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  1. Flotations: small and mid-cap
  2. Leading individuals

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is particularly prominent in the mid-cap space, where it advises clients from a broad range of sectors on AIM and Main Market offerings. Alex Latner and Paul Miller acted for Adgorithms on its $125m AIM IPO, while on the underwriter side Nicholas Myatt assisted Canaccord Genuity with the £81m Mortgage Advice Bureau flotation. Julian Stanier has also been developing key bank-side relationships. Gareth Jones was promoted to partner while former head of corporate David Collins joined Dentons.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s sizeable capital markets team includes Richard Sheen, who has been particularly active in AIM matters; 2015 highlights included advising online estate agency Purplebricks on its £240m IPO, and acting for technology company Windar Photonics on its £40m flotation. Raj Karia is recommended for oil and gas deals, while Nick Adams is a key contact for natural resources matters. Canaccord Genuity and Jefferies are recent underwriter clients.

Pinsent Masons LLP has an enviable track record in mid-cap offerings involving complex cross-border issues, and is equally adept in business-critical small-cap deals. Practice head Jon Harris is ‘one of the leaders of his generation’ and Russell Booker is ‘an experienced and level-headed corporate lawyer with excellent knowledge of the listing process’. Shore Capital and Falkland Oil & Gas are recent clients.

The ‘highly responsive’ and ‘always proactive’ team at Travers Smith LLP includes corporate finance head Neal Watson, head of corporate Spencer Summerfield, listed funds team leader Aaron Stocks and Andrew Gillen. The team acts for banks including Cenkos Securities, private equity houses, and a range of issuer clients such as Pinewood Group and Gloo Networks on high-profile mandates across both AIM and the Main Market.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s team, led by Tim Field, is recommended for its ‘good market knowledge and execution’. Manchester-based Roger Hart has particular expertise in the telecoms and retail sectors, and Charles Penney regularly acts for international companies. Peel Hunt and finnCap are recent NOMAD clients.

Ashurst fields a team of ‘highly skilled lawyers that combine excellent legal knowledge with strong business acumen’. Michael Robins is a key contact for AIM matters, and has recently advised clients such as Atlantis Resources and Westhouse Securities. US securities specialists Jennifer Schneck and new arrival Eric Stuart are also recommended. Jonathan Parry left for White & Case LLP.

At CMS, Gary Green advised ISG on a £19m cashbox placing and broker option and James Parkes, who is noted for his ‘attention to detail’, handled a number of matters for NOMAD Panmure Gordon. The practice can also draw on the US securities expertise of international capital markets head Daniel Winterfeldt.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handled a number of cross-border deals in 2015; Andrew Collins (who is an expert in the financial services and property sectors and regularly advises family offices and owner-managed businesses) acted for MayAir on its admission to AIM, while Mark Howard assisted longstanding client W H Ireland as joint bookrunner on a £50m accelerated bookbuild by African low-cost airline FastJet. Practice head Clive Hopewell has the ‘rare quality of finding commercial solutions whilst remaining firmly within the ambit of sound legal advice’.

DLA Piper’s team, headed by Alex Tamlyn in London and featuring lawyers from across the firm’s UK offices, acts for companies and their advisers across all stages of their lifecycles. Tom Heylen acted for expanding medical devices company Tissue Regenix Group on a £20m placing, while Charles Severs assisted the sponsor on the migration of Optimal Payments (since renamed Paysafe Group) from AIM to the Main Market. George Barboutis provides US securities advice.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘knowledgeable and experienced team’ is highlighted for its ‘good value for money’ and was significantly bolstered in 2016 with the recruitment of Sebastian Orton from Jones Day. Daniel Hall advised Zeus Capital and Investec Bank as joint brokers on a £130m placing by Conviviality Retail. Recent issuer clients include Diurnal Group and Eurocell, which it advised on a £175m Main Market IPO. Practice head Stephen Nash has ‘a strong understanding of clients’ needs’.

Fieldfisher is ‘technically strong and proactive in finding solutions’. Energy and natural resources expert Dominic Gurney-Champion recently advised Atalaya Mining on its £65m fundraise. On the NOMAD side, Neil Matthews acted for Cenkos Securities and N+1 Singer on the £20m fundraising by life sciences company Abzena. Other key members in the sizeable team include the ‘hugely experienced and frighteningly intelligent’ Anthony Brockbank and Brad Isaac, whose expertise spans energy, technology and real estate.

Gowling WLG’s sizeable team of equity capital markets lawyers includes Africa specialist Dominic Prentis; Sunil Kakkad, who regularly advises Indian companies and financial institutions; investment funds expert John Reed; and practice head Jeffrey Elway, whose recent clients include Cenkos Securities, Ambrian and Cantor Fitzgerald Europe.

At Nabarro LLP, the highly regarded Alasdair Steele was particularly active on the NOMAD front in 2015; highlights included advising Numis Securities on a £79m placing by Alliance Pharma; and assisting Stifel with the £150m IPO by Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund. Practice head Iain Newman’s recent issuer clients include SPARK Ventures and Ten Alps.

In a significant development for its cross-office team, Osborne Clarke won a first-time instruction from high-profile NOMAD Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, with practice head Jonathan King advising the financial institution on the £70m IPO of online gaming company Stride Gaming. Other key contacts include James Massy-Collier in Reading and Mark Wesker in Bristol. Rebecca Gordon joined from Dentons.

At Simmons & Simmons, Patrick Graves, who is ‘very knowledgeable within the AIM environment’, advised Investec Bank on Bonmarché Holdings’ move up from AIM to the Main Market. Life sciences expert Charles Mayo and highly regarded practice head Chris Horton are other names to note in the ‘commercial, pragmatic and highly experienced team’.

Stephenson Harwood’s team, led by leading individual Tom Nicholls, acted for a mix of issuers, sponsors and NOMADs in over 50 small and mid-cap deals in 2015. Highlights included advising Shield Therapeutics on its £162m IPO and acting for Numis Securities as corporate adviser to Hornby on its move from the Main Market to AIM. Andrew Edge, Tom Page and William Saunders are also recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP leverages the firm’s reputation in IP-rich sectors to regularly act on TMT and life sciences deals. Simon Allport acted for Cairn and Whitman Howard (as NOMAD and broker, respectively) on the IPO and placing by Faron Pharmaceuticals. Simon Fielder is active on cross-border matters, particularly those with a Malaysian or Singaporean element.

In an illustration of its healthcare strength, Covington & Burling LLP’s team advised Californian biotech company Verseon Corporation on the US law aspects of its £66m IPO, and acted for Allergy Therapeutics on a £20m placing. Other sector strengths include clean energy and TMT. Practice head Paul Claydon, US-qualified Kristian Wiggert, Simon Amies and associate Sarah Turner are recommended.

At Dechert LLP, AIM team head Sean Geraghty regularly acts for prominent NOMADs, financial advisers and brokers, and recently advised ZAI Corporate Finance on Tiso Blackstar Group’s placing and Cenkos Securities on Highland Natural Resources’ re-admission to the standard market. Issuer clients include Richoux and Weiss Korea. Patrick Lyons provides US securities advice.

At Dentons, Neil Nicholson has longstanding relationships with Cenkos Securities and RM2, among other financial institutions. Issuer highlights included advising Bilby on its £17m IPO. Former Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP corporate head David Collins joined, while Rebecca Gordon left for Osborne Clarke.

Dorsey & Whitney has longstanding relationships with brokers and NOMADs including Cenkos Securities, Canaccord Genuity and Numis Securities. On the issuer side, Kate Francis and Max Beazley advised Atlantic Coal on its delisting from AIM. Mark Taylor heads the group.

K&L Gates LLP is ‘very strong commercially and very aware of clients’ needs and priorities’. The practice is particularly active across US-related matters; corporate head Paul Tetlow acted alongside Tom Sibert for Cenkos Securities on the £66m placing by Californian company Verseon Corporation. James Green is ‘hardworking and client-focused’. Newly promoted partner Tom Wallace acts for clients including Electrical Geodesics and Panmure Gordon.

Macfarlanes LLP’s practice is headed by ‘great communicatorRobert Boyle and is active across a wide range of London stock market deals (including on the Main Market) for issuers, banks and shareholders. Mark Slade acted for Elegant Hotels Group on its £100m AIM flotation.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s Kate Ball-Dodd is a trusted adviser to a number of AIM-listed companies. On the NOMAD side, Colin Scagell assisted Peel Hunt as sole sponsor and underwriter to Charles Talyor’s £31m rights issue.

Memery Crystal LLP stands out for the volume of work handled in its six-partner team. Corporate head Michael Dawes advised longstanding broker client Brandon Hill Capital on San Leon Energy’s £29m fundraising, and Lesley Gregory acted for SP Angel as NOMAD in Ironbridge Resources’ admission to AIM and accompanying £10m fundraising. Corporate AIM clients include Gaming Realms, Shanta Gold and Futura Medical.

At Olswang LLP, the highly regarded Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand is a key contact for cross-border capital markets deals, particularly related to Asia, while practice head Paul Blackmore regularly advises listed companies operating in the TMT and leisure sectors. Dexion Capital is a recent NOMAD client.

Squire Patton Boggs provides international expertise, including US securities advice, across a platform of four UK offices. Recent NOMAD instructions include advising Peel Hunt on Curtis Banks Group’s £21m placing, and Panmure Gordon on Gear4music’s admission to AIM. The team, which includes Birmingham corporate head Edward Dawes, also won City of London Group and Rotala as new clients. Matthew Doughty joined DWF.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has an impressive track record in the energy and natural resources space; practice head Jan Mellmann advised Sound Energy on a £12m placing and assisted Baobab Resources on its delisting from AIM. Martin Thomas handled a number of real estate deals including advising Allenby Capital as NOMAD on K&C REIT’s £3.5m placing. Dearbhla Quigley is also recommended. James Wilson joined from Reed Smith LLP.

DAC Beachcroft LLP strengthened its ability to act for NOMADs and brokers with the addition of Jonathan Deverill, who also regularly advises issuers in the natural resources space; he assisted Allenby Capital on The Fulham Shore’s £4.8m fundraise. Technology sector expert Matthew Darling and Clive Garston are also recommended.

Fladgate LLP bolstered its practice with the arrivals of Nigel Gordon and life sciences and natural resources expert Chris Chrysanthou from Fasken Martineau LLP. Grant Gordon heads the team, which includes Avram Kelman, who represents numerous tech sector related Israeli companies.

Fox Williams LLP’s ‘business-oriented’ practice is noted for its ‘deep knowledge of the natural resources sector’. Other sector specialisms include energy, technology, financial services and retail. ‘Innovative and solutions-oriented’ corporate head Richie Clark and Andrew Woolf are names to note.

At Hamlins LLP, practice head Daniel Bellau, who is a key adviser to Palace Capital, is ‘knowledgeable, commercial and gets the deal done’. Ian Binnie joined Michelmores LLP.

Kerman & Co LLP’s Michael Bennett and Joan Yu, who regularly advise technology, natural resources and energy focused issuers, ‘are very good at resolving issues; they know how business actually works in the real world’.

At Marriott Harrison LLP, practice head Simon Charles advised on the £4m IPO of Fishing Republic; he and the team have been working on several proposed admissions to AIM. Allenby Capital and N+1 Singer are recent broker clients.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, Stephen Hamilton, who is noted for his ‘consistently excellent advice and availability’, has been particularly active in the technology sector, where he advises issuers and brokers.

Mishcon de Reya LLP acts for a broad range of clients including NOMADs such as Arden Partners and finnCap, shareholders such as Woodford Investment Management, and private equity houses. Practice head Saul Sender, Ross Bryson and Shantanu Sinha are the main contacts.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s team, led by Walter Blake, ‘provides high-quality, good-value advice’ to mid-market banks including Numis Securities and Canaccord Genuity. Issuer-side clients include John Swan & Sons and Collagen Solutions.

Tandeep Minhas is the main contact at Taylor Wessing LLP and has a number of ongoing relationships with key brokers.

Leeds-based Walker Morris LLP hired former DWF equity capital markets head Daniel O’Gorman, who joins ‘an impressive and cost-effective’ corporate team that also features Richard Naish, who advised Gear4music on its £28m IPO. Other clients include N+1 Singer.

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