This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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The past year has seen London-founded firm Simmons & Simmons increase its global footprint. In May 2013 the firm announced the opening of a new office in Singapore, which is its fifth office in Asia, after Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai. Managing partner Jeremy Hoyland explained that this new venture was in response to the demands of the firm’s international and Asia-based clients, especially regarding the increasing levels of intra-regional investment and trade activity.
|SIMMONS & SIMMONS|
|Asset Recovery||1||Insurance & Reinsurance||1|
|Business Crime Defence||1||Labour & Employment||5|
|Capital Markets||6||Life Sciences||13|
|Coporate Governance||1||Private Funds||3|
|Coporate Tax||1||Product Liability Defence||1|
|Environment||1||Telecoms and Media||5|
|Corporate Tax||22||Real Estate||10|
|Energy||7||Telecoms and Media||7|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||2|
This latest office is part of period of expansion for the firm, which includes the opening of an office in Munich in March last year and a new Bristol office in the later part of 2012. This innovative second base in the UK handles complex legal work where location is not an issue for clients, meaning that rates can be reduced and is part of the firm’s effort to embrace different ways of working in order to deliver greater value to clients.
|Total Listings in WWL||66||Established||1896|
|Home jurisdiction||UK||Total size of firm||Over 637|
|Number of partners||224||Number of offices||22|
PEOPLE AND PLACES
Simmons & Simmons boasts an exceptional life sciences practice, with a notably strong team of regulatory and product liability specialists based in its Paris office. Jacques-Antoine Robert is renowned for acting for major pharmaceutical and medical devices companies in liability matters in both civil and criminal proceedings. He is also “highly sought after” for his “brilliant” counsel in regards to crisis management when companies are facing potential liability actions, he is recognised in both our life sciences and product liability sections. The “very bright” Alexandre Regniault coordinates the firm’s intellectual property group in Paris and is singled out for his regulatory and product liability expertise. Peers praise his “impressive litigation abilities” and clients value his “deep understanding” of the life sciences sector. The London office is also very well represented in this section with four of its practitioners recognised for their talents in both the areas of life sciences patent litigation and patents. Of these, Kevin Mooney is especially highly regarded, with his contemporaries hailing him as “the dean of the UK patent litigation bar”. He boasts a “stellar track record” having acted for clients including Sanofi Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline and Lundbeck. The “superb” Marjan Noor is also hailed as a “standout lawyer of her generation”, with her “exceptional work” for Eli Lilly garnering particular praise. On the transactional side, Richard Binns boasts “extensive experience” and is “frequently seen on major deals” in the pharmaceutical, chemicals and biotechnology sectors.
The firm is also renowned for its capital markets practice, with individuals recognised for their debt and equity, structured finance and Islamic finance abilities. In Madrid, Alfredo De Lorenzo is a “prominent figure” on major international transactions in both the debt and equity markets and is also considered a structured finance “guru”. His “impressive client list” includes JPMorgan, who he advised on the disposal of tariff deficit receivables of the Spanish electricity market and subsequent repackaging, and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, who he has counselled on more than 100 transactions issued under its repackaging programme. In Abu Dhabi, Muneer Khan is “greatly respected” for his expertise in Islamic finance, with clients valuing his “phenomenal understanding” of financial services regulation in the Middle East. He recently advised JPMorgan on the structuring and launch of its Islamic structured products programme for the issuance of notes, warrants and certificates and Allianz Global Investors Europe on the launch of its first series of Shariah compliant funds.
Based in London, the “outstanding” Nick Benwell leads the firm’s crime, fraud and investigations group and boasts over two decades of experience in the areas of asset recovery and investigations. Clients “cannot say enough good things about him” and praise his “first-class handling” of highly complex and sensitive matters. At the same office, Stephen Gentle stands out in the business crime defence and investigations sectors for his “top-tier” practice and strong experience in the areas of fraud, money laundering and sanctions breaching. The “simply excellent” Tom Wheadon heads Simmons & Simmons’ international information, communications and technology practice and is “very much in demand” due to his “unparalleled regulatory knowledge” of the telecommunications, satellite, media, technology and internet and e-commerce sectors.
Simmons & Simmons is committed to making a difference in the communities where it operates through sharing its lawyers’ legal expertise with those who are struggling to have access to justice. Practitioners at all levels are encouraged to be involved and the firm also seeks to partner with clients where possible on pro bono initiatives. In 2013, individuals from the firm’s offices around the globe spent nearly 12,000 hours on pro bono and community projects totalling nearly £4 million in value.
Since 2004, the firm has had a diversity forum comprising of partners from a number of offices and chaired by a senior partner. The firm strongly believes in the role that education plays in creating and maintaining an open and inclusive workplace, and all London partners and employees attend mandatory diversity training. The firm also boasts employee network groups and supports its employees throughout their careers with mentoring and coaching programmes and a wide variety of skills training, which focus on the individuals’ unique development needs. Simmons & Simmons also works closely with various organisations to ensure a diverse pool of talent has access to the legal profession. Its Access 2 Law Scheme which has provided mentoring and sponsorship to talented students from Tower Hamlets College and Crossways College from A-levels through to training contracts and works closely with the Sutton Trust and the College of Law’s “Pathways to Law” programme among others.
The past year saw the firm continue to expand its global footprint, as well as celebrate the tenth anniversary of its office in Doha in December 2013. This year will also see it celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the opening of its Abu Dhabi office. Simmons & Simmons is set to continue 2014 as it started: advising on significant deals. So far this year partners from the Frankfurt and Milan offices have advised Prysmian Group on the terms of a €100 million loan by the European Investment Bank to fund their European R&D programmes and lawyers at the London office, including one of our leading lawyers Charles Mayo, counselled the Hogg Tendering Advisory Committee on the transfer of the LIBOR administration business to Intercontinental Exchange Benchmark Administration.
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