Legal Business Blogs

Independent transactions specialists

In conversation, we asked Daniel Jacob how Marriott Harrison is helping to bridge this gap working alongside international law firms to achieve their clients’ objectives

What is Marriott Harrison’s position in the market?

Our position as a leading London-based independent specialist for venture, growth equity, M&A, and buyout transactions has been earnt by our role as investor counsel to many of the world’s most recognised VC funds and PE houses, our pragmatic and responsive strategic advice delivered to founders and management teams, and our role as go-to firm for US and European law firms seeking local advice for their clients.

While our team have been known for over a decade as a leading adviser in this space, there has recently been a significant increase in our profile and offering in the ecosystem as actively sought-out participants.

Our team delivers the specific mix of legal transactional and strategic business-related advisory demanded by innovation focused companies and investors.

Tell us more about the growth market you operate in?

We are active with transatlantic, pan-European, and Asian corporate transactions for UK, European, and US companies and their top-tier investors. These transactions involve an equal representation of innovating companies and prominent investors on VC and mid-market M&A deals.

We have intimate knowledge of the context and work required at every stage of growth, through deal structuring and negotiation for venture and growth capital, international expansion, M&A, and the critical, often unpredictable, moments that follow on the path to exit for founders, management teams, and investors.

How does the Marriott Harrison team stand out in the high-growth market?

We have built our team opportunistically around the demands of the fast-changing high-growth market. We are 60 lawyers, including 25 partners, supported by 20 professionals. We operate as one multi-disciplinary team – that brings a diversity of perspective to each matter, deep collaboration, and a relentless focus on outcomes for our clients. We have shaped the team around a solid core of transactional lawyers, led by our head of corporate, Jonathan Leigh-Hunt, with strategic business-related lawyers in employment, commercial, IP advisory, real estate, tax, banking, restructuring and disputes.

The entire team have opportunities to work on challenging and complex matters for sophisticated clients operating in dynamic fields. We are embedded in our ecosystem, and each member of our team understands the market, can pre-empt potential issues before they arise, and deliver clear strategic foresight.

What do you consider to be the most important business value?

Put simply, it is trust. This trust has been built on our consistent delivery, strategic advice, and collaborative culture. We have collaborated with many of the top firms and advisers across the City of London and act as a hub for international firms, some of whom have a UK footprint. The longevity of these relationships has been based on the level of trust we have built up over many years. We have fostered a culture of collaboration with top-tier funds, founders, management teams, strategic partners, and other law firms working in our network.

How does your business model best fit the changing needs of the market?

I am confident about our position in this market given our mix of legal transactional and strategic business-related advisory skills needed by our clients.

In a turbulent year, we have deepened our relationships with our clients, helping them through difficult strategic decisions to be made in unstable times. We have seen a significant increase in instructions in the AI sector, with a myriad of early-stage AI companies bucking the trend of difficult fundraising conditions. Despite market conditions, the number of later growth stage and M&A deals executed by our team has also increased.

Working in such a dynamic market means we always have our ears to the ground and understand the changing landscape. David Strong, partner and head of VC was recently quoted, stating: ‘There is renewed hope in the market, with early stage investing on the rise. A number of our investor clients are increasing their activity compared to the past 18 months, and we are having many more conversations about growth stage rounds with businesses that last year weren’t daring to go to market.’

Our independence has enabled us to develop excellent international relationships, with US, European, and Asian venture and growth capital investors, the companies that will raise with them, and their strategic partners.

We have acquired valuable expertise through our work supporting VC-backed businesses through their early and growth stages, that makes us strategically well placed to assist with opportunities that come through M&A, PE acquisition, and international expansion. We act for many large US corporates who are PE backed doing large strategic bolt-on acquisitions in the UK.

Businesses from all industries are increasingly reliant upon innovation and technology to deliver services and develop and manufacture products and we find ourselves now working alongside management teams and companies from all industries as well as pure technology.

For more information, please contact:

Daniel Jacob
Managing partner

Marriott Harrison, 80 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6EE

T: +44 (0)20 7209 2006