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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

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Manchester
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard 's team handles M&A, cross-border transactions, equity capital markets, private equity, corporate real estate deals and IPOs. Paul Medlicott heads the team and represents private equity investors, sellers and management teams, acting for many private equity houses in the North West. The 'unflappable' Andrew Green acts on corporate transactions and also focuses on private equity, meanwhile the 'exceptional and hands-on' Roger Hart and managing associate George Danczak  are also recommended. Michael Birchall and legal director Jamie Partridge both left the firm for Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Practice head(s):Paul Medlicott

Other key lawyers:Duncan Wilson; Richard Lee; Jemma Clarke; Andrew Green; Roger Hart; George Danczak

Testimonials

‘Easy to deal with, hard working and focus the discussion with clients on the issues that matter most’.

Andrew Green is a real solution finder - unflappable on deals and brings a calming air of authority’.

George Danczak is a high quality lawyer who seems destined to be a very effective partner in the making’.

Extremely professional, very dedicated and committed to giving clear and timely advice, despite working to tight timescales’.

The Addleshaws team are exceptional in almost every way.  They are extremely responsive, highly commercial and pragmatic, and very client centric’.

Roger Hart is an exceptional, hands-on partner. He is always available and provides highly commercial and pragmatic support’.

Key Clients

Peel Group

BT

Dixons Carphone

The Hut

JD Sports Fashion

Boohoo

Moneysupermarket

PZ Cussons

Bruntwood

Many private equity houses in the North West including Ardenton, BGF, ECI, Elysian, Endless, Equistone, Foresight, Inflexion, Livingbridge, LDC, Maven, NorthEdge, Palatine, Phoenix, Primary Capital, YFM and Waterland along with many of their portfolio companies

Work highlights

  • Advised on the $558m acquisition of The Finish Line, Inc.
  • Advised owners on the sale of the Concept Life Sciences Group to Spectris plc for £163m.
  • Advised Numis in its capacity as sponsor, financial adviser, sole bookrunner and broker to AJ Bell in respect of its IPO on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange for a market capitalisation offer price of £651m.
  • Advised Produce Investments PLC on its takeover offer by Promethean Investments LLP for £55.3m.
  • Advised The Bruntwood Group on its acquisition of Birmingham Science Park and subsequent joint venture with Legal & General, to be known as Bruntwood SciTech.

DLA Piper UK LLP handles sales and acquisitions, private equity transactions, MBOs and various commercial matters for local, national and international private companies, public companies, private equity houses, entrepreneurs and global corporate organisations from its Manchester office. Key client sectors include industrial, Fintech, retail, and food and beverage. Lee Brierley and James Kerrigan head the team. Other key partners include Jonathan Watkins, Yunus Maka and Andrew Phillips who recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Senior associate David Booth is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Lee Brierley; James Kerrigan

Other key lawyers:Elia Montorio; Stephen Wright; Luke Stubbs; Jonathan Watkins, Yunus Maka; Andrew Phillips; David Booth

Key Clients

ABM Industries Inc

BASF

Belstaff

Beech Tree Private Equity

Biffa Group Limited

Clariant

Talk Talk Group plc

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

Key Retirement Group

Lloyds Development Capital

Molson Coors

NCC Group plc

Next

Nichols plc

The Co-operative Bank

The Hut Group

Transport for the North

Verna Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Visa Europe Services on its £142m acquisition of Fraedom Group from Hogg Robinson Group.
  • Advising Metric Capital Partners and management of YM&U Central Services Limited (formerly James Grant Group Limited) in relation to the tertiary buy-out of the group  by Trilantic Capital Partners.
  • Advising Beech Tree Private Equity on the MBO of BCN Group.
  • Advising on the £60.1m acquisition of the business and assets of Donnelley Language Solutions. The deal was structured as the acquisition of various assets, liabilities and shares in the subsidiary companies of the seller across 14 territories.
  • Advising Willows Veterinary Group on the sale of the business and assets of the group (including the share sale of Beeston Animal Health) to VetPartners Practices.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises on M&A, sales, joint ventures, private equity and commercial matters. The firm acts for public and private sector clients and continues to advise on major regeneration and development projects across the UK. The team, headed by  Tom Bridgford ,  focuses on client sectors including healthcare, aerospace and defence, technology, retail, real estate and chemicals.  Key partners include Alistair Cree, Daniel Hall and Michael Birchall , who recently joined from Addleshaw Goddard. Senior associate Elizabeth Tindall  and legal director Jamie Partridge are also recommended. Nicola Brookes was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):Tom Bridgford

Other key lawyers:Nick Stubbs; Richard Hill; Kuljeet Gill; Jackie Heeds; Richard Jones; Alistair Cree; Daniel Hall; Michael Birchall; Elizabeth Tindall; Jamie Partridge; Nicola Brookes

Key Clients

Zeus Capital Partners

Manchester Airports Group

Four Seasons Healthcare Limited

Van Elle Holdings plc

Urban Splash Holdings Limited

BT Group plc

Footasylum

BAE Systems plc

Westrock Corporation

European Metal Recycling Limited

Rolls-Royce

Superdry plc

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

INEOS Europe AG

Smiths Business Information Services Limited

Go Plant Fleet Services Limited

University of Manchester

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cox & Kings (Indian listed) on the sale of its Travel Education Division to Midlothian Capital Partners Limited for £488m.
  • Acting on the £237m acquisition of Minit Mart from TravelCentres of America
  • £90m sale of Russells Construction, Russell Homes and Alliance Property Asset Management to WHBO Construction and Catella.
  • Continuing to advise the university on the circa £1.5bn development of its North Campus in Manchester City Centre.
  • Advised Urban Splash House Limited in its landmark corporate joint venture with Peel Holdings in relation to the £55m development of 347 modular homes within the Wirral Waters dockside development in Liverpool.

Pinsent Masons LLP is adept at representing large corporates on strategic M&A and equity capital markets deals, as well as focusing on private equity, where it works with many buyout houses and management teams . On the commercial side the firm advises on supply chain management, franchising, advertising, agency, distribution, outsourcing, logistics, managed services, licensing, data protection and compliance. Key client sectors include manufacturing, technology and energy. Gregg Davison and Samantha Livesey head the team, with support from Helen Ridge, Kieran Toal and Amie Norris who was recently promoted to partner. Senior associate Alasdair Weir is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Gregg Davison; Samantha Livesey

Other key lawyers:Victoria Jew; Sam Hall; Helen Ridge; Kieran Toal; Amie Norris; Alasdair Weir

Key Clients

AMEC Foster Wheeler Plc

Livingbridge Equity No Partners LLP

LDC

Equistone Partners No Europe Limited

ECI Partners

UDG Healthcare plc

Sovereign Capital Partners

Linnaeus group

Co-operative Group

Aventas Manufacturing

Vaultex UK Limited

UK Sport

Innovative Vector Control Consortium

The Jockey Club

Work highlights

  • Advised AJ Bell plc on its £650m main market flotation.
  • Sole adviser to Equistone Partners Europe and the management team on the £380m private equity sale and secondary management buyout of Travel Counsellors to Vitruvian Partners.
  • Advised the shareholders of Linnaeus on its sale to Mars, having acted for Sovereign Capital on the initial investment and advising the company on all of its bolt on acquisition.
  • Advised the Co-op Group on its successful purchase of Nisa Retail for £143m.
  • Advised the Innovative Vector Control Consortium on international projects for the delivery of products for the reduction of vector borne diseases.

The expanding CMS Manchester team has a particular focus on the corporate real estate and hotels sectors. It advises national and international clients on corporate finance, fundraisings, public and private M&A, joint ventures and corporate governance. London-based Charles Currier, Iain Newman and Manchester-based Howard Gill head the UK-wide team. In Manchester the firm has added a number of associates including James Kay ,  James Crossman and Tim Dobbing ,who moved from the London office.

Practice head(s):Charles Currier; Iain Newman; Howard Gill

Other key lawyers:James Kay; James Crossman; Tim Dobbing

Key Clients

UKFast.net Limited

RDI REIT plc

Spectrum Brands Group

Bibby Line Group

Manchester Airport Group

Zeus Capital Limited

Yappy.com Limited

Ground Rents Income Fund plc

Fattal Hotels Limited

FETTE Compacting International GmbH

International Hotel Properties Group Limited

Select Property Group

Work highlights

  • Represented shareholders of UKFast.net on an investment by Inflexion, which valued the  company at £405m.
  • Acted for FTSE250 listed company RDI REIT on its £162m acquisition of an 80% interest in the LSO Services Interco Limited group of companies.
  • Advising Bibby Supply Chain Services, a subsidiary of Liverpool based conglomerate Bibby Line Group, on its sale of Packaging Logistics Limited to Contraload.
  • Acted for FETTE Compacting International GmbH (FETTE) acquiring Euro-Pharma Machinery Limited which has been a distributor of the products of FETTE for 20 years in the UK.
  • Advised Manchester Airports Holding Limited on the creation of a property company (PropCo).

DWF acts for local, national and international clients on capital markets, M&A, private equity transactions and commercial matters. The 'robust' and 'commercial' team represents private equity houses, management teams, listed companies and nomads and brokers. Key client sectors include financial services, retail and technology. Craig Chaplin, Jonathan Robinson, Frank Shephard and James Lonsdale head the team. Lisa Stavropoulos is also recommended. Stuart Crook joined as associate from Stephensons Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Craig Chaplin; Jonathan Robinson; Frank Shephard; James Lonsdale

Other key lawyers:Alasdair Outhwaite; Vicky Thomas; Darren Ormsby; Richard Meehan; Bradley Martin; Craig Chaplin; Jonathan Robinson; Frank Shephard; James Lonsdale; Lisa Stavropoulos; Stuart Crook

Testimonials

Commercial, detailed and  with a thorough understanding of the issues.' 

Unafraid to be robust’.

Good partner engagement, very hands on’.

Very commercial and focused on adding value beyond just legal advice’.

Key Clients

Arlington Industries Group Limited

Sovereign Capital

Moneyplus Group Limited

Optionis Group

Redx Pharma plc

Equiniti Group plc

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Waterland PE

Lloyds Development Capital

NorthEdge Capital

Livingbridge LLP

Aurelius private Equity

Prefequity

RMS International Limited

Fluent Money Group Limited

Carpenter Technology Corporation Inc

Sofology Limited

Healthcare Communications (UK) Limited

Velocity Composites plc

Scapa Group plc

Together Money

Endless LLP

Palatine Private Equity LLP

Blue Bay Travel Limited

Zeus Capital Limited

finnCap Limited

Tatton Asset Management plc

Assura PLC

Vivona Brands Limited

Comparison Technologies Limited Group

Fourth

NWF Fuels plc

James Cropper plc

Mission Mars Limited

Zeus Group Limited

Serco plc

Kelloggs

Wincanton plc

Manchester City

Manchester United

Telefonica

Morrisons Supermarkets

Poundland

British Cycling

Tangle Teezer

Mini-cam Enterprises Limited

Lookers plc

Now Healthcare Group Limited

Cardinal Maritime Limited

Zuto Holdings limited

Belle Vue aces Speedway

Countrywide

Adidas

Marks and Spencer

Work highlights

  • Corporate acquisition of Aquila Holdings Limited by Equiniti.
  • Represented the shareholders of LPW Technology Limited on the £65m sale of LPW Technology Limited to New York Stock Exchange-listed Carpenter Technology Corporation
  • Acting for the Shareholders of Mission Mars in relation to a £10.5m investment in the company by Business Growth Fund.
  • Acting on the £30m acquisition of the holding company of Stratford Healthcare Centre.
  • Advised Schweiter on its £92m acquisition of Lucite Acrylic Sheet.

Gateley Plc represents blue chip businesses, private equity houses and management teams. On the corporate side, the firm advises private and public companies on M&A, private equity deals, MBOs, disposals, joint ventures and shareholder/member arrangements. On the commercial side it advises on core business contracts, supply chain management, brand protection, payment services and outsourcing. Charles Glaskie and Jonathan Moakes head the team. Rebecca Grisewood ,  Paul Jefferson and Stephen Roberts are also recommended

Practice head(s):Charles Glaskie; Jonathan Moakes

Other key lawyers:Mark Halliwell; Nigel Brown; Khurshid Valli; Chris Dunn; Kate Richards; Peter Budd; John Burns; Leigh Whittaker; Paul Jefferson; Stephen Roberts

Key Clients

Betfred

Inspired Energy Plc

Yearsley Group

Just Childcare Limited

Foresight Group

Palatine Private Equity

LDC

Grafenia PLC

Sorted Holdings Limited

City Football Group

Lookers plc

AB InBev

Work highlights

  • Sale of Yearsley Group Limited to Lineage Logistics.
  • Sale of a stake in Betfred’s Tote business to Alizeti Capital Limited.
  • Advised the sellers on the £13.2m sale of PP Control & Automation Limited to PP Holdco Limited, backed by Ardenton Capital.
  • Advised the management team of Menzies Distribution, backed by private equity firm Endless, on the £74.5m management buy-out from John Menzies Plc.
  • Advised Grafenia PLC on a placing of shares.

Squire Patton Boggs advises global clients on M&A, private equity and capital markets and has a growing presence in the corporate real estate market. The firm has a particular focus on the chemicals and manufacturing sectors, and also the tech sector where it is introducing innovative pricing models for start-ups and early stage businesses. Clients include institutional investors, angels and founders/managers. Giles Chesher heads the team and specialises in mid-market private equity and advising large corporate clients. James Fitzgibbon and Jane Haxby are also recommended, while Darren Warburton  has a wealth of experience in the chemicals manufacturing sector.

Practice head(s):Giles Chesher

Other key lawyers:Jane Haxby; Darren Warburton; Andrea Cropley; James Fitzgibbon; Laura Green; Matthew Canipa; James Fitzgibbon; Jane Haxby

Key Clients

Miss Group Holdings

NorthEdge Capital LLP

On the Beach plc

GB Group

I.T. Labs Limited

BGF Investments LP

Maven Capital Partners (UK) LLP

Belden Inc

United States Bank

Co-operative Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Miss Group on the investment of £6.5m by BGF.
  • Advised On the Beach on its £21m acquisition of Classic Collection Holidays.
  • Advised I.T. Labs Limited on its £20m acquisition of Content & Cloud.
  • Acted for Cheshire Energy Limited on the £16m acquisition of the entire share capital of Halite Energy Group Limited and Anglesey LNG Limited.
  • Advised on the transfer of over £1 bn worth of assets.

Brabners LLP represents clients in the tech, media, automotive, healthcare, sport, entrepreneurial and social housing sectors.  Described by clients as 'always available', 'diligent' and 'approachable', the firm advises on M&A, disposals, investment structures, commercial contractual agreements and governance matters. Sam Mabon has taken over from Mark Brandwood  as head of corporate, while Richard Hough  is head of commercial. Tony Harper and Simon Lewis are also recommended. Jon Close joined as partner from Knights plc. Former head of team David Bowcock left the firm for Fieldfisher.

Practice head(s):Richard Hough; Sam Mabon

Other key lawyers:Caroline Litchfield; Ruth Hargreaves; Tony Harper; Simon Lewis; Jon Close, Mark Brandwood, Richard Hepworth

Testimonials

Personal service, genuine interest in and commitment to the clients’ best interests’.

Always available to provide considered advice - thorough, diligent and personable’.

Knowledgeable and approachable people who have an understanding of what we are trying to achieve with our business’.

Key Clients

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers

Typhoo Tea

Begbies Traynor Group plc (including Eddisons, surveyors)

Rhenus Logistics

AGC Chemicals

Bridgestone UK Limited (also known as Bridgestone Tyres)

VT Holdings Co. Limited

Kingsway Financial Group

The Shaw Trust

Chase de Vere

Veka plc

Nikal Investments

Work highlights

  • Represented All About Children Limited on a series of acquisitions as part of their buy and build strategy.
  • Represented Paul Deason  on his sale of a majority stake in BookF1.com Limited to US company, Motorsport Experiences LLC.
  • Represented NRL Limited in its acquisition of Intec (UK) Limited.
  • Represented Begbies Traynor Group PLC on its £3.7m acquisition of Springboard Corporate Finance Limited.
  • Represented Charles Clark Motors Limited in its disposal of car dealerships to Vantage Motor Group.

Fieldfisher is adept at handling cross-border M&A, private equity, venture capital transactions, and Series A and growth capital fundraisings. Other areas of focus include franchising, e-commerce, licensing, concessions, agency, distribution and strategic alliances. The firm has strengthened its practice with a number of hires including corporate head David Bowcock , who joined the firm from Brabners LLP in May 2018 to launch the practice in its current form.  Adam Jones joined from Brabners LLP as an associate and Charlotte Round joined from Brabners LLP as partner. Tom Ward was promoted to partner and relocated to Manchester from Fieldfisher's London office as part of the firm's push to grow the base and integrate its national and international corporate team.

Practice head(s):David Bowcock

Other key lawyers:Tom Ward; James Corlett; Adam Jones; Charlotte Round; Rachel Leigh

Testimonials

'Tom Ward is a super lawyer. Very knowledgeable and very can do.'

Key Clients

Restore plc

Marlowe plc

Jaywing plc

Gusbourne plc

Custom Gateway Limited

GHG London Holdings Limited

Allegion plc

Typhon Treatment Systems Limited

Deacon Street Partners Limited

Oasis Fashions Group

Warehouse Fashions Group

YorkTest Laboratories

Work highlights

  • Represented Restore on its £88m acquisition of TNT's document storage business
  • Represented Marlowe on its £30m acquisition of William Martin Compliance Solutions Limited.
  • Representing Typhon Treatment Systems on its series C funding round and related commercial developments.
  • Representing GHG London Holdings on the sale of its property holding company and various reorganisation steps to facilitate the sale.
  • Represented Ernst & Young Global Services on its acquisition of Riverview Law.

Hill Dickinson LLP focuses on equity capital markets, M&A, cross-border transactions, asset acquisitions and disposals, corporate joint ventures and investments. The firm has also been acting on an increasing number of private equity transactions. The 'very enthusiastic and hard working' Ian Gillis heads the corporate practice, with Mark Fitzgibbon heading the commercial and IP team.  Ian Riggs advises accountants and OMBs.

Practice head(s):Ian Gillis; Mark Fitzgibbon

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Gillow; David Mkhitarian; Tracey Sheehan; James Down; Sean Lightfoot; Katie Somerville; Ian Riggs

Key Clients

Stobart Group

Styles & Wood

Sykes Cottages

Trilanco

BGF Investment

Barber of Sheffield

Seneca Partners

Royal Sanders

Cenkos Securities

Parkwood Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting for Styles & Wood Group Plc on its £42.5m take private transaction.
  • Acting for shareholders and management on £2.5m partial buy-out of ABL Health Limited supported by investment by Foresight Group.
  • Acting for Waterland Private Equity on its circa £20m investment into Gas Tag Limited
  • Acting for Royal Sanders on its £12.5m acquisition of a division of McBride
  • Placing of new shares for an AIM listed company.

JMW Solicitors LLP operates from a single-site office in Manchester and advises SMEs, OMBs, entrepreneurs, private investors, private equity houses and large multinationals. Areas of expertise include M&A, disposals, reorganisations, corporate governance work, MBOs, joint ventures, private equity, investment structures and share option schemes. Mike Blood heads the team and focuses on the sports and digital sectors. Scott Cameron joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP as a partner.

Practice head(s):Mike Blood

Other key lawyers:Damien Brown; Mark Heppell; Richard Parkinson; Vicky Protano; Scott Cameron

Key Clients

Miltibus Quanco Limited (t/a Worcester Warriors)

Air Black Box Ltd

The shareholders of Techikraft Limited

Kinetic Plc

The shareholders of Alpine Fire Limited

Ascend Estates Limited

The shareholders of Architect CT Limited

Bond Group Investments Limited

PSL

Work highlights

  • Acting on the £21m purchase of Worcester Warriors premiership rugby club.
  • Advising the sellers on the sale Technikraft Limited to private equity house, PHD.
  • Acting for Kinetic Plc, its shareholders and board on the £4m sale of 100% of its shareholding to the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).
  • Acting on behalf of the management team of Ascend Estates Limited in the sale of 50.1% of the company to Gatehouse Bank
  • The team was exclusively instructed to act on behalf of the PSL in its tender process for the media rights for all PSL competitions for 5 seasons, this was valued at £500m.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP 's 'proactive, intelligent and pragmatic' team represents clients in professional services, family businesses, healthcare, AIM-listed companies and the tech sector. Robert Buckley heads the team and focuses on M&A, joint ventures, inward investment and sports-related commercial matters. On the commercial side the team has experience in the IT, pharmaceutical, hotel, leisure and sports industries. Caroline Brennan joined as a senior associate from Shoosmiths LLP. Peter Allen left the firm for Browne Jacobson LLP.

Practice head(s):Robert Buckley

Other key lawyers:Kirsti Pinnell; Helen Mather; Robert Levy; James Wall; Jan Winstanley; Caroline Brennan

Testimonials

Proactive, intelligent,  pragmatic influencers who deliver assignments within all agreed parameters’.

Terrific connections with any required external resource’.

A rare mixture of youthful enthusiasm and vast commercial experience’.

Robert Buckley offers commercial and practical advice, and invariably adds value’.

Key Clients

Bagir Group Ltd

SysGroup plc

BiSN Holdings Limited

Barkby Group plc (previously Sovereign Mines of Africa plc)

GG Hospitality Management Limited (co-founded by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs; operators of Hotel Football)

Salford City Football Club

Smartkem Limited

Ironveld plc

Shaping Cloud

Montessori Nursery Group

Harnbury Holdings (San Carlo Group)

Work highlights

  • Advising on all commercial activities for the Class of ’92. A key project this year has been work in relation to the new University Academy 92 project.
  • Advised the leadership team and co-founders of fire safety and security specialist Syncro on a management buy-out, purchasing a majority stake in the business from Bowdon Group.
  • Advising the AIM-traded mining company on a further placing of shares to enable the company to further invest in its project located on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
  • Advised long-term client Bagir Group on a proposed $16.5m investment into the firm from Chinese textiles and clothing company Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co Ltd.
  • Advised a Manchester-based company, which specialises in helping public sector bodies achieve digital transformation, on securing a £1.4 million investment.

Mills & Reeve LLP 's 'responsive' and 'pragmatic' team advises clients in the media, healthcare, retail, food and beverage, property development, technology and private equity spaces. The corporate and commercial team is headed by Chris Ross, who leads on high-value corporate deals, Chris Wilkinson, who is experienced in the pharmaceutical sector, and Paul Knight who leads the commercial, IP and IT side. Vicky Protano joined as principal associate from JMW Solicitors LLP and Charlotte Lewis joined from Hill Dickinson LLP as senior associate.

Practice head(s):Chris Ross; Chris Wilkinson; Paul Knight

Other key lawyers:Vicky Protano; Charlotte Lewis

Testimonials

Very responsive team who make you feel valued as a client - something that sometimes gets lost in larger London firms’.

Very pragmatic, solutions focused and want to get things done; excellent at collaborating and talking through issues’.

Chris Ross in particular is stand out for advice and approach to service quality. He also has that all important sense of humour, even when the pressure is on.'

Key Clients

WHP Telecoms

Phoenix Medical Supplies Limited

Global Festivals

Puratos

CorpAcq

How Planning

Leesa Sleep

British Council

Turley Associates Limited

2CRSI Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the WHP Telecoms management team in connection with a partial exit of its existing private equity backers Palatine Private Equity Limited (PPE) and a rollover of equity into a new group structure backed by Equistone Private Equity Limited, with PPE retaining a minority interest.
  • Instructed  by Phoenix Medical Supplies in relation to the £8m sale of its 21.1% minority stake in RX Systems to Emis Group .
  • Advised Boardmasters (a subsidiary of Global Festivals Limited) on its acquisition of Vision Nine Entertainment Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Eleven Limited.
  • Acting for food & drink company Puratos in relation to UK subsidiaries, including carrying out a post completion restructuring.
  • Advising Leesa Sleep - a Manchester-based direct-to-consumer online mattress company delivering UK-made mattresses on contracts with suppliers and consumers and on data protection compliance and  online advertising issues.

Pannone Corporate LLP handles mid-market M&A and continues to grow its private equity practice. The team often deals with cross-border transactions in Europe, the US and elsewhere. On the commercial side, the firm deals with commercial agreements, supply and procurement of goods and services, distribution, outsourcing, joint ventures, compliance and data protection. Steven Grant heads the team. Harriet Sutherland joined as senior associate from Ward Hadaway.

Practice head(s):Steven Grant

Other key lawyers:Tim Hamilton; Tom Hall; Mark Winthorpe; Amy Chandler; Philippa Howard; Claire Alden; Harriet Sutherland

Key Clients

Boohoo.com

Tradebe Group

Marlborough Fund Managers (part of UFC Fund Management Plc)

NorthEdge Capital

Livingbridge

Boels Rental

Visiativ SA

Verlingue

NVM Private Equity

Brother International Europe

Renold

Williamson-Dickie Europe

M&I Materials

EM&I group of companies

UKROEd

David Luke

DPG

IGT

SMG (UK) Limited

Packaging Automation

Seven Bro7hers Brewery

Work highlights

  • Advised Verlingue on the acquisition of Independent Commercial Broking, based in Surrey.
  • Acted for funds managed by Perwyn LLP, who invested into Percy Bidco Limited on its acquisition of Freshcut Foods Limited
  • Acted for international hazardous waste management operator, Tradebe Group, on its acquisition of Avanti Environmental Services.
  • Acted for Ventec, a company registered in Suzhou City, China on English law aspects of its proposed primary listing on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
  • Advised shareholders on the disposal of a majority interest in CESL to JBW Group.

Shoosmiths LLP is adept at handling corporate M&A transactions and private equity investments. Described by clients as "always willing to assist" and "down to earth" the firm is seeing an increase in international deals. Another area of expertise is high value corporate real estate transactions. On the commercial side the firm has a focus on sports, financial services, IT and IP. Karen Procter heads the corporate team and Stephen Dawson heads the commercial team.

Practice head(s):Karen Procter; Stephen Dawson

Other key lawyers:Tim Jackson-Smith; Andrew Millar; Benjamin Dredge; Anna Kerrane; Richard Millington

Testimonials

Efficient, speedy, accurate, knowledgeable and responsive’.

'A down-to-earth, practical approach provided by local people who are always available’.

The same named lawyers advise throughout, building the relationship’.

Good at working to tight deadlines’.

Great attitude, always willing to assist’.

Massive capability across the board’.

Ben Dredge is down to earth, provides solid advice and is a consummate professional’.

 

Key Clients

Matillion Limited

ThinkSmart Limited

Malvern International PLC

Xtrac Transmissions Holdings Limited

Eurogarages

Foresight Group LLP

James Hall & Co

NorthEdge Capital

Billington Holdings plc

Gaist Holdings Limited

Arcis Biotechnology

YFM Equity Partners

The Alchemist Bars & Restaurants

Select Property Group

Dunkeld House Hotel

Versant Hotels Limited

Consilia Investments Limited

Snap Finance Investments LLC

The Football Association

City Football Group

Thomas Cook Airlines

Telefonica

Three Mobile

Manchester Metropolitan University

N Brown Group PLC

Shop Direct

Footasylum PLC

Work highlights

  • Acted for LDC on the £221m secondary buy-out of supply-chain software company ByBox Holdings by a newco controlled by US-based Francisco Partners.
  • Advised Matillion in a Series B fundraise of $20m.
  • Advising shareholders of Sandcastle Care Holdings on the £35m sale of the entire issued share capital to Waterland Private Equity Fund.
  • Advising property developer Taylor Grange Developments on the corporate aspects of various high profile and high value projects including the Westminster Works and the Holloway Head development sites in Birmingham.
  • Advised Gaist Holdings on its £2.7m investment from BGF.

TLT advises on capital markets, venture capital, private equity and AIM IPOs for entrepreneurs and investors from across the UK and overseas. On the commercial side the firm deals with collaboration agreements, commercial joint ventures, data protection, export controls, outsourcing, public procurement, licensing and development. Key client sectors include retail and consumer goods, clean energy, leisure, and food and beverage. Ian Roberts and Stuart Campbell head the team. The "incredibly experienced" Stephen Devlin and Andrew Needham are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Ian Roberts; Stuart Campbell

Other key lawyers:Stephen Devlin; Andrew Needham; Elizabeth Delaney; Susan Honeyands; David Gardner; Pauline Cowie

Testimonials

'Stephen Devlin is measured, pleasant, incredibly experienced and has a really good mind'.

'Excellent - response times are good but if necessary, immediate action can and will be taken.'

'Stuart Campbell is very competent in drafting agreements and making sure that the client is not exposed.'

'The team provides a technically competent, reliable and personable service ensuring that they provide a timely service and have constant communication with you at all times.'

'Pragmatic, efficient and cost-effective.'

'Great team - they understand our business and are technically very strong.'

'TLT's team in Manchester is a very responsive and extremely pragmatic commercial team. They are effectively an extension of our in-house commercial contracts capability. They make sensible choices based on their in-depth knowledge of their client. This is the reason that I have continued to use them no matter what in-house role I move to.'

'Elizabeth Delaney particularly stands out as she is very commercially pragmatic and technically competent which is the winning combination for a corporate lawyer.'

David Gardner and Tim Waller are both knowledgable and approachable individuals who are able to manage complex legal matters in a coherent manner.'

'Stuart Campbell is the most responsive law firm partner that I have ever worked with. He is always on hand to assist immediately with on-point legal advice. He really invests in his client relationships and ensures the gateway into TLT is efficient as he personally oversees that I am directed to the right lawyer in the right team. He is the face of TLT for me with a great network with the firm. This is evidenced by him taking ownership to ensure that the client experience is friction-free by directly reaching out to other teams within the firm. Stuart always thinks about what else he can bring to the client relationship and he offers creative value-added services that cements the bond between firm and client. And he also happens to be one of the most pragmatic, no-nonsense commercial lawyers that I have worked with.'

'Alex Williamson is a shining star; his drafting is excellent. His attention to detail is superb. His expert guidance has developed through the years and his steer on commercial matters is nimble and on-point. He is one to watch.'

Key Clients

Examworks UK Limited

boohoo group plc

K3 Capital Group plc

Uinsure Limited

Shareholders of NWC Group and High Access Group

Sainsbury's Plc (including Argos and Habitat)

Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

Elavon Financial Services

Close Brothers

Crown Commercial Service

Work highlights

  • Advised fashion company Boohoo on its appointment of a new CEO, John Lyttle, from Primark, to take on the role previously shared by joint CEOs and founders Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane with effect from March 2019.
  • Advised new outsourcing client Teleperformance on its framework agreement for contact centre services with KIWI.
  • Advised PrettyLittleThing.com on a five year engagement with Clipper Logistics whereby Clipper will provide warehousing and logistics services to the firm at a centre just outside Sheffield
  • Acted for the shareholders of Nationwide Window Cleaning and High Access, both investee companies of Business Growth Fund.
  • Advised Uinsure on a group restructuring and the implementation of a group financing facility.

Weightmans LLP focuses on M&A work for owner managed businesses. Client sectors include IT, digital and creative, public sector, higher education and healthcare. Sarah Walton heads the team and specialises in M&A, private equity, investments, joint ventures and strategic projects. Other areas of expertise for the team include corporate finance, fundraisings, governance, demergers and disposals. The firm also deals with contractual and corporate structures, procurement and IP, including university spin-outs.

Practice head(s):Sarah Walton

Other key lawyers:Paul Raftery; Robert Turnbull; Haydn Rogan; Vincent King; Martin Vincent

Key Clients

MYA Cosmetic Surgery Limited

Lucideon Limited

Carey Holdings Limited

Planixs GRP Limited

Amorim

Caunce O’Hara & Company Limited

Novel Technologies Holdings Limited

Mercato Limited

Dimerco Express Group

ANS Group Limited

Slush Puppie Limited

Surrey and Sussex Police

Well (part of the Bestway Group)

University of Salford

University of Lancaster

Queen Mary University of London

University of Cumbria

Sonoco

IKO plc

Bruntwood

Manuli Rubber Industries

Minerals Tech Industries/Amcol Minerals

Ellis Brigham

Manchester Fertility Services Limited

Apadmi Limited

Chiesi

Sovini

Open University

National Police Chiefs Council

British Transport Police

Northern Health Science Alliance

Locala Community Partnerships

Work highlights

  • Acted for the individual shareholders of Playground Games, the indie British game developer best known for its work on the Forza games, on the sale of their shareholdings to Microsoft.
  • Advised Lancaster University on a joint venture with ex England footballer Gary Neville and other ex players and investors to establish UA92 -  a new style of university in Manchester.
  • Acts for tech company Mercato on  corporate and commercial matters, contract reviews and negotiations and policy and governance support.
  • Advised Herefordshire Council on its receipt of grant funding from the Department for Education and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership to build a new university in Hereford, called the New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE).
  • Supporting the National Police Chiefs Council on the Digital Policing Portfolio (DPP), which is a series of procurements of IT services to enable digital policing.

BLM advises property owners, developers, local authorities and funders on development, regeneration and infrastructure joint ventures. Other areas of expertise include M&A, venture capital and high-net-worth investments and restructuring. Other key client sectors include retail and e-commerce, medical, manufacturing, travel and professional services. The firm also advises on commercial matters including contracts, data protection and outsourcing contracts. The team is headed by Daniel Varney, Steve Kuncewicz and Jonathan Askin, who joined as partner from Weightmans LLP.

Practice head(s):Daniel Varney; Jonathan Askin; Steve Kuncewicz

Key Clients

Oliver James Associates Limited

St Helens Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council

Hardroad (Builders Supply (North West)

Palletower (GB) Limited

MTC Novo

Sandals

Direct Line Group

Hiscox

Persimmon Homes

Interpublic Group

The Ardonagh Group Limited

J Parker Dutch Bulbs Limited

University of Central Lancashire

Wondrwall Limited

Saks Medical & Cosmetic Limited

Santander UK Plc

Cert Property Group

Avensure Limited

Bugler Smith Limited

Builtvisible Limited

Landscape Institute

Tangerine Limited

Raised Floor Limited

Sputnik Digital

Work highlights

  • Advising University of Central Lancashire on the £200m redevelopment of its campus.

Clarke Willmott LLP 's "responsive and engaging" team handles M&A for acquisitive clients, disposal for equity investors and management teams, cross-border transactions and also commercial contracts. Clients include SMEs, IFA groups, lenders, brokers and financial intermediaries. Recently the firm has seen an increasing number of instructions in the healthcare sector, particularly in dentistry. Ed Foulkes heads the team. Matthew Dootson joined as associate from an in-house position at IMH Group.

Practice head(s):Ed Foulkes

Other key lawyers:Matthew Dootson; Helen Tse; Susan Hall

Testimonials

Responsive and engaging service by lawyers who want to deliver solutions that work commercially’.

Ed Foulkes continues to provide strong leadership and is at the forefront of a team that is more adept and consistent in delivery than many big firms in the city’.

Key Clients

Andy Scott / REL

Rayner Spencer Mills Research Limited

Astute Holdings Limited

Fluid Trust PLC

Northern Provident Investments Limited

Growth Capital Group

GYR Financial Consulting Limited

ME Group

MWA Holdings Limited

Ergowealth Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the buyer in the acquisition of shares in Bison Transport, a multiple-award winning Canadian transport company.
  • Represented the sellers in a share sale of a leading IT consultancy and expert witness business.
  • Received multiple instructions for Astute Holdings including as seller in the sale and purchase of assets in an Independent Financial Advisory practice.
  • Represented Fluid Trust on a UK mini-bond.
  • Acted for multiple founding investors in GCI Group in relation to the company's reorganisation and investment from a private equity firm.

DAC Beachcroft LLP offers a full range of corporate and commercial work from its Manchester office including M&A, equity capital markets, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, fundraisings, reorganisations and corporate governance. Its key client sectors include financial services, technology, property, healthcare, retail, energy and natural resources. Paul Ellaby heads the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Ellaby

Other key lawyers:William Pinnock;

Knights plc increased its presence in the North West by acquiring Turner Parkinson in Manchester in 2018. This move added some 45 fee earners to the growing firm which also floated on the alternative investment market (AIM) in 2018. Initially Knights plc was a commercial firm, but it has now added non-legal services such as town planning and specialist tax advice to its arsenal. In the corporate sphere, it advises on corporate transactions, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, private equity and development capital deals, corporate investments and other strategic projects, with James Sheridan heading the team.

Practice head(s):James Sheridan

Slater Heelis LLP focuses on mid-market M&A and has a particular focus on the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Its entrepreneurial clients include GPs, pharmacists, dentists and vets, with the firm focusing on taking early stage companies through from funding rounds to exits. Simon Wallwork heads the team and specialises in corporate transactional work including acquisitions and disposals. Jim Tully joined as partner from an in-house position at the Co-op.

Practice head(s):Simon Wallwork

Other key lawyers:Nicky Collins; Rhian Owen; Jim Tully

Key Clients

Deutsche Asset Management Limited

Blueberry Therapeutics Limited

Bolton Gate Company Limited

Odyssey Interact Limited

IEG4 Limited

Diono UK Limited

Phoenix Optical Technologies Limited

FCMS (NW) Limited

Imperial Associates & Consulting Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Blueberry Therapeutics on a series A investment by Chinese pharmaceutical company CMS.
  • Advising Deutsche Asset Management on the £10.5m sale of Roydon Mill Marina to Lakeland Leisure.
  • Acted on behalf of the shareholders of the Noisy Drinks Company North West - selling 75% of the issued share capital to its largest customer Vimto for around £10m.
  • Advising shareholders on the £3.5m sale of shares in Trident Fire & Security Group Limited and Trident Security Limited to French company, Scutum International.
  • Advising Phoenix Optical Holdings on the £1.3m acquisition of Orion Photonics.

Ward Hadaway focuses on the SME, OMB and family business markets, providing advice on sales, acquisitions, mergers, investments and private equity deals. Other areas of expertise include venture capital investments, disposals, reorganisations, restructurings and refinancings. Key client sectors include biomedical, recruitment, engineering and manufacturing, professional services, pharmaceutical, healthcare, media and technology, leisure and retail. Sean FitzGerald heads the team.

Practice head(s):Sean FitzGerald

Other key lawyers:Melanie Yeomans; Paul Johnson; Rachel Clarkson

Testimonials

Professional and positive approach to corporate transactions’.

‘Deliver the required result in a timely and efficient manner’.

Key Clients

Vodat Communications Group Limited

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Enterprise Ventures

Mike Colling & Company

JSA Services Limited

Neville Johnson Group

Eurocamp Limited

Kingdom Services Group Limited

Mercia Fund Management Limited

Holchem Laboratories Limited

Key Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising JSA on equity funding by Universal Partners and acquisitions of the business and assets of Kingsley Hamilton, and the entire issued share capital of Crest Plus Operations.
  • Advising TechStream on acquisitions of EarthStream Global Limited, PH.D and Voyage Global Energy.
  • Advising ProClinical on its sale to ICS Group.
  • Acting for SkyParkSecure on its sale to Manchester Airport Group.
  • Advising Catapult  Venture Managers on its investment in Rinicare.

Bermans is adept at handling M&A, disposals, joint ventures, venture capital, and shareholder reorganisations. Key areas of focus for the practice include asset based lending and private equity. Its client base includes SMEs, family businesses, entrepreneurs, professional partnerships, charities and institutional investors. Jonathan Davage heads the team. Stephen Jarman joined as a non-executive director from Taylors in 2018.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Davage

Other key lawyers:Stephen Jarman; Robin Hastings

Key Clients

1PM Group/Academy Leasing Limited

Seneca Capital Partners

ICTS (UK) Limited

H & M Distribution Group

Checkd Media Holdings

Acuity Fund

Connect Childcare Group Limited

ESRG Group of Companies (numerous)

Restoration London Group

The Start Up Factory

SRO Holdings Limited

Hippo Motor Group Limited

Freeman Fisher LLP focuses on representing entrepreneurs, OMBs and SMEs on corporate disposals. Other areas of expertise include acquisitions, MBOs/MBIs and bespoke commercial contracts. Gary Black heads the team. Daniel Rodgerson was promoted to managing associate and Melissa O’Brien was promoted to associate. Kin Lui joined as an associate.

Practice head(s):Gary Black

Other key lawyers:Daniel Rodgerson; Melissa O'Brien; Kin Lui

Key Clients

Mi Hiepa Scout

Foodwell Manchester Limited

The Gypsy Shrine Limited

Blends Limited

Big Chief Tipis

The Awning Company

Calla Shoes Ltd

Face37 Ltd

Sino International Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for sellers in the £2.3m sale of the Manchester-based English language specialists Communicate English Language School.

Laytons LLP advises on corporate M&A, development, disposals and fund establishment across the North West. The majority of clients are SMEs in the retail, leisure, recruitment, fintech and technology sectors. Barney Leaf heads the team with support from John Gavan and consultant David Sefton.

Practice head(s):Barney Leaf

Other key lawyers:John Gavan; David Sefton

Key Clients

Mercia Fund Managers

Alliance Fund Managers

Party Delights Limited

Auctus Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Mercia Fund Managers in its capacity as fund manager on the establishment and management of a £23m Midlands Engine Investment Fund Proof of Concept and Early Stage Fund.  
  • Advised Alliance Fund Managers as fund manager on the establishment and management of a £27m North East (ERDF) Venture Capital Fund.

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