Robert Darwin


Robert Darwin


London | 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, UK EC4V 4QQ
+44 20 7184 7603 | +44 20 7184 7001


Robert Darwin has a broad international practice focused on private equity and M&A. He executes the most strategic and critical private transactions for global corporates, funds and other private investors, and has been described as “brilliant and incisive” (Legal 500), a “highly rated private equity partner” (Legal Business), and “a very adept negotiator who knows when to be tough and when to be pragmatic”, with “outstanding technical skills” (Legal 500). The Legal 500 UK 2020 edition ranks Mr. Darwin as a "next generation partner" for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and lists him as a leading lawyer for M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals. Mr. Darwin advises clients across a wide range of industries including industrials, technology and retail.

Mr. Darwin is particularly known for his work with global life sciences and healthcare corporations and investors, and is regarded as having "astonishing experience and industry knowledge" (Legal 500). He has led deals of all types in these industries, including strategic collaborations, acquisitions, private equity buyouts and venture deals.

Mr. Darwin authored the Life Sciences M&A section published by Practical Law, and co-authored the UK Chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide to Private Equity. He also participated in a webinar hosted by LexisNexis focused on "Brexit - Implications for the Life Sciences Sector."

  • Merck KGaA on strategic M&A, including its up to €1 billion immuno-oncology collaboration with F-Star and licensing and collaboration arrangements, followed by the subsequent restructure of those arrangements. 
  • Cerberus Capital Management on the sale of Covis Pharma to Apollo Global Management. 
  • Judges Scientific plc on the acquisition of Heath Scientific Company Ltd (trading as Thermal Hazard Technology), a manufacturer of scientific instruments.
  • Compass Pathways in relation to various funding rounds for its groundbreaking work with psilocybin.
  • One of the world's largest family offices on private equity and venture direct and co-investments in the life sciences and technology sectors.
  • Peprotech Inc., a leading manufacturer of cytokines and antibodies for scientific application, in relation to various European corporate matters.
  • The Craftory, the US$400 million challenger brand investment fund, in relation to its structuring and equity funding by three of the world’s largest family offices.
  • Lynwood Investments in relation to its sale of some of its interest in Waterstones Booksellers to Elliott Private Equity.
  • Sedgwick Claims Management (then a KKR portfolio company) in relation to its acquisition of Cunningham Lindsey in the insurance sector.
  • Judges Scientific plc in relation to various acquisitions in the life sciences and health care sector.
  • Advent International in relation to the disposal of Oxea, one of the largest global manufacturers of Oxo chemicals, to Oman Oil Company.
  • Parthenon Capital LLC in relation to its sale of Med-Tel UK Limited, a leading diagnostic group.
  • Intertek Group plc in relation to various corporate matters.
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on its global joint venture in metals machinery technology (with Siemens AG).
  • Inchcape plc in relation to M&A.
  • Bank Otkritie in relation to its acquisition of Rocket Bank (backed by Runa Capital). 
  • BCG Digital Ventures, Deutsche Telekom Venture Fund and Berlin Hyp Venture Fund in relation to various venture investments.
  • A substantial family office as investor in a substantive venture investment in a UK ticketing and events hosting company.
  • Ares Capital and Lyceum Capital in relation to various equity co-investments.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

  • Birmingham University, B.A., 2001
  • BPP Law School, PgDL, 2002
  • BPP Law School, LPC, 2003
  • England and Wales
  • Ireland
Speaking Engagements
  • Markets Group - Private Equity Europe Forum 2019 —  London, (September 5, 2019)