Corporate and commercial in Wales
Headed on the corporate front by Stephen Berry and Paul Lowe, and for commercial work by Craig Griffiths, Acuity Law's 11-partner team has the strength-in-depth to handle a wide range of transactional and ongoing commercial work within targeted industry sectors, including healthcare, education and renewable energy. The opening of a new office in London during 2018 (following the merger with two boutique firms) is testament to the firm's growing ambitions and need to service a client base that often extends way beyond its Welsh base of operations. Other noted partners include Christian Farrow, who excels at handling corporate deals in the renewables sector, and Phillip Pugh, whose focus on early stage work has led to his involvement on behalf of a number of university spin-out companies. Clients also continue to benefit from the firm’s in-house legal support subscription-based service - Acuity Counsel.
Stephen Berry and Paul Lowe (Corporate) Craig Griffiths (Commercial)
‘Very commercial and pragmatic.‘
‘An entrepreneurial approach.‘
Premier Forest Products
Your World Recruitment
Lifetime Health and Fitness Training
Newport Wafer Fab
Progressive Technology Solutions
The Sure Chill Company
- The firm acted for ICSG on its acquisition of ProClincial Limited, a life sciences recruitment business with subsidiaries in the US, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.
- Acted for the shareholders of Ultrapharm Limited (a Welsh baker which specialises in “free from” goods), in its sale to listed food manufacturer Finsbury Foods.
- The firm continues to act for Portman Dental Care on the acquisition of numerous dental practices.
- Advised the Wealthify Group Limited in connection with an investment by Aviva.
- Acted for the shareholders and the company on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Harris Pye to Joulon EU Acquisitions, a company owned by a Singapore fund controlled by global investment firm, KKR.
Led on the corporate front by the ‘very experienced and accomplished’ Robert Cherry, Blake Morgan LLP has strong ties in the local market and beyond for a varied mix of corporates, private equity sponsors and SMEs. Although the firm is active across the spectrum of industry sectors, it has a particular niche acting for owner-managers in the health and social care sectors. James Williams has an excellent reputation in the local market and, alongside senior associate Richard Jones , has recently handled numerous mandates for management teams on investments by UK and US private equity firms. Penri Desscan leads the firm’s commercial offering and is particularly well-known for her procurement work.
Robert Cherry (Corporate) Penri Desscan (Commercial)
‘Very strong team.‘
‘James Williams is very active in the local market.‘
Nigel and Bridget Roberts – former owners of Paramount Office Interiors
Shareholders of Fostering Together Limited
Cambrian SW Limited
Management team in connection with secondary buyout of Amberon Group
ZWPV Limited (Zip World Group)
- Advising on the sale of a care business in the Stoke area which has been under the ownership of the Vincent family for 29 years.
- Advising the former owners of Paramount Office Interiors Limited on their exit from the company via an MBO.
- Advising the shareholders of the company on its sale to NFA Plc
- Assisting on the capital reduction demerger of Cambrian Decorators Supplies Limited – resulting in the separation of the property and business assets of the company.
- Acting for management team in connection with reinvestment terms relating to the sale of the Amberon Group to H2 Equity Partners.
The ‘entrepreneurial and pragmatic’ team at Capital Law Limited provides 'very commercial advice' across public company M&A and private equity work, both locally and outside of Wales. Formerly in-house at 3i, ‘responsive and accessible’ senior partner Duncan Macintosh has superb insight into work for sponsors and investee companies, and is a key member of the team that also includes Alys Carlton and Tom Kelleher, both of whom handle most of the day-to-day mandates and co-lead the corporate department. Associate Laura Spendiff has a flourishing reputation in the SME space, and has a focus on early-stage investment work and spin-out and venture capital investments.
Alys Carlton; Tom Kelleher
‘Very well respected, advising on M&A transactions with very strong credentials in private equity.’
‘Duncan Macintosh is a class act who has seen it all‘
‘The very well respected and extremely experienced Tom Kelleher is one of the stand out corporate lawyers in the region, especially for private equity work‘
‘Tom Kelleher is level headed and unflappable‘
‘The very approachable Alys Carlton is an excellent corporate lawyer, with specific expertise of advising management teams.’
‘Alys Carlton excels in private equity matters and has a great network in London and South Wales‘
Development Bank of Wales
NCL Technology Ventures
Cardiff City Football Club
British Medical Association
Admiral Group plc (via its main trading subsidiary, EUI Limited)
PCI Pharma Services
- Acted for Simply Do Ideas in an equity fundraise, made by various angel investors and the Development Bank of Wales.
- Acted for Development Bank of Wales in a debt and equity investment in World Class Finance.
- Acted for Novum Securities in relation to their role as placing agent and joint broker for Nu-Oil and Gas Plc
- Acted for NCL Technology Ventures on its investment in Andiamo Ltd.
- Acted for DevOpsGroup in a £3m equity investment from the British Growth Fund.
With three partners focused on handling corporate work from the firm's Cardiff office, and also able to leverage a significant national and international presence, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is particularly strong at handling upper/mid-market transactional work, often without a connection to the Welsh market. The firm is particularly strong at handling investments by private equity sponsors in the financial services and renewable energy sectors. Team head Paul Pugh has an excellent reputation for handling fintech M&A, while Michelle Davies and Charles Reynard regularly lead on the firm's energy-related M&A matters.
Other key lawyers:
Michelle Davies; Charles Reynard; Richard Franklin; Shelley Evans; Matthew Gough
Pollen Street Capital
Stena Line Ports UK Limited
Kingspan Environmental Limited
Jaja Finance Limited
Greater London Authority
CGN Europe Energy SAS
Places for People Group
Kier Group Plc
- Advised Pollen Street-backed acquisition vehicle, Currency Holdings, on its acquisition of Foreign Exchange Direct Plc.
- Advising on the acquisition of a majority interest in the Miles Smith Insurance Group
- Advising Stena on the unwinding of its property-related joint venture regarding a proposed development at Holyhead waterfront with Conygar Holdings Limited and certain related arrangements.
Geldards LLP has a particularly strong reputation handling transactional work within the public sector, where key clients include the Welsh government and the Development Bank of Wales. In the private sector, the firm has a strong and growing reputation handling corporate and commercial work within heavily regulated sectors, including gaming and healthcare. Team head Andrew Morris has an excellent reputation among local corporates, as does Geraint Tilsley, who is also noted for his growing reputation for private equity and venture capital matters. Chris Williams leads on the commercial front.
Andrew Morris (Corporate) Chris Williams (Commercial)
Other key lawyers:
Geraint Tilsley; Martyn Davies; Justin Harrington
Arts Council of Wales
Breed Reply Investments
Business Growth Fund
Certus IT Limited
Development Bank of Wales
Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions
John Bean Technologies
National Museum of Wales
Proton Partners International Limited
Tower Colliery Limited
Wales Millennium Centre
- Advised the shareholders and management of SOGL on a formal structured auction culminating in its sale to a newco buyer backed by CBPE Capital and the partial reinvestment of sale proceeds in the new entity.
- Advised LDC on its significant minority investment in Zip World.
- Advised the Business Growth Fund on a £3m equity investment in fast-growing Cardiff-based IT services company, DevOps Group.
- The firm continues to advise Breed Reply Investments on a range of seed and series A investments.
- Acted for the cleint on the sale of retail fashion brand Toast.
Headed by the 'experienced' Gerallt Jones, Hugh James' six-partner team has the strength in depth to enable a significant degree of specialisation to both domestic and international clients across an array of corporate and commercial matters. Greg Williams has developed a significant niche in relation to healthcare M&A work, and is a key member of the team that also includes Aled Walters , who is able to parlay his vast media (he was formerly in-house counsel at S4C) and gaming sector knowledge to good effect on corporate and commercial matters.
Gerallt Jones (corporate); Aled Walters (commercial)
Other key lawyers:
Greg Williams; Lowri Walters
‘A strong practice‘
‘Gerallt Jones has good experience and is trusted to deliver the legal support we need.‘
‘Aled Walters is excellent at advising on commercial matters in the gaming sector‘
Princes Gate Spring Water
Welsh Rugby Union
Celtic Manor Resort
S.A. Brain & Company
- Advised the owners of Princes Gate Spring Water on the sale of the business to Nestlé Waters.
- Advised Avanti Media on the sale of a majority shareholding to Sky Plc and the securing of the Songs of Praise contract from the BBC.
- Advising DS Smith on commercial agreements with customers and suppliers.
- The firm advised Cardiff University on the creation of a new body via a corporate vehicle.
- Advised Walters Group on the sale of Ffos Las racecourse.
Benefiting from strong local business community ties, Berry Smith provides a ‘very commercial and cost-effective service’ to SMEs on their ongoing commercial requirements, as well as on transactional work. In addition to his regular corporate and commercial work for life sciences clients, team head Andrew Bound has also developed a particular niche advising professional services firms on their transactional activity, as well as on the development and execution of their corporate structures and succession planning. The ‘very detail-oriented’ Emma Borrington is well-regarded for her work in the financial services and manufacturing sectors, and is a key member of the team that also includes associate Paul Evans, who is noted for his ‘excellent work’ within the healthcare space.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Borrington; Paul Evans; Philip Griffiths
‘Always looking for innovative ways to deal with issues they are presented with.‘
‘Andrew Bound provides very effective advice‘
‘Paul Evans is extremely professional and personable‘
EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc
Jellagen Pty Ltd
National Procurement Service for Wales
ISA Training Limited
- Acted for EKF in the spin out of its clinical diagnostic solution for kidney disease into a new company, Renalytix AI Plc.
- Acted for Jellagen Pty Ltd in a £3.8m funding round.
- Advised ISA Training Limited on its sale to Educ8 Training Group Limited.
- Advise NPS generally on all contractual and procurement issues.
'A very entrepreneurial law practice', GREENAWAY SCOTT ‘punches well above its weight’, and provides ‘strong business acumen’ in relation to the corporate and commercial needs of start-up and early stage growth corporates in the region. Leveraging significant IP expertise, as well as corporate and commercial prowess, the firm excels at handling transactions within the life sciences and tech sectors, and benefits from strong ties with a number of leading UK universities. Founding partner Nigel Greenaway and Matthew Sutton provide ‘commercial and pragmatic advice’ on corporate transactions, while Rhian Osborne leads on the commercial front.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Sutton; Rhian Osborne
‘The team provides solid and commercially focused advice.‘
‘The firm manage the process throughout, understanding both the client in every aspect and the circumstances they are facing.‘
‘Nigel Greenaway is the driving force of the firm with a justifiably excellent reputation.‘
‘Matthew Sutton lead his class in this field and deserves an extra ordinary mention.‘
Santia Asbestos Management Limited
Velar Projects Limited
Clinical Innovations LLC
Cool- Therm Limited
Wales Co-operative Development and Training Limited
Photonstar LED Group PLC
Flexicare Medical Limited
Cooper Projects Limited
Y3S Group Limited
Gofal Enterprises Limited
Impex Diagnostics Limited
- Advisor to disposal company for a deal with over £1 million.
- Advisor to the disposal company with a value of £13.4 million.
- Advisor to the shareholders of the disposal company.
- Advisor to life sciences company receiving major cross-border investment.
- Recently advised on the 60% disposal of the entire issued share capital of Difference Corporation Ltd to UK cloud based telephony company Voip-4U
Led by Betsan Powell, JCP Solicitors' three-partner team provides 'knowledgeable and efficient' advice to a primarily SME and owner-managed local client base from key targeted industry sectors, including healthcare, charities and waste/recycling. Work includes advice on joint venture structuring, M&A transactions and business restructurings, while on the commercial front the firm continues its fruitful relationship with a major international sportswear manufacturer.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Williams; Chris Davies
‘Betsan Powell efficiently processes major transactions‘
Wales Air Ambulance
LBS Builders Merchants
Marine Power Systems
- Advised Macron on a new five-year technical kit supplier agreement with Nottingham Forest FC.
Leveraging its strong ties with the local business community and beyond, Swansea headquartered firm Morgan LaRoche provides a ‘first-rate service’ across the spectrum of corporate and commercial work for SMEs and owner-managed businesses. Team head William Barletta has vast transactional experience in the waste recycling and healthcare sectors, and also regularly handles work for professional services businesses on matters including partnership reorganisations and restructurings. Christopher Evans splits his time between the Swansea and Carmarthen offices, and has successfully cultivated a strong west Wales-based client base which are appreciative of his Welsh language skills.
Other key lawyers:
‘William Barletta is a very thoughtful strategist‘
Culina group Limited
Hallmark Care Homes
Athena Care Homes
GDH (Holdings) Limited
AMP Clean Energy
Metro Property Investments
Santander (UK) Plc
National Westminster Bank
Ospreys regional rugby club
Scarlets regional rugby club
Mid Wales Housing Association
M&P Direct Limited
David Jenkins Limited
Owens (Road Services) Limited
Llanelec Precision Engineering Company Limited
Blackhills Caravan Sales Limited
Neath Port Talbot (Recycling) Limited
- Advising the company on the sale of assets to AIM-listed company, SigmaRoc Plc
- Advised on the sale of shares to the Linneaus Group
- Advised on the sale of shares to AIM-listed company CVS Group.
- Acquisition of business and assets of ACR Environmental
Darwin Gray LLP
At Darwin Gray LLP, team head Stephen Thompson has significant transactional and commercial experience on behalf of local and national corporates from a range of industry sectors, including manufacturing. Thompson has also developed niche expertise in relation to the sale and purchase of franchise businesses.
Swansea-based Douglas-Jones Mercer provides an 'excellent service' to local SMEs and owner-managed businesses, as well as a growing roster of international corporates, including Dawnus Group and Dawn Meats Group. Although his expertise covers a range of sectors, 'very responsive' team head Sheraz Akram has developed a significant niche within the healthcare sector, where his work includes advice on joint ventures, as well as acquisitions and disposals of healthcare businesses.
Other key lawyers:
Aaron Hayward; Chloe Williams
‘A strong committed team supporting all aspects of commercial needs‘
‘Sheraz Akram is very customer-oriented and responsive‘
Dawn Meats Group Unlimited
Gravells Motor Company
Principality Building Society
Action for Children
Silver Fox Acquisitions
Lion Studios London
Records Setting Records
Belgrave Dental Centre
Imperial UK Property LLP
Calon Wen Organic Milk Cooperative
Clay Shaw Butler Accountants
- Represented Dawn Meats on the restructuring of its UK operations following a strategic partnership between it and Dunbia Group
- Represented Fresh on the Go on the purchase of the Jack’s Beans business from Smiths News Plc.
- Represented iCOM Works in a complicated restructure and demerger arrangement of its business operations.
- Represented JTG Enterprises on the funding and investment into Morgan Construction with regard to a large-scale development.
- Represented Calon Wen in respect of its constitutional arrangements and succession planning.
Ince's Wales corporate team is led by Theresa Grech, who joined the firm in early 2018 after previous stints as a partner at two other prominent firms in the South West. The recent merger of Gordon Dadds and Ince means the Cardiff-based team is able to draw on expertise from a large corporate group in London, as well as lawyers in the wider firm's international network. The practice focuses on work for small to medium-sized private companies, including family-owned businesses and start-ups. Grech works in tandem with Melanie Kincaid, who heads up the firm's corporate support service, which handles company secretarial, corporate law and governance issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘Extremely flexible and efficient.’
‘A balanced and diverse team which displays a depth of professionalism.’
‘Theresa Grech is very able and picks up complex issues very quickly.’
Gus Periscopes Limited
Gwalia Healthcare Limited
Six Star Powys Ltd
Rhodri Davies Limited
R & A Lampard Limited
C D Gray & Associates Limited
The Kitchen Bureau Ltd
Specialist Models & Displays Limited
- Represented Six Star Powys on its purchase of three accountancy practices with funding obtained from the Development Bank of Wales.
While it is undoubtedly best-known for its defendant public sector personal injury offering, Dolmans also handles some commercial and corporate work for local authorities, SMEs and local entrepreneurs. A member of the Business in the Community Cymru Advisory Board, team head Justin Harris has significant experience on corporate governance, commercial contract drafting and M&A matters, and is a key member of the team that also includes senior partner Adrian Oliver, who regularly handles regulatory and contractual matters for sports clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Their commitment to their clients’ requirements are paramount and they strive to deliver all our legal services requirements however diverse and disparate in nature.’
‘Justin Harris has a top legal mind allied to a strong leadership style which ensures that all of his team deliver to the high standards expected of them.’
Harrisons Solicitors LLP
Established in Powys for over 170 years, Harrisons Solicitors LLP provides a 'responsive and commercial service' to clients spread across Powys, mid Wales and the Shropshire borders. Headed by Paul Ingram , work includes assisting local clients adopt and establish the most effective business structure to run their operations, as well as the provision of ongoing commercial services.
- Represented the client in its acquisition of the assets of eight stores from Countrywide Stores Plc in administration.
Red Kite Law LLP
West Wales stalwart 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 provides general corporate and commercial support as well as transactional advice to local clients from a range of industry sectors.