Will Axtell > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Oxford, England > Lawyer Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Work Department



Will is a partner in the corporate team, specialising in M&A, fundraisings, spin-outs and other corporate law matters. He is based in the Oxford office and has particular expertise in the technology and life sciences sectors. Will has a strong track record in complex and high value transactions, often with a cross-border element. He has advised on many US-UK international transactions and has acted on some of the largest Oxford University spin-outs to date. Will is also co-head of the firm’s digital business group.

His clients range from start-ups and high growth companies to larger listed companies, as well as high net worth individuals and successful entrepreneurs. Will has a Magic Circle (Clifford Chance) and blue-chip in-house (Vodafone) background.


Trained Clifford Chance; qualified 2000; solicitor Clifford Chance 1998-2003; solicitor Vodafone 2003-06; partner Charles Russell 2006-14; partner Penningtons Manches 2014 to date.


Durham University (1996 History 2(1)); College of Law, Guildford (1998).

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

(Leading individuals)

Will AxtellPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a go-to for Oxford University spin-outs when it comes to investments and funding rounds and as such has a strong industry focus on tech and life sciences. The leadership duo consists of Will Axtell, a specialist in advising entrepreneurs on exits and private equity, and James Went, renowned for his expertise in M&A transactions. Another M&A expert in the firm is David Tighe, who regularly works with associate Dominique Sabatini, who is becoming increasingly prominent in the Oxford and Imperial spin-out community.