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Gareth Sykes

Gareth Sykes

UK Head of Corporate Governance Advisory

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 leads the firm's Corporate Governance Advisory Team in the UK, helping listed and private companies navigate the increasingly complex and challenging corporate governance landscape. He is listed as a "rising star" for corporate governance in the Legal 500 UK 2021 and 2020 Rankings and was named "next generation lawyer" in the 2019 and 2018 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".

Gareth's expertise includes advising on corporate reporting requirements, the Corporate Governance Code, continuing obligations under the Listing Rules and Market Abuse Regulation, company meetings and directors' duties. He regularly advises a large number of listed companies on governance issues include Associated British Foods, British American Tobacco and PageGroup.

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. He focuses in particular on corporate governance issues, corporate reporting and matters relating to the Companies Act 2006. 

Gareth writes widely on corporate governance matters and is actively involved in various industry bodies.

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 which included advising:

  • TUI Travel on its £5.2 billion merger by scheme of arrangement with TUI AG to create one of the first German incorporated, LSE listed, FTSE companies
  • Citigroup and Lazard as sponsors on GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis’ $23 billion asset swap and formation of a new consumer healthcare joint venture
  • Pearson on a number of transactions including the sale of its 50 per cent stake in the FTSE International index business to the London Stock Exchange 
  • Connect Group on its £55 million rights issue to part fund its acquisition of Tuffnells Parcels Express and on the acquisition of the Consortium 
  • Petroceltic International on its share placing, takeover approach by Dragon Oil and campaign by an activist shareholder



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.