2nd place: Halifax
3rd place: Barclays Capital
Shortlisted: Capital One, Crédit Agricole Indosuez, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson
The winner of the In-house Banking and Finance Team of the Year Award, sponsored by Burges Salmon, is Standard Chartered Bank. The in-house legal team, now led by Kate Nealon after Martin Hayman's retirement, had an exceptional year, with a series of transactions which put larger legal teams in the shade. First of all, it acquired Grindlays Bank from ANZ for $1.34bn (£947.2m), itself a hugely challenging task, which created a major new force in Asian and Middle Eastern banking. Within a short space of time the team managed to secure regulatory approvals in multiple jurisdictions. Given that this was an English bank acquiring an Australian bank, whose principal operations were in Asia and the Middle East, this was no mean feat.
The team then acted on the sale of the bank's UK leasing business Chartered Trusts for £627m to Lloyds TSB, and on the acquisition of Chase's Hong Kong consumer banking business for $1.32bn (£933m). If that were not enough, it then continued with its innovative financing programme, oversaw the redenomination of its share capital into US dollars and raised £450m in an equity placing.
In addition, the team continued with its programme of the disposal of non-core businesses and the preliminary investigation of acquisitions, handled almost entirely in-house and taking in a wide range of jurisdictions.
Small but ferociously dedicated, Standard Chartered's drive and commitment, personified by group head Kate Nealon, make the legal team a worthy winner of this award.
In second place is the Halifax legal team, led by Harry Baines. A team with a reputation for getting things done, it has managed three major deals in a year: the merger with the Bank of Scotland, the acquisition of St James's Place Capital, and of course, the takeover of most of the business of Equitable Life.
In third place is Barclays Capital. Led by former Clifford Chance man Andrew Taylor, the legal team is highly regarded by external lawyers for its ability.
2nd place: Halifax