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Index of tables

  1. Electoral
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Bates Wells Braithwaite’ team ‘really knows its stuff’ and is ‘a top pick for many clients due to its industry knowledge and exceptionally impressive pragmatism’. Simon Steeden and Rosamund McCarthy jointly lead the practice, which is ‘a leader in the field’ and has core strengths in non-party campaigning. This is particularly evident through the department’s work for Britain Stronger in Europe, the lead advocacy group for the Remain campaign; the team also separately acted for Universities UK, Trades Union Congress and 38 Degrees on their involvement with EU referendum campaigning. Steeden is also part of a review into the regulation surrounding non-party campaigning led by Lord Hodgson. The Green Party of England and Wales, Avaaz and the National Union of Students are also clients. Melanie Carter, who is ‘incisive, an expert and extremely highly regarded’, is another name to note.

Piers Coleman is the key name at K&L Gates LLP and counts political parties, election candidates and returning officers as clients. He is also the main practitioner for the Liberal Democrat Party, regularly acting for its candidates and agents. The team advises on a range of elections including UK Parliament and European Parliament elections, local elections, regional elections, mayoral elections and police and crime commissioner elections. The department also assisted corporate and charity clients with EU referendum campaign spending issues. Christine Braamskamp, who heads the firm’s government enforcement group, is also recommended.

Sharpe Pritchard is ‘a truly excellent firm’ and a leading name for advising returning officers and their teams. Recent work includes acting for the respondent returning officer of the West Central constituency in an election petition, which alleged the election had not been correctly administered; practice head and Roll A Parliamentary Agent Emyr Thomas, who ‘has detailed and comprehensive knowledge of electoral law paired with extensive experience and incredible approachability’, led the matter. Other clients include the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster City Council. Ashley Badcock retired.

Steel & Shamash’s team ‘delivers a service of unparalleled excellence’ and ‘goes above and beyond for clients’. Practice head Gerald Shamash is the key lawyer for the Labour Party. Recent highlights include advising on an election petition arising from the Winsford Town Council elections arising from issues of whether elected councillors were duly returned as well as questions surrounding the validity of nominations; and acting in several parliamentary election expenses cases. The team also advises on parliamentary boundary inquiries, parliamentary rules issues and adjudicative tribunals. Solicitor Frances Randle, who is ‘uncompromising in her support’, is also noted. Richard Pitkethly left the firm.

Manleys Solicitorshas made a breakthrough in this area and emerged as key player in the field’. Key areas of expertise for the team include advising on election petitions, false statement allegations and election expenses investigations, particularly for Conservative Party politicians. The team recently advised Craig Mackinlay MP on allegations regarding his election expenses, and is acting for Michelle Donelan MP on election expenses issues involving the Conservative Party battle bus tour. Johnny Mercer MP and Councillor Miriam Lewis are also clients. Consultant James Roochove, who heads the team, ‘is a young yet wise lawyer, who has taken the time and trouble to fully immerse himself in the market’ and can ‘impressively gauge the balance between what the law says and what politics demands’; he regularly acts for MPs, candidates and agents. Crime specialist and consultant Nama Zarroug is also recommended.

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