M&A and Governance 2018: Analysis

We are delighted to present WWL’s definitive guide to the world’s corporate legal market, highlighting the foremost practitioners handling M&A and corporate governance work worldwide.

This edition features over 1,800 listings from more than 480 firms across 83 jurisdictions and pinpoints the most highly regarded lawyers across Europe, North America and the rest of the world.

Europe

Thought Leaders
M&A
1. Christel Van den Eynden Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, Brussels
2. Guy Harles Arendt & Medernach, Luxembourg
3. Nadège Nguyen Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI, Paris
4. James Palmer Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, London
5. Julian Long Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, London
6. David Higgins Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, London
7. Charles Martin Macfarlanes LLP, London
Corporate Governance
1. Michael Wigge Wigge & Partners Advokat KB, Stockholm
2. John Matson Arthur Cox, Dublin
3. Guy Harles Arendt & Medernach, Luxembourg
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
 

Leading Firms

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER boasts a strong presence across the European market, achieving 27 listings across six jurisdictions.
Brussels-based Deborah Janssens is a well-known figure in the corporate space who draws praise for her excellent work advising clients on public and private M&A across a range of sectors from energy to financial services.
Vincent Macq is highly regarded by peers in the Belgian market for his strong corporate nous, as well as his work on a range of transactions including M&A, private equity and capital markets.
In London, Julian Long is “a really good lawyer” according to sources who commend his top-tier transactional practice. He is well regarded for his expertise in cross-border M&A as well as corporate governance matters.
In Germany, Arend von Riegen enjoys a leading reputation in the corporate sphere and draws praise from respondents, one of whom effuses: “He is an excellent M&A lawyer who understands the business matters as well as the law.”
Christoph von Bülow focuses his impressive practice on company law and is well versed in advising clients on M&A transactions and public takeovers. He stands out particularly for his strong regulatory knowledge.
Christoph Seibt receives high praise from across the German market for his first-rate corporate practice, which encompasses public M&A and capital markets transactions.
Willibald Plesser is a well-established name in the Austrian market and comes highly recommended for his M&A work across the energy and finance sectors.

Pan-European law firm NOERR also demonstrates its strong offering across the region, achieving 21 listings this year.
In Germany Tobias Bürgers never fails to provide “on-time and quality responses” to clients when it comes to dealing with capital markets transactions and takeovers, areas in which he boasts “strong legal knowledge”.
Christian Pleister is highly sought after by clients for his “fast responses and excellent market knowledge”. Sources highlight his “strong negotiation skills and vast transactional experience”, as well as “his strong commitment to the lawyer-client relationship”.
Thorsten Reinhard is “a remarkable lawyer” according to respondents, who praise his first-class transactional work on behalf of international companies and financial sponsors.
Alexander Hirsch is a well-recognised lawyer in the international corporate market who is well versed in handling both domestic and international deals including joint ventures and private equity transactions.
Prague-based Barbara Kusak draws praise from widespread international sources who commend her work on high-profile acquisitions.

Leading Spanish law firm URÍA MENÉNDEZ achieves 21 nominations in this edition.
Christian Hoedl leads the firm’s M&A and private equity group and is recognised for his outstanding transactional knowledge, most notably when it comes to both domestic and international private equity deals.
Rafael Sebastián is “a top lawyer” who is “excellent” when it comes to handling corporate restructurings and capital markets transactions for Spanish and international companies.
Juan Miguel Goenechea focuses his highly respected practice on M&A and is commended for his extensive experience working on both public and private transactions.
Salvador Sánchez-Terán is “a heavyweight lawyer” in the Spanish market who is considered “a leading name” by respondents in corporate and securities law.

Prominent German law firm HENGELER MUELLER receives 15 listings this year across both chapters.
Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain stands out among peers as “an extremely experienced and client-oriented lawyer” who wins praise for his “professional and structured approach” to M&A and corporate matters.
Maximilian Schiessl is “highly intelligent and focused” according to sources, who consider him a leading name in the field of cross-border M&A and takeovers.
Michael Hoffmann-Becking is recommended for his excellent work on both M&A and corporate governance matters, areas in which he is considered a real specialist.

Full-service outfit ALLEN & OVERY receives 15 nominations.
In Belgium, Dirk Meeus is “very present in the market” according to respondents who describe him as “a top guy at the firm”. They note that when it comes to M&A and equity capital market transactions, “Dirk is top of the list.”
Pierre-Olivier Mahieu wins recognition as “a standout M&A lawyer”. He is a firm favourite among clients who value his “hands-on approach” to transactional matters.
Sources “think very highly” of Jan Louis Burggraaf who they highlight as “one of the best guys” for corporate finance matters. He is described by peers as “extraordinarily professional and thoughtful”.

Irish powerhouse ARTHUR COX achieves 14 listings in this edition.
John Matson is “an excellent lawyer” who stands out for his top-tier corporate finance and advisory practice which spans a range of industry sectors including technology, insurance and financial services.
Managing partner Brian O’Gorman draws widespread international recognition for his superb work on takeovers, M&A and private equity transactions.
Chairman Ciarán Bolger is a corporate law specialist recognised for his expert handling of securities, joint ventures and public and private M&A transactions.

Leading Danish law firm KROMANN REUMERT also performs well and achieves 14 nominations this year.
Christian Lundgren enjoys an international reputation as a top corporate practitioner, and is commended for his adept handling of capital market and M&A transactions.
Jørgen Kjergaard Madsen is a long-standing fixture in the market who comes highly recommended for his work on M&A, capital markets and company law matters.
Jens Steen Jensen is an M&A specialist who continues to impress peers and clients alike with his strong understanding of financial regulation.

CHIOMENTI boasts the leading corporate offering in the Italian market.
Carlo Croff is “in the top tier of lawyers” according to market sources, who consider him “really excellent” when it comes to handling both complex M&A and corporate governance matters.
Filippo Modulo is “very well recognised in the market” for his standout work in relation to corporate, M&A and private equity matters, most notably for the real estate sector.
Michele Carpinelli focuses his impressive practice on the whole gamut of corporate law issues from governance issues through to transactions and capital markets matters.

At SLAUGHTER AND MAY, 12 leading corporate lawyers are listed.
Nigel Boardman stands out as one of the leading corporate practitioners in the London market, where he wins high praise from sources who consider him “a class act”.
Stephen Cooke is a widely recognised name in the corporate space and is highlighted for his excellent work handling transactional matters on behalf of major clients.
William Underhill draws high praise from market sources who describe him as “a leading light in the market” and commend his “top-drawer” M&A work.

Other Leading Individuals

Austria

Christian Herbst at SCHOENHERR ATTORNEYS AT LAW is a well-recognised name across the European market, where he draws high praise for his fantastic work on M&A deals and takeovers.
Sascha Hödl is recognised for his strong M&A expertise and is commended by sources as “an intelligent lawyer with a hands-on approach”.

Belgium

At LIEDEKERKE WOLTERS WAELBROECK KIRKPATRICK, Christel Van den Eynden stands out as the foremost M&A practitioner in Europe, and is recognised for her exceptional expertise advising both domestic and international clients on a range of cross-border transactions.

England

James Palmer at HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS is a first-rate transactional lawyer who comes highly recommended for his extensive experience handling hostile takeovers, governance issues and regulatory matters.

David Higgins at KIRKLAND & ELLIS is “an outstanding operator” according to peers who commend his expert handling of complex M&A transactions.

Charles Martin at MACFARLANES specialises in M&A and private equity matters and is widely recognised in the UK market for his first-rate representation of corporates and sponsors on cross-border deals.  

Charles Penney at ADDLESHAW GODDARD is a corporate finance expert whom clients “think very highly of” for his excellent work in the space.

SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT’s Adam Signy enjoys “a great reputation” in the European market for his “fantastic work” handling a range of M&A and public takeover matters.

Finland

At ROSCHIER ATTORNEYS, Jon Unnérus leads the firm’s private equity group and is commended by sources who consider him a standout name in the field of corporate and M&A.
Paula Linna wins praise as “a very talented lawyer” who leads the public M&A practice in Finland. She is widely respected for her work handling public takeovers, capital market transactions and securities law.

France

Nadège Nguyen at GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL is “an excellent lawyer” known for her first-class work on both domestic and cross-border transactions as well as her particular expertise in the energy sector.

Italy

At COLONNELLI DE GASPERIS STUDIO LEGALE, Mattia Colonnelli de Gasperis wins international commendations for his strong corporate practice including M&A, restructurings and capital markets matters.

Lithuania

At ELLEX VALIUNAS, Dovilė Burgienė is a well-known figure in the Lithuanian market who focuses her leading practice on M&A transactions, corporate governance and private equity deals.

Luxembourg

At ARENDT & MEDERNACH, founding partner Guy Harles stands out as “the main name in Luxembourg” according to sources, who note he is “a very experienced lawyer” in corporate transactions and structuring.

Netherlands

HOUTHOFF BURUMA’s Michiel Wesseling is “first choice” for many clients seeking top-tier counsel on cross-border M&A and private equity transactions.

Scotland

At DENTONS, David McGrory boasts a great reputation in the UK market for his superb corporate expertise, and is considered “particularly strong on the private equity side”.

Spain

At GÓMEZ-ACEBO & POMBO Richard Silberstein focuses his practice on corporate, M&A and contract law, areas in which he is considered a leading name in Spain.

Sweden

Adam Green at MANNHEIMER SWARTLING ADVOKATBYRÅ is “an innovative, smart and dedicated lawyer” who is highly respected by market sources for his “ability to help find solutions to unique transactional problems”. One source notes, “He is a sensationally skilful man.”

Michael Wigge of WIGGE & PARTNERS ADVOKAT is one of Sweden's best-known corporate practitioners with wide-ranging and extensive experience guiding domestic and international firms through complex governance matters.

Switzerland

HOMBURGER’s Dieter Gericke is “an extremely reliable and deal-oriented lawyer” according to sources and is highlighted for his extensive experience handling both public and private M&A deals.
Daniel Daeniker is “a very experienced lawyer” who stands out for his strong expertise handling cross-border deals as well as capital markets transactions.

North America

Thought Leaders
M&A
1. David Katz Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, New York
2. Michael Gans Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto
3. Richard Hall Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, New York
4. Michael Aiello Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, New York
5. Faiza Saeed Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, New York
6. Adam Emmerich Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, New York
Corporate Governance
1. Martin Lipton Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, New York
2. Faiza Saeed Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, New York
3. David Katz Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz

Leading Firms

WACHTELL LIPTON ROSEN & KATZ stands out as one of the most prominent corporate offerings in the region, achieving 24 listings this year from its New York office.
David Katz is “the number-one guy” for corporate work according to sources who consider him “really the best”. He is renowned for his exceptional work handling significant national and cross-border transactions.
Martin Lipton is a well-established corporate specialist who wins particular recognition for his excellence in governance work for major corporations.
Adam Emmerich draws high praise from international peers for his leading corporate expertise as well as his adept handling of M&A, securities and corporate governance matters.
Daniel Neff focuses his impressive practice on corporate and securities law, and is highlighted for his excellent work advising a range of clients including private equity firms, director committees and both public and private companies.
Andrew Nussbaum stands out as “an excellent lawyer” who is highly regarded for his first-rate M&A practice, encompassing private equity transactions, IPOs, divestitures and takeovers.
Andrew Brownstein co-chairs the firm’s corporate team and is recognised for his broad expertise spanning cross-border transactions, buyouts and corporate restructurings.

BAKER BOTTS also boasts a strong presence across the North American market and receives 22 listings this year throughout its offices in Texas.
David Kirkland Jr co-chairs the firm’s corporate group and wins widespread recognition for his strong expertise dealing with M&A transactions, governance matters and securities offerings.
Stephen Massad is a long-standing fixture in the US market who comes highly recommended for his superb transactional expertise, most notably when it comes to joint ventures, M&A and corporate restructurings.
Kelly Rose is a well-known name in the corporate sphere who is “really excellent” when it comes to corporate governance matters, an area in which she garners particular recognition from sources.
Managing partner Andrew Baker is widely respected by peers and clients alike for his first-class corporate practice where he regularly represents companies, corporate committees and boards.

SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM achieves 20 listings this year from six of its offices across the US.
Stephen Arcano heads the firm’s M&A team and continues to impress with his outstanding expertise in the field. He is well respected for his terrific work on prominent transactions on behalf of both sellers and acquirers.
Eileen Nugent is global co-head of the firm’s transactional group, an area in which she possesses extensive experience. She wins recognition for her work on corporate acquisitions as well as hostile and negotiated takeovers.
Peter Allan Atkins is a highly regarded lawyer across the US market where he stands out for his expert handling of both M&A and corporate governance matters.
Lou Kling possesses over 30 years’ experience in the M&A space, and is recognised for his impressive work handling a range of corporate transactions.

Full-service firm BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON enjoys a strong position in the Canadian market and receives 19 listings this year.
Michael Gans is the foremost M&A practitioner in Canada who is widely respected for his work on domestic as well as international inbound transactions.
Jeffrey Lloyd is a highly regarded transactional lawyer who wins praise for his top-notch work across a range of industries including mining, retails and financial services.
Bill Sirett is a corporate securities expert who gains recognition for his impressive handling of M&A transactions, corporate restructurings and related governance matters.
Brock Gibson QC is commended by market sources as “a leading practitioner” in the corporate space and is particularly recognised for his work on large transactions across the oil and gas sector.

Delaware-based RICHARDS LAYTON & FINGER achieves 18 nominations this year.
Stephen Bigler wins international recognition as a corporate specialist. He boasts over three decades of experience handling a range of related matters on behalf of directors, officers, corporate entities and investors.
Mark Gentile is well equipped to handle the whole gamut of corporate transactional matters on behalf of clients, including M&A, recapitalisations and governance issues.
President of the firm Gregory Varallo is also commended for his leading corporate expertise, and is well versed in handling corporate governance issues, transactions and a range of business disputes.

Other Leading Individuals

Canada

At STIKEMAN ELLIOTT, chair of the firm William Braithwaite wins praise as “a leading practitioner in M&A and corporate finance” and is recommended for his work on major cross-border M&A deals.
John Leopold is “a go-to lawyer” when it comes to both M&A and corporate governance matters, areas in which he receives high praise from international sources for his expertise.
Edward Waitzer is a standout name in the Canadian market where he is “very well known” for his top-tier corporate governance practice, as well as for his impressive handling of complex transactions.

Franziska Ruf at DAVIES WARD PHILLIPS & VINEBERG wins international praise for her corporate law expertise which spans M&A, corporate governance, capital markets and private equity transactions.

At HANSELL, Carol Hansell is highlighted as “a specialist in the corporate governance field” where she excels not only in transactional work but also policy development. One source effuses: “She is a leading lawyer and a very smart individual.”

USA

At WEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES, Michael Aiello chairs the firm’s corporate department and is a widely recognised figure across the US market for his work in the corporate sphere, particularly when it comes to advising public companies on M&A transactions.

CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE’s Faiza Saeed stands out as one of the most prominent corporate lawyers in the US. She is highly sought after by clients including boards of directors and public companies for her deep understanding of both governance and M&A matters.

Richard Hall leads the firm’s M&A group for EMEA, and is recognised for his impressive roster of corporate clients who include Banco Santander, Time Warner and Royal Dutch Shell.

Patricia Vella at MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT & TUNNELL is highlighted for her first-rate transactional practice which spans a wide array of related matters including M&A, asset sales and corporate financing.

Scott Barshay at PAUL WEISS RIFKIND WHARTON & GARRISON is “an excellent lawyer” who draws widespread recognition for his impressive expertise in a range of corporate matters from activist defence work to M&A.

At BASS BERRY & SIMS, Leigh Walton is well known in the international corporate market for her vast experience in the field as well as her fantastic work on M&A, governance matters and securities offerings.

Mark Morton at POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON particularly stands out in this edition for his exceptional corporate governance work. He is regularly engaged to advise clients on various related matters including transactions, fiduciary and day-to-day matters.
Myron Steele is well recognised for his work providing corporate governance counsel to boardrooms as well as on shareholder and management disputes.

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL’s Rodgin Cohen is a legendary figure in the US market renowned for his work providing top-tier corporate counsel to banking and other financing institutions.

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
M&A
1. Ezra Davids Bowmans, Johannesburg
2. José María Eyzaguirre Claro y Cia, Santiago
3. Audrey Chen JunHe LLP, Beijing
4. Alfredo M O’Farrell Marval O’Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires
Corporate Governance
1. Cyril Shroff Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Mumbai
2. Ezra Davids Bowmans, Johannesburg

Leading Firms

JUNHE boasts the most prominent corporate offering in the Chinese market and sees 12 practitioners recognised this year for their outstanding expertise in the field.
Audrey Chen is one of the leading corporate lawyers in the Asia-Pacific region and stands out for her excellent work advising clients across the energy, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.
Fang He is “very experienced in M&A and corporate-related matters” according to sources who commend her “great legal skills and extensive knowledge”.
Yingling Wei is “an excellent lawyer” who draws widespread international praise for her work advising international and Chinese companies on M&A transactions.
Jie Chen is a well-respected name in the Chinese market highlighted for her expertise in joint ventures, M&A and a range of financings.

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS achieves 15 nominations this year across both chapters.
Managing partner of the Melbourne office Rodd Levy possesses over 30 years’ experience handling M&A transactions as well as a range of other corporate matters including takeovers and governance.
Philippa Stone focuses her first-rate practice on capital raising and M&A matters, areas in which she stands out as a real specialist in the Australian market.
Sydney-based Rebecca Maslen-Stannage is a well-known transactional lawyer highlighted for her excellent work advising both domestic and multinational clients.

Full-service Argentinian firm MARVAL O’FARRELL & MAIRAL also performs well, receiving 15 listings this year.
Alfredo O’Farrell is a Thought Leader in the M&A field who stands out for his exceptional expertise advising clients on corporate and M&A as well as competition and antitrust matters.
Héctor Mairal is a long-standing figure in the Argentinian market who is considered “top of the field” when it comes to handling complex transactions.
Sebastián Martín Iribarne wins recognition in this edition for his outstanding corporate governance work and is also well known in the market for his strong financing practice.

KING & WOOD MALLESONS garners 14 listings this year.
David Friedlander leads the firm’s Australia public M&A group, and is recognised for the high quality of his work advising targets and bidders on range of transactions, offerings and takeovers.
Greg Golding is a well-respected corporate lawyer across the Australian market who stands out for his excellent work on takeovers, capital raisings and M&A transactions.

Other Leading Individuals

Australia

At CLAYTON UTZ, Simon Truskett is “a very experienced lawyer” in the M&A field who is highly commended for his “meticulous work” on transactions, joint ventures and securities offerings.
Rodney Halstead is a well-established figure in the domestic market where he is recognised for his strong expertise in strategic takeovers and M&A.

Brazil

Paulo Frank Coelho da Rocha at DEMAREST ADVOGADOS is a highly regarded corporate practitioner in the international market, who enjoys a great reputation as “one of the leading M&A lawyers in the country”.
Gabriel Ricardo Kuznietz is an M&A specialist who is commended for his standout work advising clients on transactions across a range of sectors including transport and infrastructure.

At VEIRANO ADVOGADOS, Ricardo Veirano is “one of the most widely recognised M&A lawyers in São Paulo” according to sources, who praise his top work on deals on behalf of investment banks, corporations and issuers.

Chile

At CLARO Y CIA, José María Eyzaguirre heads the firms M&A group and is well versed in handling a range of corporate finance matters on behalf of clients including cross-border financings, projects and transactions.
Rodrigo Ochagavía focuses his first-rate corporate practice on M&A, banking and finance matters, areas in which he stands out in the Chilean market as a real specialist.

Colombia

Sergio Michelsen at BRIGARD & URRUTIA ABOGADOS boasts over 30 years’ experience providing first-class counsel to both domestic and foreign companies on complex M&A transactions.
Managing partner Carlos Umaña Trujillo is recognised for his impressive corporate work across multiple areas including infrastructure, natural resources and public procurement.

India

Cyril Shroff at CYRIL AMARCHAND MANGALDAS is “an absolutely top name” in the corporate space according to sources, an area in which he enjoys a strong reputation as “a senior figure”.

At SHARDUL AMARCHAND MANGALDAS, Shardul Shroff draws high praise from respondents as “a well-regarded name in governance”, and is also recommended for his leading M&A practice.

Mexico

Daniel Del Río at BASHAM RINGE Y CORREA is a well-established figure in the Mexican market who impresses sources with his first-rate expertise handling M&A transactions as well as both inbound and outbound investment deals.
Carlos Velazquez de Leon also stands out for his excellent corporate practice and is frequently involved in advising clients on foreign investment matters and M&A deals.

New Zealand

David Quigg at QUIGG PARTNERS is the leading M&A specialist in New Zealand and gains recognition from international sources for his extensive transactional experience.

Singapore

At ALLEN & GLEDHILL, Andrew Lim is widely recognised across the Asia-Pacific region for his top-tier corporate practice, which spans M&A and corporate transactions as well as governance issues.

South Africa

At BOWMANS, Ezra Davids is “an outstanding lawyer” who is considered “absolutely leading” when it comes to dealing with M&A, securities and capital markets transactions. He is highly sought after by major corporate clients who have included SAB Miller, Bharti and Barrick Gold Corporation.

Uruguay

Nicolás Piaggio at GUYER & REGULES is “a go-to lawyer” in the corporate field, according to sources. He wins recognition for his expert handling of restructurings, debt transactions and financings.

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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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