Squire Patton Boggs’ London Private Equity Practice has seen a significant increase in client transactional activity over the past 18 months, as the firm continues to invest heavily in its London team. The firm’s practice group has recently been recognised, for the first time, in the top 20 of legal advisors to companies by volume of deals globally in Refinitiv’s Global Private Equity Legal Advisor Review for the full year 2020.
Since the start of 2020, the UK Private Equity team, which is highly ranked for Private Equity Transactions – Mid-Market in The Legal 500 UK 2021, has acted on 106 private equity-related transactions, with a total deal value of £11 billion.
The firm has made five strategic Private Equity partner hires into its 32 lawyer-strong London Corporate team in the past 13 months: Ben Squires and Charles Leeming from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Stephen Ball from KPMG in February 2020, and Fergus Gallagher from McDermott Will & Emery and Julian Thatcher from MHMK Capital Group (and formerly Macfarlanes) in February 2021.
Recent highlights for the team include:
- Advising Broadridge Financial Services on its acquisition of Itiviti Group, a leading provider of trading and connectivity technology to the capital markets industry, from Nordic Capital.
- Advising the shareholders of Qmee Ltd, a data-driven rewards and loyalty company, on a majority stake investment in the company by Capital D.
- Advising the management team of Ascential plc’s political intelligence, research and stakeholder engagement business, DeHavilland, on its MBO with Bridgepoint.
- Advising ECI on its acquisition of CSL (Dualcom), the international critical communications service provider.
- Advising Inflexion on its acquisition of Sparta Global, the technology and training services provider.
- Advising Lloyd’s Register in connection with the carve-out and sale of its energy services business to Inspirit Capital.
- Advising US corporate and PE-backed (Oak Hill Capital Partners), Safe Fleet, on its acquisition of Durite, the UK’s leading brand for electrical, lighting and vehicle safety aftermarket products for commercial vehicles.
- Acting for the incoming management team of the Addison Lee Group, the private car hire operator, in connection with its acquisition by a consortium of investors.
- Acting for the management team of a KKR-controlled portfolio company on its management equity plan.
- Acting for a UK real estate-focused investor and investment manager on its logistics joint venture with a US-headquartered global institutional alternative asset management firm.
- Advising the management team of LDC-backed ADEY Innovation, a manufacturer and supplier of products and services that improve the effectiveness of heating, cooling and water treatment systems, on the sale of the company to Polypipe Group plc.
- Advising the shareholders of Helios Medical Communications, a global healthcare communications and strategic consultancy, on the investment by NorthEdge.
- Advising Baird Capital and the management of Prescient Healthcare Group, a global pharma services firm specialising in dynamic decision support and product and portfolio strategy, on the investment in the group by Bridgepoint Development Capital.
- Acting for Endless LLP on its acquisition of Amscan International, the world’s largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of wholesale party products and supplies, from Party City.
- Advising Tenzing on its acquisition of Motion Picture Licensing Group, the world’s leading global public exhibitions umbrella licence provider.
- Advising shareholders and management on the buyout backed by MML of Roboyo, the leading robotic process automation consultant and software provider.
- Advising MML Capital on its investment in Waystone (formerly DMS Governance), a specialist service provider to the asset management industry, and several subsequent platform acquisitions by Waystone.
- Advising the senior management team of ERS Insurance, the UK’s largest specialist motor insurer, on the terms of PE investment led by Aquiline and Abry.
“We are keenly focused on our London Private Equity Practice,” commented European managing partner, Jonathan Jones. “We are very pleased with how the team has developed over the past year or so, with our lateral partner hires bringing with them a wealth of experience in advising many of the most sophisticated private equity sponsors on a wide-range of high-profile transactions. They have been a perfect fit for the practice and further bolster the firm’s existing top-notch global private equity M&A capabilities, adding further depth to our highly-talented bench of lawyers in London.”
“Our London Private Equity Practice continues to go from strength-to-strength,” added Paul Mann, leader of the UK Private Equity Team. “We had an extremely busy 2H 2020, which has continued into Q1 2021, with sponsors increasingly looking at healthcare, life sciences and tech-focused investments; the deal pipeline continues to look strong in these and other sectors as our private equity clients seek to deploy their capital. Our private equity lawyers have strong sector experience which, combined with the firm’s global, multi-service platform, means that we are ideally placed to provide best-in-class advice to private equity sponsors and financial institutions on complex deals in the UK, continental Europe and globally.”