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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013

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Business Crime Defence

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Legal Offices for Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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Doha, Qatar

Tornado Tower

Brussels, Belgium

Central Plaza

Shanghai, China

38th Floor, Bund Center

Tokyo, Japan

Midtown Tower, 41st Floor

Singapore, Singapore

50 Raffles Place

Sydney, Australia ( Herbert Smith Freehills)

ANZ Tower 161 Castlereagh Street

Moscow, Russia

10 Ulitsa Nikolskaya

Beijing, China

28th Floor Office Tower

Frankfurt, Germany

Neue Mainzer Strasse 75

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Al Sila Tower, Level 23

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai International Financial Centre

Paris, France

66 avenue Marceau

London, England

Exchange House

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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP - The Who's Who Legal 100 2013

What is the Who's Who Legal 100?


The merger of Herbert Smith and Freehills in October 2012 created one of the largest law firms in the world with over 2,800 lawyers spanning 20 global offices. Herbert Smith Freehills has an incredible global footprint with offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US as well as plans for further expansion into Africa with an office to open in Guinea in 2013. The firm provides an efficient, first-class service and prides itself on the strength and quality of its client relationships. Herbert Smith Freehills has earned 147 inclusions across 28 practice areas, demonstrating its exceptional presence across many legal sectors.

Practice Area Breakdown
Arbitration 13 Internet & e-Commerce 3
Asset Recovery 10 Labour & Employment 7
Aviation 2 Life Sciences 5
Banking 2 M & A 10
Capital Markets 5 Mining 3
Commercial Litigation 7 Oil & Gas 13
Commercial Meidation 1 Patents 6
Competition 8 Private Funds 3
Construction 5 Product Liability Defence 3
Corporate Governance 5 Project Finance 4
Corporate Tax 3 Public Procurement 6
Environment 4 Real Estate 6
Insolvency & Restructuring 4 Regulatory Communications 3
Insurance & Reinsurance 2 Trademarks 4

Herbert Smith Freehills has a leading oil and gas practice with over 100 lawyers working in disputes, financing and transactions for high profile energy companies. They advise on landmark deals such as Apache Corporation’s $1.75 billion acquisition of Mobil North Sea Limited. We list 14 outstanding practitioners in our oil and gas chapter. The firm’s Paris office, which fields four lawyers, is one of its main bases for work in Africa. Stéphane Brabant, head of the Parisian energy and infrastructure group and the firm’s Africa practice, is an “Africa specialist” who has over 25 years of experience in the region. He is primarily a projects lawyer who focuses on structuring complex investments between multi-nationals and states. Brabant is also listed in the mining chapter. He is joined by Nina Bowyer, head of the English law team within the energy, mining and infrastructure group. Her “sophisticated technical understanding often puts her head and shoulders above the rest”. Also in Paris, Mehdi Haroun and Bertrand Montembault both have broad oil and gas practices and a great deal of experience working in French-speaking Africa. Montembault receives an additional listing in the mining chapter.

The London office has a strong oil and gas practice. Co-head of global arbitration, Paula Hodges, is “excellent” and “very active in energy disputes”, she is also listed in our arbitration chapter. Miguel Riaño, managing partner of the firm’s Madrid office, has over 20 years of experience in the industry and is “the one to call in Spain”. In Asia, Richard Nelson is head of the South East Asia energy team and is a “very strong practitioner” in the field, while Rebecca Major, based in Tokyo, is “highly recommended” for her projects work in the energy industry. Stuart Barrymore leads the corporate practice in Perth and is “exceptionally experienced” in the mining and resources industries. He works for many of the leading oil and gas producers in Western Australia and is also featured in the mining chapter. He is joined in Perth by Robert Merrick, a lawyer who has won acclaim among our respondents for his “sound judgement” and “considered advice”.

The firm has an exceptional dispute resolution practice with 13 inclusions in our arbitration chapter and eight in our commercial litigation chapter. In London, Matthew Weiniger is particularly highly recommended as an “exceptionally experienced” arbitrator who specialises in international arbitration and public and private international law. Charles Kaplan, based in Paris, has a “brilliant reputation for quality work” and co-heads the firm’s global arbitration practice. In Singapore, Alastair Henderson is “efficient and professional” and an “outstanding advocate”. He has acted before a variety of institutions and has specific expertise in the construction industry. Peter Godwin is a well-rounded disputes practitioner who is listed in our arbitration, litigation and mediation chapters. As well as managing the firm’s Tokyo office, he also has an active disputes practice and is “definitely someone to have on your side”. Peter Butler is a “leading” commercial litigator in Sydney, having advised some of the largest companies in Australia.

Herbert Smith Freehills is our first asset recovery firm of the year after receiving the highest number of recommendations in this area. With such impressive global reach, talented specialists and all the resources of a large firm, it is no surprise that it can deliver such a high quality service to clients. We list 10 lawyers in the sector. The firm has a clear presence in the London marketplace with four lawyers listed. Featuring in both the asset recovery and commercial litigation chapters, Sonya Leydecker has a “good reputation” and is “very well known” for her successful international disputes practice. She is head of the firm’s global dispute resolution practice and has over 20 years’ experience in the field. In Sydney, the “talented” Andrew Eastwood and “dynamic” Grant Marjoribanks are commercial litigators with a focus on regulatory investigation and enforcement. Managing partner of Asia Mark Johnson is a “distinguished practitioner” who has worked on “influential matters” in Hong Kong since 1987 and is also listed for commercial litigation. Singapore-based Maurice Burke is “very sharp” and advises clients from a wide range of industries in the Asia Pacific region.

With its international reach, Herbert Smith Freehills has the capacity to deal with high value, multi-jurisdictional M&A deals. The firm is clearly a leader in this field and we have listed 10 “high-flying” lawyers in our M&A chapter. Four M&A lawyers are also listed for their corporate governance expertise. In the London office, the “superb” James Palmer is highly recommended in our research, with clients praising his “innovative problem solving abilities”. In Australia, Rodd Levy and Philippa Stone “lead the field”. Levy is a “fantastic” lawyer who has over 25 years of experience working for high profile clients such as ANZ Banking Group, Coles Group and OZ Minerals. Stone is “extremely capable at handling even the most complicated, time pressured situations with calm, professionalism and efficiency”. Her practice covers privatisation work and corporate reconstructions for listed companies.

The firm also boasts a strong reputation in competition law and we feature eight “terrific” lawyers from this practice. Stephen Wisking, in London, and Brussels-based Bo Vesterdorf and Kyriakos Fountoukakos were particularly highly recommended in our research. Wisking is “excellent both tactically and analytically” and has a broad contentious competition practice, acting for high profile clients such as BSkyB. Vesterdorf is “extremely well known and well regarded” and a “standout” practitioner for many of our respondents. He is the former president of the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg and is now working as a consultant at the firm. Fountoukakos is “very proactive” in the market place and is “particularly talented in merger control work” with “an in-depth understanding of complex financial technicalities”.

The firm has inclusions in a further 19 of our chapters, a testament to the outstanding quality of its lawyers.

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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.

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W11 1QQ, UK