Helen Drayton > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Cambridge, England > Lawyer Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP


Helen is the chief executive of Penningtons Manches Cooper and is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm’s strategy and direction, as well as its day-to-day management, working alongside the  strategy, executive and operational boards.

Much of the leadership team’s attention is currently focused on integrating the firm behind a shared vision and strategy, which continues to centre around key sectors and niche teams – as well as increasing the offering of the international offices. An additional priority is further understanding of the work the firm does with its clients. By improving on what it does and how it is done, the firm can continue to build on its reputation as a strategic partner delivering high quality, cutting-edge advice to help clients achieve the best real-world outcomes.

Helen is a strong supporter of Penningtons Manches Cooper’s ambition to be regarded as the most human law firm. She believes that taking a collaborative and caring approach to the work it does – both within teams internally and with clients – is key to achieving its strategic objectives. Accordingly, she personally oversees the continuous development and implementation of the firm’s inclusion agenda, which is centred on fostering an environment in which everyone feels valued, motivated and empowered to make the most of their working and personal lives.

Prior to taking on the role of chief executive in 2022, Helen, a corporate lawyer, was head of the firm’s business services division and a partner in the corporate team. She has advised a full range of clients on all aspects of company law, specialising in mergers and acquisitions with a particular focus on MBO transactions and property-related disposals and purchases – as well as developing expertise in group reorganisations and demergers.


Trained Hewitsons LLP; qualified 2001; partner 2008; joined Penningtons Solicitors LLP in 2012.


The Law Society


Nottingham Trent University (1997 LLB 2(1)); LPC (1999 commendation).

Lawyer Rankings

East Anglia > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Cambridge

(Leading individuals)

Helen DraytonPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP

London > Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s corporate team specialise in lower mid-market M&A with a focus on the technology, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. Team head Matthew Martin  has extensive experience in the fashion, luxury and lifestyle sector. Seb Orton  has acted on a full range of issuer and investment bank-side transactions in the retail and health and care sectors. Chris Owen has considerable experience of acting on cross-border transactions. Helen Drayton  has extensive experience in corporate reorganisations, including solvent liquidations, demergers and the implementation of other tax planning schemes.