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Corporate and commercial: Manchester

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  1. Corporate and commercial: Manchester
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Addleshaw Goddard’s β€˜strong’ and β€˜very active’ seven-partner practice β€˜invests significant time in understanding what matters to the client’. The corporate team is noted for its β€˜tailored advice’ and the breadth of its expertise, which covers the full range of public and private M&A, corporate finance, equity capital markets and private equity matters. The team is led by the β€˜renowned’ Michael Birchall, who specialises in M&A and corporate finance, while Paul Medlicott heads the private equity practice and led the team advising Enterprise Ventures on its sale to AIM-listed Mercia Technologies. In other key highlights, Andrew Green, who acts on corporate transactions and specialises in private equity, led on the Co-operative Group’s Β£117m sale of 298 of its smaller food stores to McColls, and assisted the shareholders of Autonet Insurance Services with its sale to HPS Investment Partners. Richard Lee advised ECI and other shareholders on the sale of Citation to HgCapital and also worked alongside newly promoted partner Shelley McGivern in advising CCL Industries on its conditional agreement to acquire the Innovia Group. On the equity capital markets front, the β€˜outstanding’ Roger Hart led Zeus Capital and Peel Hunt on the Β£255m IPO of Watkin Jones, and advised Accrol on its Β£93m IPO. New partner Duncan Wilson led Scotia Gas Networks on the sale by SSE of 16.7% of it’s shareholding in the company for Β£620m. Legal director Adam Kaucher and managing associate Jamie Partridge are also recommended.

The β€˜responsive and pragmatic’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP is a key choice for large, complex corporate transactions, as well as high-value commercial projects, and can leverage the firm’s extensive international network where necessary, giving it a high degree of expertise in cross-border matters. Corporate head James Kerrigan (who attracts praise for his β€˜strong’ transactional expertise) is highly sought-after for private equity matters; in a standout deal, Kerrigan led advice to the shareholders of Clarke Energy, including private equity firm ECI Partners, on the sale of Clarke Energy to Kohler. In other highlights, the β€˜very experienced’ Jonathan Watkins advised Dave Whelan Sports on its acquisition of the UK Fitness First clubs, while the β€˜excellent’ Elia Montorio advised Ascendis Health on the acquisition of Remedica Holdings for €335m. Yunus Maka is a key figure in the department and is adept at cross-border transactions. Other key clients for the team include Lloyds Development Capital, Conviviality and Hoist Finance. On the commercial front, team head Lee Brierley (who is noted for his IP and IT expertise) led advice for new client Gino D'Acampo Worldwide Restaurants on a worldwide exclusive brand licence and franchise agreements for the development, operation, marketing, supply and promotion of restaurants operating under the name Gino D'Acampo My Restaurant. Other key figures for commercial matters include Stephen Wright and senior associate David Booth.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s β€˜very client-focused’ department attracts praise for its β€˜excellent response times’ and β€˜good understanding of commercial issues’. It is a regular fixture on large-scale M&A and equity capital markets transactions, and leverages the firm’s international office network to handle a significant number of cross-border matters. Standout work included advising Together Money and its founder, Henry Moser, on the Β£288m acquisition of minority interests in Jerrold Holdings owned by Equistone and Standard Life. In addition, Simon Masters (who heads the company commercial team and splits his time between the firm’s Manchester and Paris offices) led advice to Lookers on the Β£135m disposal of its parts division to Alliance Automotive Holdings. Daniel Hall (who is β€˜outstanding on large deals’) advised NCC Group on its Β£93.5m acquisition of Fox-IT Holdings, while Alistair Cree (who is β€˜technically very able and goes the extra mile’) advised Van Elle Holdings on its Β£80m AIM IPO. The team also has particular strength in the aviation and chemicals sectors, advising clients such as Manchester Airports Group and INEOS. Principal associate Nicola Brookes is also recommended. The team was bolstered by the arrival of private equity specialist Andrew Phillips from Pinsent Masons LLP in March 2017. The β€˜skilled’ Tom Bridgford leads the β€˜very active’ commercial team, which welcomed Nick Stubbs from Ward Hadaway in April 2016.

Pinsent Masons LLP enjoys a β€˜strong presence in the market’ and is highly rated for its M&A and equity capital markets expertise, as well as for its β€˜private equity prowess’. The practice’s sector-focused approach enables it to attract high-profile mandates in the energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, life sciences, retail, real estate and financial services sectors. Gregg Davison (who is praised for his β€˜wealth of expertise’) heads the firm’s international private equity practice and led advice for Metronet on the Β£47.8m acquisition of M247 Ltd, and advised Co-operative Group on the Β£43m sale of its crematoria businesses to Dignity. In an illustration of its cross-border capability, Manchester office head Helen Ridge led the team advising UDG Healthcare on the €407.5m disposal of its pharmaceutical supply chain services division in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the MASTA travel clinic business in the UK, to McKesson. Ridge also acted for the same client on its Β£84m acquisition of STEM Marketing and advised Equistone on its MBO of Apogee Group. AMEC Foster Wheeler, Livingbridge Equity Partners LLP and LDC are also clients. Andrew Phillips joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in March 2017, while the team welcomed private equity specialist Kieran Toal from Shoosmiths LLP in April 2017. Senior associates Amie Norris and Alasdair Weir are also recommended.

Brabners LLP fields a β€˜service-oriented, knowledgeable and experienced’ team that attracts praise for its β€˜superb response times’, β€˜technical nous’ and β€˜very competent and personable manner’. Corporate team head David Bowcock (β€˜a real star’) led the team advising Restore on the Β£83m purchase of PHS’s data solutions division, and led the advice to new client Marlowe on its admission to AIM, a statutory merger with a Belize-based shell company, and reverse takeover of Swift Fire and Security. Bowcock also advised Jaywing on its acquisition of Bloom Media (UK). Tony Harper (whose β€˜corporate legal experience, strategic direction and pragmatism is second to none’) led the advice to the shareholders of Quat-Chem on the sale of Quat-Chem to Neogen Corporation. The β€˜excellent’ Sam Mabon acted for the shareholders of System Professional on its sale to Daily Internet (SysGroup) and Andrew Millar advised Business Growth Fund on a Β£3.3m minority equity investment in High Access Maintenance. AGC Chemicals Europe, Chase de Vere IFA Group and Begbies Traynor are also clients. Richard Hepworth joined in October 2016 from Pannone Corporate LLP and Simon Lewis was recently promoted to partner.

DWF’s β€˜impressive’ team provides β€˜prompt response times’ and β€˜sensible advice’, and delivers a β€˜hands-on service’. It has a particular focus on the financial services, retail and technology sectors, acting for a range of companies and their public or private equity funders on regional, national and cross-border transactions. Alasdair Outhwaite led the team advising the shareholders of The Fluent Money Group on the sale of its entire issued share capital, and acted for the management team on an investment by Beech Tree Private Equity. Jonathan Robinson, working alongside Outhwaite, advised the management team of New World Trading Company on its Β£50m MBO. β€˜Superb’ corporate head Frank Shephard is praised for his β€˜down-to-earth, constructive and thoughtful’ approach. Recognised for his capital markets expertise, Shephard led the advice to the shareholders of Waterfall Catering Group on its sale to Paris-based multinational Elior Group. Additional highlights for the team included advising LivingBridge on its investment in clinical consulting business Four Eyes Insight. Cyprotex, Moneyplus Group and Optionis Group are also on the firm’s client roster. Also recommended are director Lisa Stavropoulos, who specialises in M&A and capital markets; and Craig Chaplin, who is experienced in IT, telecoms and outsourcing matters.

Gateley Plc has a β€˜professional’ and β€˜very active’ nine-partner team that is β€˜strong on corporate finance’. It acts for a range of private equity investors, large corporates, listed plc’s, high net worth individuals and investors. National head of corporate Charles Glaskie (who is β€˜very responsive, and has a can-do attitude’) led advice to Betfred on its Β£55.5m acquisition of 322 betting shops from Ladbrokes and Gala Coral Group. Asia team head Nigel Brown specialises in funding and public company work and acted alongside colleagues in Birmingham advising GIL Investments and other shareholders on the sale of Akcros Chemicals to Ohio-headquartered Valtris Speciality Chemicals. Other key figures on the private equity front include Rebecca Grisewood and Paul Jefferson focus on private equity; recent highlights for Grisewood include advising Palatine-backed Selection Services Investments on its Β£35m sale to Castle Street Investments in a reverse takeover deal, while Jefferson advised NorthEdge Capital on its investment in East Coast Concepts and acted for LDC on the MBO of Giacom World Networks. Also recommended are the β€˜brilliant’ Khurshid Valli, Mark Halliwell and Chris Dunn, who focus on acquisitions and disposals. Halliwell led advice for Ixxus on its sale to Copyright Clearance Center. At legal director level Stephen Roberts and Chris Williams are singled out for praise.

Hill Dickinson LLP attracts praise for its ability to β€˜mobilise a high-quality team at very short notice’ and for its β€˜excellent skill in both corporate and commercial matters’. Corporate head Ian Gillis advises on equity capital markets transactions and private company transactional work; in an illustration of the former work, Gillis advised Cenkos Securities on a secondary placement for Jaywing to fund its acquisition of Bloom Media UK, and on a Β£40m placing for Mercia Technologies. Gillis also advised Swift Fire & Security on its sale to AIM-listed Marlowe Holdings. The β€˜very sharp, innovative and satisfyingly commercial’ Ian Riggs handles public and private company transactional work, including private equity matters, and acted alongside Jonathan Gillow advising the shareholders and management team of Barber of Sheffield on a Β£16m secondary buyout backed by RJD Partners. Highlights for the β€˜excellent’ David Mkhitarian included advising Jeremy Bygrave and Neil McGuinness on the sale of the entire issued share capital of 8Ball Games to Stride Gaming. The β€˜first-rate’ Mark Fitzgibbon leads the commercial and IP department, and advised Contract Vehicles on its provision of fleet management services to Mercedes Benz UK, and advises Master Distributor on its worldwide manufacturing and distribution arrangements for its Cloud Nine hair care products.

The β€˜outstanding’ department at Squire Patton Boggs has β€˜great strength in depth’ and β€˜delivers a very high level of service’. The team handles regional, national and cross-border deals for corporates worldwide, and is particularly strong in the chemicals sector. The team is also active on private equity for mid-market private equity houses, management teams, sellers and clearing banks. Jane Haxby is β€˜calm and level-headed in a crisis’; she recently acted alongside tax partner Patrick Ford for the shareholders of BDP Holdings on the Β£103m sale of the entire issued share capital to Nippon Koei. Haxby and Ford acted alongside colleagues in Brussels for the shareholders of AppSense UK on its sale to LANDesk Holdco UK. Giles Chesher is the key partner for private equity work and led advice for ECI Partners LLP on its Β£55m acquisition and investment into MPM Products. Chesher also acted for Findel on the Β£15m sale of Kitbag to Fanatics. Darren Warburton advises international clients in the chemicals manufacturing sectors and acted for INEOS Enterprises on the €80m sale of INEOS Styrenics’ expandable polystyrene business to Styrenics. GB Group, Belden and Foresight Group are also clients.

CMS, which merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, now benefits from Nabarro LLP’s β€˜extremely high-calibre team’ in Manchester, which provides β€˜strong, pragmatic advice’ to clients that benefit from β€˜access to strong support when required’. The team advises on high-profile, high-value transactions for clients in the region, as well as throughout the UK and internationally. Highlights included advising Argent and The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund on the Β£164m sale of One St Peters Square, Manchester; and assisting Redefine International with its Β£115m share placement. The team also acted for International Hotel Group on its Β£20m acquisition of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel, Gatwick Airport. β€˜Outstanding’ team head Howard Gill is singled out for his β€˜superb leadership’ experience in the hotel and leisure sector.

The β€˜highly capable’ team at JMW Solicitors LLP β€˜works together in a harmonious, professional manner that is reflected in the way it deals with clients’, who single out its β€˜real determination to get the deal done’ and financial services sector expertise. Headline work included advising the shareholders of Masondixie on its disposal to Whittan Intermediate; assisting Tenere AT with the sale of Atelier London to Landmark and acting for DSG Financial Services on its sale to Promethean for Β£8.7m. It also acted for Beech Properties on a number of fundraising matters. The β€˜commercial and approachable’ team head Mike Blood is recommended alongside Vicky Protano who is β€˜technically able’ and Mark Heppell who is β€˜first-rate’. Richard Parkinson heads the non-contentious commercial contracts practice.

The β€˜commercially aware’ corporate department at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP has β€˜superior technical ability, as well as an unwavering commitment to responsiveness’. In addition to handling large, complex transactions, particularly in the owner-managed and family business arena, the practice also draws on sector expertise in the hotel, leisure, IT, pharmaceutical and sports industries. Team head Robert Buckley (who is β€˜commercially savvy, practical and a team player’) has particular expertise in sports-related commercial matters and acts for GG Hospitality on a range of transactional matters. Kirsti Pinnell (who attracts praise for β€˜cutting through the jargon and focusing on the overall objective’) regularly acts for AIM-listed corporations, recently advising Sys Group on the acquisition of System Professional by Daily Internet. Also recommended are executive partner Robert Levy, who β€˜balances technical ability with practicality’; Peter Allen, who advises on M&A, equity investment and joint ventures; Martin Lewis; and James Wall, who was promoted to partner in 2016.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s corporate team has strong healthcare sector expertise, and acts for a range of manufacturing and engineering clients, as well as a growing media-sector client base. The firm also fields a commercial team with experience in the charities, retail and education sectors. Headline mandates included advising several shareholders in Euroforce People Solutions on the sale of their stakes to Workforce Holdings; acting for Global Festivals on several matters, including the acquisition of Boardmasters and Rewind Festivals, as well as majority interests in Waxarch and and Lock β€˜N’ Load Events from Impresario Festival. It also advised Hunter Douglas on the acquisition of a majority stake in Blinds 2 Go. Other clients include BidFresh, Phoenix Medical Supplies and Marick Capital. The β€˜focused’ Chris Ross and Chris Wilkinson jointly head the corporate team, while the β€˜very astute’ Paul Knight leads the commercial, IP and IT team.

Pannone Corporate LLP’s β€˜responsive and enthusiastic’ department attracts praise providing advice that is β€˜easily understandable and quickly digestible’. The corporate team is best known for advising local companies and entrepreneurs, while the commercial team has a strong reputation in the retail sector. Tom Hall advised the founders of the Parklife Weekender and The Warehouse Project on the sale of a majority interest to Live Nation, and advised Bargain Booze on the purchase of KMD Enterprises. Tim Hamilton joined the team in May 2016 from gunnercooke LLP and led advice for the chief executive and the management team of Prettylittlething.com on its sale to Boohoo for Β£3.3m. Other key corporate figures include the β€˜detail-focused’ Mark Winthorpe, who attracts praise for his β€˜straight-to-the-point’ advice. Recommended individuals on the commercial front include Amy Chandler, who acts for Brother International Europe on a range of commercial, IT, IP and data protection matters; Victoria Dolan, who advises EM&I Group on commercial agreements relating to the supply of its services throughout the world; and consultant Udo Pope. Steven Grant heads the team. Richard Hepworth recently left the firm to join Brabners LLP

β€˜Highly rated for its commerciality and response times’, TLT’s corporate team handles mid-market transactions, while the commercial team is experienced in the retail, energy, public sector, financial services and leisure industries. Stephen Devlin advised the shareholders of M247 Ltd on its disposal to Manchester Metronet, and advised Boohoo.com on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Prettylittlething.com. Andrew Needham advised the shareholders of Berwin Group on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Berwin Group to Hexpol. Also recommended are Jon Close, who is β€˜commercially astute and technically very strong’, Ian Roberts, and legal director Elizabeth Delaney, who is a β€˜tough negotiator’. On the commercial side, Susan Honeyands acts for Merlin Entertainments and Stuart Campbell advised Elavon Financial Services on its participation in a new mobile banking service. David Gardner and Pauline Cowie are also recommended. Jason Cropper joined from DWF in 2016.

Turner Parkinson LLP advises on regional mid-market transactions, for a client base that includes private companies, mid-market corporates, PE and VC portfolio companies, high-growth businesses and small-cap AIM-listed clients. Headline work included advising Warren James Family Office on its investment into a major town centre development project in Basingstoke; advising the shareholders of Evolution Logistics on its sale to Metro Group (Canada); and acting for East Coast Concepts on a Β£5m investment from North Edge Private Equity. James Sheridan heads the practice, which includes the β€˜commercial and pragmatic’ David Easdown, who was promoted to partner in 2016; Andrew Sturge, Stephen Hadlow and Nick Davenport; and managing partner Mark Openshaw-Blower, who heads the commercial team.

Weightmans LLP has a β€˜superb’ corporate team that delivers β€˜relevant and clear advice with a commercial view’. The team is particularly singled out for its track record in private M&A in the owner-managed and mid-market business space; team head Paul Raftery advised Sonoco Cores and Paper on the purchase of UK-based Laminar Medica, including a group company in the Czech Republic and US business assets. In other highlights, Sarah Walton advised ANS Group on the acquisition of Eison and led advice for Pochin’s on its strategic partnership with db symmetry. β€˜Knowledgeable, calm, balanced and commercial’ consultant Robert Turnbull rounds out the transactional team. Vincent King and Martin Vincent head the commercial team, which has expertise in the IT, technology, digital media, education and procurement sectors. King is advising Lancashire Constabulary and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire on its collaboration with University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) to establish a forensics academy.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is singled out for its expertise in the health and financial services sectors, and has also acted on a range of technology sector transactions, with an emphasis on games software, traffic management software, outsourcings and health informatics. Highlights included advising individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) company ClearDebt on the sale of its IVA book to Aperture Debt Solutions LLP. It also advised the shareholders of Prime Document Limited (PDL) on the sale of shares in PDL to a new company funded by a management buy-in team, Maven Capital and Yorkshire Bank, and acted for the shareholders in Health Intelligence on its sale to Inhealth. Department head Paul Ellaby is noted for his corporate finance expertise. Harald Loeffler and senior associate William Pinnock are also recommended.

Shoosmiths LLP advises on transactional matters spanning the retail, hospitality, leisure and biotechnology sectors. Department head Karen Procter’s highlights included advising Spar wholesaler and distributor James Hall & Co. on the purchase of North East Convenience Stores; assisting Dunkeld House Hotel LLP on its acquisition of Dunkeld House, a historic hotel in the Scottish Highlands; and acting for Chase Templeton on its purchase of Ultimate Health. Richard Millington, who is part of the technology, media and commercial team, advised Iconix Brand Group on a JV with Li Ning in relation to the Danskin sports brand. Arcis Biotechnology, Consilia Investments and Palatine Private Equity are also clients. Former co-head Kieran Toal joined Pinsent Masons LLP in April 2017.

The β€˜technically able’ team at Slater Heelis LLP is β€˜very strong’ in the life sciences sector and also acts for a wide range of digital and telecoms companies. Healthcare matters are also central to the practice; its track record in this area includes advising GPs, pharmacists and dentists on acquisition and disposal work. Highlights included advising Mabion on its €40m disposal to Mylan; assisting the independent directors and financial advisers of ANS Group on its Β£65m takeover; and acting for Intercytex on its $40m sale to Ember Therapeutics. Orbit Healthcare, Blueberry Therapeutics and Deutsche Bank are also clients. The the team is jointly headed by the β€˜organised’ Katharine Mellor and β€˜experienced’ Simon Wallwork, who has a β€˜great reputation’. Mellor is particularly experienced in medical and dental partnerships, and Wallwork is known for corporate transactional instructions. Sunil Mohindra is focused on cross-border transactions, particularly between the UK and India, and Nicky Collins is experienced in the health and education sectors. Associate Rhian Owen is also recommended.

Ward Hadaway’s β€˜experienced’ team acts for range of SME clients, and has a particular focus on private equity and venture capital backed deals in the biomedical, recruitment and manufacturing sectors. Sean FitzGerald advised JSA Services on its acquisition of accounting firm Paysure and advised the shareholders of Consol Partners on the Β£9.4m sale of a stake in the company to Empresaria Technology. Melanie Yeomans acted for Catapult Ventures on its Β£3m investment in Blueberry Therapeutics, and executive partner Paul Johnson advised Worldview on its Β£2.25m sale. Key Capital Partners LLP and Chargepoint Technology Holdings are also clients.

The β€˜solid and capable’ three-partner team at Clarke Willmott LLP attracts praise for providing β€˜real world advice to clients’. The team has a strong track record advising SMEs in the financial services and technology sectors, including wejo, which it is assisting with its fundraising requirements. Other highlights included advising the shareholders of Pentest on the Β£7m disposal of Pentest to Secarma. Key figures include Ed Foulkes, an β€˜experienced deal leader and highly intelligent lawyer’ who regularly handles M&A, corporate finance, joint venture and restructuring mandates; technology practice head Susan Hall, who advises on ICT agreements and high-value commercial contract work; and Helen Tse, who joined from Glaisyers in 2016.

gunnercooke LLP is β€˜a modern law firm’ that attracts praise for its β€˜flexible’ and β€˜hands-on’ approach that delivers β€˜rapid responses’. The team has an extensive track record on transactional work for a primarily entrepreneurial client base. The β€˜professional’ Nick Ducker has β€˜longstanding experience’ and led advice for Busy Bees Nurseries on the acquisition of the Kids 1st Nursery Group and Positive Steps Children’s Day Nurseries. Ducker also acted for the managing director of Trackyou on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Trackyou to Radius Payment Solutions. Samantha Ogden advised Pets at Home Veterinary Specialist Group on its acquisitions of Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, Eye Vet and Dick White Referrals. Also recommended are firm founder Darryl Cooke, and Mark Whittaker, who joined in April 2016 from Ashtons Legal and splits his time between Manchester and London. Tim Hamilton joined Pannone Corporate LLP in May 2016.

Laytons is β€˜easy to do business with’ and is experienced in venture capital fund establishment and investment and fund establishment work, as well as mid-market M&A transactions. Patrick Curtis, who β€˜cuts through all the red tape and focuses on the points that really matter’, acted alongside John Gavan ForViva Group on its acquisition of Liberty Group Investments. Barney Leaf is recommended for shareholder and partnership disputes as well as transactional matters; his highlights included advising Gio Goi Brands on its sale to JD Sports Fashion. Consultant David Sefton advised Enterprise Ventures on the establishment of two fund management partnerships, following its successful tender to manage two of the Northern Powerhouse funds.

Nexus Solicitors Limited is particularly active in refinancing deals and the team has been involved in several bridging finance arrangements. On the transactional front, it advised on an investment by Business Growth Fund in High Access Maintenance, acted on the MBO of Temperature Control, and advised on the sale of Days out with the Kids to Attraction World Holdings. It also advised on the refinancing of Securus Systems Holdings by Muzinich UK Private Debt, Muzinich North West Private Debt and National Westminster Bank. The firm also acts for high-profile franchise clients such as Subway. Jamie Lloyd heads the team.

Niche commercial outfit Taylors regularly acts for SMEs, owner-managed businesses and senior management located across the region, and attracts praise for its β€˜immediate responses’. Its client base covers a wide range of sectors, including businesses operating in the manufacturing, engineering, textiles, home furnishings and software sectors. Stephen Jarman acted on the proposed partial buyout of the current owners of Initial Spring, and advised on the demerger of Globaltex’s property and trading divisions into two separate companies. Solicitor Matthew Catterall (who β€˜looks for solutions, not problems’) advised BDO LLP on the sale of the business and assets of three linked companies.

Berg fields a β€˜very professional’ team that handles public and private corporate deals, including mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buy-outs. It is also increasingly active on matters with a cross-border element. The team acted for Champneys Henlow on the acquisition of certain business assets of Eastwell Manor. Nimogen, The UK Manufacturing Company and Amplico Group are also clients. Stephen Foster heads the team and is experienced in corporate and banking matters. Firm founder Reuben Berg is also recommended.

The β€˜professional and friendly’ team at Bermans advises private companies, SMEs, family businesses and entrepreneurs. It is strong in TMT sector, and also has niche specialisms in the optical sector and motor retail industry. Team head Jonathan Davage (who is noted for his β€˜excellent client communication’) led advice for ESRG Group of Companies on seven separate debt financing and equity investments into portfolio companies and new investee companies. Davage also advised on the MBO of SRO Solutions and acted on the private equity investment in Rosnes by Australian Family Office. Car Time Motors, Noor Eye Care Group, Creative Capital and MJL Sports Media are also clients.

HRC Law LLP’s β€˜knowledgeable’ and β€˜growing’ two-partner department is active in the childcare sector, as well as the automotive, retail and e-commerce sectors. Key highlights included advising the shareholders of Positive Steps Childrens Day Nursery on its sale to Busy Bees, advising the shareholders of Yellow Brick Day Nursery and Yellow Brick House Nursery on the sale of shares to Complete Childcare. Kids Planet Day Nurseries and Domu Brands are also key clients. Mark Traynor heads the team, which recently recruited Richard Life, former head of legal at Bench, bolstering the firm’s retail sector expertise and adding Bench as a client.


Corporate and commercial: Liverpool

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Liverpool
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The β€˜hardworking and astute’ department at Hill Dickinson LLP is β€˜a star in the Liverpool market’, and has an extensive track record in high-value M&A, private equity and joint venture work. The β€˜outstanding’ Craig Scott is the firm’s national head of corporate; he advised Next Wave Partners on its acquisition of Roof-Maker for Β£30m, and advised The Delivery Group on its merger and partnership with P2P Mailing. Jonathan Brown heads the team in Liverpool and advised Stobart Group on the purchase of a 36% stake in Irish airline Comhfhorbairt and a 33% stake in Propius Holdings. Matt Noon advised Carr’s Group on the disposal of Carrs Flour Mills to Whitworths Brothers for Β£36m, and advised the sellers and management of Chester-based travel company, ITC Luxury Travel Group (ITC) on its disposal. Sue Russell advised Johnson Service Group on a Β£27.8m share placement and Β£52.6m acquisition of Portgrade, together with its trading subsidiary Afonwen Laundry. Also recommended are Mike Jones, who is experienced in the retail, logistics, leisure and property sectors; and associate Michael Murphy.

Brabners LLP’s β€˜well-organised’ corporate team consists of β€˜experts’ who have a β€˜very calm and patient approach, but who know when to play hardball’. The corporate and commercial team’s mid-market focus and β€˜strong expertise in the tech sector’ sees its act for a wide range of clients, including entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, owner-managed businesses, family businesses, small private equity houses and AIM-listed companies. β€˜Very responsive, knowledgeable’ corporate head Mark Rathbone is β€˜great to work with’; he advised Martin’s Building (Holdings) on the sale of Castlewood Securities to Martins Bidco, and assisted Avon Lake Holdings with the acquisition of St Michael’s Manor. Rupert Gill advised First Aid Holdings on the acquisition of McKinnon Medical and Wallace Cameron, while Adrian Rogers advised Elaflex on the purchase of LCL Hose. Andrew O’Mahony is another key transactional figure, while in the commercial team, the β€˜very client-focused’ Nik White leads advice to The Wayne Rooney Foundation, and Richard Hough advised Parcel2Go.com on its artificial intelligence development agreement with Hutoma. Also recommended are Colin Bell, who worked alongside Rogers in advising Chester Race Company on its five-year commercial agreement with Premier Gateway International to provide wagering services at Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses; and consultant Michael Brabner. Denise Walker recently left the firm to establish Glenville Walker & Partners.

DLA Piper UK LLP has a β€˜renowned’ and β€˜technically able’ commercial team that is β€˜very commercially aware’. The commercial team, which handles complex commercial transactions and is experienced in government spinouts, is led by Peter Brook and the β€˜very reliable and responsive’ Sarah Bell. Bell acts for Liverpool Football Club on a range of matters, including licence arrangements related to its participation in the Internal Champions Cup. Bell also led advice for Knowsley Community College on the due diligence stage of its proposed merger with St Helens College. Brook acts for clients such as Newell Rubbermaid UK Services. β€˜Exceptional’ legal director Gemma Cowap and senior associate Paddy Dwyer are also recommended.

DWF’s corporate and commercial has expertise spanning the financial services, retail and technology sectors, acting for clients ranging from SMEs to large corporates. Headline work included advising Derek Kelly, founder of the Optionis Group, on its sale to Arkarius Group, and advising Livingbridge on its investment in clinical consulting business Four Eyes Insight. M&A and private equity specialist Paul Rimmer heads the team, which includes Paul Attwood, who is recommended for commercial work and advises on commercial contracts covering distribution, logistics, outsourcing, IT and licensing arrangements.

The β€˜impressive’ and β€˜innovative’ team at O'Connors LLP delivers an β€˜exceptional service’ and is noted for its expertise spanning corporate, commercial, insurance and regulatory matters across the legal, technology, investment funds and financial services sectors. Mark O’Connor (β€˜very wise and measured in his advice’) acted alongside β€˜good operator’ John Spofforth and Pamela Rafiq for Jackson Canter Group on its acquisition of Lees Solicitors LLP. David Malone advised Gee & Watson on its acquisition of McEwan Wallace Wealth Management. Other key figures in the β€˜technically able’ team include Paul O’Connor, Michael Ainsworth (who is β€˜excellent on IT-related instructions’), the β€˜exceptional’ Nigel Wallis and Kerry Boyle.

Weightmans LLP stands out for its mid-market M&A practice, which acts for a range of corporates and owner-managed businesses. The commercial practice has seen particular growth related to compliance with data protection and competition regulations. Gary Jones led advice for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on its acquisition of the assets and undertaking of the Insurance Database Services. Managing partner John Schorah advised Playground Games on the development of a video game with a major global publisher. Patricia Grinyer and the β€˜extremely knowledgeable and proactive’ Roland Hutchins are also recommended for corporate work, while Sean Crotty and Laurence Pritchard are considered β€˜excellent on commercial matters’. Crotty is leading the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on the IT and data sharing arrangements with the DVLA in relation to the MyLicence Project, while Pritchard advised Swissport on EU law and contractual matters relating the provision ground handling services to airlines at airports. Kieran Donovan joined in April 2017 from his former role as corporate head at Bermans, while Ian Vicary joined Excello Law in November 2016.

The β€˜hardworking’ team at Bermans has particular focus on TMT, asset based lending, healthcare, motor retail and financial services related mandates, primarily for a regional SME client base. Med Imaging Healthcare, Alpha Biolaboratories Analytic, Creative Capital and Liberty Group Investments are also clients. Anton Stirrett joined from Knights Professional Services Limited in January 2017, bringing notable healthcare expertise. Former department head Kieran Donovan joined Weightmans LLP in April 2017.


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
    • William Ngan - Jolliffe & Co LLP
    • John Pickervance - Forbes Solicitors
    • Nick Pickup - Forbes Solicitors
    • Anne Scheland - Hillyer McKeown

Who Represents Who

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The β€˜exceptional’ team at Aaron & Partners LLP handles investment mandates, corporate finance transactions, restructurings, and sales and acquisitions of owner-managed businesses across Cheshire and North Wales. Its recent highlights include handling mergers of professional services firms and educational establishments and advising on numerous renewable energy projects. It also handles venture capital transactions and continues to sit on the panel of several investment funds, including the North West Fund. Department head Stuart Scott-Goldstone, who splits his time between the Chester and Shrewsbury offices, led Harry Levy Amusement Contractor on a complex corporate reorganisation and the subsequent grant of EMI options and ESS shares. Knights of Old Group, Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Enterprise Ventures are also clients. Scott-Goldstone is also noted for his technology, support services and renewable energy experience. Also recommended are partnership specialist Mark Briegal and senior associate Jamie Hawley.

The β€˜prompt and knowledgeable’ team at Gorvins Solicitors acts for a number of national, regional and local clients, including public and private companies, owner-managed businesses, SMEs, entrepreneurs, banks and corporate funders. It is noted for its expertise in the media, publishing, retail, distribution, healthcare and finance sectors. Key highlights included advising FMPP Group on its Β£8m merger with Silbury Marketing, acting for Avonside Group Services on several acquisitions, and advising PDHL on the disposal of its debt management and IVA businesses. It also led John Mooney on the sale of Jontek to Legrand. John Munroe Group, Mondiale Publishing and Bridgebank Capital are also clients. Andrew Curwen heads the team, which includes the β€˜first-rate’Christian Mancier, who acts for owner-managed and family-owned businesses and leads the firm’s family business team. Consultant Paul Lupton advises on corporate and commercial matters for small-to-medium-sized businesses and their owners.

The β€˜effective’ team at Myerson Solicitors LLP is β€˜fast to respond and is able to react at short notice. It regularly acts for owner-managed and SME businesses, as well as banks, venture capital institutions, plcs and other large organisations. IT, IP, TMT, franchising and charities related mandates are all active areas for the β€˜highly regarded’ team, which advised Customs Connect on a company restructure and a Β£4m investment by NVM Private Equity. It also acted for Code Computer Love on the sale of a 75% stake to WPP. The β€˜exceptionally talented’ M Akeel Latif heads the department, which includes the β€˜very able’ Andrew Brown, Scott Sands, who acts for technology, charity and professional service clients, and the β€˜brilliant’ Carla Murray, who was promoted to partner in 2016. Managing partner Carl Newton is also a key figure in the team.

The β€˜highly rated’ team at Napthens LLP advises on high-profile transactions for entrepreneurs, owner-managed businesses and plcs. Blackburn-based corporate head Richard Robinson led advice for White Moss Horticulture on its reorganisation and subsequent sale to Irish company Board na MΓ³na. Robinson also led a team, which included senior associate David Carr (who joined the Blackburn office from Brabners LLP in July 2016), advising the shareholders of Natures Aid on its sale to Stada Arzneimittel. Preston-based Robert Dobson advises on M&A, particularly in relation to large family businesses, and led W. H. Bowker on the acquisition of the business and assets of Potter Logistics. Also based in Preston, Keith Melling advised Test Direct on its sale to US-based Quality Test Group. Other recommended figures in Preston include consultant Gareth McIntegart.

SAS Daniels LLP’s β€˜very professional’ department advises SME clients on corporate and commercial mandates in a range of sectors, including healthcare and education. β€˜Very responsive’ and β€˜client-friendly’ corporate head Jeremy Orrell led the shareholders of Oakfield Caravan Park on its sale to Lyons Holiday Park. He also acted alongside commercial head Kaye Whitby for Prima Doors on its sale to Assa Abloy. Pentre Group Holdings, Training 2000 Premier Care and Louvolite are also clients. Andy Booth has specialist knowledge of the music industry and acts for a range of North West-based bands and artists.

Based across its Liverpool and Chester offices, the β€˜experienced’ team at DTM Legal LLP delivers β€˜pragmatic corporate advice’, β€˜quick response times’ and is applauded for its β€˜personal approach’. The team provides corporate and commercial advice to SME, owner-managed and family businesses across Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. Team head Edward Barnes, who splits his time between the Liverpool and Chester offices, is β€˜approachable, and builds strong client relationships’. In Chester, Alison Brennan has β€˜strong technical expertise’ and β€˜always goes the extra mile to meet tight deadlines’. Brennan advised Hall Livesey Brown on its acquisition of an accountancy practice and also acts for a number of doctors’ practices in relation to their practice agreements. Phil Whitehurst in Liverpool led advice to Hadlow Edwards on its acquisition of Ellet Wealth Management.

The β€˜knowledgeable, speedy and commercial’ team at Forbes Solicitors is particularly noted for its strength in advising on corporate and commercial transactions across Lancashire. Highlights included acting for the majority shareholder on the sale of shares in Mercers and Sons, and acted for ticket exchange platform The Vibe on a crowdfunding round. It also advised Promenade Hotel (St. Annes) on the Β£4m demerger in order to facilitate the separation of two hotels held within the company. Pauline Rigby β€˜gets the job done’ and heads the β€˜technically able’ corporate and restructuring team. Daniel Milnes is recommended for commercial matters. Key figures at associate level include John Pickervance, who β€˜provides information in plain English’, and Nick Pickup.

According to clients, Jolliffe & Co LLP’s department β€˜really knows its stuff’. Its client base includes entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs and owner-managed businesses. Highlights included acting for the shareholders of F.J. Need (Foods) on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Ireland-based Ornua. It also advised the shareholders of Wright Landscapes on its sale to Hultons Holdings. β€˜Knowledgeable’ team head Simon Williams β€˜explains things in a way that is easy to understand and with complete clarity’ and attracts praise for his β€˜exceptional client-handling skills’. Also recommended are the β€˜brilliant’ Chantel Clague, and senior associate William Ngan, a tax specialist who joined in 2016 from Addleshaw Goddard.

The β€˜tremendously efficient’ team at Slater Heelis LLP delivers β€˜prompt responses’ and has β€˜good technical knowledge’. The team is experienced in the bio-tech, education, leisure and healthcare sectors; in an illustration of its bio-tech expertise, the team advised Sonetik UK on the granting of an option to Oticon to acquire up to 20% of the issued share capital of Sonetik. It also acted for the minority shareholders of Aflex Hose on the sale of all the shares in the company to a trade buyer, Spirax Sarco Investments. It also advised Elle R Leisure on the acquisition of a boutique hotel and events venue. Katharine Mellor’s β€˜breadth of knowledge and experience allows her to deliver advice in a structured and understandable way’. Geoffrey Blower recently retired.

Bolstered by its 2016 merger, the β€˜very knowledgeable’ corporate and commercial team at Chafes Hague Lambert LLP acts for owner-managed businesses on corporate matters such as sales, acquisitions, joint ventures, shareholders agreements, partnership agreements. The practice also handles commercial matters such as supply, agency, licensing and distribution agreements. Team head Tony Morris is β€˜extremely diligent and professional, and is always on hand to respond to queries’. Consultant solicitor Ruth Smith handles commercial, IP and ICT matters.

Fielden Marshall Glover Strutt’s β€˜knowledgeable’ team provides β€˜commercial advice’ to a corporate, investor and entrepreneur client base that includes plcs and SMEs in the retail, telecoms, distribution and pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors. The β€˜very responsive’ Nicholas Fielden heads the corporate and M&A department.

The β€˜skilled’ department at Hillyer McKeown advises SMEs and owner-managed businesses, with particular emphasis on acting for vendor clients. Its sector expertise spans the manufacturing, accountancy and technology arenas. Highlights included advising UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) on a tripartite co-operation agreement between WADA, UKAD and RUSADA for the provision of sample collection and testing services to Russian athletes. Other key clients include Registered Digital Institute, ANSA Environmental Services and Progress to Excellence Group. Senior associate Anne Scheland heads the team, which includes associate David Jones, who is β€˜excellent on commercial matters’, and managing partner Steven Harvey.

Bolton-headquartered KBL Solicitors LLP fields a β€˜prompt’ department, and now has a presence in Blackburn as a result of its 2016 merger with Garricks. It acts for small-to-medium-sized clients ranging from owner-managed businesses to sole traders, including a number of manufacturing businesses. The β€˜renowned’ Phil Stephenson heads the team and is also noted for his expertise in sports-related contracts. Consultant Jonathan Shorrock is also singled out.

MLP Law LLP operates out of its Altrincham, Liverpool and Manchester offices acts for SMEs and family-owned business across the North West in the healthcare and retail sectors. Steve Hartley heads the team, which includes managing partner Stephen Attree.

Noted for its β€˜strong technical knowledge’, β€˜very commercial outlook’ and β€˜straightforward advice’, Baines Wilson LLP operates out of its Carlisle and Lancaster offices and handles a range of corporate acquisitions, disposals and international distribution, agency and licensing agreements. Key work included advising Lloyd Motors on its acquisition of the Ripon Land Rover business and service centre; acting for Gott Agri Synergy on the acquisition of the Stonegate Group; and assisting the sole shareholder of Lakes Biomass Limited with its sale to Forest Fuels. John Wilson heads the corporate team and Andrew Hill, who delivers β€˜very clear advice’, heads the commercial team.

Butcher & Barlow LLP’s corporate and commercial team is based across its Gadbrook Park, Northwich and Bury offices, offering sector expertise across the care home, healthcare and the brewery industries. Highlights included advising Cartridge People on a marketplace agreement for online sales; acting for Aston Financial on a share restructuring and finance transaction; and assisting Permavoid with a commercial agreement. Jonathan Aldersley, James Hodgson and Justin Kelly are key figures in the department.

The team at Farleys Solicitors LLP operates across its Blackburn, Preston and Manchester offices and is commended for its β€˜excellent strength in depth’, as well as for its ability to β€˜take the time to truly understand the client’. Highlights included advising Calderprint on the acquisition of Whitney Woods and acting for Brysdale Group on its purchase of Appletree Industry. Blackburn-based team head Debbie King is β€˜technically strong’ and provides β€˜efficient and comprehensive explanations’. In Manchester Ian Liddle is noted for corporate finance work.


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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Addleshaw Goddard is commended for its β€˜high level of service’ and β€˜pragmatic approach’. The team has β€˜in-depth expertise’ in a range of private equity tax structuring and real estate-related tax matters, including joint ventures, funds and structured investments. It also handles VAT, energy sector tax issues, insolvency-related tax matters, and fund structuring. Highlights included acting for Co-operative Group on tax-related matters relating to the sale of 298 of its smaller food stores to McColls; and advising National Grid on the tax aspects of the Β£11.6bn disposal of its gas distribution business, which included SDLT compliance advice in relation to 45,000 property transactions. It also provided tax advice to the shareholders of Autonet Insurance Services on its sale to HPS Investment Partners. Standard Life, Siemens, Aviva and The Hut are also clients. The β€˜exceptional’ Justine Delroy leads the firm’s national commercial tax team and is well versed in private equity transactions as well as the tax aspects of property projects. Michael Hunter has a particular specialism in energy transactions. Managing associate Catherine Concannon is focused on corporate and employment tax matters.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s tax expertise has an emphasis on private equity transactions, as well as real estate. The team has seen an increase in instructions from US corporations with investments in the UK and EU, and also handles specialist areas such as VAT on civil aircraft, outsourcings, and international commercial contracts. Highlights included advising NTT Data on worldwide transfer tax and other indirect tax matters related to the acquisition of Dell Data Services; and advising Silicon Labs on its acquisition of Telegesis. John Menzies, Lloyds Development Capital, Walker Greenbank and Anglo-African Oil and Gas are also clients. The β€˜very well-respected team’ includes the β€˜superb’ David Thompson, who focuses on corporate and private equity related tax; and legal director Stephen Jones, who is experienced in corporate, real estate tax and international tax matters.

Specialist corporate tax outfit MSA Law Limited renders β€˜excellent advice’ to corporates, owner-managed businesses and individuals. The β€˜very experienced’ two-partner firm advises on all direct taxes in a business context, with a particular focus on M&A transactions, exit planning, succession planning, employee incentives, reconstructions and reorganisations. It also handles property-related tax matters, including SDLT. The Morston Group of Companies and Affinity Trust are clients. The β€˜brilliant team’ comprises Bernard McIlroy and Fiona Sutherland, who are singled out for their β€˜superb technical expertise’.

Pinsent Masons LLP fields a β€˜very strong corporate tax department’ that houses β€˜expert advisers’. It handles direct and indirect tax matters, tax advisory mandates, share plans and incentives, and is β€˜able to add an extra edge to its tax advice’ by drawing on its β€˜first-class’ tax-litigation expertise, which covers a range of issues such as residency cases and VAT disputes. Highlights included providing incentives advice to AMC on its $1bn acquisition of Odeon and UCI from Terra Firma. Other clients include William Hill, Tullow Oil and Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the team advises Imperial Brands on its share plans globally. Recently promoted partner Steven Porter has a β€˜first-class litigation practice’ and β€˜has an extremely good all-round knowledge of tax, and applies this extremely well in practice’. Porter is leading on a series of Judicial Review challenges brought by taxpayers against HMRC's decision to issue them with payment notices as a result of their prior involvement in tax avoidance schemes. Team head Lynette Jacobs has β€˜in-depth experience’ and advises on employee share plans. The β€˜brilliant’ Heather Self is a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser, and a CEDR-accredited mediator.

The β€˜very responsive’ team at Squire Patton Boggs delivers β€˜practical and commercial advice’ and β€˜understands the needs of the client’. Its expertise spans corporate finance, private equity and property transactions, as well as employee share incentive and pensions-related tax matters. The renewable energy, chemicals, recruitment, technology, real estate, sport and leisure sectors are key areas of focus. Highlights included advising on the tax, share scheme and employee benefit trust aspects relating to the Β£102.2m acquisition of BDP by Nippon Koei. It also advised CitySprint, its shareholders and its managers on tax matters relating to the secondary buyout of the company, and advised AppSense and its shareholders on the tax aspects of its sale to LANDesk, which involved a pre-sale group restructure and the roll out of an employee share scheme. Team head Patrick Ford is β€˜outstanding’, provides β€˜clear advice’ is able to β€˜explain issues in user-friendly language’. β€˜Very able’ associate and chartered tax adviser Victoria Carpenter is also recommended.

The β€˜experienced’ department at Brabners LLP provides stand-alone tax advisory services, as well as support on a range of corporate, real estate and employment transactions. It is particularly noted for its specialist VAT and property tax expertise, and for its retail sector experience. Recent work includes advising Restore on the tax aspects of its Β£83m purchase of PHS’s data solutions division, which involved UK and overseas tax issues relating to the de-grouping process. It also advised the shareholders of Quat-Chem on tax matters related to its sale to a Nasdaq-listed buyer headquartered in Michigan, USA. It also advised Neptune Developments on the SDLT issues relating to a forward funding, mixed-use development. β€˜Detail-orientated’ team head and chartered tax adviser Mark Whiteside splits his time between the firm’s Liverpool and Manchester offices.

DWF fields a β€˜dedicated and knowledgeable team that clearly understands the topics in question from every angle’ and which provides β€˜responses in a very timely manner’. Drawing strengths from its national office network, the practice is well versed in handling the tax aspects of transactional matters, with an emphasis in employee share schemes. Recent highlights include advising Redx Pharma on its employee incentives, the tax position for individual option holders, and the exercise of employee share options; and assisting Cyprotex with the exercise of its EMI and unapproved share options in relation to a scheme of arrangement and its acquisition by Evotec. Assura, Obtala, Regus and Zuto are also clients. Liverpool-based senior associate James Cashman is also a chartered tax adviser, and advises on high-value M&A and private equity deals as well as employee equity participation. Manchester-based associate Sam Dooley is β€˜very knowledgeable’ and experienced in employee equity structuring.

Weightmans LLP’s β€˜extremely knowledgeable and proactive team’ advises on tax aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals and tax-efficient corporate restructurings. Real estate-related tax is a key focus; areas of expertise include SDLT, VAT and capital allowances in relation to UK property transactions. It also advises public sector bodies on tax-efficient models for joint ventures and collaborative operations, and assists owner-managed businesses with the design and implementation of employee incentives. Highlights included advising the shareholders of Portgrade on the tax aspects of the Β£52.6m sale of Portgrade and its trading subsidiary, Afonwen Laundry, to Johnson Service Group. It also advised Sonoco on the tax aspects of its acquisition of Laminar Medica in the UK and the Czech Republic, from Clinimed Holdings. Bruntwood, Bibby Group and RealityMine are also clients. The β€˜exceptional’ Haydn Rogan has β€˜a fantastic reputation’ and is also a chartered accountant. He has a particular specialism in advising owner-managed businesses and SMEs on corporate structuring and employee incentives.


EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and 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 and 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The β€˜renowned’ EU and competition practice at DWF is praised for its β€˜pragmatic and commercial advice’ and β€˜in-depth expertise’ in state aid, public procurement, funding and regulatory issues. Clients also benefit from its close links with the firm’s Brussels office. The team is advising Mexichem UK and Mexichem Group on an ongoing European Commission investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Honeywell and DuPont, and is acting for Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council on grants to a culture and visitor centre in the North East, and on a European Commission investigation. The firm also handles state aid matters for the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council, and is continuing to act for Birmingham City Council and Finance Birmingham on the administration of the Β£300m AMSCI fund for supporting supply chain manufacturing and engineering companies in England. Based across the Manchester and Leeds offices, β€˜Exceptional’team head Jonathan Branton, who splits his time between Manchester and Leeds, is highly regarded for state aid matters, and is handling a raft of Brexit-related issues for clients. Other key figures include senior associate Jay Mehta, who specialises in EU funding and information access matters; Michael Mousdale, who is an expert in local government and public procurement work; and Howard Cartlidge, who leads the London team.

Spread across its Liverpool and Manchester offices, Weightmans LLP’s competition practice handles a range of matters across the healthcare, food and insurance sectors, and also advises local authorities, universities, developers and venture funds on state aid issues relating to grants, loans and deal structures. Highlights included advising IKO on the clearance of its merger with Pure Asphalt Company; assisisting Surrey and Sussex Police on the joint purchase of managed digital services from TelefΓ³nica; and acting for Greyhound Media Group on the EU matters relating to the establishment of a consortium for the joint promotion and sale of media rights to greyhound races. The team also delivered competition advice to John West in relation to its supply contracts with supermarkets. Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Motor Insurers’ Bureau and Stobart Group are also clients. Department head Laurence Pritchard regularly handles merger control issues as well as advising on anti-competitive agreements and practices. His track record includes acting on high-profile investigations carried out by the Office of Fair Trading, Competition Commission, Competition and Markets Authority and European Commission. Gary Jones handles state aid matters and advises on grant and loan funding, regeneration projects and contract procurement. Also recommended are procurement specialist Vincent King and Martin Vincent.

The β€˜highly responsive’ and β€˜efficient’ team at Addleshaw Goddard attracts praise for providing β€˜high-quality advice’. Its expertise covers merger control matters and competition litigation, as well as antitrust issues, market investigations and state aid across the retail, financial services, public sector and regulated utility industries. Highlights for the team included providing merger control advice to Andrew Page on the sale of a majority of its car parts business to LKQ Corporation; and acting for Manchester Airports Group on issues arising from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s first investigation under the Competition Act 1998, which involved price-fixing arrangements with a parking operator at East Midlands Airport; the firm successfully negotiated a reduction of the CAA’s proposed Β£12.5m fine against the client to zero. On the contentious side, the team represented six clients in follow-on damages proceedings commenced in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Vita Cellular Foams (UK) and Vita Industrial (UK) related to a European Commission investigation into anti-competitive conduct in the polyurethane foam sector. Merseytravel, Cheshire East Council and Sainsbury's are also clients. Key figures include national team head Bruce Kilpatrick and Rona Bar-Isaac, who are primarily based in London; Mark Molyneux, who heads the competition litigation team; and associate Clare Walker, who has β€˜excellent project-management skills and provides commercially sound and practical advice’.

The β€˜excellent’ team at Squire Patton Boggs provides β€˜very knowledgeable and accurate’ advice and is adept at private enforcement and judicial review proceedings and merger control, and regularly advises on antitrust enforcement investigations by the UK competition authorities and the European Commission. The team works closely with colleagues across the UK and Europe and particularly benefits from close links with its Brussels office. It is representing BritNed in a damages claim against ABB in the High Court arising out of ABB’s participation in the power cables cartel, and is advising Synthomer on merger control issues regarding its acquisition of Hexion Performance Adhesives and Coatings business, which included obtaining merger control clearances in the USA, Germany and Poland. Ashtead Group, Peninsula Business Services and Cathay Pacific are also clients. Diarmuid Ryan works across the London and Manchester offices and is β€˜very experienced’ in competition authority investigations, merger control, commercial agreements and disputes, and also advises on compliance and dawn raid programmes. Senior associate Nicola Elam is experienced in antitrust matters.


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