Latham & Watkins Named Among Top 10 Most Innovative Law Firms in Europe

Firm’s FinTech Practice wins top spot for Innovation in New Markets and Capital.

October 06, 2016

Latham & Watkins has been named among the Top 10 “Most Innovative Law Firms in Europe” in the Financial Times’ 2016 European Innovative Lawyers report, an annual ranking published in conjunction with research partner RSG Consulting. The research highlights firms who have helped overcome “challenges that initially look intractable.”

Latham won praise across a number of Legal Expertise categories, including ranking #1 for “Innovation in New Markets and Capital” for its work with FinTech start-up CrossLend, which aims to connect savers in low-interest-rate countries with borrowers in high-interest-rate countries on its first-of-a-kind online lending platform.

Latham finance partner Mark Nicolaides was also named a “Top 10 Innovative Individual” for achieving “numerous firsts in the finance industry” thanks to his “deep knowledge of capital markets” and “ability to grasp the dynamics of rules governing them."

Latham’s work on the following high-profile matters was recognized in the 2016 report:

Innovation in New Markets and Capital

  • “Standout” for advising CrossLend on the launch of its online lending platform, with the Financial Times stating: “Combining retail and investment banking expertise, knowledge of structured finance products and experience in the fintech industry Latham & Watkins created an architecture for the new platform.”

Innovation in Social Responsibility

  • “Standout” for a complex research project for the International Rescue Committee to provide actionable data on the legal rights of Syrian refugees. Latham’s work, involving more than 30 lawyers from six offices, was commended for “increasing the IRC’s ability to protect human rights without being distracted from its day-to-day aid work at Europe’s borders and its advocacy efforts in Brussels.”

Innovation in Mergers and Acquisitions

  • “Standout” for developing a “unique settlement structure for Sorin's merger with Cyberonics to form LivaNova.” The deal was credited with involving a "rare dual listing and initial public offering."
  • “Commended” for creating a structure to finance ChemChina's acquisition of Pirelli, covering a range of possible outcomes, from 30 per cent to 100 per cent ownership.

Innovation in Securitization

  • “Highly Commended” for helping Mobile Leasing Solutions acquire and lease back 2.6m iPhones in a deal that “monetises the mobile phones’ residual value and customer leases for the first time.”

The Financial Times 2016 European Innovative Lawyers report researched nearly 150 law firms, legal service providers and in-house legal teams, incorporating feedback from 605 clients, lawyers and market experts.

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