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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard's corporate finance team has an impressive breadth of experience handling high-profile M&A transactions, particularly in the private equity, financial services, retail and consumer sectors. The Leeds-based practice, headed up by Garry Elliott, was recently bolstered by the promotion of James Tatro to the partnership and lateral hire of Richard Hunt from Squire Patton Boggs; Hunt is well-regarded for his experience advising corporates in the chemicals and industrials sectors, and assisting individual entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in Yorkshire and the North East.

Practice head(s):Garry Elliott

Other key lawyers:Neil Woolhouse; Peter Wood; Richard Hunt; Mark Hallam; James Tatro

Testimonials

'James Tatro is very good.'

'Richard Hunt is a very effective lawyer'

Key Clients

General All Purpose Plastics Limited

NorthEdge

LDC

Livingbridge

Riverside Private Equity

WSP Group

Elysian Capital LLP

Daniel Thwaites plc

Stadium Group

Pyroguard UK

Müller group of companies

William Jackson Food Group

Sainsbury's

AFI Uplift

Fastflow Group

M.K.M. Building Supplies

Pirtek

Mangar Health

Skanska UK plc

International Personal Finance plc

YFM Private Equity

Zenith Vehicle Leasing

Brenntag UK

NGH Holdings

Broker Network

Portakabin

Diageo

Ted Baker

Shearings Leisure Group

Tieto Oyj

SGG Group

Raphael & sons plc

Skipton Building Society

Punter Southall plc

Utex Industries UK Limited

Carclo plc

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team of Pirtek on its sale and tertiary management buy-out by US private equity house PNC Riverarch Capital.
  • Advised on the management buy-out of Deep Sea Electronics, which was backed by Caledonia.
  • Assisted Lloyds Development Capital with its acquisition of shares in NBS from RIBA and the related shareholder arrangements.
  • Acted for William Jackson Food Group on the sale of Aunt Bessie's to Nomad Foods.
  • Advised Sainsbury's on its high-profile acquisition of the Nectar reward scheme and related entities from Aimia.

DLA Piper UK LLP's Leeds-based corporate and commercial practice provides a broad service to its impressive client roster of local, domestic and, increasingly, international companies. Led by Andrew Davies, the corporate team, which handles a range of high-profile M&A and private and public equity transactions, also includes Jonathan Procter, who is well-regarded for his financial services and retail sector expertise. The firm's commercial offering is headed up by Matthew Duncombe. The hospitality and leisure, healthcare, retail, energy and technology sectors are all key areas of strength for the department.

Practice head(s):Andrew Davies; Matthew Duncombe

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Procter; John Gallon; Wendy Harrison; Stephen Atkinson

Testimonials

'Jonathan Procter is a very good lawyer.'

'The team is very commercial, with good in-depth knowledge of various sectors.'

'John Gallon is outstanding and provides high-quality advice.'

Key Clients

Arconic Inc

Newell Brands

Cube Infrastructure Fund

Vaillant Group

Outokumpu

Anglo African Oil & Gas plc

I-Nexus Global plc

Maintel Holdings plc

Investec Investments (UK) Limited

August Equity

UGI Corporation

Heineken

Formula E

Severfield plc

Starwood Capital

Greencoat Capital

Ramsay Healthcare

GT Gettaxi Ltd ("Gett")

Croda International plc

Yum! (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell)

Paul

Koh Tan Resorts

Crooked Mile S.A

Work highlights

  • Advised Starwood Capital on its £135m acquisition of a portfolio of Hilton branded hotels.
  • Advised Sun Capital on the cross-border disposal of Bundy Refridgeration involving over 12 jurisdictions.
  • Acted for Yorkshire Water on its sale of water treatment plants in Northern Ireland.
  • Advised Marriott International on the sale of five country residence hotels to Britannia Hotels.
  • Negotiating commercial agreements  for Gett relating to the global expansion of its pre-book and on-demand transportation platform, and the integration of its transportation networks globally.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP combines local expertise with the ability to leverage the global reach of its international network to handle a range of multi-jurisdictional transactions. The food and drink, retail, diversified industrials and financial services sectors are all areas of strength for the Leeds-based corporate and commercial teams, which are led by Robin Skelton and Peter McCormack respectively. Principal associate Jonathan Pollard is a name to note for public and private company work.

Practice head(s):Robin Skelton; Peter McCormack

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Pollard

Key Clients

Amazon

Communisis plc

Rolls Royce

Greencore

JP Morgan

Lloyds Banking Group

Next plc

Inflexion Private Equity

Perwyn LLP

Baird Capital

American Express

Work highlights

  • Advised KFC on the £300m sale to numerous franchisees of a portfolio of over 160 restaurants located throughout the UK.
  • Acted for Raisio on its disposal of the entire issued share capital of Big Bear Confectionery, The Lindum Snack Company and Candy Plus to Rowse Honey.
  • Advised Communisis on a £153.8m takeover offer from New York-based payment solutions firm OSG Group Holdings.
  • Advised Tyman on its stock exchange fundraising to raise £51.5m to support its acquisition of a North American manufacturer.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a varied client roster of domestic and international companies; practice head Andrew Black counts several large publicly listed companies based in the region as clients, and the 'well-regarded' Andrew Kerr has strong links with clients in Japan and Asia. The team frequently acts across the infrastructure,  manufacturing, technology, and real estate sectors, while senior associate Joanna Jowitt has a particular focus on the financial services and waste management sectors. The commercial team, which is headed up by Lisa Harley, is carving a niche in advising its education sector clients on digital and IT transformation projects.

Practice head(s):Andrew Black; Lisa Harley

Other key lawyers:Andrew Kerr; Catherine Hemsworth; Michelle Kershaw; Joanna Jowitt

Testimonials

'Pinsent's puts meeting the client's needs at the top of its priorities.'

'Andrew Black is smart and very client friendly whilst able to keep his eye on the big picture. The team works very well together which is a tribute to his matter management.'

'Andrew Kerr is highly responsive, attuned to client needs, a good communicator, and offers sound counsel.'

Key Clients

Fenner Plc

DCC Plc

Stadium Group plc

Central Square Holdings

ENVA Group

Northgate Public Services

Biffa

Forterra plc

Hyland Software Inc

Speedy Hire plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Fenner on its £1.2bn acquisition by Michelin.
  • Acted for Exertis on its £55m acquisition of the Kondor Group of companies from private equity owners, HIG Capital.
  • Instructed by DCC on its acquisition of Stampede Global Holdings.
  • Advised Stadium Group on a £46m recommended cash offer by TT Electronics.
  • Acted for Central Square Holdings on its takeover of Styles & Wood and its acquisition of Southerns.

Hannah Kendrick leads Squire Patton Boggs' Leeds-based practice, which regularly handles high-value domestic and international transactions. On the corporate side, Jonathan Jones and Adam Hastings focus on private equity and capital markets respectively, while Paul Jinks heads up the commercial practice, which frequently advises on the delivery and contractual structures of large IT projects for customer and supplier clients. Francesca Fellowes brings significant data protection and privacy expertise to major technology transactions.

Practice head(s):Hannah Kendrick

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Jones; Paul Mann; Adam Hastings; Paul Jinks; Francesca Fellowes

Key Clients

NorthEdge Capital

Endless LLP

Xeros Technology plc

Pharmacy 2U

Team 17 Group plc

ECI Partners

Clipper Logistics

Inflexion Private Equity

VP plc

Callcredit Information Group

ClearCourse

EDF Energy

XLN Telecom

Cox Automotive/Manheim

Sigma Retail Solutions

Liquid Voice

CTI Travel

Marston Holdings

Auction Technology Group

Omega Plc

Contis Group

McBride plc

Johnson & Johnson

Work highlights

  • Advised Callcredit Group on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Callcredit Consumer to Credit Karma.
  • Acted on the sale of Haydock Finance Group to Apollo Global Management.
  • Advised Inflexion on its acquisition of and investment in the PMC Treasury Group.
  • Assisted NorthEdge Capital with the management buyout of iPortalis.
  • Instructed by Team17 to advise on its £217m IPO and admission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.

From its Yorkshire base, Walker Morris LLP attracts a variety of impressive national and international transactions, with particular expertise in the food and drink, retail, waste and energy, technology, healthcare and medical devices and industrials sectors. Practice head John Hamer handles the full range of public and private company takeovers and acquisitions, public market listings, private equity investments and joint ventures, while Debbie Jackson has particular experience in M&A, private equity work and venture capital transactions.

Practice head(s):John Hamer

Other key lawyers:Debbie Jackson; Richard Naish; Daniel O'Gorman; James Crayton; Jo Stephenson

Testimonials

'John Hamer is very able and has a commercial attitude.

'The quality of the work at Walker Morris is as good as its London rivals and peers, plus it is very well connected to the local business community.'

'Walker Morris is legally sharp, business and deal-minded, and approachable, with "international firm" levels of responsiveness and service. It is much more international in its way of working than some of the other regional firms, while offering an unbeatable price-quality ratio. That unique combination makes it a clear first choice.'

'Walker Morris provides a great service and proves you do not need to hire a London firm to get first-class legal advice. Its approach on transactions is to be partner-led, which is invaluable. It has a strong commercial approach, provides clear advice and has a good knowledge of industry specific issues.'

'Daniel O'Gorman is a key partner in the corporate team. He is intellectually agile and solution-minded, always available and helpful. Dan is simply brilliant. He can jump from a private equity matter to an equity capital markets prospectus issue in a matter of seconds, and comes up with the right approach to move things forward.'

'Debbie Jackson and Richard Naish are names worthy of a specific mention, who are extremely impressive.'

'The high-quality advice always focuses on the needs of the client and is always given in a friendly manner.'

Key Clients

Pelsis Holding (UK)

Renew Holdings plc

Mattioli Woods plc

Revolution Dancewear

Mobileum Group

Fastener Distribution Holdings

Numis Securities

Calbee UK

Audax Private Equity

Pipers Crisps

Endless LLP

TheWorks.co.uk

Total Capital Partners

Business Growth Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising Endless on its £74.5m acquisition of Menzies Distribution.
  • Acting for Pipers Crisps on PepsiCo’s intended acquisition.
  • Assisted TheWorks.co.uk on its IPO and the placing of ordinary shares by Investec Bank.
  • Advised Calbee UK on its acquisition of Seabrook Crisps.
  • Advised German headquartered Schenck Process Group and its US private equity owners, Blackstone Private Equity, on its acquisition of the Process Components Group.

Clarion's corporate and commercial teams are led by Richard Moran and Matthew Hattersley respectively and are particularly strong in the media, marketing and digital sectors alongside expertise in the manufacturing and logistics sectors. The group has the ability to handle the full range of M&A, private equity, buyouts and acquisition finance work. The arrival of legal director Hitesh Tailor from DLA Piper UK LLP strengthened the firm's private equity offering.

Practice head(s):Richard Moran; Matthew Hattersley

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Simms; Hitesh Tailor; Sarah Harrison

Testimonials

'Clarion handles a lot of good corporate work, and is particularly recommended for private equity transactions.'

'Clarion really goes the extra mile for clients and is very collaborative to work with, fielding a team of tough negotiators.'

'The key uniqueness of Clarion is its genuine media and technology sector specialisms - knowing the legal challenges is important, but understanding them in the context of these sectors is what sets it apart.'

'Jonathan Simms has an exceptional work ethic and is determined to always get his clients the best possible result; nothing is too much effort.'

'Richard Moran is exceptionally calm under pressure; his quiet style hides a tough approach to negotiating and his commerciality is exceptional.'

'Jonathan Simms and Sarah Harrison are both exceptional practitioners, but what impresses the most is how powerful they are as a combination. In particular their ability to manage and interact with people - both peers and clients.'

'Jonathan Simms is a stand out lawyer. Not only is he incredibly commercial and pragmatic when operating in his 'badged' discipline of corporate law, but he takes the time to really get to know his clients.'

Key Clients

The Intermarketing Group

iPortalis

We Are Vista, part of the ICF Group

The Home Marketing Group

Up Fitness Group

Trinity McQueen

Hesco Bastion

Sweet Squared

All Steels Trading

Leo Group

HJ Human Capital Group

Clarks Vehicle Conversions

Acumen Waste Services

HB Projects Group

Arrow Taxis

Keelham Farm Shop

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of We Are Vista on the sale of shares to ICF.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Associated Waste Management on the sale of the company to DM Topco.
  • Advised iPortalis on an investment by NorthEdge SME Fund.
  • Acted for Sweet Squared on its acquisition of The Icon Consultancy.
  • Assisted the company and management team of Waste Services Group with its management buy-out.

Gateley Plc handles a range of M&A, private equity and equity capital market transactions and frequently handles cross-border deals; practice head David Armitage acts for companies based in the US, Europe and the UK on overseas investments, while Nicholas Emmerson's clients include Chinese and Japanese companies. The team has particular experience in residential construction, recruitment and healthcare matters, and Sandip Khroud also has a focus on the regulated industries, technology and food and drink sectors.

Practice head(s):David Armitage

Other key lawyers:Nicholas Emmerson; Sandip Khroud

Testimonials

'Sandip Khroud is highly-rated in the region.'

Key Clients

Inspired Energy Plc

Arden Partners

Keepmoat Homes Limited

Freedom Finance Limited

Daniel Stewart & Co.

Dr Oetker

Business Growth Fund

Langley Holdings Plc

Bellway Plc

United Molasses Group Limited

Connecting Luxury Group Plc

Gresham House Plc

Lodha Group (India)

Astral Pipes

Work highlights

  • Advised Dr Oetker on the acquisition of Unilever's Alsa baking and dessert business.
  • Acted for BGF on its £4.3m investment in Fleetondemand Holdings.  
  • Advised TickX on its investment by BGF Ventures, and the increased backing from existing investors, Ministry of Sound and 24 Haymarket.
  • Assisted Inspired Energy on its AIM share placing.
  • Advised Allied Healthcare on its sale to CRG.

Gordons LLP's corporate and commercial team acts for a number of large corporates in the region and particularly stands out for its strong reputation in the retail sector. James Fawcett heads up the corporate practice and has particular expertise in the motor trade industry. Andy Brian leads the commercial contracts team, which includes associate Ryan Gracey, who recently joined from Addleshaw Goddard bringing significant technology sector expertise.

Practice head(s):James Fawcett

Other key lawyers:Andy Brian; Ryan Gracey

Testimonials

'Gordons has a very friendly approach, provides thorough, detailed, commercial and value-adding insights; is extremely knowledgeable and has highly relevant experience.'

'The team at Gordons has a very pragmatic and commercial approach, which delivers the best results for clients.'

Key Clients

JCT600

Enact/Endless

YFM

Reed Boardall

Christeyns UK

Pitch Hero

Annuity Management

Arena Group

Pavers

Timothy Taylor

Advanced Intelligent Logistics

Freeman Grattan

Work highlights

  • Advised DM Keith on its acquisition of Skoda, Seat and Honda motor dealer, Westgate Motors.
  • Assisted Annuity Management with its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of EPD Holdings and EPD Asia Pacific.
  • Acted for Pavers on its acquisition of the business and assets of Jones Bootmaker from its administrators.
  • Advised the shareholders of Tranquil PC on the sale of the company to 2CRSI.
  • Instructed by the shareholders of AH Leach & Company on the sale of its entire issued share capital to French-listed Chargeurs Group.

The corporate practice at Schofield Sweeney is spread across its three Yorkshire bases in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield; it advises individuals and companies on a range of mergers, acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures and also handles equity and debt financing transactions. Chris Schofield heads up the corporate team and is based in Leeds alongside Adrian Ballam and David Strachan, while Martin Sweeney is a key contact in the Bradford office. Also in Leeds, Luisa D’Alessandro leads the group's commercial offering.

Practice head(s):Chris Schofield

Other key lawyers:Adrian Ballam; David Strachan; Martin Sweeney; Luisa D'Alessandro

Testimonials

'The team provides an all encompassing array of experience and, above all, provides a personal service from the partner.'

'Adrian Ballam stands out as an extremely knowledgeable individual who responds to all requests very quickly and always goes the extra mile.'

'David Strachan is very bright, very experienced, commercial and gets things done.'

'Martin Sweeney & Luisa D'Alessandro are both experienced and pragmatic lawyers that are commercially aware and great to deal with.'

Key Clients

Sanderson Group Plc

Leman International

Greenhous Group

H. Dawson Sons and Company (Wool)

DFDS Seaways Plc

Catfoss Renewables

Business Growth Fund

4D Pharma Plc

Solingen Private Equity

C4X Discovery Holdings Plc

EMIS Group Plc

Axminster Carpets

Millers Oils

Forepower

Airedale Catering Equipment Group

BWSC Power Corporation

Templeborough

Kent Renewable

Shearings Group

Instem Plc

Claritas Solutions

HSL Chairs

IP Group

Optima Energy Systems

LIV Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for C4X Discovery Holdings on its £10m fundraising.
  • Advised Catfoss Renewables on the £23m acquisition and refinancing by Greensill Capital of a waste processing plant.
  • Assisted the shareholders of Royal Armouries (International) on its £11.2m sale to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
  • Acted for new client Business Growth Fund on a £6.4m equity and debt funding.
  • Advised H Dawson on a refinancing involving HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and Leumi.

The corporate finance practice at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is led by Simon Pilling and is particularly strong in private equity transactions. The team in Leeds includes recently promoted legal director James Cook. Beyond its private equity expertise, the group also has experience assisting clients in the manufacturing, real estate and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):Simon Pilling

Other key lawyers:James Cook

Testimonials

'The corporate team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP utilises its broad experience to provide clear, commercial advice and always makes itself available.'

'Simon Pilling has an excellent hands-on approach, understands the industry and utilises his experience to provide pragmatic advice.'

'James Cook has excellent technical capabilities and great communication skills.'

Key Clients

Cairngorm Capital Partners

Chemoxy International

Clearly Drinks

Customade Holdco Group

Cutwel Limited

Endless / Enact

Kennelpak

Lloyds Development Capital

Nimbus

NVM Private Equity

Stephenson Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for NorthEdge Capital on the management buyout of Cutwel.
  • Advised LDC on its £10m investment in Yorkshire property sales and lettings agency, Linley & Simpson.
  • Instructed by the management of Bright Blue Foods on the company's acquisition of a division of the Greencore Group.
  • Advised the shareholders of 25sevenIT on the successful disposal of its interests to Timico Technology Group.
  • Acted for Stephenson Group on the sale of its textiles business to Belgium-based EuroDye.

Leeds-based Giles Clegg heads up Lupton Fawcett's pan-Yorkshire corporate team following former practice head Jonathan Oxley's move to a managing partner role in 2018. Clegg has particular expertise acting for clients in the healthcare sector, and is joined in Leeds by Daniel McCormack .

Practice head(s):Giles Clegg

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Oxley; Daniel McCormack;

Testimonials

'Lupton Fawcett fields an incredibly responsive and knowledgeable team, which provides top-quality advice in a very timely fashion and works very closely with its clients.'

'The team delivers exactly what is promised, on time and in budget. It fields excellent communicators, who work to a deadline and really make an effort to understand the client's business sector.'

'Giles Clegg is very experienced, provides great commercial advice and manages a project and a diverse team exceptionally well. He is very easy to work with, and ensures matters are seamless from a contract and legal point of view.'

'Daniel McCormack is approachable, likeable and very competent. He and his team deal with an enormous amount of paperwork in a disciplined manner. Daniel does an excellent job of explaining every step to all parties and is always accessible.'

Key Clients

Hand Picked Hotels

Age Partnership

Northern Bloc Ice Cream

Pure Retirement

Event Protect

Alpha Healthcare

Qualia Care

Amido

Silbury Foods

Hydramotion

Conveyor Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the shareholders of Independent Content Services to advise on the sale of the company to the venture capitalist owner of the Racing Post.
  • Advised Top Treads on its management buyout by way of capital reduction and demerger, followed by a share sale.
  • Advised the vendor shareholders on the sale of a 50% shareholding in Langlands Nursery to West Vale Holdings.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Smart Buildings on the sale of the company to Engie Services Holdings.

Shulmans LLP handles a range of corporate, commercial and financing transactions. Marcus Armstrong heads up the corporate team, which has particular experience handling matters in the IT, health and social care, pharmacy and financial services sectors; and Emma Roe leads the commercial practice, which counts the manufacturing, energy and chemicals and education sectors among its industry specialisms.

Practice head(s):Emma Roe; Marcus Armstrong

Other key lawyers:Andrew Bradley; Chris Peace

Testimonials

'Shulmans LLP provides a very personal service, where it gets to know its clients and their requirements.'

'The corporate lawyers at Shulmans LLP work as a team, have high standards of communication and keeps things simple.'

'Shulmans LLP's corporate team is approachable and has the ability to empathise with a variety of industry specific issues.'

'The corporate team at Shulmans LLP is fair and expresses both the legal position but also offers pragmatic advice.'

'Marcus Armstrong is an excellent operator. He gives clear and straightforward advice.'

'You can rely on Marcus Armstrong to get the deal done without fuss.'

'Emma Roe provides a personal service and relates her advice to the client rather than taking a 'one size fits all' approach.'

Key Clients

PCT Healthcare

Dudley Taylor Pharmacy Group

Roxor Group

Pure Technology

Oriium Consulting

PPB Limited

CTM

SFS Intec AG

21st Technology plc

One Advent

National Association of Independent & Non-Maintained Special Schools

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Pitman Training Group (including the UK management team and investors based in South Africa) on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Launchlife International.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Davison Chemist on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Juno Health.
  • Assisted Roxor Group with a second round of investment funding from the Business Growth Fund to facilitate its acquisition of Better Bathrooms.
  • Advised Oriium Consulting on its acquisition of PAV IT Solutions.
  • Instructed by PPB to advise on its acquisition of the entire issued capital of NE Plastics.

3volution Limited's corporate team frequently acts for entrepreneurial start-ups and scale-ups in capital raising transactions and disposals. With the ability to leverage the firm's significant IP capabilities, the team acts largely for clients in the IT, science or brand sectors. Practice head Jonathan Priestley has experience handling a range of M&A, venture capital and private equity transactions.  Other key team members include Michael Cantwell and recently promoted partner Amy Wright.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Priestley

Other key lawyers:Michael Cantwell; Amy Wright

Key Clients

Remedy Tech Centre Limited

Proveca

Group Rhodes

Mad as Birds

Around Noon Foods

The Data Shed

Tech Search Associates

Project Group UK

Greentech

Northern Monk Brewing Co.

P Waddington

Chameleon Technology (UK)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Northern Monk Brewing on a crowd funding equity investment through Crowdcube.
  • Instructed by two individuals to assist with the disposal of interests in several companies under common ownership.
  • Acted for P Waddington on its acquisition of 75% of the issued share capital of MJ Caine & Sons.
  • Assisted Optrical with its second round equity investment from Northern Powerhouse Investments and Wren Capital.

Blacks Solicitors LLP assists SMEs and owner-managed businesses with a range of corporate transactions and regularly acts for healthcare and hospitality sector clients; it has also recently further developed its specialism in the hotel sector. Nigel Hoyle, who specialises in corporate transactions; and David Paterson, who handles corporate, financing and commercial matters, jointly lead the practice with commercial lawyer Philip Parkinson, who recently joined from Raworths.

Practice head(s):Nigel Hoyle; David Paterson; Philip Parkinson

Other key lawyers:Lewis Goodwin

Testimonials

'Blacks Solicitors LLP is very professional and technically very good yet approachable and friendly.'

'Blacks Solicitors LLP is uniformly reliable and cost-aware.'

'The corporate team at Blacks Solicitors LLP is approachable, forward thinking and able to express itself in language that clients are able to understand.

'Blacks Solicitors LLP's corporate practice acts as though every client is the only client it has, making clients feel special and at ease.'

'Blacks Solicitors LLP's corporate team is open and approachable at all times, with a practical no-nonsense approach.'

'Nigel Hoyle thinks through the ultimate impact and reassures clients with his all-round knowledge.'

'David Paterson gives excellent guidance based on his experience from dealing with similar issues.'

'Chris Allen is dynamic, yet very easy to deal with. He tells you exactly how it is.'

Key Clients

Hague Group

Regency Wealth

Production Park

Technology Group

Dalesman Group

Fullers Foods International Plc

Harrogate Spring Water

LLB Investments

BigChange

Brightbridge Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised Hague SR on its acquisition of Triform Holdings.
  • Acted for a shareholder on the sale of shares in Skeldale Veterinary Centre to Medivet.
  • Acted for Innervate Group on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Changes 2016, the parent company of Innervate Technology Solutions and Innervate Talent Services, including a management buyout financially backed by Brightbridge.

The department at Harrowells Solicitors acts primarily for local SME companies and charity organisations on a range of transactions. The team, which is led by Susie Mortonson,  handles a range of M&A, management buyouts, corporate reorganisations and commercial matters, and has recently been particularly active in the road haulage, food production, packaging and distribution industries.

Practice head(s):Susie Mortonson

Langleys Solicitors LLP's corporate team acts for a range of regional businesses, SMEs and national companies on corporate transactions and advisory work. Christian Hunt heads up the practice and also counts owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs as clients.

Practice head(s):Christian Hunt

Other key lawyers:Oliver King

Testimonials

'Langleys fields a brilliant team, which has a modern friendly approach in the way it works.'

'Christian Hunt is always prepared and able to explain some of the more technical details in a more simplistic way. He is clearly a very much respected partner at Langleys and is always available for his clients.'

Key Clients

The Continuum Group

HSBC UK Bank plc

Compass Business Finance

Gutteridge Haskins & Davey

York Racecourse

Castleford Rugby League Football Club

Lebus Upholstery

Sheppee International

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Galtres Timber on its sale to G.H. Brookes & Co (Harrogate).
  • Advised Iocea.com on its acquisition of the business and assets of Hat Trick Media.
  • Acted for the shareholders of The Inspired Branding Group on its sale to Dowlis Global, as part of a staged exit of part of the management team.
  • Advised for Encore Envelopes on its acquisition of Great Northern Envelopes.
  • Acted for Avocet Scarborough Holdings on its acquisition of The Electrical Network.

LCF Law's department acts primarily for owner-managed and family-owned businesses in the region. It is frequently instructed to handle a range of M&A and venture capital transactions, as well as complex corporate reorganisations. Susan Clark heads up the corporate team and has particular healthcare sector expertise, while commercial practice head James Sarjantson focuses on IT contracts.

Practice head(s):Susan Clark; James Sarjantson

Other key lawyers:Clementine Duckett; Cathy Cook

Key Clients

The Private Office/Savings Champion

XL Joinery

Mitu Misra

Yorkshire Van Centre

Beaucare Medical Group

Thermocable

Cygnet PEP

Lexblock

Consolidated Timber

The Excel Precision Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Lexblock with a fundraising transaction, which included a share capital restructuring and SEIS/EIS structuring.

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP is frequently instructed on a range of mid-market transactions, with key sectors including the technology, food and agribusiness, healthcare and private wealth industries. Practice head Paul Johnson counts a range of private and public companies as clients and has recently been increasingly active in the insurance sector. Martin Priestley joined from Pinsent Masons LLP to head up the commercial team, bringing education sector expertise.

Practice head(s):Paul Johnson

Other key lawyers:Martin Priestley;

Key Clients

VetPartners

Encon

Rema Tip Top

WH Ireland

Servoca Plc

Kings Security Systems

YFM Equity Partners

Alliance Medical

BUPA

Bytemark

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Bytemark Holdings on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Iomart Group.
  • Advised WH Ireland as broker and nominated adviser on AfriTin Mining's fundraising by way of placing and subscription of ordinary shares.
  • Assisted Bango with the placing of new ordinary shares and the acquisition of a majority stake in the Borsa Italiana-listed Audiens.
  • Advised the shareholders of the Larsen Howie Group on its sale to Kingsbridge for £2.6m.
  • Advised the shareholders of Thomas Sagar Insurance on the sale of the company to Global Risk Partners.

Shoosmiths LLP continues to build its reputation in Leeds for its representation of local, national and international clients in M&A and private equity transactions, with notable expertise in the oil and gas, real estate and hotel and leisure sectors. Philip Goldsborough, who counts a combination of private and public companies as clients, heads up the practice, which includes corporate finance lawyer James Foster, who leads the firm's private equity and venture capital initiatives in the North.

Practice head(s):Philip Goldsborough

Other key lawyers:James Foster; Simon Procter

Key Clients

SIG plc

Schoeller Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG

Lloyds Development Capital

August Equity LLP

BGF

Coppergreen Developments

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Grupa Lotos S.A

John Cotton Group

Ligentia Group

Work highlights

  • Advised SIG on the strategic £29m disposal of the VJ Technology business to Primary Capital.  
  • Acted for BGF on the merger of two BGF-backed businesses, NWC and High Access Maintenance.
  • Advised Lloyds Development Capital on its reinvestment in Kite (Topco) following a partial exit in Bybox.
  • Acted for an entrepreneur on their £4m acquisition of boutique Leeds hotel, 42 The Calls, from its administrators.
  • Instructed by Park Lane Properties (Leeds) to advise on its joint venture with Hamilton Black.

The corporate team at DWF acts for a combination of local SMEs and national clients on a range of corporate and commercial matters. Practice head Lester Wilson handles M&A transactions, equity capital markets and private equity and venture capital instructions. Other names to note include debt finance specialist Chris Ramage and corporate tax partner John Toon.

Practice head(s):Lester Wilson

Other key lawyers:Chris Ramage; John Toon

Freeths LLP handles M&A, private equity work, financing and corporate restructuring and reorganisation transactions for its diverse client roster, which includes owner-managed businesses, SMEs and national public and private companies. Dahren Naidoo jointly heads up the team with Andy Francey, who has particular experience handling bank refinancings in the leisure sector.

Practice head(s):Dahren Naidoo; Andy Francey

Testimonials

'The Freeths team demonstrates a personable service and a holistic approach to dealing with legal matters. It is able to break down an idea into a logical legal roadmap and implement an idea into a solid agreement that captures what the client needs. What makes it unique is its personable, logical, holistic approach to matters backed by various legal expertise in the one firm, that can be conveniently accessed.'

'Andy Francey from the commercial law division stands out with his logical approach to resolving complex legal matters, coupled with his personable approach and ability to deliver outstanding service on a tight time line, within the budget originally estimated.'

'The individuals at Freeths are approachable, knowledgeable, accessible and helpful. They often go the extra mile without being asked in order to deliver the best outcome for the client, and the speed of response is excellent.'

'Dahren Naidoo thinks laterally and proactively tests and challenges the business rationale for a particular action in the context of the legal framework. He manages the project and team cost effectively and on time, and delivers sound advice in a timely fashion and acts very much as a critical friend to the business. He is very highly regarded and the 'go-to' corporate lawyer for M&A, with first-class associates and junior lawyers in support.'

Key Clients

Eddie Stobart

Linley & Simpson

Fleetondemand

NeedleSmart

Peratech Holdco

Hague SR

Neom

Arie Capital

Arie Tech LLP

Filmore and Union

Knightsbridge Mergers and Acquistions PTY

Work highlights

  • Advised Eddie Stobart Logistics on its £52.8m acquisition of the pallet distribution business, The Pallet Network.
  • Assisted Linley & Simpson with a £10m investment from LDC.
  • Advised the trustees of Southerns on its £42.5m acquisition of Styles and Wood including the related disposal of Southerns to a vehicle formed for the acquisition.
  • Instructed by the shareholders of The Car Buying Group to advise on its sale to Aston Barclay.
  • Advised Hague SR on its purchase of the entire issued share capital of Venture Business Forms Group.

Gavin Maddison and Joanne Bone head up Irwin Mitchell's corporate and commercial teams respectively; Maddison recently joined the firm from Ward Hadaway. On the commercial side, the group has particular expertise in data protection and IT sector contracts. The corporate team also includes senior associate Catherine Hinchliffe, who also recently joined from Ward Hadaway, and handles a range of mid-market corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):Joanne Bone; Gavin Maddison

Other key lawyers:Catherine Hinchliffe

Testimonials

'The corporate and commercial team at Irwin Mitchell is decisive and gets the job done.'

'Gavin Maddison makes sure his clients understand any pitfalls that might be around, but always gets the job done quietly and efficiently.'

'Joanne Bone is highly professional in her approach, whilst being easy to chat to. There is no problem to big or to small to discuss with her, she always has a friendly tone and is available whenever required. Her advice is thorough, concise and always on point.'

Key Clients

Mitchell Farrar Group

West Cumbria Mining

Mitre Group

Mamas & Papas (Holdings)

Lhasa

Strata Homes

Joy Global UK

NG Bailey

Work highlights

  • Advised Mamas & Papas on its GDPR compliance project.
  • Advising Lhasa on the drafting and negotiation of complex international licensing terms with leading pharmaceutical companies, and bespoke project agreements.
  • Instructed by Strata Homes on its GDPR readiness programme including carrying out a data protection audit and assisting with drafting its policies and privacy notices.
  • Advised Joy Global UK on its GDPR readiness programme.

Needle Partners Limited has experience acting for national and international clients including individuals, listed companies, governments and banks on a range of corporate transactions. Managing partner Sharon Needle and Tim Wimbush are key names to note and specialise in Islamic finance work and the financial services sector respectively.

Practice head(s):Sharon Needle

Other key lawyers:Tim Wimbush

Ward Hadaway's practice includes commercial lawyer and group head Philip Jordan, who has particular experience in the manufacturing, engineering and construction industries; corporate partner James Nightingale, who has experience handling a range of M&A and private equity transactions, investments and reorganisations; and banking and finance specialist Mark Smith. Gavin Maddison and Andrew Finfer left the practice to Irwin Mitchell and Addleshaw Goddard respectively.

Practice head(s):Philip Jordan

Other key lawyers:James Nightingale; Mark Smith

Weightmans frequently acts for owner-managed businesses, public sector clients, charities and social enterprise organisations, and has particular expertise in the transport, financial services, manufacturing, and software and digital media sectors. The Leeds-based team includes Stephen Johns, who joined from DLA Piper UK LLP and specialises in  infrastructure sector deals; and recently promoted partner Victoria Robertson. Manchester-based Sarah Walton leads the national practice.

Practice head(s):Sarah Walton

Other key lawyers:Victoria Robertson; Stephen Johns

Key Clients

LexisNexis Risk Solutions

The Open University

School Lettings Solutions

Luxfer Group

Surrey and Sussex Police

GDS Group

Bubba Gump Shrimp (UK)

Operational Group

BJSS Limited

Anixter Group

Totus Environmental

Brit European Transport

Work highlights

  • Advised Anixter on several commercial matters including agreements with cross-border elements.
  • Acted for the shareholders on the sale of Green Drive Liverpool.
  • Assisted Surrey and Sussex Police Forces with contracts relating to the video enabled justice programme.
  • Assisted School Lettings Solutions, which assists school and colleges in hiring out their facilities to the local community, with a number of contracts with schools around the country.

Berwins' corporate and commercial team is particularly active in the IT, digital and technology sectors. Paul Berwin heads up the practice and frequently acts for owner-managed businesses and handles transactions with an international element.

Practice head(s):Paul Berwin

Other key lawyers:Mike Patterson

Key Clients

Gap Systems

Grifettey

Data OD

IPR Interactive

Mox Digital

MXM Digital

AppMi Global

Berwin & Berwin

Ubiquitti

Work highlights

  • Acted for Gap Systems on its sale to global market leader, Loftware.
  • Advised Berwins Holdings on the sale of the international clothing company from administration to an affiliate of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.
  • Instructed by MXM Digital to advise on its company structure, to allow for further growth and business development.
  • Assisted Data OD with a corporate restructuring transaction.

McCormicks is frequently instructed by a range of high-net-worth individuals, local SMEs and large corporates, particularly in the sport, hospitality and leisure sectors. Jon Healey heads up the team and specialises in transactions with complex finance arrangements, while Peter McCormick has significant sports sector expertise.

Practice head(s):Jon Healey

Other key lawyers:Peter McCormick

Testimonials

'McCormicks' corproate team is very friendly and responsive.'

'Jon Healey turns things around very quickly and explains the issues in plain English.'

'McCormicks' professional approach and subject knowledge gives clients reassurance that it knows what it is talking about.'

Key Clients

The Premier League

Premier League Charitable Fund

Rudding Park Limited

Paul Lamb Racing Limited (t/a Swift Carbon Pro Cycling)

(AQ) Limited

Harrogate Town AFC Limited

Harrogate International Festivals Ltd

InTechnology PLC

Torne Valley Limited

T Plus Ltd

Norwich City FC (Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Premier League on various transactions, most notably advising on the operation of the Owners and Directors’ Test, and handling the takeovers or attempted takeovers of various clubs.
  • Assisted the Premier League Charitable Fund with a number of matters including the formation of the fund, governance issues, corporate documentation and the ongoing running of the charity.
  • Advised Rudding Park on a major refinancing that facilitated the development of new spa facilities, and a transaction to facilitate the redevelopment of a part of the Rudding Park complex.
  • Acted for Bartfields (UK) on the sale of its business and assets to Sedulo Leeds.
  • Advised T Plus on an investment into the company, which had arisen as a result of the client’s appearance on the BBC 2’s Dragon’s Den, and assisted with documenting and completing the related transactions.

Boutique firm Progeny Law is noted for its experience acting for owner-managed and family businesses on a range of transactions including disposals, financings and corporate governance issues. The group also has particular experience handling management buyout transactions with backing from private equity firms. Practice head Alistair Scott-Somers has expertise in the food, leisure and manufacturing and chemicals sectors.

Practice head(s):Alistair Scott-Somers

Key Clients

Platinum Rails Holdings

Shareholders of CitNOW Video

Management team of VJ Technology

Shareholder of Cerberus Security and Monitoring Services

Certain shareholders of Mackenzie Stuart

Tonia Investments

LSG Ventures

Bayswater Education

Equinox Kombucha

Lawsco Holdings

Managing director of APT Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised Platinum Rails Holdings on the sale of the entire issued share capital of its subsidiary Platinum Stairlifts to NorthEdge Capital.
  • Advised the shareholders of CitNOW Video on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Tenzing Private Equity.
  • Assisted the management team of VJ Technology with the £29.7m management buyout of the business from building product supplier SIG, backed by UK private equity investment firm Primary Capital.
  • Advised on the management buyout of Carpet and Flooring from SIG in a transaction backed by Endless.
  • Acted for the shareholder of Cerberus Security and Monitoring Services on the sale of its entire issued share capital to The Clearway Group.

The corporate team at Ramsdens has particular experience acting for owner-managed and family businesses in the region. Stephen Newman heads up the practice, which frequently handles share sales and purchases, asset sales and purchases, tax-driven corporate restructurings, management buyouts and company formations.

Practice head(s):Stephen Newman

Other key lawyers:Richard Dean

Testimonials

'Good all-round commercial skills offered in a pro-active way at good value. Can hold their own with more established regional firms. Particularly insightful in the sports sector'.

'Paul Joyce- practice manager but an effective senior resource'.

'Adam Cockroft has been main contact and a good all-round associate, pro-active and sensible'.

Key Clients

Emballator (UK)

Pneumatic & Electrical Systems

A & F Sprinklers

Sharma Dental

Work highlights

  • Acted for Emballator (UK) on its £5m acquisition of the issued share capital of TEF Transport.
  • Advised A & F Sprinklers on the acquisition of the assets and undertaking of Hall Fire Protection from its administrators.
  • Assisted Sharma Dental with its acquisition of Shelswell Dental Practice.

Raworths' team assists its client roster of predominantly Yorkshire-based owner-managed and family businesses, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals with a range of transactions and advisory work. The group has experience handling acquisitions and disposals, succession planning issues, restructurings and corporate governance work. Simon Morris heads up the practice, which recently saw the addition of Jon Healey from McCormicks. Philip Parkinson joined Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Simon Morris

Other key lawyers:John Healey

Testimonials

'The whole team at Raworths provides sound advice and demonstrates high levels professionalism and a good sense of urgency.'

'Raworths has a willingness to come up with solutions to difficult problems and always puts the clients first, providing good old fashioned legal .'

'The team provides good commercial advice, which is coupled with a responsive and accurate service. The main difference with other firms is the level of partner input on transactions is much higher and so confidence in the team as a whole is high.'

Key Clients

Linley & Simpson Group

The shareholders of Cambridge Roof Truss

Telescope Holdings

Celli S.P.A.

Hepworth and Morphet

Coffee Global

Linley & Simpson

The shareholders of The Pre-Wired Conduit Company

The shareholders of Funcare

Grosvenor House Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Linley & Simpson on a variety of private equity backed acquisitions including the acquisition of the Angus Roberts letting agency.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Cambridge Roof Truss on the sale of the company to Donaldson Timber Engineering.
  • Assisted Celli with the significant restructuring of its UK group.
  • Advised Hepworth and Morphet on the sale of the business to Pon Bicycle.
  • Assisted Coffee Global with its sale to the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs.

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