Top five billers

William Charnley, head of corporate

Previously the head of corporate at Simmons & Simmons, Charnley was one of the original three partners who launched McDermotts' London office in November 1998. In 2000, Charnley was the sixth highest biller in the whole of McDermott Will & Emery and the top in London, billing clients a total of $7.5m (£5.2m).

On a package which brings him more than £1m a year, including specific bonus entitlements, his biggest deals for 2000 were for paper manufacturer Arjo Wiggins Appleton and venture capitalists Cross Atlantic Capital Partners and Spectrum Equity Investors.

This year, he has already acted for the management of Harrogate-based Principal Hotels on its £255m acquisition by Nomura International's Principal Finance Group.

Stephanie Liston, head of communications and technology

The second highest biller in the London office, Liston joined in July 1999 from Baker & McKenzie where she was a communications partner. Understood to have billed about half what Charnley recorded last year, so around £2.5m, her clients include One.Tel, Storm Telecommunications and KD

D, which bought Swiftcall in 1998. KDD was a client she had worked with while she was at Baker & McKenzie.

In 2000, Liston's deals included acting for One.Tel on its bid for a third generation mobile licence and advising the management of Storm Telecommunications, backed by Soros Private Equity Partners, on its £250m sale by Telenor and others.

David Dalgarno, employment partner

Though not the head of the em-ployment practice, Dalgarno comes a surprising third in terms of the biggest billers in McDermotts' London office, billing more than employment guru Fraser Younson. Former head of employment at Warner Cranston Dalgarno joined McDermotts in May 1999 following hard on the heels of Younson.

Dalgarno acts for investment banks, manufacturing companies, airlines and major retailers – his clients include Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, J Sainsbury and relative newcomer Credit Suisse First Boston.

Dalgarno's public transactional work includes acting for J Henry Schroder on the £65m listing on AIM of Inflexion last year, and doing the listing for Domino's Pizza UK and Ireland.

Fraser Younson, head of employment

Coming in at joint fourth place for billing alongside Larry Cohen, Younson rocked the employment world when he left his post at Baker & McKenzie to join McDermotts in April 1999. The head of the group when he was at Baker & McKenzie, Younson is renowned for his work on European Works Council issues and is life vice president of the Employment Lawyers' Association. He has led the employment group to its position as one of the top practices in London, with clients including Trillium, Levi Strauss, De Beers and State Street Bank & Trust Company.

Larry Cohen, head of contentious IP/IT

The most recent arrival and already in joint fourth place for billing, Cohen joined McDermotts in June 2000 from his post as head of IP at Hammond Suddards (now Hammond Suddards Edge). He nearly joined the firm in the autumn of 1999, but backed out at the last minute.

At Hammonds he built up the IP team from scratch, with clients including Harrods, Oxo and engineering giant FKI Group. His practice has a focus on multinationals and covers both contentious and non-contentious IP including patents, trademarks, copyright, design right and trade secrets.

He has been advising Formula One on its trademark protection worldwide, including the defence of the trademark portfolio outside the Americas and the high-profile litigation in California.