Shawn Atkinson



As Europe's premier tech business advisors, Shawn and his team have overseen several hundred venture financings, private equity buyouts and M&A transactions over the course of the last decade. Leading venture capital and growth funds, private equity, and high-growth tech companies rely upon his unsurpassed industry knowledge as much as his relentless commitment to their business.

In addition to sheer volume of deals, Shawn's incomparable market insight stems from his leadership roles at Orrick, the only global firm focused on technology, and his experience working throughout the UK & Europe, North America and Asia. Shawn leads Orrick's London Corporate practice, its Global Emerging Markets practice and co-leads the Global Fintech team and the Global Technology Companies Practice Group. These complement his practice serving public and private companies in UK multi-jurisdictional and complex corporate transactions, including countless acquisitions and disposals, cross-border mergers, bankruptcy infused asset sales, recapitalisations and reorganisations. He is also a recognised leader in late stage venture transactions and in early stage private equity transactions in Europe and the emerging markets.

Drawing from his particular experience with technology and IP rich businesses, Shawn also advises technology companies from incubation through M&A exits, initial public offerings and other growth opportunities. His participation in the private equity and venture capital sector spans his entire career-with time spent in private practice, in-house and advising investors as well as investor-backed businesses-and affords him a deep knowledge and understanding of the industry and client needs and expectations.

Among the leading investment funds he has represented are ABN Amro Digital Impact Fund, Acton Capital Partners, ABRY Partners, Accel Partners, Apax Partners, Bain Capital, Balderton Capital, Battery Ventures, Beringea, Bessemer Venture Partners, Coatue Management, Columbia Capital, CommerzVentures, Evolvence, FTV Capital, Golden Gate Capital, Greenspring Associates, Headway Capital Partners, Innova Capital, Kinnevik, KPS Capital Partners, Marlin Equity Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners, M/C Partners, Piper Private Equity, Piton Capital, Russia Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Summit Partners, Vostok New Ventures and Vostok Emerging Finance.

  • Before his law career, Shawn was a musician and record producer, which culminated in a No. 8 chart listing in the Canadian national chart in 1995.
  • Shawn's recent representations include the following.

    Private Equity and Growth Capital

    • Advised Harbourvest, Columbia Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Innova Capital in respect of the $900 million sale of GTS Central Europe to Deutsche Telekom.
    • Advised CVC Capital on its acquisition of the Polish retail chain, Zabka Polska (the largest ever Polish LBO).
    • Advised Bain Capital on its $3.5 billion take private of the South African retailer, Edgars Consolidated stores (the largest ever South African LBO).
    • Advised ABRY Partners in the acquisition of a controlling interest in UK based software business, Thomsons Online.
    • Advised Battery Ventures on the successful take private transaction of Jeeves Information Systems, a global software company headquartered in Sweden.
    • Advised Amwins Group Inc, which is a PE backed global insurance company, in the recommended takeover, by way of a scheme of arrangement, of THB PLC.
    • Advised MVC Capital in the leveraged acquisition of Gibdock Limited, the holding company for the former Royal Navy dockyards situated in Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean.
    • Advised M/C Partners in the sale of Attenda, a UK hosting services provider (a provider of applications management and cloud hosting services) to Darwin Private Equity.
    • Advised Oaktree and Irving Place Capital on the successful acquisition out of the bankruptcy of the Chesapeake packaging business.
    • Advised a Golden Gate Capital related business on the acquisition and subsequent restructuring of a pan European modelling agency.
    • Advised the Evolvence group on the development and subsequent listing on AIM of its first fund of funds.
    • Advised Marlin Equity Partners on closing its acquisition of a minority interest in SmartCredit Limited (t/a "SmartSearch").
    • Advised a CQS Management Ltd on the successful launch and listing of its credit arbitrage fund in Ireland.

    Venture Capital

    • Advised Bessemer Venture Partners (and certain other shareholders) on their investments and subsequent Nasdaq IPO in French online business, Criteo SA.
    • Advised Accel Partners on its successful investment in
    • Advised on its US$397 million Series G1 financing of online retailer Farfetch and subsequent NYSE IPO.
    • Advised, Inc, a Delaware incorporated online advertising business, in respect of their venture capital backed financing rounds.
    • Advised Vostok Emerging Finance in respect of their investments in: (i) Russian fintech business, Revo, (ii) Turkish payments company, Izyico, (iii) Mexican fintech business, Konfio, (iv) multiple Brazilian fintech businesses.
    • Advised Property Finder International, a Dubai based online proptech business, on its $120m Series B investment round led by General Atlantic.
    • Advised Salesforce Ventures on over 25 investments across Europe.
    • Advised Greenspring Associates in its investment as part of a $136m financing round alongside New Enterprise Associates and Insight Venture Partners in Cvent, Inc, one of the world’s largest online event registration management and web survey businesses.
    • Advised Bessemer Venture Partners on its successful investment in Russian online retailer, KupiVIP, which was Russia's largest ever venture capital investment round.
    • Advised both Stripe and Goodwater Capital on the Series D and E financing rounds in Monzo.
    • Advised Vostok New Ventures and Kinnevik on their investments in the $500 million Series C round of financing in Babylon Health, the largest-ever digital health raise in Europe.

    Public Offerings

    • Advised shareholder groups in relation to the NYSE listing of Farfetch and the Nasdaq listing of Criteo S.A.
    • Advised the Evolvence Group on the Aim IPO of Evolvence India Holdings Plc.
    • Advised GT Solar on its Nasdaq IPO.
    • Advised Bessemer Venture Partners in relation to an undisclosed US listing.

    Corporate, Infrastructure and Telecom Transactions

    • Advised GFT Technologies AG in respect of their acquisition of (i) the UK based Rule Financial Group, and (ii) Quebec City based, V-Neo Inc.
    • Advised a Nigerian oil and gas logistics corporate on their potential acquisition of a certain warehousing and logistical assets.
    • Advised Orascom Telecom on its successful $18 billion LBO of the Italian mobile operator, WIND telecom (at the time Europe's largest ever LBO).
    • Advised a major U.S. private equity house on their bid for the privatization of Slovenian Telecom.
    • Advised the Government of Montenegro on the part privatization of Montenegro Telecom.
    • Advised American Electric Power on the sale of: (i) Fiddlers Ferry and Ferrybridge coal fired power plants in the UK and (ii) European utility assets.
    • Advised several U.S.-listed energy companies on the disposal of certain UK and Central and Eastern European utility assets.
    • Advised a leading U.S.-based energy company on the asset sale of its UK energy and freight trading business and trading book.
    • Advised an Eastern European government on the successful introduction of its first PPP project.
    • Advised a Middle Eastern conglomerate on the structuring and implementation of the first PPP project in Pakistan.
    • Advised a U.S.-based PE related construction business on the structuring of certain infrastructure work (including work related to the economic cities initiative in Saudi Arabia) in the Middle East.

    Central and Eastern Europe / Emerging Markets

    • Advised a U.S. based media company on the sale and acquisition of various telecommunications assets in Eastern Europe, including the acquisition of TV Nova in the Czech Republic.
    • Advised a major Polish bank in respect of its outsourcing arrangements in relation to its structural software credit trading platform.
    • Advised a leading U.S. based telecommunications business on the acquisition of several Romanian television assets.
    • Advised a major Czech power company in relation to its bid for two U.S.-owned power plants in Poland.
    • Advised a U.S.-based investment fund in respect of their potential acquisition of a Romanian software developer.
    • Advised a Vienna based private equity fund in relation to the acquisition of numerous portfolio assets in Eastern Europe.
    • Advised a consortium of U.S.-based private equity funds on the £100m sale of Slovakian telecom operator, Benestra.
    • Advised a U.S.-based investment fund on its investment in a Ukraine based cruise line.
    • Advised a Middle Eastern conglomerate in respect of its North African railway investments.
    • Advised a Nigerian privately held company on its global acquisition plans.