International legal practice Osborne Clarke has boosted its ranks with the appointment of life science Partner Matthew Edwards, transport and automotive Partner Ed Barratt and banking Partner Laurie Keel.

Matthew Edwards

Matthew is an Australian and English-qualified lawyer who specialises in advising clients in the life sciences sector.

Matthew advises on a wide range of corporate matters including venture capital investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and IPOs and other securities issues. Matthew has worked with companies at all stages of development, from early stage companies through to listed plcs, as well as investment funds and investment banks operating within the sector.

He joins Osborne Clarke from Inventages, one of the world's largest life science, nutrition and wellness focused venture capital investors, where he was General Counsel.

As General Counsel, Matthew was responsible for providing advice to Inventages' investment professionals and to its portfolio companies. He advised the fund on, amongst other matters, its work with Phagenesis, MSI Methylation Sciences, Shield Therapeutics and AM-Pharma B.V.

Before his move in-house, Matthew was a Counsel in the corporate team at Covington & Burling, and an associate at Morrison & Foerster, and Slaughter and May.

Matthew will be based in Osborne Clarke’s London office and will work alongside sector head Dr Janita Good.

Janita said: "It's a pleasure to welcome Matthew to the team. Our life sciences and healthcare practice maintains a prominent position in the market and continues to produce strong financial results.”

"Matthew's appointment will deepen and strengthen Osborne Clarke's life sciences and healthcare sector expertise. He brings with him strong relationships to complement the practice's existing client base.”

"We want to grow the sector and the services we offer. One of the ways we are looking to do this is by making strategic partner hires. Matthew's excellent technical skills, coupled with his relationship building ability gives us the added resource we need to keep raising our market profile."

In addition to his legal qualifications, Matthew holds a degree in Japanese Language from the University of Queensland.

Osborne Clarke’s life science and healthcare sector team has a strong track record of providing highly sophisticated advice to biotech clients on cutting-edge issues, across multiple service lines. They work with the biggest pharma and medical devices companies in the market.

Ed Barratt

Osborne Clarke's second Partner appointment is Ed Barratt. Ed will be joining the Transport and Automotive sector as part of the Osborne Clarke rail team, led by Partner Lara Burch.

Ed is a highly experienced lawyer specialising in rolling stock asset finance and rail franchising. He joins from Burges Salmon where he has spent his career since qualifying in 2004.

Ed has an in-depth understanding of rolling stock manufacture and supply/maintenance contracts and financing structures and how operator, manufacturer and owner/lessor interests are managed in the highly-regulated context of UK rail operations. He has led the procurement of several high profile new train fleets for major train operating companies.

Ed is also a specialist in intelligent mobility, with expertise in connected and autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles. He has written blogs and articles on electric vehicles and has spoken at the All Energy, Highways UK and Regen Smart Energy Marketplace conferences.

In addition, he has extensive wider experience of corporate transactions and other projects, with a focus on rail and transport.

Partner Lara Burch said:

"Our rail practice has a strong market profile and I am thrilled that we attract talent of Ed's calibre.

As a highly capable rail asset finance lawyer with a well-recognised profile in the market, Ed will boost our team capabilities and allow us to offer a well-rounded service to our clients."

Osborne Clarke's rail team is the 2018 Legal 500 UK Rail Firm of Year. The team advises rail operators, manufacturers and rolling stock lessors. Ranked in band two for London and band one for the South West by Chambers, the team has been praised by The Legal 500 for its "excellent client care".

Laurie Keel

Osborne Clarke's third appointment is Laurie Keel. Having spent seven years with Slaughter and May and most recently five years with Addleshaw Goddard, Laurie is an established partner in the London market, with a broad practice covering the full spectrum of financing work, but with a particular focus on sponsor-backed leveraged finance and general corporate lending, in each case representing both borrowers and lenders. Laurie will work closely with Max Millington, also a Partner in the London team, who joined in September 2017 from Freshfields, to expand Osborne Clarke's offering to debt funds and other financial institutions.

Laurie’s appointment will bring Osborne Clarke’s UK banking team to 11 partners.

Tim Simmonds, Head of the Projects, Real Estate and Finance Practice Group at Osborne Clarke, said: "Laurie is a known Partner and very well regarded by those who have worked with him. Since Max joined, we've made good progress in the leveraged space and now with Laurie joining the team, it will further strengthen our sponsor finance and corporate banking credentials."

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