Claire McConway > Wedlake Bell LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Wedlake Bell LLP
71 QUEEN VICTORIA STREET
LONDON
EC4V 4AY
England
Claire McConway photo

Work Department

Wedlake Bell

Position

Partner who is a corporate and funds lawyer in our business advisory group.  Her practice covers 18 years of working on corporate, funds and financial services matters under English, New York and various offshore laws, with particular emphasis on alternative investments.

On the corporate side she has extensive experience in cross border public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital transactions, in addition to IPOs and other aspects of equity capital markets work.She also regularly advises on the structuring, formation, running and wind down of investment funds and the associated regulatory aspects.Her clients include family offices, investment managers, private equity funds, financial institutions, entrepreneurs and trading corporates.

Her recent experience includes:Advising a family office on the establishment of two complex open ended mutual funds with combined assets of over $6bn in value.
Advising a family office on its own internal restructuring of its share class rights higher up in the holding structure following a downstream successful merger by scheme of arrangement.
Advising the manager of a US debt fund on the equity and debt restructuring of one of its borrower groups
Advising a sovereign wealth fund on the purchase of prime UK real estate via a leveraged holding company acquisition
Advising a tech start-up on equity capital raising, including negotiation of investor terms with Goldman Sachs and drafting new class rights, and establishment of a new offshore private equity fund for the founder
Advising a start up fund manager on the establishment of a new private equity fund, including drafting and negotiation of the partnership agreement and re-negotiation of investor terms for institutional investors prior to final closing

Career

Claire attended Trinity College, Dublin (Law and French, class of 1997) where she was awarded an entrance exhibition prize and the French Government prize for outstanding merit and coming top of her class.

She first qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2000 following completion of her training contract with Herbert Smith in London (1998 – 2000). She was later admitted to practise in New York, California, the Republic of Ireland, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

After qualifying as a solicitor she had a 9 year career practising English and New York corporate law in London. The last 5 years of that period were spent in the London office of US firm King & Spalding where she gained experience in cross border US-UK-Middle East corporate transactions, often involving UK real estate, private equity funds and offshore structures, as well as advising US financial institutions and fund managers on the UK’s financial promotion regime.

In 2010 she joined offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman in Bermuda and later worked in the firm’s Moscow and London offices. She was hired in 2014 by Channel Islands firm Carey Olsen and worked in its London office for over 4 years. During her 8+ years in offshore practice she advised on British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Cayman law matters – predominantly private equity, funds, venture capital, M&A, capital markets and finance transactions. She has made the transition back to English law practice and joined Wedlake Bell as a partner in its Business Advisory practice in 2018.

Memberships

In her spare time she does pro bono legal work for charitable organisations dedicated to the alleviation of animal suffering and promoting animal welfare.  One such example is Target Zero, a US non-profit committed to ending the euthanasia of adoptable shelter cats and dogs in the US by facilitating the roll out of trap, neuter and return schemes for community cats in local animal control ordinances.

Lawyer Rankings

London > Foreign firms > Offshore firms in London

Carey Olsen can offer clients both Caribbean and Channel Islands law advice from its London office, with finance acting as a core area of expertise. The firm refreshed its London team by the recruitment of Jasmine Amaria from Walkers – she has a track record of advising on Cayman and BVI matters, and is well-connected in India. Boosting the senior ranks, Richard Brown returned to the firm as a partner from Harneys, where he was a senior associate, and Jersey advocate Andrea Steel joined as counsel from an in-house role at Saltgate Investment Services, bringing with her funds regulatory expertise. The firm has a wealth of senior associates in London, including Jersey advocate Bryony Bird, private wealth specialist Guernsey advocate Nina Clift and BVI-qualified solicitor-advocate Paul Griffiths. Nic Journeaux is now at Ogier in Jersey and counsel Claire McConway departed to become a partner at onshore firm Wedlake Bell LLP.

London > Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap

Wedlake Bell LLP makes its way into the rankings this year thanks to a successful effort to expand its capital markets team. The team is now led by Martin Thomas, who specialises in listing transactions in London, and joined the firm from Watson Farley & Williams LLP. Since joining, Thomas has handled a number of equity financing transactions in connection with high-value M&A in the oil and gas sector. Another contact in the practice group is Edward Craft, who focuses on the retail, healthcare, and tech sectors, and has client relationships with several active nomads. Other notable additions to the team include Paul Corren and Claire McConway, who joined the firm in 2018 from HCB Solicitors and Carey Olsen respectively. Back just one more year, in 2017 Adam Lynch joined the team from Maclay Murray & Spens.