This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Capital Markets, Belgium
Linklaters LLP is an “international leader” among corporate law firms and has multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional expertise. The firm has 27 offices in 19 countries and employs around 2,200 lawyers, 480 of whom are partners. Its newest office was opened in 2011 in Abu Dhabi. The firm splits its work into three divisions: corporate; finance and projects; and commercial, though in practice lawyers usually advise clients on matters spanning multiple areas. It is a system that certainly seems to work: Linklaters reported a pre-tax profit of £514.8 million for the year ending 30 April 2011. Of course, a firm is only as good as the lawyers who work for it, and Linklaters boasts some of the most gifted legal practitioners in the world. Its outstanding capital markets team earns the firm the award for Law Firm of the Year in that discipline for the seventh time in our research. Also for the seventh time, it is named our Belgium Law Firm of the Year. Lawyers from 20 offices feature 143 times in an impressive 24 practice areas.
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 143|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Capital Markets||26||Oil & Gas||2|
|Corporate Governance||5||Project Finance||15|
|Labour & Employment||1||Trademarks||1|
Capital markets is the firm’s strongest suit, with 26 lawyers included for their skill in this area. Eight names from the London office are listed, including the “fantastic” Jane Brown whose experience includes advising JPMorgan and HSBC in relation to the issue of three tranches of bonds by Dubai Holding Commercial Operations MTN listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange. Charles Clark has “a wealth of experience” in international securities and derivative transactions, while Michael Canby was described by sources as “a very smart, talented lawyer”. Bertrand Andriani is based in the firm’s Paris office and has a broad expertise in leveraged and structured finance, banking, secured and unsecured syndicated loans, derivatives products, insolvency and corporate restructuring. A trio of lawyers from the Frankfurt office feature. Herbert Harrer advised Italian UniCredit on its most recent capital increase of €7.5 billion – the largest capital measure ever implemented by an Italian bank. Berthold Kusserow has “an excellent understanding of financial markets” and is also listed for his banking expertise, while Peter Waltz is “very user-friendly”. Hong Kong duo Andrew Malcolm and Mary Matson are “authorities” on capital markets in South East Asia, and Dubai-based Richard O’Callaghan was highly recommended for his work in the Middle East. Kevin Wong and Arun Balasubramanian practise from the Singapore office and garnered votes for their “dependable, intelligent advice”.
Eighteen Linklaters lawyers feature in the competition chapter. London and Brussels lead the way in terms of listings, with six and five nominations respectively. The “dean” of competition, Christopher Bellamy, set up what is now the Competition Appeals Tribunal and held the post of president from 1999 to 2007. He currently chairs Linklaters’s global competition practice and is a senior consultant to the firm. Peers “cannot praise him enough” and he is “hugely respected” for his contribution to the development of competition law. Michael Cutting earned votes for his “diligent, meticulous work” and Paula Riedel “handles litigation superbly”. Wolfgang Deselaers has a “strong” merger control and cartels practice and fellow Brussels lawyer Bernd Meyring has significant experience in the food, retail, energy, health-care, waste management and automotive sectors. The “outstanding” Gerwin van Gerven has over 25 years’ experience of competition work and is “everyone’s first choice”, according to one source. Daniela Seeliger is based in Düsseldorf and represents clients before the Commission of the European Union and the Federal Cartel Office, advising on competition law aspects of transactions, agreements, pricing and distribution systems. Jeffrey Schmidt is a former director of the Bureau of Competition of the US Federal Trade Commission and brings “invaluable experience to the team”. Malgorzata Szwaj, meanwhile, has “one of the best competition practices in Poland”.
Linklaters performs well in the corporate tax chapter, with 15 of its lawyers listed. Jens Blumenberg is a partner in the Frankfurt office and has “impressive” experience of tax treaties, mergers and acquisitions, transfer pricing and EC tax law. Sebastian Benz is head of the German tax practice and specialises in providing tax-related advice on mergers and acquisitions transactions, joint ventures and group restructurings. Ivo Onkelinx is “a real asset” to the team in Brussels and gained votes for his “economic savvy”. Henk Vanhulle was appointed global head of tax in January 2011 and is commended as a “first-rate tax practitioner”. Yash Rupal heads the UK tax practice and has “an unrivalled understanding of the law in this area”, while Florian Lechner is “internationally renowned” for his work on tax audits.
Linklaters fields 13 nominees from 10 European offices in the real estate chapter. Magnus Lidman is head of the M&A real estate group in Sweden and has “top-notch negotiation skills”. Xavier Hunter is based in Moscow and specialises in European real estate transactions including investment purchases, sale and leaseback transactions, leasing, development and secured finance. Pieter Puelinckx and Yves Moreau are “standout practitioners” in Brussels and Frankfurt’s Michael Steinbrecher is “incredibly experienced”. Sources praise Joe Conder’s “superb drafting skills” and consider Rafael Molina to be “exceptional”.
Twelve names appear in the project finance chapter. Dubai duo Sarosh Mewawalla and Jonathan Inman “know the regional markets inside out” and produce “very high-quality work”. Wilailuk Okanurak has advised on a wide variety of projects including petrochemical, telecommunications and power projects in Thailand, while Simon Ratledge “always has his eye on new opportunities for clients”. Lisbon partner Pedro Siza Vieira has an “impressive client list”. In Hong Kong, Stuart Salt is considered “excellent” and is also recognised in the oil and gas chapter.
Linklaters lives up to its gold-standard reputation with listings in a further 19 practice areas. It has particularly strong contingents in banking, corporate governance, commercial litigation and private funds, but there are few areas to which the talent of this world-class firm does not extend.
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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.