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Most innovative law firms in Corporate Law 2012

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LinklatersStand-outFunding solutions for pension schemes78823Designed groundbreaking structuring solutions to tackle pension scheme deficits. Clients say the firm was front and centre in devising the first longevity derivatives swap achieving greater certainty in the future funding requirements of pension schemes.
Gide Loyrette NouelStand-outNovel financing structure for Senegal's new international airport78722Devised a pioneering financing structure for Blaise Diagne International Airport. Clients commended the firm's negotiation and implementation of a new passenger charge to overcome Senegal's inability to borrow or use funds from the public treasury.
AshurstStand-outSale of Petra Energia's oil and gas project interests77721Applied English law asset sale and purchase techniques in the $700m sale of partly Russian owned oil and gas project interests in onshore Brazil to HRT O&G Exploração e Produção de Petróleo. This largest investment ever between Russia and Brazil confirms the primacy of English law for international oil and gas projects.
Slaughter and MayStand-outRepublic of Botswana diamond sales agreement77721Key strategic advice and negotiations enabling a transformational diamond sales agreement with De Beers, which will see the diamonds manufacturer and trader transfer its London-based rough diamond sales activities to Gaborone. It has enabled significant investment in Botswana, and is expected to boost workforce skills and create specialist jobs.
Uría MenéndezStand-outRecovering investors' indirect interest in Madoff Securities77721Crafted a unique transaction mechanism that enabled investors to recover their indirect interest in Optimal Strategic's $1.5bn claim in Madoff Securities. Clients say the firm was critical in pushing the ideas and the process forward to facilitate recovery at the best possible price.
Baker McKenzieHighly commendedBank of Georgia's migration to a premium listing of shares76720Navigated a path through international regulatory and listing rules to devise a novel structure enabling the National Bank of Georgia's share migration to the Official List and trading on the LSE Main Market. This was the first tender offer in Georgia and the first premium listing of a Caucasus bank in London.
Freshfields Bruckhaus DeringerHighly commendedNew structure to meet capital requirements in the Spanish private equity market76720An unprecedented sale structure in the Spanish private equity market allowing Liberbank, the bank, to sell its €400m stake in Telecable, the telecoms company. The firm identified a new way to meet challenging capital requirements, maximising price and minimising documentation.
Latham & WatkinsHighly commendedLandmark merger of German healthcare funds77620Drafted the agreement facilitating the landmark three-way merger of different types of healthcare fund in Germany, including DAK, BKK Gesundheit and BKK Axel Springer. The lawyers' strategic negotiations with the authorities were crucial in a highly regulated and challenging political environment.
Simmons & SimmonsHighly commendedAcquisition of UK 4G spectrum licences by UK Broadband68620Creation of structure that enabled the first-ever transfer and leasing of spectrum licences in the UK by Freedom 4, the telecoms and internet service provider owned by the Daisy Group. Led to the opening up of the spectrum trading market in the UK. The lawyers also devised a structure allowing buyer and seller to hold a joint licence to use the spectrum before it reverted to sole ownership.
Allen & OveryHighly commendedActing as a linchpin on two UK Government finance projects67619Helped set up the UK's Business Growth Fund, a £2.5bn equity investor in small and medium-sized enterprises owned and funded by five leading banks; and Big Society Capital, a £600m fund set up by the government in partnership with four banks to make indirect investments in social enterprises. Clients praised the firm's ability to reconcile the different parties' views.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, and Vinson & ElkinsHighly commendedJoint venture between Iraq gas company and foreign investors66719Vinson & Elkins advised the Iraqi ministry of oil on first joint venture between an Iraqi state-owned company, the South Gas Company, and major foreign investors. Used techniques never seen before in Iraq and contributed to the start-up of a large-scale Iraqi natural gas sector.
Debevoise & PlimptonHighly commendedUralkali's merger with OAO Silvinit57719Set the bar for corporate governance in Russia with a strategy and structure for a $24bn merger that has created the world's largest producer of potash by output. The deal has established a template for foreign investment in Russia. Clients commended the lawyers' flawless execution and integration with their team.
Hogan LovellsHighly commendedDuke Street's acquisition of Parabis66719Crafted the debt structure for Duke Street's acquisition of a majority stake in Parabis, the parent company of Cogent Law and Plexus Law, the insurance litigation firms. Helped the lenders develop a new credit policy for the financing of the first-ever leveraged buy-out in the legal sector.
Lawrence GrahamHighly commendedFirst acquisition of a UK law firm by a foreign law firm66719Devised tax and incentivisation structures for Australia's Slater & Gordon, the world's first publicly listed law firm, on its £54m acquisition of Russell Jones & Walker, the leading UK personal injury practice.
Allen & OveryCommendedVirgin Money's acquisition of Northern Rock66618Created unique post-Basel III perpetual capital notes in the first step towards returning the UK government's stake in the nationalised banks to the private sector. Clients commended the lawyers' can-do attitude in combination with their technical expertise.
Bird & BirdCommendedNew structure for Gas Turbine Efficiency's business sale57618Developed and drove the implementation of a unique structure to enable the quasi-public clean technology company to sell its business as a going concern to Wood Group, the multinational oil and gas services company. The lawyers enabled a sale price well above expectations at $26.5m.
CMS Cameron McKennaCommendedPrecedent for energy network infrastructure projects66618Work on Western Link, a major sub-sea transmission joint venture between National Grid and Scottish Power, established a new structure that can be used in other energy network deals.
Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves PereiraCommendedSale of productive unit of Cacaolat66618Helped devise an auction sale mechanism to ensure the iconic Spanish chocolate shakes-to-biscuits company's liquidity during its enforced sale, setting a template for future company rescues.
DLA PiperCommendedAbengoa's investment agreement with First Reserve Corporation66618Convinced the regulator of the viability of the Spanish multinational bio-energy company's strategic investment agreement with the US investment fund in the first-ever issue in Spain of low-voting shares. Clients praised the firm's commitment to getting results.
LinklatersCommendedGlencore's London and Hong Kong listings67518Executed the first cornerstone investment structure and the largest-ever initial public offering in London for the world's largest commodities and trading business. First simultaneous London and Hong Kong listing ever undertaken. The lawyers were commended for their excellence.
McCann FitzGeraldCommendedRestructuring and sale of Superquinn56718Acting for the receivers of the major Irish fresh foods retailer, the firm implemented the first pre-pack receivership sale in Ireland to Musgrave Group and helped safeguard 3,000 jobs.
NautaDutilhCommendedAcquisition of High Tech Campus Eindhoven66618Advised the investor consortium led by Marcel Boekhoorn and real estate investment and management company, Chalet Group, in the €425m acquisition of High Tech Campus Einhoven, the Dutch high-tech centre and research and development ecosystem. Enabled the first use of a credit tenant lease note in the Netherlands and its cross-border marketing to investors.
Shearman & SterlingCommendedStructuring the sale of Teesside Cast Products to Sahavririya Steel Industries66618Advised Tata Steel on the sale of some assets of Teesside Cast Products to Sahaviriya Steel Industries, Thailand's largest steel producer.
Slaughter and MayCommendedCorporate governance review for the Rugby Football Union68418Recommended dramatic changes to the corporate governance of the union, which promotes the sport in England. Clients commended the lawyers' imagination in carrying out this root and branch review, which is already being copied by other sports governing bodies.
Vieira de Almeida & AssociadosCommendedApplying ring-fencing technology in the corporate reorganisation of Brisa57618First application of ring-fencing technology in continental Europe in the €3bn corporate reorganisation of Brisa, the Portuguese highway construction and development company. Lawyers were crucial in enabling the company to have a higher Moody's credit rating than Portugal itself.
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