Corporate and commercial: Manchester
Corporate and commercial: Manchester
Lawson Coppock & Hart
- Stripes Solicitors
‘Very client-centric, combining practicality and commerciality, with sound understanding of the law’, Addleshaw Goddard LLP handles significant transactions and commercial matters for clients such as Wolseley, Capita Group and Gazprom. Highlights included acting for Tata Chemicals on its £93m acquisition of British Salt, and advising PZ Cussons on setting up an international joint venture. The team includes Richard Thomas, ‘a superb lawyer – excellent at isolating and managing the key commercial issues, and he has a very good manner when dealing with others’; and the ‘technically excellent’ Richard Lee. M&A and private equity lawyer Neal Shepherd joined from DLA Piper UK LLP.
DLA Piper UK LLP ‘demonstrates a high degree of technical expertise and the ability to provide innovative solutions’ on transactions, and acts for a client base including private equity groups, regional private companies and multinationals. Corporate head Jonathan Watkins, ‘an outstanding professional adviser, a very good relationship manager and highly experienced in the commercial field’, led a cross-office team on the secondary buyout of Meetingzone Limited. On the private equity side, James Kerrigan is recommended, while Neal Shepherd moved to Addleshaw Goddard LLP.
Eversheds LLP’s ‘very strong team of hands-on partners provides solid advice’. The ‘excellent’ Daniel Hall and Jonathan Robinson, who has ‘the rare ability of a lawyer to rise above the detail and drive the big picture’, advised Endless on the sale of Crown Paints. Simon Masters is ‘dedicated, a good counsel and gives measured advice’, and acted for Flybe Group on its IPO. Hannah Kendrick and senior associate Alistair Cree are also recommended.
Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘very commercial and pragmatic team takes the time to get to know a client’s business’. Its strength remains private equity transactions, and corporate head Gregg Davison recently advised CPBE Capital on the £148m cross-border Stewart Group sale. Office head Helen Ridge ‘demonstrates an ability to be resourceful and flexible’ on corporate transactions. Commercial lawyer Samantha Livesey joined from Pannone LLP, and is ‘always excellent: very proactive, bright and knowledgeable (and always friendly)’. Her clients include Morrison, BASF, Serco and AJ Bell.
Cobbetts LLP continues to advise regional private equity groups and companies, with new clients including ADC Biotechnology and CT Investment Partners. Nicola Frost advised Reed & Mackay Travel on a multimillion-pound investment by ECI Partners and ISIS. The team is led by national practice head Sean Fitzgerald and Paul Johnson. Ian Riggs left for Hill Dickinson LLP in April 2012.
DWF LLP’s national practice head Stephen Houston has particular experience in the retail and technology sectors, while Craig Chaplin leads on commercial matters. Frank Shephard acted for the sellers in the MBO of MoneyPlus Group, and for Tactical Solutions on the disposal of St Ives. Rob Sheldon was promoted to the partnership.
Gateley’s ‘very knowledgeable’ practice head Charles Glaskie advised ITIS Holdings on its £36.9m takeover by INRIX Holdings; Paul Jefferson acted for Inspired Energy on its IPO and takeover; and Rebecca Grisewood acted for Palatine Private Equity on the MBO of Moneyplus Group. Nigel Brown has experience acting for Chinese companies on public listings.
Squire Sanders LLP ‘shows a good understanding of clients’ corporate goals’. Managing partner Jane Haxby focuses on corporate finance, recently advising AppSense Holdings on a minority stake investment by Goldman Sachs. The ‘knowledgeable and effective’ Darren Warburton acts for chemicals sector companies such as BASF, Mexichem and Innospec.
Brabners Chaffe Street LLP’s eight-partner team, led by Tony Harper, handles mid-market transactions, with David Bowcock specialising in acting for public companies. It acted for Restore plc on various transactions, and advised Legal Marketing Services on an investment by LSL Property Services and Connells. Tom Burton retired but remains a consultant to the firm.
Pannone LLP is noted for its M&A and commercial expertise, and recently advised Go Outdoors on a private equity investment by 3i. HKR International, Rigby Taylor and Xtralis UK Holdings are all new client wins. Commercial partner Udo Pope advises on major transport projects; group head Steven Grant handles corporate transactions; and Philip Treanor focuses on private equity deals. Senior consultant Soren Tattam gives ‘practical advice’.
turner parkinson LLP is ‘extremely responsive, with a multi-skilled team able to advise over many issues’. Recent work includes various cross-border transactions, and Warren James’ share acquisition in Pinewood Shepperton. The team includes Richard Parkinson (noted for his ‘bright ideas’, and as ‘always looking for solutions not problems’); James Sheridan (‘a dealmaker with an uncanny ability to cut through complex issues and reassure the client as well as inspire confidence in the other side’); and Mark Openshaw-Blower, who provides ‘solid, practical advice’ on IP, IT and e-commerce matters.
George Davies Solicitors LLP’s team is four partners strong following the hire of Scott Sands from JMW Solicitors LLP. Practice head Chris Wilkinson acted for the Cohens pharmacy chain and B3 Cable Solutions on acquisitions.
Ian Gillis now heads the practice at Hill Dickinson LLP following the departure of Paul Ellaby to EOS Law LLP. Gillis advised shareholders on the cross-border sale of B3 International, while Jane O’Sullivan’s clients include Klarius, Cogent Support Services and Character World. Ian Riggs has joined from Cobbetts LLP.
JMW Solicitors LLP acts mainly for owner-managed businesses on M&A and corporate finance transactions. The team recruited Chris Moss as practice head from Pinsent Masons LLP, and Keith Arrowsmith from Ralli Solicitors. Stephen Hadlow handles corporate finance deals.
Kuit Steinart Levy LLP ‘combines sound technical knowledge with a commercial approach and good value for money’. Robert Levy leads the team, with Kirsti Pinnell focused on AIM and plc work, and Rob Buckley handling restructurings and inward investments.
Laytons’ expertise lies in venture capital and private equity transactions. Recent matters include the £40m MBO of Building Automation Solutions. David Sefton’s focus includes secured lendings, and Barney Leaf has experience acting for SMEs on corporate financings and other transactions.
‘Rapidly gaining a reputation in the local market’, Millbank Edge LLP adopts ‘a no-nonsense, organised approach to getting deals done’. The four-partner team includes the ‘knowledgeable, tenacious, and supportive’ Ian Roberts, and the ‘insightful’ George Maynard. Highlights included advising EDM Group on its merger with Sala International.
Nexus Solicitors recently acted for Exit Stencil on acquisitions. Jamie Lloyd heads up the team and advises owner-managed businesses, while Tony Brook handles commercial matters.
Weightmans LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, experienced and responsive’ team is led by Paul Raftery, a ‘great all-rounder’ who acts for public and private companies. Sarah Walton led on the sale of Shred Easy to PHS Group. Associate Anna Kerrane is ‘an emerging talent’.
Led by Stephen Foster, Berg Legal’s team is ‘very reliable and thorough, and always give sound advice’. It acts for private companies such as Nimogen and Venture UK. Senior partner Reuben Berg and Keith Kennedy are recommended.
DAC Beachcroft LLP’s Leila Porter has ‘an excellent legal brain combined with commercial acuity, charm and determination’, and advises clients such as Pirelli, Topps Tiles and Johnson Service Group on corporate matters.
Lawson Coppock & Hart handles a range of corporate and commercial matters.
Corporate and commercial: Liverpool
Corporate and commercial: Liverpool
Brabners Chaffe Street LLP’s nine-partner team mainly acts for owner-managed businesses and plcs on mid-market transactions. Corporate head Denise Walker handles transactional and non-contentious insolvency matters, and Mark Rathbone has energy sector expertise.
DLA Piper UK LLP has ‘specialists for all areas and provides excellent service’ to corporates, start-ups and private equity houses. ‘A superb lawyer, with immense patience, integrity and technical strength’, Paul Rimmer leads the team, which hired corporate partner Gareth McIntegart from DWF LLP. David Cadwallader became a consultant to the firm.
Hill Dickinson LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is led by ‘quality operator’ Jonathan Brown, and includes Sue Russell and Craig Scott. All three are noted for their ‘commercial acumen, technical ability, negotiating skills’, and Sally Wightman gives ‘superb M&A advice’. The firm advised on Stobart Group’s £120m LSE listing and £20m acquisition in a biomass joint venture, and on Kuehne & Nagel’s acquisition of Rennies Freight Services. Its strong plc client base includes CRH, Johnson Service Group and Carr’s Milling Industries.
DWF LLP has a strong food sector focus, with corporate head Peter Allen recently advising on First Milk’s cross-border joint venture and David Clay acting for shareholders on the Tritech Group disposal. Commercial partner Paul Attwood has advised Burton’s Foods and Liverpool City Council. The practice lost Gareth McIntegart to DLA Piper UK LLP.
‘Commercial and proactive’, Weightmans LLP continues to cement its profile, and is particularly noted for its commercial expertise. John Schorah is ‘highly commercial, with great expertise in the digital sector’, and handled a range of mid-market corporate transactions, as well as advising Cybertill Limited on a contract with Cancer Research UK. Ian Vicary is also recommended, and is experienced in advising SMEs.
O’Connors LLP provides ‘high-quality advice, with a refreshing approach to understanding and interpreting client needs’. Mark O’Connor is ‘a heavyweight whom clients want on their side’. Paul O’Connor leads on commercial insurance advice. Clients include owner-managed businesses, law firms and investment fund sponsors.
Bermans hired practice head Kieran Donovan from DWF LLP and corporate finance lawyer Jonathan Davage from Lockett Loveday McMahon (LLM). It acted for various SMEs on transactional matters, and advised Kenny Dalglish/Seven Images on commercial contract negotiations with Liverpool FC.
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North West
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North West
Aaron & Partners LLP’s focus on SMEs and smaller venture capital transactions kept the practice active in M&A and fundraisings. Representative clients include Enterprise Ventures, Culina and Bentley Motors. Stuart Scott-Goldstone’s team is now four partners strong following the hire of Mark Briegal from Ralli Solicitors.
Hill Dickinson LLP’s Sally Wightman gives ‘superb M&A advice and makes complex issues appear less so’. Clients include Hawker Beechcraft, Fullwood Group and Chester Race Company, and the team is also noted for its expertise advising NHS trusts on corporate transactions.
Napthens LLP is active across private equity and M&A transactions. Practice head Keith Melling acted for Intrinsic Technology on its £30m management buyout; and advised shareholders on the multimillion-pound sale of Chas Kendall bookmakers to Gala Coral Group. Andrew Clare advised the vendor on the cross-border sale of Micro Applications Packages to Autodesk.
Forbes’ practice head Daniel Milne is experienced in advising private, public and third sector clients on transactional, corporate finance and contractual matters. The practice acted on Humberstones’ purchase of Pandora York.
Gorvins’ practice is jointly headed by Andrew Curwen, who regularly handles private equity transactions, and Paul Lupton, who ‘solves problems elegantly’. Christian Mancier advised Bay Freight on its MBO.
KBL is increasingly active in commercial and licensing matters, in addition to corporate transactions. Jonathan Shorrock and Philip Stephenson act for SMEs and owner-managed businesses in the locality and beyond.
Neil Myerson LLP ‘provides an excellent service to owner-managed businesses’, while other clients include banks, plcs and investors. Practice head M Akeel Latif and Carl Newton both have ‘excellent technical ability, whilst taking into account commercial considerations’. Neil Myerson provides ‘overall strategic advice to clients’. Highlights included acting for Stax Trade Centres’ on a £2.9m acquisition, and advising OBS Group on commercial agreements.
At sas daniels LLP, the well-regarded Jeremy Orrell leads a four-partner team with notable expertise in healthcare and education sectors. It recently advised on the sale of Springbank Community Care to City and County Healthcare Group.
DTM Legal LLP has a growing reputation, and ‘understands the needs of start-up businesses’. A spin-off of Walker Smith Way, the team includes Edward Barnes, who ‘gets the job done’ with ‘dogged determination’; Alison Brennan, who has ‘excellent knowledge’; and Tom Sutcliffe, ‘a corporate lawyer with real commercial awareness’.
Slater Heelis LLP’s clients include Risk Technologies, Sykes Seafoods and Impact Holdings. Geoffrey Blower is ‘very professional and knowledgeable. Clients have complete faith in him’. Commercial lawyer Samantha Lansbury left for EOS Law LLP.
DLA Piper UK LLP’s David Thompson recently advised on tax aspects of Sodexo’s acquisition of WS Atkins’ asset management business. Other clients include Matalan, James Grant Holdings and Gresham Private Equity.
Cobbetts LLP’s Haydn Rogan and Richard Clitherow advised on a range of corporate and real estate transactions, including Techne Corporation’s £75m acquisition of Tocris Holdings and the Blackburn Cathedral Quarter redevelopment. Other clients include private equity groups Inflexion and Growth Capital Partners.
DWF LLP advised on refinancings and sales for clients such as Grainger and Q-Park. National practice head John Toon has experience in cross-border corporate finance transactions. Other representative clients include KPMG and Neptune Developments.
Gateley’s Bernard McIIroy advised Palatine Private Equity on structuring its MBO investment in Moneyplus; and Fiona Sutherland advised both ITIS Holdings and Inspired Energy on share scheme arrangements.
Pinsent Masons LLP ‘provides timely advice and good, in-depth knowledge’. Lynette Jacobs specialises in employee share plans, recently advising Avingtrans on establishing a joint-ownership arrangement scheme.
Squire Sanders LLP acts for energy, chemicals and technology sector clients, recently advising Outsourcery Group on M&A transactions and related share scheme plans.
EU and competition
EU and competition
Addleshaw Goddard LLP handles a wealth of matters, including public procurement and state aid issues, and merger filings. The Mars Group, Manchester City Council, adidas, PZ Cussons and Brunner Mond are key clients. National practice head Phil McDonnell is ‘exceptionally good, and has pragmatism and the ability to identify issues quickly’. Jonathan Davey focuses on EU procurement and competition advice.
Cobbetts LLP’s ‘excellent’ team, led by Jonathan Branton, is recommended for state aid matters and well known for handling public procurement and governance issues for clients such as The Mersey Partnership, Liverpool City Council and Cornwall Council. It recently represented Mexichem UK in an EC investigation against Honeywell and DuPont.
Squire Sanders LLP recently advised on merger control aspects of cross-border transactions as well as on various regulatory investigations. Clients include Deutsche Bank, BritNed Development and Innospec.
Weightmans LLP provides ‘quality advice’ on EU and UK procurement law matters to local authorities as well as education and social housing providers, recently advising Queen Mary University of London and Wigan & Leigh NHS Trust. The team is three partners strong, following the hire of competition law specialist Laurence Pritchard from DWF LLP. Highly recommended for education sector issues, Martin Vincent ‘knows procurement inside out’. Sean Crotty advises public sector bodies on commercial agreements.
Pannone LLP’s team, led by Amanda Howlett, is noted for its efficient service and knowledge of UK and EU regulations. It recently advised on corporate transactions, commercial agreements and cartel investigations.