Based in Oxford Business Park, the office has strong links with Oxford University and its related commercial spin-offs, which have helped establish its reputation as a leading provider of legal services to the technology sector, particularly amongst life sciences businesses. The life sciences team was recently awarded the Corporate INTL Global Award for Life Sciences Law Firm of the Year for the fifth year in a row.
The firm is a founding sponsor of a new Oxford network called TechTonic, which aims to address the lack of support for entrepreneurial women in the technology sector. The brainchild of partner Nicola McConville, it seeks to bridge the gap between the academic and business communities. At this year’s Venturefest Oxford, the latest in a series of annual events for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs, TechTonic hosted a half-day conference on the impact of gender on entrepreneurship.
The corporate team at Penningtons Manches has had continued success, completing several significant deals. Partner James Went led a team acting for the shareholders of Oxford University artificial intelligence spin-out Wrapidity on its sale to Meltwater, a global media intelligence company. His colleague Will Axtell advised Timico Technology Group, a leading managed cloud service provider, on securing an investment of over £50 million, while partner David Tighe acted for the shareholders of the UK business of the Worldnet group of companies, which provides logistics services, on the sale of the UK and Paris businesses to the owners of Worldnet in the US.
This has been an equally busy time for the real estate team which has recorded its best financial performance ever over the last 12 months. Richard Smith has led teams of experts who have acted on the acquisition of one of the largest commercial office buildings in Oxford, advised an active regional developer on a number of student accommodation and care home developments in and around Oxford, bought and sold some of the most prestigious residential properties in Oxford, worked in partnership with several Oxford colleges and higher education institutions on new campus developments and estate management transactions, and worked in-house with one of the county’s most well-known retail outlets.
Alongside corporate and real estate advice, Penningtons Manches is highly regarded for its expertise in commercial, employment, immigration, litigation, private client and family law. The nationally acclaimed family team acts in some of the leading cases in England and Wales and is acknowledged for its solution-based, bespoke service.
Last year saw the arrival of new partner Alison Talbot, a specialist in the not for profit sector. She and her team act for charities and social enterprise clients on a broad spectrum of issues including compliance, mergers, restructuring, governance, and charity disputes work. They have recently published a thought-provoking research report on charity legacies which offers detailed sector analysis.
The firm puts an emphasis on building strong ties with the community. It sponsors Oxford-based Creation Theatre’s programme of highly innovative productions, including the recent telling of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, staged in Oxford University’s new Mathematical Institute. Ahead of the opening performance partner Chris Shelley, who advises many tech companies, chaired a panel discussion on the growth of the data-driven society.
The firm’s presence in the Thames Valley is further strengthened by its office in Reading. Moreover, a strong team-based approach ensures that each of its office locations – other sites include London, Guildford and Cambridge – provide access to the entire breadth of its expertise. This means that specialist services offered by niche teams such as clinical negligence, personal injury and the India and North America groups can also be delivered to clients in Oxford.