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Matthew Bland

Partner, Tokyo

"I advise on a wide range of corporate, corporate finance and commercial matters with a particular focus on the financial sector and complex, cross-border M&A. My priority is to understand our clients’ specific commercial drivers and approach, ensuring that advice is pragmatic, tailored and of the highest calibre.”


Education and qualifications


Matthew is a corporate partner whose practice focuses on public and private M&A (both cross-border and domestic), joint ventures, international capital raisings, and corporate restructurings. He has in-depth expertise of the financial services sector, and in particular within banking and insurance.

Matthew has advised a number of FTSE100 and major multi-national clients on a variety of their business-critical and transformational M&A and capital raising transactions as well as complex intra-group reorganisations and general corporate governance matters. He is also the managing relationship partner for a number of the firm’s key clients across the bank, insurance and pharmaceutical sectors.

Matthew also often acts for large investment banks on their advisory and capital markets mandates and has been involved in devising innovative capital raisings structures, including the development of contingent convertible (“CoCo”) bonds. He has been on secondment to a large U.S. investment bank and also spent two years based in the firm’s Tokyo office, where he advised on many Asia-led deals and gained significant insight into business practice in Japan.

Work highlights

Matt has led or been a key adviser on many of the market’s most significant M&A and capital raising transactions. These include advising:

  • Friends Life Group as the target of the recommended £5.6bn offer by Aviva, which was, at the time, the largest M&A transaction in the UK insurance sector for several years
  • Julius Baer on its CHF 860m acquisition of the international professional wealth management (PWM) business of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a complex cross-border transaction involving the acquisition of businesses in 24 jurisdictions as well as a rights issue to fund the acquisition, and subsequent €68m acquisition of the Luxembourg PWM business of Commerzbank
  • Rothesay Life on its £260m acquisition of specialist pensions insurer, Paternoster, the subsequent acquisition of MetLife Assurance, and acquisitions of annuity portfolios from Zurich Assurance and Aegon
  • Lloyds TSB on its takeover of HBOS in 2008 and the related government-backed recapitalisations, and Lloyds Banking Group on its £21bn rights issue and liability management exercise in 2009, at the time the UK’s largest capital raising and involving the ground-breaking issue of contingent convertible bonds. He then advised Lloyds Banking Group and TSB on the separation of the TSB business and the £1.3bn IPO of TSB to meet the requirements of the European Commission in connection with the UK government’s recapitalisation of Lloyds TSB
  • Novartis on the sale of its vaccines business to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for US$7.1bn plus royalties. This was part of a complex transaction where Novartis acquired GSK’s oncology portfolio for US$14.5bn and up to US$1.5bn contingent on a development milestone and combined its OTC business with GSK’s consumer healthcare business in a joint venture to create a consumer healthcare business. Matt also advised Novartis on the sale of its flu vaccines business to CSL for US$275m
  • Delphi as bidder on its £1bn recommended cash offer for HellermannTyton, the UK cable management company

Education and qualifications

Matthew studied law at Girton College, Cambridge University

Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and Foreign member of the Dai-ni Tokyo Bar Association