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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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP supports startups, entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises on all corporate matters, ranging from M&A deals and disposals, private equity transactions and day-to-day corporate advice. The technology and insurance sectors are particularly strongly represented. Corporate lawyer and managing partner Jeremy Parkes handles complex corporate finance transactions and restructurings.  Ian Wood-Smith and Penelope Garden are also of note for corporate transactions, as are Rachael Maunder and Philip Stephenson, who joined the team in September 2018 from Wilson Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Rachael Maunder

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Parkes; Ian Wood-Smith; Philip Stephenson


'The corporate team's approach is practical, commercial and solution-focused. They have a real strength of technical expertise, consistently out-negotiating counter parties on key points, whilst balancing this with the client's commercial desire and realities to keep deals on track.'

'Field Seymour Parkes have the ability to resource deals at appropriate levels of experience, and consistently demonstrate a high standard of client care. Extremely responsive and considered very good value for money.'

'Penny Garden is noted for exceptional ability to manage complex deals across a number of industry sectors coupled with outstanding client care.

'Rachael Maunder is a great addition to the partnership and a solid pair of hands.'

Key Clients

Whistl UK

Euro Car Parts Limited

On Direct Business Services Limited(trading as Cloud Direct)

Finch Commercial Insurance Brokers Limited (now part of Broker Network)

Honda Motor EuropeLimited

Work highlights

  • Advised Whistl UK on the acquisition of privately owned Nottingham based Parcelhub Limited and Mail Workshop Limited.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Stewarts Coach Group on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to the Kings Ferry Group, a subsidiary of the National Express Group.
  • Advised Akzonobel on a share acquisition together with three further business acquisitions to expand its retail stores.
  • Represented the founders of Vineup, provider of career mentoring software, on its sale to UK based private equity backed purchaser.
  • Advised Cohort on acquisition of a majority shareholding in Chess Technologies for approximately £42m.
Next Generation Partners

Rachael Maunder - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s tax team specialises in restructuring and exit planning, while also providing support to the corporate and property teams. The practice has a strong reputation for being able to advise on highly  technical issues and provides expert reports on trusts, stamp duties and international matters, with a rapidly growing international client portfolio. Dr Philippa Roles heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Dr Philippa Roles


'they always go the extra mile and are always on hand. Very knowledgeable and capable.'

'Field Seymour Parkes have provided exceptional Enterprise Investment Scheme consultancy alongside their assistance in setting up our company. Furthermore, our needs have been quite wide ranging and FSP have guided us through applying for a business loan, drafting our Articles of Association, negotiating and drafting a shareholders agreement to drafting data privacy and fair usage policies and consumer offer terms. Mention must also go to the welcoming and hospitable reception team.'

'A practice offering a wide range of disciplines and very professional, still with a personal touch.'

'Our principal contact Phillipa Roles, in addition to providing unparalleled understanding of EIS, has always offered great availability, flexibility to urgent requests and a wealth of useful contacts that has helped us sourcing technology, banking and accountancy services. Her ability to anticipate our needs and provide value added assistance is outstanding.'

'Dr. Philippa Roles is very capable with an impressive ability to solve problems and she's really good to work with.'

Key Clients

e-Cargobikes.Com Ltd

Dolphin Head Group Ltd

Rent ID Ltd

Landlord Personal Agents Ltd

Rippll Ltd

Stampede Global Europe Ltd

Lunzer Wine Events

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

QRewards Ltd

Work highlights

  • Provides tax advice and assistance to e-Cargobikes.Com across all areas of the business including fundraising.
  • Advising the UK holding company of the EU group Stampede Global Europe on restructuring matters.
  • Providing tax technical and governance support to Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership on an ad hoc basis.
  • Advising the UK holding company of the EU group Dolphin Head on restructuring matters.
  • Advising on and assisting Rippll with a capital reduction demerger and obtaining HMRC clearance.

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South East: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for clients on a wide range of licensing application and variation issues, but is most known for its work in contentious licensing matters. Associate Mark Banham heads the practice, and is notable for his representation of clients at licensing hearings. The team is part of the firm's wider property litigation practice, which facilitates its substantial premises licensing and licensing variation offerings.

Practice head(s):Mark Banham


'Mark Banham's approach was supremely professional. He had a clear grasp of the law; the politics, and the personalities involved'

'Mark Banham made my job considerably easier'

'What I like most about the firm is the accessibility of the solicitors working on my case'

Key Clients

Heartstone Inns Limited

Westbury StreetHoldings Limited

Parsons Leisure Limited

Benugo Limited

Gilbey’s Restaurant Limited

Eden Bookmakers

Rising stars

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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises high-profile clients in the financial services, retail, consumer goods and charities sectors with notable experience in the automotive field where it counts Volvo and Honda as active clients. Tom Maple's practice spans automotive disputes, complex professional indemnity claims involving failed tax schemes, and contentious matters related to the food and drink industry. Bill Dixon is particularly active in cross-border disputes, often alongside Maple.

Practice head(s):Tom Maple

Other key lawyers:Bill Dixon

Key Clients

Volvo Car UK

Whistl (formerly TNT)

Reading Football Club



Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf on an environmental charity in challenging the standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council which licences its sustainability eco-label to fisheries that meet its standards of sustainability.
  • Advising a UK subsidiary on a number of issues in connection with building contracts affected by the collapse of Carillion, in particular, regarding the potential call on a £1m performance bond.
  • Advised 8 different individual clients on claims against professional advisers in relation to failed film finance or tax schemes.

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South East: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s team acts for lenders and borrowers on a wide range of matters, including corporate, acquisition and real estate finance, in additon to motor manufacturer finance, project finance (such as solar farms) and bridging finance for small developers. The practice is on the panels of a number of banks and financial institutions such as Santander, Clydesdale, NatWest and HSBC. John Barker heads the practice. Senior associate Alex Illingworth is another key contact.

Practice head(s):John Barker

Other key lawyers:Alex Illingworth


'They understand our needs and objectives and work hard to help us achieve them to the required timescales.'

'Excellent banking and property teams. Highly competent lawyers who provide practical, timely advice.'

'John Barker's knowledge and attention to detail is invaluable.'

Key Clients

Santander UK


Honda Finance Europe

National Westminster Bank

Bewley Homes

Clydesdale Bank

Ultimate Capital

Svenska Handelsbanken

Dominvs Investments

Redbrick Capital

FSE Funds Managers

Berkshire College of Agriculture

Work highlights

  • Acted for the sellers on the sale of the entire issued share capital of The Unbeatable Group Limited for a mixture of cash and loan note consideration.
  • Advising Santander on a complicated secured loan.
  • Acting for Santander on a substantial new-to-bank loan facility for six co-borrowing companies that are owned by various members of the same family.
  • Advising FSE Group on the new fund for Enterprise M3 geographic area.

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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's Reading-based team is well connected in the region with a range of professionals advising on corporate insolvency and restructuring matters. The team is regularly instructed by national firms of insolvency practitioners, as well as companies looking to restructure, investors, funders and company directors. With over 20 years' experience advising on corporate insolvencies and restructurings, Ian Wood-Smith heads the practice and has led his team on matters including the  appointment of administrators and sale of assets of an engineering company.

Practice head(s):Ian Wood-Smith

Key Clients

KRE Corporate Recovery LLP

Thames Valley Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised KRE Corporate Recovery as administrators in a pre-pack sale of a high quality furniture manufacturer.
  • Acted for KRE on the appointment of administrators and subsequent sale of the assets of a digital media company
  • Acted on appointment of and sale by administrators of a construction and development company.

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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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on the complete range of employment law- related matters. Key partner Ian Machray specialises in complex TUPE matters and tribunal cases. Associate Louise Smyth has particular expertise in the education sector and also advises on executive exits and all aspects of litigation. Associates Jackie Denham and Katie Burley are particularly recommended for corporate restructuring and defending employers in litigation.

Practice head(s):Ian Machray 

Other key lawyers:Louise Smyth; Jackie Denham; Katie Burley


'Good tactical appreciation of employment law. Always ready to support and look at challenges to suggest the most efficient way forward.'

'Very accessible and ready to help. Ian Machray has excellent knowledge and provides this in a useful and efficient manner.'

Key Clients




Fara Enterprises

GTI Media

Work highlights

  • Representing a multinational in a multi-jurisdictional contract dispute worth in excess of £1m.
  • Advised on all employment law matters relating to its acquisition of privately held Parcelhub Limited and Mailwork Shop Limited as it expands further into the e-fulfilment market.
  • Advised the shareholders of Stewarts Coach Group on  all employment law aspects of the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to the Kings Ferry Group, a subsidiary of the National Express Group.
Rising stars

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’s farming and estates team is well versed in all aspects of rural work, including sales and acquisitions of agricultural land and buildings, complex overage provisions, and all aspects of farm-related tenancy issues, such as tenants’ rights of succession and surrenders of such tenancies. The team’s rural private client and corporate specialists handle restructurings of farming partnerships with a focus on succession planning and inheritance tax reliefs. Associate Hazel Eccles heads the practice. Real estate expert James Burgess is another key contact.

Practice head(s):Hazel Eccles

Other key lawyers:James Burgess

Key Clients

Trevor and Elizabeth Gibbins

Lotte Jensen and Mark Riley

Thorogood Haylage Limited

Hugh Thorogood

Work highlights

  • Purchase of pasture land at Bassett Wood, subject to overage provisions to apply for 25 years.
  • Purchase of  a lot consisting of 16.5 acres of pasture land in Berkshire, which had previously had all its minerals (clay and chalk) extracted and top soil returned.
  • Purchase of two farmhouses and three additional holiday let cottages with 8.5 acres of pasture land in Suffolk.
  • Advising clients in respect of their wills and the distribution of their farming interest to their children taking into consideration the farming partnership and other interests of the clients.
  • Sale of 4 acres of farm land in Chelmsford, which also involved granting and taking the benefit of a water pipe easement with a neighbour.

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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP utilizes its cross-departmental expertise to handle incorporations, mergers, structuring, governance and constitution matters for charities, charitable trusts and NFPs. It also advises on pensions and property. Tax partner Dr Philippa Roles and associate Katharine Riley are the key advisers in Reading.

Practice head(s):Philippa Roles

Other key lawyers:Katherine Riley


The team have been of great support to our charity over the years. They are always very responsive, professional and knowledgeable.’

Key Clients

Make a Wish Foundation

Potterspury Lodge Trust Limited

Royal Berkshire College of Agriculture

Work highlights

  • Advised the Make a Wish Foundation on the acquisition of commercial real estate premises for its new headquarters in Reading.
  • Advised  Berkshire College of Agriculture in its asset purchase of Land Based Training.

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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

At Field Seymour Parkes LLP, the contentious trusts and probate team is 'well respected and provides an excellent specialist service'. Key areas of work for the group include Inheritance Act claims, contentious Court of Protection work, trust disputes, removal of executors and trustees, claims against fiduciaries and challenges to wills. Consultant Katharine Riley is the practice head.

Practice head(s):Katharine Riley


'Katharine Riley is an extremely capable solicitor with plenty of charm; I refer cases to her and she has always been top notch'.

'Katharine Riley is friendly, quick-witted and thorough. She successfully settled our very difficult case unexpectedly. It was a very good result'.

'Katharine Riley is a highly experienced contentious probate lawyer who is building a successful team'.

Work highlights

  • Acted for client in the successful defence of a high value cohabitee claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • Handled a contentious Court of Protection application for high net worth individual to remove deputy.
  • Assisted a client with a trust dispute arising from inter vivos settlement.
  • Handled a successful spousal claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 involving variation of a trust.
  • Handled a complex claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for severely disabled adult involving beneficial interest claim in a property

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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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles the full spectrum of family law issues and  also advises on property portfolios, complex business interests and rural or farming estates. Key figures in the team include Sue Baker, who specialises in medium to high-value financial cases and child law cases, and Michelle Mann for financial matters involving complex company, property assets and trusts and cross-border aspects. Associate Lindsay Davies is also of note.

Practice head(s):Sue Baker

Other key lawyers:Michelle Mann: Lindsay Davies

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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

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's Reading‚Äďbased team has substantial experience handling estate administration, tax planning work, including inheritance and capital gains tax planning as well as broader private client matters. Key figures in the practice include tax experts Dr Philippa Roles¬†and associate and Chartered Tax Advisor Ben Oliver¬†¬†and practice head¬†Sue Vandersteen¬†who specialises in complicated lifetime planning and wealth preservation. Rob Crowther¬†is noted for his experience representing clients in contentious probate matters, as well as capacity-related issues, including lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection applications. Also of note are associates Mandy Clarke¬†for trust administration and Katherine Riley¬†for dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):Sue Vandersteen

Other key lawyers:Dr Philippa Roles; Rob Crowther: Ben Oliver: Katherine Riley; Mandy Clarke


A friendly professional approach to giving excellent advice.

The team is has excellent communication and negotiation skills, and pulls out all the stops to get the job done and meet deadlines.’

Next Generation Partners

Rob Crowther - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Rising stars

Ben Oliver - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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South East: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP provides a full service to education sector clients, combining members of several departments within the firm to assist clients. The firm is particularly notable for its employment offering, as well as its governance, real estate, and construction work. Associate Katie Burley heads the group, and specialises in employment advice and defending clients before tribunals. The practice recently benefited from the addition of real estate expert Richard Higgs and employment specialist Louise Smyth, from Clarkslegal LLP and Freeths LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):Katie Burley

Other key lawyers:Richard Higgs; Louise Smyth


'A strong practice in terms of range and integration of services - able to deal with issues relating  to charitable and company status, data and IP as well as organisational/HR.'


Key Clients

Berkshire College of Agriculture

Work highlights

  • Represented Berkshire College of Agriculture in its asset purchase of land based training.
  • Providing advice to a client surrounding the acquisition of Community Interest Company status and assisting with restructuring its constitution and governance.
  • Advising a school on a complex safeguarding issue and subsequent disciplinary procedure of a member of staff.
  • Advising a client on a difficult management restructure.

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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 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises a mix of corporate occupiers and developers such as  University of Reading, Honda and  Bewley Homes, among others. The practice is also able to leverage complimentary expertise from specialists in construction and finance. Partners Marcus Francis and  Dean Bickford are regularly supported by senior associates Joe Preisner and Anna Zatouroff. The practice has been joined by landlord and tenant expert Richard Higgs and senior associate Paul Dench  who focuses on litigation from Clarkslegal LLP and Charles Russell Speechlys LLP , respectively.

Practice head(s):Marcus Francis 

Other key lawyers:Marcus Francis: Dean Bickford

Key Clients

Euro Car Parts

WSH Group

Go Develop

Bewley Homes plc

Whistl (formerlyTNT Post)

Work highlights

  • Advised the developer in acquisition of a Kensington investment and development property for £7.75m, which was subject to various leases including two to embassies.
  • Acted for developer in respect of acquisition of twenty development sites.
  • Advised a charity corporate occupier in the disposal of its previous premises before relocating to new office in central Reading.
Leading individuals

Marcus Francis - Field Seymour Parkes LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

In a key development at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, in 2018, Paul Dench was hired from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and took over as practice head from Joe Lott, who left the firm to become a full-time mediator. Having joined the firm as a senior associate, Dench recently made partner. Praised by one client for providing 'first-class service', the group regularly acts for charities, real estate investors, educational institutions, landed estates and property developers. In addition to handling standalone contentious mandates, the team also provides support to the broader real estate group in property transactions.

Practice head(s):Paul Dench


'Comprehensive and extensive knowledge and expertise combined with a can-do mentality'.

'A very strong and consistent attitude is demonstrated across the whole team'.

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South East: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's expertise encompasses software development, resale deals, licensing, and cloud computing. Catherine Ripley heads the practice, focusing on commercial contract advice for clients at all levels of the market. The firm also offers a substantial data protection practice, and developed a GDPR audit service for clients alongside an external IT company, and continues to act for clients following implementation of the GDPR.

Practice head(s):Catherine Ripley


Volume Limited

OLM Systems Limited

Subshare Limited

SciChart Limited

PragmaticDLT Inc (Canada/Ukraine)

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Sport - ranked: tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises its sports sector clients on areas including corporate, commercial, real estate, and employment. The team is overseen by founding partner Ian Wood-Smith who has significant experience in the sport sector, following 21 years of service as a director of Reading Football Club. Wood-Smith is noted for his expertise in transactions and other corporate matters.

Practice head(s):Ian Wood-Smith

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