Initial public offers (or "IPOs") are the life-blood of the capital markets and an essential part of the economic landscape for all economies. As companies grow, their needs for capital to support and refinance their businesses change and an IPO is one important way of effecting that change.
Whilst the London market can lay claim to being one of the largest and most diversified of all capital markets, it operates in a globally competitive market place and companies considering an IPO have a wide choice of destinations in which to list their shares and other securities. At Clifford Chance, we recognise this choice and have built our expertise across all the major capital markets of the world to ensure that we can provide clients with the support they need on a local or on a seamless and global basis.
IPOs are heavily reliant upon securities lawyers who understand the legal and practical constraints that come into play when a company is offering its securities in one or more jurisdictions. These lawyers also need to be alive to the concerns of, and where appropriate be able to represent, the many different participants in an IPO process from the company, its directors, its shareholders and lenders through to its sponsors and underwriters, PR consultants and reporting accountants. Each player has its own role to discharge and with it comes its own special set of interests and commercial imperatives that need to be catered for in a legal environment. Our experience and understanding of IPOs, and the multi-jurisdictional securities laws that regulate the IPO process, enable us to advise all of these participants throughout the process and to execute successful IPOs.
An IPO does not only revolve around securities laws. These are transformational transactions for companies and as legal advisers, we are able to provide all the advice required to ensure that the transformation is handled properly. In addition to our leading corporate and equity capital markets specialists, this requires us to be able to bring in legal specialists from areas such as real estate, tax, banking, share incentives and pensions, employment and litigation but also to be able to field sector specialists who understand the company's business and the commercial sphere in which it operates.
It follows that successful execution of IPOs requires careful planning and co-ordination of legal expertise and input and our extensive track record in IPOs both domestically and internationally means that we are ideally placed to advise clients on these aspects of their transactions.
If you are interested in hearing how we can help you with any aspect of an IPO, please contact one of our partners.