Firm Profile > DLA Piper > Manchester, England

DLA Piper
ONE ST PETER'S SQUARE
MANCHESTER
M2 3DE
England

Banking and finance Tier 1

DLA Piper's practice is described as 'excellent - highly professional, diligent, approachable and commercial'. Matthew Christmas and Joseph Frew jointly lead the team; Christmas, who is 'widely respected in the market', is known for his advice to banks and credit funds on bilateral and syndicated facilities. Frew, meanwhile, is 'approachable and practical' and is strong on asset-based lending work, including real estate finance, both regionally and nationally. Rebecca Williams, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard in February 2019, has strengthened the team, bringing expertise in asset finance. Legal director Sidraf Arif works on structured finance transactions, both nationally and internationally.

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Testimonials

‘Whilst there is a broad banking team, they retain strength in depth with the ability to bring in appropriate expertise from other elements of the firm as needed. Good skill set, client focused and service orientated.’

‘DLA North West are excellent. I feel they are #1 in their market, highly professional, diligent, approachable and commercial. Resourced fully and have absolutely no issues with using them to support our transactions.’

‘Matthew Christmas is widely respected in the market and widely knowledgeable; legal expertise, but a good grasp of commercial issues.

‘Charles Weems has worked with us for a number of years and over that time has continually striven to improve his skills. A great, and effective, work ethic.’

‘Joe Frew  typifies what we would look for from a lawyer. Approachable and practical yet professional. He keeps us on track and protects our interests.’

‘Alastair Carruthers is building his own profile and learning from all around. We are using him more and more.’

Key clients

Tosca Debt Capital

IG Design Group Plc

National Westminster Bank plc

INEOS Enterprises Holdings Limited

Biffa Plc

Banking litigation Tier 1

DLA Piper's financial services litigation and regulatory practice handles an impressive breadth of disputes across the retail banking, payment services, asset financing and leasing arenas. Practice head Stewart Plant, who has a particular focus on retail banking and payment services issues, has experience in defending mass claims in the banking space. Legal director Philip Williams is a key contact for fintech matters, while corporate crime and investigations expert John Gollaglee acts in contentious regulatory compliance issues. Senior associates Krystle Robinson and Benjamin Fellows are other names to note and both have experience in asset finance litigation, Consumer Credit Act work and professional negligence disputes.

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Testimonials

Extremely responsive and cater to client demands and timelines.

Senior associate Ben Fellows is very responsive, provides clear and commercially focused legal advice. He also has a very good eye for both detail and the bigger picture.

Key clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (incl. NatWest, Lombard, RBS Invoice Finance)

The Co-operative Bank

Close Brothers Group

Elavon Financial Services

First Data Corporation

Worldpay (UK) Limited

Metro Bank

Payvision

Lloyds Banking Group (incl. HBOS and C&G)

Global Payments

NewDay Limited

National Asset Management Agency

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 1

The commercial litigation team at DLA Piper is a popular choice for a range of disputes and is particularly singled out for its corporate and securities litigation and contentious data protection expertise. The group also stands out for its impressive cross-border capabilities and the ability to work with its offices across the US, Europe and Asia. Financial services sector expert Stewart Plant leads the team, which includes Andrew Smith, who focuses on M&A claims and shareholder disputes; and Jonathan Eatough, who has a broad practice ranging from IT, infrastructure and manufacturing disputes to civil fraud matters. Senior associate Leontia McArdle is well-regarded for corporate and commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Eatough  is very skilled, very sound judgment

‘Andrew Smith leads the team and is excellent. An excellent lawyer with great clients skills.’

 

Key clients

Information Commissioner’s Office

Lonrho

Clariant International AG

Flywheel IT Services Limited

Solutus Advisors Limited

SMG Europe Holdings Limited

Molson Coors

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Scottish Power Energy Retail Limited

NCC Group plc

Commercial property: Liverpool Tier 1

DLA Piper's practice continues to lead the market for property development and investment work, acting for the region's major clients as well as a national client base. The team is led by Alison Mills who is known for her development work in the student  accommodation co-living sector. Mark Beardwood, the firm's North West office managing partner,  regularly advises on high value real estate transactions. The highly experienced Philip Rooney represents local authorities as well as investment institutions, while Richard Thompson  offers expertise on investment mandates. Richard Ascroft is also recommended.

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Testimonials

‘Long-term staff retention means they have a strong team who work well together – the real estate team is capable of dealing with all matters efficiently.’

‘DLA’s online document storage system is excellent.’

Key clients

Universities Superannuation Scheme

CBRE Global Investors

Heineken UK

Downing Developments

Liverpool Football Club

John Lewis Partnership Pension Fund

Picton Capital

St James Place UK Plc

Elan Homes

USF Nominees

Pace Trustees Limited

London Borough of Southwark Pension Fund

MRC Pension Trust

Radisson Hotels

Schroder Real Estate Managers

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool Tier 1

Home to ‘a large team with vast experience', the DLA Piper practice represents a number of UK government entities in addition to clients from the retail, consumer goods, manufacturing and logistics sectors. James Kerrigan jointly heads the department alongside Sarah Bell, whose expertise includes joint ventures, outsourcing and commercial transactions. Peter Brook and Paddy Dwyer are ‘great at thinking outside the box’, handling commercial contracts matters such as supply, agency, distribution and franchising agreements. The caseload is further distinguished via the number of cross-border instructions with clients noting that the regional practice 'partners well with other DLA teams in the UK and internationally.'

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Testimonials

‘They have a large team with a lot of experience and cover a wide range of legal areas, which means they are able to meet all of our external legal requirements.’

‘They are highly responsive, always meet requested deadlines and communicate well to manage expectations. They partner well with other DLA teams in the UK and internationally, and the size of the firm means they are capable of bringing in additional support where required on urgent or larger/international projects.’

‘They also use state-of-the-art technology to support diligence and contract review exercises which means we can cover a lot of ground in a short space of time in a cost efficient way.’

‘They have a lot of experience across all sectors, are technically excellent, and the overall quality of advice is extremely high. They are also not afraid to give difficult advice and are always honest and direct, which means we trust them implicitly.’

‘Peter Brook and Paddy Dwyer have been supporting us over the last few years on a wide variety of matters ranging from day to day commercial advice to more complex projects and M&A transactions. The nature and fast-moving pace of our business means we occasionally encounter unique situations requiring urgent resolution. Peter and Paddy are great at thinking outside of the box and coming up with innovative solutions to challenging problems. The advice and support has been excellent, they are very approachable, always available, and they get on great with the internal team.’

Key clients

arvato Group

Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd t/a Barclays Partner Finance

Duracell

Heineken UK

Hunter Boots Limited

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Football Club

Newell Rubbermaid

PetrolValves Srl

QA Limited

Sutton & Son (St Helens) Ltd

UK Government (NHS England, Cabinet Office, Department for Transport, Natural Environment Research Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Crown Commercial Services, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Unilever

Whirlpool

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 1

Pragmatic and commercially focused’, DLA Piper's team is jointly led by private equity expert James Kerrigan and Lee Brierley, a ‘fantastic lawyer and negotiator’, whose practice is geared towards complex commercial projects. Andrew Phillips is another name to note on the private equity front, while Yunus Maka and Jonathan Watkins are transactional specialists, handling a range of domestic and international deals. Senior associate David Booth is recommended for a broad array of commercial contracts, notably leading the firm’s local manufacturing department and co-heading its UK franchising practice. Though active in a variety of industries, the team has recently made a conscious effort to grow its payments and fintech sector offering.

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Testimonials

‘DLA Piper are extremely responsive and have great strength in depth. They are pragmatic and commercially focused but also know their stuff. From past experience they provide a more business focused approach than other firms I have come across, adding real value to the transaction.’

‘My go-to partner is Lee Brierley. We have worked together for many years. He is a fantastic lawyer and great negotiator. Vastly experienced, technically first class and commercially astute; he gets the deal done. He really adds value around the commercial aspects of the deal. He has been there and done it many times, so has a real feel for the market.’

‘The team listens, understands the purpose, is pragmatic and takes the carefully considered direction of the lead partner and sticks to the brief given.’

‘Focused, attentive, tenacious, do the detail, and fair and robust with their solution.’

Key clients

ABM Industries Inc

BASF

Beech Tree Private Equity

Clariant

Talk Talk Telecom Group plc

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

Lloyds Development Capital

NCC Group plc

Nichols plc

Verna Group

Bajaj

Belstaff

Biffa Group Limited

Crown Commercial Service

Elavon

Experian

Key Retirement Group

Molson Coors

Next

Payvision (part of ING Bank)

The Co-Operative Bank

The Hut Group

Transport for the North

Corporate tax Tier 1

DLA Piper's corporate tax team works with private equity funds, portfolio companies and management teams, as well as management teams, public sector bodies, educational institutions and privately owned businesses. David Thompson is the key name locally, leveraging his expertise on the tax aspects of M&A, disposals, demergers, group reorganisations and reconstructions; he is also well-versed in respect of management buyout and buy-in transactions, as well as joint ventures. The team also undertakes a large amount of work for US corporations and is knowledgeable of commercial property and inward real estate investment. Legal director Stephen Jones is a VAT, stamp duty, capital allowances and capital gains tax expert.

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Key clients

Orbital Education Limited

Lloyds Development Capital

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

YM&U Group Limited (formerly James Grant Group)

Employment Tier 1

Cross-jurisdictional matters dominate the workload of DLA Piper’s employment practice, which is headed by Alan Chalmers, 'one of the region's leading employment law partners'. Legal directors Helen Hall and Emma Mills, as well as senior associate George Nicholson, are part of a team which advises household name local, national and international clients from a range of sectors on domestic employment issues, routinely acting for them in Employment Tribunal claims and Civil Court matters, especially those related to discrimination and whistleblowing. Other areas of strength are industrial relations advice and TUPE work, with a strong track record of assisting fintech and food and drink clients.

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Testimonials

‘DLA Piper is one of, if not the premier employment team in the North West. This is borne out by the quality of its client base (which is second to none), its responsiveness, commercial awareness and ability to deliver results for clients.’ 

‘Alan Chalmers is approachable, responsive, and has excellent client skills and a knowledge of trade union law and collective bargaining rights that is unmatched in the region. One of the region’s leading employment law partners.’ 

‘The team has breadth and depth of experience, access to exceptional talent throughout the UK, not just limited to London. Openness and ability to work with specific client requirements relating to data management.’ 

‘George Nicholson has the ability to apply his wide knowledge and experience in a way that creates confidence in the stakeholders that he works with. He is able to adapt his style to suit organisational culture and maintain a practical approach to problem-solving without prejudicing the robustness of his underlying advice.’ 

‘We appreciate George Nicholson’s understanding of our business and ability to provide appropriate advice.’ 

Key clients

AB InBev

ABB Limited

Akzo Nobel

Argo Aviation International Ltd

ATPI Group

Canon (UK & Europe)

Compass Minerals Group

Elopak UK Limited

International Hotels Group plc (IHG)

Johnson Matthey plc

Kelly Group

Magnox Limited

Northumbrian Water Group

Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror Group plc)

SDL Plc

Sealed Air Limited

Sodexo

The Co-operative Bank Limited

Verna Group International

Wave Utilities

Cavendish Asset Management

Ernst and Young LLP

Stericycle

Energy Tier 1

At DLA Piper, nuclear work is a keystone of the practice, with the team relied upon for both development and decommissioning matters. Also active on the renewable energy front, the group handles solar projects, district hearing schemes and energy efficiency-related instructions. In addition, waste projects are a key strength of the team and are a particular specialism of practice head Andrew Davies, praised for his ‘great knowledge of the sector’. Legal director Ben Morton represents sponsors, funders and procuring authorities across a wide array of energy sub-sectors.

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Testimonials

Andrew Davies is the lawyer’s lawyer, par excellence. Calm, helpful, pragmatic, commercial, great knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

Kelda Water Services Limited

Sellafield Limited

Korea Electric Power Corporation

Rolls-Royce PLC

Renewi UK Services Limited

Vital Energi Solutions Limited

LondonEnergy

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Pilkington

Ansaldo Nuclear

Innasol

Nu-Generation Limited

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

United Utilities

GE / Alstom Power

Yorkshire Water Services Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

DLA Piper's practice works on regional and national cross-border insolvencies and restructurings. The group also advises public and private companies in distressed situations and acts in contentious issues arising out of  insolvencies and restructurings. The team is led by Robert Russell, who principally focuses on the retail sector, where he has undertaken work on acquisitions and restructurings. Christopher Roberts has acted for banks, insolvency practitioners and asset-based lenders on non-contentious insolvency work.

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Testimonials

‘The team has an ability to provide comprehensive advice on a broad range of very complex insolvency and recovery issues within a very dynamic and litigious environment. Seamless coordination with other groups across their practice and able to respond rapidly as the situation evolved. Fantastic combination of legal and commercial advice.’

‘An experienced team that delivers well on both transactional and insolvency litigation cases.’

‘Helpful and collaborative; able to involve other groups as needed. Always commercially minded, and technically sound.’

‘Robert Russell, Paul Gray and Bethan Moore deserve particular mention. A client-focused and proactive approach. We highly value their ability to balance technical legal advice and commercial judgement.’

Key clients

Aurelius

Close Brothers

Deloitte

Duff & Phelps

Ernst & Young LLP

HSBC Bank Plc

Lloyds Bank Plc

PWC

Sandton Capital Partners

BDO

Quantum

IT and telecoms Tier 1

DLA Piper's team works with clients across a broad spectrum of industries including the financial services, manufacturing and industrial sectors. Its expertise is notably wide-reaching, encompassing cloud computing, IT outsourcing and insourcing, ERP/CRM procurements and systems integration. Sarah Bell leads the regional practice which also demonstrates prowess in respect of payment and fintech matters, project management, data protection and privacy compliance. Lee Brierley is a star name for IT outsourcing and procurement while Stephen Wright frequently acts for public sector clients.  Niche expertise is also held in relation to agile procurements and smart ticketing projects.

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Key clients

AO World

Biffa Group

Cabinet Office

Coach House

Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DT Automotive Limited

EVBox

Globe Union

Graham and Brown

Hotter

Key Retirement Group

Merseytravel

Mitre Finch Holdings Limited

Mobysoft Limited

NCC Group

Next

Orcha Health Limited

Saudi Telecom Company

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Talk Talk

The Co-operative Bank PLC

The Hut Group

Transport for the North

Verna Group International

Pensions Tier 1

DLA Piper's national pensions team is headed from Liverpool by office managing partner Ben Miller, who boasts strong experience of acting for the trustees of some of the largest occupational schemes in the UK. The team, whose local practice head is public sector specialist Claire Bell, regularly advises on scheme mergers, closures, and wind-ups, with expertise handling the pension aspects of complex acquisitions, restructurings, and outsourcing deals. It also has experience in pensions litigation, including internal dispute resolution procedures, Pensions Ombudsman complaints, and representative actions at the High Court. Other names to note are senior associate Kate Beech and legal director Gary Davies.

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Testimonials

‘The team at DLA are extremely diligent, delivering advice which is thorough, pragmatic and well-composed so as to be easily understood by the recipient.’ 

‘The team I work with are extremely professional but more importantly approachable. Ben Miller always takes the time to understand completely the issue in hand before providing his advice. Over recent years the main ‘go-to’ contact at DLA has been Gary Davies and again, like Ben, Gary always ensures he fully understands first what the issues are. Both Ben and Gary go that little bit extra for their clients, they take the time to build solid professional working relationships and never make you feel insignificant.’ 

‘Strong team for pensions litigation. Friendly and a pleasure to work with.’ 

‘Ben Miller is on top of his game in this area and runs a great team.’ 

‘A very strong, knowledgeable and friendly team – they work in conjunction with the Trustee – giving advice where required but also feeding more generally into debates and providing examples.’ 

‘Ben Miller is great to work with in terms of his personality and ‘fit’ with the Trustee Board and in-house team. Willing to be pragmatic where appropriate, yet ensure we meet all legal requirements. He can explain issues in an easy to understand way and his oversight gives us a lot of confidence. Also very willing to listen to any constructive criticism and make changes when required and ensure we as a client are happy with his work.’ 

‘Ben Miller is a very strong client person and trusted adviser. He is pragmatic, commercial and quick on his feet. He is well supported by Gary Davies. They are very enjoyable to work with.’ 

‘The team has expert knowledge and provides precise sound advice for all areas of pension law.’ 

‘When the time comes, they are clear on their views, backed by sound research and when necessary firm and forthright. In challenging situations, they are the people to have by your side.’ 

Key clients

Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme

Manchester Airport Group plc

Project finance and PFI Tier 1

The team at DLA Piper has ‘delivered an excellent, knowledgeable and insightful service over many years’. Andrew Davies, acclaimed for his ‘calm, pragmatic and commercial’ style, heads the team which has a proven track record on national and international projects and continues to support public sector clients on complex regulated procurements. The ‘always availableLiam Cowell prides himself on his ability to successfully close infrastructure market deals, while at the junior end, the ‘excellentBen Morton and Lorna Pattison represents sponsors, funders and procuring authorities in relation to both energy and infrastructure projects.

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Testimonials

‘Exceptional management and ability to think ahead of the programme. The team’s approach is very proactive and often drives the entire project. Importantly, no task is too little or large and timescales are routinely met under very tight deadlines. Appropriate and high quality resource is always available. Response times to calls or queries is outstanding and all issues are followed up without fail.’

‘Liam Cowell is always available and steps in when required. Appropriately forthright when needed. He manages the team well and installs high levels of confidence in advice to client, allowing projects to proceed accordingly.’

‘Ben Mortons’s work output is excellent, timely, exceptionally well articulated and always right first time. Great ability to forecast coming pressure and demands and deploy team according.

‘Hayley Mason’s project and contract knowledge is superb and invaluable to the client. The project would not have progressed at the same pace if the Hayley’s knowledge and advice was not available to the client in such responsive manner.’

‘Andrew Davies is the lawyer’s lawyer, par excellence. Calm, helpful, pragmatic, commercial, great knowledge of the sector.’

‘DLA Piper team have over many years delivered an excellent service, knowledgeable and insightful, easily contactable, but most importantly their advice has been solid and reliable. Particularly when compared with the legal advice that the other parties have received.’

‘The team is responsive, organised, and patient and diplomatic in dealing with our partners and supply chain. Great experience and knowledgebase.’

‘Andrew Davies, Ben Morton and Abigail Matthews bring extensive PFI experience, together with a practical, commercially aware approach rather than the academic legal approach we get elsewhere. Their understanding of the full hierarchy of the contracts stops us making mistakes that cannot be passed on to the supply chain.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

Balfour Beatty Investments Limited

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Vital Energi

Sellafield Ltd

Transport for Greater Manchester

Kelda Water Services Limited

Mersey Gateway Crossing Board Limited

InfraRed Capital Partners

Semperian PPP Investment Partners

Dalmore Capital Limited

Equitix

KEPCO

London Energy

Brookfield Asset Management

Avrenim Facilities Management

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Lloyds Bank

Transport Tier 1

The 'knowledgeable and insightful' transport team at DLA Piper focuses on transport development and advising on rail, motorway, bus, tram and metro infrastructure. The practice also handles construction claims within the sector, as well as asset finance, IT procurement, smart ticketing, outsourcing and PFI/PPP disputes. Liam Cowell heads the team and has significant experience of project finance transactions.

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Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable and insightful.’

Key clients

Welsh Ministers

Transport for the North

Highways England

Commercial litigation: Liverpool Tier 2

Following the departure of Mark Goodwin to establish Provenio Litigation, the ‘excellentChristina Sharma, a legal director, now heads up DLA Piper's Liverpool disputes offering, with Manchester-based Stewart Plant leading the overall North West practice. Sharma advises on the full life-cycle of commercial contractual relationships including management issues, change controls and variations; she is also relied upon for a range of shareholder and partnership disputes. The ‘determined’ team, which is ‘very good at anticipating client needs’, is particularly knowledgeable of the technology sector and acts on a range of disputes relating to corporate transactions.

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Testimonials

‘Christina Sharma was excellent as the lead lawyer on a complex case.’

‘Very client-focused, very good at anticipating client needs. Determined.’

‘Christina Sharma has excellent client handling skills and is always willing to be available.’

Key clients

Lonrho Limited

Information Commissioner Office

Liverpool Football Club

International Cotton Association

Rhea Group Services Limited

USS

Construction Tier 2

The construction practice of DLA Piper is 'exceptionally strong on PFI and projects.' Alison Fagan is a contentious lawyer who has notable expertise in PPP/PFI. The 'excellent' Paul Giles, who leads the team, also acts for clients in construction disputes, with notable expertise in those relating to energy, utilities and infrastructure. Giles is also noted for his international experience, which includes representing clients in Russia and Spain. Legal director Robin Jack is active in matters with a nexus to the transport and education sectors. David Moss practises as a consultant.

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Testimonials

‘Exceptionally strong on PFI and projects. Considerable expertise in rescuing failing large projects.’

‘Very solution-focused team.’

‘Paul Giles is excellent. Very good technically and prepared to give an opinion on best route forward.’

‘Alison Fagan very hands-on and experienced in the area.’

‘Robin Jack – exceptionally hard working and focused.’ 

Crime: general Tier 2

DLA Piper deals with corporate and white-collar crime, and handles matters including internal investigation into senior management misconduct, whistleblower allegations and bribery and corruption. John Gollaglee, who has significant experience relating to corporate criminal liability, is a key name.

Local government Tier 2

DLA Piper supports local government clients across a range of practice areas, handling corporate and commercial projects, planning, outsourcing, real estate, pensions and litigation. The team offers guidance on large-scale procurements, joint ventures and other commercial collaborations, as well as complex planning issues. Sarah Bell, who has extensive experience in commercial projects and joint ventures, jointly leads the group with UK managing partner Liam Cowell, who specialises in infrastructure and project financed transactions. Gemma Cowap focuses on local authority commercial trading projects and public sector outsourcings.

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Testimonials

‘DLA’s expertise has always seemed to be second-to-none in my eyes. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge.’

‘DLA Piper’s team have over many years delivered an excellent service – they are knowledgeable and insightful.’

Key clients

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

Halton Borough Council / Mersey Gateway Crossing Board Authority

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough COuncil

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Vision Limited

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport for Greater Manchester

Transport for the North

Westminster City Council

Property litigation Tier 2

DLA Piper's 'very competent and knowledgeable' property litigation team is spread across the international firm's Manchester and Liverpool offices, advising a wide range of both local and national clients. Martin Griffiths heads up the team, with particular experience in relation to landlord disputes and litigation arising out of development projects. Director Rachael Jones is active on insurance matters and dilapidations claims.

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Testimonials

‘Very competent and knowledgeable.’

‘Martin Griffiths and Rachael Jones stand out.’

Key clients

Schroders

Liverpool Football Club

Picton

Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited

USF Nominees Limited (Unilever’s Pension Fund)

Heineken

Pilkington

Cheshire West and Chester Council

FI Real Estate Management

St James’s Place

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 3

DLA Piper's North West real estate practice is now led by Alison Mills, with Mark Beardwood  stepping into the role of regional office managing partner. Mills acts for key investment clients, while Beardwood continues to lead on major real estate investment matters in the region, advising a range of both regional and national clients. Robert Arnison specialises in development work, while Tom Kelsall is another key figure within the team, acting on cross-border transactions while also maintaining a well-established development and investment practice. Legal director Tim Williams joined the firm in August 2019 from Horizon Nuclear Power.

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Testimonials

‘Accessible advice, both legally and commercially astute.’

‘Tom Kelsall is hardworking, very accessible and provides thorough legal advice, but is also commercial at the same time.’

Key clients

Transport for Greater Manchester

Barings Real Estate Advisers

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

Capital & Centric

Balfour Beatty Investments

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

CBRE Global Investors

FI: Real Estate

Beaufort Capital

Maslow Capital

Soller Real Estate

Aecom Limited

Elite Partners Capital

Portswigger Limited

Intellectual property Tier 3

At DLA Piper, department co-heads Lee Brierley and Peter Brook specialise in a broad range of non-contentious IP work; examples include brand acquisitions and licensing, technology partnering, licensing and manufacturing agreements, protection and exploitation. The team also handles business-critical IP disputes and is particularly knowledgeable of the retail, consumer, manufacturing, industrial and life sciences sectors. Senior associate Jim McDonnell is a dedicated IP lawyer who leads on a number of the team's key matters.

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Key clients

Sellafield

Frederic Robinson

Graham & Brown

Liverpool FC

The University of Liverpool

AO World

Unilever

Becton Dickinson

Newell Brands

Premier League

Aviation Tier 1

The full-service aviation practice at DLA Piper is 'comfortable handling all levels of aviation work from EC26T1 claims up to major air disasters'. This includes being instructed on a mix of litigation, regulatory and transactional matters for a variety of clients, including international and domestic airlines, airports, maintenance organisations and manufacturers, aviation service providers and insurers. Led by Tony Payne, Mark Franklin and of counsel Kathryn Ward, the group acts in high-profile disputes and inquiries, navigates clients through European slots allocation regulations, assists with crisis management work, and provides on-the-ground support to insured parties following plane crashes and accidents. The team works closely with fee earners in various departments and offices across the firm's 'broad global network', assisting clients with commercial aviation issues, competition matters, employment disputes, intellectual property work, technology advice, and finance and projects transactions. Other names to note are senior associate Sophie Brophy and 'top-class litigator' Camilla Bonfield, who was recently promoted to senior associate.

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Testimonials

‘Industry experts in Aviation with a broad global network of lawyers.’

‘Camilla Bonfield (Senior Associate) – Not afraid to think outside the box in tackling unprecedented questions. A top-class litigator that leaves no page unturned.’

‘The DLA Piper Transportation – Aviation practice offers a unique full legal service support for an airline. Stand out qualities are experience, industry know-how and market awareness to bring a commercial market practise view to legal negotiations.’

‘Mark Franklin is a leader in the field of aviation regulation.’

‘Mark Franklin. Knowledgeable, easy to deal with and understands the commercial dimension.’

‘The team is enthusiastic and capable, comfortably handling all levels of aviation work from EC26t1 claims up to major air disasters. Although not as large as the aviation teams in some other practices, DLA do not rest on their laurels and always put the work in.’

‘Kathryn Ward and Mark Franklin have a wealth of experience at all levels of aviation. Kathryn will always go the extra mile for clients and has a realistic and down to earth approach to cases.’

Key clients

Airbus Helicopters

Allianz

AMLIN

Amazon

AXA XL

Bristow Helicopters Limited

British Airways plc

Cincinnati Global Underwriting Limited

CityJet

CV Starr

Delta Air Lines

easyJet

Emirates

Enstar

Etihad Airways

HDI Global Specialty SE

Jet2.com

KLM Royal Ditch Airlines

Manchester Airport Group

Menzies Aviation plc

Virgin Atlantic

United Airlines

Banking and finance Tier 1

DLA Piper has a first-rate reputation in domestic and cross-border finance work, where it is equally strong acting for banks and corporates. Its credentials as a market-leader are evidenced in areas such as syndicated corporate finance, project finance and leveraged/acquisition finance. Brian Woolcock has a wealth of experience of large and complex real estate finance transactions. Stephen Bottley is the head of the finance team in Birmingham, which is embedded in a larger UK-wide group. Senior associate Gemma Lawrence is also recommended.

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Testimonials

‘Pragmatic, commercial advice.’

Key clients

HSBC Bank Plc, HSBC (UK) Bank plc, HSBC Invoice Finance (UK) Limited

RPS Group Plc

Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, RBSIF

Barclays Bank Plc

Lloyds Bank Plc

AVIVA Plc

Investec

Bank Leumi

Clinigen Group Plc

Santander UK Plc

Banking and finance Tier 1

DLA Piper has a proven track record across all financing work, encompassing debt finance work, acquisition and leveraged financing matters and asset-based lending issues, acting for national and international banks and other financial institutions. The practice is active across the region and nationally with further established capabilities in cross-border mandates. The practice also has dedicated real estate and project financing teams; the real estate group is led by Kirstie Allerton, who is joint practice head of the wider department alongside Sarah Day and Anna Robson, who handle major corporate financing matters on a national basis. Senior associate Laura Gordon takes the lead on project financing matters, primarily in the energy and infrastructure spheres.

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Testimonials

Fantastic market insight and experience. Response times are fast and deliverables are of excellent quality. Deal team staffing is very reasonable and even big transactions are always appropriately staffed to accommodate for fast review processes and turn-around times.

Very experienced team who are regionally based but have the strength of a global firm. Great team with fantastic work ethic and excellent response rates. Great mix of the team at all levels and always makes sure the job gets done. Problem solvers, rather than problem creators.

Excellent engagement with both the bank and counterparties on the other side of a transaction and even been known to step and help the other side where they see a blockage or hold up on a transaction by applying sensible logic where needed.

High-quality expertise delivered at a fair price.

Anna Robson – experienced, skilled, personable and efficient.

Key clients

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

National Australia Bank

Aviva Commercial Finance Limited

Henry Boot

National Westminster Bank

Banking litigation Tier 1

DLA Piper's banking litigation practice handles a range of national and international disputes and has particular expertise in defending class actions and contentious Islamic finance matters. The team is led by Adam Ibrahim, who has a broad practice encompassing investment, corporate and retail banking matters and asset finance and receivables finance disputes. Other names to note include the 'exceptionally brightChris Harvey, who has experience in defending banks in a range of claims (including class action litigation) and recently promoted partner Sohail Ali who specialises in Islamic financing work. Hugh Evans remains as a consultant at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

DLA is a very experienced banking firm with loyal bank clients.

Excellent: experienced and cost-effective service.

Adam Ibrahim is a very experienced partner with a healthy scepticism; he tests arguments with the same commercial, legal and practical eye.

Hugh Evans has decades of experience and contacts throughout the world of banking and finance; extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Chris Harvey is an exceptionally bright and hard-working individual.

Legal director Sharon Duncan is very knowledgeable and experienced particularly in mis-selling cases.

Key clients

Alpha Bank

Aviva

Bank of Ireland

Barclays Bank

Clydesdale Bank/Virgin Money

Deutsche Bank

Elavon Financial Services

GE Capital

HSBC Bank Plc

Leeds Building Society

Lloyds Banking Group (incl HBOS)

Metro Bank Plc

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Royal Bank of Scotland Group (incl Nat West & Lombard)

Santander

Skipton Building Society

Standard Chartered Bank

Sun Capital

The Co-operative Bank Plc

Worldpay

Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 1

Attracting praise for providing a 'city-standard service at a fraction of the cost', DLA Piper stands out for its breadth of experience in national and international disputes. The North West litigation and regulatory group functions as part of the national practice led by Neil Bowker, with the Birmingham team (which is headed up by Nicholas Bamford) singled out for its particular strength in corporate litigation, international arbitration and fraud and financial misconduct disputes. Bamford is a name to note for the latter, while the 'absolutely outstanding' Phillip Kelly counts civil fraud, technology and outsourcing disputes among his areas of expertise.

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Testimonials

DLA’s commercial litigation practice in Birmingham provides a ‘City standard’ service at a fraction of the cost. Fast, responsive and knowledgeable.’

I’ve been impressed by the ability of the DLA team as a whole efficiently to progress a number of complex parallel work streams and to prioritise tasks in order to meet difficult deadlines.

Broad depth of expertise with the ability to handle both major pieces of litigation and more day to day disputes in a pragmatic and commercial way.

Nick Bamford is a stalwart of commercial litigation. He has seen it all. Always goes the extra yard for his clients.

Phillip Kelly is phenomenally bright, articulate and hardworking.

Nick Bamford is clear-minded, collaborative, incisive, and practical.

Phillip Kelly is absolutely outstanding. He is very easy to work with, has excellent judgement and has the ability effectively to manage a team under pressure. Phillip is always completely on top of the detail. He is also very good at anticipating issues that are likely to arise in the litigation (rather than reacting to problems as they emerge).’

Nick Bamford is a very astute tactical adviser who cuts through issues in a clear and concise manner. He is particularly adept at managing an arbitration/mediation session and is pro-active in achieving a good commercial result for his client.

Key clients

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Renova Industries Limited

HSBC Plc

Iniciativas Bioenergeticas S.L.

Department for Transport

Angus International Safety Group Limited

Ngali Holdings Limited

David Wilson Homes Limited

Compass Contract Services (UK) Limited

Commercial litigation: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 1

The 'very impressive' litigation and regulatory practice at DLA Piper goes 'above and beyond to deliver the best possible outcomes for the client'. It has impressive cross-border litigation and international arbitration experience and is particularly strong for procurement, competition, IT, pensions and transport disputes. Practice head David Young has a reputation for handling pensions, procurement, banking and finance claims and has been increasingly active in the hotel sector, while 'careful and creative litigator' Simon Kenyon is a popular choice for IT sector clients. Paul Stone and legal director Kathryn Ford are highlighted for public law disputes and contentious pensions matters respectively.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Exceptionally well-managed, committed, and professional team who go above and beyond to deliver the best possible outcomes for the client.

Simon Kenyon is a careful and creative litigator.

The team at DLA in Leeds are very impressive. They have a level of professionalism that inspires confidence in their work. Their experience, diligence and hard work results in very high quality output. They compete at a very high level.

Simon Kenyon is exceptionally good – he has unrivalled experience of running enormous technical cases and managing challenging trials. He is incredibly hard-working and committed, he has excellent judgement, and is a joy to work with.

Paul Stone is a partner that inspires confidence. He has his eye on the ball and understands the bigger picture of each dispute. He asks questions that show he really understands what’s important about each set of issues.

Legal director Sohail Ali is a stand out individual in the litigation/arbitration team. Very responsive, good attention to detail and excellent lawyer.

Key clients

HCL

CWT UK Limited

Heineken UK Limited

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Hitachi Rail Limited

Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire Tier 1

Led by Richard Norman, DLA Piper’s commercial litigation team has expertise in all avenues of domestic and cross-border dispute resolution for international corporate clients. Of particular note is the team’s profile in high-value IT and telecoms disputes; Norman, Sam Milllington and James Watson represent numerous claimants in international arbitration proceedings. Pensions, procurement and competition litigation is also regularly handled and the group also has niche expertise in trusts litigation. Senior associate Barney Connell regularly acts in pre-litigation investigations and risk-management applications. The construction, manufacturing and mining sectors are also areas of expertise.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The DLA Piper team is incredibly responsive and very analytical about their approach.

I have been working with Richard Norman for many years now and he has always delivered a commercial, timely, and good-value-for-money service.

The attorneys at DLA Piper, especially James Watson, are very well informed about the applicable law and are clear in their advice and recommendations.

Really personable people who understand how we work.

Key clients

Gamma Telecom

Atos

DB cargo

Coal Authority

Boots

CBRE

Tata Communications

Adobe

Telenor

Verizon

Commercial property: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 1

DLA Piper has a consistent flow of mandates across multiple industries and further bolstered its offering and client base in the hospitality and leisure sectors with the arrival of Susan Samuel from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in 2019. The team advises investors, national retailers, developers and financial institutions on high-value transactions, development projects and financing matters. John Kittle heads up the Leeds-based property team, Tim Field is active on national and international transactions, and newly promoted partner Ruth Williamson handles corporate occupier asset management issues, financial services work and portfolio transactions. Senior associate Dean Peachey recently assisted with several retail and hospitality sector developments.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

This team delivers London quality work for regional prices. They can take on high value complex projects whilst offering innovative delivery methods and pricing structures for the low value more mundane projects. They have a very good team of fee earners at differing and appropriate levels of ability. They have effectively incorporated highly skilled paralegals into their team who rival the abilities of associates at other firms. Good billing transparency, they always keep us in the loop on costs and they pitch their fees at the right level.

Susan Samuel – She is an extremely commercial lawyer, she understands the business realities of a large multinational company and she can coordinate her team to deliver exceptional service. She is always reactive to our evolving needs as a business and is the first person we go to in a crisis. She knows the retail, hospitality and hotels sectors inside out.’

Matt Ramsden – A stand-out associate at the firm, he has great technical skills and is very good at issue spotting. Sometimes he identifies risks that we would not have otherwise spotted in-house. He also has great managerial skills and he can take large teams of Trainees/Paralegals and Junior Associates under his wing and delegate work at the right level effectively. He is well versed in working with large international clients and on high value complex real estate deals.

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland

British Airways

Harrison Street Real Estate

Merlin Entertainments

Haynes

Heineken

Telereal Trillium

Sytner Group Plc

Diocese of Leeds Trustee

Uber

EAT

Elliott Group Limited

Hilton

Kentucky Fried Chicken/Yum

Selina

Dixons Carphone

New Look

JD Sports

Hain Daniels Group

United Kingdom Research and Innovation

Smithy Wood Business Parks Development

Northampton Roman Catholic Diocese Trustee

Ocean Network Express

Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire Tier 1

DLA Piper maintains a national practice from its Sheffield office, with clients including property developers, commercial occupiers, heavy industry companies and multinationals; key local clients include Tata Steel and Sheffield Wednesday FC. Practice head Nigel Howard handles a diverse range of matters including town centre regeneration projects, residential and mixed-use developments, and portfolio sales and acquisitions. Stephen Blacksell advises funders and operators on development projects, with a particular strength in student accommodation matters.

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Testimonials

I have worked with Mark Keeling for 2 years. I have found Mark to be excellent and very easy to work with – commercially-minded, concise and always available. He also has a thorough knowledge of my business, which is invaluable.

Good strong advice. Very balanced in their views. Very genuine approach.

Stephen Blacksell – Very switched on and sound legal adviser. Big supporter of our sectors and knowledgeable in it.’

Key clients

Watkin Jones

Sheffield Wednesday Football Club

Ansys UK

ITM Power

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Roundhill Capital

Tata Steel UK

Tes Global

The University of Sheffield

Wavin (Orbia)

Tarmac

Coal Products

Langley Properties Limited

ASD

J F Finnegan

Tapton Estates

University of Sheffield

Debenhams

GE Energy

HSBC Bank

Newell Rubbermaid

Price Check Toiletries

Rhodia UK

Solvay

Construction Tier 1

Ian Doig and David Moss jointly lead the team at DLA Piper, which assists with regional, national and international infrastructure projects; recent cross-border work included issues in Malta and across Eastern Europe and Russia. The group has handled real estate developments for residential and commercial developers as well as further education and healthcare clients, alongside infrastructure projects for clients including Highways England; Leeds-based Ben Peecock is a specialist in this field. While the firm has a global platform, its has a notable presence in Yorkshire, enabling it to lead major projects from both its Sheffield and Leeds offices.

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Testimonials

Impressive team which is well led. Good level of resource, hardworking and knowledgeable and accessible.

Key clients

BAE

Visa Europe

Henry Boot

Artisan

Highways England

Roundhill Capital

Credit Suisse

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham Tier 1

DLA Piper has an outstanding track record in complex, high-profile and strategically significant M&A, corporate reorganisations and IPOs, among other matters. In addition to acting on domestic transactions, its first-rate group also excels in mandates with a cross-border component. The team includes Tim Lake and senior associate Simon Wright, who were among the advisers to Sovereign Capital Partners and the management shareholders on the £250m auction disposal and secondary MBO of the Outcomes First Group by The National Fostering Agency. Charles Cook heads up the UK corporate practice, while Noel Haywood leads the team in Birmingham. Robert Newman made partner in May 2020.

Testimonials

An excellent range of experienced lawyers, great joined-up working with other specialisms within DLA Piper. Get the job done efficiently and effectively

Pragmatic, responsive and more then legal advisers. Rising star – Rob Shaw

Key clients

2 Sisters Food Group

Adenia Partners

Alstom SA

Altrad

Barclays Bank Plc

Blom

Brewdog Plc

Bridgestone

Bromford Industries

Chamberlin Plc

Clinigen Group Plc

Darwin Group

Dechra Pharmaceuticals Plc

Dignity Plc

DS Smith Plc

East End Foods Group

Ecolab, Inc.

Elan Homes

Fetim BV

Foster+Freeman

GKN

H&M Hennes & Mauritz

Hill & Smith

Huber + Suhner

Iberia Industry Capital

John Menzies Plc

Kelda Group

Lotus Bakeries

Mettis Aerospace

Mondelez

National Grid

NFT Ventures

Noble Foods Group Limited

Norsk Hydro ASA

Ocean Outdoor

Permira

Rolls Royce Plc

Sertec Corporation Limited

SmileDirectClub

Sodexo

Sovereign Capital Partners

Starstone Insurance Services Limited

Starwood Capital

Swissport

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc

Thomas International

Watkin Jones

Webjet Limited

Wipro Limited

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 1

The international focus of DLA Piper's corporate and commercial team sees practice head Andrew Davies and Stephen Atkinson handling high-value private equity deals across all sectors, most notably in the renewable energy, life sciences, healthcare, infrastructure and utilities industries. John Gallon leads on equity capital markets transactions, most recently in the automotive, manufacturing, technology and retail sectors. As well as heading the commercial practice, Matthew Duncombe chairs the firm’s global hospitality and leisure practice; representative work includes advising Marriott International on its entry into the home-sharing market. Legal director Milena Falciano-Padron supports the commercial practice on distribution arrangements, supply contacts, franchising work and procurement negotiations.

Testimonials

The team provides practical commercial legal advice which is appropriate to the challenges we face.’

‘They find solutions to the various challenges we present to them in, at times, a challenging environment

‘The dependability is a key strength and along with their excellence in experience, skill and judgement. Their support is valued.

Customer-centric, pragmatic, commercially focused advice.’

A good client-centred corporate team well led by John Gallon.

Milena Falciano-Padron brings a practical, commercial approach to all matters she is engaged on. Her common sense approach is invaluable support.’

Matt Duncombe is a highly experienced partner who brings a sense of calm to all instructions. Focusing on the areas that make a difference in a matter, he is a great support.

Mark Cliffe is a great performer in the corporate team.

John Gallon was a strong negotiator, excellent at communicating complex ideas to his clients, very responsive and quick to deliver any required work.

Key clients

Asmodée

Cube Infrastructure Fund

Yorkshire Water

Sun Capital

Greencoat

Highlander Partners

Marriott International

UBM Hotels

Paul

Sodexo

Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire Tier 1

DLA Piper fields a premier corporate practice with a focus on private M&A and equity capital markets transactions. Practice head Rob McKie, Richard May and David Beech handle headline deals across the breadth of sectors; recent highlights encompass the oil and gas, manufacturing, media and retail industries. Complex corporate restructurings and high-value fundraising ventures are also strong areas of focus. Commercial contracts and distribution agreements are handled by a market-leading team, led by Roger Gough, for a stand-alone roster of international clients in the retail, food and drink, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

A highly commercial, pragmatic team, offering excellent value for money and a first-class service.

Strengths are clarity/brevity of advice and understanding of our priorities. I always appreciate to the point, clear advice which directly answers a question being asked.

The go-to firm for corporate support. Capable of dealing with complex cross-border matters.

Straightforward, down to earth and approachable.

Richard May stands out as a corporate partner that inspires total confidence and this can be found throughout his highly competent team.

I could not rate Liam Freeman and Richard May more highly. Pragmatic, timely and clear advice was always given, and DLA prioritised our deal to the highest degree. I would not hesitate to recommend either Richard or Liam. What makes them stand out is the prioritisation of our deal and willingness to help at a moment’s notice.

Key clients

Arconic

Tes Global

Unlimited group

Anglo African Oil & Gas Plc

Anglo Tunisian Oil & Gas Ltd

University of Sheffield

Iconic Labs plc

Play Sports Group Ltd

Avanti Gas Ltd

Heineken UK Ltd

Westland Horticulture

Reckitt Benckiser

Mothercare

THE World Universities Insights

CommVault

Ibstock Brick

Heygates

Willerby

Westland Horticulture

Zoo Digital Group plc

Employment Tier 1

DLA Piper continues to be involved in major multi-jurisdictional projects such as significant restructurings, reorganisations as well as outsourcing and insourcing transactions. Other strengths lie in high-profile and complex employment tribunal and High Court litigation. Under the leadership of Sandra Wallace the team has developed considerable niche expertise in diverse areas such as the gig economy and IR35 matters as well as #MeToo, holiday pay and national minimum wage issues for a number of its clients in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. It also has considerable sector expertise in other areas including the manufacturing, technology and energy sectors. Emma Phillips is another name to note for her extensive transactional, litigation and cross-border project expertise.

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Testimonials

‘The ability to obtain consolidated advice in related areas (e.g. tax, corporate and litigation) is a huge benefit and has helped meet our business’ objectives on several time sensitive matters and projects’.

Robert Forsyth and Sandra Wallace have always taken a commercial and pragmatic approach to resolving complex legal issues to achieve the desired result for our business. They have demonstrated an understanding of our business’ needs and Robert has gone above and beyond in terms of his responsiveness‘.

Key clients

Dyson

Hilton International Hotels (UK) Limited

National Grid plc

Clarks

Genting Casinos

Collins Aerospace

Sodexo

Wesleyan

Newell Brands

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 1

DLA Piper’s employment team is retained by an international client roster comprised of high-profile names in the financial services, retail, hospitality, technology and public sectors. Particular fields of expertise include internal misconduct governance issues, workplace mental health management work and business immigration strategies. Practice head Jane Hannon provides restructuring advice on multijurisdictional corporate transactions and assists clients with HMRC investigations into minimum wage compliance. Recent contentious highlights include representing clients in landmark disputes regarding the entitlements of self-employed workers; Hannon also recently handled a cross-border fraud investigation concerning senior directors.

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Testimonials

A pragmatic, commercial approach is taken when providing guidance. This enables sometimes complex cases to be dealt with quickly and efficiently with minimal risk to our organisation.

The DLA Leeds team are excellent; they provide us with closely considered advice and are always very approachable and adaptable. They are a huge asset to DLA Piper.

Their skills compliment our internal capabilities. This means that they act as easy to reach, approachable members of an extended source of resource for our organisation.

Jane Hannon is very knowledgeable and provides excellent, well-balanced advice. She understands issues quickly and is able to offer advice on options to deal with an issue in a fair and practical manner.

Key clients

Emerald Publishing

Hawk Incentives

HSBC

New Balance

Shiseido Group

Wyndham Hotel Group

Dentsu Aegis Group

Verizon Communications

Howden Joinery

Leeds Building Society

Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire Tier 1

DLA Piper’s employment practice is highly rated for its international capabilities across the manufacturing, retail, hospitality and technology sectors. Practice head Clare Gregory and Gurpreet Duhra handle complex TUPE instructions, multijurisdictional restructurings, outsourcing issues and large-scale policy reviews including workplace harassment, mental health and discrimination policies. On the contentious side, the team is regularly engaged in Employment Tribunal disputes including unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and victimisation claims, acting for pharmaceuticals and technology companies. Associate Gemma Harper is developing a reputation for handling matters at the cross section of employment and data privacy law.

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Key clients

Ardagh Group

Mothercare plc

Merlin Entertainments

Puma United Kingdom Limited

University of Sheffield

Rolls Royce

All Saints Retail Limited

Verizon Communications

River Island

Dixons Carphone

Environment Tier 1

DLA Piper advises on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious environmental matters, encompassing regulatory compliance, investigations and prosecutions, transactional support and policy development. The team works on a national basis, with high-profile corporate clients in retail, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and minerals. The 'determined and dedicated' Teresa Hitchcock leads the team in Sheffield, and is a noted authority on environmental legal issues relating to regeneration, contaminated land, and climate change. Alistair Clough is noted for his work on transactional risk assessments and waste management issues.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Teresa Hitchcock is determined and dedicated – she is totally committed to her clients’ interests and they are hugely loyal to her.

Key clients

Tata

Boparan Holdings

Unilever

BEIS

Wilko

Heineken UK

Aggregate Industries

Tarmac Services

Fine Lady Bakeries

Fraud: civil Tier 1

DLA Piper excels in domestic and cross-border civil fraud cases in the financial services, energy, private wealth, media, sports and entertainment sectors. It is able to leverage its large litigation, arbitration, corporate crime and investigations practices to handle matters of the utmost complexity for clients. The firm also distinguishes itself through its third party funding group, which enables the team to take on class actions from groups of claimants who suffer financial harm from the same act of fraud. 'Consummate rainmaker and brilliant strategist' Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry focuses on cross-border disputes, including fraud and asset tracing matters in the banking, energy and natural resources sectors. Jeremy Andrews and Jamie Curle specialise in cross-border fraud and asset tracing litigation and arbitration. Associate Jeremy Sher stands out for his consistent involvement in high value, cross-border fraud disputes.

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Testimonials

‘A strong commercial civil fraud team.’

‘Bright, user-friendly people across all stages. First-class service without pomposity and fuss.’

‘Jeremy Andrews is an excellent strategist and cool-headed in difficult situations.’

‘Jamie Curle is energetic and committed to the client’s cause.’

‘Jeremy Andrews has excellent leadership skills, is clear and reasonable in his expectations, and handles clients very well.’

Key clients

Thomas Kalaris

Renova Industries Limited

Health and safety Tier 1

At DLA PiperTeresa Hitchcock is a highly renowned health and safety expert, who leads the national team out of the Sheffield office. With its origins as a corporate compliance practice, the group excels in large-scale risk assessments and regulatory compliance programmes for domestic and global corporates. Clients stem from high-risk sectors including the manufacturing, food processing, healthcare and construction industries. Director Alistair Clough regularly assists with corporate due diligence and investigations arising from workplace injuries. The firm also has a notable reputation for its involvement in nationally important inquests and regulatory investigations.

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Key clients

Airbus Helicopters S.A.S.

Health and safety Tier 1

Sector strengths for the health and safety team at DLA Piper include retail, manufacturing, construction and a growing health and social care practice. The department is particularly known for its non-contentious and compliance work, advising clients on risk management matters, but also advises throughout the investigation and prosecution of offences. Teresa Hitchcock, who jointly heads the team with Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry and Neil Bowker, has a broad-ranging practice which covers all areas of health and safety, product safety and food safety law, and regulatory aspects of healthcare and medical devices. Ailish Oxenforth focuses on non-contentious and advisory work. Alistair Clough is also recommended.

Testimonials

‘Teresa Hitchcock’s knowledge is second to none and her advice through experience is always acted on’

‘Ailish Oxenforth is a consummate professional and reacts quickly and accurately to provide the correct advice / action’

Key clients

Airbus Helicopters S.A.S.

Infrastructure and energy Tier 1

DLA Piper handles landmark international projects in the energy sector from its Leeds base under the leadership of Natasha Luther-Jones, who is also the firm’s global co-chair of energy and natural resources. Recent matters include high-value offshore wind farm financing work and development mandates involving corporate PPAs across the EU. Jennifer Keogh is a stand-out senior associate. On the domestic front, government bodies instruct the team on public tender programmes for solar power projects. The large team of infrastructure professionals is fronted by Robert Smith . Government bodies, local authorities and private sector clients engage the team on PFI and PPP transactions, rail franchise agreements, rolling stock procurements and transport infrastructure issues.

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Testimonials

‘We have worked with the projects team for many years, and the depth of knowledge that they are able to provide of our contract is unique because of that. The great weakness with projects contracts is that those procuring and bidding for them seldom see it through to managing the contract. That isn’t a weakness that we have in working with DLA.’

‘Carla Hancock’s knowledge of our contract is superb, but she also has a very good understanding of our organisation and business needs. This depth of knowledge is a key reason for working with DLA and has enabled us to successfully complete a number of very complex pieces of work with the firm.’

Key clients

Greencoat UK Wind

NTR plc

National Grid

DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

European Federation of Energy Traders

City of London Corporation

Credit Suisse

GE Renewable Energy

Highways England

Department for Transport

Tyne & Wear PTE (Nexus)

Gazprom Energoholding

Hitachi Rail

Birmingham City Council

Nord/LB

Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group (MUFG) also known as BTMU

Falck Renewables

Henry Boot Developments

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

DLA Piper delivers local market knowledge out of the Birmingham office, and also leverages additional expertise found elsewhere in the firm's wider network. Huw Dolphin leads the team, which attracts many of the largest, high-profile and most complex mandates seen in the market. One notable highlight for the team involved advising RSM UK LLP on the administration of Forever 21 (UK) Limited in 2019. Senior associate Deborah Brown takes the lead on key assignments.

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Testimonials

‘A very strong team operating out of DLA’s Birmingham office – we have had a very good experience dealing with the team on a number of instructions.’

‘Excellent service and always very accessible. Great strength and depth across the team.’

Key clients

PwC

HSBC

Lloyds Banking Group

NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland

Grant Thornton

Ernst & Young LLP

CBRE

Avison Young

RBS IF

Wells Market Square Management Company LLC (“Wells”)

Intellectual property Tier 1

DLA Piper acts for high-profile global corporates across the life sciences and technology sectors, handling IP commercialisation projects under the guidance of Sheffield-based Richard Taylor. Leigh Martin heads up the Leeds team with an emphasis on trade mark and design prosecutions and portfolio management work. Martin’s broad client roster includes food and drink, cosmetics and manufacturing companies. With support from associates Rebecca Piper and Jim McDonnell (based in Leeds and Sheffield respectively), the practice acts in IP litigation concerning patents, trade marks and design infringements.

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Testimonials

The Yorkshire IP team at DLA Piper put the interests of clients at the heart of every decision they make. While other practices may have a more dictatorial approach DLA consider all aspects of the matter before taking it forwards.

DLA Piper are efficient and effective litigators who focus unflinchingly on their clients’ commercial goals. They stand out from their competitors in the efficiency and attention to detail that they provide.

Leigh Martin is a commercially effective and incisive lawyer. He is a calm operator who always keeps the commercial goals of the client at the centre of decision making. A real expert in the world of IP and brand enforcement.

Aaron Trebble is extremely efficient and focused. A very sound lawyer.

Key clients

Portakabin Limited

LivaNova Plc

GE Healthcare

Knauf

Inovink

Karium Limited

Edyn Limited

Republic Technologies

Victoria Plum

Ardagh

IT and telecoms Tier 1

DLA Piper’s IPT practice handles expansive technology rollouts across the UK and Europe for high-profile global IT vendors. The extensive partnership includes team co-heads Amanda Pilkington and Mark Vipan (in Sheffield and Leeds respectively); both are go-to names for complex IT outsourcing and licensing negotiations for private and public sector clients. Leeds-based co-head Simon Kenyon and fellow co-head Richard Norman in Sheffield act in IT-related outsourcing disputes and litigation, with support from senior associate James Watson. The team also has a unique cyber and data privacy offering under Andrew Dyson, which benefits from a suite of digital tools which assist clients with regulatory compliance issues.

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Testimonials

Exceptionally well managed, committed, and professional team who go above and beyond to deliver the best possible outcomes for the client. In-depth and detailed understanding of the technical complexities of TMT cases.

The DLA Piper team is very knowledgeable about IT and telecoms. We rely upon their expertise about these industries and the applicable law and are confident in their analysis and recommendations. Their network of attorneys throughout Europe is of particular help to us as a global company.

Deep sector and subject matter expertise with access to resources around the world as required.

Simon Kenyon is exceptionally good- he has unrivalled experience of running enormous technical cases and managing challenging trials. He is incredibly hard working and committed, he has excellent judgement, and is a joy to work with. His understanding of the technical issues thrown up by TMT cases is exceptional.

Both Richard Norman and James Watson understand IT and telecoms. Their experience and expertise is just what we need. We know that we can rely on their advice without doubt.

Amanda Pilkington brings a pragmatic approach that is focused on getting the deal done while making sure that corners are not cut.

Key clients

CommVault Systems International BV

Atos IT Services Ltd

HID Global

Reckitt Benckiser

Jet2.com

NHS Digital

Asda

Department for Work and Pensions

Telenor Global Services AS

Tata Communications

CBRE

Arqiva

IT and telecoms Tier 1

With expertise in technology and outsourcing deals, DLA Piper has local, national and global expertise in litigation, IP and corporate matters in the IT and telecoms sectors. Practice head Kit Burden’s experience covers a range of outsourcing and complex technology transactions, advising users and suppliers of IT on all aspects of the procurement process. Also recognised is Mike Conradi, who focuses on outsourcing contracts in the telecoms sector.

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Testimonials

‘Commercial approach, ability to win respect from business and project teams while working effectively with in-house legal team.’

‘Kit Burden has a pragmatic and solution oriented approach.’

Key clients

Ministry of Defence

NHS/Connecting for Health

DEFRA

HMRC

HSBC

Royal Bank of Scotland

Standard Chartered Bank

UBS

Aviva

LivaNova

Ooredoo Kuwait

Neqsol Holding

VEON

HCL Technologies

All the UK mobile operators (BT, Vodafone, Telefonica, Three)

National Grid

LEGO

International Consolidated Airlines

Hyundai Motor Company

M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 1

DLA Piper leverages its global network of offices to advise clients undertaking transactions spanning a range of jurisdictions, in addition to being able to offer a strong UK-wide presence. Key sectors for the M&A team include TMT and corporate real estate. M&A practice head Jon Kenworthy specialises in consumer goods, while Robert Bishop leads the wider corporate group. The team  received a significant boost in London in September 2020 with the recruitment of former Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher  partner Jonathan Earle  and former McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP  private equity partner Piero Carbone . In 2019 it added M&A partnerTracey Renshaw  from Clifford Chance in Australia.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘A full service and competent offering’

‘Strong legal prowess along with sensible commercial perspectives’

Lead partner had gravitas and coordinated the legal aspects of the deal demonstrating strong legal prowess along with sensible commercial perspectives.

Full competent service offering, M&A team was hired for an exit and their competition team, financing team, tax team and labour team all assisted on various legal work streams at different stages to ensure the deal was closed.

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

DLA Piper acts for international media and entertainment companies on a breadth of transactional, regulatory and contentious issues from sponsorship agreements to M&A and intellectual property disputes. Practice head Nick Fitzpatrick counts copyright, digital broadcasting, television, sport, film and sponsorship matters among his areas of specialism, while Duncan Calow 'should be on your speed dial' for publishing-related matters. The group also has experience in advertising and marketing issues, for which John Wilks and Claire Sng are names to note. The multidisciplinary practice also includes intellectual property litigator Ruth Hoy and media rights lawyer John Cloke (who focuses on the sale and acquisition of sports rights, content distribution work and media technology issues). Senior associates Sam Churney and Oliver Kichenside are other key contacts for media rights exploitation issues following Patrick Mitchell's departure to Latham & Watkins.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Breadth of expertise for the publishing sector.

Duncan Calow, he should be on your speed dial.’

Key clients

Discovery

LEGO

Rakuten

BPI (British Recorded Music industry) Limited

TEAM (Television Event and Media Marketing) AG

World Rugby

Hilton

Springer Nature Limited

Unilever

The Football Association Premier League

Philip Morris International

Dataco

Oil and gas Tier 1

DLA Piper is praised for its depth of expertise across the oil and gas value chain, from exploration and production matters to midstream and downstream projects. Practice co-heads James Carter and Philip Chong have an outstanding record in international arbitration and litigation proceedings in the oil and gas sector. Andreas Gunst is particularly recommended for work involving cross-border gas pipelines in Europe and the Middle East. Project finance expert Nacim Bounouara and transactional specialist Tracey Renshaw joined from Ashurst and Clifford Chance LLP respectively, in early 2019. Charles Morrison joined Ernst & Young Global Limited in mid-2020.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Great staff to fill all necessary roles in a team of any size, enormous work ethic and high quality work output, focused leadership and currently the best litigation approach of any firm in the city.’

‘Specialised and dedicated team with broad and deep knowledge of the subject matters. Dedication to seeing the task through is exceptional.’

‘Philip Chong is a star partner. Astute, but sensible, he brings real clout to the biggest cases. James Carter goes the extra mile to achieve the best outcome for his clients.’

Key clients

Gazprom JSC

National Grid Gas

Cyprus’s state owned National Gas Public Company (DEFA)

China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau

Mytilineos SA

Gastrans d.o.o.

ICGB AD

Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Victoria Oil & Gas PLC

Oando PLC

Planning Tier 1

The team at DLA Piper advises on large-scale infrastructure projects of significant national importance, acting for major banks, developers and public sector bodies as well as a number of global clients. The practice handles general planning issues, financing matters, land acquisitions, and contentious work. Notable mandates include road improvement schemes, rail developments and aviation industry projects, as well as key regional urban regeneration work and renewable energy infrastructure projects. Senior associate Claire Stoneman advises several of the firm's key clients on development planning work, compulsory purchases and asset protection mandates.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

DLA Piper have over many years delivered an excellent service, knowledgeable and insightful, easily contactable, but most importantly their advice has been solid and reliable.

The team is dynamic, commercially aware and always on call. It has been an absolute pleasure working with DLA and the delivery so far has been excellent. Without fail. Apart from the knowledge you would expect them to have, their ability to work creatively and sensitively with the local authority and find solutions to get us past various impasses have been impressive.

Can do attitude. Personal involvement and a sense of personal investment. They see the bigger picture and certainly don’t appear to be driven by the billable hour, but rather the delivery of great work.

Key clients

York Central Partnership

Highways England

British Airways

Merlin Entertainments

Royal Bank of Scotland

Planning Tier 1

DLA Piper's 'very team focused and collaborative' planning practice is at the forefront of precedent-setting developments in the market, exemplified by Trevor Ivory and Howard Bassford successfully representing HS2 in the first appeal and judicial review under Schedule 17 to the HS2 Act. Ivory chairs the UK-wide practice and he leads on all aspects of planning and compulsory purchase work; while Bassford, who's 'insight is second to none', focuses on obtaining planning and other regulatory approvals for major energy, infrastructure, marine and railway development projects. Directors Ian Graves and Amy Truman are also names to note, as is associate Pieter Claussen, who is experienced in negotiating section 106 agreements and managing public inquiries.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Very team focused and collaborative. They engage with interpretation of design and project parameters securing what is required through the application of well communicated legal planning advice.’

‘Howard Bassford’s wider knowledge of projects, financing and politics expands the breadth of advice provided by him and his team members on obtaining consent for infrastructure projects. His insight is second to none.’

‘Howard Bassford is an excellent lawyer and very respectful of professional advice from the consultant team and works with people giving clear direction where its lacking or its needed. He challenges and tests ‘logic’ and assumption. He understands design and cultural narrative that impacts project promotion.’

‘Trevor Ivory has very extensive experience in planning, is very clever and has excellent judgement. Pieter Claussen complements him well.’

Key clients

HS2 Limited

Department for Transport

Highways England

East West Rail Company

Mace Group

Norfolk Homes Limited

Pigeon Land Limited

Signature Senior Lifestyle

National Grid

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 1

DLA Piper has recently strengthened its capabilities in renewable energy with the addition of four partners; Anna Mills from Hogan Lovells International LLP, Nacim Bounouara from Ashurst, Rebecca Williams from Addleshaw Goddard and Fredrik Lindblom, who relocated from the firms' Oslo office. Leeds-based Natasha Luther-Jones, global co-chair of the energy and natural resources group, is another key figure in the team, which has a preeminent practice in big-ticket wind and solar power acquisitions, sales and financings, alongside top-tier expertise in technology developments including corporate PPAs, battery storage work and smart metering issues. Other areas of strength include advising on interconnector projects in developing countries in Asia and handling alternative energy matters in the Nordics. Associate Jeremy MacIver is highlighted for his expertise in corporate Power Purchase Agreements.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The DLA Piper team is flexible and personable while providing excellent and commercially oriented legal advice from the point of a project finance bank. The team/firm has very extensive experience across geographies.’

‘Extremely experienced and knowledgeable of the renewable energy sector, with key strengths relative to other firms being partner engagement, quality of work, and focus on delivery. This ties in with good choices in general for partnerships when consulting consortia are required by the client.’

‘Natasha Luther-Jones stands out as a friendly and knowledgeable expert in the field. I have worked with her on several corporate PPAs now, and can comfortably say that she is the best in her peer group.’

‘Jeremy Maclver showed great dedication and knowledge of Power Purchase Agreements for Renewable Energy projects.’

Key clients

City of London Corporation

DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale

Solar Century Holdings Limited

Greencoat Solar Assets Limited & Greencoat Solar Assets II

responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding Company (rAREH)

African Development Bank

National Australia Bank

MET

European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)

Ernst & Young

Nord/LB

Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners AG (CSEIP)

Greencoat UK Wind plc

OX2

NTR plc

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Equitix

Unilever

Energiekontor

Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 1

DLA Piper maintains a consistently high deal volume across the UK and Europe, with heavy involvement in venture and growth capital, alongside mid-market private equity transactions. The firm has a strong presence across the UK and Europe, with transactional lawyers able to support the specialist private equity team in London. The practice acts for a number of notable PE houses, including  Duke Street, Ares, and Inflexion- a new client for the firm. Practice head Tim Wright is consistently active in his work with many of the firm's most prominent clients, while Ed Griffiths specialises in technology transactions, particularly those with cross-border elements. Manchester-based James Kerrigan has notable relationships with Beech Tree, LDC, and ECI Partners, while John Pryor is also recommended. Piero Carbone joined the team from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Highly pragmatic and proactive. A key positive of working with DLA is that they have breadth as a firm and typically think forward (i.e. what could be the potential pitfalls) and proactively bring people with specialist knowledge into the situation ahead of time. They also have a deep routed understanding of PE structures.

Tim Wright – deep knowledge of all aspects of PE dealmaking. Always calm, upbeat and on top of the critical points across the whole transaction.’

John Pryor – pragmatic and committed. Always available and able to give us straightforward advice with a short turnaround.

Key clients

August Equity

Beech Tree Private Equity

Coast2Coast Capital

Duke Street Capital

EMK Capital

Graphite Capital

H.I.G. European Capital Partners

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Lloyds Development Capital

Maven Capital

Marwyn Partners

North Edge

Professional negligence: claimant Tier 1

DLA Piper has long-standing relationships with some of the UK's largest banks, building societies and accountancy firms, which it advises on a wide variety of complex professional negligence matters with particular expertise in issues arising from commercial lending work. Adam Ibrahim leads the practice and has experience in mandates involving solicitor, surveyor and valuer negligence relating to commercial property transactions and substantial asset purchases. Fellow co-head and consultant Hugh Evans has notable contentious expertise and is a key contact for financial services sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Bank of Ireland

Lloyds Banking Group (including Bank of Scotland)

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest)

PwC

Leeds Building Society

GE Capital

Property litigation Tier 1

DLA Piper leads on a variety of high-profile national and international mandates from its Sheffield and Leeds offices, with the team acting for major corporates in the retail, transport, telecoms and finance sectors and acting in claims arising from property developments. The practice is jointly led by Sheffield managing partner Petra Billing, who leads the firm's mining and minerals work across Europe and also handles specialist corporate occupier work, and Leeds-based John Kittle, who focuses on commercial landlord and tenant matters and portfolio management disputes. Rob Shaw is also noted for his work in high-profile contentious proceedings for major clients.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Petra Billings provides a consistently high level of service. In particular, the advice provided by Petra is consistent, practical, commercially sensible, very user friendly and tailored to the recipient of the advice and the extent of their legal/practical knowledge of the issues at hand, timely, proactive and good value for money.

First class and highly experienced team of property litigators at the top of their game.

Michelle Eyre is brilliant – she is very efficient, knowledgeable and a joy to work with.

Dedicated team with excellent service covering a wide range of skills.

John Kittle and Claire Swailes – personable providing very good and commercially relevant legal advice; always timely.

Petra Billing gives very clear, good and timely advice and we very much value her counsel.

Key clients

Telereal Trillium

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Heineken UK

Sytner UK

British Airways

Liberty Steel

Arconic

Aggregate Industries UK Limited

HS2

HS1

UPS

Al Ain Holdings

Priory Central Services

Retail and consumer Tier 1

With ‘a global team of commercially minded lawyers, who assist with work across a variety of practice areas and territories’, DLA Piper ‘genuinely tries to operate as an extension of the in-house team’ for retail and consumer clients. Notable names on the firm’s client roster include Nike, Arcadia and Unilever. IP and brands expert Ruth Hoy is international head of the retail group and Mark Dewar (who advises on supply chain contracts and product launches) is international head of the consumer goods practice, while Birmingham-based Noel Haywood is head of the global consumer goods, food and retail team, and technology transactional specialist Chloe Forster is the UK sector lead for consumer goods, food and retail. The dedicated practice is singled out for its commercial contract expertise across the full spectrum of retail supply chains and also has notable regulatory experience. The group expanded its retail real estate offering with the recruitment of Susan Samuel from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in 2019.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Ruth Hoy and Chloe Forster have been our key contacts at DLA Piper. I’ve been working with them for the past 2 years and I cannot stress enough how much positive feedback we’ve received on the two of them. The best quality we value in them is their commitment to truly impacting young businesses by providing tangible results. We also appreciate their enthusiasm in getting involved in the different projects, where they always make sure they take part, thus showing that their commitment to the fashion sector is not only professional but also personal, and genuine.

DLA Piper has broad expertise in retail and consumer both from an IP and commercial perspective but also in other practice areas across the firm. They have a very significant platform worldwide across all practice areas.’

DLA provide a global team of commercially minded lawyers that assist with work across a variety of practice areas and territories. They genuinely try to operate as an extension of the in house team and provide clear recommendations and advice.

Ruth Hoy provides strategic and commercial advice across a variety of areas and is someone we truly value for her opinion and insight. She also plays a crucial role in leading the DLA team across multiple territories.’

DLA really take the time to get to know our internal team and understand our business, which enables them to better support us and act as a true extension of our in-house team. It also enables them to focus on the big picture and deliver pragmatic business solutions to complicated legal issues. Their lawyers are prepared to adopt a commercial approach when required and give us clear recommendations rather than simply laying out the options. They have excellent attention to detail and are able to tailor their advice to our specific needs and provide it in a way that can be efficiently relayed to our internal clients.

Key clients

Nike Inc.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz B.V. & Co. KG

Mothercare plc

The Hut Group Limited

C & J Clark International Limited

Kering SA

PRADA Germany GmbH

Levi Strauss & Co.

The Carphone Warehouse Ltd

ALPINESTARS S.p.A.

Valentino SpA.

Rocca S.p.A.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited

Lloyds Pharmacy Limited

Deckers Outdoor Corporation

AllSaints

River Island

Arcadia

LVMH Fashion Group France SNC

Superdry Plc

Unilever

Heineken

AO World plc

The Department for Business Enterprise Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)

Specialized Bicycle Components Inc,

Transport Tier 1

DLA Piper  acts for major public sector and local authority bodies on sector-critical developments for rail, bus, and airport infrastructure, with a growing number of mandates relating to aviation. The team advises on a variety of Northern Powerhouse projects alongside national work. Matters encompass planning and development issues, financing matters and litigation, forming a full-service transport offering. The practice is led by Robert Smith in Leeds, who advises public and private sector rail and aviation clients, and Sheffield-based Petra Billing, who specialises in property litigation.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

We have a long and well-established relationship with DLA going back over 12 years. This allows for us to deal with things in a mature way, where DLA understands what we need and helps us get towards it, without the short-term approach to fees that you get with other consultants.’

Carla Hancock is brilliant to work with. Not only is she superb at what she does, Carla has an excellent understanding of our business and how we operate, combined with a thorough approach to getting the detail right and managing other resources within the firm where appropriate. This has helped us complete some extremely challenging agreements, and we literally could not have done it without her.

DLA’s expertise has always seemed to be second-to-none in my eyes. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge from previous matters that they have been able to bring to the table and their knowledge of local government, particularly in relation to powers and functions, have been extremely useful.

Robert Smith’s knowledge and technical expertise has been invaluable, particularly from both a local government and transport sector point of view.

Key clients

Department for Transport

Merseytravel

Transport for Greater Manchester

Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

Highways England

HS2

Volkerrail

British Airways

Hitachi Rail Europe

National Air Traffic Services

Transport for Wales

Transport for the North

Asset based lending Tier 2

'Able to draw on expertise across practice areas at short notice', the multi-disciplinary, multi-office team at DLA Piper has strong market visibility at the front end of deals (as well as in any restructuring or subsequent enforcement/litigation) for a balanced array of stakeholders, including banks, independents, debt funds, sponsors and corporates. The team is noted for its   'sophisticated and specialist advice' across a range of transactional work - including the implementation of ABL facilities for supply chain finance and working capital purposes - as well as on product development and internal policy advice to finance providers in the sector. Manchester-based partner Joseph Frew 'quickly grasps the important commercial issues' and co-heads the UK offering alongside Leeds-based Sarah Day, who has an excellent reputation for UK and US banks and finance companies engaged in structured ABL. Steven Geerlings heads the firm's international offering.

Testimonials

‘Sophisticated and specialist advice. Able to draw on expertise across practice areas at short notice. Flexible advice and capacity to tailor as high-level or more in-depth as required.’

‘Joe Frew is very adaptable; quickly grasps the important commercial issues; he is dynamic and steers the legal process and negotiation to match.’

Key clients

ABN Amro Commercial Finance

Aldermore Invoice Finance

BNP Paribas Commercial Finance

Lloyds

Close Invoice Finance

RBS Invoice Finance

Deutsche Bank

HSBC Invoice Finance

Shawbrook Bank Business Credit

Siemens Financial Services

ING Commercial Finance

Sonovate

Bibby Financial Services

Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., “Rabobank”

NatWest

Trade and Development Bank

AIG Europe S.A.

Almastone

HSBC plc

ING Wholesale Banking

Payoneer

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 2

DLA Piper’s team is ‘super dependable’, providing ‘practical and commercial advice’. The group serves as a ‘one-stop solution for complicated planning and development’ projects; a field in which the ‘pricelessJonathan Northey is particularly active, advising on all aspects of the development process and leveraging extensive experience in housing and mixed-use schemes. The firm also fields a dedicated corporate occupier group, headed by the ‘approachable’ and ‘commercialPaul Jayson, which represents owners, investors, operators and financial institutions. The investment practice is closely integrated with the global firm’s US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific offices and is helmed by the ‘always incisiveWilliam Naunton; he can be counted on for complex joint ventures, structured transactions and fund structure creations. Elsewhere, at senior associate level, Nicholas Haringman is ‘always dependable’ and Hayley Russell-White is highly rated for housing and mixed-use development projects. The team recently added to its strength in depth with the hires of Jo Owen from Proskauer Rose LLP and Katie Jacobson from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Omer Maroof is an exceptional lawyer acting as an adviser in the interest of client, with the highest level of professionalism. He is always ready to investigate a topic and involve the firm to provide the best advice.’

‘A very tight property team with a good balance of experience. Able to turn instructions round quickly and offer swift and pragmatic solutions.’

‘William Naunton is the silverback gorilla of UK real estate law – but has combined it with the bedside manner of a cavapoo. Fun to work with, yet always incisive and commercial in outcomes.’

‘Paul Jayson is a great relationship partner.’

‘The DLA real estate team is both competent and transactional – they clearly understand that the parties in real estate transactions are not adversarial, and that the transaction relies on both parties coming to a legal understanding of a agreed transaction; therefore the task of the lawyers is to complete the legal formalities to close a deal already made, a fact that many lawyers forget.’

‘The team is committed to the client’s interests – even if this means not to proceed with a deal.’

Key clients

British Airways

Salesforce.com

Navigant Consulting

Hyundai

Walt Disney

Revolut

National Grid

General Electric

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

WeWork

Commercial property: development Tier 2

DLA Piper’s team is ‘super dependable’, providing ‘practical and commercial advice’. The group serves as a ‘one-stop solution for complicated planning and development’ projects; a field in which the ‘pricelessJonathan Northey is particularly active, advising on all aspects of the development process and leveraging extensive experience in housing and mixed-use schemes. The firm also fields a dedicated corporate occupier group, headed by the ‘approachable’ and ‘commercialPaul Jayson, which represents owners, investors, operators and financial institutions. The investment practice is closely integrated with the global firm’s US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific offices and is helmed by the ‘always incisiveWilliam Naunton; he can be counted on for complex joint ventures, structured transactions and fund structure creations. Elsewhere, at senior associate level, Nicholas Haringman is ‘always dependable’ and Hayley Russell-White is highly rated for housing and mixed-use development projects. The team recently added to its strength in depth with the hires of Jo Owen from Proskauer Rose LLP and Katie Jacobson from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Omer Maroof is an exceptional lawyer acting as an adviser in the interest of client, with the highest level of professionalism. He is always ready to investigate a topic and involve the firm to provide the best advice.’

‘A very tight property team with a good balance of experience. Able to turn instructions round quickly and offer swift and pragmatic solutions.’

‘William Naunton is the silverback gorilla of UK real estate law – but has combined it with the bedside manner of a cavapoo. Fun to work with, yet always incisive and commercial in outcomes.’

‘Paul Jayson is a great relationship partner.’

‘The DLA real estate team is both competent and transactional – they clearly understand that the parties in real estate transactions are not adversarial, and that the transaction relies on both parties coming to a legal understanding of a agreed transaction; therefore the task of the lawyers is to complete the legal formalities to close a deal already made, a fact that many lawyers forget.’

‘The team is committed to the client’s interests – even if this means not to proceed with a deal.’

Key clients

Houghton Regis Management Company Limited

World Wheel Company

Mace Group Ltd

Cheyne Capital

Mace Developments (Greenwich) Limited

Sanofi & Aventis Pharma Limited

Vale Europe Limited

The Pollen Estate

Herbal House Investments Limited

Shaftesbury PLC

Places for People Group

Commercial property: investment Tier 2

DLA Piper’s team is ‘super dependable’, providing ‘practical and commercial advice’. The group serves as a ‘one-stop solution for complicated planning and development’ projects; a field in which the ‘pricelessJonathan Northey is particularly active, advising on all aspects of the development process and leveraging extensive experience in housing and mixed-use schemes. The firm also fields a dedicated corporate occupier group, headed by the ‘approachable’ and ‘commercialPaul Jayson, which represents owners, investors, operators and financial institutions. The investment practice is closely integrated with the global firm’s US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific offices and is helmed by the ‘always incisiveWilliam Naunton; he can be counted on for complex joint ventures, structured transactions and fund structure creations. Elsewhere, at senior associate level, Nicholas Haringman is ‘always dependable’ and Hayley Russell-White is highly rated for housing and mixed-use development projects. The team recently added to its strength in depth with the hires of Jo Owen from Proskauer Rose LLP and Katie Jacobson from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Omer Maroof is an exceptional lawyer acting as an adviser in the interest of client, with the highest level of professionalism. He is always ready to investigate a topic and involve the firm to provide the best advice.’

‘A very tight property team with a good balance of experience. Able to turn instructions round quickly and offer swift and pragmatic solutions.’

‘William Naunton is the silverback gorilla of UK real estate law – but has combined it with the bedside manner of a cavapoo. Fun to work with, yet always incisive and commercial in outcomes.’

‘Paul Jayson is a great relationship partner.’

‘The DLA real estate team is both competent and transactional – they clearly understand that the parties in real estate transactions are not adversarial, and that the transaction relies on both parties coming to a legal understanding of a agreed transaction; therefore the task of the lawyers is to complete the legal formalities to close a deal already made, a fact that many lawyers forget.’

‘The team is committed to the client’s interests – even if this means not to proceed with a deal.’

Key clients

AXA-IM Real Assets

LaSalle Investment Management

Oxford Properties

ARES

Savills IM

ARIUM

Pollen Estate

Harrison Street Real Estate

Reditum

Barings Real Estate

ProLogis

Shaftesbury plc

PGIM

Hines

Houghton Regis Management Company

Waypoint

Oval Real Estate

St James’ Place Plc

Telereal Trillium

Construction: contentious Tier 2

DLA Piper's multifaceted team has a strong depth of litigation and international arbitration experience, covering contentious matters relating o real estate development, UK infrastructure projects and overseas work. Sector expertise includes conventional and renewable energy, process engineering and heavy industry. Paul Giles leads the team and is experienced in all forms of dispute resolution, handling weighty matters concerning infrastructure projects both in the UK and internationally. He has been joined by Bob Maynard and Caroline Pope, who came on board from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in May 2020. Combined, they bring decades of experience of handling major contentious matters. Anna Mills represents major contractors in the international sphere.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Very diligent and detailed. Able to identify the issues quickly and to be able to provide guidance and advice in a clear and concise manner.’

‘DLA’s team were incredible to work with, and supported us on a pro bono basis as a non-profit social enterprise. However, I feel we received the same level of care, attention and service as we would have done if we’d have paid the going rate. For a social enterprise, to have the backing of such a powerful and experienced law firm behind us made an incredible difference and helped us navigate a complex capital project and break down of relationship with our main contractor. It also shows the care and commitment that this firm has to corporate social responsibility, and making a difference where it can to organisations like ours who are doing important work in our communities. The team did everything they possibly could to explore all options with the contractor before we terminated their contract. They have an incredibly reasonable outlook, and attempt to explore both sides to see if there are any other options, using termination only as a last resort. When we got to that point, they also supported the next stage of our work, in appointing a new team of contractors and supporting the next phase of our work. They are truly wonderful people and go above and beyond the call of duty.’

‘Ed Shaw is a very capable lawyer and provides excellent management and advice. He is easily approachable and is able to communicate complex issues in a clear and considered manner.’

Key clients

Erith Contractors Limited

State Enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

Corporate tax Tier 2

At DLA Piper, practice head Mark Burgess is particularly well-known for his expertise in the tax aspects of real estate transactions. In addition, Burgess and his Birmingham team handle tax issues associated with multinational corporate reorganisations and transactions. Equally strong acting for UK and overseas-based entities, the firm's clients include listed and unlisted companies, and public sector organisations. Senior associate Nick Hinton is another key figure.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team provides a reliable, calm and technically sound tax service. Legal drafting is good, and tax opinions cover the required areas simply and without reams of boilerplate.’

‘I rate Mark Burgess as an exceptional property tax expert, and his team, including Nick Hinton, continue to grow and learn from his leadership and expertise.’

‘Mark Burgess has solid technical abilities and a takes a calm and patient approach to problems, allowing a measured discussion of issues. He is a very good communicator, particularly when issues arise.’

Key clients

Aviva

AXA

Dignity Plc

Oaktree Capital

Universities Superannuation Scheme

St James’s Place

RBS

MKS Instruments, Inc

Unilever Pension Fund

Corporate tax Tier 2

High-profile domestic and international clients instruct DLA Piper’s corporate tax experts on the full-scope of regulatory issues and tax planning work; practice head David Smith has extensive knowledge of IR35 tax legislation. The team regularly advises on high-value, international M&A transactions and reorganisations, with recent deals involving complex employee share ownership work and benefits scheme issues; director Lynda Finan is a leading name in this field.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Richard Johnson is by far, the best tax lawyer I have had the privilege of working with. He is diligent, responsive and hugely practical, so a joy to work with on any deals, big or small. Fantastic guy to have fighting your corner and very personable too.’

‘David Smith and Sally Robertson assisted us with our tax work and were really excellent.’

Key clients

Reach plc

NCC Group plc

ZOO Digital Group plc

Henry Boot plc

Sun Capital

Sytner Group Limited

Dentsu Aegis Network

Firth Rixson Limited

Customs and excise Tier 2

At DLA Piper, the customs and excise group is composed of international trade and tax experts, and is able to draw on specialists across EU member states, the US, Asia and Russia. International trade and customs lawyer John Forrest heads the team in London, which advises companies operating in the UK on matters including the impact of Brexit on supply chains, as well as day-to-day issues such as customs audits and investigations and duty-relief schemes. Indirect tax veteran Richard Woolich regularly advises on the cross-border supply of goods, while Paul Hardy coordinates the firm's Brexit-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Wide jurisdictional practice to cover global needs.’

Key clients

Deckers Europe

Coveris

PICO Global

NEC Europe

NJOY

Smile Direct Club

Sumitomo Electric Group

Vita Group

Fragrance Oils (Purchasing)

Molson Coors Brewing Company

Arconic Inc

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 2

DLA Piper's data protection, privacy and cybersecurity practice is headed up by the 'technically brilliant' Ross McKean and Andrew Dyson. The team provides a domestic and international offering, working with multinational companies on global compliance matters. McKean has broad expertise encompassing security breaches, data governance issues and information security matters; contentious data work is also part of his practice. Dyson, alongside his work on data privacy issues, acts on cybersecurity and e-commerce projects for major international clients.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Ross McKean is technically brilliant and understands the value of privacy as a business enabler.’

Key clients

Reckitt Benckiser

Intercontinental Hotels Group

Chubb

AON

Incyte

Dell

Amdocs

Education Tier 2

DLA Piper has education specialists in both the Leeds and Sheffield offices. Andrew Clarke and Richard Taylor head the Leeds and Sheffield teams respectively, and have strong relationships with some of the region’s leading education institutions. The practice offers a combination of experience of acting for education policymakers as well as impressive private sector clients. The firm was recently reappointed to the panel of the University of Sheffield and acts for a number of schools across the Diocese of Leeds.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Calderdale College

Department for Business , Energy and Industrial Strategy

Department for Education

Diocese of Leeds

Hallam Union of Students

London Grid for Learning Limited

United Kingdom Research and Innovation

Newham College of Further Education

Park Lane College

Sheffield Grammar School

Sheffield Hallam University

South West Grid for Learning Trust Limited

York College

Yorkshire Coast College

University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield Union of Students

University of Central Lancashire

Employee share schemes Tier 2

DLA Piper launched a dedicated employee remuneration and incentives practice during 2019 with the hire of Nick Hipwell from Deloitte, where he led the incentive plans legal team. Led by Hipwell - who also previously worked at Clifford Chance LLP - the team has since continued to grow, with other senior recruits joining from Deloitte and share scheme specialist firm Tapestry Compliance. The department offers a full service to its clients and has particular expertise in the financial services sector, as well as incentive plan design and implementation in for fintech and technology businesses, as well as biotechs. The team works with the wider firm's global corporate team to provide specialist support on major M&A transactions, drawing on its considerable experience to advise on share plan implications of such deals.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Nick Hipwell has extensive industry knowledge and experience – I always appreciate him reaching out and checking in. He is responsive and a trustworthy partner to work with.’

‘A true business partner. Gives outcome based guidance rather than options. Looks at legal challenges in the context of what the business is trying to achieve as well as culture.’

‘A professional and relationship based approach was a key factor in successfully delivering the intended outcome which was complex in the make-up of the range of deal components. An intelligence in understanding how best to sequence the workstreams and deliver the necessary communication in written and verbal form was clearly evident throughout.’

Energy and infrastructure Tier 2

DLA Piper's 'versatile, punchy and hard-working' team provides 'magic circle expertise without magic circle prices' and has a strong track record in large-scale wind and solar power M&A, financings, and in the development of new technologies such as corporate power purchase agreements and battery storage. Headed by Martin Nelson-Jones, the infrastructure and transport team is prominent in big-ticket mandates, demonstrated by Colin Wilson advising the UK Department for Transport on the planned multi billion pound expansion of Heathrow Airport. Director Rubayet Choudhury is recommended for project structuring and transactions in the renewables, energy efficiency, infratech and transport sectors. Global co-chair of energy and natural resources Natasha Luther-Jones works across Leeds and London.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Versatile, punchy and hard-working’

‘Great staff to fill all necessary roles in a team of any size, enormous work ethic and high quality work output, focused leadership and currently the best litigation/arbitration approach of any firm in the City.’

‘The DLA Piper team is flexible and personable while providing excellent and commercially oriented legal advice from the point of a project finance bank. The team/firm has very extensive experience across geographies.’

‘Magic Circle expertise without magic circle prices’

‘Colin Wilson is a strong overall lead and very commercial. He’s close to Government matters’

Key clients

City of London Corporation

Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners AG (CSEIP)

DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale

Dalmore Capital

Equitix Ltd

European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)

Gazprom JSC

Greencoat

Highways England

Hitachi Rail Limited

InfraRed Capital Partners

Nord/LB

 

Equity capital markets - low-mid cap Tier 2

DLA Piper covers a wide ambit of UK and international ECM transactions under the leadership of practice head Alex Tamlyn, who has more than 30 years of corporate finance experience. Reflective of his first-rate reputation, Tamlyn serves as chair of the Primary Markets Group on the London Stock Exchange. The highly rated group also includes Martin PennCharles Severs and senior associate Karin Kirschner; the trio were among the advisers to Allied Minds Plc on the £53m disposal of its stake in Hawkeye 360 Inc to Advance Publications. In addition to acting for corporates, other clients include selling shareholders, underwriters, sponsors, nominated advisers, brokers, trustees and depositaries. Robert Newman recently made partner.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Martin Penn has an deep sector expertise that we depend on hugely. His delivery capability is exceptional and his support on unusual and technical legal elements has been invaluable.’

Key clients

Mothercare plc

Allied Minds plc

PureTech Health plc

John Menzies plc

SDL plc

Harworth Group plc

Hutchison China MediTech

Numis Securities Limited

Liberum Capital Limited

Peel Hunt LLP

Hyve Group plc

EU and competition: trade, WTO anti-dumping and customs Tier 2

At DLA Piper, the ‘outstanding’ global trade and government affairs group assists multinational companies and sovereign entities with both contentious and non-contentious issues, such as export controls, international sanctions, WTO-specific issues and international trade agreements. Of recent note, team members are also increasingly focusing on all aspects of Brexit-related work; department head John Forrest sits on the firm’s Brexit Committee. Brexit director Paul Hardy is another name to note. A key differentiator of the practice is its strong market presence in London, and further afield across the UK. Senior associate Chloe Barker divides time between London and Birmingham. The team also draws upon the expertise of the firm’s trade specialists spread across Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Their advice is always exactly on point. They respond quickly and efficiently and don’t indulge in law lectures or excessive back-covering. I trust their advice 100%

The team is outstanding and consistent in the quality, applicability, relevance of the advice they provide. I also would like to give a special mention to the team’s responsiveness and outstanding customer service approach.

John Forrest is highly professional, customer-driven, clear and consistent in his advice. He is the leading world-class expert in his area and always bases his advice on client’s needs and requirements. John has a fantastic knowledge of his area and can adapt and apply it to various industries. Daniel Jones is a highly skilled and knowledgeable professional. John and Daniel together make a fantastic team and are our first point of contact on any matter related to international sanctions, trade, licensing and compliance

Able to make advisers available at short notice, great level of expertise and pragmatic advice that is easy to make a decision on. Quite often advice from other firms can be difficult to decipher or is not clear, this is not the case with DLA – very clear information indeed.

Great working with John Forrest of Global Trade and Government Affairs. Helped us to navigate the minefield of global trade risk on a number of occasions with sound, clear advice that actually really helps to determine our business decision-making process. Being unambiguous and pragmatic, as John is, is a highly valued skill

Key clients

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Deckers Europe

Arconic Inc.

Pico Global

ABC International Bank

Molson Coors Brewing Company

Svenska Handelsbanken

Wartsila Corporation

International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A.

Melrose

Fintech Tier 2

'Practical and knowledgeable', the team at DLA Piper acts for investment and challenger banks, investors, asset managers and broker-dealers in a variety of fintech matters. The firm's range of work is broad, however the group has particularly strong expertise advising clients on blockchain projects, assisting companies with expansion into new territories and handling corporate transactions, such as funding rounds. Martin Bartlam specialises in advising clients on technology solutions for emerging and traditional funding structures, and assisting clients with the development of new digital platforms, such as digital exchanges. Anthony Day is advising fintech clients on the development of tech projects, including blockchain, cryptocurrency and AI projects. David Cook joined the firm's Manchester office in early 2020 and advises on contentious cyber security and data protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A clear understanding of the payments industry. Approachable team dedicated to delivering exceptional quality.’

‘The team brings financial services and technology expertise together to provide effective and pragmatic advice and support, enabling timely, informed, risk-based decision making.’

Key clients

Archax

10x Future Technologies Services Limited

Jaja Finance Ltd

Luther Systems

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LV)

Cavmont Bank Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

Global Digital Finance (GDF)

Tokeny

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company/Munich Re Ventures

Fund finance Tier 2

DLA Piper advises clients on the full spectrum  of fund financing transactions, including standard and less common loan facilities from capital calls to hybrid facilities. The team is particularly capable in non-bank lending work, such as fund-to-fund lending and co-investments. Clients are primarily on the sponsor side, and include funds and managers across key domiciles, notably the Cayman Islands and Singapore. The team is jointly led by Bryony Widdup, who has expertise in all aspects of fund finance work, particularly alternative credit structures and offshore fund formation and management issues; and Douglas Murning, who has notable expertise in Asian jurisdictions, acting for a combination of lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘I was very impressed with the entire team, from the partner (Bryony Widdup) to the associates. The team was always swift to respond and jumped on many last minute calls – always ready! I was impressed with their level of knowledge and ability to provide us with answers in a short time.’

‘I was particularly impressed with the team and have confidence that there was appropriate partner supervision and the deal was staffed with lawyers who were very capable.’

‘I enjoyed working with Bryony Widdup; she clearly has a strong understanding of our matter and commercial and market issues in the fund financing space. She leads her strong team of associates, all of whom were very capable.’

Key clients

Hayfin Capital Management LLP

Aviva Investors Global Services

CVC Credit Partners Investment Management

Proprium Capital Partners

AMC Capital

GAM

Hospitality and leisure Tier 2

DLA Piper's multi-disciplinary practice is 'commercially savvy and responsive' and has extensive expertise across a number of areas for hospitality clients, including; development finance, real estate, corporate acquisitions, and disposals. Global sector head Matthew Duncombe is noted for his transactional and commercial know-how and is a trusted adviser to major European hospitality clients. The group also offers specialism across management and franchising agreements. Key player Joanne Owen who rejoined the firm from  Proskauer Rose LLP is highly rated by clients and peers for her unrivalled expertise in this sector. She is recommended for complex international transactions related to corporate property and holds a number of private equity firms and investors as clients.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DLA provides an integrated range of services necessary to assist a UK client with the development and financial advice of a European project. Their early-stage advice and introductions to other experts was invaluable to us. DLA has a well-earned reputation for their expertise in the international hotel sector.’

‘Matt Duncombe and his team provided prompt and complete advice to us and contributed solutions when we had differences with our counterparty. Matt was extremely pleasant to work with and I felt he was committed to our success. DLA are credible with and respected by all ; important attributes in an international arena.’

‘Joanne Owen – hors concours (unrivalled) in the hospitality and leisure legal practice in the UK. A delight to work with.’

‘Apart from being legally sound, the team is commercially savvy and responsive to the needs of its clients. It is clued into all the major opportunities available in the market and is a reliable sounding board to its clients and not just from the legal perspective. It also works particularly well with clients from the Far East. The team is also very sharp and you wouldn’t want to be on the other side in negotiations.’

Very friendly, supportive and down to earth. They tend to use very uncomplicated language and explain advice thoroughly.’

‘Quick to respond to issues and inquiries and have a very human approach which I’ve not found always to be the case with other firms I’ve used.’

Key clients

Playa Blanca Plots

Intercontinental Hotels Group

Hilton Worldwide Inc.

Merlin Entertainments

Marriott International

Starwood Capital

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation

Empire Cinemas

Aareal Bank

UBM Hotels

Infrastructure (PFI and PPP) Tier 2

DLA Piper recently relaunched and reorganised its infrastructure, construction and transport practice under the leadership of Martin Nelson-Jones , who has significant expertise in M&A within the infrastructure sector. The practice has specialists in road, rail, aviation, and ports. Other sectors that the practice has a presence in include digital infrastructure, with the firm advising a broad range of clients across all areas of infrastructure, ranging from corporates and  financial investors, through to governments and non-profit organisations. Birmingham-based real estate planning partner Howard Bassford is a key contact, as is Colin Wilson , who has a strong background in PPP and infrastructure projects.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Strong coverage geographically and good sector coverage’

‘Colin Wilson has a great profile, deal experience and commercial/client skills

 

Key clients

Manchester Airport Group

Menzies Aviation Plc

Hitachi Rail Limited

Neqsol Holding (parent company of Bakcell LLC)

Mersey Gateway Crossing Board Limited

Highways England

Kelda Group

Agility Trains

All the UK mobile operators (BT, Vodafone, Telefonica, Three)

Dalmore Capital

Equitix Ltd

InfraRed Capital Partners

Nord/LB

Greencoat

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

DLA Piper advises on a range of matters, including high-value and complex corporate restructurings, distressed and accelerated M&A, and administrations for insolvency practitioners, financial institutions, public sector bodies and private equity sponsors. The Leeds team has notable expertise in distressed real estate, handled by legal director Clare Christopher, while the Sheffield office primarily represents clients in asset recovery and insolvency-related disputes. The practice is now jointly led by Sheffield-based partner and asset recovery specialist Duncan Mosley and Leeds-based insolvency expert Barney Smedley following the departures of Richard Obank and Colin Ashford to Brown Rudnick LLP, and the retirement of Mark Jackson in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

High quality commercial and clear advice in challenging situations.

Barney Smedley – extensive experience and in-depth knowledge, provides clear advice and options. Always open to discussing ideas and providing appropriate support. Lizzie Wood – very personable, maintains relationships well and incredibly hardworking. Has become a trusted advisor across our team. Ruth Ranton – committed to maintaining long term relationships and proactive in doing so.

DLA Leeds are a personable, competent team, quick to grasp the issues, meticulous in the detail, and give comprehensive advice, that gives the confidence you need to make decisions at pace.

Key clients

HSBC Bank

Grant Thornton

Ernst & Young

Deloitte

KPMG

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Hilco Capital Limited

Lloyds Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland

Begbies Traynor

Duff & Phelps

FRP Advisory

Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 2

DLA Piper is noted for its work in cross-border insurance disputes, with the London-based insurance team acting alongside the firm’s global network of offices to represent clients. The group’s work spans a wide range of insurance policies including aviation, financial lines, property and casualty insurance. The team is jointly lead by Leon Taylor, Andrew Symons and Rebecca Hopkirk. In addition to representing clients in international disputes, Taylor is experienced in acting in UK courts, having been involved in a number of reported decisions in the High Court and Supreme Court. Symons’ practice focuses on financial line disputes, while Hopkirk is active in cross-border matters. Jane Childs joined in late 2020 from Mayer Brown International LLP and leads the  international financial lines insurance disputes group.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical knowledge and commercial awareness.’

‘Leon Taylor is an expert in the field.’

‘Andrew Symons – very experienced, has to ability to take the heat out of things.’

‘Very strong knowledge of clients and how they operate. Strong associates.’

‘Rebecca Hopkirk – strong knowledge of market and various jurisdictions.’

Key clients

Swiss Re

AIG

Zurich

Chubb

Berkshire Hathaway/Faraday syndicate/Resolute Management

AXA XL

Munich Re

Tokio Marine Kiln

Allianz/AGCS

Liberty Specialty Markets

Talbot Underwriting Limited

Placing Platform Limited

R&Q

RSA

Atrium Underwriters Limited

Crawford & Co

Hiscox syndicate at Lloyds

Beazley syndicate at Lloyds

Intellectual property Tier 2

DLA Piper is highly recommended for the cross-border IP portfolio management issues, licensing arrangements, branding work and design matters. The firm also has a strong record acting for clients at all court levels in trade mark infringement, copyright infringement and domain name disputes. Richard Taylor handles transactions and disputes for global household brands in the consumer goods, life sciences and technology sectors. Gareth Stokes focuses on IP-driven transactions including licensing matters and exploitation and collaboration agreements, for which senior associate Satnam Sahota is also of note.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They are responsive and provide intelligent and practical advice.’

‘Satnam Sahota was supportive and also assertive with the parties with whom we were negotiating. He took no prisoners but was polite and professional in his dealings with the other parties.’

 

Key clients

Premier League

Heineken

UK Research & Innovation

Smile Direct Club

Lotus Cars

Unicef

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 2

Media, sports and entertainment is a key sector for DLA Piper's IP team. The 'technically brilliant' practice head Ruth Hoy, Simon Levine, John Wilks and legal director Claire Sng are leading names for anti-piracy, copyright and design protection, trade mark licensing and database rights enforcement in this field. In the retail and FMCG sectors, the team regularly advances and defends infringement and passing-off actions for copyright and trade mark assets, while legal director Désirée Fields often assists with exploitation and commercialisation strategy for fashion and luxury goods brands. Parallel import litigation is also a strong point.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Great partners who are very user friendly, hands on and commercial.

Ruth Hoy is an excellent lawyer and strategist, who has a wealth of experience in soft IP, particularly copyright, database rights and trade marks.

DLA provides a global team of commercially-minded lawyers that assist with work across a variety of practice areas and territories. They genuinely try to operate as an extension of the in-house team and provide clear recommendations and advice.

Désirée Fields is a real expert in IP matters, particularly trade marks and designs in the EU and with the EUIPO. She is thorough and comprehensive, with valuable experience and knowledge in IP.

Leigh Martin provides useful advice in IP and brand protection strategies on a global basis coordinating advice across multiple territories.

Claire Sng provides great expertise and detailed knowledge on advertising matters.

Ruth Hoy is dedicated, diligent, always available, technically brilliant.

Key clients

The Football Association Premier League Limited

BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Limited

Nike

Emirates Airlines

Bajaj Auto Limited

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”)

Papa Johns

Toshiba

Reed Business Information Limited (“RBI”)

Brewdog plc

NLA Media Access Limited

Merlin Entertainment

International Airlines Group/ British Airways

Duracell

UEFA

FIFA

La Liga

The Asian Football Confederation

Future Finance Loan Corporation

Nikon

NOCO

Karium

Serie A

Bundesliga

Ligue de Football Professionel

Mondelez

International business reorganisations Tier 2

DLA Piper utilises its global footprint and full-service capabilities to assist with international corporate reorganisations relating to strategic issues or arising from external market developments. The group is particularly experienced in post-acquisition integrations, carve-outs, spin-offs, pre-IPO restructurings, legal entity rationalisations, regulatory-driven reorganisations and supply chain issues, and has been notably active in Brexit-related mandates. Ben Forgiel-Jenkins leads the practice, which also includes Jon Hayes, who handles strategic partnerships, group reorganisations and corporate finance work; and legal director Eda Demirel, who works closely with the firm’s tax department. The group also leverages the firm’s team of legal project managers to better manage the scope and scale of large international projects, and has developed a bespoke project management tool for reorganisation projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The fact that DLA is able to offer a one-stop solution, covering multiple jurisdictions, is invaluable. It reflects/supports the international nature of business.

DLA’s lawyers are approachable and provide user-friendly and practical advice.

The advice is pitched at the right level; if I need in depth legal analysis, this is available, whereas if I need a succinct, high level summary – or a recommendation – this too is given.’

Key clients

General Electric

Coty

Marsh & McLennan

NTT Data

Discovery

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Gareth Stokes at DLA Piper is an expert in large-scale IT outsourcing projects and transformative technology deals, often with a cross-border angle. The team also has a notable client roster in the banking, insurance, manufacturing and life sciences sectors. Phillip Kelly specialises in high-value litigation in the technology field and also handles outsourcing and government contracting disputes.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A skilled and commercially savvy team which works extremely well with both in-house lawyers and business teams. A natural fit for complex IT projects with an excellent client approach and broad market knowledge.’

‘Gareth Stokes continues to provide the level-headed solution-driven approach needed in order to deliver complex IT contracts within the heavily regulated environment of financial services.’

‘Very responsive and good-quality, technical advice. Every aspect of advice is fully considered. Fees are not cheap but can be negotiated.’

‘ Gareth Stokes is responsive and excellent technically.’

‘The service they provide is exceptional. They are clear communicators, efficient and strong negotiators.’

‘Very personable and understanding of us as an organisation and our needs.’

Key clients

AIB

Thomas International

Crawford & Company

myrecovery.ai

GKN

Rolls-Royce

Smile Direct Club

Local government Tier 2

From its Sheffield and Leeds offices, DLA Piper provides local government clients with advice on matters including major projects, procurement, real estate, planning, financing, employment and pensions, public law, litigation as well as wider commercial advice covering transport, regeneration, housing and waste. Robert Smith heads the projects team in Leeds and specialises in transport and regeneration projects, having worked on partnership projects across a number of major authorities in the North of England as well as advising authorities in Yorkshire on general public transport schemes.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

“DLA’s expertise is second to none. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge from previous matters that they have been able to bring to the table, and their knowledge of local government, particularly in relation to powers and functions, have been extremely useful.”

“Robert Smith’s knowledge and technical expertise has been invaluable, particularly from both a local government and transport sector point of view.”

Key clients

Birmingham City Council

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive

Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (Merseytravel)

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)

Liverpool City Council

Leeds City Council

Metro (West Yorkshire Combined Authority)

Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (Nexus)

Nottingham City Council

Sheffield City Council

Lancaster City Council

Pensions Tier 2

The pensions team in DLA Piper's Leeds office offers strong support on major transactional matters, including plan mergers on large-cap multijurisdictional M&A. A strong roster of trustees engages the practice for advice on GMP equalisation, buyins and buyouts, scheme documentation drafting and historical errors. The team, which is led by Andrew McIllhinney, recently welcomed director Craig Looker from Walker Morris LLP, who has an established reputation across the breadth of defined benefit scheme governance. David Young is the go-to partner for pensions litigation.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Andrew McIlhinney and his team are responsive, thorough and supportive. They adopt a commercial attitude, work easily with our other advisers and deliver.

Key clients

Persimmon

Trustees of the Yorkshire Building Society Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Ronseal Pension Plan

Trustees of the Urenco UK Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Univar Pension Plan

Trustees of the Bibby Line Group Pension Plan

Trustees of Clariant Pension Scheme

Dr Marten (Footwear) Limited

RR Donnelly Inc

Axalta Coating Systems Inc

DP Ports Limited

Dominic Hunter Group Limited

Paragon Communications Limited

Trustees of Lego (UK) Pension Scheme

Lloyds Banking Group/Bank of Scotland

Rail Tier 2

DLA Piper provides 'knowledgeable guidance' to both public and private sector clients on complex rail industry regulations, providing full support on franchising, rolling stock leasing, health and safety, and rail-specific corporate compliance. In 2019, the team notably advised High Speed Two Ltd in relation to the delivery of the HS2 rail project, and is one of four firms in tier 1 of the Department for Transport's rail panel. Practice co-head Robert Smith is known for his 'expert advice' and recently led the successful procurement of a new fleet of trains for the Metro system in North East England, while practice co-head Colin Wilson works on financings and transactions, in particular PPPs, cross-border joint ventures, and outsourcings.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

DLA Piper has given us invaluable guidance and advice on all phases of our programme. The personable and professional ways of working helped to encourage focused dialogue on many major issues and solutions. Guidance is given, rather than instruction, and access to key expertise was made available readily and accurately.

‘DLA encompasses an environment of openness, therefore no query or question is deemed to be irrelevant. The team’s key strength is the quality of deliverables, knowledgeable guidance, and the personable collaborative working methodology. All of these I would suggest are key identifiers that place DLA apart from many other firms.

Due to many complications and issues associated with the procurement, we spent four weeks working closely with DLA to access risk and mitigations to our ongoing issues. During this time Robert Smith gave expert advice and knowledge to the working group, often having to challenge senior leadership thoughts and directions to gain the most effective solutions. Robert’s level of industry knowledge was second to none and his advice was invaluable and also delivered with the assurance that was required. Robert always managed to communicate in a clear, concise and, at times, humorous way.

‘I have enjoyed working with DLA and compared to other law firms I have worked with, I can genuinely say the working ethic and the people have far outreached any other.’

Key clients

High Speed Two Limited

UK Department for Transport (DfT)

Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

Department for Transport

Hitachi Rail Limited

Transport for the North

Agility Trains

East West Railway Company Ltd

Sport Tier 2

During 2019, DLA Piper advised the Premier League on £4.2bn-worth of international broadcasting deals, underlining the firm’s impressive credentials for high-scale sports media rights work. John Cloke, who led the firm's team on that work, has a strong background in commercial, regulatory and copyright issues. Nick Fitzpatrick is global co-chair of the firm's media, sport and entertainment sector group and is similarly highly skilled in media rights matters, particularly with international deals. He is often assisted by IP and media experts John Wilks and Ruth Hoy. The team also draws upon corporate partners Alexandra Kamerling, who is an expert in merger filings, and Jon Kenworthy, who handles major M&A deals.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Probably the top sports law team in London. Huge knowledge and experience in the field. ‘

‘Ruth Hoy is great to work with. Clever, knowledgeable and tactical.’

‘John Wilks is very thorough and absolutely focused on the client’s commercial imperatives.’

‘Excellent knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of sports law, coupled with a recognition of the commercial imperatives of both their own client and the counterparty.’

‘John Cloke is an outstanding technical lawyer and an excellent negotiator. While he possesses a strong grasp of the legal issues at hand, he stands out from other lawyers through his willingness and ability to consider commercial solutions to contractual issues.’

Key clients

World Rugby

Rakuten

Unilever

The Football Association Premier League

Discovery Communications

International Olympic Committee

TEAM (Television Event and Media Marketing AG

BeIN

IOC

NBA

RFU

Supreme Committee Qatar

DCMS

TMT Tier 2

Acting for a range of clients from start-ups to global enterprises, DLA Piper provides expertise across areas ranging from cleantech, to computer hardware, games, entertainment, e-commerce and telecommunications. The team has particular strengths in technology, commercial transactions, IP and outsourcing matters, as well as advising on litigation and competition. Practice head Kit Burden specialises in outsourcing and complex technology transactions, advising users and suppliers.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

HCL Technologies

Dixons Carphone plc.

VEON

NTT Corporation

Latitude Bidco Limited

10x Future Technologies Services Limited

Ooredoo Kuwait

VAT and indirect tax Tier 2

'Very knowledgeable and commercial' partner Richard Woolich (who is a chartered tax adviser) leads the team at DLA Piper, which handles indirect tax matters across the real estate, financial services, education, gambling and IP sectors. The London team draws on a global office network to provide multijurisdictional tax advice. It also regularly appears before tax authorities in a variety of disputes. In October 2019, associate Jamie Kim joined from HMRC.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Ricahrd Woolich and his team at DLA Piper UK are exceptional. We have worked many years with them and very much feel that are part of our team too. They are extremely capable, hardworking , friendly and always go the extra mile. They consider our business interests and provide a great fee setup which allows us to ask for their assistance at all times.’

Richard Woolich is very knowledgeable and commercial too also in his advice considering always the needs of our business. He truly cares for our business and we feel it.’

The team consisting of Jamie Kim, Maud Murcia and Helena Monaghan are wonderful to work with and excellent at what they do.’

Key clients

Ares Management

AXA

Barings

Bet365 Group Limited

Falcon Group

Kaplan International

VATit

Waypoint

Westland Horticultural

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 3

Offering 'magic circle expertise without magic circle prices', DLA Piper is well-placed to handle cross-border banking disputes involving emerging markets, and counts fraud, asset tracing, contentious regulatory and insolvency disputes among its areas of specialism. The team is jointly led by 'well-respected strategist' Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, the 'brilliant all-rounderJamie Curle (who is also a name to note for third party funding advice) and the 'hugely experienced' Jeremy Andrews. Contentious regulatory expert Tony Katz and recently promoted partner Jeremy Sher, who is strong for class actions, are other names to note. The London team benefits from the ability to leverage its international and national network and frequently works closely with its 'experienced and cost-effective service' Leeds-based team.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Magic Circle expertise without magic circle prices.

The team at DLA Piper comprising Jamie Curle, Jeremy Sher and James Carter is exceptional. What makes them exceptional is the lengths to which they will go to bring their clients with them at every stage of the litigation process. They do not make the mistake of slavishly following every interest and whim of the client, rather they make sure that they explain to the client and discuss with the client every key step in the litigation process, pointing out what is important, and why, and what is not important and why.’

‘JP Douglas-Henry is very smooth; hugely experienced with enormous litigation and offers great strategic advice.’

‘Jamie Curle is just a brilliant all-rounder; able to keep all the balls in the air; incisive; very commercial’

‘Jeremy Andrews is charming, clever, hugely experienced and a very safe pair of hands.’

JP Douglas-Henry, Jeremy Andrews and Jamie Curle lead the charge. They have attention to detail and provide excellent client management on a variety of different and difficult cases. JP is a well-respected strategist and Jeremy Andrews is a class act. Jamie Curle knows the banking and fraud sectors and gives clients confidence. They have recruited well at the associate level and have a strong cadre at the leadership level.

Key clients

Thomas Kalaris

Solutus Advisors Limited

Gulf Finance House

Khaleeji Commercial Bank G.S.C.

Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co Ltd (in Special Administration)

Alpha Bank

Commercial litigation: premium Tier 3

DLA Piper's commercial litigation team has a reputation for handling complex, cross-border disputes and counts energy and natural resources (for which James Carter is a key contact) and financial services among its sector specialisms. It has strengthened its construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes capabilities with the additions of Bob Maynard and Caroline Pope from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. 'Absolute litigation superstar' Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry (who handles contentious M&A, fraud asset tracing and regulatory disputes) leads the team alongside 'brilliant all-rounder' Jamie CurleJeremy Andrews is highlighted for disputes involving offshore jurisdictions and the CIS region, while recently promoted partner Jeremy Sher counts class actions and M&A-related disputes among his areas of expertise. Senior associate Charles Allin is 'an up-and-coming superstar', particularly for oil and gas, financial services and M&A disputes.

Testimonials

Magic Circle expertise without magic circle prices.

Consolidating a strong base and increasing their profile through their London and global presence. High quality and good value alternative to the magic circle for the biggest disputes in the English courts or arbitration.

Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry is an absolute litigation superstar. Completely unflappable and with a huge breadth of experience and tactical nous’

‘ James Carter is extremely clever and very hard working’

‘Charles Allin is definitely one to watch as an up-and-coming superstar. More than capable in his own right to run any high profile, high value litigation or arbitration. Tactically astute, clever and highly organised.

Jamie Curle is a brilliant all-rounder; able to keep all the balls in the air; incisive; very commercial; he is a stand-out individual

Jeremy Andrews is charming; clever; hugely experienced and a very safe pair of hands’

‘Senior associate Sam Bodle is very tough; very clear-sighted; tenacious.

Key clients

Renova Industries Limited

Wael Said Khoury and others

Solutus Advisors Limited & Neil Forkin

Atlas Residential Solutions Management UK Limited and Atlas Apartment Homes LLC

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 3

DLA Piper's 'pragmatic, pro-active and responsive' team is led by Monique Sutherland, who advises on site acquisitions, development agreements and regeneration schemes for public and private sector clients. Roger Collier is the key figure for corporate occupiers, with extensive experience in advising on primary and secondary office, industrial and warehouse premises. Katie Jacobson, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in late 2019, advises institutional investors, developers, pension funds and corporate occupiers on mixed-use schemes and retail developments. Fiona Thomson  joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP in late 2019.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They are a team who are pragmatic and pro-active and responsive. They take the time to understand us and our needs. Monique Sutherland manages the team and is a gem.’

Key clients

National Grid

Avison Young

LaSalle Investment Management

UPS Limited

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

The Land Restoration Trust

Revelan Group Limited

Dignity Funerals Limited

Competition litigation Tier 3

Recognised for its ‘great technical abilities’, DLA Piper’s team forms an integral part of the firm’s global antitrust and competition group and often works with the corporate department. Representing clients in both English and European courts, the group is well-equipped to handle complex investigations and related follow-on litigation. Its recent work is particularly prominent in the pharmaceutical industry. Sam Szlezinger, Alexandra Kamerling and Sarah Smith jointly lead the practice.

Testimonials

The team has in-depth knowledge of antitrust in the pharmaceutical sector, sound judgment and great technical abilities.

The competition and litigation teams are integrated very well. The team is very good at strategic thinking and working through litigation strategy.

The lawyers at DLA Piper know all details inside out. They are also extremely attentive to the needs and strategic goals of the client.

Sarah Smith is young and energetic, and has excellent tactical judgement. Sarah is a delight to work with.

Sarah Smith is fantastic – she is clever, communicative and client-driven.

Sam Szlezinger is a class act; he remains actively involved in matters and knows all details.

Key clients

Merck

Lupin

Heineken

Premier League

Molson Coors

Stanton Bonna / Consolis Group

Football Dataco

Ecolab

Discovery Communications

Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

DLA Piper's 'excellent' team is jointly led by Sarah Thomas and Peter Lowe. Thomas' practice involves work for clients in the water, energy and mining sectors, advising on high-profile infrastructure projects, both domestically and internationally. Lowe, who is seen as 'having all the attributes to go very far', has strong experience of acting on R&D, mixed use and regeneration work in a variety of sectors, including advising developers and funders.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘An excellent team able to deliver not only large infrastructure projects, but also smaller one-off developments with equal care and attention.’

‘Stephen Malley ably heads up the UK construction team. He has built an excellent reputation in the market in terms of delivering insightful commercial legal advice in a timely manner to ensure projects progress to timetable. He has a loyal national team and has taken much time to build not only external relationships, but also internally – that shows in the seamless service delivery, whether or not coming from London, Liverpool or Birmingham.’

‘Peter Lowe is a relatively new construction partner but has all the attributes to go very far.’

Key clients

Quintain

CA Ventures

Global Student Accommodation

Debt capital markets Tier 3

DLA Piper's capital markets group advises clients in new markets on a broad range of products and industry sectors. In addition to handling new debt issuances, the firm has also become increasingly involved in liability management exercises and work on redemptions, amendments and tender offers for existing structures. Its emerging markets work has also grown, with India and Turkey becoming increasingly important jurisdictions for the practice. The firm acts for numerous multinational financial institutions, as well as issuers operating in sectors such as oil and gas, financial services and infrastructure. The firm is a leading adviser on hybrid finance, notably for infrastructure projects, and it has a growing role in green and social impact bonds. Global co-chair of finance and projects Martin Bartlam leads the practice, with the firm's UK head of capital markets and structured investments Tony Lopez and global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer also playing key roles. Joywin Mathew is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Morgan Stanley & Co. International PLC

NatWest Markets

Banca IMI S.p.A.

Axis Bank Limited, Singapore Branch, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG Securities

Fingrid Oyj

Motion Acquisition Limited

Neqsol Holdings Limited

VEON Holdings BV

Derivatives and structured products Tier 3

The capital markets and structured investment practice at DLA Piper handles both high-volume flow derivatives work and complex structured products. It acts for multinational banks and financial investors in growth securitisation markets and in structured finance and derivatives products internationally. Leveraging its international platform, the London office handles a large amount of hedging work for the firm's global client base. It is also at the forefront of innovation in the structured finance market, acting for fintech clients and helping new market entrants to develop asset tokenisation technology. Martin Bartlam is global co-chair of finance and projects, and with global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer, oversees the firm's work in derivatives and structured products. Bartlam has more than 30 years' experience in structured finance and is involved in innovative areas; notably, the digitalisation of traditional securities and commodities. Dwyer has particular expertise in equity derivatives. Also recommended are Ronan Mellon, who focuses on CLOs, and financial services co-chair Vincent Keaveny.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Very commercially savvy, responsive and helpful. Quick to cut straight to the key issues. Very responsive and business oriented.’

‘Steven Krivinskas has excellent commercial awareness – technically excellent, thorough and professional. In addition, Steven is also a very nice person to work with and stays calm throughout negotiations.’

‘The London finance and markets team have deep expertise in structured finance transactions and have a particular capability in derivatives transactions.’

Key clients

Ares European Loan Management LLP

Accunia Fondsmæglerselskab A/S

Lendable

Aareal Bank

PingAn

VEON Limited

ISDA

Natwest Markets

Employers Tier 3

DLA Piper's employment practice regularly undertakes significant and complex mandates with a global reach, involving multinational clients. The team's recent contentious work includes handling major class action claims. On the non-contentious side, the team's focus is on strategic advice; recently the department has been highly active advising in relation to Brexit. Key names include UK practice head and financial services expert Tim Marshall, as well as Jonathan Exten-Wright, who has expertise in cross-border restructurings and modern slavery.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Jonathan Exten-Wright is the leader in his field on corporate risks and reporting on Modern Slavery. His team at DLA are a class apart from the rest, blending the very best legal, political and risk management insights to help ensure compliance.’

‘The main strength besides the great knowledge that the UK team possesses is the strength DLA has across Europe to assist in international matters.’

Key clients

PKF Littlejohn

Uber

Shire

Superdry

London Stock Exchange

Giorgio Armani

NetApp

Valle

Charlotte Tilbury

(Lloyd Webber) LW Theatres

Financial services: contentious Tier 3

The broad practice at DLA Piper specialises in multijurisdictional matters, acting for global banks and insurers. The firm has expertise in commercial litigation, financial crime and tech sector cases. The ‘careful, pragmatic and tenaciousTony Katz co-leads the team alongside white collar head Sam Millar, who has experience in contentious regulatory work for financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I was highly impressed by the litigation team I worked with’

‘My clear impression was of an operation staffed with smart and highly capable people who were always pleasant to work with and got the job done’

‘I would have no hesitation recommending the DLA  team’

‘It is difficult to think of any other firm I have enjoyed working with more in recent years, or found more impressive’

‘Tony Katz is a pleasure to work with and very clever, with good strategic insight. He is a very experienced hand at the tiller’

‘Jeremy Sher is exceptionally intelligent, experienced and well-versed in combative litigation. He is a clever tactician and seems to get on well with all members of his team and manage clients with aplomb’

‘Commercial and sensible with sound judgement – always a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Yu Group PLC

Thomas Kalaris

Dixons Carphone Plc

Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 3

DLA Piper handles corporate and regulatory work in the life and non-life insurance sectors, including M&A, longevity transactions, Part VII transfers and regulatory mandates. In 2019, Prakash (PK) Paran relocated to the firm's New York office and Melanie James took over as head of the London-based team. James and Paran serve as global co-chairs of the firm’s insurance practice, with the London and New York teams collaborating on cross-border matters. Amrit Mclean joined the team in late 2019 from Aviva and now leads the newly-established de-risking group; her practice includes advising clients on Solvency II. Jane Childs recently joined from Mayer Brown International LLP to lead a new international financial lines insurance disputes group.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Partner-led with a good combination of transatlantic capability and ability to outsource elements of transactions such as due diligence to UK regional offices to help control costs.’

‘Mel James – strong technical knowledge, user-friendly and reliable.’

‘Very client-oriented team. Excellent international capabilities.’

‘Strong insurance expertise that is overlaid on top of the firm’s well-regarded corporate practice, as well as offices in many jurisdictions.’

Key clients

Aetna

Aflac

AIG

Aon

Arag

Athora

Aviva Plc & Aviva Ventures

AXA

Compre

Darag

Euclid

FM Global

Fosun

Generali

Hannover Re

Liberty Mutual

MS Amlin

Munich Re (HSB/Munich Re)

Saudi Re

Starstone

Themis

Mining and minerals Tier 3

DLA Piper is an established player in the mining sector with a global footprint allowing it to represent key clients including Sibelco UK, Aggregate Industries UK, and Tata Steel UK. The group has a particular strength in advising governments including the Republic of Guinea and the Government of Afghanistan. The practice also maintains a strong domestic presence demonstrated by acting as an associate member of the Mineral Products Association in the UK. The team has 'exceptional knowledge' of the sector and practice head Petra Billing goes 'above and beyond'.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Exceptional knowledge of the minerals industry. High quality of service, in particular the responsiveness of all lawyers I have dealt with is outstanding, as is the practical nature of the advice given.’

‘Petra Billing – goes above and beyond to provide an exceptional level of service. Regarded as an extended member of our internal team. Advice provided is always practical, tailored for the relevant audience, timely and good value for money. Petra has been a great support and is always at the end of a phone when I need her, no matter how big or small the query might be.’

Key clients

Imerys Minerals Limited

Government of Kenya

Aggregate Industries ( UK ) Limited/ LafargeHolcim

Tarmac/CRH

Coal Authority

Republic of Guinea

Ibstock PLC

Sibelco UK

Tata Steel UK Limited

Syrah Resources

RecyCoal

Cemex UK Operations Limited

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 3

With the hire of Amrit Mclean from Aviva, the pensions team at DLA Piper  launched a new, dedicated de-risking offfering, enabling the firm to provide cross-sector expertise to insurers, trustees and corporate sponsors alike. The team works with big-name clients such as Heineken, Renault UK and Hitachi Rail Europe, assisting on matters related to as deferred liabilities and complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions. Matthew Swynnerton heads the London pensions team with assistance from Tamara Calvert, an expert on the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme. Recent key work has included advising the trustee of the Allied Domecq Pension Fund on a £3.8bn buy-in with Rothesay Life.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The specialist bulk annuity team has a wide range of experience on both insurer and trustee side, which shines through in their advice. They are proactive, pragmatic and detailed in their approach‘.

Amrit Mclean is fantastic to work with. She is very personable and collaborative, and also practical in her advice. She focuses on the key commercial points without losing sight of the detail. Her collaborative approach with all stakeholders is a breath of fresh air‘.

They think robustly about the challenges and the optimal way to address them in the interests of all stakeholders‘.

Tamara Calvert is friendly, approachable and always seems to be on call. She also has a knack of getting trustees on side‘.

Matthew Swynnerton is knowledgeable and clear in his approach, and easy to work with‘.

Key clients

Hitachi Rail Europe Limited

Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited

Novartis UK Pension Scheme

Aviva

National Grid (ESPS)

E.ON UK (ESPS)

Grainger Inc

Du Pont (U.K.) Limited Pensions Fund

Renault UK

Heineken

Property finance Tier 3

DLA Piper is particularly well known for Europe-wide transactions involving assets such as hotels, student accommodation, retail and residential developments. A prime example of the team’s cross-border expertise was practice head Toby Barker's advice to Aareal Bank on refinancing InterGlobe’s acquisition of K+K Hotels’ property portfolio, which spanned ten European jurisdictions. Paul Gray also focuses on pan-European mandates, with a particular emphasis on hotels and nursing homes. Meanwhile, Chris Chan has handled many of the practice’s retail and student accommodation instructions. The team is also known for its work on the financing of sports stadiums.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Commercial approach to things, good team spirit, very good communication, clear responsibilities.’

‘Toby Barker is calm, focused, professional, always available, commercially minded, and has the expertise required to work for us.’

‘A very good international network which makes work on cross-border portfolios very efficient.’

‘Partners are always available for calls and advice. Advice is clear and commercial. Partners always seek to establish good working relationships with the other parties’ lawyers.’

‘Chris Chan understands what I want from a commercial real estate lawyer. He is personable, charming, friendly and unflappable. He delivers our points of view in a calm manner which usually leads to positive outcomes for all parties.’

‘Whenever I have worked with DLA they have been very professional, clear and efficient. Chris Chan in particular has been a great team member to work with. He is very clear about what needs to happen and keeps us informed on how documentation is progressing, which is very helpful.’

‘Solid team with good experience in the sector. Helpful and responsive. Chris Chan is responsive and personable with a good team behind him. Strong practice with multiple disciplines.’

‘Toby Barker is really good and provides firm advice.’

‘The team were extremely responsive and easy to get hold of. I found explanations of any issues concise and to the point, which can sometimes not be the case.’

‘I would say the quality of communication stood out and the quality of work is also good. The partner we dealt with, Chris Chan, was always available to discuss issues and always had time to talk through the deal.’

Key clients

Bain Capital

Cabot Properties

Ecoworld

Kildare Partners

LaSalle Investment Management

Oval Real Estate

Sabadell

Sanne

Aareal Bank AG

Aerium

Allianz

AMRO Partners

Ares

Aviva

AXA Investments

Bank Leumi

Barings Real Estate Advisers

Cheyne Capital

Credit Suisse AG

Deutsche Bank

DRC

Edyn (formerly Saco)

Harel Insurance Company

GAM

Generali

GULF

Harrison Street

Hermes

HIG

ICG Longbow

ING

Investec Bank plc

KKR

Laxfield

Mace

M&G

Mount Street Mortgage Servicing Limited

Och Ziff

Oxford Properties

Round Hill

Shaftesbury

SMBC

Solutus Advisors Limited

Tyndaris

Property litigation Tier 3

A significant portion of DLA Piper's workload involves handling contentious property development and neighbourly matters. In addition, the team assists funds and real estate investors with the full range of contentious property portfolio issues, including those that interface with planning law. Elsewhere, the group provides support to real estate companies, institutional owners and corporate occupiers on leases, dilapidations and other landlord and tenant disputes in both the commercial and residential property sectors. Solicitor advocate and fully accredited CEDR mediator Ian Brierley is the head of the practice. Senior associate Alasdair Thomas has a specialism in rights of light matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

DLA’s real estate team are an excellent unit with many decades of accumulated experience and insight. I worked with them on a very large dispute and their understanding of the sector was second to none.

I would recommend both Ian Brierley and Peter Fletcher. Ian is an extremely experienced property lawyer and brought all that experience to bear in our case. Peter is determined, great with clients and an astute litigator.’

Very deep and broad. I’d trust them with anything.

Alasdair Thomas – a man with a real eye for detail and a damn fine brain

This is one of the slickest property litigation teams I have worked with. They really have it all – excellent strategic thinking and lots of bright, engaged people who are organised and drive cases forward.

Ian Brierley is really great. He is strategic and good at looking at the case in overview, but is also well able and willing to grapple with points of substantial technicality. In addition, he is a joy to work with – friendly and efficient.

Peter Fletcher is another great member of the team. He is hard-working and organised, as well as personable and easy to work with.’

Key clients

The European Medicines Agency

Telereal Trillium

PGIM

Shaftesbury Plc

The Pollen Estate

Blackstone

Yianis Group

Insite Poster Properties

Axa Investment Fund Management

Atos

Public international law Tier 3

DLA Piper's broad practice regularly advises states and international organisations on significant PIL matters. Notable areas of expertise include maritime boundary disputes; function protection and immunity issues; treaty drafting and negotiations; and investment treaty disputes. Philip Chong heads up the Europe international arbitration practice in London, Kate Cervantes-Knox has significant investment treaty experience, and John Forrest is London international trade head. Other key figures include senior consultant Scott Horton, who has decades of experience in advising governments; and of counsel Ben Sanderson, who is the international arbitration global practice manager. Elinor Thomas is an experienced legal director.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Ben Sanderson is professional and sensible.’

Key clients

Republic of Kenya

Republic of Guinea

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Gazprom

Government of Ghana

Kyrgyz Republic

Thailand

Turkcell

Lithuania

INTERPOL

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 3

DLA Piper 's practice spans corporate crime, investigations and financial services regulatory matters. The firm is well placed to handle high-value, multi-jurisdictional matters with support from its global network of offices. Tony Katz heads the team and specialises in regulatory compliance, white-collar crime and global investigations. 'Incisive legal mindSam Millar, who co-heads the team, is a former litigator and focuses on financial crime work for financial institutions and corporates in sectors such as retail, property, sport, gambling and manufacturing. Patrick Rappo is well regarded for his experience in international bribery, corruption, money laundering and fraud issues. Birmingham-based Laura Ford was promoted to partner and is experienced in multi-jurisdictional investigations into allegations of serious and complex misconduct for national and international clients.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Sam Millar is a superstar in the field of Regulatory Investigations’.

‘Sam Millar has an intense desire to get to the bottom of any legal, expert or factual issue’.

‘Sam Millar has excellent judgement and is always fair in his assessment of where things have gone wrong’.

Securitisation Tier 3

'This practice has a deep understanding of the business and is flexible, commercial and, importantly, practical', remarks a client of DLA Piper, noting that the securitisation team is 'highly responsive, knowledgeable and business-oriented'. Its work comprises a significant volume of CLO issuance on behalf of asset managers, CMBS transactions for special servicers, and a growing flow of work for non-bank lenders and players in the fintech market. It is involved in cutting-edge transactions, including the first green bonds European CMBS issuance and, for the issuer, the first STS transaction in Poland, which was also the largest securitisation ever in the Polish market. Global co-chair of finance and projects Martin Bartlam and global co-chair of financial services Mark Dwyer oversee the work of the securitisation practice, in which Vincent Keaveny is the lead practitioner. Steven Krivinskas (who is 'a brilliant lawyer and an absolute pleasure to deal with') has broad experience in structured finance and debt capital markets transactions, acting for both financial institutions and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The firm is highly responsive, knowledgeable and business-oriented.’

‘This practice has a deep understanding of the business, is flexible, commercial and, importantly, practical. It is very open and transparent on fees. The team, led by Steven Krivinskas, has been a rock throughout the lifetime of the company.’

‘Steven Krivinskas provides exceptionally sound and considered legal advice. A brilliant lawyer and an absolute pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Ares European Loan Management LLP

Accunia Fondsmæglerselskab A/S

Neqsol Holding and VF Ukraine

Lendable

PKO Leasing

Mount Street Mortgage Servicing Limited

Trade finance Tier 3

DLA Piper joins the ranking this year having seen more trade finance work stemming from its skills in commodities, international trade, asset-based lending and projects. 'There is a real industry knowledge in the team', remarks one client, while another praises its 'creative and knowledgeable' approach. Acting for funders, sponsors, debt funds, alternative credit providers and corporates, the firm handles the funding of receivables, stock, plant and machinery. Practice head Richard Usher is a physical commodities specialist with 22 years' experience in the market who frequently handles the financing of agricultural products, oil, metals, coal, electricity, gas and LNG. Project finance partner Charles Morrison also plays a key role in the practice, focusing on upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas transactions, power projects and related financings.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The detailed knowledge in a very specific sector is what differentiates them. Richard Usher is the person to consult on global supply chain issues.’

‘DLA Piper has a great network around the globe, which makes it easy to engage them on multi-jurisdictional transactions, and its associates are familiar with different legal systems.’

‘Associate Rachel Holt provided us with a positive experience. She is extremely responsible and responsive. Her strengths are her good organisational skills and her responsiveness.’

‘There is a real industry knowledge in the team. The partner has worked inside and outside law firms, so the team puts together realistic documentation that can be implemented quickly and easily. It is practical law which is totally effective.’

‘In terms of practical implementation and understanding they are light years ahead of the other law firms.’

‘They listen and then, with practical experience, develop a reasonable plan to go forward, hitting realistic time lines.’

‘They are always available, with the ability to respond to short deadlines but in a comprehensive matter. They are creative and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

NatWest plc

Preem S.A.

Mytilineos S.A.

Barak Fund

Rababank

Eastern and Southern Trade Development Bank

AlmaStone

Lendable Inc

HSBC

Acquisition finance Tier 4

DLA Piper provides 'commercial and pragmatic' advice to a mix of borrower (private equity and corporates) and lender clients. The team is able to add value by virtue of working across its regional offices, and by using less conventional techniques such as asset based lending (ABL) - which is increasingly being used alongside traditional bank debt. Strong clearing bank relationships still inform a significant amount of work  but it also continues to grow and strengthen its relationships within the private credit fund community. The 'exceptionalMark Dwyer co-chairs the firm's financial services group and has developed a particularly strong reputation in financing UK public takeovers of listed companies. The 'brilliantAndy Kolacki  has a particular focus on international mandates.  

Testimonials

The responsive team has an excellent commercial understanding and displays a pragmatic and skillful approach.

Andy Kolacki is brilliant.

Mark Dwyer is an exceptional lawyer.

Mei Mei Wong is fantastic and highly skilled.

 

Key clients

Discovery

Heineken

VEON

LivaNova

Workspace Group

INEOS Enterprises Holdings Limited

Biffa Plc

Neqsol Holdings Limited

Symphony Technology Group

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 4

The 'highly skilled and technically excellent' team at DLA Piper has 'broad knowledge and deep experience', enabling it to advise lenders and borrowers across the full range and lifecycle of domestic and international lending transactions. The firm's strong clearing bank relationships leads to significant corporate lending deal flow, which it is able to cost-effectively resource utilising London-based lawyers as well as those in key regional centres including Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. The 'exceptionalMark Dwyer is regularly instructed on investment grade debt finance mandates, a corollary of his superb overarching borrower side practice.

Testimonials

‘Brilliant partner in charge (Andy Kolacki) and great, responsive team generally. Commercial understanding, work ethics, pragmatic approach and extremely skilled people are some aspects that come to mind. As a GC, it is generally a joy to be working with them.’

‘Fantastic, highly skilled and technically excellent team. They have broad experience and deep knowledge which has made negotiations smooth and efficient.’

‘Mark Dwyer is exceptional. Mei Mei Wong is excellent.’

Key clients

Discovery

Heineken

VEON

LivaNova

Workspace Group

INEOS Enterprises Holdings Limited

Biffa plc

Neqsol Holdings Limited

Motion Acquisition Limited

Apollo Global Management

Symphony Technology Group

Construction Tier 4

Focusing primarily on non-contentious work, DLA Piper's Birmingham group is led by nationwide construction head Stephen Malley, who is 'backed up by a skilled and efficient team'. Malley advises clients on procurement, construction and development work, with experience in a range of sectors, including the hotel, leisure and life sciences industries. Victoria Ball is recommended for drafting and negotiating construction contracts and development agreements.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Full understanding of the specific requirements of our business needs and tailoring the product to suit our purposes and streamline future requirements. Strong commercial advice and acumen from Stephen Malley.’

‘Good partner leadership and understand client requirements, backed up by a skilled and efficient team.’

Key clients

Far East Consortium

UPS Limited

Corporate tax Tier 4

DLA Piper's UK tax team, which is a core part of a large global practice, is sought out for advice on domestic and international corporate, real estate and finance tax issues, including those arising from M&A and restructurings. The group also has strong capabilities in transfer pricing matters. The firm is particularly noted for its real estate sector work, which is an area where Richard Woolich takes the lead. Woolich co-heads the practice with Ben Brown, who focuses on corporate and finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘A responsive team with in-depth structuring knowledge.’

Key clients

Aareal Bank

Ares Management

AXA

Barings

Bet365 Group Limited

Juniper Networks

Kaplan International

Royal Bank of Scotland

Stanley Black & Decker

Waypoint Asset Management

Equity capital markets - mid-high cap Tier 4

DLA Piper covers a wide ambit of UK and international ECM transactions under the leadership of practice head Alex Tamlyn, who has more than 30 years of corporate finance experience and serves as chair of the Primary Markets Group on the London Stock Exchange. The highly rated group also includes Martin PennCharles Severs and senior associate Karin Kirschner. In addition to acting for corporates, other clients include selling shareholders, underwriters, sponsors, nominated advisers, brokers, trustees and depositaries. Robert Newman recently made partner.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Martin Penn has an deep sector expertise that we depend on hugely. His delivery capability is exceptional and his support on unusual and technical legal elements has been invaluable.’

 

Key clients

Mothercare plc

Allied Minds plc

PureTech Health plc

John Menzies plc

SDL plc

Harworth Group plc

Hutchison China MediTech

Numis Securities Limited

Liberum Capital Limited

Peel Hunt LLP

Hyve Group plc

EU and competition Tier 4

DLA Piper’s ‘bright, friendly and responsive’ department handles a large volume of mandates involving complex merger control considerations in the UK and internationally. Other primary fields of expertise include investigations and competition enforcement, regulatory issues, compliance and commercial agreements. The group often acts hand in glove with the firm’s corporate practice, but also routinely cooperates with sector-specific teams on matters in the pharmaceutical, media, manufacturing, retail and sports sectors, among others. The practice is led by the trio Sam Szlezinger, Alexandra Kamerling and Sarah Smith.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Good, properly integrated competition and litigation team. Did a very good in managing a CMA investigation and managing client risks, including those associated with subsequent litigation.

Highly commercial firm, and a real focus on giving commercial and pragmatic advice.

Sam Szlezinger is a class act, is actively involved and knows the detail. He is ably assisted by Richard Jenkinson, who is highly competent and really thinks through issues.

Bright, friendly and responsive team with lots to offer at a good price.

Sarah Smith – practical and commercial, responsive, thoughtful and at ease in commercial environment. She is excellent, with sound judgement and understands the needs of the client.

 

Key clients

John Menzies

Ecolab Inc.

Metal and Waste Recycling

Merck

Lupin

Ineos

Discovery Communications

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 4

The 'practical and commercial' DLA Piper has domestic and international experience acting for major banks, as well as providing expertise in payments and transactional work. The firm particularly specialises in Fintech and Regtech. The 'very reliable' Michael McKee covers the spectrum of financial services work, primarily advising on non-contentious regulatory issues. He co-leads the team with Tony Katz, who focuses on investigations, representing UK and international financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘In-depth knowledge of regulation and great communication’

‘Michael McKee is  a valued source of advice, with keen insight into what will and will not pass muster with regulators’

‘Ricardo Plasencia is knowledgeable, has great people skills and is transparent. He always goes the extra mile’

‘Chris Whittaker stands out. He is pragmatic, commercial and has a great temperament. He is one to watch’

Key clients

Marsh & McLennan Companies

Toyota Fleet Mobility GmBH

 

Franchising Tier 4

Headed up by global hospitality and leisure sector co-chair Matthew Duncombe following Iain Bowler's departure to Freeths LLP in 2019, DLA Piper's team has experience on both the franchisee and franchisor side of the hotel sector, where it advises hotel brand operators and owners on large franchising deals. The Leeds-based team, which is also instructed by clients in the retail and food and beverage sectors, has particular expertise in multi-unit franchise structures and multi-jurisdictional brand roll-outs.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘They cover all areas of the globe. Particularly strong in North America.’

‘Solid franchising skills across many industries.’

Key clients

Merlin Entertainments

Gino D’Acampo Worldwide Restaurants Limited

Drybar

Starwood Capital

Duckhams

Harris Research Inc

International Resources Group

Sambro

Continental

Noa Noa

Hut Group

Amaris Hospitality

Aga

Marriott International

Dolce & Gabbana

Bacardi

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG)

Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 4

DLA Piper advises individuals in the financial services and manufacturing sectors caught up in domestic and cross-border disputes and investigations. Areas of practice include bribery and corruption, money laundering, tax and fraud investigations, cartel cases, sanctions breaches, crisis management and global compliance issues. Patrick Rappo heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Experienced, well-resourced and manages relationships well’.

‘The lawyers are realistic and down to earth and do not display any signs of arrogance or pretension, which is refreshing’.

‘DLA Piper is a truly global firm and their London Office is welcoming, well-located and highly professional’.

‘Sam Millar is extremely conscientious and patient’.

Key clients

Mr Thomas Kalaris

High yield Tier 4

DLA Piper acts predominantly for corporate issuers in large UK and international high yield bond issues, though it also advises above investment grade companies and private equity sponsors when they acquire issuers of high yield bonds. The London office works closely with teams across its large international network, which houses a large international finance, projects and restructuring group. Global co-chair of finance and projects Martin Bartlam oversees the practice, along with UK head of capital markets and structured investments Tony Lopez and global co-chair of the financial services sector Mark Dwyer. Their work spans acquisitions in which target companies have high yield debt, restructurings and advice on covenant compliance.

Key clients

HSBC Corporate Trustee Company

HSBC Bank plc

Corral Petroleum Holdings AB

ASR Media and Sponsorship S.p.A.

International arbitration Tier 4

DLA Piper's 'focused practice has excellent organisation' and routinely acts in international arbitrations involving energy, infrastructure and construction disputes; the group also fields specialists in Africa-related work and investment treaty disputes. The Europe practice is led by Philip Chong, who is supported by international commercial and investment treaty arbitration expert Kate Cervantes-Knox, while James Carter has particular experience in Africa-related disputes. Other key names include experienced partners Edward Shaw and Christina Lawrence, along with of counsel Ben Sanderson, legal director Elinor Thomas and senior associate Maria Scott.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Phillip Chong (Head of Intl Arbitration) – very bright; very charming; skilled operator in the field with great technical know-how and judgement.’

‘Maria Scott (Senior Associate) – very clever and tenacious; master of the detail; quick and deft of mind; a rising star.’

‘Christina Lawrence – very smart, intensely knowledgeable. Uniquely qualified to advise on Russia/ FSU matters.’

‘James Carter goes the extra mile to achieve the best outcome for his clients.’

‘The team is very proactive and accountable. The response time is excellent.’

‘Kate Cervantes-Knox is a top class litigator with considerable arbitration experience as litigator, arbitrator and lecturer. She runs her hard-working team with efficiency and charm. A delight to work with and terrific team player.’

‘The overall level of service of the practice is excellent. They are responsive and offer comparatively good value for money, which is also enhanced by their strong sector knowledge.’

Key clients

Gazprom

Republic of Kenya

Standard Chartered Bank

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Samsung Engineering Co, Ltd

State Enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP)

INTERPOL

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 4

Matthew Swynnerton leads the London pensions team at DLA Piper. The team advises on all aspects of pensions law including bulk annuity transactions, reorganisations, benefit redesign and liability management projects, also handling contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Matthew Swynnerton is knowledgeable and clear in his approach, and easy to work with.’

Product liability: defendant Tier 4

DLA Piper has a varied practice, which handles product stewardship issues and recalls, regulatory matters and product safety work, as well as compliance mandates and investigations. Through its strong international network, the team is well positioned to handle cross-border mandates, often acting for retail, home appliance and pharmaceuticals companies. Teresa Hitchcock's broad practice also encompasses environment, health and safety and licensing law, while Alistair Clough is a key contact for healthcare matters; both are based in Sheffield.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They are extremely business minded and very responsive as we always have to comply with tight deadlines.’

Key clients

Newell Rubbermaid

Caesarstone Sdot-Yam Ltd

Administrative and public law Tier 5

The client roster of DLA Piper’s public and administrative law group comprises a mix of public sector and commercial clients. Utilities companies, local authorities, regulators and private companies across the transport, energy, healthcare, education and environment sectors engage Leeds-based Paul Stone and Edinburgh-based Hazel Moffatt for governance, policy and risk avoidance advice. Recent contentious instructions saw the team acting for claimants and defendants in public procurement litigation.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

A really friendly and dedicated team willing to put in a lot of mileage for the clients.

The administrative and public law team at DLA Piper is exceptionally cohesive and tight knit.’

Paul Stone, Martyn Scott and Jonathan Blunden are very good from a litigation perspective.

Jonathan Blunden is another ferocious and effective hard worker. His drafting is excellent and he is going to have a great career- he is an excellent litigator.

Key clients

Uber Britannia Limited

Ocean Outdoor Limited

Department for Transport

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Market Operator Services

Transport for Greater Manchester

Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association

Heineken Limited

Hitachi Rail Europe Limited

Office of Rail and Road

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 5

DLA Piper remains a very credible player for domestic mid-market work and added both David Manson from Paul Hastings LLP and James Davison from Addleshaw Goddard  in 2020 in a bid to rebuild the team following some departures in 2019. The hires add firepower to a sizeable national team operating out of London and throughout the regions. The 'very commercial and user-friendlyChris Parker heads up a London practice that has 'deep knowledge and expertise around formal insolvency procedures', as well as the ability to represent stakeholders in cross-border mandates by dint of the firm's extensive international network. A varied client roster includes banks, funds and IPs, ensuring the firm has a balanced perspective across the restructuring/insolvency process.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Good solid pragmatic advice, balanced with the right level of sophistication and nuance.

Exceptionally knowledgeable in their field with a clearly determination to deliver for their client.

The team displays deep expert knowledge, particularly around formal insolvency.

Chris Parker is very commercial and user-friendly: he is an experienced leader on complex and substantial cross-border mandates.

Jonathan Richards is very calm and effective; his client handling skills are excellent.

Jonathan Richards has an incredible way of bringing calm to a situation and reducing complex matters to simple understandable language.

Tim Dawson is an extremely effective and commercial lawyer.

 

 

Key clients

Alchemy Partners LLP

Alvarez & Marsal

Cheyne Capital

Deloitte

EY

FTI Consulting

Hilco Capital

HSBC

KPMG

PwC

Environment Tier 5

DLA Piper receives instructions across all areas of environmental law, including environmental litigation and prosecutions, and real estate transactions. It also has expertise in compliance issues, environmental approvals and assessments, waste management and disposal work, and issues relating to the transportation of dangerous goods. Working across the firm’s Sheffield and London offices, Teresa Hitchcock is noted for her work on contaminated land matters, nuisance disputes and regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Tarmac Services Limited – Sandridge

Tata

Boparan Holdings Limited

Unilever

BEIS

Wilko

Heineken UK Limited

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

DLA Piper is highly active in the UK PE market, advising on a consistent flow of mandates in the UK and Europe, with a particular niche in management-side advice to companies involved in £1bn+ buyouts. The team also advises major bulge-bracket and mid-market houses, as well as portfolio companies, with a variety of sector expertise including in technology, healthcare, and business services. The practice is led by Tim Wright, who specialises in high-value management buyout advice. Ed Griffiths is noted for his expertise in technology transactions and cross-border deals.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Deep understanding of Private Equity and related markets’

‘Clear advice driven by passionate people who want the best for their clients’

‘Tim Wright is clearly a leader in his sector. Forthright, clear, bright and perceptive he is great to work with. Not at all afraid to stand his ground’

Key clients

August Equity

Beech Tree Private Equity

Coast2Coast Capital

Duke Street Capital

EMK Capital

Graphite Capital

H.I.G. European Capital Partners

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Lloyds Development Capital

Maven Capital

Marwyn Partners

North Edge

Shipping Tier 5

Led by Linos Choo, DLA Piper's London team collaborates with the firm's offices around the world to handle both contentious and non-contentious shipping issues. Its recent work has included cargo disputes, ship transactions, and charterparty litigation. Choo is experienced in shipping disputes; he is praised for his 'very good commercial instincts'.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A very practical, extremely well connected, efficient team with an outstanding focus on client value.’

‘Linos Choo is exceptionally efficient and a pleasure to work with – his focus on client value, depth of expertise and extent and quality of connections in the industry are second to none.’

‘Their international outreach and knowledge, in particular, of the Far Eastern markets sets them apart from their competitors.’

‘Linos Choo is bright, dedicated and has very good commercial instincts. He is also fun and pleasant to work with.’

 

Key clients

Globe Marine Services Company

Gard AS

Tata Steel UK Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

Zurich Australia

Manfred Lauterjung Befrachtung GmbH

DTEK Trading SA

Petronas

COSCO

Gazprom PJSC

Transport finance and leasing Tier 5

Primarily focused on work in the aviation sector, the 'highly skilled and knowledgeable' three-partner team at DLA Piper provides 'technically good' advice to a lessor and airline-focused client base across myriad financings. The ability to access experts world-wide, including a nascent office in Dublin, (of strategic importance on the lessor front given the preponderance of entities based there) ensures that the firm is well placed to handle cross-border mandates. 'Commercially-minded' team head Alan Cunningham  has a focus on corporate jet mandates for high-net-worth individuals and lenders.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team as a whole is always friendly and approachable, always at the end of a phone and always respond promptly to emails. The instructions that they provide are concise and to the point.’

‘I have worked with Anna Powers for a number of years and she is always great to work with. Very approachable and happy to help or answer any queries as they come up over the course of a transaction. She is a very capable lawyer.’

‘A highly skilled and knowledgeable team of individuals who work together to provide an extremely high level of service to their clients.’

‘A strong understanding of the importance of client delivery. Alan Cunningham leads a team (Anna Powers, Claire Manley & Chris Nash) of commercially minded forward thinking professionals who excel in their area of expertise.’

‘We have dealt with DLA Piper for a number of years on numerous transactions and they are our firm of choice for marine and aviation legal requirements.’

‘My experience with DLA Piper (in the area of aircraft leasing) has been nothing but positive. The lawyers in their Aviation group are well versed with respect to the subject matter, efficient and pragmatic in their approach. They are also a pleasure to deal with as people; they treat all transaction participants professionally and collegially. Their efficiencies are reflected in their billings which I have always found to be reasonable.’

‘The individual lawyers who I have primarily worked with (Richard Skipper (partner) and Alison Balfour (associate)) are the reason for my exceptional opinion of DLA Piper.’

‘The team are very close knit and everyone is approachable and invests time to understand and assist with queries and advice.’

‘The team understand their sector and area of expertise entirely. If you are unable to get in touch with your contact someone else will always step in to help.’

‘Claire Manley deserves a mention. Claire is incredibly knowledgeable in her sector and will always look at ways to provide a solution, taking time to understand the issue and provide advice and guidance. Claire is extremely likeable, approachable and calm and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Technically good and easy to deal with. Very responsive. An underrated practice.’

‘Richard Skipper is a very approachable lawyer with sound judgement.

 

Key clients

Etihad Airways

GTLK Europe

IAG Group

ABN Amro

Air Seychelles

Air Mauritius

Flybe

Saudia

Avia AM

Paragon

Venture capital Tier 5

DLA Piper's UK venture capital practice is part of a strong global offering that acts for both investors and companies undertaking VC investments. The firm has a particular focus on helping large corporates set up VC funds to invest in high-growth companies and offers a distinct debt team to advise start-ups between equity rounds. Its DLA Piper Accelerate offering provides a portal with relevant content and it also offers a cross-practice start-up pack to help newly launched companies. The team in the UK is headed by London partners Jon Kenworthy  and Luca Gori  .

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team operates seamlessly across offices and timezones. This means we can have confidence in their ability to share knowledge – whether that’s about us as a client or about the latest market practice in the US, Canada and the UK.’

‘I would strongly recommend them. They are responsive, available, and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Luca Gori is a consummate client partner. He shows leadership and he gives excellent advice on the law, developing market practice and commercial approaches. In particular, his experience allows him to read how any deal is likely to play out and anticipate issues. He makes us look good’ 

‘Their expertise with the specificities of VC investments in UK start-ups was invaluable as they reviewed transaction documents and provided advice on acceptable /non acceptable clauses.’

Key clients

Hyundai Motor Company & Kia Motors

10x Future Technologies Services Limited

New Enterprise Associates Inc

Samsung Venture Investment Corporation

Jaja Finance Ltd

BNKBL Ltd

RTP Global Investments Limited

Updata Management LLC t/a Updata Partners

Cisco Systems Inc

Paladin Cyber SPV, LLC

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company

Battery Ventures LP

Munich Re`s ERGO Fund (Venture Capital)

Elder Technologies Limited

Elevar Equity

Daimler AG

Global Co-Chairs: Roger Meltzer and Andrew Darwin
Co-Chief Executive Officers: Simon Levine and Cameron Jay Rains
Number of partners: 1,500
Number of lawyers: 5,000
Languages: The firm speaks over 60 languages
Offices: Lawyers located in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Please see https://www.dlapiper.com for further information about the firm.

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The Lex 100 Verdict

Global full-service firm and regional giant, DLA Piper taps into its extensive network of international offices to deliver its trainees 'international-level work in local offices around the UK' with locations in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, London, and Edinburgh. This quality is applauded by its trainees, with one commenting that 'being able to live and work in Yorkshire, whilst receiving world-class training, made DLA Piper my top-choice firm'. This access to its global network is reflected in the firm securing a Lex 100 Winner award for its international secondments. A trainee highlights that 'the firm really takes care of everything so the transition is as easy as it could be. The quality of work and opportunities whilst on secondment are as good as whilst in the UK'. Trainees describe the firm as 'ambitious and progressive' with a 'strong emphasis on pro-bono and diversity'. They appreciate the 'structured approach to training which provides a solid academic basis within the initial few weeks of a seat, plus a lot of explanation given on the background of tasks which aids understanding. Typically this isn't provided at US firms'. Long hours, 'discrepancy between London pay and regional pay' and 'feeling as though you are a small fish in a very big pond' are common complaints. However, the firm's 'friendly atmosphere' and the quality of its pro-bono opportunities are praised. If you are looking for international work and well-structured training at a leading global firm, DLA Piper is a natural contender.