M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m in London
Boodle Hatfield LLP
Boodle Hatfield handles corporate transactions and deal structuring for both domestic and international clients, ranging from private companies to high net worth individuals and family offices. The firm's corporate team works closely with its specialist cross-departmental entrepreneur team, representing them and their associated businesses across sectors such as social media and retail. Rahul Thakrar is a key name in this area, and is highly rated for his specialism in advising on equity raises, joint ventures and corporate M&A. Nigel Stone heads the corporate team. Arts-law specialist Rudy Capildeo recently departed to Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Beavan; Rahul Thakrar; Jane Ireland
‘We put all of our UK business through the firm, largely due to the quality and consistency that they have shown over time‘
‘Strong commercial awareness with a hands-on approach, with a focus on the small/mid cap market.‘
‘Offer huge efficiency, insight and value’
‘Rahul Thakrar is a standout partner at Boodle Hatfield . He has a very strong finance background and acumen, is logical and thinks outside of the box. He is also extremely personable and client friendly.’
London Clubhouse Limited
ASK Partners Limited
Bristows LLP advises on the full range of corporate M&A matters, covering acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, IPOs and financing work across both the public and private markets. The firm's most complex work is predominantly within the life sciences and technology sectors, acting for international blue chip companies on cross-border mandates. Furthermore, the firm's strong IP offering lends itself to expertise in IP-rich sectors such as consumer products and retail. Department head Iain Redford is active in the TMT and life sciences sectors in particular, and is instructed by clients to advise on mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, financings and joint ventures.
Other key lawyers:
‘Bristows offers excellent advice with a broad range of skills‘
‘Partner Louise Eldridge listens to the client and provides timely and constructive advice, as well as coordinating her team very well‘
Schibsted Media (listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange)
NuCana PLC (listed on Nasdaq)
- Represented Capgemini on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Adaptive Lab Limited, a UK-based digital design studio.
- Advised Diageo on its acquisition of premium drinks brand Belsazar Vermouth.
- Acted for WPP on the acquisition of architectural and interior design agency Universal Design Studio.
- Advised UCL Business Plc on the sale of part of its existing shareholding in Autolus as part of its Series C financing.
- Advised Boeing HorizonX Ventures on its first UK investment, into Reaction Engines Limited, an Oxfordshire technological development company.
Brown Rudnick LLP covers a full range of domestic and international M&A work. Industry experience includes sectors such as real estate and pharmaceuticals, with cross-border aspects managed across the firm's US, London and Paris offices, as well as via a group of preferred firms across Europe. The firm boosted its practice with the hire of Philip Watkins from Katten . Mark Dorff leads the team and is also an active practitioner in the family office team.
Other key lawyers:
Lena Hodge; Nicholas Vasquez; Tuvi Keinan
Queensgate Investments LLP
Sole Resorts S.A.
LJ GP Partnership Limited
Midatech Pharma PLC
- Acted for Queensgate Investments in relation to the £475m sale of London Executive Offices, a serviced office platform with an operational arm managing 39 office locations across London.
- Acted for design and manufacturing client Victoria Plc on its acquisition of Cerámica Saloni, S.A., from Obinesa Grupo Industrial, S.L., for £86.2m.
- Represented LJ Partnership on the sale of a major equity stake in the client to Dilmun Cayman Holdings.
- Advised Midatech Pharma on the sale of Midatech Pharma US to Kanwa Holdings, via an auction process.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP covers corporate M&A, private equity and equity capital markets work, primarily within the lower and mid-market space. The firm's focus on private wealth means the team is most active in advising entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, as well as family offices and high net worth individuals, both from the UK and overseas. It has also seen notable growth in acting on inbound investment from the US to the UK, in addition to increased activity in Africa. The firm's corporate M&A team works in tandem with its private equity team, with certain individuals spanning both practices. The 'superb' Malcolm MacDougall is one such individual - he co-heads the practice alongside Chris Putt, a specialist in corporate finance.
Chris Putt; Malcolm MacDougall
Other key lawyers:
‘Concise and to the point. Very well informed‘
‘Malcolm MacDougall is what makes the firm unique. His strengths are a big legal brain, very commercial, great customer relationship skills and being fun to work with‘
‘Mark Howard and Nicola Baird are both worth their weight in gold, always available, always able to keep good humour and to sort the important points from those that are emotionally charged. service. He is always very quick to respond‘
‘Malcolm MacDougall is a superb leader and partner at the firm. Commercially savvy, technically very competent and fun to work with‘
International Tennis Federation (ITF)
IT Lab Ltd
Charterhouse Voice and Data plc
Zenium Technology Partners Limited
- Advised Stonegate Pub Company on its acquisition of national cocktail bar chain Be At One, which includes over 30 sites across London and the UK.
- Advised institutional and management shareholders of Small World Financial Services Group on the sale of Small World to European private equity firm, Equistone
- Represented MayAir Group on its recommended takeover by Poly Glorious Investment Co (“Poly Glorious”), for approximately £50m
- Advised SharePoint consultancy firm Content and Code on the sale of the business to IT-managed services provider, IT Lab.
- Advised Jensen Hughes on its global expansion through the acquisition of Jeremy Gardner Associates, a UK and Ireland-based fire safety consulting firm.
DAC Beachcroft LLP's nationwide practice traditionally handles domestic work across the healthcare, real estate, financial services and technology sectors. However, work has increasingly developed an international flavour, with instructions coming from the US, Asia and continental Europe, as inbound investment into the UK remains steady. Particular focal points have been financial services, where the firm works for insurers and BVI-incorporated entities, and healthcare, representing US-based pharmaceutical and health clients. Senior associate Lucy Tyrrell advises clients on public and private mergers, and has acted on some of the firm's most complex transactions. Practice head Matthew Darling is experienced in cross-border M&A transactions, and counts AIM-listed technology companies, start-ups and high net worth individuals among his clients.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Gibbon; Jonathan Deverill; Lucy Tyrrell
‘DAC always put their clients first no matter what. They are responsive even when they may not have an immediate solution and will always ensure you know that a solution is on its way‘
‘Both Nick Gibbon and senior associate Lucy Tyrrell are highly valued advisers, available and very client focused .‘
‘Matthew Darling has that essential mix of sound legal knowledge and an understanding of the core business issues that helps quickly get to the right outcome, be it closing the deal or walking away with sound justification‘
Crest Nicholson plc
Linden Homes/Galliford Try
Warpaint London plc
Loot Financial Services Limited
HSS Hire Group Plc
SmartSpace Software plc
MXC Capital Limited
Castleton Technology plc
KK Fine Foods PLC
- Advised 4Most Group Holdings on the £30m sale of a roughly 62% controlling interest to an employee share ownership trust.
- Advised Shore Capital and Peel Hunt in relation to a £19m placing and related acquisition by Inspired Energy.
- Acted for a group of individuals as vendors on the sale of SSL Insurance Brokers to JC Flowers, for a confidential sum.
- Advised SmartSpace on the £21.6m disposal of Comunica Holdings and Conmmensus Limited, together comprising the client’s systems integration and managed services division, to Excel IT Services Limited.
- Advised Premier Circle and Second Circle, two Jersey-based SPVs, on the sale of Sceptre Court Holdings Limited, which owns an office development in London.
Fladgate LLP works with clients ranging from start-ups to listed companies, advising on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and divestment strategies, both domestically and internationally. Practice head Grant Gordon is focused on M&A within the technology, leisure, sport, gaming and resources sectors, with matters frequently involving a cross-border element. The firm has made two recent hires, strengthening its international capabilities with Sandra Bates from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and transactional restructuring and insolvency partner Daniel Martin from Ropes & Gray LLP.
‘A professional and hands-on approach combined with honesty.’
‘Fladgate lacks the arrogance that a lot of city law firms have – a very positive trait.‘
‘Straightforward, honest and with a way of negotiating that represents us as a client in the utmost way.‘
John Laing Investments Limited
Shareholders of Title & Covenant Brokers
- Represented the lead group of financial investors (Zouk Capital, Index Ventures, 83North, Creandum and Northzone) on the sale of their entire interest in iZettle to PayPal Holdings. The total deal value was $2.2bn.
- Advised Selecta AG, a portfolio company of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), on its acquisition of the entire share capital of Express Vending Group .
- Advised Equitix on its acquisition of a 35% stake in the Cramlington biomass plant and a 41% economic interest in the Speyside biomass plant.
- Advised Fore Fitness on the £24.7m sale of 13 easyGym sites to The Gym Group.
- Advised esports entertainment company Gfinity PLC on the £2.4m acquisition of RealSM Limited, a sports media company.
Fox Williams LLP's corporate practice covers an array of sectors, including technology, professional services, FinTech and financial services. The firm has a specialist regulatory team that acts on financial services matters which is able to work on cross-border issues through a network of 'best-friend' firms. The firm made two recent hires , adding Scott Keown from CMS and Jo Varia from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Keown has a strong track record representing clients in the real estate sector on strategic acquisitions, while tax director Varia advises on corporate reorganisations and restructurings. Richie Clark heads the team, and focuses on both public and private deals. The highly recommended Mary Elliott is predominantly active in the media, publishing and technology sectors, and has a particular focus on representing early-stage companies on domestic and international M&A and investments.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Osborne; Mary Elliott; Paul Taylor
‘A good group of well-trained and responsive associates and knowledgeable and pragmatic partners‘
‘Takes the time to understand clients’ business and is responsive and easy to work with‘
‘Mary Elliott really knows her stuff and does a great job getting the deal done‘
‘Mary Elliott is outstanding’
Constellation Software Inc.
Adam Phones Limited
Realty Invest Holding LLP
Digital Moneybox Limited
Telia Company AB
Plexus Holdings plc
Stifel Financial Corp
Tatton Asset Management plc
5N Plus Inc.
- Represented Realty Invest Holding on its US$46m recommended takeover of main market listed, BVI –incorporated Chagala Group Limited.
- Advised the shareholders of Adam Phones on the sale of the company’s entire issued share capital to Radius Payment Solutions.
- Advised Jonas Software on the acquisition of Greycon Limited, a provider of production planning, scheduling, forecasting and manufacturing software execution systems.
- Advised Volaris Group Inc. on its agreement to acquire part of the Nokia Video Product business to form a new operating company, Velocix.
- Acted for Wadhawan Global Capital (UK) Limited on its £40m investmnent into alternative finance company Zopa.
Kemp Little LLP
Kemp Little LLP specialises in corporate M&A for technology sector and digital businesses. Its clients range from global technology corporations to private equity funds, in addition to fast growth initial stage businesses. Over the past year, the firm has been involved in transactions in the financial services technology, manufacturing, advertising technology and consumer and professional services software spaces. Charles Claisse heads the team, and is noted for his experience in international M&A, including between the UK and US.
Other key lawyers:
Andy Moseby; Deborah Angel
‘A great commercial approach coupled with a deep understanding of their client‘
‘Very responsive, commercial and take a long term outlook
‘Incredibly diligent and pragmatic. Charles Claisse is always on hand for insightful advice and Deborah Angel is super organised and able to see the big issues and plot a path around them‘
‘Deborah Angel is an excellent corporate lawyer with great insight and an excellent grasp of all relevant issues‘
Enigma Code (DOOH.com)
Arrow Mobile Communications
- Acting for the shareholders of DW Reporting and its Canadian subsidiary on their sale of shares to BigHand for £12m.
- Acting for DOOH.com, the digital experience agency, in the sale of 25% of the company to WPP (Kinetic division).
- Acting for Encore Tickets Limited on its acquisition of Box Office Tickets.
- Acting for the shareholders of Dealflo, a venture-backed business, on its sale to NASDAQ-listed Vasco, for £54.5m.
- Acting for PrivateFly and its principal shareholders on the sale of the company to DirectionalAviation’s OneSky portfolio of companies.
Lewis Silkin LLP works for advertising and marketing clients on corporate M&A transactions, catering for cross-border matters with dedicated international desks across the firm's UK offices, in addition to its Hong Kong office. In addition to its advertising and marketing play the firm has expanded its M&A offering in the technology sector, predominantly advising on corporate finance for founders and early-stage businesses. Practice head Paul Rajput works with these businesses, both on strategic acquisitions and venture capital fundraisings, and has notable experience in the advertising, marking and media sectors.
Other key lawyers:
David Willbe; Jo Evans
‘The Lewis Silkin team demonstrate a unique ability to understand creative industries, both from a commercial & technical legal point of view, in addition to understanding the cultural requirements of a creative business‘
‘Paul Rajput and his team are of the highest calibre and an absolute joy to work with. Going through a M&A transaction with them is like being on the back seat of a Rolls Royce‘
‘Jo Evans has a wonderful balance of being highly professional, deadly serious, trustworthy and detailed on the one hand and delightfully considerate, human & warm on the other.‘
‘Matthew Rowbotham was first rate throughout the process. He displayed technical precision and clarity over all relevant tax matters and we trusted him.‘
‘Georgina Fraser was a fantastic associate who assisted Jo throughout. I have nothing but praise for Georgina as she clearly knew her stuff, was confident and steadfast legally, and never put a foot wrong.‘
Publicis Groupe SA
Haymarket media group
Harbour Group Industries Inc.
Next Fifteen Communications Group Plc
Havas SA and Havas Media
Four Communications Group Limited
Mother London Limited
Be Heard Group Plc
Wildstone Media Consulting Limited
- Acted for the founders of We Are Friday on the sale of the company to PA Consulting Group
- Advised Sopra Steria on its acquisition, through subsidiary Sopra Banking Software, of lending solutions software provider Sword Apak, a subsidiary of Sword Group.
- Acted for the shareholders of Sparkler Limited on the sale of the marketing and advertising agency to PA Consulting.
- Represented the shareholders of Adaptive Lab Limited, on the sale of the agency to Capgemini.
The corporate team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP specialises in lower mid-market M&A, with a key strategic focus on the technology, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. Clients include high net worth individuals, owner-managed businesses and corporate investors; mandates typically involve fundraising, divestment and restructuring. With a presence in San Francisco, the team is able to coordinate transatlantic work in-house, including foreign direct investment into the UK. The recent hire of Sebastian Orton from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has strengthened the team's capabilities in public market work, particularly in flotations and secondary fundraisings.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Owen; Ross McNaughton
GRC International Group plc
Wadahwan Global Capital
Tata Consultancy Services
Newsquest Media Group
Needle & Thread
- Advised QSR Automations on its acquisition of the QSR Automations division of UK-based Call Systems Technology, involving a tax-driven restructuring component.
- Represented Cambridgeshire-based GRC on its IPO and admission to trading on London’s AIM market, with gross proceeds totalling over £5m.
- Acted for Newsquest Media Group, a UK regional media company, on its acquisition of family-owned Cumbrian news publisher CN Group.
- Advised data governance software creator Erwin Technologies on its acquisition of A&P Consulting, an Italian information communications technology company.
- Acted for Nasdaq Stockholm-listed forestry and timber business, Bergs Timber AB, on the English law aspects of its acquisition of Norvik’s timber operations in the UK.
PwC LLP provides the full range of corporate M&A advice to clients, leveraging off its conversion to a multidisciplinary practice and working in tandem with colleagues across the firm's traditional practices. The team handles work for existing non-legal clients, in addition to bringing on new clients specifically for legal services. The firm also has a dedicated due diligence offering, and has worked alongside other law firms on large-scale M&A projects. Prior to the multidisciplinary conversion, Shirley Brookes was senior partner of Pwc Legal, she continues to engage with a number of the firm's clients, while Stuart Hatcher is a key name for deals.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Hatcher; Thomas Colmer
‘A pleasure to work with. There is always a subject matter expert to hand who quickly gets to grips with the issue‘
‘Very professional lawyers, with access to a very broad breadth of expertise in the wider firm‘
‘Thomas Colmer gives very practical advice – he’s transparent, responsive and has great attention to detail‘
‘We couldn’t have asked for more from PwC- responsive, knowledgeable, reliable, pragmatic, commercial and totally trustworthy.‘
Shareholders and Management of ABAX Holding Limited
Marcura Equities Fze
The Russell Family
Cavendish Corporate Finance
Trust Tech, Inc.
- Advised the shareholders of Burntisland Fabrications Limited, a distressed manufacturing company, on the sale to a Canadian engineering company.
- Represented Trust Tech on the acquisition by its subsidiary, Gap Personnel Holdings, of Quattro Group Holdings, a recruitment business based in Norwich.
- Advised Cavendish Corporate Finance on a merger with finnCap via sale of shares, and subsequent floating of the combined business on AIM.
- Acted for Global Hotels Alliance on preparations for an equity capital increase and resulting minority stake acquisition by Minor Hotels and Pan Pacific Hotels Group.
- Advised members of the Russell family on the sale of a majority stake in construction company Russells Limited, and minority stake in property development company Russell Homes Limited, to WBHO for ca. £36m.
Guildford-based Stevens & Bolton LLP advises local, national and, increasingly, international clients across a broad range of sectors, with technology, insurance and education especially noted over the past year. The firm leverages itself against regional competition with a network of international partner firms, which allows the team to compete with London-based firms on cross-border mandates. Although the firm counts a number of larger corporate clients, it retains a strong standing acting for owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs. James Waddell heads the corporate and commercial department.
Other key lawyers:
Jenny Robertson; Joe Bedford
‘Large enough to offer advice on all aspects of a deal but small enough to ensure you feel you are being well looked after and that all departments are well briefed‘
‘Partner-led teams and commercial in their approach.’
‘A practice staffed by exceptionally talented specialists, who collaborate extremely well and are a delight to deal with‘
‘Keith Syson provided an exceptional overall knowledge of the deal – he made us feel secure and ensured that all elements of the deal were well coordinated‘
‘Nick Atkins is approachable and pragmatic.’
‘Outstanding service; prompt and clear communication and absolute transparency.
Broker Network Partner Holdings Limited
Kaye Enterprises Limited
Bakkavor Group plc
James Purdey & Sons Limited
Fuller Smith & Turner plc
Immersive Games Lab
Shareholders of iCareHealth
International Schools Partnership Limited
ICP Nurseries Limited
Shareholders of Inzpire Group Limited
Business Growth Fund
- Acted for specialist insurance broker Stackhouse Poland on its sale to US-headquartered global insurance brokerage and risk management firm Gallagher.
- Advised IT infrastructure and services provider CANCOM on its dual acquisition of 82.1% of Ocean Intelligent Communications and OSCL, the latter of which was for £29m.
- Advised family office investor Kaye Enterprises and the management team on the recent sale of Metaspere Limited to growth equity investors XPV Water Partners.
- Advised food manufacturing company Bakkavör Group on its acquisition of Haydens Bakery from Real Good Food for £12m.
- Advised renowned shotgun and rifle maker James Purdey & Sons Limited on its acquisition of the Royal Berkshire Shooting Group (RBSG) of Pangbourne, Berkshire.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP's team operates predominantly in the mid-market M&A space, with a notable lean towards acting for private equity firms, private companies and overseas investors bringing inbound investment into the UK. The M&A team works closely with the corporate finance, private equity and restructuring teams across key sectors such as real estate, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, social care and hotels and leisure. Michael Pattinson heads the corporate department, and has broad experience acting for private companies on M&A transactions, particularly in the real estate and hotels and leisure sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Tony Poole; Tim Nye; Alison Chivers
The Big Exchange
Inflexion Private Equity
Rosette Merchant Bank
- Acted for Japanese client Chiome Bioscience on the £2m acquisition of certain assets from Biotechnol Limited, a UK-based pharmaceuticals company.
- Represented Rosette Merchant Bank on its £50m acquisition of a Jersey-based property SPV, holding commercial property in Oldham.
- Acted for private equity house Inflexion on its roughly £30m acquisition and minority investment in European LifeCare Group.
Traditionally active in the corporate real estate and private equity markets, Wedlake Bell LLP's corporate M&A offering has been significantly strengthened through multiple hires, including Martin Thomas and Nigel Taylor from Watson Farley & Williams LLP. The enlarged team acts for a number of companies across a broad range of sectors, with the new hires adding clients in sectors like oil and gas. Both Janice Wall and Edward Craft are highly recommended for their experience in advising small to mid-cap companies, especially in the corporate real estate sector. Adam Lynch, who joined the firm in 2017, continues to be a strong force in the corporate real estate and hospitality sectors, handling corporate M&A and private equity transactions. Practice head Paul Corren was also a new arrival in 2018.
‘Wedlake Bell offer highly commercial advice in a really efficient way and are quick to respond‘
‘Always available and provide excellent insight‘
Diversified Gas & Oil
Global Risk Partners
Shareholders of The Beeches UK
Stanton Allen Ltd (now Wilson Allen)
Schneider Logistik Holding AG
Bank of Ireland
The Pears Group
Construction Skills Certification Scheme Limited
- Represented Diversified Oil & Gas in the UK on its $757m acquisition of EQT Corporation’s oil and gas assets and secondary fund raise on AIM.
- Advised Global Risk Partners on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of DCJ Group Insurance & Risk Management Ltd.
- Acted for the selling shareholders of The Beeches UK Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Silver Birch Care.
- Advised CRM and business development consultancy firm Stanton Allen on its merger with Wilson Legal Services, a Pennsylvania-based software and services business.
- Advised Schneider, a portfolio company of Swiss private equity group Invision AG, on its acquisition of 70% of the issued share capital of ASR Forwarding Limited.
Following a merger with legacy Bircham Dyson Bell, the newly formed BDB Pitmans now counts 12 partners in its London corporate/M&A team. The practice handles both public and private work, predominantly for smaller and mid-market clients, although some much larger clients are noted. The firm retains a strong private wealth team, which collaborates with the corporate M&A team to bring work for private individuals, including entrepreneurs. Nick McCarthy is the key name to note, and his large sector breadth means he acts for private equity firms, large listed clients and private companies, including some high-profile retail businesses.
Other key lawyers:
Harwood Capital LLP
FIH Group plc
Health Service Laboratories LLP
The Childcare Corporation Limited
EKF Diagnostics PLC
Ten Entertainment Group Plc
- Advised IT managed services provider Claranet on its acquisition of Union Solutions from its founding shareholders.
- Advised Claranet on its further purchase of NotSoSecure Global Services from its founding shareholders.
- Represented Health Services Laboratories on its purchase of University College London’s advanced diagnostics medical testing business.
- Advised the selling shareholders of a consultancy and talent recruitment business on its sale to a US-based global provider of brand experiences.
- Advised Harwood Capital LLP in connection with its acquisition of the Curtis Gilmour Group.
Druces LLP is active in corporate M&A across a broad range of sectors, with particular notice to the healthcare and technology sectors. Here, the team helps clients with business start-ups, fundraisings, acquisitions, disposals and mergers for both private and public companies. Following the firm's merger with London-based Ronaldsons, the team was bolstered through new arrivals to the corporate and property departments, and significantly increased its representation of AIM-listed clients. The 'extremely professional' Christopher Axford is a specialist in health sector transactions, and has extensive experience in acting in regulated environments.
Other key lawyers:
‘Druces are strong and very competent. They understand the realities of small business. Capable of delivering solutions in real time and without the dreaded clock-watching prevalent in the legal profession‘
‘We generally deal with Chris Axford and find his team very competent. Their knowledge and due diligence is extremely good and they have completed transactions in a timely manner‘
‘Chris Axford is very responsive and explains issues clearly, while also being extremely professional and making us feel very valued‘
‘David Bennett is a standout commercial lawyer. Provides succinct and focused advice on all commercial areas. He has the gravitas and experience for all levels of M&A‘
Montreux Healthcare Fund Plc.
appScatter Group Plc
Summit Therapeutics Plc
The Pickstock Group
Exclusive Care 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 the Montreux Healthcare Fund in relation to its acquisition of Active Assistance (UK) Group, a support provider for individuals with complex neurological conditions.
- Acted for AIM-quoted appScatter Group in relation to its ca. £13.5m acquisition of Priori Data GmbH, a German operator of an app analytics platform.
- Represented the shareholders of Clear Investments (UK) Limited in a share sale to a private equity fund, and subsequent reinvestment of a proportion of the proceeds,
- Acted for appScatter Group in its ca. £2.24m acquisition of Abilott, a provider of digital security solutions to gaming operators.
- Advised buy-and-build construction materials group SigmaRoc in its ca. £31.38m acquisition of CCP Building Products, a construction company in the Liverpool and Manchester area.
DWF's growing corporate practice handles transactions primarily across the retail, hospitality, corporate real estate and technology and media sectors. The team of partners are experienced in cross-border M&A and a large proportion of their matters include international aspects. DWF has been on a hiring spree, with additions including Linda Fu , who joined from Addleshaw Goddard, who heads up the firm's China-facing corporate offering. Matthew Doughty is in charge of the London corporate team, while Frank Shephard heads the national practice from the Manchester office.
Matthew Doughty; Frank Shephard
Other key lawyers:
‘Practical, commercial and fast, with a ‘can do’ approach.’
‘Jay Birch is shrewd, experienced and commercial. Sophie Morris provides excellent client-orientated support‘
‘I never doubt the advice that Matthew Doughty gives me and trust his entire team to act in my best interest‘
Aprirose Holdings Limited
Colony NorthStar Inc.
Craven Street Capital Limited
Keywords Studios plc
Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG
LXI REIT PLC
National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea
OSRAM Licht AG
Pepkor Europe Limited
Punter Southall Group Limited
William Martin Compliance Solutions Limited
- Advised PepsiCo on its acquisition of Lancashire-based Pipers Crisps.
- Advised boutique property investment SF Management on the establishment of a €100m Danish student housing joint venture.
- Advised GFH, a Bahraini investment group, on its £62m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of a Luxembourg SPV holding a UK business park.
- Represented Keywords Studios on five M&A transactions, including the acquisition of Sperasoft Studios for $27m.
- Advised LXi REIT PLC, a listed commercial property investment specialist, on its acquisition of a car storage facility in Northamptonshire for £60m.
Farrer & Co is best known for its representation of clients in the financial services and wealth management sectors, where the firm works for banks, brokers and trust companies. Although mandates are often domestic, the team has significant experience in matters involving offshore jurisdictions, invariably acting for family offices and high net worth individuals. Furthermore, the firm retains a strong standing in the publishing and not-for-profit sectors, acting for UK clients on strategic acquisitions and joint ventures. Corporate M&A work covers both the public and private markets, with mandates for publicly listed companies balanced with private equity-backed transactions. Practice head Richard Lane leads the firm's international strategy, and acts for a growing number of US and Middle Eastern clients.
Other key lawyers:
Marie Bates; Simon Ward
‘Bright, smart and creative. The team know their clients and start with their needs and values, rather than starting with the problem and imposing a solution‘
‘Excellent market knowledge, very commercial, pragmatic and practical advice‘
‘Extremely friendly, unflappable, flexible and responsive.‘
‘Richard Lane, Marie Bates and team are smart, hard-working and very good at the detail‘
‘Tom Bruce has excellent market knowledge, is very commercial, and offers excellent tactical insights‘
Brookfield Business Partners LP
PGA European Tour Limited
Ping Pong Group International Limited
Serabi Gold plc
Arbuthnot Latham & Co
SAGE Publications Limited
Helperby Therapeutics Group Limited
BMJ Publishing Group Limited
- Advised academic and professional publishing company SAGE on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Dutch company Lean Library.
- Acted for a private investment office on a joint venture by two of its clients in a jewellery business, including the acquisition of a 50% interest in the target from an existing, exiting partner.
- Advised publishing client BMJ Publishing Group on its acquisition of a minority interest in healthcare technology business Patchwork, which develops digital platforms for hospital use.
- Acted for Purple Conversion Community Interest on the sale of its assets to a newly incorporated joint venture, JVCo, and the client’s subsequent subscription of shares in JVCo.
- Advised not-for-profit organisation The Royal Society of Chemistry on the sale of its multidisciplinary journal, Integrative Biology, to Oxford University Press.
Across its 13 nationwide offices, Freeths LLP acts for clients ranging from owner-managed SMEs and individual entrepreneurs to larger listed public companies. The M&A team works closely with equity capital markets colleagues to advise AIM clients on listings and related acquisitions. Practice head Tom Rowley has particular experience in the aviation industry. Associate Francis Dalton has a broad practice, with a focus on private M&A in the media, technology and healthcare sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Freeths are smart, focused and 100% professional’
‘Practical approach backed by experience‘
‘Creative thinking, innovative, absolute dedication, tremendous work ethic and value for money‘
‘Tom Rowley and Francis Dalton encompass the values that make Freeths such a pleasure to work with‘
Patron Capital Partners
Green Man Gaming Holdings Plc
Eddie Stobart Logistics Plc
Gama Aviation Plc
BGF Investments LP
Northbridge Industrial Services Plc
N+1 Singer Advisory LLP
Crown Worldwide Limited
Proteome Sciences plc
Ten Entertainment Group plc
ECSC Group Plc
Autins Group Plc
- Advised the shareholders of insurance broker WWIS and its underwriting arm ORS on the sale of WWIS and ORS to PIB Group Limited
- Advised Eddie Stobart Logistics on its acquisition of The Pallet Network Group for £52.8m on a cash and debt free basis.
- Acted as counsel to AIM-quoted eg Solutions on its public takeover by Verint Systems Inc, implemented by way of scheme of arrangement, for £26m.
- Advised Calculus Capital on its acquisition of 10% of the share capital of Cloud Trade Technologies, for £2m.
- Advised the shareholders of London mortgage broker Charles Cameron & Associates on its sale to private equity firm Lonsdale Capital Limited.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP is best known for providing advice to clients on strategic transactions in the technology, retail, leisure and entertainment sectors. The majority of instructions come from entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, in addition to larger corporates in the firm's core TME sector. An increasing proportion of matters carry cross-border elements, with the firm acting for clients with international interests. The team is co-led by Colin Howes and Tim Parker, both of whom have handled multiple transactions across the firm's core sectors.
Colin Howes; Tim Parker
Other key lawyers:
DMC Business Machines Limited
The Gallagher Partnership
Royal Opera House
Panoply Holdings PLC
- Advised No1 Lounges on its conditional acquisition of six airport lounge businesses across four jurisdictions from Eithad Airways.
- Acted for The Gallagher Partnership on its acquisition by Haines Watts Chartered Accountants.
- Acted for the Royal Opera House on the sale of the Opus Arte part of the business – a multi-platform arts production and distribution company – to Naxos Rights (Europe) Limited, for £2.7m.
- Advised The Panoply Holdings on its £30m acquisition of four technology-related consultancy businesses, its admission to AIM and subsequent fundraising.
- Advised shareholders of the DMC Canotec Group, a European print and document management firm, on its sale of a majority stake to UK private equity firm Lyceum Capital.
Howard Kennedy LLP has longstanding sector specific strengths in hotels, leisure, restaurants and retail, and continues to count some of its biggest clients within these spaces. Given the calibre of clients represented, large proportions of its work are cross-border, with the team coordinating activities from its sole office in London. Across its key sectors, clients include owner-managed businesses, large portfolios and established high street brands, with increasingly prevalent private equity components. Ashley Reeback heads the corporate department, while Gillian White leads the M&A team. New hire James Wilson, from HFW, leads the dedicated AIM team.
Gillian White; Ashley Reeback
Other key lawyers:
Pandora Jewellery UK Limited
Alan Yau (Wagamama)
Base Childrenswear Limited
Shareholders of Aston Barclay
Panther Securities Limited
Automated Systems Group Limited
Old Truman Brewery
Capital on Tap
- Advised KPMG as administrator of HMW, which culminated in the successful sale of the business to Sunrise Records & Entertainment.
- Advised Africa Practice, a global strategy and communications consultancy, on the strategic buyout of its Nigerian subsidiary, which consolidates the client’s offering in this market.
- Provide ongoing assistance to Pandora Jewellery UK in connection with its acquisitions of stores from franchise partners to grow the number of owned and operated stores in the UK, with over 90 stores acquired over the last year.
- Advised Portnard Limited as vendor on the sale of its shares in department store chain owner Beale Limited to the management team, and the subsequent acquisition by the client’s subsidiary of Anglia Home Furnishings.
- Acted for the shareholders of Compass Broker Holdings on the sale to Broker Network.
Following its merger at the end of 2018, the combined Ince now has 14 partners covering corporate M&A. The broad range of sectors covered by the legacy firms is still a feature, and work highlights have encompassed the transport, aviation and real estate sectors. The firm primarily acts for small to medium-sized private companies, often family-owned businesses or companies owned by high net worth entrepreneurs. The team also handles some public work, and acted on its own admission to the AIM market. Mona Patel is recommended for her experience in cross-border mergers, acquisitions and disposals, in addition to advising on management buyouts and restructurings. The corporate department is led by Alon Domb, who specialises in private company M&A, especially those with a corporate real estate focus.
Other key lawyers:
Alan Barnett; Mona Patel
‘The team are technically excellent and capable. They focus on commercial outcomes for customers with flexible charging rather than just running up billable hours. Overall they are a pleasure to work with‘
‘Mona Patel is an excellent all-round lawyer, highly skilled technically with extensive knowledge of specialist subjects and a graceful professional style.‘
Apex Holdings (UK) Limited
Perrys Acre Limited
My London Home Limited
Marla International Ltd
- Acted for Apex Holdings, a PPHE Hotel Group company, in its acquisition of 50% of its joint venture, Aspirations Limited, from the other partner, for ca. £35m.
- Acted for three individuals selling their business to private equity house BlueGem.
- Advised Burgh Island Holdings in the purchase of Burgh Island Limited, the company that owns the hotel in Devon, for £8.65m.
- Engaged by Austrian law firm Eisenberger & Herzog to assist with the purchase by 3 A Group Beteiligungs GmbH (part of the Arian Group) of Benningstone Limited from two individual sellers, for $4m.
- Advised Marla International on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Geode Software Limited, which owns accounting and tax software.
Irwin Mitchell handles a significant volume of M&A deals in the smaller market space, and takes on international mandates as part of an overseas network of connected firms. The corporate practice is intrinsically linked to the firm's private client practice, and the teams offer a holistic service spanning both public and private. Bryan Bletso heads both the London corporate team and the firm's international offering, and is primarily engaged in private company work. Debbie Serota was hired from Darlingtons Solicitors, and is heavily active in the technology and real estate sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly reliable and dependable‘
‘The depth of knowledge is impressive, and the service is very personal. It is the ideal mix‘
‘Incredibly responsive and able to present technical issues in an understandable format’
‘Bryan Bletso is vastly experienced and uses that knowledge to exert a calm, reasoned and confident presence in meetings‘
Bought By Many Ltd
Gratte Brothers Group Limited
Selling shareholders of Thomas Exchange Global
Thermeon Worldwide Limited
Sellers of Interactive Digital Media GmbH
Sellers of iCasework Group
Sellers of Derivexperts SAS
Union Solutions Limited
- Advised the principal shareholders of Thomas Exchange Global Limited, on the sale of the entire issued share capital in the group to Fexco Limited.
- Advised two individuals on the sale of iCasework to Civica UK.
- Advised the principal shareholders of Red Rooster Holdings on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Claranet Limited.
- Represented C.P.Hart via its acquisition vehicle of Charco 2010 on the strategic acquisition of two companies – European Bathrooms Ltd and European Bathrooms (Amersham) Ltd.
- Acted for Thermeon Worldwide on the sale of its business to Valsoft Corporation .
Kerman & Co tends to act for small and medium sized entrepreneurial companies and family-owned businesses, primarily on owner exits and strategic acquisitions. The team is regularly referred work from corporate finance houses and accountancy practices, and has advised on the legal aspects of complex cross-border transactions. With an office in Dublin, the firm is also well-positioned to deal with transactions encompassing Irish companies or governed by Irish law. Following the merger with boutique technology M&A firm Coffey Graham, the team was bolstered by the arrival of two new partners with experience in this area. Peter Kohl heads the corporate practice.
Other key lawyers:
Bestway Group Plc
The Future Customer Ltd
Dinkum Products Ltd
Victoria Oil & Gas
43 North Limited
- Advised Applegreen Plc in connection with its £361.8m acquisition of a 50.01% majority stake in Welcome Break, and the admission of its enlarged share capital to trading on AIM.
- Advised McFinley CEP on the acquisition of construction recruitment agency First Choice.
- Advised shareholders of The Future Customer in connection with the company’s sale to NASDAQ listed ICF.
- Advised Dinkum Products on the sale of its business to Aimia Foods , a subsidiary of NYSE-listed Cott Corporation, for £4m.
- Advised shareholders of Hamsard 3369 Limited, which includes private equity firm Chiltern Capital, in connection with the company’s sale to financial group Enra.
Keystone Law is best known for advising SMEs and entrepreneurs, particularly in the TMT, healthcare and real estate sectors. The firm's sizeable group of partner-level consultants handle work for high-growth businesses, encompassing start-ups and publicly traded companies. Although there is no officially delineated practice head at the firm, Nadim Zaman and Andrew Stilton continue to be the key names to note on corporate M&A matters. The firm continues to hire a large number of partners each year, with 2018 witnessing arrivals from Slaughter and May, Jones Day and Withers LLP.
Marriott Harrison LLP focuses on transactions across a broad spectrum of industry sectors, including media and technology, leisure and retail, education and healthcare. Clients include entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, for whom the firm acts on investments and cross-border acquisitions. Outside the UK, the firm's international capabilities are facilitated through an international network of referralfirms. Practice head Simon Charles is experienced in corporate financing, and has a strong track record in advising clients on acquisition financing activities. The firm promoted David Strong to the partnership this year, while at the other end of the spectrum, Jonathan Pearce and Andrew Wigfall retired.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Leigh-Hunt; Ben Devons
‘Marriott Harrison offers straightforward, quality advice at a reasonable price‘
‘An excellently resourced and very practical and commercial firm‘
‘A wide range of skills from commercial lawyers able to work effectively as a team‘
‘Ben Devons has exceptional commercial acumen delivered in a calm, measured fashion‘
Cello Group Plc
Coolabi Group Limited
The Fulham Shore Plc
Kaplan International Holdings Limited
International Schools Partnership
Chiltern Capital LLP
Eight Capital Plc
- Advising shareholders of Gatehouse Consulting on its sale to the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co group
- Advising Chiltern Capital on its backing of a management buyout of the Hanmere polythene business
- Acted for the shareholders of Whizz Kid Entertainment Limited on the sale of 70% of the share capital to Entertainment One, for £7m
- Advised the sellers of Stratford Healthcare Centre on its £30m sale to Assura plc.
- Represented Acelity Group in relation to the sale of the entire issued share capital of Systagenix Wound Management Manufacturing Limited to Scapa Plc
With a dual presence in both the US and UK, McGuireWoods London LLP is adept at handling cross-border mandates, particularly transatlantic matters, on which the London office works closely with the firm's heritage office in Virginia. A significant component of the firm's regular work involves private equity, with notable clients across Hong Kong, the US and the UK. The integrated corporate team is headed from the US, however Patrick De Ridder, Mehboob Dossa and Jeremy Davis are the key names to note in London.
Memery Crystal LLP advises UK and international companies on cross-border mandates across a range of sectors, including corporate real estate, hotels and leisure and technology. Matter highlights include management buyouts, disposals and takeovers, acting for public and private clients as well as private equity-backed companies. The firm has made a number of hires, including Zarko Iankov from Dentons, who brings M&A experience, particularly in Eastern Europe. Corporate head Nick Alfillé is active across the firm's core sectors, and is proficient in advising clients ranging in size from start-ups to multinationals. Highly recommended is the 'very experienced' Lesley Gregory, who is rated for her AIM-related transactional work and corporate M&A for both domestic and overseas companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘Experts in their field but what makes them stand out is their commercial understanding of what we need as clients. They are also extremely approachable‘
Lombard Risk Management
Brooklyn Travel Limited
- Advised Gaming Realms on the sale of a 70% interest in its casino marketing business and related assets to River iGaming, for £23.1m
- Acted for the engineering and environmental consultancy RSK on five acquisitions in 2018, including Central Alliance Limited and Copeland Wedge Associates Limited.
- Acted for Gemserv Limited on its double acquisition of energy and compliance focused consultancy service providers, Aprose Risk and ASE Consulting Limited.
- Advised Foodfellas in the sale of 40% of their shares to an English subsidiary of a Thai company, for £11.2m
- Acted for BDO, the accountancy and audit firm, in their merger with Moore Stephens, another accountancy firm.
Shepherd and Wedderburn predominantly advises UK-based companies from a range of industries on corporate M&A transactions, with a growing presence in the overseas investor market. Key sector expertise lies in real estate, technology, natural resources and life sciences, the last of which Walter Blake, head of corporate, has notable experience in. The firm is adept at handling work for both established blue chip clients and fast growth companies, which is reflected in its client list. The 'invaluable' Carl Powlson has a broad spectrum of experience advising clients on cross-border corporate finance matters, with a notably strong track record in energy projects, in both the UK and abroad.
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely user friendly, quickly identifying the key commercial factors within any part of a transaction‘
‘I have not come across a team that balances high quality advice, client focus and efficient management so well. Every time I put work their way I know it is in great hands‘
‘Carl Powlson has been an exceptional partner to work with – I greatly value not only the quality of his legal advice, but his solution focus that means we can get to the business outcomes we want. I also get a clear sense that his associates enjoy working with him, which adds to the quality of support we get‘
European Assets Trust
Cluff Natural Resources
Goals Soccer Centres
Scarborough Group International
Nucleus IFA Company
Trustees of Boston University
Scoop Asset Management
- Represented Nucleus IFA Company as a major shareholder in Nucleus Financial Group on its IPO on AIM, with a £140m market capitalisation.
- Represented DySIS Medical on all aspects of its £18m investment round.
- Advised BigBlu Broadband on two corporate acquisitions -Sat internet and OpenSky, in Germany and Italy respectively.
- Acted for Fairbriar Developments on its sale of the PRS element of the Middlewood Locks Scheme to Get Living.
- Advised SOCO International plc on the sale of its upstream Angolan interests to Quill Trading Corporation and WMLC Resources.
Simons Muirhead & Burton is best known for its activity in the media, technology and events sectors, and has handled significant M&A transactions in these spaces. The team's predominant focus is in the media and publishing sector, and over the past year the team has advised on media content transactions, disposals and strategic acquisitions. Notably, the team has developed its M&A offering in the virtual reality market, working with large domestic clients. Practice head Peter Weiss advises corporates and family-owned businesses on M&A deals in the firm's focus sectors and also has specialist experience in partnership law, particularly in negotiating investment vehicles through LLPs.
Keshet International UK
Vito One GmbH
Owners of “Kiddyzuzaa”
Bauer Radio Limited
Masters of Pie Limited
- Represented Stagwell Group in its £40m acquisition of Ink Publishing, which provides content for American Airlines and EasyJet.
- Represented Dennis Publishing in the sale of its group of companies to Exponent Private Equity.
- Advised Bauer Radio, part of Bauer’s subsidiary Bauer Media UK, on its acquisition of UK radio station Jazz FM.
- Acted for Banijay Group, an independent content creator for television and multimedia platforms, on its acquisition of UK production company 7Wonder Productions.
- Advised Keshet International, a global production and distribution media group, in a deal with BBC Worldwide, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Greenbird Media.
Teacher Stern LLP works across the full range of M&A activities, with recent highlight examples including acquisitions, sales, corporate reorganisations and corporate real estate transactions. The firm's wide sector experience means that key mandates from the past year have come from a variety of clients, with sports, retail and technology especially active. Department head David Salisbury is noted for his experience in the sports sector, and has acted for high-profile football clubs in takeovers and purchases. The arrival of David Ponsford from Gowling WLG strengthens the team's capabilities in handling joint ventures and shareholder agreements. Technology head Martine Nathan is highly regarded by clients who praise her for being 'collaborative and an excellent communicator.'
Other key lawyers:
‘No other law firm drives a deal so successfully. Always available, very commercial and a pleasure to deal with.‘
‘A highly professional focused team dedicated to delivering a high standard of service‘
‘Martine Nathan is genuinely a different class. A great adviser, with commercial judgement you can trust and constantly available‘
‘David Salisbury has a truly commercial outlook and is always willing to intervene”
‘Kelly Whitfield is a very resolute and skilled solicitor with a broad and detailed experience/skillset‘
Corona Corporate Solutions Limited
Genius Sports Group
El Al Airlines
- Advised AM Coffee Holdings on the purchase of Goldex Investments Limited, the holder of 14 Costa Coffee franchises.
- Advised tvONE on the acquisition of Green Hippo, a developer and manufacturer of media servers and digital display products, for £7m.
- Advised Metroline on the acquisition of a bus and transportation company in north Wales, for £7m.
- Acted for the shareholders of the Genius Sports Group and its subsidiaries in multiple overseas jurisdictions in its sale to funds advised by Apax Partners.
- Acted for Corona Corporate Group on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Classic Business Equipment Limited.
Wallace LLP typically acts for small to medium companies, in addition to investors and entrepreneurs, on both domestic and multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions. The increased permeation of private equity into the corporate M&A market has seen the firm act for a number of corporates on sales of stakes to private equity funds, in which practice head David Judah has had an active role. John Woodhouse is praised for his 'exceptional attention to detail'.
Other key lawyers:
John Woodhouse; Charlotte Wheeldon
‘The team at Wallace puts the client at the centre, and think ahead to what needs to be done, using their own or their colleagues’ experience to be more efficient‘
‘A very personal service, partners take pride in the work they do and build solid friendships with clients and other advisers‘
‘John Woodhouse has exceptional attention to detail and his very affable personality makes him an excellent client facing individual‘
ENIC/Tottenham Hotspur FC
Excell Group Plc
Arrow Electronics Inc
Henry Schein Inc
Martin’s Family Holdings
Warwick Hotels & Resorts
Fetal Medicine Foundation
Flex pads World Class
- Advised the founder and management team of Livingstone Technologies on the disposal of a majority of shareholders in the company to the Carlyle Group.
- Acted for Shaw International Holdings Limited (BVI) in the sale of their 50% shareholding in AutoProtect Group to existing joint venture partner Correlation Investments Limited, a South African private equity house incorporated in Bermuda.
- Advised shareholders of Copperman Consulting on the sale of the entire issued share capital to a South African buyer, Decision Inc.
- Advised accountacy firm MGR Weston Kay and its members on the sale of a majority stake to ETL Global.
- Advised the members of Porta Planning LLP on the sale of the business and assets to Savills, and consequent integration of the members into the Savills team.
Wiggin LLP is most active in the media, technology, brands and entertainment industries, where the firm's key clients operate. Work includes advising public and private companies on both domestic and cross-border mandates, with the added capability to act for entrepreneurs and investment backers. The overall corporate practice is aligned with the firm's market specialisms but also work together in sectors such as gambling. The 'experienced' and 'expert' Adrian Jones and Michael Brader co-head the corporate practice, both with broad experience across the media sector.
Adrian Jones; Michael Brader
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly sector focused and therefore uniquely placed to advise clients, with a deep understanding of the critical relationship between regulation and commercial/strategic decision-making and deal structuring‘
‘Unparalleled industry expertise‘
‘Tech sector M&A experts with strong commercial acumen and a deep understanding of legal issues‘
‘David McLeish is a first class lawyer – dedicated tenacious and generally impressive. He is very practical and commercial, with significant expertise from in-house industry experience‘
Jaguar Land Rover
- Acted for Greenbird Media on the exit of BBC Worldwide as a shareholder, the acquisition by Keshet International of a controlling stake in Greenbird and Greenbird’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Crackit Productions.
- Advised Fulwell 73 on its part sale to US media conglomerate Valance Media.
- Advised William Hill on the ca. £250m public takeover of Mr Green.
- Advised shareholders of Lookout Point on the sale of the remaining shares to BBC Studios for a mix of upfront consideration and earn out.
- Advised Playtech on the acquisition of Studio 88 PTY , a content studio focused on the creation of online casino games, for an initial consideration of €3.4m plus maximum additional consideration of €7.2m
South west-based Ashfords LLP's 'strong partner-led team' handles corporate work from its London, Bristol and Exeter offices, acting for local, national and international clients. Matters are regularly cross-border, facilitated through the firm's network of international alliances. The team has notable expertise in the technology sector, primarily driven from the Bristol office, as well as venture capital, private equity, management buy outs, corporate restructurings and governance matters and financial services sector experience. Exeter-based Andrew Betteridge heads the corporate practice, while Giles Hawkins is the key name in the London office.
Other key lawyers:
Giles Hawkins; Chris Dyson; Louise Workman
‘Strong partner led team. with experienced lawyers who give practical advice‘
‘Very experienced and versed in all aspects of a start-up acquisition process, a good mix of expertise and great all-around service‘
‘Simon Rous and Stuart Fleet are both experienced and very easy to deal with. Both have excellent technical and communication skills‘
‘Giles Hawkins always finds a solution to the most complex problems, and is super experienced with different approaches in our industry‘
‘Chris Dyson offers an excellent balance of legal knowledge and commercial acumen‘
‘Associate Ross Van de Welde undertook the day-to-day aspects of our transaction with efficiency and excellent communication‘
- Advised the shareholders of Kopernio on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Kopernio to Camelot UK Bidco Limited (Clarivate Analytics).
- Advised Bluestream Trading Co on the acquisition of Serpentine Park.
- Advised venture capital funds Notion Capital, Eden Ventures and BGF Ventures on the sale of cloud service company NewVoiceMedia (NVM) to New York Stock Exchange-listed Vonage.
- Advised Holtzbrinck Ventures, Frog Capital and Notion Capital on the sale of Dealflo Limited to VASCO Data Security Inc (OneSpan).
- Acted for TLH Bidco on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Torquay Leisure Hotels .
Bates Wells handles M&A across across the infrastructure, technology and financial services sectors, working with venture capitalists and corporate clients. The firm has benefited from the growth of the 'impact economy' and has a strategic focus on the not for profit sector, advising clients on strategic M&A matters to serve this purpose. Although the team's predominant focus is on the domestic market, it has acted on matters with a US scope. Mark Tasker is a 'brilliant operator', and heads up the corporate and commercial department, with a particular focus on financial services and TMT sector transactions. Associate Matthew Gearing is noted by clients as 'one to watch', and handles corporate finance, investment and transactional matters.
Other key lawyers:
David Davies; Matthew Gearing
‘A strong commercial team led by an excellent partner in Mark Tasker‘
‘The corporate team at BWB is a very slick operation. There are no weak links and they all seem to operate with huge commitment and enthusiasm‘
‘Mark Tasker is a brilliant operator and clients love him.’
‘David Davies is an excellent lawyer and very good at working out complex matters.’
‘Matt Gearing is one to watch – he shoulders a huge workload and provides an excellent service to clients in managing deals. He is also bright and calm under pressure‘
FM Conway Limited
FairFX Group plc
Global Innovation Fund
Call Assist Limited
Trinity College London
Activate Solutions Group Limited
- Represented Fedcap UK, a subsidiary of US-based not for profit organisation Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Kennedy Scott Limited from a private individual.
- Advised nanotechnology company P2i Limited on its latest pre-IPO funding round, securing £9m from multiple investors.
- Negotiated on behalf of the National Union of Students (NUS) the terms of a joint venture arrangement to retain the client’s shareholder position in Endsleigh Ltd.
- Acted for the shareholders of Mecmesin, a designer and manufacturer of measuring systems, on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Physical Testing Properties Limited, a portfolio company of Battery Ventures.
Blake Morgan LLP's 'unique' practice focuses on the small and mid-market segments, primarily on equity fundraising and domestic acquisitions, although with a growing international element. The London office acts as a focal point for the firm's regional practice, which is particularly active in the technology, travel and leisure, retail and real estate sectors. Martin Kay heads the practice, and has a number of AIM-quoted companies as clients.
Other key lawyers:
Lawrence Phillips; Stojan Essex
‘Blake Morgan is able to make complicated matters straightforward for clients.’
‘The whole team consistently exceed expectations in their willingness to accommodate difficult timetables and the knowledge and understanding they bring to the table‘
‘Stojan Essex is one of the most impressive partners I’ve met while working in London, he takes the time needed to understand his clients‘
‘Lawrence Phillips is an good communicator and a very strong solicitor‘
Air France KLM
Brown Retail Holdings Ltd
Brown Shipley & Co. Limited
Cogora Group Limited
CVS Group Plc
Cream UK Ltd
Forbidden Technologies plc
Go Ahead GmbH
Jota Aircraft Leasing Ltd
KCR Residential REIT plc
Kerry Group plc
Osirium Technologies plc
OS3 Digital Limited
Petards Group Plc
Reward Technology Ltd
Telecom Italia Sparkle SpA
Tempest Resourcing Ltd
Virtual Clarity Limited
W K Webster & Co Ltd
- Advised Ickenham Travel Group on its merger with Timely Travel Limited.
- Acted for Ovation Travel Group on its acquisition of Chartwell Travel Limited, its first acquisition in the UK.
- Advised Petards Group on its £2.1m acquisition of RTS Holdings and its subsidiary.
- Advised the shareholders of Esstoo Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company.
- Advised the shareholders of Eduzone Limited, a company specialising in education materials, on the sale of the entire issued share capital.
Duane Morris' London team advises on international transactions, with the ability to collaborate with colleagues in Europe and the US. The team is noted for its strong track record in joint venture negotiations, and work highlights predominantly come from the automotive, life sciences, financial services and natural resources sectors. For the most part, M&A activity is in the private sector, working for a number of private equity houses and venture capitalists. The 'exceptional' practice head Susan Laws is noted for her venture capital experience.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent cross-border capabilities with a seamless service across the continents‘
‘Sue Laws is exceptional, and brings an energy and pragmatic approach that is second to none‘
‘Ute Mueller is an outstanding lawyer who pays close attention to detail‘
RK Mine Finance
The Character Group Plc
Jaguar Land Rover Limited
Vauxhall Motors Limited
U&I Group Plc
- Advised Red Kite Mine Finance as financier in relation to a $185m joint venture between TSX, Asanko Gold and Gold Fields Limited.
- Advised Vauxhall Motors Limited on the sale of its shares in Sherwoods Motor Group.
Edwin Coe LLP handles public and private M&A across numerous sectors and jurisdictions. The four-partner team has also acted for clients on shareholder agreements, joint ventures and management buyouts, and has acted for a number of overseas investors into the UK over the past year. Corporate and commercial head Russel Shear has a wide-ranging practice encompassing M&A, corporate finance, joint ventures and private equity investments.
Other key lawyers:
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
- Advised accountacy firm Blick Rothenberg on its acquisition of Hazlems Fenton LLP
- Advised Internet Fusion Limited, an e-commerce business, on its acquisition of IP assets from Factory Media Limited and Sports Action Media Limited.
- Advised on the acquisition by Ingenio Education of Windrush Valley School , acting for the buyer.
- Advised Chargeurs on the acquisition of a company specialising in the creation of graphic displays and display structures.
- Represented Tethyan Resources on the acquisition of Taor, a Serbian company involved in mining and exploration.
Gateley Plc handles a high volume of corporate M&A transactions, with a particular focus on the domestic market, although it also advises US-based clients. The firm's broad sector focus means that it advises across a range of industries, including manufacturing and retail. Tom Durrant heads the national corporate team, dividing his time between the Birmingham and London offices.
Goodman Derrick LLP represents individual owners and corporates, particularly in its core sectors of publishing, media and entertainment, technology, hospitality and leisure. A significant proportion of M&A work originates from overseas, and the London team regularly works alongside alliance firms to deliver cross-border mandates. The firm has a particular niche in the classical car market, working for individuals on high-value acquisitions.Tanya Shillingford heads the practice and has a particular focus on TMT.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Webb; Dominic Prentis
‘The Goodman Derrick advantage is that they are good communicators and operate with a personal, no nonsense approach‘
‘Commercially minded lawyers that know what they are doing.’
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe
AFH Financial Group
Chime Communications Limited
The Restaurant Group Plc
Lok N Store Group Plc
Pavilion Books Group Limited
Storm Model Management Limited
- Advised AFH Financial Group on its acquisition of the assets of the Colwyn Bay Office
- Advised Twin Spark Finance in relation to its joint venture arrangement with RM Sotheby’s.
- Advised Chicago-based rEvolution Marketing LLC, an integrated sports marketing agency, on its acquisition of 80% of the shares of London-based sports marketing agency Revolution Sports Marketing.
- Acting for one side of the Frost family on the sale of their interests in the Frosts Garden Centre chain to the other side of the family.
- Acted for a group of investors financing the acquisition of the assets and business of Chelsea Apps Factory in a pre-pack transaction.
Hamlins LLP predominantly handles corporate finance matters for entrepreneurs, SMEs and large corporates, with M&A activities spanning both the public and private markets. In addition, the firm undertakes fundraisings and transactions on both the main market and AIM, including flotations and reverse takeovers. Specialist sector focuses include media, technology and leisure, as well as real estate. Daniel Bellau focuses on AIM-listed corporates and SMEs, particularly within the aforementioned sectors. Robert Rakison, a recent hire from McGuireWoods London LLP, predominantly focuses on the private market, with an emphasis on cross-border transactions.
‘Skilled and experienced in all aspects of corporate law, giving astute and practice advice.’
‘Personable and client facing‘
‘A medium size firm that has all the skills to deliver a quality product at a keen price‘
‘Daniel Bellau stands out as one of the leading corporate lawyers on commercial and equity capital markets matters at a West End firm. He is always a pleasure to work with‘
Palace Capital plc
Ted Baker Group plc
Park Plaza Hotels Europe
E-prop Services Group plc
Trevali Mining Corporation
Prime Site Developments Limited
Sandown Ventures Limited
Angelfish Investments plc
- Advised Charles Campbell Associates, a clinical contract research business, on its sale to a competitor based in the US.
- Acted for Prime Site Developments on its acquisition of the business and assets in the Herculaneum Quay Developments site, a mixed-use site in Liverpool, for £10m.
- Advised Park Plaza Hotels Europe on the acquisition of a significant minority stake in Southbank Hotel Management Company Limited, for £14m.
- Acted for the sellers of record label Proper Records on its acquisition by Topic Records.
- Advised a Thai family company on the proposed sale of a Channel Islands-based subsidiary to an ultra high net worth family fund
Hill Dickinson LLP advises public and private companies, both overseas or UK-domiciled, on a full range of corporate matters. The past few years have seen significant growth in the team, with the most recent hire being Jonathan Morris from Thrings LLP, who has experience acting for entrepreneurs and entrepreneur-backed businesses in the lower mid-market. Sector specialisms include transport, energy and natural resources, and healthcare. The firm also has experience in emerging markets, with practice head Michael Bennett a key name to note for this.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Walker; Michael Corcoran
‘Extremely skilled, responsive, thorough and with a good work ethic.’
‘Adaptable and work around the clock to service clients’ needs‘
‘Michael Corcoran is a trusted adviser whose capacity, communication, and commitment to excellence shine through”
‘Michael Bennett provides sound, practical and commercial advice‘
Liquid Telecommunications Ltd
Minds + Machines Group Limited
SalvaRx Group PLC
UK Oil & Gas PLC
The Montreux Healthcare Fund PLC
Reabold Resources PLC
Clean Invest Africa PLC
- Advised Liquid Telecommunications on the acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in its Zambian joint venture, CEC Liquid Telecom, from Copperbelt Energy Corporation.
- Advised AIM-listed MMX on its acquisition of ICM Registry and its subsidiaries, for $10m cash and $31m satisfied through shares.
- Advised SalvaRx, an AIM-listed biotechnology company focsued on cancer treatments, in relation to its disposal of its 94.2% stake in subsidiary SalvaRx Limited
- Advised UK Oil & Gas on its £6.6m acquisition of a further 22% shareholding in Horse Hill Developments Limited.
- Advised The Montreux Healthcare Fund on its sale of the entire issued share capital of Mylife Supported Living Limited for £10m.
Joelson is best known for working with entrepreneurial individuals and teams, as well as management. Key sectors include food and drink, leisure, media and professional services. Paul Chiappe serves as co-head of the practice, and focuses on acting for management teams on private equity-backed transactions, as well as acting for large corporates in the food and beverages sector. Fellow co-head Phil Hails-Smith's focus is on acting for management teams on management buyouts and buy-ins and supporting their growth through strategic acquisitions.
Paul Chiappe; Phil Hails-Smith
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly commercial, understand what we care about. Fees are transparent and fair‘
‘Philippa Sturt is an outstanding deal lawyer who understands what makes her clients tick. No nonsense, yet commercial in her approach and commands your complete trust‘
Wentworth Resources Plc
Tantillus Synergy Limited
Pasta Evangelists Limited
Wynn Resorts Limited
Hazlems Fenton LLP
Westleton Drake Limited
- Acted for Valtech, a digital agency, in its acquisition of True Clarity.
- Acted for the selling shareholders of WARC in relation to its sale to Ascential for £22m.
- Acted for the management team of Tailsco in connection with the sale of the company to Nestle SA.
- Assisted Hazlems Fenton in connection with the sale of its assets together with the assets of Argyll Street Management Services Limited and Hazlems Fenton Services Limited to BlickRothenberg Limited
- Advised Play Consulting in relation to an equity investment of £1.3m by two angel investors.
Laytons LLP is continuing to build on its 2017 merger and, with offices in London, Guildford and Manchester, provides a comprehensive service for predominantly UK-based clients. The firm also handles cross-border mandates, collaborating with alliance firms in Europe and wider. Key sectors include life sciences and food and beverages, where clients include overseas investors bringing UK-bound investments. Cameron Sunter heads up the team, and recently took a lead role for France-based consulting and research firm BVA on its £16m acquisition of UK counterpart BDRC.
Field & Flower
- Represented BVA, a French provider of marketing and opinion research, on its £16m+ purchase of a 90% stake in BDRC, the UK-based market research consultancy.
- Advised Ganassini, an Italy-based developer and producer of life sciences and healthcare products, on its acquisition of The Organic Pharmacy.
- Acted for Field & Flower, the UK-based meat box and grass feed delivery service, on a crowdfunding share issue.
Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord LLP predominantly advises foreign entities entering the UK market, either through strategic acquisitions or investments. The firm's traditional standing in the energy sector means that there is a steady influx of M&A work in this area, while work over the past year has also come from the financial services and retail sectors; clients range from start-ups to large corporates and public companies. James Channo co-chairs the International Transactions Practice Group for EMEA from the London office.
Other key lawyers:
Sean Page; Kevin Atkins
Adamas Finance Asia Limited
Close Brothers Group plc
Grant Thornton UK
Hargreave Hale Limited
Thalassa Holdings Limited
Landing International Development Limited
Sniperhill Internet Services Inc.
Derriston Capital Plc
Momenta Acquisitions Limited
- Advised Thalassa Holdings, a BVI-incorporated company with interests in oilfield services and real estate, on its proposed acquisition of the remaining shares of The Local Shopping REIT that it does not already own, for £21.9m.
- Advised Sniperhill Internet Services in connection with the $4m acquisition of Fonmio Limited, a wireless internet device retailer.
- Advised Close Brothers Group on its acquisition of Capital Lease Solutions.
- Represented Hargreave Hale AIM VCT in a £6m investment in Oxford Genetics Limited.
- Advised Marlborough Special Situations Fund and related parties leading a £25m investment into SCA Investments Limited, trading as ‘Gousto’
With strong standings in both Exeter and London, Michelmores LLP primarily handles lower mid-market work for regional, national and international clients. A large proportion of work is done for AIM-listed PLCs, advising companies, nominated advisers and brokers on stock exchange transactions, including IPOs. Also noted is the firm's activity in emerging markets, where it acts for African companies in the mining and minerals sector. Richard Cobb heads the corporate team, while Ian Binnie is head of the capital markets practice; the duo advise clients in equal measure across the firm's sectors.
Richard Cobb; Ian Binnie
‘Highly reactive, providing sound corporate advice‘
‘Ian Binnie is an experienced and clear-thinking adviser‘
LEBC Holdings Limited
African Battery Metals Plc
Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
Boultbee Estates Limited
Global Medical Investments AB
- Acted for LEBC Holdings on its acquisition of Aspira Corporate Solutions, a regional provider of financial planning, pensions and wealth management advisory services.
- Acted for the shareholders of TESM on its sale to NYSE-listed DXC Technology.
- Advised African Battery Metals in relation to two simultaneous acquisitions of mining assets in Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire, for ca. £2m.
- Advised the selling shareholders of Knadel on the sale of the its entire issued share capital to Catalyst Development, a specialist financial markets consultancy.
- Advised the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime on its acquisition of the corporate vehicle that owns The Empress State Building in Earls Court, London.
The corporate and M&A team at Payne Hicks Beach caters for a wide range of clients, with the owner-managed market remaining steadily active. While the retail sector has been less busy over the past year, the firm continues to handle significant transactions in the technology sector, among others. Cross-border work is facilitated through established foreign desks in the London office, including Scandinavia, Asia and the Middle East. Jonathan Gatward leads the corporate department, while Nick Sayers is head of the M&A practice; Gatward is primarily focused on the private market, with Sayers working across both public and private markets.
Jonathan Gatward; Nick Sayers
Bonnier Publishing Limited
DNA Fit Life Sciences Limited
Pineapple Holdings Limited
Legrand Electric Limited
Legrand France SA
Charles Taylor Plc
Aukett Swanke Plc
Typhoo Tea Ltd
Fairfield Industries Inc
Elite Hotels (Rotherwick) Limited
- Advised the management team of The Club Company, a country club operator, on the exercise of their share options and the sale of their resulting shares in the company to Epiris.
- Acted for Fairfield Industries Incorporated on its $30m acquisition of the business and assets of WGP Group, and its subsidiaries.
- Acted for Avi Lasarow on the $10m sale of his majority shareholding in DNAFit Life Sciences Limited to Prenetics, a Hong Kong-incorporated company.
Russell-Cooke LLP 's clients are a mix of large corporates, high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs, and they are typically London-based. The firm's sector specialities include technology, travel and leisure, and real estate, with the team collaborating with the real estate department on complex transactions with property assets involved. In the technology sector, the team primarily advise start-ups, and is the UK legal partner for the Founder Institute, a pre-seed accelerator for young businesses. Jonathan Thornton is head of the corporate and commercial team, and is the key name to note for advice to creative and professional partnerships regarding shareholding activities.
Other key lawyers:
The Ilchester Estate
Beavis Morgan LLP
Kent Equine Hospital Limited
- Represented the seller of a property in Cannon Street via a corporate vehicle, with a deal value in excess of £47m.
- Represented G Adventures in its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of small group youth travel specialists TruTravels.
- Represented marketing technology company Phrasee Limited in a $4m Series A fundraising round.
- Advised the shareholders of Character Cottage Holidays Ltd on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to LDC, a UK mid-market private equity firm.
Sheridans is predominantly focused on corporate M&A within the media, leisure, technology and entertainment sectors. Experience includes fundraising rounds, founder exit strategies and reinvestment, in addition to strategic acquisitions. Work in the entertainment sector also covers joint ventures and investment transactions, and has included private equity-backed mandates. Rex Nwakodo heads the department, and has specific experience in corporate finance and M&A transactions incorporating asset transfers.
Other key lawyers: