Corporate and commercial in Wales

Acuity Law

Led on the corporate front by Christian Farrow and for commercial work by Erica Westerman , following her arrival in August 2020 from Hugh James,  Acuity Law has broad-ranging expertise for technology, energy, healthcare, financial services and life sciences clients across the gamut of M&A, corporate finance and ongoing commercial contract-related work. The firm is increasingly active on mandates outside of Wales, in part due to the growth of its London office; Paul Lowe recently advised publicly-held US technology company ScanSource in its multimillion-pound acquisition of a cloud distribution platform. Co-founder and chairman of the firm Stephen Berry still maintains a fairly active practice and has a strong track record across a range of corporate and corporate finance matters, particularly within the technology sector. As well as his continued focus on early stage technology and life sciences work, including advice to university spin-out companies, Phillip Pugh is also particularly active in the healthcare sector and has advised clients on the sale and purchase of dental businesses. Clients also continue to benefit from the firm’s in-house legal support subscription-based service - Acuity Counsel.

Key clients

Portman Healthcare

IQE Plc

ScanSource

Newport Wafer Fab Limited

Sinclair Motor Group

Brickability Group

CHOICE Care Group

The Sure Chill Company Limited

Capita Plc

ActiveQuote Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Newport Wafer Fab, a leading 200mm silicon chip processing facility, in a multimillion-pound refinancing deal, which involved the restructure of existing Welsh Government loans and a new asset finance facility from HSBC.
  • Advising Capita Plc across a range of corporate and commercial matters, including on its acquisition program.
  • Advised publicly-held US technology company ScanSource in its multimillion-pound acquisition of a cloud distribution platform after snapping up intY and its Cascade technology.

Blake Morgan LLP

Led on the corporate front by the 'experienced and pragmaticRobert Cherry and James WilliamsBlake Morgan LLP handles a significant volume of transactional work (including a sizeable amount of private equity-related matters for management teams) and day-to-day general company law advice, including on corporate governance matters and compliance issues. Although the firm is active across a myriad industry sectors, it has built up a particularly strong track record handling work in the healthcare space, and has advised on 19 sales of domiciliary care, foster care and Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools businesses in the last three years. Richard Jones was recently promoted to partner, partially in recognition of his pivotal role in many of the firm's most significant private equity and venture capital mandates; he recently took the lead for Zip World and the management team in connection with the £45m management buyout backed by LDC and HSBC. Penri Desscan leads the firm's commercial offering and specialises in advising on long term, complex, high-value services and supplies contracts, including on major public procurement matters.

Testimonials

Robert Cherry and James Williams are experienced and pragmatic.

Key clients

Capital Green Recycling Limited

Brighter Foods

Tinopolis Group

Zip World Group

Check Safety First

Nexperia BV

Mous Products

Aquila Services Group Plc

Shareholder of Familyplacement.com Limited

Global Technology Group

BSN Social Care Limited

Symrise Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the founders of Cardiff Parkway on two substantial funding rounds, including land acquisitions
  • Acting for Zip World and its management team in connection with the £45m management buyout backed by LDC and HSBC.
  • Acting for the shareholders of Check Safety First Limited in connection with the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Intertek Overseas Holdings Limited.

Capital Law Limited

The 'dynamic and entrepreneurial' team at Capital Law Limited holds 'a strong position in the legal market in Wales', as a result of its ability to provide 'commercially focused advice' on M&A transactions involving both local targets and those based outside of the country. Under the guidance of the 'commercial and very experiencedTom Kelleher, and also benefiting from the expertise of Duncan Macintosh - who brings 'excellent commerciality and contacts' on deals as a result of his longevity in private practice as well as his former work in-house at 3i - the team has developed a 'superb reputation in the private equity space', for funds, management teams and investee companies. Promoted to partner in November 2019, the 'very personable and pragmaticPhilip Barratt is also a pivotal member and takes the lead on many of the most significant private equity/venture capital deals handled by the firm. 'Very responsive, diligent and professional' associate Laura Spendiff has excellent ties with local SMEs, while recently promoted partner Maria Coggins leads on the commercial front and has expertise on commercial contracts, data protection, compliance and risk management.

Testimonials

High quality, well respected, dynamic and entrepreneurial.

The firm has a strong position in the Welsh legal market and provides commercially-focused advice.

Tom Kelleher is a well respected, commercial and very experienced corporate lawyer, especially on private equity transactions.

Philip Barratt is a very personable, experienced transactional lawyer, who is capable of taking a commercial position and giving sensible and pragmatic advice.

Laura Spendiff is very responsive, diligent and professional.

 

Key clients

WestBridge Capital

Development Bank of Wales

Zego

NCL Technologies

Cardiff City Football Club

British Medical Association

Ascona Group

TXO Systems Limited

ITC Global Security Limited

Veezu Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised UK-based InsurTech entity, Zego, on its $42m Series B funding round.
  • Advised Westbridge on its investment into multi-utility company APTUS Group Ltd.
  • Advised Development Bank of Wales on its funding to enable the development of a new manufacturing plant for the mass production of next generation rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

With two partners based out of Cardiff and also able to draw upon expertise from across the firm's UK and international network, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP excels at handling upper/mid-market M&A transactions, often without a Welsh nexus. Leveraging the firm's overarching subject matter industry expertise, the team is particularly focused on handling corporate/private equity transactions within the energy and financial services sectors. Paul Pugh excels at handling fintech M&A transactions and heads the overarching corporate team that also houses Michelle T Davies, whose combination of corporate nous and regulatory expertise has enabled her to develop a strong offering across the lifecycle of deals within the clean energy sector (including on acquisitions and exit strategies).

Practice head(s):

Paul Pugh

Testimonials

 

‘Very good quality work at reasonable rates compared with typical London practices.

Our partner, Paul Pugh, is very accessible and usually quick to respond. Also very helpful when it comes to finding pragmatic solutions.’

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Key clients

Pollen Street Capital Limited

Currency Holdings Limited

Specialist Risk Investments Limited

Places for People Group Limited

Oodle Financial Services Limited

Seaturtle C.V.

Rinkelberg Capital Limited

Stichting Beheer Blueberg

CGN Europe Energy SAS

Honeycomb Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Pensions Infrastructure Platform on its £50m acquisition of five onshore wind projects situated throughout the UK and Ireland from Scottish Equity Partners.
  • Advised on the bolt on acquisition by Pollen Street Capital portfolio company, Specialist Risk Investments Limited, of The Underwriting Exchange Limited, London Ireland Market Exchange Limited (UK Co) and London Ireland Market Exchange Limited.
  • Advised Honeycomb on its debt and equity investment in fintech company Jaja Finance as a part of Jaja’s acquisition of the Bank of Ireland’s credit card portfolio.

Geldards LLP

Led by Andrew Morris and Christopher Williams, on the corporate and commercial side, respectively, Geldards LLP's seven-partner team has the strength-in-depth to handle a tremendous volume and range of work for public and private sector entities. Morris is well-versed at handling transactional work for clients in heavily regulated sectors, including life sciences and gaming/gambling; he recently advised Novomatic on its $120m disposal of a large part of its UK gaming division to Inspired Gaming. Geraint Tilsley has successfully cultivated a strong private equity/venture capital offering in the local market for clients including BGF Investments, Development of Wales and LDC, and also has significant experience advising Welsh public sector bodies on governance and structuring matters.

Key clients

Novomatic UK Limited

Admiral Insurance

John Bean Technologies Corporation

Development Bank of Wales

Celsa UK

BGF Investments

LDC

Office Depot

Schauenburg International

SyncSort Corporation

Rutherford Health Plc

Tessitura Network

Arix Bioscience

Warrington Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised John Bean Technologies on its £220m acquisition of Proseal UK Limited (including its US and Australian subsidiaries).
  • Advised Novomatic UK Limited on its $120m disposal of a large part of its UK gaming division to Inspired Gaming, including advising on agreements relating to IT infrastructure and IP licencing.
  • Advised Rutherford Health Plc on a range of significant commercial, IP and technology agreements.

Hugh James

The 'strong team' at Hugh James 'radiates a fine commercial understanding' on behalf of both high-profile regional private and public sector clients (Welsh Rugby Union, S.A. Brain), as well as international entities with a pervasive Welsh presence (including Rockwool and Qioptiq). Although the firm is active across a myriad industry sectors, it is particularly accomplished at handling media and gaming-related transactions, an area where Aled Walters  has specialist corporate and commercial expertise, gleaned not only from private practice but also by dint of his previous role as head of legal at a television network. Gerallt Jones heads up the firm’s corporate/M&A team and as well as advising on regional transactional matters, is also well-versed in handling mandates with a cross-border dimension having gained experience both in London and Hong Kong. Greg Williams 'is a pleasant guy who keeps a calm overview of lengthy and complicated UK law-based transaction documents', particularly as it relates to corporate and M&A matters in the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

Gerallt Jones; Aled Walters

Testimonials

The M&A team radiates a fine commercial understanding and supports us in reaching our goal which is to conclude the transaction on reasonable terms – not creating a Rolls Royce.

It is a strong team locally with good knowledge and experience.

Greg Williams is a pleasant guy who keeps a calm overview of lengthy and complicated UK law-based transaction documents.

Aled Walters runs a tight ship with his team managing a set of very different transaction contracts, guiding us to respond in an efficient manner during hectic times.

Key clients

Welsh Rugby Union

Keolis Amey

Qioptiq

Btobet

DS Smith Plc

Cardiff Blues

Rockwool International

Celtic Manor Resort

Adjusting Associates

Novomatic

Welsh Government

Amelco Limited

Wales millennium Centre

TCS Jon Huxley

FEI Foods

Origin Sounds Limited

Spotnails

S.A. Brain & Co Ltd

Oil 4 Wales

Shaw Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Welsh Rugby Union on a joint venture with Rightacres Properties and Legal & General which will transform two of Cardiff’s most iconic buildings into Cardiff’s premier luxury hotel.

Berry Smith

Leveraging strong ties with local businesses, as well as some clients from further afield, Berry Smith provides 'very proactive and responsive advice' to a primarily SME and owner-managed client roster. Under the guidance of 'very knowledgeable and practical' team head Andrew Bound, the firm has developed a particularly strong reputation advising life sciences and professional services entities engaged in corporate and commercial matters. Emma Borrington  is the other partner within the team and is particularly skilled at handling corporate work within the financial services and manufacturing sectors. Senior associate Paul Evans is also recommended, and as part of his wide-ranging practice has developed a particular expertise advising GPs, dentists and other healthcare professionals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Bound

Testimonials

Incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and approachable team.

The team is able to succinctly translate complex problems and provide legal wording to contracts, which is also understandable to lay persons.

The very knowledgeable and practical Andrew Bound is extremely good at advising on corporate structures and M&A.

Owen James is very responsive and pragmatic in his approach.

Key clients

Yourgene Health Plc

BBI Solutions OEM Limited

Novarum DX Limited

Brightwells Limited

National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS)

Invacare Limited

Spectrum Technologies Plc

Concepta Diagnostics Limited

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Monmouthshire Timber Supplies Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for AIM-listed company Yourgene Health Plc, the international molecular diagnostics group, on its £9.2m acquisition of Delta Diagnostics (UK) Limited (which trades as Elucigene).
  • Acted as lead advisor to Mark Richmond and Stephen Thomas, former shareholders of Rhys Davies on their sale of the entire issued share capital to Cathay Investments 2 Limited for an undisclosed sum.
  • Advised and reviewed aspects of tender documentation and terms and conditions for Brightwells Limited.

GREENAWAY SCOTT

Since its establishment in 2013, Cardiff-based corporate and commercial boutique GREENAWAY SCOTT has rapidly gained market share, particularly on behalf of start-ups and early stage growth corporates, appreciative of the firm's 'collaborative, pragmatic and goal-oriented' service, as well as its flexibility on fees (which includes a willingness to utilise contingent fee arrangements). Founding partner Nigel Greenaway has 'excellent contacts in the local business community' and generates a significant amount of work for the firm as a result of his 'entrepreneurial approach'. Matthew Sutton is praised for his 'fantastic customer service', particularly for life sciences and tech sector start-ups seeking to grow their businesses through venture capital funding. The opening of a Pembrokeshire office in 2019 enables the firm to broaden the geographical scope of its business and to effectively service clients across west Wales.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Greenaway

Testimonials

The firm approaches its clients with complete understanding and empathy during the transaction process.

The firm displays a collaborative culture, and a pragmatic and goal-oriented service.

The firm understands what you, the client, wants to achieve, and works to make sure that you, the client, is prepared for a transaction.

The team is confident and capable enough not to have to prove that they are  the cleverest or can score technical points – they concentrate on a successful deal.

Nigel Greenaway has excellent contacts in the local business community and is known for his entrepreneurial approach.

Matthew Sutton is a hugely experienced and smart chap.

Matthew Sutton provided a fantastic customer service. During corporate due diligence processes, all aspects are covered with detailed sale and purchase agreements.

Key clients

Development Bank of Wales

Handelsbanken

HSBC

Clinical Innovations

Trakcel Limited

Flexicare Medical Limited

Velar Projects

Work highlights

  • Advised on the management buyout of S3 Advertising.
  • Advised the shareholders of SamePage Group on its disposal to Pollen Street Capital.
  • Advised on a number of telecommunication deals in 2019 worth in excess of £20m.

JCP Solicitors

Jointly headed by Michael Williams and Betsan Powell  from the firm's Swansea headquarters, JCP Solicitors handles a significant volume of transactional and ongoing commercial work for a sizeable roster of SMEs and owner-managed businesses throughout south Wales. The team is particularly active in the healthcare sector, including advice on partnership/shareholder arrangements, and in relation to the sale and purchase of dental practices, pharmacies, opticians and care homes.

Key clients

Energybuild Limited

Macron S.p.A

Bloc Hotels

Gavin Griffiths Group

LBS Builders Merchants

Work highlights

  • Advising the Energybuild group of companies on its refinancing with Noble Private Investments, involving negotiation of a £10m secured loan facility.
  • Advised the management team of Brookglen Services Limited and MW Scaffolding Limited on the purchase of sister companies.

Morgan LaRoche

Led from the firm's Swansea headquarters by the 'experienced and commercialWilliam Barletta Morgan LaRoche's 'knowledgeable and efficient' team has a strong reputation among south west Wales-based corporates, SMEs and owner-managed businesses. The scope of the team's work is broad and includes M&A and joint venture structuring, as well as  corporate governance advice and shareholder agreement drafting. Although the firm is industry sector agnostic, it has developed particular areas of strength in relation to work within the healthcare, waste/recycling and energy industry verticals. Under the guidance of Welsh speaker Christopher Evans , the team has also successfully generated a thriving west Wales client base as a result of its growing presence out of its Carmarthen office.

Practice head(s):

William Barletta

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Evans

Testimonials

The team provides a knowledgeable, efficient and friendly service.

William Barletta is experienced and commercial.

Chris Evans is excellent to work with and all clients to whom we have referred him concur.

Key clients

Culina group Limited

Hallmark Care Homes

Esterkin Group

Athena Care Homes

USB International

Redrow Homes

GDH (Holdings) Limited

AMP Clean Energy

Metro Property Investments

Santander (UK) Plc

National Westminster Bank Plc

CKC Group

Swansea University

Ospreys regional rugby club

Scarlets regional rugby club

Mid Wales Housing Association Limited

M&P Direct Limited

Platinum Group

Cultech Limited

David Jenkins Limited

Owens (Road Services) Limited

Llanelec Precision Engineering Company Limited

Blackhills Caravan Sales Limited

Neath Port Talbot (Recycling) Limited

Carmarthenshire Recycling & Environmental Services Limited

EARS Fire Engineering Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised EARS Fire Engineering Limited on its acquisition of Circum Limited.
  • Acted for Carmarthenshire Recycling & Environmental Services Limited on its acquisition of ACR Environmental.
  • Advised Weighbridge Referral Service Centre on the sale of shares to AIM listed, CVS Group.

Darwin Gray LLP

Headed by Stephen ThompsonDarwin Gray LLP's corporate and commercial team has a strong local following within south Wales for a diverse mix of SMEs, owner-managed businesses and larger corporates. As well as handling core corporate work for manufacturing, education, housing and construction clients, Thompson also has niche expertise in franchising matters, as well as handling distressed M&A.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Thompson

Douglas-Jones Mercer

Under the leadership of Sheraz AkramDouglas-Jones Mercer provides a 'strong service' to local SMEs, owner-managed businesses and a number of larger international corporates, including Dawn Meats. The scope of corporate and commercial work is wide-ranging and encompasses M&A and joint venture transactions, as well as ongoing corporate housekeeping issues and advice on commercial contracts. Although the team is active across a broad swathe of industry sectors, it has developed particular expertise handling work within the healthcare sector and has been involved in numerous dental, veterinary and pharmacy acquisitions and disposals throughout England and Wales.

Practice head(s):

Sheraz Akram

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Hayward; Chloe Williams

Testimonials

The firm provides a strong service.

Key clients

Dawn Meats

Dawn Meats Group Unlimited

JTG Enterprises

Morgan Construction

Handlesbanken

Principality Building Society

Calon Wen Organic Milk Cooperative

DP Shayban

One Team Logic

Action for Children

Girlguiding

Furat Acquisitions

Silver Fox Acquisitions

Oxford Diecast

Icom Works

Shufflebottom Limited

CDA Care

Marukyu Europe

Lion Studios London

Records Setting Records

Gravells Motor Company

Jaycock Holdings

Dunbia (UK)

Belgrave Dental Centre

Imperial UK Property LLP

Clay Shaw Butler Accountants

Amman Healthcare Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented One Team Logic in a multimillion- pound investment from Octopus Investments Limited.
  • Represented Dawn Meats on the restructuring of its UK operations following a strategic partnership between it and Dunbia Group.
  • Represented iCOM Works in a complicated restructure and demerger arrangement of its business operations.

Ince

Under the leadership of the 'very versatile and innovativeTheresa Grech Ince has rapidly made strides in the local market since her arrival in January 2018 and the merger with Ince & Co at the end of 2018. Grech has a strong track record advising on M&A and joint venture mandates, and has developed a particular level of expertise over the years' acting for technology-based companies with significant IP-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Theresa Grech

Other key lawyers:

Melanie Kincaid

Testimonials

Theresa Grech is very versatile and innovative.

Key clients

Natuzzi UK Retail Limited

Willis Construction (Wales) Limited

Tutis Energy Ltd

Savebox Limited

All Terrain Tyres Limited

Loading Systems Management Limited

Customised Sheet Metal Limited

Quantum Geotechnic Limited

DHM Consultancy Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Natuzzi UK Retail on the the establishment of a joint venture entity in the UK made between Natuzzi SpA and NTZ Retail Ltd to increase Natuzzi’s network of stores in the UK.
  • Advised Willis Construction (Wales) Limited in relation to the partition demerger of the company to create two distinct operating structures.
  • Advised Tutis Energy in relation to a contract dealing with the conversion of an existing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility to an Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facility.

Dolmans

Although it is best-known for its public sector personal injury/health and safety defence work, Dolmans has, over the years, effectively parlayed this experience to generate a growing amount of corporate and commercial work for local authorities, in particular. And while the team has limited exposure to work within the private sector M&A market, under the guidance of Justin Harris it does regularly act for public sector and not-for-profit entities, in relation to governance, administrative and commercial contract-related work.

Practice head(s):

Justin Harris

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Oliver; Tom Harris

Harrisons Solicitors LLP

Headed out of Welshpool by Paul Ingram Harrisons Solicitors LLP provides an effective service across the gamut of corporate and commercial issues impacting clients throughout mid Wales. Representative work includes assisting local clients adopt and establish the most effective business structure to run their operations.  

Practice head(s):

Paul Ingram

Key clients

Wynnstay Group Plc

Charlies Stores Limited

WR Davies Motors Limited

Red Kite Law LLP

A stalwart of the west Wales legal market, Red Kite Law LLP has strong ties with the local business community and regularly handles transactional and commercial work for SMEs and owner-managed businesses in the region. Team head Paul James  is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul James