This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Herbert Smith LLP holds a prominent position in the markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East where it has over 1,100 lawyers across its 15 offices and four associated bases. The firm’s long-standing reputation is based on its pre-eminence in dispute resolution; however, it is also at the forefront of other sectors including corporate, finance and competition, and in the industrial sector of natural resources, as amply demonstrated by our research. The firm combines technical capabilities with commercial insight to provide clients with a first-rate service. Ninety lawyers are selected for inclusion across 25 practice sectors, demonstrating the breadth of Herbert Smith’s expertise.
|HERBERT SMITH LLP|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 90|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Competition||6||Oil & Gas||7|
|Corporate Governance||2||Private Funds|
|Labour & Employment||2||Tax||4|
Dispute resolution remains a core focus of Herbert Smith and one of its key strengths, with over 280 dispute resolution specialists employed by the firm. The firm receives 10 listings in the commercial arbitration chapter and a further nine in the commercial litigation section. The international standing of the dispute resolution team is demonstrated by the calibre of clients the practice attracts. The international arbitration practice has represented clients including Eurotunnel, the Coca-Cola Company and BP, and the commercial litigation group has broad experience and has represented BSkyB, Goldman Sachs and PricewaterhouseCoopers in recent matters.
Peter Godwin, based in the Tokyo office, makes a standout performance in our research achieving listings across the arbitration, litigation and mediation chapters. Godwin is “extremely well versed” in handling contentious matters in a range of forums and areas of law, including international trade, construction, energy, IT, employment, telecoms, banking and insolvency. In London, Paula Hodges is co-chair of the global arbitration group and an “eminent” practitioner in the energy and telecommunications fields as well as technology-sector disputes. Alongside her, Matthew Weiniger is a “well-known name” in the field of arbitration, having appeared as advocate in a number of different jurisdictions. In Paris, three leading names appear in the arbitration chapter, including head of international dispute resolution Charles Kaplan. Kaplan is a “very able” lawyer with experience covering oil production-sharing agreements, international joint ventures and political risk insurance. In Singapore, Alistair Henderson performs well, receiving recognition for his arbitration and construction expertise. The “excellent” Justin D’Agostino heads the Greater China international arbitration practice and divides his time between Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Five of the nine lawyers selected for commercial litigation are based in the London office. The “highly regarded” Sonya Leydecker is global head of dispute resolution and specialises in banking litigation and professional negligence for accountants. Simon Bushell advises on large-scale disputes in the corporate, financial services, commodities and banking sectors, and “excels” in the field of corporate fraud and asset tracing, for which he co-chairs the London-based practice. Damien Byrne Hill heads the firm’s banking litigation practice, specialising in disputes concerning corporate finance transactions, investment advice, fund management, securities trading. In Hong Kong, Mark Johnson heads the Asia practice and has a “very active” practice representing clients in relation to shareholders’ and directors’ disputes.
Herbert Smith’s energy and natural resources practice is “highly distinguished” in our research with seven lawyers listed in the oil and gas chapter and two names appearing in the mining chapter. The expertise of the firm covers corporate, finance and dispute resolution, and notable representations include acting for BP on its acquisition of Chevron’s interest in the Nerefco refinery and associated wind farm in the Netherlands, as well as on its disposal of its downstream businesses in Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia. In London, Ted Greeno is a “leading name” with considerable expertise in disputes in the oil, gas and LNG fields. The “brilliant” Stéphane Brabant is based in Paris and is a “world-class” practitioner. Head of the Africa practice and global head of the firm’s mining group, Brabant appears in both the oil and gas and mining chapters. In Hong Kong, Anna Howell heads the Asia energy practice and advises on a wide range of international transactions, from M&A to project development and financing. Singapore-based Richard Nelson heads the South East Asia energy team and is “first rate”.
Six lawyers feature in the competition chapter. Herbert Smith is a “prominent player” in the competition field having acted for Time Warner, London Stock Exchange and WHSmith. In Brussels, Kyriakos Fountoukakos is a “first-rate” practitioner covering all aspects of EU and UK competition law. Alongside him, Craig Pouncey is a “leading notary” with expertise covering market investigations, litigation and merger clearance for clients in highly-concentrated markets. London-based Stephen Wisking focuses his practice on merger control, regulatory investigations, competition litigation and broadcasting regulation and his successes include helping Andersen UK in obtaining EC merger clearance for its deal with Deloitte & Touche.
The firm receives five accolades in the patents chapter, where the firm’s experience includes representing Abbott Laboratories in proceedings brought by GSK in the UK High Court under two monoclonal patent licence agreements. Head of IP, Nick Gardner has “great technical capabilities” and has handled many cases in the electronics and computing fields. Sophie Rich leads the life sciences practice and is a “leading” patent litigator with 20 years’ experience in the field. Alexandra Neri heads the Parisian IP/IT group and her expertise is “unrivalled”.
M&A emerges as another of the firm’s strengths with its reputation for handling high-value transactions reflected in the five lawyers selected for inclusion in the corresponding chapter. Recent transactions include advising BSkyB on the proposed £7.8 billion preconditional offer from News Corporation for the remaining 60.1 per cent of shares in BSkyB that it doesn’t already own, and advising the Fayed Family Trust on the sale of the Harrods Group to Qatar Holdings LLC. Global head of the corporate practice James Palmer is based in the firm’s London office and known for his “high-profile” work, which includes advising British American Tobacco on its £13 billion merger with Rothmans. Alongside him, Gavin Davies is “top-notch” and acts for major multinationals and investment banks with particular expertise in the TMT and energy sectors. In Beijing, Jeremy Xiao is “among the best” in the Asia-Pacific region according to sources.
Further representations across a range of chapters, including capital markets, insolvency, private funds, real estate and corporate tax, demonstrate the market leading expertise possessed by Herbert Smith across a range of sectors.
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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.