M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m in London
Boodle Hatfield LLP is best known for its work with private capital; a core part of its client list is made up of high-net-worth individuals, family offices, entrepreneurs and fund syndicates of ultra-high-net-orth investors. Several members of the practice sit on the firm's dedicated cross-departmental entrepreneurs team which acts for a large number of businesses across sectors. International work continues to feature heavily, particularly across Europe, the USA and Middle East. Nigel Stone has stepped down as head of the practice while remaining a partner at the firm; he has been succeeded by Richard Beavan who has extensive experience of M&A, venture capital and private equity, public company listings and fundraisings. Rahul Thakrar advises entrepreneurs and businesses on a variety of corporate matters including equity raises, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.
‘Collegiate and commercially minded team. Key strength is their strong finance background and understanding which means they can understand client needs. Nimble team who are quick to think and act.‘
‘Rahul Thakrar is very commercially minded and explains and communicates with clients very clearly and comprehensively which is greatly appreciated.‘
‘Rahul Thakrar is our key contact. An extremely talented lawyer with a great eye for detail. We involve Rahul in all aspects of our transactions so that he can provide us with advice across the piece.‘
‘Pragmatic and reasonably priced compared to the bigger firms.‘
‘Jane Ireland is the partner we deal with – she has a common sense, no-nonsense approach which is most refreshing.‘
ASK Partners Limited
With a strong reputation for transactions in the life sciences and tech sectors, Bristows LLP's client base ranges from early-stage growth companies, investors, SMEs and academic institutions, through to large multinationals. The team advises on the full range of corporate matters including acquisitions, disposals, public and private M&A, IPOs, debt and equity financings and private equity transactions. The firm's strong IP offering also lends itself to expertise in IP-rich sectors such as consumer products and retail. Iain Redford leads the practice, has significant experience in M&A, IPOs and joint ventures and is particularly active in the life sciences sectors. On the tech side Louise Eldridge is a name to note, advising a wide range of companies from high-growth start ups to financial institutions.
‘Great team, always willing to help and support. Whether it’s an immediate need to a crisis or longer term strategic support the team are always there.’
‘Louise Eldridge has become a trusted ally to the business. We know she has our back and will make sure we get the support we need as and when we need it. I can’t speak more highly of her.’
‘Excellent people, thoughtful advice, easy to contact.’
‘Louise Eldridge is always available, provides thoughtful, considered advice, and responds on a timely basis. Excellent firm, great staff and partners.’
Smith + Nephew
Johnson & Johnson Innovations
IP Group plc
- Acted for Schibsted Media, the Oslo-listed media conglomerate, on the UK elements of the demerger of, and listing of, its global online classified ads business, Adevinta.
- Advised WPP on several transactions during 2019 including acting as co-counsel on the restructuring of the Kantar group prior to the sale of a majority stake to Bain Capital.
- Advised pharmaceutical manufacturer STADA Arzneimittel AG on the acquisition of six leading consumer health brands from GlaxoSmithKline.
With deal experience in over 50 countries, Brown Rudnick LLP acts for clients across a broad range of industry sectors including education, financial services, healthcare, media, mining, pharma, life sciences, real estate, retail, TMT and travel. Recent transactional work has included the acquisition and refinancing of a hospitality business with 14 assets across 10 European jurisdictions and the US. Mark Dorff chairs the firm's international corporate group and represents entrepreneurs, private and public companies and a broad range of investors including family offices and private equity investors in transactions around the world. Other key names in the practice include Philip Watkins, who handles cross-border M&A, private equity transactions, takeovers, strategic investments, joint ventures, restructurings, re-financings, and buyouts. Lena Hodge and Nick Vasquez are also names to note, while corporate partner Neil Foster is global co-chair and European head of technology.
‘The team is highly commercial, cuts to the point and follows through.‘
‘The team is well versed and very commercially oriented making them great partners in any transactional situation. They go beyond the pure legal advice and help one think through the intricate aspects of a transaction and what it means post-closing.’
‘Neil Foster is awesome. He is a great partner at the negotiating table.’
Government of Cape Verde
Katsouris Brothers Limited
Timecode Systems Limited
Queensgate Investments LLP
- Represented Queensgate in the high-profile acquisition of four central London hotels (1,345 rooms and c. 930,000 sqft) from the Grange Hotels group, their onward leasing to the Fattal Group and the sale of freehold interests.
- Advised Queensgate Investments, a London-based investment firm, in its $400m purchase of micro-hotel operator Freehand Hotels, and the Broken Shaker restaurants operating at each hotel, from Alliance Bernstein, Yucaipa Funds and hotel operator Sydell Group.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP M&A group has seen growth in the healthcare, TMT and financial services sectors, while also handling transactions in private wealth, retail and leisure. The firm's focus on private wealth lends itself well to advising entrepreneurial management, founder teams and family businesses in particular on exit strategies where the group is experienced in wider wealth planning. Practice head David Coates specialises in corporate finance advisory and transactional work for private companies and is particularly active in the TMT and retail sectors. Other notable names include Mark Howard, who co-heads the the firm's TMT sector, and Andrew Collins, who has significant experience advising family and owner managed businesses.
‘The team is easy to engage with yet high energy and creative with solving problems. This leads to confidence as a client and therefore goes a long way to a productive project.’
‘David Coates was very impressive in all respects, personable, extremely engaged and engaging and dynamic.’
‘Deep M&A, sector and business knowledge. As such they act as a true extension to the firm and are effectively our second leg. Excellent individuals.’
‘The CRS team were very on the ball. In a challenging negotiation where the deal had some unusual features, they were quick to spot potential pitfalls and help us avoid them.’
‘Mark Howard’s calm, authoritative approach was exactly what we needed.’
RSBG Investment Holdings Limited
Eddie Davies Trust
- Advised Stonegate Pub Company on the acquisition of Bar Fever Limited, which operates 32 venues across England.
- Advised the Eddie Davies Trust in relation to the sale out of administration of Bolton Wanderers Football Club to Football Ventures (Whites) Limited.
- Advised discoverIE on its acquisition of Xi-Tech Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary Sens-Tech Limited (collectively Sens-Tech).
The M&A team at Deloitte Legal acts for fast growth, disruptive businesses, global corporations, private-equity backed businesses and funds with buy and build strategies in the UK tech sector. The firm's focus on this sector is also reflected in its leveraging of technology to deliver cost-efficient solutions to clients, from building tools in-house to streamline logistics on transactions to using third-party machine-learning software for high volume tasks including due diligence. Charles Claisse leads the team with a practice focused on M&A for mid-market businesses and private equity funds. Working alongside him, Andy Moseby advises UK and multinational corporates on their domestic and cross-border M&A activity while Deborah Angel is a name to note for her work in the marketing, tech and digital media sectors. Please note that client names cited may refer to work undertaken by lawyers prior to the team joining Deloitte.
Arrow Business Communications
Alpha Data Solutions
- Advised Apse Capital on its acquisition of Kallidus.
- Acting for Thomson Reuters on the acquisition of HighQ.
- Acting in relation to its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Obsidian Solutions Limited.
Corporate real estate makes up a large part of DWF's work; however, the corporate practice has recently been developing its capabilities in the retail, food and hospitality sectors, as well as financial services, where it specialises in the insurance/broker/intermediary market. The team is highly experienced in cross-border transactions and this remains a core growth area. Innovative technology is an important element of the firm's M&A offering, with a dedicated in-house team of software developers creating products to maximise efficiency and solve problems, including automated due diligence and disclosure platforms. Patrick Eaton heads the London corporate team and regularly advises on on domestic and cross-border M&A and joint ventures, reorganisations, equity structuring and corporate governance. Laurence Applegate and Mel Sims are names to note for their work in corporate real estate and insurance respectively; the hugely experienced Jay Birch is head of international corporate development.
‘Jay Birch and his team are client-orientated and extremely reactive. With Jay you feel that your interests are his. He is very business-minded, which is backed-up by his authoritative grasp of the legal issues. However, he never gets bogged down in legal issues for the sake of it. He can also read the counterparty well, and leverages his experience and knowledge of the market-players to maximise the results of the negotiation process for his client.‘
‘Jay Birch is a hard-working partner and makes himself available, wherever he may be in the world, at extremely short notice.‘
Aprirose Holdings Limited
Aurelius Amethyst Limited
Cartesian Capital Group
CentralNic Group Plc
Chime Sports Management
Colony NorthStar Inc.
Craven Street Capital Limited
Keywords Studios Plc
Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG
Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group
LXI REIT PLC
National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea
OSRAM Licht AG
Pepco Group Limited
PSC Insurance Group Limited
Punter Southall Group Limited
William Martin Compliance Solutions Limited
- Advised PepsiCo on its acquisition of Pipers Crisps Limited.
- Advised on the acquisitions of TV+SYNCHRON Berlin GmbH, Ichi Holdings Ltd and Xclerator Machine Translations Ltd on behalf of Keywords Studios Plc.
- Advised on the investment by a fund advised by Cartesian Capital Group, the international PE house, in Simba Sleep Limited and related investment and joint venture with Simba Sleep Limited in new Canadian joint venture company.
Farrer & Co has developed a strong reputation for private company transactions for high-net-worth individuals, and the firm's corporate team is also well known for its expertise in the financial services sector, acting for a range of household-name banks and investment management companies. The team also has a growing profile in the private equity and venture capital space, and is particularly experienced advising entrepreneurial clients. Many of the deals worked on by the department have a cross-border element, with the firm leveraging its strong ties to offshore markets ona range of transactions involving offshore trust companies and private offices. Richard Lane, who leads the practice, is increasingly acting for international clients based in the US and Middle East. Financial services specialist Anthony Turner is a key name in the team alongside private company acquisitions expert Simon Ward, and David Fletcher, who focuses on substantial family and private companies, entrepreneurs and investors.
‘Approachable and pragmatic. Direct partner involvement when necessary/required. The firm is very down to earth, ideally suited for family offices, private entrepreneurs no aura of big client/big deals/upper end transactions environment. Instead they portray the trusted advisor approach.‘
‘Richard Lane has a very cordial, can-do style. He has an ear for nuance and his advice is delivered with clarity and not overly-ponderous. As a consequence he has built long-term relationships in the publishing sector.’
‘The strong private client practice gives extra capability to the corporate practice, especially in relation to owner-managed businesses and/or businesses servicing wealth private clients themselves.‘
‘Anthony Turner has a good client manner with well-balanced judgement between key commercial and legal issues where the client doesn’t necessarily need to instruct. Available and hard-working.‘
Arbuthnot Latham & Co
BMJ Publishing Group Limited
Brookfield Business Partners LP
The Open University
PGA European Tour
Rathbone Brothers plc
Royal Society of Chemistry
SAGE Publications Limited
- Advising Rathbone Investment Management on its acquisition of the personal injury and Court of Protection business from Barclays Wealth.
- Advising Toronto-based independent investment banking franchise, GMP Capital on the CA$70 million sale of its advisory trading business to Stifel Financial Corp, a NYSE-listed, US-headquartered financial services company.
- Advising the Open University on the acquisition by Australian based recruitment business, SEEK, of a 50% stake in the OU’s online degree platform, FutureLearn for £50 million.
Fladgate LLP's M&A team features a range of expertise, with Julian Lewis and Graham Spitz best known for their sector-specific work within tech, engineering, renewables and real estate, while Alex Kaufmann and Mythily Katsaris have a range of international experience incorporating Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and India. The practice's client base is primarily made up of corporates and ultra high net worth individuals, with the group assisting them in raising finance, expanding through M&A, joint ventures, divesting businesses and launching in the UK. Grant Gordon leads the corporate department and has as particular specialisms in M&A, equity capital markets and growth capital matters, with much of his work focusing on the technology, leisure, sport, gaming and resources sectors.
‘Exceptional engagement, legal and practical advice.‘
‘Mythily Katsaris is engaged, thoughtful and had a full grasp of the subject matter, including past interactions that would affect the present negotiations.‘
Penguin Random House
Noozhoo Nookiiyan LP
Red Tiger Gaming Limited
United Time Corporation Limited (UTC)
Hermia Community Energy CIC
Jonathan Goodman Publishing (Carlton Books)
Black Sheep Coffee Group
- Acted in the sale of Red Tiger Gaming Limited, a leading online casino game software supplier to digital entertainment company, NetEnt.
- Acted for leading book publisher Penguin Random House on the acquisition of independent children’s publisher, Little Tiger Group.
- Acted for Noozhoo Nokiiyan LP, the investment vehicle of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation to invest in Sonco Gaming UK Ltd, which through a special purpose vehicle, Sonco UK BidCo Limited, acquired Coastbright Limited that owns Maxims Casino Club from Genting for around £34.6 million.
Fox Williams LLP' places a strong emphasis on its core sectors, which include financial services, tech, fintech and professional services. Richie Clark leads the corporate team; his practice is focused on private and public M&A, as well as ECM and venture capital work. He is assisted by senior partner Paul Osborne who specialises in domestic and international M&A, joint ventures and private equity matters with a strong focus on the technology and financial services sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Attentive to detail; they understood what is important and what is trivial. In my experience even transactional lawyers are rarely commercial.’
‘They understood the commercial elements of the deal and they were also highly sensitive and emotionally intelligent.’
Constellation Software Inc
Adam Phones Limited
5N Plus Inc.
Digital Moneybox Limited
Telia Company AB
Plexus Holdings plc
Stifel Financial Corp
Tatton Asset Management plc
- Advised on the sale of Justis Publishing Limited (online legal publisher) to vLex (global legal research company).
- Advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Infinity International Limited (a foreign exchange payments business) to Currency Holdings Limited, a buy and build vehicle of Pollen Street Capital.
- Advised Allianz X, the digital investment unit of the Allianz Group, on its recent Series B investment in SafeBoda, a major African ride hailing platform that also offers various on-demand consumer and payment services based in Kampala, Uganda.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP's client roster comprises a significant number of entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses; the firm is also developing a strong reputation for its work in the technology, retail, leisure, communications and entertainment industries. Tim Parker is the name of note for clients in entrepreneurial and talent-led businesses, ranging from early-stage to listed companies. The team also acts on a number of transactions supporting the private capital practice, including group reorganisations, family investment vehicles and property transactions. Mark Phillips is a specialist in private company M&A with acknowledged expertise in the video game and publishing industries. Leading the wider corporate group, Charles Lévêque undertakes a broad variety of work with a focus on both private and public company M&A, AIM flotations, shareholder arrangements in particular for clients in the technology, media and retail sectors.
‘They are extremely smart, experienced and responsive. They have the ability to think around problems and offer up innovative solutions. They are friendly but steely when necessary. A delight to deal with and certainly people you would want on your side!‘
‘Colin Howes’ experience is unrivalled. He is unflappable and unfailing in coming up with excellent advice and often, a unique angle of approach to challenged faced.‘
‘The Harbottle & Lewis team clearly know their way around M&A deals, and their collective experience and strong culture comes through in the way they work with clients and handle opposing counsel. We felt we had access to the most knowledgeable experts within each area of our SPA at Harbottle & Lewis, beyond the excellent core individuals who supported us throughout, and this created a powerhouse team and enabled us to nail down the best outcome. The attention to detail, clear explanations and advisory throughout the process was reassuring. The lead partner on our deal was hands-on throughout and always available, which was a deciding factor for us in choosing this team.‘
‘They are truly client focused. They select the team to meet your precise requirements. You are made to feel that your objectives are at the centre of everything.‘
‘Colin Howes is exceptional.‘
The Panopoly Holdings PLC
All3Media Finance Limited
Yopa Property Limited
Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited
Engie New Ventures
Research Exchange Ltd
Sold Out Sales & Marketing Limited
tPoint Solutions Limited
- Advised The Panoply, an AIM-listed technology services group, in its acquisition of FutureGov Ltd.
- Advised technology innovator and leading UK workplace pensions provider, Smart Pension, on a strategic investment by pensions behemoth the Link Group, which followed an investment earlier in the year by J.P. Morgan.
- Advised the majority shareholders in Sargent-Disc Ltd, the UK’s go-to payroll and accounting specialist, to LA-based payroll provider Cast & Crew.
Lewis Silkin LLP has built a strong reputation for its work in the advertising & marketing sector, acting for four of the five major A&M networks. Owner-managed businesses make up a large proportion of their client base, but the team has also diversified into the technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors. Paul Rajput is head of the firm's corporate legal practice group and has 20 years' experience in corporate advisory, growth, venture capital, private equity and joint venture agreements across a a variety of sectors, but particularly in A&M. Elsewhere in the practice, David Willbe heads the technology sector group and advises on the full range of corporate finance transactions, from seed and angel investment rounds to IPOs, sales and acquisitions. Jo Evans is another name to note, and represents the owners of privately owned businesses in the creative economy on the implementation of growth plans and exit strategies.
‘The team took great care with the deal to sell my company. They took the time to explain the steps in the process clearly for a first timer. From the top down they are brilliant to work with on a personal level, considerate and totally professional.‘
‘Deep expertise of my sector, advertising and marketing. Great programme of sharing insight via seminars and online content. Really personable partners.’
‘I have a very long relationship with Lewis Silkin and have worked with some of the partners for over 20 years, they have never let me down, are super easy to work with, don’t confound me with legalese and always know how to translate my briefs into the appropriate legal framework. I trust them implicitly.‘
‘In all my dealings with the firm I find the team are most professional, organised and unpretentious.‘
‘We work with teams across Lewis Silkin who demonstrate a detailed understanding of our business and needs. They work collaboratively across departments and to the best interest of clients.‘
Publicis Groupe SA
Haymarket Media Group
Harbour Group Industries Inc.
Next Fifteen Communications Group Plc
Four Communications Group Limited
Mother London Limited
Sopra Steria Group SA
Hyve Group Plc
- Advised international engineering and consulting group, Systra Limited, on its acquisition of TSP Projects from British Steel Limited.
- Advised American investment firm, Harbour Group on the acquisition of Pulsar Process Measurement by ONICON Incorporated, a portfolio company of Harbour Group Industries Inc.
- Advised Jones Knowles Ritchie on a substantial investment from Growth Capital Partners.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has recently seen significant growth in cross-border work, with a growing number of transactions involving the US, India, China and Germany. The group regularly acts for high net worth entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses, investors and publicly listed companies with a focus on the tech, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. During Seb Orton joined the practice from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP; he has significant experience advising both private and public companies as well as financial institutions on IPOs, secondary fundraisings, M&A, including public company takeovers, and corporate governance issues. Department head Matthew Martin is an expert in acquisition finance, restructuring and refinancing, acting for a wide range of quoted and unquoted mid-cap companies. Ross McNaughton is another name to note within the practice.
Onward Luxury Group SpA
Netalogue Technologies Plc
All Saints Retail Limited
Needle & Thread Design Holdings Limited
Doree Bonner Holdings Limited
Jacobs UK Limited
Tough Mudder UK Limited
- Acted on behalf of the co-founders of ISO Health Limited, a London based medical communications agency, on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital by the W20 Group based across the USA and Europe.
- Advised Netalogue Technologies plc, a proprietary software company that develops, sells and supports an advanced B2B ecommerce platform product, quoted on the NEX Exchange Growth Market on its recommended takeover by TrueCommerce Holdings.
- Advised Jacobs Engineering in its acquisition of a 50% stake in Simetrica.
The corporate team at PwC LLP represents clients across 12 specialist sectors, which include financial services, tech, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. A more recent focus for the department has been in the energy sector, specifically in relation to oil and gas. Group head Thomas Colmer has over 20 years' experience working on the full range of transactions, and is supported by Oliver Williams. The team advises clients on international and domestic M&A, disposals, demergers, joint ventures and pre and post deal structuring.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong knowledge, great experience, engaged and interested.’
‘Personal interest in success, keen understanding of our business priorities.’
Lazari Investments Limited
Tsurumi (Europe) GmbH
Cavendish Corporate Finance
Copa Fin Ltd
Private Individual as Principal
Bihr Europe NV
Marcura Equities Fze
- Acted as English legal counsel with respect to Lazari Properties 8 Limited’s acquisition of Savrow Holdings S.a r.l., the Luxembourg entity which owns the property located at 23 Savile Row, London.
- Advised on the 100% share disposal of Signpost Solutions Ltd. to Mallatite Limited (part of the Hill &Smith PLC Group).
- Served as legal M&A & legal due diligence advisers on the acquisition of Tilda Rice from Hain Celestial.
Shepherd and Wedderburn
Shepherd and Wedderburn's corporate client base encompasses a combination of both established bluechip companies and small to medium sized fast growth companies, and increasingly, overseas corporates and investors active within the UK market. Key sectors for this Scottish headquartered firm include real estate, tech, life sciences, energy and natural resources. Walter Blake leads the London corporate practice and represents both public and private companies as well as a number of investment banks, advising them on a range of M&A transactions domestically and abroad. Advising on international and UK energy projects, 'class act' Carl Powlson has a broad range of experience in joint ventures, private equity and general corporate advice - he 'excels at bringing candid advice which is always solution-focused.'
‘Incredibly quick to identify the underlying commercial factors and ability to tailor advice accordingly. We have found team very user-friendly and their advice to be delivered in a timely and comprehensive fashion.‘
‘We have used this firm for several complicated important transactions. They have always proved easy to work with, practical and highly competent. I believe this arises partly because they have invested time in getting to know us, our business and our ambitions. This has allowed us to treat them as part of our team and we have valued contributions from them which have included practical as well as legal in put.’
‘Walter Blake is our lead partner for M&A work. He has considerable broad-based relevant experience and is a useful sounding board for both practical and legal advice. He demonstrates good understanding of complicated transactions and is good at coordinating input from other specialist lawyers with minimum disruption for us as clients.’
‘Carl Powlson is very astute and commercial and manages to maintain a calm outlook in the middle of complex transactions.‘
‘Experts in their field and easily accessible when needed. They work tirelessly when up against a deadline and anticipate/prepare for any unexpected challenges along the way. An absolute pleasure to work with.‘
‘Very helpful and commercial advice. Fast turn around and a high level of professionalism.‘
‘Carl Powlson is commercial and insightful with an ability to quickly grasp the details and provide strategic advice.‘
‘I have always found the Shepherd and Wedderburn team great and easy to deal with, as well as partner-led and very responsive, which makes our job of supporting them on real estate and corporate deals a lot easier. They have experienced teams in those sectors with strength in depth to enable them to work on small or large deals. They look to develop long term relationships so that there is consistency in the teams which assist their clients so that we all know what to do and what is expected of us.‘
‘The team are very commercial and are able to establish the key points instantly. Not only that, they are extremely responsive with partner engagement at all times. We have never had a bad experience and would recommend them to anyone.‘
‘Carl Powlson regularly goes above and beyond with his work and is happy to explore every avenue on our behalf. He establishes the key commercial points very quickly and is able adapt his advice to every scenario. We also enjoy working with Carl, as well as the rest of his team.‘
Sheffield United plc
PeoplePlus Group Limited
BigBlu Broadband plc
Pharos Energy plc (previously SOCO International plc)
Nuclear Liabilities Fund Limited
Collagen Solutions plc
European Assets Trust
Cairn Energy plc
DySis Medical Limited
Cluff Natural Resources plc
Peninsula Energy Limited
Scarborough Group International Limited
Mporium Group plc
Canaccord Genuity Limited
Stockdale Securities Limited
Trustees of Boston University
Scoop Asset Management
- Acted for Gatehouse Bank on the Shariah-compliant acquisition from pan-European institutional investor Patron Capital Partners of the entire issued share capital of Patron Winster SARL.
- Acted for Nuclear Liabilities Fund Limited on its £250 million investment management mandate with British Patient Capital (BPC), a subsidiary of the British Business Bank.
- Acted for Collagen Solutions PLC on a strategic investment in Rosen’s Diversified Inc. by way of a subscription and placing, as well as an open offer to existing shareholders.
Stevens & Bolton LLP has an increasingly presence in the tech sector, where it acts for an expanding national and international client base. Other areas of expertise for the team include the insurance sector, where it has particular strength in insurance broking consolidation, and education, where it advises nurseries and pre-schools. The department advises both public and private companies on the full range of M&A work and has continued to be instructed by corporate acquirers and owner managed businesses. Practice head James Waddell acts for entrepreneurial business owners and larger corporates with significant expertise in both tech and insurance. Other key names in the group include Richard Baxter and Joe Bedford, who both undertake the full range of M&A work.
‘Very capable and likeable people, with a hands-on attitude. Lots of partner attention.’
‘Excellent customer focus, availability and hands-on working, including out of the box thinking to get the best result possible.’
‘Keith Syson is excellent. Knows us as a client super well which ensures that we always receive tailored, commercial advice which is spot on for the needs of our organisation.’
‘Excellent availability, great customer support.’
Fuller Smith & Turner
Business Growth Fund
BOC / The Linde Group
The Ardonagh Group
- Acted for specialist insurance broker Stackhouse Poland on its sale to US headquartered global insurance brokerage and risk management firm, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
- Advised Rock Rail, an investor-developer of rolling stock and other rail infrastructure, in relation to its equity investment, alongside Japan Infrastructure Initiative, for the £400m financing of new trains for Abellio UK’s new East Midlands Railway.
- Acted for German IT infrastructure group CANCOM on its £73m acquisition of Northern Ireland group Novosco Group Limited.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP works with fast-growing, entrepreneurial businesses and management teams. The team's core focus remains private company M&A where the department has particular expertise in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, social care, real estate, hotels and leisure sectors. A growth area has been in relation to owner managed businesses and the firm has a cross-departmental group to assist in servicing these clients. Tim Nye advises an array of private equity and real estate funds, as well as mid-market corporates, owner managed businesses and entrepreneurs. Property and hotels expert Michael Pattinson leads the London corporate team.
Other key lawyers:
Swanton Care & Community Limited
Ignite Growth LLP
Al-Ko Gerate GmbH
Inflexion Private Equity
- Acted for the shareholders on the sale of Avid Insurance Services Limited to Beech Tree Private Equity.
- Advised a number of bolt-on acquisitions including the purchase of the entire share capitals of (1) Courtyard Care Limited and the children’s care homes based in the north-west of England (2) Values in Care (Holdings) Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary and its seventeen care homes for adults with complex needs and (3) G.R.S. (Care) Limited, which provides domiciliary care and supported living services in Wales.
- Advised on the sale of the Days Hotel, Waterloo, London to Palm Holdings.
Wedlake Bell LLP's practice focuses on the firm's key sectors, which include energy, financial services, insurance, healthcare, hospitality, fintech and corporate real estate. The team has also developed a private wealth M&A offering and has advised family offices and private wealth funds on their acquisition targets. Leading the corporate practice, Adam Lynch acts on both public and private transactions for clients in the hospitality, fintech, real estate and healthcare sectors. Edward Craft is a name to note for corporate governance issues within M&A while Nigel Taylor is an experienced hand on private equity backed transactions.
‘Excellent technical knowledge and client-handling skills.‘
‘Hugely reliable and knowledgeable. Exceptional understanding of client needs and delivery of results.’
‘Edward Craft – the most knowledgeable governance professional I’ve come across in my career, whose strong technical competency is expertly conveyed with a suitable degree of pragmatism that is aligned with the business needs.’
‘Well coordinated teams, a one-stop-shop for all legal queries.‘
Global Risk Partners Limited
Rainham Environmental Holding Limited
- Advised the UK’s third largest independent broker on three acquisitions in the insurance industry.
- Acted for the UK’s largest independent provider of health and social care on four separate disposals of care home businesses.
- Advised on a management buyout for a well known waste management company.
Withers LLP advises on a range of M&A deals across numerous sectors including pharmaceuticals and life sciences, technology, hospitality and sport; the team counts many owner managed businesses and family offices as clients. Luxury brands continue to be one of the firm's key strengths and the corporate team works with both established and emerging brands. The 2018 merger with specialist firm JAG Shaw Baker has enhanced the group's tech offering, and the team recently advised on the sale of Aide.ai to Twitter. Paul McGrath leads the practice and advises on the full range of corporate issues; he is supported by cross-border specialist Anthony Indaimo who is particularly experienced advising brands and tech clients in the US, UK, Italy and Asia.
Aiden.ai (trading name for Dashbot Limited)
Hair Club For Men Limited Inc.
- Advised on the sale of Aiden.ai to Twitter.
- Advised on the sale of Freeup Finance Limited to Greensill Capital.
- Advised Festicket Limited in connection with the acquisition of Ticket Arena and Event Genius.
Armstrong Teasdale's client roster is predominantly made up of medium sized entrepreneurial companies, both listed and privately owned. Many of the transactions undertaken by the former Kerman & Co team (which was acquired by the US firm in early 2021) are sell-side, on behalf of such businesses. A large proportion of the work has an international dimension, with the firm's membership of the Alliuris network helping it to develop key relationships when working on cross-border mandates. Peter Kohl, who leads the corporate department, has over 30 years' transactional experience. Other key names to note include Martin O’Donoghue and Una Deretic who both have significant experience acting on cross-border transactions. Yvonne Costello is also highly rated.
Applegreen Plc / Welcome Break
Incisive Health Limited
Kinesys Projects Limited
United Oil & Gas plc
Victoria Oil & Gas plc
- Advised the shareholders of Incisive Health Limited on the sale of the company to UDG Healthcare (UK) Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of FTSE listed UDG Healthcare PLC.
- Advised United Oil & Gas, the AIM traded oil and gas exploration and development company, in respect of the proposed acquisition of Rockhopper Egypt Pty Ltd from Rockhopper Exploration Plc for a headline consideration of US$16m.
- Advised the shareholders of Kinesys Projects Limited on its sale to USA firm TAIT (formerly known as TAIT Towers).
Bates Wells is particularly active within the technology sector; much of the firm's work has an international element, and the team has worked on several M&A transactions across multiple jurisdictions. The firm has a strategic focus in advising investors and business within the impact economy and has also developed a reputation for its work with start-ups. Mark Tasker heads up the corporate and commercial department, and specialises in corporate finance, international and domestic M&A and equity capital markets work. Other areas where the group has expertise includes the construction materials sector and natural resources industry. Stephen Callender leads on these and his main practice areas include cross-border M&A, joint ventures and corporate reorganisations .
Other key lawyers:
‘Good, solidly pragmatic advice combined with very fast, responsive and efficient legal representation.‘
‘Mark Tasker is very good. He takes a very pragmatic and fast moving approach. I have been working with him for years on over a dozen transactions and I have always had a positive experience with him. I recommend him without reservation.‘
‘Strong knowledge in the mid-tier market including in relation to smaller, regional deals. The firm is able to quickly bring together a multi-disciplinary team to execute deals quickly.‘
‘Mark Tasker is pragmatic and understands the sector well meaning that he is able to provide advice that is suitable for getting smaller deals done quickly and efficiently. Mark is easily accessible and very responsive with quick turnaround times.‘
‘Bates Wells have an excellent corporate team. Their strengths are client service, technical ability and excellent project management on deals.‘
‘Stephen Callender is excellent in adapting to the business needs and sometimes working with a low amount of guidance. He is a trusted and ideal partner for our in-house legal team.‘
Activate Solutions Group Limited
Aggregate Industries UK Limited
BGF Group Plc
CentralNic Group Plc
Element Materials Technology Holding UK Ltd
Eyoto Group Limited
F M Conway Limited
Haag-Streit Holding AG
National Landlords Association
Trinity College London
- Advised SigmaRoc PLC on its successful placing of 79.9 million new shares at a price of 41 pence each, raising £32.8 million, and the acquisition of CDH Developpement SA, the Belgian blue limestone and aggregates business.
- Acted for F Hinds, the national jewellery retailer, on the rescue of a number of Chapelle’s specialist jewellery and watch outlet stores out of administration.
- Advised AIM quoted CentralNic Group PLC on three acquisitions including its acquisition of the Hexonet Group with operations in Canada and Germany, and the acquisition of Ideegeo Group Ltd, a privately owned domain name retailer serving an international customer base from New Zealand.
The bulk of BDB Pitmans' work comes from private M&A deals, joint ventures and investments, while the team also has a growing focus on public companies and public takeovers on the AIM market. Its client base features a broad range of private individuals, start-ups, entrepreneurs, corporates and listed companies. Philip Lamb leads the department and has over 30 years' experience advising companies on acquisitions and disposals, both public and private, debt and equity funding and joint ventures. Nick McCarthy is another name to note within the practice for his work on a broad range of transactions including reverse and hostile takeovers.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong understanding of our industry and the focus points for both due diligence and SPA drafting/negotiation. Pragmatic and practical when sharing and then helping to determine best ways available to address commercial challenges via appropriate deal structure, pricing mechanisms and documentation.‘
‘The team is very practical in their approach and happy to make recommendations and give direction. Good balance in risk assessment and management with a good commercial perspective on getting deals concluded.’
‘Enjoy working with the two partners who I have known for a number of years which makes getting things done simple and fast. Shared experience on previous transactions is valuable.’
‘They are fundamentally a hard working team that constantly perform to quite difficult timelines. They have not let me down and provide well rounded advice from multiple areas of law. The lead partner usually co-ordinates all the project management so you feel that you are not being tossed around various departments.‘
‘Nick McCarthy is strong on client contact and good with detail. He knows the client’s risk appetite and will act commercially.‘
‘Always available, pragmatic, quick to respond.‘
‘Responsive, practical advice.‘
FIH Group plc
EKF Diagnostics PLC
Ten Entertainment Group plc
Health Service Laboratories LLP
Quadrise Fuels International plc
North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust plc
- Advised Specialist Components Limited, a bid vehicle established and funded by Harwood Capital LLP, on behalf of certain of its discretionary investment management and/or advisory clients, on its all cash recommended takeover of APC Technology Group.
- Acted for Candy Ventures, on its possible public takeover of Capital & Counties Properties plc, the FTSE 250 listed property investment and development company.
- Advised Bioquell PLC in connection with its recommended all cash public takeover by Ecolab U.S. 2 Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ecolab Inc.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
DAC Beachcroft LLP handles M&A across the healthcare, real estate, financial services and technology sectors. Matthew Darling leads the practice and is experienced in cross-border M&A transactions, with a client list featuring AIM listed technology companies, start-ups and high net worth individuals.
‘Good mix of experience and ability. Very client focused and good sensible commercial advice.’
‘Flexible and commercial approach to problem solving.’
‘It is the pragmatic, commercial, client-focused approach that attracts us to the firm. Quality standards are high but hourly rates are reasonable.’
‘When involved in a M&A deal it is important that the momentum is maintained while bottoming out any legal issues. The team at DAC Beachcroft are very responsive and also give pragmatic advice that helps maintain that momentum and get the deal done on the right terms.’
‘Engaging, value for money and broad legal technical expertise.’
Dorsey & Whitney advises a number of AIM-listed clients and has also developed links with mid-market investment banks and intermediaries, regularly acting for both corporates and banks on IPOs and secondary issues. The team has a growing presence within the sports sector, having recently advised on deals within boxing and football. Mark Taylor leads the transactions group, specialising in UK securities law and mergers and acquisitions.
Other key lawyers:
Hardy Oil and Gas
Liberty Latin America
PIB Group Limited
This Is The Big Deal
- Advised PIB Group on its acquisition of Alto Insurance Group
- Advised Hardy Oil and Gas PLC in connection with the sale of its subsidiary, Hardy Exploration and Production (India) Inc., to Invenire Energy Private Limited
- Advised the three senior partners of Rees Pollock, the accounting and business advisory firm, on the sale of the business to Blick Rothenberg.
October 2019 saw the completion of Druces LLP's merger with London firm Sykes Anderson Perry. The M&A practice assists clients with acquisitions, disposals and mergers involving private and quoted companies. The team has particular expertise in buying, selling and investing in healthcare assets, a sector in which the firm has built a strong reputation. Christopher Axford has considerable experience across the full range of corporate work and has also developed an interest in regulated businesses and Sharia'a compliant structuring. The department is led by Toby Stroh, who has recently advised on sales and purchases in the hedge fund sector, disposals in tech and acquisitions in pensions.
‘Solid and multifaceted. Enough expertise to cover the bases.‘
‘My experience with David Bennett has been nothing short of exemplary. Sound and measured advice with a keen eye for both sides of the deal. Market aware and takes the time to understand his clients needs. Commercially highly competent.‘
‘The team operate collaboratively with the client’s advisor team and work to find practical and effective solutions. They deliver to a high standard and provide excellent client care.‘
‘The willingness to work collaboratively and to tight timescales sets the team apart – Christopher Axford in particular shows great commercial awareness and client focus.‘
Integrum Care Group
Exclusive Care Group
Belevedere Leisure Group
Emerald Fund of Funds
Bank of London and the Middle East Plc
Napier Capital Partners
Legendary Investments Plc
Glenstone Property Group
Kufflink Bridging Solutions Limited
IRSAP Group SPA
Deloittes Legal (Italy)
Dentons Pension Management Limited
- Acted for SigmaRoc plc, in its acquisition of CCP Building Products Ltd.
- Acted for SarKate Securities Limited on the partial sale and investment into Elements (Europe) Limited.
- Acted for Integrum Care Group in relation to its acquisition of Hythe Care Homes Limited and its subsidiaries.
The corporate team at Freeths LLP operates as a fully integrated practice across the national firm's 13 offices, with the aim of providing a cost-effective offering. The M&A group covers the full range of transactional work for clients ranging from owner managed SMEs and individual entrepreneurs to publicly listed companies. Tom Rowley leads the London team and represents large international corporates including NASDAQ quoted companies. He also advises private equity sponsors on a range of transactions. Elsewhere in the practice Andrew Bretherton has significant experience advising private equity and venture capital while Peter Hill is noted for his work in joint ventures and shareholders' agreements; Francis Dalton is another key name.
Autins Group Plc
Gama Aviation Plc
Northbridge Industrial Services Plc
ECSC Group Plc
N+1 Singer Advisory LLP
- Advised Raycliff Capital, an active New York based investment fund led by entrepreneur Bippy Siegal on a circa $100 million investment in Soho House Group.
- Advising Celeres Capital on its investment into JaJa Finance.
- Advising the founders of Two Circles digital marketing agency on its acquisition by Bruin Sports Capital, a US private equity fund.
Howard Kennedy LLP's M&A team works closely with its capital markets practice to focus on private company transactions and public company deals. The group has significant expertise in the real estate sector and acts on a range of cross-border work which tends to take the form of single asset acquisitions for investor clients. Distressed acquisitions is also an area of growth for the practice, having recently advised the administrators on the successful sale of HMV. The M&A practice is led by newly appointed Gillian White who specialises in corporate transactional work as well as shareholder disputes and director duties. Ashley Reeback leads the wider corporate department and advises on the full range of M&A and AIM related transactions. Corporate restructuring expert Jonathan Polin is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘Although a large, leading firm, Howard Kennedy are excellent at providing a personalised, bespoke and attentive service to the entrepreneur. So with the high quality partner – led service and large firm back up, they provide the perfect blend of qualities that a business in this category seeks.‘
‘Partners at the firm are exceptionally client-focused and creative problem solvers. This, coupled with excellent communication skills, technical knowledge and a practical and commercial “can do” ethos, places them at the top level for private, developing businesses with a range of needs and requirements.‘
‘Extensive practical knowledge of the business/market that we use them for. Particularly strong in acquisition completion.‘
Pandora Jewellery UK Limited
Capital on Tap
Leisure & Resort World Corporation
Almero Camden City LLP/Almero Ventures
ASL (Automated Systems Group Limited)
Shareholders of Mildred Ltd
Nobel Resources Ltd
The Bejerano Family
Shareholders of Bennett Christmas
- Acted for KPMG, the administrators of HMV, to assist in the administration process which culminated in a successful sale of the HMV business to Sunrise Records & Entertainment.
- Acted for the buyer on the corporate wrapper acquisition of a large development site in Camden.
- Acted for Corcentric, Inc on its purchase of the entire issued share capital of Netsend Limited.
Ince acts predominantly for small to medium-sized private companies which often take the form of family-owned businesses or companies owned by high net worth entrepreneurs. The team deals with all aspects of corporate acquisitions, disposals, management buyouts, investments, joint ventures, shareholders' agreements, corporate restructuring and governance. Since the 2018 merger with Gordon Dadds, and its admission to the AIM market of the LSE, Ince's offering has continued to grow, including the hire of former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP lawyer Alex Rogan in August 2019. Department head Alon Domb advises on private company M&A and acts for clients in the TMT sector. Acting for both public and private clients, Stephen Jarvis' practice has a particular emphasis on cross-border M&A while Alan Barnett is particularly experienced in property development transactions. Mona Patel is another key member of the team.
‘I switched from another (bigger) firm halfway through a time sensitive process as I felt I was competing for time with another big client. It was a risky move but from the first call, I knew it was the right one. The team at Ince were reassuring, focused on the detail from the start, firm on my behalf when needed and committed throughout the process to the extent that it felt like they cared about the outcome as much as I did.‘
‘Matthew Stratton – he has provided excellent counsel throughout my work with him. Matt is incredibly thorough, responsive and diligent and I have absolute faith in his advice – I trust him implicitly. He’s committed to getting you the best possible result, whatever that takes, and shows incredible resilience to get you there. He’s witty and pleasant to deal with and I value all my dealings with him, and would have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending him.‘
‘The team is very proactive and knowledgeable in their field of work.‘
‘Matthew Stratton has a good proactive approach and is a very good problem solver with a commercial mindset.’
Ince Group PLC
Apex Holdings (UK) Limited
Burgh Island Holdings Limited
My London Home Limited
Electoral Reform Services Limited
Communicorp UK Limited
Newpark Resources Inc
- Advised on equity investment of up to £35 million into Engenie Ltd to double the UK’s electric vehicle rapid charging points.
- Advised Troubadour Theatres regarding debt and equity financing with Obotritia Capital and other investors.
- Advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Excap Partners Limited which was being purchased by Infinity International Limited from four individual shareholders.
International work has been a big area of growth for Irwin Mitchell's corporate team, which recently became the main UK member of First Law International, a global network of over 85 law firms. The international group is led by Bryan Bletso who also heads the London corporate department and works primarily on private company work. The team has a strong reputation in the smaller deals space, working in close partnership with the firm's private wealth group to service a range of owner managers and directors. Leading the Iberian desk is James Paton-Philip, who works with private and public companies and has a particular focus on fast growth tech while Debbie Serota manages the Israeli desk and specialises in joint ventures, equity fundraisings and shareholder agreements.
‘Irwin Mitchell have a laser focus on long-term relationships. Partners look after clients exceptionally well and delegate to teams of people who are well briefed.’
‘Bryan Bletso has been a trusted adviser since 2007. He understands my business inside and out and is able to provide fast, effective advice at any time of the day or night. He is excellent at building a team around him and it is an equal pleasure to deal with his colleagues on all matters. I couldn’t even consider working with another firm while Bryan is at Irwin Mitchell.’
‘The team stands out for their pragmatic guidance throughout. What stood out most for me was the individuals absolute consistency in terms of demeanour and quality and quantity of work even when under pressure.‘
‘I have been dealing with the team for the best part of 18 months on a complex cross-border transaction involving multiple jurisdictions and sellers. I couldn’t recommend and praise them enough. They were at all times extremely professional while being personable and a pleasure to deal with. They always ensured someone (with suitable knowledge of the transaction) was available to deal with urgent issues and would give me the nudge when I was the one holding things up. The quality of the advice was outstanding and the team took all complexities (of which there were many) into account in providing it.‘
Goal Group Limited
Bought By Many Ltd
Arctic Innovations Limited
Gratte Brothers Group Limited
2 Excel Aviation Limited
Borrow A Boat Ltd
Snowplow Analytics Ltd
- Advised the shareholders of aviation tech business, Flight Calibration Services Limited, on the sale of the shares in FCSL to PE house, Literacy Capital Plc.
- Advised Telsis Innovations Limited (now, Arctic Innovations Limited) on the sale of its shares in four subsidiary companies to AIM-listed purchaser, Gamma Telecom Holdings Limited.
Keystone Law is known for its work with SMEs and entrepreneurs; its practitioners are particularly active within the TMT, healthcare and real estate sectors. Recent work has included advising high growth businesses such as start-ups, and on the acquisition of companies with publicly traded shares. The firm continues to recruit heavily, having recently taken on lawyers from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP and Squire Patton Boggs. Although there is no official practice head as such, Nadim Zaman, Andrew Stilton and Geoffrey Davies are all key names to note for M&A matters.
‘Keystone are a very professional but friendly bunch of experts with great knowledge, experience and contacts. Allied to a can-do approach, they are approachable, flexible and value for money. They have worked on a wide range of transactions, both locally, nationally and internationally. They have a wealth of practical experience knowing when and where to compromise with the other side to deliver the best outcome for their clients.’
‘Having one go-to contact who was always there to answer your call/email was extremely efficient compared to other firms. An expert to help with every field of M&A (tax, options structuring) was available to us. Andrew Stilton wrote the bible on UK acquisitions and it is evident you are in the safest hands along every step of a process.‘
‘Andrew Stilton is a joy to work with. His diligence is unwavering + his knowledge of UK M&A is second-to-none (having said that, one of the transactions I worked with him on was cross-border and his knowledge was equally unrivalled). Despite demanding circumstances, he always brings a sense of humour to the table.’
Teatro San Cassiano
Rotini Group Limited
Nova Founders Capital UK Limited
ADM Energy PLC
A G Retail Cards, which traded as Clintons
Southern Cross Cables Limited
Cattle Eye Limited
People Untapped Limited
William Edwards Ltd
- Advised leading events business Media 10 on the sale of Design Shanghai and Design China Beijing events to Clarion Events.
- Acted on the exit from retail joint venture with Amscan International.
- Acted for CompareEuropeGroup Limited on a major corporate transaction involving a significant investment and franchising of the CompareEurope business model across Europe.
Marriott Harrison LLP 's corporate team has a strong reputation for M&A, private equity and venture capital work. The team works across a variety of sectors including media, hospitality, education and advises fast growth technology companies in fintech, e-tail and data analytics. Daniel Jacob leads the corporate department, acting on M&A transactions and growth capital investments on behalf of entrepreneurs, investors and owner managers. Andrew Ross recently joined the practice from Arnold & Porter, bringing with him a practice focused on private equity-backed transactions and domestic and cross-border mergers. Ben Devons and Jonathan Leigh-Hunt are also both names to note.
‘Great team, partners work really well to support each other. Different approaches but the same values. Focused on get the right outcomes and the transactions done. Commerciality is excellent.’
‘All experts in their specialisms – intelligent, commercial, quick thinking and available.’
‘Jonathan Leigh-Hunt’s calm, pragmatic approach is a winning formula for his clients.’
Cello Health Plc
Coolabi Group Limited
The Fulham Shore Plc
Guinness Asset Management
Chiltern Capital LLP
Mobeus Equity Partners LLP
- Advised the shareholders of Hurley Palmer Flatt on its sale to HDR.
- Advised Chiltern Capital on its backing of a BIMBO of the Whiteleaf bespoke furniture business.
- Advised on the sale of award winning education technology company Hegarty Maths to Sparx.
McGuireWoods London LLP has strong experience in sectors including food and beverage, hotels, leisure, student accommodation, care home, manufacturing and retail. The team often handles cross-border deals and has recently covered work within jurisdictions spanning Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe and North America. Joint practice head Mehboob Dossa specialises in advising multinationals, capital providers, independent sponsors, family offices, private equity portfolio companies and executives on a variety of transactions. Patrick De Ridder assists public and private companies with their transactional activities on a global basis, with a predominance in manufacturing, life sciences, and food and beverage.
Mayfly Group LLC
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated
Allegheny Technologies Incorporated
Energizer Holdings, Inc.
- Advising Essentra PLC in the $77 million sale of its Duraco specialty tapes business to OpenGate Capital Partners.
- Advised UK provider of essential components and solutions Essentra PLC in selling its Pipe Protection Technologies business to National Oilwell Varco, Inc.
- Represented Mayfly Group LLC on its receipt of acquisition funding from family office Colfam Management LLC and on the acquisition of the assets of Airflo Fishing Limited.
Memery Crystal LLP's team advises on a wide range of M&A and private equity deals for UK and international companies, institutions, investors and entrepreneurs. The group has particular bench strength in the tech, mining, oil and gas, financial services, retail, sport, gaming and gambling sectors. Greg Scott is noted for his work in tech, manufacturing and sports. Nick Alfillé leads the corporate department, advising clients in a broad range of industries including IT, real estate, financial services, leisure and manufacturing while Andrew Titmas' broad practice encompasses work for both public and private companies.
SmartSpace Software Plc
Bowling Green Asset Management
Ziz Properties Limited
Autorama (Trading as Vanarama)
- Advised Gaming Realms on the sale of its B2C focused subsidiary Bear Group to River iGaming for £11.5m.
- Advised AIM-listed SmartSpace Software Plc on its acquisition of Australian based Space Connect Pty Limited.
- Advised Songtradr on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Big Sync Music Limited.
Payne Hicks Beach 's M&A department works closely with the firm's highly regarded private client group, and habitually advises ultra-high net worth individuals, including family offices, on the full range of work including realisations and joint ventures. Jonathan Gatward leads the overall corporate department and primarily advises privately owned and managed businesses, with specific experience of share and business sales, acquisitions and reorganisations. Nick Sayers heads up the M&A group, acting for owner-managed businesses, substantial international groups and UK public companies on their acquisitions and disposals. Another name to note is Howard Taylor who specialises in the the sale and purchase of companies and businesses, private equity transactions, joint ventures and public company listings and fundraisings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Diligence, attention to detail, commercial awareness, personal chemistry and client service are excellent.‘
‘We have worked with Nick Sayers and Howard Taylor for many years and they provide excellent client service and work very effectively with fellow advisers on a range of corporate transactions.‘
- Advising on the acquisition of certain business assets of ATC’s key supplier, Furniture For Businesses Limited.
- Advising Bonnier Zaffre Limited (a subsidiary of Bonnier Books UK Group Holdings Limited) on the sale of its shares in Totally Entwined Group Limited.
- Acting for joint liquidators from Quantuma LLP and Macintyre Hudson LLP on the sale of the business and certain assets of Recruitment & Contractor Services to Peoples Group Services Limited.
Simons Muirhead Burton has established itself as a seasoned operator within the UK media and publishing industries. The team assists clients in these sectors with the full range of M&A work and other more specialised areas such as seed funding, growth capital fundraising and angel investments. The practice has also seen an uptick in cross-border work involving jurisdictions including the US, France, South Africa and Spain. Joint practice head Simon Goldberg is particularly well known for his leading media industry experience, with a client list featuring television production companies, rights owners, publishers, content producers and broadcasters. Working alongside him, Peter Weiss is an expert on inbound investments involving English/US law and tax.
‘They provide a first class service and assure attention to detail on the finer points of M&A transactions.’
‘Peter Weiss – the partner and visionary behind a first-class team of associates and juniors. Without his inspiration, we would not have been as well looked after.’
Atlantic Leaf Properties Limited
Banijay Group SAS
Owner-Managers of Pure FX
Shareholders of Gate One Limited
Hungry Bear Media Limited
Dennis Publishing (UK) Limited
Shareholders of Grand Visual Holdings Limited
- Advising Banijay Group SAS, the world’s largest independent content creator for television and multimedia platforms, on the launch of a new production company in partnership with Bear Grylls.
- Acting for the shareholders of Gate One, an award-winning specialist digital and business transformation consultancy, on the sale of 60% of its entire issued share capital to Havas UK.
- Advising Atlantic Leaf Properties, a Jersey-incorporated UK REIT, on the sale of its 45% stake in a £50m UK commercial property portfolio in a deal also involving £900m retail group DFS Furniture.
Teacher Stern LLP's corporate practice handles M&A, joint venture and private equity deals, as well as restructuring and real estate transactions. With clients ranging from UK and international corporates to entrepreneurial companies, the team also has a record of working with private equity firms. Heading up the corporate and commercial practice, David Salisbury advises on the full range of work including acquisitions, disposals, take-overs and mergers, asset sales/purchases, joint ventures and company restructurings. Martine Nathan acts and advises in relation to all aspects of M&A work but also leads the firm's tech, gaming and communications group.
Other key lawyers:
‘The entire team were incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, commercially astute and always responsive. I believe that maintaining momentum throughout the transaction was a crucial part of the overall success and the entire Teacher Stern team always ensured we were well prepared and turned everything around in an expedient manner. The entire Teacher Stern team were superb and I cannot recommend them enough.‘
‘David Salisbury is extremely personable, has an acute commercial sense and instils every confidence that he will provide sound reasoned advice with his clients best interests and not there to score points with the other side.‘
Big Time Gaming
Corona Corporate Solutions
David Rubens & Partners
Duke & Dexter
El Al Airlines
Football Writers Association
Genius Sports Group
Sports Invest UK
- Advised Staprix NV on the sale of Charlton Athletic Football Club.
- Acted for Corona Corporate Services on multiple acquisitions, including both share acquisitions and the direct purchase of business and assets.
- Acted for Nextgen in connection with the sale of the entire issued share capital of Aerospares to funds managed and advised by, Acorn Growth Companies LLC., a US private equity fund.
Wallace LLP acts primarily for fast-paced growth companies looking to scale up with investment capital from either private equity or by combining with competitors; the team also advises more well-established clients on their acquisitions. The team works with the wider firm's real estate department on deals concerning underlying property assets, and they have strong experience on both the buy and sell side of M&A deals. The firm is a member of Law Firm Alliance and leverages this international network to secure roles on cross-border transactions. David Judah leads the department and specialises in both domestic and international M&A, takeovers, joint ventures and MBOs. Other key names in the practice include Rex Newman, who represents both privately owned and publicly traded clients, and John Woodhouse who is especially experienced in supporting owner managed companies through their growth cycles and advising shareholders on eventual sale.
‘Excellent legal advice delivered in the appropriate manner for the recipients of the advice with minimal fuss. Partners are always on hand to assist and I find that Wallace have the same service standards as any top tier firm that I have dealt with but without pomp and hubris.‘
‘Partner led approach; client focus at the core of the engagement.‘
‘John Woodhouse – exceptional technical and commercial acumen; great communicator and extraordinary skill to explain complex technicalities to clients in plain and simple English.‘
‘I find Wallace to be an excellent legal partner – they listen and understand challenges and tasks. They focus on the core objective whilst considering all the nuances. Wallace clearly know their legal trade but as in all matters it is the interpretation and application which creates the difference and optimum solution. They are truly part of our team and do not only concern themselves with the legal issues but the broader context.‘
‘The team led by the senior partner David Judah are focused on the job in hand and create a clear picture of the route to a successful completion. The team’s work ethic is first rate. The ability to absorb the task is quick and their questions are well informed and totally relevant.’
‘The team is proactive and provides an end-to-end service – not just a point-to-point service. Hence we can have one legal team, Wallace, who acts a managed service provider – where we don’t need an in-house team. They remind of what we need to do, manage the legal thinking in the relevant business context and helps with execution team.‘
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Watford Football Club
Simpson Spence Young
Geotechnical Consulting Group
Matrix IDM Limited
Roasting Plant UK
- Acted on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Amsprop Tower Limited, the owner of Sceptre Court, a 90,000 sq ft building in Tower Hill, London.
- Advised the founding shareholders of creative agency Social Life, on the sale of the company to Jellyfish.
- Advised on management buy-out of the sole operating subsidiary of Cellcast plc, an AIM quoted company.
Wiggin LLP 's M&A practice is highly specialised in the firm's key sectors of media, tech, and IP, with a client list featuring independent film and TV production companies, online gambling businesses, publishers, technology and digital firms, rights holders and online retailers. The team's work includes investments, M&A, joint ventures and private equity deals. The team also regularly advises high growth businesses. entrepreneurs and investors. Practice head Michael Brader has 25 years' experience within the media space and has previously worked on the formation and funding of new production ventures for both creative talent and investors. David McLeish is a name to note within gambling, tech and sport while Ciaran Hickey is an experienced hand within tech and media.
‘The Wiggin team is small but extremely capable. You get magic/silver circle quality and experience with a much higher-touch partner experience at very competitive rates.’
‘An excellent team. David McLeish is a first class lawyer. Dedicated, tenacious and generally impressive.’
‘Wiggin as a firm understand the gambling industry and our gambling business the best and are experts in the space.’
‘The Wiggin team has unmatched sector focus, with a keen understanding of the relationship between how the regulatory position impacts commercial/strategic decision-making – vital for the purposes of advising on corporate deals. The team are truly passionate about their work and very impressive around the table.’
‘A team of lawyers with heavyweight practice background, plus unique gambling-sector focus, not least from David McLeish with his experience as an in-house GC in the sector.’
‘David McLeish has unrivalled industry knowledge, is extremely practical and commercial and always available. We would be lost without David.’
‘David McLeish is a genuine legal leader in the betting and gaming sector, naturally from his longevity of doing deals in the sector (and some of the most innovative and significant to boot); but also because of his significant time as a GC at one of the sector’s most significant players.’
Jaguar Land Rover
- Advised Swedish listed games developer and publisher Toadman on the acquisition of UK video games developer Antimatter Games.
- Acted for Grow Biotech on its joint venture with IPS Specials to create a company to focus on import distribution and market access for cannabis based medicinal products in the UK and Europe.
- Acted for the founder of MyBettingSites.co.uk (the online gambling information website) on the sale of the business to Better Collective.
Ashfords LLP's corporate and commercial team has significant expertise working with large national and international clients with a particular focus on the technology sector. The firm has a well-established presence in the South West and Bristol, while the London group is increasing the amount of cross-border work it is handling through its membership of ADVOC. Giles Hawkins leads the London department with a client roster comprised of private and public companies across a range of technology related sectors including fintech, agritech, cleantech, internet, mobile and telecoms, software and semiconductor companies. Stuart Fleet is another name to note for his work in public and private mergers, as well as management buy-outs.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised the shareholders of Swallowfield PLC on the sale of its manufacturing business to Canadian group, Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC).
- Advised the shareholders of Indigo Planning Limited on its sale to WSP.
- Advised Schulmberger Oilfield PLC on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Flaresim Ltd.
Blake Morgan LLP focuses on small and mid-market M&A across a wide range of industries, with particular experience in the real estate, travel, technology, finance and commercial sectors. The team continues to handle fundraisings for high-growth early-stage companies and SMEs to help position the clients for organic growth and M&A activity. Stojan Essex's practice has a particular focus on high-net-worth individuals, serial entrepreneurs and owner managed businesses, while Lawrence Phillips has experience working on exit strategies, joint ventures and fundraising mandates. Martin Kay leads the department.
‘Very knowledgeable and practical in helping with a fund raise through a placing. They clearly communicated throughout the process and were adaptable to fit in with client’s timescale. Solution-orientated to ensure that the process was efficient and effective.’
‘Approachable and knowledgeable.’
‘Involvement with the client and availability at all times.‘
‘Martin Kay was the lead partner and formed a very good relationship with the client during the transaction.‘
Air Charter Service Limited
Air France KLM
Brown Shipley & Co. Limited
Cogora Group Limited
CVS Group Plc
Foster Denovo Group
Go Ahead GmbH
Ickenham Travel Group plc
Jota Aircraft Leasing Ltd
KCR Residential REIT plc
Kerry Group plc
Osirium Technologies plc
Sustainable Harvest, Inc.
TI Sparkle UK Limited
Virtual Clarity Limited
- Advised on the sale of all remaining shares of Virtual Clarity Limited, an IT consultancy company, to an existing shareholder.
- Advised on the sale of Ickenham’s business travel division to Reed & Mackay.
- Private placing to raise working capital, by a combination of institutional equity and director and family subscription, for Blackbird plc.
Edwin Coe LLP advises on the full range of transactions, from public and private M&A to shareholder arrangements and joint ventures; the group also advises management teams on investment structures. The firm notably acts for overseas companies investing in the UK and is a member of the multinational network Ally Law. Russel Shear leads the corporate and commercial group and his expertise encompasses handling M&A transactions for public and private companies, corporate finance work, public offerings, joint ventures and private equity investments. David Kinch is experienced in acting for corporate and individual clients and has advised overseas companies on European investment strategies including acquisitions, joint ventures and start-ups.
‘Edwin Coe has a very good practice for cross-border deals especially between France and the UK. Their French desk is able to address any legal aspect of transactions involving French companies and/or parties.‘
‘I only deal with Russel Shear. He is, by a large distance, the best legal practitioner we have ever contracted. We communicate directly with him (sometimes on weekends if urgent), he is fast and effective. He writes readable, logical, tight and fair agreements. His advice is rarely off point and never without value.‘
‘Alexandre Terrasse is a very efficient and professional with a business approach. Alexandre has strong knowledge of both French and UK legal concepts.‘
Toshiba Carrier Corporation
Kout Food Group
Sabre Airlines Solutions
Oriole Resources plc (formely Stratex International plc)
Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Pratt & Whitney
Chubb Fire & Security
Babylon Health Limited
Blick Rothenberg Limited
UTC Fire & Security
Tethyan Resources plc
Tailored Brands Inc
- Advising Tailored Brands on the multi-million pound sale of its corporate apparel business to a group led by the existing corporate apparel UK executive team.
- Advising Royal Roads Minerals on the acquisition of Northern Colombia Holdings Limited and its portfolio of Colombian mining assets from AngloGold Ashanti.
- Advised Blick Rothenberg Limited on the acquisition of the business of Rees Pollock.
Gateley Plc's corporate team acts on a high volume of M&A transactions, often supported by private equity institutions both regionally and nationally. The department also acts for many nominated advisers on the AIM and Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Paul Hayward leads the corporate group and regularly acts for institutions and management teams on private equity transactions, while the commercial side of the practice is headed up by Andrew Evans. Steven Raize is a name to note for his work advising companies in the recruitment, technology and media sectors.
Game Nation Group
Gresham House Plc
Kingsley Capital Partners
- Advised LDC on the management buy-out of ELE Advanced Technologies Limited.
- Advised LDC on the management buy-out of Northern Irish education technology specialist Text help Ltd.
Goodman Derrick LLP represents corporates and individual owners operating in the firm's core sectors, which include the publishing, media and entertainment, technology, hospitality and leisure, real estate, construction and professional services industries. A large proportion of the group's deals have an international scope, and the team is particularly experienced in transactions with elements in the US and France. Tanya Shillingford leads the practice and undertakes the full range of corporate and commercial work including M&A, joint ventures and other commercial agreements. Edward Hoare is a name to note for his work in the TMT sector, while Paul Webb has significant experience in the cleantech sector.
‘I have met many of the partners and staff of Goodman & Derrick and have found them all to be a friendly, approachable, knowledgeable, efficient and well respected bunch of professionals.‘
‘We dealt with Tanya Shillingford who we found to be extremely helpful, pragmatic and efficient in providing us with the specialist advice we needed and would not hesitate in recommending her to others.‘
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe
AFH Financial Group Plc
Pure Sports Medicine Ltd
Lok N Store Group Plc
Pavilion Books Group
Lime Street Insurance Brokers
- Advised AIM quoted Lok’nStore Group in relation to the strategic disposal of its records management subsidiary, Saracen Datastore Limited, to Iron Mountain (UK) plc.
- Advised Avisa Partners, a French global advisory firm specialising in managing sensitive matters, on the English law aspects of its acquisition of UK-based Gabara Strategies Ltd.
- Advised Freshwater plc on the recommended offer for its entire issued share capital by Raglan House Holdings Limited.
Hamlins LLP is particularly noted for its corporate finance capabilities and acts for entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger corporates. The firm has developed a reputation for its work on technology and media deals and also has a fully integrated leisure team, which advises a range of prominent restaurants, hotels and bingo and gym brands on M&A deals. Acting primarily for banks and property investors, Aselle Djumabaeva-Wood is a key name to note for corporate and secured lending transactions. Practice head Daniel Bellau focuses on advising AIM-listed corporates, entrepreneurs and SMEs in the technology, media and leisure markets, and has significant experience working within junior equity markets in relation to M&A transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Palace Capital plc
Ted Baker Group plc
Park Plaza Hotels Europe
E-Prop Services Group plc
Trevali Mining Corporation
Ingenious Investments Limited
Angelfish Investments plc
- Advised on a £7.5m venture capital fundraise for a leading hair care brand.
- Advised a care home operator on the acquisition of three care home businesses and a joint venture with listed REIT, Impact.
- Advised on the corporate sale of a £80m Isle of Man-based real estate investment company.
Hill Dickinson LLP has seen significant team growth in recent years with Shantanu Sinha becoming the latest to join the practice from Mishcon de Reya LLP. The team operates within a network of foreign law firms to advise on cross-border deals, and many fee-earners within the group are dual qualified. Key sectors for the department include the pharmaceuticals, life sciences and medical cannabis industries; the team also has notable experience advising AIM-listed companies. Michael Bennett leads the commercial department and is particularly experienced in the energy and natural resources sectors.
‘Hill Dickinson lawyers truly understand their clients’ business and their clients’ requirements and they make sure that they take the time to do that at the early stages of an engagement. This means that in meetings and in negotiations they are able to play a lead role and add value to the commercial rather than just legal outcome. Additionally, HD lawyers are dedicated and resilient. They work hard and they are proactive in finding solutions and work arounds.‘
‘Commercial, dedicated, and possess the ability to think proactively and find solutions that work for the client.‘
‘The team was very pragmatic, focused on what really matters to us as a client and executed the transactions seamlessly. The right balance of team members was used for all tasks and ability to stick to timelines was exemplary.’
‘Very attentive and results driven. Pragmatic and willing to go the extra mile to close the deal. Highly recommended.‘
‘Very strong competence on corporate matters, quick reaction times and problem-solving attitude.‘
City Cruises PLC (now City Cruises Limited)
EMMAC Life Sciences Limited
Great Bear Petroleum Operating LLC
Pure Recruitment Group Limited
Zaim Credit Systems Plc
- Advised the shareholders of City Cruises PLC on the disposal of the company’s entire issued share capital to the UK subsidiary of the Hornblower Group.
- Advised ADES on its acquisition of four onshore drilling rigs and associated assets in Algeria, including the target’s management systems and 350 employees and contract personnel.
- Advised leading European medical cannabis and wellbeing company, EMMAC, on its acquisition of Portuguese genetics and cultivation company, Terra Verde, LDA.
Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord LLP is particularly specialised in advising foreign entities looking to enter the UK market by way of strategic acquisitions and investments. The team has experience advising clients from jurisdictions in Africa, the US, Latin America and Australia and has developed further expertise advising Chinese clients on acquisitions in the UK and Europe. Particular work of note includes cross-border oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures and asset level farm-ins and farm-outs. James Channo leads the London practice and is co-chair of the international transactions practice group for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Matthew Daffurn joined from Linklaters LLP in early 2020.
ZRG Partners LLC
- Advised Australia-listed EML Payments in connection with its £26.6m acquisition of UK-based fintech company Flex-e-Card.
- Advised Thalassa Holdings in relation to its move from AIM to the main market of the London Stock Exchange, and then on its proposed, unrecommended takeover of property investment company The Local Shopping REIT plc.
- Advising Horizon on its acquisition of Diteca, a leading Ecuadorian mining services business, for $40m.
Michelmores LLP's corporate team receives mandates from a range of domestic and international clients including owner-managed businesses, listed companies, management teams, impact investors and private equity sponsors and funds. The department also takes on mid-market M&A work which is largely generated by Joe Whitfield's emerging markets practice. Ian Binnie is the firm's head of capital markets and his work includes both private and public M&A and debt and equity financings. Richard Cobb leads the wider corporate group.
‘Joe Whitfield and the team have a depth of experience. They have great knowledge of the intricacies of deals of this size. They are pragmatic and solution-focused to drive a deal to completion.’
‘Excellent service and insightful advice makes this firm better than others.’
‘In-depth understanding of matters and seamless working with lawyers in cross-border jurisdictions.’
‘Super practical and strong advice.’
‘Joe Whitfield provides great value.’
AHL Growth Fund LP / The Adolf H Lundin Charitable Foundation
Copper Technologies (UK)
Corporate Finance House Group (subsidiary of First National Bank)
Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
Global Medical Investments AB
Soros Economic Development Fund
- Advised Soros Economic Development Fund, the impact investment fund established by George Soros, on the sale of its majority stake in an Indian portfolio held via Aspada Investment Company to LGT.
- Advised BRAC, the world’s largest development organisation, on the disposal of a majority interest in its microfinance operation in Uganda with a view to transforming it into a bank.
- Advised Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund and DSM Venturing on their £4.2m investment into Additive Manufacturing Technologies Limited (AMT).
Russell-Cooke LLP's client roster includes a mix of large corporates, high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and SME's which are experiencing significant change driven by the digital revolution and globalisation. Examples include technology businesses focused on cloud-based technologies, marketing and PR companies adapting to the rise of social media, and travel and leisure businesses adjusting to changing consumer requirements. The team also works closely with the firm's real estate group and has developed a reputation for advising on joint ventures. Jonathan Thornton leads the department.
‘They are all very approachable, commercially sensible and legally knowledgeable.’
The Ilchester Estate
Beavis Morgan LLP
mQube (Spring Financial)
- Acted for the founder of Lagoni Engineering Limited in connection with the sale of its entire issued share capital to Belcan LLC.
- Acted for G Adventures Limited on its acquisition of small group youth travel specialists TruTravels.
- Assisted mQube with its Series A Fundraising.