What he's best at:
Stephen has been working in the TMT sector, both in private and as a General Counsel for over 25 years. Having been responsible for managing very large external legal budgets as a General Counsel and seeing lawyers "from the other side" as a CEO, Stephen believes passionately that companies and entrepreneurs are entitled to reasonably priced, transparently costed, and above all, commercial legal advice. He specialises in corporate and commercial work, particularly mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings, equity and debt finance, and has a particular interest in the TMT sector. Stephen has strong public company experience, having sat on the boards of a number of publicly quoted companies and has extensive public company secretarial experience.
Who he works for:
- Publicly quoted companies
- Private equity
- Was a key member of the Herbert Smith team that defended BAT Industries from Hoylake's hostile takeover bid.
- Headed McGrigor's Corporate Department.
- Negotiated the terms of the Joint Venture with the BBC that set up UKTV.
- Was one of a team of four executives running Flextech, the largest supplier of basic pay TV stations in the UK and the USA and had several new media interests.
- Led the negotiations for the merger of Flextech and Telewest in early 2000. Flextech's market capitalisation at the time of the merger was around £2.5 billion.
- Leading the team that developed Telewest's restructuring plan.
- Sat on the 8-strong executive board that ran Telewest after it came out of restructuring with additional responsibility for the strategic direction of the content division which operated around 12 television channels.
- Managed Telewest's team of some 13 lawyers, 6 programming compliance executives, 4 media rights executives and 4 regulatory executives providing the full range of commercial legal advice needed by a major telecommunications and media company with over 12,000 employees and a number of regional offices, including commercial contracts, property, banking, litigation, employment, intellectual property and telecoms regulatory advice.
- Took a leading part in the wholesale restructuring of Telewest's capital structure, involving over 2 years of negotiations and litigation in both the USA and the UK, including equitizing around $8 billion of high yield bonds and moving Telewest's country of incorporation to the USA. Stephen was part of the 3-man committee along with the Chairman and the acting CEO set up to formulate and co-ordinate the restructuring.
- Led the legal team in the negotiation and implementation of the merger of Telewest and NTL to create Virgin Media. Stephen was part of the 3-man committee along with the Chairman and the CFO that negotiated and implemented the merger.
- Advised on strategic options for a high growth online retailer, which was eventually sold to US private equity backed strategic investor.
- Restructuring Flying Brands.
- Telewest's legal department was Legal Business In-house TMT Team of the Year in 2005.
- Finalist for Legal Business' General Counsel of the Year 2005.
Previous Law Firms
- Herbert Smith
- General Counsel and Executive Director, Flextech
- General Counsel and Group Strategy Director, Telewest
- CEO, Flying Brands
- Admitted as a Solicitor in Scotland
- Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales
- University of Aberdeen (LLB (Hons))
- University of Birbeck (BA (Hons) History)