From growth companies to multinationals and leading institutions, we offer a wealth of expertise in corporate transactions to a diverse and innovative client base. Our advice is clear, pragmatic and, crucially, aligned with the client’s strategic goals.

Our experienced lawyers advise on every aspect of corporate transactions and leverage the firm’s full-service offering to provide business-critical advice in key areas such as tax, employment, UK and EU competition/anti-trust, regulatory, real estate, IT, data protection and IP issues.

Our market-leading strengths in IP and technology mean we are uniquely well-placed to counsel clients in dynamic sectors such as technology, life sciences and brands. We draw on our understanding of these sectors to advise corporate and institutional clients acquiring or evaluating IP and technology portfolios, helping them to secure commercially-relevant legal protections and to acquire, sell or invest with confidence.

We carry out both domestic and cross-border transactional work advising on private and public mergers & acquisitions, disposals, spin-outs, and corporate reorganisations. We also have considerable experience of advising on domestic and international joint ventures, helping our clients expand and develop their business into new areas and new markets.

With regard to finance transactions, we act for businesses raising finance as well as for the finance providers including venture capital firms, private equity firms and corporate venturing houses. We are recognised for our market leading expertise advising technology and life sciences growth companies at all stages of the evolutionary cycle of equity financing transactions including early stage financings, Series A and Series B, growth equity and pre-IPO cross-over finance. We also advise numerous equity providers in these sectors on their investments from Series A onwards and act for many of the world’s leading companies on their corporate venturing programmes.

Our debt experience includes advising on corporate borrowing and secured lending transactions, acquisition finance and debt refinance as well as venture debt and convertible equity instruments.

We also offer the full range of services for equity capital market (ECM) transactions and have experience in handling primary and secondary offerings on both the UK markets and NASDAQ from a UK perspective.

On cross-border transactions, we draw on a network of specialist lawyers from independent law firms around the world in order to provide a seamless service. A key differentiator of Bristows’ network as compared with that of “global brand” firms is our ability to choose the best firms for any particular transaction rather than being tied to one firm or office in each jurisdiction.

Key contact

Iain Redford

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Experience

Advising longstanding client, AstraZeneca, on its sale to Grünenthal GmbH of the rights to its blockbuster drug, Crestor (rosuvastatin) and associated medicines in over 30 countries in Europe, for $350 million. Crestor is used to treat blood lipid disorders and to prevent cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Advising Baringa on the sale of its climate change scenario model (CCSM) to leading asset management firm BlackRock for £225 million. The transaction included advising on a new long-term joint venture with BlackRock, in conjunction with the sale of CCSM.

Serving as lead counsel to Waterland advising on its £1.1 billion acquisition of the Priory Group, leading UK provider of mental health care facilities.  We subsequently advised Waterland on a sale and leaseback transaction involving certain of the acquired assets and the carve-out of the Priory Group’s “Aspris” education division.

Acting for Vorboss and its shareholders on the disposal of 100% of the entire issued share capital to fibre infrastructure investor, Octopus Investments. The transaction enabled the management of Vorboss to roll out an ambitious plan to increase fibre connectivity across the UK.

Acting for OnePhone on the £97 million sale to BT of OnePhone’s remaining 30% stake in the BT-OnePhone joint venture. BT-OnePhone was established in 2012 as a joint venture between BT plc, the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider, and Swedish company OnePhone Holding AB.

Representing Base Genomics and its majority shareholders, Oxford Sciences Enterprises and Ollie Waterhouse, on the sale of the company to Exact Sciences for $410 million. Base Genomics is an epigenetics company working to develop a break-through technology to sequence DNA methylation invented at the Ludwig Institute.

Acting for the existing investor syndicate - Advent Life Sciences, Dementia Discovery Fund, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and LifeArc - on one of the most high-profile venture capital financings in UK biotech in 2021: a $80 million Series A round for AviadoBio, which is developing transformative gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.

Acting for technology transfer offices of the three leading academic institutions (Imperial College Innovations, UCL Business, Cambridge Enterprise) and for IP2IPO Innovations, an IP Group company, on the $145 million financing of Apollo Therapeutics.

Representing OMass Therapeutics on its £100 million Series B Financing to progress drug pipeline in Immunology and rare diseases. This financing round was led by new investors, GV, Northpond Ventures and Sanofi Ventures. Existing investors, Syncona Limited , Oxford Science Enterprises and University of Oxford also participated.

Advising WPP plc on numerous acquisitions, including recent purchases of AI technology company, Satalia, and a leading UK-based technology company, Cloud Commerce Group. 

Advising the Francis Crick Institute on the spin-out of Adendra Therapeutics and the accompanying $53 million Series A financing by Apple Tree Partners. Adendra is an immunotherapy company focused on dendritic cell biology to treat cancers and autoimmune diseases.

Advising Diageo plc on its global corporate venturing programme, Distill Ventures, since its establishment in 2013. Distill Ventures has deployed more than £100 million in capital to date, investing in founder-led drinks brands. Notable investments include Seedlip (acquired in 2019) and Starward whisky.

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What others say

“Others have claimed to have deep understanding in tech, but Bristows seem to walk the walk where others have not.”

Legal 500 2022

“Knowledgeable, pragmatic, provides sensible advice, and consequently value for money.”

Legal 500 2022

“They took the time to understand our business and risk appetite and this was factored in to the advice throughout.”

Legal 500 2022

“The [Fintech] team is ‘approachable, highly experienced and commercial in its advice’.”

Legal 500 2022

“The quality that Bristows provides is exceptionally high.”

Legal 500 2022

“They have a perfect understanding of the client’s needs and a diverse team of experts to fulfil these.”

Legal 500 2022

“Apart from their outstanding professional skills, all team members are very approachable and always open for a quick discussion.”

Legal 500 2022

“Exceptionally high quality life sciences practice.”

Legal 500 2022

“Partners are very hands-on, always available and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2022

“Full involvement and very well coordinated team advising us on different legal areas.”

Legal 500 2022

“Strong tech practice which is valuable for M&A in the tech sector.”

Legal 500 2022

“A ‘talented and pragmatic’ corporate team.”

Legal 500 2022

“Flexible team that is able to respond at short notice.”

Legal 500 2022

“I have tried other firms but Bristows are the most responsive and understand what we do best.”

Legal 500 2022

“They take time to invest in relationships.”

Legal 500 2022

Recent rankings and awards

Technology Sector (International & Cross-border) - Band 1

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2

Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sector (International and Cross-border) - Band 2

Fintech - Tier 3

M&A: (smaller deals up to £50m) - Tier 1

Life Sciences - Band 4