Shoosmiths corporate head hails 2014 'a stellar year'

Shoosmiths corporate head hails 2014 'a stellar year'


Author: Kara Shadbolt

National law firm Shoosmiths is celebrating a record year for its corporate practice group, reflected in several third party endorsements of its growing reputation.

Chris Garnett

Shoosmiths is placed the number two law firm by deal volume nationally in Experian's 2014 UK Deal Review and Advisor League Table, with 120 reported deals. The national team's strength in depth is evidenced by its top 10 ranking by deal volume in no less than six separate regions, including the South East, where they held on to last year's top spot, and Greater London where they appeared in the top 10 for the first time.

Shoosmiths corporate practice group head, Chris Garnett, said: 'We've had a stellar year in terms of winning new clients and building our reputation both nationally and in our individual regions. The improving economy meant it was an exceptionally busy and productive year for us.

'We are increasingly visible in the eyes of the market's key players and referrers, among banks, accountants and private equity investors. Clients tell us in their feedback that we go the extra mile in terms of client service and commerciality and we've picked up several new mandates from companies who have been on 'the other side' of us in deals. This, matched with our determination to recruit and nurture the best talent, has resulted in us gaining an increasing share of mid-market deals and we are looking forward to building on this in 2015.'

Key deals in 2014 that have contributed to Shoosmiths' success include:

  • Advising the sellers on the 100m (EUR) sale of Scientific Analysis Laboratories (SAL) and Resource Environmental Consultants (REC) to Manchester-based scientific laboratory and consultancy business Concept Life Sciences backed by private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe. This deal was recently voted Deal of the Year at the North West Insider Dealmakers Awards 2014 because of its complexity and value creation.
  • Advising the sellers of Softbox Systems Limited, a market leading supplier of packaging systems to the pharmaceutical industry, on the sale of a majority stake to US private equity house Great Point Partners.
  • Advising the ventures team at Octopus Investments on the partial sale of Octopus investors' stake in digital media business Zoopla Property Group on its 1.56bn (EUR) IPO.

Shoosmiths was also honoured at the American Lawyer Awards when the Department for Transport's Intercity Express Programme to provide Britain's next generation of high speed trains won the Project Finance (Europe) award. Shoosmiths was the sole adviser to Hitachi Rail Europe, the lead member of the Agility Trains consortium which contracted with the DfT to replace the current Great Western and East Coast mainline intercity rolling stock.

Shoosmiths works with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions and development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.

Experian Corpfin is a UK business database containing verified business intelligence, industry news, deal rumours and company financial information in the UK.