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Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘superb and immediately responsive’ team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP stands out for its private equity expertise as well as its strength in M&A and financial services matters. Private equity specialist Yunus Seedat leads the practice, which recently acted for NorthEdge Capital in the MBO of Sumo Digital. The ‘excellentGarry Elliott acted with Seedat in assisting Muller with its acquisition of Dairy Crest. Other notable members include Neil Woolhouse and Mark Hallam, who focus on financial services transactions, and Tim Wheldon.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s multi-jurisdictional practice advised Marriott International on several commercial transactions. Other global clients include Etihad Airways and Sun Capital. On the domestic front, the practice acted for Severfield plc on its acquisition of shares in Composite Metal Flooring, and advised the Wellcome Trust on its acquisition of Premier Marinas from Blackrock. Jonathan Procter and Matthew Duncombe lead the corporate and commercial teams, respectively. John Gallon and Wendy Harrison are also recommended.

Robin Skelton leads the ‘excellent’ department at Eversheds LLP, which is ‘among the best in the region’ for M&A and private equity deals. The practice recently advised Euro Garages on TDR Capital’s £1.3bn equity investment into the company. Amanda Partland (who is noted for her ‘sound advice’) specialises in significant M&A transactions and is recommended alongside Alison Starr, ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ energy specialist Charles Reynard, and commercial expert Peter McCormack.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s department is jointly led by Andrew Kerr and Martin Priestley, who specialise in corporate and commercial matters, respectively. Kerr recently led advice to Drax Power on its £6m acquisition of a wood pellet supply company, and assisted Exertis UK with its £22m acquisition of Janson Computers. In an illustration of the firm’s private equity experience, Peter Wood recently led advice to LDC Internal on the MBO of Seabrook Crisps. Stuart Boath joined the team from Shulmans, while Philip Goldsborough and Richard Watkinson joined Irwin Mitchell and DAC Beachcroft LLP, respectively.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘excellent’ team ‘always provides a first-class service and is very proactive’. The ‘highly experienced and hardworkingSteven Glover and Manchester-based Jane Haxby lead the practice, which is noted for its private equity expertise. Richard Hunt recently advised Poundworld on TPG’s £150m acquisition of a majority stake in the company. Jonathan Jones recently led advice to the shareholders of FMG on an MBO.

Walker Morris LLP’s ‘good, trusted and experienced’ six-partner department is led by the ‘pragmatic, straightforward and solutions-driven’ John Hamer, and was strengthened in 2015 by the arrival of Daniel O’Gorman from DWF, who led advice to Bufab on its SEK310m acquisition of Apex Stainless Holdings. Other clients include Seabrook Crisps, Renew Holdings and Custodian REIT. Paul Emmett, Richard Naish, managing partner Ian Gilbert and Debbie Jackson are also recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘practically faultless’ practice was joined in 2015 by the ‘astute and professionalSimon Pilling and his team from Gordons LLP. The practice is particularly strong in the chemicals sector; Nigel Williams acted for Sembcorp on its disposal of Bournemouth Water to Pennon Group. Alistair Scott-Somers leads the team.

Philip Goldsborough leads the team at Irwin Mitchell; he joined from Pinsent Masons LLP and led advice to SIG on its acquisition of the Ainsworth Group. James Foster made partner in 2015 and is noted for his M&A and private equity expertise. Joanne Bone is the key name on the commercial side. Simon Cuerden and Paul Johnson left to join Genus Law and Mills & Reeve LLP, respectively.

Richard Moran leads the corporate department at Clarion; he recently advised the owners of Hesco on its sale to Betafence Corporate Services, and assisted Gareth Frankland on the sale of a majority stake in SC/DC Holdings Limited. Matthew Hattersley leads the commercial practice, which recently recruited David Cunningham from Bond Dickinson LLP. The team is prominent in the digital and manufacturing sectors, where it acts for clients including Stickyeyes, MyCSP and the Intermarketing Group.

In an illustration of DWF’s strong real estate sector focus, practice head Lester Wilson recently assisted Countrywide with several acquisitions totalling £40m. The firm also has notable private equity experience, and the team regularly acts for Bellpenny, which is backed by private equity firm Oaktree Capital. David Armitage joined Gateley Plc, Daniel O’Gorman joined Walker Morris LLP and Guy Jackson and Robin Steel left for in-house roles.

Gateley Plc focuses primarily on M&A transactions, often with a wider national or international element; recent examples include advising Daiwa Kasei on the reorganisation of its corporate group, and assisting Astley Baker Davies with its sale of a controlling stake in the Peppa Pig brand to eOne. Nicholas Emmerson jointly heads the practice with David Armitage, who recently joined the firm from DWF.

James Fawcett leads the team at Gordons LLP, which continues to have notable strength in the retail and motor sectors; clients include The Works and Armstrong Massey. Recent highlights include advising Inspiration Healthcare on a reverse takeover by Inditherm, and assisting local client Adare Group with the sale of one of its subsidiaries to Americk Packaging. Jonathan Asquez and John Holden are recommended. Simon Pilling and his team joined Bond Dickinson LLP.

Andrew Lindsay leads the practice at ‘solid regional firmLupton Fawcett Denison Till, which ‘provides excellent service, and always works hard to support its clients’. Leeds-based partner Giles Clegg recently led advice to York Mailing Group on an MBO, and assisted Hand Picked Hotels with the sale of the Priest House Hotel. The firm also has corporate strength in its York office; Martin Frostbrings a personal touch and understands his clients very well’.

Schofield Sweeney’s key team members include founding partners Chris Schofield and Martin Sweeney, and David Strachan; Strachan advised Hempel Special Metals Holdings on the sale of the share capital of Hempel Wire to Central Wire Industries. Luisa D’Alessandro leads on commercial matters, where the department is notably strong in the technology sector. Chris Blantern joined from LCF Law.

The ‘excellent and upstanding practice’ at Shulmans is led by Marcus Armstrong, whose expertise spans health and social care. The team has additional strengths in the pharmaceutical, financial services and chemical sectors. Also recommended are Andrew Bradley, who has ‘a great depth of knowledge’, Christian Peace, Emma Greenwood and Mark Lumley, who leads the commercial practice.

Harrowells Solicitors focuses on owner-managed businesses, particularly in the agricultural, medical and food sectors; the team recently advised Agroisolab UK on a joint venture agreement with German shareholders. Philip Lewis Ogden is the key corporate name, and Susie Mortonson is recommended for commercial matters.

Susan Clark leads the corporate practice at LCF Law, which advises owner-managed businesses and has significant health-sector experience, including niche specialisms in acting for GP practices and dental practitioners. James Sarjantson is recommended for commercial issues, and Thomas Coates is noted for his dental law expertise.

Langleys Solicitors LLP’s team focuses predominantly on M&A matters; the department recently acted for Pennock & Ivory on the sale of Amber Cars to Veezu Holdings, and advised Hassani Trading Company on its acquisition of the home baking and desserts division of Green’s, Borwicks and Pearce Duff. Christian Hunt leads the practice.

Ward Hadaway is noted for its ‘fantastic commercial approach’. Philip Jordan leads the practice and has significant strength in the manufacturing, steel and energy sectors. Gavin Maddison is also recommended. Clients include Tadano, Gentoo Group, Smartech UK and Communisis.


Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

The team at DLA Piper UK LLP is led by Richard May and Roger Gough on the corporate and commercial sides, respectively, and has had an active year in M&A mandates at local, national and international levels. Rob McKie acted for Lloyds Pharmacy on its £125m conditional acquisition of the in-house and hospital pharmacy businesses of Sainsbury’s. Other clients include Zilkha Biomass, AvantiGas and The Miller Group. The department also handles equity capital markets work, and has expertise in the manufacturing, healthcare and mining sectors. Jon Kenworthy moved to the firm’s London office.

HLW Keeble Hawson focuses primarily on M&A and corporate transactions for regional clients including Pressure Technologies, ELG Haniel Metals and Ekspan. Nick Goulding led advice to the shareholders of Acorn Industrial Services Group on the sale of its issued share capital to AX Industries, and advised Yorkshire Repak’s shareholders in an MBO. Roger Dyson leads the practice, which includes managing partner Paul Trudgill.

The ‘excellent’ team at Irwin Mitchellworks to a consistently high standard’ and ‘makes the customer feel valued and important’. Highlights included advising MAM Software Group on its acquisition of Origin Software Solutions. The ‘extremely responsiveMatt Ainsworth acted for the shareholders of JB Kind on an MBO. Laurence Gavin is recommended for commercial mandates. Andrea Cropley joined Squire Patton Boggs's Manchester office in May 2017.

Nabarro LLP has ‘a focused team that provides a level of responsiveness and attention to detail that always beats expectations’. Ben Hendry leads the practice and has significant experience in the technology sector; the firm is also strong in infrastructure, healthcare and real estate matters. Gareth Saynor led advice to the seller on the sale of Octavian Continental to CE Facilities Services.

The ‘professional, thorough and approachable’ team at Bell & Buxton provides ‘quality legal advice, while maintaining a friendly approach’. Led by the ‘meticulous’ Alex Ross, the department recently gained strength on the commercial side in Emma Digby, who joined the practice following the firm’s merger with CLL Solicitors in 2015. Richard Morton is also recommended.

Freeths’ corporate team was established in 2015 following the arrival of Peter Crawford and solicitor Lisa Wallis from Taylor & Emmet LLP. Clients include The Floow Limited, SCX Limited and Arkote Limited, which the firm recently advised on its acquisition of the issued share capital of Hardy UK.

Taylor & Emmet LLP’s practice is led by Neil Large following Peter Crawford’s departure to Freeths. Large joined the firm in 2015, and recently acted for Accent Wire Group on its acquisition of Penistone Wire.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited has a strong regional M&A workload; highlights for John Baddeley included advising the management team of Red Industries on an MBO, and assisting Spencer Coatings Group with its acquisition of the Independent Coatings Group. Duncan Shepherd leads the ‘highly competent’ practice.


Corporate and commercial: Hull and East Yorkshire

Andrew Funnell leads the practice at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP, which acts for clients in the food and dairy sector including Arla Foods and Heron Food Group, and also handles renewable energy matters. Highlights for Funnell included advising the shareholders of Premier Galvanizing on a share disposal. Managing partner Mark Pearson-Kendall assisted Arco with its acquisition of Confined Spaces Training Services.

The ‘impressive’ five-partner team at Gosschalks is ‘efficient, commercially minded and provides realistic advice in a responsive manner’. Nigel Beckwith leads the department, which includes Paul Plaxton, who is ‘a polished professional’ with ‘a deep understanding of his clients’, and Andrew Tarbutt, who is ‘commercial and dynamic’. Recent highlights include work for house building clients, caravan manufacturers, and in the motor trade and retail sectors.

Rollits LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice remains strong in a number of sectors, assisting clients in the food, renewables, education and charity sectors as well as focusing on owner-managed businesses. Richard Field, who ‘gives sound and balanced advice’, assisted Grayrentals with the sale of its shares to Hong Kong Aviation Group. Other clients include Cranswick, Hull City Tigers and William Jackson Food Group. Steve Trynka leads the team, which includes tax specialist Nasim Sharf.


Corporate tax

Index of tables

  1. Corporate tax
  2. Leading individuals

The ‘technically strong and very commercialMichael Hunter (who is based in Manchester) leads the department at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, which provides ‘straightforward advice’ on standalone tax issues as well as on tax issues related to wider corporate and real estate matters. National practice head Justine Delroy, who ‘rises to all challenges’, specialises in private equity transactions and advised Lloyds Development Capital and Scottish Equity Partners on the tax elements of its secondary buyout of SSP Group from Hellman & Friedman LLC.

Eversheds LLP’s Leeds-based tax practice has notable strength in VAT issues and renewable energy fund structures, and also provides transactional support to the corporate, real estate and employment teams. Practice head David Jervis is head of the national and international tax group, and recently advised Parker Hannifin on the tax issues relating to its acquisition of President Engineering Group. Principal associate David Smith is also recommended.

John Christian leads the practice at Pinsent Masons LLP, which has strength across a variety of sectors including real estate, education and private equity. Christian recently advised Northgate on its disposal of Northgate Public Services to Cinven. Other clients include DCC plc, Mayfair Capital Investment Management and United Drug Group. Legal director Suzannah Crookes is recognised for her tax expertise related to share plans and incentives.

Squire Patton Boggs’ three-partner team has significant cross-border capabilities. Recent highlights include advising FORE Advisors on the tax elements of several property deals, and assisting the Six Degrees Group on a secondary buyout. Mark Simpson leads the practice, which includes Peter Morley and Timothy Jarvis; Jarvis assisted Plexus Law with the tax structuring of its purchase of part of Parabis LLP from administrators.

Walker Morris LLP focuses on corporate and real estate tax mandates, with other niche areas of expertise including share option schemes, litigation and international structures. Simon Concannon leads the department and advised Seabrooks on the tax issues of a private equity-backed MBO.


EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

DWF’s team is headed by state aid and European Regional Development Fund expert Jonathan Branton, who is representing Mexichem in an anti-competitive behaviour investigation by the European Commission, and is advising East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council on state aid issues relating to the new Green Port project. Other clients include Morrisons, Dairy UK and Burtons Foods.

The ‘outstanding and tremendousAdam Collinson leads the department at Eversheds LLP, which provides advice on merger clearances, investigations and dawn raids. Highlights included acting for RWE on the CMA’s investigation into the energy market, and assisting Dairy Crest Group with merger clearance issues. Partner Kate Newmanhas excellent commercial awareness, and is always on the front foot’.

Walker Morris LLP provides ‘excellent service and expertise’. The ‘pragmatic and client-focused’ Trudy Feaster-Gee and consultant Jeremy Scholes jointly lead the practice, which has notable strength in abuse of dominance issues, compliance matters and merger control. Feaster-Gee recently led advice to Enova International and its UK subsidiary on the CMA’s investigation into the payday lending market.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP is ‘practical and gives well-pitched advice’ to blue-chip clients on merger clearance matters, state aid issues, litigation and investigations. London-based practice head Bruce Kilpatrick is advising RBS on the CMA’s investigation into retail banking, and the team is acting for Delta in cartel-related litigation.

The Premier League remains a significant client for McCormicks, which also acted for GMI Construction in an OFT investigation. Practice head Peter McCormick and Philip Edmondson are recommended.

Andrew Finfer leads the practice at Ward Hadaway, which has advised clients on merger control issues, cartel investigations, state aid and public procurement matters. Clients include Rivers Capital Partners and North East Finance.


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