Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby
Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby
- Gateley (Nottingham)
Geldards LLP(Derby, Nottingham)
Nelsons Solicitors Limited(Derby, Nottingham)
- BHW Commercial Solicitors (Nottingham)
Fraser Brown(Bingham, Nottingham, Radcliffe-on-Trent)
Valued for its ‘timely, knowledgeable advice’, the diverse team at Browne Jacobson LLP combines expertise in M&A and private equity (Gavin Cummings and Richard Cox), sports law (Nigel Blackwell), and commercial health and social care (Oliver Pritchard). In 2011, it advised Holland’s Macintosh Retail Group on the acquisition of Jones Bootmaker for around £40m. On the commercial side, new clients include Avanti Gas, Pork Farms, and Safeway Services. Caroline Green acted for Louis Vuitton UK on the Young Arts Project, a collaboration between the client and a number of London-based art galleries. The firm also has capacity in EU and competition law.
Eversheds LLP regularly handles corporate deals above the £60m mark for blue-chip clients, with Stephen Kitts and Stephen Hill particularly acknowledged for their experience. In 2011, in spite of a deal-thin climate, the team acted on significant matters such as advising RH Group on its sale to Kuehne+Nagel; TransLinc on its sale to May Gurney plc for £65.2m; and the management on the £180m secondary buyout of Wiggle, funded by Bridgepoint Capital. Other clients include Tyco, Rolls-Royce, Experian, and LDC, which regularly instructs the firm on acquisitions with an international element. The firm is active in renewables, with experience across international solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal matters.
Freeth Cartwright LLP’s multi-faceted team has bases in Nottingham and Derby, and is deeply entrenched in the fabric of the East Midlands corporate scene, undertaking an eye-catching array of work. Practice head Karl Jansen acts for large corporates such as Experian and Aldi. Philip Raven is active in the care sector for clients such as LNT Group, Maria Mallaband and Elder Homes, and recently advised shareholders of Cleancrop UK on its £37m sale. John Heaphy acts for acquisitive entities such as Sage Publications, HW Martin and The Reflex Group, and in 2011 secured new corporate work from Motorpoint. Derby-based Mike Copestake was instructed by new client Gala in its acquisition of two bingo halls.
Delivering ‘a London-quality service at non-London prices’, Shoosmiths’ team is regularly instructed on £100m-plus deals. A team led by the ‘attentive, expert and patient’ Crispin Bridges Webb acted for ZF Acquisitions as bidder for circuit board company ClearSpeed Technology, an intricate matter involving complex aspects of the Takeover Code, directors’ fiduciary duties, and rules regarding maintenance of capital. On the commercial side, the firm advised flagship client Thomas Cook on the outsourcing of finance and accounting services to France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Commercial specialist Andrew Pickin is ‘knowledgeable, concise, and commercially attuned’. Corporate head Chris Garnett is ‘very good at interpreting the client’s needs’, and Oliver Brookshaw is increasingly active in the region.
The corporate team at Gateley provides a full service on large cross-border transactions, for clients such as Butters Group, DCC, Krushr and Waste Recycling Group. In one highlight, Mark Rutherford (‘a strong technical all-rounder with good tax and funding knowledge’) acted in a deal worth £20m, in which assets of the target company, Lowe Alpine, were acquired from an Italian court. The firm also advised Lloyds TSB Development Capital on its investment in PJD, a matter which required property, tax, planning and IP expertise. Robert Metcalfe ‘enjoys the cut and thrust of a legal argument’.
The ‘responsive’ team at Geldards LLP is considered ‘value for money’, and is building an impressively varied portfolio of deal activity. Areas of strength include joint ventures, private equity and M&A deals, corporate retail and corporate healthcare. David Tilly is very highly regarded for corporate work, while on the commercial side senior associate Julian Turner’s team provides ‘a City service at provincial rates’. Turner is particularly active in high-value IT procurement projects.
The six-partner team at Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an impressive client list including multinational conglomerates, public companies and SMEs, and ‘deals quickly and efficiently, with little or no delay’. James Woodward ‘understands the need to bring together multiple aspects of a transaction to a smooth conclusion’; and David Kaplan ‘gives straightforward advice, and understands the commercial implications’. In one highlight, Kaplan advised Discovery Flexibles on its acquisition of a foil printing business; in another, department head Duncan Taylor led a team which advised Alltruck in relation to its expansion.
At Actons, joint department heads and corporate finance specialists Simon Dakin and Peter Flowerday joined forces to advise a client in the leisure industry on an £11m private equity investment, a multi-jurisdictional matter which included significant pre-investment restructuring. The team was strengthened by the arrival from Geldards LLP of Tom Gray, who is valued for his ‘commercial acumen and tenacity’, and notable for his biotech expertise; new clients include CellAura Technologies and Blusource.
Flint Bishop LLP has built a significant reputation in the East Midlands market for M&A work, with department head Ran Oren very highly regarded. The firm advised the French multinational Altrad Group on its multimillion-pound acquisition of scaffolding company NSG UK. On the commercial front, the firm advises numerous local sporting organisations, and also has particular strength in e-commerce matters.
Shakespeares’ offering was bolstered by the arrival from Harvey Ingram LLP of corporate finance specialist Roy Botterill and healthcare and pharmaceuticals corporate specialist Lisa Botterill. Duncan James heads the team, and Roger Harcourt is also highly active. In 2011, Harcourt took the lead on a complex £7m share deal for a selling company, which included earnout and integration metrics and a multi-jurisdictional debt instrument. James acted on the £4m sale of a multi-site funeral homes business to Dignity.
At Fraser Brown, the highly regarded Gavin White has been active for clients such as Trekmate, Orchit IT and CPMG Architects. On the commercial side, Andrew Pilkington is experienced in drafting project documents for the IT and financial services industries, and advised a FTSE 250 company on the supply of back-up power systems for telecoms sites nationwide.
Smith Partnership handled £30m-plus of deals in 2011, including acting for Santander in relation to an automotive logistics company’s purchase of assets from Willi Betz UK. The team has seen a growing flow of work in the healthcare and technology sectors. The ‘approachable’ Fiona Boxwell is ‘well informed, and up to date with current health legislation’.
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Gateley advised DCC on all aspects of its acquisition of Advent Data, including employment and IP matters. Practice head Gareth John is ‘calm, professional, and constructive’, and ‘rational and level-headed in dealing with the other side’. The team was boosted by the arrival of Keith Gilbert from Howes Percival LLP.
At Howes Percival LLP, Gerald Couldrake acted for Oliver Adams in relation to its merger with Newbridge Bakery, a complex joint venture which led to the creation of a chain of 60 bakery shops. Clients include Melrose, Welcome Break and Silverstone Circuits. Keith Gilbert left for Gateley, while Bradley Quin joined from an in-house position.
Mary Mackintosh leads the four-fee-earner team at Freeth Cartwright LLP in Leicester. Mackintosh has expertise in commercial contracts and acts for Lafarge as well as a range of education clients. Robert Rowley is also recommended.
The team at Hewitsons LLP advises international and public companies, and owner-managed businesses; examples include Travis Perkins plc, Proquest, and Perrys Motor Sales. Department head David Browne, Richard Ingram and Neil Harpham are widely respected.
Langleys Solicitors LLP has provided restructuring advice to corporates and universities, and is also involved in academy conversions. The York-based duo of Andy Kay and James Towler are the main contacts for the firm’s Lincolnshire corporate finance work.
Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s Chris Rees is assisted out of Leicester by Ziaur Rahman. The team handles complex fundraisings for VCTs, as well as restructurings and disposals of assets.
Noted for its ‘value for money’, Spearing Waite LLP is very active in regional deals. Kate Blank heads the team, and Martin Smith is praised for his ‘fast, competent, solution-driven approach’. In 2011, the firm acted for Thomas May on its acquisition by Grant Thornton UK LLP.
At Chattertons, team head Emma Clayden is ‘excellent’. She acts for clients in the IT sector, and also represents a European producer of fishing nets.
Roythornes LLP has two new partners, in the newly promoted Deborah Brown, who has experience in acting for solar farms, and new arrival Martin Jinks. The team acts for a number of food retailers, and in 2011 advised on a £1.5m grain store project for a major agricultural client.
Wilkin Chapman LLP is noted for its ‘speedy response times’. Russell Eke is ‘always contactable and keen to assist’, and recently advised JV Energen in relation to its £8.5m anaerobic digestion plant programme. The firm also represents Nottingham Rugby Club.
Andrew Noble’s team at Browne Jacobson LLP advises on tax-efficient restructuring as well as providing transactional tax support in multi-jurisdictional matters. In 2011, Noble advised Focal & Co on its acquisition of UK-based Naim Audio.
At Freeth Cartwright LLP, Bob Neal handles corporate support, VAT and SDLT matters, as well as tax disputes and appeals. Adrian Hackett, who joined the firm in January 2012, specialises in the tax aspects of funds and collective investment schemes.
Eversheds LLP draws on the corporate tax expertise in the firm’s Manchester office.
Geldards LLP calls on its Cardiff office to handle the tax aspects of local transactions.
At Howes Percival LLP, Mike Hollis has expertise in employment and corporate tax matters.