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Fergus Payne

Fergus PaynePartner

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I am a partner in our Corporate legal practice group and head of the firm’s Partnerships & LLPs legal practice group.

Throughout my career I have worked with clients across a variety of industry sectors but my principal focus is in the professional services, marketing communications and property sectors.

My practice covers a wide range of corporate and partnership matters. With the increasing convergence of those areas of law and practice, I think that has given me some relatively unique expertise. I have over thirty years experience of advising on mergers and acquisitions from both a buyer and sellers perspective. This is where I cut my teeth as a practitioner and an area of work I continue to enjoy. I've had the pleasure of working with clients through the lifecycle of their business from formation to exit and have always been glad to be part of their journey. My experience extends to shareholders agreements, joint ventures and restructuring and I routinely advise businesses on corporate borrowing transactions.

Over time I have developed an expertise in advising partnerships and LLPs and, in particular, working with professional services firms on their constitutional arrangements and structures. I'm recommended in both Chambers and Legal 500 directories as a leading practitioner for this area of work.

Corporate

I routinely advise on a wide range of corporate transaction matters including mergers & acquisitions, start ups and shareholders' agreements, joint ventures and corporate re-organisations. The clients I deal with come from a variety of sectors including marketing communications, professional services and property.

Part of my practice involves advising a variety of corporate clients on bank facility agreements and security and subordination arrangements, typically in the context of acquisitions or new borrowing and refinancing. I advise on inter-group borrowing and property finance.

I also advise on corporate recovery and insolvency issues and regularly work with insolvency practitioners on the sale of businesses and their underlying assets.

Partnership

I am head of the firm’s Partnerships and LLPs legal practice group. I advise law, accountancy and other professional services firms on their partnership and LLP agreements and have worked with many firms on restructuring projects and mergers. I also advise on the use of LLPs as joint venture vehicles, particularly in the property sector.

Pleasingly, I am recognized as a leading practitioner in this area and have been described by Chambers UK as having "exceptional experience in LLP matters" and by Legal 500 as one of the best non-contentious partnership practitioners.

I am also a regular writer and speaker on issues affecting professional services businesses, particularly the legal and accountancy sectors and am a co-author of Employment, Partnership and Discrimination Law form Professional Partnerships.

Professional Services

I advise on and negotiate documents for the constitutional arrangements of LLPs and partnerships, restructuring, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. My clients include law and accountancy firms and other professional services and consultancy businesses.

Pleasingly, I am recognized as a leading practitioner in this area and have been described by Chambers UK as having "exceptional experience in LLP matters" and complimented for my "strong and firm advice coupled with sound legal experience and expertise" and by Legal 500 as one of the best non-contentious partnership practitioners.

I am a regular commentator on issues affecting professional services, particularly the legal and accountancy sectors. I am a member of the Association of Partnership Practitioners and co-author of Employment, Partnership and Discrimination Law form Professional Partnerships.

Advertising & Marketing

I have worked with clients in the advertising and marketing sector since I started in the law, my first transaction being the sale of the advertising agency, Everetts, to Grey Advertising.

My work includes advising buyers and sellers on mergers and acquisitions and also restructuring, shareholders agreements, joint ventures, corporate advisory and borrowing.

During my career I have acted for organisations of all sizes, from start-ups, independent agencies, listed companies to global marketing communications networks, operating as traditional advertising, PR, design, media buying, digital, experiential and social media agencies. That experience has made me familiar with the issues that routinely arise during the course of corporate transactions in this sector.

Awards and Recognition

  • Chambers 2017 - Ranked - UK-wide, Partnership: Non-contentious
  • Fergus Payne is the firm's focal point for non-contentious partnership matters. He is identified by market observers for his "client-friendly approach with practical application of the necessary legal requirements."
  • Legal 500 2016 - Partnership - Leading individual
  • Lewis Silkin LLP’s balanced practice is built around the capabilities of Fergus Payne, who advises on structuring, conversions, joint ventures and M&A matters, and disputes specialist Clive Greenwood. Its client base includes individual partners, major law and accountancy firms and businesses operating in the marketing as well as communications sectors.
  • Legal 500 2016 - London: Corporate and Commercial - M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m - Lewis Silkin LLP’s ‘very commercial, very responsive’ department is led by Fergus Payne
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