James Halstead


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Covington & Burling LLP
265 Strand
London WC2R 1BH
Tel: 44.(0)20.7067.2052






  • College of Law, Chester, L.P.C., 1998
  • College of Law, Chester, C.P.E., 1997
  • Cambridge University, B.A., 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales

James Halstead is a partner in the Corporate Practice and is resident in Covington's London office.

Mr. Halstead advises on a range of corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, public and private financings, and restructurings.  Mr. Halstead also advises on commercial transactions including technology transfers, intellectual property pipeline arrangements, licensing and joint ventures.

Mr. Halstead acts for companies at all stages of development, as well as investors and management teams.  His practice covers a wide range of industries; he has particular expertise in advising on deals in the life sciences and technology sectors.  Chambers UK (2012) characterises him as "part of the next generation of top operators within the [life sciences] market.”

Representative Matters

  • Advised ReNeuron Group plc, an AIM listed stem cell therapy company, on its £33m fund raising.
  • Advised Axis-Shield plc on the £235 million all cash public takeover offer from Alere, Inc., a US company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.  Axis-Shield is an international company focused on the development and manufacture of important in vitro diagnostic tests for use in clinical laboratories and at the point of care.  Axis-Shield is listed on the London Stock Exchange and also on the Oslo Stock Exchange.  Alere’s offer for the company was initially made on a hostile basis and vigorously defended by Axis-Shield and its advisors.  Ultimately, the board of Axis-Shield recommended an increased cash offer from Alere valuing the company at £235 million.
  • Advised CeNes Pharmaceuticals plc, a company then listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, on the all-share public offer and acquisition by Paion AG.
  • Represented Acambis, a vaccine company listed on the London main market, in relation to the £276 million recommended takeover offer by Sanofi, implemented by a court-approved Scheme of Arrangement.
  • Advised Nikon Corporation on its €72 million public takeover over of Metris NV, a Belgian metrology company listed on Euronext Brussels.
  • Advised on the UK aspects of the $83 million sale of the US environmental consulting firm, Eastern Research Group, Inc. to London listed AEA Technology plc.
  • Advised Advent Venture Partners and others on the sale of visual effects (VFX) software company, The Foundry, to The Carlyle Group.
  • Advised Daifuku/Jervis Webb on their acquisition of automated baggage handling company, Logan Teleflex from GDF Suez.

Honors and Rankings

  • LMG Life Sciences Europe, Life Sciences Star - Financial & Transactional (United Kingdom) (2014)
  • Super Lawyers - London, Corporate Finance (2013)
  • Chambers UK, Life Sciences: Transactional (2011-2012)
  • Legal 500 UK, M&A - Upper Mid-Market & Premium Deals (2013)
  • Legal 500 UK, Equity Capital Markets (2012)
  • Legal 500 UK, Venture Capital (2012)
  • Legal 500 UK, Flotations, Small and Mid-Cap (2011-2012)
  • Legal 500 UK, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology (2011)

Publications and Speeches

  • "Starting the Commercialisation Process – What Issues do you need to Address," NanoEntrepreneurs Workshop "What does it take to commercialise micro & nanoscale research & development? (1/28/2014)
  • "Key Considerations for European M&A in the Life Sciences Sector," PLC Life Sciences Handbook 2012 (2012), Co-Author
  • "Financing UK Life Sciences," PLC Life Sciences Handbook (2010), Co-Author
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