Meet the Corporate Team

Our company and commercial solicitors understand how businesses operate and provide legal advice to business clients throughout their life cycle.

From start up, growth, success and failure, the team knows every key legal issue that affects businesses, companies and financial institutions.

The specialist team advises on three key areas – commercial legal services, company legal services and corporate finance.

Advice to business owners and funders includes day to day commercial arrangements, sales and purchases and re-finance across a variety of sectors.

Our considerable sector knowledge includes manufacturing, professional services, healthcare, banking, IT/IPR and is supported, where relevant, by colleagues in commercial property, employment, regulatory, trusts and dispute resolution.

We pride ourselves on an appreciation, not just of the legal issues, but also the underlying commercial objectives of businesses.

What commercial legal services do we offer?

A wide range of commercial law matters from terms and conditions of business and agency/distributorship agreements to complex multi-party documentation often found in heavily regulated industries.

Our complete service for commercial matters and intellectual property matters includes:

  • General commercial contracts
  • Agency agreements
  • Distribution agreements
  • Supply agreements (terms and conditions, services and outsourcing agreements)
  • Procurement procedures/tendering
  • Copyright and image rights licensing
  • Trade mark registration and licensing
  • Brand sponsorship
  • Licensing
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements

What company legal services do we offer?

A complete service for corporate and intellectual property matters including:

  • Business formation – companies, partnerships and limited liability partnerships, charities and community interest companies
  • Shareholder and partnership issues
  • Corporate risk management
  • Company structures and reorganisation
  • Investment and exit
  • Employee share schemes

What corporate finance legal services do we offer?

All businesses at some stage of their development are subject to strategic change.

We deliver a full range of advice and services which apply to any corporate transaction and by working in multidisciplinary teams we utilise the expertise of our employment, property and IT/IP specialists to bring commercial and pragmatic advice to achieve your objectives.

Our expertise includes:

  • Acquisitions and disposals
  • Management buy out/buy in
  • Private equity and debt financing
  • Mergers and demergers
  • Internal re-organisations
  • Equity investment schemes and capital restructurings
  • Banking and security work

Why use the Wake Smith corporate team?

The corporate team is recommended in the UK Legal 500 2016 as a result of its strong regional M&A workload. Duncan Shepherd leads the ‘highly competent’ practice”.

Recent transactions include:

  • Assisting on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Veterinary Instrumentation Limited to the US based Fortune 500 company Henry Schein, the sale of a subsidiary of the Proact group and the management buy-out of Norder.
  • Advice in connection with cross-border joint ventures involving companies based in the US, Australia and European countries.
  • Corporate restructures including buying out divisions of a business and/or retiring shareholders by way of demergers and share for share exchanges.
  • Firm appointments with HSBC, Yorkshire Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and other financial institutions, both domestic and international, with regards to transactions, reorganisations and general banking advice.


Meet the team:

The Wake Smith corporate team consists of:

Duncan Shepherd, director and head of department, who has nearly two decade’s experience in corporate law. His main areas of work include advice on company law, partnerships, start-ups, joint ventures; re-organisations and restructures; transactional cases advising buyers, sellers, funders and investors and commercial agreements (supply, distribution, agency and licencing).

Director John Baddeley boasts nearly 30 year’s experience dealing with corporate transactional work advising buyers, sellers and funders; licensing of intellectual property; IT contracts and commercial agreements. John is also a member of the firm's management board and on the Sheffield BID Company's Board of Directors.

Associate Solicitor Rebecca Robinson brings 10 years of experience to deals with mergers, acquisitions and disposals; banking and finance; joint ventures/partnerships and business start-ups; corporate reorganisations and general company work; commercial agreements and terms and conditions.

Solicitor Gavin Hesketh has worked on advising and drafting documents on corporate transactional work (both share and asset purchase agreements); articles of association, shareholders’ agreements and partnership agreements; procedural issues including setting up companies and Companies House administration; agreements on the sale of goods and services, including terms and conditions; and banking security documents including debentures and company and personal guarantees.

Sarah Hagan is the secretary for the corporate team.

The team can be contacted on 0114 266 6660.

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