Banking 2018: Analysis

The latest edition of Who’s Who Legal: Banking comprises 780 listings spanning the finance and regulatory spaces, and highlights practitioners from over 300 firms across 67 countries who are considered leaders in the global banking arena. 


Thought Leaders
1. René Bösch Homburger, Zurich
2. Ivan Peeters Stibbe, Brussels
3. Trevor Borthwick Allen & Overy LLP, London
4. Philip Bowden Allen & Overy LLP, London
5. Patrick Hünerwadel Lenz & Staehelin, Zurich
6. Stephen Lucas Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, London
7. Ian Barratt Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, London
8. Kim Rasmussen Kromann Reumert, Copenhagen
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 truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.


Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

CLIFFORD CHANCE boasts a dominant presence in the region, a position reflected in our research this year, as its banking offering achieves 35 listings.
London-based Charles Cochrane is a widely recognised figure in the European market who wins praise for his top-tier practice, which encompasses acquisition finance, syndicated lending and restructuring matters.
Nicola Wherity receives plaudits from international sources for the effective and strategic counsel that she delivers to major clients, including the Loan Market Association.
Michael Bates is “exceptionally good” according to market commentators, who recognise him as one of the leading banking and capital markets practitioners in the region.
Jim MacHale boasts a first-class corporate banking practice and is well versed in the whole gamut of related matters across both the UK and European markets. 
Emma Folds is “an excellent lawyer”, recognised for her expert handling of finance transactions and restructuring matters. She wins high praise from sources who note, “She will certainly go very far.”
Richard Sharples is “a great operator” according to respondents, who highly recommend his top-notch corporate banking practice.
Bettina Steinhauer is a standout name in the German market. She continues to impress peers and clients alike who recognise her particularly impressive work when it comes to M&A transactions.
In Russia, managing partner Victoria Bortkevicha is recognised as “one of the most prominent lawyers out there, by some margin”. She focuses her leading practice on a wide array of financing matters including transactions, projects and real estate.
Frank Graaf is a regulatory specialist who leads the firm’s bank regulatory team in Amsterdam. He possesses over 30 years’ experience in the banking sector, dealing with capital markets, compliance and regulatory matters.

Full-service international outfit ALLEN & OVERY also performs well across EMEA, with 18 leading practitioners highlighted for their outstanding work in the banking space.
Head of the firm’s corporate lending group Trevor Borthwick is lauded by peers who “really rate him”, and highlight his outstanding work on behalf of both borrowers and lenders.
Philip Bowden co-leads the global banking practice and is considered an acquisition finance specialist. One source effuses, “He is a real leader when it comes to leveraged finance matters.”
David Campbell is “one of the best in town” according to sources. He gains recognition for his impressive banking practice which spans a range of sector-related matters including leveraged finance, refinancings and acquisition finance.
Jonathan Brownson draws high praise from widespread sources for his standout work in the banking sphere, most notably when it comes to leveraged financing, an area in which he particularly excels.
Brussels-based Yves van Pul is highlighted by sources who consider him an incredibly impressive banking lawyer, with one describing him as “a real rising star”.
Lionel Shawe is a prominent figure in the South African market who is widely regarded as “a well-respected and trusted attorney in this field”. One respondent notes: “He has a great depth of knowledge which he couples with an ability to focus on and resolve the actual issues at hand.” 
In Russia, Stephen Matthews leads the banking group and is “a definite inclusion”. He is frequently engaged in assisting clients with both banking and debt capital markets matters.

We feature 15 standout individuals at LINKLATERS in this chapter who hail from five of the firm’s offices across the region.
In London, Philip Spittal is a highly respected name among peers and clients alike, who commend his adept handling of both domestic and international banking matters including syndicated lending, acquisition finance and property finance.
Edward Aldred is a well-known practitioner in the banking arena, highlighted for his strong expertise in leveraged and event-driven financings.
Brussels-based Charles-Antoine Leunen “really stands out” in the field for his notable expertise in the banking sector, assisting clients with a range of financings from projects to restructurings.
David Ballegeer “clearly deserves to be on the list”, according to sources, who consider him “top notch”, particularly when it comes to capital markets transactions.
In Russia, head of the banking and finance team Michael Bott garners international praise for his work in the sector. He is renowned for his excellent work on some of most prominent financings in the country.

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER also achieves 15 listings this year, illustrating its strong banking offering in the region.
In Germany, Frank Laudenklos is widely recognised throughout Europe as a standout name in the banking arena. He is highly sought after by clients for his strong transactional expertise.
Michael Josenhans is “very visible in the Nordic markets” according to respondents, who note, “He has particular experience in bank asset sale and transactions.”
London-based Sean Pierce is regarded as “one of the best by a long way”. He is greatly respected by peers for his tremendous sector knowledge as well as his excellent work advising both corporate and private equity borrowers.
Alex Mitchell specialises his practice in leveraged acquisition and refinancing transactions, areas in which he is regarded by market sources as an authority.
In Vienna, Friedrich Jergitsch heads the firm’s finance practice. He “handles a large amount of structured finance work”, for which he “really stands out” according to sources.

LENZ & STAEHLIN boasts the foremost banking offering in the Swiss market, and one of the leading teams in the region, achieving 10 listings this year.
Thought leader Patrick Hünerwadel is one of the most prominent banking practitioners in Europe, who is described by peers as “a brilliant lawyer”. He heads the firm’s banking and finance team in Zurich, and is known for his strong knowledge of structured and lease financing.  
François Rayroux is a firm favourite among clients, who include banks and other financial entities. He impresses sources with his deep regulatory understanding of the sector.
Shelby du Pasquier leads the banking and finance group in the Geneva office, and stands out among other practitioners for his extensive experience advising sector players on regulatory matters as well as related investigations.
In Zurich, managing partner Stefan Breitenstein is highly respected across Europe for his top-tier corporate finance practice, which encompasses both transactional and regulatory matters.


We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.


Martin Ebner at SCHOENHERR ATTORNEYS AT LAW is “definitely a strong player in the market”, particularly when it comes to banking, capital markets and structured finance matters. 

At WOLF THEISS, Richard Wolf is a widely recognised name in the Austrian market. He is especially commended by market sources for his expert handling of capital market financings and M&A transactions. 


STIBBE’s Ivan Peeters is “an outstanding practitioner” recognised for his “excellent” work in the banking space. One source effuses: “He is the best for securitisations.”


Marcos Georgiades at GEORGIADES & PELIDES wins widespread praise from peers throughout the region, who highlight his strong domestic practice and “focused approach”.


Kim Rasmussen at KROMANN REUMERT is “a great lawyer”, well known in the European market for his first-rate banking and finance practice. He is considered particularly impressive in relation to banking regulatory matters.
Jeppe Buskov also garners recognition in this edition for his excellent work in the sector. He is commended by sources who consider him a finance specialist.

At GORRISSEN FEDERSPIEL, Michael Steen Jensen is highlighted for his “outstanding” work in the field. He is recognised for his expertise on both the financing and regulatory side.
Tobias Linde is “highly visible” in the market according to respondents, who also note his impressive expertise when it comes to dealing with capital markets transactions.


At KIRKLAND & ELLIS, Stephen Lucas is widely recognised as “a leading name in leveraged finance” and boasts over 25 years’ handling matters relating to the debt markets.

Ian Barratt at SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT is “an active figure” in the European banking market, noted for his superb work on both international and domestic acquisition finance transactions.

At MACFARLANES, Bronwen Jones wins praise from sources who describe her as “a leading fund finance lawyer who is highly regarded by lenders and borrowers alike”.


HANNES SNELLMAN’s Henrik Mattson “wants to see the deal done and knows how to be practical”, according to respondents, one of whom comments, “He is a real pleasure to work with!”

Andrei Aganimov at BORENIUS ATTORNEYS is commended by peers who consider him “commercially minded” and “incredibly easy to work with”. They also highly praise him as “a great solution finder”.


GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL’s Eric Cartier-Millon is “an obvious inclusion”, who stands out for his strong focus and expertise in both project and structured finance matters.


At HENGELER MUELLER, Hendrik Haag is recognised for his broad expertise in the banking field. He is highly sought after by clients for his extensive experience handling corporate finance transactions.
Johannes Tieves impresses with his excellent finance practice, which spans a wide range of related matters, from M&A transactions to hybrid financings and restructurings.


Michael Kontos at WALKER KONTOS enjoys “a fantastic reputation in banking”. He gains recognition this year for his “excellent” work on cross-border transactions, and “rightfully so” according to sources.

At BOWMANS, Paras Shah impresses sources with his “speed and efficiency” as well as his “great knowledge of the sector”. One source notes: “Paras offers meaningful solutions to us and our clients, by taking into account the legal requirements and balancing them against the commercial needs of the party.”


Philippe Hoss at ELVINGER HOSS & PRUSSEN is an excellent corporate lawyer whose expertise in M&A transactions, banking and capital markets make him a firm favourite among clients.


Grigory Marinichev at MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS is a leading name in the Russian banking market. He is “known for his deep legal expertise and his profound understanding of clients’ businesses”.

South Africa

The “excellent” Ludwig Smith at CLIFFE DEKKER HOFMEYR is “top in the market” according to sources, who highlight his impressive regulatory understanding.

Hermann Wessels at ENSAFRICA is “an outstanding practitioner” known for his keen commercial insight. One source highlights, “He is very professional and has a strong tax practice to draw on when required.”


Florentino Carreño at CUATRECASAS GONÇALVES PEREIRA is highly sought after by financial institutions for his leading expertise on the management and structuring of assets.


André Andersson at MANNHEIMER SWARTLING chairs the firm’s banking and finance group. He focuses his top-tier practice on asset-based financing and the structuring of financial transactions.


HOMBURGER’s René Bösch is the foremost banking practitioner in the region, boasting a stellar reputation among international peers and clients alike. He is widely respected for his expert knowledge of banking law and regulation.
Standout practitioner Benedikt Maurenbrecher leads the firm’s financial services group. He is well versed in handling the whole gamut of transactional and regulatory matters relating to the banking and finance sector.

At WALDER WYSS, Johannes Bürgi is one of the leading banking practitioners in Switzerland. He regularly counsels clients on a range of financial matters including real estate, capital markets and restructurings.


Glib Bondar at AVELLUM heads the firm’s finance and debt restructuring group. He is “very active” in the banking sector and is highlighted for his notable expertise handling energy and infrastructure projects.

SAYENKO KHARENKO’s Nazar Chernyavsky is a banking and finance expert, who draws high praise from sources for his exceptional work handling some of the country’s most complex financings. 

 North America

Thought Leaders
1. Richard Higa McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto
2. John Torrey Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Toronto
3. Joel Scoler Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Toronto
4. James Florack Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, New York
5. Rodgin Cohen Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York

Leading Firms

DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL boasts the leading banking offering in the North American market, achieving 13 nominations this year.
New York-based James Florack is “a great lawyer”, internationally recognised for his market leading work on corporate finance, capital markets and structures finance transactions, most notably in relation to the Latin American market.
Jason Kyrwood draws high praise from widespread sources for his excellent work advising both borrowers and lenders on a wide array of corporate matters, including leveraged financings and restructurings.
Bradley Smith is a well-established name in the North American market. His superb practice, commended by sources, encompasses acquisition finance, transactions and debt restructurings.
Donald Bernstein leads the firm’s restructuring group and is considered a true specialist in the area. Clients include debtors, creditors and liquidators.
Luigi De Ghenghi is a “truly excellent” lawyer who is highlighted in this edition for his strong regulatory expertise in the banking sector.

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL also performs well this year with 12 individuals across the region highlighted for their excellent work in the field.
Rodgin Cohen is a longstanding fixture in the US market, widely respected for his first-class banking practice. One source effuses: “He is in effect, the dean of the banking bar in the US.”
Michael Wiseman is well known across the region as one of the leading practitioners in the space. He is frequently engaged in advising both commercial and investment banks on regulatory and transactional matters.
Donald Toumey regularly represents both domestic and international banks in relation to a range of sector-related matters, including transactions, M&A and regulation.

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON achieves seven nominations in this edition across both our finance and regulatory chapters.
David Brittenham co-chairs the firm’s finance group and is recognised in the US market for his leading expertise handling complex leveraged and acquisition financings.
Alan Paley is a well-recognised figure in the US banking arena, renowned for his notable transactional work in relation to both domestic and international companies.
William Beekman is well versed in a wide range of banking and finance matters, from acquisition financing through to capital market debt offerings.

BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON also receives seven listings this year, and stands out as one of Canada’s leading banking teams.
Michael Matheson is “really excellent to work with” according to market commentators, who note, “He is the key go-to counsel for a number of the large Canadian banks on any big-ticket financing.”  
Michael Harquail is internationally recognised as a standout banking lawyer whose advice on corporate lending and restructurings continues to impress. 
Michael McIntosh QC receives plaudits for his impressive practice, which spans corporate lending, banking and acquisition finance.

FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN also stands out in the Canadian market with seven nominations.
John Torrey is one of the leading banking practitioners in the region. He impresses respondents who note, “He’s a great guy and a very well-respected banking lawyer.”
Thomas Meagher is a firm favourite among clients seeking counsel in the banking space, one of whom comments, “Tom is my first choice. He understands the balance between technical requirements and a pragmatic opinion.”
Angela Onesi is a banking and finance specialist, regularly engaged in representing and advising both foreign and Canadian banks.

Other Leading Individuals


At MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT, Richard Higa is highly regarded by peers and clients alike for his market-leading expertise in acquisition, structured and cross-border financings. He stands out in our research as the foremost banking lawyer in the region.  

Joel Scoler at DAVIES WARD PHILLIPS & VINEBERG is “extremely highly regarded by deal bankers” according to sources, who commend his outstanding corporate finance practice.

At TORYS, Adam Delean is highly sought after by clients, who commend his “great profile” in the banking market and note, “He definitely knows his stuff!”


PAUL WEISS RIFKIND WHARTON & GARRISON’s Eric Goodison possesses over 25 years’ experience in the corporate finance area and is well versed in handling a range of related matters from structured financings to restructurings.

Linda Myers at KIRKLAND & ELLIS “continues to be an outstanding lawyer” in the region, according to respondents, who also consider her to be “top of the market” among banking practitioners.

At SIMPSON THACHER & BARTLETT, Patrick Ryan leads the firm’s global banking and credit practice. He is “a fantastic lawyer”, widely recognised for his adept handling of acquisition and corporate financings on behalf of investment banks and major financial institutions.

GOLDBERG KOHN’s Richard Kohn is a revered figure in the banking market with nearly 50 years’ experience. Sources regard him as a true banking and finance specialist.

Marc Hanrahan at MILBANK TWEED HADLEY & MCCLOY is “one of the top lawyers in the country”. He is “very well known” for his first-rate leveraged finance expertise. 

Rest of the World 

Thought Leaders
1. John Schembri Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney
2. Yuen-Yee Cho King & Wood Mallesons, Sydney
3. Peter Doyle King & Wood Mallesons, Sydney
4. Phillip Cornwell Allens, Sydney
5. Nei Schilling Zelmanovits Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados, São Paolo
6. Nuncio D’Angelo Norton Rose Fulbright, Sydney

Leading Firms

Multinational law firm KING & WOOD MALLESONS illustrates its strong international presence in this edition achieving 14 nominations across the Asia-Pacific region.
Yuen-Yee Cho is “a very strong practitioner”, whose impressive expertise in banking and capital markets law make her a must for inclusion, say sources.
Peter Doyle is a widely recognised figure in the Australian market. He is commended for his highly respected practice, which encompasses project and infrastructure finance matters.
Jeff Clark is a banking and finance expert, commended by market commentators for his adept handling of acquisition and leveraged finance matters.
Ian Paterson draws high praise from sources for his top-tier banking practice. He frequently handles a range of sector-related matters on behalf of clients, including capital markets transactions, structured financings and regulatory issues.

ASHURST also performs well this year, receiving 10 listings across Australia and Asia.
Shawn Wytenburg is “a certain inclusion” according to respondents, who note, “He is very active in the market,” particularly when it comes to leveraged and corporate finance matters.
Steve Smith focuses his practice on corporate, project and acquisition financing matters, and is considered a top choice for clients who include financiers and borrowers.
Paul Jenkins is highly respected for his strong banking expertise as well as his impressive roster of clients, which includes some of the major banks across the region.

CLIFFORD CHANCE achieves eight nominations this year.
Managing partner Richard Gordon is “very well respected” in the Australian market. His top-notch banking practice encompasses financing transactions, leveraged acquisitions and corporate lending matters.
Anthony Oldfield in São Paolo is “a real expert” in the field, highlighted for his strong transactional expertise, most notably in the capital markets arena.
Hong Kong-based Anthony Wang is well versed in a wide array of financing matters, including project financing, acquisitions financing and syndicated loans.

At ALLEN & OVERY, Singapore-based John Richards is “one of the top names in the space”, according to respondents. He is recognised for his excellent work representing both borrowers and lenders on a range of financing matters.
Adam Stapledon boasts a great reputation in the Australian market, and is noted for his strong expertise in project and debt financing.
Jason Huinink is highly regarded for his structured and asset financing practice, built upon more than 20 years’ experience in the area.

John Angus at HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS is “a very strong practitioner” whose excellent handling of a range of financing matters makes him a top choice among borrowers, financiers and sponsors.
Andrew Booth is a highly visible figure in the Australian banking space, who wins praise for his notable work on behalf of international corporations and banks.  
Emma de Carle is renowned for her first-rate transactional practice, and stands out for her particular expertise when it comes to event-driven and leveraged financings.

Other Leading Individuals


Roberto Silva Jr at MARVAL O’FARRELL & MAIRAL draws praise from international sources for his market-leading banking practice which spans banking and finance, corporate and restructuring matters.


At GILBERT + TOBIN, John Schembri heads the firm’s banking and infrastructure group and wins widespread commendation as a pre-eminent figure in the Australian banking market.
Simon Lynch is “one of the top lawyers in the market”, according to peers, who praise his strong corporate practice.
James Lewis wins international praise for his excellent banking practice and possesses over 20 years’ experience in the space.

Phillip Cornwell at ALLENS “stands out in the market” as one of the leading project finance practitioners, an area in which he delivers first-rate and effective counsel to banks.

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT’s Nuncio D’Angelo heads the firm’s banking and finance practice. He enjoys a strong reputation among peers and clients alike, who praise him for extensive experience in the banking space.


At MACHADO MEYER SENDACZ E OPICE ADVOGADOS, Nei Schilling Zelmanovits stands out as the most prominent banking practitioner in the country. He is “a senior figure” in the market, noted for his top-tier banking regulatory practice.

José Luiz Homem de Mello at PINHEIRO NETO ADVOGADOS is “a very experienced lawyer”, according to respondents, who also note, “He is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in banking and finance matters.”
Bruno Balduccini is recognised among market sources as “a real reference in banking in Brazil”, and is highlighted as “a go-to guy” in the field.


At DR COLIN ONG LEGAL SERVICES, Colin Ong QC is a firm favourite among clients who praise his “deep familiarity and experience of financial instruments”. One source effuses: “He is very knowledgeable in the law, easy to work with and very innovative in providing solutions.”


Marcelo Armas at PHILIPPI PRIETOCARRIZOSA FERRERO DU & URÍA is a top-notch banking and finance practitioner, recognised by peers and clients alike for his deep sector expertise.

CLARO Y CÍA’s Rodrigo Ochagavía continues to impress clients, who include lenders, borrowers and investors, with his vast knowledge of the Chilean banking sector.


Ira Andamara Eddymurthy at SSEK LEGAL CONSULTANTS is a standout practitioner in the Asia-Pacific region, highlighted for her exceptional handling of financing matters including capital market transactions and M&A.


Michell Nader at NADER HAYAUX Y GOEBEL focuses his practice on corporate finance matters, and is considered one the foremost banking practitioners in the country.

New Zealand

At ANDERSON LLOYD, Geoff Busch is highlighted for his excellent deals work and is “well versed when it comes to project financings”, an area in which he is considered a real specialist.

RUSSELL MCVEAGH’s Guy Lethbridge draws international praise for his outstanding banking practice, which encompasses both finance and regulatory matters.


Chee Wai Kok at ALLEN & GLEDHILL is a brilliant practitioner who is one of the most highly visible and well-respected banking lawyers in the Singaporean 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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