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Gareth Sykes

Partner, UK Head of Corporate Governance Advisory
Partner Regional Head of Practice

Gareth is a corporate governance specialist, helping listed and private companies navigate the increasingly challenging corporate law and governance framework. He leads the firm's Corporate Governance Advisory Team in the UK.

Gareth's expertise includes advising on corporate reporting requirements, the UK Corporate Governance Code, continuing obligations under the Listing Rules and Market Abuse Regulation, company meetings, directors' duties and returns of value to shareholders. He advises a range of listed and private companies on these issues including Associated British Foods, Kin and Carta, Renishaw, Severn Trent, The Unite Group, Wickes and WH Smith

Gareth is listed as a "next generation partner" for corporate governance in the Legal 500 UK 2022 Rankings. Clients say that "he is knowledgeable, pragmatic and swift in response" and that he "is incredibly supportive and provides good commercial advice and recommendations".

A key part of Gareth's role is horizon-scanning, analysing new law and regulation to ensure that the firm's clients anticipate and remain at the forefront of corporate law and regulatory developments and practice. Gareth is actively involved in a number of industry bodies and is a member of the Financial Reporting Council's Stakeholder Insights Group. He also writes widely on corporate governance matters.

Prior to his current role, Gareth advised a variety of corporates and investment banks on a wide range of transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and equity capital markets transactions.


Gareth studied law at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge and Birmingham University. He joined Herbert Smith in 2008 and qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2010. 

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • advising a large number of listed companies (FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE Small Cap and AIM) including Associated British Foods, Renishaw, Severn Trent, The Unite Group, Wickes and WH Smith on a range of corporate governance issues including corporate reporting requirements, annual general meetings, continuing obligations under the listing regime and day-to-day corporate governance issues
  • advising global digital transformation consultancy Kin and Carta plc on its accreditation as the first certified B Corp listed on the London Stock Exchange as well as on a range of ongoing corporate governance issues
  • advising companies including Associated British Foods and Pearson on their share buyback programmes
  • advising Airtel Africa on the full spectrum of corporate governance issues arising from its listing including in connection with its annual general meetings and annual report and accounts; on event driven disclosures and continuing obligations arising under the listing regime as well as on a number of day-to-day corporate governance issues
  • advising on a range of corporate governance issues following its initial public offering in 2021 including in relation to corporate reporting requirements, its annual report and annual general meeting, director and board matters, remuneration and share plan issues, continuing obligations under the listing regime and day-to-day corporate governance issues
  • advising, on a pro-bono basis, one of the UK's leading impact investors and social finance providers, Big Issue Invest, which forms part of The Big Issue Group, with a review of its corporate governance arrangements
  • advising the Bank of England on its the 2017 review by its Non-Executive Directors of its approach to conflicts of interest
  • advising Petroceltic International on its share placing, takeover approach by Dragon Oil and campaign by an activist shareholder