This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Slaughter and May is without doubt one of the world’s most prestigious law firms. Founded in 1889 in London, the firm was the first City law firm to establish a presence in Hong Kong in 1974, and added a further presence in Brussels and Beijing in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
|SLAUGHTER AND MAY|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 52|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Capital Markets||5||Oil & Gas||1|
|Corporate Governance||8||Project Finance||1|
Slaughter and May can offer the services of nearly 500 fully qualified, full-time practitioners, and is renowned for its multi-specialist approach whereby its lawyers are equipped to handle a broad range of legal matters. This gives the firm the ability to respond flexibly to client and market needs and avoid the need to restructure or refocus its groups and departments, and also to give each client a single point of contact.
While the firm maintains a presence in Brussels and in Asia, it has also established a range of long-standing ‘best friend’ relationships with leading firms across Europe and beyond. While these relationships are non-exclusive, Slaughter and May takes active steps to integrate its practices with those of firms such as Bredin Prat, Hengeler Mueller and Uría & Menéndez in order to offer high-quality international advice to its clients.
Slaughter and May advises a greater number of leading UK corporates than any other firm, and it also counts the UK government and leading investment banks and financial institutions among its clients. It is the leading English law firm in our M&A research, and has advised Autonomy on the recommended bid by Hewlett-Packard and Kesa Electricals on the proposed disposal of Comet in recent months. Ten partners are selected for inclusion. Nigel Boardman is a “legend” who is recommended for his “broad commercial intellect, firm opinions and fine judgement”. He is one of the most highly regarded individuals in our worldwide research, and is also picked out for his banking and corporate governance expertise. Charles Randell is described as a “star dealmaker” who is also among the leading practitioners in the sector overall, and head of the corporate practice Frances Murphy garnered recommendations from sources across the globe. She is also widely recognised for the quality of her governance counsel to clients, as well as for her banking work. Christopher Saul is the firm’s senior partner, and combines his management duties with a “top-class” corporate practice. The “smart and pragmatic” Stephen Cooke is also recognised for his governance and transactional expertise, and is renowned for his work on the Cadburys/Kraft takeover, while William Underhill is the third partner to achieve a listing in three separate practice areas – his capital markets, corporate governance and M&A expertise coming extremely highly recommended by clients and peers alike.
The firm is famed for its long-standing relationships with some of the world’s leading financial institutions, and scores highly in our corresponding banking research with four nominees listed. Alongside the aforementioned Frances Murphy and Nigel Boardman, Ruth Fox is head of the financial regulation group and a member of the Bank of England’s financial markets law committee. Deputy head of the financing practice, Stephen Powell is “highly regarded” and counts Aviva, Diageo and Ericsson among his clients.
The firm is also home to further outstanding capital markets practitioners, with five in total selected for inclusion. The firm recently worked as an integrated team with Bonelli Erede Pappalardo in representing Prada on its IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the first listing in Hong Kong of an Italian company. Slaughter and May also represented Unilever on its first issuance of renminbi-denominated notes, and Gatwick Airport on the second single-airport securitisation in the UK. Nilufer von Bismarck advised Standard Chartered on a rights issue to raise approximately £3.2 billion and is extremely well respected in the market, and Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya is recognised for his work across the full spectrum of capital markets work. Marc Hutchinson is head of the debt capital markets practice and renowned for his advice to clients such as Santander. Benita Yu is said to be “one of the finest lawyers in Hong Kong”, and advised on the $3.1 billion global offering and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of China Pacific Insurance. Like many of her colleagues, she is also recognised for her expertise relating to corporate governance.
Slaughter and May is also internationally known for its competition work. The firm advised Unilever on its settlement of the European Commission’s investigation into the consumer detergents sector, as well as Motorola Mobility on the EU merger regulation process in relation to the sale of its mobile devices and home businesses to Google and British Airways in relation to the European Commission investigation into alleged cartel activity. The firm’s five strong contingent in the Competition chapter is divided between its Brussels and London offices, and includes two of the most highly regarded individuals in our research worldwide. John Boyce in Brussels is “extremely capable, practical and effective”, while Michael Rowe in London is “outrageously good”, in the words of one admiring source. Philippe Chappatte heads the competition group and is an “established star”.
The disputes practice is also extremely highly rated, and five partners are picked out for special recognition. Richard Clark heads the group and is a “formidable operator”, commended for cross-border banking and trade disputes. Nick Gray is a “fantastic lawyer” and Nick Archer is counsel of choice for corporates, banks and sovereign governments. Sarah Lee has advised clients such as Cable & Wireless in claims brought in the UK High Court, and Efstathios Michael combines a listing here with further recognition in our insurance research.
Steve Edge is the most highly nominated individual in our corporate tax research, and a five time winner of our Lawyer of the Year Award in this sector. Recognised across the world as an “incredible lawyer”, his counsel is “second to none”. He appears alongside the “brilliant” Sara Luder, head of the tax practice, and the “excellent” Mike Lane and Tony Beare.
As may be expected from a firm in which the lawyers specialise so widely, individuals are recognised as international leaders in a range of further areas. With 52 lawyers selected in total across 15 practice areas, Slaughter and May is one of the leading law firms in England, Europe and the world.
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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.