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East Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the East Midlands - ranked: tier 1


Hewitsons primarily handles corporate transactions and commercial matters for SMEs, but it also has a significant client following among larger UK and overseas-based corporates. In addition, it acts for public bodies, family-owned businesses and individuals. David Browne leads the Northampton team, which includes Neil Harpham, and whose recent work included high-value share and asset sales and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations and advice on company constitutional and governance issues. On the commercial front, Kevin Fletcher is the name to note for assistance with partnership and limited liability partnership agreements, supply and partnership agreements, and agency and distribution agreements. Fletcher is particularly knowledgeable about commercial agreements involving technology-related and intellectual property issues. Elsewhere, the firm generates work from clients in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, automotive and charities.

Practice head(s):David Browne

Other key lawyers:Neil Harpham; Kevin Fletcher


'Hewitsons provided us with timely legal support adhering to the scope of the service agreed'

'Great communication, reasonable fees, good value for the money'

'Good continuity throughout the project'

Key Clients

Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Hi-Force Limited

Briggs & Forrester (UK) Limited

ACF Technologies Inc Group plc

Fencor Packaging Group Limited

Intamac Systems Limited

Tii Technologies Limited / Kelta Limited

The Lilacs Isham Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for US-based ACF Technologies Inc on its acquisition of Q-Nomy (UK) Limited.
  • Assisted Malta-based Group Plc with the acquisition of assets from an English company, including websites, and as well as 76 sports betting and casino related domain names.
  • Advised Perrys Motor Sales Limited on the sale of its Fiat, Mazda and Peugeot dealership in Portsmouth to the Snows Motor Group.
  • Advised Lilac Isham Limited on the acquisition of The Lilac Rabbit public house in Isham.
Leading individuals

David Browne - Hewitsons

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East Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands - ranked: tier 1


Hewitsons' practice stands out in disputes connected with renewable energy, financial services, technology and plant and equipment hire. In addition to handling domestic matters, the firm is also frequently sought-out for cases with an international dimension, where it acts for both UK and overseas-based clients. 'Very thorough and very detail-oriented' practice head Dominic Hopkins has a wealth of experience in commercial contracts disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, professional negligence cases, investment product litigation and IT-related matters, among other areas. Senior associate Stephen Cole is active in state aid cases, and he also acts for charities and education sector clients in other contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Dominic Hopkins

Other key lawyers:Stephen Cole

Leading individuals

Dominic Hopkins - Hewitsons

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East Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3


Hewitsons' banking and finance offering operates on a cross-office, multidisciplinary basis, supporting clients on a wide range of transactions. The firm sits on a number of regional bank panels, such as Lloyds, Santander and AIB. It is also highly regarded on borrower-side mandates. Under the leadership of banking head Neil Harpham, the practice covers property finance, corporate and acquisition finance, and construction finance, among other areas. Sector specialisation is a core feature of the practice, with strengths including agricultural finance and financing for the charities and education sectors. Tim Middleton is experienced in transactions connected with residential property development.

Practice head(s):Neil Harpham


'The team makes a real effort to understand the underlying transaction, act professionally, accurately and often within demanding timeframes'

Key Clients

Homes England

Lloyds Bank Plc

AIB (UK) Plc

Clydesdale Bank

The Agricultural

Mortgage Corporation Plc

Svenska Handelsbanken

Work highlights

  • Advised a property investment company registered in the British Virgin Islands on the refinancing by a UK bank of iconic multi-tenanted commercial property in the West End of London.
  • Advised a UK educational charity on the refinancing of its existing bank funding into a new three-year revolving credit facility.
  • Acted for a farming client on the proposed transfer of a substantial farming estate to a new trust, together with a refinance.
  • Advising a property development company on a secured bond issue.
  • Advised a bank on the financing of a newly incorporated multi academy trust.

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East Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 2


Lawyers at Hewitsons¬†are noted for their ‚Äėquick‚Äô and ‚Äėapproachable‚Äô service. Key strengths include TUPE, terminations and employment clauses, business immigration, discrimination and whistleblowing matters, as well as tribunal claims. The team's recent work also included employment support on various mergers and acquisitions. Headed up by Nick Hall, the group has specific sector expertise of the construction industry and also represents a significant number of clients in the education, trading charity and sports sectors.

Practice head(s):Nick Hall

Other key lawyers:Lynne Adams; Gemma Hill;


'Lynne Adams works with both empathy and great professionalism. She puts great thought into the situation'.

'The team brings a personal dimension to relationships with its clients, which is missing in this day and age'

Key Clients

Travis Perkins PLC and its subsidiaries

Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Barings UK Limited

The Stephen Perse Foundation

Mace Limited

VolkerWessels Limited

Telford Holmes PLC

Accommodation Concern

Royce Lingerie Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on the employment aspects of the sale by Perrys Motor Sales Limited of its Fiat, Mazda and Peugeot dealership in Portsmouth to Snows Motor Group.
  • Advised The Stephen Perse Foundation on the employment aspects of its merger with Cambridge Centre for Sixth-Form Studies.
  • Acted for an Olympic sports organisation, defending claims issues against it in an Employment Tribunal
  • Acted for an independent school, defending claims issues against it in an Employment Tribunal.

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East Midlands: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1


Hewitsons¬†impresses through its ‚Äėattention to detail‚Äô and ‚Äėpractical advice‚Äô. Its client base includes substantial landed estates, in addition to major producers of cereals, potatoes, herbs, vegetable and livestock. Particularly strong on the transaction front, the team is well-versed in acting for farmers and rural estate owners on the disposal of agricultural land for residential and commercial developments. Renewables are an additional area of expertise, with the workload increasingly consisting of matters related to solar farms and battery storage. The ‚Äėbright, hard-working and reliable‚Äô Gareth Williams¬†leads the department, which includes rising star¬†Stephanie Dennis.

Practice head(s):Gareth Williams

Other key lawyers:Stephanie Dennis


'They are an efficient, knowledgeable team, which is able to advise and carry out work on a variety of topics'.

'Stephanie Dennis is very diligent, efficient and communicative. Her work is always carried out with complete professionalism and skill'.

'The whole team offers excellent customer service, being responsive and timely with its advice'.

'Gareth Williams has a practical and proactive approach to projects, which is often missing elsewhere'.

Key Clients

Compton Estates

Wistow Estate. Leicestershire

Bedford Estates

Merton College, Oxford

Homes England

Watford Estate, Northamptonshire

Northern Family, Bedfordshire

Arbury Estate, Warwickshire

Work highlights

  • Acting for a farming client in connection with the proposed transfer of a substantial farming Estate to a new trust, together with a refinance worth in excess of £10m.
  • Acting on an option for a sustainable urban extension in the north west of England.
  • Acting in connection with the succession to an AHA tenancy.
  • Advising on the restructuring of substantial internal tenancies.  
  • Sale of land for development to two developers with deferred payments secured by charges and overages.
Leading individuals

Gareth Williams - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Stephanie Dennis - Hewitsons

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1


The ‚Äėrange of expertise is outstanding‚Äô at¬†Hewitsons,¬†with the team acting for a host of service-providing, corporate, grant-making and education charities, in addition to various other non-profit organisations. Practice head Chris Knight¬†deploys his ‚Äėvast knowledge of the charity sector‚Äô in governance, commercial, regulatory and contentious matters. The group is also experienced in handling mergers and redevelopments.

Practice head(s):Chris Knight

Other key lawyers:Virginia Henley; Stephen Cole


'They have a close knit team that keeps all of its members in the loop'.

'They are readily available'.

'Chris Knight is quick to grasp the issues being faced. His manner is always pleasant and engaging, and his explanations clear'.

Key Clients

Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Psoriasis Association

Oundle School

Community Spaces Northampton

Theotokos Romanian Church

Northamptonshire Association for the Blind

Jesus Army Charitable Trust

Sir Thomas White’s Northampton Charity

Northamptonshire Choral Foundation Ltd

Becketts and Sargeants Educational Foundation

Bedfordshire Charitable Trust

Kathleen and Michael Connolly Foundation

Woburn Estate / Woburn 1986

Thomas Christie Almshouse and Relief in Need Charity

Northamptonshire ACRE

Davidge Usher Trust

Northamptonshire Industrial Training Association

The Good Loaf

Nottingham Castle Trust

Roger and Jean Jefcoate Trust

Sports Chaplaincy UK

Kelmarsh Trust

Lamport Hall Preservation Trust

Headway Northampton

The Combined Harpole Charitable Trust

Will Woodlands

Frederick and Phyllis Cann Charitable Trust

Thomas and Rosemary Greenhalgh Charitable Trust

The Henry and Elizabeth Lineham Fund

The Finnis Scott Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust on the lease and operational transfer from a local authority of an important heritage destination.
  • Advising Nottingham Castle Trust on the transfer of operational responsibility from the city council.
  • Assisting the Psoriasis Association (an established unincorporated association) with converting into a charitable incorporated organisation.
  • Assisting Romanian Orthodox Church (Theotokos) Northampton with the establishment of a new charity for the purpose of religious services, community support and networking opportunities for the local Romanian community.
  • Advising Community Spaces Northampton on liability and risk considerations associated with it taking on the lease and management of a brand new community centre from Northampton Borough Council.
Leading individuals

Chris Knight - Hewitsons

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1


The ‚Äėextremely professional‚Äô practice at Hewitsons¬†has maintained an ‚Äėexcellent local reputation over numerous years‚Äô. Inheritance tax planning, trust reorganisation and administration, overseas assets and capital gains tax are among its specialist areas. The ‚Äėknowledgeable‚Äô and ‚Äėthorough‚Äô Clare Colacicchi¬†is a standout name and is highly recommended for trust, tax and property advice in relation to landed estates. She is also an expert on capital taxes. Associate Antonia Cooper¬†is active in a broad range of private client matters and is valued for her 'knowledge' and 'professionalism'.

Practice head(s):Daniel Curtis;

Other key lawyers:Clare Colacicchi; Catherine Ball; Carolyn Bagley; Antonia Cooper;


'Strong attention to detail. Always quick to respond to queries and easy to make appointments. Excellent reputation locally over many years'.

'They are caring and understanding. Relate well with individual needs'.

'Antonia Cooper and Catherine Ball's knowledge is valued and they are professional throughout'.

'Clare Colacicchi is most efficient, thorough, very approachable and trustworthy'.

'Clare Colacicchi is always willing to help and advise. She makes one feel at ease and makes sure any issues are clearly explained'.

Leading individuals

Clare Colacicchi - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Antonia Cooper - Hewitsons

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East Midlands: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 3


Hewitsons' multi-faceted practice covers areas such as data protection, development and construction, dispute resolution, employment and regulatory advice for clients. It is also adept in independent school mergers and acquisitions, as well as single and multi-academy conversions. Practice head Chris Knight advises a number of clients from the charity sector on education-related issues.

Practice head(s):Chris Knight;

Key Clients

The Wilson Foundation

Maidwell Hall School

Becketts and Sargeants Educational Foundation

United Church Schools Trust

United Church Schools Foundation

United Learning Trust

Bedford College

Kimbolton School

Northampton Free School Trust

Oundle School

Wellingborough School

Work highlights

  • Advice to a major schools group on the acquisition of a school with an unusual structure.
  • Assisted The Wilson Foundation with acquiring a residential outdoor centre for school children from the local authority.
  • Ongoing advice to a major local educational grant making charity.
  • Advising a large schools group on the sale of Caterham School.

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East Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands - ranked: tier 1


Hewitsons provides full-service support on all aspects of commercial property work, and while its strong profile in the Northampton market sees it attract mandates from boot and shoe manufacturers, the firm also has notable specialisms in the motor dealer, healthcare and education arenas. Work for public sector clients is another pillar of the practice. Team head David Wells has vast experience of investment acquisitions and sales (particularly in the office and light industrial sectors), and also commercial landlord and tenant matters. Marc Carter is recommended for his commercial property development expertise. Other standout individuals include Patricia Kempson and legal director Claire Howard-Amos.

Practice head(s):David Wells

Other key lawyers:Marc Carter; Patricia Kempson; Claire Howard-Amos


'Able to understand the key issues and practical concerns.'

Key Clients

Mansfield College, Oxford

United Learning Group

The Trustees of the Wilson Foundation (Charity)

IMT Aviation Limited

Lightdoor Limited

Cheaney Shoes Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Bedford College (FE)

Ardent Hire Solutions

A W James

Levitt Bernstein Associates Limited

Wimbledon Property Holdings Ltd /Marchmont Investment Management Limited

Bright Horizons Family Solutions Limited

XPO Transport Solutions UK Limited

Community Spaces Northampton (charity)

Work highlights

  • Acted for United Church Schools Foundation on the acquisition of two independent schools, one in Hertfordshire and one in Surrey.
  • Assisted the Wilson Foundation with acquiring a residential outdoor centre for school children from a local authority.
  • Acted on a significant pre-letting agreement whereby AW James Limited, a major property company in the Milton Keynes area, contracted with a wholly owned subsidiary of Regus, in respect of over 47,000 square feet of office accommodation, backed by a multimillion-pound guarantee from the Regus parent company.
  • Advised on a significant pre-letting agreement whereby AW James Limited, a major property company in the Milton Keynes area, contracted to let nearly 20,000 square feet of office premises to Shoosmiths solicitors.
  • Advised Levitt Bernstein Associates on the leasehold acquisition of 11,000 square feet of newly redeveloped professional office accommodation in north London.

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Further information on Hewitsons

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Hewitsons in other jurisdictions.

East Anglia

Offices in Cambridge

East Midlands

Offices in Northampton

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes

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