a particular focus on deals with a heavy finance component. Key sector strengths include technology (TMT), media and telecommunications, life sciences and financial institutions. In the TMT sector, the firm advised 21st Century Fox on its unsuccessful bid for Sky and the subsequent sale of its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast. David Broadley and Seth Jones both took lead roles on this matter, and on the sale of the same client to Walt Disney for £71bn. They were assisted by senior associate Alex Tilley, who clients recommend for his 'practical and pragmatic advice'. Richard Hough frequently represents funds, investors and banks on corporate transactions in the financial services sector, bringing substantial Takeover Panel experience to bear. The practice is headed by Dominic Morris .

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP is engaged by global media companies on advertising and content production, network distribution and technology-related mandates.  It is also able to offer expertise across corporate transactions, finance, IP, antitrust, regulatory, employment, real estate and commercial work. The department is regularly engaged on cross-border transactions, leveraging the firm's extensive global footprint; it advised long-standing client, 21st Century Fox on its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company.

Mining and minerals Tier 2

The global mining group at Allen & Overy LLP works with renowned mining supermajors such as Vale, Rio Tinto, BHP and Anglo American across a wide range of practice areas including M&A, projects, banking and finance, capital markets, antitrust, dispute resolution, environmental and derivatives. In London, the team is led by head of corporate Dominic Morris, who advised EMR Capital alongside Perth-based Geoff Simpson on the acquisition of an 80% interest in the Lubambe Copper Mine in Zambia from Africa Rainbow Minerals and Vale.

Real estate funds Tier 2

Mandates involving real assets are a key area of specialism for the broader asset management department at Allen & Overy LLP, which is strengthened by expertise from the firm's real estate M&A, real estate finance and tax practices. A sizeable Luxembourg office is another source of support. The group is marked out by integrated expertise on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive and US regulation, in addition to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules. The practice often advises major pensions funds, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions on investments, co-investments and fund-of-one arrangements. Joint heads of team Matthew Huggett, Nick Williams and Pavel Shevtsov are all recommended. Huggett is noted for his national and international regulatory knowledge. Senior associate Dominic Von Wulffen often advises institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds.

Social housing: finance Tier 2

Allen & Overy LLP's enviable market presence is evidenced by the fact that it has appeared in the overwhelming majority of listed bond issues connected with the UK social housing sector since 2008. Its broader practice also encompasses structured finance, real estate finance, securitisation and corporate trustee mandates. Consultant Geoff Fuller heads the team, which also includes Greg Brown and senior associate Amanda Lemesle Adams.

Tax litigation and investigations Tier 2

The 'high-quality individuals' that make up Allen & Overy LLP's team ensure the firm stands out for its financial services tax disputes experience, which includes administrative disputes, regulatory investigations and litigation, often with an international perspective. The group also handles disputes arising from corporate and real estate transactions. Vimal Tilakapala, who has expertise in alternative dispute resolution methods, leads the team, which includes corporate tax specialist Lydia Challen  and  Charles Yorke , who is noted for financial sector tax disputes.

Administrative and public law Tier 3

Allen & Overy LLP provides an integrated approach to public law, offering expert advice in judicial review proceedings to a broad range of clients in the private sector. Large-scale transactions where public and administrative law issues arise are another point of strength, and the team has considerable experience in issues relating to broadcasting licensing, media pluralism and data protection. The team often assists financial sector clients with their interactions with the relevant regulators, including regulatory challenges in the High Court. Practice head Andrew Denny and senior associate Maeve Hanna also act on issues pertaining to human rights, including a recent Supreme Court intervention in a case regarding the UK government’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Commercial contracts Tier 3

Allen & Overy LLP is known for advising on high-value commercial projects, corporate transactions and joint ventures, and multi-jurisdictional projects. The practice is co-led by Jim Ford, Jane Finlayson-Brown, Tom Levine and Nigel Parker. Their team advised Lloyds Banking Group on its strategic partnership with Schroders in the wealth, investment and financial planning sector.

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 3

Allen & Overy LLP's non-contentious practice advises on a range of matters relating to commercial offices, bank headquarters, shopping centres and energy and infrastructure projects. The firm specialises in PFI/PPP and finance related work, acting for investment banks, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds.

Fraud: white-collar crime Tier 3

Allen & Overy LLP made a significant push into the white collar market with its hire of the well-regarded Eve Giles from Kingsley Napley LLP to head up its investigations team and bolster its ability to represent individuals in high profile criminal investigations. The team has experience acting for corporates and individuals and its areas of focus include advising on FX investigations, allegations of money laundering, insider dealing and market abuse, as well as anti-bribery and corruption investigations, data protection and cybercrime matters. The firm is involved in a number of standout corporate crime matters involving investigations by organisations such as the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority. In London, Giles' practice complements those of regulatory and corporate crime partners Arnondo Chakrabarti and Jonathan Hitchin. Outside the UK, Allen & Overy has criminal practitioners in offices including the US, Netherlands, France, Hong Kong and Germany.

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Allen & Overy LLP's telecoms sector group combines its reputation for M&A with regulatory and commercial expertise; in a recent highlight, the team was instructed by Huawei in high-profile litigation against Conversant, relating to Conversant's claim for a declaration that it has offered FRAND terms in respect of its standard essential patent license. Practice head Tom Levine has substantial telecoms sector expertise and regularly handles telecoms projects in developed and emerging markets, while Mark Heaney is a name to note for hi-tech patent litigation. Recently promoted counsel Andrew Kenning works closely with Levine.

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 3

The 'phenomenal' team at Allen & Overy LLP advises an extensive list of household name trustees and sponsors on all key issues facing the pensions market including defined contribution master trust implementation, restructuring exercises (including ring-fencing mandates in the banking sector), derisking exercises and GDPR compliance. In addition to their advisory work, Neil Bowden, Maria Stimpson and Jane Higgins have recently been involved in some of the industry’s leading disputes in the High Court concerning GMP equalisation and scheme rectifications. Recently made-up partner Andy Cork has particular expertise on insurance buy-in matters.

Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+) Tier 3

At Allen & Overy LLP, the private equity team includes  'high-quality specialists and corporate leaders', according to clients. Significant new client wins include PE giant Blackstone and Ardian Buyout Fund. Karan Dinamani advised the latter on the multi-million pound acquisition of a majority stake in international education provider Study Group from Providence Equity Partners. Meanwhile, in one of the largest M&A transactions in Baltic history, Dinamani and Stephen Lloyd advised Blackstone on its acquisition of a 60% stake in Luminor Bank for €1bn, from Nordea and DNB. Lloyd heads the practice, which also includes Peter Banks and Gordon Milne , in addition to Dinamani.

Commercial property: retail Tier 4

Allen & Overy LLP is routinely engaged for high-end, cross-border work for a prestigious roster of clients. The practice, which is led by global real estate head Imogen Moss, also advises landlords and tenants on the leasing and management of real estate investments, covering rent reviews, insurance and repair obligations. Moss plays an active role in the firm’s thriving headquarters practice and is also an expert on joint ventures and investments which use complex offshore structures. In a recent highlight, the team advised Westbrook Partners on its acquisition of the Sterling Industrial Platform, a portfolio of 28 UK logistic assets spanning over three million sq ft of lettable space. Well-regarded counsel Emma Willoughby represents a range of developers, landlords and tenants from the retail, office and industrial sectors.

Property litigation Tier 4

Working in close conjunction with its real estate and finance teams and rated for its 'pragmatic advice', Allen & Overy LLP's client roster includes corporates, banks and other financial institutions alongside property investment funds and private equity houses. Typical work includes dilapidation claims, disputes arising from head office moves and rent reviews as well as contentious investment and development issues. Imogen Moss heads the 'very commercial' team, which includes 'calm and very organised' consultant and main contact for Telecoms Code advice and rent reviews Jane Fox-Edwards.

Private funds Tier 5

The asset management team at Allen & Overy LLP has a two-thirds to one-third split between GP representation and LP representation. In one highlight, a group led by Pavel Shevtsov and Nick Williams reviewed over 50 investment management agreements for various pension funds and sovereign wealth funds for investments totalling over £30bn. Private equity fund work has been a key growth area for the team, which also handles real estate and infrastructure mandates. The firm's presence in Luxembourg and other European jurisdictions lends further support to the London practice. Also recommended is Matthew Huggett, who leads the team together with Shevtsov and Williams. Nick Smith joined the London offering from the Dubai team.

Allen & Overy is an international legal practice comprising Allen & Overy LLP and its affliated undertakings (collectively described below as ‘Allen & Overy’).

The firm: Allen & Overy is an international law firm providing legal services for global business and industry, with approximately 5,400 staff, including some 550 partners, working in over 40 offices across 30 countries serving businesses, financial institutions and governments where there is a need for decisive legal advice on complex transactions. Allen & Overy is one of the few firms that can truly claim to have integrated international law, local law and U.S. law capabilities within the firm.

Allen & Overy’s legal expertise and knowledge of key players and authorities provide a tangible competitive edge for its clients, whether they are raising capital, buying or selling businesses, or restructuring for competitive reasons.

Types of work undertaken: Allen & Overy provides a full range of legal services in the following areas: banking; business reconstruction and insolvency; telecommunications; media and technology; corporate and commercial; derivative products; EC and competition law; employment, pensions and incentives law; environmental; financial services; insurance; intellectual property; international capital markets; litigation; MBOs; mergers, acquisitions and takeovers; PFI/PPP; projects and project finance; real estate (commercial); securitisation; and land tax (corporate).

Through its network of offices, Allen & Overy advises private companies, international conglomerates, governmental agencies, banks, and other financial and commercial institutions, wherever there is a need for legal advice from experienced international practitioners.

Allen & Overy has lawyers qualified in more than 30 countries, speaking 56 languages. The combination of local expertise and experience in major international transactions ensures clients receive consistent quality. Deals can be controlled around the clock if necessary and each overseas office has a support group in London comprising lawyers with experience in that particular country, able to provide backup when required.

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Belfast, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Casablanca, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Rome, São  Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington, D.C., Yangon

Associated offices: Bucharest, Jakarta

Cooperation office: Riyadh

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Wim Dejonghe
Managing partner Andrew Ballheimer
Asset finance Mario Jacovides
Leveraged finance Jonathan Brownson
Banking Philip Bowden
Banking Andrew Thomas
Business reconstruction and insolvency Ian Field
Corporate and commercial Richard Browne
Derivative products David Benton
EC and competition law Mark Friend
Employment Mark Mansell
Energy Gareth Price
Energy Jeremy Parr
Environmental law Matthew Townsend
Financial services Nick Bradbury
Incentives Paul McCarthy
Insurance Philip Jarvis
Intellectual property David Stone
International capital markets David Benton
International capital markets Simon Hill
Litigation Tim House
MBOs Stephen Lloyd
Mergers, acquisitions and takeovers Richard Browne
Pensions Neil Bowden
PPP/PFI David Lee
Projects and project finance Gareth Price
Real estate Imogen Moss
Securitisation Salim Nathoo
Tax (corporate) Vimal Tilakapala
Telecommunications, media and technology Tom Levine
Telecoms finance Philip Bowden
Number of UK partners : 181
Number of other UK fee-earners : 783