Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Our People

Ashan Arif
Partner

I head the Corporate and M&A practice at Clarkslegal.  I also lead the technology team and head up media & entertainment law at Clarkslegal.  I am a director of specialist tech start-up advisor, forburyTECH Ltd and company secretarial provider, Clarks Nominees Limited. 

I have extensive experience in providing corporate, company and banking advice to a wide range of clients including start-ups, high net worths, owner-managed businesses, SMEs and large listed corporates across a range of sectors with a particular focus on the technology, media & entertainment, motor and hotel industries.

I am supported by an excellent and capable team of corporate and commercial lawyers and have undertaken a broad range of transactional and advisory work.

I advise start-ups, principally in the technology sector, university spin-outs and early stage companies. The key constraint for clients is usually a lack of funds and I look to find ways to help grow the business quickly and efficiently through our relationships with investors and financiers.

I regularly advise clients on mergers, acquisitions and disposals, including management buy-outs and buy-ins, acting for a wide range of clients including SMEs and large listed corporates. I advise clients from a commercial and strategic perspective, as well as legal, and always look to be involved in transactions as early as possible. This gives me a leading insight when advising the client.

I have extensive experience in advising clients raising equity finance, whether it is through angel investment, private equity or venture capital. Often these transactions can involve difficult negotiations but I can add value to key negotiations and work closely with my clients to achieve the desired outcome. I also have extensive experience of acting opposite the companies seeking to raise the funds, which gives me a good appreciation of the issues involved.

I regularly act for exiting owner managers and shareholders of SMEs on the sale of their company. A company sale can be tough for the unprepared and I take time out to specifically prepare the client for the sale process beforehand. I find that these particular clients are often emotionally attached to the business so can require a different approach compared with advising a corporate client.

I am often involved in advising clients on debt finance and related security documentation, whether as part of a corporate transaction or a stand along financing. This includes advising on loan agreements, debentures, charges, guarantees and other forms of security as well as satisfying the lender’s requirements. I also advise clients on Islamic Finance.

I have a number of clients who require advice in relation to the reorganisation of their company, group of companies or a specific part of their business. I work closely with the client’s accountants and tax advisers as this type of transaction is often driven by finance and tax factors.

Unfortunately we are seeing an increasing number of disputes between shareholders. I have advised numerous clients on successfully settling shareholder disputes with a key aim always to try and preserve the integrity of the ongoing business.

I have extensive experience of advising clients on shareholders’ agreements and joint venture arrangements. I often help clients understand the importance of documenting key issues to govern the relationships of the parties to ensure that there are sensible and relatively easy options in the event of key scenarios arising, such as a shareholder dispute or the death of key a shareholder.