Focus: New Faces – The future is bright….

In this special, The Lawyer profiles more than 30 of the most talented and promising legal practitioners at work today. Specialising in all areas of the law, the one thing these rising stars have in common is that, although this may be the first time you’ve heard of some of them, it definitely won’t be the last.

Litigation/Arbitration 

Lorna Caddy, Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing senior associate Lorna Caddy is a rising star in the firm’s trademarks, copyright and media practice, with clients such
as Associated Newspapers and advertising agency TBWA. She is recognised by clients and peers for striving to go above and beyond the call of duty and being instinctively commercial. Caddy has developed
a specialism in copyright, having trained under Taylor Wessing ­partner Paul Mitchell. She has also developed a niche in old copyright work and counts the estate of US author Edgar Rice Burroughs, best known for his creation of jungle hero Tarzan, as a client.

Guy Forster, Irwin Mitchell

Despite being qualified for just five years, Irwin Mitchell associate Guy Forster had 50 cases referred to him in the past year. The clinical negligence lawyer has carved himself a niche specialising in cutting-edge IVF cases. Forster’s supervising partner Sara Burns
says he is dealing with liability, causation and quantum issues in emotionally charged cases. Last year he won £25,000 damages from a fertility clinic for a couple who had their last viable embryo implanted into another woman. Forster says he was never a ’numbers lawyer’ but instead preferred working with people
who are “daunted by the law”.

Ilona Groark, Herbert Smith

Litigation associate Ilona Groark spent six months of 2009 working alongside Lord Justice Jackson on his review into civil litigation costs. For a lawyer who is just two and a half years qualified, it was an opportunity to mix with people at all levels of the profession. Herbert Smith partner Anna Pertoldi says Groark has “strong technical ability” and is “highly personable”, both traits that helped her win the secondment. “She was able to deal with all ­comers, from high court judges to barristers and groups,” she adds. Now back in the Herbert Smith commercial litigation group, Groark is a general litigator with a strong interest in fraud work.

Anna Mills, Lovells

Litigation associate Anna Mills originally trained as a barrister before requalifying as a solicitor
at Lovells in 2007, and is already seen as a star in the making. Her specialisation in projects disputes has won her rave reviews from clients such as Alstom, and she has mastered the technical knowledge of engineering disputes like few others. On top of that, Mills found time to work pro bono over three years on a landmark Court of Appeal case, Hunt v AB, which gave relief to a rape complainant accused of malicious prosecution by her alleged attacker whose conviction was overturned on a technicality. The significance of the case was enormous: had Mills not won, victims of rape would have faced the automatic prospect of claims
for malicious prosecution, which would almost certainly have deterred reporting of rape.

Kiran Daurka, Russell Jones & Walker (RJW)

A campaigning lawyer, RJW litigator Kiran Daurka has been volunteering with disability charities since her teens and has become a specialist in mental health discrimination. Daurka has been involved in some notable test case litigation, including J v DLA Piper, a groundbreaking claim supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is expected to clarify the definition of disability. She has also worked on two other major cases: H v Treasury Solicitors, which concerned conversions from temporary to permanent employment, and Dr Gwen Sayers v Harrow PCT, in which a record Disability Discrimination Act payout was awarded.

Claire McLeod, Simmons & Simmons

Until two years ago McLeod was a general commercial litigator. Then, with the arrival of Louise Delahunty from Peters & Peters and the establishment of Simmons’ white-collar crime practice, McLeod switched specialisms and is now a rising star in the field. She is described by one leading silk as combining a “brilliant power of analysis with great client management skills and a fine tactical sense”. Having been one of the first-ever ­secondees to the Crown Prosecution Service, McLeod has since used that ­experience to her firm’s advantage. Career highlights include advising on the Serious Fraud Office Oil for Food investigation, successfully representing two individuals in a four-year extradition battle with the US – the first successful defence of a US request under the 2003 Extradition Act. She is currently on the Simmons team advising Saudi businessman Maan Al-Sanea on a billion-dollar dispute with the ­Al Gosaibi family.

Matthew Bullen, Lovells

Litigation associate Matthew Bullen qualified in 2005 and for the past three years has specialised in trust fund and pension scheme disputes. This focus led to his role as lead associate on the Pilots’ National Pension Fund litigation, one of The Lawyer’s Top Cases of 2010 and one of the most complex cases in the pensions field for
years. Bullen advised the claimant trustee and the case is widely acknowledged to have had an effect in clarifying the law on funding arrangements of pension
schemes. Last year he also advised HR Trustees on another groundbreaking pensions case, the dispute over the IMG ­Pension Plan.

Anthony Sinclair, Allen & Overy

Anthony Sinclair joined Allen & Overy in 2004 having qualified as a solicitor in New Zealand. It didn’t take long for his potential to be spotted as his doctoral thesis on investment treaty arbitration marked him out as an early specialist in a now-crucial area of practice. In the past few years Sinclair has proved himself a business winner on the arbitration circuit, with his work for both private investors and sovereign states such as Azerbaijan and Slovenia attracting notice. He has also become a fixture on the lecture circuit outside his day job, and
– remarkably for an associate – co-authored the second edition of the leading publication on investment disputes, published last year. Workmates speak warmly of his collegiate nature; Sinclair’s pro bono work has included training government lawyers in Africa on negotiating treaties and handling claims against their states.

Mark Beeley, Vinson & Elkins

A solicitor-advocate and former barrister who retrained as a solicitor, Mark Beeley’s advocacy skills have stood him good stead in his ­international litigation and arbitration career. His work – particularly in energy and technology arbitrations – has attracted notice in the Middle East, Dubai and Malaysia, and claimant clients have come from jurisdictions as varied as the British Virgin Islands, the US and China. In the past year he has acted as an advocate in merits hearings at all levels (including the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) in cases worth over $500m (£327.57m).

In 2002 he became Vinsons’ first English trainee solicitor to qualify in the Texan firm’s ­London office. His understanding of the energy market and his familiarity with both the public and commercial law worlds mark him out as a future leader.

In-house

Carla Krog, Sodexo

Sodexo legal counsel Carla Krog has been instrumental in closing a major 2012 Olympic Games contract for her employer, impressing with her “commercial and pragmatic approach to getting problems solved”. Building on past experience negotiating contract renewals for events including the Chelsea Flower Show and the Open Golf ­Championship, she was involved throughout the tender process as ­Prestige Ticketing (PTL) – a Sodexo/Mike Burton Group joint venture – successfully pitched for the exclusive rights to run the on-site ­hospitality programme. Krog is now on ­secondment to PTL, where she provides legal support and guidance on all matters.

Anne Clayton, Ofwat

Anne Clayton has only been a few months at Ofwat, but she has already shown the ­makings of a rising star. She was hired by the water industry regulator from Wragge & Co’s well-respected infrastructure group as a principal legal adviser, which is unusual as most recruits join Ofwat at more junior positions. However, her colleagues had complete confidence in her ability to get to grips quickly with the role, which requires working solo on highly technical matters. And their confidence hasn’t been ill-placed. Clayton covers a broad mix of competition, ­public law and regulatory work and her understanding of the detail means policy colleagues frequently turn to her for assistance.

Sheldon Mills, Office of Fair Trading

Sheldon Mills obviously impressed during his short time as an ­associate in SJ Berwin’s competition team. Enough at any rate to catch the eye of the Office of Fair Trading, which swooped on the young star to become its new director of mergers. Mills went from poacher to gamekeeper after impressing with his ­handling of EU ­competition aspects of Amcor’s purchase of Alcan Packages, on which he was lead associate.

Richard Spenner, Towers Watson

Richard Spenner is in-house counsel at ­actuarial firm Towers Watson. He has a wide-ranging role at the ­company, which was formed by a merger between Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin in ­January 2010. During his seven years at the firm he has worked his way up from a junior litigation lawyer to senior counsel, and now covers legal and risk management issues across Europe. Activities include ­litigation, ­contract ­negotiations and M&A work. Clients highlight his ­analytical mind, sound judgement and ­communication and client relationship skills. Before joining Towers Watson he worked at Nabarro.

Sports, media & entertainment

Robert Dougans, Bryan Cave

Bryan Cave associate Robert Dougans never intended to get involved in libel law but in the past year he has become a poster boy for freedom of speech campaigners. Dougans was instructed to act for science writer Simon Singh in defence of a libel claim brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA). The case, which the BCA dropped earlier this month, found its way to the Court of Appeal where Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge ruled that the fair comment defence could be used. If the ruling had gone the other way it would have the stinging effect of allowing comment to be construed as fact and this, warned free speech campaigners, would impede the right to fair expression.

Laura Tyler, Schillings

Laura Tyler joined Schillings in 2007 and has made a meteoric rise up the libel and reputation management ladder. She has worked with Schillings partners on a series of defamation and privacy cases, including obtaining the first-ever statement in open court for a privacy injunction. Internally she has been pivotal to Schillings’ drive to internationalise its practice and its brand, having devised and created a secure intranet site that links reputation lawyers throughout Europe, followed by the firm’s first symposium bringing those lawyers together.

Ben Summerfield, Olswang

Olswang associate Ben Summerfield is developing significant expertise in media and telecoms litigation. He regularly advises clients such as Orange and European cable company EU Networks on contentious and regulatory matters. He acted for the Government of Bermuda in its judicial review action against Ofcom in the Administrative Court and was lead associate on recent arbitral proceedings in London, advising a sports sector household name in claims against its main sponsor. He is regarded as a future star in a firm not short of media litigators.

Jon Ellis, Charles Russell

At just five years of PQE, Charles Russell commercial litigator Jon Ellis has a sports law practice to rival that of almost anyone in the game. He has become one of the go-to advisers for the Football Association, having acted on its high-profile case against Wayne Rooney’s former agent Paul Stretford. His stable of clients ­features footballers and sports broadcasters, including ESPN, which he was instrumental in coaxing to the firm. Away from football, he has advised the likes of the British Horseracing Authority, Indian Premier League and Yorkshire Cricket Club. He is also a visiting lecturer at Bournemouth University.

Real estate/infrastructure

Nicola Boaden, Henmans

Henmans assistant solicitor Nicola Boaden has proved herself as a business generator within the agricultural property sector. Having ­established her credentials advising farmers and landlords on a wide range of rural issues, Boaden saw the bigger picture. She masterminded the creation of a rural services group, a cross-departmental structure within Henmans that marshalled private client, personal injury, employment, litigation and environmental lawyers to answer clients’ disparate needs. ­Boaden has been a particularly effective ­marketer, helping to establish the Next Generation group of the Agricultural Law Association and creating links between lawyers, accountants, bankers and surveyors working in the industry.

Tim Baines, Norton Rose

A renewable energy and carbon finance lawyer, Baines arrived at Norton Rose last year and immediately made his mark. He was ­instrumental in the firm’s successful pitch for
a high-profile instruction in respect of the ­Government’s competition to develop the first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project in the UK. Baines’ current work includes advising on emissions purchase agreements relating to both voluntary and regulated market transactions, and he has become a key member of the firm’s relationship team with financial institutions and energy clients, such as Barclays, Deutsche Bank, E.ON and Gazprom.

Dimitri Papaefstratiou, DLA Piper

Project finance lawyer Dimitri Papaefstratiou has been instrumental in developing DLA Piper’s renewable energy and infrastructure projects in South East Europe and has impressed many with his entrepreneurial flair. His input helped DLA Piper win a mandate for a consortium ­comprising EDP Renovaveis and SeaEnergy Renewables following its successful bid for an offshore wind farm development zone. He was also the lead ­associate on the financing of the Suvorovo wind farm. He combined his corporate social responsibility work with his industry expertise last year when he advised the Prince’s Rainforests Project on a pro bono basis in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit.

Graeme Payne, Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW)

Intellectual property specialist Graeme Payne may be an associate, but he is already used to playing the role of partner. He first demonstrated his ability when barely qualified by working on a three-year project advising Petronas on the development of its Superbike racing team, even leading parts of the pitch to the energy giant’s board. Since then
he has taken the lead on FFW’s worldwide relationship with the likes of Yo! Sushi and jeweller David Morris. Payne is also one of the few non-partners involved in the firm’s trainee recruitment programme and is involved in mentoring junior associates.

Corporate/Finance

Melissa Needham, Davies Arnold Cooper

Davies Arnold Cooper assistant Melissa Needham has made a big impact on her colleagues since arriving from Halliwells. Although she is a one-year PQE she has taken on a level of responsibility akin to a senior assistant and has forged strong relationships with clients such as Edge. She also played a key role in securing new client Enrich Social Productions. Those who have worked with her have no doubt she has all the hallmarks of a future partner and a future star in the mid-market corporate arena.

Sean Lacey, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

A senior associate in the magic circle firm’s finance team, Sean Lacey was very nearly the one that got away. With four years of PQE under his belt, the restructuring expert was talent-spotted by Lehman Brothers, but when the bank famously hit the skids, Freshfields was all too keen to snap up its former wunderkind. He has since brought in more than his fair share of new business, leading on the lucrative debt restructurings for Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk following their demerger. He’s also become one of the go-to lawyers for private equity house Permira. On top of all that fee-­earning, Lacey manages to find time to front the banking team’s social committee, with his karaoke version of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart apparently a show stealer.

Lisa Haywood, Follett Stock

Lisa Haywood is a textbook example of how someone can transform their own career with a bit of determination. She joined Truro commercial firm Follett Stock as a junior secretary in her teens, having dropped out of drama school after just three months. Within two years she was a team leader, became a paralegal and then started out on the arduous task of qualifying as a legal executive. Having completed her LPC part-time, she finally qualified as a solicitor last year. In the meantime she had already proved her mettle within the firm, heading its debt recovery team and acting for a series of regional clients. Haywood, who focuses on insolvency, professional negligence and partnership disputes, is now responsible for the conduct of litigation matters worth millions.

Karan Dinamani, Ashurst

Corporate associate Karan Dinamani, currently on secondment at RBS, is proving to be one the firm’s brightest stars, with prominent roles in deals for private equity clients. Standout ­transactions included advising Rynda Capital on its acquisition of the pan-European H20 real estate portfolio from GPT Halverton, British Midland on its £300m sale to Lufthansa and Balfour Beatty Capital on its acquisition of Blackpool Airport and the proposed acquisition of Belfast City Airport. A super busy Dinamani also snared a role acting for the consortium of investors including Netcare, Apax Partners, London & Regional Properties and Brockton Capital on the acquisition of General Healthcare Group.

Kate Burns, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Corporate senior associate Kate Burns first attracted notice four years ago with her work on the complex reorganisation of MFI (now Galiform). She is currently
on a six-month stint as operations officer in Freshfields’ corporate department, in which she has been responsible for implementing and driving best practice and obtaining extensive client feedback. Recent transactions include advising Woolworths Group up to its administration and the administrators of Woolworths’ wholesale business Entertainment UK. Burns is also active in the firm outside fee-earning; she is chair of the London gender working group and is involved in the firm’s community programme with Haggerston School, Hackney, where she has mentored girls for several years.

Simon Thomson, Shearman & Sterling

Projects associate Simon Thomson showed his promise at only two years qualified, when he singlehandedly negotiated the finance documents on behalf of the lenders to the successful bidder for a major power and water project in the Middle East. Since then he has regularly taken lead roles in negotiations with an assurance that belies his 2006 qualification date. Recent projects include advising the Chinese banks on the Salalah and Al Dur independent water and power projects, which required complex structuring. Despite being qualified for only four years, Thomson’s maturity has already seen him elevated to trainee supervisor. Outside fee-earning he leads Streetlaw, a pro bono project based in Mile End in conjunction with BPP students, providing the general public with a basic understanding of legal topics.

Emma Osbaldeston, Paul Hastings

When Paul Hastings took on a seven-partner finance and litigation team from Cadwalader in February last year, it also acquired a group of talented associates. Chief among them
was six-year qualified Emma Osbaldeston. Osbaldeston works closely with key client ECM and has been at the heart of Paul Hastings’ success in complex restructurings since the credit crunch took hold, including working on developing structures to allow clients to redeem their investments in highly leveraged portfolios. While Osbaldeston is a prolific worker, she has also found time to join Paul Hasting’s associate development committee, to co-chair the London women’s network, and establish the
firm’s community reading scheme with a Tower Hamlets primary school.

The Bar

David Grant, Outer Temple Chambers

David Grant focuses primarily on pensions and chancery work and has appeared in a wide range of cases in the Court of Appeal, the Chancery Division and various tribunals. In the past year he has been involved with the landmark Pilots’ National Pension Fund litigation. Like many junior barristers there is little time for a social life, but Grant likes to get involved in the events around chambers and is a keen cyclist.

Tony Singla, Brick Court Chambers

Brick Court barrister Tony Singla was called to the bar in 2007 and has since developed a following among blue-chip clients. He has appeared in a number of headline-making cases, including being instructed to act as junior to Brick Court’s Charles Hollander QC for Skype in defence of a multibillion-pound dispute over the licensing of its software. He was called upon to shadow Hollander again when he was instructed to get an injunction against The Guardian on behalf of Barclays Bank. Singla’s peers say he is destined to take silk and become one of the UK’s leading barristers.

Alexander Milner, Fountain Court Chambers

Fountain Court’s Alexander Milner was called to the bar in 2006 and has since been increasingly in demand. He has built up a broad practice, with a particular interest in cases with a Russian and CIS flavour – he speaks fluent Russian. Milner, who was heavily involved in the high-profile Tajik Aluminium case, looks to be well on his way to becoming a future star of the bar. When not appearing in court or sitting in chambers, Milner is an enthusiastic musician, having formerly studied choral conducting at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg.

Georgina Peters, 3-4 South Square

Barrister Georgina Peters is one of the youngest members of 3-4 South Square, but is already making her presence known. The insolvency ­specialist has worked on some of the biggest bankruptcies to emerge from the recession. These included acting as junior counsel to Woolworths when it hit financial troubles and being involved in the legal webs ­surrounding Stanford International Bank, Northern Rock and Baugur. Clients say Peters has the skills and personality to move up the ranks.

James Segan, Blackstone Chambers

After five years at the bar, James Segan of Blackstone Chambers
has developed a practice that ­encompasses core areas of commercial, public and European law, with a growing reputation in several ­specialist fields, notably competition, telecoms, media and entertainment, sport and public procurement. He has a built up a diverse portfolio of cases and is currently being led by Lord Pannick QC arguing the Crown’s case that three MPs and one peer accused of expenses fraud should not be able to use parliamentary privilege to escape prosecution. Over the past year he also acted for Chrysalis and EMI Records in a royalties claim by members of Spandau Ballet and for the Rugby Football Union prosecuting Bath players following allegations of cocaine abuse.