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11th January 2019



10 January 2019 – Charles Russell Speechlys in Guildford has been shortlisted for four Insider South East Dealmakers Awards 2019 including Corporate Law Firm of the Year, Corporate Lawyer of the Year and Private Equity Deal of the Year (with two deals in this category).

The awards celebrate the region’s corporate finance transactions across the legal, accountancy, banking and finance communities, with winners announced at a ceremony on 7 February 2019.

Rebecca Burford, shortlisted for Corporate Lawyer of the Year, led both of the deals nominated for Private Equity Deal of Year and has also recently been listed as ‘Associate to Watch’ by Chambers & Partners, and ranked as ‘Next Generation Lawyer’ in the Legal 500.

The two deals selected as finalists for Private Equity Deal of the Year – Xstrahl and Trusted Housesitters – both relate to management buyouts. Xstrahl, a medical devices business that designs and delivers effective clinical and research solutions to advance radiation oncology, was acquired by private equity firm, Risk Capital Partners, with Charles Russell Speechlys acting as legal advisers to the company’s former CEO and majority shareholder, Martin Robinson.

In terms of Trusted Housesitters, the world’s largest house and pet sitting community, Charles Russell Speechlys advised the management team on a significant investment into the company by private equity firm Rockpool Investments to support the management buyout.

Duncan Elson, Partner and Head of Charles Russell Speechlys in Guildford, commented, “We are all thrilled that the hard work, professionalism and insight of our corporate team has been recognised by the judges of the Insider South East Dealmakers Awards. In particular, I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for Corporate Law Firm of the Year. This is a significant achievement in a highly competitive industry and reflects the success of the whole team over the last year. I would also like to congratulate Rebecca Burford on her outstanding success – she is an asset to the firm and extremely highly regarded by her clients.”

The Guildford team has advised on a number of notable deals over the last year including:

  • The sale of Edge Case Games to Wargaming
  • The acquisition of Santon Group (via holding company EWAC Holdings BV) by discoverIE Group
  • The investment by Business Growth Fund into health and wellness retailer Revital Limited
  • The acquisition of Davison (Chemist) Limited and Dhesi Healthcare Limited by Juno Health pharmacy group
  • The sale of Bedford based veterinary practice Acorn House Veterinary Hospital to The Royal Veterinary College
  • The acquisition of an agricultural spraying machinery company based in the UK by Spanish Co-operative Goizper S. Coop


Charles Russell Speechlys’ corporate team in Guildford is Tier 1 ranked by The Legal 500 for M&A transactions up to £50m based. It is led by Geoff Sparks who was also recently ranked as Band 1 corporate lawyer in Chambers & Partners in the South.

The team has expanded over the last year with new recruits Tertius Alberts and Matthew Carter who joined partners Geoff Sparks, Tim Jenkins, Catherine Drew, Senior Associates Rebecca Burford and Jonathan Steele, and Associates Samuel Milne, Nizmeara Khatun and Abbie Tarrant.

Charles Russell Speechlys employs over 160 staff in its Guildford office at One London Square and provides a full range of services to businesses and private clients in the region, backed by the resources of an international law firm. For further information, please visit