London is one of the leading centres of international trade and finance. It is a focal point for businesses entering the European market and for European and other enterprises launching strategic initiatives and investments elsewhere in the world. Furthermore, English law and jurisdiction are commonly chosen by parties to govern international commercial and financial transactions.
McDermott’s London office offers a broadly based service relevant to the City’s role as an international centre. The team plays a vital role for domestic clients’ legal needs—unlike most US law firms in London, virtually all of our lawyers are UK-qualified—as well as international companies with operations in the UK. Many of our clients’ businesses and interests are international in scope, and they rely on our ability to handle English law matters in foreign jurisdictions such as Africa, Asia and other international markets. Furthermore, we work as a coordinated team with our European offices on pan-European matters.
Our clients include public and privately owned companies, financial institutions, trading houses, funds and high-net-worth individuals and family offices. We provide counsel in numerous areas of law, including corporate/M&A, banking and finance, project finance, energy, private equity, labour and employment, tax and private client services. The growth of our office has been deliberate and measured, building on our core strengths and expanding to include key areas of legal counsel necessary to doing business in a competitive global market.
Our London-based lawyers and practices have been recognized repeatedly for the quality of our counsel and the level of service we provide. Legal directories and ratings agencies such as Chambers UK, The Legal 500 UK, IFLR1000 and Citywealth have praised us for providing “responsive and pragmatic advice” and “solutions that work for business,” combined with a “sensitivity to cost issues.”
Mergers & Acquisitions
Our mergers and acquisitions (M&A) lawyers represent a wide range of publicly and privately held businesses, from large multinational companies to venture-backed start-ups, as well as private equity funds, family offices and financial institutions. Our lawyers regularly conduct buy-side and sell-side due diligence on and manage complex transactions that include multi-jurisdictional components. Our transactional capability is enhanced by our knowledge of specific industry sectors and markets, as well as the commercial contexts within which our clients operate. Our approach to M&A is to develop a thorough understanding of a client’s business objectives and strategies so that we can provide superior service and results. We advise clients on public company takeovers, domestic and cross-border private company and assets transactions, regulatory analysis and execution, and competitive auction processes.
Our private equity lawyers are committed to helping sponsors and their portfolio companies in respect of all types of private equity transactions, including buyouts, buy-ins and add-ons, restructurings, refinancings and exits. Working seamlessly with our EU competition, regulatory, international dispute avoidance and resolution, intellectual property, media and technology, tax and employment practices, we advise clients on how to maximize after-tax investment returns at all stages of fund formation, buyouts, and early and late-stage investments.
Private Client & Wealth Management
Our award-winning London private client team boasts a number of leading individuals with broad international and cross-border experience. The team works closely with the Firm’s private client practice to represent high-net-worth individuals, multi-generational families, family offices, large closely held businesses, foundations, private trust companies, corporate trustees and special-purpose investment management entities worldwide. We regularly advise clients on cross-border tax, structuring and dispute resolution in the UK, United States, France, Switzerland and South Africa. We also have wide experience with structures in the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and other offshore financial centres, and work closely with our clients to protect and minimize risks to their assets in those jurisdictions. Our lawyers help clients address the complex mix of individual, family and business concerns that arise in the context of estate, wealth transfer and business succession planning, international tax planning, creation and operation of private foundations and charitable organizations, and dispute avoidance and management.
We represent clients from throughout the energy market, including commodity traders, investment banks, hedge funds, energy companies and government agencies. We have extensive experience in upstream advice for oil and gas majors and independents, advice in the area of energy commodities trading, including structured deals involving power, gas, emissions, coal, metals, LNG and biomass, and all other commodities and downstream projects. Our experienced energy project lawyers advise on all aspects of financing, developing, off-taking and contracting for energy and infrastructure projects, while our corporate energy and trading lawyers represent clients in mergers, acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. We have extensive history advising clients in infrastructure projects such as new-build energy capacity, transmission lines and terminals, including all aspects of project documentation and financing, with a particular emphasis on conventional power and renewables.
Tax & Transfer Pricing
Our highly ranked tax practice provides professional advice in all areas of taxation for major companies doing business in Europe as well as those operating internationally. We provide cutting-edge representation of multinational corporations, large private businesses, financial institutions and individuals, combining our London lawyers’ talent and innovation with extensive contacts at revenue authorities in Europe, the United States and throughout the world. We offer strategic European and international tax planning services, covering all direct and indirect taxes, and deliver innovative advice quickly and effectively. We are regularly sought by major multinational enterprises to handle transfer pricing planning, advance pricing agreement (APA) and controversy matters, including controversy cases that other professional advisors have not been able to resolve. We routinely handle some of the largest transfer pricing cases around the world. Our team has established working relationships with—and an understanding of—taxing authorities worldwide.
Labour , Employment & Benefits
Our UK employment team represents employers across a broad range of industries. The team works in partnership with clients to identify the potential legal implications of workplace issues, develop comprehensive programmes that will limit legal exposure, and provide effective representation to clients in litigation. We counsel clients at every step in the employment process, from recruiting and hiring, through retention and training, to termination and retirement. Our lawyers have in-depth experience working with clients to manager their most sensitive and confidential employee relations issues, including guidance throughout disciplinary, grievance and sickness absence processes. The team is equally adept at handling the employment and benefits issues that arise in the context of complex corporate transactions and business reorganizations. An additional dimension is the team’s concentration on European data privacy.
Constellation Hotels Holding Ltd SCA in its acquisition of 64 per cent of the share capital of Coroin Limited from the Barclay Brothers for luxury landmark London hotels Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley
Stonehage on its merger with Fleming Family & Partners to form Stonehage Fleming Family and Partners
Universal Health Services on the $335 million acquisition of UK mental health facilities operator, Cygnet Health Care
Olam International Limited, a global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, with all of their recent M&A and Africa-related activities, including the $275 million acquisition of the wheat milling and pasta manufacturing assets of the BUA Group in Nigeria, and the $1.3 billion acquisition to Archer Daniels Midland’s global cocoa division
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a US private equity fund, on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of C.J. Fallon, one of Ireland’s longest-established educational publishers
Leo Capital 1 LLP (owned by Vespa Capital) on their minority interest in Catalis SE, a Dutch company, from Navigator Solutions SE
Great Point Partners, a US-based private equity fund, on its leveraged buyout of Softbox Systems Ltd