(L-R) Pinsent Masons partner John Tyerman, legal director Thilo Schneider and associate Ciaran Wilkinson

Finalists: Gibson Dunn; Reed Smith; RPC; Simmons & Simmons (highly commended); Stephenson Harwood; Taylor Wessing; White & Case (highly commended).

Pinsent Masons took the award for M&A Team of the Year (Medium-Sized Deal) in recognition of its work helping pharmaceutical giant Teva acquire Allergan’s global generics business.

As part of the deal, Teva was required to divest certain Allergan assets and operations in the UK and Ireland to meet European Commission rules. That was particularly challenging for Teva, as it meant disposing of assets that it did not actually own, nor had insight into.

Such a ‘blind’ sale meant that Pinsent Masons had to take an innovative approach by combing through public records to ascertain what assets the group owned and cross-referencing them with the limited information they received from Allergan’s UK unit, enabling the firm to map out the UK and Irish Allergan assets.

Given the short timeframe in which Teva would need to auction off the assets, identifying those assets was critical to proving the underlying value of the business and therefore the price it could fetch.

To assist in the process, the firm hired an external project manager with a background in IT project management to better execute the data gathering and asset mapping aspects of the deal. “Really clever thinking from Pinsents – a really complex deal,” said a judge.