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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Work Department



Will is an experienced corporate finance partner. He has a Magic Circle (Clifford Chance) and blue-chip in-house (Vodafone) background and is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals. Will is based in Penningtons Manches’ Oxford office but is also a regular presence in the firm’s City of London office. Will specialises in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, group reorganisations, fundraisings and equity capital markets (with an emphasis on AIM). Having worked at Vodafone and spent many years advising fast growing technology companies, Will has particular expertise in the technology sector. Many of his transactions have a cross-border element and he enjoys helping clients navigate through the extra complexity this can often bring. Will has a commercial and solutions-orientated approach and focuses on what is important to his clients. He is also passionate about family and owner/managed businesses. He is a fifth generation shareholder in a family business based in Oxford which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2015. Will also holds a STEP Advanced Certificate in family business advising.


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.


Dragon School; Radley College; 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

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong M&A and venture capital practice, with particular experience advising clients in the technology and life sciences sectors. Simon Bickerdike and Matthew Martin jointly head the team. Other key figures at the firm include Will Axtell and James Went who both specialise in M&A; Axtell also has extensive experience of AIM listings, whilst Went, who now heads the venture capital team, after former co-heads  Rob Hayes and Justin Starling left the firm to join Osborne Clarke in January 2021, focuses on venture capital financing.