Howard Kennedy named as having one of the best funds teams in the UK at The Lawyer Awards 2017
The firm’s Capital Markets team, led by Partner Keith Lassman, was highly commended for its work advising venture capital trusts (VCTs) in the ‘Funds Team of the Year’ category, coming second to legal giant Linklaters.
The firm was pitched against stiff competition from some of the UK’s largest law firms including Ashursts, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds Sutherlands, Hogan Lovells, Macfarlanes and Osborne Clark.
Howard Kennedy is a specialist in the VCT world, and the only English law firm authorised to act both as sponsor on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and legal adviser through its FCA authorised subsidiary Howard Kennedy Corporate Services LLP.
In the tax year ending 2016, the team acted for 80% of all VCT funds to come to market, representing VCT funds that raised over £420m.
VCTs were first introduced by the Conservative government in the mid-1990s to encourage private individuals to invest in growing UK businesses. Offering attractive tax advantages for investors they proved popular from the outset.
In 1999, having identified their popularity, the firm created and sought FCA approval for sponsorship status, which is now run through FCA regulated Howard Kennedy Corporate Services LLP to allow it to act as both legal adviser and sponsor for VCTs and other investment entities listing on the London Stock Exchange. In that year the firm acted for just one VCT.
For the financial year ending April 2016, the firm acted for 16 funds seeking to raise capital. The 16 funds raised 92% of all capital secured in that year – Howard Kennedy’s clients raised a total of £421.7m, against the entire VCT market raising £457.5m.
For the past five years Howard Kennedy have consistently acted for approximately 80% of all VCT capital raises
Keith Lassman, Partner and Head of Capital Markets said:
Whilst we are disappointed that we did not win the award, we are thrilled to have been singled out by the judges, to have been highly commended and to have come runner up to one of the biggest legal names in the funds world.
“This award is, of course, a team effort and I would like to thank Stephen Heinemann, Michael Harris, Ian Scott, Matthew Astbury and Siân Dewing.
About Howard Kennedy
Howard Kennedy has 53 partners and numbers 350 people in total and works alongside national and international clients across many disciplines, including banking, corporate and commercial, family, finance, employment, dispute resolution, intellectual property, private client, real estate and tax. Howard Kennedy has particular focus on the Financial Services, Media and Technology, Real Estate, Retail and Leisure, Sports Individuals sectors.
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