Corporate and commercial | 31 March 2016

Stephen Gibb, Chief Executive at leading UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, secured the Chief Executive of the Yeartitle in a Judges’ choice award at this year’s Scottish Legal Awards.

Now in their 13th year, the prestigious awards continue to bring together the Scottish legal industry to celebrate the best performing individuals, teams and firms. This year’s sell-out awards dinner took place on Thursday 24 March at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, attracting more than 400 guests.

Stephen, who was recently re-elected to head up Shepherd and Wedderburn for a second term, successfully guided the firm through its acquisition of 158 year old Scottish law firm, Tods Murray, in October 2014 and the integration of its people and business. He led the growth of the firm from under 380 people to 500 and its UK turnover from £37m to over £52m during the next eighteen months.

The integration operation, which was successfully completed in just three months, involved the transfer of 3,500 clients, 6,800 matters, 2.1 million documents and 8,500 contacts and records to Shepherd and Wedderburn, as well as the relocation of partners and staff to the firm’s Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.

“Being awarded the Chief Executive of the Year title is a great recognition of the massive contribution of the management team, partners and staff in completing the acquisition and integration process”, Stephen commented. “The full benefits of the deal are still to be realised. This is an outstanding business, and I am very proud and honoured to have received this award on behalf of all at the firm.”

Raising over £10,000, the Scottish Legal Awards were held in support of It’s Good 2 Give and LawWorks Scotland.

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Merger Control + Cartel | 26 February 2016

On the face of it, it may seem that a Brexit would mean that UK businesses would no longer be subject to EU competition law. That view, however, is too simplistic. First, UK competition law, is modelled on EU rules and is expected to remain largely intact. We believe it is unlikely this will change given the similarity of the substantive law not just in Europe but throughout the world. Second, EU competition law will continue to apply to businesses whose activities have an effect on trade between EU member states. Jurisdiction to enforce EU competition law does not depend upon a business being based in a country that is part of the EU. In a globalised world, most businesses who sell their products, services or source their inputs from other member states will meet the EU ‘effect on trade’ test. Therefore, EU competition rules will continue to apply to many operations of UK businesses after a Brexit, as they do now. Nonetheless, there may be significant legal and procedural changes, the details of which will depend on the post-Brexit model that the UK agrees with the EU.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has been for many years offering balanced and impartial advice on how the different scenarios might play out in the event of constitutional change.

With the EU referendum now only months away, members of our dedicated Brexit Advisers will continue to interrogate the ‘what if’ questions, relating to specific sectors, that will emerge when the UK decides whether to remain in or leave the EU.

Click here to read the full article.

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Corporate and commercial | 09 February 2016

The 2015 Corporate Review recently published by leading law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, testifies to a record year for corporate deals and M&A activity. The firm closed over 97 deals last year with an aggregate deal value of £5.4 billion.

Andrew Blain, Head of Corporate at Shepherd and Wedderburn said: “Our top ranked corporate practice has a strong track record in advising some of the country’s fastest growing and most agile companies and our ability to quickly understand their goals has enabled us to close a significant number of high value and complex deals in Scotland, the City and overseas during the course of 2015. Early indications of market activity so far this year suggest that the levels of activity experienced in 2015 look like being exceeded in 2016.”

Notable among the deals completed by the firm were FanDuel, one of Scotland’s two tech companies recently valued at more than US$1bn, in its US$275m Series E equity financing; and the sale of healthcare device maker, Aircraft Medical to Medtronic for US$110m.

In addition to technology businesses, energy and renewables formed a nucleus of activity for the corporate team, and in that sector, it continues to act as lead adviser to REIF in relation to its significant equity and project finance investment into the world famous MeyGen tidal array project. The deal is recognised as ground-breaking for the marine and tidal sector, and critical for Scotland’s profile as an innovator in the development of marine energy. It was the world’s first commercially financed tidal project.

Download Shepherd and Wedderburn’s Corporate Review 2015 

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Projects, energy and natural resources | 13 June 2016

Currently there is about 210 MW of operating onshore wind capacity that is older than 15 years, but by 2020 this figure will grow to nearly 1,000 MW. As onshore wind farms reach the end of their design life, there are a range of options which will be available to the operator. These range from seeking to extend the life of the existing turbines – ‘life extension’ – or alternatively redevelopment on the existing site, but with new generating assets usually described as ‘repowering’. The extent to which there will be opportunities within the UK for either will depend on the development of a regulatory framework which allows a route to market for onshore wind beyond the currently announced levels of support. [Continue Reading]

Technology, Media and Telecoms | 16 March 2016

Damages litigation in a commercial context is often viewed as a distinctly double-edged sword: your company may have been harmed and may have lost significant money or opportunity but the cost of recovering these, the time involved and the exposure in potentially not succeeding often lands such potential claims in the distant corners of the virtual in-tray. This often means that such claims are not pursued or are abandoned following a very rudimentary high-level assessment. [Continue Reading]