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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 > Corporate and commercial: Liverpool > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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The ‘hardworking and astute’ department at Hill Dickinson LLP is ‘a star in the Liverpool market’, and has an extensive track record in high-value M&A, private equity and joint venture work. The ‘outstandingCraig Scott is the firm’s national head of corporate; he advised Next Wave Partners on its acquisition of Roof-Maker for £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 £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 £27.8m share placement and £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 ‘well-organised’ corporate team consists of ‘experts’ who have a ‘very calm and patient approach, but who know when to play hardball’. The corporate and commercial team’s mid-market focus and ‘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. ‘Very responsive, knowledgeable’ corporate head Mark Rathbone is ‘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 ‘very client-focusedNik White leads advice to The Wayne Rooney Foundation, and Richard Hough advised 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 ‘renowned’ and ‘technically able’ commercial team that is ‘very commercially aware’. The commercial team, which handles complex commercial transactions and is experienced in government spinouts, is led by Peter Brook and the ‘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. ‘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 ‘impressive’ and ‘innovative’ team at O'Connors delivers an ‘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 (‘very wise and measured in his advice’) acted alongside ‘good operatorJohn Spofforth 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 ‘technically able’ team include Paul O’Connor, Michael Ainsworth (who is ‘excellent on IT-related instructions’), and the ‘exceptionalNigel Wallis.

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 ‘extremely knowledgeable and proactiveRoland Hutchins are also recommended for corporate work, while Sean Crotty and Laurence Pritchard are considered ‘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 ‘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.

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