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Bryan Cave founded its London office in 1982 to better serve an expanding base of both corporate and private clients in the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. Our corporate clients include companies in the aerospace, chemical, technology, defense, energy and natural resource sectors, as well as those in the financial services, health care, telecommunications, transportation and food industries. In addition, the London office’s Private Client Practice is one of the largest American private client practices outside the U.S.
A multinational partnership of English solicitors and U.S. attorneys, the London office offers comprehensive services covering a range of key business law areas. Bryan Cave’s “One Firm” core value also ensures effective teamwork and the sharing of knowledge and resources among all of its offices worldwide.
Areas of concentration in our London office include:
Bryan Cave’s London lawyers advise on banking and finance transactions under English law and have extensive experience of both UK-based and cross-border transactions, often partnering with lawyers from different jurisdictions depending on where borrowers are incorporated or assets are located. We have experience in a wide range of industry sectors and represent providers of finance as well as borrowers, project sponsors and equipment suppliers.
Specific areas of focus include bilateral, club and syndicated financings and debt capital markets; secured lending and the taking and enforcement of security interests; asset finance and leasing; leveraged finance; acquisition finance; project finance, including the representation of project companies, sponsors and providers of finance; trade finance; insolvency and restructuring; and derivatives.
We cover all phases of a corporate trust transaction — from issuance through administration and extending to satisfaction and discharge, including redemption and defeasance. When the circumstances dictate, we represent our clients in default, workout, enforcement and bankruptcy situations. Should our client be accused of wrongdoing in the performance of its duties, our corporate trust litigators defend the institution in litigation. Our practice also extends to the ancillary services provided by our corporate trust clients, including custodial, collateral, escrow and agency services.
Our London attorneys assist clients in all aspects of the identification, protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights, from the protection of confidential information to patent licensing. This includes commercial arrangements for the exploitation of intellectual property issues arising in mergers and acquisitions, company financing and employment and consultancy contracts. We have particular experience in the development and licensing of software, whether to consumers by Internet download or through the supply of major bespoke systems, as well as trademarks, literary and software copyright and registered designs.
Our Investment Funds Practice advises on fund structures, taxation, initial and secondary offerings to institutional and retail investors, investment fund debt finance, secondary market transactions, offerings and compliance. The focus of the practice is on private investment funds for institutional, corporate and high net worth investors, and we advise on funds across the spectrum of alternate investments, including real estate, private equity, shareholder engagement, hedge funds and funds of funds – especially where UK and U.S. considerations interact.
Our attorneys draw on a mix of financial services, corporate and tax skills to serve clients from across the financial services spectrum, including investors, fund managers, portfolio companies, “white label” distributors, sponsors and placing agents, guarantee providers, agents, trustees and custodians.
Our experience also includes regulatory investigations and representation of fund manager interests with UK government departments and the Takeover Panel.
The London Real Estate Practice offers wide-ranging services covering all aspects of commercial property development and transactions. This includes property acquisitions and disposal; commercial leases, planning and development, such as the review of title and related real estate matters in corporate transactions; client support, including responding to client needs for real estate and the optimization of real estate interests; general security and secured lending matters; cross-border developments; and specialist sector projects, such as hospitality and investment funds focusing on structures for inward investment.
These services often are combined with the skills from our Taxation, Corporate and Investment Funds practices and other related practices, such as Facilities Management, Outsourcing and Environmental.
Our clients in the real estate sector include major multinationals, international real estate investors, high net worth individuals and trustees. We advise clients on all office, retail and industrial uses.
Our UK Employment Practice attorneys have extensive experience in employment matters and provide a full range of support to UK, U.S. and international companies. As part of Bryan Cave’s Labor and Employment Group, employment lawyers in the UK have an understanding of the needs of U.S. employers and can offer a useful service to companies conducting business in Europe in the area of European employment practices and HR issues. We work closely with colleagues worldwide in areas such as employee benefits, pensions, tax, intellectual property, information technology and corporate transactions to provide an international perspective. Our range of experience includes employment contracts; termination packages, business reorganisations, redundancy programs, industrial disputes, employee consultation, European legislation; maternity and paternity rights, equal opportunities, discrimination claims, unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims, disciplinary and grievance hearings.
The London office provides a comprehensive dispute resolution service to both domestic and multinational clients encompassing court litigation in England and elsewhere, mediation, mini-trials and international arbitration. Our litigation and arbitration team includes barristers and solicitor advocates, together with solicitors called to state bars in the U.S. The team has particular experience in joint venture disputes, corporate insolvency, asset tracing and insurance, and handles a full range of commercial and corporate disputes, including maritime disputes. We have a particular depth of experience in handling disputes being conducted in a number of jurisdictions, the interrelationship of court proceedings and parallel arbitrations and disputes that are governed by laws foreign to the place in which the proceedings are conducted, often involving a dispute as to which law should apply.
In addition, we are one of a small number of UK law firms to embrace the use of technology in trial preparation and presentation, earning us one of the UK’s top technology awards for the “best use of IT for litigation support and alternative dispute resolution,” being described as “one of the few law firms to have a coherent global strategy for the use of litigation technologies.”
International Trade Regulation
We offer a full range of assistance to clients in connection with U.S., European and UK laws and regulations affecting transnational business transactions, including in connection with export controls and economic sanctions, U.S. antiboycott regulations, customs issues, and international corruption initiatives such as laws implementing the OECD Convention on bribery. Advice and assistance relates to, among other areas, matters involving chemicals and biotoxins, software, encryption items and military articles. We represent clients in enforcement proceedings and conduct internal investigations and due diligence efforts involving these issues. We also assist clients in developing corporate compliance and training programs in these areas.
UK and EC Competition/Antitrust
London’s competition and antitrust lawyers provide advice across the full spectrum of UK and EC competition and antitrust issues, from merger clearances through to contractual compliance. We work in conjunction with the transactional, intellectual property and litigation service groups across the firm and across a wide range of industries and have assisted in the development of compliance and training materials in this area. Bryan Cave’s “One Firm” core value enables us to offer advice on U.S. and EU competition and antitrust matters on a one-stop shop basis.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The London M&A Practice focuses on all matters relating to multinational and domestic acquisitions and disposals by way of share sale, asset sale or other forms of structured transaction. Our clients range from large corporations to small and mid-sized businesses in a broad range of industries across many jurisdictions. We have the depth of capacity and experience to represent clients in the wide range of projects that fall within this area. Clients include buyers, sellers, intermediaries and advisors, with transactions ranging in value from the hundreds of thousands of dollars to multimillion dollar levels.
Cross-Border Commercial Practice
We advise clients on all types of commercial transactions and have particular experience in cross-border arrangements, whether between companies established in different jurisdictions or in connection with the sale of goods or services across borders. The office has significant experience in the IT, telecoms, pharmaceutical and software industries and with the specific issues relevant to commercial contracts in those industries.
Worldwide Insurance and Reinsurance Capabilities
Our practice in this area includes both contentious and non-contentious commercial work for insurance companies, brokers, Lloyd’s syndicates, underwriting agencies and policyholders. We have detailed knowledge of the technical aspects of the insurance and reinsurance markets worldwide, including representations before foreign courts and arbitration panels, and can call upon the capabilities of Bryan Cave’s overseas offices to assist clients who need advice with matters involving more than one jurisdiction and applicable law.
Private Client and Trusts and Estates Practice
The Private Client Practice advises families and individuals directly, or through their local advisors or trustees, in connection with tax and estate planning needs, including advice for owners of closely held companies and for individuals interested in making charitable gifts. We also offer a full range of international and U.S.-based legal advice for international families, international trust companies and private banks. Our range of experience covers such areas as complex estate planning for multinational families, foreign trusts that benefit U.S. persons or invest in U.S. assets, foreign individuals moving to the U.S. (including advice on insurance and annuity structuring), donors and charities operating internationally and foreign individuals and corporations investing in the U.S.
The Corporate Finance Practice consists of both UK- and U.S.-qualified lawyers. Our strength lies in our ability to focus on individual client’s specific requirements and in recognizing that clients from different sectors require specialized solutions to particular needs. We have successfully represented companies from numerous business sectors including financial services, software and IT, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, medical, healthcare, retail, media and entertainment on large, medium and small transactions.
Our lawyers have a wide range of multi-jurisdictional experience in areas such as initial public offerings of securities, commercial loans, project and development finance, financial services regulation, private equity, venture and development capital transactions, early stage finance for start-up businesses and management buy outs including public companies. Our "One Firm" culture enables our lawyers to easily call upon other specialist practices within the company worldwide, enabling us to provide a comprehensive service to our domestic, European and international clients.