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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: Manchester > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Next generation lawyers

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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 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 on its acquisition of a controlling stake in 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.

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