21. M&A Team of the Year (Medium-Sized Deal)-Article-201612061353

(L-R): Awards host David Mitchell; Winston & Strawn’s Jade-Alexandra Fearns, Zoe Ashcroft, Stephanie Levy, Nicholas Usher, Conor Boyle and Daniela Cohen; awards judge Edward Smith

Finalists: Dentons, McGuireWoods, Shoosmiths, Cooley, Taylor Wessing, Ashurst, King & Wood Mallesons (highly commended)

Winston & Strawn took the award in this category after impressing the judges for its work on a deal described as one “that affects everyone”.

A team from the US firm’s London office advised longstanding client Motorola on its £817m acquisition of Airwave Solutions, the owner of the entire UK fire, ambulance and emergency services communications network. It was the firm’s first UK deal for Motorola.

The transaction involved a number of complexities – including the elimination of £2bn of debt via a scheme of arrangement – and several challenging procurement issues. London corporate partner Nicholas Usher led the firm’s team.

It also involved the negotiation of consents from multiple UK government departments, including the Home Office and Department of Health, and the settlement of a number of disputes and ongoing court proceedings between Airwave and the UK government.