DLA Piper partners Sandra Wallace and Richard Obank named in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 List

DLA Piper’s Joint Managing Director for the UK and Europe, Sandra Wallace, and veteran Restructuring partner Richard Obank have been included in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 list, published today. The prestigious list, published by legal magazine The Lawyer, comprises ‘the standout lawyers in the UK – the most daring, innovative and creative lawyers from in-house, private practice and the Bar.’

Appointed to the role of Joint Managing Director of Europe in January 2017, Sandra Wallace has also served as UK Managing Partner from 2015 to 2018. She is one of the most senior female lawyers at the firm and has previously headed the UK Employment group, having qualified with DLA Piper in 1994 and subsequently joining the partnership in 2001.

Sandra is praised for “having a stellar reputation for representing national and international clients on the full remit of employment law services”. The Lawyer also highlights that Sandra “is a prominent voice inside and outside the firm” and her latest appointment as a social mobility commissioner, “an external role in a non-governmental body that will recommend policy changes.”

Richard Obank has more than 30 years’ national experience in the field of corporate restructuring and turnaround with particular expertise advising boards of directors of financially distressed companies seeking to implement a solvent outcome in the best interest of stakeholders. Over the past 18 months, Richard has been involved in a number of high profile mid-market corporate assignments, including: advising food wholesaler and retailer, Nisa Retail Limited, in relation to its operational challenges, refinancing and sale to the Co-op; facilitating the operational turnaround of Willerby Group; acting for the Poundworld management team and, once appointed, its administrators; and acting on the pre-pack administration sale of Europe’s largest golf retailer, American Golf.

Richard is praised for his work advising Nisa Retail: “He guided the grocery store to a crucial rescue by the Co-operative Group in May, which took on Nisa for around £143m. In a dramatic twist, the takeover was then challenged by activists at the sanction hearing; an effort that was nevertheless thwarted by DLA’s team,” The Lawyer comments. Adding that he “has carved out a name for himself in this area, working with boards of directors to save businesses from going under.”

Commenting on the accolade, Sandra Wallace, said: “It is a great honour to be included in the Hot 100 and recognised among the best lawyers in the UK.”

Richard Obank, added: “The last few years have been a roller coaster on the work front and it is highly flattering to be recognised in this prestigious list as a result. In truth, this award can only stand as a tribute to my brilliant colleagues whose dedication and expertise made it possible – so this has to be their win, certainly not mine alone. Thanks also go to our great clients for placing their trust and confidence in us to deliver on their commercial objectives and, of course, to DLA Piper for creating such a fantastic platform to win some of the best work in the market.”

Published every year, the Hot 100 is compiled by The Lawyer Magazine’s editorial team following extensive research into candidates’ client work and contribution to their firms, companies and the profession. The report gathers together the most notable lawyers in the industry who are making stand-out contributions in their field.

Last year, UK Head of Restructuring Amy Jacks and Corporate partner James Kerrigan were included the list.