FFW aids Sovereign allay shareholder revolt

Corporate partner Dominic Gurney-Champion advised the company throughout the attempt by rebel shareholders to oust the board and install Countrywide chairman Harry Hill as head of the fund.

The dissenting shareholders were represented by Berwin Leighton Paisner corporate partner Alex Latner.

Sovereign provides equity release ­services for retired homeowners and third-party investors.

Gurney-Champion said the vote of confidence by shareholders as to the existing board was “a very good example of shareholder democracy” and that “the shareholder vote represented a strong endorsement of the existing board’s strategy”.

The company also raised £3.6m in a fundraising brokered by financial adviser Charles Stanley, which was represented by Maclay Murray & Spens capital markets partner Joanna Higton.
FFW has represented Sovereign since 2004, when it advised on its AIM entry.

The shareholder revolt centred around plans mooted by the rebels to secure more income for investors by selling assets. Only 36 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the new strategy.