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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Corporate and commercial > Flotations: small and mid-cap > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Flotations: small and mid-cap
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard captures a significant share of the market for work from AIM50 and AIM100 companies, and also acts for a number of NOMADs. The firm handled five AIM IPOs in 2017, which included Roger Hart in Manchester acting for Sumo Group Plc in its £145m AIM IPO. The firm expanded its presence into the Scottish market by merging with HBJ Gateley in 2017; Glasgow-based Anna Brown led the advice to The City Pub Company Plc on its institutional placing and AIM admission. In addition to IPOs, the firm also has strong capabilities in secondary offerings and reverse takeovers, among other matters.London partner Giles Distin has advised on circa 50 public takeover bids, a sizeable number of which have involved AIM-listed companies. Simon Wood, Richard Lee and Jeremy Cruse are other key figures. Jamie Partridge moved to Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

CMS provides the full spectrum of advice on matters ranging from Main Market and AIM IPOs and secondary issues to public company takeovers and day-to-day regulatory compliance advice. Having merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, the combined entity now has a larger team and also an enhanced profile in key sectors, which include: real estate, consumer products, financial institutions, energy, infrastructure, healthcare and life sciences, TMT and hotels and leisure. Another feature of the practice is its in-house US securities law expertise; consultant David Rivera and Eva Talmacsi are the main contacts in this space. In 2017, Paul Blackmore, practice head Alasdair Steele, Robert Willis and Nicole Gyring-Nielsen were among the advisers to AIM-listed company CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings on its £215m capital raising by way of a fully-underwritten placing and a non-underwritten offer for subscription. In addition, Simon Morgan and Gyring-Nielsen acted for Fidante Capital as sponsor, financial adviser and sole bookrunner in the £150m Main Market IPO of AEW Long Lease REIT. Kenneth Rose and Caroline Ironside, who are based in Edinburgh, worked with other European offices to advise GYG on its AIM IPO. Other recommended individuals in the team include Jack Shepherd, who made partner in 2017, and Iain Newman.

Norton Rose Fulbright has an excellent track record at the upper end of the AIM market, where it advisers issuers and NOMADs on transactions involving sectors such as financial services, technology, and real estate. Stephen Rigby, who has acted for AIM clients for more than 15 years, is particularly active in the energy, oil and gas and renewable power sectors. The group includes Fiona Millington, Thomas Vita, of counsel Kevin Connolly and senior associate Christopher McCarthy, who acted for Citigroup Global Markets, finnCap, Liberum Capital and Macquarie Capital (Europe) as joint underwriters and bookrunners in a £215m equity fundraising by CityFibre Infrastructure. In another high-end mandate, Richard Sheen and senior associate Clementine Hogarth and others advised eve Sleep Plc on its £140m AIM IPO. Nicholas (Nick) Adams and recently promoted senior associate Matthew O’Shea are other key figures in the group, which is led by Raj Karia.

Pinsent Masons LLP¬†added to its deep bench of practitioners by hiring¬†Gareth Jones¬†and¬†Julian Stanier¬†from Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2017. Clients benefit from the team's vast AIM and Main Market transactional experience, which spans sectors such as¬† technology, healthcare and life sciences, oil and gas, mining, financial services and consumer goods.¬†John Tyerman¬†leads the group, which is equally adept on both sides of the NOMAD and issuer fence.¬†In 2017, a Scotland-based group, which included lead partner¬†Alan Diamond,¬†Rosalie Chadwick¬†and senior associate¬†Jennifer Malcolm, acted for housebuilder¬†Springfield Properties Plc in its ¬£87m AIM IPO; the firm acted for two out of three Scottish companies that listed on AIM that year.¬†Another highlight saw Jones, Chadwick and Malcolm advise Smith & Williamson (as NOMAD), and Hannam & Partners and Shore Capital (as bookrunners), on the acquisition by AIM-listed Echo Energy of interests in oil and gas assets owned by Compa√Īia General de Combustibles through a ¬£70.2m reverse takeover.¬†Russell Booker¬†was the lead adviser to MML-backed Arena Events Group Plc on its ¬£63.1m AIM IPO and placing. Other notable individuals include¬†Jon Harris, and senior associates¬†Adam Cain¬†and¬†Chrissy Findlay.

In 2017, Travers Smith LLP acted for the issuer or investment bank in four IPOs (Official List, AIM and Specialist Fund Segment) with an aggregate value of £845m. In addition, it was involved in 22 placings and other secondary fundraisings (where total funds raised amounted to more than £1.9bn) and it also handled three reverse takeovers. A highlight involved Adrian West and senior associate Tom Coulter assisting TruFin Plc with its £185m AIM admission and related placing. In another matter, West and Coulter acted for finnCap (as NOMAD and sole bookrunner) in PROACTIS' $132.5m acquisition of Perfect Commerce by way of a reverse takeover. Another highlight involved assisting Volex Plc with its move from the Main Market to AIM. The firm also advises all of the NOMADs who act for the FTSE AIM 100 companies; clients include Zeus Capital, Liberum Capital, Investec Bank and Peel Hunt. Dan McNamee heads up a team that specialises in covering US securities law issues. Neal Watson is the head of corporate finance. Andrew Gillen, Richard Spedding and Spencer Summerfield are also recommended.

Ashurst's strong deal execution capabilities enable it to generate a healthy pipeline of work from issuers, NOMADs and investment funds. Its AIM practice, which is jointly led by Michael Robins and Simon Bullock, features prominently in some of the largest and most high-profile transactions in the market. Robins, Nick Bryans and others are advising Atlantis Resources on the reverse takeover of the Uskmouth power station in Wales from SIMEC UK Energy Holdings Limited (SIMEC). Robins also led the advice to AIM-listed company Serica Energy on the reverse takeover of BP's interests in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the North Sea, and associated infrastructure. In another matter, Bullock, recently promoted partner Tara Waters and others acted for Jefferies as the NOMAD and sole bookrunner in the £105m AIM IPO of Ten Lifestyle Group Plc. Other individuals with significant AIM experience include Nicholas Holmes and Nick Williamson. Jennifer Schneck heads up the firm's US securities group, which includes senior associates Rodrigo Hidalgo and Jeffrey Johnson.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP was formed from a merger in April 2018 between Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Bryan Cave. The combined entity acts for more than 20 AIM-listed companies and it also generates a strong flow of work from intermediaries and investment banks. Richard Werner has particular experience of handling transactions involving listed funds and other investment companies. Michael Anderson and Benjamin Lee jointly lead the team, which is experienced in acting for clients in sectors such as energy and natural resources, financial services (including insurance), healthcare, infrastructure, betting and gaming, real estate and retail. Much of the work has a cross-border component, as was illustrated in 2017 when Alexander Keepin and senior associate Patrick Lilly advised Numis Securities and Hannam & Partners on a $20m fundraising for AIM and TSX-listed Avesoro Resources to part-finance its $69.5m acquisition of the Youga and Balogo gold mines in Burkina Faso. Senior associate Laura Patao-Caminas acted for Cantor Fitzgerald Europe as NOMAD and sole broker on Destiny Pharma Plc's £65.4m placing and AIM admission. Senior associate Brian Mulkerrins is another name to note. In 2017, Gareth Jones and Julian Stanier departed for Pinsent Masons LLP, while Murdoch Currie moved to Bates Wells Braithwaite.

DLA Piper's team has a wealth of experience of domestic and cross-border mandates, with the work spanning matters such as rights issues, placings, block trades, dual listings, step-ups and public takeovers. It captures a particularly significant share of the market for AIM IPOs; a recent highlight involved practice head Alex Tamlyn and senior associate Robert Newman acting for Rosenblatt in its £43m AIM listing (representing the largest UK law firm IPO to date). Also in the legal services arena, John Campion, Jonathan Watkins and Newman are advising UK law firm Knights plc on its planned AIM IPO. Tamlyn also recently worked with senior associates Johannes Poon and Karin Kirschner to advise Zeus Capital (as NOMAD and broker) on the AIM listing of, and associated placing of shares by, OnTheMarket Plc. Martin Penn acted for PureTech Health Plc in its £72m placing. On the regulatory front, the firm has a  strong relationship with the London Stock Exchange, enabling its team to gain an understanding of current and upcoming rules and regulations. Tamlyn is Chair of the Primary Markets Group on the London Stock Exchange. Elsewhere, the firm has a particularly strong US securities law capability, with US-qualified partners Tony Lopez and George Barboutis having expertise in this area. Charles Severs and DLA Piper are other notable practitioners in the team.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's team has an excellent reputation acting for both issuers and NOMADs, and it is prominent in large, high-profile AIM and Main Market IPOs, secondary offerings and various other transactions. In 2017, Daniel Hall, Nicola Brookes and senior associate Annika Unsworth acted for Footasylum Plc in its £170m AIM flotation and £40m placing. They also assisted Zeus Capital (as NOMAD and broker) with the £190m AIM IPO of Strix Group Plc. Sebastian Orton and Chris Halliday more recently acted as the lead advisers to OnTheMarket Plc on its proposed £100m AIM IPO. Beyond IPO work, another highlight saw practice head Stephen Nash and legal director Mark Roe advise Investec on a secondary fundraising associated with Conviviality Plc's acquisition of the Central Convenience retail business. The firm also acts for UK investment trusts and Channel Islands-based registered investment companies. Other members of the team include Simon Masters, Alistair Cree, Steven Hacking and Alison Starr.

Fieldfisher's strong market profile is reflected by the fact that it acts for 38 AIM-listed companies, and it also undertakes a significant amount of work for NOMADs and brokers. The firm has a particularly standout reputation in the energy and natural resources sector, where the work often has a nexus to territories such as South America, Africa and the CIS region. In 2017, Jonathan Brooks and Dominic Gurney-Champion acted for Atalaya Mining Plc in a £31m placing to finance the expansion of operations at the Rio Tinto copper mine. Brad Isaac was the lead adviser to Kodal Minerals Plc on its £4.3m fundraise. Anthony Brockbank was particularly active recently in equity finance transactions involving oil and gas companies and mining companies, where he acted for brokers such as Mirabaud Securities, Panmure Gordon and Strand Hanson. Neil Matthews heads up the team, which also handles transactions in other sectors, with healthcare and technology being notable areas of growth. George Cotter is another key figure.

According to one of its client, Gowling WLG 'stands out significantly from the crowd for its rare combination of client service, value for money, competence and integrity'. AIM-related work has been a core of focus at the firm since the inception of the exchange in 1995. Led by Jeffrey Elway, the team covers the full spectrum of advice on IPOs, secondary offerings and public M&A. Nick Heather and John Reed specialise in advising investment funds and listed investment companies on their activities on AIM and the Main Market. In 2017, Charles Bond, who is particularly active in the mining and oil and gas sectors, worked with director Samantha Myers to advise Phoenix Global Mining on its £9.2m AIM listing. Bond was also the lead adviser to Altus Strategies Plc on its circa £1.1m AIM admission. Sunil Kakkad leads a group that focuses on assisting Indian companies with cross-border capital raises, M&A and other corporate transactions; Kakkad is particularly active in sectors such as technology, media and renewable energy. Other key figures include Oliver Riley, Sefton Collett, David Brennan, Kristian Rogers and director Caitlin Cumming.

Osborne Clarke LLP has longstanding relationships with a number of institutional clients (such as Investec Bank, Peel Hunt and Canaccord Genuity), which is complemented by the size of its corporate client base (it acts for more than 60 listed companies). The firm's outstanding reputation in the market is underpinned by the consistency in which the firm features in large, high-profile and strategically-significant AIM IPOs, secondary transactions and AIM-related acquisitions and disposals. In one of the largest AIM listings of 2017, practice head Jonathan King, Rebecca Gordon and senior associate Kate Mellor acted for Grant Thornton UK LLP (as NOMAD) and Joh. Berenberg , Gossler & Co (as global coordinator and broker) in the £163m IPO of Alpha Financial Consulting Group Plc. The team is also highly active in the Main Market space, as was illustrated by King leading the advice to Shore Capital (as sponsor and joint bookrunner) and Cenkos Securities (as joint bookrunner) on UP Global Sourcing Holding Plc's £105m IPO. Mulberry Plc, Patisserie Holdings Plc and Porta Communications Plc are among other active clients of the firm. Matthew Bodfield specialises in acting for clients in the real estate/infrastructure sector, as well as those in the staffing/recruitment sector. Mark Wesker's work spans industries such as digital business, financial services and energy and utilities. Senior partner Andrew Saul is another active practitioner.

Simmons & Simmons' AIM work has been on the increase since the arrivals in 2014 of Patrick Graves and Jocelyn Ormond from Osborne Clarke and DAC Beachcroft LLP respectively. Although the firm is particularly well-known for its work in the Main Market arena, it is equally as active in AIM transactions. Chris Horton leads the team, which has a strong focus on acting for companies, NOMADs and brokers in matters connected with the TMT (including fintech) and healthcare/life sciences  sectors. In 2017, Ormond, supervising associate Dan Whitewood and others acted for the shareholders of Intelligent Ultrasound in the disposal of the company to AIM-listed entity MedaPhor Group Plc. Charles Mayo advised Stifel Nicolaus Europe (as NOMAD and joint broker) and WG Partners (as joint broker) on the dual-listing on AIM of international diagnostics company Novacyt (which was already listed on the Euronext Growth Market). Other clients include 1PM, Rex Bionics Plc, Numis Securities and Petards Group. Managing associate Stephanie Featherstone is recommended.

Stephenson Harwood has a standout capability in funds-related IPOs, secondary fundraisings (by existing listed funds) and other funds-related matters; Alex Haynes acted for Strand Hanson (as NOMAD and broker) in the £55m AIM IPO of Guernsey-incorporated investment fund CIP Merchant Capital. William Saunders, who is another name to note in this area, advised LXI Reit Plc on its £138m Main Market IPO. Outside of funds-related corporate finance, the firm handles a significant number of high-profile AIM transactions for corporate issuers, NOMADs and brokers. Practice head Tom Nicholls advised Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited as NOMAD and broker on TruFin Plc's £185m AIM admission. Nicholls also acted for Arden Partners Plc as NOMAD and broker to law firm Gordon Dadds in its AIM listing, which followed a reverse takeover. Another key figure is Anthony Clare, who is advising Acacia Pharma Group Plc on its proposed Initial Global Offering and admission to trading on the regulated market of Euronext Brussels. Recently promoted partner Tom Page and senior associate David Dowding are also recommended.

In 2017, Bird & Bird LLP made a significant investment in its practice by hiring new group head Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. In addition, legal director Nick Heap joined from Fieldfisher. At associate level, Sharon O’Donnell and Youichi Iisaka joined from Locke Lord LLP and Bircham Dyson Bell respectively. The expanded team has successfully wonAIM and Main Market mandates from companies and financial advisers/NOMADs; the work has spanned sectors such as energy and natural resources (particularly mining and oil and gas), technology, and healthcare and life sciences. Hopewell, Heap and O'Donnell recently acted for Liberum Capital as NOMAD and broker to Phoenix UK fund in its £12m AIM fundraising, and in its related acquisition of model train and toy group Hornby Plc. In another matter, Hopewell and Simon Allport assisted AIM-listed mining company Asiamet Resources Limited with a £6m placing. Hannam & Partners, Canaccord Genuity, Alpha FX Group and RhythmOne Plc are among other clients.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is increasingly active in providing advice to family businesses, entrepreneurs and business owners on the use of AIM fundraising transactions as a means to finance their growth plans. On the regulatory front, it has also been assisting brokers and AIM-listed companies with managing the impact of European regulations, such as the Market Abuse Regulation and MiFID II. The firm generates work from clients across a number of industries, particularly technology, investment trusts, financial services and natural resources. In the healthcare sector, in 2017, Michael Lingens acted for Minster Care Group in the £160m IPO of Impact Healthcare REIT Plc and its admission to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market. Paul Arathoon and Andrew Clarke advised Alpha FX Group Plc on its £30m AIM IPO. Other clients include fastjet Plc, Taptica International, Liberum Capital and WH Ireland. Andrew Collins leads the team, which also includes Victoria Younghusband, Chris Putt, Mark Howard and senior associate Tom Smitham. Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling joined Bird & Bird LLP.

Dechert LLP's group has built up a first-rate practice under the leadership of its team head Sean Geraghty, with it handling listings (Official List/AIM/overseas), secondary transactions, and follow-on corporate M&A and governance issues. Its client roster includes corporate issuers, sovereign wealth funds and investment funds. It also advises NOMADs and brokers; in 2017, Geraghty and associate Jodie Valler-Feltham acted for Investec Bank in a £30m raising by ITM Power through a placing and open offer. In another matter, Geraghty, Patrick Lyons, Douglas Getter and others are advising Allenby Capital and Panmure Gordon as joint brokers and financial advisers on Audioboom Group Plc's £155m fundraising, the proceeds of which are primarily to enable the client to acquire Triton Digital from Vector Capital. On the issuer side, Lyons acted for Zealand Pharma (which was already listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen) on its $90m IPO on The NASDAQ Global Select Market; this matter represented the first-ever dual listing of a Danish biotechnology company.

The team at¬†Dentons¬†'goes beyond what might be expected to provide help to clients'; it is 'professional and pleasant to work with'.¬†The work has a nexus to a wide range of sectors, including oil and gas, technology, media, healthcare and financial services.¬†The practice has benefited from the firm launching into the Scottish market by merging with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017;¬†Guy Norfolk,¬†Brian Moore,¬†David McGrory¬†and¬†Claire Armstrong¬†became a part of the amalgamated group as a result of the combination. Moore was the lead adviser to QUIZ Plc as the issuer on its ¬£200m AIM IPO; this represented the largest retail sector IPO in 2017. David Collins¬†leads the team, which also includes¬†Darren Acres,¬†Neil Nicholson,¬†Jeremy Cohen¬†and¬†Joseph Altendorff. It¬†leverages the firm's presence in the Middle East and Africa to advise on deals in these regions. In addition, it works closely with Istanbul-based BalcńĪońülu Sel√ßuk Akman Keki, which provides the firm with Turkish law services;¬†Nik Colbridge¬†led a group (involving members of both firms), which advised DP Eurasia on its ¬£148m admission to listing on the premium segment of the UK Listing Authority.¬†

Dorsey & Whitney has a strong track record in domestic UK mandates, and also adds value in AIM transactions with a cross-border element; its group includes Brian Rosenau who acts as US counsel to US-based clients in AIM listings and/or placings into or otherwise involving the US. In 2017, Kate Francis assisted Datatec, which was already listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with delisting from AIM. Another highlight for the team involved Francis and associate David Elphinstone acting for Numis Securities and Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co as joint brokers in a £75m placing by way of an accelerated bookbuild for Keywords Studios Plc. Other clients include Cenkos Securities, Watchstone Group Plc and Corero Network Security Plc. Mark Taylor leads the group, which also includes Max Beazley and recently promoted special counsel Daniel Park.

AIM transactions form a core part of the DWF's corporate practice. Jointly led by Frank Shephard and Matthew Doughty, its team undertakes a mix of mandates for listed companies and funds, as well also brokers, NOMADs and other institutional clients. On the admissions front, in 2017, Shephard, Lisa Stavropoulos and others acted for Tatton Asset Management Plc in its £87m AIM IPO and listing, and also advised Velocity Composites Plc on its £30m AIM IPO. Outside of AIM listings, other highlights for the team included assisting Zeus Capital as the NOMAD and broker with the £15m secondary fundraise by Accrol Group Holdings, and acting for City of London Group Plc in its £20m reverse takeover of Milton Homes Limited from Delancey. Numis Securities, Investec Bank and Keywords Studios Plc are among other clients. Jay Birch is experienced in cross-border small and mid-cap transactions, particularly those with a US element. Lester Wilson, Jeremy Swift and Damien Bechelli are also notable individuals in the group.

Fox Williams LLP's practice operates as a one-stop shop for advice on AIM IPOs, secondary fundraisings and public takeovers, among other matters. Although the firm is active across a wide range of industries, it is a particularly well-known name in the natural resources sector, where the work spans areas such as oil and gas, agriculture, mining and renewable energy. In 2017, senior partner Paul Osborne, Guy Morgan , legal director Sean Williams and others acted for AIM-listed company Plexus Holdings Plc in the £42,5m sale of its wellhead exploration and services business for jack-up applications to a subsidiary of TechnipFMC. Morgan also acted for AIM broker finnCap in Rich Pro Investment's £35.5m hostile takeover of ASA Resource Group Plc's. Other natural resources clients include Scotgold Resources Limited and SacOil Holdings Limited. The team also adds value in transactions connected with financial services (including fintech), tehcnology and professional services. Andrew Woolf and Mary Elliott are other key practitioners in the team, which is led by Richie Clark.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's team, which is jointly led by Maegen Morrison and Daniel Simons, is active in a significant number of high-value AIM transactions; it handled 11 equity capital markets transactions on AIM in 2017. In the IPO space, Simons and senior associate John Holme acted for Cenkos Securities in the £572.7m AIM IPO of Eddie Stobart Logistics (one of the largest ever on AIM). Simons also worked with Morrison and counsel Karla Dudek to advise Canaccord Genuity (as NOMAD, financial adviser and broker) on GBGI Limited's £130.4m AIM IPO. In 2018, on the issuer side, Jonathan Baird  (who joined in 2017 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP) was the lead adviser to Urban Exposure Plc on its £150m institutional placing and AIM listing. Beyond IPOs, the firm also handles secondary fundraisings and other complex transactions. The firm's clients also include names such as Acal Plc, Shaftesbury Plc, Macquarie and Liberum. Sarah Shaw joined in January 2018 from Allen & Overy LLP, while US-qualified securities counsel Bryan Stephens is another recent arrival. In other developments, John Basnage  moved to Anthem Advisory and Nigel Read departed to become a consultant at NR Transaction Consulting.

K&L Gates LLP's team has vast experience of assisting London-listed companies with dual listings on other exchanges, and challenging AIM-related transactions, including those involving complex corporate structures, and complex international tax and securities issues. It also excels in advising US and Australian companies seeking AIM listings. James Green, who heads up the firm's Africa group, was part of a team which acted for Rich Pro Investments Limited in its hostile takeover of AIM-listed company ASA Resource Group; the target company went into administration shortly after the announcement of the takeover offer. Green also worked with special counsel Richard Dollimore, to advise Panmure Gordon, Canaccord Genuity and Pareto Securities as brokers on Eland Oil & Gas Plc's proposed $19.5m fundraising. Practice head Paul Tetlow and Tom Wallace are other key figures.

At Macfarlanes LLP, Robert Boyle leads a core team, which includes Harry Coghill, Richard Burrows and special counsel Mark Slade. Its understanding of the small and mid-cap sphere is derived from its work for a diverse range of clients, such as corporate issuers, investment funds, NOMADs, shareholders and trustees. Complementing the firm's strong transactional capabilities are its first-rate tax and regulatory expertise. In 2017, Boyle and Slade were part of a cross-practice team, which advised Supermarket Income REIT Plc on its £100m IPO on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market. The same team also assisted the client with a £20m follow-on fundraise. Also notable was that, in a separate matter, Slade acted for commercial property fund Regional REIT in a secondary fundraise of up to £100m.

Mayer Brown International LLP has longstanding relationships with some of the AIM market's most prominent and active NOMADs; practice head Kate Ball-Dodd, Robert Flanigan and associate Simon Allison acted for Investec Bank in the £40.7m placing of shares in Hollywood Bowl Group by way of an accelerated bookbuild. Flanigan and Allison also worked with Colin Scagell to advise Peel Hunt and Panmure Gordon as joint bookrunners on the £9.8m placing of new shares by Blancco Technology Group (also by way of an accelerated bookbuild). The team is also a strong performer acting for issuers, both on AIM and overseas exchanges, attracting particular praise for 'its knowledge and understanding of the FPI rules, Sarbanes-Oxley, AIM rules and Companies Act'; it is 'a one-stop shop for all legal compliance questions'. A recent highlight involved Robert Hamill and Rebecca Bothamley advising Velocys on a circa £18.4m firm placing and placing and open offer to fund an ongoing renewable fuels biorefinery. Other corporate clients include Entertainment One, Shearwater Group Plc, GBGI and Eland Oil & Gas.

Memery Crystal LLP's 'extremely pragmatic' six-partner team has 'a no-nonsense approach', which is backed-up by its 'excellent legal and market knowledge'. Led by Michael Dawes, the group acts for clients in sectors such as oil and gas, mining, property and technology. It assists issuers with every stage of their growth whilst on AIM, and also handles their step-up to the Main Market. It is equally as active on the NOMAD/broker side, where names include finnCap, Cantor Fitzgerald, Cenkos Securities and Numis Securities. Recent highlights included Nick Davis, Kieran Stone, senior associate Karen O’Grady and others acting for Ten Group in its successful admission to AIM. In addition, Dawes and director Melanie Talbot were part of a team, which advised ASX-listed company Reckon Limited on a group restructuring, and also assisted its demerged document management services business (now known as GetBusy) with being listed on AIM. In addition to acting for NOMADs and brokers, Lesley Gregory is another experienced practitioner.

Taylor Wessing LLP has a strong specialism in the technology, life sciences and real estate sectors, but it also generates work connected with various other industries. The team, which is led by Russell Holden, advises on AIM and Main Market listings, secondary issues, step-ups and public M&A, among other matters. In addition, it advises on regulatory issues, such as those related to the UK Listing Rules and Disclosure and Transparency Rules, the AIM Rules and the Takeover Code. In 2017, Jeremy Landau led a cross-practice team, which advised Boku on its institutional placing and AIM IPO, which raised £45m. Another key figure in the team is William Belcher, who was the lead adviser to Triple Point Social Housing REIT Plc on its £200m Specialist Fund Segment listing. Other clients include Netcall Plc, Verona Pharma Plc and Creo Medical Group Plc. Tandeep Minhas and senior associate Katie Fellows are recommended.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP acts for more than 15 AIM-listed companies, as well as companies seeking AIM listing, and its work for NOMADs/brokers is on the increase. The cornerstones of the practice are in high-profile strategically-significant AIM and cross-border transactions in the transport, energy and natural resources sectors. Practice head Jan Mellmann, and senior associates Jenny Hodges and Richard Collinson, were among the advisers to AIM and TSXV-listed company Mariana Resources on its £166.8m combination with Sandstorm Gold; this was the largest M&A deal on AIM in 2017. In addition, having advised the client on its AIM listing and related placing to raise $50m, Martin Thomas and senior associate Danny Heathwood acted for Diversified Gas & Oil Plc in its $84.2m reverse takeover of certain oil and gas assets of Titan Energy. Thomas also led the advice to the same client on its $180m fundraising to support its acquisitions of Alliance Petroleum and certain oil and gas assets owned by a NYSE-listed energy company. Other names to note in the team include Daniel Saunders (who made partner in 2017) and Chris Kilburn (who recently relocated to the London office from Singapore). Robert Askew joined as a consultant from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Dearbhla Quigley and senior associate Sarah Williamson are also recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP fields a number of practitioners with experience of AIM IPOs, secondary fundraisings and demergers, among other matters. As part of its transactional work, the team advises clients on associated regulatory issues, such as those involving the AIM Rules, Disclosure and Transparency Rules and the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Nick Graves leads the team, which has a particular sweet spot in energy sector transactions; in 2017, Mark Shepherd was the lead adviser to AIM-listed company ITM Power Plc on a £29.4m placing and open offer. Dominic Davis, Chris Godfrey and Rupert Weston are other individuals with experience of AIM transactions. The firm's NOMAD clients include Stockdale Securities, GCA Altium and WH Ireland. 

DAC Beachcroft LLP's team stands out in the advice to issuers and NOMADs/brokers on AIM-related matters in the natural resources and TMT sectors. It is also highly regarded in other areas, such as health, real estate and financial services. The broad scope of its practice covers AIM listings, secondary fundraisings and tender offers, as well as public and private M&A. The group acts for 22 AIM-listed companies, including Warpaint London Plc; it advised the client on its AIM IPO in 2016 and, in 2017, consultant Clive Garston and team head Nick Gibbon assisted it with its £21m placing and related acquisition of Retra Holdings. Other AIM-listed clients include iDe Group Holdings Plc, Castleton Technology Plc and Adept4 Plc. On the NOMAD/broker side, Jonathan Deverill and associate Rishi Solan acted for Arden Partners in Ethernity Networks' £15m AIM IPO and associated placing. In addition to undertaking AIM-related work, legal director Michelle Jones is experienced in NEX Exchange admissions, capital raisings and reverse takeovers, among other matters. Matthew Darling, who has a focus on the technology sector, acts for clients ranging from start-ups to AIM-listed companies. Nick Fothergill is also recommended.

Fladgate LLP, whose team is led by Grant Gordon, undertakes a wide ambit of purely AIM-related work for domestic and overseas-based companies, as well as NOMADs and brokers; its particular areas of sector strength are technology, energy and natural resources, and life sciences. David Robinson acted for Baskerville Capital Plc in its £1.8m placing and admission to the Standard list segment of the Main Market. Paul Airley and senior associate Linda Whittle advised PennPetro Energy Plc on its acquisition of oil and gas assets in Texas, and on its Main Market admission. Airley also handles Anglo-Canadian capital markets transactions.Avram Kelman has expertise in Anglo-Israeli matters. Nigel Gordon, whose experience of the AIM market dates back to its inception in 1995, acts for a number of companies that are dual-listed in the UK and South Africa. Senior associate Zehra Kofturcu is another name to note. Chris Chrysanthou departed for an in-house role at Alliance Pharma Plc.

Hamlins LLP's reputation in the small-cap space is evidenced by the fact that it has been the lead sponsor of the networking community Small Cap Network UK for nine years. Its practice covers the gamut of advice on IPOs, secondary fundraisings and other transactions across the NEX, AIM and Main Markets. The 'clever and commercial' practice head Daniel Bellau has experience of a wide range of industries, including the hotels and leisure, real estate and TMT sectors. In 2017, Bellau acted for AIM-listed company MoneySwap Plc in a £3.5m investment by Wraith Holding BV by way of a share subscription. Outside of company-side work, Bellau advised Hybridan LLP as broker and Liberum Capital as NOMAD on a £1.9m fundraising for Halosource Inc. Trevali Mining Corporation, Winkworth Plc, Stand Hanson and Allenby Capital are among other clients.

Kerman & Co, whose practice was strengthened in 2016 by the arrivals of practice head Peter Kohl (from Hogan Lovells International LLP) and Simon Holden (from Lester Aldridge LLP), has seen its market profile grow; the firm has won a string of new clients recently, including InfraStrata Plc and Columbus Energy Resources Plc. Simon Holden acted for another new client Panthera Resources Plc in its AIM admission, which also involved advice on the English law aspects of a group restructuring. Holden also assisted United Oil & Gas Plc with its Main Market IPO. Emmerson Plc, Rurelec Plc and Applegreen Plc are among other clients. Kohl, who is dual-qualified in England & Wales and the United States, is experienced in advising AIM-listed companies on US securities law matters. Joan Yu is another notable practitioner.

Marriott Harrison LLP attracts a significant number of high-end mandates across the Main Market, AIM, NASDAQ First North and NEX Exchange. Complementing his private practice experience, practice head Simon Charles previously worked as a NOMAD at Numis Securities. In 2017, Charles and associate Marina Ehrlich acted for finnCap as the NOMAD and broker to Pelatro Plc (the holding company of an Indian AI marketing software business) in its AIM launch. Charles is currently assisting online training provider Wealth Dragons Group Plc with its proposed NEX Exchange admission. Other clients include Angling Direct Plc, Zeus Capital and Northland Capital Partners.

Michelmores LLP's recruitment of Ian Binnie from Hamlins LLP in 2016 has heralded an uptick in work from NOMADS and brokers, as well as quoted companies. In 2017, Binnie (who 'often spots pitfalls others haven't') and senior associate Edwin Richards acted for Cantor Fitzgerald Europe as NOMAD and broker to ASX-listed Range Resources in its AIM re-admission, which followed Range's reverse takeover of a Trinidad-based oilfield services business. Another highlight involved advising Strand Hanson (as NOMAD), and Tamesis Partners and Beaufort Securities (as joint brokers), on the reverse takeover by AIM-listed company Alecto Minerals Plc of a copper mine in Botswana held by Cradle Arc Investments. The team also handled the associated AIM IPO of the enlarged group, as well as an equity fundraise. Other AIM clients include African Battery Metals Plc, Modern Water Plc, VSA Capital and Orchard Funding Group Plc. 

Mills & Reeve LLP's team head Stephen Hamilton 'builds very good working relationships and blends technical advice with practical support'. Hamilton's group has particular experience of acting for technology companies; the scope of the work ranges from AIM admissions and secondary fundraises to general corporate and commercial matters. The firm also generates work from clients active in other sectors, such as food and drink, agribusiness and life sciences. In 2017, Hamilton and senior associate Emma Plaxton acted for Nexus Infrastructure Plc in its £70m AIM IPO and related £35m fundraising. Hamilton and Plaxton also advised Bermuda-based AIM-listed company Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Limited on a circa £49m placing and related open offer. Paul Johnson, Anthony McGurk and principal associate Shubhu Patil are also recommended.

Mishcon de Reya LLP made a strategically important move in January 2018 by hiring Tim Field from Addleshaw Goddard to head up its equity capital markets team. The firm's historical strengths in venture capital and private equity are a major driver of the capital markets work, with Field's team advising private equity houses on exits from investments via IPOs. It also acts for companies with dominant shareholders/promoters. In addition to undertaking AIM and Main Market listings, it is experienced in cross-border flotations, including those on Euronext, the Irish Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. It also advises on rights issues and placings, and private placements, among other matters.  Saul Sender acts for companies from industries, such as minerals and mining, life sciences and clean tech. Ross Bryson and legal director Shantanu Sinha are other names to note in the group, which also acts for clients in the betting and gaming, real estate and natural resources sectors. Clients include Cloudtag, Woodford Investment Management LLP, finnCap, Cenkos Securities and Tiziana Life Sciences Plc.

Walter Blake heads up the practice at Shepherd and Wedderburn, where 'the transaction proceeds in an easier and more efficient manner'. In addition to having a team in London, the firm also counts on the experience of practitioners based in Scotland, including Stephen Trombala and George Frier. In 2017, Blake and Frier advised Collagen Solutions on its £8m placing and open offer. The two practitioners also assisted Satellite Solutions with a number of transactions, including its £8m share placing on AIM, and various related strategic acquisitions. European Assets Trust NV, Cairn Energy Plc, Cenkos Securities, Bowleven Plc and Numis Securities are among other clients.

Walker Morris LLP has a strong pipeline of AIM-related work, a significant portion of which comes from clients in the IT/technology sector. Richard Naish, director Jo Stephenson and others acted for PROACTIS Holdings Plc in its $132.5m acquisition of Perfect Commerce in 2017; the deal constituted a reverse takeover under the AIM Rules. Other clients in this space include Software Radio Technology Plc, Servelec Group Plc, Cloudbuy Plc and Avacta Group Plc. The firm also generates work from clients outside of IT/technology, as was illustrated when Naish recently advised AIM-listed company Fishing Republic Plc with a £1.3m share placing. In addition to acting for companies, Naish assists NOMADs and sponsors. Another notable individual is Daniel O’Gorman, who has 20 years of equity capital markets/AIM experience, and was the lead adviser to the shareholders of Dee Valey Group Plc on their opposition to the £84m takeover of the company by Severn Trent Plc by way of a scheme of arrangement. John Hamer is the practice head.

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