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David Sonter


Mergers and acquisitions |

... everything I believe lawyers should be but unfortunately very few are.

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About David Sonter

David builds long-term relationships by focusing on issues of strategic importance for his clients and acting as a trusted adviser to senior executives. He draws on his economics training and over 25 years’ legal experience advising a diverse range of companies and sectors around the world.

David’s transactional work includes acquisitions, disposals, takeovers, joint ventures, equity capital markets and restructurings in the private equity, telecoms, retail and energy sectors in over 15 countries.

David is highly regarded as an M&A and private equity lawyer in IFLR’s law firm guide, was recognised by Deal magazine as their 2018 European Technology and Telecoms lawyer of the year and led the Freshfields team recognised at the 2021 British Legal Awards for successfully navigating the complex, parallel administration sales of Arcadia’s retail clothing brands to multiple buyers during the first wave of COVID during winter 2020/21.

Recent work

  • CVC on its £767m take private of London-listed Eastern European drinks group Stock Spirits and several other significant transactions (including CVC’s strategic secondaries partnership with Glendower Capital).
  • Compass on its £2bn share placing, Fulller, Smith & Turner on its £54m share placing and Deliveroo and Pepco Group on their £7.6bn and £4.3bn IPOs.
  • Tesco on its £3.9bn cash-and-shares merger with Booker, strategic alliance with Carrefour, £8.2bn disposal of its Asian business and £5bn special dividend.
  • The joint administrators of Arcadia on the sale of its Topshop, Topman and other clothing brands to ASOS, Boohoo and City Chic.
  • Cosan on the restructuring of its shareholder arrangements with Shell as part of the $14.3bn IPO of its Raízen Latin American renewable energy JV.
  • Liberty Global on its €19bn Dutch telecoms JV with Vodafone, its €1.9bn disposal of UPC Austria to Deutsche Telekom, its €19bn disposal of UPC Germany and CEE to Vodafone and its 9.9 per cent stake in ITV.



  • University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (law, economics)