The 2016 edition of Who′s Who Legal: Banking identifies 748 practitioners from 310 firms across 70 countries. This year our research is split into two sections: finance and regulatory. Leading the research is Clifford Chance, with a total of 36 listings across its international network. A "dominant force" in the banking sector, our research attests to the firm′s "depth of expertise" across its network, with lawyers recognised in 13 offices. Allen & Overy boasts several stars in offices across Asia-Pacific, Europe and South Africa, while Sullivan & Cromwell stands out at the "pre-eminent firm" in the US. Linklaters is well positioned in Europe and Asia, and White & Case stands out for housing market leaders in developed and emerging regions. In addition we single out the leading banking individuals in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

Clifford Chance once again impresses with its "market-leading" banking practice. The firm achieves a total of 36 listings across our finance and regulatory sections. London remains the "hub of activity" and is home to "financing guru" Mark Campbell. A "dedicated practitioner" specialising in syndicated, leveraged and structured finance transactions, as well as restructurings, Campbell is a "leading name" in the loan markets. Nicola Wherity is described as being "at the forefront of legal developments in the syndicated loan market". She is "first rate" and is praised by peers for her "comprehensive understanding". Jim MacHale has a broad financing practice specialising in corporate banking work, while Emma Folds concentrates on domestic and cross-border lending including leveraged buy-outs, infrastructure financings and investment grade loans. Simon Gleeson is best known for his "vast knowledge" of regulatory issues and has experience advising governments, regulators, public bodies, banks, investment firms and other financial institutions on regulatory issues. The Luxembourg office is well known for its finance and regulatory know-how. Steve Jacoby co-heads the Luxembourg banking, finance and capital markets practice and is recommended for his “expert handling of finance transactions” and knowledge of banking regulation. Fellow co-head Marc Mehlen and Christian Kremer were recently part of the team advising AEW Europe in partnership with China Investment Corporation on the acquisition and financing of the Celsius portfolio. The firm also boasts a strong Asian offering including Paul Greenwell in Hong Kong and Andrew Brereton in Singapore. Greenwell concentrates on asset and structured finance with experience in the Japanese and PRC markets, while Brereton is noted for his "vast experience in the Asian markets" and also leads the firm′s Indonesia working group.

Allen & Overy receives praise for its impressive "breadth of practice"; the firm garners 33 listings representing 15 of its offices. In London, Timothy Polglase stands out as being a "star" in the market due to his "client dedication" and "unsurpassed knowledge of structured finance transactions". Co-head of the global banking practice Stephen Kensell specialises in debt financing and is noted for his "exceptional handling of transactions from start to finish". Trevor Borthwick is the head of the global corporate lending group and a "favourite with clients" due to his "easy manner" and "technical excellence". In Luxembourg, office managing partner Henri Wagner leads the banking and capital markets department. He excels on the finance side and is also highly recommended for his knowledge of financial services regulatory matters. Vaclav Valvoda heads the banking and finance practice in Prague and is a "details-oriented lawyer" with “great negotiation skills”. Lionel Shawe in South Africa is frequently consulted for his banking regulation expertise including exchange-control issues. He is also an active finance lawyer with experience in structured, acquisition and leveraged financings. Sydney-based Jason Huinink is a “reassuring adviser” while in Singapore John Richards is a “great operator” who has been operating in the region for over 13 years.

At Sullivan & Cromwell, 17 lawyers achieve 24 listings in this year’s edition. The “legendary” Rodgin Cohen remains the standout banking lawyer at the firm. Based in New York, peers “cannot praise him highly enough” for both his financing and regulatory work. Michael Wiseman represents commercial and investment banks in regulatory and enforcement issues as well as transactional matters. He has been involved in high profile matters including advising AIG in connection with the US$85 billion emergency financing plan with the Federal Reserve and subsequent US$30 billion equity capital commitment facility during the financial crisis. Donald Toumey is a “sensational lawyer” who advises on banking and broker-dealer regulatory matters and has also been involved in major bank mergers and acquisitions, and bank acquisitions of investment management and investment banking firms. Andrew Gerlach advises on transactions involving financial institutions as well as regulatory matters with federal and state regulatory agencies. Mitchell Eitel is managing partner of the financial services group and co-managing partner of the global general practice group. He is a “font of knowledge” in relation to bank regulatory and enforcement matters and is regularly involved in the most complex transactions in the financial services industry. In Washington, DC, Virgil Mattingly formerly worked at the Federal Reserve Board and clients appreciate his “insight on banking regulatory matters”. William Kroener III is an “esteemed practitioner” with expertise in the supervision and regulation of banks and financial institutions. Outside of the US, Keiji Hatano in Tokyo is commended for being a “stellar adviser” and Presley Warner in London is a “great strategist” and head of the firm’s European credit and leveraged finance practice.

Linklaters garners 16 listings across its European and Asian offices. Global head of banking Gideon Moore specialises in acquisition finance and corporate lending and is a “terrific” lawyer who is “extremely able”. Nick Syson co-heads the leveraged finance practice and his “stellar deal list” includes advising the lenders on Apax’s 11 billion krone facility to acquire Evry ASA and KKR’s €635 million bid to acquire WMF AG. Fellow co-head Brian Gray is “very effective” and considered “unflappable”. Philip Spittal receives widespread praise for his broad finance experience and acts for lenders and borrowers. His recent work includes acting on the €904 million acquisition and bridge facilities for Sanoma Oyj for European media assets. Patrick Geortay in Luxembourg heads the capital markets and banking group at the office and his banking expertise encompasses credit and taking of security, structured finance and asset finance. In addition to this he is recognised as a “leading authority” on regulatory issues. Singapore-based Philip Badge has “invaluable experience” in banking finance and is a “great asset to the firm”.

White & Case is represented by 15 listings, with its strongest showing in its New York office. Head of the firm’s global banking practice Eric Berg is also the firm’s head of Asia and his practice encompasses a wide range of finance matters. He is an “accomplished practitioner” who impresses with his “hands-on approach”. Ernest Patrikis is a “leading light” on US regulatory issues and reforms. Clients value his “great insight” and “comprehensive understanding” of the industry. Duane Wall has an “impressive roster of clients” and is a “reassuring adviser” who assists financial institutions in navigating regulatory issues and in funding operations. London-based Lee Cullinane is the banking sector head for the EMEA region. He enjoys a “high-profile practice” advising on complex transactions and is “highly efficient”. Jacqueline Evans advises lenders, borrowers and private equity houses on major financial deals. She is described by peers as a “standout name” in the market. In Brazil, Donald Baker has a “great insight into the local market” and offers clients a “sophisticated service” encompassing corporate finance transactions. 

At Ashurst, lawyers are recognised a total of 13 times across the two sections of this guide. In London, Helen Burton is noted for her expertise in cross-border leveraged finance and acquisition finance. Mark Vickers is best known for his work on the debt funding of public to private takeovers and is considered a “leading light” in the area. Nigel Ward is a specialist in leveraged finance, infrastructure finance and restructurings; he is “technically excellent”. The firm’s offices in Asia-Pacific are also host to leading specialists. In Melbourne, Martin  Coleman is a banking and finance “guru” whose “personable manner” and “efficient working >

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer garners 12 listings in this edition. The Frankfurt office emerges as a "hub of talent" and among the leading names is Frank Laudenklos, a specialist in debt financing. Possessing a "sharp mind" and "exceptional abilities" Laudenklos has a "great reputation" in the field. In London, Sean Pierce co-heads the global financial services sector and has a broad banking practice. He provides "a first-rate client service” and handles matters with a "strategic approach". Alex Mitchell has a broad banking practice and is "diligent and commercially minded". Friedrich Jergitsch in Vienna is a "standout" in the market who specialises in banking finance and regulatory matters. Clients appreciate his "holistic approach to matters".

Davis Polk & Wardwell also has 12 listings in this edition, including the "terrific" Randall Guynn in New York who heads the financial institutions group. He is noted for his "strong grasp on technical banking issues" and is a "thought leader" on financial regulatory reform. Margaret Tahyar also advises on regulatory and finance matters and is a "sensational adviser" who "really knows her stuff". Bradley Smith specialises in secured credit transactions and is an "esteemed practitioner" while Donald Bernstein heads the insolvency and restructuring practice at the firm and is "highly sought after". Representing the firm′s São Paulo office is Stephen Hood, a "specialist" in cross-border lending work with over 25 years′ experience in the field.

Latham & Watkins achieves 12 listings across six of its offices. In London, Christopher Kandel co-chairs the firm’s global banking practice and specialises in international acquisition and leveraged finance transactions. He is a "sophisticated practitioner" who is "revered" in the London market. Dan Maze is also "very active" in London where he advises on the gamut of finance transactions. Gregory Robins chairs the Los Angeles finance department, focusing primarily in the leveraged finance area, while Chicago-based David Crumbaugh specialises in representing banks and commercial finance companies in secured finance transactions.

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, 10 individuals appear a total of 12 times across both the regulatory and finance sections. Robert Tortoriello in New York is a "distinguished figure" in the market, whose experience encompasses domestic and foreign bank expansion into all types of non-bank services as well as cross-border transactions and initiatives. In Washington, DC, Linda Soldo is recommended for her "superior knowledge" of banking law and her "forensic approach" to finance transactions. Derek Bush is a "very bright" lawyer who advises on regulatory requirements and assists financial institutions with their corporate transactions.

Cravath Swaine & Moore enjoys seven listings in this edition and boasts the "superb" James Cooper in New York. He advises banking clients in financing transactions and also counsels corporate borrowers on their financing arrangements with banks and other financial institutions. He is a "great negotiator" and has a "hands-on approach".

Edward Herlihy at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is highly recommended for his "prestigious practice". He is co-chairman of the firm’s executive committee and his practice has seen him advise on some of the highest-profile bank and financial institution mergers and acquisitions and recapitalisations throughout the US. He is joined in this edition by two further practitioners at the firm: Richard Kim and Patricia Robinson.

In Latin America, several firms and individuals stood out. Carlos Creel C of Creel Abogados in Mexico City is a "details-oriented lawyer" with extensive experience in corporate finance transactions. He has also been involved in advising the Mexican government on the drafting and revising of venture capital and securities laws and regulations. Also in Mexico City, Michell Nader S of Nader Hayaux y Goebel is rated for his "comprehensive advice" in relation to finance transactions.

Nei Schilling Zelmanovits at Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados is head of the São Paulo office and a "revered" banking finance and regulatory lawyer. José Roberto Opice is also recommended from the firm.

At Claro y Cia in Santiago, Rodrigo Ochagavía is a "top talent" in the corporate finance legal market. His "stellar client list" includes lenders, borrowers and governments and he is "the first port of call" in the region.

A founding partner of Posse Herrera Ruiz in Bogotá Mariana  Posse leads the capital markets and finance practice group and advises on the financing of major corporate groups in Colombia as well as assisting with the necessary approvals for the opening of local financial institutions of major multinational banks. Clients "cannot recommend her highly enough".

In Europe, founding partner of Arendt & Medernach Philippe Dupont is head of the firm’s banking and finance unit. Based in Luxembourg, he specialises in bank regulatory and finance transactions. Peers praise his "diligent manner" and describe him as a "pleasure to work with". Frankfurt-based Daniel Weiss at Hengeler Mueller "always delivers" and is a "great problem-solver". The firm achieves a total of six listings in this year′s edition demonstrating its "depth of expertise" in the sector.

At Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group in Johannesburg, Ulrike Naumann is head of finance. She recently acted as legal adviser to Rand Merchant Bank Division in connection with a 4.5 billion rand loan advanced to Foocorp Proprietary Limited to fund the redemption of its euro-denominated notes which are due to mature in 2018. 

In Australia, two lawyers at Gilbert + Tobin are highly recommended. John Schembri in Sydney concentrates on structured, project and leveraged financing. He is a "powerhouse of knowledge" and a "technical expert". Melbourne-based Simon Lynch is a "top-ranked" banking lawyer who "always delivers a high-quality service".

Also in Sydney, Peter Doyle at King & Wood Mallesons is a "definite inclusion" on any list. He represents one of the firm′s nine listings and possesses a "sterling reputation" for his work in financing transactions.

At Allens, two lawyers are recommended including Phillip Cornwell in Sydney who heads the project finance group. He is a "reassuring adviser" who “puts clients at ease” and has vast experience in finance transactions in the Asia-Pacific region. Diccon Loxton also comes highly recommended.

Singapore-based firm Allen & Gledhill achieves seven listings in this edition, including the "renowned" Lucien Wong. With more than 30 years’ experience in banking and financial services work, Wong is a "top choice" for clients in the region. He provides "practical advice" and is a "great asset to the firm".

(Who’s Who Legal - dez./2015)

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