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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 > South East > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Essex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Essex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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Birketts LLP's 'responsive' corporate practice provides a 'good and prompt service', especially in relation to commercial contracts. Particular focus areas further include international transactions, while the team's experience in the transport and insurance sectors has also developed. In a recent highlight, Nigel Thompson advised the shareholders of Selcia on the complete sale of its issued share capital to Eurofins Agroscience Services. Other key clients include Transport Innovation, which sought assistance with the preparation of cab aggregator agreements with a number of taxi businesses, and Gates Group, which acquired four motor dealerships from Ford Retail Group. The practice represented AllClear Insurance Services for the first time in 2017. Clients recommend team lead Rafael Ruiz, who is 'structured, attuned to clients' needs and able to explain the course of action in simple terms'. Nick Burnett and Adam Jones make up the rest of the core team in Chelmsford.

Birkett Long LLP's 'awareness of client requirements, coupled with technical knowledge and its ability to bring transactions to completion, proves invaluable'. The corporate practice handles domestic and international business transactions, shareholder and joint venture agreements, corporate restructurings and commercial contracts. The healthcare, technology and media sectors are historically strong, while consultant solicitor Alan Massenhove, who joined from a London firm in October 2017, brings in more expertise in franchise businesses and the regulated sectors, including banking. Praxis42, Valeo, Wilkin & Sons, Systematic Logistics International and E2V Technologies form the client roster. Team lead Tracey Dickens is an 'excellent communicator and technical adviser, while remaining commercially pragmatic'. Other key members include David Wisbey and Basildon-based solicitors Stephen Avila and  Tim Field.

The corporate and commercial team at Ellisons Solicitors has experience in transactions, restructurings, joint ventures, supply agreements, and franchise and financing work, including in-depth knowledge of the banking sector and recent experience with US companies. During 2017, the lawyers advised administrators McTear Williams & Wood on the asset sale of Searon Logistics to Logistic Planning Services. Other highlights include client Gray Dawes Travel's acquisition of the entirety of CTM Travel Management's share capital from P & P Associates, as well as client S.A.W. Group of Companies' purchase of the insolvent company Enigma Insulations. Managing partner Seamus Clifford and M&A specialist Paul Forsyth are the key team members, while former Prettys Solicitors LLP partner Jon Bloor joined in April 2017, bringing additional experience in private equity matters, as well as general corporate, commercial and banking expertise.

Thompson Smith and Puxon's corporate department provides 'exemplary service' with an 'efficient, pragmatic and commercial approach' and 'resolves matters in a prompt and professional way'. M&A, restructurings, commercial contracts, business disposals and sponsor agreements form the bulk of the practice's work. The team achieved a growth in matters relating to the agricultural, construction and food industries, while healthcare remains a strong focus. The 'helpful and informative' Mary Anne Fedeyko 'explains proceedings clearly' and has a 'rapid understanding of the relevant issues and how to manage relationships with other solicitors'. 'Extremely thorough' property expert Stephen Firmin and the 'calm, unflustered and committed' Caroline Nicholls are also recommended. Together with Claire Powell and Nick Mayles, they make up the core team in Colchester.

The 'approachable' corporate and commercial practice at Wortley Byers LLP is recommended for its 'exceptional "one-stop-shop" service and overall time and cost effectiveness', as well as its 'above-average expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector'. Here, the respective key clients include Warneford Healthcare and Claridon Group, as well as Martindale Pharma and its parent company Bolt Equity, both of which were advised on Bolt Equity's acquisition by French group Ethypharm. Other strengths include intellectual property and outsourcing projects, as well as corporate work in the leisure, transport and engineering industries. The 'focused' Sue Dowman 'always finds the time to deal with issues promptly'. Lucy Folley represented Benfleet Forwarding's shareholders during the multi-million-pound sale of all of the company's issued share capital.

The 'thorough and quick-to-respond' corporate practice of Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP provides 'good value for money' and focuses on M&A transactions, agreements and restructurings in the charity, education, technology and healthcare sectors. The 'friendly-yet-professional' Ashton Carter is recommended. Together with practice lead Tony Fisher, he advised Point Zero Solutions on the acquisition of a competing company and an internal restructuring, and also represented technical solutions provider Adsar during its £480,000 partial sale. Leah Groves specialises in dental M&A work.

Clients recommend the 'knowledgeable and professional' Pinney Talfourd LLP for its 'proactivity, collaborative approach and keen understanding of client needs', resulting in 'service levels beyond expectation'. The team covers M&A, restructuring, contractual, shareholder and partnership issues, while its key industries include real estate, transport and logistics, accountancy and business support. In a recent highlight, the practice represented the majority shareholder and director of GTS Learning during the buyout of his IT skills and training development business by a US corporation. SAT Holdings and carer charity Redbridge, Epping & Harlow Crossroads also brought their matters to the department. The 'very approachable' Edward Garston has 'brought a new dynamic to the firm', possesses 'excellent attention to detail' and 'never lets a problem get in the way'.

Tees Law's corporate practice is able to 'satisfy client expectations in relation to response times, appropriateness of advice, team strength and value for money'. Its main focus lies on M&A, acquisition finance, shareholder agreements and joint venture matters, as well as commercial distribution, trading and agency agreements. Recent highlights include the representation of Keswick European Holdings during the £25m sale of its UK and Romanian logistics businesses to a Japanese corporation. Xpediator, which acquired Benfleet Forwarding for over £10m and Regional Express for £2m, was also a key client during 2017. The 'pragmatic and commercial' Richard Payne joined the Chelmsford office from Aquabridge in summer 2017, while associate Pieta Daglish joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

The 'very strong' Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors impresses with its 'clear advice, efficiency, personable support and high standard of work', especially for SMEs, banks and owner-managed businesses in relation to M&A, start-up matters, financing, franchising, commercial contracts, partnerships and corporate reorganisations. Recent highlights include the joint venture and operating agreement advice provided to a company in connection with a military disposals contract tender, as well as the representation of a business owner during the sale of his fishmongers to his manager. The 'professional' Mark Stigwood 'possesses strong technical knowledge and a real commercial understanding' and is 'very good at communicating legal matters in a pain-free way'. Jonathan Clarke and Leanne Philps make up the rest of the team.

The corporate and commercial practice of BTMK Solicitors covers transactional, commercial contract and joint venture agreement matters for its SME and private client base, especially in relation to the property, healthcare and leisure sectors. Lee Emptage advised Springfield Holdings on its £4.25m share purchase acquisition of a care home. Another highlight was the representation of Sigma Dental during the sale of a dental practice for £1m. Road safety scheme provider NDORS and boxer Conor Benn also received commercial advice. The team in Southend-on-Sea further consists of partners Ian Powell and Sean Callaghan.

The 'excellent' corporate department at Palmers is recommended for its 'high level of expertise, consistent knowledge and response times, as well as its business-like approach'. The education, leisure, technology and engineering industries remain a strong focus within the practice's M&A, restructuring, commercial contract and investment work. Recent highlights include advising a global group of companies on the reorganisation of its UK businesses via a transfer of assets and liabilities, as well as the incorporation of new group companies from a multi-jurisdictional perspective. The team also represented an estate agent in a matter regarding the regulatory data protection requirements for its online terms and conditions. The 'proficient and approachable' Matthew Johnson stands out for his business contract work. Partner BJ Chong leads the practice from Thurrock, as the previous head of department, Matthew Poli, left for iLaw in London.

The corporate team of Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP handles business transactions, start-up matters, commercial contracts, and franchise and licensing work, as well as financings and restructurings. An ongoing highlight is the commercial contract advice provided to a pharmaceutical company, involving trusts, suppliers and public procurement proceedings. Mark Deans in Billericay, as well as Wendy Cole and Fiona Colwell in Westcliff-on-Sea, make up the core team of partners.

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