GTR is proud to announce the results of its Best Law Firm readers’ poll.
Norton Rose Fulbright has been named the best law firm in trade finance by GTR readers.
Formed in 2013 from the merger of Norton Rose and Fulbright & Jaworski, the firm proceeded to expand its global presence with the opening of an office in Brazil in 2014.
“We are delighted to have been named best trade finance firm by GTR readers. It’s a wonderful accolade and testimony to the work that we are doing worldwide,” says Nick Grandage, London-based structured trade and commodity finance partner at the firm.
“I think what made us stand out is the depth of our international coverage and reach, the dedication of the team in London and the support of our international teams.”
The firm also made a number of appointments last year, including Keith Sandilands as aviation head in Asia and Janet Butterworth as a partner in its Paris banking and finance practice.
“It was a year of change in many ways, in respect of commodity prices and geopolitical events like the Russian sanctions, but the thing I am proudest about is our ability to respond to those things, to meet client needs, often on very short notice and advise them, pulling in the expertise from around the firm,”
He is positive about 2015, but warns that the market is ever more difficult to predict.
“If you rewound a year, would anybody on January 1, 2014 have predicted the oil price where it is now?”
“Let’s assume that the oil price either continues to drop or rebounds strongly, both of those things will create different challenges and opportunities in the trade finance market.”
For the firm, he expects increased business in Africa, as well as in developed markets – an area where Norton Rose Fulbright has seen growing demand.
“We’ve had a fantastic year in Africa, and that continues to be somewhere we do ever more work. Our stronger capability in Paris and, as a result, francophone Africa means that we will probably be seeing a relatively higher share there this year.
“Last year we also did our highest-ever amount of trade and commodity transactions in developed markets. When I started it seemed predominantly in emerging markets but now the well-understood means of lending that the trade and commodity finance market uses have been used more in developed markets.
“I have recently been speaking to colleagues in our New York office about transactions, and we’ve been doing a lot of work in in the UK, Germany and Italy. I expect a strong year in the US as our team in New York is doing more and more GTF work.
“But it all remains difficult to predict, and the key thing for us is to be light on our feet, and ready for changes as and when they happen,” he says, adding that the workload resulting from new regulations will only ever increase.
The top 10 law firms in trade finance are:
1 Norton Rose Fulbright
2 Reed Smith
3 Sullivan & Worcester
4 Clyde & Co
5 Hogan Lovells
6 Allen & Overy
7 White & Case
10 Thomas Cooper