George Knighton

George Knighton

Partner, Corporate; Mergers and Acquisitions
George Knighton is co-head of Skadden’s U.K. Corporate Practice. He has a wide range of experience advising on public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions and restructurings.


Mr. Knighton has been ranked as a leading lawyer in Chambers Global, Chambers Europe and Chambers UK for Corporate/M&A: High-End Capability, in which clients describe him as “an effective and hard-working operator who is very focused on client service.” He also has been recognized as a leading individual for high-end M&A in The Legal 500 UK and for M&A and private equity law by The Best Lawyers in the UK and IFLR1000.

Mr. Knighton’s experience includes advising:

  • Sampo plc on the US$907 million acquisition, from Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited, of the remaining 30% stake in Hastings Insurance Services Limited that it did not already own
  • companies owned by investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP on their investments in Jaja Finance, Wagestream and Bud Financial
  • EG Group on its US$2.8 billion sale of the majority of its Ireland and U.K. businesses to ASDA Group Limited and its acquisition of LEON Restaurants Limited
  • DuPont on its US$2.3 billion acquisition of Laird Performance Materials
  • ASDA Group Limited on its £600 million acquisition of 132 petrol filling station sites from The Co-Op
  • Zelon Holdings Inc. on its participation in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc’s capital raise
  • Zuber and Mohsin Issa, owners of EG Group, and TDR Capital LLP on their acquisition of a majority stake in ASDA Group Limited from Walmart Inc.
  • Sampo plc on the debt financing and shareholder arrangements with joint offeror Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited to support their £1.66 billion takeover bid for Hastings Group Holdings plc
  • Iceland Foods on the acquisition by founder and executive chair Sir Malcolm Walker CBE and CEO Tarsem Dhaliwal of a 63% stake in Iceland Foods from Brait, a South African private equity fund
  • MJ Gleeson plc on its share placing and on corporate governance
  • Phoenix Group Holdings plc on its US$4.1 billion acquisition of ReAssure Group plc from Swiss Re

Mr. Knighton’s M&A experience prior to joining Skadden includes advising:

  • numerous companies on their response to takeover offers, including The Wireless Group plc, Alliance UniChem plc, HBOS plc, DTZ Holdings plc, Misys plc, Virgin Money plc and Global Benefits Group
  • the bidders as part of the takeover offers for easyHotel plc, Quintain plc, Whitehead Mann and Hamleys plc
  • on various IPOs or high-yield bond offers, including for Iceland Foods, Virgin Money, B&M Stores, Neinor and Balta Carpets



  • Legal Practice Course, University of the West of England, Bristol, 1997
  • LL.B., University of Birmingham, 1996


  • England & Wales

George Knighton

Partner, Corporate; Mergers and Acquisitions