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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Index of tables

  1. Education
  2. Leading individuals

Browne Jacobson LLP handles work on behalf of schools, academies and education trusts. Mark Blois heads the national team, and the ‘outstanding and difficult to over-praiseNick MacKenzie leads the Birmingham practice. Helen Badger is recommended.

Nick Abbott leads the ‘outstanding, responsive and focusedMills & Reeve LLP team, which is experienced in working with schools, academies, and further education and higher education clients. Notable work in 2015 included assisting Birmingham City University in the £82m development of student apartments, and assisting Coventry University with a £73m project to convert an iconic building into student accommodation. Jayne Hussey joined from Pinsent Masons LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for key clients in the HE sector, including the LSE, University of London and University College London. Gayle Ditchburn was made up to partner, and corporate restructuring specialist Amy Flavell was recruited from Squire Patton Boggs, while Jayne Hussey moved to Mills & Reeve LLP. Nicola Hart is practice head.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has ‘an in-depth understanding of the sector’. Recent highlights involve advising a number of FE institutions on mergers. As well as this, the practice continues to represent respected clients in the HE sector. Smita Jamdar heads the practice, and Joanna Forbes is recommended. Jane Byford and Clive Read both left for Veale Wasbrough Vizards, while Ruth Phillips joined from Mills & Reeve LLP.

Notable work for Bevan Brittan LLP included advising Bristol City Council on its infrastructural school building programmes, which was led by practice head Andrew Tobin. Another key contact is David Hutton.

Diane Gilhooley is the head of Eversheds LLP’s national and international education practice. The team has a large client base in the FE and HE sectors. A notable highlight for the practice was assisting Loughborough University with a number of IP matters.

The team at Gowling WLG is headed by Mark Greenburgh and also includes John Cooper. A recent highlight was acting for awards and qualifications body Ofqual, in a challenge brought by 150 schools to overturn GCSE grades.

Irwin Mitchell’s team acts for schools, trusts and colleges, with a strong focus on HR issues. A recent highlight was representing a Wolverhampton school in appealing a warning notice issued by Ofsted relating to its budget. Key contacts are Surinder Dhillon and Laurence Gavin.

Lanyon Bowdler’s team has particular expertise in relation to academy conversion, HR matters and governance. David Brammer joined from Shakespeare Martineau LLP, while Christopher Piggott moved to MFG Solicitors LLP.

Veale Wasbrough Vizards’ practice was strengthened through the hires of Jane Byford and Clive Read from Shakespeare Martineau LLP and employment specialist Kathy Halliday from DWF. Recent panel wins include University of Leicester, the Royal College of Music and Grantham Preparatory International School.


Index of tables

  1. Health
  2. Leading individuals

Browne Jacobson LLP’s clients include Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England and NHS Leicester City CCG. A recent highlight was acting for Raphael Healthcare in a refinancing matter. Jonathan Hayden heads the practice, while Neil Ward heads up the inquest practice.

The lawyers in Capsticks LLP team ‘are second to none’, and have recently advised a large number of healthcare providers and NHS trusts on the new inspection and enforcement regime conducted by the Care Quality Commission. Tracey Lucas is ‘an extremely effective clinical lawyer and provides high-quality advocacy at inquests’. Jacqui Atkinson is also recommended.

Recent highlights for Mills & Reeve LLP included advising Tenet Healthcare on its £144m acquisition of Aspen Healthcare, a private hospital operator, and assisting 13 national CCGs in relation to Better Care Fund Plans and the drafting of partnership agreements. Rhian Vandrill joined the team from Gowling WLG. Jill Mason is head of the Birmingham team and is recommended.

Weightmans LLP provides ‘a high level of customer focus’, according to one source, who also commends Tony Yeaman for his ‘knowledge of the local healthcare economy’, which is said to be ‘second to none.’ Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust are longstanding clients. Deborah Bannister and Jasmine Armstrong are recommended.

Sharon Renouf heads the team at Bevan Brittan LLP, which grew recently through the hires of Michael Boyd and Ashley Norman from DWF, and Richard Lane from Hugh James. A recent highlight was advising University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust on the legal aspects of its 100,000 Genomes Project. Other clients include NHS Property Services, NHS Litigation Authority and the Department of Health.

Longstanding clients of Pinsent Masons LLP include Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and the Department of Health. The team also recently advised Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust on the first healthcare PF2 project. Joanne Ellis heads the team, which recently welcomed Moad Giebaly from Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team is headed by Fahmida Ismail and also includes key individual Tony Harris. The practice has a particular strength in assisting sole practitioners and GPs.

Local government

Bevan Brittan LLP’s team grew with the hires of Judith Barnes from DAC Beachcroft LLP, Frances Woodhead from Eversheds LLP and Hugo Stephens from DWF. The team represented the Local Government Association and 368 local authorities in litigation brought by two groups of property search companies regarding historic levies charged. David Hutton heads the department.

Didar Dhillon heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice, which handles work for local authorities across the country. Recent highlights include acting for Coventry City Council in selecting a development partner as part of its £300m city centre redevelopment scheme, and advising Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council on a low-carbon energy business hub in the Liverpool City Region. Emma Lloyd joined from Staffordshire County Council.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP works with local authorities on a wide range of matters. The team acted for Salford City Council in a significant stock transfer agreement with Salix Homes. Head of department Mark Cook led the team that advised Cheshire West and Chester Council on the procurement of a customer services partner. Jon Coane joined from Bevan Brittan LLP.

Key contacts in Gowling WLG’s team are head of department Mark Greenburgh and Sarah Sasse. Clients include Ealing Council, Birmingham City Council and Sanctuary Housing Association.

Weightmans LLP recently advised Walsall Council, Cheshire East Council and Stoke on Trent City Council on strategic partnerships. Zo Hoida and Chris Webb-Jenkins arrived from DWF and Browne Jacobson LLP, respectively. Liverpool-based Simon Goacher is the department head.

Particular strengths of DAC Beachcroft LLP are outsourcing, IT and capital projects. Martin Cannon is head of the practice. A recent highlight was advising Blackpool Metropolitan Borough Council on the £30m refinancing of a PFI street lighting project.

Manchester-based Michael Mousdale is head of DWF’s practice, which advises on joint ventures, social housing, state aid, PFI projects and commercial contracts. Caroline Coates is also recommended.

Huw Rolant-Jones heads the team at Eversheds LLP, which acts for Transport for London, City of Sunderland Council and Birmingham City Council. Recent recruits include Clare Whitaker from Clyde & Co LLP, Shaun Jamieson from Cardiff City Council and Mukhtiar Tanda from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Meanwhile, Frances Woodhead joined Bevan Brittan LLP.

Freeths’ team advises on a number of areas within the public services sphere, including employment, housing and regeneration. Nathan Holden heads the local government practice, which also includes Lee Clifford.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s team has particular strengths in PPP/PFI infrastructure projects, regeneration and devolution issues. Amardeep Gill heads the department, which recently recruited solicitor Samantha Minchin from BLM.

BLM’s clients include six authorities in London, as well as prominent local government bodies in the Midlands. Practice head Henry Bermingham and Jagdeep Hayre are recommended.

Emma Banister Dean heads the team at Knights Professional Services Limited, which specialises in HR issues, funding projects and PPP.

Anna O’Meara, who heads the team at Squire Patton Boggs, is well respected for her work in large-scale regeneration projects. The team advises on real estate, infrastructure projects and urban planning, and counts Birmingham City Council, Orbit Homes, Wolverhampton City Council and The Land Trust among its client list.

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