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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Corporate and commercial > M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Dechert LLPfields a strong M&A team, and is very good value for money’; it has ‘good industry knowledge and a pragmatic attitude’, and is ‘always responsive’. The practice is active in a wide variety of sectors, including energy, telecoms, life sciences and insurance. On the energy front, the ‘firm, thorough and pragmaticJonathan Angell advised Chrysaor Holdings on its $3bn purchase of a package of oil and gas in the North Sea from Shell UK, while life sciences highlights included the ‘deeply knowledgeable, experiencedGraham Defries’s advice to Ziarco Group on its sale to Novartis. In an illustration of the firm’s cross-border capability, Simon Briggs assisted Orange with the sale of its 70% stake in Telkom Kenya to Helios Investment Partners, and on its acquisition of Airtel in Sierra Leone from Bharti Airtel. Also in the telecoms space, Ross Allardice, who joined in November 2016 from White & Case LLP, advised Magyar Telecom on the sale of its stake in Invitel Group to China CEE Investment Co-operation Fund. Retail is another area of activity for the practice: Angell acted for Wiggle Group on its purchase of Chain Reaction Cycles, while group head Douglas Getter assisted Adveo Group with the sale of its ink and toner distribution business and its electronic office supplies inventory in Spain, Italy and Germany to Westcoast. Acquisition finance specialist John Markland arrived in November 2016 from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, while Shane de Beer left for Fieldfisher in January 2017.

Commended for its ‘excellent response times, industry knowledge and strength in depth’, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘trustworthy’ department is headed by Richard Moulton. A TMT and healthcare expert, Moulton acted for Primary Capital Partners on its investment in MARU Group and its acquisition of eDigitalResearch. He also advised Inflexion on its purchase of Reed & Mackay from ECI Partners and Livingbridge. Robin Johnson acted for Chemtura on its €2.4bn takeover by Lanxess, and along with Stephen Nash advised Kuala Lumpur Kepong on its £415m offer for MP Evans. Nash is also active in the TMT space: he advised Daisy Intermediate Holdings on its £165m offer for Alternative Networks, and assisted Empire Cinemas with its £94m sale of five cinemas to Cineworld Group. The practice counts high-profile energy companies among its client roster: Robert Pitcher advised China National Nuclear on its investment in the Hinkley Point C project, while James Trevis, in co-operation with the firm’s Birmingham office and in tandem with Linklaters LLP, acted for National Grid on the divestment of a stake in NGGD, its £13.8bn UK gas distribution business, to a consortium of infrastructure investors. The practice’s other clients include Smith Group, DuPont, BAE Systems, Legal & General and the London Stock Exchange. Richard Lewis is ‘exceptionally able and responsive to clients’ needs’; Chris Halliday is also recommended. Sebastian Orton joined from Jones Day in March 2016.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP’s practice has significant experience in high-value cross-border M&A; it counts energy, healthcare, life sciences and asset management as sector strengths. Nick Azis acted for Irving Oil on its purchase of the Whitegate oil refinery in Ireland, while Lisa O’Neill advised Praxair on its £330m acquisition of Yara International’s European CO2 business. Practice head Mark Davis assisted Polymer Additives with its purchase of speciality chemicals company Akcros Holdings; he also advised on the $160m acquisition financing. In the asset management sector, Davis and Stuart Mathews advised Sanne Group on its $66m purchase of FLSV Fund Administration Services. In an illustration of the firm’s strong emerging markets credentials, Rupert Weber acted for Tana Africa Capital and Plexus Investments on the $530m sale of a 33% stake in Promasidor Holdings to Ajinomoto. On the real estate side, Weber and Eleanor West advised Prime Kapital on a joint venture with MAS Real Estate to create a €260m Central and Eastern European commercial property business, which will engage in mixed-use redevelopments in the region. Other clients of the department include Olam and Cygnet Healthcare; recent client wins include Hague and London Oil, Varian Medical Systems and Circle Health. In 2016, aviation, internet and e-commerce expert Michael Holter joined from WilmerHale, healthcare specialist arrived from Taylor Wessing LLP, and life sciences expert and senior counsel Gary Howes arrived from Fasken Martineau LLP.

Well known for its strength in the digital businesses and marketing sector, Osborne Clarke LLP’s practice also counts financial services, real estate, infrastructure and energy as core sector strengths. Simon Smith, who heads the department jointly with the Reading-based Greg Leyshon, acted for ByBox Holdings on the auction process that led to its management buyout, which was backed by LDC. In the technology space, Mark Spinner advised Group IMD on its £96m sale to Inflexion by Vitruvian Partners, while Leyshon acted for IDscan Biometrics on its sale to GB Group for up to £45m. Leyshon also assisted Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group on its £930m sale by Terra Firma to AMC Theatres. In other media-related highlights, Chris King advised Time Inc. (UK) on its purchase of Collective Europe from Collective, while Jonathan King and Conrad Davies acted for Progressive Digital Media Group on its £67m purchase of GlobalData. Janita Good advised Actavis UK and Actavis Ireland on their £603m sale to Intas Pharmaceuticals by Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries. The group saw a number of significant changes to the team in 2016: Edward Persse and corporate real estate expert Paul Smith arrived from Irwin Mitchell, corporate finance specialist Rebecca Gordon joined from Dentons, associate director Tom Try joined from Slaughter and May, and senior associate Alexander Underwood, who is an energy specialist, arrived from in-house at Tempus. Matthew Bodfield, a real estate, infrastructure and recruitment sector expert with significant experience in the digital business space, made partner in May 2016. Other recommended partners include Kate Johnson, Russell van Praagh and Mathias Loertscher.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s group, which is led by energy and infrastructure expert John Tyerman, frequently handles multi-jurisdictional M&A for public and private companies, and is consistently active across a wide range of sectors. Hannah Brader, who is very strong in M&A involving insurance and financial institutions, advised Legal & General Group on its £140m sale of Cofunds to Aegon UK. In the cross-border space, Joanne Ellis assisted the shareholders of GBK Restaurants with the company’s £120m sale to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Famous Brands, while Tom Leman advised Target Group on its £112m sale to the India-listed Tech Mahindra. Leman also acted for AB InBev on its purchase of Camden Brewing Group. Rob Hutchings advised Kier Group on the £75m sale of its Mouchel Consulting business to WSP. Though mostly active in the mid-market space, the practice also handles some impressive premium M&A: Andrew Kerr acted for Nirma on its $1.4bn purchase of Lafarge India from LafargeHolcim, Leman advised AMC Theatres on its $1.2bn acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, and Robert Moir assisted Redefine Properties with its €1.2bn purchase of a 75% stake in Dutch property company Echo Prime Properties. Jon Harris and Nicole Livesey are also recommended. In 2016, Stephen Levy’s departure for Dentons was offset by the arrival of telecoms expert Andrew McMillan from Simmons & Simmons. Financial sector M&A expert Hammad Akhtar joined from Ashurst in April 2017.

Squire Patton Boggs counts energy, chemicals and industrials, financial services, media and sport as areas of M&A expertise. The ‘holistic, proactive and multi-jurisdictional’ practice often acts for shareholders on private equity investments and strategic M&A: the ‘tireless, admirable’ Mark Yeo and the ‘wise, pragmatic and highly commercialNicholas Allen acted for the shareholders of Stem Marketing on the sale of their shares in the company to UDG Healthcare, and advised them on related tax structuring issues in the US and Germany. Allen, Timothy Stead and ‘exceptionally attentive, technically knowledgeable’ practice head James McKay advised Reiss Holdings’ shareholders on the £230m sale of their majority stake in the company to Warburg Pincus. In the sport sector, Yeo and the ‘vastly experiencedDavid Hull advised Bridgemere UK on its £43m sale of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club to Fosun International, and Yeo and McKay advised Randy Lerner and Brooklyn NY Holdings on their sale of Aston Villa Football Club to Recon Group and Tony Xia. On the acquisitions side, McKay and Carolyn Buller assisted Synthomer with its $226m purchase of Hexion’s performance adhesives and coatings business. Additionally in the manufacturing and chemicals space, Robert Bray and Antonio Cañadas advised Coats Group on its acquisition of Gotex. Though Matthew Doughty left in June 2016 to join DWF, Kashif Siddiqui, who is an expert in outbound investment from the Middle East, arrived from Trowers & Hamlins LLP three months later.

The team at Stephenson Harwood provides ‘excellent service, rapid document turnaround and real commitment to getting the deal done’; it is ‘very good value for money’, and handles public and private M&A in a wide variety of sectors. Andrew Edge advised Lavendon Group on takeover bids by Loxam and TVH Group, with Loxam eventually winning the bid by paying £459m for the acquisition; he also assisted Engie with its £330m purchase of Keepmoat from TDR and Sun Capital. Practice head Duncan Stiles advised FTSE-listed Meggitt on the sale of Meggitt Targets Systems to QinetiQ Group for £58m. Ben Mercer acted for Vistra Group on its purchase of Jordans and Jordans Trust Company from West of England Trust, and advised Fitness First’s management team on Oaktree Capital’s sale of the company’s UK fitness clubs to DW Fitness Clubs. Andrew McLean’s real estate highlights included advising Alaska Permanent Fund and its UK real estate investment managers, LaSalle Investment Managers, on the £275m purchase of the company that owns the Intu shopping centre in bromley from Aviva. On the sell side, Jonathan Pittal advised Bowmark Capital on its £340m sale of Autodata Publishing Group to Solera Holdings, while William Saunders acted for the board of Charlemagne Capital on its £41m takeover by Fiera Capital, by way of a Cayman scheme of arrangement but still complying with the UK Takeover Code. Other clients include BTG, Acadia Healthcare, AET and Motor Oil Hellas (Corinth Refineries).

TMT, energy, transport and logistics are sector strengths of Bird & Bird LLP’s practice, which has strong multi-jurisdictional capabilities. Group head and TMT expert Neil Blundell acted for Finnish telecoms company Elisa on its €151m purchase of Starman’s Estonian business, and advised BT on its acquisition of Pelipod. He also assisted AXIO Data Group with its sale of Vidal Group to Japanese-listed medical tech company M3, as well as advising it on its portfolio company TechInsights’ acquisition of Chipworks. Simon Allport has strong public and private M&A experience, particularly in the financial services, healthcare and life sciences sectors, though he is active in other sectors too: he advised Alternative Networks on its €165m takeover by Daisy Intermediate Holdings. Chris Barrett acted for Wilhelmsen Maritime Services on its merger with Survitec Group, the resulting company having an annual revenue of approximately £400m. Other clients of the group include Fosun Group, Just Eat, Tech Mahindra and Nokia Solutions and Networks. The practice is increasingly active in solar energy M&A; representative clients include Push Energy, TGC Renewables, Goldbeck Solar and Solar Power Developments. Technology M&A expert Struan Penwarden, energy specialist Matt Bonass, media, energy and utilities specialist Simon Fielder and healthcare and TMT expert Helen Gavin-Brown are also recommended.

Following its merger with Hill Hofstetter, Fieldfisher saw David Cranfield join its London office; a Russia expert, he has particular experience in the healthcare, automotive, real estate and financial services sectors. The group, which counts numerous publicly listed companies among its client roster, is well known for its expertise in TMT, energy and natural resources; on the media side, practice head Andrew Blankfield advised BBC Worldwide on its purchase of a 10% stake in Curtis Brown, while David Wilkinson acted in a notable tech-related mandate for Access Intelligence on its sale of Due North to Proactis Holdings. The team also advised Cognizant on the UK aspects of its $128m purchase of Frontica Business Solutions. In the mining space, Jonathan Brooks advised Fusion Capital on its partnership with Orion Mine Finance to establish Lynx Resources and acquire Macedonia’s SASA lead-zinc mine from Solway Investment Group. Life sciences and chemicals are areas of increasing activity for the practice: Brooks assisted Revolymer with its purchase of Itaconix. Real estate and hospitality highlights included Tom Ward’s advice to the management of Avenue Capital’s UK student accommodation portfolio on its £420m buyout by Brookfield Property Partners, while Wilkinson advised Bibendum PLB Group on its £60m sale to Conviviality.

Gowling WLG’s ‘very responsive’ department is ‘client-focused’ and ‘truly provides value for money’. Energy and real estate are sector strengths: energy expert Gareth Baker advised Primrose Solar Management on its sale of four UK solar farms to Bluefield Solar Income Fund for a total of £118m, while Stuart Young, who is also noted for his strength in the automotive space, acted for Opus Energy Group’s shareholders on the company’s proposed £340m sale to Drax Group. Cross-border highlights included John Reed and Michael Lacey’s advice to Dolphin Capital Investors on its €64m sale of the Playa Grande Golf and Resort in the Dominican Republic to a joint venture company. Equity capital markets specialist Hugh Maule advised Audley Court on its £170m purchase by Moorfield Audley Real Estate Fund. Technology and life sciences specialist Ian Piggin advised STAR Capital Partners on its £50m purchase of Synergy Health Management Services from Synergy Health (UK). The ‘extremely responsiveCharles Bond is strong in the natural resources space; his clients include Hummingbird Resources, GoldBridges Global, Stellar Diamonds and Trafigura. Sunil Kakkad leads the group.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘sensational, utterly trustworthy’ practice is active in domestic and cross-border M&A in a variety of sectors, and has ‘great commercial acumen’. TMT, entertainment and real estate are particular areas of expertise: Andrew Rimmington, who is noted for his experience in fintech, software, e-commerce and betting and gaming, advised new client Hydra Industries Acquisition on its $264m purchase of Inspired Gaming Group and its affiliates from funds managed by Vitruvian Partners among others. Corporate finance expert Ross Bryson acted for Chelsfield Partners on its £180m sale of two central London hotels to AXA Investment Management Real Assets. Saul Sender, another corporate finance specialist, advised new client Cineworld Group on its £94m acquisition of five cinemas from Empire Cinemas, and on its sale of Cineworld Haymarket to Empire Cinemas. Direct Ferries, the world’s largest ferry-ticket aggregator, is another recent client win; it instructed Nadim Meer on an investment in the company by Livingbridge. ‘Very knowledgeable, thorough’ practice head Nick Davis advised longstanding client Allen Lane on the sale of its interests in Allen Lane Consulting to Outsourcing UK. Simon Sale and corporate betting and gaming expert Susan Breen are also recommended.

The eight-partner department at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP provides ‘timely, efficient service’ and ‘good value for money’. Financial services, technology, life sciences and energy and natural resources are sector strengths: Timothy Corbett advised CTC Media on the sale of a 75% stake in its Russian television broadcasting business to comply with Russian media ownership regulations, while Iain Wright acted for UFG Asset Management on its purchase of a 31% stake in Trans-Siberian Gold from AngloGoldAshanti. SUN Gold is another natural resources client. The practice is noted for its experience in Russia and Asia; Amy Comer advised Trican Well Service on the English and Kazakh law aspects of its sale of Trican Well Service Kazakhstan to Petro Welt Technologies, and, alongside the Moscow-based Vasilisa Strizh, acted for Russia Partners on its sale of a majority stake in Westcall SPb to ER-Telecom. ‘Experienced, commercially astute’ practice head Tom Cartwright is recommended for private equity work; he assisted Alcuin Capital Partners with the management buyout of Koh Group. Additionally in the food space, Bruce Johnston advised Sumitomo on its €751m purchase of Fyffes. David Ramm and Stephen Walters are also recommended.

RPC’s ‘quick, well-equipped’ team is ‘very committed to meeting deadlines’. It is well known for its strength in the insurance sector: James Mee and David Wallis acted for ANV on its $219m sale by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to AmTrust Financial Services, and insurance expert Matthew Griffith assisted Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group with its sale of Thistle Insurance Services to PIB Group. Private equity, technology, media and retail are other sector strengths. Karen Hendy advised Dialog Semiconductor on its share buyback programme, split into €38m and €75m tranches. Also in the technology space, Richard Haywood acted for Park Place Technologies on its purchase of Computer-Computer. Nigel Collins, who heads the practice’s Japan desk, made partner in May 2016; he advised Itochu Europe on its sale of Harro Foods to Nishimoto Trading, and acted for Zen-Noh International Europe on its purchase of Scotch Frost. Additionally in the food sector, Wallis acted for Paine & Partners on its investment in Meadow Foods. Anthony Shatz and senior associate Paul Jenkins are ‘quick thinkers’ with ‘very good people skills’. David Marshall left for Norton Rose Fulbright in October 2016.

Reed Smith LLP’s practice expanded significantly in 2016 and 2017, with Mark Sanders, Laura Brunnen, equity capital markets specialist Delphine Currie and senior counsel Martin Bowen arriving from King & Wood Mallesons. The practice has notable strength in depth across various sectors: Charles Jurd advised FXCM on its sale of DailyFX to IG Group, Samantha Roberts acted for APM Terminals on its purchase of Portobar Capital from Finpro Scr and QIC Diversified Infrastructure, and James Wilkinson assisted Heidrick & Struggles with its purchase of JCA Group. Technology is a sector strength of the team; department head Michael Young advised Microsoft on its purchase of TouchType, and, alongside Gregor Pryor, acted for Sony on its acquisition of the Ministry of Sound’s music catalogue, including numerous trade mark rights. Other clients of the practice include Bauer Media Group, Harris, Colas, Channel 4 and Global Brands Group. Oliver Harker, who has strong experience in public and private M&A, made partner in January 2017. Philip Taylor and Sakil Suleman are also recommended. Andrew Clark left to practise in Brisbane, Australia in April 2017.

Taylor Wessing LLP has ‘very good strength in depth’, and is active in a variety of sectors, though TMT is a particular area of expertise. Andrew Davis and corporate technology head Mike Turner acted for News Corporation on its £220m purchase of Wireless Group, and Edward Waldron advised Rutland Partners on its purchase of Let’s Print Holding. On the technology side, Adrian Rainey advised Magic Pony Technology on its acquisition by Twitter; in telecoms, Mark Barron assisted Mitel with its proposed £2bn purchase of Polycom. Cross-border highlights for Davis included advising Sky Ventures on its $45m investment in southeast Asian TV streaming service iflix. Life sciences is another strong area for the department; Davis acted for Phagenesis on its multi-stage acquisition by Nestlé Health Science. The firm’s other M&A clients include YPlan, Interactive Investor and onefinestay. The ‘practical, reliable’ David Mardle heads the practice with Dominic FitzPatrick. Robert Fenner and private equity expert James Goold are also recommended. Russell Holden heads the corporate finance practice. In 2016, corporate technology expert Angus Miln joined from Bird & Bird LLP and private equity specialist Duncan McDonald arrived from Olswang.

The ‘proactive, commercial’ team at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP provides a ‘very high level of service’, and ‘executes deals very well’; pharmaceuticals is a core sector strength. Jeremy Willcocks has ‘excellent mid-market M&A and equity capital markets experience’; he acted for Diversis Capital on its $18m public takeover of ServicePower Technologies and on its $50m purchase of most of Caligor RX’s assets. Additionally on the cross-border side, Willcocks advised TELUS International on its acquisition of the remaining shares in eastern European multilingual contact centre CallPoint. David Gerber assisted OSI Group with its purchase of Flagship Europe from Flagship Food Group. On the real estate side, Sean Scanlon acted for Omega Healthcare Investors on $136m-worth of acquisitions and leases of UK care homes. Other clients include McArthuerGlen, Auven Therapeutics, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, OneView Group and Recordati. Anna Buscall is also recommended.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP provides ‘very good, prompt service, excellent knowledge and holistic advice’ at ‘competitive rates’; its key sector strengths are TMT and energy. In the department’s most high-profile mandate of 2016, Derek Jones acted for Liberty Media on its $4.4bn purchase of Formula One from a consortium of investors including CVC Capital Partners. Paul Exley, who is praised for his ‘business acumen and strong M&A experience’, joined from Jones Day in March 2016; an expert in energy and financial services, he brought clients including Sovcombank, which instructed him on its purchase of all the voting shares in Metkombank. The ‘smart, highly competent’ Neil Foster ‘uses his sector expertise well’ and is ‘a hard act to follow in mid-market technology M&A’; he advised ABB Technology Ventures on its £20m co-investment in Cambridge Medical Robotics. Hammer Film Group and Haydale Graphene Industries are recent client wins; more longstanding clients include Halliburton, Recycling Technologies and Cambridge Cognition Holdings.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘pragmatic, responsive and well-regarded’ department has ‘good strength in depth’ and ‘expert knowledge of the insurance industry’; real estate, energy and natural resources are also sector strengths. Corporate real estate expert Simon Vere Nicoll, who heads the practice with insurance M&A specialist Andrew Holderness, advised Simec Group on its £330m acquisition of Alcan Aluminium UK from Rio Tinto. He also assisted Liberty House Group with its purchase from Tata Steel of the business and assets of a plate mill and rolling mill in Scotland, and on the multi-jurisdictional side acted for Marcol on its entry as majority investor into an £80m joint venture intended to acquire a portfolio of petrol stations in Spain. Energy specialist Philip Mace advised Schlumberger on its acquisition of Asset Development and Improvement. Seaco Global, Dynagas, Arden Partners and Next Generation Data are additional clients. Corporate finance expert Gary Thorpe is ‘sharp, business-focused and pragmatic’; Nick Purnell is also recommended.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s department is especially strong in technology and life sciences. Its work tends to be private M&A rather than public M&A, though the team has no shortage of listed clients; David Bresnick acted for Journey Group on its proposed takeover by Jaguar Holdings. 3Legs Resources is another listed client. In the technology space, Bresnick advised Swiftkey on the company’s $250m acquisition by Microsoft, and Stephen Rosen, who arrived from Olswang in May 2016, acted for Autodata on its £340m sale to Solera Holdings. Rosen’s other clients include Edif Group, Syncsort, Teneo Strategy and technology provider CSL. Justin Stock heads the group.

The team at HFW provides ‘excellent service’ and ‘thinks outside the box’; it has particular experience in energy, financial services and ports and terminals. Energy and mining M&A expert Nick Hutton heads the department; he acted for a client on its bid to acquire a Northern Irish fuel terminal and related infrastructure. He also regularly handles cross-border matters. The ‘detail-oriented’, ‘commercial’ Jayson Marks has ‘a great deal of experience’, especially in oil and gas and public M&A, and ‘knows how to get a deal completed’; his clients include Regal Petroleum. The ‘well-informed, resourceful, responsive and highly effective’ Alex Kyriakoulis is a ‘trusted pair of hands’, and ‘always excels’; AIK Banka and International Container Terminal Services are clients of his. ‘Tough but fair negotiator’ Giles Beale is ‘technically excellent’ and ‘sees the bigger picture’. Alistair Mackie is also recommended. Ports, terminals and logistics expert Matthew Gore made partner in May 2016.

Traditionally strong in energy, natural resources, infrastructure and advising US corporates, K&L Gates LLP’s practice is led by Paul Tetlow, who acted for Faroe Petroleum on its $70m purchase of interests in five Norwegian North Sea assets from Dong E&P. Additionally in the energy space, Keith Snedden advised Boralex on its €70m purchase of European Forest Resources Holdings. John Elgar advised NEP Group on its recommended £124m takeover of Avesco Group, and James Green acted for Amara Mining on its recommended £68m takeover by Perseus Mining. Tom Wallace advised Tax Systems on its £108m reverse takeover of Tax Computer Systems. Tom Sibert left to go in-house in September 2016; Jeremy Davis left to join McGuireWoods London LLP.

The ‘diligent, tenacious and very commercial’ team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP is commended for its response times, value for money and ‘very high level of service’. Technology, energy, infrastructure and financial institutions are sector focuses of the department; Weyinmi Popo acted for VANSO Nigeria on its NGN8.3bn acquisition by Interswitch, and advised MSY Analytics Group on its purchase of Great Place To Work UK. Media and telecoms are also areas of activity for the team; clients include Telenor, Canal+ Group and StudioCanal. In the retail space, practice head Hilary Winter advised Intu Properties on the £178m sale of its stake in Intu Bromley to Alaska Permanent Fund. Technology expert Ylan Steiner joined from King & Wood Mallesons in January 2017, bringing with him clients such as Blippar and Currency Cloud. Jinal Shah, Shawn Atkinson, energy expert Matthew Williams and managing associate Alice Edwards are also recommended.

Real estate, hotels, leisure, social care and communications are areas for which Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s department is best known. The team is commended for its ‘good relationships with offshore firms, which facilitate the smooth execution of transactions’; Nick Harrisingh assisted Richard Caring and various Jersey-incorporated companies owned by him on the sale of the Limeyard and Jackson & Rye restaurant chains to Côte Restaurants. Ian Dobinson acted for CLS Care Services on its £25m sale of 18 care homes to Croftwood Care (Cheshire). Riccardo Abbate and Adrian Jones advised Lutea (UK) and Haysbury, shareholders in Thunderhead, on the latter’s sale of its smart communications division to Accel-KKR. Other clients of the department include Cambian Group, Outdoor Plus, Park Resorts, GI Partners and Apache Capital Partners. Private M&A expert Michael Pattinson, who has particular experience in real estate, hotels and leisure, heads the practice.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s practice counts energy and natural resources, real estate, maritime and transport as core sector strengths. John Conlin and Andy Savage advised OMV on the sale of OMV (UK) to Siccar Point Energy for up to $1bn, while Evan Stergoulis and Ravinder Sandhu acted for PKA on its purchase of a 50% stake in the Tees Renewable Energy Plant for approximately £450m. Stergoulis and Sandhu also acted for DONG Energy on its £660m sale of a 50% stake in the 258MW Burbo Bank Extension UK offshore wind farm project to PKA and KIRKBI. In the shipping sector, Christina Howard advised Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping company, on the unwinding of its joint venture with Swire, and its purchase of two of Swire’s icebreaking platform supply vessels. On the technology front, group head Jan Mellmann advised Aurelius Group on its purchase of Colt Managed Cloud from Colt Group. Other clients of the practice include Westermost Rough and DVB Bank.

The ‘very strong, smooth and personable’ five-partner team at Bryan Cavereally adds value, and is good value for money’. It is particularly strong in private M&A, and is active in a wide range of sectors. The ‘smart, pragmatic, calm, methodical and funny’ Andrew Hart acted for Ethypharm on the €725m sale of its shares by Astorg Partners to PAI Partners; he also advised Terex on the sale of its equipment manufacturing business in Coventry to Groupe Mecalac, and assisted Esco Technologies with its acquisition of Plastique Group. Practice head Carol Osborne advised Concierge Holding on the sale of a controlling stake in the company to Accor. Dan Larkin, Sarah Atkinson and Robert Wieder are also recommended.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP’s department is led by Dan Oates, who advised Wireless Logic on its purchase of Nucleus Networks, acted for Mayborn Group on its sale to Shanghai Jahwa, and assisted Clondalkin on its sale by Warburg Pincus to Egeria. Private equity is a strength of the practice: Oates advised AEA Investors and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on their $3.3bn sale of Dematic to KION Group. Other clients include Francisco Partners, Thomson Reuters, Goldman Sachs and the publicly listed 3i Group.

Absolutely excellent on all counts’, Lewis Silkin LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, commercial’ practice ‘faultlessly delivers invaluable advice’, and is ‘timely and efficient’. ‘Calm, proactive and creative’ practice head Paul Rajput is ‘extremely skilled at leading commercially sensitive transactions’: on the cross-border side, he acted for Valeo on its 50% acquisition of CloudMade, and advised Publicis Groupe on its equity partnership with the communications arm of West Africa-based communications services provider Troyka Group. The ‘commercial, technically excellent’ and ‘always availableKarish Andrews is particularly experienced in sports M&A, though he also advised Four Communications Group on its acquisition of Rain Communications and Packer Forbes, and assisted The Brooklyn Brothers with its sale to Golin. Marie-Caroline Frochot is also recommended. Corporate finance and technology experts Timothy Leeson and David Willbe arrived from DWF in September 2016.

Winston & Strawn London LLP’s ‘strategic, responsive’ team provides ‘in-depth knowledge, tailored advice and efficient use of team members’. Practice head Zoë Ashcroft is ‘top of her field – a charismatic problem-solving negotiator with a great wealth of experience and real depth of knowledge’. ‘Great deal captainsNicholas Usher and Stewart Worthy have ‘technical expertise coupled with easy-going personalities’, and are ‘great to work with’; the ‘pragmatic, client-friendly’ Usher, who is praised for his ‘negotiating savvy’, advised Motorola Solutions on its £818m purchase of Airwave Solutions, while Worthy acted for Yioula Glassworks on the sale of its glass manufacturing business in Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Paul Amiss is also recommended.

Food and beverages, leisure and energy are sector strengths of Burges Salmon LLP’s ‘proactive’ department, which provides ‘city firm knowledge at regional firm prices’. Private equity expert Richard Spink heads the practice; he acted for the shareholders of LVTG Holdings, which trades as Lifetime Trading, on its sale to Silverfleet Capital. The ‘extremely pragmatic, technically excellentChris Godfrey is ‘always available’ and an ‘excellent operator’; he advised Virgin Active on its sale of 35 gyms and health clubs to Nuffield Health. Alan Barr, hotels and transport expert Rupert Weston, private equity specialist Mark Shepherd and senior associate Tim Roberts are also recommended.

Dorsey & Whitney’s department is active in a variety of sectors, and largely handles private M&A. Alan Farkas assisted Akastor with the sale of its Frontica Advantage business to NES Global Talent, and Max Beazley advised Casewise Systems on its sale to ERwin Technologies. In an illustration of its cross-border capabilities, Beazley acted for Spanish start-up Boolino on its acquisition of Discovery Books’ Fiction Express business. Fabrizio Carpanini assisted Communications Test Design with its €96m purchase of Regenersis (Depot) Services. The ‘clever, commercial’ Mark Taylor heads the practice; he advised longstanding client Watchstone Group on its sale of Quintica Holdings, Carbon Reduction Company and BE Insulated. Other clients of the group include Atlantic Carbon Group and Gowan Company.

The team at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, which provides a ‘good level of service’, welcomed M&A-focused partner Paul Rosen from Clyde & Co LLP in January 2017. Practice head Philip Watkins and corporate real estate expert Terry Green acted for Manali Petrochemicals on its £14m purchase of Notedome, and advised Wyndham Hotel Group on $50m-worth of strategic acquisitions in India. Galileo Global Education, New West End Company, Design Museum and BridgeStreet Global Hospitality are other representative clients.

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