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Portrait of Will Axtell
Areas of expertise: Corporate, Life sciences, Technology


Will is a partner in the corporate team and specialises in mergers and acquisitions, fundraisings and equity capital markets (with an emphasis on AIM). He works out of both the Oxford and London offices and has particular expertise in the technology and life sciences sectors. He has a strong track record in complex and high value transactions with a cross-border element, especially in the US. Will has also acted on some of the largest Oxford University spin-outs to date.

His clients range from start-ups and high growth companies to larger listed companies as well as high net worth individuals and successful entrepreneurs. As a fifth generation shareholder in his own family business based in Oxford, Will has experience of advising family and owner-managed businesses on significant corporate transactions and exits.

Will joined Penningtons Manches Cooper in 2014 from another leading UK law firm. Earlier in his career, he spent several years as an in-house corporate lawyer with Vodafone, working mainly on high profile M&A deals. He trained and qualified at a Magic Circle firm. The Legal 500 describes him as ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’ and notes his ‘practical approach’.

Recent work highlights

  • Advising the management team on Lyceum Capital’s £50 million+ acquisition of a majority stake in Timico Technology Group, a leading managed cloud service provider.
  • Acting for IRIS Software Group, a leading technology provider in the human capital management and accountancy sectors, on the acquisition of the technology firm Octopus HR.
  • Advising Bush and Company, a provider of expert witness, immediate needs assessment and case management services, on its sale to NAHL Group Plc for approximately £28 million.
  • Acting for Vaccitech and EvOx Therapeutics on their spin-outs from Oxford University where they licensed intellectual property from Oxford and each raised £10 million from Oxford Sciences Innovation.
  • Advising the shareholders of Hermes Datacommunications International on the complex cross-border sale of the company to satellite communications service provider SpeedCast International.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP