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Olswang advises two new VC clients on Series B investment round in British biotech Pulmocide

Di, 21.03.2017 - 18:00

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised venture capital firms SR One Ltd and Longwood Fund III LP for the first time, on their Series B round of investment of Pulmocide Limited, a biotech developing two treatments for deadly viral and fungal lung infections.

The $30 million (£24 million) cash injection is Pulmocide's second, having already secured $17 million in an initial fundraising round. In addition to SR One and Longwood Fund, the fresh funds come from Pulmocide's existing backers including venture capital firm SV Life Sciences, J&J DC, the venture capital arm of Johnson & Johnson, Touchstone Innovations and F-prime, the venture capital arm of Fidelity.

Olswang Corporate Partner Niall McAlister commented: "It was a pleasure to advise SR One and Longwood Fund III on their investment in Pulmocide. This significant investment follows Pulmocide's strong track record of clinical success and these monies will go a long way to developing two critical treatments currently being developed – one for babies with Respiratory Syncytial Virus and the other for fungal infection Aspergillosis." 

Niall McAlister led the transaction along with IP Partner and Head of Life Sciences Robert Stephen, Corporate Senior Associate Kate Blumhof, IP Associate Hemma Lad, Share Schemes Legal Director Catherine Merry and Trainee Alex Lowe.

Read more about Olswang’s international legal practice on the firm’s website.


Olswang advises Spotify on its acquisition of audio detection start-up Sonalytic

Mo, 13.03.2017 - 19:13

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised global music streaming giant Spotify on its acquisition of Sonalytic, the UK-based makers of audio detection technology that identifies songs, mixed content and audio clips.

Sonalytic's technology will help improve Spotify's personalised playlists, match songs with compositions and improve Spotify's publishing data system.

Olswang advised Spotify on all areas of the transaction, deploying specialist technology experts from a range of practice areas.

Peter Grandelius, Head of Corporate Legal, Spotify, commented: "We were glad to have Olswang's support on this strategic acquisition, which will help Spotify improve our unique music ecosystem. The team at Olswang delivered committed, integrated and specialised advice under a tight timeframe. We look forward to working with them in the future."

Olswang Corporate Partner Louis Glass, who led the transaction for the firm, commented: "We loved working with the Spotify team on this exciting transaction and in particular with Peter and his legal colleague Nicolina Kindblom. As avid users of Spotify, we're keen to see how Sonalytic's audio feature detection will advance Spotify's offering."


Olswang and Career Ready mark International Women’s Day with CMS and Nabarro at seventh annual career masterclass for London students

Fr, 10.03.2017 - 11:50


International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang and national charity Career Ready today jointly hosted London female students at their annual International Women’s Day event, which seeks to inspire young women by providing practical career advice from some of the country's leading female business women. This year, the event was held in conjunction with CMS and Nabarro, leading international law firms with which Olswang will combine as of 1 May 2017.

At this year’s seventh annual event entitled ‘Masterclass: make connections, get ahead!’, more than 70 Career Ready students from schools across London gathered at Olswang’s London office to hear career tips from female leaders at an array of well-known companies and organisations, including:

  • Kathy Atkinson, Legal Director, Kettle Foods Ltd.
  • Alison Baum, CEO, Best Beginnings
  • Stella Beaumont, Non-Executive Director, Nabarro
  • Susan Chiappinelli, VP, Patents Pharma Platforms, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Patricia Wick Christias, Head of Legal, Microsoft Limited
  • Sarah Davis, Group Commercial Legal Director, Guardian Media Group plc
  • Louise Gellman, IP & IT Partner, Nabarro (host)
  • Andrea Grossman, Director, Talking Talent
  • Samantha Jukes-Adams, Senior Vice President Scripted Production, NBCU Intl Studios
  • Ruth Marken, Partner, Olswang
  • Jenny Tooth, Chief Executive, UK Business Angels Association
  • Penelope Warne, Senior Partner and Head of Energy, CMS
  • Sarah Wright, Partner and Head of Trade Marks, Olswang (host)

Career Ready is the national charity that links schools and colleges with employers to open up the world of work to young people. Anne Spackman, Chief Executive of the charity, said: “This is an inspirational and impactful experience for our young London students. They learn to network and present to the kinds of professional women they might one day become.”

Olswang Partner and Head of Trade Marks Sarah Wright, who hosted the event, said: "It has been wonderful to be able to share the morning with a group of ambitious young women who are just starting out on their career journeys. I hope that the tips and strategies they learnt today from our inspirational female clients will help them to win their place at university or college or secure their first job."

CMS Senior Partner and Head of Energy Penelope Warne commented: “We need to pay more attention to the next generation. One of my priorities is to lead a business that has a supportive and encouraging culture where the careers of all can thrive. It is very important to consider how we can inspire, encourage and support young female students as they embark on the career journey and I was delighted to participate in this event.”

Nabarro IT & IP Partner Louise Gellman said: “Today’s young women will change the face of business tomorrow. I have no doubt the amazing female leaders we have heard from today will inspire this next generation. I can’t wait to see what they will achieve.”


CMS, Nabarro and Olswang are united in their vision, culture and values and strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and look forward to combining our skills and thoughts around our extensive diversity and CR programmes. For example, CMS recently led a phenomenal fundraising campaign for War Child in which the firm raised over £500,000 for War Child over the lifetime of the partnership, and last spring, Olswang exceeded the fundraising target of £100,000 for the firm's UK charity partner, Carers Trust. Nabarro also raised over £90,000 for Carers Trust and St Luke’s Hospice last year. The firms look forward to working together and build on our commitment to ensuring that we have strong and sustainable Corporate Responsibility and Diversity programmes in place. 

Learn more about Olswang's commitment to being a responsible business at www.wearecr.com.


Olswang advises IP support services business RWS Holdings plc on share placing and debt financing in relation to US$82.5m acquisition of LUZ, Inc.

Di, 07.03.2017 - 11:57

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised long standing client RWS Holdings plc, a world leading provider of intellectual property (IP) support services listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, on the share placing and debt financing aspects of its acquisition of LUZ, Inc., a market leading Life Sciences language services provider based in San Francisco for cash consideration of US$82.5m.

RWS offers patent translations, international patent filing solutions and searches; commercial translations; and linguistic validation.  The acquisition increases its market share and specialist offering, particularly in language services. It also adds complementary regulatory and medical device specialisms and enhances its US footprint by adding a West Coast presence.

Corporate Partner Nick Crosbie commented: "We are pleased to have advised our long-standing client RWS on the successful placing and debt financing in connection with the acquisition, which complements their existing Life Sciences offering."

Nick Crosbie led the team from Olswang along with Corporate Senior Associate Nicole Gyring-Nielsen, Partner and Head of Finance Charles Kerrigan, Finance Senior Associate Gurminder Muker. The team was assisted by Trainees Krishan Neelandra, Dave Johns and Daniel Hope.


Olswang advises Turner on two transactions across its TV and digital portfolios

Fr, 03.03.2017 - 12:09

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised long-standing client Turner International, a division of Time Warner, on two transactions in recent weeks.

In early February Olswang advised Turner International's Digital Ventures & Innovation Group on its equity investment digital media sports company Bigballs Media (BBM), parent company of one of the world's fastest growing digital video platforms for football content, Copa90. BBM will use the investment to fuel its international expansion, content production and distribution arrangements. Turner is the largest provider of funding for the Series B investment round and the main strategic investor.

Olswang has also advised Turner Broadcasting on the sale of the UK version of the TruTV television channel. As part of the deal, Turner will continue to represent ad sales for the channel.

Corporate Partner and Co-Head of the firm's Media practice Paul Guite, who led both transactions, commented: "We are delighted to have advised the recently formed Digital Ventures & Innovation Group of long-standing client Turner on its investment in BBM, as well as acting on the sale of the TruTV channel. We look forward to following the success of the BBM investment and working with the Turner team in the future."

Paul Guite and Corporate Associate Sarah Wilson advised on the BBM investment. Paul and Sarah, along with Commercial Partner John Enser, Tax Partner Stephen Hignett and Senior Associate (Barrister) Robert Sartor advised on the sale of TruTV.

The firm has an unparalleled standing in the international media industry, both for its sector knowledge and long-standing client base in the TV, film, music and advertising industries.

Olswang's Media practice is consistently ranked in the top tier of leading legal directories.

Read more about Olswang’s international legal practice on the firm’s website.


Olswang advises online gaming company 32Red on Kindred Group's £175.6m offer

Do, 23.02.2017 - 12:38

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang is advising AIM-listed online gaming company, 32Red, on the recently announced recommended offer by Kindred Group plc, one of the largest online gambling companies in the world.

Kindred's offer of 196 pence per share values 32Red at £175.6m and is to progress by way of a takeover offer.  32 Red is also being advised by financial advisers, Numis.

Founded in 2002, 32Red is based in Gibraltar and operates online casino, online poker, online bingo and online sports betting under the brands 32Red.com, 32RedPoker.com, 32RedBingo.com and 32RedSport.com.  In 2015, 32Red acquired the Roxy Palace online casino business.

Olswang Corporate Partner Rob Willis is leading the team, assisted by Tom Jameson and Tim Watkins (corporate); Andy Quayle and Cathy Merry (Share Schemes); David Zeffman and Anna Soilleux-Mills (Gambling Regulatory); and Ruth Marken (Finance).


Olswang named 2017 Global Outsourcing 100® company by IAOP®

Di, 21.02.2017 - 15:59

The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® (IAOP®) has for the fourth year in a row named international technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang a Global Outsourcing 100® company. The firm is also included in The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors list, a subset of the overall roster that recognises the world’s top 20 outsourcing advisors and consultants.

The 2017 Global Outsourcing 100 and The World's Best Outsourcing Advisors recognise the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors. These lists are based on applications received, and judging relies on a rigorous scoring methodology that includes a review by an independent panel of IAOP customer members with extensive experience in selecting outsourcing service providers and advisors for their organisations.

Olswang's award-winning Technology and Sourcing team advises multinational companies such as BP, Marks & Spencer and Unilever on an array of complex and strategic outsourcing and procurement transactions. 

Olswang Partner Dominic Dryden commented: “It is an honour to be ranked yet again in the IAOP’s World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors list. Receiving this accolade for the fourth year running is a testament to the depth and strength of our practice and the value we help our clients deliver. The past year has seen Olswang advise on a number of transformational and ground-breaking sourcing and procurement transactions, and my thanks go to our whole team for their hard work, dedication and performance."

IAOP CEO Debi Hamill said: “Buyers understand there are hundreds of qualified service providers and advisors out there, but what they really need to understand now is what makes each one exceptional. The Global Outsourcing 100 and World's Best Advisors lists have done just that. We are proud to recognise Olswang for being among the highest rated companies in this industry."

In addition to being named a 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Global Outsourcing 100® company and included on The World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors, Dominic Dryden was included in the 2015 The Lawyer Hot 100 list for his seasoned expertise and high-profile work. Olswang’s Sourcing team was also voted Outsourcing Advisory of the Year in 2013 by the European Outsourcing Association. The team was also shortlisted in 2015 in the NOA’s Innovation category and in 2016 by the British Legal Awards for 'Commercial Team of the Year'.

Visit the Olswang website for more information on the firm’s Sourcing expertise and partners.


Olswang advises Content Media Corporation on its sale to Kew Media Group

Di, 21.02.2017 - 13:36

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised London and LA-based film, television and digital sales company Content Media Corporation Plc (CMC) on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Kew Media Group Inc, a Canadian special purpose acquisition corporation focused on the media sector. The deal is expected to complete in March.

The deal sees Kew Media take 100% ownership of CMC along with five other acquisitions totaling US$104m. Kew will also acquire the following CMC controlled production companies: Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, Campfire Film & Television, Collins Avenue Productions, Finland’s Aito Media and Spirit Digital Media. 

CMC recently sold projects such as Sundance premiere Cries From Syria and distributed BBC police drama Line of Duty

Corporate Partner Paul Blackmore commented: "Having acted for Content for over 15 years it was a pleasure to advise the Company on its sale to Kew Media Group. This is part of a significant acquisition in the content media space, and we look forward to supporting Content on this wider platform with Kew Media."

Paul Blackmore led the Olswang team, which comprised Corporate Senior Associates Theo Godfrey and Nicole Gyring-Nielsen, Corporate Associate David Wood, Tax Partner Mark Joscelyne, Share Schemes Partner Andrew Quayle, Share Schemes Legal Director Catherine Merry and Trainee Dave Johns.

Olswang's Media practice is consistently ranked in the top tier of leading legal directories Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.




Olswang leads in advising Tim Hincks and Peter Fincham on launch of Expectation

Do, 16.02.2017 - 20:54

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has acted as lead legal advisor on the launch of Expectation – a new independent TV production company created by former Endemol Shine Group President Tim Hincks and ex-ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham.

Expectation launches with six departments across scripted and non-scripted programming including drama, comedy, factual entertainment, entertainment, reality and factual.

After advising on the structuring of the business, the firm went on to advise the founders of Expectation on BBC Worldwide's minority investment into the company. The company also engaged corporate financier Jonathan Norman at Stella Advisors on the investment.

Olswang Senior Partner Mark Devereux commented: "It was a privilege and a delight to work with Peter and Tim on the launch of their new production company. They are two of the most experienced and successful television executives in the business with outstanding track records and together they are going to be unstoppable. We're pleased to have supported them in the financing of the business and we look forward to working with them as the company flourishes in the years to come."

Led by Corporate Partner Nick Crosbie and Senior Partner Mark Devereux, the Olswang team comprised: Share Schemes Partner Andy Quayle, Finance Partner Ruth Marken, Employment Partner Melanie Lane, IP Partner Sarah Wright, Corporate Associate Patrick Peake, Employment Senior Associate Hannah Netherton, IP Associate Sam Omar and Trainee Susannah Parry.

The firm has an unparalleled standing in the international media industry, both for its sector knowledge and long-standing client base in the TV, film, music and advertising industries.

Olswang's Media practice is consistently ranked in the top tier of leading legal directories Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. 


Olswang advises All3Media on its acquisition of Two Brothers Pictures

Di, 14.02.2017 - 12:06

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised leading independent television, film and digital production and distribution company All3Media on its acquisition of UK production company Two Brothers Pictures.

Two Brothers Pictures was established in 2014 by writers and producers Harry and Jack Williams, and joined in 2016 by Chief Operating Officer Claire Evans. It produces high quality, critically acclaimed drama and comedy both in the UK and internationally, including breakout comedy Fleabag, and has recently announced a raft of new commissions including: Liar, a major six part thriller for ITV; Rellik a time-jumping murder mystery co-production with New Pictures for BBC One; and Hong Kong-based conspiracy thriller White Dragon for ITV, among others.

All3Media International is the distribution partner for Two Brothers Pictures.

All3Media General Counsel Donall Crehan commented: "This is an important transaction for All3Media and we are excited to welcome Harry, Jack and Claire to the group. We are grateful to Paul and the wider Olswang team for ensuring a smooth process; once again the combination of their corporate experience and media sector insight proved invaluable."

Corporate Partner and Co-Head of the firm's Media practice Paul Guite commented: "It was a delight to work with the All3Media team on the acquisition of Two Brothers Pictures. Their quality portfolio of existing and upcoming drama and comedies will be an excellent addition to the All3Media family."

Paul Guite led the transaction from Olswang along with Commercial Partner and Co-Head of Media Victoria Gaskell and Tax Partner Mark Joscelyne with assistance from Corporate Associate Jennifer Lloyd.

Read more about Olswang’s international legal practice on the firm’s website.


Olswang advises Unilever on a 'first of its kind' global cloud project

Fr, 03.02.2017 - 18:01

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised consumer goods giant Unilever on a 'first of its kind', global cloud project which will transform the way Unilever's Customer Development function operates.

The new solution is essentially a collaboration between Tier 1 vendors Accenture and salesforce, where Accenture will make its trade promotion and retail execution software engines available to Unilever over salesforce's force.com platform.  The deal is driven by Unilever's desire for global standardisation, thereby reducing the need for local customisation, and therefore reducing cost. So valued by Accenture is Unilever's participation that they have appointed Unilever as a charter client in the consumer products field, which will provide Unilever with the opportunity to influence Accenture's technology roadmap and reduce the need for customisation even further.

Unilever's General Counsel for ETS Glenn Quadros commented: "This is a unique deal within my portfolio as it combines so many facets into one integrated contract.  It involves new ways of working for Unilever, such as agile and DevOps, and Olswang's experience of contracting for these was key to ensuring we were properly safeguarded.  My thanks to the Olswang team for their fantastic support in getting this transformative deal delivered."

The Olswang team was led by Technology Partner Dominic Dryden and Legal Director Suparna Bhattacharjee. 


Olswang advises BMO Real Estate Partners on £191m portfolio acquisition from British Land

Mi, 18.01.2017 - 15:34

International law firm Olswang has advised clients of the leading property asset management specialist BMO Real Estate Partners (BMO REP) on a £191 million real estate portfolio acquisition of three retail assets across the UK: the flagship Debenhams store in Manchester, Clifton Moor Shopping Centre in York and Westgate Retail Park in Wakefield. 

The deal sees clients of BMO REP acquiring the assets from British Land via the purchase of their respective corporate holding vehicles.

Real Estate Partner Simon Kanter commented: "Completion of this deal was particularly welcome as it was agreed and work commenced prior to the June 2016 referendum. BMO REP's rigorous and creative approach was key to the success of the deal, and we were delighted to work with them once again. Apart from the property and corporate aspects, a significant role was played by our banking and tax teams."

Simon Kanter led the deal from Olswang along with Real Estate Partner Alan Karsberg, Corporate Partner David Bunker, Finance Partner Ruth Marken and Tax associate Jacob Gilkes.

Read more about Olswang’s international legal practice on the firm’s website.



Olswang advises Hubert Burda Media on acquisition of the UK’s Immediate Media

Do, 12.01.2017 - 14:15

International technology, media and telecoms law firm Olswang has advised Munich-based technology and media company Hubert Burda Media on its 100% acquisition of Immediate Media, the UK content and digital platform group from Exponent Private Equity and Management.

The deal transfers ownership of several key magazine titles including Radio Times as well as a number of BBC-branded magazine titles such as Top Gear, Top of the Pops and CBeebies. The titles will add to Burda’s portfolio of more than 540 brands worldwide, ranging from household name fashion magazines such as Elle and InStyle to social media platform XING.

A family enterprise with a history spanning over 100 years, Burda combines traditional publishing with successful digital innovation. Today, the corporation is one of Germany's largest technology and media companies with an international presence and a global reputation.  Burda has a long-standing track record of owning and managing major magazine titles in all parts of the globe.  Burda is also a truly innovative digital leader and one of the first European media houses to branch out into the digital sphere.  Investments include Nasdaq-listed internet platform Etsy or the professional network Xing.de, listed in Frankfurt Burda was one of the first publishers to recognise the transformative opportunities of the digital media revolution and began to consistently align the company for the digital transformation. With DLD (Digital, Life, Design) Burda has established a global network on innovation, digitalization, science and culture with conferences around the world.

Olswang advised on all transactional aspects of the Immediate Media deal. The firm has previously advised Burda on several investments and acquisitions in media and content companies in the UK and Europe, including most recently its investment in Notonthehighstreet.com.

Olswang Partner and Head of the firm’s International Corporate Practice Mark Bertram commented: “We were pleased to again act on another transformational transaction for the Burda group. Immediate Media's consistent growth throughout the last five years and its track record of exploiting leading print and digital publications across its platform make it an exceptional addition to the existing Burda magazine portfolio. We look forward to seeing the businesses flourish in partnership."

Mark Bertram led an Olswang team comprising Corporate Senior Associate Philip Walton; Head of Commercial and Partner Iain Stansfield and Legal Director Anna Soilleux-Mills and Rebecca Platt; Corporate Partner Chris Mackie; Share Incentives Partner Andrew Quayle; Employment Associate Rachel Easter; Corporate Trainee Edmund Roper; as well as Tax Partner Stephen Hignett and Senior Associate (Barrister) Robert Sartor.



Olswang Asia launches Public Policy offering focused on TMT regulatory environment

Di, 10.01.2017 - 11:00

International law firm Olswang today announces the launch of a Public Policy offering in Singapore. The launch recognises the work the team has been doing to help companies, industry bodies and policy-makers in Asia navigate an increasingly complex regulatory landscape in technology, media and telecoms (TMT).  

Led by Partner Matt Pollins, the new offering will be available across Asia and will combine Olswang’s unparalleled TMT legal and regulatory expertise with its deep understanding of the TMT sector. This complements the firm's existing Public Law and Competition & Regulatory practices in Europe.

Olswang Asia Managing Partner Andrew Stott commented: “The formalisation and development of a bespoke offering is a natural evolution of our recent work guiding companies and governments through regulations and public policy issues. With regulations in Asia, in common with the rest of the world, struggling to keep pace with technology innovation, companies, industry bodies and policy-makers are increasingly looking to advisors who are willing to give them a view, based on industry experience ,detailed knowledge of the existing legal framework and a global perspective based on an understanding of regulatory approaches around the world."

Partner and Head of Public Policy Matt Pollins commented: “Nowhere is the pace of regulatory change faster than in Asia. Across the region, the explosion in the take-up of connected devices and the rapid improvement in network infrastructure in developing countries is disrupting established business models and opening up enormous potential markets across everything from financial services to media. These changes are stretching the existing legal and regulatory framework. Our Public Policy offering will help companies, governments and industry bodies navigate the regulatory landscape in this increasingly connected Asia."

Olswang has been operating in Asia since formally opening in Singapore in February 2012, and the firm's sector focus within TMT has enabled it to continue strengthening its service line offerings across corporate, commercial and international arbitration. Olswang Asia advises local, regional and international organisations, including BHP Billiton, Dentsu Aegis Network, Dong-A Pharmaceuticals, LG, Microsoft and Unilever.

Olswang Asia has retained its top ranking in TMT by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 since opening in 2012. The firm's Partners are also ranked for their sector, practice area and regional expertise. The team is also active at an industry body level, with Managing Partner Andrew Stott recently being elected to the Board of Directors of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), the regional television industry body, and Matt Pollins being a Director of the International Institute of Communications in Singapore.

Read more about the firm’s practice in Asia here