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Most Highly Regarded Firms: Capital Markets 2011

In this section we analyse the findings of our research in greater depth to identify the firms and practitioners who stand out worldwide.

Most highly regarded individuals
Hendrik Haag Hengeler Mueller, Frankfurt
Alan  Beller Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, New York
Izumi Akai Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Tokyo
René Bösch Homburger AG, Zurich
Stephen Revell Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, London
Sergio Spinelli Silva Jr Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados, São Paulo
Boyan Wells Allen & Overy LLP, London
Jim Rice Linklaters LLP, London
Robert Buckholz Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York
David Dunnigan Clifford Chance LLP, London


Our research has identified 496 outstanding practitioners in 51 countries with a range of specialisations, each among the leaders in the field in capital markets law.

Once again, Linklaters stands out as the leading firm. Twenty-seven of their lawyers from 13 countries appear in this publication. In recent years the firm has advised Thames Water on the securitisation of its regulated water and sewerage business, and the firm’s partners were commended for their work across the full range of debt, equity and structured finance work. Jim Rice in London stands out for structured finance, with his securitisation work repeatedly brought to our attention. Julian Davies founded the firms’ structured finance group and its global securitisation practice, and currently leads the project bond practice. His peers say he is an “infrastructure guru”. Eight partners are selected from the London office, with Carson Welsh – head of the equity and debt markets group – particularly well known in the market.

The Frankfurt office provides four further nominees. Berthold Kusserow is a “legendary figure”, while Peter Waltz is widely renowned for his debt issuance practice. Herbert Harrer also stands out for the quality of his IPO work. Further Linklaters’ nominees appear from France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Russia and Spain, underlining the exceptional strength of the firm’s European capital markets practice.

Paul Kruger divides his time between New York and Abu Dhabi, and is “first class” for securitisation work in particular. In Dubai, Richard O’Callaghan is picked out for his debt and equity work, while the firm is very strong in Asia, with a presence in our Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore lists. Andrew Malcolm heads the regional capital markets practice and is “much in demand” for his expertise across a range of sectors, while Mary Matson is counsel to the firm in Hong Kong and described as “perhaps the leading securitisation expert in the Asia”. Two nominees from Singapore emphasise the breadth and depth of the firm’s market leading calibre in this field.

Allen & Overy LLP increases its presence in this edition to 19 nominees, from 10 countries. The London office is “the engine room of a world-class practice”, and nine partners are selected. Angela Clist worked on the first UK covered bonds transaction for HBOS Treasury Services and is “one of the leading lights in the City”, and Christian Lambie is “pre-eminent” for securitisation and structured finance work. Geoff Fuller is a “first-class transactional lawyer” while Boyan Wells is “one of the big names in the market”, having headed the global international capital markets group for over eight years before taking a place on the firm’s global board. A&O lawyers appear among the leading experts in five further European markets, with Oliver Seiler, head of the equity capital markets group in Germany, particularly well known. Andrew Harrow heads the firm’s international capital markets practice in the Asia-Pacific region and is “extremely well regarded”, while Kenneth Aboud is among the most highly nominated lawyers in Singapore.

The strength of Clifford Chance’s “phenomenal profile” in this area is based on the performance of its “formidable” London office, which provides half of the firm’s 16 nominees in this edition. David Dunnigan has been global head of their capital markets practice since 2002 and is “one of the leading experts in the City” for both debt and equity work. Stephen Curtis performed particularly well this year, with his structured finance and securitisation work much admired; Kevin Ingram also stands out in this sector. The firm is strong in Germany, where Michael Weller’s structured financing practice is very well regarded and Markus Pfüller boasts a track record that includes the IPOs of Deutsche Telekom, EPCOS and Infineon Technologies. José Manuel Cuenca in Madrid is renowned for his securities, derivatives and structured finance expertise. In Asia, Reiko Sakimura in Japan is “absolutely outstanding” for a range of international capital markets work and two further nominees are selected in Singapore. The firm is also highly regarded in the UAE, where Matthew Cahill and Debashis Dey both impressed our sources.

Fourteen lawyers from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP are selected, an increase of two on the previous edition’s total. Again the London office is very strong, with six nominees selected. Stephen Revell is one of the world’s most highly rated capital markets lawyers and he advised Swiss Re on its 1.3 billion Swiss franc rights issue, and is much in demand for his knowledge of emerging markets and the CIS region. Marcus Mackenzie is “a real star for securitisation”, and has advised entities such as Citibank and Deutsche Bank in recent years. The firm is also strong in Germany, where Andreas König was picked out for his “pre-eminent expertise” and two further highly rated partners are listed. The firm’s European strength is underlined by further inclusions in the Austrian, Belgian and Spanish research. Freshfields also has a presence in our Hong Kong list through the “excellent” Teresa Ko, well known for her work on global offerings and the listing of Chinese companies.

Sidley Austin LLP is a “global player” in this area, and garners 13 listings. The New York office is particularly strong with six partners listed. Norman Slonaker is senior counsel and “extremely well versed in a variety of transactions”. The “eminent” Joseph McLaughlin is also well known, for his securities offerings expertise in particular. James O’Connor is listed for the first time in this publication and received praise from clients and peers alike: “I would certainly recommend him without any hesitation; he is able to provide extremely relevant, current and insightful counsel,” as one source put it. Further nominees are recognised in Chicago and San Francisco, while the London office also contributes two experts in the “top drawer”, John Woodhall and Graham Penn. The firm is also very strong in Asia. Matthew Sheridan is co-head of the international finance practice in the region and works from both the firm’s Singapore and Hong Kong offices, and he is listed alongside Gerard Hekker and the “brilliant” Thomas Albrecht.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a greater presence in this edition than in past years, growing to 13 nominees worldwide. Six of these are based in the US, where Bob Buckholz is co-coordinator of the corporate and finance group and is “practically unbeatable” for capital markets transactional work. He worked on the IPO of American Water and on debt and equity offerings relating to Transocean, Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian National Railway. Donald Crawshaw is “the counsel of choice” to many we canvassed, and his expertise relating to public and private offerings is held in high esteem. David Harms is co-head of the general practice group and much in demand for capital markets transactional work. The firm is strong in Europe, with Gauthier Blanluet deemed “outstanding” in France and two highly rated nominees selected in Germany including the “brilliant” Wolfgang Feuring. Richard Morrissey is head of the firm’s London office and has participated in many international equity and debt offerings for non-US private issuers, as well as acting as the regular senior US securities counsel to Diageo and Eni. Chun Wei is head of the China practice and well regarded throughout Asia. Izumi Akai in Tokyo is co-head of the Japan practice and “very impressive” according to our sources, who voted for him in such volume that he earns a place among the most highly regarded individuals worldwide. He acted as US counsel to the underwriters in the $1.3 billion “hybrid” notes offering of Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company in 2011 and to the underwriters in the $2.25 billion global IPO of Otsuka Holdings in 2010.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has an excellent track record in this area and recently advised underwriters represented by Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Securities (USA) and UBS Securities in connection with a $2 billion public offering by IBM Corporation. The New York office is particularly strong with five nominees selected. Richard Truesdell is a “phenomenal talent” and co-head of the practice group. He has represented investment banks including Barclays Capital, Citi, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Fellow co-head Richard Sandler is a “leading authority in this field”, who serves on the legal advisory committee to the committee on capital markets regulation. The firm also appears in the DC and London listings and also has a strong presence in Asia. Theodore Paradise is “a cut above” in the eyes of our sources and scores very highly in our Japan research, where he is joined by Eugene Gregor. William Barron is among the most highly rated lawyers in the Hong Kong research.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is another “premier league firm” in this sector. The firm represented the underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley, in an underwritten public offering of approximately 2.4 billion shares of Citigroup common stock held by the US Department of the Treasury, and is also acting as international counsel to Petrobras in its global equity offering, which is expected to be the largest equity offering ever. Eleven partners are selected, including the “extremely well known” Alan  Beller, a former director of the division of corporation finance of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, senior counsellor to the Commission and one of the most highly rated lawyers in the world. Alongside him in the New York office, Edward Greene has a “tremendous reputation” and is a former general counsel of the SEC. The firm earns two further nominees apiece in England, Belgium and France, and Thomas Kopp is among the most highly rated experts in Germany.

The 10 strong contingent from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP includes three from New York, led in the voting by the “very well known” Phyllis Korff. Her “enviable” track record includes advising the underwriters in the spin-offs and IPOs of the Pepsi Bottling Group and Coca-Cola Enterprises, among others. The firm has a strong presence in Asia, where Jonathan Stone in Hong Kong is particularly highly rated, and in Europe where Pierre Servan-Schreiber is one of the most highly regarded experts in France. Christopher Morgan is selected in Canada and advises clients on a wide variety of Canada/US cross-border corporate and securities matters, while São Paulo-based Richard Aldrich is “one of the leading experts in Latin America”.

Elsewhere in Brazil, Sergio Spinelli Silva Jr of Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados is “absolutely fantastic”, and received recommendations from across Latin America and beyond.

Eight lawyers are selected from Shearman & Sterling LLP, with half of these based in the US. David Beveridge heads the capital markets group for the Americas and is very well regarded in New York, while Antonia Stolper heads the Latin American practice group and “does a fantastic job for her clients”. Stephan Hutter is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in Germany, and the firm is also represented in Italy, Hong Kong and Japan, where Masahisa Ikeda “stands out”.

Uría Menéndez scores very highly in this edition with seven partners selected. Carlos Costa Andrade is one of the most highly respected experts in Portugal and he is joined by six colleagues from the Spanish research. Managing partner Luis de Carlos is “internationally renowned” and Jaime de San Román is similarly well respected across Europe. The firm has a close working relationship with Hengeler Mueller in Germany, which is home to Hendrik Haag, the most highly regarded individual in the research worldwide. Variously described as “formidably skilled” and a “leading light”, he received a greater number of nominations than any other practitioner. Four further Hengeler partners are selected, including Stefan Krauss who was repeatedly praised for his structured finance practice. Elsewhere in Europe, René Bösch at Homburger once again scores extremely highly and he appears alongside the “excellent” Daniel Daeniker and Benedikt Maurenbrecher.

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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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