The Legal 500

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80 GUILDHALL STREET, BURY ST EDMUNDS, IP33 1QB, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01284 762211
Fax:
Fax 01284 717499
DX:
57205 BURY ST EDMUNDS
Email:
Web:
www.greene-greene.com

East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia
Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia - ranked: tier 1

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds is 'an excellent firm with highly professional solicitors and staff, who act promptly and with integrity and treat the clients as people, rather than just another case'. Partner Simon Ratcliffe, who is a dual-qualified solicitor advocate and barrister, leads the practice and specialises in the acquisition, disposal and reorganisation of private companies. He recently acted for Nexus Underwriting Management Limited in its multimillion-pound acquisition of US-based reinsurer ZON Re, which brought the company into a new line of business. For the same client he handled a £44m fundraising transaction to fund future growth. Neil Walmsley is seen as one of the region's leading corporate finance lawyers and handles a mix of regional, London-based and international transactions. He recently helped Holiday Property Bond with its acquisition of Jigsaw Holidays, and advised a client in the healthcare sector on the multimillion-pound disposal of a property company to a REIT. Andrew Cooper is highly regarded for corporate matters and commercial contracts work, including  supply and agency agreements, and for data protection and GDPR compliance issues. Solicitor Mark Williams is also recommended for M&A, fundraisings and commercial contract law.

Leading individuals

Simon Ratcliffe - Greene & Greene

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East Anglia: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in East Anglia
Commercial litigation: elsewhere in East Anglia - ranked: tier 1

Greene & Greene

The litigation practice at Greene & Greene is 'very good, very effective and good value for money'. The firm has a 125-year history and remains one of the market leaders in Bury St Edmunds for advice to companies and high-net-worth individuals. It has a large and diverse client base of  large and small businesses across a range of industry sectors, for which it handles disputes both nationally and internationally. Practice head Michael Batty  has 'a good manner and is an astute and effective mediator and negotiator'. He recently defended shareholders who had sold their company against a multimillion-pound warranty claim brought by the purchaser. He also acted for a home improvement company in a high-value case concerning the supply of allegedly defective materials to a property developer. The firm recently hired Rob Adam from Ashtons Legal, who has a reputation as one of the regions big-hitters and has a broad practice that encompasses  commercial litigation, contentious trusts and probate claims, insolvency litigation, claims against professionals and property disputes. Experienced solicitor Andrea Nicholls  is also recommended for commercial litigation.

Leading individuals

Michael Batty - Greene & Greene

Rob Adam - Greene & Greene

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East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene provides 'very good service, very prompt responses and good value for money, particularly compared to London firms', according to one client who describes the practice as 'pragmatic and aware of the challenges SMEs face'. Corporate partners Simon Ratcliffe and the 'quick, knowledgeable' Andrew Cooper frequently act for Nexus Underwriting Management Limited in M&A deals, in which they handle complex acquisition finance arrangements. One recent deal involved a £44m secured loan. Cooper handled a £1.5m investment from a Chinese pharmaceutical company on behalf of Cipher Surgical Limited. Corporate finance specialist Neil Walmsley and partner Mark Daly, who regularly advises shareholders of high-growth VC backed science and technology companies and also handles fundraising and investment transactions for PLCs, SMEs and shareholders, are both recommended.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

The insolvency and corporate recovery practice at Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds works closely with the firm's commercial group and dispute resolution department to provide cost-effective service. Litigator Michael Batty leads the practice and is recommended for 'his grasp of the relevant law and procedure and by his meticulous approach to the handling of difficult cases'. He recently defended a £1.5m claim under a guarantee brought by the administrators of a company following the administration of the guarantor’s company. Solicitor Andrea Nicholls also has wide expertise in contentious insolvency and restructuring matters.

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East Anglia: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

At¬†Greene & Greene¬†‚Äėthe overall level of service is¬†outstanding‚Äė. Clients describe the firm as ‚Äėa true partner‚Äė and note that ‚Äėthe advice is exceptional and the team is¬†very approachable and seems to delight in giving the personal touch‚Äė. One remarks that ‚Äėextremely supportive and non-judgemental‚Äė¬†department head Selene Holden¬†‚Äėtakes the time to truly understand clients‚Äô business culture and build an effective business relationship‚Äė and that¬†‚Äėknowledgeable, passionate and unflappable‚Äė senior associate¬†Greg Jones¬†‚Äėreally¬†understands our business, our culture, and our approach to commerciality, and the advice he provides is always pertinent‚Äė. Barrister and ‚Äėconfident, highly motivated‚Äė¬†senior associate¬†Angharad Ellis Owen¬† provides ‚Äėwell-balanced and diligent counsel and insight‚Äė and is ‚Äėextremely commercial and precise‚Äė. Alongside the firm‚Äôs local work in sectors such as insurance, manufacturing and transport, it handles a growing caseload of national and international matters. For Nexus Underwriting Management, Jones handled employment due diligence for two significant corporate acquisitions. He also advised a large UK food processing company on its modern slavery policy.

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East Anglia: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds joins the ranking thanks to its highly-rated litigation practice, which acts for both corporate clients and individuals in professional negligence cases against solicitors, accountants and surveyors, as well as other professions. 'Measured, considered, realistic and professional' head of dispute resolution Michael Batty calls on senior solicitor Andrea Nicholls, solicitor Ben Fox and assistant Kate Struthers to handle complex cases, which last year included a £100,000 claim against solicitors for a residential conveyancing matter in which defects in a newly built home were discovered not to have been covered by guarantees the purchasers believed to be in place. Batty also pursued a £200,000 claim against solicitors for failure to ensure that the estate of an elderly man with significant assets was executed before his death.

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East Anglia: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

'No stone is left unturned' at Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds, where the agriculture and estates practice has a good reputation among regional land agents. It frequently handles farm sales and purchases, Settled Land Act estates work, agricultural tenancy issues, succession planning and taxation including agricultural and business property advice. Director and practice head Jonathan Mathers does 'an absolutely super job; he has excellent attention to detail and huge knowledge when it comes to property purchases' and the lawyers in his team are 'all superb'. Corporate finance partner Neil Walmsley specialises in the acquisition, disposal, financing and restructuring of businesses and rural enterprises. Employment specialist Selene Holden deals with agricultural issues including disputes over family succession, licences for power lines, problems with farm managers, issues caused by land contamination, and development of agricultural land. Property litigator Andrea Nicholls, chartered tax adviser Wayne Perrin and corporate partner Mark Daly also play key roles in the practice. A highlight for the practice was its work for a new farming company in its £16m purchase of a premier estate in Suffolk.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Mathers - Greene & Greene

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Greene & Greene

At Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds the advice is 'clear and concise'. 'The level of service is first-rate', according to one client who adds that 'the lawyers have a very thorough knowledge of litigation'. Another views the firm as having 'a standout East Anglian practice capable of carrying the fight to the best known London firms and winning'. In Michael Batty's litigation department the 'professional and diligent' Ben Fox  is a rising star who exhibits 'great attention to detail and is well organised, concerned for clients' welfare and shows considerable perseverance'. 'His strongest point is his determination to obtain an acceptable and satisfactory outcome for his client; he does not run out of steam', remarks one client. Consultant and ACTAPS member Kate Chandler 'has that instinctive insight into personalities that all top private client litigators need, along with a determination to see her clients through to the winning-post'. The recruitment of respected litigator Rob Adam from Ashtons Legal adds yet more experience to the practice. The firm recently advised on the removal of an executor from a multimillion-pound estate.

Next generation lawyers

Ben Fox - Greene & Greene

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene¬†is ‚Äėoutstanding ‚Äď the advice is practical and well considered, and the lawyers¬†guide rather than instruct and are delightful to deal with on a personal level‚Äė. One client remarks that the firm ‚Äėgave a London standard of advice and care but in a more approachable, accessible and affordable setting‚Äė.¬†'Of the firms I work for in Bury St Edmunds and the wider Suffolk region, it is unmatched in terms of the service it offers to clients' says one barrister. Managing partner and head of family law¬†Stuart Hughes¬†leads¬†the ‚Äėvery efficient, strong team‚Äė and is praised for his ‚Äėrealistic, pragmatic and accurate advice and strong character'. 'He possesses the ability to provide sensible and forthright advice whilst simultaneously being a robust advocate for his client‚Äôs cause', says a client. He recently negotiated a favourable settlement through mediation in a divorce involving a property developer with substantial non-matrimonial property.¬†Melanie Pilmer¬†is ‚Äėcandid without bluntness and honest without insensitivity; she has a first-rate grasp of the law¬†and¬† takes the heat and emotion out of any given situation'. Solicitor¬†Emily Woodhouse¬†is recommended for cases involving children.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: elsewhere in East Anglia
Personal tax, trusts and probate: elsewhere in East Anglia - ranked: tier 1

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene is 'very good, providing fast and helpful responses from a good selection of people able to provide specialist knowledge as needed'. One client describes the practice as 'first-class, always accessible, quick and efficient'. Head of department and STEP member Wayne Perrin, who is one of three qualified chartered tax advisors in the practice, is 'always available, approachable and capable of providing good information in a friendly and clear manner; he listens and then offers good clear advice'. He recently advised  a client on a tax-efficient succession strategy for a £12m estate. The practice is best-known for advice on taxation, but it has a broad client base for complex trusts, estates and probate matters. Solicitor and chartered tax advisor Nigel Scase is 'very knowledgeable regarding HMRC and acts with reasonable promptitude'. Jonathan Mathers, who handles agricultural and private client matters, and trusts and estates practitioners Martine Swaep and Ian Cottam are also recommended.

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East Anglia: Real estate

Commercial property: elsewhere in East Anglia
Commercial property: elsewhere in East Anglia - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

The commercial property practice at¬†Greene & Greene¬†in Bury St Edmunds is 'first class ‚Äď it has in-depth knowledge and provides good support in all areas', according to one client. The practice works closely with the corporate team to provide support for clients in sectors such as¬†specialist engineering and manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, as well as acting for private portfolio investors and handling pension fund transactions.¬†Neil Grigg¬†leads the property department and frequently handles¬†handles option and overage agreements, freehold and leasehold transactions, investments and commercial landlord and tenant matters. In 2017, he advised Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited on the ¬£30m sale of its offices and laboratory campus at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, to Chinese pharmaceutical enterprise Pharmaron. Clients recommend partner¬†Tim Mendes da Costa¬†for his 'sound advice'. He assisted Phico Therapeutics Limited on the ¬£3m acquisition of the Bertarelli Building at Bourne Hall Clinic, Cambridge.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene has an experienced litigation department led by Michael Batty , who recently acted for public interest company North Norfolk Planning Watch CIC in a challenge to a decision by North Norfolk District Council to grant permission for the demolition of a property in Blakeney and the erection of a modern property in its place, despite objections from the local community and national bodies. Batty led an application for a judicial review, which was heard in the High Court. Commercial property partner Neil Grigg who handles both transactional and contentious property matters, is recommended for 'very good response times, business acumen and value for money'. The arrival of respected litigator Rob Adam , who previously led the dispute resolution practice at Ashtons Legal, adds further experience in property litigation. Partner Ben Fox and solicitor Andrea Nicholls, who recently handled a high-value right of way case, are also recommended.

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