Corporate governance in London

Baker McKenzie

The multidisciplinary corporate governance team at Baker McKenzie has board-level expertise in relation to corporate, regulatory and financial matters, among other areas and acts for large PLCs, global organisations and banks. It stands out for its high-level expertise, which has included pushing forward the governance agenda globally by collaborating with organisations such as the World Economic Forum. Practice head Beatriz Pessoa de Araujo has over 35 years’ experience in the corporate sphere and has recently been advising clients on stakeholder engagement and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters. Also jointly leading the practice are Helen Bradley and Jo Hewitt; Bradley ‘manages and guides her team well’ and heads up the firm’s dedicated UK public company advisory group, while Hewitt handles a range of governance issues, including the design and implementation of governance policies. Nick O’Donnell left for Bird & Bird LLP in August 2021.

Responsables de la pratique:

Beatriz Pessoa de Araujo; Helen Bradley; Jo Hewitt

Les références

‘Well-informed expert team, light on their feet with interesting content and able to give advice to sophisticated clients’.

‘Good mix of experience and youth’.

‘Team works well with the in-house company secretarial and legal team’.

Principaux clients



BP plc

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc

Natura Group – The Body Shop

Colt NoBank of China


L’Oreal (UK) Limited

Westinghouse Electric Company

TBC Bank Group PLC

Willis Towers Watson




ofi Group Limited

Spirax Sarco Engineering PLC

RAK Petroleum PLC

Kape Technologies PLC

Biffa PLC

Georgia Capital Plc

Bank of Georgia Plc

Photo-Me International Plc

Zebra Technologies Inc

Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP acts for a range of top international blue-chip clients across the full spectrum of corporate governance issues, including compliance, regulatory and risk management matters. The practice stands out for its dedicated international ESG board and strong global platform, allowing it to handle cross-border mandates with ease. David Pudge co-heads the team and acts for financial institutions and corporate entities on transactions and governance issues, including shareholder engagement, annual general meetings (AGMs) and board effectiveness reviews. Luke Tolaini, who jointly leads the team, is a key name for corporate crises and investigations brought by regulators; Steven Fox is recommended for public company-related law, including regulatory and compliance matters, and Richard Crosby handles M&A, equity capital markets matters and restructurings. Rae Lindsay is a litigation and disputes practitioner with considerable expertise in ESG matters, policy development and implementation, due diligence and risk management, while at the more junior end of the team, senior associate Alanna Hunter is recommended for advice pertaining to AGMs, market abuse regulation and governance policies.

Responsables de la pratique:

David Pudge; Luke Tolaini

Autres avocats clés:

Steven Fox; Alanna Hunter; Rae Lindsay; Richard Crosby; Kate Norgett

Les références

‘Deep subject matter expertise, responsiveness and excellent engagement’.

‘Focus on the client’s needs’.

‘The team consistently delivers commercial and practical advice tailored to our circumstances, based on its second-to-none legal and regulatory insights’.

Principaux clients




C&C Group



French Connection



Harbour Energy

HSBC Informa


Jupiter Fund Management

Legal & General


Pharos Energy

Provident Financial



Wizz Air

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised THG plc (formerly the Hut Group Limited) on its IPO onto the standard listing segment of the UKLA’s Official List and the LSE’s main market in September 2020, and continued to advise it across the full spectrum of corporate governance work.
  • Worked with Serco in all aspects of its recovery, following charging irregularities in relation to contracts with the MOJ.
  • Advised HSBC Holdings plc on the full range of corporate governance and corporate advisory issues.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ‘consistently goes above and beyond and is always very accommodating and reliable, as well as producing work to an excellent standard’. The firm acts for top FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and AIM-listed companies on key governance issues and regulatory developments under the leadership of Gareth Sykes and Ben Ward. Sykes handles a range of governance and compliance issues, with particular experience in corporate reporting requirements, the UK Corporate Governance Code and listing rules, while Ward is a name to note for M&A and corporate finance work. James Palmer is another name for governance and corporate work, and Paul Ellerman handles remuneration and incentive scheme advice.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gareth Sykes; Ben Ward

Autres avocats clés:

James Palmer; Bob Moore; Paul Ellerman

Les références

‘Dedicated corporate governance capability with a good view across a range of FTSE companies’.

‘The HSF corporate governance advisory team is extremely responsive and able to support the Company Secretarial team as matters develop at pace, and clear and concise advice is needed within tight timescales’.

‘Detailed knowledge with significant associates in support to assist the lead practitioners’.

Principaux clients

Airtel Africa

Associated British Foods

British American Tobacco




Johnson Matthey

Kin + Carta




Severn Trent

Stagecoach Group

WH Smith

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising global digital transformation consultancy Kin and Carta plc on its accreditation as the first certified B Corp listed on the London Stock Exchange as well as on a range of ongoing corporate governance issues.
  • Advising Group plc on a range of corporate governance issues following its initial public offering in 2021 including in relation to corporate reporting requirements, its annual report and annual general meeting, director and board matters, remuneration and share plan issues, continuing obligations under the listing regime and day-to-day corporate governance issues.
  • Advising a large number of listed companies (FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE Small Cap and AIM) on a range of corporate governance issues including corporate reporting requirements, annual general meetings, continuing obligations under the listing regime and day-to-day corporate governance issues.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP continues to build on its ESG expertise, with a focus on governance and compliance issues and crisis management work. Drawing on multi-jurisdictional and multidisciplinary expertise from its global network of offices and banking and finance, employment, dispute resolution and regulatory practitioners, the team is well placed to act for international companies in a wide range of industries. Vanessa Havard-williams heads up the practice and is well versed in environmental and climate change matters, and she also handles compliance issues in a range of areas. Alexandra Beidas is a name to note for remuneration issues, gender equality and workforce engagement, and Rachel Barrett is recommended for human rights matters. Tom Cassels is a key name for crisis management, while managing associate Aileen Buchanan handles health and safety and environmental matters, among other areas. Raza Naeem was promoted to partner in May 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Vanessa Havard-Williams

Autres avocats clés:

Rachel Barrett; Alexandra Beidas; Tom Cassels; Aileen Buchanan; Raza Naeem

Principaux clients


Volvo AB

Goldman Sachs Asset Management


Equator Principles Association

Ola UK

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting as Nestle’s ESG counsel supporting Nestle on ESG matters across a broad range of topic areas including climate-related commitments, preparation of offsetting and insetting templates, advice on food regulation, supplier related claims and screening and product claims.
  • Advised numerous corporates and financial institutions on remuneration structures, compliance with rules and ESG criteria for inclusion in remuneration.
  • Advising a number of clients on their compliance with the UK and EU Benchmarks Regulation and the FCA rules for benchmark administrators.


RPC has a broad range of corporate governance expertise relating to board-level matters and board effectiveness reviews, remuneration policies, regulatory matters, data protection work and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. The team, which is headed up by Jeremy Drew, Patrick Brodie and Matthew Griffith, encompasses practitioners with in-house, compliance and financial regulatory experience. Drew handles contentious and non-contentious matters pertaining to governance, culture and conduct, while Brodie is recommended for the design and implementation of corporate governance programmes and initiatives, and high-profile investigations and reputation management issues. Griffith is a name to note for corporate, commercial and regulatory issues, with a focus on the insurance and financial services sectors. William Hogarth joined in September 2021 from Clyde & Co.

Responsables de la pratique:

Patrick Brodie; Jeremy Drew; Matthew Griffith

Autres avocats clés:

William Hogarth

Les références

‘Always offer practical advice taking into account the comply or explain provisions of the corporate governance code. Excellent knowledge of listing rules and good relationship with brokers.’

Principaux clients

Fraser Group (previously Sports Direct)

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dialog Semiconductor Plc

Ceres Power Holdings Plc

Egon Zehnder



The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia

Studio Retail Limited

Beat Capital Partners Limited

Flannels Limited

England Lacrosse

Principaux dossiers

  • Continued to advise one of the UK’s largest high street retailers on its strategy for workforce safety and furlough, including direct correspondence with government.
  • Representing the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its claim against JP Morgan, arising out of the bank’s role in the fraudulent and corrupt acquisition of an oil prospecting licence by the oil majors Shell and Eni for the sum of $1.3bn.
  • Advising The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia on a Supreme Court case, which is of international importance and effect and will define the appropriate governance of diplomatic employee relationships.

Travers Smith LLP

The governance and corporate risk team at Travers Smith LLP is well versed in risk management and compliance issues, and acts for a range of domestic and international clients including blue-chip companies. Its multidisciplinary team draws on strength from corporate, disputes, commercial, employment and regulatory practitioners to provide a holistic approach to governance and corporate risk issues. Doug Bryden leads the team and is a name to note for the implementation of policies and procedures, along with matters pertaining to bribery and corruption, corporate crime, human rights and ethical investments, among other areas. Neal Watson is a key name for ESG matters and compliance and acts for Main Market and AIM-listed companies, while senior consultant Simon Witney handles regulatory and transactional matters, with a focus on the private equity sector. Senior associate Laura Smyth focuses on corporate crime and ethics issues.

Responsables de la pratique:

Doug Bryden

Autres avocats clés:

Simon Witney; Neal Watson; Jon Reddington; Laura Smyth

Les références

‘Travers Smith has a great reputation for M&A and market cap advice’.

‘I have never been disappointed by Travers Smith and its teams’.

‘They provide very pragmatic and commercial support’.

Principaux clients

Micro Focus International plc

Advent Ltd


SSP Group plc

Hostelworld Group plc

Noble Corporation plc

Camellia plc

S4 Capital plc

Brewin Dolphin Holdings plc

Porvair plc

Smithson Investment Trust plc

Safestore Holdings plc

Mears Group Plc

McColl’s Retail Group PLC

Breedon Group plc

Shepherd Neame Limited

Pets at Home Group plc

Auction Technology Group plc

Principaux dossiers

  • Continued to support on a ‘root-and-branches’ review of Micro Focus International’s policies and procedures on corporate governance, anti-bribery and corruption, expenses, sanctions and export controls, human rights, tax evasion, AML, conflict of interests, confidential information, human rights and sustainability concerns.
  • Advising multiple publicly quoted clients, such as SSP Group plc, Hostelworld Group plc, Microfocus plc, Safestore Holdings plc and S4 Capital plc on governance and disclosure issues, including advising on annual reports and notices of annual general meetings, UK Corporate Governance Code disclosures and Section 172 statements, stakeholder engagement issues and remuneration policies/reports.
  • Following the defence of a longstanding multinational agribusiness on two novel parental company claims in the English courts relating to allegation of wrong-doing by overseas subsidiaries and associate companies, continued to advise on governance and crisis control measures.

Addleshaw Goddard

The governance and compliance team at Addleshaw Goddard is ‘knowledgeable, accessible and supportive’ and is particularly strong in advising high-profile domestic clients in the financial services sector. The multidisciplinary practice draws on strength from experts in building societies and mutuals, employment, banking and finance, environment and health and safety to advise on ESG matters, climate change and diversity and inclusion, among other areas. Jaya Gupta is a key corporate practitioner with considerable experience in compliance, governance and transactional matters, including those with a cross-border dimension; and Ben Koehne acts for a range of finance sector clients, such as banks, asset managers and stock exchanges, on corporate, M&A, and regulatory issues. On the more junior end of the team, managing associate Richard Preston is a corporate governance and compliance specialist, while Jack Edwards, who is dedicated to corporate governance work, was promoted to managing associate in October 2021.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jaya Gupta; Ben Koehne; Nichola Peters; Jonathan Fletcher Rogers; Erin Shoesmith; Michelle Headrige

Autres avocats clés:

Richard Preston; Jack Edwards

Les références

‘Expert knowledge in corporate governance in respect of annual reporting, corporate governance disclosure requirements and notice of meeting requirements and able to advise on the practical and commercial application of these’.

‘Richard Preston is very responsive and manages and meets expectations in respect of timelines’.

‘I really value the responsiveness at a high pressure time in the corporate cycle’.

Principaux clients


International Personal Finance

Morgan Advanced Materials

Rathbones Group

Reclaim Fund

Rio Tinto

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Rathbones on multiple matters in relation to the implementation and operation of its executive and employee share plans, as well as providing day-to-day advice in connection with share plans and governance matters.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP leans on its global network for support when advising large multinational companies on a range of governance and strategic issues. It is particularly strong in AGM and annual reporting issues, ESG matters, and also litigation relating to board-level disputes. Richard Browne and Paul McCarthy are key practitioners, while Richard Cranfield retired from the firm. Counsels Kate Astley and Victoria Rankmore are also noted.

Autres avocats clés:

Richard Browne; Paul McCarthy; Kate Astley; Victoria Rankmore

Les références

‘The Allen & Overy corporate governance team is adept at providing first-class technical legal advice promptly and pragmatically, contributing to very helpful analysis of best practice’.

‘Proactive and on the front foot when it comes to corporate governance matters’.

‘Subject matter experts and friendly and engaging’.


Ashurst fields a fully integrated UK and international corporate governance team that advises companies and financial institutions on a broad range of governance and regulatory compliance matters. The team was significantly bolstered in 2021, with the arrival of Will Chalk from Addleshaw Goddard; he co-heads the team alongside Anna-Marie Slot, who splits her time between London and Hong Kong. Also arriving in 2021 were data privacy expert Rhiannon Webster from DAC Beachcroft LLP; disputes specialist Nathan Willmott from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; financial regulatory expert Etay Katz from Allen & Overy LLP; and Florian Drinhausen who joined from an in-house role at Deutsche Bank. Chalk acts for large private and listed companies on corporate reporting and stakeholder engagement, ESG matters, and FCA compliance obligations. Slot is also a key name for ESG matters and has considerable experience in corporate finance matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Will Chalk; Anna-Marie Slot

Autres avocats clés:

Rhiannon Webster; Nathan Willmot; Etay Katz; Florian Drinhausen; Eleanor Reeves

Les références

‘Incredibly technically knowledgeable but also able to apply in practice and demonstrate extensive experience on their recommendations on how to do so’.

‘Very responsive and willing to take time to ‘thrash out’ answers on tricky questions’.

‘Able to give meaningful insights and able to demonstrate a real depth of understanding on the ‘why’ as well as ‘what’ of the guidance they issue’.

Principaux clients




British Land

Peel Hunt

Oxford Instruments


Peel Hunt







National Express












Essar Oil UK Limited

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising on 30-35 AGMs and annual reports for listed and AIM-quoted companies including British Land, Intermediate Capital Group, Oxford Instruments and Peel Hunt and on governance and remuneration arrangements.
  • Advising AVEVA Group and numerous other listed, AIM-quoted and larger private companies on their integration of strategically significant ESG issues into their governance arrangements.
  • Advising numerous clients on regulator-driven investigations and governance reviews, each involving cross-disciplinary teams.


Dentons’ corporate governance team is ‘always helpful and supportive in providing quick advice on corporate governance matters’. With the ability to leverage its global platform, the firm is well placed to advise large international clients on cross-border governance matters and has particular expertise in data privacy, employment, tax, finance and regulatory issues. The team is jointly led by Richard Barham and Katharine Harle; Barham handles governance-related M&A, joint venture and restructuring issues in the transportation, banking, manufacturing and sports sectors; and Harle is recommended for disputes, regulatory and investigations work. In December 2021, former practice co-head Martin Mankabady left for Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, while counsel Dan Lund joined from Akin. Daren Allen left for Shoosmiths LLP in June 2021 and Chris Brennan joined from White & Case LLP in January 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Richard Barham; Katharine Harle

Autres avocats clés:

Dan Lund; Chris Brennan

Les références

‘Very efficient and supportive’.

‘Always helpful and supportive in providing quick advice on corporate governance matters’.

‘Depth and breath of experience in respect of all aspects of legal advice, transparency in respect of fee quotes and billing’.

Principaux dossiers

  • Acted for Eric Parry Architects Limited on the corporate restructuring to allow for the existing shareholders to retire over a period of time; and to fulfil the client’s desire for the company to be owned by its senior employees through an employee benefit trust (EBT).
  • Advising the Uzbek company Artel Engineering & Management LLC on a joint venture to operate a goldmine in Uzbekistan. The transaction involved negotiating a shareholders’ agreement and the constitution of the joint venture company.
  • Acting as company secretary for the National Bank of Egypt UK Limited, including attending all board meetings, steering committee meetings and meetings of the audit and risk committee meetings.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s corporate governance practice acts for companies and their directors, officers, and shareholders, as well as governmental and non-governmental organisations on corporate controls, compliance, governance and shareholder matters. Drawing on strength from its international network and broad range of practice areas, which includes corporate, litigation, tax and regulatory, the firm caters to a wide range of domestic and global clients. Patrick Sarch joined from White & Case LLP in March 2021 and now co-heads the team alongside Ben Higson. Sarch focuses on ESG, shareholder activism and M&A matters, while Higson is another name for corporate matters, with a focus on the energy and natural resources, infrastructure and automotive sectors.

Responsables de la pratique:

Patrick Sarch; Ben Higson

Principaux clients

Cignpost Diagnostics


The Crown Estate


The Gambling Commission

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised the Gambling Commission on the design and delivery of the competition for the fourth National Lottery Licence.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is notably strong in UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) compliance and other human rights issues and offers high-level advice on criminal and regulatory investigations. Its broad practice also provides advice on board-level governance issues, shareholder matters, risk management and regulatory matters to corporate clients and financial services companies. The team is headed up by Jon Perry and David Harris; Perry handles a range of corporate work, including cross-border transactions, with a focus on the commodities, mining and financial services sectors, and Harris is recommended for civil and criminal law investigations and proceedings before domestic and international authorities. Claire O’Donnell is a name to for governance and ethics issues, while Jonathan Herbst is recommended for UK and EU financial services law and regulations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jon Perry; David Harris

Autres avocats clés:

Claire O’Donnell; Jonathan Herbst

Les références

‘Made what is a complex and dry area to work in, clear and straight forward to understand’.

‘The team are excellent in explaining complex matters, and provide excellent practical advice’.

Principaux clients

Anglo Pacific

Barrick Gold Corporation

Coca Cola HBC

Crest Nicholson

F&C Investment Trust




Lloyds Banking Group

PPHE plc

Randgold Resources

Terra Firma



TeliaSonera AB

Victor Dahdaleh and associated companies

Civitas Social Housing

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised a former senior executive of Petrofac in relation to a criminal SFO investigation.
  • Advising on business and human rights matters, including compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) and other human rights reporting requirements, including those under the UK Companies Act.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP is a heavyweight in the corporate sphere and is well versed in handling the governance aspects of high-profile M&A deals nationally and internationally. In addition to its strong transactional expertise, the firm acts for private and publicly held companies, investors and board committees on new legal regulatory frameworks and emerging market trends, shareholder issues, and corporate disclosure, activism and listing matters. Practice head George Knighton is a name to note for M&A and related governance issues, while Scott Hopkins has considerable cross-border experience and is recommended for regulatory matters. Simon Toms also has a solid track record in transactional matters and focuses on the technology, fintech, media and telecoms sectors, while Elizabeth Robertson is a key name for business crime and compliance issues.

Responsables de la pratique:

George Knighton

Autres avocats clés:

Louise Batty; Bruce Embley; Scott Hopkins; Simon Toms; Elizabeth Robertson

Les références

‘Highest quality legal advice, and overall service levels’.

‘Simon Toms and Bruce Embley and their teams know what is relevant to a client, and how to deliver it’.

‘A “go-to” team for consequential matters out of Europe’.

Principaux clients

FREYR Battery

Sampo plc


EG Group

Janus Henderson plc

DWF Group plc

Phoenix Group Holdings

Nokia Corporation

The Investor Forum

Social Impact Investment Taskforce

MJ Gleeson plc

Borr Drilling Limited

DRD Gold Limited

ASML Holding N.V.

Kenon Holdings Ltd

Adevinta AS

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised on the creation of corporate governance structures for Convera – the business solutions business of Western Union acquired for $90m by a consortium of financial sponsors.
  • Advising FREYR Battery, a Norwegian clean battery manufacturer, on its listing on the NYSE and on the provision of corporate governance advice to its board.
  • Advising the board of James Henderson Group plc on its response to activist investor Trian, which has acquired a 99% stake in the listed company.