International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills was crowned Corporate Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2019, which took place in London on 25 June 2019.
The award recognises the firm's role advising Sky plc on the competing takeover offers from 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corporation. In September 2018, Comcast emerged the successful bidder in the UK Takeover Panel-led auction for Sky that valued the company at £30 billion.
Stephen Wilkinson, partner and Regional Head of Corporate at Herbert Smith Freehills, said, "We are very happy to be recognised by The Lawyer for our work on the competing takeover offers for Sky. It reflects the team's expertise and experience dealing with complex, long-running and multi-jurisdictional transactions while navigating intricate legal issues. This award adds to those already received by the team at the British Legal Awards in London last year and The Deal awards in New York earlier this month.
"Whilst the award was for Corporate Team, the deal was also a truly cross-practice effort with the M&A, competition and employee incentive teams working together to deliver a successful outcome for the client."
Sky is a longstanding client of Herbert Smith Freehills with a relationship spanning nearly 30 years. Partners Stephen Wilkinson and Mark Bardell led the Herbert Smith Freehills team, supported by senior associate Harriet Forrest and associates Imogen White and Laura Ackroyd.
In addition to winning Corporate Team of the Year, Herbert Smith Freehills were "Highly Commended" for Litigation Team of the Year for the successful insurance recovery litigation for Single Buoy Moorings (SBM) and "Commended" for Pro Bono Initiative of the Year for advising the United Nations Refugee Agency in relation to its ground-breaking initiative, MADE51. The programme empowers refugees by connecting them with global markets and enabling them to use their skills and heritage to earn a living in the countries in which they find themselves displaced.
The firm was also shortlisted for Real Estate Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2019.