Firm Profile > Goodwin > London, England
Goodwin > The Legal 500 Rankings
Real estate funds Tier 1Goodwin acts for over 150 real estate investment managers on the full range of matters, including fund structuring and formation issues, fundraisings and the deployment of capital. Its expertise spans a wide range of investment vehicles, including open-end and closed-end funds, variable-priced funds, club arrangements, programmatic joint ventures and separate accounts. The firm's fund formation capabilities are enhanced by its ability to advise on ancillary securities, regulatory and ERISA issues. Samantha Lake Coghlan leads the team, which was bolstered by the recent arrival of Justin Cornelius from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. The firm also opened a Luxembourg office in late 2019, strengthening its European funds platform. David Evans and Alan Skerritt are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Goodwin’s real estate funds team is exceptional and marries a high level of technical knowledge with a refreshingly commercial approach. The team possesses an abundance of talent and experience, and always responds rapidly to transaction developments and client requests.‘
‘Samantha Lake Coghlan (Partner) – Sam is clearly one of the pre-eminent lawyers in the real estate funds space. She has an unparalleled understanding of the practice area and is always cognisant of her client’s commercial needs. Sam is personable, pragmatic and consistently goes the extra mile to ensure a positive outcome for her client. Ravi Chopra (Partner) – Ravi is a highly accomplished funds lawyer and is well versed in advising on real estate fund structures. He has an outstanding technical skill-set and applies a solutions-orientated approach. Niall Dick (Associate) – Niall is very diligent, easy to work with and highly reliable in managing transaction workstreams.‘
‘Very responsive and extremely clear advice. My clients have found Goodwin excellent, particularly for start-ups where practical advice is at a premium.‘
‘Samantha Lake Coghlan is outstanding. Leading individual in her field.‘
BauMont Real Estate Capital
M7 Real Estate
The team at Goodwin is recommended for its ‘excellent knowledge of the commercial property industry and highly commercial’ service. Department head Joe Conder is a particular standout, famed for his extensive knowledge of investment-related transactions and structuring, sale and leasebacks, development funding and financing transactions. There is a strong cross-border and capital raising component to the team's workload, which spans a range of asset classing including office, retail, industrial, student accommodation, hospitality, leisure, logistics and the private rented sector. Clients include sovereign wealth funds, high-net-worth managers and a range of international funds, namely from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US. Other standout partners include James Spence and Martin Smith, praised as 'providing a consistently outstanding service'.
‘Very deep understanding of client requirements, very frequent communication – these guys are a lot of fun to work with.’
‘Excellent knowledge of the industry and highly commercial.’
James Spence and Martin Smith provide a consistently outstanding service.’
‘Very commercial and prompt to take action as necessary.’
Kennedy Wilson Europe
Medical Properties Trust
Slate Asset Management
Venture capital Tier 2
Goodwin has quickly made an impact within the London and UK venture capital market thanks to a succession of recent impressive strategic hires from top-ranked peer firms, and is well-positioned to exploit the increasing amount of US capital flowing into the European market. Under the leadership of the 'knowledgeable and experienced' David Mardle , who splits his time between London and the Cambridge office, the team 'has a great deal of experience of market practice/commercial terms as well as legal considerations' and is thereby well-placed to represent both investees and investors throughout the investment lifecycle. The 'highly rated' Adrian Rainey and Ali Ramadan, who is 'able to seamlessly combine legal/technical and commercial/practical advice' for investors and investees, are also recommended at partner level, while associate Adam Thatcher has notable expertise in acting for emerging growth companies and venture capital investors in the fintech, life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Goodwin’s VC practice is unique because of the extensive experience they have from early stage start-ups through to later stage VC work – this helps them to be able to advise companies throughout their life cycle with a great deal of experience of market practice/commercial terms as well as the legal considerations. I found the knowledge of the team as to what large acquirers of VC practices (both US and UK) expect/want in M&A to be absolutely key and incredibly helpful.’
‘David Mardle is a brilliant team leader and has a wealth of knowledge and experience.’
‘An impressive roster of lawyers recruited from impressive peer firms in a short space of time. The team at Goodwin has certainly made an impact on the London and UK venture capital scene, replicating the success of its US colleagues. An excellent reputation in the field of life sciences, with a Cambridge offering which fits in well to the wider firm-wide ambitions. With the recent recruits, they provide a full-service offering for technology companies in the corporate field, which will undoubtedly grow over the years in light of the quality of the lawyers recruited.’
‘Ali Ramadan is a “go-to” lawyer for all matters venture capital-related, but also a particularly trusted adviser for general corporate and M&A work as well. He is one of those lawyers who simply “gets it” and is able to seamlessly combine legal/technical and commercial/practical advice all in one. Very responsive and hardworking, he is a stand out junior partner and is highly recommended, both on the investor side and on the company side.’
OMERS Ventures Europe
Charles River Ventures
Lakestar Venture Capital
Eight Roads Ventures
Mott Macdonald Ventures
Hospitality and leisure Tier 3
Goodwin has 'excellent knowledge' in the hospitality and leisure arena and handles a considerable volume of hotel transactions. Led by real estate partner Matthew Pohlman (who previously held a position as corporate counsel at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts) , the practice acts for a mixed array of operators, debt, and equity investors in hotels, resorts, and residential matters, playing roles on mandates including financing and M&A. New partner Martin Smith advises foreign investors and is recommended for his insight in all real estate related transactions. The team also works closely with its US practice in cross-border matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Great client loyalty and a lot of trust in them handling the bulk of work. They have an excellent knowledge of the industry and are highly commercial.’
‘James Spence and Martin Smith provide a consistently outstanding service.’
‘They know the sector and the agreements of their operator clients extremely well.’
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Oaktree Capital Management
RoundShield Partners LLP
Omnam Investment Group
Cairn Hotel Group
Masterworks Development Corporation (a/k/a/ Club Quarters)
Life sciences and healthcare Tier 3Housing teams in London and Cambridge, Goodwin has expanded its UK presence considerably. Graham Defries heads up the practice, which demonstrates strong capabilities in M&A, finance and capital markets transactions in connection with life sciences and related fields impacted by technology, particularly healthcare. Defries is a key practitioner who advises biotech and pharmaceutical companies and investors on private equity and venture capital investments, while Malcolm Bates specialises in the commercialisation of IP assets, including licences, collaborations, manufacturing, and R&D. David Mardle has expertise in assisting emerging biotech companies with their growth plans, while Tim Worden is another of a number of lawyers who joined from Taylor Wessing LLP. Sophie McGrath is another key practitioner.
‘The individual partners and team members across all departments seem to be at the top of their game and work together seamlessly. The client experience is excellent. Solid technical lawyers with broad experience – able to react fast and effectively to a broad range of life sciences transactions.’
‘One of the UK’s leading teams, if not the pre-eminent team, for life science and healthcare investments – their sector experience and knowledge from spin-out to late-stage VC and beyond is excellent.’
‘David Mardle is excellent – his knowledge and experience means he’s someone you want on your side.’
‘The guidance provided by the team was pragmatic, commercial but aimed at getting the deal done in a sensible manner and not scoring points with the other side for the sake of it. They are easy to get on with and you can talk to them as real humans unlike some other law firms.’
‘I worked mainly with Tim Worden. He was all the things I mentioned above, pragmatic, commercial and helped us get a deal done which we wanted to do. He got into the weeds when necessary as well as providing the high level strategic legal advice we were looking for.’
Avacta Life Sciences Limited
Seroba Life Sciences
The team is exceptionally commercial and helpful. They go above and beyond in terms of learning about the firm, the individuals, the culture, as well as the fund. They are very much regarded as an extension of our firm.
Ajay Pathak is a standout star. He has taken the time to learn everything about our firm as well as the deals we invest in so that he can advise holistically. His commerciality is second to none.
Highly professional, highly intelligent, global expertise and client alignment. Deep expertise in fund formation and management and ability to address as well as structure solutions to the dynamic requirements facing our fund.
Great skillset and experience across the board. There is a strong team spirit and openness which makes the dialogue very pleasant. They have a can do attitude and are always creative to find clever solutions on many legal and commercial matters. Truly the best team I’ve worked with.
Michael Halford is an outstanding partner – very reliable and creative, and able to mobilise the team to deliver on time .
Deep knowledge of the UK private funds legal market built on the foundations of legacy SJ Berwin training and expertise. The team have extensive exposure to UK private equity funds and are well placed to advise clients on market and best practice, with excellent engagement from partners and senior associates.
Ed Hall and Ravi Chopra are both excellent lawyers who successfully combine the precision and logic expected of a good lawyer, with the sound commercial advice required to be an invaluable partner and adviser.
The level of expertise in the team is impressive. Michael Halford and Ed Hall are unrivalled in problem solving skills and market experience. Ed Hall has an encyclopedic knowledge base and a talent for finding innovative solutions to complex and multi-layered issues.
Allianz Capital Partners
Cordet Capital Partners
Cubera Private Equity
Rather than a standalone M&A group, Goodwin's corporate lawyers are split across the firm's key sectors of real estate, life sciences, tech and private equity. Experienced in both public and private M&A, the team is also able to lean on the network of global offices to advise on significant cross-border and multi-jurisdiction mandates. The team is jointly led by real estate specialists Joe Conder and David Evans , and life sciences expert Graham Defries.
Property finance Tier 4Debt finance is a particular strong point of Goodwin, as illustrated by practice head Paul Lyons' recent advice to Medical Properties Trust on the debt finance facilities surrounding its £1.5bn acquisition of hospitals from BMI Healthcare. Other areas of expertise include mezzanine financing, refinancing and CMBS loans. The team’s client base is mainly comprised of alternative investors from Europe and North America. Colin Baker has joined Reed Smith LLP.
Corporate tax Tier 5
Goodwin's tax department focuses on private equity and real estate matters, as well as work arising from the tech and life sciences space. Team leader Laura Charkin has significant expertise in fund structuring, as well as fundraisings and equity transactions. Robert Young, who arrived from Taylor Wessing LLP in September 2019, specialises in advising start-ups and venture capital investors on tax structuring and investments. Katie Leah was promoted to partner in October 2019, having built experience in domestic and cross-border private equity and real estate transactions.
‘Responsive, thorough and easy to understand‘
‘The relationship aspect is very strong and I feel I can relate to them much more on a personal level. Laura Charkin, in particular‘
Medical Properties Trust
Informa Group Limited
G Square Healthcare
Since joining in 2019 from Addleshaw Goddard, Simon Thomas has made a transformational difference to Goodwin's nascent London restructuring practice and has been able to leverage the firm's existing private equity/venture capital funds ties and real estate expertise, to pursue various restructuring and insolvency opportunities. Team head Thomas is appreciated for his 'good judgement and empathetic style', and is ably assisted by a growing team of associates that include the 'hardworking, responsive and commercial' Oonagh Steel.
The team at Goodwin was very informed and responsive.
I have always found the individuals very personable and enjoyable to work with.
The responsive and commercial Simon Thomas has good judgement and an empathetic style.
Simon Thomas is innovative and technically sound.
Oonagh Steel is hardworking, responsive and commercial.
Medical Properties Trust
Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited
Pacific Alliance Group
Biotechnology Tier 1
Goodwin's new office in Cambridge joins the ranking having recruited key partners and associates from Taylor Wessing LLP. It now has a deep bench of life sciences and technology specialists with extensive experience in advising some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Their work encompasses complex global licensing and collaboration deals, contract disputes and venture capital financing. Tim Worden, who is 'great to have on your side of the table in a complex negotiation, given his knowledgeable and balanced negotiation style', David Mardle and Malcolm Bates are the lead partners. Associate Talitha Shkopiak moved firms with them.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have only worked with Tim Worden in real detail. Tim has been a true adviser to our business on recent matters. He rolled his sleeves up in a manner which helped us get real comfort about an important in-licensing deal providing us pragmatic, timely and valuable advice. He is really easy to work with, was well regarded by the organisation outside of legal and was great to have on our side of the table in a complex negotiation given his knowledgeable and balanced negotiation style.‘
Oxford Biomedica plc
Avacta Life Sciences Limited
‘The Goodwin Cambridge team is excellent – responsive, pragmatic and commercial. They are one of the “go-to” teams in Cambridge for spin-outs and start-ups and their knowledge is commensurate with that. They take a practical approach to early stage deals but, due to their experience and the weight of the rest of the Goodwin practice, are adept at supporting spin-outs from seed stage all the way through to Series C and beyond.‘
‘Elizabeth Rhodes is an excellent lawyer with a practical and commercial approach at all times. I have always been very impressed with Elizabeth whether she has been acting for us or against us. A real talent.‘
‘David Mardle is a fantastic partner with invaluable knowledge and expertise. His knowledge of VC/investors in the market, especially in relation to US buyers and what they are expecting, is excellent. He is responsive and across all the details.‘
‘The team was focused on the transaction – pragmatic and always with no delays.‘
‘David Mardle and Liz Rhodes are both outstanding.‘
Intellectual property Tier 2
Goodwin joins the ranking having hired a team of experienced partners and associates from Taylor Wessing LLP. Partners Malcolm Bates andTim Worden, and associates Georgia Powell and Talitha Shkopiak are well versed in the protection and commercialisation of IP rights. Focused on the technology and life sciences sectors, the firm acts for a growing roster of high-growth start-up companies, investors and global brands such as Oxford Biomedica. Clients remark that the firm is 'completely responsive to our business needs and works as a team'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Completely responsive to our business needs. We work as a team – not all firms do this.‘
‘They are pragmatic and have an excellent understanding of the issues.‘
‘Malcolm Bates and Talitha Shkopiak are both excellent.‘
Oxford Biomedica plc
Avacta Life Sciences Limited
Goodwin > Firm Profile
With the breakneck pace of technology disrupting industries around the world, our London-based team of 100+ lawyers is embracing change to help clients make a lasting and meaningful impact. As part of what is widely recognised as one of the fastest growing international firms in London, our lawyers are deeply experienced in the life sciences, technology, real estate and private equity sectors and are supported by significant on-the-ground capabilities in debt financing, intellectual property, privacy and cybersecurity, regulatory, restructuring, tax and litigation and dispute resolution.
In 2019 we also launched our Cambridge office in the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen, and home to one of the world’s largest and most innovative life sciences clusters, as well as some of the most disruptive technology and life sciences companies. The firm’s on-the-ground presence in Cambridge further expands our lawyers’ ability to support clients in these sectors through our unique capital-meets-innovation platform in Europe, and solidifies Goodwin’s position as the leading firm in the UK and European life sciences and technology markets.
Real Estate: Our real estate lawyers provide a genuinely integrated offering from structuring funds, products and vehicles, to the acquisition, financing, development, restructuring and disposal of real estate assets through direct and indirect investments, as well as complex international hospitality + leisure transactions.
Private Equity: Our private equity lawyers counsel on all areas of private equity and mergers and acquisitions, with a special emphasis on middle market private equity and growth investments, alongside our renowned private funds team, which provides counsel at every stage of the fund life cycle.
Technology and Life Sciences: Our technology and life sciences lawyers help high growth businesses, public companies, investors and investment banks capitalise on opportunities and minimise risks in rapidly evolving markets. We offer clients industry-leading technology, life sciences and healthcare practices recognized for serving clients along the corporate life cycle globally.
Private Investment Funds: Goodwin’s London funds team uniquely covers the full range of private investment funds including private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, infrastructure funds, debt funds, impact and responsible investing funds, emerging market funds, hedge funds and listed funds as well as various large-scale GP led structures.
Tax: Our tax team have extensive experience of the tax issues affecting the private equity, infrastructure and real estate industries. This sector focus means that our tax team can save you time and money by delivering pragmatic and commercially relevant advice grounded not only in technical expertise and experience but also in a deep understanding of the issues affecting the markets in which you operate. By working as integral parts of our transaction and fund formation teams to ensure that tax advice is robustly implemented, our tax lawyers minimise the risk of challenge by a tax authority and the cost and possible reputational damage that can result from such a challenge.
Restructuring: Our London financial restructuring lawyers represent every type of major stakeholder in distressed situations. The restructuring and insolvency advice provided by our team complements the other services provided by Goodwin during the full life cycle of each company and investment to achieve the optimum outcome for stakeholders
Litigation: Our London team has over 20 years’ experience advising investment and retail banks, funds, issuers, bondholders and other financial counter-parties in the resolution of complex corporate disputes, often with a cross-border element. The team has litigated across many different fields of finance, with a particular focus on investment banking, structured finance and funds litigation.
Regulatory: Our regulatory team is uniquely positioned to address the cutting-edge issues that can maximize business opportunities as well as better manage and mitigate risk. Our team of specialists represent investment managers on the formation, offering and operation of investment products including real estate, private equity, infrastructure + energy, private debt, hedge, venture funds, fund of funds, and joint ventures. We have experience advising clients on matters under the EU AIFMD, EU MIFID, UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Rules and are currently helping clients navigate their way through the post-Brexit landscape. We also advise clients on issues relating to the US Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the US Investment Company Act of 1940 including registration and compliance matters.
Student (The Lex 100 )
The Lex 100 VerdictWith a 'dynamic, diverse and cosmopolitan feel', Goodwin Procter is a recent arrival in the UK legal training scene and has made a strong impression. Private equity and deals are its bread and butter, but it also has a strong reputation across the tech and life science sectors. Trainees highlight their excitement at the 'opportunity to join a firm with an excellent global reputation which had just started to establish European roots' and praise the 'variety of cross-border matters'. The firm is a Lex 100 Winner in an impressive six categories: job satisfaction, living up to expectations, overall quality of work, amount of client contact, financial remuneration, and the approachability of partners/ supervisors. These awards reflect comments from trainees praising 'committed training and overall mental support throughout the two years at the firm'. 'The training contract is flexible and gives trainees a lot more opportunity to take ownership of their training. More responsibility is given to trainees, however, because of the small intake, there is a lack of structured formal training'. Hours can be unpredictable, frequently an issue with US firms, and there are complaints about having no canteen. However, the firm is praised for its 'commitment to public service through its wide-ranging pro bono initiatives' and consistently lauded for its client contact and headline-grabbing work. If you like the sound of a growing US firm with a focus on international transactional work and private equity, Goodwin Procter is a strong candidate.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Commercial litigation: premium
- Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Real estate funds
- Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
- Corporate and commercial: Norwich
- Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia
- IT and telecoms
- Commercial property: investment
- Venture capital
- Hospitality and leisure
- Life sciences and healthcare
- Private funds (including infrastructure funds)
- M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m
- Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+)
- Property finance
- Corporate tax
- Corporate restructuring & insolvency
- Intellectual property