Corporate and commercial: Bristol in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP advises its impressive client roster across the full spectrum of corporate and commercial work. This includes cross-border deals for international corporates investing in the UK, as well as public M&A. The group has a particular strength in the energy sector, with experience in deals involving nuclear and renewable energy. Other areas of sector expertise include food and drink, leisure and education. Transactional lawyer Richard Spink co-heads the department with corporate finance specialist Rupert WestonChris Godfrey leads the corporate and financial institutions group. Also of note are senior associate Alex Lloyd and director Tim Roberts.

Practice head(s):

Richard Spink; Rupert Weston

Testimonials

Partner oversight and involvement is second to none, excellent technical skills and expert legal advice, with a commercial approach.

The team is very client need focused and flexible according to those needs. Highly accessible, with strong expertise and cost effective. Do not ‘over-lawyer’ unlike many large city firms.’

The Burges Salmon team have a great breadth of expertise across the range of specialities including those common to all large corporates, as well as those specific to us within the healthcare sector. Their ability to work effectively between departments enables them to provide fully considered advice.’

Rupert Weston has great vision and ability to see the bigger picture, his commitment, involvement and support are second to none, while in possession of excellent technical skills and good humour.’

Key clients

Premier Asset Management Group plc

Virgin Group

John Lewis Partnership

Hamilton Hotel Partners

FirstGroup plc

University of Oxford

Phillips 66

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy/UKRI

ITM Power plc

SCISYS Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Premier Miton Group on the recommended £98m all-share merger between Premier and Miton Group, effected by means of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement between Miton and the Miton Shareholders to create a UK fund management group with AUM of £11.5bn.
  • Acting for pan-European software and IT services company, SCISYS Group, in connection with its £78.9m takeover by the CGI Group, one of world’s largest independent IT professional services groups.
  • Advising ITM Power, a leading manufacturer of hydrogen energy solutions that is well known as the developer of the UK’s first public hydrogen station, on a £58.8m fundraising from Linde UK (a new strategic investor), existing and new institutional investors, and an open offer, along with advising the client on its innovative joint venture with Linde to provide green hydrogen to large-scale industrial projects.

Osborne Clarke

The group at Osborne Clarke has experience in domestic and cross-border corporate transactions, as well as venture capital and private equity investments, real estate transactions and commercial contracts. Co-heading the team, David Ferris has particular experience in the energy and technology sectors, while commercial lawyer Lara Burch has significant expertise in commercial contracts relating to logistics, warehousing and manufacturing. Leading the private equity practice, Alisdair Livingstone is another name to note, alongside investments expert Simon Jones.

Practice head(s):

David Ferris; Lara Burch

Testimonials

The team provides commercial, grounded and balanced legal advice and execution. They are strong on detail, but keep a keen eye on the bigger picture. The quality of work is excellent.’

Alisdair Livingstone is highly experienced, calm and pragmatic, Al is very strong at balancing and managing the detail, maintaining a hands-on role and delivering. His approach is straight forward and well received, building good relationships with his counterparts, which is invaluable when things get tough.’

Key clients

Lloyds Development Capital

M&G Real Estate

Computershare

Synova

Foresight

A-Gas

London & Country

Hargreaves Lansdown

Mulberry

Round Hill Capital

Mitie

John Laing

Dunedin

Plimsol Production

Dunedin

Homebase

Western Power Distribution

Centrica Plc

Eversholt Rail Group

Danone

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has developed a strong practice in MBOs, financial services transactions, corporate restructurings and corporate governance issues. The group is led by Andrew Betteridge, who has vast experience in transactional work. Chris Dyson is the name to note for venture capital, and is often instructed by major investment funds. In November 2019, Jocelyn Ormond arrived from Simmons & Simmons, bringing with him significant expertise in healthcare and life sciences transactions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Betteridge

Testimonials

‘Friendly and approachable.’

Jocelyn Ormond provided exceptional support for a recent transaction, pulled together a very competent team and ensured that all details were considered. We were made to feel we were in safe hands in what proved to be a tricky transaction.’

Key clients

Adludio

BGF

Notion Capital

RX Info

Armada Civil Engineering (SW)

Redland Business Solutions.

Fluidly

People HR

Frog Capital

Creditcall

Work highlights

  • Advising on the sale of Redland Business Solutions to Ideagen PLC for £15m.
  • Advising leading HR software company People HR on a sale to tech unicorn the Access Group.
  • Advising VC fund Notion Capital on the sale of portfolio company Idio, a content personalisation and analytics platform to Episever.

TLT

TLT's corporate team in Bristol is led by Andrew Webber, who took over from managing partner John Wood in April 2020, and has vast experience in M&A transactions. The commercial group is led by Perran Jervis, who is additionally an expert in retail and consumer goods. Jon Gill is noted for private equity and venture capital investment work, with expertise in the digital and financial services space. In addition to M&A, reorganisations and joint-venture expertise, Alice Gardner has experience in management buy-outs (MBOs).

Practice head(s):

Andrew Webber; Perran Jervis

Testimonials

Industry leading reputation in the renewable energy space – working on a large proportion of the deals in our market place. This links well with other areas of the firm (banking, property, commercial) which can draw on similar energy experience.’

Kay Hobbs – Kay is excellent and we enjoy working with her. She is experienced, commercial and pragmatic. She is also committed and will work hand in hand with us to close a deal.’

 

Key clients

Longacre Group (previously Sea Equity)

Inchcape Plc

Molson Group

Herman Miller

Hartley Pensions

Acquis Insurance

The Shareholders of Lorient Group

Plastic Surgeon

Spring Che

J Sainsbury plc

Superdry plc

C & J Clark International (Clarks Shoes)

Work highlights

  • Advised Herman Miller on its acquisition of the remaining shares of contemporary British furniture designer Naughtone for approximately $46.1m – solidifying its ownership of Naughtone directly aligns with Herman Miller’s strategic priority to accelerate profitable growth.
  • Advised the shareholders of Acquis Insurance Management on a management buyout backed by Dunedin private equity including leverage finance from HSBC.
  • Advised shareholders of high performance door sealing system leader, Lorient Group, on its sale to global intelligent lock and security solutions provider, ASSA ABLOY.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is regularly instructed on high-value regional and national corporate transactions and private equity deals, specialising in matters concerning the energy, insurance and real estate sectors. Simon Hewes heads the department, focusing on M&A and private equity transactions, but with additional expertise in deals in west Africa and the Middle East. Tom Fitzpatrick is another practitioner with private equity, insurance and financial services knowledge.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hewes

Testimonials

Very knowledgeable and commercially sharp.’

Very responsive, can discuss issues and get proactive ideas.’

Key clients

Vitol Group (Vitol SA)

Cuadrilla Resources Holdings

Third Energy Holdings

Noble Energy Inc

OVO Energy

RWE Npower

Piper PE LLP

Dunedin LLP

Rockpool Investments LLP

Puma Private Equity

Willis Towers Watson plc (including Innovisk Capital Partners)

Arch Insurance

Banner

Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative

NCR Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised NCR Corporation, a global enterprise technology company for the retail, hospitality and banking industries, on the acquisition of Bath based Zynstra Limited for approximately £100m.
  • Advised new client Dunedin LLP, the UK mid-market private equity house, on its management buyout of Acquis Insurance Management, an independent insurance broker and administrator providing specialist solutions to the finance and leasing industry.
  • Advised Third Energy Holdings Limited, a specialist in the production and exploration of gas reserves, on the divestment of the entire issued share capital of Third Energy Offshore Ltd to Anglo-Dutch oil company Hague and London Oil plc (HALO).

Clarke Willmott LLP

At Clarke Willmott LLP, lawyers have experience advising clients on serial acquisitions. The group is also well-geared towards assisting large owner-managed businesses with selling to trade buyers and private equity-backed management teams, as well as in relation to cross-border transactions. Simon Thomas leads the corporate team, which includes cross-border acquisitions expert Simon Smith and private equity specialist Robert Ridd.

Practice head(s):

Simon Thomas

Testimonials

Partners and associates very responsive and patient. Matters dealt with in a calm and competent manner. They seek solutions for problems.’

Everyone we interacted with was informed, competent and responsive.’

They work collaboratively, have the depth and breadth of expertise required and deliver to my clients what I’ve told them to expect.

Simon Thomas and his commercial team are excellent at appreciating different stakeholders’ positions and communicating with them clearly on complex matters. This is an under-rated skill much appreciated by clients.’

Key clients

Addnode Group AB

Jacksons Stops & Staff

Sustainable Drainage Systems

RAP International

Goonvean Holdings

Moodology

Symetri (Addnode Subsidiary)

Talent International UK

Prysm Media Group

Turtle Bay Restaurants

Moortec Semiconductor

Pieminister

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Addnode Group AB (a Nasdaq Stockholm listed IT Company) on its £22m acquisition of Excitech .
  • Advised sellers on the private equity backed purchase of a portfolio of events in the environmental, marketing  and technology sectors (including the RWM, Naidex and B2B Marketing Expo brands) by Roar Techmedia .
  • Advised sellers on the private equity backed purchase of IMD Group, a management consultant to the defence industry, and management on their continued role in the business post-completion.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

Healthcare-sector corporate transactions are a key area of expertise for the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP, which has a solid track-record in M&A in the industry. The team, which advises UK and international clients on their in- and out-bound investments, is jointly led by corporate finance, capital markets and private equity specialist John Williams and James Reed, who focuses on M&A and joint ventures, drawing on cross-border transactional experience. Michael Pearce is another name to note for corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

John Williams; James Reed

Testimonials

The team is managed by experienced partners who are adept at choosing the right level of associate to support the transaction.’

Mike Pearce was excellent leading on our corporate sale transaction, he was diligent, communicative, very commercial and understood how to get the deal done, as opposed to score legal precedent points.

Key clients

Ceres Power Holdings plc

Focus Financial Partners

Steinhoff UK Manufacturing

Tarkett

Elysium Healthcare Holdings 3

Agile Property and Homes

Ultraleap

Backhouse Land

Gallagher Benefit Services Management Company

Gallagher Bassett International

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ceres Power Holdings plc with fundraising, via a reverse bookbuild, and potential tender offer from a global German headquartered shareholder for a combined £80m deal.
  • Advised Focus Financial Partners on the acquisition of the assets of London-based Skeet Kaye Hopkins via a subsidiary company of Financial Partners LLC and in connection with Focus’ partner firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, LLC, a Los Angeles-based multifamily office and business management firm.
  • Advised shareholder, Relyon Group , together with other Steinhoff group companies, in relation to the sale of Pritex , a Somerset-based manufacturer of acoustic and thermo-acoustic insulation products, to Saint-Gobain High Performance Solutions UK .

Roxburgh Milkins Limited

Roxburgh Milkins Limited has expertise in the sale and purchase of SMEs, private equity transactions, MBOs and fund-raisings. The group has particular experience in mid-market deals involving private company M&A and investments. The department is led by Bruce Roxburgh and includes fellow founding partner Jason MilkinsCharles Van Der Lande is a noted practitioner for technology sector transactions, which are a specialism for the wider firm.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Roxburgh

Testimonials

All the partners and other team members are very personable and are happy to go the extra mile. They are also willing to suggest alternative solutions when other firms might just go along with client instructions.

We have long-standing relationships with a number of the partners, particularly Jason Milkins and Charles van der Lande. I have always valued their pragmatic approach to finding the right solution, often when dealing with challenging individuals on both sides of a deal!

Bruce Roxburgh – measured, informative, able to communicate complex matters to us laymen, utterly committed to our success.

Key clients

The Multiplayer Guys

Blu Wireless

Grain Connect (Pinnacle)

Elektraglide (Polystream)

Friska

i4C

Sweetnam & Bradley

Carbis Bay Holidays

Innecto People Consulting

Rebellion

TransFICC

GL Education Group

Premier Vets

Middle 8

Invatech

CEPS

CommsPlus

Banner

Oxford Hardware

Work highlights

  • Advised gaming specialists The Multiplayer Guys on their sale of the entire share capital to Improbable World (after just 18 months of trading), with investment from SoftBank.
  • Advised long-standing tech innovator client, Bristol-based Blu Wireless, on their investment of £12.7m to help fund the rollout of its 5G telecoms technology.
  • Advised Grain Connect (part of long-standing client Pinnacle Group) on their £10m investment in equity finance to fund the bolt-on acquisition of the fibre business of Solway Communications and the further development of Grain’s UK full fibre broadband network.

VWV

At VWVRobert Collier leads the corporate group, which has made a name for itself for education sector work, where it advises owner-managed, entrepreneur-led and family-run businesses on a variety of transactions. In the corporate team, Nathan Guest takes the lead on matters arising in the technology sector. Doug Locke leads on commercial contracts, while Jos Moule has built a notable contentious partnership practice.

Practice head(s):

Robert Collier; Doug Locke

Testimonials

We worked with Ed Rimmell and Daliah Houghton. We found them both to be extremely approachable, with excellent listening skills, an in-depth knowledge of our sector and very accommodating.’

In depth sector knowledge of education. Flexible and responsive team that find solutions not problems.’

Rob Collier is well networked, unassuming yet sharp, and efficient in all that he does.’

Renowned as one of Bristol’s best tech lawyers. They are incredibly knowledgeable. All team members are transparent over what they know or don’t know and will always offer to pass you onto a resource who can assist better on a subject matter.’

Key clients

Broadway Family (Broadway Education)

Luminary Bakery

LettUs Grow

Cytoseek

Insphere

Next Green Car Limited t/a Zap Map

ISCC

Bunk App

Renewable Exchange

Essilor International

Bellevue Education

ULC Robotics

University of Bristol

Soil Association

Hills Waste Solutions

Starpick

SWRnewstar (and certain of its shareholders)

United Learning

Smartbox Assistive Technology

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of Broadway Education to Bright Scholar. This was a sale of a significant school business. The buyer was Bright Scholar.
  • Advised on the sale of Quay Marinas. This involved the sale of the Quay Marinas business to Dean & Reddyhoff.
  • Advised on the sale of SWRnewstar Limited to Biffa PLC. 

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey's team handles high-value M&A, private equity deals and investments for a range of UK and international corporates, entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses. The Bristol team is led by Mark Millar, who has additional experience in IPOs, group restructurings, financing and corporate governance issues. Managing associate Alexandra Hammond leads the general counsel workstream, handling day-to-day commercial matters. In 2019, Emily Settle moved to Freeths LLP.

Practice head(s):

Mark Millar

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Hammond

Testimonials

Foot Anstey is a good fit for our business. The firm recognises the need to maintain its client relationships and is transparent on fees/time incurred. They offer good solid advice (even on short notice) and have a number of very talented individuals working for them.’

Martin Cuell (partner) – Martin has significant experience, and has broad capability, in dealing with Suppliers providing these types of licences/services. He has a very commercial approach, and clearly outlines the various legal options available to resolve issues. He is a great communicator and responds quickly and succinctly to queries raised.’

Henry Beattie (Solicitor) – Henry is a gem in the making. I was extremely impressed with the way he conducted himself throughout negotiations, how he was able to manage the topic and speed of discussions during conference calls, as well as being exceptionally capable in articulating the legal and commercial issues in order to achieve the best possible outcome for our business. I was stunned when I realised how junior he was – he is definitely a talent to look out for in the future.’

Annalisa Checchi (Managing Associate) – Annalisa is focused on addressing the businesses requirements, offers sound advice and responds quickly to enquiries.’

 

Key clients

Silvergate Media Group

Access UK

Quilam Capital

Eden Project

Future PLC

Barbon Insurance Group

Supporting Education Group

BGF Investments

Reed & Mackay Travel

Plymouth Argyle Football Club

Work highlights

  • Advised shareholders of the international children’s media business, the Silvergate Media Group, on its sale to Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sony acquired 100% of the ‘Silvergate Topco Group’ , whose assets include Silvergate’s 49% interest in a joint venture with Beijing-based Wanda Group, which holds the rights to Octonauts. Additionally, SPE has acquired a minority stake in Silvergate BP Bidco , which produces the Peter Rabbit television series.
  • Advising Eden Project on all legal aspects of the set up and operation of Eden Geothermal , a joint venture entity set up to implement a deep geothermal project at the Eden Project site in Cornwall.
  • Advising Future plc and Future Holdings 2002 on their strategic acquisition of the Barcroft Studios group, an independent studio backed by Channel Four Investments, that creates original content for publication on a variety of owned and operated social sites in additional to being distributed across mass media channels.

GL Law

Gregg Latchams LLP regularly handles corporate work including M&A, share sales, restructurings, investments, MBOs and joint ventures. On the commercial front, the team has experience in contracts, technology and IP agreements and data protection compliance. Director Paul Hardman leads the team, which was joined by associate director Bridget Juckes from Wards Solicitors LLP in 2020, who brings with her experience in the care home, hotel and retail sectors. In 2019, the team lost Marti Burgess to Bevan Brittan LLP and Ed Boal to Stephenson Law.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hardman

Other key lawyers:

Bridget Juckes

Testimonials

The lead partner coordinated the work effectively and was available when needed. On HR-related matters, he was particularly strong.

Key clients

Grosvenor Consultancy Asset Management

Lansdown Place Wealth Management

Work highlights

  • Advised and developed a strategy for the board and shareholders of Kelston Precision Gears Limited resulting in the demerger of the actuation business of the company and placing the rest of the business into voluntary liquidation.  Value of the assets transferred and/or realised about £4.5m
  • Completion of a final investment (bringing aggregate of investment to £4.2m) for Francis Hornak.  The investment involved complex priority and security arrangements and new articles.
  • Advising the shareholders of Grosvenor Consultancy Asset Management on an £8.87m share sale to Brompton Asset Management

Thrings LLP

The offering at Thrings LLP is led from Swindon by John Davies, who also coordinates the team in Bristol. The team specialises in lower- to mid-market M&A, exit planning, equity investments and joint ventures, as well as corporate restructurings and reorganisations and corporate governance issues. Elaine Meyrick is a key name in the group, and focuses on corporate transactions. Brett Lambe left the firm for Stephenson Law in 2019.

Practice head(s):

John Davies