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DWF

20 FENCHURCH STREET, LONDON, EC3M 3AG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 03333 202220
Fax:
Fax 03333 204440
DX:
584 LONDON CITY EC3 4AD
Email:
Web:
www.dwf.law

London: Corporate and commercial

Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 3

DWF

AIM transactions form a core part of the DWF's corporate practice. Jointly led by Frank Shephard and Matthew Doughty, its team undertakes a mix of mandates for listed companies and funds, as well also brokers, NOMADs and other institutional clients. On the admissions front, in 2017, Shephard, Lisa Stavropoulos and others acted for Tatton Asset Management Plc in its £87m AIM IPO and listing, and also advised Velocity Composites Plc on its £30m AIM IPO. Outside of AIM listings, other highlights for the team included assisting Zeus Capital as the NOMAD and broker with the £15m secondary fundraise by Accrol Group Holdings, and acting for City of London Group Plc in its £20m reverse takeover of Milton Homes Limited from Delancey. Numis Securities, Investec Bank and Keywords Studios Plc are among other clients. Jay Birch is experienced in cross-border small and mid-cap transactions, particularly those with a US element. Lester Wilson, Jeremy Swift and Damien Bechelli are also notable individuals in the group.

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M&A: smaller deals up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals up to £50m - ranked: tier 3

DWF

Matthew Doughty leads the practice at DWF, which has been bolstered by the arrivals of Alistair Hogarth from PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP, Andrew Carpenter from Addleshaw Goddard, Mel Sims from DLA Piper and Laurence Applegate from REN Legal. The team focuses on the insurance, financial services, technology, retail, transport, energy, retail, food and hospitality sectors. Highlights included Doughty advising new client City of London Group on its £20m acquisition of equity release firm Milton Homes; Douglas Howie and Jay Birch acting for Germany-based Hannover Re on the acquisition of Argenta Holdings; and Patrick Eaton assisting Credo Business Consulting with its sale to US-based Teneo Holdings.

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London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 8

DWF

DWF 'provides the quality of personal service more typical of a small firm but with the resources of a large firm'. The London office's key disputes sectors are retail and international trade, commerce, banking and finance, technology, and energy. Jonathan Isaacs is 'a capable, personable and tenacious litigator'; and Richard Twomey 'has a formidable reputation in large and complex litigation matters'.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

DWF

The debt recovery team at DWF is noted for its 'efficiency' and 'delivering the service required'. Leeds-based department head David Scottow has significant experience in debt litigation and focuses on the recovery of volume consumer and commercial debt. James Perry has particular expertise in the regulatory aspects of debt collection and is advising a multinational insurance company with respect to enforcement matters; he continues to assist LGSS with the recovery of £1m in social care costs associated with the client's large share services on behalf of two local authorities. Possessing 'a drive to deliver', Kevin Feehan specialises in debt collection and civil recovery work pertaining to theft, fraud, non-payment, shop-lifting and over-payment of salaries. Clients include Morrisons, Anglian Water Services, Sainsbury's and Fleetcor.

Leading individuals

David Scottow - DWF

Next generation lawyers

James Perry - DWF

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 7

DWF

DWF hired Richard Twomey, who focuses on technology and energy based disputes, from Pinsent Masons LLP. He joins a team that includes Jonathan Moss, whose practice includes arbitration in the marine, non-marine and reinsurance sectors. Stefan Paciorek, Antony Woodhouse and John Groome are also recommended.

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London: Finance

Commodities: physicals
Commodities: physicals - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF has a strong shipping and insurance practice that leads to a steady flow of commodities work. 'It offers a good, cost-effective alternative to some of the larger firms', remarks one client. Head of shipping and commodities Jonathan Moss is 'most impressive - he is a very experienced litigation partner who provides very insightful, succinct analysis of often complex legal issues'. He acted for Tonkolili Iron Ore and its parent company Shandong Steel in a high-profile case relating to their operations in Sierra Leone. In another highlight, he handled longstanding litigation between a large mining company and an Israeli billionaire concerning the rights to one of the world's largest untapped iron ore reserves. Antony Woodhouse has a strong practice in complex and international disputes, mainly in the insurance sector. Also recommended are senior associate and former barrister Elliott Bromley and senior associate Peter Olymbios, who acts in a diverse range of commodity-based disputes for both domestic and international clients. The firm counts Trafigura, Travelers Marine and Nimex Petroleum among its clients.

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 6

DWF

DWF has 'a very strong employment team' led by 'extraordinarily robust and commercial employment lawyer' Helga Breen, who is noted for her regulatory expertise and knowledge of cross-border HR projects; she also handles High Court disputes, boardroom issues and executive recruitments and dismissals. Angela Simpson is also a key name to note; she has experience in multi-party litigation, outsourcing issues and restructuring projects. Clients include the British Medical Association, Ladbrokes Coral, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sandhills East and Places for People Leisure.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

DWF

DWF's 'excellent' department is 'a go-to team for high-profile and complex cases' with recent mandates including Hilary Ross leading advise to the Motor Sports Association in a Fatal Accident Inquiry relating to the death's of spectators at two motor rallies held in Scotland, and transport specialist Vikki Woodfine advising Wincanton on legal compliance issues including protocol development. Booker Group, Arcadia Group and Marks & Spencer are also clients. Ross and retail, food and hospitality expert Dominic Watkins jointly lead the London group, while Manchester-based Steffan Groch heads the firm's regulatory team and advises companies, directors and managers on HSE prosecutions and handles corporate manslaughter issues.

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Pensions
Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF has 'come on leaps and bounds in the last few years reflecting its continued growth, understanding of the market and expertise in the area'. National head Tim Green is 'poised, confident, organised and provides a bespoke service' and London team leader Amanda Banister is 'technically brilliant and a really bright and thoughtful lawyer'; national commercial litigation head Joel Heap is also a name to note. Recent highlights include Green acting for Safeway in Safeway v Newton, a high-profile equlaisation matter; and Banister defending the Board of the PPF in a challenge to the PPF compensation limits alleging they are insufficient to meet the requirements of the EU Insolvency Directive. Other clients include Dalriada Trustees, Favier and the trustees of Prudential Platinum Pension Plan.

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 3

DWF

‚ÄėA strong team who complement each other‚Äôs skill sets and good connections to lawyers abroad‚Äô are the key factors that define DWF's¬†practice. It has particular expertise in high-value international cases and a deep bench with a core team of 16 partner and 65 associates working in the sector, which makes ‚Äėthe service excellent as well as the response times, flexibility and advice market leading‚Äô. In a recent highlight, Kieran Walshe¬†acted for RSA in Spire Healthcare Ltd v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc, a policy coverage dispute arising out of the medical malpractice and illegal practices of consultant breast surgeon Ian Paterson.¬†Practice head Jonathan Moss¬†is¬†currently acting for Travelers in a case involving a collision between a container vessel and a mobile harbour crane in Freetown Terminal, Sierra Leone. Global casualty team head¬†John Groome¬†has ‚Äėsignificant experience in the UK and US‚Äô and acts for direct insurers on coverage and property/product liability claims. Another notable team member is the ‚Äėefficient and strategic‚Äô Antony Woodhouse,¬†who is ‚Äėexcellent in insurance arbitration practice and an absolute pleasure to work with on a day-to-day basis.‚Äô

Leading individuals

John Groome - DWF

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 5

DWF

DWF¬†combines ‚Äėexcellent response times‚Äô with ‚Äėvery knowledgeable, solid and practical commercial advice‚Äô. The team has particular expertise in advising on insurance market commercial operations such as distribution and outsourcing arrangements, as well as bespoke insurance policy terms for commercial insureds, which is complemented by its significant involvement in consolidation in the UK general insurance intermediary market. Recent highlights include advising Hannover Re in relation to the acquisition of Argenta Holdings, which owns various companies operating in the Lloyd's insurance market. The advice was led by Douglas Howie, who co-heads the practice along with compliance, regulatory and operational specialist Jeremy Irving.

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 1

DWF

DWF  is one of 'the largest catastrophic defendant personal injury departments in the UK' and their 'knowledge and advice is first rate'. They specialise in international claims, severe and subtle brain injury, spinal injury and paralysis, amputation, chronic pain and fatal accidents. They believe they have “technical excellence and a commercial approach'. Their clients’ list is 'extensive and growing' and includes major insurers like Aviva, Amlin, DLG, RSA, Markerstudy, Ageas and Canopius.  Claire Bowler and Graham Dickinson  are key figures in the team, which includes Peter Goodwill and Peter Murray, who are 'very experienced and realistic in their approach' and have a 'good regard to the economic realities of claims settlements'.

Leading individuals

Claire Bowler - DWF

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 2

DWF

DWF's 'outstanding' product liability practice was strengthened with the recruitment of Antony Woodhouse  from Gowling WLG, Emma Spence  from BLM and Simon Durkin  from Weightmans LLP. Key work included acting for a consortium of insurers in a Bermuda Form arbitration commenced by Monsanto arising from hundreds of underlying claims alleging property damage and personal injury from polychlorinated biphenyls added to various products supplied throughout the US. The firm also acted for insurers Tokio Marine Kiln and Liberty Mutual in two matters involving fires for, and on the manufacturer side defended pharmaceutical firm Newline Group against claims by Spanish beekeeping cooperatives alleging that a product for the control of a parasitic mite led to the loss of 150,000 bee colonies in Spain.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF‚Äôs ‚Äėfirst-rate‚Äô team is particularly noted for its experience across construction, financial services, pensions and legal sector claims. Tim Barr¬†defended AIG and its insured, Follett Stock, against a ¬£1m professional negligence claim brought over the failure to bring proceedings against the claimant‚Äôs former solicitors for alleged negligence in relation to the execution of a will and an agreement entered into in 1997.¬†Michael Robin¬†and associate Chris Lewis¬†represented a law firm and its primary layer insurer, QBE, in a ¬£1.1m claim brought by a property development company. Joanne Staphnill, Robin and Lewis represented a leading law firm and its primary layer insurer, Chubb, in a ¬£34m claim brought by a company in liquidation and its liquidators. Harriet Quiney¬†is a ‚Äėgood strategic thinker‚Äô and is experienced in professional indemnity disputes in the financial services and pensions sectors;¬†John Bennett¬†is experienced across disputes involving solicitors, barristers, accountants, IFAs and patent agents; Peter Campion¬†and Mark Klimt¬†are particularly experienced in construction claims; and Simon Gildener¬†handles cases in the financial sector. Andrew Davis, Sheona Wood, John Groome, director¬†Jonathan Hyde¬†and recently promoted partner Eileen Pathiraja¬†are also recommended, as are senior associates Tom Mungovan, Joanna Batchelor¬†and James McKay. Peter Sewell¬†heads the team. Antony Marsh retired; Jacquetta Castle and Joseph Arazi departed for in-house roles;¬†Matthew Olorenshaw¬†joined DAC Beachcroft LLP;¬†Simon Durkin¬†joined Weightmans LLP; and Alexandra Goddard also left the firm.

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London: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

DWF

Derek Adamson, Toby Askin, Denise Brosnan and Caroline Coates are some of the senior practitioners at DWF who undertake substantial work for local authorities. Multi-disciplinary teams take on matters from the Birmingham and other offices for clients such as Newcastle City Council, Somerset County Council, Bristol City Council and the London Borough of Greenwich. The team is acting for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in connection with personal injury claims (and the public inquiry) arising from the Grenfell Tower disaster. It is also continuing to act for Coventry City Council and Zurich Insurance on around 25 historic abuse claims relating to the alleged crimes that took place at a care home in Coventry.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 4

DWF

The lawyers in DWF's hospitality team are 'diligent, highly knowledgeable' and have 'a tremendous amount of experience in the hotel and hospitality industry'. Melanie Williams heads the hospitality and leisure practice and is instructed in real estate investment, trading and development transactions. Williams advised Whitbread Group on the forward funding and development of a Hub branded hotel in Shoreditch, and also assisted Starboard Hotels with its £7m acquisition of a Holiday Inn at Derby Riverlights. Also recommended are real estate finance specialist Helen Johnston, and Iain McLean, who advised McAleer & Rushe on the acquisition of a site in Glasgow for a hotel development and a subsequent build and let agreement with Maldron Hotels. Mark Shepherd, who has experience in real estate investment and development, joined the team from Paul Hastings LLP.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 4

DWF

The 'knowledgeable, timely and communicative' team at DWF is praised by clients for its 'superb service, which is comparable to larger, more expensive firms'. While the practice is known for its strong relationships with clearing banks such as RBS and Santander, it has acted for an increasing number of alternative lenders, including Canada Life and Fortwell Capital; the 'practical, knowledgeable and efficient' John Fox and Simon Elphick, who is able to 'distil complex property matters and effectively present the core issues', advised the latter on a facility to fund a residential development in Surrey. Practice head Iain Thomas and Christian Francis - 'both extremely personable individuals and very experienced lawyers, with business acumen and a commercial approach' - also acted for a number of alternative lenders on the acquisition of portfolios of residential investment properties and student accommodation, among other matters.

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 4

DWF

DWF's privacy and information law practice attracts praise for its 'value for money' and 'reliable, professional expertise delivered in a timely manner'. The group is known primarily for handling data breaches and contentious matters. Andrew Harris continues to defend Wm Morrison Supermarkets in claims resulting from the leak of employees information into the public domain by a former employee. John Benjamin heads up the practice and leads a team advising a major insurer on data considerations of its new projects and digital products. The 'very knowledgeable' team have also recently been instructed by new clients Bupa and Aviva. Joining the team from the Information Commissioners Office, Michele Voznick is a notable addition.

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London: Transport

Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 5

DWF

DWF is noted for its experience in marine insurance disputes and the team continues to act for the insurers of a vessel that was struck by a whale and sank off the coast of Mexico in March 2016; is advising a major German insurance group in a claim relating to the Tianjin Port explosion; and is advising an independent insurer in relation to claims relating to a fire on a vessel carrying palm oil. Shipping and commodities head Jonathan Moss regularly handles complex disputes and senior associate Elliott Bromley is also noted.

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Travel
Travel: personal injury - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF‚Äôs international claims and travel group is regularly instructed by insurers on cross-border catastrophic injury claims. It defended ERGO Versicherung on a fatal motor accident which occurred in Germany and is defending Pelayo Mutua de Seguros on a serious personal injury claim in the UK courts following a road traffic accident in Spain. Generali, Van Ameyde (UK), Mitsui, Amlin, Hastings Direct, QBE, RSA and Travelers are also clients. Head of international claims Claire Bowler¬†regularly advises global insurers on catastrophic injuries and high-profile claims. European group head Sara-Jane Eaton¬†is ‚Äėtotally committed and fantastic with clients‚Äô and focuses on catastrophic injury claims. Graham Dickinson¬†handles product liability claims and advises on plane and helicopter crashes. Recently promoted partner Rhys Sanchez¬†and Steven King¬†are also key figures.

Leading individuals

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