Philip Watkins is a partner in the Firm’s International Corporate Practice Group.

He is a senior practitioner in corporate and commercial law, with particular emphasis on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, sophisticated private equity transactions, takeovers, strategic investments, joint ventures, restructurings, re-financings, buyouts and exit strategies.

Over his extensive career, Philip has built a reputation as a trusted M&A counsel to corporations and private equity investors both in the United Kingdom and internationally across a wide range of industries. His expertise spans the energy, technology, media and telecommunications, transportation, retail, hospitality and leisure, financial services and education sectors. Philip’s long-term clients include leading private equity house, Inflexion, the Middle East’s largest integrated media group, Rotana Group, and the international higher education provider, Galileo Global Education.

For close to 25 years Philip has developed an active pro bono practice, and has considerable experience advising high-profile UK charities and non-profit organisations, including The Roundhouse Trust, The Design Museum, The Saturday Club Trust and The Creative Industries Federation.

Before embarking upon his legal career, Philip was a cultural adviser to the Japanese government. He is a founder member of the Practitioners' Advisory Board of the Masters of Corporate Law at the University of Cambridge. Philip holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Oxford and completed his LPC at The College of Law, London. He is admitted to practise in England and Wales.



Representing buyers, sellers and management teams on cross-border M&A, private equity and buy-out transactions involving the acquisition or sale of companies across the world.

Advising private equity houses and private family investors on structuring and executing a broad range of global transactions, including establishing funds and investments in funds and other bespoke and structured investments.

Representing management teams, boards of directors and charitable trustees on a wide range of corporate governance and strategic matters.

Structuring complex joint venture arrangements and strategic partnership transactions throughout the world across various sectors, including education, media and hospitality & leisure.


The College of Law, London – LPC
University of Oxford – M.A.
University of Oxford – B.A.

Bar Admissions

England and Wales
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Co-author "The impact of COVID-19 on domestic and cross-border M&A", Financier Worldwide Magazine, June 2020
Awards and Honors
Recognized by The Legal 500 UK as a Recommended Lawyer for M&A Smaller Deals up to £50m (2020-2021)
Recognized by The Legal 500 UK as a Recommended Lawyer for Venture Capital (2021)