James Went > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Oxford, England > Lawyer Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Work Department



Corporate lawyer specialising in advising life sciences and technology companies. His transactional work includes acquisitions and disposals, often with an international element; university spin-outs; venture capital funding transactions; joint ventures; corporate restructuring and re-organisations. He works with companies at all stages of their life cycle and many clients are spin-outs from the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and other universities and technology transfer organisations, who he works with on a long-term basis.


Where trained: Biddle
Year qualified: 2000
Year made partner in present firm: 2016
Trained at Biddle. Joined Manches in 2001. Became a partner at Penningtons Manches in 2016.


Main secondary school attended: Sullivan Upper School

Universities and colleges attended: Lincoln College, Oxford 1994 – 1997 (BA (Hons) Jurisprudence, First Class); Christ’s College, Cambridge 2000-2001 (LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

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

(Next Generation Partners)

James WentPenningtons 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.

London > Corporate and commercial > Venture capital

Primarily centred out of its Oxford office, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has ‘deep experience in understanding the requirements of both investors and investees’, particularly in the context of tech and life sciences matters. ‘Exceptional’ team head James Went is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile mandates handled by the team, including a significant amount of university spin-out work. Corporate tax expert Kathy Hills is also a key resource in relation to investments made through tax efficient schemes, including the government-backed EIS and SEIS initiatives.