London

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
CityPoint, 1 Ropemaker Street
London EC2Y 9AW England

T: +44 20 3580 4700
F: +44 20 3580 4800
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Located in the heart of the financial district in the City of London, our London* office was established in 1988 and provides corporate, litigation, insurance, tax, compliance and white collar advice to our U.K., European and U.S., clients in a variety of matters and transactions.

The primary areas of our London corporate practice are international finance, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and private equity, in addition to asset management. Our London office also provides support to our French, Italian, German and Belgian offices on a variety of U.S. and U.K. law issues.

Our litigation practice focuses on cross-border and domestic litigation and arbitration with a focus on complex commercial disputes.  Our team, which includes lawyers qualified in the U.K. and the U.S. have significant experience in financial reporting, financial fraud, and securities disputes.

Our insurance industry transactional and advisory practice advises general insurers, life insurers, reinsurers, investment banks, private equity and hedge funds on, among other things, entering the London and European insurance markets, capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions and doing business tax, regulatory and corporate advice in the U.K.

The London office also features our U.K.-based compliance and enforcement and white collar defense team, which brings together experience from both U.S. and U.K. qualified lawyers who focus in areas that include corporate crime and compliance matters involving money laundering, bribery and corruption, sanctions, fraud, complex internal investigations, and enforcement actions brought by U.K. and U.S. regulators.

The London office provides pro bono services in its role as a legal partner for Advocates for International Development (A4ID). Through A4ID, Willkie delivers pro bono legal advice to clients in development organizations and other sectors working towards poverty eradication and sustainable development.

*Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is a limited liability partnership formed under the laws of the State of Delaware, USA and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 565650.

Asset Management

The firm’s preeminent Asset Management Group provides multidisciplinary and closely integrated services to a wide array of clients in the asset management industry, including private equity firms, asset management firms, broker dealers, insurance companies and banks, on all aspects of their business.  The London team represents sponsors in the formation of, and institutional investors investing in, private equity, hedge, debt, mezzanine, infrastructure, real estate, energy and venture capital funds covering a variety of sectors and has extensive experience on a broad range of secondary transactions, secondary directs, co-investment deals, management spinouts and managed accounts.

Corporate and Financial Services

Our experience representing U.K., U.S. and international corporate and investment banking clients is both deep and broad. Our ability to negotiate, execute and close deals ensures that clients seeking to conduct cross-border business get the maximum benefit from our experience in the following areas:

Corporate and Financial Services Experience

Mergers & Acquisitions

We have extensive experience representing buyers and sellers, special committees of boards, debt and equity investors, and financial advisors in complex cross-border M&A and other business combinations, including distressed situations.

Capital Markets/Finance

We represent issuers and other financial institutions from various countries and industries in the full range of sophisticated capital-raising transactions, including IPOs, Rule 144A offerings, secondary equity offerings, high-yield and other debt issuances, rescue financings, PIPEs, private placements, block and other securities trades, bank/senior credit financings and mezzanine financings.

Private Equity/Venture Capital

We are one of the few leading global law firms that has extensive international experience in virtually every type of private equity transaction. From early-stage venture capital financings to complex cross-border multibillion dollar leveraged buyouts and going-private transactions, we successfully represent all major parties, including private equity/venture capital investors, issuers, management (including management buyouts) and institutionally backed private enterprises (including private equity/venture capital fund portfolio companies).

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Insurance & Reinsurance Industry

Our London Insurance team is part of Willkie’s firm-wide interdisciplinary practice, which includes more than 30 partners with experience in corporate, tax and regulatory aspects of transactions, as well as litigation matters. The team’s insurance industry attorneys have received significant recognition for advising general insurers, life insurers, reinsurers, investment banks, brokers, private equity funds and hedge funds in insurance-related transactions.

Insurance & Reinsurance Industry Experience

  • Mergers and acquisitions, particularly cross-border transactions involving U.K., U.S., Bermudan and E.U. sellers, buyers or targets
  • Capital markets transactions, including equity, debt, hybrid, regulatory capital and ILS offerings
  • Cross-border group structuring, including the interplay between the London, Bermuda and U.S. insurance markets, intragroup financings, intragroup reinsurance, service level agreements, corporate structures, capital efficiency, regulatory capital issues and use of offshore vehicles
  • Insurance group reorganisations, such as redomiciliations, headquarters location advice, use of European Economic Interest Groupings, use of Societas Europaea and intragroup transfers of business
  • The taxation of insurance groups—permanent establishment and tax residence risks, risk management policies and procedures, transfer pricing, insurance premium tax, VAT, Federal excise tax, controlled foreign company regimes and disputes with tax authorities
  • Regulatory issues, including U.K. insurance regulation, impact of Solvency II on U.K. and E.U. insurers and impact of Solvency II on international groups
  • The Lloyd’s market—how to enter and/or participate, capital structures to meet Funds at Lloyd’s requirements, regulation, tax efficient structures, turnkey arrangements, Syndicate and Names level reinsurance, financing arrangements and capacity offers
  • Collateralised reinsurers, ILS funds, sidecars and newco reinsurance vehicles, including structuring and documentation around both collateralised and rated start-ups
  • Complex reinsurance transactions and associated security arrangements
  • Insurance-linked securities, such as catastrophe bonds
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Compliance and Enforcement, Investigations and Litigation

We have market-leading experience in compliance and enforcement, white collar criminal matters, internal investigations, regulatory inquiries and litigation. With a wealth of experience on English and U.S. law, we offer multinational companies a cohesive, unified approach to complex regulatory matters.

Compliance and Enforcement, Investigations and Litigation Experience

Compliance Advice

  • U.K. Bribery Act
  • U.K. anti-money laundering regime
  • U.K. and E.U. sanctions, both trade and financial
  • General criminal law advice, such as assisting boards and directors on how to mitigate their own risks
  • Market abuse and insider trading laws, and regulatory requirements
  • Reporting obligations under English law to regulators, law enforcement and government departments

Governmental Inquiries

  • SFO investigations into a variety of issues, including suspected corruption
  • Financial Conduct Authority investigations
  • Police investigations
  • Criminal and civil investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Criminal cartel investigations
  • Inquiries by parliamentary committees/government-appointed inspectors
  • Cross-border governmental investigations, including those conducted by the U.S., DOJ and SEC

Internal Investigations

  • International corruption or fraud
  • Accounting irregularities
  • Price-fixing and other antitrust violations
  • Export control and sanctions violations
  • Employment and human rights issues
  • Audit Committee issues and investigations
  • Design and provision of training for conducting internal investigations

Corporate/Transactional Support

  • Due diligence inquiries
  • Drafting warranties and indemnities
  • Advising on bribery and sanctions issues pertaining to mergers, acquisitions and other transactions
  • Advising on money-laundering reporting issues arising as a result of disclosures in corporate transactions

Dispute Resolution

  • Acting for both claimants and defendants on all aspects of disputes before the English courts
  • Conducting arbitrations
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Business Restructuring and Insolvency

Willkie’s global Restructuring team offers the hands-on, results-driven experience that today’s distressed situations demand. We regularly represent clients in a full range of matters, including:

Business Restructuring and Insolvency Experience

  • Evaluating distressed opportunities
  • Implementing complex cross-border restructurings (both in and out of court)
  • Dealing with all aspects of formal insolvency proceedings

We regularly act on behalf of:

  • Private funds and opportunistic investment vehicles
  • Investors in distressed debt (control/loan-to-own and yield players)
  • Creditors’ committees, agents and lenders
  • Distressed companies
  • Private equity sponsors
  • Acquirers of distressed assets
  • Administrators, liquidators and restructuring advisory firms

Our clients benefit from our sound legal judgment and international experience, and our established ability to quickly assess the relevant restructuring challenges. Our highly acclaimed team shares the experience and knowledge needed to influence and achieve desired results efficiently while carefully managing execution risks. In circumstances where consensus-building among stakeholders is not possible, we are well prepared to litigate to best serve our clients’ interests.

We have extensive restructuring experience in a wide variety of industries, including:

  • Hospitality and leisure
  • Communications and media
  • Health care and life sciences
  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing and engineering
  • Consumer products and retail
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Tax

We focus on corporate and international tax matters, providing tax advice and planning across a wide range of commercial and financial transactions. We advise on structures for U.K. and international business investments, and the tax aspects of public and private M&A, private equity investments, joint ventures/partnerships, fund formation, reorganisations and demergers, insolvency and restructuring, capital market issues, structured finance, property developments and investments, and employee share plans. We also handle tax disputes.

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