International law firm Osborne Clarke has appointed Rob Hayes as the new Head of its Thames Valley Office with effect from 1 May 2023. Rob succeeds Robert Wood, who has completed two terms in the role.

Peter Clough, Senior Partner, commented: "Robert has done a fantastic job of leading the Thames Valley Team over the past six years and has made an extremely valuable contribution to the leadership of the firm as Head of the office. We're now looking forward to welcoming Rob in to the role as he leads us into the next chapter of our growth in the Thames Valley."

Rob joined as a corporate Partner in in January 2021. A M&A and venture capital transactions lawyer specialising in the technology and life sciences sectors, Rob has already made a real impact since joining the firm. His work includes advising Nexeon on its US$200 million investment to accelerate battery materials manufacturing, Oxular on its US$37 million funding and the shareholders of Lumenisity on its sale to the Microsoft Corporation. He is also co-leading OC Ventures, the firm's designated offering to support key stakeholders operating in the emerging tech ecosystem. 

Rob commented: "I'm delighted to carry on the great work that Robert has done over the past six years and I look forward to leading the Thames Valley Team as we continue to meet our clients' needs. We have a fantastic group of lawyers and business support team in the office which, for me, makes the opportunity really attractive. From a work perspective, I've advised many innovative, high growth businesses based in the Thames Valley, and there's no doubt, regardless of the economic headwinds, the future for the region looks incredibly exciting. We're right in the heart of one the UK's leading business communities, with fantastic opportunities on our doorstep and beyond.

"Our three-dimensional client approach is built around the intersection of services, sectors and the key transformational drivers that are shaping global businesses. Although we are facing potentially challenging economic times, we do want to continue grow our size and scale of our team and we're always on the lookout for great talent to help expand our team of sector and transformation specialist lawyers across corporate, tax and commercial to support the ongoing needs of our local and international clients," said Rob.

In the last 18 months, the Thames Valley team has advised on over 332 deals and projects with an approximate total deal value in excess of £7.345bn. The office head count has also increased to 92 employees including 14 partners. With fast transport links to London and Oxford, the introduction of the Elizabeth Line and the close proximity to Heathrow, the firm sees Reading as a fantastic business centre to be based and work, and has set salaries accordingly - at just 10% less than those in the City, while newly qualified lawyers rates have risen to £81,000, the highest in the region.

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