This week’s issue of The Lawyer brings with it The Hot 100. It is a celebration of excellence in all areas of the legal profession and highlights campaigners, assistants, in-house counsel, the public sector, corporate, the bar, management, finance, real estate and projects. It is a celebration of those who have enhanced the reputations of the law firms, chambers, organisations or companies for which they ply their trade. There is, however, one requisite – it is a plaudit to stars in the UK market.
Here The Lawyer applauds 40 of the brightest stars of the international market, from those commanding the M&A frenzy in the US through to those dominating China’s IPO market and those lobbying to liberalise the Indian market.
Piet Faber and Michael Katz
Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, South Africa
Last year one of the most significant law firm mergers featured South Africa’s 100-lawyer Edward Nathan and 190-lawyer Sonnenberg Hoffmann Galombik. Michael Katz of Edward Nathan and Piet Faber of Sonnenberg Hoffmann helped to push through the deal and were rewarded by becoming joint heads.
DLA Philips Fox, Australia
2006 was a year of rapid expansion for Philips Fox under the stewardship of chief executive Tony Crawford. Just a few months after executing Australia’s first major global link-up through an alliance with DLA Piper, the Australian firm announced a merger with the Perth partnership of Gadens Lawyers.
Minter Ellison, Australia
In the two years since joining a stalling Minter Ellison from PA Consulting, chief executive Guy Templeton has been instrumental in increasing the Australian firm’s profitability by 13 per cent off the back of a drive to target higher-value mandates.
Haiwen & Partners, China
Haiwen & Partners partner He Fei, described by his peers as “probably the most famous lawyer in China”, has made a name for himself acting on highprofile IPOs. Big mandates have included providing the underwriters with Chinese law advice on Industrial & Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) record-breaking $21.8bn (£11.11bn) flotation.
Michael Fosh and Jeremy Xiao
Herbert Smith, China
Herbert Smith Beijing managing partner Jeremy Xiao and the Beijing office’s chief representative Michael Fosh also secured a key role on ICBC’s mammoth flotation. Bagging the lead mandate advising the bank, the duo conclusively cemented their reputation as two of China’s leading corporate lawyers.
Linklaters corporate finance partner Celia Lam relocated from Hong Kong in 2002 to head the firm’s Beijing practice. Lam has acted on a string of high-profile deals, including advising China International Capital Corporation, JPMorgan Worldwide Securities Services and UBS on the $2.4bn (£1.22bn) global offering by China Merchants Bank.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Hong Kong
Former Shearman & Sterling capital markets partner Leiming Chen left the firm in early 2006 to join US rival Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Hong Kong office. Significant mandates in 2006 included advising China Life Insurance Company on a Citigroup-led consortium acquisition of Guangdong Development Bank for $3.1bn (£1.58bn).
Slaughter and May, Hong Kong
Slaughter and May corporate partner Benita Yu continually features on high-profile mandates, securing her reputation as one of Hong Kong’s most prominent capital market experts. Her client list includes Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, as well as automobile manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Group Company.
Lovells Tokyo managing partner Tim Lester features prominently in a string big Japanese deals. In 2006 he led the team advising longstanding client Softbank Group on its £8.9bn leveraged buyout of Vodafone Group’s Japanese business. Later in the year this culminated in Lovells advising on Softbank’s £6.4bn refinancing of the acquisition.
Clifford Chance, CEE
Daniel Badea is the man Clifford Chance trusts to lead its foray into Romania. In 2006 he put together a merger between his 24-fee-earner local firm Badea & Asociatii and the world’s largest law firm. Both he and Clifford Chance look set to make the most of the M&A and real estate work coming out of the region.
Clifford Chance, CEE
An undisputed Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) real estate rainmaker, Pawal Debowski was a prize recruit for Clifford Chance when he joined from CMS Cameron McKenna in Poland in March 2006. With real estate a booming market in the region, Debowski and his team have given Clifford Chance the edge.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Peterson, CEE
As one of the founding partners of Romania’s leading domestic practice Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Peterson, Ion Nestor has built a firm that is renowned in that corner of Europe. He recently advised the Romanian state on its e3.75bn (£2.52bn) sale of a 61 per cent stake in Banca Comerciala Romana.
LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, CEE
LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae’s CEE practice head Brian Zimbler has orchestrated a booming practice focusing on the Russian energy, oil and gas and CEE telecommunications markets. Zimbler makes the link between the Moscow, London and Beijing offices to give LeBoeuf a formidable practice.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, Russia
As chairman of Russia’s largest domestic firm, Dimitry Afanasiev aimed high during 2006. In the spring Egorov became the first Russian firm to open an office in London. It then scooped the mandate to advise Rusal on its $30bn (£15.29bn) merger with Glencore, creating the world’s largest aluminium producer.
Latham & Watkins, Russia
Anya Goldin has established herself as a leading light for Russian companies looking to float and is a key factor in Latham & Watkins’ dominance of the Russian IPO market. Last year she scooped the lead role advising Comstar United Telesystems on its $1.17bn (£596.36m) IPO. A leading light.
Gudmundur Oddsson turned up the heat last spring by singlehandedly launching a london office for Logos, Iceland’s largest law firm, to capitalise on the increasing investment by Icelandic companies in the UK. Oddsson’s success has meant that Logos has already sent over a second lawyer and is looking to employ London-qualified solicitors.
Luthra & Luthra, India
Luthra & Luthra managing partner Rajiv Luthra believes strongly that the Indian legal market should be liberalised. To this end – using his weight as one of India’s leading lawyers – Luthra heads a committee that is discussing with foreign jurisdictions, particularly the UK and US, the potential gradual opening of the market.
Fox Mandal Little, India
Som Mandal brokered the merger of two of India’s oldest law firms – Fox Mandal and Little & Co – last summer to create Fox Mandal Little. Mandal, head of the international group, continues his blazing successes as he lobbies the Indian government to liberalise the country’s legal market.
Clifford Chance, Middle East
Clifford Chance’s increased focus on Dubai is largely thanks to one of its rising stars, structured finance partner Debashis Dey. Dey moved to Dubai with a team in May 2006. It heralded a new era for the firm, placing a securitisation and formalised capital markets capability on the ground locally.
Trowers & Hamlins, Middle East
Trowers & Hamlins Dubai-based partner and head of the Saudi Arabia practice Leroy Levy has secured some seriously high-profile work for the firm. This includes winning the mandate to advise on the $1bn (£509.71m) expansion of the Mosque of the Prophet in Saudi Arabia’s city of Medina.
Al Salam Bank, Middle East
Former Norton Rose lawyer Mohammed Paracha was picked out by The Lawyer in 2004, when he won Associate of the Year at The Lawyer Awards. In 2006 the Islamic finance specialist won the coveted role of first general counsel for Bahrain’s Al Salam Bank and now instructs his former firm.
Conyers Dill & Pearman, Offshore
Conyers Dill & Pearman opened in Dubai last year, giving the firm its eighth international office and making it one of the biggest players in the offshore legal market. Chairman John Collis has masterminded the expansion that now sees the firm in Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, London and Singapore.
WSmiths managing partner Duncan Smith guided the firm into its merger with Ogier, which goes live on 1 February and which will create an offshore giant across nine jurisdictions. Smith will become managing partner of the Hong Kong and BVI offices, while also holding a place on the combined firm’s strategy board.
Latham & Watkins, US
There was a veritable scramble by law firms to sign up Sean Berkowitz when the former Enron chief prosecutor decided to join private practice. Latham & Watkins emerged victorious, with Berkowitz joining its Chicago office as a litigation partner just one week after Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Sidley Austin, US
Sidley Austin chair Tom Cole leads by example. He has steered the firm to the elite ranks of those boasting more than $1bn (£509.71m) in turnover. Unusually, he takes a hands-on role on the deals that make Sidley a corporate powerhouse. In November Cole was on two mega-buyouts, Clear Channel and Equity Properties Trust – the world’s largest to date.
Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll, US
Litigation partner Michael Hausfeld has been at the top of US class action scene for several years. Now he and his firm are poised to bring their brand of firepower to the UK, with an imminent London launch focused on competition and antitrust matters.
Hunton & Williams, US
Wally Martinez became Hunton & Williams’ youngest managing partner in February 2006 and the first not to be based full time in the firm’s Richmond headquarters. A litigation partner at the firm until 2004 when he left the firm, Martinez was lured back to the fold as managing partner from Diageo North America, where he was general counsel.
Reed Smith, US
If Reed Smith managing partner Greg Jordan does the blue-sky thinking, strategy director Michael Pollack does the hard work of making sure Jordan’s plans work. Pollack is the M&A details man. He will be responsible for making sure Reed Smith’s transatlantic merger with Richards Butler works.
Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés, France
Independent French firm Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés is a quiet success story, with double-digit growth in turnover each year for the past decade seeing the firm reach e38m (£25.5m). And managing partner Pierre Appremont is targeting further growth in a shrinking French market.
Henri Brandford -Griffith
Brandford-Griffith & Associés, France
For a French firm modelled along traditional lines, Brandford-Griffith & Associés has an unusual demographic: the majority of its 11 partners are under 40 and two are female. Under name partner Henri Brandford-Griffith this profitable practice is thriving on large, interesting work.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Germany
Global head of corporate Andreas Fabritius is the partner responsible for reforming Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s German corporate practice. Corporate earnings jumped from £258m to £302m in the last financial year, while average profit per equity partner soared from £700,000 to £830,000.
White & Case, Germany
White & Case’s Frankfurt-based acquisition finance star Annica Lindegren has been responsible for high-profile deals including advising in March the lead arrangers of e5.25bn (£3.52bn) of senior credit facilities and a e975m (£654.32m) bridge facility to RAG Beteiligungs-GmbH to fund its acquisition of the remaining 49.9 per cent of chemicals giant Degussa.
Deutsche Bank, Germany
Deutsche Bank senior counsel Joachim Walgenbach covering Deutsche Bank’s lending business leads an extremely tight ship. Not just a manager, he is also a dealmaker; in February he advised the bank in its role as co-leader of the consortium of banks funding Linde’s £8.2bn takeover of BOC Group.
Matheson Ormsby Prentice, Ireland
Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP) managing partner Liam Quirke is credited with devising what has become known locally as ‘the MOP model’. This involved a team designing the specifications for its new Dublin offices and then putting it out to tender. Quirke’s ‘best in class’ working environment was truly fit for purpose.
Clifford Chance, Italy
Michele Crisostomo made partner at Clifford Chance at the age of 30, becoming one of the firm’s youngest-ever partners. It is not hard to see why. He is the lawyer 11 out of 15 banks go to for Tier 1 issues in Italy. This year he advised on Generali’s e4bn (£2.68bn) Tier 1, the first ever from an insurer in Italy.
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, Italy
With Umberto Nicodano at the helm, Bonelli Erede Pappalardo posted record revenue of more than e100m (£67.11m) for the first time in 2006. M&A specialist Nicodano contributed personally to this haul, helping to coordinate Bonelli’s advice to BNP Paribas on its e9bn (£6.04bn) takeover of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.
Emilio Cuatrecasas saw his firm grow faster than any other leading Spanish firm this year, posting a 19 per cent rise in turnover to reach e159m (£106.71m). He has stolen a march on his competitors by looking internationally. This year Cuatrecases opened in London and examined the China market. Watch this space.
Despite making partner at Garrigues only three years ago, Jose Guardo has built a reputation as one Spain’s star performers in project finance. A change in regulations meant that Spain opened up to PFI financing this year. Guardo closed one of the first deals, advising on the financing of a new prison in Barcelona.