Markus Fell­ner

Leaders in Law endorses Markus Fellner as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in Austria. If you wish to get in touch with Markus please use the contact information provided above.

Markus Fellner is a founding partner at fwp and specialises in banking and finance, corporate and M&A, insolvency law and restructuring, and dispute resolution.

As a specialist speaker and author of specialist publications on banking & finance, company law, insolvency law as well as restructuring, Markus Fellner, with the support of his team, stands for exceptional quality, profound expertise and long-term experience. His clients include both domestic and international companies and financial institutions. The international character of the Austrian business law firm fwp is highlighted by regular cooperation with leading partner law firms in a network spanning all relevant jurisdictions.

Practice Areas



  • German
  • English
  • Italian


  • Dr. iur., University of Vienna, 1994
  • Mag. iur, University of Vienna, 1992
  • Mag. rer. soc. oec., Vienna University of Economics and Business, 1989

Professional background

  • Partner with Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners since 1999
  • Admitted to the Austrian bar in 1998
  • Auditing assistant with a highly reputed chartered accountant
  • Legal expert in a Viennese business law firm

Firm Description:

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners is a well-respected player in the reorganisation and restructuring space and has traditionally focused on advising credit institutions but has steadily expanded its client share in the corporate arena. The team led by founding partner Markus Fellner is a key fixture on some of Austria’s most high-profile restructurings such as the restructuring of the Steinhoff Group and is well equipped to assist clients with associated distressed M&A transactions and insolvency proceedings, including enforcement claims.


Andrei Danilov

Leaders in Law endorses Andrei Danilov as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in Russia. If you wish to get in touch with Andrei please use the contact information provided above.

Andrei is a leading member of Moscow’s first generation of internationally trained lawyers and the Managing Partner of Danilov & Partners.

Andrei advises clients on a variety of domestic and cross-border transactions, focusing primarily in the area of mergers and acquisitions, as well as on corporate finance, including public and private placement of equity and debt securities, bank financing, strategic partnering and investments, and litigation management. Andrei also counsels clients in connection with general issues of Russian corporate, securities, subsoil, PPP and antimonopoly legislation.

Practice Areas

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Capital Markets Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Andrei has represented:

  • a large Russian private oil company on a US$2.3 billion gas project at Yaraktinskoe oil and gas condensate field, including its cooperation with Toyo Engineering Corporation (Japan) on the construction of an ethylene plant;
  • a Russia-Chinese oil company in connection with pre-sale restructuring, preparation of tender documents, and advice in connection with minority rights in M&A transaction;
  • a major Russian independent oil company on an EPSS (engineering, procurement and site services) agreement with a hi-end producer of helium equipment for the construction of a liquefied helium production facility;
  • a Russian investor group in connection with the project financing of an innovative agricultural complex and distribution center in St Petersburg, Russia;
  • a Russian investor group in connection with the structuring and equity and debt investment into a Vietnamese concern;
  • a major Russian independent oil company on a US$90 million acquisition from a major Russian bank of a distressed real estate asset;
  • a Moscow-based private equity fund on the establishment of a joint venture to build and manage a 20 million ton marine coal terminal in the Russian Far East;
  • a world’s leading provider of technology for oil and gas industry on its acquisition of a stake in a Russian manufacturer of spare parts and drilling rigs;
  • a large Russian private oil company in amending and restating the agreements with a top international investment bank;
  • a party financing Russian manufacturing group in connection with the preparation of transaction documents, equity financing, share transfer and security documents under English and Cypriot law;
  • a large Russian private oil company on a US$800 million project to build a polyethylene production plant; anda Russian public financial company in connection with purchase of a stake in a Russian timber holding.


Firm Description:

Danilov & Partners offers one of the most experienced and dedicated teams of international attorneys qualified to advise under Russian, English, US and Singapore law.

Clients increasingly seek nimble firms that can deliver quality legal advice faster and on a tighter budget than ever before. We created Danilov & Partners in 2014 with this idea in mind. Our ‘Big Law. Flexible Firm’ philosophy is reflected in everything we do. For the D&P team, we pick bright and experienced international attorneys from leading firms. We provide top-notch, big law experience without the hassle of big firm rigidity and bureaucracy. A smaller firm platform allows us to respond quickly to clients’ needs while guaranteeing a high quality service.

In five years since the firm’s inception, we have helped clients successfully complete deals with an aggregate value of over US$20 billion. We have advised on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity, blockchain transactions, construction projects and assisted with regulatory/antitrust issues in Russia, USA, Europe, Middle East, South-east Asia and Africa.

Because of our international background, we are able to bridge the gap that often exists between Russian clients and their international counterparties in cross- border transactions.

In addition to foreign law qualified lawyers in our Moscow office, we work closely with leading international law firms.


Mohsin Iqbal

Leaders in Law endorses Mohsin Iqbal as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in Qatar. If you wish to get in touch with Mohsin please use the contact information provided above.
Mohsin Iqbal is a member of the Firm’s Global Projects and Banking & Finance groups and is based in the Firm’s Dubai office. Mr. Iqbal mainly practices in the area of banking, project and Islamic finance, and is consistently ranked in Chambers Global as a recognised expert for Projects in Qatar.

Practice Focus

Mr. Iqbal has a broad finance practice covering transactional banking, project finance (both finance and development aspects), acquisition finance and Islamic finance (including Sukuk transactions) that spans over nine years across the GCC region. He also has extensive experience acting on multi-sourced and ECA-supported financings.

Representative Legal Matters

Prior to joining the Firm, Mohsin handled the following matters:

  • Advising an American multinational investment banking and financial services corporation (as arranger) in connection with a USD 320 million conventional and Shari’ah compliant financing arranged for General Atlantic / Warburg Pincus (as sponsors) to fund the acquisition of a leading emerging markets e-payments group.
  • Advising Manhattan Capital in connection with a USD 18 million Shari’ah compliant Murabaha financing arranged by NBK Capital Partners to acquire educational assets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Advising Banque Saudi Fransi in connection with a SAR 600 million Shari’ah compliant Murabaha facility to partially fund the acquisition by the Abraaj Group and TPG Capital (as sponsors) of a major food retailer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Advising leading UAE-based cement manufacturing company in connection with a USD 100 million Shari’ah compliant Murabaha facility arranged by a major regional Islamic bank.
  • Advising the State of Qatar, acting through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in connection with a USD 1.5 billion state guaranteed Shari’ah compliant murabaha financing for Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company.
  • Advising QInvest LLC as mandated lead arranger in connection with a USD 100 million senior secured conventional and Shari’ah compliant term financing for a leading luxury retail group in Turkey.
  • Advising the underwriters with respect to the USD 4 billion sovereign sukuk issued by the State of Qatar.
  • Advising the mandated export credit agencies on the proposed multi-billion dollar project financing of a petrochemical complex in Ras Laffan, State of Qatar.
  • Advising Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company (a Qatar Petroleum subsidiary) on its full retail IPO and listing on the Qatar Exchange in 2014, Qatar’s first IPO since 2010.


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (2003)


  • University of London (King’s College) (LLM Banking and Finance Law) (1999)
  • University of London (Queen Mary) (LLB) (1998)


  • English

Firm Description:

Market disruption is an accepted reality for business, as new competition and technologies drive the pace of change faster than ever before. Our clients want lawyers who are prepared to lead, differentiate and adapt in a constantly changing world. They want advisers who are curious about the world, and embrace collaboration and candour.

As the original global law firm, we bring the right talent to every client issue, regardless of where the client is. We partner with our clients to deliver solutions in the world’s largest economies as well as newly opening markets.

We are global citizens, industry savvy, diverse and have a thirst for innovation. Our strength is our ability to adopt a new type of thinking and use cutting-edge legal technologies to help clients overcome the challenges of competing in today’s new world economic order.

We are Baker McKenzie.


José A. Sosa-Lloréns

Leaders in Law endorses José Alberto Sosa-Lloréns as our exclusively recommended Banking and Finance Law expert in Puerto Rico. If you wish to get in touch with José please use the contact information provided above.

José Alberto Sosa-Lloréns has advised clients on banking regulatory matters related to international banking, mergers, corporate reorganizations, securities activities of banks and has served as issuer’s counsel in securities transactions of financial institutions, including tender offers and IPOs. He also has actively worked in the creation of investment companies, investment advisory firms and securities broker dealers in Puerto Rico. Another significant part of his practice includes serving as bond counsel and underwriters counsel in public finance transactions of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, its instrumentalities and political subdivisions. He has served as advisor to governmental entities in connection with the enactment of public finance legislation.

José has served as lead local counsel to private consortia bidding for public-private partnerships in various infrastructure projects in Puerto Rico, including representing the successful bidder for the 40-year lease of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, the largest airport in the Caribbean region and the first airport under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pilot Program.

José has been engaged as counsel in various regulatory matters related to securities broker dealers, investment advisors and investment companies. His practice includes representing clients before the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), before the Corporate Finance Division. In addition to his regulatory and transactional work, José has represented securities broker dealers in securities arbitrations before FINRA and in complex mediation proceedings.


  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Puerto Rico

Prior Experience

Prior to joining DLA Piper, José was the Chair of the Corporate Department of a leading law firm in Puerto Rico where he held various positions, including shareholder, member of the Board of Directors and member of its Executive Committee.


  • José was included in the 2020 Best Lawyers in Latin America and 2021 Best Lawyers in Puerto Rico for Corporate and M&A Law
  • José is ranked as a Leading Individual in the Corporate Commercial field by Chambers & Partners in both its Global and its Latin America Guides


  • LL.M., Columbia University School of Law
  • University of Puerto Rico School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • University of Puerto Rico, B.B.A. (Finance), magna cum laude


  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico


  • Puerto Rico Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Business Section

Additional Credentials

José is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, where he teaches courses and seminars on Banking Regulation and Public Finance.

Firm Description:

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world.

We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality and value to our clients.

We achieve this through practical and innovative legal solutions that help our clients succeed. We deliver consistent services across our platform of practices and sectors in all matters we undertake.

Our clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. They include more than half of the Fortune 250 and nearly half of the FTSE 350 or their subsidiaries. We also advise governments and public sector bodies.

Responsible Business

Our Global Scholarships programme supports outstanding law students in developing countries reach their potential and contribute to the rule of law in their communities. And our Head Start initiative aims to improve equality of opportunity and break down barriers faced by under-represented groups when entering the legal profession.

Over the course of our six-year partnership with UNICEF, we have pledged $7.5 million through fundraising and pro bono legal support to improve child justice and protect children’s rights worldwide.

We are proud to be signatories of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Our support for the initiative underlines our commitment to responsible business.

DLA Piper strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability, undertaking initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of its business activities in line with our Global Environmental Policy.

Pro Bono

DLA Piper is deeply committed to pro bono. Our pro bono efforts focus on three areas: the rights of children, access to justice and the rule of law, and assisting asylum seekers, refugees, and stateless people. Our work is both global and local. We provide direct service to individuals and organizations that could not otherwise afford counsel, while helping to build a pro bono culture in the legal profession around the world.

New Perimeter is DLA Piper’s nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world. New Perimeter supports access to justice, social and economic development, sound legal institutions, and women’s advancement. Founded in 2005 as a result of our firm’s commitment to support legal advancement worldwide, New Perimeter’s vision is to harness the skills and talents of DLA Piper lawyers to further a more just world for all.

Diversity and Inclusion

At DLA Piper, diversity, inclusion and equality are a part of how we live our values. We are one of the world’s largest law firms, with lawyers and staff in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Our people reflect the diversity of our clients and the many communities and markets where we work.

With offices worldwide, our efforts to understand, value and incorporate differences are woven into our culture. We are on a journey and, like most law firms, we still have some distance to travel. But with strategic approaches within our geographic regions, we’re making great progress. Visit our diversity and inclusion pages to learn more.

Essam Al Tamimi

Leaders in Law endorses Essam Al Tamimi as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in the UAE. If you wish to get in touch with Essam please use the contact information provided above.

In 1989, Essam Al Tamimi established what is now the largest law firm in the Middle East, Al Tamimi & Company and currently holds the position of Chairman at the firm. Essam has over thirty four (34) years of experience in litigation and arbitration in the UAE and the GCC countries covering almost all fields of law, both private and public law, including matters relating to corporate and commercial law, banking and financial law, real estate and property law, across several industries and sectors.

He has been involved in drafting laws and regulations and has assisted federal and local governments in drafting laws and regulations relating to a range of sectors. These have included the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Dubai Internet and Media City free zones, the Abu Dhabi government in privatization of water and electricity and played a major role in drafting the privatization and ADWEA laws and regulations, assisted the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry in drafting the Federal Industrial law and implementing regulations, contributed to the drafting of the relevant laws for establishing several Free Zones in the UAE, assisted Dubai International Financial Centre Authority in drafting number of laws and regulations relating to the DIFC Authority, the DIFC Court and the DIFC Arbitration Centre and have been actively involved in commenting and reviewing most of the federal laws including the Arbitration law, Commercial Companies law and the Consumer Protection law. He has extensive experience in regulatory matters and has assisted local and federal governments on regulatory issues.

Essam’s principal place of practice is Dubai, United Arab Emirates but he also has extensive experience in advising and assisting clients throughout the Arab region where he has worked and advised and attended to projects in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Iraq.

In addition to his role as counsel in numerous arbitration matters, Essam has also acted as an expert witness in a wide array of litigious matters. Essam has also been appointed as an arbitrator and chair of arbitral tribunals in arbitration proceedings under ADCCAC, CRCICA, DIAC, LCIA, ICC and PCA Rules.

He is on the ICC Court, serving as Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR, Paris, former Chair of the ICC UAE Commission on Arbitration and ADR, now member of the Steering Committee of the ICC UAE Commission on Arbitration and ADR, served as Chairman and is Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is the Founder and Patron of the UAE Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, member of the International Bar Association, served as member of the LCIA Court, served as President of the LCIA Arab Users Council. He has served a number of years as member of the board of The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). He is actively involved in development of arbitration laws in the region and for the training and development of arbitration in the UAE and the region. His practice focuses primarily on local and international clients in shipping, banking, intellectual property, commercial agency, joint venture, construction and commercial litigation. Essam has published a number of articles and books on litigation and arbitration in the UAE and setting up business in the region. He has received Gulf Legal Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to the Gulf Legal Market. He is on the editorial advisory board of the ICLR and GAR, former Co-Chair of the IBA Rule of Law Forum, member of the Review Committee of Energy Arbitrators List, member of the Advisory Board of IBA’s Eyewitness to Atrocities, member of the Advisory Board of the BCDR International Arbitration Review, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the DIFC  Arbitration Institute (DAI), member of the FIAA Board of Trustees, member of the American Law Institute(ALI), member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), received Lifetime Achievement Award from International Financial Law Review (IFLR), is a member of the Arab Arbitration Group of the ICC,  member of the SIAC Users Council and is a fellow and faculty member of the International Dispute Resolution Academy (IDRA).

Thought Leadership

Professional memberships, publications and speaking engagements

Essam Al Tamimi’s international expertise has been enhanced and recognised through membership of key regional and international arbitration panels including:

  • GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre, Manama, Bahrain
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
  • Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR), United Kingdom
  • International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration, Paris, France
  • UAE Representative of the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) 2009-2012
  • Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA)  2017-2020
  • Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) 2014-2017

Essam is the author of a number of leading UAE dispute resolution publications including Arbitration Law in the United Arab Emirates (1997), A Practical Guide to Litigation and Arbitration in the UAE (2003), United Arab Emirates Court of Cassation Judgments 1989-1997 (2003) and United Arab Emirates Court of Cassation Judgments 1998-2003 (2005). He is also the author of The Practitioner’s Guide to Arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa (2009) and has written extensively on arbitration matters in leading international publications.


  • Arabic
  • English


  • 1984 – LL.M., Harvard School of Law
  • 1983 – LL.B., Al Ain Law School

Firm Description:

With 17 offices across 9 countries, we are a full-service commercial firm combining knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure our clients have access to the best legal solutions that are commercially sound and cost effective.

Our clients are at the heart of everything we do. Founded in 1989, we are the leading corporate law firm in the UAE and throughout the Middle East & North Africa with more than 450 legal professionals in 17 offices across 9 countries. We’re determined to use our knowledge, experience and intellectual rigour to find innovative solutions to overcome complex business challenges. We actively encourage diversity and inclusion, enabling us to attract and retain the best talent, to ensure our clients succeed.


Erika Papp

Leaders in Law endorses Erika Papp as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in Hungary. If you wish to get in touch with Erika please use the contact information provided above.

Erika Papp is the managing partner of CMS Budapest and the Head of Finance in CEE/CIS.

Erika advises financial institutions and other companies on financial transactions and regulatory projects across the CEE region. She has several years’ experience in advising clients on real estate and project finance as well as corporate lending. She is also well-regarded for her expertise in financial institution regulation, and advises banks and businesses on capital markets, derivatives and investments in Hungary as well as in CEE. Her clients include most of the largest financial institutions in the region as well as large corporates with commercial activities in energy, real estate, telecommunications and manufacturing.

Erika participated in developing the “Budapest rules”, the Hungarian adaptation of the London rules of financial restructuring, a system of support for companies in financial difficulty, usually involving the cooperation of a number of creditor banks. She is also an arbitrator at the Permanent Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the leader of AmCham’s Banking Regulatory Committee in Hungary.

Erika regularly speaks at international conferences and LMA seminars. She has published numerous articles and has co-authored several finance law related publications.

Erika is the founder of a charitable foundation at the Law School of Debrecen.

Erika is widely recognised as a leading individual in her field by professional legal directories such as Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. She is highly regarded in several categories, including Banking and Finance, Project Finance and Capital Markets.

Relevant experience

  • An international financial institution on preparing a new restructuring/reorganisation law in Hungary and on preparing a comprehensive report containing an analysis of the capital market regulation for CSDs in Target Markets.
  • The financial services company of a major OEM on its CEEU-compliance steering project for ten jurisdictions and a high-profile banking regulatory assignment also involving commercial legal advice that focused on defining the “status quo”.
  • Two major commercial banks on the multi-jurisdictional restructuring of an Italian meat manufacturing company with facilities located in Hungary, Poland, Italy and Spain.
  • A number of commercials banks and foreign investors on financing major photovoltaic projects.
  • OTP Bank, Budapest Bank, Commerzbank, K&H Bank Hungary on a complex syndicated loan to refinance Pannonia Bio, the largest bio ethanol producer in Hungary.
  • Hungarian oil & gas company MOL on a EUR 750m revolving credit facility provided by a group of 13 banks.
  • Erste Bank on a significant number of portfolio transfers, M&A transactions, project financing, refinancing, restructuring, and regulatory matters.
  • OTP Bank on portfolio transfers and on several financing, refinancing and restructuring projects related to the real estate, hotel and leisure industries.
  • Raiffeisen Bank on numerous high-profile project and real estate financing transactions.


  • 1996 – General legal studies, Law School of the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • 1995 – LL.M. in Banking, Securities and Corporate Law, Law School of Fordham University, New York, USA
  • 1992 – Doctor of Law, József Attila University, Szeged


  • Amcham’s Regulatory Committee
  • Arbitrator, Permanent Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Member, Budapest Bar Association


  • The Changing Banking Sector in Hungary and its Legal Challenges, CEE Legal Matters, 2020
  • Pandemic Proves Law can Work Digitally, Budapest Business Journal, 2020
  • Inside Out: Pannonia Bio Bond Issuance, CEE Legal Matters, Hungary, 2020
  • Hungary’s National Bank Fintech Strategy Combats Digitisation Lag, Fintech Futures, 2019
  • The Hungarian National Bank Seeks to Cool Down Over-Heated Real Estate Market – CEE Legal Matters, 2018
  • From Fintech to Solar Financing: What Moves the Banking Sector in 2018? – BBJ, 2018
  • FinTech in Hungary: Overview. Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law, 2018

Lectures list

  • 2020 – CEE: Green, Grey and Danger Zones – Competition Compliance in Bank Syndications
  • 2020 – Restructuring & Insolvency series – Bankruptcy procedure
  • 2020 – Banking Law: Financial market institutions, organisational and operational rules, sectoral laws
  • 2019 – CMS Banking Summer School
  • 2019 – LMA Conference in Budapest
  • 2019 – CMS Restructuring and Insolvency Business Breakfast Series
  • 2019 – MNB – the Academy of Financial Law (Pénzügyi Jogi Akadémia)
  • 2019 – ISDA Competence Centre Conference in Budapest
  • 2018 – Portfolio Conference: Financial IT and Disruptive Technologies

Firm Description:

Ranked as a Top 10 Global Law Firm, CMS can work for you in 71 cities in 43 countries and with 77 offices worldwide. 4,800 CMS lawyers offer you business-focused advice tailored to your needs, whether in your local market or across multiple jurisdictions.

With the coming together of CMS, Nabarro and Olswang on 1 May 2017, we have created a new future-facing firm, one that is well equipped to help our clients face the future with confidence.

This means putting our clients’ interests and priorities at the very heart of everything we do. And, in a world of ever-accelerating change, that demands unwavering sector focus combined with quality practice specialism.

Across our six core sectors – Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure and Project Finance, Lifesciences and Healthcare, Real Estate and Technology, Media and Telecommunications – we don’t just have some of the brightest and most creative legal minds.  Our lawyers are fully immersed in the world our clients’ operates in; genuine experts in their fields, knowledgeable about the issues you currently face, and those that may lie just around the corner.

We offer various added value services, including Law-Now and the Interactive Media Award winning RegZone which provide practical and timely knowledge relevant to your business and numerous webinars for training at your desk.

As a future-facing firm, we are driven by technology and readily embrace the possibilities it opens up for developing new and better ways of delivering legal services.

We are united in our vision and values, and focused on driving a culture of high ethical standards. Diversity & Inclusion and CSR are a huge priority for us.

And all this with the advantages of true global scale. Across your world, through 72 offices in 40 countries, we’re locally grounded, well connected, and completely familiar with the terrain. Our approach to service delivery is the same in all our offices, based on a common training program and a shared understanding of what our clients value. All CMS lawyers, both those we recruit and those we train in-house, are focused on providing quality advice and quality service. We are smart on the detail because the detail matters. We recruit, value and nurture top talent and through regular, independent evaluations, we identify opportunities to make improvements in our service and feed this back to our lawyers.


Julia Charlton

Leaders in Law endorses Julia Charlton as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law Services expert in Hong Kong. If you wish to get in touch with Julia please use the contact information provided above.

Julia is the founding partner of Charltons, an internationally recognised Hong Kong-based boutique corporate finance law firm established in 1998. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Charltons has representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Charltons is one of the few Hong Kong law firms with an office presence in Yangon, Myanmar. Julia was admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales in 1985 and has practised as a solicitor in Hong Kong since 1987. She is an experienced practitioner in the field of corporate finance, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investment, securities, derivatives, funds restructuring and regulatory issues. Julia has extensive experience of working with PRC clients and is a Mandarin speaker.

Charltons initiated and coordinated a major project involving over 20 law firms, 40 investment banks and two ‘Big Four’ accounting firms to produce the Sponsor Due Diligence Guidelines, first published in September 2013, updated in 2016 and currently being updated for a 2018 edition.

Julia was a long-standing member of the Listing Committee of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong from 2012 to 2018. She is currently a member of the Takeovers Panel and the Takeovers Appeals Panel of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, a member of the Investigation Panel A of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a senior fellow of the Hong Kong Securities Institute, and a member of the Company Law Committee of the Hong Kong Law Society. She is the current President of International Women’s Forum Hong Kong and is a Chairperson of the Eurocham Financial Services Business Council. Julia has been named a Hong Kong American Chamber of Commerce / South China Morning Post Woman of Influence.

Julia has founded and maintains two charitable organisations. The Asia Education Foundation provides scholarship funds to improve the lives of talented and hardworking, yet underprivileged students, by providing them with scholarship funds to be put towards university education. AEF is currently focused on China, a country where not all outstanding students can afford to attend university. The second charity, The Asia Environmental Foundation, aims to increase public awareness about environmental protection and conservation by providing funding to organise, plan, formulate, promote and implement programmes, activities or schemes for the purpose of environmental protection and conservation, and carries out disaster relief and recovery work.

Firm Description:

Charltons is a boutique Hong Kong corporate finance law firm with branch offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Yangon, Myanmar. The firm’s practice covers capital markets, M&A, regulatory and securities work, natural resources law, corporate and commercial, private equity and funds, corporate restructuring and offshore and China funds. Charltons, as a boutique law firm, has currently around twenty professionals within the firm complemented by a dedicated support team. The firm values team spirit and encourages active participation and day-to-day communication we sharing the experience and insights and the free flow of information and know-how.

Charltons is committed to retain female talent in the legal profession. This commitment was recognised at the 2012, 2013 and 2017 Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Asia Women in Business Law Awards.

Charltons has a track record of over 17 years representing major multinational clients on complex cross border transactions as well as domestic transactions. The firm is experienced in advising local and international companies, controlling shareholders, sponsors and underwriters on initial public offerings on both the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and the GEM market. Charltons is also well recognised for its work advising companies on the legal requirements and implications of their capital raising on listing and we provide ongoing advice to listed companies regarding their compliance with continuing obligations under the Hong Kong Listing Rules.

In recent years, Charltons has earned a reputation for the focused advice provided to both listed and non-listed mineral companies with global operations. Charltons advises on Hong Kong natural resources law and our natural resource practice has grown on the strength of China’s demand for capital and overseas acquisitions in the mineral sector. The firm has extensive experience in assisting junior and mid-cap mineral companies raising capital in Hong Kong and China. The firm has participated in dozens of cross border M&A transactions in the mineral sector, often with a lead coordinating role, and has been involved in mineral investment projects in Myanmar.

The firm advises on Hong Kong M&A law and cross-border M&A transactions, including public takeovers, corporate restructurings and joint ventures. Charltons frequently acts as lead counsel coordinating teams of lawyers in overseas jurisdictions to achieve practical and integrated solutions for our clients and has particular experience in bridging the cultural divide that can exist between Chinese and Western counterparts in complex cross-border M&A transactions.

Charltons has considerable experience advising on the formation and management of offshore, Hong Kong and China investment funds. The firm works with clients to design and develop creative and flexible structures that maximise fund raising opportunities under the prevailing legal and regulatory regimes in Hong Kong, PRC and other relevant jurisdictions.

In September 2013, Charltons initiated and coordinated a major project involving over 20 law firms, 50 investment banks and two ‘big 4’ accounting firms to produce the 720+ page Sponsor Due Diligence Guidelines ((WWW.DUEDILIGENCEGUIDELINES.COM)). The Guidelines are being updated in 2018 and are available online for in English and Chinese.

Charltons has a substantial pro bono practice establishing and advising Hong Kong based charities and foundations. The firm is strongly committed to the concept that it has the responsibility to give back to the community through the provision of pro-bono work to those in need. Over the years, Charltons has focused on providing free legal services to charitable organisations as well as participating in their ongoing management and fundraising events from time to time.

One way Charltons incorporates pro bono work into its suite of legal services is by partnering with clients with their own social and charitable initiatives on a no fee basis. Partnering with clients in this manner means all those involved can draw on one another’s unique skills, experience and ideas.

Charltons has a strong track record of direct involvement in charitable work. The firm’s lawyers cooperated with individuals and organisations and has had the satisfaction of seeing those initiatives grow to achieve their charitable goals. Charltons assisted in the formation of Asia Education Foundation Limited, Asia Environmental Foundation Limited, Village People Project Limited and Society for Children’s Welfare Limited and we provide ongoing secretarial services to charities. Charltons has been involved with a number of environmental initiatives including the production of the Green Office Guidelines for SMEs.


Charltons was awarded ‘Boutique Firm of the Year’ by Asian Legal Business for the years 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and was awarded ‘Boutique Transactional Law Firm of the Year’ in 2017.

Charltons was named Hong Kong’s top Independent Law Firm in the Euromoney Legal Media Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2012 and 2013, and has been named Hong Kong’s Best National Firm for Work-Life Balance in 2017.

Charltons was awarded Corporate Finance Law Firm of the Year in Hong Kong’ by Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards 2014.

Charltons was awarded “Equity Market Deal of the Year” 2011 by Asian Legal Business for advising on the listing of AIA Group Ltd. on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.


Theophilus Tawiah

Leaders in Law endorses Theophilus Tawiah as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in Ghana. If you wish to get in touch with Theophilus please use the contact information provided above.

Theophilus Tawiah is a Managing Partner at WTS Nobisfields.

He specialises in a number of areas of law including banking and finance, corporate/commercial, energy, employment, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, capital market, projects, tax and litigation. He is the Chairman of the Tax and Commercial Policy Committe at the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC). He is a Law Lecturer at the  University of Professional Studies, Accra.

He has provided legal and tax services to a number of multinational and local companies doing business in Ghana.

He has a wide and extensive experience in the provision of services to many clients in financial services, energy, mining & utilities, consumer and industrial products and telecommunications sectors.

He worked at Ernst & Young (EY) for a couple of years where he held a variety of positions.

He has work experiences in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Theophilus holds the following qualifications:

  • Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana
  • Chartered Tax Practitioner (Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana)
  • QCL from Ghana School of Law
  • LLM from Cardiff University
  • LPC from De Montfort University
  • LLB from University of Leicester
  • BCom (Accounting and Finance) from University of Cape Coast

He is a member of the  Ghana Bar Association, International Fiscal Association and the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana


Cherry Bridges

Leaders in Law endorses Cherry Bridges as our exclusively recommended Banking expert in the Cayman Islands. If you wish to get in touch with Cherry please use the contact information provided above.

Cherry Bridges is a Barrister-at-Law and Attorney-at-Law and the Partner in charge of the Litigation Department at Ritch & Conolly. Cherry was educated in England but has lived in Malaysia, Sarawak, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.

Upon completion of her Law Degree and Bar Finals, she was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1982 and completed her pupillage at 1 Essex Court, Temple, London and at Temple Chambers, Hong Kong.

She was called to the Bar of Hong Kong in 1983 and worked as a Barrister-at-Law in private practice at Temple Chambers, Hong Kong from 1983 to 1986 before she relocated to the Cayman Islands and was admitted as an attorney-at-law in the Cayman Islands in 1987.

She has 34 years experience acting in a wide range of civil commercial litigation with particular expertise in litigation relating to trusts, insurance, commercial disputes, tracing actions, enforcement of judgments, companies and liquidations of banks, hedge funds and private companies.

She has acted in numerous and significant cross border matters for clients from all over the world, including the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Norway, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Notable or significant cases in which Cherry has acted are:

Companies/liquidations acting for liquidators, creditors and directors:

  • SphinX, Palm Beach Offshore funds, Lancelot Investors’ Fund, Bancredit (Cayman) Limited, Trade & Commerce Bank, BCCI,
  • Eurobank Corporation, Prospect Properties, In the matter of H of H, Carrian (Hong Kong)
  • Trusts and tracing actions acting for beneficiaries, Trustees and Plaintiffs
  • Reksten, Re C Trusts, The Circle Trust

Insurance Arbitrations acting for the Insured:

  • Courtyard Marriott
  • Villas Pappagallo

Practice Areas:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Insolvency
  • Property
  • Asset Tracing
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Trust Litigation
  • Arbitration
  • Banking
  • Company
  • Regulatory and Financial Services
  • Mediation


  • Cayman Islands Law Society
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, England

Firm Description:

Ritch & Conolly was established in 1983 and undertakes a wide range of legal services for domestic and international clients.

The firm has a respected international commercial litigation practice with extensive experience in cross-border litigation in trusts, corporate disputes, insolvency and asset recovery, enforcement of foreign judgments and conflicts of law.

Other areas of our litigation practice include banking, commercial fraud, anti-money laundering, contract, negligence, construction, administrative and public law, shipping, property, employment and arbitration.

We also undertake extensive non-contentious work including company, insurance, banking, real estate development and structuring, conveyancing, wills and estates, licensing, immigration and trademarks.

The firm has established links with other law firms and institutions worldwide. The Senior Partner, Mr. David Ritch, is highly regarded in the region, having served on numerous Government statutory boards over the years as Chairman and is currently a director of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd., the sole provider of electricity on Grand Cayman.

Company formation and administrative services are provided by the firm’s affiliated corporate administration company, Foreshore Corporate Services Ltd., which may be contacted at the law firm’s address or by e-mail at


Chris DiAngelo

Leaders in Law endorses Chris DiAngelo as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in the USA – New York. If you wish to get in touch with Chris, please use the contact information above.

Chris DiAngelo, managing partner of Katten’s New York office, offers clients a comprehensive understanding of wholesale finance, the critical process through which banks and finance companies fund their lending activities. His intimate knowledge of the industry’s business, legal and policymaking arenas have allowed him to execute some of its most innovative deals.

Solving funding challenges

For large banks, finance companies and government entities, Chris offers decades of experience in structured finance and securitizations, particularly in the area of mortgage financing. From banks to finance companies to government entities, institutions have turned to Chris to solve complex funding puzzles and manage the risk of holding financial assets.

Chris’s depth of knowledge and experience enable him to quickly assess a client’s financing goals and advise on the best options. Clients also benefit from his deep contacts throughout the industry and in the government. He acts as a lead counsel to the Structured Finance Association, chairman of its political action committee and co-chair of its legal counsel committee. He also serves as outside counsel to a Washington, DC, lobbying firm focused on the financial services industry.

The legal and industry knowledge that Chris brings to the table has allowed him to complete landmark financing deals. For an agency lender, he assisted with a $922 million credit risk transfer transaction that marked an evolution in financing techniques. The first credit risk transfer transaction using the structure of a real estate mortgage investment conduit, it opened the US residential mortgage credit market to an increased number of sources of private capital.

Chris’s policy knowledge includes a detailed familiarity with the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on structured finance. He is also deeply informed about housing and mortgage policy reform and its impact on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Before entering private practice, he served on the staff of the New York State Housing Finance Agency.

Practice Focus

  • Representing financial institutions in mortgage finance, structured finance and securitization deals
  • Advising on regulations governing financial services industry
  • Advising on housing and mortgage policy reform
  • Consult with government and industry regulators on financing issues
  • Develop innovative solutions to funding challenges of financial institutions

Firm Description:

The lawyers that companies need today think like business people first and foremost.

Our attorneys really understand your business and approach the law with a commercial sense —to get the deal done or the case resolved. We provide strategic and creative solutions, but offer pragmatic advice that keeps your business objectives top-of-mind. And we forge collegial and collaborative partnerships with our clients to help their businesses succeed. That is why companies hire Katten.

Our philosophy remains centered around the same principles that guided the firm’s founding: A desire to be nimble, strategic, creative and client-centric. Most importantly, a desire to be different.