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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Tuesday, January 03, 2006

> 3 January 2006

One of the West's largest commercial law firms, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, has appointed a new head of corporate to its Bristol office.

John Williams (37) brings with him a wealth of corporate experience, including seven years with the high profile Slaughter and May corporate team led by Nigel Boardman, and three years as a corporate recovery partner with Bliss Ventures. Latterly, he was business development director at First Great Western Trains, working on its successful bid for the Greater Western rail franchise. A graduate of Bristol University, John completed his MBA at London Business School in 2005.

This strategic appointment is a clear indicator of Beachcroft Wansbroughs' commitment to extending its regional service offering and reflects the growing requirement for a third corporate heavyweight in the region alongside Osborne Clarke and Burges Salmon.

John's arrival coincides with the appointment of Nick Gibbon to the national corporate finance practice. Nick, who will be based in the firm's London office, joins Beachcroft Wansbroughs after more than 15 years with Allen & Overy's corporate department, where he was a partner from 1997.

Bristol senior partner Michael Bothamley says: "We believe that this will strengthen the options available to businesses in the West Country. We have a group of nationally acclaimed corporate, tax and financial services experts in London and we aim to offer an integrated service locally, led from our Bristol office but making the most of our London-based expertise as well. Our corporate finance team has undertaken over 60 transactions in the past 12 months with an aggregate deal value of £750million. It has a particular expertise in the AIM market where it has been involved in approximately 20 deals in the last year. Its current caseload of AIM related work has a deal value in excess of £150million."

Denis Woulfe, regional senior partner of Deloitte & Touche LLP, also believes that the region has a lot to offer: "The professional services market in the West is important to the local economy and ripe for further development. Bringing talented professionals into the region increases our standing as a centre of excellence and it is great to see Beachcroft Wansbroughs investing further in their senior team."

John Williams is looking forward to the challenge ahead: "This is a great opportunity to be in at the development stage of something set to challenge the status quo," he commented. "Beachcroft Wansbroughs already has great strength and depth in the corporate arena and we've now got the chance to bring all of that to bear for companies operating in this region. My aim is to build a regional team within the national practice with a reputation for excellence which can compete with the best."

The firm's national team of seven specialist partners acts for clients across the UK, providing expert advice on all aspects of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, listing and delisting, OFEX/AIM flotations and regulatory issues affecting large corporates.

- ends -

Editors Note:

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,220 employees, including 730 professional staff, it provides fully integrated legal advice and litigation services from its offices in Bristol, Birmingham, Brussels, Leeds, London, Manchester and Winchester. Its customer-focused service proposition reflects both the depth of expertise and the approachable nature of the firm and its partners. It is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

The Bristol team currently includes 34 partners and 175 staff. Its partners have particular expertise and experience in commercial property, public sector, PFI/PPP projects, health, IT, construction, litigation, financial services and employment law.

For further information please visit our website http://www.bwlaw.co.uk or call 0117 918 2000.

Press contacts: Deborah Garritty or Emily Goehler @ Bell Pottinger North 01625 506444
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk


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