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United Kingdom 2018: The Team Elite

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Worldpay

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    United Kingdom 2018: The Team Elite

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    Worldpay

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    Worldpay has established itself as a major player in payment processing, with the business attracting a buyout by US rival Vantiv for £9bn last summer. The transaction, which was agreed in July, was formalised in August with Allen & Overy (A&O) advising Worldpay. The tie-up creates a payment-processing giant with a combined value of £22.2bn, with both companies saying the combination will create a global firm with a ‘strong position’ in the four core regions: the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America. Duncan Bellamy, who led for A&O on the deal, comments: ‘The Worldpay team is very strong and dynamic. There aren’t that many companies around that can readily provide talent in that space.’ Bellamy in particular praised GC Ruwan [Roo] De Soyza: ‘Roo is excellent, really enthusiastic. He blends the role of being a boardroom adviser along with doing BAU stuff brilliantly. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty.’ Such commendations are especially powerful for a GC that only took on the role in January 2017, after previous incumbent Mark Edwards departed for publicly-traded gaming company Playtech after two years in the role. Also cited by private practitioners is e-commerce GC Andrew Williams, described as ‘a very capable commercial lawyer’. Likewise, UK GC Kirsty Whitehead is defined as a ‘payment specialist’ while senior corporate counsel Wendy Patrick is also singled out for praise. Other notable work throughout the year included launching My Business Mobile, a downloadable app that can turn a mobile phone into a contactless payment terminal. Senior legal counsel Lauren Woolford was instrumental in its introduction. Legal counsel Tom Fox played a key role as Worldpay rolled out its B2B card payment business Worldpay Total to EU markets. In a major indication of the rapid growth that Worldpay has sustained, the company was sold by The Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010 to private equity houses Advent International and Bain Capital for £2bn. In 2015, Worldpay floated on the London Stock Exchange for £5.3bn, almost trebling its value in five years. De Soyza concludes: ‘The Worldpay legal team was five years old in 2017. It has come from a standing start to what I would call an extremely highly-rated and high-performing function. It turns around a high quality and a high volume of work. Doing that through 2017 when we have the largest fintech merger of the year, Brexit, GDPR and new product launches – not dropping those balls makes us a standout team.’

     

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