20 June 2020

The highest-ranked specialists in Business Law, according to Chambers

Every year, Chambers carry out a big number of interviews with their clients, with the goal to assess the reputations and the expertise of FinTech business lawyers around the globe. Factors that are determinant for how a lawyer is positioned in the ranking, are those qualities who are most valued by the client, amongst others, professional conduct, client service, commitment, or technical legal ability.

Leading law firms within FinTech Legal: Band 1

Band 1 is the one with the highest ranking. Three different law firms have reached this rank: Allen & Overy LLP, Baker McKenzie and Hogan Lovells.

The headquarter of Allen & Overy is based in London, but their offices are spread out all over the globe, with more than 40 different international locations. Particularly, they operate in the UK, continental Europe and Asia-Pacific. A&O stands for excellent practices in the fields of corporate law, M&A, banking and finance, and is described as a very active and competitive firm. Also, they have got an established and market leading payments practice, which has been developed at the London Office. An outstanding key individual within the firm is Ben Regnard-Weinrabe, a partner in the financial services regulatory practice. He has a particular focus on FinTech, payments, retail banking and consumer finance. [1]

If there is a law firm that is regarded as the quintessential global firm, it must be Baker McKenzie. The team is known for its unequalled international coverage and therefore wide reach, and has an outstanding position in the Asian market, but also some noteworthy presence in the UK, the US and in Europe. Overall, they employ 13,000 lawyers in 47 countries. Their team is market leading in IP and TMT and has superb FinTech practices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Notable practitioners within Baker McKenzie are Gavin Raftery in Tokyo[2], who has extensive practice in banking and finance law in Japan, the UK and Australia, Adrian Lawrence[3] in Sydney, who is recognized as a leading Australian media and telecommunications lawyer, and Sue McLean[4] in London, whose specialty is advising on commercial technology projects.

The third law firm that forms part of the highest ranked band is Hogan Lovells. This is due to their notable activity in local FinTech ecosystems and wider industry associations across a variety of jurisdictions, for their expertise in blockchain matters, and naturally also for their market-leading practices in the UK and the US, as well as across continental Europe, with payments regulation and data protection being their key areas. Their clients range from big institutions to small businesses. Key contacts within Hogan Lovells are Emily Reid[5] in London, who is described as being one of the foremost practitioners on payments law, and Richard Schaberg[6] in Washington, specialized in financial services law.

Second highest rank: Band 2

Band 2 also consists of three different firms: Clifford Chance LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP and Linklaters.

Clifford Chance is best known for their global recognition in the FinTech area. They have a long tradition and great experience within financial practice areas, and their teams in the fields of banking and finance, corporate, regulatory and M&A are highly esteemed for their exceptional work. They operate across major markets, including Asia-Pacific and mainland Europe. Recently, the law firm´s technological capabilities have earned much appreciation. Key individuals to mention within Clifford Chance are Peter Chapman[7] in London, and Lena Ng[8] in Singapore. Both of them have their practice areas in the field of financial regulation, banking and finance.

One of the biggest strengths of Latham & Watkins LLP are their FinTech capabilities spread out across the globe, particulary in Western Europe, Asia and the US market. They are market leaders in the areas banking and finance, corporate M&A and IP. Apart from their great knowledge, the lawyers of Latham & Watkins are also highly valued for their business orientation, practicability and responsiveness. Key contacts are Todd Beauchamp[9] in Washington, D.C., who serves as a Global Co-Chair of the FinTech Industry Group and leads the Payments Emerging Financial Services Practice, and Andrew Moyle[10] in London, who is a leading IT and outsourcing specialist as well as the Global Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ FinTech Industry Group and a partner in the London office.

Linklaters´ key offices are located in London and Singapore, and the team can rely on a good network of local and international firms. Their advisory services in banking and finance, corporate, M&A, IP and data protection matters are top quality, and what stands out is their holistic approach to the FinTech sector, merging these different practices to form strategic cross-practice, cross-jurisdictional teams. Notable practitioners that work for Linklaters are Fionnghuala Griggs[11], a corporate lawyer and Harry Eddis[12], who has broad experience in financial regulation. Both of them are based in London and Co-heads of FinTech.

Third position within the FinTech firms: Band 3

Within the third band of the FinTech ranking lie the five prominent law firms Bird & Bird, DLA Piper LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills, Norton Rose Fulbright and Osborne Clarke LLP.

The team of Bird & Bird is well known and valued for its competence in technology law and digitalisation. Also, they stick out for empowering the world´s top business in their digital projects and for their remarkable practices in the fields of IT, data protection and TMT across Asia and Europe. Top-tier practitioners of Bird & Bird are Christian Bartsch[13], who manages projects across multiple jurisdictions, such as financial services or outsourcing, and Trystan Tether[14], both London-based.

The headquarters of DLA Piper LLP are based in London, but they have another 80 international offices and are highly valued for their FinTech offering, their global outreach, and their great knowledge in the field of data protection as well as banking and finance practices. Their focus does not only lie on the big jurisdictions, but touches also the smaller jurisdictions, which gives them a good presence in a wide range of jurisdictions. Both Martin Bartlam[15] in London, whose specialty is finance and David Luce[16] in New York, specialized in financial services and insurance industries, are notable practitioners of DLA Piper.

Herbert Smith Freehills´s team of lawyers stands out for their great expertise in the financial sector and the successful handling of corporate transactions across British and East Asian markets. Their top reputation is to a great part due to the excellent work and success of the teams in Hong Kong and Sydney. Key contacts within Herbert Smith Freehill´s team are Nick Pantlin[17] in London, who heads the TMT, Digital & Sourcing practice in the UK, and Mark Robinson[18] in Singapore, who is a global technology, media and telecoms sector specialist.

One of the main characteristics of Norton Rose Fulbright is their strong international network of lawyers and their excellent and global FinTech practice, not only in the UK, but also in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Their methods of sharing knowledge across jurisdictions to guarantee an efficient collaboration deserve a special mention. Corporate Lawyer Sean Murphy[19] and financial services regulation lawyer Hanna Meakin[20], both based in London, are key contacts within the team of Norton Rose Fulbright.

Osborne Clarke LLP can be described best as a full-service law firm, among the strongest firms on an international level. Their headquarters are based in London, but they also have top-tier offices in Germany, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. They have an outstanding capability of dealing with complex mandates at the intersection of technology and financial markets. Notable practitioners are Kate Johnson[21] in the UK, who specializes in Payments and Fintech, and Tanja Aschenbeck[22] in Germany, specialized in Financial Services.

Last but not least: Law firms within Band 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP has their headquarters situated in San Francisco, and operates in 16 more offices across the US, Europe and Asia. Their FinTech offering in the US is excellent, especially regarding IP and data security matters. Key contacts in the US are Obrea Poindexter[23], who practices Privacy and Data Security as well as Financial Services, and Sean Ruff[24], specialized in Financial Services and Emerging Companies + Venture Capital.

Paul Hastings LLP is an American law firm that is strongest in the US, but also highly esteemed for its work in the data protection field in the UK and its banking practice in Latin America. They are considered to be leading experts in payment systems and related legal areas. Notable practitioners are US-based Chris Daniel[25], who is a Global Chair of the Fintech & Payment Systems practice and a partner in the Corporate Department, and Thomas Brown[26], a partner in the Antitrust and Competition and the Global Banking and Payment Systems practices.

Sidley Austin LLP, with their headquarters situated in Chicago, is respected for its immense expertise in corporate and financial law, which enables them to provide top-notch transactional and strategic advice to globally operating FinTech companies. Key individuals are David Teitelbaum[27] in Washington, D.C., whose specialties are Banking and Finance Services as well Privacy and Cibersecurity, and Lilya Tessler[28] in New York, who specializes in Emerging Companies and Venture Capital, Securities Enforcement and Regulatory, and Technology and IP Transactions.

The team of Simmons & Simmons LLP is very experienced in advising some of the world´s largest financial institutions as well as technology companies in complex, international deals. In the UK, they mainly operate in matters of information law and IP, whilst the team in Hong Kong is very capable in dealing with FinTech matters. A key contact is Angus McLean[29] in London, an IP specialist who advises his clients on the IP aspects of commercial and corporate transactions in a range of sectors.

White & Case LLP, based in New York, is known for conducting a premier FinTech Practice that is specialized in complex international matters. Apart from the US, they also have a strong presence across the UK, Europe and Asia. They are one of the leaders in multi-jurisdictional cryptocurrency and transactional mandates. Adam Chernichaw[30] in New York is a partner in the firm’s technology transactions practice and a key contact, with a particular focus in the FinTech sector.

  1. https://www.allenovery.com/en-gb/global/people/Ben_Regnard-Weinrabe
  2. https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/people/r/raftery-gavin
  3. https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/people/l/lawrence-adrian-j
  4. https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/people/m/mclean-sue
  5. https://www.hoganlovells.com/en/emily-reid
  6. https://www.hoganlovells.com/en/richard-schaberg
  7. https://www.cliffordchance.com/people_and_places/people/partners/gb/peter_chapman.html
  8. https://www.cliffordchance.com/people_and_places/people/partners/sg/lena_ng.html
  9. https://www.lw.com/people/todd-beauchamp
  10. https://www.lw.com/people/andrew-moyle
  11. https://www.linklaters.com/en/find-a-lawyer/fionnghuala-griggs
  12. https://www.linklaters.com/en/find-a-lawyer/harry-eddis
  13. https://www.twobirds.com/en/our-lawyers/c/christian-bartsch
  14. https://www.twobirds.com/en/our-lawyers/t/trystan-tether
  15. https://www.dlapiper.com/en/uk/people/b/bartlam-martin/?tab=credentials
  16. https://www.dlapiper.com/es/spain/people/l/luce-david-d/
  17. https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/our-people/nick-pantlin
  18. https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/our-people/mark-robinson
  19. https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/people/100087
  20. https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/people/121432
  21. https://www.osborneclarke.com/lawyers/kate-johnson/
  22. https://www.osborneclarke.com/de/lawyers/tanja-aschenbeck/
  23. https://www.mofo.com/people/obrea-poindexter.html
  24. https://www.mofo.com/people/sean-ruff.html
  25. https://www.paulhastings.com/professionals/details/chrisdaniel
  26. https://www.paulhastings.com/professionals/details/tombrown
  27. https://www.sidley.com/en/people/t/teitelbaum-david-e
  28. https://www.sidley.com/en/people/t/tessler-lilya-t
  29. https://www.simmons-simmons.com/en/people/ck0dxfszvnlzx0b595ypti5rb/angus-mclean
  30. https://www.whitecase.com/people/adam-chernichaw
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