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  1. Corporate and commercial: Hampshire
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Blake Morgan LLP’s ‘knowledge and experience of corporate transactions is first class’. James Hawkeswood heads the practice, which recently advised the shareholders of Blade Dynamics on its sale to General Electric. Mark Hepworth was part of the team assisting CVS Group in seven acquisitions in 2015, including Highcroft Pet Care. Other clients include BOFA International and Costa.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘very diligent team’ is noted for its renewable energy focus, as illustrated by its advice to REG Windpower on its £24m sale of Denzell Downs wind farm to BlackRock Renewable Income UK demonstrative. Sebastian Briggs led on that deal, while Stephen Pierce advised Survitec Group on its £450m sale to Canadian private equity house Onex.

Shoosmiths LLP’s practice is led by the well-regarded Sean Wright and has access to a wide national network while still focusing on regional businesses. The team advised the management of 23.5 Degrees, Starbucks’ first franchisee globally, on Connection Capital’s equity investment into the client. Stephen Porterunderstands how to judge risks’. Lynn Knight is also recommended.

Paris Smith LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice is led by Sean Davies, and regularly handles cross-border transactions; highlights included advising Belgium-based Diversi Foods on its acquisition of Montana Bakery. The ‘responsive and insightful’ Crispin Dick assisted Alliance One International with its $10m acquisition of the Ugandan operations of British American Tobacco. Associated British Ports and Purple Parking Group are also clients.

Coffin Mew LLP’s practice is led by Amanda Brockwell and Nick Gross, and assisted Pelgar International with its £6.5m acquisition of Agropharm Holdings. In another highlight, Gross advised BVG Airflo Group on a £10m investment by Business Growth Fund. Other clients include RBS, Capstone Foster Care and James Fisher.

Irwin Mitchell’s merger with Thomas Eggar LLP has given the firm access to a multi-office network across the South East. In Southampton, Kim Walker focuses on commercial law, while John Riddick and Dean Drew handle corporate finance transactions and M&A.

At Moore Blatch LLP practice head Roger Bailey assisted the shareholders of Armfield with its £10m sale to Judges Scientific, undertaking the role of lead adviser alongside two shareholders. Other clients include Bytes Technology Group, Cambridge Mineral Resource and Liberata. John Warchus joined from Clarkslegal LLP.

Mike Watson heads the team at Trethowans LLP, which added Sophie Eales in 2015 from Bond Dickinson LLP. Watson advised Harlow Brothers Holdings on its acquisition of Bolt Building Supplies. Other clients include Ladbrokes, The Innovation Group and Saint-Gobain.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s practice is headed by Kevin Balmont, who provides ‘practical advice in a commercial manner’ and recently advised Access Locksmiths on its £2m sale to Croma Security Solutions Group. Other highlights included assisting Cognia Cloud with multiple private equity investments. Richard Swain joined from Coffin Mew LLP.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s Basingstoke office leverages the firm’s network of offices to advise on corporate and commercial matters across the South East. Charles Brooks and Franco Bosi both have experience in M&A, corporate restructuring and joint ventures. Joanne Vengadesan focuses on commercial work, with a particular focus on IP and technology matters.

Pitmans LLP undertook several high-value transactions and acquisitions in 2015, with head Sean Kelly and Oliver Kelly playing central roles in many of these deals. Clients include Red Funnel Group Ferries, Altitude Partners LLP and Panoramic Growth Equity.

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Legal Developments in South East for Corporate and commercial: Hampshire

  • 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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