We are proud to announce another year of continuous achievement in the Legal 500 United Kingdom 2022 rankings. A total of 10 lawyers are mentioned by name in Legal 500 UK commentary for their standout contribution to respective practices. Consistent with last year, our work has been praised by a large number of clients, current and new ones, domestic and international. Furthermore, this is another year when in the newly announced rankings, we have received, yet again, higher positions.
In particular, we were pleased to see the increase in the tables for our already highly ranked Commercial Property team that has ‘unrivalled technical knowledge with innovative thinking and superb commercial awareness’. Noted for its strong client following of blue-chip companies and high-net-worth individuals, the firm is ‘notably active in the hospitality, leisure, retail, media, healthcare and fast-food industries’. One of the names to note is practice head Harvey Posener, who is described by clients as ‘the best property lawyer in London bar none’ and ‘an exceptional lawyer, a very talented operator who is both pragmatic and intelligent;. He advises large corporate occupiers on leasing or acquiring significant headquarters buildings across the UK. Peter Belcher is also singled out as an ‘extremely experienced property lawyer who understands the complexities of purchasing a hotel’. Carole Joseph who works alongside Peter Belcher, has also been noted as ‘calm under pressure’ ‘who manages (client’s) impatience with the other parties to get the deal through.’ In general, the team is acknowledged for its ‘first-class service’ that provides ‘unrivalled property advice, far surpassing magic circle firms while retaining the benefits of a smaller practice’ while combining ‘unrivalled technical knowledge with innovative thinking and superb commercial awareness.’
We are also proud of our Private Client team that was distinguished for their ‘exceptional talent and putting the client first’ when dealing with the full array of private client matters ranging from international ultra-high-net-worth clients through to significant owner of blue-chip companies. Saleem Sheikh heads the ‘client orientated‘ team that ‘differentiates from other firms through its level of service and dedication’ that deals with a diverse range of matters such as succession planning for children coming into the business. Saleem is endorsed for his many outstanding attributes, including his ability to ‘build long-term relationships’, ‘always providing a solution’ and his ‘experience and international contacts to rival anything seen in the field’. Amanda Chapman has been noted for ‘a rare combination of’ ‘technical flair, charming personality and philanthropic passion’ as well as for her ‘specialist knowledge’ and being ‘very responsive and creative’. She was also singled out for her ‘excellent Middle eastern client base and contacts’. James Cohen is endorsed as an ‘excellent communicator’ and ‘extremely efficient’. Clients praised James as ‘a stand out individual’ who is ‘always available, friendly and efficient’. The team was also praised for its ‘focus not on the problems but structure solutions’, ‘synergy and personalised service’ and for its ‘substantial linguistic capabilities’.
Headed by Michael Shapiro, a ‘hard-working’ and ‘committed to his clients’ litigator with over 30 years of experience in dispute resolution, the ‘dedicated and strategic’ Commercial Litigation department regularly acts for clients in complex litigation matters, including cases in the Commercial Court and Privy Council. Clients recognise Michael’s ‘frank appraisals of their dispute’s risk profile’ and for his knowledge of ‘how to package a case to ensure it is favourably received in court’. Senior Consultant Barry Samuels is continuously recommended as ‘highly experienced and active in complex commercial disputes since the 1980s’ and ‘an outstanding lawyers, who is wholly dedicated to doing his best’. GSC’s Litigation Rising Star Sana Sheikh is also mentioned in the guide.
Recommended purely on its merit, our Real Estate Finance team acts for domestic and international high-net-worth individuals and clients in the retail, hospitality and care home sectors. Peter Belcher leads the team, with skills in handling acquisition and development finance mandates, while Matthew Phillips is adept at matters involving commercial property. ‘Competent and very easy to talk to’, the team introduced a new offering – a wide range of Islamic finance products that the firm is now able to advise clients on.
IP, Media & Entertainment that is particularly active in advising copyright collecting societies including the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), Video Performance Limited (VPL) and the Performing Right Society (PRS), is also recommended for its music industry expertise. Justin Goldspink who leads the team handles a wide range of IP matters relating to music, copyright and branding, and he is also a key contact for PPL. He co-heads the practice with Clive Halperin, who ‘offers great insight’ and has a particular interest in technology and artificial intelligence. He was described by his clients as ‘without doubt one of the best lawyers’ in the past 20 plus years’ with ‘knowledge in his field second to none’ who ‘is always available and provides concise yet detailed responses to questions and problems’. Ross Waldram is another name to note.
Finally, we are particularly pleased with one more area that has been included in this year’s edition, our Corporate Commercial department with its M&A work. Fielding a diverse team with distinctive international capabilities, our corporate practice is noted for its ‘ever-growing focus on property technology and healthcare sector transactions, often with a cross-border element’.
Commenting on the 2022 rankings, Senior Partner Saleem Sheikh said: “The Legal 500 is a leading independent guide into the best law firms in the UK. In its 35th year, it is widely acknowledged as the world’s largest legal referral guide. We are delighted that GSC is consistently recognised for our key specialisms including commercial litigation, real estate, personal tax, trusts and probate, Media & Entertainment and now our Corporate practice. It is especially rewarding to see the genuine and exceptional testimonials given to us by our clients. With the strong client base that comes from the five continents globally, solid and longstanding client relationship remains our most valuable asset. We value that feedback especially because of the current climate in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit, the time when found it particularly important to focus on providing the sturdy guiding hand to businesses and individuals, and being there for them as their strong support system.’
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