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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
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Addleshaw Goddard’s practice regularly handles blockbuster deals in the region, and is best known for its private equity expertise and its high-profile financial services clients. Yunus Seedat leads the team and focuses on private equity transactions; he is closely supported by Garry Elliott and Neil Woolhouse, who are experienced in handling M&A transactions for private and public companies. M&A specialists Mark Hallam and Tim Wheldon are also noted. Rosanna Bryant’s practice sits in the cross-section of finance and corporate work, while managing associate James Tatro handles a variety of work including M&A, disposals, joint ventures and private equity in the retail sector. Recent highlights include handling Lenlyn’s £196m disposal of its international currency exchange business, ICE, to Global Fortune 500 company, China’s HNA Group; advising NorthEdge Capital and the management of Sumo Digital on the £50m sale of Sumo Digital to Perwyn, which included handling cross-border issues involving India; and assisting the management of Shearings Group with the sale of its business to funds managed by Lone Star Funds.

DLA Piper UK LLP provides ‘good value for money’ and is, for one client, ‘the firm of choice for contract negotiations’. Andrew Davies, who heads the corporate practice, has notable expertise in sale and purchase agreements pertaining to the aviation industry. Commercial group head Matthew Duncombehas great knowledge of commercial contract law, and an ability to point out and reduce risks’. Corporate healthcare head Stephen Atkinson is an M&A and private equity specialist, Paul Routledge handles domestic and international M&A matters, Jonathan Procter is an expert on financial services-related corporate transactions and senior associates Amar Maan and Hitesh Tailor have strengths in the banking and insurance and hotel and leisure sectors respectively. Recent highlights for the team include advising B&P Engineering on contract negotiations with German company SMS group pertaining to the design, build and installation of a new smelting facility in Iceland, worth in excess of £600m; assisting technology investment firm, C5 Capital, with its acquisition of ITC Global Security for approximately £24m; and handling several hotel transactions for Marriott International in various jurisdictions.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s team receives ‘repeat instructions’ largely due to the ‘premium service’ offered and its ‘ability to provide a full service of advice across disciplines’. Practice head Robin Skelton and principal associate Jonathan Pollard, who handles various acquisitions and disposals, takeovers and private equity transactions, are ‘top quality corporate law advisers’. Other notable individuals include Amanda Partland, who specialises in advising large corporates on mainstream M&A transactions; Alison Starr, who advises several Yorkshire-based listed companies on stock exchange and takeover matters; and M&A and energy specialist Charles Reynard. The group advised Dublin-headquartered Greencore Group on its £440m rights issue to fund the acquisition of US-based Peacock Foods. Other highlights included assisting Elysian Capital with the £30m purchase of Sambro International, a Manchester-based toy distributor of licensed children’s brands, and handling the acquisition of Hesco on behalf of Betafence. Other clients include Iron Mountain, Marshalls, Mayborn Group, Inflexion Private Equity and Kromek.

According to one client, ‘nobody is more driven’ than Andrew Kerr, who jointly leads Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice with commercial partner Martin Priestley. Kerr advised Indian chemicals manufacturer, Nirma, on its $1.4bn acquisition of LafargeHolcim’s Indian operations and assisted Exertis UK with its £51m purchase of the entire issued share capital of Hammer Consolidated Holdings; senior associate Joanna Jowitt was involved in both deals. Other highlights included advising CBPE Capital on its secondary buyout of caravan manufacturer ABI, advising Synova Capital on its £25m investment in Fairstone Group and assisting SIG with the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Metall Architektur and SIG’s simultaneous acquisition of the Proteus Engineered Facades Business. Other notable names include private equity specialist Peter Wood and Andrew Black, who acts for UK and US-based listed companies. Legal directors Catherine Hemsworth and Michelle Kershaw have strengths in private equity transactions, while fellow legal director Lisa Harley handles IT supply contracts.

One of the leading firms locally, Squire Patton Boggs’ experience spans private equity, capital markets, domestic and international M&A, and a range of corporate transactions primarily in the chemical, and food and drink sectors. Jonathan Jones, Richard Hunt, Paul Mann and Hannah Kendrick are the key names on the corporate side, while senior associates Francesca Fellowes and Paul Jinks are noted for their commercial expertise. Mann advised video game developer and new client Team17 on a £16.5m investment from Lloyds Development Capital. Hunt led a team which advised JSE-listed Imperial Logistics on its purchase of Palletways Group from Phoenix Equity Partners. London-based corporate partner Adam Hastings, who spends time in Leeds, assisted Luceco with its successful IPO on the LSE. Kendrick advised Clipper on an agreement with John Lewis to establish a joint venture company.

With one of the largest practices in the region, Walker Morris LLP draws on its considerable resources to provide a wide variety of expertise to clients from the food and drink, retail, waste and energy, healthcare, technology and IT, industrials and financial services sectors. Corporate head John Hamer has notable strength advising on public and private company takeovers and acquisitions, public market listings, private equity investments and joint ventures, managing partner Ian Gilbert handles MBOs, secondary buy-outs, fundraisings, IPOs and disposals, Debbie Jackson is experienced in venture capital and private equity matters and Richard Naish has public company expertise, Daniel O’Gorman focuses on capital markets and commercial head James Crayton handles commercial arrangements across customer, supplier and partner relationships. O’Gorman handled three acquisitions for Data Intensity, a provider of Oracle cloud and in-application management services, including the UK operations of the Enrich group, which has UK and India operations, and Red Stack Technology, which has operations in the UK, Australia and Poland. Paul Emmet retired in 2016.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s practice is jointly headed by Simon Pilling and Nigel Williams. The duo are best known for their private equity and venture capital expertise, and experience handling corporate matters and M&A across the chemicals, manufacturing, automotive and healthcare sectors. Recent highlights include advising Cairngorm Capital on its majority investment in Polyframe Group in support of an MBO by its executive team; assisting Polyframe Group and its majority investor, Cairngorm Capital, with Polyframe’s purchase of The Window Bureau; advising FTSE 250 client DS Smith on the acquisition of TRM Packaging; and handling Noble Organisation’s multimillion-pound sale of Brighton Pier. Managing associate and private equity specialist James Cook joined from Gordons LLP. Alistair Scott-Somers departed for Progeny Private Law.

Offering a fresh approach in a mature industry’, Clarion’s ‘speedy and efficient’ practice ‘provides a greater depth than many’. Richard Moran advised Hesco on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Betafence and assisted the founding shareholder with the MBO of Armstrong Priestley; he and Matthew Hattersley jointly head the practice. M&A partner Jonathan Simms has considerable expertise in the digital media, marketing and haulage sectors; he advised Simon Gibson Transport with the sale of 75% of its issued share capital to logistics provider GCA Europe. Legal director Tony Berry’s arrival from Addleshaw Goddard adds experience in large cross-border M&A deals.

James Fawcett leads Gordons LLP’s ‘experienced’ team, which is, according to one client, ‘the first choice for all corporate and M&A activities’. Duncan Firman made partner in 2016 and ‘is excellent for M&A and provides balanced advice’; he and Fawcett advised new client YFM Equity Partners on its £2.75m investment in Sipsynergy, a cloud collaboration solutions provider to SMEs. Jonathan Asquez advised global environmental and sustainability consultancy ERM on its purchase of JSC International, the client’s first UK acquisition, and also assisted the managing director with the sale of HB Clark to Kitwave, a private equity-backed food and drinks consolidator. John Holden and Andy Brian are the other names to note.

Schofield Sweeney is, for one client, ‘in a class of its own in terms of value for money’. Chris Schofield leads the practice and is closely supported by Martin Sweeney, who ‘exudes a quiet competence and confidence which leaves the client feeling like things are in control’. Commercial head Luisa D’Alessandro, director Catherine Rhodes, and associate Laura Salvati ‘provide good, decisive leadership and specialist knowledge’. Other key names include Chris Blantern, Adrian Ballam, David Strachan, Steven Millward, who recently made partner, and Rob Kelly, who joined the team following the firm’s merger with Armitage Sykes Solicitors in 2016. Highlights included advising AIM-listed 4D pharma on its €12m acquisition of Tucana Health.

Gateley Plc’s team is ‘professional, responds quickly, and is accessible and knowledgeable’. The practice, which is led by Nick Emmerson and David Armitage, is well known for its international reach, as well as its experience in domestic and offshore corporate investments, industrial and commercial corporate finance and capital markets work. Recent highlights include advising Gaist on the acquisition of Optimint; assisting WH Ireland with the reverse takeover and the admission of Healthperm Resourcing to the ISDX; and advising Deltatre and LMGR on the sale of the majority shareholding in Deltatre to Bruin Sports Capital, and the related acquisition by Deltatre of the minority shareholding held by Paul Bristow in Deltatre Media. New clients include Ark Home Healthcare, Bet 21, Core Capital Partners, Gresham House, Keepmoat Homes, and Keyland Developments. Sandip Khroud, who ‘has good judgement of situations’, was promoted to the partnership.

Lupton Fawcett LLP’s ‘directors are very hands-on and are involved at all points in a transaction’. Led by Andrew Lindsay, the team was recently strengthened by Neil Large joining the firm’s Sheffield office from Taylor & Emmet LLP; he covers the full range of corporate transactions and acts for clients including Santander and LX Engineering. Highlights included advising Horsley Capital, Dyson and Paturel on the £100m sale of Exemplar Care Group to private equity firm Agilitas; Jonathan Oxley led the advice. Other names to note include Daniel McCormack, Giles Clegg and Julian Moran who are in the firm’s Leeds office, York-based Martin Frost and Michele Phillips in Sheffield.

Marcus Armstrong leads Shulmans LLP’s practice, which has in-depth sector expertise in healthcare, pharmacy, IT and data-driven businesses. Emma Roe joined from DWF and brings a wealth of experience in commercial contract law. Andrew Bradley focuses on the IT and financial services sectors, Mark Lumley has strengths in regulatory and contractual matters, Emma Greenwood handles acquisitions, disposals, MBOs, group reorganisations, joint ventures and company law and Christian Peace has niche expertise in the pharmacy sector. Highlights included assisting Bayfields Opticians with the acquisition of two additional practices in Harrogate and Newcastle-under-Lyme worth approximately £2m.

3volution Limited’s team, which is a key name for SME clients, is ‘knowledgeable, responsive and quick to understand the pressures on commercial businesses’. Corporate head Jonathan Priestley ‘is someone you can rely on to deliver’, and Michael Cantwell, who has expertise in MBOs, secondary buy-outs, acquisitions, joint ventures and disposals, was a new arrival from HLW Keeble Hawson. Recent highlights include advising OLR Group on the sale of its subsidiary Conexus to Texas-based PFSweb, and assisting the existing managing director and shareholder of Melrose Textile with the acquisition of 75% of the company shareholding.

DWF’s practice is led by Lester Wilson, who is supported by banking partner Chris Ramage and commercial tax head John Toon. The team has extensive experience in corporate finance; it frequently handles flotations, fundraisings, M&A, restructurings and reorganisations for clients including plc’s, large private companies, SMEs, entrepreneurs, private equity houses and venture capitalists. Recent highlights include advising Learning Technologies Group on a proposed £54m cash offer to takeover AIM-listed NetDimensions. Emma Roe departed for Shulmans LLP.

Harrowells Solicitors typically acts for mid-sized corporates and SMEs on domestic and international contractual issues, and has expertise assisting owner-managed businesses. Commercial team head Susie Mortonson and senior solicitor Nick Eleanor ‘provide concise and prompt advice’. Philip Lewis Ogden is experienced in advising medical practices on acquisitions and commercial structures and consultant David Black advises local businesses on new commercial ventures. Recent highlights include advising a prominent international brand on a new supplier contract for its computer network, handling commercial negotiations for a sportswear manufacturer, and assisting with the commercial, joint venture and partnership arrangements for a large UK-wide GP practice.

Irwin Mitchell’s national practice is led by Birmingham-based Chris Rawstron, with key contacts in Leeds including head of commercial contracts Joanne Bone, who is a key name for regulatory compliance matters. Recent highlights include advising Business Growth Fund on a £25m investment package provided to Sheffield-based Coppergreen Developments, which included £11m of growth capital provided by the client with the remaining £14m supplied by HSBC; the financing was then used to fund the acquisition of Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort and 350 acres of adjoining land. Other work included assisting private equity-backed Transformational Capital, which is based in Canada, on its cross-border acquisition of Surrey-based Mighty Deals. Philip Goldsborough and James Foster joined Shoosmiths LLP.

LCF Lawprovides good quality advice at a lower cost than larger regional firms’ and is best known for advising clients from niche sectors, such as IFA businesses, those in the biocidal products market, and GPs. Corporate head Susan Clark ‘is a true business partner’ and commercial and IP partner James Sarjantson ‘is extremely thorough and provides very careful, reliable work’. The duo were part of a team that advised the retiring majority shareholder of shipping and freight group Graypen on the sale of the company to the management team. Leeds-based Clementine Duckett is another key team member and has notable strength acting for family-owned businesses; she handled Clayton Glass’ acquisition of Romag. Thomas Coates left to establish FTA Law in 2016.

Christian Hunt leads the team at York-based Langleys Solicitors LLP, which handles a wide range of M&A matters for a client base ranging from international corporates to regional owner-managed businesses. Recent highlights include assisting the shareholders of adept4 with its £7m sale to Pinnacle Technology; handling Turbine Efficiency’s £4m sale to Core Capital, which included a group refinancing; and assisting two shareholders of Right Angle Marketing with an MBO. Bauer Consumer Media, Crompton Lamps, Korbond Industries and The Inspired Branding Group are also clients. Assistant solicitor Fiona Kingscott, who joined in January 2017 from an in-house position with the University of Leeds, focuses on commercial law and non-contentious IP.

At Ward Hadaway, Newcastle-based corporate head Martin Hulls and Leeds-based commercial head Philip Jordan are the key contacts. Other names to note include Gavin Maddison, banking specialist Mark Smith and James Nightingale, IP specialist Gareth Yates and competition head Andrew Finfer. The team acts for owner-managed businesses on medium- and large-sized deals, often with an international dimension, and also has considerable expertise handling private equity investments. The team is experienced in handling MBOs, recently assisting Mitre and Grimsby-based Global Shipping Services with separate MBOs. Other work included advising two shareholders on the sale of Wakefield Skillcentre to a North West-based training company.

Blacks Solicitors LLP’s team is led by Nigel Hoyle, who establishes ‘excellent working relationship’; he is closely supported by David Paterson, who is recommended for his ‘breadth of corporate knowledge and patience’, and Richard Buono, who was recently promoted to the partnership. The practice predominantly acts for local SMEs and UK-wide companies. Recent work includes advising a client in the financial services sector on the share purchase of a private limited company, and drafting a wide variety of contractual agreements, including third and fourth party logistics, freight forwarding agreements and general logistics agreements, for a high-net-worth company. Solicitor Peter Konieczko-Hansom joined from James Legal Solicitors.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s practice is led by Paul Johnson, who has expertise advising AIM-listed companies and privately owned businesses on raising finance through public markets and private investment. Johnson handled various acquisitions for The Co-Operative Group in 2016, including the purchase of the business and assets of a J and P Brundall-owned retail convenience store and the acquisition of a convenience store in Nottingham, and also advised the client on establishing a convenience store in Lancashire. Other clients include WHIreland, Property Partner Nominee, and new clients Christeyns, Kings Security, and GPI.

At Needle Partners Limited, managing partner Sharon Needle handles UK and international corporate transactions for individuals, private and listed companies, governments, banks and other financial institutions, as well as having niche expertise in Islamic finance. Corporate lawyer Tim Wimbush has a financial services sector focus; he is adept at advising on business structures, M&A, disposals and corporate reorganisations. Solicitor Grace Richardson is dual-qualified in Singapore and the UK; she is experienced in capital markets matters, M&A, restructuring, takeovers, drafting commercial agreements and advising on statutory compliance issues. In a recent work highlight, the team handled the sale of a majority stake in an insurance brokerage for the selling shareholders.

Harrogate-based Berwinstakes the stress away from the client by bringing everything together as seamlessly as possible’. Founding partner and team head Paul Berwinis down to earth, keen to help, and always acts in his client’s best interests’. Highlights included advising nine shareholders on the sale of Antivia to (now known as Hubble), and assisting the shareholders of the Harrogate franchise of TaxAssist Accountants with the sale to the existing management team, which involved a complex, multi-year deferred payment structure. Associate director Mike Patterson and associate solicitor James Talbot are also noted.

McCormicks provides ‘excellent’ advice. Corporate head Lewis Goodwinhas an excellent appetite for work and attention to detail’ and specialises in advising on complex finance arrangements for a broad range of clients, including SMEs, private investors, high-net-worth individuals, international corporates, family companies, charities, sports organisations and clients from the hospitality and leisure sector. Senior partner Peter McCormick is highly regarded; he advises the Premier League on corporate matters, including governance and board functions. Recent highlights include advising the Premier League Charitable Fund on joint venture arrangements with Comic Relief, Barclays and others; advising a hotel on a multi-million pound refinancing and development facility; and assisting the Isthmian League with changes to its constitution. Other clients include Leeds United, Cleveland Process Designs, Plantagenet Media and Walsall FC.

Ramsdens’ practice is led by commercial partner Stephen Newman, who is supported by Richard Dean, who joined in 2016 from Milners Solicitors, and Greg Dolan. The practice has wide-ranging expertise spanning M&A, MBOs, asset sales and purchases including the incorporation of partnerships and LLPs, private equity investments, joint ventures, share option schemes, and negotiating partnership, LLP and shareholder agreements. The team assisted with the management buy-in of Sash UK by Praesidian Capital and advised on the MBO of Southern & Redfern Industrial Solutions. Nick Metcalfe joined Dublin-based Mason Hayes & Curran.

Raworths, according to one client, ‘cannot be faulted in any area of its service delivery’. Practice head Simon Morris focuses on the SME sector, in particular family-owned, high-net-worth, entrepreneur and owner-managed businesses. The team advises on MBOs, shareholder and partnership agreements, M&A, investment agreements, employee incentive and share options and succession planning. Recent highlights include assisting with the sale of a multi-site professional services business to an international purchaser, and advising an owner-managed business on a share sale, which involved a prior asset restructuring process.

Andrew Francey leads Watson Burton LLP’s practice, which works closely with the firm’s Newcastle office. Areas of expertise include advising owner-managed businesses on a range of M&A issues, including MBO/MBIs, loan agreements, reorganisations, commercial contracts and joint ventures. Recent highlights include advising a private equity firm on its investment into a Sheffield-based environmental company, handling the acquisition of a utility services company for a multidisciplinary construction group, and assisting with the reorganisation of a manufacturing business.

Michele Mathers leads Weightmans’ team, which is able to draw on the resources of the firm’s Manchester office, and corporate and commercial head Paul Raftery in particular. The team is best known for its corporate advisory and transactional work, and assisting with high-value commercial contracts, and is a popular choice for owner-managed businesses, mid-to-large corporates, and public authorities. The group handled several matters for Real Life Options, including advising on the purchase of a charity for autism, assisting with constitutional and regulatory matters, and advising on a high-value IT contract. Other highlights include handling a corporate restructuring for software company BJSS, which involved a share reclassification, new share rights and options, and advising on bonus scheme and constitutional arrangements for UK and US employees and shareholders.

Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation Lawyers

Next generation Lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


DLA Piper UK LLP’s clients ‘would have no hesitation in using or recommending the team’, which is led by corporate partner Richard May and commercial partner Roger Gough. Corporate specialist Rob McKie focuses on M&A for UK and international private and listed companies, IPOs and secondary public equity offerings, public takeovers, private equity transactions, shareholder arrangements and joint ventures; and plc expert Catherine Simister handles the full range of corporate transactional work, including M&A, cross-border reorganisations and alignment and integration projects; and senior associate David Beech focuses on cross-border transactions. Recent highlights include working with the firm’s Edinburgh office on the £25m acquisition of a Dundee-based golf and leisure resort by new client Coppergreen Developments, which was backed by private equity and debt funding, and the transfer of a separate UK leisure park to Coppergreen Developments. Other work included assisting with the reverse takeover of Azzurri Communications by AIM-listed Maintel, together with the provision of a new £36m revolving credit facility and placing to raise £24m, and advising the board of directors and majority shareholder of new client Yu Group on the terms of a £10m placing and IPO process. Playtech is another new client.

CMS appears in the ranking for the first time following the firm’s merger with Nabarro. The practice is led by Ben Hendry, who has niche strengths in the technology sector and regularly acts for advanced manufacturing and tech businesses in the region. The team is known for its expertise handling acquisitions, disposals, investments, IPOs, capital raisings, restructurings and joint ventures. Gareth Saynor led advice to the management team of HR Essentials on the MBO of the Essentials Recruitment group, and Hendry assisted the management team of Gearing UP with the £5m MBI of Precision Engineering group, and also advised GRI on its £3.4m acquisition of Expac. Senior associate Nick Hopper is also noted.

Freeths LLP’s team ‘invests time’ in clients and has ‘a good depth of knowledge’. The ‘outstandingPeter Crawford heads the practice; his recent highlights include advising on the sale of the Gordon Lamb Group to Vertu, assisting SCX with a capital reduction demerger, advising Code James on the sale of James Smith to Hillview Garden Centres, and handling an investment round for Sheffield-based BrainTrain, an early-stage healthcare technology company. Other clients include InfoTrack Group, STL Group and The Floow. Lisa Wallis’ knowledge of commercial matters is ‘excellent’.

Partner accessibility has always been a strong point’ at HLW Keeble Hawson. Roger Dyson leads the practice, which also includes the ‘very affable and approachable’ Nick Goulding, managing partner Paul Trudgill, who specialises in traditional corporate matters and Chris Wilson, who advises on MBOs, acquisitions and disposals, restructurings, shareholder agreements, and partnership and LLP matters. The team acts for large regional companies including Pressure Technologies, Acorn Industrial Services, Horbury Group and new client Hill Care, as well as ELG Haniel Metals and its German parent company ELG Haniel. The group is advising new client UK Steel Enterprise, a subsidiary of TATA Steel, on its debt and equity investments. Matt Ainsworth and associate solicitor Michael Hall joined from Irwin Mitchell.

Lupton Fawcett LLP’s team is led by Leeds-based Andrew Lindsay, who has longstanding expertise acting for directors and shareholders based across the UK. The Sheffield office is led by Michele Phillips, who recently advised a property group on a multimillion-pound portfolio refinancing of multiple industrial and office sites, including a partial transfer to a Jersey holding company. Other highlights include advising Redemption Holding Company on the acquisition of Redemption Food, which involved a five-person MBO/MBI team. Senior consultant Max Kennedy assisted with the circa £4.5m combined purchase of two Nottingham-based care homes. Neil Large, the former head of corporate at Taylor & Emmet LLP, recently joined the firm, bolstering the team’s expertise in cross-border, high-value transactions.

At Bell & Buxton, practice headAlex Ross specialises in advising on MBOs/MBIs, M&A, minority shareholder advice, partnership and shareholder agreements and disputes, distribution and agency agreements, corporate finance, and succession issues. Emma Digby has a commercial focus, advising on the implementation of new company structures, risk management, and commercial contracts, as well as handling M&A. Recent highlights include advising Sheffield Credit Union on its merger with Rothersave Credit Union and handling a high-value acquisition for Insulated Tools. Other clients include True North Brew Co., Livefoods Direct, and Motorway Direct.

Irwin Mitchell’s practice is led by Laurence Gavin; his recent work includes advising Westfield Contributory Health Scheme on a joint venture and investment into 3Rings Care, which included a second round of investment. Other highlights include advising currency hedge fund manager, SLJ Macro Partners, on the transfer of a 65% equity holding in the business to Italian investment bank Eurizon Capital, and advising a regional plc client on public company transactional and regulatory matters. Andrea Cropley joined Squire Patton Boggs’ Manchester office, and solicitor Michael Hall and Matt Ainsworth joined HLW Keeble Hawson.

Rob Moore is head of Taylor & Emmet LLP’s practice, and is supported by commercial property partner Richard Kay. The team routinely acts for high-profile regional clients, including NG Bailey and Shepcote Engineering. Recent highlights include advising various shareholders on selling stakes in businesses in sectors including manufacturing, automobile, and pharmaceutical. The group also has notable strength handling MBO/MBIs, reorganisation and restructuring, franchising, start-up and joint venture issues, partnership formations and dissolutions, shareholder agreements and disputes, commercial contracts and pre-sale legal audits. Neil Large joined Lupton Fawcett LLP.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited’s practice head Duncan Shepherd recently acted for the sellers in the £6m disposal of Evantage Consulting, a healthcare consulting business, to NHiS, a subsidiary of LSE-listed Wilmington. Fellow director John Baddeley led negotiations pertaining to the £9.6m disposal of Price Thomas, the parent company of Granville Oil & Chemicals, to Tide Water Oil, and also handled the sale of shareholdings for the sellers of CH4 Gas Utility and Maintenance Services, to AIM-listed Smart Metering Systems. Associate solicitor Rebecca Robinson and assistant solicitor Gavin Hesketh are other names to note.

Corporate and commercial: Hull and East Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Hull and East Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Hull and East Yorkshire clients in Yorkshire and the Humber using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s team ‘is a pleasure to work with and is always focused on cost-effective solutions’ and practice head Andrew Funnellis a capable leader who is well-liked for his expertise and personable way of working’. Known for its strengths in the dairy, food, engineering and renewables sectors, the practice advises clients ranging from owner-managed businesses to UK businesses with cross-border interests. Corporate finance expert Nicholas Scott is, according to one client, ‘rapidly becoming known for his clear thinking and problem solving’; he was part of a team that advised family-owned business Colt Industrial Services on its £9.2m sale to Augean, which completed in May 2016. York-based Philip Ashworth advised longstanding client John Brash & Co on its acquisition by roofing manufacturer Marley Eternit and Matthew Smith, who is also based in York, handled Bostonair’s acquisition of the crane maintenance division of HMF, a UK subsidiary of a Danish manufacturing company. Managing partner and M&A specialist Mark Pearson-Kendall, senior consultant Martin Whitehead, who focuses on agricultural corporate matters, and Marie Kell, who advises plc’s on data protection, IP and commercial issues, are also key contacts. Other clients include Heron Food Group, Henderson Insurance Brokers, CPD Direct and Seven Seas.

Gosschalks’ corporate team stands out its ‘depth’ and ‘provides a cost effective and efficient service’ and ‘excellent guidance’. Practice head Nigel Beckwith’s specialisms include advising medical partnerships on structural issues including partnership agreements, retirements, expulsions and disputes. He, alongside Paul Plaxton, advised on the £34m sale of an arcade group, which included a complex pre-sale indirect dividend demerger. Plaxton, who regularly handles high-value group restructurings, advised the shareholders of a jewellery group on its reorganisation by way of the sale of the entire issued share capital of four trading companies to a new holding company in exchange for shares in the new company worth £9m, and also assisted the shareholders of GSA Environmental with a £500,000 private equity investment comprising of share and loan capital from Finance Yorkshire. Commercial litigator Matthew Fletcher, private equity expert Andrew Tarbutt, Simon Lunt, who is a key name for commercial strategy and finance structuring, and James Phinn who advises on commercial contracts, are the other key contacts.

Rollits LLP has notable strength across the renewable energy, education, charities and social enterprise sectors, and is a popular choice for family and owner-managed businesses. It also has a strong MBO practice, having completed several buy-outs in 2016. Practice head Steve Trynka has considerable expertise in M&A pertaining to the food industry; he handled several matters for Cranswick recently, including the £40m acquisition of Crown Chicken from the Thacker family, the purchase of Dunbia Ballymena’s pork processing facility in Northern Ireland, and the £15m disposal of The Sandwich Factory to Greencore Group. Other highlights included advising the shareholders of Axgro Foods on its purchase by Florette, where the firm was able to draw on the support of its property, employment, tax, pensions, IP/IT and commercial teams; tax specialist Nasim Sharf, who led the matter, is also well-versed in share schemes and bespoke equity arrangements. The group also advised Simon Gibson Transport on its sale to France-headquartered logistics company GCA Europe. Richard Field, who is experienced in advising on flotations, buy-outs, joint ventures, banking and corporate recovery work, is also noted.

Corporate tax

Index of tables

  1. Corporate tax
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard’s team ‘makes great use of technology, bringing significant savings and time efficiencies’. It has a blue-chip client base and a reputation for advising FTSE 100 companies and providing private equity structuring advice. Manchester-based Michael Hunter, who is the key partner, has a broad range of expertise covering VAT and indirect taxes, restructuring, fund establishments, tax disputes and acquisition finance, among other strengths. Hunter advised WSP Global on the tax aspects of the £75m acquisition of an international, infrastructure engineering and environment consultancy business, Mouchel, from Kier. He also handled a pre-sale reorganisation process for Lenlyn to transfer its ATM business out of its banking division into the international currency exchange division, ICE, which it then disposed of for £196m to China-based HNA Group. National group head Justine Delroy, who is also based in Manchester, is ‘a very safe pair of hands, and instils a high level of confidence with her advice’; she handles commercial tax issues for clients including Standard Life, The Co-operative Group, National Grid, Bruntwood, LDC and Sainsbury’s. Delroy recently assisted NorthEdge, and the management of Sumo Digital, with the tax aspects of the £50m sale of Sumo Digital to Perwyn, and also handled the £112m sale of Go Outdoors to JD Sports. Other clients include Müller, Skipton Building Society, Equitix and Shepherd Building Group.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s practice has particular strengths in real estate-related tax matters, including fund structures with an international element, VAT, and employee and pension-related tax matters, and acting for Middle Eastern clients investing in the UK. Team head David Jervis, who has expertise in tax structuring concerning renewable energy projects, acts for local plc’s through to multinational corporations. He, and associate Richard Johnson, advised on the tax aspects of the acquisition of a 200MW offshore and onshore wind farm for a consortium comprising the state-owned Green Investment Bank and BlackRock. The team is also advising Van Elle on its £80m AIM IPO, which involves pre-float tax structuring advice. Other work includes assisting Horizon Pharma with the European tax aspects of its $800m acquisition of Raptor Pharmaceutical, and advising on certain tax aspects of a not-for-profit scheme set up by the Association of British Insurers to make flood insurance available to UK homeowners. Tax litigation is another area of strength and the team is handling a dispute for N Brown Group against HMRC regarding VAT returns over a 10-year period.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice has a strong reputation for advising on tax structuring pertaining to property investments, property joint ventures and funds, and tax issues concerning the education, energy and healthcare sectors. Recent work includes handling tax issues relating to the disposal of transmission assets for a high-profile energy company. Practice head John Christian advised the trustees of a pension fund on restructuring £200m of indirect property investments regarding a scheme merger, which involved complex regulatory issues. Suzannah Crookes typically advises on employee share and incentive plans, including tax-advantaged and non-tax-advantaged plans, managing grants and maturities under existing plans and handling cross-border issues; she recently advised a British plc on its new executive performance share plan across various jurisdictions. Jon Robinson stands out for his advice on the tax structuring of corporate transactions, real estate projects and employment taxes and associate Andrew McCarthy has expertise in build-to-rent tax issues, and is often involved in high-value cross-border transactions.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team handles corporate and finance tax matters, real estate-related tax issues, employee share incentives, employment and pensions matters, VAT, and tax issues for private clients. Leeds-based Mark Simpson heads the national real estate tax group, and typically acts for developers, investors, public sector bodies and funders, among others. Simpson advised Stem Marketing on its £84m purchase by UDG Healthcare, which included advising shareholders and employee option-holders on non-UK tax issues. Tim Jarvis is a key name for private equity, banking and corporate finance transactions, VAT planning, and stamp duty land tax (SDLT) planning. Jarvis recently handled the tax aspects of a UK disposal and two acquisitions for Fore Partnership. Peter Morley handles the tax elements of domestic and international M&A transactions, private equity, IPOs, takeovers and restructurings, and acts for a client base including owner-managed businesses, private equity houses and institutional investors. Morley advised telecoms service provider Six Degrees on three acquisitions during 2016, and assisted new client Imperial Logistics, which is based in South Africa, on the tax structuring elements of its £160m acquisition Palletways Group. Other new clients include H2 Equity Partners, Tenzing Private Equity and Reiss.

Walker Morris LLP’s team ‘provides a very good service, is approachable, knowledgeable and pragmatic, and doesn’t evade the difficult questions’. Practice head Simon Concannon is ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’, Nicola Parkinson is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’ and Sarah Bruce is an expert on property taxation. Recent highlights include advising on the tax aspects of PAW Structures’ private equity-backed MBO, assisting Produce Investments on its new chairman’s share option agreement, acting for the shareholders of Bradford City FC on its sale to ER Sports Group, and designing a bespoke employee incentive share scheme. Other areas of strengths include advising on HMRC-approved share-option schemes, SDLT and VAT, REITS, demergers, fund raisings and M&A restructurings.

Best known for her expertise in the area of employee incentives, Lynda Finan leads DLA Piper UK LLP’s practice alongside David Thompson, who is highly regarded for his private equity and corporate tax strengths and divides his time between the firm’s Manchester and Leeds offices. Chartered tax adviser James Graham-Brown specialises in advising UK and overseas clients on the tax aspects of structuring acquisitions and disposals, financings, investments and joint ventures; he has a particular focus on inward investment by non-UK clients in high-value commercial and residential UK-based property. Recent highlights include acting for ARM, prior to its takeover, on the $350m acquisition of technology business Apical, which included advising on employee incentives and pre-sale reorganisation. Other work includes assisting US-based private equity fund Sun Capital Partners with the tax aspects of its acquisition of UK food supplier, Fresh-pak Chilled Foods.

At DWF, John Toon heads the commercial tax and private capital group; he acts for clients ranging from individuals to corporates and funds on a broad range of tax issues. Toon and James Cashman were part of a team advising Lone Star on the UK and cross-border tax issues pertaining to the disposal of Velocity Village in Sheffield, which involved the sale of shares by a Luxembourg company and the transfer of related real estate assets. On the contentious side, the group represented Northwards Housing, a subsidiary of Manchester City Council, in an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal concerning overpaid VAT, which resulted in a settlement. Other clients include Capita Group, Countrywide, Lambert Smith Hampton, Oaktree Capital, Trak Global Solutions, and Palmer Capital. Vector Property Management and Bibby Line Group are new clients.

At Freeths LLP, key partner Adrian Hackett advises on tax efficient legal structures for investments, including the availability of Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme relief, assists with real estate, private equity, and M&A tax issues, and also acts for the tax payer in HMRC investigations. Senior associate Claire Boyce, who is a chartered tax adviser, has particular expertise in corporate structuring, exit planning, structuring private equity investment funds, HMRC investigations and disputes, and individual corporate tax planning. In one recent highlight, the group advised a local council on tax structuring issues regarding a property joint venture involving the transfer of land between three land owners, in order to reduce VAT and SDLT charges.

Julian Moran heads Lupton Fawcett LLP’s practice following his arrival from Gordons LLP in January 2017; he has extensive experience in corporate tax, VAT and stamp duty tax matters and his practice spans the York, Leeds and Sheffield offices. The group has niche expertise in the charity sector, and frequently works with the firm’s ecclesiastical and charities director Caroline Mockford, advising on tax issues for charities and social enterprises; its work in this area includes restructuring charities, handling the tax issues pertaining to the incorporation of clubs, including zero-rating availability, and assisting with VAT grouping. Other highlights include its advice to Silbury Foods on warranty and price adjustment mechanisms concerning its merger with Oxfordshire-based Portal Foods, which created a business with a £45m turnover.

EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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DWF’s practice is led by state aid and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) expert Jonathan Branton, who splits his time between the firm’s offices in Manchester, Leeds and Brussels. The group is also able to draw on the expertise of Brussels-based Brona Heenan, and senior associate Jay Mehta, who focuses on state aid matters, and local government specialist Michael Mousdale, who is a key name for public procurement matters; Mehta and Mousdale and based in Manchester. The team advised Dransfield Properties and its subsidiary Stocksbridge on two major development projects in South Yorkshire, involving ERDF funding and alleged irregularities arising from audits conducted in 2014 by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and 2015 from the European Court of Auditors (ECA). The team successfully defended the allegations of infringement of state aid rules and a court challenge against DCLG for non-payment of the grant was initiated. Other highlights include assisting Birmingham City Council with the administration of a £300m AMSCI fund for supporting supply chain manufacturing and engineering companies across England, and providing state aid advice to Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool on various funding applications, including a University Enterprise Zone grant concerning a new £15m facility that will house hi-tech sensor technology businesses.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s team is, arguably, ‘one of the few firms in Northern England with the scale needed to respond to investigations’. Practice head Adam Collinson represents clients before the competition authorities at a domestic and EU level, and Kate Newmanis very thorough in her approach and a pleasure to work with’. The team is best known for its strength in merger clearances, investigations including abuse of dominance, cartel cases, and dawn raids. It acts for clients from sectors including energy, water, food, retail, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, among others. Recent highlights include delivering competition compliance training to Coventry-based Celesio’s board and implementing a dawn raid support network, which included training the business’ key stakeholders. The team also implemented a global competition law e-learning programme for US-based Fortune 500 Company PPG Industries.

Walker Morris LLP has ‘one of the leading regional competition practices’. The ‘well-known and highly regardedTrudy Feaster-Gee and Jeremy Scholes jointly head the practice. Shaukat Ali, who has extensive experience in merger control, cartels and matters pertaining to abuse of dominance, ‘is an excellent competition lawyer and is extremely knowledgeable’. Senior associate Richard Jaques focuses on resale price maintenance and restrictive agreement issues. Recent highlights include advising a crane hire company on merger control issues regarding the acquisition of numerous cranes from a construction group, assisting a US corporation with potential competition issues arising from an international joint venture arrangement, and advising a multinational corporation on EU block exemption regimes. Following its appointment to the UK panel of a US-headquartered multinational conglomerate, the team advised on the merger control aspects of the sale of one of its subsidiaries. Senior associate Richard Butterworth, who joined from the Competition and Markets Authority in January 2017, has experience in high-profile investigations concerning abuse of dominance. Kate Webster, who joined in May 2016 from an in-house position, is an expert on EU procurement rules.

Addleshaw Goddard’s advice is ‘excellent value for money’. The practice has significant expertise in high-profile merger control matters, competition litigation, antitrust inquiries, market investigations and state aid proceedings, and advises clients from the financial services, retail, public and regulated utility sectors. London-based Bruce Kilpatrick is the national group head and is supported by Rona Bar-Isaac and Mark Molyneaux. Leeds-based associate Clare Walker ‘is very efficient and responsive, has excellent project management skills and provides commercially sound and practical advice’. The team recently advised Andrew Page on the merger control aspects of the sale of the majority of its car parts business to LKQ, and acted for Manchester Airports Group in a price fixing arrangement investigation conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority, which included a leniency application against a £12.5m proposed fine.

Harrogate-based McCormicks’ practice is led by Peter McCormick and includes Philip Edmondson, who recently made partner, and newly promoted senior associate Kayleigh Fantoni. Edmondson handles contentious and non-contentious matters; he recently handled several matters for the Premier League, including defending the client in a high-profile arbitration brought by Leyton Orient concerning West Ham United’s move to the Olympic Stadium, which alleged that the move was in breach of competition law, the claim was eventually withdrawn. Fantoni is handling several matters for the same client, including advising on a complaint lodged with the European Commission by FIFPro, which alleges that aspects of the operation of the transfer market are anti-competitive and in breach of EU law.

Ward Hadaway’s Andrew Finfer expertise in the competition space spans cartels and anti-competitive arrangements, abuse of dominance, UK and EU merger control issues, state aid and public procurement matters. The team assisted North East Finance with the establishment of the North East Jeremie fund, an EU initiative, which included advising on constitutional, state aid, procurement, and corporate governance matters and EU regulatory compliance. Newcastle-based commercial head Colin Hewitt led the matter with involvement from Dean Murray, who joined the Newcastle office in April 2016 from Square One Law, and also advises Leeds and Manchester-based clients.

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