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  1. Corporate and commercial: Hampshire
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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Hampshire clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Blake Morgan LLP has 'an excellent range and depth of team knowledge and good commercial understanding' according to clients. One of the largest teams in the South East, it is equipped to handle the full range of corporate and commercial work and private equity investments. It can also draw on its specialist expertise in areas including franchising, restructurings, acquisition finance and capital markets. It attracts clients ranging from SMEs to AIM and publicly listed companies in diverse sectors such as healthcare, education, technology and retail. James Hawkeswood heads an 'outstanding' team that includes 'outstanding negotiator' Mark Hepworth, who is 'diligent, knowledgeable and professional with great pragmatism'. Stephen Archibald and Simon Treherne are other core team members together with 'experienced and trusted adviser' Gemma Spiceley and Jasmin Eames, who is 'excellent on detail and holding people to account'. Mary Chant  joined Thrings LLP in June 2017.

Clients value¬†Shoosmiths LLP's 'ability to deliver high quality corporate advice throughout a transaction and its commitment to talking business sense'¬† and consider the group to be 'first rate.' Group head Stephen Porter,¬†who has a particular focus on the insurance and technology industries, stands out for his 'dynamic personality and extensive experience, which enables him to guide clients through some of the most complex corporate transactions'.¬†Mark Shepherd, who is a key name in the Solent office,¬†is considered 'a genuine star' by one client and¬†Sean Wright, who heads the firm's corporate team in the south, specialises in private equity transactions, where he is assisted by senior associate Tim Moss. In recent work, the team advised¬†AIM-listed Science in Sport on a private placing and open offer to raise ¬£15m of new capital to fund further growth of the business. It also assisted¬†Solent Global Holdings and its shareholders on a complex transaction that involved a demerger, restructuring of the Solent Group and subsequent sale of its oral care business to Ranir, which is part of the US-based Ranir Group.  

Womble Bond Dickinson's team¬†attracts praise for 'its¬†very good business acumen, industry know-how and focused and pragmatic advice'. It has a strong sector focus, particularly in the¬†transport, energy, retail and finance arenas, serving UK and international corporate clients. Recent work included advising¬†Intrinsic Financial Services¬†on the acquisition of Caerus Capital Group. In addition to structuring the deal, the team also handled an FCA change of control approval. In other work it assisted¬† RES, the global renewable energy company, with the sale of the Port of Tyne 35MW battery storage project to infrastructure and private equity investment manager, Foresight Group.¬†Corporate head¬†Ian Holden¬†is acknowledged for 'his good understanding of business and key drivers' and¬†Sebastian Briggs¬†is 'a pleasure to work with', as well as 'very commercially minded and adept at proposing sensible solutions to challenging problems'.¬†Stephen Pierce¬†is the national head of the practice and Paula Bartlett¬†specialises in commercial contracts including complex outsourcing deals.  

Irwin Mitchell¬†has the expertise to serve mid-market and large corporates as well as high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs and has the additional strength of a network of national offices.¬†John Riddick¬†specialises in assisting owner-managed companies and¬†Dean Drew¬†has acknowledged automotive and real estate sector expertise. The team advised Business Logic Systems on the sale of its African telecom software business to Evolving Systems and in other highlight work assisted the¬†Montrose Group and its Swedish parent, Bufab as guarantor, with the acquisition of the share capital of Thunderbolts Group. Other clients include the Hendy Group, Datacolor International and the Scott Brownrigg Group.  

The lawyers at Moore Blatch LLP are 'exceptionally professional, commercial in approach' and 'always provide exceptional value'. Roger Bailey leads the group and has a wealth of experience in M&A, MBOs, joint venture and private equity matters with a focus on the telecoms, technology and financial services industries. The 'disarmingly sharp' Peter Jeffery, who has 'acute  attention to detail and is incredibly fair and balanced', has notable expertise in the technology and telecoms space. Dorothy Agnew is 'a pleasure to deal with' and has 'an exceptional understanding of the commercial aspects in the technology sector.' John Warchus and Jeremy Over are also key members of the team. Clients include Bytes Technology, Blue Chip Data Systems and Inframon.

Sean Davies heads a team at Paris Smith LLP that provides 'an overall level of service that is excellent'. Davies stands out for 'his impartiality, along with his breath of experience in the owner-managed sector and no-nonsense approach'. In addition to the full range of M&A and commercial work, the group can also draw on the expertise of the firm's banking, property and litigation teams. Highlights included acting for the management team of Churches Fire Security on an investment package valued at £40m provided by Lyceum Capital Partners and assisting EDC Communications, backed by US private equity firm Mill Road Capital, on the sale of Elvis Communications to Next Fifteen Communications Group. Other key names include Jonathon Roy, Michael Moore, commercial contracts expert Crispin Dick, and Richard Atcherley. The team was further enhanced by the arrival of Amanda Brockwell from Coffin Mew LLP.

According to one client, the team at Clarke Willmott LLP's 'commercial approach and acumen on a transaction was second to none'. The group handles all aspects of M&A and general commercial work, including acquisitions, business and share sales, MBOs and fundraisings. It has a focus on the finance and technology sectors and counts banks and alternative lenders among its clients. The team acted for the selling shareholders of Ambant on the disposal of the company to Davies Group, a transaction that required FCA approval. Practice head Kelvin Balmont  is 'approachable and an expert in the field' and has a 'commercial approach' to his handling of acquisitions and MBO work. Chidem Aliss and Richard Swain are other key team members.

Coffin Mew LLP handles corporate and commercial mandates, frequently with international elements. The team has a noted focus on private equity matters, as well as expertise in the technology, and food and drink sectors. Highlights included acting for the Business Growth Fund on a range of issues concerning its investment into Dolphin Homes. In other work, it has handled an array of sales of the entire share capital for various clients. Hayley Bevis heads the team, which includes firm chairman Nick Gross , who is able to draw on some 30 years of expertise. Dominic Travers joined from Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP in December 2017 and Jonathan Sherman is another core member of the team.

Pitmans LLP advises on M&A matters, private equity and debt financing. Its expertise covers leveraged buy-ins and buy-outs, investment and equity funding as well as corporate reorganisations. In one highlight, it acted for Panoramic Growth Equity on its investment into Majestic Polymers and DSA Chemicals via a management buy-out/buy in; the team handled the acquisition, equity and banking aspects of the deal. Other clients include Red Funnel Group Ferries, Altitude Partners and ITS Technology Group. Oliver Kelly heads the group and Sean Kelly has expertise across all aspects of corporate and commercial work.

Trethowans LLP acted for the shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of iSupply Energy to German energy corporate Vattenfall. Riskstop Group, Baker Perkins and Saint-Gobain/Jewson are other clients. The group's expertise includes corporate finance, M&A, disposals and joint venture agreements, where is acts for clients ranging from SMEs to plcs. Key team members include practice head Mike Watson, Nick Gent, Paula Eckton and newly made-up partner Lucy Grey.

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