This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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Slaughter and May’s most recent partner appointments are in the firm’s Hong Kong office, expanding its offering in this region. With 12 partners and over 45 legal staff based in the Hong Kong and Beijing offices, the firm is able to provide a comprehensive range of legal services to clients in the Asia-Pacific region.
|SLAUGHTER AND MAY|
|Banking||3||Insurance & Reinsurance||1|
|Corporate Governance||9||Real Estate||1|
The firm has long established itself as a noteworthy addition to the legal market and has retained its reputation as an impressive and prestigious firm. Along with its three offices outside of London, the firm also benefits from its “best friends” scheme with leading firms in Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Portugal. The firm’s international scope and in-depth expertise across the corporate and commercial spectrum ensures that its lawyers are the “first port of call” for businesses and other organisations.
|Total Listings in WWL||50||Established||1889|
|Home jurisdiction||England||Total size of firm||1223|
|Number of partners||112||Number of offices||4|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Slaughter and May’s team of M&A and corporate governance specialists are “world renowned”. They advise UK and overseas companies on all aspects of buying and selling companies and businesses. Recent deals include advising the likes of Diageo and GlaxoSmithKline in significant corporate transactions. Nigel Boardman is a “towering giant of the bar” and has a broad practice encompassing M&A and corporate governance matters. Recent high-profile clients include Vodafone and British Airways. Chairman Christopher Saul is also “very highly regarded” and specialises in general corporate work, private equity and securities transactions. Stephen Cooke is the “go-to guy” for takeover bids and stock exchange-related work. William Underhill is a “top-notch” lawyer and works on a wide range of transactions and advisory matters. His recent experience includes leading a team working on the privatisation for Royal Mail. Also listed is head of the corporate practice Frances Murphy, who is “very effective” in her M&A work and acts for corporate clients and investment banks.
Another key practice area is corporate tax. The tax group comprises eight partners along with approximately 30 other lawyers who deal with the wide-ranging tax aspects of all corporate, commercial and financial transactions. The “fantastic” Steve Edge advises on the tax issues relating to cross-border transactions and large scale interventions under HMRC’s high risk corporates programme. Head of the tax team Sara Luder is a “first-rate” practitioner and specialises in most aspects of corporate taxation along with the “phenomenal” Tony Beare who specialises in the tax aspects of structured finance transactions.
The “highly ranked” competition team is spread across the firm’s offices in London, Brussels, Beijing and Hong Kong. The team is specialised in matters including transactional work, cartels, market investigations and state aid and regulatory work. John Boyce has an “excellent” practice in Brussels, where he is involved in deal notifications and cartel investigations work. Claire Jeffs is a “top intellectual” and deals with merger cases before the UK and EU competition authorities. In London, head of the competition group Philippe Chappatte has a “wealth of experience” dealing with merger, cartel, behavioural and competition litigation cases in the UK and EU.
The dispute resolution group is applauded for its “outstanding” litigation and arbitration skills. Lawyers act for a broad spectrum of clients, particularly in the corporate and financial sectors. Head of dispute resolution and the firm’s cross-border global investigations group Deborah Finkler is noted for her work in the areas of commercial litigation and asset recovery. She is a “tremendous” litigator and is “well reputed” in the field.
COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENT
Fifty per cent of staff are involved in community and pro bono work. The pro bono work is divided into two categories: law centre volunteering and charity clients. Staff in the London office also work to improve the educational experience of students at four of its local schools. In 2013 the firm won Best Outreach Programme at the Opening Doors Awards for its work helping disadvantaged young people attain places at top universities.
Slaughter and May is also committed to minimising its environmental impact and has adopted a formal environmental policy. The firm also has an established environment committee which focuses on achieving the firm’s aims of carbon reduction, energy efficient offices, effective use of resources and sustainable procurement.
With recent high-profile clients such as Premier Foods and Cineworld Group, Slaughter and May continues to be in demand for its M&A, financing, corporate and commercial expertise. The firm’s “keen understanding of the business marketplace” ensures it will retain its “premier” position in Europe.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.