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DLA Piper

Living Wage
160 ALDERSGATE STREET, LONDON, EC1A 4HT, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 08700 111 111
Fax:
Fax 020 7796 6666
DX:
33866 FINSBURY SQUARE
Email:
Web:
www.dlapiper.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has an excellent reputation advising UK and international clients from a wide range of industries on all types of commercial agreements. Senior associate Michiko Jo, who is knowledgeable about issues related to supply chain management, acts for clients in sectors such as food and drink, payment services, manufacturing and consumer goods. In 2017, Iain Bowler, who is a co-chair of the global practice, led a team in the advice to Merseytravel on a £600m project involving the procurement of a fleet of electric trains, a related 35 year maintenance contract and the construction of new depot facilities and related infrastructure upgrades. Mark Dewar, Anthony Day and Mark O’Conor are other first-rate partners in the team, which also handles outsourcings, joint ventures and strategic partnerships, licensing, and supply and distribution agreements.

Leading individuals

Iain Bowler - DLA Piper

Mark Dewar - DLA Piper

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The 'excellent' group at DLA Piper handles the spectrum of corporate, real estate and finance tax work, in addition to a wide variety of transfer pricing matters involving acquisitions and restructuring. The team is led by 'true grandee of City tax' Richard Woolich, who advised ING on the tax aspects of its refinancing of the Gherkin building. Building on an existing firm relationship, Paul Rutherford advised Heineken UK on UK tax matters arising from its acquisition of Punch Taverns, and on the subsequent separation of the Punch Taverns Group between Heineken and Patron. He also assisted BrewDog in relation to a £1bn investment into the company by TSG Consumer Partners. Also recommended are Neville Wright (who specialises in finance and real estate work) and new arrival Ben Brown, who joined from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2017.

Leading individuals

Richard Woolich - DLA Piper

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The 'effective'¬†Sam Szlezinger¬†heads the EU and competition offering at ‚Äėvery good firm‚Äô¬†DLA Piper¬†,¬†which ‚Äėprovides excellent advice at more competitive rates than magic circle firms‚Äô. Szlezinger‚Äôs recent highlights include advising JustGiving on the merger control aspects of its acquisition by Blackbaud and advising Heineken on its acquisition of the partial Punch pub estate, working alongside¬†Sarah Smith¬†on merger control questions before the CMA.¬†Alexandra Kamerling¬†(who is noted for giving ‚Äėgreat advice‚Äô that is ‚Äėpractical and commercial‚Äô) acted for longstanding client of the competition team, Nisa Retail, in relation to its sale to the Co-Op. Other notable instructions were received from John Menzies, Axalta Coating Systems and OCS. ¬†Legal director¬†Ilan Sherr¬†‚Äėis an astute, client-friendly and pragmatic lawyer, who is always on top of his work and is very responsive‚Äô.

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

DLA Piper

The team at¬†DLA Piper¬†‚Äėprovides a holistic view and response‚Äô to its clients‚Äô trade and customs concerns. The ‚Äėfirst-rate‚Äô¬†John Forrest¬†heads the team, which advises on all aspects of international trade law, including export controls, trade embargoes, customs procedures and international trade agreements. The team was strengthened with the hire of its¬†Paul Hardy¬†in April 2017,¬†who previously served as EU legal adviser to the House of Lords. Hardy and Forrest advises the firm‚Äôs global clients on the implications of Brexit and EU trade negotiations. Clients of the practice include Metro Bank, Amec Foster Wheeler and card-game manufacturer Cards Against Humanity. Senior associate¬†Chloe Barker, who¬†divides her time between Birmingham and London, is also recommended.

Leading individuals

John Forrest - DLA Piper

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Equity capital markets
Equity capital markets - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Noted for its multi-jurisdictional capabilities, DLA Piper's 'very good' practice handles complex equity capital markets matters for large issuers and underwriters. Group head Alex Tamlyn acted for Hutchison China MediTech on its $301m depositary share offering on the Nasdaq, and Charles Severs advised Menzies Aviation on the £70m rights issuance that funded its acquisition of Aircraft Service International Group from BBA Aviation. Robert Salter advised Cannaccord, Stifel and Peel Hunt on a £100m placement by IQE; Zeus Capital is another client on the sponsor side. Karin Kirschner, Martin Penn and Johannes Poon are also recommended. The UK- and US-qualified George Barboutis moved to the Dubai office in 2018.

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Financial services
Financial services (non-contentious/ regulatory) - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Financial services contentious - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Well plugged into the financial services firmament and with strong ties with the retail and investment banking sector in particular, DLA Piper provides 'responsive and commercial' expertise across all the key regulatory issues affecting their businesses, both from a domestic perspective, as well as internationally where it is also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners situated in many important global jurisdictions including Hong Kong and Washington, DC. Benefiting from many years' experience in private practice as well as a stint in-house at Citigroup, Michael McKee has significant credibility in the industry and has been particularly active of late advising clients on the implications of the recently enacted Senior Managers Regime. McKee is also regularly called upon to provide the regulatory overlay on financial services M&A; he was recently part of a cross-office team which represented the Australian financial technology solutions provider Link Group on the £888m acquisition of the UK-based Capita Asset Services. Other recommended practitioners include former FSA alumni Tony Katz, who heads up the firm's financial services and investigations team, and Sam Millar, who despite having a litigation background, is regularly involved in advisory regulatory matters, often in the context of strategic M&A transactions in the sector. Clients include UBS, Standard Chartered and MoneyCorp.

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's team has a wealth of experience of domestic and cross-border mandates, with the work spanning matters such as rights issues, placings, block trades, dual listings, step-ups and public takeovers. It captures a particularly significant share of the market for AIM IPOs; a recent highlight involved practice head Alex Tamlyn and senior associate Robert Newman acting for Rosenblatt in its £43m AIM listing (representing the largest UK law firm IPO to date). Also in the legal services arena, John Campion, Jonathan Watkins and Newman are advising UK law firm Knights Professional Services Limited on its planned AIM IPO. Tamlyn also recently worked with senior associates Johannes Poon and Karin Kirschner to advise Zeus Capital (as NOMAD and broker) on the AIM listing of, and associated placing of shares by, OnTheMarket Plc. Martin Penn acted for PureTech Health Plc in its £72m placing. On the regulatory front, the firm has a  strong relationship with the London Stock Exchange, enabling its team to gain an understanding of current and upcoming rules and regulations. Tamlyn is Chair of the Primary Markets Group on the London Stock Exchange. Elsewhere, the firm has a particularly strong US securities law capability, with US-qualified partners Tony Lopez and George Barboutis having expertise in this area. Charles Severs and DLA Piper are other notable practitioners in the team.

DLA Piper's team has a wealth of experience of domestic and cross-border mandates, with the work spanning matters such as rights issues, placings, block trades, dual listings, step-ups and public takeovers. It captures a particularly significant share of the market for AIM IPOs; a recent highlight involved practice head Alex Tamlyn and senior associate Robert Newman acting for Rosenblatt in its £43m AIM listing (representing the largest UK law firm IPO to date). Also in the legal services arena, John Campion, Jonathan Watkins and Newman are advising UK law firm Knights Professional Services Limited on its planned AIM IPO. Tamlyn also recently worked with senior associates Johannes Poon and Karin Kirschner to advise Zeus Capital (as NOMAD and broker) on the AIM listing of, and associated placing of shares by, OnTheMarket Plc. Martin Penn acted for PureTech Health Plc in its £72m placing. On the regulatory front, the firm has a  strong relationship with the London Stock Exchange, enabling its team to gain an understanding of current and upcoming rules and regulations. Tamlyn is Chair of the Primary Markets Group on the London Stock Exchange. Elsewhere, the firm has a particularly strong US securities law capability, with US-qualified partners Tony Lopez and George Barboutis having expertise in this area. Charles Severs and DLA Piper are other notable practitioners in the team.

Next generation lawyers

Martin Penn - DLA Piper

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M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+
M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+ - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The ‚Äėproactive, exemplary‚Äô department at¬†DLA Piper¬†has ‚Äėgreat bench strength‚Äô. It is well known for its TMT expertise, though it also acts for high-profile clients in sectors including energy, financial services and transport.¬†‚ÄėIncredibly responsive, thoughtful‚Äô and ‚Äėvery experienced global co-chair¬†Robert Bishop¬†and¬†Mark Chivers¬†led the team advising Heineken Group on its offer to acquire the securitization group known as ‚ÄėPunch Taverns A‚Äô from Patron Capital. Head of M&A for EMEA and Asia Pacific¬†Jon Kenworthy¬†worked alongside¬†Tim Wright¬†on the sale of Miller Homes Holdings to a Bridgepoint Capital entity for ¬£669m, advising the selling shareholders and the management team on their investment into Newco. Managing director¬†Charles Severs,¬†who ‚Äėalways ensures that services are delivered as promised‚Äô, advised Menzies Aviation on the acquisition of ASIG from BBA Aviation for $202m.¬†Jon Hayes¬†acts for clients including Etihad Airways, GE, UNICEF and Unilever. Also recommended are¬†Robert Salter, who is strong for real estate sector transactions, and¬†Tom Heylen, who¬†is noted for his expertise in working with international corporates and institutions and leading the firm‚Äôs technology initiative in the UK.

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Private equity: transactions
Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Private equity: transactions ‚Äď mid-market deals - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper 'balances the desire to negotiate hard on behalf of clients with commercial pragmatism'. Its team includes UK private equity head David Raff, who is 'a real deal do-er' and 'an excellent negotiator - a titanium fist in a velvet glove'. Tim Wright leads the firm's European private equity offering, and acts for clients such as Partners Group, Duke Street and European Capital (which is part of Ares) in many of their most significant transactions. Like Raff and Wright, Edward Griffiths is 'hugely experienced in the private equity world'. The firm is consistently among the most active in the market for UK and European midmarket deals; a recent highlight involved acting for the founders and management sellers in the sale and reinvestment in Third Bridge Group Limited to IK Investment Partners. Another matter saw Raff and others advise LDC on the disposal of Nexinto Limited (a German-based provider of e-commerce hosting sourcing solutions) to The PlusServer Group. The firm is also a strong performer in the large-cap arena, as was evidenced when Griffiths, Wright and senior associate Philip Allenby acted for Paysafe Plc's management team in the acquisition of the company by CVC and Blackstone for £3bn. The group also advised the management team of Holland & Barrett on the £1.8bn acquisition of the business by LetterOne Retail. Anu Balasubramanian departed for Paul Hastings LLP.

Leading individuals

Tim Wright - DLA Piper

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's indirect tax practice has developed a specialism in standalone post-BEPS advisory work (for which it leverages the firm's presence across the EU and globally) in addition to handling a steady diet of transactional matters. Richard Woolich leads the team and focuses on financial services, gambling, real estate VAT and cross-border goods and services, while the indirect tax disputes team is led by Geoffrey Tack. Highlights for the group included advising on the indirect tax aspects of the refinancing of the Gherkin building; and, in a separate matter, advising DTZ Investments in relation to the establishment of a fund to invest in French real estate, which involved  significant UK cross-border VAT issues. Ben Brown joined the team from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2017.

Leading individuals

Richard Woolich - DLA Piper

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†has ‚Äėhuge strength in depth‚Äô. The practice handles cross-border litigation and arbitration and specialises in fraud and asset tracing, and banking and funds litigation. The firm acted for Simetra Global Assets in a multi-jurisdictional case against a London-based FCA Defendant and a Belize-based brokerage firm with regards to the misappropriation of $70m on an FX trading platform. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry¬†is ‚Äėbrilliant at keeping a strategic handle on a case‚Äô and has ‚Äėhuge experience of cross-jurisdictional work‚Äô. Jeremy Andrews¬†is ‚Äėa smooth operator who beguiles opponents but has a razor-sharp legal brain‚Äô. Jamie Curle¬†is ‚Äėfearless and combines great strategic judgment with a detailed grasp of the underlying facts of a case‚Äô.

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Gaming and betting
Gaming and betting - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The gaming and betting practice at DLA Piper regularly handles IT, IP, corporate and litigation matters for its broad range of gambling sector clients, and also has notable expertise in domestic and international tax issues. Key partners include Nick Fitzpatrick and Hilary Stewart-Jones.

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'lawyers are very good indeed, do not hesitate to add real value in terms of legal analysis and strategy, and are always straightforward to deal with'. Others praise 'the excellent supervision over the up-and-coming associates, giving strength in depth'.¬†The practice is highly rated for handling complex and high-stakes domestic and cross-border mandates in the financial services sector. Domestically, the practice recently secured key victories for its clients in strategically significant and bet-the-bank matters before the English courts; and in international matters, it was particularly active in bank fraud matters, where assets have been misappropriated and moved between financial institutions in multiple foreign jurisdictions. In one of the largest and most publicly-sensitive cases to emerge from the 2011 Cypriot banking crisis, the team acted for Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co (in Special Administration) in its actions to recover losses of up to ‚ā¨3.5bn, arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry¬†was promoted to international head litigation and regulatory group head in 2017; the UK co-head of litigation and arbitration is¬†Jeremy Andrews;¬†Jamie Curle¬†'has strong legal knowledge, an astute tactical sense and good team management, and is invariably polite, calm and a pleasure to work with'; and ¬†Paul Smith¬†is 'immensely experienced and knowledgeable in interest-rate swap mis-selling cases and so able to give genuinely valuable insights to counsel'.¬†Tony Katz¬†and¬†James Carter¬† are also widely respected.

Leading individuals

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

'Able to put together a team of lawyers for any case of any size', DLA Piper 'has really excellent lawyers'. The practice is frequently instructed on high value, complex cross-border commercial litigation matters, which often give rise to jurisdictional issues and conflicts of laws. It advised the Special Administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co in its actions to recover high-value losses, arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions entered into by Andreas Vgenopoulos and other former management of the bank and related entities. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, who is 'fearless and uttely determined to achieve the best result', is global co-litigation  and regulatory chair; Jeremy Andrews, who is 'calm, unruffled and highly intelligent' is co-head of litigation and arbitration; James Carter 'has a good sense of what will work'; and  Jamie Curle is 'responsive, knowledgeable and honest'. Other recommended practitioners include Stephen Sly, Janet Legrand, Richard McGrane, Paul Smith, Sarah Smith and recently promoted partner Edward Shaw.

Leading individuals

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Competition litigation
Competition litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'excellent' defendant-focused team continues to advise clients on major follow-on and standalone competition litigation matters, including multiple pay-for-delay cases. The team is led by 'hugely experienced' Sam Szlezinger, who specialises in UK and EU competition law. Possessing 'excellent strategic judgement' and 'superb litigation skills', Sarah Smith is acting for Merck in its ongoing appeal in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the CMA's antitrust decision regarding the drug paroxetine. Smith is also representing Lupin in a General Court appeal against the European Commissions' antitrust decision in the perindopril investigation. On the claimant side, Alexandra Kamerling represented the Origin Group in a private enforcement action against XL Farmcare UK and others in relation to alleged breaches of competition law, leading to an out-of-court settlement.

Next generation lawyers

Sarah Smith - DLA Piper

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper 'has huge strength in depth and operates brilliantly as a team'. The practice includes specialisms in energy, infrastructure and investment treaty disputes; has a significant public international law group; and is highly experienced in Africa-related work.  It advised on a series of SCC arbitration claims relating to the supply, pricing and transit of gas from Gazprom to Ukrainian supplier Naftogaz. Philip Chong is Europe international arbitration head; Kate Cervantes-Knox is 'a capable lawyer with considerable advocacy skills, who is impossible to intimidate and who really knows how to manage a big case and the team of people needed to run it';Jeremy Andrews 'has a razor-sharp legal brain', and the 'first-rate' of counsel Ben Sanderson is the global practice manager for the firm’s international arbitration group.  Also recommended are Mark Hilton, Richard McGrane, James Carter and Edward Shaw.

Leading individuals

Philip Chong - DLA Piper

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Public international law
Public international law - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields a team of experienced investment treaty disputes lawyers, while its broader public international law practice encompasses advisory work for states, trade issues and sanctions work. The firm also has notable geographical reach on the African continent. In a high-value, strategically important investment treaty claim, the team advised the Republic of Kenya on an ICSID claim brought by mining investor, Cortec. Philip Chong is Europe head of international arbitration; Kate Cervantes-Knox has significant investment treaty experience, representing both states and investors in international arbitrations pursuant to bilateral and multilateral investment treaties; and Janet Legrand QC was made an honorary QC in 2018. Other names to note are Richard McGrane and of counsel Ben Sanderson.

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London: Finance

Acquisition finance
Acquisition finance - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

'Very good across the board',¬†DLA Piper's 'responsive and well-organised' five-partner London team provides 'excellent value-for-money' to clearing banks including HSBC and Lloyds, as well as alternative capital providers such as Ares Management and Blue Bay Asset Management. Also able to leverage the expertise of numerous practitioners across the firm's regional offices, the team receives a significant deal flow in the mid-market.¬†As part of her broad-ranging banking and finance practice,¬†Julie Romer¬†regularly handles acquisition and leveraged finance deals for lenders and borrowers; she recently represented Silicon Valley Bank on the ‚ā¨37.75m funding of TA Associates‚Äô acquisition of ITRS from the Carlyle Group. The 'technically excellent'¬†Mark Dwyer¬†has a 'great commercial sense which enables him to advise on anything from minute details to big picture considerations'.¬†Dwyer is particularly focused on representing borrower clients of the firm on their financing considerations; he recently advised¬†Heineken on the ¬£340m of certain funds facilities in relation to its public takeover of Punch Taverns plc. Andy Kolacki¬†acts for lenders and borrowers in deals utilising both senior and subordinated capital structures, and is key member of the team that also includes experienced consultant¬†Maurice Allen.¬†Philip Crump¬†joined from¬†Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP¬†in September 2017.

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Asset based lending
Asset based lending - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Aided by a broad national network, the 'responsive and pro-active' team at DLA Piper is deeply entrenched into the ABL ecosystem as a result of the strong ties it has forged with the ABL arms of clearing banks and alternative credit providers, who are increasingly active in the space. The recent retirement of Simon Boon and the departure of Lorinda Peasland to Harneys was offset somewhat by the arrival of Steven Geerlings from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in September 2017, who has a focus on pan-European ABL mandates. The 'knowledgeable and commercial' Joseph Frew and Sarah Day co-head the team from Manchester and Leeds respectively and are both active across the gamut of ABL transactions including as they relate to the funding of working capital, refinancing and acquisition finance. Frew recently acted for Searchlight Capital Partners and Duke Street Private Equity portfolio company Ardent Hire Solutions on the refinancing of the company's existing indebtedness (a deal which effectively showcased the use of ABL financing techniques for large plant hire businesses). Birmingham-based partner Stephen Bottley and senior associate Ben Tumelty are 'technically very strong but also highly personable' and regularly handle ABL transactions as part of their broad-ranging banking practices. The 'pragmatic and customer oriented' Richard Usher also has expertise at ABL techniques at the nexus of structured finance, while Manchester-based Christopher Roberts  and Ben Johnson  regularly handle ABL work in the context of restructuring and litigation, respectively. Clients include ABN Amro Commercial Finance, Lloyds, RBS Invoice Finance and Shawbrook Bank Business Credit.

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Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 6

DLA Piper

With three partners based in London who devote a considerable amount of their time to asset finance work and also able to tap into the firm's huge international network,¬†DLA Piper¬†is a good choice for clients engaged in the cross-border financing of transportation assets. Spearheaded by¬†Richard Skipper, the team is particularly strong at handling work within the aviation sector on behalf of a diverse array of clients including airlines (Etihad, Flybe), banks (Lloyds, Bank of London Middle East) and lessors (AviaAM Financial Leasing China). In a deal which involved a co-ordinated approach from several offices including Paris, Moscow, New York and Shanghai, Skipper led on the representation of AviaAM on the $500m financing and leasing of 8 new Airbus A320.¬†Alan Cunningham¬†leads the firm's global asset finance practice and as part of his own broad-ranging practice regularly handles aviation and shipping finance matters, including recently acting for ABN Amro in relation to the stage payment and post-delivery financing of a ‚ā¨40m Damen newbuild operation support vessel. US-qualified capital markets partner¬†Tony Lopez¬†has expertise advising on aircraft portfolio securitisations.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Able to tap into strong institutional banking relationships with clearing banks including HSBC and Lloyds, as well as picking up a significant amount of direct lending work for alternative capital providers including Ares and BlueBay, DLA Piper is 'very good across a range of financing work'. Although it is best-known for its mid-market leveraged finance prowess, the firm regularly handles general corporate lending work for lenders and borrowers, including Heineken, which Mark Dwyer recently advised on the £340m of certain funds facilities to enable its public takeover of Punch Taverns plc. Dwyer also recently acted for Workspace Group plc on an extension of its financing facilities, including a new £100m revolving credit facility utilising its accordion option and the provision of a £50m bridge facility, as a bridge to its £200m issue of private placement notes. Julie Romer is also recommended.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Led by Amy Jacks, the 'responsive, attentive and strong' nine-partner team at DLA Piper acts for clients across the creditor and debtor spectrum including banks (Deutsche Bank), funds (Lonestar, KKR) and IPs (Deloitte, PwC). The 'very impressive' Neil Riley acted for the directors of aviation services provider, Aviator UK, following the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of banking support to its UK operations. Although the team is perhaps best-known for its strength within the UK mid-market, where it can effectively resource matters not just from London but also from other key cities including Birmingham and Manchester, it is increasingly active on bigger-ticket multi-jurisdictional mandates where it is able to leverage the firm's broad-ranging international network. Dual UK and French qualified partner Noam Ankri recently led the firm's advice to the ad-hoc committee of high yield bondholders on the $3bn debt restructuring of French-listed company CGG. Chris Parker also has a focus on formal insolvency matters and has been at the forefront of the team's work for the administrators of Lehman Brothers in the long-running Waterfall litigation, recently securing a notable victory before the Supreme Court as to how the surplus of monies should be distributed among creditors. Michael Fiddy, the 'knowledgeable and attentive' Tim Dawson, and David Ampaw are also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Amy Jacks - DLA Piper

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Debt capital markets
Debt capital markets - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†has a versatile finance practice in London in which the partners handle a range of capital markets and structured finance transactions. The firm handled¬†many first-of-a-kind and innovative deals in 2017, which included transactions involving fintech-related assets, social investment bonds and masala bonds.¬†Capital markets specialist¬†Ronan Mellon¬†acted for Axis Bank Limited, Nomura International, SBICAP and Standard Chartered Bank in the INR30bn debut masala bond issued by¬†the National Highways Authority of India. Mellon also handled the¬†first Rule 144a deal by an Indian Bank in 2017, when he advised¬†Citigroup Global Markets Singapore, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank on the update of the US$5bn GMTN programme of Axis Bank. Mellon and¬†Tony Lopez¬† also acted for St James's Oncology SPC Ltd and its investors, Aberdeen Infrastructure and Civis in the ¬£261m bond refinancing of the oncology centre at the St. James‚Äô University Teaching Hospital in Leeds. Also recommended are co-chair of the financial services group¬†Vincent Keaveny, London head of finance and markets¬†Mark Dwyer¬†and global co-chair of finance and projects¬†Martin Bartlam.¬†Newly promoted partner¬†Steven Krivinskas¬†worked with Bartlam on a A$150m transaction in which issuer Places for People established an Australian MTN programme.  

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Derivatives and structured products
Derivatives and structured products - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a strong practice for US and European arbitrage CLOs, finance platform structuring for new challenger banks with fintech services, international derivatives mandates for multinational financial institutions, and loan portfolio transfers, and it climbs the ranking this year. The firm has 'a deep bench of associates who really know what they are doing', remarks one source. It also benefits from highly experienced partners including global co-chair of finance Martin Bartlam, who recently acted for Natwest Markets in the provision of balance guaranteed swaps into warehouse and securitisation transactions, including the Tower Bridge Funding No. 1 RMBS and the Dutch Property Finance 2017-1 RMBS, through its ATS platform. Vincent Keaveny is international co-chair of the financial services sector group and plays a pivotal role in the practice. He has more than 20 years' experience in advising banks, financial institutions and corporate clients in the UK and internationally on securitisation, derivatives, structured finance and debt capital markets transactions. London head of finance and markets Mark Dwyer is another standout practitioner and his work last year included advising an Asian bank on new ISDA master agreements, electronic trading documentation and a review of its cleared derivatives execution arrangements. Newly promoted partner Bryony Robottom has more than 10 years’ experience in structured finance matters including repo platforms, participation platforms, credit derivatives and securities lending arrangements. Another newly promoted partner, Steven Krivinskas, frequently acts for financial institutions and borrowers and has an increasing focus on transactions in the fintech sector.

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a bench of experienced partners in London whose sector focus gives them exposure to finance transactions in many emerging markets. Energy partner Charles Morrison is dual-qualified in the UK and Tanzania, and his recent work encompasses oil and gas development projects in Africa. He recently acted for HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank in a $500m credit facility for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. Nigel Drew is a standout practitioner in project finance, acting for arrangers, bidding consortia, contractors and public sector bodies in international projects and structured finance transactions. His track record includes advising on the financing of power plants in Africa.

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High yield
High yield - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is best known for acting on the corporate side of large UK and international high yield transactions. The practice acted for Laureate Education in its $800m offering of high yield notes to fund a complete top-to-bottom refinancing of New York law bonds and a complex credit facility. Another key highlight from 2017 was its work for Heineken UK on the acquisition of Punch Taverns, which involved the redemption of high yield notes and a refinancing with £978m of subordinated debt. The firm is also active in the restructuring market, and it acted for an ad hoc committee of bondholders in the $3bn debt restructuring of French geophysical survey company CGG, which included $1.5bn in high yield bonds. Head of international high yield Tony Lopez is a standout US-qualified lawyer in London and led those deals. Newly promoted partner Steven Krivinskas has extensive experience in structured finance and debt capital markets transactions, including high yield bonds, and acts for both financial institutions and borrowers. He played a key role in the Laureate deal.

Leading individuals

Tony Lopez - DLA Piper

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Securitisation
Securitisation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†has 'a small team that produces quality work and delivers a high level of service'. The practice frequently acts for¬†multinational banks and financial investors in growth securitisation markets such as Poland and Portugal, as well as in the UK, with deals in a range of asset classes including¬†mortgages, auto loans, consumer loans, accounts, equipment and lease receivables. It also handles a steady flow of¬†US and European arbitrage CLOs and assists new challenger banks with fintech services on finance platform structuring. Global finance co-chair¬†Martin Bartlam¬†acted for UK specialist mortgage lender BlueZest in the establishment of a ¬£1.5bn platform for the issuance of secured retail bonds. Bartlam and legal director¬†Chris Godwin¬†'show great expertise and insight in this specialist area while being easy to engage with'. International co-chair of the financial service sector group¬†Vincent Keaveny¬†is 'knowledgeable and experienced in the field; he is up-to-date with all the latest developments and provides clear and direct solutions'. He acted for arranger HSBC Bank in a ¬£544m securitisation by MotoPark Finance plc of auto loans originated by FirstRand Bank Limited.¬†Ronan Mellon¬†is a key contact for CLOs, and his recent work included advising collateral manager Accunia Fondsm√¶glerselskab on the issue by Accunia European CLO II of ‚ā¨386m in notes. London head of finance and markets¬†Mark Dwyer¬†and newly promoted partner¬†Bryony Robottom¬†also play key roles in the practice.

Leading individuals

Vincent Keaveny - DLA Piper

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper 'always responds in a timely manner and maintains an excellent level of service no matter the problem' with 'a team of great lawyers who are professional, knowledgeable and friendly'. The group handles the full gamut of employment issues and 'benefits from the firm's outstanding global footprint that provides an invaluable international reach'. In a recent highlight, department head Adam Hartley defended Uber in the Court of Appeal in litigation relating to the worker status of its drivers; other work includes Jonathan Exten-Wright acting for a client in a claim brought by an employee regarding employment termination issues and injunctive relief preventing the dismissal, handling the application of TUPE for Hitachi Rail Europe following its successful bid for the Intercity Express Programme and Hartley assisting the London Stock Exchange Group with the employment elements of its acquisition of Citi Group's data business. ITV, HSBC, Park Plaza and Pfizer are also clients.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'market-leading team' leverages its national footprint to advise domestic and international clients including Tata Steel and Airbus Helicopters; the team is representing the latter in a fatal accident inquiry relating to a helicopter crash in which 10 people died. Sheffield-based team head Teresa Hitchcock 'deserves her recognition as the best health and safety lawyer in the UK' with a 'candid, precise and personable approach'; she assisted Keller Group with the development of its global health and safety guide. Other key names include Manchester-based John Gollaglee, who focuses on contentious regulatory issues; legal director Ailish Oxenforth in Sheffield, who handles non-contentious and advisory work; and newly promoted partner Alastair Clough, who is recommended for transactional matters.

Leading individuals

Teresa Hitchcock - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

Ailish Oxenforth - DLA Piper

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Matthew Swynnerton leads the 'practical, high-quality, responsive and commercial' practice at DLA Piper and is praised by clients as 'highly responsible and approachable' and 'able to demonstrate a deep knowledge of pensions law which he deploys with great pragmatism'. Tamara Calvert is also singled out as 'prompt, efficient and an expert in her clients' needs'. Key areas of expertise include scheme advisory and documentation advice, multi-jurisdictional transactions, pension fraud and compliance issues. Recent mandates include Swynnerton assisting the Working Group with the Combating Pension Scams Code of Practice and Calvert advising the trustees of the Allied Domecq Pension Fund on a member complaint relating to the revaluation of deferred pensions. The Premier League, Aviva, Novartis UK Pensions Scheme, Uber and Hitachi Rail Europe are also clients. David Young in Leeds is the key name for pensions litigation.

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London: Insurance

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

DLA Piper

With a global platform of over 300 lawyers worldwide in the insurance and reinsurance practice, not to mention the addition of two new associates in the London team, DLA Piper offers experience and strength in depth, particularly when it comes to dealing with high-profile cross-border matters. Aviation, transaction liability and cyber insurance and reinsurance claims disputes are where the team thrives, and a focus on new emerging specialist lines such as cyber security and warranty and indemnity insurance helps give the practice an edge. Clients include major actors in the market such as Swiss Re, Aviva and R&Q. Among other notable instructions, the team advised Placing Platform, a London Market Group venture company set up to promote competitiveness and technological development in the London market, and represented R&Q, the manager of Lloyd's Syndicate 102, in liability claims arising from the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. These cases were led by practice heads Leon Taylor and Andrew Symons respectively. Rebecca Hopkirk joined the team from RPC in September 2018.

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper prides itself on its geographical reach and value for money, as well as a deep bench that allows for a full-service offering. The practice covers both life and non-life insurance matters, including cross-border M&A, insurance group reorganisations, longevity arrangements, Part VII transfers, restructuring, Solvency II and other regulatory advice. Recent highlights include acting for AON on the acquisition of Henderson Insurance Brokers, a leading insurance intermediary group. The advice was spearheaded by team head Prakash Paran, who also acted as lead counsel for Compre on the acquisition of certain legacy insurance businesses from Generali’s UK and US branches. Melanie James is also noted.

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper UK LLP

At DLA Piper UK LLP Teresa Hitchcock led the team advising Arconic on the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, which implicated a material it manufactured that was used to form the external cladding panels. She also acts for Bacardi-Martini on product liability claims and labelling matters in the EU. John Gollaglee leads the team in the North West of England and is also recommended. Other recent work includes acting for Airwair on the product recall of its Dr. Martens Vegan range of boots, and representing Hewlett-Packard in claims related to ink products. The firm also acts for Newell Rubbermaid, an industrial products manufacturer, on marketing claims, promotional advertisements and packaging requirements in relation to healthcare and cosmetic products.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Clients praise DLA Piper for its 'excellent response times, high industry knowledge, strong team and great depth'. The group acts for an enviable client roster in high-profile domestic and international infrastructure mandates such as franchise agreements for East Anglia and South-Eastern and a major coal-fired power station and coal mine in Zambia. Practice co-head Colin Wilson is currently advising the UK Department for Transport on the Airport Capability Programme which could lead to the expansion of either Heathrow or Gatwick Airport, and continues to represent Agility Trains in a number of operational of ongoing operational matters arising from the Intercity Express Programme. In Manchester, Liam Cowell assists the Welsh Ministries with its incoming road PPP project, and the Edinburgh-based Lillian Mackenzie  is currently handling the procurement of a new cancer centre in South Wales. The name to note in Leeds is Robert Smith and Maria Pereira guided CAE Training Services through the transformation of its PFI contract with the MoD for the provision of synthetic aircrew training to the RAF. Clients also recommend the 'strategic, direct, personable and knowledgeable' Alison Fagan .

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

The 'very good' mining team at DLA Piper for its 'great adaptability to circumstances and great understanding of clients' cultural environments'. Head of the UK and EMEA mining sector Petra Billing is based in Sheffield and led the advice to Aggregate Industries and LafargeHolcim on a dispute arising from the encroachment of individuals within the premises of a non-operational mine for which the client retains restoration and aftercare obligations. In other highlights, legal director Michael Wright successfully represented Wentworth Woodhouse in a large subsidence claim, and of counsel Ben Sanderson and Kate Cervantes-Knox are currently assisting an African government with international investment treaty arbitration proceedings brought by a mining investor and its associated companies related to the alleged expropriation of a license. The firm also provides ongoing counsel to its mining clients with regards to impact of Brexit on the existing WTO rules.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Clients describe DLA Piper as 'very flexible and commercially oriented'. The 'reasonable and reliable' Dimitri Papaefstratiou - who recently became head of the London energy and infrastructure projects team - 'always looks for the best solution for the client'. Sinopec recently appointed the team to handle its proposed acquisition of 75% of the shares in Chevron South Africa and 100% of Chevron Botswana, and Charles Morrison is part of the team which has been advising on all procurement, construction and engineering issues arising from the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria. On the contentious front, Philip Chong is representing Gazprom in a series of claims in two separate high-value arbitration proceedings in relation to two contracts with Ukrainian entities; other names to note for dispute resolution are James Carter and legal director Christina Lawrence . The arrival of counsel Kevin McGrory , who has substantial experience working on transactions in Africa and the Middle East, from PA Resources.

Leading individuals

Charles Morrison - DLA Piper

Dimitri Papaefstratiou - DLA Piper

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Power (including electricity and renewables)
Power (including electricity and renewables) - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields an 'excellent, very personable and commercial' team with 'great sector knowledge across all levels'. Clients especially note the 'effective and practical' Philip Chong who has 'strategic insight, sharp intelligence and good judgment' and heads the international arbitration department in Europe. In recent highlights, Natasha Luther-Jones was recently promoted to global co-chair of energy and natural resources and led the advice to Nord/LB on the financing of a wind farm project in Sweden; Dimitri Papaefstratiou was made head of energy and infrastructure projects in London and assisted Mytilineos with the limited recourse vendor financing and contractual documentation for a combined cycle gas turbine plant in Ghana. On the M&A side, Jon Hayes led a multi-jurisdictional team to handle GE's $1.65bn acquisition of LM Wind Power. The Manchester-based Darren Walsh is a finance specialist and recently represented clients such as KEPCO KPS and the Liverpool Combined Authority.

Leading individuals

Natasha Luther-Jones - DLA Piper

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper 's practice covers judicial reviews and procurement law and it counts various public bodies among its clients and acts both for and against government departments and agencies. A client commented: 'It is an excellent, out-of-box thinking and client- focused team.' It is acting for Ocean Outdoor UK against the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in relation to a procurement process for leases on land either side of the M4 for the purpose of putting up advertising towers. It is also acting for Uber in a judicial review challenge against a change of policy by Knowsley Borough which would require drivers to obtain a local licence. Other clients include the NHS, the Department of Transport and Transport for the North. Paul Stone, who co-heads the group with Hazel Moffat, is noted for being a 'free thinker who is careful and has an excellent strategic mind as well as an eye for the detail.'

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‚Äôs ‚Äėpragmatic and well-resourced‚Äô global real estate group attracts high-value investment mandates from US private equity funds and domestic investors. ‚ÄėA giant of the commercial real estate field‚Äô, William Naunton¬†assisted Oval Real Estate with the acquisition of 60 properties on a central Birmingham site that is part of one of the UK‚Äôs largest city centre regenerations. Naunton is also advising The Pollen Estate on the redevelopment of a complex site at Bond Street, which included two high-value retail pre-lets and a pre-let for HSBC Private Bank‚Äôs new HQ. Similarly, Paul Jayson¬†acted for Boston Consulting Group in relation to the pre-let of its 123,000ft UK HQ in London‚Äôs West End. Jonathan Northey¬†is acting for Mace Developments in relation to a site in Southwark with planning for a mixed-use development including a 457-unit student accommodation and a large retail and leisure space. Additionally, Richard Wilkinson¬†advised PGIM on the structuring of a joint venture with Castleoak for the purpose of developing care homes. With ‚Äėobvious strength in depth‚Äô, the team is well-positioned to handle large portfolio transactions with assets across various jurisdictions. Indeed, Mark Keeling¬†and Robert O‚ÄôHanrahan¬†were instructed by Blackstone to handle the property aspects of its ‚ā¨12.3bn sale of Logicor to affiliates of China Investment Corporation. The group also makes good use of its ‚Äėinvaluable regional network‚Äô. Leeds-based Tim Field¬†has advised RBS on multiple sale and lease transactions, including the ¬£138m disposal of Premier Place in London. Consultant Richard Crossfield¬†is another key contact in the London office.

Leading individuals

William Naunton - DLA Piper

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Construction
Construction (contentious) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Contruction (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Mark Hilton¬†heads the contentious team at DLA Piper, which has 'excellent knowledge of all aspects of construction disputes across the UK and elsewhere.‚Äô Hilton and Edward Shaw, who was made up in May 2017, are recommended as ‚Äėstandout partners in London, and particularly easy to work with under pressure.‚Äô The team is acting in a $45m dispute for Samsung Engineering Trinidad Co Ltd against Petrotrin, in an international arbitration concerning the design and construction of a continuous catalyst regenerator platformer complex. Other contentious clients include Samsung Engineering Co Ltd, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co. Ltd. Stephen Malley¬†heads the transactional team, principally advising developers and other purchaser clients on property development, head office projects or R&D facilities. Recent highlights include advising Quintain on the ¬£2.5bn Wembley Park project; the team‚Äôs appointment as Merlin Entertainments sole legal provider for construction work in the UK and globally; and advising a ¬£200m City of London office redevelopment for LaSalle.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The ‚Äėfirst rate‚Äô team at DLA Piper¬†is led by Nick Walker, who¬†led advice for BP Pension Fund on the initial ¬£60m acquisition of an office block¬†as well as surrounding development in Brentford, London from Carlton Properties Limited. The team also acted for BP Pension Fund on the ¬£18.1m acquisition of two Travelodge Hotels in Torquay and Cheshunt. Karen Howard¬†and associate Rachel Holt¬†are also recommended.¬†Other clients include √ėrsted, Ropemaker Properties, Pears Group, Frasers Centrepoint and Crossmark Developments.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper counts leading market lenders such as Lloyds, HSBC and Deutsche Bank among its clients, and it recently took on Harrison Street and Capstone Asset Management. Highlights included UK group head Toby Barker acting for Aareal Bank on its financing of Henderson Park’s £500m acquisition of the London and Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotels and assisting Barings Real Estate Advisers with the acquisition and development financing of the Landmark Manchester office space. Among the team’s cross-border work was Christopher Chan’s advice to an investment bank on the provision of a facility to assist with the acquisition and development of a student accommodation site in Belfast, and to a German financial institution in relation to an investment facility to refinance the acquisition of a portfolio of assets in Germany. Paul Gray is also a key member of the team. Laurence Rogers moved to McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP in April 2018.

Leading individuals

Toby Barker - DLA Piper

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The ‚Äėbright, enthusiastic and fun‚Äô team at DLA Piper¬†has core strengths in development litigation, rights of light and urgent possession proceedings.¬†Practice head Ian Brierley¬†is acting for Telereal Trillium in relation to the use and occupation of the 600 properties which form its PRIME Government Real Estate portfolio. In a further highlight, senior associate Alasdair Thomas¬†was part of a team that advised¬†Royal Mail Group on the development and sale of its Mount Pleasant sorting office to Taylor Wimpey.¬†The team also continues to act for Aroland in relation to their project to develop London‚Äôs tallest building. Planning permission has been obtained and Brierley has given further advice on rights to light issues. James MacDonald-Pearce¬†joined the group from¬†KWM Europe LLP.

Leading individuals

Ian Brierley - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

Alasdair Thomas - DLA Piper

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London: Risk advisory

Brexit
Brexit - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has leveraged its resources in the UK and internationally to form a global Brexit committee, which consists of a team of former politicians and government officials, as well as legal advisers; Richard Bonnar is the chairman. The firm enhanced its offering in 2017 by hiring a Brexit director, Paul Hardy, who has more than 20 years of EU law experience, and has previously worked in Brussels and Westminster. Before joining the firm, Hardy formerly served as EU legal adviser to the House of Lords, and as counsel for European legislation at the House of Commons. Working with members of the wider network, the UK-based team has been particularly busy advising clients from the financial services and insurance sectors on their Brexit contingency plans ahead of the UK potentially leaving the EU single market in March 2019. Melanie James is a key partner in the firm's work for insurance sector clients, for whom she advises on commercial, transactional and regulatory matters. She recently presented to the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the American Council of Life Insurers on Brexit. Legal director George Mortimer is another insurance sector specialist.  John Forrest, Hardy and associate Daniel Jones have been instructed by TheCityUK to produce a report analysing the possible structure of a future UK-EU free trade agreement, and the impact of relevant provisions on the financial and related professional services industry. Another highlight involved advising UK trade association ABFA (now UK Finance) on the impact of Brexit on the asset-based finance industry. Hazel Moffat, who is a co-head of the public law practice in the UK, is another key figure.

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Data protection privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The 'user-friendly and sophisticated' data protection, privacy and security team at DLA Piper is highlighted for its 'sound, sensible and practical advice', particularly in the insurance, financial services, defence and life sciences sectors. The 'impressive' practice head Ross McKean 'combines specialist privacy, IT and industry knowledge', and led a team advising Tata Steel Europe on  both GDPR preparation planning and implementation of compliance strategy. In another work highlight, the team was instructed by the ICO to develop regulatory guidance on the changes to international data transfers resulting from the GDPR. Client also include Visa, Aviva and the London Stock Exchange. 

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Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
Regulatory investigations and corporate crime - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†is ‚Äėsuperb under pressure and delivers exactly what is required when required‚Äô. It advises corporations on bribery and corruption, money laundering, tax and fraud investigations, cartel cases, sanctions breaches, crisis management, global compliance issues and financial integrity matters. The firm is acting for SMG Europe Holdings following the the terrorist attack in the City Room just outside the Manchester Arena in 2017, this has involved providing crisis management support and conducting an internal investigation. Another highlight includes acting for Boston Consulting Group, advising an expert witness in the high-profile Tesco fraud case. Tony Katz¬†and Sam Millar¬†head the team. Simon Airey¬† left the firm for Paul Hastings LLP.

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Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's clients include Macmillan, NBC Universal and Al Jazeera. Ruth Hoy  and Claire Sng  focus on defamation, privacy and breach of confidence matters. Duncan Calow  is 'highly experienced in advising on defamation and privacy matters in e-publishing and digital content'. Andrew Smith, Simon Levine and Richard Taylor advise on defamation disputes for entities ranging from individuals to major corporates.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper ’s practice spans the entire spectrum of brand management from trademarks portfolio management to commercial exploitation by advertising and sponsorship. The team is also well-known for its work in sponsorship acting for clients in the aviation, e-commerce and leisure space such as Etihad, Rakuten and Merlin. Practice head Ruth Hoy  is experienced in trade mark and commercial strategy, counting Zenimax Media and Kite Pharma as clients. Nick Fitzpatrick ’s area of expertise in commercial IP exploitation  includes advising Merlin Entertainment on advertising agreements and Rakuten’s shirt sponsorship with Barcelona FC. Recently promoted partner Patrick Mitchell  assists broadcast and media clients with commercial and regulatory matters; his recent instructions include helping Vice Media launch a series of TV channels, and UNICEF on several sport sponsorship arrangements. Duncan Calow  and John Wilks  are also recommended for advertising and regulatory issues.

Next generation lawyers

Patrick Mitchell - DLA Piper

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The team at DLA Piper fields 'excellent, knowledgeable' lawyers and 'excels in the strength and depth of its global practice'. It is singled out by clients for being 'first choice' for payments work, though the practice is active in a wide range of areas including regtech, robo-advice, new-model funding and cryptocurrencies; it acts for financial institutions as well as fintech start-ups. Technology expert Anthony Day, who heads the group jointly with financial services specialist Martin Bartlam, assisted Zurich with launching a new online platform aimed at SME customers across Europe. The team also advised Nutmeg on regulatory matters, particularly MiFID-related issues surrounding its wealth management technology. On the corporate side, Day and Luca Gori advised Aviva on its £20m investment in Wealthify as well as on its investments into Canadian real estate marketplace platform Casalova. Ben Forgiel-Jenkins acted for Euronext on its $10m investment in Algomi. On the start-up side, Jon Kenworthy advised blockchain company Luther Systems on its £1m funding by several investors. The London Stock Exchange and iYield are additional fintech clients. Financial services experts Steven Krivinskas and Bryony Robottom, who have recently been very busy in ICOs and new-model funding respectively, made partner in May 2018. Financial services specialist Michael McKee is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Martin Bartlam - DLA Piper

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Franchising
Franchising - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper  is a popular choice for international franchising matters, representing clients such as Hilton, Gino D'Acampo and Merlin Entertainments. Iain Bowler  co-heads the global franchising team and is 'a first rate franchising and licensing counsel' who 'understands complex issues'. He is supported by associate Maria Fitzpatrick  who has a similar focus on assisting clients with geographic expansions.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

Acknowledged for its 'good knowledge of the area, quick responses and value for money', the technology and sourcing group at DLA Piper is known for its cross-border outsourcing and procurement expertise. Kit Burden heads up the practice which includes Mark O’Conor and Anthony Day. In a work highlight, the team leveraged the firm's health and public sector expertise in advising NHS Digital on a complex replacement of its voice and data services provider. Mike Conradi is highlighted for his telecoms expertise and led a team which acted for Deep Blue Cable on the procurement of a substantial submarine cable system linking several Caribbean Islands to one another, the US and Latin America. This matter included negotiating and drafting the procurement contract, as well as advising on pre-sales issues and tax planning. The group was also instructed by Vodafone in relation to the proposed merger of Vodafone Malta Ltd with Melita plc. HSBC, HCL Technologies and HMRC are all clients of the practice. 

Leading individuals

Kit Burden - DLA Piper

Mike Conradi - DLA Piper

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The intellectual property practice at DLA Piper¬†combines 'very strong legal¬†knowledge, very short response times and good value for money'. A team, led by Claire Bennett¬†¬†‚ÄĒ who attracts praise for her 'excellent client management skills' ‚ÄĒ represented Cantel Medical (UK) and Cantel (UK) in a dispute seeking revocation of two patents owned by Arc Medical Design.¬†The team is also highlighted for its fashion retail sector expertise and 'excellent industry knowledge', with the 'careful and thorough'¬†John Wilks¬†leading a team instructed by Mo & Co in a¬†multi-jurisdictional trade mark dispute. It also continues to advise The Premier League on international IP issues and has brought several copyright actions, advised on right ownership, licensing and anti-piracy matters, and deal with illicit streaming issues.¬†The 'legally knowledgeable and commercially astute'¬†Ruth Hoy¬†heads up the practice which includes the 'dedicated and patient' legal director¬†D√©sir√©e Fields¬†‚ÄĒ who is recommended for¬†trade mark and brand protection work¬†‚ÄĒ and senior associate Claire Sng¬†who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters.¬†Adam Cooke left the firm for a career change.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is active across mandates in the film, TV, advertising, marketing, gaming, social media, interactive content, theatre and publishing arenas. The sports sector is also a key focus; the team continues to advise the Football Association Premier League on several matters, and advised The English Football League on the global sale of media rights. It is also advising Badminton World Federation (BWF) on its appointment of Infront Sports & Media to provide media rights sales services and sponsorship rights sales services relating to BWF Tournaments until 2025. Duncan Calow is experienced in a range of publishing matters and has expertise in digital media, interactive entertainment, gaming, digital content, advertising and marketing. Other standout individuals include John Wilks, who acts on a range of advertising, marketing and promotions matters; Nicholas West, who is active across broadcasting matters and the audio-visual exploitation of content; and John Cloke, who advises content owners and distributors on commercial, copyright and regulatory issues. International corporate head and M&A practice co-chair Bob Bishop, Nick Fitzpatrick, who is global co-chair of the media, sport and entertainment sector group, and global co-CEO of the firm Simon Levine are also recommended, as are Patrick Mitchell and M&A practice co-chair Jon Kenworthy.

Leading individuals

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

IP, transactions and competition are the three key focal points for DLA Piper.  Bonella Ramsay leads the team and has expertise in IP, regulatory and contractual matters. Key figures from the IP side include Richard Taylor,  Claire Bennett and Ruth Hoy. Hoy recently assisted Kite Pharma with the management of its global trade mark portfolio. Bennett represented Novo Nordisk in patent litigation against Regeneron, which involved transgenic mice being used to create human monoclonal antibodies. She has additional expertise in competition law and acted for Merck KGaA in its appeal to the CAT with respect to the CMA’s fines of £45m, where it was alleged that the client paid drugmakers to delay the production of cheaper alternatives. Also recommended are employment expert Adam Hartley and merger control specialist Alexandra Kamerling.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The 'excellent' team at DLA Piper is 'fast, well-organised and highly skilled'; it has cross-border capabilities and is particularly experienced in football, horseracing and motorsports. Major media rights transactions are a distinguishing strength: John Cloke acted for the Premier League on its sale of the audio-visual rights to the 2019-'20 and 2021-'22 football seasons, including a lucrative rights agreement for the Chinese market. 'Highly professional' group head Nick Fitzpatrick assisted the British Horseracing Authority with the long-awaited reform of the Horserace Betting Levy, and on the commercial side acted for Football DataCo on its data licensing strategy. He also advised Rakuten on its shirt sponsorship with Barcelona FC. Financing work is another strength of the department: Paul Gray advised Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on their £425,000 financing of Tottenham Hotspur FC's new stadium. The 'legally knowledgeable, commercially astute' Ruth Hoy is 'a pleasure to work with'; fellow IP expert John Wilks is 'very careful and thorough'. Simon Levine and Patrick Mitchell are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Nick Fitzpatrick - DLA Piper

Next generation lawyers

Patrick Mitchell - DLA Piper

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s aviation expertise spans litigation and dispute resolution, regulatory, commercial, competition, employment, IP, accidents, insurance and employment matters. Mark Franklin continues to represent Honeywell in a product liability dispute concerning property damage caused by fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at London Heathrow airport; is advising Airbus Helicopters and its insurers on the worldwide grounding of the H225 Super Puma fleet; and is representing Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality, as lead insurer, in relation to liabilities arising out of the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport in March 2016. Kathryn Ward is representing ground handler PT JAS and its insurers in relation to a runway collision in 2016. Leon Taylor handles insurance and reinsurance litigation and has particular experience in international coverage disputes. Alexandra Kamerling is active on EU and UK competition law matters. Senior associates Shereena Rai and Sophie Brophy are also noted. Franklin and Tony Payne lead the department.

Leading individuals

Kathryn Ward - DLA Piper

Mark Franklin - DLA Piper

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Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper acts for private and public sector clients on a range of matters including rolling stock procurements, franchising, operational matters and infrastructure projects. The team continues to advise HS2 Ltd on the planning and real estate aspects of HS2; is advising Merseytravel on the legal and commercial aspects of a multimillion pound investment in fleet and depot improvements; and is advising Abellio East Anglia on property issues relating to its station and franchise portfolio. It is also advising the DfT on a range of matters including the East Anglia rail franchise, the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project and Crossrail. Agility Trains, Hitachi Rail Europe and ABC Electrification are also clients. Colin Wilson and Robert Smith head the team, which includes Sharon Fitzgerald, legal director Parwana Zahib-Majed, and senior associates Carla Hancock and Rachel Crosier.

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†handles a range of marine disputes and it is regularly instructed on cross-border cases. The team is ‚Äėquick to respond to requests and is always comprehensive in the consideration of the relevant factors‚Äô. It is representing the liquidating trustee of OW Bunkers on various London arbitrations against shipowners in order to collect unpaid bunker receipts following the conclusion of the Res Cogitans case in the Supreme Court. Department head Linos Choo¬†is instructed on shipping and shipbuilding disputes, represents banks in international trade and shipping disputes and is also experienced in shipbuilding and ship finance disputes. Commodities lawyer Richard Usher¬†is also noted.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.‚Ä©
    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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