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Woodfines LLP

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South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 3

Woodfines LLP (Milton Keynes, Bedford, Sandy)

Woodfines LLP’s ‘very capable’ team ‘delivers results and communicates with clients in an approachable, commercial and real-world manner’. The firm represents the full spectrum of businesses and charities, and has significant expertise in the agricultural, transport, education and professional services sectors. The department is headed by Stephen Oliver, and the ‘proactiveNeil Gibbsbuilds great relationships with clients’ and ‘will always come up with a solution to the problem at hand’. Highlights included advising Fire Protection Services on a purchase and sale agreement for part if its business, and acting for Philex with an acquisition project. Titan Motorsport & Automotive Engineering and Lillibet Lodge residential care home are also key clients.

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South East: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 3

Woodfines LLP (Milton Keynes)

Woodfines LLP has an established reputation in the region for criminal defence cases, having acted for clients accused of murder, rape and GBH. The firm’s fraud, regulatory and white-collar crime work also augments the general crime practice. The team represented a client, a nurse and care home manager, charged with not following health and safety regulations following the death of a resident in a care home, and is acting for a client accused of importing prohibited firearms and ammunition along with seven other defendants. Mike Hayward is the practice head and specialises in murder and motoring defence matters; he is ably supported by solicitor Chris Birchall and solicitor Michelle O’Garro, who has experience in representing clients in criminal environmental cases.

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 4

Woodfines LLP (Bedford, Milton Keynes, Sandy)

The ‘excellent’ team at Woodfines LLP is praised for its ‘great value for money, good response times and commercial outlook’. The firm has a strong track record in contractual disputes, property litigation, IP matters and debt recovery, and continues to attract clients across a broad range of sectors. Andrew Carter is ‘very intelligent, and has a good eye for technicalities without losing sight of the bigger picture’. Keith Jones and Maria Koureas-Jones are the other key figures.

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 3

Woodfines LLP (Bedford, Sandy, Milton Keynes)

Woodfines LLP’s group provides ‘an excellent service for difficult matters’. The firm has a strong contentious claims settlement practice and also advises on drafting contracts and staff handbooks, document preparation, settlement agreements and changes to employment law. Andrew Buckley frequently represents trade unions and employees in a range of claims, including unfair dismissal and discrimination, while also handling disciplinary and grievance issues. Senior associate Maria Gallucci is the name to note in Milton Keynes, and her areas of expertise include TUPE transfers, redundancy issues, settlement agreements and High Court employment matters.

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South East: Insurance

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Woodfines LLP (Bedford)

The personal injury department at Woodfines LLP in Bedford handles road traffic accident, work accident and public liability claims, including crime and assault. Keith Jones leads the department, which also includes solicitors Lynne Quarmby and Hannah Young.

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South East: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Woodfines LLP (Sandy)

Woodfines LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice has ‘a strong understanding of wills, tenancy agreements and purchases in the agricultural sector’. Recent work included acting for farmer clients in Bedfordshire in connection with a promotion agreement for residential development on farmland, a matter valued at £2m. The group also deals with probate and estate planning, and regularly handles commercial matters for businesses and rural landowners. Charlotte Benjamin heads the practice where Brian Bennett, Andrew Buckley and John Egan are also key figures.

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

Woodfines LLP (Bedford, Milton Keynes)

Woodfines LLP advises on the full array of wills and probate disputes, and has recently defended claims regarding inheritance and acted for various clients in challenges to will validity. Litigation partner Keith Jones heads the practice, and Hannah Young has strong experience handling trusts and estate-related matters, as well as probate, wills and inheritance disputes.

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Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 3

Woodfines LLP (Sandy, Bedford)

The ‘excellent’ team at Woodfines LLPbuilds trusted relationships with its clients’ and ‘can guide them through difficult and painful legal areas with compassion and professionalism’. Department head John Egan undertakes the full range of matrimonial work including private children’s law, Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 applications and financial remedy matters; John Leadbeater advises on divorce proceedings, high net-worth family finance cases and childcare issues; and Sonia Topiwala is recommended for forced marriage and High Court jurisdiction matters.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 1

Woodfines LLP (Bedford, Milton Keynes, Sandy)

Woodfines LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ team ‘builds a trusted relationship with its clients’ and ‘can be relied on with complete confidence’. Key areas of expertise include will drafting, estate administration, inheritance tax and Court of Protection matters. Practice head Mike Cox has ‘a wide knowledge of the practice area, and responds to all questions with congeniality, patience and ease’, and senior associate Esther Marchant is ‘clear and concise, outlining all relevant information and making a difficult process easy’.

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South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 2

Woodfines LLP (Bedford, Sandy, Milton Keynes)

Woodfines LLP acts for lenders on high-value property transactions, and also advises on the development of residential and commercial property, site assembly, planning promotion agreements, waste management and construction matters. The team was recently bolstered with the arrival of Michael Roche, who specialises in commercial property transactions, from Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Limited. Other key figures include practice head Sylvia Goulding, who has a specialism in licensed premises and planning promotion agreements; James Cardwell, who is known for his expertise across the full range of development work; and Neil Gibbs, who handles environment-related work. Highlights included advising Parrott Development on the £5m sale of a large development site to a housing association.

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