Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Publishing firms

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

 

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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?

Read more…

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

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.'

Read more…

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.

Read more…

NEW SENIOR ASSOCIATE JOINS AS PINSENT MASONS EXPANDS PROJECT FINANCE PRACTICE

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

Livia Dumitrescu, a New York-qualified project finance lawyer will be joining the Projects Group at law firm Pinsent Masons as a Senior Associate on 15 November 2005. Livia previously worked for U.S. firm Hunton & Williams in London where she was involved with international banking and project finance transactions. Livia has previously worked at both the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Black Sea Trade Development Bank.

Livia will join Pinsent Masons as part of the firm's development of its practice in Eastern Europe and CIS region, building upon the success of recent projects in the area. These include advising the operator on the M5 and M6 road projects in Hungary which reached financial close last year and the operator on the A1 road project in Poland, which achieved financial close in July 2005. These deals are amongst the first wave of PPP road concessions to be rolled out in new EU member states which in turn will form the model for future road projects in this area.

Livia will have a particular focus on the Balkans and South East Europe and will work with Project Finance Partners Andy Normington and Nick Tidnam on developing the practice.

Patrick Twist, National Head of the Projects Group, said, 'Livia has an impressive background in project finance having worked on many international projects. She is well-known and respected in the South East European region and will be an invaluable asset to the group.'

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, the firm 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…

ONYX UK ADVISED ON WASTE COMPANY ACQUISITION FROM SHANKS GROUP PLC

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

Leading waste management company, Onyx UK Limited, has been advised by a legal team from Pinsent Masons on the ?28 million acquisition of a major part of the hazardous waste operations of Shanks Group plc.

Onyx, part of the world-leading environmental services company Veolia Environment, specialises in collecting, treating and disposing of waste produced by businesses and the public throughout the UK. The assets purchased from Shanks Group comprise the high temperature incinerator and waste-to-energy plant at Fawley, together with other chemical treatment sites in England and Scotland.

The Pinsent Masons team worked closely with Robert Hunt, the Group Legal Director of Onyx Environmental Group Plc, to address all the environmental matters involved in the deal, as well as the details of the assets purchase from Shanks Group.

Jonathan Reardon, lead corporate partner for Pinsent Masons, commented: 'This was a real team effort, working alongside Robert Hunt and his colleagues at Onyx, and involving Pinsent Masons' lawyers from London, Birmingham and Glasgow.'

The Pinsent Masons team also included Hanh Jelf (corporate senior associate), Steven Hardisty (property), environmental law specialists Helen Keele (senior associate) and Pat Hawthorn (consultant) and Lisa Patmore (employment).

Shanks Group plc was advised by Ward Hadaway on all legal aspects of the deal including, corporate, property, environment, pensions, employment and competition law. The North East law firm took on the role of lead adviser to Milton Keynes based Shanks Group plc after winning a competitive pitch against law firms from across the UK.

Duncan Reid, Corporate Finance Partner, who led Ward Hadaway's 20-strong team throughout the year-long deal, said, 'Acting for a major national plc on a large-scale, high-value strategic transaction with multi-site considerations made for an interesting deal. There were lots of complex environmental and other issues to consider in an industry full of legal challenges. We were delighted to play an important part in achieving the sale of Hazwaste Activities and wish both Shanks and Onyx all the best for the future.'

Glasgow-based MacRoberts acted for Shanks in Scotland.

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 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…

FLYING BRANDS ADDS TO HOME SHOPPING OFFER WITH GARDEN BIRD SUPPLIES PURCHASE

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

Home shopping specialist, Flying Brands, has been advised by a legal team from Pinsent Masons as it expands its horizons with the ?4.3 million acquisition of Garden Bird Supplies Limited (GBS), one of the UK's largest providers of food and accessories for birds and other wildlife.

The acquisition of GBS forms part of Flying Brands' strategic growth plans, central to which is the expansion of its product offering to customers. The Jersey-based group currently includes household names such as Flying Flowers and Gardening Direct.

GBS offers a range of some 200 products, 65% of which is wildlife food, sold to customers via mail order catalogues and the internet. The company has an active database of 48,000 customers and generated ?3.8 million of turnover in the year to 30 June 2005. It is estimated that the UK wild bird food market alone is worth ?150 million a year.

Commenting on the acquisition, Flying Brands' Chief Executive, Mark Dugdale, said: 'We outlined our strategy to grow by acquisition. Garden Bird Supplies is a high quality business?..and will be immediately earnings enhancing.' GBS founder directors, Jonathan Blezard and Tony Bennett, will continue in their current roles for the next 12 months.

The Pinsent Masons' team acting for Flying Brands comprised Corporate Partner, Martin Webster and senior associate, Sean Page, together with Shelagh Gaskill (data protection and IT), Matthew Rowbotham (tax), Brona Reeves (employment) and Arabella Blunt (property)

GBS was advised by Colin Rodrigues of Needham & James.

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 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.

Jersey-based Flying Brands Limited is a multi brand home shopping specialist. Founded in 1965, it was admitted to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange in 1993. The Group has the following brands:

? Flying Flowers, the UK's largest flowers by post brand, despatching nearly one million bouquets a year

? Gardening Direct, one of the UK's largest mail order bedding plants and gardening products operations

? Listen2Books, the leading mail order audio books, DVD and video publisher and distributor

? Benham, the first day cover stamps and coins collectables specialist

? Silverminds Direct, the nostalgic music business.

More information can be found at: www.flyingbrands.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS RATED AS LEADING LEGAL ADVISERS TO WATER INDUSTRY

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

Pinsent Masons has been rated as one of the country's leading advisers to the water industry by the independent legal experts directory, Legal 500.

Described as having 'an unparalleled water practice', the firm's Water Sector Group was applauded for its performance over the past twelve months which has included advising United Utilities on its ?4 billion water and electricity capital works procurement programme. The merger between Pinsents and Masons in December 2004 was also seen as a crucial factor in the team's rise to the top of the rankings this year.

Mark Lane, Head of the Water Sector Group at Pinsent Masons, said : 'This is the first time that we have stood head and shoulders above our competitors. We are delighted with this year's rankings which is a ringing endorsement of our UK and international practice and our achievements over the past year.'

Mark, who specialises in water and wastewater regulatory and project assignments, is a member of the Government's Water Sector Advisory Group and editor of the water industry bible The Pinsent Masons Water Yearbook.

Colleagues Edward Davies and Sarah Thomas were also singled out for praise.

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…

Reed Smith Advises Rhone Capital & Ontario Teachers? Private Capital

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

International law firm, Reed Smith LLP is pleased to announce its role in advising Rhone Capital & Ontario Teachers? Private Capital on the sale of Almatis Group to global investment group, Investcorp.

Almatis Group is a global leader in the development and production of specialty alumina materials. Its products are used in various industrial manufacturing processes and are critical ingredients in the production of materials and solutions, such as refractories, that protect industrial process equipment from the damaging effect of heat, wear, chemical attack, impact and erosion, and provide thermal insulation. It distributes on a global scale operating across the US, Europe and throughout Asia.

The Group was established in 1910 as a division of Alcoa, and was sold to Rhone Capital and Ontario Teachers? Private Capital in February 2004. The sale was part of a strategic divestiture program announced by Alcoa in January 2003.

Rh?ne Capital LLC specialises in leveraged buyouts and acquisitions with particular focus on European and trans-Atlantic investments.

Teachers Private Capital is the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers? Pension Plan.

The deal was signed in London. The Reed Smith team was led by partner David M. Grimes and Tony Manha in the New York City office. Edward Miller and Jennifer O?Brien in the London office are advising on international anti-trust clearances. The Munich office advised on certain financial and corporate issues.

Investcorp was advised by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in this transaction. The team was led by London partner Paul Harter and associate Benjamin Adams.

Read more…

Reed Smith Advises Bsg On Key Acquisition

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

International law firm Reed Smith LLP has advised [long-standing client] Billing Services Group Limited (?BSG?) on it?s acquisition of the German-based, leading pan European wireless telecommunications clearing house, EDS Interoperator Services GmbH (?EDS IOS?).

BSG provides third-party billing, clearing and information management services to the telecommunications industry. The company has signed an agreement to acquire EDS IOS from EDS Operations Services GmbH for a total of ??107 million - ?86.8 million payable on completion and ??20.8 million upon fulfilment of certain conditions.

The Acquisition marks the first step in BSG?s strategy of European expansion stated at the time of its admission to AIM in June 2005, [on which Reed Smith also advised].

Commenting on the deal, Giles Beale partner in the business and finance department of Reed Smith and lead partner on the deal commented: ?We were delighted to have acted on this Acquisition for BSG, which represents a good strategic fit for BSG?s vision and growth opportunities and is anticipated to significantly enhance BSG?s global presence and infrastructure.?

Pat Haynes, Chief Executive Officer of BSG, added that: ?The Acquisition uniquely positions BSG for network convergence and next-generation service offerings, as well as enhances our global presence and we look forward to working with EDS IOS on delivering further growth in the future.?

Read more…

New Offices Open For Leading Law Firm

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

Leading law firm Browell Smith & Co Solicitors are proud to announce the opening of a further two new offices in Sunderland (at 22 John Street, Sunderland SR1 1JJ) and Stoke-on-Trent (at Park Road, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1EG) on the 3rd October 2005.

Read more…

BUSINESS SLOW TO PREPARE FOR AGE DISCRIMINATION REGULATIONS REVEALS SURVEY BY PINSENT MASONS

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

Regulations that will for the first time outlaw age discrimination in employment are due to come into force 12 months tomorrow on 1 October 2006. A survey by law firm Pinsent Masons revealed that while a significantly high proportion of respondents (66%) confirmed that they are aware of the impending Age Regulations, 32% said they were not aware of the full details. Only 33% had taken steps to review their policies and procedures and less than a third had sought any form of specialist advice on the implications of the legislation.

Commenting on the survey findings Ashley Norman, Partner and Head of Equality & Diversity at Pinsent Masons said, 'Arguably these Regulations are the single most important development in discrimination law in the last 30 years. The findings of our survey bear out the impression we have been getting from clients that while there is a high level of awareness about the Regulations, considerable uncertainty exists about the detail and implications for employers and the majority are failing to prepare by reviewing policies.'

He added, 'It is essential for employers to identify aspects of their employment policies that might create a compliance risk so that necessary changes can be made in good time. We recommend policy audits are not put off or employers run the risk of encountering claims by employees and job candidates who are willing and able to enforce these new rights and to test parameters of the Age Regulations.'

The survey involved 240 participants and took place in September 2005. Further findings include;

? In relation to recruitment, 22% of respondents currently used minimum age limits and 20% used maximum age limits. Only 10% and 3% respectively confirmed they would continue to do so once the Regulations were implemented. Currently 60% of respondents stipulate minimum periods of experience for recruitment and of those organisations 28% plan to continue to do so even once the Regulations are in place.

? In relation to the content of job adverts, 46% of respondents currently envisage amending the content of recruitment advertisements in light of the Regulations. 11% include age instructions in their terms of reference for head hunters and recruitment agents. A surprisingly sizeable majority (60%) currently ask questions about age on applications forms. Of those organisations, only 14% plan to make any immediate alterations to their applications forms, 19% state that they will do so eventually and 18% have no plans to alter their applications forms at all.

? Regarding provision of employment benefits, the overwhelming majority (81%) of respondents currently use length of service and 35% use age itself as a criterion. The most common benefits affected by age or length of service are sick pay, holiday entitlement and level of redundancy pay.

? 29% of respondents confirmed that they did not know whether their organisation might be at risk of a claim under the Regulations in relation to their employment policies. 13% thought that they were perhaps at risk and a confident 58% thought that their current policies posed no potential compliance risks at all.

? In relation to redundancy payments, the majority of respondents (57%) pay contractual redundancy pay, age being used in 31% and length of service being used by 41% of respondents to calculate contractual redundancy pay entitlements. 14% said that they would continue to do so albeit that 13% did not know whether this would be justifiable once the Regulations were in force and 19% were unsure whether this would be justifiable.

(cont.)

? In relation to retirement ages, the vast majority of respondents (87%) currently use a mandatory retirement age, 61% currently offer employees the opportunity to work beyond the mandatory retirement age. Of those organisations 33% intend to retain the current mandatory retirement age, 25% confirm that they planned to amend the retirement age and 31% were unsure if they would do so or not. Of the respondents who did intend to continue to use their mandatory retirement age, 33% thought that this would be justifiable.

The Age Regulations 2006 will:

? ban age discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotion, training, provision of benefits;

? ban all retirement ages below 65 ? except where objectively justified; and

? remove the current upper age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights.

They will also introduce:

? a duty for employers to consider an employee?s request to continue working beyond retirement; and

? a requirement for employers to give written notification to employees at least 6 months in advance of their intended retirement date to allow employees to plan for their retirement.

Ends

For further information or to request a full copy of the survey results please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

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

Anna.Sargent@pinsentmasons.com

For comment please contact:

Ashley Norman, Employment Partner

Pinsent Masons, on: 0141 249 5434

Ashley.Norman@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, the firm 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.

The Employment Group at Pinsent Masons is one of the most experienced teams of employment lawyers in the country. With over 50 employment lawyers, including 15 partners, it is also one of the largest in the country and offers genuine national coverage from offices in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS SCOOPS TOP ASIAN CONSTRUCTION LAW AWARD FOR SECOND YEAR RUNNING

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

At the recent 2005 Asian Legal Business Awards, Pinsent Masons won the Construction Law Firm of the Year Award for the second year running.

The award, which was presented to Hong Kong Office Managing Partner Richard Foley, is a recognition of the firm's performance over the past twelve months and its high standard of client service for both existing and a large number of significant new clients.

In particular the judges praised the firm for offering clients ?good legal skills, practical commercial understanding and competitive fees. Good at both contentious and non-contentious work (Pinsent Masons) are credited with being responsive and solutions-orientated'.

Richard Foley, Hong Kong Office Managing Partner, said :

'We are delighted to have won this award for the second year running. It reinforces our position as Hong Kong's flagship construction law firm and is a testament to our achievements over the past twelve months.

'Despite challenging conditions the past year has been a watershed for the firm. Our merger last year means we are now able to provide the full range of legal services to our construction-industry clients. This, along with our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the needs of the construction industry, sets us apart from other law firms.'

ENDS

Notes to editors :

Pinsent Masons, created by the merger of Pinsents and Masons in December 2004, has more than 260 partners, a total legal team of 900 and overall staff in excess of 1,500.

In Hong Kong Pinsent Masons is one of the region's leading law firms with a team of six partners and 13 specialist construction lawyers.

For press enquiries call :

Lakhbir Rakar

CM PR Adviser

Pinsent Masons

Tel : 0121 260 4005

Email : lakhbir.rakar@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

HEALTHCARE TEAM AT PINSENT MASONS ADVISES ON CARETECH HOLDINGS AIM FLOAT

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

A specialist healthcare sector team at law firm Pinsent Masons is cementing a developing relationship with UK learning disability care services provider, CareTech Holdings PLC, by advising the company on its planned flotation on AIM.

Historically, Pinsent Masons has acted for Barclays Private Equity (BPE) which invested in the secondary buyout of CareTech in 2002. CareTech has grown rapidly to become a leader in its sector. During BPE's investment period, the Hertfordshire based company expanded from 254 beds in 2002 to 435 beds in 2005 and increased turnover to ?18.2 million for the year ended September 2004. Pinsent Masons has now advised BPE on its exit with the sale of its stakeholding to CareTech management for an undisclosed sum.

In tandem the company, which aims to consolidate its position in a highly fragmented marketplace, has announced its intention to float on AIM. CareTech, which is expected to have a market capitalisation in excess of ?50 million, anticipates that trading in its shares will commence by 31 October 2005.

In acting for CareTech on the float, Pinsent Masons is also advising on a placing of new ordinary shares in CareTech which is expected to raise ?10 million net of expenses. Up to ?14.5 million of existing ordinary shares are also being placed on behalf of CareTech's founders and management team.

CareTech's founders, brothers Farouq and Haroon Sheikh, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive respectively, see great potential for expansion in the sector and intend using the springboard of the cash injection provided by the float to grow their market position.

Pinsent Masons' private equity partner Joanne Ellis, the lead adviser to CareTech and a specialist in healthcare sector deals, commented: 'CareTech illustrates the number of opportunities that exist in this sector for quality companies who take time to get to know the market, and are sensitive to the needs of their clients and the communities in which they live. The corporate healthcare sector has taken off in the last couple of years and there is a great deal of potential here, particularly for mid-sized care businesses.'

The Pinsent Masons team advising CareTech on the float comprises Joanne Ellis, Jon Harris, Sean Page and Manmohan Panesar (corporate); Lisa Parisi (tax), Tom Eastwood (property) and Lynette Jacobs (share plans). The team which advised BPE on its exit from CareTech comprised Joanne Ellis and Ann McCarthy.

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 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 the healthcare, retail, waste management and media sectors.

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.

CareTech was founded in 1993 to provide market leading client services of outstanding quality, focusing specifically on people with learning disabilities. The company has grown consistently through organic growth and careful acquisitions, currently operating 61 care homes comprising 435 beds and 2 day care centres operating 55 places. The company operates small residential care homes, creating comfortable and homely environments that follow the principles of an ?ordinary life?. CareTech is distinguished in the care market by the quality of its services and its departure from traditional institutional care.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES ON THE SEAFOOD COMPANY DISPOSAL

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

Pinsent Masons' London private equity team has acted for IRRfc and management shareholders on the sale of The Seafood Company to Fishery Products International (FPI) for a total consideration of ?18.3 million.

The Seafood Company is a leading UK importer, processor and distributor of high quality chilled and frozen shellfish products, which ranks major UK retail chains among its customers. FPI is a Canada-based seafood company which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Pinsent Masons private equity team was Roger Fink, lead partner, Gareth Hughes and Joanne McNeill.

Negotiations for IRRfc were led by Ruth Storm and the sale process was run by Cavendish Corporate Finance (Philip Barker and Hugo-Hadden-Grant).

Torys and the London office of Wilmer Cutler acted for FPI.

Pinsent Masons' private equity team in London of four partners and six assistants, led by Roger Fink, has had a very active and successful 2005. Headline deals on which the team has advised include the sale of Rubicon Retail to The Shoe Studio Group for the selling shareholders, the buyout of Jane Norman from Graphite for Kaupthing and Baugur and, for the management teams, the buyouts of Tilney, Hallmark Channel's international operations and Cory Environmental.

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

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS HELPS AIRCRAFT COMPONENTS PRODUCER OLAER'S MBO FLY

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

Management of aircraft components manufacturer, Olaer, have been advised by a specialist private equity legal team at Pinsent Masons on the equity-backed buyout of the company.

Gresham Private Equity Solutions has backed the buyout, led by chief executive Michael Blenkinsop, of the company which supplies components to carriers such as British Airways, British Midland and easyJet, in addition to making components for the Airbus A320 and A340 and supplying wind power and oil generation industries.

The company, which is based in Chester and has operations in France, Switzerland and the USA, has been sold by manufacturer, Expamet International, which is itself backed by Royal Bank Equity Finance. Gresham is funding the deal with a mixture of cash and debt, with Bank of Ireland providing the debt.

The Pinsent Masons team acting for Olaer management has been led by Private Equity partner, Joanne Ellis working with Edward Stead.

Gresham has been advised by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary LLP, and the vendors Expamet have been advised by Shoosmiths.

This is the second time this year that Pinsent Masons has acted for management on a Gresham-backed buyout. Earlier this year, Pinsent Masons advised management on the Gresham-led public to private takeover of Trio Holdings plc, which runs money broker, Martin Brokers, in a ?28.5 million deal.

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 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 the retail, healthcare and media sectors.

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.

Read more…

Pinsent Masons advises on back-to-back acquisitions for Telecom Express and on the buy-out of Optome

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

Leading law firm Pinsent Masons has advised new client Telecom Express on its acquisitions of interactive media and marketing company, Greenland Interactive, and of the premium rate assets of the Media Services division of Broadsystem.

Telecom Express is one of the leading providers of marketing services to the UK media industry, managing reader, listener and viewer communications, as well as delivering targeted content to different audience groups in order to help its media clients retain and develop customer relationships.

Telecom Express Group was formed as a result of a management buy-out from former owner Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO in late 2004.

Pinsent Masons' private equity partner Andrew Masraf led on both deals with assistance from Robert Moir, Joanne McNeill and Charles Frank (corporate), Rebecca Power and Matthew Rowbotham (tax) and Martyn Hann and Vivien Gray (TMT). Corporate finance advice was provided to Telecom Express on both acquisitions by Will Iselin of Winghaven Partners.

Andrew said: 'We are delighted to have helped Telecom Express on these important acquisitions ? what a way to start a relationship with a new client.'

In a busy summer, Pinsent Masons' private equity team also advised new client Pat Llewellyn on the partnership buy-out of media company Optomen Television, the makers of BAFTA-winning series Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Under the terms of the deal, buy-out vehicle Tidy Television acquired Optomen Television and Pat Llewellyn succeeded Peter Gillbe as Optomen Television's Managing Director.

Pinsent Masons' private equity partner Andrew Masraf advised Pat Llewellyn with assistance from Joanne McNeill (corporate), Rebecca Power (tax), Anna Moyle (employment) and Tony Anderson (banking). Edward Hoare of Faegre & Benson advised Peter Gillbe.

Optomen Television has produced high impact programmes for the UK and international markets in its 15 year history. Successful productions include Old Bear Stories and Police, Camera, Action for ITV, to The Naked Chef and Two Fat Ladies for BBC2, and Jump London for Channel 4.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Media Relations Advisor,

Pinsent Masons, DDI: 020 7490 6563 / mob: 07795021749

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons has a leading UK private equity practice which operates nationally with strong teams in London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. Pinsent Masons has a total of 12 partners and 25 other lawyers who specialise in private equity.

The firm 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.

Read more…

THREE NEW PARTNERS JOIN AS PINSENT MASONS UNDERSCORES ITS SECTOR STRENGTHS

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

Pinsent Masons has announced the appointment of three partners in strategic areas of its business as the law firm underscores its commitment to key market sectors.

Paul Rice, partner and head of Environment, Health & Safety at Lawrence Graham, will join the firm in London and will head Pinsent Masons' Environmental practice nationally. Siobhan Cross, a highly-rated and experienced property litigator returns to the firm as a partner after a career break, and Mark Yates, a rising star in Banking & Finance, joins the firm from Clifford Chance as a partner.

'These appointments demonstrate our commitment to the development of our capability and experience at a high level in dedicated market sectors,' said David Ryan, Managing Partner at Pinsent Masons. 'Each of these individuals brings something new to our business and we are delighted to welcome them to the firm.'

Paul Rice is a legal heavyweight in his field. A member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA), he has written and spoken widely on environmental issues. He will spearhead the environmental side of a national team comprising both pure environmental lawyers and planning & environmental lawyers. His fellow Pinsent Masons partner, Richard Ford, led the firm's team advising four East London Boroughs on the approval of a series of planning applications in relation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 needed to allow the now successful London bid to proceed. Richard will continue to lead the planning side. Paul will join Pinsent Masons in November.

Siobhan Cross, highly respected by her peers and by clients, makes a welcome return to Pinsent Masons. Independently recognised for her property litigation expertise, she joins the growing property team in London which is fast expanding its property litigation and its real estate investment capability. The firm has a dedicated property team of around 30 people in London, who form part of the 140-strong national property group.

Mark Yates joins a Banking & Finance team which has seen significant growth in the past 18 months, as part of Pinsent Masons' commitment to the Financial Services sector. Last year Martin Bishop from Slaughter and May, and William Oliver from Jones Day, both joined as partners in London with three other specialist banking lawyers. With Mark's arrival the team will boast 10 partners nationally and a full banking & finance team of over 35 lawyers.

Mark, who has particular experience of cross-border and leveraged finance transactions, qualified in 1995 whilst at Wilde Sapte. He spent over three years working in Hong Kong for Norton Rose and then Clifford Chance, becoming a Hong Kong qualified solicitor, before moving back to London with Clifford Chance in 2001. He recently advised Warburg Pincus on the ?227 million institutional buy out of Caradon Plumbing. Mark started on Monday (12 September).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications,

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 3232 / mobile: 07884 110173

e: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

SPEEDY HIRE PLC ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON c?15 MILLION PLACING

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

Leading UK tool hire services company, Speedy Hire plc, has been advised by law firm Pinsent Masons on a c?15 million placing to fund its ongoing greenfield and acquisition-led expansion programme.

In the last 14 months, Speedy Hire has completed seven acquisitions with a total value of ?33 million all of which have been funded from its own resources. The funds raised through today's placing, together with the group's recently renewed banking facilities, will allow it to continue with its growth plans.

The placing, made by brokers Oriel Securities Limited on behalf of Speedy Hire, is for 2,132,315 new ordinary shares of 5p each at a price of 710p per share to raise approximately ?14.8 million net of expenses.

Speedy Hire, formed in 1977, is a leading provider of tool hire services to UK contractors and builders, industry, utilities and the public sector, operating from over 300 depots throughout the country. The group is focused primarily on tool hire, with complementary businesses specialising in portable accommodation, lifting, surveying and power generation equipment.

The Pinsent Masons team advising Speedy Hire comprises Manchester-based corporate partner, Mike McGrath and associate Farook Khan.

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 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' TEAM CELEBRATES COMPLETION OF ?293 MILLION DISPOSAL FOR IMI PLC

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

A team of 60 lawyers at UK law firm Pinsent Masons is today celebrating the announcement of the completion of the ?293 million disposal by IMI plc of Polypipe Building Products Limited to Castle Harlan Partner IV L.P., a New York based private equity fund.

Today's announcement brings to a close 10 months of activity for the Pinsent Masons' team involving the 62 businesses which comprise Polypipe Building Products. Headquartered in Doncaster, Polypipe, a leading plastic pipe and building service products manufacturer, has significant production plants in Poland, Italy, Germany and France, which added to the complexity of the deal for Pinsent Masons.

The disposal by IMI, a major international engineering group, is the last in a series identified by the company four years ago as part of a strategic repositioning which has seen IMI move to concentrate on its fluid controls and retail dispense businesses.

Senior Corporate Partner, Martin Shaw, who led the Pinsent Masons team, commented: 'This has been a groundbreaking deal in many ways for the firm because of the scale of the task involved. It exemplifies the fantastic cross-office and cross-discipline spirit within the firm. As we neared completion with the concentration of our team in London, we worked around the clock taking it in turns to have two hour sleep breaks and for several nights running we were linked throughout the early hours to specialist colleagues around the country.

'As the Polypipe group comprised 62 separate companies we were working on tens of thousands of documents. The electronic data room we created, giving people round the clock access to documents which were being updated constantly, was in itself a triumph for the firm and a model for the future. I cannot praise highly enough the legal and support teams involved.'

The Polypipe deal began 10 months ago when the auction sale process was started by Citigroup on behalf of IMI. The eventual purchaser, Castle Harlan Partners is an investment fund owned by New York based private equity investment firm Castle Harlan Inc. The ?293 million sale price comprises ?219 million cash and debt, plus ?39 million satisfied by a vendor loan note and contingent consideration of ?35 million payable in cash dependent on Polypipe achieving certain performance targets in the three calendar years to 31 December 2007.

The Pinsent Masons corporate team was led by partners Martin Shaw and Andrew Black; the corporate due diligence work was led by Shiv Sibal, supported by Oliver Beaulah and Chris Charlton. Additional support was provided by Simon Gronow and Nicole Kirkham. Other members of the group included Tom Johnson and Richard Stockton (Property), Richard Ford and Helen Keele (Environmental), John Christian and Veronica McMahon (Tax), Alastair Meeks, Sarah Welling and Raj Sharma (Pensions), Tom Flanagan and Jonathan Coley (Employment), Giles Warrington (Competition), Martin Bishop (Banking) and Rob Watson (Data Room IT Support).

Castle Harlan were advised by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Macfarlanes.

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.

Read more…

MAN INVESTMENTS ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON OFFSHORE HEDGE FUND

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

Law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Man Investments Limited in relation to an offshore hedge fund to be marketed to institutional investors in the UK.

RMF Portable Alpha Strategies Limited, authorised in Guernsey as a Class 'Q' Scheme and established as a Qualifying Investor Fund has already taken GBP10,000,000 in a first round of investment. It will subsequently offer two classes of share for investment with the intention of adding additional classes. RMF Portable Alpha Strategies Limited is an unregulated CIS for the purposes of FSMA 2000.

Banking and finance partner John Cleland led the Pinsent Masons' team advising Man, assisted by Claire Sedgwick (Banking and Finance) and Sean Page (Corporate).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

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

e: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS INCORPORATES ACCOUNTING SERVICES TO HELP TRUSTEES ASSESS THE STRENGTH OF THEIR SCHEME

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

Law firm Pinsent Masons is launching a new service to help trustees assess the strength of their scheme sponsor's business and its ability to meet funding provisions.

The service, which incorporates legal, banking, restructuring and accounting advice, is being provided in response to the new rules in the Pensions Act 2004. Pinsent Masons will provide an integrated advisory team to ensure trustees obtain comprehensive and specialist advice at every stage of the process.

Following the Pensions Act, trustees will need detailed information about a sponsor's financial situation in order to assess its ability to fund the scheme.

Christopher Berkeley, National Head of Pensions at Pinsent Masons, said, 'By integrating legal, banking, restructuring and accounting advice we can support trustees in reaching solutions to funding problems. Trustees will then be receiving appropriate specialist accounting advice from an in-house team of professional forensic accountants alongside the legal and actuarial advice.'

Nicholas Scott, Chartered Accountant at Pinsent Masons, added, 'Our approach ensures that we consider all aspects of the company's proposed financial plan, as well as the trustees' duties, to facilitate consensus on future funding arrangements, and how scheme deficits will be eliminated.'

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, the firm 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 has one of the strongest pensions teams in the UK with over 40 lawyers, paralegals and independent trustee administrators located in our offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. In the City-based London office there are six pensions partners, one consultant, four senior associates, one associate, six solicitors and one trainee.

Read more…

Reed Smith Advises Mellon Financial Corporation

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

International law firm, Reed Smith LLP is pleased to announce its role in advising Mellon Financial Corporation on the sale of its human resources outsourcing & consultants business to ACS, provider of business process and IT outsourcing solutions worldwide. In addition, ACS has acquired the operations and infrastructure associated with those businesses.

Mellon Financial Corporation is a global financial services company. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Mellon is one of the world?s leading providers of financial services for institutions, corporations and high net worth individuals, providing institutional asset management, mutual funds, private wealth management, asset servicing, payment solutions and investor services, and treasury services. Mellon has more than $4.0 trillion in assets under management, administration or custody, including $729bn under management.

Martin G. McGuinn, Mellon chairman and CEO, commented: ?This transaction sharpens our focus on the strong positions in asset management and payments and securities services allowing us to capitalise on growth opportunities in these areas, and maintain our leadership position in payments services.?

The Reed Smith team was led by Partner Tom Todd, US Senior Partner, together with Peter Borrowdale, Corporate Partner, and Mark Hunt, Partner and Head of the UK Employment Practice, both in the London office. They were assisted by Michael Calvert, Associate and Head of the UK Pensions Practice, and Leonie Hall, Associate in the Real Estate Practice.

The UK offices of Reed Smith represented and advised Mellon in respect of pre-sale financial restructuring issues, organizational restructuring prior to sale concerning employees, issues arising from the nature of the pension provision for UK employees of the business being sold, real estate issues relating to the agreed reorganization of the real property portfolio, and Financial Services and Markets Act authorization questions, all of which impacted on the UK elements of the deal.

?We are very pleased to have assisted Mellon in this important for the company transaction. The sale capitalises on Reed Smith?s industry leadership and expertise in transactions involving multiple jurisdictions,? said Peter Borrowdale. ?This is a strong example of how the firm consistently brings its local expertise together across the ocean to help our clients achieve their business goals in the global marketplace.?

ACS was advised by Eversheds in this transaction.

Read more…

Aalberts Industries acquires Pegler Holdings Limited in c?40 million deal

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

Dutch group, Aalberts Industries NV, has further consolidated its hold on the Flow Control market with the acquisition of Doncaster based Pegler Holdings Limited.

Pegler, a leading manufacturer of taps, valves, fittings and heating products for the private and public sectors, has more than 500 employees and a turnover of c.?50 million. The company was the subject of a management buyout from Tomkins plc in January 2004. It is intended that all the management team will stay on following the deal.

Aalberts Industries is a market leading international industrial group with two core activities, Industrial Services and Flow Control. The acquisition of Pegler significantly expands Aalberts' product portfolio. Aalberts has a workforce of more than 7,000 in Europe and made profits of ?71 million on a turnover of ?612 million last year.

Pegler will work alongside Yorkshire Fittings, which was acquired from IMI by Aalberts in 2002, using the same distribution networks and sharing purchasing and new product developments.

Aalberts was advised by Michelle Kershaw from Pinsent Masons working with lead partner Martin Shaw. Aalberts was additionally advised by Deloitte.

Pegler were advised by Eversheds and KPMG Corporate Finance.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, Business Development Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES ON SALE OF UK MINIBUS SPECIALIST

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

Leading law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the shareholders of MBP Holdings Limited, the holding company of the UK specialist minibus insurance broker, MiniBusPlus (MBP), on the sale of the company's share capital. The company was sold to QBE, the UK subsidiary of Australia's largest insurance and reinsurance group.

The sale also brings an exit for venture capitalists Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) from their investment.

MBP is a successful UK specialist minibus, coach and motor fleet insurance wholesaler and retail insurance broker based in Stafford. It produces around ?45 million of gross premium income through some 4,000 brokers throughout the UK.

The business produced by MBP is complimentary to the business underwritten by Ensign, QBE's UK motor arm.

Private Equity Partner Andrew Hornigold, who led the 14 strong Pinsent Masons team, said:

'We are delighted our specialist Corporate and Insurance teams have assisted the management and LDC in their successful exit from MBP. The transaction was a great result for all concerned and I am sure the MBP team and the business will continue to go from strength to strength under QBE's ownership.'

For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Media Relations Advisor

Pinsent Masons, DDI: 020 7490 6563 / mob: 07795021749

Read more…

Pinsent Masons Leads Successful DWP IT Outsourcing Contract Re-alignment with EDS

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

Pinsent Masons announced today that they have successfully completed the re-alignment of a major IT outsourcing agreement for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The arrangement with global technology services company EDS is intended to save ?1 billion over 5 years.

The contract is part of the DWP?s transformation and efficiency programme implemented following the Gershon review of public sector efficiency. The realigned contract brings together and standardises a number of historical arrangements.

Pinsent Masons led the legal support for the project, advising the DWP on all legal aspects of the EDS contract. The team comprised outsourcing partners Iain Monaghan, Myles Blewett and Richard Watkinson. Pinsent Masons worked closely with a team from DLA to complete the re-alignment.

Iain Monaghan, lead partner in Pinsent Masons? Outsourcing Technology & Commercial Group, commented, ?This is a significant achievement. We have worked with the DWP to re-align legacy EDS contracts drawing them together into a consistent form and implementing changes in governance and service management provisions that allow both parties to benefit from increased efficiency.?

Ends.

For further information please contact:

Richard Leonard or Joshua Van Raalte

Brazil

(firstname)@agencybrazil.com

T: 01865 725 269

Vincent Gray

Pinsent Masons

vincent.gray@pinsentmasons.com

T: 0207 490 6276

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial law firm with 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 one of the most highly regarded law firms, specialising in technology, telecoms, outsourcing and information law.

Pinsent Masons also runs OUT-LAW, an award-winning technology and e-commerce support service. OUT-LAW is a free service which includes a quarterly magazine, a weekly e-mail news bulletin and the out-law.com website, offering free information and checklists to help businesses. With more than 20,000 subscribers and 4,500 pages of content, out-law.com is believed to be one of the largest and most successful law firm websites in the world.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS INSTRUCTED TO ADVISE OFFICE OF DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ON TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEMES

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

Law firm Pinsent Masons has been instructed to advise the Office of Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), together with its Legal Directorate, in connection with two procurements to establish and operate Tenancy Deposit Schemes. The schemes are to be established pursuant to the Housing Act 2004 in respect of deposits taken by landlords/ agents in connection with assured shorthold tenancies. They will be set up and administered by scheme administrators who will contract with ODPM.

There will be two types of scheme, one is custodial and one insurance based; the first where deposits will be paid into a separate bank account and the latter where the landlord/ agent retains the deposit but the scheme maintains insurance against misappropriation.

Vincent King, Outsourcing, Technology & Commercial (OTC) Partner, said, 'This L-Cat instruction is significant given that there will be two procurements being run along side each other. We look forward to working with ODPM to deliver this important policy initiative.'

The Pinsent Masons team assisting Vincent consists of Martin Priestley (OTC Senior Associate), Liz Johnson (Insurance Partner), Al Harith-Sinclair (Corporate Partner) and Kathrine Eddon (Projects Associate).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Anna Sargent, Chosen Market PR Adviser

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

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, the firm 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 acts, nationally and internationally, for Central Governments, their principal Departments of State and Executive Agencies on almost every area of public and commercial law. The firm has been closely involved in the development and implementation of policy, major change programmes and complex, often innovative, infrastructure and outsourcing projects. In the UK it is a member of the legal framework panels administered by the OGCbuying.solutions (L-Cat) and TSol.

Read more…

RAYMARINE ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON US$500 MILLION OUTSOURCING DEAL WITH FLEXTRONICS

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

Raymarine, one of the world's largest suppliers of marine electronic products to the leisure boating market, has entered into an agreement with global leading electronics manufacturing services provider, Flextronics valued at approximately US$500 million over a five-year period.

Under the agreement, Flextronics will provide vertically integrated manufacturing services to Raymarine, initially through its Hungary-based facility. The services include printed circuit board assembly, box build, plastics, metals, logistics, and test engineering services.

Malcolm Miller, CEO of Portsmouth based Raymarine, commented: 'We took this decision to ensure that we could not only maintain and grow our gross margins but access the latest technologies and skills in supply chain management. In working with our manufacturing partner, Flextronics, we expect to make significant improvements in our product realization process, new product introduction, materials management, quality and global logistics.'

Nigel Stacey, Raymarine's Director of Supply Chain, added: 'This is the second major contract I have negotiated now with Pinsent Masons and am again impressed by the team's professionalism and complete dedication to the task in hand. I find Pinsent Masons a law firm who truly embrace the idea of partnering with their clients.'

Vincent King led for Pinsent Masons assisted by Martin Priestley.

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

www.pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Raymarine is the world leader in marine electronics, develops and supplies the most comprehensive range of electronic equipment for the recreational boating and light commercial marine markets. Product lines include radar, autopilots, GPS, chartplotters, instruments, fishfinders, communications, software and systems

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.

Read more…

UNIVERSITY OF HUDDERSFIELD REACHES OUT

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

A university education is now immediately available to communities in Yorkshire and Lancashire as part of a 10-year project by the University of Huddersfield.

The University has been advised by Pinsent Masons' Universities Team on the launch of new University Centres in Barnsley and Oldham designed to deliver university education to communities which may previously have felt that Higher Education was beyond their reach.

From this month, students will be able to study on full and part-time courses across a variety of levels from entry-level courses such as Foundation Courses and HNCs to Honours Degrees, and beyond to postgraduate qualifications like an MBA ? all within easy reach of home and work. The current range of higher education courses will be expanded and a range of new specialist courses will become available.

University Centre Barnsley

This new centre is being created with the aid of staff and resources transferring from Barnsley College and will be delivering the existing Higher Education courses of Barnsley College as well as expanding the curriculum.

University Centre Oldham

The new centre, designed to build on Higher Education provision previously provided in Oldham by Oldham Business Management School and the Oldham College, aims to strengthen links between study and the world of work to make sure that its students are fully equipped for a better future.

Under the first phase of the 10-year project, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has invested ?8 million and Yorkshire Forward has provided ?1.2 million to facilitate the purchase of a building in Barnsley

Professor John Tarrant, Vice Chancellor of Huddersfield University, said: 'The University is committed to develop local HE provision in Barnsley and Oldham by establishing University Centres as extensions of the University of Huddersfield. These towns both have low HE participation rates but a high potential for HE growth. As Barnsley and Oldham are, like Huddersfield, located on the edge of large conurbations and are intensely proud of their independence the phrase ?Towns Like Us? has been coined to describe the overall nature of this initiative. It will make an important contribution to the policy of offering the opportunity of HE to all those who have the potential to benefit.

'The Pinsent Masons team has a very good grasp of the issues relating to higher education. In this case we had a complex interrelationship of factors from property to commercial to staffing. I was impressed by the way in which the whole project was managed. We reached agreement with all the parties involved within the very tight deadlines.'

Professor David Smith led the University's project team working with Colin Blair (Facilities Director), Andrew McConnell (Finance Director), Julie McClelland (HR) and Professor John Tarrant.

Nigel McClea led the Pinsent Masons team assisted by Neil Dodds (commercial contracts), Andrew Pedley (property), and Nick Sheppard (employment issues).

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:

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, the firm 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 the shareholders of ASSA Training & Learning on ?24.2 million acquisition by

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

The Shareholders of ASSA Training & Learning Limited have been advised by Pinsent Masons on the sale of the business to Carter & Carter Group plc for a total consideration of ?24.2 million of which ?21.7 million will be satisfied on completion and ?2.5 million will be deferred until shortly after the announcement of the Group's preliminary results for the year ending July 2006.

ASSA, which is based in Washington, Tyne & Wear, is a leading UK provider of a range of adult vocational training and learning services. The company was founded in 1997 and was acquired by its current owners, ASSA's senior management team in September 2003. The company also has operations in Sunderland and Lichfield in the Midlands.

Peterborough-based Carter & Carter is a major provider of outsourced support services and learning solutions to major blue chip organisations. The acquisition, which will establish Carter & Carter as one of the UK's leading work based learning providers, is to be part funded through a Placing of 2,388,060 new ordinary shares to raise approximately ?8 million alongside new banking facilities.

The acquisition is conditional on shareholder approval and the share placing. The acquisition is expected to complete on 1 September 2005.

Andrew Hornigold led the Pinsent Masons team advising ASSA assisted by Lee Clifford and Robert Sloan.

Carter & Carter were advised by DLA Piper.

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…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES SPEEDY HIRE PLC ON ?150 MILLION DEBT FACILITY

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

Banking specialists at Pinsent Masons have advised Speedy Hire Plc in relation to a ?150m debt facility.

The new facility, structured as a five year revolving credit facility, will refinance Speedy Hire?s existing three year ?125 million revolving credit facility, which was due to expire in June 2006.

Speedy Hire, which was formed with one depot in Wigan in 1977, was this year named Hire Company of the Year for the third year running by the Hire Association of Europe.

Commenting on the refinancing, Neil O?Brien, Finance Director, said:

?We are delighted at the strong support received from our key relationship banks in this highly successful debt raising. These new facilities will comprise an important element of our medium-term financing as Speedy Hire continues its growth strategy.'

Mandated Lead Arrangers were Barclays Bank PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds TSB Bank plc and National Australia Bank Limited. The Facility and Documentation Agent is The Royal Bank of Scotland plc.

Speedy Hire was also advised by Close Brothers Debt Advisory.

The Pinsent Masons team advising Speedy Hire comprised Manchester Banking & Finance Senior Associate Joanne Robinson assisted by Trainee Pippa Jones.

In addition, Neil O?Brien said of the Pinsent Masons work:

?The Pinsent Masons team have handled the entire renewal very efficiently. They managed both the legal negotiations and process with the utmost professionalism. The banking facility is an important element of Speedy's strategic plans and Pinsent Masons have been key in delivering this on a friendly and hassle free basis.?

The Mandated Lead Arrangers were advised by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Carey UK LLP in Manchester.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Media Relations Executive, Pinsent Masons on:

020 7490 6563

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.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES NEUTRAHEALTH ON ?16 MILLION+ REVERSE TAKEOVER

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

Nutraceutical investment company, Neutrahealth PLC, is being advised by law firm Pinsent Masons on the ?16.1 million reverse takeover of nutritional supplement company Biocare Limited.

Neutrahealth PLC, which floated on AIM in February, was created to acquire growing businesses in the vibrant nutraceutical sector, which has been boosted by the increasing public demand for vitamins, mineral supplements, organic foods and alternative remedies.

The purchase of Biocare Limited, which sells natural healthcare products to trade and retail sectors, represents the first acquisition for Neutrahealth. It is estimated that the UK nutraceutical market, worth ?2.08 billion in 2002 will grow by 10-15 per cent in the next couple of years as people's concern over diet and health continues.

The Pinsent Masons team, which acted for Neutrahealth on its original flotation, and has advised on the reverse takeover, was led by Justine Howard and Hanh Jelf.

Biocare Limited has been advised by Tony Powles assisted by Tom Webb of Clarke Wilmot

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

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

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.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.

This is the third reverse takeover in less than three months upon which Pinsent Masons has advised. The firm acted for Provexis Limited, another nutraceutical business, on its reverse takeover of Nutrinnovator PLC, and for Oxford Newtech Limited on its reverse takeover of AIM-quoted ZI Medical Plc.

Read more…

COTT CORPORATION ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON ?75.7 MILLION ACQUISITION OF MACAW (HOLDINGS) LIMITED

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

Cott Corporation, the Canadian soft drinks bottler, the world's largest retailer brand soft drink supplier, has announced that its UK subsidiary, Cott Beverages Ltd., has acquired 100% of the shares of Macaw (Holdings) Limited, the parent company of Macaw (Soft Drinks) Limited for US$135 million (?75.7 million).

Macaw is the largest privately-owned manufacturer of retailer brand carbonated soft drinks in the UK, with assets including six product lines in two manufacturing plants located in Nelson, Lancashire. This acquisition will also bring manufacturing capacity in the fast growing 'aseptic' beverage market, providing healthy products without preservatives.

Macaw supplies own-brand carbonated dilute to taste and sports drinks to leading UK supermarkets ? Tesco, J Sainsbury, Wm Morrison and Asda.

Cott's UK division operates from two manufacturing plants in Pontefract and Kegworth. The division recently reported 12% growth in sales in the second quarter compared with the previous year. Cott expanded to the UK in 1994 with the acquisition of assets from Ben Shaw (Pontefract) Limited, followed by the purchase of Hero Drinks Group (UK) Limited in 1997.

The acquisition significantly expands Cott's UK business and is expected to add c.?55 million in annual sales. The acquisition is being financed under Cott's global credit facility.

Cott Corporation is the world's largest retailer brand soft drink supplier, with the leading take home carbonated soft drink market shares in this segment in its core markets of the United States, Canada, the UK and Mexico. Andrew Kerr comments 'This was the largest acquisition that Cott Corporation have undertaken and we were delighted to play a significant role in bringing this transaction to a successful conclusion'.

Corporate Partner Andrew Kerr led for Pinsent Masons assisted by Senior Associate, Catherine Hemsworth (Corporate), Louise Duffy and Kerry Wardle (Banking), James Speed (Property), Helen Keele (Environmental), Louise Crook (Employment), John Christian and Michael Hunter (Tax).

Macaw were advised by DLA Cary Gray Piper Rudnick, (Manchester) ? Andrew Holt, Polly Owen and Nick Roome.

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

www.pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

JJB Sports plc ?60m Revolving Credit Facility

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

JJB Sports plc have refinanced their ?130 million syndicated facility and selected Barclays to be their sole lender. Banking specialists at Pinsent Masons advised Barclays Bank PLC in relation to the loan.

The ?60m facility will allow JJB to fulfil its capital expenditure plans and continue its development in the leisure market which has provided a turnover increase of 41% in their Leisure Division during the accounting period ended January 2005.

JJB intends to open a further 18 combined health club/superstores during 2005 enabling them to get closer to their ultimate goal of having 1,000,000 health club members.

JJB Sports plc originated from a single sports store in 1971 and has become the UK?s largest sports retailer with over 430 stores nationwide.

The Barclays Relationship Director, David Culshaw, commented: ?We have been bankers to JJB from the outset and are delighted to now become the sole provider of their borrowing

requirements. We look forward to supporting them as they continue with their growth strategy?.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Douglas Keighley, Media Relations Advisor, Pinsent Masons on:

020 7490 6563 or Mobile: 07795021749

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.

Read more…

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to