United Kingdom

Our London practice reflects London’s role as one of the world’s leading financial markets and a center for international commerce.

Clients can draw on first-rate English law Transactional and Dispute Resolution teams, as well as the experience of our U.S. capital markets and corporate team.

In addition to the broad-based English law work, we focus on three sectors: Technology, Energy and Finance, advising on English law-governed cross-border transactions, disputes and regulatory investigations.

Corporate

We have a genuine city practice, which forms an integral part of our global corporate practice, encompassing the following:

Mergers & Acquisitions

We act on domestic and cross-border private M&A deals. We have long assisted multinational telecoms provider Telenor on mergers and acquisitions as well as capital markets transactions, and advised Canal+ Group on many transactions including the sale of the Polish television network TVN to a U.S. media group. We assist Millicom in investments in Africa and other emerging markets. In the energy sector, we advised on the acquisition or disposal of more than 300 MW of renewable energy project M&A in 2015 for clients such as BlackRock, Canadian Solar, Equinox Capital, Platina Partners and NextEnergy.

We also have experience advising on the UK Takeover Code; transactions include recommended and hostile bids, such as the hostile takeover of Venture Production plc, the FTSE 250 oil and gas company, by Centrica plc, the owner of British Gas.

Capital Markets

We advise issuers, sponsors and nomads on IPOs and follow-on fundraisings on the Main Market and AIM as well as bond offerings. In 2015, we acted for the investment banking syndicate on the equity fundraising and reverse takeover of BCA Marketplace plc. In the first quarter of 2016, a period of low capital markets activity, we advised Cerillion plc on its IPO and the investment banks on the IPO by reverse takeover of Amryt Pharma and a placing by Redx Pharma plc.

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Our clients include both investee companies and venture and private equity funds such as Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Actis. We also act for Africa-focused private equity funds and investee companies in Africa, such as LeapFrog Investments, Helios Investment Partners and Adlevo Capital. We have a deep understanding of the legal and business environment in key markets in Africa, gained from years of experience helping clients navigate the challenges and take advantage of opportunities in those markets.

The Corporate team works with and is supported by our competition/antitrust, finance, restructuring, employment, real estate and tax lawyers.

Technology

Our Tech practice is a leader in the UK market. We are one of only a handful of firms in London that offer technology-focused clients the experience and contacts within one of the leading Silicon Valley-originated technology practices. Our team includes U.S. qualified and dual-qualified lawyers, some of whom have practiced in Silicon Valley. We advise tech companies at all stages in the corporate life cycle, from startups through global public companies. We also represent leading venture capital and private equity firms. In addition to completing numerous venture financings, we successfully advised on M&A exits and IPOs.

We have deep knowledge of privacy and data protection law through our work with global tech leaders as well as disruptors who are challenging the regulatory framework. Our team puts that knowledge to work helping our clients develop privacy and cybersecurity governance programs and international data transfer solutions. Where necessary, we assist clients in mounting a rapid and effective response to data breach incidents.

We represent tech companies in complex merger control investigations before the European Commission. We also advise on issues at the nexus of antitrust and intellectual property, notably the application of competition law to holders of standard essential patents.

Energy & Infrastructure

Our Energy team brings extensive experience in M&A, trading, project development, financing and cross-border projects. Our experience covers every fuel source and technology across oil and gas, power, and renewables. We act for all market segments including independent power producers, governments, sponsors, trading houses, private equity funds, emerging companies, investors, utilities, developers, lenders and underwriters.

Our team is active across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

In oil and gas we act on upstream, midstream and downstream trading projects, working for companies, lenders and governments. We are assisting Tullow Oil on various West African gas developments, Storengy on its UK gas storage projects and several LNG trading entities on portfolio optimization. In the last year, our team has acted on the acquisition, development and disposal of more than 800 MBOE of acreage worldwide.

We assisted Actis on its purchase of a majority interest in three power assets in Cameroon from AES Corp, advised on the sale of shares of a state-owned mining company in the Democratic Republic of Congo and assisted China Development Bank with the financing of a portfolio of solar projects across Eastern Europe.

We also advised on the acquisition or disposal of more than 300 MW of renewable energy projects, advised Infracapital on its investment in a 70 percent stake in Bioenergy Infrastructure Limited (BIG), and advised BIG in connection with its investment in the first financial closing of an energy-from-waste plant utilizing the UK government’s contracts for difference regime.

Our Antitrust team regularly represent clients on the merger control aspects of transactions in the energy sector. In addition, our Dispute Resolution team supports our energy sector clients in resolving claims arising out of their investments.

  • Finance

    Banking & Finance

    Our London Finance team represents leading credit providers and borrowers (including private equity sponsors) in a wide range of international/cross-border and UK transactions, including leveraged and acquisition financings, greenfield and brownfield real estate and project financings, and high-yield and structured financings.

    We have an active practice representing alternative credit providers. We advise private credit and direct lending providers, investment funds, hedge funds, real estate investors and other alternative lenders on acquisition financings, single-asset project and real estate financings, asset-based loans, mezzanine financings, unitranche facilities, and venture capital loans.

    Representative Banking and Finance transactions include advising Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group as agent and lead arranger of a credit facility for an international software-based laboratory information management system provider. We also advised Deutsche Bank as the last-out lender in a bifurcated unitranche credit facility for an auto products manufacturer, and a Direct Lending Fund as lead lender in connection with a unitranche financing to a U.S. security corporation. The proceeds of the loan were used to buy out the minority shareholders in the corporation and certain of its affiliates. We also represented China’s Bright Food on the guaranteed acquisition financing for Salov, an Italian food company.

    Our London Finance team works closely with other practice groups to deliver innovative global solutions as part of an integrated global team throughout the EMEA region.

    Restructuring

    Our Restructuring team acts for alternative credit providers, hedge funds and special situations teams of investment banks to execute investment strategies that may involve loan-to-own techniques, pre-pack enforcements and debt-to-equity swaps either outside of court or involving a court process throughout Europe.

    Real Estate

    Our London Real Estate team provides comprehensive support for investors based in the UK and internationally. We have extensive experience in shopping centers and retail, and have been involved in some of the largest transactions in the UK for clients such as British REIT Intu Properties. We have long partnered with leading players such as Notting Hill Housing Group to manage and execute all aspects of their portfolios. The Real Estate team works closely with the Corporate and Energy teams on transactions where there is a major real estate element.

    Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Compliance

    The London Dispute Resolution team is part of a global practice recognized by The American Lawyer among the top 10 firms on its litigation power rankings. Our UK Litigation team has been involved in some of the leading cases in the English courts as well as appearing before the major arbitral tribunals. We advise on regulatory compliance and assist with internal investigations, including regularly supporting a Fortune 50 company in investigations in Europe and emerging markets.

    Our Dispute Resolution lawyers collaborate with our Transactional team to resolve disputes in the financial sector, including representation of one of the largest creditors of Lehman Europe and assisting a Big 4 accounting firm with disputes arising out of the financial crisis. Our Employment team recently assisted a financial institution in securing the dismissal of a long-running whistleblower action, and we defeated a high-profile gender, race and religious discrimination case against an international bank following hearings before the Employment Tribunal.

    Our team is at the forefront of antitrust and competition law, providing clients with innovative solutions on complex matters involving merger control, abuse of dominance, private damages actions and cartel investigations. We maintain a presence in Brussels and represent clients before the EC and the Competition and Markets Authority, and advised on the first private antitrust damages action to reach trial in the UK.

    Multinational clients rely on our Employment team to resolve sensitive disputes and advise on day-to-day compliance matters. We also have deep experience in cybersecurity, data protection and privacy matters.

    Our Office and the Community

    Our London office lies in the heart of Cheapside, and we are active members of the community. In collaboration with social entrepreneurship incubator UnLtd, we prepared a report on how the G8 can support profit-with-purpose businesses – work that was honored with the 2015 Trustlaw Social Impact Award by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. We provide pro bono support to social enterprises such as Accion International, a nonprofit focused on building a financially inclusive world; Policy in Practice, an organization that bridges the gap between policy development and its implementation; and Resurgo Spear, a charity focused on bridging the gap between unemployed youth and businesses. We partner with LawWorks and Advocates for International Development to deliver pro bono services, and with Public International Law & Policy Group to support aspiring democracies in the Middle East. Our London lawyers and staff are also active in community responsibility, teaming up to compete in the annual City Road race to support Seeing is Believing, raising funds for the British Heart Foundation and St. Michaels hospice, and helping the homeless through programs with the charity Crisis.

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