Just a couple of weeks after online fashion retailer Boohoo.com became a stock market sensation, seeing its stock soar 50% on its first day of trading, netting its founders £125m in a matter of minutes, the Burnley-based start-up has appointed DLA Piper, TLT, Addleshaw Goddard and Pannone Corporate to its legal panel.
Founded in Manchester by Mahmud Kamani, Boohoo.com presents an interesting growth story and potential opportunities for its advisers, reflected in part by the fact that the AIM-listed company saw its initial market capitalisation of £560m shoot up to £850m after listing.
This will be the inaugural legal panel for the retailer, which targets 16-24 year olds with its own ranges of clothing, shoes and accessories, with the tender process, which began in the autumn, led by recently-appointed general counsel (GC) Louise Fishwick, who joined last September from the corporate and commercial department of the Co-operative Group.
Fishwick replaces former GC and sole lawyer at Boohoo.com Steve Kuncewicz, who left the company last March after a year to set up a creative industries team in the Manchester office of boutique practice Bermans.
Having advised Boohoo.com on its initial public offering on the alternative investment market (AIM), led by corporate partners Elia Montorio and Stephen Devlin, DLA takes its place on the roster, alongside Addleshaw Goddard, which also played a role on the IPO advising Zeus Capital as nominated adviser and broker with a team led by corporate finance partner Roger Hart, although the two events were unconnected.
The top-25 firm will offer full-service legal advice to Boohoo.com, including IP, commercial contracts and real estate, in a relationship led by Addleshaws corporate finance partner Neal Shepherd.
‘It’s a business that has captured the imagination,’ said Shepherd. ‘There are similar businesses out there, like ASOS for example, and this looks and feels like an exciting business that will grow.’
Meanwhile a team from TLT’s burgeoning Manchester base, which launched last July, will advise the company on a range of legal issues, including contentious IP work, commercial advice, disputes and property issues, led by partner Emma Flower along with partners Stuart Campbell, Graeme Orchison and Dan Sweeney.
Flower said: ‘Growing to become a global brand in such a highly competitive market like retail is a significant achievement. We look forward to supporting the team at Boohoo.com as they continue to grow and build their business and brand.’
TLT’s retail team, led by Perran Jervis, which counts among others The Co-operative Group and WH Smith as clients, recently hired former head of employment at media and commercial law firm Michael Simkins, Mark McQuillan, to support its retail clients on employment matters.
Pannone breakaway firm, Pannone Corporate, which retained the brand following the £33m sale of Pannone’s private client business and some of its commercial team to Australian firm Slater & Gordon earlier this year, will handle IP, commercial and disputes work for the company.
Pannone corporate chairman Steven Grant said: ‘We have worked with co-founders and joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane for a number of years over which time the business has grown into the UK’s leading online own brand fashion retailer.
‘We are delighted to be on the legal panel and look forward to working with the team at Boohoo.com as they continue to capitalise on the opportunities in the rapidly expanding online retail market.’