Geoffrey has been a corporate lawyer for over 40 years, and has during that time provided corporate finance and M&A advice to a wide variety of clients, from multinationals to entrepreneur-owned private companies, across a variety of sectors. His recent work has included advice on bank and other fundings, share buy-backs and commercial contracting.
In addition to his main practice, Geoffrey has been deeply involved in acting for charities which operate academies, establishing the first multi-academy trusts. He spent eight years as a trustee of United Learning, which was then the largest operator of academies in England. He is also a trustee of New Schools Network, a charity which supports the establishment of new state-funded schools in England.
Geoffrey is the author of a series of online courses published by specialist educational publishers, Pearson Publishing, constructing the only available comprehensive guide to the governance of academy trusts.
- Company and commercial law
- Public and private mergers and acquisitions
- Private equity transactions
- Investment/shareholder agreements and disputes
- Corporate finance
- Transactional due diligence
- Auction law
- The creation of the first multi-academy trust to operate a group of academies including persuading the Department for Children, Schools and Families of the value of such a structure, which has now been adopted as the standard structure for operating academies.
- Drafting for the Department for Children, Schools and Families the first Master Funding Agreement for multi-academy trusts.
- Sale by ATV Music and Northern Songs of the Beatles’ copyrights to Michael Jackson.
- Various buy-in of minority shareholdings in the Haymarket Media Group and the related funding by way of bank debt.
- The purchase of numerous publications and publishing companies on behalf of a privately owned media group.
- The creation and subsequent buy-in of executive incentive shareholdings in the privately owned auctioneer business, Bonhams.
- Various group reorganisations of companies within the Bonhams group.
- Various fundings by way of bank debt of the Bonhams group.
- Sale by Sears Holdings PLC of the William Hill organisation.
- The acquisition of control (by way of subscription for shares) by private investors of Fitch PLC.
- The sale by way of a scheme of arrangement of Forward Technology Industries Plc, a listed company.
- Acted for the UK shareholders on the sale of Bonhams to private equity.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by The Legal 500 2021 for M&A: Smaller deals, up to £50M
He is lauded for his command of the legislation surrounding academies, including sponsorship matters. He is “always a pleasure to work with“, according to sources. Chambers UK 2016
“He is extremely knowledgeable on anything to do with academies and free schools. He always delivers services promptly and will go the extra mile to get things completed.” Chambers UK 2015
Geoffrey qualified as a solicitor in 1972. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2019, he worked at the following firms:
- Stone King
- Lewis Silkin