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  1. Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the West Midlands
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George Green LLP offers a ‘large-firm service at regional rates’ and covers the full spectrum of corporate and commercial matters, including private equity, cross-border transactions and IPOs. ‘Leader in the fieldGuy Green advised oMbiel on its sale to Ex Libris, while Paul Bennett assisted new client Olive Communications with an equity investment from the Business Growth Fund.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has the ‘correct level of expertise in the business to cover all requests’. Arpinder Dhillon focuses on transactional work, particularly in the healthcare sector, and the ‘pragmatic’ Alison Scott has strong cross-border expertise and assisted key client E J Group with its acquisition of a group of companies based in Ireland and Australia. The highly rated Rod Thomas heads the team.

Higgs & Sons’ ‘proactive, knowledgeable and solution-focused’ team was involved in a number of high-value transactions, including advising CPBigwood Group on its sale to Shepherds Director, and acting for the shareholders of Estate Technical Solutions in the disposal of the entire issued share capital to a division of Daily Mail General Trust. Department head Nick Taylor and Richard Griffiths are recommended.

Robert Lee’s five-partner team at Wright Hassall LLP was busy on a number of cross-border matters, including joint ventures in Brazil and Australia, and acquisitions in Canada, Australia and the US. In the local market, Steve Halkett advised Mask-arade on its sale to Rubie’s Masquerade Company. Commercial specialist Lindsay Ellis handles a broad range of technology procurements and outsourcings.

Ansons Solicitors Ltd’s ‘capable and professional’ team has ‘built a strong reputation within the pharmacy sector’ and is also active on cross-border mandates; in a recent example the team advised Avril Group on its acquisition of The Kerfoot Group. Hilary D’Cruz provides ‘strong leadership’, and newly promoted partner Neil Jones is ‘attentive. Senior associate Julian Milan joined from Sydney Mitchell LLP.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP’s team, led by James Sage, has increased its sector focus, with further development in the manufacturing, agricultural, renewables and construction sectors. Key players are Kam Johal, whose clients include Newell Palmer Group, and Shrewsbury-based Stuart Rea, who advises landed estate and agri-business clients on a range of business and company law issues.

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited’s recent work includes acting for Vale Brothers on its purchase of E Jeffries, and advising the management team of Arthur M Griffiths & Son on its buyout of the company from the Griffiths family. Colin Rodrigues has a ‘strong reputation’.

Knights Professional Services Limited’s rapidly growing practice was further enhanced by the hire of commercial specialist Peter Manford from an in-house role. Other names to note are Jonathan Tyson, who has particular expertise in the healthcare and childcare sectors, and head of department David Beech, who has strength in private equity transactions.

Beswicks Legal reported an increase in transactional activity, with Peter Ellis active on a number of matters, including advising Stormking Plastics on its sale to Epwin Group. Nick Phillips heads the team and focuses on commercial contracts work for clients such as Wrights Pies.

Gráinne Walters now heads the practice at Lanyon Bowdler following Richard Murrall’s departure to Sharman Law LLP. Walters, who wins praise for her ‘very strong empathy and good, clear advice’, advised the management team of The Recycling Group in connection with AO World’s investment in the company. Commercial specialist Ruth James has an ‘excellent appreciation of complex business issues and risks’.

Andrew Smith leads Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice and was once again active on various cross-border matters, including advising the shareholders of Oxalis Group on the sale of the company to Eaton.

Thomas Horton LLP has been active on deals across various sectors, including manufacturing, retail, advertising and logistics. The ‘very pragmatic’ Jeff Taylor heads the team and acted for Agility Group in its acquisition of RSP Safety Services.

The ‘approachable and collaborativeGareth Burge leads the team at Thursfields Solicitors, where recent highlights include advising CFI Group on the acquisition of Concept Furniture International. Consultant Stuart Price focuses on commercial work.

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Legal Developments in West Midlands for Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the West Midlands

  • US rules regarding offshore accounts

    The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act 2010, enacted on 18 March 2010, imposes a new US withholding tax and reporting regime, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The FATCA regime applies generally to payments made after 31 December 2012, except on obligations (to be defined in future guidance) outstanding on 18 March 2012. Substantial effort is required by foreign entities to bring their worldwide operations and policies into compliance with the FATCA rules as of the effective date.

    - Jones Day

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