Neil Foster is a corporate technology Solicitor with over 20 years advising on complex transactions. His practice covers mergers & acquisitions, venture capital & private equity and corporate finance. His principal sector experience is in the areas of technology and telecommunications, media and entertainment, life sciences and energy technology. As well as advising UK companies, venture funds and intermediaries, Neil represents many large U.S., Middle Eastern, South African and Asian corporations on their UK and European deals. Neil qualified in 1996 and became a partner in 2003.
Neil is experienced in complex cross-border transactions. This work is balanced between in-bound deals for large international corporates and deals for UK companies especially where IP and/or technology are the key assets.
Within the technology sector, Neil's practice covers the whole range of hardware, software, security and data usage, online assets, IT services, blockchain, engineering assets, environmental technologies, cleantech and alternative energy. In the media and telecoms industries, Neil's practice covers digital media, online and offline brands, mobile and other telecoms, broadcasting, games, television channels, distribution and content. His practice in the life sciences sector covers discovery and therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, services and software.
Neil is a regular speaker at venture capital, technology, media, biotechnology and corporate finance events. He was a mentor to CEOs of emerging companies at the European Venture Academies in Copenhagen and London, concentrating on fund raising strategies and techniques.
Neil is a member of British-American Business, Inc., the transatlantic trade body, and sits on their Information, Communications and Entertainment Committee. He wrote the chapters on UK-U.S. mergers and acquisitions in their 2007 and 2008 editions of its Guide to Investing in the UK.
Neil is on the Advisory Committee for Global Corporate Venturing (GCV) magazine (2011 to date) and was a judge for GCV’s Annual Awards in 2011 and 2012. He was also the first lawyer internationally to be invited to join the “Faculty” for the Global Corporate Venturing Academy, where he teaches "Deal Execution and Terms" and also "International Directors' Duties and Governance".
Neil has been ranked as a “Leading Individual” by Chambers for Corporate/M&A every year since 2010. In Chambers UK 2014, clients report that Neil Foster is a “seriously delivery-focused lawyer” and “a real deal closer.”
The 2015 Chambers UK directory stated that “they put heart and soul into it. The team went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly” and that “they really know our business and are able to provide advice tailored to what we need.” Neil Foster provides “a huge amount of added value” for clients, owing to his “commercial knowledge and professional insight.”
Legal 500 described Neil as a "very driven deal closer" in the M&A section of its 2015 edition and that he has an "excellent reputation in the tech and cleantech sectors" and was "praised for his great expertise in corporate venturing" in the Venture Capital section of Legal 500, 2015.
Chambers highlighted Neil's "precision, commercially dexterous advice and cross-border knowledge" as key aspects. Legal 500 stated in its 2018 edition that the "smart, highly competent" Neil Foster "uses his sector expertise well" and "is a hard act to follow in mid-market technology M&A".