The number of nominees in this section continues to grow, driven by the recognition from arbitrators, counsel and parties of the integral role expert witnesses play in arbitration proceedings. This section is a reflection of the depth of expertise in consulting firms around the world. We list 212 practitioners from 17 countries for the quality of their work in arbitrations.
The latest edition of Who’s Who Legal: Banking comprises 782 listings, including 629 finance and 153 regulatory experts, from 287 firms across 64 jurisdictions.
For traditional banking clients and their legal counsel, 2016 has been a challenging year. As political uncertainty, a continually evolving regulatory environment, poor growth and low interest rates continue to place strain on financial institutions still looking to regain their balance sheets, the preponderance of alternative capital lenders has ensured that power remains firmly in the hands of borrowers. A push towards American-style loan documentation has seen leveraged lending move towards the high-yield bond market and law firms with strong teams in this area have found themselves increasingly busy. The trend towards covenant-lite or covenant-loose terms has played into the hands of US firms and, as such, magic circle firms – who continue to dominate our research given their strength in the European market – have found themselves on the back foot in the market.
This year’s Who’s Who Legal Transport edition presents 801 aviation lawyers across three chapters – contentious, regulatory and finance – alongside 522 shipping lawyers. In total, lawyers from 536 firms across 69 countries are recognised.
The transport sector has experienced some turbulent times this year. Both the aviation and shipping markets are facing significant challenges, causing serious problems for companies operating within them. As a result, the legal market offering services to these two branches of transport law is reflecting this environment, and adapting too; the trend for the increasing establishment of boutique firms has continued well into 2016 and is likely to be seen next year too. Yet despite such pressures, the legal market in the area is still experiencing a lot of activity from clients and practitioners, who are positive about its future.
In this year’s edition, over 500 private client specialists are listed from over 200 firms across 51 jurisdictions. Private client specialist Withers leads our research with 17 leading lawyers listed in its London office alone and a further 10 across Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the US. Baker & McKenzie’s 10 listings are spread across London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and New York – the second largest onshore network in our research. McDermott Will & Emery has a strong transatlantic offering with 10 individuals listed. Other leading outfits in the US include Holland & Knight and Greenberg Traurig. London-based Macfarlanes' 11 listings illustrate its position as a world-class centre of legal advice on wealth management. Other standout outfits in London include Charles Russell Speechlys with nine listings, Boodle Hatfield and Harcus Sinclair both with six leading names and Maurice Turnor Gardner with five. Top Swiss firms include Schellenberg Wittmer, Walder Wyss and Lenz & Staehelin who have five listings each. Across the offshore jurisdictions, Mourant Ozannes leads with 12 listings, closely followed Ogier and Appleby both with nine, Conyers Dill & Pearman with eight, and Maples and Calder with six. The most highly regarded individuals are also recognised in this section.
In this section, we have identified over 140 of the leading trustees, private bankers, accountants and investment managers that service the private client industry worldwide. Top outfits include Butterfield Trust with 12 listings covering Geneva, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Bahamas and Bermuda. Rawlinson & Hunter is also widely recognised with 11 listings covering its offices in London, Geneva, Zurich, Cayman Islands, BVI, Jersey and Guernsey. Other leading firms identified in this section for their strong presence in our research include Rothschild Trust, Summit Trust International, Vistra and Elian.
As tax avoidance and transparency remain prominent in both the social and political consciousness, a number of issues remain for international clients and their legal counsel. The stream of international regulatory structures introduced in the past few years has given rise to an abundance of compliance work. While issues of transparency threaten to undermine the very essence of private client work in some senses, regulation remains a hoop that must be jumped through and clients are striving to ensure that their tax and estate structures meet any and all new regulations. Contentious matters and philanthropic concerns still take up a great deal of time for many lawyers in this area, ensuring that the practice area is sufficiently diverse and busy.
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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.