17 September 2020
Clifford Chance has been named Corporate Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2020. The award cited that the firm demonstrated excellence during 2019 in M&A and corporate work, including joint ventures. The judges were impressed particularly by the evidence of outstanding transactional advice and commitment to the client in the context of one exceptional piece of work.
The Clifford Chance team led by Mark Poulton and Lee Coney helped Provident defy the odds by successfully defending Provident Financial against a hostile offer by Non-Standard Finance (NSF), despite NSF having the support of holders of more than 50% of Provident's shares. The deal was reported in a broad sheet newspaper as the first big attempted hostile takeover in financial services since the 2008 crisis and the defence as one that may go down in City lore as one of the best.
Mark Poulton commented: "The defence required a huge team effort every day for 14 weeks across Provident, its financial and accounting advisers and a multi-disciplinary Clifford Chance team. It was a truly extraordinary deal, and we were delighted to play our part for Provident."
In addition, the Clifford Chance Corporate team were also awarded 'Highly Commended' in the Private Equity Team of the Year category for their advice to longstanding client KIRKBI, the investment vehicle owned by Lego’s founding family, on its consortium with Blackstone and pension fund CPPIB to acquire Merlin Entertainments.
The annual Legal Business Awards celebrate the very best in the legal profession. The 2020 awards were originally scheduled to take place in March, but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are now being held virtually.