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  1. Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
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The ‘superb’ team at B P Collins LLP is ‘commercially astute, personable, and up-to-date in the latest market metrics’. In an illustration of its strength in the waste management sector, the practice advised Biffa Waste Services on acquiring PHS Chemical Waste. Simon Deans (who combines ‘first-class client service with outstanding commercial and technical abilities’) leads the four-partner team, which includes Victoria Holland, Alex Zachary and David Smellie.

Dentons’ ‘excellent’ team is led by practice head Andrew Harris, who is valued for his ‘strong commercial acumen and team management’. The firm’s international footprint makes it a natural choice for cross-border deals, in addition to retaining an impressive roster of national clients. Highlights for senior associates Matthew Wilmot and Francesca Bettermann included advising Marshall Motors on its admission to the AIM. Other key names include Peter Cox, who provides the ‘perfect blend of commercial and legal advice’, managing associate Gary Smith, and senior associates Faye Garvey and Christopher Colclough.

EMW Law LLP acts for a core client base of owner-managed businesses, which seek it out for its track record in M&A. In 2015, Ian Morris led advice to the sole shareholder on the disposal of branded pharmaceutical business DB Ashbourne, while Simon Arkell assisted the selling shareholders with Antal’s purchase of Smart Moves Recruitment. Other key figures include corporate head Ian Mabbutt, James Geary, who leads the commercial practice, Nick Lloyd and Gurpreet Sanghera.

Freeths regularly acts for large corporate clients on UK-wide transactions. The group has handled several acquisitions for Wakefield-based AFI-Uplift in recent years and in 2015 Jonathan Hambleton advised on the purchase of Hampshire Plant and Access. Other headline matters included assisting the management shareholders with the £140m sale of CTC Aviation, an airline pilot training business and flight school. Andrew Sharplesmakes complex issues simple’.

Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘committed and commercial’ team has a strong track record of advising clients in the healthcare, technology and retail sectors. Sanjeev Sharma acted as part of a cross-office team for Truworths on its acquisition of a majority stake in Office Retail Group. On the commercial side, Sebastian Price (who ‘thinks outside the box’) assisted software provider Datix with entering the New Zealand market through a local reseller and agent.

From the firm’s Uxbridge base David Clark’s team at IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) acts for several multinational clients, including Renault UK and Cegedim, and is conducting ongoing reviews of commercial contracts for the latter. Adam Dowdney joined from Shoosmiths LLP in April 2016.

Machins Solicitors LLP’s ‘very competent’ team has a strong focus on transactional matters. Practice head Mark Pelopida, who is ‘exceptionally good with clients’, leads the team’s work in the aviation sector, with the support of consultant David Baggott. Jon Alvarez is another key name.

Chris Wilks (who stands out for his ‘insightful advice’) and Peter Goodman are the key contacts at the ‘excellentSA Law LLP, which acts for clients including CL Edwards and Rocket Medical.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s team is led by Mark Thompson, who has considerable experience in the energy sector. Bedfordia is a key client. Keith Spedding relocated to the firm’s Birmingham office in 2015.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP handles a broad range of work, with notable strength in media and entertainment sector mandates through Leigh Head, who acts for clients including Graphite Media. Highlights included advising Menkind Group on its acquisitions of Red5 and The Source.

Taylor Walton LLP bolstered its private equity credentials with the recruitment of Simon Hughes, formerly global private equity head at Baker & McKenzie LLP. M&A highlights for Mike Pettit included advising TRUMPF and its UK group company SPI Lasers on the acquisition of JK Lasers. Jeremy Brockis heads the corporate team.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards opened its new Watford office in 2016, which was staffed with a corporate and commercial team from Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP. Richard Phillips is the key name.

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Legal Developments in South East for Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

  • US rules regarding offshore accounts

    The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act 2010, enacted on 18 March 2010, imposes a new US withholding tax and reporting regime, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The FATCA regime applies generally to payments made after 31 December 2012, except on obligations (to be defined in future guidance) outstanding on 18 March 2012. Substantial effort is required by foreign entities to bring their worldwide operations and policies into compliance with the FATCA rules as of the effective date.

    - Jones Day

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