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Penningtons Manches Cooper

Work 01865 722106
Fax 01865 201012
155710 Oxford 13

James Went

Work 01865 813675
Penningtons Manches LLP

Work Department



Corporate lawyer advising on a wide range of corporate transactions and business issues. Transactional work includes acquisitions and disposals, often with an international element; equity finance for public and private companies, in particular in venture capital funding transactions for technology businesses; joint ventures; corporate restructuring and re-organisations. Experience of a wide range of businesses with a particular emphasis on publishing and technology. Also advises commercial and other organisations on business structures, company law, governance and regulatory issues such as bribery and corruption as well as charitable organisations on governance and constitutional matters. 


Where trained: Biddle         
Year qualified: 2000
Year made partner in present firm: 2016
Trained at Biddle. Joined Manches in 2001. Became a partner at Penningtons Manches in 2016.


Main secondary school attended: Sullivan Upper School

Universities and colleges attended: Lincoln College, Oxford 1994 – 1997 (BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, First Class); Christ’s College, Cambridge 2000-2001 (LLM).

London: Corporate and commercial

Venture capital

Within: Venture capital

The 'outstanding' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper provides 'prompt, thorough and commercial' advice to investees  and investors across a range of fundraising transactions from start-up and pre-seed funding through seed and angel funding to large institutional syndicate investments. Justin Starling  has an excellent reputation in the technology and life sciences sectors (including university spin-out work); he recently advised DiffBlue, an artificial intelligence start-up spun out of Oxford University, on its £17m Series A funding round. David Tighe and James Went provide 'clear and actionable advice' with both recently acting for leading equity crowd funding platform Seedrs on its new funding round with a follow on investment of £4m by Woodford Investment Management. Rob Hayes handles a significant volume of deals across the South East and London including on behalf of Business Growth Fund and Touchstone Innovations plc.

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South East: Corporate and commercial

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

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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