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Penningtons Manches Cooper

Work 01865 722106
Fax 01865 201012
155710 Oxford 13

Will Axtell

Work 01865 813670
Penningtons Manches LLP

Work Department



Will is an experienced corporate finance partner. He has a Magic Circle (Clifford Chance) and blue-chip in-house (Vodafone) background and is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals. Will is based in Penningtons Manches’ Oxford office but is also a regular presence in the firm’s City of London office. Will specialises in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, group reorganisations, fundraisings and equity capital markets (with an emphasis on AIM). Having worked at Vodafone and spent many years advising fast growing technology companies, Will has particular expertise in the technology sector. Many of his transactions have a cross-border element and he enjoys helping clients navigate through the extra complexity this can often bring. Will has a commercial and solutions-orientated approach and focuses on what is important to his clients. He is also passionate about family and owner/managed businesses. He is a fifth generation shareholder in a family business based in Oxford which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2015. Will also holds a STEP Advanced Certificate in family business advising.


Trained Clifford Chance; qualified 2000; solicitor Clifford Chance 1998-2003; solicitor Vodafone 2003-06; partner Charles Russell 2006-14; partner Penningtons Manches 2014 to date.


Dragon School; Radley College; Durham University (1996 History 2(1)); College of Law, Guildford (1998).

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Within: Leading individuals

Will Axtell - Penningtons Manches Cooper

Within: Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

The ‘excellent and commercial’ team at Penningtons Manches Cooper is recommended as being ‘unfailingly prompt and thorough in their responses, giving clear and actionable advice’ and ‘good at understanding business context’. The team has a track record of advising growth companies, with strong relationships with Touchstone Innovations and Oxford University Innovation. The practice is also noted for its work on high-profile venture capital and spin-out transactions; recent highlights include Rob Hayes advising Veryan Holdings on its equity investment from a syndicate of institutional investors and debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank and David Tighe acting for equity crowd-funding platform Seedrs on its new funding round with a follow-on investment by Woodford Investment Management. Life sciences continues to be another area of specialism for the firm in the Thames Valley; technology and life sciences expert Will Axtell advised the management team of Timico on a £50m investment from Lyceum Capital and Chris Shelley advised the shareholders of Oxford Gene Technology on its acquisition by Sysmex Corporation. Other key figures in the team include James Went, Nicola McConville, Justin Starling] and Joanne Vengadesan.

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