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M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m in London

Addleshaw Goddard

Drawing on resources from across its network of domestic and international offices, Addleshaw Goddard boasts a substantial M&A offering in the mid-market arena. The team is especially noted for its public takeover capabilities, where Nick Pearey regularly advises both targets and acquirers, most recently for major players in betting and hospitality. London M&A head Chris Taylor also leads the Africa group, working with various retailers and consumer goods producers throughout the continent on cross-border acquisitions and divestments. Simon Wood is noted for his broad public M&A practice, while Turkey desk head Elvan Hussein concentrates on high-growth tech enterprises. Yunus Seedat is corporate and commercial divisional managing partner.

Practice head(s):

Yunus Seedat; Chris Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Nick Pearey; Ben Koehne; Charles Penney; Graham Cross; Andrew Rosling; Hugh Lauritsen; Simon Wood; Elvan Hussein

Testimonials

‘They really think into and understand the business rationale of transactions, and translate the business interests accordingly into contracts and agreements.’

‘Very well organized and super responsive.’

‘Chris Taylor: outstanding negotiation performance, able to develop solutions for a problem “on the fly”.’

Key clients

Arbuthnot Latham & Co., Limited

CDC Group plc

Entain

HarperCollins Publishers Limited

IMImobile plc

Lloyds Banking Group plc

Metro Bank

Miller Insurance Services LLP

Shawbrook Bank Limited

Simplyhealth Group Limited

Sy4 Security Limited

Ted Baker

Work highlights

  • Advised Entain plc on a takeover approach from their US joint venture partner, MGM Resorts International.
  • Advising on the sale of Metro Bank’s prime secured residential mortgage portfolio to NatWest.
  • Advising CDC Group plc on a biopharmaceutical investment created for the purpose of acquiring pan-African pharmaceuticals businesses, as well as to establish a manufacturing and innovation centre in India.

Dentons

Dentons has an unrivalled international footprint and sizeable London corporate team, making it a strong choice for bluechip clients undertaking mid-market M&A transactions. Helmed by new UK corporate head Neil Nicholson and London corporate lead Stephen Levy, the team regularly handles an array of high-value deals for multinational corporates, energy providers, major tech players, and real estate holding companies. Nicholson is noted for his ample experience in financial services and oil and gas, especially in emerging markets. Levy focuses on M&A and private equity matters, while Matthew Tinger specialises in hotels and real estate. On the asset management side, clients rate Guy Norfolk for his ‘impressive intellect and commercial pragmatism’, with recent highlights including key transatlantic deals in technology and media. David Collins is also recommended for his deep international M&A experience.

Practice head(s):

Neil Nicholson; Stephen Levy

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Tinger; David Collins; Guy Norfolk

Testimonials

‘The team displayed great patience and intellect in a transaction that grew into the most complex deal I have seen for its size.The Dentons team coped admirably with the complexity, particularly as the transaction was commenced in the early days of lockdown.’

‘Guy Norfolk’s intellect and commercial pragmatism were highly impressive. Guy was able to keep on top of a fiendishly complex commercial and financial arrangement in a way which seemed to defeat the financial advisers and was the key force in driving the deal to a conclusion. I know that not all lawyers could have played such a key role’

‘The level of service provided by Dentons is outstanding where their professional approach towards delivering appropriate advice, industry exposure, capabilities of the team members and commitment on our requirements make them unique. The entire team is prepared to carefully listen to our queries, analyse them with their expertise and provide us the perfect solutions throughout our relationship with Dentons.  The exemplary leadership of the partners is a major factor in their success.’

‘The individuals we work always have provided us the best quality service and the amount of efforts they make to fulfil our corporate and commercial deals specially in mergers and acquisitions. When we required the tasks to be completed with a strict timeline for the above purposes the experts were the biggest strength who always were ready to go an extra mile and accomplish all the tasks.’

‘Strong, interactive team, well staffed and supervised.’

‘Dentons has an all-round strong team and offers a full service of excellent legal counsel, as well as virtual data rooms, purchase price settlement services and other services.’

‘The Dentons team are true partners on a transaction and seek to understand not just the legal issues, but provide insightful, business-oriented advice and guidance.’

Key clients

Informa plc

Capita plc

Souter Investments

PRS REIT

Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC

Aprirose Limited

CK Holdings Co. Ltd

Belfont Hotels

Allied Cigar Corporation

Novia Financial

Work highlights

  • Advised Allied Cigar Corporation and Gemstone Investment Holding on the acquisition of Imperial Brands PLC’s premium hand-rolled cigar business.
  • Advised Statkraft on its acquisition of Solarcentury.
  • Advised Souter Investments on their management buyout of LIKEZERO which was spun out by PwC.

DLA Piper

Leveraging the firm's global presence and substantial deal flow, DLA Piper's full-service London office is a key hub for a broad array of mid-market corporate deals. Led by global M&A co-chair Jon Kenworthy, the team prides itself on its cross-border, sector-based approach to transactional work. Kenworthy chiefly handles public and private M&A for clients in tech, media, and sports, while Rob Salter's focus on real estate and infrastructure sees him leading on major acquisitions and sales for major REITs. Charles Severs is well regarded by clients for his technical expertise in a variety of TMT deals. Chris Arnold focuses on financial services, consumer goods and retail. Robert Bishop is global co-chair of the corporate group and co-chairs the M&A practice.

Practice head(s):

Jon Kenworthy

Other key lawyers:

Robert Bishop; Rob Salter; Charles Severs; Chris Arnold

Testimonials

‘They are efficient and responsive. They understand our commercial objectives and get the deal over the line with the minimum amount of fuss. They take a commercial and pragmatic approach to transactions.’

‘I felt the whole of the DLA team were an excellent match for our company – down to earth, committed, flexible and very communicative. The DLA team were empowered to interact with my team at a number of different levels and throughout the service was outstanding. Innovation came through the wider approach to the transaction we were working on – a transaction with multiple strands.’

‘The entire team took total ownership of their actions – never did we feel we had to monitor progress, very reassuring. Probably most importantly from my perspective, however, was the strength of the relationships – we felt warmth to the team, we felt we were one team, we enjoyed working with the entire team.’

‘Excellent allocation of work between London and lower cost regional locations. Very commercial and good understanding of technology issues such as revenue recognition, IP ownership. Strong in negotiations and always willing to offer advice rather than just choices.’

‘Charles Severs is very strong in conflicts – always capable of finding a middle ground. Technically very strong and always willing to express an opinion.’

Key clients

Blackstone Real Estate Partners

Brookfield Asset Management

Discovery Communications

DS Smith Plc

Ecolab

Link Administration Limited

MARCOL

Merlin Entertainments

Oxford Properties

Pangaea Laboratories

Starwood Capital

Unilever Plc

VEON, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised SDL plc on their all-share combination with RWS Holdings plc.
  • Advised Prologis, Inc. on the sale of a portfolio of logistics assets in the UK to real estate funds managed by Blackstone.
  • Advised Ecolab on the acquisition of CID Lines.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's London office handles major, cross-border deals on behalf of numerous household names in the worlds of financial services, energy, life sciences, TMT, infrastructure and automotive production. Practice head Richard Moulton specialises in PE-backed transactions, a fast-growing source of M&A activity for the team over the past year. Robin Johnson's cross-border expertise sees him leading on large, multi-jurisdictional mandates, while Antony Walsh focuses on cross-border matters for industrial and tech companies.

Practice head(s):

Richard Moulton

Other key lawyers:

Robin Johnson; Antony Walsh; Chris Halliday

Key clients

General Motors

Mondelez

Johnson Matthey

Next

Fleetcor

Owens & Minor

Ricoh

Smiths Group

Experian

Rolls-Royce

Work highlights

  • Representing Fleetcor in its planned acquisition of Associated Foreign Exchange.
  • Advised Owens & Minor on the $133m sale of Movianto to EHDH Holding Group.
  • Advised Experian, the global information services company, on the £182m acquisition of a majority stake in the Risk Management division of Bertelsmann’s Arvato Financial Solutions.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's sizeable team is handling an increasing volume of public to private M&A and private equity-backed deals, and various other strategic transactions for major players in technology, retail, financial services, life sciences, and energy. Hannah Brader's expertise in insurance and wealth management and 'calm, unflappable and effective' demeanour makes her invaluable to the firm's substantial banking and insurer client base, while Charles Waddell advises on listed and private biotech and medtech transactions with a distinct cross-border aspect, regularly supported by the life sciences focused Sunjay Malhotra. Global head of the transactional services Andrew Masraf is well regarded for his 'outstanding client communication skills and outside of the box thinking'.

Practice head(s):

John Tyerman

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Brader; Rob Hutchings; Charles Waddell; Sunjay Malhotra; Andrew Masraf; Julian Stanier

Testimonials

‘Hannah Brader is calm, unflappable and effective. Her written advice is clear, to the point and enables effective decision making.’

‘As a team they are joined up and easy to work with.’

‘Andrew Masraf stands out as a very experienced lawyer with outstanding client communication skills and outside of the box thinking.’

Key clients

Huntsworth Limited

M Group Services

4D Pharma

LiDCO Group plc

Motor Fuel Group

Zurich

Legal & General

Royal London

Sovereign Capital Partners

MML Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised on the recommended cash acquisition of Huntsworth by CD&R Artemis UK Bidco Limited.
  • Advised ALK Capital on the acquisition of Burnley FC.
  • Advised Royal London on the sale of its leading digital wrap and wealth management platform, Ascentric, to M&G.

Squire Patton Boggs

The London team at Squire Patton Boggs is well-regarded for its 'calm professionalism and consistently high levels of service' - the corporate team is equally adept at handling both domestic and cross-border mid-cap transactions. Jointly led by Robert Bray and the Paris-based Tony Reed, the team's specialised sector-based approach sees them acting for a broad spectrum of private and publicly listed corporates. Bray's expertise lies chiefly in financial services and technology, while James McKay's prolific M&A practice spans various public and private industrials, as well as private equity houses. The 'exceptional' Mark Yeo advises a wealth of clients in media, healthcare, and sports. Veteran practitioner Trevor Ingle heads up the energy M&A desk. Ben Squires is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Tony Reed; Rob Bray

Other key lawyers:

James McKay; Mark Yeo; Trevor Ingle; Ben Squires; Tim Stead

Testimonials

‘Great billing transparency – they agreed to provide automated daily WIP updates. Brilliant! Nothing is too big an ask with these guys and client service is always consistent. Advice is very practical.’

‘Rob Bray is an understated titan. Steely, tough, bright and very easy to work with.’

‘We are relatively new to the firm, but so far they have shown a good breadth of skills and knowledge for our requirements, in particular in the oil and gas industry in which we operate, on our M&A projects, in relation to AIM matters, where we are quoted, and for corporate matters generally.’

‘We have worked with the team for many years and always appreciated their calm professionalism and consistently high levels of service, irrespective of the size of transaction.’

‘One of the advantages of working with this firm is the quality of every member we deal with. Each bring their own particular expertise.’

‘We used SPB as legal advisors for two transactions and they were fantastic both times. They are true partners and always placed the success of our organisation and welfare of our team at the heart of their decision making. We had total confidence in their advice, they always cut through the legalese ensuring we knew what was of material importance. They are strong across M&A, tax and internationally. I never felt we were on the clock regarding fees, they always checked with us in advance before committing us to additional spend. Most importantly, they are good people who you enjoy working with during periods of high stress.’

‘Mark Yeo is exceptional.’

‘Close partner engagement on deals. Pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Live Nation Entertainment

Coats Group

Luceco

Synthomer

Edf Energy Renewables

Homeserve

Grafton Group

Lucite International

Polypipe Group

Work highlights

  • Advised ECI Partners on its investment in CSL (Dualcom).
  • Advised Tenzing on its acquisition of Motion Picture Licensing Corporation.
  • Advised the shareholders of Prescient Healthcare Group on an investment by Bridgepoint Capital and Baird.

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP routinely handles public and private M&A instructions from a range of listed UK corporates and international entities, as well as buyout houses. The team is especially noted for its public takeover credentials, regularly working with bidders, targets and financial advisers on prospective acquisitions. Practice head Andrew Gillen, who also heads the ECM team, is noted for his international client base, while Spencer Summerfield's broad client roster includes various listed and private companies and financial intermediaries, both in the UK and internationally. The firm's M&A head Philip Cheveley left for Shearman & Sterling LLP  in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Gillen

Other key lawyers:

Spencer Summerfield; Adrian West; Richard Spedding; Tom Coulter; Hugh Hutchison; Ben Lowen

Testimonials

‘Andrew Gillen was exactly the right amount of hard but reasonable negotiator we required against a tough seller’s counsel. We were very impressed at how pragmatic the advice was to get to the execution of the deal.’

‘Ben Lowen was very approachable and always available for counsel. He ensured that every box was ticked and I never had to chase on issues.’

‘Adrian West was outstanding on the project, with a calm, clear head at all times. He gives pragmatic, sensible advice and is very experienced.’

‘They understood the needs of the company and stakeholders, were extremely experience and competent. We had to complete the transaction within two months and they response time was outstanding which is key for M&A.’

‘The team led by Andrew Gillen and Ben Lowen made the transaction very user friendly for us, taking on the tough negotiations. The team were right there when we needed them, fully up to speed and ready to give their advice in a timely manner. We were introduced to other specialists, like tax, from the very beginning and they didn’t wait for problems to arise before getting the advice in. All their advice was incredibly straightforward and very easy to understand. They found solutions for us when the deal structure didn’t pan out exactly as we thought.’

‘Ben Lowen was excellent and showed great resilience in dealing with changing timetables and issues as they arose.’

‘Probably Travers’ best point was that the team are so personable, they felt like part of our in-house team by the end of the deal. They were brilliant to work with and I couldn’t speak more highly of them. I would instruct them again and recommend them to others. ‘

‘They deliver consistently excellent work – they’re rigorous and all over the detail but equally able to step back and take a commercial view of what’s needed in a particular situation.  They are our “go to” firm for corporate transactions.’

Key clients

Inflexion

Hovis Holdings Limited

Breedon Group plc

Pets at Home Limited

Mears Group plc

Aggregated Micro Holdings plc

Arjun Infrastructure Partners

S4 Capital plc

Auto Trader plc

Benchmark plc

Wireless (part of News UK & Ireland)

Pensions Infrastructure Platform Limited

Ancala Partners

Symphony Technology Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Symphony Technology Group on the sale of STG’s investment in System C.
  • Advised Inflexion on the takeover of Infront ASA.
  • Advised Pets at Home on the sale of five specialist hospitals to Linnaeus – part of the Mars Group.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP

Baker Botts (UK) LLP's London corporate and M&A team is renowned for its sector focus on energy and natural resources, acting for a range of industry-leading clients on big-ticket transactions. 'Commercial and practical' practice head Derek Jones is routinely engaged by mining groups and oil & gas exploration companies for assistance on cross-border deals. David Ramm  has particular strength in fintech M&A, while senior counsel Paul Exley frequently works with various international banks. Nigel Stacey and Sian Williams joined the team from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in late 2020; Williams was subsequently promoted to partner. During 2020 the firm also recruited TMT specialist Stuart Blythe from CMS to drive growth in its specialist area of technology.

Practice head(s):

Derek Jones

Other key lawyers:

David Ramm; Paul Exley; Sian Williams; Stuart Blythe; Nigel Stacey

Testimonials

‘The team is very practical whilst retaining technical integrity in the provision of legal advice. They are clear in prioritising goals and hitting the relevant deadlines. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Very responsive team.’

‘Paul Exley stands out as a very pragmatic business oriented partner.’

‘For its size in the London market, the Baker Botts team well and truly punches above its weight limit in terms of calibre of clients and quality of deals. The technology sector and CIS geographic focus are noteworthy. Derek Jones is a key individual.’

‘Derek Jones brings commercial and practical solutions to the most technical and complex legal problems.’

‘Nigel Stacey is an exemplary technical lawyer with strong commercial nouse.’

‘Very responsive and on top of the details – in particular, Nigel Stacey and Sian Williams.’

Key clients

Flex-e-Card Limited (FEC)

Liberty Latin America

Sovcombank

Lufthansa

Work highlights

  • Advised Liberty Latin America on the sale of Cable & Wireless Seychelles.
  • Advised Lufthansa on the sale of its joint venture interest in Alpha LSG to air services provider dnata.
  • Advised Sovcombank on the acquisition of MetLife Russia.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's stellar reputation in the tech sector makes the firm a regular choice for some of the largest companies in the world on various M&A and strategic transactions. Drawing on the firm's significant international network, Matt Bonass' team handles cross-border deals for clients in a broadening range of industries, including financial services, energy and utilities, sports, media, and retail. Neil Blundell is a key contact for the firm's tech client base, while Simon Allport combines transactional experience with capital markets expertise. Simon Fielder and senior associate Richard Bloomfield are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Matt Bonass

Other key lawyers:

Neil Blundell; Simon Allport; Simon Fielder; Richard Bloomfield

Testimonials

‘Very capable at all levels from junior associates up to partners and across a wealth of different specialisms. The team listens to the client’s requirements and adapts accordingly, and generally takes a pragmatic rather than dogmatic approach to tricky issues. Very good level of co-operation between their different international offices when working on cross-border transactions.’

‘Neil Blundell is very responsive throughout the engagement. Happy to roll his sleeves up and get involved in the detail when necessary.’

‘Richard Bloomfield takes everything in his stride, acting with a maturity which belies his years. Very easy to work with.’

Key clients

Six Nations

Marks & Spencer

Crowdcube Limited

Beekman Associates

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler Co. KG.

Better Collective A/S

Mavens Limited

DP Poland Plc (Domino’s Pizza)

Padero Solar

Island Green Power

Gamma Communications Plc

DXC Technology Services, LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Six Nations Rugby, the organising body of the Six Nations Championships and Autumn Internationals, on its a long-term strategic partnership with an investment from CVC Capital Partners.
  • Advised Marks & Spencer plc on its acquisition of the Jaeger fashion brand out of administration.
  • Advised DXC Technology on its disposal of Fixnetix to Options Technology, backed by Abry Partners.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's client base, which includes a significant number of FTSE 250 businesses, regularly turns to the firm for assistance on a range of cross-border M&A and other mid-market corporate transactions. London corporate transactions head Benjamin Lee, who also leads the EMEA M&A and corporate finance teams, handles complex deals for key players in financial services, retail, and sports management - frequently in tandem with newly promoted partner Marie Johnson. John Bennett is well-regarded for his 'technical ability and client relationship skills', while Patrick Johnson's wide-ranging practice sees him working with clients in the telecoms, gaming and financial services sectors. The team was bolstered by the arrival of Jinal Shah  from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP in June 2021

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Lee

Other key lawyers:

Marie Johnson; John Bennett; Patrick Johnson; Jinal Shah

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic, commercial and proactive – worked within tight timeframes and were flexible juggling different time zones and input from client and advisors.’

‘As lead partner, Andrew Hart was great coordinating the relevant practice areas and legal input. He was great both from a technical/legal knowledge perspective and also very commercial balancing our need to move fast while assessing and managing risk.’

‘A dynamic team with hands-on approach and effective value added.’

‘I have known BCLP for many years – their professionalism and client relations have always been first class.’

‘John Bennett was the lead partner I most recently worked with on a deal. His technical ability and experience was second to none. More than anything, his client relationship skills were exceptional. He demonstrated that he really cared and sought very robustly to protect his client when it mattered. He was always available and supported by a strong team with the same culture of commitment and professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend John on corporate transactions.’

Key clients

City Chic Collective Limited

EY

The founders of The Stellar Group Limited

Investec Property Fund

Voneus Limited

Atemi Group

BGC Group

Redde Northgate plc

HGR Liquidating Trust

The Carlyle Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Investec Property Fund on its acquisition of a controlling interest in a pan-European logistics platform from Ares Management Corporation.
  • Advised Adena Brands on its acquisition of UK-based fashion and accessories retailer Monsoon Accessorize from its administrators, FRP Advisory.
  • Advised EY as administrators on the sale of numerous assets of Flybe and Connect Airways Limited.

Goodwin

A remarkable year for the life sciences and technology sector has seen the team at Goodwin acting on a myriad of high-value transactions that play squarely to its sector strengths. The team is jointly led by Europe chair David Evans and the highly experienced life sciences specialist Graham Defries. Splitting his time between London and Cambridge, Andrew Harrow routinely leads on UK and cross-border deals for biopharma and technology clients. Andrew Davis is a further key figure for tech and life sciences clients. Real estate specialist James Spence is another key name; fellow real estate specialist Joe Conder left for Mayer Brown International LLP in spring 2021.

Practice head(s):

David Evans; Graham Defries

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Harrow; Andrew Davis; James Spence

Testimonials

‘A leading law firm for life sciences M&A.’

‘Andrew Harrow and Graham Defries are known well by big pharma.’

Key clients

Medical Properties Trust

Kennedy Wilson

BentallGreenOak

Partners Group

Rimilia

KaNDy Therapeutics

Kymab

Enterprise Therapeutics Ltd

Inflazome

Symprove

Work highlights

  • Advised Medical Properties Trust on the acquisition of a portfolio of select behavioural facilities from The Priory Group.
  • Advised Kymab on its agreement to be acquired by Sanofi.
  • Advised KaNDy Therapeutics and connected shareholders with sale to Bayer.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP‘s Nicholas Azis is highly active in the energy, life sciences, and manufacturing sectors, while also handling work for new clients in leisure and sanitation. He recently stepped into a new role as general counsel, with private equity specialist Tom Whelan succeeding him as head of corporate and commercial. Underpinning the firm’s focus on cross-border corporate work, Stuart Mathews is regularly engaged by a mix of high-net-worth individuals, corporates, and public-sector entities on various strategic transactions. Eleanor West‘s healthcare sector expertise sees her leading on high-profile acquisitions for both domestic and international companies. Counsel Calum Thom and associate Matthew Chen are other key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Tom Whelan

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Azis; Stuart Mathews; Eleanor West; Calum Thom; Matthew Chen

Testimonials

‘Stuart Mathews is a superb lawyer.  I cannot recall any counter-party finding fault with documentation he has drafted or the logic he has used.  His clear-thinking and constructive manner has usually led to him becoming the driving force in getting issues resolved and transactions documented regardless of how many other lawyers are involved. Stuart’s responsiveness, clear drafting, meticulous attention to detail and quick turnaround of documentation are a significant benefit to us in achieving our commercial goals.’

‘Ellie West and Heloise Waudby led our team from their London office. They were thoughtful, timely and efficient. They understood and anticipated our needs at every step of the transaction.  To boot, they were a delight to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire them again.’

‘Quick, precise and helpful answers; solution-oriented; straightforward and no theoretical treatises; reasonable billing.’

‘McDermott has advised us on a wide range of commercial matters over many years. They have a good understanding of our business and are very responsive to our needs.’

‘Our team was truly a cross-border practice in the sense that they were able to bring resources from many jurisdictions across multiple specialties to a single team to help complete our transaction.’

Key clients

Palamon Capital

Irving Oil

ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc

ManpowerGroup Inc

Multigate Medical Products Pty Ltd

Akari Therapeutics Plc

Work highlights

  • Representing an American multinational healthcare company on its acquisition of the elements which combined constitute a drug.
  • Representing a German multinational sports company on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of an online sporting goods company.
  • Representing Akari Therapeutics on various placings, redenominations, and a Securities Purchase Agreement.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP's prolific M&A practice has a focus on clients in the telecoms, tech and retail sectors. For cross-border work, the team is most frequently engaged on deals with a strong US or Nordic aspect, while also regularly acting as global counsel on overseas acquisitions for its tech-forward client base. London and Reading-based M&A lead Greg Leyshon focuses chiefly on private transactions, recently acting for clients in communications and semiconductor production. Simon Smith heads up the London corporate desk, handling domestic and cross-border M&A and financing transactions. Edward Persse is noted for his broad sector focus, while Ken Wilkinson is recommended for media sector deals.

Practice head(s):

Greg Leyshon; Simon Smith

Other key lawyers:

Edward Persse; Ken Wilkinson; Mathias Loertscher; Josephine Healy

Testimonials

‘Exceptional service, excellent value for money. Really strong domain knowledge. Very personable team.’

‘Good understanding of our industry, and offer pragmatic solutions to cut through M&A-related issues.’

‘Simon Smith offers consistently practical and pragmatic advice, and solutions to navigate M&A issues.’

‘Great service, always available and with great grasp of the topics.’

‘Very responsive and agile in dealing with questions and turning documents around.’

‘Simon Smith was a safe pair of hands on the corporate side. Ken Wilkinson was very calm under pressure and agile.’

Key clients

Secure Code Warrior

TalkTalk Group plc

Marlin Equity Partners

Alcium Capital Partners

HH Global Group

Focus Group

Glide Group

Cubic Motion

Bravura Solutions

Sparta Global

Party City Holdings, Inc.

BrightTalk

Jellyfish Group Limited

Foresight Group LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised TalkTalk on its potential recommended offer to be acquired via a Toscafund Asset Management newly-incorporated vehicle.
  • Advised Bestway on the proposed acquisition of the Costcutter group from Bibby Line Group.
  • Advised Notonthehighstreet on the sale of the company to Great Hill Partners.

Reed Smith LLP

The M&A team at Reed Smith LLP acts for a diverse roster of domestic and international clients from the worlds of tech, media and entertainment, life sciences, transport, and financial services. Practice head and global corporate co-chair Delphine Currie has extensive transactional experience, with recent highlights including a series of acquisitions for bluechip media organisations. The 'highly technical and commercial' Philip Taylor is well regarded for his mid-market practice, advising clients in insurance, technology, and transport on cross-border deals. Michael J Young regularly handles high-profile media and tech sector deals, often working alongside Stephen Mooney.

Practice head(s):

Delphine Currie

Other key lawyers:

Philip Taylor; Michael J Young; Stephen Mooney; Mark Sanders

Testimonials

‘Reed Smith’s team, led by Philip Taylor, has provided us with excellent, top quality advice and support on a number of transactions. They are knowledgeable, highly responsive and a pleasure to work with. I am always pleased that they are are on our side of the negotiations and highly value their ability to resolve complex issues in a pragmatic and timely manner. The support they received from supporting teams, e.g. tax and employment, means they really do deliver seamless, full-service advice that can deal with any situation.’

‘Philip Taylor is our lead partner and we trust him completely to represent us in lawyer-to-lawyer negotiations. He has many years of experience, making him a deeply knowledgeable adviser and he is ‘in the trenches’ with us, no matter the requirements or time of day (or night!).’

‘The breadth of expertise, the quality of the individuals, the responsiveness, the agility – all in all, a pleasure to work with.’

‘We worked very closely with Reed Smith on a commercial matter for most of 2020. We found them to be incredibly hardworking and adapted well to the virtual environment. In particular they made a concerted effort to understand our business and the specific requirements of the transaction.’

‘Philip Taylor was the lead partner. He was across the entire transaction which principally comprised of four separate long form agreements. It was a colossal amount of work and time spent in meetings but it meant that we had consistency across our approach.’

‘Philip Taylor – practical advice given with confidence and with good technical knowledge.’

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons' UK corporate group focuses chiefly on regulated sectors ranging from asset management and financial services to healthcare, life sciences, and TMT. Practice head and private equity lead Arthur Stewart specialises in cross-border transactions for asset managers and financial institutions, and has also recently advised on acquisitions for publicly listed manufacturers and engineering companies. Ania Rontaler's focus spans the full gamut of the investment funds sector, while Isabella Roberts' recent highlights include Class 1 acquisitions and financings for media groups and mining firms. Newly promoted partner Stephanie Featherstone is recommended for her broad TMT expertise.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Ania Rontaler; Isabella Roberts; Gideon Sharp; Stephanie Featherstone

Testimonials

‘Extremely high intellect and high quality throughout the team. Good delegation to the right level.’

‘Intellect and practical application across the board.’

Arthur Stewart is deal savvy and had a  great presence with senior execs of the client.’

Key clients

Future PLC

PineBridge Investments Holdings US LLC

Nimbus

PineBridge

Invesco

Black & Veatch

Liontrust

Growthpoint

Diploma PLC

Efront

Mantoverde

Bushveld Minerals

APG

Brookfield

Work highlights

  • Advised Future PLC on the acquisition of TI Media and GoCo Group PLC.
  • Advised PineBridge on its acquisition of Benson Elliot Capital Management LLP.
  • Advised Growthpoint, the largest South African Real Estate Investment Trust, on its substantial investment in Capital & Regional plc.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's corporate offering is especially concentrated on clients in the energy, tech, corporate real estate and financial services sectors, where the team is adept at handling large, multi-jurisdictional transactions in established and emerging markets. Corporate finance head Sam Gray specialises in private M&A, and has recently led on deals for renewable power and insurance clients. Anthony Clare specialises in life sciences and biotechnology, while the 'responsive and commercial' Ben Mercer is a key contact for cross-border acquisitions and disposals in a range of sectors. Duncan Stiles has a particular focus on the US market. A three-partner team including Andrew Edge and Karima Hudson left to join Taylor Wessing LLP  in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sam Gray

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Clare; Ben Mercer; Duncan Stiles

Testimonials

‘Stephenson Harwood’s M&A team worked as an extension of the in-house legal team during the largest transaction in our group’s history, including by providing a secondee to assist during the due diligence phase. This made the transaction move much more smoothly and also enabled the firm to liaise directly with the business where required, which was beneficial in terms of the business buying into the legal process. The team were always readily available and responsive, and performed extremely well especially considering that we completed negotiations and signing from our respective homes during full lockdown in May 2020. The transaction was not affected at all in terms of timing and outcome. Their performance impressed the senior management team as well as in-house legal.’

‘Excellent experience working with Ben Mercer. Ability to coordinate complex matters, communicate risks clearly and give good commercial context. Very responsive.’

Key clients

3stepIT

3i Infrastructure

Alternative Credit Investments Plc

Arthur J. Gallagher (UK) Limited

Blue Gem Capital Partners

Bowmark Capital LLP

Brooks Events Limited

City of London Investment Group PLC (CLIG)

Civica

Covanta Holding Corporation

Duff & Phelps

Elysian Capital

ENGIE

FPE Capital

Frasers Property

GRIT Real Estate Income Group

Heerema Marine Contractors

Highview Enterprises Limited

Inspired Education Holdings Limited

John Swire & Sons Limited

LaSalle Investment Management

London Investment Group plc

Miton Group

Nexus Tradeco LTD.

NMC Health PLC

Piramal Enterprises Group

RELX Group

RSM

Salutem Healthcare Limited

SEA Holdings

Snap-On Incorporated

The Ardonagh Group

Transpennine Partners (Scot) LP

Vistra Group

Zedra Management SA

Work highlights

  • Advised Covanta on the formation of two joint ventures and the equity funding of the Protos Energy Recovery Facility.
  • Advised Alternative Credit Investments plc (ACI) in connection with a possible cash offer by funds advised by Waterfall Asset Management, LLC.
  • Advised Highview Enterprises Limited on its first external fundraising round and entry into a licence agreement between Highview and SHI over certain of Highview’s IP rights.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP's corporate practice was significantly boosted in spring 2021 by the arrival of three partners from Stephenson Harwood - Andrew Edge, Karima Hudson and Andrew Mclean, with senior associate Chris Cowley  also joining as a partner. Drawing on the firm's significant international presence, the London team is well placed to advise on a broad range of corporate transactions, and is especially well regarded for its focus on the tech and life sciences sectors, with recent highlights including multi-jurisdictional acquisitions and disposals for various players in software, biotech, video gaming, AI, and pharmaceuticals. The sizeable practice is jointly led by private equity expert Emma Danks, corporate finance specialist Russell Holden, and VC-focused Angus Miln. Robert Fenner is praised by clients for his deep understanding of the small-to-mid cap tech industry, where he regularly leads on deals for cutting-edge companies.

Practice head(s):

Emma Danks; Russell Holden; Angus Miln

Other key lawyers:

Mark Barron; Robert Fenner; Andrew Edge; Karima Hudson; Andrew Mclean; Chris Cowley

Testimonials

‘Taylor Wessing has been excellent on our cross-border technology deals. They are my go-to firm for cross border M&A. Always reliable. Makes me feel like I am the only client, although I know they are very busy!’

‘Robert Fenner has superb business awareness and in-depth understanding of the small-mid cap tech industry.’

‘Exceptional quality advice on complex PE transactions and deal structures.’

Key clients

Triple Point Social Housing REIT

BlackLine

EPIC

The Rohatyn Group

Nucleus Global

The Citadel Group

Attraqt Group

Hometrack

Pusher Limited

Inflexion Private Equity

Bridges Fund Management

SciBite

Work highlights

  • Advised Jagex on its sale to Carlyle Group as well as the management team on their equity arrangements.
  • Advised Wireless Logic on its acquisition of Arkessa from ECI and individual sellers.
  • Advised  BlackLine on its acquisition of UK-based AI-powered cloud platform Rimilia.

Cooley (UK) LLP

Praised by clients for its 'broad bench of high quality practitioners', Cooley (UK) LLP handles a varied mix of corporate transactions for clients in the technology, life sciences, consumer goods, education and media sectors. The group is especially strong in the fast-growth medtech and life sciences arena, where practice head Stephen Rosen steers the team on complex cross-border deals. Michal Berkner, who is is dual qualified in New York and England & Wales, also regularly leads on public & private M&A – including SPAC combinations – for the firm's impressive tech and life sciences client base. David Bresnick has a strong tech practice and also represents major retailers, while Ben Shribman – who joined from Jones Day in early 2020 – is noted for his capabilities in private equity and VC-backed deals. London managing partner Justin Stock is also a highly regarded corporate practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Rosen

Other key lawyers:

Justin Stock; Michal Berkner; David Bresnick; Ben Shribman; Mark Jones

Testimonials

‘Cooley has a very broad senior team and a very strong bench. Senior partners across multiple specialties are available at short notice and around the clock and the associates are excellent and tireless.’

‘Everyone is smart, completely focused on and committed to the client, know what they don’t know, and work incredibly hard.’

‘Very commercial. Experienced with all aspects to support PE businesses, from commercial, employment, and M&A.’

‘Stephen Rosen epitomises the Cooley approach. Very humble but incredibly experienced. Understands the commercial side completely and looks for the best way for the company, rather than just their fees.’

‘Very broad bench of high quality practitioners.’

‘High level of expertise, great advice along the way, just totally competent.’

‘I have concluded several MBOs and exits with Stephen Rosen and he is the best I have dealt with.’

‘The Cooley M&A team is responsive to the client in all ways. They set and meet appropriate timelines with counterparties, communicate effectively with my team and react effectively to deal issues that need navigating. The collaboration between practice areas is particularly impressive.’

Key clients

DocuSign

Humio

Decibel

Brandwatch

Brainlabs

ICS Learn (International Correspondence Schools)

Snyk

Splice Machines Inc.

Thras.io

Snap Inc.

Teneo

IRIS Software

Syneos Health

Bottomline Technologies

Primary Capital

Battery Ventures

NerdWallet

WeGotPop

Anchiano Therapeutics Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Brandwatch on its sale to Cision.
  • Advised cloud log management startup Humio in connection with its sale to security company CrowdStrike.
  • Advised Snyk in respect to its acquisition of DeepCode, a Swiss provider of real-time semantic code analysis.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP

The fast-growing London practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is noted for its work on emerging market transactions, representing a range of clients in energy, life sciences, tech, and financial services. Under the leadership of EMEA head Timothy Corbett, the team has significantly strengthened its bench of partner-level practitioners. Tom Cartwright regularly advises an array of private wealth clients from around the world, while Olivier Chambord – who splits his time between London and Paris – focuses chiefly on energy transactions, especially in oil & gas. Jayne McGlynn is especially strong on emerging market M&A in Russia and the CIS, and has recently led on deals in media and tech. Mark Geday specialises in private-equity backed deals and asset management work.

Practice head(s):

Tim Corbett

Other key lawyers:

Tom Cartwright; Olivier Chambord; Jane McGlynn; Mark Geday; Nick Moore

Key clients

Far Point Acquisition Corp

MSP Sports Capital

NSM Insurance Group

Talent Systems

Heritage Cruise Holding Ltd. and Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio

Nasdaq Inc

CSS Industries Inc.

Octopus Energy Holdings Ltd

Advanz Pharma Corp

Duff & Phelps

Winter Capital Partners

TRS Global

Work highlights

  • Represented Far Point Acquisition Corp. in its acquisition of Global Blue, a payment services company for international shopping owned by private equity funds managed by Silver Lake and Partners Group as well as management.
  • Represented MSP Sports Capital in the investment in McLaren Racing.
  • Represented NSM Insurance Group and its parent company White Mountains Insurance Group in their acquisition of Kingsbridge Group Ltd.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP is well regarded for its scope in the technology M&A space, where the team routinely handles sell-side instructions for a litany of fast-growth companies and more established businesses. Beyond tech, the team is also noted for its strengths in energy, infrastructure, media, and mining, regularly working on mid-market transactions for bluechip multinationals. Practice head Shawn Atkinson's international tech focus sees him leading on a range of cross-border deals. Newly promoted partner Katie Cotton frequently leads on cross-border deals involving high-profile tech companies and publishers. Senior associate Yolanda Yong is recommended for her renewable energy and infrastructure expertise.

Practice head(s):

Shawn Atkinson

Other key lawyers:

Katie Cotton; Yolanda Yong; Daniel Wayte

Testimonials

‘The team are incredibly knowledgeable, bringing a wealth of insight, expertise and pragmatism to deals. Their awareness of market trends, of issues, of approaches to deals and the approach of players within the market place is invaluable to navigating deal structures and paperwork.’

‘Shawn Atkinson is simply outstanding. Hugely talented, knowledgeable, down to earth, approachable and responsive. One you are glad to have on your side.’

‘The team is easy to work with and highly knowledgeable regarding the VC sector. Katie Cotton is unflappable, practical and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Strong team, very cohesive.’

‘Incredibly responsive and helpful. Orrick have been hugely supportive and really helped us grow our business.’

‘Responsive, great understanding of our market and our business.’

Key clients

Aptean, Inc.

Bioenergy Infrastructure Group

BlackRock

Bluefield

Canal+ Group

Carrefour SA

Cobra Resources

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Enerray S.p.A.

Infracapital

Michelin

NextEnergy

One Media iP Group

Panther Metals

Railsbank Technology

RockRose Energy

Suntory International Corp.

Swoop, Inc.

Walney Extension Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Aptean on the acquisition of Paragon Software Systems.
  • Represented RockRose Energy on the recommended cash offer acquisition of its entire share capital by Viaro Energy.
  • Advising Walney Extension Limited on its sale of its offshore wind power transmission assets to Diamond Transmission Partners Walney Extension.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's cross-sector expertise in energy, transport, natural resources and real estate ensures that the firm is routinely sought out by domestic and international entities on all manner of corporate transactions. Practice head Chris Kilburn also serves as the firm's global oil & gas sector head, but is increasingly active in the renewables sphere - leading on multi-jurisdictional deals in emerging markets. Jan Mellmann and Daniel Saunders specialise in natural resources transactions, while Christina Howard leads on a range of cross-border mandates in technology, financial services, and the transport sector, most notably in the maritime arena.

Practice head(s):

Chris Kilburn

Other key lawyers:

Jan Mellmann; Daniel Saunders; Christina Howard; Andy Savage; Mark Tooke

Testimonials

‘Law is all about the people and the quality at WFW is outstanding.’

‘Andy Savage is outstanding.  He is accessible and highly responsive on core legal matters. He stands out as having particular acumen in transaction tactics, guiding clients through multi-stage competitive processes.’

‘Very approachable and flexible in working with. Excellent communication skills and hard-working to deliver value for the client.’

‘Mark Tooke is very responsive, and together with his team has provided us with great transaction support. He is a smart and practical lawyer, and we value his solid guidance.’

‘Chris Kilburn knows the oil and gas market in Europe and Asia and has an easy, patient nature which has been invaluable.’

‘Jan Mellmann is technically excellent, commercial, proactive and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The Watson Farley team delivers comprehensive advice in a fast and seamless manner. The M&A practitioners are particularly strong at pulling in SMEs when required, using their time judiciously.’

‘A strong team with good, practical and cost-effective advice and guidance. They are our first call and are always available to provide one-off or detailed advice, depending on the context.’

Key clients

IPR Energy Group

Ørsted

Lightsource BP

Stadtwerke München GmbH

Teekay Tankers Limited

Rheinmetall AG

Coro Energy

Star Bulk Carriers Corp

Frasers Property

Bondcare

CNG Fuels

Work highlights

  • Advised IPR Energy Group on its financing and acquisition of certain onshore Egyptian producing oil and gas assets from Dana Gas Egypt.
  • Advised United Overseas Group Ltd. on the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited.
  • Advising InfraRed Capital Partners, as fund manager to The Renewables Infrastructure Group in relation to its acquisition of a 17.5% equity interest in the Beatrice offshore wind farm.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP works collaboratively across its Bristol, London and Edinburgh sites on a range of M&A deals for clients in sectors including renewable energy, tech, and healthcare. Practice head Nick Graves advises both public and private companies on all types of corporate transactions, with recent highlights including disposals of joint venture interests for blue-chip research foundations. Camilla Usher-Clark is central to the firm's energy, power and utilities team, regularly leading on strategic acquisitions for major domestic suppliers.

Practice head(s):

Nick Graves

Other key lawyers:

Camilla Usher-Clark; Chris Godfrey; Dominic Davis; Richard Spink; Mark Shepherd; Rupert Weston; Jonathan Eves

Testimonials

‘We worked on a transaction with Dominic Davis and his team and found them to be incredibly client focused, pragmatic and a joy to work with. They went above and beyond on multiple occasions to not only meet client deadlines, but also to talk both the client and our team through technical points on the transaction. Even under significant time pressure during the transaction they remained calm, relaxed and enjoyable to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dom and his team to anyone looking for a high quality corporate lawyer and someone who will lead them through a complex M&A process with calmness, understanding and humour.’

‘Burges Salmon are a mid-market focused law firm and they understand very clearly the specific needs and challenges of the owner managed businesses vs large corporates. What impressed me most was not only the quality of the people and the advice but also the culture, personality and style of the team. They made the complex simple and the stressful significantly less stressful. They were collaborative and collegiate in their approach and they made an extremely fast moving and complex deal simple for both the client and us as corporate finance advisors.’

‘They have a very good knowledge of your activity field, which makes the difference compared to their competitors.’

‘The team is legally extremely skilled and has a strong commercial understanding which is key in their approach to transactions. Highly experienced, driven and energetic. I highly recommend them.’

‘Camilla Usher-Clark is a sheer pleasure to work with. She is very skilled in her legal analysis and commercial approach in doing deals. Constructive and very capable. I can only give her my highest recommendations.’

‘Easy to work with on all levels, highly knowledgeable M&A lawyers but most of all trustworthy, and have the experience to give sound advice with solutions and options from varied angles and perspectives so it is easier to make an informed decision.’

‘High levels of integrity, approachable, knowledgeable and giving sound, impartial advice not based on earning more fees. Highly trustworthy which is crucial in building good relationships.’

‘A very good team – very dynamic.’

Key clients

Premier Asset Management Group plc

Virgin Group

BSW Timber

Bluefield Solar

FirstGroup plc

University of Oxford

Phillips 66

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy/UKRI

ITM Power plc

Muzinich & Co

John Lewis Partnership

Work highlights

  • Advised Nucleus Financial Group PLC, an AIM-quoted fintech provider of platform services to IFAs, on a £145m bid for the company.
  • Advised Bluefield Solar on the £106.6m acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 15 operational solar photovoltaic plants.
  • Advised LCM Interest Holding LLC and the LCM group founders on the sale of the brokerage business of Louis Capital Markets and MidCap Partners to Tullet Prebon Investment Holdings Limited.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher's corporate and M&A practice focuses chiefly on clients operating in the fields of TMT, energy, life sciences, and financial services; the team also handles transactions in the leisure sector. Utilising the firm's network of international offices, the team is frequently engaged on cross-border mandates, with a keen specialism in Russian and CIS-related transactions. The practice is jointly led by the London-based Neil Matthews, MIdlands corporate head Andy Lawton Smith, and David Bowcock, who splits his time between London and Manchester. Tim Bird is noted for his broad international tech focus – particularly for US and Japanese-listed clients. Both Nordir Sidikov and Christine Phillips are key figures for CIS and CEE transactions, while Carlton Durrant concentrates on media sector deals for well-known studios.

Practice head(s):

Neil Matthews; Andy Lawton Smith; David Bowcock 

Other key lawyers:

Tim Bird; David Wilkinson; Christine Phillips; Nordir Sidikov; Carlton Durrant; Keith Woodhouse

Testimonials

‘The team is sharp, commercial and pragmatic. They’re also extremely personable – it’s a pleasure working with them. And they’re able to use that genuine charm to push through deals with the other side.’

‘Supremely approachable and pleasant to deal with. You know they’re fully engaged in your deal and fully on your side. No effort is too much for them.’

‘Carlton Durrant knows the TV industry, understands the client’s priorities, and generally makes deals run more smoothly. You always feel as if you are his most important client.’

‘A solid team, who are good to work with and generally pleasant people.’

Key clients

Glory Global Solutions (International) Limited

Marlowe plc

Dominvs Group

London & Oxford Capital Markets Limited

CA Ventures LLC

Infrastrata plc

Trading Apps Limited

Wayside Technology Group, Inc.

Cumming Corporation

The Descartes Systems Group Inc.

Tristel plc

KeyMed (Medical & Industrial Equipment) Limited (a member of the Olympus Corporation group of companies)

British Broadcasting Corporation

BBC Studios

Veristat, Inc.

Blue Prism Group plc

Lionsgate

PA Consulting

Workr Group

Access Intelligence plc

Singapore Exchange Limited

Dominvs Group Limited

Marubeni Corporation

MF Brands Group (owner of the Lacoste Sportif brand)

Truly Travel Limited

Swarco AG

Yumpingo Limited

MIRB Holdings

ViacomCBS Inc

Getty Images

Versarien plc

Independent Oil and Gas plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Tokyo-listed Glory Global Solutions (International) Limited on its acquisition of 80% of Acrelec S.A.S.
  • Acting for a UK fund and its co-investors from China on an acquisition of a company holding office premises in the City of London.
  • Acting for a company connected with Ferrero SpA on its agreement to buy Fox’s branded and retailer own-brand biscuit business from Northern Foods Grocery Group Limited.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's full-service corporate group regularly represents clients from the worlds of tech, energy, healthcare and finance, handling a range of domestic and cross-border transactions. Its global reach on deals has continued over the past year, with corporate head Sunil Kakkad and M&A and private equity team leader Gareth Baker steering the team on a range of acquisitions and disposals across Europe, North America, and East Africa. Kakkad heads up the firm's dedicated India desk, while Baker co-leads the global energy sector practice. Following his 2020 promotion to partner, Neil Hendron has continued to build his reputation as key figure for private company M&A in the life sciences and media arena.

Practice head(s):

Sunil Kakkad; Gareth Baker

Other key lawyers:

Neil Hendron; Ian Piggin; Stuart Young

Key clients

Codemasters Group Holdings Plc

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited

Williams Grand Prix Holdings Plc

Gyrus Capital

Equiom Holdigns Limited

Eleven Sports Network / Aser Ventures

Cairngorm Capital

Dore Hold Co Limited

Montreux Healthcare

Lloyds Development Capital

BGF Investments LP (and other shareholders)

Work highlights

  • Advised Codemasters Group Holdings plc on a competing takeover offer with an initial recommended cash and shares takeover offer from Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and a subsequent recommended cash offer from Electronic Arts, Inc.
  • Advised Williams Grand Prix Holdings plc on the disposal of its F1 business to BCE Limited.
  • Advised Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited on its disposal of a majority interest in its subsidiaryWilliams Advanced Engineering Limited to funds controlled by EMK Capital.

HFW

HFW is perhaps best noted for its expertise in the international trade and commodities markets - advising clients on cross-border transactions in shipping, natural resources, mining, and logistics. Beyond these core specialisms, the team is also active on deals in insurance, financial services, and the leisure sector. Practice head Alistair Mackie focuses on infrastructure and oil and gas projects, while Alex Kyriakoulis' agile M&A capabilities and 'strong commercial understanding' sees him continually leading on a broad cross-section of cross-border deals. Ashwani Kochhar is noted for his wide-ranging insurance sector expertise.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Mackie

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kyriakoulis; Ashwani Kochhar; Nick Hutton; Matthew Gore

Testimonials

‘They are incredibly efficient with the right level of senior and junior involvement at all times. Whenever I want to get hold of a partner, they are available 24/7.’

‘I value integrity and a calm approach to problems. Nicholas Hutton has been an outstanding person to work with over the last twenty years.’

‘Alex Kyriakoulis epitomizes the concept of a trusted adviser. Commercial, shrewd, and always willing to find a solution rather than argue over pointless issues, he get things done, and knows M&A market practice and our sectors/business backwards.’ 

‘HFW has an excellent range of expertise across the commercial spectrum. Combined with their strong shipping background and industry insight, this makes them ideally placed to advise on private equity placements in the shipping sector.’

‘Alex Kyriakoulis has strong commercial understanding and is able to assist in structuring commercial solutions, under challenging circumstances. He is very diligent and responsive to our requests, always meeting transactional deadlines efficiently.’

‘HFW know our business very well and they proactively enquire about latest developments. That’s a key aspect of their excellent service.’

‘Matthew Gore knows our business and its many facets very well. He makes outsourcing easy.’

Key clients

Markerstudy Holdings Limited

Cranfield Airport

Singapore Marine Pte Ltd/Swiss Marine

Victoria Group AD and existing shareholders

Gategroup

Thomas Miller Investment Holdings Limited

The Underwriter Group Limited

COSCO

Manitou BF SA

CIMC Vehicle

Work highlights

  • Advised Trafigura Nala Matter on the formation of Nala Renewables – a new joint venture company with IFM Investors.
  • Advised Victoria Group on the disposal of its edible oil business, Victoriaoil, to Sun Valley and its co-owner Vaja Jhashi.
  • Advised Markerstudy on its acquisition of the Co-operative Group Ltd’s carrier, CIS General Insurance Ltd.

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP's London corporate team is highly experienced at advising on cross-border M&A instructions for US-listed companies, most notably in the areas of technology, energy, natural resources, and media. UK corporate head Paul Tetlow maintains a broad cross-sector focus, representing many of the firm's leading clients on significant mid-market transactions. Tom Wallace focuses on tech and fintech in particular, while John Elgar works with key players in financial services, sports, leisure, gaming, and the non-profit sector.

Practice head(s):

Paul Tetlow

Other key lawyers:

Tom Wallace; John Elgar; James Green

Testimonials

‘Paul Tetlow and James Green have provided considerable consistent high quality support and advice to us. They both know the organisation well and care about outcomes. This, combined with their ability to work cross-border and to tight deadlines makes them our trusted adviser.’

‘Their range of M&A knowledge, combined with an empathy for our company, really made it work. No struggle at all.’

‘Paul Tetlow – absolutely fantastic! Made a complex transaction easy to understand – we always felt we were receiving exceptional service and counsel.’

‘They worked tirelessly to complete our deliverables under extremely tight deadlines. Great energy.’

Key clients

Ørsted

Red Ventures Holdco, L.P.

Exact Sciences Corporation

Deltic Energy PLC

Milkyway Holding Company Ltd

CML Microsystems PLC

Sealaska Corporation

Prenetics Limited

Patrizia AG

D.D. Williamson & Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised Ørsted on the divestment of its liquefied natural gas business to Glencore.
  • Advised Red Ventures in a definitive agreement to acquire CNET Media Group from ViacomCBS.
  • Advised Exact Sciences on the acquisition of epigenetics company Base Genomics.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP is routinely instructed by a diverse roster of high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, and family offices, who turn to the firm for assistance on mid-market private M&A deals. Practice head Kevin McCarthy is equally fluent in M&A and private equity-backed matters, with notable recent highlights including advising on acquisitions for clients in tech and leisure. Andrew Rimmington is a driving force behind the team’s cross-border offering, acting for clients in a myriad of sectors on both sales and purchases. Allison Keyse concentrates on financial services, technology, and retail - she is 'commercial, balanced and can see traps a mile off'.

Practice head(s):

Kevin McCarthy

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Rimmington; Allison Keyse; Ross Bryson; Nick Davis; Saul Sender

Testimonials

‘Mishcon de Reya offers a great service to us. We have a close relationship with senior partners, who are always available for an initial conversation and advice.’

‘An incredible team, responsive, commercial and always available. Mishcon’s team were quite excellent and compared very favourably to the magic circle firm on the other side – chalk and cheese.’

‘High profile practice fully deserving its excellent reputation. Clearly very experienced and extremely professional throughout. The team led the whole process from start to finish, providing at all time excellent advice and recommendations. We always felt that we were in a safe pair of hands. Post-deal, the other (buying) party commented on how good and professional our advisers had been.’

‘Allison Keyse is the main partner I work with – she is great, commercial, balanced and can see traps a mile off.’

‘Very good commercial M&A team with good knowledge of our sector/buyer requirements.’

‘Saul Sender has a very relaxed approach with clients, but is also very sharp.’

We were particularly impressed by the extremely high calibre of of all the people we interacted with, and their total commitment to our project. They were, without a fault, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, available and with a prodigious work rate. I cannot commend them enough.’

‘Andrew Rimmington was exceptional. He was deeply involved and in command of the whole process throughout, certainly more so than many partners from other firms that I have interacted with in the past.’

Key clients

Calastone Limited

Advanced Business Software and Solutions Limited

Autovista Group

Smart Global Limited

Synechron Holdings Inc.

Insendi

LaunchPad Recruits

Arcus Global

Boats Group

Stephen Cork and Neil Smail

Seraphine

Xiatech Consulting Limited

DraftKings Inc.

Cognito IQ

Corndel

Canouan Resorts Development Limited

JAR Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised the principal sellers of Calastone, the world’s largest funds network, on the sale of a majority stake to The Carlyle Group.
  • Advised digital transformation consultancy Synechron Holdings Inc, on the acquisition of London and New York based technical consulting firm, Citihub Digital.
  • Advised Autovista Group on three major strategic M&A transactions in 2020.

RPC

RPC's corporate and M&A team specialises in the tech, retail and insurance sectors, representing numerous blue-chip domestic and foreign players on various corporate transactions. Practice head Karen Hendy is routinely sought out by clients for assistance on takeover bids, restructurings, and private company deals. James Mee specialises in insurance matters, leading on the vast majority of the firm's broader financial services instructions. The team's public M&A and equity capital markets offering was in early 2021 bolstered with the hire of Connor Cahalane from Latham & Watkins - he is also a former partner at Mayer Brown International LLP. Nigel Collins is particularly well-regarded for deals involving Japanese companies, heading up the firm's dedicated Japan desk.

Practice head(s):

Karen Hendy

Other key lawyers:

James Mee; Connor Cahalane; Tim Anderson; Neil Brown; Peter Sugden; Nigel Collins; Chris Brierley

Testimonials

‘Karen Hendy and Emily McGregor are extremely knowledgeable in M&A field, very responsive, pleasant to work with and with a very practical and business oriented approach. They have been invaluable helping our company in acquisition activity in the UK.’

‘Peter Sugden is outstanding. He combines exceptional legal skills with a practical approach, and to top it all off, he’s a pleasure to work with.’

‘Nigel Collins has a strong affiliation to Japan, its enterprises and its culture.  He knows how to interact with Japanese clients, which requires a lot of reading-between-the-lines due to the entirely different communication culture.’

‘Chris Brierley: attentive to client needs, careful, sharp, quick and efficient, easy-going.’

‘Nigel Collins – everyone who does Japan-UK deals know him as one of the star individuals; he is surprisingly approachable and friendly, and most importantly, truly understands how Japanese company M&A works in foreign jurisdictions, especially in the UK.’

‘Neil Brown – outstanding, calm, engaging, very bright, no-nonsense, really fights for the client,  very commercial approach.’

‘Peter Sugden offers a superb level of balanced advice and service.’

‘Neil Brown combines extensive knowledge with a calm and rational approach.’

Key clients

Ernst & Young

Stella McCartney

Frasers Group (including Sports Direct, GAME Retail)

Zebra / Flying Tiger

AXA LM

Ebury

Globe-Trotter

AIG

NCP (Car Parks)

Aviva

Hanzo

HG Ventures

Azzurri Group (owner of Zizzi and ASK Italian)

Work highlights

  • Advised Ebury Partners on its strategic investment arrangement with Santander.
  • Acting for Dialog Semiconductor on its proposed acquisition by Japanese Renesas Electronics Corporation.
  • Advising the shareholders of Beat Capital Partners on its strategic partnership with Bain Capital Credit.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter works with an impressive roster of life sciences clients, who repeatedly turn to the firm for assistance on cross-border deals. Practice head Jeremy Willcocks' 'technical expertise' ensures that he is continually engaged on sales and purchases on behalf of pharma companies, telecoms providers, and medical cannabis producers. Sean Scanlon concentrates on international M&A and private-equity backed deals, with recent highlights including strategic transactions in the  healthcare and retail sector. Associate Tom Wilson is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Willcocks

Other key lawyers:

Sean Scanlon; Tom Wilson

Testimonials

‘The corporate team provides an amazing service for clients who undertake complex and difficult corporate transactions (e.g. joint ventures, acquisitions, reorganisations etc.). The team has in-depth knowledge and expertise to ensure that a transaction is both structured efficiently and is completed to tight deadlines.’

‘The team is professional, has a keen eye for detail and has one of the best transaction/project management skills I have come across in many years. Furthermore, the team always provide commercial and pragmatic advice.’

‘Excellent depth of expertise in a variety of specialities, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, general consulting. Very innovative and flexible in its billing practices; this is reflected in their willingness to invest their time and resources in learning their customers.’

‘Sean Scanlon is excellent – makes corporate work understandable.’

‘Very good sector knowledge and business understanding, highly flexible with services and billing, responsive and good personal relationships.’

‘Jeremy Willcocks leads a very strong and very understated team in the London office. They are hard-working, technically excellent and incredibly good to work with from the client and collaborator perspective. There is a genuine attitude of “can-do” that makes it one of the go-to practices for providing reliable and high quality corporate support.’

‘Jeremy Willcocks is always very good to work with and provides an enormous level of comfort and support alongside excellent technical expertise.’

‘Tom Wilson is very much one to watch. A highly competent, diligent and personable corporate lawyer.’

Key clients

Norgine B.V.

TELUS Corporation

Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation

GVS S.p.A.

ServicePower Inc.

Diversis Capital

TELUS International

Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.

Touchlight Genetics Limited

In-Q-Tel International

Work highlights

  • Represented European speciality pharmaceutical company Norgine on its acquisition of SETOFILM® and sale of Arc Medical Design Limited.
  • Represented leading communications and information technology company, TELUS, on its acquisition of Muddy Boots Software, a leading provider of data-driven food supply chain solutions.
  • Represented long-term client, Omega, in relation to the ongoing buy and build strategy deployed by UK operator, Healthcare Homes Group.

Clyde & Co LLP

Led by the Simon Gamblin, Clyde & Co LLP's corporate and M&A team works with clients from a range of sectors including corporate real estate, energy, maritime, and commodities. Nick Purnell's cross-sector focus and international experience sees him taking the lead on many of the firm's cross-border mandates. Philip Mace concentrates on upstream oil and gas matters, while Richard Elks is recommended for his expertise in international real estate development projects.

Practice head(s):

Simon Gamblin

Other key lawyers:

Nick Purnell; Philip Mace; Richard Elks

Testimonials

‘Very efficient – they were able to meet extreme deal pressure timings.’

‘Good, commercial, practical advice. Strong and innovative. Not overly risk averse and happy to give a commercial view on legal matters.’

Key clients

Insect Technology Group Holdings UK Limited

Progressive Games Partners LLC

DeepOcean 1 UK Limited

A-House Investments Limited

Choice International Limited

Circus Street Developments Limited

Native Land Limited

Mountain Berg Limited

Rawlinson & Hunter LLP

Kings Park Village LLP

Adrian Willis / Adastral Flying Displays Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Insect Technology Group in connection with a proposed fundraise and shareholder bridge lending facility.
  • Advised Progressive Games Partners LLC on its sale.
  • Providing general corporate advice and assistance to DeepOcean 1 UK Ltd.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's City corporate practice is recognised for its cross-border experience, often working on transactions in collaboration with the wider firm's US and international offices. The team has of late been focused on acquisitions, multi-jurisdictional restructurings, and mergers for clients in life sciences, natural resources, and tech – including a number of fast-growth developers. Practice head James Campbell acts for an array of clients, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 listed companies. Gavin Watson is noted for his oil and gas sector expertise, particularly in midstream and downstream transactions. Nick Burgess is experienced at handling cross-border M&A transactions in Europe and emerging markets. Associate Sherrine Hashish has recently joined the team from Macfarlanes LLP.

Practice head(s):

James Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Watson; Nick Burgess; Sherrine Hashish

Testimonials

‘The team works in a highly efficient manner across multiple legal disciplines which ensures that all aspects of a transaction are considered and advised on without the need for the client to have to ask the question.

‘The partner I deal with is commercially savvy and raises crucial legal and commercial issues along with proposed solutions, guiding the legal and commercial soundness of the deal. What is done exceptionally well is that the broader capabilities of the firm are channelled through a couple of key contacts so rather than being drawn into wider discussions, the various issues are explored behind the scenes by the Pillsbury team and focused advice is then fed back to the client efficiently.’

‘They are entirely devoted to the transaction as if it is the only thing they are working on, which ensures speed and efficiency regardless of other transactions they may be working on. A clearly flat management structure ensures that if I pick up the phone to speak to a lawyer at almost any seniority, they are all up to speed on the transaction and ready to take any requests back to the team at Pillsbury for immediate action.’

‘Great commercial skills.’

Key clients

GlobalVoice A.S.

Borealis AG

Cavendish Kinetics, Inc.

Chevron Global Energy Inc.

Chevron Technology Ventures LLC

EBRD – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

RhythmOne plc

Upland Software, Inc.

Allen & Company

Rockley Photonics Limited

AGO Hotels

Industry Ventures

Beacon Equity Partners

Nikola Corporation

Planet Medical