We operate panels in many practice areas and in many countries. We don't always have a practice area specialist who knows firms in the country, so that is where guides like this come in handy.
The IFLR1000 is a useful cross reference to refer to ... to make sure a personal referral aligns with some objective rankings from a survey. I would refer to it in my main area, M&A, when looking for a counsel in a country we are new to.
The country-by-country tiered rankings by practice area are a good approach, to get a rough feel if a firm is viewed as active in a practice area.
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I have a good level of confidence in the IFLR1000s ratings. I use it for outsourcing and as to whether I should accept a legal opinion issued from a law firm in a country I am not familiar with.
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Covington & Burling
Covington & Burling jumps up in the rankings this year with perhaps more to come. The firm pinched a number of the top lawyers from Howrey and has shot to prominence on the back of cases for Microsoft Corporation, E.ON, bpost and Samsung.
"They have had significant expansion," says one peer, "they are better than many in tier three and some of tier two". The expansion came partly as a result of the demise of Howrey where "they picked up some very solid people," says another, referring to Lars Kjølbye (formerly with the European Commission's Competition Directorate General), Peter Camesasca and Damien Gerardin (now departed). "Lars is excellent and they have an excellent EU Comp practice," says the peer. A leading lawyer gives them the "thumbs up for the work they do".
In 2011, the team picked up new clients in E.ON, Hapag Lloyd, Samsung Mobile Display, National Instruments and South Korean advertising company Cheil Worldwide. The team also grew with the hire of Ianis Girgenson from Fried Frank, who joined as of counsel, and the promotion of Miranda Cole to the partnership.
The firm's key transactions last year were a string of cases on behalf of Microsoft. Miranda Cole and Lars Kjølbye advised on the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, which was cleared by the European Commission (EC), and were subsequently engage to defend against an appeal to the decision by Cisco.
Cole, Damien Gerardin, Kjølbye and others also advised Microsoft on its abuse of dominance complaint against Google in the search and search advertising fields, while a similar team was also working on the company's dominance complaint against Motorola Mobility failure to fully license certain standard essential patents.
In another highlight, David Hull and Kjølbye were selected by AstraZeneca to represent it in relation to investigations into alleged anti-competitive behaviour in relation to heartburn drug Nexium. The firm successfully defended AstraZeneca.
The firm was also representing Hapag Lloyd in a shipping liner investigation and Samsung Electronics in EU investigations on alleged collusion in DRAM. Other work saw the firm advise Ryanair before the UK's Office of Fair Trading, Bpost on state aid matters and TripAdvisor and Expedia on an abuse of dominance appeal against Google. The firm was also engaged by a Japanese company in the EU car-parts cartel investigation.
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