Julian Smith

Position: Partner
Phone: +(44)(0)121 456 8392
Fax: 01212003028
Offices:Birmingham

What can I do for you?

I am a corporate lawyer and specialise in private company M&A work. I have spent the last 17 years helping clients with corporate acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and shareholders agreements and reorganisations/restructurings. Most of my work over the last ten years has been for large corporates on a range of deals from around £1 million to over £100 million.

Supporting my clients’ ambitions

Understanding my clients' ambitions, believing in them and helping them to come to fruition is the biggest attraction for me in my role. Recently a client had to complete a £90 million acquisition in a tight timetable. I helped the client through it from the start of legal negotiations to closing within a three week timetable that nobody except our client and my team believed would be possible.

I have also spent six months on secondment with the in-house legal team of an international health and care services business. That afforded me a tremendous insight into what businesses need from their lawyers. I enjoy working with clients in very different sectors although I have focused in particular on the health sector and am Mills & Reeve's lead partner for our independent health sector work. Recent examples include leading the teams that advised Virgin Care on its £500m deal with NHS Surrey and AmSurg on its UK and European growth strategy.

What do others say?

Legal 500 describes my approach as "exceptionally pragmatic" and Chambers UK comments that "Julian Smith of Mills & Reeve LLP impresses clients with the high quality of his transactional work".  More importantly for me, Chambers UK commented that my focus is on building "long term client relationships".  Happily, the emphasis on strong relationships is precisely what I believe is critical to being able to do the best job possible.

General counsel of a £4 billion turnover business wrote recently, "We hold him in the highest regard. I therefore have no hesitation in commending him to you. He is extremely customer focused." Another general counsel wrote, "total gratitude to you all for everything you have done to get [this transaction] over the line in a record breaking 4 weeks. There are very few teams who could have pulled this off and it's down to your attitude, quality and persistence that we did." According to the CEO of a multinational client, "Julian helped us as we worked to establish operations in the UK. We truly feel like we have added a legal partner to our organisation, not just legal services."

What else should you know?

I contribute to M&A journals, write for private sector health publications and have spoken at Commerce & Industry Group and external training provider conferences on topics such as simplifying due diligence and innovative legal costs managements solutions.