The Legal 500

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South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

The team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP¬†is noted for its ‚Äėexcellent client service, knowledge and professionalism‚Äô and ‚Äėexceptional value‚Äô. The practice‚Äôs client base ranges from entrepreneurs to owner-managed businesses and multinationals; representative clients include Honda, Business Moves Group and Dominvs Group. The team is led by private equity specialist Penelope Garden, who recently¬†led a team advising the shareholders on the sale of the entire share capital of Property Information Exchange (PIE) to a newco backed by MML Capital Partners and the simultaneous strategic acquisition of PSG Connect from Security Research Group. Firm managing partner Jeremy Parkes¬†handles¬†complex corporate transactions and advised Dominvs Commercial Properties on the disposal of seven Jersey companies with total consideration of around ¬£100m. Senior partner Ian Wood-Smith¬†advised¬†longstanding client Finch on four acquisitions, including the acquisition of Miller Insurance Brokers. Chris Brightling¬†departed to join Girlings' Ashford office.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Clients of Field Seymour Parkes LLP award its corporate tax team 'full points on all fronts; the team clearly has the industry knowledge and experience with inputs into timely, practical advice'. Practice head Philippa Roles is praised for being 'on point, extremely knowledgeable, and able to guide the client without complicating the issue with industry jargon; she is a real professional'. The practice is noted for its ability to provide pre-and-post transaction tax planning advice, as illustrated by its handling of Stampede Global Europe's group restructuring, which involved advising on the UK tax implications of transferring shares in offshore subsidiaries to an intermediate group company and the subsequent sale of the lower tier company shares. In another highlight, the practice provided E-Cargobikes.com with enterprise investment scheme advice and planning, and applied for advance assurance from HMRC with regard to scheme availability.

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South East: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

According to one client, Field Seymour Parkes LLP's is 'extremely well versed in the minefield that is licensing law, up-to-date on developments and hard working'. It assists clients ranging from restaurants, hotels and breweries to smaller individual owners. Clients include Westbury Street Holdings, Heartstone Inns, Benugo and WSH and JC Restaurants. In recent work, it acted for restaurant group Gilbey's in respect of various planned works, which included liaising with the relevant authorities and a  successful application for variation of the premise's licence. The 'supremely professional' Mark Banham has 'a clear grasp of the law, the politics, and the personalities involved' in licensing matters.

Next generation lawyers

Mark Banham - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

The 'knowledgeable and efficient' team at¬†Field Seymour Parkes LLP¬†provides a ‚ÄėCity-quality service and expertise for far less money‚Äô. The practice advises a wide range of high-profile clients including Volvo, Prudential, Infosys and Reading Football Club. The firm‚Äôs recent caseload includes construction disputes, claims regarding facilities management agreements and share purchase agreements, and litigation surrounding fraud allegations. Tom Maple]¬†heads the litigation practice and is highly regarded for his work in the automotive and fast-moving consumer goods sectors as well as his niche expertise in the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.¬†Bill Dixon¬†is a key figure for commercial litigation and is ‚Äėa reliable, very experienced litigator, who is aware of the need for commercial solutions‚Äô.

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South East: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP fields a banking team that is considered 'a trusted extension of clients' in-house teams; it is responsive, business focused and highly dependable'. John Barker ('an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer) heads the practice, which includes Alex Illingworth, who is noted for his 'strong integrity'. Recent highlights include assisting Santander with extending and amending a facility for Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Limited Partnership, advising Gawcott Fields Community Solar Project on a £4m project financing of a solar farm in Buckinghamshire, and acting for On Direct Business Services and its subsidiaries on an acquisition facility from Beechbrook Capital.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's insolvency practice handles office holder appointments, corporate restructurings and refinancing, asset transactions, fraud issues and the arrangement, validation and enforcement of security for practitioners, companies, directors, investors and funders. Team lead Ian Wood-Smith assisted KRE Corporate Recovery as joint administrator for a fashion clothing and retail sales group in the £1m sale of the business and property lease assignments. Managing partner Jeremy Parkes and asset tracing expert Bill Dixon are other key members of the practice. Partner Chris Brightling left for Girlings in November 2017. BDO, Deloitte, Resolve Partners and Thames Valley Capital have been clients for several years.

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

The ‚Äėvery responsive and helpful‚Äô team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP¬†has particular expertise in tribunal litigation, recently representing clients in claims relating to equal pay law, allegations of fraudulent manipulation of expenses and indirect and direct sex discrimination in recruitment processes. Practice head Ian Machray¬†is ‚Äėvery practical, gives simple straightforward advice, understands clients‚Äô level of knowledge and where they may need more in-depth assistance, and is friendly and approachable‚Äô. Machray advised Whistl UK on the employment implications of the closure of its Leeds and Warrington depots and the opening of a ‚Äėsuper hub‚Äô in Bolton, affecting over 500 employees, and has been strategically advising VMware UK on its gender pay reporting obligations. Significant new client instructions have been received from Lefort Group and Clearview Intelligence Group. At associate level, Louise Smyth¬†and +Katie Burley¬†have expertise in the education sector, with Burley heading the education team and Smyth acting as firm principal contact to client St. Neot's School, while Jackie Denham¬†is strong in dealing with large corporate organisations and handling large-scale restructures and reorganisations.

Next generation lawyers

Katie Burley - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Louise Smyth - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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South East: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for farmers and landowners on the full range of agricultural law services, from transactional property matters to advising on tax matters and on farming regulation, subsidies and countryside stewardship. Diversification of farming activities has been a key theme over the last twelve months, with the practice assisting with sporting rights, the letting of light industrial units, the establishment of farm shops, as well as the installation of solar farms and anaerobic digesters. Recent highlights include advising on the gifting of farmland to the client's son, which was subject to agricultural property relief, as well as on the gift of a commercial yard to be held in a discretionary trust. Hazel Eccles re-joined the practice in October 2017 from Freeths LLP; she leads the agricultural team, which includes James Burgess, who has more than 30 years' experience in agricultural property matters, Sarah Wray, who acts for high-net-worth individuals and farmers on disposals and acquisitions, and Kelsie Essenhigh.

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Clients of Field Seymour Parkes LLP are quick to praise the firm for its 'informed, clearly stated and timely advice; it always gives the impression that the client is highly valued'. The practice acts for Royal Charter organisations, schools and universities, property management companies, and sports clubs on a range of issues arising from their day-to-day operations. Key figures include Caroline Airey, who is noted for her 'depth of knowledge and experience in this area - she is always personable, available and clear with her advice'. She recently acted on the winding up of the Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes Club and the distribution of its assets.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's contentious probate practice works closely with the firm's family and private client department, enabling it to offer 'a depth of specialisation that is comparable to much larger London-based firms'. The firm further strengthened its capability with the recruitment of the 'knowledgeable, practical'  Katharine Riley from Freeths LLP, who has more than 20 years' experience handling complex and high-value disputes concerning the validity of wills, proprietary estoppel claims, disputes concerning mutual wills, executors and trustees, and Inheritance Act claims. She leads the team, which includes Sue Baker, who has an extensive track record in Inheritance Act claims, challenges to wills and Court of Protection mandates.

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Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

The 'excellent' team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP¬†has niche expertise in armed forces pension-sharing orders and excels in high-net-worth financial work, including pre-nuptial agreements, dividing cross-border property assets, separation agreements and protecting business assets in divorce cases. The team is headed by the ‚Äėhugely able and determined‚Äô Sue Baker,¬†who specialises in high-value financial cases and private Children Act cases. Michelle Mann¬†is a ‚Äėmasterful tactician and strategist; an astute lawyer with a very thorough approach‚Äô, dealing mainly with high-value financial disputes in divorce and separation. Associate Lindsay Davies¬†is noted for advising on high-value matrimonial finance and cohabitation cases. Natasha Ord¬†joined the team from family law boutique Blanchards Law, while James Davies¬†left to join Blake Morgan LLP.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

The ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP¬†possesses experts in wills and estate planning, estate administration, trust administration and Court of Protection issues. Practice head Sue Vandersteen¬†advises on the preparation of wills and trusts and administration of trusts, wealth preservation, inheritance and estate planning, while also possessing experience on issues peculiar to charities, partnerships, LLPs and farming estates. The ‚Äėcompassionate, efficient, professional and approachable‚Äô Rob Crowther¬†handles tax planning for complex estates, lasting powers of attorney, estate administration and Court of Protection work, among other matters, while also specialising in contentious probate matters. Tax partner Phillipa Roles¬†works within the private client team to achieve appropriate tax planning solutions for business owners and corporate clients. Other key team members include consultant Katherine Riley, senior associate Mandy Clarke¬†and associates Caroline Whitaker¬† and Jasmine Walsh.

Next generation lawyers

Rob Crowther - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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South East: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 4

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for the full spectrum of educational clients, from nurseries to universities, on issues ranging M&A and commercial property work, governance matters, and issues relating to SEN and disability. Headed by Katie Burley, the team's clients include John Madejski Academy, which it advises on a range of matters, including recently acting in an equal pay claim arising from a TUPE transfer concerning some 180 claimants. Louise Smyth and Caroline Airey are also recommended.

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South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Marcus Francis heads the team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, which acts for a range of occupier corporate clients including Panasonic, Honda, Mencap and Sally Hair & Beauty, as well as lenders including Santander, Natwest, Lloyds and Handelsbanken. Francis acted for United Therapeutics Europe on the sale of Unither House in Chertsey to Runnymede Borough Council for £6.35m, which completed in August 2017. The team’s partners each have their own specialisms: Dean Bickford] focuses on investment and landlord and tenant mandates, farming and estates practice head James Burgess has been advising on property acquisitions and disposals, and Nick Winslet's expertise includes high-value lettings, development and secured lending work. The team has expanded in recent times with the hire of senior associate Anna Zatouroff from Stitt & Co and associates Gaye King and Hazel Eccles from CMS and Freeths LLP respectively.

Leading individuals

James Burgess - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's property litigation team acts for a range of charities and housing associations, property asset management companies, funders, property developers, investment companies and commercial landlords, for which it handles the full spectrum of property disputes. Recent work includes acting for the successful respondents in a case involving the sale of a property and an option agreement entitling the clients to buy back part of the property, which the applicants applied to cancel the notice that had been registered over the title to protect the option. Practice head Joe Lott has a growing workload acting for landlords and tenants in lease extension and enfranchisement claims.

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South East: TMT

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Cathrine Ripley heads the IT offering at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, which has spent a good deal of time assisting technology clients with GDPR compliance. Other areas of expertise for the team include advice on internet and cloud computing solutions, mobile technologies, website issues, IT sourcing and cyber security. Experienced South Africa-qualified lawyer Susan Wells joined the team in anticipation of her dual qualification.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Commercial contracts specialist Cathrine Ripley heads the IP offering at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, with the IP facets of her work primarily focusing on the licensing of patents and UK and EU trade mark work. The team has continued to handle the IP concerns arising out of corporate transactions, while experiencing an uptick in the number of instructions for advice on trademarks and strategic IP planning. South Africa-qualified attorney Susan Wells joined the team in August 2017, in preparation for her dual qualification in 2018.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles the full spectrum of sports law matters, from corporate and regulatory advice to real estate, licensing and employment. In addition to acting for a number of regional cricket, golf and athletics clubs, the firm has been developing a strong relationship with Get Berkshire Active, the Sport England authority based in Berkshire, which has opened the practice up to assisting a number of amateur sports clubs and associations on issues including their corporate status and the tax implications of their choice of structure. Other highlights included acting for Foremost Golf on reviewing the agreements underpinning a loyalty card scheme for professionals nationwide, and assisting Marlow Rowing Club with plans to expand its operations commercially without compromising its charitable status. Ian Wood-Smith leads the practice, which includes Jeremy Parkes. Bettina Phillis left the practice in January 2018 for an in-house role at Oxford University Press.

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