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Employee share schemes in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP, as a firm, is renowned for its expertise in handling big ticket transactions, and also has a particularly strong background in the financial services sector. Technology, industrials and retail are other areas of interest. The group has a substantive international reach and has advised WPP on its share plans which spanned over 90 jurisdictions. Another differentiator is its expertise in implementing equity incentive arrangements for senior executives. Practice head Paul McCarthy advises both public and private companies, with expertise in corporate transactions such as M&A and IPO.

Work highlights

  • Advised Cobham on the incentives aspects of the recommended cash offer by Advent International Corporation.
  • Advised WPP on the incentives sale of a majority interest in Kantar to Bain Capital.
  • Advised Prosus, the international internet assets division of Naspers, on the incentives aspects of its hostile all-cash offer to acquire Just Eat.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP has a longstanding track record in advising on large scale transactions and is currently advising on timely issues such as Covid 19 remuneration and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) data. The financial services sector is a particular area of focus, with a client roster including international names such as Standard Chartered Bank and Wells Fargo. Other sector areas of interest include energy, technology and insurance. Sonia Gilbert, an expert in global share plans and alternative remuneration structures, leads the team. She is particularly strong in advising FTSE 100 companies on their large and often multi-jurisdictional employment base. Andrew Patterson is a key name for the firm’s financial services sector work and is uniquely positioned due to his former role as head of incentives Law at Barclays.

Practice head(s):

Sonia Gilbert

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Patterson

Testimonials

“The team has remarkable staying power in the market. At a time when there is a lot of churn of people, the CC team remains cohesive and collegiate. This is a key selling point as clients typically favour stability over having a new lawyer on their account every six months or so.’

‘It is also very partner led which contributes to that sense of stability. I work with Sonia Gilbert and Andrew Patterson. Both are very similar – maybe it’s a CC thing – in that both provide phenomenal client coverage and time commitment. No deadline seems too ridiculous for Sonia. Everything is measured, calm and responsive.’

‘Excellent team, who are practical and commercially focused.’

‘They take time to understand our perspective and to provide commercial advice.’

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a well-established reputation in the market and has recently experienced new client wins such as Lloyds and Sainsburys, adding to its already enviable client roster. The team is particularly strong in corporate transactions, advising on M&A, takeovers and rights issuances. Paul Ellerman jointly leads the team and has a very broad offering within this space, advising both public and private companies on share based and cash based incentives. Also heading the team is Mark Ife, an expert in the financial services sector and an adviser to some of the world’s largest asset managers. Of counsel Kiran Khetia, who has a similar broad focus as Ellerman, is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ellerman

Other key lawyers:

Mark Ife; Kiran Khetia

Testimonials

‘ Mark Ife – subject matter expert but also incredibly personable. Always prepared to go the extra mile and suggest outside of the box thinking.’

‘Able to provide timely and current regulatory compliant advice in all aspects of executive incentive arrangements. Team is able to develop bespoken solutions tailored to specific needs from high level ideas to practical implementation advice and work such as drafting of share plan rules, grant letters etc.’

‘Have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of development. It’s evident that the firm has a very well developed development path which enables those with less experience to gain in confidence and deal directly with clients and gain trust in advice provided. ‘

‘An extremely knowledgeable and efficient employee share plans team with comprehensive technical knowledge and practical advice.’

‘A professional and knowledgeable team whom we can rely on to provide effective and practical advice – other advisors can tend to couch their answers in complex legal speak or concepts without settling on a clear answer to a question.’

‘Mark Ife is excellent at being able to discuss complex legal concepts to audiences at any level which I particularly appreciate as a non-lawyer! He is always responsive, clear, concise and most importantly pragmatic. He is also very knowledgeable and always enthusiastic about his subject matter.’

‘Very personal service from the partner.’

 

Key clients

BHP

British American Tobacco

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

Hammerson

Inchcape

Lloyds Banking Group

River & Mercantile

Royal Mail Group

Sainsburys

WH Smith

Work highlights

  • Advised Tryg as part of a consortium with Intact Financial Corporation (Intact) which co-bid for RSA.
  • Advising G4S on the share plan aspects of the initial hostile bid by Garda World and the subsequent recommended £3.8bn bid by Allied Universal.
  • Advised Made.com on the establishment of a new all-employee share option plan.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP is differentiated through its deep bench of 17 lawyers advising only on incentives, which is supplemented by its extensive international network. This sizable team has made it well placed to work on major mandates, most recently on Unilever’s unification of its group legal structure into a single parent company. The team is led by global employment and incentives head Alexandra Beidas who is a well known name in the market, particularly in relation to advising financial institutions on their remuneration schemes. Cara Hegarty, who advised on the Unilever deal, is another key name and advises across a broad range of areas, most notably on increasingly relevant issues such as gender and pay ratio reporting. The group has added a new partner to the team through the internal promotion of Bradley Richardson who, much like Beidas, has a notably strong focus on financial services remuneration.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Beidas

Other key lawyers:

Bradley Richardson; Cara Hegarty

Testimonials

‘The team are simply brilliant to work with. They all engage proactively and transparently with us, which is much appreciated. They are also very much solution-oriented. Some firms use that strapline but the Linklaters team assigned to us demonstrate this consistently. ‘

‘Cara Hegarty has been our main long-term adviser and she has been simply fantastic. She has set a very high bar for her colleagues and they have risen to that challenge.’

Key clients

Unilever plc

G4S plc

Caesars Entertainment Inc

Warburg Pincus LLC and TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (the Consortium)

BP plc

Burberry Group plc

Rothesay Life plc

IG Group Holdings plc

Nestlé S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Unilever on the unification of its group legal structure, moving to a single parent company.
  • Advised G4S in respect of the hostile approach from GardaWorld and the subsequent recommended £3.8 billion bid from Allied Universal (Allied).
  • Advising IG Group Holdings on the proposed acquisition of tastytrade,

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is an established name for advising on the share scheme aspects of major M&A transactions, most recently assisting William Hill on its £2.7b sale to Caesars Entertainment. Charles Cameron oversees the team and has extensive experience in employee share schemes and pension plans. Philip Linnard, who advised on the WIlliam Hill deal, is another key name and alongiside major corporate transactions also deals with establishing bespoke incentive plans, particularly in highly regulated sectors like financial services and insurance.

Practice head(s):

Charles Cameron

Other key lawyers:

Philip Linnard

Testimonials

‘The support we receive is not simply strong in the technical issues which matter – understanding the remuneration policy, indepth assessment of any relevant underlying documentation and of course the legal frame of reference.’

‘There is good appreciation of the wider concerns of internal and external stakeholders, an informed contribution to the consideration of non-trivial ‘softer’ issues which are important as well and sound perspectives on the best approach to take for engaging with such stakeholders both as to the immediate and longer term time horizon.’

‘They have a strong practice in employee share schemes and are able to leverage the wider firm both for international aspects and to bring in employment law advice in a seamless fashion. Advice is quality and ‘commercial’ and service is responsive.’

‘The knowledge of the team is a key strength, with good response times and detailed explanations always given to all problems/issues/questions raised. If this is given verbally on a call, a detailed, written response always follows so we can refer back to it at a later point. ‘

‘The team are very approachable and ‘down to earth’, which creates a sense of comfort and ease in all interactions. The team is always inclusive of all our team members at all levels and all questions are answered with the same standards of good grace and detailed explanation, no matter how simple or technical.’

Key clients

3i Group Plc

M&G plc

Intermediate Capital Group plc

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc

Ocado Group plc

Prudential plc

Land Securities Group plc

Vodafone Group plc

Whitbread plc

Barratt Developments plc

Work highlights

  • Advising FTSE 100 client, ICG, on the implementation of its new shareholder-approved bespoke long-term incentive, deferred bonus and cash-settled carried interest plans.
  • Advising Ocado on the establishment of three new shareholder-approved incentive plans.
  • Advising RSA in relation to the share incentives aspects of its recommended all-cash acquisition by a consortium of bidders.

Tapestry Compliance

Tapestry Compliance is uniquely positioned in the market as a share schemes specialist boutique, and the port of call for household names such as Discovery, Aviva and Sony. Hannah Needle, who divides her time between the Leeds and London office, co-chairs the practice and particularly excels in advising on tax efficient share schemes. She leads the team alongside Chris Fallon, who operates between Birmingham and London, and shares a similar interest in tax efficient schemes, as well as advising on senior executive plans and corporate governance. Bob Grayson, who formerly worked for a Magic Circle firm as well as in-house at Shell, is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Needle; Chris Fallon

Other key lawyers:

Bob Grayson

Testimonials

Tapestry has its own legal and tax database in relation to design and implementation of long-term incentive plans, and they can keep legal cost very reasonable by utilizing their own database. I believe this is very unique and innovative and it makes this firm distinguished from other firms.’

‘They have relationships with local law firms in over 100 countries. – They utilize their network with those local law firms in conducting due diligence research and governmental filings, and in some cases, drafting relevant plan documents.’

‘Their client service overall is excellent and has a unified high quality regardless of who is in charge of the matter.’

‘They are a boutique firm that specialise in the incentive/ remuneration space which is rare and intricate so to deal with a firm where you do not have to explain what a share plan is (which has been my experience in the past with other advisors) puts Tapestry streets ahead.’

‘What sets Tapestry Compliance apart from other share plans/equity incentives teams is the breadth and depth of their knowledge within their field. They are well-versed in both the out-of-the ordinary and the day-to-day operation of share plans, both in the UK and, through their network of trusted partners, overseas as well.’

‘They are a pleasure to work with as well as knowledgeable and experienced.’

Key clients

Aviva

Schroders

Unilever

Discovery Communications

Trip Advisor

International Hotels Group

WPP

Howdens Joinery

Ameriprise

Sony

Sega

Future plc

Johnson Matthey

Work highlights

  • Advised Coca Cola on a comprehensive simplification rewrite of their Equity Plan participant award documentation for equity grants being made in over 60 countries.
  • Advised Rolls-Royce in relation to all aspects of their UK and global remuneration plans.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs on the design and operation of their global share and fund-based incentive plans in a legally compliant manner.

Travers Smith LLP

Travers Smith LLP ’s team sits as part of the firm’s tax team and as such is well placed to handle any technical tax issues, as well as advising on corporate governance, trusts, securities law and employment. Mahesh Varia jointly leads the team and has been notably active in advising on IPOs and recently advised on the public listing of Bytes Technology. He leads the team alongside senior counsel Elissavet Grout who is also skilled in corporate transactions, and advised major businesses and private equity houses. They are supported by senior associates Clare Prentice and Kevin Donegan.

Practice head(s):

Mahesh Varia; Elissavet Grout

Testimonials

‘A leading team of legal experts in the field of employee incentives particularly in the private equity area. Strong technically, commercial and approachable, they provide a first class service. ‘

‘Mahesh Varia – he is recognised as a leader in his field with a first rate reputation. He is technically excellent, commercial, pragmatic and a very able communicator. He leads an excellent team comprising Kevin Donegan, Claire Prentice and Elissavet Grout, all of whom are first rate, technically very sound, approachable, experienced and commercial. For us they are the go to team in share plans.’

‘The Travers Smith team was an essential part of the design and implementation of our new equity compensation plans. They supported our innovations with practical, pragmatic advice and have been highly effective partners to our in-house team. ‘

‘They got the balance right between supporting our need for creativity and engagement and at the same time helped guide our thinking so that it stayed grounded. They gave us pragmatic advice and guidance and I always felt they were listening to what our business really needed. ‘

‘They were exceptionally responsive throughout the project. In the end, we delivered a result which I’m deeply proud of and which will make a huge difference to our organisation.’

‘Leader in incentives for private equity-backed companies.’

‘Mahesh Varia-partner-Strong sense of commercial aspects of legal matters; very polished but friendly.’

‘Claire Prentice-senior associate – Great grasp of technical matters.’

Key clients

Bytes Technology plc

TA Associates LLP

Pets at Home

Hovis Holdings Limited

Graphite Capital

S4 Capital Plc

Access UK Limited

Inmarsat

Foresight Group Holdings Limited

MicroFocus International Plc

PureGym plc

SSP Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Bytes Technology Group on its £646.6m Main Market IPO.
  • Advised FTSE 250 client Pets at Home, on the share incentives implications of the sale of five of its specialist referrals practices to the Linnaeus Group.
  • Advised TA Associates on the £370m sale of Merian Global Investors Limited to Jupiter Fund Management plc

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie advises major employers such as Mondelze and The Daily Mail, with Jeremy Edwards working at the helm. Edwards has over 20 years of experience within the field and is particularly strong in advising companies listed on the London Stock Exchange on their remuneration for directors and senior executives. Senior associate Gillian Murdoch is a promising name at junior level, known particularly for assisting on cross-border issues such as employees working remotely abroad or immigrating to the UK.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Murdoch

Testimonials

‘We do not use other teams for this type of legal work What makes this team good is the extensive knowledge of share schemes and HMRC that is distributed through the full team so there is always someone to help.’

‘All the individuals are experts in this field. What I like is that they will explain things in plain English and no question is treated as a stupid one.’

‘Gill is our go-to person with her font of share and incentive plan knowledge.  Gill is especially good at explaining sometimes complex legal matters in a way that we can all understand.’

‘During 2020, a tough but extremely busy one for all, Gill supported us in our challenge to roll-out our Salary Substitution Plan to more than 1,600 participants across 4 countries and new US jurisdictions.’

‘Gill has also supported us with her usual pragmatic approach on our Operating Company Incentive Plans and, most recently, the delivery of our new Executive Director Share Plan.’

‘Very impressive team. Very responsive and highly knowledgable. Felt confident that we were always in good hands, especially in dealing with highly technical matters.’

Key clients

Artificial Solutions

Bank of Georgia Group plc

Daily Mail & General Trust plc

DS Smith Plc

Endeavor

Hutch Games

Mondelez

Prudential plc

Puig

Smith & Nephew plc

TBC Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted Hutch Games Ltd with its 275m acquisition by digital entertainment company Modern Times Group MTG AB.
  • Assisted Smith & Nephew plc with the annual launch of their award-winning international Sharesave plans into over 35 jurisdictions.
  • Assisting Prudential plc as their principal share plan adviser, with the launch of its global share plans worldwide and with global compliance for their executive share plans and all employee share purchase plans.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has made significant strides in growing its share schemes practice in recent years, with team head Nick Hipwell joining in 2019 and legal director Martin MacLeod arriving in 2020, both of which arrived from Deloitte. The team’s workload covers a range of sectors including financial services, insurance, technology, professional services and manufacturing. The group’s international work is particularly extensive, with a recent matter for one client covering 14 different jurisdictions. Recent matters have involved advising on M&A transactions, creating bespoke incentive plans and dealing with employment trusts. Natwest and Swiss Re are key clients.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hipwell

Other key lawyers:

Martin MacLeod

Testimonials

‘DLA’s share scheme team is growing from a small base. I’m aware they are introducing a number of technology tools to support global reporting and management of share schemes. Director on the team is very responsive, technically competent and give sound practical advice.’

‘Good clear advice stay away from the legal jargon and explain it in plain English.’

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher has a longstanding presence in the field of employee share schemes, with one of its practice heads, Graeme Nuttall, receiving an OBE for his report on employee share ownership and its subsequent adoption by the British government. Moreover, fellow practice head Mark Gearing is highly experienced in advising AIM listed companies as well as startups and high growth companies. Also leading the team is Neil Palmer, who adds an extra dimension to the team through his extensive experience in advising on a company's translation to employee ownership and employment trusts. The team’s recent workload has involved a number of work in the technology sector, particularly in relation to venture capital fundraising rounds.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Nuttall; Mark Gearing; Neil Palmer

Testimonials

‘One of their partners (Graeme Nutall) was author of the Nuttall Report which set out the purpose and nature of Employee Ownership Trusts as they went on to become established in law. ‘

‘The team are very thorough and knowledgeable ensuring that a complete solution is provided with no loose ends. They listen to the client to understand the end game and the key drivers for the clients and then formulate the plan of action how to get there. They meet agreed timeframes and minimise the work required by the client.’

‘Graeme Nuttall was available and responsive at all times. He is a calm and effective lawyer who understands that changing the structure of a business is a complex and sometimes fraught process. He inspired confidence in our team and personally dealt with many detailed matters to get to a very welcome result. Outstanding.’

Key clients

Marlowe plc

Beowulf Mining plc

Oh Goodlord Ltd

Access Intelligence plc

Hashicorp Inc.

Codat Limited

Vortexplore Limited

Tristel plc

FF Poplar Limited

Tapestry Compliance Limited

Baker Richards Consulting Limited

Glenhawk Financial Services Limited

Covalent Group Limited

Glory Global Solutions (International) Limited

Studio Egret Architects Limited

Jestico + Whiles + Associates Limited

Independent Oil and Gas plc

BBC Studios

Knowles Associates

Work highlights

  • Advised Tapestry Compliance on its move to 100% employee ownership.
  • Advised this AIM listed company on implementing an all employee share plan.
  • Acted for this high growth technology company on bespoke option arrangements for its employees as part of a significant VC funding round.

Macfarlanes LLP

Macfarlanes LLP advises major employers such as Virgin and JD Wetherspoons, covering the full range of employment share scheme plans. The client base is similarly diverse and includes public and private companies, ranging from major corporates to startup ventures. A growing aspect of the firm’s work is in financial services remuneration for fund managers.  Robert Collard heads up the team, advising on transactions and regulatory support, with a particular focus on the financial services sector. He is supported by senior counsel Rasmus Berglund who is experienced in handling share schemes that involve both the US and UK.

Practice head(s):

Robert Collard

Other key lawyers:

Rasmus Berglund

Testimonials

‘We’ve have been a customer of Macfarlanes for a number of years, across a number of areas. They have a unique ability to transition customers between business lines seamlessly with no territorial disputes or ownership problems. As a customer this is extremely powerful and efficient, as it removes any need to explain challenges twice, or give extended background.’

‘They feel as an extension to our company across multiple lines of business and continue to give excellent and practical advice, timely responses in an integrated and ordered way.’ 

‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable, practical and collaborative, in addition to being friendly and communicative.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Smith & Williamson on its agreed combination with the Tilney Group.
  • Advised the senior management team of Genius Sports Group on its public listing through a merger with NYSE-listed SPAC.
  • Advised Finsbury Glover Hering on completing a merger and buy-in.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP advises on share plan design, remuneration policies and corporate governance, advising major employers such as Imperial Brands and Halfords. The team’s client base includes major corporates as well as companies backed by private equity and venture capital. Sector areas of interest include financial services, energy, and technology, and industrials. Lynette Jacobs leads the team and divides her time between the Manchester and London offices. She is supported by legal director Fleur Benns.

Practice head(s):

Lynette Jacobs; Fleur Benns

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Nickel; James Sullivan-Tailyour

Testimonials

‘Lynette Jacobs is an exceptional partner in share plans; responsive and pragmatic. She has also built a good team who can support our projects with a high standard of work.’

‘Lynette Jacobs is a superstar. She supports me with any legal queries I have, she drives up attendance at our co-events and is available to answer any queries me or my clients have.  I can’t speak highly enough of her and I look forward to our next event already. Thanks for everything Lynette.’

‘Lynette Jacobs is very well respected and has considerable experience in the area of share plans and incentives. She is strong technically but also proactive and commercial. Fleur Benns is technically very sound, commercial and approachable. They make an excellent team.’

‘Fleur Benns is always available to offer practical advice to support our complex share scheme arrangements. She delivers excellent an client service.’

‘James Sullivan-Tailyour and Lynette Jacobs are professional, approachable, responsive to our tight deadlines and meticulous in the advice provided to our company.’

‘James Sullivan-Tailyour in particular stands out as one of the best legal professionals I’ve had the privilege to work with over my career; a very sharp mind, combined with commercial acumen and great customer service that makes him a standout solicitor in his field.’

‘Fleur Benns and Charlotte Nickel provided great advice, as opposed to a list of options, helping guide us through an unfamiliar area, selecting best practice.’

‘Charlotte Nickel provided excellent support during our transaction.’

Key clients

Arena Events plc

Imperial Brands PLC

Rightmove plc

Driver Group plc

Halfords Group plc

Portmeirion Group PLC

Norcros plc

Capgemini UK plc

Gamesys Group plc

St Modwen Properties plc

Tullow Oil plc

Cambridge Cognition Holdings plc

LSL Property Services plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Imperial Brands plc on the operation of its six share plans globally.
  • Advised Huntsworth plc in connection with a recommended cash takeover offer.
  • Worked with Gamesys Group during the height of the pandemic to roll-out its first ever broad-based employee share plan.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard covers the spectrum of remuneration work, including corporate governance and disclosure obligations and is the port of call for major UK employers such as Sainsbury's, William Hill and Ted Baker. Other strongpoints of the practice include advising on tax efficient arrangements and dealing with globally mobile employees.  Jonathan Fletcher-Rogers leads the team and has advised on EMI, SAYE, SIP and CSOP schemes. Leeds-based Martin Griffiths is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Fletcher-Rogers

Other key lawyers:

Martin Griffiths

Testimonials

‘Excellent and pro active service.’

‘The team are accessible and responsive and provide pragmatic commercial advice Jonathan Fletcher Rogers has provided clear and pragmatic advice which has helped resolve issues for us in as simple and efficient way possible.’

‘Jonathan Fletcher Rogers was responsive and highly pragmatic throughout our engagement. He demonstrated a deep understanding of the regulations and best practice considerations.’

Work highlights

  • Advised IMImobile plc on the share options aspects of its £543m takeover by Cisco.
  • Advised William Hill on the global extension of its employee share plans, and the international share plans aspects of its acquisition by Caesers Entertainment
  • Advised Rathbone Brothers on a new executive share plan which was approved by shareholders at its 2021 AGM.

Ashurst

Ashurst is the port of call for the likes of HSBC, McLaren Racing and Aberdeen Standards Investments, and is known for its expertise in high scale transactions such as M&A, takeovers and IPOs. The team acts for both public and private companies, with a significant footprint in industries such as technology, financial services and energy. Senior consultant Nicholas Stretch leads the firm and has close to 25 years of experience within the field, is Chairman of the Share Plan Lawyers Tax Committee and is a former Chairman of the QCA Share Schemes Expert Group. He is supported by senior associate Rebecca Servian, who focuses on the share schemes aspects of major transactions.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Stretch

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Servian

Testimonials

‘The team is very easy to work with and, in particular, Rebecca Servian. They work with us in a supportive manner and are open to our concerns to find the best solution. ‘

‘Rebecca Servian is a standout among her peers and a real pleasure to work with. She is a skilled lawyer who understands the requirements well. She is more importantly able to engage with us as a client and understand our commercial needs. Rebecca is collaborative, responsive and always willing to listen to our priorities and perspective.’

‘Responsive to urgent request for assistance/advice.’

Key clients

AVEVA Group plc

PPL Corporation

Serica Energy plc

Cardtronics plc

QinetiQ Group plc

EnQuest PLC

Renewi plc

John Feddersen and the shareholders of Aurora Energy Research Limited

Aberdeen Standard Investments plc

LCG Group Limited

McLaren Racing Limited

HSBC Bank plc

Ricardo plc

Intertrust Employee Benefit Trustee Limited

Numis Securities Limited

GetBusy plc

Work highlights

  • Advised AVEVA on the employee equity awards aspects of its US$5 billion acquisition of OSIsoft.
  • Advised PPL Corporation on remuneration and incentives aspects of the sale of its UK-arm, PPL WPD Investments Limited, to National Grid plc for £7.8 billion.
  • Advised QinetiQ on making annual bonus awards in shares and on the employee share plan aspects of its sale of its subsidiary, OptaSense.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s Leeds office manages a diverse client roster, assisting public and private companies, including major corporates and private equity backed companies. The team also leverages the firm’s international network, most recently assisting on matters covering Europe, Asia and North America.  Mathew Gorringe heads up the team and is skilled in advising on equity and non-equity based incentives and assisting with major M&A and IPO transactions. London-based Danny Blum is another key name and sits on the Share Scheme Experts Committee of the Quoted Companies Alliance.

Practice head(s):

Mathew Gorringe

Other key lawyers:

Danny Blum 

Testimonials

‘They gave commercial and practical advice and worked to a timetable to implement a new incentive scheme for a private equity backed business.’

‘Eversheds made the whole process of setting up an employee share scheme clear and uncomplicated. They were able to draw on a wide range of expertise through internal partners specialising in company restructures and tax to compliment the construction of the share scheme which enabled our company to consider the wider considerations involved. ‘

‘Communication was clear and regular and Eversheds provided a clear road map of the processes and stages involved. The Partners ensured that we understood every stage of the process and guided us through every key decision. ‘

‘This practice is very knowledgeable and responsive. They work collaborative and look for pragmatic solutions.’

‘Mathew Gorringe is our main contact, comments above apply specifically to him.’

‘The Employment team were professional, engaging and of integral support to our Project. Their support and communication was excellent, knowing they were available at the end of the phone was extremely reassuring during such a busy and intense period.’

‘Eversheds have been a true business partner in establishing a new global share incentive scheme across 46 countries. They have an extensive network of local partners they can leverage.’

‘Mathew Gorringe is a industry leading expert. We relied heavily on his expertise to establish the many different facets of the global incentive scheme, often with tight turnaround times which he always met with good humour and a problem-solving approach.’

‘We work mainly with a single Partner but that means we have a well-established and long-standing relationship – this personal touch means working together is straightforward, open and honest.’

Key clients

AstraZeneca plc

DuPont

Achievers Inc.

New Look

Openwork Limited

Saunderson House Limited

Croda International Plc

N Brown Group plc

Advanced Supply Chain Group Limited

United Utilities Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising AstraZeneca on all aspects of its employee share incentivisation arrangements globally.
  • Advised Saunderson House on the implementation of an employee share and cash incentive arrangements in connection with its acquisition by Epiris.
  • Advised DuPont on the share scheme aspects of various spin outs and demergers.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP has an advantageous international focus, whose recent workload has entailed advising on over 30 jurisdictions. Fiona Bantock oversees the team and is known for advising on tax and structuring issues for businesses, particularly in relation to corporate transactions. The team also draws upon the expertise of Paul Randall, who has 30 years of experience and is chairman of the Corporate and Regulatory Committee of the Share Plan Lawyers Organisation. The group has particular strengths in the technology, life sciences and consumer sectors.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Bantock

Other key lawyers:

Paul Randall

Testimonials

‘We worked with Paul Randall at Hogan Lovells in regards to the impact on employee share schemes following a capital raise. Paul was knowledgeable on the impact of a capital raise on the three different share schemes offered to employees and spent the time to ensure we also understood the calculations. Paul was mindful of the tight deadlines and responded on a timely basis to any queries raised.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Arm Limited on all aspects  of its $40b sale to NVIDIA.
  • Advised NYSE listed PerkinElmer, Inc. on two public takeovers.
  • Advised Synopsys in relation to the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Moortec Semiconductor Limited.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s team has recently been strengthened through the arrival of Neil Sharpe from Linklaters LLP, who focuses on executive remuneration, incentives and corporate governance. He is also pretty strong in advising in relation to the financial services sector.  Stephen Diosi continues the lead the team and is known for his expertise in long term incentives all-employee share plans, as well as tax advantaged plans. The team has acted for both public and private companies, as well as private-equity back entities. Associate Caroline Caroline Nye-Wilkins is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Diosi

Other key lawyers:

Neil Sharpe; Caroline Nye-Wilkins

Testimonials

‘The team’s grasp of real-world business issues and getting them across to a lay audience is unparalleled. Prompt, helpful and courteous in response, often proactive on new developments.’

‘All firms have good people, experienced people, but the empathetic approach MDR has, is of enormous value for those that know nothing about equity incentives.’

‘Stephen Diosi – in terms of equity incentives, one of the very best – globally.’

‘Very approachable and knowledgeable in this area, members of the team all bring their unique skills together to ensure the client is catered for in every way.’

‘Stephen Diosi is a very well respected person in the industry and is someone you can trust to ensure documents are prepared to a high standard, to ensure all is thought of for a transaction. ‘

‘Personable, adaptable, reactive, very professional.’

‘Stephen Diosi is a delight to deal with. Thoughtful, knowledgeable and vailable.’

‘Mishcon are very strong with private, international clients. In addition to being highly responsive and excellent professionals, they build credibility with clients in our area of specialisation: incentive compensation.’

Key clients

Ninety One plc

Quilter plc

Kindred plc

Keyword Solutions plc

Recipharm AB

Spectris plc

Advanz Pharma Corporation

Merlin Entertainments

Toluna Limited

GAN Limited

Brookfield

Cobalt Consulting Limited

Raspberry Pi Limited

Insight Learning and Development

Work highlights

  • Advised on the share plan aspects of its delisting on AIM and relisting on Nasdaq (US) and ongoing global share plan matters.
  • Advised Brookfield (a property investment company) on the implementation of a new management incentive plan for one it its investee companies
  • Advised on the company (FTSE 250) on its long term incentive arrangements

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised on the employment share schemes for the likes of Deliveroo, Carlsberg and Kerry Group, with a diverse roster of listed and unlisted companies as well as corporates and private-equity backed startups. The team also utilises the firm’s extensive international network, advising on cross-border issues involving Europe, Asia, the US and Latin America and more specifically advising on listings in the UK, US and Ireland. Matthew Findley leads the team and has assisted clients with corporate governance, as well as M&A, IPOs and demergers.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Findley

Testimonials

‘Matt Findley is personable, technically excellent and responsive and so has all the characteristics I look for as a client.’

‘For me, this is where the people stand out as being true experts in their field but are also providing excellent customer service. They are approachable and always willing to provide both legal advice but with a commercial approach when assessing any risks.’

‘Matthew Findley is an excellent partner providing first class service.’

‘Matthew Findley provides clear, practical advice. No messing about.’

‘Matthew Findley provides clear and concise advice without overcomplicating matters. He understands the commercial drivers behind what the client needs and is upfront with what can be done.’

‘The team at Norton Rose are both technically excellent and straightforward to deal with. They give commercial, pragmatic advice without looking for overly complex solutions. This makes life easy from a client’s perspective.’

‘The people are the unique element. The team’s strengths are: responsiveness; the ability to provide simple explanations to complex issues; and first class customer service. I feel like they’re an extension of my team.’

‘The team is practical, efficient and obviously smart.’

Key clients

Carlsberg

Deliveroo

ISI Markets

Centamin

CGI Group

Crest Nicholson

Kerry Group

M-KOPA Holdings

LumiraDX

Vakt Holdings

IMI

Reach

Anglo Pacific Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team of ISI Markets on its sale by CITIC Capital and Caixin Global to new buyer Montagu Private Equity.
  • Advised Irish multinational Kerry Group plc on the introduction of a new long-term incentive plan.
  • Advised IMI plc on its UK and international share plan and executive remuneration matters.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP advises on corporate transactions such as M&A, takeovers and IPO’s often with cross-border elements involving North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Michael Carter leads the practice and advises both private and listed companies and recently advised TalkTalk on the share schemes aspects of its acquisition of Toscafund Asset Management. He works alongside associate director and certified tax adviser Dan Sharman as well as associate director Laura Allum.

Practice head(s):

Michael Carter

Other key lawyers:

Dan Sharman; Laura Allum.

Testimonials

‘The Osborne Clarke team did a good job of ensuring we had the required paperwork in place for diligence and then the required signatures in place to enter the definitive agreement and close. Our transaction spanned three timezones and required an incredible level of dedication from the Osborne Clarke team, working late into the night while being extremely detail oriented.’

‘The client approach to us during this transaction was excellent, maintaining accuracy and an enjoyable work experience during some very stressful days.’

‘The team have given us advice on a number of matters including EMI share schemes and employee ownership trusts. They clearly have a lot of experience in these areas, which has always given us a lot of confidence. We appreciate that they’ve always taken the time to understand our commercial needs, as well as having all the legal detail covered.’

‘Michael Carter (Partner) has always been very hands-on with us, even though I am sure we are far from their largest customer. We have greatly appreciated having the benefit of his huge experience.’

‘Dan Sharman and Michael Carter deliver practical and clear advice consistently. This includes email guidance, written work product and live presentations. Very efficient and clear responses that requires fewer follow ups.’

‘Deep share plan knowledge. Ability to explain technical detail simply to ‘non technical’ people. Strong relationship with Mitie and wealth of corporate knowledge.’

Key clients

TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC

Mitie Group plc

Peakon ApS

Carallon Group Holdings Limited

Elixirr International plc

Growth Capital Partners

Compass Group Holdings PLC

Focus Group

Inawisdom Limited

LDC

Shopkeep, Inc

Liftoff, Inc

Quiet Storm Holdings Limited

HH Global Enterprises Limited

Chaucer Group Limited

SelectScience Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising TalkTalk on its ShareSave, SIP and discretionary share option schemes in relation to the acquisition of Toscafund Asset Management LLP.
  • Advised Mitie Group plc on its its £200m rights issue.
  • Advising Peakon on the impact on outstanding options of its sale to Workday.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP’s strength is in venture capital work, and regularly assists inbound investors from the US on their UK share plans. The team’s sector specialism is in the technology and life sciences sectors, counting Monzo and WuXi AppTec as key clients. Practice head Ann Casey has 30 years of experience within this sphere and is best known for her expertise in handling tax-favoured plans. She works alongside Anna Humphrey, who focuses on high growth companies within the technology sector, and senior associate Katie Lewis, who is skilled in tax favoured equity arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Ann Casey

Other key lawyers:

Anna Humphrey

Testimonials

‘Deep expertise and knowledge shared across the team spanning the breadth of equity compensation, employee benefits and executive compensation related matters. Very solid reputation across the industry. Excellent response time and client management.’

‘Ann Casey takes the time to understand our business, key drivers and the desired outcome sought in detail. Her advice is very precise, pragmatic, clear and concise and her response time is excellent. She is very strong in communications and has demonstrated excellent client management. She brings an incredible depth of knowledge and experience coupled with valuable insights on industry trends and relevant regulatory and market developments.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and was able to answer complex tax questions swiftly and on the spot. Solutions were found without reinventing the structure, and documents were finalised with minimum document turns. The quality and speed were exceptional and the advice provided well structured.’

‘Anna Humphrey is calm and flexible. She communicates in a clear and structured manner. Having worked with many legal professionals, she stands out. She asks the right questions, which allow her to assess the scope quickly and provide solutions on the go.’

‘Ann Casey is pragmatic, straightforward to deal with has always managed to get to the crux of any issues quickly.’

‘Ann Casey is brilliant. Wonderfully approachable and friendly, an expert in her field, and able to work through complex problems.’

‘Ann Casey has been outstanding throughout her time advising us. She is technically excellent and has a deep knowledge of what is market. She thinks critically and creatively and provides her advice is a clear and coherent manner, which is important given that the advice often needs to be communicated to non-lawyers. She always has a smile on her face, which belies her tenacity in negotiations, and it has been a pleasure working with her.’

‘Anna Humphrey is fantastic – always available to help and thinks laterally to solve real business issues (rather than focusing purely on the legal technicalities).’

Key clients

WuXi AppTec

Digital Surgery

Nucleus Global

SciBite

BlackLine, Inc.

Curve

Laybuy

Monzo

Vinted Limited

Pusher Ltd.

Lovecrafts Group Limited

Godija Ltd

Caffyns PLC

Onfido Ltd

Kuda Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Digital Surgery on its sale to Medtronic.
  • Advised WuXi AppTec on its acquisition of OXGENE.
  • Advised Curve on its US$95 million Series C fundraising round.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s share scheme team has a notable presence within the financial services sector, but is also highly skilled in the energy, aviation, technology and pharmaceuticals industries. The team’s recent workload has entailed transactions, regulatory compliance, as well as restructuring with regard to the Covid 19 pandemic. Nicholas Greenacre leads the firm’s share scheme team for the EMEA region and is highly experienced in handling M&A deals, IPOs as well as share schemes within a private equity context. Alongside EMEA, the team has also advised on insurance issues within the US.  Helen Joseph, a generalist employment lawyer who regularly advises on share schemes, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Greenacre

Other key lawyers:

Helen Joseph

Testimonials

‘Nicholas Greenacre is excellent technically in both share schemes and pensions. He provides commercial, clear, constructive advice which balances technical requirements with a strategic business approach. Very accessible and great to deal with.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable on all the options when setting up a scheme and able to explain concisely and clearly.’

‘International reach; cross-disciplinary team members straddle employee benefits – they take a commercial approach.’

Key clients

Pollinate International Limited

Franklin Templeton Investments

ADVANZ PHARMA

Global Compute Infrastructure LP

Swissport Group

Kobalt Music Group

Avast

Avon Rubber p.l.c.

Inflexion Private Equity Partners and its portfolio company Ocorian

Qatalyst Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Pollinate International Limited on its series C round.
  • Advised Franklin Templeton Investments in relation to its employee share plans.
  • Advised ADVANZ PHARMA on incentives aspects of its $846m sale to Nordic Capital.

CMS

CMS is highly skilled in handling the share scheme plans for multinational companies, assisting with day-to-day advisory work as well as major transactions. Catherine Merry, an expert in both cash and equity based employee incentive arrangements, is a key name of note.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Merry

Cooley (UK) LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP is noted for its expertise with the life sciences and technology sectors, often for companies with a presence in both the UK and US. Paula Holland works at the helm and is well versed in share incentive regulations, as well as advising on the share scheme aspects of M&A, IPOs and SPACs. This has also involved advising entrepreneurs from the aforementioned sectors on the growth of startups and emerging companies, venture capital investments and exits. She is supported by associates Nicola Squire and Samuel Marriot, both of which share the same focus.

Practice head(s):

Paula Holland

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Squire; Samuel Marriot

Testimonials

‘Paula Holland is very responsive, knows her stuff, is commercial, and gives helpful suggestions.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable about the UK legal requirements relating to employee share schemes. In particular, they have an exceptional grasp of the interplay of UK and US requirements/practices. This is very important for us with our parent company (of which I am general counsel) based in the US and a significant operating subsidiary in the UK.’

‘They also have great experience working with pharma/biotech companies like ours.’

‘Paula Holland has deep insight into legal requirements, practices and related matters. In addition, my team is based on the west coast of the US and she makes herself available at all hours (even very late her time). She is also very quick to prepare and deliver work product to us. ‘

‘Cooley are very start up focused with a huge amount of experience in fast growth venture funded businesses who upscale their teams aggressively. They have a global reach with local experts on hand to help with individual and specific market needs as well which is great for us as we are trading across both the EU and USA.’

‘Our Partners and associates at Cooley are professional, efficient and smart. They care about our business and our future and it shows. Specifically for Employment matters we have had exemplary support from Nicola Squire and Paula Holland.’

 

Key clients

DocuSign

Immunocore Holdings Plc

Renalytix AI Plc

Babylon Health

Bicycle Therapeutics Plc

Silence Therapeutics Plc

Sketch BV

WeGotPop Limited

Syneos Health

Snyk

Volta Trucks AB

PhonePe

HG Insights

Lastline

InstilBio

Asana

Verici DX plc

Luna Innovations

Work highlights

  • Advised DocuSign on the remuneration aspects of its acquisition of Seal Software.
  • Assisted filmtech startup WeGotPop with its acquisition by Entertainment Partners, owned by TGP Capital.
  • Advised Immunocore on UK and US issues arising under multiple option and growth share arrangements in the context of its pre-IPO reorganisation.

Fox Williams LLP

Fox Williams LLP  primarily focuses on the private sector and is highly skilled in advised on incentive schemes within that sphere, as well as advising on how they are impacted by M&A transactions and takeovers. Emma Bailey leads the team and alongside assisting large private companies is also skilled in advising smaller listed companies on their schemes. Allianz X, the venture capital arm of the major insurer, is a particular client of note.

Practice head(s):

Emma Bailey

Testimonials

‘The service was accurate, timely and concise. Delivered within the timeframe required.’

‘Emma Bailey (Partner) and Joanne Varia were always available and provided clear comprehensive advice.’

‘Comprehensive explanations and knowledge, patience and responsiveness Emma Bailey did a wonderful job in navigating the alignment of our UK scheme with other global schemes.’

‘I have consulted Emma Bailey and her team during two of my GC roles. Emma is a great technician, but also a calm and open-minded counsellor and advisor.’

‘The firm is very approachable and seeks to deliver a bespoke service for each client. They are considerate of the particular needs of clients, and seek to respond to these needs.’

Key clients

Trustbridge Global Media Holdings Co,. Ltd

Constellation Software Inc. (including its Volaris, Jonas, Harris Computing, Vela, Perseus and TSS divisions)

Rollins Inc.

Allianz X (Venture Capital arm of German insurance giant Allianz)

Rapid Action Packaging Limited

Equiem Holdings Pty Limited

RLT International Limited (Guided Knowledge)

Sevan Multi-Site Solutions Inc.

ETC Holdings Limited

APS-Select Limited (VIP Travel)

Appfleet Limited (Pomelo Pay)

Merco Medical Holdings Limited

Orbit Energy Limited

Kamma Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Trustbridge Global Media Holdings on its acquisition of Walker Books from two discretionary employee benefit trusts.
  • Advised the shareholders and management of Rapid Action Packaging Limited on its sale to the US group ProAmpac.
  • Advised ETC Holdings Limited, a leading arranger and issuer of cryptocurrency ETCs, on an appropriate equity structure for its senior employees.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP is well placed to handle multi-jurisdictional issues due to its international network and is also adept in tax, securities and stock exchange regulations. The team’s international work has mostly involved the US and Asia, and counting global companies such as Sotheby’s and GW Pharmaceuticals among its client roster. More specifically, the team is highly skilled in cross-border issues involving dual -listed companies in both the UK and US.  Andrew Stanger leads the team and is particularly skilled in handling tax efficient arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Stanger

Testimonials

‘Happy to coordinate complex cross border advice.’

‘Andrew Stanger – hugely knowledgeable, thoughtful about the implications for his recommendations across the board and relevant subcommittees and very aware of the shareholder relationship issues.’

 

Key clients

Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc

Crux Product Design Limited

St Modwen Properties PLC

Velocys plc

GW Pharmaceuticals

Sotheby’s

Shearwater Group plc

Lunglife AI

Almac Group Limited

Star Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Sothebys on the implementation of a global management incentive plan following its acquisition by Patrick Drahi.
  • Advising on existing share options and implementing new share option plan in run up to IPO.
  • Advised Star Capital on share incentive aspects of the acquisition of the Hawksford Group, and on the adoption of a management incentive plan by the group following this acquisition.

Postlethwaite Solicitors Ltd

Postlethwaite Solicitors Ltd is uniquely positioned as a share schemes specialist boutique led by Robert Postlethwaite and David Reuben. Postlethwaite has been advising smaller list companies on its share schemes including ownership succession and employee ownership trusts. Reuben is well versed in advising on cash bonus plans and tax efficient schemes. The team’s workload has included advising on EMI schemes, CSOPs, JSOPs and growth shares.

Practice head(s):

Robert Postlethwaite; David Reuben

Testimonials

‘David Reuben is excellent. Very knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘The team are highly knowledgeable in their area and are able to to the work efficiently both from a time and costs perspective. Despite working at a different firm to me, they are able to integrate into my matters seamlessly.’

‘David Reuben is highly knowledgeable in this area, both from a schemes perspective and the tax that sits behind it. He is able to work through difficult problems quickly and is clearly a leader in this field.’

‘PSL specialises in employee ownership schemes, and their deep insight and experience of the legalities and process of taking a business into employee ownership was evident from the outset. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, almost the entire process had to be managed remotely, and PSL handled this exceptionally well.’

‘Our main advisor and contact was Robert Postlethwaite, the Managing Director, ably supported by Judith Harris (solicitor), Pam Farrance (Practice Manager) and Alison Stevens (Office Administrator). All very professional, friendly and easy to work with! ‘

‘Robert especially provided invaluable support in explaining the process to our management team, and dealing with a constant flow of questions and queries from staff.’

Key clients

Sage Building Envelope Contractors

Markides Associates Ltd

Synergy Visions Limited

Environet Limited

Integrated Skills Limited

Vallectric Limited

Extracover Holdings Ltd

Compass Pathways PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Environet on the design and implementation of and ownership succession plan.
  • Advised Synergy Vision on the  implementation of an ownership succession plan involving the acquisition by  an employee ownership trust.
  • Worked with Extracover Limited on establishing options plans.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is particularly known for its expertise in the private sector, particularly in relation advising startups and entrepreneurs. The team is also adept in advising listed companies, counting Estée Lauder as a key client. Anika Chandra leads the team and advisees on bespoke share schemes, bonus plans and the share scheme aspects of corporate transactions. Tax issues is another specialty of Chandra’s, advising on the tax treatment of shares, securities of options.

Practice head(s):

Anika Chandra

Testimonials

‘ Very knowledgeable, experienced and responsive.’

‘ Shoosmiths have understood our fairly unique situation and have been able to provide tailored support in the creation of our EMI scheme. Having also worked with us on our spin out transaction, they bring a wealth of retained knowledge, with a consistent team through the process, ensuring that at every stage the historical context is understood and brought to the table.’

‘Shoosmiths have also been very transparent with their billing, notifying us when they have incurred more costs than quoted, but capping fees and being cognisant that we are a small start-up with finite budget. They have been reasonably priced and adapted to our needs, for what is a big name firm.’

‘Individuals are highly knowledgeable in their area of expertise and are able to apply that to our specific use case. They also have a unique ability to be able to distil that knowledge in to concepts that are easy for a non-legally trained individual to understand. Anika Chandra has been exceptional in our engagement with the Employee share schemes practice.’

‘Anika is always on call and responds very quickly. Anika is also very technically minded but can articulate things in laymans terms which is great. Anika also has a wealth of expertise and is also very well connected which can assist should you need any other assistance. Anika gives a fantastic personalised service despite working for a huge law firm.She is very friendly and approachable and we would highly recommend her services.’

Key clients

Octopus Ventures and Octopus Growth Capital

Estée Lauder Companies Inc

Matillion Limited

Progress to Excellence Group Limited

DIF Capital Partners

BGC

Business Growth Fund

SOC.OS Cyber Security Ltd

Kortext Limited

Itch Petcare Limited

Vivopower PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Five Arrows Principal Investments on its acquisition of Ensco 1320 Limited.
  • Acting for the sellers on the secondary buy-out of Solid Solutions.
  • Advised SOC.OS Cyber Security Ltd on the spin-out of the SOC.OS business from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is reputed for its expertise in financial services regulatory remuneration work, attracting clients such as Monzo Bank and Liontrust Asset Management. Tair Hussain heads up the team and advises listed and unlisted companies on share schemes, including share option schemes, long term incentives and bonus plans.

Practice head(s):

Tair Hussain

Testimonials

‘The team provides clear and concise legal advice on one of the most technical areas an in-house lawyer will be involved in. Their advice was direct, timely and, most importantly, right. ‘

‘Tair Hussain is an excellent lawyer. He knows everything, but has the valuable (and rare) ability to distill that down into a format that an in-house lawyer that has no specialism in employee incentives is able to clearly understand and then progress. He is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Highly skilled at technical advice concerning bank remuneration rules and complexity structural issues but also delivered in a commercially digestible way.’

‘Everyone in the team has both strong technical knowledge and market awareness.’

Key clients

Liontrust Asset Management plc

Future plc

Monzo Bank Limited

Evercore Inc

Marex Financial

Lumyna Investments

Zopa Bank Limited

Brockwell Capital

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

Work highlights

  • Advised Future plc on the employee share schemes aspects of the acquisition of GoCo Group plc.
  • Advised Liontrust Asset Management on the employee share schemes aspects of the acquisition of Architas.
  • Implemented a bespoke long-term incentive plan for Lumyna.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood advises a number of clients within the financial services sector, especially companies listed on London’s alternative investment market exchange. The team is highly skilled in navigating compliance issues, particularly in relation to market abuse regulations. Barbara Allen leads the team and advises on employee appointment and exits, as well as partnership agreements in private equity houses.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Allen

Testimonials

‘The team is up-to-date not just on the relevant legislation but also on trends in practice and investor sentiment. Therefore they can provide really practical advice on this area which is as much about what is acceptable and therefore likely to be approved by shareholders as it is about what is possible in law.’

‘Barbara Allen provides exceptional service. She is extremely responsive and pragmatic and I am always happy to recommend her with confidence to others.’

‘Very contactable, high level of detail, great work ethic.’

‘A well respected and resourced firm, grow, ambitious with considerable talent.’

‘Barbara Allen is well respected in the area of share plans with a wealth of experience. Technically first class and both practical and commercial in the application of the law. Barbara is approachable and a very sound communicator.’

Key clients

Shareholders of Blackrock Expert Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a healthcare medical equipment provider on the design and implementation of a new long-term incentive share plan.
  • Advised the majority shareholders of Blackrock Expert Services Limited on the sale of the company to Duff & Phelps.
  • Advised a Fortune 500 company on the operation and winding-up of legacy UK tax-advantaged share incentive plans.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has been very active in advising on IPOs and assisting startups with their EMI schemes. David Dennison leads the team and focuses on share schemes and pension plans. He assists clients with the day-to-day issues surrounding employment schemes as well as advising on major corporate transactions and the termination of senior employees and executives.

Practice head(s):

David Dennison

Testimonials

‘The advice is always very clear; setting out the options between more traditional and ‘modern’ schemes. ‘

Key clients

SDX Energy PLC

Redde Northgate PLC

Zanaga Iron Ore Company Limited

Raven Property Group Limited

Pensana Rare Earths Plc

Ncondezi Energy Limited

Trident Royalties PLC

Stenprop Limited

Jadestone Energy Inc

FRP Advisory Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised FRP Advisory Group on the establishment of new incentive arrangements in connection with IPO.
  • Advised Trident Royalties PLC  on establishment of new incentive arrangements in connection with IPO.

Wright Hassall LLP

Leamington Spa-based  Wright Hassall LLP  is particularly strong in advising on the tax aspects of share schemes, with practice head John Dormer drawing upon his expertise working for the Big Four tax consultancy KPMG. The team has advised of tax favoured plans such as EMI, CSOP, SAYE and SIP. Another specialty of the firm is advising on employee ownership trust buyouts providing bespoke schemes to entrepreneurs

Practice head(s):

John Dormer

Testimonials

‘Wright Hassall have a full complement of disciplines and are always able to find the best combination of specialists for a particular requirement. We rely on them for many business matters and they have always pulled together the best resources and a timely manner.’

‘The team at Wright Hassall have been a pleasure to work with. All of the individuals I have worked with at Wright Hassall have been highly skilled, clear with their communications, upfront with costs, and realistic with results/expectations. ‘

‘We have assigned them for new key employment share scheme, which is critical to retain the people after complete acquisition. They are very approachable and provide timely project management to implement the scheme within a very tight timely.’

Key clients

3P Innovation Limited

gap Personnel Holdings Limited

Guthrie Douglas Group Limited

County Broadband Holdings Limited

Impression Digital Limited

Unit 2 Games Limited

Contigo Software Limited

Extra Technology Limited

Waves Group Limited

Karlson UK Limited/KUK former shareholders

Whistlebrook Holdings Limited

TonyG Limited

PJA Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised 3P Innovation on all aspects of its management incentive plans and subsequently its shareholders on the sale to an Employee Ownership Trust.
  • Advised gap Personnel Holdings (a recruitment company within Tokyo stock exchange listed, BeNext Group Inc.’s group) on its bespoke long-term incentive arrangements.
  • Advised Contigo Software on its establishment of a UK all-employee Share Incentive Plan over shares in Energy One.