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At Brabners LLP, head of corporate Mark Rathbone (who is rated for his ‘commercial awareness’) led advice for Paul Feather, the owner and chairman of the Feathers Hotels Group, on its sale to Topland Hotels Group. In other highlights, the ‘first-rate’ *Denise Walker advised Cold Move on the carve-out and sale of a cold storage and logistics business; Andrew O’Mahony assisted Business Growth Fund on its £7m investment in Hobs Reprographics; and the ‘outstandingRupert Gill acted for Urban Sleep on the £41.6m sale of its portfolio of student accommodation to Empiric. The ‘knowledgeableNik White leads the commercial team, which includes Matt Brown and recently promoted partner Richard Hough. It acts for an array of technology and software companies. *Following publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Denise Walker has left the firm to establish Claus Walker & Partners.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s ‘solution-orientated’ practice is ‘a real force in the market’. The ‘commercialJonathan Brown worked alongside the ‘detail-orientatedMatt Noon in advising Eddie Stobart Logistics on the sale of its UK automotive logistics business to BCA Market Place. Craig Scott led Next Wave Partners and Next Wave Sports Bidco on the £51m secondary buyout and partial exit of Fox International Group to Mayfair Private Equity. Mike Jones advised Bowdena on the disposal of the business, property and assets of the Hard Days Night Hotel to Millennium Copthorne Hotels. Sue Russell advised Johnson Service Group on its £69.4m acquisition of London Linen Supply. Stephen Lansdown joined the Qatar office of Al Tamimi & Company in association with Advocate Mohammed Al Marri.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘responsive’ corporate team (which is singled out for its ‘commercially pragmatic advice’) is now led by Manchester-based James Kerrigan following the departure of former corporate head Gareth McIntegart to Napthens LLP. Other key figures include ‘very skilled’ commercial head Peter Brook and the ‘extremely hardworking and dedicated’ Sarah Bell. Key clients include Liverpool Football Club & Athletic Grounds, Whirlpool, Sutton & Son, Unilever and Liverpool City Council.

DWF’s corporate team is led by the ‘excellentPaul Rimmer, while the ‘experiencedPaul Attwood leads the commercial team. Highlights included advising The Authentic Food Group on its acquisition of a facility in Dundalk, Ireland from Heinz, assisting Inflexion Private Equity with its minority investment in Mobica.

O’Connors LLP stands out for its ‘quality of client care and combination of intellectual knowledge with a savvy approach to issues’. Key figures among the ‘exceptional team’ include Mark O’Connor, Paul O’Connor, Michael Ainsworth, Nigel Wallis and John Spofforth. Kerry Boyle, Pamela Rafiq and David Malone were promoted to the partnership in March 2016.

The ‘excellent’ department at Weightmans LLP was instructed by the sellers on a secondary buyout of Haydock Commercial Vehicles, and advised Enterprise Ventures on the establishment of a £40m SME loan fund. Ian Vicary, Gary Jones, Patricia Grinyer, Roland Hutchins, Sean Crotty and Laurence Pritchard are recommended.

At Bermans, corporate head Kieran Donovan is ‘customer focused, reliable and knowledgeable’. The team advised Academy Leasing on its £12m sale to 1pm plc, and assisted Nutriculture (UK) with its acquisition of Plant Magic Plus.

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