Global Practice Area Definitions

Below are the legal practice area definitions and regional variations used by Chambers to rank lawyers and law firms in the Global Guide.

Administrative & Public Law

This section covers judicial reviews, statutory appeals, inquiries, disciplinary proceedings and non-contentious advice on the powers and administrative functions of central and local government and other public and regulatory bodies. It also includes matters relating to competitive tendering, public procurement, environmental issues and employment and discrimination law.

Human Rights law increasingly features in the practice of lawyers ranked in this section. In the UK, firms and individuals are split into two categories to best indicate their area of expertise: Commercial and Regulated Industries, and Public Sector Law & Governance.

There is also a Traditional Claimant chapter to highlight those lawyers who represent individuals and organisations who are involved in public law challenges.

Advertising & Marketing

This section covers work on behalf of advertising and marketing agencies and brand-holders, who often conduct their own marketing and advertising campaigns. It includes both commercial and regulatory work; regulatory matters in particular are undergoing some degree of change due to the increased use of online advertising and User Generated Content in campaigns.

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Agribusiness (Brazil) / Agriculture & Rural Affairs (UK)

This practice area encompasses a broad range of legal, financial and transactional support for agricultural projects, representing a wide spectrum of clients. Firms may represent project developers, investors and financial institutions as well as other stakeholders from the private and public sectors.

The practice includes rural real estate due diligence, acquisitions and leasing, sector-specific M&A, environment law and matters relating to financing and the securitisation of agricultural receivables. These may involve instruments such as rural product notes and agribusiness credit and deposit certificates, warranties, receivables certificates, and credit notes.

The practice also covers international trade matters including pre-export financing, import and export licences and compliance with international trade regulations. Firms may also cover insurance, contracts, tax, employment, regulations and general corporate advice and private client concerns. More niche areas of expertise, such as equine and bloodstock law, also fall within the remit of this section.

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Antitrust (US only) / Competition (elsewhere)

Chambers' coverage of Competition and Antitrust covers the body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behaviour (monopoly) and unfair business practices. This includes practices that hurt business, consumers, or both, or that generally violate standards of ethical behaviour. Antitrust litigation and M&A-related competition work, such as merger control are also covered by this section.

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This section features advice on the resolution of disputes by one or more neutral parties, either an arbitrator or an arbitration panel. Many contracts - including those imposed on customers by many financial and healthcare organisations - require mandatory arbitration in the event of a dispute.

Examples of the institutions include AAA (American Arbitration Association), ICC (International Chamber of Commerce), ICSID (International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes) and LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration).

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Asset Finance

Finance linked to the purchase or construction of a distinct asset or set of assets (typically ships, aircraft or rolling stock).

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Aviation includes both finance, regulatory and litigation matters. Aviation Finance concentrates on the advice to manufacturers, purchasers and investors (such as hedge and private equity funds) on the sale, leasing and acquisition of portfolios of aircraft.

Also includes the 2001 UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, or Cape Town Convention, which relates to the electronic registration of aircraft interests.

The Aviation Litigation tables cover traditional accident defense litigation, including advising aviation insurers on coverage and other issues, as well as product liability claims and general commercial disputes affecting the aviation industry. The Aviation Regulatory table spans representation before the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and other federal administrative agencies. Key issues include the reauthorisation of air traffic control systems and their funding. Also covers issues of congestion, and the Open Skies talks between the USA and the European Union.

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Banking & Finance

A broad-based definition of banking transactions, which include advice to both borrower and lender clients. The following topics are included:

Acquisition finance: Transactions involving arranging finance for acquisitions acting for either the lender or the borrower.
Islamic finance: Sharia-compliant work such as acquisitions, forming funds to invest in real estate and commercial properties, issuing of Sukuks.
General bank lending: Syndicated lending, structured finance, leveraged finance.
Project finance: Financing of infrastructure and industrial projects. Often arranged on a non-recourse loan basis. See also equipment finance and leasing.
Refinancing: The refinancing and restructuring of existing loans and debtor in possession financing is also included.

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The focus is on corporate bankruptcy and restructuring and the legal processes related to distressed businesses, which can either be reorganised or go into liquidation. Also, especially in the current economic environment, the chapter includes lawyers, who advise on acquisition opportunities that arise out of distressed businesses.

Lawyers assist clients such as corporate debtors, investors and asset purchasers, secured and unsecured creditors and creditors' committees, bondholders, insurers, directors of distressed companies and any other interested parties in corporate restructurings, bankruptcy proceedings.

In addition to transactional work, bankruptcy also covers any related litigation, such as disputes between such parties in connection with distressed companies and Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 processes.

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Capital Markets

Chambers covers the raising of funds on the Capital Markets either as distinct tables or under a wider umbrella:

Equity Capital Markets: Advice on equity offerings transactions such as initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, right offerings, capital increases, ADR / GDR offerings, accelerated bookbuilts and block trades.
Debt Capital Markets: Investment grade debt offerings (stand alone bond issues, MTN programs, Commercial Paper programmes); equity-linked offerings (regulatory capital, convertibles and exchangeable offerings) and; High Yield debt offerings.
Derivatives: Includes the regulatory and transactional legal advice regarding derivatives products such as: Exchange-traded derivatives; OTC derivatives; Securitised derivatives; Interest rate, currency, equity, credit and commodity-linked products. Law firms advise on product development and regulation; structuring and documentation of transactions, related tax issues and litigation.
Securitisation: Covers the entire range asset classes, including (among others): Commercial loans; derivatives exposure; bonds and corporate debt; project cash flows; trade receivables; credit card and trade receivables; commercial and residential mortgages; life insurance and annuities; auto loans.
Structured finance: Encompasses CDOs (both cash and synthetic); repackagings; and hybrid synthetic and structured note products.

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This section covers all types of work conducted for third sector clients, including both contentious and non-contentious work. This includes work ranging from sector-specific advice on constitutional and governance issues or public benefit requirements, to more general advice on corporate, property, employment and tax issues.

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Civil Liberties

The section covers violations of rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights by the government, media and organisations, in the way they behave towards individuals. It features cases involving judicial review proceedings and also cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights. 

This section also includes a Police Law table, highlighting those firm which specialise in issues of police misconduct, prisoners rights, inquests, deaths in custody, and miscarriages of justice.

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Climate Change

Law firms that feature in this emerging practice area advise clients on a range of compliance, regulatory, transactional and contentious matters as they relate to climate change.

A particularly significant area concerns matters of emissions trading, which includes assisting companies in adhering to carbon regulations such as the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

The section also covers the legal issues relating to renewable and low carbon projects, which includes assisting with the development and financial issues attached to these ventures.

In addition, featured practices are also likely to advise traditional marketplace clients on the risks and investment opportunities concerning climate change in corporate transactions, key issues of which include energy efficiency, supply chain issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation, due diligence and risk assessment.

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Clinical Negligence

Lawyers ranked in this section are instructed to handle allegations of negligent acts committed by professionals working in the healthcare or pharmaceutical sectors. These cases usually arise from accusations that the defendants did not follow accepted industry practices, leading to injury or death to the patient or claimant.

The section is divided between those who represent the defendants or their employers and those who bring claims on behalf of individuals seeking compensation for their injuries.

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Lawyers in this section focus their efforts on advising on the regulation and trade of commodities, and any related litigation. This dissection of the market is reflected in our tables, where derivatives covers regulatory work, trade finance concerns largely transactional matters and physicals ranks those involved in commodities disputes.

Practitioners deliver advice on a range of both soft and hard commodities from cash crops to coal, oil and gas, metals and carbon credits.

Typical clients include commodities trading houses, export credit agencies, financial institutions, freighters and insurers.

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Construction covers contractual advisor work within the construction industry for both the suppliers (e.g. developers, contractors, engineers and architects), and those clients employing these types of companies eg corporates or state authorities on their building plans.

Our construction sections cover both litigious and non litigious matters.

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Consumer Finance

The firms ranked in this section may handle regulatory, transactional or litigious matters. Typical work includes advising on the Consumer Credit Directive, credit cards, business loans, unsecured and secured personal loans, point of sale finance, e-money products, auto loans, current and savings accounts, and mortgages.

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Corporate / M&A

This broad category covers both public company and private equity (including venture capital) matters.

The chapter includes company acquisitions, dispositions and related financing arrangements, capitalisations, entity selection and formation, operating and partnership agreements, securities and governance matters. Also covers those transactions designed to help restructuring within companies and their subsidiaries by change of ownership.

Priority is placed on primary representatives, those acting for buyers and sellers, whilst those acting for financial advisors, underwriters and the banks financing such transactions are also considered.

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Corporate Investigations

This section ranks firms and individuals involved in advising management on, and compliance with, investigations concerning white-collar crime, anti-corruption legislation and international sanctions. The firms and lawyers may also be engaged to conduct investigations and prepare reports for management.

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Criminal law has a number of different branches, but the UK crime section concentrates on what might be deemed serious crime including illegal drugs, assault, sexual offences, terrorism and homicide. It covers work at all levels, from initial police dealings and high street advisory matters all the way to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

We do not include criminal fraud here, as it has its own section.

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Data Protection

Data Protection covers all aspects of law surrounding the control of information by both public and private sector bodies. Many law firms acting in this arena advise clients on the development of binding corporate rules and other issues relating to international data transfers.

In the UK, the section also includes work arising from Freedom of Information Act requests. Another significant type of work involves the defence of clients facing potential fines for data protection breaches.

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Defamation / Reputation Management

Firms and lawyers listed in this section handle libel and defamation proceedings on behalf of both claimants and defendants, as well as providing risk-management advice to avoid litigation. Reputation management involves advising individuals and corporations on the legal aspects of protecting and regulating their reputation.

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Dispute Resolution (Everywhere) / Litigation (US only)

Chambers' Dispute Resolution and Litigation coverage includes the full course of a dispute such as pre-trial negotiations, documentation and preparation for trial, summary judgement motions, trial, appeals and enforcement proceedings.

There are two main types of litigation: commercial disputes before civil courts, and white-collar crime, including government investigations. Alternative dispute resolution, involving non-court mediation is also featured. Many commercial contracts contain arbitration clauses, which are handled by commercial litigators.

In the larger markets, such as the UK and the USA, we will also produce standalone ranking tables. The USA coverage focuses on commercial proceedings before state and federal court, circuit courts and US Supreme Court. In some countries, the practice of litigation is sufficiently specialised for Chambers to identify specialists. Areas such as Insurance, Construction, Environment IP and Media all contain litigators who are experts in their field.

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Education Individuals: Covers lawyers and law firms who act on behalf of pupils and their parents in matters such as special educational needs (SEN), admissions and exclusions, disability discrimination claims, judicial review cases, disputes with private schools, and transport to school issues. The firms ranked here may undertake either privately or publicly funded work.
Education Institutions (Schools): Concerns work on behalf of schools. This is a wide-ranging chapter covering the gamut of school-related law, including pupil-related litigation and child protection issues, debt recovery, governance matters, school reorganisations, employment law, exclusions, policy and procedure reviews, and the establishment of academies.
Education Institutions (Higher & Further Education): Firms typically handle constitutional and governance issues, employment matters, joint ventures between institutions, IP student-related issues and litigation, data protection, governance, and charity law.

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Employee Share Schemes

The focus is on employee benefits, including share incentive plans (SIPs) and employee management incentives (EMIs) and tax efficient structuring of payment schemes. It also includes advice on disputes following the implementation of share schemes.

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Covers both contentious and non-contentious employment matters relating to day-to-day business issues as well as mergers and takeovers. Includes employment litigation related to sex, race, age discrimination.

In the USA, this also includes class action suits, and the avoidance of class action certification.

Includes workforce redundancies and employment issues related to the merger of two companies. Lawyers also advise on the writing of policy handbooks, HR training and corporate governance for major corporates.

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Although Chambers is aware of the overlap with Projects and project financing, the energy chapters focus on corporate / commercial, regulatory and capital markets issues arising from the energy sector. These include the regulatory components of M&A and other transactional work, pure regulatory work related to the application for licenses and compliance and enforcement with regulatory bodies. In the USA, these include FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission). Chambers focuses on key industry sectors including Electricity; Oil & Gas; Renewables and Nuclear matters.

Electricity / Power: Covers advice on the development, financing and permitting of energy projects (such as electric, coal, oil & gas fired plants, nuclear and hydro-electric plants), facilities management; co-generation and restructuring / deregulation arising out of the wholesale and retail markets.
Oil and Gas: Covers all upstream and downstream work including exploration, infrastructure and pipeline developments and service contracts, royalties, licensing and operation agreements. It also includes corporate issues such as M&A, capital raisings, taxation and regulatory compliance.
Renewables: Focuses on the financing, development and regulatory issues surrounding wind and wave power generation, solar, biomass and geothermal energy generation. It also includes advice on compliance with clean energy regulations.
Nuclear: Includes licensing and operation, commercial transactions, reactor oversight, enforcement and compliance, whistleblower statutes and non-retaliation policy, as well as nuclear waste and fuel procurement.
Natural Resources: Focuses on mining and minerals exploration, development and production agreements, including royalty issues, project finance, taxation and other financing arrangements. Engineering, processing and refining contracts, sales structures and environmental issues are also covered.

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The environment chapter features both litigation and advisory / transactional support to clients. This includes general corporate issues, (eg due diligence on mergers), the development of brownfield sites, and pollution issues.

"Traditional" environment work includes regulatory compliance, litigation and enforcement actions related to air, water, wetlands, waste and endangered species. We also feature advice to corporate and financial clients on the environmental aspects of M&A, financings, securities offerings and other transactions, which involve due diligence and environmental insurance issues.

Climate change is also a feature of environmental law work, however in some jurisdictions, we have created specialist tables.

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Family / Matrimonial

This section deals with issues surrounding the inception and breakdown of personal relationships. This includes the creation of pre-nuptial / civil partnership / co-habitation agreements relating to financial and property assets, the resolution of divorces or separations involving financial and property disputes, and the handling of matters relating to children in the context of divorce or separation. 

There are also two separate sub-tables in the UK, London section: Children: Public Law Matters, which covers childrens care proceedings and abuse in care claims; and Children: Cross-Border Disputes, which primarily covers international child abduction disputes.

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Financial Services Regulation

This chapter covers both non-contentious and contentious matters arising out of the Financial Services industry and advice on all aspects of internal organization and governance, transactions and operations. Non-contentious matters include assistance to banks / financial institutions clients in complying with the full range of financial services laws and regulations in their daily operations (such as the Anti-Money Laundering Act, International Banking Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the USA PATRIOT Act and many other statutes affecting the financial services day-to-day business).

This section also encompasses financial institutions business transactions, especially the advice on regulatory issues in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures of financial services companies and the implementation of holdings in foreign countries. This section also covers the lobbying work done by the firm for the development of new laws and regulations before Congress or other regulatory agencies.

In contentious matters, we include advice related to the defence of financial institutions in criminal and civil examinations, inspections, investigations, and formal proceedings by the SEC and other federal and state financial regulators and self-regulatory organisations.

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Covers a broad range of legal advice on issues relating to the application of new technologies to the financial sector. Law firms featured in this section are conversant with the latest technologies, comfortable in advising on matters where the law is not yet decided or clear, and in working with both startups and incumbent institutions. Law firms may have experience working alongside regulators and industry bodies to establish good practice, and helping clients navigate grey areas where technology has outpaced established law.

In contentious matters, we include advice related to the defence of financial institutions in criminal and civil examinations, inspections, investigations, and formal proceedings by the SEC and other federal and state financial regulators and self-regulatory organisations.

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This section includes those acting for Franchisees and Franchisors and covers both transactional and contentious work. On the non-contentious side, this includes setting up a franchise arrangement, expanding a system and closing down arrangements. Disputes arising from the sector such as disputed closing down of a system or contractual obligations.

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This covers non-violent wrongdoing in areas including money laundering, share ramping and a range of contractual fraud issues. The practice area is further split into civil and criminal branches, covering the full range of proceedings.

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General Business Law

General Business Law encompasses a range of commercial law fields relevant to high-end business users. The core focuses on corporate/commercial law, but in lieu of separate practice areas General Business Law can also cover many areas, including dispute resolution, banking & finance, and sector-specific practice areas.

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Health & Safety

This section incorporates both contentious and non-contentious health & safety issues. In the UK, this includes the defence of companies and senior executives facing investigations or actions initiated by the Health and Safety Executive and other regulatory bodies including criminal breaches of the law such as corporate manslaughter. Public inquest work is also included.

On the non-contentious side the section covers regulatory compliance advice, risk management and training. The health & safety issues which fall under the remit of this section are very broad from general health and safety at work to food safety, fire safety and issues affecting the waste, utilities, nuclear, rail and other industries.

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Healthcare law covers all transactional, litigious and regulatory concerns faced by hospitals, public and private sector providers, medical institutions and healthcare professionals. By its nature it is extremely wide-ranging, often leading lawyers to consolidate expertise in specialist areas such as procurement, commissioning, healthcare technology or financing work.

In the USA, law firms advise on antitrust issues and assorted regulatory matters for clients such as hospitals, health systems and insurance companies. Litigation includes matters like qui tam (whistleblower) suits and the defence of parties involved in federal investigations. Advisory and regulatory compliance matters include Medicare Part D, the subsidising of drugs through the federally-run Medicare program. Also covers Stark Law, which governs referrals of physicians accepting Medicare and Medicaid funds, and the False Claims Act (FCA). The US lawyers also advise on pharmaceutical and medical products regulatory issues covering the drugs and devices approved by the FDA.

In the UK, this section also highlights those that bring a niche understanding of mental health law, drawing a line between lawyers who have tended to represent either providers or patients. Growth areas include healthcare-related incapacity work, as well as advice to those involved in managing nursing or care facilities.

Please also see Product Liability for litigation arising from pharmaceutical and medical devices defects. The regulation of these areas also features in our Life Sciences chapter.

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Law firms featured in this section provide advice on all aspects of inbound and outbound immigration, such as work permits and visas, workforce mobility and other legislative and regulatory changes. The UK section also features Personal Immigration, which includes student, asylum / refugee and publicly funded immigration issues.

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The Infrastructure section ranks those firms who advise on transactions, such as acquisitions, securitisation and structured finance, where Infrastructure is the underlying asset. Infrastructure assets can include (but are not limited to) airports, ports, transmission lines, pipelines and (resources) storage. Clients purchasing such assets include pension funds, banks, specialist infrastructure funds and sovereign wealth funds.

The Infrastructure: PFI / PPP subsection includes those firms who advise on secondary transactions involving assets structured on a PFI / PPP basis. This does not include Greenfield / Brownfield project financing or development – such work should be submitted for the Projects section. There will be no standalone PFI / PPP section.

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Information Technology

Information Technology focuses on the start-up, development and finance of technology-based businesses, advising start-up or later stage enterprises, venture capital investors, and other financial investors. Issues include private and public capital raisings, joint venture agreements, share listings, corporate governance and M&A.

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Insolvency/Corporate Recovery

The focus is on corporate insolvency and restructuring and the legal processes related to distressed businesses, which can either be reorganised or go into liquidation. Also, especially in the current economic environment, the chapter includes lawyers, who advise on acquisition opportunities that arise out of distressed businesses.

Lawyers in this chapter assist clients such as corporate debtors, investors and asset purchasers; secured and unsecured creditors and creditors` committees, bondholders, insurers; directors of distressed companies and any other interested parties in corporate restructurings, bankruptcy proceedings.

In addition to transactional work, bankruptcy also covers any related litigation, such as disputes between such parties in connection with distressed companies and, in the USA, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 processes.

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Insurance includes both contentious and non-contentious insurance and reinsurance matters. On the contentious side, we feature coverage claims litigation, broker's negligence and both "facultative" and "treaty" reinsurance disputes. There is also a element of professional negligence issues arising from insurance disputes.

On the non-contentious side, we include all forms of M&A, capital raisings, demutualisations and other regulatory issues.

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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property covers disputes related to patent, copyright and trademark infringement. Litigation concerning trade secrets also features. We also feature related issues such as licensing and IP commercialisation (US patent prosecution).

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International Trade

This section covers classic trade cases such as anti-dumping, countervailing duties, export control and other customs / tariff classifications and regulatory work. Lawyers also advise on matters relating to NAFTA, WTO and GATT trade provisions and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an areas that overlaps to some extent with the white-collar crime field.

Filings before the Committee on Foreign Investments into the United States (CFIUS) is an areas on which some law firms are focused. Chambers also features lawyers, who are experts in s337 investigations before the ITC.

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Islamic Finance

Sharia-compliant work, including lending, sukuk, fund formation, acquisitions and joint ventures.

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IT & IT Outsourcing

The IT industry crosses a range of business sectors, whether it involves global communications networks of large multinationals, or internal data storage systems of small owner-managed businesses.

The Chambers IT chapters are always evolving to track current trends, but major outsourcing agreements consistently feature. The chapter also includes "convergence"; the coming together of content (such as voice or data), transmission of that content (such as broadcast, satellite or Internet) and terminals receiving that content (such as TV, PC or mobile handset).

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Leisure & Hospitality

This is an industry section covering all strands of legal services carried out for clients involved in the leisure industry, ranging from ranging from hotels and amusement parks to casinos. The key strands of legal advice related to real estate, employment and OSHA, corporate / commercial matters and financing.

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This section deals with the award of and challenges to liquor and gambling licences. The UK section separately identifies both Liquor and Gambling to highlight individual lawyers’ expertise.

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Life Sciences

Life Sciences focuses on the commercialisation of life sciences products (pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotechnology programs etc). IP issues dominate as large pharmaceuticals seek to obtain innovative, impending blockbuster drugs from biotechs and other pharmaceutical companies. Also includes the licensing and acquisition of new products from other sources (often smaller biotechs to larger suppliers).

This chapter includes advice on FDA issues and the increased focus on drug and device safety, which also appears in our Healthcare and Life Sciences coverage.

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See Dispute Resolution text above.

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Local Government

This section focuses on the whole spectrum of local government activities, including planning, environmental, education, community care, highways, housing, health, compulsory purchase, public procurement, freedom of information, rating, licensing and elections.

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Media & Broadcasting

The media market has many different facets. Chambers has attempted to highlight lawyers who have an understanding of the issues related to key sectors such as Advertising, Firm & Television; Music, Publishing and Theatre. Within these sectors, we spotlight those lawyers, who concentrate on either contentious or non-contentious matters.

Litigation includes: Copyright and contractual disputes (either representing studios, producers or talent); First Amendment litigation in the US; IP and trademark disputes; antitrust; and matters arising from film finance. On the non-contentious side, Chambers includes production; financing and distribution concerns; IP; licensing and supplementary rights planning.

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Natural Resources

The Natural Resources sections focus on mining and minerals exploration, development and production agreements, including royalty issues, project finance, taxation and other financing arrangements. Engineering, processing and refining contracts, sales structures and environmental issues are also covered.

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Outsourcing covers legal aspects of the transfer of business administration and services to external providers, both domestically and internationally. The section includes every variation of this process, including IT outsourcing, business process outsourcing, and legal process outsourcing.

Occasionally unsuccessful outsourcing contracts can result in disputes and this type of work is also covered in the section.

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Parliamentary & Public Affairs

This UK section has three tables: Electoral Law, Parliamentary Agency and Public Affairs. It encompasses advice on political process, planning, authorisation, procurement, construction and delivery of major infrastructure and other projects. It also covers those involved in campaigning and lobbying and media relations advice.

Electoral law includes advice on both local and parliamentary elections, rules relating to the conduct of Members of Parliament, contributing to consultations and legislative reform of electoral law.

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This section deals with contentious and non-contentious partnership matters, primarily concerning professional clients such as architects, surveyors, accountants, lawyers, doctors and investment funds. This area includes work on corporate restructurings in which firms and companies convert to more sophisticated partnership structures, particularly LLPs.

Firms that specialise in partnership law also counsel clients in establishing offices overseas, mergers and acquisitions, partner and team moves, discrimination, and regulatory matters. Non-contentious work includes drafting of partnership agreements and crafting innovative partnership vehicles for corporate clients.

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Personal Injury

This section covers the full scope of litigation arising from injuries sustained outside of a clinical context. This includes litigation arising from workplace accidents, motor accidents, abuse claims and industrial disease. The regional chapters are split between Mainly Claimant and Mainly Defendant lawyers and firms.

Certain niche areas of international work are also covered by this chapter, such as injuries and abuse resulting from wars and corporate negligence, although purely travel-related injuries are covered in a separate section entitled Travel: International Personal Injury, within the Travel section of the guide.

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Police Law

Mainly Claimant: This covers the full range of actions and judicial reviews against the police, the IPCC and coroners’ decisions including unlawful arrests, assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, shootings, death in custody and inquests.
Mainly Defendant: This section focuses on lawyers and law firms who defend police forces against matters of the type listed above.

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Privacy & Data Security

The US Privacy and Data Security section covers compliance with a vast array of US federal and state privacy and information management laws. At the federal level, such laws are predominantly sector-specific and include the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act and the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

At the state level, a particularly notable area is advice on data security breaches and on the ramifications and requirements of various state data breach notification laws. Such data security breaches can also attract the attention of various state Attorneys General and federal bodies such as the FTC, which can lead to firms being required to represent clients in investigations, enforcement actions or litigation.

Work of an international nature can include advising clients with multinational operations on data security issues relating to cross-border transfers of data, such as in large-scale outsourcing transactions involving a number of countries, and on global or multi-jurisdictional privacy compliance programmes.

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Private Client / Wealth Management

This section ranks firms and lawyers who advise individuals and trustees on contentious and non-contentious aspects of asset management, including wills and probate, tax and trusts. Typical clients are high net worth individuals and, for Global, the work will feature a significant international dimension, including offshore trusts and assets across many jurisdictions.

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Products Liability

This chapter encompasses legal claims that allow an injured party to recover financial compensation from the manufacturer or seller of a product. This can include faulty brakes, contaminated food and medicine lacking appropriate label warnings. Law firms advise manufacturers, distributors, suppliers retailers and others who make the product available to the public. It also covers toxic tort, relating to the exposure to chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs or occupational hazards.

Most pharmaceutical claims are mass tort cases, because drugs are consumed by thousands of people. Occupational toxic tort cases occur where industrial and other works have been exposed to toxic chemicals. Most of the law in this area has traditionally arisen from asbestos exposure.

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Professional Discipline

This section covers those lawyers who advise on procedures for dealing with allegations of improper conduct or fitness-to-practice investigations. This may include either counseling on a specific case or testing whether established and proposed new disciplinary codes are adequately robust.

Clients are often drawn from professional services sectors such as finance, law and healthcare, although they may also include police or fire departments, sporting bodies and social workers.

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Professional Negligence

This section covers law firms, solicitors or barristers that specialise in disputes arising over loss suffered as a result of negligent advice given by professionals. A wide range of professionals are covered, including architects, surveyors, financial professionals, insurance brokers and solicitors or barristers.

The UK coverage is split into separate tables to highlight particular areas of expertise: Financial, Insurance, Legal, and Technology & Construction.

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This section focuses on the development and financing (limited and non-recourse) of large projects that arise from the capital intensive infrastructure and energy markets, and back-end litigation. Clients in this sector include sponsors, lenders, project originators and multilateral agencies and development banks.

In the energy sector, we include advice on the development of refineries, pipelines, LNG and petrochemical terminals, power plants and wind power, waste-to-energy and hydro-wave technology. The section also features infrastructure matters such as toll road and bridge financing; rail and light rail systems; water desalination plants as well as state sponsored programmes (PPP / PFI) such as hospitals, schools, housing and prisons.

See also: Banking & Finance; Energy & Natural Resources; Construction

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Public International Law

This section covers state-to-state disputes such as those governed by the law of nations and the law of the sea, as well as by international agreements and conventions. It includes matters traditionally held to constitute the core of public international law practices, such as land and maritime boundary disputes, sovereign immunity, state succession and claims to statehood. Investment arbitrations are also covered in this section (as well as in Arbitration (International)) where the aspects touch upon public international law (e.g investment treaty arbitration).

See also: Arbitration

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Real Estate

Corporate matters related to real estate include M&A of large real estate holding companies, complex fund and REIT transactions, private equity and public securities. These real estate lawyers are distinct from pure corporate lawyers in that they typically come from a real estate background, have an understanding of the underlying asset and do aspects of "dirt law" real estate for their clients.

In the USA, Chambers identifies specialist lawyers zoning and land use lawyers. They perform an important role in major developments, advising on zoning regulations and municipal restrictions used by some cities to control development within their borders. Easement and eminent domain (or condemnation) is also covered.

Real estate finance lawyers do not need to act exclusively for lenders but should have a healthy lender client base which gives them the volume of work in this field. Some of these lawyers will also handle aspects of complex debt capital markets - such as securitisation - but the decision to include them in a real estate table will be based on their understanding of the underlying asset.

The structuring and transactional advice provided to real estate investment trusts impacts on our real estate tables. Chambers produces rankings for REITs specialists on a Global-wide and  USA level.

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This chapter features structuring and transactional advice related to specialist real estate investment trusts. Includes: IPOs, going private transactions, joint ventures, M&As, REIT formation and investment work, restructurings, REIT tax issues, litigation, 144As that involve REITs, financings, Special Committee representations and UPREIT and DOWNREIT structure implementation.

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Retail is an industry table covering law firms who have developed a track record in serving the needs of large, national retailers. Naturally, real estate, planning and land use matters will feature prominently, but the firm must also advise on franchise, IP, trademark and e-commerce matters. Furthermore, it should ideally demonstrate aptitude in employment matters and be able to respond to the majority of tax, advertising and regulatory and consumer protection issues, as well as disputes both nationally and internationally.

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Shipping & maritime litigation involves breach of charter-party disputes, cargo and bills of lading claims, the arrest of vessels and cargoes, marine insurance claims, collision, salvage and environmental liabilities. On the non-contentious side, law firms advise on contractual arrangements for construction, financing and registration of vessels, customs and licensing, and documentation relating to charter-parties and bills of lading.

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Social Housing

These lawyers act for either the providers or consumers of social housing. This can comprise corporate work, such as governance and joint ventures - housing stock transfers, antisocial behaviour matters, construction or redevelopment financing, property issues, or defending social housing tenants against legal proceedings brought by the providers.

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The sports industry makes use of a wide array of legal services, and Chambers is keen to highlight the lawyers and law firms who have a demonstrable commitment to the sector, and understand the unique pressures and constraints which sports entities operate under.

The definition of sports law is oft disputed; Chambers sees commercial and regulatory work as its cornerstone, but seeks to highlight those firms which are best able to serve the sports industry as a whole, which requires consideration of work across a wide range of legal disciplines. This section also includes a separate chapter focusing on Horse Racing & Equestrian law.

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Tax covers a broad range of matters on both the contentious and non-contentious side. Non-contentious matters include M&A transactions and equity raising issues both at domestically and abroad, as well as tax advisory work on behalf of corporate clients.

Financing and investment management are other key non-contentious tax issues. On the contentious side, disputes with public authorities in the form of litigation, appeals and tribunals are included. In the UK, indirect tax matters, including such duties as VAT and stamp duty, are also covered.

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Technology & Communications

Technology focuses on contractual agreements in the technology field, often outsourcing contracts between large corporates and suppliers of IT services. Chambers' guides also include transactional matters such as M&A and financing in this chapter. Law firms often work with investors or start-up enterprises on a range of business issues including employment law, strategic alliances and joint ventures, stock exchange listings, mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance issues.

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The telecom section concentrates on a range of legal issues arising from the heavily regulated areas of telecommunications and broadcasting. Work includes transactional and litigation advice to telecoms companies, wireless operators, TV and / or radio broadcasters and the regulatory issues that such companies face. These issues might be government sponsored-inquires, investigations or compliance proceedings.

Other matters include interconnection and resales laws, multimedia agreements and licensing activity.

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Transportation is a broad industry category, which covers a number of discrete specialisms:

Aviation includes finance, regulatory and litigation matters. Finance concentrates on the advice to manufacturers, purchasers and investors (such as hedge and private equity funds) on the sale, leasing and acquisition of portfolios of aircraft. Also includes the 2001 UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, or Cape Town Convention, which relates to the electronic registration of aircraft interests.
Aviation Litigation: Tables cover traditional accident defense litigation, including advising aviation insurers on coverage and other issues, as well as product liability claims and general commercial disputes affecting the aviation industry.
Aviation Regulatory: Table spans representation before the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and other federal administrative agencies. Key issues include the reauthorisation of air traffic control systems and their funding. Also covers issues of congestion, and the Open Skies talks between the USA and the European Union.

Rail Includes advice to both railroads and the shippers. Key issues include rail rates litigation, fuel supply / surcharges and proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board. Road carriage / commercial covers issues of carriage of goods / cargo losses, personal injury matters, bills of lading disputes and cargo security compliance issues.

Road Infrastructure Please see the Projects chapter, which includes the financing and development of toll roads, rail projects seaports and airports, which can ultilise the public-private partnership model.

Shipping finance, litigation (such as cargo claims and contractual disputes) and regulatory matters are treated in separate tables. Shipping finance includes advice to the traditional bank market as well as hedge and private equity funds looking for new investment opportunities.

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The travel industry table encompasses legal advice on a broad array of market pressures including regulatory compliance on consumer safety, foreign personal injury litigation, and environmental concerns.

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