Corporate partner Simon Wood has returned to AG from a two year secondment as Secretary to the Takeover Panel, where he was responsible for regulating the most significant recent public M&A transactions. Simon is the fourth AG lawyer to have been seconded to the Takeover Panel, the highest number of any institution in the City.

The Takeover Panel is an independent body whose main functions are to supervise and regulate takeovers by administering the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Its central objective is to ensure fair treatment for all shareholders in takeover bids.

While on secondment, Simon was involved with regulating, among others, AB InBev's £79bn offer for SAB Miller, SoftBank's £24.3bn acquisition of ARM Holdings, and Kraft Heinz's abortive approach for Unilever. He was also involved in all the major takeover decisions and policies made over the last two years.

Simon, commenting, said: "It has been a real privilege to have been seconded to the Panel. The two years have been punctuated by several complex, high-profile deals which were implemented against a backdrop of increasing political focus and public debate about the conduct of takeovers in the UK economy.

"The Panel's recent consultation on proposals to hold offerors to greater account is part of a continuing narrative whereby the interests of all stakeholders are increasingly important when considering the merits of a bid. I'm looking forward to using the insights gained as a consequence of my time at the Panel into this and other key strategic areas to ensure our team continues to deliver a premium service for AG's clients."

Yunus Seedat, Corporate and Commercial Divisional Managing Partner, commented: "The fact that we now have four ex- Takeover Panel Secondees (two Secretaries and two Assistant Secretaries) in our public M&A team – more than any City law firm – is testament to the strength of our team. Their combined experience gives our clients the benefit of unrivalled cutting-edge know-how on these transactions and an ability to identify and deal with regulatory and practical issues. Simon has been advising on the most significant public M&A deals over the past two years uniquely positioning us to provide forward thinking, strategic advice with the benefit of his knowledge and experience, as well as the wider team."