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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Corporate and commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • David Carr - Napthens LLP
    • Jamie Hawley - Aaron & Partners LLP
    • David Jones - Hillyer McKeown LLP
    • John Pickervance - Forbes Solicitors
    • Nick Pickup - Forbes Solicitors
    • Anne Scheland - Hillyer McKeown LLP
    • Nicola Whittle - Brabners LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West clients in North West 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


The ‘approachable’ team at Aaron & Partners LLP is commended for its ‘attention to detail’ and regularly handles investments, corporate finance transactions, restructuring, and sales and acquisitions of owner-managed businesses across Cheshire and North Wales. Highlights included advising DP Williams Group on the disposal of its wholly owned subsidiary, D P Williams Holdings, to CCP Building Products; advising Mercury Commodities on the sale of its business and assets to Glencore Agriculture UK; and advising Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership on its £3.2m Growing Places Fund investment into the Cheshire Green Employment Park at Wardle, East Cheshire. Knights of Old Group, Meadow Foods and Culina are also clients. Department head Stuart Scott-Goldstone, who also operates from the firm’s Shrewsbury office, is praised for his ‘expertise’ and ‘clarity’. Senior partner Simon Edwards and partnership expert Mark Briegal are also recommended, as is senior associate Jamie Hawley, who is ‘thorough and explains details in an understandable manner’.

Gorvins Solicitors impresses for its ability to ‘explain and suggest options in a straightforward manner’. The practice is active in corporate and commercial mandates across the retail, finance, media, publishing and healthcare sectors. Key instructions included advising the shareholders of Aecus on the acquisition of Aecus by The Hackett Group; advising Avonside Group Services on an investment into the company by Core Capital; and advising Rothwell Plumbing Services Group on its acquisition of HeatLink Technical Solutions. Key figures include corporate and commercial team head Andrew Curwen, who specialises in corporate transactions; the ‘knowledgeable’ Christian Mancier, who predominately acts for owner-managed and family-owned businesses in the SME sector; and consultant Paul Lupton  is an experienced advisor to small and medium sized businesses. Associates Gemma Lingard and Rowan Uren are also recommended.

The ‘top-quality’ department at Myerson Solicitors LLP is regularly instructed by owner-managed businesses across the technology, professional services, manufacturing, media, franchising and charity sectors on transactions, and often advises banks, venture capital institutions, and plcs. Recent work includes advising Evans Textiles on its acquisition of Bedmaker Textiles, and acting for CCP Building Products on the acquisition of a quarry in Flintshire. Corporate finance specialist M Akeel Latif heads the practice, which includes Andrew Brown, who routinely handles M&A, equity investments and restructuring matters; Scott Sands, who handles transactions across the technology, charity and professional services sectors; and Carla Murray, who is experienced across IT, IP and commercial matters. Recently promoted senior solicitor Philip Ball is also noted, as is managing partner Carl Newton.

The team at Napthens LLP is ‘responsive, accurate and knowledgeable’ and ‘demonstrates the right amount of pragmatism’. It acts for family-owned businesses, venture capital funds and private equity backed companies. The team advised Abbey Logistics on its acquisition of Armet Logistics; advised Jersey-based Ball Investments on the sale of its Lightwater Valley attraction and amusement park in Yorkshire to Livingstone Leisure; and acted for the shareholders of Hawkshead Brewery on the sale of the company to Halewood International. Key figures in Preston include ‘extremely diligent and responsible’ corporate head Keith Melling, ‘brilliant’ consultant Gareth McIntegart , who also operates out of the firm’s Southport office, and Robert Dobson. Blackburn-based Richard Robinson is experienced across the financial services, leisure and healthcare sectors. Senior associate David Carr, who is also based in Blackburn, handles a range of corporate matters. Commercial contracts team head Jon Esner joined the Preston office in 2018 from an in-house role.

The corporate and commercial department at SAS Daniels LLP routinely advises SME clients, and has particular strengths across the healthcare, music and education sectors. The team advised Training 2000 on its merger with the University of Central Lancashire; assisted Nviron with its MBO; and advised Pale Wood Holiday Park on the acquisition of the business and assets of Henstent Park. The practice also acted for Fayrefield Foods on the sale its subsidiary, Good Carb. Managing partner Jeremy Orrell, who is based across the Chester and Stockport offices, heads the corporate team and is ‘very experienced’. Commercial team head Kaye Whitby is based in Chester and handles complex commercial agreements and also advises on competition law and data protection. Stockport-based Andy Booth specialises in commercial matters, and has experience in advising on music contracts. Pail Tyrer, who operates across the Macclesfield and Congleton offices, also handles corporate matters.

DTM Legal LLP acts for SMEs, owner-managed businesses and family business across the region. Highlights included advising Chester Boat Company on the sale of its York River Boat Cruises subsidiary to City Cruises, acting for The Marine and Property Group on its acquisition of Port Dinorwic Marina in North Wales, and advising NWN Media and its shareholders on the sale of the company to Newsquest. Team head Edward Barnes acts across the firm’s Liverpool and Chester offices on M&A, complex corporate restructures, investments and IP mandates, in addition to being active in the energy and renewables sector.  Chester-based Alison Brennan heads the firm’s compliance team, and advises on M&A, commercial contracts and finance, and is regularly instructed by GP practices.

Forbes Solicitors delivers ‘fast response times’ and demonstrates ‘impressive industry knowledge’. The team is active across corporate transactions, restructuring, corporate de-mergers and commercial matters throughout Lancashire. Key work included advising the shareholders of Tilemaster Adhesives on the sale of shares to an Italian buyer; advising the majority shareholder of Blackburn Brakes Holdings in the sale of the shares to Parts Alliance; and advising NWTT Holdings on the de-merger of North West Timber Treatment and John HY Mayor and Sons. Preston-based corporate and restructuring head Pauline Rigby is ‘highly professional and very focused; she has excellent awareness and a helpful, friendly and understanding approach’. Key associates in Prestion include John Pickervance, who delivers ‘business-sound and practical advice’ and is noted for commercial matters; Nick Pickup, who is active on corporate transactions; and Jennifer Bell, who joined in 2017 from Backhouse Jones and heads the firm’s transport team. Chorley-based commercial head Daniel Milnes advises public and private sector clients on a range of contractual matters.

Jolliffe & Co LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team ‘really gets to know its clients’, which include entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs and owner-managed businesses. The team advised Rhino Products Holdings on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of AVS Steps and acted for the shareholders of Greenwood Forest Park on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Greenwood Forest Park to The Continuum Group. Advising Delta Rock Holdings on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Delta Rock (North West) and the investment by Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) in Delta Rock Holdings, to partially fund the acquisition, was another key highlight. The North of England Zoological Society and HIAB Limited are also clients. Managing partner and department head Simon Williams is ‘pro-active and knowledgeable’ and the ‘first-rate’ Chantel Clague specialises in corporate transactional work. William Ngan  joined HRC Law LLP in 2018.

The ‘reliable’ team at Slater Heelis LLP renders advice in ‘practical and commercial terms’ and is noted for its experience in the healthcare sector, advising GPs, pharmacists and dentists on acquisition and disposals. The digital and telecoms sectors are also areas of focus. The team advised the sellers of 100% of the share capital of AA Access (Holdings) to High Access Maintenance and advised Mark Andrew Developments (MAD) UK on the restructure of its existing banking facilities and on a further working capital facility with Allied Irish Bank (GB). Katharine Mellor, who ‘provides excellent guidance’, handles corporate acquisitions and disposals, particularly in the SME sector. Associate solicitor Richard Riley is also recommended.

Butcher & Barlow LLP is based across its Northwich, Bury and Runcorn offices and the corporate and commercial team delivers ‘excellent response times’. It is experienced in the sale and purchases of companies, with expertise in the care home, brewery industry and hospitality sector. The team advised Onfab on a £3m investment by Foresight and also advised Electrical Project Installations on its sale to KBE Holdings. The ‘very engaging’ Jonathan Aldersley is ‘able to provide a common-sense analysis of matters’ and produces ‘quick, practical and commercial advice’. James Hodgson handles share transactions and advises on company structures and Justin Kelly handles a range of commercial matters. Andrew MacKenzie and Rebecca Jepson were promoted to partner in May 2018.

Chafes Hague Lambert LLP regularly acts for owner-managed businesses and high-net-worth individuals on corporate and commercial transactions across Cheshire, South Manchester and High Peak. Acquisitions, joint ventures, shareholders and partnership agreements, as well as supply, agency, licensing and distribution agreements are all mainstays of the practice, which is headed by Tony Morris, who advises on both corporate transactional and commercial contract matters. Consultant solicitor Ruth Smith focuses on commercial, IP and ICT work and specialises in software development matters.

Fielden Marshall Glover Strutt’s client base includes corporates, investors and entrepreneurs and the team has experience across the retail, distribution, media, manufacturing and pharma sectors. M&A, venture capital work, shareholder and investment agreements are key areas of expertise. Nicholas Fielden heads the corporate and M&A team and is experienced in partnership and LLP work.

Hillyer McKeown LLP handles a range of corporate transactions for its SME and owner-managed business client base, including M&A, MBOs, joint ventures, employee share schemes and commercial contracts. The manufacturing, technology and accountancy sectors are key areas of focus. It advised the management team on the MBO of the Bodyline Clinic. Group chairman Steven Harvey handles commercial and corporate matters across the professional services, energy and utilities sectors, and associate David Jones handles commercial matters. Recently promoted partner Anne Scheland heads the team.

The ‘friendly and approachable’ team at KBL Solicitors LLP delivers ‘clear, confident and accurate advice without delay’. It advises individuals and businesses on business structuring, share distribution and management restructuring, cash injections, growth and development, and sales and mergers, with a notable focus on advising sports clubs. The ‘thorough’ Phil Stephenson heads the department and specialises in corporate transactions, commercial contracts, MBOs, joint ventures, restructuring and partnerships. Consultant Jonathan Shorrock is ‘outstanding’ and associate solicitor Anneka Traynor  is ‘always responsive’ and has ‘determination to drive transactions forward’.

MLP Law LLP handles corporate and commercial matters across the insurance, healthcare, media and IT sectors; Internet Fusion Group, Myers La Roche and Sim Trava and gtd healthcare are clients. Team head Steve Hartley  advises entrepreneurs and SMEs on M&A, re-organisations and company matters, while managing partner Stephen Attree specialises in IP, commercial family businesses and M&A.

The ‘highly-rated’ team at Baines Wilson LLP regularly handles acquisitions and disposals and advised ICT Reverse (Holdings) on its sale to EcoAsia Technologies Holding and advised Meldrum Limited on its sale to Vinci Energies UK. The team also advises on international distribution, agency and licensing agreements. Andrew Hill heads the corporate and commercial team and consultant John Wilson is also recommended.

Based across its Manchester, Preston and Blackburn offices, the team at Farleys Solicitors LLP is noted for its expertise in advising Lancashire-based SMEs on sales and purchases, and also advises on corporate restructures and de-mergers. The team has an ‘excellent understanding of commercial issues’, ‘works quickly and meets deadlines’ and delivers ‘clear advice’. In Manchester, Ian Liddle is noted for corporate finance matters and associate partner Charlotte Mills is ‘commercial, pro-active and doesn’t spend time trying to win points that don’t matter’. Blackburn-based corporate team head +Debbie King is ‘brilliant’.

The Preston office of Brabners LLP handles a range of transactional mandates for SME clients and owner-managed businesses. The team advised Ltd on the purchase of the entire issued share capital in ASB Trading and also advised the client on its first fundraising round via the Crowdcube platform. The team also assisted the firm’s commercial property department in advising Sofology in relation the purchase of its entire issued share capital by DFS. Senior associate Nicola Whittle heads the team.

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Liverpool
  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: Liverpool clients in North West 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


Clients applaud Brabners LLP’s ‘real breadth of knowledge’ and its ability to ‘provide usable information that can be practically applied’. The team acts for entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, owner-managed businesses, family businesses, small private equity houses and AIM listed companies on a range of transactions. Highlights includes advising Business Growth Fund on its £4.1m investment into Hobs Group to enable Hobs Group to fund the continued expansion of its various divisions; advising Janus Cooper and the shareholders of Tetrad on the share sale of the entire issued share capital of Tetrad to Bellfield Furnishings, and on the sale and leaseback of certain property; and advising the shareholders of Dove Medical Press on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Informa UK. Corporate head Mark Rathbone ‘cares about getting the deal across the line and will push on to achieve it’ and has a ‘pragmatic approach’. Rupert Gill is ‘brilliant’, Andrew O’Mahony has a ‘great reputation’ and consultant Michael Brabner is also noted. On the commercial side, led by managing partner Nik White who has ‘great attention to detail’ and is noted for his software sector expertise, clients include Commonwealth Games Federation, Peel Ports Group, Gas Tag, Codeweavers and Lucid Games are clients. Colin Bell and Matt Brown, who are noted for IP and commercial matters, and associate Michael Winder are also key figures in the team.  -Adrian Rogers recently joined Turner Parkinson LLP

The ‘efficient’ team at Hill Dickinson LLP  regularly handles high-profile private equity, equity capital markets and M&A transactions, and is recognised for its ‘deep experience’. National corporate head Craig Scott is noted for private equity work and advised the management team and Fishawack shareholders on the £38 million tertiary buy out of Fishawack Group by a newco backed by equity investment from LDC. Scott also advised Downing on the corporate and banking aspects of the £439m sale of a 90% interest in eight separate Guernsey Unit Trusts, collectively owning the Downing Student 2 Trust student accommodation portfolio, to a new Guernsey investment vehicle. Liverpool corporate head Jonathan Brown advised Stobart Group on the reduction in shareholding from 49% to 12.5% in Eddie Stobart Logistics, on the latter's flotation.  Elsewhere, Matt Noon advised Peak Business Insight on £2.5m of series A funding in a new funding round, led by MMC Ventures. Sue Russell is recognised for M&A transactions and advised Johnson Service Group on the £8.3m sale of its dry-cleaning business to Timpson Group. Mike Jones is active across the retail, logistics, leisure and property sectors and recently promoted partner Michael Murphy is also recommended. Legal director Graeme Alder , who joined in 2017 from an in-house role, and associate Emma Collins  are noted for commercial matters.

The commercial team DLA Piper UK LLP is commended for its ‘good service’ across international and business-critical commercial contract matters and regularly advises on government spinouts. Peter Brook, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ advises Newell Rubbermaid on a range of commercial instructions.  The ‘experienced’ Sarah Bell continues to advise Liverpool City Council on the establishment a local housing company; and also advised Liverpool City Council on the city’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Whirlpool, Liverpool Football Club and Unilever are also clients. Legal director Gemma Cowap and senior associate Paddy Dwyer are also recommended. James Kerrigan is the location head of the corporate team where senior associate Michael Hudson is also recommended.

The ‘excellent’ team at DWF  is active across corporate and commercial mandates, advising clients such as Inflexion Private Equity Partners, Lloyds Development Capital, Bibby Group Expedia, Blue Bay Travel and Liverpool John Moores University. Corporate head Paul Rimmer is ‘brilliant’ and is particularly noted for his private equity experience. Senior associate James Cashman provides tax advice. Commercial head Paul Attwood is regularly instructed by clients across the food, technology, hospitality and education sectors. Senior associate Ben Cooke is also noted for commercial work and advises Marks & Spencer on a range of commercial matters.

O'Connors LLP is active across corporate, commercial, insurance and regulatory mandates and is ‘quick to respond, assess the facts and define the scope of the instructions’. Highlights included advising Mowgli Street Food on a £3.45m investment by Foresight Group; advising Sam Hall and James Brown on the establishment of Manchester law firm Hall Brown Family Law; and acting for the majority shareholders of Joloda on a management buyout. Mark O’Connor is ‘pragmatic and commercial’ and leads on corporate and commercial work for legal sector clients, while ‘excellent transactional lawyer’ John Spofforth ‘sees the big picture and offers his opinion based on what is the best for the client’. Paul O’Connor, who advises on commercial insurance mandates, the ‘excellent’ Nigel Wallis, Michael Ainsworth, who is noted for commercial IT work, and corporate lawyer +David Malone are also recommended. Solicitor Christina Millan joined the firm in 2017 from DWF.

Weightmans LLP’s corporate team is noted for its private M&A practice, acting for mid-sized corporates and owner-managed businesses, while the 'brilliant' commercial team has experienced growth in advising on compliance with data protection and competition regulations. Patricia Grinyerl advised Enterprise Loans East Midlands on the establishment of a sub fund to the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Roland Hutchins advised Greif U.S. Holdings on a reorganisation of its international group structure to relocate its European hub from Belgium to England. Gary Jones acted for Cawood Scientific Group on a secondary management buyout to Inflexion. Kieran Donovan advised Alliance Fund Managers as agent for Maven Capital Partners LLP, manager of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund for Equity in the North West (NPIF), on the first wave of equity investments from that fund. On the commercial side, Sean Crotty advises the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on the IT aspects and data sharing arrangements between it and the DVLA in relation to the MyLicence Project and Laurence Pritchard is advising Tesco Insurance on the outsourcing of its claims operations to Ageas Retail. Managing partner John Schorah is also noted, as is Sarah Walton , who heads the team.

The ‘knowledgeable’ team at Bermans  regularly advises privately owned companies, SMEs, family businesses, entrepreneurs, management teams, professional partnerships and venture capital players on a range of corporate mandates across the hospitality and healthcare sectors. Anton Stirrett, who ‘quickly finds solutions and is very effective’, advised Penketh Group Holdings in relation to the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Currie Business Service. Stirrett is also noted for his experience in advising on transactions in the dental sector.

DTM Legal LLP  handles corporate and commercial instructions from SME’s, owner-managed and family businesses. Key highlights included advising Vast Visibility on its joint venture in Scandinavia with Norwegian insurance business Kasko to establish price aggregation websites and platforms; advising Esterform Packaging advising on the refinancing of the business and restructure to provide for the exit of a major shareholder; and advising on the merger of Audile UK with DBN Lighting. Philip Whitehurst  and Ed Barnes, who also operates in the firm’s Chester office, are key contacts.

Corporate and commercial: Manchester

Index of tables

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

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Manchester clients in North West 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


'A market leader' according to clients, Addleshaw Goddard delivers 'outstanding service' across public M&A, equity capital markets and private equity, as well as corporate real estate deals. Private equity specialist Andrew Green  led advice for Inflexion Private Equity Partners  on its £800m investment in Radius Payments Solutions and Sheelley McGivern  led WBHO on the acquisition of a significant minority stake in Byrne Group. Roger Hart represented Zeus Capital on the £130m accelerated bookbuild and private placement fundraising conducted by and is leading advice for Sumo Group in relation to its proposed IPO on AIM.  Duncan Wilson advised the shareholders of Piriform Group on the sale of the company to Avast Software. Peel Group, Clinigen, Dixons Carphone and The Hut are also clients.  The 'brilliant' Richard Lee,  private equity team head Paul Medlicott  and legal director Jamie Partridge  are also recommended, as are managing associates Jemma Clarke  and George Danczak , and department head Michael Birchall, who specialises in M&A and corporate finance mandates. Adam Kaucher  recently joined Irwin Mitchell.

The six-partner team at DLA Piper UK LLP provides ‘speedy responses’, is commended for its ‘collaborative working style’ and benefits from its ‘good international network of offices’. The corporate team acts for local, national and international clients on high-value transactions often with a cross-border element. Corporate team head James Kerrigan and commercial team head Lee Brierley, who is ‘first class’, advised Gino D'Acampo Worldwide Restaurants on a joint venture agreement with fashion retailer Next regarding the development, operation, marketing and promotion of Italian restaurants. Conviviality, BASF, Hoist Finance, Lloyds Development Capital and The Hut Group are also clients. Among the corporate team Jonathan Watkins is ‘very commercial in his approach’, Elia Montorio is praised for her ‘responsiveness’ and Yunus Maka is ‘exceptional’. In the commercial team Stephen Wright and senior associate David Booth are also noted.

The ‘responsive’ and ‘hardworking’ 11-partner team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP regularly handles complex transactions, often with a cross-border element, across the healthcare, aerospace, defence, retail, real estate and chemicals sectors. Company and commercial team head Simon Masters  advised WestRock Company on its $2.28bn acquisition of Multi Packaging Solutions International, and on the $1bn disposal of its home, health and beauty division. Daniel Hall acted for Zeus Capital on the £190m IPO of Strix Group and Alistair Cree  advised Carlyle Group on the disposal of a Luxembourg-based company holding the freehold of the Soapworks development in Salford Quays, Manchester.  Partner Nicola Brookes  and senior associate Elizabeth Tindall, who ‘takes a commercial approach to issues’, are also noted. The ‘brilliant’ Tom Bridgford  leads the commercial team and advised CSC Computer Sciences on a five-year outsourcing deal with the London insurance market. Nick Stubbs, who splits his time between Leeds and Manchester, and senior associate Richard Hill are also recommended for commercial matters.

The ‘first-rate’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP regularly handles private equity mandates for a range of private equity houses and is adept at handling strategic M&A deals. Corporate head and private equity specialist Gregg Davison advised Co-operative Group on its strategic acquisition of Nisa Retail for £143m and advised Livingbridge on the £40m secondary management buyout of Giacom Holdings. Manchester office head Helen Ridge  and Kieran Toal (who is ‘excellent on private equity matters’) are also key members of the ‘experienced’ team, which includes recently promoted partner  Amie Norris, who is experienced in private equity transactions, and senior associate Alasdair Weir, who is noted for corporate finance mandates. LDC, Sovereign Capital Partners and Linnaeus Group are also clients. National head of commercial Samantha Livesey  is active across IP, IT, digital and commercial contract matters and acts for clients such as WaterSmart.

DWF's eight-partner team is noted for its expertise in M&A, capital markets and private equity transactions, as well complex commercial mandates. National corporate head Frank Shephard  (‘very pragmatic, and able to find solutions to get the deal done’) acted alongside Alasdair Outhwaite  for Arlington Industries on its acquisition of Magal Engineering. Manchester corporate head Jonathan Robinson  advised NorthEdge Capital on its £100m exit and reinvestment in Utiligroup; and acted alongside Outhwaite for Palatine Private Equity on its investment in ZyroFisher. Recently promoted partner Lisa Stavropoulos  is a key member of the team, specialising in M&A and capital markets mandates. On the commercial side, national head of commercial, Craig Chaplin, acts for clients such as Serco and Morrisons, and James Lonsdale  advises Countrywide on a range of commercial matters.

Gateley Plc's ‘pragmatic and commercially aware’ team is praised for its ‘attention to detail’. It regularly advises private equity investors, large corporates and listed plcs, as well as high-net-worth individuals and investors, on corporate transactions. National head of corporate Charles Glaskie advised Timpson Group on its acquisition of the retail dry cleaning arm of Johnson Services Group for £8.25m. The ‘brilliant’ Mark Halliwell, who specialises in corporate finance, advised Competition Line (UK) on the £20.5m sale of 18 gyms to The Gym Group. Paul Jefferson, who heads the private equity group, advised Inspired Energy on its £44m acquisition of Horizon Energy Group, an energy procurement and consultancy business based in Cork, Ireland; and advised City Football Group (CFG), on its strategic joint venture with Goals Soccer Centres, an AIM-listed operator of outdoor soccer centres. Mark Halliwell is ‘very experienced and capable’ and advised the shareholders of Chase Templeton, a private medical insurance broker backed by Palatine Private Equity, on its sale to Nevada Investments. Other key figures include Nigel Brown, who is ‘very experienced’ and advises on inward and outward investment to and from China; Khurshid Valli; Chris Dunn; and recently promoted partner Stephen Roberts. Legal director Kate Richards  is also noted for corporate matters. Jonathan Moakes  heads the commerce, technology and media practice, which includes Peter Budd and John Burns.

Hill Dickinson LLP ’s corporate team specialises in equity capital markets and M&A transactions, as well as private equity mandates. Ian Gillis, who heads the corporate team and is noted for equity capital markets and private company transactions, advised Ultimate Products on its £105m IPO on the main market of the LSE alongside Jonathan Gillow . Ian Riggs  advised the shareholders of Active Supply Holdings on its sale to IESA. The ‘highly recommended’ David Mkhitarian advised North Edge Capital on its £20m investment in Cubic Motion and advised Waterland Capital Private Equity on its £20m first direct UK investment in Gas Tag. Mark Fitzgibbon heads the commercial and IP team, which recently welcomed Tracey Sheehan  from Dentons as head of telecoms. Cenkos Securities, Foresight Group, Stobart Group and Kuehne + Nagel are also clients.

The ‘efficient’ team at Squire Patton Boggs is active across M&A, private equity and capital markets mandates, often advising on  cross-border transactions. The team is recognised for its expertise in the technology, manufacturing and chemicals sectors. Manchester corporate head Giles Chesher  advised GB Group plc on its acquisition of Postcode Anywhere (Holdings) and its placing of 17m new ordinary shares on AIM and advised Warrington Borough Council on its £210m acquisition of Aviemore Birchwood Park Unit Trust. Andrea Cropley, who recently joined from Irwin Mitchell, advised the shareholders of Rocksure Systems on its sale to the Send for Help Group; and James Fitzgibbon, who recently joined the team from PwC Legal LLP , advised BGF on its investment in European Braking Systems. Darren Warburton, who is noted for his chemicals sector expertise and European managing partner Jane Haxby are also key members of the team. Braemar Group, Midwest Prototyping, University Games Corporation and On The Beach are also clients.

Brabners LLP  acts for entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, OMBs, family businesses, small private equity houses and AIM listed companies on mid-market corporate transactions and is particularly active across the sports, technology, healthcare, automotive and housing sectors. Caroline Litchfield  advised the shareholders of Pentagon Motor Holdings on the £28m sale of its motor dealership business and Sam Mabon , who specialises in the sport and digital media sectors, advised a shareholder of Httpool Holdings on the sale of a majority stake in Httpool Holdings UK to IMS Internet Media Services. Mabon also worked alongside Richard Hepworth  in advising NF Football Investments on its acquisition of Nottingham Forest Football Club. In another highlight Tony Harper  advised the shareholders of Talk Internet on the disposal of Talk Internet to Wavenet. Simon Lewis  is also recommended. Former managing partner Mark Brandwood heads the team after the departure of -David Bowcock  to Fieldfisher. -Andrew Millar  joined Shoosmiths LLP  in 2017. Jon Close joined the team from the Manchester office of Knights Professional Services Limited.

The ‘brilliant’ team at CMS is noted for its ‘strong expertise’ in corporate real estate transactions, with a particular strength in the hospitality sector, and it is regularly instructed in cross-border transactions. Key highlights included advising RDI REIT on the €49m acquisition of a German shopping portfolio held through a corporate structure; advising Far East Consortium International on the creation and establishment of a joint venture vehicle between Hong Kong listed Far East Consortium and The Council of The City of Manchester; and advising Lyndene Hotel on its disposal, by way of a business and assets deal, of a 140 bed hotel. Select Property Group and Kish Property are also key clients. Manchester corporate head Howard Gill is ‘excellent’ on corporate real estate mandates.

JMW Solicitors LLP's ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘down-to-earth’ team has a ‘great reputation’ for local, national and international transactions. Department head Mike Blood  led advice for Boels-Gosink on the its expansion into the UK market with its £14m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Supply UK. Blood is also leading advice for PSL (PTY) Ltd, the South African Premier League, on its £1bn tender process for the media rights for all PSL competitions for five seasons. Elsewhere, Damien Brown, who joined the team in 2017 from Shoosmiths LLP, advised Eurofins Scientific on the £6m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of York EMC Services from the University of York, and on the same client's £31m acquisition of the forensics and security division of LGC Limited. The ‘fantastic’ Mark Heppell  advised Universal Tanker Services Group on its £7m acquisition of Waters Waste Services and Richard Parkinson  advised Hurlingham Polo Association on its sponsorship and partnering agreement with Flannels. Vicky Protano joined Mills & Reeve LLP in 2018.

The ‘professional’ and ‘pragmatic’ team at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP  is adept at advising on large and complex transactions across the professional services, healthcare, food, beverage and technology sectors, while the commercial team regularly advises clients across the pharmaceutical, hotel, leisure and sports industries. ‘Incisive’ corporate and commercial team head Robert Buckley advises Salford City FC on a number of sponsorship and commercial deals; and is also advising the Class of ’92 on a new University Academy 92 project. The ‘practical’ Kirsti Pinnell advised SysGroup on the corporate aspects of its £3.9m acquisition of Telford-based Rockford IT; and also advised Ironveld, an AIM-traded mining company, on two separate placings of shares in 2017. Peter Allen advised Manor Service Stations on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Manor Services Stations to Motor Fuel; and also advised Fruitapeel on its sale to Belgium-based Puratos. Also noted are executive partner Robert Levy, who ‘delivers workable solutions’, associate Helen Mather , and James Wall , who handles commercial and non-contentious IP matters. Jan Winstanley  was recently promoted to partner, while Martin Lewis left the firm for an in-house role.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s clients value its ability to ‘balance hard legal facts, with commercial insight and reality’ and the corporate and commercial team is active across the media, entertainment, real estate, health, retail, technology, food and beverage sectors. Demonstrating its expertise in advising on transactions in the music festival sector; the team advised Broadwick Holdings on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Ground Control Productions; and advised Global Festivals on several acquisitions; including membership rights in Hideout Festival and on the related acquisition of 75% of the issued share capital of Moving Music. Marick Capital instructed the team on the £32m sale of a hotel development in London’s Royal Docks in another key highlight. Chris Ross, who is ‘calm under pressure’ and Chris Wilkinson, who is experienced in the pharmaceuticals sector, jointly lead the corporate team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of principal associate Vicky Protano from JMW Solicitors LLP. Principal associate Paul Knight leads the commercial, IP and IT team and ‘brings significant intellect, legal expertise and a commonsense approach’.

The ‘responsive and commercial’ team at Pannone Corporate LLP regularly advises on M&A transactions and has a growing private equity practice. Tom Hall and Tim Hamilton advised the management shareholders of Bollington Insurance Brokers on its sale to a newco backed by Inflexion Private Equity, which also saw the exit of Groupama, via a separate sale and purchase arrangement. Hamilton also acted for Livingbridge on its acquisition of, and investment into, software company Mobysoft. The ‘commercial and pragmatic’ Mark Winthorpe advised the shareholders of Supply UK Hire Shops on its disposal to Dutch corporate Boels-Gosink. Bargain Booze, Maven Capital, Intechnica and NVM Private Equity are also clients. Its commercial team is regularly instructed on retail-sector mandates, where the ‘knowledgeable’ Amy Chandler is recommended. Victoria Dolan recently left the firm for an in-house role. Steven Grant leads the team.

Shoosmiths LLP delivers ‘quick and pragmatic advice’ and stands out for its ‘positive, can-do attitude’, handling high-profile M&A deals in addition to private equity and capital markets mandates. Headline transactions included advising the shareholders of Xtrac Transmissions on the sale of the entire share capital of Xtrac Transmissions to a Newco funded by Inflexion Private Equity Partners; advising YFM Equity Partners on its £9m investment in 4net Technologies; and advising Decision Technologies on the acquisition of the online mobile phone comparison site from Adsar. ‘Clear and concise’ corporate team head Karen Procter advises in a ‘commercial manner and does not get bogged down in legal technicalities’. In 2017, the team was bolstered by the arrival of former CEO of AIM-listed company Bglobal Tim Jackson-Smith; and Andrew Millar from Brabners LLP. Senior associates Anna Kerrane , who joined in 2017 from Weightmans LLP, and Benjamin Dredge  are also recommended. Richard Millington heads the commercial team which advises on commercial contracts across the food, drink, retail, automotive, technology, digital, sport and financial services sectors.

TLT's  ‘personable’ and ‘genuinely agile’ corporate and commercial team delivers ‘practical’ and ‘partner-led’ advice. Stephen Devlin advised on its accelerated bookbuild to raise £50m, together with a sale by key founder members of shares raising £80m; advised K3 Capital Group on its admission to AIM; and also advised the shareholders of SuperBike Factory on its sale of the entire issued share capital to a new company funded by Livingbridge. Legal director Elizabeth Delaney advised Green Hedge International on the £30m sale of a majority share in Green Hedge Energy UK and an investment from a European investment fund managed by Zouk Capital. Andrew Needham and Ian Roberts are also key members of the corporate team. Susan Honeyands, David Gardner, who is praised for his ‘stellar attention to detail’, Pauline Cowie and Stuart Campbell are all recommended on the commercial side. Jon Close joined Knights Professional Services Limited.

The ‘commercially minded’ and ‘client-focused’ team at Turner Parkinson LLP  regularly acts for mid-market and high-growth emerging businesses on key transactions. Headline work for corporate head James Sheridan includes advising Medical Equipment Supplies and Management on its sale to NASDAQ listed global laboratory supplier and distributor VWR; advising Stirling Lloyd on its acquisition by GCP Applied Technologies; and advising Skinbiotherapeutics on its £8m IPO. Andrew Sturge advised Wilson Insurance Brokers on the buyout and merger of Bollington Insurance Brokers and Wilsons Insurance Brokers into Bollington Wilson Group, while the ‘superb’ and ‘pragmatic’ David Easdown advised the shareholders of Join the Dots (Research) on its MBO. Stephen Hadlow, Nick Davenport and Adrian Rogers,who joined from Brabners LLP in 2017, are also key members of the corporate department. The commercial team, headed by director Simon Weinberg, focuses on the life sciences, med-tech, logistics, healthcare and TMT sectors.

Weightmans LLP's 'efficient and highly commercial' department is active in transactions across the manufacturing, healthcare, higher education and public sectors, and has seen growth in activity in the IT, digital and creative sectors, with consultant Robert Turnbull advising online retailer In the Style (ITS) on its investment-backing from Livingbridge. Elsewhere, Paul Raftery advised Aspire IOM on the sale of its subsidiary Kreston IOM to listed acquirer The Financial Services Opportunities Investment Fund. Sarah Walton heads the corporate team and tax partner Haydn Rogan is also noted. Vincent King  and Martin Vincent are recommended among the commercial team, which advises on heavyweight commercial contracts for the firm’s private and public sector client base; King is leading advice for the British Transport Police on its procurement of managed network services under the Crown Commercial Service’s Managed Network Services framework.

The ‘responsive’ and ‘hardworking’ department at DAC Beachcroft LLP  is active across the financial services, healthcare, technology and renewable energy sectors. Highlights included advising the shareholders of Fastflow Group on a "cash out" and rollover of its shareholders into a new company, funded by Elysian Capital, Yorkshire Bank and Lloyds Bank; and advising the former shareholders of CJJ Investments on its sale to an entity owned by NASDAQ-listed Bottomline Technologies. Harald Loeffler , who heads the German desk, and senior associate William Pinnock are recommended, while Legal director Andrew Clare, who heads the firm’s Japan desk, recently joined the firm from his role as general counsel at Accenture Japan. Paul Ellaby heads the team.

Slater Heelis LLP  is highly regarded for its track record in advising on life sciences sector transactions, and is also active across the digital, telecoms and healthcare sectors. Key highlights included advising Deutsche Asset Management on the £10.5m sale of its caravan park business and assets, undertaken by Roydon Mills (Lodges), to DPK Leisure; and advising the seller, Ian Jones, on the sale of the whole of the issued share capital of Allied Infrastructure Management. The team also advised BGC Holdings on the demerger of Bolton Gate Services Ltd from BGC Holdings, and the subsequent sale of Bolton Gate Services to Novafirm.  Department head Simon Wallwork is ‘very experienced’, particularly in acquisitions and disposals; and Nicky Collins is active in the health and education sectors and is experienced in advising GP federations and other healthcare providers. Sunil Mohindra and associate solicitor Rhian Owen are also recommended.

Ward Hadaway regularly acts for SME clients and has a particular focus on the biomedical, recruitment and manufacturing sectors, and is active in private equity and venture capital-backed deals. Clients include Catapult Ventures, Anglia Ruskin University, Vodat Communications Group and Key Capital Partners. ‘Timely’ and ‘pragmatic’ team head Sean FitzGerald, the ‘excellent’ Melanie Yeomans , who is active on venture capital investments and has expertise in the biomedical sector, and ‘experienced’ executive partner Paul Johnson, are recommended. Associate solicitor Rachel Clarkson is also a key member of the team.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Bermans  has ‘robust knowledge and is praised for its ‘great depth of experience’ in advising privately owned companies, SMEs, family businesses, entrepreneurs, management teams, professional partnerships, institutional investors and venture capital clients, and has strengths in the TMT, ophthalmic and motor retail sectors. It regularly handles M&A and disposals for these clients and houses a growing private equity practice. Team head Jonathan Davage, who is praised for his ‘attention to detail’, advised the selling shareholders of Cake Holdings on its sale to Bamtech. Davage worked alongside senior associate Robin Hastings in advising 1PM plc on its £2.2m acquisition of Cardiff-based finance broker Intelligent Financing; and in advising Bradhsaw Farnham Lea on its disposal of BFL Property Management to Purplebricks Group. Stephen Jarman joined the team from Taylors LLP  in April 2018.

Clarke Willmott LLP is regularly instructed by SME clients on M&A deals, and also handles disposals for equity investors and management teams, and the team is noted for its financial services expertise, as well as its technology sector nous. The team was instructed by BOXT Limited, and its management team, on the acquisition of a minority stake in the company, by Robert Bosch UK Holdings; acted for the seller on the £4m share disposal of Ken Brown Motors to Now Investment Group; and advised Hopecrest Holdings on its disposal of Aztec Aerosols to Instarmac. Meetoo Limited, Dunlop Systems & Components and Aluminium Developments Group are also clients. Team head Ed Foulkes has ‘deep understanding and empathy of the positions of vendor and buyer’ and is experienced in transactions across the financial services, technology and renewable energy sectors, while Helen Tse is noted for cross-border China-UK mandates. Susan Hall handles ICT agreements and  commercial contract work, and heads the technology practice.

gunnercooke LLP regularly advises small start-ups, larger corporates and entrepreneurial businesses on M&A, private equity and transactional mandates. Redsky1, Purple Group Holdings, ImmunoBiology Limited and Paragon Group are clients of the ‘innovative’ practice; and Greg Sherr advised Leysman Group Holdings on its acquisition of Datify Limited. Department head Nick Ducker, Anna Beaumont and Darryl Cooke, who is noted for private equity work, are also key members of the team.

The ‘compact and agile’ team at HRC Law LLP  regularly advises clients in the retail, e-commerce, childcare, automotive and healthcare sectors. Team head Mark Traynor, who is noted for his experience in the childcare sector, advised the members of Bramleys Nurseries group on its sale to Busy Bees; advised Kids Planet Day Nurseries on its acquisition of the business and assets of Happy Days Nursery in Stockport; and advised the members of Little Rascals LLP on the sale of its nursery business to ICP Nurseries. Richard Life is ‘user-friendly’, has a ‘commercial approach’ and is ‘particularly strong in fashion and retail and is very well connected’; Life advised UK fashion brand NICCE on its first brand licence agreement and Bench is also a key client. Additional highlights for the team included advising the shareholders of ALM Garages on the sale of shares to Holdcroft Motor Group and advising four members of second tier management who, via JLES Group Holdings (completed a management buy-out of JLES Group Limited. Associate William Ngan , who is noted for his corporate tax expertise, joined in 2018 from Jolliffe & Co LLP.

Laytons  handles transactional and advisory mandates across the retail, utilities and facilities management sectors, and is particularly praised for its fund formation and investment expertise. Patrick Curtis is representing Building Energy Services on the acquisition of Building Management Services Integrators, the BEMS division of Centrica. Consultant David Sefton is representing Mercia Fund Managers as fund manager on the establishment and management of both the Debt and the Equity Northern Powerhouse Investment Funds; and advised Alliance Fund Managers, in combination with The British Business Bank, on the North-West Business Growth Fund.  Chairman John Gavan and Barney Leaf are also key contacts in the department.

Nexus Solicitors Limited handles a range of refinancing mandates, and regularly advises on bridging finance matters. On the M&A front, the team advised on a company share buy-back and management buy-in of Ikonic Technology; and advised on the sale of sale of 75% of the issued share capital of Continental Eyewear to Yakira Group. The team is also adept at commercial contracts and advises franchise and retail clients on a range of commercial matters. Jamie Lloyd is the department head.

With a sole focus on commercial law, niche firm Taylors LLP  is ‘committed to an excellent level of service’ and delivers ‘good turnaround times’ for SMES and owner-managed businesses across the manufacturing, engineering, textiles, home furnishings and software sectors. Medicina Holdings, Bellows Technologies, YR Free Labs, Acuity Fund and Lancashire Cleaning Services are clients. Recently promoted associate partner Matthew Catterall has a ‘real skill in striking up excellent relationships with clients’. -Stephen Jarman  joined Bermans  in April 2018.

Corporate tax

Index of tables

  1. Corporate tax
  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 tax clients in North West 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


Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘personal, friendly and pragmatic’ team delivers ‘technically strong’ advice across the real estate, private equity and financial services sectors, and is noted for its expertise in in VAT, energy sector tax issues, tax treatment of equipment leasing, tax aspects of insolvency and administration, fund structuring and governance issues. The practice acted for Phoenix Private Equity on structuring the reorganisation of Key Retirement Group and redemption of loan notes, and providing tax advice on the £200m sale and secondary buyout of Key Retirement Group to Partner Group. The team also advised Mark and Lucy Millar on the  sale of comic book company Millarworld to Netflix, which involved cross-border issues, IP taxation and personal tax planning advice. Aviva Life and Pensions, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Legal & General Pensions and Norcros are also clients. Department head Justine Delroy has ‘great technical knowledge and always seeks to suggest solutions rather than merely highlight problems’. Michael Hunter, who operates across the Manchester and Leeds offices, is experienced in energy transactions and managing associate Catherine Concannon specialises in corporate tax and employment tax matters.

DLA Piper UK LLP advises on private equity and real estate transactions and is noted for its specialist expertise in areas such as VAT for civil aircraft, outsourcing, and international commercial contracts. The team advised the management of ESG on the structure of its disposal to Socotec, advised Lloyds Development Capital on the sale of Nexinto Limited to The PlusServer Group, and acted for Puro Ventures on the acquisition by Eddie Stobart Logistics of a 50% shareholding in Speedy Freight, the trading name for Puro Ventures. SDL, Oakley Capital, Conviviality and Beech Tree Private Equity are also clients.  Team head David Thompson focuses on corporate tax, private equity tax and VAT, while legal director Stephen Jones is experienced across corporate tax, real estate tax and international tax matters.

Specialist corporate tax firm MSA Law Limited has a ‘wealth of experience’ and is commended for its ‘personal approach’. The team advises corporates and owner-managed businesses, with a particular emphasis on M&A transactions, exit planning, restructurings and reorganisations, succession planning and employee incentivisation. The firm also handles property tax matters. Morston Palatine and Affinity Trust are clients. Key figures include Bernard McIlroy, a ‘true professional’ who is ‘extremely knowledgeable’, and the 'brilliant' Fiona Sutherland.

The energy and infrastructure sectors are key areas of focus for Pinsent Masons LLP's ‘highly rated’ department, which advises on direct and indirect tax matters, in addition to handling corporate transactional and advisory work as well as contentious matters. On the transactional side, the team advised IP Group on its hostile £490m takeover of Touchstone Innovations. Department head Lynette Jacobs is experienced in share plans and incentives; she advises Imperial Brands on it share plans globally and advised Halfords on the introduction of its restricted share plan. The ‘brilliant’ Steven Porter handles contentious and non-contentious tax matters and has extensive experience in relation to litigating and resolving disputes with HMRC. Heather Self joined Blick Rothenberg in 2018.

Squire Patton Boggs handles a range of transactional mandates (often with a cross-border element) encompassing corporate finance, private equity and property transactions. The team also handles employment tax matters, and pensions-related tax work, and has expertise across the renewable energy, recruitment, technology, chemicals, real estate, sports and leisure sectors. Highlights for the team included advising Hometrack and its shareholders on the £120m sale of the property data company to Zoopla and advising LMAX and its majority shareholder on the demerger of one of LMAX’s businesses into a separate company, which involved the reorganisation of the group and the purchase of shares from a listed minority investor. It also advised 118 Group and its owners and management on the £72m sale of the data services company to a buyer funded by Pricoa Capital. ‘Exceptional’ team head Patrick Ford is recommended alongside associate and chartered tax adviser Victoria Carpenter.

Brabners LLP advises on tax matters in relation to corporate, commercial and property transactions. Recent highlights include advising Janus Cooper and the shareholders of Tetrad on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Tetrad to Bellfield Furnishings, advising Wear to Work Solutions on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Wearwell Group. Department head and chartered tax adviser Mark Whiteside operates across the firm’s Liverpool and Manchester offices and is particularly experienced in VAT and property-related tax matters.

The ‘excellent’ team at DWF is noted for its private equity expertise and regularly advises on employee equity incentives. The team advised Tatton Asset Management on the pre-reorganisation of two groups of companies, and advised on the exercise and grant of share options in advance of its IPO. It also advised Velocity Composites on the drafting of EMI share scheme documentation for the grant of EMI options prior to the float of the company on AIM, advised Mini-Cam Holdings and its shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Mini-Cam Holdings to Halma, and advised Sofology and its shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Sofology to DFS. Liverpool-based senior associate James Cashman is recommended.

Weightmans LLP regularly advises on the tax aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals, and also advises on corporate restructurings. The team also acts for developers, investors and public-sector bodies on the property tax aspects of UK real estate transactions, and advises public sector bodies on joint ventures and collaborative operations. The team advised Al-Mubarakia on the tax aspects of a proposed redevelopment of a Victorian warehouse into a mixture of residential and commercial units and advised Greif US Holdings on the UK tax aspects of a large internal group re-organisation to relocate its European hub to England from Belgium. The team also advised the shareholders of Cawood Scientific on its secondary buy-out, which involved the exercise of a number of employee share options and transfers of shares. Haydn Rogan, who is also a chartered accountant, has an ‘excellent reputation’ and is experienced in acting for owner-managed businesses and SME clients on employee incentives and corporate structuring. Rogan also advises overseas investors and international groups on restructuring matters.

EU competition

Index of tables

  1. EU competition
  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 EU competition clients in North West 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


DWF's ‘excellent EU and competition practice’ stands out for its EU State aid expertise; it is also adept at handling EU procurement and EU funding regulatory issues and regularly advises on cartels and mergers, benefiting from close ties with the firm’s Brussels office. Recent highlights include advising Mexichem UK and Mexichem Group on an ongoing European Commission investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by  Honeywell and DuPont concerning automotive refrigerants; advising the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council, in relation to particular grants to a venue in the North East for the delivery of a culture and visitor centre, in the context of a European Commission investigation; and advising Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Finance in relation to the £300m AMSCI fund for supporting supply chain manufacturing and engineering companies across England.  The team is also advising Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) on the administration of the Single Investment fund (SIF), a major new grant fund run across Merseyside. Team head Jonathan Branton splits his time between Manchester and Leeds and is ‘an expert competition lawyer, with particular expertise in EU state aid law’. ‘Knowledgeable’ senior associate Jay Mehta is also noted for state aid matters.

Weightmans LLP’s EU and competition practice is noted for its expertise across the food, drink and insurance sectors, and is also noted for its experience in state aid matters. Key mandates included advising the Motor Insurers’ Bureau in ensuring that compensation resulting from terrorism incidents through the use of vehicles is compliant with competition laws and state aid rules. The team also advised John West on resale pricing issues and advised Lotus Bakeries on competition compliance laws in relation to its proposal to grant exclusive rights to a particular retailer for the sale of one of its products in the UK and Spain. Wi-Manx and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council are also clients. In Liverpool, competition head Laurence Pritchard  advises on EU and UK competition law, including merger control and the control of anti-competitive agreements and practices. Also in Liverpool, Gary Jones specialises in state aid advice and regularly assists with grant and loan funding, regeneration projects and contract procurement. In Manchester, procurement specialist Vincent King is also recommended, as is Martin Vincent.

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘very pragmatic’ team ‘quickly gets to grips with client parameters and the issues at hand’ and its Manchester-based team is noted for its contentious expertise;  the team is acting as co-counsel on behalf of the Road Haulage Association in collective proceedings brought against truck manufacturers to recover damages resulting from a 14-year cartel. The team is also defending NKT Cables on claims brought by National Grid and Scottish Power for alleged overcharges relating to the high voltage cables infringement decision of the European Commission. Mark Molyneux  heads the competition litigation team; his ‘experience of running big-ticket litigation is invaluable’ and his ‘ability to pick up issues and propose sensible solutions is a real asset’.  The Manchester team works closely with national team head Bruce Kilpatrick and Rona Bar-Isaac, who are mainly based in the firm’s London office, and managing associate Clare Walker in Leeds.

Squire Patton Boggs works closely with its national and international network of offices, particularly benefiting from strong links with its Brussels office. It regularly advises on antitrust enforcement investigations by the UK competition authorities and the European Commission, handles private enforcement and judicial review proceedings, and advises on merger control issues. The team successfully defended ATG Media against a CMA Article 101/102 probe in the auction house service sector and advised Cott Corporation on the CMA’s merger control review of the proposed US$1.25bn sale of its non-alcoholic beverages manufacturing business to Refresco Group. Diarmuid Ryan, who operates across the firm’s London and Manchester offices, specialises in all aspects of EU and UK competition and state aid law; advising on competition authority investigations, merger control, the competition aspects of various types of commercial agreements and competition-based disputes, as well as dawn raids and compliance. Recently promoted director Nicola Elam is noted for antitrust matters.

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