Image of Iain Fenn

Iain Fenn

Corporate Partner, London

“I offer strategic advice to the Directors and other leaders of the largest international companies, bringing them the benefit of my extensive experience of operating at the highest level on the most high-profile corporate deals. I believe in having close, highly developed, relationships so that trust is in place for those times when trust is essential.”

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Overview

Iain is a specialist in corporate law, advising international companies and financial institutions on public and private M&A, corporate restructurings, public offerings and joint ventures. He has acted as lead counsel on many of the market’s most significant transactions, including acting for the acquirors on, and defenders of, hostile public offers as well as on large complex demergers.

Iain regularly advises the boards of a number of London listed companies on strategic and governance issues.

Iain’s expertise spans many sectors. He has particular knowledge of the telecoms, technology and retail sectors. He is co-head of the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) and business services sector at the firm and was previously the head of one of the firm’s corporate groups.

Among a number of innovations for which he was responsible, Iain was instrumental in developing the contractual structure of the UK rail industry post privatisation. He also established the first  Jersey company with tax residence in Ireland allowing FTSE listing, tax efficiency and lower transfer costs. A structure that has been replicated many times since.

Work highlights

Throughout his career, Iain has worked and led on numerous high profile and innovative corporate transactions. Some examples of his experience include advising:

  • J Sainsbury plc on the GBP 15bn merger with ASDA Group Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc 
  • Vodafone on its £112bn hostile bid for Mannesmann, the first successful hostile bid for a German company. As well as being novel in its effect, the transaction required innovation in relation to areas as diverse as German takeover practice and cross-border settlement
  • GUS on the demerger of the Experian and Home Retail Group businesses, including establishing Experian as the first Jersey-incorporated, Irish tax-resident holding company using an unusual multipart scheme of arrangement structure
  • Kabelnetz NRW on the auction sale and disposal of the ish cable business. Kabelnetz was owned by more than 60 stakeholders who had acquired their interests on the prior restructuring of ish, leading to a complex board and shareholder structure and a range of diverging interests
  • Vodafone on its acquisition of a controlling interest in the Hutchison Essar joint venture in India for US$11bn , involving complex negotiations with Hutchison and new joint venture partners, Essar
  • Balfour Beatty on the simultaneous defence of a proposed bearhug from Carillion, the disposal of its Parsons Brinckerhoff division for £1.2bn and management of a number of business performance issues
  • Al Noor Hospitals on its £6bn reverse takeover of Mediclinic, a transaction which involved not only a takeover but also shareholder approval of the interests of Remgro (Mediclinic’s largest shareholder), a financing, a tender offer to Al Noor shareholders and negotiations with regulators in multiple jurisdictions in order to facilitate implementation. Competing bids for Al Noor Hospitals also had to be addressed during the sale process

 

Professional experience

Iain regularly gives presentations to clients and speaks at conferences in relation to M&A in the TMT Sector. In particular, he has chaired the M&A Panel at TMT Finance conferences on a number of occasions and has spoken at the Deloitte and Enders Media and Telecoms conference.

Iain has also spoken at a number of conferences and taken part in webinars in relation to public M&A, including the Lexis Nexis webinar on hostile takeovers.

Education and qualifications

Iain studied history at the University of London and the Common Professional Examination and Law Society Finals at the College of Law.