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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 West > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Bristol > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP handles a high volume of complex corporate transactions, and is able to leverage its 'best-friends' network of overseas firms in matters with cross-border elements. The team acts for high-profile clients across a number of sectors, notably energy, food and beverages, hotels and leisure, and education. The team is jointly led by Richard Spink and Chris Godfrey; Spink has expertise in corporate reorganisations in the private equity space, while Godfrey has a strong track record in M&A, funds work and IPOs. Jonathan Eves, who has been a partner since 2015, excels in complex corporate matters in the energy sector. Recently promoted director Tim Roberts specialises in M&A, with a particular focus on the leisure and tourism industry. Senior associate Alex Lloyd is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Richard Spink; Rupert Weston

Other key lawyers:Chris Godfrey, Jonathan Eves, Alex Lloyd, Tim Roberts; Nick Graves

Testimonials

'Very business and outcome focused'

'They are able to tune in incredibly quickly to the nuances of the business and provide clear and concise interpretation of complex legal documents'

'Knowledgeable, commercially-savvy lawyers who always deliver'

'Sector expertise and legal analysis are both delivered efficiently and with the highest standards of quality'

'Tim Roberts and Richard Spink both provide excellent legal support'

'Alex Lloyd and Dominic Davis are particularly helpful and knowledgeable and worked effectively in less than straightforward circumstances'

'Richard Spink is a beacon of calm and reason within many a tense negotiation'

'Tim Roberts is the safest pair of hands I have ever dealt with'

'Camille Usher-Clarke wields an inner steel that belies her client-friendly manner'

'Both Richard Spink and Tim Roberts are trustworthy, polite, approachable and offer sound advice, with excellent client engagement'

'We would particularly recommend Tim Redman'

Key Clients

The AA Group

Virgin Group

John Lewis Partnership

Hamilton Hotel Partners

FirstGroup

University of Oxford

Phillips 66

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy/UKRI

Jardine Lloyd Thompson

Downing LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the transfer of £3.5bn worth of assets from separate UK research organisations into the United Kingdom Research and Innovation body.
  • Advised Supplier Assessment Services Limited on its buy-out by Warburg Pincus from Capita.
  • Advised SCISYS on a Brexit-related restructuring to introduce a new Irish parent company.
  • Advised Yeo Valley Group on the disposal of subsidiary Yeo Valley Dairies to Arla Foods.
  • Advised Legolas Debt Holdco Limited on the recommended cash acquisition of the redeemable ordinary share capital of Albion Community Power Plc.

Osborne Clarke has a first-rate reputation in public and private corporate M&A, private equity and venture capital. Digital business, energy and corporate real estate have been dominant areas of sector activity for the firm recently. A significant portion of the firm's work has a cross-border dimension, which sees the Bristol team work closely with practitioners across the firm's network of offices, as well as handling matters on a standalone basis. Alisdair Livingstone, who leads the private equity practice, also frequently acts on high-end corporate M&A deals. Simon Jones is particularly experienced in the investment market, and works with venture capital funds and angel investors.

Practice head(s):David Ferris

Other key lawyers:Alisdair Livingstone; Simon Jones; Conrad Davies

Testimonials

'Osborne Clark deserves to be in tier one'

Key Clients

Lloyds Development Capital

M&G Real Estate

Computershare

Synova

Foresight

A-Gas

London & Country

Hargreaves Lansdown

Mulberry

Round Hill Capital

Mitie

John Laing

Work highlights

  • Represented Computershare in its €354.5m acquisition of Equatex.
  • Advised the shareholders of Cloud Savings Company (CSC) on CSC's $65m acquisition by GroupOn
  • Assisted YFM Equity Partners with its investment in Eikon Group Limited for further international expansion.
  • Advised QinetiQ Holdings Limited on its acquisition of 85% of the shares in Inzpire Group Limited, valued at £23.5m, with the option to acquire the remaining 15%.
  • Advised the shareholders and management team on the MBO of Corin.

TLT fields specialist corporate and commercial groups, which are led by John Wood and Perran Jervis respectively, and generate work from national and international clients. The firm acts for clients in a number of key sectors, such as energy and renewables, financial services, leisure and TMT, among others. Woods has led the corporate team on matters such as private equity investments and corporate restructurings. Jervis, who has notable experience of the retail and consumer goods sector, has led the advice to clients on commercial contracts, collaboration agreements, franchising and international development.

Practice head(s):John Wood; Perran Jervis

Other key lawyers:Alice Gardner; Andrew Webber; James Webb

Testimonials

'Perran Jervis is an outstanding commercial lawyer.'

Key Clients

Savills plc

WHSmith plc

Mobile Windscreens

LDC

Boohoo.com

Endomag

Plantforce

JD Sports

Stirling Dynamics

Molson Construction

Sainsbury's Plc

JD Sports plc

WHSmith plc

Imperial Brands plc

BGL Group plc

Greene King plc

Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

Teleperformance

French Connection plc

Elavon Financial Services

Zopa

Close Brothers

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Bohoo.com

Learndirect

Crown Commercial Service

HM Treasury

Work highlights

  • Advised WHSmith on the acquisition of Cult Pens
  • Advised Examworks UK Limited on its acquisition of the Kinderstons Group
  • Advised Francis Flower on its sale to Swedish state-owned LKAB Minerals.
  • Advised the majority stakeholder in Stirling Dynamics on its sale to Assystem Technologies.
  • Acted for Lorient Group on its acquisition by West Midlands-headquartered ASSA Abloy UK.

Ashfords LLP has built up strong global client relationships via its membership of ADVOC, an international network of independent law firms, and other international connections. Its corporate and commercial practice is frequently involved in cross-border transactions. The team also has a strong reputation nationally, and its other work includes IPOs, restructurings, venture capital transactions and corporate governance advice. Practice head Andrew Betteridge has a strong track record advising clients on share purchases and investments.

Practice head(s):Andrew Betteridge

Other key lawyers:Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett;

Testimonials

'Technically strong team with a commercial and creative edge'

'Andrew Betteridge approaches legal work with a creative mindset'

'Andrew doesn't just fulfill instructions, but also proposes alternatives where appropriate'

Key Clients

Frog Capital

BGF

Notion Capital

Marie Hewitt Interiors Ltd

Armada Civil Engineering (SW) Limited

Hello Fresh

Samworth Brothers Limited

Draper Esprit

eMoov

Creditcall Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a trio of venture capital funds (Notion Capital, Eden Ventures and BGF) on the $350m sale of NewVoiceMedia to Vonage.
  • Acting for venture capital clients (Holtzbrinck Ventures, Frog Capital and Notion Capital) on the sale of Dealflo Limited to VASCO Data Security Inc.
  • Advised eMoov on the purchase of Urban Sales and Lettings Limited as part of a wider merger with Teplio.
  • Acted for Eden Ventures Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Mobileum UK to Mobileum US.

Clarke Willmott LLP advises mid-market corporate clients on their serial acquisition strategies, and also handles venture capital and private equity-backed transactions for management teams and investors. Cross-border transactions are an area of growth of the practice, with the firm advising clients on the UK aspects. Simon Thomas, who heads up the corporate team, provides corporate M&A, private equity and AIM advice.

Practice head(s):Simon Thomas

Other key lawyers:Simon Smith; Robert Ridd

Testimonials

'Very efficient and true to their word'

'Robert Ridd was very pleasant, easy to deal with and supportive throughout the deal'

Key Clients

Goonvean Holdings Limited

Addnode Group AB

DSI International Luxembourg Sarl

Eduko Education Limited

Talent International UK Limited

Prysm Media Group Limited

Thames Card Technology Limited

Applus Services

Altitude Partners LLP

Munters Group AB

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders of Herring Shoes Limited on the sale of the company to Pavers Holdings Limited.
  • Advised the shareholders of Powervamp Limited on the sale of the company to TLD Group SAS
  • Advised Addnode Group AB on the acquisition of Strategic Simulation & Analysis Limited.
  • Acted for Eduko Education Limited on the acquisition of a group of six nurseries and a Montessori Nursery.
  • Advised Munters Group AB on the acquisition of Humi-Tech Services Limited.

DAC Beachcroft LLP acts for clients on corporate M&A, restructurings and fundraising for IPOs. Work with a nexus to the energy and infrastructure sector is an area of focus, with the firm advising clients on commercial contracts and corporate strategies. John Williams leads the team.

Practice head(s):John Williams

Corporate and commercial boutique Roxburgh Milkins Limited acts for clients ranging from start-ups to well-established companies on corporate transactions and commercial contracts matters. The bulk of its work involves assisting mid-market companies with M&A transactions and handling investments (including fundraising) for early-stage growth businesses. This experience is channeled along sector lines, namely technology, financial services, education, transport and leisure.

Practice head(s):Bruce Roxburgh

Other key lawyers:Charles van der Lande; Jason Milkins; Richard Hopkins; Laura Guest

Testimonials

'The firm is set apart due to its practical approach to advising clients and ensuring the clients' best interests are always at heart'

'Professional, friendly with excellent levels of service and advice'

'Approachable, provide common sense and do not unnecessarily complicate matters'

Key Clients

GL Education Group

Blu Wireless

MyLife Digital

Premier Veterinary Group

WCBS (West Country Business Systems)

Peak-Ryzex

Qualasept

Financière Mademoiselle Desserts

Rebellion Developments

Curtis Banks Plc

Vysiion

CEPS Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Solar Communications Limited on its acquisition by Wavenet Group.
  • Advised Metcalfes Solicitors on its £2m sale to Gordon Dadds.
  • Acted for Aspira on its sale of total share capital to LEBC for £5m.
  • Advised the owners of Buenos Aires Restaurants on the merger with Koh Thai, forming High Road Restaurants.
  • Assisted DareDevil [Duel] with its latest funding round to raise capital for further business expansion.

VWV has a strong presence in the South West region, and its corporate team regularly advises local owner-managed businesses, entrepreneurs and family-run companies. In addition to providing day-to-day advice, the commercial group advises clients on long-term contracts. Both the corporate and commercial practices are heavily involved in the education and technology sectors; the latter sector, in particular, is a notable area of growth, with a number of start-ups and scale-ups turning to the firm for advice. Robert Collier, who heads up the corporate team, has extensive experience of the M&A and venture capital market. Commercial group head Doug Locke works closely with the intellectual property and technology teams. senior associate Jacob Scott, who is a recent hire, is a specialist in IT commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):Robert Collier; Doug Locke

Other key lawyers:Ed Rimmell; Nathan Guest

Testimonials

'Team are very experienced in working with early stage companies in the life science sector, and clearly demonstrated this'

'The firm has a lot of connections which speeds up negotiations processes'

'Support was always available and the team were very helpful'

'I was particularly impressed by the guidance they offered, and what was important to the company's future'

'We've seen them a fair bit more in the market recently'

Key Clients

Bellevue Education

Port of Ramsgate

Essilor International

ULC Robotics

University of Bristol

Hills Waste Solutions

Starpick

KETS Quantum Security Limited

SWR

United Learning

enModus

Inovo Robotics

Work highlights

  • Advised the Port of Ramsgate on its commercial arrangements with Seaborne Freight (UK) Limited and the Department of Transport in relation to the establishment of a new scheduled freight ferry service.
  • Represented the shareholders of Bellevue Education International Limited in relation to the multi-million pound sale of the company to GEMS.
  • Acted for United Church Schools Trust on the sale of Bournemouth Collegiate to Bright Scholar.
  • Acted for Inovo Robotics Limited on a substantial venture capital investment by the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund.
  • Advising Hill Waste Solutions Limited on the development of an 'Energy from Waste' facility adjacent to a preexisting client waste facility.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a particularly strong profile in the energy sector, particularly in the oil and gas space, where it undertakes domestic and cross-border corporate transactions.  In addition, the team attracts a steady flow of private equity mandates, and also handles corporate deals in areas such as real estate and insurance. Simon Hewes leads the team.

Practice head(s):Simon Hewes

Other key lawyers:Tom Fitzpatrick

Testimonials

'Always there when you need them, and top quality advice through complex transactions'

'Personable team who are open to thinking differently'

'Knowledgeable, client-focused, approachable, can-do attitude'

'Simon Hewes is very experienced, and no problem is too big or too small'

Key Clients

Vitol Group (Vitol SA)

Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Limited

Third Energy Holdings Limited

OVO Energy Limited

RWE Npower

Piper PE LLP

Hilco Capital

Rockpool Investments LLP

Puma Investments

Moorfield Real Estate

Willis Towers Watson plc

Arch Insurance

Canopius Managing Agents Limited

Kingsbridge Risk Solutions Limited

Airsprung Group plc

Banner Limited

Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Countrywide Farmers Plc on the sale of its LPG distribution business to Flogas.
  • Advised the management team of Martin Audio on its MBO from Loud Audio and £12m investment by Lloyds Development Capital.
  • Acted for Banner Limited on its acquisition of F.R. Monkhouse Limited, including its retail stores.
  • Advised Third Energy Holdings Limited on the sale of its subsidiary company to Anglo-Dutch Hague and London Oil Plc.
  • Acted for Rockpool Investments Limited on its investment into TrustedHousesitters, and acquisition of a minority stake in the business.

Foot Anstey advises national and international clients on corporate M&A, private equity transactions and fundraising. It demonstrates strong capabilities advising mid-market businesses from across the UK on cross-border transactions. On the commercial side, the team has undergone significant expansion with the arrival of a number of new lawyers, including managing associate Annalisa Checchi and senior associate Helen Mouser (both from in-house positions). Another notable hire is Mark Millar, who heads up the commercial side of the practice, while Chris Worrell leads the corporate practice. Emily Settle works closely with corporate and private equity clients to advise on complex M&A transactions and corporate development.

Practice head(s):Chris Worrell; Mark Millar

Other key lawyers:Emily Settle; Tim Young; Jonathan Oddy

Key Clients

Business Growth Fund Investments LP

South Staffordshire plc

Ministry of Sound

Gregory Distribution (Holdings) Limited

Trainline

Pennon Group

The Royal Shakespeare Company

Work highlights

  • Supporting the internal legal team on a broad range of matters including procurement, regulation issues and commercial contracts.
  • Supported the client on a number of strategic projects and product diversification.
  • Advising the client on investments into Seasalt Holdings Limited for expansion.
  • Act as general counsel to the client, advising the board on strategic risks, events contracts, music licensing and marketing initiatives.
  • Represented the client in its acquisition of ARRC Holdings Limited and subsidiary ARR Craib Transport Limited.

Gregg Latchams LLP focuses on group restructurings, joint venture agreements, investments and corporate M&A. Paul Hardman leads the international side of the corporate team, and is highly experienced in M&A in the manufacturing and supply chain sectors (notably in relation to advanced and precision engineering and aerospace). Marti Burgess heads up the firm's corporate SME team, which is particularly active in the food, drink and hospitality sectors, as well as the wider SME market in the South West. Senior associate Edward Boal, who is head of the commercial team, works closely with the firm's IP and media practice.

Practice head(s):Paul Hardman

Other key lawyers:Marti Burgess; Edward Boal; Ben Harris

Testimonials

'Responsive and helpful'

'Very strong in the company commercial field'

'Expert advice provided quickly, good value and easy to work with'

Key Clients

Argoco Holdings Limited

Yellowdog Limited

University of Bristol

Audiogum UK Limited

Shuropody Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the management and owners of a third of SGS Gases on acquisition of the remaining two-thirds using loan capital and deferred consideration.
  • Assisted the client in a de-merger of the group to split up family interests over four years.
  • Acted for the owner and management as part of a distressed restructuring and refinancing of the group.
  • Represented exiting shareholder who held 50% of the company assets and shares, and also with establishment of a new business.

Thrings LLP undertakes mid-market M&A, equity investments, joint venture arrangements, restructuring and corporate governance compliance. The team's industry expertise spans the retail, technology, education, medical and food and beverages sectors. Elaine Meyrick has experience of leading on several high-profile investments and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):Elaine Meyrick

Other key lawyers:Brett Lambe

Key Clients

Stonebridge Colleges

Learndirect Limited

London House Exchange t/a Property Partner

Truespeed Communications

Awareness Technologies

Platinum Motor Group

Anthony Best Dynamics

Visu Verum

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on its acquisition of the Learndirect group of companies.
  • The team acted as lead advisor on the acquisition of a property-based SV owned by Gama Properties, as part of a new strategic partnership between the client and Gama Properties.

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