London: Corporate and commercial
‘One of the leading firms in commercial outsourcing’, Olswang LLP attracts FTSE 100 clients for big-ticket transactions. They include BP, which the firm advised on its Operating Model 2.0 programme, possibly the world’s largest technology sourcing by value in 2014. The team was appointed to the Unilever panel, and reappointed to Amazon’s panel. Dominic Dryden and ‘outstanding, rounded individual’ Matthew Bennett lead the practice.
Olswang LLP ‘provides an exceptional standard of care’. The ‘ferociously hardworking’ Mark Joscelyne ‘leads an outstanding team’ that stands out for the breadth of its work, from standalone advice on transfer pricing to supporting on funds structuring and real estate acquisitions. Key contacts include Cliona Kirby, a name for media tax credits; real estate and leisure expert Graham Chase; and Stephen Hignett, whose clients include Warner Music Group and Gamesys.
Mark Joscelyne - Olswang LLP
EU and competition
Olswang LLP’s practice is ‘particularly strong on media regulatory work’, but also has a growing reputation in the life sciences and gambling and gaming sectors; Dan Tench advised the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association on competition issues relating to the UK Government’s efforts to bring Gibraltar gambling operators within the compass of UK taxation and regulation. Howard Cartlidge heads the team, and was active for Cineworld, Microsoft and Viacom.
Flotations: small and mid-cap
Olswang LLP’s largely issuer-focused practice is regularly instructed on deals requiring an innovative approach. Simon Morgan advised The People’s Operator, a novel virtual mobile network operator that the law firm helped establish, on its placing and admission to AIM in a £100m deal. The highly regarded Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand, an Asia specialist, and practice head Paul Blackmore are key contacts.
M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
Mark Bertram’s team at Olswang LLP wins praise for its ‘understanding of the television production sector, which leads it to provide nuanced advice, tailored to the sector’s market and appetite for risk’. The team advised Gamesys on the £425.8m sale of its social gaming business to The Intertain Group. Other key sectors include leisure and real estate, and former practice head Fabrizio Carpanini leads on private equity matters. Niall McAlister joined from Locke Lord LLP.
Olswang LLP significantly bolstered its practice with the arrival, in late 2014, of Barry Stimpson from DAC Beachcroft LLP. Employment head Melanie Lane, who advises individuals and firms on both contentious and non-contentious matters, acted for BDO on the partnership-related implications of its merger with PKF.
Private equity: transactions
Olswang LLP, led by practice head Fabrizio Carpanini, advised Graphite Capital on its sale of the Third Space gym chain to Encore Capital-backed Canada Square Health and Fitness Holdings. The team also handled a number of management-side transactions, including assisting Connect Communications on LDC’s management buyout of the company; Duncan McDonald led on the matter. Other clients include Livingbridge, Better Capital and Primary Capital.
VAT and indirect tax
The ‘proactive and business-minded’ team at Olswang LLP stands out for the breadth of its VAT and indirect tax capabilities, which span both contentious and advisory matters. Key contacts include gambling specialist Stephen Hignett; ‘constructive’ real estate and film finance expert Cliona Kirby; practice head Mark Joscelyne; and Graham Chase.
Benefiting from a strong IP heritage, Olswang LLP is instructed by investors and investees, including Syncona Partners and Hailo, engaged in venture deals in the life sciences and tech sectors. The arrival of Niall McAlister from Edwards Wildman bolsters the firm’s capability in the life sciences space.
London: Crime, fraud and licensing
The ‘simply fantastic’ Bernard O’Sullivan heads the group at Olswang LLP, which successfully advised BG International in obtaining judgment against individuals in relation to misappropriated funds. Louise Bell joined from Gateley Plc in 2014.
Bernard O’Sullivan - Olswang LLP
Gaming and betting
Olswang LLP offers an ‘excellent’ full-service practice, led by David Zeffman, who is ‘very good at client care’. It advised the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association in challenging the UK Government’s online gambling reforms. Key clients include 888 and AsianLogic.
London: Dispute resolution
Olswang LLP recruited Bernard O’Sullivan and Louise Bell from Byrne and Partners LLP and Gateley Plc respectively. The practice ‘always delivers’, and acted for four defendants in a claim over shares in engineering and construction group CCC. Jeremy Mash is recommended; Richard Bamforth is ‘practical’; Steven Corney is ‘a nimble thinker’; and Ian Felstead is ‘tactical’.
Defamation and privacy
The ‘enthusiastic’ team at Olswang LLP is led by Geraldine Proudler, who ‘gives sophisticated advice’. It includes Dan Tench, the ‘immensely likeable and enormously practical’ Ian Felstead, and the ‘bold and astute’ Ashley Hurst. Tench acted for Judith Vidal-Hall and other Safari users, whose data was unlawfully obtained without their consent, in a landmark case against Google; and Hurst acted successfully for Daniel Hegglin, the claimant in the UK’s first ‘right to be forgotten’ case. Felstead’s clients include ITV, and Proudler’s include Tom Cruise and Guardian Media Group.
Ashley Hurst - Olswang LLP
Dan Tench - Olswang LLP
Geraldine Proudler - Olswang LLP
Olswang LLP is recommended for media and technology disputes; the team also acts in energy and commodities cases. Richard Bamforth ‘gives real advice’. Former arbitration head Andrew Aglionby joined Arbitration Chambers in Hong Kong.
Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Headed by Alicia Videon, Olswang LLP acts for lenders and IPs in areas where it has core industry strength, including real estate and TMT. The team was strengthened on the contentious front by the arrival of Louise Bell from Gateley.
Derivatives and structured products
Olswang LLP specialises in deals with technology and real estate assets, and counts Lloyds Banking Group and Bank of Ireland among its clients. Charles Kerrigan is ‘a creative but risk-alert and practical lawyer’, and Ruth Marken is also recommended.
London: Human resources
Employee share schemes
Olswang LLP fields three full-time specialists led by experienced Andrew Quayle, with standout expertise in the technology and media sectors. Clients range from start-ups to plcs, such as ITV and Cineworld Group. The firm advised Prezzo on its £304m takeover by Texas Pacific Group.
Employment: employers and senior executives
Olswang LLP’s ‘highly professional’ practice is now led by Melanie Lane, following the departure of Daniel Aherne in summer 2014. The team, which has a ‘wealth of experience’, continues to be a key name for outsourcing matters, and handled several notable whistleblowing cases in 2014. It represents clients including Sportech, BBC/BBC Worldwide and Net-a-Porter. Lane is valued for her ‘understanding of commercial situations’, and Catherine Taylor displays ‘exceptional judgement and a first-class sense of strategy’.
Olswang LLP has a predominantly advisory practice, acting for clients such as Amey, Searcys, BDO and the Trustees of the Syfer Technology Pension Plan; the firm advised the latter, opposite Baker & McKenzie LLP, on the pension implications of the hive-off of company assets and business to various overseas entities. Experienced Ron Burgess heads the practice.
London: Public sector
Administrative and public law
Olswang LLP has a stand out commercial and regulatory judicial review offering, demonstrated by its role representing Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association in its challenge against HMRC regarding the Finance Act 2014. Practice head Dan Tench is ‘superb’ and senior associate Tamsin Blow is ‘going places; bright, sharp and always delivers’.
London: Real estate
With Ares Management, Liberty Living, and Delancey among its clients, Olswang LLP became more prominent in this sector, with Tim Westhead assisting Brandeaux Advisers on the sale of £1bn worth of residential portfolios. It also acted for Invel Real Estate Partners on the purchase of a real estate portfolio in Liverpool, the Docklands area, and Italy. Martyn Needham, an ‘excellent negotiator’, is recommended. Jonathan Lewis heads the team.
Olswang LLP’s team under Francis Ho is singled out as being ‘extremely quick to respond, with strategy and assertive actions to bring forth desired results’. In addition to Ho’s non-contentious expertise, the practice has been enhanced by the arrival of contentious specialist Ben Worthington from Trowers & Hamlins LLP.
Olswang LLP has expertise in the retail, leisure and residential sectors. The team advised on the successful application for Chelmsford City Racecourse fixtures. Suzan Yildiz is recommended.
Olswang LLP has benefited from hiring Andrew Besser from Addleshaw Goddard LLP: clients such as Citigroup came with him. Olswang advised on the complex funding arrangements for Qatari Diar and DV4’s joint venture purchase of East Village, a former Olympic Village, for £557m. Besser leads the practice.
Andrew Besser - Olswang LLP
The ‘highly responsive’ team at Olswang LLP has ‘great depth’. The ‘personable, and balanced’ Marcus Barclay is well regarded for his rent review expertise. Simone Ketchell is ‘incisive, commercial and unflappable’. Clients include UBS and BP.
Marcus Barclay - Olswang LLP
London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)
The ‘reliably excellent’ Olswang LLP manages the global trade mark portfolios of several high-profile international clients, and handles a broad range of matters, including corporate transactions, for its clients in the advertising and marketing sector. It advised marketing communications group Dentsu Aegis Network on its acquisition of Tempero, a social media management agency. Another highlight was acting for dunnhumby in the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Sociomantic Labs. Iain Stansfield leads the team and regularly handles media buying deals. Mark Bertram is the corporate partner responsible for M&A in this sector. Joel Barry and Sarah Wright are recommended for their IP expertise.
Olswang LLP displays ‘excellent knowledge and client skills’ and ‘an impressive level of service’. ‘Clear communicator’ Ross McKean advised Adbrain on compliance issues and acted for Tesco on the sale of Tesco Broadband, Home Phone and Blinkbox. Groupon, 14M Genomics, Microsoft and BP are also clients.
Olswang LLP had a robust year, highlights of which included advising Hakkasan on a number of transactions involving the franchising of its restaurant brand in the Middle East and Japan. ‘Excellent’ IP specialist Joel Vertes is the key contact.
IT and telecoms
Olswang LLP advises major technology and telecoms companies and buyers in both transactions and disputes. The firm advised longstanding client Unilever on a major outsourcing project and assisted Microsoft with over 100 content-licensing deals for MSN users. In addition, Dan Tench successfully represented a consortium consisting of Cable & Wireless, Virgin Media and Verizon in an appeal against Ofcom in the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Clive Gringras and Purvi Parekh lead the IT and telecoms teams respectively, and Dominic Dryden is also recommended.
Olswang LLP was boosted by the arrival of Gareth Morgan and Richard Price from Winston & Strawn London LLP in February 2015. Practice head Paul Stevens, who is ‘calm and handles clients extremely well’, acted for Zynga in a trade mark infringement and passing off claim brought by Mattel. Michael Burdon defended ZTE against claims of patent infringement brought by Vringo.
Media and entertainment
Olswang LLP has ‘unrivalled industry expertise in media and broadcasting’ combined with ‘business acumen and industry knowledge’. ‘No one is better in the media world’ than John Enser and Victoria Gaskell, according to one client. Enser brings ‘an unrivalled depth of knowledge to deals’, and Gaskell provides ‘a great service’. Viacom, BBC, Microsoft, Amazon and Shine are key clients.
John Enser - Olswang LLP (Music; digital carriage)
Selina Potter - Olswang LLP (Broadcasting and digital carriage)
Victoria Gaskell - Olswang LLP (Broadcasting and digital carriage)
Olswang LLP acts for a wide range of lenders, borrowers and sponsor clients, including Lloyds Bank, euNetworks, BBC Worldwide and Investec Specialist Lending. Charles Kerrigan and Ruth Marken are the main contacts.
Charles Kerrigan - Olswang LLP
PATMA: Patent attorneys
Olswang LLP London
Robert Stephen and Justin Hill co-head the well-regarded team at Olswang LLP, which gained a number of impressive client wins, including Microsoft, Raytheon and Pyreos. Alex Rees who joined from Beresford & Co in January 2015, has extensive experience in oral proceedings before the EPO and oppositions.
PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
Olswang LLP London
At Olswang LLP, Joel Barry and Sarah Wright continue to act for Sky on filing and opposition and handle multiple foreign and domestic enforcement proceedings. Other clients include ITV, BAE Systems and Actavis Pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Olswang LLP is particularly known in the market for its transactional and IP litigation capabilities. Stephen Reese and Robert Stephen co-lead the practice, which gained further strength with the addition of the highly regarded Niall McAlister from Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP, and IP lawyers Richard Price and Gareth Morgan from Winston & Strawn London LLP. The practice advised the shareholders of Convergence Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition by Biogen Idec. Campbell Forsyth left to join King & Wood Mallesons, and Stephen Rosen departed for Cooley LLP.
David Zeffman leads the ‘excellent, responsive and creative’ team at Olswang LLP, which draws on expertise from a variety of practices in the firm, and has particular strength in media rights. Highlights include advising the ICC on a media rights tender, and its broadcast partnership with Star India and Star Middle East. Clients recommend David Roberts, John Enser and senior associate Anna Soilleux.
Further information on Olswang LLP
Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Olswang LLP in other jurisdictions.
Offices in Brussels
Offices in Munich
Offices in Madrid
Offices in Paris
- Dispute resolution : Stock market litigation
- Industry focus : IT, telecoms and the internet
- Intellectual property : Trade marks, designs and copyrights
- Mergers and acquisitions : Mergers and acquisitions
- Real estate : Real estate
- Tax : Tax
Offices in London
- Corporate and commercial : Commercial contracts
- Corporate and commercial : Corporate tax
- Corporate and commercial : EU and competition
- Corporate and commercial : Flotations: small and mid-cap
- Corporate and commercial : M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
- Corporate and commercial : Partnership
- Corporate and commercial : Private equity: transactions
- Corporate and commercial : VAT and indirect tax
- Corporate and commercial : Venture capital
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Fraud: civil
- Crime, fraud and licensing : Gaming and betting
- Dispute resolution : Commercial litigation
- Dispute resolution : Defamation and privacy
- Dispute resolution : International arbitration
- Finance : Corporate restructuring and insolvency
- Finance : Derivatives and structured products
- Human resources : Employee share schemes
- Human resources : Employment: employers and senior executives
- Human resources : Pensions
- Public sector : Administrative and public law
- Real estate : Commercial property
- Real estate : Construction
- Real estate : Planning
- Real estate : Property finance
- Real estate : Property litigation
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Brand management
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Data protection
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Franchising
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : IT and telecoms
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Intellectual property
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media and entertainment
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Media finance
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : PATMA: Patent attorneys
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms) : Sport
Offices in Reading
- Human resources : Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
- Real estate : Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Offices in Singapore