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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. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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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 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.

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