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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

BROKERS KBC PEEL HUNT ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON BACK-TO-BACK PLACINGS

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Corporate lawyers at UK firm, Pinsent Masons, have advised brokers KBC Peel Hunt on back-to-back placings to fund acquisitions by companies in the investment banking and consumer electronics sectors.

KBC Peel Hunt has acted for Armour Group plc, the UK's leading consumer electronics group focused on home entertainment and in-car communication, on a ?6 million placing with existing and institutional investors to fund the acquisition of Alphason Designs Limited, a specialist designer and supplier of audio visual furniture to consumer electronics markets.

And, hard on the heels of this successful placing, KBC Peel Hunt, advised by Pinsent Masons, has raised ?12 million with a placing of new ordinary shares for AIM-quoted specialist investment bank and stockbroker, Corporate Synergy Group (CSG) plc.

The proceeds of the placing will be used to back the ?13.4 million recommended takeover by CSG of Rowan Dartington, a Bristol-based independent firm of stockbrokers focused on the smaller companies market. The takeover is conditional upon shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting on 13 March.

Pinsent Masons Corporate Finance Partner, Alan Wood, who with Corporate Associate Michael Lakin, advised KBC Peel Hunt on both placings, said: 'This is the first time a Pinsent Masons team outside London has acted for KBC and we are delighted to have been instructed on two jobs in quick succession. We hope to see the relationship develop further.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

EQUATOR EXPLORATION ADVISED ON US$250 MILLION PLACING BY PINSENT MASONS

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

AIM-quoted Equator Exploration Limited has been advised on the UK aspects of a US$250 million private placing by lawyers from Pinsent Masons.

The company, which is involved in oil and gas exploration, notably in the highly prospective waters of West Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea and in Nigeria, is raising funds to support its exploration, appraisal and development drilling programme this year. It may also consider acquiring further exploration acreage.

Equator, a British Virgin Island registered company, has issued 41,050,900 new common shares on the London AIM exchange with institutional investors at 350p per share raising a total of ?143.7 million (US$250 million).

The Pinsent Masons team advising Equator Exploration was led by Corporate Finance Partner, Russell Booker.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

HIGH COURT RULING SHAKES UP WASTE WATER TREATMENT SECTOR

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Businesses that operate and manage waste water treatment facilities may have to obtain pollution prevention control permits for the first time following a landmark case in the High Court.

In the test case, the UK's largest water and waste water operator, United Utilities, argued that it was not required to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000 for work undertaken at six of its waste water treatment plants.

However the High Court declared that four of these waste water treatment plants did fall under the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations 2000. United Utilities will now have to determine which of its remaining 595 plants will also require PPC permits.

Sarah Thomas, Partner in the International Construction & Energy Group at Pinsent Masons , and an expert in the water sector, said :

'The decision has significant implications for both the water industry and other industrial sectors undertaking treatment activities for which it is still unclear whether, and to what extent, they fall under the PPC Regulations. This would include not just utilities and other procurers and operators of such plants but also contractors who may be required to comply with the PPC Regulations when commissioning any newly built plants. However it is unlikely that the story will end here as the judge was highly critical of the drafting of the PPC Regulations, leaving the way open for either party to appeal his ruling.'

Helen Keele, Senior Associate at Pinsent Masons and an expert in environmental matters, added :

'Despite the significance of this case in the short term , the PPC permitting system is currently under review. The European Commission has launched a three year programme to simplify and streamline EU law. Unfortunately this will be of little comfort to those industry sectors that have to run their businesses under the current regulatory framework.'

ENDS

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA

For media enquires contact :

Lakhbir Rakar

CM PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons

Tel : 0121 260 4005. Email : lakhbir.rakar@pinsentmasons.com

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Stephen Cooke advised by Pinsent Masons on Macfarlane acquisition

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons has advised Yorkshire entrepreneur Stephen Cooke on the management buy in of Leeds-based transport group Macfarlane for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Cooke has taken over as chief executive of the business which employs 300 people and has a turnover of ?18m, after it went into administration earlier this month. He is well known in the transport industry having built a successful specialist air cargo transport business from 1980 before selling it on to the Albert Fisher group five years later. He then bought transport company Gagewell which he proceeded to develop before selling it on to the Clipper Group in 2000.

He intends to develop the Macfarlanes business, which specialises in transporting print and high value goods using a fleet of 120 vehicles based on a 12-acre site in Leeds.

The Pinsent Masons corporate team was led by Andrew Kerr assisted by Ben Slack. Andrew has worked with Stephen on his previous successful ventures in the logistics sector.

Stephen Cooke funded the deal with his own cash along with debt funding from Royal Bank of Scotland and Euro Sales Finance.

Macfarlane Transport was founded in 1978 by the Macfarlane brothers

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

IP2IPO GROUP PLC ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON SURREY UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

IP2IPO Group PLC, the AIM-quoted intellectual property commercialisation company, has been advised by UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, on an exclusive long-term partnership with the University of Surrey to help the University realise the commercial potential of its research activity.

Under the 25-year agreement, IP2IPO will work with the University to identify and spin-out companies with commercial potential. IP2IPO has set up a fund of up to ?5 million to invest in spin-out companies formed from the University. In return for its investment and the technology transfer support which IP2IPO will provide, it will take an equity stake in the newly-created businesses.

The arrangement is the seventh such partnership that IP2IPO has entered into with a university, confirming its position as the leading university intellectual property specialist in the UK. Last December, Pinsent Masons acted for the company on its partnership agreement with the University of Bristol.

Pinsent Masons' Corporate Partner, Russell Booker, has advised IP2IPO.

The University of Surrey has been advised by Tarlo Lyons.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

EMTEX VENDORS ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON US$41 MILLION SALE TO PITNEY BOWES

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

UK law firm, Pinsent Masons has advised the sellers of Emtex Limited on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the company to Pitney Bowes Inc. for approximately US$41 million.

Emtex, a leading provider of software and services allowing large volume mailers to simplify document production and centrally manage complex multi-vendor and multi-site print operations, employs over 100 people in the UK, USA and Canada. The business will now operate within Pitney Bowes' Document Management Technologies division.

Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes, Michael J. Critelli, commented: 'Together we can help large mailers more seamlessly manage the production of high volumes of effective, cost-efficient, personalised mailings.'

The Pinsent Masons team acting for the vendors of Emtex comprised Corporate Senior Associate Hanh Jelf with Sadhbh Kavanagh and Elinor Mewse (Corporate); Matthew Rowbotham (Tax); and John Trevethan and Ros Cook (Property).

Pitney Bowes were advised by a team from Dechert LLP comprising David Wallis and Andrew Harrow (Corporate).

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For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

WESTHOUSE SECURITIES ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON OIL COMPANY FUNDRAISING AND REVERSE TAKEOVER

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, has advised the brokers to the ?17.5 million fundraising and reverse takeover by Oil Quest Resources plc of exploration and production businesses, EnCore Exploration and EnCore Petroleum.

The takeover by Oil Quest, a UK onshore and offshore exploration company, is subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting on 2 March. On completion, the AIM-quoted company is to be known as EnCore Oil plc and is expected to have a market capitalisation of ?32 million.

Brokers and nominated advisers, Westhouse Securities LLP, acted for Oil Quest Resources raising ?17.5 million (before expenses) through a conditional institutional placing of 112,000 Placing Shares at 15.625p per share, of which 108,340,000 were placed by Westhouse for the company and 3,660,000 were subscribed by US persons direct.

Michael Thomson, Non-Executive Chairman of Oil Quest, which has interests in 12 UK onshore hydrocarbon licences in Wessex, Weald and Cleveland Basins, said: 'We consider the acquisition of the EnCore companies to be an excellent opportunity to advance the development of the company'.

Westhouse Securities have been advised by Pinsent Masons Corporate Finance Partner, Jon Harris, assisted by Eloise Holland (corporate).

Oil Quest Resources have been advised by Osborne Clarke. LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae acted for the EnCore companies.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

LDC ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON ?80 MILLION SECONDARY BUYOUT OF ROBINIA CARE GROUP

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Mid-market private equity providers, LDC, have been advised by the specialist healthcare sector group at UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, on their 50% investment in the ?80 million secondary buyout of The Robinia Care Group Limited.

LDC is investing alongside Barclays Private Equity (BPE) in Robinia, a specialist provider of intensive support services for adults and young people with learning difficulties, which caters for over 530 people at its 79 homes located in the Midlands, North, South, South East and London. The secondary buyout has provided an exit for Bridgepoint which invested in the initial buyout of Robinia in 2003.

The deal is the latest in a series of high profile private equity-backed healthcare deals upon which the Pinsent Masons team has advised acting for both investors and the companies. Healthcare specialist and private equity partner, Joanne Ellis, who led the team acting for LDC, also advised BPE on its exit from CareTech Holdings plc last year and acted for CareTech when it became the first care homes business to float on AIM. Joanne and her team also act for Craegmoor Healthcare Company Limited, Farrow House and Care Management Group.

The Pinsent Masons team acting for LDC led by Joanne Ellis included Ann McCarthy and Beth Moreton.

BPE was advised by DLA. Bridgepoint was advised by Travers Smith Braithwaite.

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For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, DDI: 020 7490 6563 / mob: 07830 144 613

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PINSENT MASONS? REGENERATION WORK CONTINUES TO FLOURISH

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

For development lawyers in the Pinsent Mason's town centre team, 2006 has begun just as 2005 ended, with contracts exchanging on a number of major town centre regeneration projects.

At the end of December 2005, the development agreement for the regeneration of Hatfield Town Centre was exchanged between Welwyn Hatfield District Council (in joint venture with English Partnerships) and St Modwen Properties Plc. Partner Tom Johnson, assisted by Senior Associate Merle Wray and Associate Claire Hamlin advised the Council and English Partnerships. St Modwen was advised by Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw LLP (Partners Jeremy Clay and Caroline Taylor with Associates Rachel Mace and Izabella Grogan).

The Hatfield Town centre scheme, with an end value of circa ?80m, will provide c.165,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, 275 new residential apartments, a 10,000 sq ft market hall, a new 543 space multi-storey car park, as well as a new bus interchange and public realm.

Pinsent Masons (Partner Andrew Yates and Associate Richard Stockton) also advised Dudley Council on the formation of a ?33 million joint venture to extend the town centre and to regenerate the Castle Hill area of Dudley. In addition to new retail, housing and transport links the scheme will create new facilities within the Castle Hill site, including Dudley Zoo, with a view to making them world class tourist attractions.

These latest deals are the culmination of a busy period for the Pinsent Masons lawyers, which has seen the Birmingham development team in the last year advise on a series of large scale town centre projects through to successful exchange of contracts in the region and across the country, with an end value in excess of ?700 million.

The Birmingham development team comprises 13 lawyers, led by Partners Andrew Yates, Tom Johnson and Kultar Khangura, working closely with the specialist planning and CPO team under Partner Richard Ford.

Partner Tom Johnson commented: 'The past year is a testament to the national reach of our town centre practice, which also takes in some of the largest schemes in the Midlands. This has seen us advising on regeneration schemes in such diverse locations as Wolverhampton, Lichfield, Newbury, Burgess Hill, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Birmingham and Hatfield. Advising on the Dudley project is a fitting start to the new year and evidence of the trend for urban and town centre renaissance which we expect to continue this year.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, DDI: 020 7490 6563 / mob: 07830 144 613

Note to Editors:

The urban and town centre regeneration of the Midlands is seen as key to Government plans for the advancement of disadvantaged areas by physically transforming brownfield and derelict sites. In addition, the regenerations boost shopping and leisure offerings, introducing the new large scale shopping formats increasingly required by national and international retailers.

In early December 2005, the team acted for Birmingham City Council on the completion of a development agreement for the ?200 million second phase of Birmingham's Masshouse regeneration project, City Park Gate.

In October and November the team completed two development agreements for the creation of mixed-use regeneration schemes in Lichfield and Newbury.

In October the property team completed a development agreement between Wolverhampton City Council and AM Development UK Ltd for the building of New Summer Row ? a ?250 million core retail expansion of the City centre.

The team continues to advise Mid Sussex District Council on plans to bring forward the regeneration of three town centres at Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and East Grinstead entailing a 20 year partnering arrangement with the preferred developer, Thornfield Properties plc

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 250 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

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HOUSE OF LORDS DECISION ON KPMG PENSIONS CASE ANNOUNCED

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The House of Lords today announced its decision in the case brought by the trustees of the KPMG Pension Scheme and appealed by KPMG. The City law firm Pinsent Masons acted for the pensioners of the scheme, following High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings to establish whether it is a defined contribution or a defined benefit scheme.

The House of Lords rejected KPMG's application for permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal's judgement. The pensioners had objected to the application. The House of Lords decided the appeal did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance. This means that the Court of Appeal's decision in favour of the pensioners stands.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the High Court's decision that:

1. the scheme is not a money purchase scheme (contrary to what KPMG argued); and

2. KPMG therefore has a statutory obligation to fund the deficit in the scheme.

The Court of Appeal also held in favour of the pensioners in finding that the rules of the scheme do not allow pensions in payment to be reduced, overturning the High Court's decision on this point.

Isabel Nurse-Marsh, Head of Pensions Litigation at Pinsent Masons, who acted for the pensioners both in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal, commented,

'The House of Lords' decision not to allow KPMG to appeal is a huge relief to pensioners. During several years of uncertainty they have been very worried that their pensions might be reduced. Since they are retired, our clients have no ready means to make up any cut in their pensions. KPMG will now be obliged to fund the scheme's deficit, just like any other defined benefit scheme.'

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For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR and Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7418 7000 ext 88 6228 or mob: 07884 110173

clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

1. The legal action was commenced by the trustees of the scheme to answer specific questions about the nature of the scheme and the meaning of certain rules within it.

2. One such rule appeared to allow the reduction of pensions once they are in payment.

3. KPMG argued that the scheme was a money purchase scheme and that there was therefore no funding obligation on it to make good the scheme's deficit, believed to be in excess of ?60-70 million.

4. The High Court held in favour of the members in deciding that the scheme was not a money purchase scheme and that KPMG had an obligation to fund it. KPMG appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal. The High Court did not agree with the pensioners' argument that the scheme's deed and rules did not allow pensions in payment to be reduced.

5. The pensioners, through their solicitors, Pinsent Masons, and Counsel, Robert Ham QC and Michael Tennet, argued in the Court of Appeal that the scheme was an average salary scheme, not a money purchase scheme, and that section 67 Pensions Act 1995 and the terms of the rules themselves prevented the exercise of a power to reduce pensions in payment. All three points were upheld by the Court of Appeal in its judgment issued on 28 July 2005 in a comprehensive victory for the pensioners.

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders.

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PINSENT MASONS SENIOR LAWYER JOINS IRS POLICY COMMITTEE

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Senior Pinsent Masons corporate lawyer, Robert Moir, has been appointed as the only lawyer to join the prestigious Policy Committee of the Investor Relations Society (IRS).

His appointment comes at a time when the Policy Committee has restructured to assist members more effectively in relation to the wealth of regulatory changes affecting Investor Relations Officers (IRO).

The Policy Committee of the IRS is chaired by Mark Hynes, PR Newswire's Managing Director of Investor Relations Services, and comprises members drawn from corporate broking, financial PR, registrars, accounting and auditing backgrounds.

On its radar are recent developments such as the Transparency Directive, repeal of the OFR, the Takeover Code amendments, the US Securities and Exchange Commission's consultation on ADR reporting, and the International Accounting Standards Board's consultation on management commentary standards.

'All of these changes in legislation will have a profound effect on the responsibilities of IROs,' said Mr Hynes. 'It is the goal of the Policy Committee to provide as much hands-on training and knowledge-building opportunities for our members as possible and our recent changes in structure will allow us to accomplish this more effectively.'

Robert Moir commented: 'It is a privilege to be asked to join the Policy Committee. The responsibilities of IROs are becoming increasingly complex as the level of regulation and harmonisation across Europe increases. It is vital for IROs and their companies to keep appraised of the changes and the Policy Committee has a key role to play in helping them achieve this.'

Robert is a senior corporate lawyer with considerable experience in a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions including mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, IPOs, joint ventures, reorganisations and procurement & outsourcing. This has involved acting for a wide range of corporates, investment banks and institutions in a variety of sectors. He joined Pinsent Masons from Allen & Overy in 2004.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

IRS

The IRS is the UK's professional body for Investor Relations practitioners (www.ir-soc.org.uk). The IRS's membership base comprises around 600 individuals working both for listed companies and their advisers, and includes the majority of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, as well as a growing number of smaller listed companies and some located outside the UK.

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Speedy Hire advised by Pinsent Masons on one of its largest acquisitions

February 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons has advised Speedy Hire on the acquisition of the Caledonian Safemaker business. Caledonian Safemaker hires temporary accommodation to customers in construction and industry from five depots in the UK and has a rental fleet of approximately 4,700 units.

The total consideration will be ?13.7 million to acquire the shares and settle outstanding debts.

Speedy Hire is the leading provider of equipment hire services in the UK, operating from over 300 depots throughout the country. The group focuses on tool hire, with complementary businesses specialising in portable accommodation, lifting equipment etc.

Following the acquisition, the Caledonian Safemaker depots will be incorporated into Speedy Hire's existing accommodation hire business, Speedy Space Ltd, increasing the geographical coverage of the network and enhancing access to key geographical regions.

Caledonian Safemaker was a trading division of Caledonian Building Systems Limited which hived out the business and assets of Caledonian Safemaker into a newly formed company prior to the acquisition.

Mike McGrath led the Pinsent Masons team advising Speedy Hire assisted by Farook Khan.

Caledonian Building Systems Limited were advised by HBJ Gateley Wareing LLP.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

Iss Uk Advised By Pinsent Masons On Acquisition Of Pegasus Security Holdings

January 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The UK arm of one of the world's largest facility service providers, ISS UK, has been advised by lawyers from Pinsent Masons on the strategic acquisition of Pegasus Security Holdings Ltd, for an undisclosed sum.

Pegasus, a national provider of manned guarding services with annual turnover in excess of ?40 million, has grown to become one of the top providers in its field serving both public and private sector companies following a Primary Capital-backed management buy-in in 1998. Primary Capital has realised its investment with the acquisition of the business by ISS.

The purchase is a significant strategic step for ISS, which is keen to expand its already impressive service offering by a move into the security services market. In the past two years ISS UK, advised by Pinsent Masons, has been extremely active carefully building its portfolio of businesses in the support services and healthcare sectors.

Managing Director of ISS's Integrated Services Division, Andrew Price, commented: 'The Pegasus business is a perfect fit with our aspiration to extend our services portfolio and will add significant weight to our Integrated Facility Services offer.' Pegasus is headquartered in London but operates through a network of eight regional offices.

Joanne Ellis, the ISS lead partner at Pinsent Masons, added: 'ISS is a dynamic business. In the UK, through organic growth and a series of successful strategic acquisitions, it has built an impressive market-leading position. We are delighted to have advised the company on this latest stage of its development.'

The Pinsent Masons team advising ISS UK has been led by Joanne Ellis, a private equity specialist, with associate Edward Stead,Veronica McMahon, Katie Wanless, Nia Lloyd and Vanessa Wells.

The shareholders of Pegasus including Primary Capital have been advised Berwin Leighton Paisner.

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For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Chosen Market PR Advisor

Pinsent Masons, DDI: 020 7490 6563 / mob: 07830 144 613

Read more…

Pinsent Masons Helps Tilney Take Transfer Of Clydesdale Bank's Discretionary Investment Management B

January 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Tilney Investment Management, one the UK's largest independent wealth managers, has been advised by lawyers at the London offices of UK firm Pinsent Masons on the company's acquisition of Clydesdale Bank's Discretionary Investment Management business.

The agreement now sees Tilney Investment Management become preferred provider of these services to Clydesdale's customers. It will also take Tilney's assets under management in Scotland to ?1.5bn and overall to ?6bn and is expected to attract over 1500 new clients with investments worth approximately ?300 million.

Pinsent Masons' lead partner, private equity specialist Andrew Masraf, commented: 'Under the guidance of Chief Executive David Campbell, Tilney Investment Management continues to enhance its position as a leading player in the private client asset management business and we are delighted to have been part of this success story.'

The Pinsent Masons team advising Tilney has been led by Andrew Masraf and comprised Wyn Lewis (Employment Partner), Rebecca Power (Tax Associate), Al-Harith Sinclair (Regulatory Partner) and James Pratt (Corporate Partner).

The sale is due to complete in Spring 2006.

For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Media relations executive

Pinsent Masons, DDI: 020 7490 6563 mob: 07830 144 613

Read more…

Tilney Investment Management, one the UK's largest independent wealth managers, has been advised by

January 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Tomorrow the long-awaited new public procurement and utilities regulations come into force. The public contracts regulations implement the European Commission's consolidated directive (which was adopted in March 2004) into UK law and bring together the three old separate regulations for works, supplies and services into a single text. The utilities contracts regulations are also updated in line with a parallel utilities directive. Contracting authorities and utilities should broadly welcome this legislative change which seeks to consolidate, clarify and modernise public procurement practices.

Jill Marsal, an Associate in the Public Procurement Group at Pinsent Masons, said, 'Contracting authorities and utilities should take a good look at the new regulations. Now is the time for them to put their houses in order. Private sector bidders will be able to challenge wrongful award decisions more easily from now on with the express introduction of a standstill period in the regulations. Contracting authorities and utilities should therefore grasp this opportunity to give their purchasing procedures a health check and to adapt them to the detailed requirements of the EU rules.'

Whereas utilities were expressly subject to rules on framework contracts under the old regulations, public sector contracting authorities were not. The rules applying to contracting authorities' framework contracts have now been expressly set out for the first time and in so doing have become stricter ? frameworks must now not generally exceed a term of 4 years and their terms must be determined at the outset.

The new Regulations also set out new standstill and debriefing obligations for contracting authorities, following the European Court of Justice's decision in Alcatel. The purpose of these changes is to allow an aggrieved bidder a reasonable chance to consider its situation, and, where relevant, to bring an action against the contracting authority before it concludes the contract.

In line with the aim of modernisation, the new Regulations place more emphasis on the use of e-procurement. For example, contracting authorities can now benefit from shorter time-scales when sending contract notices electronically, and can also detail their own procurement activities on a website known as a 'buyer profile'. Two new electronic purchasing tools are also now regulated, namely, dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) and electronic auctions.

The Regulations also introduce a new procedure known as the 'competitive dialogue'. Although it is only available in limited circumstances for the procurement of 'particularly complex' contracts, this procedure has the advantage of allowing contracting authorities to benefit from the input of those participating in the tender process.

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For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7490 6378 or mob: 07717 156 559

Email: Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 apply to contracting authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while separate and similar rules apply to contracting authorities based in Scotland, the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006. The Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 apply to utilities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while the Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 apply to utilities in Scotland.

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buca & Asociacii step to the front of the stage of the Romanian legal services market with

January 2006. Press Releases by Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii (view listing).

From the beginning of January, 2006, Gabriel Zbïżœrcea is Managing Partner together with Florentin Ćąuca, one of the firm's founders. Gabriel will play a key role in the development of the firm's business strategy, as well as being responsible for the creation of a powerful brand identity. Previously, Gabriel and Florentin worked together for 10 years in a well-known Romanian law firm.

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PARAGON ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON DEAL THAT SIGNALS GROWTH

January 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Shareholders and management at the UK's largest independent provider of self-adhesive labels, Paragon Print & Packaging Limited, have been advised by UK law firm Pinsent Masons on an equity investment which positions the company for further growth and expansion.

LDC, the mid-market private equity provider has agreed to a new round of investment which will allow Paragon to increase its product development and market penetration, and pursue growth by strategic acquisition.

Paragon brings together four of the leading names in the industry including Paragon Labels, Paragon Wisbech, Paragon Flexibles and Norfolk Labels. Together they provide labels, printed film and cardboard sleeves to the chilled and fresh foods industry. Paragon employs some 750 people working from seven sites in the UK.

Pinsent Masons' lead partner, private equity specialist Joanne Ellis, commented: 'We are delighted to be part of Paragon success story. We acted initially when Barclays Private Equity backed the management buyout of Paragon in 2001. It is great to see the company, under the guidance of Managing Director, Tony Lennon and with this latest injection of investment from LDC, poised to grow its share of this competitive market even further.'

The Pinsent Masons team advising Paragon shareholders and management has been led by Private Equity Partner, Joanne Ellis, with Lisa Parisi, Ann McCarthy, Lee Clifford and Jonathan Snade. LDC has been advised by Gateley Waring and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary acted for debt provider Lloyds TSB and Barclays Leverage Finance.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

GROUNDBREAKING ADVICE FOR COMPUWARE CORPORATION IN RELATION TO EU PROSPECTUS DIRECTIVE

January 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Compuware Corporation, a recognised industry leader in enterprise software and IT services and listed on NASDAQ, has been aided in maintaining its Europe-wide staff incentive schemes thanks to advice from leading law firm, Pinsent Masons.

The recently introduced EU Prospectus Directive, enforced in the UK by the Financial Services Authority, has imposed new requirements on major foreign-owned companies issuing securities within the EU and there is continued uncertainty as to the applicability of the Directive to employee incentive schemes.

Compuware Corporation, whose business lies in helping companies maximise the value of technology by use of integrated IT solutions, operates employee stock purchase plans for employees in the US and worldwide. Compuware engaged Pinsent Masons to advise it on the requirements for and approval of a prospectus in relation to those plans in the UK and Europe.

In a pioneering transaction, FSA approval of the prospectus and its subsequent 'passporting' into Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands was obtained. This allows Compuware Corporation to continue operating its stock plans for staff and to comply with the new regulatory requirements.

Senior Pinsent Masons Corporate lawyer, Robert Moir, who with Corporate Partner Jay Birch advised Compuware, said: 'We are delighted to have worked with the Compuware team on this transaction. Other US corporations, particularly those without a listing in the EU, may find themselves in a similar position to Compuware regarding the Prospectus Directive as it stands currently. The Directive has succeeded in harmonising prospectus requirements across Europe and now permits a prospectus approved by a regulator in one EU state to be used in other states. However, in achieving a generally better and more streamlined process, some legal uncertainties have been created.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

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Reed Smith Boosts Munich Office with Hire Of Telecommunication, Media & Technology Partner

January 2006. Press Releases by Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (view listing).

International law firm Reed Smith is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Stephan Rippert as a partner in the Munich office. He will join the firm on January 9th 2006, and will spearhead the growth of the telecommunication, media and technology practice in Munich.

Dr Rippert, who joins the firm from Haarmann Hemmelrath, specialises in advising clients in the telecommunications, media and technology sector, comprising a major global financial services media provider, a leading medical products company, a major US entertainment company and a well known French software company. He focuses on both transactional and litigious work including intellectual property, outsourcing, private equity, e-commerce and licensing issues. Dr Rippert also has extensive knowledge and experience of the New York legal market, he is admitted to the New York bar and has previously held Senior Counsel position at Viacom International in New York.

Dr Stefan Kugler, Partner, Reed Smith commented:

?We are delighted that Dr Rippert will be joining the Munich office. He has strong US and European connections and these will substantially facilitate the development of the Munich operation and indeed the Global TMT capability.?

Dr Stephan Rippert added:

?Joining Reed Smith is an attractive proposition, the firm has a clear commitment to the evolution of its German operation and its strong US and UK presence offers an appealing platform for growth. I am delighted to be joining Reed Smith at such an exciting time?

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS' TEAMS DOUBLE UP ON MULTI-MILLION POUND AEROSPACE DEALS

January 2006. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Lawyers at Pinsent Masons are flying high after completing the back-to-back multi-million pound headline sales of two companies involved in aerospace engineering.

Teams led by Birmingham Corporate Partner, Paul Harkin, finalised the US$120 million sale of Darchem Holdings Ltd to New York-listed Esterline Corporation, within days of acting for the management of Doncasters Group Limited on its ?700 million sale to Dubai International Capital (DIC).

In the Darchem deal, Pinsent Masons acted for Royal Bank of Scotland Equity Finance (RBEF). Coincidentally, RBEF was also the vendor in the Doncasters transaction.

The acquisition of Darchem, a leading manufacturer of thermally engineered components for critical aerospace and defence applications, represents expansion for Esterline, which is a speciality manufacturer serving aerospace and defence markets. The components produced by Darchem are typically used in the same markets and include lightweight thermal insulation for exhaust ducting, environmental ducting and heat shields. Pinsent Masons was appointed to advise on the deal following a competitive pitch.

Doncasters, a global leader in the manufacture of precision components and assemblies for the aerospace, industrial gas turbines, specialist automotive, medical orthopaedic and petrochemical markets, operates from 25 sites in the UK, Continental Europe, the USA and Mexico and employs just over 4,500 members of staff worldwide.

The management team of Doncasters, led by Eric Lewis, is fully committed to the future of the company and is re-investing alongside DIC. The sale is subject to certain US and German regulatory approvals with completion expected to take place in early 2006. Pinsent Masons advised management on the sale and its reinvestment in the business.

'It's great to end the year on a high seeing two major deals draw to a conclusion,' commented Paul Harkin, a private equity specialist. 'Our understanding of the precision engineering sector has been invaluable in advising on deals involving companies at the value-added end of aerospace and defence component manufacture. I am grateful to all of members of my teams for helping get these two deals away successfully.'

The Pinsent Masons team for Doncasters was led Paul Harkin and included Lee Clifford and Jonathan Snade (Corporate), Lisa Parisi (Tax), and Joanna Lawson-King and Gemma Walker (Property). The Darchem team was led by Paul Harkin and included Ed Stead, Kimmy Sokhi and Katy Saunders (corporate), Veronica McMahon (tax), Giles Warrington and Amy Hitchen (competition) and Paul Rice (environmental).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Other advisers: -

On Darchem deal:

Taylor Wessing in London (David Kent & Mark Barron) acted for Esterline Corporation

On Doncasters deal:

Macfarlanes, led by Charles Martin and Stephen Drewitt, acted for the shareholders of exiting investor, RBEF Limited (part of RBS). Dubai International Capital was advised by Freshfields, led by Chris Bown and Bruce Embley.

Read more…

International law firm Reed Smith is pleased to announce its role in advising Hexagone Hospitalisati

January 2006. Press Releases by Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (view listing).

International law firm Reed Smith is pleased to announce its role in advising Hexagone Hospitalisation group on the disposal of part of the group to G?n?rale de Sant?. The agreement will allow for the sale of 10 clinics, including one rehabilitation centre, for a total of nearly ?430 million and will create the largest private hospitalisation group in the Greater Paris area. The transaction brings a total capacity of 1951 beds and patient spaces and a medical community of 800 professional practitioners and nearly 1900 medical staff.

Hexagone Hospitalisation group is France?s second national private clinic network after G?n?rale de Sant?. The clinics and the rehabilitation centre being acquired have recorded excellent profitability, in 2004 its EBITDA reached 20.2% of pro forma sales of ?183 million.

G?n?rale de Sant? was created in 1987 and is Europe?s leading private hospitalisation group. The company offers the full range of hospital services, including mental health, oncology, radiation therapy, sub acute care, rehabilitation and diagnostics. G?n?rale de Sant? has 137 facilities, with 128 in France and 9 further facilities throughout Italy and Portugal. In the last 15 years, revenues were multiplied by 4, from 300 million euros in 1987 to 1132 million in 2002. G?n?rale de Sant? stands for 11% of the French market for private healthcare.

The Reed Smith Paris team included Paris partner Benoit Charot and associate Antoine Caillard.

Benoit Charot commented:

?We were delighted to work with Hexagone on such a groundbreaking transaction. The deal also marks the first completion since the inception of Reed Smith in Paris in November 2005.?

Hexagone Hospitalisation?s financial counsel were Financi?re Galliera.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES RAC ON DISPOSAL OF COMMERCIAL FLEET OPERATION

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

A corporate-led team from UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, has advised RAC on the sale by Lex Transfleet (LTF) of its commercial fleet division to Fraikin Limited, a subsidiary of French fleet hire and rental business, Fraikin SAS, for an undisclosed sum.

RAC has retained the LTF activities in defence, airside and emergency services and is to combine these with its existing Lex Defence and RAC Software Solutions operations to form a new division called Vehicle Solutions.

The Pinsent Masons team advising on the disposal was led by Corporate Finance Partner, Alan Farkas, with Sean Page, Karen MacNaughton, Hannah Brader, Carolyn Shaw, Christina Day and Martin Wilks (corporate); Vivien Gray (Outsourcing and Technology); Justin Mason, Louise Holden and Naomi Lindsay (property); Richard Ford (environmental); Robert Mecrate-Butcher (employment) and Mark Cawthron (tax).

The in-house legal team at Aviva (RAC's parent company), led by Kirsty Cooper and Russell Tullo, advised on the disposal, assisted by the RAC commercial team.

Fraikin Limited was advised by Morgan Cole, led by Michael Stace, assisted by Sian Griffiths.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY ON RESTRUCTURING OF SMALL FIRMS LOAN GUARANT

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The Small Business Service (SBS), an agency of The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has been advised by UK law firm Pinsent Masons on the restructuring of the scheme known as Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) in accordance with the recommendations of the Graham Review. The firm was appointed in April 2005 and has been successful in getting the project implemented for the launch date of 1 December 2005.

SFLG is a Government backed scheme in which the lenders support start-up businesses that do not have collateral to support borrowings. Loans between ?5,000 - ?250,000 are given to eligible applicants. The Government provides a guarantee to the lenders in respect of 75% of each eligible loan made under SFLG.

Lawyers at Pinsent Masons drafted and negotiated the legal documentation between lenders (represented in the main by the British Bankers' Association) and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The firm provided other advice on the project at various stages of implementation of the Graham Review.

The Pinsent Masons team comprised of Vincent King (Projects Partner), Louise Duffy (Banking & Finance Partner), and Stephen Woods (Banking & Finance Associate).

Vincent King, Projects Partner, said, 'We are delighted to have advised the DTI in relation to this important policy initiative. This necessitated the renegotiation of documentation with a large number of lenders in a very tight timescale and the firm's experience of advising central government departments proved crucial in the successful implementation of the project.'

Competitiveness Minister Barry Gardiner said, 'The Small Firms Loan Guarantee has enabled thousands of businesses to access around ?4bn worth of loans that would not otherwise have been possible, and with these new changes we can now provide an even more consistent and strategic approach to help thousands more in the future.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7490 6378 or mob: 07717 156 559

Email: Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

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EQUATOR MARKS FIRST YEAR ON AIM WITH FUNDRAISING DRIVE

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

AIM-quoted Equator Exploration Limited has been advised by UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, on a fundraising placing to raise ?34.6 million ($60 million) to support the company's aggressive drilling and expansion programme in 2006.

Trading in the new shares commenced yesterday (Wednesday). The placing with institutional investors consists of 17,291,066 new common shares at a price of 200p per share.

Equator, which was established in 2000 and joined AIM in December 2004, aims to build a diversified portfolio of exploration, appraisal and production assets in the Gulf of Guinea. The company has exploration interests in the territorial waters of Sao Tome & Principe and Nigeria as well as the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone. Equator is also currently evaluating other exploration opportunities in West Africa.

Pinsent Masons Corporate Finance Partner, Russell Booker, advised Equator on UK aspects of the placing.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

DONCASTERS' MANAGEMENT ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON ?700 MILLION SALE TO DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Management of Doncasters Group Limited, the leading international engineering group, has been advised by UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, on the company's ?700 million sale to Dubai International Capital (DIC) by Royal Bank of Scotland Equity Finance (RBEF).

Doncasters, which manufactures precision components and assemblies for the aerospace, industrial gas turbines, specialist automotive, medical orthopaedic and petrochemical markets, operates from 25 sites in the UK, Continental Europe, the USA and Mexico and employs just over 4,500 members of staff worldwide. In 2004 group turnover was reported at US$850m.

The management team of Doncasters, led by Eric Lewis, is fully committed to the future of the company and will re-invest alongside DIC to increase their ownership further. The sale is subject to certain US and German regulatory approvals with completion expected to take place in early 2006.

Pinsent Masons, led by Corporate Partner, Paul Harkin, has advised management on the sale and also its reinvestment in the new business. The Pinsent Masons team comprised Lee Clifford and Jonathan Snade (Corporate), Lisa Parisi (Tax), and Joanna Lawson-King and Gemma Walker (Property).

Macfarlanes, led by Charles Martin and Stephen Drewitt, acted for the shareholders of exiting investor, RBEF Limited (part of RBS).

Dubai International Capital, which owns the Madame Tussauds waxworks, has been advised by Freshfields, led by Chris Bown and Bruce Embley.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

Doncasters

Doncasters has an illustrious history having been formed by Daniel Doncaster in 1778 in the city of Sheffield, UK. To this day the company still has manufacturing facilities in the city.

The company has adopted institutionalised 'lean manufacturing' and uses Six Sigma principles throughout its operations. In recent years this has resulted in a dramatic and sustained improvement in profitability.

Dubai International Capital (DIC)

The investment in Doncasters follows a series of strategic, value-driven investment including a US$1 billion investment in DaimlerChrysler, the ?800 million acquisition of The Tussauds Group, along with its anchor investments of US$272 million in JD Capital investment company in Jordan and US$150 million in Ishraq, a company formed to develop and own up to 22 Express by Holiday Inn hotels in the Middle East.

Read more…

BLUE SKY THINKERS LEAD TO BIRTH OF REDSKY IT

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Leading IT applications company, Ramesys, has been advised by a specialist legal team from Pinsent Masons on the management buyout of its education business. The remaining businesses have been rebranded and are to be known as RedSky IT.

RedSky IT, which will have a turnover of ?30 million, will focus on the integration and rebranding of its remaining application software operations in the construction, retail and hospitality sectors where it already has a significant market position.

The education business, which will continue to trade under the Ramesys name, has been sold to the existing management team led by current managing director Bill Donoghue and backed by Lloyds Development Capital and Lloyds Bank for an undisclosed sum.

Andrew Hornigold, Corporate Partner at Pinsent Masons and head of its Technology Sector Group, said: 'RedSky IT is a vastly experienced IT applications company. This disposal and reorganisation brings together three successful divisions and will enable the company better to focus on sectors where it is a leading player. The spin off of its education business, which is largely an IT services business operating on a different model to the rest of the company, will enable the company to concentrate completely on its core operations.'

RedSky IT, which boasts more than 30 years' IT experience, is dominant in the construction sector where it is the main IT provider, and it has become the leading supplier to the UK retailing and manufacturing supply chain. Similarly, its hospitality and travel business is the main provider of property management solutions to over 4,000 hotels and it is a major supplier of back office travel agency solutions.

The Pinsent Masons team advising the company comprises, Andrew Hornigold, Emma Harvey (Corporate), John Skelton (IP), Veronica McMahon and Lisa Parisi (Tax) and Iain Saunders (Property).

LDC and the new Ramesys company were advised by Eversheds with the management team of the education business advised by Browne Jacobson.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

Yule Catto Completes Groundbreaking Yuletide Deal!

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons advised on the sale and re-financing of Autoclenz Limited and its immediate float on AIM. In a groundbreaking deal, leading chemicals company, Yule Catto & Co plc, completed the sale and re-financing of its subsidiary Autoclenz Limited using the accelerated IPO route. Nominated adviser and broker to the issue was KBC Peel Hunt.

An accelerated IPO is a rarely used structure comprising a share acquisition and a public flotation where the acquisition is funded by a combination of debt and the proceeds of an issue of shares by way of the flotation.

The Pinsent Masons corporate team was led by Corporate Partners Martin Shaw and Rob Hutchings assisted by Alison Starr (Senior Associate) and Shubhu Patil. The Pinsent Masons banking team was led by Banking Partner Louise Duffy, assisted by Philip Scott.

Yule Catto exchanged conditional contracts with Autoclenz Holdings plc for the sale of the entire issued share capital of Autoclenz Limited for ?18 million paid in cash on completion. The sale was conditional on the admission of the shares of Autoclenz Holdings plc to trading on AIM on 7 December 2005 when the bank facility also became unconditional.

The sale forms part of Yule Catto's corporate strategy of reshaping its performance chemicals activities. Proceeds of the sale will be used to reduce the company's borrowings.

Yule Catto are world leaders in the development and application of waterbased polymer science. Its business interests are in three distinct market sectors: polymer chemicals; pharma and fine chemicals; and performance chemicals.

Autoclenz Limited, based in Burton on Trent, is the UK's leading outsourced car valeting and vehicle preparation services providers and one of the leading specialist providers of rapid response deep cleaning and emergency decontamination services in the UK. Following admission to AIM, Grahame Rummery and Trevor Clingo, currently the managing director and finance director respectively of Autoclenz Limited, will become chief executive and finance director of Autoclenz Holdings plc.

KBC Peel Hunt was advised by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary UK LLP ? Bank Facilities were provided by HSBC, advised by Addleshaw Goddard.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

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PINSENT MASONS ADVISES IP2IPO GROUP ON BRISTOL UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

AIM-quoted intellectual property commercialisation company, IP2IPO Group PLC, has been advised by UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, on an exclusive long-term partnership agreement with the University of Bristol to generate value from its scientific research.

Under the agreement, which IP2IPO is backing with an initial ?5 million fund, the company will identify and facilitate the formation of spin-out companies from across the University's research departments. In return, IP2IPO will have an equity stake in each spin-out company.

The University of Bristol is one of the country's leading research establishments, receiving a top 5 rating in a recent national Research Assessment Exercise, for 15 of its departments ? ten of them in science, engineering and medicine.

IP2IPO, which was founded in 2001 and listed on AIM in October 2003, has forged a number of long-term commercial partnerships with universities in the UK. To date, five spin-out companies from the IP2IPO portfolio have listed on the AIM: Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping plc, Synairgen plc, VASTox plc, Proximagen Neuroscience plc and GETECH Group plc. There has been one trade sale of Toumaz Technology Limited to Nanoscience Inc.

As part of the Bristol agreement, IP2IPO will receive 13.2% of the equity in spin-out companies from the University at the time that the company is established prior to investment. The partnership has a term of 25 years.

David Norwood, Chief Executive of IP2IPO, commented: 'We are very pleased to be entering into this partnership with the University of Bristol and look forward to working with them to generate value from what we consider to be an exceptionally strong scientific research base. We have already identified a pipeline of very promising opportunities and are confident that the partnership will lead to the creation of an exciting portfolio of high-growth spin-out companies.'

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: 'We have an excellent track record in putting our research to work for the common good. Our partnership with IP2IPO is a way of building on our success in the field of enterprise and maximising the impact of the knowledge generated by Bristol academics.'

Pinsent Masons' Corporate Partner, Russell Booker has advised IP2IPO.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

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PINSENT MASONS ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT CORPORATE EXPANSION IN ASIA

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons has announced a significant strategic development of its international operations with the hire by its award-winning Far East practice of two heavyweight corporate partners and a highly respected senior China-qualified lawyer from other firms in Hong Kong and China.

The appointment of the two partners, Dale Fischer from Clyde & Co and Andrew Lui from DLA, and consultant Amanda Yao from Boss & Young, all highly-rated individuals with over 35 years' combined experience in the local marketplace, represent a major strengthening of Pinsent Masons' corporate capability in Asia-Pacific and China. The addition of these three senior individuals is being complemented by a number of other hires, which will increase the size of Pinsent Masons' corporate team in Asia to a total of 14 lawyers.

Tony Bunch, International Operations Partner at Pinsent Masons, commented: 'Dale, Andrew and Amanda are very well known and respected players in their markets. Their arrivals mark the latest stage of an ongoing development of our Far East practice which commenced in the 1980s.

'We built our business historically to support the construction and infrastructure project work of our major international clients. But we have always intended to develop our capabilities to serve clients active corporately in the fast-expanding Asian tiger economies. We are delighted to have attracted three such strong players.'

Dale Fischer, a partner in Clyde & Co's Hong Kong office, heads their corporate practice, which he has developed over the past six years. He specialises in venture capital and private equity work in Hong Kong, China and throughout the Far East. He will be based in Pinsent Masons' Hong Kong office.

Andrew Lui is a partner in DLA's Hong Kong office. A tri-lingual speaker fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese as well as English, he combines private equity experience with significant corporate finance expertise. Much of his work is China-facing. He is expected to join early in the New Year and, with Dale, will also be based in Hong Kong.

Amanda Yao, who will be based in Shanghai, has been a partner at Boss & Young, a prominent China law firm which specialises in foreign direct investment. She has substantial experience of advising foreign companies on M&A in China and of advising Chinese companies seeking overseas listings. She is a China qualified lawyer.

John Bishop, Pinsent Masons' Hong Kong resident partner, commented: ?As interest grows in corporate activity in Asia-Pacific and China, more and more clients, including multinational corporations from Europe and North America, now want to participate in this part of the world which is pivotal to global economic activity.'

And the firm's UK national head of corporate, Gareth Edwards, added: 'The development of our corporate capability in the Far East is already creating significant business opportunities for us. We are seeing interest both from clients who have existing Far East operations and crave a joined-up approach to their legal services, and from companies wishing to expand into these markets and wanting the certainty of dedicated legal experience both in Asia and in the UK.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 / mob: 07884 110173

e: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the Global 100 of law firms and is a UK top 15 law firm. Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

The firm has had a presence in the Asia-Pacific region since the 1980s and has been involved in advising on some of the region's most high profile and important projects. Its Hong Kong office opened in 1982, followed by a branch office in Guangzhou in 1993 and the opening of its Shanghai office in 2002.

Dale Fischer handles a range of corporate and commercial work including mergers and acquisitions transactions, venture capital and private equity investments and funds, joint venture agreements and disputes, corporate reorganisations, corporate securities matters including public offerings and advice on regulatory matters, licensing and servicing arrangements and a variety of other commercial matters.

Andrew Lui has advised on The Rules of Governing the Listing of Securities on the Stock Exchange, The Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers, new listings on the Stock Exchange and The Shenzhen Stock Exchange, related compliance matters, general contractual matters, loan documentation, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and direct investment transactions.

Amanda Yao has advised as the lead lawyer on many foreign direct investment, merger and acquisition transactions, and on foreign invested companies in relation to regulatory compliance in their day-to-day operations. She has also advised China-based companies in their IPOs in the Singapore and Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and for the establishment of different types of foreign invested legal entities and company limited by shares.

The firm was recently recognised as the top firm for construction law with the award, for the second year running, of the 'Construction Law Firm of the Year' at the Asian Legal Business Awards.

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PINSENT MASONS ADVISES ON LAMBETH STREET LIGHTING PROJECT

December 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Projects lawyers at national law firm Pinsent Masons have advised on a street lighting project for the London Borough of Lambeth. The firm performed a dual mandate acting for the Lambeth Lighting Services (a special purpose vehicle formed by the Investors in the Community Programme, managed by Mill Group and David Webster Limited (a subsidiary of Bouygues)) on the whole project and for Barclays Bank on the project documents only. The project reached financial close on 10 November 2005.

The 25-year project has been let under the Government's Private Finance Initiative with a total value of ?63 million. In the initial phase of the project, residents of the Borough will benefit from a capital investment of over ?14 million in street lighting columns and illuminated road signs.

The Pinsent Masons' team advising Lambeth Lighting Services consisted of: Jon Hart (Partner) and Annie Blane (Associate) from the Projects Group and Nick Tidnam (Partner), Stanley Lau (Associate) and Devina Saha (Projects Solicitor) advising on the financing side. Michael Ryley (Employment Partner), Tom Potbury (Employment Associate), Dominic Travers (Corporate Senior Associate) and John Hanratty (Pensions Executive) provided additional specialist advice. Catherine Workman (Projects Partner) advised Barclays Bank on the project documents.

Jon Hart, Pinsent Masons Projects Partner, commented, 'Street lighting is a vibrant and active sector. Pinsent Masons has been delighted to be associated with this challenging project and was able to draw on the experience gained whilst acting on around half of all completed street lighting schemes to date, to deliver a first class service to its respective clients.'

Roger Gilbert, Project Director for David Webster Limited, said, 'We believe that the achievement of this significant milestone in street lighting PFI for Lambeth Borough Council sees the beginning of a new and exciting era in Lambeth's street scene. This project will enhance street lighting across the whole Borough making it a safer, brighter environment for all. On behalf of David Webster Limited we extend our sincere thanks to everyone at Pinsent Masons together with all our other advisors who all worked so very hard to achieve this major success for our consortium.'

In addition to advising Investors in the Community and David Webster/Bouygues on this project, Pinsent Masons is working with the same consortium on the Barnet and Enfield joint street lighting project and with bidders on both the Leeds street lighting project and the Redcar and Cleveland street lighting project. Pinsent Masons is advising the Authority on the Derby and Surrey street lighting projects and has secured instructions to act for Bouygues on a social housing project.

The London Borough of Lambeth was advised by Addleshaw Goddard and Barclays Bank was advised by Allen & Overy on the financing side.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7490 6378 or mob: 07717 156 559

Email: Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

Pinsent Masons has one of the largest teams of specialist PFI projects lawyers in the UK and is ranked number one in the Public Private Finance league tables having closed more PFI projects than any other law firm. The firm has extensive experience in the UK street lighting market, having worked on a variety of projects advising both authorities and contractors. Completed schemes upon which the firm advised include; Islington LBC, Ealing, Newcastle and North Tyneside MBCs, Sunderland MBC and Walsall MBC.

Read more…

Reed Smith Continues Strategic Recruitment Drive With Hire Of Banking & Finance Expert

December 2005. Press Releases by Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (view listing).

International law firm Reed Smith is delighted to announce the appointment of banking specialist Leon Stephenson to add further to its UK banking and finance practice. Leon will join the firm on the 1st December 2005 as a partner.

Leon, formerly a senior associate at Cleary Gottlieb, has significant experience in corporate banking and financing transactions including syndicated secured financings and acquisition financings. In the past, Leon has represented a substantial number of well known corporates and financial institutions with specific emphasis on LBO transactions acting for private equity houses. Leon also has significant knowledge and experience of the French legal market, he is admitted to practice in Paris, New York and England and is a fluent French speaker, which is particularly relevant given the recent opening of the firms Paris office.

Leon?s addition, as a partner, to the practice follows a stream of recent and impressive associate level hires to the London finance and corporate teams. These include senior associate Saul Sender, previously at Allen & Overy, Laurence Applegate from Richards Butler and pensions specialist Angela Sharma from Sacker & Partners.

Tim Foster, UK Managing Partner, Reed Smith commented: -

?Reed Smith has a major banking and finance practice in the US, advising 42 of the top 50 US banks. We have high ambitions to develop a leading UK banking and finance practice from that US platform and our existing strong UK team, and recruiting Leon is a significant step in implementing the plan ?

Leon Stephenson added:

?Joining Reed Smith is an attractive proposition, the firm has a clear commitment to the development of its reputable banking capability and its European operations are expanding at a rapid rate. I am very much looking forward to joining the team.?

Read more…

RECRUITMENT COMPANY ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON REVERSE TAKEOVER

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Recruitment company, Longbridge International plc, is being advised by law firm Pinsent Masons on the reverse takeover of niche finance, IT and medical recruitment business, Greatfleet Limited.

AIM-quoted Longbridge, whose shares have been suspended since June, is also being advised by Pinsent Masons on an associated fund-raising and the re-admission to AIM of the enlarged group. The takeover is subject to the approval of Longbridge shareholders at an EGM convened for 23 December 2005. Dealings in shares, to be known as Greatfleet plc, are expected to commence on 28 December.

Through the merger with Greatfleet Longbridge, whose focus has historically been on legal recruitment, is aiming to build a more diverse national business, operating across the search, mid-market and contract areas in the banking, IT and medical sectors. Whilst building on the enlarged group's base of blue-chip clients, the company hopes to extend Longbridge's legal recruitment business and to maximise revenues by providing a broader range of recruitment solutions.

Costs of the acquisition of Greatfleet are being met by the issue of 24,823,652 new Longbridge shares, which will represent 44.3% of the issued share capital of the enlarged group. In addition, the company aims to raise ?1.75 million (before expenses) through a placing of 11,666,667 new ordinary shares at 15p per share.

The Pinsent Masons team advising Longbridge is being led by Corporate Finance partner and AIM specialist, Russell Booker, with senior associate Dominic Travers (corporate), Emma Peacock and Brona Reeves (employment), Christina Yap (share option schemes).

Nominated advisers and brokers, Noble & Company Limited, are being advised by Jonathan Brookes and Fiona Morris of Maclay Murray & Spens, London. The vendors of Greatfleet Limited are being advised by Jeffrey Elway of Lawrence Graham LLP.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

Pinsent Masons is one of the country's top ranked legal advisers on AIM. The Longbridge transaction is the 11th AIM flotation or re-admission the firm has advised upon in 2005. Flotations include advising CareTech Holdings, Voller Energy, Neutrahealth, Sarantel Group and Copper Resources Corporation. The firm acts for over 40 AIM quoted companies.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ATTRACTS NEW CORPORATE PARTNERS IN MANCHESTER

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The corporate group at Pinsent Masons in Manchester, described as 'dynamic' by independent commentators, has attracted two new legal stars to its ranks.

Top-rated Helen Ridge and colleague Howard Gill are to join as partners from Eversheds in Manchester in a move which underscores the Pinsent Masons' corporate group's credentials as the team to watch in the North West.

Nationally, the appointments are part of the strategic development of Pinsent Masons' corporate practice. Pinsent Masons now boasts a corporate team of over 100 lawyers nationally, including 35 partners. The new appointments will give Manchester a team of 18 corporate lawyers of which eight will be partners.

Helen Ridge, a partner at Eversheds, specialises in Corporate Finance and has a particular strength in the building products sector having set up and then chaired Eversheds national building products sector group. She has over 17 years' experience. Howard Gill, a senior associate who will join Pinsent Masons as a partner, is also a corporate finance specialist and seen as a rising star.

'Our Manchester office has been one of our success stories,' said Pinsent Masons' national head of corporate, Gareth Edwards. 'Our corporate team there has never been busier and the appointment of Helen and Howard will enable us to expand our share of a very active corporate market.'

Sean Fitzgerald, Manchester head of corporate at Pinsent Masons added: 'There is a great fit here between our focus on market sectors and the experience that Helen and Howard will bring with their sector know-how and experience. Industry commentators have described us as being 'on the up' and these appointments go to prove that. We are delighted to welcome Helen and Howard.'

Manchester is one of the success stories for Pinsent Masons. The first corporate presence was established in 2002 when the legacy Pinsents opened its North West office. The group has achieved impressive year on year growth.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, Tel: 0845 300 32 32 / mob: 07884 110173

E: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial law firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL ON ?146m LIVERPOOL ARENA AND CONVENTION CENTRE

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Construction specialists at UK law firm Pinsent Masons advised Liverpool City Council on their prestigious ?146m Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre project.

Over the next two years, main contractor Bovis Lend Lease will construct a 9500 capacity arena, 1350-seat conference centre, public piazza able to accommodate outdoor events and a 1,600 space multi-storey car park on the site of the former Kings Dock in Liverpool City Centre. The project is due for completion in December 2007 and will form a focal point of Liverpool's celebrations as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The project is a key part of the redevelopment of Liverpool. It incorporates a series of exciting new public spaces, providing improved access to the waterfront and strengthening connectivity to other nearby attractions.

Co-ordinated by city centre Urban Regeneration Company, Liverpool Vision and funded by English Partnerships, the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Liverpool City Council and the Merseyside Objective One Programme, the new Arena and Convention Centre project forms part of the Kings Waterfront development ? the single largest development site in Liverpool City Centre.

Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: 'When the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre is built, the city will have the newest, best and most up-to-date facilities in the country. We are delivering on our promise to create a world-class arena and convention centre in a stunning setting. It will be a lynchpin for our celebrations during European Capital of Culture year in 2008.'

Mark Job, partner and national head of Pinsent Masons' Transactional Construction & Engineering Team said: 'We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Liverpool City Council on this important project which will result in state of the art facilities for the people of Liverpool and the North West. This is one of many prestigious projects in and around Liverpool City Centre where we are acting, and underlines our recent rating as leading legal advisors to the construction and engineering industry, both in the North West and nationally.'

The Pinsent Masons team was led by Chris Hallam (Senior Associate), and included solicitors Joanne Walsh and Ian Stubbs ? all from the Transactional Team of the Construction & Engineering Practice Group.

Bovis Lend Lease were advised by their in-house legal team. Eversheds advised Liverpool City Council on development and property matters.

ENDS

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Pinsent Masons' Construction and Engineering Group comprises over 100 lawyers, the largest construction and engineering team in the UK, over 30 of whom are solely dedicated to transactional work. Regarded as the 'market leader' by the 2005 editions of the Legal 500 and Chambers legal directories, we have extensive experience and expertise in advising the UK construction and engineering industry on all contentious and non-contentious legal issues.

The firm also has one of the largest teams of specialist PFI projects lawyers in the UK and is ranked number one in the Public Private Finance league tables having closed more UK PFI projects than any other law firm.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

For press enquiries call :

Lakhbir Rakar

CM PR Advisor

Pinsent Masons

Direct Dial +44 (0)121 260 4005

Fax +44 (0)121 626 1040

E-mail lakhbir.rakar@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

Pinsent Masons advises Dunedin and Indigo on Davenham AIM float

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Dunedin Capital Partners and Indigo Capital have been advised by Pinsent Masons on Davenham Group's proposed admission to AIM, which is expected to take place on 22 November 2005, with a market capitalisation of approximately ?65 million. Panmure Gordon, the Company's broker, has placed 10.9 million new ordinary shares on behalf of the Company raising approximately ?27.7 million before expenses, and also placed approximately 6.7 million existing ordinary shares for approximately ?16.9 million on behalf of selling shareholders.

Approximately ?17.2 million of the proceeds of the issue of new ordinary shares will be used to redeem certain loan notes and mezzanine debt. The balance of ?10.5 million will be used to increase the capital base of Davenham and to pay for the expenses of the flotation.

Manchester based Davenham is a leading independent asset based lender to the small and medium sized enterprise market in the UK. The company, which currently operates from offices in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle, will use the proceeds of the flotation to fund acquisitions and geographic expansion into the Midlands and South of the UK.

Dunedin and Indigo were advised by a team from Pinsent Masons led by Peter Wood and Philip Goldsborough assisted by Shubhu Patil. Dunedin were advised by Pinsent Masons on their buy-out of Davenham in 2000 and on subsequent funding rounds.

Hawkpoint is the nominated adviser and financial adviser and Panmure Gordon & Co is broker.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Read more…

Reed Smith Forges Ahead With European Expansion

November 2005. Press Releases by Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (view listing).

International law firm, Reed Smith LLP has today announced the opening of a Paris office, led by French partners Mathieu Rambaud and Benoit Charot, who join from the leading Paris firm Rambaud Martel. Marie Albertini and Philippe Lecler, who are also Rambaud Martel partners are joining the new office,, together with an initial team of 6 associates. The new office will handle transactional work and litigation work leveraging the profile of Rambaud?s public and private M&A practice and Charot?s professional and industrial risk, asbestos litigation, product liability and commercial litigation, and white collar crime team.

The Paris office will operate under the name Reed Smith Rambaud Charot, emphasising the desire to combine traditional values of a French business law firm ? such as versatility and a personal partner-led service - with the significant benefits of integrated international reach through Reed Smith?s existing United States and European offices.

Greg Jordan, Firmwide Managing Partner commented ?We see the Paris launch as a major step forward in our mission to be one of the world?s leading law firms, offering critical services in key markets. It expands our presence in the vital European market, and enhances our proven ability to serve international and French businesses. We look forward to great things.?

Mathieu Rambaud and Benoit Charot said: ?We believe that as Reed Smith partners we can create a unique offering in Paris and provide clients with a clear choice: a truly French firm with deep local roots, backed up with the strengths and capabilities of a top international law firm. We are relationship lawyers. Our clients demand nothing less. In Reed Smith we have found what we are convinced is the combination of qualities, ethos skills which we and our clients value so highly

This is the second European office Reed Smith has opened this year, following the launch of a Munich office in April. In the UK, Reed Smith now numbers nearly 100 lawyers. Reed Smith plans to further expand its new Paris base in 2006 by recruiting additional French lawyers committed to its cross-cultural approach.

Reed Smith?s long standing connection with France and French clients is well known. The firm has a team of bilingual lawyers based in the UK, in the US and in Germany who are all highly experienced in advising French based international groups.

?Peter Alfandary, head of the firm?s French Business team said ?Paris is a market we know well. It has it own very specific cultural values as do clients in France. The creation of a new firm with Mathieu and Benoit is a huge ?coup? for Reed Smith,

Expansion in Paris is also driven by the needs of clients in two of Reed Smith?s core practices: life sciences and financial services. Reed Smith?s significant life sciences clients are increasingly active in France. Additionally, this presence in Paris provides excellent opportunities for the firm?s financial services practice.

The launch brings the number of offices worldwide to a total of eighteen.

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Reed Smith Takes Big Step In Its Strategy For Life Sciences

November 2005. Press Releases by Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (view listing).

International law firm Reed Smith LLP is pleased to announce the appointment of two new partners and a senior associate to spearhead the growth of its UK Life Sciences Transactions practice.

John Wilkinson, formerly joint head of Bird & Bird?s International Life Sciences Group, has joined the London office of Reed Smith. Nicola Maguire, a partner in Bird & Bird?s Corporate Group and a member of its Life Sciences group, will join the London office of Reed Smith on 1 December. This will boost the number of UK partners in Reed Smith to 40. George Pickering, a senior associate specialising in life sciences in Bird & Bird?s Brussels office will join Reed Smith?s London office early in the New Year.

John, who will lead the Reed Smith Life Sciences transactions and regulatory practice in Europe, is recognised by the recently published Global Counsel Life Sciences Industry Report as a leading lawyer in the field of commercial and partnering work. Only one other UK lawyer was rated as leading in this area. John is also noted in the Legal 500 as a major player in the Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology categories. He has a particular expertise in advising on the structuring and implementation of complex commercial and corporate deals in the field.

Nicola specialises in international M&A, joint ventures and financings in the life sciences and other technology focused industries. Nicola has significant experience in advising on transactions that have a substantial intellectual property element. She recently completed a major funding of an Anglo-German biotechnology company. Nicola is recommended for corporate advice in the Global Counsel Life Sciences Industry Report.

Commenting on the appointments Tim Foster, UK Managing Partner said: ?Reed Smith has a major full-service Life Sciences practice in the US, advising the top 10 Pharmaceutical companies in the world. Recruiting John, Nicola and George is a significant step in our ambitions to build a leading transatlantic practice for Life Sciences companies, across both commercial and regulatory work and product liability litigation.?

Bill Griffith, Leader of the Firm?s Life Sciences Transactions Practice Group added: ?We are delighted to welcome three such high-calibre professionals to Reed Smith. These additions illustrate our commitment to enhancing in the UK and Europe our Life Sciences Transactions capability which is a major focus of our Firm.'

John Wilkinson added:

?We are delighted to be joining the firm. Reed Smith offers a particularly attractive platform for growth, given the reputation of the practice in the USA and strong commitment to building a pre-eminent integrated UK and European Life Sciences practice.?

Read more…

KBC PEEL HUNT ADVISED ON NOBLE INVESTMENTS' REVERSE TAKEOVER OF COIN SPECIALISTS

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

A corporate team from UK law firm Pinsent Masons has advised KBC Peel Hunt in its capacity as NOMAD and broker on the reverse takeover by coin specialists Noble Investments (UK) plc of A H Baldwin & Sons Limited and Baldwin's Auctions Limited.

Noble, the only pure numismatic company trading on AIM, has built a specialist business dealing in the buying and selling of the coinage of ancient Greece, Roman Empire, Byzantine, English hammered and milled and European countries.

As part of its strategic development it has acquired Baldwins' London-based family-run coin dealing and auction businesses for a total consideration of ?4.45 million. The acquisition has been financed by a placing of 8,620,690 new Ordinary Shares to raise ?5 million before expenses.

Under AIM rules the enlarged company, which will continue to be known as Noble Investments (UK) plc, must apply for re-admission to AIM. This is expected to take place on 29 November, following approval of the deal by shareholders at an EGM of the company on 28 November.

Chairman of Noble, Nicholas Bonham, commented that the fragmented nature of the rare coin and collectibles market which comprises a significant number of private or professional collectors, investors, dealers and auction houses, offered his company a significant opportunity for expansion and investment.

The Pinsent Masons corporate team advising KBC Peel Hunt comprised senior associate Hanh Jelf, assistant Sadhbh Kavanagh and trainee James Pratt.

Memery Crystal advised Noble Investments (UK) plc and DMH Stallard advised the vendors.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, Tel: 0845 300 32 32 / mob: 07884 110173

E: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Pinsent Masons' Corporate group comprising some 100 lawyers, including, 35 partners is ranked as one of the country's leading AIM advisers acting for more than 40 AIM-quoted companies.

Read more…

Browell Smith & Co Sponsor DNEX05

November 2005. Press Releases by Browell Smith & Co (view listing).

Browell Smith & Co sponsor Disability North DNEX 2005 Exhibition.

Read more…

FAGERHULT ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON THE ACQUISITION OF WHITECROFT LIGHTING

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

UK law firm Pinsent Masons has advised AB Fagerhult, a company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, on its acquisition of UK lighting company, Whitecroft Lighting Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Whitecroft Lighting Limited. The acquisition was for a maximum consideration of ?21 million, subject to Whitecroft achieving forecast levels of profitability in the period to March 2007.

The acquisition further strengthens Fagerhult's position in the European lighting industry and creates a platform for growth in the important UK market. Commenting on the deal Per Borgvall, CEO of Fagerhult said: 'Whitecroft is a major UK lighting business with its core business in the private and public market sectors, and a strong position in the healthcare market sector, whish is a perfect fit for Fagerhult.'

Whitecroft, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester, has a sales turnover of approx ?30 million and 280 employees.

The Pinsent Masons team acting for Fagerhult was led by Corporate Finance Partner, Mike McGrath and Associate, Daniel Liptrott with support from Michael Hunter (Tax), Rebecca Johnson (Employment), Mark Yates and Sharon Wallace (Banking) and Aniki Porter (Property).

Fagerhult was also advised by Swedish law firm G?rde Wesslau Advokatbyr? (Staffan Lindblad), Livingstone Guarantee (Jeremy Furniss and Daniel Domberger) and PriceWaterhouse Coopers (Edward Brentnall).

The vendors of Whitecroft were advised by Halliwells LLP (Mark Halliwell and Khurshid Valli).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Sue Murdoch, Business Development Manager, Pinsent Masons

on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110174

email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Per Borgvall, CEO, Fagerhult, on: +46 36 10 87 06

Notes to Editors

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. The firm is ranked in the top 10 of legal advisers to UK quoted PLCs.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Fagerhult develops, manufactures and markets high quality lighting systems. Its product range includes luminaries for offices, shops, hospitals, schools, industries and other public environments. Manufacturing takes place in Habo, ?rnsk?ldsvik, Falkenberg and ?hus in Sweden and also in Suzhou in China. Foreign sales companies are located in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and China. The Fagerhult Group, which includes Atelj? Lyktan, Belid, LampGustaf, LampGustaf Interio and Elenco, has sales of SEK 1 600 million and 1 200 employees. AB Fagerhult shares are listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange?s O-list.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS HELPS DEVELOP GUIDANCE ON SHARED SERVICES STRUCTURES FOR ODPM

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has appointed Alan Aisbett, a Pinsent Masons Partner specialising in Public Private Partnerships, together with consultants Enid Allen and John Layton, all former lead executives of the ODPM Strategic Partnering Taskforce (SPT), to refresh key areas of the SPT's knowledge programme for local authority service delivery partnerships.

As local authorities work to achieve the targets set out in the Gershon Review, the update will reflect new partnership structures and deal more widely with how the guidance can help authorities tackle efficiency and collaborate working for shared services.

Alan Aisbett, Projects Partner, said, 'There is increasing interest from local government in models for shared services. With our extensive experience in advising on service delivery partnerships we are well placed to help develop sector specific guidance for the ODPM.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7490 6378 or mob: 07717 156 559

Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

The Projects Group acts for both public and private sector participants across a range of sectors and has been involved in developing standardised documentation for several categories of projects.

The Strategic Partnering Taskforce was a two year research programme into local authority service delivery partnerships. One of the principal benefits of the SPT was the knowledge programme of best practice guidance covering procurement, partnerships, developing business cases, managing risk and many other challenging areas of new ways of working in local government. All the guidance is available on the ODPM website: www.odpm.gov.uk/ssdp.

Read more…

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON APPOINTS PINSENT MASONS AS SOLE LEGAL ADVISER

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Following a competitive tender process the University of London has decided to appoint a single firm, Pinsent Masons, rather than a panel, as sole supplier of legal services across the full range of its needs. The firm beat stiff City competition in winning the appointment, which is for an indefinite period.

The University of London is a unique institution in the university sector and engages in a wide variety of activities on a national and international level. The work will be varied including real estate, employment, constitutional and governance advice.

Nicola Hart, National Head of the Universities Group who is leading the client team, commented, 'We are delighted with the result and our team will be working our hardest to build a very close working relationship with our colleagues within the University of London, as we have done successfully with our other major university clients.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7490 6378 or mob: 07717 156 559

Email: Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

The Pinsent Masons Universities team acts on a full service basis for many of the UK's top institutions including the Universities of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Durham, plus employment work for King's College London and UCL. The team also advised and continues to act for the University of Chicago in relation to the setting up of a branch of its graduate school of business in London.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES CARILLION ON NEW ?118M FACILITY AT SELLAFIELD

November 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons has advised support services and construction company Carillion on a contract with British Nuclear Group Sellafield Limited (BNGSL) for the construction of a new ?118m product and residue store at Sellafield, as well as Carillion's contracts with its sub-contractors for the project.

The contract is believed to be one of the first significant construction contracts to be signed by BNGSL since the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) came into operation on 01 April 2005. It is also one of the first to test the acceptability within the supply chain of the NDA mandatory 'Flow Down' terms to be imposed by BNGSL into contracts of any tier.

The main purpose of the store will be to accommodate materials retrieved from older facilities at Sellafield. This will include materials recovered from historic fuel manufacturing buildings that are now being decommissioned. The first phase of the three year project was completed in June this year with the laying of the store's base slab.

Mark Job, partner in the UK Construction & Engineering Transactional Team at Pinsent Masons, said: 'We are delighted to have been involved in the letting of such a challenging contract for such a significant project. The deal involved advising our clients on complex legal issues including for example, liability for nuclear damage in the context of BNGSL's mandatory obligation under its contract with the NDA to incorporate the NDA Flow Down terms and their interaction with the law set out in the Nuclear Installations Act 1965.

'I believe that this instruction has reinforced our reputation as the UK's leading construction and engineering legal advisors and one of the leading international law firms advising on major infrastructure projects within the global nuclear industry.'

Carillion plc is one of the UK's leading business and construction services companies, with a turnover of ?2bn and around 17,000 employees.

The Pinsent Masons' team acting for Carillion comprised partners Mark Job and Mark Richards and solicitors Ian Stubbs and Rebecca Harvey.

British Nuclear Group Sellafield Limited was advised by their in-house legal team.

ENDS

For press enquiries call :

Lakhbir Rakar

CM PR Advisor

Pinsent Masons

Direct Dial +44 (0)121 260 4005

Fax +44 (0)121 626 1040

E-mail lakhbir.rakar@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES KENT COUNTY COUNCIL ON ?100 MILLION SCHOOLS PFI

October 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

PFI specialists at law firm Pinsent Masons have advised Kent County Council on the successful completion of a schools PFI project. The capital value of the project is approximately ?100 million and stretches across six school sites in the County.

The project is a 28 year concession to a consortium led by Bilfinger Berger. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and NIB Bank are providing credit facilities to the consortium.

The Pinsent Masons team was led by Alan Aisbett (Projects Partner) and Suhail Mirza (Projects Associate) and comprised Simon Laight (Pensions Partner), Michael Ryley (Employment Partner), Oliver Mangiapane (Projects Solicitor) and Duncan Haliwell (Construction Solicitor).

Alan Aisbett, Projects Partner, commented, 'When we were appointed to the Kent County Council PPP panel we were aware of Kent's unique approach to delivering PPP projects in seeking added value from external commercial expertise. We believe this partnership approach was a prominent factor in bringing the project to close.'

Rebecca Spore, Head of PFI at Kent County Council, said, 'We are delighted to have reached financial close on this scheme which will deliver first class teaching facilities for thousands of learners across the County. Facilities will be fit for the delivery of education in the 21st Century as well as offering a range of community services.'

Norton Rose acted for the consortium and for the Banks. Bevan Brittan and Addleshaw Goddard advised the FM provider, Mitie. Davies Arnold Cooper acted for the building contractor, Costain.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons, on: 020 7490 6378 or mob: 07717 156 559

Email: Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons has one of the largest teams of specialist PFI projects lawyers in the UK and is ranked number one in the Public Private Finance league tables having closed more UK PFI projects than any other law firm.

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Reed Smith Appoints UK Product Liability Leader

October 2005. Press Releases by Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (view listing).

International law firm, Reed Smith LLP is pleased to announce that Paul Llewellyn will join the firm as a Partner on 1 November 2005, to head up the UK Product Liability Litigation practice. He will be based in the Midlands office.

Paul, a leading product liability lawyer, joins the firm from the Nottingham office of Eversheds, where he was a Partner for the last ten years. His practice focuses on product liability litigation, principally for medical device and pharmaceutical companies. He has extensive experience in dealing with pan-European and US product liability claims. Paul is one of only two European members of the Washington based Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC). Paul is also listed in the Who?s Who of UK product liability defence counsel.

Paul?s hire is part of a major push by Reed Smith to develop leading practices in the life sciences field in the UK and Europe, both in litigation and transactions. Reed Smith has a major US practice comprising more than 100 lawyers who represent the top 10 largest branded pharmaceutical companies in class action litigation. Paul is well known to that group and will be a great catalyst for development of transatlantic work for life sciences companies and products work generally.

Tim Foster, UK Managing Partner, Reed Smith LLP commented:

?Paul?s appointment reflects our drive to accelerate the growth of our work for pharma, biotech and medical device companies. We are very excited to be able to recruit a leader in the product liability field like Paul. ?

Paul Llewellyn added:

?Reed Smith?s strong US practice and clear dedication to further expansion into Europe provides a strong platform to cultivate the product liability practice. I am very much looking forward to joining their team?

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Pinsent Masons Hits LIFT Milestone with The Royal Bank of Scotland

October 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

* 3 LIFT projects in 20 days

* 10 LIFT projects for RBS

A cross practice team of lawyers from Pinsent Masons has successfully completed three major LIFT projects for The Royal Bank of Scotland plc with a combined capital value of ?35 million between 22 August and 16 September.

The deals bring to a total of 10 the projects completed for RBS, with a total capital value of c.?160 million.

The Pinsent Masons team on each of the deals was led jointly by banking partner, John Cleland, and projects partner, Arthur Lovitt. They were assisted by Nick Bell and Stephen Woods (banking), Sue Peart and Anne Bowden (projects) and Fran Button (construction).

The latest three projects are East Lancashire (sponsored by Eric Wright Group), St Helen's, Knowsley & Warrington (sponsored by William Pears Group), and Tees Valley & South Durham (sponsored by Accent Group).

LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) projects are designed to transform the provision of primary care with new facilities and enhanced service delivery, structured as public private partnerships.

Matthew Lowe of RBS commented: 'At RBS, we have a dedicated team of specialists serving the Healthcare sector. Pinsent Masons has been our leading legal adviser on these projects. They have developed a detailed understanding of the legal and commercial issues generated by these schemes since their inception in 2003. They are an invaluable part of the RBS' LIFT team.'

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

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SEVEN IS LUCKY NUMBER FOR PINSENT MASONS' JOANNE ELLIS

October 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons' private equity partner, Joanne Ellis, is making headlines by achieving a top 10 ranking in a national legal dealmakers table.

Joanne, part of the 40-strong national team of private equity lawyers at Pinsent Masons, is ranked seventh in the league table which charts individual performance for the number of deals done in the past 12 months.

The tables are produced by mergermarket and published by Legal Week.

Joanne, who is based in Birmingham, is a specialist in the corporate healthcare field and in recent months has completed a series of healthcare-related transactions including advising on the flotation this month of CareTech Holdings plc; the exit by Barclays Private Equity from CareTech, the acquisition by Craegmoor Healthcare Company Limited of Sapphire Care Services, Bridgeway and Autism TASCC Services and the acquisition by Care Management Group of Ceres House and CCA.

She is also the firm's lead partner for global facilities management company, ISS, acting extensively for its UK subsidiary on a string of acquisitions in the past two years. The mergermarket tables cover all deals, not just private equity transactions.

Ends

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, Tel: 0845 300 32 32 / mob: 07884 110173

E: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons has a national private equity practice comprising some 40 lawyers, including 12 partners.

The group advises equity providers, management teams and vendors across the full spectrum of business sectors, and has particular strengths in areas such as healthcare, retail, waste management and technology.

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Codemasters' Head of Legal joins Pinsent Masons? IP and technology practice

October 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons today announced the appointment of Nav Sunner to boost the firm?s expanding intellectual property (IP) and technology practices.

Sunner joins the firm from Codemasters Group, a leading computer and video games developer and publisher, where he was Head of Legal. During his six years at Codemasters, he advised upon IP, commercial and media legal issues as well as legal issues relating to data protection, e-commerce and general IT.

He joins Pinsent Masons? Birmingham office as a senior associate in the firm?s Outsourcing Technology & Commercial (OTC) practice.

Clive Seddon, Group Head of OTC commented, 'Sunner's experience complements our existing team and will allow us to further our games and IP law expertise. He brings to Pinsent Masons strong commercial experience and a fantastic industry reputation along with a broad set of IT law skills gained from working years in a fast moving industry. His industry knowledge and experience will be a huge asset for our clients.'

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JOHNSON SERVICE GROUP PLC ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON

October 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Leading support services provider, Johnson Service Group PLC, has been advised by a team from UK law firm Pinsent Masons on its acquisition of the white collar facilities management business of SGP Property Services Limited. The acquisition was for a total consideration of ?28.7 million (on a debt and cash free basis).

Commenting on the deal, Johnson's chief executive, Stuart Graham, said: 'The acquisition of SGP, which predominantly serves the financial services and retail sectors, complements our existing facilities management business, Johnson Workplace Management, which services primarily the commercial office market. Together they form a significant facilities and property management operation with a quality and developing client base which now has the critical mass necessary to expand within existing markets and to drive further organic growth by launching into new property sectors with an increased range of services.'

The Pinsent Masons team acting for Johnson Service Group was led by Corporate Finance Partner, Darius Lewington with support from Hannah Brader and Sadbh Kavanagh (corporate), Andrea Paxton (Employment), Gavin Paul (Pensions), Tom Eastwood (Property), Elizabeth Cook (IP/IT) and Michael Hunter and Alison Walker (Tax). The vendors of SGP were advised by the Glasgow office of DLA Piper Cary Gray Rudnick.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of Communications, Pinsent Masons

on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110173

Read more…

ISIS EQUITY PARTNERS ADVISED ON KAFEVEND MBO BY PINSENT MASONS

October 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

ISIS Equity Partners has been advised by a specialist team from UK law firm Pinsent Masons on its funding of the management buy-out of leading vending services provider, Kaf?vend Group Ltd.

Kaf?vend, which supplies vending machines and offers a follow-up service supplying the drinks and snacks their machines dispense, represented a non-core activity for its owner IKON, the leading supplier of document management solutions and services in the UK.

With a healthy client base of over 3,500 business customers, Crawley-based Kaf?vend, is a promising prospect for the management team, led by CEO John Collins, and for ISIS. 'We are seeing a strong take up from companies that historically have not used vending machines,' commented Mr Collins. 'The funding package from ISIS will allow us to accelerate our future growth strategy.'

Andrew Masraf, the Pinsent Masons private equity partner, who led the team advising ISIS, added: 'ISIS is a valued client with an incisive touch in relation to investment opportunities, particularly in the mid-market. Focused and well-organised businesses such as Kaf?vend illustrate this, with its potential for development and growth.'

The Pinsent Masons team working with Andrew comprised Michael Berreen, Gareth Rees and Olivia Phalippou (private equity), Martin Bishop, Tony Anderson and Frances Mallender (banking), Vivien Gray and Liz Slater (OTC), Wyn Lewis and Brona Reeves (employment), John Trevethan and Russell Sykes (property), Helen Hanbidge (pensions) and Matthew Rowbotham (tax).

Other advisers were: Dundas & Wilson (for management) and DLA Piper Cary Gray Rudnick (for debt provider, The Royal Bank of Scotland).

Ends

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, Tel: 0845 300 32 32 / mob: 07884 110173

E: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons has a national private equity practice comprising some 40 lawyers, including 12 partners.

The group advises equity providers, management teams and vendors across the full spectrum of business sectors, and has particular strengths in areas such as healthcare, retail, waste management and technology.

In recent months, among other deals, Andrew Masraf has led teams advising on the ?200 million MBO of Cory Environmental; the MBO of asset management company, Tilney Holdings Limited; the ?64 million refinancing of Care Management Group Limited and on acquisitions for media services company Telecom Express.

Overall, Pinsent Masons has more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

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