10 Chiswell Street, 2nd Floor
London, UK EC1Y 4UQ
Phone:+44 20 7786 2100
Fax:+44 20 7786 2101
In London, Duane Morris represents all types of businesses, from start-ups to multinationals. Our clients are active in almost every industry and commercial area, including fashion, finance, commodities, construction, hotels, healthcare, sports, science, hi-tech and heavy engineering, retail and re-insurance. The London-based partners, all of whom are admitted as solicitors or barristers in England, Wales and other jurisdictions, advise on UK, EU and international matters.
Range of Services
Mergers and Acquisitions
The firm represents clients in all aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including negotiated acquisitions and divestitures, hostile acquisitions, defense against takeover attempts, management buy-ins and buy-outs and joint ventures. We develop and implement creative strategies to help our entrepreneurial clients accomplish their acquisition objectives, whether they are a buyer, seller, lender or intermediary. We regularly work on complex cross-border transactions and represent UK companies in acquisitions abroad, as well as foreign companies in connection with acquisitions in the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the globe.
Corporate & Commercial
Duane Morris’ Corporate and Commercial Practice Group advises companies, shareholders, investors and funders at all stages of the corporate life cycle on a wide variety of corporate and commercial matters. We represent clients from start-ups and family businesses to multinationals in connection with critical commercial contracts, such as joint ventures, licensing, distribution, franchising, research and development, contract manufacturing, partnering, logistics, sponsorship and branding—everything needed to leverage business value.
Our team regularly assists private companies with shareholder agreements, succession planning, equity incentives and return of value strategies, and proactively supports clients daily on corporate governance matters.
Given our strategic firmwide focus on private equity, broad experience in major industry sectors and an innovative culture deeply committed to client service, we are regularly called upon to work with the most sophisticated and demanding players in the marketplace. We regularly work with GPs, LPs, business owners and management in a several capacities to deliver insights that optimize transactional value. With private equity lawyers working in the middle market across our global platform, coupled with experience in key verticals and the deep capabilities of more than 700 lawyers from all major practice areas, Duane Morris helps create competitive advantage for participants across the industry. Our lawyers have extensive experience in the transactional, regulatory and business climate for private equity and are well positioned to help formulate strategies, deal structures and terms designed to ensure optimal solutions. The reason: We think and manage like owners and investors, and understand that each potential investment is a unique decision with important implications for the business. Our PE Forum events, LP Institutes and Connections publications contribute to the industry’s thought leadership by providing business perspectives through the eyes of leaders in the middle-market private equity space.
The Duane Morris Fund Formation group has experience structuring private equity, hedge, debt, infrastructure and real estate funds. The team is positioned to assist both first-time and experienced fund sponsors with establishing funds suited to their needs and those of their investors. Our lawyers stay abreast on industry trends and apply developments into key areas, such as suitable holding company jurisdictions, regulatory matters and tax planning. Beyond the fund constitutional and management documents, our work includes ancillary agreements that may be required with placement agents, custodians and broker dealers.
Our attorneys take into account the needs of the fund managers in relation to their carried interest, co-investment or other participation when a fund is formed. As many funds look to the global market, our international experience and insight have enabled us to consider the appropriate structure for funds looking to invest in jurisdictions as diverse as Scandinavia, India and sub-Saharan Africa. As an indication of our knowledge, our lawyers are regularly called upon to speak and write on matters affecting fund structures. We are also delighted to share our analysis via the Private Investment Funds Education Portal.
Banking, Financial Services and Corporate Finance
Duane Morris represents banks, financial institutions and their holding companies in the UK, U.S. and around the world. Our Banking and Financial Services Practice Group also represents other providers of financial services, including investment banking and brokerage firms, commercial finance companies and insurance companies, in all regulatory, legislative and business law areas.
Duane Morris’ Capital Markets Group advises companies at all stages of the company life-cycle (e.g., early-stage, growing and mature companies) on strategies and initiatives for raising funds and exit. We represent companies in connection to private placements, accessing venture capital or private equity, and “grooming” for and making public offerings of securities (e.g., AIM IPO’s and secondary fundraisings) and counsel them on applicable UK/EU securities law compliance, ongoing reporting obligations and corporate governance issues.
Litigation, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Duane Morris’ Trial Practice Group represents clients in all aspects of complex commercial litigation, including risk audit, litigation avoidance strategies and, when settlement proves impossible, litigation, arbitration and mediation of disputes. Our litigators are experienced in an array of areas, including automotive, engineering, intellectual property, information technology, insurance and employment disputes, commonly with a cross-border element. Members of our Trial Practice Group work closely with members of the firm’s Corporate and Bankruptcy practices to represent financial institutions.
Duane Morris has represented numerous international and national manufacturers in all forms of products liability and toxic tort litigation, including defense of product class actions, as well as serving as coordinating counsel, lead counsel, regional counsel or local counsel. Our attorneys also represent individuals and corporations facing allegations of criminal conduct, including fraud, environmental crimes, securities violations, trade espionage and a variety of business-related offenses. In addition to representing clients in UK forums and before international tribunals, we provide counsel on settling disputes without conventional litigation by using arbitration and alternative dispute resolution and advise on methods to anticipate and avoid litigation.
Duane Morris’ real estate solicitors represent a broad range of corporate, developer, investor and individual clients in all aspects of real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, real estate backed financings, development and related planning, environmental and construction issues.
Information Technology and Telecommunications
Duane Morris has assembled a dedicated group of experienced lawyers with specific industry knowledge and interdisciplinary skills to address the transactional, finance, regulatory and dispute resolution aspects of structuring and implementing a variety of information technology and telecommunications projects. Our goal is to address these technologically and commercially complex challenges in an integrated, strategic and efficient manner.
Duane Morris represents large institutional clients, medium- and smaller-sized companies, start-ups and high-net-worth individuals on employment matters in connection with mergers and acquisitions, refinancing, TUPE transfers, large scale re-organisations, Employment Tribunal and High Court claims, implementation of employment contracts and benefits, regulatory matters, share option and profit-related pay, employee severance, layoffs and downsizing, confidentiality, and non-compete issues. Duane Morris also provides a day-to-day human resources advisory services to clients, together with formal annual employment training, and bespoke, in-house training for all clients via the Duane Morris Institute (DMi) London.
Insurance and Reinsurance
Duane Morris is a leading provider of comprehensive business and litigation services to the insurance and reinsurance industry. Our attorneys have the experience and capabilities to represent insurers and reinsurers in every aspect of their business, as well as to defend their positions at trial and through appeal. Members of the Insurance and Reinsurance group offer a multidisciplinary approach to our clients’ representation in insurance coverage, litigation, transactional, financial, intellectual property and regulatory matters. Our attorneys provide the full range of insurance legal services from coverage opinions involving a single policy to litigation regarding complex insurance programs with billion dollar exposures. The firm represents the gamut of insurers and reinsurers, both nationally and internationally, from property, casualty, life, disability, health and professional liability and financial institution insurance providers, captive insurers offshore, alternative market entities and guaranty associations.
Tax is integral in nearly all matters so our tax attorneys play key roles during these representations. They are regularly consulted at the earliest stage in corporate transactions and provide essential insight during a deal structure, fund establishment or equity incentive arrangement. We have global tax capability and our lawyers are familiar with treaty networks and cross border tax issues. Our tax group offers practical commercial judgment and distils complex provisions into a manageable form to convey the law, risks and issues in a clear, concise manner.
The attorneys in the London office also advise extensively on value-added tax (VAT), corporate residence and various anti-avoidance regimes in the UK. We have experience with UK/U.S. cross-border tax issues and counsel clients regularly on the establishment of UK operations, the application of the UK/U.S. double tax treaty, as well as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and related inter-governmental agreements.
For Additional Information
Duane Morris is a partnership authorised and regulated by the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (number 310992). The rules of the Solicitors' Regulation Authority can be accessed at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/code-of-conduct.page. The firm's VAT registration number is 744 3570 30.
A list of the partners and their professional qualifications is open to inspection at the above address. The partners are all lawyers who are also partners in the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP.