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  1. Corporate and commercial: Norwich
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Birketts LLP attracts praise for providing service that ‘has the clients’ best interests at heart’. Adrian Possener advised Palletforce plc on a £30m takeover and the ‘dependable, honest, hardworking and dedicatedGreg Allan acted for Kingsley Healthcare on a £200m fundraising investment. Legal director Erika Clarke, consultant Andrew Wood and associates Karl Pocock and Kitty Rosser are also recommended.

For some, Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘the first choice in the region for complex matters’. Craig Hodgson leads the five-partner team and advised shareholders of Brandbank Ltd on its multimillion-pound acquisition by Nielsen Holdings. In other highlights, James Hunter represented the shareholders in a £4m equity sale, while Nick Fischl and Greg Gibson advised QV Foods on the £3.5m sale of a potato packing business. Newly promoted Natalie Wade advises a number of health-sector clients.

Ashtons Legalcompares very well on quality and value’. Key figures include Damian Humphrey and consultant John Chambers, who maintain the firm’s international reputation for franchising; ‘attentive and helpful’ associate Mark Watson, who is a ‘trusted adviser’; and ‘conscientious, approachable’ associate Matthew Downing, who advised the selling shareholders of Milltech Holdings. Corporate finance specialist James Tarling joined from Steeles Law.

Clients of Howes Percival LLPhave confidence in its advice and always receive prompt and cost-efficient service with the right blend of experience, responsiveness and value’. Team head Robert Colman and Nathan Horton advised shareholders of GEV Group on a £5.4m sale of shares to Braelaw Ltd. Other clients include Richardsons Leisure and Hughes Electrical.

Leathes Prior is ‘extremely professional and easy to deal with’, and team head Paul Warman ‘makes any transaction bearable’. Warman and Richard Guthrie advised AIM-listed CVS Ltd on numerous acquisitions. The firm also counts Air Livery and Banham Poultry among its clients. Peter Sheppard is also recommended.

At Steeles Law, ‘nothing is too much trouble’ for practice head Richard Bailey, who stands out for his ‘timely and detailed advice on complex M&A deals’. Nigel Lubbock (who is ‘excellent across a wide range of commercial areas’) advised a multinational client on a £90m restructuring in preparation for its sale. James Tarling joined Ashtons Legal.

At Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, 25-year veteran Hugh Berridge is well regarded for his corporate advice to companies and high-net-worth individuals. He advised a UK company on setting up a business in Spain.

Cozens-Hardy LLP’s managing principal, Simon Whipp, advises SMEs across Norfolk, including sole traders and owner-managed businesses.

At Fosters, 30-year veteran Adrian Newborough focuses on the local SME market and acted alongside Chris Fielding for the seller of a training and publishing company bought by a US investor.

Richard Etheridge at Rogers and Norton is ‘dedicated, knowledgeable, approachable and efficient’ ‘with outstanding business acumen’, particularly in matters related to the NHS.

Spire Solicitors LLP’s Roger Margand focuses on companies in the IT sector. He advised data solution provider Betgenius on its acquisition of content specialist Boolabus. Annette Collen is also recommended.

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