Fladgate
Flatgate
Flatgate
Julian Lewis

Julian Lewis

Partner

I specialise in mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, private equity and the structuring of transactions in the hotel and leisure, renewables and real estate and co-working sectors. Since 2019 I have combined a busy practice with being the firm’s finance partner.

About

Currently I am an active partner in our corporate and mergers & acquisitions practice, as well acting as the firm's Finance Partner, and between September 2019 and March 2021 I held the role of acting Chief Operating Officer. My practice now focuses on the hospitality sector, in particular advising on hotel acquisitions, disposals, funding, joint ventures & structured real estate transactions as well as general mergers & acquisitions particularly for management owned and controlled businesses. My experience and expertise comes to the fore when I am advising the entrepreneurs and decision makers behind any deal.

I have acted on the sale of numerous family owned and management controlled businesses. I have considerable experience of structuring and negotiating joint ventures especially in the property development space. Whilst working at Betterware I structured and negotiated a joint venture with Avon Products the well-known global direct selling business. We established ventures in Central and South America and Eastern Europe to sell housewares using the Betterware territorial based direct selling system. I acted for Tomkins selling off most of their industrial businesses in the UK. More recently, I was instrumental in finalising negotiations between a family office client and the GLA for a major residential-led riverside development in London.

In addition to practising law in private practice, I have also spent four years running a high net worth private office, whilst acting as Group Legal Counsel to the family controlled listed business Betterware PLC. Subsequently, I was one of three directors who then took Betterware private in a £126m deal with funding from Bridgepoint and CSFB. This unique combination of experience allows me to fully understand the client perspective (having been one for 8 years!) and I bring my unusually diverse experience to the table to close transactions calmly and efficiently.

Expertise

We act across a broad swathe of corporate matters in the UK and internationally on both public and private deals.

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Our team provide real estate sector focused support bringing together corporate, tax and restructuring lawyers to deliver practical, commercially focused and often tax-driven solutions to a wide range of clients.

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A team with the expertise, track record and resources to service a wide range of domestic and international clients on large-scale transactions, and our clients range from entrepreneurs to quoted multinational corporations, we have particular strength and an established reputation in the mid-market.

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We have a detailed appreciation of the hotel industry’s dynamics and an understanding of the corporate, commercial, tax, real estate, planning and construction issues that affect businesses in the sector. This enables us to support clients in undertaking a wide range of sophisticated and complex transactions both in the UK and internationally.

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Through our extensive relationships with law firms around the world, our clients gain access to teams of lawyers worldwide with a deep understanding of the legal issues faced by businesses in the energy and resources sectors. We have particular experience of energy-related transactions in Africa and Eastern Europe.

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Experience

  • Sale of Chester Doubletree for funds managed by Downing LLP. Acted on the sale of the Hilton Doubletree (formerly known as Hoole Hall Hotel) located just outside Chester for various funds managed by Downing LLP. The purchaser was an SPV owned by Marathon Asset Management.
  • Sale of Magal Engineering. Acted for the owner managers on the sale this car part manufacturing business to Arlington Industries
  • Acting for the management of JAC Travel Group on its sale to Webbeds of Australia. JAC Travel Group was a business formed by the merger of Totalstay and JAC Travel which was controlled by Vitruvian Partners. We acted on the merger for Totalstay and its shareholders and were then appointed to advise the combined management team on the subsequent sale of the enlarged group for c £200m.
  • Acquisition by Starboard Hotels of portfolio of IBIS properties. SHL acquired a portfolio of hotels from Accor Group under a purchase to franchise arrangement. SHL took IBIS franchises for all the acquired properties from Accor.
  • Advising Fomento Economico Mexicano in relation to their investment in Heineken. FEMSA one of the largest companies in Mexico merged its brewing business with Heineken and became a significant shareholder in Heineken (probably the largest outside the founding family). We advised on the corporate law aspects of the structuring of its ongoing investment in Heineken.

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