Mergers and acquisitions
We provide strategic and tactical advice on mergers and acquisitions, applying our unique blend of policy, competition, regulatory, economic and political understanding and experience. We work with our clients, their investment advisers and legal counsel to shape their strategy for success and develop a comprehensive approach to the merger clearance process. We draw on our experience of working inside regulators, competition authorities, government and business to help our clients take account of the perspectives and expectations of different stakeholders.
Right or wrong, merger control is more political today than it has been for decades. In most cases, the economic and legal frameworks are well rehearsed and understood. But it’s clear now that firms need to reflect on ever broader aspects of the context they operate in and the impact they have – look for example at GKN/Melrose and Softbank/ARM. We help our clients shape their strategy to take account of developing policy priorities in regulation, industrial strategy, consumer protection, trade, employment, social impact and more.
- Gather deep insight into the economic, policy and political context affecting potential transactions.
- Understand the specific characteristics of UK and European merger control and, in particular, the links between legal assessment and broader political considerations.
- Develop a strategic approach to clearance before a merger is announced.
- Undertake technical and economic analysis helping our clients focus on the arguments that will have the most significant impact.
- Design and negotiate the right package of remedies to avoid an in-depth investigation or to ensure subsequent clearance.
- Understand the role of the UK Takeover Panel and the external pressures it faces on the development of Post Offer Undertakings.
- Secure a favourable political and media environment in which the transaction is considered.
- Overhauling the engagement strategy and core arguments of a leading telecoms operator, resulting in its successful merger with a rival.
- Assessing the competition implications of different merger scenarios under consideration by a major financial services firm exploring M&A opportunities.
- Supporting a UK FTSE 100 company to engage effectively with politicians, policymakers and the media to mitigate political risks to a takeover.
- Advising a company providing managed internet services in the UK on its merger strategy, including on the implications of a voluntary merger notification.
- Coordinating the input of government affairs, communications and legal advisers in a politically sensitive merger in a regulated industry.
Mergers & acquisitions team
Ed Richards is a founder and Managing Partner of Flint. Ed advises clients who face competition, regulatory and policy challenges. He leads client teams working on issues in a wide range of network industries including across the digital and tech sectors.
Before founding Flint, Ed spent more than eight years as the Chief Executive of Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms regulator. During this time, he worked closely with the European Commission and was Vice Chair of the Body of the European Regulators. Previously, Ed was an adviser in 10 Downing St, and headed the BBC’s corporate strategy team. After leaving Ofcom, Ed led an independent review into financial services representation, which led to the integration of six financial services associations in the UK.
Mark jointly leads the competition and regulation practice. He advises clients primarily across the telecoms, media, energy, technology and financial services sectors.
Prior to joining Flint, Mark was a senior director at Ofcom, the UK telecoms and media regulator. He spent five years as an economic director working on competition and regulatory issues in the broadcasting and telecoms sectors and then moved into a policy director role in Ofcom’s spectrum group. Over a period of six years, he led Ofcom’s spectrum work on satellite and broadcasting and was also responsible for Ofcom’s programme of spectrum auctions. Previously Mark was a senior consultant specialising in the energy and utility sectors.
Lara jointly leads Flint's competition and regulation practice, advising clients in the telecoms, technology, postal and financial services sectors.
Previously Lara was a Director at the Competition and Markets Authority, leading complex inquiries in the Markets and Mergers Directorate. She has also been a Director at Ofcom. In that role she chaired the Remedies Expert Working Group for the Body of the European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and contributed to the formulation of European telecoms policy.
Catherine joined Flint in 2018 to lead Flint’s healthcare work.
Prior to joining Flint, Catherine led the Competition and Cooperation team at NHS Improvement (and Monitor, its predecessor organisation). She has advised boards and senior teams on how to approach large scale transformation to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, taxpayers and the local health system. Catherine also led NHS Improvement's work on patient choice policy and enforcement as well as its commissioning responsibilities. Earlier in her career she worked for the Competition Commission and for a City law firm.
Jonathan provides strategic competition and regulatory advice across a range of sectors, with a focus on NHS hospitals, private sector healthcare providers, health technology companies and purchasers of NHS care.
Before joining Flint, Jonathan worked in the Competition and Cooperation team at NHS Improvement (and its predecessor, Monitor). There he had a senior role in the approach to NHS commissioning and procurement, patient choice and competition, working with NHS organisations engaged in mergers, and commissioners and providers of NHS-funded services. Previously, Jonathan worked at the UK Competition Commission dealing with complex inquiries into mergers and markets across a range of sectors, and in the Competition and Regulatory team of a City law firm.
Matthew leads Flint’s work advising clients on political and regulatory risk across sectors including tech, the sharing economy and life sciences, with a particular focus on the impact of Brexit.
Before joining Flint, Matthew was a Special Adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the coalition government, covering policy areas including the Home Office, European relations and constitutional affairs. He has also written for The Economist on European politics.
Katie advises companies across the economy on the challenges and opportunities they encounter from regulation, policy and politics, providing the analysis and insight they need to address them.
Before joining Flint, she held senior policy and advisory roles in HM Treasury, the UK Department for Business and the Cabinet Office, and established the UK National Infrastructure Commission on behalf of the Treasury as its first Chief of Staff. Before becoming a civil servant she worked in journalism.
Alex leads Flint's Politics and Markets practice.
He was formerly the Chief Political Analyst at JP Morgan, and a senior adviser to the firm’s operating committee. Alex also ran the global research practice at the Economist Intelligence Unit, after a career in private equity and government.
Alex supports clients across a range of regulatory and policy issues, with a particular focus on the telecoms, media and technology sectors.
Before joining Flint, Alex worked in the No 10 Policy Unit where he advised the Prime Minister on economic affairs. Prior to this, he spent 5 years at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in a number of senior roles including Head of Digital Infrastructure and Private Secretary to the Secretary of State.
Karla started at Flint in July 2017. She supports clients across a range of sectors, including industries subject to economic regulation, providing advice on competition and regulatory matters.
Before joining Flint, Karla was an Economic Adviser at NHS Improvement, assessing the effects on competition of mergers in healthcare, and at the Competition and Markets Authority, advising on mergers in a variety of industries. Previously, Karla worked in the UK’s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and the Peruvian telecommunications regulator.
Olivia advises on policy and regulatory issues and political risk. She supports clients in the media, telecoms and financial services sectors.
Before joining Flint, Olivia worked in the Communications and Advocacy team of the European Council on Foreign Relations in London. Previously, she worked for the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne, Australia, where she authored a report on the regulation of Australian trade unions. Olivia has a Master’s degree in European Politics, specialising in the politics of Central and Eastern Europe.