A year of new business as usual
Whilst a time of uncertainty and struggle for many, the past 12 months have created opportunities as well as challenges. We saw our clients respond and adapt to the changes brought about by a global pandemic.
The beginning of the pandemic led to an initial slowdown in transactions. Deals were paused or put on hold, while both buyers and sellers waited to see what would happen next or prioritised the implementation of changes to their businesses necessitated by the pandemic. However, by mid-2020 the market had adjusted to the new normal and we noticed a pronounced uptick in transaction volumes. This trend has continued into 2021; partly driven by the CGT changes that were expected in March 2021, but which failed to materialise.
The uptick brought a surge of new business for our corporate lawyers. Our deals included advising on the sale of waste water treatment business WPL Limited to Marlowe plc and acting for the management team in the sale of home delivery firm Panther Logistics to US based global transport group AIT Worldwide Logistics. Further details of some of our recent UK transactions can be found on our latest deal sheet.
Working alongside our transactional team, our commercial contracts lawyers have also been supporting our clients. In addition to advising on a multitude of commercial contracts and other agreements, they have been assisting businesses with Brexit related issues such as the transfer of personal data between the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA).
We welcome Chris Connors to our corporate tax team
Expanding our corporate tax resource and expertise, we have recently welcomed Chris Connors to our team. He joins as a partner from Addleshaw Goddard and is also dual qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser with the Chartered Institute of Taxation, as well as a member of the Stamp Taxes Practitioners’ Group. He brings with him experience in advising across the full range of corporate tax issues, including corporate disposals, acquisitions and restructuring, real estate tax and employment taxes. He also advises in relation to the incentivisation of management and employees, including share schemes.
Our cross-border work
Whilst the focus of this update is on our recent UK corporate transactions, we do of course also work on many cross-border deals. Drawing on our expertise in the sports sector, a recent highlight was acting for Wasserman, a major US-based sports and entertainment agency. We advised Wasserman on its purchase of European boxing promoters, Team Sauerland. The deal will allow Wasserman to build a new brand (Wasserman Boxing) to compete with the existing promotion brands both in the UK and the US.
Finally, just a reminder that if you need advice about acquiring or investing in an existing business, selling your established business, setting up a new business, or general commercial legal advice please get in touch.