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Simon Thomas

Partner

Managing Director of Commercial Division

Home office: Bristol
Also works in: London
Simon Thomas photo

Simon helps businesses and their owners with their Corporate legal issues, advising on business structuring, funding and M&A transactions.

Simon is a partner in, and heads up, the Corporate team for Clarke Willmott. As well as providing general company law advice to businesses and their stakeholders, he specialises in a wide range of transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, buyouts and private equity fund raisings. His expertise includes working with acquisitive companies, private equity funders, SMEs, owner managed businesses and business entrepreneurs. Simon also regularly assists overseas companies on their acquisitions in the UK.

Simon has built many long term relationships with clients, some of whom he has acted for, for over 20 years, and who see him as an extension of their own business. He is known for adopting a commercial and pragmatic approach to transactions, ensuring that these are concluded efficiently whilst protecting the interests of his clients.

Simon joined Clarke Willmott in 2003 after five years with the large International law firm Jones Day, having previously trained with a large national practice. He is ranked in both the Legal 500 and Chambers legal directories for corporate lawyers in the South West.

How Simon can help you

Simon provides advice on a wide range of Corporate law and transactional matters including:

  • acquisition and disposal of companies and businesses (domestic and cross-border)
  • management buy outs / buy ins
  • debt and equity investments
  • reorganisations
  • corporate joint ventures
  • collaboration and partnership agreements
  • shareholders’ agreements
  • articles of association

Experience

Acting for Goonvean Holdings Limited on the sale to of the last independent cornish china clay mining business to international minerals group, Imerys SA.

The transaction took over a year to complete as the Office of Fair Trading referred it to the Competition Commission. The Commission identified competition concerns relating exclusively to UK Performance Minerals products and in order for completion to take place required Imerys to provide a legally binding final undertakings agreement.

Goonvean operated at six sites in Cornwall and employed approximately 140 members of staff.

Following the sale, Goonvean Holdings has continued to build a diversified group of over 10 trading business and Simon and his team have acted on those acquisitions for Goonvean.

Acting for the shareholders of Ventura Telecom Holdings Limited (which owns the Mazuma mobile, the UK’s largest mobile phone resale and recycling brand) on its sale to Ecorenew. Simon acted for Ventura/Mazuma since its formation as a small “start up” in 2004, and at the point of its sale it was turning over in excess of £15m and employed nearly 50 staff.

EcoRenew Group was founded in 2016 in Hong Kong as a mobile refurbishment specialist and has since grown globally with operations now located in Lancashire, London, Dallas, Tokyo, Manila and Dubai.

Acting for the shareholders of JSS (London Residential) Limited, which operates the Jackson Stops and Staff Estate Agency chain in the London and Surrey area, on their sale to Dexters Estate Agents. Dexters acquired 11 offices under the prestigious Jackson Stops brand and the associated central London three-branch business of Frank Harris & Co.

Simon originally acted for the management team of JSS on their MBO of the business in 2007 as well as on their acquisition of Frank Harris & Co.

Recommendations

Head of the corporate team Simon Thomas regularly advises shareholders on the sale and acquisition of stakes in SMEs. ‘He is sensible, down-to-earth and easy to work with,’ notes one commentator, while another source says: ‘He has that extra bit of knowledge that distinguishes him from other lawyers’.

Chambers UK 2019

Simon and his team delivered exceptional service; we felt that he was really looking out for us as well as keeping the deal moving in a practical and pragmatic way throughout. I would have no hesitation in working with Simon again and would thoroughly recommend him to others looking to develop and sell their business.

Joe Cripps, Trailsuite Limited

Articles by Simon

Intellectual property

“Burst of activity” around iconic Disney brand in 2024

With AI image generation and the immediate dissemination of shared images online, this year will see a “burst of activity” following the expiry of copyright protection around Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse character
Read more on “Burst of activity” around iconic Disney brand in 2024
Corporate and commercial law

Landmark changes at Companies House

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act October 2023 is intended to tackle economic crime in the UK, improve the transparency of corporate information and reform its role as the UK companies registry.
Read more on Landmark changes at Companies House

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