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Corporate and commercial: Cambridge

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Cambridge clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėa strong regional firm that is well placed for SME, owner-managed and mid-market clients‚Äė. One client remarks that it can ‚Äėcompete against any regional or national firm in the mid-market space, and is well positioned to manage cross-border deals through its network‚Äė. The three Cambridge-based partners act for a diverse range of clients in¬†sectors including technology, food and agriculture, transport and distribution, housebuilding and energy. James Allen¬†leads the practice and is 'well prepared,¬†pragmatic and straightforward; he remembers discussions and detail from the past'. Allen and associate Corinne Spencer, who are both described as¬†‚Äėpragmatic and professional with a commercial attitude and a keen understanding of what is important and what is not', acted for German listed company Sygnis AG in its ‚ā¨10.8m acquisition of Innova Biosciences.¬†Quentin Golder¬†and experienced senior associate Nick Burt¬†advised shareholders on the ¬£24m sale of a 70% stake¬†in Contamac Holdings to a subsidiary of¬†Shanghai Haohai Biological Technology Co. Highlights for¬†Adrian Seagers¬†included acting for the owners of Ductclean (UK) Limited in its ¬£10m sale to Marlowe plc. The practice also counts Ultrasoc Ltd, Veterinary Pathology Group and¬†Scientific Digital Imaging Plc among its clients.

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†‚Äėhas great experience, understands the private equity industry and is able to deal internationally, with sector knowledge that is second to none‚Äė. The firm has a¬†growing focus on national and international work, while also handling high-end local transactions, and has solidified its standing as a leading M&A practice in East Anglia. In 2017, the firm as a whole advised on matters involving more than 75 different jurisdictions including the US, China and Canada. A standout deal saw the firm advise Richardson International Limited on the high-value acquisition of European Oat Millers.¬†‚ÄėExceptional lawyer‚Äė Anthony McGurk, who has more than 20 years‚Äô experience in corporate finance, led on that deal and is ‚Äėhighly recommended for any type of M&A activity‚Äė. He also acted for the Weetabix Food Company on several deals as part of its ¬£1.4bn sale to US firm Post Holdings.¬†Practice head¬†Tom Pickthorn¬†(who handled a multimillion-pound acquisition for Danish IT services business Netcompany),¬†Zickie Lim¬†(who advised venture capital firms on a $16m investment),¬† principal associate Jonathan Greenwood¬†and consultant Brian Marshall¬†provide 'an¬†excellent level of service with outstanding legal skills, impressive client handling, impeccable responsiveness, outstanding business judgement and excellent value for money'. Also recommended are¬†corporate finance partner Stephen Hamilton, who is 'calm and unflappable at all times and provides good commercial and practical advice', and leading light¬†Claire Clarke, who has niche expertise in both the education sector and investment funds formation.

Taylor Vinters¬†¬†has a specific focus on innovative and entrepreneurial clients, which gives it a prominent role in many M&A and investment transactions in the technology sector for both domestic and international clients.¬†Head of corporate¬†Adam Bradley¬†acted for US-based and Nasdaq-listed Funko LLC in its $4.5m purchase of¬†the entire issued share capital of A Large Evil Corporation Limited.¬†Angel investment specialist¬†Charles Fletcher, who frequently acts for IP-rich businesses and their investors, is a key lawyer in the firm's new growth companies team.¬†Sian Scanlon¬†works with owner‚Äďmanagers, serial acquirers and growing technology businesses, as well as leading intermediaries. Her highlights from last year included acting for shareholders in the multimillion-pound sale of the entire issued capital of speciality pharmaceutical devices company Oval Medical Technologies Ltd to¬†an associate company of US-based Scientific Molding Corporation, which involved a complicated multi-layer consideration structure to accommodate the needs of various classes of a diverse shareholder base, including loan notes, net cash payment at completion and deferred elements. Senior associate¬†Nick Palmer¬†is also recommended for¬†private company M&A, restructuring and investment matters on behalf of owner-managers and entrepreneurial clients in the technology and manufacturing sectors. Senior associate¬†Susan McDonald¬†is recommended for both corporate and banking work. Corporate finance specialist¬†Edward Hooper¬†moved to¬†Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Taylor Wessing LLP is 'very good, responsive to client needs and good value for money'. The firm 'beats local competitors for its commercial understanding and flexibility', says one client. Another remarks on the firm's 'fantastic service; it has a high level of knowledge of the growth equity market and is both responsive and reasonable value'. The UK corporate technology group, led from London by Adrian Rainey, includes founder member David Mardle, who is also co-head of the firm's international corporate practice and who is recommended for his 'depth of understanding'. Mardle advises on corporate transactions including trade sales and equity funding deals for both investors and companies seeking finance. He recently acted for Mina Holdings, which owns MiNA Therapeutics, on the £400m sale of shares to Sosei R&D Limited. Also recommended is associate Adam Thatcher in the firm's corporate technology group who advises investors and technology-focused companies, including start-ups, on venture capital investments, M&A transactions and general corporate matters. He worked with Rainey on £66.4m of investments by client Cambridge Innovation Capital. VC specialist Simon Walker left the firm to join investment bank Silverpeak.

Greenwoods GRM is 'excellent - a first-class firm with a very strong team in commercial and corporate law', according to one client. Practice head David Woods relocated to Cambridge from the Peterborough office following Duncan Walker's departure to Bircham Dyson Bell. Clients remark that Woods is an excellent and experienced lawyer who offers the rare combination of very commercially-minded advice with a large degree of gravitas'. He recently advised the owner on the £57m sale of cleanroom and healthcare disposables manufacturer Nitritex, and acted for Stratagem IPM on the acquisition of Page Hargrave. Douglas Linette has niche expertise advising UK clients on business operations in Australia, given his role as a consultant to affiliated firm Kemp Strang. Mark Williams  moved to Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds.

The team at¬†Hewitsons¬†‚Äėalways delivers everything in a friendly and concise way‚Äė and provides ‚Äėstrong advice at a good price point‚Äė. Clients are 'extremely pleased with the level the of service'. The firm handles public markets work, M&A deals in the technology sector, corporate finance work for a regional SME client base, and¬†restructuring and refinancing transactions in the property sector. Practice head¬†James Lawrence¬†specialises in public markets work but also has extensive experience in M&A deals, private equity transactions and MBOs. He acted for¬†Nuformix Technologies Limited in its ¬£17m reverse takeover of Levrett Plc. Lawrence is¬†'able to get to the core of the issues quickly, understands our challenges and works around the clock when time is of the essence', remarks one client.¬†Laurence Evans¬†has stepped up to take the mantle of retiring partner¬†Jason Williams, and is recommended for¬†complex share sales and purchases, corporate restructuring and assisting with AIM admissions. He handled Medigold Health Consultancy's purchase of a key competitor.¬†Head of technology¬†Andrew Priest¬†is recommended for IT, outsourcing, technology transfer and general commercial contracts. Commercial partner¬†Bill Thatcher¬†is also recommended.

Penningtons Manches LLP¬†is praised for its ‚Äėexcellent and prompt advice‚Äė. The Cambridge office handles a growing number of high-value deals, especially those with an international element, thanks in part to a close relationship with the firm's office in San Francisco, US.¬†Helen Drayton¬†is the key partner in Cambridge and clients remark that she ‚Äėhas excellent all round depth of knowledge, responds fast and is determined to get the best for her clients‚Äė. ‚ÄėHer advice is the best available‚Äė, says one. She¬†acted for James Dolan Limited in the acquisition of the Dooley Rumble Group Limited, which gave the company a foothold in the freight forwarding sector. Another key deal saw her advise¬†Ellgia Recycling Limited on¬†the acquisition of assets of Purple Recycling Limited as part of the expansion of its services across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Partner¬†Ross McNaughton, who spent some time on secondment to the San Francisco office but remains a key part of the Cambridge team, specialises in corporate transactions in the¬†technology and life sciences sectors. He assisted Klareco Communications with its separation from Bell Pottinger. Senior associate¬†Rachel Bradley, who handles IP, IT and commercial matters, is also recommended.¬†James Stephen¬†¬†joined¬†Bircham Dyson Bell.

Bircham Dyson Bell¬†opened its Cambridge office in 2017¬†and firm has quickly grown its corporate and commercial team with the hire of the ‚Äėclient-focused and extremely¬†knowledgeable'¬†James Stephen¬†from¬†Penningtons Manches LLP,¬†who is ‚Äėmature, wise and unflappable‚Äė, and¬†Duncan Walker¬†from¬†Greenwoods GRM. Clients report ‚Äėexceptional service, super knowledge, great response times and a willingness to go above and beyond for the client‚Äė. The lawyers are ‚Äėthoroughly professional without being the least stuffy, they give good advice and direction and are highly¬†responsive'. Stephen¬†specialises in domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures, fundraisings and corporate reorganisations, as well as shareholders‚Äô and LLP agreements. Walker handles¬†corporate finance and commercial contracts, most notably in the¬†technology sector. The firm's highlights include advising Owlstone Medical Limited on a multimillion-pound investment by Aviva.

Boutique firm Dixon Phillips has a niche corporate and commercial property practice that serves the East Anglia's SME community. The 'clear, practical and commercial' Oliver Phillips leads the corporate and commercial practice and has 20 years' experience in contractual and copyright matters. He continued to expand the team last year with a newly qualified solicitor from Gotelee Solicitors joining assistant solicitor Matthew Dempsey and experienced IT contracts consultant Natasha Minchella. The practice, which handled deals with a total value of £36m in 2017, recently advised a group of shareholders of of Alpha Biopesticides Limited on the $5m sale of shares to French company, and acted for COEL on the demerger of its plumbing business and related part sale to management.

Howes Percival LLP has a growing profile in Cambridge and a roster of high-value corporate and commercial work. The team works closely with lawyers in the firm's other offices in East Anglia and further afield to handle corporate transactions for owner-managed and family-owned businesses, as well as high-net-worth individuals engaging in corporate sales and acquisitions. Its work frequently involves transactions in the tourism and leisure, automotive, healthcare and financial services sectors. Nathan Horton leads the practice with support from solicitor Venetia Phipps, who advises both private and public sector clients on corporate matters. Their recent work includes advising the shareholders of a company on a proposed investment by and shareholders’ agreement with another business in the same sector, acting for a significant shareholder in its proposed exit from a business, and handling a group restructuring of its UK business for a subsidiary of a US corporate.

The practice at Tees Law is recommended for small and medium-sized transactions. Senior associate Sarah Ilic is head of a four-lawyer team that handles share and asset acquisitions and disposals, corporate borrowing and general company commercial matters for a broad range of local companies. The Cambridge office works closely with the team in Chelmsford on larger transactions, and both Ilic and 'simply exceptional' associate Katy Carson played a role in advising a housebuilder client on four multimillion-pound acquisitions. New recruit and associate Pieta Dalglish, who was formerly corporate counsel for Egencia Limited, works with both the Chelmsford and Cambridge practices. 'Brilliant' solicitor Troy Featherstone is also recommended.

Woodfines LLP has a diverse client base for corporate work which ranges from small, independent, owner-managed businesses to large companies and PLCs. Former head of company commercial Stephen Oliver moved to Buckles Solicitors LLP , so corporate finance specialist Martin Smith now leads the practice. Since taking over in October, 2017, Smith has handled a number of high-value deals, which included acting for a provider of ATM technology on its £35m sale. He also supported an electrical products company in its £10m sale to German company Obo Betterman. He also assisted with the sale of a regional group of Costa coffee shops to a private company, and acted for family card business Sherwood Press Limited in its corporate restructuring.


Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds is 'an excellent firm with highly professional solicitors and staff, who act promptly and with integrity and treat the clients as people, rather than just another case'. Partner Simon Ratcliffe, who is a dual-qualified solicitor advocate and barrister, leads the practice and specialises in the acquisition, disposal and reorganisation of private companies. He recently acted for Nexus Underwriting Management Limited in its multimillion-pound acquisition of US-based reinsurer ZON Re, which brought the company into a new line of business. For the same client he handled a £44m fundraising transaction to fund future growth. Neil Walmsley is seen as one of the region's leading corporate finance lawyers and handles a mix of regional, London-based and international transactions. He recently helped Holiday Property Bond with its acquisition of Jigsaw Holidays, and advised a client in the healthcare sector on the multimillion-pound disposal of a property company to a REIT. Andrew Cooper is highly regarded for corporate matters and commercial contracts work, including  supply and agency agreements, and for data protection and GDPR compliance issues. Solicitor Mark Williams is also recommended for M&A, fundraisings and commercial contract law.

Ashtons Legal's corporate and commercial practice works across all of its offices in East Anglia, including Bury St Edmunds. The firm frequently handles transactional work for companies in the care homes industry, and the food and beverage industry. Geoff Hazlewood leads the practice and works from both Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. He 'considers and details all aspects of the position but whilst advising caution, he is not too risk-averse'.

Fraser Dawbarns 'scores highly in all aspects - clients receive quick responses, a thorough service and good value for money'. Daniel Ball leads a commercial practice that handles multimillion-pound acquisitions and projects for a large number of SMEs across the region. Tony Cheetham has 'an excellent overview of a wide range of legal issues that can affect a business'. Silke Trevor is 'very enthusiastic, hardworking and patient'. Associate Carla Goodyear is 'extremely efficiently with professional ability and expertise; she has a deep understanding of the complexities that present themselves in enterprises'. Jenny Rushmer is also recommended.

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar¬†is ‚Äėvery effective at dealing with matters for owner-managed businesses from both a legal and commercial perspective‚Äė. Clients note that it is ‚Äėable to tailor the amount of work required to enable small transactions to be dealt with cost effectively‚Äė and that the team is 'highly competent, efficient and diligent in the work undertaken'. In Thetford, Tim Stevenson¬†has developed his commercial practice over more than 40 years and is ‚Äėvery experienced¬†and able to approach matters in a practical and commercial way‚Äė. 'Very competent and commercial' associate Aimee Hedley¬†also specialises in corporate and commercial matters, on which she regularly advises agricultural clients. Paul Garner¬†in Wisbech, who is also head of employment law, has more than 30 years‚Äô experience in commercial and contractual matters.¬†Steve Welcomme¬†is also recommended for his 30 years' experience in business law. The practice advised a transport company on a ¬£2.5m share sale, and handled a ¬£1.2m share issue for a new client.


Corporate and commercial: Ipswich

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Ipswich
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Ipswich clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Birketts LLP has a long history in the Ipswich market and remains one of the pre-eminent firms for corporate and commercial matters. It has the largest practice in Suffolk, which works closely with the teams in the firm's three other regional offices to support both SMEs and large corporates in local, regional and national corporate transactions. Senior partner James Austin leads the department and looks after the commercial interests of a wide range of businesses based all over East Anglia and beyond. His work includes the drafting and negotiation of commercial contracts, as well as transactional matters. He worked with senior associate Sarah Lewis to advise TA Hotel Collection Limited on the purchase of the Crown and Castle hotel and restaurant in Orford, Suffolk, by way of a share acquisition of Son and Sun Limited. Corporate finance and banking partner Mark Henry also plays a key role in the practice and he supported shareholders of Magdalene Holdings Limited in its sale to M Group Services. Legal directors Alexandra Nelson, who advised on a significant acquisition in the agricultural sector, and Andrew Tubb, who acted for a supplier or hair and beauty products in a large acquisition, and Mark Gipson, who frequently advises on partnership matters, are also recommended.

Gotelee Solicitors has a strong regional corporate and commercial practice that is centred on its Ipswich office. It acts for SMEs and large corporates in local, regional and national matters. Max Harnden leads the practice and has 30 years' experience in corporate and commercial work. His recent highlights include handling the sale of two companies involved in the manufacture and sale of orthotics, and acting in a joint venture agreement for a management company in relation to the operation of a substantial market trading site in London. The 'excellent, very responsive' Petra Sharp is the other partner in the practice and has 16 years' experience in this field of law. She was the principal adviser to a client that acquired a nursery business based in East Anglia to add to a growing portfolio of nurseries. She also acted for a client in the healthcare sector in the purchase of a number of GP practices where the existing GPs had chosen to exit their primary care contracts. Solicitor Laura Gray, who specialises in  advising owner-managed and SME businesses, is also recommended.

Prettys Solicitors LLP is 'a pragmatic firm that is able to find creative solutions to get a deal completed', according to one source. The firm, which no longer has a Colchester office and is based solely in Ipswich, is not only a key player in the local market, but also handles a growing number of deals outside the region. Senior partner Ian Waine leads the practice and has a healthy caseload of substantial transactions including buyouts and sales of UK companies to overseas buyers. Newly promoted associate Daniel Billson has a strong base of local clients for corporate transactions, banking and commercial contracts work. Among Waine's recent highlights was his work for a well-known chain of Asian restaurants on key multimillion-pound supply contracts including logistics, IT and waste collection. He also advised on the multimillion-pound sale of another food sector client.

Ashtons Legal¬†has ‚Äėpractical lawyers who use common and commercial sense to make the work as easy and smooth as possible‚Äė and clients remark that it is ‚Äėup there with the best on a technical level‚Äė. Practice head Geoff Hazlewood¬†now works from the Ipswich office and clients remark that he is¬†‚Äėvery down-to-earth, which means he always ensures all parties understand what‚Äôs happening and why‚Äė. Paul Whittingham¬†(who is ‚Äėexcellent, always reassuring‚Äė)¬†specialises in¬†M&A and recently handled several transactions in the veterinary sector.¬†Hazlewood handled the ¬£1.4m sale of shares in Anders + Kern UK Ltd to AIM-Listed buyer Redstone Connect Plc, and advised buyers of shares worth ¬£4.65m in¬†Neway International Limited.

Blocks¬†is known for ‚Äėgood response times and sound advice'. The corporate and commercial practice acts mainly for rural and SME clients, working closely with its commercial property and agricultural departments.¬†Head of the corporate and commercial practice¬†Andrew Fleming¬†handles local, national and international matters for a diverse client base and has more than 30 years' experience in this field of law. He advised¬†partners in a regional agency of a national insurance broker brand on the establishment of a new business with funding arrangements that included overseas investment. He also advised shareholders in a multimillion-pound London-based media company on the sale of shares as part of a management buyout.

Kerseys Solicitors is recommended for its broad mix of work, which includes general company commercial law, business development projects, commercial contracts, compliance, governance and risk management, joint ventures, franchising, acquisitions and disposals. Kimat Singh leads the practice and consultant Adrian Chaffey is also recommended. The firm's recent highlights include advising on the provision of a new tourist office in Ipswich, assisting with the  contracting of local authority services, and supporting the appointment of new franchisees. Its transactional work includes the sale of a chain of local retail stores, and the buyback of shares in a local retailer.


Corporate and commercial: Norwich

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Norwich
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Norwich clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Advice from¬†Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery good ‚Äď prompt, clear and supportive‚Äė. The firm is 'very quick, responsive, flexible and good value for money'. It handles a growing number of transactions for public companies, as well as acting for SMEs in M&A deals. Corporate finance specialist¬†Adrian Possener¬†leads the corporate and commercial practice. He acted for¬†shareholders of Gardline Holdings Limited in the sale of the company to Dutch maritime services company Boskalis Holdings B.V.¬†Key partner Greg Allan¬†is 'very capable and provides a very strong service'. He handled¬†the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Beadles Group Limited to Group One on behalf of shareholders. Legal director¬†Erika Clarke¬†focuses on public procurement, projects, outsourcing, joint ventures and commercial contracts. Her highlights included working with Allan and senior associate Paul Palik¬† (who is ‚Äėprofessional, conscientious and keeps it simple') on the acquisition of a healthcare facility as part of a major contract for the delivery of clinical services.¬†'Knowledgeable, professional and responsive' legal director and head of franchising¬†Ed Savory¬†¬†is recommended for the strength of his 'strategic deal management, negotiation skills'. Senior associate¬†John Kahn, who worked at¬†Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP¬†before joining insurance and underwriting business Marketform, joined the firm in 2017 along with solicitor¬†Nicola Gulrajani¬†from¬†Mills & Reeve LLP.

'There is no better firm in Norwich or Cambridge', says one client of Mills & Reeve LLP, which is¬†'strong in all areas - the team makes an effort to understand clients' business and bring ideas to the table'. Prominent¬† transactional lawyer James Hunter, who is head of the firm's Norwich office, is 'a¬†great all-rounder ‚Äď measured, proactive and a¬†great definer of boundaries'. His highlights included assisting offshore oil and gas services provider Aquaterra Energy with a ¬£22m MBO backed by a private equity house.¬†Craig Hodgson¬†leads the national food and agribusiness practice and advises global businesses on cross-border transactions. Natalie Wade¬†advises clients in the health and care sectors and clients remark that she is 'incredibly responsive and proactive'. She recently acted for Rehabworks Limited on the purchase of the entire issued share of Crystal Palace Physio Holdings Limited, a London-based physiotherapy and clinical rehabilitation provider. Also recommended are¬†Greg Gibson, who is head of the firm's national commercial, IP and IT group, and principal associate Sean Earnshaw¬†who handles work in the areas of IT, health and public procurement. Gibson recently advised the Department of Health on its multibillion-pound future operating model for NHS procurement, supply chain and logistics services.

Ashtons Legal¬†has a strong regional corporate and commercial practice that houses significant expertise and experience in its Norwich office.¬†James Tarling's clients are ‚Äėvery impressed¬†by his pragmatism in tough negotiations and his willingness to make himself available out of hours to meet clients‚Äô needs and keep the deal moving'. He¬†specialises in M&A deals in sectors such as food and beverage, technology and motorsport, and is knowledgeable in the area of data protection. He acted for directors of civil, structural and environmental engineering consultancy BHA Holdings Ltd in their MBO of the company, and advised the owner of Dingles Motor Group on his sale of the business. Consultant¬†John Chambers¬†leads one of the region‚Äôs most outstanding specialist franchising teams. He and¬†Damian Humphrey, who is ‚Äėknowledgeable on all aspects of franchising and related law', are highly recommended for advice to franchise businesses on corporate matters. Associate¬†Mark Watson, who handled the purchase of family entertainment park¬†Pettitts Animal Adventure Park on behalf of¬†Abbotts Leisure Parks, is also recommended.

Howes Percival LLP has a highly respected corporate and commercial practice that operates as one entity across its network of offices in East Anglia and beyond, but the Norwich office remains a central hub of the department and its lawyers act for numerous owner-managed and family-owned businesses, as well as for high-net-worth individuals in sales and acquisitions, investment transactions and corporate reorganisations. Robert Colman leads the practice and frequently handles acquisitions and disposals, as well as shareholder and investment agreements. He recently supported a client in entering a joint venture for the development and operation of a leisure site. Nathan Horton is the other partner in the practice and he acted for the shareholders of BBC Fire Protection Limited in the company's £8.3m sale to AIM-listed critical maintenance services provider Marlowe Plc. Associate Katherine Brown also played a key role in that transaction.

Spire Solicitors LLP has an extensive office network throughout Norfolk, through which operates the corporate and commercial team in Norwich. The firm climbs the ranking on the basis of its in-depth local knowledge that sees it take a prominent role in M&A deals, private equity transactions and joint ventures across the region, particularly in the health and education sectors. Practice head Roger Margand has more than 20 years' experience in commercial matters, especially in regulatory and education sector transactions, and he recruited rising star Matthew Downing from Ashtons Legal to add expertise in sectors such as manufacturing and technology, and knowledge of high-value contractual arrangements for fast-growing and established businesses operating locally, nationally and internationally. Alistair Ponder, who has ten years' in-house experience at Virgin Money and Compare the Market, is also a key part of the practice. The firm recently advised a FTSE250 company on regulatory matters and handled the MBO of a well-known engineering firm.

Steeles Law is 'excellent, it provides very good advice and dependable, personable service'. The firm acts for large household names based in East Anglia, as well as for national businesses. These include Robinsons Motor Group, Crown Chicken, Animax Limited, Cox Powertrain and Easyclean. The firm is also on the panels of the British Allied Trade Federation and the Greeting Card Association. It also advises a major political party on a diverse range of issues including regulatory and governance matters. Richard Bailey leads the corporate and commercial practice and his recent work includes providing restructuring sales advice to UK and overseas clients, which involved an in-depth understanding of commercial agency law. Nigel Lubbock and solicitor James Hopgood are 'very approachable and take the time to understand clients' business'. One client says of Hopgood 'he is a very diligent member of the team'. For Cox Powertrain, Lubbock negotiated and drafted a wide range of contracts including those for the supply of software and hardware.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors has a growing client base of local business owners. Former senior partner Hugh Berridge is now a consultant and oversees a four-lawyer practice, in which solicitor Jade Tinney is highly recommended for company acquisitions and disposals, management buy outs, shareholders' and partnership agreements, corporate restructuring and lending, contract reviews and terms and conditions. She recently advised a company in a multimillion-pound share buy-back transaction, which included the termination of an existing shareholders agreement. Another highlight saw her act for a private partnership in its acquisition of a newly incorporated company. Legal executive Jack Shreeve also plays a key role in the practice.

Fosters has a corporate and commercial team that is closely entwined with its dispute resolution practice, and it acts for a large client base of SMEs across Norfolk. Corporate partner and litigator Adrian Newborough leads the practice and litigator Chris Fielding also handles commercial matters as part of his broad practice. Partner Jamie Arnall, whose previously experience includes roles as senior legal counsel at Thomas Cook and head of legal at Norwich City Football Club, is also recommended for contractual and regulatory matters.

Of the firms that only have an office in Norwich, Leathes Prior is the largest and its corporate and commercial team has an established base of clients for mid-market M&A transactions across East Anglia. Paul Warman leads the practice and has more than 25 years' experience in this field of law. The firm frequently acts in acquisitions and disposals for clients in Norfolk, as well as further afield in East Anglia and, in some cases, nationally. Peter Sheppard left the practice but the firm has another experienced partner in Richard Guthrie, whose work includes company sales and purchases, group restructuring. shareholders’ agreements and general commercial and contractual matters.

At Rogers and Norton, ‚Äėresponse times, industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice and value for money are all good‚Äė.¬†‚ÄėIt compares favourably with larger practices and clients receive personal attention‚Äė, notes one source. The firm ‚Äėprovides ¬†a proactive, efficient and cost-effective service‚Äė, remarks another. Practice head and managing partner Richard Etheridge¬†‚Äėgives¬†good advice and speaks in plain language‚Äė. The firm has ‚Äėvery good specialist knowledge in the medical sector‚Äė and Etheridge has ‚Äėstrong GP sector knowledge and an excellent rapport with his clients when dealing with partnership deeds, property matters and disputes‚Äė. One client remarks that the practice is 'absolutely first-class from the bottom to the top; nothing is too much trouble and their¬†knowledge and guidance is invaluable'. Alongside corporate finance work for local clients, the firm is best-known for advising doctors‚Äô practices on matters including¬†the recent merger of two practices, and the recent sale of a dental practices.


Corporate and commercial: Peterborough

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Peterborough
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Peterborough clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The Peterborough office of Buckles Solicitors LLP has a prominent position in the local market and, through its London office and its ties to Milan and Paris-based firm CastaldiPartners, it is developing a far wider reach for national and international matters. One client describes the practice as 'first-class - it has excellent knowledge and a clear and concise way of explaining the issues'. Nigel Moore leads the practice and specialises in transactional work for clients in the UK, Europe and the US. He advised two clients on the £1m sale of the entire issued share capital of Marriott’s Motor (Sales) Ltd, which had been a family run business for four generations. He also handled the sale of shares in Warner Edwards Distillery Ltd. on behalf of one of its main owners. Senior associate Nadine Duncan, who advises on commercial, IT, outsourcing and technology matters, and associate Robin Johnston are also recommended. Senior solicitor Katy Poole is highly-regarded for high-value and complex transactions.

Greenwoods GRM has a new lead corporate and commercial lawyer in Peterborough in Alastair Gunn since David Woods moved to lead the cross-office practice from Cambridge. The firm has a diverse client base that includes many of the region's SMEs as well as larger companies and PLCs from East Anglia and beyond. It has particular expertise in sectors such as food, media, technology and manufacturing. Associate Victoria Robinson and solicitor Ollie Flowers continued to build their reputation for incorporations, corporate governance issues, commercial agreements and the sale of assets and shares. Highlights for the practice included acting for shareholders of outsourced reliability maintenance services provider PEME in the sale of the business to private equity-backed Edwin James Holdings, and assisting Stratagem with its acquisition of Page Hargrave.

The corporate and commercial practice at Hunt & Coombs LLP is driven by the extensive experience of commercial and property team head Anna Spriggs, who regularly advises clients in the retail, not-for-profit, education and finance sectors. The IS Group Limited and The Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance are among her clients. She recently assisted furniture retailer Anglia Home Furnishings Ltd with new store developments. Consultant Paul Tate  has retired from the practice but senior associate Edward Taylor is well-regarded for advice on commercial agreements, shareholder agreements, joint ventures, corporate transactions, company law issues and commercial contracts. 


Corporate tax

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Birketts LLP¬†provides ‚Äėgood response times and quality advice without London prices'. It handles structuring and transactional tax advice¬†for companies and individuals, tax-efficient structures for strategic land development, contentious matters, tax issues arising from employee incentive schemes, the structuring of agricultural businesses and matters arising from investments in Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). Corporate tax specialist and senior associate Karl Pocock¬†leads the practice. He advised shareholders of marine geophysical survey, offshore geotechnical services and environmental survey group Gardline Holdings Limited on tax elements of its ¬£30m sale.¬†Senior associate and head of employee incentives¬†Lisa Hayward¬†is highly recommended. She acted for shareholders of Cornwall Insight Limited on tax matters relating to performance-based incentives. Senior associate¬†John Kahn, who joined from underwriters Marketform, is also recommended.

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†¬†is¬†‚Äėa highly professional multi-disciplinary firm with expertise in a range of specialist land and tax-related areas'.¬†Consultant¬†Christopher Townsend¬†is the key contact in Cambridge, where 'responsive and personable' principal associate and tax specialist¬†Matthew Short¬†is highly recommended for providing 'high-quality advice in a straightforward way'.¬†The practice gained considerable experience with the recruitment of consultant¬†Robert Kent, who was previously a tax partner at¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP¬†¬†. The firm has a long list of high-profile clients that includes Trinity College, Cambridge,¬†Orchard Street Investment Management, Oxford University Endowment Management, First Property Group, and¬†Exeter College, Oxford. For¬†Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation, Short handled the tax matters arising from the sale of a long-term leasehold interest in¬†Cranborne House student accommodation block to Campus Living Villages, for which funding was arranged through an income strip with Aviva. Short also acted for developer¬†Urban&Civic on a series of commercial and residential development transactions at the Enterprise Campus and at Alconbury Weald.


EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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Find out which law firms are representing which EU and competition clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent ‚Äď quick to respond and¬†always coming up with innovative solutions and frameworks for resolving complex problems‚Äė. One client says of the lawyers ‚Äėthey didn‚Äôt only offer legal advice, but offered legal solutions to business challenges, shaping how we formed¬† relationships with external companies; the team was excellent and always supportive‚Äė. Another believes the firm is 'outstanding, with very swift turnaround where necessary and always clear, practical and commercial advice'. Consultant¬†Ruth Smith¬†is national head of procurement law and leads the practice and has 16 years' experience in advising public, private and utility sector clients on procurement projects in sectors such as health, government, education and technology. Her practice¬†draws on specialist expertise from many practice areas. She worked with¬†IT partners¬†Kevin Calder¬†and¬†Peter Wainman, and principal associate¬†Sophie Burton-Jones¬†on a key project for the Financial Conduct Authority, which included a variation to an outsourcing services contract and the procurement of a new e-discovery software solution. Wainman and Burton-Jones also acted for¬†Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the procurement of new interconnecting IT systems for an Electronic Patient Records (EPR) and health informatics. Other lawyers who play key roles in the practice include principal associate and litigator¬†Helen Prandy¬†who is 'very bright and gives confident and astute advice'; construction partner¬†Stuart Thompson; commercial and IP partner¬†Greg Gibson¬†; and head of projects¬†Raith Pickup.

Vivienne Robinson Ltd,¬†which¬†is run by its name partner and sole practitioner Vivienne Robinson¬†and specialises in competition law, is ‚Äėworthy of a top ranking‚Äė, according to one prominent lawyer in the region. Robinson ‚Äėclearly has a tremendous amount of experience in dealing with EU competition law and is always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done‚Äė. One client remarks that she is¬†‚Äėan absolute pleasure to deal with‚Äė. The firm, which was set up in 1995 and moved to East Anglia in 2009, has a long track record of acting for a wide range of businesses from SMEs to multinationals, and frequently works with national and international law firms to provide niche advice on competition law. Robinson‚Äôs recent highlights include advising SPAR on its involvement in the Competition and Markets Authority‚Äôs Phase 1 and Phase 2 investigation of the acquisition by Tesco plc of Booker Group plc, and handling the merger clearance aspects of a prospective acquisition for¬†Novomatic Group. She also acted for a US company in a global¬†acquisition, which involved checking competition law requirements in 41 countries.


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