Chambers Europe Awards 2018
This year's Chambers Europe Awards ceremony and dinner took place on Friday, 20th April at the InterContinental Madrid.
These awards honour the work of national and international law firms across Europe on the basis of research for the upcoming edition of Chambers Europe. They recognise a law firm’s pre-eminence in key countries in the region. They also reflect notable achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.
NOMINATIONS AND WINNERS
Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession: Fernando Vives Ruiz
Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession: Gary Born
Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession: Cani Fernández
Austria Law Firm of the Year
BINDER GRÖSSWANG Rechtsanwälte GmbH
CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Winner: Wolf Theiss
Wolf Theiss stands out as one of the leaders in the Austrian market boasting top positions in several sections including Banking & Finance, Corporate M&A, Real Estate and Capital Markets. Its clientele includes several international banks and investors as well as some of the larger domestic corporations. Frequently advising on high-profile, complex transactions, Wolf Theiss acted as lead counsel for T-Mobile on its EUR1.9 billion acquisition of UPC Austria from Liberty Global.
Austria Client Service Award
Winner: CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati
Clients appreciate CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati for its “high accessibility of lawyers and pragmatic consulting approach.” The firm is noted for its “straightforward and focused advice, addressing potential risks or weaknesses in a position and never oppressing potentially uncomfortable facts from the customers.” Sources further praise the lawyers’ “experience with international transaction and help to navigate cultural issues.”
Belgium Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy LLP
DLA Piper LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick
Stibbe is an outstanding Benelux firm, with a prominent position in the Belgian market. A leader in a broad range of practices, including Public Law, Real Estate and Energy, Stibbe boasts involvement in numerous major deals across the Belgian market. The firm recently advised on the acquisition of the Woluwe shopping centre in Brussels by Eurocommercial Properties, as well as acting for Eni on the sale of Eni Gas & power to Eneco.
Belgium Client Service Award
Winner: Baker McKenzie
Clients have high praise for the Baker McKenzie lawyers’ abilities and dedication to customer needs. One impressed client enthuses that lawyers are "consistently responsive, deliver legal advice that comes with business recommendations and take the time to understand our business and adapt themselves accordingly." Another source emphasises that "the Baker McKenzie team has always performed as an outstanding partner in the transaction process. The team interacts with a hands-on attitude on every dimension of the deal,” adding: “Their ability to provide you with professional advice is outstanding because it is not only technically sound but also shows their capacity to explain a complex legal structure with layman’s terms."
Czech Republic Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy
BBH, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.
Clifford Chance LLP
Kocián Šolc Balaštík
Winner: Clifford Chance LLP
Clifford Chance is a mainstay of the Czech legal market with longstanding top-tier rankings in a number of practice areas including Corporate/M&A, Banking & Finance and Real Estate. Each department also houses some of the leading lawyers in the Czech market as well as the wider CEE region for which the Clifford Chance office in Prague frequently acts as a hub. Its prominent clientele includes domestic as well as international investment banks and global corporations. In recent highlights, the firm advised CBRE on its sale of a retail portfolio in CEE to CPI Property Group to the value of EUR650 million.
Denmark Law Firm of the Year
Bruun & Hjejle
Bech-Bruun continues to be one of the most prominent firms in the Danish market, maintaining its numerous and impressive rankings across a multitude of disciplines. Enjoying longstanding recognition in practice areas such as restructuring and insolvency, employment, tax and real estate, the firm has also risen to the top tier for dispute resolution and intellectual property on the back of outstanding client plaudits. The group is renowned for representing household names in both domestic and international mandates. Clients of the firm say: "They worked effectively, had their eye on the important issues, knew when to assist with matters and they also had a good, practical approach as to when to apply specialist resources."
Finland Law Firm of the Year
Castrén & Snellman
Outstanding powerhouse Roschier has significantly strengthened its already impressive dominance in the Finnish market. The firm made numerous lateral hires of highly regarded practitioners, most notably in the TMT, employment and tax departments. The group maintains its historical reputation as a leader in the fields of banking and finance, competition, corporate/M&A, intellectual property and tax, as well as recently attaining top rankings for its capital markets and TMT teams. The firm assisted Rovio Entertainment with its IPO on the Nasdaq Helsinki. Clients frequently laud the quality and the commercially-oriented nature of the firm's deliverables and service, with one source explaining that "they are highly knowledgeable, not only about the law but also the way that companies do business – they understand this well and follow the trends."
France Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance Europe LLP
DLA Piper France LLP
Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Winner: Bredin Prat
Well established domestic firm Bredin Prat acts on a range of market-leading deals, offering particular expertise in M&A transactions owing to a strong team which includes three top-ranked individuals. The firm offers further strength in its top tier practices handling competition, litigation and employment matters, among many others, and its banking and finance practice made strides. The firm recently advised Delfin, as the controlling stakeholder of Luxottica, on the EUR47 billion merger of Luxottica and Essilor.
Germany Law Firm of the Year
Latham & Watkins LLP
Winner: Latham & Watkins LLP
Latham & Watkins has established itself as the leading US firm in the German market and has built an impressive reputation and client base comprising US investment banks, private equity houses as well as German corporates. The firm has maintained rankings in a broad range of practice areas and placed itself at the top of the market in banking and finance. It has also advanced in the private equity and capital markets rankings, areas in which it also boasts a number of leading individuals. Notable clients include Deutsche Bank, UniCredit, 3i Group and HgCapital.
Greece Law Firm of the Year
Dryllerakis & Associates
Karatzas & Partners
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm
Koutalidis Law Firm
Lambadarios Law Firm
Winner:Karatzas & Partners
A stalwart of the Greek market, Karatzas & Partners consistently provides industry-leading expertise and service levels to an impressive roster of clients in the domestic and international arena. Notable areas of prowess include banking and finance deals, corporate and commercial mandates, restructuring and insolvency matters and real estate law. Clients praise the team’s "significantly high level of service in terms of response time, business acumen, industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength-in-depth and value for money. The lawyers' depth and breadth of knowledge ensures that they are able to support every client's business needs successfully and provide high quality, innovative legal solutions." The firm advised the Hellenic Republic with regard to its 2017 bond issuances and exchanges.
Hungary Law Firm of the Year
Andrékó Kinstellar Ügyvédi Iroda
Hegymegi-Barakonyi és Társa Baker & McKenzie Ügyvédi Iroda
Horváth & Partners DLA Piper
Lakatos Köves & Partners
An international law firm with a solid track record in the Hungarian market, CMS impresses with its strength across the board, with top rankings in areas such as Corporate/M&A, Banking & Finance and Dispute Resolution. Clients have high praise for the services offered, with one noting that "it is obvious that they have extensive experience. They quickly understand the needs of their clients and provide prompt solutions."
Ireland Law Firm of the Year
Mason Hayes & Curran
Winner: A&L Goodbody
According to one source, A&L Goodbody is "one of the top firms in terms of expertise, quality and speed of service.” Traditionally one of the largest and most well-established providers of legal advice in Ireland, the firm demonstrates an impressive and unrivalled number of band 1 rankings across the Irish legal market. The group is highly recognised for acting for blue-chip clients on domestic and multi-jurisdictional mandates. A&L Goodbody represented Perrigo on the USD2.85 billion divestment of Tysabri.
Ireland Client Service Award
Winner: Arthur Cox
Clients are quick to highlight Arthur Cox’s "gold-plated service," with the practitioners’ responsiveness and business-oriented approach being particular facets, in addition to the lawyers’ technical expertise. One source describes the lawyers as "responsive and very focused on the client’s wishes." Another interviewee explains: "The staff were very nice, dedicated to getting the job done and mindful of timelines. The firm is a service provider that is dedicated to delivering, and that is priceless. All the resources were put to work." Further sources say that the "client service is excellent and I find that the commercial awareness is particularly strong."
Italy Law Firm of the Year
DLA Piper Italy
Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli & Partners
Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners
Nctm Studio Legale
Domestic powerhouse BonelliErede is a mainstay in the Italian legal landscape, offering top tier teams for transactional and contentious work, and with a growing reputation for its public law practice. With even more team members recognised in our tables this year, the firm demonstrates skill in major domestic and cross-border deals, with recent assistance provided to the Luxottica Group on its EUR50 billion all-share combination with Essilor.
Italy Client Service Award
Winner: Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners
Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners is a popular choice for both Italian and international clients, who value the firm's flexibility and availability, in addition to the strategic support offered in important decisions. Sources further underline the lawyers’ sensitivities to aspects beyond the law, noting: “The standards are very high – they work well on each and every aspect of the matter, demonstrating a broad comprehension of all the softer issues around the deal.”
Luxembourg Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy Luxembourg
Arendt & Medernach
Elvinger Hoss Prussen
Winner: Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance boasts an impressive and broad offering in the Luxembourg market, with a particularly strong reputation in banking and finance. The advancement of the investment funds and dispute resolution practices to the top band this year continues to solidify the firm's position as a market leader. Sources highlight the lawyers’ depth of expertise and attention to client needs, and one interviewee comments: "They grasped our specific needs immediately and, with their perfect knowledge of the industry and the markets, they gave us clear and unambiguous guidance."
Netherlands Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy LLP
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
Loyens & Loeff
Full-service firm Stibbe continues to command respect in the Netherlands, boasting top band rankings in many areas, including competition/European Law, dispute resolution, employment and public law. The firm has been involved in many key deals in the Dutch market of late, with highlights including acting on behalf of PostNL on the EUR2.5 billion offer from bpost.
Netherlands Client Service Award
Houthoff receives praise from clients for its lawyers’ excellent service. One source enthuses: "With a broad range of experience, the lawyers perfectly fit our wide range of issues, cases and questions. They are always fast at responding and easy to reach. The advice we receive is effective, understandable and to the point." Another client also notes: "The lawyers are very knowledgeable and quick to respond to queries with detailed and well-explained analysis." The firm is also admired by clients for its handling of international work and its in-depth industry expertise across the board.
Norway Law Firm of the Year
Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Winner: Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS
Maintaining its exceptional standards, Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS impresses with its pre-eminence across a multitude of practice areas. Attention is also drawn to its international capabilities and enviable bench depth of practitioners at all levels, with sources describing the personnel as "extremely efficient and top-notch lawyers." Another client says: "They are very skilful. They are among the best and cover all the disciplines, so when you go to BAHR you feel comfortable that you will get all the help you need." The firm acted for Point Resources on its acquisition of ExxonMobil's Norwegian operated upstream business, with a deal value of EUR875 million.
Poland Law Firm of the Year
SSW Pragmatic Solutions
WKB Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr
Winner: Clifford Chance
Powerhouse Clifford Chance boasts local versatility and international capabilities, offering top-notch expertise in M&A, banking, DCM, private equity and restructuring to its enviable client base. The team offers a deep bench of experienced practitioners, regularly working on the most complex and challenging transactions in the jurisdiction. With further top-tier rankings in competition, construction and dispute resolution, the firm receives a raft of praise for its comprehensive services.
Portugal Law Firm of the Year
Campos Ferreira, Sá Carneiro & Associados
DLA Piper ABBC
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados, SP, RL
Uría Menéndez - Proença de Carvalho
VdA demonstrates market leading abilities across a dozen practice areas in the Portugal chapter, from banking and finance to life sciences, private equity and IP. The firm has also gained a new top band ranking in Energy & Natural Resources during our 2018 research cycle, demonstrating strength both domestically and abroad. A cross-practice team recently led ICU Medical's acquisition of 100% of Pfizer's global infusion therapy business for USD1 billion.
Portugal Client Service Award
Winner: PLMJ Lawyers
PLMJ Lawyers is described as “effective, commercial and proactive” in its provision of advice. It has a reputation for providing clients with clear explanations and written communications, and praise for the firm's services includes appreciation of the teams' ability to fully support clients. One interviewee explains: “The lawyers are flawless in complying with deadlines and offer additional and relevant opinions which prove to be fundamental in our line of work.”
Romania Law Firm of the Year
Clifford Chance Badea
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA
Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații
A prominent domestic firm, PeliFilip’s excellent position in the Romanian market is exemplified with its impressive overall portfolio of rankings as well as its advancement to the top band in Capital Markets. The firm is also increasingly prominent in areas such as Real Estate and Energy & Natural Resources. A recent example of the team’s top-end market activity includes its assistance with Kingfisher's acquisition of the Romanian operations of Praktiker.
Russia Law Firm of the Year
DLA Piper Rus Ltd
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Goltsblat BLP (from April 2018 Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP).
Dentons is a renowned heavyweight in the Russian legal market, with an excellent offering in a range of areas including M&A, IP, employment and tax. The team draws from its expertise in corporate and disputes to offer comprehensive services in areas such as refinancing and restructuring. The lawyers frequently act on high-profile mandates, including advising the RDIF consortium on its 25% acquisition stake in the holding company of Pulkovo Airport.
Spain Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance S.L.
Herbert Smith Freehills
With no fewer than 14 band one lawyers, and two more added during our 2018 research, Linklaters consistently impresses. The Madrid team has strengthened its position in the Tax, Insolvency and Project Finance tables this year, and continues to garner high praise for its top ranked finance, M&A and private equity offerings. During 2017, the firm demonstrated its prowess in its advice to Cerberus on its acquisition of 80% of BBVA's real estate business.
Spain Client Service Award
Winner: Uría Menéndez
Sources are quick to recognise Uría Menéndez’ important position in the Spanish market, coupled with its superb client service. Repeatedly highlighted for its responsiveness and business know-how, it is described as a “truly phenomenal” firm which “takes 24/7 care of clients’ needs.” One source expands: “They're a joy to work with, both professionally and personally: they are reliable, thorough, knowledgeable and also very user-friendly.”
Sweden Law Firm of the Year
Advokatfirman Cederquist KB
Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Winner: Mannheimer Swartling
Mannheimer Swartling continues to reinforce its sterling reputation as one of the main authorities in the Swedish legal market. As well as its exceptional acumen in transactions, tax and disputes, the firm is also highly recognised across many other practice areas, leading sources to say: "Mannheimer Swartling is the most full-service Swedish firm." Particular strengths highlighted by clients pertain to the firm's impressive size and cross-border prowess.
Switzerland Law Firm of the Year
Bär & Karrer AG
Lenz & Staehelin
Niederer Kraft Frey
Walder Wyss Ltd
Wenger & Vieli Ltd.
Winner: Niederer Kraft Frey
A good choice for both international and domestic matters, Niederer Kraft Frey offers clients full service coverage of the Swiss legal market. The firm boasts top tier teams in banking and finance, capital markets and corporate/M&A, and the competition has advanced in the rankings following an excellent year. The firm's notable work highlights include acting as the lead advisor to Actelion on the USD30 billion tender offer by Johnson & Johnson.
Turkey Law Firm of the Year
Balcıoğlu Selçuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership (BASEAK)
Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein
Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı Attorneys at Law
Winner: Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein
Esin Attorney Partnership, a Member Firm of Baker McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein has had a particularly strong year, improving its position in the intellectual property, TMT and banking and finance rankings. Offering services to a range of domestic and multinational clients, the firm has first rate practices in the corporate/M&A and employment markets. Of late, the firm advised BRF on the TRY1.14 billion purchase of a majority equity stake in Bandırma Vitaminli Yem Sanayi. Clients are eager to praise the team and say: “The firm offers the highest level of quality in all of Turkey. The team members are extremely responsive and commercially shrewd.”
UK Law Firm of the Year
Allen & Overy LLP
Burges Salmon LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright
Winner: Allen & Overy LLP
This year's winner stands out for its excellent reputation in the UK. A member of the Magic Circle, Allen & Overy impresses with its depth of knowledge and extensive expertise in a range of areas. Boasting an impressive 25 Band 1 rankings in the UK alone, the firm has achieved top rankings in Patent Litigation and Capital Markets: Equity in the recent edition and is gaining recognition for its Private Equity: Buyouts and Mining departments.
Ukraine Law Firm of the Year
Winner: Sayenko Kharenko
This excellent domestic firm has an outstanding reputation in the Ukrainian legal market, leading in areas such as banking, capital markets, competition and restructuring. Also lauded for its standout arbitration capabilities, this distinguished team frequently represents both national and multinational blue-chip clients. Recent work highlights include advising JSC Ukreximbank on the USD1 billion framework agreement between PJSC Ukrzaliznytsya and General Electric Transportation.
Offshore Law Firm of the Year
With offices in Guernsey and Jersey, as well as the Cayman and British Virgin Islands, Ogier stands out for its excellent capabilities in cross-border matters. The firm has leading practices in corporate, finance and trusts, where individuals have also gained top-tier rankings. Ogier is also prominent in high-profile matters concerning property and advised on law aspects of purchases of the "Walkie Talkie," the Cheesegrater and the Ampersand Building in London.
Baltic-Wide Law Firm of the Year
Ellex remains one of the top leading firms in the region, greatly expanding its practice and capacity as a result of merging with Primus in Estonia in 2017. The firm earns market recognition for its deep bench of lawyers and top-notch offerings in all three of the Baltic States, demonstrating particular strength in banking, corporate/commercial, dispute resolution, employment, real estate and energy. It recently advised Guangzhou Hangxin Aviation Technology on its acquisition of Magnetic MRO, a pan-Baltic aircraft maintenance company.
Baltic-Wide Client Service Award
Winner: Eversheds Sutherland
Eversheds Southerland consistently attracts positive feedback, with many praising its business acumen and approachability. One impressed client states: “I think the responsiveness to our demands is very high, there are sometimes matters we need to deal with urgently and I'm able to pick up the phone and talk to the main partner. The quality is very good, and I really like way they manage to put both things together and give us a legal perspective as well as practical views and provide practical assistance on how issues should be solved.” Another client notes: “I have never been left alone with a problem, and they have always helped me to find a positive solution.” Sources also appreciate the firm's “outstanding working culture, delivering well on promises and its client-centric mindset.”
Central & Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year
Clifford Chance LLP
Dentons boasts a strong presence in the CEE region with offices in 6 jurisdictions. In addition to its top ranking in real estate, the firm has gained recognition for its banking and finance offering and continues to be noted for its work in corporate/M&A and projects and energy. The firm has assisted with several prominent M&A and financing transactions in the region, most notably in the energy and real estate industries. One highlight includes representing CPI Property Group on its acquisition of a retail portfolio with assets in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania from CBRE to the value of EUR650 million.
Europe Law Firm of the Year
Winner: Clifford Chance
Boasting over 80 top-tier rankings in the 2018 edition of Chambers Europe, Clifford Chance has continued to impress with its exceptional service and market-leading mandates. The firm offers pre-eminent practices across the continent, including in the UK, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the CEE region and in a range of sectors. Frequently highlighted for its leading banking and finance and capital markets practices, the firm also stands out for its capabilities in real estate, projects, energy and corporate/M&A on an international scale. Among recent highlights, the firm advised KKR on the acquisition of 40% of Telxius from Telefónica. Sources appreciate that the firm’s support “is absolutely in line with expectations – they are very responsive, very proactive and absolutely professional in every single answer they give us.”
Our past Europe Awards have been attended by the most influential and successful lawyers in Europe. This event will provide exclusive networking opportunities with a highly-receptive audience of private practice lawyers and general counsel.
For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jess Lindsay-Lonton at Jess.Lindsay-Lonton@chambersandpartners.co.uk.