Mr. Simpson has been based in London since 1990 and before that practiced law in Skadden’s New York office throughout the 1980s. Mr. Simpson advises clients on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, including contested and hostile bids. He also has significant experience advising a variety of public companies on complex corporate governance issues.
Mr. Simpson’s recent mandates include advising Konecranes plc on its US$1.28 billion acquisition of Terex Corporation’s material handling and port solutions unit; Nokia Corporation in its combination with Alcatel-Lucent; LetterOne Holdings S.A. in its US$5.8 billion acquisition of the oil and gas unit of RWE AG; Israel Corporation Ltd. in its spin-off of Kenon Holdings Ltd. into a separate, publicly traded company; and Colfax Corporation in its US$2.4 billion acquisition of Charter International plc. He also advised Outokumpu Oyj in its €2.8 billion acquisition of the Inoxum business unit from ThyssenKrupp AG, and the subsequent sale of ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni S.p.A. and Outokumpu VDM GmbH to ThyssenKrupp AG; and Alfa-Access-Renova in the US$56 billion sale of TNK-BP to Rosneft Oil Company. These latter three matters won IFLR’s “M&A Deal of the Year” awards for 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.
He also advised Central European Distribution Corporation, one of the largest distributors of vodka in Russia and Poland, in connection with an initial PIPE investment by Roust Trading Limited and the subsequent restructuring of CEDC via a prepacked Chapter 11 filing. This transaction was recognised for its innovation, including “Restructuring Deal of the Year” at the 2014 IFLR Americas awards and “Global Finance Deal of the Year, Restructuring and Insolvency, Europe” for 2013 as part of The American Lawyer 2014 Global Legal Awards.
In 1999, Mr. Simpson represented Gucci in one of Europe’s most significant takeover defence case studies, successfully resisting a hostile takeover attempt by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. He then advised Gucci in numerous acquisitions of European luxury goods companies, including its acquisition of Yves Saint Laurent. Mr. Simpson also advised Gucci and the company’s independent directors in connection with PPR’s (now Kering) 2004 successful public offer for all Gucci shares.
In 2005, Mr. Simpson acted for Arcelor SA against an unsolicited US$22.8 billion bid from Mittal Steel N.V., and in the subsequent US$33.8 billion merger of Arcelor and Mittal in 2006. He also represented Mannesmann AG in the US$199 billion acquisition of Mannesmann by Vodafone AirTouch Plc in 1999-2000. This transaction, which began as a hostile takeover, remains the largest corporate acquisition to date. Mr. Simpson lectures and participates in seminars on topics related to his practice, including those sponsored by the Practising Law Institute and the American Bar Association. He is an adjunct professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz School of Law and is a regular guest lecturer at Harvard Law School and the Luxembourg University. He also has written and co-authored articles for, among other publications, The Business Lawyer.
Mr. Simpson’s transactional experience has been profiled in The American Lawyer, The Financial Times, The Evening Standard and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Simpson consistently is ranked among the top transaction lawyers in Europe according to mergermarket data on the value of European M&A deals. He is one of the world’s leading M&A lawyers, according to the Chambers & Partners guides in the U.K., Europe and globally.
*The firm’s Global Transactions Practice encompasses the mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate restructuring, real estate and intellectual property practices.