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Francis Dalton


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"Francis Dalton is gifted technically with an ability to distill and explain complicated points and find practical commercial solutions with a really pragmatic approach – a pleasure to work with."
(The Legal 500, 2024)

Francis is a partner in the Freeths London corporate team. He trained at Herbert Smith Freehills and spent 7 years there before joining Freeths in 2017. Francis is ranked as a leading individual in Chambers & Partners (2024 edition). He is listed as a Recommended Lawyer and recognised as a Next Generation Partner by The Legal 500 (2024 edition) in M&A.

Francis has a broad corporate practice which includes both public and private M&A (including corporate finance, private equity and venture capital) and both main market and AIM capital markets transactions. He has experience in a blend of national and international transactions and is used to working across multiple jurisdictions with different laws.

Legal Services

IT & Data


Francis has advised a number of well-known firms on their acquisitions in the technology software. Combining corporate experience with a proven track record in the sector, Francis has advised on acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and collaborations in the software, gaming, hardware and licensing regimes.

Communications Media

Francis has built up a strong practice, advising household names and smaller companies in the communications and media sectors. On the media front, Francis has experience of buying and selling production houses to TV companies and everything in between. On the communications side, Francis has advised on the acquisition of broadband infrastructure and a broadband client base.

Recent Work

  • Advising BAE Systems on the acquisition of a cloud based security firm.
  • Advising on the acquisition of a data erasure company for a public company.
  • Advising on the disposal of mobile hardware business.
  • Advising Sky on acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland for nine billion dollars.
  • Advising on the acquisition of a TV production house.
  • Advising on the acquisition by Sky of O2’s fixed line broadband business.


Private Equity

Francis has a strong practice advising private equity backed portfolio companies on a range of matters including bolt-on acquisitions and disposals, MIPs and cap table management and other day-to-day portfolio matters.

Francis also advises sponsors on platform acquisitions and disposals.


Francis advises both strategics and sellers/founders on acquisitions and disposals across a wide range of sectors.

Venture Capital

Francis has a great deal of experience advising both investors and founders on investment rounds ranging from Series Seed through to Series C and beyond.  Francis is used to advising on a range of different structures to secure venture capital investment.


In addition to the above, Francis has extensive experience on advising on all matters of corporate law including joint ventures, share buy-backs, capital reductions and related matters.

Recent Work

  • Advising on the sale of the European sales arm of Actavis pharmaceuticals.
  • Advising a Big Four firm on a worldwide investment vehicle structure.
  • Advising Management of a Care Homes business on their exit and rollover arrangements.
  • Advising Patron Capital and May Capital on the acquisition of the Laine Pub Group from a blend of Institutional and Management Sellers.
  • Advising private equity managed portfolio companies on their acquisitions and the ultimate exits.
  • Advising on acquisition of the Zen Stationery group by the OfficeTeam group.
  • Advising V.Group on strategic partnership with, and sale of English language testing business to, Ocean Technologies Group.




Francis has advised on a range of matters across the healthcare sector, from the sale of care homes, through to medical devices and pharmaceuticals. The Healthcare sector has seen significant growth in recent years and collaborations and acquisitions have played an important part of this. Francis has advised on licence agreements, fund raisings and acquisitions.


  • Advising on the sale of an international generics injectables business to an American buyer for two billion dollars.
  • Advising a London-based private equity firm on the acquisition of an absence management business.
  • Advising management on a warranty schedule in a private equity sale of care homes.

Drinks, Hospitality & Leisure

Francis has advised on the acquisition and disposal of a number of well-known assets and groups in the drinks, hospitality and leisure sector. In an increasingly regulated market, Francis specialises in navigating client through this matrix to find commercial and practical solutions.


  • Advising Patron Capital and May Capital on the acquisition of the Laine Pub Group from a blend of Institutional and Management Sellers.
  • Advising on the disposal of the Smiths of Smithfield chain of restaurants to Youngs Brewery.



Related News & Articles [ 28 ]

To contact Francis or for more information…

Call: 0345 128 6954
Mobile: 0782 811 5162
Or email: Send an email



Francis and the Freeths team guided us through the whole process with precision and clarity. We obtained a great commercial position as a result of their business awareness and negotiation skills

(Simon Balding, Partner, Hanover Investors)

The Freeths team played a key role in assisting us in this landmark international transaction. The responsive team at Freeths provided innovative and commercial solutions when issues arose.

(Fiona Thomson, CEO of Templars Medical)

“Francis is bright and creative in his approach to legal problems and wider commercial issues. There is a pragmatism in his advice and recommendations which was incredibly valuable to us and an appreciation of the complexities of our business which was exceptionally helpful. He gives clear and practical advice with a focus on the ultimate outcome but also ensuring that the detail is right. Francis led the team at Freeths to a great outcome for us and we look forward to working with him again.”

(Jamie Conway, former CEO of Made Television)

“The Freeths team did a fantastic job in challenging circumstances to complete the transaction on a tight timescale. Peter, Francis and Naomi were extremely professional, hard-working and a pleasure to work with providing creative solutions to problems as they arose.”

(Andrew Knott, M&A adviser to a portfolio of companies)

“Francis is young, down to earth and just gets it done. Francis is very responsive and easy to get on with and knows the TV and broadband industry well through working with a number of other clients in the sector. He is solutions driven and always aware of the bigger picture.”

(Ian West)

“Francis is an excellent practitioner with a wonderful manner. He focuses on driving the transaction forward and dealing efficiently and effectively with any issues that arise.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2024)

“Francis Dalton is a skilful and shrewd negotiator, legally exceptional, easy to work with and very responsive. While he is very hands-on, he lets his very competent senior associate take a lead role in negotiations and only leans in when required to emphasize the importance of his client’s position.”

(The Legal 500, 2023)

“He has a deep understanding of early-stage businesses and we plan to work with him for all future funding rounds.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

“Francis is an excellent M&A practitioner and the perfect partner to work with in delivering deals in the sub £30 million region.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2023)

“Francis Dalton is an approachable and very pragmatic lawyer. He is able to see beyond the legal framework and provides strong commercial advice.”

(The Legal 500, 2022)

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