Legal Business Blogs

‘A good time to take over’: Stephenson Harwood appoints new head of corporate as H1 revenues up by 17%

With Stephenson Harwood’s chief executive Sharon White this month reappointed for a further three-year term, the high profile transactional lawyer has relinquished her dual role as head of corporate to Andrew Edge, who concedes that ‘it is a good time to take over’, with the department’s revenues up by 17% in the first half of the 2013/14 financial year.

Edge (pictured) formally takes over on April 1 2014, with the firm’s City corporate practice’s revenue on an upward trajectory, having risen to £14.3m in the 2012-13 financial year, up nearly 7% from £13.4m in 2011-12.

Having joined Stephenson Harwood from Ashurst in March 2010 Edge, who specialises in public and private M&A, will manage a team of 67 lawyers including 23 partners covering commercial and outsourcing, projects, funds, tax and competition, and 14 corporate finance partners.

He plans on striking a healthy balance between management and doing deals. ‘I am not going to take my foot off the pedal,’ he says. ‘I became a corporate lawyer to do deals and that is what I will continue to do.’

He adds: ‘Over the last few years the firm has built on the foundations of the strong team we already had. For example, we brought in Tom Nicholls [from Lawrence Graham] and before him, Jonathan Cripps [from Eversheds], and we are feeling the benefits of these investments. It was a slow 2011 but the markets have picked up.’

Nicholls joined the firm in February 2013, having been head of energy and natural resources at Lawrence Graham, and focuses on M&A and equity fundraisings, both on the main market and the alternative investment market. Cripps, meanwhile, now heads the firm’s projects team and is considered one of its top billers. He brought over waste disposal authority client North London Waste Authority in 2012. Other new corporate clients include Schroders Real Estate Investment Trust.

Edge, meanwhile, has led on high value deals including advising Piramal Healthcare, a Mumbai-listed pharmaceutical company, on the sale of its Indian prescription generic pharmaceuticals division to US pharmaceuticals giant Abbott for $3.7bn; representing Baker Tilly on the acquisition of the assets of RSM Tenon Group by way of a pre-pack administration; and advising GDF SUEZ on the £190m acquisition of Balfour Beatty’s UK facilities management division – operating as Balfour Beatty WorkPlace.

White said: ‘Andrew is a highly respected figure in the market and since his arrival, his skill base has enhanced our ability to offer corporate services to a wide range of clients. I am delighted that he will now take up the position as practice group leader of the corporate group, to oversee the growth and development strategy which we are committed to fulfilling.’

The appointment comes as Stephenson Harwood last week appointed Richard Parsons as its new global head of aviation, following the departure of Paul Ng to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.