Legal Marketplace Analysis 2014

This year, our listings comprise of 609 practitioners recognised across three distinct areas within capital markets law; debt and equity, Islamic finance and structured finance. Clifford Chance leads the way in our research with individuals recognised in all three sections. Following closely behind is Allen & Overy, which has practitioners from its offices across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe singled out. Four further firms also stand out; Linklaters, Latham & Watkins, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Sidley Austin.

We also recognise the leading individuals in the world for debt and equity, Islamic finance and structured finance.

 

Who's Who Legal: Capital Markets 2014
Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lawyer Firm
Debt & Equity
Simon  Witty Davis Polk & Wardwell, London
Richard Truesdell Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York
Michael Sturrock Latham & Watkins, Singapore
Philippa Stone Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney
Stephan Hutter Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Frankfurt
 
Islamic Finance
Debashis Dey Clifford Chance, Dubai
Anzal Mohammed Allen & Overy, Dubai
Adri Aidam Badri Kadir Andri & Partners, Kuala Lumpur
 
Structured Finance
Kevin Ingram Clifford Chance, London
David Krischer Allen & Overy, London
Michael Gambro Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, New York
Jason Kravitt Mayer Brown, New York
Renwick Martin Sidley Austin, New York

Our research reveals that Clifford Chance leads the way with an unprecedented 31 inclusions. On the debt and equity side, the firm’s strength lies particularly in London. At the head of the firm’s global capital markets practice is David Dunnigan who is “without question one of the world’s standout lawyers in this space”. He represents sovereigns, financial institutions and leading corporations in a broad spectrum of debt and equity financing. Adrian Cartwright leads the firm’s ECM group, his international practice is held in “enormous regard”; and his clients praise his “focus and understanding of commercial and legal issues”. Simon Sinclair, an “extremely competent and knowledgeable” lawyer, specialises on both sides of the market, including convertible bonds offerings. Also in the London office is the “truly excellent” Iain Hunter, who focuses on the international equity market, particularly in the Middle East. In the rest of Europe, Lounia Czupper epitomises “top-notch DCM advice” in Belgium, as well as being “an expert” on the structured finance side. Frank Graaf in the Netherlands and Markus Pfüller in Germany represent the firm’s “regional excellence”, particularly in the Eurobonds and IPOs market. In Hong Kong, Crawford Brickley “is an accomplished corporate finance lawyer”, who advises his clients on the equity market as well as investment grade and high-yield debt. Rahul Guptan in Singapore is considered a “brilliant specialist in the Indian capital markets” and is pivotal in providing interregional legal expertise.

On the structured finance side, Kevin Ingram “is one of the very best in the world”. He acts on all types of structured repackaging and securitisations out of the London office. Christopher Walsh “is a fantastic operator” for some of the biggest financial institutions around. Alongside them, Peter Voisey “is an authority” over all types of deals in this space, including asset securitisations and covered bonds. In Hong Kong, Connie Heng is known for her “sharp focus” and “close attention to detail” by issuers and underwriters. Tamer Amara is the “go-to derivatives lawyer in Russia”, he also advises on a wide range of capital market practices in and out of the region.

Clifford Chance also has an incredibly strong Islamic finance offering. Abdulaziz Al-Abduljabbar in Saudi Arabia is a “huge name in the region” with a technical understanding of Islamic financing components. Debashis Dey is an “undisputed world leader” in the field and is noted for being “highly intelligent with energy and ability to match”. Also in the UAE, Stuart Ure and Qudeer Latif are “fantastic lawyers” with years of experience working on some of the most important Islamic sukuk transactions, as well as on structure finance deals at large.

Allen & Overy continues its global grasp of the market; achieving 25 listings. Tony Sparks in Australia is a “giant in the region”. He applies “fantastic resolve” on a range of debt and equity capital raisings. In Hong Kong, Andrew Harrow is a “long-standing stalwart” of the market with “vast experience” of international debt and equity related issuances. The firm has great strength across Europe. Niels van de Vijver is “highly intelligent and incredibly knowledgeable”. Based in the Amsterdam office his expertise is sought on equity offerings, Eurobonds and all types of debt issuance programmes. In Luxembourg, Henri Wagner “works with precision and authority”. Sylvia Kierszenbaum in Belgium has a “shrewd knowledge of the European market” with “true legal excellence” in the structured finance as well as the debt and equity field. Oliver Seiler, who heads the capital market group in Germany, is a “technically gifted lawyer” operating in the international equity market.

In the structured finance segment, the firm has particular strength in England and the Arabian Peninsula. In the London office, David Krischer is “one of the leading securitisation lawyers over the past two decades” and the former global head of the international capital markets group. Christian Lambie is a regarded by many as “superbly talented” with a “concrete understanding” of a broad range of structured finance instruments and issuances. Alongside them, the “brilliant” Angela Clist is praised for her “perceptive views of the international securitisation market”. In the UAE, Bimal Desai provides “unequalled advice” in regards to structured finance projects in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Anzal Mohammed is head of the capital markets practice in the Middle East, providing “superlative knowledge” of the convertible securities, derivative securities and securitisations market. He is also responsible for the firm’s global Islamic finance practice, indeed he is regarded as “one of the finest lawyers in the world in this area”. Out of Saudi Arabia, Zeyad Khoshaim is similarly listed in both areas. He advises multinationals on structuring and financing major projects, and he is praised for his “approachable nature” and “resourcefulness”. As such the firm boasts a “truly excellent” Islamic finance team. It is further complemented by Julian Johansen, also in Saudi Arabia, who has a “scholarly knowledge of the regional market”; in addition, Jamie Durham in London has an “unrivalled understanding of Islamic finance instruments and Sharia guidelines”.

Linklaters’ “heavyweight” status is obvious with 20 inclusions. Its debt and equity departments display excellence across Europe and Asia. In Germany, Peter Waltz is “intelligent, keen and highly knowledgeable” in advising issuers and underwriters in a range of complex debt transactions. In the same office, Herbert Harrer is a “distinguished practitioner in regards to equity offerings”. In London, Richard Levy currently leads the firm’s equity and debt markets group. He has a “broad range of experience” in both areas and is able to “stockpile and incredible amount of practical market knowledge”. Antonio Soares, head of the corporate finance department in Lisbon, is “greatly experienced in debt and equity offerings” and one of the “go-to practitioners in the region”. Dmitry Dobatkin is an “exceptional talent in Russia” for equity offerings, Eurobond issues and securitisations. The office in Hong Kong is particularly strong, with three practitioners listed there. As the head of capital markets for the firm in Asia Andrew Malcolm is “an outstanding commercial legal mind” and listed in both our debt and equity and structured finance chapters for his work on issues in the Asian and European capital markets. The “exceptional” Jon Gray focuses on domestic and cross-border transactions in the US and Japan, and William Liu’s “fantastic practice” is specialised on a range of debt and equity work in Asia.

On the structured finance side Mary Matson, also in Hong Kong, is “wonderfully knowledgeable” and “precise” in acting for arrangers, originators and trustees in the securitisation of Asian assets. In London, Jim Rice is “fiercely intelligent” and has “extensive experience” of the European and Asian securitisation markets. Alongside him, Paul Lewis is a “guru of structured finance across asset classes”. Recognition also goes to Dario Longo in Italy for his “unrivalled international structured finance expertise in the region”.

Latham & Watkins’ “world-class” expertise in this legal market is focused in the US with prominent practitioners also located in important commercial centres worldwide. In New York, Kirk Davenport is praised by clients for his “total commitment” and by peers for his “technical savvy”. Raymond Lin is a “truly excellent lawyer”. He works in a broad range of capital markets transactions, including public and debt offerings. In Houston, Michael Chambers is a “fantastic aid” to underwriters, issuers, borrowers and financial institutions at large with his “incredible legal and commercial knowledge”, particularly in high-yield bond offerings. Ryan Maierson is a “star performer” representing both issuers and underwriters. Also at the same office, Anthony Richmond “always goes out of his way” for his clients and is known for his “financing know-how”. In Asia, the firm has two “leading lights” in the Singapore office. Michael Sturrock is a “titan in the region”, and his colleague Sharon Lau also has a “highly respected practice”, they engage with domestic and cross-border IPOs and debt offerings in Asia. In London, Olof Clausson has “a fantastic scope across Europe” in connection with issuers and underwriters in this space. In the same office, Latham & Watkins also fields an “expert” Islamic finance practice under Craig Nethercott, whose “immense knowledge” and “vast experience” in  such transactions makes him one of a very few standout practitioners in the area.

In addition, the firm has a fantastic presence in the securitisation sphere. Out of Los Angeles, Vicki Marmorstein is “certainly a world leader” in dealing with investment vehicles of all types, including credit funds, CLOs and CDOs. In Chicago, Ellen Marks is “brilliantly gifted lawyer” with an “encyclopaedic comprehension of securitisation regulations”. Across the Atlantic, Mark Nicolaides is a “top-tier lawyer” with a “great attention to detail” and an ability to apply himself to a great amount of complex structured finance models.

Freshfields boasts a significant presence in our research this year with 18 listings, with 14 of these in Europe. Peter Allen runs the firm’s debt capital markets team in London and his “brilliant and erudite practice” is at the forefront of emerging market deals in Russia, eastern Europe and central Asia. Sarah Murphy co-heads the international capital markets practice. She is a “leading light” for companies looking to access the US capital markets. Also at the same office, Duncan Kellaway advises underwriters or issuers on “a series of groundbreaking deals”. In the Frankfurt office, Rick van Aerssen is a “particularly gifted capital markets lawyer”, Andreas König works on some of the biggest debt and equity deals in the region and Christoph Gleske is an “inspiration” for issuers and underwriters on the entire range of equity and debt transactions. In Belgium, Geert Verhoeven is an “all-round corporate finance technician” who consistently impresses his clients. Alongside him, Vincent Macq is noted for his “business sense and combined understanding of complex legal issues”. The firm’s strong Asian presence is characterised by three stand out lawyers. Stephen Revell, who co-heads the global capital markets practice, has a “total understanding of capital markets systems around the world” and is “highly experienced” in emerging markets. With him in Singapore, Arun Balasubramanian is “one of the go-to guys in South East Asia for debt and equity transactions”. In Hong Kong, Teresa Ko is a founding partner of the equity capital markets practice with “decades of experience” she is a “leader” for companies working in and out of Chinese capital markets.

The firm’s structured finance network is “highly distinguished”. In London, David Trott the global head of the finance practice group is an “incredible dealmaker” with a “long-standing presence” in the structured finance market. In addition, Ian Falconer has been a “pioneer” and “leader” of the European securitisation market since its formative years. Across the Channel, Hervé Touraine is a “creative and knowledgeable lawyer” for his clients and has also been involved in drafting French structured finance legislation.

Sidley Austin is the “titan” of the structured finance market, particularly in the US with 14 lawyers. In New York, Renwick Martin is a “long-standing world leader in the field” focusing on mortgage-backed and asset-backed financings. Carlos Rodriguez works “tremendously well” with clients across the US and Latin America in structuring and investing in complex structured financial instruments. Cathy Kaplan is “without a doubt a top player” she has a “fantastic work ethic” and a “total comprehension” of a wide range of structured finance products. The “leading” office in Chicago boasts Willis Buck Jr and Kevin Hochberg, who have been “prominent players in the field since the ‘80s”. Both their transactional records and client base are described as “formidable”. In San Francisco, Dale Lum is at the “forefront” of structured financings in the US          and Asia, and is especially noted for his "groundbreaking transactions" in automobile lease securitisations. The firm has also built a robust network in London. John Woodhall is a “pioneering lawyer in the structured finance field” having been at its heart since inception. His “outstanding knowledge” and “practical insight” is cherished by his clients. Matthew Cahill is “greatly experienced” and a “go-to lawyer” in the European, Middle Eastern and Japanese securitisations and derivatives market.

On the debt and equity side, the firm has a great presence in the Pacific region as well as America. Prabhat Mehta in Singapore is “well known throughout the region” for his “excellent work” on IPOs and high-yield debt offerings. Beside him, Gerard Hekker is a “leading light” in Singapore on a range of equity and debt securities. Matthew Sheridan, working from Hong Kong and Singapore, advises underwriters and issuers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. He is praised for being “pragmatic, assured and focused”. Robert Meyers is “a truly terrific lawyer” with a “peerless knowledge” in advising Australasian and US companies and investment banks in connection with a ride range of US capital raisings. In New York, Edward Petrosky, co-head of the firm’s capital markets group, is a “huge name” in the US IPO market as well as in REITs and a variety of debt products. In San Francisco, Eric Haueter is a “top lawyer” at the “peak of his game” representing underwriters and issuers in a broad range of public and private debt and equity financing.

 

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Further recognition goes to the most highly rated lawyers in our research outside these six firms. Simon Witty at Davis Polk Wardwell is one of the firm’s most highly acclaimed practitioners. He wins credit globally for his “outstanding” and “commanding” equity capital markets practice, based in London. In the New York office of the firm Richard Truesdell “is a sensation” and “certainly one of the world’s best” in a range of public and private debt and equity offerings.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, Philippa Stone is the most highly recognised out of the firm’s impressive collection of nine practitioners. She is “a landmark lawyer” and “one of the best equity practitioners not just in Australia but worldwide”.

Of the 10 world-class Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom lawyers featured in this edition, Stephan Hutter stands out the most. He is “technically outstanding” and “beyond impressive”, acting, in particular, for European companies looking for dual listings and private placements of shares and debt securities in the US.

Michael Gambro of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in New York is “a true great” of the securities and derivatives industry having worked on some of the most “innovative structured finance transactions conceivable”.

Another world leader from the New York bar is Jason Kravitt at Mayer Brown. His “genius” is often cited by peers and clients, who widely regard him as “a phenomenon unmatched in the securitisation market”.

 

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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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