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  1. Corporate and commercial: Bristol
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Burges Salmon LLP stands ‘toe to toe with London firms’. It regularly advises on cross-border transactions for clients in the leisure, healthcare and financial services sectors, and in 2015 acted on a number of big-ticket acquisitions for clients in the energy sector. Practice head Richard Spink is praised for his ‘good negotiation skills’; he leads the ten-partner team, which includes Camilla Usher-Clark, whose ‘level of insight to both broader market norms as well as the minutiae of each individual transaction is excellent’. Mark Shepherd, Chris Godfrey and Nick Graves are also highly recommended.

Outstanding in every way’, Osborne Clarke’s team is headed by Alisdair Livingstone and is praised for its ‘extremely pragmatic approach and responsiveness’. David Ferris led the team advising RWE Innogy on the sale of a 50% stake in the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm to Statkraft and the negotiation of associated joint venture agreements. Mark Wesker is ‘extremely commercial in his approach’. Tim Simmonds, Conrad Davies and Emily Jones are also recommended.

The lawyers at TLT are ‘diligent, knowledgeable and creative in trying to find specific solutions’. Highlights for the practice included Jon Gill’s advice to the shareholders of Sub10 Systems on its merger with Fastback Networks; and Andrew Webber’s advice to Francis Flower on its acquisition of a blast-furnace slag plant from Hanson Cement. Retail specialist and ‘first-rate lawyer’ Perran Jervis has assisted with a number of high-profile outsourcing transactions. John wood and Bill Hull are also highly recommended.

The ‘knowledgeable and extremely professional’ Andrew Betteridge leads Ashfords LLP’s team, which is praised for its ‘very high level of service’ and focuses on advising clients in the tech, retail and energy sectors. In 2015 it advised Eden Ventures on a syndicated £19m investment round in NewVoiceMedia. Chris Dyson and Rory Suggett are ‘diligent and very commercial’.

At Bond Dickinson LLP, Simon Hewes and Tom Fitzpatrick have experience in M&A and private equity, with a particular focus in the energy, and oil and gas sectors for clients including Vitol, Piper PE, Greenergy International and Zennor Petroleum. The team also acted for Willis on the disposal of RH Specialist Insurance to Hiscox.

Recent highlights for DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team include advising Partnerships in Care on a number of acquisitions, and acting for SunEdison on the acquisition of five solar projects. National corporate head John Williams and James Reed are the names to note.

Jonathan Oddy’s team at Foot Anstey assisted Succession Group with seven big-ticket acquisitions, and is advising financial services sector clients on issues relating to cybersecurity. Other clients include Jelf Group, the Department of Health and the Business Growth Fund. Ed Bodey is ‘a trusted adviser and a pleasure to work with’. Commercial partner Martin Cuell is a key name in the TMT and IP space.

Boutique commercial firm Roxburgh Milkins LLP acts for a range of clients, from large international businesses to start-up and owner-managed companies. The team advised Curtis Bank Group on its admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Key figures include Jason Milkins, Richard Hopkins, Bruce Roxburgh and Charles van der Lande, who specialises in advising private equity investors on buyouts and investments as well as on sales and purchases of private companies.

Simon Smith at Clarke Willmott LLP led on several key transactions, including O&H’s £20.7m disposal of O&H Northampton. Practice head Simon Thomas has notable experience in private equity and AIM transactions and counts Eduko Education as his client.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards has a strong track record on corporate transactions in the education sector. Robert Collier and Doug Locke head the corporate and commercial teams, respectively, which act for clients including Great Western Regional Capital, Essilor International and Tudor Rose International. Nathan Guest is ‘an exceptional relationship builder’, and Anthony Young is noted for his ‘practical and commercial advice’.

Thrings LLP’s team includes the highly regarded Jane Oakland and Mike Tomlin, who ‘makes the effort to clearly understand what the client is looking to achieve’. The team has a strong track record advising regional owner-managed businesses and family companies.

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Legal Developments in South West for Corporate and commercial: Bristol

  • 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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