National legal business DWF has been named the UK’s most active merger and acquisition legal adviser for the first half of the year in an independent report by Experian. Acting on a total of 58 transactions compared to 47 in H1 2014, including the £20m buyout of PDG Helicopters and the £55m RedX Pharma IPO.
The Experian report includes a breakdown of activity per region, where DWF’s 60-strong corporate team ranks in the top ten across eight key regions: the South East, South West, East of England, Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West, North East and Scotland. In addition to securing new half year rankings in the South West and Midlands tables, DWF has increased its position in the Scottish table following investment in the firm’s Scottish practice with the appointments of partners Chris McLauchlan and Gary MacDonald. The firm’s activity in the East has also seen considerable growth; the region has improved on last year’s half year position due to an active first quarter and a total of 15 deals compared to 5 in 2014. The firm’s North West practice, which was ranked the most active in 2014, continues to maintain its position as one of the most active advisers in the region with a total of 16 transactions.
The results follow considerable investment in the firm’s Corporate Services team, with a number of key partner appointments including Alice Broadfield from Faegre Baker Daniels in Birmingham and Christian Francis from DLA Piper, Patrick Eaton from K&L Gates and Richard Britain from Ince & Co in London.
Frank Shephard, DWF’s National Head of Corporate, commented: “Our national corporate practice has seen considerable expansion over the last year, and these results reflect the work of a growing, ambitious team that continues to act on high value transactions for our clients. The rankings are testament to our focus on key sectors that allows us to give industry specific and relevant advice, and we have particularly seen activity in the financial services, retail and technology sectors. We are a national corporate practice focused on our chosen locations within the UK and the increase in activity across all locations shows the strength of that national team.”
Other recent deals include advising vrs VeriClaim on the acquisition of Certo; advising Capita on the acquisitions of technology firm Pervasive Networks and Scottish solutions provider Barrachd and the £35m acquisition of Constructionline; advising RooGreen Ventures in connection with the management buyout of UK gym and health club Total Fitness; and advising Yingli Green Energy International AG on the £23m acquisition, development and financing of a solar farm.