Rising Star: Alison Smith, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Rising Star: Alison Smith, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Key clients: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Tesco, Smiths Group

Partner since 2015

As a teenager I was desperate to be a criminal defence barrister. I did work experience with a barrister when I was 16 and loved it. At some point after becoming more educated about the profession, I wanted to work as part of a big deal team.

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Rising Star: David Avery-Gee, Linklaters

Rising Star: David Avery-Gee, Linklaters

Key clients: Glencore, Lloyds Banking Group, Alinda

Partner since 2011

I always wanted to do M&A. I used to look at the financial papers at university and was always interested in the deals. As a Linklaters trainee I decided very quickly I wanted to do corporate. I enjoyed the transactions and being at the centre of client relationships.

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Rising Star: Chris McGaffin, Slaughter and May

Rising Star: Chris McGaffin, Slaughter and May

Key clients: ARM Holdings, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Shire, Aggreko, WS Atkins

Partner since 2015

As a grammar school boy from Northern Ireland, I had two choices: lawyer or doctor, or I would get thrown out of the house. I did work experience at 15 at the local hospital. When I saw what the junior doctors had to do, I decided being a lawyer was for me.

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Rising Star: Charles Hayes, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Rising Star: Charles Hayes, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Key clients: CVC Capital Partners, Charterhouse Capital Partners, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Middle East sovereign wealth funds

Partner since 2016

F1 is a big one for me [Hayes led on the Formula One sale to Liberty Media Corporation in September]. Particularly as a partner having tracked through the 2012 IPO attempt in Singapore. It’s a huge deal to do and one of great professional pride in the first few months of partnership.

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Rising Star: Victoria Sigeti, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Rising Star: Victoria Sigeti, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Key clients: Cinven, 3i Group, Permira, General Atlantic

Partner since 2015

A key deal for me was the IPO of Spire Healthcare: I’d done the original buyout for Cinven in 2007 as a mid-level associate and then stayed with that deal until the IPO in 2014. That type of deal gets you under the skin of a business. It creates deep relationships with clients.

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