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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 > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Martyn Tennant - Swinburne Maddison
    • Michael Walby - Burnetts

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Daniel Flounders - Archers Law LLP

Rising stars

  1. 1

Based in Stockton-on-Tees, Archers Law LLP advises clients with operations across the Tees Valley, as well as corporates investing in local businesses, with a strong focus on M&A. The group is led by David Adams, who has experience on a number of high-value transactions. Daniel Flounders, who made partner in 2019, is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):David Adams

Other key lawyers:Daniel Flounders

Key Clients

Gary Ritchie-Bland – Subsea Innovation

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of a sole shareholder in the sale of whole share capital of Subsea Innovation Limited to the AIM Listed PLC, Tekmar Group, for the sum of circa £4m.

Baines Wilson LLP handles a wide variety of corporate and commercial matters, including high-value M&A transactions for major corporates investing in Cumbria. Team head Andrew Hill, who splits his time between the firm's Carlisle and Lancaster offices, has expertise in takeovers, private equity transactions, reorganisations, joint ventures and general company law issues. Kate Parker, who was promoted to partner in 2018, draws on her substantial experience of corporate work at UK and US law firms in London.

Practice head(s):Andrew Hill

Other key lawyers:Kate Parker; Samantha-Jane Amor

Key Clients

Stolle Machinery Company LLC

Cumberland Building Society

Svenska Handelsbanken

Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s plc

Butterfly Group Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advising Lake District Hotels on the sale of a hotel for a guide price of £2.75m.
  • Advised Butterfly Group on multiple disposal resulting in sale of entire care home portfolio.
  • Advised The Stuart Family on the sale of a holiday park business and assets.
  • Advising shareholders in connection with equity fundraising.

A major presence in the Cumbria market, Burnetts provides clients with M&A and professional services advice across a number of key sectors, including healthcare, leisure, TMT, transport, nuclear and engineering. The group also has a strong state aid practice, assisting with applications for funding from the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. The team is led by Vaughan Jones, who has expertise in intellectual property and the IT sector, while 'extremely motivated' Michael Walby is noted for his M&A expertise.

Practice head(s):Vaughan Jones

Other key lawyers:Michael Walby; Caroline Redhead; Melissa McManus


'The team is highly motivated, hardworking and extremely professional'

'Vaughan Jones has a very clear and comprehensive understanding of company law'

'The team is approachable and available to speak directly with clients whenever they have any concerns'

Key Clients

H & H Group Plc

Lloyd Motors

Cumbria Waste Management

Innovia Films

Evidence Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Shareholders of Zoo Hardware on £19m sale of Zoo Hardware to Tyman Plc.
  • Advised on the sale of Queensberry Bay Caravan Park Ltd to private equity backed buyer Verdant Leisure 2 Limited.
  • Advised Otaq Group on the acquisition of the issued share capital of Marinesense Limited, a marine technology company based in Aberdeen.

Durham-based Swinburne Maddison's key competencies include corporate finance, transactions and commercial advisory services. The group, which is often instructed on cross-border mandates, operates across a number of sectors, with particular strength in leisure, transport, retail, manufacturing, technology and professional services. Martyn Tennant leads the team and has significant M&A experience.

Practice head(s):Martyn Tennant

Other key lawyers:Alex Wilby


'They are able to provide excellent and most of all understandable advice'

'The diversity of the team's skills allowed for detailed guidance'

'They always responded to requests in a timely and effective manner'

Key Clients

Durham Cathedral

The Esh Group

Atom Bank plc

Hargreaves Services plc

Handelsbanken plc

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Maven, one of the UK’s largest fund managers, in relation to a co-investment from the Finance Durham Fund and the North East Fund in Dyer Engineering, the largest independent engineering business in County Durham.
  • Restructure of an extensive group of companies (with a group wide turnover of circa £50m) with various joint venture considerations to achieve both corporate and personal improved tax efficiencies.
  • Refinancing of an SPV incorporated to progress the development of a site of 100+ residential homes, to be built near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Endeavour Partnership LLP's team, based in Stockton-on-Tees, handles high-value M&A and commercial matters for a variety of clients, including SMEs, start-ups, banks, corporate financers, investors and the third-sector. The team is led by Nik Tunley, who advises on transactions around the North East.

Practice head(s):Nik Tunley

Other key lawyers:Nigel Williams; Martin McKinnell; Paul Bury

In Wynyard, Tilly Bailey & Irvine's team is instructed on a wide variety of matters by clients in the Tees Valley region, including corporate finance and commercial contracting for SMEs, with additional specialisms in intellectual property and the education sector. In 2018, Craig Malarkey was promoted to equity partner and took on the leadership of the corporate and commercial team from John Walters.

Practice head(s):Craig Malarkey

Other key lawyers:Michael Stevens; John Walters


'The team always respond to enquiries efficiently'

'Large enough to have the expertise but small enough to be flexible in their approach and not charge the earth'

'Very good people skills in explaining the options available'

Key Clients

Ad Astra Academy Trust

Langley House Care Home

Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition of Langley House Care Home, a 26-bed care home based in Horden, County Durham.
  • Advised Ad Astra Academy Trust on its conversion of Ayresome Primary School to a multi-academy trust.

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