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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

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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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is recognised for its expertise in the dairy, food, engineering, renewable and technology sectors acting for a client roster that includes Pipers Crisps, Seven Seas, Bostonair Group, East Coast Construction and Henderson Insurance Brokers. In a recent highlight, practice head and MBO specialist Andrew Funnell led advice to the shareholders of Heron Food Group on its sale to B&M; he also assisted the shareholders of Pattesons Glass with its takeover by Industrial Packaging Group. Other noteworthy names include senior consultant Martin Whitehead, who is recommended for agricultural work; M&A specialist Mark Pearson-Kendall, commercial team head Marie Kell, who advised H&R Healthcare on its acquisition of shares in Pretty Legs Holdings; and Nicholas Scott, who handles corporate finance projects. The department also work closely with its York office, which fields M&A expert Philip Ashworth and Matthew Smith.

As ‘one of the best practices in the city’, Gosschalks ‘puts its clients at the forefront of everything it does’ with ‘an ability to present advice in a way that is clear, concise and easily digestible’ thanks to ‘a team of knowledgeable and thorough solicitors’. Nigel Beckwith, who is ‘always driving for the best deal for the client with an enthusiasm that can’t be matched’, leads the group and is highly regarded for his sale and purchase transactional expertise and knowledge of partnership issues particularly in the medical sector. In a recent highlight, Beckwith advised the shareholders of Humberside Aggregates on its £9m sale to Breedon Southern; the team also assisted the sellers with the sale of Nexus Telecom to Elitele.com for £10m. Paul Plaxton led the latter and is a key name for high-value M&A work, restructurings, reorganisations and demergers. Other noteworthy individuals include the ‘highly professional, efficient and exceptionally diligent’ Andrew Tarbutt, finance and commercial expert Simon Lunt and James Phinn, who focuses on supply, trading and licensing agreements.

John Flanagan heads the department at Rollits LLP, which is recognised for its expertise in the food, social enterprise, education, energy and family-owned business sectors; its client roster includes Cranswick, City College Coventry and Rix Petroleum. Flanagan’s recent work includes advising the shareholders of Quickline Communications on its disposal of shares to Satellite Solutions Worldwide, assisting Henley College Coventry and City College Coventry with their merger to create Coventry College, and handling McCann Chemicals’ acquisition of Hunter Chemicals. Richard Field is a key name for M&A, disposals, joint venture agreements and shareholder agreements; he is also active in the education and charity sectors.


Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

At Addleshaw Goddard, Yunus Seedat is divisional managing partner for the corporate and commercial department, while Garry Elliott heads the Leeds-based team; both have strength in private equity transactions. The practice is also highly regarded for its expertise acting on high-profile M&A transactions and assisting financial services clients. Recent mandates include advising MKM Building Supplies and the selling shareholders on its £200m sale to Bain Capital Private Equity, assisting the Stadium Group with the sale of four corporate entities which each own a retail park to Epic (No. 2) Limited, and acting for Elysian Capital on its acquisition of Fastflow Group. Other key practitioners include Neil Woodhouse and Mark Hallam, who focus on the financial services sector; Rosanna Bryant, who acts for retail financial services clients; managing associate James Tatro and Leeds office head Tim Wheldon. The department also recently recruited private equity specialist Peter Wood from Pinsent Masons LLP, and Richard Hunt from Squire Patton Boggs.

DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘unquestionably a top-tier practice’ as ‘one of the best firms in the region’ with ‘exemplary response times, considerable industry insight and an absolutely top-notch team’. Andrew Davies and Matthew Duncombe lead the corporate and commercial practices respectively; Davies is experienced in the retail and aviation sectors, and Duncombe’s expertise encompasses the hospitality, leisure, retail and manufacturing sectors. Jonathan Procter leads the firm’s financial services advice, Stephen Atkinson is the key name for M&A advice for private equity clients and legal director Paul Routledge regularly handles cross-border transactions. Hospitality sector specialist Wendy Harrison and John Gallon, who handles capital markets transactions, are also names to note. Recent highlights include assisting the Wellcome Trust with its joint venture with Queensway and the creation of a new hotel brand, advising Brewdog on its £213m sale of a stake in the business to TSG Consumer Partners and acting for Nisa Retail on its acquisition by the Co-operative Group. Marriott, Yorkshire Water, Booths and Q Hotels are also clients.

Robin Skelton and Peter McCormack lead Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s corporate and commercial teams respectively; Skelton recently advised Kentucky Fried Chicken (Great Britain) on the disposal of a portfolio of franchisees while McCormack acts for clients in the financial services, transport, manufacturing and waste sectors. Other work includes cross-border specialist Amanda Partland assisting DFS Furniture with its acquisition of Sofology, Skelton advising Baird Capital on its acquisition of CAV Advanced Technologies and CAV Ice Protection, and handling Fintrax Group Holdings’ acquisition of GB Tax Free. Nick Stubbs relocated to Leeds from the firm’s Manchester office in 2017 and is a key name for clients in the retail and financial services sectors; principal associate Jonathan Pollard focuses on international M&A and Partner David Milne handles M&A and private equity transactions. Charles Reynard moved to the firm’s Cardiff office.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s advice is ‘always pragmatic and demonstrates a good grasp of the operational issues involved in even the most complex transactions’. The team, which ‘has exceptional in-depth knowledge and an excellent ability to leave no stone unturned’, is headed by Andrew Black, who handles cross-border transactions and regularly acts for publically listed companies in the UK and North America. He recently advised Central Square Holdings on its acquisition of Styles & Wood. Andrew Kerr is praised as ‘extremely commercial’; he acted for DCC on the disposal of its environmental business to Exponent, advised IGT on its combined business and share acquisition of Zest Gaming, and assisted Exertis with its acquisition of the Hammer group. Other key names include legal directors Catherine Hemsworth and Michelle Kershaw, who handle M&A and private equity transactions; senior associate Joanna Jowitt, who is ‘passionate about her work and a pleasure to work with’, and legal director Lisa Harley, who focuses on the IT sector. -Martin Priestley joined Mills & Reeve LLP.

Squire Patton Boggs ‘always responds in a considered manner’ and ‘makes the client feel confident that the job will get done to the highest level possible’. The ‘thorough and knowledgeable’ team is ‘far and away one of the best’ for private equity, M&A and capital markets transactions. Key names on the corporate side include Jonathan Jones, who handles private equity mandates; team head Hannah Kendrick, who is ‘exceptionally brilliant’; national private equity team head Paul Mann and Adam Hastings, who focuses on equity capital markets work. Paul Jinks and Francesca Fellowes are names to note on the commercial side. Recent highlights include Kendrick acting for Animalcare Group on its acquisition of Ecuphar, Hastings assisting Clipper Logistics with its separate acquisitions of Team Distribution and RepairTech, and Jones advising several management shareholders of Zenith Group Holdings on its management buyout (MBO). Growth Capital Partners and SIG Trading are also clients; Mann acted for the latter on the sale of its plastics business to General All Purpose Plastics. -Richard Hunt joined Addleshaw Goddard in 2018.

The ‘incredibly strong team’ at Walker Morris LLP is ‘one of the best in Leeds and the surrounding area’ with ‘commercially focused advice that makes it equally as good as any of the London firms’. John Hamer leads the department and advises on public and private company takeovers, acquisitions, public market listings and private equity investments; his recent work includes acting for Total Capital Partners on the funding of its MBO of Walkers Transports. Clients also praise Ian Gilbert and director Jo Stephenson, Debbie Jackson, who ‘gets stuff done effectively’; Richard Naish, who ‘communicates effectively’; and Daniel O'Gorman, who is ‘pragmatic and solution oriented’. Jackson recently advised Endless on the sale of Karro Food Group to CapVest Partners, Naish acted for Servelec Group on its recommended cash offer from Scarlet Bidco, and O’Gorman assisted Data Intensity and its owner with its sale to EQT. Renew Holdings, Custodian REIT and Mattioli Woods are also clients.

At Clarion, Jonathan Simms is a key name for M&A issues and regularly acts for corporate finance clients; his recent work includes advising the shareholders of Intermarketing Group on its sale, assisting the shareholders of Walkers Transport with a private equity investment including a management buy-in, and acting on the sale of the issued share capital of Pembrokeshire Resource Centre. Richard Moran and Matthew Hattersley lead the corporate and commercial teams respectively; other noteworthy individuals include commercial partner David Cunningham, who focuses on IT outsourcing projects; and legal director Tony Berry, who is experienced in international M&A. Up Fitness Group and Card Factory are also clients; Cunningham advised the latter on a project to replace all its electronic point of sale systems.

Gateley Plc’s ‘genuinely excellent’ department is jointly led by Nick Emmerson and David Armitage; Armitage focuses on cross-border M&A mandates and Emmerson is ‘a first-class lawyer who is always on top of the commercial points and never misses a deadline’. The team is noted for its international expertise, which recently included advising Inspired Energy on its acquisition of Horizon Energy Group, and acting for WH Ireland in its role as financial adviser to CTI Engineering on its £43m takeover of Waterman Group. Other recent mandates include assisting Keepmoat with its acquisition of MCI Developments and handling Freedom Finance’s joint venture with Asda Financial Services to create Asda Loans. Sandip Khroud is also a name to note and is recognised for his M&A and private equity transactional experience.

Gordons LLP is ‘attentive to its clients’ needs’ with ‘effective and appropriate advice that compares easily to the larger firms in the city’. The practice is recognised for its M&A expertise and has recently strengthened its private equity work; the team advised Enact on its sale of Excelsior Technologies to Mondi Group, assisted Solingen Private Equity with its investment in Academic Appointments, and acted for the shareholders of Sewtec Holdings on its sale to Endless. The team is also active in the retail sector through the experience of Andy Brian; clients include Charles Tyrwhitt, Iceland Foods, Lulu Guinness and Nisa Retail. James Fawcett leads the department, which also includes Jonathan Asquez , John Holden and Duncan Firman.

Chris Schofield leads the practice at Schofield Sweeney, which is ‘excellent across the board’. The team also fields managing partner Martin Sweeney, Adrian Ballam, Chris Blantern, David Strachan, Stephen Millward and commercial specialist Luisa D'Alessandro. Highlights included Ballam advising Healthpoint on its MBO backed by Maven Capital, Rob Kelly acting for Leman Interntationl Transport on its acquisition of Maru International, and Blantern assisting the management team of Thermal Energy Ventures with its MBO backed by YFM Equity Partners. Sanderson Group and ACAD Holdings are also clients; Strachan advised the latter on the sale of The Academy Health Club and Spa to David Lloyd Leisure.

‘One of the best firms for private equity work’, Womble Bond Dickinson’s recent highlights include advising NorthEdge Capital on its investment in Clearly Drinks Group, assisting Cairngorm Capital with its acquisition of Sameday Holdings, and acting for Enact on its exit from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. Simon Pilling heads the team and is a key name for private equity and venture capital transactions supported by managing associate James Cook. The practice is also active in the manufacturing, fintech and retail sectors; Kennelpak and Chemoxy are example clients with Pilling advising the latter on its sale of a majority stake to Novacap. Managing associate Rebecca Ridley is also a name to note.

Jonathan Oxley is a key name in Lupton Fawcett’s ‘highly experienced’ group and is praised by clients as ‘a calm, pragmatic and commercial professional’. Oxley’s recent work includes advising Zenith Data Systems on its £6.2m sale to VP, acting for Snatch Media on an interim funding round and the establishment of a new parent company in the US, and assisting Valley Printing Company with the establishment of a joint venture with Outform Group. Other practitioners include practice head Giles Clegg, who also leads the firm’s care team; Martin Frost in the York office who handles cross-border M&A, ‘effective communicator’ Daniel McCormack and Andrew Lindsay, whose ‘commitment to his clients is second to none’.

At Shulmans LLP, Marcus Armstrong and Emma Roe lead the corporate and commercial teams respectively; Armstrong has ‘proved himself as an able adviser’ and Roe is ‘a go-to practitioner’. Key sectors for the group include the IT, healthcare, food and drink, financial services and education sectors; clients include Octopus Properties, 21st Century Technology and Bayfields Group. The department also advised Ultra Finishing on an investment by the Business Growth Fund, and assisted with the disposal of Redfern Travel to Corporate Travel Management. Other key team members include Andrew Bradley, who handles issues for IT and financial services clients; Chris Peace, who is a key contact for pharmacy clients; and Mark Lumley and Helen Goldthorpe, who are part of the commercial team.

Boutique commercial firm 3volution Limited acts on private equity and venture capital transactions, restructurings, M&A, corporate governance and finance mandates. Department head Jonathan Priestley handles M&A and capital markets work and Michael Cantwell is recommended for MBOs, investments and joint ventures. Recent highlights include advising Around Noon Foods on its acquisition of Chef in a Box, acting for Optrical on an equity investment from Mercia Growth Nominees 5 and Finance Yorkshire Seedcorn and assisting the seller with the disposal of the issued share capital of Brook Financial Services. Remedy Tech Centre, Proveca, Mad as Birds and Group Rhodes are also clients.

The ‘excellent’ practice at Harrowells Solicitors is recognised for its strength advising local SMEs and clients in the charity sector with an increasing number of larger Northern corporate appearing on the firm’s client roster. Susie Mortonson leads the company commercial team, which handles advisory work and regulatory matters, particularly in the food and drink, transport and healthcare sectors.

Langleys Solicitors LLP  advises clients at a regional and national level across M&A work, MBOs and corporate governance issues. Christian Hunt  heads the practice, which recently acted for the Continuum Group on its acquisition of Greenwood Forest Park, assisted NNZ with its acquisition of Levy Brothers & Knowles, and advised The Inspired Branding Group on the sale of its trading subsidiary adProducts.com to Altitude Group.

Susan Clark  and James Sarjantson  jointly head the group at LCF Law, which regularly acts for clients in the healthcare, dental, biocidal, accounting and digital sectors. In a recent highlight, corporate specialist Clark advised the minority shareholders of TSGE Consulting on its sale to Science Group; other work includes assisting with the sale of Todd Waste Management Group to Yorwaste and acting on the sale of Coombe Abbey Park Hotel to Coventry City Council. On the commercial side, Sarjantson handles franchising mandates, online trading and IP matters and assists with GDPR compliance strategies. Clementine Duckett  focuses on private equity and M&A transactions and Cathy Cook , who made partner in 2017, is active in the retail sector.

Mills & Reeve LLP ‘really takes the time to get to knows its clients and the sectors they operate in’ thanks to the ‘brilliant leadership’ of Paul Johnson, who ‘acts with a great deal of integrity, honesty and commerciality’. In an illustration of Johnson’s track record in mid-market transactions, he advised Coretronic on its acquisition of Calibre UK, acted for the shareholders of Orange County on its sale to Flowtech Fluidpower, and assisted WH Ireland with AfriTin Mining's AIM flotation and related fundraising issues. Clients also single out ‘excellent communicator and highly commercial decision maker’ principal associate Shubhu Patil. The department is also active in the healthcare, technology and private client arenas.

Philip Jordan leads Ward Hadaway’s commercial practice, which also includes competition specialist Andrew Finfer and IT sector expert Gareth Yates, while key corporate individuals in the Leeds office include corporate finance-focused Gavin Maddison, banking expert Mark Smith and James Nightingale, who is active in the healthcare, energy and infrastructure sectors. The team’s work often has an international element with notable experience in private equity investments and acting for owner-managed businesses. Highlights included advising Lexwall on its acquisition of the Cidon Group, handling Trekksoft’s acquisition of Digital Ticketing Systems, and assisting Livingstone Financial Services and The Informed Partnership with a group restructuring following the retirement of a major shareholder.

In the ‘exceptional’ team at Blacks Solicitors LLP, which ‘always goes above and beyond for its clients’, department head Nigel Hoyle is ‘an excellent, pragmatic and commercial individual who is talented at finding solutions’, David Paterson is ‘to the point and avoids excessive fluff’, Richard Buono is ‘a fantastic asset to have on your side’ and Chris Allen ‘tells it how it is’. The group primarily acts for regional SMEs and owner-managed businesses with substantial expertise in the holiday and home parks sector; it recently acted on the sale of a caravan business park. Clients also single out ‘incredibly reliable’ associate Tate Chakrabarty, who ‘has the perfect combination of being highly personal and razor sharp in his legal and commercial knowledge’.

Lester Wilson leads DWF’s department and specialises in M&A work, equity capital markets issues and corporate finance mandates. His clients span listed companies, SMEs, entrepreneurs, private equity houses and venture capitalists. Other noteworthy individuals include banking partner Chris Ramage and corporate tax specialist John Toon.

In Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, Joanne Bone is the key name for commercial advice and specialises in IP and IT mandates. Her advice covers IT contracts, e-commerce issues and data protection advice. She recently advised a hotel brand on its IT contracts, acted for a software company on a branding strategy and assisted Callcredit Information Group with its master service agreements.

Key practitioners at Needle Partners Limited include managing partner Sharon Needle and Tim Wimbush; Needle advises national and international clients including individuals, listed companies, governments and banks with expertise in Islamic finance work, and Wimbush focuses on the financial services sector. In a recent highlight, the team advised on the sale of eight Costa coffee shops; Zavarco and Panoramic Doors UK are also clients.

Shoosmiths LLP opened its Leeds office in late 2016, which is ‘quickly establishing itself in the city’, with the recruitment of team head Philip Goldsborough and the ‘commercially savvy and strategic’ James Foster from  Irwin Mitchell, and Alex Kirkhope from DLA Piper UK LLP. Goldsborough is recognised for his M&A expertise, Foster handles corporate finance deals and Kirkhope is the key commercial specialist. Recent mandates include acting for August Equity on its sale of The Leaving Care Company, Aspirations Specialist Residential Children’s Services and Crossways Care (Holdings); advising YFM Equity Partners on its buy out of 4Net Technologies and assisting HI Oldham Road with its acquisition of McGarr McGarrick. Lloyds Development Capital, SIG and Schoeller Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment are also clients.

Michelle Mathers heads Weightmans’ Leeds corporate team, which is noted for its corporate advisory and transactional work and commercial contract expertise. Clients span the public, owner-managed business, charity, transport, financial services, manufacturing and digital sectors. Other key names include associates Victoria Robertson and Harron Younis. In a recent highlight, Mathers advised Hoyer Petrolog on an outsourcing contract with Air BP; other matters include Robertson acting for Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire PCC on its collaboration with UCLan to establish a forensic sciences academy and Younis assisting Bubba Gump Shrimp with franchise issues. Luxfer Group, Anixter International and Cornertrack are also clients.

Noteworthy individuals in Berwins’ practice include Paul Berwin , solicitor Sam Crich  and director Mike Patterson . The team is particularly prominent in the digital and technology sectors with a substantial local client base; examples include Berwin & Berwin, Humpit Hummus and Vital Technologies.

Dahren Naidoo and Andy Francey jointly head Freeths LLP’s department, which ‘works well with clients to be responsive and adaptable to their needs and builds confidence and value in every possible way’. Naidoo handles private equity transactions and M&A work while Francey assists with investments and M&A; clients praise Francey for his ‘clear expertise, incredible knowledge and commercial understanding’. Recent highlights include advising the management team of Zyro Fisher on a secondary private equity investment supported by Palatine Private Equity, assisting Neom with an investment from Piper Private Equity and acting for Filmore and Union on an investment by the British Growth Fund.

McCormicks is ‘highly renowned for its sporting expertise’ with a client roster including Leeds United FC and the Premier League; senior partner Peter McCormick leads the relationship with the latter and recently advised it on the commercial issues relating to club takeovers and financing work. Jon Healey heads the practice and joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018; his expertise encompasses acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, shareholders agreements, reorganisations, restructurings and commercial contracts. Other highlights include advising the Premier League Charitable Fund on a joint venture project with the Premier League and BBC Children in Need, and acting on a sponsorship agreement with Barclays Bank; assisting the Isthmian League with its restructuring and corporate governance issues and acting for Harrogate International Festivals on its corporate restructuring.

Stephen Newman leads the department at Ramsdens, which has expertise spanning M&A, MBOs, asset sales and corporate restructurings. The team focuses on SME and owner-managed business clients; it recently acted for Gee Graphite Holdings UK on its acquisition of Gee Graphite, assisted Northern Belle (Holdings) with its acquisition of Northern Belle from Belmond Group, and handled Simpson Wood’s merger with the accountancy practice of Bamforth & Co. Richard Dean and Greg Dolan are also key names to note.

Raworths ‘consistently demonstrates exceptional professionalism throughout any matter it works on with an ability to fully understand what the client wants and execute that extremely well’. Clients single out team head Simon Morris for his ‘outstanding knowledge of the local market and the law and ability to present his advice in a way that is easy to understand with the best steps to take to meet the desired outcome’. Morris’ clients include SMEs, owner-managed businesses, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals, and associate Phil Parkinson leads the firm’s commercial work. Recent mandates include advising HMC Premedical on its establishment of a UK subsidiary and related acquisition of a distributor of medical supplies, and acting for the shareholders of Chippindale Foods on its sale to a national supermarket chain.


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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

According to one client, what sets DLA Piper UK LLP’s Sheffield team apart is ‘its ability to see the bigger commercial picture and set its legal advice in that real-world context’ thanks to ‘an exceptionally strong team of highly responsive and skilled individuals’. Richard May and Roger Gough lead the corporate and commercial teams respectively; May handles national and international M&A and Gough focuses on IT contract work. Clients also single out capital markets and M&A specialist Rob McKie, who is ‘unflappable, helpful and commercial in every possible way’; Catherine Simister, who has notable strength in the manufacturing and healthcare sectors; and recently promoted partners David Beech and Amanda Pilkington, who specialise in cross-border work and outsourcing issues respectively. Recent highlights include advising Newell Brands on the UK aspects of the $2bn sale of its tool business to Stanley Black & Decker, assisting JustGiving with its sale to Blackbaud, and acting for Axalta Coating Systems on its cross-border acquisition of the Plascoat group of companies including operating sites in the UK and Netherlands and subsidiaries in the US. Yu Group, Maintel Holdings and Playtech are also clients.

CMS handles the full range of corporate mandates including acquisitions, disposals, investments, restructurings and joint ventures at a regional, national and international level. Recent work includes acting for TP Group on its acquisitions of ALS Technologies and Flexible Software Solutions, handling GRI Group’s acquisition of Zamya, and advising the management team of MFH Engineering on its MBO. Euromoney, Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, British Steel and Mercedes are also clients. Ben Hendry leads the department, which also includes infrastructure sector specialist Gareth Saynor, who also focuses on investment work in the tech sector, and senior associate Nick Hopper, who handles M&A, investments and group reorganisations.

At Freeths LLP, practice head Peter Crawford is ‘a great listener and invests time into knowing his clients to better understand the direction they want to take’ and ‘makes clients feel at ease with his approach and professionalism which helps matters get completed quicker’. Crawford’s recent work includes advising The Floow on a minority investment by Direct Line Group, Fosun and United Electronics totalling £13m, assisting Jordan with its sale of European Oat Millers to Richardson International, and acting for Freethsshef26 on the management buy-in of Alca Fasteners. SCX, InfoTrack Group and Carepoty Advisory Services are also clients. Senior associate Lisa Wallis is also a name to note.

Matt Ainsworth heads HLW Keeble Hawson’s group and is ‘technically brilliant with an extremely strong work ethic, responsive approach, easy going personality and a clear ability to stay calm under pressure that make him very popular with clients’. Other key figures include managing partner Paul Trudgill, who focuses on M&A and MBO work; Roger Dyson, who acts for SMEs and owner-managed businesses; and senior associate Michael Hall, who specialises in private equity transactions, M&A and public equity work. The practice acted for RCI Europe on its acquisition of The Social Travel Club and acted for the shareholders of Whirlowdale Trading Company on its sale to Scott Timber. Nick Goulding moved in-house at UK Steel Enterprise and Chris Wilson retired.

Lupton Fawcett is ‘a first port of call’ for some clients, who claim it is ‘one of the best mid-sized firms in the city with guidance that is always framed in a manner that is easily understandable and highlights the team’s professionalism and ability to build trust’. Team head Neil Large advises on national matters and the ‘extremely pragmatic’ office head Michele Phillips ‘stands out for finance work’ and ‘always looks for the unexpected and manages these issues easily’. Large’s recent work includes assisting 2400 Limited with its acquisitions of Nitec UK and Spire Laboratories, and acting for the shareholders of Majestic Polymers and DSA Chemicals on the companies’ sale; while Phillips advised Mondi on its acquisition of Excelsior Technologies Group from Endless. Santander, Dependable Cars and Joseph Care Homes Group are also clients.

Bell & Buxton ‘provides excellent advice that is communicated clearly in plain English’ and ‘does a fantastic job at hitting even the tightest of deadlines’. Highlights for the ‘highly competent’ group included acting for ECS Sheffield on its sale of shares and MBO, assisting Mcquinn Holdings with its acquisition of a majority stake in a business and advising R&R Yorkshire Properties on its MBO. Alex Ross leads the department and is singled out by clients as ‘a thorough and fair-minded lawyer who always has pragmatic solutions for complex problems’; other names to note include commercial lawyer Emma Digby and Matthew Rodgers. Richard Morton retired.

Laurence Gavin heads the practice at Irwin Mitchell and ‘has a good knowledge of complex issues paired with advice that is always well researched’; his recent work includes advising Westfield Health on its purchase of the Bolton and District Hospital Saturday Council, assisting Coaching Inn Group with its purchase of Castle Hotel Conwy, and acting for Telford College of Arts and Technology on its merger with New College Telford. Sheffield City Trust, Rocksure Systems, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust and Awesome Merchandise are also clients.

Taylor & Emmet LLP handles the full range of corporate and commercial work from high-value M&A to commercial contract drafting; it also recently expanded its expertise to include mandates in the music, media and entertainment space. Department head Rob Moore primarily acts for SMEs in the Yorkshire region and is supported by solicitor Ryan Fitzpatrick; Moore recently advised the purchasers on the acquisition of Worksop Town FC.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited’s ‘superb’ team is led by Duncan Shepherd, whose recent mandates include acting for the sellers on the sale of the entire issued share capital of The Crown Hotel (Bawtry) and assisting the sellers with the sale of the Rutland Hotel. John Baddeley is also a name to note and is experienced in mergers and restructurings; he acted for the sellers in their disposal of shares in Spencer Coatings Group, advised the management team on the MBO of TDR Transmissions and assisted Duro UK with its acquisition of Pegasus Diamond Blades. The team also regularly acts for clients in the banking and manufacturing sectors.


Corporate tax

Index of tables

  1. Corporate tax
  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 tax 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

John Christian leads Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘exceptional’ practice, which has notable expertise in property taxation and real estate structuring, private equity issues and incentives plans and acting for clients in the education, health and financial services sectors. In a recent highlight, Christian advised Legal & General Capital on the tax elements of its acquisition of Renaissance Villages from Helical; he also assisted Axa Investment Managers with its acquisition of Retirement Villages Group, handled the tax aspects of Jacobs Holding’s acquisition of Southern Dental Group, and acted for Livingbridge on the tax aspects of its second MBO of Giacom Holdings. DCC, Mayfair Capital Investment Management, UDG Healthcare and the University of London are also clients. Associate Andrew McCarthy acts for private equity, dental and care home clients, and legal director Suzannah Crookes is the main contact for share plans and incentives issues; Crookes recently advised Imperial Brands on its global share plans.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘prompt, efficient and commercial’ department is ‘exceptionally client focused and is made better by its ability to listen to the commercial imperatives of the matters it deals with’. Clients single out ‘brilliant individual’ Mark Simpson !Leeds and Tim Jarvis !Leeds, whose ‘theoretical knowledge is astounding’; Simpson focuses on real estate tax work and Jarvis is the main contact for private equity, banking and corporate finance transactions. Peter Morley !Leeds’s expertise encompasses national and international tax issues, M&A transactions, private equity mandates, IPOs, takeovers and restructurings. Recent highlights include advising Fore Advisors on an acquisition and securing finance for two further acquisitions, acting for LDC on its acquisition of a stake in Pelsis, and assisting Animalcare with its acquisition of Ecuphar. Six Degrees Group and Warrington Borough Council are also clients; Simpson advised the latter on the tax elements of its acquisition of Birchwood Park from Oaktree Capital Management.

Lynda Finan is the key name in DLA Piper UK LLP’s Leeds office and was recently joined by new practice head David Smith  and senior associate Richard Johnson, who were recruited from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in 2018. Chartered tax adviser Finan specialises in equity incentives, share schemes and employment-related tax issues, Smith handles corporate and employment-related tax matters, and associate Sally Robertson is another key name to note; the team also works closely with Manchester-based David Thompson. Highlights included advising Clinigen Group on the share scheme elements of its acquisition of Quantum Pharma, assisting Proprium Real Estate Special Situations with the tax elements of its acquisition of Admiral Taverns, and handling Sytner Group’s acquisition of Car Shops. NCC Group, Renew Holdings and CVS Group are also clients.

The ‘brilliant’ practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is recognised for transactional and advisory services, real estate tax, VAT issues, employment tax work and renewable energy mandates, and has seen an increase in US transactional and structuring work following the firm’s merger in 2017. Team head David Jervis is a key name for renewable energy projects and international matters; his recent work includes advising Pension Infrastructure Platform on the tax aspects of its acquisition of multiple solar farms from Trina Solar, assisting Medical Research Council with the tax elements of its joint venture with its charity partners Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK to form the UK Dementia Research Institute, and providing tax support to Capita on its sale of its asset services division to Link Group. The team also advised SPX Flow on its restructuring and handled H2 Equity Partners’ investment in BA Components. Principal associate Amanda Dodsworth joined from KPMG Law and is recommended for employment-related tax issues. -David Smith and -Richard Johnson joined DLA Piper UK LLP.

In Walker Morris LLP’s ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ practice, director Sarah Bruce has ‘a straightforward approach that is always upbeat’ combined with ‘an ability to be informative and willingness to listen while delivering the complex advice in a pragmatic and easy-to-follow way’. Her recent work includes assisting the shareholders of Karro Food Group on the tax aspects of its sale to CapVest and acting for the management team of Pelsis Holding on its MBO. Clients also praise Director Nicola Parkinson, who has ‘excellent business acumen and industry knowledge’; she led advice to Servelec Group on its employee share incentives and advised Proactis Holdings on its reverse takeover of Perfect Commerce. Mattioli Woods, Total Capital and Vantage Motor Group are also clients. Simon Concannon retired in 2018.

DWF’s ‘dedicated practice’ provides ‘a great service with a responsive and knowledgeable team of individuals who give the best commercial guidance’. John Toon leads the group and specialises in property fund work and private equity issues; he is closely supported by senior associate James Cashman in Manchester who handles employee incentives, and Birmingham-based Jon Stevens . Toon’s recent work includes advising Tatton Asset Management on its pre-IPO reorganisation, assisting Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority with the tax elements of the termination of the Greater Manchester Waste PFI project, and acting for Assura on the tax aspects of its acquisition of multiple property SPVs. Learning Technologies, Wm Morrison and Cornwall Council are also clients.

Freeths LLP fields ‘a team of thorough, motivated and knowledgeable individuals who go the extra mile and are a pleasure to work with’. Key areas of expertise for the group include corporate and property transactions, M&A work, private equity fund structuring and tax litigation. In a recent highlight, Adrian Hackett  advised on the structuring of the Fair by Design Venture Fund, and acted for Celox Management on the restructuring and establishment of a UK management company. In another highlight Claire Boyce assisted the shareholders of Monica Healthcare with its sale to GE Healthcare.

At Lupton Fawcett, group head Julian Moran divides his time between the Leeds, Sheffield and York offices and advises on all aspects of corporate tax including VAT and stamp duty issues. The team handles group reorganisations, tax efficient exits, MBOs, private equity matters and employee benefit trusts. Moran recently led the tax advice to Snatch Media relating to an interim funding round; he also advised a private equity firm on the establishment of an EIS fund and set up a long-term incentive share arrangement for an AIM listed company.


EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

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DWF’s ‘top-tier practice’ is led by ‘star performer’ Jonathan Branton, who splits his time between Leeds and Manchester and is ‘one of the foremost experts nationally for state aid and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) advice’. Branton ‘provides technically sound and pragmatic, solution-based advice’; he recently represented Mexichem Group in an European Commission (EC) investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour between two US automotive refrigerant companies, assisted Cornwall Council with the state aid funding for the Space Port and Newquay Airport, and acted for Dransfield Properties on two major development projects including ERDF funding support. Other work includes advising East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council on investments in the Green Port area and related state aid rules, and handling funding matters for Leeds City Region LEP. The practice is also highly regarded for its public procurement expertise. The group works closely with senior associate Jay Mehta who is based in Manchester and Brussels-based Vassilis Akritidis.

The ‘professional and dedicated’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is ‘easily one of the strongest competition and regulation teams in the North of England’ under the leadership of Kate Newman, who is ‘committed to delivering the best outcomes for clients’ and took over the role following Adam Collinson’s retirement in 2017. Newman is particularly noted for her expertise in advising on the application of competition law to regulated sectors and clients in the utilities sector; examples include Cadent Gas, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Anglian Water Group. Recent work for other clients include acting for DFS Furniture on the competition elements of its acquisition of Sofology including obtaining unconditional clearance, assisting South Staffordshire with the EU and UK merger control issues of its joint venture with Pennon, and advising the Department for Transport on the competition elements of the re-letting of the South West Rail Franchise. Associate Mark Crane is also a name to note; he handles cartel and market investigations, abuse of dominance issues and merger control work.

With ‘the pre-eminent team in the region’ and ‘an unmatched ability to punch above its weight’, Walker Morris LLP is praised as ‘a safe pair of hands for any issue’ combining ‘a thorough approach and exceptional market knowledge to provide a fully comprehensive service’. Trudy Feaster-Gee and Jeremy Scholes jointly lead the practice; Feaster-Gee is an expert in abuse of dominance issues and is ‘incredibly practical and user friendly’. Clients also praise ‘brilliantly talented’ director Shaukat Ali, whose expertise encompasses merger control issues, cartels, restrictive agreements and abuse of dominance work; senior associate Richard Jacques, who ‘really takes the time to understand the client’; and director Kate Webster, who handles the firm’s public procurement and state aid work. Recent highlights include advising Endless on the competition aspects of its disposal of one of its portfolio companies, Imtech, to EDF; assisting multiple clients with competition law compliance issues relating to products sold online, and handling state aid compliance, funding agreements and property due diligence work for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. Caterpillar Group, Augean and Enova International are also clients.

Addleshaw Goddard is ‘a very pragmatic firm that quickly gets to grips with client parameters and the issues at hand’ and ‘utilises its technically excellent and commercial team to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the bigger players in the market’. Managing associate Clare Walker is the key name in the Leeds office and works closely with the ‘invaluable’ Mark Molyneux in Manchester and London-based Bruce Kilpatrick and Rona Bar Isaac. Highlights included acting for Bruntwood Management Services on multiple state aid issues, representing the Road Haulage Association in collective proceedings against truck manufacturers to recover damages arising from a cartel, and defending NKT Cables in claims brought by National Grid and Scottish Power alleging overcharges relating to the high voltage cables infringement decision of the EC. Other clients include JD Sports Fashion, SSE, Saga, the Department for Transport and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Peter McCormick  leads the team at McCormicks, which counts the Premier League as a key client; recent highlights include representing it in an arbitration against Leyton Orient relating to its decision to allow West Ham United to use the Olympic Stadium and claims that the decision was in breach of competition law, defending it in a EC complaint brought by Doyen Sports alleging that the Premier League rules infringe competition law by preventing third party ownership of players, and representing it in a complaint brought to the EC by FIFPro alleging that certain elements of the way the international transfer market operates are anti-competitive and breach European law. The team also acted for GMI Construction Holdings and GMI Construction Group in proceedings alleging bid rigging and defended Analytix in an abuse of dominance complaint. Leeds United FC, Cleveland Process Designs, Harrogate International Festivals and Plantagenet Media are also clients. Philip Edmondson is a key name to note.


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