AN OVERVIEW OF LEADING
WEST MIDLANDS SOLICITORS
A fantastic team
5th largest accOunting firm, glOBally.
expert-leD, agile teams.
innOvative fee structures.
BDO has a global Forensic Accounting team who works in partnership with lawyers. Our
technical knowledge and sector expertise has seen us work with regional, national and
international law ﬁrms, and regulatory bodies, on professional negligence claims, fraud
investigations, commercial disputes and acting as expert witnesses.
We operate on a local and global basis to deliver complex engagements, and our knowledge bank and critical mass can address market
challenges where ever they may be. Our market position gives us agility and ﬂexibility to create bespoke teams to meet our client needs
and our expert-led approach allows our clients to access the right people, quickly.
To ﬁnd out more about BDO’s Forensic Services in the Midlands, please contact: Sat Plaha on 0121 352 6210 or email email@example.com
BDO LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct investment business.
chambers & partners 3
with real strength and depth
In-depth and respected
Joe Mosby, Editor, Chambers UK
of the heights of 2008-09, when its turnover reached number of individuals on circuit have been included Joe Mosby
£125.6 million. this time round.
The practice areas we cover in Chambers UK: A Client’s The broader industry trend towards mergers aimed By way of illustration, its two main leading lights, St
Guide to the UK Legal Profession are determined by what at strengthening a position within an increasingly com- Philips Chambers and No 5 Chambers have both posted
clients tell us would be most useful to them. To this end, petitive market has also been evident in the West Mid- healthy increases in the number of rankings they re-
our researchers seek to identify the prevailing trends af- lands. ceive. St Philips Chambers has increased its total by 15
fecting clients in the legal market across the UK. This Shakespeares has made a number of significant tie- per cent and more, while No 5 Chambers has notched
in-depth knowledge is reflected in our rankings. ups over the past 18 months as part of a concerted effort up around a third more rankings than in the 2011 edi-
to boost its presence in the region and nationwide. Its tion.
most recent merger, with Solihull’s Wood Glaister, will At Chambers UK, it is our aim to highlight those law
West Midlands go live on December 1. firms, barristers’ sets and individual lawyers who are
However, market observers warn that mergers should recognised as exceptional within their market. In order
2011 has been a tough year for the economy in general, not be seen as a panacea and in some cases present to identify the market leaders, we undertake a research
and the legal industry in particular. The challenge fac- their own difficulties. In short, there is no simple solu- process that involves an unrivalled number of interviews
ing law firms across the country is reflected in the key tion to the pressures facing the industry. Nevertheless, with key industry figures – over 40,000 last year.
indices of turnover and profit per equity partner (PEP), the feedback we have received from the market reflects These in-depth interviews with lawyers, their clients
with the vast majority of firms posting figures signifi- a willingness to adapt. Those firms that have distinct and other informed observers gives us great insight
cantly below pre-credit crunch levels. Birmingham giant fields of expertise and excel at providing top-notch client into developments in the market. Consequently, clients
Wragge & Co. has adapted better than most, with turno- service will continue to thrive. across the globe respect our rankings, and recognise
ver growing 17.6 per cent over 2010-11. The Birmingham Bar meanwhile continues to do our independence.
The firm has also recently posted half-year turnover well in challenging economic times, and its sustained I hope you find our rankings useful. To learn more,
figures that showed a 5 per cent increase on this time strength is reflected in the increased coverage afforded please visit our website at www.chambersandpartners.
last year. Nevertheless, last year’s figures were still short to it in the current edition of Chambers UK. A greater com or email me: JoeM@chambersandpartners.co.uk.
A team widely known for strength in serious crime
Band 1 largest legal aid providers in England, and is ac- munication.” Key matters include advising high-
Crime Challinors Solicitors cordingly an extremely high-profile name. profile sports personalities on road traffic issues.
West Midlands Market sources agree that serious crime is one of KEY INDIVIDUALS James Turner is a duty solici- KEY INDIVIDUALS The well-regarded Catherine
Leading firms this firm’s key strengths. It has offices throughout tor and solicitor advocate who heads up the group Junor heads up the group and she is regularly re-
Band 1 the West and East Midlands, and peers are “happy and enjoys a “good reputation” in the market. tained by high-level company directors and sports
Challinors Solicitors to refer it high-level work.” Recent highlights in- He recently acted for the defence in an armed rob- celebrities.
Jonas Roy Bloom clude advising on R v JT, a Court of Appeal case bery prosecution.
concerning a murder conviction. Kangs Solicitors
Tuckers Solicitors KEY INDIVIDUALS Ghulam Sohail practises out Band 2 This team is located in south Birmingham and
Band 2 of the West Bromwich head office. He wins consid- Cartwright King although its reputation traditionally lies in fraud
Cartwright King erable acclaim for being “conscientious This firm is traditionally known for its strength work, it has also been developing a significant
Glaisyers and very reassuring with clients, but not in a in the East Midlands although it recently made general crime practice of late. Work has included
Higgs & Sons forced way.” some prominent lateral hires, giving its new Bir- significant drugs cases.
Kangs Solicitors mingham-based criminal practice a good start in KEY INDIVIDUALS Punjabi speaker Hamraj Kang
Jonas Roy Bloom establishing a regional profile. is lauded for the strength of his client care.
Purcell Parker Solicitors This is a well-known criminal and commercial KEY INDIVIDUALS David Roy is known mainly
Russell Jones & Walker firm in Birmingham city centre and sources for his fraud and regulatory expertise, but also Purcell Parker Solicitors
Leading Individuals agree that it retains considerable bench strength. regularly handles general crime. One impressed This Birmingham high-street firm attracts praise
Senior Statesmen Sources admire it as a “highly respected” group sources comments that “I am very impressed; he for its ability to “pull in lots of general crime.” It
Roy, Nicholas Jonas Roy Bloom with “strong in-house advocacy.” gets stuck in and cares about the job.” His recent skilfully handles a high volume of work including
Band 1 KEY INDIVIDUALS “An outstanding name on highlights include advising on a conspiracy to de- burglary and robberies.
the Birmingham scene,” Steven Jonas is a higher fraud a major primary care trust. KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Purcell handles fam-
Jonas, Steven Jonas Roy Bloom courts advocate whose practice is characterised ily work and general crime, and sources continue
Sohail, Ghulam Challinors Solicitors by high-end work including Court of Appeal and Glaisyers to be impressed by his market profile.
Turner, James Tuckers Solicitors Crown Court matters. Senior statesman Nicho- This central Birmingham firm handles business
Band 2 las Roy continues to command considerable re- crime, personal injury and family law as well as Russell Jones & Walker
Coolican, Tim Russell Jones & Walker spect for his high-profile criminal work, including general criminal defence and duty solicitor work. The Birmingham-based team benefits from this
Junor, Catherine A Higgs & Sons murder and road traffic matters. Ben Henry is a Market sources agree that “it gets a good share of firm’s national profile, and its criminal work of-
trained barrister who re-qualified as a solicitor in quality instructions.” ten involves aspects of professional discipline and
Kang, Hamraj Kangs Solicitors 2008. He focuses more on business and fraud- KEY INDIVIDUALS Neil Ross is the main con- police law.
Purcell, Michael Purcell Parker Solicitors related matters, although sources agree that his tact. KEY INDIVIDUALS Team chair Tim Coolican is
Roy, David Cartwright King general crime expertise also warrants recognition. a well-regarded practitioner who is “extremely pa-
Up-and-coming individuals Higgs & Sons tient with lay clients.” The Police
Henry, Ben Jonas Roy Bloom Tuckers Solicitors The firm operates from offices in Brierley Hill and Federation continues to be a major client. Susan
Associates to watch This large firm has offices throughout London Kingswinford. Swan is an associate with a rising profile in police
and Manchester, as well as a “huge presence in Its motoring and criminal practice is exclusively and disciplinary matters, and also handles sex of-
Swan, Susan Russell Jones & Walker the Birmingham criminal market.” It is one of the privately funded, and clients praise its “great com- fences.
4 chambers & partners
A leading force
Wragge & Co LLP
DLA Piper UK LLP
Shoosmiths Band 1
Band 4 This firm’s dispute resolution group is
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP a commanding presence in the market
Bevan Brittan LLP and acts for an impressive array of na-
Cobbetts LLP tional and international clients. The
Freeth Cartwright LLP practice possesses a wide range of ex-
pertise in the commercial and corpo-
George Green LLP rate spheres, including major contrac-
Hill Hofstetter LLP tual, shareholder, fraud and M&A dis-
Mills & Reeve LLP Clients include HSBC, Siemens and
Moran & Co Britannia Building Society.
Squire Sanders Hammonds Commercial Awareness: “They focus
their approach on a strategy that is tai-
Band 5 lored to the client’s business aims.”
Challinors Solicitors KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of depart-
ment Greg Lowson is widely recognised
Harvey Ingram LLP as a leading figure in the market. He is a
Higgs & Sons solicitor advocate and accredited media-
Shakespeares tor, with extensive experience of com-
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest. plex high value disputes. Sources say
Jonathan Fortnam is “an excellent
Leading Individuals strategist who grasps the key issues in
Band 1 a dispute quickly.” His corporate exper-
Barker, Stephen Hill Hofstetter LLP tise is matched by his know-how in the
Goodrham, Stephen Gateley professional negligence and procure-
Lowson, Greg Pinsent Masons
Manning Cox, Andrew Wragge & Co LLP Wragge & Co LLP
Band 2 This team is hailed by sources as a lead-
ing force in the West Midlands, with one
Bennett, Diane Eversheds LLP interviewee enthusing: “They are ex-
Bishop, Alexandra Shoosmiths tremely highly rated.” The team’s ster-
Busby, Christopher N Eversheds LLP ling reputation is well earned, thanks to
Ellis, Tom Wragge & Co LLP its experience of frequently acting in
Fortnam, Jonathan Pinsent Masons high-profile trials. In a recent case in
Gordon, James Wragge & Co LLP point, the firm acted for CPC Group in its
high value breach of contract claim
Hofstetter, Jonathan Hill Hofstetter LLP against Qatari Diar Real Estate Invest-
Moran, Patrick Moran & Co S ment Company over the proposed rede-
Smith, Andrew Wragge & Co LLP velopment of the Chelsea Barracks in
Band 3 KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Man-
Adams, Andrew Martineau ning Cox is firmly established as a lead-
Allen, Steve Mills & Reeve LLP ing presence in the market and pos-
Bamford, Nicholas A DLA Piper UK LLP sesses considerable expertise in complex Alexandra Bishop
Bowker, Neil DLA Piper UK LLP corporate and commercial disputes.
Clients highlight Tom Ellis for his “excel- Bowker has been active recently defend- garded practice encompassing com-
Garbett, Simon Squire Sanders Hammonds ing Compass Group against high value mercial disputes, professional negli-
lent academic approach and business
Joyce, Raymond Freeth Cartwright LLP acumen.” His impressive client list in- claims arising from an alleged introduc- gence and banking issues. Mark Sur-
Kendall, Adam J Bevan Brittan LLP cludes Sotheby’s Auction House. Head of tory-fee arrangement. guy recently joined the firm from Pin-
Lancaster, Andrew Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP department James Gordon recently sent Masons. He has a strong reputa-
Lowe, Julia Higgs & Sons acted for Russian property developer Band 3 tion in the region.
Spooner, Andrew Wright Hassall LLP Synergy in its dispute with RGI Interna- Eversheds LLP
tional. Andrew Smith wins praise as This team is highly popular with cli- Gateley
Whittingham, Richard Cobbetts LLP ents, who praise its ability to “work This compact team continues to impress
“one of the best litigators in the region.”
Williams, Neil George Green LLP He demonstrated his abilities acting in well with in-house teams.” The Bir- market sources with its range of capa-
Associates to watch the CPC Group litigation. mingham office of this national firm bilities in corporate and commercial
acts for an impressive array of cli- disputes. The firm’s expertise includes
Speed, Timothy Martineau Band 2 ents, including Santander UK, Sev- professional negligence, contractual and
Surguy, Mark Eversheds LLP DLA Piper UK LLP ern Trent Water and National Grid. real estate disputes, and banking and
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest. This disputes practice continues to be a The group’s diverse expertise sees it financial issues.
significant presence in the West Mid- act in financial services and bank- KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources are full
Recommended for Commercial Awareness lands market, acting for a range of na- ing, utilities and fraud-related dis- of praise for Stephen Goodrham, who is
West Midlands tional and international clients. High- putes. hailed as “an assured and top-quality
Cobbetts LLP profile clients include HSBC, DSG Inter- Client Service: “They always seek to litigator.” He possesses experience in a
Eversheds LLP national and Kodak. The team enjoys a deliver for the client and are always wide variety of commercial matters, with
Freeth Cartwright LLP well-deserved reputation for the breadth willing to put themselves out in terms a particular knowledge of injunctions,
of its expertise in commercial and cor- of availability and turnaround.” professional negligence and partnership
Moran & Co porate disputes, along with a growing Commercial Awareness: “They’re disputes.
Pinsent Masons presence in domestic and cross-border very quick to grasp the salient busi-
Recommended for Client Service arbitration. ness issues of a difficult case.” Shoosmiths
West Midlands KEY INDIVIDUALS Department KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of practice The disputes team at Shoosmiths acts in
head Nicholas Bamford is commended Diane Bennett is highly popular with concert across its Birmingham and
by sources for his expertise in a broad clients, who enthuse that she “listens Milton Keynes offices and enjoys a well-
Higgs & Sons range of commercial disputes and for his to your concerns and excels at sug- deserved reputation for the high calibre
Martineau specialisation in civil fraud issues and gesting a strategy for moving forward.” of its work. The team acts in an impres-
Shakespeares directors duties. Department head Neil Christopher Busby enjoys a highly re- sive range of disputes spanning the re-
chambers & partners 5
in the West Midlands
expertise in professional negligence dis- Squire Sanders Hammonds
putes. The Birmingham-based disputes team
of this national and international player
Hill Hofstetter LLP enjoys a strong reputation for its work in
This firm enjoys a strong reputation for the region. The practice boasts a wide
the quality of its work in both domestic range of expertise in contractual and
and cross-border commercial and cor- shareholder disputes, financial services
porate disputes. The team demonstrated and professional negligence.
its capacity for high-end litigation re- The team acts for high-profile clients
cently in acting for Siemens before the such as AXA UK and Aston Villa FC.
Competition Appeals Tribunal in a major KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the Bir-
case against National Grid. mingham department, Simon Garbett is
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of practice highly regarded for his broad commer-
Stephen Barker continues to be one of cial and corporate disputes practice.
the leading practitioners in the local
market. He has a broad expertise in Band 5
commercial and corporate disputes and Challinors Solicitors
is a CEDR accredited mediator. Jonath- This team boasts excellent regional cov-
an Hofstetter is admired by market erage with offices in Halesowen, Bir-
sources for his commercial disputes mingham, Wolverhampton, West Brom-
practice and led the team acting for Sie- wich and Nottingham. The team han-
Julia Lowe mens. He adds expertise in the technol- dles a variety of commercial and corpo-
ogy and IP sectors to his cross border rate disputes as well as professional
disputes experience. negligence cases. The team is ably sup-
ported by the firm’s strong fraud and
Martineau asset recovery department.
The team at Martineau wins glowing KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Lowe leads
praise from clients, who say “they fine- the disputes practice.
tune their approach to achieve the best
results for your business.” The firm re- Harvey Ingram LLP
cently demonstrated its capability when This team enjoys a strong presence in
it represented British company YouTrav- the market, acting in a wide variety of
el.com and its Greek subsidiary against corporate and commercial disputes. The
claims in the Florida Bankruptcy firm possesses expertise in partnership
Courts. and shareholder disputes, IP, insolvency
Client Service: “The practice is highly and professional negligence.
efficient and always available to meet KEY INDIVIDUALS Chris Saul leads
your needs.” the team.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of depart-
ment Andrew Adams receives high Higgs & Sons
praise from clients for being “a very prag- This Brierley Hill-based team enters the
matic and solutions-focused lawyer.” He rankings this year with the glowing
adds expertise in corporate recovery and praise of sources. The team handles a
debt recovery to his practice. Timothy wide variety of corporate and commer-
Speed continues to impress sources, cial matters, including contractual,
who say he is “approachable and friend- shareholder and partnership disputes,
ly, but firm with the other side when and IP and professional negligence mat-
Greg Lowson Andrew Manning Cox
tail, automotive and IT sectors. Bevan Brittan LLP Client Service: “They deliver pragmatic
Its high-profile roster includes Jaguar Clients praise this team for its “efficient Freeth Cartwright LLP Mills & Reeve LLP analysis and outstanding client serv-
Cars and Land Rover, Next and Calor and realistic billing structures.” The This firm’s disputes team continues to Sources say this is “an extremely profes- ice.”
Gas. team acts across a range of disputes, impress market observers. The practice sional outfit with fantastic legal knowl- KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of depart-
KEY INDIVIDUALS Experienced including contractual, insolvency and continues to cement its position in the edge.” The practice advises on a number ment Julia Lowe is highly praised by
commercial litigator Alexandra Bishop public sector disputes as well as profes- local market, acting in a variety of cor- of domestic and cross-border corporate clients for her “commercial and prag-
is hugely popular with clients, who say sional negligence. It acts for clients such porate and commercial matters encom- and commercial disputes. Its impressive matic approach, which is married to
“she combines fantastic experience and as Motorola, Lloyds Banking Group and passing contractual, shareholder dis- client roster includes BUPA, The Law great strategic vision.”
legal knowledge with outstanding client the Wincanton Group. putes and fraud. Society and Toyota Tsusho.
communication.” KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the Bir- Commercial Awareness: “A very com- KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of practice Shakespeares
She divides her time between the firm’s mingham team Adam Kendall wins mercially minded team.” Steve Allen is praised by sources for his Sources say this firm “delivers a speedy
Birmingham, Milton Keynes and North- glowing praise from clients: “He is in- KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of depart- “commercial approach and outstanding service and provides effective alterna-
ampton offices. credibly diligent and always ensured we ment Raymond Joyce is praised as “a client relations.” He adds particular tive solutions for the client.” The team
were happy with how matters pro- highly tenacious litigator with outstand- expertise in shareholder issues and handles a variety of commercial dis-
Band 4 gressed.” ing commercial acumen.” As a former breach of warranties to his general cor- putes, including contractual disputes,
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP civil engineer he brings formidable expe- porate and commercial disputes prac- franchising and product liability is-
This firm enjoys a well-deserved reputa- Cobbetts LLP rience of the construction law sector to tice. sues.
tion in the market for the quality of its Clients are full of praise for this team, his practice. Client Service: “Their excellent sup-
commercial disputes practice. The two- which acts in a variety of domestic and Moran & Co portive approach reassures corporate
partner team possesses wide-ranging international cases. The team’s wide- George Green LLP This team acts in commercial disputes clients that they are doing the right
expertise including professional negli- ranging expertise of corporate and com- This Cradley Heath-based team is a across a range of sectors, with a particu- thing.”
gence, property, contractual and breach mercial disputes includes competition strong presence in the local dispute lar focus on contractual issues. It has KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Beesley is
of warranty disputes. law, professional negligence and breach resolution market. The practice handles won significant clients such as GM UK the head of department.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Lancas- of warranty issues. a wide variety of commercial and corpo- and Saab Great Britain.
ter is highly regarded by market sources Commercial Awareness: “They were rate disputes spanning partnership, Commercial Awareness: “They are Other Notable Practitioners
for his abilities in dealing with commer- very commercially aware.” shareholder and contractual disputes, very commercial and take pains to un- Andrew Spooner of Wright Hassall LLP
cial disputes. He brings an outstanding KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Whit- as well as banking-related matters. derstand how your business operates.” has a well-deserved reputation for his
knowledge of the construction industry tingham frequently acts in cross-border KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources praise KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior partner dispute resolution expertise. He acts in
to his practice and is a CEDR-accredited disputes, with a particular specialisa- Neil Williams for his “very commercial” Patrick Moran elicits admiration from a broad range of commercial and corpo-
mediator. tion in commercial agency and profes- approach to litigation. sources for his “diligent and pugnacious rate disputes, and is an accredited me-
sional negligence-related matters. He leads the team and has particular approach to litigation.” diator.
6 DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW PRACTICE ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
It’s a busy life at family law firm
o much is happening in the field Both partners are delighted at the recog-
of family law, and life at Divorce nition the firm has received in Chambers
& Family Law Practice LLP in St & Partners 2012, with the firm being de-
Paul’s Square has never been scribed as “moving upwards quickly” and
busier. a recognition of the fact that the lights are
Founding partners Beverley Morris and rarely out in the office.
Joan Price say it is an exciting time. Beverley is the early bird and Joan burns
Beverley Morris comments: “Bedtime the midnight oil.
reading is never in short supply. There are Caroline Dresden is a recent addition to
reported decisions on a daily basis of which the firm and a most welcome one.
we need to keep abreast. She has certainly strengthened the team
“The treatment of inherited/pre-acquired and her expertise in high value Ancillary
marital wealth is of increasing significance. Relief work is recognised widely.
Looking at the ‘springboard effect’ and the Work comes in on recommendation from
treatment of passive economic growth, fellow professionals and clients.
when assessing the value of a company at The practice covers the breadth of the
the date of the marriage, is of growing im- country, and has also dealt with interna-
portance”. tional cases involving Spain, France,
Joan Price comments on the increase in Greece, Nigeria and even Armenia!
enquiries into pre-nuptial agreements Vivienne Middleton and Melanie Tubbs
where, frequently, parties are marrying for continue to expand their field of special-
a second time and are keen to ring fence/ ism, both primarily concentrating on
preserve wealth for the benefit of children children focussed issues – residence dis-
from a first marriage, so they are not vul- putes, contact, leave to remove from the
nerable to claims, in the event of a second jurisdiction etc.
marital breakdown. Beverley, Joan and Caroline pride them-
Joan comments: “the court are going to selves in the careful selection of key indi-
give effect to a pre-nuptial agreement, viduals to work with the Practice, support-
freely entered into with full appreciation by ing their clients’ needs.
the parties of the implications, unless in Accountants, tax advisers, and barris-
the circumstances prevailing it would not ters are handpicked, all of which ensures
be fair to hold them to the agreement. That the highest quality work, leading to pro-
in itself brings about difficulties. What is portionate and timely resolution for the
The team at Divorce and Family Law Practice LLP
the definition of fairness?” client.
DIVORCE & EXPERTISE
LAW PRACTICE LLP
Divorce and Family Law Practice is a modern law practice based at 14 St. Paul’s
Square, Birmingham concentrating solely on the areas of divorce and family law.
Established in 2002, Divorce and Family Law Practice immediately gained recognition as a
leading family law practice, being recognised in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK. This is
one of the Midlands’ premier niche matrimonial ﬁrms. Sources say: “It’s a good operation -
efﬁcient, knowledgable and reasonable to deal with.” Being equally adept at collaborative
law and litigation, it provides a balanced service to clients. Chambers UK 2011
14 ST PAUL’S SQUARE
The practice is headed by the partners Joan Price and Beverley Morris BIRMINGHAM B3 1RB
T: 0121 200 0890
The ﬁrm offers a highly personal and tailored service is adept at dealing with complex F: 0121 233 9623
and high net value cases and issues concerning divorce, co-habitation, civil partnership Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
disputes and children issues. email@example.com
chambers & partners 7
Going from strength to strength
Family/Matrimonial Band 1
Midlands Divorce & Family Law Practice LLP
Leading Firms This Birmingham-based boutique has
gone from strength to strength and is
“moving upwards quickly,” say sources.
Divorce & Family Law Practice LLP It offers high-quality advice and repre-
Mills & Reeve LLP sentation in matters ranging from chil-
dren issues and civil partnership dis-
Band 2 putes, to cohabitation and high net
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP worth ancillary relief. Clients benefit
Benussi & Co from the team’s dedication and provision Caroline Dresden
Challinors Solicitors of personal, partner-led advice.
Higgs & Sons KEY INDIVIDUALS Beverley Morris
Martineau enjoys an excellent reputation for her liti-
gation practice. She is applauded by
Shakespeares sources as “an able practitioner who is
Band 3 driven by the desire to achieve the very
Blair Allison best for her client. This can mean very Kevin Harris James
Brethertons LLP late nights, early mornings and tireless
research as well as insuring that anyone KEY INDIVIDUALS Neil Hobden
Harrison Clark she instructs is similarly motivated.” A lot skillfully handles complex ancillary re-
Irwin Mitchell of Morris’ work contains international lief matters. He successfully represented
John Hooper & Co elements. Caroline Dresden recently the wife in Kingdon v Kingdon, a case
Langleys joined the firm from Mills & Reeve, and involving a non-disclosure of assets in
Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors sources agree that her arrival has an earlier financial settlement.
Rupert Bear Murray Davies “strengthened the team.” Her forte lies in
ancillary relief, where she represents cli- Challinors Solicitors
Tyndallwoods ents with substantial assets. Joan Price This firm is praised for its high level of
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest. also enjoys an excellent reputation for service, in particular when it comes to
high net worth ancillary relief. Market complex ancillary relief matters involv-
Leading Individuals observers describe her as an “excellent ing significant assets. It continues to
Band 1 specialist, who looks after her clients.” expand its client base in this area, re-
Davies, Murray Rupert Bear Murray Davies ceiving a growing amount of instruc-
Harris-James, Kevin Shakespeares Mills & Reeve LLP tions from international clients. It main-
Morris, Beverley Divorce & Family Law Practice LLP Mills & Reeve maintains its top position tains a highly regarded childcare team
despite recent departures. Clients are and also provides advice and represen-
Saunderson, Marc Mills & Reeve LLP quick to commend its professional, friend- tation in private children matters. “They Zahra Pabani
Band 2 ly and non-confrontational approach that have always provided an excellent serv-
Barnsley, Philip Higgs & Sons is upheld even in complex litigation. Its ice,” enthuse clients. Martineau
Brew, Jonathan Harrison Clark established international expertise allows KEY INDIVIDUALS Fiona O’Sullivan This group is renowned for its impressive
it to represent foreign clients and handle handles ancillary relief matters for high representation of affluent and high-
Carter, Barbara L Barbara Carter matters containing cross-jurisdictional net worth individuals. Clients praise her profile clients such as sports personali-
Dresden, Caroline Divorce & Family Law Practice LLP elements. One source reports: “I see it as ability to clearly explain legal issues to ties and international business profes-
Hooper, John John Hooper & Co being one of the top firms in Birmingham those not legally trained, and also de- sionals.
O’Sullivan, Fiona M Challinors Solicitors for matrimonial finance.” scribe her as “helpful, efficient and will- The firm has expanded in the last year
Pabani, Zahra Martineau KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources agree ing to listen to different points of view.” and now also handles international
Price, Joan Divorce & Family Law Practice LLP that Marc Saunderson deserves his Sources note that with Angela Houston, child abduction cases. Children Act
reputation as one of the best family law- one can be sure instructions are acted matters are also skillfully dealt with by
Wyatt, Elizabeth Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP yers in the region. He is very popular on promptly and all matters are dealt the team.
Band 3 with clients as “a safe pair of hands who with professionally. Client Service: “They are experts at
Kaye, Mary D Martineau won’t encourage an expensive fight if a She enjoys a fantastic reputation for client relationships.”
Kerrigan, Joseph Kerrigans Family Law Limited matter can be resolved amicably.” her children work. KEY INDIVIDUALS Zahra Pabani
Helen Bowns is commended as a very recently joined the firm from Shake-
Meisel, Mari Blair Allison competent and good fighter on behalf of Higgs & Sons speares. She is held in high regard as
Messenger, Mercy Mercy Messenger her clients. Her highly-regarded children This strong and efficient team is ac- “she gets straight to the chase and has a
Band 4 practice regularly advises on interna- knowledged for its impressive handling very personable approach.” Sources
Baldwin, Peter Peter Baldwin Children’s Lawyer tional cases. of some of the region’s most complex and agree that the team has been greatly
high-value ancillary relief cases. It has strengthened by her arrival. For chil-
Flint, Peter Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors dren matters, Mary Kaye comes highly
Band 2 been increasingly active advising on pre
Hobden, Neil Benussi & Co Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP and postnuptial agreements, and has recommended because of her high emo-
Houston, Angela Challinors Solicitors This family team handles all aspects of also handled a number of matters in- tional intelligence and first-class com-
Jackson, Steven C Higgs & Sons private and publicly funded work. It is volving family trusts. Clients are quick munication skills.
Jones, Linda Ann Brethertons LLP particularly praised for its fabulous to commend the team’s friendly yet pro-
Jones, Sally Tyndallwoods handling of childcare matters, often in- fessional style. Shakespeares
volving non-accidental injury. It is also Client Service “They provide a broad This group maintains its solid reputa-
McVay, Christine Shakespeares tion, having increased in size and offer-
increasingly involved in matters relating spread of people to speak with, in order
Quincey, Tim John Hooper & Co to forced marriages. to find the right personality for a client. ing family services in Nottingham, Bir-
Saunders, Kate Langleys Client Service: “The firm has a very They understand the client’s needs.” mingham and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Speed, Judith Freeth Cartwright LLP humane approach to litigation. They al- KEY INDIVIDUALS Philip Barnsley Sources praise its high-profile private
Walker Nicola Irwin Mitchell ways try to get a fair settlement, and is the group’s leading light, and sources children work, as well as its ability to
that’s why clients go to them.” note that his profile continues to rise. He handle complex matrimonial cases with
Up-and-coming individuals KEY INDIVIDUALS Department is described as “sensitive to the needs international finance elements. It has
Bowns, Helen Mills & Reeve LLP head Elizabeth Wyatt is described as and wishes of clients, but strong and recently also experienced an increase in
Associates to watch “very good and dependable – straightfor- authoritative when dealing with their instructions from well-known sports
Perks, Kelly Higgs & Sons ward and no-nonsense.” She also earns cases.” Observers are particularly im- personalities.
accolades for her impressive handling of pressed with his expertise in prenuptial KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Harris-
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest. difficult clients. agreements. Steven Jackson is a con- James recently joined the firm from
Recommended for Client Service sultant with the firm. He has over 30 Beswicks. Sources say: “Wherever he
Midlands Benussi & Co years’ experience in the field and regu- goes, clients follow him for his reputation
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP This seven-strong niche practice main- larly receives private instructions from as a no-nonsense lawyer who litigates at
tains its strong focus on complex and high net worth individuals. Associate the highest level.” Christine McVay also
Higgs & Sons high net worth ancillary relief. A number Kelly Perks receives plaudits for her recently joined the firm from another
Irwin Mitchell of its instructions in the last year have “growing expertise in ancillary relief, prominent family law practice. Observ-
Langleys involved significant inherited wealth, as attention to detail and sound grasp of ers note her “incredibly thorough ap-
Martineau well as hidden assets. procedure and law.” proach” and impressive presence.
8 CHAMBERS & PARTNERS
Sat Plaha, partner and head of forensic services at BDO LLP in
Birmingham, delves into the world of hot tubbing
here was a time when a reasonably Technology and Construction Court, as
competent professional could feel well as two leading barristers from St
comfortable if called upon to give Philips and No5 Chambers and forensic
evidence to the courts, without further experts from BDO.
training or experience and without feel- During the mock trial, hosted by the
ing out of their depth. Birmingham Law Society, guests saw
We could debate whether the passing the expert witnesses come under cross
of those more gentlemanly arrange- examination from their opposing bar-
ments is a loss, but it is now clear that rister in the conventional format of ex-
those days are long gone – expert testi- amining experts separately and indi-
mony is now a professional activity in its vidually.
own right and it seems there is no place But then, using the same case study,
for the amateur ‘gentleman players’. the experts gave evidence concurrently
The expert must now, with the risk of to demonstrate the method of ‘hot tub-
a negligence suit, be able to account for bing’. Judge Waksman took control of
his experience and expertise, field cross proceedings and questioned the experts
examination questions from counsel directly and at the same time. Sat Plaha
and, with the recent development of hot The evening was a great success, giv-
tubbing, also contend with live exchang- ing guests the opportunity to compare challenged can be almost immediately ‘front-man’ who has little involvement vice or have additional business activi-
es with the opposing expert witness, and contrast the two very different meth- addressed. during the case work and yet presents ties, this extra pressure is likely to make
spurred on by counsel or the presiding ods of giving evidence, and witness the evidence at trial. Whilst this is un- them question whether expert testimony
judges or tribunal members. firsthand the intensity and sufficiency of Face off likely to mean the end of expert witness is worth the stress.
It is the introduction of hot tubbing - the level of detail contained in the joint This process places a greater premium work involving the work of a team (many
simultaneous expert testimony and statement. on the intellectually agile expert who, large projects cannot be delivered cost Going forward
questioning, including questions posed Prior to hot tubbing, an expert having fast on their feet, is familiar with the effectively without leveraging a team), it In the long term, this will inevitably in-
by the opposing expert – which is the strong courtroom skills might deflect a detail and who, from experience and is likely to require the expert witness to crease the price of expert testimony – the
biggest potential ‘game changer’. difficult question, relying upon the anx- personal expertise, can react quickly commit greater resources to considering fact that expert witnesses bear increas-
iety of Counsel who from many years of and faultlessly to changes in assump- the assumed facts, the opposing opinion ing exposure in terms of personal em-
80 in a tub experience knows not to dig into areas tions or in the assumed facts. evidence and preparing in detail for barrassment during testimony, com-
Earlier this month we showcased the art where the witness can wrong foot them. Those having insufficient expertise and trial. bined with potential professional negli-
of hot tubbing in a mock trial that at- Consequently, it used to be difficult for experience face difficulty. On a direct For many these shifts represent a gence claims and the burden of trial
tracted 80 guests from the legal com- the opposing expert or their assistants comparison of testifying experts, side by positive change, as it focuses the minds preparation, will drive up standards and
munity across the West Midlands. to provide sufficient ammunition to en- side, like for like, question by question, of the experts and the activity of the cause weaker firms to leave the market.
Participants included His Honour able counsel to manoeuvre and respond any shortfall in knowledge, expertise or courts on the critical issues, therefore It is destined to become better engi-
Judge Waksman QC, who is currently to a talented expert. intellectual capacity is far more evident. shortening trials and improving the neered, and ever more important to the
involved in the Manchester concurrent No longer – during the simultaneous quality of the process through which higher value, more complex cases as the
evidence pilot scheme, and His Honour expert testimony of hot tubbing, points Hands-on expert justice is delivered. fate of such trials will more closely rest
Judge Grant from the Birmingham that might otherwise be lost or go un- This seems to end the role of the expert However, for those who offer other ad- on the mettle of the expert.
Contentious insolvency – more Helen Hancock
than just number crunching
Helen Hancock, director of economy takes a downturn that the real most £1 million of company funds into
forensic services at BDO LLP , nature of its dealings may become visi- his wife’s – cataclysmically unsuccessful
takes us through insolvency ble. All too often, during peak trading – business.
investigations with a fine toothed years, dubious payments can go com- Unearthing such fraud isn’t about the
pletely undetected. It’s scary to think luck of the draw. In each case we were
comb that these bogus activities only come to able to immediately secure the key data
the surface when times are tough and and work through it with a fine tooth
In any insolvency situation, it’s a given creditors are putting the pressure on. comb. We aim to secure company data
that accountants need to be on the ball When you dig deep into what went on from a site within 48 hours; copying
when they’re looking at financial data. in the good years, you discover abuses entire computer systems, back-ups and
But they are only as good as the data that have taken place many years previ- email archives, recreating servers and
they have to work with. ous. We have witnessed cases where one so on. With a proactive approach and
The data that can really unlock a com- director had paid for his mother’s house, improved technology, costs can be sig-
plex case is often hidden in places some another his grandfather’s. When the nificantly reduced with administrators
administrators would never even know companies became insolvent, investiga- needing to spend less time on site.
existed. tors looked into the detail of where the It is our priority to get hold of all the
Many insolvencies include complex money for ‘land and buildings’ really relevant data we possible can at the
issues for both accountants and IT spe- went. And that’s where the fraud comes very beginning of the process. It may
cialists and it is important in terms of to light. not always be apparent as to why you
cost, efficiency and effectiveness that all Insolvency and forensic specialists might need it, but the priority is to get
teams are closely integrated. Just look- continue to uncover plenty of ‘tradition- everything that’s there. And since in an
ing at last year’s ledgers is rarely ade- al’ frauds, such as an employee making insolvency situation, computer hard-
quate. To really understand what has a number of payments over several years ware is often quickly and cheaply sold
happened, you need a broad picture of to fictitious suppliers, when in fact the on to appease creditors, there’s a real
the company’s activities and often over cheques were going into their own bank risk of losing material that is vital to
a number of years. accounts all along. One interesting case your investigations, if you don’t act
In many cases, it is only when the involved a director who channelled al- quickly.
CHAMBERS & PARTNERS 9
Value versus price
Laurence Mills, director of Obviously having a detrimental effect only natural that they’ll look to their co-
forensic services at BDO LLP, on the value of the company, the buyer directors and shareholders to question
discusses the rise of boardroom could seek to have the sale rescinded whether they are contributing as much
fall outs on the basis of fraudulent misrepre- – and if not, why are they effectively
sentation. Dealing with scenarios of being subsidised by the company in an
this type has become increasingly environment that can’t afford passen- Paul McKeown
We have witnessed shareholder disputes common. gers?
rise by some 200 per cent over the past But it’s the unfair prejudice claims Is one of the directors rewarding them- Is a company’s listed share price sations of other companies in the sector.
year. It’s an arresting number. So what’s that are perhaps more a symptom of selves a perceived unreasonable level of a reliable indicator of value? BDO If these are lower than the reported net
going on? economic conditions, and often more remuneration, reducing the profits and Valuations Director, Paul assets, it may be that negative sentiment
Private company profits have been complicated and complex in their na- therefore dividends to the other share- McKeown, investigates rather than fundamentals is causing the
depressed for a long time now and many ture. holders? Is the sales director simply difference.
are struggling to see an end to the cur- struggling in a difficult trading environ-
rent downturn. People have been biding Big Brother ment, or is he incompetent and not per- Let’s take a simple example where a Extremes of sentiment
their time in the hope that things pick As markets slump and trading condi- forming to expectations? You rarely get listed company bought a business for There are many examples of large com-
up, but with no obvious light in sight and tions become more difficult, boards and everyone to agree who is really worth £20 million two years ago, with the panies’ share prices moving extrava-
with trading conditions continually dif- shareholders are taking a Big Brother their position and pay. original price based on £10 million of gantly within the last couple of years,
ficult, increasing numbers of businesses approach, looking more closely at what Given all the potential sources of dis- physical assets and £10 million in good- where for example there is a 500 per cent
are raising their grievances and seeking everyone is contributing. For many, this putes, it is not surprising that testing will and intangible assets. Now that increase followed by a 40 per cent reduc-
advice to bring them to a head. can throw a bright light onto matters times are bringing more of them to the business has been written down to £16 tion. The intrinsic value of a business
Shareholder disputes are manifesting that have been lurking around under fore. Solid shareholders’ agreements million in the books, but the market is might lie between two extremes of senti-
themselves in two main ways: unfair the radar. must be in place to help minimise the valuing it at £12 million. Whilst it is true ment, and fair value can differ from
prejudice claims under s.994 of the Most companies have already been chances of fallouts. Management teams, that the market can get it wrong, any market price.
Companies Act and post-deal disputes. through cost-cutting exercises, making their accountants and lawyers should over or under-pricing only becomes ap- If it was difficult to justify a valuation
Post-deal disputes are perhaps easier efficiencies, redundancies and so on. discuss how certain events could mani- parent with hindsight. previously, it is even more so now - un-
to categorise. By general example, it But what happens when conditions don’t fest themselves under the agreements So what arguments might prevail when less your technical arguments are
could be something like a company improve and there are no other cuts to and understand the full range of possi- a conflict arises from a difference be- sound. A whole host of issues can affect
being sold and then the buyer discover- make? People start pointing the finger ble outcomes before the disagreement tween the market view and a company’s the price such as economic drivers of the
ing that the vendor had misrepresented and turning stones that had previously even arises. accounts? business, inherent difficulty in forecast-
the status of a contract. They may have been left unturned, ultimately causing A good shareholder agreement doesn’t Firstly, the higher value may appear ing cash flows, a discount rate, long-
bought the business with the assurance conflict and disputes to come to the mean that disputes won’t still happen correct based on an analysis of the un- term growth rate, discounts and premi-
that the contract was in place, only to fore. but at least it limits the scope of the derlying cash flows of the business and ums that might be relevant to equity
later find it had been terminated prior to There are many board-level people out disagreement and lays down the ground their inherent risk. If these have been values, the business cycle or the rele-
the completion of the sale. there working incredibly hard, and it is rules from the outset. adjusted to take account of market con- vance of market sentiment.
ditions, the discount rate might not The value of private companies is often
change very much. To adjust both might benchmarked against listed company
result in a double-discounting of the share prices. Those prices can be highly
value. volatile and do not always reflect busi-
If you can demonstrate that customer ness fundamentals, which tend to be
demand, supplier and employee ar- more stable. Of course the value of pri-
rangements have largely been unaffect- vate companies goes up and down but
ed, it could go a long way to support the because they tend to be longer term in-
Given all the potential sources of disputes, it is not surprising that testing case that the market is undervaluing the vestments, their value swings are far
times are bringing more of them to the fore business.
Also relevant are the market capitali-
less pronounced than shares on febrile
10 chambers & partners
Browne Jacobson LLP
Based mainly in Nottingham, and with offices in
Birmingham and London, the team here is re-
garded as one of the leading players in the region.
In addition to wills, trusts and probate work for
UK-based clients, a significant tranche of the
team’s work consists of trust planning with an
offshore or international dimension. The firm
also devotes important resources to Court of
Protection and deputyship work.
Commercial Awareness: “They are approach-
able, commercial and offer a broad range of ex-
pertise.” Alex Elphinston Hugh Carslake Matthew Hansell
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Colacicchi spe-
cialises in high-value trust and estate planning. Lodders Solicitors LLP Freeth Cartwright
Keith Dudley He initially practised as a corporate lawyer, This leading regional firm, based in Stratford- LLP
“which is an excellent foundation when you have upon-Avon, offers a comprehensive private client This East Midlands stalwart has an impres-
Private Client clients with complex business affairs,” according practice geared to the needs of farmers, business sively broad private client offering. The depart-
West Midlands to sources. The “impressive” and “client-friendly” owners and wealthy families. Areas of specialisa- ment is divided into teams specialising in con-
Leading Firms Wenna Thompson advises clients on tax, estate tion include capital gains tax planning, conten- tentious trusts and probate, Court of Protection,
Band 1 and succession planning. tious trusts and the creation and maintenance trusts and wills.
of family investment companies as vehicles for The department also has a dedicated team of
Browne Jacobson LLP Higgs & Sons asset protection. The team is also well known for qualified financial advisers on hand.
Higgs & Sons The growing team at this Black Country firm has its work before the Court of Protection and com- KEY INDIVIDUALS The “patient, wise and
Mills & Reeve LLP made a concerted effort to invest in its private pensation trusts. fair” Nigel Cullen heads the department and
client offering, with convincing results. The team Client Service: “Good specialist and personal leads the probate and wills team.
Band 2 is distinguished by having a flourishing care for service.”
Hewitsons LLP S the elderly practice and a family investment KEY INDIVIDUALS Martin Green is head of Gateley
Lodders Solicitors LLP management service. the private client department. Commentators The mainstay of this team’s work lies in tax, trust
Martineau Further, the team’s specialist knowledge of in- say of Green: “He’s first class – I would recom- and estate planning for wealthy individuals and
heritance tax law gives it a commanding position mend him to anyone.” The “very pleasant and their families.
Band 3 in the marketplace. highly able” Other areas of excellence include complex pro-
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP Client Service: “They have the most incredible Stephen Brignull advises on trust administra- bate and trust disputes, advising foreign domi-
Brethertons LLP bedside manner, are confident with their advice tion, tax, estate and succession planning. ciliaries on tax planning for the UK, and han-
and great listeners.” dling offshore asset structures for trust compa-
Freeth Cartwright LLP
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Leek is a highly Martineau nies.
Gateley experienced and able lawyer focusing on wealth The team at this venerable Birmingham firm has KEY INDIVIDUALS Adrian Mabe is a key con-
Nelsons planning, probate and matters affecting older a varied client roster of entrepreneurs, leading tact.
Shakespeares people’s financial affairs. Nicholas Moxon looks figures in business, high net worth individuals
Wright Hassall LLP after the owners of closely-held businesses and and farming families. The team engages in the Nelsons
advises on the establishment of charitable trusts. full range of private client and wealth manage- This firm, with offices in Derby, Leicester and
Recommended for Commercial Awareness Lucy ment work, from capital tax planning to conten- Nottingham, advises high and medium net
Browne Jacobson LLP Obrey is described glowingly as being “forever tious trusts and probates. worth business owners, individuals and families
Martineau at the forefront of what’s going on in the mar- Commercial Awareness: “They are switched-on on virtually every facet of private client law.
Mills & Reeve LLP ket.” and technically excellent.” Capital and inheritance tax planning, mental
Peter Gosling is “reassuring, confident and KEY INDIVIDUALS Keith Dudley is described capacity, trusts, wills and probates are handled
Recommended for Client Service highly discreet.” as being “steeped in trusts,” and expert in tax with aplomb by the team.
Midlands mitigation and matters relating to vulnerable KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Grosberg heads
Mills & Reeve LLP people. Hugh Carslake has an admirable client the team.
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP
This East Anglian giant continues to make suc- following of landed estate and large rural prop-
Higgs & Sons cessful inroads into the Midlands market. The erty owners. Shakespeares
Lodders Solicitors LLP team engages in big-ticket work for landed cli- This leading Birmingham firm, enlarged by
ents, business owners and family/private invest- Band 3 mergers in 2010 with Berryman in Notting-
Leading Individuals ment companies. It advises wealthy individuals Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP ham and Warwickshire firm Needham and
Senior Statesmen and families on tax planning, trust creation and The team at Anthony Collins is an acknowledged James, is now a serious player throughout the
Carslake, Hugh Martineau administration, complex will drafting and wind- market leader in work involving the Court of region. The combined entity has formidable
ing up estates. Protection,mental capacity issues and personal resources to handle the full range of private
Band 1 Commercial Awareness: “Absolutely first rate injury trusts. The team also advises on the draft- client work.
Barber, Gary Mills & Reeve LLP – a dream team.” ing of wills, tax planning, and contentious and KEY INDIVIDUALS Clare Laird heads the de-
Colacicchi, Clare Hewitsons LLP KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Barber handles non-contentious probate. It also has a niche in partment.
Dudley, Keith Martineau wills, trusts and estates for clients who are im- making Forced Marriage Protection applica-
Green, Martin Lodders Solicitors LLP pressed by his “down-to-earth, no-nonsense tions. Wright Hassall LLP
manner.” Trusts expert Matthew Hansell makes Client Service: “Sympathetic, open and wel- This full-service Stratford firm advises farmers,
Hansell, Matthew Mills & Reeve LLP a good impression for his “technical ability and coming people.” landed estate and family business owners on
Leek, Robert E Higgs & Sons lively demeanour.” “Rising star” John Grundy KEY INDIVIDUALS Alex Elphinston heads the their tax, trust and estate affairs. The team also
Band 2 advises entrepreneurs and international clients department. He impresses with his attention to has well thought of business succession plan-
on complex trust and estate issues. detail and ability to understand client circum- ning, charitable trusts and estate planning for
Brignull, Stephen Lodders Solicitors LLP stances and objectives. the elderly practices.
Colacicchi, William Browne Jacobson LLP Band 2 The property and matrimonial teams collabo-
Cooper, Terry Cobbetts LLP Hewitsons LLP Brethertons LLP rate closely with the private client team to assure
Cullen, Nigel Freeth Cartwright LLP This Northampton firm has a large and loyal This firm, with offices in Banbury and Rugby, continuity of service.
Elphinston, Alex Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP agricultural client base, but is equally adept at has a strong foothold in the Warwickshire and KEY INDIVIDUALS John Rouse is a key con-
Gosling, Peter G Higgs & Sons meeting the needs of closely-held business own- Northamptonshire markets. The team takes tact.
ers. Core strengths of the practice include ob- client service very seriously, and has a client
Moxon, Nicholas Higgs & Sons taining business property relief for farms, inher- liaison officer to ensure clients’ needs are met. Other Notable Practitioners
Obrey, Lucy Higgs & Sons itance tax planning, estate planning and the The lawyers handle all manner of private client The “down-to-earth and straight-talking” Terry
Steele, Grace Geldards LLP creation, administration and restructuring of work, including contentious trusts and probate, Cooper heads the department at Cobbetts LLP.
Thompson, Wenna Browne Jacobson LLP trusts. complex will drafting and personal injury Grace Steele of Geldards LLP handles trusts and
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clare Colacicchi focuses trusts. estate planning, and is well liked by clients who
Associates to watch on estate planning, alleviating capital taxation KEY INDIVIDUALS Nadiya Virani-Bland leads consider her to be “sympathetic, knowledgeable
Grundy, John Mills & Reeve LLP and charitable trusts. the department. and efficient.”
chambers & partners 11
A noted international firm
Intellectual Property Band 1 precisely the kind of people you want fighting
Midlands Wragge & Co LLP your corner.”
This deeply impressive IP team is widely ac- Client Service: “They are very responsive and
Leading Firms knowledged as the strongest in the Midlands. tremendously organised, and queries are al-
Band 1 The firm’s distinctive structure, which sees its ways dealt with extremely quickly.”
solicitors dividing their time between its Lon- KEY INDIVIDUALS Marie McMorrow
Wragge & Co LLP
don and Birmingham offices, allows it to pro- heads the team and consistently demon-
Band 2 vide a high-quality and seamless intellectual strates her excellence in heavyweight IP work.
Browne Jacobson LLP property service to national and international Clients say she is “incredibly gifted at present-
clients. It is active on a wide variety of issues, ing advice in the right way – she gauges the
DLA Piper UK LLP
in terms of both transactions and litigation, level of the people she’s working with very well,
Martineau and its list of clients includes such notable which allows for openness and leads to genu-
Shakespeares organisations as Dyson, the Rugby Football ine debate on strategy and how to manage
Union and GlaxoSmithKline. negotiations.” Emma Higton is a new addition
Band 3 to the rankings, with sources describing her
Client Service “The team is a delight to work
Eversheds LLP with, and provides proper assistance and sup- as “one of the group’s unsung heroes; she has
Pinsent Masons port.” real commercial nous and is incredibly profes-
Commercial Awareness: “A strategically bril- sional in approach without being stuffy, which
Band 4 makes for a good working relationship.”
liant firm full of excellent individuals.”
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP KEY INDIVIDUALS David Barron is an
Cobbetts LLP outstanding litigator who is roundly praised Martineau
Wright Hassall LLP by commentators for his expertise in patent Martineau’s IP group has a strong presence in
matters and his continued presence at the the Midlands and a reputation for being an
Recommended for Commercial Awareness coalface of contentious IP. Gordon Harris is “extremely professional and knowledgeable”
Midlands head of the firm’s IP practice. He specialises in team. It has the capacity to handle conten-
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP contentious work and is an experienced me- Mauro Paiano tious and non-contentious matters across a
diator who continues to provide high-quality number of industries, and is as comfortable
Browne Jacobson LLP
service to his clients. Cerryg Jones heads the Peter Ellis is an experienced and highly capa- with technical patent work as it is with brand
Eversheds LLP brands team and is regularly described as a ble contentious IP specialist. Sources commend management and trade mark strategy. Nota-
Wragge & Co LLP class act. his excellent work and his “superbly commer- ble recent clients include Aston University,
As one of the firm’s lawyers more frequently cially oriented” approach. Mark Snelgrove is Horstman Defence Systems and the Institu-
Recommended for Client Service tion of ccupational Safety and Health.
based in Birmingham, he is at the centre of its known as “a fine, technically skilled lawyer
Midlands Midlands IP practice. Luke Kempton is known who is able to cut through the issues without Client Service “Any time we engage with the
Browne Jacobson LLP for his expertise in the life sciences arena. getting sidetracked.” He recently advised long- firm, the advice provided always takes into ac-
DLA Piper UK LLP Commentators say he “is a real credit to the term client Hookedge on a trade mark issue count the type of organisation we are and makes
firm and always does a fantastic job for his relating to its Patrick Cox brand. Paula Dumb- the whole process incredibly simple and easy.”
clients.” ill continues to impress with her work in stra- KEY INDIVIDUALS Helen Driscoll heads
Wragge & Co LLP Patrick Duxbury is “an eminently sensible tegic IP. Clients praise the high quality of her the team and is known for her expertise in
Leading Individuals and experienced lawyer,” with an outstanding service as well as her commercial viewpoint. both contentious and non-contentious IP. Des
track record in transactional IP matters with- Richard Roberts is new to the rankings, and is Burley has an excellent reputation for his work
in the life sciences sector. highlighted for his burgeoning reputation in IP in the IP sector, particularly with regard to
Barron, David Wragge & Co LLP Nicholas Cunningham deals effectively with litigation. Commentators admire his approach, matters involving universities and the hi-tech
Briggs, Nick Shakespeares patent, design, copyright and trade mark liti- which “shows a commitment to detail and com- industries. Clients describe him as “extremely
Cushley, Declan Browne Jacobson LLP gation. Sources describe him as “personable, mercial issues that is beyond the norm.” personable and welcoming, with great knowl-
Harris, Gordon Wragge & Co LLP highly competent and very easy to deal with.” edge of his practice area.” Zoe Robertson is a
Kate Swaine is a director within the team, and DLA Piper UK LLP talented and increasingly experienced associ-
Jones, Cerryg Wragge & Co LLP is an experienced and skilled brands and ad- The Birmingham office of this noted interna- ate. Her recent highlights include assisting
McMorrow, Marie DLA Piper UK LLP vertising specialist. tional firm provides a high-quality service to low-voltage cabling manufacturer Lastar in
Band 2 its intellectual property clients, and is plugged protecting its IP rights in the EU.
Band 2 into the organisation’s wider network in the
Clay, Andrew Squire Sanders Hammonds Browne Jacobson LLP UK and beyond. The team worked with col- Shakespeares
Driscoll, Helen Martineau This excellent group works across offices in leagues in New York and China on the acquisi- This strong Midlands firm is a standout par-
Duxbury, Patrick Wragge & Co LLP Nottingham and Birmingham, with addi- tion by Avon of Liz Earle Cosmetics, a globally ticipant in the intellectual property market-
Ellis, Peter Browne Jacobson LLP tional support in London, and is able to call on significant transaction involving centrally place, and has worked on a string of substan-
strength in both contentious and non-conten- important IP issues. It also recently advised tial engagements of late. Its lawyers are expe-
Fry, James Eversheds LLP S tious intellectual property matters. Notable Aga Rangemaster Group on a notable trade rienced across the full spectrum of IP matters,
Paiano, Mauro Shakespeares recent highlights include working with inter- mark case, and defended Guidance Monitor- but are known for their particular expertise in
Talbot, Matthew Howes Percival LLP national construction company Mace on its ing UK in patent infringement proceedings. relation to patents. The team’s high-profile
Wyn, Davies Cerys Pinsent Masons global registration, opposition and infringe- Commentators admire the work of the team’s client list includes Poundland, Candlelight
ment programme, and advising Streetwise solicitors, and note that “they’ve always been Products and The Health People Group. Re-
Band 3 Publications in relation to a copyright in- very strong on behalf of the client, and are cent highlights saw the team advise PRECOS,
Anderson, Frances Cobbetts LLP fringement claim. Clients are delighted with a spin-off from Nottingham University, on the
Burley, Des Martineau the firm’s work, and say its solicitors “are ap- transfer of IP and related licensing issues.
proachable and commercial, and offer a broad KEY INDIVIDUALS Nick Briggs leads the
Cunningham, Nicholas Wragge & Co LLP range of expertise.” department and is known to clients as a
Kempton, Luke Wragge & Co LLP Client Service: “They are user-friendly and “prompt, personable and thorough” solicitor
Snelgrove, Mark Browne Jacobson LLP informal, and you really get the sense of work- with experience across the full breadth of IP.
ing in a team.” Mauro Paiano handles an interesting variety
Associates to watch Commercial Awareness: “They have a real of trade mark, design and patent-related is-
Dumbill, Paula Browne Jacobson LLP grasp of our business, having taken the time sues. Sources describe him as “practical, very
Higton, Emma DLA Piper UK LLP to understand the market.” responsive and generally a likeable and easy
Lesniak, Rebecca Shakespeares KEY INDIVIDUALS Declan Cushley is person to work with.” Rebecca Lesniak is a
head of the firm’s commercial group, and an new addition to the firm’s Birmingham office,
Noble, Martin Shakespeares experienced practitioner in intellectual prop- and brings with her a fine reputation and a
Roberts, Richard Browne Jacobson LLP erty matters. He recently advised National range of experience in the field.
Robertson, Zoe Martineau Lottery operator Camelot on its IP policy and Commentators praise Martin Noble for his
Swaine, Kate Wragge & Co LLP in relation to infringement of its trade marks. “responsiveness, flexibility and technical
Clients say he is “practical, proactive and very knowledge.” In the past year he has handled a
Young, Emma Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP responsive; he always responds and acts very range of matters, from branding advice to
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest quickly.” Helen Driscoll complex patent litigation.
12 chambers & partners
One of the leading practices
A leading force
Band 1 Shakespeares
DLA Piper UK LLP The team at Shakespeares is establishing itself
Sources agree that DLA Piper is one of the re- as a firm favourite with clients, who say: “It’s a
gion’s outstanding practices and boasts “a good fantastic team” with great “strength in depth.”
strong team.” The team handles the full spectrum of restruc-
The team enjoys an excellent relationship turing and insolvency work with a particular
with the Big Four accountancy firms and has strength in the contentious side of the sector.
a place on most leading bank panels. The firm KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources enthuse that
recently acted for PwC and the Bank of Scot- Andrew Taylor is “very commercial and prag-
land as administrators of a property holding matic” as well as “reliable and enjoyable to work
company which holds bingo halls across the with.” He leads the team at the firm.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Huw Dol- Shoosmiths
phin is highly regarded for his non-contentious The team continues to enjoy extensive exper-
restructuring and insolvency practice. He re- tise in retail insolvency in addition to its gen-
cently acted for HSBC and BDO in relation to the eral corporate restructuring and insolvency
furniture retailer Soda Living. John Sullivan practice. Recent highlights include advising on
frequently acts in domestic and multi-jurisdic- the administration of department store chain
tional contentious restructuring. John Jeffreys Alastair Lomax Vergo Retail. Sources say: “It is a very commer-
is a favourite with clients, who say: “He gets cial firm.”
things done quickly and efficiently.” He has a KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients admire Ian Baker, KEY INDIVIDUALS James Keates is admired
particular expertise in real estate restructuring saying he is “very cerebral and has a fantastic as a “very good dynamic lawyer.” He led the way
and insolvency. grasp of the law.” His in-depth understanding of on the Vergo Retail transaction.
corporate and banking issues makes him much
Eversheds LLP sought after. Clients say Sam Payne takes a “re- The Wilkes Partnership LLP
Huw Dolphin Interviewees praise the team at Eversheds for ally commercial approach” and consequently Sources say the team here consists of very
its considerable experience in the restructur- “delivers pragmatic solutions.” skilled lawyers who can always be relied on to
ing and insolvency sector which makes it “one He possesses expertise in the full range of “do a good job.” The firm handles all aspects of
Leading Firms of the leading practices” in the West Midlands.
The firm enjoys a strong domestic bank panel
contentious and non-contentious restructur-
ing and insolvency matters. Meanwhile Helen
restructuring and insolvency.
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Cleary is “an excel-
Band 1 presence as well as carrying out multi-jurisdic- Readett wins plaudits for her “responsive and lent insolvency practitioner.” Meanwhile John
DLA Piper UK LLP tional work. The firm acted for PwC on the ad- commercial” practice. Cooper “always delivers a fantastic personal
Eversheds LLP ministration and disposal of The British School Sources say she is lovely to work with but service.”
of Motoring. “can be tough when she needs to be.”
Band 2 KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources say Gemma Cur- Wragge & Co LLP
Gateley tis fosters “great client relations and really works Squire Sanders Hammonds
Martineau hard to achieve their aims.” Others say: “She is Peers and clients alike say that the firm has
Squire Sanders Hammonds easy to deal with and sees the issues quickly.” “a fantastic contentious and non-contentious
She led the firm’s work in relation to The British team” that boasts “real strength in depth.” The
Band 3 School of Motoring. firm handles a broad range of corporate re-
Irwin Mitchell Meanwhile clients enthuse that Andrew Jor- structuring and insolvency matters and has a
Pinsent Masons dan is “clearly a good lawyer who doesn’t flap strong presence on clearing bank panels.
Shakespeares under pressure.” They add that he “gets things Recent high-profile highlights include acting
Shoosmiths The Wilkes Partnership LLP done” and is “a pragmatic lawyer to deal with.” for the administrators of Super Aguri F1, a mo-
Brian Rawlings enjoys a well-deserved reputa- tor racing team.
Wragge & Co LLP
tion in the market for his technical abilities in KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say Devinder
Band 4 the sector. Singh is “very business-savvy and builds rela-
Clarke Willmott LLP tionships well.” Market sources are quick to say:
Harrison Clark Band 2 “He is a standout insolvency lawyer.” Stephen
Gateley George is a firm favourite with clients who say he
Leading Individuals The team continues to impress market sources stands out thanks to his “considerable experi-
Band 1 in the region, who say it is “an excellent out- ence, excellent client service and commercial
Dolphin, Huw DLA Piper UK LLP fit.” As one of the largest teams in the region it and pragmatic advice.” He leads the team at the
McGeever, Brendan Gateley caters to the full range of restructuring and in- Birmingham office. Daniel French is well re- The firm is a well-established presence in the
Singh, Devinder Squire Sanders Hammonds solvency matters. The firm also has a dedicated garded for his particular specialism in real es- market with extensive experience of non-con-
corporate recovery team which acts for an ar- tate-related insolvency. tentious restructuring and insolvency matters.
Band 2 ray of clearing banks. Interviewees say: “They Recent significant highlights include advising
Baker, Ian Martineau S are very commercial in the mould of being good Band 3 the administrators of Legion Group and Legion
Conway, Vicki Wragge & Co LLP lawyers who get business deals done.” Irwin Mitchell FM.
Curtis, Gemma Eversheds LLP S KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers are quick to praise Sources say the firm has “a very good team KEY INDIVIDUALS Vicki Conway is hailed by
Brendan McGeever as “a great lawyer who really which is a pleasure to work with.” The firm has peers as a “very good insolvency lawyer.” She led
George, Stephen Squire Sanders Hammonds stands out.” He is also a firm favourite with cli- a strong insolvency and liquidation practice the way on the Legion Group work.
Jordan, Andrew J Eversheds LLP S ents, who say he is a pleasure to work with. which it matches with expertise in property in-
Taylor, Andrew Shakespeares Meanwhile Mark Wilson is hailed as “a specialist solvency and Law of Property Act (LPA) receiv- Band 4
Wilson, Mark Gateley on the litigation front.” He recently acted for the ership issues. It advised PwC as administrators Clarke Willmott LLP
administrators of an automotive manufacturer in of Williams & Son Limited and as LPA receivers Clients say the firm has an impressive and
Band 3 for the relevant property assets. “very proactive team.” The team handles the
a successful claim against its former administra-
Cleary, David The Wilkes Partnership LLP tors. KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Bennett leads the full range of restructuring and corporate and
Cooper, John The Wilkes Partnership LLP insolvency team in Birmingham. personal insolvency.
Jeffreys, John DLA Piper UK LLP Martineau KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say Stephanie
Keates, James Shoosmiths The team at Martineau continues to impress Pinsent Masons Slinn has “a can-do attitude, moves things for-
Lomax, Alastair Pinsent Masons clients, who say: “They are very good at ap- The team frequently acts on behalf of banks ward and she keeps you updated.” She leads the
plying expertise from different areas to get the and the Big Four accountancy firms in trans- team at the firm.
Payne, Sam Martineau actional restructuring and insolvency matters.
job done.” The firm caters to the full range of
Rawlings, Brian Eversheds LLP S restructuring and insolvency matters and fre- The firm recently acted for KPMG as the ad- Harrison Clark
Readett, Helen Martineau quently acts for banks and financial institu- ministrators of the Western Corrugated group This Worcester-based practice handles a wide
Sullivan, John Christopher Philip DLA Piper UK LLP tions. of companies. The team’s clients include Bar- range of insolvency matters. The team has ex-
Whitbread, Jonathan Harrison Clark The team has recently been advising Deloitte clays, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds TSB. tensive experience in both corporate and per-
in connection with the administration of the KEY INDIVIDUALS Market sources admire sonal insolvency.
Up-and-coming individuals Wordsworth Group. “They are always ap- Alastair Lomax as a technically skilled insol- KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources admire Jonathan
French, Daniel Squire Sanders Hammonds proachable and commercial-minded. They go vency lawyer. He led the way on the firm’s advice Whitbread as a skilled and personable lawyer
Slinn, Stephanie Clarke Willmott LLP the extra mile for the client,” say sources. on the administration of Western Corrugated. who is great to work with.
chambers & partners 13
in the West Midlands
DLA Piper UK LLP
Wragge & Co LLP
Band 2 DLA Piper UK LLP
This outstanding team handles all aspects of
Gateley corporate law from sales and purchases to
Pinsent Masons private equity deals and admissions to both
the AIM exchange and the Official List. It
Band 3 advises such clients as Barclays Ventures,
Browne Jacobson LLP Dechra Pharmaceuticals and Intertek.
Martineau Highlights include advising Compass
Squire Sanders Hammonds Group UK & Ireland on its acquisition of the
entire issued share capital of VSG Group.
Band 4 Commercial Awareness: “They are strong
Cobbetts LLP operators that have built up a strong client
George Green LLP base.”
Harvey Ingram LLP KEY INDIVIDUALS James Lavery is
praised for his expertise in representing cli-
Hill Hofstetter LLP ents such as Barclays Private Equity, Lloyds
Shakespeares Development Capital and
Shoosmiths Sovereign Capital in M&A and private eq-
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest. uity transactions. Mark Beardmore focuses
on MBOs, secondary buyouts, development
Leading Individuals capital investments and exits. Noel Haywood
Band 1 acts for large domestic and international cli-
ents. He has recently assisted Finning Inter-
Lavery, James DLA Piper UK LLP national in connection with the sale of Hewd-
Lewis, Susan Eversheds LLP en Stuart UK. Birmingham-based head of
Seary, Peter Hill Hofstetter LLP team Russell Orme represented Avon Cos-
metics on the acquisition of Liz Earle Cosmet-
Band 2 ics.
Birchall, Roger Browne Jacobson LLP
Bligh, Joanne Browne Jacobson LLP Eversheds LLP
Dawes, Edward Squire Sanders Hammonds This first-rate firm attracts praise for its “in-
Harkin, Paul Pinsent Masons depth understanding of the nuances of cli-
Hayward, Paul Gateley ents’ businesses.” It benefits from relation-
ships with numerous private equity houses
Hornigold, Andrew Pinsent Masons and a strong portfolio of blue-chip clients Stephen Kitts
Kitts, Stephen Eversheds LLP from sectors including energy and renewa-
Millington, Jeremy Wragge & Co LLP bles,
healthcare and food. Leading highlights
Band 3 include a role in one of the region’s largest
Beardmore, Mark H DLA Piper UK LLP transactions, advising the Tejani family on
Bennett, Paul George Green LLP the sale of the LPC Group to Sofidel Spa.
Client Service: “They show a can-do atti- Katie Silvester
Cliff, Paul Gateley
Haywood, Noel DLA Piper UK LLP tude and commitment to delivering results.
We particularly appreciated their willingness
Hill, Chris Hill Hofstetter LLP to manage issues and not always wait to be
McLintock, Peter Squire Sanders Hammonds instructed.”
Muth, Graham Cobbetts LLP Commercial Awareness: “I was very im-
Orme, Russell DLA Piper UK LLP pressed by the pragmatic and commercial
Perry, Geoff Squire Sanders Hammonds realism displayed by the team, which com-
Smith, Julian Mills & Reeve LLP bined with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity
has become a hallmark of Eversheds.”
Stilton, Andrew Martineau KEY INDIVIDUALS Susan Lewis contin-
Vaughan, David Wragge & Co LLP ues to act for the firm’s high profile national
Wakefield, Paul Irwin Mitchell and international clients. “She fully deserves
Wrigley, Richard Martineau her great reputation,” sources say. Stephen
Kitts is “good at holding his client’s hand Andrew Stilton James Lavery
Band 4 through the process and explaining compli-
Green, Guy George Green LLP cated concepts in layman’s terms.” visers and brokers. He has experience of Katie Silvester recently advised on the ac-
Henwood, Julian Wragge & Co LLP Keri Rees is “brilliant for corporate matters acting on international deals and for Scandi- quisition of Primetake by way of reverse
Lee, Robert Wright Hassall LLP – prompt, responsive and commercial.” navian-based companies. M&A specialist takeover. Michael Ward oversees the work of
Letza, Martin Shoosmiths David Vaughan is described as sensible, clear the team.He continues to advise owner-
Wragge & Co LLP headed and “extremely dedicated to his managed businesses and large corporate
Peet, Alistair Shoosmiths Clients and peers alike praise this team for work.” He has a track record of advising on clients on a variety of matters.
Silvester, Katie Gateley its commerciality and superb client service. transactions with a German element.
Taylor, Nicholas A Higgs & Sons Its client base ranges from owner-managed Pinsent Masons
Thomas, Jane Hill Hofstetter LLP private companies to FTSE-listed major cor- Band 2 This nine-partner team is felt to have weath-
Ward, Michael Gateley porates that include the likes of Premier Gateley ered the tough economic climate in a robust
Up-and-coming individuals Foods, Harvard International, Dubai World The team has recently been strengthened by fashion. In recent times it has been particu-
Ports and Phones4U. In the past year it ad- the arrival of a significant number of lawyers larly active in the technology, energy and
McGiveron, Adam Martineau visedNYSE-listed Cambrex on the USD20 from the now defunct law firm Halliwells. healthcare sectors.
Rees, Keri Eversheds LLP million acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Clients praise the firm for the quality of its The firm also provides advice on private
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest. Indian pharmaceutical company Zenara. corporate practice as well as its proactive ap- equity matters to funds including Better
Client Service: “You feel they are very much proach. Recent highlights include advising Capital, MML Capital, Apax Partners and
Recommended for Commercial Awareness part of your team and generally they give on the £10 million AIM-placement of Real Barclays Private Equity. Clients enjoy work-
West Midlands clear, concise advice.” Estate Investors and acting on the £42 mil- ing with this “innovative and easy-to-deal-
DLA Piper UK LLP Commercial Awareness: “Their advice has lion return of capital by Dunelm Group. with” practice.
been excellently commercial.We really enjoy KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Hayward focuses KEY INDIVIDUALS Leading partner Paul
Eversheds LLP working with them.” on advising private equity funds on a wide Harkin recently advised Halfords Group on
Wragge & Co LLP KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeremy Millington range of corporate matters. He recently rep- the £73 million acquisition of Nationwide
Recommended for Client Service specialises in private equity and M&A work. resented Kimberly ccess on the acquisition of Autocentres. Andrew Hornigold is singled out
In the past year he advised Automatic Data 1st Access Rentals and subsidiaries Pinnacle for his “tremendous experience” on technol-
West Midlands Processing on the £16.2 million public takeo- Platforms and Scotia Plant & Tool Hire. Paul ogy-led deals. In the past year he advised
Browne Jacobson LLP ver of OneClickHR. Julian Henwood provides Cliff handles a range of transactional con- Synetrix on the £75 million sale of the busi-
Eversheds LLP advice on IPOs, secondary fundraisings, cerns, in particular those involving public ness to Capita Group.
Shoosmiths public takeovers and regulatory compliance companies on corporate and capital markets
Wragge & Co LLP for publicly-listed companies, financial ad- matters.
14 chambers & partners
A fantastic team
Wragge & Co LLP
DLA Piper UK LLP
Martineau Band 1 from the London office, and its newly-
Eversheds LLP opened Paris office gives it an extra di-
Shoosmiths Interviewees universally agree that this mension of international capability. It
Squire Sanders Hammonds group deserves its Band 1 ranking, played a key role in Birmingham’s larg-
Wright Hassall LLP commenting on its “excellent reputation est ever office investment deal, advising
Band 4 and capability.” Clients describe it as Argent as property adviser to The
“an enthusiastic, committed and knowl- Brindleyplace Limited Partnership on
Clarke Willmott LLP edgeable team” that “always makes you the £190 million sale of eight buildings
George Green LLP feel that it is 100% focused on your in- in the Brindleyplace mixed-use devel-
Higgs & Sons structions.” Its extensive network of opment. It has also been advising War-
Mills & Reeve LLP domestic and international offices al- wickshire County Cricket Club on its
Shakespeares lows the Birmingham team to offer as- £30 million redevelopment of its Edg-
sistance on a national and global basis, baston home ground and Covanta En-
Band 5 and it continues to expand its client ergy on the UK’s largest industrial eco-
Ansons LLP roster with new names including park.
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP Blacks, Phones 4u and Cordatus Part- KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Bate is
Band Hatton LLP ners.Major highlights include repre- unanimously acknowledged as “a lead-
Bevan Brittan LLP senting Wolseley UK in its transfer of er in his field.” He chairs the residential
177 properties to Legacy – this was the development team and recently took the
Browne Jacobson LLP
UK’s first significant outsource of a lead acting for The Miller Group in its
Hill Hofstetter LLP pure lease liability portfolio. It also han- successful bid for management con-
The Wilkes Partnership LLP dled the region’s largest real estate tracts worth £120 million.
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest transaction of the last year, acting for Kathy Toon, Martineau Market sources recognise Mark Ches-
Mitchells & Butlers in its £373 million ter for the strength of his work in devel-
Leading Individuals sale of 333 properties to TDR Capital. hard-working” Iftkhar Ahmed takes a opment and regeneration projects, par-
Band 1 Other key clients include HSBC, Uni- key role in corporate real estate work ticularly those that involve the educa-
Bate, Richard Wragge & Co LLP part, Taylor Wimpey and Land Securi- for clients such as Goodyear Dunlop, tion and technology sectors.
Dakeyne, Mark Bridgehouse Partners LLP ties. Unipart and Mitchells & Butlers, and
Jackson, Jason Shoosmiths KEY INDIVIDUALS Gurjit Atwal he was involved in Safestore Holdings’ Band 2
leads the team’s work on development £350 million refinancing. David Jones Gateley
Medford, Phil Eversheds LLP and investment, covering mixed-use impresses with his fast turnaround Clients highlight this as “a profes-
Nuttall, Callum Gateley development projects, town centre re- times and expertise across the range sional and friendly” team that “shows
O’Meara, Anne Squire Sanders Hammonds generation and joint ventures. He rep- of real estate work. Birmingham Mail- great attention to detail.” Its heavy sec-
Band 2 resented Land Securities in its £130 box, Hammerson and Urban Splash tor involvement means that “it is al-
million acquisition of the O2 Centre. are a few of his clients. ways in touch with the market,” and it
Ahmed, Iftkhar Eversheds LLP Phil Medford is “an excellent lawyer is “very responsive to problems which
Atwal, Gurjit Eversheds LLP who has his finger on the pulse and the Wragge & Co LLP need to be dealt with immediately.”
Chester, Mark Wragge & Co LLP client’s job at the forefront of his mind.” This group offers “first-class practition- Over the last year the firm has opened
Deady, Eleanor Wright Hassall LLP He focuses on large scale residential ers” and a superlative reputation for its a Manchester office populated by the
Jones, Alex Gateley development schemes, and has re- varied work across the breadth of real former Halliwells real estate team to
Kordan, Joel Shoosmiths cently handled Centex’s disposition of estate issues; it is split into 15 subde- provide clients with greater regional
Fairclough Homes and David Wilson partments of specialists to cover all coverage. The team has been assisting
Toon, Kathy Martineau Homes’ acquisition of Roland Bardsley facets of real estate. It regularly works Wolverhampton City Council in its
Watson, Adrian Cobbetts LLP Homes. The “very knowledgeable and in close conjunction with colleagues mixed-use redevelopment of the area
Austin, Jon Higgs & Sons
Boss, Simon Shoosmiths
Calverley, Mark Bevan Brittan LLP
Camfield, Victoria Browne Jacobson LLP
Coleman, Peter J Higgs & Sons
Johnson, Tom Pinsent Masons
Khangura, Kultar Pinsent Masons
Lawson-King, Joanna Pinsent Masons
Ledger, Tim Gateley
Mort, Ceri George Green LLP
Shepherd, Sara Higgs & Sons
Simpson, Ray Gateley
Sutherland, Monique Squire Sanders Hammonds
Vernon, Clive Buller Jeffries
Whatley, Michael Mills & Reeve LLP
Associates to watch
Bradley, Fiona Squire Sanders Hammonds
Elliot, Cherry Shoosmiths
Jones, David Eversheds LLP
Munroe, Sandy Bevan Brittan LLP
Alphabetical order within each band. Band 1 is the highest.
Recommended for Commercial Awareness
DLA Piper UK LLP
Recommended for Client Service
Higgs & Sons
Shakespeares Jason Jackson and Alex Bishop
chambers & partners 15
with real strength and depth
Commercial Awareness “It displays a advising Stoford Developments on a
good understanding of our business £75 million regeneration scheme in
and is very commercially astute.” West Bromwich. Office head Joel Ko-
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Hayes rdan is highly regarded for his exper-
leads the Birmingham office’s real es- tise in residential and commercial de-
tate team. velopments. Langtree Group is one of
his major clients, and recent instruc-
Martineau tions include a public sector partner
Clients recognise this as “a solid team agreement for Daresbury Science Park
that meets deadlines and is good at also involving Holton Borough Council
handling negotiations.” It provides ex- and NWDA. Simon Boss is “clear, prac-
pertise across the range of real estate tical and gets to the required result
issues, with particular sector special- with the least fuss.” He chairs the real
ism in banking, education and energy- estate group in Birmingham and has
related transactions. It has been as- spent a significant amount of time
sisting the University of Worcester in advising Poundland and One Stop
its proposed joint venture to develop Stores. Clients identify associate Cher-
ten acres of a 40-acre site. Other cli- ry Elliot as “a rising star who is very
ents include Yorkshire Bank, West good on investment.”
Midlands Police Authority and Univer-
sity of Cumbria. Squire Sanders Hammonds
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kathy Toon is This “fantastic team” has “real strength
highly regarded for her work on behalf in depth.”
of retail clients, as well as investors Regeneration and public sector work
and developers. She recently joined the are key areas of focus, and it has been
firm from Clarke Willmott. assisting Nuneaton & Bedworth Bor-
ough Council in its multimillion-pound
Shoosmiths Bluebell development. Advantage West
This 26-lawyer team regularly han- Midlands is another major client, and
dles work spanning all areas of real recent work undertaken includes ad-
estate law. Of late it has been espe- vising it on Moog’s proposed £15 mil-
Anne O’Meara, Squire Sanders Hammonds cially occupied with retail and leisure- lion relocation from Wolverhampton to
related matters, acting for business South Staffordshire.
such as Midlands Co-operative Soci- The group has also received a steady
immediately surrounding Wolverhamp- and investment work. Big-ticket work commercial portfiolios. Inviron, Wal- ety, Poundland and the Jessop Group. stream of instructions from the energy
ton’s main rail station, as well as advis- includes assisting Waitrose in its new sall MBC and Folkes Holdings are cli- In terms of specific highlights, it is and utilities sector; National Grid,
ing Morris Homes and Gentwo Housing national stores programme, and acting ents of note. sole property adviser to One Stop Fulcrum Pipelines and Express Ener-
Association on their development of for the Homes & Communities Agency KEY INDIVIDUALS Adrian Watson Stores, which is currently working to gy have all recently received assist-
Britain’s largest zero carbon centre, in the sale of its Isle of Wight site to a is a well-known figure for his property a total of 50 new store developments ance.
which will consist of 344 new homes. private sector house builder for resi- development work on behalf of both and acquisitions per year. It also con- KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees
Opus Land, HSBC, British Telecom and dential development. Commercial public and private sector clients. tinues to attract a healthy amount of laud Anne O’Meara’s “ability to grasp
Alfred McAlpine Developments are more Awareness “It has outstanding aware- developer clients including Birming- the bigger picture and fit it together
names that feature prominently on its ness; it constantly gives clients confi- DLA Piper UK LLP ham Property Group, Shepherd Devel- with the details.” She commands sig-
client roster. dence that it has its finger on the pulse Over the last year, this team has kept opments and new client Berwick nificant market respect for her exten-
Client Service “It provides an excel- of what’s going on in the property busy advising numerous banks on fi- Hill. sive development and regeneration
lent service with no shortcomings.” world.” nancing transactions, and its global KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees experience, assisting clients such as
KEY INDIVIDUALS Callum Nuttall KEY INDIVIDUALS Birmingham network of offices allows it to act for highlight Jason Jackson as a strong Wolverhampton City Council, Birming-
is extremely highly regarded for his property team head Tom Johnson is international clients such as US com- lawyer with the ability to oversee ham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent
expertise in regeneration, house build- lead partner for a number of the pany DST Realty. Other work includes projects to the best possible results. He City Council. Fellow regeneration spe-
ing and affordable housing. He is fre- group’s largest clients, including John representing Finning (UK) in its sale of handles a combination of commercial cialist Monique Sutherland advises a
quently retained in large-scale Lewis Partnership/Waitrose and Hewden UK to Sun European Part- development, investment and property range of public and private sector cli-
schemes, such as advising Bovis, Per- ASDA. Joanna Lawson-King special- ners. finance matters, and he led the team ents on projects across the retail, lei-
simmon Homes and Keepmoat on the ises in property investment, major sure, sports, industrial and residential
£350 million regeneration of north- portfolio transactions and tax-driven sectors.Clients appreciate Fiona Brad-
east Coventry. proper t y fina nce dea ls. Kulta r ley as an associate who provides “an
Ray Simpson handles commercial Khangura impresses with a “commer- efficient outcome.” She is particularly
property development, with a particu- cial approach” and “an all-round un- well versed in retail and charity-related
lar focus on assisting Midlands-based derstanding of what makes transac- matters.
developers in their industrial, retail, tions work.” He has led on numerous
office and leisure projects. Clients ap- major regeneration schemes, includ- Wright Hassall LLP
preciate Tim Ledger’s “good knowledge ing the £650 million Edgar Street Interviewees agree that this is a robust
of working with and against local au- project in Hereford. team of experienced practitioners who
thorities,” adding that he is “strong at are capable of deftly handling the full
drafting development agreements,” Band 3 range of real estate law. It sits on nu-
and is able to quickly grasp the perti- Cobbetts LLP merous panels for high-profile compa-
nent points. Alex Jones recently joined This team continues to advise on a nies, including Myers La Roche, TUI
the firm from LL Law, and he handles significant amount of investment prop- and new client Orbit Homes. Of late, it
the full range of commercial real estate erty transactions. The last year has has handled Butchers Pet Care’s £38
law, specialising in mixed-use develop- seen numerous new investor, develop- million acquisition of a new headquar-
ment and regeneration schemes and er, housing association and local au- ters and manufacturing facility. Other
funding structures. thority client wins, such as County major clients include BMW, JCDecaux
Properties, which it advised on the and Wigleys Contracts.
Pinsent Masons purchase, refurbishment and subse- KEY INDIVIDUALS Eleanor Deady
Sources identify this as “a flexible quent £8.8 million sale of a former recently joined the firm from Cobbetts.
team that is good to work with and Boots store. It has also assisted Jaguar She impresses with the depth of her
provides great advice.” It handles the Cars and Land Rover in a number of expertise in commercial real estate,
full array of real estate law, covering asset management matters and acted particularly where it involves complex
corporate deals, tax structuring, re- for both Calthorpe Estates and Bir- regeneration projects and property
generation and public sector projects mingham Property Group across their Jon Austin and Peter Coleman, Higgs and Sons development.
16 MILLS & REEVE ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
We’re leading the field
National law firm Mills & Reeve is the third consecutive year it has been company AmSurg Corp on UK investments, Guy Hinchley
has more teams ranked as ranked in Band 1 of the legal directory, firm- and advised CPC Foods on its acquisition of
leaders in their field than any ly cementing its position as a leading team Beckett’s Foods. Fast expanding US train-
other top UK law firm, according within its field. Earlier this year, the family ing company TTi Global also turned to Ju-
to the latest edition of Chambers team broke new ground with the launch of lian and his team when they made their first
UK. Guy Hinchley, managing its very own smartphone app, Divorce UK, acquisition on UK soil.
which offers free guidance and advice on the The year also brought new instructions
partner at the firm, gives his legal, practical and emotional issues faced for the real estate and construction teams.
view on the impressive result by those considering divorce or separation. Birmingham-based property developer Gal-
A dedicated YouTube channel to comple- lan appointed Mills & Reeve to advise on its
lmost 60 per cent of Mills & ment the app has also been launched. To- retail park development in Canning Town,
Reeve’s 45 rankings were in gether they support the firm’s established while the team has successfully secured
the top tier of this year’s Divorce.co.uk website. more than 30 academy conversion projects,
Chambers UK guide – the As well as the team successes, a number including ten projects based in the Mid-
highest percentage of any of partners from the Birmingham office also lands.
top UK firm. This impressive showing ranked highly this year. Gary Barber, Mat- There was also a good showing in Cham-
also meant we were ranked among the thew Hansell, Marc Saunderson and Angus bers UK for the Birmingham employment
top five law firms in the UK based on the Turner were all named as leading lawyers in team, with partners Nick Abbott, Martin
total number of top tier rankings – a their respective fields. Brewer and Jog Hundle all ranked in the
truly fantastic achievement. While not quite ranked in the top tier, the guide.
The rankings were split among various corporate team, headed by partner Julian Overall this is a fantastic result for the
teams across the firm’s six UK offices, in- Smith, has had a buoyant year, advising on firm and the Birmingham office, in what re-
cluding Birmingham, which put in a strong a number of major deals, including the £73 mains a tough economic climate.
performance by having four teams – chari- million takeover of satnav business Traffic- It’s always reassuring to be recognised by
ties, family and matrimonial, private client master by US private equity house Vector our industry in this way. Mills & Reeve’s
and professional negligence – named in the Capital. philosophy of infectious ambition is about
top band. The corporate team also completed a getting the best results for our clients and
For the family and matrimonial team, number of acquisitions for Allied Health- these fantastic directory rankings are proof
headed by partner Marc Saunderson, it care Group, is advising NASDAQ health that we are achieving this.
one step ahead
Thanks to some kind words from the most important people in our lives,
that's our clients in case you’re wondering, a higher percentage of our
teams are ranked number 1 in their field than any other top UK law firm.
According to Chambers UK, Mills & Reeve is one of the top
five firms in the UK based on the 26 top tier rankings our
legal teams achieved.
To find out more, contact Guy Hinchley on 0121 456 8337
Offices: Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, London,