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The principal founding partner of White & Black, Phil is our chief counsellor (or ‘consigliere’, as he puts it) and provides strategic guidance to the board. He is custodian of our values and of the ethos that has guided us from our inception.
Described variously as a ‘deal-mogul’, ‘workaholic’ and ‘serial entrepreneur’, Phil has spent over 25 years negotiating, structuring and managing deals of all shapes and sizes, acting for private equity funds, household name corporations, celebrities and entrepreneurs including the likes of 3i, Photobox, Scottish Equity Partners, Jack Wills, Virgin Active, Interflora, Matchesfashion, Reiss, Highland Europe and Idahoan. He has a reputation for speaking truth unto power, making the complex simple(r) and being a strategic thinker.
Phil qualified as a Solicitor in 1996, having graduated from University College London (Dolley Prize winner) and spent the next 20 years specialising in private equity and venture capital deals. Phil worked at 3i, the global private equity group, supporting both its UK and US businesses, as part of which he advised on hundreds of deals in the UK, US and beyond, including the merger of Kingston SCL with Telesens AG, the flotation of Weston Medical and the sale of Bradford Particle Design plc to Inhale Therapeutic Systems Inc. He remains independently ranked as one of the top 25 venture capital practitioners in the UK and ‘Band 1’ ranked by Chambers Guide for Corporate/M&A law in the region as well a being a ‘Top Ranked Individual’. At White & Black Phil’s transactional work spanned the UK, the US, the Nordic Region and Continental Europe, including the institutional buy-out of Matchesfashion by Apax Partners, the merger of Brakes & Fresh Direct, the buy-out of Musto Clothing Group, the acquisition of Zarlink’s semiconductor fabrication business; the sale of Basildon Chemicals to KCC Corporation and the flotation of Focusrite Audio Engineering.
Phil is especially well known for his work in the retail (especially luxury brands) and pharmaceutical sectors (including financing arrangements, clinical trials and IP licencing) and is a regular visitor to Japan, where many of his clients are based, as a result of which he has developed a particular knowledge and expertise regarding the concerns and priorities of Japanese clients.
Phil is also a trustee of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust (and Chairperson of the Development Committee) which works to create vibrant and sustainable communities and better lives for older people. The charity’s Lark Hill village is the largest retirement village in the UK and was featured in the BAFTA-nominated Channel 4 series, “Old People’s Home for 4-year olds”. He is a non-executive director of Tewke Limited and has also served as a non-executive director of various companies, including one of the UK’s leading medical technology companies. He is also the founder of a strategy consultancy. He is also a member of the ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty. Last but not least, Phil is a very proud father of two strapping lads, a keen rugby union and cricket fan and a lifelong supporter of Liverpool football club.