Mark Tasker

Partner and Head of Corporate & Commercial

Recommendations

  • Clients are quick to praise his 'dedicated, focused and committed' approach

    Chambers 2019

  • ‘Very commercial’ practice head Mark Tasker is ‘calm under pressure’

    Legal 500 2017

  • 'Stellar' Mark Tasker is praised for his 'commercial acumen'

    Legal 500 2016

  • "Straightforward and plain speaking, he takes responsibility for getting the job done, as opposed to just going through the motions."

    Chambers 2016

  • Selected as a super lawyer 2014.

    Super Lawyers Magazine

  • Mark Tasker leads a ‘tightly knit’ team whose advice is ‘always clear and comprehensive’.

    Legal 500 2013

  • ...he can roll his sleeves up and go deep into the details to make sure nothing slips through the cracks - a rare combination.

    Chambers UK 2013

  • His proactive approach and willingness to take the initiative are mentioned by sources as just two of the reasons behind his success.

    Chambers UK 2012

Experience

I head the firm’s Corporate and Commercial department and have more than 25 years’ experience of advising clients on corporate transactional work.

My focus is advising on both cross- border and domestic private company transactions including M&A, venture capital and private equity deals. I also work extensively on corporate fundraising including equity capital markets work, in particular AIM.

In addition, my experience includes handling joint ventures, shareholder agreements and group reorganisations and issues relating to shareholder disputes and share rights held by senior executives.

I am valued by clients for being commercial and pragmatic, avoiding the usual “shades of grey” advice and for making firm recommendations.

Recent projects

  • Sale of Mecmesin

    Following a competitive pitch against several other leading law firms, I led the Bates Wells M&A team that acted for the shareholders of Mecmesin Limited on its sale to Physical Testing Properties Limited, a portfolio company of US Private Equity investor Battery Ventures. Mecmesin Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of force and torque measurement and testing systems and operates globally with subsidiaries in the US, Europe and across Asia. The shareholders of Mecmesin were also advised by the corporate finance team at Crowe UK led by partner Matteo Timpani. Matteo was kind enough to say: “This deal was only possible in the tight time frame we delivered it in due to the exceptional work from the M&A team at Bates Wells. Mark Tasker [and Matthew Gearing] worked tirelessly for the shareholders and their commercial and pragmatic approach ensured that an otherwise complex transaction was completed swiftly.” I think that this transaction in particular demonstrates my team’s ability to work on complex, time critical international M&A transactions and our strength and expertise in the technology sector. It was a pleasure to be alongside the sellers at the end of their long journey with this business and the emotion was evident on all their faces.

  • Fundraising for Eyoto

    Eyoto is a spinout from the leading optometry department of Aston University and was established to allow the commercialisation of their AI intellectual property. Its business is highly disruptive in the optometry industry by combining high quality portable and digital eye tests with artificial intelligence driven software platforms. I led the Bates Wells team advising Eyoto on its £5million Series A investment round. The investors were Mercia Technologies PLC, the national investment group focused on the funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions, and an Asian-based investment syndicate. Carl Francis, CEO of AET, said: “Our Series A round was complex and international, and the team at Bates Wells did a great job of getting it over the line. I have worked with them on a number of transactions, and am always impressed at the pace they move and their pragmatic approach.” I have worked closely with Carl for over 12 years in relation to several different businesses and it was a pleasure to be part of his team once again. I think that this transaction demonstrates the excellence of Bates Wells’ corporate finance practice and our expertise in the technology sector and our enduring relationship with serial entrepreneurs.

  • Sale of Netsparker

    I also led Bates Wells’ M&A team representing the shareholders of Netsparker Limited on its sale to Turn/River, a US based private equity firm. Netsparker is a cybersecurity business that provides web application security scanners, which are distributed to clients internationally and developed by its wholly owned Turkish subsidiary. Ferruh Mavituna, owner and CEO of Netsparker, said: "Working with Bates Wells was a delight. Despite the fact we had to contend with several time zones in negotiating and completing the deal, Bates Wells were proactive and attentive and did a great job to get the deal closed on time." Ferruh built a fabulous business and we were all delighted that he was able to exit whilst continuing to lead the continued growth of the business under its new owners. Because Ferruh remained with the business post sale and retained a significant minority interest it was important to maintain a practical and commercial balance between the new owner and Ferruh in terms of the way the business would continue to be managed and this became a key area for our input.

  • Advised national retailer F Hinds on its rescue of Chapelle jewellery stores from administration
  • Advised on the sale of Eos Wealth Management Limited to Close Brothers Asset Management
  • Advised Research Views Limited and its shareholders on the international pre-sale reorganisation and subsequent £67m sale of the GlobalData healthcare business and simultaneous acquisition of a print business

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • I am a non-executive director of the national charity, Starlight Children’s Foundation, which grants wishes for terminally and critically ill children

Publications & Lectures

  • Wrote a number of articles that have been published online and in the national press, on such issues as shareholder disputes/agreements and raising capital
  • Undertook key speaking roles for the American Bar Association on the international private company M&A (Atlanta) and joint ventures (Paris)
  • Chaired a conference in Dallas on comparative alternative investment markets
  • Organised and regularly spoke at seminars on raising capital for an e-business; exits for e-businesses; and investing in tech-focused businesses
  • Spoke as an outside speaker on international mergers & acquisitions