Strengths: ‘They have a capable team with broad experience and knowledge.’
William Axtell: ‘He provides excellent service.’
David Kendall: ‘David's knowledge and input was excellent and greatly appreciated as we negotiated some complex matters.’
Seb Orton: ‘He's an excellent lawyer with great communication skills and seemingly endless patience.’
Richard Wrigley: ‘Richard has vast experience and balances his legal knowledge and skills with the commercial reality of the situation.’
Chambers UK - 2023 edition
‘The team are extremely commercial – forward thinking and approachable. Out of the box thinkers who are willing to work very hard for their clients.’
‘The Penningtons approach is highly personable combined with exceptionally strong legal advice. The team are hard working, and most transactions tend to be dual partnered, ensuring senior level input is available at all times.’
‘The team was very experienced and very straight forward to deal with. They understood what we were trying to achieve as a business and were able to advise the appropriate corporate structure quickly and efficiently.’
‘Will Axtell – experienced in all areas of the transaction, very good at pulling everyone together to ensure deadlines were met wherever it was within our control.’
‘David Kendall and his excellent team, including Hannah McIlwraith, are able to provide us with a first rate service, commercial, pragmatic and very sound legal advice and help solve problems for us.’
‘Adam McGiveron is always very enthusiastic and positive when working with us and it is a pleasure to work with him and the team.’
‘Dominique Sabatini… fulfilled her role in an excellent manner. She was available when required, completed tasks in a timely manner, but most importantly provided excellent advice.’
‘James Went is an exceptional lawyer – good guidance on commercial matters and an efficient and resourceful approach to constructing documentation which drives a deal towards a successful close, bringing the parties along with the process.’
‘Richard Wrigley is able to bring his experience to bear to get to a sensible solution in a good timeframe.’
The Legal 500 - 2023 edition
Strong corporate practice acting for clients from a range of sectors such as technology, life sciences and retail. Offers an impressive national and international network to clients, including a wide range of early-stage growth and startup companies, along with significant expertise in venture capital investment matters.
Strengths: One client reveals: ‘Pennington Manches Cooper gives us all the legal guidance that we need and provides a prompt and efficient service.’
Interviewees praise the ‘very responsive and high-quality work’ they get from the firm.
William Axtell advises corporate clients on transactional matters, often with an international element
Simon Bickerdike is the national head of Pennington Manches Cooper's corporate team. He advises a national and international clientele. ‘Simon Bickerdike is a knowledgeable lawyer who is able to think and act on his feet on complicated and nuanced matters.’
Helen Drayton's corporate practice encompasses a range of transactional work. Clients benefit from her extensive experience in sales and acquisitions. ‘Helen Drayton is an excellent lawyer.’
David Kendall ‘is very commercial, pragmatic and always available’. ‘He is able to communicate complex matters to a varied audience so that all understand the situation.’
Sebastian Orton ‘is commercial, sensible and good at getting the deal done’.
David Tighe handles tech sector mergers and acquisitions for clients including private equity and venture capital funds. He regularly handles cross-border M&A work.
Chambers UK - 2022 edition
Jointly led by Matthew Martin and Guildford-based Simon Bickerdike, the M&A practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP works with a number of high-net-worth entrepreneurs, owner-managed businesses, investors and publicly-listed companies on a range of transactions. The team is regularly sought out by clients with significant offshore interests. Martin, who also serves as co-head of the firm's fashion, luxury and lifestyle sector group, has been a driving force behind the increasing volume of accelerated sales, restructurings and reorganisations, while Seb Orton's cross-sector experience encompasses IPOs, secondary fundraisings and public company takeovers. Michaela Britton is a key figure for cross-border corporate transactions.
‘The Penningtons corporate team is outstanding – creative, diligent, highly responsive, always focused on working efficiently and effectively on behalf of clients – a delight to work with.’
‘Will Axtell goes the extra mile for his clients and is always available when needed.’
‘Simon Bickerdike is highly regarded by clients, is a clear thinker, proactive and user-friendly.’
‘Michaela Britton stands out as she is very approachable, easy to work with, easy to develop a professional relationship with.’
‘David Kendall stands out head and shoulders above any other lawyer I have ever worked with. His personable demeanour works and its genuinely given but when required, David has cast-iron tenacity and if asked to describe him I would say he was fiercely intellectual.’
‘We also work regularly with David Tighe, who is a highly effective lawyer and adviser and whose work is unfailingly top-notch.’
‘Philip Walton made me feel like a member of his family, and I have no doubt that Phil had my very best interest at heart right the way along.’
‘Our main current relationship is with James Went, who is brilliant. He is both cerebral and commercial -always happy to discuss details of a point of legal analysis, while also constantly focused on the practicalities of what the business needs. And his work is always thorough, accurate and effective.
The Legal 500 - 2022 edition
National firm with a growing reputation for its international capabilities, acting for a wide-ranging domestic and international client base on the full range of corporate matters. Provides notable expertise in acting for local high-growth and technology companies on overseas investment matters, as well as for clients in the healthcare sector. Draws on support from the firm's real estate and private wealth teams to provide clients with a comprehensive transactional service.
Strengths: An interviewee states: 'They are very collaborative, smart, effective and approachable.'
One source reports: 'They are commercially minded, versatile and conscientious.'
Joint head of corporate Simon Bickerdike is a leading individual in the region. He advises a national and international clientele, with a particular focus on M&A in the technology and education sectors.
William Axtell advises corporate clients on transactional matters, often with an international element. 'He is very easy to work with and is superbly professional.'
Helen Drayton's corporate practice encompasses a range of transactional work. Clients benefit from her extensive experience in sales and acquisitions. 'She is straight-talking, factual, solution-driven and has all hands on getting the deal done.'
David Kendall acts for a range of clients including public and private companies, entrepreneurs and partnerships. He exhibits strength in M&A, private equity transactions and insolvency issues. 'David manages that fine line between legal expert and commercial realist, and he is fiercely intellectual.'
Sebastian Orton maintains a wide-ranging corporate practice, including AIM IPOs, secondary fund-raisings and takeovers. 'He is always available, he's really easy to talk to and he's able to translate legal knowledge into commercial understanding to help work out the right options for the client's business.'
David Tighe advises clients on a range of domestic and international corporate issues including mergers and acquisitions. Clients include those in the technology and media sectors.
Chambers UK - 2021 edition
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has recently seen significant growth in cross-border work, with a growing number of transactions involving the US, India, China and Germany. The group regularly acts for high net worth entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses, investors and publicly listed companies with a focus on the tech, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. Seb Orton has significant experience advising both private and public companies as well as financial institutions on IPOs, secondary fundraisings, M&A, including public company takeovers, and corporate governance issues. Department head Matthew Martin is an expert in acquisition finance, restructuring and refinancing, acting for a wide range of quoted and unquoted mid-cap companies.
Offering clients 'workable and cost-effective solutions', Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's Guildford-based team advises on a number of large corporate transactions, as well as reorganisations and joint ventures. They are particularly active in transactions involving international acquisitions of UK companies, especially in the technology sector. The team is led by Simon Bickerdike and also includes David Kendall.
The 'outstanding' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP acts for both buyers and sellers in mid-market M&A transactions, particularly in the technology and life science sectors. In Reading, Rob Hayes and Justin Starling handle venture capital work, as well as offering general advice on acquisitions, disposals, buyouts, demergers and reorganisations. Will Axtell and James Went operate from the Oxford office; the former leads on large technology transactions, while the latter specialises in M&A and venture capital financing.
Our main relationships are with David Tighe and James Went, both of whom are outstanding. We are particularly appreciative of the extent to which they provide direct, clear and understandable responses to our questions.
The Cambridge office plays a key role in the firm's national offering. Helen Drayton handles all aspects of company law, including mergers and acquisitions, and has a particular focus on MBOs and acquisitions for owner-managed businesses.
The Legal 500 - 2021 edition
The corporate team has a key strategic focus on the technology, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. Clients include high net worth individuals, owner-managed businesses and corporate investors; mandates typically involve fundraising, divestment and restructuring. With a presence in San Francisco, the team is able to coordinate transatlantic work in-house, including foreign direct investment into the UK. The recent hire of Sebastian Orton has strengthened the team's capabilities in public market work, particularly in flotations and secondary fundraisings.
Key partner Helen Drayton in Cambridge plays a pivotal role in some of the firm's largest transactions. The practice acts for technology, biotech and pharmaceutical clients, as well as academic institutions and non-profit research organisations. Associate Katharine Robinson is a rising star in technology, real estate, food and agriculture M&A deals. Ross McNaughton is predominantly based in San Francisco, but still leads deals through the Cambridge office.
The [Guildford] team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is highly rated by the market. National corporate head Simon Bickerdike, the 'commercially-minded' David Kendall and associate Hannah McIlwraith assist regional and international clients on high-value acquisitions, MBOs and joint ventures. They handle private equity-funded transactions and the firm also offers multi-discipline expertise, especially in IP.
Oxford-based partners Will Axtell and James Went specialise in M&A, fundraisings and AIM capital markets. In Reading, Rob Hayes acts on behalf of investors and investee companies in mid-market M&A and venture capital transactions.
The Legal 500 - 2020 edition