People Detail | Setfords
Paul Gilks

Paul Gilks
Senior Consultant Solicitor - Company, Commercial and Banking

Paul practised at city firms Allen & Overy, Berwin Leighton (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner) and Maclay Murray Spens ( now Dentons ) for the first 25 years of his career.

Before joining Setfords, he was for many years a corporate partner at  Kerman & Co ( now Armstrong Teasdale) specialising in corporate, commercial and banking work.

He continues to advise on a wide range of corporate, commercial and banking matters including recently, the sale of a tech start-up, a sale of a family business and the refinancing of a hotel group. He was ranked by Legal 500 for M&A deals up to £50 million ( tier2) in 2018 and 2019 and for many years has been the contributor of the private equity section of Sweet & Maxwell Practical Commercial Precedents.

He aims to provide clients with pragmatic advice and cost-effective legal solutions often delivered within tight transaction deadlines.

Paul has three daughters ( all now away at University) and when he has some spare time he can often be found on the golf course.

Professional Experience


Acting for banks and borrowers on a wide range of matters including senior, subordinated and mezzanine facilities, inter-creditor deeds, debentures, charges over shares, debt factoring agreements, loan stock instruments and security trustee arrangements.


In November 2020 I advised the partners of a prominent city accountancy practice on the sale of a majority stake in the practice to a German based professional services organisation. Since 2018 I have advised on several hotel acquisitions, sales and refinancings.

I consider myself to be a particular specialist in the sale of family businesses and the issues surrounding business succession planning.

I was ranked by Legal 500 in 2018 and 2019 for mergers and acquisitions work on deals up to £50 million ( Tier 2).


I have acted for both investors and management teams in many technology startups and growth capital investments.

In June 2018, I advised the Zheijiang Silk Road Fund on the 100 million US dollar Series B funding round investment in Cambridge based robotics startup CMR Surgical.

I currently represent two funds invested exclusively in UK commercial property. One is a listed REIT and the other a UK company which is a vehicle for South African based investors.

Since 1992 I have been the contributor of the Private Equity Section of Sweet & Maxwell Practical Commercial Precedents.


For many years I advised a client that became the sixth largest UK coffee retail multiple on its master franchise agreements and joint ventures as well as several refinancings and a pre-pack sale. I have extensive experience advising franchisors on their franchise agreements and multinationals on their distribution agreements.


I have acted for rights owners in the enforcement and protection of IP in both non-contentious and contentious situations. I have good connections with Trademark Agents and members of the IP bar.


I have acted on purchases of assets from administrators and on pre-pack sales. I regularly advise directors on wrongful trading and the other provisions of the Insolvency Act. I have experience of standstill agreements, workouts, debt for equity swaps, subordinated debt, Section 110 reorganisations and other restructuring mechanisms.

Practice areas

Banking & Asset FinanceBusiness LawCorporate & CommercialIntellectual property

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