Will Axtell

Partner

About

I am a corporate partner based in our Oxford office. Our team supports clients on the whole life cycle from start-up, growth funding through to exit. We have a commercial approach and focus on what is important to our clients. We build strong, long-lasting relationships and combine legal expertise with emotional intelligence. Our clients range from start-ups and high growth companies to larger listed companies as well as successful entrepreneurs. I particularly enjoy helping entrepreneurs achieve a successful exit to a larger buyer. I am a father to Henry and Charlie (teenagers!) and enjoy cycling, skiing, nature, technology and travel.

Organisation

Content

More than just a storm in a Yorkshire teacup...

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Yorkshire) has been in the headlines recently following serious allegations of institutional racism. These allegations come in the wake of the findings that former Yorkshire player, Azeem Rafiq, was subjected to racial harassment and bullying during his time at the club which allegedly led him to consider taking his own life.

Women, Leadership & Money | Hubs Live

In this session of Hubs Live, members had the opportunity to hear from Alison Haill, Heather Carter, Caroline Van Zyl and Helen Wright about their experiences as women in leadership positions.

“Do I Not Like That”

The late, great Graham Taylor must have been muttering this phrase from above recently as the 12 European ‘Football Giants’ – hereafter forever known as the ‘Giant Greedy Bastards’ – gave birth to the most ill-conceived and short-lived ‘grand plan’ there has ever been – the European Super League (ESL).

“Do I Not Like That”

The late, great Graham Taylor must have been muttering this phrase from above recently as the 12 European ‘Football Giants’ – hereafter forever known as the ‘Giant Greedy Bastards’  – gave birth to the most ill-conceived and short-lived ‘grand plan’ there has ever been.

“Do I Not Like That”

Charlie Shillito, Richard Rosser, Nick Humphreys and Brendon Cross discuss the fallout from the recent European ‘Football Giants’ ill-conceived and short lived ‘grand plan’.

The 9 Building Blocks For Recovery

We’re definitely not out of the woods yet but we’re certainly in a position to start ‘cautiously’ planning for the future. Representatives from B4’s Professional Services Hub got together to discuss what advice they’re giving their clients to build the foundations for recovery and what they’re doing in their own businesses to get in shape to hit the ground running.

Overcoming Our Biggest Challenges

It’s been almost a year of turbulence, a year like no other, certainly a year none of us will ever forget. But, as days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, the realities of a new business world came into view. When would we see our colleagues again? Would we ever be together under the same roof? Can our business survive this? When B4 members from the Professional Services Hub got together recently, the stand out concern for them was the wellbeing of their colleagues.

Unconscious bias

In December 2020, the Cabinet Office announced that unconscious bias training is being phased out of the civil service on the grounds that there is no proof that it changes behaviour and that it may in fact cause a negative response. This comes after a group of MPs previously refused to undergo training on the grounds that it was ‘pandering to the woke agenda’ and it shows the depth of resistance within government to this type of training. But are they right?

Penningtons Manches Cooper advises AI spin out on Series...

The corporate team at Penningtons Manches Cooper has advised Mind Foundry, an Oxford-based artificial intelligence company, on its Series A investment. The funding round, which closed at over £10 million, was led by Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance (ANDI) of the MS&AD Insurance Group and brings Mind Foundry’s total funds raised to date to more than […]

Penningtons Manches Cooper advises Oxford University’s 200th spin-out company

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s corporate team has advised cyber security specialist PhishAR, as it becomes the 200th company created through Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the commercialisation arm of Oxford University. Building on the work of Professor Ivan Martinovic and Dr Ivo Sluganovic from Oxford’s Department of Computer Science, PhishAR employs augmented reality to crack down on […]

What does ‘Brexit’ mean for the protection of our...

As society’s concerns mount over the trends in and consequences of climate change, we explore the potential impact of Brexit on the future of UK environmental policy and legislation. Brexit poses a threat even to those environmental protections that have been acquired over the past 40 years within the EU. While the government has published an Environment Bill and created an independent body to oversee its provisions, is it sufficiently robust and comprehensive or are additional structures needed?

Leadership for Oxford’s housing challenges

Challenges around Oxford’s housing situation are well-reported. A combination of unique and complex historical constraints, resulting planning protections, together with natural limitations of the floodplain area mean residential space is at an absolute premium. Add to this a student population of nearly 34,000, question marks over green belt development and a public perception that local government’s housing strategy is not clear and the picture is both complex and unclear

Championing innovation and growth: Penningtons Manches leads the way...

The Oxford office of leading law firm Penningtons Manches supports some of the area’s most dynamic businesses and institutions through its specialist teams. With 14 partners and a total staff of nearly 100 at its base in Oxford Business Park, the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach concentrates on a variety of industry sectors relevant to the region including technology, life sciences, education and private wealth.

How to score on and off the pitch

Oxford United’s recent success on the pitch leads not only to Wembley but also to potential commercial reward off the pitch. Penningtons Manches takes a look at how “The U’s” can protect – and capitalise on – one of its most valuable assets: the brand.