Introduction to the firm's new international leads

Partners, Matt Stoate and Zahir Nayani, have recently taken on the leadership of the Foot Anstey International Team.

Matt and Zahir are perfectly placed to lead the International team. Work often undertaken in their sectors typically has a significant, international aspect, meaning that collaboration with clients and law firms across the world is part of everyday life.

To get to know Matt and Zahir, we asked them some questions about their careers to date and how they approach the international landscape.

Matt Stoate, Partner, member of the Foot Anstey Management Board, Corporate team and Private Equity Sector lead

Tell us about your role at Foot Anstey.

I am privileged to lead the Corporate and Private Equity teams at Foot Anstey.  We have built a deep specialism in advising Private Equity backed portfolio companies, with a real sweet-spot in bolt-ons and buy-and-build investment propositions.  We are an entrepreneurial business with momentum, blessed with a multitude of opportunities, this ambition makes us an exciting place to work.

How did you get involved with international work at Foot Anstey?

Our client base took us there – our clients are international themselves and their acquisitions frequently come with an international element, be it cross-border group structures, customer or supplier arrangements, or financing.  Our clients are at the heart of everything we do, therefore they have informed our international strategy in terms of finding like-minded advisors we can work with in local jurisdictions that are aligned to us in culture, values and quality – we are purposefully not a part of a network in order to be able to find the right firm for our client, depending on their transaction and its needs.

What jurisdictions have you worked closely with?

Again, where clients have taken me! A spate of re-insurer transactions took me to Bermuda (once for 24 hours), but more regularly the mainstream PE jurisdictions of North America and our nearest neighbours in Europe.  A close relationship with the USA is very important to the Private Equity industry.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as international lead?

We have an ambitious four year growth strategy as a firm, focused on our continued evolution of a UK focused high quality national firm.  Our growth strategy will necessitate taking us, through our client base, into new markets and we will need a clear and compelling international proposition in order to compete in our chosen markets.  I am looking forward to the challenge of delivering international reach for the firm in order that we can achieve our strategic goals.

Zahir Nayani, Partner, Islamic Finance Sector

Tell us about your role at Foot Anstey.

I'm a partner in the Islamic finance team at Foot Anstey, having first joined the firm in 2012 when our practice was at a nascent stage in its growth journey.  A lot has happened since!  Thanks to our generous clients and remarkable team, we've been consecutively ranked as a national Tier 1 practice for Islamic finance in the Legal 500 over recent years.  Our client roster includes Islamic financial institutions (comprising both banks and investors), family offices, HNW investors and some really exciting Fintech companies.

How did you get involved with international work at Foot Anstey?

Our practice, by its nature, has a global footprint with most of our clients and deals having a significant overseas connection.  So given the Islamic finance sector's innate international alignment, it makes perfect sense to help shape our international offering when Matt called to gauge my appetite! 

What jurisdictions have you worked closely with?

Due in part to geopolitical trends, inward investment to the UK tends to be cyclical.  Over the last decade, we've seen capital outflows shift from jurisdictions such as Kuwait and Qatar to increasingly the UAE, KSA and Bahrain. Over the years, I have visited most of those jurisdictions to help forge close relationships with both clients and our network of 'best friend' law firms.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as an international lead?

I'm looking forward to making an impactful contribution to our ambitious growth strategy as we evolve into a national firm with a genuine international clout.  There's everything to play for in the execution phase of our strategy – not least taking our Foot Anstey brand to a global audience of potential clients, referrers and collaborative law firms.

Get in touch