Established in 1996, London is our second-largest office with more than 140 lawyers and provides a full service practice.
Over 90 per cent of our lawyers in London are UK-qualified.
Many of our European cross-border activities are coordinated from London.
Against a background of general market uncertainty, the priorities and needs of our clients have changed significantly. One of the strengths of Weil as a firm – and the London office – is the ability to provide the highest level of service and practical, commercial advice to meet these needs. It is not simply a question of having a world-leading restructuring practice and one of the premier private equity practices, it is that these practices are constantly evolving to the benefit of our clients.
Our restructuring practice is widely recognized as one of the leading practices in its field, referred to as “the gold standard of the bankruptcy bar” (The American Lawyer). The firm has been at the forefront of the credit crisis, advising global financial institutions such as Lehman Brothers, AIG, and Kaupthing, as well as providing integrated crisis management advice. We have a 50-strong London team currently advising on the administration of broker-dealer MF Global UK Limited in a UK-sourced instruction that demonstrates the strength of our standing in the UK restructuring market. The MF Global matter is a groundbreaking case as it is the first time the UK’s new Special Administration Regime has been used, and it involves extensive liaison with various regulatory bodies.
We are one of the leading private equity law firms in London and Europe, ranked in the top tier of Chambers UK for buyouts with more partners ranked at top of the individual rankings than any other firm. The establishment of our London funds practice, linking in with our well-established US and Asian teams, provides clients with full coverage for both raising and investing funds. Our restructuring expertise in the US and Europe has enabled us to provide corporate and private equity clients with cutting-edge advice on the current markets, how to best weather the current storms, and preparing for opportunities in the distressed M&A markets.
We advise on all aspects of domestic and cross-border transactional and general corporate issues, including acquisitions and disposals, corporate governance, de-mergers and re-organizations, equity capital markets, joint ventures, public and private mergers, and strategic alliances.
Full-service transactional support is provided by specialists in the fields of competition, employment/employee benefits, environment, IP/IT, pensions, real estate, and tax.
We have an international finance practice which continues to be among the very best practices in London, and spans asset finance, acquisition finance (including senior and mezzanine debt), bank and institutional lending, debt capital markets (including high yield), derivatives, lease financings, refinancings and recapitalizations, and structured finance.
Few firms can match the quality and depth of Weil’s experience in litigation, arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution. The London dispute resolution team advises upon, manages, and conducts all aspects of domestic and international litigation, from strategic advice during the early stages of negotiations to courtroom advocacy.
Our antitrust/competition practice offers integrated global counseling, litigation, regulatory, and transactional services. The London team has an impressive record of winning unconditional clearances from both the European Commission and the Office of Fair Trading.
The London office works closely with cross-disciplinary teams across the firm on a wide range of industry specialisms, including climate change, defense, healthcare, infrastructure, and TMT.
Some examples of the London office's Pro Bono experience include:
Advocates for International Development (A4ID)
The London office was instrumental in setting up this award winning London-based pro bono organisation. A4ID is an inter-firm body which uses its members legal skills in support of the UN Millenium Development Goals. A4ID was named "Pro Bono Team of the Year" at the The Lawyer Awards for its work on matters as diverse as negotiation of trade agreements and support for the land rights of nomads. See www.a4id.org for more detail.
Battersea Legal Advice Centre
London lawyers run one evening session every month at this South London advice centre. Clients include an elderly lady who was unable to find help elsewhere regarding the forced sale of her home. Our volunteers pieced together an extremely difficult story and, although nothing could be done to recover the house, were able to locate and have released to the client a total of £70,000 representing the proceeds of the sale.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
The office has a strong relationship with the NSPCC, one of the UK's leading children's charities. We advised the NSPCC on its efforts to obtain an injunction against a UK broadcaster in relation to a controversial programme about smacking. The programme was broadcast but the court agreed our arguments on an important issue of law that had not been tested before and confirmed that the NSPCC has standing in such cases. This is likely to prove important for the NSPCC's ability to intervene in this area in the future.
Human Rights Watch
Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal - the London office has worked on an amicus curae brief on behalf of Human Rights Watch. In a war crimes trial before the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the court supported the firm's argument that a human rights monitor did not have to disclose his sources for fear of reprisals against them or their families.