The Awards celebrate excellence across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry, and the Bar.
Herbert Smith Freehills has been shortlisted in seven categories for The Lawyer Awards 2016 – more shortlistings than any other firm:
- Law Firm of the year – for showing strategic vision and strong leadership; strong financial management and growth; innovation in client service delivery and pricing; excellence in our chosen sectors; excellent talent management and workplace development; significant client wins and feedback; recent hires and investment; and for demonstrating how we have overcome challenges we have faced in the current market conditions.
- Employment team of the year – for advising Wesfarmers (one of Australia's largest public companies and retailers) on the employment, pensions and incentives aspects of its £340 million acquisition of Homebase (the second largest home improvement and garden retailer in the UK and Ireland, with reported annual revenues of over £1 billion) from UK-listed Home Retail Group plc.
- Litigation team of the year - for successfully acting on a truly landmark case, alongside Jones Day, which has seen Standard Bank Plc (now known as ICBC Standard Bank Plc) enter into the UK's first-ever Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
- Real Estate team of the year – for advising the Government's wholly owned subsidiary, London & Continental Railways, on the £371m sale of its interests in the King's Cross Central Partnership (the entity that owns and is developing King's Cross Central) to the largest pension fund in Australia, AustralianSuper.
- Finance team of the year – for advising Virgin Atlantic on the ground-breaking £220 million secured bond financing using a major proportion of its landing and take-off slot portfolio at Heathrow airport as security for the debt.
- Funds team of the year – for advising Menhaden Capital PLC, a newly established UK investment trust, on its establishment and initial public offering of shares (including a placing and offer for subscription) on the Main Market of the LSE and admission to the Official List of the UKLA.
- Energy team of the year – for advising German energy giant E.ON on the landmark disposal of its entire North Sea oil and gas business (83 licences in total – one of the largest sale processes in the UK in 2015) to Premier Oil (UK assets) and LetterOne (Norwegian assets) for a total price of US$1.72billion. Given the drop in Premier's market cap by January 2016, the UK transaction constituted a reverse takeover.
Winners will be announced at The Lawyer Awards ceremony which will take place on the evening of Wednesday 29 June 2016.