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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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Education

Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Education clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Browne Jacobson LLP  is ‘outstanding; its knowledge and understanding of education and the wider issues that affect our schools is second to none’. Dai Durbridge, who leads the wider education team on safeguarding issues and heads the Manchester team, is a ‘consummate professional who goes to the upmost lengths to provide professional support, sometimes in the most difficult of circumstances’. Durbridge advises schools, academies, FE and sixth form colleges. Kerren Daly  who works in the employment and education teams has a ‘fantastic knack of getting to the nub of an issue and then follows it up with clear advice’. Legal director Jamie Otter  is ‘extremely responsive, listens well and then ensures that the barriers are removed to secure a successful outcome whenever possible’. The team has been extensively involved in the creation and growth of multi-academy trusts and has recently worked on more than 20 such projects. Such work has included advising on the formation of the Challenge Academy Trust. It has also advised on the setting up of the Bishop Fraser Trust (a Church of England multi-academy trust).

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP   has the ‘necessary resources to be able to provide a very good service and expert advice’. Diane Gilhooley  ‘leads an excellent team’ that includes principal associate Robert Gray  and associate Corrine Sobers . Gilhooley is ‘quick to respond and has a tremendous amount of professional expertise and a great attention to detail’. The ‘personable and approachable’ Helen Cairns ‘explains complicated matters clearly and exudes a professional calm and certainty which is very reassuring’. Cairns’ academy client base includes private and public sponsor organisations, single academy trusts, multi-academy trusts, free schools, studio schools, sixth form colleges and UTCs. The large education team advises HEs, FEs, schools, academies and private education institutions. Key clients include the University of Bradford, Trafford College, Liverpool John Moores University and the Universities and Colleges Employers Associate (UCEA). The team is advising two further education colleges on their proposed ‘model B’ merger. The advice includes conducting a full due diligence exercise on behalf of the continuing college and advising both the continuing college and the dissolving colleges on a range of merger-related issues.

At Weightmans LLP  Martin Vincent  and Janice Weatherly  are singled out for particular praise. The team is primarily focused on higher education and is known for its advice to universities in highly sensitive situations such as student suicides and on campus deaths. Highlights included advising the University of Cumbria on its collaboration with 12 other universities, FE colleges and employers in the North West to deliver the Cumbria Collaborative Outreach Programme, one of several regional programmes funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to support the most disadvantaged young people in England to progress into higher education. Other key clients include Open University, Bangor University and Greenwich University. It recently advised a major university on its plans to build a new sports centre at a substantial cost. The primary use of the building will be sports activities for students.

Hill Dickinson LLP  acts for schools in both the maintained and non-maintained (independent and academy) sectors in addition to higher and further education institutions, local authorities and educational charities. Luke Green  heads the schools team and Iain Campbell  heads the higher education team. Kerstie Skeaping  is recommended for her employment advice and David Rawlinson is another key contact. Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust, United Colleges Group (the parent company of City of Westminster College and College of North West London), London University Purchasing Consortium and the University of Chester Academies Trust are all clients.

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘excellent advice, is knowledgeable and offers pragmatic solutions to minimise costs’. On the employment side Sara Barrett  delivers ‘timely advice in an expert yet approachable manner and is entirely cognisant of the intricacies of the environment in which we work’. Principal associate Deborah Coyne  is ‘knowledgeable and offers innovative solutions to complex issues’- she is in the employment team and is a key lawyer in the education sector. Richard Skyes, who splits his time between Birmingham and Manchester has a ‘depth and breadth of expertise which is highly valued by us’. The group has particular experience in the further and higher education sectors and regularly assists its university clients on significant policy and legal developments. Clients include Manchester Metropolitan University, Bury College, Royal Northern College of Music and the Academies Enterprise Trust.

Michael Pocock  is a leading name at Pinsent Masons LLP  . Pocock has significant expertise in advising on large and complex development projects for the university and higher education sectors. Highlights included continuing to advise the University of Sheffield on the expansion of a major Advance Manufacturing Research Centre which promotes collaborative working between the industry and the education sector. The team is also advising the London Legacy Development Corporation on the Stratford Waterfront Development. This initiative is aiming to deliver a brand new cultural and higher education district known as the Cultural and Education District which will be made up of two sites on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The practice has also noticed significant growth in its education finance practice.

SAS Daniels LLP  ‘consistently provides an excellent level of service. There is always a member of the team available to answer questions or provide advice’. Stephen Foster  has an ‘excellent knowledge and understanding of the sector. He has a strong ability to offer advice and solutions to a wide variety of problems’. Jonathan Whittaker provides ‘succinct and honest advice that he delivers in a way that is easily understandable and accessible to head teachers and school business managers alike’. Nick Brown  and Clare Bromley  ‘work very effectively on a day-to-day basis with schools’ and Simon Bellard  ‘provides fabulous support’. The group provides the full range of legal services in the education sector and is praised for its ‘detailed guidance and support at each and every stage’.

Simpson Millar LLP   has a ‘highly experienced team that is supportive of parents and of young people. It is its unique combination of very knowledgeable and pragmatic solicitors coupled with a specialism in community care and public law that sets it apart’. Head of team Imogen Jolley  has a ‘very approachable manner. She understands the need to give time to clients to talk and ensures that people are able to understand the core legal issues and how best for their child to get the help they need in the education setting’. Angela Jackman  acts in special educational needs cases and education judicial review cases and manages a mixed caseload of community and mental capacity cases. Solicitor James Betts  has recently left the practice to join Irwin Mitchell.

Forbes Solicitors  has an ‘excellent’ team with the ‘practical’ Jonathan Holden at the helm who has a ‘very good understanding of the education sector’. The ‘approachable, responsive and knowledgeable’ Ruth Rule-Mullen  ‘provides support and sound guidance’. The team acts for in excess of 500 schools and colleges nationally. It is retained by Bolton School to advise on a broad range of employment and HR matters. It is also exclusively engaged by Edapt (a professional services organisation for the teaching profession) to provide advice and assistance to subscribers.


Health

Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Addleshaw Goddard  provides an ‘excellent service’ under the leadership of Michael O’Connor  Managing associate Philip Dupres  is ‘helpful’ and provides ‘well considered advice’. The team is split into four sub-sector teams: public sector and health infrastructure; social and long term care; life sciences and private healthcare; and care homes. Clients include Celesio, Bupa Care Homes Mercia Healthcare, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Highlights included advising a major public limited company on its acquisition of a bioscience company (a Taiwanese company). In another major matter it acted for Phoenix Private Equity on the primary buyout of Sygnature Discovery (a drug discovery business) in a competitive auction process.

Amanda Callaghan at Browne Jacobson LLP  leads a team that ‘is always available and is very quick to respond’. Andrew Peel handles clinical negligence and regulatory matters for private sector healthcare providers and insurers. The ‘very impressive’ Rebecca Fitzpatrick is recommended for her work on mental health and mental capacity law. Associate Edward Pollard and solicitor Victoria Colclough  provide ‘well-thought-through advice’. Gerard Hanratty joined from Capsticks LLP  and has extensive experience of representing NHS bodies in judicial reviews and on service reconfiguration. An impressive roster of clients includes North West Ambulance NHS Trust, Chorley and South Ribble CCG in addition to NHS Birmingham Cross City CCG.

Hempsons  has an ‘in-depth knowledge of NHS practice and provides advice that is sound, well-rounded and practical’. Key members of the team include Anne Ball  and Margaret Taylor both of whom provide ‘high quality advice and are very professional and dedicated’. The ‘extremely thorough’ Kirsten Blohm  ‘delivers advice in a timely manner’. Paul Spencer  is ‘down to earth, easy to talk to and is able to vary his approach depending on the audience’. Highlights included its appointment, following a competitive tender process, to provide the Cheshire Local Medical Committee 'Practice Development Programme 2017' to over 600 GPs and their practices. It was also engaged by the Primary Care Commissioning CIC (PCC) to deliver a number of primary care workshops to primary care leads in the clinical commission groups as well as to GP practices and federations. Other key clients include the Medical Defence Union and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew Craggs heads a ‘very strong team’ at Hill Dickinson LLP . The ‘excellent and very experienced’ Sharon Thomas  is recommended for her work in mental health and court of protection. Joanna Trewin  led the advice to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in its application to the court of protection about a patient who was in a minimally conscious state and was determined by the court to lack capacity. The issue before the court was whether it was lawful and in her interests to receive clinically assisted nutrition and hydration, medication and neurological rehabilitation. In another key matter it is advising Health Education England on the content of an overarching privacy notice to ensure compliance with the forthcoming GDPR. Manchester University Hospitals NHS FT, NHS Warrington CCG and St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust are also clients.

Richard Jolly is the national head of healthcare advisory at Weightmans LLP . Other key members of the large team include James Rowley  who has ‘established himself as a trusted advisor to doctors in particular’. It had another busy year. The group advised a North West based NHS Foundation trust on its application for an urgent declaration for serious medical treatment in respect of a patient detained under s.3 of the Mental Health Act. The patient was pregnant and was no longer cooperating with her antenatal care. In another complex matter the team advised Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust on a declaration that it was not in the best interest of child ‘A’ to continue receiving life-sustaining treatment as child ‘A’ had an underlying medical condition for which there is no known cure. Dewi Ap-Thomas  leads the healthcare inquest team.

Brabners LLP provides an ‘excellent service’. The pharmacy sector team is headed up by the ‘really helpful and responsive’ Richard Hough . The group provides a broad range of legal advice to practising healthcare professionals and commercial entities which supply goods and services to the healthcare sector. It routinely advises on healthcare specific regulatory issues, fitness to practice, corporate transactional as well as other areas such as employment and property advice. It has a particularly strong client base of pharmacy clients and has been increasingly involved in various dental transactions.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's well-regarded team is headed by Deborah Hely  and includes Sean Doherty,  who divides his time between Leeds and Manchester and is recommended for his work on clinical negligence work. The team has been advising on a number of highly sensitive litigation matters involving doctors’ clinical performance concerns and disciplinary related employment tribunal claims. Harald Loeffler  has also been acting in a variety of commercial disputes for health clients. Highlights included acting for the Countess of Chester NHS FT in connection with employment and employee relations issues relating to a police investigation into an unusually high rate of baby deaths and collapses at the Countess of Chester hospital. Other active clients include NHS Resolution, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (Greater Manchester) as well as Cheshire & Wirrall Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust.

The ‘very attentive’ team at Fieldfisher  is headed by the ‘truly exceptional’ Sarah Ellson, who gives ‘practical and commercial advice’. The ‘very helpful and knowledgeable’ Debbie Nicholson  a senior associate and associate ‘rising star’ Holly Bontoft are both recommended. Bontoft is ‘one to watch – she is clever and confident and well-able to run a case by herself’. Ellson acts for numerous specialised regulators such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for whom she continues to advise on the new mitochondrial donation regulation and on other matters. National and international clients include commercial suppliers to the NHS such as major pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy chains as well as major care home operators and investors.

Highlights for Slater Heelis LLP included advising Crook Pharmacy on the sale of its business and assets to AARX Limited and on its associated sale of the property. Indigo Indemnity and FCMS (NW) Ltd are also clients. Practice head Katharine Mellor  and Nicky Collins  are ‘professional and approachable' with ‘up-to-date knowledge and a keen interest in their clients’ issues in the healthcare sector’.

Mills & Reeve LLP  has an ‘excellent nationwide presence’ under the leadership of Cambridge-based Bridget Archibald . Principal associate Jennifer Lewis is recommended along with the ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ Chris Wilkinson . The team has recently been reappointed by Rowlands Pharmacy to advise on all aspects of the client’s legal work for its 500-strong chain of community pharmacies. Mersey Care NHS Trust and NHS Chorley and South Ribble and Greater Preston CCGs are also clients.


Local government

Index of tables

  1. Local government
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Local government clients in North West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Michael O’Connor  leads the firm’s national infrastructure, projects and energy group at Addleshaw Goddard and regularly advises on transactions for and opposite local government. Andrew Pettinger is recommended for his work on a wide range of commercial transactions for local government. The team has a first-rate reputation for its work on outsourcing and partnership deals and for defending local government in high value procurement claims. Other areas of expertise include its work on renewable projects for local governments many of which involve a mix of public and private sector finance. The team was appointed to advise Stoke City Council on a proposed variation and refinancing of its pathfinder street lighting PFI Scheme. Significantly the team had originally advised on this in 2002/2003. In another significant matter the team advised Transport for Greater Manchester on establishing a highways shared services arrangement with three Greater Manchester local authorities. Under this agreement the client plans to host a core team that provides technical services to each local authority.

Sarah Bell  and Liam Cowell  are recommended at DLA Piper UK LLP . The team has been busy advising on various matters such as on large scale procurements for a range of goods and services and on projects for the development of property and associated complex planning issues. Bell led on the appointment to advise Liverpool City Council on its high pressure, time critical bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The timetable for bidding for the Games was incredibly tight following Durban losing its appointment. It has an impressive roster of clients such as The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Cumbria County Council, Knowsley MBC and Liverpool Vision Limited. Other clients include Transport for Greater Manchester and York Central Partnership. Legal director Gemma Cowap  is also well-regarded for her support to private and public sector clients on a variety of commercial matters. Nick Helm is now at Squire Patton Boggs .

DWF's team advises more than 200 local authorities and other public sector bodies. Colin Murray  ‘works to a very high standard’. Murray is best known for his work on complex regeneration projects. James Lupton  produces ‘good quality work’ and advises local authorities on a broad range of matters ranging from contracting strategies and procurement processes to restructuring major projects relating to schools, highways, waste, housing and police projects. Jonathan Branton and senior associate Jay Mehta  ‘both carry a high degree of specialist knowledge and adopt a solutions-focused and flexible approach’. It advises Stockport MBC on a wide range of issues such as advising it on the closure of a number of leisure centres and the opening of some new ones. It has also advised Wirral MBC on the delivery of the Golf Project with the Jack Nicklaus consortium to deliver two new golf courses, a hotel, new homes and a new link road. Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, Manchester City Council/Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council are other major clients. It has also advised a number of companies in the private sector on their bids to local authorities.

The lawyers at BLM  ‘put an enormous amount of effort into the work that they do but they never seem to lose focus on the main issue: getting the best result for the client’. The team has particular strength in abuse cases that are handled 'expertly, confidentially, sensitively and with the confidence of Council clients’. The ‘experienced, client-focused and very approachable’ Paul Tarne is a key member of the team and regularly acts for local authorities and emergency services in relation to civil claims. Mark Eisen  has also worked extensively for public sector clients in defending highways, employers’ and public liability claims. The team was pleased to add some key people to its ranks from Slater and Gordon  including Stephen Lintott and Tessa Leonard  . The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Nicholas Thorne  is recommended from the catastrophic injury unit and Natalie Puce for her health, safety and environmental work. Wirral MBC, Sheffield City Council and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are all clients.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's ‘well-organised team’ includes Jackie Heeds, who is ‘knowledgeable across the full spectrum of PFI, is experienced and competent and is also good at leading a team. She is a pleasure to work with’. Heeds has extensive experience of infrastructure transactions that are procured through PFI/PPP/PF2, and is leading the advice to Transport for Greater Manchester on its multimillion-pound project to restructure the operation and maintenance contractual structure for the Metrolink light rail system. The team is also advising London and Continental Railways Limited on the Mayfield regeneration project.

Scot Morrison  heads the department at Pinsent Masons LLP  and is recommended for his work on structuring public sector joint venture vehicles and partnerships involving local authorities and other government bodies. Morrison is leading the advice to Manchester City Council on the Northern Gateway project which will provide 10,000 new homes. The development is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK and spans 300 acres. He has also been leading the advice to London Borough of Wandsworth on the establishment of a joint venture between the authority and a joint venture provider to deliver a regeneration scheme in the Winstanley and York Road Estates immediately adjacent to Clapham junction station.

Simon Goacher   heads the team at Weightmans LLP  that provides full support to local authorities from advising on major regeneration projects, to equal pay disputes and child care and adult social care issues. Lee Gordon has been leading the advice to Charnwood District Council on the North East Leicester sustainable urban extension project which includes 4,500 dwellings on a 360 hectare site that will be developed over a 15 year period. North West Legal Consortium, Manchester City Council and Liverpool City Council are all clients.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  ’s work spans the full gamut of local government requirements from constitutional and governance advice to projects and litigation. In Manchester Jan Levinson is recommended for commercial litigation and Alison Key for real estate matters. Legal directorRachael Reynolds  is leading the advice to St Helens Borough Council on the implementation of and compensation issues surrounding the compulsory purchase of land at Newton le Willows station. Other major clients include Oldham Council, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council.

Head of team Mark Fitzgibbon  at Hill Dickinson LLP  has considerable experience in commercial contracts across all aspects of the supply chain. The team was pleased to win the opportunity to advise Liverpool City Council on all the legal work associated with the design and build of a new state of the art cruise liner terminal on the Mersey waterfront. The group also continues to advise Rochdale Borough Council on a broad range of matters including procurement, pensions, property regeneration and constitutional governance related matters. Warwickshire County Council, Wrexham County Borough Council and Powys County Council are all significant clients.

Key contacts at Squire Patton Boggs are Mark Barker  who along with Giles Chesher are ‘exceptionally knowledgeable. Both appear able to give clear and concise advise 100% of the time. Definite strengths include their industry knowledge which was invaluable for the Council’. The team was pleased to addNick Helm  to its ranks from DLA Piper UK LLP . Highlights included advising Preston City Council on the redevelopment of the City’s indoor market for a leisure led scheme comprising a multi-screen cinema, high quality restaurant units and a multi-storey car park. In other matters the team was appointed by the Local Government Association to advise on the local government pension scheme. The team provides an ‘excellent level of service and has very good knowledge. Its response time are always very quick’.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP   advises on a wide range of issues such as child care, employment, housing management, property and court of protection matters. It has a large child care team and many members of staff are appointed to the Children Panel. The ‘vastly experienced’ Donna Roberts  manages the team’s public law practice and is a ‘skilled advocate ’David Baybut acts for housing associations/registered social housing landlords as well as local authorities on various matters from estate development to planning and construction.

At Trowers & Hamlins LLP  Suzanne Benson  leads the team and specialises in regeneration, joint ventures and in advising on the outsourcing of management services and the development of intermediate home ownership models. The team led by Benson continues to advise the Homes and Communities Agency on the Help to Buy equity loan programme. Manchester City Council, Gloucester City Homes and Tamworth Borough Council are other important clients.


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